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TIMES of MIDDLE COUNTRY C E N T E R E AC H • S E L D E N • L A K E G R O V E N O R T H

November 26, 2020 KYLE BARR

Vol. 16, No. 33

Breaking Barriers

Two local students on the autism spectrum earn their black belts

A9

Plunging For a Cause

Thanksgiving Coloring Contest Winners Announced

Also: Review of Netflix’s Jingle Jangle, Small Business Saturday, Eye on the Street

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Cara Hasler, right, of Centereach, was one of many who particpated in the COVID-friendly 2020 Brookhaven Polar Plunge – More photos on A3

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PAGE A2 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • November 26, 2020

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November 26, 2020 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • PAGE A3 T

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Despite Pandemic, Annual Polar Plunge Raises $105K for Special Olympics

There wasn’t so much of the festival atmosphere at the 11th annual Town of Brookhaven Polar Plunge Nov. 21, but the activities of hundreds of donors, even those participating from home, exceeded expectations. The Polar Plunge: Freezin’ for a Reason event at Cedar Beach in Mount Sinai still had people diving into frigid waters while friends and family watched though, unlike previous years, participants went in among their teammates, or in much smaller groups, as organizers tried to keep people distant due to the ongoing pandemic. Everyone was required to wear their masks even when in the water. The event lasted much longer as well, taking place all morning until 1 p.m. Still, 215 participants jumped into the 54-degree waters with relish, including some regulars to the event such as Cara Hasler, of Centereach, who plunged last year, and Councilwoman Jane Bonner (R-Rocky Point).

The Nesconset, St. James and Mount Sinai fire departments took turns in shifts standing by in the water for safety’s sake. The annual Polar Plunge raises funds and awareness for Special Olympics New York athletes in the Long Island region. Renee Snyder, vice president of development for Special Olympics New York, said this year they raised close to $105,000 as of Nov. 23. She said while they have raised more in previous years, such as the $152,000 they raised last year, the amount still exceeded their expectations. Originally the organization thought they would see only half of last year’s amount. There were also a number of people from the community who participated remotely, Snyder said. Some participated in ice bucket challenges, while others were voluntarily sprayed by their local fire department. A school located upstate is planning to fill balloons with cold water and have water balloon fights this upcoming weekend. “People are being creative,� she said.

 

 

 

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PAGE A4 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • November 26, 2020

County

SCWA Discusses Big Task of 1,4 Dioxane Treatment for Hundreds of Wells

BY KYLE BARR KYLE@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM

With a little under 600 wells in its system, the Suffolk County Water Authority has a big task ahead as it tries to comply with state mandates to remove the likely carcinogenic 1,4 dioxane from Long Island’s drinking water. On a Zoom call with TBR News Media, water authority officials talked about the current progress on remodeling the county’s water infrastructure, including 76 wells. It’s a difficult task, and there are many years and millions of dollars more needed before many of the county’s wells are remediated. The authority has estimated 45% of its wells were detected with 1,4 dioxane, which Jeffrey Szabo, the CEO of the SCWA, called “frightening.” For over a year, 1,4 dioxane has appeared in the news frequently. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed legislation at the end of last year banning 1,4 dioxane, which is normally found in some household cleaning products. At the tail end of July this year, New York adopted regulations for the chemical, setting the maximum contaminant levels, or MCL, of 1 part per billion. 1,4 dioxane has been found in 70% of Long Island wells found during a federal testing initiative back in 2013 through 2015. The state has also set the MCL for PFOA and PFOS, both of which have been found to cause health issues in humans and animals,

at a maximum of 10 parts per trillion. Perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, is a chemical often found in firefighting foams, and perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, is used in nonstick and stain-resistant products. Szabo said they are on their way to establishing treatment for the PFOA and PFOS in all wells that need it. The water authority’s October report states that all wells with those chemicals above the MCL limit are either being treated to remove the contaminants or are being blended to below the MCL or have been removed from service. Szabo said the water authority has granular activated carbon, or GAC filters that help remove the PFAS chemicals, but such carbon-based filters have little to no effect on 1,4 dioxane. Instead, the SCWA started almost a decade ago developing technology to remove another similar chemical, 1,3 dioxane from drinking water. In 2017, SCWA engineers designed and piloted the first full-scale pilot 1,4-dioxane treatment system in state history. The authority’s Advanced Oxidation Process, or AOP treatment system is currently operational in only one location, Central Islip. That design process “took a long time and a lot of money,” Szabo said. The water authority CEO said they now have 56 AOP treatment systems in construction in Suffolk, including in Farmingdale and Huntington. There are AOP treatment systems being designed for places on the North Shore such as Sunken Meadow Park, but in many

An example of one of the Advanced Oxidation Process, or AOP systems the Suffolk County Water Authority is using to clean county wells of 1,4 dioxane. File photo

cases it’s not as simple as installing a new filter, as it often takes reconfiguring and additional electrical work. Clearing and site work continues for future AOP sites and electrical upgrade work is beginning at sites such as Flower Hill Road in Huntington. In some cases it’s simply easier and cheaper to replace old

A map showing where the SCWA expects to put the treatment systems, should they be approved. Image from SCWA

wells, such as on Old Dock Road in Kings Park, which is replacing two wells on Carlson Avenue both of which need AOP systems. Not only that, but there is an apparent yearlong lead time from when the authority orders a new system to when it can be installed. Despite recent efforts, funding continues to be the biggest issue. Each GAC system costs around $1 million to manufacture. An AOP system is closer to $2.5 million. At the end of last year, the SCWA estimated efforts to remediate such wells would cost $177 million over the next five years. The October report states the authority has spent close to $12 million to date for PFAS related work and $23,136,397 for emerging contaminant work. The water authority passed a $20 fee added to residents’ quarterly water bills starting this year to help pay for this new water treatment. Though even with that fee, it’s not likely enough to cover the full cost. The water authority has also filed lawsuits against several companies whose products contain PFOA, PFOS or 1,4 dioxane. Those suits are still ongoing. The SCWA has received $13.3 million in grants from New York State and has submitted additional applications for state grant funding for 14 of its wells. The water authority is also waiting on a bill in the state legislature which could provide some extra financial assistance. A bill supported by state Sen. Jim Gaughran (D-Northport) and Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) that would provide reimbursement for emerging contaminant grants by responsible parties has passed the state senate but currently remains in committee in the assembly.


Community News

A Small Taste of History:

Town

November 26, 2020 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • PAGE A5

A Lake Grove Wedding

Amongst the Middle Country Public Library’s many historical artifacts are a few that explain just how far the area has come from its pastoral routes. The pictures and story below comes courtesy of a collaborative effort among the librarian staff. Rendering of the planned Sunrise Wind headquarters located at 22 Research Way in East Setauket. Photo by Sunrise Wind

Sunrise Wind Talks Cable Landfall Through Smith Point, Purchase of Setauket Headquarters

This lovely wedding photo was taken at the site of William Henry’s homestead to commemorate the marriage of his daughter, Wilhelmina (Mina) to Bert Terry, son of Hiram Terry of Farmingville. Located on Middle Country Road between Henry Road and North Washington Avenue, this was the home of William Henry, who emigrated from Scotland in 1892. He and his wife Jesse raised their family of seven daughters and one son here.

