Flanders: Big Duck, blood drive, a kind lady and more

01/24/2011 1:46 PM |

Hello, freezing friends and neighbors. I’m watching the weather report as I’m writing this column. Not only do we have record-low temperatures, we now have to contend with the possibility of more snow. Please, Mother Nature, give us a 50-degree day soon.

The next general meeting of the Friends of the Big Duck will be Tuesday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m. at the David W. Crohan Community Center. You need not be a Flanders resident to become a Friend of the Big Duck. All are welcome to attend.

FRNCA (Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association) and the Flanders Fire Department would like to thank the community for supporting their winter blood drive on Jan. 15. Your donation of the gift of life helps our families and friends near and far. Thanks also to the Meetinghouse Deli in Aquebogue for their generous donation of sandwiches for all the donors. Those who wish to be put on the reminder list for the summer blood drive can call Barbara Swislosky at 631-574-8958 or Patty Hopkins at 631-727-3977.

The random acts of kindness mentioned in last week’s column prompted a Flanders gentleman to call me after he received help from a complete stranger. He told me that he and a friend went to King Kullen in Riverhead and, after a bit of shopping, went outside where they both forgot where they had parked the car. After they made a few laps around the parking lot in the bitter cold, a woman pulled up to them and asked if she could help and then proceeded to drive them around until they found the car. Blessings to the woman who helped them out. She knows who she is.

The RHS Class of 1986 is planning its 25th reunion. If you or someone you know were a member of that class, call John Graziano at 335-2035 or contact me at the number/e-mail above to be put on the invitation list. You can also join the fun on the Facebook page that’s been set up: Riverhead HS Class of 1986.

If you’re looking for a fun night out with the family, check out the RCFA Scholarship Variety Show Friday, Feb. 4. See this week’s Coming Up section for more details.

Get well wishes to Spencer Shea, who had another surgery last Friday. We’re all still here for you and sending healing thoughts your way. On Jan. 30 it’ll be one year since that horrible night. I’m going to look at it as the anniversary of your miracle, not your accident. Take care of yourself and feel better, buddy. Heaven in a cup soon? Oh yeah!

Belated happy birthday to my friend Fran Cobb, who celebrated Jan. 23. Sorry I missed it in the column last week but you know I love ya. Hope you had a great day!

Happy birthday to Bob Makson on Jan. 29 from your daughters Karen and Amanda, your son-in-law, Sean, your grandchildren, Morgan and Jake, and all your family and friends. Make it a good one!

That’s all for this week, folks. I hope it warms up a bit and I hope to hear from you with any news you’d like to share with the community. Please drive safely and remember to put those cell phones down.



98 Comment

  • “There is currently a shortage of superintendents,” Dr. Gerstenlauer said. “I think if you put a cap on the salary, that’s going to exacerbate the shortage in the employee pool and I think districts are going to have a lot of difficulty finding well-suited and qualified candidates to take these positions.”

    I dont.

  • These superintendents, especially Mr. Bonasera should be ASHAMED to collect these outrageous salaries and have no problem cutting programs for the children! Districts like Miller Place and Mt. Sinai are losing their drama and art programs, slashing programs like clubs that children in the high school need to get into good colleges and the superintendents are laughing all the way to the bank! I challenge just ONE superintendent to VOLUNTEER a salary cut in order to save school programs! I would also like to see the North Shore Sun write a follow up article and list all the proposed program cuts in the surrounding districts that are being slashed by these superintendents.

  • There is absolutely no reason for any of them to be making more than 175k. It’s completely unacceptable. Qualified? What does one need to be qualified, Gerstenlauer? Ridiculous. I’m sure there are PLENTY of “qualified” administrators who would JUMP at the chance to take over your position and those under you in Longwood for even less than 175k! Wake up Dr. Gerstenlauer!

  • and some call him Pig.

  • Please – where is there a “shortage of superintendents”??? I’m sure we can find plenty who would be willing to make $175K/year. I think what they are making for the job they do is MORE than fair and they know it. They also know that they can’t go anywhere else and make the type of money they are making. They aren’t going anywhere…

  • Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Bonasera, Anthony J Ndr $402,944 2010
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Burk, John J Ndr $151,817 2010
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Cardo, Roger P Ndr $162,778 2010
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Casswell, Edward W Ndr $170,056 2010
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Dwyer, William M Ndr $163,801 2010
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Dyroff, Matthew J Ndr $161,651 2010
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Finnican, James B Ndr $150,835 2010
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Gentilcore, John C Ndr $163,055 2010
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Grable, Robert M Ndr $163,007 2010
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Jensen, Linda F Ndr $187,947 2010
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Kulik, Gary J Ndr $153,697 2010
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Labianca, Frank N Ndr $168,213 2010
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Mantone, Stephen E Ndr $177,187 2010
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Matthews, Andrew E Ndr $162,987 2010
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Nau-Ritter, Glynis M Ndr $163,206 2010
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Reh, Scott C Ndr $166,721 2010
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Shapiro, Peter G Ndr $166,777 2010
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Williams-Timo, Deena L Ndr $191,119 2010
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Gentilcore, John C Ndr $159,890 2009
    Mount Sinai Union Free Schools Reh, Scott C Ndr $163,403 2009

  • I was always wondering who lived in the large, beatiful homes on those huge lots along North Country Road in Mt. Sinai and Miller Place. I would have to believe that alot of qualified individuals from across the US would relocate here and accept a $160,000 salary. I do not think there will be a shortage of “qualified candidates”.

