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The TIMES of Smithtown Township

Serving Smithtown • St. James • Nesconset • Commack • Hauppauge • Kings Park • Fort Salonga

Volume 21, No. 52

March 5, 2009


Designs for demolition State to demolish collapsing buildings at KP psych center, remediation study beginning BY JOE DARROW

Courtesy King Pedlar

From right, in the foreground, state Parks Commissioner Carol Ash, Deputy Commissioner Andy Beers and state Sen. John Flanagan (R-East Northport) discuss Parks’ plan to begin demolition of collapsing buildings at the former Kings Park Psychiatric Center at a meeting of community and government leaders Friday.

KP works down 8.1% hike

More than 12 years after the Kings Park Psychiatric Center closed, igniting community concern over its 520 acres and 84 abandoned, contaminated buildings with no clear future, remediation of the property will finally begin, the state Parks commissioner said Friday. At a meeting of top Parks officials, area elected representatives and Kings Park civic group leaders at Nissequogue River State Park Friday, Commissioner Carol Ash announced a plan to begin demolition of 14 hospital buildings and accompanying structures totaling 222,000 square feet of space in 2010. The selected buildings are all “highly deteriorated” and “do not have the potential to be adaptively

Officials: Cut some sports, busing to keep tax rate growth to 7.6% BY JENNIFER CHOI

Kings Park administrators pitched a number of cost-saving measures at the second of a series of budget workshops at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting. The evening focused on athletics, transportation and administration as they pertain to the proposed $77.35 million 2009-10 budget, which marks a 4.19 percent spending increase over this year’s $74.02 million tab. With growing numbers of residents contesting and lowering their homes’ assessed values in the lagging real estate market,

Kings Park anticipates an overall $500,000 decrease in the district’s taxable property worth, according to Assistant Superintendent for Finance Mike Quigley. The tax base reduction has further heightened early estimates of the projected property tax rate increase, which currently stands at 8.1 percent. Administrators offered the board a list of service cuts that would reduce the budget by $257,600. Elimination of late buses could save $105,000; summer school for non IEP students, $64,000; duplicate sports teams at the middle school, $45,000; and nine assistant coaches at both high school and middle school levels,

$43,000, according to Quigley. The reductions would bring the budget-to-budget increase down from 4.19 percent to 3.84 percent, and the tax rate hike from 8.10 percent to 7.64 percent, Quigley said. While education funding from the federal economic stimulus has offset Gov. David Paterson’s proposed $1.1 million cut in state aid for Kings Park, there is “no new money,” Superintendent of Schools Susan Agruso said, adding that the district must “foot the bill” for all increases in the budget. When asked what would be Continued on page A10

reused,” and are potential health hazards to visitors, top Parks officials said. Lead, asbestos or other contaminants would have to be identified and removed from the buildings before they were taken down. The project also includes landscaping over the demolition sites; removing a number of unneeded roads and parking lots to be returned to green space; demolishing vacant structures near the former power plant, including the smokestack, tanks and a salt shed; and implementing an “experimental” underground steam tunnel remediation project. The Parks administration hopes to expedite demolition by avoiding lengthy evaluations of the project’s environmental or Continued on page A10


Memories of GOP leader

Women’s quest for equality

Kings Park crowns its first state wrestling champion

And at LIM, ‘A Shared Aesthetic’ debuts

Junior Mike Soria beats Longwood’s best to take state title; twin brother Max takes third place

Page B1

Page A9

Where the North Shore clicks •

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On Saturday, March 14, residents of St. James and its neighboring communities will be wearing the green as they thrill to the marchers, music and more at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, sponsored by the St. James Chamber of Commerce. Courtesy K. Maher This year’s Grand MarDirector Kerry Maher shall is Jack Kelly, a 52-year St. James resident. He is a strong advocate and professional development officer for the Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre. The parade, now in its 25th year, is a labor of love for parade director Kerry J. Maher, who is in charge of the event for the fourth year in a row. “It’s about much more than being Irish,” said the 30-year-old St. James resident and daughter of Ken and Betty Maher, owners of St. James Funeral Home. “It’s about the entire community coming together to celebrate the bonds we have with our friends and neighbors.” Chamber President Larry Glazer said, “Kerry almost single-handedly does the whole job of organizing the parade... I don’t know what we’d do without her.” Each year, Maher tries to add something special to make sure the day is fun for everyone. For example, a few years ago she brought in Mummers from Pennsylvania; she also came up with the idea of having a best leprechaun costume contest, a hit with children and adults alike. Next year, she plans to add the Budweiser Clydesdale horses to the parade. “We have over 10 bands marching this year, and that really makes the day special,” Maher added. The parade will kick off at 1 p.m. at the Smithtown East Parking Lot, and wind its way up to the St. James Gazebo.

