Here is a roundup of community news from across Long Island:
Bishop to do vows for same-sex couple
Rep. Tim Bishop will marry a same-sex couple next month after the Southampton Town board designated him as a marriage officer for a day.
Bishop (D-Southampton) will marry two women in a private ceremony, said his spokesman, Oliver Longwell.
“He’s not making a political statement,” said Longwell, who declined to name the couple getting married “out of deference to their privacy.”
Longwell said the couple were personal friends of the congressman. Bishop married another couple in 2004.
Southampton Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer said the town board occasionally designates marriage officers, usually elected officials. The unanimous vote on Tuesday appointed Bishop as a marriage officer for Aug. 3.
Bishop last month hailed the Supreme Court ruling that the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, saying the court “confirmed that equal protection under the law for all Americans means having the ability to marry the person you love.”
Same sex marriages have been legal in New York since 2011.
— DAVID M. SCHWARTZ
Dredging projects under review
The National Park Service is preparing an environmental assessment for proposed dredging projects for marinas and channels at three locations in Fire Island National Seashore: Sailors Haven, Watch Hill and Barrett Beach.
Fire Island National Seashore Superintendent Chris Soller said the purpose of the projects is to re-establish safe public access after superstorm Sandy and other storms deposited sediment. “These channels are the ‘major highways’ into the seashore’s primary visitor facilities on Fire Island,” he said, “and we want to restore them to conditions that support safe navigation as efficiently and environmentally soundly as possible.”
Public comments will be accepted through Aug. 5. They may be submitted electronically at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/fiis, or by mail to Fire Island National Seashore, Attn: Superintendent, Dredging EA Scoping Comments, 120 Laurel St., Patchogue, NY 11772-3596.
The assessment is expected to be available by early September for a 30-day public review and comment period. Funded dredging projects might not begin until after Oct. 1.
For more information go here.
— BILL BLEYER
History shared on central pine barrens
There’s a lot to learn about Long Island’s Central Pine Barrens, a lot more than can be shown in a few panels put on display last week in the lobby of the Riverhead County Center.
But people who pass through the Evans K. Griffing Building can pick up quite a bit of knowledge in the few minutes it takes to look at the displays, which cover thousands of years of human involvement with the sprawling woodland in central Suffolk County that has one of the greatest concentrations of rare, threatened and endangered species anywhere in New York State.
Among those factoids: The Pine Barrens wouldn’t look the way it does today except for the fact that people cut down most of the original trees to serve the thriving cordwood industry in New York City in the 1820s. And at one time — there was no date given — people could buy five acres of land in Centre Moriches (the spelling would later change) for $150, or $5 down and $3 a month.
The display, sponsored by the Suffolk County Historical Society and the Central Pine Barrens Joint Policy and Planning Commission, runs through Sept. 30.
— MITCHELL FREEDMAN
LIPA gives rebate for energy-saving project
The Village of Hempstead has received a rebate of more than $8,000 from the Long Island Power Authority for its energy-efficient lighting retrofit project.
Mayor Wayne J. Hall Sr. was presented with a LIPA Commercial Efficiency rebate check for $8,390 earlier this month following the completion of the lighting retrofit project at the Jackson Street Fire House, which helps to reduce energy usage.
Village officials hired Williston Park-based contractor Burke Lighting to retrofit 68 fluorescent fixtures with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to lower operating costs and save the village $3,000 a year.
The village is expected to save up to 16,632 kilowatt hours per year and reduce its peak electric demand by an estimated 10 kilowatts — the equivalent of removing 19,021 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions from the air each year, officials said.
The commercial efficiency program is part of LIPA’s Efficiency Long Island, a customer-funded, 10-year, $924 million program that offers incentives, rebates and initiatives to residential and commercial customers to assist them in reducing energy usage and thereby lowering bills.
— AISHA AL-MUSLIM
Restaurants give to hurricane fund
All three Hurricane Grill & Wings restaurants in Nassau — Levittown, Syosset and the new Garden City site — will donate proceeds earned Monday from 6 p.m. to the close of business to the Nassau Hurricane Recovery Fund, according to County Executive Edward Mangano.
“Thanks to local businesses, like this one, the fund has been able to provide some form of support to dozens of those who have been unable to overcome the financial hurdles associated with the storm,” Mangano said at the grand opening of the third restaurant earlier this month.
The owners will create a special menu of food and beverages for the evening.
Mangano said that many of the 1,200 residents who have applied to the recovery fund for help since January cannot afford to repair their homes and have no place of their own to live.
Mangano created the fund in November to collect, organize and distribute donations to Sandy victims, prioritizing applicants who are not entitled to reimbursement from insurance or government programs.
Donations can be made on line at www.nassaurecovery.com or the fund’s Facebook page.
— SID CASSESE