Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bellport High School Memorial Monument Dedicated

On Tuesday, November 12, 2013, a m. a  Vietnam and Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom Memorial Monument was dedicated at the Bellport, NY, High School on Beaver Dam road in Brookhaven hamlet.
The monument commemorates and perpetuates the memory of those former students who lost their lives in Vietnam 1964-1975, and Operation Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom, 2001.
John J. Foden, 1943-1968
Richard P. Frasca, 1942-1968
Joseph E.R. Neal, 1946-1968
Thomas A. Palladino, 1950-1970
Bruce Richardson, 1949,1970
William Wells, 1947-1967
Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom
James E. Lundin, 1987-2007

Bellport High School principal Timothy Hogan
Welcomes participants

BHS History Club students
Mary Glennon & Abigail Surita
unveil monument

Past Commander VFW Post 8300 Jim Vaughn &
members of the Post dedicate monument

Participants included: Erin Malloy, BHS History Club advisor;
Ron Kinsella, community representative on the committee;
Mary Glennon; Jim Vaughn; Abigail Surita;
Erin Delitto, representing Congressman Jim Bishop; & Timothy Hogan.

The Memorial Monument Committee consisted of Nelson Briggs (South Country School District), Mary Glennon, Regina Hays (BHS), Timothy Hogan, Ronald Kinsella, Erin Molloy, Abigail Surita, and Jim Vaughn.
Click for copy of dedication program

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Arthur Danto Obituary

In addition to his NYC home, Arthur Danto was a long time resident of Brookhaven Hamlet, having a country home at 338 Beaver Dam road also wrote a short essay in 1985 in support of a historic district for the hamlet:



Arthur C. Danto, a Philosopher of Art, Is Dead at 89

Published: October 27, 2013

Arthur C. Danto, a philosopher who became one of the most widely read art critics of the Postmodern era, championing avant-garde artists like Andy Warhol and proclaiming the end of art history, died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 89.


The cause was heart failure, his daughter Ginger Danto said.

The author of some 30 books, including “Beyond the Brillo Box”and “After the End of Art,” Mr. Danto was also the art critic for The Nation magazine from 1984 to 2009 and a longtime philosophy professor at Columbia.

“His project, really, was to tell us what art is, and he did that by looking at the art of his time,” said Lydia Goehr, a Columbia University philosophy professor who has written extensively about Mr. Danto. “And he loved the art of his time, for its openness and its freedom to look any way it wanted to.”

Mr. Danto was pursuing a successful career in academic philosophy when he had a life-defining moment. As he recalled in numerous essays, it happened in 1964 when he encountered a sculpture by Andy Warhol in a New York gallery. It was “Brillo Box,” an object that seemed to Mr. Danto to differ in no discernible way from the real cardboard soap-pad container it copied.

If there was nothing visible in Warhol’s sculpture to distinguish it from an ordinary object, Mr. Danto wondered, what made it art? At a time when more and more artists were creating works lacking traditional artistic qualities, this was an urgent question.

Leaving aside that Warhol’s sculpture was made of silk-screened plywood, not cardboard, the defining feature of the sculptural “Brillo Box” was, in Mr. Danto’s view, that it had a meaning; it was about something — consumer culture, for one thing. The real Brillo box only had a functional purpose. But how would you know whether you were looking at a meaningful or a merely functional object? The short answer was, you knew because the Warhol box was presented as art in an art gallery.

This led Mr. Danto to propose a new way of defining art. The term would be bestowed not according to any putatively intrinsic, aesthetic qualities shared by all artworks but by general agreement in the “artworld,” a community that included artists, art historians, critics, curators, dealers and collectors who shared an understanding about the history and theory of modern art.

If that community accepted something as art, whatever its form, then it was art. This required an educated viewer. “To see something as art requires something the eye cannot descry — an atmosphere of artistic theory, a knowledge of the history of art: an artworld,” wrote Mr. Danto in his oft-quoted 1964 essay “The Artworld.”

Mr. Danto’s notion of the art world inspired what came to be known as theInstitutional Theory of Art, an idea that was developed most fully by the philosopher George Dickie in the 1970s and that remains widely influential on thinking about contemporary art.



Mr. Danto also came to believe that in the contemporary world, no single style could dominate, as Abstract Expressionist painting had done in the 1950s. Pluralism would be the new order.

