Revote likely on SCCC ethics hire
A board of trustees vote on hiring an ethics lawyer to review an alleged "breach of confidentiality" at Suffolk County Community College stalled last week after the head of a trustee committee disclosed he had made a procedural error.
Gordon Canary, chairman of the board's governance committee, acknowledged that "proper notification was not given to all members" about the meeting at which the vote was held. He said he will correct the mistake, hold a revote and hopefully bring the issue back to the full board at its February meeting.
The proposed resolution calls for the hiring of the Roslyn-based firm of Leventhal, Cursio, Mullaney and Sliney. Steven Leventhal is former chairman of the Nassau Board of Ethics and later counsel to the group.
In an interview, Canary declined to say who was not notified, but several college sources say board chairwoman Dafny Irizarry was not present. Irizarry declined to comment.
While college officials have declined to comment on the source of the alleged breach, Irizarry has left several executive board sessions where the issue has been discussed. Last year, college president Shaun McKay tried to lobby behind the scenes to oust Irizarry as board chairwoman, but she won re-election last summer. --RICK BRAND
24 percent boost last year in recycling
Recycling in Brookhaven Town increased by almost 24 percent last year due to a new procedure that simplified trash collection, town officials said.
The single-stream recycling process also earned the town an additional $425,000 last year from the sale of recyclable material and cuts in disposal costs, town officials said in a news release last week. Single-stream recycling, introduced last January, allows residents to place recyclables such as paper, plastics and metal into one container, rather than separating them.
The town last year had a 5,500-ton increase in collected recyclables, up from the town's annual average recyclable collection of 23,046 tons in 2012 and 2013 -- a 23.9 percent increase.
"It's clear that many residents have embraced single-stream recycling," Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said in a statement. "However, as a community, I know we can do better. People placing recyclables in the trash is bad for the environment, a waste of natural resources and expensive for taxpayers who ultimately pay for the cost of waste disposal."
In addition to recyclables from Brookhaven residents, the town's Material Recovery Facility in Brookhaven hamlet processes recyclable material from the towns of Smithtown, Huntington and Southold, and Bellport, Mastic Beach, Poquott and Northport villages. --CARL MACGOWAN
$32G in state grants to aid beautification
The Town of Islip and the Village of Brightwaters have received state grants to restore tree plantings and make their communities greener.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation awarded the grants as part of the Urban Forestry program.
Central Islip was given $10,925 to plant trees downtown, where Norway maples are declining because of storms and aging, town officials said. The new trees will provide shade and beautify the area, according to the town's application.
The town also received $13,000 to plant trees in Bay Shore around Brook Street and Penataquit Avenue, near the Penataquit Creek. The new trees will restore the natural forest in the area and give habitat to local wildlife, as well as provide shade and lower the temperature of water runoff, which will prevent algae blooms, town officials said.
The grants from the state DEC's Urban Forestry program "will enable two important projects to move forward in the Town of Islip. Both will provide for significant planting of trees in downtown Central Islip and the neighborhoods near Penataquit Creek in Bay Shore, which are beneficial to the natural environment, and enhance the overall aesthetic character," town Councilman Anthony Senft Jr. said in an email statement.
Brightwaters received $8,693 to plant trees in the south of the village and near the lake, though details were not immediately available from village officials. --SOPHIA CHANG
Town tells vets about available services
An Islip councilman wants to remind local veterans of services the town offers them, including a new program for those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The town's Veterans Service Organization will sponsor a presentation on this program, conducted by Suffolk County Veterans Agency director Thomas Ronayne on Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the West Islip American Legion Post 1738, 340 Union Blvd., West Islip.
"PTSD affects many servicemen returning from overseas deployments, and can have a serious and detrimental effect on their lives," Councilman John C. Cochrane Jr., a Navy veteran, said in a news release.
Those veterans suffering from PTSD are also encouraged to contact representatives of the PFC Joseph R. Dwyer Project, a PTSD support group run by the Veterans for Veterans organization at 631-672-1201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cochrane said he is accessible to any veterans having trouble accessing documents needed for military benefits, including Honorable Discharge papers. Also, those wanting to receive a Cold War recognition certificate, who have not received a less than honorable discharge, can visit Cochrane's office at Islip Town Hall, 655 Main St., to fill out an application.
