Fence surrounding

lake to come down

The fence surrounding Great Patchogue Lake will be removed, giving residents an uninterrupted view of the lake for the first time in more than 50 years, officials said Thursday.

Assemb. Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue) and Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri announced the removal of the fence, which is located along a Waverly Avenue spur.

Suffolk County and village officials recently reached an agreement to remove the fence, Murray said in a statement.

Fences were removed around nearby West Lake and Swan Lake in recent years.

"For several years, local residents and members of the Patchogue Chamber of Commerce lobbied for the Patchogue Lake fence to be removed as well, as part of the beautification and revitalization of the village," the statement said.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation must approve permits before the fence can be removed, said Kevin Molloy, a spokesman for Murray. That process is in motion, he said.

Murray, Pontieri and Suffolk officials will hold a news conference at the lake today at 11:30 a.m. The conference will take place on the southern shore of the lake, opposite Briarcliffe College.


Meeting to address suspicious activity

The Village of Westbury is holding a special meeting Monday to answer questions and brief residents about a spate of suspicious incidents that have been reported recently.

The meeting will be at 8 p.m. at Village Hall (235 Lincoln Place).

Over the past weeks, residents have reported seeing people knock on doors purportedly to sell items such as window cleaners and driveway sealant. But they appear not to have supplies of what they are selling.

Two vehicles -- a light silver Chevrolet Astro van and a red Toyota pickup -- have been associated with the incidents.

Police said the door knocking could be an attempt to see whether a home is occupied or to case a house.

They have intensified patrols, though no burglaries have been directly related to this reported activity, police said.

In a note to residents, Mayor Peter I. Cavallaro urged residents to be vigilant but not to over-report incidents to police unless suspicious behavior has been witnessed.


Town gets $392K

in storm disaster aid

The Town of North Hempstead has received nearly $392,000 in federal and state disaster assistance funds related to the post-Christmas storm that dumped about 20 inches of snow across Long Island last year.

The state Office of Emergency Management awarded the town nearly $56,000 while the Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded nearly $336,000, town records show.

The winter storm, on Dec. 26 and 27, snarled traffic, stranded Long Island Rail Road passengers and caused numerous delays at area airports. Carle Place, in North Hempstead, saw 18.1 inches of snow.

During cleanup efforts, North Hempstead used 100 employees to spread more than 1,600 tons of sand and salt, and used 80 pieces of equipment, such as sanders and dump trucks, the town said in a statement.


Car wash benefit

to aid Trinca family

A friend of the Trinca family is hosting a car wash fundraiser Sunday at the Holtsville Fire Department to help the stricken family.

On Oct. 8, Keri Trinca, 30, was driving east on Montauk Avenue with her three young children in the backseat of her Honda sedan when the car was struck by a Ford van traveling south on County Road 111 in Manorville.

Trinca and her oldest son, go-kart racer Jason, 7, died. Marialena Trinca, 4, remains in critical condition at Stony Brook University Medical Center, doctors said. Christopher Trinca, 2, was discharged last week.

The fundraiser is from 1 to 4 p.m. There will also be a bake sale with goods decorated with the number 48, Jason's racing number on his go-kart at Riverhead Raceway.

Police said the collision is under investigation and no charges have been filed. The van driver, Steven Vonfricken, 51, of St. James, suffered minor injuries.

All proceeds will go to the family. For more information, call Jenn Hagenburg at 631-880-9962.


Village hosting family

Halloween party

The Village of Lindenhurst is sponsoring a free family Halloween party Saturday from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in Irmisch Park at the intersection of South Broadway and South Third Street.

The event, co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Lindenhurst and the Lindenhurst Historical Society, will feature face painting, relay races, hay rides, pony rides, entertainment and games as well as hot dogs and soda. The historical railroad depot will also be open during the event. The rain date is Oct. 29.


Dowling Athletics to help clean up town

More than 300 Dowling College student-athletes, coaches and staff members are expected to don gloves to help beautify parts of Islip today.

The effort, postponed a week due to inclement weather, marks the sixth year Dowling Athletics and Keep Islip Clean have combined to help clean up the area, officials said.

KIC, a certified affiliate of Keep America Beautiful Inc., works year-round with local volunteers to pick up roadside litter, paint over graffiti and improve quality of life in all 18 Islip hamlets. Dowling Athletics is one of the largest groups to work with the organization, cleaning up the neighborhood the college calls home.

Last October, college participants were assigned different areas throughout the town, picking up well more than 100 bags of trash during the day. In addition, volunteers covered up unsightly graffiti with the help of the Town of Islip Anti-Graffiti Unit.

"The student-athletes and staff of Dowling Athletics are committed to helping the community whether it be through holding youth clinics throughout the year or picking up trash on the street," athletics vice president Rick Cole Jr. said in a statement.


