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THE TimEs of Huntington, Northport & East Northport huntington • huntington bay • greenlawn • halesite • lloyd harbor • cold spring harbor • northport • east northport • Fort salonga west • asharoken • eaton’s neck • centerport

Vol. 14, No. 35

What’s inside Lupinacci launches his transition website A3

Historical society reveals renovated trade school A4 Greenlawn EMS squad wins national award A7

December 7, 2017


Joy of the holidays Greenlawn hosts 25th annual tree lighting— Photos A9

Wrestling runs in the blood of Blue Devils new coach A13

Three Village Electric Light Parade returns

Also: ‘Out of Thin Air’ reviewed, Holiday Magic at the Vanderbilt, LISCA celebrates 50 years



Photo by Sara-Megan Walsh


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Lupinacci launches transition website for Huntington By Sara-Megan WalSh The Town of Huntington’s first major change of leadership in more than 20 years is getting underway. Huntington’s Supervisor-elect Chad Lupinacci (R-Huntington Station) announced the launch of the New Direction Transition Team website Nov. 30, for individuals interested in applying for town personnel openings during the transition period. “In an attempt to keep the hiring process transparent and evaluate all options in personnel matters, I have launched the New Direction Transition Team website,” Lupinacci said in a press statement. The website,, was inspired by similar ones constructed by recent presidential administrations and Nassau County Executive-elect Laura Curran (D), according to spokesman Brian Finnegan. Those interested may submit a cover letter and resume, then select from more than 15 town departments for which they are interested in working. There are no plans at this time to list specific job openings or descriptions, according to Finnegan. Applicants will not be asked for their political party affiliation. “Regardless of party affiliation, the supervisor-elect plans on vetting and considering all qualified candidates based on merit,” Finnegan said. “He takes great

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huntington’s supervisor-elect Chad lupinacci has launched a website where those interested can apply for job openings in the new town administration. pride in the fact he’s worked beneath several bipartisan administrations.” At the town’s unveiling of Huntington Station community center plans Nov. 25, Lupinacci spoke about how his first public service position was working as a laborer under former town Highway Supervisor William Naughton (D). He left the town to become a

communications liaison for late Republican State Assemblyman Jim Conte, who represented the 10th district for 24 years. Lupinacci was elected to his first political office in 2012, when he took over Conte’s vacated seat. “Now, no matter your party affiliation or vote at the ballot box, is the time to work together, get things done, check

politics at the door and put people first,” reads Lupinacci’s transition website. The state assemblyman defeated Councilwoman Tracey Edwards (D) receiving nearly 54 percent of the votes. He takes office Jan. 1 from resigning Supervisor Frank Petrone (D). Lupinacci’s move back to town government will leave an open state assembly seat for 10th district residents, which spans from Lloyd Harbor south along state Route 108/ Plainview Road to SUNY Farmingdale State College, and as far east as Elwood. It is unclear who will take his place as Lupinacci’s term doesn’t expire until Dec. 31, 2018. “Shortly after the first of the year we will have a screening process to interview potential candidates to fill that seat,” said Toni Tepe, chairwoman of the Huntington Republican Committee. Under New York State Senate law pertaining to public officers, “A special election shall not be held … to fill a vacancy in the office of state senator or in the office of member of assembly, unless the vacancy occurs before the first day of April of the last year of the term of office. … If a special election to fill an office shall not be held as required by law, the office shall be filled at the next general election.” Tepe said the decision on whether or not a special election will be held to fill Lupinacci’s state office will ultimately be made by state Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).

CAC benefit concert raises nearly $10K for Puerto Rico By Sara-Megan WalSh Huntington residents set about proving all you need is love to step forward and help aid Puerto Rico, recovering from Hurricane Maria. The Help for Puerto Rico Concert held at the Cinema Arts Centre Dec. 3 raised approximately $10,000, according to early estimates, for Puerto Rico’s hurricane victims and collected household goods to help refugees who have come to Long Island. “When somebody is hurting or suffering, you can’t do nothing,” said Huntington resident Patricia Shih, who organized the event. “There were a lot of fundraising efforts for Houston and Florida, but by the time the hurricane impacted Puerto Rico a lot of people were tapped or disaster weary. Puerto Rico hardly got any attention and hardly any fundraising.” Shih, a singer-songwriter herself, said she’s put together numerous fundraisers in the past including for the Haitian earthquake in 2010 and for Long Island’s own affected by Hurricane Sandy. She decided once again to reach out to Long Island’s artist community. “I put the word out on who would like to volunteer, and there was an outpouring of support from some of Long Island’s best musicians who wanted to help,” Shih said. The concert featured performances by classical crossover quintet The Counterclockwise Ensemble, folk-rock harmony trio Gathering Time, a Huntington-based 1960s band The Queazles, South Africanborn and inspired singer-songwriter Toby

left photo by raj Tawney, above photo from Patricia Shih

left, Patricia Shih packs donations for Puerto rican refugees into a van for Island harvest. above, guitarist Toby Walker, who performed in the benefit concert. Tobias, acoustic guitarist Toby Walker and the folk group The Folk Goddesses. Raj Tawney, director of publicity for CAC, said that as soon as the venue was asked to host the charitable concert to aid Puerto Rico, they were onboard. “We feel that it’s our obligation to the community to put on an assortment of events other than just movies, and Patricia Shih is a very strong voice in the community” Tawney said. “When she came to us with the idea of gathering Long Island’s most talented musicians to perform, donating goods to Puerto Rico and raising awareness of hurricane relief, it was a perfect fit.” Prior to the concert, attendees were in-

vited to take part in a silent auction which featured handmade works from Long Island artists ranging from original paintings and artistic photographs to pottery. Overall, Shih estimated the event gathered 60 to 70 businesses and volunteers who pitched in their time or gave donations to make it happen. “It was a night of togetherness,” Tawney said. “It made people feel warm and good as part of a greater cause than what’s happening in their own lives. I believe when you can bring people together for a cause it becomes a memorable evening.” One of the moments sure to stand out was the finale — a joint performance, by all acts, of the Beatles “All You Need Is Love.”

As all performers and artists donated their time and talent, Shih said 100 percent of the funds raised by the concert will be donated to the Hispanic Federation, a national Latino nonprofit organization that has been sending monetary donations to Puerto Rico. Taney estimated that between 170 ticket sales, the silent auction and food sales, close to $10,000 was raised. A collection of much-needed household items including diapers, infant formula, batteries, food and water originally intended for Puerto Rico, was delivered to Island Harvest food bank in Hauppauge to aid Puerto Rican refugees who have relocated to Long Island.



History archives find renewed life in Huntington By Kevin Redding A renovation project nearly 20 years in the making has turned a century-old building on Main Street into a place not only where Huntington’s history lives, it’s where it thrives. Town officials and history lovers of all ages gathered Nov. 21 at the newly restored and expanded Trade School Building in Huntington to see the culmination of a lengthy, $1.5 million construction project to bolster the former school-turned-historical society headquarters and town resource center. The face-lifts include a new archives wing on the lower level that provides state-of-theart, climate-controlled space to preserve the society’s extensive collection, and rooms on the main floor for work, meetings and indepth research projects with a large window that allows the public to peek. Outside, a new courtyard in front of the building includes a seating area and an Americans with Disability Act-compliant ramp for wheelchair users. The project was designed by the Huntington-based Hoffman Grayson Architects LLP and was primarily funded by local organizations and residents. Substantial contributions from outside sources included a $400,000 grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; and a $162,000 donation from Doris Buffett, the sister of wealthy investor Warren Buffett. She had conducted research into her Huntingtonbased family’s genealogy at the historical society and wanted to show her appreciation. “This was a very involved project but also a very worthwhile one,” said Robert Hughes, Huntington Town historian who joined the historical society in 1993. “It’s

Photo by Kevin Redding

A resident searches among the archives at the newly renovated Trade School Building on Main Street in Huntington, which were unveiled nov. 21. very satisfying to finally see this come to fruition. I think it reflects the importance of the historical society and the history of this town to so many people.” Among those excited about the new and improved facility are outgoing Supervisor Frank Petrone (D) and Supervisor-elect Chad Lupinacci (R), who both took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony. “They’ve developed this to the point where it’s very appealing to the public and it’s really some place that the public can go,” Petrone said. “The historical society has done a fantastic job. They’re a foundation in the Town of Huntington.” Lupinacci also recognized the significance of the historical society’s work. “Preserving history for future generations is very important,” Lupinacci said. “Now for

generations upon generations we can look back and be proud of our heritage and culture in the Town of Huntington.” In 1998, Hughes first conceived of making additions to the two-story building that was constructed in 1905 as a carpentry and sewing school for local young men and women. It became the society’s administration offices and archives center in 1982. There was a serious need for more space to store what seemed like an endless supply of town history, from family records and photographs to town maps to ledgers of old Huntington businesses like the W.W. Wood Company, which started in the 1790s with a general store in Huntington Harbor. It even reached a point where priceless relics of the town had to be packed away in boxes and society members had to turn away

donations from residents, according to Karen Martin, an archivist at the historical society since the 1970s. “Everything was very tight and we were running out of room,” she said, standing in the new archives wing, organized and catalogued on rolling shelves for maximized capacity. “This allows us to store our collections better, provide a better storage environment and gives us room for growth to keep on preserving and collecting.” Martin showed off to residents an account book for an old business called Lockwood Marble Works, which sat on Main Street at one point, which included sketches of tombstones it manufactured. “The value here is immeasurable,” Huntington resident Nishan Najarian said, as he explored the shelves with his 8-year-old grandson Owen. “It’s a great area for research and historical purposes and just a great asset to the community.” Tom D’Ambrosio, of Huntington Station, said the renovations cement the building as an educational institution. “The overall goal is to preserve the past so that people can understand what happened in Huntington and inform the value of the regional area,” D’Ambrosio said. “I think it’s a fantastic renovation.” Steve Eckers, a Huntington Lighthouse historian, said the renovations will make his own research easier. Within minutes of observing a scroll framed on a wall, he pointed out a last name that matches that of a Civil War-era lighthouse keeper he’s been researching. “Everything is nice and neat on the shelves and I no longer have to sift through a six-foot tall pile of boxes to find things,” Eckers said, laughing. “It feels like I’ve died and gone to heaven.”

