They Took The Kids Fishing

Winners of the “Take a Kid Fishing” trip with Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, James Joseph II captain James Schneider; Jim Howard and Jerry Giuseppone of the Suffolk County Senior Citizens Fishing Club; and John Schoenig and Bob Gordon of the Imperial Sportsmen’s Club of Long Island, ready to embark on a four-hour fishing excursion.

Winners of the “Take a Kid Fishing” trip with Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, James Joseph II captain James Schneider; Jim Howard and Jerry Giuseppone of the Suffolk County Senior Citizens Fishing Club; and John Schoenig and Bob Gordon of the Imperial Sportsmen’s Club of Long Island, ready to embark on a four-hour fishing excursion.

By Peter Sloggatt

psloggatt@longislandergroup.com

Fishing is important to the Suffolk County Senior Citizens Fishing Club and the Imperial Sportsmen’s Club of Long Island members. They want the next generation to think so too. So every year for nearly two decades now  they’ve put together a free fishing trip to introduce kids to salt water fishing and teach them about the importance of environmental conservation.

This year’s “Take A Kid Fishing” day – the 18th organized by the two clubs – took off Wednesday afternoon from the Huntington Town dock at Halesite Marina. On board the James Joseph II charter boat, Captain James Schneider and his crew, along with volunteers from the fishing clubs welcomed a group of eager youngsters ready for a day on the water. The kids ranged from 9 to 13 years old and had been selected in a lottery drawing held a few weeks ago.

Schneider donates the fishing trip each year as a way of sharing his love of the sport and the open water.

“We want to get more and more kids involved in fishing and the environment,” Schneider said. “I’ve been fishing in this town since I was two years old. Having the opportunity to give 30 free fishing trips away to kids from our community each year is a small way for us to show our appreciation to the town for everything they’ve given to us.”

In addition to the boat trip, Schneider supplied fishing equipment and bait, as well as a crew to assist and educate the boys and girls.

James Joseph Captain James Schneider, right, with Di Raimo’s Pizza’s delivery guy. Resident Paul Travaglia arranged for Di Raimo’s to deliver hot pies to the boat so there was pizza for all.

James Joseph Captain James Schneider, right, with Di Raimo’s Pizza’s delivery guy. Resident Paul Travaglia arranged for Di Raimo’s to deliver hot pies to the boat so there was pizza for all.

Volunteers from the fishing clubs – Jim Howard and Jerry Giuseppone of Suffolk County Senior Citizens Fishing Club, and John Schoenig and Bob Gordon of Imperial Sportsmen’s Club of Long Island – shared their love of the sea and fishing as well.

“Fishing allows a person to commune with nature, have quiet time to reflect, socialize, develop patience, skills and self-confidence. These are all great things for youth,” Jim Howard of the Suffolk County Senior Citizens’ Fishing Club said. “It also shows how people relate to nature and conservation. That is why … [we] sponsor the Take a Kid Fishing program.”

Imperial Sportsmen’s Club of Long Island’s John Schoenig echoed the thought.

“We want to give back to the community, show the youngsters the fun of salt water fishing and teach them about conservation and preserving our natural resources,” Schoenig said.

Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci was dockside to see the boat off.

“I want to thank the Suffolk County Senior Citizens Fishing Club and the Imperial Sportsmen’s Club of Long Island for donating their time to educate these kids about fishing and conservation and special thanks to Captain James Schneider of the James Joseph II for donating this prime time from his business for these children to expose them to this great American pastime,” Lupinacci said.

The supervisor also gave a shout-out to resident Paul Travaglia who arranged for Di Raimo’s Pizzeria to deliver hot pizzas to the boat before it launched.

Suffolk County Senior Citizens’ Fishing Club is a non-profit organization dedicated to conservation of Long Island waters. The group is based out of the Senior Citizen Beach House in Centerport.

‘Dream Team’s’ Fundraising Shatters Records

Lloyd Neck resident Asaf German’s “Racing to a Cure” event held at Ferrari Maserati of Long Island raised over $70,000. Pedro Velez, left, and Christopher Chiarenza, right, were among more than 400 guests who joined German, center, at the event.

