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Smithtown addiction center could be zoned

When Charlie Murphy’s residence opened in 1942, Alcoholics Anonymous had only been in existence for seven years and its instruction manual, originally titled “Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men recovered from alcoholism,” had only been in print for three years.

But in 2016, the famed Fort Salonga facility, which housed and rehabilitated thousands of Long Island drug addicts for eight decades, burned down.

And since Charlie Murphy’s was founded, the neighborhood around it has grown.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, investors who hope to use the site again for a drug treatment center will appear before the Smithtown Board of Zoning Appeals, opposed by a local civic association and neighbors who are fighting to stop it. The proposed facility is for profit; Charlie Murphy’s was a non-profit organization.

The area is residential, both in its zoning and in its character. As long as the treatment facility was functioning and holding 12-step meetings for patients staying there and locals in need of a meeting, its use was guaranteed.

But opponents led by the Fort Salonga association, which asks residents to send form letters to elected officials which can be found on its website, say that when the rehabilitation burned down and stopped working for more than 12 months, the site has lost its right to zoning. exception.

Additional arguments are that the proposed 50 beds of the new facility would double the census of the old facility, and that the rehabilitation would increase traffic, endanger children in a school a third of a mile away, and bring “violence” and “the dregs of society.”

Vincent Trimarco Sr., the attorney for John Bonlarron and William Alvaro, the buyers seeking to acquire and reopen the site, told The Point he could argue the use was never discontinued. And, Trimarco points out, similar uses like halfway houses, which it might become instead, are largely exempt from zoning prohibitions under state law.

In previous similar battles, such as a rehab at Blue Point offered by the Seafield Center that never opened and one for eating disorders at Glen Cove offered by Monte Nido that did, the outcry in the recovery community in favor of the planned facilities has been strong.

In this case, he was more discreet.

And elected officials and drug treatment advocates say the difference that drives them to hold their fire and do more of their due diligence is that they don’t know the work of operators the way they did Seafield and Monte Nido, who have a solid track record here.

These officials and advocates say they would like to know more. Opponents would certainly like to say more, and maybe even hear more.

And once again, on Long Island, anxious locals will spell “donnybrook” with the letters “BZA”

— Lane filler @lanefiller

Subject of discussion

Crypto Policy

New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ wallet could ruin his decision to convert some salary payments into cryptocurrency, with this market falling in recent days.

But Adams seems determined to promote the blockchain-based electronic money system even under pain of short-term loss, leading The Point to question whether Long Island County leaders have had similar flirtations with crypto in this brave new world.

Spokespersons for Steve Bellone of Suffolk and Bruce Blakeman of Nassau said neither of the county leaders intended to be paid in Bitcoin or the like. Neither does former top Nassau official Laura Curran, but it turns out there was something of a common crypto denominator with Adams in New York: Brock Pierce.

Pierce, the former child actor and 2020 Independence Party presidential flag bearer, is also a crypto enthusiast on whose private jet Adams flew to Puerto Rico last year — seen as a sort of tax haven for crypto tycoons (an Adams spokesperson said at the time – the mayor-elect paid for the theft).

Pierce also donated to Curran and Bellone, according to state campaign finance documents. And he spoke about crypto with the two Democrats last year.

This included a Suffolk “roundtable” in the spring with local elected officials and business and labor leaders, during which Pierce briefed on the future of crypto and how local governments should plan for it.

Pierce also made his pitch to Nassau leaders in the fall of last year as Curran entered the campaign season. No big crypto politics seem to come from it.

Curran then lost to Bruce Blakeman, and while the Republican has reshuffled the office on other fronts, he doesn’t seem to be jumping on the crypto bandwagon yet, either.

Spokesperson Chris Boyle said Blakeman has not met with Pierce and will not take his salary in crypto.

—Marc Chiusano @mjchiusano

pencil tip

Their silence is golden

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Quick points

Comfort zones

  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is backing a Republican-sponsored bill in that state that would ban public schools and businesses from inflicting “discomfort” on white people during classes or training on discrimination. Oh my god, now who triggers and reacts to microaggressions?
  • Texas Republican Representative Michael McCaul said Russian President Vladimir Putin “smelled weakness” in President Joe Biden’s approach to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Funny, McCaul never said anything about what Putin felt while Donald Trump was president.
  • New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has registered for a substitute teacher’s license as part of an effort to address a teacher shortage created by COVID-19. Now there is a practical governor.
  • Senator Bernie Sanders said President Joe Biden could not count on his support for “almost any compromise” with Senator Joe Manchin on a social spending and climate package. OK, as long as Sanders understands this guarantees the failure of almost any compromise.
  • Democratic leaders in Arizona voted to censure Senator Kyrsten Sinema for her role in eliminating voting rights legislation. But what they and the center-right state southpaws don’t realize is that what doesn’t kill Sinema will make her stronger.
  • Inflation continues to plague the United States. And here’s the thing: It may not be President Joe Biden’s fault, as the White House says, but it’s his problem.
  • Like a bat from hell, he flew over rock ‘n’ roll, knocked the words out of our mouths time and time again, reminded us that two out of three isn’t bad, and established that paradise could actually be found by your dashboard lighting. RIP, meatloaf.

-Michael Dobie @mwdobie

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