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Monday
Sep162019

Suffolk County's Fall Schedule For County Parks

COUNTY EXECUTIVE BELLONE ANNOUNCES FALL SCHEDULE FOR SUFFOLK COUNTY PARKS

Free Parking at County Parks, Twilight Golf Times Moved to 2:00 PM, Beach Horseback Riding and Archery Permits Go On Sale

County Executive Steve Bellone today announced the Suffolk County Park’s Department’s fall schedule for County park facilities. After another successful year with increased attendance across all county parks, beaches and campgrounds, the County Executive released the fall schedule, which includes dates for hunting and horseback riding permit availability, as well as numerous events.

“With the leaves changing and the weather cooling off, fall is the best time of the year for residents and visitors to experience some of the most exciting things that Suffolk County Parks have to offer,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “Whether you enjoy archery, horseback riding or one of the many annual events hosted at our facilities, Suffolk County’s parks have something for everyone.”

The County Executive additionally announced that all County campgrounds will remain open through Veterans Day with the exception of Smith Point which will be closed on November 3rd for the Annual Girl Scouts Lights Show.

As of September 9th 2019, the following parks changes are in effect:

  • ·  Parking Fees for all County Parks have been suspended until Memorial Day 2020.  
  • ·  Twilight Fees at County Golf Courses changes to 2:00PM. Applicable at Bergen Point, Indian Island, Timber Point and West Sayville Golf Courses.  
  • ·  Fall Group Horseback Riding Permits go on sale for Beach Horseback Riding.  

Below is a list of important dates and upcoming events at Suffolk County Parks locations this fall:

September 21

Yaphank Historical Society Fall Community Yard Sale – 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM 

The Hawkins House

111 Yaphank Avenue, Yaphank NY

Set up on the Hawkins House lawns. No reservation necessary. Rain date, Sunday September 22nd. 

September 29

Long Island Steamers Run Day — 10:30 AM - 3:00 PM

Southaven County Park

175 Gerard Rd

Yaphank, NY

LI Live Steamers is a 501(c)3, not for profit operating for the education and enjoyment of the public, and to preserve the history and wonderment of the glory days of railroading. Our twice monthly Sun Run Days find rideable steam, diesel and electric trains operating on eight acres of scale tracks 

October 6

Mourning at the Manor –10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Sagtikos Manor 

677 Montauk Hwy

Bay Shore, NY

Join us for a historic fall festival featuring a funeral procession and meet the cemetery spirits. Take a self-guided tour of the manor, meet the family and learn about funeral traditions. On the grounds, meet the 3rd NY reenactors and visit our Colonial Demonstrators, sheep shearing event and more. Family fun for the kids include children’s games and activities. Listen to live music and shop from the many vendors. For more information: 631-587-3693 or kathy@sagtikosmanor.org.

 

12th Fat Tire Festival and Mountain Bike Race –9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Cathedral Pines County Park

116 Yaphank Middle Island Rd

Middle Island, NY

C.L.I.M.B. (Concerned Long Island Mountain Bikers) annual gathering of the mountain bike tribe. There are four different trails that total 65 miles of fast, fun, flowy trails.  Camping available Saturday night. Demo bikes available to try for free on the trails from Niner and Cannondale!

October 11 (Every weekend through October 26)

Deepwells Haunted Mansion

2 Taylor Lane

Saint James, NY

In October we open our doors and welcome you in, to tour our screamingly horrific Deepwells Haunted Mansion. Enter the front door and explore room after room, floor after floor, of horrific scenes and creepy clowns, spiders galore and keep your eye out for the scientific experiments gone wrong!  

October 12

Puppyup Walk — 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Blydenburgh County Park

Veteran’s Memorial Highway

Smithtown, NY

The Puppy Up Foundation is committed to discovering the common links between canine and human cancers and the causes of these cancers through comparative oncology research. No Fees, must raise $25 to walk.

October 13

Long Island Dressage Association Fall Classic — 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Old Field Farm

East Setauket, NY

Dressage is the art of riding and training a horse in a manner that develops obedience, flexibility, and balance.