Elwood voters approve building repairs, reject athletic upgrades By SARA-MegAn WAlSH Elwood taxpayers are willing to pay for critical infrastructure repairs to their schools, but turned down athletic program and field upgrades. Elwood School District residents approved Proposition 1 of a bond referendum by 718371 votes to make health and safety upgrades to the district’s four buildings Nov. 28. A second proposition to spend $3.72 million in enhancements to the athletic fields and other amenities narrowly failed, by a 508-577 vote. “My sincere appreciation to all residents who came out to vote,” Superintendent Kenneth Bossert said. “I think the voting results show the priority that Elwood residents place on education.” The approved bond proposition contains $34.5 million in capital projects including the replacement of the roofs in each of the four buildings — Harley Avenue School, Boyd Intermediate School, Elwood Middle School, and John H. Glenn High School — which was included due to leaks and flooding issues; and fixing sidewalks and pavement cracks. Large renovations are also slated for each of the individual buildings under Proposition 1. Three of the schools — Harley Avenue, El-

File photo by Kevin Redding

voters approved Proposition 1 of the bond referendum nov. 28, which includes funds to renovate the elwood Middle School auditorium seats, which are pictured above. wood Middle School and John Glenn — will undergo cafeteria renovations to install new ceilings, replace outdated lighting fixtures, replace damaged furniture and install new air conditioning systems. The intermediate school will have a new parking lot installed for approximately 60 vehicles as well as a newly designed parent drop-off loop for $260,000 to improve traffic flow. In both the middle school and high school, there will be renovations of art and family and consumer science classrooms. The district will move forward with hav-

ing construction plans drawn up by their architects and submit them to the New York State Education Department for approval, according to Bossert, which he said takes 12 to 18 months on average. “We are trying to make the roofs a priority, as the roofs leak and cause flooding during inclement weather,” Bossert said. “It doesn’t make sense to do any of the interior work before the roofs are fixed.” The superintendent said he hopes to have the plans submitted to the state as soon as possible, as the district will still need to go

through the bidding process for contractors prior to starting construction. He estimated it may be five years before all of the bond work is completed. “Having patience is important in this project,” Bossert said. The average estimated cost to taxpayers for Proposition 1 is $221 per year, or $18.32 per month, for a home with median assessed value. A calculator that allows homeowners to plug in their tax information for an exact quote is available on the district’s website. The failed Proposition 2 asked taxpayers for $3.72 million to make enhancements to the district’s athletic programs. It was separated from Proposition 1 by the board of education as it was expected to be a divisive issue. “The reason it is separate is there was division among opinions in the community,” Bossert said at September presentation. “Some members of the community were strongly in support of this proposed $3.72 million as something they can afford to invest in, other factions said, ‘We don’t feel that way.’” Proposition 2 would have permitted the district to build a new concession stand for the athletic fields with an outdoor bathroom, a synthetic turf field, sidewalks to make the fields ADA compliant and a new scoreboard for the varsity baseball field.



Small business owners weigh in on Black Friday, holiday shopping trends By kyle Barr For 40 minutes each morning when Marion Bernholz, the owner of The Gift Corner in Mount Sinai, opens her shop she lugs out all the product she keeps on the front porch all by herself. She does it every day, hoping the colors and interesting items will flag down cars traveling on North Country Road. Thanksgiving day she was closed, but on Black Friday she put out her flags, signs, decorations, not expecting many customers at all, she said. Black Friday is perceived as a day for gaudy sales for the bigger stores with nationwide brands, or the Amazons of the world, though it has become just the appetizer for a weekend synonymous with shopping. Instead, people flooded Bernholz’s store the weekend after Thanksgiving, and the customers kept streaming in even after Black Friday was days passed. “We were busy on Friday, way busier than we had been since the bust, when the economy went down,” Bernholz said, beaming with excitement. “Wednesday was a spike. Friday was a major spike. It was so busy Saturday that people couldn’t find parking. There was a line out the door.” At Elements of Home, a home and gift shop in St. James less than 12 miles from Gift Corner, the situation was different. Owner Debbie Trenkner saw Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday float by with only a small bump in sales, she said. Though she advertised, Trenkner said that she only received a moderate boost in sales that weekend with only 27 people walking through her door on Black Friday, and only about 70 Saturday when she said she expected to see hundreds. “After speaking to other retailers or feeling through the grapevine, all major events this year, Mother’s Day, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, we’ve done half the amount we’ve done in the past,” she said. “People do not shop local. Those that do are your 50-and-over crowd who do not like to order online. Younger people these days they are so attached to their phone, it’s their lifeline, in my opinion.” The similar local stores had polar opposite experiences during one of the busiest shopping weekends of the holiday season, though businesses overall this past Small Business Saturday, an event first sponsored by American Express in 2010, did very well though they fell short of 2016 numbers in total. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, 108 million consumers spent $12.9 billion Nov. 25. Despite the slight dip from 2016, the data shows a much higher number of consumers are making the conscious decision to shop locally on the biggest spending date of the year for small businesses. Stacey Finkelstein, an associate professor of marketing at Stony Brook University, said in a phone interview she has used psychological and behavioral economics to inform people about marketing problems, and she said a battle between instant gratification and the desire to support local stores is being waged for today’s consumers. “Another tension for a lot of consumers who face this dilemma layered on top of this is this ethical quandary, which is ‘I want to support businesses that are consistent with

Testimonials from North Shore independent store owners Huntington

Photo from einstein’s attic Facebook page

Small businesses like einstein’s attic in Northport, got into the holiday spirit on Black Friday. Owner lori Badanes said she had a great kickoff to holiday sales. my code of ethics and the values that I have as a consumer,’” Finkelstein said. That value-based sales pitch is important, especially when it comes to the services offered. Many local businesses surveyed after this Black Friday weekend across the North Shore agreed the services they provide, whether it’s free gift wrapping or the ability to make a custom product, or even the ability to offer hands-on help to customers trying to figure out what gift is best, are the types of factors that neither online nor most large stores can match. “I think the most important thing to do besides creating an emotional experience and offering, obviously, great service is to really think about the values of those consumers in the local town and try and tap into those local values, such as if a town is really interested in sustainability, or ethically sourced food,” Finkelstein said. One of the biggest questions that small business owners ask is whether young people are still willing to shop local. The consensus is they are the “plugged-in” generation, but that fact can be harnessed to work in favor of small business owners. “Social issues are particularly important for a lot of millennials,” she said. “You tend to see a lot of that. I definitely don’t think millennials should be written off ... I think what it’s about is that millennials have these ethically laden values where they want to buy things that are local, that are environmentally sustainable.” While many stores surveyed said this Black Friday weekend was “better than average” to “great,” there were several stores that did not see anywhere near the same boost in traffic. While the weather was nice, stores that didn’t meet expectations cited insufficient support from their local governments, or locations with little foot traffic, as their main deterrent.

Chip’n Dipped (chocolates, cookies and gift baskets) Owner Peter Goldfarb: “It doesn’t matter whether it’s good or bad, Black Friday is the type of holiday that doesn’t do anything for us. We’re a food business, when it comes to giving gifts of food, people want to get it closer to the date they give it, whether it’s Christmas or Hanukkah or whichever one. Our holiday season starts really in October when people place preorders. We did very well for Cyber Monday. We didn’t have any deals on Cyber Monday. As far as I’m concerned we have a big core returning customer base, and most of my business during the holidays is companies, not individuals. We have customers come back to us year after year after year. And because we have customers that come back for early buys, that is how we do most of our business.” Cow Over the Moon (sporting goods and toy store) Owner Brian Drucker: “I feel like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, definitely did better than previous years. I didn’t do any specific specials that I can think of offhand. It was a mixture of new people and regulars coming through. The big thing about a store like this being here for 23 years is that we have a steady number of regulars, but I saw a good crop of new customers come in. One of the things I also do is sports memorabilia, and Aaron Judge [who plays for the New York Yankees] is one of the hottest, hottest things in the world. He had one of the greatest rookie seasons ever in baseball, so we sold a bunch of Aaron Judge autographed memorabilia, some pretty expensive stuff. It’s hard to explain … why we did well. You never can tell you know, there was just a lot of people walking around. The town was pretty booming.”


Einstein’s Attic (children’s educational toys) Owner Lori Badanes: “We did great, it was wonderful. We offered a lot of in store promotions. We had an Elf on a Shelf here, we read a story to the kids and the kids got a notebook and a pencil. They got to fill out a wish list, then all the kids got to make an ornament. We had giveaways, and make your own putty on Saturday. We started planning this in the summer, back in August. We do it every year. We did better this year than other

years — 17 percent better. It was a nice jump. One thing is that we offered some light ups for an outdoor event. The kids got a lot of things to take home. I feel we’re a community-based business, and we support our community every chance we get.”


4th World Comics (Comics, figurines and memorabilia) Manager Terence Fischette: “We didn’t do too much in sales. We did a lot of half-price items, took out a lot of stuff we wanted to get out of the back room. We don’t really compete with any of the big stores when it comes to Black Friday. We ended up doing a lot better than a normal Friday because people are out and in the shopping mood. The weekend was kind of normal, but it was one of the better Black Fridays that we’ve had in years. You see some regular customers, you see some new people. Comics are definitely more popular now, people see the sign and they pull over. It’s a lot more gifts and toys. Whenever a new superhero movie comes out you’ll see kids coming in who want the new Captain America or the new Thor book. Black Friday is more of just toys, T-shirts and stuff like that. We have our own holiday sale on Dec. 16 and that’s one of our biggest holiday sales of the year.”

