Town bulldozes condemned house
Brookhaven Town is bulldozing through its "Dirty Dozen" list of dilapidated houses.
The most recent home to be knocked down was a vacant residence on Frank Street in East Patchogue yesterday morning.
Brookhaven wants to acquire the property for open space. Unlike other homes recently torn down, 70 percent of the Frank Street property is on wetlands, town officials said.
The condemned house has led to numerous complaints, town leaders said.
Brookhaven Supervisor Edward P. Romaine's "Dirty Dozen" list of houses targeted for demolition come under the portion of the town code that provides for a "fast track" to rid neighborhoods of unsafe structures.
The town board set a public hearing for March 26 to tear down a north Patchogue abandoned home not on the list.
Village officials said an Oct. 31 inspection of that house found the basement had been substantially damaged in a fire and posed a risk to public health and safety.
The hearing will be at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall. - DEON J. HAMPTON
Town Hall building dedicated to Vecchio
Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio was moved to tears yesterday by a surprise resolution to dedicate the Town Hall building to him.
Four town board members voted to dedicate the building at 99 West Main St. in Smithtown to Vecchio, who did not cast a vote.
"I'm so overwhelmed by this. I had no idea this was going to happen," Vecchio said in an interview after the vote, his eyes still watery. "It's so touching when people say nice things about you . . . I'm very proud. I'm humbled."
Vecchio was prepared to adjourn yesterday's board meeting when Councilman Thomas McCarthy announced he had a resolution.
Speaking into a microphone, McCarthy detailed Vecchio's biography, including that he was born in the Little Italy neighborhood of Manhattan, served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and was a member of the NYPD for about 20 years -- becoming a detective sergeant tasked with protecting dignitaries, from former New York City Mayor John Lindsay to Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy.
Vecchio has been Smithtown supervisor for 38 years -- the longest supervisor tenure in Long Island history, McCarthy added.
"In light of Patrick R. Vecchio's lifelong service to the public and the residents of the Town of Smithtown, the town board deems it appropriate to dedicate the Town of Smithtown Town Hall building in his honor," McCarthy said.
McCarthy, who noted yesterday was the 350th anniversary of the town incorporation, said the building will be dedicated at a ceremony in spring or summer. - LAUREN R. HARRISON
5 women honored for contributions
The Town of Islip yesterday recognized five women in honor of Women's History Month.
Board members, at their regular meeting, celebrated the accomplishments of the women who are Islip residents or work in the town.
Renee DeCrescenzo Clock and Maria Figalora were honored for their volunteer work in community service. Alma Pancir was honored for her contributions to visual and performing arts. Evelyn Demers was recognized for her work as a health care provider.
The fifth honoree, Eileen Guider, will be honored at the March 17 meeting for her work in education. - SOPHIA CHANG
Plans for complex to be discussed Friday
The Mineola Chamber of Commerce is to hold a special breakfast Friday to discuss a controversial nine-floor, 296-unit apartment complex proposed for a 11/2 acres on Second Street near the Long Island Rail Road station.
Plans for Mineola Village Green are to be presented by developer Kevin Lalezarian, a principal in the New Hyde-Park based Lalezarian Properties LLC. The village board public hearings on the proposed development are continuing.
The public is invited to attend the 7:45 a.m. breakfast at a cost of $20 per person and will be allowed to ask questions. The event will be held at the Piccola Bussola Restaurant, 159 Jericho Tpke. in Mineola. Anyone who wants to attend is asked to call 516-294-4620 by tomorrow.
"It was said that the project would be good for downtown business and a resident asked, 'If it's so good for business, then where's the business community?' " chamber secretary William Havron said yesterday. While a chamber member attends the public hearing, group members wanted to learn about the plan directly from the developer, Havron said.
"There are a lot of varied opinions about the project, and concerns about an abundance of children [from the complex] attending the schools and that there'll be a lot of traffic," Havron said in an interview. "But it's also going to bring an influx of money and taxes into the village."
While the chamber does not take political positions, the breakfast provides "an opportunity to learn what's going on in the village because some of our members don't live here, they just work here," Havron said. - LISA IRIZARRY
Narcan training for public set for Tuesday
Public training for using Narcan, a drug to reverse overdoses from heroin and opiates, will be offered Tuesday at the Copiague Public Library in an event sponsored by Copiague Community Cares.
The antidote reversed 535 overdoses in Suffolk County in 2013 and 527 through November 2014, according to the Suffolk County Health Department. Heroin and related drugs have played a role in more than 700 deaths over the past five years, according to the department.
"Every resident on Long Island should feel the need to be trained," said Terri Kroll, a Copiague Community Cares member whose son, Timothy Kroll, died of an overdose five years ago at age 23. "It's like first aid for a crisis."
