The Village News: Late Breaking News


We’ve Updated Our COVID-19 Page Coronavirus Information Page - Updated 10/21 at 8:30pm

Back in March, when we started our COVID-19 page, we had no idea how long this journey would be. Unfortunately, we formatted the page in a way that became more and more unwieldy as the amount of information grew. We recently decided it was time for us to reformat the COVID-19 page to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for.

First, we changed the look of the page. The type is a little smaller so that you can take more information in at a glance, gone is a lot of the bold type and gone are the red headlines. The page is now less, “in your face.”

Next, instead of one long page that goes on and on, we broke the updated information into three pages. One is for March 2020 to May 2020, one is for June 2020 to August 2020, and the third is for September 2020 to the present. If you haven’t already done so, we urge you to at least take a glance at the earlier information as much of it is very useful and wasn’t repeated later on.

Next, we’re all very interested in how we’re doing locally and how Suffolk County is doing so we’ve added links at the top of the COVID-19 page that go directly to that information. While you’re at the top of the COVID-19 page, you’ll also find anything we feel is important enough to specifically draw to your attention, such as our latest Editorial, “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over.”

Next, in addition to any information relative to Suffolk County information for a particular date, you’ll also find a shortcut link that will take you to all the Suffolk Country information that’s available so that you can look at the information both ways.

And finally, in our long tables of accumulated numbers, we now have the latest information at the top of the stack, rather than at the bottom. We know you’re interested in the latest information and this way it’s easier to find without having to scroll way down to the bottom of the stack.

We hope your find these changes helpful and we’ll continue to “tweak” the page as we think of additional ways to improve it. Click here to visit the page.


Photo Contest


Bellport Arts & Framing

Two Weeks Left to Submit Photos- Photos Due by October 31st! Photo Contest: Downtown Bellport Village

It's time for a new Photo Contest! This time we want your photos showing Downtown Bellport Village. People, shops, houses - they are all acceptable as long as the photos are taken near Downtown Bellport Village! Photos must be submitted by Saturday, October 31st. Happy Shooting!

The Prize? A good one! To help support our local businesses, is going to buy a $50 Gift Certificate from LuAnn Thompson at Bellport Arts and Framing, and donate it to the winner of the contest. At Bellport Arts & Framing, you'll find frame designs galore along with a fine selection of giftwrap, cards, gift items, and local art. They also offer fine art restoration, frame repairs, photo restoration, custom corkboards and blackboards, and more! Lots of great gift ideas for the upcoming holidays!

Click here for more information about how to submit a photo!


Gordon Heights

The Brookhaven Village Association Presents "Gordon Heights: A History" on Sunday, October 25th

Join the Brookhaven Village Association as they present, "Gordon Heights: A History" on Sunday, October 25th from 3:00pm-4:00pm outdoors at the Post Morrow Foundation, 16 Bay Road in Brookhaven. Local history librarian at the Longwood Public Library, Melanie Cardone-Leathers will discuss the resilient community and origins or the Gordon Heights Fire Dept. Click here for more information.



Merckling Family Chiropractic is Now Offering Acupuncture Services

Merckling Family Chiropractic is pleased to announce that they are now offering Acupuncture services in their downtown Bellport Village office! Acupuncture can help with everything from physical problems with your muscles, joints and nerves, to emotional problems with stress and sleep patterns. It has been proven to alleviate some of the pains associated with arthritis, helping people with arthritis regain mobility and improve their overall physical health. Acupuncture is also used frequently to aid the pain and nausea that is associated with cancer and cancer treatments.  Click here for more information.



Voting Early in the November 3rd General Elections

Early Voting:
The Suffolk County Board of Elections has released the dates, times, and locations for early voting in the November 3rd General Elections. Click here for more information.

The closest site to the South Country area seems to be the Mastic Recreation Center located at 15 Herkimer Street, Mastic NY 11950. If you’re familiar with the area, it’s right behind the Ice Cream Cottage. Enjoy!

The hours are:
• Saturday, October 24: 10:00am - 3:00pm
• Sunday, October 25: 10:00am - 3:00pm
• Monday, October 26: 7:00am - 3:00pm
• Tuesday, October 27: 12:00pm - 8:00pm
• Wednesday, October 28: 8:00am - 4:00pm
• Thursday, October 29: 8:00am - 4:00pm
• Friday, October 30: 12:00pm - 8:00pm
• Saturday, October 31: 10:00am - 3:00pm
• Sunday, November 1: 10:00am - 3:00pm

Click here for additional Absentee Ballot information.


Cemetary WAlk

Join the BBHS for a Tour of Woodland Cemetery on Halloween, Saturday, October 31st

Join the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society for a FREE tour of Woodland Cemetery on Station Road in Bellport on Halloween, Saturday, October 31st at 3:00pm. Many of our illustrious old souls reside here: Bellport's founders the Bell brothers; photographer Frances H. Toms; Civil War General Nathaniel MacLean; and social activist Birdsall Otis Edey. RSVP today! Click here for more information.


Thanksgiving to Go

Order Your "Thanksgiving to Go" from the Bellport Country Club

Planning and Shopping for Thanksgiving: 3 hours
Preparing and Cooking for Thanksgiving: 8 hours
Cleaning up after Thanksgiving: 2 hours
Calling the Bellport Country Club @ 631.286.4227: 60 seconds!

Why spend time shopping, cooking and cleaning this Thanksgiving when you can spend all of that time with your family and friends? The Bellport Country Club will prepare a Thanksgiving feast that will leave your bellies full and faces smiling! Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Homemade Stuffing, Candied Yams, Grilled Vegetables, Gravy, Apple and Pumpkin Pies, Cranberry Dressing, and Dinner Rolls!

New this year: smaller package options! With meal options to feed groups as small as five or as many as 15 guests, as well as single items available to order, the Bellport Country Club has everything you need for your Thanksgiving meal! Availability is limited and this great meal will sell-out! Click here for more information.


Harmony Cafe

The Harmony Cafe and Heartbeet Help Those in Need

The Harmony Cafe will be holding two very special events in November to help those who could really need some help. First, starting on Thursday, November 11th, and continuing for every Thursday thereafter, “Buy One Soup And One Is Given To A Person In Need.” Heartbeet Farms is providing the soup at cost. Your buying the soup makes it possible for the Harmony Cafe to give the soup to people who really need it, for free! They call the program, “Yes, soup for you and your neighbor too.”

The second special event is a Free Thanksgiving Dinner at “Toast” in Patchogue on November 24th. It will be a sit down dinner for those hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, front line workers, and those in need.

Click here for more information on the Soup Program.

Click here for more information on the Free Thanksgiving Dinner.



Bellport Middle School "Bellport" Spiritwear Fundraiser

The Bellport Middle School is holding a “Spiritwear” fundraiser to help support the dances, field trips, class shirts, 8th grade picnic, and several senior scholarships the PTA helps with each year.

This year, the Spiritwear Fundraiser consists of the sale of “Bellport” logoed apparel such as Hooded Sweatshirts, Tee Shirts, Cotton Masks and various other items sure to please. To see what’s available or to place an order, please click here.


South Country Concerts

Updates from South Country Concerts

Usually, at this time of year you would be receiving an announcement from South Country Concerts, the SCC, describing a three-concert series they would be offering over the coming 2020-2021 season. Unfortunately, this year, they are unable to present a fall concert because of the restrictions imposed on social gatherings due to COVID-19.

South Country Concerts is uncertain as to when they will be able to offer a new schedule of concerts, but they are absolutely committed to the continuation of being able to provide high quality, live, music to our community. Be assured that despite a few basic organizational operating costs, SCC is financially stable thanks to YOU, their donors and subscribers. The SCC will be back as soon as possible, performing for the South Country community!

