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May 2015

Legislator Browning Helps Spruce Up North Bellport

Extreme Yard Cleanup

The South County Community Leadership Network (SCCLN) was out in force this past weekend, May 2, 2015 cleaning up and beautifying North Bellport properties that were selected for some assistance through the Extreme Yard Clean-Up program. Legislator Kate Browning (WF-Shirley) and staff members Janet Horan and Joshua Slaughter were joined by Councilwoman Connie Kepert (D-Middle Island), Police Officer Lauren Ventura and volunteers to transform the property at 637 Bayview Ave. in Bellport. Three additional properties were also selected and beautified.

The effort was initiated through the SCCLN and advertised in the community throughout the spring. Homeowners needed to apply by March 1, 2015 and were chosen shortly after. Plants, soil, mulch and tools were donated to help offset the costs of the program. Legislator Browning secured donated plants provided by Shirley Feed in Shirley and Independent Group Home Living (IGHL) in Moriches. The Town of Brookhaven and South Country School District also donated supplies.

“The South Country Community Leadership Network is working hard to improve the greater South Country area, and this is just one of the many grassroots efforts we are undertaking to make our neighborhoods a better place to live,” stated Legislator Kate Browning. “It was great to team up with Councilwoman Kepert, our staffs and community volunteers to beautify the North Bellport area. I look forward to building upon our efforts.”

Pictured left to right: Shannon Horan; Legislative Aide to Kate Browning, Janet Horan; homeowner; Legislator Kate Browning; Kiera Horan; Chief of Staff to Kate Browning, Joshua Slaughter; Police Officer Lauren Ventura; Tanya Bullock and John Rogers.

April 2015

1000 Books Before Kindergarten Celebration at the Brookhaven Free Library

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

On Saturday, April 18, 2015, the Brookhaven Free Library held an awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements of families participating in the “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” reading initiative. There was music by Darlene Graham, refreshments, and a ceremony acknowledging the families who had achieved their reading goals. Assemblyman Dean Murray was on hand to congratulate the children and families and help give out the awards. A big “Well Done” to everyone who participated! Click here to see photos from the event.

Bellport Acoustic Jam Sketches

Joan Tavolott:

Joan Tavolott

Joan Tavolott

Joan Tavolott


Gina Lento:

Gina Lento

Gina Lento

Gina Lento

Gina Lento

We received a nice note from LuAnn Thompson, owner of Bellport Arts & Framing Studio and former President of the Bellport Chamber of Commerce, asking if we’d mind if a small group of artists visited one of our Acoustic Jams that we hold at the Bellport Village Community Center on Bell Street in the Village each month. Naturally, we said SURE we’d love to have them visit with us!

Now, the kind of sketching we’re familiar with is what we did in grade school where you could hardly tell what we were trying to sketch. You can image our surprise when we saw the results. The artists, Gina Lento and Joan Tavolott, are members of the Patchogue Sketch Club and they tell us that whenever possible, they try to capture local activities. Here is just some of their work.  Please click any of the photos to enlarge it.











Nicola, “Nick,” Gagliardi Is Presented The 1st Annual BFL Community Partner in Literacy Award




The BFL, Brookhaven Free Library, initiated a new tradition this year at its Annual Meeting. They presented the 1st Annual Community Partner in Literacy Award to Nicola, “Nick,” Gagliardi, owner of Café Castello on Main Street in Bellport Village.

Nick went above and beyond welcoming the Library and its patrons, into his business during the renovation of the BFL. It was because of Nick that various programs, including the popular Story Time Programs were able to continue without interruption. A very big Thank You goes out to Nick from everyone in our community.

The Bellport Chamber of Commerce's 2nd Annual Easter Bonnet and Crazy Hat Parade

Easter Parade

The Bellport Chamber of Commerce welcomed spring with their 2nd Annual Easter Bonnet and Crazy Hat Parade on Saturday, April 4th! Residents got creative and wore their most colorful, kookiest, wackiest hats, and their fun spirits, as they all hopped down Main Street in Bellport Village! The Easter Bunny as also on hand for photos and there was free candy for the kids!  Click here to see photos from the event.

Easter Baskets Donated to the Lighthouse Mission

Lighthouse Mission

Suffolk Federal’s Medford Branch Manager Vagira Seedeen (center) presented a donation of Easter Baskets to Marie Cintron and Matt Peterson of the Lighthouse Mission in Bellport. The baskets will be provided to underprivileged children that participate in the Mission’s children’s programs. The Lighthouse Mission works to feed the hungry and help the homeless, while empowering people to overcome poverty and live purpose-filled lives.

