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The TIMES of Smithtown Township

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

Volume 22, No. 1

March 12, 2009


Vacancies, to avoid layoffs Supervisor secures Council majority backing to keep 13 positions unfilled as revenues fall BY JOE DARROW

In response to new projections of revenue losses, the Town Supervisor called on his Council colleagues Tuesday to keep 16 town positions vacant through 2009 to save $928,000 in salary and benefit costs. In crafting the 2009 budget last fall, the Town Board had planned on a $3 million dip in mortgage tax revenue this year. And in December, town Sole Assessor Greg Hild released projections of a $1.75 million drop in the town’s assessed taxable worth as real estate values plummet. Now, evidence of damage to other town revenue streams is emerging. In a Monday memo to Vecchio, Building Department Director John Bongino said revenue generated by his department, from remunera-

St. Pat’s parade set for Saturday Getting their Irish up From left, Ryan, Julia and Alex Smith of St. James took in the Huntington St. Patrick’s Day Parade Sunday in preparation for their community’s Irish festivities planned for this upcoming Saturday. The St. James Parade will begin at 1 pm, March 14, on Woodlawn Avenue and head north on Lake Avenue. Photo by Ted Taylor

Parks fee hike passes

tion for building permits and assessment fees, has been substantially lower for the first two months of 2009 than for January and February of 2008. Thus far, a total of $279,793 Building Department revenue is $14,104 lower than last year, a 4.8 percent loss compared with the $296,298 collected in the first two months of 2008. Vecchio has suggested a hiring freeze on 13 budgeted but vacant positions across several town departments created when employees retired, voluntarily left or were promoted. No Smithtown employee has yet been fired as a cost-cutting measure in the current global recession, the supervisor said. “It would be better not to hire than to lay off for next year’s budget,” he said. The unfi lled positions, and Continued on page A11

County lawmakers override Levy veto on funding plan for museum BY ARLENE GROSS

In a 12-6 vote, the Legislature overrode County Executive Steve Levy’s veto last Tuesday and increased park fees to bring an additional $1 million into the county’s coffers. Most of the money will aid the Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport, which took a big hit last fall when its endowment dropped precipitously, along with the rest of the declining stock market. The bill’s sponsor, Legislator Vivian Viloria-Fisher (D-East Setauket), said she had been exploring park fee hikes for more than a year, “just because our costs have

gone up and they’re not reflected in the fees.” The cost of fuel for the parks department, for instance, has increased by about 500 percent and people with larger recreational vehicles with more appliances have not been asked to help defray the costs. “During these very difficult economic times, the taxpayers of Suffolk County should not be subsidizing recreational activities on as high a level as we had been in the parks. We have not raised user fees in our parks for seven years. There’s just a sense of fairness in asking people who are engaged in recreational activities

to at least keep up with inflationary prices.” Dan Aug, a spokesman for the county executive, said Levy was proud to have not raised park fees for five years. “So he was disappointed that the Legislature went in that direction,” Aug said. “At the same time, however, he’s pleased that the museum will be open and operating for a period of time, that will allow all parties to endeavor to find a long-term solution leading to continued operation of the facility.” Though he is for the county propping up the Vanderbilt, Legislator Lou D’Amaro (D-North Continued on page A11

Acrobatic attainment Kings Park’s Brittany Cassar nabs state titles in balance beam, floor exercise; leads Suffolk County team to become New York champions

Page A9

Feds to fund smart meter trial in Hauppauge, A3

‘Close to Home’ exhibit opens St. Patrick once again on the march Sunday

Page B1

Where the North Shore clicks •

PAGE A2 • TIMES OF SMITHTOWN township • MARCH 12, 2009

Unions reject Smithtown schools chief’s proposal


Won’t make concessions to avoid layoffs, Ehmann says BY JOE DARROW

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Smithtown school employee unions have all rejected the superintendent’s January call for a wage freeze to avoid potential layoffs, schools chief Ed Ehmann said Tuesday. Some unions, like those representing the nurses, recently finished negotiating a new contract and are reluctant to immediately alter the agreement, the superintendent said. Others, while refusing Ehmann’s specific suggestion of postponing salary hikes to avoid job losses, are willing to re-open negotiations and try to secure concessions, like increased future job security, in exchange for slowing guaranteed pay raises, he said. However, trustees said they lack time to engage in contract negotiations, which can stretch over months or even years, as law requires the Board of Education to adopt a budget by April 24. Further, because school officials cannot foresee what mercurial revenue streams like state aid will amount to next year, let alone five years down the road, the superintendent recommended against promising future perks. “At this point we will be moving forward in the budget deliberations without any concessions from any of the units,” Ehmann said. Smithtown Teachers’ Association President Rich Forzano could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday. Board of Education members voiced their dismay at the announcement, saying it may necessitate the layoffs trustees and administrators were striving to avoid.

File photo

Smithtown Superintendent Ed Ehmann said central administrators will take a pay freeze next year, and called on other district employees to do the same to avoid layoffs.

“It’s very disappointing,” said Trustee Joe Saggese, the Business Affairs Committee chairman. “The superintendent is committed to saving every position and he’s looking for their help.” Administrators have developed a number of budget scenarios to close the $8.7 million gap between revenue and expenses the board faces in crafting the 2009-10 budget. Trustees have seen plans that would require liquidating up to 140 positions, Saggese said. The employees’ opposition to Ehmann’s offer tosses the burden of closing the deficit entirely in the lap of residents, Trustee Lou Liguori said. “To expect the taxpayers to take over the burden 100 percent – I’m extremely disappointed.”

