A New Year to Start Off Right

Looking to start the New Year with an act of  benevolence?  Considering that stored blood levels are at their lowest this time of year, donating your blood is the perfect place to start. Huntington is making donating easy by offering two places and times to donate your life saving blood next Friday, January 7th:

-At the Huntington YMCA , 60 Main St, Huntington, New York 11743 from 9:00am -1:15pm. The YMCA is asking residents to please reach out to everyone and anyone you know and ask them to donate with them on this special day.  You can make an appointment by stopping at the member service desk or calling (631) 421-4242 and press 0 for member services.

-The Halesite Fire Department and its Ladies Auxiliary will be also be sponsoring its annual Winter Blood Drive on Friday, January 7, 2011 from 3:30 pm -8:30 pm at 1 North New York Avenue in Halesite. In keeping with Halesite’s tradition, delicious refreshments will be served.

Top 10 Reasons to Give Blood

The American Red Cross is constantly encouraging people to donate blood. That’s why they came up with this list of the Top 10 reasons to give blood. Read their motivations, and see if any of them resonate with you.

You will get free juice and cookies!

You will weigh less – one pint less than when you leave than when you came in.

It’s easy and convenient – it only takes about an hour and you can make the donation at a donor center, or at one of the many Red Cross mobile blood drives.

It’s something you can spare – most people have blood to spare… yet, there is still not enough to go around.

Nobody can ask you to do any heavy lifting as long as you have the bandage on. You can wear it for as long as you like. It’s your badge of honor.

You will walk a little taller afterwards – you will feel good about yourself.

You will be helping to ensure that blood is there when you or someone close to you may need it. Most people don’t think they’ll ever need blood, but many do.

It’s something you can do on equal footing with the rich and famous – blood is something money can’t buy. Only something one person can give to another.

You will be someone’s hero – you may give a newborn, a child, a mother or a father, a brother, or a sister another chance at life. In fact, you may help save up to three lives with just one donation.

It’s the right thing to do.

Weeds or Cancer? Long Islanders Want to Ban Toxic Chemicals in Our Towns

Yesterday a group of concerned Long Islanders met outside Wild By Nature grocery store in Huntington Village to picket and demonstrate against the use of toxic pesticides on all public and private areas in Suffolk County and elsewhere in New York State.  When it comes to pesticide control, the U.S. is way behind Europe* in regulating their availability and use. Having had two close friends diagnosed with breast cancer and three others that lost a parent to cancer this year, this is an issue very much on the forefront of my mind and I would guess many other Long Islanders as well. In 1976  when Congress enacted the Toxic Substances Control Act to protect us from toxic chemicals, it also grandfathered in some 60,000 chemicals with no testing requirements. Another 20,000 chemicals were added to this list over the next three decades. In fact the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has required testing on only 200 chemicals! Why is it so difficult for the EPA to research and ban harmful chemicals in our environment?  It’s not just the crunchy granola type people on the fringe of society calling for action but respected scientists, doctors and other citizens who believe that the rise in autoimmune and other diseases are related to these chemicals.**  It is nice that our First Lady is encouraging our children to eat right and excersise but what about addressing contamination in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat?  We all do our best to keep our children and loved ones healthy and safe but with such busy lives we also expect our elected officials to pick up on important issues that we simply do not have time to investigate.

Like many, I don’t spray any toxic chemicals on my lawn and garden and clean my home with baking soda, vinegar and other natural cleaning products. We also eat predominantly local and organic, mow our lawn (albeit a small one) with a manual push mower and compost yard waste and kitchen scraps. However, most seasons we are assaulted by lawn care services spraying neighbors’ yards with toxic chemicals, noise pollution from the mowers and blowers, not to mention the heavy landscaping trucks burning fuel, blocking roads and packing up yard waste in plastic bags that makes it difficult to decompose when it finally arrives at a landfill. Little green signs that let us know when and where pesticides have been sprayed don’t really help when there’s wind, rain and animals bringing all of these potentially harmful materials into our yards, vegetable gardens and our children’s bodies.