In recent news, over this past summer, the SCC was able to come up with an innovative response to the times in which we now live. With gratitude to their donors and ticket holders, Laurinel Owen performed boutique-style concerts outdoors at her home. Each of seven performances featured Bach’s Partita #3, BWV 1006 and Benjamin Britten’s Suite for Cello, Op. 72. They were pleased by the turnout of so many of their dedicated supporters. One of the performances from this series was recorded and it can be viewed by clicking this link, Almost Live. The SCC invites you to settle back and enjoy an interlude of outstanding music at your leisure and they hope to see you soon.



Updated - November 3rd General Elections - How Quickly Will Your Absentee Ballot be Counted?

One of our readers, Norman Pearlmutter, wrote in to tell us that we had misinterpreted NY State’s rules for when Absentee Ballots would be tabulated. Norman is absolutely right. Although the ballots will be pre-processed as soon as they are received, according to the New York Times, tabulation won’t begin until November 6th.

We apologize for our error and thank Norman for pointing it out to us.

Here’s a link to the original NY Times article we cited.


Lighthouse Mission

Thanksgiving Donations Needed for Lighthouse Mission

The Coronavirus has negatively affected so many Long Island families this past year. That is why Lighthouse Mission is preparing for a record number of people at their Thanksgiving food distribution locations this season. The Lighthouse Mission was started in 1992 and now is the largest mobile food pantry on Long Island.

Sadly, donations are down while the need has gone up. They expect to provide 10,000 Suffolk families with a complete Thanksgiving dinner, but they need help to make this happen! They are in need of food, clothing and monetary donations. Visit their website for more information on how to help!



Help for Brookhaven Seniors Impacted by COVID-19

Safe at Home for Seniors is a new United Way of Long Island managed COVID-19 health and safety outreach program in partnership with a network of agencies. Community Navigators are in place to help seniors remain in the comfort and safety of their own home, where they are best protected while maintaining social relationships. They can help with everyday tasks such as groceries and prescriptions, coordinating appointments and staying in touch with loved ones. Click here for more information.



South Country Education Foundation 2020-2021 Grant Cycle Is Open

Founded in 1998, the South Country Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to improving educational opportunities for all students in the South Country Central School District. The mission of the Foundation is to promote and enhance educational initiatives by providing supplemental financial support for projects and programs that are outside the South Country school budget.

Since their founding, they have granted over $1,000,000 to teachers, administrators, students and community groups in our district who have come to them with their innovative and creative ideas. Funding for these grants comes from generous donations to the foundation by community members, alumni and local nonprofits as well as from the proceeds of our annual cocktail party and auction.

The SCEF will offer only one grant cycle this year as they did in 2019. Grant applications are now available on their website. Click here for more information.



Swan Realty

Swan Realty Welcomes a New Sales Agent

Deborah L. Galligan broker/ owner of Swan Realty Corp would like to welcome Loula Fernandes, LSA to the Swan Realty team! Click here for more information.



Letters to the Editor

New Letters to the Editor Posted

New letters to the Editor have been posted. Click here for more information.



Red Ribbon

COMPASS Unity's 1st Annual Red Ribbon Week 5K- October 23rd-31st

COMPASS Unity will be hosting their first ever Annual Red Ribbon Week 5k Run/Walk/Wheelchair Race October 23rd through October 31st! This fun and free virtual 5K race aims to raise awareness about drug abuse prevention. This is an inclusive race and they invite those of all different abilities to participate! Click here for more information and to register for the race!



New Editorial: COVID Alert NY

For several months I’ve been hearing about a computer program that will alert you if you’ve been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and I just received a copy of the program.

COVID Alert NY is a testing and tracing program that can significantly help stop the spread of COVID-19. Developed by NY State, “COVID Alert NY” is a free smartphone app that uses Bluetooth technology, not location data, to quickly alert you if you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. If the program alerts you, you can then quickly protect yourself and others by self-quarantining and then contact your doctor so that you can be tested.  Click here to read the new Editorial.