Parents: Save BOCES arts Trustee says cut OT before performance classes BY JOE DARROW

Parents called last Thursday for Smithtown school officials to reconsider eliminating an advanced arts program as part of a plan to close the district’s $8.7 million 2009-10 budget gap. Their plea fell on at least a few receptive ears. One option administrators had presented at a Feb. 26 Business Affairs Committee meeting would cut a $20,000 per year performing arts program that serves three district high school students, according to school officials. The program, administered through Nassau BOCES, buses the students to Long Island High School for the Arts in Syosset, where they receive instruction in fields like music, dance and theater every afternoon; the first hours of their day are spent in Smithtown on the basic curriculum. Students in the program are performance prodigies; admittance into the program is competitive and requires extensive auditioning, said one parent, Cathy Schone of St. James. Her daughter, a junior at Smithtown High School East, began the program this year. The arts school, the only one of its kind on Long Island, grooms the teens over two years to vie for full scholarships to elite performing arts colleges and eventually potential careers in Broadway, symphonies or opera, according to Schone. Nearly all of the program’s graduates win such scholarships, she said. But participation comes at a cost — the Smithtown students don’t arrive back in the district until after 4 pm, too late

to participate in sports or other extracurricular activities. “The school is spectacular,” Schone said. However, it demands a student’s total commitment of two years. If the district ends the program after her daughter’s first year, it would have wasted her time as well as dashing her dreams, Schone argued. “Once you put a kid in, you can’t pull the rug out from under them.” Her argument struck a chord with a number of school officials. While the administrators’ plan liquidates the $20,000 BOCES program, it includes over $372,000 for employee overtime, according to Trustee Neil Carlin. While $42,000 of that “we can’t avoid” as it covers emergency snow removal, Carlin said, he would prefer the remainder be cut instead of arts instruction. “I would like to see virtually all overtime eliminated before you go to programs,” Carlin told administrators. Which is not to imply that district officials were not also moved by the art-students parents’ appeal. Superintendent Ed Ehmann said the district was already re-examining the overtime expenses, which Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Mary Cahill said largely covered the installation of SMART boards after school hours so as to avoid disrupting class. Still, citing Schone’s plea, Ehmann said administrators will seek a way around eliminating the BOCES arts and other education programs if they find that funding areas like overtime pay can be reduced.


Hauppauge to hop on smart grid LIPA to install hi-tech meters at 1,000 businesses in industrial park


Residents in a number of Long Island communities have banded together in a watchdog group opposing what they view as wasteful spending by the Long Island Power Authority. Long Island Energy Surveillance is a “volunteer watchdog File photo group of civic activFred Gorman, a member of ists providing the LI Energy Surveillance sunlight Long Island ratepayers need to protect themselves from LIPA abuses,” according to a release emailed by LIES Executive Committee Member Fred Gorman of Nesconset. Its members “have said we will no longer rely on our government to protect us from the evils of this company, which is taxing us to death,” said Gorman, also chairman of the Nesconset-Sachem Civic Association. LIES charges that LIPA has agreed to purchase energy in excess of what Long Islanders need and at overblown prices, and continues to raise consumers’ rates without any public oversight. The group is calling for foundational reform of the public energy authority, beginning with election of the LIPA board of directors, currently appointed by the governor, state Senate majority leader and Assembly speaker. True, by hedging its oil purchases through futures contracts, the authority has found itself out $100 million over the past year — with crude prices plummeting as the global recession began — necessitating a 3.2 percent rate increase, LIPA Vice President for Communications Ed Dumas said. And the power authority is augmenting its oil purchases with $14.4 million toward renewable energy this year. But last year’s loss in the abnormal market conditions aside, the oil-price hedging program is beneficial in the long run, Dumas said, thus far saving LIPA ratepayers about $600 million. And as for its plans to purchase solar, wind and geothermal energy, Dumas said LIPA has an obligation to invest in alternative energy. Gov. David Paterson has called Continued on page A6

The $408 billion federal appropriations bill generating uproar from conservatives in Congress includes $713,000 aimed at saving energy and cutting utility costs on Long Island. The funds would be used in a LIPA pilot study testing Smart meters in Hauppauge and Bethpage, Long Island Power Authority officials said Monday. From an early test run of 60 homes and 12 businesses, LIPA officials said the program will expand to encompass the entire Hauppauge Industrial Park, over a thousand businesses, by the end of 2010. The program will test two different Smart meter technologies, which provide consumers with updated energy use information over the Internet in “near real time,” i.e. every 15 minutes instead of once a month, according to LIPA executives. The more detailed data, eventually including figures on high peak and low electricity consumption, should enable businesses and residents to better tailor energy consumption to need, said Vice President for Retail Services Bruce Germano. Customers who received Smart meters in other test runs have cut their energy costs by as much as 10 percent, he said. “We live in a high-tech 21st century but we have a low-tech 20th century grid,” said LIPA Chief Executive Officer Kevin Law. “As a public authority we have a public obligation to be moving in the right direction.” Installing Smart meters is part of a larger LIPA campaign to reduce energy consumption “to help us avoid building that next power plant,” Law said. It’s time that technological advances that have generated cuttingedge consumer products like the Apple iPhone — which can do ev-

Photo by Joe Darrow

From left, Globecomm CEO David Hershberg, LIPA CEO Kevin Law, Rep. Steve Israel and LIPA Retail Services Vice President Bruce Germano announced a plan to use federal funding for a smart meter pilot program in Hauppauge Monday.

erything from tracking mail deliveries to monitoring daily personal weight gain — be put to work lowering U.S. dependence on foreign oil, said Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills), a House Appropriations Committee member and securer of the $713,000 federal earmark. “With a push of a button I can control every part of my life,” Israel said. “We want to ensure that ratepayers and businesses have the same control over their energy costs.” LIPA has included $3 million for Smart meters in its 2009 capital budget and an additional $5 million to expand the program in 2010 and 2011, according to authority officials. But at a cost of $250 to $300 per meter, a larger revenue source will be necessary to encompass all approximately three million LIPA ratepayers in the smart grid, Law added. He said LIPA also plans to seek a portion of the $4.5 billion fund for energy-efficient grids in the recently passed fed-

eral stimulus bill. It’s unrealistic to expect a local power authority to have the funding “to cover all the financial risk” of a large-scale investment in Smart grid technologies, Israel said. Particularly beneficial in a global recession, the $713,000 federal investment will not only cut fossil fuel use and save consumers money, but also create jobs — manufacturing and servicing the Smart meters — in the green-energy industry Israel is working to establish on Long Island, he said. The House of Representatives has passed the appropriations bill, and President Barack Obama indicated his willingness to sign it, but the Senate had yet to vote on it as of Monday. Israel said he anticipated that the chamber would pass the spending bill by the end of the week. “If the Senate would do a little more working and a little less talking, we could deliver the check to LIPA immediately,” the conContinued on page A6

