Get breaking towns news on our blog at newsday.com/linow

Drums beat with anti-bullying message

Suffolk sues farm over alleged junkyard
Suffolk County has sued the owners of an Eastport farm for which it recently acquired development rights, accusing it of running an illegal junkyard. In June, the county closed on a $1.69 million deal under its farmland protection program for development rights to the Ringhoff Family Farm. Terms prohibit use of the 141-acre site for dumping solid waste, vehicle storage and excavating on the grounds — all of which county officials allege have taken place in recent months. “Suffolk County taxpayers did not purchase the Ringhoff Farm’s development rights in order for it to be used as a junkyard,” County Executive Steve Bellone said in a statement, calling the use a “blatant abuse” of the farmland protection program. “This program is part of our commitment to preserve open space and ensure the continued agricultural use.” The county said it has obtained a temporary order from state Supreme Court barring farm owners from committing new violations as it seeks damages and removal of debris. A Ringhoff attorney was not listed on the lawsuit’s online record yesterday. A woman who answered the phone at the home of William Ringhoff — previously identified by the county as a family representative — declined to comment. Upon announcing their efforts to acquire development rights, county officials said the deal would allow the Ringhoff family to continue operating a fresh produce stand at county roads 51 and 55, which they said offered “some of Suffolk’s finest peaches, potatoes, tomatoes and ears of corn to passersby.” William Ringhoff said at the time that “joining the farmland development rights program . . . will enable the family to purchase much-needed upgrades and additions to our farm equipment, and provide some financial security as we move forward. The proceeds will go a long way in enabling us to continue farming.” — PAUL LAROCCO

MILLER PLACE. Students from the Andrew Muller Primary School play drums as part of a presentation at the school yesterday by the Hip Pickles, a group that teaches children about kindness, respect and anti-bullying.

Cop to be honored for act of kindness
The regular meeting of the Islip Town board today will kick off with an honorary citation for a Holbrook resident whose random act of kindness launched him to viral fame two weeks ago. Larry DePrimo, the NYPD officer who became an overnight celebrity after a tourist photographed him offering a new pair of boots to a barefoot homeless man on a cold night in midtown Manhattan, will be presented with the citation from the town board for his charitable act. On the regular agenda, the board is scheduled to vote to approve a bid to buy three new public safety vehicles — Ford F250 Super Cabs — for $73,797 from South Shore Motors Corp. in Sayville. As part of the massive budget cuts scheduled for 2013, the board also will vote on whether to abolish 35 positions within the town, the large majority of which are public safety posts. The board also will vote


on whether to approve spending $2,500 to hire the consulting firm Executive Consultants to provide job search boot camp seminars for town workers who will be laid off as a result of the cuts. Islip officials also contracted with Executive Consultants several months ago to offer the same seminars to employees of the town’s former human services division who were laid off when the department was dissolved. Also on the board’s agenda is a vote on setting five separate public hearings to make changes to the town code. One change would eliminate the town’s division of land management from the department of planning and development. The five-member board will meet at 2 p.m. at Town Hall, 655 Main St. — CANDICE RUUD

Village approves sex offender law
Registered sex offenders may not live or loiter within a halfmile of a Farmingdale school, park, day-care center or “other

place where children regularly congregate,” according to a new law passed by the village. Farmingdale officials last week voted, 5-0, to approve the residency restrictions. The village did not previously have a sex offender law. The measure aims “to limit the accessibility of the village to sex offenders,” Mayor Ralph Ekstrand said at the Dec. 3 meeting. No members of the public commented during the hearing. The law also prohibits offenders from living or loitering within 500 feet of a school bus stop and makes it a crime for someone to knowingly lease a home within the boundaries to an offender. Violators face a fine of up to $2,500, with each additional day of violation counting as a separate, punishable offense. Offenders who already had homes within the boundaries before the law was passed are exempt from the law, as are those under 18 and living with guardians, those required to live at a location by court order and those who lived at a location before a new school, park or day-care center was built. The law will be enforced by the village building inspector


and Nassau County police. The state database showed that, as of yesterday, six level 2 and 3 registered sex offenders were living in the ZIP code shared by Farmingdale Village Hall. Other sex offender residency restrictions, including those set by Nassau and Suffolk counties, have been challenged in court as unconstitutional or inconsistent with state law, but village officials have said they believe the Farmingdale measure would hold up in court. — EMILY NGO

Help for businesses, homes hurt by storm
Experts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the federal Small Business Administration will be at Northport Village Hall today to help residents and businesses impacted by superstorm Sandy. The officials will provide an overview of FEMA programs available for people with damages to their homes and of SBA loans and programs accessible to local companies to help with disaster recovery.


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful