House designated as historic landmark
A Colonial-era Setauket house that hid rebel muskets during the Revolutionary War has been designated a historic landmark by the Brookhaven Town Board.
The Timothy Smith House, also known as “The Old House on the Hill,” was built in 1695 and is among the oldest houses in Brookhaven, said Shawn Nuzzo, president of the Civic Association of the Setaukets and Stony Brook.
The structure was the de facto Brookhaven Town Hall from 1738 to 1778 when members of the Smith family served as town clerk and it was common for town meetings to be held in private homes, Nuzzo said during a town board public hearing Tuesday.
“It’s part of our rich history in Brookhaven Town,” Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said.
The landmark designation, approved unanimously by the town board, may allow for the house to be refurbished without having to conform with current building codes, Nuzzo said in an email.
Timothy Smith was part of the famed Culper spy ring featured in the cable television series “Turn,” Nuzzo said, adding that Smith hid rebel firearms in the home’s foundation wall.
“While at the time British loyalists and Redcoats occupied much of Long Island, the Smith house remained a safe haven for American muskets and gold coins,” Nuzzo said.
— CARL MACGOWAN
LI Crisis Center walk for suicide awareness
The Long Island Crisis Center plans to hold its annual suicide awareness walk at the Long Beach Boardwalk on Sept. 21 starting at Riverside Boulevard.
Registration is at 10:30 a.m., and the walk starts at 11:30 a.m.
The 43-year-old center, based in Bellmore, increases suicide awareness by educating about its warning signs, de-stigmatizing the subject and spreading the word that “it’s OK to ask for help.”
“With the recent suicide of Robin Williams, our hotline calls were up 100 percent for a couple of days,” said Linda Leonard, executive director of the crisis center. “This tragedy seems to have created a greater awareness of suicide and the need to reach out for help — both by those exhibiting suicide ideation and those noticing the ‘signs’ in relatives or friends. As one caller said, ‘I’m very depressed, I feel alone and I’ve lost my job. I’m calling because I don’t want to go down the same road as Robin Williams.’
“Our walk is an opportunity to continue to raise the public consciousness.”
Leonard said suicide and suicide prevention affects everyone.
— SID CASSESE
22nd yearly Hispanic Heritage Celebration
The Islip Town Board plans to hold its 22nd annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration and awards ceremony during its board meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 23 at Town Hall, 655 Main St., Islip.
Board members will honor people and organizations that have “helped to advance Hispanic Americans living in Islip Town, while celebrating and sharing their heritage,” according to a release from the town.
Community activists Toni Ann Jata, Marian Farese, Robert Perez and Porfirio Alvarez will be recognized. Oscar Santiago’s artwork will also be displayed in the Town Hall board room, and he will be recognized by the town.
The celebration is open to the public.
— SOPHIA CHANG
Forums on senior health, drug plans
The Nassau County Department of Human Services’ Office for the Aging is working with the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services to offer forums on health and prescription drug plan options for older residents, County Executive Edward Mangano has announced.
The sessions provide information, answer questions and help Medicare beneficiaries make better decisions about their personal health and prescription drug coverage needs.
Medicare open enrollment is from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, a period when current recipients can make changes to their health plans or Part D coverage and register for a plan better suited to them.
Representatives from the centers; the Nassau County-funded Health Insurance Information and Assistance Program, operated by Family and Children’s Association; and New York State Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage will be at the following locations to explain how to compare the different plans and factors to consider before enrolling in a new plan:
Friday, Oct. 17, 10 a.m.-noon, at the Herricks Senior Community Service Center (south side rear door), at 999 Herricks Rd., New Hyde Park, 516-305-8976.
Friday, Oct. 24, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Bethpage Senior Community Center, 103 Grumman Road West, Bethpage, 516-571-9910.
Tuesday, Oct. 21, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Freeport Senior Community Service Center, at 66 Church St., Freeport, 516-623-2008.
Thursday, Nov. 12, 12:45 p.m.-2:30 p.m., Glen Cove Senior Community Service Center, 130 Glen St., Glen Cove, 516-759-9610.
In addition, representatives from the Nassau County-funded Senior Financial Counseling Program operated by FCA, the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island and the Residential Energy Affordability Partnership will be available to discuss their programs.
