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Wednesday
Feb132013

BZA Decisions - KPE II "No" - Insignia "Yes w/conditions" - Hess "Yes and No"

Decisions by Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) at meeting on Tuesday, February 12.  All Board members were in attendance.

The BZA in a unanimous decision voted to grant Insignia Restaurant, located on Nesconset Hwy. & Mount Pleasant Rd, a variance to increase the number of ground signs from 1 to 4. The variance increases the max. ground sign area from 32 sq. ft to 236ft. (176 sq. ft existing). The additional two sided signs are to be placed (1) on Mount Pleasant Rd. and (2) on Nesconset Highway.  The signs will have removable inserts advertising events and Outdoor dining Promotion. Each sign will stand 53” with a width of 32 ½”.  The BZA is requiring the signs have landscaping and directed lighting.

The BZA (unanimous) voted to approve with conditions Case #16767 Hess Corporation in Commack – The board voted to grant the petition for  an additional ground sign as well as to increase sign height. Hess will also be permitted to reduce one buffer to 10 foot. The BZA rejected reducing a portion of one buffer from 6ft. to zero but added the stipulation that the Board of Site Plan Review can permit the “0” buffer if the additional property is needed for access.

Case #1695 (unanimous)    KPE II, LLC – Denied – KPE was asking for a Certificate of (13) uses. The BZA denied all. The burden of proof for the petition fell on KPE who was unable to document that the activities on the property were lawfully existing pre zoning, that the property was used continuously and that a relationship between past activity and current use existed.

Case # 1861(unanimous) - Galleria IV - Approved a variance to reduce minimum parking setback to residential district from 100ft. to 44 ft. for a proposed 11,817 sq. ft office bldg.

Case # 16862 (unanimous)– Approved – Proposed 2,750 sq. ft. 1- story retail building and reduction of parking spaces from 24- 20.

Case # 16865 – Rockwell’s Bar was adjourned to March 12, 2013

Saturday
Feb092013

Partial Roof Collapse At Smithtown Bowl - No Injuries

Suffolk County Police responded to a call of a partial roof collapse at a Smithtown building this afternoon.

Fourth Precinct Police Officers responded to Smithtown Bowl, located at 200 Landing Ave., at 4:30 p.m. after a 911 caller reported that the roof partially collapsed. There were no injuries and no one was in the building. It appears that the collapse was due to heavy snow conditions. There was also an apparent water leak due to the collapse.

The Town of Smithtown, Long Island Power Authority, the Smithtown Fire Department and the Suffolk County Water Authority responded to the incident. The MTA Police Department was notified.

Friday
Feb082013

Smithtown's Own Dr. Phil - Pointers For Avoiding Injury In The Snow

By Dr. Phil Facquet III

Father Winter is about to throw some potentially deep, heavy snow our way, if the meteorologists are correct this time.  So it is time to break out the snow blowers, shovels and ice melt.

I was asked by Smithtown Matters, what the best way to avoid injury while shoveling is – the single best way to avoid injury is to pay someone else to do it or exercise the option of forcing or using guilt to have your kids do it.  If you have a snow blower – use it; however, use a stick, not your hands, to clear debris from the blades or chute. For most of us, now regretting putting off that decision to buy a snow blower, it will be time to dig.

If your body is in good physical condition and you have kept up with regular exercise you will have less of a chance to injure yourself than the couch potato; however, snow shoveling has the potential for spasms, strains, sprains and other more serious health problems for all of us.  If you have known cardiac problem remember what your doctor has told you about exercising, avoiding exertion, in cold weather.

Here are some basic recommendations to avoid injury over the next couple of days:

·        Dress in layers and wear a hat and scarf – you want to keep warm and avoid frostbite.

·        Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before going outdoors or when outside

·        If you feel chest pain or short of breath or are excessively tired – STOP and seek immediate medical care.

·        Use your legs and arms to lift, not just your back.

·        Bend your knees when lifting and moving the snow.

·        Avoid bending and twisting when tossing a shovel of heavy snow. This can aggravate lower back discs. 

·        Stretch before shoveling as the physical exertion required is demanding.  

·        If the snow on the shovel is too heavy for you – don’t lift it. Lift less.

·        Light ergonomically designed shovels can help.

·        Periodically kick or tap your shovel blade to get rid of excessive snow build up.

·        Take breaks to avoid strain injuries.

·        Increase the frequency of the breaks as your muscles fatigue.

·        Use good biomechanics to lift bags of salt or ice melt. If the big bags are to heavy for you to safely lift buy smaller ones.  

·        Lastly watch the slips and falls.

So after you are finished outside and sitting in the comfort of your home and warming up - stretch again. If you are sore, apply an ice bag to the affected area for 20 minutes, then take it off for a couple of hours. Repeat a couple of times each day over the next day or two. If you continue to feel soreness, pain or strain after following these tips, it may be time to visit a doctor of chiropractic.  

Philip Facquet III is a Chiropractor with a practice in Smithtown, he can be reached at drfacquet@optonline.net

Thursday
Feb072013

Myths About Obesity

Myths About Obesity

By Thomas Biancaniello, MD

Obesity is a hot topic wherever you look – in healthcare, news, electronic media, and schools.  While much is written on the topic in medical and scientific journals, much of what is discussed and practiced is not based on good scientific data, but often on observations and reasoning much of which is either incorrect or not based on the real data that exists. 

