Changes OKd to help protect watershed
The Brookhaven Town Board has approved zoning changes on more than 300 Yaphank parcels that officials say will help protect the fragile Carmans River watershed.
The board approved the changes Wednesday night in a series of votes after seven public hearings on the matter.
The rezonings affect 359 parcels, most of them residential, on 487.6 acres along the Carmans River, officials said. Most of the residential properties were rezoned from 1-acre zoning to 2 acres to restrict development.
Linda Petersen, first vice president of the Yaphank Taxpayers and Civic Association, said the group supported efforts to protect the river. But she said some residents had asked whether their property taxes would be reduced to compensate for "the resulting decrease in value" on their homes.
Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said property value decreases would affect a homeowner's tax bill. "If the property loses value, the tax assessor would have to take that into account," he said.
The town board also approved what officials said was an improved version of the town's planned development district zoning code. The new code is designed to encourage developers to build in clusters away from ponds and streams.
Deputy town attorney Beth Reilly said developers did not use the previous code because it was "cumbersome." -- Carl MacGowan
Meeting set on cooling, heating
Amityville officials will ask the architect, engineer and contractor who designed and built the clog-prone Village Hall heating and cooling system to meet next month.
"The village isn't interested in suing. The village is interested in getting professional advice," said village attorney Richard Handler, although officials have previously said a lawsuit is possible.
Removing iron buildup and replacing clogged parts in the geothermal system -- special maintenance not foreseen when the system was installed -- will cost about $100,000 every five years, Public Works Superintendent Bruce Hopper said in August.
The system was intended to save energy and money, and was a keystone of the $9.6 million building's "green" certification in 2010.
Handler said Deputy Mayor Jessica Bernius and trustee Dennis Siry would represent the village, along with code inspector Tom Whelan and possibly Hopper.
"The primary questions are how deep was the well dug, should it have been dug deeper, and what did the water tests disclose?" Handler said. "Based on the results of that groundwater test, how should the geothermal system have been adapted in order to accommodate those conditions?"
Handler said he has also advised trustees to hire an independent engineer to review the system specifications. They have not yet acted on that. -- Nicholas Spangler
NEW HYDE PARK
Antiques appraisals coming to park
An "Antiques Roadshow" based on the popular television program that features everyday people seeking appraisals for items they believe to be of value is coming to Clinton G. Martin Park in New Hyde Park on Oct. 27.
The 1 to 3 p.m. event will be co-hosted by the Museum of Interesting Things, a traveling interactive demonstration and exhibition of antiques and inventions. Experienced curators will allow attendees to see and touch antiques and inventions and those attending may also bring a small item of their own to be informally appraised.
Representatives from the town clerk's office will be available to share fun historical facts and anecdotes about the town.
Light refreshments will be served. To register call 311 or 516-869-6311.
Clinton G. Martin Park is at 1601 Marcus Ave. -- Lisa Irizarry
8 rescuers saluted for contributions
The New York State Volunteer Ambulance and Rescue Association honored eight members of the Huntington Community First Aid Squad this month.
The members were recognized for their contributions to the safety of their community and heroism in the line of duty at the group's annual educational conference and awards banquet.
"I'm so glad everyone was recognized," said Andrea Golinsky, spokeswoman for the squad located in Huntington Station. "The squad is one of the premier squads not only in Suffolk but in the state of New York, so the New York State Volunteer Ambulance and Rescue Association wanted to recognize that for their excellent care in the EMS field."
Tom Hogan, Donna Gurtowksi, Chelsea Miller, Deborah Rudilosso, Ann Schwartz and Mark Coppolo all received the EMS Meritorious Award for responding to an emergency call at the Legal Sea Foods at the Walt Whitman Shops in February. A faulty flue pipe in the heating system caused a carbon monoxide buildup at the Huntington Station restaurant, killing the manager and sickening more than two dozen employees, customers and rescue workers.
Kurt Vetter was recognized as an EMS Person of Excellence and Casey Orr was granted a $1,000 scholarship from the association. -- Deborah S. Morris
NAACP chapter gets top national honor
The Huntington chapter of the NAACP was recently honored with one of the national organization's top honors, The Thalheimer Award, given annually since 1944 to branches and units for outstanding achievements.
"We work very, very hard," chapter president Betty Miller said. "I feel very good about being recognized for all the things we do: programs, advocating for folks, keeping people aware politically and to have competed on the national level it makes it even better."
The group also won the Lucille Black membership award for highest total membership production in its category. The awards were presented at the NAACP annual convention in Las Vegas this summer.
The group meets at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month at the South Huntington Library, 145 Pidgeon Hill Rd., in Huntington Station. -- Deborah S. Morris
NEW HYDE PARK
Tree-planting drive takes root in village
New Hyde Park officials are encouraging residents to take advantage of the village's free tree-planting opportunity.
"We would like to see more trees along our village streets," Mayor Bob Lofaro said.
Residents interested in having a tree planted in front of their home at no cost can contact the Department of Public Works at 516-354-0064. Trees are planted in the spring and fall.
"We've been doing this for 20-plus years," explained Public Works Superintendent Tom Gannon. "We go out to inspect the property, and if there is room for a tree, we'll gladly plant one."
He said, however, that gas lines, water lines and signage also have to be taken into consideration when deciding if a tree can be planted.
Gannon said 50 lilac trees are being delivered this week but that the types of trees that are planted depend on what is available at the time of the request.
"We like to plant ornamental trees -- something that has a little color but doesn't get too tremendous," Gannon said. -- Lisa Irizarry
Town to do study of canal dredging
Oyster Bay plans to spend $55,000 to study the potential dredging of 16 canals on the South Shore.
The town approved the study, which is expected to take three months to complete, at its board meeting this month.
"Over time these [canal] mouths tend to fill up with sand, which makes it difficult for boats to navigate going in and out, and apparently in order for us to put out a contract and have them dredged, the town needs to have an environmental study done," Oyster Bay deputy town Supervisor Leonard Genova said.
The board approved using Bethpage-based contractor de Bruin Engineering PC to do the study.
Genova said the study was a necessary step before applying to the state Department of Environmental Conservation for a permit to dredge the canals. The study would show the kinds of material to be removed.
"Sometimes you can dig it up and put it on the beach," Genova said. "Other times you have to haul it away and dispose of it differently."
Genova said the town has had canals dredged before but was not sure whether the same 16 canals had been dredged before. -- Ted Phillips
Event to teach how to run nonprofit
A free nonprofit symposium is being held Oct. 7, in Mineola by the Nassau County Comptroller's office.
The 10 a.m. event will give attendees the opportunity to meet with the comptroller and his administrative staff for an overview of the best practices for nonprofits conducting business with Nassau County.
Speakers will include representatives from the Vendor Claims and Field Audit Departments, and attendees will be able to participate in a question-and-answer forum.
The symposium will be held in the Peter J. Schmitt Memorial Chambers at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive & Legislative Building, 1550 Franklin Ave.
To reserve a space, contact Barbara Powell at 516-571-0896. -- Lisa Irizarry