PORT TIMES RECORD P O R T J E F F E R S O N • B E L L E T E R R E • P O R T J E F F E R S O N S TAT I O N • T E R R Y V I L L E
Vol. 32, No. 1
November 29, 2018
$1.00 KYLE BARR
On his way
Santa came to town in Port Jeff Nov. 24 during annual parade — photos A10 SPACE RESERVED FOR SUBSCRIBER ADDRESS
Small Business Saturday
A magical ‘Barnaby Saves Christmas’
Small businesses on North Shore discuss how their shops did the weekend after Thanksgiving
Also: Holiday house tour heads to Huntington, art exhibits on the North Shore, holiday calendar
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PAGE A2 • THE PORT TIMES RECORD • NOVEMBER 29, 2018
Brookhaven to waive pet adoption fees in December The Town of Brookhaven Animal Shelter and Adoption Center will celebrate the holiday season with its Home for the Holidays promotion, featuring free pet adoptions throughout the month of December. Each adoption includes free neuter or spay, vaccinations, microchip, license, flea control, and heartworm and fecal tests. The normal adoption fees are $137 for a dog and $125 for a cat.
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Those who are interested in adopting a pet this holiday season should visit the animal shelter and adoption center at 300 Horseblock Road in Brookhaven. It is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www. brookhavenny.gov/animalshelter or call 631451-6950. ®
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NOVEMBER 29, 2018 • THE PORT TIMES RECORD • PAGE A3 TOWN OF BROOKHAVEN
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The recipients of the 2018 annual Women’s Recognition Awards sit in front of Town of Brookhaven officials
Brookhaven seeks nominations for 33rd annual Women’s Recognition awards
The Town of Brookhaven Division of Women’s Services is seeking nominations for outstanding women of Brookhaven. Community groups, businesses and individuals are being asked to nominate women they believe are deserving of special recognition for their outstanding service to the community as a professional or volunteer. Eligible candidates must live or work in Brookhaven, and all nominations should include a resume or equivalent document and two letters of recommendation. This year, the town will be celebrating its 33rd annual Women’s Recognition event during Women’s
History Month, with a special celebration to be held during March of 2019. Categories for nominations include: Arts, Business, Communications/Media, Community Service Volunteer, Education, Government, Health Care Providers, Legal Profession, Military/Law Enforcement/First Responders, Religion, Science and Sports. The deadline for nominations is Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. Forms are available at Brookhaven Town Hall, online at www. BrookhavenNY.gov/WomensRecognition or by calling the Division of Women’s Services at 631-451-6146.
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PAGE A4 • THE PORT TIMES RECORD • NOVEMBER 29, 2018
Talking shop: Local businesses report good sales over Black Friday weekend BY KYLE BARR KYLE@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM KYLE BARR
A sign on North Country Road in front of The Gift Corner in Mount Sinai during the Black Friday weekend could be easy to miss. Cars passing by had only seconds to read the words “Small Store Saturday — If you haven’t been here, today is the day!” as they drove on the winding road. Marion Bernholz, the owner of The Gift Corner, was busy on Small Business Saturday and the entire Black Friday weekend, marked on the calendar by shop owners and customers alike as the unofficial kickoff to the holiday shopping season. The small space, packed with small decorations and knickknacks, had customers squeezing past each other as they picked out their holiday gifts. Despite the bump in business Bernholz saw over the weekend, she wondered why relatively few people have even heard of Small Business Saturday. “How long has this been going on, eight to 10 years?” the gift shop owner said. “It still cracks me up we have people coming in on Saturday and, holy Christmas, they say, ‘What is small store Saturday?’” Small Business Saturday originally started in 2010, sponsored by American Express, as a way to incentivize people to shop local during the busiest shopping weekend of the year. American Express reported the weekend after Thanksgiving was quite a busy time for small businesses across the nation. Consumers spent approximately $17.8 billion nationally while shopping local, according to data released Nov. 26 from the 2018 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey from American Express and the nonprofit National Federation of Independent Business. The survey noted 42 percent of those surveyed reported shopping at local retailers and restaurants, just 1 percent down from last year. Still, 41 percent reported also shopping online that same day. Those small business owners surveyed in the report said they expect an average of 29 percent of their total yearly sales to come through the holiday season, yet the owners of local small stores on the North Shore know they have a disadvantage compared to big box stores and the online retail giant Amazon and the like. “People should understand how hard it is to run a small business,” Maria Williams, the owner of Sweets N Scoops in Shoreham said. “A small business’ costs are necessarily greater because we can’t buy in bulk like [large businesses] can.” Business owners across the North Shore reported a range of outcomes from the busy shopping weekend.
A sign in front of The Gift Corner on North Country Road at Mount Sinai invites those passing by to shop on Nov. 24.
Ecolin Jewelers, 14 E. Broadway, Port Jefferson Linda Baker, co-owner of Ecolin Jewelers, said while most of her sales come in the last two weeks before Christmas, and not the Black Friday weekend, the year overall has been very good for her business. “This whole year has been better,” Baker said. “This is probably the best in maybe eight years.” She said she — Joshua Darbee she’s experienced more people coming in toward the end of the year, with the phones constantly ringing off the hook with people’s orders, adding she’s feeling good about her numbers for the season. “I’m glad to see that people are happy, walking around and coming into stores,” she said.
‘If people are going to buy on Amazon, they’re going to buy on Amazon.’
The East End Shirt Company, 3 Mill Creek Road, Port Jefferson Owner of The East End Shirt Company, Mary Joy Pipe, said her business participated in the Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce annual Holiday Shopping Crawl, offering a free hoodie valued at $20 for those spending $50 in store. She added turnout on Small Business Saturday was comparable to last year, and that has always had to do with the foot traffic and the weather. “Our Santa Parade brings a lot of people down into the village, and more folks are around for the extended holiday after Thanksgiving,” she said. “We need feet on the ground and nice weather, and we got that on Saturday.” Pipe’s business has changed with the times. East End Shirt has both a website and brick-andmortar storefront, but her online component is a comparatively small percentage of her sales compared to her shop, which has existed in Port Jeff for close to four decades, she said. “Is Cyber Monday or Cyber Week having an effect? — yeah it is,” she said. “People are not coming out, but anything that has a shipping component I know the potential for retail is still there if they can’t get it shipped in time.”
Red Shirt Comics, 322 Main St., Port Jefferson Joshua Darbee, the owner of Red Shirt Comics, said he had multiple sales going on, including buy-one-get-one-free on new comics, 25 percent off back issue comics, and 20 percent off on most of the toys and graphic novels in the shop. As a store that only opened in 2017, Darbee has been working to build a loyal customer base. “If people are going to buy on Amazon, they’re going to buy on Amazon,” he said. “There’s really no competing with them.” The comic industry relies on periodicals, driving customers back monthly for the next issue in an ongoing series, and Darbee said without return customers there is no way his business can thrive. He saw a steady stream of traffic come into his shop during Black Friday weekend — a better turnout than last year — and he hopes those sales, along with his card game and tabletop role-playing events hosted at the shop, will bring in return customers. “The hope is that people will see the longterm damage [Amazon and other online retailers] can do to the local economy,” he said. “You just have to try to engage with people, be friendly and be part of that community. It’s been awesome to see people go out on weekends like this and support small businesses.”
