A historical structure in Oak Beach that was damaged by superstorm Sandy is receiving financial help from the state.
The Oak Beach community center was built in 1872 and once served as part of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, a precursor to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard sold the building to Babylon Town in 1948, and for the last 40 years it has been used for Oak Beach meetings and functions.
The town was awarded $750,000 last month from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to restore original features of the building, including siding, windows and doors, and interiors. Because Sandy weakened the building’s foundation, the grant would also go toward stabilizing the building. The money is part of $5 million awarded by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to restore historic properties damaged by Sandy.
The town had applied for $900,000 from the grant. The town also has applied for a $500,000 FEMA hazard mitigation grant to go toward a new foundation and elevation of the building.
The restorative work cannot be done until after the building is elevated, Babylon Town spokesman Kevin Bonner said. The estimated cost of elevating the building is $674,000, of which the hazard mitigation grant would cover 75 percent, he said.
— DENISE M. BONILLA
LIRR stops added for Forest Hills concert
Extra Long Island Rail Road trains will make stops in Queens next Tuesday for a concert at Forest Hills Stadium, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has announced.
Additional trains will stop at the LIRR’s Forest Hills station between 2:30 and 7 p.m. on Aug. 19, the MTA said. The train station is within walking distance of the former tennis stadium, where singers Drake and Lil Wayne are scheduled to appear that night.
The LIRR also has scheduled extra trains at the Forest Hills stop between 8:30 and 11 p.m. that evening.
Riders must be in the first four cars to exit trains stopping at the Forest Hills station, the MTA said. — CARL MACGOWAN
GREAT NECK ESTATES
Smoking ban puts focus on businesses
The Great Neck Estates board of trustees has passed a law banning smoking in businesses in the village, though the sale of tobacco is still allowed.
“This is similar to New York City laws,” explained Mayor David Fox of last week’s action. “The intent was to clarify that our code already prohibits uses such as hookah lounges, and also to clarify that this prohibition also applied to similar uses where smoking of any substance was part of the business operation.”
Fox said it “reaffirms” existing Nassau County health laws.
“This does not ban people from smoking in places where it is otherwise legal to do so,” the mayor said. “It prohibits businesses where smoking is part of the business operation.”
Fox said he is not aware of any existing businesses in the village that would be affected by such a law, reiterating, “We are clarifying an existing law.”
Last month, the City of Glen Cove banned hookah lounges. Mayor Reginald Spinello said the action sent a message that the city cared about its youth; and it was commended by Carol Meschkow, Nassau coordinator of the Tobacco Action Coalition of Long Island.
“Hookah establishments are popping up all over and have become the social rage of our youth despite all of our education” about its health risks, Meschkow said.
Last year, after the Village of Great Neck approved Fountain Blue Hookah on Middle Neck Road, both Great Neck and Great Neck Plaza passed temporary moratoriums on businesses that allow on-premise smoking.
-- LISA IRIZARRY
75 dogs ready for adoption at event
The Town of Islip plans to offer free adoptions on all its available canines at the end of this month.
In celebration of National Dog Day, anyone who applies to adopt one of the more than 75 dogs at the Islip Animal Shelter on Aug. 26 will be eligible to have the $105 adoption fee paid for by the nonprofit Live. Love. Bark.
Town residents will be responsible for the dog licensing fee, which runs $6. The event will take place that Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the Islip Animal Shelter and Adopt-a-Pet Center at 210 S. Denver Ave., Bay Shore.
Vanessa Rotondi in the Islip Town Communications and Media Relations Office can be contacted for more information at 631-224-5485. — SARAH ARMAGHAN
Town Hall pitched as wedding location
Residents of Islip are encouraged to tie the knot at Town Hall on Main Street.
The Town Hall can be rented for a nonrefundable fee of $50, and residents can conveniently obtain their marriage license on the first floor in the town clerk’s office for $40.