This led him to proclaim the end of art history. By this he meant not that people would stop making art, but that the idea of art progressing and evolving over time along one clear path, as it seemed to have done from the Renaissance through the late 19th century and into the first post-World War II decade, could no longer be supported by art of the late 20th century. After the ’60s, art had splintered and gone off in a multitude of directions, from Photorealist painting to the most abstruse forms of Conceptualism.

But if so many different kinds of things could be viewed as art, what, if anything, did they have in common? The common denominator, Mr. Danto concluded, was meaning, and that led him to propose that the art of our time was mainly animated by philosophy. Artworks in the Postmodern era could be viewed as thought experiments about such problems as the relationship between representation and reality; knowledge and belief; photography and truth; and the definition of art itself.

If the new art was philosophy incarnate, then the critic who was also a philosopher might have an advantage over the traditional critic when it came to understanding and explicating art. Mr. Danto got a chance to test himself in that capacity when he became the art critic for The Nation.

But while he won the National Book Critics Circle prize for criticism in 1990 for “Encounters and Reflections: Art in the Historical Present,” he was not universally admired.

The critic Hilton Kramer, writing in The New Criterion in 1987, likened Mr. Danto’s views to one of “those ingenious scenarios that are regularly concocted to relieve the tedium of the seminar room and the philosophical colloquium.”

Arthur Coleman Danto was born in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Jan. 1, 1924. He grew up in Detroit, spent two years in the Army and then studied art and art history at Wayne State University.

He aspired to be an artist, and he specialized in woodcuts, his daughter Ginger said. “He had quite a life as an artist,” she said, “but when he got money from the G.I. bill, he decided to study philosophy.” In 2010, Mr. Danto donated many of his prints and original woodblocks to the Wayne State University Art Collection.

He did graduate work in philosophy at Columbia University, and he studied with Maurice Merleau-Ponty on a Fulbright grant in Paris.

Mr. Danto began teaching at Columbia in 1951, earning his doctorate the following year. He continued to teach at Columbia until his retirement in 1992, after which he was named Johnsonian professor emeritus of philosophy.

Mr. Danto’s first wife, Shirley Rovetch, died in 1978. In addition to his daughter Ginger, who is a writer about art, Mr. Danto is survived by his wife, Barbara Westman Danto, and another daughter, Elizabeth Danto.

As The Nation’s art critic, Mr. Danto wrote extended reviews and essays about prominent artists, past and present, with philosophical insight, professorial erudition and, almost always, sympathy and curiosity. He avoided negative criticism, which he considered cruel.

His interests were catholic. “Unnatural Wonders: Essays From the Gap Between Art and Life” (2005), one of several volumes of collected reviews, includes essays on contemporaries like Damien Hirst, Barbara Kruger, Yoko Ono, Gerhard Richter and Matthew Barney and on past masters like Picasso, Giacometti and Leonardo.

His was the kind of art criticism that could engage even readers with no particular interest in art. “There is a lot of uninspired work in the galleries,” Mr. Danto once wrote. “But there is so much ingenious work, so much intelligence, so much dedication, and really so much high-mindedness in the art world that, were it shared by the rest of the world, we would have entered a golden age.”

Friday, November 1, 2013

Day in the Life of the Carmans River

Fish using EZ-Pass? Suiting up in boots and waders? Those don’t sound like part of a normal school day, but Sept. 27 wasn’t a normal school day for 380 students from six schools near Brookhaven National Laboratory. It was the second annual “Day in the Life of the Carmans River” workshop. 


Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Gathering of Friends for Norman Fairlie Nelson


A Gathering of Friends


To celebrate and remember


Norman Nelson





Post-Morrow Foundation Malcolm Fleming Annex


Sunday, October 27th

2:00 PM


Hosted by:


The Post-Morrow Foundation, Inc.


The Carmans River Maritime Center, Inc


The Brookhaven Free Library

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Suffolk County Preserves Sensitive Parcels, Purchases Development Rights of 20 Acre Hamlet Organic Farm (HOG) in Brookhaven

The Hamlet Organic Farm (HOG) in Brookhaven Hamlet was approved for acquisition at the latest Suffolk County Legislature's general meeting.  County Legislator Kate Browning has been aggressively pursuing the purchase of farmland development rights in the third legislative district. The legislator secured the unanimous support of her colleagues. 