Boosting cell service north of Rt. 25 Town considers law expanding options for cellular antennae BY JOE DARROW

The Smithtown Town Council is considering two law changes aimed at boosting cellular service in the largely residential portion of town north of Route 25. The first would legalize an informal, year-and-a-half-old practice of granting exceptions for cellular antennae to be placed on taller structures than expressly permitted by town law, according to Planning Department Director Frank DeRubeis, who described the proposals at a Feb. 26 public hearing. The amendment would allow antennae to be placed on utility poles up to 75 feet in height — the limit has been 60 feet — so long as “it’s at least screened on one side by trees,” DeRubeis said. The Smithtown Council is seeking to place a cell antenna on the grounds of the town-owned Landing Avenue Country Club and Golf Course. But the tree canopy at the club is roughly 65 feet in height, meaning that any cellular equipment would have to be situated on a pole at least 75 feet tall to receive signals without interference, according to the planning director. And if the town condones this height for itself, it must extend the limit equally for nonpublic entities, DeRubeis told the board. “If we allow it here, we have to allow it everywhere else,” he said. The second amendment would

File photo

Town officials hope to avoid mechanical eyesores through laws changes.

create an exception allowing a monopole between 76 and 125 feet tall to be constructed on institutional properties — like churches, schools or public facilities — to accommodate cellular antennae. Current town code allows antennae on already existing structures on institutional properties, such as rooftops or church steeples, but these are few in the almost entirely residential area between Middle Country Road and the Long Island Sound, DeRubeis said. “We have managed to be able to have antennas on buildings south of Route 25,” the planning director said, but north of the state road, which roughly bisects the town, “we really don’t have tall buildings.” Town code holds open the possi-

bility of third option to these areas, full-scale cell towers, but officials have been reluctant to allow such potential eyesores, with visible mechanical equipment radiating in all directions, particularly in the scenic river corridor in the north of town where cell service is worst. Rather than resort to towers, the proposed amendment would create a “safetygap measure” allowing antennae on the height-limited poles with no structures radiating off the sides, DeRubeis said. “These institutional properties tend to be large in size and a pole of 76 to 125 feet would be largely unnoticed,” DeRubeis said. To further mitigate aesthetic disruption, the antenna would have to be set back from the property’s edge a distance at least equalling the height of the pole. Institutions looking to build antennae under this clause would have to win a special exception permit from the town Planning Board. The town code change would not supercede Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan restrictions, DeRubeis said. Further, the LWRP already permits poles up to 75 feet in height, the planning director added, which should accommodate any cell antennae needs in the area. “It was found to be sufficient at the country club,” which lies within the scenic corridor, “so it should be sufficient anywhere else,” DeRubei said.


MARCH 05, 2009 • TIMES OF SMITHTOWN township • PAGE A3

St. Pat’s parade director, grand marshal named

The Smithtown Chamber

Local officials frustrated in effort to extract commitment to preserve KPPC from Parks chief

of Commerce joined the staff of The Center for Healthy Living at their ribbon cutting ceremony celebration held at their new office located at

301 Maple Avenue in Smithtown Dr. Roxanne G. Carfora, (center of photo, cutting the ribbon), with Dr. Richard Block (left), and Dr. Jeffrey Block (right) with their entire team.

Welcome to Smithtown!

The Greater Smithtown Chamber Of Commerce, Inc. 79 E. Main Street • Smithtown, NY 11787-2629 • P.O. Box 1216 Tel: (631) 979–8069 • Fax: (631) 979–2206 •

asbestos contaminated Kings Park property before any declaration of intent can Despite repeated attempts to secure be made, the commissioner said. a Paterson administration commitment To that end, Parks officials announced to redeveloping the former Kings Park that a $3.6 million remediation and dePsychiatric Center as parkland, no such molition cost study of the 365 hospital promise was made by the Parks commis- property acres will begin this month. The sioner at a meeting with Smithtown com- state comptroller gave the green light to munity leaders Friday. a contract with engineering firm Dvirka Local elected representatives and civic and Bartilucci of Woodbury in late Februleaders pressed for a preservation commit- ary. The study will be paid for from the $29 ment on numerous occasions throughout million Kings Park hospital cleanup fund the summit at Nissequogue River State in the 2008-09 state budget, which was sePark. “I want someone to make a deci- cured by state Sen. John Flanagan (R-East sion and slam the gavel down and not rip Northport). away this property,” Town Councilman A request for proposals for the cost Tom McCarthy told Parks Commissioner study was issued in December 2007, and Carol Ash. under normal circum“The frustration as stances work could have we move forward is: The begun last summer. But community is still going ‘I want someone to the project was held up to ask, ‘What’s the future make a decision and until recently as the state hold? Is there going to be slam the gavel down negotiated its price down 1,800 units of housing on from an initial $7.2 milthis property?’” said Kings and not rip away this lion bid. Park community activist property.’ The assessment will Sean Lehmann, referring proceed in five phases fin—TOM MCCARTHY ishing in summer 2010, to past plans for the 365 TOWN COUNCILMAN according to Parks offiacres of psychiatric center the Pataki administration cials. In the first portion, transferred to the Parks due to be completed by Office in 2006. “People are actually saying summer, the engineers will conduct preto themselves, ‘Should I move [to Kings liminary site reconnaissance and compile data from past studies of the property. By Park]? What is going to happen?’” “For us to have to continue to wonder the end of next winter, the engineers are to what the future of the site is, is unfair to have uncovered any buried environmenthe community,” Kings Park Civic Asso- tal hazards; by next spring, details of the extent of the buildings’ contamination are ciation President Mike Rosato agreed. Ash had sought to bypass such ques- due. The fourth stage, also scheduled for tioning. “I’m not here to say this is a park next spring, will generate a price tag and or this is not a park,” she said at the meet- plan for remediating the property’s five miles of underground steam tunnels. ing’s outset. Finally, a “building by building” reThe administration’s hesitancy is predominantly due to preservation’s poten- mediation and demolition cost estimate tially lofty price tag, she said. Her depart- has a summer 2010 deadline — although ment is already $650 million behind in Parks officials said they do not intend to “urgent” maintenance and improvement take down all the buildings. Still, without projects at already existing parks, but in awaiting the study results, the state will 2009-10 Parks is only slated to receive begin remediation and demolition of 14 $65 million in capital funding, according of the most dilapidated former hospital to Ash. The Parks Office must “in a sys- structures next year. Once complete, the state faces a tematic way” develop a clear notion of the costs of cleaning and reusing the lead-andContinued on page A7 BY JOE DARROW


