Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization

General Announcements

Election 2017: Meet the Candidates on October 12th

The Executive Board has invited candidates for Town and County positions to the General Membership meeting on Thursday, October 12th to meet with our members. The Board does not endorse any particular candidate or political party, but we do encourage our members to come to the meeting and ask our guests about the issues that are important to them.


The meeting begins at 7:30 PM at the
Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society Museum, 328 Hawkins Avenue.

RONKOKOMO!

Ronkokomo featuring Comedian/Actor Christopher Brian Roach from Kevin Can Wait on CBS! A tribute to his hometown.

News from Save-A-Pet Animal Rescue

Please consider adopting one of these dogs or cats, or donating towards their care.  Please share this with others. 


www.saveapetny.org
Over two dozen dogs and cats came in to Save A Pet from Rebel Ranch Rescue in Texas after the owner of the Ranch, Amy Allen, was murdered on August 21st.  All animals were tagged, vaccinated and enjoyed stretching their legs from the long journey. All except two will need to be spayed or neutered.  Everyone will be heartworm tested, many need dentals and blood work. Please consider donating at: http://www.saveapetny.org
Their lives depend on all of us!

 For information please call (631) 473-6333. We are open 7 days a week, Monday to Saturday 11-5 and Sunday 12-4.  Save-A-Pet is located at 608 Route 112 Port Jefferson Station

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Suffolk County launches program to thwart park dumping: RID (Report Illegal Dumping)

RID@suffolkcountyny.gov

Please share this with others, thank you!

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Suffolk launches program to thwart park dumping, vandalism
August 21, 2017 By Carl MacGowan   
carl.macgowan@newsday.com

A wave of illegal dumping incidents in Suffolk County parks in recent years prompted officials Monday to make it easier for visitors to report suspicious activity.

County lawmakers announced a new telephone hotline and email address that parkgoers can use to report dumping and other problems such as vandalism and graffiti they see in parks.

“What we want people to do is report it if they see it,” Legis. Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) said during a news conference at Lakeland County Park in Islandia. “It’s important that those of us who are here to enjoy our beautiful parks are also going to protect them.”

County officials plan to launch a social media and public awareness campaign to call attention to the program, dubbed Parks Watch, which is modeled after neighborhood watch programs in residential areas.

The campaign, also known as Report Illegal Dumping, or RID, will be highlighted in county parks by new signs bearing a pair of owl eyes that list the phone number, 631-854-1423, and email address, RID@suffolkcountyny.gov, for visitors to use.

Officials have been alarmed by a spate of dumping incidents in parks and open spaces in Melville, Manorville, Coram, Miller Place and elsewhere.

Islip Town’s Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood — which closed in April 2014 when 40,000 tons of contaminated construction debris was found there — reopened on July 31.

Besides illegal dumping, officials said parks are easy targets for vandalism, drug dealing, gang activity and graffiti.

Visitors should call 911 if they spot “serious criminal activity,” Legis. Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) said. Suffolk County police are installing security cameras to monitor parks for illegal activity, Anker said.

“You’re not going to see them. You’re not going to know where they are,” she said of the cameras. “It’s a shame we have to get to this, but we have to protect our parks.”

Suffolk has about 70,000 acres of county parkland, County Parks Commissioner Philip Bertolt said. About one-third of the county consists of state, county or municipal parks, he added.
Much of that land is in remote areas away from homes and businesses, making those places difficult to monitor, Bertolt said.

He added he hopes the Parks Watch signs alone might deter people from vandalism and illegal dumping in the parks.

“If people will know they are being watched, hopefully it will keep them away,” he said.

Visitors who call the hotline should provide useful information such as license plate numbers of involved vehicles, and the date and time of suspicious activity, Hahn said.

She said dumping and vandalism cost the county “millions of dollars” to repair and replace playground equipment and bathroom fixtures that suffer damage.

“We love our parks in Suffolk County,” Hahn said. “And we’re going to protect them.”
Please see article from Newsday below regarding a new county initiative to reduce illegal dumping in our parks.

There is a hotline to call:  631-854-1423
Or e-mail address:  

Brookhaven Animal Shelter and Adoption Center Offering Free Adoptions in June

www.brookhaven.org/animalshelter.
The Town of Brookhaven Animal Shelter and Adoption Center will celebrate the start of summer with free adoptions through the month of June. The normal adoption fees of $137 for a dog and $125 for a cat will be waived and include free neuter or spay, vaccinations, microchip, license, heartworm test, flea and fecal. Pictured is "Jaidyn," one of the Animal Shelter dogs available for adoption.
 
Those who are interested in adopting a dog or cat should visit the Brookhaven Animal Shelter and Adoption Center located at 300 Horseblock Road in Brookhaven. It is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information, please call 631-451-6950 or visit
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Ronkonkoma Hub Update



If you missed the last civic meeting on June 8th, you missed a comprehensive presentation by Rob Loscalzo of Tritec, the developer of the project.  Rob provided some history of Tritec's involvement with the project and relayed some information on when construction of Phase I might start.  He discussed the impact of the sewer line on the project, the number of housing units, Phase 2 (the retail/office section), parking, and much more.  He also shared several renderings, a few of which are included below.
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Local History Program at Sachem Library

The Manor of St. George
Sachem Public Library • 150 Holbrook Road • Holbrook, NY 11741
 
Wednesday, June 14   6:30 pm

At one time Suffolk County boasted 13 manors, founded by influential individuals with money and connections to the British Royal Governors, yet the patriots from the towns who won the Revolutionary War wrote LI history as if the manors never existed. 
The Manors of Long Island, a series of documentary films produced by the Suffolk County Archaeological Association and directed/researched by Gaynell Stone, PhD, tells this untold story. The Manor of St. George uncovers the history of the manors owned by William "Tangier" Smith in Strong's Neck, Yaphank, and Mastic. Dr. Stone will introduce the film and answer questions.

All are welcome to attend this free event at the Sachem Public Library. Register
here, or call 631-588-5024.

Kids 4 Vets Day - Sunday June 4


The Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization is supporting the upcoming Kids 4 Vets Day.  Please see flyer below for details and share this email with others.

Thank you!
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Substance Abuse Education Workshop for Parents


Please see flyer below for information about this workshop.  Please share with others who may be interested.
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Town of Brookhaven Events, Programs & Other Information


http://www.brookhavenny.gov/Forms?Command=Core_Download&EntryId=10423

Seasonal Employee Online Application:

https://brookhaven.munisselfservice.com/employmentopportunities/default.aspx

Pre-Season Resident Parking Sticker Sale:
https://www.brookhavenny.gov/Forms?Command=Core_Download&EntryId=10269

Cedar Beach Marine Stewardship Center & Environmental Programs:  see flyers below. 

Holtsville Ecology Site & Animal Preserve programs:
Cedar-Beach-Marine-Stewardship-Center-2017
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LRCO update: Sachem budget information

Residents in the Sachem School District will be receiving the notice below in the mail regarding the 2017-18 budget to be voted on on May 16th.

There is more information available on the school district's website as well as in a comprehensive budget newsletter:

http://www.sachem.edu/Assets/1718_Budget/050517_SachemBudgetNewsletter2017.pdf?t=636295997493570000

http://www.sachem.edu

For Town of Brookhaven residents - 2017 Special Recycling Event Schedule


Please see 2017 schedule below for special recycling days for electronics, pharmaceuticals and paper shredding in the Town of Brookhaven.  The next event is tomorrow in Mt Sinai at the Rose Caracappa Center.

Recycle-Event-Sched-2017

2017 Spring Street Sign Clean-Up

The civic is once again compiling a list of street name signs and traffic control signs that are missing, vandalized or in generally poor condition.  Send your list of signs to the civic; we will verify and forward on to the appropriate town departments for review and possible replacement.  Either bring your list to the next civic meeting, or mail the list to the civic at PO Box 2916, Lake Ronkonkoma, or e-mail the list to information@lakeronkonkomacivic.org.  Deadline is May 31st.  

Also a reminder that if you notice particular potholes that need filling, please call Brookhaven's Constituent Call Center:  451-TOWN (8696).

Civic Annual Meeting: Thursday, May 11th, 7:30 PM

Join us on May 11th for our Annual Meeting and a presentation and discussion on the results of our 2017 Community Survey.


The election of officers to the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization Executive Board will take place at the Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 11th, at 7:30 PM, at the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society Museum, 328 Hawkins Avenue.

2017-2018 Executive Board Nominees
President: Dawn Hopkins (Term Ends 5/18)
Vice-president: Jeff Kagan (Term Ends 5/19)
Treasurer: Jeff Kagan (Term Ends 5/18)
Recording Secretary: Thalia Bouklas (Term Ends 5/18)
Corresponding Secretary: George Schramm (Term Ends 5/19)
Membership Secretary:Gregg Freedner (Term Ends 5/19)
Director #1: Brianna Fitzgerald (Term Ends 5/18)
Director #2: Peter Bonna (Term Ends 5/19)

The position of Director #3 (Term Ends 5/19) is vacant.

Suffolk County Police Department 4th Precinct Monthly Community Meeting: May 2nd


Note:  in general, in our area, if you live east of Patchogue-Holbrook Road, you are in the 6th Precinct; west of Patchogue-Holbrook Road is the 4th Precinct.  
You are invited to the SCPD 4th Precinct monthly Community Meeting.  The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday May 2nd at 7PM at the Nesconset Public Library located at 148 Smithtown Blvd.  Special guest is SCPD Homeland Security.  All are welcome.  

Earth Day at Arrowhead Park

THANK YOU to everyone who participated in Saturday's Earth Day event at Arrowhead Park!

• All of the volunteers who dug holes, shoveled mulch & soil, planted trees & bushes and spruced up this community park.
• The local nurseries who donated the plantings:  Mike from Bloomin' Haus Nursery in Holtsville, Richard & Scott from Longwood Farms in Middle Island and Donna from Bohemia Garden Center.
• The Town of Brookhaven which provided the mulch and soil.
• And especially Lesia Macko who organized the event!


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Volunteers needed at Arrowhead Park - Saturday April 22nd



Please help and ask others to assist as well for this Earth Day event!  


Two local nurseries have donated several trees to the civic organization to be planted at Arrowhead Park.  Brookhaven Town has donated soil and compost.  Now we need volunteers to get the trees in the ground.  Bring your own shovels & gloves, and wheelbarrows if possible.
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The Great Brookhaven Cleanup

Volunteer to Keep Lake Ronkonkoma Clean!
Join the Annual Great Brookhaven Cleanup on
Saturday, May 20, 2017
On Saturday, May 20, the Town of Brookhaven will once again participate in Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup and Ronkonkoma residents can participate and help keep the Lake Ronkonkoma shoreline clean and beautiful. From 9:00 am to 4:00 pm volunteers will meet at Brookhaven’s Michael P. Murphy Beach on Lake Shore Road and walk the shoreline of the lake picking up litter and garbage.
For details, visit
www.brookhaven.org or call 631-451-6222

Presentation at Sachem Library: The Revitalization of Lake Ronkonkoma

The Lake Ronkonkoma Improvement Group will present a program on Saturday, March 18th, 2:00 PM, about the revitalization of the lake, featuring Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Brookhaven Town Councilman Neil Foley and Brookhaven Town Councilman Kevin LaValle.  The program will include slides of the history of Lake Ronkonkoma provided by the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society and will showcase the accomplishments of the Lake Ronkonkoma Improvement Group.

Update from Suffolk County Police Department Update from Suffolk County Police Department Update from Suffolk County Police Department

discussed the prevalence of massage parlors in our community; some have been involved in human trafficking and prostitution.

We recently heard from the commissioner's office regarding two arrests that took place after a raid at a massage parlor on Portion Road in Lake Ronkonkoma after numerous complaints from local residents were made to the SCPD.  See details in press release below.  They urged residents to continue to alert the SCPD of any illegal activity believed to be going on in our neighborhoods.  


As you may recall, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini attended the November meeting of the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization.  During that meeting, we 
SCPD-news-release

Suffolk County Community Protection Act

The County Executive asked that local organizations share this link with their members:

https://www.change.org/p/new-york-state-protect-our-children-support-the-community-protection-act

Lake Ronkonkoma St. Patrick's Day Parade

Sunday, March 12th at 2:00 PM
Parade will begin at Patchogue Holbrook Road at Portion Road, West on Portion Road, South on Hawkins Avenue, West on Church Street, ending at Pond Road.
Visit http://saintregiskofc.com for details.

Public Hearing for Ronkonkoma Hub - February 7, 2017

There will be a public hearing on Tuesday, February 7th at 2:30PM in the Legislative Auditorium of the W.H. Rogers Building (located at 725 Veterans Memorial Highway, Smithtown, NY 11787) regarding the proposed expansion of the Southwest Sewer District (Suffolk County Sewer District No. 3) to support the Ronkonkoma Hub development. 

The proposal was originally presented at a public hearing last year, but was not voted on by the Legislature due to concern it was not clearly expressed this would come at no cost to the taxpayer. These improvements will be paid for using Sewer District Serial Bonds and a grant from the Empire State Development Corporation, with contributions from the developer of the Ronkonkoma Hub. The expansion of the Southwest Sewer District will provide sewage treatment to previously un-sewered areas, creating a favorable ecological and economic impact to the County, and allowing for the construction of an asset within the District that has the ability to generate revenue and future cost savings to District rate payers.

This hearing is critical to the redevelopment of the Ronkonkoma Hub.  The County Legislature is deciding on the appropriations for the pump station.

This issue has recently become "political" and if the appropriations are not approved, then the entire project is at risk.  The project requires proper sewering to move forward.

It would be helpful if community members in favor of project attend the hearing and state their support of the project and relay how important it is to redevelop the blighted area around the train station.

Emma Bruno Passes Away at 102

It is with deep regret that we inform you of the passing of Mrs. Emma Bruno.  Emma passed away on Saturday January 28th; she was 102 years old.

Many of you know Emma Bruno through her varied community and civic involvements.  She had been a steadfast pillar of the Lake Ronkonkoma community for most of her life.  Emma's generosity through philanthropy and volunteerism was known by many.  She was honored by the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization in 2006 as our Citizen of the Year (see photo below).

Emma Bruno had been an active member of the Lake Ronkonkoma Homemakers Club, the Friends of Sachem Public Library Club, the Lake Ronkonkoma Senior Citizen Club, the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society and the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization. She was an avid gardener and was known to share her vast knowledge of Lake Ronkonkoma history with anyone who was interested.  Mrs. Bruno’s husband, Louis, passed away in 1991. 