The farm lot of this purchase, now know as Long Meadow, was originally one of the farm lots of the Burnett farm of Beaver Dam road.  Long Meadow was the most northerly of the lots, stretching westward from Old Stump road.  The Burnett farm included farm lots both north and south of Beaver Dam road, the homestead on Beaver Dam road, and several barns.  The last of the barns was destroyed by fire on 18 January 2010.  The Hamlet Organic Garden occupies all of the westerly lot where the barn stood, and the western portion of Long Meadow.      Click here for more information on the Burnett farm.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Beaver Dam Road Bridge Replacement

In August 2013, Suffolk County, NY, began a replacement project for the Beaver Dam road bridge over the Beaver Dam creek.  Click on image for daily update of bridge reconstruction project.

The current bridge was opened for traffic on March 28, 1939, following the destruction of it's predecessor in the hurricane of September 21, 1938.

For historical pictures of Beaver Dam creek and the Beaver Dam road bridge, visit:

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Newspaper report of the catch of the Mammoth Trout

From: Richard Thomas
Sent: Monday, August 12, 2013 4:28 PM
Subject: The Newspaper report of the catch of the Mammoth Trout


Your questions about the article in last week’s Patchogue Advance prompted me to see whether I could find the newspaper reports of the catching of the mammoth trout at Carman’s mill.


I had found the report in the Niles Weekly Register of 07 Jul 1821, but as it was a national paper, that report relied on reports first printed in local newspapers.


I also knew The Market Assistant, published in 1867, said, on p. 251,


“The Gazette of the 29th of June, 1821, says : " A very large salmon-trout, weighing thirteen pounds eight ounces, and three feet in length, and seventeen inches round, was caught by Mr. Samuel Carman, Jr., in his pond at Fire-Place, Long Island, on the 24th inst. The Evening Post confirms the above ‘by three of our most respectable citizens.’”


Several years ago, and periodically thereafter, I had looked for 1821 issues of the Gazette and the Evening Post on line, but copies were only available in reference rooms of the New York Public Library.


But on Saturday I discovered a web site that, for a price, lets one access these old newspapers. 


Please see the attached newspaper articles from the New York Evening Post, which are contemporaneous with the capture of the large trout.  The first, MammothTrout_SamuelCarman_EveningPost(NewYork,NY)_Thursday_1821-0628.pdf, includes a number of details not found in later sources.


The Gazette appears merely to have copied parts of the report that first appeared in the Evening Post on Thursday, June 28, 1821 --- four days after the fish was caught.


The letter to the newspaper is dated 25 Jun 1821, so, in 1821, it took about as long for a letter from Fire Place to be delivered to a recipient in Manhattan as it does today (two or three days).


There is a mention of the mill pond above the mill “abounding” with salmon trout, but the huge trout caught below the mill is never described in the article as being itself a salmon trout.  And the next day, the Evening Post ran a correction saying that its report of the upper mill pond abounding with salmon trout was incorrect, and instead the pond abounded with brook or creek trout, but still without any specification of what kind of trout the “mammoth trout” was.


I also found a later article, published in the Evening Post on Friday, 06 Jul 1821, that says:


                The Mammoth Trout which was taken at the Fire-Place, on Long-Island, by Mr. Samuel Carman, on the 25th of June, was killed last Monday and brought to this city yesterday: weighing when dead, fourteen pounds and a half.  Mr. Carman has made a present of him to a number of his friends in New-York.


It’s a bit surprising that the fish, when dead, gained a full pound compared to its weight when first caught.


Nearly all later reports of the “mammoth trout” say it weight 14 lbs. 8 oz., but I expect the 13 lbs. 8 oz. given by Samuel Carman, Jr., himself is the correct weight.


The two articles confirm five other elements of the legend,

1) the trout was caught on a Sunday,

2) the fish was caught at the tail of the mill,

3) the size of the fish was witnessed by distinguished men from New York City, (albeit, a day after it was caught)

4) the trout was, for a time, kept alive in a pen in the tail of the mill, and

5) the trout was ultimately sent to New York City.


As the fish was kept in a pen for a week, I suppose the spectators might have kept the trout well-fed, so I guess it is possible that the fish weighed 14 lbs 8 oz when it was delivered to Samuel Carman’s friends in New York City.


Although the 06 Jul 1821 article implies that the fish was killed and then brought to the city three days later, I would have expected the trout to have been brought to the city alive.  I suppose there might have been enough ice in the ice house to keep the fish in reasonably good condition for a journey to the city.  I note that the article does not say that Samuel Carman’s city friends actually ate his gift. 


