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December 2014

The Bellport Chamber of Commerce's Annual Holiday Parade

Chamber Parade of Lights

The Annual Holiday Parade of Lights along Main Street in Bellport Village was held on Sunday, December 7th. The parade was a glorious display of lights and surprises from local organizations and businesses. Santa arrived by Antique Fire Truck, courtesy of Bellport Fire Department. Following the parade, Santa joined everyone at the gazebo on the Village Green for the Annual Tree Lighting. Click here to see photos from the Parade.

Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society's Annual Holiday Party

BBHS Party

The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society held their Annual Members' Holiday Party on Sunday, December 7th. Eric Boman, Author of "The Paper Doll's House of Miss Sarah Elizabeth Birdsall Otis, Aged 12" was in attendance. Guests enjoyed complimentary brunch, holiday cheer, and music by Maurice Kemp.  Click here to see photos from the Party.

Christ Church's Annual Christmas Fair

Christ Church

The Christ Church Annual Christmas Fair was held on December 5th and 6th. Guests enjoyed shopping for that unique, handmade Christmas gift! Click here to see photos from the Fair.

New Inlet December Update



Charlie Flagg recently conducted another survey of the new inlet and sent us his report:

We completed another overflight last Sunday, Nov 30th. Because of a cross-wind and difficulty following the planned flight track, there wasn't quite enough overlap of a couple of tracks to the east to form a complete mosaic. As a result, the mosaic doesn't extend as far east as usual. Other than that, it looks good. The flight took place at about half-tide in the bay.

The important changes took place along the western shore of the breach so that now there is a concave shoreline in the breach while the ocean side beach to the west has been straightened. (Compare the mosaics from Oct 30 and Nov 30 which are attached.) Both of these changes appear to be the result of some accretion near the mouth of the breach rather than significant erosion of either the western breach shore or the ocean beach. The apparent differences between the photos are partly the result of different stages of the tide with the October photo happening near low tide exposing more of the shore.

The other change that took place over the past month is a reduction in the northward extent of the western spit by about 50m. It is unclear where the sand went but probably it was added to the shoals just west of the spit. However, the past month has seen extended periods of fairly strong winds out of the northwest which could have moved the sand into the breach and help to form the deposit near the breach mouth. One other thing was apparent during the overflight, although not so obvious from the photo, and that was that the ebb shoal seemed to extend much farther east and west than in the past. A further comment is that the main channel through the breach has remained pretty much in the center of the breach for several months and has not migrated to a position along the western shore as it had in 2013. There are fairly obvious along breach shoals in the breach on either side of the main channel.

And lastly, the salinities in Bellport Bay have remained around 30 psu over the past 60 days with occasional drops to 28 psu while there has been a gradual drop in salinities at the GSB buoy from around 29 psu to more recent values of 28 psu.

Click on either photo at left to enlarge.

November 2014

A Good Deed Shouldn’t Go Unnoted!

Cafe Castello

Nick, (Nicola Gagliardi, owner of Café Castello) doesn’t know we’re writing this, but there are just some times when someone in our community goes out of their way to do something nice for someone else and we think they deserve some recognition for doing so. This is one of those times.

It seems that the Brookhaven Library is involved in renovations and as a result there’s no place for them to hold their Story Time Program for young children. When Nick heard about this he stepped forward and offered space in his restaurant, Café Castello, on Main Street in Bellport Village so that the program could continue uninterrupted. As the library put it, “His kindness and generosity affords the Library the ability to offer the Story Time Programs that you have come to depend on.”

Way to go Nick! If you get a chance, stop in and thank Nick. He’s the kind of person we’re glad to have as part of our community.

Bellport Chamber of Commerce Soup Contest

Soup Contest

As part of its celebration of “Small Business Saturday,” the Bellport Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Soup Contest on Saturday, November 29, 2014, at the “Four Corners” in the Village. There were four entries, Avino’s Italian Table entered its Butternut Squash soup, Café Castello featured its Pumpkin Puree, Porters on the lane entered its Potato and Cheese soup, and finally The Village Bistro entered its Corn Chowder.

140 people tasted and then voted for their favorite soup. It was very close as only one vote separated the First and Second Place finishers, but when the votes were tabulated, Avino’s Butternut Squash soup had taken First Place, and The Village Bistro’s Corn Chowder had taken Second. We’d like to congratulate everyone who participated by either entering or tasting and voting.

Suffolk County & Brookhaven Town Announce the Preservation of 171 Acres in the Carmans River Watershed

Carmans River

Legislator Kate Browning (WF-Shirley), Legislator Rob Calarco, Supervisor Edward Romaine, and Councilwoman Connie Kepert, have announced the preservation of 171 acres in the Carmans River watershed. This environmentally sensitive land is being purchased from Developer Avalon Bay for $4 million and it will prevent the property from being developed. This property is located in the 0-10 year contributing area of the Carmans River.

The Carmans River Watershed Protection and Management Plan identified open space acquisition as a key element to the preservation of this pristine river. Avalon Bay’s holdings were selected as the number one priority for preservation so this purchase is a major step in implementing the comprehensive plan. The Carmans River is the largest river on Long Island and is a New York State designated Wild and Scenic River Corridor.

"Bellport Lane, a Serendipitous Masterpiece" by Victor Principe

Serendipitous Masterpiece

On Saturday, November 15, 2014, author, former president, and ten-year trustee of the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society, Victor Principe, gave a wonderfully informative presentation about the people, architecture, and goings-on since the creation of Bellport Lane.

Often referred to as Bellport’s “signature” street and regarded as a masterpiece of 19th century American village design, the oldest street in Bellport has many tales to tell. Home to the village’s early residents and later its summer people, it was- and remains- the heart of Bellport. Village history began here when a dock was added to a spit of land jutting into the bay by Captain Thomas Bell, who then connected it to higher ground by building a road going north, Dock Road. The land on either side of the road was cleared and divided into lots that proved instantly desirable.

Please Click Here to listen to this wonderful presentation.

PALS 5th Annual Art Show, "Landscapes of Long Island"





PALS Plein Air Limner Society is a local art group, started five years ago by local artist Jeanne Salucci, who would often find herself out painting en plein air, alone. It would take her so long to find a perfect location, not only of beauty or with something interesting to paint, but where she felt comfortable and safe while immersing herself in her art. Often she would be out painting by herself and she thought, “there must be others out there” who would share her same passion for painting on location outdoors (en plein air).

Eventually Jeanne started posting online where she would be painting, and inviting others to join her. One by one, people started showing up to paint, and PALS was born. It is a group that welcomes all levels of painters- all ages, and any medium... Some people come out to sketch or paint in oils, watercolor, pastels or to photograph or to just enjoy the camaraderie. Wonderful friendships have been formed and PALS Plein Air welcomes new members with open arms!

PALS enjoyed being the featured artist group this year in the Bellport Garden Tour as well as the Sayville Garden Tour, and PALS artists can often be seen painting around the town.

Meeting to paint weekly, it is a fantastic way to see the beauty of Long Island, to enjoy the fresh air and to be part of a wonderful group with the common link of art.

PALS Plein Air has an annual art show the second week in December. Everyone is Invited to:

PALS 5th Annual Art Show, "Landscapes of Long Island"
Saturday, Dec 13th and Sunday, December 14th from 12:00pm-4:00pm on both dates. The show will be held at the BAFFA Gallery at Gillette House, 47 Gillette Ave. in Sayville. All paintings will be for sale.

Come see paintings of local houses and towns and scenery of Long Island, through the seasons, meet the artists, perhaps see your favorite place, garden or even your home painted by one of our PALS!

