A Huntington Station Resident Hoping For Change

Filed under: News |

My name is Caroline Potter. My husband Curt and I live in smack in the middle of Huntington Station on Winding Street. You may know us as The Potters. We might have stood on the same or opposite sides of the fence during the many battles we have all fought with the hope of bettering the Station and the town of Huntington as a whole. Today, I’m done choosing sides. Tomorrow, I’m choosing change. And, I’m asking you to, as well.

My husband and I moved into our home in 2003. We knew the Station needed help, but we felt it was ripe for a renaissance. We attended some of the very first revitalization meetings and felt certain that the house, a two-minute walk to the LIRR, across the street from a school bustling with activity, and rich with history of longtime residents and a generous yard, was a smart bet.

It was, tragically, not. The neighborhood we saw as poised for a turnaround has been run right into the ground. More illegal housing. Trash everywhere. Drunk men harassing residents. Massive outdoor parties that drown out peace and quiet with ear-shattering music and send intoxicated partygoers spilling out onto our streets looking for trouble – and often finding it. And, then there are the shootings. Too many to count anymore. Too many to fight about whether they constitute closing a school or not. It is closed and, were it not already, it probably would have been after the most recent shooting on October 8th in which a man was shot repeatedly while walking next to Jack Abrams Intermediate School.

Now, I live in fear. Why? I guess it’s because I live in a town that repeatedly rewards the folks who flout the law and punishes the people who are trying to make Huntington Station a better place. Since the shooting that closed the school – and the most recent shooting less than a month ago – the Town Board has failed to execute any plan that will bring any tangible relief to an area crying out for help. I keep hearing how the Town cannot inspect certain houses that are obviously illegal dwellings, but I wonder, then, why my single-family home occupied solely by my husband and I (two cars out front, one meter on the side of the house, zero satellite dishes) has been inspected for illegal apartments TWICE since we’ve lived here without any probable cause whatsoever.

I do not believe that the people who are up for re-election are bad people. Rather, I think they are good people who are doing a bad job. At least one claims to work full time on a part-time job. Note to your campaign manager: Putting in twice as much work and still coming up terribly short actually doesn’t inspire voter confidence.

Many of you are tied to voting within party lines, afraid to vote for a Republican or – Gasp! – a man. This is not about gender. This is not about political affiliations. This is about stopping a cycle of failure that has existed for as long as I have lived here and won’t end without some kind of change.

On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a favorite television of program of mine (Yes, I’m a geek!), the town of Sunnydale is thrown into an alternate reality, one in which the bad guys are in charge and life is hopeless and bleak. Giles (Rupert, not Pat) seizes an opportunity to send himself and his friends into another unknown reality. Someone asks him, “How do you know the other world is any better than this?” And he answers, “Because it has to be.”

I’m voting for Eugene Cook and Herb Morrow. How do I know a different town board will be any better than this one? Because it has to be.

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13 Responses to A Huntington Station Resident Hoping For Change

  1. Thank you Caroline you just stood up and made a difference because it has to be.

    Jonas Platt - Editor
    November 7, 2011 3:03 pm at 3:03 pm

  2. Well said.

    November 7, 2011 6:31 pm at 6:31 pm

  3. It is always funny when people move into a bad situation and then wonder why it is bad. The area near the train station is not any worse today then it was in 2003 and new politicians are going to make it any better. The is no “SLAYER” coming to the rescue to make things magically better. If you don’t like where you live, move! Don’t expect things to change, just because you want it to…

    We live in a town, in a state, and in a country that does nothing about illegal immigration and until there is a solution to the immigration situation, Huntington Station will continue in the same direction.

    If you truly believe that 2 new “Town Board” members are going to clean up crime, illegal immigration, drugs, guns, etc.. Then you need to not quote Buffy, but get a time machine to go back 5000 years and change Human Behavior…

    I wish you luck and would advise you to move, because things might get better, but not anytime soon !!!

    November 8, 2011 6:46 am at 6:46 am

  4. @Greenrich, I will tell you why I believe things will change. In a situation like what we are dealing with in Huntington Station, people would choose to move rather than stay and work hard for improvement. I was one of those people. What I learned quickly due to the enonomy and the reputation of Huntington Station, moving is not an option. Many of us realize that we are all in this together, and we will give it everything we have to make things better. First, we need to make sure qualified and honest people are appointed throughout the Town. Then we need to roll up our sleeves and help them succeed. We need to continue to pay close attention and question things along the way. We need to learn from past mistakes. We need to figure out how to bring people together. I believe with new leadership, we can see great days ahead for the Township. I understand it will not be easy, but it can be done.

    Ilene Fucci - Editor
    November 8, 2011 7:04 am at 7:04 am

  5. @ Greenwich UUUUUMMMMMMM…yes thats the answer! Get up Potters and move out of your home! Unfortunatley it not that easy these days! It is because of that very attitude that these illegals,drug dealers, drunks, and gangs have taken over the community. If people dont take a stand and TRY for a change then it wont be long before they are moving into your community as well, Then lets see how nonchalant your attitude about it is….This is a start!@ Good Luch to the Potters

    November 8, 2011 9:06 am at 9:06 am

  6. Ilene,

    Do you live in Huntington Station? I have been in Huntington Station for over 24 years and it is much the same as it was when we moved here.