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MARCH 12, 2009 • TIMES OF SMITHTOWN township • PAGE A3

Island watchdogs take issue with LIPA finances

sprinkler heads and an improperly located fire extinguisher, marshals said. The bar was immediately closed and Barhoppers in Smithtown Saturday night had fewer options after town fire mar- evacuated. It is not permitted to reopen unshals and police temporarily closed two bars til the violations are rectified and pass a reinspection, Smithtown marshals said. for safety hazards. Nubar owners are due in court May 12. Suffolk police arrested three employees of Nubar on Main Street in Smithtown Calls for comment placed to Nubar Tuesday around midnight Saturday after conducting went unanswered. The second bar, Blush Pub on Veterans a state Liquor Authority inspection “in response to recent complaints of illegal activ- Highway in Commack, drew code enforceity,” according to a police release. “Officers ment attention when Commack firefighters responded to an alarm 1 noticed an intoxicated am Sunday. minor, who admitted Commack fire pershe purchased alcohol Smithtown fire marshals sonnel discovered that from two separate barreported finding ‘freethe alarm had been set tenders,” police said. off by a small fire in the The bartenders, flowing raw sewage’ tavern’s bathroom, marKristin Tomasulo, 26, shals said, “and felt that of Commack and James blocking an exit at Nubar the fire alarm system Porter, 33, of Rocky on Main Street Saturday. may have been tamPoint were charged with pered with” and “were the misdemeanor, unlawfully dealing with a minor in the first also concerned that the building had not degree. Police charged a Nubar barback, been evacuated.” They summoned Smithtown fire marDavid Golden, 20, also of Rocky Point, with shals. Deputy Chief Brofman determined disorderly conduct. The three were issued desk appearance that the restroom fire was the result of a tickets and scheduled for arraignment on “carelessly discarded cigarette,” the town reMay 5. The state criminal courts website lease stated. “The fire was confined to paper had not yet identified their attorneys of re- towels in a small garbage pail.” An employee poured water on the blaze, extinguishing it cord as of Tuesday evening. Smithtown Senior Fire Marshal Michael before firefighters arrived. No one was inGagliardi and Deputy Chief Fire Marshal jured and the building sustained no damAndrew Brofman accompanied police on age, marshals reported. An investigation of the fire alarm indithe raid and uncovered 15 violations, each a misdemeanor under state Fire Code, ac- cated that the system had malfunctioned, cording to a town Public Safety release and shut down after activating, town fire Tuesday. Alleged hazards included a locked marshals said. As a result, they and Suffolk exit door, blocked exit corridor, “another police evacuated Blush and ordered it closed exit way obstructed by free-flowing raw until the alarm is repaired and reinspected. A manager at Blush said the alarm was sewage,” nonfunctioning exit and emergency lighting, electrical violations, obstructed fixed and the bar reopened as of Monday. BY JOE DARROW


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PAGE A4 • TIMES OF SMITHTOWN township • MARCH 12, 2009

Marshals close two bars

Legals SUPREME COURT COUNTY OF SUFFOLK MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC. AS NOMINEE FOR NEW CENTURY MORTGAGE CORPORATION, Plaintiff against BRIDGET LOVETT A/K/A BRIDGETT LOVETT, et al Defendant(s). Pursuant to a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale entered on February 19, 2009. I, the undersigned Referee will sell at public auction at the front steps of the Smithtown Hall, 99 West Main Street, Smithtown, N.Y. on the 13th day of April, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. premises Beginning at a point on the westerly side of Kings Park Road distant 371.97 feet along the westerly side of Kings park Road from extremely southerly end of an arc that connects the southerly side of Wenmore Road with the westerly side of King Park Road; Running thence the following two courses and

Photo by Alan Pearlman distances an the westerly side of Kings Park Road; 1. Southerly along a curve bearing to the right with a radius of 100.00 feet and for a length of 40.72 feet; 2. South 32 degrees 28 minutes 38 seconds west, 43.80 feet; Thence north 57 degrees 31 minutes 22 seconds west, 125.00 feet; Thence north 32 degrees 28 minutes 38 seconds east, 30.00 feet; Thence north 16 degrees 00 minutes 05 seconds east, 50.95 feet; Thence south 59 degrees 51 minutes 22 seconds east, 138.78 feet to the westerly side of Kings Park Road the point or place of beginning. Said premises known as 120 Kings Park Road, Commack, N.Y. 11725. Tax account number: SBL#: 092.00-02.00-073.000, District 0800. Approximate amount of lien $522,467.14 plus interest and costs. Premises will be sold subject

to provisions of filed judgment and terms of sale. Index No. 07107-08. Michael E. Repole, Esq., Referee Fein Such & Crane, LLP Attorney(s) for Plaintiff 747 Chestnut Ridge Road Suite 200 Chestnut Ridge, N.Y. 10977 “If the sale is set aside for any reason, the Purchaser at the sale shall be entitled only to a return of the deposit paid. The Purchaser shall have no further recourse against the Mortgagor, the Mortgagee, or the Mortgagee’s attorney.” 119 3/12 4x ts

Notice of Formation of Fundamental Dog, LLC. Arts. Of Org. filed with Sect’y of State of N.Y. (SSNY) on 1/08/09. Office location: Suffolk County. SSNY has been designated as agent of the

Author, author! Last Friday night hundreds of Long Islanders turned out at Huntington’s Book Revue to hear best-selling author Jodi Picoult, right, read from her latest release, ‘Handle With Care.’ The Nesconset native signed about 600 books. Among those who greeted Picoult was friend and Smithtown author, Jeb Ladouceur, left, who is mounting a campaign to have the new Nesconset Library named in honor of Picoult. Several hundred fans signed a petition to do so on Friday. Ladouceur read from his own novel, ‘Calamity Hook,’ the final in a trilogy about a psychopathic killer with a penchant for word play, at Book Revue on Wednesday.

LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of process to the LLC, 109 Blydenburgh Avenue, Smithtown, NY 11787. Purpose: Any lawful purpose. 114 3/5 6x ts Notice of Formation of Limited Liability Company. Name: HMV Petroleum, LLC. Articles of Or-

ganization were filed with the Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) on 01/27/2009. Office location: Suffolk County. SSNY has been designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of process to: HMV Petroleum, LLC, 45 King Arthurs Ct , St James, NY 11780. Purpose: For any lawful purpose. 66 2/5 6x ts

MARCH 12, 2009 • TIMES OF SMITHTOWN township • PAGE A5

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Continued from page A3 gressman said. Israel’s $713,000 would mark the first time the power authority has received federal funding, Law said. Nor has the state traditionally subsidized LIPA, although the authority recently secured $50 million through NYSERDA for solar panel installation, said Vice President of Communications Ed Dumas. The Smart meter funding was announced in the Hauppauge Industrial Park at Globecomm, one of the first participants in the pilot. The telecommunications infrastructure provider’s CEO, David Hershberg, described the firm’s Smart meter as a “win-win” for his shareholders, who will benefit from lower electric bills, and the local environment, which faces fewer emissions from fossil fuels burned to generate the voltage. “We spend a lot of money on power,” Hershberg said. “Hopefully with this [meter] we’ll spend a little less.” Through the pilot, LIPA officials said they plan to measure two different Smart communication technologies’ ability to collect meter information and share it and pricing signals with customers in “near real time,” as well as its ability to detect system conditions — including load and usage — and remotely control equipment situated along the grid. “Through a secured website, Smart meters will allow LIPA customers to see how much electricity they are using and at what rate … encouraging them to

change the pattern of how they use electricity with an eye toward lowering their demand, becoming more energy efficient and lowering their bills,” according to a LIPA release. Smart meters will not only increase energy-use awareness for the consumer, but also for LIPA — boosting its troubleshooting capabilities, Law said. For example, the authority would be able to tell a location had lost power without the customer calling to report it.

LIPA watchdogs

Continued from page A3 for 45 percent of New York’s electricity to be produced by renewable sources or efficiency upgrades by 2015. LIES watchdogs also take issue with LIPA salaries. The authority pays its around 90 employees a combined $16.1 million in salary and benefits, an average of over $180,000 per person, according to LIES. Dumas countered that the LIPA salaries are “in line” with salaries at other power authorities, and constitute a “miniscule” 0.4 percent of LIPA’s $4 billion annual budget. “If you were to fire every LIPA employee, it would save you 25 cents a month on your bill,” Dumas said. Other members of the LIES executive committee are Gary Bessemer, Pat Byrne, Dick Graham, Roselle Hanson, Graham Kerby, Paul and Robert Kosowski, Denise and Erik Knudsen, Ray Mincone, Eleanor Morris, Laurie Pandelakis, Jacqueline Rudman and Andrea Vecchio.

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PAGE A6 • TIMES OF SMITHTOWN township • MARCH 12, 2009

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C-KP Rotary January and February Students of the Month

Loiacono is Rotary’s student of the month Lambroia is Rotary’s student of the month The Commack-Kings Park Rotary Club honored Giovanna M. Lambroia, a Commack Middle School seventh-grader, as their January student of the month. Giovanna is a Girl Scout, and with her Troop 311 of Commack has been visiting St. Anne’s of Brentwood soup kitchen to make sandwiches, prepare meals and provide toys to children. Her volunteer work began with stuffing “care socks” with toiletries and candy, and collecting and donating toys for the needy. Eventually the work blossomed into a monthly visit that has become a tradition for the last three years and continues this year. Giovanna delights in knowing the people she serves leave the soup kitchen with a smile and a full stomach. Giovanna is a hard-working young lady whose charitable work helps to improve the lives of many local families. She has been named as a top volunteer for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards this year. From left, Lawrence and Mary Lambroia, parents; Giovanna M. Lambroia; Judy Marlow-Ratway, C-KP Rotary president; Christine Preuss, guidance counselor; and Patricia McKeever, assistant principal.

On Feb. 10, the Commack-Kings Park Rotary Club honored their student of the month, Thomas Loiacono, an eighth-grader from the William T. Rogers Middle School in Kings Park. For the past two years, Loiacono has worked at the KPCSD’s annual charity basketball game as a member of the Mickey Mouse Club. Loiacono is a member of Boy Scout Troop 75. He has helped out a church in Brentwood to make sandwiches for the poor with a group called the Peanut Butter and Jelly Gang and has helped serve dinner at a church food kitchen. As a participant in food drives sponsored by the Boy Scouts, Loiacono has collected food from his friends and neighbors. He has assisted in the unloading of pumpkins and the cleanup of pumpkin sales at the Lucien Memorial United Methodist Church, even though he is not a member there. Each year, he helps to clean up at the VFW hall after parades and has volunteered at beach cleanup events. Lastly, he has helped with the flag placement and removal at Calverton National Cemetery. Pictured from left: Susan Agroso, superintendent of KPCSD and honorary member of C-KP Rotary Club; Joanne Kelleher, assistant principal of William T. Rogers MS; Thomas Loiacono; Judy Marlow-Ratway, president of C-KP Rotary Club; and parents Mark and Jeanann Loiacono.