The Henry family home was located in Lake Grove (known then as New Village) where Jesse Henry’s brother, Charles Brown, was pastor of the Congregational Church. According to the Howell genealogy manuscript, this wedding was attended by “almost everyone in the village” as well as three generations of family members. This photograph is attributed to Will Henry, Mina’s brother, who was a photographer for the New York Herald Tribune. Photo from Our Savior New American School

Our Savior New American School Raises Funds for Homeless

The 11th and 12th grade girls Bible group at Our Savior New American School in Centereach held a Walk-A-Thon to benefit Mercy Center Ministries, a Patchogue based non-profit. The event raised $1,700 dollars for Mercy’s three shelters for homeless young women and children.

The group was inspired after learning about Mercy’s Mission when Executive Director Briana Taylor visited the school in September during their “Love your Neighbor” Spirit Week. Featured in the picture are the girls Bible Group with Executive Director of Mercy, Briana Taylor.

BY KYLE BARR KYLE@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM

Though it still requires formal agreements with local government, the Sunrise Wind offshore wind farm project is talking specifics on landfall for its electrical lines, adding even more emphasis on Brookhaven town. Sunrise Wind plans to create a 110-turbine, 880-megawatt wind farm 30 miles off the coast of Montauk. During an online community open house Nov. 16, representatives of the project, which is being duel-headed by Denmark-based Ørsted and East Coast-based Eversource, explained plans for having the electrical lines make landfall at the parking lot of Smith Point County Park on the South Shore. Those lines would then feed under the Smith Point Bridge and then under William Floyd Parkway. The cables will extend north beneath the William Floyd Parkway for 3.8 miles, crossing under the Long Island Rail Road tracks before going west toward the Holtsville electrical substation. A complete construction and operations plan will be made available in 2021, according to Sunrise Wind reps. The project could be operational as soon as 2024, as long as current timelines hold. Ken Bowes, vice president of offshore wind siting and permitting for Sunrise, said they do not currently have a formal agreement with either Suffolk County, which owns Smith Point County Park and William Floyd Parkway, or the Town of Brookhaven for its roadways the underground electrical cables will need to use with the electrical substation. He said they look to have two formal agreements “that will compensate each fairly for the use of the facilities” in the near future. “The town — we’ll hopefully be partners with them for the next 20 years,” he said. The project has touted the Port Jefferson and

Setauket areas as its main base of operations once the wind turbines are operational. Town Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) told TBR News Media last month that Sunrise Wind had purchased a site in East Setauket as its main office space, which is also to be used as a training center for the people who service the turbines. Sunrise Wind released a statement saying the nearly 60,000-square foot, multi-purpose Research Way facility will house members of the permanent staff of Sunrise Wind and South Fork Wind, among other teams, including positions such as technician, warehouse coordinator, contract manager, head of site, and other offshore and onshore jobs. The facility will be renovated to include custom office and warehouse space to handle marine coordination, contract and site management, as well as spare parts storage, among other activities. Workers and equipment will be loaded and unloaded on its over-260-foot repair vessel at a special dock to be constructed in Port Jefferson Harbor. “The deep-water harbor in Port Jefferson, combined with the talent pool and resources on Long Island, make the area ideally-suited to serve as a regional O&M hub for our Northeast offshore wind farms,” Ørsted Offshore North America’s Head of Operations, Mikkel Maehlisen said. “We’re eager to begin our work there and become members of the local community.” Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket), who originally proposed to the offshore wind corporations that Port Jeff be used as a home base for Sunrise Wind, said he was “delighted that Ørsted and Eversource have decided to strategically locate their Sunrise Wind Operations and Maintenance center near both the deep-water harbor that is Port Jefferson and the School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at Stony Brook University.”


PAGE A6 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • November 26, 2020

Town

Civic Leader Argues Merits of New Parking System as Town Approves Budget

BY KYLE BARR KYLE@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM Amongst the hard decisions stemming from approving its 2021 budget during the pandemic-induced economic downturn, the Town of Brookhaven has included a somewhat controversial change to how it will process parking at several town beaches and marinas. As an offset to pandemic induced losses, the town voted unanimously Thursday, Nov. 19, to no longer have seasonal employees sitting in booths at town beaches. Instead officials are opting for a meter system, though residents who pay for a town parking sticker will be able to park freely. The 2021 town budget was also approved Nov. 19 without discussion from the board. The biggest increases to the $307 million budget are in the form of a $2.34 million general fund property tax increase. This is being offset slightly by highway taxes, leading to an annual tax increase of a little under $9 for the average homeowner. It also remains under the 1.56% New York State tax levy cap. Garbage pickup will be set at $1 a day for a single-family home, or $365 a year. In addition to the 2021 budget, the board opted to amend the current year’s capital budget to the tune of $900,000 for the new parking system. The town voted to issue new bonds worth $1 million in

total to pay to acquire and install the new parking meters. Meters are expected to be placed at the Holtsville Park, Sandspit Marina in Patchogue, Port Jeff Marina, Corey Beach in Blue Point, West Meadow Beach and Shoreham Beach. Anyone with a parking sticker will not have to pay into the meters. The meters, which aesthetically appear like those in Port Jeff village, are going to be active between May 1 and Oct. 15. The town is discussing a $25 parking sticker fee per vehicle with a reduced price for additional vehicles in the household. Reduced fees for seniors and veterans parking stickers will still be available. Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) said the town is paying millions of dollars for its parttime workers at these parks and beaches to monitor people coming in. Currently people without parking stickers pay $5 for the day at these beaches, but under the new system will only need to pay for the time spent at 50 cents an hour. Officials said the new meters will work like they do in places like Port Jefferson, though the town did not discuss what the hourly rates will be. During the afternoon meeting, Councilwoman Valerie Cartright (D-Port Jefferson Station) called for discussion on the parking issue which created a few tense moments between the councilwoman and

LEGALS LEGAL NOTICE PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Centereach Fire District has scheduled a special meeting for the purpose of Station 2 Construction to be held Sunday December 6, 2020 at 10:00am at Fire Headquarters, 9 South Washington Avenue, Centereach, New York. BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS CENTEREACH FIRE DISTRICT TOWN OF BROOKHAVEN DATED: November 13, 2020

To Place A Legal Notice

Email: legals@tbrnewsmedia.com Jennifer Gardner District Secretary 965 11/26 1x tmc NOTICE OF ADOPTION OF RESOLUTION SUBJECT TO PERMISSIVE REFERENDUM NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Centereach Fire District, in the Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County, New York, at a meeting thereof, held on the 17th day of November, 2020, duly adopted, subject to permis-

sive referendum, a Resolution, an abstract of which is as follows: The Resolution authorizes the sale of a 2012 Ford F550 Medtec Ambulance at a total price of no less than $50,000.00. Dated: Centereach, New York November 18, 2020 Jennifer Gardner, Fire District Secretary Centereach Fire District 9 South Washington Avenue Centereach, New York 11720 974 11/26 1x tmc