We cannot have blind faith and expect our government to protect us on all levels. We must stay connected to policy making and have our voices heard.  We live in the greatest country in the world and our government employees should be reminded that they work for us and not for their own personal advancement. There are many examples of government policies that were presented to the public as environmental improvements but which turned out to create new problems. For instance, the government introduced gasoline additive MTBE as a way to combat air pollution. MTBE is now one of the primary pollutants of Long Island’s water supply. Seven years ago the use of MTBE  was finally  banned but the ill effects on our health and wallet is longoing. ***

Similarly the FDA is another agency that needs to be monitored. Recently the Senate voted on the Food Safety Bill, which included an amendment to ban a toxic chemical (bisphenol A, or BPA) in baby bottles and sippy cups. BPA is a known hormone disruptor and is linked to breast and prostate cancer, among other health effects. Yet our Sen. Richard Burr, along with fierce lobbying from the chemical industry, helped ensure a BPA ban wasn’t included in the bill. ****

The BPA agreement was kept out of the food safety bill, and much of the blame also falls on the American Chemistry Council (ACC), an industry trade group that has previously fought against legislation on BPA and other chemicals. In the last two years, the ACC has lobbied against various state laws as well as the Ban Poisonous Additives (BPA) Act of 2009, which never made it out of committee. It also opposed Canada’s decision to label BPA as a toxic chemical. And while the ACC agreed with some concepts in a bill aimed at reforming the U.S.’s chemicals policy, it did not support the exact legislation.

As reported by NPR the ACC has “consistently advocated for respecting the scientific assessment of the experts at FDA who have the capacity and expertise to make food safety contact decisions.” In late 2008 the FDA said that current levels of BPA exposure are safe, but earlier this year the FDA said it agrees with the National Toxicology Program’s statement that there is “some concern” over the chemical’s effects on fetuses, infants and young children, and that it would continue research on it. Common sense tells me that it should be researched while it is OFF the market and not be allowed on until proven safe.  Unlike our criminal justice system, new chemicals and drugs should be considered guilty until proved innocent. In another case the FDA approved the continued sales of GlaxoSmithKlines best selling diabetes drug Avandia despite the research showing many potential dangers.******

People are getting angry and starting to question the correlation between the rising rates of cancer, autism, asthma and other degenerative diseases and the enormous allowable amounts of toxins in our towns. A movement is growing across the country to change the laws that allow these dangerous chemicals to be prevalent in our society. Local groups such as the Neighborhood Network located in Farmingdale, Millions of voters.org and Organic landscaping such as Gro Kind were at Wild By Nature yesterday and are spreading the word that if we join together than our voice will be loud enough to get heard in Washington. If you would like to sign the petition asking for a ban on toxic pesticides send an email at millionsof voters.org. Another email can be sent to our Congressman Steve Israel asking for his support of the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010 HR 5820, recently introduced by Representatives Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Henry Waxman (D-CA).  Contact Congressman Israel



*** http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/iteam&id=7286029


****** http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/articles/diabetes-news/9606-fda-advisory-committee-votes-to-keep-rosiglitazone-on-the-market

Weekend Plans December 30th – January 2nd

Ridotto: New Year's Eve

Ridotto: New Year's Eve

If you haven’t already made plans for New Year’s Eve we’ve listed a few things of interest going on around town. Saturday looks particularly quiet with everyone laying low after Friday’s  festivities.  The forecast calls for cooler temperatures remaining in the 30’s for Thursdy and then getting into the low 40’s for Friday with partly cloudy skies. Saturday and Sunday will go up to the mid 40’s but there is a 40 % chance of rain as of now. Have a great weekend and a Happy New Year!