The wedding ceremony can accommodate up to 50 people.
Featuring a set of spiral staircases and a rotunda, the Town Hall boasts historic charm, town officials said. It was completed in 1931 in a classic Georgian style.
“The Town of Islip offers an inexpensive alternative for your wedding ceremony that is both personal and professional,” Town Clerk Olga Murray said in a news release. “I would be honored to be a part of your most unforgettable day. Please call and schedule your ceremony today.”
For more information, contact the town clerk’s office at 631-224-5490, or visit the clerk’s website at www.townofislip-ny.gov/depts/town-clerk. — SOPHIA CHANG
$150G grant to teach kids traffic safety
Long Beach police have received a $150,000 grant to create safe routes for teens and children to get to school.
Police and the Nassau Traffic Safety Board will host safe-walking and biking workshops for parents, pedestrian safety days at schools and will hold school contests at schools for safety awareness.
The grant also allows the city to apply for special enforcement equipment and will include children with special needs and their parents.
City Council members say they are fighting pollution around schools, decreasing traffic and allowing children to exercise while walking and biking to school and staying healthy. — JOHN ASBURY
Waterfront proposal includes town houses
Fourteen town houses would be built on land now occupied by a boatyard on Amityville’s waterfront under a proposal unveiled before the village board Monday night.
Developer Michael Ryan, a principal in the Amityville-based sports facility builder LandTek Group, would build the town houses in two two-story buildings occupying a 1.61-acre site at the east end of Meadow Lane. Thirty-one parking spaces would be built, and each unit would come with its own boat slip.
The village board would need to approve a change of zoning for the project to proceed. Area zoning does not now permit multi-residence dwellings.
Project design would take into account chronic flooding on Meadow Lane, a representative for the developer said Monday night.
Village residents are often wary of new rental development, and a lawyer for Ryan, Steve Kretz, said the town houses are intended to be sold but declined to offer a no-rental promise, calling it unfair to future owners there.
He also declined to give a price estimate for the town houses.
An informational meeting for neighborhood residents will be held sometime before Sept. 22, he said.
The proposal would need approval from the Planning Board and perhaps also the Zoning Board of Appeals, Mayor James Wandell said. — NICHOLAS SPANGLER
Contest reels in best fishing catches
Fishing has gone high-tech in a contest sponsored by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Anglers can upload photos of their catches via an app as part of the #IFISHNY Challenge. A free lifetime state fishing license will be awarded for the longest largemouth bass and the longest striped bass, the DEC said.
Additional prizes, such as gift baskets, wildlife guides and magazine subscriptions, will be given to fishing enthusiasts in each of the DEC’s seven regions, including Long Island, New York City, the Catskills, Hudson Valley, the Adirondacks, Central New York and Western New York.
Anglers are invited to take photos of their largemouth and striped bass alongside measuring tape, then upload the picture onto the Trophy Case App, available through the NY Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife app. Photos should be posted with the hashtag #IFISHNY to enter the contest.
Photos also may be emailed to IFISHNY@dec.ny.gov with information including the length of the fish, the angler’s full name and mailing address, and the location where the fish was caught.
The contest began Monday and closes on Sept. 1. For additional information, visit www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor. — CARL MACGOWAN
Board OKs gradual water rates increase
The Hempstead Town Board approved several fee increases at this month’s board meeting including water rates, tree removal and permits for signs and public assembly.
The town voted to raise water rates by 15 percent annually for the next three years. The first zero to 20 gallons per day will be billed at $1.13 per thousand gallons in 2015 and increase to $1.49 in 2017. Rates could increase up to $5.33 per thousand gallons in 2017 for customers using more than 350,000 gallons of water.
The increased water rates could raise about $1.2 million each year, officials said.
Increased fees for building construction could net the town $1.3 million. Fees for sign permits are expected to raise $91,000 for the town and public assembly fees are estimated to raise $47,000. — JOHN ASBURY