The West Meadow Beach parking lot might soon see parking meters as part of Brookhaven’s plans to recoup $2 million in annual revenue. Photo by Julianne Mosher

supervisor. Cartright said she was given very little time to present information about the parking system to her constituents, though she did receive some comments and questions from community members that did require some kind of presentation about the proposal. “This discussion of having a parking meter system put in place has been a point of discussion over the past few years,” Cartright said. “Every time it’s been brought up, I’ve had my community members … [registering] objections to having parking meters there.” Cartright did vote “yes” for the parking change, later citing in a letter to constituents that the added revenue from such a parking system will help the town as COVID has played havoc with its finances. “It is our understanding from Parks Commissioner [Edward] Morris that this system will produce approximately $2 million in revenue annually,” Cartright wrote. “It is anticipated that there will be significant savings in eliminating the need for attendants to take payments and check stickers once this project is implemented. … Additionally, the potential health benefits of no longer exchanging cash for parking fees were also part of my consideration in light of the ongoing COVID pandemic.” Herb Mones, the land-use chairman of the Three Village Civic Association, wrote a letter on behalf of the civic to Cartright and the Town Board arguing that it is the wrong time to start changing the parking system during a pandemic, especially when more people are seeking places like West Meadow Beach for some respite.

‘The town doesn’t respect the right for easy public access to facilites we have paid for over generations ... it makes me very weary.’

—Herb Mones

In a phone interview, Mones argued there had been effectively no public debate about the parking change and no notice, save for the letter Cartright sent to civic groups and constituents a few days before the Nov. 19 meeting. As a longtime resident and supporter of West Meadow Beach, he said that changing the parking system will affect the character of these parks and beaches. He added that staff manning the booths add a “ruralesque” charm to a public place, and that it also takes away the opportunity for the people at booths to screen incoming cars for things that might not be allowed at a beach or park, such as pets. “People in attendance at the beach have been a staple of the rural or suburban ideal,” he said. “The town doesn’t respect the right for easy public access to facilities that we have paid for over generations. … For someone like me, it makes me very weary when the town makes a proposal that impacts one of the services we’ve come to understand and love.”


November 26, 2020 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • PAGE A7

Town

Brookhaven Town Creates RFP For New Ashfill Site BY KYLE BARR KYLE@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM Brookhaven Town is planning for a potentially long-term project that could have Islandwide impact on residents’ waste. On Thursday, Nov. 19, the town announced it has issued a request for proposal for a regional ash processing and recycling facility. The town has two alternatives on the RFP, one that includes an ashfill component and the other a standalone ash-recycling facility without the ashfill. The site would be located just east of the current landfill site at 350 Horseblock Road in Yaphank. Such a facility would not accept solid waste or construction debris. No full decision has technically been made on constructing any new ashfill, as the town is still awaiting the word on an environmental review. The town has planned to close and cap the current landfill in 2024 and has been raising millions of dollars in a special fund for that date when it’s finally capped. Officials and experts have said the closing of the Island’s last landfill, combined with the potential closing of twin ashfills in the Town of Babylon, could create a garbage crisis on Long Island. The only options

County

Above, the Town of Brookhaven is sending out an RFP for a new ashfill site to be located on property at the current Brookhaven landfill; right advocates protested in front of the landfill Oct. 31. Above, file photo; right, photo from Brookhaven Landfill Action and Remediation Group

left for solid waste could be trucking it off Long Island, a costly proposition for towns that are likely to be suffering from pandemic-related expenses for years. Currently, the Brookhaven landfill handles over 350,000 tons of ash annually from energy-from-waste facilities, in addition to handling 720,000 tons of solid waste. Each day 2,000 trucks transport waste off the Island. Still, murmurs of the prospective ashfill site have led to controversy over the past year. Some residents and advocates have petitioned

and publicly protested against the creation of any new place to dump ash, saying it will cause health issues for residents who live near the landfill. On Oct. 31, residents and advocates protested in front of the landfill against such a new ashfill. Activists for the protest organizer, Brookhaven Landfill Action and Remediation Group, said

the location of this new ashfill was especially concerning with more than half the residents of the surrounding community are Black or Latino, according to census data. Those residents have complained about odor and health issues, pointing to the landfill as the culprit. The group called for a “regional solution” to the solid waste issue. “We stand with the African American, Latinx, Indigenous, and working-class communities of North Bellport who refuse to continue bearing the brunt of the Town of Brookhaven’s fiscal mismanagement and lack of environmental planning,” said Monique Fitzgerald, a Bellport activist and leader of the landfill action group, in a release. Still, Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) has also sought such regional efforts, though there is not much in the way of any one person or group stepping up to the plate. At a Feb. 27 meeting of the Long Island Regional Planning Council about the impending solid waste crisis, business leaders, officials and regional leaders called for potentially finding other ways to ship trash off Long Island. Romaine suggested innovation in ways for residents to dispose of garbage rather than just burning or storing in landfills.

New Bike Bill Aims to Protect Drivers and Cyclists on the Road BY JULIANNE MOSHER JULIANNE@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM Suffolk County lawmakers are looking to tackle bicyclists who have been intimidating drivers across Long Island. There have been several different reports of reckless bicyclists putting themselves and others in danger on the road, which included a group of teenagers who harassed a Terryville gym over the summer. County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) said she had a “terrifying” experience firsthand a few years ago. While traveling down Route 25A at night, a person wearing all black began popping wheelies toward her car in the middle of the street. “I wasn’t going fast,” she said. “I chose to stop in the middle of the roadway. It was really scary, and whoever it was, was recklessly trying to frighten me.” Back in September, county Legislator Rudy Sunderman (R-Mastic) introduced a “reckless biking” bill, which he advanced from Legislator Tom Muratore (R-Ronkonkoma) who passed away from cancer that same month. After talking with other towns and villages in both Nassau and Suffolk counties, Sunderman

said that although he represents the South Shore, the issue is widespread across the Island. “Other areas that we spoke to [with a bill in place] have already seen a decline in reckless biking,” he said. If Sunderman’s bill passes, it would prohibit cyclists from trick riding or weaving through traffic. Violators could also see their bikes impounded, receive $250 fines, or spend 15 days in jail. And on the North Shore, Hahn said she had been receiving complaints from other people from the area regarding similar concerns of packs of children doing similar things on Route 112, Nesconset Highway and Middle Country Road. “It’s dangerous,” she said. “The police aren’t able to do very much. They need a tool to confiscate the bike to individuals who do this.” But along with concerned residents reaching out, Hahn said she was hearing criticism over Sunderman’s bill from bicyclist groups who use their bikes recreationally. “The intent is very good, and it is needed to curb this kind of [bad] activity,” she said. “The groups absolutely agree with the fact that anyone who rides in a pack and pops wheelies in traffic, that should happen. But because they’re experienced bicyclists, they see the real danger every day.”