Arrangements are as follows:

Wednesday February 1st:  Joseph A. Weber Funeral Home, 231 Hawkins Avenue, Lake Ronkonkoma, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Thursday February 2nd:    Funeral service to be held at Weber Funeral Home.  Internment at St. Charles Cemetery, 2015 Wellwood Avenue, Farmingdale

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Information Regarding Patchogue-Holbrook Road Bridge

As many of you know, the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization has been sharing as much information as possible about this frustrating bridge project.  We arranged a community meeting with the New York State Department of Transportation in June and have provided any additional information on the project as received.

Just this week, we were provided with the flyer below (even though it was released in November.)  It provides some additional information about the project especially with regard to the closure of the northbound lanes.

Please feel free to share via e-mail or Facebook with others in the community who may be interested. 

PH-Road-Bridge-NYS-DOT-info-11-2016

Town of Brookhaven Coat Drive

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Nicolls Road Bus Rapid Transit: Report on the Public Meeting December 13

Representatives from the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization attended this public meeting regarding the proposed Nicolls Road Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system on December 13th. While funding is always an issue with Suffolk County projects, there is a lack of adequate north-south transit options.  The BRT system would connect Stony Brook University and Patchogue with the Ronkonkoma Hub and the LIRR. The LIRR connection combined with a train station near the Brookhaven National Labs pulls together some key population centers. The proposed buses would be comfortable and make for a pleasant ride. And the proposed schedule calls for frequent departures.
 
Nicolls Road has a wide center median which would readily accommodate the additional lanes required for the buses. The attached exhibits show the alternatives current being considered.
 
Some might ask about a Smith Haven Mall connection. We believe that there would be normal bus service from the Ronkonkoma Hub to the Mall to accommodate this route.
 
Folks should send their comments to
LIinnovationzone@suffolkcountyny.gov

Pet Adoption Fees Waived During "Home for the Holidays" Promotion at Brookhaven Animal Shelter December 15 through January 15

The Town of Brookhaven Animal Shelter and Adoption Center will celebrate the holiday season with its "Home for the Holidays" promotion, featuring free dog and cat  adoptions from December 15 through January 15.  Each adoption includes free neuter or spay, vaccinations, microchip, license, heartworm test, flea and fecal tests. Pictured is "Jalapeño," one of the adoptable pets looking for a home this holiday season.
 
Those who are interested in adopting a pet this holiday season should visit the Brookhaven Animal Shelter and Adoption Center located at 300 Horseblock Road in Brookhaven. It is open Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The shelter is closed on Wednesdays. For more information, please call 631-451-6950 or visit
http://www.brookhaven.org/animalshelter

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Public Hearing for Ronkonkoma Hub - December 20, 2016



This hearing is critical to the redevelopment of the Ronkonkoma Hub.  The County Legislature is deciding on the appropriations for the pump station.

This issue has recently become "political" and if the appropriations are not approved, then the entire project is at risk.  The project requires proper sewering to move forward.

It would be helpful if community members in favor of project attend the hearing and state their support of the project on December 20th and relay how important it is to redevelop the blighted area around the train station.
See notice below for Public Hearing number 2055; as noted, public hearings begin at 2:30.  The general meeting is held at William H. Rogers County Center in Hauppauge.
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Upcoming Events

1.  The Ronkonkoma Chamber of Commerce is hosting their annual Christmas Tree Lighting on December 4th (tomorrow) at Raynor Beach County Park at 2:00 PM.

2.  The Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization will be holding a Farmers Market on Sunday December 11th, 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Ronkonkoma Fire District Building (corner of Portion Road and Hawkins Avenue).  Vendors will be offering a variety of foods and other goods.  We expect to have additional Farmers Market events in 2017 - more info to follow.

3.  Suffolk County will be holding a public information meeting on December 13, 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Suffolk Community College regarding the Nicolls Road Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System.
 
Bus Rapid Transit is an innovative public transportation solution offering many of the advantages of a light-rail system but at a fraction of the cost – both for the passenger and to the municipality.
The transformation of Nicolls Road into a multimodal corridor will establish the first direct north/south connection between three Long Island Railroad lines; linking Brookhaven National Lab to Stony Brook University and Suffolk County Community College; connecting our Patchogue and Ronkonkoma Hub downtowns to Long Island MacArthur Airport; and creating an extensive hiking/biking network. The first public information meeting for Nicolls Road BRT will be held at Suffolk County Community College’s Ammerman Campus on Tuesday, December 13th from 6:00- 9:00P.M. 
 
4.  The Ronkonkoma Chamber of Commerce is hosting their annual Hanukkah Menorah Lighting on December 26th, 7:00 PM at Raynor Beach County Park.

5.  Their will be no regular meetings of the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization in December or January.  Stay tuned for information regarding topics/guest speakers at meetings starting in February.

Upcoming Farmers, Craft, Artistry Market

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Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization
Farmers, Craft, Artistry Market

Sunday, December 11

8:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Ronkonkoma Fire District Building
(Corner of Portion Road and Hawkins Avenue)  

Vendors will be offering a variety of foods and other goods.

Ronkonkoma Hub Update

Several members of the community have recently asked us to provide an update on the Ronkonkoma Hub project since we previously shared that ground would be broken for Phase 1 in late 2016.  

According to Rob Loscalzo from Tritec Real Estate:

  • In July, Tritec purchased the fence company site on Mill Road and in August, Tritec purchased the World Gym site.
  • In early October, Tritec finalized the Phase 1 Site Plans with the Town of Brookhaven, and so far have received approvals from the following departments: Planning, Engineering, Highway, and Traffic Safety. The plans were then submitted to the  building department and Tritec expects to have a building permit before the end of the calendar year.
  • The Phase 1 Site Plans have received approvals from Suffolk County Department of Public Works (DPW) and Suffolk County Health Department. 
  • In September, the Council of Environmental Quality unanimously approved the pumping of waste to the Bergen Point Plant and made a recommendation to the Suffolk County Legislature to approve the pump station. Earlier this month the pump station plan was unanimously approved by the Suffolk County Legislature Environmental Subcommittee to be voted on by the full legislature. Last week, the full legislature voted to approve the pump station. The SC Legislature also voted unanimously to approve the inter-municipal agreement with the Village of Islandia to allow the forced sewer main to go through the street Right of Ways in the Village.  Tritec has  been working with the County Engineers to finalize the path through the development area.
  • On December 6, the Suffolk County Legislature Budget Committee makes its recommendation to fund the appropriations to build the pump station and forced sewer main. 
  • On December 20th, the Suffolk County Legislature will have a public hearing on the appropriations to fund the construction. 
  • After the Suffolk County Legislature approves the appropriations, the Suffolk County DPW will be able to go out to bid with the plans. They will notice the bid in the paper for 6 weeks, after which they will take 4 to 6 weeks to qualify the bids and another 4 to 6 weeks to negotiate a contract. After the contract is executed, construction will start on the forced sewer main and pump station. It is expected to take about 18 to 20 months for completion.
  • Tritec plans to mobilize on site this January, and depending on the weather, expects to start demolition and site work. The start of Phase I construction is planned for April 2017.
  • Tritec is aware of graffiti on a few buildings that have been purchased & are now vacant.  They have started the process to have the graffiti cleaned or repainted.  They have met with the police since the same vandal tagged other buildings in the area.

Meeting Schedule for 2017

All meetings are at 7:30 PM, at the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society Museum, 328 Hawkins Avenue.


Thursday, February 9th: General Membership Meeting
Thursday, March 9th: General Membership Meeting
Thursday, April 13th: General Membership Meeting
Thursday, May 11th: Annual Civic Meeting
Thursday, June 8th: General Membership Meeting
Thursday, September 14th: General Membership Meeting
Thursday, October 12th: "Meet the Candidates"
Thursday, November 9th: General Membership Meeting

If you use Google Calendar, you can subscribe to the Google's LRCO Meeting Calendar by clicking on this link:


Keep Ronkonkoma Clean Every First Saturday

Every first Saturday of the month volunteers like you help keep Lake Ronkonkoma clean.
Saturday, April 3, 9:00 AM
will be our next Portion Road & Hawkins Avenue Clean Up, weather permitting.
Read more...

Highlights from the Last LRCO Meeting



1.  The civic held its first Farmers Market on November 6th.  There will be another one in December - details to follow.  We expect to schedule additional ones over the next few months.

2.  Dunkin Donuts is proposing the addition of a drive-thru; a public hearing is scheduled for November 17th at Brookhaven Town Hall.  The civic will indicate its opposition to the Town Board as a drive-thru in that location is not in compliance with the land-use plan for Portion Road.  In addition, the site is not configured properly for a drive-thru.

3.  The proposed 2017 Brookhaven budget was discussed.

4.  We received updates from Councilman LaValle's office regarding some outstanding issues.

5.  There is another lake clean-up scheduled for November 19th.  

6.  Guest speaker Police Commissioner Tim Sini addressed the members in attendance and shared a tremendous amount of information.  Some highlights:

- He discussed the opioid epidemic in Suffolk County.  Year-to-date, there have been 259 fatalities, 30 in our local community.  The SCPD has a multi-pronged approach to this crisis including prevention, treatment, recovery and law enforcement.
- The SCPD has an
anonymous hotline that can be used to report drug dealing in your neighborhood.  Call 631-852-NARC.
- He discussed the Long Island Heroin Task Force.
- He discussed drug prevention activities in the local schools.
- Narcan training has been provided to all officers and first responders.  There have been 550 saves YTD, including several "repeats".
- Gang activity is an issue in several Suffolk County communities but is not significant in our area.
- The SCPD has a full time traffic analyst who is monitoring traffic fatalities in Suffolk County.  The issue is being addressed with enforcement and also communication to local governments if there is a road safety issue.  2016 fatalities are 27% lower than 2015 so far this year.
- SCPD Shield is a program that partners with local businesses and also churches; it allows them to share information with the SCPD to assist in crime investigations.  
- The Commissioner discussed initiatives to increase efficiency in the 911 call system, including the ability to generate a police report over the phone by calling 631-852-COPS.
- He discussed the new false alarm law (if the SCPD responds to three false alarms at your residence, you will be fined).  So far, false alarm calls are down 30%.
- 2015 had historically low crime rates; 2016 in on pace to be even lower.
- We discussed the Police Explorers program for youth ages 14 to 20 that are interested in learning about a possible career in law enforcement.
- Commissioner Sini encouraged the formation of Neighborhood Watch Groups.
- He provided crime statistics specific to our area.  We have a very low rate of violent crime.   We have high rates of property crime and larcenies likely related to the opioid epidemic.
- We discussed the prevalence of massage parlors in our community; some have been involved in human trafficking and prostitution.
 

Hope to see you at a future meeting!  
If you weren’t at the last civic meeting, you missed the following:

LRCO Community Survey Presentation

If you missed the last meeting of the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization, you missed a presentation on the results of our first community survey.
Click on Read more… below to see the presentation slides.Read more...

Lake Cleanup October 15th, 9 AM

Lake Ronkonkoma Clean Up2
Meet at Brookhaven’s Michael Murphy Beach on Lake Shore Road.

Lake Cleanup August 27th, 10 AM

Lake Ronkonkoma Clean Up

Summer Concert Re-cap

On August 4, 2016 the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization held its first summer concert at Raynor Park in Lake Ronkonkoma.   Presenting a mix of classical music and show tunes, the seven  musicians and a barbershop quartet provided excellent entertainment with their array of talents. Many in the crowd enjoyed the sing-alongs to "Sweet Summertime", "Yankee Doodle Dandy", and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame".  Seven lucky members of the civic won gift certificates to Mamma LaRosa's, Chimichanga, Mesoyios, Flanagan's, and the Island Rock Diner.  Some in the crowd went to Gino's Pizza and the Island Rock Diner afterwards where they were given 10% discounts. We wish to thank both of them for their generosity and the diner for donating two gift certificates for our raffle.   Please see some pictures from the concert below.

We hope to see you at our upcoming concerts and events. If anyone would like to perform in our future concerts, please contact Fred at 631-338-6062

 
Thank you!


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Long Island's Hidden Past: Lake Ronkonkoma

A special lake, in the heart of Long Island, is featured in this month's Long Island's Hidden Past segment.
Three different tribes lived around Lake Ronkonkoma. To them, the lake was sacred, and used to do their hunting and fishing.
Formed by ancient glaciers, is Long Island's largest fresh water lake. 

http://longisland.news12.com/news/long-island-s-hidden-past-lake-ronkonkoma-1.12118139

Follow Up Regarding Patchogue-Holbrook Road Bridge

The civic has received additional information regarding the bridge project that we'd like to pass along:
  • Crews have been working every day since the community meeting.
  • As was requested by the community, the number of left turn lanes from the North Service Road onto the bridge was reduced to one from two.
  • They are working on getting a left-turn signal on Patchogue-Holbrook Road & the North Service Road (northbound while on the bridge) to help move traffic along quicker.
  • They will be putting "Do Not Block the Box" pavement markings on the intersection with the South Service Road.
  • They have moved the detour sign on Patchogue-Holbrook Road BEFORE Union Avenue to give unfamiliar drivers the opportunity to take Union Avenue as an alternate.  
  • They have increased signage on the entrance ramps to the LIE before the bridge in each directions.

We will continue to pass on additional updates as received.  Thanks again to everyone who attended and provided practical and sometimes obvious solutions to some of the traffic impacts of this bridge project.

LRCO Community Survey is Closed

The LRCO Community Survey has just been closed out. We wish to express our sincere thanks to those who took the time out of their busy days to participate. Your responses will help us set priorities for future actions.
 
We are in the process of analyzing the information and will share what we’ve learned at an upcoming General Membership Meeting.
 
Enjoy the beautiful summer weather!
 
The LRCO Executive Board

LRCO Community Survey

The Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization is always looking for new ways to ensure it is meeting the needs of the community.  We’ve prepared a brief survey as one approach.  It’s anonymous and may be followed up by future brief surveys from time to time.

Please follow the survey link below and share your thoughts so we may help make our community a place we want it to be.  And please share this with other members of the community - the more voices we hear from, the more effective this survey will be.
 

http://goo.gl/forms/b4jy4oUBxcUPDZtq1

Thank you!

Highlights from Meeting Regarding Patchogue-Holbrook Road Bridge

As mentioned previously, the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization has received many complaints about the status of the work on the Patchogue-Holbrook Road bridge.  We arranged for a community meeting NYS Dept of Transportation to find out more information about when the project can expected to be completed.  

The meeting was held on June 27th at the Sachem Public Library.  Here are some highlights:
 
  • Approximately 50 members of the community were in attendance.
 
  • The bridge was in very bad shape, poorly maintained over the years.  The concrete platforms holding up the bridge were deteriorating. Some of the steel support beams needed repair. And the underpinning of the road surface was falling down.
 