St. James

Elements of Home (home and gift shop) Owner Debbie Trenkner: “We offered specials, absolutely. We can’t do what big box stores do. We can’t do 50 percent off things and stuff like that. The way we view it is we are not in competition with big box stores. We do gift wrap for free. We give undivided attention. Everything goes up every year. Your rents, your utilities and your expenses go up. When you have decreases in the amount of traffic that goes in it’s inevitable. Why stay in business when you’re losing money? Soon there’s going to be a bunch of vacant buildings and Amazon is going to eat up all the property, create warehouses, and then they will be buying up all the property in the country and then we’ll all be owned by them. It’s a passion, small business. You work at it, you provide the best product. You’re relating a different kind of customer service that you don’t find anywhere else, and eventually you give up because it’s a losing battle. I can guarantee we will see more businesses close in Smithtown within a year’s time.”


Police Police Blotter

Incidents and arrests Nov. 25–30 You’re going the wrong way

A 29-year-old man from Huntington Station drove a 2012 Jeep the wrong way on a one-way street, Elm Street in Huntington, at around 3:10 a.m. Nov. 25, according to police. He was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated.


photo by SCpd

police are seeking the public’s help identifying the two women pictured above for stealing goods from a melville store.

Women steal from Melville retail store Suffolk County Crime Stoppers and Suffolk County Police 2nd Precinct Crime Section officers are seeking the public’s help to identify and locate two women who stole from a Melville store last month. Two women stole jeans, hiding the merchandise in their pants, from Mystique Boutique, located on Walt Whitman Road, Nov. 20 at 6:43 p.m. The women also damaged two shirts in an attempt to remove security sensors. The woman fled the scene in

a 2017 Audi QX80 with Massachusetts plates 8KK241, a rental vehicle. Suffolk County Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS (8477). All calls will be kept confidential. — SaRa-megan WalSh

Counterfeit cash passed in E. Northport eatery Suffolk County Crime Stoppers and Suffolk County Police 2nd Squad detectives are seeking the public’s help to identify and locate the man who attempted to use counterfeit currency at a restaurant in East Northport in October. A man attempted to pay for food with a counterfeit $100 bill at Mozzarella’s Pizza, located on Jericho Turnpike, Oct. 1. An employee advised the suspect that the bill was counterfeit and the man fled without the bill. Suffolk County Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS (8477). All calls will be kept confidential. — SaRa-megan WalSh

During a traffic stop on Pulaski Road in Huntington at around 10:40 p.m. Nov. 26, a 19-year-old man from St. James was found to be in possession of a quantity of marijuana, police said. He was arrested and charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.


At around 3:50 p.m. Nov. 26, a 23-year-old man from Melville drove a 2016 Honda Accord southbound on Manor Road in Huntington with a suspended license, according to police. He was arrested and charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle.

Cosmetic crimes

While at KMart on New York Avenue in Huntington Station, a 27-year-old woman from Lloyd Harbor stole assorted cosmetic merchandise at around 8:20 p.m. Nov. 27, police said. She was arrested and charged with petit larceny. An unknown person stole a makeup kit from Ulta Beauty in the Walt Whitman Mall on Walt Whitman Road in South Huntington at around 11:30 a.m. Nov. 15, police said. The incident was reported Nov. 30.

To pull over or not to pull over

A 52-year-old man from Huntington Station fled from police in a 2008 Nissan Altima on New York Avenue in Huntington Station at around 2:45 p.m. Nov. 28 after being directed to pull over multiple times, according to police. When he finally did pull over, on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station, he was found to be driving with a revoked license, police said. He was arrested and charged with third-degree fleeing from an officer in a motor vehicle and third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle.

Who’s in charge?

photo by SCpd

police say the above-pictured man had attempted to pay for food with fake cash.

When a police officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop at the corner of Manor Road and Cutting Street in Huntington at around 1:25 p.m. Nov. 30, a 19-year-old man from Ronkonkoma failed to stop, according to police. Police said he eventually did pull over but had multiple opportunities to do so. He was arrested and charged with failure to obey a police officer.

Public possession

At around 11:15 p.m. Nov. 28, a 37-yearold man from Huntington Station was carrying a quantity of marijuana in public on Columbia Street in Huntington Station, according to police. He was arrested and charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

Hit and run

On Nov. 29, at around 3:40 p.m., a 21-year-old man from Huntington Station was driving a 2014 BMW at the corner of West Jericho Turnpike and Avery Road in Woodbury when he struck another vehicle and fled the scene without stopping or exchanging insurance information, police said. He was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident.

Shopping for car parts

On Nov. 26, an unknown person took the tires and rims off a 2017 Dodge Ram, along with a taillight, headlight assembly and grill, parked on Village Drive West in Dix Hills at around 2:30 a.m., police said.

Apple theft

According to police, at around 5:45 a.m. Nov. 30, an Apple iPad was stolen from a 2012 Ford parked in front of a home on Holly Drive in Commack.

Door damage

On 6th Avenue in Huntington Station, an unknown person damaged two doors on a home Nov. 29 at around 11 p.m., according to police.

Residential thefts

Jewelry and cash were stolen from a home on Aster Street in Greenlawn at around 5:45 a.m. Nov. 30, police said. An unknown person broke into a Dodge Durango parked on Revona Lane in Commack Nov. 28 at around 10:30 p.m. and stole from it cash and medication, according to police. The incident was reported Nov. 29.

Early Christmas shopping

On Nov. 29, at around 8:15 p.m., an unknown person stole clothing from Lord & Taylor in the Walt Whitman Mall in South Huntington, police said.

Wrecked window

The window of a 2012 Nissan on Oakhurst Street in South Huntington was damaged at around 9:15 p.m. Nov. 28, according to police. The incident was reported Nov. 29. — Compiled by Kevin Redding


toWn Greenlawn Fire EMS squad wins national recognition By sArA-MegAN WAlsH

A group of Greenlawn’s bravest received national recognition for both their skill and dedication in taking care of their community. Greenlawn Fire Department’s emergency rescue services have been named 2017 Volunteer EMS Service of the Year by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT). Three members of the EMS squad traveled to Las Vegas to accept the award at the EMS World Expo opening ceremony. “The fact that our men and women were recognized above all other EMS units across the country is a humbling experience, but one they richly deserve for their unwavering dedication to the Greenlawn community,” said Doug Tewksbury, chairman of the board of commissioners. Michael Bellis, chief of the Greenlawn Fire Department, said that one of the paramedics had submitted the group for consideration of the award, without notifying the EMS rescue squad. It wasn’t until NAEMT selected Greenlawn to receive the honor that Bellis became aware they were even nominated. It is the organization’s first national award, according to the chief. “I thank my membership all the time for what they do,” Bellis said. “It’s great to see an organization of such magnitude recog-

Photo from greenlawn Fire Department

Mike trotter of Zoll Medical presents greenlawn Fire Department’s rescue squad with a national award accepted by Chief Peter Miller, Chaplin/eMt John Mckenna, Commissioner and ex-Chief scott Dalrymple, and scott Cravens, senior director and group publisher of eMs World Magazine. nize the membership as a whole for what they do without a second thought. Thanksgiving was the perfect example … I was confident my members would get up from the dinner table with their families, leave whatever they were doing and go help.” The Greenlawn EMS squad consists of 38 volunteer EMTs and three paramedics who answer approximately 2,300 calls annually.

The group does not bill for any of its services. The national organization honored Greenlawn because of its pilot programs and progressive efforts made to improve services for residents. NAEMT pointed to the district’s Lifenet system, which allows EMTs to transmit 12-lead EKG results wirelessly to a hospital to decrease medical response time in cardiac emergencies. According to Bellis,

Lifenet allows a doctor at Stony Brook University Hospital to review the diagnostic cardiac testing, and direct the patient to an appropriate hospital where staff is on standby read. “The hospital is waiting for us at the door and the patient bypasses the emergency room, going right to the catheterization lab,” Bellis said. “It saves valuable time.” The Greenlawn EMS squad has also implemented a “check and inject” program where responders carry syringes of epinephrine in case of anaphylactic shock. The chief said the program was started after members became aware of how the high cost of auto-inject EpiPens prohibited some residents from having access to them. Other unique traits of the Greenlawn Fire Department EMS that NAEMT recognized were its stretcher loading system that automatically lifts and secures patients into the back of ambulances, reducing the risk of injuries to responders; its in-house gym for members’ well-being; and its CPR campaign with community outreach to get local residents certified. “It’s a pleasure to accept this NAEMT award on behalf of all our brothers and sisters in the Greenlawn Fire Department,” said John McKenna, a 45-year department member and EMT for 40 years. “We are very proud of each of them and of all the ways in which they demonstrate their skills and compassion for every patient.”