  • From the picture above, it doesn’t look like anyone would be starving even on a 46% pay cut.


  • This is great news… hope it goes through… teachers next!

  • Please administrators stop with the fear tactics as you’re bargaining chip! If the current school superintendants are stating they can’t and / or won’t do their job for the reasonable salaries being offered under the salary cap I am confident that there are many highly qualified, highly educated professional people on Long Island that will step up to the plate and fill their position for the salary being offered. The money being saved by the salary cap will surly help keep some other key personal stay employed at their basic salaries, help save some programs for our children’s continued education, provide some tax payer debt relief and help close our states budget gap.

  • Whore out your town/Whore out your district.

  • Laurie is right. Some of the members of the BOE are like bobbleheads that just nod and agree at whatever nonsense the Superintendent says or does. They either lack the acumen or the courage to publicly challenge their Superintendent and-or the President and it’s very unfortunate.

    I urge you to go to your budget meetings and get involved. Don’t be afraid to speak up. The great majority of us in these districts are providing these local entities with at least $7,500 to $10,000 of your hard-earned after-tax dollars. For those that don’t reach those figures your opinion is not worth any less.

    Take a look at the school websites. Find out when the next meeting takes place and make sure you attend. Looks like Miller Place and Mount Sinai both have their meetings on the 16th of March at their respective locations.

    Again, get involved. Address these Board of Education members with your concerns and if they remain silent and on the sidelines in the public meetings then vote them out in the next election. Quite honestly, if they aren’t vocal….especially during “these” challenging times, one is left to infer that they’re only there to nourish their egos while lacking the passion or acumen to affect the change that is so strongly needed in this environment.

  • Unfortuantely the BOE candidates are all pro whatever the teachers want. Who else is going to be elected? The public must demand that they disclose how they would vote when it comes to any negotiations regarding salaries.

  • Please contact Governor Walker in Wisconsin to support abolishing the Unions, cutting salaries, and laying off unnecessary school district workers in order to reduce the Wisconsin Debt and reduce the Taxpayer burden. Let him know about our situation. This will send a huge tidal wave across the nation to state kie ours facing a similar situation.


  • No…that would be dumb.

    Collective bargaining is far to precious to sacrifice.

  • You are correct: for an illiterate mineworker. For teachers, no. Are you afraid they will be asked to work 200 days instead of 180? I think teachers are afraid they are going to have to put in a full year’s work for their salary, just like most people (even in the public sector, who are paid far less than teachers) are. Look at what they have, it’s basically a part time job. If you spread the 180 day school year over the entire year, they’re working about 3.5 days per week. Oh now, I know, they grade papers, and “stuff” (as if we private sector/self employed/independent contractors don’t do work at home), but most of the teachers I know spend their summer on a boat or camping, or traveling. Who do you think used to rent out here in the past? Winter rentals were REALLY cheap. Teachers would rent someplace out on the NF from September through June, and travel the entire summer. Don’t take my word for it, talk to any old timer and they’ll tell you.

  • We agree that taxpayers should be going to these meetings .They are just as important as going to a Town Board Meeting.However it has been my experience that Parents are afraid to open their mouths.They think their Child will be attacked in some way to get back at the Parent.Here in Riverhead it has happened …It happened to me with one of our past Supers.I was PTO President at the High School.I always told my Parents that it didn’t matter if I agreed with them or not but if they had a concern or comments let me know and I will bring it up at the Meetings.I supported the Parents and respected their concerns.So one day I was called to that Supers office and I was told”I can suspend your Son “.I continued I didn’t let him stop me.Next thing I knew I walked into the High School and a Teacher said”Oh good your here for the meeting” “What Meeting”?”The meeting with the Special Ed committee” LMAO..This kid was not Special Ed.I went to the Principal He said “What meeting”? LOL he had no clue either.Well it was a major attack….They wanted papers signed …You know what I told them they could do with those papers.The bottom line here is that ,Parents have to speak up.It don’t matter if you agree with the Board or the other Parents .We were all born under the same Constitution.
    Bottom line is educate yourself ..Google make calls and ask questions.Don’t always take what the board tells you as gospel .If something doesn’t sound right..look into it.


  • Some very good points are made here. There’s plenty of room for improvement and cost containment in the schools; and the Boards of Education need to present some ideas that have “nothing” to do with “Albany’s stipulations” as these Superintendents always like to ‘hide-behind’.
    For instance, can someone provide me with a scenario where any of these elementary schools (some having four or five) need more than two physical education teachers (one man and one woman)? To students between the ages of 6 and 10, these “educators” are introducing advanced forms of duck-duck-goose. I’m really not sure why two individuals cannot fulfill these duties for a small-school environment with the primary elementary teacher for a class lending a hand as well.