According to Eugene Connett (writing under the pen name” Virginius”), live transport was the usual way of transporting fish to the city, and fish were certainly delivered to the city from as far east as Fire Place.  Jehiel Woodruff, who had ponds between Bellport and Fire-Place on Osborn Creek raised fish that were sold in the fish markets of New York.


In the days before the Long Island Railroad was built market wagons fitted with large tanks set out from New York along the route of the Sag Harbor stage---the South Country Road and, stopping at each trout pond, picked up the fish which were offered for sale by the owners of these ponds.  The latter netted the trout, put them in tubs, and sold them by the pound to the market men.


So we have three sets of facts, one set confirms that a mammoth trout was caught and was sent to New York City, a second set, though later, confirms that a wood replica was made of the large fish for use as a weathervane, and a third set of facts confirms that Senator Daniel Webster knew Samuel Carman well and had fished in the Carmans River and stayed at Sam Carman’s inn.


By the end of the nineteenth century, Senator Daniel Webster was identified as being somehow associated with the mammoth trout. 


As the decades passed, the stories of Daniel Webster fishing for trout in the Carman’s River and the story of the mammoth trout that was caught there edged closer and closer together.


The article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle has the title:



It Weighted Fourteen Pounds and Was
Caught on Long Island.




Autograph Letters of the Great Jurist
  Produced in a Law Suit at Riverhead,
  Showing That He Did What He Could
  for His Old Friend, Samuel Carman, in
  a Dispute With the Long Island Rail-


Published in December 1895, the article clearly states that Daniel Webster merely purchased the fish (for $100!); he did not catch it, but even a purchase is very unlikely to have been the case.


An article in Forest and Stream, published more than ten years later, in 1906, also has Webster playing a role, and has the title “The Webster Trout,” but in that story also, Webster merely purchases the fish (and for only $10 instead of the $100 in the earlier newspaper article).  This is reportedly a tale told by Judge Arlington H. Carman (1851-1924), of Patchogue.  (He was only very distantly related to the Carmans of Fire Place.)


This telling of the story is the one that is most blatantly racist, so be prepared to be offended.


“One hot June day, when all the townspeople were at church and the minister had just got to his sixthly, Carman's little n[xxx]er boy rushed in, mouth open, eyes bulging, one hand holding up his baggy trousers, and yelling, 'The big trout is in the hole! The big trout is in the hole!' All knew what hole was meant. It was a spring under a big willow tree, where Carman's dairy house had once stood, and sent a little brook into the river. So every man and boy in the house was on his feet in an instant.

“Hold on, brethren,' shouted the parson, who was a fisherman himself, 'let's all have a fair start.' Then they made a rush across the fields for the old spring hole, the women and girls tagging after. Arrived there, their first thought was to stop up the entrance, then they got out Carman's old menhaden seine that hadn't seen the water in ten years and was full of holes, and wrapped it round and round the sides and bottom of the hole, while the big trout made the water boil as an accompaniment.

“At last, having him hard and fast, they went back and completed their devotions. Next day some one sent a telegram to Webster, and he sent back a check of ten dollars for the trout, and ordered him held alive until he arrived. He came as soon as the stage coach could bring him, and in his presence the trout was taken out, laid on a broad oak plank and his outline carefully drawn with chalk. From this a weather vane was cut out and swung on Sam Carman's mill for years, or until a West India cyclone came up the coast and split it so it fell. It is still in existence, however, and you will find it in the shop of Nathaniel Miller, one of our oldest residents.

“Webster took the trout to New York, invited in all his friends and made a grand banquet of it in the Astor House, where he always stopped when in the city. The feast was held in the northeast room, second floor, the Vesey street and Broadway corner.


In this telling, Webster wasn’t in church or even in the vicinity on that Sunday, he only arrived on the following day, which was also the case for the three gentlemen in the true story of the mammoth trout.


[According to the Evening Post, the three gentlemen actually present were: Gamaliel Smith (b. 1774, Suffield, Conn., d. 1823), Peter L(edyard) Vandervoort (b. 1776, d. 1842, of the firm of Vandervoort & Flanders, “celebrated dealers in dry goods” and located next to old Trinity Church), and Peter Crary, Jr. (b. 1781, of the firm E. & P. Crary, also dry goods, especially silks, located at 107 William St., until 1812, then P. Crary, Jr.,  Co. at 172 Pearl, “Peter moved to 361 Broadway, where he lived many years in great style,” the company failed in 1837, and Peter Crary Jr. died 1843.).] 


