Nassau and Suffolk counties will share $6.67 million in federal and state homeland security grants, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced this week.
“From September 11th to Superstorm Sandy, our first responders and local law enforcement agencies have been essential to protecting New Yorkers and keeping our communities safe,” Cuomo said in a news release Wednesday. “These grants are vital to supporting their work.”
Nassau is slated to receive $3,346,508; Suffolk, $3,322,304.
“These funds will help support our police officers and firefighters in keeping our communities safe,” said Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone could not be reached for comment.
The two counties are also eligible for an additional $300,000 each in other, competitive, homeland security and emergency management grants.
In all, a total of $185 million in grants was to be awarded, with New York City getting about $140 million. The city is recognized as being in a “unique position in terms of potential threats from terrorist-related activities,” Cuomo’s release said.
— SID CASSESE
Village picks mayor, trustee on 2nd try
Timothy Hogue won a 12th term as mayor of Dering Harbor, New York State’s least-populous village, in a rematch election Tuesday.
Hogue defeated Patrick Parcells 43-29 to win another two-year term.
Incumbent trustee Mary Walker also defeated Robert Ferris, a challenger who ran with Parcells, 43-29.
Both Hogue and Walker tied 25-25 with their opponents, who waged a write-in campaign, in last month’s election.
Dering Harbor consists of roughly 35 homes on Shelter Island. Eleven people live there year-round, according to the 2010 U.S. census. Several dozen part-time residents live there in the summer.
This year’s unusually contentious election resulted in the highest voter turnout ever in the municipality, Hogue said.
Parcells said 18 people, mostly supporters of the incumbents, registered to vote in the village over roughly the past month. He said many were children or grandchildren of homeowners.
“You have people who have no connection to the village at all, besides an occasional visit, impacting the way the village runs and how tax dollars are spent,” Parcells said. “They have no skin in this game.”
Parcells said he and Ferris challenged many of those voters’ ballots, and election inspectors accepted them after speaking with the voters.
Hogue said the new voters, after learning of the contest, registered legally with the Suffolk Board of Elections.
“After what was thought to be an uncontested election, a number of residents in the village felt they wanted to express their right to vote and followed the proper election code,” he said.
Parcells said he would accept the results and not pursue the issue. “It’s a small place,” he said. “We want people to get along. It’s just not worth a protracted legal battle.” — WILL JAMES
Veterans can get help on construction, jobs
The Huntington Opportunity Resource Center has information that can connect veterans with a free program that provides hands-on introductory training in green building.
The Town of Huntington has partnered with United Way Long Island in its VetsBuild program, which offers basic weatherization and energy efficiency instruction, a 10-hour entry-level OSHA training program, one-on-one job counseling and job placement assistance. Information is available at the resource center at 1268 New York Ave. Classes will be in Deer Park.
Town board member Tracey Edwards said the program is essential for the economic empowerment of veterans. “We can’t accept the fact that veterans serve our country and then come home and can’t find a job,” Edwards said. “I thank United Way of Long Island for this program.”
Training is at United Way’s E3 Career Training Center at 10 Dunton Ave. Registration is ongoing, with the next class starting in October. For more information, call the resource center at 631-385-2305. — DEBORAH S. MORRIS
School district can keep using ballfield
Babylon Village trustees on Tuesday ratified a license agreement that will allow the Babylon School District continued use of part of a baseball field that sits partly on village-owned land near Argyle Lake.
The move was prompted by a recent property survey commissioned by the district that revealed the land, long used by the district, is actually owned by the village. The two are separate taxing bodies. The agreement will allow the district to float bonds for construction on school buildings and fields, Village Attorney Joel Sikowitz said.
Trustees will be able to revoke permission to use the property, he said.
— NICHOLAS SPANGLER
Village eliminates fee for contractors
Contractors conducting work in Mastic Beach will no longer be required to register or pay its $100 fee to perform services in the village, as long as they are recognized by Suffolk County.
Mastic Beach’s village board of trustees amended village code 197 at Tuesday night’s meeting in a 3-0 decision, due to public pressure.
“The concern was the public expressed concerns that contractors were reluctant to conduct work in the village because of the fee,” Village Attorney Brian Egan said after the meeting, which drew about 100 people. “I don’t know why that is, but that’s just the public’s perception.”
Previously, the code required contractors conducting services such as home improvements to register in the village and supply proof of insurance.
The reversal means contractors only need to have a valid Suffolk County home improvement contractor’s license to work in the municipality, village officials said.
— DEON HAMPTON
Farmers market joins downtown revival
An expanded annual farmers market is opening tomorrow in Wyandanch.
The market, which will run until October, is sponsored by the Wyandanch Community Development Corporation and the New Shiloh Development Corporation. This is the third year of operation for the market, which is youth-staffed and aims to provide fresh and affordable local produce to Wyandanch residents.
The market is expanding this year due to funding and assistance from Babylon Town, Sustainable Long Island, the state FreshConnect Program, Ebenezer Baptist Church and New Light Baptist Church. Also lending assistance was Albanese Organization Inc. of Garden City, the developer behind apartment buildings being constructed as part of the community’s massive redevelopment project.
“Enabling access to nutritious, fresh local and organic produce promotes healthy lifestyles and helps strengthen a community, especially its youth,” Albanese chairman Russell Albanese said in a statement.
In addition to cash, the market will accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Electronic Benefits Transfer as well as Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program checks. Participating farmers include Philip Schmitt & Sons, Anderson Farms and Natural Earth Farms.
The market will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. every Saturday at New Shiloh Baptist Church, 221 Merritt Ave. An opening day event with speeches from representatives of various agencies will kick off at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.
— DENISE M. BONILLA
Reception for autistic artists set at winery
Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc., an Old Bethpage nonprofit that helps individuals with different abilities on Long Island, has scheduled a “Meet the Artists” reception today for an exhibition created by those with autism and other developmental disabilities, from 5 to 8 p.m. at The Lenz Winery, at 38355 Rte. 25 — Main Road.
The exhibit, “Future Fossils” will run through Labor Day.
The sculptures on view reflect the artists’ work with clay as they delved back into time and explored the field of archaeology and artifacts of the past. For further information, call 631-734-6010. — SID CASSESE
Drivers get tips on child seat safety
The Brookhaven Highway Department partnered with nonprofit Education & Assistance Corporation to host a few free child passenger safety seat programs yesterday.
Certified technicians inspected the car seats of Brookhaven drivers, ensuring the seats were correctly installed. Technicians also taught parents and guardians how to properly install the seats and provided more information about child passenger safety.
The first program was held at Brookhaven Safety Town, 249 Buckley Rd. in Holtsville inside the grounds of the town’s wildlife and ecology center. Other programs will be this summer, officials said.
Properly installed car seats can reduce serious or fatal injuries in the event of a vehicle accident, officials said.
A limited number of car seats will be available for drivers whose safety seats are expired or have malfunctioned. Inspections are by appointment only. For more information, call 631-363-3770. — DEON HAMPTON
Supermarket to host anti-hunger drive
Local officials and anti-hunger advocates are asking the public to come out tomorrow and donate at a food drive in Commack.
Suffolk County Legis. Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills) and Island Harvest are hosting the drive at ShopRite at 1 Garet Pl. The event is from noon to 3 p.m.
Suggested items included canned soups, meat, vegetables, fruit, tuna, sauces, pasta, peanut butter, jelly, beans, rice, baby food, diapers and personal hygiene items. — MACKENZIE ISSLER