Teenagers across the North Shore have been seen playing chicken with motorists by cycling into oncoming traffic, popping wheelies in the middle of the road and more. File photo from SCPD

Hahn said she is in full support of Sunderman’s reckless biking bill, but there were a few small pieces to his legislation that she wanted to suggest improvements. Her bill was laid out on Nov. 4. “Suffolk County is notorious for not being safe for bicyclists,” she said. “The purpose of my law is just to make drivers aware — give the

cyclists the room, close your door when someone is passing you, people are not looking out.” Her bill, which will go to public hearing on Dec. 1, will help drivers of cars and bikes be more educated of the dangers they both could face if they choose to act irresponsibly. A decision, or amending, of Sunderman’s bill will be decided on Dec. 15.


PAGE A8 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • November 26, 2020

County

Local Pharmacies Concerned Over Amazon’s New Service BY JULIANNE MOSHER JULIANNE@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM

Amazon says it can save people money on their medications, but local pharmacy owners say there’s a big problem with that: There won’t be that human element customers get from a pharmacist behind the counter if they order from behind a computer screen. This week the online retailer announced new pharmacy offerings to help customers purchase their prescription medications through Amazon Pharmacy — a new store on the website that provides an entire pharmacy transaction through an Amazon account. “People like their community pharmacy,” said Mike Nastro, owner of Fairview Pharmacy & Homecare Supply in Port Jefferson Station. “I take care of the specialty patient populations that require intimate service — hopefully that will sustain me.” Amazon Pharmacy states that by using a secure pharmacy profile, customers can add their insurance information, manage prescriptions and choose payment options before checking out. Amazon Prime members will receive unlimited, free two-day delivery on orders through the online shop. But this announcement isn’t new, according to Nastro. “They’ve been talking about this for a while,” he said. “It’s going to hurt the industry a lot. It may hurt the chains more initially, but it’ll hurt the entire brick-and-mortar industry.” Two years ago, Amazon purchased PillPack, an online pharmacy startup, in a $753 million acquisition. “As more and more people look to complete

everyday errands from home, pharmacy is an important and needed addition to the Amazon online store,” Doug Herrington, senior vice president of North America Consumer at Amazon, said in a statement. “PillPack has provided exceptional pharmacy service for individuals with chronic health conditions for over six years. Now, we’re expanding our pharmacy offering to Amazon.com, which will help more customers save time, save money, simplify their lives and feel healthier.” Nastro said that there are many benefits with personal pharmacy service like privacy and face-to-face communication. “We keep people out of the hospital by intervening, and by knowing the person and seeing what medications they’re on,” he said. “It’s an important role, and if that’s obliterated it will have an adverse effect on the medical industry.” Peter Goldstein, a staff pharmacist at Jones Drug Store in Northport, said in the 30-plus years he’s been in the industry, Amazon will not be able to help patients like he and his colleagues do. “I will put my service against any mail order or Amazon any day,” he said. “We know the patients, especially in the community. We know their family history and there’s so much that goes into it, that quite frankly people will miss. What will you do if your insulin gets sent to the wrong site?” Goldstein noted something like storing medications at the required room temperature is an issue if it ends up sitting in a mailbox. “It’s personal touches that we take for granted,” he said. And one of those personal touches is quick delivery that Nastro’s store has been doing all along.

Clockwise: Michael DeAngelis, owner of Village Chemists of Setauket, Mike Nastro, owner of Fairvew Pharmacy & Homecare Supply in Port Jefferson Station, Peter Goldstein, staff pharmacist at Jones Drug Store in Northport. Photo by Julianne Mosher

Local pharmacies like Fairview Pharmacy & Homecare Supply in Port Jefferson Station might be greatly impacted with the announcment of Amazon’s new pharamacy service. Photo by Julianne Mosher

“We’re not there in two days,” he said. “We’re there in two hours.” Michael DeAngelis, owner of Village Chemists of Setauket, said his family has owned their store since 1960. DeAngelis and his father saw the changes in pharmaceutical care throughout the years although this is a whole new level. “We managed to survive Genovese, Eckerd, Rite Aid and now Walgreens,” he said. “[Those stores] even sent people here to solve a problem or order something they couldn’t get.” While COVID-19 has conditioned people to stay indoors more, DeAngelis said contacting a pharmacy store is a different experience.

“If you call the Village Chemists, you will not get a machine that makes you listen to an endless menu,” he said. “You will get a human being who will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.” These local pharmacists want people to know they are here for them and will be, despite the larger competition coming their way. “Community pharmacists are really your advocate,” Nastro said. “With Amazon, what you’re not going to have is that personal service. It’s not just buying goods — we both have medication — there’s a service that comes with that medication and that service keeps people out of the hospital. It keeps people alive.”


November 26, 2020 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • PAGE A9

Town

Two Fighters on the Autism Spectrum Receive their Black Belts They love coming to their martial arts classes on Saturdays. “Matt can’t wait to go to karate,” his father Jim Mazza said. “He’s disappointed when he can’t come or if there’s no class that week.” Matt Mazza, of Smithtown, and Stony Brook resident Jerry Varrichio are both 19 and on the autism spectrum. They began their martial arts journey a decade ago at Long Island Traditional Tae Kwon Do under the leadership of grandmaster Walter Vendura, owner and head instructor of the martial arts studio. On Saturday, Nov. 21, both Mazza and Varrichio earned their first black belts. In a three-hour presentation, the two students presented their moves and skills to a small group of family and friends. They’ve been practicing two-to-three times a week, according to Vendura, since they were little kids. Originally located in East Setauket, Vendura and his team chose to close their doors due to COVID-19 back in March, but that didn’t stop them from continuing the practice of martial arts elsewhere. During the summer, they began renting out space on the third floor of the Port Jefferson

Village Center every Saturday. With masks on and limited in number, the students would continue to learn balance, find strength and break wood planks just as they did before. Vendura said he has made it his mission to welcome and train individuals of all abilities. Over his 50-year career practicing martial arts, he recently earned his own 8th degree black belt, while also training students at various levels of skills. The instructor has taught people who are blind and deaf, as well as those on the autism spectrum. “We care about the growth of the student,” Vendura said. “We hope we can encourage them to continue the leadership within themselves, not only in martial arts but in life.” Both families of the new black belt holders said they originally had trouble finding a studio that was accommodating and welcoming to students with disabilities. “They understand him,” Jim Mazza said. “It’s not just about the money — they care.” Kathleen Mazza, Matt’s mother, added that the Tae Kwon Do studio was able to reach her son on an entirely different level. “They have a unique skill that no one else has,” she said. “They have knowledge, patience and understanding about people on the autism spectrum.”

