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Town Focus: Day 1 in the Ronkonkomas

A sign welcome visitors to Lake Ronkonkoma. (Dec.

A sign welcome visitors to Lake Ronkonkoma. (Dec. 1, 2011) Credit: Carl Corry

For this month’s installment of Town Focus, community journalist Erin Geismar will be in the Ronkonkoma and Lake Ronkonkoma communities.

As she gets to know residents, visits local businesses and takes photographs around town, she’ll be focusing on the things that define community life in Ronkonkomas: the lake, central shopping, transportation and the promise of new development.

She’ll focus on the area’s past, present and future, as Ronkonkoma seems to be a place that evolves over time with its residents, beginning with the influx of people to the lakeshore community after the completion of the Long Island Rail Road.

George Schramm, president of the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization, said there are changes coming to the area, which will make it a more desirable location for young people and give the business district around Portion Road and Hawkins Avenue a more walkable, downtown feel.

Monday, Erin will look into the large number of local neighborhood watch groups in Ronkonkoma (about one-third of all the neighborhood watches established through the Fourth Precinct are in Ronkonkoma) to see how they operate and why so many people in the area take pride in helping protect their community.

She’ll also meet with Matthew Relevo, 16, a Sachem North High School junior who made it to the final round of Z100’s Hometown Hero contest. Relevo, who sings and plays guitar, is one of the final four contestants. He will find out tonight if he’s won the contest. The grand prize is a chance to play at the radio station’s Jingle Ball concert at Madison Square Garden on Friday.

Keep up with Erin this week as she tweets about Ronkonkoma, find her blog posts and videos posted daily on LI Now and send her suggestions if you have an idea for a story in Ronkonkoma or someone she should meet.

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