  • The project has been affected by a series of delays mainly caused by accidents:  the bridge has been struck four times over the past two years by trucks.  These were serious accidents, one happened just before the work started, two significant hits subsequent to that, and one more recently.  The original completion data was June 2016 but that has obviously passed.  The contractor has an additional year (until June 2017) to complete the project, but has a financial incentive to be done before this winter.  No work can be completed during winter months.
 
  • The concrete road deck of the southbound lanes of the bridge should be poured in July, and once that's complete they can start the second half.  Those southbound lanes should be paved in July 2016 with the walkway and side rail shortly thereafter.  The northbound lanes may be paved before year end depending on weather.  It’s likely that the walkway alongside the northbound lands and that side rail will be built in the spring and may entail some limited lane closures but this isn’t definite.
 
  • The contractor will have to pay penalties if work isn’t fully completed by year end 2016 and it seems that the penalties get even more serious if work isn’t fully completed by mid-year 2017.
 
  • We learned that as part of the repairs, the bridge is being raised six inches on one end and 18 inches on the other end.
 
  • The DOT will review the traffic patterns around the bridge to try to address community concerns. Assemblyman Graf will communicate the plans and the civic will relay any news on this that we learn.
 
Thanks to everyone who attended!

2016 Brookhaven Road Paving Update

Road paving is one of the most visible services we get from Brookhaven Town. The Civic has been working with the Town to raise awareness about the state of the roads in our community and increase transparency about paving plans.Read more...

Lake Ronkonkoma Closed to Bathing

Lake Ronkonkoma, in the town of Islip, is closed to bathing due to the finding of bacterial levels in excess of acceptable criteria.
 
According to Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Dr. James Tomarken, bathing in bacteria-contaminated water can result in gastrointestinal illness, as well as infections of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat.
 
For the latest information on affected beaches, call the Bathing Beach HOTLINE at 852-5822, contact the Department's Office of Ecology at 852-5760 during normal business hours, or visit the 
Beach Monitoring page on the Suffolk County website.

Suffolk County Activates Public Health Information Line

County Executive Steve Bellone and Commissioner of Health Services Dr. James Tomarken announced today the activation of the Public Health Information Line: 631-787-2200. The Information Line is being employed to enhance continuing efforts to detect and prevent the spread of communicable illnesses in Suffolk County. The line is now available from Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.Read more...

New Cyanobacteria Blooms in Lake Ronkonkoma

Recent sampling performed by SUNY Stony Brook has confirmed new cyanobacteria blooms, more commonly known as blue–green algae, in Lake Ronkonkoma off Pond Road in the Town of Brookhaven and Mill Pond in Southampton.

Currently, cyanobacteria blooms exist at the following Suffolk County locations:
  • Lake Ronkonkoma (Brookhaven side)
  • Mill Pond, Southampton
  • Maratooka Pond, Mattituck
  • Agawam Lake, Southampton

Due to these findings, health officials ask residents not to use or swim or wade in these waters and to keep their pets and children away from the area.  
Extra precautions should be taken to avoid direct exposure to waters at the Brookhaven side of Lake Ronkonkoma and Agawam Lake, as levels of cyanobacteria and associated toxins are very high. 

Though blue-green algae are naturally present in lakes and streams in low numbers, they can become abundant, forming blooms mostly typically in shades of green but also in shades of blue-green, yellow, brown or red. They may produce floating scums on the surface of the water or may cause the water to take on paint-like appearance.  

Contact with waters that appear scummy or discolored should be avoided. If contact does occur, rinse off with clean water immediately.  Seek medical attention if any of the following symptoms occur after contact: nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; skin, eye or throat irritation, or allergic reactions or breathing difficulties.

To report a suspected blue-green algae bloom that is in a body of water that does not contain a Suffolk County permitted bathing beach, contact the Division of Water at New York State DEC: 518-402-8179 between 8:00 am – 4:00 p.m. or anytime via email at
habsinfo@dec.ny.gov

To report a suspected blue-green algae bloom at a body of water that does contain a Suffolk County-permitted bathing beach, contact the Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ Office of Ecology at 631-852-5760 between 8:30 – 4:30 or by anytime via email at
scdhsweb@suffolkcountyny.gov

For a comprehensive list of affected waterbodies in NY State, visit the DEC’s Harmful Algal Bloom Notification Page at 
http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/83310.html

For more information about blue-green algae, visit the Suffolk County website:
http://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/HealthServices/EnvironmentalQuality/Ecology/MarineWaterQualityMonitoring/HarmfulAlgalBlooms/Cyanobacteria.aspx

Highlights from the last LRCO meeting

If you weren’t at the last civic meeting, you missed the following updates:

1.  Members of Boy Scout Troop 9 were in attendance.  They were fulfilling a requirement for the Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge.

2.  Anna Throne-Holst, Democratic candidate for Congress, addressed the membership, speaking about her background, experience and priorities if she is elected.  She is being challenged in a Democratic primary by Dave Calone.  A representative of Mr. Calone was also at the meeting.  The Democratic primary is scheduled for June 28th.


3.  Maria Barbara from County Legislator Cilmi's office was in attendance.

4.  County Legislator Tom Muratore was there and provided an update on the county budget issues and red light cameras.

5.  A representative from NYS Assemblyman Al Graf's office was there to discuss the Patchogue-Holbrook Road bridge project as well as the Assemblyman's efforts on the heroin epidemic.  The civic has asked the Assemblyman to set up a meeting between the civic and other community stakeholders and the NYS Dept of Transportation regarding the bridge project.  We will certainly pass on to the community any updates that we received.  Right now, they claim it will be finished in August.  However, to those of us who regularly travel over the bridge, that seems optimistic at best. 


6.  Brookhaven Town Councilman Kevin LaValle and Chamber of Commerce representative Kevin Hyms spoke about the Hawkins Avenue revitalization project.
- 22 new street lights have been installed.
- New street trees have been planted.
- New drainage basins will be installed.
- Hawkins Avenue, from Division to Smith, will be repaved in the fall.
- Pedestrian countdown timers were installed at Division Street.
'In addition, other updates from Councilman LaValle:
- The parks department has cut the grass at Arrowhead Park.
- Shoprite is expected to open in 2017 (located at the old Waldbaum's on Portion Road).
- Five corners:  the signage at that corner (from the shopping center) is in fact allowed, a permit is in place.  The civic had asked the town if the unattractive & cluttered signs there were legal.
- The town will be paving streets on the Farmingville-Lake Ronkonkoma border, specifically Warren Avenue and some of the side streets there.
- The proposed roundabout for Five Corners is still in the planning phase.  The civic will be attending a presentation by the town's consultant.
- The town board passed a resolution requiring a new septic system be installed when any structure is built or re-built within 500 feet of protected bodies of water.

5.  An orchestra is being formed to present an evening of music at Raynor Park during this summer.  Musicians are needed; auditions are tentatively scheduled for July 9th at Raynor Park.  For more information and/or if you are interested, please contact Fred Wallenmaier:
6.  The civic will be placing a plaque in memory of Pat Duffield at Arrowhead Park.  Pat was a long-time member and board member of the civic and worked tirelessly on behalf of our community.  We'll let you know when the plaque is in place at the park.

7.  The next LRCO general meeting is not until September.  We'll continue to update you over the summer on events and issues important to the community.  Enjoy the summer and congratulations to all of the new graduates!

Squashing the litterbugs

The column below appeared in Newsday recently.  Given that members of the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization have spent countless days cleaning up after other people, we felt it was worth sharing the author's sentiments.  Since its creation, the civic has made it a priority to do its part to pick up roadside litter (along Portion Road, Hawkins Avenue and Railroad Avenue) and trash along the shores of the lake.  We hope that one day, we will no longer need to do so.


Squashing the litterbugs
May 22, 2016
By Michael Dobie  
michael.dobie@newsday.com

When we bought a house and moved to Long Island from the Bronx more than 25 years ago, there were certain things I was prepared for. Those quintessentially Long Island things.

I did not expect one of them to be litter. On my own property. In single-family-home heaven.
It’s not so bad in the winter, but now ’tis the season.

That’s not my imagination. The temperature rises, and the litter falls. A lot of it ends up on my lawn. Or, more precisely, on the planting strip outside the hedge and the fence.
Read more...

For Town of Brookhaven Residents - Special Recycling Event Schedule

Recycling-Event-Sched-2016

MUSICIANS NEEDED!

The Civic is working on an evening of music to be performed by local musicians in Raynor Park this summer.
If you are interested in joining the orchestra, contact Fred at
niecees0413@yahoo.com

Town of Brookhaven Residential Building Permit Requirements & Process



Also, here again are links to pamphlets detailing what is allowed and what requires a building permit:
As mentioned previously, the last civic meeting featured an in-depth discussion on the residential permit process in general, with a focus on decks & sheds as these commonly result in homeowners having to obtain approval after the fact and perhaps also having to appear before the Zoning Board.   Provided below is more in-depth guidance as provided by the Town of Brookhaven.  However, please contact the Town of Brookhaven Building Division directly for assistance with your specific situation.
Decks & Porches Brochure
Shed Flyer

Please share this e-mail with your friends and neighbors who might benefit from this information.

Why do I need a Building Permit?
 It’s the law! The Town of Brookhaven Building Division is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and Brookhaven Town Code Section 16-3.

 
When is a Building Permit Required?
 A Building Permit is required for New Homes, Additions, Alterations, Manufactured Homes, and Accessory Structures. Accessory Structures most commonly include detached garages, sheds, decks, gazebos and swimming pools. “A permit shall not be required for minor repairs to existing plumbing systems.”
 
Alterations Requiring Permits: 
• Structural changes:
Extension
Moving internal wall
• Pool; both in ground and above ground
• Fences which meet certain criteria
Over 6 feet tall
Over 4 feet tall in front yard
• Fireplace or Wood burning Stove
• Deck more than 6 inches off ground
• External cosmetic changes if house is in an historic district
• Shed more than 144 square feet (12x12)
• Gazebo more than 144 square feet
• Accessory apartment
• Finished basement (see definition of basement)
• Garage conversion (to non garage use)
• New / Replacement HVAC system
• HVAC conversion to gas
• Solar panels
• Major plumbing system modifications
• Curb cut change – Highway Department
• Driveway apron change (decorative) – Highway Department
• Large garden structures, especially those which restrict a driver’s view
• Outside basement entrance
• Detached Garage
• Barn
Alterations not requiring Permits: 
• Kitchen Remodel
• Window replacement / remodel (except historic district)
• New or replacement roof / new or replacement siding
• Electrical system upgrade (i.e. new panel)
• Driveway and related work (note driveway must be hard surface, i.e. asphalt or concrete)
• Shrubbery and trees

Process: 
• Bring paperwork (architectural plans et al) to building department (1st floor of town hall – behind guard desk).
• Meet with initial reviewer / reviewer provides form package for completion / reviewer checks package to ensure it’s complete. Scheduled appointments are available through online system.
• Meet with permit examiner / if all is in order building permit is issued.
• Note: one of the forms is a structural affidavit – this will identify any missing permits / certificates of compliance. These need to be addressed as part of the permit issuance process.  The Town has access to aerial views allowing the Town to validate the structural affidavit.
• The building permit is good for one year. Extensions are available and may be requested on line.
• During building Town inspectors must be called in to review various stages of constructions. Details will be included in the building permit package.
• Once the construction is complete a final survey must be completed (by a licensed professional such as an architect).
• The final survey and certain other paperwork are submitted to the building department for issuance of a certificate of compliance. The other paperwork will be specified in by the building department and will include items such as a tax assessor statement.

Other matters:
• When there is existing work which was done without a permit, appropriate fees/penalties must be paid.  These fees are three times the standard fees.  Architectural plans are not required but appropriate descriptions must be provided to the Building Dept.
• Existing work done without a permit must be addressed prior to sale of property.
• The building department will research original certificates of occupancy and certificates of compliance and surveys, for a fee.

MEMBERSHIP CONTEST!

If you are a member of the civic in good standing and you get a new family to join as a member by our June meeting (June 9th), you will win a $15 gift certificate to one of our local restaurants. If you are not a member but join the civic as a paying member with a friend, you too can win a $15 gift certificate.
Help us grow and support our local restaurants!

LRCO Update

If you weren’t at the last civic meeting, you missed the following updates:

1. Ronkonkoma Hub update: Initial ground breaking is likely to commence in November, pushed back from this summer.
  • Tritec, the developer, does not plan to include Section 8 housing at the HUB.
  • The State budget included funding for commuter parking structures which will replace the parking north of the tracks. This is of critical importance to the project
  • The civic will form a committee to make sure Tritec follows through on their commitments to the community.

2. The next LRCO general meeting is scheduled for May 12. We’ll discuss the Land Use Plan and residential building permit requirements.

3. May 21 is the Great Brookhaven Cleanup Day. LRCO will participate with a clean-up effort at Lake Ronkonkoma. More details to follow.

4. The Lake Ronkonkoma Inter-municipal Organization (IO) had its first meeting recently. George Schramm and Dawn Hopkins, LRCO Board members, presented draft bylaws for consideration by the IO. This is an important step towards remaking the Lake into the community asset it once was and should be.

5. The Town Board passed a resolution sponsored by Councilman LaValle and co-sponsored by Councilwoman Cartwright last week requiring the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals to attend semiannual meetings with the Law Department. The Law Department will review land use plans and recent town code changes. The intent is to encourage these board to make decisions consistent with community interests. LRCO strongly supports this resolution.

LRCO Update: Sachem School District News

If you weren’t at the last civic meeting, you missed an update on the Sachem School District. Jeff Kagan, civic treasurer, attended the last school board meeting and provided the following summary:

  • The school board voted not to pierce the tax cap reversing their previous direction. The state tax cap is 0.76%. The previous decision to pierce the tax cap was made before the State budget passed. With the additional school funding from the New York State budget, Sachem will stay within the Tax Cap. The budget is not finalized but while they discussed reinstating some of the cuts made over the past year, indications are that not all of the cuts will be reinstated. The next and final budget meeting will be Wednesday April 20.
  • The school board also voted to select the new Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kenneth E Graham. He replaces James Nolan who is retiring June 30. Dr. Graham presently works in the Long Beach school district as assistant superintendent of schools.

Suffolk County to Increase Rabies Monitoring

With a recent report of the capture of a rabid raccoon in Nassau County and out of an abundance of caution, Suffolk Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken announced today that he has ordered increased surveillance of raccoons in the Towns of Babylon and Huntington, which border Nassau County.

“Suffolk County has an ongoing countywide rabies surveillance program that we will be enhancing in in those western towns in light of this new information,” said Dr. Tomarken. “We ask the public’s assistance.”

Reporting Guidelines:
  • Residents of all towns are asked to report raccoons that come into contact with humans or pets to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.
  • Residents of the Towns of Huntington and Babylon are asked to report abnormally acting raccoons and dead raccoons.
  • In towns other than Huntington and Babylon, dead raccoons should be discarded in the garbage in a safe manner and with no direct physical contact with people or pets.