Long Island Steamers Run Day — 10:30 AM - 3:00 PM

Southaven County Park

175 Gerard Rd

Yaphank, NY

LI Live Steamers is a 501(c)3, not for profit operating for the education & enjoyment of the public, and to preserve the history and wonderment of the glory days of railroading. Our twice monthly Sun Run Days find rideable steam, diesel and electric trains operating on eight acres of scale tracks. 

October 19

Bats & Brews Benefit – 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM

The Scully Mansion

A Fundraiser to Support Seatuck Environmental Association and the Conservation of Long Island Wildlife & the Environment. Features Long Island’s Homegrown Craft Beer with 50+ Beers from 25 Long Island Brewers & Food and Education. Admission $100 Includes: Bat Lecture, local craft-brewed beer, beer-friendly food buffets and live music. Phone: 631-581-6908 Email: staff@seatuck.org

October 21 

Hercules on the Harbor – 7:30 AM

Old Field Farm

East Setauket, NY

The Hercules on the Harbor 10k is a challenging course with many ups and downs that covers both on and off-road terrain which highlights many of Stony Brook’s landmarks, including the beautiful village green, the scenic marina and harbor, the spectacular Avalon Park & Preserve, Harmony Vineyards, the Stony Brook Duck Pond, the Grist Mill, and the charming residential community. The course offers both novice and seasoned runners memorable moments that will keep them returning year after year. The Hercules on the Harbor 10K is a timed event as well as a USA Track and Field Sanctioned course that will have live music along the course route to encourage runners to conquer some of the more challenging inclines. Proceeds of this event will support the Stony Brook Hospital Cancer Research Center 

October 25

Long Island Maritime Museum Boat Burning – 5:00 PM

Long Island Maritime Museum

88 West Ave

West Sayville, NY

This event is loosely based on the Norse tradition of a Viking funeral. But, it’s also holiday-appropriate and a whole lot of fun. Each year, one of the many boats that are donated to the museum is chosen for the occasion. The only criterion for this event is that the boat should be made of wood and is neither usable nor repairable. Then, with onlookers placed a safe distance away, volunteers from the West Sayville Fire Department inspect the vessel thoroughly to assure it is completely vacant of all living things. They then douse it with flammable liquid before creating the largest bonfire in all of Long Island.

October 27

Bobby Jones Chiari, Syringomyelia, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome unite@night – 3:00 PM – 5:30 PM

West Hills County Park

Sweet Hollow Rd

Melville, NY

Unite@night is a collection of one-mile casual walks and social events around the country that bring together people who are living with the devastating effects of Chiari malformation, Syringomyelia, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and related disorders. Bring your awareness colors to the walk.  You only need to walk as far and raise as much as you can. Every step, roll or crawl is a move in the right direction towards relief from pain for so many. Raising funds for educational, advocacy, awareness and research programs!

Long Island Steamers Run Day — 10:30 AM - 3:00 PM

Southaven County Park

175 Gerard Rd

Yaphank, NY

LI Live Steamers is a 501(c)3, not for profit operating for the education & enjoyment of the public, and to preserve the history and wonderment of the glory days of railroading. Our twice monthly Sun Run Days find rideable steam, diesel and electric trains operating on eight acres of scale tracks. The smiles of visiting children & adults alike, really explain what LILS is all about.

 

Wednesday
Sep112019

SUFFOLK CLOSEUP - Was Hurricane Dorian Just The Beginning? 

SUFFOLK CLOSEUP

By Karl Grossman

Global warming is producing atom bomb versions of hurricanes.

That was the case with Hurricane Dorian and other Category 5 (winds at 157 miles per hour or higher which is the most destructive level on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) and Category 4 hurricanes (winds of 130 to 156 miles per hour) that have been developing with frequency in recent years. 