Lloyd Neck resident Asaf German’s “Racing to a Cure” event held at Ferrari Maserati of Long Island raised over $70,000. Pedro Velez, left, and Christopher Chiarenza, right, were among more than 400 guests who joined German, center, at the event.

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

Advancing blood cancer research through fundraising was a challenge Asaf German and his “Dream Team” proudly accepted.

They defied expectations, raising $461,000.

German, a Lloyd Neck resident, was nominated by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Long Island chapter as Man of the Year, tasking him to raise money for cancer education and treatments over a 10-week period. German set a new fundraising record for the chapter surpassing the previous amount by $243,000 through donations, sponsorships and a cocktail party. With over 75 people, his massive team enlisted project managers and previous candidates to assist the cause.

“When a lot of passion, like-minded individuals get together, there’s almost nothing we can’t accomplish,” German said.

Throughout the country, candidates collected donations with each dollar counting as a vote. This year, the Man and Woman of the Year campaign raised $52 million. German ranked eighth nationally out of 936 candidates.

Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci and the town board honored German’s accomplishment at their July 16 meeting presenting him a proclamation for his dedication.

“Asaf has consistently shown his commitment to serving those suffering from these illnesses by encouraging others to get involved in the fundraising campaign for the Boy and Girl of the Year, who are local pediatric cancer survivors,” Lupinacci said.

With no experience in fundraising, the real estate attorney and father of two sought advice from past nominees who emphasized ample preparation. With a strict time frame to only accept donations between March 28 and June 6, the “Dream Team” reached out to sponsors months in advance, then collected when the time came.

“It’s a 10-week campaign but I worked on it for eight months, five hours a day,” German said. “As anyone who knows me knows, I get to work at 4 in the morning and I don’t have five minutes free. But it’s such an incredible cause and for once in my life, I was given an opportunity to help so many people.”

The team sent out letters locally, requesting donations and hosted a huge event that raised over $70,000. The “Racing to a Cure” cocktail party was a lavish affair with over 400 guests mingling at Ferrari Maserati of Long Island. Ferrari of Long Island owner Soojin Kim, a cancer survivor, donated the space after speaking to German about the magnitude of the campaign.

“I only had one opportunity. Being Man of the Year is a once in a lifetime thing,” German said. “I wanted to make sure when I’m done with this campaign, I look back and I left no stone unturned.”

Grateful for his and his family’s health, German was inspired by Boy and Girl of the Year Jesse Pallas of Miller Place and Morgan Sim of Port Washington. Survivors of leukemia, they symbolize the children the campaign benefits. When German learned of Pallas’ love for police and firefighters, he called in a favor that made a night with Pallas’ family special.

“We’re having dinner and they ring the doorbell. It’s police officers that say they are looking for Jesse,” German said. “They ask him if he wants to ride around in the police car. This kid was so happy… Then the fire truck came wailing down the block. They took him for a ride with sirens, and lights and gave him a hat.”

Huntington Town Board members recognized German with a proclamation in praise of his fundraising accomplishment.

Huntington Town Board members recognized German with a proclamation in praise of his fundraising accomplishment.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society put the funds from Man and Woman of the Year to good use. The money pays for research, blood cancer education and support, and increase access for patients. The society is grateful for German’s “all in” effort.

“Asaf is an exceptional volunteer leader who is passionate and determined, and a leader in his community,” campaign director, Meagan Doyle said. “Together, we are getting closer to LLS’s goal of a world without cancer.”

Get To Know Your Local Lighthouse

To mark National Lighthouse Day, the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society is offering tours of the local landmark, including a deluxe candlelight dinner version.

To mark National Lighthouse Day, the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society is offering tours of the local landmark, including a deluxe candlelight dinner version.

By Sarah Grisham
info@longislandergroup.com 

While Huntington may not have the centuries old castles of Europe, its lighthouse possesses a timeless beauty and a historical value that speaks for itself. With its beacon marking safe haven, it played an integral role in days gone by. Having recently celebrated its 107th birthday, the Huntington Lighthouse is actually considered relatively young; however, a little over a century is more than enough time for the degrading effects of the sea and time to make themselves apparent.

Luckily, the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society is here to ensure that the building remains fully functional and beautifully maintained so that it can continue to serve as a town symbol well into the future. On Aug. 7, you can experience the lighthouse yourself by coming to take part in the National Lighthouse Day fundraising event which will include both daytime tours and a special nighttime dinner tour.

