Sand sculptors back for 2nd competition
The Town of Hempstead and the MaliBlue Oyster Bar are hosting the second annual Seaside Sand-Sculpting Spectacular Competition Tuesday.
Residents can win prizes, including gift certificates to MaliBlue in three divisions: 10 and under, 11-15 and adults, town officials said, adding that members of Malibu Beach Camp and some of America’s renowned sand sculptors will be on site to showcase their skills.
The competition is free.
“We encourage all residents to come down to build castles and other sculptures with the sand we worked so hard to replace after superstorm Sandy ravaged our shoreline,” said Supervisor Kate Murray. “I look forward to seeing all the great sculptures created by our talented neighbors.”
The competitive portion of the sand-sculpting competition is from 11 a.m. through noon, with awards and prizes being presented at 12:15 p.m. Registration begins at 10 a.m. After the awards ceremony, MaliBlue will provide food for the competitors.
— SID CASSESE
IDA plans tax breaks for building reuse
The Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency has announced plans to offer incentives for developers who reuse vacant commercial buildings.
The IDA, the business arm of Brookhaven Town, will offer tax reductions ranging from 30 percent to 50 percent to businesses that redevelop empty buildings, IDA chairman Frederick C. Braun III said in a news release.
The policy was adopted at the agency’s June 18 meeting.
“This change to the IDA’s policy will allow us greater flexibility in granting economic assistance to a wider range of projects, allowing us to bring new businesses and more jobs to the town,” Braun said in a statement.
The IDA typically waives certain taxes, such as sales taxes, or offers tax-exempt bonds to companies looking to set up shop in Brookhaven or relocate to the town.
In recent years, the agency has supported projects such as a new school-bus hub for Suffolk Transportation, a planned Bristal Assisted Living facility in Lake Grove and efforts to expand hospitals in Port Jefferson and East Patchogue.
— CARL MACGOWAN
LIRR building to reopen for taxi HQ
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Thursday that the former Riverhead LIRR station building, which has been closed for several years, will reopen next month as a dispatch headquarters for Islandwide Transportation taxi.
“We hope Islandwide Transportation’s presence at the station will provide an extra convenience for our customers and improve conditions there,” LIRR president Patrick Nowakowski said in a news release.
The building held the ticket office, but it was closed due to low ridership, according to a news release from the MTA.
After that, the MTA issued a request for proposal to find a business to bid on the building and received three bids. The cab company’s was the “most lucrative” of the three.
The company then signed a 10-year lease, which will require it to open the waiting room and restrooms in the 104-year-old structure to customers during the station’s peak hours, weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. and from 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The company also is required to make necessary repairs and will be responsible for maintaining the building and the surrounding area.
Starting in September, the company will begin paying an escalating annual rent to the LIRR, starting at $19,000 for the first year and reaching $24,790 by the 10th.
Ten trains stop at the Riverhead station on weekdays year-round and an additional four trains on weekends from May to November.
— PRISCILA KORB
Summer history program for kids
The Northport Historical Society is offering the summer installment of its children’s program, History Takes a Vacation.
The educational and fun program will run from Tuesday through Thursday for students in grades two through six.
First up is “An Introduction to Piracy” on Aug. 19 with “Captain” Mike Goudket. He will teach the children how to read and make a treasure map, tie basic knots and other pirate essentials. On Wednesday, “The Life of a Clammer” will be examined with a tour of Northport Harbor and meeting with a clammer, village Mayor George Doll.
On the last day, attendees will learn about how early settlers got their food and what they ate in “19th Century Food.” The highlight will be when the children make ice cream using a hand-crank ice cream freezer.
The program runs from 9:30 a.m. until noon each day. The cost for the three-day program is $75 for members and $90 for nonmembers. Proceeds go toward the society’s educational programs. If space is available, single-day sessions may be reserved for $30 (members) and $35 (nonmembers). Space is limited, so preregistration is required. Reservations can be made at the Society at 215 Main St. or by calling 631-757-9859, extension 302.
— DEBORAH S. MORRIS