As the huge fish was captured in 1821, it is remarkable that Judge A. H. Carman claims Senator Webster  was informed of the news by telegram, as it would have been at least 15 years before Samuel Morse had perfected his invention of the telegraph.


Indeed, this story has as many holes as Uncle Sam’s ”old menhaden seine.”  This trout could not have been the same mammoth trout that was recorded in the newspaper articles of 1821, as the Astor House, erected by John Jacob Astor, wouldn’t even be built until 1836.


This is not the first author to claim that the trout was captured with a seine, however.  The first such report was very much earlier, in 1843, but as this would still have been 22 years after the event, it can hardly be treated as reliable.


Boston Journal of Natural History. Vol. IV. No. 3.  April, 1843, p. 265.

         By William O. Ayres, of East Hartford, Connecticut.

(Continued from page 264.)

p. 272-273


Salmo Fontinalis. Mitch.

The trout, for which the streams and ponds of Long Island are famous, are often taken of very considerable size; those of three or four pounds are not uncommon; and eight or ten years since a trout was caught at Fireplace, which weighed fifteen pounds. It must, I suppose, have been this species. It was called by many who saw it a salmon trout, on account of its great size or perhaps some peculiarity in the coloring, but the most experienced fisherman who was engaged in taking it (it was caught with a seine) considered it only a very large individual of the common brook trout. I may here remark, that on that stream, and possibly in other parts of the island, the name salmon trout is often applied to any specimen very strongly tinged with red on the abdomen, and it may have been so in this instance.


Eugene Connett’s story of 12 April 1919 is the first I’ve found that correctly states that the “wooden effigy was used later as a weather-vane on the South Haven Presbyterian Church, and years later was given to the oldest living member of that church, Ellen C. Miller.”  [Ellen Carman Miller (1827-1914) was Samuel Carman, Jr.’s daughter.] 


Connett doesn’t identify who caught the fish other than to state that it was caught by “two distinguished sportsmen” who had arrived on the Sag Harbor stage the evening before (Saturday).


Robert B. Lawrence, a wealthy resident of Mastic, wrote in May 1919, that in the story he had been told, the trout wasn’t caught by fishing at all.  Instead:


. . . the big trout was left by the outgoing tide in a shallow spring hole and was not caught by fishing. The account of the rush of the congregation from the church agrees with what I heard, but Daniel Webster, who had frequently come down to Carman's River after trout, was notified of its capture and came down post haste and, purchasing it, returned with it to New York, where it was enjoyed at a banquet. Its weight was said to have been over fourteen pounds. It was spoken of as the “Daniel Webster trout.''


Even Edna Valentine Trapnell, writing in 1933, does not claim that the trout was actually caught by Daniel Webster, but she does have, for the first time, Senator Webster actually being present at the time the fish, “after a short and lively struggle,” “was netted by Uncle Sam’s skillful hand.”  She does state that it “fell to the skill and rod” of one of the three important people who had been at the church service: Daniel Webster, Edward Stevens, or Martin Van Buren, but she knows not which one.


(Although Eugene Connett also has “gentlemen” from the city being present, and also states these two gentlemen caught “The Big Trout,” he does not identify them by name.  In Connett’s 1919 version, the congregation witnesses the capture only after the fact.  A “ragged little colored boy,” who was snoozing, was awakened by the shouts of jubilation of the fishermen, then went down to the water “below the dam,” where the “youngster beheld the fish flopping in the bottom of the boat.”  It is only then that he runs up to the church and excitedly announces that the Big Trout has been caught.)


The first instance I have come across in which Daniel Webster is said definitely to have caught the trout is in the recounting of the tale by Rev. George Borthwick in The Church at the South: History of the South Haven Church, written about 1938, but not published in hard cover until 1989.  However, Rev. Borthwick’s version of the “Daniel Webster’s Trout” story also widely available before 1989, as it was published under the title “Webster at South Haven Church” in the Long Island Forum in September 1939 (p. 13).


And as they say, what God has joined together (or, at least, what Rev. Borthwick joined together), no man has been able to pull asunder.



