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CENTERPORT / Suffolk to buy $3M star projector for planetarium

Suffolk County has signed a contract to buy a $3-million star projector for the planetarium at the county Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport.

The Konica Minolta Infinium projector will replace a Goto projector installed when the planetarium opened in 1971. The planetarium will reopen after the installation and renovations in December. The mansion, museum and grounds will remain open during the renovations, set to begin in August.

The $100,000 required to replace planetarium seating is to be raised through the "Buy-a-Chair" program.

David Bush, an astronomy educator, said "the images visitors will see on the planetarium dome will be much clearer and sharper. The star colors are true-to-life in magnitude and brightness. They actually twinkle, or scintillate."

Lance Reinheimer, interim executive director, said "the renovated and re-equipped planetarium will generate significant revenue to help the museum ensure its economic future."

- Bill Bleyer


ISLANDWIDE / Martins proposes repeal of fee on LIRR ticket refunds

A Long Island state senator has proposed a bill to repeal the Long Island Rail Road's newly enacted $10 surcharge on all ticket refunds.

State Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) on Monday proposed the bill to require the LIRR to give customers a full reimbursement for unused tickets.

In January, the LIRR put in place the new surcharge of $10, even for the refund of tickets that cost less than that. The new policy requires all ticket refund requests to be made within 30 days after purchase.

Martins' bill would extend that time to six months.

- Alfonso A. Castillo

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