NOVEMBER 29, 2018 • THE PORT TIMES RECORD • PAGE A5
Late Comsewogue teacher was passionate advocate for community, education
Jack Schaedel, above and below, with students through the years at Norwood Elementary School; left, Schaedel is honored during a chamber of commerce celebration.
Re-elect Jack Ardolini for Fire Commissioner
Port Jefferson Fire Department • 115 Maple Place December 11, 2018 • 3 pm–9 pm
Comsewogue School District is widely regarded as a haven for quality education and its community feel by those on the inside and outside. One of the people who played a role in fostering that reputation died Oct. 10, but his spirit won’t be vacating the schools’ walls, or broader community, any time soon. Jack Schaedel, 78, was a teacher at Norwood Elementary School from 1969 to 1999, though his influence was not confined to his classroom. Schaedel ran the school’s store for years, conditioning the students to raise money to fund class trips or donate to worthy causes. Years of holiday gift sales and other fundraisers paid for trips to Washington, D.C., foreign countries and donations to UNICEF drives, thanks to Schaedel’s leadership. He also spent three decades as an active participant and board member on Port Jefferson Station’s chamber of commerce, on Theatre Three’s board of directors, served as the teachers union’s representative, and as a trustee on Comsewogue Public Library’s board from 1974 to 2000 — a time period that saw the public pillar grow exponentially in size. Through all of his community involvement and duties as a teacher, the 1999 Port Times Record Man of the Year raised a family with his wife Anne of 58 years, and his family members speak as glowingly of him as his colleagues and students do. “He was the most positive, happiest person you could meet,” said his daughter Joanne Grzymala, who went on to become a teacher herself. “Within minutes of meeting him he
would already be cheering you on, inspiring something inside of you to feel good about yourself. His presence was felt the second he walked into a room. His enthusiasm for life was contagious.” Comsewogue’s Joe Rella took over the role of Superintendent shortly after Schaedel retired, though the two maintained a relationship. The district’s head said Schaedel’s influence was felt long after he left. Rella has led the way instituting a problem-based learning curriculum in the district, a method that closer resembles a college thesis format than the standardized teach-to-the-test model characterizing education in recent years. The curriculum is offered to all Comsewogue students this year following a small rollout last school year, which saw PBL students score higher in most cases on state tests than their peers learning in traditional classrooms. “Long before problem-based learning was on the radar — I’m talking 25 years ago — Jack was doing [the same thing] with his fifth-grade class,” Rella said. “He was a master, he was like the Pied Piper. He got children excited about learning. While they were excited he snuck in the learning.” In the 1999 Man of the Year feature written about him, then Norwood principal Andrew Cassidy praised Schaedel as a completely dedicated teacher, and board of education member Peter Cario called him singularly focused on the betterment of education. During his years as a Comsewogue library trustee he worked closely with trustee Ed Wendol, who said as a pair their goal was to craft programs for residents of all age groups aimed at enjoyment and educating. “I found him to be a true professional, really interested in educating, and making sure Comsewogue Public Library become the educational cultural and social center of our community. We felt that to be very important,” Wendol said. Richard Lusak, the library’s first director who shepherded the facility through major expansion to the community hub it is today, called Schaedel a unifier on the board of trustees relentlessly dedicated to the Port Jeff Station area. “Jack worked very hard with us on all of our programs,” Lusak said. “He was a good man and a good trustee.” Schaedel is survived by his wife Anne; sisters Cindy Davis and Dixie Schaedel; daughter Joanne Grzymala (Chris) and son Jack (Jackie); five grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter. A December tribute is being planned in his honor, and those interested can email Joanne at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The family is also asking to consider donating to help in Theatre Three’s recovery from a devastating September flood at P.O. Box 512 Port Jefferson, New York 11777, attention Vivian Koutrakos.
BY ALEX PETROSKI ALEX@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM
PAGE A6 • THE PORT TIMES RECORD • NOVEMBER 29, 2018
Rocky Point man arrested after cops find 21 dogs in freezing temps SCPD
BY KYLE BARR
More than 20 dogs were left out in the cold in Rocky Point until a local police officer saw them and took action. Jose Borgos, a 52-year-old Rocky Point resident, allegedly left 21 Rottweilers out in freezing temperatures Nov. 22 at his house on Broadway. Seventh Precinct Officer Karen Grenia was on patrol when she heard dogs barking at about 10 a.m., according to a Suffolk County Police Department press release. The officer discovered the dogs in Borgos’ backyard, nine of which were
PEOPLE of the YEAR
Nominate outstanding members of the community for
Police Blotter Incidents and arrests Nov. 19–25
A 26-year-old man from Port Jefferson Station allegedly possessed 15 bags of heroin while driving a 2003 Chevrolet on Washington Avenue in Port Jefferson Station Nov. 24 at 6:30 p.m., according to police. He also was allegedly driving with a suspended license, police said. He was arrested and charged with second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
The Port Times Record
Each year, with our readers’ help, we honor the people who have contributed in the communities we serve. ❖ The honorees are profiled in a special edition at the end of the year. ❖ Nominate your choice(s) by emailing email@example.com ❖ Please include your name and contact information, the name and contact information of the individual you’re nominating and why he or she deserves to be a Person of the Year. ❖
found in travel crates in a shed. Borgos, who identified to police as a dog breeder, was charged with 21 counts of violating the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law pertaining to appropriate shelter for dogs left outdoors, which requires dog owners to provide appropriate shelter to dogs existing out in inclement or harmful weather. He was also charged with 21 counts of violating Suffolk County code on outdoor restraint of animals, which prohibits dogs from being tethered outside when the temperature is below freezing. Information on Borgos’ attorney has not yet been made available, and he was scheduled for arraignment at a later date. The Town of Brookhaven Animal Control will determine the placement of the dogs, the police statement said.
While driving a 2014 Jeep on Route 25A near the intersection of Route 347 in Mount Sinai Nov. 23 at about 11:30 p.m., a 41-year-old man from Setauket allegedly crashed into landscaping and trees on the side of the road, causing damage, and fled the scene, according to police. Later, he allegedly rear-ended a 2012 Subaru, causing damage, and failed to stop once again, police said. It was later discovered he was allegedly driving while impaired by alcohol, police said. He was arrested and charged with two counts of leaving the scene of motor vehicle crash with property damage and driving while intoxicated.
Car door damaged
The driver’s side door frame of a 2018 Ford parked on East Broadway in Port Jefferson was damaged at about 11 a.m. Nov. 25, according to police.
