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The TIMES HUNTINGTON Edition

HUNTINGTON • HUNTINGTON BAY • GREENLAWN • HALESITE • LLOYD HARBOR • LLOYD NECK • COLD SPRING HARBOR Volume 2, No. 17

March 5, 2009

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Fallen artist was multifaceted man BY ARLENE GROSS arlenegross@tbrnewspapers.com

Celebrated artist Alfred Zerries died last Thursday, succumbing to traumatic head injuries after being found unconscious on the ground not far from his Lloyd Neck home. He had been out running with his dogs on the morning of Feb. 25 and was found by a woman in front of a Target Rock Drive residence. Police are investigating the cause of death, Second Precinct Detective Lieutenant Tom O’Heir said. “We’re still trying to determine how his injuries occurred. There a number of different possibilities. ... We’re relying, quite a bit at this point, on the medical examiner’s office.” His wife, Jean, noted the irony that Zerries had recently passed the six-month mark of recovery from triple bypass surgery and his doctor had just advised him to go out and “Do whatever you want to do, no holds barred.” Jean said, “The sad thing is, he had to endure the operation, the pain and healing, which wasn’t easy. … He had such determination and strength of spirit that he was back running with the dogs in about five or six weeks and he got up to his three-anda-half or five-mile run just a couple of weeks after that.” Her husband died a day shy of his 69th birthday. Jean described him as a “complex, passionate man who was very honest, always spoke his

mind and tried to do that through his paintings.” He specialized in portraiture, using oil, watercolor and pastel media. “My husband was into painting people,” she said. “He found nothing more fascinating or varied than the human face and tried to figure out what made everybody tick.” Born in New York City, Zerries graduated from Pratt Institute with a major in advertising, then served in the Army as a first lieutenant airborne ranger. He spent the next 20 years working as an art director, TV producer and creative director at several New York advertising agencies and teaching advertising at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Continued on page A7

Courtesy Susannah Mrazek

Ceremonial best Islanders goalie Joey MacDonald presented Councilman Stuart Besen with an official team jersey at Town of Huntington night Feb. 28. Earlier, Besen met with the team’s vice president of operations, Tim Beach, about how the town might work with the Islanders’ franchise as the Dix Hills ice rink undergoes renovations. ‘I have followed the Islanders since I was a child and now so are my children,’ Besen said. ‘I hope that tonight is the continuation of a great relationship with the Town of Huntington and the franchise.’

Cold Spring Harbor responds to audit report BY ARLENE GROSS AND PATRICIA PROVEN timesnpt@tbrnewspapers.com

In its audit of Cold Spring Harbor schools, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli today said he found a handful of shortcomings in the district’s internal controls. He took issue with the board not publicly advertising for competitive bids; for payments to vendors totaling $80,778; and for contracts to three vendors totaling $607,791 that have yet to be paid. In addition, quotes were not ob-

‘Two Gray Dogs,’ oil painting by Alfred Zerries. It was a self-portrait the artist finished just before he died. ‘Al could not have given me a more uplifting or cherished gift,’ Jean, his wife, said.

tained for payments to three vendors totaling $6,147, he found. The comptroller additionally advised against the district’s purchasing policy, which “does not require district officials to use RFPs when procuring professional services,” he stated. “Therefore, district officials continued to use the same professionals year after year without the benefit of competition.” Finally, DiNapoli recommended that the district strengthen its internal Continued on page A7

Courtesy Jean Zerries

Tornadoes hold on

Spring ahead

Women’s quest for equality

Give Devils a bumpy ride on way to title

The little change that makes a difference

And at LIM, ‘A Shared Aesthetic’ debuts

Page A5

This Sunday, 2 am

Page B1

For breaking news, visit www.northshoreoflongisland.com


BY ARLENE GROSS timesnpt@tbrnewspapers.com

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A Huntington man who lost control of his vehicle on an icy road fell victim Sunday night to the biggest snowstorm to wallop Long Island this winter. Just after 9 pm, Jose Fuentes, 57, slid into oncoming traffic at Broadway and East Sanders Street in Greenlawn, police stated. His 1990 Toyota was broadsided by a northbound 2002 Toyota van driven by Lois Molloy, 48, of Centerport. “The roadway was slippery due to inclement weather – freezing, a little icy, a little snow,” Second Precinct Detective Lieutenant Tom O’Heir said. “Apparently

it had snowed shortly before that.” Fuentes, Molloy and her daughter, Kerry, 13, who was a passenger in her car, were taken to Huntington Hospital, where Fuentes succumbed to his injuries. Molloy was treated for a foot injury; her daughter was not hurt. On Monday, Molloy said she had been released from the hospital after two hours. “It was a very traumatic and unfortunate event, but I’d rather not really comment on it,” she said. Family members of Fuentes could not be reached by press time. The phone number listed at Fuentes’ known address was not in service.