Obituaries Lang III; cherished brother of Karen Jackson, Brian Lang, Dennis Land, Susan Rosemary Dunne of Smithtown died Low, Laurie Lang, Kevin Lang and the late on Feb. 18 in her 68th year. She was the Dagny Lang; and beloved grandfather of devoted mother of Laura Rodriguez, James George H. Lang, IV. Dunne and the late Thomas Dunne; dear Interment was held at Calverton sister of Jim Capo, Neva Moonan and Vir- National Cemetery ginia Rosenhaus; cherished grandmother Arrangements entrusted to the care of of eight and great-grandmother of one. the Vigliante family at The Branch Funeral Cremation was private at Nassau-SufHome of Smithtown. folk Crematory, Lake Ronkonkoma. Funeral services were arranged by Moloney’s Carol A. Bransfield Hauppauge Funeral Home. Carol A. Bransfield of Hauppauge died on Feb. 25 in her 67th year. She was George Lang Jr. a retired math teacher of Longwood High George H. Lang Jr., age 55, formerly of School. Mrs. Bransfield was the beloved Smithtown died on March 3. He was the wife of Bob; loving mother of Robert dear son of Gertrude and the late George Bransfield and Margo Brock; adoring H. Lang Sr.; loving father of George H.

Rosemary Dunne

grandmother of Demi, Ariana and Caroline; sister of Raymond Bastkowski. Interment was at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Coram. Donations may be made to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Lung Cancer Research, P.O. Box 27106, New York, NY 10087. Funeral services were arranged by Moloney’s Hauppauge Funeral Home.

Rachel Botta Rachel Botta, age 85, of St. James, died on March 1. She was the loving mother of Henry, Donald (Jennifer) and Louis; dear sister of Louis, Louise and Gloria; adored godmother of Genevie and Henry; cherished grandmother of Lucia and Inez. A funeral Mass was celebrated at St.

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Patrick’s RC Church, followed by interment at Calverton National Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to the care of the Vigliante family at The Branch Funeral Home of Smithtown.

Patrick Noonan Patrick J. Noonan, age 84, of Smithtown died on Feb. 26. He was the beloved husband of Anne; devoted father of Brian, Patrick (Debi) and Anne Noonan; adored grandfather of Paul, Patrick, Samantha, Courtney and Brooke. A funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Joseph’s R.C. Church, Kings Park. Interment followed at Calverton National Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to The Branch Funeral Home of Smithtown.


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KP’s Cassar dominates state meet GIRLS’ GYMNASTICS BY ROBERT LEUNER

Kings Park senior Brittany Cassar added to her scholastic achievements by winning the New York State individual gymnastic championship in the balance beam and the floor exercise and led Section XI to their first win since 2005 in the recently held New York State gymnastics competition at Shaker High School. The Suffolk County team finished with 185.65 total points compared to 185.325 for runner up Section I. “Brittany was very focused,” said her mother and Section XI coach Robin Thomas. “Last year she was out with an injury and hasn’t competed in the state tournament since the ninth grade. It’s an amazing accomplishment and I’m very impressed and very proud. But she has worked very hard for it.” Cassar, the all around winner in the county championship, was second in the all around state competition to Jillian Hudson of Section I. Cassar won the balance beam with a score of 9.675 and set a new state record of 9.825 in the floor exercise, breaking the previous one of 9.8 set in 2003 by West Islip’s Corissa Pirkl. “I’m happy, but I’m more happy for the team,” said Cassar. “I’m proud. What we did was great. Personally, this was the culmination of a lot of years of work. My mind-set going in was to do what I know how to do and not be concerned with the scores. Rather, I was more concerned with how I did my routine.” In addition to her two first place showings in the floor exercise and the balance beam, Cassar also placed fift h in the vault and sixth in the uneven parallel bars. “Both the balance beam and the floor exercise are my two best events,” Cassar said. “I was surprised that I won but not so surprised with how I won those events.” Next year Cassar will take her gymnastics skills to Eastern Michigan where she received a full athletic scholarship. There she plans to major in fashion merchandising. “I loved the campus,” said Cassar. “I liked everything about it and I’m very excited about it.” While Cassar represented the outgoing talent on the Section XI team, Selden Middle School eighth-grader Amanda

Courtesy Helen Flynn

Ashley Beck was the second athlete at Smithtown East in 23 years to represent her school in the high jump.

East’s Beck competes at states GIRLS’ TRACK BY FRANK DOWD

File photo

Brittany Cassar competes on the balance beam last year. This year Cassar dominated at states.

Fillard represented the future. Fillard won the uneven parallel bars with a solid routine that earned her a 9.725. “Amanda is an extremely fierce competitor,” said Thomas. “That’s special in someone so young. I think you’ll see a lot of her in the future.” “It’s a great accomplishment and I’m very proud of myself,” said Fillard, who competed as an independent in the Comsewogue School District until she moved to Middle Country in December. “I thought that maybe I could win on the bars. I was happy that I won because I’m so little and they were all 11th-graders

and seniors and because I was suffering from an injury. Overall, I thought that I did a good job and I hope to win the overall next year. I’m very proud of myself.” Fillard said she is also looking forward to her high school athletic prospects. “I think it will be exciting,” she said. “I think it will be fun and I’ll be with my younger sister Caitlyn too.” Also turning in a solid performance for the Suffolk County team was Commack junior Courtney Mangini who took second to Cassar in the floor exercise with a 9.7. Mangini was fifth overall with a 36.45.

Runners take on New York State competition BY FRANK DOWD

Section XI boys’ track and field athletes had a strong presence at the annual New York State championship meet. Many of them had successes, as well as overcoming obstacles, to make their coaches and the community proud. Despite battling illness the last couple of weeks, Smithtown West senior Jason Santos completed the 3,200-meter run in 9:50.05 and finished 20th overall. “He was happy to be part of the county team,” said Smithtown West head coach Peter Schieck. Santos is going to compete in the 5,000-meter run at nationals this Friday.