A 35-year-old man from Port Jefferson Station driving a 2002 Chevrolet on Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station Nov. 24 at about 9:30 p.m. was involved in a collision with another vehicle, and left the scene without stopping, according to police. He was arrested Nov. 25 in Selden and charged with first-degree leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.
At about 3:30 p.m. Nov. 19, a 33-year-old man from Farmingville driving a 2005 Chevrolet on Nicolls Road in Stony Brook was pulled over for a traffic stop, and was found to be driving with a license allegedly suspended and without a Department of Motor Vehicle mandated interlock device, according to police. He was arrested and charged with second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and operating a vehicle without a required interlock device.
On Nov. 22, a 37-year-old man from Middle Island allegedly stole five electronic items from Kohl’s on Nesconset Highway in East Setauket, according to police. He was arrested and charged with petit larceny.
— Compiled by Alex Petroski
NOVEMBER 29, 2018 • THE PORT TIMES RECORD • PAGE A7
Earl L. Vandermeulen High School
Harold Russell PJSD
Harold Russell, 70, of Port Jefferson Station, died Sept. 24. Born Sept. 4, 1948 in the Bronx, he was the son of Agnes and Harold Russell. Harold was a retired manager of liquor distributors, and in life enjoyed fishing, working with his hands, and spending time with his family. Left to cherish his memory are his wife Juliet; daughters Laura and Dawn; three grandchildren; and other family and friends. Services were held at Bryant Funeral Home in Setauket Sept. 28. Interment followed at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram. Please visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guestbook.
Port Jefferson student performs at Lincoln Center
Port Jefferson’s Earl L. Vandermeulen High School senior Annalisa Welinder had the opportunity Nov. 5 to serve as concertmaster for Julliard’s Pre-College Centennial Gala at Lincoln Center. The event, which included musical works by Bernstein, Beethoven and Rimsky-Korsakov, featured Welinder performing alongside guest conductor Robert Spano and world-renowned
pianist Emanuel Ax. The performance was attended by her parents, Port Jefferson faculty members Anne Algieri, Dennis Christopher and Kerri Neligon, high school Principal Christine Austen and Director of Music and Fine Arts Dr. Michael Caravello. Welinder is pictured above with guest conductor Robert Spano. PJSD
Port Jefferson Varsity Club’s cold endeavor warms hearts
On Nov. 17 55 members of the Earl L. Vandermeulen High School’s Varsity Club attended the Town of Brookhaven’s annual Polar Plunge at Cedar Beach in Mount Sinai to benefit the Special Olympics. They collectively raised $9,450 through their fundraising efforts. The Varsity Club members and their advisers, high school teachers Jesse Rosen and Deir-
dre Filippi, often engage in projects centered around athletics and also run school-organized events and activities that help to raise money for various service-minded organizations. “We are so incredibly proud of the student’s efforts,” Filippi said of the students continued interest in positively helping and influencing people around them while challenging themselves in the process.
Bridget “Bridie” Tucci, 87, of Baiting Hollow, died Aug. 26. She was born Oct. 13, 1931 in Corlona, Ireland, and was the daughter of Kate and Michael Regan. Bridie was a homemaker who came to the United States from Ireland at 19 years old for adventure and new experiences. She came by ship and knew everyone by name by the time she arrived at Ellis Island. Her motto in life was “there are no problems, everything will be fine.” She believed it and lived it. Her joy was contagious and infected everyone who knew her. Birdie will be missed by the love of her life, her husband Anthony; children Ethna (Larry) Oakley, Debbie (Fred) Bryant, Victor, Shirley (Michael) Rizopoulos and Christine (Daniel) Tucci; her grandchildren Erin, Shauna, Courtney, Dena, Larry, Michael, Kevin, Nicholas, Jake and Nancy; her 13 greatgrandchildren; brother Tom Regan; and sisters Phil Guckian, Julia Cramer, Chris Lynch; along with many other family and friends. Services were held at Infant Jesus R.C. Church in Port Jefferson Aug. 29. Interment followed in the St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale. Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of Setauket. Please visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guestbook.
Dorothy Jones, 95, of Setauket, died Sept. 22. She was born Dec. 7, 1922, in Middletown, Conn. and was the daughter of Estelle and George Evans. Dorothy was a retired teacher. Left to cherish her memory are her daughters Marcia, and Beverly Smith; along with other family and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband Theodore and her daughter Cheryl Barry. Services were held at St. James R.C. Church in East Setauket, Oct. 1. Interment followed at Calverton National Cemetery. Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of Setauket. Please visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guestbook.
Veronica A. “Ronnie” Wendol, 72, of Port Jefferson Station, died Oct. 25 at home with her family. She was born Feb. 17, 1946. Formerly of Maspeth, Ronnie was the daughter of the late Helen and Joseph Perdie, and sister of the late Raymond. She was the beloved wife of Edward C. Wendol and proud parent of four fabulous sons, with four wonderful daughters-in-law, nephews and their families, as well as an extended family of cousins. Ronnie was very close to many neighbors and community friends over the years, socializing, traveling and camping together. Her hobbies and interests included reading, the theater, Walt Disney World, fishing, camping and playing mahjong with club friends. Ronnie was an avid sports fan, particularly the New York Rangers, Mets and Jets. Ronnie and her husband traveled and toured the world, including many wine trails. Ronnie also enjoyed her “polka buddies” at the Polish American Club. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to O.B. Davis Funeral Home in Port Jefferson Station.
PAGE A8 • THE PORT TIMES RECORD • NOVEMBER 29, 2018
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Forum on structural racism on Long Island coming to SBU BY ALEX PETROSKI ALEX@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM A Syosset nonproﬁt and a Stony Brook University department are teaming up to open up a public dialogue pertaining to one of Long Island and America’s oldest societal problems. ERASE Racism, a regional organization founded in 2001 that advocates for public policy to promote racial equality in housing, education and more, and SBU’s Center for the Study of Inequalities, Social Justice, and Policy, a department founded in 2017 that provides a forum for the promotion of various forms of student and faculty engagement on the same issues, will co-host the ﬁrst of a series of forums meant to jump start a community conversation on racial inequality. The series of forums, entitled How Do We Build a Just Long Island? will kick off at the Hilton Garden Inn on the SBU campus Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. “This whole thing is premised on the fact that everybody can educate themselves,” ERASE Racism President Elaine Gross said in an interview. “It’s not about anyone calling anyone a racist. It’s not a blame and shame kind of thing. Let’s make sure we have all the facts, let’s make sure we understand the context.” Gross said so far about 400 people have registered to attend the event. She said from the organization’s inception its goal has been to identify institutional and structural racism and seek to educate the public about the history that has led to places like Long Island being so racially segregated today. “It is embedded — it doesn’t require that all of the players be racist people, or bad people, it only requires that people go along with the business as usual,” she said. Christopher Sellers, SBU history professor and director of the center, said part of the thinking behind the forums is to frame the conversation in a way for people not exposed to racial
inequality or injustice on a daily basis to see barriers and exclusions they may not have viewed as such. He said the goal is to ultimately expand the discussion from the conﬁnes of the campus and into the community. He called Long Island the perfect place to begin this dialogue. “Demographic change causes people to get more defensive and fall back on these racializing tool kits they may have picked up from their own past,” he said, adding that data suggests Long Island has become more racially diverse during recent decades, speciﬁcally seeing an increase in those of Hispanic descent. Sellers said he feels a sense of urgency to begin a wide discussion on racial intolerance despite the perception from many that in the decades since the civil rights movement society has made sufﬁcient progress in creating a just America for all. In “Hate Crime Statistics, 2017” released Nov. 13, the FBI reported a 17 percent increase in incidents identiﬁed as hate crimes from 2016 to 2017, with nearly 60 percent of those incidents being motivated by racial or ethnic bias. From 2015 to 2016 there was a roughly 5 percent increase in these incidents. From 2014 to 2015, hate crimes went up by about 7 percent. “We need as a university to do something, we as academics can no longer sit on our hands,” Sellers said. “This is maybe a more urgent matter than we’ve considered before.” Gross said the aim of the events is education. “We didn’t plan to be doing this at a time when the country is so divided and there’s so much overtly biased comments, racist comments being said at the highest levels,” Gross said. “We planned this because we felt that even though with all of the work that we’ve done, we felt that was really needed was a regional public discussion and understanding of how things are connected.” To register for the event and to get more information on the remainder of the forums — slated for Riverhead, Hempstead, Melville and Hauppauge — visit www.eraseracismny.org.