Residents are asked to report sightings to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services by calling 631-852-5900, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. After hours, call 631-852-4820.

Rabies Protection:
New York State and Suffolk County law requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies. Vaccinating your pet not only provides protection for the animal, but vaccinated pets act as a barrier to keep the rabies virus from spreading between wild animals and people. It is very important to make sure that these animals, as well as livestock and horses have current rabies vaccinations. To further protect yourself from possible exposure to rabies:

  • Keep dogs, cats and ferrets on a leash and keep livestock confined in the evening.
  • Do not have contact with any animal other than your own.
  • Do not feed wildlife or stray animals and discourage them from seeking food near your home.
  • Do not touch dead or dying animals. Use a shovel, wear rubber gloves and double bag the
  • carcass, if you need to move them.
  • Do not approach an unknown animal, either wild or domestic, especially if it is acting in an unusual way.
  • Keep garbage cans tightly covered and avoid storing any food outside.
  • Children should be advised to tell an adult immediately if they were bitten or scratched by any animal.
  • To prevent the possible spread of the rabies virus, no one, including trappers and nuisance wildlife rehabilitators, should transport and relocate any wild animals at this time.

For more information on rabies, visit the New York State Department of Health website at http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/rabies/rabies.htm, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/.

LRCO Update: Lake Advisory Board Meeting

If you weren’t at the last civic meeting, you missed an update on the last Lake Advisory Board meeting. Dawn Hopkins, civic vice president attended along with civic president George Schramm, and provided the following summary:

Besides members of the Lake Advisory Board, about twenty-five people attended the Lake Advisory Board meeting on March 9.

Larry Farrell, community member, gave a PowerPoint presentation on the physical conditions around the Lake. Remnants of the bookstore that burned, fallen trees and debris scattered around the Lake were among the pictures that he showed. He wants to work on lake restoration in 2016.

Chart Guthrie, regional fisheries manager for the New York State DEC, reviewed his plan for development of the fishing access site on Victory Drive. A redesign of the bio-filtration system and an enlarged parking area were some of the ideas he presented. He stressed this was still in the design phase and it would be presented to the community for input. He cited numerous sources for funding the project. A number of neighbors from Victory Drive and Richmond Boulevard attended the meeting and some spoke about their concerns. The issue of vandalism was paramount and also that of parked cars at all hours of the day in the area. Chart pointed out he would have an access site steward from 7am until 4pm, weekends, holidays and some weekdays. The steward is recently mandated by State legislation on removal of invasive vegetation on boats going into and out of the Lake. The steward would also be charged with reporting incidents of concern. Chart also pointed out that there is a 24-hour DEC hotline: 877-457-5680.

George Schramm gave a history of the Memorandum of Understanding that created the Intermunicipal Organization which, for the first time, has Brookhaven, Islip, Smithtown and Suffolk County unified and committed to the health of the Lake.

LRCO Update: Friedman Property aka Ackerly Lane Office Building

If you weren’t at the last civic meeting, you missed an update on the Planning Board hearing for the proposed office building on Ackerly Lane near Portion Road. Dawn Hopkins, civic vice president attended and provided the following summary:

Numerous hearings have been scheduled and held on this application to build a dental practice facility on Ackerly Lane. Local residents have turned out in opposition to the development at each hearing.

Given the grading of the land and the size (2 stories) of the building, occupants of the new building would look directly into a neighbor's kitchen. There is a concern about adequate parking with neighbors worrying about people parking on the surrounding streets of Ackerly and Conway.

The Civic is also concerned with the encroachment of commercial business into residential neighborhoods. The Land Use Plan, developed by the community and the Town of Brookhaven, specifically underscores that commercial business belongs on Portion Road not in residential areas. Towards that, 66 neighbors in the Ackerly community signed a petition against this building being placed on a residential block.

The application has been placed on the Planning Board's decision calendar for March 21st.

LRCO Update: Sachem Budget

If you weren’t at the last civic meeting, you missed an update on the Sachem School District budget. Jeff Kagan, civic treasurer, attended the last school board meeting and provided the following summary:

The Sachem School Board has tentatively agreed to a budget that will result in a 1.99% property tax rate increase. The approval is tentative because the State budget and school aid amount is not yet final. The 1.99% property tax rate increase technically pierces the State tax cap and will therefore require a 60% approval rate in the district-wide budget vote. If there is no change in state aid, the level of services will be the same as in the current school year, but for the previously approved closure of two elementary schools and one middle school. If state aid increases, the Board will have the opportunity to revisit the level of services. Note that the State budget deadline is April 1st so this should be resolved shortly, if the State acts on time.

LRCO Update: Suffolk County Alarm Management Program

If you weren’t at the last civic meeting, you missed a briefing on this program by Jeff Kagan, civic treasurer:

Suffolk County passed legislation last year requiring residents and business with central alarm systems to obtain permits from the Suffolk County Policy Department by April 1, 2016. A brief brochure was recently mailed to all Suffolk County addresses describing the program and how to obtain a permit. The stated purpose of the program is to reduce the cost of police response to false alarms. After April 1, 2016, policy response to a false alarm will result in a fine. This fine is waived for those with a current permit. The permit costs residents $50 the first year and $25 in renewal years.

A copy of the brochure is provided below.

alarm-mailing1

LRCO Update: Town of Brookhaven Info

If you weren’t at the last civic meeting, you missed an update on Town of Brookhaven issues. Jeff Kagan, civic treasurer, attended the last town board meeting and provided the following updates:

1. Councilmen LaValle and Foley, who together represent the LRCO community, have indicated that we should see more local paving in 2016 and 2017. Hawkins Avenue, which spans both council districts, will be paved in 2016 in conjunction with the downtown revitalization project. Councilman LaValle stated that additional streets will be paved in his district in 2016. These should include the South Howell and Crestwood Lane area. Councilman Foley advised that he is working off of the civic’s submitted street list and it has been submitted to the Town Highway Department.

The civic will continue to provide updates on progress towards getting adequate attention to our community’s streets.

2. Numerous people spoke at the Town Board meeting in support of Caithness II. Caithness II is a proposed 750 megawatt power plant to be located in Yaphank nearby the existing Caithness I power plant. PSE&G recently reported that projected demand on Long Island does not support Caithness II and the project was set aside. The Town stated that it is not on the Town decision calendar and that the Town had already given all requisite approvals. The speakers advised that they were requesting action by the Town Board as individuals in support of this project. There are many issues related to energy needs and the future of Long Island. While these were not discussed at the meeting, this is a high-stakes issue and is should heat up considerably in the near future.

Sachem School District Preliminary Budget

The Sachem School Board met February 24, 2016. Among other agenda items, they discussed the upcoming Budget. The Board has recently been forced to make mid-year budget adjustments to deal with financial shortfalls. The Board also decided to close three schools for the upcoming school year to address the emerging financial stress.

The financial shortfalls are substantially the result of years of reduced NY State School funding and unfunded State mandates. The actual amount of NY State school funding for 2016/2017 will not be finalized until the State finalizes its budget on or about April 1, but unfortunately preliminary funding projections are modest. While our local legislators are making every effort to provide additional funds, the Board needed to make preliminary decisions based on the preliminary funding projection.

The Board has tentatively decided to pierce the State property tax cap in order to properly fund the current level of school services. The State tax cap is 0.76% and the Board is proposing a 1.9% tax rate increase. The Board made this decision recognizing that the NY State tax rebate program refunding school property tax increases in Districts that stayed within the tax cap has ended and been replaced with a far more modest program. Thus the impact of piercing the cap is significantly reduced.

The Board fully intends to work with our State representatives to encourage additional State aid. Once the Board knows the final amount, final decisions about the proposed Sachem School Property Tax Rates, and the level of school services provided will be made. This should occur in the first weeks of April.

Sachem School Board votes to close Tecumseh and Gatelot Elementary Schools and Sequoya Middle School

Members of the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization attended the last Sachem School Board meeting, the main focus of which was the decision to close three schools to help address the district's financial difficulties. A summary of the meeting follows:

The Sachem School Board met Wednesday evening January 20, 2016 to make the final decision on school closings. The School Board had voted to propose closing Tecumseh and Gatelot Elementary Schools and Sequoya Middle School during their December 16, 2015 meeting. The next and final steps to finalize the proposal were a Public Hearing and then a School Board vote. The Public Hearing occurred Wednesday. Numerous people addressed the School Board members covering three basic issues.
Residents associated with Gatelot expressed their disappointment that Gatelot was selected. They cited comments in the report of the Facilities Study Committee Report from January 2014 stating that Gatelot should not be closed.
School nurses and parents expressed concern about nurse staffing after realignment.
Residents expressed concern about Administrative and Custodial staffing after realignment.
The School Board closed the Public Hearing and commenced the regular meeting. Item 9.3 was the resolution to close Tecumseh and Gatelot Elementary Schools and Sequoya Middle School. This resolution passed by a vote of 6 to 3. The school closings take effect with the school year starting September 2016.

The School Board and Administration advised meeting attendees that the vote does not decide staffing of Nurses, Administrative or Custodial personnel for the upcoming school year. Staffing will be determined during the budget process which will commence shortly.

The School Board and Administration also advised meeting attendees that they intend to make every effort to lease the closed schools and do not intend to sell them at this time. They pointed out that they leave the option open to reopen the schools at a later date if circumstances warrant.

New Hearing for Proposed Building at Portion & Ackerley

There is a new hearing date for this proposed office building, at the corner of Portion Road and Ackerly Lane. The hearing will be on Monday January 25th at 4:00 PM. This hearing is number 4 on the agenda. The agenda reads:

Portion Properties LLC @ Ronkonkoma
Location: S/EC of Portion Road (CR 16) and Ackerley Lane
Description: To construct a 3,230 sq. ft. Office building (medical office) and associated site improvements, with parking variances.
Tax Map#: 0200 64900 0200 031001
Council District: #5
Log#: 15SP0013
Area: 2.157 acres
Zoning: J Business 4
School District: #5 Sachem CSD
Applicant Info: Scott Friedman c/o Portion Properties, LLC 500 Portion Road Ronkonkoma, NY 11779

We have previously communicated our concerns about the original proposal. In December, we met with a representative of the property owner to discuss those concerns and review a revised proposal.

​The building itself is much improved; the architecture matches the current office building at that corner and appears to be compliant with the Land Use Plan (LUP) for this part of the Portion Road corridor. [See images below.]

The LUP also suggests that a new building on this property be aligned with the existing commercial frontage along Portion Road, as is the existing building, as opposed to being placed on a residential side street (Ackerly Lane). Placing the building on Portion Road would also protect the residential properties on Ackerly and Conway.

However, should the building be placed on Ackerly, we would recommend the following protective measures:
Maximize the size of the buffer along the east, south, and west property lines
Within these buffers, use as much of the natural vegetation as possible supplemented with additional evergreen landscaping, such as Leyland cypress.
The buffer should also address the grade change across the properties and try to limit the visibility of the structure at the second floor level.
Use landscaping to disguise the retaining wall that’s visible from the street.

We are also concerned that proper noticing of this hearing has not been done; the required signs on the parcel itself have not been posted properly.

We encourage nearby property owners to attend Monday’s hearing to share their concerns and comments on this proposal with the Planning Board.

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Suffolk Drone Bill Public Hearing on January 21

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Suffolk County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation, pursuant to Local Law 29-2015, will hold a public hearing, in order to receive input from the public regarding the establishment of an unmanned aerial vehicle permitting process and regarding which County parks are appropriate to allow such permits to be utilized.
A public hearing will be held at 5:00 p.m., prevailing time, on Thursday, January 21, 2016 in Media Room 182 of the H. Lee Dennison Building, located at 100 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge, NY 11788, at which time all interested persons will be heard.

Lake Advisory Board Meetings for 2016

SUFFOLK COUNTY LEGISLATURE
LAKE RONKONKOMA ADVISORY BOARD


MEETING SCHEDULE FOR 2016

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

Wednesday March 9th, 2016

Wednesday May 11th, 2016

Wednesday July 13th, 2016

Wednesday September 14th, 2016

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

Time: 6:30 PM

Location
Clerk’s Conference Room at the William H. Rogers Legislature Building (Bldg. No. 20)
725 Veterans Memorial Highway
Hauppauge, New York.

QUESTIONS?
Contact the 12th Legislative District Office
(Office): 631-854-3735

Hearing for Proposed Building at Portion & Ackerley

Thanks to all of you to attended this hearing on October 5th.  However, the developer did not properly notify neighboring residents as well as the community in large, about the Planning Board hearing.  As such, the hearing will be re-heard on Monday November 9th, 4:00 PM at Brookhaven Town Hall.  Please plan to attend to ensure your voice is heard on this proposal.   You now have a second shot to address the Planning Board to ask for changes or to ask that they deny the proposed development as presented.  See notes below from our prior email to you for more information and why the civic organization has serious concerns about this developer's plans.

The hearing is number 9 on the Planning Board agenda; this is how it appears on the agenda:

9. Portion Properties LLC @ Ronkonkoma
Location: S/EC of Portion Road (CR 16) and Ackerley Lane
Description: To construct a 3,230 sq. ft. Office building (medical office) and associated site improvements, with parking variances.
Tax Map#: 0200 64900 0200 031001
Council District: #5
Log#: 15SP0013
Area: 2.157 acres
Zoning: J Business 4
School District: #5 Sachem CSD
Applicant Info: Scott Friedman c/o Portion Properties, LLC 500 Portion Road Ronkonkoma, NY 11779 


Thank you!

LR Historical Society Annex Opening

LAKERONKONKOMAMUSEUMANNEX

Next Civic Meeting: September 10th

The next general membership meeting of the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization will be on Thursday, September 10th, 7:30 PM at the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society Museum located at 328 Hawkins Avenue.

ROAD CONDITIONS IN OUR COMMUNITY
Please attend and share your road condition frustrations
Also: Ronkonkoma Hub Project Update
potholes

Update on Patchogue-Holbrook Road Bridge Project


The Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization reached out to Assemblyman Al Graf to get an update on the Patchogue-Holbrook Road bridge over the Long Island Expressway.  Many of our members have asked the civic for news on this reconstruction as it seems to be moving at a slow pace with no end in sight.

According to the Assemblyman:

The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016. It has been delayed by a truck accident and inclement weather. The work is done from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am. This is a much more involved project than the Ronkonkoma Avenue bridge: there will be a new structural bridge deck, new roadway approaches, wider shoulder lanes, a new sidewalk, improved traffic signals, and new landscaping. The New York State Department of Transportation appreciates the patience and cooperation of motorists during this important project.

We'll continue to pass along any additional information we receive on the status of this bridge work.

