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Denise M. Bonilla

Denise M. Bonilla has covered the Town of Babylon since January 2009. Since starting at Newsday in 2003, she has covered a variety of beats, including criminal justice and immigration. In 2006, Bonilla was part of a team honored for Distinguished Breaking News Coverage by the New York Newspaper Publishers Association. In 2010, she received the President’s Choice Award from the nation’s oldest press club, the Society of the Silurians, and a first place features award from the Press Club of Long Island for her series on Alzheimer’s disease.

Twitter: @denisebonilla

Lindenhurst fire department hires paramedic trained to administer narcotics

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The Lindenhurst Fire Department has hired a new paramedic to help meet a state mandate after officials said the man previously hired for the job never showed up to work.

The department has hired Christopher Tremblay, a Lindenhurst resident who is a paramedic in Fairfield, Connecticut, as a part-time controlled-substance agent/paramedic. He replaces Justin Krause, who was terminated by the village last month after being hired in June. When reached for comment, Krause, who is listed as a lieutenant with the Port Jefferson Volunteer Ambulance Corps on its website, said he no longer worked for Lindenhurst.

"He wanted the job, but he never showed up," said Lindenhurst Fire Chief Michael McCloud, adding that Krause "never even returned our phone calls."


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The Port Jefferson Volunteer Ambulance website states that Krause has been with the department since 2007 and "frequently puts extra time into the department."

Krause had been hired to assist Lindenhurst in meeting a new state mandate that goes into effect May 1. To keep its status as an advanced life-support provider, the department must now carry and administer narcotics. These drugs include Valium and morphine, which can be used to treat seizures and heart attacks, respectively. The narcotics will be kept in safes in the firehouse and the ambulances.

Tremblay began work last month, McCloud said, putting in 16 hours per week at a rate of $23 per hour.

"He's been working out, doing all the paperwork, actually doing some on his own time," McCloud said. "He made some recommendations, and we did a little cost-cutting and shifting around of things, and it looks like we're going to be getting on the road pretty soon."

McCloud said his department is one of 65 in Suffolk County that are seeking to meet the mandate. McCloud estimates that meeting the mandate could cost the department as much as $30,000.

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Rents for affordable housing apartments that are part of Wyandanch Rising are set

The monthly rents have been announced for apartments

The monthly rents have been announced for apartments being built in Wyandanch as part of a revitalization effort in that community, the latest effort in a push for affordable rentals in Suffolk County. (Credit: Wyandanch Village Rendering Overall View)

The monthly rents have been announced for apartments being built in Wyandanch as part of a revitalization effort in that community, the latest effort in a push for affordable rentals in Suffolk County.

Wyandanch Village, two apartment buildings with retail space that are still under construction, is now accepting applications. Of the 177 apartments being built by Albanese Organization Inc., of Garden City, 121 units have been designated income restricted, or affordable housing, according to executive vice president George Aridas: 4 studios, 62 one-bedrooms, 46 two-bedrooms, and 9 three-bedrooms.

The affordable housing units require incomes that are at 50, 60 and 90 percent of the area's median incomes. According to data used by Albanese from Novogradac & Company of Manhattan, Suffolk County's median income for a family of four is $102,000. For a single person, it's $36,800.

The first building, with 91 units, will be completed later this year, Aridas said. Monthly rents for a one-bedroom apartment are estimated to range between $985 and $1,525. By comparison, one-bedrooms at another recently built complex with affordable units, Avalon Bay in Huntington Station, run from $932 for income restricted to $2,675 for current market rate units. At Wyandanch Village, two-bedroom apartments will run between $1,146 and $1,915 and three-bedrooms are from $1,319 to $2,315. The second building, with 86 units to be completed next year, will also have studios renting from $1,014 to $1,335. Each building has 17,500 square feet of retail space.

In June, Albanese announced that about 1,500 people had expressed interest in the apartments, which are being built as part of the massive Wyandanch Rising redevelopment that was launched more than a decade ago. The public-private endeavor aims to revitalize Wyandanch's downtown, centered around the LIRR station.The redevelopment plans include a new train station and parking garage, as well as a plaza with concert space, fountains and an ice-skating rink.

To apply, potential renters for the affordable units must meet minimum and maximum income and family-size requirements. They must also have a "favorable credit report," which Aridas said is not based on a specific score but determined by a risk management firm, SafeRent, which he described as "an objective third-party matrix that makes a composite of multiple variables" in determining eligibility. Anyone with a felony conviction within the past five years will not be considered, he said.

The applications are being screened by Conifer Living, a Rochester-based developer specializing in affordable housing, with assistance from the Long Island Housing Partnership. Once criteria are met, applicants will be included in a lottery that will take place in September.

LIHP president and CEO Peter Elkowitz said the apartments are a "real positive for the community." Only 20 percent of the housing stock on Long Island is rentals he said, compared with 41 to 43 percent of the housing stock in similar areas.

"We're a little behind the curve in getting affordable rentals here but it's critical to keep our young and seniors who want to downsize," he said. The deadline to apply for the affordable units is Aug. 29. For more information go to liveatwyandanchvillage.com or call 631-253-0004.

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Copiague Beach Hut plays music too loud, complain some Babylon Town residents

Andy Skladanek, of Copiague, and Corinne Gordon, 23,

Andy Skladanek, of Copiague, and Corinne Gordon, 23, of Port Jefferson, are served drinks by bartender Tommy Schwaber at the bar of the Beach Hut at Tanner Park Beach in Copiague. (Credit: Daniel Brennan)

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Corinne DiSomma, a Conservative, is the Babylon Town Babylon officials

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Some residents living across from a Babylon Town park are upset over a town-contracted outdoor restaurant that they say plays loud music throughout the week.