BOYS’ TRACK Northport senior DJ Ronde was seventh overall in public schools and ninth in the federation, as he recorded his best time of the year in the 600-meter run (1:24.02). Ronde entered the state meet seeded 16th. “He exceeded our expectations,” said Northport head coach Jason Strom. Northport senior Colin Anderson ran in the 1,600-meter race. “It wasn’t a very good race for him,” Strom said. “He was sick for the week and didn’t have the strength to keep up.” Anderson and Ronde have a shot at earning All-American this weekend.

Kings Park’s Billy Motherway competed in the high jump. Dominating for the ShorehamWading River team was senior Bobby Andrews. Andrews had a solid day, becoming the first double-winner in Suffolk County dating back more than a decade. “That’s kinda tough to do,” said Shoreham-Wading River head coach Bob Szymanski. Andrews was also presented with the Outstanding Track and Field Athlete of Winter Track award this year. At states, Andrews set a new school record for the 3,200meter run (9:13.67) breaking his old school record of 9:21.10. Andrews won this race by about three seconds.

Some of the top athletes from winter track competed last weekend at the New York State championships, which were held at Cornell University in Ithaca. Many set records, earned awards and personal bests. Competing from Smithtown East was senior Ashley Beck. Beck is only the second athlete in the past 23 years to represent her school in the high jump competition. “She is a great athlete,” said Smithtown East assistant coach Helen Flynn. Beck cleared 5-2, but when it went up to 5-4, she clipped the bar with her foot. If she had been successful at that height, it would have been a personal best for her. “She did very well,” Flynn said. “It was amazing.” Beck, who is also a gymnast, will compete in the track and field heptathlon event for Sacred Heart University next year. Mount Sinai senior Christi Nassauer entered the state competition as the Suffolk County pole vault champion. Last weekend, she placed 17th in both the New York State Federation and public high schools with a jump of 9-0. After clearing the first two jumps with ease, Nassauer missed one at 9-9. “This is the highest level meet she has competed in,” said Mount Sinai head coach Bill Dwyer. “She did well.” Mount Sinai junior Janet Mellor placed sixth in the state in the 300meter dash at 40.85, which was also good for a ninth place finish in the federation. “This was her best time for this indoor season,” said Dwyer. Mount Sinai sophomore Janie Turek came away with both silver and bronze medals, as she ran the 1,000meter race in 2:56.96. Turek finished second in the state and third in the federation. “It was a good day for her,” Dwyer said. He continued, “The meet went well. The most important thing is that Janie and Janet are looking forward to the nationals this weekend coming up.”

MARCH 12, 2009 • TIMES OF SMITHTOWN township • PAGE A9


PAGE A10 • TIMES OF SMITHTOWN township • MARCH 12, 2009



Be careful with our parks

KPCA: Kudos on Planned pharmacy plan, commitment threatens Kings is still necessary Park way of life

We have radically mixed feelings regarding County Executive Steve Levy’s plan unveiled last week to seek corporate sponsorships and advertising at county facilities — in the name, of course, of addressing his particular level of government’s fiscal woes. Granted, thinking outside the box is needed and welcomed in times of crisis, and we have no doubt this proposal qualifies under that label. If Levy can tap into a significant pot of gold to keep taxpayers from reaching deeper into their pockets at precisely the time when they can least afford it, terrific — up to a point. Levy’s proposal is to solicit “targeted marketing” at county parks, golf courses, campgrounds and hiking trails. His request seeks offers of “advertising, displays, signs or corporate sponsorships throughout the county’s expansive parks and recreation system.” Responses are to be directed to the Suffolk County Naming Rights Committee — we didn’t know either that the county had such an animal. Our ambivalence toward Levy’s idea comes in the breadth of his request. Golf courses already consist of acres of advertising, beginning at the pro shop but included in every foursome walking the fairways — golfers decked out in their Titlist Golf Ball caps and Jack Nicklaus shirts and carrying their Wilson golf bag with the large logo proclaiming that golfer’s choice and who willingly provides free advertising for the company. A modest sized billboard on the trail to the first tee; a logo attached to each ball washer; some golf attire clothing company name displayed across the front of each golf cart — why not? The advertising is already there, encourage more of it to ease the burden on the citizenry, possibly providing the funding needed to keep the courses operating. But — billboards in campgrounds and along hiking trails? We don’t think so. The whole idea, is it not, of those facilities is to get away from the norm, from civilization so to speak, for a few hours or days. The last thing any nature-loving hiker would tolerate along her favorite trail through some of the few pristine acres still left on Long Island is an advertisement for hiking boots staring her in the face at the beginning of her walk. Campers and hikers are trying to get away from it all, not just most. We urge the county executive to tread very carefully into this new venture. Let’s not ruin the valuable county facilities he’s trying to save. Let’s not sell out completely to the corporate mentality that says everything — the Mets new home, the Ducks ballfield, Jones Beach theater and the rest — must have an international corporate giant’s name plastered on the side of it. (We shall miss Shea Stadium, named for — would you believe — a person?!) Be careful, Mr. Levy, how you treat our parks, our woods, our open spaces.

TO THE EDITOR: The Kings Park Civic Association would like to thank state Parks Commissioner Carol Ash and her staff for their visit to Kings Park to discuss the status of the Nissequogue River State Park property with local community leaders. The Office of Parksis planning a detailed engineering study of the buildings and grounds on what used to be the 365-acre core campus of the Kings Park Psychiatric Center to determine the cleanup costs associated with the demolition of the buildings and tunnels on the property and what structures can be adaptively reused. State Parks has also identified 14 structures, currently in a state of disrepair and a hazard to the community, for demolition while the engineering study is being conducted. We applaud Commissioner Ash and her staff for their decision to demolish these 14 structures. They are a danger to the public and should be removed before someone is seriously injured on the property. We are, however, disappointed that State Parks will not commit to maintaining these 365 acres as parkland. The community has patiently waited for over 12 years for the state to make a definitive decision about the fate of the property. We question why New York continues to leave us waiting and uncertain about the property’s future. This is discouraging and unfair to our residents. The Kings Park community is united in keeping the whole 520 acre campus a state park. When responding to a question on our membership drive letter which asks our residents to list the three most important issues facing our community today, they overwhelming tell us to “Keep the park in Kings Park.” Through our membership in the Nissequogue River State Park Foundation, the KPCA will continue to fight to keep the entire site parkland. We will continue our work with the foundation to help enhance and beautify the park as well as advocate for a park that emphasizes cultural, recreational, educational and passive uses for the property. Encouraging these uses through the formation of private-public partnerships could help stimulate our local economy and enhance the overall quality of life in our community. We look forward to working with our state and local representatives as well as the Office of Parks to create a park that will provide an inspirational, enjoyable and safe park experience for all of our residents.

