10/12/14 2:00pm
10/12/2014 2:00 PM
Nikola Tesla's final laboratory in Shoreham will be open to the public for three hours later this month. (Credit: Tesla Society, courtesy)

Nikola Tesla’s final laboratory in Shoreham will be open to the public for three hours later this month. (Credit: Tesla Society, courtesy)

You’ve likely driven past legendary scientist Nikola Tesla’s lab in Shoreham many times in the past.

And it’s even more likely you’ve never set foot on the lab’s grounds.

You can change all that from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 25.  (more…)

10/07/14 3:56pm
Tom Cutinella's family embrace after the teen's funeral Tuesday morning. The 16-year-old was killed after being injured while playing football last week.

Tom Cutinella’s family embraces after the teen’s funeral Tuesday morning. The 16-year-old was killed after being injured while playing football last week. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Tom Cutinella was a gifted athlete, an exceptional student and a patriotic young man who planted flags at Calverton National Cemetery and had dreams of going to West Point, his father Frank said to hundreds during a eulogy opening his funeral service Tuesday morning.

But while the teen loved his country and competing in sports, to Tom, his family always came first.  (more…)

10/02/14 8:06pm
10/02/2014 8:06 PM
Members of the Shoreham-Wading River football team walk out onto the field during Thursday's vigil. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Members of the Shoreham-Wading River football team walk out onto the field during Thursday’s vigil. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

The scoreboard at Shoreham-Wading River High School reflected a 0-0 game with 54 seconds left Thursday afternoon as hundreds of community members stood around the football field.

But there was no game under way.  (more…)

03/17/14 6:00am
03/17/2014 6:00 AM

This week marked the third anniversary of the start of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Long Island anti-nuclear activists are still taking a deep breath and expressing thanks a similar catastrophe didn’t happen here. “Fukushima shows how we dodged a bullet,” said Jane Alcorn of Wading River, former coordinator of Citizens Lobby Opposing Shoreham.

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It’s hard to believe the harebrained scheme now, but the Shoreham nuclear plant was to be the first of seven to 11 nuclear power plants the Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) wanted to construct. LILCO sought three nuclear plants at its Shoreham site — “Shoreham 1” was fully built when stopped — four at Jamesport and several plants in between, some on Long Island Sound. LILCO also considered building a nuclear plant in Bridgehampton.

The East End of Long Island would have had a nuclear complex similar to that in Fukushima. Daiichi is the Japanese word for “one,” thus Fukushima Daiichi involves one set of six nuclear plants. Four miles south is Fukushima Daini with four nuclear plants.

(more…)

06/26/13 1:49pm
06/26/2013 1:49 PM

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | The 423rd Military Police Company poses for photos after getting lunch in Mattituck.

Four U.S. Army armored vehicles descended on Mattituck Shopping Center Wednesday afternoon — their mission: lunch.

But while eating their lunches the soldiers took time to speak with curious onlookers, pose for photos and even gave children a tour of the armored vehicles.

 The 16 soldiers are from the 423rd Military Police Company, based in Shoreham. They stopped to grab a bite after finishing training exercises on the beach nearest the Orient Point Ferry, according to Master Sargent Larry Gray.

The soldiers must complete 80 hours of training in the 30,000-pound vehicles on various types of terrain to become certified armored vehicle drivers, he said. The unit has practiced on the Shelter Island Ferry, East Hampton Beach and in Mid-town Manhattan.

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | Mattituck residents Ryan Bordsen, 9, (right) and Jack Kitz, 13, were all smiles on board the armored vehicles.

05/15/13 8:00am
05/15/2013 8:00 AM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO

The new owners of famous inventor Nikola Tesla’s Long Island laboratory opened its gates Monday afternoon to share the history of the site and let outsiders on the property for the first time in years.

The Wardenclyffe property off Route 25A in Shoreham was sold last Thursday for $850,000 to the nonprofit Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, who hope to turn the property into a museum and science center to honor Mr. Tesla’s legacy.

The purchase was paid for by a state reimbursement grant and almost $1.4 million in online contributions from more than 33,000 contributors from 108 countries.