Health Officials Warn of Cyanobacteria Bloom on Lake Ronkonkoma (Brookhaven side)

Researchers from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services have confirmed the presence of cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae) at Lake Ronkonkoma* off Pond Road, in the Town of Brookhaven.
Additionally, blue-green algae persist at the following locations:
Sagaponack Pond in South Hampton
  • Georgica Pond in East Hampton
  • Roth Pond, Stony Brook University
  • McKay Lake in Calverton
  • Fort Pond in Montauk
  • Kellis Pond in Bridgehampton
  • Wainscott Pond in Wainscott
  • Agawam Lake and Mill Pond in Southampton
  • Maratooka Lake in Mattituck.
  • Health officials ask residents not to use, swim or wade in these waters and to keep pets and children away from the area.

    Cyanobacteria are naturally present in lakes and streams in low numbers; however, they can become abundant, forming blooms in shades of green, blue-green, yellow, brown or red. They may produce floating scums on the surface of the water, or may cause the water to take on paint-like appearance. Some species of cyanobacteria produce toxins that can cause health problems in humans and animals if exposed to large enough quantities.

    Contact with waters that appear scummy or discolored should be avoided. If contact does occur, rinse off with clean water immediately.  Seek medical attention if any of the following symptoms occur after contact: nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; skin, eye or throat irritation; or allergic reactions or breathing difficulties.

    To report a suspected cyanobacteria bloom at a body of water that contains a Suffolk County-
    permitted bathing beach, contact Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ Office of Ecology at 852-5760.

    To report a suspected cyanobacteria bloom that is in a body of water that lies within Suffolk County but does not contain a permitted bathing beach, contact the Division of Water at New York State Department of Environmental Conservation: (518) 402-8179.

    For more information about cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), visit the Suffolk County website:
    http://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/HealthServices/EnvironmentalQuality/Ecology/MarineWaterQualityMonitoring/HarmfulAlgalBlooms/Cyanobacteria.aspx 

    *Lake Ronkonkoma Beach in the Town of Islip is open for bathing. Cyanobacteria have not been detected at levels warranting beach closure at Lake Ronkonkoma Beach this summer.

    Town of Brookhaven Planning Board Meeting - Ronkonkoma Hub Project

    On Monday, August 17th, the Brookhaven Town Planning Board held a hearing related to the Ronkonkoma Hub project. The hearing was regarding Phase 1 of the project: “Demolition of all existing structures and construction of 489 rental units consisting of 9 studios, 238 one-bedroom, 227 two-bedroom and 15 three-bedroom units consistent with the Town Board adopted Form Based code, and SEQRA Findings of June 24, 2014. Applicant is Master Developer of Ronkonkoma Hub. Plans also show proposed infrastructure and proposed County sewage pump station. Application also includes request for Planning Board covenant relief.”

    LRCO Vice President Dawn Hopkins attended the hearing and spoke in favor of the proposal. She discussed the civic’s involvement in the project since 2007 as well as the community’s involvement in the planning phases. She also discussed the reasons that Tritec was selected as the master developer of the Ronkonkoma Hub project. There were four speakers in attendance that supported the application and one opposed. A decision from the Planning Board is expected at the September 21st Planning Board meeting.

    These renderings of Phase 1 were provided by the master developer, Tritec.

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    Brookhaven Town Road Paving

    Members of the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization have expressed concern about the condition of our local roadways for some time. As such, the LRCO Board has been attempting to increase Town of Brookhaven Highway Department attention to the woeful state of our communities’ streets. While the Highway Department has not agreed to a meeting with the civic organization, we were able to obtain certain highway paving records through the Freedom of Information rules. Read more...

    Lake Ronkonkoma Beach Reopens

    Northport, Eatons Neck and West Sayville Beaches Close to Bathing
    Lake Ronkonkoma Beach Reopens

     
    Steers Beach in Northport, Prices Bend Beach in Eatons Neck and West Oaks Recreation Club Beach in West Sayville are closed to bathing due to the finding of bacteria at levels in excess of acceptable criteria. The beach closure for Lake Ronkonkoma Beach in the Town of Islip has been lifted, as recent water samples meet New York State standards.
     
    According to Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Dr. James Tomarken, bathing in bacteria-contaminated water can result in gastrointestinal illness, as well as infections of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat.
     
    For the latest information on affected beaches, call the Bathing Beach HOTLINE at 852-5822, contact the Department's Office of Ecology at 852-5760 during normal business hours, or visit the
    Beach Monitoring page on the Suffolk County website.

    suffolkcountyny.gov    
    Facebook.com/SuffolkCountyHealthServices   
    Twitter.com/SuffolkCoHealth

     
    Contact: Grace Kelly-McGovern
    631-854-0095
    healthPIO@suffolkcountyny.gov

    No Civic Meeting in July and August

    There will be no General Membership Meeting in July or August.
    Next meeting: September 10th. Enjoy the summer!

    Sachem’s “Meet the Candidate” Night

    Sachem’s “Meet the Candidate” night, sponsored by the Sachem PTA Council, will be on Tuesday, April 28 in the auditorium at Samoset starting at 7:30 p.m. You’ll have a chance to hear from the individuals running for seats on Sachem’s Board of Education.

    Want to Help Your Community? Serve on Your Civic Board.

    There is a vacant Director position on the civic’s executive board. This position has been earmarked for someone who will manage our social media efforts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and also to work on increasing the profile of the civic in the community. If you have the needed skills or know of someone who does, please contact the civic: information@lakeronkonkomacivic.org We will be interviewing interested individuals over the next few months in order to find a community member who has these skills.

    Street Sign Clean Up

    The civic is once again compiling a list of street name signs and traffic control signs that are missing, vandalized or in generally poor condition. Send your list of signs to the civic; we will verify and forward on to the appropriate town departments for review and possible replacement.

    Members can share this information with the civic three ways:
    Bring the list to the next civic meeting
    Mail the list to the civic at P.O. Box 2916, Lake Ronkonkoma, 11779
    E-mail the list to information@lakeronkonkomacivic.org

    We are also compiling a list of streets in the community that are in need of paving or resurfacing. Please include that information in your correspondence to the civic. Provide us with the full street name. Note, this list is not for pothole repair, we are looking for entire streets that need serious attention. For pothole repair, please call 451-TOWN.

    Next Civic Meeting: May 14th

    The next general membership meeting of the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization will be on Thursday, May 14th, 7:30 PM at the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society Museum at 328 Hawkins Avenue.

    Guest speaker:
    Town of Brookhaven
    Ed Romaine EO

    The meeting begins at 7:30 PM at the
    Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society Museum, 328 Hawkins Avenue.

    Next Civic Meeting: April 9th

    The next general membership meeting of the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization will be on Thursday, April 9th, 7:30 PM at the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society Museum at 328 Hawkins Avenue.

    Guest speakers:
    Town of Brookhaven Council Members


    Kevin LaValle EONeil Foley EO

    The meeting begins at 7:30 PM at the
    Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society Museum, 328 Hawkins Avenue.

    A Reminder From the Membership Committee

    Our fiscal year ends soon and that means it’s time once again to renew your membership.
    You can pay for your renewal online, safely and securely, by using your credit card or PayPal account. Just visit the Civic membership page:
    http://www.lakeronkonkomacivic.org/membership/membership.html

    You will be automatically transferred to a secure PayPal-hosted page where you can complete the payment for your membership using American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa, or if you have a PayPal account, you can use that too. Your credit card information remains safe and secure with PayPal's encrypted website; the Civic does not store, nor have access to, your credit card data.

    Be A Hero

    ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BECOMING A POLICE OFFICER?
    On June 13, 2015, the Suffolk County Department of Civil Service is offering an entrance examination for the position of Police Officer. This exam is offered once every four years. Download the flyer below or visit: http://apps.suffolkcountyny.gov/police/recruitment.htm
    seminar 3-9-15 version

    PSEG Long Island’s Three-Year Electric Rate Proposal

    If you missed the recent NYS Department of Public Service press release regarding the Notice of Informational and Public Statement Hearings concerning PSEG Long Island’s Three-Year Electric Rate Proposal, Director Julia Bovey outlined the Rate Setting process in the following video https://vimeo.com/120532557

    Brookhaven Special Recycling Events Schedule for 2015

    Includes e-Waste / Paper Shredding / Drug Take-Back. Download the schedule at: http://www.brookhaven.org/DesktopModules/Bring2mind/DMX/Download.aspx?Command=Core_Download&EntryId=8144&PortalId=0&TabId=134

    Medford Meeting: February 25, 7:30

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    Brookhaven Special Recycling Collection on Saturday Town Announces Special Saturday Recycling Collection, Regular Garbage Collection to Resume on Thursday

    The Town of Brookhaven has added a special recycling collection on Saturday, January 31. The regular Wednesday collection was suspended so Town snow removal crews would not be impeded in the aftermath of the snow storm. The Division of Waste Management asks that residents do not place recycling cans on the street until Friday night because they could interfere with our continuing snow removal efforts.

    The Town will also resume regular garbage collection on Thursday, January 29.

    Town Announces Pre-Season Resident Parking Sticker Sale

    The Town of Brookhaven Department of Parks, Recreation and Sport, and Cultural Resources announces the pre-season sale of the 2015 Seasonal Resident Parking Sticker at selected locations throughout the town. This year resident seasonal stickers bought prior to Friday, May 22nd will be discounted.

    The price of the 2015 Seasonal Parking Sticker is $15.00 and is good for the entire 2015 season. If purchased before Friday, May 22nd the sticker cost will be $10.00. Resident Senior Citizen, Handicapped and Veteran's seasonal stickers will be $5.00 throughout the season.

    Stickers are available at the Town of Brookhaven Parks and Recreation Office in Centereach, the Henrietta Acampora Recreation Center in Blue Point, the Port Jefferson Marina Annex in Port Jefferson, the Rose Caracappa Senior Citizens Center in Mt. Sinai, the Mastic Recreation Center in Mastic and Kaler's Pond Park in Center Moriches. Stickers will be available at the Mt. Sinai Marina in Mt. Sinai and the Holtsville Ecology Site starting March 7th.

    Click here for more information, including hours and directions:
    http://www.brookhaven.org/DesktopModules/Bring2mind/DMX/Download.aspx?Command=Core_Download&EntryId=8241&PortalId=0&TabId=134

    Rail Yard Info Center Opens at Ronkonkoma Station

    LIRR customers and local residents are invited to visit the Mid-Suffolk Train Yard Information Center at Ronkonkoma Station on January 29 and 30. The Mid-Suffolk Yard project, which involves expanding the existing Ronkonkoma Train Yard, is a critical element in the MTA's efforts to improve the Main Line commute. Additional yard capacity is needed to support direct service to Grand Central Terminal when East Side Access is up and running. The yard expansion plan calls for the use of undeveloped property already owned by the LIRR on the south side of Ronkonkoma Yard. The Info Center, located opposite the Ronkonkoma Station ticket office, will be staffed by LIRR personnel ready to discuss the project in detail. The hours of operation are:
    • Thursday, January 29 from 1 PM to 9 PM
    • Friday, January 30 from 6 AM to Noon

    Click here for a recent Newsday article regarding this project:
    http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/lirr-doubling-size-of-ronkonkoma-rail-yard-ahead-of-east-side-access-project-1.9835288

    Brookhaven Exceeds Tax Cap Despite Voter Referendum

    We in Brookhaven Town received our property tax bills this weekend. We saw Town General Fund tax rates increase 25.2% and 18.8% for whole town and part town respectively. This occurred in spite of the 2010 referendum where we overwhelmingly passed a 4% tax cap

    The Town contends that the intent of the 2010 referendum was to apply the cap to the total tax rate. This contention is refuted in both the Town Finance Director’s power point (see first attachment below), presented to the Board at the June 15, 2010 meeting, as well as the Town Press Release following that meeting (see second attachment below). These documents state quite clearly that the cap applies to the General Fund tax rates. It makes absolutely no mention of the Highway Dept.

    This means that the Board did indeed pierce the town’s own tax cap, albeit with the requisite 2/3 majority vote provided for in the Town Code, in spite of the rhetoric from the Town about holding taxes flat.

    The tax bills also show a 13.7% increase in the 2004 $100 million bond act tax. The Town included $1 million in new open space funds in this line rather than in the General Fund line. It’s unclear how this is appropriate. The 2004 $100 million bond act was the result of a Town Referendum and can’t be modified without a further referendum. If this $1 million was included in the General Fund line the General Fund rate increase would have been even higher.

    There’s also a line on the tax bill entitled Snow Recovery Tax. The prior tax bills included a line entitled Blizzard Note Repayment and applied to the Whole Town. The current tax bill line entitled Snow Recovery Taxes and is a Part Town tax. Our tax bills show that the rate for this recast line item increases 92%. It’s not entirely clear what this tax is for. Did we issue notes? And if so what were the terms and why are they only applicable to Part Town? It’s also curious that the Highway Budget went down significantly in the same year this item appears.

    It’s interesting to note that the Town chose to exclude the $7 million Snow Recovery Tax and the $1 million in open space funding from the erroneous ‘total tax cap’ calculation. If the Town included these items, the resulting tax rate increase would still pierce the tax cap.

    We need further transparency in the budget and tax process and should let our elected representatives know how strongly we fell about it.

    06.15 Local Law Presentation Extract
    2010 June Town Press Release

    Follow Up to Civic Presentation by NYS Department of Public Service (DPS)

    Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization Members:

    The Department of Public Service Long Island (DPS) staff would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak at your meeting with your civic group. We hope your members found our presentation helpful and informative.

    As promised, I would like to follow up on some questions that were asked during our presentation.

    1. Where is the closest Customer Care Center?

    The closest customer care center to Lake Ronkonkoma would be the Patchogue Customer Care Center, 460 E. Main Street, Patchogue, NY 11772. Another option would be the Brentwood center located at 1650 Islip Avenue, Brentwood, NY 11717. For other locations, please follow the link below.

    https://www.psegliny.com/page.cfm/Account/Payment/CustomerServiceCenters


    2. Regarding the question about the LIPA debt:

    The amount of debt utilized for the Shoreham project has been decreasing since 1998 and will be completely eliminated under the current schedule in 2033. Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) financials are a public record and can be found on their website http://www.lipower.org/financials.html


    3. What happened to the Superconductor that was installed in Ronkonkoma?

    We’re looking into the status of this project and will forward any information we receive.

    There was also a question asked by Jeff Kagan regarding research and development. Currently, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers various programs to help the residential and business community across New York State become more energy efficient, and less reliant on fossil fuels. As a result of the LIPA Reform Act, NYSERDA efforts have now expanded into Long Island. You can learn more about some of the key program initiatives by clicking on the links below or visiting the NYSERDA website at http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/ :

    NY Prize: NY Prize is part of New York’s comprehensive effort to build a cleaner, more resilient, and affordable infrastructure.