NOVEMBER 29, 2018 • THE PORT TIMES RECORD • PAGE A9
Dog’s life saved after stabbed during domestic dispute
Frankie Floridia of Strong Island Rescue and SCSPCA detective Jennifer Pape pit bull named Chocolate the day after his life-saving surgery at the Animal Hospital of Centereach after he was stabbed during a domestic dispute leaving him scarred along his left shoulder, inset.
wasn’t the worst case he’s seen in his career. “I had one case years ago where a dog was stabbed 40 times,” Greco said. “This dog had nothing to do with this [dispute], he just happened to be there.” Chocolate is now in stable condition and is in the care of Floridia, who said he had been told by the family the dogs did not instigate or intimidate Fields. Despite the harm inﬂicted upon the young pit bull, Chocolate is still friendly and calm among strangers, willing to sniff their pants legs and walk around freely. Fields was charged with two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, according to the SCPD. He was arraigned Nov. 27, though Field’s lawDiscover the world’s best walk-in bathtub from 5 Reasons American Standard Walk-In Tubs are Your Best Choice 1 2
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yer could not be reached for comment. An order of protection was issued for the dogs by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Ofﬁce, which prevents Fields from interacting with the four other dogs, who were uninjured at the alleged incident and are still living with the family at the
Brentwood house. In the meantime, Floridia did not want to give details on his plans for the dog, but he said he will work to make sure Chocolate goes to a caring home. “We have good plans for him,” he said. “I’m going to do what’s best for the dog.”
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A dog who was maimed using a knife in Brentwood has found safety with a Centereach animal hospital and a North Shore-based animal rescuer. At about 5:30 a.m. Nov. 20, Suffolk County police responded to a domestic dispute in Brentwood, according to a release put out by SCPD. Malik Fields, 25, was allegedly involved in a dispute with his girlfriend during which police said he stabbed two of the family’s six dogs. Detective Jennifer Pape of the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was also brought onto the scene by SCPD when it was discovered one pit bull named Storm had been stabbed and was bleeding profusely, according to Pape. Fields’ family brought Storm to a West Islip animal hospital where he was euthanized. “Stabbing cases are rare, but in a year we investigate about 3,000 animal cruelty complaints,” Pape said. “It’s heart wrenching — it’s why I do what I do. They’re innocent, it’s why we need to protect them.” Several hours after the initial disturbance, after authorities had already left, Fields’ family discovered another pit bull named Chocolate had also been stabbed, according to Pape. The family called Frankie Floridia, president of Sound Beach-based Strong Island Animal Rescue League, seeing if he could help take the dog to a veterinarian. Floridia called Pape, who rushed back to the scene. Soon after, the family brought the dog to the Animal Medical Hospital of Centereach at about 1:45 p.m. where Chocolate immediately went into surgery. “I knew one dog had passed away and so we had to go fast to make sure everything was OK with the [other] dog, that was my main concern,” Floridia said. Veterinarian Dr. Charles Greco said the dog had a 12-inch laceration deep along his shoulder that had cut into his left-side deltoid muscle. After being sedated, Chocolate was out of surgery after approximately 30 minutes. The veterinarian said he performed the surgery pro bono, yet this
BY KYLE BARR KYLE@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM
PAGE A10 • THE PORT TIMES RECORD • NOVEMBER 29, 2018
KYLE BARR Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Santa Parade Nov. 24 starting from Port Jeff train station and running all the way down Main Street. Kids raced after candy thrown from vehicles and greeted Santa as he arrived while members of both the Marchand School of Dance and Shine Dance Studios showed off their routines to the sounds of classic Christmas tunes. Casts of “The Nutcracker” from the Harbor Ballet Theatre and “A Christmas Carol” from Theatre Three showed up in costume as well.
— Kyle Barr
Santa comes early to Port Jeff at annual parade
NOVEMBER 29, 2018 • THE PORT TIMES RECORD • PAGE A11
The offices of Dr. Michael Gentilesco, Dr. Morisa Marin, Dr. Lisa Amorin, Dr. Natalia Flores, and Dr. Charles Mann want to welcome to their staff, Dr. Jennifer Slagus specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Slagus attended the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biological Sciences. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the State University of New York in Buffalo, NY. Dr. Slagus sees patients by appointment.
Mayra Berardo, FNP comes to our practice specializing in Gynecology and Obstetrics from Hudson River Healthcare as well as Good Samaritan Hospital, wherein she practiced in Women’s Health and Maternal Fetal Medicine.