Inside this week News Columns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A7 Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A6

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PAGE A2 • TIMES OF HUNTINGTON • MARCH 05, 2009

Man dies in icy road crash


BY ARLENE GROSS arlenegross@tbrnewspapers.com

When Christopher Manganello’s pager goes off in the middle of the night, he quickly gets dressed and heads to the Huntington Manor firehouse where he has volunteered for the past 13 years. But Manganello, 39, never made it to the firehouse when he was paged the night of Jan. 24. Rather, he walked out the door of his Huntington Station home, heard a strange sound from up the block and noticed it was coming from a pickup truck driving in his direction. “As the car passed me, I see the front of the car was smashed and the air bags were hanging out, so I knew it just happened,� he recalled. “It’s a little bit too much of a coincidence at that time of the morning and the direction the car was coming, so I just figured it had something to do with that accident.� It turns out that the truck had struck the vehicle of Melissa Scherr, 25, of Valley Stream, who had been driving on Route 110 in Melville at about 4 am, according to police. Scherr died of her injuries. The driver of the pickup, Douglas Davis, of Centerport, was later arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident. He has since been released on $450,000 bond. A woman answering the phone at Davis’s home this week declined to comment on his whereabouts or the case. Hauppauge defense attorney James O’Rourke described his client’s remorse. “In the precinct it has been clearly identified that [Davis] attempted to take his own life when told that this woman had died,�

he said. “I have never in my years in the criminal justice system — both as a prosecutor and a defense counsel — ever seen anyone more affected as a result ... upon the reflection of that which has occurred and the incredible pain that he has visited upon this complainant’s family, her friends, and her fiancĂŠ.â€? The night of the incident, Manganello had rushed to his truck and followed Davis for about three-quarters of a mile before Davis pulled over to the curb. “I thought he was parking in front of his house,â€? Manganello said. Instead, Davis got out of his truck, Manganello claims. “He shrugged his shoulders like ‘What am I doing?’ and he starts walking toward me.â€? Manganello backed his truck away and Davis approached closer. “Now I’m like, something’s up with this guy.â€? Davis got back in his truck and drove away, again with Manganello on his tail. After a couple miles and now in Greenlawn, Davis stopped, got out and looked at Manganello, who observed that Davis was unsteady on his feet. “Either the guy was drunk or he was altered from the accident. ... maybe he hit the windshield but I knew something wasn’t right with him,â€? Manganello said. Manganello started yelling at Davis to walk to the front of his truck. “I didn’t know what I was going to do. I wanted to get him far enough away from his truck that I could get out of mine and take the keys out of his truck.â€? As Davis walked, Manganello followed alongside him; when a car passed, Continued on page A4

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MARCH 05, 2009 • TIMES OF HUNTINGTON • PAGE A3

‘Heroic’ first responder


PAGE A4 • TIMES OF HUNTINGTON • MARCH 05, 2009

Trouble enforcing code among CSH athletes BY MARJORIE GURSKY timesnpt@tbrnewspapers.com

The Cold Spring Harbor school board held a special open forum Feb. 24 to discuss the code of conduct with the community. Although the code addresses students’ behavior ranging from dress codes and vulgar language to harassment and firearms, the better part of the evening was spent hearing suggestions on its inability to enforce prohibitions of alcohol, tobacco and drug use. Two and half years ago, through an initiative by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, athletic director Jim Amen brought to Cold Spring Harbor schools an athletic code of conduct “to emphasize the health and safety of students,” he said. Although high school Principal Jay Matuk acknowledged problems with enforcing the code, he said, “I want to thank Jim for bringing a code of conduct here, because

it started a necessary conversation.” The board and administrators, however, were distressed that the code was not enforceable; it was nearly impossible, for instance, to prove that a student had been drinking alcohol over the weekend unless they admitted it. Amen said while accusations and suspicions abound, only a handful of students in the past two and a half years have been disciplined. Problems with enforcing the code Amen blamed on parents and coaches: “Parents have allowed things to happen in their homes … and enable the behavior of their children and do not support our findings.” He continued, “Coaches do not pay enough attention to the code of conduct. They are too concerned with wins and losses. Something should be said everyday.” But some coaches do underscore the importance of proper behavior and not just winning. Baseball coach and physical education teacher Chris

