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Senator Flanagan Is Participating In the ReesSpecht Life Toy Drive

Senator Flanagan Joining With ReesSpecht Life And Family Service League To Support Toy Drive

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) has announced that his office is again joining with ReesSpecht LIFE and Family Service League for a special Toy Drive during the upcoming holiday season.  From now through Friday, December 14th, Senator Flanagan’s office will serve as a drop-off location for Project TOY (Treasure Our Youth) to help make sure that all local families are able to enjoy the holiday season.

Donations of new, unwrapped toys or gift cards will be accepted at Senator Flanagan’s office, which is located at 260 Middle Country Road in Smithtown, during regular business hours.  All donations are greatly appreciated and will go a long way in making the holidays brighter for area families.

“During the holiday season, it is essential that we all do our best to help everyone in our community enjoy the holidays and my office is pleased to once again be helping out with Project TOY.  We invite all residents to visit our Smithtown office to help ensure that every child has a happy holiday season,” stated Senator Flanagan.

For more information on this special effort, please visit http://www.reesspechtlife.com/toy-drive-2018/.




"Caught In The Act"

“Caught In The Act” submitted by Judy Marlow-Ratway


Suffolk County Offering Free Diabetes Prevention Program


Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced Suffolk County will offer a free diabetes prevention program for residents who are at risk for developing type-2 diabetes. The National Diabetes Prevention Program supports moderate behavioral changes that incorporate healthy eating and physical activity.

“We seek to create a culture in Suffolk County in which healthy living is the norm,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. “To accomplish this, we are offering residents, free of charge, a program that will give them the support they need to make small lifestyle changes to improve their health and well-being.”

Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken said: “Diabetes puts the body at risk for many serious health conditions. The good news is that moderate changes in lifestyle can help restore blood sugar to normal levels and result in significant health benefits. As residents begin to think about resolutions for the new year, I encourage them to consider signing up for this evidence-based program.”

The Diabetes Prevention Program, which is supported by the CDC, is led by a trained lifestyle coach. It will meet one hour per week for 16 weeks, then bi-monthly for two months, then monthly for the remainder of one year. Courses will begin shortly after the New Year and class size is limited. The first 16 sessions of each course are scheduled as follows:


Smithtown Public Library - One North Country Road, Smithtown - Time: 6:00 - 7:15 p.m. Contact: Debora, 631-853-2928 Dates (Monday) February 25, 2019, March 4, 11, 18, 25; April 1, 8, 15, 22; May 6, 13, 20; June 3, 10, 17, 24

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 84 million American adults—more than one out of three—have prediabetes. Of those with prediabetes, 90 percent don’t know they have it.  The Diabetes Prevention Program is based on a research study led by the National Institutes of Health. The study showed that with intensive counseling and motivational support, participants were able to make behavioral changes, reducing their risk for developing diabetes by 58 percent. Lifestyle changes worked particularly well for participants aged 60 and older, reducing their risk by 71 percent.

Without the occurrence of clear symptoms, Prediabetes can be difficult to detect and often goes undetected until serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes show up. It’s important to talk to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested if you have any of the risk factors for prediabetes. Risk factors include: being overweight; being 45 years or older; having a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes; being physically active less than three times a week, and giving birth to a baby who weighed more than nine pounds.

For more information or to find out if you are at risk for diabetes, visit the Diabetes Prevention Program page on the Suffolk County website or call the Office of Health Education at (631) 853-3162.


DEC - January Deer Season To Open In Suffolk County



DEC Managed Land Entries Due Dec. 3

The 2019 firearms deer season in Suffolk County will begin Sunday, Jan. 6, and continue through Jan. 31, including weekends, the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.

DEC regulations require that lands eligible for firearms deer hunting must be at least 10 acres in size, and hunters must possess a valid big game hunting license, a signed landowner’s endorsement, and a town permit where required (towns of Southampton, Islip, and Smithtown). Deer may be taken only by:

  • Shotgun, using a single ball or slug; or
  • Muzzleloading rifle or pistol, shooting a single projectile having a minimum bore of 0.44 inches.