I think that I shall never see, A billboard lovely as a tree. Perhaps, unless the billboards fall, I’ll never see a tree at all. Ogden Nash 1933

Mike Rosato, president Kings Park Civic Association

TO THE EDITOR: Waldbaums in San Remo is one of two grocery stores which remains in Kings Park and has been a vital part of the local community since 1973. CVS, a national drug store chain, has proposed to set up operation in the space now occupied by Waldbaums. Many in the community oppose this plan because of the vital role this small community grocery store fulfills in the village of San Remo — specifically the lack of other grocery stores in San Remo — and the negative impact this proposed CVS will have on small business operations and opportunities. This change of business does not require a variance or public hearing and is considered an allowed use. CVS has requested that the required parking spaces be reduced and that CVS be permitted to have additional signs in excess of local ordinances, both of which does require a public hearing before the Smithtown Zoning Board of Appeals. On Feb. 24 this public hearing was held. All discussions were limited to the sign and parking issues and any discussion on the merits of a national chain drug versus community grocery store was prohibited. What couldn’t be said at the hearing is that these national chain stores are destroying the fabric and character of not only our local community but our country as a whole. Promises of competition and lowpriced goods all are components of the grand illusion. Listen to the constant drumbeat of negative news from Washington, read national or local newspaper headlines or walk down the ghost towns which have sprung up along the main streets of America and the formerly prosperous Smithtown and realize that we as a people are being forced out of our businesses, going from business owners to low-wage employees. How inexpensive are these goods to the unemployed? These so-called cheap goods purchased by these national oligopolies for resale — from overseas manufacturers, from countries which do not have our best interests in their hearts, which do not have the same protections for the environment, which do not have the same protections for labor —are shaking the core of our democracy and our free market economy. As we stand over the precipice of the new socialistic tsunami which is raging in our once prosperous country, consider asking: What are we getting in return for the loss of our businesses, our way of life, our community? Tainted baby formula and lead painted toys? Competition: What does that word mean? Since Home Depot

opened up in Commack, the local lumber yards in Kings Park, Smithtown and East Northport have all closed down. Home Depot is the only home center in the area now. This is what economists call an oligopoly, where a few very large players control the entire market. The Loews and Home Depots have run all competition out of the business, going as far as establishing exclusive distribution agreements with manufacturers eliminating supplies to local merchants. Someday soon community grocery stores will become a piece of nostalgia from the past. When this take-over by CVS is complete, only one grocery store in Kings Park will remain — four pharmacies, one grocery store. Is that in the best interest of the people of Kings Park? San Remo Pharmacy has been in our community for decades. Will that business be able to compete with the predatory practices of CVS? Only time will tell. Be wary of the fabric of the community we are now weaving, you may not like the remnants. Steve Weber Kings Park

Library, expand size of defensive driving class TO THE EDITOR: On March 6, I attempted to sign up for the reduced-price, senior citizen AARP defensive driving class at the Nesconset branch of the Smithtown Library. Since the library opens at 10 am I got there 45 minutes earlier, but was surprised to find approximately 50 seniors already waiting in the cold! Some of these individuals were past 80, infirm and needing canes to stand. But like the “troopers” they are, being from the World War II generation, they stood patiently in line to save $35 from the usual class fee. For whatever their reasons and mindful that these sessions are extremely popular, the library continues to restrict these classes to a mere 35 persons, even though some 75 consistently show up to attend them. This perennial problem could be solved by simply booking a larger room for the class, capable of holding up to 100 persons, but our library system has chosen to cause undue hardship to these seniors — as they risk pneumonia — trying to save a few dollars out of their limited or fixed incomes. Numerous complaints have been made about this situation, but little has been done to rectify it. Must it take one these individuals, many of them long-term Smithtown homeowners, taxpayers and veterans, to pass out from the frigid cold or die before something is finally done? Ron Gendron Smithtown

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

Male ‘biological clock’ ticking too When an older man fathers a child, regardless of the age of the mother, there seems to be a small but increased risk that the child may score less well in intelligence tests. And although the risk is still quite small, such a child may also have an increased chance of birth defects and neuropsychiatric conditions like schizophrenia, autism and bipolar disorders. These results of a broad scientific study involving 33,500 children born in the United States between 1959 and 1965 are causing a sea change in medical perspective. Until now, the age of the mother has been considered of paramount importance, especially since the biological clock of women is limited while the ability of men to father children continues as they age. With these results, it would appear that men too have a “clock” that begins ticking in their mid-30s. Evidence suggests that the chance of a successful pregnancy falls slightly after the father turns 35 and more so, although the risk is still quite small, after 40 years of age. This information is of particular

relevance today, when more men are delaying fatherhood until their 40s. For example, in 1993, in England and Wales, about 25 percent of births within marriage were to fathers ages 35-54, but by 2003, the number had risen to 40 percent. And according to the National Center for Health Statistics in the U.S., in 2004 about 24 in every 1,000 men aged 40-44 fathered a child — an increase of 18 percent from the previous decade. Further, the children of older mothers in the study tend to fare better in intelligence tests than the children of younger mothers. John McGrath of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, led the primary study. “We report, to our knowledge for the first time, that the offspring of older fathers show subtle impairments on a range of neurocognitive tasks during infancy and childhood. The patterns of these findings were relatively consistent across ages and across neurocognitive domains,” according to McGrath. However, there was no further study to show if these

