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 People in the News


Kings Park Has Two New Eagle Scouts Thomas McGee & George Gonatas 

Suffolk County Legislator Robert Trotta Congratulates Kings Park 

Boy Scout Troop 75’s Newest Eagles … Thomas McGee and George Gonatas

(Smithtown, NY)…Suffolk County Legislator Robert Trotta praised Thomas McGee and George Gonatas, whom he coached in the Kings Park Soccer League when they were younger, for achieving the esteemed rank of Eagle Scout. Thomas of Kings Park became Troop 75’s 75th Eagle Scout and George of Fort Salonga was the troop’s 76 Eagle Scout. 

For his Eagle Scout Leadership Project, Thomas supervised other scouts from the troop in the construction of five benches for the Boys Varsity Locker Room at Kings Park High School. George’s Community Leadership Project involved working with his troop members to build a new shotput circle at Kings Park High School. As students at the   school, they hope their projects will encourage more scouts to give back to their schools.

“Becoming an Eagle Shout is an amazing achievement and is something that you have accomplished while still a teenager. It is a recognition that will stay with you for the rest of your lives,” said Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta, who represents the district. “Through your years of scouting you have attained a skill set and leadership qualities that you can apply in college and in your careers to make this a better community. What you have done is very impressive and we all expect great things from you in the future,” added Legislator Trotta.

Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta (center) presented Eagle Scouts George Gonatas, Jr. (left) and Thomas McGee (right) with proclamations citing their accomplishments.




Smithtown Resident Ronnie Tranes Receives Coldwell Banker Award 2015

Left to right, Laura Rittenberg, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage on Long Island and Queens, N.Y., Jerry Tranes and Ronni Tranes, of SmithtownSMITHTOWN, N.Y. (Apr. 18, 2016) – Laura Rittenberg, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage on Long Island and Queens, N.Y., proudly announced that Ronni Tranes, a real estate broker associate affiliated with the Smithtown Regional Office, and her sales team have been awarded the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Top Team award for 2015.  As the No. 1 team company-wide, Tranes received this prestigious award for achieving an outstanding level of sales in 2015.

Rittenberg recognized Tranes for her unsurpassed commitment to providing the quality customer service that Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage clients and customers have come to know and expect. “Ronni is a dedicated professional always offering superior customer service,” said Rittenberg. “She is well known in her marketplace as a leading realtor.  We are so proud of her and her many accomplishments.” 

Throughout her 33-year career, Tranes has been a highly decorated and recognized sales professional. Internationally, she has consistently earned the Coldwell Banker International President’s Premier award, representing the top 1 percent of nearly 87,000 Coldwell Banker agents worldwide.  Nationally, she has consistently been honored among the top 1 percent of agents in the United States by NRT, parent of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.  Locally, she is consistently recognized within the very top tier of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage agents on Long Island and Queens, N.Y.  

Ronni Tranes and her highly experienced team of Licensed Salespersons — Cynthia Nevins, Elizabeth “Lisa” Mosleh, and Lori Zamore, all reside in Smithtown Township. For more information contact Ronni Tranes at the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage  “http://www.coldwellbankermoves.com/real_estate_office/250/New-York/Smithtown/Smithtown.aspx”



Commack Native Melanie Ehrlich Makes Hollywood Debut With Matt Damon

Commack Native Melanie Ehrlich Makes Hollywood Debut With Matt Damon In Alexander Payne’s Downsizing

Local actress will also recur in new Netflix series, The OA

Melanie Ehrlich With Alexander Payne (photo www.MelanieEhrlich.com)April 2016, New York, NY—Up-and-coming actress and Commack native Melanie Ehrlich will be making her Hollywood debut alongside Matt Damon in Alexander Payne’s upcoming film, Downsizing. The New York native was handpicked by Mr. Payne after auditioning for the movie in December, and flew out to film last week in LA.

Born and raised in Commack, Ehrlich is a bicoastal actress andMelanie Ehrlich voiceover talent, working not only on-camera in film, TV and commercials, but also behind the mic in animation and video games. She was recently featured in a national Dish Network commercial with Project Runway’s Tim Gunn, and will be recurring as “Ali” in the new highly-anticipated, and highly secretive, Netflix series, The OA. Ehrlich’s fun, quirky nature and driven approach to her work has led to an impressively untraditional career path, including a 1.5-yearlong stint in South Korea (and the ability to speak the language) and a performance at Carnegie Hall earlier this year.

Ehrlich says of her experience working on Downsizing, “Alexander Payne is an absolutely brilliant director, and Matt Damon was incredible to work with too. Honestly, I spent most of the day just in awe of how brilliant they were, watching them work! I’m incredibly honored to be making my Hollywood debut in this fantastic film with this wonderful cast and crew.”