March 2015

Ken Budny Passes Away

Ken Budny Passes Away 

We’re very sorry to report that Bayman, Sculptor, former Bellport Village Trustee, and one heck of a nice guy, Ken Budny, has passed away.

Ken was always the first to volunteer for any job that would help others. We consider ourselves lucky to have known Ken and that we are lucky enough to own one of his wonderful bird sculptures. Ken will be missed by everyone who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ken’s wife Helen.

A memorial service for Ken will be held on June 6, 2015 at Christ Episcopal Church on South Country Road in Bellport.

Bonny Clark Celebrates Her 70th With Friends and Family

Bonny Clark's 70th 

Bonny Clark spent her 70th birthday surrounded by friends and family at a surprise birthday party held at the Bellport Country Club. The party took place in the beautiful upstairs banquet room overlooking the Bellport Golf Course. Needless to say, it was a very special event. Happy Birthday Bonny!

Click Here for photos from the party

New Inlet March Update

March Update

Charlie Flagg has sent us his latest report on the breach. Here is his update:

"After nearly two months of snow, high winds, frozen hanger doors and recalcitrant engines, I finally got a chance for another over flight Saturday afternoon. Conditions were good with low winds, lots of sun, and low tide. The photo mosaic from the flight is shown at left. (Click on the photo to enlarge).

The results are quite interesting. First you will notice that all the flood delta islands were outlined by ice and snow. And there are a lot of them. The fact that there was ice and snow around the edges indicates that these islands project above the normal high water marks. So these are becoming quite permanent features and they extend over most of the flood delta, almost to John Boyle Island. Another interesting result is what has happened in the area of the west channel. In the late December photo-mosaic, which was also obtained during low tide, the spit had almost been erased with the remnant of the spit stranded between a fairly open west channel and channel past Pelican Island. In the intervening two months the spit has grown, the west channel is now much more sinuous, the channel near Pelican Island is smaller and the old remnant of the spit has connected with the sand islands to the west. There is now a quite substantial island north of the west channel and west of the main channel that may survive the winter storms. It will be interesting to see if this island grows to the point where it finally squeezes off the west channel permanently. Things would then look rather like the remnants of the original Old Inlet to the west.

There have also been changes along the south shore of Fire Island to the west of the breach. In late December there was a shoal at the edge of the breach that extended south a couple hundred meters. This seems to be mostly gone now. There was also rather prominent scouring of the shore to the west of this shoal. This also seems to be reduced two months later although the snow somewhat obscures the picture.

I have also posted a couple of oblique photos from the flight on the GSB Project website which give a better idea of the extent of sand islands. The photos also show the influence of the warm ocean water in Bellport Bay which has markedly reduced the ice coverage we would normally expect after this winter's extended cold period. Except for a couple of open spots, the ice covers the entire Great South Bay to the west as far as I could see. The only exception is this area in Bellport Bay.

The SeaCat sensor at the Bellport dock has been reporting salinities that stayed around 30 psu since mid-January indicating the continued exchange with the ocean and lack of fresh water storm flow from the creeks. All the fresh water is still bound up in snow and ice so we should expect noticeably fresher conditions once the spring thaw finally sets in. And despite the recent particularly cold period, the temperatures at the dock have risen a couple of degrees in the past 10 days reflecting offshore changes."

February 2015

Legislator Browning Bans GPS Tracking by Private Individuals in Suffolk County

Kate Browning

The use of Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking devices on vehicles in Suffolk County is a thing of the past after the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously approved Introductory Resolution 1859-14. The legislation, sponsored by Legislator Kate Browning, prohibits any person or entity from placing a GPS tracking device on a motor vehicle without the knowledge and consent of the motor vehicle’s owner.

The use of tracking devices on vehicles has long been a major public safety concern, in particular for victims of domestic violence whose abusers use the practice to monitor and stalk them. For years domestic violence agencies and advocates have described dangerous situations where abusers are able to locate their victims at shelters or places of employment through the use of GPS devices. Before the passage of IR 1859, these activities were legal in Suffolk County.

With the passage of this law no person shall install or place an electronic tracking device in or on a motor vehicle within the County of Suffolk without the knowledge and consent of all owners of the motor vehicle, or track the location of a motor vehicle with an electronic tracking device within the County of Suffolk without the knowledge and consent of all owners of the motor vehicle. It does not prevent an employer from tracking vehicles owned by their company for the purposes monitoring employees, nor does it prevent a parent from placing a device on a vehicle their child drives as long as the parent is the owner of the vehicle.

