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The VILLAGE BEACON RECORD M O U N T S I N A I • M I L L E R P L AC E • S O U N D B E AC H • R O C K Y P O I N T • WA D I N G R I V E R • S H O R E H A M

Vol. 35, No. 9

September 19, 2019

State audit lands Mount Sinai Fire District in hot water Fire district says it works hard to cut costs despite state mandates

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U.S. Postal Service honors Walt Whitman with new stamp Also: Our House special supplement, ‘Sunset Blvd.’ opens at the Engeman

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PAGE A2 • THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD • SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

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FUNERALS • CREMATION • PRE-PLANNING • GRIEF SUPPORT Rob Bentivegna points to the windows that had been reinstalled in the old Lecture Room’s interior. Photo by Kyle Barr

BY KYLE BARR KYLE@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM At the tip between Hallock Landing and Rocky Point Landing roads, the old schoolhouse building, known as the Lecture Room, stands with its luminous white siding and large, red door. It’s situated like a moment out of time. For Rob Bentivegna, a member and general handyman at the Rocky Point Fire Department, it’s a beaming example of more than two years’

worth of work to restore a historic property. “This was all stuff the fire district wanted to do, but the estimates were so high,� Bentivegna said. “I said, ‘Let me do it, it’s what I did for a living.’� In March 2017, the Rocky Point Fire District bought the 0.92-acre property across from the fire department building on Hallock Landing. The site was to be used in the construction of HISTORIC BUILDING Continued on A5

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PAGE A4 • THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD • SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

Mount Sinai State audit finds Mount Sinai Fire District overestimated spending BY LEAH CHIAPPINO LCHIAPPINO@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM A New York State audit has left the Mount Sinai Fire District to review its finances after concluding it had too large a surplus of funds. A state comptroller’s report released Aug. 23 found officials at the Mount Sinai Fire District raised taxes unnecessarily at a rate of $64,000, or 4.3 percent, over a four-year period. Due to the district overestimating its spending needs by $312,554 between Jan. 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2018, and underestimating revenue, the district has operated on a surplus of $383,664 over four years. The report found the board transferred almost all of the operating surplus to its reserve funds, leaving the district’s unrestricted fund balance virtually empty. The report states taxes needed to be increased, which resulted in the hike. The district did not adopt a fund balance policy, a reserve policy, a multiyear financial plan or include an estimate of fund balance when it adopted the budget. The comptroller’s office says multiyear planning “can be a vital tool to set long-term priorities and work toward goals.” It added the district “should adopt a fund balance policy that

Mount Sinai Fire District has been the subject of a New York State audit. Photo by Kyle Barr

addresses the appropriate levels of fund balance to be maintained from year-to-year and provides the board with guidelines during the budget process.” The district is a public entity run through the state, separate from the Town of Brookhaven. It is governed by a five-seat elected board of fire commissioners, who are responsible for managing the district’s finances, as well as “safeguarding” its resources. The district is separate from the fire department. In a response letter dated Aug. 9 included in the report, board Chairman Joseph Tacopina said the board will adopt an amendment to the reserve policy that will set funding balances for reserve accounts and be “more diligent in the

documentation of the specific intentions for any year-end appropriations transferred into those established reserve accounts.” Spokesperson for the comptroller’s office Tania Lopez declined to comment on the audit, stating in an email that it “pretty much speaks for itself.” The district totaled $27,203 in spending with cases where it didn’t seek the required number of quotes in 2017 for goods and services. The comptroller’s office said it found multiple services for cheaper than the district purchased. For instance, a car repair shop was paid $3,125 in June, 2017, for body repairs and truck

painting before the district got the two verbal quotes required. In the report, the comptroller’s office said district manager Larry Archer stated there were “limited vendors who could do this work locally,” and the shop was a “sole source vendor.” The comptroller’s office replied it would not be a sole source vendor if there were limited vendors. In another case, the district purchased lighting fixtures for $2,030. In doing an online search, the comptroller’s office found the same fixtures for $1,628. In an email, Tacopina reaffirmed claims that the board is doing all it can to be fiscally responsible and added the state restrictions hinder its scope. “The Mount Sinai Fire District has consistently submitted budgets at or below the instituted New York State mandated 2 percent tax cap,” he said. “The Mount Sinai Fire District works each year successfully to cut costs and conserve the community’s tax dollars. This is despite all the mandates imposed by New York State and the federal government. Those cost savings are transferred each year to reserve funds. These funds are used to improve and maintain fire district property, purchase life saving equipment and fire apparatus.”

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SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 • THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD • PAGE A5

HISTORIC BUILDING Continued from A3

a new EMS vehicle garage to bring EMTs closer to the Rocky Point/Sound Beach edge of the district line. In addition to the garage site, the property also came with the 2,000 square foot building known as the Rocky Point Lecture Room, also as the community church and Parish Resource Center. The whole property came with a price tag of $250,000. With occasional help by fellow fireman Frank Tizzano, Bentivegna renovated and transformed what was once a termite-infested ramshackle building north of the Lecture Room. He transformed another building into a maintenance facility. But he didn’t stop there. It’s since become part passion project, part public service. The building is now being used for meetings and even for cheerleaders to practice. When Bentivegna first came onto the project, vines had wormed their way under the walls and were crawling up along its inside. The windows were falling out of their frames and had been covered by plexiglass because they had been broken on the inside. The basement would flood during every storm. The roof was falling apart. Once work began, the fire district maintenance manager said local residents came forward. They each had old photographs of the building, showing how it looked from the 1940s, and even further back to the 1920s. “That door is the same color door as it was in 1927,” he said. The Lecture Room now has a completely new roof and new windows. He spent months searching for a company that would re-create

The Lecture Room’s interior was remade with new walls, ceilings and windows. Photo by Kyle Barr

the classic look of the crossbars on the windows. Inside is new carpeting, ceiling and walls. He even installed the walls and plumbing for a bathroom to the rear of the structure. Outside, the front door gleams with new paint, but all the doors’ glass are the original, hand blown windows. The tower above the front door and chimney to the rear are also original. Fire Commissioner Kirk Johnson said Bentivegna worked near tirelessly on the project, often using his off time when not doing repairs at district buildings. In one case, the window shutters needed to be replaced, but nothing that could be bought matched how they looked historically. The maintenance worker instead crafted the shutters by hand. “He really wanted it to look like it did back in the day,” Johnson said. The handyman has plans come Christmas season as well. A tree in front of the building fell down during a storm earlier this year, landing full across the road. After removing it, Rocky