Mr. Tesla, a rival of Thomas Edison and a pioneer in the use of alternating current, conducted experiments at the Wardenclyffe laboratory, built in 1901, in hopes of providing free, wireless electricity to the world.

The tower designed to provide the electrical energy was torn down in 1917 and, after Mr. Tesla’s death, the property was later leased to a photography company, which dumped waste on the land.

Today the property shows the age and neglect. Graffiti marks up the walls and there are signs of squatters who lived in the vacant buildings.

Nonprofit officials said they have obtained permission to see the original blueprints for Mr. Tesla’s lab, and plan to use the designs to restore the property. The project is expected to cost $10 million in total.

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05/08/13 3:00pm
05/08/2013 3:00 PM
COURTSEY PHOTO | The Wardenclyffe laboratory in Shoreham was built in 1901 by renowned architect Stanford White.

COURTSEY PHOTO | The Wardenclyffe laboratory in Shoreham was built in 1901 by renowned architect Stanford White.

Seven months after an online fundraiser raised $1.4 million to save the last remaining laboratory of famed inventor Nikola Tesla, the nonprofit group that organized the drive has purchased the property to build a museum and science center.

The sale of the Wardenclyffe property, off Route 25A in Shoreham, marks the end of a nearly 20-year effort by the group, Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, to prevent the property from falling into the hands of owners who would demolish the lab.

“I think we can all say despite the ups and downs it was well worth it because here we are,” said group president Jane Alcorn. “Almost 100 years ago, Tesla lost this property to foreclosure. We have just reached the point where we can say we’ve purchased it in his name.”

Last year, more than 33,000 contributors from 108 countries contributed to the fund, called “Let’s Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum.” The online fundraiser was featured by the creator of the popular webcomic The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman, who encouraged his fans to donate.

Mr. Tesla, a rival of Thomas Edison and a pioneer in the use of alternating current, conducted experiments at the Wardenclyffe laboratory, built in 1901, in hopes of providing free, wireless electricity to the world.

The tower designed to provide the electrical energy was torn down in 1917 and, after Mr. Tesla’s death, the property was later leased to a photography company, which dumped waste on the land. Wardenclyffe was later purchased by an imaging company, which sold the 16-acre property for $850,000 last Thursday, Ms. Alcorn said.

A reimbursement grant from New York State will cover the full cost of the purchase, allowing the remaining funds to go toward clearing the property and beginning construction of the science center and museum, Ms. Alcorn said.

The group announced the purchase at a press conference at the New Yorker Hotel last Thursday, as the audience gave a standing ovation and cheered.

Among the biggest contributors to the cause was Joseph Sikorski, a local filmmaker who plans to produce a film about Tesla’s work called “Fragments from Olympus.”

Mr. Sikorski and his film crew donated $33,333, all the production’s seed money, during the online fundraiser. He is now working on a documentary about the efforts to save Wardenclyffe, called “Tower to the People.”

Mr. Sikorski thanked those gathered at the press conference for their support, praised Mr. Inman for making the comic that raised awareness of fundraiser and jokingly kissed the larger-than-life cardboard cutout of Mr. Tesla on the shoulder.

“It’s a very happy day today, but it’s very important to understand it’s just a beginning,” he said. “Wardenclyffe really needs a lot of restoration, a lot of TLC.”

Over the next few months, the group will clean up the site and preserve Tesla’s existing lab, Ms. Alcorn said, adding that they will need the continued support of Tesla admirers to build the science center.

The group has allowed the Suffolk County Police K-9 unit to train their dogs on the property, which Ms. Alcorn said gives the site much-need security. The group plans to determine which structures, in addition, to the lab can be rehabilitated and which must be torn down.

After the site is cleared, the nonprofit will organize volunteers to help rake the property and mulch flower beds.

Ms. Alcorn expects the full project will cost about $10 million, and she is hopeful that businesses will step forward to donate.

“We have an enormous task ahead of us,” she said.

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03/05/13 10:42pm
03/05/2013 10:42 PM

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Assemblyman Dan Losquadro at his former office in Calverton in 2011.