Long Island avoided a Dorian direct hit. But as U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer declared last week at a press conference in Island Park in Nassau County, major hurricanes are in the offing. He held up in one hand a photo from space of Dorian and in his other one of Sandy, a hurricane which switched to being a “super-storm” when it struck Long Island with 80 miles per hour winds in 2012 and still did enormous damage. The senator declared: “This was Sandy…This is Dorian. We’re not saying Dorian will hit but in the next few years there will be more hurricanes like this. We got to make sure that if, God forbid, they come our way, we’re protected.” He advocated an extension of an Army Corps of Engineers “Back Bay Study” in Nassau on which $3 million has already been spent looking into bulkheading, tidal gates and other measures.

Long Island needs to “be protected” but, to be realistic, “protection” from a Category 5 or 4 hurricane is illusory. Consider the video out of the Bahamas last week—wreckage, mile after mile, houses and businesses torn apart. It was complete devastation. Could the folks of the Bahamas have been “protected” from Dorian with its sustained winds of 185 miles per hour (and gusts up to 220)? 

Regarded as the worst hurricane to hit Long Island is what subsequently was called the Long Island Express and also Great New England Hurricane of 1938. Hurricanes then were not given human names. And there was no Saffir-Simpson Scale then, but it has since been considered as a Category 3 (winds between 111 and 129 miles per hour). 

We need to put our full energy into strongly reducing the causes of global warming and climate change which have heated the waters on which hurricanes feed thus producing super-hurricanes.

As The Atlantic magazine said in a headline last week: “Hurricane Dorian Is Not A Freak Storm. Its record-breaking power is in line with recent, worrisome trends.” The article noted that “since records began in 1851, only one storm in the Atlantic had more powerful winds.”

As the headline in The Guardian newspaper stated: “Global heating made Hurricane Dorian bigger, wetter—and more deadly.” The sub-head: “We know that warm waters fuel hurricanes, and Dorian was strengthened by waters well above average temperatures.” 

This article related how the Bahamas is seen as “a dream vacation spot. But Hurricane Dorian turned that dream into a nightmare. And the worst part is this is only the beginning. Because unless we confront the climate crisis, warming will turn more and more of our fantastic landscapes, cities we call paradise and other dream destinations into nightmarish hellscapes.”

The Army Corps of Engineers has believed that sea walls, rock groins, revetments, bulkheads and other “hard structures” will “fortify” the shore and fend off hurricanes.

A major Army Corps scheme I first started writing about when I began as a journalist on Long Island in 1962 was its then new plan to provide for “hurricane and storm damage reduction” for 83 miles of the south shore from Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point. The plan is still on the books, more than a half-century later, with today a price tag of more than $1 billion.

Seeing the terrible impacts of Dorian—the way it left Hope Town in the Bahamas in shambles—is personal. Years ago, fellow journalist Andrew Botsford, who had captained a fishing boat down there, recommended Hope Town as a marvelous vacation destination. Hope Town is skirted by coral reefs—snorkeling is sublime—and there are beautiful beaches. There’s the red-and-white candy-striped Elbow Reef lighthouse. And a remarkable history. English loyalists migrated to Hope Town after the American Revolution bringing with them colonial architecture—and in Hope Town these buildings are painted in bright Bahamian pastel colors. The royalists mixed with the black inhabitants to create an integrated society. 

Last week, there were photos on the Internet of where we stayed, Hope Town Harbour Lodge—before and after Dorian. The damage is severe. 

For Hope Town and so much of the rest of the Bahamas, it is paradise lost, at least for a time. And, as Senator Schumer said, more bad hurricanes can be expected. We could be hit next. I’ll conclude this series of columns on climate change next week on how we can and must challenge the causes of climate change and global warming. 

Karl Grossman is a veteran investigative reporter and columnist, the winner of numerous awards for his work and a member of the L.I. Journalism Hall of Fame. He is a professor of journalism at SUNY/College at Old Westbury and the author of six books.   

Thursday
Sep052019

2nd Public Hearing For County Wastewater Management Plan Sept. 6

Notice of Public Hearing Regarding Suffolk County Subwatersheds Wastewater Management Plan

Suffolk County will convene two public hearings to receive comments on the implementation of a wastewater management strategy based on the recommendations presented in the Suffolk County Subwatersheds Wastewater Management Plan and the changes to the Suffolk County Sanitary code required to implement these recommendations. The goal of the Subwatersheds Wastewater Management Plan is to reduce nitrogen loading from wastewater sources.  

