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Long IslandTowns

Towns briefs

OYSTER BAYStarbucks seeks special use permit

Oyster Bay will hold a hearing next month on a special use permit for a new Starbucks with a drive-through window in Massapequa.

The franchise would open at 4440 Sunrise Hwy. on land that is now used for parking next to the Massapequa Diner and across the street from the Long Island Rail Road station. The drive-through service requires a special permit, Oyster Bay spokesman Brian Devine said.

The hearing will be held at the town's Jan. 21 board meeting. The applicant, 4440 Sunrise Property Corp., wants to build a single-story, 1,822-square-foot building with a planned opening in late summer or early fall, said its attorney, Anthony Cincotta.

The land is currently being used for parking, some of which would remain as parking after the building was completed. One of the principals is Valentino Zarboutis, who owns the diner.

The owners of another franchise, Panera Bread, are seeking to expand the number of customers allowed at their 407 Jericho Tpke. location to 122 seats.

Tim Doherty, vice president of development of New Jersey-based Doherty Enterprises Inc., which owns the restaurant, said they opened at the location in the summer of 2012 with a lower capacity than usual. Doherty said their restaurants are designed to seat more than 100 people but Oyster Bay's zoning wouldn't permit them to have a capacity of more than 75 in that space.

The company liked the spot and didn't want to wait while going through the process to get a variance, which has taken more than year.

"It was a site that I was very excited to open," Doherty said. "We did not want to pay rent when we're not generating revenues, subsequently we opened up with less seats than we typically open with."

Doherty said the location has been successful and has "met and exceeded our expectations."

The increased seating is likely to increase traffic to the restaurant by 63 percent during its peak hour, according to a determination approved by the town board Tuesday. That determination declared that no further environmental review was necessary.

The town board likely will vote on the special use permit in January or February, Devine said.

HUNTINGTON STATIONSanta to visit winter farmers market

The winter farmers market is back in Huntington Station.

Every Sunday from now until April 27 at the Jack Abrams School, fresh local and organic produce from Long Island farms and goodies from local and artisanal vendors of organic hearth-baked breads, stuffed breads, cheese, jams, sauces, fresh pasta, honey, soups and much more will be available.

The market is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is in the gym of the school at 155 Lowndes Ave., just south of downtown Huntington.

Cooking demonstrations, talks by local authors and presentations also will be featured.

Visitors to the market manager's table on Sunday can enter to win a holiday farmers market basket. The raffle drawing will be at 1:30 p.m.

Santa Claus will also appear from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, go to winterfarmersmarketlongisland.com.

RONKONKOMAKids sports program gets $5G donation

A Ronkonkoma indoor sports facility that runs athletic programs for children with autism has been hailed as a model for future public programming with a $5,000 donation to expand its scope.

The GCA505 chapter of the Sheet Metal Air Rail Transportation Union donated the money to Inclusive Sports and Fitness this week to help expand the program's size and resources.

Inclusive Sports and Fitness was launched by Mike DiFilippi, who owns the Give It Your All Sports facility in Ronkonkoma. There, he runs a "free play" sports program for high-functioning children with autism ages 7 to 15 that develops their physical fitness, social skills and mental coordination.

Therapist Alexander Lopez also runs a more occupational therapy-oriented program at Give It Your All that uses golf as a method to help those children.

"We really want to look at this as a potential model program," said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, who attended a ceremony Wednesday at the sports facility. "It's having a tremendous impact on these kids, and we'd like to see how the results are. This is, from all accounts, a program that works."

"We wanted to serve a program that benefits our local community," said Anthony Simon, chair of the SMART union. "We came and watched, and we were impressed. We thought it was a nice program where you can see the results."

Islip Councilman Anthony Senft hailed the sports program as a successful example of a public-private partnership.

"This donation almost doubles the capacity of the program," Senft said. DiFilippi said the donation will enable the next class to serve 20 to 24 children, instead of the current 10 to 12. He also plans to add basketball to the retinue of sports offered to the children.

"I'm flipping out," he said of the unexpected donation. "This business is very competitive and it can be hard to find money."

ISLIPShelter animals showered with gifts

Nearly 100 animals at the Islip Animal Shelter will feel an extra boost of holiday spirit this year as Long Islanders donated twice the amount of toys and treats during the annual toy drive compared with last year.

During the second annual toy drive held Saturday, each of the animals had a holiday stocking that hung over their cages as charitable neighbors dropped by and filled them up with goodies.

More than 200 gallons of toys for dogs and cats were collected in the initiative driven by Live. Love. Bark, the shelter's new nonprofit volunteer organization. The animals will also be feasting this holiday with more than 300 pounds of dry food and 20 gallons of canned food. About $350 collected in cash will go toward purchasing items from the shelter's wish list.

"When our residents come together to donate to our animals, especially during the holiday season, it is truly heart warming," Islip Town Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt said in a statement. "Everyone deserves to be happy for the holidays and that includes all of our animals waiting for their forever homes."

To make a donation to Islip Animal Shelter, call 224-5660.

RIVERHEADUtilities to get use

of runway at EPCAL

In the event of major future storms, Riverhead will let the Long Island Power Authority, KeySpan and National Grid keep vehicles and other equipment on the south end of the 7,000-foot-long runway at the town-owned Enterprise Park at Calverton at no cost to the utilities.

The town board has also agreed to let utility workers and contractors use the kitchen and other facilities at the Henry Pfeifer Community Center -- once part of a gatehouse building operated by Grumman Aircraft -- for the duration of any emergency.

The new agreement, which will allow the utilities to pre-position equipment before a storm, is similar to one approved for LIPA but had to be redrafted after PSE&G agreed to take over LIPA operations. It was approved by the Riverhead town board Tuesday.

GARDEN CITYFree breast cancer support groups set

The Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Program is offering free support groups for men and women starting late next month.

There will be a group for women on Thursdays from

1 to 2:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for eight weeks. There will also be a group for young women with breast cancer on Mondays from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Another group for women with metastatic breast cancer will meet on Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to noon. A group for single women with breast cancer will meet on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

A group for men and women with the BRCA gene mutations will meet on Tuesdays from 10:30 a.m. to noon. There will also be a group for men with breast cancer that will meet monthly on the second Monday of each month from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

All groups will meet at Adelphi University School of Social Work, 1 South Ave. in Garden City. Preregistration is required. For information, call counseling coordinator Sandi Kafenbaum at 516-877-4314.

The program, established in 1980, provides information and support to breast cancer patients, their families and friends. For more information, call the hotline at 800-877-8077 or visit adelphi.edu/nysbreastcancer.

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