RPSD remembers 9/11 BY DAVID LUCES DLUCES@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM

Students, teachers and administrators filled the Rocky Point High School auditorium for its annual program commemorating the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The event, spearheaded by social studies teacher Rich Acritelli, brought in members of the Rocky Point VFW and Suffolk County Police Department. Speakers this year included representatives from the FealGood Foundation, first responders and survivors of the attacks. All of the students in attendance were not even alive during the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Anthony Flammia, the director of community outreach for the FealGood Foundation, spoke about his experiences serving on the New York Police Department’s highway patrol on 9/11 as well as working with the organization that supports and advocates for the first responders when the towers fell. “In 2005, the foundation was founded by construction worker John Feal who because of

his time working at Ground Zero caused him to lose part of his foot,” the Miller Place resident said. “He had to advocate for himself as no one in government believed that these illnesses were due to his work at Ground Zero.” The foundation advocates for first responders rights and has assisted in the passage of 13 9/11-related health bills at both the state and federal level. It has also donated $6.5 million to both uniform and nonuniform first responders who are in need of financial help. He also spoke about the foundation working with Jon Stewart, comedian and former host of “The Daily Show” and how he walked the halls of Congress with them to advocate for first responders rights. To help give students an idea of what it was like 18 years ago from a student’s perspective, the district asked Lila Nordstrom, who was a student at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, speak about how she had witnessed the attacks from her classroom. “My teacher taught through the collapse of the first tower, he taught for a good hour as a crisis was happening outside our windows,” she said. “We didn’t know what else to do and when we fi-

Point-based Long Island Elite Landscaping Construction stepped in to supply a new pine tree, one Bentivegna plans to decorate along with the building for a bright and colorful tree lighting ceremony come December. Arnie Pellegrino, the owner of Elite Landscaping, has lived across from the building for more than a decade, saying he had once provided landscape designs to the previous owners, but nothing came of it. Once the fire district and Bentivegna got their hands on the property, he said, things have finally changed for the better. “He’s a good man, he’s a good contractor,” Pellegrino said of Bentivegna. “He thinks about the neighbors.” The Rocky Point Historical Society posted to its Facebook page thanking the fire district for keeping the historical building alive. “We’re happy the fire department has saved the building and preserved it because it is a special historic site for the community of Rocky Point,” said historical society President Natalie Aurucci Stiefel. “We applaud their efforts to take care of the building.” The building was built in 1849 on land donated by Amos Hallock of the famed local

Hallock family. It was built to serve the community as a lecture room and an extension of the Mount Sinai Congregational Church for the local area, getting together to raise $500 to erect the building. Stiefel said once the local oneroom schoolhouse became too crowded, people taught school out of the building as well. Later the Long Island Council of Churches declared it as a Parish Resource Center. Johnson applauded Bentivegna for all the work he’s done, not just with the church but with buildings around the district. He said without the energy of its handyman the district would need to constantly pay outside contractors. Instead, Bentivegna jumps in saying he can take care of it. “He deserves a ton of credit for the way that place looks,” the commissioner said. But the fire district handyman said he doesn’t want to take all the credit. He thanked the district for its years of support and willingness to let him do what he needed to do with little hand holding. There are still finishing touches Bentivegna is looking to add to both the building’s exterior and interior. The next step is to replace the rotting back deck with new wood, adding ramps to make it accessible for wheelchairs and people with disabilities. He is currently working on the basement, where the district has stored numerous items from the other firehouse located on King Road, which is currently being rebuilt. The plan is to use the basement for washing gear after a fire, which is now mandated by New York State. After replacing the basement windows, he plans to make the basement a sort of training room, with removable walls for firefighters to practice search and rescue. It’s at least another year of work, but for the Rocky Point handyman, he’s nothing but excited to see the entire project come to completion. “I never once looked for someone to tap me on the back,” he said. “I did this with the love of making something what it used to be.”

Social studies teacher Rich Acritelli (far right) welcomes students and guests to Rocky Point’s annual 9/11 memorial ceremony. Photo from RPUFSD

nally evacuated, we were just told to run North.” She also spoke about when she and her classmates returned to the school, cleanup at Ground Zero was in full swing. Many were unaware at the time that due to the close proximity to the cleanup the school was contaminated. In 2006, Nordstrom became a 9/11 activist. She has worked to bring awareness to the school children who were exposed to toxic fumes during the cleanup and has worked with

the FealGood Foundation in advocating for 9/11 health bills. “It gave something positive to move forward out of that trauma,” she said. At the conclusion of the program, Acritelli spoke on the importance of this event. “It is just very important, some of these students weren’t even born yet,” he said. “[Today] was very powerful, it is important that they know what emergency personnel and residents


PAGE A6 • THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD • SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

Top 5 most-read articles at TBRnewsmedia.com 1. PJ Village changes code in response to apartment dilemmas 2. Three Village school district parents say it’s time for a new start 3. Portion of Stony Brook Road undergoing nearly $1.9M makeover 4. Police: 17-year-old stabbed in leg in Terryville 5. Time to jam at 8th annual Fiddle & Folk Festival in East Setauket Every week TBR newspapers will be listing its most read articles on its website. Check out our website at www.tbrnewsmedia.com and our next issue for more local North Shore news.

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LEGALS

Notice of formation of OHoneyFarm,LLC. Arts of Org. Filed with Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) on 07/16/2019. Office location: Suffolk County. SSNY has been designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it maybe served. SSNY shall mail a copy of the process to the LLC: PO Box 864, Upton, NY, 11973. Purpose: Any lawful purpose. 847 8/15 6x vbr Notice of formation of Finesse Painting and Home Improvement LLC. Articles of organization filed with the Secretary of State of New York SSNY on 5/28/19. Office located in Suffolk. SSNY is designated for service of process. SSNY shall mail copy of any process served against the LLC to 3 Rexmere Ave, Farmingville, NY 11738. Purpose; any lawful purpose. 849 8/15 6x vbr Notice of formation of Sentinel Studios LLC. Arts of Org. filed with Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) on 08/05/2019. Office location: Suffolk County. SSNY has been designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of the process to the LLC: P.O. Box 382, East Setauket, NY, 11733. Purpose: Any lawful purpose 852 8/15 6x vbr

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Email: legals@tbrnewsmedia.com Notice of formation of Ruppert Technologies, LLC. Articles of Organization filed with the Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) on 07/30/2019. Office located in Suffolk County. SSNY has been designated for service of process upon whom process against it may be served . SSNY shall mail copy of any process served against the LLC: 1 Fox Hunt Lane, Setauket, NY 11733. Purpose: any lawful purpose. 898 0905419 6x vbr Notice of formation of DR Lease Consulting LLC. Articles of Organization filed with the Secretary of State of New York SSNY on the 16th day of August 2019. Office located in Suffolk County. SSNY has been designated for service of process. SSNY shall mail copy of any process served against the LLC: 21 Tammy Drive, Mount Sinai New York 11766. Purpose: any lawful purpose. 912 9/12 6x vbr NOTICE OF SALE SUPREME COURT COUNTY OF SUFFOLK FREEDOM MORTGAGE CORPORATION, Plaintiff AGAINST Allan Kiezel AKA Allan W. Kiezel, AKA Allan W. Kiezel, Jr. and Christine Kiezel AKA Christine L. Kiezel, AKA Christine L. Toole, et al., Defendant(s)

Pursuant to a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale duly dated February 26, 2019 I, the undersigned Referee will sell at public auction at the Brookhaven Town Hall, 1 Independence Hill, Farmingville, NY 11738, on October 18, 2019 at 10:15AM, premises known as 4 SYLVESTER COURT, ROCKY POINT (TOWN OF BROOKHAVEN), ND 11778. All that certain plot piece or parcel of land, with the buildings and improvements erected, situate, lying and being in the Town of Brookhaven, County of Suffolk and State of New York, DISTRICT 0200, SECTION 032.00, BLOCK 06.00, LOT 013.016. Approximate amount of judgment $540,760.90 plus interest and costs. Premises will be sold subject to provisions of filed Judgment for Index# 601551/2017. Todd Eric Houslanger, Esq., Referee Gross Polowy, LLC Attorney for Plaintiff 1775 Wehrle Drive, Suite 100 Williamsville, NY 14221 902 091919 4x vbr

County

Suffolk announces 11 more mosquito samples contain West Nile virus BY KYLE BARR KYLE@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM Suffolk County Department of Health Services announced 11 more mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus, with several samples collected across the North Shore. Two samples were collected in Rocky Point, one sample from Northport, one other from Melville Other samples were collected in Holtsville, Mattituck and Greenlawn. New York State’s Department of Health informed county health officials Sept. 13 the new samples bring the total reports of West Nile virus amongst mosquitoes to 68. Four birds have tested positive for West Nile so far, but no humans or horses have tested positive in the county. Dr. James Tomarken, the county commissioner of health, reiterated the need for people to report dead birds or look out for other symptoms of the virus. “The confirmation of West Nile virus in mosquito samples or birds indicates the presence of West Nile virus in the area,” he said. On Sept. 17, the health department reported two men from West Islip were infected with West Nile in August. Both have been discharged from the hospital. Last month, 10 mosquito samples tested positive for the virus. Three samples had been found in Rocky Point, with others located in Commack and Huntington Station, among others. West Nile virus may cause a range of

Obituaries

Sister Veronica McCormack

Sr. Veronica McCormack, born in Brooklyn and of the Daughters of Wisdom convent in Sound Beach passed Aug. 28. She was 86. Services were held at Moloney’s Port Jefferson Station Funeral Home, while a funeral Mass was held at St. Louis De Montfort R.C. Church in Sound Beach. She was interred at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram.

Stock photo

symptoms, from mild to severe, including fever, headache, vomiting, muscle aches, joint pain and fatigue. There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus. Patients are treated with supportive therapy as needed. The best way to handle local mosquito populations is for residents to eliminate standing or stagnant water pools in their local areas. People are also encouraged to use long sleeves, pants and socks and use mosquito repellent. The virus came to New York City 20 years ago this summer, and samples are usually found in summertime when the mosquito population is most active. Cases, in the intervening years, have become relatively rare. To report dead birds, call the county Public Health Hotline at 631-787-2200 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Residents are encouraged to take a photograph of any bird in question. To report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water, call the Department of Public Works Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270.

Claire Chetuck

Claire Anne Chetuck, of Mount Sinai, passed July 31. She was 93. Born in Carle Place in the Town of Hempstead, she was the beloved wife of the late Leon. She was the devoted mother of Leon, Philip, Peter, Claire and the late Maria. Services were held at Moloney’s Port Jefferson Station Funeral Home, with funeral Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel R.C. Church in North Patchogue. A cremation ceremony was privately held at Nassau Suffolk Crematory in Lake Ronkonkoma.


SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 • THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD • PAGE A7

University

SBU professor indicted for allegedly stealing thousands from research funds BY RITA J. EGAN RITA@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM An associate professor from Stony Brook University, who has been placed on administrative leave, is pleading not guilty to charges that he allegedly stole thousands from funds that were allocated for cancer research. The United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York, announced Sept. 12 that Geoffrey Girnun, an associate professor at Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, had been arrested and indicted for stealing more than $200,000 in cancer research funds, allegedly using the stolen funds in part to pay his mortgage. One of Girnun’s attorneys, Steven Metcalf II of Metcalf & Metcalf P.C. in Manhattan, said in an email statement that he is asking that the public does not rush to judgment. “Mr. Girnun’s defense team, including attorney Steven Siegel and my firm, are still putting all the pieces together,” Metcalf wrote. “We will continue to challenge the validity of these charges and whether the facts are fundamentally flawed. Once all the smoke clears there will be a completely different picture of Mr. Girnun, who is a family man, a loving husband and a Harvard-educated professional entirely devoted to his family and work.” SBU officials are shocked over the alleged actions. “The university is outraged and appalled by the allegations that led to the arrest of Geoffrey Girnun today,” an official statement from

the university read. “This alleged behavior is absolutely contrary to the ethical and professional standards expected of our faculty. The university has fully cooperated with the investigation and at this time is considered by the FBI as a victim in this matter.” The professor was charged in a sevencount indictment with theft of state and federal government funds, wire fraud and money laundering. He allegedly submitted fraudulent invoices for research equipment to SBU from sham companies he created to conceal his theft of funds from cancer-related research grants issued by the National Institutes of Health and SBU. “Professor Girnun’s alleged theft of federal and state grant funds earmarked for cancer research can be explained in two words: pure greed,” said U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue in a statement. “He will now be held to account in a federal courtroom.” Scott Lampert, special-agent-in-charge from the U.S. inspector general’s office,was in attendance when the charges were announced. “Taxpayers fund medical research with the hope that promising scientific breakthroughs will result in much-needed treatments and cures for patients,” Lampert said. “Because the money for medical research is limited and the need for scientific advances is great, it’s incredibly important to clamp down on those who would steal such grant money for personal gain.” If convicted, Girnun faces up to 20 years imprisonment. Girnun was featured in a March 25, 2015, TBR News Media article. At the time, the researcher was exploring the role of different