Click here to see photos of the artists at work

October 2014

Photos from the Bellport Chamber of Commerce's Annual Halloween Parade

Halloween Parade

After a few days of rain, the sun came out and the weather was perfect for another fantastic Halloween Parade from the Bellport Chamber of Commerce! The parade was one of the biggest that we've ever seen! After the parade, kids were able to trick-or-treat at various shops downtown. Click here for photos from the event.

"New Inlet" October Update

New Inlet

New Inlet

Charlie Flagg recently conducted another survey of the new inlet and gave us a copy of his report. Click on either photo at left to enlarge. Click here to read the update.


Photos from Avino's Italian Table's Annual Italian Festival

Avino's Italian Table

Avino's Italian Table held their Annual Italian Festival on Sunday, October 12th complete with music, food and outside fun all afternoon! There was LIVE music all day, along with a special pasta menu, sausage and peppers, meatball heroes and a meatball eating contest, funnel cake, festival games for the kids and more! Click here for photos from the event.

Scarecrows Decorate Bellport Village


It's that time of year again... Take a drive down Main Street in Bellport Village and you'll see numerous handmade scarecrows decorating the street! Your friends and neighbors did a great job creating these festive additions to our downtown area!

September 2014

Photos from Porters' 5th Annual Oktoberfest Tent Party


Porters on the lane held their 5th Annual Oktoberfest Tent Party on Sunday, September 28th. The event was fun for the entire family with activities all day! John Negron played live music along with authentic German Food and Beer. Carla Marla's was on hand with treats including candy, cotton candy and popcorn. Kids enjoyed face painting, pumpkin decorating, a bounce house and more! And of course there was football and The Beer Truck! Click here for photos from the event.

The Acoustic Jam Donates Disposable Diapers and Baby Wipes

Baby Stuff

Did you know the Christ Episcopal Church has a Non-Profit Baby Pantry? It’s a wonderful place and idea where parents in need of a little help can pick up toys and supplies for young children, free of charge.

Normally, the money donated at’s monthly Acoustic Jam Session is used to help the various food banks in the area, however this time the $500 we had in the kitty was used to help out the Baby Pantry. As you can see, we bought a Toyota Prius full of Disposable Diapers and Baby Wipes.

Christ Episcopal Church is located at 64 South Country Road in Bellport and provides the Non-Profit Baby Pantry to families in need of basic resources. Their hours are 10:00am-12:00pm on Thursdays and clients should call for an appointment before visiting, 631-286-0299. Donations are certainly welcome!

Legislator Browning Calls for a Ban of Covert Electronic Tracking

Kate Browning

Suffolk County Public Safety Chair Legislator Kate Browning announced she will introduce legislation to ban the unauthorized covert surveillance of Suffolk County residents with a tracking device. In a world of ever-evolving technology, the legislator believes our laws must keep pace in order to ensure families are protected.

“It’s highly disturbing and troubling that it’s not currently illegal to covertly track someone with an electronic device such as a GPS tracker,” stated Legislator Browning. “As Chair of the Suffolk County Public Safety Committee, it’s my responsibility to ensure our families and victims of domestic violence are safe and have the peace of mind that they’re not being secretly followed every time they leave their homes.”

Legislator Browning first sought a solution to this growing problem in 2012 because of concerns raised by law enforcement, and has been working with the Suffolk County Police Department’s Electronic Investigations Unit to address the issue for domestic violence victims. Now more recently, with the news of Assemblyman Edward Hennessey and his family being victim to covert surveillance by former Assemblyman Dean Murray, it is time to make these actions illegal.

“It’s imperative that a law is passed to outlaw the unauthorized tracking of individuals and families, since it’s already unlawful for law enforcement to track an individual without a warrant. As a woman and a mother I find it extremely worrisome and dangerous that stalking someone via a tracking device is legal,” concluded Browning.

Legislator Browning’s legislation will be laid on the table at the Suffolk County Legislature’s October 7, 2014 general meeting. Similar bills have been introduced in New Jersey by Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, in New York State by Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan and in Broome County by Legislator Jason Garner.

Ready Suffolk Household Preparedness Guide

Hurricane Sandy

The "Ready Suffolk County" campaign encourages residents to be ready for all types of emergencies. Develop a disaster plan and decide where you and your family will meet in the event of an emergency. Gather emergency supplies — some to keep in your home and others to keep in backpacks in case you must leave your home in a hurry. Finally, learn how to keep informed about the hazards you may face in Suffolk County. Click here for the Ready Suffolk Household Preparedness Guide.

Girls Scouts of Suffolk County Unveil Discovery World STEM Center

STEM Center

The Girls Scouts of Suffolk County unveiled a new learning center for young girls on Thursday, September 18th in Yaphank. The Discovery World STEM Center will focus on science, technology, engineering and math with the goal of helping more women to enter these growing fields in the future.

The facility will offer girls a first-rate, hands-on approach to discovering the exciting world of STEM through demonstrations and experiments, guest presentations and field trips.

“In a field that is predominantly staffed by men, it is vital that we give young girls the tools they need to compete in the growing job markets of the future,” stated Legislator Browning. “The Discovery World STEM Center that was unveiled by the Girls Scouts of Suffolk County does just that. This facility will teach our girls the skills needed to be the next generation of engineers, scientists and mathematicians in our society. It was a pleasure to be a part of the beginning of this wonderful opportunity.”

"The Big Weave" at the Brookhaven Free Library

The Big Weave

Have you noticed the two big posts by the children’s entrance of the Brookhaven Free Library? The Library wanted to do something big, that our community could all do together while they are under construction and thought, hmm, “the big weave!” The “big weave” is the library’s first community art installation and they hope that you will want to participate!

From September 13th through October 25th, members of the community are invited to weave ribbon, yarn, strips of fabric, reeds and grasses to create a one of a kind art installation. We'll keep you posted of their progress! In the meantime, they kicked off the project on Saturday, September 13th. Click here for photos from the event.

Photos from the 2014 Smith Point Bridge 5K Run For Literacy

Literacy 5K

The 2014 Smith Point Bridge 5K Run for Literacy was held on September 6th! In this, the Race's 14th year, the 5K course crossed back and forth over the Smith Point Bridge as usual, but the finish line was at the Smith Point County Park beach pavilion. Proceeds from the race supported the Community Family Literacy Project and the Reach Out and Read program at the Marilyn Shellabargar South Brookhaven Family Health Center. Click here for photos from the race.

August 2014

Public Education: F+, Fixing a Failing System

Joseph Gagliano


At one time Joseph Gagliano was the youngest Public School Principal in the country. Joe now lives in Bellport and he has just written a book, Public Education: F+ Fixing a Failing System, in which he outlines his views on our educational system and its future.

Joe sat down with us for an interview and tells us what he thinks is broken in Public Education and what’s worth saving. We’re sure you’ll find the interview very interesting.

Please Click Here to listen to our interview


The Gateway Playhouse's "Unusual Ball" was a HIT!


On Saturday, August 23, 2014, the Gateway Playhouse held their 4th Annual Gala to help support the playhouse. This year, the Gala was entitled “The Unusual Ball” and it was a real HIT designed to keep the arts alive! The guests were treated to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres provided by local restaurants as they arrived. While relaxing, they could explore the items available in both the Silent and Chinese Auctions.

Next on the program was a Welcoming Presentation on the Gateway’s Main Stage. The audience was treated to performances by the Children’s Theatre’s “Cinderella Kids” followed by a video presentation, “Enabling Abilities,” honoring the EEDA. Next up was a very special “sneak peek” performance by the cast of “The Addams Family” which will start playing at the Gateway on August 27th.