From noon until 3:45, everyone can be a kid for an hour as they tour the lighthouse for $15 per person, the usual children’s fee. The boats for these tours will leave every 45 minutes from Goldstar Battalion Beach located at 324 West Shore Road. Make sure to wear sneakers, or another flat and rubber-soled shoe, as flip-flops are very dangerous on the slippery lighthouse and boat, and thus not allowed. If you’re interested in bringing a group of 10 or more to visit, a reservation should be made beforehand.

At 6 p.m. that same day, the celebration will continue with a special dinner tour which, while more expensive at $75 per person, promises to be well worth the money. A buffet of classic Italian cuisine will be supplied by Tutto Pazzo which has coordinated with the lighthouse for over a decade to create evenings with a food selection as memorable as the view. While enjoying your meal, you’ll have the opportunity to watch the Lloyd Harbor Yacht Club’s weekly sunset sailboat race, which ends right by the lighthouse.

As Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society president Pam Setchell puts it, “You get to become intimate with the place and realize how magical it is.”

The tours are filling an important fundraising role as the Lighthouse MusicFest that the Society stages over Labor Day weekend will not be taking place due to communication conflicts with the town. The event had become a staple in the group’s fundraising efforts, and its billing as “the only music festival in the world held on an offshore lighthouse” drew over 1200 boats from across the tri-state area. While  Setchell is disappointed at the loss of the event, she remains optimistic, mentioning multiple future lighthouse fundraisers. These included a comedy night featuring Mark DeMayo, who has appeared on both Comedy Central and Showtime, as well as the annual holiday boat parade which will showcase luminously decorated boats circling the harbor. She even dropped a few hints about a special new event for which she has high hopes.

Setchell stressed the importance of continuing the fundraising effort so that the building can be maintained and kept in good repair.

“We’re one of the only towns in the country that has an offshore lighthouse where you can actually go out and see it. People don’t really understand the treasure they have out here in their own backyard…these are our castles.”

This upcoming Wednesday will provide the opportunity to learn more about the town’s past, and secure it for others long into the future.

Kids’ Project Spacebound

South Huntington rising 6th graders Gianni Balanos, Jacianna Chiechi, Alex Romano, Christina Rosploch, and Jancarlos Silva sent their experiment to the International Space Station.

South Huntington rising 6th graders Gianni Balanos, Jacianna Chiechi, Alex Romano, Christina Rosploch, and Jancarlos Silva sent their experiment to the International Space Station.

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

An experiment developed by South Huntington students to aid astronauts in space is taking a trip to the International Space Station this summer.

Rising sixth graders Gianni Balanos, Jacianna Chiechi, Alex Romano, Christina Rosploch and Jancarlos Silva devised an experiment to remedy digestion issues astronauts may face in microgravity. They were chosen for the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP) that partners with NASA under the Space Act Agreement, dedicating time and resources to student experiments. After learning about the stomach discomfort space causes, the students were curious if probiotics, a beneficial bacteria for digestive health, could reproduce in microgravity.

“Science is all about engineering,” South Huntington’s supervisor of data and STEAM initiatives, Marijean Scardapane said. “They are engineering solutions to the problems they identify.”

Despite numerous delays, Space X 18 took off on July 25 at 6:01 p.m. from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Students viewed the rocket launch online, along with family and school officials.

On board was there experiment, sent into space in a “mini-lab” transport tube. Tasked with making the project compact, the students divided the tube into sections, containing a probiotic capsule, non-refrigerated milk and an unopened capsule. They have instructed the astronauts to “shake well,” which will mix the bacteria and nutrients together.

“They want to see what happens to the healthy bacteria that’s in the probiotic capsule,” Scardapane said. “If it survives and thrives in the zero gravity environment of space, as compared to what happens to it on Earth.”

When South Huntington was asked to submit an experiment to SSEP, they enlisted fifth through seventh grade classes to design space-related studies. It fit into the students’ science curriculum, that explores space travel, zero gravity and outer space.

“This is the way you want kids to do science,” Scardapane said. “You don’t want kids sitting with a textbook. This is a way to work how a real scientist works… Even with the kids dealing with the delayed launches, this is what happens in the real space program.”