— SID CASSESE
Pink Pumpkin Patch for breast cancer
County Executive Edward Mangano has announced that Nassau has joined with several organizations for the annual Pink Pumpkin Patch, an Oct. 8 fundraiser to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
The 4 to 7 p.m. event on the lawn of county headquarters at 1550 Franklin Ave. in Garden City is cosponsored by many groups, including First Company Pink, the Got Checked Organization and BZarry Events Inc.
“This event serves not only as a tribute to those who have been affected by breast cancer, but also as a reminder for each and every one of us to carry the message of the importance of early detection … not only in October but throughout the entire year,” Mangano said.
All pumpkins will be painted pink in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Refreshments will be served, including coffee from Starbucks, treats from The Chocolate Duck and more, county officials said.
At 6 p.m., a brief program including stories of hope and survival will take place, followed about 7 p.m. by the official “Pink Illumination.”
This free event is rain or shine, and 100 percent of donations will go directly to the cause.
For more information, visit firstcompanypink.org.
— SID CASSESE
Fire marshal to take over inspections
Amityville plans to hire a fire marshal to take over fire safety inspections, Mayor James Wandell announced last week, part of a push to expand the inspection program to regularly visit every building in the village.
“This will keep residents, patrons and firefighters safe,” he said.
Trustee Nick LaLota said the current system is “negligent” because it relies on building inspectors who he said are already overworked. Town fire marshals visit the village only after fires and don’t do regular inspections, officials said.
Paul Gosline will begin the part-time job Oct. 1 for a yearly salary of $18,200.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority fire marshal Gavin Budde, also a part-time fire marshal for the Town of Babylon, will work for the village from October through the end of the year to help set up the inspection program, earning $20 per hour.
Violators can expect fines to be handed out after a year of “interacting” to familiarize residents and business owners with the code, Wandell said.
Resident Stephanie Andrews called the plan wasteful when the village has “multiple people qualified to see if there’s a problem.”
LaLota countered that “If we’re going to go a notch or two up in safety ... I think it’s money well-spent.”
— NICHOLAS SPANGLER
Businessman joins town planning board
A businessman whose Selden strip mall was damaged last year by a fire has been appointed to the Brookhaven Town Planning Board.
John Rose, who turns 59 on Monday, replaces M. Cecile Forte, 68, who resigned earlier this year when she relocated from Port Jefferson to Charlottesville, Virginia.
Rose’s appointment was approved, 4-2, on Tuesday by the Brookhaven Town Board. Councilwomen Valerie Cartright and Connie Kepert cast the dissenting votes, saying that Rose had not been interviewed by the board before the vote.
Cartright said Rose’s nomination carried with it an “appearance of impropriety,” citing an online resume that she said indicated Rose might favor business applications that come before the planning board.
Supervisor Edward P. Romaine defended Rose’s qualifications, saying he was treasurer of the Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency. Rose resigned from the IDA on Friday, a town spokesman said.
Councilman Daniel Panico cited Rose’s efforts to rebuild the 6,000-square-foot strip mall he co-owns, which was damaged by a Dec. 25 fire. The fire is under investigation by Suffolk police, Councilman Kevin LaValle said, adding the mall is expected to reopen in about a month.
— CARL MACGOWAN
2nd annual ‘Off the Walls’ block party
SPARKBOOM, a grant-funded program by the Huntington Arts Council, plans to hold its second annual “Off the Walls” block party and street fair on Saturday.
“Off the Walls II,” a community event promoting local emerging talent, will include more than 30 art vendors, food, a BMX stunt show by FreeCycle Action Sports Team, live performances by Slang, Nonstop to Cairo, KB Jones Music, Motion Ocean and Jarred “AllStar,” live Latin dancing by Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Co. and special interactive painting with artist Lucienne Pereira.
Guests can enjoy food, art and performances and get the chance to join Pereira at the Huntington Deli & Grocery to help her paint a mural throughout the day.
The free event will take place in the parking lot of Mt. Calvary Church, 1520 New York Ave., in Huntington Station from 1 to 6 p.m.
— AGATA MICHALAK