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The word of Mickey McGuire of Kings Park was ‘worth its weight in gold,’ colleagues say BY JENNIFER CHOI

Former Smithtown Republican Chairman William “Mickey” McGuire died Feb. 24 after a six-year battle with cancer. He was 83. McGuire, who served as town Republican chairman for 18 years and Suffolk County undersheriff for a decade, died at his Kings Park home with his wife, Carol, by his side. “He was a man with a sparkling personality,” Suffolk Republican Chairman Harry Withers said of McGuire. “He had a long and distinguished career in Suffolk County, as both an undersheriff and a political leader. Over these years, you never heard anything negative about Mickey McGuire.” Withers, who described McGuire as a “very honest

man,” added, “There was no game-playing with this man, no duplicity. He was a great guy to work with.” Suffolk Comptroller James Sawicki said he first met McGuire while serving as a state assemblyman in the 1980s. That was the “beginning of a long friendship,” he said. He credited the former Republican leader with being the first to express support for a future Sawicki bid for Suffolk comptroller. When he finally decided to run for comptroller in 2002, Sawicki said he asked McGuire whether he would still support him. The chairman answered, “I told you I would,” Sawicki recalled. “That’s the kind of guy he was. When he gave you his word, it was worth its weight in gold, which was rare in politics.” Sawicki, a former Southold GOP leader, said McGuire was often “the last to speak” when county Republican

Courtesy Carol McGuire

William ‘Mickey’ McGuire of Kings Park was Smithtown Republican chairman for 18 years.

leaders debated controversial issues. “Whenever he spoke, it was the voice of wisdom,” Sawicki said. “He spoke quietly in a low tone, but people stood up and listened.” The comptroller then likened McGuire to former President Theodore Roosevelt who said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” McGuire, however, was “so persuasive” that “he never had to swing the big stick,” Sawicki said, adding “I miss him dearly. The Suffolk County Republican Party would be fortunate to find a guy who can half-fill his shoes.” Born in New York City, McGuire was sent at the age of 1 to Carlow, Ireland, to live with his grandfather because his parents couldn’t afford to support him, according to his wife, Carol. When he returned stateside at age 7, his parents were residing in Kings Park. Carol said her husband got the nickname “Mickey” based on Mickey Rooney’s character, Mickey McGuire, in an “Our Gang” comedy. McGuire, who worked at Kings Park Psychiatric Hospital for 14 years, became involved in Republican politics in 1985 when “your word was your word, and your handshake was your bond,” Carol said. “He loved helping people, and he enjoyed politics.” McGuire was also instrumental in implementing services in the sheriff ’s department that still exist today, his wife said. He began working as a deputy sheriff in 1962, working his way up to undersheriff in 1974. He retired in 1984 after a decade of service. In addition to his wife, McGuire is also survived by his daughter, Linda Figari of New Suffolk, and two grandchildren, Dr. Larissa Figari and Steven McGuire Figari. A wake was held Feb. 26 at Clayton Funeral Home in Kings Park, and a Mass was celebrated Friday at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Kings Park. Burial followed at Calverton National Cemetery.

-PROUDIt’s kind of hard to find too many things to get excited about these days. Everything is pretty tough both business-wise and personally for lots of people in our community and around the world. Of course, it would be nice if the media would stop pounding everyone over the head with negative news over and over again. It’s becoming a selffulfilling prophecy. But we felt pretty good the other day when, after announcing some pretty tough financial results for the end of the year, Ford still sees no need to ask for government loans. In fact the CEO of Ford Motor Company said “Right now, I think with everything planned in the fiscal and monetary policy, I am very comfortable that we are going to start to turn things around through the second half of the year.” This doesn’t mean that Ford isn’t using lines of credit. But they have done it the old-fashioned way; they went out to banks and found financing. Ford is doing it! Ford is finding a way to make it through these hard times. This is the type of auto manufacturer that wants people to feel confident when buying one of their products. With all that being said, Ford is putting out GREAT vehicles! Our new Ford vehicles are safe (more top safety-rated vehicles than any other manufacturer), high quality (now in a virtual tie with Toyota and Honda), good looking and fun to drive. In fact, Ford GAINED market share in the last three months of 2008. And there’s a lot more coming soon! Ford has said that, despite the economic challenges out there, they’re not pulling back on the most important thing of all; product.