Thank You

to those risking their lives and keeping us safe and supplied

During these difficult times, tips to reduce anxiety: • Practice deep breathing and relaxation • Meditate • Connect with friends and family by telephone or online • Use visualization & guided imagery • Exercise, try to take a walk • Distract yourself by setting small goals • Mindfulness

REMEMBER TO KEEP SOCIAL DISTANCING AND THAT THIS WILL END If you would like a confidential, compassionate professional person to talk to,I am a psychotherapist working with adults, couples and families who are dealing with anxiety, depression, bereavement and trauma. Wishing you serenity and good health,

Nancy F. Solomon, LCSW, P.C. 47 Route 25A Setauket, NY 11733 631-941-0400

Top, Matthew Mazza and Jerry Varrichio flank their instructor Walter Vendura as they receive their black belts Nov. 21; bottom left and right, Mazza and Varrichio embrace their parents after receiving their belts. Photo by Julianne Mosher

Josephine Varrichio agreed, saying her son has grown so much during his time practicing martial arts. “Despite all the obstacles and his disability, we’re so proud of him and how far he has come,” she said. “No one here ever gave up on him.”

And that hard work paid off. With the accomplishment of receiving their first-ever black belts, the two had fun all the way. “Breaking the board was my favorite,” Matt Mazza said. “I like sidekicks and I like coming to karate.”

Attention Advertisers

EARLY DISPLAY DEADLINES NOTICE ~ For Thursday, December 3 Issue: All Sections – Leisure & News Wednesday, November 25 by 3 pm Classifieds – Tuesday, December 1 • Noon

Call 631–751–7744 to reserve your space now

©169399

BY JULIANNE MOSHER JULIANNE@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM


PAGE A10 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • November 26, 2020

From Cold Spring Harbor to Wading River – TBR NEWS MEDIA • Six Papers...Plus Our Website...One Price

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November 26, 2020 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • PAGE A11

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PAGE A12 â&#x20AC;¢ THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY â&#x20AC;¢ November 26, 2020

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November 26, 2020 â&#x20AC;˘ THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY â&#x20AC;˘ PAGE A13

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Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Domestic/Foreign Highest prices paid for fixable vehicles. Also buy motorcycles and muscle cars.

DVNIRUPDUNĂ&#x2019;

CA$H FOR ALL CAR$ & CA$H FOR JUNK CAR$ WANTED No Keys No Title No Problem

FREE Pickup

108473

631-255-8335

JUNK CARS BOUGHT

All Trucks, Cars & Vans

Habla EspaĂąol

Lic. # 7112911/Ins.

(631) 445-1848

CALL US LAST WEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;LL BEAT ANY PRICE LICENSED â&#x20AC;˘ BONDED INSURED

Š107058

USED AUTO PARTS

631.500.1015

Š107937

FOR ALL YOUR JUNK CARS, TRUCKS AND VANS. CRASHED OR RUNNING CARS â&#x20AC;˘NO TITLE â&#x20AC;˘ NO KEYS â&#x20AC;˘ NO PROBLEM PROMPT SERVICE, CALL

PAGE C

723&$6+3$,'

Š107669

QUICK CASH

Place your ad today Call 631.751.7663 or 631.331.1154

DMV CERTIFIED 7002706

GET READY FOR WINTER ADVERTISE YOUR SEASONAL SERVICES

Snowplowing â&#x20AC;˘ Firewood â&#x20AC;˘ Chimney Cleaning â&#x20AC;˘ Oil Burner Maintenance Call Our Classifieds Advertising Department at 631-331-1154 â&#x20AC;˘ 631-751-7663 SPECIAL RATES NOW AVAILABLE

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PAGE A14 â&#x20AC;˘ THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY â&#x20AC;˘ November 26, 2020

PROF E S SION A L & B U SI N E S S Â?

Professional Services Directory

ALWAYS BUYING

FREE

â&#x20AC;˘ Glassware â&#x20AC;˘ Military Items â&#x20AC;˘ China â&#x20AC;˘ Anything Old or Unusual

â&#x20AC;˘ Old Mirrors â&#x20AC;˘ Lamps â&#x20AC;˘ Clocks â&#x20AC;˘ Watches â&#x20AC;˘ Furniture

Single size â&#x20AC;˘ $228/4 weeks Double size â&#x20AC;˘ $296/4 weeks Ask about our 13 & 26 week special rates

(631) 751.7663 or (631) 331.1154

LICENSED & BONDED

Call 631-633-9108

Š108135

Blues Man Piano Tuning Brad Merila Certified Piano Technician 6 Barnwell Lane, Stony Brook

631.681.9723

bluesmanpianotuning@gmail.com bluesmanpianotuning.com Š108286

HOME SERV ICES /,(;05.:7,*0(30:;

PAGE F

Since 1998



      



â&#x20AC;˘ Masonry â&#x20AC;˘ Foundation Waterproofing

Lic. # H-27572/Insured

9,1&(17$/)$12)851,785(5(6725$7,21

Š108172

:::(;3(57)851,785(5(6725$7,21&20 Family Owned & We Can Repair Anything! Complete Woodworking & Finishing Shop 40 Years Experience

Š106599

3PJLUZLK/ 0UZ\YLK

V i l l a g e

Outdoor Furniture â&#x20AC;˘ Sand Blasting â&#x20AC;˘ Powder Coating

631.707.1228

343 So. Country Rd., Brookhaven

PICK-UP & DELIVERY

â&#x20AC;˘ Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing â&#x20AC;˘ Upholstery â&#x20AC;˘ Table Pads â&#x20AC;˘ Water & Fire Damage Restoration â&#x20AC;˘ Insurance Estimates Licensed/Insured

IS OUR SPECIALTY!

â&#x20AC;˘ Siding â&#x20AC;˘ Trim Work â&#x20AC;˘ Repairs

Š103265

NO JOB TOO BIG... NO JOB TOO SMALL!

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SIDING

Reliable...Dependable...Quality Work

Š108146

â&#x20AC;˘ Roofing â&#x20AC;˘ Windows/Entry Doors â&#x20AC;˘ Siding

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Call Today (631) 751.7663 or (631) 331.1154 â&#x20AC;˘ FAX (631) 751.8592

Š107173

Place Your Ad in the

Buy 4 weeks and get the 5th week

Place your ad today Call 631.751.7663 or 631.331.1154


November 26, 2020 â&#x20AC;˘ THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY â&#x20AC;˘ PAGE A15

HOME SERV ICES

Place your ad today Call 631.751.7663 or 631.331.1154 PAGE B

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Additions & renovations, decks, windows, doors, siding, kitchens, baths, roofs & custom carpentry. We love small jobs too!

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www.BluStarBuilders.com

Š98213

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Lic. #48714-H & Insured

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INTERIOR â&#x20AC;˘ EXTERIOR

CO N S T R U C T I O N

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From Your Attic To Your Basement

All Phases of Home Improvement

Decorative Finishes

Power Washing

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SPECIALIZING IN FINISHED BASEMENTS

Š98354

COMMERCIAL/RESIDENTIAL â&#x20AC;˘ LIC. #H-32198/INS | OWNER OPERATED

Š108383

(631) 580-4518

Wallpaper Removal

PAINTING & DESIGN

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Jay A. Spillman Painting Co.