Ironically, courts had already found that persons operating a motor vehicle have a legitimate right to privacy, and therefore have required law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant before placing a GPS device on a motor vehicle. This law exempts law enforcement agencies working within the scope of their employment.

“I was amazed to find out that law enforcement has been required to obtain a warrant before placing a GPS device on a vehicle, but any private citizen was legally allowed to do so to another private citizen,” stated Legislator Browning. “No one should have the legal right to invade another resident’s privacy, and this law ensures that they cannot. I want to thank my colleagues for their support.”

The law shall take effect on the sixtieth day immediately subsequent to filing in the Office of the Secretary of State.

We Have A New Novelist In Our Community

In Secret Waters, Richard Weissmann 

Local author, Richard Weissmann, has just published his first novel and we hope it won’t be his last! Mr. Weissmann has been an outdoor writer, reporter, naturalist, fisherman, and teacher, but now he can add the title, “Novelist” to his resume.

The setting for In Secret Waters is the Atlantic Ocean, east of Montauk Point, but rather than our trying to tell you about In Secret Waters, we’ll let Mr. Weissmann tell you:

“Erik Hazen is an enigma. Born and raised on the not so chic side of the toney Hamptons on Long Island’s east end, he belongs to a family of traditional fisherman known locally as “Bonackers”. For eight generations his relatives made their living from the sea: haul seining, trap netting, clamming, and scalloping. But, by the 1980’s, with that way of life dying out, Hazen breaks away to attend Annapolis, serve as a Navy SEAL, and, finally, take over a small boat building business which he grows into a sought after brand.

However, he has an obsession. The sunken liner Andrea Doria, which lies in deep water off Montauk Point, has been a magnet for extreme divers since its sinking in 1956. After over two hundred dives, Hazen became the acknowledged expert on the wreck. But that ended when his young wife drowned inside the ship in a failed dive. The tragedy led Hazen to sell his boat building business and return to a simpler way of life again as a charter boat captain.

Now, ten years later, he is approached by a woman who claims that a vast fortune in stolen diamonds—lost since WWII—may be buried in the ship’s wreckage. If it can be found, the legendary Fuhrer Gems can help make restitution to the families of thousands of Holocaust victims.

Hazen must get past his ghosts if he is to go back to the Andrea Doria. In addition, he must get past a group of modern day terrorists who also have information about the lost treasure.

The stakes are high and the challenges many as this tale of adventure ranges from the streets of New York City to the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.”

Now that we have your attention, how would you like to start reading In Secret Waters? Mr. Weissmann has kindly given us permission to publish the first two chapters to get you started.

Click for Chapter One of In Secret Waters

Click for Chapter Two of In Secret Waters

In Secret Waters, by Richard Weissmann, is available from Amazon by searching for the title and Author’s name or by following the link: In Secret Waters

The Kindle version is only $4.95 and the paperback version has a special discounted price of only $10.79. If you’re an Amazon Prime Member, shipping is even FREE! In addition, it’s expected that In Secret Waters will soon be available from Barnes & Noble.

Congratulations Mr. Weissmann for a job very well done!

January 2015

Café Castello Featured Live Music with Vintage Val & Friends this Past Weekend

Cafe Castello

You never know what you’ll find going on at Café Castello. This past weekend, everyone was encouraged to “wine and dine with an intimate gathering of friends and musicians featuring: Leah Key, Sarah Lewis, Dave Portecarerro, Paul Gilmore, Val Levine & Special Surprise Guests.” A good time was had by all. We wonder what Nick will come up with next time! Click here for more about Café Castello.

Bellport Country Club Named Winner in The Knot Best of Weddings 2015 & WeddingWire Couples' Choice Award 2015

Bellport Country Club

The Knot


The Bellport Country Club is pleased to announce that they have been selected as a 2015 winner in The Knot Best of Weddings and WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award. These awards represent the highest-rated wedding professionals as reviewed by real couples, their families and wedding guests. This is the third time the Bellport Country Club has been selected for The Knot Best of Weddings and the fifth time for the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award.

In 2015, only 2% of the 250,000 wedding professionals listed on have received this distinguished accolade. The Knot Best of Weddings provides a by-couples, for-couples guide to the top wedding professionals across the country. To determine the winners, The Knot assessed a sample of almost one million real reviews across the various vendor categories—venues, musicians, florists, photographers, caterers and more—that a bride or groom would want in order to inspire, plan and pull off their own unique wedding.

The WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals from the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. The WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards are determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over a million WeddingWire newlyweds.