SBU associate professor Geoffrey Girnun has pleaded not guilty to charges that he allegedly stole state and federal government funds. File photo

proteins that either promote or prevent various cancers. The one particular protein in the liver cell he was studying is one that classically regulates the cell cycle, according to the article. Girnun discovered that the protein promotes how the liver produces sugar, in the form of glucose, to feed organs such as the brain under normal conditions. In diabetic mice, the protein goes back to its classic role as a cell cycle regulator. Girnun made the move to SBU from the University of Maryland in 2013 and said at

the time he was inspired by the opportunity to create something larger. “I want to build a program in cancer metabolism,” he said. “I want to build something beyond my own lab.” At the time of the 2015 article, Girnun was temporarily commuting from Maryland. The statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office now lists him as a resident of Woodmere. Girnun is scheduled to return to court Oct.4 after being released on $250,000 bond.

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PAGE A8 • THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD • SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

Rocky Point

Wading River

Gabriela Schwender and Deborah Scalione have created a mobile craft workshop, like a foot truck for hand made items. Photos from Schwender

LI Crafty Ones takes to the road with craft-filled fun

BY DAVID LUCES DLUCES@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM

“Why not bring the arts and crafts to customers?” thought Gabriela Schwender and Deborah Scalcione, who together run Long Island Crafty Ones, a mobile and traveling workshop based in Rocky Point. Now such an idea is a reality. The duo, who both describe themselves as passionate about creativity and craftwork said the idea to create the mobile workshop came to fruition a year ago. They decided to join forces after Schwender posted a message on Facebook looking for someone to collaborate with on crafts. Initially the pair looked at retail frontage in the Rocky Point area but realized it wasn’t a good fit. “We looked at a number of storefronts, but the rent was too expensive, we just couldn’t afford it,” Scalcione said. “After that we were, like, ‘Why don’t we go to the people and travel around?’” From there, the duo purchased an RV and decided to convert the inside into their workplace area. Schwender said they work closely with their clients to see what they are looking for. “We bring everything to them, and they are surprised when we tell them we can come to them,” she said. Scalcione said that they really try to customize customers experiences. She mentioned a recent birthday party they had worked at. “It was an older girl’s birthday, and before we asked what she likes, her mother said she really likes to drink coffee and we thought why not marble some coffee mugs,” Scalcione said. “It turned out to be great — they had a lot of fun.” Schwender said they started out slow due

to people not necessarily knowing what they offered, but the feedback they have gotten from customers has been positive. “They are amazed with what we bring and what we offer,” she said. “They can’t believe we have an RV and think it’s a great idea.” Scalcione mentioned their services cater to children and adults. Recently, the partners joined the Rocky Point Sound Beach Chamber of Commerce and said the connections with other businesses have very been helpful. For the fall season, the pair will have a table every weekend at the Bakewicz Farms Fall Festival in Wading River, doing face paintings and customizing “Toy Story” figurines that fit in with the local festival’s theme. In addition, the duo said they offer workshops aimed at a multitude of skill sets and they plan on offering seasonal craft sessions for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. “We really want [everybody] to be excited about crafting and get them to make something on their own,” Schwender said. “We want to help build up your skills.” Scalcione said she is glad they are getting more exposure and more people are finding what they do. The duo hopes to continue expanding and possibly buy a second RV or a bigger vehicle. “I think it is a lost art — we really want people to work with their hands and seeing what they can create,” she said.

Local farm celebrates start of fall Bakewicz Farms in Wading River hosted its first Fall Festival the weekend of Sept. 14, showcasing classics such as a corn maze, hayrides and a barrel train. The ground was also littered with standing cutouts of children’s movies and shows, including from “Harry Potter” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Many of the cutout characters were of “Toy Story” characters, relating to two young calves saved from slaughter by Port Jefferson Station-based Strong Island Rescue and Bakewicz Farms. The two calves were named Woody and Buzz after the main characters in “Toy Story.”

All photos by David Luces


SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 • THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD • PAGE A9

Save the Date For Two Special Town Of Brookhaven Events! Presented By Councilwoman Jane Bonner

SPECIAL RECYCLING EVENT PAPER SHREDDING, E-WASTE AND DRUG TAKE-BACK SATURDAY OCTOBER 5, 2019

TAX INFORMATION FORUM DISCUSSING CHANGES TO NYS STAR AND ENHANCED STAR PROGRAMS IMPLEMENTED BY NEW YORK STATE MONDAY OCTOBER 7, 2019 7:00 PM

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For more information please call, 631-451-6964 or email councilwomanbonner@brookhavenny.gov

160405


PAGE A10 • THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD • SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

Sports

Go to tbrnewsmedia.com for more sports photos

Miller Place Panthers edge Bayport-Blue Point 2-1

BY BILL LANDON DESK@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM

Bayport-Blue Point’s field hockey team struck first in a Division II matchup Sept. 17, but it was Miller Place senior Ally Schreck who answered the call to tie the game midway through the opening. Alexa Corbin, a junior, scored the go-ahead goal for Miller Place 13 minutes into the second half as the Panthers held on for a 2-1 victory at home. Goalie Meaghan Stoessel had seven saves on the day. The Panthers are back in action when they

hit the road to take on Sayville Sept. 19. Game time is set for. 4 p.m. The win lifts Miller Place to 2-1 in the division, 4-1 overall. Photos clockwise from right: Alexa Corbin battles in close against Bayport; Christine Doherty tries to dig one out from the scrum; Maddie Power, right, battles for possession; Bridget Nielsen tries to get off a shot.