Pizza and a Movie Featuring “Toy Story 3” 5:30pm Pizza, 6:00pm Showtime at the  Huntington YMCA, 60 Main St, Huntington  NY  11743 Fee: $2.00 per Ticket (children under 2 no charge)  $10.00 per pizza pie (cash only) All pizza pie orders must be taken in advance. Beverages & Paper goods included . To reserve your tickets contact Hope Zerilli at ex. 114. Remember to bring Snacks/goodies, blanket/chairs – seating is on the floor.  Non-Members welcome. **All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Dix Hills Puppet Show Families can watch the “Mr. Mouse and the Runaway Snowball” puppet show, at the Half Hollow Hills Community Library, 55 Vanderbilt Parkway, 10:30 am . More info; 631-421-4530

Candlelight Evenings: 19th century entertainment in historic buildings lit only by candlelight, as they would be on holiday evenings during the 1800s. “Magic Lantern” shows, an 1860’s christmas tree, holiday songs, period storytelling, hot apple cider, fiddle music and contra-dancing all add to the holiday spirit. 5:00 PM-9:30 PM. Old Bethpage Village Restoration Round Swamp Rd. Old Bethpage, NY 11804 Phone: 516-572-8401 More info:/nassaucountyny.gov/parks


New Year’s Eve at the Cinema! Film, Refreshments & Champagne at Midnight! Your choice of one of three exciting new films! (The King’s Speech, Black Swan, Rabbit Hole) PLUS enjoy tasty light refreshments in the Sky Room Cafe, and share a Champagne Toast while we all watch the big ball in Times Square drop at midnight on the Cinema giant TV screen! $20 Members / $25 Public / No Refunds Refreshments: 6pm – Midnight. Click HERE to purchase tickets

The Vanderbilt Planetarium will premiere its new, state-of-the-art, SkyLase laser-projection system—with all-new shows featuring great music by legendary rock bands—with a Laser Marathon on New Year’s Eve, Friday, December 31. The new projector fills the full sweep of the 60-foot Planetarium dome with  dazzling laser images. The New Year’s Eve Laser Marathon will feature Laser Beatles at 8:00 p.m., Laser Vinyl (classic 1970s rock) at 9:00, Laser Zeppelin at 10:00, and Laser Pink Floyd–The Wall at 11:00. (Sparkling cider and cookies will be served after the show, at midnight.) A ticket for all four shows in the marathon is $30. The individual show-ticket price is $12. Tickets may be purchased at the door, or by calling the Vanderbilt at 631-854-5579. Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium 180 Little Neck Rd. Centerport, NY 11721-1145 Phone: 631-854-5579 /vanderbiltmuseum.org/

RIDOTTO, Concerts “with a Touch of Theatre”, presents “Diva”. The darling of audiences, surrounded by admirers, lovers and paparazzi. Fans adore this eccentric and brilliant, impossibly tempestuous soprano, the Diva. A production with Opera Night of Northport with sopranos: Melissa Block, Barbara Divis, Lauren Haber, Gina Haver, Elizabeth Hillebrand, and Dawn Zahralban. Isabella Eredita, piano, Margaretha Maimone staging and narrations. The concert will be held in the stylish Parish Hall of Old First Church, 125 Main Street (25A) in Huntington (opp. Town Hall). Tickets $20, $18 seniors; $15 Ridotto members; $10 students. Ridotto Concerts are made possible by private Donors and Endowments, Suffolk County – The Office of Economic Development, New York State Council for the Arts through its Decentralization Fund administered by the Huntington Arts Council

Comedy show at Strawberry’s Bakery Bar and Grill 279 Main Street , Huntington NY 11743. 9:30 Reservations 631-427-0999


Ocean Science Sunday: FESTIVAL OF ICE! At the cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724 from 1:00pm & 3:00pm.  As the weather turns cold, explore the amazing science of ice! Try your hand at an icy science experiment, and create your own colorful masterpiece by painting with colored ice. Learn how to make ice cream with melted ice. Yum! Members $3, Others $8. Ages 5-95. RSVP 631-367-3418

Pat Irving Appointed as Huntington’s New Deputy Superintendent of Highways

Pat Irving

The office of Superintendent of Highways, William Naughton issued this release today:

Town of Huntington Superintendent of Highways William Naughton today announced the appointment of Patricia Irving as his new Deputy Superintendent of Highways.  Pat Irving replaces retiring Deputy Superintendent Carl Cavanaugh.