Monday, July 29, 2013

Newsday Article about Thursday's Carmans River Meeting


Residents praise plan to preserve Carmans River

Originally published: July 28, 2013 6:14 PM
Updated: July 28, 2013 7:22 PM

Photo credit: Carl Corry | A view from Indian Landing in the Carmans River in Shirley. The stop-off, now part of the Wertheim National Widllife Refuge, once served as a meeting place for native Americans. (Sept. 09, 2012)

Brookhaven Town's revamped plan to preserve the Carmans River received generally positive reviews from residents last week.

Residents questioned some details of the Carmans River Conservation and Management Plan during an informational meeting at Town Hall on Thursday. But they said the proposal -- which the town board is expected to vote on in the fall -- is better than a plan that was withdrawn last year because it lacked support.

"I think it's an improvement over the last one," said Jim Gleason, vice president of the East Moriches Property Owners Association. He was among about 20 people who attended the informational meeting in Farmingville.

"I think it's a step in the right direction," Gleason said. "I don't think the last one was ready for prime time the way it was put together."

The new plan, backed by Supervisor Edward P. Romaine, calls for the town to purchase vacant private land and impose new zoning to restrict development along the 10-mile river.

A key element of the proposal is state legislation expanding the protected Central Pine Barrens region to include 3,875 acres along the river; the bill is awaiting approval by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

The previous plan, proposed by then-Supervisor Mark Lesko, was criticized by residents and officials for allowing high-intensity development elsewhere in exchange for conserving the river. Lesko withdrew the resolution last year.

A public hearing on Romaine's plan is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday at Town Hall.

Romaine, in remarks on Thursday, said he will ask the town board to accept written comments about the plan through August. Another public hearing will be held in September or October, and the board will vote before Election Day in November, he said.

Preserving the river is "absolutely critical" for conservation of the Great South and Moriches bays, Romaine said. "I don't think anyone wants to see Brookhaven overdeveloped," he said.

Richard Amper, executive director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, attended the meeting and warned that development would increase "tenfold" if the plan is not adopted.

Andrea Spilka, of Eastport, said she was "cautiously optimistic" after hearing town planners describe the proposal. She said it is a "big improvement" over the previous one.

"I was pleased to hear more about the process [and] that there will be another public hearing prior to the approval of the final version," she said.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Woodruff Cemetery Restoration completed

From: Martin VanLith Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 12:51 PM
Subject: Woodruff Cemetery Restoration completed
 More information on the Woodruff Private Family cemetery and the folks interred there  may be found here:
 Dear All,
 As usual, Hollis and George did a nice job repairing this cemetery. Thanks to all who helped clear the brush from the cemetery so that Hollis could do the repairs. Here are pictures taken at noon today.

Note pieces of stone behind first headstone (Matthew Woodruff)-

 This is the headstone I mentioned in a previous e-mail in which we weren't sure if it could be repaired. Hollis did a lot of bench work in his shop to make it one piece. The dates are missing but the pieces with the dates on them are behind the stone- 
If one tries to find out the dates can be deciphered from these pieces -


Azel Hawkins Cemetery headstones repaired. Azel Hawkins Cemetery

From: Martin VanLith
Subject: Azel Hawkins Cemeterry headstones repaired

More on Azel Hawkins Cemetery here:

Pix: Hollis and George at the Azel Hawkins cemetery this morning -

 Note the good job the Town is doing in maintaining the grass -

 This is Matthew Woodruff's headstone (from Woodruff Family Cemetery, see later post). The middle section had disintegrated. We were going to lay the pieces flat in gravel like we did at the Rose cemetery but Hollis bought it back to his shop, cut and glued the two solid pieces together to make it like this-  

The crumbled mid-section of the stone will be left at the base of the headstone.

 More pictures of the repaired Woodruff cemetery to follow later today when Hollis is done. 


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Brookhaven Community Coalition Prevails in Long Island Compost Negotiations

Monday, June 24, 2013

FW: Brookhaven Community Coalition Prevails in Long Island Compost Negotiations

From: Adrienne Esposito [
Subject: Brookhaven Community Coalition Prevails in Long Island Compost Negotiations



At Brookhaven Town Hall:  Brookhaven Community Coalition (BCC) and Brookhaven Town Officials:

Brookhaven Community Coalition organizations representatives:

Monday, June 24, 2013

FW: Brookhaven Community Coalition Prevails in Long Island Compost Negotiations

From: Adrienne Esposito []
Subject: Brookhaven Community Coalition Prevails in Long Island Compost Negotiations



All BCC Coalition Members and Supporters


As many of you may know, the BCC Executive Board has worked tirelessly and aggressively for 2 years to resolve the many concerns at the Long Island Compost.  We are delighted to provide you with the significant end results that we are very hopeful will address the concerns and improve our quality of life for all Brookhaven residents.