County Toulon defeats Zacarese, will be next Suffolk County sheriff By Alex Petroski The wait is over. Nearly a month after Election Day, Suffolk County residents finally know who will replace outgoing Sheriff Vincent DeMarco (C) in 2018. Former Rikers Island corrections officer and captain Errol Toulon Jr. (D) emerged ahead of Stony Brook University Assistant Chief of Police Larry Zacarese (R) by a slim margin Nov. 7 in the race to be the next county sheriff, and after thousands of absentee ballots have been counted, Toulon’s lead has held up. “I am proud of the campaign we ran and the hard work of our volunteers,” Toulon said in a statement. “I look forward to combating gang violence and the opioid epidemic in Suffolk, and to introduce a strong re-entry program for those leaving county jails.” The victory makes Toulon the first African-American elected official in a nonjudicial countywide position in Suffolk’s history, according to campaign manager Keith Davies. “I think his experience just resonated with folks,” Davies said. “People wanted a sheriff that is ready to tackle the issues.” In an emailed statement through a campaign spokesperson, Zacarese said he was disappointed and announced, “We did not make up the ground we needed in order to prevail.” A spokesperson from the Suffolk County Board of Elections confirmed

File photo by rita J. egan

errol toulon, above, celebrates a small lead at the end of election night Nov. 7 at a campaign event in Hauppauge over challenger larry Zacarese, below. Toulon had won the race, though a final tally was not immediately available at the time of print. The spokesperson said Toulon held a 2,000-vote lead as of Dec. 1 with about 1,000 ballots left to be counted. “I want to thank all of the supporters and volunteers who spent countless hours working alongside me both on the campaign trail over the last year and at the Board of Elections over these last few weeks,” Zacarese said. “I am proud of the campaign we ran,

the honest and tireless work of our volunteers and the light that was shown on the electoral process here in Suffolk County. I wish the hardworking and dedicated men and women of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office only the best and congratulate Errol Toulon Jr. on winning the election.” Zacarese trailed Toulon by just 1,354 votes prior to the counting of absentee ballots, according to the Suffolk County Board of Elections. The absentee ballots

were counted by a bipartisan team of department employees in addition to representatives from both campaigns at the Board of Elections office in Yaphank over a few weeks. Nick LaLota, the department’s commissioner, said on election night at about 8:30 p.m. on Twitter the department had received more than 13,500 absentee ballots to that point, though more were expected. Toulon began serving as a corrections officer at Rikers Island in 1982 and retired as a captain in 2004. For two years he was assistant deputy county executive for public safety in Suffolk, and in 2014 he was named deputy commissioner of operations for the New York City Department of Corrections. “I’ve been able to learn a lot on various levels inside of a correctional agency, and while that’s not the entire makeup of the sheriff’s department, it is a good portion of it,” Toulon said during a pre-election interview. Toulon’s victory completes a sweep for the Democrats in the two high-profile Suffolk County races in 2017. Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini (D) defeated Ray Perini (R) with 62.08 percent of the vote in the Nov. 7 general election to secure the county’s district attorney seat, a position left vacant following the indictment and resignation of Tom Spota (D). DeMarco announced in May he wouldn’t seek re-election after 12 years in the position.



Groups receive grants to restore, protect LI Sound By Kevin Redding

Photo by Kevin Redding

U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, center, and representatives from community groups who work to improve the Long island Sound

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The future of Long Island Sound is in very capable, and now well funded, hands. Federal and state officials gathered Dec. 4 in East Setauket to officially announce $2.04 million in grants to support 31 environmental projects by local governments and community groups mostly in New York State and Connecticut actively working to restore the health and ecosystem of Long Island Sound. Of the 15 New York-based projects — totaling $1.05 million in grants — nine of them are taking place across Long Island, including Salonga Wetland Advocates Network in Fort Salonga and Citizens Campaign Fund for the Environment in Huntington, Smithtown and Riverhead. This year’s recipients of the Long Island Sound Futures Fund — a collaborative effort between the Environmental Protection Agency and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation — were encouraged by a panel of guest speakers to continue efforts to monitor and improve water quality; upgrade on site septic systems for homeowners; protect vital habitats throughout the watershed; and engage other residents to protect the 110-mile estuary. “This fund is supporting and celebrating real-life solutions — grassroots-based solutions — that make a difference in our quality of life, in our quality of environment and the overall fabric of our community,” said Peter Lopez, the regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, to a room of grant recipients at the Childs Mansion on Shore Drive in East Setauket, overlooking the Sound. “We have this amazing resource in our backyard and we have to support it.” The Sound, which was designated an estuary of national significance in the 1980s, supports an estimated 81,000 jobs and activities surrounding it such as boating, fishing and recreational tourism, which generates around $9 billion a year for the region. Lopez stressed that community involvement is the key to its perseverance in the future. U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who has long fought for federal funding and support for the estuary, was in full agreement. “Since I got to Congress at the beginning of 2015, I’ve been watching all of you and your advocacy is why we’re here today,” Zeldin said. The congressman addressed members of the crowd whose phone calls, emails, social media blasts and trips to Washington, D.C., he said served to mobilize elected officials around the importance of the Sound and its watershed and boost the funding of the Long Island Sound program to $8 million in May. “I just want to say a huge thank you for what you do,” he said. “It’s your spirit and hard work that got us to this point. It’s important we’re making our impact right now. What will be our legacy in these years to ensure the water quality, quality of life, economy and environment of Long Island Sound is preserved and protected? Because of all of you, the legacy will be that in 2017, we all gathered to celebrate more than doubling the funding for [Long Island Sound].” The LISFF was started in 2005 by the Long Island Sound Study and has since invested $17 million in 380 projects, giving way to the opening of 157 miles of rivers and streams for fish passage and restoring more than 1,000 acres of critical habitat, according to Amanda Bassow, the Northeast region director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. This year’s grants will reach more than 870,000 residents through environmental and conservation education programs, and will be matched by $3.3 million from its recipients. In New York, the $1.05 million in grant funds will be matched with $2.58 million from the grantees, resulting in $3.63 million in community conservation. One of the grantees, Mike Kaufman of Phillips Mill Pond Dam fish passage project in Smithtown, plans to restore the native migratory fish runs from Long Island Sound to the Nissequogue River for the first time in 300 years. “This is the final piece of the puzzle,” Kaufman said of the grant. “It’s an incredible, historic opportunity. We’re reversing 300 years of habitat destruction and these grants enable us to engineer the restoration.”



Santa Claus brings holiday cheer to Greenlawn All photos by Sara-Megan Walsh except top, middle left by Rachael Risinger

Greenlawn Civic Association in coordination with the Harborfields Public Library hosted Greenlawn’s 25th annual Christmas Tree Lighting Dec. 3. Santa Claus arrived on board one of

Greenlawn Fire Department’s fire trucks as residents sang favorite holiday carols together. Several local businesses donated food and hot drinks to the event. The civic association thanked residents and

local businesses for sponsoring 86 new wreaths to decorate the lightposts in town, with special thanks to Old Fields restaurant and Value Drugs pharmacy sponsoring five wreaths each.



Sini announces transition team for DA’s office In an exclusive interview, the district attorney-elect sheds light on his support staff and goals for his first term By Kevin Redding Restoring public trust in a powerful position, rebuilding a low-morale office and launching aggressive initiatives to move the criminal justice system forward is a lot to put on one person’s plate. But for Tim Sini (D), Suffolk County’s current police commissioner and district attorney-elect set to take office Jan. 1, it’s an all too familiar task and one he said he’s more than ready to tackle. Sini is replacing Suffolk County DA Tom Spota (D), who officially resigned Nov. 17 following an indictment for federal obstruction of justice charges. Spota pleaded not guilty to being involved in the cover-up of a civil rights violation by former Suffolk Police Commissioner James Burke, whose position Sini assumed in 2016. “I came into the police department and did an assessment of the office, interviewed people and turned over all the rocks,” Sini said during a discussion at John L. Barry Police Headquarters in Yaphank Nov. 28. “It’s an eerily similar situation now.” The 37-year-old Babylon native, who began his career as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York as a federal prosecutor, said his first step between now and January is to conduct a “top to bottom” evaluation of the DA’s office. This will include extensive interviews with every employee, gauging who to keep, who to remove and what the office’s strengths and weaknesses are; investigations into finances and documents; and taking a look at training and accountability protocols, he said. “My overall objectives for the job are clear and simple,” Sini said. “Reform the office, ensure we have the right people in the right spots for the right reasons, adopt best practices, and get the office focused on fighting crime, eradicating violent street gangs and aggressively addressing the opioid problem. From now until January, I’ll be putting in long days and nights, as will the members of my team, so we can hit the ground running on the first.” He said he also hopes to set up a Convic-

district Attorney-elect Tim Sini delivers his election night victory speech. tion Integrity Bureau and gang unit within the DA’s office. Another stated goal from the DA-elect is to form strong bonds with outside groups from civics to substance abuse organizations to the attorney general’s office. Sini added that he hopes to increase diversity in the office. “We’re going to be doing a lot of outreach to communities of color, working with professional organizations like the Amistad Long Island Black Bar Association,” he said. In order to help ready his administration, Sini assembled a 13-member transition team that was announced last week. The team is a bipartisan group of lawyers, community leaders, government and communications representatives, and criminal justice experts with years of experience in


fighting corruption, pushing transparency and serving the public, Sini said. “What’s consistent throughout the team is people with integrity who have a real desire to affect positive change in the district attorney’s office and the criminal justice system in general, which is in the best interest of the county,” he said. Co-chairing the team are David Kelley, a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and Sini’s campaign chairman, and Justin Meyers, the Suffolk County assistant police commissioner and head of the police department’s office of strategic communications. Other members of the team include Leslie Anderson, a former Suffolk County assistant DA and chief of that office’s Gang Investigations and Prosecutions Unit; John Barry, Suffolk’s first deputy police commissioner, whom Sini pointed to as a top criminal investigator who has mostly worked on narcotics and political corruption cases; former assistant DA and Bureau Chief William Ferris, who serves as a special prosecutor in the DA’s office and intended to run in the Republican primary for DA but backed out and later endorsed Sini; Connie Corso, a former budget director for the county; Howard Master, a former deputy chief of the Criminal Division and attorney in the Public Integrity Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York; and Evelyn Rodriguez, a victim advocate and community leader. “We have immense talent on this team and folks that really understand criminal justice, understand the district attorneyelect’s vision and goals, and understand how to do the things we need to do,” Meyers

File photo above by greg Catalano

said. “I think we have all the tools to get the job done and make sure there’s a seamless transition of power to put [Sini] in a position to start moving mountains on day one.” Kelley agreed, adding that Sini’s selections for the team cover a wide range of issues, all of which he said he views as crucial to the mission of the DA’s office. “Everything from budget to former prosecutors to people familiar with the operations of the office so that we cannot only assess who should stay and who should go, which programs should be enhanced, which should be eliminated,” Kelley said. “Tim’s vision for the office is to really get his arms around the current state of affairs, principally to restore integrity and transparency to the office. We really need to get under the tent and see exactly what’s going on.” Sini made it clear that regaining public trust will be a major focus in his first year. When asked what he intends to do about the nearly $2.7 million in bonuses Spota has awarded prosecutors since 2012, he said he and his transition team have already requested that the DA’s office cease paying them. He said the acting DA’s office, led by Emily Constant, has complied with that request. “I’m not saying I’m not going to fight for proper pay for my employees, but I’m going to do it in a transparent and appropriate way,” Sini said. “Public trust between the people and any law enforcement agency is critical. It’s incredibly important that we restore that trust, and while it’s not entirely certain to me when we’ll be at a place where I’ll be satisfied, I can tell you … starting now, moving forward, every single day, my team and I are going to be working to restore that trust.”



The boy photographed with FDR in Port Jeff in 1932 Randall Woodard, 97, reflects on meeting Roosevelt, a life and roots in the village, military service By Alex Petroski They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in one case, a picture is worth almost 100 years of history. On Dec. 7, 1941, 76 years ago to the day, then president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, delivered his “day which will live in infamy” speech during a joint session of Congress in response to Japan’s attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The address served as the precursor to the U.S. finally joining World War II and taking up the fight against the Axis powers. He went on to serve as president until his death in 1945, preventing him from completing his fourth term in office, a feat in itself, as no other American president has served more than two terms. In the summer of 1932 just before his first presidential campaign, Roosevelt, an avid sailor, made a recreational stop in Port Jefferson Harbor. At the time, Roosevelt was the governor of New York and the Democratic Party nominee for the general presidential election that fall. He defeated incumbent President Herbert Hoover to win the highest office in the land November 1932. During the visit, Roosevelt took a photo aboard a sailboat with two youngsters from Port Jeff, one of whom is still alive residing in the village. Randall Woodard was born Sept. 3, 1920, in his home on Prospect Street. His family has deep roots in Port Jefferson, though his ancestors can be traced back even further to Southold in 1664. “I wasn’t there that day,” Woodard quipped during a November visit to the Times Beacon Record News Media office in Setauket, accompanied by his youngest son, Warren, and Richard Olson, a longtime Port Jefferson School District history teacher who has since retired. Woodard’s father Grover was the school district manager in Port Jeff, and actually hired Earl L. Vandermeulen, who the high school was eventually named after. Mother Madeline worked in the elementary school under Edna Louise Spear, the eventual namesake of the same school. Though he said he didn’t meet any other presidents in his life, Woodard met Albert Einstein once, and his grandmother heard Abraham Lincoln give a speech in New York. Woodard went on to have two sons and a daughter, who were all raised in the Port Jeff house on Prospect Street until the 1970s. The photo of Woodard, his childhood friend Gilbert Kinner and the soon-to-be president of the United States is a cherished possession of the Woodard family. Warren joked there’s a framed copy hanging in every room of his house. Woodard said on the day he met Roosevelt that he and Kinner were sailing his family’s 12-foot mahogany vessel around Port Jefferson Harbor on a warm summer morning in June or July. At about 10 a.m., two or three seaplanes landed in the harbor and taxied over to the beach near the east end of the waterfront near the famous Bayles Dock. Woodard, who was 12 years old at the time, said he and Kin-

Photos from Warren Woodard

Above, 12-year-old randall Woodard, Gilbert kinner and New york Gov. Franklin roosevelt in Port Jeff in 1932. Below, Woodard and son Warren during a recent trip to Washington, D.C. ner noticed a large crowd gathering near the dock, so they decided to sail over and see what the commotion was all about. They approached the black yawl sailing craft tied to the dock with a man wearing a white sun hat seated in the cockpit. Woodard said he still remembers noticing the metal braces on Roosevelt’s legs and a pack of cigarettes on the seat next to him. “The whole waterfront of Port Jeff was people,” Woodard said. Roosevelt was waiting for his four sons, who were running late, to arrive to begin a vacation cruise. The Democratic National Convention had just selected him as the party’s nominee for the presidential election that fall, and it was too early to begin campaigning. While he waited for his sons to arrive, Roosevelt and the reporters milling in the vicinity suggested the candidate should be in a photo with the two boys. Woodard and Kinner boarded, and “Vote for Roosevelt” hats were placed on their heads to wear in the photo. Woodard recalled that Kinner took the hat off, tossed it in the cockpit and calmly said, “My father is a Republican.” Woodard said there was an even more memorable interaction from the meeting

when Roosevelt asked him, “How does the boat sail?” Young Randall responded, “I think I could take you.” He referred to the then-governor’s vessel as “badly designed,” with a laugh during the interview. He said eventually Roosevelt and the others took off sailing in the Long Island Sound. Woodard and his friend tried to keep up with Roosevelt for as long as they could until the soon-to-be president was out of sight. “We kids went to the movies for a week straight just to see ourselves on the Pathé News movies,” Woodard wrote in a 2004 account of the day. Woodard and his son Warren shared a story about seeing by chance a clip of 12-yearold Randall dancing on Roosevelt’s boat in a documentary about past presidents decades later. Warren said they purchased multiple copies of the documentary on DVD. Woodard’s life and interests would intersect with Roosevelt’s in other ways later in life. Daughter Tracy was diagnosed in 1949 with polio, which also famously afflicted Roosevelt. Woodard’s affinity for boating only grew after 1932, and he eventually went on to serve in the U.S. Navy, where Roosevelt

had previously served as the assistant secretary prior to his years as governor. The Woodards owned several sailboats and fishing boats through the years. In 1936, Randall and his older brothers, twins Martin and Merwin, finished tied for first among 2,000 other competitors worldwide for the Snipe Class International championship. Through the years he often competed in races and experienced more-than-modest levels of success. After graduating from Port Jefferson High School in 1938, Woodard attended The Citadel military college in South Carolina. “The war was on the horizon in Europe and a military college made sense at that time,” he wrote in 2004. He joked he and a high school friend went to Citadel because their grades were not good enough to attend the U.S. Naval or Coast Guard academies. “I was not a hero,” Woodard said. “If we didn’t have a Marine Corps we’d still be over there. I was in enough tight spots to know.” After graduating from The Citadel with a degree in civil engineering, he became a Seabee officer in the U.S. Naval Construction Battalions. The Seabees, as they were called — a play on “CB” for Construction Battalion — were deployed to Pearl Harbor in the aftermath of the Japanese attack to reconstruct damaged bulkheads, dredge the ocean floor to allow ships passage and assemble barges and causeways in preparation for an amphibious attack, according to Woodard. During his training prior to deployment while stationed in Rhode Island, Woodard was aboard the world’s largest sea tow, which was an experimental floating airfield slated for assembly in Alaska. The airfield was not needed, and broken-up pieces were used during the Normandy Invasion on D-Day. He was part of a mission headed to a series of islands in the Pacific near Japan in May 1944, weeks before the beaches were stormed in Normandy. Nine days after D-Day, aboard a craft carrying four barges Woodard was responsible for overseeing, the U.S. Marine Corps invaded Saipan, a Japanese-held island. Woodard and the Seabees contributed to the mission by using the barges to unload ammunition, gasoline and other supplies. One day a Japanese Zero aircraft flew low and attacked his flat steel barge with little options in the way of hiding places. He said he pulled out his handgun and fired two rounds at the aircraft, which eventually went down. “I probably missed, but the plane crashed into the side of a freighter,” he wrote in 2004. He said his barges survived for five weeks until the island was secure. After the victory over Japan, he spent six months at Navy Department Bureau of Yards and Docks in Washington, D.C., where he met Barbara Brown, whom he later married. Woodard said he remained in the Navy reserves for about 15 years. When he returned home, Woodard worked for years as a civil engineer. In the 1950s he was the resident engineer overseeing a series of contracts to construct the Northern State and Sunken Meadow parkways, and said he was responsible for the construction of all of the parkway overpasses in Nassau and Suffolk counties.



Photo by Jim Ferchland

huntington’s mekhi harvey passes the ball.

Blue Devils boys fall in final Photos by Jim Ferchland

huntington head coach Brian carey, above, talks to his Blue devils players during a timeout in the Kings Park boys basketball tournament. Kings Park head coach chris rube, below right, and carey, below left, coach their teams from the sidelines.

Huntington hoops takes part in Kings Park tournament to honor Gene ‘Pop’ DeGraw By Jim Ferchland Gene “Pop” DeGraw was a fixture in the youth basketball scene in Kings Park, cultivating talented players and poised young men. Now in its fifth year, the Kingsmen hosted an annual tipoff tournament in memory of their former coach. Four schools — Kings Park, Huntington, Plainedge and Commack — played two games each over the two-day event Dec. 1 and 2. Kings Park head coach Chris Rube met DeGraw when he was 22 years old in his first year teaching in the district. Rube volunteered as an assistant coach on the varsity boys basketball team, where he got to know the seasoned coach. He remembers him as much more than a well-versed instructor.

“He was always the epitome of class,” Rube said of DeGraw. “I admired how he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. I’m a basketball coach after a teacher, and I’m a teacher after father and a husband. His grandson Michael McSloy was on the team. I remember talking to him and really understanding how special that moment was for him. Not only was he a great coach, but a better person.” Huntington head coach Brian Carey is a Kings Park alumnus who said he practically grew up with the former head coach. Carey said he admired how much DeGraw loved his players. “Pop was the perfect assistant — he knew the kids,” Carey said. “He knew me, we were both Kings Park guys. No one could have been more perfect for Kings Park basketball.” The Kingsmen won the Long Island championship title in 2007 when DeGraw was the assistant coach. Carey coached Kings Park for 10 years, from 1997 to 2006, leaving just before the Kingsmen put up their magical season. “When I got here at Kings Park, the team wasn’t doing so good,” said Carey, who has been coaching for 20 years and was inducted into the Kings Park athletics department hall of fame in 2003. “A few years before I was at Kings Park, the team won four or five games, but the players have been through a system by Gene DeGraw. He was a gentleman and he was the best at getting the kids to come together.” The now Huntington head coach gave DeGraw the unpaid assistant coach position

Since 2013, Kings Park has an annual chamber of commerce-sponsored tipoff tournament. This year, the Kingsmen, Commack, Huntington and Plainedge competed over the two-day event.