Phelan said, “Defining ourselves by wins and losses takes us out of the educational system. And we came into the educational system to help children.” Nonetheless, while he will bench a student for suspicion of drinking, he still encounters difficulty in enforcing the code. “I believe in the code of conduct but I don’t think we are able to enforce it because our hands are tied,” he said. Alumnus and resident Jim Schubauer said, “Let the coach ‘It is better to do what they’re going to do. Coaches need some latitude and be punished by leverage to bench a kid.” the coach and The athletic association’s student representative Max Brenner team than by suggested that problems among the principal or student athletes should not be by the athletic dealt with by the athletic director or principal, but rather by coach- director ...’ es and the team as a whole. — MAX BRENNER, “It is better to be punished by STUDENT REP. the coach and team than by the principal or by the athletic director because the students have developed such a respect for the coach and teammates,” he said. When asked if his coaches have used infractions as teaching moments, he replied, “Certain coaches have done it and certain have not.” Resident Patty Mahder said, “I have an issue with some of our coaches. I think they need a code of conduct. They are not all good role models.” Matuk suggested that teaching the pitfalls of alcohol, drugs and tobacco become a bigger part of secondary level education. “The issues go far beyond athletes,” he said. “It should be part of the curriculum.” Resident Sandy Mogul added that educational points should be written into the code of conduct. But resident Lynn Dischmann suggested that the school listen up to students like Brenner and Talar Angacian, who also spoke at the board meeting. “All the programs the board might bring in won’t have the impact that these two students would have,” Dischmann said. Resident and district communications director Karen Spehler agreed with Dischmann about the student representatives’ effectiveness: “Take what we have. It doesn’t cost anything. Get these kids to talk.” Board President Anthony Paolano had this to add: “Just like it is unwritten that it is OK to be smart in CSH, we need to get the students to think that it is OK not to drink.”

‘Heroic’ responder

84610

Continued from page A3 Manganello tried to catch up with it to have the driver call 911. As he did so, Davis jumped into his truck and drove away. Following him a third time, Manganello watched as Davis parked his car in a driveway on Hofstra Drive. The firefighter rang the bell of a nearby house and a woman answered, letting him call police. “The cops got there within a few minutes. ... As we’re talking, we noticed three yards away backyard lights went on. They guessed that someone in the backyard set off motion lights. They found him hiding behind a tree a few houses over.” Huntington Manor Fire Department Chief Robert Hurley said everyone at the firehouse is proud of Manganello’s astuteness. “For him to take action was heroic and brave — to follow someone in the middle of the night,” Hurley said, “not knowing what that person was capable of doing to him and consistently following him until he could lead the cops to him — was a great job.” All the accolades don’t sit well with Manganello, though. “I don’t look at it as being a hero,” he said. “I look at it as maybe being a good Samaritan who was at the right place at the right time. I didn’t save somebody’s life.” Without his help, however, police might not have caught the driver, they told Manganello. The only information they had was from witnesses who saw a dark-colored pickup truck fleeing the scene. One thing Manganello learned that fateful January night was to keep his cell phone with him during emergency calls. “If I had my cell phone, that would have made things a hundred times easier.” Full story at www.northshoreoflongisland.com


MARCH 05, 2009 • TIMES OF HUNTINGTON • PAGE A5

SPORTS RTS

Harborfields beats Blue Devils for county title GIRLS’ HOOPS BY JOHN WESTERMANN katsports@tbrnewspapers.com

At St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue on Friday, Feb. 27, the first-seeded Harborfields Tornadoes and the third-seed-

Courtesy Jim Hoops

Huntington’s Meredith McCourt, top, and Huntington Head Coach Brad Reminick, above.