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PAGE A6 • TIMES OF SMITHTOWN township • MARCH 05, 2009

Longtime town Republican leader dies at 83

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The $12.7 million budget gap the Smithtown school district projected in early February has shrunk to $8.7 million due to proposed spending cuts and revenue enhancements, school officials announced last Thursday. The $213 million draft budget school administrators presented to the board Feb. 26 was $2 million less than earlier projections due to proposed cuts to spending on teacher substitutes ($900,000) and overtime ($40,000), athletic programs and transportation ($259,000), BOCES services and collective purchasing ($516,000 overall), instructional equipment ($200,000) and capital projects spending ($100,000), among other items. The district doesn’t plan to use $900,000 worth of fewer substitutes, but pay that amount of their compensation out of salary funds, which typically have about $1 million leftover at year’s end due to “a variety of reasons,” such as unanticipated employee leaves, according to Assistant Superintendent for Finance Joan Niles. Meanwhile, extracurricular changes could include eliminating the ninth-grade junior varsity program while boosting resources to middle school sports, she said. And administrators also suggested moving the school calendar online to save $10,000. For their part, trustees shrunk the gap $2 million by partially relenting on their self-imposed requirement to avoid a tax increase. Board leaders still aim to levy no more tax from district residents than the $157 million raised for the 2008-09 budget — a freeze that stretches back to 2007-08. “We’re not asking the community to give us any more money than they started to give us three years ago,” board President Carl Gianino said. However, trustees no longer expect to keep the tax rate constant. District property value assessments are projected to fall about $2 million overall for 2009-10 due to the ailing real estate market, according to Business Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Saggese. So, even if next year’s budget requires the same amount of tax revenue as this year, it would be levied from a smaller tax base, requiring a larger tax rate to compensate.

The district could also augment its revenue by paying up to $4.5 million of employee benefit expenses out of dedicated reserve accounts. Shrinking the spending gap further could require staffing reductions, Saggese said. “There’s nowhere else to cut,” he said. “This is a bare bones budget.” As of Tuesday, administrators said layoffs had not been proposed. “As of this point, I’m not aware of any but you never know where this is going to go,” Niles said. The federal stimulus plan’s boost for schools, which many hope will nullify the need for teacher layoffs on Long Island, is still a nonactor, Niles added. The district has yet to

‘There’s nowhere else to cut.... This is a bare bones budget.’ — TRUSTEE JOE SAGGESE

receive official word of how much of the $2.2 million in aid it’s set to lose under Gov. David Paterson’s 2009-10 budget proposal would be restored by Uncle Sam. Superintendent of Schools Ed Ehmann has asked employee unions to consider relinquishing their annual contracted pay increases to avoid layoffs. Ehmann said he has met with the union leaders, who are now separately conferring over whether to make such a deal. “There’s nothing to report at this point,” he said Thursday. Of course, were employees to agree to forego their step pay raise next year, they would likely do so based on district promises to compensate their loss in the following years. But with the current uncertainty over when and how far school revenue streams — embattled state-aid funding in particular — will recover, “there’s no way for us to make that commitment to them,” Ehmann said. The board’s Budget Affairs Committee will next meet tonight at 7 pm.

Courtesy King Pedlar

Smithtown Supervisor Pat Vecchio questions the state’s repeated failure to permanently address the future of the Kings Park Psychiatric Center at Friday’s summit.

No Parks answer

Continued from page A4 “daunting task” in finding a revenue stream for remediation, Flanagan said, reissuing his call for a $500 million bond act to boost park projects statewide. Nevertheless, he and other elected officials expressed their gratitude that concrete steps toward cleaning the hospital grounds were finally being taken. “Myonlydisappointmentis,wehaven’tgottenafirm,longterm commitment to keeping it as a park,” Flanagan said after Parks’ presentation. “Although we would have liked the state to have firmly committed to the status of the park,” Kings Park Neighbors’ Association President Linda Henninger echoed in an email late Friday, “the fact that they are starting some cleanup and the fact that our elected officials expressed their desire to keep it park, is all positive.”

Correction A Feb. 26 story, “Smithtown to host its own restaurant week,” omitted two names from the list of participating restaurants. They are Buona Sera Restaurant in St. James and Butera’s of Smithtown. We regret the error. 84610

MARCH 05, 2009 • TIMES OF SMITHTOWN township • PAGE A7

Smithtown SD narrows budget gap to $8.7M

Marlow-Ratway honored Judy Marlow-Ratway, president of the Commack-Kings Park Rotary Club, received a plaque from the Arumdaun Presbyterian Church in Bethpage for her achievement and success in starting the Ukraine Dental Project in Odessa, Ukraine. Donations have soared in the last six months to $73,015.12. Pictured are Dr. Changpae Yu, DMD, P.C., Commack; Andrew G. Ratway, Rotarian; Judy Marlow-Ratway; Elder Alex M. Chi and Elder Hee Sang Lee, Arumdaun Presbyterian Church.