As if this wasn’t enough, next on the program was dinner and dancing. All of the food was courtesy of our many local restaurants including The Bellport, the Peppercorn Cafe, Avino’s Italian Table, Porters on the lane, The Village Bistro, and Carla Marla’s.

We took lots of photos which we’re sure you’ll enjoy. They’ll give you a good idea of how much fun The Unusual Ball was and hopefully, you’ll be able to attend next year!

Click here for photos from the event.

MVP Automotive Takes the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge"




The crew at MVP Automotive took on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and donated $1,000 to the Charlie’s Angles Team for ALS. Way to go, MVP! Click here to see their video.

"Cocktails by the Bay" Fundraiser for the Bellport Village Program Fund

Program Fund Gala Photos

Once again The Bellport Village Program Fund held its annual "Cocktails by the Bay" Fundraiser to raise money for special projects around Bellport Village. This year, the BVPF is raising money for the beautification of Osborn Park in the marina. The plan is to provide sturdy and attractive "Central Park" style benches, picnic tables, and Adirondack style chairs for everyone to enjoy when the park is fully restored. Click here for photos from the event.

Southeaster Hits The Marina



Bellport boaters are very lucky to have Trustee Mike Ferrigno and Dock Master Rich Rieb watching their backs. Or, should I say boats? In the wind, rain, and waves, Mike and Rich were there like mother hens watching the boats tied up in the slips at the marina. They were quick to tighten or replace a line where needed and prevented a lot of damage. Thanks guys! Click here for a short video of the Marina during the storm.

2nd Annual Bellport Alumni Flag Football Game

Alumni Flag Football Game

On Saturday, August 9th, Bellport alumni gathered at the Bellport High School to pay tribute to Bellport's Coach, John Conquest and player, Amine Mann, whose lives were lost to cancer, at the 2nd Annual Bellport Alumni Flag Football game. All proceeds went to the Coach John Conquest Scholarship Fund and the American Cancer Society. Click here to see photos from the event. Be sure to turn your speakers up to hear audio from the game! (Note- iphone and ipad users- unfortunately the audio doesn't work for iphones or ipads because it uses Flash. We're sorry!)

"New Inlet" Update

New Inlet

New Inlet

New Inlet

Charlie Flagg recently conducted another survey of the new inlet and had this to report:

"We completed another aerial survey of the inlet. There has been very little change since the previous flight on June 24th. In particular, the expected northward extension of the western spit that we saw last summer did not seem to occur during the past month. The western channel seems to be slightly larger but that may simply reflect a different tidal stage. Of note is the small amount of erosion along the ocean side of the western shore relative to last month. That area had suffered significant erosion last fall but was filled in beginning February and March. The main channel through the inlet is continuing the clockwise rotation that started in May and that may be related to the erosion of the western shore.

We have had a summer student, Ryan Capps, working on a tidal analysis of water levels at Bellport and Lindenhurst to see whether there have been any systematic changes in the tidal constituents as a result of Sandy and subsequent dredging activities. The attached plots show the changes in M2 amplitude and phase. The bold vertical red line indicates Sandy while the thin pink lines show the 95% confidence levels. The 95% statistical significance level for the regressions in 0.53. The plots show that there has not been a significant change in tidal amplitude at Bellport since before Sandy while there has been a increase of perhaps 5 cm at Lindenhurst. However, it appears that the change in M2 amplitude at Lindenhurst occurred around March/April 2013 which is the time when dredging of Fire Island Inlet started. Since then, the M2 amplitude at Lindenhurst has been remarkably stable. At Bellport there has been a fairly steady decrease in phase since Sandy amounting to about 10 degrees over 18 months. Each degree of the M2 tidal phase corresponds to about 2 minutes so it appears that high tide at Bellport has advanced by 20 minutes or so over this time. The phase change at Lindenhurst seems to be rather variable and does not exhibit a significant linear trend."

Click on any image to the left to enlarge.

Because Of All Of You, Bobby Got His New Bike

Bobby Sterling


Bobby's New Bike

Last week we reported that someone had stolen Bobby Sterling’s new bicycle and we published an article about how our community had come together in an effort to raise enough money to buy Bobby a new bike. The article included photographs of Bobby and a wonderful taped interview with Bobby that Gregg Giannotti had done some years ago as a class project for school. Click Here if you’d like to read the article or listen to the interview.

Well, we’re very happy to report that the community’s fund raising efforts were a complete success. Not only was enough money raised to buy Bobby a new bike, there was enough left over to create a “Maintenance & Repair Fund” for Bobby to cover any of his bicycle related expenses for the foreseeable future. Way to go everyone!

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get the names of everyone who contributed and please forgive us for any misspelling of names as we were working off a handwritten list, but here are the names that we have:

Chris Joinnides, Kreb Cycle
Larry Sribnick,
Rich Giannotti
Rich Reib, South Country Lions
Marilyn and Kevin Garin
William Higinbotham
John Knapp
Judith Petone & Ken Fued
Karen Figu
Audrey Capozzi
Mary Sanford
Coleen Hamilton
Dan & Mary Person
Chris & Susan Picini
Ken Picard & Jackie Picard
Gail from up the street
Julius Radino
Colin Dumas
Martha J. Hitchcock
Loretta Drew
Gregg Lhotsky & Bally Pedgersky
Lew Messina
Karen & Peter Reddall
Casey Wiencek
Donna Esp
Jeff Korn
Pam Esposito
Kathie Dallin
Nancy Husing
Rob & April Ackerly-Dahj
Tim Harder
Nick & Lillian DePaolo
Christina Garcia
John & Lee Long
Brian Toronto
Vardy & Steve Wiercek
Kathy & Frank Dupointe
John & Paula Terelli
Ron Hammond
Anna Lou Fletcher
Susan Gene Burbol
Susan & Arthur Hatcopoulos
George Marschall
Jeannie Muglia
Lina Thom Gary Thom, Zakia
Juliann Posch
Liesel Stienhauer
Charles Flagg
Susan, Robert & Michael Sangiamo
Mark & Maria Babiak
Christine Novelli & Family
Ross Hansen
Mike Maktto
Michael Ficazzola & Family
Gloria Cummings
Marian & George Marschall
In Memory of Mike Garlin
Jonah Greenberg & Jackson Najjar
Ed Toolan
Cynthia Fischer & Lan Rice
Mark Pethram
Mishalle Berger
Joe Salucci
David Smith & Anne Hayes
Tim Hall
Bob & Carole Kinsey
Tom Gisselbrecht
Brian & Alison Clark
Calvin & Andie Pedatella
Chris & Sue Hannon
Riley Joinnides
John & Connie Albin
Glenn Warmuth
Reid Carleton
Greg Behl
Vanessa Machauo
Cathy Cullen
Tillie Austen
Joanne Spect
Pamela Lerner
Carol Chester

Dan O’Keefe Opens One Of The Newest Shops On Main Street

Dan OKeefe



Dan O’Keefe has opened one of the newest shops on Main Street in Bellport Village. It’s an interesting space because as an artist, Dan uses his shop as both a work and exhibition space. Dan has been a Long Island resident for most of his life. He has traveled the world extensively and living in Beirut, Lebanon as a child provided early insight into other cultures. He creates Paintings, Prints, Drawings, Sculptures, and Pottery.

After graduating from Locust Valley High School, Dan attended the University Of Eastern New Mexico in Portales. After finishing college, Dan joined the United States Navy where he spent two years traveling the North Atlantic, Mediterranean and Caribbean on a U.S. Navy Destroyer.

Dan has a Masters in Fine Arts, a Masters in Interactive Multimedia and is currently writing his dissertation on "Cultural Literacy" for his Ph.D. in Library and Information Studies. For the past thirty years, Dan has been in his own business as a painter, general contractor, construction manager, decorative artist and commercial pilot.