As students learned more about the conditions of the International Space Station, they researched and developed impactful theories that would benefit astronauts or further travel. Working in groups, 451 students competed to send their experiment into space. The proposals were judged and narrowed down to the top three by Farmingdale University, before they were sent to SSEP. The winning group from Barbara Wright’s fifth grade class hope the probiotic will thrive in space and help astronaut’s stomachs feel better.

“These are experiments designed to try to solve problems that astronauts really encounter in space,” Scardapane said.

Starting in September, the students spent months establishing and advancing a hypothesis that they would test and adjust. In the proposal, they had to prove they could assess collected data.

“They went to the high school to learn how to use a high power microscope, knowing they’ll need to examine the bacteria when it comes back,” Scardapane said. “They worked with the teacher who runs our research program so they could learn the correct way to evaluate data.”

The students will monitor the experiment through astronaut logs, that can be accessed on NASA’s website, under SSEP Mission 13. The experiment won’t develop until the end of August, but students plan to stay updated with the other 41 flight student experiments.

“They’re not done yet,” Scardapane said. “They still have to run the experiment, evaluate it, and present their findings at a conference in the Smithsonian. It’s a wonderful opportunity.”

Ballet School Founder Frank Ohman Dies At 80

Ballet school founder Frank Ohman of Centerport died on July 22.

Ballet school founder Frank Ohman of Centerport died on July 22.

Frank Ohman, a former New York City Ballet soloist, founder and artistic director of the New York Dance Theatre and the Ohman School of Ballet on Long Island, and internationally known dance professional, died suddenly on July 22 at home in Centerport.  He was 80 years old. 

Ohman began his critically acclaimed dance career with the San Francisco Ballet in 1959, moving quickly through the ranks while also serving in the U.S. Army Reserves.  He joined the New York City Ballet in 1962, and was a soloist for 22 years.

During his performing career, Ohman studied professionally with icons of the American ballet world including George Balanchine, Lew and Harold Christensen, Ernest Belcher, David Lichine, André Eglevsky, and John Taras. He appeared in leading and soloist roles in ballets of Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Frederic Ashton, Antony Tudor, and Jacques d’Amboise among others. He partnered many of the world’s leading ballerinas including Maria Tallchief, Suzanne Farrell, Allegra Kent, Patricia McBride, Gelsey Kirkland, Kay Mazzo, and Suki Schorer. Ohman performed with the New York City Ballet at the New York State Theater, Kennedy Center, Marinsky Theater, Bolshoi Theater, the White House, and Jacob’s Pillow.

With the blessing of his mentor George Balanchine, Frank Ohman established New York Dance Theatre, Inc. in 1974 to bring classical ballet to a broader audience. Five years later, The Frank Ohman School of Ballet was founded as a training ground for young dancers, teaching the art of classical ballet in the style of Balanchine.

Frank Ohman as a principal with the New York City Ballet dances Balanchine’s "Western Symphony!” with Gloria Govrin.

Frank Ohman as a principal with the New York City Ballet dances Balanchine’s "Western Symphony!” with Gloria Govrin.

Ohman’s commitment to the Balanchine legacy extended to his company’s annual production of “The Nutcracker,” an annual tradition for families throughout the region.

A prolific choreographer, Ohman created more than 200 original ballets which were performed by his New York Dance Theatre, Boston Ballet, Edmonton Ballet, Syracuse Ballet (where he was director), the Cassandra Ballet of Toledo, the Long Island Philharmonic, the Long Island Lyric Opera, the School of American Ballet workshop performance, and American Movie Classics, among others. 

Ohman was still actively teaching at his eponymous classical ballet school in Commack until his death. His teaching career also included stints at prestigious programs including the School of American Ballet, the Boston Ballet, the St. Louis Ballet, the National Dance Institute and as guest Ballet Master at Ballet Philippines.

Beyond his career as a dancer, choreographer and teacher, Ohman was a gifted fine artist whose paintings have been featured in art shows at libraries throughout Long Island and Queens. Ohman encouraged his students to be well-rounded students of the arts.  In his 2014 memoir, Balanchine’s Dancing Cowboy, Ohman wrote, “To be a great artist, one must care deeply and completely about something, and to work devotedly to contribute that artistry to the world.”