SAME DAY APPOINTMENTS! We accept Medicare and Medicaid Managed Care plans as well as most third party payers such as: Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Empire Plan, and Federal Government Plans as well as most Union Insurance Plans. We offer 2 convenient locations: 48 Route 25A (suite 207) Smithtown, NY (campus of St. Catherine of Siena Hospital)
2500 Nesconset Highway (Stony Brook Medical Park) Building 10 (Suite A)
We are also pleased to offer evening and Saturday appointments Our professionals are also fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and Hebrew
For an appointment please call:
SQUARE CARE MEDICAL GROUP, LLP Smithtown, NY 11787 631-862-3800
PAGE A12 • THE PORT TIMES RECORD • NOVEMBER 29, 2018
Suffolk DA uncovers alleged LI dumping scheme BY SARA-MEGAN WALSH SARA@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM
Long Island homeowners who thought they were getting free, clean fill for their properties off Craigslist may have learned if the offer seems too good to be true, that’s because it was. Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini (D) announced a 130-charge indictment Nov. 26 against 22 individuals and nine corporations who allegedly cooperated in a massive conspiracy to illegally dispose of solid waste in 24 locations spanning Suffolk and Nassau counties. “What we’re dealing with here is an epidemic of illegal dumping in Suffolk County,” Sini said. “It’s gone on far too long, and our message is very clear: We will not tolerate this criminal conduct in our county. We will do whatever it takes to uncover illegal dumping.” The conspiracy was allegedly led by Smithtown resident Anthony Grazio, 53, also known as “Rock,” who acted as a dirt broker by arranging for locations where trucking companies could illegally dispose of their solid waste and construction debris, according to Suffolk prosecutors. An investigation dubbed Operation Pay Dirt, which involved the district attorney’s office, New York State Department of Environmental Con-
servation and Suffolk County Police Department, launched in February 2018 revealed Grazio was allegedly posting ads on Craigslist and other websites offering “free, clean fill — free delivery,” in addition to stating it was “certified and approved for residential and commercial use.” Grazio allegedly worked with Vito Fragola, 44, of Commack, to also post a sign on a tree outside a home on Wilson Boulevard in Central Islip to advertise “free clean fill,” in February 2018, according to court documents. When a Long Island homeowner or business expressed interest in fill for landscaping projects, Grazio and owners or operators of nine different trucking companies would discuss the potential of the site and the amount of material that could be dumped there from New York City construction and demolition sites, according to the district attorney. “The bigger the property, the better for the defendants as this scam was all about making money,” Sini said. “When an ideal property was found, Grazio could often be heard directing his co-conspirators to ‘hit it hard.’ Grazio approved material being dumped at residential locations even when notified that the material smelled like diesel fuel or had pieces of wood, asphalt, concrete, large boulders or even glass contained in the material.”
SAVE with a
Investigators claimed after dumping contaminated fill on a property, Grazio and his co-conspirators allegedly went as far as to provide the homeowners with false laboratory reports stating the material was clean or cover it with a layer of topsoil to ensure grass could grow. In other cases, the truck owners and operators were allegedly caught having phone discussions on how to cover up the hazardous materials being moved about to prevent detection of the illegal dumping. Out of the 24 locations identified to be impacted by the scheme, the district attorney’s office said 19 were residential properties, four commercial and one school in Roslyn Heights. “They did this to make money, they did this to save on operating costs, and they did it at the expense of the health of our residents,” Sini said. Testing performed by the DEC found fill at six locations was positive for acutely hazardous substances, mainly pesticides, with 17 sites containing hazardous substances under the state’s Environmental Conservation Law. These hazardous substances included arsenic, lead, copper, nickel, mercury and other metals. “Illegal solid waste dumping poses a serious threat to New York’s environment and burdens communities across Long Island,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.
myNYCB.com • (877) 786-6560
Map of alleged dumping sites across Long Island
Among North Shore individuals charged alongside Grazio and Fragola for being involved in this alleged scheme were: Alix Aparaicio Gomez, 50, of Huntington; Anthony Grazio Jr., 19, of Smithtown; Michael Heinrichs, 48, of Port Jefferson Station; Robert Hirsch, 43, of Commack; Joseph Lamberta, 68, of Hauppauge; Steven Nunez Genao, 24, of Port Jefferson Station; Milan Parik, 46, of Centereach; James Perruzza, 18, of Northport; Frank Rotondo Jr., 47, of Miller Place; Thomas St. Clair, 51, of St. James; and Robert Walter, 31, of Nesconset. The top count on the indictment is second -degree criminal mischief, which is a Class D felony, and, if found guilty, carries a maximum sentence of up to seven years in prison.
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NOVEMBER 29, 2018 â€˘ THE PORT TIMES RECORD â€˘ PAGE A13
From Cold Spring Harbor to Wading River â€“ TBR NEWS MEDIA â€˘ Six Papers...Plus Our Website...One Price
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Finds Under 50 DOLL HOUSE Approximately 36â€?x36â€?, 2/3 completed plus parts, $25 or best offer. 631-642-3048
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ONLINE ONLY AUCTION SALE Hj][akagf;F;9]jgkhYEaddaf_Yf\Lmjfaf_>Y[adalq
Dg[Ylagf2/;Yj]qHdY$HgjlOYk`af_lgf$FQ Dgf_AkdYf\!))(-( Afkh][lagf2Wednesday, December 5th^jge02((9&E&lg,2((H&E& :a\\af_=f\k2Thursday, December 6thYl)2((H&E& >]Ylmjaf_2Late Model CNC Turning Centers, CNC VMCâ€™s, Tool Room Shop Support, Inspection, Plus Much More!
PAGE A14 • THE PORT TIMES RECORD • NOVEMBER 29, 2018
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NOVEMBER 29, 2018 â€˘ THE PORT TIMES RECORD â€˘ PAGE A15
E M PL OY M E N T / C A R E E R S
Submit letter of interest/resume to: Brian Heyward, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources 250B Route 25A Shoreham, NY 11786 email@example.com
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MAJESTIC GARDENS 420 Rte. 25A Rocky Point, NY
Experience preferred. Will train the right person. Fort Salonga Animal Hospital
Fax resume to: 631.757.3973 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Catholic parish is seeking a custodian: 24 hours per week, Monday thru Thursday. This position provides custodial support to a busy local North Shore parish. The best candidate works well with others, has experience, and is able to juggle multiple duties. Custodial duties to include but not limited to: cleaning classrooms, restrooms, offices, windows, hallways, climbing ladders and other duties as assigned. Please e-mail your rĂŠsumĂŠ and any cover letter to: AJWPDC@aol.com or email@example.com
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Join the Winning Team at the Danfords Collection â€˘ Â Banquet Cooks â€˘ Â Stewards/Dishwashers â€˘ Â Banquet/Restaurant Wait Staff â€˘ Â Banquet/Restaurant Buspersons â€˘ Â Banquet/Restaurant Bartenders â€˘ Â Banquet Housemen â€˘ Â Hotel Front Desk Agent Benefits include: Available Medical, Dental, Vision, 401K, Paid Holidays/Vacations, and internal promotions within our rapidly growing organization. Apply in Person at: Danfords Hotel Marina and Spa 25 East Broadway, Port Jefferson, NY 11777 The Waterview at Port Jefferson Country Club 44 Fairway Drive, Port Jefferson, NY 11777 or Email Resumes for immediate consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org Job Types: Full-time, Part-time
JOIN WINNING TEAM AT THE DANFORDS COLLECTION Banquet Cooks, Stewards/Dishwashers, banquet/Restaurant wait staff, banquet/restaurant bus person, banquet/restaurant bartenders, banquet Housemen, hotel front desk. Danfords Hotel, Marina and Spa and The Waterview at Port Jefferson Country Club, apply in person, See Display ad for more information
ShorehamWading River CSD
Shoreham-Wading River CSD SUBSTITUTE NURSES $150/day Submit letter of interest/resume to: Brian Heyward, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources 250B Route 25A Shoreham, NY 11786 email@example.com VETERINARIAN RECEPTIONIST/TECHNICIAN P/T. Experienced Preferred. Will train the right person. Fort Salonga Animal Hospital. Fax Resume to 631-757-3973 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Part-time, weekends required. Reliable and responsible. Will train, apply in person.