From Above, From Below: Structures Abound...
“Early recollections of structures viewed from the back window of a moving station wagon were influential in creating my internal relationship between color and form. Influenced by the artists Ellsworth Kelly and Howard Hodgkin, color and form became interrelated. As a pilot, I view another perspective. I visualize overlapping shapes, lines and structures that fit together in a visual puzzle. This puzzle, in its myriad form, becomes a mixture of colorful intersecting lines and shapes. The juxtaposition between color and form, viewed from both visual dimensions, create an illusionary optical experience. There appears to exist a surreal calmness, an almost serene selective re-creation of reality in a metaphysical sense.”

Daniel J. O'Keefe
Studio 120
120 South Country Road
Bellport Village, NY

Eight Artists Create A New Exhibition / Workspace On Main Street

Auto Body

Auto Body

Auto Body

Saturday evening, August 2nd, was the opening of the newest shop in town, the “Auto Body,” located on Main Street in the heart of Bellport Village. The Auto Body is a creation of eight Artists: Johnny Knapp, Will Rose, Charlie Stravinsky, Tyler Healy, Aria McManus, Quinn Sherman, Georgia Read, and Claire Read and their mission statement reads, “Auto Body is a creative platform and exhibition space. Each project uses local influence as a vehicle to engage, challenge and showcase its surroundings.”

We wish Auto Body well and can’t wait to see what they come up with in the coming weeks and months. If the energy at its opening is any indication, Auto Body is going to be a winner!

July 2014

Bellport Day Photos

Bellport Day Photos

It seemed like everyone in Bellport came out to Bellport Day on Saturday, July 26th! The day was filled with fun activities for the entire family! The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society held a Truck and Tractor Parade and Show, as well as a Farmer's Market. MVP Automotive had bounce houses set up for kids of all ages. The Bellport Fire Dept held their annual Craft Fair at the firehouse. The day also included LOTS of live music (including The New Students), performances by the Gateway, displays by businesses and organizations in town, and of course great shopping provided by our downtown shops! Click here for photos from the day.

Click here for a video of The New Students performing at Bellport Day.

Bobby Sterling Needs A New Bike




You may not know Bobby Sterling, but if you live in or visit the South Country area, you know who Bobby Sterling is. You’ve seen Bobby riding his bike down South Country Road at all hours of the day and night in heat, wind, rain and snow and you’ve seen him riding his bike at the end of just about every parade that takes place around here. To Bobby, his bike is a magic carpet that makes it possible for him to travel to wherever his imagination takes him. Bobby is an important part of our community.

It’s for that reason that so many of us were shocked to hear that last week, someone stole Bobby’s bike. It wasn’t a fancy bike, but to Bobby it was his most prized possession. Luckily, Bobby isn’t grounded because he still has an older bike that’s pretty worn out, but Bobby needs a new bike soon.

It only took a day or two for the word to get out and people started asking, “What can we do to help? Can we start a collection for Bobby’s new bike?” We were going to do it here on, but then Chris Joinnides, owner of Kreb Cycle right here in Bellport Village, stepped forward and not only said he’d provide Bobby with a new bike at “cost,” he’d also set up a collection box at Kreb Cycle so that people could drop off contributions to help Bobby out. Chris even said that if the collection comes up short, he’d make up the difference, but if more is collected than needed, Chris said he’d set up an account for Bobby to take care of any repairs or maintenance he might need in the future. Friends, don’t even think about visiting any other bicycle shop when you’re looking for a new bike or service for the bike you have. Chris is a wonderful person, he has a great shop, and he’s one of the people who makes our community so special.

An Update:  The Goal Has Been Met! We've raised enough money for Bobby's new bike. A big thanks goes to Kreb Cycle and everyone who contributed. We'll be publishing a follow up article soon.

Click HereNow, we have a treat for you. Some years ago, Gregg Giannotti recorded an interview with Bobby for a school project Gregg was working on. Gregg was kind enough to give us a copy so that we could share it with you. Even if you think you know Bobby, you’re going to know him a whole lot better after you listen to this interview. Please Click Here


Lecture at the BBYC, "A Bahamas Winter"


Hank Maust

Hank Maust

On Monday, July 14th, ‘Hank’ Maust spoke at the Bellport Bay Yacht Club about his recent winter in the Bahamas aboard Nomad. Proceeds from this lecture benefitted the Youth Sailing Program of the Bellport Bay Sailing Foundation.

Brookhaven Land Use Plan For North Bellport

North Bellport

Brookhaven Town has come up with a 104 page plan for the development of a 13 acre parcel of land just south of the Long Island Rail Road Station where Station Road and Montauk Highway meet. This controversial project would create a new business district and is meant to improve the community in the area. It would create shops along with multiple story affordable and multifamily housing in the area.

On June 24, 2014, the Brookhaven Town Board accepted the plan and the public now has until August 11, 2014 to submit their comments in writing to the Town Board.

Click here for a copy of the plan

Here is an address where you can send your comments:

Supervisor Ed Romaine
Town of Brookhaven
One Independence Hill
Farmingville, NY 11738

July 4th Weekend Photos

BBHS Antiques Show

July 4th was a wet one this year! Rain and wind dampened everyone's July 4th afternoon plans, although a few artists were out displaying their work on Bellport Lane for the annual art show before the rain began. The Bellport Brookhaven Historical Society moved their Annual Antiques Show and Sale to Sunday, July 6th, when the weather was perfect! Click here to see photos from some of the weekend's activities.

Bellport High School Football Gives Garden a Makeover

Football Makes over Garden

The garden at the corner of Station Road and Beaver Dam was recently given a much needed upgrade by Bellport Football Coach Stephen Schwicke and members of the Bellport Varsity Football team. The flowers were from the Long Island Flower Garden Center and Florist in East Patchogue, and were donated by the Tew and Schwicke families. Photo courtesy of Jacquelyn Schwicke.

June 2014

The Acoustic Jam Makes Another Donation To The Boys & Girls Club

Boys & Girls Club Donation 





The Acoustic Jam is held twice a month in the Bellport Village Community Center. Between 15 and 25 musicians usually attend and the audience is encouraged to get involved. The only thing that asks of the musicians and audience is that if possible, they bring non-perishable food items, or if they’d rather, make a donation so that can go shopping for them and deliver the food to our local food banks and pantries. We have to say, the musicians and audience members are very nice and generous people!

This was the second time has been able to go shopping for the pantry at the Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area. We’ve been able to donate almost $1,200 in food items this year to help out with the Boys & Girls Club program. Over the past six years we’ve been able to make donations of food items either donated, or purchased with monies which were donated, to the Bellport Episcopal Church, the Bellport Mary Immaculate Church, the East Patchogue St. Joseph The Worker Church, the Long Island Cares Food Bank, and the Hurricane Sandy Relief To The Shirley Community program.

If you’d like to attend one of the Acoustic Jams, they are held on Friday evenings at 7pm in the Bellport Community Center located at 4 Bell Street in the Village. Here’s the schedule through the end of October:

Friday, June 27, 2014
Friday, July 11, 2014
Friday, July 25, 2014
Friday, August 8, 2014
Friday, August 22, 2014
Friday, September 5, 2014
Friday, September 19, 2014
Friday, October 3, 2014
Friday, October 17, 2014
Friday, October 31, 2014

If you come to a jam, please check your pantry or add another item to your shopping list that week and help people fight hunger where we live. Items that are most needed are cereal, peanut butter, tuna, dry milk, canned items such as: soup, vegetables, fruit, and spaghetti sauce. Rice, spaghetti or noodles are also good choices. Basically, the basics, but anything at all will help. If you can’t bring food... BRING MONEY!