All photos by Bill Landon

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SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 • THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD • PAGE A11

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PAGE A12 • THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD • SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

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SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 • THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD • PAGE A13

E M PL OY M E N T / C A R E E R S

Successful State Farm Agent is seeking a qualified professional to join their winning team for the role of Staff Assistant - State Farm Agent Team Member (Base Salary + Commission). We seek an energetic professional interested in helping our business grow through value-based conversations and remarkable customer experience. If you are a motivated self-starter who thrives in a fast-paced environment, then this is your opportunity for a rewarding career with excellent income and growth potential. Salary plus commission/bonus, Growth potential/Opportunity for advancement within my office. Excellent communication skills - written, verbal and listening, Proactive in problem solving, Ability to work in a team environment, Dedicated to customer service, Property and Casualty license (must be able to obtain). Will train. Half days and Full days available. Please call 631 751-6800

SECRETARY/ASSISTANT Personable and detail oriented person wanted for phones, scheduling and lite computer, 20-30 hrs./wk. E-mail resume to turningpointds@msn.com STAFF ASSISTANT-STATE FARM AGENT TEAM MEMBER Successful State Farm Agent seeking a qualified professional to join their winning team for the role of staff assistant, Base salary + Commission, Will train, half days and full days available Call 631-751-6800. SEE DISPLAY AD FOR MORE INFORMATION

420 Rte. 25A Rocky Point, NY

¥¤šȜšSq/ š¤FFS F/šÞ/'À š~¤ Part-time position at Town of Brookhaven Safety Town Facility. 26 hours/week; flexible. Must be available to work occasional nights/ weekends. Provide traffic safety instruction for elementary-school field trips and teen driver safety programs. NYS driver’s license required. Salary varies by experience.

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PAGE A14 â&#x20AC;¢ THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD â&#x20AC;¢ SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

E M PL OY M E N T / C A R E E R S

Established 30+ Attorney Riverhead Law Firm

Seeking

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SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 • THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD • PAGE A15

SERV ICES Decks

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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. www.DecksOnly.com

Cleaning COME HOME TO A CLEAN HOUSE! Attention to detail is OUR PRIORITY. Excellent References. Serving the Three Village Area. Call Jacquie at 347-840-0890

Electricians ANTHEM ELECTRIC MASTER ELECTRICIAN Quality Light & Power since 2004. Commercial, Industrial, Residential. Port Jefferson. Please call 631-291-8754 Andrew@Anthem-Electric.net

HONEST, RESPONSIBLE POLISH WOMAN WILL CLEAN YOUR HOUSE/OFFICE. 16 years Experience. References. Free Estimates. Please call Marzena 631-327-9046. marzena1ny@gmail.com

SOUNDVIEW ELECTRICAL CONTRACTING Prompt* Reliable* Professional. Residential/Commercial, Free Estimates. Ins/Lic#57478-ME. Owner Operator, 631-828-4675 See our Display Ad in the Home Services Directory

Clean-Ups LET STEVE DO IT Clean-ups, yards, basements, whole house, painting, tree work, local moving and anything else. Totally overwhelmed? Call Steve @ 631-745-2598, leave message.

Exterminating

CALL 751-7744

101872

TO SUBSCRIBE

HOMESTEAD WILDLIFE SOLUTIONS Humane Trapping & Rodent Prevention. Sealing all acess points. Daniel Wafer: call or text 631-295-6186. NYS#2852 homesteadwildlifesolutions.com hmstdwildlife@optonline.net

Fences

Gardening/Design Architecture

SMITHPOINT FENCE. DEER PROBLEM? WE CAN HELP! Wood, PVC, Chain Link, Stockade. Free estimates. Now offering 12 month interest free financing. Commercial/Residential. 70 Jayne Blvd., PJS. Lic.37690-H/Ins. 631-743-9797 www.smithpointfence.com.

DOWN THE GARDEN PATH *Garden Rooms *Focal Point Gardens. Designed and Maintained JUST FOR YOU. Create a “splash” of color w/perennials or Patio Pots. Marsha, 631-689-8140 or cell# 516-314-1489

Floor Services/Sales FINE SANDING & REFINISHING Wood Floor Installations Craig Aliperti, Wood Floors LLC. All work done by owner. 27 years experience. Lic.#47595-H/Insured. 631-875-5856

Furniture/Restoration/ Repairs REFINISHING & RESTORATION Antiques restored, repairing recane, reupholstery, touch-ups kitchen, front doors, 40 yrs exp, SAVE$$$, free estimates. Vincent Alfano 631-707-1228

The

CLA

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is Tuesday at noon. If you want to advertise, do it soon! Call

Handyman Services JOHN’S A-1 HANDYMAN SERVICE *Crown moldings* Wainscoting/raised panels. Kitchen/ Bathroom Specialist. Painting, windows, finished basements, ceramic tile. All types repairs. Dependable craftsmanship. Reasonable rates. Lic/Ins. #19136-H. 631-744-0976 c.631 697-3518

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Housesitting Services TRAVELING? Need someone to check on your home? Contact Tender Loving Pet Care, LLC. We’re more than just pets. Insured/Bonded. 631-675-1938

Home Improvement ALL PHASES OF HOME IMPROVEMENT From attic to your basement, no job too big or too small, RCJ Construction www.rcjconstruction.com commercial/residential, lic/ins 631-580-4518. BATHROOM RENOVATIONS EASY ONE DAY updates! We specialize in safe bathing. Grab bars, no slip flooring & seated showers. Call for a free in-home consultation. 888-657-9488. *BluStar Construction* The North Shore’s Most Trusted Renovation Experts. 631-751-0751 Suffolk Lic. #48714-H, Ins. See Our Display Ad ISLAND HARBOR HOME REMODELING All phases of remodeling. Specializing in Kitchens & Bathrooms. Over 40 years of experience. Owner always on the job. Lic/Ins. 631-972-7082, please leave message LAMPS FIXED, $65. In Home Service!! Handy Howard. My cell 646-996-7628

Home Improvement LONG HILL CARPENTRY 40 years experience All phases of home improvement. Old & Historic Restorations. Lic.#H22336/Ins. 631-751-1764 longhill7511764@aol.com 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