Shotgun barrels may be rifled, and telescopic sights may be used. Crossbows are not a legal hunting instrument in Suffolk County. Hunters should check with local towns and villages to determine any local restrictions or discharge ordinances prior to going afield.

Hunters that wish to hunt on state-managed lands in Suffolk County will be able to take advantage of the expanded special firearms deer season, as well the extended archery season. The following state-managed properties will be open for shotgun deer hunting:

  • Rocky Point Natural Resources Management Area;
  • Westhampton Dwarf Pine Plains Preserve;
  • Henrys Hollow Pine Barrens State Forest;
  • Barcelona Neck Cooperative Hunting Area;
  • David Sarnoff Cooperative Hunting Area;  
  • Otis Pike Preserve;
  • East Hampton Cooperative Area (opens Jan. 7, weekdays only); and
  • Noyac Cooperative Hunting Area (opens Jan. 7, weekdays only).

To hunt for deer on DEC-managed lands during the firearms season, hunters must enter a drawing. Entries must be received at NYSDEC-Deer Drawing, PO Box 659, Ridge, NY 11961-0659, by 4:45 p.m., on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. Entries can also be hand-delivered to the Ridge Hunter Check Station by this date. There are no applications for this drawing. To enter, hunters must send a No. 10 (4 1/8” x 9 ½”) envelope that contains a self-addressed, stamped, No. 10 or No. 9 return envelope. The hunter must write his/her back tag number on the back of the return envelope. Entries submitted envelopes other than No. 10 envelopes, or including other than No. 10 or No. 9 return envelopes, will be rejected.

Hunters may only send one entry. Individuals that send more than one entry will have all of his or her entries removed from the drawing. Each member of a two-hunter party may send one entry.

Drawing entrants will receive a notice telling them when to appear at the Ridge Hunter Check Station to make a reservation to hunt on DEC-managed lands. Reservations will be made Dec. 17-20, 2018. 

Additional shotgun deer hunting opportunities may be available to Suffolk County residents. Please contact Suffolk County Department of Parks at 631.854.4949 for additional information on opportunities within Suffolk County Parks. 

The regular (bow hunting) season for deer in Suffolk County will also continue through January 31. Hunters that want to archery hunt on state-managed lands during the extended season can hunt at Brookhaven State Park Cooperative Hunting Area, Calverton Pine Barrens State Forest, Carman’s River Pine Barrens State Forest, East Bartlett Conservation Area, Ridge Conservation Area, Wildwood State Park Cooperative Hunting Area, and DEC tidal wetlands currently open to archery hunting. All hunters are required to have a DEC-Managed Lands Access Permit to hunt on these properties. 

DEC Encourages Hunter Safety

While statistics show that hunting in New York State is safer than ever, mistakes are made every year. Every hunting-related shooting incident is preventable, and DEC encourages hunters to use common sense this season and remember what they were taught in their DEC Hunter Education Course.

Firearms Safety:

  1. Point your gun in a safe direction.
  2. Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
  3. Be sure of your target and beyond.
  4. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

DEC also encourages all hunters to wear blaze orange or blaze pink to make themselves more visible to other hunters. Hunters who wear hunter orange are seven times less likely to be shot.

When hunting in tree stands, use a safety harness and a climbing belt, as most tree stand accidents occur when hunters are climbing in and out of the stand. Also, hunters should never climb in or out of a tree stand with a loaded firearm.

The DEC would like to remind hunters that the legal hours for big game hunting across the state run from official sunrise to sunset. It is the responsibility of hunters to know when those times are in their locations. Consult the DEC hunting guide, use the DEC wildlife app or search weather data on the internet to find the official sunrise and sunset times for your area. Not only is it unsafe but it is illegal to hunt deer and bear in the dark.