    NY Sun: The NY-Sun Initiative is part of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to protect the environment and lower energy costs for all New Yorkers by improving the efficiency and reliability of the electric grid. NY-Sun brings together and expands existing programs administered by NYSERDA, LIPA, PSEG Long Island, and the New York Power Authority (NYPA). This coordinated, well-funded effort will further expand the use of solar installations across New York State.

    K-Solar: a joint project of NYPA and NYSERDA which will provide NYS school districts, AT NO COST and NO OBLIGATION, with the tools, and expertise to bring solar energy to their facilities and reduce their energy costs.

    Other R&D Initiatives in Long Island:

    If you need further assistance, you may contact us at 516-490-2318.


    Anna Senatore: Anna.Senatore@dps.ny.gov
    NYS DPS | Long Island Office| 125 East Bethpage Road, Plainview, NY 11803

    Chamber of Commerce Holiday Celebration: Dec. 7th

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    Sachem School District Considers Facilities Options

    The Sachem School Board is looking at their options in light of declining enrollment. Enrollment at Sachem has dropped from a high of 20,497 in 1979 to 13,787 this year and is expected to drop to 12,771 in 2018. This means district schools are underutilized and may present financial opportunities. The greatest level of underutilization presents itself in the Elementary Schools, followed by the Middle Schools. This logically follows from the root cause of declining enrollment. The Sachem community is aging due to an exodus of young adults with a resulting reduced birth rate. This reduced birth rate continues to impact incoming Kindergarten classes. The current kindergarten class was expected to be about 900 and is only 826. This reduction isn’t represented in the 12,771 projection above.

    This declining enrollment occurs during a period of increasing budget stress. The budget for the current school year was favorably impacted by a late infusion of additional State aid. It’s unclear what future levels of State aid will be but the District is still required to maintain property tax rates within the State tax cap. That’s the reason the School Board is reviewing all options. The Facilities discussion is just one of those options.

    The Facilities review began when the Board formed a committee of district residents in October 2013. This committee presented its findings at a School Board meeting February 26, 2014. The findings consisted of a wide range of school closing scenarios. The School Board narrowed this down to four scenarios and asked the Superintendent to make presentations on each of the 4 during Board meetings in the fall of 2014. The fourth presentation occurred at the School Board meeting November 19, 2014. All of these presentations are available for public view on the Sachem Web Site: http://www.sachem.edu/board/budget14/School_Closing_Options.htm.

    The four scenarios evaluated were:
    1. Close two (2) Elementary Schools
    2. Close two (2) Middle Schools and move 6th grade classes to the Elementary Schools
    3. Close two (2) Elementary Schools and 1 Middle School
    4. Close one (1) Middle School

    It’s important to note that the savings associated with the school closings in each scenario do not include reduction in teaching staff. Teaching staff will generally follow the students.

    It’s also important to note that each of these scenarios will entail redistricting, i.e. changing the mapping of residence addresses to specific school buildings. Moreover the Superintendent has stated that the extreme variances in the number of children in each school currently will require some redistricting whether any schools are closed or not.

    Select community groups have attended one or another of the budget presentations as each option was reviewed. It’s clear that no one want’s their school closed. It’s also clear that no one wants redistricting.

    The School Board does not seem enamored of any of the specific scenarios and has thus requested the Superintendent identify options to utilize the excess capacity through options other than closing schools.

    It’s not clear where this discussion will end up, but with continued decline in enrollment and continued budget pressure it’s likely that something will occur at some time in the next several years. And while it’s not been stated, the expected level of State aid for the upcoming school year may cause greater urgency.

    Individual and Community Preparedness e-Brief

    Individual and Community Preparedness e-Brief from FEMA and the Suffolk County Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services

    According to the U.S. Fire Administration, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home fires involving cooking equipment. By making safety part of the Thanksgiving dinner menu, you can avoid preventable cooking fires. Here are some steps to follow when preparing your holiday feast:
    • Test your smoke alarms to make sure they are working;
    • Keep children at least 3 feet away from the stove; and
    • Keep an eye on what you are cooking.
    In recent years, deep-frying turkeys has become a popular cooking method. While fried turkey may be a tasty addition to your meal, cooking with deep-fat turkey fryers can be a recipe for disaster! They have a high risk of tipping over, overheating or spilling hot oil - which can lead to fires, burns and other injuries.
    For a safer alternative to deep-frying your bird, the National Fire Protection Association encourages the use of an outdoor turkey cooking appliance that does not use oil.

    Thanksgiving Safety
    http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/Files/Safety%20information/Safety%20tip%20sheets/ThanksgivingSafety.pdf

    Cooking fire safety outreach materials
    http://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/cooking.html

    Turkey Fryers
    The National Fire Protection Association discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil
    http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/causes/cooking/safety-with-cooking-equipment/turkey-fryers

    Turkey Fryer Safety
    http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/Files/Safety%20information/Safety%20tip%20sheets/TurkeyFryerSafety.pdf

    It’s a Clean Sweep
    When the temperatures fall, many people use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel-fired appliances to heat their homes. Heating is the second leading cause of residential fires in the U.S. Fires confined to chimneys, flues or fuel burners account for 87 percent of these tragedies and are often due to creosote buildup in chimneys and stovepipes. The U.S. Fire Administration encourages these steps and more to keep your home fires burning safely:
    • Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned yearly by a certified chimney specialist;
    • Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace opening to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out;
    • Do not use flammable liquids to start or accelerate any fire; and
    • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating sources.
    Home fires occur more often in the winter months than any other time of the year. Learn how to properly build and maintain a fire to heat your home with this video series hosted by the National Fire Academy Deputy Superintendent.

    http://www.monkeysee.com/play/16544-how-to-properly-extinguish-a-fire

    LIPA 2015 Budget Hearings: 11/20

    The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) will be holding two public input sessions on its proposed 2015 budget; one in Nassau County and another one in Suffolk County. These sessions are going to be held on Thursday, November 20, 2014 at the following locations:

    10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Nassau County Legislature
    Legislative Chamber
    1550 Franklin Avenue, 1st Floor
    Mineola, NY 11501

    4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - H. Lee Dennison Building
    Media Room
    100 Veterans Memorial Highway
    Hauppauge, NY 11788

    For more details about LIPA’s 2015 Budget Public Input Sessions, please visit their website at http://www.lipower.org/newscenter/events.html and scroll down to the bottom of the page and to download the LIPA 2015 Proposed Budget.

    No Civic Meeting in December and January


    There will be no General Membership Meeting in December and January.
    Next meeting: February 12th. Enjoy the holidays!

    Brookhaven Town Board Modifies Zoning Variance Notification Requirements

    The Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization attended the Brookhaven Town Board Meeting Tuesday Evening October 29, 2014. One notable item on the agenda was a Public Hearing on a proposal to modify the notification requirement for Variances. Variances are building and site plan designs that do not comply with Town requirements. When a property owner requests a Variance the Town schedules a public hearing on the matter. The Town code requires that the property owner requesting a Variance notify all property owners within 500 feet of the Public Hearing by USPS certified mail. The proposed modification would require certified mail for property owners within 200 feet and regular US mail for property owners 201 feet to 500 feet.

    The basis for the proposal was twofold.
    1. Certain property owners have balked at the cost of certified mail for minor Variances.
    2. Certain Board expressed a belief that certified mail is actual less effective than regular mail getting people’s attention. The belief is that folks put off going to the post office to pick up certified mail on the assumption that only bad news comes through that vehicle. Furthermore they stated that Town records show that a significant portion of such mailings are never delivered.

    There was an active dialogue amongst the Board members and with speakers from the community about the importance of transparency. Some strongly stated that any move to reduce transparency was a move in the wrong direction. Others spoke passionately about the ineffectiveness of certified mail.

    The Board made it clear that this proposal did not apply to requests for change in Zone but only to Variances. Changes in Zone would still require certified mail for all properties within 500 feet.

    The conclusion was that the Board voted to adopt the new approach.

    Heritage Association to Place Two More Historic Markers

    On Saturday, November 1, starting at 9:00 AM, the Lake Ronkonkoma Heritage Association will be placing historic markers in front of two structures in Lake Ronkonkoma: the Lake Ronkonkoma Fire District Building (formerly the National Bank of Lake Ronkonkoma) and Agnew & Taylor Hardware Store.
    There will proclamations at each location, followed by light refreshments.
    For more information visit: http://www.thelakeheritage.org/

    The Agnew & Taylor Hardware Store, along with Newton’s Garage, were designated as Brookhaven Town Landmarks in July 2006 through the combined efforts of the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization and the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society. You can read about it here.

    LRCO: Working for our Community

    Portion Road Light Posts Report: Councilman LaValle Supports Portion Road Safety
    The Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization met with Brookhaven 5th District Councilman Kevin LaValle earlier this year to discuss various opportunities within our community. One of the items which we discussed was the state of the decorative light posts on Portion Road. These light posts were installed as part of the Portion Road redesign to provide lighting for pedestrians and support the community atmosphere we sponsor. Unfortunately over time a number of these light posts had been damaged.
    Councilman LaValle recently reported that most of the missing and broken light posts have been fixed or replaced. We thank the Councilman for his efforts on our behalf and look forward to working with him closely in the future on this and other community matters.

    Brookhaven Animal Shelter Howl-O-Ween Adoption Event

    Saturday, October 25 from 10am to 4pm
    300 Horseblock Road in Brookhaven
    url
    FREE ADOPTIONS!

    Food, music, games, arts and crafts, face painting,
    balloon animals and costume party

    Click here for more information

    Presented by the Town of Brookhaven
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    Patchogue-Holbrook Road & LIE Bridge Closing for Construction

    FYI...
    You have likely seen the signs announcing that the Patchogue-Holbrook Road (CR 19) bridge over the Long Island Expressway will be closed for construction. The bridge is long overdue for repairs and we are glad that the work will finally be done.
    Below is the procedure to get the details from the NYS Department of Transportation's website. We have reached out to our NYS Assemblyman for more detailed information and will forward any updates we receive.

    1. Go to the NYS DOT's website: https://www.dot.ny.gov/index

    2. Click on "Projects"

    3. In the box next to "Project Identification Number" type in 022934

    4. Click on "Search Projects"

    5. Scroll down and you will see the Search Results,

    6. Click on the PIN 022934 for details on the project.

    Are you ready to prepare, respond and recover from a disaster?

    Brookhaven Town to Host
    Citizen Preparedness Training Program
    October 1 at Town Hall

    Members of the NY National Guard will give a presentation that will help you respond to a natural, manmade or technological disaster and keep yourself, your family and your property safe. A team of experts from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES), the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) will answer any questions or concerns from the audience.

    Click here for more information and to register.

    Don’t Panic - Be Prepared for Hurricanes

    Waiting until the day you may have to evacuate your home, due to a power outage or a natural disaster, is the worst time to discover that you are unprepared. We encourage our members to take an hour one evening to review the list below and plan ahead. It is up to us to be prepared!

    Read more...

    Annual Fitz-Greene Hallock Homestead Tour

    Saturday, September 27th, 10:00am to 3:00pm
    Find out what life was like in Lake Ronkonkoma in 1888!
    No electricity! No electric lights! No telephone! No internet!!

    The Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society invites you to tour the Fitz-Greene Hallock Homestead at 2869 Pond Road. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to tour this1888 home, the summer kitchen, chicken coop, pump house, and grounds. Come and step back in time and see how our ancestors shaped Lake Ronkonkoma.

    The Hallock family was instrumental in the history and progress of our area. Come and hear the stories about Lake Ronkonkoma and the pavilions from the members of the Society that grew up during that era.

    There will be finger foods and drinks served.

    For more information call 631 588-7599

    $10 per person donation.

    homestead

    BOO! A "Not So Scary" Haunted House

    On Sunday, October 19, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society is hosting a "Not So Scary" Haunted House at the historic Fitz-Greene Hallock Homestead, 2869 Pond Road, just south of the Brookhaven Town Beach. Admission is only $5.00 per person. In addition, there will be crafts games, pumpkins, and mums.

    Transit-oriented development is key to Long Island's future

    By Nancy Rauch Douzinas

    One concept that addresses many of Long Island's economic and social needs is transit-oriented development. It should become a prominent focal point in this election season, as Long Islanders discuss our future ambitions.

    Transit-oriented development refers to any development — housing, office, retail or any combination of them — located adjacent to transit stations, for us the Long Island Rail Road. What is especially impressive is the number of priority needs it addresses on Long Island.

    From an economic standpoint, we need to grow job opportunities, and transit-oriented development provides settings for office and retail jobs, as well as housing. We need to increase our population in order to expand our economy and reduce the individual tax burden, and this development enables higher-density growth without impacting less commercial areas. We need to provide more varieties of housing — smaller units and more rental options that appeal to young people as well as those looking to down-size from larger homes — and transit-oriented development can accommodate those varieties as well.

    Read the full article here: http://tinyurl.com/m6ryddo

    Veteran's Stand Down: September 24th

    Homeless Veterans and Vets at risk of homelessness get assistance with housing, employment, health care and more.

    Wednesday, September 24th, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

    Northport VA Medical Center
    Gymnasium Building 89
    79 Middleville Rd.
    Northport, NY 11768-2200


    Transportation to Northport VA Medical Center:

    • MTA Nassau Bus (516-228-4000) N79 goes to the Walt Whitman Mall. Then take Suffolk County Bus 54 East to the Huntington Square Mall and transfer to the S41 North bus, which will take you to the VA Medical Center.

    • Suffolk Bus (631-852-5200) routes 3A, S33 and S41 will take you to Northport VA Medical Center.

    • Disabled American Veterans Transportation Network is offering roundtrip pickup:

    Suffolk Pick up points:
    • 10 a.m. pick up at VA’s Riverhead Clinic (300 Center Drive)
    • 11 a.m. pick up at Port Jefferson Railroad Station
    • 12 p.m. pick up at the Babylon Vet Center (116 West Main St.)

    Nassau Pick up points:
    • 9:30 a.m. pick up at VA clinic at East Meadow (Bldg. Q at Nassau University Med. Ctr.)
    • 10 a.m. pick up at Hicksville Vet Center (970 South Broadway)

    Other transportation questions, call 631-863-4840.

    See attachments for more information and how to participate:
    Standown Flyer Sept 2014Stand Down Agency Participation Form 9-2014

    LRCO: Working for our Community

    A summary of some of the activities that the Civic has been involved with recently:

    Maintaining Portion Road
    Civic members have noted that some of the trees and decorative light posts along Portion Road have been damaged. In response the Civic Board conducted a detailed survey and identified 35 trees and 6 decorative light posts that need repair or replacement. Jeff Kagan, recently elected LRCO Treasurer, provided the lists to Brookhaven 3rd District Councilman Kevin LaValle on May 5 and had a follow up discussion May 13 in his offices at Town Hall. The Councilman has asked the Highway Department to address the deficiencies and will keep us informed of their progress.