: , 1 1 ( 56

Port Jefferson Station (631) 331â&#x20AC;&#x201C;3712 â&#x20AC;˘ (631) 525-2206 HOME ADVISOR jkspill@optonline.net

Lic. #17856-H/Ins.

Over 35 Years in Business

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www.rcjconstruction.com

Spackling & Taping Wallpaper Removal Quality Prep Work Specializing in Interior/Exterior

Š107668

Please call our Stony Brook office today for a FREE in home consultation

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Š102164

(631) 744-1577

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Š106364

Š107602

Construction

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Service Directory for 26 weeks and get 4 weeks

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POWER WASHING

Š101248

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FREE ESTIMATES

Ryan Southworth 631-331-5556

Licensed/Insured

89810

#37074-H; RI 18499-10-34230

CERTIFIED LEAD PAINT REMOVAL

Since 1989

Š106304

Call Today Â&#x160; (631) 751-7663 or (631) 331-1154 FAX (631) 751-8592

â&#x20AC;˘ Interiors â&#x20AC;˘ Exteriors â&#x20AC;˘ Cabinet Refinishing, Staining & Painting â&#x20AC;˘ Faux Finishes â&#x20AC;˘ Power Washing â&#x20AC;˘ Wallpaper Removal â&#x20AC;˘ Tape & Spackling â&#x20AC;˘ Staining & Deck Restoration BBB A1 Rating #1 Recommendation on BBB website


PAGE A16 â&#x20AC;˘ THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY â&#x20AC;˘ November 26, 2020

HOME SERV ICES

Place your ad today Call 631.751.7663 or 631.331.1154 PAGE A

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Specializing in all phases of fencing: Wood â&#x20AC;˘ PVC â&#x20AC;˘ Chain Link â&#x20AC;˘ Stockade

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70 Jayne Blvd., Port Jeff Station (631) 743-9797



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BUILDERS & DESIGNERS OF OUTDOOR LIVING BY NORTHERN CONSTRUCTION OF LI INC.

Licensed/Insured

105 Broadway Greenlawn 631.651.8478 www.DecksOnly.com

~Advertise Your Seasonal Services~

Firewood & Chimney Work â&#x20AC;˘ Home Improvement Painting & Siding â&#x20AC;˘ Furniture Restoration Heating & Plumbing, etc. Š101796

Call Our Classifieds Advertising Department

631-331â&#x20AC;&#x201C;1154 or 631-751â&#x20AC;&#x201C;7663

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FREE ESTIMATES COMMERCIAL/ RESIDENTIAL

631-862-9291 516-319-2595 (cell & text)

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November 26, 2020 â&#x20AC;˘ THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY â&#x20AC;˘ PAGE A17

R E A L ESTAT E Rentals

HOUSE HUNTING?

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Rentals to Share OFFICE MATEEAST SETAUKET Pyschotheraphy office, bathroom and waiting room to share, great location, highly desirable. 631-767-5153, JanninePergolla11@gmail.com

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TO SUBSCRIBE CALL 751-7744

COMMERCI A L PROPERT Y

CALL 631-751-7663 â&#x20AC;˘ 631-331-1154

DENTAL Insurance

631.331.1154 or 631.751.7663 â&#x20AC;˘ www.tbrnewsmedia.com

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631.331.1154

class@tbrnewsmedia.com TIMES BEACON RECORD NEWS MEDIA

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877-516-1160

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PAGE A18 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • November 26, 2020

Editorial Letters to the Editor Newspapers Vs. Social Media Finding Solutions for Making Voting Better A reader recently called the office and asked a member of the editorial staff why social media companies like Facebook and Twitter have been shielded from lawsuits over the content users post on their platforms, while newspaper editors usually take extra precautions when publishing letters to the editor. Social media platforms have been covered by Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, as they are not considered moderators of content provided by their users, but distributors. The same act protects distributors of books, magazines and newspapers. It is a law that has become controversial, as The New York Times has pointed out, since it also covers websites that propagate hate speech. Websites can effectively set their own rules for what is and what is not allowed. However, regarding newspapers, readers will often find that letters to the editor pages in many publications such as ours stress that the opinions of columnists and letter writers are their own. They do not speak for the newspaper. We also edit letters for length, libel, style and good taste, and the editorial department vets them to ensure factual accuracy. While social media companies and internet service providers are protected under Section 230, newspapers, radio and television stations are held to a higher standard, allegedly due to their ability to moderate content and maintain editorial control. At the same time, more social media sites are expressly moderating people’s posts. Facebook recently cited that it’s detecting and removing most hate speech before anyone sees it. If the argument was these sites didn’t have the capacity to moderate all its content, it is in the strange spot of arguing at the same time that it effectively can. While outside content across the worldwide web is innumerable and almost impossible to keep track of, with a newspaper the content can be reviewed by an editor. Although most newspapers, including ours, are open to printing readers’ opinions no matter what side of the political aisle a person may take, as a privately owned business we have the option to decline to publish anything that comes across our desks. Based on our standard of ethics, letters can be declined if they include racist comments or defamatory statements — such as accusing a person of a crime, a breach of ethics or professional dishonesty. Newspapers can potentially bear the responsibility of being held accountable under libel laws if a letter claims something about a person that is known to be false or should have been known by the editorial staff. Of course, it’s hard to litigate libel in New York state, as one has to prove the defamation was made with actual malice. Local newspapers like ours don’t always have the luxury of having numerous letters to choose from and, being familiar with the different viewpoints of community members, we have the right to decide not to publish letters that express extreme views. Still, we do our best to provide an outlet where everyone feels they can express their opinions and exercise their freedom of speech. However, unlike most posts on social media, we also understand the importance of protecting our community members as best as we can from hearsay. Regarding Section 230, it may be time to hold social media accountable for the content that pops up in a person’s newsfeed. Let’s not forget which accounts have been suspended by Twitter or those who have been thrown in “Facebook jail.” It seems as if the technology is out there to decipher false claims and what is otherwise hate speech. The fact that these corporations seem to want autonomy while displaying they have the capacity to monitor their users’ messaging is untenable — the general political divisiveness and the proliferation of so much mistruth are reasons enough that laws need to change. Considering how many rely on social media for information, it may be time for these platforms to step up to the plate and verify what their consumers read or risk government reform.

A close acquaintance of mine constantly says, “don’t talk to me about politicians or politics or anything associated with government. I have no interest in those issues. They don’t concern me anyway.” She is concerned however, with her economic impact payments. She has yet to receive one. The fact that the IRS has, for basically political reasons, under two parties and two presidents, beginning in 2010, downsized 35% of its employees, and that downsizing has led to the snail’s pace in processing economic impact payments

and refunds, must be of no interest to her. Did you get an economic impact payment? Was it the right amount? Did you go to your member of Congress for help? Did you get meaningful help? Did you know, in a Congressional oversight hearing this month, it was announced that, because of lack of staffing, it is virtually impossible for your member of Congress to get accurate information from the IRS? If you could go back and choose, what would have been more important, a failed impeachment or a functioning IRS? I watch Republican senate leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Sen. Chuck

Schumer (D). I listen to their public statements. In my opinion they are both pig headed ignoramuses. Does either truly care about this country and its people? It is long past time for our members of Congress to serve us and not their political party leaders. That will never happen if we have no interest. That will never happen if government doesn’t concern us. I hope this is not just one man’s opinion. What do you think? Francis G. Gibbons Sr. Terryville

Protecting the Next Generation of Long Islanders Since schools opened in September, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services has analyzed data from approximately 900 positive COVID-19 cases reported by local school officials. Based on their analysis, they have found that our school reopening plans are working, as they have not seen evidence of school-based transmission. The increase in cases we are now seeing across the region, the anticipated second wave of COVID, results from community spread. The SCDHS has indicated that students are safer in school than outside of school. Their findings confirm that it is more important than ever to keep our schools open, which also allows us to keep our economy viable and our workforce productive by enabling our essential workers to remain available. Furthermore, it helps limit community spread and, most importantly, allows our children to learn and interact in a safe school setting. There are a few steps all Long Islanders can take to assure that our schools remain open and safe. These include taking the precautions that health officials have been promoting for months: wear a mask, practice good hand hygiene and adhere to social distancing guidelines. These basic steps that we’ve heard so much about are the underpinning of our schools’ success in responding to the pandemic. The Suffolk County School Superintendents Association has been diligently cooperating with the SCDHS since February to coordinate schools’ COVID-19 response.

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Second, it is essential that community members cooperate with school and county health department efforts to increase testing, and when necessary, participate in contact tracing. Increased testing is essential in order to respond to anticipated community spread. The state has embraced a micro-cluster approach to addressing outbreaks. Accordingly, increased testing will be required to keep schools open in certain hot zones. Schools will be asking community members to cooperate in these efforts to assure that testing sample sizes are large enough to accurately determine the concentration of cases and to meet state requirements for remaining open.

Third, all Long Islanders should be advocating for a federal stimulus package that includes support for state and local governments. On average, Long Island school districts have spent nearly $1.7 million responding to the pandemic. This includes everything from keeping the schools disinfected, to PPE, to laptops and Chromebooks for remote learning, to increased classroom staffing and transportation costs due to social distancing requirements. Schools are incurring these costs while the state is threatening to reduce aid due to revenue shortfalls. The schools and local property taxpayers cannot afford such a loss. Long Islanders must join their school districts in advocating for more federal support. Finally, individuals have to start making better decisions in order to halt community spread. We must adhere to state attendance limits at essential family functions, forgo or delay nonessential family and social functions, and cancel nonessential travel. Why jeopardize the education of our children and the health of family and friends by failing to take these common-sense steps? So that’s it, an action plan for all Long Islanders. Four simple steps we can all take to help move beyond this pandemic and limit the impact it has on our next generation. Gary Bixhorn and Ronald Masera Executive Director and President, Suffolk County School Superintendents Association

The opinions of columnists and letter writers are their own. They do not speak for the newspaper.

Letters … We welcome your letters. They should be no longer than 400 words and may be edited for length, libel, style and good taste. We do not publish anonymous letters. Please include a phone number and address for confirmation. Email letters to kyle@tbrnewsmedia.com or mail them to The Times of Middle Country, P.O. Box 707, Setauket, NY 11733.


November 26, 2020 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • PAGE A19

Opinion

A Zoom Thanksgiving That Goes Off the Rails

H

ello and welcome to the first and hopefully last Zoom Thanksgiving. Hey, hold on, I can see that you’ve muted yourself in Box 6 over there, Uncle Mary. Yes, I know I said Uncle Mary because I’m reading the name on your screen. Did you think that was funny? What are you saying that I can’t hear? OK, so we’re going to forego the usual list of what we’re thankful for because D. None it’s 2020 and we’re not together, and I of the above promised the kids BY DANIEL DUNAIEF they wouldn’t have to talk to such a large group of faces who are all looking in the wrong direction.

Seriously, what’s wrong with you people? Can’t you look at the camera? I know that might sound harsh. I just spent the last few hours before this fake happy scene trying to remember something about the Ottoman Empire. No offense to the Ottoman Empire, but I didn’t like history much when I was that old and now I’m trying to learn it again. Yes, I know, Uncle Mary, it’d be easier for me to teach my kids these subjects if I pretended to be interested, but that ended in early April, when I had to try to remember something about the number of electrons in different orbits around atoms. Anyway, I’m thankful we’re together. I saw that, cousin Clarence. Look, we don’t see you very often. The least you could do is not roll your eyes the entire time I’m talking. You’re doing it again! Cut it out! Oh, really? You have something in your eye? Let me see. Oh yeah, it does look red. Okay, so we’re going to make this virtual Thanksgiving all about the senses. You see,

we’re going to each search through our house for things that look like something else, put them on the screen and guess what the other person is holding. I read something about being creative this year, so this is it. No, Alex, you can’t ask a question. Because I said you couldn’t. I’m running this virtual Thanksgiving, and I said you couldn’t. Well, then, your teacher is a better person than I am. I wish he was your father, too. No, no, I didn’t mean that. I just mean that we’re doing something differently this year. Okay, if you stop crying, you can ask a question. Well, actually that is a good question. It doesn’t really have anything to do with Thanksgiving per se, but guessing what we’re holding is a way for each of us to connect. Okay, so, now, everybody, go get something and bring it back. Ah, I see Uncle George has come back with something that looks like a baseball. Oh, it is a baseball? That’s not very creative.

Oh, Uncle George, you’re not going to tell the story about how you almost caught a foul ball hit by Mickey Mantle, are you? Oh, you were? Well, that is a great story, and I’m sure there’s someone who hasn’t heard that story yet. By a show of hands, who hasn’t heard that story? Okay, well, Uncle George, it’s only because we all listen to you so carefully and we love to hear your stories. Maybe, though, we’ll skip that one this time. Are you crying too, or do you have something in your eye? Okay, someone else go. Matthew, what are you holding? It looks like an origami bird. Wait, it is an origami bird? I wasn’t supposed to guess it that quickly? Well, it’s because you did such a great job. Now you’re crying? Okay, it’s Jennifer’s turn. It looks like a huge glass of wine. You’re drinking it to test it? So, it was wine? And now you’re refilling it and drinking it again? One more time? Really? Okay, anyone else want to go?