The owners of the business said they've tried to keep the music at a reasonable level.

The Beach Hut, a restaurant with live music every night at Tanner Park in Copiague, is just the latest of several outdoor restaurants and clubs across Long Island that during the summer garner noise complaints from neighbors.


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The Beach Hut has drawn the ire of Amity Harbor's Francine Buchheim, who lives across a canal from the park. She recently went to the town board to complain about the music, describing a "pulsating bass" that is "unnerving, unsettling" and "fills the streets, the backyards and the homes of Amity Harbor residents."

"There is no reason why the Beach Hut music needs to be this loud," said Buchheim, a 38-year resident.

Some of Buchheim's neighbors agreed. "You would think somebody is going by the house with a boom box, it's shaking so much," said Don Allen, 62, who said he has to close his windows to block the sound.

Town deputy supervisor Tony Martinez said the Tanner Park location is the only one of several similar locations in the town to have noise complaints, though none were about the town's free concerts that are also held there. He said the town is looking into planting trees to create a sound buffer.

"We want to make sure all of our residents are happy and we also want to make sure the Beach Hut lives within their contract and town code," he said.

Others in the neighborhood said they welcomed the music, even sitting outside to enjoy it. "It doesn't bother me," said 91-year-old Grace Short. "If they played Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey, I'd be up dancing."

The Beach Hut has three additional locations in Babylon parks and three locations elsewhere on the South Shore. The town first contracted for Tanner Park with vendor Fred Marsilio in 2008, a four-year agreement with two options for extensions, to 2017 and to 2022. The contract requires a $10,500 license fee to the town in 2014, plus 5 percent of the Tanner Park business' annual gross revenue in excess of $60,000.

Beach Hut manager Jacqueline Poulos said that even though the town allows bands to play until 10 p.m., after receiving complaints she now ends performances by 9:30 p.m. She said she also has put up fencing near the bands and directed speakers away from houses. Poulos said winds blowing from the east sometimes carry the music and she has gotten complaints on nights with no band, when the music is coming from cars in the parking lot.

While not specific, the Beach Hut's contract requires compliance with the town's noise code, which defines violations as a "sound level in excess of 95 dB(A) sustained for more than 30 seconds."

Poulos said their policy is to keep the music at a level where those eating outside can still have conversations."We try to keep an eye on the volume, but if you can have a conversation without having to yell, then I'm not sure what else we can do," she said.

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Lindenhurst South Wellwood Avenue project to eliminate flooding gets $200G from state

Lindenhurst Village is getting some additional help from the state to help alleviate roadway flooding.

The village has received $200,000 in state Community Enhancement Facilities Assistance Program funds to elevate and improve drainage on part of South Wellwood Avenue. The village had previously received $400,000 from the state to do similar work on the southernmost part of Wellwood extending from the village's Charles J. Cowan Marina, said village Deputy Clerk Doug Madlon. The additional money will allow the village to extend that project north to Mound Street, Madlon said. The money, as with the previous funding, was secured by Assemb. Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst).

Madlon said the village has wanted to elevate roadways in the area -- where flooding occurs with every high tide -- since before Tropical Storm Irene, but had not been able to find funding. The $200,000 allows officials to extend the project and address the intersection of South Wellwood Avenue and Spring Street. Alleviating flooding in this area is crucial, he said, as the intersection provides the only way out for residents living on Spring, Atlantic and Ocean streets, as well as Bayview Avenue East and part of Bayview Avenue West.


PHOTOS: Around Lindenhurst | Superstorm Sandy
DATA: Village elections


"It's critical we have that exit off of those streets," he said. "It's something we've been working on for a long time."

Madlon said the project is still in the design phase, but the preliminary plan is to raise the roadways 11/2 feet. He said work will likely start in the fall and continue in the spring.

The village has been exploring raising residential roads in areas flooded by Sandy, Madlon said, but there is currently no money available to fund such projects.

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Demolition of homes in North Amityville mobile home park slated for development begins

Frontier Mobile Home Park in North Amityville on

Frontier Mobile Home Park in North Amityville on March 11, 2014. (Credit: Ed Betz)

A developer has begun demolishing homes at a North Amityville mobile home park as residents continue to fight evictions.

Developer R Squared Real Estate Partners of Plainview plans to build 500 apartments and 42,000 square feet of retail space on the site of the Frontier Mobile Home Park. The park has more than 300 mobile homes where residents pay about $600 a month to rent the land. Residents were first notified of the redevelopment in 2011, and in June those in the first phase of construction began receiving eviction notices.

Last week the appellate division of state Supreme Court in Brooklyn denied a request for a stay on any redevelopment of the site that was filed in June by a civic association in the park. The association had asked that work on the site be halted until its appeal of an earlier state court ruling was heard. The association has also filed a federal discrimination suit against the developer and Babylon Town.

A demolition permit was issued by the town to R Squared on July 24. The permit covers one of three sections of phase one, said Babylon Town spokesman Kevin Bonner, and involves 41 homes. The homes are empty, he said, and the electric and propane have been shut off. Bonner said doing the demolition in sections was required by the town because leaving so many homes vacant would create "unsafe conditions for the remaining residents."

R Squared offered residents in the first phase of construction a $20,000 relocation plan paid in installments once they vacate. According to a letter recently sent to residents, of the 96 homes in that phase, 59 were approved for the relocation money.

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