Game 1

Huntington beat Commack 62-58 Dec. 1. Blue Devils senior Mehki Harvey led with 17 points, while classmate Nat Amato added 16. Commack’s top players were senior Nick Guaglione and junior Aidan Keenan, who scored 24 and 21 points, respectively. They were the only players in double figures for the Cougars.

Game 2

Kings Park easily outscored Plainedge 69-35. Senior Jason Hartglass and freshman Jack Garside each tallied 11 points for the Kingsmen. Senior Andrew Bianco added seven and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Game 3

Commack took down Plainedge 60-41 in the consolation match.

Game 4

at Kings Park, having known and graduated from high school with DeGraw’s cousin. The former assistant coach’s life was cut short due to a heart condition. Aside from being a coach, DeGraw was also a detective in the Suffolk County Police Department. Bill Denniston, a four-year Kings Park athletic director who was the ShorehamWading River athletic director back in 2013 said although he didn’t know DeGraw, he’s heard plenty of good stories. “From what I’ve heard, he was a wellrespected coach,” Denniston said. “It’s always nice to have this tournament to kick off the season in his honor.”

Kings Park edged out Huntington 5753, winning the tournament title for the third time in five years. Andrew Bianco, who was named tournament MVP, recorded 23 points and 12 rebounds. “He’s just tough as nails,” Kings Park head coach Chris Rube said of Bianco. With eight seconds left, Kings Park was up by two, 55-53, when freshman Jack Garside buried both free-throw attempts to seal the victory. Kings Park senior guard Zach Wolf scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half. He had three 3-pointers in the third quarter. “It was hard fought,” Rube said of the win over Huntington. “Huntington is pretty talented. Beating them was an achievement.”

Up next

Huntington’s boys basketball team will travel to William Floyd Dec. 9. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:15 p.m.



Photos from Huntington athletics

Lou giani, above, comes from a long line of wrestlers and coaches, and will be taking over his grandfather’s old position with Huntington wrestling. Lou giani sr., on right and below right with the most recent previous head coach Travis smith, was inducted into the new york state Public High school athletic Hall of Fame.

Wrestling continues to run in new Blue Devils coach’s blood Alumnus Lou Giani, whose grandfather the Huntington gymnasium is named after, will lead the wrestling team By Desirée Keegan Huntington alumnus Lou Giani has been named head coach of the Blue Devils varsity wrestling team. He replaces fellow grad Travis Smith, who stepped down to coach the wrestling team at J. Taylor Finley Middle School, where he teaches physical education. Giani is the son and grandson of Huntington wrestling legends. His father, Lou Giani Jr. won 1973 Suffolk County and New York state championships for the Blue Devils. His grandfather was Huntington’s head wrestling coach for 38 seasons, compiling a 416-32 record. Lou Giani Sr. is one of a handful of high school coaches enshrined in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He won a 1959 Pan Am Games gold medal and wrestled for the USA in the 1960 Olympics in Rome. “It’s exciting to be named the head coach of a program that has enjoyed so much success over the years and which has played such a prominent role in the life of my family,” Giani said. “I’m looking forward to developing a strong team that everyone in the community will be proud of.” Giani was the county runner-up at 152

pounds in 2000 as a senior. He went on to compete at SUNY Brockport and earned a master’s degree at Stony Brook University. He teaches physical education at Flower Hill Primary School. Joining Giani on the high school coaching staff for the 2017-18 season will be two more Huntington alums: Kieran Mock and Omar Santiago. Mock won the 1982 county and state championships for the Blue Devils and Santiago was a Suffolk runnerup in 2009. Mock was Huntington’s head coach from 2008 to 2013, compiling a record of 42-16 over five seasons. He was an assistant coach for the past four. He wrestled at Drake University, Hofstra University and SUNY Brockport, graduating from the latter with a bachelor’s degree in finance. Santiago wrestled at SUNY Oswego, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in technology education in 2014. He taught in Freeport for a year before joining Huntington’s faculty in September 2016. He coached wrestling at Finley last winter. A 1992 All-County wrestler for the Blue Devils, Smith stepped down as varsity head coach after leading the program for four seasons. The team went 40-13 over that span, including 5-3 last winter. He wrestled at SUNY Brockport, earning a physical

education teaching degree there before going on to obtain a master’s degree at Stony Brook University. Giani’s grandfather was Huntington’s first county champion and his father was the Blue Devils’ first state champ. His uncle Joe was the program’s first NCAA cham-

pion when he won the 150-pound title for SUNY Brockport, where he was a threetime All-American. Giani plans to build the program around a core group of returning veteran wrestlers and a talented group of matmen in the pipeline from the Finley program.

Bowlmor Long Island in Melville to take on Walt Whitman at 3:30 p.m. •The Huntington girls and boys fencing teams travel to Daniel Street Elementary School to take on Lindenhurst at 4 p.m.

•The Northport boys swimming team will visit host Brentwood for a 4:30 p.m. contest. The meet will take place at the Ross Building. •The Northport girls basketball team visits Half Hollow Hills East for a 6:15 p.m. nonleague game.

Upcoming games Dec. 7

•The Northport bowling team will host Hauppauge at Larkfield Lanes at 3:30 p.m. •The Harborfields girls basketball team will visit Rocky Point for a 4:30 p.m. contest.

•The Harborfields boys basketball team will host Rocky Point at 6:15 p.m.

Dec. 11

•The Harborfields boys bowling team travels to


School NewS Northport High School

Building a business

Northport High School students enrolled in the Virtual Enterprise class recently attended their first trade show at Hofstra University, showcasing their trendy clothing company. They named the company PORT Clothing. Virtual Enterprise classes prepare students to work in a real corporate environment by teaching them to create and set up businesses. With teacher and business guidance, students engage in the daily operations of running a business. The Virtual Enterprise Program has the added advantage of linking students in a global business network of 7,500 firms across 42 countries. At this event, students from 12 Long Island firms conducted business with one another, made sales and practiced their sales pitches for the upcoming trade shows in January and April.

Photo from Northport-East Norhtport school district

Goosehill Primary School

East Northport Middle School

Photo from Cold Spring Harbor school district

Backpack buddies

Goosehill Primary School in Cold Spring Harbor sponsored a schoolwide service project “Backpacks for Buddies” to help children in Puerto Rico who lost so much during the recent hurricane disaster. The goal was to collect 100 backpacks to show support in times of difficulty. The children donated new notebooks, crayons, markers, toys, snacks, pens, pencils, glue sticks and lunch boxes and filled each backpack with an assortment of items. Students also placed a personal letter in each backpack. One box was also sent specifically for teachers.

“This was truly a student-initiated idea, and the children were so proud of their efforts exceeding all expectations and filling 300 backpacks,” said teacher Lynn Herschlein. “They knew they were doing something kind for others…and it felt good.” Working with Island Harvest, approximately 100 backpacks will be distributed to displaced families from Puerto Rico now living in Long Island, and the remaining 200 will ship by container on Dec. 22. Two hundred backpacks were donated by the company STATE, which donates one backpack for every backpack sold.

Northport High School

Exploring technology

Northport High School juniors Alexia Kaloudis and Anne Catherine Unser recently graduated from the Women in Technology Program at BAE Systems in Greenlawn. This nine-week program hosts a consortium of high school students, where they engage in problem-solving and teamwork. Skills in both hardware and software are cultivated, and the program is an extension of the computer science and technology curriculums at Northport High School. The program provides female students who excel in math and science with a hands-on opportunity to explore careers in various areas of technology.

Photo from Northport-East Northport school district

Robotic designs

This year at East Northport Middle School in the Northport-East Northport School District, all technology education courses have incorporated the design and construction of VEX Robotics. In addition to constructing these robots, students are learning to code in a programming language called RobotC in order to operate their creations. In Thomas Mauro’s eighth-grade tech education class, students spent four to five days building their robots. They then had to tackle different assignments that required them to code commands for their robots. These commands included completing a 90-degree turn, hitting all four walls of a room, moving through a maze and more. After coding on the computer, students took the robots into the hallway and tested their commands. If they didn’t work, they brought them back to the computer and tried again. Lessons like these are essential for students to develop critical thinking, problemsolving, creativity and innovation. “It’s the 21st century ... and with the technology now available to us, every student should have at least a basic understanding of how to code,” said tech education teacher Mauro. The Northport-East Northport Middle School Technology Education Program supports STEM content and has been working diligently to expand academic and extracur-

Photos from Northport-East Northport school district

ricular opportunities for learners to study computer science, robotics and automation, and engineering design and modeling within a STEM framework. Pictured at top, East Northport Middle School students Arianna Soletti, Amelia Bernhard and Colin Vultaggio works on building and coding their robot in Mauro’s class. Pictured above left, eighth-graders Noah Gross and Tyler Mlodsinski test-run their VEX robot.


