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Calendar of Events

Last Updated: June 27, 2017
 The following articles - and more - can be found in our print edition: 

Clarence Michalis Honored

(l-r) Tom Zoller-Mayor of Oyster Bay Cove, Peter Quick-Mayor of Mill Neck, Bob Fagiola-Mayor of Lattingtown, Carl Marcellino-NYS Senator, the Honorable Clarence Michalis, Larry Schmidlapp-Mayor of Centre Island, Elliot Conway-Mayor of Upper Brookville. Photo: Loriann Cody

•Loriann Cody

On Sunday evening, June 25th, former Mayor of Lattingtown, Clarence Michalis, was honored for his 47+ years of mayoral service at the Lattingtown home of Diane and current Lattingtown Mayor Robert Fagiola. One US Congressman, one State Senator, one Assemblyperson, one Nobel laureate, six mayors, local village trustees, family members and friends were among the more than 80 who toasted Michalis, the longest-serving mayor in New York State history.

Michalis took all the hoopla in stride, and maintains his sense of humor, “I used to see many politicians, now I see many doctors.”

Michalis, who stepped down earlier this year, was unsuccessfully challenged in the last election (2013), winning handily (376-87), and inspiring the largest voter turnout in 4 decades. Of the election Michalis noted, “It was a simple case of age and experience trumping youthful zeal.”

Even though he is formally retired from the volunteer position as mayor, Michalis is still inspiring many. He served into his mid-90s, has been married for more than 60 years and looks fantastic. One guest noted that Clarence was skiing up until he turned 90!

US Congressman Thomas Suozzi, Senator Carl Marcellino and Assemblyperson Charles Lavine all presented Michalis with commendations, and Nobel Laureate Dr. James Watson, the former Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, offered his congratulations as well. As a sign of respect and appreciation, six local mayors were present, Elliot Conway (Upper Brookville), Lawrence Schmidlapp (Centre Island), Peter Quick (Mill Neck), Robert Fagiola (Lattingtown), Bernard Ryba (Old Brookville), and Kenneth Goodman, MD (Matinecock). Friends and family all wished Clarence and his wife Cora well; and it is clear that he is missed.

 Clarence and Cora Michalis

Aquifer Danger as NYC Looking
to Reopen Wells 

•Christine Loring

There have been questions for at least 3 years whether NYC’s plan to reopen as many as 52 of its 68 shuttered wells in Queens, could endanger Long Island’s aquifers. The $1.5 billion project “Water for the Future” program project, by the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, want to reopen the wells while repairs of leaks in the city’s upstate aqueduct system are made.

The repairs are estimated to begin in 2021and could take up to a year to finish. The city plans to make up the loss in the water supply by pumping more than 33-62 million gallons a day from the aquifer system in Long Island. On June 21st a meeting in Mineola, including environmentalists and public officials denounced the plan as dangerous.

From the Citizens Campaign for the Environment: “Long Island’s drinking water quality and quantity are at risk, but this time it’s not from an industry or a newly discovered toxic threat—now the threat is a scheme from NYC! NYC is proposing to open 68 drinking water wells in Queens that would pump up to 62 million gallons of water a day, stealing precious water from Long Island’s drinking water supply.

NYC claims the water would only be used for “emergency situations,” but what would Nassau County use during emergency situations? Long Island aquifers are the only source of drinking water for Nassau and Suffolk residents. Opening these wells would put our water supply at risk to contamination, lower groundwater levels, saltwater intrusion, and the draining of streams, lakes, and tributaries.

While NYC has maintained the DEC permits for these wells, they have not been operational for over 10 years, and the impact of reopening these wells on groundwater resources is still being studied by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). There have been no studies on the harmful impacts to Long Island residents and our local waterways!” There is a groundwater monitoring study in place, and opponents want the study finished and data released before action is taken.

“If NYC is allowed to tap into Long Island's aquifers, there would be a serious risk of further contamination of Long Island’s sole drinking water source for up to 3 million people, from the migration of already existing toxic plumes and from saltwater intrusion. Saltwater intrusion occurs when wells draw too much water from the aquifer and salt water from our bays and harbors seeps into the aquifer. Groundwater contamination and saltwater intrusion are already polluting the drinking water resources of Long Islanders; we should not allow NYC to put our drinking water further in jeopardy.”

The Upper Glacial Aquifer is the most vulnerable to contamination. On the North Shore, a layer of clay known as Raritan Clay lies between the Magothy (middle) and Lloyd (lower) Aquifers. On the South Shore, a clay bed made up of Gardeners Clay lies below the Upper Glacial Aquifer. Hundreds of contaminants have been detected in areas of the aquifer system including the Magothy Aquifer and have been detected in our drinking water wells. The contaminants include pesticides, household hazardous waste, volatile organic chemicals, petroleum products, and pharmaceutical drugs. Aging sewage infrastructures and septic and cesspool systems are degrading. The aquifers must be protected from further encroachment.

This Week's Editorial and Letters