Pat Irving has served as Mayor of the Village of Asharoken for the past two and one half years. Prior to that, she served five years as a Village Trustee.  Since being elected Mayor in 2008, Mayor Irving has initiated several projects improving the infrastructure of the Village. This includes a major deposit of sand on Asharoken beach and the recent renovation of the seawall where Asharoken meets Eaton’s Neck.

Her first priority was to insist that the United States Army Corps of Engineers enforce the Northport power plant’s operating permit that requires the utility to replace sand lost to Asharoken beach as a result of the plant’s operation.  Consequently, the utility this month completed the placement of over 50,000 cubic yards of sand on the beach.

During the March, 2010, Nor’easter, the dunes and seawall protecting Asharoken Avenue from Long Island Sound breached. The road became impassable to both Asharoken residents and all of Eaton’s Neck. Mayor Irving immediately declared a State of Emergency and sought the help of the Town, County, State and federal government. The US Army Corps of Engineers expedited the process and obtained emergency funding of 2.7 million dollars from Congress to immediately design, engineer and rebuild the seawall. The reconstruction of the seawall was completed this week.

Superintendent Naughton said he had worked with Pat Irving years ago when she spearheaded a project to get new sidewalks and guiderails for Norwood Avenue School in Northport. Naughton said “I was familiar with Pat’s tenaciousness to get a job done, but it was during the Asharoken State of Emergency that I experienced her ability to handle an emergency and dangerous situation with both calmness and professionalism, but a determination to get the job done, with as little inconvenience to the public as possible.  She has a management style that I admire and she will be an asset to the Highway department and the Town of Huntington”.

Mayor Irving also has projects underway in Asharoken for new storm drains and as well as a new Village Hall.

Naughton added, “Pat has the ability to move multiple projects forward in a very short time. Other politicians take years to accomplish a fraction of what she has done”.

Prior to her involvement in Asharoken, Ms. Irving spent ten years with Citibank in Long Island and New York City. Her last position with Citibank was Chief of Staff for the Chairman of Technology.

Young Professionals Committee of the Huntington Chamber Makes Holiday Dreams Come True for The Guardian Brain Foundation

Pictured from left to right are Chris Erckert, co-chair of the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals group; Mary Pallotta, Founder and President of The Guardian Brain Foundation and Courtney Bynoe, Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce Member Relations Associate.

The Huntington Chamber of Commerce issued this release:

Members of the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals group donated close to 100 toys to The Guardian Brain Foundation as part its Business Blender and Holiday Party held at the Elks Lodge in Huntington.

“To be able to combine our Young Professionals Business Blender and Holiday Party with the spirit of giving says something special about this group of young businessmen and women,” said Michael Agnes, Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce Board Member.

Several bags of toys were presented to Mary Pallotta, Founder and President of The Guardian Brain Foundation, during the festive event by Christopher Erckert, chair of the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals group, along with approximately 30 of its members.

“It was an honor and a pleasure to be able to give so many toys to such a worthy organization,” Erckert said. “To know that our generous donation is going to provide children with something they may not have otherwise had and to brighten their holidays embodies the whole meaning of the holiday season”

Pallotta said she was thankful for their kindness. “I think that it is a wonderful way to make the holidays very special because it’s all about giving,” Pallotta said. “I want to thank the Young Professionals group for taking the time to think about all of our children that need help. They truly appreciate all of the packages. The gifts were amazing.”

Jack Safarik of the Elks Lodge said he was happy to be able to host the Young Professionals event. “The Elks Lodge is honored to host such touching charitable events that make such a great difference like this. It is truly a privilege.”