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ART & PRODUCTION GRAPHIC ARTIST. Excellent opportunity for recent college grad or PT student. Tuesdays and Wednesdays 9am-5pm. Experience with creative Suite software and pre-press experience a plus. Email resume to

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LITTLE FLOWER CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES OF NY SEEKS: Waiver Service Providers RN’S RN Supervisor Residential Clinical Director Nursing Supervisor Maintenance Mechanic III Direct Care Workers Child Care Workers Corporate Governess Mgr Entitlement Eligibility Coordinator Health Care Intergrator Valid NYS Driver’s License required for most positions. Little Flower Children and Family Services in Wading River NY. Send resume to: or fax to: 631-929- 6203. EOE PLEASE SEE COMPLETE DETAILS IN EMPLOYMENT DISPLAY ADS



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Is a high pitched sound the same as a loud sound?

Jane Smith Dr. of Audiology

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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.

FINE SANDING & REFINISHING Wood Floor Installations Craig Aliperti, Wood Floors LLC. All work done by owner. 25 years experience. Lic.#47595-H/Insured. 631-875-5856

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DECKS ONLY BUILDERS & DESIGNERS Of Outdoor Living By Northern Construction of LI. Decks, Patios/Hardscapes, Pergolas, Outdoor Kitchens and Lighting. Since 1995. Lic/Ins. 3rd Party Financing Available.105 Broadway Greenlawn, 631-651-8478.

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Home Repairs/ Construction HIGH LINER CONSTRUCTION Additions, All wood floors, installer windows & doors, commercial and residential, trim work, steel doors & metal stud framing, decks & much more, over 27 years experience, licensed/insured Lic#59262H. John A. Holdorff 631-375-6008

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EXTERIOR CLEANING SPECIALISTS Roof cleaning, pressure washing/softwashing, deck restorations, gutter maintenance. Squeaky Clean Property Solutions 631-387-2156

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BOB’S PAINTING SERVICE 25 Years Experience Interior/Exterior Painting, Spackling, Staining, Wallpaper Removal, Power washing. Free Estimates. Lic/Ins. #17981. 631-744-8859 COUNTRYSIDE PAINTING A Company built on recommendations interior/exterior power washing, expert painting and staining, all work owner operated, serving The Three Villages for 23 years, neat professional service, senior discount, affordable pricing, 631-698-3770. COUNTY-WIDE PAINTING INTERIOR/EXTERIOR Painting/Staining. Quality workmanship. Living/Serving 3 Village Area Over 25 Years. Lic#37153-H. 631-751-8280 LaROTONDA PAINTING & DESIGN Interior/exterior, sheetrock repairs, taping/spackling, wallpaper removal, Faux, decorative finishings. Free estimates. Lic.#53278-H/Ins. Ross LaRotonda 631-689-5998 WORTH PAINTING “PAINTING WITH PRIDE” Interiors/exteriors. Faux finishes, power-washing, wallpaper removal, sheetrock tape/spackling, carpentry/trimwork. Lead paint certified. References. Free estimates. Lic./Ins. SINCE 1989 Ryan Southworth, 631-331-5556

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SETAUKET LANDSCAPE DESIGN Stone Driveways/Walkways, Walls/Stairs/Patios/Masonry, Brickwork/Repairs Land Clearing/Drainage,Grading/Excavating. Plantings/Mulch, Rain Gardens Steve Antos, 631-689-6082 Serving Three Villages SWAN COVE LANDSCAPING Lawn Maintenance, Cleanups, Shrub/Tree Pruning, Removals. Landscape Design/Installation, Ponds/Waterfalls, Stone Walls. Firewood. Free estimates. Lic/Ins.631-689-8089



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THREE VILLAGE HOME IMPROVEMENT Kitchens & Baths, Ceramic Tile, Hardwood floors, Windows/Doors, Interior Finish trim, Interior/Exterior Painting, Composite Decking, Wood Shingles. Serving the community for 30 years. Rich Beresford, 631-689-3169

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RANDALL BROTHERS TREE SERVICE Planting, pruning, removals, stump grinding. Free Estimates. Fully insured. LIC# 50701-H. 631-862-9291


Tree Work ARBOR-VISTA TREE CARE Complete Tree care service devoted to the care of trees. Maintenance pruning, waterview work, sun-trimming, elevating, pool areas, storm thinning, large tree removal, stump grinding. Wood chips. Lic#18902HI. Free estimates. 631-246-5377 CLOVIS OUTDOOR SERVICES LTD Expert Tree Removal AND Pruning. Landscape design and maintenance, Edible Gardens, Plant Healthcare, Exterior Lighting. 631-751-4880 EASTWOOD TREE & LANDSCAPE, INC. Experts in tree care and landscaping. Serving Suffolk County for 25 years. Lic.#35866H/Ins. 631-928-4070 NORTHEAST TREE EXPERTS, INC. Expert pruning, careful removals, stump grinding, tree/shrub fertilization. Disease/insect management. Certified arborists. All work guaranteed. Ins./Lic#24,512-HI. 631-751-7800 SUNBURST TREE EXPERTS Since 1974, our history of customer satisfaction is second to none. Pruning/removals/planting, plant health care. Insect/Disease Management. ASK ABOUT GYPSY MOTH AND TICK SPRAYS Bonded employees. Lic/Ins. #8864HI 631-744-1577

Window Cleaning SUNLITE WINDOW WASHING Residential. Interior/Exterior. “Done the old fashioned way.” Also powerwashing/gutters. Reasonable rates. 30 years in business. Lic.#27955-H/Ins. 631-281-1910


Mailed to subscribers and available at over 350 newsstands and distribution points across the North Shore of Suffolk County on Long Island. 185 Route 25A (P.O. Box 707), Setauket, New York 11733 • (631) 751–7744




Mill Place Pl Miller Sound Beach Rocky Point Shoreham Wading River Baiting Hollow Mt. Sinai

k Stony Brook Strong’s Neck Setauket Old Field Poquott

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Open Houses



PUBLISHERSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; NOTICE All real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to advertise â&#x20AC;&#x153;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.â&#x20AC;? 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.

APARTMENT WANTED For mature, professional female, 1 bedroom, clean, attractive, unfurnished, Three Village, St. James, Mt Sinai area. No basement. 11/1 occupancy. 516-383-2562


Commercial Property/ Yard Space

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TIMES BEACON RECORD NEWS MEDIA Mailed to subscribers and available at over 350 newsstands and distribution points across the North Shore of Suffolk County on Long Island. 185 Route 25A (P.O. Box 707), Setauket, New York 11733 â&#x20AC;˘ (631) 751â&#x20AC;&#x201C;7744




Mill Place Pl Miller Sound Beach Rocky Point Shoreham Wading River Baiting Hollow Mt. Sinai

Stony Brookk Strongâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Neck Setauket Old Field Poquott

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The TIMES of Smithtown Smithtown Kings Park Hauppauge St. James Commack Nissequogue E. Fort Salonga Head of the San Remo Harbor

The TIMES of Middle Country Centereach Selden Lake Grove

The TIMES of Huntington, Northport & E. Northport Huntington Greenlawn Halesite Lloyd Harbor Cold Spring Harbor

Northport N th t E. Northport Eatons Neck Asharoken Centerport W. Fort Salonga Š89013









700’ on 25A (Main Rd). 6,000 sqft up + 3,000 sqft basement, J Bus Zoned, Office or Medical. 2.5 acres, FOR SALE $895,000 Approved Site Plan


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Thinking of Selling Your Business? Call For Free Appraisal.

Pizza/Restaurant - $23,000/wk, excellent rent and lease. 45 seats. $75,000. Taco Restaurant/Take Out - Western Suffolk, 16 seats Ronkonkoma area. 14k weekly. Good lease, High net. Ask 219k. American Restaurant - Suffolk North Shore, 40k weekly. 5,000 sq. ft. 190 seats. Great Rent, long lease. Ask 695k. American Restaurant - Suffolk County North Shore, 70k weekly. 5,000 sq. ft. Great Rent, long term lease. Ask 1.6 mil.


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OpiniOn Editorial

Letters to the editor

Shame on Tom Suozzi and his war machine

Stock photo

Small independent retail stores need federal support to remain competitive in today’s market.

Small businesses need tax cuts too Despite President Donald Trump’s (R) repeated campaign promises to support small business, we can’t help but notice the Republicans’ tax bill seems to take care of major corporations while leaving small business owners short changed. There’s no denying the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, both the House and Senate versions, promise a tax break to large businesses, particularly by permanently reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent down to 20 percent. If the bill is passed, companies that sell products internationally will also be shifted to a new territorial system, where their taxes would be based largely on their U.S. sales. What concerns us is the impact these tax reforms will have on the local restaurants and independent retail shops that line the North Shore’s main streets. It’s growing tougher each day to compete in an international market against online retailers and big box stores, and protecting small businesses is vital to Long Island’s communities. More than 99 percent of New York’s economy is made up of small businesses, which is defined as a company or firm employing less than 500 people, according to U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2016 report. The largest segment of small business is retail. Together, these niche boutiques, restaurants, bars, hair salons, law offices and more provide jobs to roughly half of New York’s residents, according to the 2016 report, with nearly 20 percent of the state’s small businesses reporting fewer than 20 employees. When the tax bill reached the U.S. Senate Dec. 1, several last-minute changes were made, including a provision to allow many pass-through entities, such as partnerships, limited liability companies or sole proprietorships, to increase their income tax deduction to 20 percent from 17.4 percent. It’s a change anticipated to help small business owners. It was a politically motivated move by the Republican Party to win over two holdouts, Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) and Steve Daines (RMontana), whose votes were needed to pass the bill. The GOP’s 2016 party platform recognizes that small businesses and entrepreneurs play a vital role in our economy. “Their innovation drives improvement and forces long-established institutions to adapt or fade away,” the platform stated. This begs the question: Why was a tax deduction to their benefit an 11th-hour concession to win votes? Why is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act focused on tax breaks and benefits for large corporations, not small businesses and the working middle-class citizens who own these businesses? Why are changes that would benefit small business owners temporary, like the ability to fully deduct business expenses, while the massive reduction in the corporate tax rate is permanent? As the House and Senate go back to the table to iron out differences in the bills, we are calling on Long Island’s congressional representatives to be forcefully proactive in ensuring every provision designed to aid small business makes the final cut. We recognize every member of Long Island’s congressional delegation has voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but for the financial health and well-being of Long Island’s downtown areas, we need you to do more.

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 or mail them to The Times of Huntington, P.O. Box 707, Setauket, NY 11733.

U.S. 3rd District Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) has made it clear where he stands — on the side of endless war, unlimited military spending and working for the benefit of the military industrial complex here on Long Island. Suozzi recently voted to expand military spending by more than $100 billion dollars, more than double the increase requested by President Trump (R). He has praised Trump’s attack on a Syrian airbase and called for new sanctions on Iran, despite the fact that the U.S. government has admitted that Iran is holding up its end of the nuclear deal. Suozzi refuses to call for the repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force, in which Congress gave the president a blank check to engage in military actions anywhere at anytime under the guise of the “war of terror.” At a recent town hall in Commack, Suozzi lamented American interventionism, but followed it up by saying as long as we need the oil, we will have to keep doing it in the name of “stability over chaos.” Of course, such immoral Machiavellian thinking ignores the fact that U.S. actions cause far more chaos than stability. Now, he is planning to lead a

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi meeting of military contractors on Long Island under the guise of a jobs program. There are many ways to produce jobs on Long Island, giving endless sums of money to the war machine is one of the least efficient and least

Photo by Alex Petroski

ethical ways to do so. Congressman Suozzi should be ashamed of himself.

Ronald Gendron Smithtown

Republican Party votes to increase your taxes Republicans just voted to raise your taxes — unless your name is Carl Icahn, Robert Mercer, or President Donald Trump, in which case, Merry Christmas! Sure, there may be some Long Islanders who won’t see their taxes increased by the Republican bill. They may get to munch temporarily a few peanuts swept their way by the Republican elephant. This to distract them from the mountains of cash going to big Republican donors who, as GOP politicians from Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-South Carolina) to U.S. Rep. Chris Collins (R-Clarence) of New York admitted, were the real sweethearts of this deal. Long Islanders will see a 10 to 20 percent drop in home values according to the Long Island Association, a business group. Financing for state and local needs will dry up. “Life as we know it is over on Long Island,” said Laureen Harris, president of The Association for a Better Long Island, another

business group. If you own a golf course or a private jet, the Republican tax bill is indeed a “beautiful” Christmas present. But if you pay state and local taxes, have a student loan or buy health insurance you’ll find a lump of coal in your stocking. Surprise! After 2025, even the pitiful middle-class tax breaks in the Republican plan disappear. Why is that? To finance the huge tax breaks for corporations, which are permanent. Some want to cleverly deflect attention from the Republican tax hike by complaining about New York state taxes. The fact is, for every dollar New Yorkers pay in federal taxes, they receive back 84 cents in federal expenditures. Meanwhile states like Mississippi and South Carolina receive far more than they pay in. The Republican tax plan makes this imbalance even worse. Could the Republicans be “punishing” New York for political reasons? It’s double taxation

however you spin it. Republicans were supposed to be the party of balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility. Instead their tax bill blows a huge hole in the deficit to give away a cornucopia of goodies to their wealthy donors. What hypocrisy. Guess who gets to pay for the after-party cleanup? You may find a hint next year when automatic Medicare cuts triggered by this tax bill go into effect. Next up on the Republican hit list: rolling back Medicare and Medicaid, and privatizing Social Security. This is what Trump means by “welfare reform.” “The driver of our debt is the structure of Social Security and Medicare for future beneficiaries,” proclaimed Marco Rubio (R-Florida), just before voting to drive the debt higher by $1 trillion or more on tax cuts for the rich. Even by politician standards the hypocrisy is breathtaking.

David Friedman St. James

Get into the mix. Participate in our reader forums @


OpiniOn Through the looking glass with an automated phone line

Hello and thank you for calling this multibillion dollar organization. We value your business. Please push ‘1’ to speak with someone in English.” “Beep.” “Thank you for calling. Please push ‘1’ if you’d like our address. Push ‘2’ if you’d like to find a store near you. Push ‘3’ if you need to hear your latest balance. Push 27 raised to the two-thirds power if you’d like to speak with a customer service By Daniel Dunaief representative.” “Huh?” “I’m sorry, we didn’t get your response.” “I’m getting a calculator. OK, got it. Beep.” “We understand you’d like to speak with a customer service representative. Is that right? Push the last two digits of the year the Magna Carta was signed [1215, actually] or ‘2’ if that’s incorrect.”

D. None of the above

“Beep.” “Please hold for the next available operator. We are experiencing unusually high call volume, by which we mean that you’re calling. The average wait time is nine minutes. We’re going to put you on hold, play mind-altering holiday music, and suggest, in an electronic passive-aggressive way, that you fend for yourself because this call won’t go the way you’d like.” “What?” “We mean that we’ll get to your call as soon as we can.” “Uh huh.” “Frosty the snowman” … “Jingle bells, jingle bells” ... “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.” “Hey, Buddy, did you do your homework?” “I’m sorry, I didn’t get that. Did you still want to speak with a customer service representative? “Yes, I was talking to my son.” “If you want to stay on the line, say ‘yes’ in two other languages.” “‘Oui’ and ‘si’?” “So, you want to stay on the line?” “Yes!” “Why?” “I have some questions and would

like to speak with a customer service representative.” “We will get to your call as soon as we can. In the meantime, have you seen our most expensive product this holiday season? You and your son Buddy will love it.” “What? Wait. I thought you were a machine?” “Out of the depths of despair and into the realm of the impossible comes a product so wonderful and spectacular that we’re offering it only to those people who waited on line for hours to see ‘E.T.’ or ‘Star Wars.’” “Wait, how do you know about the long movie lines I used to wait on? Who are you?” “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.” “Now you’re playing hold music?” “Dad? What’s the matter? Why are you holding the phone so tight?” “It’s OK, Buddy. I’m just trying to speak with someone at this awful corporation.” “Hi, this is Heidi. Can I get your first and last name?” “Hi, Heidi, my name is Dan Dunaief.” “Can you please spell that?” “Sure. Can you?” Silence.

“You don’t have much of a sense of humor, do you, Heidi?” “I have a great sense of humor. That wasn’t funny.” “Sorry. Please, don’t disconnect me. I just had a question about this product. You see, I’m not sure about the instructions.” “Oh, that’s not my specialty. If you hold on, I can connect you to our automated instruction line.” “No, please. I don’t like automated phone systems and would rather speak with a person. Can I speak with someone else at your company who knows about this product?” “The only other alternative is to send your request through the internet. We have an email address. Do you want that?’ “I have that. Can someone talk to me on the phone about this product?” “We don’t do that too much anymore. We have automated systems that are overseen by artificial intelligence programs. That’s your quickest route, route, route, route, route.” “Heidi?” “Yes?” “Are you real?” “Are you?”

I marvel many times at what the computer and the internet can do. For example, it is so much easier for me to write my column, rearranging words and whole paragraphs with just the click of the mouse and a couple of keys. Before computers, I practically drank whiteout. And as I am writing, if there is something to check or research, I can engage the internet, get the facts and continue the column with only that brief interruption. So much for the encyclopedias of my youth. But I still believe there will always be a place for pen and paper. There are instances where jotting something down quickly is easier and time saving compared to pulling out the computer, turning it on, finding the right file and typing in the info. And then there is my real problem with computers and the internet: addiction. Most people, especially parents with teens, would agree that electronic devices are addicting. It is difficult to get kids to put down their cellphones in favor of conversation. Researchers in Utah are even studying a spike in teen suicides there in the last five years

to see if there is a connection. Some 14 percent of the teens had recently lost privileges to use their electronics. Further there has been an increase in teen suicides from 2010 to 2015 across the nation, at the same time as social media use has surged. Teen suicides had declined in the two previous decades, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Much more research is required before deciding cause and affect here, but anonymous bullying, made possible by Facebook or Twitter and other social networking services, in addition to relationship problems thought to result from diminishing face-to-face interaction, need to be evaluated. It is not just kids who are so attached to their electronics. I chuckle when I see couples or whole families in restaurants, awaiting their food orders, completely absorbed in their cellphones. Then I feel sad for them. Conversation with people I enjoy is such a major part of life’s pleasures for me, and these phone addicts are missing that opportunity. I can only hope they are texting each other.

What did you mean, professor?


ere is an interesting bit of research about our friendly computers, one which some of us had already intuited. I will quote from an article in the Nov. 26 edition of The New York Times Sunday Business section: “[A] growing body of evidence shows that overall, college students learn less when they use computers or tablets during lectures. They also tend to earn By Leah S. Dunaief worse grades. The research is unequivocal: Laptops distract from learning, both for users and for those around them.” Wow! That means a victory for pen and paper. That means classrooms filled with students busily typing notes as the lecturer speaks are doing themselves a disservice. Ditto for those paying big bucks to attend seminars,

Between you and me

workshops and the like, who are shortchanging themselves. “In a series of experiments at Princeton and the University of California, Los Angeles, students were randomly assigned either laptops or pen and paper for note-taking at a lecture,” The Times reported. “Those who had used laptops had substantially worse understanding of the lecture, as measured by a standardized test, than those who did not.” Also those students who routinely used laptops in class did significantly less well at the end of the semester. Because the notes taken on laptops more closely resembled transcripts than lecture summaries, the theory goes that the lecturer’s words go straight to the students fingers, which are typing faster than they can write, without going through their brains first for processing. To take notes by hand, the listener has to abridge the lecturer’s words in order to keep up and so must consider the essence of what is being said. Enter the brain. Honestly, I am not a Luddite, looking to smash modern inventions and disavow progress. On the contrary,

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11/21/17 3:00 PM

The Times of Huntington-Northport - December 7, 2017