In the January 31st issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a highly regarded medical journal, an article entitled: “Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity” by numerous authors explores this discrepancy.  They distinguish between scientifically tested recommendations and that which may be made from observations which often do not take into consideration other factors that affect those observations which are not considered in reaching the conclusions.  What follows is a brief summary of the article.  For those who wish to read the article, the reference is as follows: Casazza K, Fontaine KR, Astrup A et al, Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity, N Eng J Med 2013; 368(5) pp 446-454. 

Myths

  1. Small changes in energy expenditure or intake will produce large, long-term weight changes.  This is based on a model that says the 3500 kcal changes will result in one (1) pound weight changes. This appears hold in the short-term, but in the long-term in one study the predicted with loss of 50 pounds resulted in a true weight loss of only about 10 pounds.
  2. Setting realistic goals is important; otherwise patients will become frustrated and lose less weight.  Although this seems reasonable, several studies have shown that more ambitious goals are sometimes associated with better weight-loss outcomes.
  3. Large, rapid weight loss is associated with poorer long-term weight-loss outcomes.  Randomized controlled trials (considered to be the best scientific studies) show that in the short-term the very low energy diets are associated with better weight loss.  However, over the long-term there appears to be no significant difference.
  4. Diet readiness is important in determining outcomes in patients who request weight-loss treatment.  Unfortunately five (5) trials showed an average weight loss over a median period of nine (9) months of one (1) kg or ~2.2 lbs.
  5. Physical education classes play an important role in preventing or reducing obesity in children.  Physical education, as currently provided and even when the number required days is increased has not resulted in consistent changes in Body Mass Index or BMI (weight per height squared to allow comparison amongst patients of different sizes).  There is clearly a level and frequency of activity needed to achieve this goal, but current physical education programs are not sufficient to provide that level.
  6. Breast-feeding is protective against obesity.  Although the World Health Organization reports that it breast-fed babies are less likely to become obese in later life, this has not been supported by studies that have better controlled for confounding factors that influence this.  There are of course other good reasons to encourage breast-feeding.
  7. A bout of sexual activity burns 100-300 kcal for each participant.  It turns out for period of sexual activity (about 6 minutes) for an averaged sized man in his 30’s, the expenditure is approximately 21 kcal.

Presumptions

  1. Regularly eating breakfast is protective against obesity.  Two studies have shown this not to effect weight.
  2. Early childhood is the determining period in learning eating and exercise habits that influence weight throughout life.  Although a person’s BMI tends to track over time (tends to be same percentile), this may be more a reflection of genotype (genes) than early learning.
  3. Eating more fruits and vegetables will reduce weight gain or produce weight loss, regardless of other behavioral or environmental changes.  Weight is a function of calories-in versus calories-out.  If you consume more in calories than you burn you will gain weight.  So a healthy as consuming fruits and vegetables in the overall picture is, you must limit portion sizes of the good foods as well.
  4. Weight cycling (yo-yo diet) is associated with increased mortality.  This may be due to confounding factors that are often associated in individuals with weight problems.
  5. Snacking contributes to weight gain and obesity.  Studies have not supported this and there is no consistent association between snacking and BMI
  6. The build environment (parks and sidewalks) influences the incidence and prevalence of obesity.  There are only observational studies and no conclusions can be drawn.

There are no easy answers to the problem of obesity.  It is clear that life style modification is essential in controlling and reducing weight.  The overall principle is calories-in/calories-out.  A combination of 40 minutes of regular vigorous exercise  per day (as approved by your doctor) and reduction of portions of both “good” and “bad” foods would be the first steps to improved health.

Thomas Biancaniello, MC, FACC, FAHA

Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Columbia Doctors

Pediatric Cardiology, Nesconset, NY  11767

Wednesday
Feb062013

Let The Clean-Up Begin - Town Votes To Clean-Up 21 Heather Drive

1. The Town Board to consider the Town’s entry onto certain real property located at 21 heather Drive, Kings Park, New York, 11754, SCTM #0800-8.0-5-77, said property being owned by Charles Ritchie, for the purpose of removing all existing junked vehicles, assorted yard waste and rubbish in violation of Chapter 221 of the Code of the Town of Smithtown entitled Property Maintenance, pursuant to the recommendation of the Town Attorney and the Director of Public Safety.

Image - Google MapsAfter years of complaints by neighbors, unanswered summonses and two active outstanding arrest warrants it appears a clean-up at 21 Heather Drive is about to begin.  Smithtown’s Town Board voted unanimously to enter onto the premises of 21 Heather Drive in Kings Park to remove the accumulated junked vehicles, yard waste and rubbish at the home. 

The homeowner, Charles Ritchie, made a last ditch effort to avoid the clean-up by requesting an adjournment (at 11:47 am Tuesday ) of the 2pm vote. The Board said “no”. After listening to Town Attorney Martin Simon make his presentation, which included photos (presented to the board) and a history of failed attempts to work with Mr. Ritchie, board members listened to  concerned neighbors. The neighbors spoke of their frustration with a problem that has been getting worse. 

The neighbors were forthright regarding their concerns. Calling the property a fire hazard and a graveyard for metal cabinets, they made it clear that they wanted the Town Board to take action. Neighbors  also complained of rodents and raccoons, cars without tires and one neighbor declared there was “shady stuff going on” at the site. 

The neighbors appeared to be preaching to the choir. The board did not hesitate for a second when the resolution came to a vote. Unanimous in their vote to clean up the site, Supervisor Vecchio spoke to the audience stating, “We have just now affirmed that we will go onto the property and clean it up.”