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Long Island briefs


Rocky Point's waters deemed safe again

After being closed because of high bacteria levels, Rocky Point Beach in Brookhaven Town and Emma Rose Elliston Beach in North Sea in Southampton Town have been reopened for swimming, Suffolk County health officials said yesterday.

The reopening comes as recent water samples met state standards.

Swimming in contaminated water "can result in gastrointestinal illness, as well as infections of the eyes, ears, nose and throat," said Dr. James Tomarken, county health commissioner.

To learn more and stay up to date on affected beaches, residents can call the county's bathing beach hotline at 631-852-5822 or check the beach map at

County to spray Fire Island for mosquitoes

Suffolk County is planning ground spraying Tuesday, weather permitting, for adult mosquitoes on Fire Island, health officials said yesterday.

Streets in the villages of Davis Park and Point O'Woods are to be sprayed from 6 to 10 p.m. with the pesticide Anvil, officials said.

Besides being annoying, some mosquitoes' bites can transmit West Nile virus to people.

The chances of experiencing health effects from the ground spraying are "quite low," health department officials said, but children and pregnant women should avoid exposure if possible by staying clear of the area during spraying and at least 30 minutes after.

Among the "common-sense steps" the department suggests are closing doors, windows and air-conditioning vents during spraying and 30 minutes after.

For details, call Suffolk County's spraying information hotline at 631-852-4939 or visit


Board adopts county standards for solar

The Brookhaven Town Board has adopted guidelines that seek to restrict where commercial solar arrays may be constructed and requires them to preserve open space.

The board on Thursday voted unanimously to adopt a code released earlier this year by the Suffolk County Planning Commission. No one spoke against the code during a hearing before the vote.

Hours before the vote, a state Supreme Court judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Shoreham residents seeking to block construction of a 60-acre solar array at DeLalio Sod Farms on State Route 25A.

The county solar code adopted by Brookhaven requires about a third of land to be open space, excluding spaces between panels, and requires arrays to be built on industrial properties, not farmland.

The code received support from Jordan Christensen, program coordinator of the nonprofit Citizens Campaign for the Environment in Farmingdale. She said the code "will create a uniform set of standards" and encourage "an improved market for solar power."


Top LI vineyard plans to close to public

Roanoke Vineyards, which has produced some of Long Island's top wines, is to close to the public at the end of the year, making it the first local winery to go private.

Owner Richard Pisacano said on the Sound Avenue winery's website that the change "ensures Roanoke will remain focused on the wines and our wine club."

He added, "We are looking forward to taking Roanoke to the next level, and for us this just makes sense."

In 2013, Newsday named Pisacano's 2010 Cabernet Franc one of the dozen best wines produced on Long Island. Roanoke makes 18 wines.

Tours and tastings continue, but the winery's doors will close at 9 p.m. on Dec. 31.

Pisacano envisions a maximum of 1,000 members in the Roanoke wine club who will have access to the winery's production. For more information about the wine club, contact Roanoke's marketing and creative director Scott Sandell at


New lights fitted as part of green push

Workers are installing new energy-efficient lights at Brookhaven Town Hall in Farmingville.

The electronic ballast fixtures are 50 percent more efficient than the PCB ballast lights that they are replacing, town officials said in a news release. The new lights are also brighter, they said.

A work crew began installing 650 new fixtures on Aug. 3 on the third floor. Additional lights are to be added to Town Hall's two lower floors.

Town officials said they expect to save more than $14,000 annually on the third floor alone.

Supervisor Edward P. Romaine earlier this year announced plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at town facilities by 50 percent by 2020. The plan includes new efficient lighting, solar power, vehicles operated with compressed natural gas and hybrid vehicles.

Town crews installed electronic ballast fixtures earlier this year at Brookhaven Calabro Airport in Shirley and the town animal shelter in Brookhaven hamlet.


Village names hall after former mayor

An energetic Eugene Murray chatted, signed autographs and posed with many of his admirers Monday morning at the village hall named for him in a celebration of his 90th birthday.

Murray served as mayor from 1987 to 2007 and was a former trustee and fire chief. He is still active with the department.

Most of the hundreds of people who attended the event or dropped by had worked with him in some capacity over the years.

He was introduced to the group by his son, Francis X. Murray, the current mayor.

Eugene Murray's purpose was "to serve others, to marry the love of his life, Mary Lou, raise a family . . . [and make] a huge difference in his beloved community," his son said.

Yesterday's event was organized by Mary Rohrs, Eugene Murray's executive assistant during his tenure as mayor, who now works for his son.

Among attendees was Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy, who said he had met Eugene Murray several times and worked closely with his son in the Nassau County Village Officials Association.

"Our two villages have some things in common, especially the operation of village-owned municipal power plants. So I'm here out of respect to both of them," Kennedy said of the Murrays.

Others attending included Jeffrey Greenfield, chairman of the Nassau County Planning Commission who lives in Rockville Centre, and Barbara Donno, mayor of Plandome Manor and president of the county village association.


County accepting donations for needy

Suffolk County Legis. Steve Stern (D-Huntington) is asking residents to donate new or gently used clothing for men, women and children to assist those in need.

Stern and the Suffolk County Department of Social Services have teamed up with the St. Vincent DePaul Society to collect, clean and sort donations to be distributed at the "Stand Up for the Homeless" event on Aug. 28 at the Brentwood campus of Suffolk Community College.

"In these challenging times, many of our neighbors are struggling and are having difficulty making ends meet," Stern said in a news release.

Last year, more than 850 residents attended the event, which provides services, counseling and assistance to families in Suffolk County.

Donations can be dropped off at Stern's district office in Huntington Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Aug. 21.

For more information, call 631-854-5100.


Senator offers help applying for funds

State Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) is hosting several events to meet residents and help them learn how to file claims for funds from the state comptroller's office.

His staff will be available at the meetings to help residents research the comptroller's database to determine if they are eligible for any part of $13 billion of unclaimed funds. These funds can come from forgotten savings accounts, uncashed deposit refunds, or misplaced paychecks.

The meetings are from 5 to 7 p.m. on the following dates: Wednesday at the East Islip Public Library; Aug. 26 at the Islip Public Library; Sept. 9 at the Sayville Public Library; and Sept. 30 at the Sachem Public Library in Holbrook.

For more information, contact Boyle's office at 631-665-2311.

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