Friday, July 13, 2007

Restoration of the Grist Mill

Grist Mill, Connetquot River State Park Preserve
The mill originates from the 1700s.
Over the years, weather and age have taken their toll on the structure.
The restoration project, initiated by the Friends of Connetquot, is now in progress.
A mill expert has been hired to oversee the restoration which includes plans to stabilize the structure, eventually raise it and build new stone piers. It needs a new foundation, new shingles and roof. Eventually, the interior and milling machinery will be restored to create a working mill.
This project is a major undertaking and will take much time and require major funds.
Monetary grants have been received from both the federal and state governments.
The Friends of Connetquot are working to contribute additional money raised from donations and fund raising events.
If you would like to donate or help in some way, please call the Park at 631-581-1005
or send contributions to:
Friends of Connetquot, P.O. Box 472, Oakdale, NY 11769

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A New Hurricane Season

Welcome back. I have not had time to post in a while but today as I was doing some "homework" I found that I needed to change the look of the blog, because with Google's new system, they had new template designs, and I had to choose one. I hope you like the look, though I know I don't have that many 'regular' readers. After all, not many people choose to while away their hours reading about insurance. I do have some regular readers of my other blog,, but that's because I write about local happenings in our Village.

But while I'm here, I will write a short post. The market for homeowners insurance on Long Island is continuing to change. This past week we had our first call from someone who's being canceled by State Farm. They were told that State Farm is canceling people within a half mile of the water. I had heard that they stopped writing new business within a half-mile of the South Shore of Long Island but not that they were canceling anybody.

I say this not to pick on State Farm in any way. I happen to think they are pretty good company, and they are the biggest in auto and home insurance. Unfortunately, I just point it out to show what is happening in the Suffolk County and overall Long Island insurance marketplace. Even the largest insurance carriers do not have the capacity to absorb the business being shed by their competitors.

We need a lot of changes in not only the insurance business but also in the codes for new home construction and in other government regulations. But in the meantime, what we need most is a number of new carriers to come in the market and each take a small percentage of the business.

A big part of my job these days is keeping my eyes and ears open all the time for these new players. We wrote our first policy with one such insurance program this week. Our agents Association works hard on this issue all the time but Independent Insurance Agents only represent about 35% of the personal insurance market (meaning car and house insurance). And so we are not the "big players."

That would be Allstate, State Farm, Farmers and a few others. The problem is that, as I pointed out above, size is not an advantage here, because of the massive damage that would be possible in a Katrina size hurricane. Allstate is in favor of a government 'backstop', which is the only thing that would help them because of the sheer volume of business they wrote in coastal areas. But that idea has not caught on with most of the other companies, who would rather see a competitive market with risk-based pricing.

And while the public may debate about global warming, and whether it's caused by humans or not, the fact remains that sea levels are rising and temperatures are going up. And so the insurance companies simply don't know what's going to happen. Even if there is no such thing as global warming (and I personally think there is such a thing), we are at the very least in a period of rising temperatures and increased storm activity, even if it's just a natural cycle that will go away at some point.

That point may still be 20 or 50 years away during which time we may or may not have some pretty strong storms. When you add that in to the amount of property value there is here on Long Island it's a pretty scary scenario.

Meanwhile, there are also a number of major insurance companies, who need no introduction here, who are chasing just the automobile insurance market without taking any share of the risk 0f catastrophic loss that mainly affects the property market. As these companies suck dollars from the insurance buying public, the effect is to weaken the financial positions of those companies who also take their fair share of the property insurance market.

We live in interesting times. As always, more information is available by visiting our web sites at and

Long Island's ''Feast of Feasts'' July 11-15, 2007 - Wellwood Ave. Lindenhurst, New York

OLPH International Feast 2007

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church
July 11-15, 2007

Celebrating it's 25th year, Our Lady of Perpetual Help(OLPH) Parish has expanded their annual feast making it bigger and better than ever! The festival committee has turned this local event into an International delight. More rides, more food, more vendors and more fun than before...

OLPH International Feast takes place on Wellwood Avenue in Lindenhurst, New York. Festival activies start on Wednesday, July 11, 2007 and run through Sunday, July 15, 2007.

The International schedule of events include Polish, Irish, Italian, American and German themed nights. Rides, games and attractions. Expanded vendor area with an assortment of ethnic inspired foods and specialty items. Air-conditioned Vegas area located in the School will be open every evening. Live music and entertainment is scheduled for each themed evening.