Details of these and additional services available to veterans are on the town website, townofislip-ny.gov, under the "Veterans Affairs" tab. A veterans hotline sponsored by the town is also open for those wanting information on veterans projects and programs and for any issues or concerns at 631-224-VETS. --SARAH ARMAGHAN
Sandy-harmed rec sites get federal help
More than $1.2 million in federal funds has been awarded to North Hempstead to reimburse the town for repairs to recreational facilities in Port Washington's Manorhaven Beach Park that were damaged in superstorm Sandy in 2012.
Contractors made repairs to the tennis court, picnic pavilions, women's restroom, main building and the surrounding park area. Manorhaven Beach Park sits along Manhasset Bay and includes a pool complex as well as full outdoor recreational facilities.
The Public Assistance award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to repay North Hempstead was announced last week by Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).
Officials spoke about the funding in a news release.
"This funding helps relieve the burden on North Hempstead taxpayers as the town continues to recover from superstorm Sandy," Gillibrand said. "Manorhaven Beach Park is a recreational asset that was damaged during superstorm Sandy and this funding will help the town restore the park back to its original state."
"The town worked hard to make sure it was repaired," Schumer said of the park. "This federal funding will help ensure local residents are not on the hook for the permanent repairs."
North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth said the grant will work in conjunction with two existing state awards that the town received last year to rebuild the park's boat ramp and the neighboring property along North Sheets Creek, bringing the total assistance for the park to $2 million. --LISA IRIZARRY
GREAT NECK PLAZA
Green grant to assist parking lot upgrade
An open surface parking lot on Maple Drive in Great Neck Plaza will be refurbished in late summer or early fall with a $675,000 grant the village has received from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation.
The money was awarded under the "Green Innovation Grant Program," which supports projects throughout the state that use unique stormwater infrastructure design and create cutting-edge green technologies.
Porous pavement, a green infrastructure practice, will be used for the project. It is a permeable pavement surface with an underlying stone reservoir that temporarily stores surface runoff before it infiltrates the subsoil.
New LED lighting, solar metering stations, benches and landscaping that will provide more greenery and shade will also be part of the project.
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified 'green' as the new color for storm water programs," Mayor Jean Celender said in an emailed statement.
The lot, about 300 by 150 feet, was constructed more than 30 years ago and has 121 parking spaces.
Celender said the lot needs repair and that there was an opportunity to apply for the grant for reconstruction using green infrastructure techniques, such as the porous pavement that she said will improve water quality, provide better storm-water runoff and minimize potential flooding.
Celender said the refurbishing of the lot, which is used by patrons visiting many downtown businesses, will help revitalize the downtown area and spur economic development.
The village is also partnering with the local William A. Shine Great Neck South High School and its business/technology department to provide a community-based applied learning experience for its engineering and architecture students about sustainable parking lot rehabilitation, Celender said. --LISA IRIZARRY
Dilapidated building will be demolished
A derelict building that Amityville officials say is a threat to public health will be fenced in during the coming weeks and demolished as soon as weather allows.
Trustees voted last week to spend up to $10,000 on fencing for 21 DeForest St. and put the project out to bid.
"Part of the roof was removed and part of it was falling in," code enforcement officer Tom Whalen said at a village board meeting last Monday. "We have not heard from the owner of the building."
Village officials have been trying unsuccessfully to reach owner Frank Lally, of Massapequa, since September. Lally has not paid taxes on the property since 2006, officials said.
Fencing and demolition costs will be added to the property's tax bill. --NICHOLAS SPANGLER
Teens get their say on local activities
Sag Harbor teenagers will have a chance to tell village leaders what youth programs and activities they'd like to see.
The March 1 "Speak Out" event -- the third ever in the East End village -- is being organized by the Youth Resource Center of Sag Harbor, Sag Harbor Youth Committee and Sag Harbor Coalition.
Teens will be able to ask questions or make suggestions to a panel expected to include representatives from the Sag Harbor village government, police department and school district; John Jermain Memorial Library; Mashashimuet Park and Bay Street Theater, organizers said.
"The 'Speak Out' is intended to let our youth be heard," Youth Resource Center director Debbie Skinner said in a statement. "Sag Harbor has had two Speak Outs before, in 1997 and 2000. Back then, our kids were angry; they had nothing to do."
Skinner said those events "brought attention to the lack of recreational facilities for kids, and it led to an increase of programs offered to children on the eastern end of Southampton Town and the western end of East Hampton Town."
The Speak Out forum is scheduled to run from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Bay Street Theater. --WILL JAMES