  • I agree with you Pace..However in my District Riverhead.The Teachers get Lunch and Prep time.They work about 5 hours out of the day.They get paid extra to fill in for someones class in fact here it’s $150.00.That bothers me because they are still getting paid for their free time on top of that.Yes we pay them for lunch….again..it’s the BOE that gives everything away….

  • What is wrong with this picture?
    Miller Place School District student population: 3,000, Deputy Sup Salary : $198,000
    Mt. Sinai School District student population : 2,600, Superintendent Salary:$ 295,000
    Pt. Jefferson Sch District student population : 1,300, Superintendent Salary: $304,000
    Rocky Point School Dist student population: 3,400 , Deputy Sup Salary: $166,000
    Shoreham-WR School Dist student population: 2,700, Superintendent Salary:$233,000
    Combine above 5 school district’s population: 13,000, Combined Salaries: $1,196,000
    Sachem School District student population: 14,800 , Superintendent Salary $203,000
    If Superintendent Nolan can administer a student population of more than 14,800 students, why can’t you have one superintendent for the five school districts totaling only 13,000 students, even at double Nolan’s salary at $406,000 would save those districts $792,000.

    **Source: NYS Report Card and seethroughny.net

  • I agree. If we gave up on the petty oneupsmanship and had any sense in our heads we’d fire this pig and combine the whole thing from Mt Sinai-WR.

  • NOTICE: Unless you take action, these PIGs will keep taking the taxpayers money. In Southold, we have already started a coalition and begun our research into our fiasco in our Town. We are going after answers to justify salaries and we are attacking the Unions as well. Government workers on the East end per household make more than than a private sector working families. The Town of Southold is this the wealthiest and largest employer. Start DEMANDING AN ANSWER TO YOUR TAXES!

  • This man and many others will be slaughtered as PIG’s. The Public milking system is about to end and I can’t wait to see these Town’s crumble.

  • More good points Billy. Or explain why an elementary school librarian just retired, in the Mattituck Cutchogue school district should have been making over 90,000.

  • It is much easier to buy gold today than it was 30 years ago. Gold bullion coins are easily bought and sold with the click of a mouse. Not only is it easier to buy gold, but gold investments are exploding onto the investment scene like never before. In fact, gold coin sales by the U.S. mint in recent months have outpaced the gold coin sales of the prosperous-for-gold 1970’s. Despite this recent fact, the gold price is just beginning its increase.

  • I think a Superintendent of a school district should live in the same district he is a Superintendent of and pay the same taxes as we do. I want to thank all Superintendents for forcing seniors to move away from their families just to afford to live. I want to thank all Superintendents for holding our home prices down because of the tax rate. I want to thank all Superintendents for milking the system we have. I would think it’s time for these Superintendents to retire while the getting is good because my community in Mt. Sinai will be saying no to the next budget. Are all of these Superintendents and teachers so blind that they can’t see how bad a shape our country and State is in at this time? How about sucking up your pride and give us a break. By the way give me a $100,000 and I will fill the position. Better yet just pay my mortgage and taxes and give me a car and I will take the Job. Sometimes to much smarts makes you stupid. This is the case we have here now. Blind and Stupid.

  • Over 1,500 pink slips were sent out to State, County and Town public servants this weekend in the State of Wisconsin. I can’t wait until it happens in our Towns here on Long Island. The police and National Guard are on alert at the Wisconsin State Capital due to this crisis because these “public” leeches are crying and protesting. Where’s my violin!

  • Mt Sinai and SWR are definitely circling the drain.
    MPs not too far behind and if RP falls asleep,theyre next.

  • Its about time this became an issue . Wait till Govenor Cuomo sees there are teachers on Long Island who make more than he does , or close to it. These salaries are wonderful and maybe appropriate for a full time position but they should be prorated for the 184 days work a year, 7 hours/day (which includes lunch and prep time) or 1288 hrs/year that are worked. Compare this to the private sector where a full time equivalent employee salary is based (as an example) on 260 days /year, 7.5 hrs/day(minus a half hour for lunch), 1950 hrs/year. Thats close to an extra 95 days pay per year if you’re a teacher over and above the rest of us. Thats the fact that irritates the majority of residents who’s taxes continue to fund these ridiculous salaries.

  • Reality check- Read the contracts. Lets look at actual instructional contact hours. Most contracts call for 5 instructional periods per day per HS teacher. At 41 minutes per period, that is 205 minutes for actual instruction, or 3.42 hrs per day. Most calenders have at least two snow days built into them. Then there are 2 Superintendnts conference days, and, oh yes at least eight more days for Regents exams. That is 172 instructional contact days. Actual instructional time averages 587 hours per year. I understand that certain teachers need ALOT more time for course preps and test scorings, but there are many “specials” teachers that have none of this. Why are they getting paid the same amount?