St. James Fire Department volunteers honored Suffolk County Legislator Lynne C. Nowick presented proclamations to St. James Fire Department emergency medical technicians in recognition of their efforts to save two people on two separate occasions. Pictured at top with Legislator Nowick (center) are the rescuers who responded to the St. James Plaza incident with their chiefs, from left to right, Third Assistant Chief Michael Grayson, Second Assistant Chief William Theobalt, Captain Edward Springer, EMT Mary Theobalt, EMT-Critical Care Brian Anderson, Captain Frank Sapienza, First Assistant Chief Richard Smith Jr. and Chief Roy Bradshaw. Driver Marty Thompson is not in the photo. Pictured above with Legislator Lynne C. Nowick (center) are the St. James Fire Department volunteer crew who saved an elderly woman and their fire chiefs, from left to right, Third Assistant Chief Michael Grayson, Second Assistant Chief William Theobalt, EMT Kevin Kaleita, EMT-Critical Care Kathy Reda, EMT-Critical Care Christopher Gryciuk, First Assistant Chief Richard Smith Jr. and Chief Roy Bradshaw. Crew members Liam Carroll and Charlie Masterson were not present for the photo. Courtesy Legislator Nowick’s office

James Ormond

Robert Ambrose

James Ramsay Ormond, a longtime resident of St. James, died on Jan. 21. He was a former superintendent of construction engineering for Suffolk County Water Authority and a longtime member of the St. James Lions Club. Mr. Ormond was the beloved husband of the late Helen; the devoted fiancé of Gertrude Gelo; and the loving father of Margaret (Meg) and Winifred. A funeral service was held on Jan. 26. Interment followed at Resurrection Cemetery in Farmingdale. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Long Island State Veterans Home in Stony Brook would be appreciated. Arrangements were entrusted to the Maher family at the St. James Funeral Home, St. James.

Robert F. Ambrose, a longtime resident of Smithtown, died on Feb. 23 at the age of 70. Mr. Ambrose was the cherished husband of Emily; the loving father of Brenda Bloom and her husband, Robert, Frank Ambrose and his wife, Karen, and Dawn Purcell and her husband, Matthew; and the beloved Poppy of Nicolette, Christopher and Alexander. He was loved by many other relatives and friends. A funeral Mass was held on Feb. 27 at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Smithtown. Interment followed at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Hauppauge. Arrangements were entrusted to the Maher family at the St. James Funeral Home, St. James.

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Kings Park’s Soria wins state championship title BY FRANK DOWD

Kings Park crowned their first state champion in school history this past weekend at the New York State wrestling championships. Junior Mike Soria beat Longwood’s Corey Rasheed, a seventh-grader, in a 7-0 decision at 96 pounds. In the consolation finals, his twin brother Max Soria defeated Chris Brienza of St. Anthony’s, also at 96 pounds, by a 98 decision for third place. Max, who chose to default when him and his brother were supposed to meet in a quarterfinal match on Friday, watched every second of his brother’s match, just as Rasheed’s brother Malik, who came in fifth place at 103 pounds, supported him. Local teams Shoreham-Wading River and Rocky Point also crowned champions up at Times Union Center in Albany.

WRESTLING In his third season as an All-State wrestler, Harvard-bound Steven Keith (119) of Shoreham earned his second state title. He finished the regular season with an impressive 46-0 record. Keith won a 6-4 overtime decision in the finals against section I wrestler Justis Flamio of Mahopac. At the 1:23 mark of the semifinals, he scored a pin against a section II opponent. Keith made easy work of his first two opponents, which included a victory over Brentwood wrestler Alex Gomez, who he beat 5-0 in the section XI finals. Two-time All-state wrestler T.J. Neidhart (160) will attend Sacred Heart University next year. He ended his high school career on a high note by making it to the finals. Although he lost that match, 17-10, “Neidhart put up a fight,” said Shoreham Wading Riv-

Courtesy Jim Hoops

Kings Park’s Mike Soria, at top, smothers West Islip’s Steven Coppola in the Suffolk County semifinals. Above, Soria looks to escape from Longwood’s Corey Rasheed in the county semifinals match.