Town jobs Continued from page A1 their total first-year cost to the town, including pension and benefit costs, are: an assistant town attorney for $65,000; three account clerk typists at $32,500 each in the environment, school age child care and comptroller’s offices; an auto mechanic in the sanitation department for $36,600; two laborers at $33,900 each and a principal clerk for $55,000 in the parks department; a $62,900 center manager in the senior citizens department; a fire marshal for $38,600; a secretarial assistant for $58,939 in the planning department and, in the highway department, two labor crew leaders at $79,000 each. In addition, the supervisor would have three vacant unbudgeted positions remain unfi lled. They include a street lighting laborer for $33,900; a building inspector for $46,216 and a town planner for $41,900. “Given the downturn in the economy and the resultant drop in revenues, we need to reduce expenditures,” Vecchio wrote in a March 9 memo. “These unfi lled positions are a step in the right direction.” Vecchio said Tuesday afternoon that he had secured support for the hiring freeze among a majority of council mem-

children catch up with their peers later in life. So what’s going on here? For starters, women are born with all the cells that will evolve into future eggs. These eggs undergo 22 divisions in the womb. Men, however, produce new sperm cells throughout their lives. By age 20, sperm cells have divided 150 times and by age 50 some 840 times. With division there can be “copy error mutations,” or environmentally induced mutations, which in turn could lead to developmental problems. That could explain why the man’s age at fatherhood is relevant to the outcome of the pregnancy. Further, children of older mothers, while less at risk from cell mutation, may perform better also because they receive the benefits of a more nurturing home environment. They are on the right side of the heredity/environment question on both counts. A study recently published in the Archives of General Psychiatry concludes that the offspring of older fathers have a higher risk

bers. But the Town Board’s sole Democrat, Councilwoman Pat Biancaniello, has yet to count herself among the plan’s backers. She said she must consult the department heads regarding the effects of operating shorthanded before signing on to the supervisor’s scheme. Biancaniello has already taken issue with one job in the supervisor’s crosshairs: the school-age child care department clerk. The position is funded by fees paid by Smithtown residents who utilize the department’s services, not out of tax revenue. The parents should receive the full value of the services they directly pay for, Biancaniello argued. “To suggest that we don’t hire for that position is unreasonable,” she said. But Vecchio maintains that the town has been running with the positions unfi lled for months — some since last August — with no significant problems, indicating that the 13 jobs have little impact on Smithtown’s performance. “What is falling apart?” he asked. Further, the supervisor said the plan was agreed to by each town department head before he publicly announced it Tuesday. The supervisor’s move appears to negate an agreement reached by Council members last year to fi ll at least three of the positions. In his 2009 budget statement, Vecchio had called for the clerk

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.


of autism than that of younger fathers. If the father is over 40, the risk, though still small, is six times higher than if the father is under 30. Researchers at Columbia University found that men aged 50 and over are three times as likely to father a child with schizophrenia compared to men 25 and under. And men aged 45-49 are twice as likely to have a child with this illness. The researchers estimated that “as many as one in four cases of schizophrenia may be caused by the age of the father.” This conclusion is based on a study of 88,000 people. And in Sweden, in a study at the Karolinska Institute, the conclusion was that the older a child’s father, the more likely he or she was to have bipolar disorder. Children of men 55 years and up were 1.37 times more likely to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder than those of men 20-24. Please note that these are still small risks overall. The risk of preterm birth increases with paternal age, according to a March

positions in the school age child care, comptroller and environment departments to remain open at least until April. But at a November work session while Vecchio was absent, the remaining board members agreed to begin the process of hiring for those jobs.

Parks fees Continued from page A1 Babylon) voted to sustain Levy’s veto, he said, “because this is not the time to be raising park fees — when the economy is in free fall and the fees would be paid by those who could least afford to pay it.” D’Amaro also questioned the wisdom of relying on a short-term solution: the park fee windfall is only for one year. “They’re going to need funding well beyond that one-year period,” he opined. Also, whether higher park fees actually yield more county revenue remains to be seen. It might be that fewer people use the parks as a result, he said. Another of his concerns is that the Vanderbilt won’t see any of the funding until late summer, after people have been using the parks for a few months. “Based on the testimony I’ve heard at the Legislature from the Vanderbilt representatives, their cash flow crunch is occurring now. To wait three, four or five months is not

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

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


2005 issue of Epidemiology. Because of increased risk of genetic abnormalities in the offspring of older fathers, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine has limited semen donors to 40 years or younger, and in the U.K., 39 is the top age. Men aged 50 and older are four times more likely to have a child with Down syndrome. Some famous older fathers include the likes of Michael Douglas, Mick Jagger and Rupert Murdoch. Perhaps society should look more kindly on older women who partner with younger men. It’s an idea that tickles me.

going to help them.” Still, Carol Ghiorsi Hart, executive director of the museum, sounded upbeat about the Legislature’s vote. “We are very, very happy here at the Vanderbilt that we will be able to keep all our doors open to the public through the end of the year.” In the meantime, the museum is fundraising with the help of the recently established Friends of the Vanderbilt group. Behind the scenes, museum trustees are working to secure corporate and foundation support and apply for grants. “We’re trying to develop some special event programs to bring in more visitors,” she said. “We do expect our attendance to go up as people stay closer to home. We’re going to be offering more of what we do so well.” What’s more, the museum has added vending machines and is exploring food service options, like partnering with local restaurants or catering facilities. Viloria-Fisher sees the recent legislation as a win-win solution. “The point here is that whether or not we passed this bill, we would have had to put some money into the Vanderbilt,” she said. “What this bill does is prevent us from having a hole in our budget. We have a commitment to keep the Vanderbilt alive. We would have had to find the money somewhere else. And in these times, where were we going to find the money?”

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


MARCH 12, 2009 • TIMES OF SMITHTOWN township • PAGE A11

Between you and me


PAGE A12 • TIMES OF SMITHTOWN township • MARCH 12, 2009


Times of Smithtown