ed Huntington Blue Devils girls’ basketball teams faced each other for the third time this season. The prize this time? Only a Class A county championship, a berth in the small-school title game against Wyandanch at 5 pm on March 6 at St. Joseph’s, and a ticket to the Class A Long Island championship game. Harborfields won the regular season meetings, but both those games were close, 2- and 5-point spreads. But this time it was Harborfields again in a 40-36 final. Huntington knocked off second-seeded John Glenn to reach the finals, and fans expected another close game. They got one, but it took a while. The Tornadoes pressured the Blue Devils into a nightmare first quarter and Huntington looked up at an 18-5 deficit at the end of the period. Give credit to the Blue Devils and their head coach Brad Reminick. They never panicked or got flustered. They toughened up their defense and nibbled the Harborfields lead down to 13 at halftime and 10 points at the start of the fourth quarter. Blue Devil senior guard Kerry Hicks scored 9 of her game-high 15 points in a frantic fourth quarter that saw the Blue Devils pull to within 2 points at 35-33 with just over three minutes to play. A chance to tie rolled off the front rim. Harborfields senior co-captain Kim Goidell grabbed the defensive rebound and sank a clutch free throw. Tornado freshman forward Kasey Stolba finished a fast break layup and senior forward Dominique Hendricksen sank two last free throws. Huntington’s Hicks nailed one last bomb with 19 seconds left to make the final score a 40-36 Tornado win. “We knew they’d get on a run,” said

Courtesy Jim Hoops

Huntington’s Julie Forster (upper right on the left) looks to stop Harborfields’ Dominique Hendrickson, who led her team with 10 points. Huntington’s Kerry Hicks, upper left, signals the play. Hicks led the Blue Devils with 15 points. Harborfields coaches Russ Tietjen and Pat Mena, above, are optimistic before game time.

Goidell, who scored nine points for Casey Bishop and Stolba 2 each. Harborfields. “We just had to play tough Senior Maria Marascia scored 10 defense. That’s what earned us a county points and played tough perimeter dechampionship.” fense for Huntington. Senior Julie ForHarborfields head coach Russ Tietjen ster added 9 points and senior Matte said, “It came down to defense and re- Scully 2. bounding. In the second half HuntingAfter the teams shook hands Henton did a better job of it and came back drickson walked off the court with the on us. We knew they had Kerry Hicks championship plaque in her arms and a and Julie Forster. They are a great team, wide smile on her face. “We lost in this and they are never out of a game.” game last year,” she said. “We knew this Hendrickson scored 10 points work- year we had to come back harder and ing the offensive glass to lead the Har- play with confidence.” borfields offense. Eighth-grader Bridgit Ryan Huntington @ Harborfields girls’ hoops chipped in 7 points. Senior Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final Kristen Inocco Harborfields 18 8 5 9 40 added 6 points, junior Isabella Huntington 5 8 8 15 36 Favre 4, senior


OPINION

A municipality with purpose

Why a ward system works

Sometimes we wish the Suffolk County Legislature would focus more on repealing laws than passing them. For if zoning falls under each town’s purview and criminal and education law are the state’s domain, with what do the representatives of Suffolk — consisting of 10 townships, each governed by its own elected officials — concern themselves? Often we see the Legislature pass ‘feel-good’ measures; that is, rules that may not be enforced and don’t effectively address a problem but help people feel as if someone is doing something. But there are times the Legislature truly shines and reminds its constituents of its pioneering track record as a watchdog of our health and safety. True to its trend-setting reputation perpetuated by Legislator Jon Cooper’s (D-Lloyd Neck) groundbreaking ban on the hazardous dietary supplement ephedra, Suffolk became the first municipality in the nation this week to pass a bill, introduced by Legislator Steven Stern (D-Dix Hills), banning Bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is a synthetic estrogen found in hard plastics from which many baby bottles and “sippy” cups are made and is just one of many toxins with which children are bombarded regularly. Exposure to BPA cannot be construed as an unhealthy lifestyle choice, as the consumption of sodas and high-calorie meals might be. On the contrary, chemicals like BPA are omnipresent and many people are not even aware of the chemicals contained in their household products. In Stern’s words, “This legislation will help reduce unnecessary exposure to a substance linked with multiple health risks.” Scientific studies show BPA’s link to hyperactivity, learning disorders, disorders of the prostate and uterus, links to heart disease, abnormal liver function and diabetes and increased susceptibility to breast and prostate cancer, officials note. Ideally, with proper labeling as required by the FDA and enhanced public education, prohibitions of certain toxins won’t be necessary; everyone will just know enough to avoid them. Until then, we congratulate the county for doing its part in making BPA products unavailable in Suffolk, deterring their potential health risks and thereby compelling product developers, manufacturers and retailers to offer safe alternatives for young children and their families. We urge the Legislature to further educate our residents about this danger even as they take their bows.