DEC Seeks To Protect LI Sound By Purchasing 6.8 Acre Conscience Bay Property


DEC Announces Acquisition of 6.8-Acre Conscience Bay Watershed Property

Property expands Conscience Bay-Little Bay State Tidal Wetland, will help preserve water quality in Long Island Sound

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced an acquisition of open space that will provide greater protection to the Long Island Sound by establishing an additional buffer area that will filter out contaminants, provide wildlife habitat, and increase the region’s resilience to coastal storms. The 6.8-acre parcel, located at the corner of North and Dyke Roads in Setauket, will be added to the Conscience Bay-Little Bay State Tidal Wetland, effectively doubling the size of the marsh and upland portion of the State property. The acquisition was announced at an event today to unveil a plaque at the head of the trail in appreciation of the Besunder family’s contribution to Long Island’s environment.

“DEC and the greater environmental community of Long Island are excited to expand the Conscience Bay-Little Bay State Tidal Wetland and thankful for the grant from the Long Island Sound Study that makes this purchase possible,” DEC Regional Director Carrie Meek Gallagher said. “Protecting this property from development will increase the resiliency of the Setauket area by protecting its salt marsh and mud flats from development pressures that would compromise their ability to help buffer the area from future storm events.”

The property was purchased by Arline and Harvey Besunder in 1991 with the intent to develop the land. Along with his children, Alison and Eric, and in memory of his wife Arline, the Besunder Family honored a long-standing family value of land preservation and conservation by selling this unique parcel to the State for conservation in order to preserve its natural beauty.

The 52-acre Conscience Bay-Little Bay State Tidal Wetland property was purchased by DEC in the late 1970s from multiple property owners. State land in the area consists of underwater lands popular both with kayakers and local waterfowl hunters. Acquisition of key parcels in the Conscience Bay Watershed is a conservation priority in several State and Local Open Space Plans.

The new acquisition includes extensive waterfront along Conscience Bay, a walking trail, a unique freshwater wetland, a red cedar forest, an osprey nest, and nearly pristine mudflats and shellfish beds.

DEC’s purchase of this property follows a 2015 purchase of a 1.12-acre parcel, which added the first upland area to the existing 52-acre Tidal Wetlands property.

New York State Assemblyman Steven Englebright said, “The goal of protecting the chemistry and ecological integrity of the Setauket Harbor is greatly advanced by this land purchase at the core of this complex estuary. Governor Cuomo deserves our appreciation for enabling the DEC to make such wise use of Environmental Protection Fund resources that were placed into the State budget. Additional congratulations and thanks go to the Besunder Family and the Stewardship Initiative of the Long Island Sound Study.”

Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine said, “The Conscience Bay Watershed is one of the most environmentally significant wildlife habitats in Brookhaven Town, and with this acquisition more of it will be protected for future generations. I commend the DEC for taking action to conserve this sensitive wetland and thank the Besunder family for their dedication to land preservation.”

Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Valerie M. Cartright said, “The Town of Brookhaven strongly advocates for preservation of land especially when such efforts help to support coastal resilience and prevent development of sensitive ecological wetland sites within the Town. Thank you to the Besunder family for their role in allowing this parcel to be conserved.”

Additional DEC Purchases in Conscience Bay Watershed Area - Patriots Hollow

A nearby parcel of 28.3 acres along Route 25A in East Setauket, was purchased in 2010. At the time, the property was the largest privately owned undeveloped lot in the Conscience Bay Watershed Area, and later became Patriots Hollow State Forest. In March 2017, an additional 17 acres was added to this property. Patriots Hollow provides protection to Conscience Bay by preventing runoff from roads and related contaminants from entering the bay, which has one of the most restricted tidal flows of any of the North Shore’s major bays.

Funding for the Patriots Hollow purchase was also provided by a Long Island Sound Study Grant and through a settlement with Northville Industries over a spill at the company’s East Setauket terminal in the late 1980s.

The Long Island Sound Study initiated the Long Island Sound Futures Fund in 2005 through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Long Island Sound Office and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Through 2014, the program has invested $13 million in 306 projects in communities surrounding the Sound. The Long Island Sound Study was created in 1985 by the EPA and the states of New York and Connecticut. This bi-state partnership includes federal and state agencies, user groups, concerned organizations and individuals dedicated to restoring and protecting the Sound.