Ohman is survived by his son Johan (Soumala) and grandson, Luke, as well as his ballet family of students and colleagues who carry on his legacy. 

A private funeral service is being held for immediate family.A public memorial service is planned for late summer, details to be announced at ohmanballet.org.

Baymen Sound Alarm Over Shellfish Dredging

How the clams you buy were taken from local waters cold have a big effect of the health of environmental waters.

How the clams you buy were taken from local waters cold have a big effect of the health of environmental waters.

By James Kelly
jvk@longislandergroup.com

The Town of Huntington is reviewing restrictions on mechanical dredging for shellfish.  Councilman Mark Cuthbertson will be moving to restructure the Commercial Fishing Advisory Council, and have members review the effect of mechanical dredging on the Town of Huntington waterways and its impact on clam and oyster beds.

“Think of basic physics, mechanical will have more degradation,” said attorney Darrin H. Berger who is representing the North Shore Baymen’s Association in opposition to mechanical dredging.  He went on to explain that mechanical dredging is a “Type 1 Action” under state environmental quality review laws, meaning it is more likely to have a significant impact on the environment. Hand harvesting and raking for clams and oysters have no significant impact.  Berger said the mechanical dredge is much larger and heavier and is moved with the assistance of power.  Rakes on the other hand are limited by human strength, a lot less than boat-pulled dredges.

Baymen’s Association president Charlie Murphy  said there are two basic issues:

First is protecting the environment. With mechanical boat-pulled dredges, shellfish beds are disrupted and the cycle of rebirth can be destroyed. This can be detrimental to more than the clams; the overall environmental health of our waters is at risk.  Last summer our beaches were often closed due to poor water quality.  One of the key reasons was the over harvesting of clams and oysters through the use of mechanical dredging. Murphy said. These heavy devices rip up everything in their path, disturbing the beds.  Clams and oysters filter approximately 50 gallons of water per day, so without them water quality suffers.

Second, we must allow for the propagation of clams and oysters.  This will preserve our way of life as a waterfront community.

Berger, in a letter to the town board, pointed out that the State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources found dredging for shellfish reduces the longevity of the beds. The heavy mechanically-pulled equipment disrupts the replenishment of the shellfish since the dredge results in a higher mortality of other shellfish too small to be harvested, as well as other fauna on the waterway’s floor.

The town board has scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday, Aug. 6,  at 7 to get input on restructuring of the Commercial Fishing Advisory Council which Cuthbertson said will guide the board on this issue.

Lightning Strike Wreaks Havoc At Little Shelter

Workers found a water fountain memorial to Little Shelter’s former vice president Ruth Weiss shattered from the lightning strike, and damage to an electrical control panel that will cost an estimated $20,000 to repair.

Workers found a water fountain memorial to Little Shelter’s former vice president Ruth Weiss shattered from the lightning strike, and damage to an electrical control panel that will cost an estimated $20,000 to repair.

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

Thunder crashed and lightning lit up the night sky when a colossal storm hit the Island on July 17. The storm - the aftermath of Tropical Storm Barry - hit Little Shelter Animal Rescue particularly hard.

A lightning strike caused massive damages to an electrical control panel and destroyed a memorial, executive director David Ceely said. Around 10:30 p.m., two kennel workers were taking care of the dogs when they heard a loud crash.

“It came out of nowhere, the sky just opened up and there was this huge explosion, the sky just lit up like it was daylight,” dog handler George Phillips said.

Venturing outside to investigate, they smelled smoke in the air and discovered lightning had struck a tree. The tree’s bark was burned off, as if the lightning skimmed it “like a cheese grater.” A memorial fountain for Little Shelter’s former vice president Ruth Weiss was shattered by the force. Pieces of the fountain were scattered around the vicinity.

“Without a doubt we will get the memorial fountain replaced,” Ceely said. “It was outside of our cattery, and the cats loved to sit there and watch the birds that would play in the fountain. It was a big part of the shelter’s history.”

Catastrophe continued as Little Shelter realized the phone, internet, A/C and alarm system were not functioning. The shelter’s electrical control panel had been struck and it blew, ruining the systems it was connected to.