    Civic Executive Board
    The Civic welcomes Timothy Tucker as our newest member of the Executive Board. He’ll be joining the board as a Director.

    The Design of Portion Road

    Recently, Newsday’s “Watchdog” column discussed Portion Road and its design. Specifically, a local resident wrote to Newsday to find out why some parts of Portion Road have two travel lanes in each direction and some parts have one travel lane in each direction. The resident felt that in the sections that transition from two lanes to one lane, that drivers exhibit aggressive behavior to be at the “head of the line”.Read more...

    Launches Mobile App and Web Page For Residents to Report Vacant Buildings

    Brookhaven has a new Town web page and mobile app for residents to report vacant homes and commercial properties throughout the town. You can go to http://www.brookhaven.org/vacanthouse and follow the steps to submit a report. The information will be entered into a centralized database which the Law Department will use to investigate.

    In December of 2013, the Town enacted a new law that requires the registration of all vacant buildings in order to provide the Town with a local individual or organization responsible for maintaining the property. The failure or refusal for any reason of the property owner to register a vacant building within 30 days after they become due will result in a fine of $1,000 or more. But the newly launched web page and mobile app can be used by any Town resident, not just the property owner, to report a vacant building.

    The new legislation is modeled after similar vacant home registries that have been adopted by municipalities across the nation in response to the foreclosure crisis. The cities of Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Jacksonville have adopted similar legislation, as has the Town of Babylon.

    To download the free mobile app, you can visit the Town’s website at http://www.brookhaven.org from a mobile device, or for Apple devices, search for “Brookhaven” in the iTunes App Store. Residents can also call 451-TOWN between the hours of 9:00 am to 4:30 pm to report housing violations.

    Town of Brookhaven – Special Recycling Event

    On Saturday, June 7, the Town of Brookhaven will hold an e-Waste recycling event from 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM at the Sachem Public Library.

    This is an opportunity to safely recycle your old electronics such as:
    TV’s/VCR’s/DVD Players
    Copiers/Printers
    PCs/Laptops/Servers
    Modems/Hard Drives
    Projectors/Camcorders
    Calculators
    Circuit Boards
    Radios/Stereos
    Keyboards/Mouses
    Electric Typewriters
    PDA’s/Pagers
    Power Supplies
    Cell Phones/Telephones
    Monitors/Scanners
    Backup batteries
    Answering machines
    Routers/Hubs
    Gameboy/E-Games

    For more information, contact the Town’s call center at 451-TOWN.

    Memorial Service for Pat Duffield

    A memorial service for Pat Duffield will be held on June 22, 2014 at the Smithtown, NY Masonic Temple starting at 1pm. The Masonic Temple is at 34 River Road in Smithtown, NY 11787.
    Light refreshments will be served after the service. Chris Wright, acting as a representative of her church, will be the leader of the service.
    To obtain a good estimate of the number of people attending, we ask that you email an RSVP to Chris Wright at chriswright66@aol.com.

    It's Summer, Time to Visit Your Town Beaches, Parks, and Marinas

    Parking stickers are required to enter most Town of Brookhaven parks, beaches and other recreational facilities. Resident parking stickers are available for purchase. The price of the sticker is $15, or $10 if before May 24. Senior citizen, handicapped and veterans stickers are $5. Stickers expire Dec. 31.

    Stickers can be purchased at:
    • Parks and recreation office, 286 Hawkins Road, Centereach; Mon-Fri, 9 am-3 pm; Saturday 9 am-noon.
    • Holtsville Ecology Center, 249 Buckley Road, Holtsville; Sat, 9 am-3 pm ( booth).
    • Port Jefferson Marina, 130 West Broadway, Port Jefferson; Mon-Sun, 9 am-3 pm, (sales at annex building by west exit).
    • Henrietta Acampora Recreation Center, 39 Montauk Highway, Blue Point; Mon-Fri, 9 am-3 pm; Saturday, 9 am-noon.
    • Rose Caracappa Senior Citizen Center,739 Route 25A, Mount Sinai; Mon-Fri, 9 am-3 pm.
    • Mastic Recreation Center, 15 Herkimer Street, Mastic; Mon, Wed, Fri, 9 am-noon.

    [Stickers will be available at the last three locations until May 9.]

    Brookhaven Town residents must prove their residency by bringing:
    • A current New York State driver’s license showing Brookhaven address.
    • A current New York State motor vehicle registration showing Brookhaven address.
    • If registration doesn’t show Brookhaven address, must bring a current tax bill, utility bill or voter registration card, with Brookhaven address.

    Civic Board Member, Pat Duffield, Passes Away


    It is with deep regret that we inform you of Pat Duffield's death. Pat passed away on Sunday, April 6th.

    Most of you know that Pat had been an active member of the Lake Ronkonkoma community. She served on the Executive Board of the civic organization since its inception, holding a variety of positions. She also chaired our Fall Festival for many years, organized many of our events and chaired our Scholarship Committee. Pat was also active in the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society and Friends of Sachem Library. Ultimately, she was a cheerleader and supporter for Lake Ronkonkoma. She will be missed greatly and we will always be grateful for her efforts to better our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.

    There will be a memorial visiting service on Saturday, April 12th, 3:00 to 5:00 PM at Moloney's Funeral Home in Lake Ronkonkoma. The service will be in the Tribute Center which is located behind the main funeral home.

    Pat

    LRCO: Working for our Community

    A summary of some of the activities that the Civic has been involved with recently:

    Brookhaven Town Board
    At the Town Board meeting on February 4th, the Civic spoke in favor of rezoning specific properties in the downtown business area along Hawkins Avenue. The Civic has been working to revise the zoning map to further the goals of the community’s vision by rezoning parcels where the current use of the property matches the use indicated on the land use plan, but does not match the current zoning designation. With proper zoning we can encourage appropriate development along Hawkins Avenue.
    The Civic president, George Schramm, spoke at the Town Board meeting on March 4th regarding the proposed rebuilding of the Wendy’s Restaurant at the corner of Portion Road and Ronkonkoma Avenue. Wendy’s is planning to demolish the existing building and construct a new restaurant.

    Civic Executive Board
    The Civic welcomes Jeff Kagan as our newest member of the Executive Board. Jeff has been a Farmingville resident for 44 years and is a former executive at United Healthcare. He’ll be joining the board as the Recording Secretary.

    LRCO: Working for our Community

    A summary of some of the activities that the Civic has been involved with recently:

    Brookhaven Town Board
    Civic board members spoke in support of the Ronkonkoma Hub Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Land Use and Implementation Plan at the Town Board meeting on Thursday, January 9th.

    Civic Board Meets with Brookhaven’s New Councilman
    Civic board members met with the new councilman for Brookhaven’s 3rd council district, Kevin LaValle, to discuss ongoing and future projects in Lake Ronkonkoma. Within Ronkonkoma, Councilman LaValle’s district is the area north of Portion Road.

    Brookhaven Planning Board
    The Civic president, George Schramm, addressed the Planning Board meeting on January 27th regarding the proposed townhouse development on the former site of the Golden Villa Adult Home on Portion Road. The civic has been working with the applicant to improve the proposed architecture of the buildings.

    Happy Birthday to Us!

    Ten down and many more years of serving the Lake Ronkonkoma community ahead. On November 14th at the Lake Ronkonkoma Historic Society Museum on Hawkins Avenue, the Civic celebrated our tenth birthday. Civic and executive board members gathered to share stories of our accomplishments and activities, as well as to partake of the cheese, crackers and other food, including three boxes of cookies and brownies brought from S & D Bakery on Hawkins Avenue that had many of us sorry we had eaten before attending. Some¬how, though, most of us found room to share in the stack of pizza pies and garlic knots Gino’s Pizzeria, on Portion Road, sent over as a surprise. Thank you, Gino’s!

    While we ate and chatted, we were able to view a slide show of pictures from our events over the years. Remember the Portion Road Visioning and how we fought for and managed to get a decent road that serves our community and not a super multi-laned expressway to the east end? And then there is the on-going project to bring our lake back to the treasured natural resource it is. Currently, part of our agenda is working on the Ronkonkoma Hub for the railroad station area. And, of course, besides benches and trash cans and many other successful projects, there are the parades and events, like the Breakfast with the Bunny and Bagels with Santa, we did for so many years, as well as our annual Fall Festival held each September on the lake. The Civic was formed for the betterment of our community by people who came together to serve us all. As civic president, George Schramm, pointed out, it is people like us and your neighbors who are the backbone of our community. We each can make a contribution for the good of all. We have challenges ahead but by working together, volunteering to help on our projects and by coming out and showing your support at meetings, we can make Lake Ronkonkoma a desired destination-not just a train stop. We are looking forward to seeing everyone at our next meeting---and bring a friend!

    Civic Vice-president Appointed Chair of Suffolk County Parks Board of Trustees

    Congratulations to Civic Vice-president, Dawn Hopkins, who was elected chairperson of the Suffolk County Parks Board of Trustees. Dawn was appointed as Brookhaven Town’s representative on the Board in 2009 and was the first woman to represent Brookhaven on the Board in 40 years. And now she is the first woman ever, to serve as chairperson.
    The Suffolk County Parks Board of Trustees consists of 13 members, with 10 members appointed by the County Legislature from each of the towns of Suffolk County upon recommendation of the Town Supervisor. The board makes recommendations upon basic policy, long-range plans for park and open space acquisition and facilities development, any proposed sale of parkland and approves annual capital projects plans. The board also approves all matters having to do with the regulation, use, fees and charges with respect to county parks and recreation facilities.
    Congratulations Dawn!

    Special Town Board Meeting for the Ronkonkoma Hub

    There will be a special Brookhaven Town Board meeting on Thursday, January 9, 5:00 PM at Town Hall, regarding the Ronkonkoma Hub Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Land Use and Implementation Plan.
    The agenda includes:
    1. To Consider Acceptance of the Supplemental Ronkonkoma Hub Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Land Use and Implementation Plan and Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DSGEIS) and the Commencement of a Minimum 30 day comment period.
    2. Introductory Local Law #1 of 2014 – Amending Chapter 85 entitled “Zoning” by Enacting Article XLVII entitled “Ronkonkoma HUB Transit-Oriented Development District (RONKONKOMA HUB TOD DISTRICT).
    3. To Consider Change of Zone on Town Board’s Own Motion for certain parcels of property located in Lake Ronkonkoma to Ronkonkoma HUB Transit Oriented District (TOD) (Parcel #HUB-1)
    4. To Consider the Adoption of the Ronkonkoma Hub Urban Renewal Plan.

    You can read about why the Civic supports the redevelopment around the Ronkonkoma Railroad Station
    here.
    Also, if you attended the Civic meeting this past June where the master developer gave a presentation regarding the project, then you’ve seen first hand that there are groups and individuals who don’t live in Lake Ronkonkoma that will use misinformation and fear mongering to misrepresent the goals of the project. We hope that you will publicly support the Ronkonkoma Hub Redevelopment, but even if you don’t, it’s still important that you don’t let these individuals speak on behalf of your community. Please make every effort to voice your opinion about the future of your neighborhood, as a resident or business owner of Lake Ronkonkoma, at all the public hearings.

    Why the Civic Supports the Ronkonkoma Hub Redevelopment

    The history of this project is a long one, so it’s easy to forget how we arrived at this point in the process. In 2007 the Town of Brookhaven hired a consultant to explore the various possibilities for revitalization around the railroad station. These findings were presented to the community in a series of public meetings in 2007 and 2008. The Civic helped facilitate those meetings because we were interested in knowing the opinion of the community. Had the attendees made it clear that they preferred no development or limited development, then that would be the goal the Civic would work to achieve. But that’s not what happened. Those meetings revealed that there was overwhelming support for a mixed-use development in the blighted industrial area near the Ronkonkoma train station and that the nearby neighborhoods of single-family homes should preserved and protected. With the goal now set, the Civic continued to work with the Town to make that goal a reality.Read more...

    Find the Civic on Facebook!

    You can like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lakeronkonkomacivic

    Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization

    Promote Your Page Too

    Civic Scholarship for High School Seniors

    The Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization is pleased to announce that we are offering one scholarship this year to a graduating senior who lives in the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization area (see the Civic map). The scholarship will be in the amount of $500 and given to a January or June 2014 graduate who plans on attending college. You are required to write an essay on “HOW I HAVE MADE A CONTRIBUTION TO MY COMMUNITY.” It should include details of community service and volunteer work in which you have participated.
    The scholarship application form and activities verification form can be
    downloaded from the Civic website. The scholarship will be awarded only if our requirements are met, including a minimum of five hundred words, no more than six hundred words, essay using correct format and grammar. The application deadline is April 24, 2014. If you have any questions, contact Patricia Duffield at trescata@gmail.com.
    Good luck to all who apply!

    Fall Festival Draws Crowd to Lakeside

    The annual Fall Festival, held September 28 at the Michael P. Murphy Beach, was a huge success. The weather cooperated and a fun time was had by all.

    For the children there were the pony rides and petting zoo as well as the bouncy activities. There were many vendors who offered a large variety of goods to keep shoppers happy. Lots of holiday shopping was accomplished!

    Special thanks go to Andy Glut for his help with the setup and so much more, as well as to our board members who volunteered their time and energy. Peter’s raffles for current and new members was a big success and we thank all the local businesses listed below who contributed wonderful items.

    The Events Committee also thanks Legislator Tom Muratore for the Corrections Dept. van and Sen. Lee Zeldin for his table providing us with information about NY State. We also thank the Ronkonkoma Fire Department for providing a fire truck and a stand-by ambulance, and the DEC for they're fishing, always a big hit with the children and providing information about fishing on LI and in NY State.

    Our lake is our biggest asset and our Fall Festival is a wonderful way to enjoy a fall day, the beauty of our lake, fun, food and shopping, and being with others who are also having a great time. We are looking forward to you attending the Tenth Fall Festival September 27, 2014.

    Thank You to our Raffle Contributors
    Albert’s, BLD’S Restaurant, Boston Market, Brownstone Restaurant, Burger King, Card Shoppe, Carvel, Ching Hoi, Clean As A Whisker, Colonial Flowers, Countryside Wine & Liquor, Curves Gym, Da Nang, Diet Shoppe, Dunkin’ Donuts, Eddie’s Pizza, Flanagan’s, Friendly's, Gino's Pizza, Guinta’s Meat Farms, Head Cutters, IHOP, Island Empanada, King Kullen, Lake Liquors, Lakoma Deli, Mc Donalds, Meson Ole Restaurant, Mesoyio Greek Restaurant, Metro PCS, Olympic Den, Pop's Deli, Red Lobster, Royal Pizza, S & D Pastry, Sachem Deli, Shell Gas Station, Slater Pharmacy, Smokey Bones, Stop ‘n’ Shop, Strathmore Bagels, Subway, TCBY, Triple X Cleaners, Verizon, Wendy’s Restaurant, Wild Berry, Windows On The Lake.