Paper Shredding, E-Waste Disposal and Prescription Drug Take Back Program on Saturday, November 7th

The Town of Brookhaven will hold a paper shredding, e-waste disposal and prescription drug take back program on Saturday, November 7th from 9:30am-1:30pm at the South Country Library, 22 Station Road, Bellport. This event will help residents dispose of sensitive documents, e-waste and expired prescription drugs in an environmentally safe manner. It is open to all Brookhaven Town residents and small businesses. Click here for more information.



The Rotary Club of Bellport Establishes a Durable Medical Lending Closet

The Rotary Club of Bellport has established a “Durable Medical Lending Closet” for those in need within Bellport, East Patchogue, Brookhaven, Yaphank, and Mastic-Shirley. Once stocked, the Bellport Rotary Club will be able to loan, free of charge, durable medical equipment, such as: walkers, crutches, wheelchairs, stair ramps, shower seats, knee walkers, and canes to those in need of these medical items.

Would you like to donate any of these medical items you’re not now using? All items donated will be photographed, tagged and inventoried. The Rotary will sanitize the equipment and store it until it is needed.

An “In-kind” donation letter will be given to those making donations. As the Rotary Club of Bellport, Inc is a tax exempt, not for profit, 501.c.3 organization, you can claim your donation as a charitable donation on your taxes.

Contact them through Facebook or via email!



New Classified Ad: Tutoring for Elementary Through High School Students

A new classified ad has been posted offering tutoring for elementary through high school students. Click here for more information.


Hiking Column

Walks, Saunters and Hikes on Long Island

Are you ready to get outside and enjoy the Fall weather? Then check out Rich Weissmann's "Hiking on Long Island" column on! Many areas on Long Island offer a wide array of opportunities for people to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you are a couch potato, or a kid; a seasoned athlete or a senior citizen, there is a place to enjoy a walk, a saunter, or a fairly serious hike within a short drive of Bellport. Click here for more information.



New Editorial: It Still Ain't Over

A Letter To The Editor got me thinking that it might be time for me to write a follow up to my July Editorial, “COVID-19, It Ain’t Over.” This time, I’m calling it, “It Still Ain’t Over.”  Click here to read the new Editorial.


LI Stories

New LI Stories Piece: "The Little Red House - So Much Bigger on the Inside" by Deb Canellis

"Long Island Stories" is an opportunity for local authors, or authors who write about Long Island events and places, to share their work with our local community. We're excited to share with you the latest submission, "The Little Red House- So Much Bigger on the Inside" by Deb Canellis. Click here for more information.



New Classified Ad: Language Lessons in Mandarin and Cantonese

A new classified ad has been posted offering tutoring/teaching for children who are interested in learning to read and write Mandarin and Cantonese. Click here for more information.



COMPASS Unity Summer Newsletter

COMPASS Unity has been Bellport/South Country School District's drug and alcohol prevention coalition since 2009. Their mission is to address and revitalize the negative social and environmental conditions, which expose youth to drug and alcohol use. They strive to help keep the youth of South Country schools and community safe and drug-free! Click here to read their latest seasonal newsletter.



Real Estate Agency

Town of Brookhaven and Long Island Housing Partnership Announces 2020 Down Payment Assistance Program for First-Time Home Buyers

On Monday, August 31st, Supervisor Ed Romaine, members of the Town Council, the Department of Housing and Human Services and the Long Island Housing Partnership announced the 2020 Town of Brookhaven’s Down Payment Assistance Program for First-Time Homebuyers. This program provides eligible first-time homebuyers with up to $20,000 in down payment/closing costs toward the purchase of an eligible, new or existing single-family home, provided that the applicant meets all program requirements to secure a mortgage. Homeowners are required to reside in the home as their principle residence for a minimum of 10 years or the United States (US) Department of Housing and Urban Development will require a full repayment of the HOME Investment Partnership Program down payment assistance provided. Funding for this program comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The application is now available online at

For more information, call the Long Island Housing Partnership at 631-435-4710 and ask about the Brookhaven Town HOME Down Payment Assistance Program.