VETERINA RY RECEP TIONIST/ TECHNICIAN P T ÂŠ102144
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Experienced only. Suffolk County. Must have clean CDL with proper endorsements. Medical card required. TWIC card a plus. Excellent pay and OT available.
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MAINTENANCE POSITION Local Catholic Parish seeking a custodian, 24 hours per week, Monday-Thursday. Please e-mail resume and cover letter to AJWPDC@aol.com or email@example.com. See Display ad for more details MEDICAL SURGICAL COORDINATOR, FULL TIME. East Setauket. Small surgical practice - experienced preferred call 631-689-2600 PLEASE SEND RESUME TO: firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 631-689-2943
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PUBLISHERâ€™S EMPLOYMENT NOTICE: All employment advertising in this newspaper is subject to section 296 of the human rights law which makes it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, disability, marital status, sex, age or arrest conviction record or an intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination. Title 29, U.S. Code Chap 630, excludes the Federal Govâ€™t. from the age discrimination provisions. This newspaper will not knowingly accept any advertising for employment which is in violation of the law. Our readers are informed that employment offerings advertised in this newspaper are available on an equal opportunity basis.
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PAGE A16 • THE PORT TIMES RECORD • NOVEMBER 29, 2018
Wrap Up The Year With Our 2018 SPECIAL SEASONAL FEATURES! Bonus Circulation!
in the December 6, 2018 issue of Village Beacon Record
Published: December 13 & 20 North Shore Readers Are In The Holiday CountdownLet’s Show Them How And Where To Shop Locally! Full Run Arts & Lifestyle Circulation In All 6 Papers with special pricing - Buy December 13 at regular rate, get December 20 at HALF PRICE! Deadline December 6, 2018
People Of The Year Our All Good News Issue
Honoring Those Who Give So Generously Of Themselves, To Make Each Of Our Communites A Better Place To Live And Work For All Our Neighbors.
Happy New Year. Our Community Greeting Card. Send Your Very Best Wishes To Your North Shore Neighbors In Our Colorful Centerfold Layout With Special Rates In Our Full Run Arts & Lifestyles Circulation Of All 6 Papers. Published: Thursday, December 27, 2018 Deadline: Wednesday, December 13, 2018
year review 2018 in
Published: Thursday, January 3, 2019 Photos of our neighbors, communities and significant events that shaped our year. Our first issue of the New Year will be a keepsake! Deadline: December 20, 2018
Call your representative at: for details now! TIMES BEACON RECORD NEWS MEDIA | 185 Route 25A • PO Box 707 • Setauket, NY 11733 (631) 751–7744 • www.tbrnewsmedia.com
Total Market Saturation Mailing to Mount Sinai - 11766
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NOVEMBER 29, 2018 • THE PORT TIMES RECORD • PAGE A17
SERV ICES Cleaning COME HOME TO A CLEAN HOUSE! Attention to detail is our priority. Excellent References. Serving the Three Village Area. Call Jacquie or Joyce 347-840-0890
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PAGE A18 â€¢ THE PORT TIMES RECORD â€¢ NOVEMBER 29, 2018
PROF E S SION A L & B U SI N E S S ;/,7*+6*;69
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Place your ad today Call 631.751.7663 or 631.331.1154 PAGE A
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NOVEMBER 29, 2018 â€˘ THE PORT TIMES RECORD â€˘ PAGE A19
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PAGE A20 â€˘ THE PORT TIMES RECORD â€˘ NOVEMBER 29, 2018
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NOVEMBER 29, 2018 • THE PORT TIMES RECORD • PAGE A21
R E A L ESTATE HAVE AN IDEA for an invention/new product? We help everyday inventors try to patent and submit their ideas to companies! Call InventHelp®, FREE INFORMATION! 888-487-7074
Commercial Property/ Yard Space PUBLISHERS’ NOTICE All real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to advertise “any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination.” We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. All persons are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised are available on an equal opportunity basis.
PLAINVIEW-MANETTO HILL ESTATES: 3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath, Split, Large Den, Hardwood Floors, New Roof, Quiet Cul-de-Sac. $599,888. SPARROW REALTORS 516-220-6417 S. FARMINGDALE: 2 Bedroom, 1 Bath, Ranch, Porch, Livingroom, FDR, Kitchen, Fireplace, Hardwood Floors, Large Attic, 2 Car Garage and Low Taxes. $389,888. SPARROW REALTORS 516-220-6417 SHOREHAM VILLAGE WATER VIEW. Beautifully updated 3 BR home. Gorgeous landscaped property, with spectacular views of LI Sound. $560,000. By owner. 516-233-8058
Out of State SEBASTIAN, FLORIDA (East Coast) Beach Cove is an Age Restricted. Community where friends are easily made. Sebastian is an “Old Florida” fishing village with a quaint atmosphere yet excellent medical facilities, shopping and restaurants. Direct flights from Newark to Vero Beach. New manufactured homes from $114,900. 772-581-0080 www.beach-cove.com
CONSIDERING BUYING, SELLING OR RENTING A HOME? I have helped clients for the past 20 YEARS. I can help you too. Give me a call. Douglas Elliman Real Estate Charlie Pezzolla Associate Broker 631-476-6278
Rentals PORT JEFFERSON STATION 1 BR apartment; mint condition. Private entrance. Close to hospitals and SUNY. $1200/all. VINE & SEA R.E. 516-316-8864 PORT VILLAGE Beautiful spacious 1 BR apartment. Quiet, private entrance, patio, giant windows, laundry service provided, furnished. Utilities, Direct TV included. 631-473-1468
Open Houses SUNDAY 12/2 12:00-1:30PM LAKE GROVE 5 Decatur Ln. Price Reduced! 4 BR, 2 Ba. Brittany Hills Ranch, Hwflrs, Full Bmnt. Mls#3077214, $455,000. Deborah Mckenna COACH REALTORS 516-375-0348
RENTALS WANTED University, Medical and Grad Students. Rental assistance for landlords and tenants. Drew Dunleavy Vine & Sea Real Estate Associates. 516-316-8864 ROCKY POINT 4 bedroom, 2 BA, L/R, D/R, kitchen, laundry, 1 month deposit, $2500/month. Includes heat, H/W, landscaping & snow removal, electric and cable not included, Call Debbie 631-744-5900 Ext 12.
