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LI Briefs: Islip Town Board to vote on extending toxic cleanup contract

Extending cleanup contract on agenda

The Islip Town Board on Tuesday is to vote on several expenditures including increasing a contract by $115,000 for cleaning up toxic debris illegally dumped at Roberto Clemente Park.

On May 6, the board awarded a $192,500 contract to Enviroscience Consultants Inc., of Ronkonkoma, to help prepare a remediation plan, and to oversee cleanup and perform regulatory monitoring at the town-owned park in Brentwood.

The firm "has been required to expand the scope of work due to requirements of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation," according to the resolution. Enviroscience's services "will be required for several more months," and increasing the contract is recommended by Tom Owens, Islip's commissioner of parks, according to the resolution.

If approved, the added expense will bring the total amount of the contract to $307,500. Estimates of the total costs of cleaning up nearly 50,000 tons of contaminant-laced debris at the park have started at $6 million, but are expected to grow. The park is one of three sites linked by the Suffolk County district attorney as part of an investigation into illegal dumping.

The DEC has yet to approve the remediation plan that the town submitted on Sept. 5. In a letter dated Nov. 26 to Islip officials, DEC representatives stated the plan needed work and must include additional groundwater monitoring wells. Three initial wells were installed at the end of September.

The board meeting starts at 2 p.m. at Town Hall.


Top management changes at LIRR

The Long Island Rail Road Monday announced several changes in its top management structure, including the departure of a key figure credited with overhauling the agency's communications efforts.

Joseph Calderone, the agency's vice president of market development, public affairs and customer service, is leaving the railroad to become senior vice president of communications & development for South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside. Calderone, who joined the LIRR in 2007 and often served as the public face for the LIRR, oversaw the creation of the railroad's 24-hour Public Information Office, which notifies customers of service issues.

Replacing Calderone will be Edward Dumas, a former Suffolk deputy county executive and communications chief for the Long Island Power Authority.

The LIRR also named David Kubichek as senior vice president of operations, replacing Michael Gelormino, who retired earlier this year. Kubichek has worked for several public transportation systems, including in Dallas, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.

And former Amtrak chief engineer Bruce Pohlot becomes the LIRR's new senior vice president of engineering. His responsibilities will include overseeing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's East Side Access Project for the LIRR.


Nassau recognizes year's 'top cops'

More than a dozen Nassau police officers and detectives were honored as "top cops" at Monday's Nassau County Legislature meeting.

The Nassau County Police Benevolent Association typically announces monthly selections at the legislature meetings, but Monday's ceremony honored those who showed exemplary work for all of 2014.

Third Precinct Officers James Duignan and Scott Thiel were given the union's life saving award. PBA president James Carver said the pair rescued two residents from their burning home, and administered CPR on both, reviving one of them at the scene.

"These officers showed a total disregard for their own safety and well-being to rescue these individuals, and had it not been for their courageous actions, both occupants would have surely perished," Carver said.

The meritorious award was given to Fifth Precinct officers Victor Gladitz, Keri-Ann Hoovert and Charles Volpe, who captured four suspected armed robbers of a car dealership.

Bureau of Special Operations officers David Desenchak, Kevin Vahey, Nicholas Brando and Kevin Higbie received the distinguished service award. Carver said the officers were in plain clothes and unmarked vehicles attempting to spot a home-invasion robbery suspect. After the officers located the man, he drove toward them, striking one officer before being subdued and arrested.

The overall top cops cited Monday were First Precinct Officers Donald Johnson and Carl Tedeschi. Carver said they "show a consistent level of high activity with 138 arrests consisting of arrests of subjects for burglary, robbery, larcenies, assaults, drugs and weapons.

Sgt. Scott Bertini of the Second Precinct was named the top supervisor. Carver said in responding to a domestic violence call, Bertini was able to calm down a husband who was threatening suicide and get him to put down a weapon and surrender.

The top detectives award went to homicide detectives William Brosnan, Gonzalo Londono, and Michael Maloney, who investigated the shooting deaths of officer Arthur Lopez and Raymond Facey.


Bosworth to deliver town address on Jan. 30

North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth plans to deliver her second State of the Town address on Jan. 30, at the Clubhouse at Harbor Links in Port Washington.

Bosworth, who took office Jan. 1, will discuss her accomplishments this year and goals for her second year in office.

"It's rewarding to look back at the progress that we have made on so many issues in such a short time," Bosworth said in a news release. "I am really looking forward to sharing my vision for several future initiatives as well."

Bosworth said her topics will include efforts to improve the town's backlogged building department, a plan for revitalizing the waterfront and continuing infrastructure improvements.

The State of the Town address is part of a luncheon program hosted by the League of Women Voters of Port Washington-Manhasset. The January address will mark the 30th year the league has hosted the luncheon and State of the Town address.

For more information, call 311 in the Town of North Hempstead or 516-869-6311 from other areas. The Clubhouse at Harbor Links is at One Fairway Dr.


Fire candidates agree to runoff election

The Bridgehampton Fire District will hold a runoff election Jan. 20 after commissioner candidates challenged the results of the Dec. 9 vote because of ballot confusion and residency issues.

John O'Brien defeated Philip Cammann by one vote, said Brad Pinsky, a Syracuse-based lawyer for the district. But two ballots were ruled invalid because the voters no longer lived in the district.

"So the candidates agreed that instead of spending money on litigation and wasting time they would participate in a runoff," Pinsky said.

The two voters ruled invalid "still owned a house in the district, but didn't live there and it was just a misunderstanding on their part," Pinsky said.

The new election will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at 64 School St., Bridgehampton.

Voters at a later date also will also decide on a proposal to increase the length of service for fire commissioner from one year to five years for retirement benefits eligibility. The referendum was on the Dec. 9 ballot, but printing errors made it difficult to vote correctly, Pinsky said.

"In the printing process somehow one of the check lines did not print on the ballot so the voters didn't know where to check for yes," he said.

The referendum election will be held on a date after the runoff, to be determined by the board of commissioners.


Village to consider effort to unionize

The Mastic Beach Village Board on Tuesday will consider an effort by Department of Public Works employees to organize as a union.

Mayor Bill Biondi said Monday that about a dozen employees from the public works clerical staff, fire marshal and deputy fire marshal are seeking to become the first village employees to unionize.

The board is to meet with a labor union attorney representing the municipality in contract negotiations during an executive session before the 7 p.m. start time.

The board also is to hold a public hearing establishing late fees for past-due rental permits. If approved, the fees would be set from $200 for rental occupancy permits submitted 30 days late to $1,200 for those 180 days overdue.

Board members also are expected to hire a part-time building inspector at $20 per hour for a maximum of 12 hours of work each week without benefits.


Goosby urges village residents to be heard

Hempstead Town Board member Dorothy Goosby, who was not allowed to speak at a recent Hempstead Village planning board meeting about a 336-unit apartment project proposed by Renaissance Downtowns, has sent a letter to all village residents urging them to call Mayor Wayne Hall, a fellow Democrat, "and let him know that we deserve to have our voices heard."

Goosby successfully sued Hempstead Town in 1988 to replace at-large council districts with community-based districts "because minority voters did not have a voice in town government," she wrote.

"I vowed that I would never tolerate any effort to silence residents in the quest to have their voices heard in the halls of government," she continued, accusing the village of "trying to turn back the clock" on public participation.

A spokesman for the village did not return a request for comment.



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