“The control panel in the basement was completely fried,” Ceely said. “There were sockets that had soot coming out of them. It was burned, there were char marks behind some of the outlets in the cattery.”

Little Shelter’s industrial air conditioning system didn’t survive the surge when lightning struck. Replacing the unit will cost about $20,000, according to executive director David Ceely

Little Shelter’s industrial air conditioning system didn’t survive the surge when lightning struck. Replacing the unit will cost about $20,000, according to executive director David Ceely

The surge destroyed the shelter’s industrial air conditioning unit that keeps the cattery and one of the kennels coool. Little Shelter staff took measures to keep the animals cool, turning lights off during daytime and increasing the frequency of cold water changes. They have received an outpouring of support, with many community members donating portable and window air conditioners.

“Our buildings our old, so it’s important to keep the animals protected from heat or cold,” Ceely said. “Temperature control is important because you want to keep them comfortable and their stay at the shelter the best that it can be. When you lose an air conditioner of that magnitude during a heat wave, it’s pretty scary.”

Ceely estimates repairs will cost $30,000. The phone system control panel and central alarm station are over $1,000 to replace, and the air conditioning unit was valued at $20,000. The shelter will take steps to prevent a repeat of the incident, and is considering a supporter’s suggestion to place copper lightning rods nearby.

“As we do these repairs, we will see if there’s any upgrades that might be needed and would help protect from this,” Ceely said.

Little Shelter is accepting donations to aid this effort at 33 Warner Rd, Huntington and online at littleshelter.org.

Code Changes To Ease Rental Crunch

Huntington Township Housing Coalition president Roger Weaving speaks in support of less restrictive code governing accessory apartments. Changes enacted by the board earlier this month will allow more accessory apartments in areas where they were previously restricted.

Huntington Township Housing Coalition president Roger Weaving speaks in support of less restrictive code governing accessory apartments. Changes enacted by the board earlier this month will allow more accessory apartments in areas where they were previously restricted.

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

Huntington Town Board members approved major accessory apartment code changes that will allow more homeowners to apply for accessory apartment permits. The changes, adopted at the July 16 board meeting, are aimed at creating affordable housing options for renters and income opportunities for homeowners.

It can be a struggle to find affordable housing in the Town of Huntington with newly built  apartment buildings skewing toward the luxury end; one bedrooms rent for over $1,800 a month.

The code changes were co-sponsored by Supervisor Chad Lupinacci and Councilwoman Joan Cergol.

“These measures are good for property rights, families just starting out, and those on fixed incomes,” Lupinacci said. “It opens up the affordable apartment rental supply, as accessory apartments tend to be offered at lower prices than the apartments created as part of new construction.”

A significant change to the code permits homeowners to live in the accessory apartment while renting out the main portion of their home.

“The accessory apartment amendments are a win, win, win as they will make it possible for our older residents to age in place, allow our younger residents to attain the dream of homeownership,” Cergol said.

The housing advocacy group Huntington Township Housing Coalition worked with the board to craft the changes, emphasizing the benefits of property owners remaining in their homes with a higher income and creating larger rentable units for families.

“Older people may have had to leave the area when they retired, because of taxes,” Coalition president Roger Weaving, Jr. said. “But having an accessory apartment provides them money to make their tax bill. A young person can live in the apartment and rent out the home for more money. Then as their family gets bigger, they can rent out the apartment. It gives the homeowner a lot more flexibility, that allows us to retain young and old people.”

In an effort to make more homes eligible to accommodate accessory apartments, the code change reduced the minimum lot size requirement from 7,500 square feet to 5,000, and the lot frontage requirement from 75 linear feet to 50. This revision allows for apartments in neighborhoods with smaller acreage – typically those near transit and village areas – the opportunity to create a legal accessory apartment.

“The problem was in places like Huntington Station with 50 foot frontages, they didn’t have an option to make it legal,” Weaving said. “You can’t change your yard from 50 feet to 75 feet. When an apartment is illegal, there’s no guarantee it’s going to be safe. Legal apartments are safer, better for the neighborhood and ensures the tenants can exercise their rights.”

A public safety measure passed prevents basements or cellars from housing accessory dwelling units, unless a permit exists or is pending.