The first hearing is scheduled for Thursday, September 5, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. at the Suffolk County Legislature Maxine S. Postal Auditorium located at 300 Center Drive in Riverhead.  The second hearing is scheduled for Friday, September 6, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. at the Suffolk County Community College Brentwood Campus Health Sports & Education Center Lecture Hall located at Crooked Hill Road in Brentwood. 

The Suffolk County Subwatersheds Wastewater Management Plan and the associated Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement were subjected to detailed environmental review by Suffolk County’s Council on Environmental Quality and, on August 14, 2019, were deemed satisfactory and complete for the purposes of public comment. 

Potential environmental impacts, both positive and negative, identified during the state environmental quality review scoping and evaluated in the draft generic environmental impact statement, include concerns regarding land-use; consistency with community plans and character; groundwater and surface water resources; natural resources; historic and archeological resources; noise and odors; human health and exposure to contaminants; environmental justice; cumulative impacts to water supply; potential for growth inducement; energy demand and greenhouse gas impacts; unavoidable adverse impacts, and irreversible and irretrievable commitment of resources.

Pursuant to the Citizens Public Participation Act, all citizens are invited to submit testimony, either orally or in writing, at the meeting.  Written comments are requested and will be accepted prior to the meeting and until the close of business September 16, 2019. Send comments to:

Ken Zegel, PE, Associate Public Health Engineer

Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ Office of Ecology
360 Yaphank Avenue, Suite 2B
Yaphank, NY 11980

The Suffolk County Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) was established in 1970 by Article I of the Suffolk County Charter, known as the Environmental Bill of Rights. In 1972 the County established the Suffolk County Historic Trust and designated the CEQ members as trustees of the Historic Trust. Under its mandated Charter responsibilities, the CEQ is advisory to both the County Executive and the County Legislature.

 

Thursday
Sep052019

10 Percent Increase In County Park Attendance In 2019

SUFFOLK COUNTY EXECUTIVE BELLONE ANNOUNCES 10 PERCENT INCREASE IN PARKS ATTENDANCE FOR 2019

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced that Suffolk County beaches welcomed an estimated 425,890 visitors this season that runs from Memorial Day to the Labor Day weekend. This milestone marks a 10 percent increase as compared to 2018. All County Parks also experienced an increase in attendance as compared to the previous year, and visitation to County Parks without beaches more than doubled this year from 11,633 visitors in 2018 to 26,544 visitors in 2019. 

“The investments we are making in our county parks are paying dividends with new visitors, excitement, and revenue generated,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. “As the fall season, approaches I encourage Suffolk County residents to make the most of the amenities available to the public that the entire family can enjoy.”

In 2019, Suffolk County enjoyed a record high number of seasonal permits sold, with more permits sold this year than the three previous years. The number of permits sold this season, which runs from January to Labor Day, was an eight percent increase compared to the previous year.

The campgrounds at Smith Point, Cupsogue, Montauk, Indian Island Southaven and Shinnecock East sold out with 100 percent of available campsites being booked over the Labor day holiday weekend. Suffolk County Parks hosted over 1,000 picnics and special events this year, which included the Suffolk Committee for Camping Kick-off, the Boy Scout Jamboree, SCAME May Day, and numerous Walk-a-thons, Bike-a-thons and Triathlons.   

The announcement comes on the heels of Governor Cuomo announcing statewide tourism numbers are up across the board, with new records for total number of visitors, economic impact and direct spending.

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. 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.

Wednesday
Sep042019

SUFFOLK CLOSEUP - Climate Change Coastal Geology And Smithtown

SUFFOLK CLOSEUP

By Karl Grossman

Climate change is happening. As a result of sea level rise caused by global warming, lowland coastal portions of Long Island will be impacted. This area has an extremely mixed, indeed a contradictory record—that continues—when it comes to its shoreline. There has been both folly on the coast and also people pressing for understanding of coastal dynamics.