TO THE EDITOR: mous. With council districts, we will have I write as a member of the Concerned Citimore public input, more debate and decisions zens of Huntington in support of changing the that reflect all our communities. way we elect our town council members from 4. It’s what we do at every other level of an at-large system to a council district government: We use districts at system. Council districts are better for the county, state and federal levels; four main reasons: shouldn’t we bring Huntington in line 1. Better representation: Our four with the rest of the country? town council members represent This change requires a ballot referthe whole town, but no one repreendum so that the voters can decide sents your community. With council how we want to be governed. We districts, you will have a town council have formed a nonpartisan group, the member accountable to your comConcerned Citizens of Huntington, munity. to campaign for council districts and File photo 2. Takes the big money out of collect petitions to put the issue on the Mark Cronin town politics: Town council memballot. We will kick off the petition bers raise over $200,000 in each election cycle. process at a community meeting on Tuesday, That is legal and necessary, but they rely on big March 31 at 7 pm at Huntington High School. donors while challengers and “citizen legislaPlease join us to support this effort. tors” cannot raise those funds. With town The Concerned Citizens of Huntington is council districts, community ties matter more a nonpartisan group formed to support the than money. Candidates win on shoe-leather change to council districts. We do not sup(knocking on doors), handshakes (attending port or oppose any candidates, parties or other community meetings) and what they do for issues. We are not trying to unseat any elected your community. officials, nor put any candidates in office. Our 3. More openness: Under the current sysmembers come from all parts of Huntington tem, almost every town board vote is unaniand all walks of life. We are Republicans and Democrats, Conservatives and Progressives and people unaffi liated with any party. We have been brought together by one simple idea: that changing to council districts will gives us a more representative, open and accountable government and will make Huntington an even Letters to the editor should be no longer better place to live. To learn more, visit our web than 400 words, should arrive by Monday site: www.concernedcitizensofhuntington.com. the week you wish them to run and may be Mark Cronin edited for length, libel and good taste. We do Huntington not publish anonymous letters. Please include your phone number and town of residence for confirmation. Email your letter to timesnpt@ tbrnewspapers.com or send it to The Times of Huntington, PO Box 707, Setauket, NY 11733. The opinions of columnists and letter writers are their own. They do not speak for the newspaper.

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The Mount Sinai Medical Center 5 East 98th Street, 8th Floor New York, NY 10029

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PAGE A6 • TIMES OF HUNTINGTON • MARCH 05, 2009

EDITORIAL


Vacations are great. Getting back on track after vacation is the pits. I never met anyone who disagreed with either of those statements. As you might be surmising, I have recently returned from a wonderful trip with my children and grandchildren, and I find that I still walk too slowly, talk too slowly, and worst of all, think too slowly. It’s nicely symmetrical that it takes me five vacation days before I finally put down thoughts and responsibilities from the office, and it takes about the same amount of time to pick up the pieces and move forward again — as I try to hang onto that lovely vacation feeling. My family and I attempt this every year, and every year the logistical challenge becomes harder. We have to work out the schedules for my three sons, my three daughters-in-law and now all four of my grandchildren, who range from eighth grade to kindergarten. Thus far the prospect of finding some sunshine and warm beach are sufficient

Fallen artist

incentive to tackle the logistics. I’ve been asked by a number of my friends how we manage to get away together — and survive. In theory it sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Surrounded by one’s grown children and grandchildren with no agenda other than to enjoy each other and hang out. Besides the scheduling considerations, there are a couple of important facts to be aware of. For example, while my three sons grew up together, my three daughters-in-law did not. This means that each one is entitled to privacy and to manage her family as she wishes. So in making our reservations, we always make sure that not only are there enough beds for everyone but also that there is enough separate space within which to function. Sharing is great when it is by choice. And having a quiet place to withdraw to at times is a necessity. Another fact is that not everyone wants to do the same activities at the same time