Polish Night - Wednesday, 7/11/07
Celebrate your Polish heritage on Wednesday July 11th, or learn about Polish tradition at the OLPH International Feast's Polish Night. Dance to the music of Polka band "Retro" performing live on stage in the entertainment area. Dine under the stars in the food court where Polish delicacies include pierogies and kielbasa. Enjoy all the other foods and browse through the specialty showcase items in the vendor area.

Special Benediction, Procession and Blessing begins at 5:00pm from the Church led by Monsignor Rev. Daniel S. Hamilton. The United States Marine Corp. will be making a special appearance providing the color guard for the opening ceremony!

OLPH International Feast - Long Island Carnivals - Lindenhurst, NYOLPH International Feast - Long Island Street Fairs - Lindenhurst, NYOLPH International Feast - Long Island Festivals - Lindenhurst, NY

Irish Night - Thursday, 7/12/07
OLPH International Feast's Irish Night celebrates and honors the Irish with music, dancing and delicious Irish food on Thursday. A changing of the flag ceremony followed by the Award Winning New York Shields. Gerry Finlay and the Cara Band will be performing live on stage in the entertainment area.

Irish delicacies, including corned beef and cabbage as well as other delicious ethnic food will be served in the food court. Additional vendor areas with ethnic inspired specialty items make this a fun-filled evening with a bit of the Irish for everyone.

Italian Night - Friday, 7/13/07
Dance "The Tarantella" when the OLPH International Feast Italian Night takes place on Friday, July 13, 2007. A changing of the flag ceremony will be held at the beginning of the evening. Enjoy live music in the entertainment area and stroll through the vendor areas for all things Italian.

Delicious food prepared by Joe's Italian Deli will be served in the outside eatery. Sausage and peppers, peaches and wine, cannoli, funnel cakes, ice cream and other ethnic treats. So, bring the family and don't miss this fun-filled evening when lil' Little Italy comes to Lindenhurst, New York.

American Night - Saturday, 7/14/07
Rock n' Roll American Style on Saturday, July 14, 2007 with special showcase 50's Band "The Beltones" at the OLPH Annual Feast. A changing of the flag ceremony takes place at the beginning of the night. Savor a variety of foods along Wellwood Avenue in Lindenhurst. Vendor areas with ethnic specialty items on sale as well rides, games and attractions. It's American, it's International, it's fun for all ages and backgrounds.

OLPH International Feast - Long Island Carnivals - Lindenhurst, NYOLPH International Feast - Long Island Street Fairs - Lindenhurst, NYOLPH International Feast - Long Island Festivals - Lindenhurst, NY

International Fair and German Day & Night - 7/15/07
The final day of the OLPH International Feast, Sunday, July 15th, 2007, will be one to remember with the biggest addition in 25 years. Wellwood Avenue from West Gates to Hoffman Avenue in Lindenhurst will be shut down for the International Street Fair! Fun filled activities begin at 10am and last until the festival closing bell at 9pm. The street fair features hundreds of vendors with food, crafts and novelty items.

The changing of the flag ceremony starts off the evening for German night. Live music in the entertainment area by long-time favorite performers, "The Spitzbaum". Knockwurst, Bratwurst, Sauerkraut and Potato Pancakes are on the menu at the outside eatery as well as other ethnic treats.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help International Feast features rides, games and attractions. Vendor area with an assortment of ethnic inspired food and specialty items. Air-conditioned Vegas area located in the School will be open every evening. Live music and entertainment is scheduled for each themed event.

For general information visit the OLPH International Feast Website
OLPH Feast Coordinator 516-242-9531.
Vendor space available 631-539-4942.

OLPH International Festival is sponsored by:, Walk 97.5 FM, Artusa Construction, Four Seasons Sunrooms, Manhattan Beer Distributor, Pepsi Cola, Joe's Italian Market, Johnstons' Funeral Home, Lindenhurst Funeral Home, OLPH Kinghts of Columbus, The Cannoli Factory, OLPH Holy Name Society, OLPH Parents Association, Allstar Midway, Carnival Amusements, Sal's Fruit Tree, All County Business Machines, Eye Values, Inc., Johnny Mica, Inc. Ridgewood Savings Bank, Giannini Landscaping and Babylon Dental Care.

Special thanks to contributors, vendors and volunteers, the OLPH Feast Committee, The Incorporated Village of Lindenhurst as well as the church staff for helping to make this event possible.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church - Lindenhurst, NYOur Lady of Perpetual Help Church
210 S Wellwood Avenue
Lindenhurst, NY 11757
Rectory Phone: 631-226-7725

OLPH School
240 S Wellwood Avenue
Lindenhurst, NY 11757
School Phone: 631-226-0208