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2013 Commack Memorial Day Parade

2013 Memorial Day Parade - Photos courtesy of Teese & Associates



NY State Police Graduate 192 - Three From Our Area

Congratulations to Joseph D. Janssen from Hauppauge, Anthony S. Neglia from Smithtown and  Eric J. Orth from St. James on their graduation from the New York State Police Academy. Eric will be joining Troop K - Poughkepsie.  Anthony and Joseph will be joining Troop F - Middletown. 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today addressed 192 new members of the State Police at the 199th session graduation ceremony from the Basic School of the New York State Police Academy.on his graduation from the New York State Police Academy. Eric J. Orth has been assigned to Troop K - Poughkeepsie.

“Today’s graduates join the ranks of courageous men and women who work tirelessly to protect the people of New York,” said Governor Cuomo. “I am grateful for the outstanding work that members of the New York State Police do every day to keep our state safe. On behalf of New Yorkers everywhere, I congratulate today’s graduates and their families, and thank them for their commitment to service.”

“This graduating class is the newest generation of men and women who will serve the citizens of New York State with honor and integrity,” said New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico. “To our graduates, today is a celebration of the hard work and perseverance you have shown during your 26 weeks of difficult training. I congratulate all of our new Troopers, and I am proud to welcome them to our ranks.”

In addition to honoring all graduates from the 199th Session of Basic School, Superintendent D’Amico presented the following awards:

Trooper Carlos V. Spencer, 35, of Buffalo, NY was elected as class representative. He will be assigned to Troop D.

The winner of the “Academic Performance Award” is Trooper Devin A. Dunn, age 27, of Lancaster, NY. Throughout the Academy training program, he achieved an overall academic average of 98.36 percent. He will be assigned to Troop E.

The winner of the “Superintendent’s Firearms Proficiency Award” is Trooper Devin R. Bacon, age 28, of Stafford, NY. During firearms training, he fired an average score of 250 out of a possible 250. He will be assigned to Troop E.

The winner of the “Joseph T. Aversa Physical Training Award” is Trooper Zachary A. Eppler, age 25, of Plattsburgh, NY. During the physical agility testing, he achieved the highest score of all 192 members of the 199th Session, a tribute to his physical conditioning. He will be assigned to Troop B.

The graduation ceremony was held at the Empire State Plaza Convention Hall in Albany where the new troopers marched into the convention center in a procession lead by the New York State Police Pipe and Drum band. The National Anthem was performed by Trooper Daniel Brown. The ceremony included a video presentation of the training received by all members of the 199th Basic School Session. 

The new troopers will report for field duty on June 3, 2013 and July 8, 2013 respectively. For the following 10 weeks the new troopers will be evaluated under a field-training program supervised by senior Field Training Officers.




Relief Coming For Edgewood Residents Living Near Blighted Site

Property located at 436 Edgewood Ave.A unanimous vote by the Town Board on Thursday, May 23 is paving the way for the remediation and/or removal of unsafe structures at 436 Edgewood Ave., Smithtown. The property, according to the town’s resolution, is “reputedly” owned by the  Church of the Gospel Ministry. 

The town has been aware of the blighted home for years and has made several unsuccessful attempts at contacting the property owner. With the home deteriorating and deemed unsafe by the building department the structures will more than likely be razed soon. According to Town Attorney, John Zollo, the process will take a approximately thirty days. The vote set the process in motion, a bid will need to be prepared and awarded before the property can be made safe. 

If you are on Edgewood what you may notice about the property is the bamboo forest.  The bamboo is so dense you cannot see anything beyond it. According to neighbors who spoke at the Town Board meeting this is a blighted property. The house is partially boarded up and dangerous. The property has been used for illegal drug activity and  currently houses rats and mice. The pool on the property is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and neighbors fear West Nile Virus.  

Grace Church was represented by Pastor Scott Invaldse who supports the clean up of the property. Pastor Scott spoke of his concern for the children who attend events at his church. According to Pastor Scott, sections of the fence are down, there is flooding in the basement due to a water pipe break, and the pool is filled with water. “The buildings are beyond repair.” 

A request was made by a neighbor that notification be made before razing the structures on the property. The request for notification comes from the concern that the animals living in the buildings and mosquitoes in the pool (there was a suggestion that the health department would bomb the pool)  will seek shelter in neighboring homes.  Zollo agreed to provide notification to those in a 200’ radius and to post signage on the property.





Theater Review - "South Pacific" John W. Engeman Theater

“South Pacific”  - John W. Engeman Theater thru July 14

Reviewed by Jeb Ladouceur

When James Michener wrote ‘Tales of the South Pacific’ in 1947 it’s unlikely he ever dreamed his fictional treatise on racism would become one of the theater’s most beloved musicals. Not even the great Rogers and Hammerstein knew what magic they (along with Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza) had wrought until their 1949 audience at Broadway’s Majestic Theater roared their approval and Christened the show a smash.

Hsin-Yu Liao (Liat); Amy Jo Phillips (Bloody Mary); Peter Carrier (Lt. Joe Cable). AnnMarie Snyder PhotoStill young at 65 and perhaps more timely than ever, “South Pacific” playing at Northport’s beautiful John W. Engeman Theater thru July 14, combines entwined love stories: principally that of “Nellie Forbush” a young Arkansas nurse, and worldly-wise Frenchman “Emile deBecque” … and the doomed romance between Marine Lt. “Joe Cable” and “Liat,” a beautiful young Tonkenese woman. Michener’s story (Joshua Logan famously participated with Hammerstein on the playbook) is told largely in now-classic songs like “Bali Ha’i”, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair”, “Some Enchanted Evening”, “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy”, and a dozen other, toe-tappers including my favorite showstopper: “There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame.”