Continued from page A1 Despite his talent and accumulation of awards in numerous national and international exhibitions, Jean said that galleries seeking more “outré” output often snubbed Zerries’s artwork. His paintings were realistic, she said. “That’s not exactly in vogue. He’s not what you would call a ‘hot artist.’” Still, Zerries received high praise from his mentor, Burton Silverman, a Manhattan painter with whom he studied from 1998 to 2000. Silverman had called Zerries the best student he had ever taught, Jean recalled. The couple, who would have celebrated their 43rd anniversary March 12, worked together in the advertising industry and collaborated on three thriller novels under their combined names, “A.J. Zerries.” “The Last Van Gogh” (2006) and “Stealing From The Dead,” their latest and nearly finished opus, both deal with the theft from Holocaust victims. “I did the actual writing but we would collaborate on the basic message of the book, the plot. He was sort of my editor. If he didn’t like something, we’d argue over it. He’d read it over and we’d fight, and then we’d come to a consensus and I’d change it and we’d go on to the next chapter.” Just days before the accident, Zerries completed his last work of art, “Two Gray

— and that applies even to such basics as eating. My middle son and his wife have the younger children, who tend to get up earliest and eat first. My youngest son and his wife do not have children, and when they are on vacation they like to sleep in. But somehow we manage to catch up with one another, even if it means one family’s lunch is another’s breakfast. Or not, and that’s OK too. Again, togetherness is prized when it is by choice, and we have no defined schedules once we arrive. The grandchildren dig in the sand, swim in the ocean and chase each other up and down the beach in high glee. The adults don fins and masks and snorkel over to a nearby reef, where the underwater world is incredibly peaceful and the fish are as outrageously colorful in the sea as birds are in the air. I can see why some people are “birders,” keeping life lists of what species they have seen and which they hope to get a glimpse of. Their marine counterparts buy cards de-

Dogs,” a self-portrait of him running with Zeus, his Weimaraner. He had his son Morgan take a photo of the two of them running down their driveway. “Al found the best dog shots with the dog’s ears sort of flying through the motion. It’s almost life-size. It’s a remarkable likeness of Al and Zeus.” Their son Zachary, 32, who came in from his home in Los Angeles, is an avid runner who plans to run a half marathon next month in his dad’s memory. He credited both his parents for instilling sound principles in his brother and himself. The lessons he learned from his father — about making the most of each day — are particularly poignant now. “You just don’t know when your moment’s going to be your last. I think you have to live life to the fullest,” Zachary said. “I don’t think I’ll ever meet anyone more gifted an individual than he in my lifetime,” said Morgan, 29, of Forest Hills. “He always said the right thing. He was the most honest person I’ve ever known and I was just very proud to have him as my father.” Jean spoke with adoration of her husband’s multiple talents and interests. “He had an incredible eye. He had an incredible mind. ... He was a macho guy but he was a sensitive man and loving man. That’s what I’d like people to know, that you could be all sorts of things mixed together.”

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EDITOR AND PUBLISHER Leah S. Dunaief GENERAL MANAGER Johness Kuisel EXECUTIVE EDITOR Lee Lutz EDITOR Patricia Proven LEISURE EDITOR Ellen Barcel SPORTS EDITOR Katherine Consorte ONLINE EDITOR Patricia Proven

We have to work out the schedules for my three sons, my three daughtersin-law and now all four of my grandchildren. picting local tropical fish, mark off which ones they have seen each day and are constantly on the lookout for the others. Fish, unlike birds, do not seem to scatter as you approach them but rather swim with you as you lazily kick along. Maybe they have been trained to look for a handout from the snorklers. One purple guy seemed to swim over to greet us each day. We named him “Pete,” as in, “For Pete’s sake, here he is again!” He had tiny teeth and a fetching smile and seemingly performed for us, fluttering his gills almost like wings and modeling his lithe body, showing us fi rst one side, then the other. We hated to leave him when we returned home, but