Get ready for another election.

If preliminary results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections hold up, North Fork State Assemblyman Dan Losquadro will be the next Brookhaven Town Highway Superintendent. The likely victory means a special election will be held in late spring to serve out the remaining 18 months of his current term in Albany.

BOE results show Mr. Losquadro (R-Shoreham) defeating Kathleen Walsh (D-Centereach) by nearly 800 votes, with more than 51 percent of the nearly 23,500 votes. Just one election district had not reported as of 10:40 p.m.

The post opened up in November after previous Highway Superintendent John Rouse won a county judge’s seat. Mr. Rouse, a Democrat, had held the job since 2004.

Ms. Walsh is a Brookhaven Town Councilwoman, first elected in 2005, who also served as deputy supervisor under Democrat Mark Lesko. Endorsed by Democrats in her two most recent elections, she is a registered Republican. She is the wife of  Brookhaven blue collar union president Bill Walsh.

Mr. Losquadro, 40, had won re-election to his Assembly post in November after first being elected to the job in 2010, when he defeated incumbent Marc Alessi. A County Legislature from 2004 to 2010, Mr. Losquadro has never lost an election.

Tuesday’s special election was already the second of the year on the North Fork. Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue) won a special election for County Legislature over Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter in January.

A race for the 1st District Assembly seat — which spans west from Southold Town, through Riverhead and into part of Northeastern Brookhaven Town — could muddy the picture for the November local elections in which town and county seats are up across the North Fork.

Mr. Losquadro is a native of Wading River and a 1990 graduate of Shoreham-Wading River High School. He lives in Shoreham with his wife, Lynn, a teacher in the SWR district, and their son, Joseph.

12/14/12 10:51am
12/14/2012 10:51 AM

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Bill Miller presents information about the proposed Tesla Generating Station on Wednesday night.

Representatives for a proposed natural gas-firing power plant at the site of the decomissioned Shoreham nuclear plant gave a presentation and took questions at a Shoreham Civic Association meeting this week.

Though principals from J-Power, the company planning to build the plant, were unable to attend the meeting, Bill Miller, vice president of contractor TRC Solutions, along with other J-Power partners, were guest speakers at the meeting held at Miller Avenue School.

J-Power’s proposed natural gas plant, named the Tesla Generating Station, is one of two finalists competing to build a power plant for the Long Island Power Authority.

The other competing plant is a proposed natural gas plant in Yaphank that would be run by the Caithniss energy company.

J-Power already operates a “peaker” station on the Shoreham site that is used during periods of high-demand to provide extra power to the grid, and currently is the third-largest energy producer on Long Island. The new plant would be located near that peaker plant, next to the decommissioned nuclear plant.

The Tesla Generating Station would burn natural gas to generate 400 megawatts and would be more efficient that any other power plant currently operating on Long Island, Mr. Miller said.

The site would also be able to burn fuel oil, but only if the natural gas supply to the station was interrupted, Mr. Miller said.

J-Power has proposed extending the Iroquois gas pipeline that runs under Long Island Sound from Connecticut into Shoreham to fuel the station, Mr. Miller said. The extended gas pipeline would be a “game-changer for all of us” by providing natural gas that would not only be used at the plant, but also for residential and commercial use.

Residents at the meeting questioned how the plant, specifically its two-year construction, would affect the environmental and quality of life for local residents. Mr. Miller said the company is doing an ambient noise survey to determine how much noise the plant makes now and ensure the noise doesn’t increase much because of construction.

Though many of the construction materials would be brought to the plant by sea, concrete, rebar and pipe would have to be trucked in, Mr. Miller said.

“It’s that truck traffic we have to address,” he said, adding that the company pledged to meet with any local residents around the area to address their concerns.

Mr. Miller admitted the plant would likely have to buy emission credits to off-set carbon pollution that came out of the station, but said the Tesla Generation Station would be a net positive for the region — because it would be running instead of less-efficient, more-polluting power plants, he said.

If approved by LIPA the plant would likely begin operations in mid-2017.

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