Lawn & Landscaping CAUTION! www.GotPoisonIvy.com 631-286-4600 Poison Ivy and Invasive Vines. Trained Horticulturist Summer Special $50 off code - BETTER SAFE PRIVACY HEDGES FALL BLOWOUT SALE 6ft Arborvitae Reg $149 Now $75 Beautiful, Nursery Grown. FREE Installation/FREE delivery, Limited Supply! ORDER NOW: 518-536-1367 www.lowcosttreefarm.com SWAN COVE LANDSCAPING Lawn Maintenance, Clean-ups, Shrub/Tree Pruning, Removals. Landscape Design/Installation, Ponds/Waterfalls, Stone Walls. Firewood. Free estimates. Lic/Ins.631-689-8089

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PAGE A16 • THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD • SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

SERV ICES 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 setauketlandscape.com Serving Three Villages WILDFLOWER LANDSCAPING All Phases of Masonry; driveways, paver patios, retaining walls, poolscapes, porches. plantings, sod, excavating, landscaping, irrigation, ponds, architectural plans. 35 years experience. Tom 631-704-5796

Landscape Materials SCREENED TOP SOIL Mulch, compost, decorative and driveway stone, concrete pavers, sand/block/portland. Fertilizer and seed. JOS. M. TROFFA MATERIALS CORP. 631-928-4665, www.troffa.com

Legal Services Lung Cancer? And Age 60+? You And Your Family May Be Entitled To Significant Cash Award. No Risk. No Money Out Of Pocket. For Information Call 877-225-4813

Masonry CARL BONGIORNO LANDSCAPE/MASON CONTRACTOR All phases Masonry Work:Stone Walls, Patios, Poolscapes. All phases of Landscaping Design. Theme Gardens. Residential & Commercial. Lic/Ins. 631-928-2110

Miscellaneous DISH TV $59.99 For 190 Channels + $14.95 High Speed Internet. Free Installation, Smart HD DVR Included, Free Voice Remote. Some restrictions apply. 1-888-609-9405 GET DIRECTV! ONLY $35/month! 155 Channels & 1000s of Shows/Movies on Demand. (w/SELECT All Included Package). PLUS Stream on Up to FIVE Screens Simultaneously at No Additional Cost. Call DIRECTV, 1-888-534-6918 WANTED: RARE RECORD COLLECTIONS, Autographs, memorabilia, obscure artists. All sizes/ categories. House-calls, drop-offs. All About Records 396 Rockaway Ave. #E Valley Stream Charles 516-945-7705 groupsound@aol.com

Painting/Spackling/ Wallpaper ALL PRO PAINTING INTERIOR/EXTERIOR Power Washing, Staining, Wallpaper Removal. Free estimates. Lic/Ins #19604HI 631-696-8150. Nick BOB’S PAINTING SERVICE 25 Years Experience. Interior/Exterior Painting, Spackling, Staining, Wallpaper Removal, Staining and Deck Restoration Power Washing. Free Estimates. Lic/Ins. #17981. 631-744-8859 COUNTY-WIDE PAINTING INTERIOR/EXTERIOR Painting/Staining. Quality workmanship. Living and Serving Three Village Area for over 30 years. Lic#37153-H. 631-751-8280

Painting/Spackling/ Wallpaper ED’S PAINTING INTERIOR/EXTERIOR Wallpaper removal, spackling, sheetrock repair. Over 25 years experience. Commercial/Residential. Reasonable rates. 631-704-7547 GREG TRINKLE PAINTING & GUTTER CLEANING Powerwashing, window washing, staining. Neat, reliable, 25 years experience. Free Estimates. Lic/Ins.#31398-H. 631-331-0976 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, sheetrocktape/spackling, carpentry/trimwork. Lead paint certified. References. Free estimates. Lic./Ins. SINCE 1989 Ryan Southworth, 631-331-5556

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

Power Washing WORKING & LIVING IN THE THREE VILLAGES FOR 30 YEARS. Owner does the work, guarantees satisfaction. COUNTY-WIDE, Lic/Ins. 37153-H, 631-751-8280

Roofing/Siding JOSEPH BONVENTRE CONSTRUCTION Roofing, siding, windows, decks, repairs. Quality work, guaranteed. Owner operated. Over 25 years experience. Lic/Ins. #55301-H. Call or Text 631-428-6791

Senior Services ALLY’S HOME ORGANIZING SERVICE. Help relieve the stress of clutter, records management, housecleaning and errand running. Former Librarian. Over five years helping homeowners weekly-biweekly-monthly. $30.00/hr. References. 631-740-6997

Tree Work ARBOR-VISTA TREE CARE COMPLETE TREE CARE service devoted to the care of trees. Maintenance pruning, water-view work, sun-trimming, elevating, pool areas, storm thinning, large tree removal, stump grinding. Wood chips. Lic#18902HI. Free estimates. 631-246-5377 EASTWOOD TREE & LANDSCAPE, INC. Experts in tree care and landscaping. Serving Suffolk County for 25 years. Lic.#35866H/Ins. 631-928-4070 eastwoodtree.com

Tree Work CLOVIS OUTDOOR SERVICES LTD. Expert Tree Removal AND Pruning. Landscape Design and maintenance, Edible Gardens, Plant Healthcare, Exterior Lighting. 631-751-4880 clovisoutdoors@gmail.com RANDALL BROTHERS TREE SERVICE Planting, pruning, removals, stump grinding. Free Estimates. Fully insured. LIC# 50701-H. 631-862-9291 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 TREE AND LANDSCAPE CARE Serving all of Suffolk County, Fast emergency services, tree trimming, removal and maintenance, landscape design, plant and shrub design and installation. TREETASTIC 631-619-7222. See display ad for more information

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Plus

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SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 â&#x20AC;˘ THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD â&#x20AC;˘ PAGE A17

PROF E S SION A L & B U SI N E S S Professional Services Directory

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PAGE A18 â&#x20AC;¢ THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD â&#x20AC;¢ SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

HOME SERV ICES

Place your ad today Call 631.751.7663 or 631.331.1154 PAGE A

HOMESTEAD WILDLIFE SOLUTIONS

ALL PHASES OF MASONRY

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SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 â&#x20AC;˘ THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD â&#x20AC;˘ PAGE A19