Support the Bellport Village Program Fund

The Village of Bellport, more than ever before, needs the support of the Bellport Village Program Fund and its donors to execute vital projects within the Community. The BVPF was not able to host their annual fundraising party, so they are fundraising online. With the loss of the support generated from this event, and with the Village grants frozen by various governmental agencies, the Bellport Village Program Fund does not have the financial resources to continue to uphold our mission to back Community projects. To ensure they are building towards a bright future, when we can come together again as a Community in a non-socially distanced manner to enjoy the many resources that the Fund has continually supported, the Board of the Bellport Village Program Fund is excited to launch an inaugural annual appeal, #BVPF4BellportClick here for more information.


Ash Treese

Bellport Garden Club Seeks Donations for Bellport Village Tree Fund

Not only do the people of the world have a virus without a cure, but many of the trees in our lovely Village are also suffering. The Bellport Garden Club has just been informed that every Ash Tree in the Village (the Village has about 30) is infected with emerald ash borer and will have to be removed. Your donations to the Tree Fund can help keep Bellport shady and green! Click here for more information.


Vote by Mail

Governor Cuomo Signs into Law Sweeping Election Reforms and How to Vote by Absentee Ballot Including the Necessary Forms

August 20, 2020: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed into law sweeping election reforms that will make it easier for New Yorkers to vote and be counted in November. The three-part package includes new measures allowing absentee ballot applications to be submitted to the Board of Elections immediately, expanding the necessary protections to allow a voter to get an absentee ballot due to risk or fear of illness including COVID-19 and ensuring all absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day or received by the Board of Elections without a postmark on the day after the Election will be counted. Ballots with a postmark demonstrating that they were mailed on or before Election Day will be counted if received by November 10th.

"The federal administration has ordered an unprecedented attack on the U.S. Postal Service and with COVID-19 threatening our ability to have safe, in-person voting, these measures are critical to ensuring a successful and fair election at one of the most important moments in our nation's history," Governor Cuomo said. "These actions will further break down barriers to democracy and will make it easier for all New Yorkers to exercise their right to vote this November."

Relating to Absentee Ballot Requests Due to Risk of Illness (S.8015-D/A.10833)
This legislation gives voters the right to request an absentee ballot due to risk of illness to themselves or others. You can now write in as your reason for requesting an absentee ballot, “Fear of illness, COVID-19.”

Relating to Absentee Ballot Requests (S.8783A/A.10807)
This legislation authorizes voters to request absentee ballots immediately, adding almost 7 weeks to the amount of time a voter has to vote by absentee ballot. This legislation eliminates an outdated statutory provision that prevents voters from requesting absentee ballots until 30 days before Election Day. The legislation gives voters reassurance that they will receive and can cast their vote in a timely manner.

Relating to Ballots Postmarked on Day of Election (S.8799A/A.10808-A)
This legislation allows ballots to be postmarked on the day of the election, November 3. The legislation also amends election law to allow the Board of Elections to count all absentee ballots that have a time stamp showing it was delivered to the Board of Elections the day after the election but does not have a dated postmark. The Board of Elections shall deem those ballots mailed in a timely fashion.

Absentee Voting:

Qualifications to Vote by Absentee Ballot (Click here for Deadlines)
• Absent from your county or, if a resident of New York City absent from said city, on Election Day.
• Unable to appear at the polls due to temporary or permanent illness or disability; or because you are the primary care giver of one or more individuals who are ill or physically disabled.
• A resident or patient of a Veterans Health Administration Hospital.
• Detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony.

How to Vote by Absentee Ballot (Click here for Deadlines)
• Applications for Absentee Ballots are available at your county board of elections.
• You may also download a PDF version of the New York State Absentee Ballot Application Form
- Download English Form
- Download Spanish Form
• Upon completion, applications must be mailed to your county board no later than the seventh day before the election or delivered in person no later than the day before the election.
• You may also request an Absentee Ballot by sending a letter to your county board of elections. The letter must be received by your county board no later than seven days before the election. The letter must contain the following information:
- the address where you are registered
- an address where the ballot is to be sent
- the reason for the request, and
- the signature of the voter

If you apply by letter, an application form will be mailed with your ballot. The application form must be completed and returned with your ballot.

