Huntington Highway Superintendent Peter Gunther. This photo is from Aug....

Huntington Highway Superintendent Peter Gunther. This photo is from Aug. 26, 2013. Credit: Barry Sloan


Road chief’s slot on fire board is tabled

A Suffolk legislative committee has delayed the appointment of the Huntington highway superintendent to a board that runs the county’s fire training academy after opposition from the Volunteer Firemen’s Association.

The legislature’s public safety committee, on a 4-3 vote, tabled the appointment of Peter Gunther to a nine-year term on the Vocational Education & Extension Board, the nonprofit group, created by state legislation, that runs Suffolk’s fire academy in Yaphank.

Advocates for Gunther promised to push the appointment ahead in two weeks.
Legis. Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) said it was important to include the volunteer association. “They meet regularly to talk among most of the departments, East End, west end, north, south, little districts to big districts. I think there’s a real value to that, and a long history of having that.”

Gunther, a retired New York City firefighter, had been recommended by the existing VEEB members.

Legis. William Spencer (D-Centerport), who sponsored the appointment, opposed the delay in appointing Gunther, a Conservative Party member. Spencer praised Gunther’s response after superstorm Sandy. “This is someone who is loved by the volunteer firemen in my district,” he said.

He was joined in opposing the delay by Legis. Monica R. Martinez (D-Brentwood) and Minority Leader John M. Kennedy Jr. (R-Nesconset).

Gunther said he was “Sorry to hear some dissension.” He said he tried to meet with all the organizations. “I guess I missed one — probably because I don’t have much time.”

Gunther suggested holding the item in abeyance “for the best interest of the fire service” for two weeks.

Jerry Owenburg, president of the Suffolk County Volunteer Firemen’s Association, said the group has gotten monthly briefings from the outgoing member, Edward Carpenter of Sayville, who is retiring.

Jay Egan, chairman of the Suffolk County Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services, said, “We’re not opposing Pete. We’re opposing the process.”  -- David Schwartz


Village OKs mandate for CO detectors

Northport Village officials have approved carbon monoxide regulations, which will require detectors in certain types of buildings and businesses.

The board of trustees passed the new legislation with a 4-0 vote at its meeting last Tuesday. Carbon monoxide detectors will be required in all “places of assembly” by July 1. The requirement would apply to structures such as churches, theaters and restaurants, but not smaller retail stores, officials said.

Several other municipalities have approved or updated their laws governing detectors since Legal Sea Foods manager Steven Nelson died from the poisonous gas on Feb. 22 at the Huntington Station restaurant. The building had no detectors. -- Mackenzie Issler


Mobile town hall will be held on Saturday

Hempstead Town Hall will be a few miles south of its normal site Saturday, May 17 with senior town Councilman Anthony Santino taking it to the South Hempstead firehouse for a meeting from 9  to 11 a.m.

“All local residents are invited to attend,” he said. “The Mobile Town Hall provides the best of the town’s top-notch programs and services, including passport applications, our Child ID program and other constituent services.”

Among other issues, he said he will discuss the town’s child car-seat safety program and a new senior citizens counseling service. He also plans to highlight the new summer Parks Department brochure, detailing upcoming swim lessons, recreational activities, free concerts and other programs. In addition, representatives from various town departments will be there to answer questions about building permits, sanitation, parks, events and more.

The firehouse is at 555 May St., South Hempstead. -- Sid Cassese


Senior art students planning exhibit

Hempstead Town’s Experienced Art Students Enrichment League, otherwise known as Easel, is presenting an art exhibit at Town Hall through May 30.

“We are proud to host this fine collection of drawings and paintings .?.?. that reflect the vision and years of personal experience of the talented artists who participate in this league,” Town Supervisor Kate Murray said.

Easel is a daytime group organized through the town’s Department of Senior Enrichment, geared to those with previous experience in art, painting or graphics. There is no membership fee, and it is open to Hempstead Town residents ages 60 and older.

The Easel program affords participants the opportunity to work in one’s medium, participate in demonstrations and discussions and go on museum trips.
Murray said new members are always welcome at the league, which meets Tuesday afternoons from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Oceanside Senior Center, 2900 Rockaway Ave. in Oceanside.

For more information about the EASEL program, call 516-766-8888 or 516-485-8100. -- Sid Cassese


Street to be renamed for fallen World War II vet

West Babylon’s Bruce Street will be ceremonially renamed for Sgt. John Sardiello, a World War II veteran whose name is also on the American Legion post there.

Brooklyn-born Sardiello was in his 20s when he was killed July 29, 1944, in the invasion of Normandy, said Charles J. Volpe, commander of the Sgt. John Sardiello Post 1634 of the American Legion.

Sardiello’s family moved to Long Island after his death, Volpe said, and the American Legion post was named for him in 1948. Volpe said the renaming of the one-block Bruce Street was a fitting tribute for the decorated soldier. “This is long overdue,” he said.

The Babylon Town Board approved the renaming last week.

Sardiello’s relatives and town officials are expected to attend a Sept. 13 rededication of the post. -- Nicholas Spangler


Town seeks volunteers to plant along coast

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray has announced that the town is seeking groups, clubs and organizations to volunteer to plant beach grass along coastal areas in Point Lookout and Lido Beach from now until Sunday to help the dunes resist erosion in future storms.

“We have been aggressively rebuilding sand dunes .?.?. ravaged by [superstorm] Sandy along our town’s barrier island,” Murray said. “We need volunteer groups to help plant beach grass .?.?. [to] stabilize protective dunes and prevent them from .?.?. blowing away or washing out.”

The town has about 80,000 American beach grass plants. Beyond combating erosion, the shoreline vegetation can actually help dunes grow in size by trapping sand in its elongated flowering spikes.

As sand builds up, stems grow higher, and the sand-covered stems become part of the root structure.

“I want to thank volunteer groups who want to help with .?.?. [protecting] the shoreline of America’s largest township,“ Murray said. “With their help, our communities will be safer during future storms.“

Groups wishing to volunteer should contact the town's Department of Conservation and Waterways at 516-431-9200.  -- Sid Cassese