The Playhouse Construction Challenge

The Playhouse Construction Challenge

I would like to thank Mitchell Pally and the Long Island Builders Institute for inviting me to their annual Home, Trade & Remodeling EXPO and for having me as one of their guest judges in the Playhouse Construction Challenge – held at the Huntington Hilton in Melville.

Thanks to the generosity and craftsmanship of Alure Home Improvement, Long Island Home Builders Care, Inc, TRITEC Real Estate and the Engel Burman Group, many charities and children will benefit from the joy and laughter that each of the four donated playhouses will bring.

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Parks and Recreation Brochure Goes Digital

The Town of Huntington has stopped mass printing and distribution of the Parks and Recreation Department’s activities brochure and instead is encouraging residents to sign up for programs through the interactive guide accessible at the Town’s website. The decision to stop mass printing is environmentally responsible, preserving trees and reducing the amount of paper in the waste stream. The Town will also save $50,000 a year in printing and distribution costs. More importantly, the digital brochure provides a way for residents to take advantage of the brochure’s additional features and convenience. The digital version includes videos of some activities and the ability to sign up directly from the guide with a single referring mouse click. The guide will also have real-time information on whether an activity is oversubscribed and whether there is a waiting list, as well as updates on schedule changes.

The brochure, which had been printed and distributed twice yearly, is the main source of information about Parks and Recreation Department programs, and in years past, residents would use the information in the brochure to sign up for the programs, traditionally by coming to Town Hall. A few years ago, the Town began online registration for the activities in addition to in-person signup. This saved people the inconvenience of coming to Town Hall and, in many instances, waiting on long lines. The overwhelming majority of signups now come through the online portal, which, like the brochure, can be reached through the web address www.tohparks.com.

Instead of being published twice a year, the digital guide will be updated quarterly. The Spring edition is being released today. The Summer version will follow in about six weeks. Residents who still want a hard copy should contact the Parks and Recreation Department. The Town has printed a small number of the brochures and will mail them on request. While the digital brochure allows for online sign-up, residents can also sign up at Town Hall. Huntington is the only Long Island Town with an interactive brochure, which, in addition to saving money on printing and distribution should produce revenue for the Town. Advertisers have been excited about taking part, with ads that link directly to their website and also include videos and downloadable coupons. Among the new advertisers for the Spring brochure are: Huntington Honda, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, The Little Gym, Huntington Learning Center, LI Green Homes, Muddy Locker Sports, Roar Energy Drink, Fitness Through Boxing and Solar City.

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Successful Week at Huntington Animal Shelter

East Northport – As a result of a new social media presence and innovative programs, the Town of Huntington Animal Shelter just completed one of its most successful weeks in years, placing seven dogs, including one who had been a shelter resident for two years.

A Massachusetts woman first noticed Stewy, a Great Dane mix, on the shelter’s Facebook page and began a correspondence with shelter director Jerry Mosca about the dog, who had been difficult to place during his two-year stay because of his size and strength. The woman met Mosca and Stewy in person last weekend. “She fell in love with the dog and took him home,” Mosca said. “She has been emailing me since then and sending me photos, showing me how well he has adapted to his new environment.”

Stewy’s stay at the shelter was the longest of any of the dogs adopted last week, but also on the list was Yoda, a pit bull mix who had been at the shelter for more than a year. And while Massachusetts was clearly the farthest someone came to adopt last week, other dogs moved to new homes in Hicksville, Centereach and Kings Park.

The Town has been at the forefront of instituting cutting-edge programs to help prepare dogs for adoptions, including working with shelter dogs to make sure they have basic obedience skills and instituting play groups to enhance socialization. The Town established the Facebook page to increase awareness of the shelter’s activities; created the not-for-profit Give A Dog A Dream Foundation as a vehicle to accept donations to assist the shelter in meeting dogs’ needs; and recently began a Dog of the Week program, choosing a dog each week for which the shelter’s adoption fees will be waived.

Persons interested in learning more about the Give A Dog a Dream Foundation or in donating to it should visit the Animal Shelter page on the Town’s website.



Collections Increase as Town Makes it Easier to Recycle

Two major changes affecting how Huntington residents recycle paper, glass, bottles and electronic waste produced significant increases in 2015. At the beginning of 2015, the Town began single stream recycling, allowing residents to put all recyclables into a single can, which is collected weekly. Previously, residents were required to separate bottles and cans from newspapers, magazines and cardboard and put them out for collection on alternate weeks. As a result of this change, which made recycling more convenient, the amount of recyclables collected increased by just under 10 percent: from 13,327.44 tons collected in 2014 to 14,609.23 tons in 2015.

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The second change applied to electronic waste such as televisions, computers, computer printers and monitors. For many years, the Town has accepted e-waste at the Town’s Recycling Center, 642 New York Avenue, Huntington, and in 2013 began a program of allowing residents to call for curbside pickup. On January 1, 2015, a state law took effect making e-waste recycling mandatory by banning the collection of e-waste with regular garbage. The Town and its contracted refuse carters began placing stickers on e-waste left out with regular garbage informing residents of the law and listing the options for disposal, including drop-off at the Recycling Center, curbside pickup, taking it to a participating store and sending it back to the manufacturer. As a result, calls for curbside pickup nearly quadrupled in 2015, with 2,391 calls, as compared to 643 in 2014.