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Suffolk buys sod farm; empowerment event kickoff

Suffolk buys rights to 25-acre sod farm
Suffolk County officials have spent $1,325,000 to purchase the development rights on a 25-acre sod farm on Tuthill Lane in Jamesport, the last unprotected land in a block of farmland that already covers more than 600 acres.

Suffolk Legis. Al Krupski said the property, now owned by the Riverhead school district and rented to farmers, was under no immediate threat of development, but that the purchase insures that no builder could buy the land from the district in the future and use it for housing.

“As a farmer, I understand how important that piece of land is,” said Krupski (D-Cutchogue). “It avoids future problems.”

For people purchasing homes next to preserved open space, particularly farmland, the noise of tractors at 6 a.m., the nightly use of irrigation pumps, and clouds of dust and fertilizer can be more of a problem than a pleasure.

The property was purchased by the Riverhead school district in the 1960s for future expansion, but was never used. The county paid $53,000 an acre for the land; the money will go into the school district’s general fund.

Empowerment event starts Saturday
Nassau County Legis. Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport), along with Mark Stevens of Deja 34 Records, The Next Generation Project and the Roosevelt Empowerment Committee, will sponsor the seventh annual empowerment weekend, which kicks off Saturday, June 1.

The “Building and Growing a Strong Community” presentation will be at 7 p.m. in Zion Cathedral COMIC, 312 Grand Ave. in Freeport. The event features a surprise keynote presenter as well as students from the Roosevelt School District and other surprise guests.

Former keynote speakers include: NBA players Stephen Jackson (San Antonio Spurs) and Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest (Los Angeles Lakers); comedian Joe Torry; recording artist Ray J; William Hunter, president of the NBA Players Association; Judge Greg Mathis, syndicated reality TV court judge; Chris Broussard, ESPN sports analyst; and Stephen A. Smith, ESPN columnist, radio talk show host and TV personality.

On Saturday, the weekend-long event continues with the “Family Empowerment Fun Fest & Picnic 2013” at Centennial Park, 1 East Centennial Ave. in Roosevelt, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Festivities include face painting, giveaways, food and a basketball tournament.

For more information, call Abrahams’ office at 516-571-6201.

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