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From The Desk Of Senator Charles Fuschillo

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. is sponsoring legislation to raise penalties for drivers who leave the scene of an accident, which causes injury or death. Under current law, drivers who leave the scene of accident and are caught later on often face lesser penalties than they would if they were caught at the scene, especially if they were driving under the influence. 

As an example, a driver who leaves the scene of an accident that involved serious physical injury faces a class “E” felony charge, which carries a penalty of up to four years in jail. However, had the driver stayed at the scene of the accident, they could face a class “D” felony, which carries a penalty of up to seven years in jail.  This disparity encourages drivers to flee from the accident scene rather than stay and get help for their victim. 

“There should be no legal benefit for seriously injuring or killing someone, fleeing the scene, and leaving that victim helpless in the road. Unfortunately, that happens under current law right now. We need to remove the legal incentives, which reward people for leaving the scene of an accident. That is exactly what this legislation would do,” said Senator Fuschillo, chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee. 

The legislation (S2503), which Senator Fuschillo is sponsoring with Senator Martin Golden, would raise the penalties for hit and run crimes so that they are commensurate with charges faced by a drunk driver who causes physical injury or death and remains at the scene of the accident. This would help ensure that drivers do not receive a legal benefit for leaving the scene of an accident. Under the legislation: 

—Drivers who leave the scene of a fatal accident would face class “C” felony charges, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. 

—Drivers who leave the scene of an accident, which involved serious injury, would face class “D” felony charges, punishable by up to seven years in prison. 

—Drivers who leave the scene of an accident, which involved property damage, would face class “E” felony charges punishable by up to four years in prison. 

There have been several recent cases of hit and run drivers receiving light sentences for their crimes, most notably the tragic hit and run death of Erika Hughes, a 24-year-old Mastic resident and mother of a 15-month-old girl. Hughes was struck and killed in July 29, 2011 while walking along a Mastic Beach road. The driver of the car fled the scene and was not arrested until the following April. The driver ultimately pled guilty and received a sentence of only 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison.

The New York State Senate passed the legislation in 2011 and 2012, but the Assembly did not act on the measure.

News

Oyster Bay Town officials are mulling an override of the state’s 2 percent property tax cap for the second consecutive fiscal year. On Aug. 12, the town held a hearing to approve local legislation, giving the Town Council authority to pierce the cap.

 

However, according to Marta Kane, a spokesperson with the Town of Oyster Bay, Supervisor John Venditto and the members of the Oyster Bay Town Council are not certain if they will entertain a repeat of last year, when the board adopted a $277 million budget, increasing the tax levy by $15,964,647—or 8.8 percent. 

Village officials have teamed up with James Faith Entertainment—founders of the Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue—to organize Farmingdale’s first ever two-day music festival, this September 13 and 14. 

 

“Farmingdale is another town that is starting to move forward,” festival producer Jim Faith told the Farmingdale Observer, last May. “[The inaugural festival] will be small, but we’ll start growing it... music festival always take a few years to catch on.” 

 

Faith said that when he first started the Great South Bay Music Festival, back in 2007, it too started small, growing little by little each year. For its inaugural year, Faith booked folk musician Richie

Havens to headline the event. Now, more than eight years later, the festival has featured numerous big name musicians, including: the Doobie Brothers, WAR, Billy Squier, Taking Back Sunday, moe., and Blues legend B.B. King, to name a few. 


Sports

Register now as classes fill up quickly and you don’t want to miss out on the chance to join in trapeze workshops at Eisenhower Park’s I.FLY this fall.

 

“I.FLY was designed to give kids and adults the ability to fulfill their dreams of being in the circus,” says instructor Anthony Rosamilia.  “Flying through the air never gets boring.  At I.FLY, we help people create lifelong memories.” 

After more than a month of group play, on Aug. 16, fourteen teams went head-to-head for a shot at the 2014 Farmingdale Baseball League’s 9/11 Tournament Championship. Here are some highlights from Saturday’s championships. 

 

8U Finals

Long Island Rangers 8 - Farmingdale Greendogs 9


Calendar

McKevitt Mobile Office Hours - August 21

Artisan Market - August 23

Blood Drive - August 24


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com