“As we assess our options to increase the availability of affordable housing, we need to consider alternatives to the options that would add to an unsustainable burden on our infrastructure and find creative ways to tap into our existing housing supply to fulfill the housing needs for those who feel they can’t afford to live on Long Island,” Lupinacci said.

Hotel Plan Going Back To Zoning Board

Plans to create a boutique hotel from the former Town Hall building on Route 25A and Stewart Avenue go before the zoning board later this month.

Plans to create a boutique hotel from the former Town Hall building on Route 25A and Stewart Avenue go before the zoning board later this month.

By Peter Sloggatt
psloggatt@longislandergroup.com

Developers seeking to convert the old Town Hall building on Route 25A to a hotel are headed back to the zoning board after town officials cleared the way for an expanded project.

Huntington Village Hotel Partners, LLC last moth secured town board approval to add an adjacent property to the historic overlay district needed for the project to move forward. The wood frame building immediately next door to the existing structure would be demolished and with the additional square footage the developer proposed an expansion of the existing plan. The plan for an 80-room hotel – up from 55 – requires approval of a special use permit, height relief and a parking variance from the zoning board.

A zoning board hearing on the application is set for July 25 at 6 p.m

Anniversary Of First U.S. Flag Commemorated

Huntington Town Supervisor and Huntington Elks Member Chad Lupinacci, at podium,  discussing the history of the Huntington Liberty Flag.

Huntington Town Supervisor and Huntington Elks Member Chad Lupinacci, at podium, discussing the history of the Huntington Liberty Flag.

The sun was shining upon Huntington as the community came together to commemorate the anniversary of the adoption of the U.S. Flag in 1777. A ceremony coordinated by the Huntington Elks Lodge 1565 in conjunction with the Town of Huntington was held at Huntington Veterans Plaza located outside of Town Hall.

Huntington’s Veterans Plaza is a unique and respectful location which honors and pays respect to town residents who have served in various branches of the military.

“At our town hall, the American flag stands tall, so we could not be more proud to host this event with the Huntington Elks Lodge and celebrate the symbol of our freedom,” said Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci.

Members of Huntington’s own Sunrisers Drum and Bugle Corps along with scouts from Boy Scout Troop 106 and Cub Scout Pack 66 assisted with the presentation of flags during the ceremony. A special rendition of the National Anthem was performed by the Sunrisers Trumpet Trio.

“The American Flag signifies freedom, liberty and the greatness of this country we love,” Huntington Elks Exalted Ruler, Alyssa Nightingale said. “More than a representation of our nation, the American Flag has become the universal symbol of liberty and freedom throughout the world.”

Among many dignitaries in attendance were NY State Senator Jim Gaughran, Assemblyman Steve Stern, Huntington Receiver of Taxes Jillian Guthman, Huntington Deputy Clerk Stacy Colamussi, Rev. Larry D. Jennings from the Bethel A.M.E. Church, and Huntington Chamber of Commerce Vice Chair Vita Scaturro.

“Our American flag represents everything that we as Americans hold dear – our freedom, peace, security, liberty, our friends and our family,” Gaughran said. “It was humbling to join the Town of Huntington in recognition of Flag Day as we honored our flag in front of the Town of Huntington’s WWII Veterans Wall of Honor where my father’s name is engraved.”

Flag Day, officially designated on June 14, marks when the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution announcing the stars and stripes design of the flag. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is the first and only fraternal body to require formal observance of “Flag Day.” In July 1908 the Elks Grand Lodge required by resolution that June 14 be designated as Flag Day. The Grand Lodge required mandatory observance of the occasion by every Lodge in 1911, and that requirement continues to this day.

The Elks prompted President Woodrow Wilson to recognize the Order's observance of Flag Day for its patriotic expression. But it was not until 1949 when President Harry Truman, himself a member of the Elks, made the proclamation that thereafter June 14 would be a day of national observance for the symbol of our country.

 This year’s ceremony was extra special for the Huntington Elks Lodge as it marks the organization’s 90th anniversary which in turn, means 90 years of celebrating our American Flag.

“Having the opportunity to pay homage to the Stars and Stripes each year for 90 years further reiterates our Lodge’s consistent support of initiatives to engage our community’s patriotism in America,” Nightingale said.