er head coach Joe Condon. “It was a wild match. The fans were really involved.” Neidhart made easy work of his first two opponents with a 10-0 decision and pin, respectively, just over a minute into his match against a Section III competitor. Condon is happy about the way Keith and Neidhart wrestled at states. “I’m very proud of both those guys,” he said. “They represented the district well.” Rocky Point had a very successful tournament. They placed eighth out of about 500 schools in New York State. “We were pretty happy about that,” said Rocky Point head coach Darren Goldstein. “It was a pleasure to be part of the Suffolk County contingent that went up there.” Three Rocky Point wrestlers made the trip up North and came home with AllState honors. “It was pretty significant,” Goldstein said. Stephen Dutton (135) beat the defending state champion to capture the title. “He dominated all of his opponents throughout the tournament,” said Goldstein. “He didn’t surrender any earned points.” Although Rocky Point wrestler Anthony Volpe (145) lost in the semifinals to the eventual state champion, he had a very effective day winning all of his other matches by decision. Volpe defeated a Section I wrestler (15-4) that he lost to earlier in the year. “It was a very significant match,” said Goldstein. “He had a great tournament. The best tournament that I’ve coached him in.” Despite being upset in the quarterfinals, Rocky Point wrestler Billy Coggins (160) wrestled back for a strong fifth place finish. He defeated that same wrestler later on in the tournament. Goldstein will have four returning AllState wrestlers next year, which will be the

first time in Rocky Point history. He was happy with the results. “Every wrestler made the Rocky Point community proud,” he said. Edinboro University-bound Miller Place wrestler Zach Buonaiuto (189) competed in the states for the second consecutive year. “He did real well day one,” said Miller Place head coach Domenic Lo Re. Buonaiuto had two opponents that day. He won his first match with a 9-2 decision and pinned the following opponent in the second period. The next day, Buonaiuto lost in the semifinals to the eventual runner up. “He made a mistake and it cost him the match,” said Lo Re, who has coached Buonaiuto since the seventh grade. “It was an emotional day for both of us. I’ll always be Zach’s friend.” Port Jeff hasn’t had an All-State wrestler in 20 years. Two-time All-County champion Chris Bourguignon (103) and senior Shaun O’Sullivan (160) hoped to turn that around. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Bourguignon lost in the first round, but redeemed himself with victories over a New York City wrestler and seventh seed contender in two separate matches. “He didn’t wrestle up to his ability,” said Port Jefferson head coach Mike Maletta. “He knows that he has only one more shot.” Bourguignon failed to finish takedowns. “He wasn’t aggressive enough in the medal round,” Maletta said. O’Sullivan, who was ranked first in the county this year, finished the weekend with a 1-2 record, which included a 10-0 victory over a New York City wrestler. His first opponent was seeded third and dominated in size. “It’s tough,” said Maletta. “It’s a weighclass thing.” O’Sullivan won his wrestle-back match, but lost the match that would have allowed him to compete on the second day.

PAGE A10 • TIMES OF SMITHTOWN township • MARCH 05, 2009

EDITORIAL Municipality with purpose 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 (DLloyd 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.


Continued from page A1 historical impact. While officials said some structures on the property are eligible for listing on state and federal historical registries, “buildings under consideration … are not historically significant,” stated a Parks release. In addition, “our current thinking is simply demolishing buildings … does not rise to the level of [requiring] an environmental impact statement,” said John Kowalchyk, Parks’ Long Island region deputy director. A 15-month-long engineering study of the costs of remediating and demolishing structures on the 365 acres added to Parks in 2006 is set to begin in March. In contrast, Parks has conducted no study of cleanup or knockdown costs for most of the 14 buildings on demolition row. Parks officials said the buildings were selected based on the recommendations of administration experts — “a large, qualified group of people,” Kowalchyk said — using records from state agencies and private developers who studied the property over the

past decade. The commissioner is also seeking public input on the demolition proposal up to and including her public forum in Kings Park March 26, set for 7 pm at the high school. Estimated cost for the project is $14 million but, Parks officials emphasize, that is “rough.” Detailed asbestos and remediation costs are only available for four of the buildings, those in the 150 acres that formed the Nissequogue River State Park in 2000. The state conducted a study on remediating and removing its buildings in 2007. Parks inhouse engineers have devised loose price estimates for the remaining ten. Actual project costs will be determined through competitive bidding by interested demolition firms. Demolition funding, as well as money for the large-scale engineering study, are to be drawn from the $29 million fund for the hospital’s cleanup secured in the state budget by Sen. John Flanagan (R-East Northport). Before the deconstruction project could be sent out to bid, the state must hire a private firm

OPINION Demolition nice, but where’s the commitment? TO THE EDITOR: On Friday, Feb. 27, State Parks Commissioner Carol Ash and members of her staff hosted a meeting at the Nissequogue River State Park administration building to brief community leaders about the status of the park property. They discussed plans to begin a comprehensive engineering study of the buildings and grounds on what once was the former 365-acre core campus of the Kings Park Psychiatric Center. They also identified 14 structures for demolition. They are proposing that these deteriorated structures be removed before the remediation study is completed to reduce the risk they pose to the health and safety of our residents and park visitors. The Nissequogue River State Park Foundation is very grateful to state Parks for their decision to demolish these structures while they conduct their engineering study. Unfortunately, we are disappointed that Parks will not to commit to maintaining the entire site as parkland. We understand their need to obtain an accurate assessment of the cleanup costs, but that should not delay their commitment to retain the property as state parkland. Every community representative and every one of our political leaders who were present at this meeting with the commissioner supports the park designation of