We can be thankful for our jobs, if we have them, and if we don’t, for the country we live in that supports us at least partially during our temporary unemployment. And if we are holding on ourselves, we can help others around us through our churches, soup kitchens and donations to our neighbors in need. To help others is a great privilege. Though I never particularly embraced the computer when it appeared in our daily lives in the 1970s and 1980s, I am thankful for technology. Because of my computer, I can see my children and grandchildren regularly. I even have a place in the house nicknamed the Zoom Room. I can also see my friends, attend meetings, albeit virtually, and learn new subjects if I choose. I escape from the news and the responsibilities of daily life with movies on Netflix and other streaming services. I still cannot stop marveling at Siri and the ability to find the answers to all sorts of questions by just pushing a button on my cellphone. I sometimes think of my husband, whose poor sense of direction was legendary in the

family, and how he would have loved the GPS. The ability to call someone from this marvelous invention I hold in my hand and tell them I am on my way but will be 15 minutes late or that I need help because I have a flat tire is a commonplace miracle of the 21st century. How lucky we are to be alive in these times, when a vaccine to overcome our version of the black plague can be developed in a matter of months. Difficult times force us to turn inward and find the resilience to cope. And we can cope, we all can. If we believe in ourselves and have faith that this pandemic will end, which it surely will, we can then build back our lives and our world again. We can give thanks for that inner strength. Governments must help, charities and philanthropies do help, and we can help ourselves and each other. We can take inspiration from the natural world, which goes on in all its seasons of beauty despite periodic upheavals, and thankfully we will too. Thanksgiving 2021 we will all together sit around the dinner table and profoundly give thanks.

Here’s to Thanksgiving 2021!

T

hanksgiving 2020 will surely be remembered by all. Other Thanksgivings blend into each other on the impressionist edges of memory, in a sepia-colored haze. But this one will stand out like a gargoyle, in basrelief at the center. Never before have we disinvited our children from our homes during this holiday. Never have we set the Between table for so few. Never have we you and me been urged not to BY LEAH S. DUNAIEF travel to reconnect with our families. Never have we been drilled on the three Ws: wash your hands, watch your social distancing, wear your mask. COVID-19 overhangs our lives. Nonetheless, for most of us, there is so

much to be thankful for, even as we have to push past the anxiety and the upending of our lives the pandemic has caused to remind ourselves of the many ways we can be thankful. First is for the good health most of us are lucky enough to enjoy: for our own and that of our loved ones. Perhaps, never has good health been viewed as such a blessing as now, as hundreds of thousands fall ill. Even without the coming vaccine, we can work to keep the virus at bay by diligently following the three Ws. Next is the love we have in our lives that has become so manifestly important to acknowledge and declare. It is that love: for our spouses, our parents, our children, our dearest relatives and friends that is our safety net during these challenging days. We have always been aware of that love but perhaps not so appreciatively as now. The need to connect with them has not been so vital as now. And if we have a warm home and people who live in it with us, and enough to eat each day, how thankful we can be.

TIMES BEACON RECORD NEWS MEDIA We welcome letters, photographs, comments and story ideas. Send your items to P.O. Box 707, Setauket, NY 11733 or email kyle@tbrnewsmedia.com. Times Beacon Record Newspapers are published every Thursday. Subscription $49/year • 631-751-7744 www.tbrnewsmedia.com • Contents copyright 2020

EDITOR AND PUBLISHER Leah S. Dunaief GENERAL MANAGER Johness Kuisel MANAGING EDITOR Kyle Barr EDITOR Julianne Mosher

LEISURE EDITOR Heidi Sutton EDITORIAL Julianne Mosher ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Kathleen Gobos

ART AND PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Beth Heller Mason INTERNET STRATEGY DIRECTOR Rob Alfano CLASSIFIEDS DIRECTOR Sheila Murray

BUSINESS MANAGER Sandi Gross CREDIT MANAGER Diane Wattecamps CIRCULATION MANAGER Courtney Biondo SUBSCRIPTION MANAGER Sheila Murray


PAGE A20 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • November 26, 2020

History Close at Hand

Thanksgiving images on postcards were a way to send holiday greetings. Left, a drawing of two turkeys driving was featured on a 1907 postcard. A holiday dinner, above, and a Thanksgiving scene, below, depicted on cards from 1907. Images from Beverly C. Tyler’s collection

How the Postcard Became a Popular Form of Communication BY BEVERLY C. TYLER DESK@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM Celebrating Thanksgiving Day as the end of the season of harvest was and still is an important milestone in people’s lives. Diaries, journals and letters provide some of the earliest records of seasonal activity and how people connected with each other to mark occasions. In America, before the telephone became a standard household item, family members and friends stayed in touch through the U.S. Postal Service. In 1873, a new phenomenon began when the United States Postal Service issued the first penny postcards. During the first six months, they sold 60 million. The post office department stated: “The object of the postal card is to facilitate letter correspondence and provide for the transmission through the mails, at a reduced rate of postage, of short communication, either printed or written in pencil or ink.” With the postcard, brevity was essential due to the small space provided. Long descriptive phrases and lengthy expressions of affection, which then were commonly used in letterwriting, gave way to short greetings. Soon after the first government postal cards were issued, American greeting card manufacturers began to print Christmas, Easter and other greetings on the back of the cards. By the 1890s, picture postcards were widely sold in many European countries, but in the United States, privately printed cards cost 2 cents to mail. On May 19, 1898, an act of Congress was passed in the U.S. allowing privately published

postcards the same message privileges and rates (1 cent) as the government-issued cards. These were to be inscribed, “Private mailing card Authorized by Act of Congress May 19, 1898.” Then in December 1901, new regulations were issued saying that private cards would have the word “Post Card” at the top of the address side and government-issued cards would say “Postal Cards.” Before the telephone, the postcard was an easy and pleasant way to send a message. A postcard sent from one town in the morning usually would arrive in a nearby town that afternoon. A postcard sent from another state would not take much longer. Edward Griffin took the steamer “Priscilla” from New York to Boston, arriving at 8 a.m. on Aug. 27, 1902. He wrote a brief note on a postcard when he arrived, addressed it to his mother in Brooklyn, and dropped it in the mail. The postcard said: “Arrived ok this morning at 8 o’clock - Eddie.” The postcard was postmarked in Boston at 11:30 a.m. and postmarked again in Brooklyn at 8:30 p.m. the same day. In October of 1907, the United States, following the lead of other countries, changed the rules and began allowing messages to be written on half of the side reserved for the address. This left the whole of the other side for pictures or photographs. Postcards then became a major collecting craze, and for many, a profitable business. They were produced in such quantities that they were often given away with copies of popular magazines. The feasting aspect of Thanksgiving has

continued to be an essential part of the holiday and many of the postcards that were sent reflected that theme. In addition, the postcard helped to tie the family members together with those who were absent during the holiday. As the telephone became more widely used, the postcard became less and less important as a means of daily communications. However, it

provided us with a view of the early years of the twentieth century that became a permanent record of contacts between family members and friends. Beverly C. Tyler is the Three Village Historical Society historian and author of books available from the society at 93 North Country Road, Setauket. For more information, call 631-751-3730 or visit www.tvhs.org.

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