    LRCO: Working for our Community

    A summary of some of the activities that the Civic has been involved with recently.Read more...

    Civic Welcomes New Bakery on Hawkins Avenue

    When the Civic conducted the visioning for Portion Road one of the things high on the priority list was the return of old-fashioned mom and pop stores to our town. Read more...

    Understanding Bicycle Lanes

    One thing that has been confusing many of us since they were installed on Portion Road are the rules governing bike lanes. Read more...

    Annual Fall Festival

    Brookhaven’s “One Call:” 451-TOWN

    For Brookhaven Town issues, such as potholes, street light repairs, garbage collection, barking dogs, recycling, graffiti, town events, code violations and more, call 451-TOWN between 9 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday except holidays. You can also get information on government and related business services, with no call referrals and limited transfers, and without having to figure out the organization of the Town’s Departments.

    LRCO: Working for our Community

    A summary of some of the activities that the Civic has been involved with recently:
    - Members of the civic attended Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine’s recent Civic Roundtable. Representatives from dozens of civic organizations in Brookhaven Town participated in the event, discussing issues affecting their areas. Attendees had an opportunity to speak to both town-wide and neighborhood-specific concerns with the Supervisor and to advocate for ways to improve the quality of life in their respective communities.

    - The civic continues to advocate for development in the area that complies with the Land Use Plan. Executive Board members recently met with owners of a local fast food restaurant to discuss proposed improvements to their building and how to comply with the Architectural Guidelines in the Land Use Plan.

    - Members of the civic attended the monthly meeting of the Lake Ronkonkoma Advisory Board. The Lake Ronkonkoma Advisory Board, consisting of representatives from the three municipalities that border Lake Ronkonkoma (Suffolk County, the Towns of Brookhaven, Islip, and Smithtown), New York State, the Ronkonkoma Chamber of Commerce, and the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization addresses issues regarding lake water quality and environmental issues in the Lake Ronkonkoma Watershed.

    2013 Scholarship Award Winner

    The Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization is pleased to announce the winner of our 2013 annual scholarship award. From Sachem High School North the winner is Nicole Phillips.
    We believe it is important for our youth to be involved in supporting and working with and for their community, and, as Nicole states in her essay, “any act of community service, no matter how big or small, will make an impact on the community.”
    There are many ways we can all give back and offer support on many levels. We would like to thank all who submitted entries this year and are looking forward to reading the entries for next year. Check with Guidance and the library Teen Center for details this coming Fall.

    Sandy Help for Businesses

    New York State has recently launched the http://nysandyhelp.ny.gov website to allow business owners such as yourself to apply for financial assistance. Grants of up to $50,000 to cover as much as 100% of eligible uncompensated losses may be offered. The State may offer additional grant assistance up to an aggregate grant amount of $100,000 for businesses that suffered damage under specified circumstances that can demonstrate that they are at risk of closure. To learn more about this program please go to http://nysandyhelp.ny.gov/sites/default/files/documents/smallbusiness-factsheet_rev_4-25-13.pdf

    While applications may be completed online New York State has established intake centers found at http://nysandyhelp.ny.gov/content/resources. New York State also has trained professionals at our local Small Business Development Centers (“SBDC”) located in Farmingdale and Stony Brook ready to answer your questions and assist you in completing this application. The locations are as follows:

    Farmingdale SBDC, 2350 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale, NY 11735, Phone: (631)420-2765, Hours from 8:30am – 4:00pm

    Stony Brook University SBDC, Research and Development Park, Development Drive, Building #17, Room 146, Stony Brook, NY 11794, Phone: (631) 632-9837, Hours from 8:30am – 4:00pm

    It is highly recommended that you call the SBDC offices to arrange appointments and learn what documents you should bring. As fellow Long Islanders we strongly encourage you to apply for these additional funds.

    It's important that businesses register, even if they have questions about eligibility. We can only provide assistance after an application has been filed and processed.

    Lake Ronkonkoma Advisory Board Meeting Schedule for 2013

    Tuesday February 26th, 2013
    Tuesday April 16th, 2013
    Tuesday June 11th, 2013
    Tuesday August 13th, 2013
    Tuesday October 15th, 2013
    Tuesday December 10th, 2013

    Time: 6:00 PM
    Location: Rose Y. Caracappa Legislative Auditorium at the William H. Rogers Legislature Building (Bldg. No. 20), 725 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge.

    Executive Board Meets with LIRR on Double Track Project

    On Friday January 11, members of the civic's Executive Board met with representatives from the Long Island Rail Road regarding the "Double Track Project" from Ronkonkoma to Farmingdale. The project will establish two continuous railroad tracks from Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma. The LIRR states that this project, along with other projects in various stages of planning (mainly associated with Long Island MacArthur Airport), will improve service, spur economic growth and provide many construction-related jobs. Read more...

    Civic Installs New “Welcome” Signs

    Thanks to a grant arranged by Suffolk County Legislator Tom Muratore, the Civic was able to buy two new welcome signs and install them at the south and north ends of Lake Ronkonkoma.

    Read more...

    Brookhaven Approves Historic Ronkonkoma Hub Master Developer Agreement with TRITEC

    (The following is from a press release issued by the Town of Brookhaven Division of Public Information * Office of the Supervisor)

    On August 28, 2012, the Brookhaven Town Board approved the Master Developer Designation Agreement (MDDA) with TRITEC Real Estate Company, LLC (also Trec Ronk Hub, LLC) for the 50-acre Ronkonkoma Hub redevelopment. This is the first time in the Town’s history that it has entered into a formal partnership with a master developer to create a vibrant new community in the Town. Read more...

    Suffolk Legislature Supports Ronkonkoma Hub

    (The following are excerpts from a press release issued by the Suffolk County Legislature Office of the Presiding Officer)

    Doing its part to pave the way for the most important pending economic development project in Suffolk County, the Suffolk County Legislature has included funding in its 2013 capital budget to create sewers to serve the Ronkonkoma Hub project.
    The proposed $350 million redevelopment project will transform the Ronkonkoma Long Island Rail Road station into a 50-acre, mixed-use, transportation-oriented, pedestrian-friendly centerpiece of the community.Read more...

    Portion Road Corridor Land Use Plan Update

    On Tuesday, May 8th, there was a Town Board Hearing at Brookhaven Town Hall to re-zone 15 parcels within the area of the 2010 Portion Road Corridor Land Use Plan. The Civic supported this series of re-zonings because it changed the zoning of specific parcels where the current use of the property matched the Land Use Plan, but not the current zoning. This was be the third hearing held for re-zoning; the Town was successful in re-zoning 78 parcels presented at a hearing in June 2010, and 31 parcels in March 2012.

    Thank You SC Legislator Tom Muratore

    The Easter Bunny made a special trip back to Lake Ronkonkoma to remind us we forgot to thank one of his biggest helpers during our Bagels With Bunny! Suffolk County Legislator Tom Muratore and his aides put together special Easter eggs filled with candy for the Easter Bunny to hand out to all the children. It made the Bunny's visit so much easier knowing we have elected officials who care about our events and give a hand to help. So, from the Civic and the Easter Bunny, we extended a heartfelt thank you.
    See everyone at “Breakfast With Santa” on December 8th. Check the webpage and newsletter for details and reservations forms this Fall.

    Portion Road Corridor Land Use Plan Update

    On Thursday, March 1st, there was a Special Town Board Hearing at Brookhaven Town Hall to re-zone 31 parcels within the area of the Portion Road Corridor Land Use Plan. The Town adopted the Land Use Plan in 2010. The Civic supported this series of re-zonings because it changed the zoning of specific parcels where the current use of the property matched the Land Use Plan, but not the current zoning. The hearing also resolved “split-zoned” properties, where one parcel straddles the line between two zoning areas. The re-zoning removed the burden of a Change of Zone application from the property owner who may want to develop a parcel in compliance with the Land Use Plan, and protected residential parcels from inappropriate development. This was be the second special hearing held for re-zoning; the Town was successful in re-zoning 78 out of the 86 parcels presented at a prior hearing in June 2010.

    Lake Ronkonkoma "Mirrors of the Past" Photographic Exhibit

    "Mirrors of the Past" Photographic Exhibit Opens at the Port Jefferson Village Center
    Exhibit traces the history of Lake Ronkonkoma with 120 enlarged photos
    Now through February 29, 2012

    Reception - Sunday, January 15, 2012, 1 - 3 pm
    Meet the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society
    Read more...

    Ronkonkoma Hub Update

    Here on are some recent news items regarding the proposed transit-oriented development of the 50 acres around the Ronkonkoma Train Station:Read more...

    Traffic Calming Project for Holbrook Road

    On July 28, 2011, members of the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization attended a Public Information Meeting hosted by the Town of Brookhaven at the Middle Country Public Library in Centereach. Read more...

    Civic Places Benches at Bus Stops

    Thanks to a grant by Suffolk County Legislator, Tom Muratore, in 2010, the Civic was able to buy park benches for the bus stops along the new Portion Road where bus shelters were not feasible. The benches were fabricated on Long Island and were installed this past Spring by Civic volunteers.

    Portion Road Land Use Plan Wins Smart Growth Award

    Vision Long Island honored the Town of Brookhaven’s Portion Road Land Use Plan with a Smart Growth Award at a ceremony on Friday, June 17th, at the Crest Hollow Country Club. The Plan was recognized for “Certainty & Predictability” which are essential attributes for a successful land use plan. The Civic worked tirelessly alongside the Town’s Planning Department to craft a land use plan that implemented the community’s vision.
    Watch the video about the award: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65Yb-R03UHw

    The Smart Growth Award for the Portion Road Land Use Plan at the Vision Long Island luncheon: (L to R) Vision LI Executive Director Eric Alexander, Town of Brookhaven Planning Commissioner Tulio Bertoli, Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Kathy Walsh, Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization President George Schramm, Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization Recording Secretary Pat Duffield, Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization Vice-president Dawn Hopkins, Town of Brookhaven Joseph Sanzano.

    Ronkonkoma Hub Update

    On March 7, 2011, the Town of Brookhaven issued a Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI) for developers to present the Town with a concept plan for the Ronkonkoma Hub transit-oriented development, which is one of the most significant opportunities in the region to create a beautiful new transit-oriented downtown.
    Read more at the Brookhaven website: http://www.brookhaven.org/PressRoom/tabid/56/newsid970/985/Default.aspx

    Portion of Cenacle Property Protected Through Conservation Easement

    Brookhaven Town and the Ronkonkoma Cenacle have signed a conservation easement agreement that will protect approximately 12 acres of the over 40-acre estate once owned by the famous 19th century stage actress, Maude Adams.
    According to the agreement, the purpose of the easement is to forever conserve the property to “assure the sustained, natural capacity and the ecological integrity of the Protected Property and its soils and vegetation and limit adverse aesthetic, wildlife and ecological impacts, particularly in public vistas.” Some of the land uses that are prohibited by the agreement include housing, camp grounds, golf courses, recreation fields, hotels, antennas, and equipment for telecommunication.
    Maude Adams, who famously portrayed Peter Pan in 1905, donated her estate to the Cenacle Sisters in 1922. In 2007 the sisters decided to replace the 1927 Retreat House with a smaller, greener building scheduled to be complete in September 2011.

    President’s Message: Our Loss

    By George Schramm, Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization President

    The year 2010 saw the loss of one of our community’s greatest assets: Bob Molinari, who passed away in November.Read more...

    Lake Ronkonkoma Now Designated an "Inland Waterway"

    New York State Governor, David Paterson, signed legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Ginny Fields and Senator Brian X. Foley officially designating Lake Ronkonkoma as an inland waterway. Recognition as a state inland waterway will enable Lake Ronkonkoma to receive new streams of funding and expedite economic development in the surrounding communities.

    Concerned About Local Crime?

    A Neighborhood Watch program has proven to be a successful method of reducing the risk of crime. But don’t wait until your neighborhood has problems to participate; establishing a Neighborhood Watch now can prevent those problems from occurring.The Civic can assist your neighborhood in establishing a Neighborhood Watch.Read more...

    Civic Vice-president Appointed to Suffolk County Parks Board of Trustees

    Congratulations to Civic Vice-president, Dawn Hopkins, who was appointed as Brookhaven Town’s representative on the Suffolk County Parks Board of Trustees. Read more...

    Credit Cards Accepted Here.

    Becoming a member of the Civic is now just a click away, and renewing your membership couldn't get any easier.

    The Civic now accepts credit cards, so now you can pay your membership dues online, safely and securely.Read more...

    The New Arrowhead Community Park

    Lake Ronkonkoma residents, community groups, and Civic members participated in this year’s Great Brookhaven Plant-In by planting flowers and trees in the new Arrowhead Community Park.Read more...

    Lake Ronkonkoma Means Fish

    Lake Ronkonkoma is stocked and ready. Are you ready for the challenge of largemouth and smallmouth bass, Walleye, Chain Pickerel, Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Black Crappie, Yellow Perch, White Perch, Carp, and Brown Bullhead?Read more...

    WS Commerdinger, Jr. County Park

    The WS Commerdinger, Jr. County Park is open.Read more...

    Why We Drive the Way We Do

    "Traffic does not yield to simple, appealing solutions. Adding lanes or roads is a short-lived fix. Widen one highway, and drivers from another will defect. Soon that road is worse than it was before." - Tom Vanderbilt, in his new book, "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us)."Read more...

    Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy Honored at Lake Ronkonkoma

    Navy Names New Ship and Town Dedicates “Serenity Plaza” for “Medal of Honor” Recipient Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy

    On Wednesday afternoon, May 7th, on the shore of Lake Ronkonkoma, U.S. Navy Secretary Dr. Donald C. Winter, Brookhaven Supervisor Brian X. Foley, 5th District Councilman Timothy P. Mazzei, and 1st Congressional District Representative Tim Bishop today joined the Murphy family to honor Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy of Patchogue. Lt. Murphy, who was killed in action in Afghanistan June 28, 2005, received the nation’s highest military medal, The Congressional Medal of Honor, for his courage, sacrifice, and heroic efforts to save the Navy SEALs under his command.Read more...

    The Civic Online Gift Shop is now open!

    You can support your Civic and buy get some great stuff at the same time.
    We have hats, shirts, mugs, tote bags, and more with the Civic logo and other neat Lake Ronkonkoma artwork.Read more...