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PAGE A20 â&#x20AC;˘ THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD â&#x20AC;˘ SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

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PAGE A22 • THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD • SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

Opinion

Editorial

Slight against science When the National Institutes of Health funds scientific research, the government is investing in hope. The people with the purse strings believe the scientists have the potential for progress, whether from a fundamental discovery or a breakthrough translational finding. Work in these labs may save and extend the lives of our fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers. On Sept. 12, a cancer scientist at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University was charged with seven counts of stealing state and federal funds, wire fraud and money laundering when he allegedly funneled more than $200,000 of his research money into his own pockets, in part to pay his mortgage. Taxpayers are a victim in this alleged fraud. Fellow scientists, who might have otherwise received the funds, are also greatly harmed, along with patients awaiting medical help and the support systems for all those patients. In other words, most of us — in one way or another — have been pickpocketed. So, what’s supposed to happen now? If Geoffrey Girnun is guilty — due process will determine that and he has pleaded not guilty — he will face prison time, fines and other punishments. Girnun allegedly was self-dealing his grant money into shell companies. Perhaps the system where potential conflicts of interest exist needs a closer look, both from funding agencies and from the university. It’s also crucial that SBU and the NIH pay especially close attention to this criminal case. They need to know all the details of this alleged fraud so they can monitor other scientists and make sure they close any gaps in the funding process. We, the taxpayers, need to be confident that the money the government invests goes toward the hunt for scientific discovery. What shouldn’t happen? The NIH shouldn’t turn off the tap for scientists at SBU or elsewhere, or create unrealistic hurdles, to receive funding or reimbursement. As it is, many researchers spend considerable time applying for funds and, once they receive them, justifying every penny. Slowing that process down would make them less productive, hurting their research and cutting back on their benefits to the whole of humanity. Scientific studies seek to understand cause and effect — actions and reactions. When doctors treat cancer patients, they try to balance between the need to eradicate cells with cancerous programming and the potential danger of collateral cellular damage to avoid wiping out healthy and productive cells. The treatment for this alleged fraud should do the same, trying to prevent other such corruption without shutting down valuable science. To read the article “SBU professor indicted for allegedly stealing thousands from research funds,” please see page A3.

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

Letters to the Editor

God help America I have a message for those who have a hatred for President Donald Trump (R) and would prefer to support the socialist Democrats and the misfit Hollywood actors. It appears you are willing to destroy this country by having open borders, sanctuary cities and states, free everything for illegal immigrants, take away our freedom to bear arms, our First Amendment rights as well as what

to wear, eat and the removal of all cars, trains and planes. In addition, it appears these supporters of the socialist Democratic Party are in support of Medicare for all, drivers licenses for all illegal immigrants, supporting an antiSemitism movement, not supporting law enforcement, allowing illegal criminals to go free to commit more crimes and using our hard-earned money to pay for

all the free items they are promising. Hopefully, the intelligent citizens of our country will see what the socialists are trying to do to our country come election time, not only for the presidential election but for all the political positions. These people need to be voted out of office. God help America. Richard Esopa Miller Place

Congress must work better together There’s definitely nowhere greater to be in the United States in August than the 1st Congressional District of New York on the east end of Long Island, and this past district work period was no different. It’s been an honor to listen and speak to those from all across our great district during mobile office hours, coffee with your congressman, town hall forums and oneon-one and small group meetings. Time and time again, I hear the hardworking men and women of my district concerned that in the midst of political fighting, the issues most important to them are drowned out; a sentiment shared by Americans around the country. It’s important for elected officials to remember that Washington, D.C., oftentimes couldn’t be more removed from the realities found in the rest of our nation, and, as we head back to Washington, it’s critical that every representative take this lesson back with them. There are times when we have to uncomfortably confront and debate important issues where there is disagreement and that’s okay, but where we can find common ground we should be more than eager to do so. According to the Lugar Center, last Congress, I was one of the top 50 most bipartisan members of the House because, I believe, there is so much more that unites us than divides

us. While the beginning of this Congress marked great bipartisan victories, such as the permanent reauthorization of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, we face no shortage of great challenges, ones that can only be addressed with bipartisan action. As the next long-term highway bill is negotiated this Congress, we must focus on continuing to secure critical funding and push state, local and federal agencies to complete essential work, which includes repairing and improving highways and local roads and boosting federal aid for locally owned infrastructure like bridges and overpasses. Furthermore, we must bolster our maritime infrastructure, ensuring our waterways, seaside communities and coastal economy are protected. Across our great nation, law enforcement is faced with the rise of the heroin and opioid abuse crisis, human trafficking and transnational gangs, such as MS-13. We must make sure law enforcement is provided with the equipment they need to protect themselves and the laws in place that help safeguard our neighborhoods. When it comes to those battling addiction, we must provide our communities with the tools and resources to increase treatment, recovery, education, enforcement and prevention services. We must serve those who have served us, ensuring every veteran has access to

the resources they have earned no matter what corner of our country they call home. This means expanding access to VA resources through community-based outpatient clinics and other alternatives that allow them to receive the care they need with local convenience. As Americans, it is also our responsibility to provide the next generation with the tools they need to succeed, and this means improving the quality of education they receive. We must shift the focus from overtesting to teaching and boosting science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs to prepare students for jobs in the 21st century workforce. In response to the student debt crisis, we must replace the current broken student loan system with an individualized loan repayment program tailored to our students’ needs and expand Pell Grants for higher education. A recent study has shown that the average graduate in New York has over $32,000 in student debt; this crisis must be swiftly addressed. These are just a few of the many challenges we face as a nation, and as I head to Washington for our first week back in session, I hope all of my colleagues have spent time on the ground listening to the everyday Americans they serve and are returning with the same mentality and focus. Congressman Lee Zeldin 1st Congressional District

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


SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 • THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD • PAGE A23