If you cannot pick up your ballot, or will not be able to receive it through the mail, you have the right to designate someone to pick it up for you. Only that person designated on your application may pick up and deliver your ballot.

If you are permanently ill or disabled, you have the right to receive an Absentee Ballot for each subsequent election without further application. Simply file an application with your county board of elections indicating permanent illness or physical disability. You will then automatically receive an absentee ballot for every election until your registration is canceled.

Click here for the Board of Elections Absentee Voting information.



Brookhaven Youth Bureau Provides COVID-19 Related Counseling Services

The Covid-19 Pandemic poses new challenges to all students as they return to school this fall. With the many new plans in place, fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and lead to strong emotion. Youth are often unable to identify and express their feelings and the change is seen in their behavior.

The Town of Brookhaven Youth Bureau’s Sanctuary Program offers professional counseling, crisis intervention, case management, information and referrals to youth 12-24 years of age who may be having difficulty with stress management, relationships with friends or family, school avoidance and more. Support services are also available to at risk, runaway and homeless youth. Currently, services are being offered through video communications via Zoom or telehealth.

Some steps parents and guardians can take in talking to their children about going back to school are:

● Talk to your child/teen about COVID-19. Ask what they know as a starting discussion point.
● Validate your child’s feelings. These can be scary times for everyone.
● Limit exposure to news and social media.
● Talk to a friend or a loved one.
● Maintain a feelings journal.
● Set healthy habits; good sleep schedule, regular exercise and nutrition.
● Avoid too much caffeine.
● Be patient toward others. Although we are all experiencing the pandemic, each person’s situation is different.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states mental health is an important part of overall health and wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel and act. It may also relate to how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices during an emergency.

Virtual groups to help students and parents are being planned to further support families as they acclimate to the uncertainty that lies ahead. Please refer to for upcoming information or visit the Town of Brookhaven Youth Bureau’s Facebook page.

If you or someone you know is interested in receiving counseling through the Brookhaven Youth Bureau, please call 631-451-8011.



New Editorial: The Bellport Village Board Just Won’t Let Go

After writing my first Editorial regarding the reimbursement of rental fees to marina slip holders, I thought that would be the end of it. The slip holders weren’t able to use their slips because the Village contractor hadn’t finished work on the marina on time so the boaters couldn’t use their slips. It was such a clear case of right and wrong that I really thought the Village Board would issue partial refunds to the slip holders and that would be it. Well, with the exception of Trustee Mackin, the Village Board just won’t let go.  Click here to read the Editorial.


Redesign has a New Look! Here’s Why...

Today, almost 66% of you are visiting with a mobile device, a cell phone or iPad, and our old design made it difficult for you to navigate the site. We wanted to make sure your experience here is a positive one, so it was time for to evolve with the times.  Click here for more information.



Featured Photo of the Week

Sign Up for Our Weekly Email Blasts and Your Photo Could be Our "Featured Photo of the Week!"

Every week, The Village News features a photo submitted by one of our readers. If you have a photo you'd like us to consider featuring, email it to us. Be sure to sign up for our weekly email blasts to see if your photo has been chosen!



Thank You

The Classifieds Work!

Placing an ad in the Classifieds works! Take a look at two letters we received from readers who had posted Classified Ads:

"Thank you for posting a photo of a beagle and our request for a sitter. We received many calls and found a lovely couple in Bellport Village to care for our beagle Molly. Many thanks and you can now remove the posting under pet sitting." - Mary and Tom

"Once again, with the help of we have been successful in our efforts. This time we placed an ad for help in caring for our garden. Once again made it a successful move. So please discontinue our ad. What would we ever do without you?" Best regards, Elaine

Place your classified ad today! Don't forget- Classified ads are FREE for Supporters!

Click here to submit your own ad.