Click Here for more information about the Boys & Girls Club

Click Here for more information about the Acoustic Jam

Recording of the June 28th Bellport Village Sewer Project Meeting For Residents

On Saturday, June 28, 2014, a second meeting was held in the Community Center to discuss the proposed new sewer project for the Village of Bellport. This second meeting was aimed at the needs and questions of and from Village residents. was there to record the meeting for those of you who weren’t able to attend.  Click Here to listen to the meeting

Recording of the June 18th Bellport Village Sewer Project Meeting

Bellport Village Sewer Project Meeting

On Wednesday, June 18, 2014, a meeting was held in the Community Center to discuss the proposed new sewer project for the Village of Bellport. This particular meeting was aimed at the needs and questions of and from the commercial property owners in the Village. was there to record the meeting for those of you who weren’t able to attend.  Click Here to listen to the meeting

Bellport Resident Exhibits Work at Islip Art Museum

Lealand Eve

Artist, art educator and Bellport resident, Lealand Eve Richard, has had one of her mixed media works selected to be part of a group show at the Islip Art Museum called "Mash Up: Collages in Mixed Media." The exhibit will run June 29th-September 14th, with an opening reception on July 13th from 1:00pm-4:00pm. Lealand's piece, "Cinderella Tumbleweed" (shown at left) was created in 2009 (Mixed Media on Wood). The Islip Art Museum is located at 50 Irish Lane in East Islip. The exhibit is open Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00am-4:00pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12:00pm-4:00pm. Click here for more about Lealand and her work.

Trustee Dorothy Terwilliger’s Farewell Address To The Village


On Monday evening, June 23, 2014, Trustee Dorothy Terwilliger gave a farewell address to the Village at the regularly scheduled Bellport Village Board Meeting. Here is what Dorothy had to say.

To the Residents of Bellport Village,

First, as I leave the office of Trustee after four years, I want to thank the voters who supported me for the chance to serve the Village and who had the confidence that I would represent their interests. I also want to thank the support staff at Village Hall for always providing me with information that I needed and their friendly, yet professional, attitudes.

I had an interesting chat with our new Village Clerk, John Kocay, the other day and it actually helped me to focus on one of the major concerns that I have about Bellport Village as it moves forward. John asked about plaques in the village that mention Robert Terwilliger, Robert Hawkins, and Mort Czaja. I appreciated the fact that he asked who these men were. Robert Terwilliger was a past village trustee and a former fire chief who was in charge of our 1963 school fire. Robert Hawkins was a former village clerk , also a fireman, who actually died while in office. Mort Czaja was a golfer, former fire chief and long time resident of Bellport who was also married to Em Czaja, former Village Historian and artist who has won many local awards. I told John that these are some of the middle class Bellport residents who shaped Bellport. Giving freely of their time is one of the qualities they all shared and that we need to emulate. None of them were rich but all made Bellport richer. Bellport is a beautiful village that is a mix of young and old, middle class and upper class and full-time and weekenders. All residents are important. The recent history of raising taxes affects each of us differently. As this board spends money and raises taxes, it is important to remember that to one person, a $300 tax increase is a dinner out one night, to another it is an oil bill that needs to be paid, to a senior citizen it may be the cost of a needed medication, and to yet another it is books for their child’s college courses. This board needs to think long and hard about future tax raises. We all know that taxes never go down once they are raised.

I approached the Village with the same attitude as I would my own home. As I look around, I see that I would like my wood floors refinished, new sofas, central air conditioning and other improvements. But my next question is, what can I afford this year? I cannot turn to others and ask for donations to complete these projects. That is how the village should be governed. We have so many projects and expenses right now. Not all of them can be blamed on Hurricane Sandy and not all of them have to be done this year or next year. Spending should be prioritized not just passed on to others.

As I leave office, I want to challenge our residents to attend meetings and become more aware of the issues in Bellport, the votes that your trustees make, and the ramifications they have for you individually and as a Bellporter. We had only about 300 voters turn out this year. That is a far cry from the number of residents. We all have a voice. Although the current administration ran under the platform of One Village, it is important to remember that it is a diverse population that you serve, not one. And no segment of Bellport is more important than another.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve as a Village Trustee.

Dorothy Terwilliger, Village Trustee

Dorothy Terwilliger

The Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area's Annual "Beach Ball" Fundraiser

Beach Ball

The 2014 Beach Ball was held at the beautiful bay front home of Alexandra Lebenthal and Jay Diamond. The evening was filled with delectable food and drinks, music and dancing! Live and silent auctions were focused around “The Art of Summer.” The one-of-a-kind auction items - whether fashion, jewelry, home goods, or services - were spotlighted amongst artwork from an array of prestigious galleries and well-known and emerging artists!

This wonderful evening benefited the youth of the South Shore Community- the Boys & Girls Club members! Click here to see more photos from the event.

The BBHS “Down On The Farm” Gala

Historical Society Gala

On Saturday, June 7, 2014, the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society held their Annual Gala. This year, the theme was “Down On The Farm” honoring Ron Bush and featured items from the Bush Farm Museum. This being the largest fundraiser of the year it is held to sustain preservation of the Society’s historic structures and enable them to present exhibits and programs that encourage the conservation and enjoyment of the Bellport- Brookhaven cultural legacy. We’d like to thank Pamela Lerner and Patrice Casanova for making some wonderful photos from the Gala available to us. Click here to see the photos.

The Bellport Garden Club's Summer Garden Tour
Garden Tour The Bellport Garden Club held their summer garden tour, "Garden Artistry en Plein Air," on Sunday, June 22nd. Seven delightful gardens in the Bellport Village area were on display. For added enjoyment, artists from PALS (Plein Air Limner Society) were set up in each of the gardens creating lovely landscapes, and music was wafting through the air as well.

Click here to see photos from just one of the featured gardens.

Assembly Passes Assemblyman Edward Hennessey's
Legislation Increasing Penalties on Hit-and-Run Drivers



Assemblyman Edward Hennessey (D-Medford) announced that legislation to increase penalties for leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it to authorities has passed the Assembly (A.7315-D).

“Just yesterday we read about another tragic hit and run incident; it seems like there’s one a week,” Assemblyman Hennessey said. “Current penalties just aren’t strong enough. As DWI penalties increase and prosecutors are more aggressive on vehicular crimes, people are leaving the scene of accidents at epidemic rates.”

Hennessey noted that last year in Suffolk County alone, there were over 5,500 hit-and-run accidents resulting in 11 fatalities. Under this new legislation, the penalties would be increased for the driver in a hit-and-run accident that seriously injures or kills someone. These increased penalties would apply in cases where the driver has certain prior driving convictions including leaving the scene of an accident and/or had his/her license suspended or revoked because of refusal to submit to a chemical test, or because of a DWI conviction. The violation would be raised from a Class D to a Class C felony, and the jail-time penalty would be increased from almost two and a half years, with a maximum of seven years, to a possible sentence of five years, with a maximum of 15 years.

“Similar bills have been languishing in Albany for years,” Hennessey said. “This has been one of my top priorities. Hopefully the State Senate will follow my lead so that we can pass a law that toughens penalties on hit and run drivers,” Hennessey concluded.

Click here to see Hennessey speaking about the proposed law.

"New Inlet" Update

New Inlet

New Inlet

On June 6, 2014 Charlie Flagg and Mike White carried out another bathymetric survey of the breach. Click here for a plot of the track.

They were there intentionally around high tide so that they could cover some of the shallow areas. However, that meant that the offshore rollers could penetrate into the inlet causing breakers over the shoals on either side of the main channel. As a result, the survey was restricted to the center of the channel. Deepest depths were again around 6 meters.

