Home Wanted

Smithtown Animal Shelter

WANTED:  WARM LOVING HOMES !!!

 Ramsey – Shep/Chow mix 3 years old male/neutered up to date on vaccines. Ramsey loves to play with his toys and go for walks. He is affectionate and playful but would be best placed with older children and a home without other dogs.

 

 

 

  The Smithtown Animal Shelter has many kittens for adoption, the little ones are handled and socialized by our volunteer staff they are friendly have their initial shots and de-worming.

 

          

 

 

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 People in the News

Thursday
Aug282014

Labor Day Exit For Planning Dept. Director Frank DeRubeis

“Frank DeRubeis is an exceptional man with a wide breadth of knowledge in so many fields.  That knowledge, I believe, inspired so many of his planning initiatives. There was never any doubt about his commitment and dedication to the Town of Smithtown and it is for that reason that I relied and trusted his judgments and advice. So many of his planning initiatives are now part of the Smithtown landscape and have helped make Smithtown the great town it is. I shall sorely miss him.” Smithtown Supervisor Patrick R. Vecchio.

Frank DeRubeis in 1973 and 2014When Frank DeRubeis leaves his office on Friday, August 29th (retirement begins on September 1)  it will be for the last time as Director of Planning and Community Development for the Town of Smithtown. A position he has held since 1985. 

Frank began his career as a planner for the town in 1973 earning an annual salary of $8,500. Thirty-one years later he enjoys the status of being the highest paid employee in the town. The economics of retirement is what drove him to retire. DeRubeis is 68 and in good health, but he is realistic, retirement ensures that his wife will be provided for should something happen to him. He sees retirement as necessary rather than something he is doing willingly. “Everyone keeps telling me congratulations, but it doesn’t feel like congratulations. I don’t want to be rude to people, but it’s not something I feel like celebrating.” 

Sitting with Frank in early August he reflected on his thirty-one year career in Smithtown. Clearly he is proud of his staff and their professionalism. He ferverntly supports a resident’s right to access information and keeping public records open. Ask about his successes and he talks about the Galleria project on Terry Rd. in Smithtown. A once blighted site that housed a concrete operation, sand mine and construction equipment storage facility, it was transformed into a thriving development of homes, condominiums and apartments.  The residential area is surrounded by commercial development - a CVS, Maureen’s Kitchen, Tutor Time and more. He talks about the Charles P. Toner Park in Nesconset, the site of the former Amory.  But clearly he is most proud of the 9/11 Memorial Park on Main St. in Smithtown. The project, according to Frank, enjoyed the support of the public, many of whom made generous donations thus making it one of the few town projects where money was not an issue. The park is not only filled with memories it is functional and visited by residents and those visiting Smithtown. 

DeRubeis has a few regrets. The fact that he couldn’t convice the Town to take over the Kings Park Psychiatric Center still stings. “I felt from day one that we should have taken it all. The entity that cares most about the commity will be the Town, not Albany, you know, and I thought we should handle it just like Islip handled Central Islip. Yes it would have cost us a lot of effort, but I think in the long run if you have the chance to direct what’s in your town, you should handle it.”  Not completing the Master Plan is another regret, as is losing the battle over the Hess station on Harned and Jericho Tpke. in Commack. 

While Frank DeRubeis has many supporters, there are some who blame him for Smithtown’s stagnation and accuse him of being an obstructionist.  “Not true! Our records tell a different story.” DeRubeis explained that applicants often come in without complete or accurate applications making delays unavoidable.  “I oppose projects that I believe are harmful or injurious to the public.” Frank’s philosophy has remained the same since he started in 1973 ” I have to remind my planners, our job is finding out what the community wants and then to figure out how to get what they want in the best ways possible. It’s a means towards and end. You’re not implementing your ideas, you are getting the community what it wants. Those are the people who are hiring you. That’s important. A lot of times people and planners are coming up with stuff because they want to do all these crazy things, but the issue is you look at a community and you try to discern what their needs are and then define how they want to develop. If people in the Town of Smithtown want to change downtown Smithtown to have ten story buidings and parking garages, that’s their choice, it’s not up to me.”

What’s in DeRubeis’s future? “Well I have told the Supervisor I am not going into private consulting.” Retirement from Smithtown does not mean that Frank is leaving the Town completely. He would very much like to complete his work on the Master Plan and he is more than willing to donate his time if town board members agree. Photography is a hobby of his and he plans to take  photography classes at Stony Brook University.  Teaching at a college or planning in a different capacity are ideas he is considering. 

Frank DeRubeis will leave his office on August 29 and his life will change and so will Smithtown. All the best to you in the next chapter of your life Frank DeRubeis!

 

Friday
Aug222014

People In The News - Kings Park Resident Deborah Danley

Deborah Danley(HAUPPAUGE, NY Aug. 21, 2014)—Deborah Danley has been appointed to a three-year term on the Suffolk County Youth Board Coordinating Council.

“The Suffolk County Youth Board does a great job identifying issues and working with the young people of Suffolk County,” County Executive Steve Bellone said. “She will be able to use her experience in working with organizations and youth and continue to serve everyone well.”

Danley, a resident of Kings Park, was appointed July 29 by the Suffolk County Legislature and will represent the 13th District. 

Legislator Rob Trotta said, “I believe Debbie Danley will be a tremendous asset to the Suffolk County Youth Board based on her experience and work with the PTA, Kings Park School District Council and other youth-related activities. It was an honor to nominate her for this Board.”

The mission of the Suffolk County Youth Bureau is to successfully meet the needs of Suffolk County Youth, under the age of 21, by ensuring effective countywide planning, thoughtful development, and efficiency in the management of resources necessary to sustain the County’s youth service system. The Youth Bureau staff conducts monitoring and evaluation of youth programs, research and planning, information and referral, and training and technical assistance for community based youth organizations. More than 180 youth programs are funded through the Bureau’s regular budget stream, as well as over 200 programs on a contingency funded basis.

“The work of the Suffolk County Youth Board Coordinating Council is pivotal to assisting the County in determining and meeting its youth development goals and objectives,” the Rev. Roderick Pearson, executive director of the Suffolk County Youth Bureau/Human Services, said. “The Board welcomes the new appointees, who offer a wealth of experience, expertise, knowledge, and compassion in advising the County Executive in such areas as education, teenage pregnancy, gangs and violence, behavioral mental health, and other issue impacting the quality of life for our young residents.”

The Suffolk County Youth Bureau was established as a distinct entity within the Office of the County Executive more than a quarter century ago.

Wednesday
Aug202014

Burr Intermediate School Gets A New Interim Principal - Paul K. Schmelter

Paul K. SchmelterThe Commack Board of Education has appointed Mr. Paul K. Schmelter as the interim principal at Burr Intermediate School. Former principal Rhonda Pratt has returned to her previous position in West Islip Schools.

A graduate of Stony Brook University, Mr. Schmelter was a political science major and received his Masters Degree in Social Studies Education. He also earned his Educational Leadership certification at Stony Brook. He began his teaching career in private schools, and joined the Commack team in 1998. In addition to teaching, Mr. Schmelter served as a dean of discipline at the middle school, and as the Director of the Commack Teacher Center from its inception until 2012, when he became an assistant principal.

“Mr. Schmelter is a very well-respected and experienced academic leader in this District,” said Superintendent Dr. Donald James. “He is the consummate professional, and knows this District and its students.”

Mr. Schmelter lives in Huntington with his wife and two children. He recently completed his first skydiving jump, visited the Grand Canyon, and is empowered to keep checking things off of his ever expanding bucket list. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead the team at Burr. I am really looking forward to working with the students, staff and parents at this amazing school.”

Mr. Schmelter will serve as the interim principal at Burr until a search process is completed.

Thursday
Aug142014

People In The News - Commack's Samantha Sclafani, Ashley Ferraro And Matt Rafanelli - Making Hospitalized Children Smile!

By Dana Klosner

(click on photos to enlarge)

Commack High School alumni Samantha Sclafani 19,  Ashley Ferraro, 18 and Matt Rafanelli, 19, have combined their love of fantasy, musical theater and kids to create “Characters with a Cause,” a volunteer group that brings the joy of fairy tales to hospitalized children and fundraisers throughout Long Island and the New York area.

The group dons the costumes inspired by Disney, popular fairy tales, superheroes and pirates and will go to the hospital rooms of sick children, some terminally ill and bring gifts, like coloring books, crayons and nail polish, just to see the smiles on their faces.