3 VILLAGE AREA PROFESSIONAL WOMAN long time Three Village resident, LOOKING FOR SUMMER RENTAL HOUSE OR APARTMENT. Preferable 2 bedroom. Outdoor area a must. Mid June-Mid September. Dates flexible. References on request. 856-304-6192
W.HEMPSTEAD: GREAT INVESTMENT! Mixed Use Building for Sale. Turn Key, Fully Rented. Commercial/Retail (Deli) & 2-1BR Apartments. Near Train & Municipal Parking. $628,000. SPARROW REALTORS 516-220-6417
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SAT/SUN Open Houses by Appointment PORT JEFFERSON VILLAGE 415 Liberty Ave. New construction. 55+ condo. 1 Unit left! Waterview Community, Taxes under $5,000. $875,000. SMITHTOWN 17 Franciscan Ln. Post Modern, 5 Bdrms, IG heated/salt pool, fin bsmt, $809,000 Reduced. MT SINAI 9 Avolet Ct, Briarwood, 4 Bdrms, full unfin bsmnt, 2 car gar, ss appliances, $649,000. MT SINAI 12 Hamlet Dr. Largest. model, full unfin bsmt. w/walk, 3 car, golf/pond views. $799,000. MT SINAI 23 Hamlet Dr. New Listing. Main flr master, Inner Circle location, full unfin bsmt, $899 000. ST JAMES 23 Monterrey Dr, Gated Hamlet Estates, Lake Front, tiered patio, Chef’s kitchen, $1,50,000 SO SETAUKET 24 Hancock Ct, Post Modern, Heated IGP/Hot Tub/Cabana, full fin. bsmt w/walk out, 5 Bdrms, $849,990. 48 Avolet Ct,Briarwood. Sunroom, full fin. bsmnt w/walk-out, IG heated/salt pool, cul de sac, $729,000 REDUCED. Dennis P. Consalvo Aliano Real Estate Lic.Real Estate Salesperson www.longisland-realestate.net 631-724-1000
COMMERCI A L PROPERT Y ke
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PAGE A22 • THE PORT TIMES RECORD • NOVEMBER 29, 2018
Letters to the editor
Forum on racism a refreshing start
This week, the nonprofit organization ERASE Racism, of Syosset, and the Stony Brook Center for the Study of Inequalities, Social Justice, and Policy will hold the first of a series of five forums meant to start a public dialogue about structural and institutional racism on Long Island. We applaud these two entities for coming together to advance an obviously vitally important discussion. Professor Christopher Sellers, the director of the SBU center, and Elaine Gross, president of ERASE Racism, each said separately in interviews the goal in hosting the first event and the subsequent forums is to begin a regionwide discussion about barriers certain groups face in their daily lives, not in some far-off time or place, but here and now close to home. They each also referenced the misnomer that race-related issues are a thing of the past in this country, and that the Civil Rights movement or election of our first African-American president of the United States somehow delivered us to an end point in creating a just and fair place for all to live and prosper. Gross stressed that the point behind hosting the forums and the desired byproduct is not a finger-pointing or shaming session intended to label people as racists, but rather it’s an educational opportunity meant to present attendees, and hopefully by extension the larger community, with a look at life through the lens of those who are part of racial minority groups. According to ERASE Racism, today three out of every four black students and two out of every three Hispanic students attend school districts where racial minority groups make up more than half of the population, a phenomenon the nonprofit likens to modern-day segregation. Both figures represent a more-than 50 percent increase compared to 2004, meaning Long Island’s schools are becoming more racially segregated as time goes on. “It is embedded — it doesn’t require that all of the players be racist people, or bad people, it only requires that people go along with the business as usual,” Gross said of structural racism. On top of that, according to a report released by the FBI Nov. 13, hate crimes increased by 17 percent in 2017 compared to the prior year, a jump exponentially higher than any of the previous two years, a trend all Long Islanders and Americans should be inspired to stop and consider when reading. We are glad to hear such an important discussion is not only taking place but being spearheaded in part by our hometown university. We hope that those who can make a point to attend, and those who can’t, do their due diligence to find out what it is all about.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to The Port Times Record, P.O. Box 707, Setauket, NY 11733.
Elected officials must take responsible steps — and there is no place for playing politics when it comes to the safety of our children and teachers. You don’t need to have been a police officer or a detective, like I was for 25 years, to know that bad guys like soft targets. No, my bill doesn’t require that we arm teachers or principals: It would simply require shift changes for Suffolk County police officers to occur at schools rather than at fire departments, where practical. As a police officer, I participated in thousands of shift changes and each of them could have been conducted at a school. A greater police presence at schools, even if it’s just for 30 additional minutes three additional times per day can only help in preventing further tragedies. While the national debate on this issue can be a contentious and unproductive one,
often pitting those who want to abolish the Second Amendment against powerful and righteous constitutionalists, my initiative is one that both Democrats and Republicans can support, or at least, they should. In the United States, since 2005, there have been 10 school shootings where at least five people were killed. Suffolk’s lawmakers have a duty to ensure we are implementing common-sense and constitutional solutions to combat this epidemic. Sadly, my initiative, which neither comes at any additional cost to taxpayers nor infringes on any American’s constitutional rights, is being blocked by Suffolk County Democrats. Rob Trotta Suffolk County Legislator 13th Legislative District Fort Salonga
A thank you to the leaf rakers I would like to thank my fellow residents who mow their own lawns and rake the leaves. I especially thank the rakers, for their lack of harm to the environment and for preserving a shred of quiet and clean air amid the din of the now ever-present gas leaf blowers. Dear fellow rakers, your yards are beautiful, carefully and personally tended. I can go outside when you are raking and rake my own yard, plant bulbs and do other fall gardening without being deafened or choked by exhaust fumes. I never have to wear earplugs, blast the radio or flee the neighborhood for the sanctuary of the library or the beach — hoping the wind is off the water and not blowing fumes and noise from the surrounding neighborhoods — because of the soft scritch of your rake. Your hard work does not contribute to toxic smog or global warming, destroy
ground-nesting bumble bees’ nests, frighten birds and disrupt their songs, or blow topsoil and debris into the air and wetlands. Nor, when the rising waters eventually subsume our sandy island, will your raking have contributed to the warming climate that raises sea levels. Thank you. Please never move away or change your eco- and neighbor-friendly ways. I encourage the increasing majority of people who use, or more commonly, rely on companies that use gas leaf blowers to consider the environmental and health consequences of this choice. For the sake of the environment and for the health of everyone including the workers themselves, I urge you to follow the recommendations of many environmental groups and to ask workers to replace the gas blowers, with their exhaust and noise that carries for close to half a mile, for
manual or electric equipment. Gas blowers are bad for the environment and for the sanity of sensitive-eared neighbors. Their emissions are far worse than cars. The noise makes it impossible for people to work from home during the day. They are also bad for the guys who are using them, all day long. Please consider the health effects on your workers of breathing those fumes all day. Blowers are banned in Washington, D.C., and many Westchester County and California towns, for environmental and noise-complaint reasons. If you care about the environment, please ask your workers to change to less polluting equipment. The birds, the bumble bees and neighbors with good hearing and sensitive lungs will thank you. Mary Claire Leming Stony Brook
Kudos for Suffolk County voters A woman approached Ben Franklin and inquired, “What kind of government have you bequeathed us?” “A republic, madam,” he said. “If you can keep it.”
