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Thursday, August 29, 2019


Monday is Labor Day.  We all know it’s the first Monday in September.  We all know it’s the “unofficial end of summer.”  We all know it’s a National Holiday.  But do we know why we celebrate Labor Day in the United States and Canada, and how it came about? 

Interestingly, there’s disagreement over how the holiday began. One version attributes the holiday to the Knights of Labor, the largest and one of the most important American labor organizations at the time. The Knights in New York City held a public parade featuring various labor organizations on September 5, 1882 — with the aid of the fledgling Central Labor Union (CLU) of New York. CLU Secretary Matthew Maguire proposed that a national Labor Day holiday be held on the first Monday of each September to mark this successful public demonstration.  In another version, Labor Day was proposed by Peter J. McGuire, a vice president of the American Federation of Labor, in spring, 1882, McGuire reportedly proposed a “general holiday for the laboring classes” to the CLU, which would begin with a street parade of organized labor solidarity and end with a picnic fundraiser for local unions.

Regardless of whose idea it was, the holiday had merit and Oregon became the first U.S. state to make it an official public holiday. Twenty-nine other states had joined by the time the federal government declared in a federal holiday in 1894.

Here’s the U.S. Department of Labor’s official tribute to U.S. workers on this Labor Day:
The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known, and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pays tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.”

Like so many holidays we celebrate, we get involved in having fun and we may neglect to teach our children the significance of the holiday.  So, here are some tips from National Today, an organization dedicated to keeping track of holidays, their origin, and how they are celebrated:
            ·       Read up on the history of Labor Day

“Labor Day has a rich history that had a direct impact on the working conditions we experience today. So in between rounds of BBQ at your Labor Day celebration, take the time to discuss the U.S. labor movement and its contribution to our country's current work culture.”

  • Buy an American-made product
“When you're doing your Labor Day shopping, take the time to read the labels. Consider buying products that say "Made in the USA" to show your support for American workers.”

  • Watch a movie about labor unions
“Many of us get Labor Day off. What better way to relax than to watch a movie about the American labor movement? There are tons of union-themed movies to choose from. "Norma Rae" ring a bell? Unions also play a major role in the entertainment industry.”

Whatever your plans, enjoy the long weekend! And…if you want to shop for a home on the North Fork – we around and happy to help you!!!

Source: Google, National et al


Thursday, August 22, 2019


Stocks certainly are a most glamorous asset class. It’s exciting to trade and have paper gains (or losses), you can watch every day.  But with the recent volatility of the stock market - the dramatic drops and recoveries due to circumstances beyond the average person’s control - it’s no wonder that stocks are no longer Americans’ favorite long-term investment, according to a nationwide Bankrate survey, taken this year.  The survey ranks Real Estate at the top!

After a housing crash in 2008, that left the economy hurting, many Americans again see real estate as their top pick today.  Some 31% of survey respondents named real estate as their favored investment for money that they wouldn’t need for 10 years or more.  It’s the best showing for real estate in the seven years that Bankrate has conducted the survey.

In 2018, stocks were the most popular investment.  But this year stocks ran a distant second, with 20% of respondents naming stocks their top pick for holding periods of more than a decade.

Cash investments, such as savings accounts and CDs, finished third at 19 %, while gold and other precious metals were fourth at 11% and bonds came in fifth at 7%.
As far as demographics, Millennials in total, scored the highest at 36%-   among all age groups in their preference for real estate as a long-term investment.  It’s no surprise that real estate still remains the most popular investment among all generations, from millennials to Generation X (31%), as well as baby boomers (30%) and the Silent Generation (23 %).

“Millennials are higher on real estate than any other age group; they have cooled a bit on cash, and still aren’t keen on the stock market when investing for more than 10 years,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial   analyst.  Home—or least, real estate—is where the heart is for Americans.

So, if you’re a bit jittery about the stock market for long term investing, call us at 631 765 5333, we’ll show you some real estate investment properties that are solid for the long term!

Source: RIS MEDIA, