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A Sign of Our Times




Grand Jury Report critical of Smithtown town
nments supervision
of commercial
property demolition…

The Grand Jury Report is public record and available at the link below. It is 40 pages, but double spaced, and well worth the few minutes it takes to read it.

Please feel free to share your comments with us.

Click on link for Full Report






Sign of our Times

By Eric Sailor

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DOJ: N.Y. And N.J. Gas Stations Put Groundwater At Risk Of Contamination

Defendants Repeatedly Violated Regulations Governing Underground Storage Tanks at Gas Stations, Putting Groundwater at Risk of Contamination

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. – Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Peter D. Lopez, Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), announced today that the United States has filed a civil lawsuit against Genesis Petroleum, Inc., and 20 of its associated companies, (collectively, “Defendants”), for violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) at 13 separate gas stations within the Eastern District of New York and the  District of New Jersey.  The violations alleged in the complaint involve Defendants’ improper management of 38 underground storage tanks at 13 of Defendants’ gas stations.  These tanks typically contain gasoline and diesel fuel and can cause serious environmental damage if allowed to leak. 

The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief to assure Defendants’ future compliance with RCRA and an order imposing civil penalties for Defendants’ violations of up to $16,000 per tank for each day of violation. 

As alleged in the complaint filed today in federal court in Central Islip, New York, Defendants repeatedly violated RCRA and its related regulations at various times from 2012 to 2016.  These violations included failing to install spill and overfill prevention equipment, failing to perform release (i.e., leak or spill) detection and failing to maintain and provide records of release detection monitoring.  In some instances, Defendants failed to secure underground storage tanks that were temporarily closed, and failed to investigate or report suspected releases.  In another instance, EPA inspectors observed a visibly corroded storage tank at one of Defendants’ stations.  At times, Defendants also failed to cooperate with the EPA by refusing to permit station inspections and by failing to respond to the EPA’s requests for information about the underground storage tanks that they owned and/or operated.

“The Defendants’ repeated violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act put groundwater at risk of contamination, potentially endangering the health and safety of residents of Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York as well as residents of New Jersey,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “We are committed to enforcing the laws protecting our residents from hazardous wastes and the dangers they pose.”

 “Failure to monitor and maintain tanks to prevent leaks can pose a serious safety risk, as the leaking underground tanks can release toxic components that can seep into the soil and the groundwater,” said EPA Regional Administrator Peter D. Lopez.  “These violations are all too common, and EPA is working to ensure that we hold the companies responsible for properly managing their tanks to reduce these risks where these gas stations are located.”

While the violations alleged in the complaint do not pose an immediate threat to the drinking water of the areas’ residents, compliance with the RCRA’s leak prevention regulations for underground storage tanks is vital to ensure the integrity of tanks and prevent the release of petroleum product to soil and groundwater.  Petroleum products such as gasoline contain chemical compounds that pose substantial threats to human health.  When operated conscientiously and monitored closely, underground storage tanks are a safe and effective means to store gasoline.  But when tanks are not subjected to basic operational safeguards, they can endanger the public and the environment, for example by leaking petroleum into the water supply, discharging toxic vapors into the air, or even triggering fires or explosions.  EPA’s regulations under RCRA are designed to protect the public by requiring underground storage tank operators to reduce the likelihood of leaks and monitor for leaks so they can promptly be addressed.

The matter is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jolie Apicella of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, working with Lee Spielmann, Assistant Regional Counsel, EPA Region 2, and Paul Sacker, Senior Enforcement Officer, EPA Region 2.

The Defendants:

Genesis Petroleum, Inc.

Technic Management, Inc.

Gulden Inc.

2664 RT 112 Realty Corp.

607 Station Road Realty Inc.

1000 Motor Parkway Central Islip LLC

616 Broadway LLC

Freeport Realty LLC

199 E. Sunrise Highway Realty Corp.

465 Nassau Road Realty Corp.

Camlica, Inc.