“These awards are dedicated to the wonderful Staff at the Bellport Country Club. Their tireless pursuit to create the most fantastic experience for all of our Couples, their family and friends, is the reason for our success.”

The Bellport Country Club is a full service on and off premise catering facility located on the south shore of Long Island. The Bellport Country Club has been catering one wedding at a time for almost 20 years. For more information about the Bellport Country Club please click here or call 631.286.4227.

Click here for their online wedding brochure.

Legislator Browning Installs New Officers of Bellport Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce Officers

Legislator Kate Browning had the honor of installing the newest officers and board of directors at the Bellport Chamber of Commerce’s Installation Dinner on Wednesday, January 14, 2015. The chamber elected a new President, Chris Hane, of MVP Automotive.

“The Bellport Chamber of Commerce is a vibrant and active chamber,” stated Legislator Browning. “It was my pleasure to install the new officers, and I look forward to working with them towards improving the success of downtown Bellport in 2015. I urge everyone to shop locally and support our small businesses. They are the backbone of our community.”

In addition to new President Chris Hane, the following members were elected to voting positions for 2015:

Vice President Meredith Avino, Avino’s Italian Table
Vice President and Past President LuAnn Thompson, Bellport Arts and Framing
Treasurer Gabrielle Corsetti, Suffolk County National Bank
Secretary Terry Tuthill, Long Island Advance
Sergeant-At-Arms Ron Trotta, Sterling Business Systems
Board of Directors: Lynn Burnett, HSBC Bank; Anthony Gandolfo, Rice Reality; John Hannon, Playcrafters and David Schultzer, Bellport Cold Beer and Soda.

Click on the photo to enlarge.

Detailed "New Inlet" Fall/Winter Update

New Inlet

Charlie Flagg has put together a summary of his surveys of the new inlet over the past few months, and sent us his report.

Click here to read his report.

Assemblyman Murray Sworn Into Office

Murray Sworn In


Assemblyman Dean Murray (R,C,I-East Patchogue) was officially sworn in at the state Capitol in Albany as the 3rd District’s newest assemblyman. Murray, who previously served as assemblyman from 2010-2012, is honored to once again be serving our communities and relishes the opportunity to enhance the quality of life for all our residents.

“It's truly an honor to be once again representing the 3rd Assembly District in Albany,” said Murray. “Our residents deserve a strong voice on their behalf and I’m ready to hit the ground running and work to ensure that our schools receive the aid they need, our economy can grow and our communities can thrive once more.”

New Inlet Late December Update

January Inlet Update

New Inlet

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

Because of the significant nor'easter in mid-December and a rumor that another breach had formed, I made an over flight of the area Sunday, December 14th at around 10:30 EDT during flood tide. Attached are the mosaics from Nov 30th and Dec 14th. The storm did do some rearranging of the southwest beach but not too much. The big change was in the spit which was both extended northward toward Pelican Island and cut off from Fire Island by the re-emergence of the west channel. Also notice that the ebb shoal had disappeared although that might be the result of low winds and low waves, and thus no breaking waves over the shoals. Some alteration of the eastern shoreline occurred where the corner got shaved off.

Click on either photo at left to enlarge.

Bellport Poet Wins Award

Charles Fishman


Dr. Charles Adès Fishman of Bellport has won the 2014 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award for Poetry for his poem, "Snow is the Poem without Flags," the final poem in his 2012 collection, In the Path of Lightning: Selected Poems.

Dr. Fishman is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of English and Humanities at Farmingdale State College, where he created and directed the Visiting Writers Program, the Paumanok Poetry Award competition, and the Distinguished Speakers Program. He is currently poetry editor of Prism: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Holocaust Educators and poetry consultant to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. His books include The Death Mazurka, an American Library Association Outstanding Book of the Year that was nominated for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; Country of Memory (2004), Chopin’s Piano (2006), and In the Language of Women (2011). The revised, second edition of his anthology, Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust (2007), was published by Time Being Books, which released his selected poems, In the Path of Lightning, in 2012. His poem, “Lament for Federico García Lorca” received the 2012 New Millennium Prize for Poetry, and his poem “Snow Is the Poem Without Flags” received the 2014 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award for Poetry. Charles is currently completing work on a new anthology, Veils, Halos and Shackles: International Poetry on the Abuse and Oppression of Women. According to Google Earth, he and his wife, Ellen, have lived on Elm Road in Bellport for the past 14 years.

Aesthetica Magazine recently interviewed Dr. Fishman. Click here to read the interview.

Click here to read the award winning poem.

Photo by Anthony Barboza