Narcan is commonly administered by spray into an overdose victim's nose. While event organizers say the antidote is safe and easy to use, training is recommended and prescriptions are required.
The training is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the library, 50 Deauville Blvd. Baby-sitting services will be available. - NICHOLAS SPANGLER
At meeting, focus to be mental illness
The Long Island National Alliance of Mental illness is hosting a meeting tomorrow in Garden City for mental illness awareness and outreach in the community.
The NAMIWalks Take Off will be held to raise funds for mental illness programs and events.
The organization specializes in support services and outreach for families affected by mental illness. Tomorrow's event is a precursor to a May 2 5K walk at Jones Beach to raise awareness and funding.
The meeting is to be held at the Cradle of Aviation in Garden City from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. To RSVP call 516-326-0797 or 718-347-7284. More information is available at namiwalks.org/longislandqueens. -JOHN ASBURY
Presentation on disaster preparation
Nassau County Legis. Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport), the Roosevelt Community Revitalization Group and Roosevelt Fire District are hosting a presentation tomorrow on staying safe after a natural disaster.
The Nassau County Office of Emergency Management will provide information from 7 to 9 p.m. at the East Meadow Public Library.
"It's been a long, cold winter; come down and learn more about how to stay safe following a natural disaster that can occur anytime," Abrahams said in a news release. "Receive important information and resources on how to stay safe and keep your family and property safe."
For more information, call Abrahams' office at 516-571-6201 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. - SID CASSESE
Parents push for full-day kindergarten
About 200 parents and community members Monday night continued to push the Northport-East Northport Board of Education to make kindergarten full day in 2015-2016.
Many parents wore red or donned red pins to demonstrate solidarity in the pursuit of full-day classes.
Interim Superintendent Thomas Caramore said late Monday that he anticipates making a recommendation by Monday. At that point, Caramore said, he will "look to the board for guidance" on the next steps and on the budget challenge that an expansion could pose.
Parent-Teacher Associations from schools in the district joined to submit a letter to the board saying they were "unanimously" in support of extending kindergarten. The group argued that a full-day class provides a stronger early start for students, results in better attendance, higher grades, improved social and emotional skills, among other benefits.
"Our children deserve to join with 96 percent of their peers in New York State, and share the numerous benefits full-day kindergarten provides," officials from the Northport East Northport Council of PTAs wrote.
David Stein, a parent who organized a petition that has yielded more than 2,000 signatures, spoke on behalf of the crowd. Stein, who also started a Facebook page promoting the full-day option, was less critical of the board and Caramore than he was at a Feb. 9 meeting.
The difference, he said, was that he had a conversation with Caramore and feels more confident in Caramore's approach on the issue.
"I look forward to a day joining this board, Dr. Caramore, our district, and all those that worked together to celebrate a new day in educating our kids through the implementation of full-day kindergarten," Stein said at the meeting. "It will be a day long awaited by many." - VALERIE BAUMAN
Group collects used prom dresses, gowns
Gently used, prom-appropriate dresses and gowns are needed to help Long Island girls enjoy the annual school event.
The Huntington Community First Aid Squad is collecting donated dresses to be given to girls in need.
Donations will be accepted Monday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Huntington Community First Aid Squad headquarters at 2 Railroad St. in Huntington Station.
"A prom dress can be quite an expense for a lot of families," said Andrea Golinsky, spokeswoman for the first aid squad. "It could mean some girls just don't attend, so this is a way for the girls to get a dress and go and enjoy the prom."
For more information, email Pam Brenner or Martha Benner at email@example.com. - DEBORAH S. MORRIS
D.C. trip goal: Funding for town projects
Supervisor Judi Bosworth and staff members will take an Amtrak trip to Washington, D.C., today as part of an effort to secure federal funding for town projects.
Bosworth, who released details of a five-year, $28 million capital plan this week, said officials will meet tomorrow and Friday with Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington).
Chief of Staff Cindy Cardinal, Deputy Chief of Staff Nick Guariglia, Planning Commissioner Michael Levine, and Grants Coordinator Thomas Devaney are to attend the meetings as are representatives from the town's lobbying firm Sustainable Strategies DC.
Bosworth said the town's capital plan -- a list of five years of capital projects -- is a tool for federal officials "to see how serious we are about fortifying our infrastructure here in our town."
Town officials also are to meet with representatives from the National Endowment for the Arts to discuss a grant application to add artwork to the town dock in Port Washington; the National Park Service to talk about the Stepping Stone Light off Kings Point; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to review plans to make the shoreline more resilient. - SCOTT EIDLER