South Pacific rehearsal photoProducer Richard Dolce hasn’t spared the horses in mounting this lavish production; award winning Director Igor Goldin has been given a sterling cast to work with. Indeed, Rob Gallagher (Emile) has performed in that starring role on Broadway, and Kim Carson’s (Nellie) resumé sports a long list of legitimate theaters in New York and Philadelphia. Other veteran cast notables are David McDonald (Captain Brackett), Amy Jo Phillips (an outstanding Bloody Mary), and Peter Carrier (Lt. Cable). They’re all excellent.

And the twenty-two members of the ensemble are lively and entertaining, as well. Unfortunately, with a big cast like the one that will be performing at The Engeman during the next six weeks, it’s difficult to select a standout—even choosing first among equals from such a quality company is a chore. If pressed, we might give the nod to Matt Wood playing “Luther Billis” though on a given night, the bow might go to any one of his associates.

Of course, the play essentially belongs to “Emile” and “Nellie” and were Rob Gallagher and Kim Carson the only two actors on stage throughout the entire two-hour proceedings, this “South Pacific” would still be worth every penny of the $65-per price tag.

When I first saw the set, which consists largely of several five-foot-wide rows of horizontal wood strips suspended from above, (think gigantic Venetian blinds) I wondered how the layered see-through setup could possibly work. But 20 seconds into the show the cleverness of Josh Zangen’s functional creation became obvious. Enhanced by Cory Pattak’s entirely appropriate lighting, the set is simply wonderful.

This legendary show would be an abject failure if the sound were not spot-on. Thus we are in sound designer Craig Kaufman’s debt for delivering an aural gem. Thanks to the veteran of eleven Engeman productions, the lyrical voices of Gallagher and Carson, as well as James Olmstead’s unobtrusive music, come through as if originating in the seat next to us.

And speaking of seats, if there was an empty one in Northport’s John W. Engeman theater opening night, I didn’t see it. In this neighborly community where theater-savvy folks are quick to compare notes, I wouldn’t doubt if that proved to be the case for the show’s entire run. Word gets around.

Award-winning Smithtown author Jeb Ladouceur has published seven novels. His theater reviews appear in dozens of L. I. newspapers. In Ladouceur’s next thriller, “The Dealer” due this summer, Israeli extortionists threaten to destroy Hoover Dam demolishing the Las Vegas Strip - if casino operators don’t pay millions.


Over Eat? The Post-indulgence Plan 

By Kia Edwards

I’ll make a confession: I overate this week.  I went out with a friend for her birthday dinner and when I woke up the next morning, I tallied up the amount of food I ate.  My conclusion?  It was a lot….of fun.  Food wise?  That was a lot too.  What’s a health-conscious person to do after falling off the wagon?  Here are a few tips to get you back on track the safe way.


You ate a lot of food.  Admit it, accept it and then move on in a sensible manner.  1 pound of fat contains 3,500 calories and it’s doubtful that you ate that much in one sitting.  I don’t know any person who eats healthy 100% of the time, and that’s quite fine.  When you give yourself a treat, such as a birthday dinner, take that into account when you think of your eating habits for the rest of the week. Get back to a normal eating schedule.

Leave the Scale Alone for the Day

It may sound like cheating, but the day after you go crazy at the buffet is not a day for the scale.  The number you see may very well cause considerable distress.  However, it’s not an accurate reading.  It is most likely due to water retention, which is caused by excessive salt.  Weighing yourself right after you overindulge will cause you to feel defeated and that won’t help you.  Give yourself a day or so to get back to normal, then hop on the scale for a more accurate reading. 

Don’t Overdo the Work Out

A trainer telling you not to punish yourself with exercise?  Really?  Yes, to an extent.  When you overeat, your plan may be to run off every last one of those excess calories.  It sounds like a good idea in theory, but in reality it’s not your best bet.  Overdoing it can cause you to feel burned out.  It also increases your risk of injury, which will just put you out of the game for a longer amount of time.  You will certainly have to increase your activity, but do it throughout the course of the week and you can add an extra day, if your body can handle it.  For example, if your workout routine is 30min a day, you can safely bump it to 40-45 minutes, but don’t make it 2 hours if that’s not what you’re used to.

Be Aware of What You Eat After

An occasional treat is okay- life is short after all and many of us can agree that certain unhealthy foods taste GREAT.  That being said, many people overindulge on a regular basis and this can cause some serious weight gain. After the feast, keep a mental note of what you’re eating.  You’ll have to cut back on the treats and add in more low-calorie foods such as fruits, vegetables and lean protein.  

We all overindulge at some point or another.  This is the weekend for BBQ’s, and I think you should enjoy it.  Following these tips will help you move on after a summer feast…or after a fun night, which may or may not have included a huge piece of chocolate cake.  

Kia Edwards is a certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist who lives in New York City. She studied French and Economics at Colgate University, spent 15 years as a high-level competitive gymnast and 6 years as a gymnastics coach.  Her business, La Fortesse At Home Fitness Training, helps clients get healthy with simple at home exercises and nutrition counseling. www.LaFortesse.com