Downsizing, written by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor (Sideways, Election), tells the story of an Omaha man who undergoes a new process that reduces people to a tiny fraction of their size, and moves to one of the many communities of small people that are sprouting up around the world. This is Mr. Payne’s seventh full-length feature, and his most ambitious to date. Filming is scheduled to take place mostly in Toronto over the next four months.

Downsizing stars Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig, and also features Christoph Waltz, Alec Baldwin, Jason Sudeikis, and Neil Patrick Harris. The movie is scheduled for theatrical release on December 25th, 2017. For more information on Melanie Ehrlich and Downsizing, visit http:// www.MelanieEhrlich.com. 


Fundraiser Hosted By Former Councilman Creighton Focused On Ireland's 1916 Easter Rising Rebellion And L.I. Connection

Bob Creighton, Kate Browning, Father Sean GannJerry Creighton, Bob Creighton, Richard Macellaro, Kate Browning, Fr. SeanOn Friday, April 8th,  Bob Creighton, former Suffolk County Police Commissioner and former Smithtown Councilman along with Father Sean Gann, Pastor of Saint Joseph’s in Kings Park, hosted a fundraiser at Napper Tandy’s, Smithtown, in support of the S.C. Easter Uprising 1916 Memorial. The Suffolk County 1916 Irish Rising Monument will be located at the Suffolk County District Courthouse, in East Islip, NY. Dedication is scheduled for May 3, 2016.

Bob Creighton and Judge MullenThe Easter Rising Rebellion was a reaction to centuries of British rule of Ireland that was often brutal and dehumanizing. On April 24, 1916 a group of men representing many of the Irish Catholics of Ireland declared the formation of the Irish Republic. This declaration was followed by many confrontations between those favoring Irish rule and British troops. Eventually the uprising ended with thousands wounded and hundreds dead. Many of the Easter Rising leaders were executed by firing squad in Dublin’s Kilmainham Jail. The confrontations continued for decades until Ireland was granted self-rule.
Thomas ClarkeOne of the leaders of the Easter Rising Rebellion was Thomas Clarke a property owner in Mannorville, Suffolk County. Clarke was executed by the British army on May 3rd, 1916 at the age of 58 less than 10 days after the uprising began. The work of the Irish Republic continued for many years.

The idea for a memorial comes from Suffolk County Legislator Kate Browning who brought together a coalition of Irish organizations and individuals determined to see that the idea of a memorial become a reality. Those ivolved see a strong connection between America’s history and the Irish fight for self rule. Suffolk County has a large population (almost 23 %) of people claiming Irish heritage.

Richard Macellaro and Suffolk County Comptroller John KennedyAccording to attendees the Bob Creighton/ Father Sean fundraiser was a great success.  Among the guests in attendance were Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy, Legislator Leslie Kennedy, Legislator Kate Browning, Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick, Smithtown Councilman Ed Wehrheim, Smithtown Clerk Vincent Puleo and Judge Mullen.

For more info or to make a donation visit Easter Uprising Rebellion website




Donna Alese Cooke - Director Of Education Smithtown Historical Society

Historical Society Welcomes New Director of Education

Donna Alese Cooke, Smithtown Historical Society’s Director of Education Donna Alese Cooke, the new Director of Education at the Smithtown Historical Society is excited to be back in her hometown and to be a part of the Historical Society’s family. In Ms. Cooke’s first weeks, she has received a warm welcome from its board, society membership, our community, and even by the birth of the society’s adorable spring lambs! 

Ms. Cooke has enthusiastically embraced her position at the historical society and brings a sense of passion to her new role in the Smithtown community.  “I enjoy working with the society’s staff, with our existing programs, and am looking forward to sharing my outreach, school-age enrichment, and garden-based learning expertise in the development of new and new exciting programs for our community,” she said.  Her background is in Childhood and Adult Education and Horticulture. She has an A.A.S. in Ornamental Horticulture (SUNY Farmingdale), a B.S. in Elementary Education (SUNY New Paltz) and M.S. in Educational Theory and Practice (University at Albany).

Before returning to Smithtown, Ms. Cooke and her family lived in upstate New York where she was the Director of Education at the Children’s Museum at Saratoga and the Horticulture Educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orange and Rockland Counties. Her vision for “a learning garden in every school” was the driving force for her statewide collaboration and research with Cornell Garden-Based Learning and the online courses she developed and taught for the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University. “We are positively excited to have Donna aboard. She’s a true asset to our existing team, already strong,” said Smithtown Historical Society Executive Director Marianne Howard. “I hope you will all take an opportunity to welcome her when you see her at one of our upcoming events.” Ms. Cooke lives in Smithtown with her husband Michael, and has two daughters, Lauren and Nicole.