Opinion

Our first trip to the animal hospital with our chocolate eating dog

D

ogs are incredibly stupid. OK, now that I’ve got your attention, I realize that not all dogs lack intelligence. Lassie and Balto both saved the day. I suspect many dogs, like mine who is now 1 year old, are only as smart as their training. And they need something almost as often as a young child. What’s the matter, boy? You need to D. None go out? Why are of the above you barking, budBY DANIEL DUNAIEF dy? Do you see a squirrel? Is the neighbor out watering the grass again? That’s OK, you don’t

need to bark at him every time he takes out the hose. Recently, my wife made chocolate chip cookies. She says that we make them together, but my only job is to put them in the oven, wait for them to rise a bit, make sure the edges are cooked and then allow them to finish baking while they cool on the hot tray. She’s the master chef and I am the cookie flash fryer. Anyway, the house was starting to develop that wonderful baked goods smell. My wife, son and I were eagerly awaiting the moment when I could bring the hot plate to the master bed, where we could make “mmm” noises at each other as we talked about the day and compared this batch to the ones we had a few months ago, as if we were reviewers on a cooking show. The young dog has gotten used to the routine. He stands in the kitchen with his ears pitched forward, waiting for his best friend gravity to deliver something to him on the floor,

which is, generally, his domain. He follows us back and forth to get the ingredients from the pantry and then to bring those ingredients back. At 85 pounds, he is a large dog and his eye level has gotten closer to the mixer and the ingredients. We try to push everything to the middle of the island in the kitchen. After doling out the hot cookies onto a plate into the shape of an edible pyramid, I left the room for a moment. When I returned, I shouted in astonishment. The dog had his front legs on the high counter and was reaching his long neck, tongue and head as far as he could. He had devoured half the plate. After admonishing him for eating food that wasn’t his and that was dangerous, I locked him in a room without carpets and called the vet, who asked if I could give an exact number of chips he ate. Of course I couldn’t, which meant I had to bring him in, where the vet would empty the chocolate the dog had stolen.

My wife joined me for our evening adventure. After a few moments, the vet brought our surprisingly happy dog to us in a waiting room and told us he’d also eaten some plastic and a bottle cap. She allayed my embarrassment by telling me that her colleague’s dog — she’s a vet, remember — has had five operations because of the nonfood he’s swallowed that has blocked his system. Her colleague’s dog now wears a satellite dish around his head. While the reception is terrible, he doesn’t need emergency procedures anymore. For all the frustration, the cleaning, the shedding, the wet dog smell, our dog is more than happy to have me, my family member, or the neighbor on the left with the garden hose or on the right with a howling dog, run hands through his wonderfully soft fur. He may not be the smartest or easiest dog on the block, but he is ours and we do get some perks here and there, in between rescuing half chewed flipflops and slippers.

History, with its anniversaries, is the source of endless tales

A

nniversaries sometimes bring out interesting tidbits of history. One such anniversary involves events that happened 500 years ago. In September 1519, Hernán Cortés met the ruler Montezuma II in what was the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlán that is now Mexico City. Records tell us that Cortés was greeted cordially, in part because his arrival happened to coincide with Aztec expectations of a god returning right at that time. To the Aztecs, the Spanish — 500 strong, with their pale skins, guns, canons and horses — must indeed have seemed godlike. The indigenous Between people had never you and me before seen horses, nor had they BY LEAH S. DUNAIEF any familiarity

with gunpowder. Montezuma sent out envoys to meet the newcomers and welcome them to the city. The Spanish conquistadors, for their part, had different intentions, as we know from elementary school history. For them it was the Age of Exploration. Christopher Columbus had shown the way in 1492, and young Cortés, bored studying law in Salamanca, western Spain, was eager to follow in those footsteps. So who was Hernán Cortés? He was born into a noble but not wealthy family in 1485 and was smart and ambitious. The original intention of the explorers was to find a passage to the Far East, from which they could bring back nutmeg, cloves, pepper and cinnamon, the spices so desired by Europeans. But Cortés wanted to explore the New World to seize more land for Spain and ultimately convert the natives in the Americas to Catholicism even as he plundered their gold, gems and made himself rich. The landscape in the 16th century was dramatically changing, with Afro-Eurasian trade connecting a global economy. Opportunity existed for acquiring great wealth. In 1504, Cortés set sail for Hispaniola —

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now Haiti and the Dominican Republic — where he became a notary and farmer. In 1511, he joined Diego Velásquez on an expedition to conquer Cuba, where he eventually became the equivalent of mayor of Santiago. Then he persuaded Velásquez to enable a voyage to Mexico, and despite an order at the last minute canceling the trip, he set sail with 11 ships, 500 men and 16 horses, and landed in the Yucatán Peninsula, on the east coast of Mexico, in 1519. He was, by all accounts, astounded by the gruesome rituals and human sacrifices he saw there, and he replaced pagan idols with crosses and figures of the Virgin Mary. Like so many of the other conquistadors, he regarded the natives as inferior culturally, technologically and religiously. When he encountered resistance in a place called Tabasco, he overpowered the opposition and was given, among other prizes, 20 women slaves. One was La Malinche, who became an important figure in his life and in his eventual success in conquering Montezuma, for she was able to learn languages and translated Mayan and Aztec for him after she learned Spanish. She also bore him a son, one of the

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

LEISURE EDITOR Heidi Sutton ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Kathryn Mandracchia ART AND PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Beth Heller Mason

first children of mixed heritage. However, when eventually his wife joined him in Mexico from Spain, Cortés appears not to have acknowledged either his mistress or son. The rest, as we know, is history. Cortés went on to conquer the Aztecs, with the help both of some of the dissident tribes the Aztecs ruled and smallpox, against which the natives had no immunity. An estimated 3 million indigenous people fell victim to the disease. Cortés sacked the sophisticated capital city and began rebuilding Mexico City on its ruins. Although he was eventually appointed governor of New Spain, he was removed from power by Spanish King Charles I in 1526. Cortés went on to discover Baja, California, in the 1530s. His first wife had died in 1522 and he remarried, fathering several children along the way. Ultimately he returned to Spain, where he died in 1547 in his early 60s, frustrated and embittered that he had not received the recognition and rewards he felt he was owed. Another anniversary this week, the 80th, is of when Germany marched into Poland and launched the Second World War. But that is another tale.

INTERNET STRATEGY DIRECTOR Rob Alfano CLASSIFIEDS DIRECTOR Ellen Segal BUSINESS MANAGER Sandi Gross

CREDIT MANAGER Diane Wattecamps CIRCULATION MANAGER Courtney Biondo


PAGE A24 • THE VILLAGE BEACON RECORD • SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

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