the property. The state’s reluctance to commit to its current park status inhibits real progress towards developing a master park plan for all 520 acres. The community overwhelmingly supports the reuse of the property for recreational and cultural purposes, but after 12 years of striving to “keep the Park in Kings Park,” it is discouraging that the state is unwilling to acknowledge and uphold the community’s wishes. The Nissequogue River State Park Foundation has worked tirelessly over the last year to help enhance and beautify the grounds. The foundation is about to begin the restoration of the cupola on the park administration building and a cleanup project along the main boulevard. We have also financed the creation of a preliminary conceptual plan for the park and have offered to help fund a master plan for the entire property. On May 30, the NRSP Foundation, comprised of 11 separate community groups, will be hosting our second major fundraising event: a 5K Sunset Run in the Park and 1K Summer Fun Run. Proceeds from this event will help restore the front entrance of the administration building. It is our belief that state Parks, community leaders and our political representatives must begin working more closely together to create a park that will meet the recreational and cultural needs of our residents. Establishing public-private partnerships could help us achieve these goals, stimulate our local economy and help make the park self sustaining. We hope state Parks will embrace this concept.

An engineering study and demolition of some of the buildings is a good beginning, but after 12 years it’s time for the state to commit to establishing a park that will serve the diverse needs of our residents today and for generations to come. Michael Rosato, chairman Niss. River State Park Foundation

KPPC cleanup to begin, thanks to senator’s efforts TO THE EDITOR: (An open letter to state Sen. John Flanagan) Kings Park Neighbors’ Association would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your steadfast commitment to the Nissequogue River State Park. Like you, we are disappointed with state Parks’ present refusal to publicly commit to the position that the former hospital property will permanently remain parkland, but we are quite encouraged that the process of partial cleanup is to begin. This would not have been possible without the money you secured for this property and your constant advocacy on behalf of this property and our community. K.P. Neighbors will continue to work with you and the community to advance the security of the park’s status, but find the most recent developments as a positive step toward the ultimate goal, a state park that will be enjoyed by all. Linda Henninger, president KP Neighbors’ Association

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

to create detailed demolition plans, Kowalchyk said. The start date “is probably more than a year out if everything lines up and the steps advance in a timely fashion,” he said. Buildings to be knocked down, and the reasons for doing so, according to Kowalchyk include: number 59, the medical records building, where the roof is collapsing; 60, the power plant, whose roof is damaged, walls are cracked and bricks are falling off; the barge building, whose hull is “shot;” 55, the boat house, which “is not compliant in almost every regulated area;” 122, the inpatient building, whose roof is caving in and wood supports are rotting; 23, Buchman Day Treatment Center, which is in “disarray inside;” 48, a maintenance shed, which has large holes in its exterior walls; 47, the dairy barn, which is “clearly a security problem;” 35, a staff residence, which has a window allowing easy access to an asbestos infested basement; and buildings 6 and 57 in the powerhouse area. The latter’s roof is deteriorated and caving in, Kowalchyk said. The smokestack, an area

landmark, will also be removed, although it does not pose an “imminent danger,” the deputy regional director said. “It’s something we think should come down because we both think it could become a hazard and aesthetically, who wants to see a smokestack remain?” Meanwhile, engineers would assess how best to remediate the five miles of underground steam tunnels that crisscross the property. Whether to open them up first and then remove potential lead and asbestos, or remediate them while closed must be determined, Kowalchyk said, with safety and cost as the criteria. Community leaders applauded the plans to remove potentially hazardous hospital structures, which Kings Park Superintendent of Schools Sue Agruso called “an attractive nuisance” to area students, many of which attend schools that border the psychiatric center land. “Thank you for the engineering study and for keeping our children safe,” Kings Park Neighbors’ Association President Linda Henninger told Ash. “When you take down

these buildings, it helps all of us.” And that includes firefighters. Kings Park Fire District representative Jim Stark said that with the hospital’s closure, its inhouse firefighting squad dissolved. As a result, Kings Park firefighters constantly risk their lives responding to calls at the disintegrating buildings. “If there’s … someone in there who requires rescuing, we’re going to do what we’ve got to do,” Stark said. Providing fire coverage for the hospital buildings “is a major liability to our taxpayers,” he added. “Could you start taking these down tomorrow?”

KPCSD budget

Continued from page A1 necessary to avoid a spending increase, Quigley said the draft budget must be reduced by $3.1 million. Due to loss of tax revenue, the tax rate would still increase under this scenario by 2.45 percent. The next budget workshop will take place on Tuesday, March 17, at 7 pm in room 101 of Kings Park High School.