On Monday, a critical announcement will be made -  a stipulation agreement to settle the DEC action rescinding the variance allowing Long island Compost to operate an open air transfer station has been agreed upon. Normally this process would happened in private between Long Island Compost (LIC) and the DEC with the assistance of an Administrative Law Judge.  An agreement would be worked out or a judgment would be imposed by the Administrative Law Judge. Due to BCC efforts, this time things went dramatically different.


Since the DEC announced they were rescinding LIC’s variance, in October 2011, the BCC executive board has been very busy. We have traveled twice to Albany to meet with DEC officials, department heads, and our state representatives. We put together a huge packet of information, community testimonies, maps and letters written by adversely impacted residents and sent it to the administrative law judge handling the case. We had countless meetings with, DEC Region One Director, Peter Scully and his staff. We had a number of meetings with Charles Vigliotta. 


We toured the LIC facility with DEC and elected officials and their staff members. We have spent hundreds of hours studying every law, regulation and judgment, from DEC permits to the clean air act. We have spent even more time researching everything from anaerobic digesters, other technologies and  to how manganese gets into the ground water from composting processes.  We have met with numerous elected officials from Supervisor Ed Romaine to Charles Schumers chief of staff.  Citizens Campaign for the Environment allocated a great deal of resources to this campaign.


We even, traveled with Charles Vigliotti to see a compost facility in Massachusetts, in an effort to gain on the ground information for odor control measures. While on this trip. we met a very knowledgeable consultant who was utilized by the Massachusetts facility. We advised DEC that this national consultant should be hired by LIC to figure out the best way to deal with all the issues. Peter Scully agreed and LIC hired him. He conducted an extensive odor and dust study which culminated in a presentation to BCC executive board, DEC, town officials, and representatives from our elected officials.


Based on those findings, input from BCC, CCE, and directives from DEC, a stipulation agreement was drawn up and in an unprecedented move LIC allowed BCC to review the agreement and make recommendations which we did.


On Monday June 24 the stipulation will be made public. We view the dramatic changes that will take place over the next two years as a huge victory because a number of issues that are not associated with the transfer station are being addressed and the way compost is processed on LI may be changed for the better by this agreement. Please understand, we don't anticipate that all odors will be gone however, we do believe our quality of life will be dramatically improved. We are hopeful for the future. Thank you to everyone who stuck with us and supported the BCC is these efforts. 


Please feel free to join us Monday at 10:00 am at town hall for the announcement.   (outside on the lawn!)







NEWSDAY- Yaphank composter agrees to waste management pact



Yaphank composter agrees to waste management pact

By MARK HARRINGTON  June 23, 2013 

Years of complaints about odors, dust and noise at a compost and mulch facility in Yaphank are set to be addressed by an unprecedented agreement Monday that would enclose and seal off large portions of the operation.

Long Island Compost has reached an agreement with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and citizens groups to invest tens of millions of dollars in the new facility.

The plan includes construction of an anaerobic digester on Long Island Compost's 62-acre facility to seal off the dust, odors and noise of the composting operation that neighbors have complained about for more than a decade.

Trucks coming and going at the Horseblock Road facility would be air-locked to prevent odors and material from escaping. The facility also would have an enclosed tipping operation and bagging facility, and roads will be paved to eliminate dust.

The agreement includes new limits on the amount of mulch stored at the facility, a major source of odor complaints. Mulch on site would be limited to 15,000 cubic yards, down from totals that have risen to as high as 150,000 cubic yards.

"It's a landmark agreement that will change the way organic waste is managed on Long Island," said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, an environmental group, who helped broker the agreement. "It sets a new precedent for community involvement and managing compost and mulch."

She worked with the Brookhaven Community Coalition, a group of 30 family members and local activists, on the push for changes. The process was "challenging, emotional and grueling," Esposito said.

Kathleen Lacey, an executive board member of the Brookhaven Community Coalition, who lives about a mile from the facility, said, "I have very high hopes that it will work this time. We've been extremely diligent for over two years on this project. This agreement forces them to actually change the way they're doing things."