“We love fairy tale stories and the joy that brings,” said Sclafani who did all the high school musicals with Ferraro and Rafanelli. “We thought, ‘How cool would it be to bring the joy of fairy tales to hospitals?’ Children in hospitals can’t go to theme parks to meet their favorite characters, so we wanted to bring their favorite characters to them. In addition to that, we get donations from loved ones and supporters and the hospitals provide us with a wish list of what the children want. Then we personally give the presents to the kids. We want to promote smiles, hope and healing through fairy tale characters.”

The group hand makes their costumes. They make sure they are soft, not fragile or frilly and nothing can fall off in the hospital.

“We have fun making the costumes and we alter our costumes based on hospital dress code,” Sclafani said. “When we start from scratch it can take up to two weeks to complete a costume, so these things have to be booked months in advance.”

The group has been together and been involved in fundraisers doing “meet and greets” with kids for about a year now. They appeared at a fundraiser for Contractors for Kids. They will be visiting hospitals for the first time on August 19 and 20. The group has been contracted to perform at Stony Brook Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital.

“They came to me with awareness that the needs of sick children are different than those of well children,” said Joan Alpers, Child Life Specialist at Good Samaritan Hospital. “Sick children are naturally frightened by the hospital setting. They (Characters with a Cause) were aware that hospitalized children don’t feel well and they need to be reassured and soothed as opposed to entertained.”

“There’s something about having a child’s favorite character come through,” said Mike Attard, Child Life Specialist at Stony Brook Hospital. “It puts a sparkle in their eyes.”

Sclafani is hoping the visits at these two hospitals are the start of something bigger. 

“We really want to spread the joy over the holidays and bring gifts to the children that they possibly wouldn’t get due to medical bills,” she said. “We don’t want them to suffer because of their illness. We want to strive to take the worry off parents around the holidays. We want the kids and their parents to see that there are people out there who really care about them. We want to take away that sickness for a moment. We want them to forget about their struggle and give them a reason to smile. We want them to feel this is their special day – they are the special guest and we’re so excited to meet them.”

“We want to give a big thank you to all who have supported us,” Sclafani said.
They have supported and inspired us to keep spreading smiles.” 

This is a volunteer organization. They are not a non-profit foundation so donations are not tax deductible. If you are interested in donating go to www.youcaring.com/characterswithacause.

Wednesday
Aug132014

Danielle Cinone, Smithtown And Dana Wachter, Nesconset Finalists In Ms. Long Island 2015

On Sunday, August 10th, during a live competition, Long Island’s newest Queens were crowned!

Photo Credit: Image Nation Photography Danielle Cinone of Smithtown - Second from right Dana Wachter of Nesconset- Far rightCongratulations to… Miss Long Island 2015, Jenna Tirado of Manorville - Miss Long Island Teen 2015, Geena Cardalena of Floral Park

MISS FINALISTS

WINNER:    Miss Long Island 2015, Jenna Tirado of Manorville

1st runner up, Ashley Edwards of West Hempstead

2nd runner up, Danielle Cinone of Smithtown

3rd runner up, Hayley Riesel of Oceanside

4th runner up, Dana Wachter of Nesconset

Miss Photogenic, Jenna Tirado of Manorville

Miss Congeniality, Hayley Riesel of Oceanside

Miss Community, Aja DiLorenzo of Ridge

Directors Award, Sabina Lotlikar of Hicksville

National Pageantry Spirit Award, Dana Wachter of Nesconset

TEEN FINALISTS - WINNER: Miss Long Island Teen 2015, Geena Cardalena of Floral Park

1st runner up, Danielle Harloff of Mt. Sinai

2nd runner up, Katherine Sreckovich of Glen Head

3rd runner up, Julia Frangeskos of East Quogue

4th runner up, Kristen Murphy of Bellmore

Miss Photogenic, Geena Cardalena of Floral Park

Miss Congeniality, Geena Cardalena of Floral Park

Miss Community, Jessica DeStefano of West Islip

Directors Award, Brielle Caturano of Smithtown

The Miss Long Island and Miss Long Island Teen Pageant is comprised of three equally scored phases of competition: interview, swimsuit competition, and evening gown competition. The highest scoring contestants will advance to the Top 10, where they deliver a platform statement to the audience, discussing which cause they would choose to support should they be crowned as Miss Long Island or Miss Long Island Teen. The five highest scoring delegates in that phase of competition will then advance to the Top 5, where they answer an on-stage interview question. 

The winners of the Miss Long Island and Miss Long Island Teen Pageant will advance to compete at Donald Trump’s Miss New York USA and Miss New York Teen USA Pageant in January!

Photo Credit: Image Nation Photography