Kucukbey Corp.

North Country Road Realty LLC

Elizabeth NJPO LLC

Elizabeth NJPG LLC

Perth Amboy NJPO LLC

Perth Amboy NJPG LLC



North Bergen NJPO LLC

North Bergen NJPG LLC

Gas Station Locations:

  • 2664 Route 112, Medford, New York
  • 607 Station Road, Bellport, New York
  • 87 North Country Road, Miller Place, New York
  • 616 Route 110, Amityville, New York
  • 6077 Jericho Turnpike, Commack, New York
  • 199 E. Sunrise Highway, Freeport, New York
  • 131 West Merrick, Freeport, New York
  • 465 Nassau Road, Roosevelt, New York
  • 261 East Merrick Road, Freeport, New York
  • 507 Bayway Avenue, Elizabeth, New Jersey
  • 163 Fayette Street, Perth Amboy, New Jersey
  • 66-80 Bloomfield Avenue, Newark, New Jersey
  • 8012 Tonnelle Avenue, North Bergen, New Jersey

June Job Fairs



Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced that the Suffolk County One-Stop Employment Center will host a range of employment events in June to assist residents in their job searches. In addition to hosting job fairs with a variety of employers in attendance, a number of individual businesses will seek new employees at hiring events hosted by the Suffolk County Department of Labor held throughout June.

“While unemployment in Suffolk County remains historically low, our goal is to connect any and all residents looking for work to meaningful and gainful employment,”said County Executive Steve Bellone. “I encourage all residents who are interested in furthering their career to reach out to our hiring experts and visit the One Stop Employment Center in Hauppauge today.”

The Suffolk County One-Stop Employment Center will host two job fairs this month. The first will take place on Thursday, June 6 from 10:00AM – 1:00PM at the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library located at 407 William Floyd Pkwy in Shirley. Nearly 30 employers will be in attendance including Arrow Security, Catholic Charities, Mental Health and Wellness, Walmart, and Tate’s Bake Shop. 

The second job fair will take place on Thursday, June 27 from 10:00AM – 2:00PM at the Suffolk County One-Stop Employment Center located at 725 Veterans Memorial Highway in Hauppauge. Participating employers include QuickChek, Advance Care Alliance and Ideal Home Care Services. Registration is not necessary for either event.

 In addition to the job fairs, the employment center will host two hiring events. At the first hiring event on Wednesday, June 19 from 9:00AM –12:00PM at the Suffolk County One-Stop Employment Center, Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI) will be recruiting for Assistant Residence Managers, Direct Care Counselors, and Direct Support Professionals. Positions require a NYS Driver’s License for more than 18 months and a High School Diploma or Equivalent. DDI offers free paid-training, outstanding benefits, generous paid time off, and numerous opportunities for growth.

The second hiring event on Thursday, June 20 from 9:30AM – 12:30PM at Suffolk County One-Stop Employment Center will feature QuickChek. QuickChek is recruiting for both a full and part-time Team Member, a Food Service Manager, an Assistant Store Manager, and Store Manager in Training.

If you are in need of proper interview attire, please contact CAREER COUTURE at 631-853-6769. For more information, visitwww.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/Labor/Employment-Center.


Senators Gillibrand And Casey Introduce The Grandfamilies Act

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Bob Casey (D-PA) today announced legislation to help ease the financial burden of grandparents and other family caregivers who are raising children because of the opioid crisis. The Grandfamilies Act is based on the success of legislation that was signed into law last year to help grandparents easily find the resources they need when raising grandchildren such as navigating the school system, planning for their families’ future, addressing mental health issues for themselves and their grandchildren, and building social and support networks. The Grandfamilies Act is also cosponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH).

“As the opioid epidemic continues to tear apart families all over the country, Congress must do everything it can to help protect the children who have been hurt by this crisis,” said Senator Gillibrand“I am proud to cosponsor this bill to help support the hardworking grandparents and family caregivers who have taken on the responsibility of raising grandchildren because of the opioid epidemic. This legislation would help families across New York and around the country manage this crisis, and I urge my colleagues to quickly pass it into law.” 

“All across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, grandparents caring for grandchildren continue to tell me that they need more help,” said Senator Casey“I believe the federal government needs to do more. This is why I introduced the Grandfamilies Act to help relieve some of the financial burden many grandparents face as they take on the unexpected challenge of parenting a second time around. I will continue to the fight to ensure that grandparents who are doing this selfless work have what they need.”

Specifically, the Grandfamilies Act would do the following:

·         increase access to Social Security child’s benefits and the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families cash assistance program.

·         incentivize states to create temporary guardianship laws for grandparents who need to step in quickly to help a grandchild.

·         provide support for housing specifically provided for grandparents raising grandchildren.

The Grandfamilies Act is supported by Generations United, American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Defense Fund, LeadingAge, National Council on Aging, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, and Social Security Works.


Legislator Considering Law Prohibiting Employers From Asking Criminal History

Legislature to Consider Law Prohibiting Employers From Asking About Criminal History of Job Applications, An Agreement With Hudson River Health Care for Operation of Suffolk’s Health Centers, Creating A Park Stewardship Pilot Program, Codifying Specifics Within the Legislature’s Page Program 

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y.  –   Members of the Suffolk County Legislature are expected to consider a law that would prohibit employers in Suffolk County from having a “check box” on job applications indicating a prospective employee’s criminal history at their June 4 meeting at the William H. Rogers Legislature Building on Veterans Memorial Highway in Hauppauge. The general meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m.

The law also would prohibit employers from circulating or advertising a job offering that places direct or indirect limitations on a position based upon an individual’s arrest or criminal history. Positions within the police department, fire rescue and emergency services, the Sheriff’s office the District Attorney’s office and the Probation Department would be exempt.

Legislators will also weigh directing the County Attorney to execute a contract with Hudson River Health Care (HRHCare) for the continued operation of the County’s eight healthcare centers for the next five years at a cost of $12,000,000 per year, in light of the County Executive’s failure to forward the contract to the Legislature for ratification. Officials for HRHCare have said that without the funding, locations throughout Suffolk may be permanently closed. 

Also under consideration is the creation of a pilot Parks Stewardship Program for unstaffed and maintained county parks that would allow individual or group volunteers to apply to the Parks Commissioner to become Park Stewards. The pilot program would begin with 10 County parks for one year, at which time the Parks Department can permanently implement the program. 

Lawmakers will also consider formally creating a 12-week Legislative Page Program modeled after Suffolk County’s Page Program that has been in effect since 2015. The program is intended to give college and technical school students a first-hand experience within local County government. With the program’s formal creation, there would be an annual budget detailing supplies, food and other miscellaneous expenses incurred during the program’s administration.

Legislators will also consider: 

  •  Authorizing a land acquisition for 4.43+ acres for Open Space Preservation for the Stone Point Group, LLC property, Whiskey Road, Town of Brookhaven;
  •  Authorizing a land acquisition for 20.67+ acre parcel located along Main Road in Laurel; 
  • Requiring that Statewide Mass Transit Operating Assistance (STOA) funding be appropriated for public transportation purposes and that County funds are not removed to offset the funds received;
  • Directing veterans services to compile and distribute a comprehensive Veterans Resource Guide to find information about benefits, services and contact information for veterans’ programs;
  • Reappoint Linda A. Spahr to the five member Suffolk County Board of Ethics as the Minority Leader’s appointment.

 There are several Public Hearings scheduled as well, set to begin at 2:00 pm. They include:

  • A law to gain and retain workforce (Grow Act) and amend the Suffolk County Housing Opportunities Program so that re-payment of student loans could be factored into income calculations for the purposes of determining income qualifications;
  • Enacting a Campaign Finance Reform Act to limit campaign contributions from County contractors and public employee unions;
  • Clarifying contracts with non-profits operating County Park Facilities to use the donation of materials or labor as part of the Capital investment required for them to maintain their contract; 
  • Creating a Women Veterans Advisory Board, made up of 11 female veteran members  to provide a platform to advocate for the best interest of their community, make recommendations on proposed legislation and submit an annual report to the Legislature;
  • Creating a specific exemption from Open Space Preservation in the Mastic-Shirley Conservation Area for a parcel located at 2 Violet Road in Mastic Beach;
  • Establishing a veterans preference when renting County-owned park facilities;
  • Ensuring IDA beneficiaries provide fair and equitable wages (The Equal Pay for Equal Skills Act);
  • Eliminating the County’s $75 cremation approval fee paid to the Medical Examiner;
  • Authorizing the County Executive to execute Agreements for the sale of one acres of excess land in the Suffolk County Sewer District NO. 26 – Melville Huntington to the Greens at Half Hollow Homeowners Association;
  • Establishing a Sustainable Energy Loan Program (Open C-PACE)

 For additional information, visit www.scnylegislature.us/ or contact Fran Evans at (631)853-5499. 



Smithtown Man Sentenced To 18 Months For Threatening Two Senators


Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, Ronald DeRisi was sentenced by United States Circuit Judge Joseph F. Bianco to 18 months’ imprisonment for threatening to assault and kill two sitting United States Senators in retaliation for their support of the nomination and confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.  As part of his sentence, DeRisi was ordered to forfeit two firearms to the United States.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Acting Chief Steven Sund, United States Capitol Police, announced the sentence.

“Our political process allows for vigorous debate, but not destruction.  Threatening to harm or kill elected officials because one disagrees with their public positions goes far beyond the scope of the First Amendment and will not be tolerated,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “We will not allow individuals to influence political decision-making through criminal threats.”  Mr. Donoghue thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Suffolk County Police Department for their assistance in the case.    

“I also want to thank our USCP investigators, and all of our partners in successfully investigating and prosecuting this case,” said Acting Capitol Police Chief Sund.

In September and October of 2018, DeRisi telephoned and left approximately 12 anonymous, threatening voice-messages at the offices of two United States Senators, both of whom were publicly supporting the nomination and confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.  DeRisi’s threats, which were made both before and after Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation, included threatening to shoot one of the Senators in the head with a 9mm firearm.  When DeRisi was arrested on October 19, 2018, members of law enforcement recovered live 9mm ammunition during the execution of a search warrant at his residence.     

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division.  Assistant United States Attorney Justina L. Geraci is in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendant:

Ronald DeRisi
Age: 75
Smithtown, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-CR-090 (JFB)



Schumer : Internet Speed Much Slower Than Providers Advertise



On the heels of an all too rosy report on broadband coverage delivered last week by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and with a new independent report on broadband internet speed in hand, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is singling out specific New York data that shows slow internet speed is likely plaguing roughly 4.7 million New Yorkers in the City and Long Island alone. Schumer, today, said that a recent report by Microsoft calls into question the way by which the FCC reports on broadband coverage, collects the information that delivers the data, and regulates broadband provider’s advertising of internet speeds.  Schumer is urging the FCC and providers to take corrective action that ensures accurate reporting and better coverage, which translates into fairer price. Schumer also announced that Tim Wu, Professor at Columbia Law School and ‘New Neutrality’ pioneer, has backed his push today. 

“While we live in an era of faster and faster, the reality of internet speed across New York is that it may move more like molasses than lighting,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer

“The cable and phone companies have routinely deceived the public when it comes to the broadband speeds they promise and what they deliver. And unfortunately the FCC has been complicit in this deception for many years. Senator Schumer is right to demand that the FCC stop working for industry and start doing its job,” said Tim Wu, Professor at Columbia Law School and “Net Neutrality” pioneer.

Schumer is urging the FCC to conduct a thorough review into the huge disparity between the provider-supplied data and the data generated by specific households and their internet devices via this study. Specifically, Schumer is calling into question federal policy that allows providers to account for areas where they are not actually providing service. In fact, service providers can use the coverage of one household in a census block to account for coverage throughout the entire area. The FCC then uses this faulty data, which is self-reported by providers to the agency, to assess the state of broadband access in America and complete its annual broadband report. Schumer wants the FCC and providers to take corrective action that ensures accurate reporting and better coverage, which translates into fairer price.  

“The FCC needs to account for the massive disparity in reported speeds and the real frustration of many New Yorkers who are at a net loss all around when their internet service is slow, possibly paying for speeds that are not as advertised and losing out on their own productivity. The bottom line here is that if this is a problem in New York City, then this is a real issue across America,” Schumer added.

Broadband is a transmission technique that enables a large number of messages to be communicated simultaneously. Broadband speed is important, because the faster your internet is, the more you can do online. It also means more people can use the internet at the same time without affecting each other’s consumption. Because of its high access speeds, broadband internet service is the most used form of internet access. 25 megabits per second (mbps) is the minimum broadband speed for downloads as defined by the FCC.

The discrepancy between the FCC’s and Microsoft’s broadband data is particularly relevant in New York City and Long Island. The FCC reports that the percentage of people who don’t use internet at broadband speeds in NYC and Long Island counties is less than 1%. However, the recent study shows a massive disparity in those numbers. 

The following table shows how the FCC’s findings massively underestimate the actual percentage of people without access to high speed internet:



% of people without true broadband or slower than acceptable internet speeds according to FCC

% of people without true broadband or slower than acceptable internet speeds according to study

New York City





61% or 894,000



55% or 1,500,000



36% or 592,000 people



48% or 1,100,000 people

Staten Island


50% or 242,000 people

Long Island



Nassau County


9% or 125,000 people

Suffolk County


20% or 311,000 people



4,764,000 New Yorkers


According to Microsoft’s study, about 162.8 million Americans do not use the internet at acceptable or advertised broadband speeds, an estimate that is far greater than the FCC’s estimate of 24.7 million people without broadband access. In New York, Microsoft estimates that 8.7 million people are not using true high-speed internet, as opposed to the FCC’s estimate of 400,000 people. Rural communities are at the biggest disadvantage, often relying on coverage that does not exceed 25 megabits per second (mbps).  

Microsoft’s study also found that counties with the highest unemployment have the lowest broadband access. In the past five years, $22 billion in subsidies and grants have been given to telecom companies to improve broadband coverage in rural America, although these efforts have not resulted in any effective outcomes.

Each year, the FCC completes a Broadband Deployment Report to assess improvements in consumer access to broadband. The 2019 Report that was released just last week and it indicates that nearly 18% more Americans have access to broadband than the previous year. However, Schumer said that the clear gaps in coverage highlighted by the FCC’s reporting methods call into question the findings of the recent report and the agency’s progress in truly closing the digital divide. 


Is A Plank As Effective As Doing Crunches? The U.S. Marines Say Yes

Is there a plank in your future? The Marine Corp has decided to abandon the required abdominal crunches and sit-ups on their physical fitness test and added planks.

According to Marine Times Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller has approved planks as an alternative to abdominal crunches on the physical fitness test, or PFT, according to Marine officials.

Come Jan. 1, 2020, Marines will have the option of holding their body in a plank position or ripping out crunches on the PFT, according to officials at Training and Education Command, Force Fitness Division.