The most recent folly has occurred in Montauk: the placement by the Army Corps of Engineers of 14,200 1.7- ton sandbags along Montauk’s shore in 2015 at a cost of $8.9 million. Storms have since hit the 3,100-foot-long stretch of sandbags hard and many had to be re-buried. A year before, in 2014, the Suffolk Legislature passed and County Executive Steve Bellone signed a “cost-sharing” measure providing that the Town of East Hampton pay half the cost of “maintenance” of the sandbags and Suffolk County pay the other half.

The vote was 17-to-1 with only Legislator Al Krupski of Cutchogue voting no.

Mr. Krupski predicted the cost of “maintenance” of the Montauk sandbags would run $1 million a year. He was prescient. On this July 16, the Suffolk Legislature passed a bill providing $502,000 in payment for its share of “maintenance” over the past year and Mr. Bellone signed it.

This means that you, as a Suffolk County taxpayer, are shelling out your money for “maintenance” of the Montauk sandbags—and there’ll be years of “maintenance.”

“I am very familiar with the processes of coastal erosion and the dynamics of the shoreline,” said Mr. Krupski in a 2014 letter to fellow legislators. For 20 years he was a member—14 years president—of the Southold Town Board of Trustees which oversees the shores and adjoining waters of Southold Town. “I believe Suffolk County should not endorse a project that hardens the shoreline. This is a project that, one, is sure to fail and cause accelerated erosion to adjacent properties, and two, puts the maintenance on the shoulders of the entire county.” 

It was not just Mr. Krupski seeking to stop the folly. There were demonstrations and civil disobedience on the beach with protesters arrested trying to stop bulldozers installing sandbags. There was a lawsuit with the Sag Harbor-based organization Defend H20 as key plaintiff.

In recent times, an East Hampton Town-commissioned Montauk Hamlet Report was done and urged relocation of the first line of structures along the Montauk oceanfront, mostly vulnerable motels—but some Montauk business people are objecting. 

Another example of this area’s mixed, contradictory shoreline record is happening in Smithtown. The town is now considering changes in its coastal management plan including restrictions on development in areas likely to be affected by sea level rise. The changes would require that sea level change be considered when siting, designing or approving waterfront projects. They would also require property owners to when “practical” move houses threatened by coastal erosion. The construction of “hard structures”—such as sea walls and rock groins—would be allowed only as a last resort.

But at the same time, the Village of Nissequogue, which is within the Town of Smithtown, is seeking what Kevin McAllister, H20 founding president, describes as “an easing of restrictions for people seeking to build sea walls. The village trustees are no longer requiring environmental review and have eliminated any reference to the structures having an adverse impact on beaches. The village’s plan is in contradiction to the town’s efforts.” He testified against the proposed revisions at a recent public hearing in Nissequoque.

I think back to the 1960s and Smithtown’s supervisor, John V.N. Klein, when he was also chairman of the then Suffolk County Board of Supervisors challenging the Army Corps of Engineers’ scheme to place groins—jetties of rocks extending out into the sea—along the Dune Road Westhampton oceanfront. Mr. Klein understood that with groins it was a case of “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” They would catch sand moving in the ocean’s westward “littoral drift” along Long Island’s south shore and broaden the beaches where they were placed, but at the same time deprive the shoreline to the west of sand. His understanding has been fully confirmed since then by experts in the relatively new science of coastal geology. Mr. Klein faced intense opposition from beach house owners. As a reporter for the daily Long Island Press, I covered the scene as beach house owners paraded before the board demanding groins be built. 

The groins, indeed, caused devastation. Owners of beach houses on the west, many battered, some lost, brought a lawsuit against the Army Corps, the state and Suffolk County. There was a settlement under which $80 million—of our tax dollars—is being spent to dump sand over a 30-year period along a coastline caused to erode by the placement of the 15 groins. 

Now especially with climate change and sea level rise, we must get real about the coast—and how to deal with climate change.

More next week.

Karl Grossman is a veteran investigative reporter and columnist, the winner of numerous awards for his work and a member of the L.I. Journalism Hall of Fame. He is a professor of journalism at SUNY/College at Old Westbury and the author of six books.