On June 8, 2014, Charlie Flagg and Rich Giannotti flew in Rich’s plane over the breach at about mid-flood tide and got some very colorful pictures of the area. Click on either photo at the left for a larger version.

Legislator Browning Donates Surplus Computer Monitors to the Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area

Donated Monitors


The Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area accepted four donated computer monitors from Legislator Kate Browning on Friday, June 6, 2014. The monitors were recently declared surplus by Suffolk County, and Legislator Browning sponsored legislation to allow the organization to utilize the equipment for their youth programs.

“It is important that we support our local youth organizations because they operate on limited budgets,” stated Legislator Kate Browning. “These monitors will enhance vital after-school programs and help children that may not have the use of computers at home. I am the happy the Boys and Girls Club can make use of equipment that the County no longer needs. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

New U.S. Citizens Recognized

New Citizens


Legislator Kate Browning was proud to attend a citizenship recognition event at the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library on June 1, 2014. Ten local residents obtained U.S. citizenship over the past year, after completing the library’s citizenship preparation program. Three participants in the preparation program were granted scholarships to help with the cost of applying for citizenship. Legislator Browning was joined by Assemblyman Edward Hennessey, Assemblyman Fred Thiele and Supervisor Edward Romaine.

In attendance as new citizens were Luz Urruchurtu, Sandra Milena Astudillo, Sehrish Khan, Marisol Rivera, Ferney Zea, Gregorio Casaverde, Emilio Padilla and Raynald Dolcin. Two new citizens, Vanessa Morocho and Jaime Morocho, were unable to attend.

“The Mastic-Moriches-Shirley Community Library runs an amazing literacy program and has helped countless residents become United State citizens,” stated Legislator Browning. “Having personally gone through the process of becoming a U.S. citizen it is particularly special to celebrate this proud achievement with our residents.”

May 2014

Assemblyman Edward Hennessey Met With The Community At The Bistro Over Bagels

Edward Hennessey


Assemblyman Edward Hennessey held a casual get together with the community at the Village Bistro on June 4th. The Assemblyman brought the bagels and members of the community were encouraged to bring their questions and concerns so that they could discuss them with the Assemblyman. For several hours there was a steady stream of new people wanting to discuss everything from the proposed sewer system for the Village to the “clear cutting” that had taken place along the Long Island Rail Road tracks north of the Village. Specifically, the topics included the economy of the State, region and Village, local Literacy Programs, Education in general and Higher Education specifically, the Village’s proposed Sewer System, revitalization of the Village’s Business District, Grants the Assemblyman had secured for the Village, the new inlet or breach on Fire Island, and politics in general.

It really was a very productive meeting. It gave the community a chance to meet one of their elected representatives in a casual, one on one setting where everyone had a chance to get to know each other a little better. We hope the Assemblyman holds more of these meetings in the future.

Editor's Note: As a follow-up to his meeting at the Bistro, Assemblyman Hennessey sent us a letter to the community, which we've posted in our Letters to the Editor section. Click here to read his letter.

CD Review: The Better Late Than Never Jug Band, “This Will Bring You Back”

Jug Band


“Jug Bands” originated in the 1920’s in the areas of the Southern U.S. now known for the Blues. The music features the use of simple, homemade instruments and a simple musical structure that evolved into the Blues as we know it today. The name “Jug” came from the use of an ordinary jug instead of a bass to fill “the low end.” Other improvised instruments included the Washboard instead of drums for percussion, the Kazoo instead of a trumpet or other horn instruments, the Washtub Bass instead of an upright bass, the Diddley Bo instead of a guitar, and a Cow Bell instead of, well, a cow bell to name just some of the improvised instruments.

The Better Late Than Never Jug Band is our own, local, incarnation of the many Jug Bands that evolved over the past almost 100 years. Although the members of the band have varied musical and professional backgrounds, they share a love for this unique musical style. “Big Mike” Meyer sings, plays the Kazoo and plays the Guitar. Rob “Blue Streak” Bellassai plays the “Harp,” better known as the Harmonica and of course, the Jug. Angela Giannotti sings, plays the Washboard, and simply makes noise anyway she can. Rich Fuller sings and plays the Mandolin. Carl “Batch” Batchelder plays the upright Bass and Rich Giannotti sings and plays the Guitar.

The Band’s first Album is titled “This Will Bring You Back.” It’s a compilation of fifteen songs that cover the gamut from traditional Jug Band and Blues influences to Calypso music. Several of the songs are clearly influenced by Jim Kweskin and his Jug Band from the 1960’s. Some of the songs, such as San Francisco Bay Blues, are sure to be familiar while others, though not familiar, will bring a smile to your face, and really, that’s what this music is about, putting a smile on your face and some of the lyrics will certainly do so. In Women Be Wise the listener is advised to “keep your mouth shut” and “don’t advertise your man” lest someone else try to steal your man from you!

If you’d like to purchase a copy of “This Will Bring You Back,” you can do so by visiting the “It’s Only Natural” health foods shop on Main Street in Bellport Village or by visiting the band’s website:

Pet Parade at the Brookhaven Free Library

Pet Parade

On May 31, 2014 the Brookhaven Free Library held a family-friendly celebration of pets! Residents brought their well-behaved pets to visit with other community members, make pet crafts, and have fun with their furry friends.

The event included:

- Representatives from Last Chance Animal Rescue, who brought pets eligible for adoption and provided information about the benefits of pet adoption

- Representatives from The Moriches Hospital for Animals who  provided information on pet care and answered questions about pet health

- Live Americana-folk music from local trio Pandafan

- Crafts, activities, and photo opportunities

Click here to see photos from the event.

Assemblyman Edward Hennessey: "The LIRR Created this Problem; Now They Must Solve It. The LIRR Must Replant the Buffer."



“Residents from East Patchogue to Brookhaven Hamlet began calling my office months ago to complain of LIRR personnel clear cutting all vegetation for a stretch of at least five miles along the Montauk Branch tracks. In a concerted effort with other elected officials who represent these communities, we have all reached out to LIRR officials repeatedly to describe the problem to them, express a groundswell of community anger, and demand information and a plan of action from the LIRR to address the issue effectively.

“And while LIRR representatives did finally attend a meeting with us and the community, the feeling remains that little is being accomplished. For this there is simply no excuse.

“The LIRR needs to be responsive to us here at the end of the line and, in fact, to all of the neighborhoods its tracks traverse. Keeping the tracks cleared of vegetation for safety purposes is something we all accept and support. However, what was done in this case—clear cutting trees and shrubbery so that residents’ natural privacy screen and sound barrier have been entirely stripped away, right up to their backyards and in some cases beyond—is insupportable on any level. Along the Montauk Branch from East Patchogue to Brookhaven, residents have lost a very precious commodity: privacy and quietude in their own homes.

“It is way past time for the LIRR to respond to this issue effectively and fix the very real problem they have created. And it is high time they change the way they do business in our communities. Just because a government agency can does not mean it should,” said Assemblyman Hennessey.

Photos from The Old South Haven Presbyterian Church's Yard Sale

Yard Sale

Yard Sale

Yard Sale

Yard Sale

Yard Sale

Yard Sale

Old South Haven Presbyterian Church in Brookhaven held their Annual Spring Church Fair and Yard Sale on Saturday, May 24th. Resident Jason Neal was kind enough to send us these photos from the Sale.

The Bellport Blue Claws Win the 9U NJBL, National Junior Baseball League, 2014 Memorial Day Weekend Tournament

Blue Claws


The National Junior Baseball League (NJBL) Annual Memorial Day Weekend Tournament hosted over 64 teams representing Suffolk, Nassau and the 5 Boroughs in various age brackets ranging from 9U-16U. The Bellport Blue Claws took home the 9U title with an undefeated 5-0 record!