CSH audit

Continued from page A1 controls over the district’s IT system. “While the Board has adopted policies and regulations to safeguard computer equipment and data, the policies and regulations do not effectively address remote access and server room security,” he stated. CSH’s assistant superintendent for business, William Bernhard, said the district plans on implementing the comptroller’s findings. To the criticism of not putting out RFPs, Bernhard responded that the district’s policy has always been to guarantee that the taxpayers are protected. “The board establishes these rates annually,” he said. “We set the rates. We don’t go out and ask these providers to tell us what they’re going to charge us for services.” However, having accepted the comptroller’s recommendation, Bernhard added, “We are going to get the quotes. But we also feel that the procedure we followed by establishing these rates was sufficient.” As for criticism of its bids, Bernhard explained that the district’s architect, who is not an employee of the district, prepared bid specifications. “What we failed to do — what they cited us for — was put the legal ad in newspapers. The bids were advertised but not in the legal school newspaper. They advertised in

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Alyssa Cutler EDITORIAL John Broven Jennifer Choi Joseph Darrow Michael Downer Arlene Gross Robert Leuner Elise Pearlman Lisa Steuer John Westermann Dave Willinger

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BY LEAH S. DUNAIEF vtimes@tbrnewspapers.com

we’re sure he won’t lack for an admiring audience. My family gets together at other times in the year. We tend to have “ganged” birthdays, such as three in the third week of July and two and an anniversary during the third week of August. We also try to visit at holidays if the days fall close to a weekend and there’s enough time for everyone to make the trip. I love it whenever we are all together, but my favorite is the improbable reunion in the sun during winter that somehow we manage each year to pull off.

trade publications. We did get bids … we got very good prices but, again, technically we failed to run the legal ad.” The bids actually were $184,000 under the district’s projection, he said. “So even though the comptroller cited us for not advertising, we felt that we did pretty well,” he added. The most important outcome of the audit, Bernhard said, was that they “found no evidence of misappropriation of funds, no fraud, no theft, no misuse, no inappropriate payments to any employees. … The areas where we were cited had to do with technicalities involving purchasing and bidding. And, again, we felt that what we did was prudent and as a school district, we are very conscientious about the use of public funds.” For the 2007-08 school year, the district tallied over 8,000 purchase orders, Bernhard reported. “And to think that every one would be technically perfect in terms of all the laws and requirements is unrealistic,” he said. “But we do the best we can.” DiNapoli remarked, in his statement, that his audits are meant to help school districts, BOCES and local governments improve their financial management practices. “These audits are tools for them to make sure proper policies and procedures are in place to protect taxpayer dollars and provide students with the best possible education and citizens with the best possible services,” he said.

ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Kathryn Mandracchia ADVERTISING Mary Chirichella Robin Lemkin Barbara Newman Elizabeth Reuter Laura Satchwill Nancy Solomon Ted Taylor Lynn Tunney Minnie Yancey

CLASSIFIEDS DIRECTOR Ellen Segal BUSINESS MANAGER Sheila Murray CREDIT MANAGER Diane Wattecamps CIRCULATION MANAGER Alyssa Cutler BUSINESS OFFICE Sandi Gross Meg Malangone SUBSCRIPTION MANAGER Terri Caruso