DOT to begin work

to repair potholes

The State Department of Transportation will begin roadwork sometime next month to fix potholes along parts of Route 27 in Water Mill, Wainscott and East Hampton, according to a news release by Assemb. Fred W. Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor).

A representative in Thiele's office said the assemblyman asked for the work to be done after being contacted by constituents in the area who told him of large potholes that were unsafe to drive over and that were damaging cars.

All work will be on the eastbound lanes, Thiele's office said. Complete road paving would take place at another time, according to the statement.


University a venue

for national Food Day Stony Brook University is one of the venues Monday for Food Day, a national grassroots campaign to educate consumers about healthy and sustainable food and sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

From 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., events will take place around campus including a farmer's market, showings of the documentaries "Food Inc." and "Forks Over Knives," and a work session for people interested in harvesting produce from the hospital garden.

Chef Marc Anthony Bynum from the Food Network show "Chopped" will also do a cooking demonstration on campus.

Other events around New York include a Times Square "Eat Real" eat-in and discussion with celebrity chef Mario Batali and filmmaker Morgan Spurlock.

"To put it simply, Food Day is about transforming the American diet," said Nancy Huehnergarth in a news release. She is the executive director of the New York State Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Alliance and statewide coordinator for Food Day. "It's about making sure that every New Yorker has access to healthy, real food rather than food manufactured in a factory."

Visit the website for more information.


New schools chief

to answer questions

The new Levittown schools superintendent, James Grossane, will meet the public and answer questions at a meeting of the Levittown Community Council on Monday night.

The meeting will begin at 7:30 at Levittown Memorial Education Center, 150 Abbey Lane. The event is free and refreshments will be served.

Grossane replaced longtime Superintendent Herman Sirois in July, after Sirois resigned.

Before working for Levittown schools, Grossane served as assistant superintendent of student support services in the Massapequa school district. Before that, he was principal of Massapequa High School.

The Levittown Community Council represents organizations and residents in the areas that comprise the Levittown and Island Trees school districts.

For information, contact membership chair Steve Dalton at or call council president Mauro Cassano at 516-796-3392.


First Hispanic film

fest on LI to launch

The Long Beach advocacy group Círculo de la Hispanidad is hosting its first Long Island Hispanic Film Festival this weekend to showcase independent films focusing on community issues.

The free Hempstead festival, which will feature English-language films, launches Friday with the premiere of "Air," a documentary on the life of Gil C. Alicea, a young man in the South Bronx who wrote a book about coping with his dad's drug addiction and both of his parents contracting HIV.

Other films, to be shown Saturday and Sunday, will deal with the plight of immigrant workers, the effects of aggressive immigration enforcement policies and the hate killing of a Brooklyn immigrant in 2008.

The showings will be followed by question-and-answer sessions with directors, actors and community activists.

Gil Bernardino, founder and director of Círculo, said the group hopes the event is the start of more community gatherings that provide a forum for Hispanic issues in Nassau County. He is hoping the discussions will attract area residents of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

"We want to have our meeting space used for art exhibits, theater and film showings," Bernardino said. "We will be looking for stories that are related to the experiences of the Hispanic community in the United States that we can present here."

The festival starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the group's community center at 605 Peninsula Blvd., in the Village of Hempstead. For details on the showings, visit


Story of hope makes it into new book

Long Beach native Karen Danca-Smith, 37, gave birth to her son, Gavin, in 2007. When he was 4 months old, she and her husband discovered there was something wrong with their son. Every time they touched Gavin's left leg he would scream. Their pediatrician sent them to an orthopedist, and then to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

"We knew, when you are at the 'peds' center at Sloan-Kettering you need to brace yourself. It could be cancer," said Danca-Smith, a teacher at Long Beach Catholic Regional School.

Danca-Smith spent much of the two weeks she waited for Gavin's diagnosis in prayer.

"They did a biopsy and found the tumors in his leg were benign, but they had shattered his tibia," she said.

The doctors removed the tumors and replaced Gavin's tibia with a cadaver bone that was filled and wrapped with pieces of coral from a reef so the bone would grow as the infant did.

Danca-Smith also co-hosts "Good News," a television show on Telecare, the Diocese of Rockville Centre's television channel. Last year, LeAnn Thieman, one of the authors of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series, was a guest on the show to talk about the series' upcoming "Answered Prayers" edition. Danca-Smith told Thieman her story, then wrote it for Thieman's book. "Gifts From the Sea" was published in "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Answered Prayers," which hit shelves Tuesday.

"I knew I wanted to write this down," Danca-Smith said. "I want as many people to read it as possible because it's such a hope-filled story."

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