The Bellport Blue Claws 9U started the weekend with two convincing shut out wins, 4-0 over the Ronkonkoma Ravens and a 7-0 victory against the Conyo Chiefs Black. The Bellport Blue Claws kept their momentum with two more wins on Sunday, 7-1 over the MLI Phantoms and 7-5 over the North Shore Spartans. With four solid wins under their belt the Blue Claws headed into the Championship game against the always strong Commack Yankees who were 3-1 in the tournament. The Commack Yankees took a 1-0 lead early in the game, but that would be all they would score against the Bellport Blue Claws. The Bellport Blue Claws’ bats erupted again for six runs in a 6-1 win to clinch the title in an undefeated effort.

For the entire weekend The Bellport Blue Claws played flawless baseball with solid pitching, strong fielding and timely hitting. The boys should be very proud of their efforts this weekend. The Bellport Blue Claws played the entire weekend with only a 10 man roster, facing teams with 14 and 15 player rosters, which made the tournament victory that much sweeter.

Pictured (Top Row) Manager Frank Virno, Coach Dario Promutico, Coach Mike Caroli, Coach Sal Zafonte (Middle Row) Brett Geffner, Marc Promutico, Jake Orlando, Evan Virno, Dan Rubin (Bottom Row) Daniel Reilly, Mack Murtha, Peter Zafonte, Logan Alberto, William Caroli and Chris Zafonte. Dylan Gronenthal wasn’t available for the photo.

Click on the photo for a larger version.
Photo courtesy Frank Virno.

Photos from the Bellport and Brookhaven Hamlet Memorial Day Parades

Memorial Day Parade

Memorial Day Parade

It was a beautiful day for a parade this Memorial Day. Lots of people came out to watch both the Bellport and Brookhaven Hamlet Memorial Day Parades. A special thank you to Linda Majowka who sent us the photos from the Brookhaven Hamlet Memorial Day Parade.

Click here to see photos from the Bellport Memorial Day Parade.

Click here to see photos from the Brookhaven Hamlet Memorial Day Parade.

Additionally, William Higinbotham was kind enough to send us photos from the Bellport Memorial Day Parade. Click here to see his photos.

Photos from the Bellport Garden Club's Annual Memorial Day Plant Sale

Memorial Day Plant Sale

The Bellport Garden Club held its annual Plant Sale on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26th on the Village Green in front of CVS, South Country Road, Bellport Village. Offered for sale were perennials, annuals and herbs, as well as gardening items. All plants for sale were grown by Garden Club members, and all proceeds from the sale went to the Beautification Fund. The plant sale was held in conjunction with Bellport's annual Memorial Day Parade.

Click here to see photos from the Sale.

The New Students, “When the West Wind Blows”

The New Students

“The New Students” have done it again. As a follow up to their first album, “Ship of Fools,” they just released their second album, “When the West Wind Blows” and it’s another winner.

“The New Students” are a local band that has taken the Bluegrass sound and instrumentation and applied them to their own original music. The result is a decidedly fresh sound that is all their own. Like most bluegrass music, the instrumentation includes Guitar, Mandolin, Fiddle, Bass, and Banjo, but you’ll also hear the Snare Drum, Percussion, and even the Ukulele along with wonderful vocals and harmonies.

Usually, a review like this will single out two or three songs that the reviewer wants to mention as their favorites. I listened to the album over and over again trying to find my favorites and the more I tried the harder it became. Each song is unique and stands on its own. “Pictures” has wonderful harmonies, “Lovely Day” features the Ukulele’s unique sound, “The Busman’s Holiday,” the story of William Cimillo, is destined to become a classic, and “Winter” is shear poetry reminiscent of Harry Chapin and Paul Simon. This album really is that good.

The New Students band consists of: Justin Flagg - Guitar, banjo, harmonica, jaw harp, Matthew Gelfer - Guitar, fiddle, mandolin, bouzouki, ukulele, Briana Carlson-Goodman – Vocals, Sam Gelfer – Bass, and Jason Rosoff – Percussion. A very special mention has to be made of Barry Rockwell who did the amazing artwork for the album.

If you’re a music lover, you’ll find a lot to like on “When the West Wind Blows.” Although much of the album is bluegrass inspired, you certainly don’t have to be a bluegrass lover to fall in love with “The New Students” and “When the West Wind Blows." The album is available from:



CD Baby

Or, pick up a copy from the band at one of their “gigs.” Visit their website to see their upcoming performance schedule.

April 2014

In Your Easter Bonnet...


The Saturday before Easter was an absolutely beautiful day this year. Temperatures were in the 70’s, a nice breeze was blowing and we had clear blue skies. Naturally, this kind of day is sure to bring out the Easter Bonnets and you could find them strutting their stuff on Main Street in the Village. All ages were there and it was a sure sign that spring has finally arrived.

Click Here to see some of the great Easter Bonnets that were on display


Gianni Cerri, At 84, an Artist, Musician, and Avid Tennis Player

Gianni Cerri

Giovanni Cerri, Gianni, or better yet “Johnny” to his friends, moved permanently to Bellport about three years ago from his home in Milan, Italy. Now at 84 years young, and in Gianni’s case we do mean young, he is an artist, musician, and avid tennis player.

When we first visited Gianni’s home, we were taken by his unique architectural pieces which depict places he has known both in Italy and here in the United States. These large pieces, some three or more feet in height, demonstrate Gianni’s skill as an artist and at the same time his sense of whimsy.

Click Here to read about Gianni and enjoy his artwork


March 2014

South Country School District Ranks Among Nation’s Top Communities For Music Education



The NAMM Foundation recognized South Country Central School District for its outstanding commitment to music education with a Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) designation. South Country joins 376 districts across the country to receive the prestigious distinction in 2014.

In its 15th year, Best Communities for Music Education affirms school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of the schools’ core curriculum.

The BCME survey requires districts to answer detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

As South Country finalizes its 2014–2015 budget, the announcement of this year’s Best Communities for Music Education designation brings attention to the importance of keeping music education part of the school’s core education and music’s vital role in student success in school.

The Best Communities for Music Education program plays an important part of the NAMM Foundation’s efforts to make music education part of the core curriculum assuring that the benefits of music making are available to every child. Numerous studies have demonstrated that learning to play music can boost academic and social skills, lower disciplinary action and keep kids in schools.

The South Country Music Department provides a high quality music education for all district students through many classroom and performance ensembles. Over 1800 students grades 3 through 12 participate in our performance ensembles while many others benefit from our extensive classroom experiences and rigorous music theory program.

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its nearly 9,000 members around the world with the mission of advancing active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs from the international music products industry.

Hennessey Calls for $20 Mil to Build Roadways for All Users; Pushes Bill to Deter Hit and Run, Stiffen Penalties


Assemblyman Edward Hennessey was joined by federal, state, and local officials; Eric Alexander of Vision Long Island; Ryan Lynch of Tri-State Transportation Campaign; and leaders of bicyclist and running groups from across Long Island and NYS (Jim Nostrom-Long Island Bicyclists and Runners for Safety; Daniel Flanzig-New York Bicycling Coalition; Mike Polansky-Greater LI Running Club) to call on Governor Cuomo to dedicate $20 million more annually in the budget to ensure pedestrian bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects to protect vulnerable users.

Furthermore, Hennessey, who also requested funding for other similar projects in the 3rd AD and Suffolk, called on the NYS DOT to aggressively consider NYS Complete Streets Policy in the planning and design of road projects in order to integrate all users of our roadways, to enhance communities, and keep people safe.