    Herb Morrow, who lives in Huntington Bay, and Gene Cook, who lives in Greenlawn won’t do a thing for Huntington Station, other than make campaign promises.

    Local politicians won’t make a difference, because they just don’t care about Huntington Station, other than getting votes.

    To make it better, the police have to crack down on the illegal immigrants, but they won’t do that…

    The schools have to require that you proven legal citizenship to attend, but the state won’t allow that…

    The County needs to fine employers that hire illegal workers, but they won’t do that…

    The Sheriff’s department needs to check the citizenship status of all people in our county jail, but they refuse to do that…

    The Federal Government needs to truly declare war on drugs and stop drugs coming into our town, but they won’t do that…

    Things aren’t going to get better, if you want better move to Jericho or Muttontown !!!

    November 8, 2011 9:18 am at 9:18 am

  7. I live, work and have raised my 4 children in Huntington Station and they do live in my neighborhood and have before I was here and will after I leave.

    I accept that “it is what it is” and don’t pretend that getting 2 outsiders on the town board is going to magically change anything for Huntington Station, it will take years and it will take cooperation from many governmental groups, but our town board is doing just fine, with the resources they have.

    I don’t even know the names of the people on the town board, but I can’t stand by and listen to people complain and make promises, that we all know they have no control over…

    November 8, 2011 9:32 am at 9:32 am

  8. Also, I didn’t mention that 10 years ago, we moved and we could have moved to Dix Hills or somewhere else, but we decided to stay in Huntington Station and keep our kids in the South Huntington School District. Now, that they have all graduated from Whitman, we are happy with our decision to stay.

    November 8, 2011 9:43 am at 9:43 am

  9. Caroline – excellent piece! I wish more of your neighbors would write that they too are staying and fighting.

    I don’t expect miracles from Cook and Morrow, but I do expect Petrone’s stranglehold on all votes to be broken. Common sense and doing what’s good and right for the townspeople and not for the politicians, is what is needed.

    The Station MUST improve, no matter how long it may take. It used to be a thriving village itself and we need to get it back that way. People need to be vested in their town, be home owners instead of fly-by-night renters in illegal apartments or rundown Sec 8 Pius holes. Code enforcement needs to be enlarged and empowered to do the right thing and stop harassing good neighbors (like the Potters) for no reason at all. It’s easy to get paid a good salary and fill your day with non-threatening enforcement of non-issues – it’s a lot harder to the dirty work and confront the illegal, the criminals, the slumlords etc. Perhaps we have to replace all the code enforcers?

    Both the Huntington and the South Huntington districts are very good, but they’ve been continuously beaten down by the drugs, crime and gangs that have been allowed to flourish by our town, county, state and federal governments. They have all had a hand in Huntington Station’s demise.

    Once today’s votes are in and new people put in office, they need to start attacking the wrongs done over the years to our community. It’s going to take a long time, but it’s never going to happen with negative attitudes and a “just move” mentality.

    My Town Too
    November 8, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am

  10. @greenrich I seriously doubt anyone is under the illusion that a Slayer is going to come in and clean up the Station. And unless you live between Gateway Gardens and Railroad Street or have statistics proving otherwise, you simply cannot tell us that OUR neighborhood has not gotten worse. Apparently you never heard about the numerous shootings that have occurred in this immediate area in just the last 18 months.

    If we don’t like it here, move? Local politicians won’t make a difference? Things aren’t going to get better, if you want better move to Jericho or Muttontown? I don’t even know the names of the people on the town board? I accept that “it is what it is”?

    Sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here.

    November 8, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am

  11. @Greenrich, yes, I do live in Huntington Station and have since 1997. Things have gotten significanly worse regarding crime, traffic, quality of life, and so on. I want to point out, before you continue to throw around that all of our problems should be blamed on illegal immigration, you might want to read the 240 stories posted on this site. Many of these articles are very specific about what has caused our problems. I can’t recall one story that mentions illegal immigrants. I am not denying that illegal immigration present some significant challenges, but it is completely misguided and short sighted to assume that is the cause of all of our issues. The general cause is that there is a group of people working together to profit off those who are the most vulnerable in society. There will always be vulnerable people and unless we pay close attention and elect people with morals, the cycle will continue.

    Ilene Fucci - Editor
    November 8, 2011 2:04 pm at 2:04 pm

  12. @Caroline, you have moved people with your story. More than 250 people shared this story on their FB pages and according to our analytics, thousand’s of people have viewed it.

    Ilene Fucci - Editor
    November 8, 2011 2:13 pm at 2:13 pm

  13. @ Caroline – Your letter is truly moving. It renews faith that we are one town seeking to solve problems not fight each other. I hope that today is just the first day we all start standing together to fix problems.

    November 8, 2011 7:30 pm at 7:30 pm

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