DEC Region One director Peter A. Scully called the agreement historic. "Recycling of organic materials is a critically important part of successful efforts to manage solid waste on Long Island, and sound operating practices will ensure that these activities can take place without significant impacts to the community," he said.

Since it moved to Yaphank from a facility in East Moriches more than a decade ago, Long Island Compost has won plaudits for its ability to turn leaves, grass and other organic waste into compost and mulch -- and sell it at a profit. But almost from the beginning it has elicited complaints from neighbors.

The new agreement would settle a filing by the DEC in October of 2011 that sought to revoke Long Island Compost's variance to operate a yard-waste facility without a structure, based on years of odor complaints.

For Long Island Compost, the agreement comes with another benefit: methane gas produced from the new digester will be used to fuel Long Island Compost trucks and other mechanical operations. Producing its own energy not only will mean big cost savings, but will allow the facility to sharply cut back on noise and greenhouse gases.

Charles Vigliotti, president and CEO of Long Island Compost, called the changes a "complete re-engineering of the company's process, looking with fresh eyes at how organic waste is handled."

The company will spend upward of $50 million on the modernization of its operations, he said, but will save money on fuel, power and other efficiencies while reducing its carbon footprint.

"It's a game changer for how waste is handled for Long Island," Vigliotti said.

The state DEC in 2009 launched an investigation of Long Island Compost's Horseblock Road facility after elevated levels of heavy metals and radionuclides were found in ground water samples in and around it. Manganese levels also far exceeded drinking water levels.

The department, with the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, undertook tests of scores of wells at 12 ground water sample dozen organic waste and related facilities in Suffolk -- from Islip to Southampton. Others, including a mulching facility on Main Street in Yaphank, also showed elevated levels.

A report on the Horseblock Road investigation is due this summer.

Ed Warner, the manager of Long Island Compost

 Ed Warner, the manager of Long Island Compost in Yaphank, stands on top of a large pile of compost.




Wednesday, May 29, 2013

FW: Manoj Bhargava now owns the former Levytown site

Suffolk closes on land sale for rail hub

Originally published: May 29, 2013 2:33 PM
Updated: May 29, 2013 2:53 PM

Photo credit: Joseph D. Sullivan | Brookhaven Railroad Terminal in Yaphank, which opened in September 2011, has two diesel trains, and one railcar alone can carry four truckloads’ worth of freight. (June 22, 2012)

Suffolk County has closed on the $19.4 million sale of 230 surplus acres in Yaphank for a rail hub even though a lawsuit seeking to block the deal is pending in State Supreme Court.

The county filed the sale to Oakland Transportation Holdings LLC on May 20 after several delays since late last year. The deal closed less than two weeks after county Comptroller Joseph Sawicki cited the delayed sale as part of the reason the county ended 2012 with a deficit of $155.5 million, which was higher than expected.

"We gave it several months, but we were at a point if we waited much longer we would put the deal into jeopardy," said Deputy County Executive Jon Schneider. The deal was approved by the county Legislature last summer and will put the property back on the tax rolls, generating $3.1 million in new revenue annually, Schneider said. Much of the money will go to the South County andLongwood School Districts.

But Reggie Seltzer, the attorney representing the four local residents seeking to block the sale, sale the county's action showed "total disrespect for the court and the judge hearing the case." The case is pending before Justice Martin Smith in Riverhead.

County Attorney Dennis Brown said there was nothing to prevent the county from moving ahead because the plaintiffs never sought a temporary stay. Brown said the county is "very confident" it complied with county and state law.

In their suit filed last September, the Yaphank residents claimed the county did not undergo a public bidding process to get the highest price for the land. They said the rail hub would jam local roads and threaten the Carmans River waters, and that the buyers have failed to disclose their plans for the tract.

The hub started in 2011 with 30 acres and expanded to another 88 acres where construction has begun on a 60,000 square foot warehouse to store building products for Home Depot. Officials say the hub so far has brought 1,400 rail cars carrying materials including flour, building supplies, stone aggregate for roadwork, biodiesel fuel and bentonite used for landfill liners, removing the equivalent of 5,600 tractor trailer trucks from the highways.

Daniel Miller, chief executive of Oakland Transportation Holdings, said, "I'm pleased to have completed the land purchase with Suffolk County and we look forward to further development of the railroad."