On a windless Florida Sunday morning, as my wife and I returned from a two-mile trudge along the beach, Bizet’s Symphony in C was playing on WXEL, the public radio station that broadcasts out of Fort Lauderdale. Sunday morning — that reflective pause in the week’s activity we are conditioned to take — often draws the mind back through the years, and so it was again. I glanced at the radio, an expensive Bose with four-CD player, but what my mind’s eye saw was a cheap 1950s FM radio, in a garish case of orange plastic, that rested on a table in the Manhattan apartment I shared with my first wife. That long-ago day when I brought it home, the first piece it played happened to be this same soaring Bizet work. We lived then on East End Avenue, and across the street from our front door was Carl Schurz Park, a lovely retreat above FDR Drive and the East River. One summer evening we had gone to the park to hear a free concert — was it the New York Philharmonic? — and the Symphony in C was the featured piece, the first time I’d heard it. I remember that the orchestra was introduced by an impossibly handsome, handsome as any Kennedy, young Republican congressman named John V. Lindsay, who would go on to astonish everyone by getting elected mayor of the city. So that is what the Bizet did for me on this Florida Sunday, take me on a sudden leap backward over 50 years in time, from the sight of a sleek black Bose to the cheap orange box of a definitely low-fidelity radio at the very beginning of the transistor age. It isn’t easy here in South Florida to find a station

playing classical music. The FM airwaves are crowded with stations playing contemporary pop and rock and Latino music, and Evangelical Christian stations with thundering preachers and music that, while it may be spiritually inspiring, is so uninteresting melodically that it’s hard to listen to. There are some four dozen Evangelical stations throughout Florida. (The Christian radio ministers and commentators don’t seem to like our new president very much. I listened raptly one afternoon as a commentator named Janet Porter insisted “Mr. Obama” cannot legally serve as president, as he has never presented a valid birth certificate. “Where is the birth certificate? Where is the birth certificate?” she demanded again and again. She spoke also of a Democratic Party plot to make the FCC remove broadcast licenses of Christian radio stations, and of opposition to the president’s economic stimulus program because of his wicked insertion, since removed, of $200 million for condom distribution. I listened also to the Rev. Harold Camping, who predicts the world will end between May and October 2011. He’s been wrong before, but don’t scoff. Wall Street could yet prove him right.) Coming across the Symphony in C started me thinking of the shaky future facing classical radio stations. At the time when my orange radio was beaming Bizet on East End Avenue, New York City had at least five stations playing classical music around the clock. Now only WQXR, owned by the New York Times, remains, the others having gone over to more profitable conversions as rock or pop stations or, shudder, talk radio.

Signals Now only WQXR remains, the others having gone over to more profitable conversions as rock or pop stations or, shudder, talk radio. BY JOHN MCKINNEY

How long WQXR will remain as a purely classical music outlet is a question. Earnings at The Times, whose daily pages are visibly vacant of advertising, are declining sharply. And its stock price is plummeting. As of last week, you could buy a share of the company for less than the price of the Sunday paper. It is hard to imagine what the greatest city in the world might be like without a single classical music station. (Or the New York Times.) Arch-rival Boston has three classical stations (and the Red Sox). Classical music manages to remain alive in such outposts as Seattle, Sioux Falls, Boise, Atlanta, even in Anchorage and, would you believe, Las Vegas. We shall learn what the future holds for Bizet and the rest.

Togetherness well worth the logistics 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

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

TIMES BEACON RECORD NEWSPAPERS We welcome letters, photographs, comments and story ideas. Send your items to PO Box 707, Setauket, NY 11733 or email to Or drop by our news office at 185 Route 25A, Setauket. The opinions of our columnists are not necessarily those of the paper. Times Beacon Record Newspapers are published every Thursday. Address: PO Box 707, Setauket, NY 11733. Telephone: 631-751-7744 Web • Contents copyright 2009.

— 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-


ASSOCIATE EDITOR Alyssa Cutler EDITORIAL John Broven Jennifer Choi Michael Downer Arlene Gross Robert Leuner Kelly Maguire Patricia Proven Lisa Steuer John Westermann Dave Willinger

Between you and me

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

PHOTOGRAPHY John Griffin Robert O'Rourk ART AND PRODUCTION DIRECTOR David R. Leaman ART AND PRODUCTION Janet Fortuna Beth Heller Mason Wendy Mercier


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.

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


MARCH 05, 2009 • TIMES OF SMITHTOWN township • PAGE A11

On the airwaves, classical music struggles to survive

Class of ‘71 E.L. Vandermeulen High School Port Jefferson, NY

Class of ‘77 Ward Melville High School East Setauket, NY

Leo Sternlicht

Class of ‘80 Ward Melville High School East Setauket, NY

Steve Rothstein

Riverhead F/L/M, Owner

Riverhead F/L/M, Sales Mgr.

Class of ‘77 Ward Melville High School East Setauket, NY

Malcolm Germaine

Riverhead F/L/M, Pre-Owned Sales Mgr.

Class of ‘86 Ward Melville High School East Setauket, NY

Gabriel Tangredi

Marc Donin

Riverhead F/L/M, Sales Associate

Riverhead F/L/M, Finance Manager

With the closing of your local Lincoln/Mercury dealers, you might have concerns about the service and maintenance of your Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. Fear no more! We all grew up here and went to school here, and we all still live here. As good neighbors, we promise that we will pick-up your vehicle from your home or business, have it serviced and return it to you, because as good neighbors, that is the least we can do.

The All New



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PAGE A12 • TIMES OF SMITHTOWN township • MARCH 05, 2009

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The Times of Smithtown

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