MARCH 05, 2009 • TIMES OF HUNTINGTON • PAGE A7

Togetherness well worth the logistics

Between you and me


BY ARLENE GROSS arlenegross@tbrnewspapers.com

It’s round two for residents of Spring Street in Cold Spring Harbor. After fighting Tom Hogan, who owns the property next door, about putting the firehouse museum on his Spring Street property, Lili and Tom Cavallo hope to stop him from expanding his parking area and putting up a two-story garage. “We’re trying to preserve the residential nature of this street,” Lili Cavallo said. Yet the residential nature of Spring Street has always been eclipsed by commercial zoning. The winding U-shaped road starts at the eastern tip of Main Street in Cold Spring Harbor and curves around to run parallel, or north, of Main. Most of the street north of Main is split-zoned: 150 feet from Main to Spring is commercial and the last 50 feet is residential, Hogan said and Steve Haber, of the town’s planning department, confirmed. The Cavallos’ home, on Spring Street, is right on the border of the two zones. Hogan, who owns 147 and 153-157 Main St. and 15 Spring St., wants to knock down Photo by Arlene Gross the garage between the two Main Street properties and put up a new two-story garage on Spring. From left, Hogan’s home and the Cavallos’ home and garage. The Cavallos contend that by changing the lot line, their side yard would be exposed to commercial property. “He’s pushing it back to the commercial line on the residential property, which is going to shrink the already undersized lot to the house,” said Cavallo. “So when you walk out that back door, you’re going to be right on the property line. For the town to approve this on an already deficient lot, I think is crazy.” Yet Hogan maintains that the larger parking area is necessary, and within his rights. “What we’re trying to do is provide room for our tenants, the employees and the occasional customer who might want to park back there, rather than having them park on the street or the municipal parking field, so that there’s room for people when they come to town to park. There is a huge deficiency in Cold Spring Harbor and this addresses it in a small way.” But Cavallo contends that the supposed parking problems in the hamlet are over exaggerated. “I’m starting to think the parking is a chaIt’s kind of hard to find too many things to get excited about these days. Everything is rade,” he said. “I don’t know They fear their if the need is so hard core as pretty tough both business-wise and personally for lots of people in our community they say.” property value and around the world. Of course, it would be nice if the media would stop pounding Built in the mid-1800s as will drop due to everyone over the head with negative news over and over again. It’s becoming a selfa residence, 15 Spring St. had fulfilling prophecy. But we felt pretty good the other day when, after announcing some commercialization stables on the property at one pretty tough financial results for the end of the year, Ford still sees no need to ask for of the lot next door. point but never a garage, Hogan said. He plans on using government loans. In fact the CEO of Ford Motor Company said “Right now, I think the second floor for storage with everything planned in the fiscal and monetary policy, I am very comfortable that for the businesses in his Main Street buildings. we are going to start to turn things around through the second half of the year.” This “All of the construction is within the C-6 zone. There is no construction whatsoever proposed for the residential doesn’t mean that Ford isn’t using lines of credit. But they have done it the old-fashioned portion of the front 50 feet that faces Spring Street. There’s way; they went out to banks and found financing. Ford is doing it! Ford is finding a way a house there, and now there’ll be a garage for that house.” to make it through these hard times. This is the type of auto manufacturer that wants The Cavallos have already appeared before the Zoning people to feel confident when buying one of their products. Board of Appeals. Four years ago, they sought and won approval for a $400,000 renovation to their historic 1867 home, which they have lived in for about five years. Now With all that being said, Ford is putting out GREAT vehicles! Our new Ford vehicles are they fear their property value will drop due to commercialsafe (more top safety-rated vehicles than any other manufacturer), high quality (now ization of the lot next door. in a virtual tie with Toyota and Honda), good looking and fun to drive. In fact, Ford “So I’ll have a parking lot and a commercial building to the side of me,” said Lili. “We’re hoping that the zoning GAINED market share in the last three months of 2008. And there’s a lot more coming board will do their job and … protect our values.” soon! Ford has said that, despite the economic challenges out there, they’re not pulling Hogan, a real estate lawyer based in Locust Valley, chalback on the most important thing of all; product. lenged the couple’s assertions. “We want to help celebrate its history by keeping it viable for residential and business uses,” he said, noting that We are proud to be a Ford dealer and we feel fortunate to be part of such a great all of the homes on Main and Spring were devoted to dual community! The entire Ford network is pulling together to bring the best products and uses. services to you, our customer. “At 147 it was the first telephone exchange, with somebody living upstairs. Then it became the first pharmacy, again with somebody living upstairs. 153 and 157 Main St. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, I hope you at least stop by and check out all of were called the honeymoon cottages, because when people our award winning Ford line up. first got married in town, they happened to live there. … So really, it was a very mixed-use type of community which I Thank you for your time and attention! We hope to see you soon! think is in the back of the mind of the planning commissioner of the town when they adopted this comprehensive plan — to return it to mixed use because multiple uses -The RAMP Ford Family work well.” As in their last fight with Hogan, the Cavallos have hired Caputo, Weintraub and Neary, a Huntington law firm. They prevailed the last time and Hogan moved his museum to another one of his properties: 84 Main St. Their lawyer, Brian Neary, did not return a phone call 4869 Nesconset Highway • Port Jefferson Sta. by press time. www.rampford.com Having passed the hurdle of Historic Preservation and a Feb. 10 hearing by the Town Board, Hogan hopes to get on Family Owned & Operated For Over 64 Years the ZBA’s calendar by May.

-PROUD-

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PAGE A8 • TIMES OF HUNTINGTON • MARCH 05, 2009

Parking lot pits neighbor against CSH developer

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