To hit a perfect score, a Marine will need to hold a plank for four minutes and 20 seconds, and there will only be one scoring table for both male and female Marines across all age groups, officials said. Read more at Marine Times


County Parks Huge Hit With 25,000 Visitors Over Memorial Day Weekend

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced that Suffolk County parks, beaches and campgrounds welcomed an estimated 25,000 visitors during Memorial Day Weekend. This milestone marks a significant achievement for the StaySuffolk tourism campaign that is designed to promote Suffolk County Parks, promote local tourism, and highlight popular destinations and regional attractions.

“The investments that we have, and are continuing to make, in our County Parks have brought in new visitors, excitement, and revenue,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. “With the unofficial start of summer behind us, I encourage Suffolk County residents to continue visiting our county facilities and amenities that the entire family can enjoy.”

Discover Long Island CEO Kristen Jarnagin said: “The latest Smith Travel Research statistics show double digit growth in both hotel occupancy and rates for the region. Not only do we expect to have a great summer season but the outlook for the year ahead is strong with the visitor economy generating tax revenue and supporting small businesses across the island. Tourism continues to thrive on Long Island as result of collaboration and strategic initiatives that continue to raise destination awareness and increase visitor attraction.”

During Memorial Day weekend this year, 90 percent of Suffolk County Parks Beaches experienced full capacity with all parks facilities, attracting more than 7,000 vehicles and an estimated 24,500 visitors. The increased visitation resulted in more than $100,000 in revenue being generated at county parks, the highest since prior 2015. This represents a nearly 120 percent increase in revenue compared to the year prior and a 285 percent increase from 2017. 

MDW Parking






Vehicles Parked






Estimated Visitors*






Revenue Generated






Additionally, Suffolk County campgrounds experienced a spike in campground nights stayed with approximately 80 percent of County Park Campgrounds being booked over Memorial Day Weekend. The following campgrounds sold out with 100 percent of available campsites being booked over the holiday weekend; Smith Point County Park, Shinnecock East County Park, Cupsogue County Park, Montauk County Park.

Suffolk County is home to hundreds of miles of pristine, world-class beaches that are regarded as among the best in the country. Cupsogue Beach was named one of the top ten best beaches in New York State by USA Today.

In 2018, Suffolk County enjoyed a nine percent increase in the number of seasonal parking passes sold as well as a 4% increase in camping revenue with already over 17,500 camping reservations booked. While spring storms and nor’easters caused widespread erosion early in the season, Outer Beach camping reservations spiked five percent with over 3200 reservations made in a truncated period of time.

Additionally, due to streamlined communication with the Department of Environmental Conversation (DEC) and innovative approaches for Piping Plover protection, Suffolk County was able to keep all Outer Beaches open, with limited access, throughout plover season for the first time. Not only was this a resounding success for beachgoers and patrons, Suffolk County also had a record number of piping plover pairs, and fledges in 2018.

Long Island boasts a $5.6 billion tourism industry and welcomes more than 9 million visitors each year. Suffolk County benefits from a $2.9 billion impact each year. In Suffolk County, more than $352 million in local and state taxes are generated alone by tourism. The tourism industry here in Suffolk County employs approximately 40,000 employees each year alone.


Police Have Identified Deceased Man Found With Gunshot Wound

A sanitation worker collecting garbage observed the body of a man on the side of Spruce Street, south of Jefferson Avenue in Wyandanch Thursday at approximately 7:15 a.m. The man was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner.

Police have identified the man as Terrance L. Mitchell, 40, of Flatbush, Brooklyn. Homicide Squad detectives said Mitchell was shot in the head and it is possible he was killed in an unknown location before being transported and left on the side of the road.


***Traffic Advisory For Brookhaven Fair***


The Suffolk County Police Department is reminding motorists that parking for the Brookhaven Fair in Medford is limited to designated parking lots only. There is no parking permitted on Long Island Avenue or Express Drive South. Vehicles parked outside the designated parking lots will be ticketed and will be towed. Motorists are advised to expect delays in the area.

The fair is scheduled be held Friday through Sunday for the next three weeks.