The polls were busy this Election Day. Lines were long and steady, and workers had to have snacks, lunch and dinner at the polls. When the day was over more than 50 percent of the registered voters in Election District
147 had cast their ballots. I was so proud. That’s how you keep a republic. Mr. Franklin. Jerry Reynolds Coram
The opinions of columnists and letter writers are their own. They do not speak for the newspaper.
NOVEMBER 29, 2018 • THE PORT TIMES RECORD • PAGE A23
Looking elsewhere for tomorrow’s news
t’s time for the media to look elsewhere. The lowest hanging fruit has been extensively covered. Washington journalists and, indeed, state and community journalists have a responsibility to cover the entire landscape. Everything doesn’t run through one ofﬁce, one branch of the federal government or one person. It’s time to highlight human interest stories. Flawed though it may be in parts, the movie “Instant Family,” starD. None ring Mark Wahlberg of the above and Rose Byrne BY DANIEL DUNAIEF makes people laugh. However, it also addresses a signiﬁcant issue about foster children “in the system.” No, I didn’t run out to adopt a foster child as the ﬁnal credits were rolling, but I heard
some personal details that were as moving to me as they were to the people in the movie. We the press should run off and cover the local versions of Karen, played by Octavia Spencer, and Sharon, acted by Tig Notaro, who work tirelessly at an adoption agency. Spencer is a remarkable combination of serious and slapstick, offering the kind of range typically only reserved for a main character. She draws the audience, and the other characters, to her, offering perspectives on fostering children and adoption that aren’t often discussed. Undoubtedly, on Long Island, in New York and in the United States, people like Karen and Sharon give children hope and seek to connect parents looking to adopt with children, while maintaining level heads through the highstakes process. Every year, papers print out lists of high school graduates, sometimes including the names of colleges these newly minted graduates plan to attend. These students, many of whom have spent their lives in one place, are preparing to take their next steps on literal and ﬁgurative terrain they ha-
ven’t yet covered, except perhaps to pay a quick visit to a college. Maybe, in addition to listing all the high school graduates, we should interview several college graduates 10 years after they graduated from high school, asking them what they learned, what mistakes they made and what paths they took to get them from their youthful hope to their current state. And, yes, there are local and national politicians who have become subsumed in the Washington wave. Some of them also have worthy ideas such as our local state Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) with his work on the environment. We owe it to ourselves to hear them, to give them a platform and to give our readers a chance to respond to their visions and ideas. In an era when people voted in impressive numbers in the recent midterm elections, we need to know what everyone in Albany or Washington is doing. Voting is just the start. We should keep tabs on them, encourage them to follow through on their campaign promises, and lend our support when they turn to their
constituents for help. We should also hear more from police chiefs, who can offer insights into what it’s like on the front lines of the drug crisis. Many of these people are working feverishly to prevent family tragedies that resonate for years, hoping to redirect people away from self-destructive paths. Every day, incredible people with tales of trials and tribulations live among us, pursuing their goals while trying to ensure that they follow their moral and civil compasses. In this incredible country, merely being famous or even powerful isn’t enough of a reason to write about what we like or don’t like about someone everyone sees every day. We need to shine the spotlight in the corners of rooms, not waiting for YouTube, reality TV or a heroic sports moment to catapult someone to public attention. Some people deserve that attention because they typically remain in the shadows, supporting others, saying the right things when there isn’t a camera in sight, and inspiring others to believe in themselves.
Zimbabwe is a dirt poor country of some 17 million people with 12 trained psychiatrists, and they are only in Harare. Almost every person suffering with depression does not have access to evidence-based talking therapies or modern anti-depressants. There is not even a word in the Shona language for depression. The closest is “kufungisisa,” which means “thinking too much,” and is akin to “rumination” or negative thought patterns that often lie at the core of depression and anxiety. Long-term social stress, such as that brought on by unemployment, chronic disease in loved ones and abusive relationships, is associated with depression. In the early 1990s, nearly one quarter of adults in Zimbabwe had HIV with no meds to save them. In 2005, strongman President Robert Mugabe’s forced slum-clearance program to “drive out the rubbish,” known as Operation Murambatsvina, caused the dislocation of hundreds of thousands of homes and jobs. The consequence of such events was widespread depression. For Chibanda, the challenge was enormous. He felt strongly that had his patient been able to see him regularly, he could have saved her. But
how to get mental health care to those who cannot easily access the help? Certainly not in the private clinics that he had planned to start in the city. As he cast around in vain for government resources, he realized that grandmothers were already functioning since the 1980s as community health workers, supporting people with HIV, TB, cholera and offering health education. They were trained by the government, lived where they worked and were trusted and highly respected. In 2006, they were asked to add depression to their list of treatable ailments. Chibanda took on a group of 14 elderly women, taught them to ask patients 14 questions, eventually called the Shona Symptom Questionnaire, and if the answers to eight or more were “yes,” then psychological help was deemed necessary. Questions included, “Do you feel you are thinking too much?” or “Do you ever have thoughts of killing yourself?” The patients put their answers in writing, and after the ﬁrst interview, the grandmothers gathered in a circle to discuss each patient and decide how to proceed. Professional help might be sought for the extreme patients, but for the
most part, the service provided by these grandmothers of listening and offering wisdom acquired over their years to guide patients to their own solutions to the problems at hand proved remarkably effective. Where to sit and listen to these patients? Rather than in overcrowded clinics, the answer was on a bench under the shade of an old tree. The benches were placed outside the clinics, in plain sight, and by sitting down on one, a patient could indicate the need for intervention. In 2007, an initial pilot was begun in a suburb of Harare, and by October 2011 the ﬁrst study was published. By then, there were 24 health clinics and more than 300 grandmothers trained in an updated form of problem-solving therapy. And by 2016, a decade after the program began, the results showed a signiﬁcant decrease in depressive symptoms. The Friendship Bench project, as it is known, has spread, with evidence-based approaches, to Malawi, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Canada and the United States; Australia and New Zealand are on the wait list. There is also a program in New York City. Chibanda gave a TED talk in 2016 that has further popularized the Friendship Bench project.
Mental health therapy on a bench in the shade of an old tree
his sounds like a fairy tale, but the latest weapon in the battle against mental illness is a bench. Yes, a brightly colored, sometimes plastic, sometimes wooden magic bench. In this particular instance, a bench can do wonders. It all started as a brainchild of psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda in the far-off country of Zimbabwe, which is just north of the Republic of South Africa. In Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe, he was treating a young woman for Between depression who traveled some 160 you and me miles from her ruBY LEAH S. DUNAIEF ral home each time to see him. At one point, when she couldn’t get to him, he discovered that she had taken her life. That tragedy changed his life.
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