“Hit and run driving is an epidemic on Long Island and throughout the state. My bill A7315 introduced last year is a common sense approach to stiffen penalties and de-incentivize drivers from hitting a pedestrian, a jogger, or another motorist and fleeing the scene without stopping and calling for aid,” said Assemblyman Hennessey.

“If we want to make our roads safer, more user-friendly for everyone, more integrated with our communities, then we need stiffer laws but also better, smarter infrastructure. This is where the necessary funding and the commitment of our NYS DOT to implement the funding become imperative to follow through on the Complete Streets Policy,” said Assemblyman Hennessey.

February 2014

Police Train For The Worst, The “Active Shooter Drill”

On Saturday, February 22, 2014, the Suffolk County Police Department, and in particular the 5th Precinct, held a drill to simulate their response to an "Active Shooter" as if there were an armed person or persons shooting at people in a heavily populated area such as a school, movie theater, or shopping mall. The drill was designed to help our Police prepare for a day we all hope will never come. Last year, the Police Department ran twelve of these special drills.

Click Here to read all about it and see photos taken at the Drill

Suffolk County Is The First Municipality On The East Coast To Implement The PulsePoint Smartphone App Program

Pulse Point

The PulsePoint Mobile Smartphone “App” alerts CPR-trained bystanders that someone nearby is having a sudden cardiac arrest and may need CPR. Citizens who are CPR trained, can download the App via the Apple Store or Android Market and indicate that they are willing to assist if needed.

When a 911 call is received by Suffolk Fire Rescue and Emergency Services reporting someone unconscious, unresponsive and likely needing CPR in a public place, FRES will dispatch emergency resources as they normally do but in addition, software running at PulsePoint will send an alert to nearby CPR trained citizens who have registered with PulsePoint to be able to assist with CPR. The App directs these citizen rescuers with a live map to the nearest Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) so that CPR can begin immediately. This application will assist in improving Sudden Cardiac Survival rates by empowering citizens to be able to help and respond.

Legislator Browning Appoints Alison Neumann to the Suffolk County Women’s Advisory Commission

Alison Neumann

The Third Legislative District has a new representative on the Suffolk County Women’s Advisory Commission. Legislator Kate Browning recently appointed Alison Neumann of Bellport Village to the commission and attended her swearing in on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. The Commission suggests programs, advises the Office of Women Services on policy and advocates for the betterment of the women of Suffolk County.

“Alison has been a strong advocate for her community, and I know she will be a valuable asset to the commission and women across Suffolk County,” stated Legislator Browning. “I wish her the best of luck and look forward to working with her to meet the commission’s goals.”

Alison Neumann grew up in Bellport where she still lives today and is a retired insurance administrator. She served as Bellport Village Trustee from 2010-2012, and has worked as a volunteer for years on the annual Bellport Clipper Classic 5K Run in Bellport Village.

Hennessey Bill Would Abolish Onerous Gap Elimination Adjustment Cut To School Funding This Year


Assemblyman Edward Hennessey has introduced legislation that would eliminate the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) rate for 2014-15 and thereafter and provide school districts with the full amount of aid generated by all existing budget funding formulas (A.8720).

“I want to thank Assemblyman Englebright, who is prime co-sponsor of this bill, for joining me in this effort. The school districts here in Brookhaven are diverse in their needs,” Assemblyman Hennessey said. “This year alone, the districts I represent are losing out on $51.7 million in school aid because of the Gap Elimination Adjustment. This is entirely unacceptable. In addition to giving the schools their fair share, this legislation would also help undo the burden of high property taxes.

- Longwood -$7.9 million
- Middle Country -$9.6 million
- Patchogue Medford -$7.1 million
- Sachem -$16.4 million
- South Country -$5 million
- William Floyd -$5.7 million

“At the height of the economic collapse in 2009, our state faced a devastating $10 billion dollar deficit and the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) helped to repair our budgetary stability,” said co-sponsor Assemblyman Englebright. “Over the last 3 years, the GEA has reduced state aid to Long Island School Districts by almost $1 billion. Schools have done their part to return our state to economic health. By eliminating the GEA, this important measure will now help our schools regain budgetary stability.”

The GEA was introduced in New York State in 2009-10 under the name of the Deficit Reduction Assessment to partially reduce the state's $10 billion budget deficit. Over the past three years however the GEA has been used to reduce state aid to school districts. In doing so, the GEA has unfairly burdened school districts and taxpayers throughout the state, increasing the dependence on local property taxes and taxpayers to fund our schools, Hennessey concluded.

Pictured: Assemblymen Steve Englebright (left) and Edward Hennessey at Longwood Central School District Regional Forum. AM Hennessey announced his GEA bill at this forum. AM Englebright is prime co-sponsor.

Hennessey Supports Unions/Residents Demanding Verizon Bring FIOS to Brookhaven Town


Assemblyman Hennessey joined union members and fellow elected officials from Local, County, and State government to call on Verizon to bring FIOS to Brookhaven Town.

“Brookhaven Town Hall was filled to capacity with residents and unions, all demanding that Verizon build out FIOS in Brookhaven Town. I was proud to stand with them. Bringing FIOS to the town means jobs, service to residents at competitive prices, and economic development,” said Assemblyman Hennessey.

Pictured left to right are Assemblyman Edward Hennessey, Michael Gendron, CWA Local 1108; Patrick Guidice, IBEW 1049; and Donald Dunn, CWA Local 1108.

January 2014

South Country Community Leadership Network, SCCLN, Is Formed

South Country Community Leadership Network

A new organization has been formed to explore a community based intervention approach to deal with at-risk individuals in the community and to promote a stronger and safer community. Just some of the groups and organizations that attended a recent meeting of this new organization included:

• Bellport Beach Property Owners Association
• Bellport Fire Department
• Bellport Methodist Church
• Bellport Youth Football/Mirimar Property Owners Association
• BHEP Alliance
• Boys & Girls Club
• Brookhaven Free Library
• Brookhaven Hospital
• Brookhaven Village Association
• Greater Bellport Coalition
• The Journey Church
• Mt. Zion Baptist Church
• Outreach
• Parent/Community Resident
• Post Morrow Foundation
• South Bay Sailing Foundation/Bellport Village
• South Country Ambulance
• South Country Community Conference
• South Country Community Land Trust
• South Country CSD Board of Education
• South Country School District
• South Country Soccer
• Suffolk County Department of Labor
• Suffolk County Police Department
• Town of Brookhaven Youth Bureau
• VFW Post 8300

Some of the topics discussed included Transportation for Youth Sports, a Directory of Community Services, Suffolk County Department of Labor Programs, Community Outreach Program, Mother’s Club, Calendar of Events, Food Drive, Toy Drive, and Coat Drive, Youth Athletic Scholarships, South Country Athletic Foundation, a meeting of the SCPD and School District with at-risk students, Anger Management, and a Civic Engagement Workshop.

SCCLN meetings
are open to community group/organization leaders in the South Country area. For more information please contact Dr. Giani at 631-730-1501.

Old South Haven Church Concert A Huge Success

Old South Haven Church Concert

Back in September of 2013, The Old South Haven Presbyterian Church hosted a concert that was huge success. It featured Nancy Loesch, Soprano; Leslie Valentine, Mezzo-Soprano, Christopher Reames, Tenor; Michael Douglas Jones, Bass; and Daniel Ragone, Artistic Director and Accompanist.

The program was such a success that this past weekend, on Saturday, January 11th, there was an encore performance entitled, “Songs That We Like To Sing” featuring the same performers.

These concerts are just the beginning of what The Old South Haven Presbyterian Church has planned for the coming months. We’ll be sure to let you know as soon as the dates and performances are announced. Don’t miss them!

Click here for more photos from the concert.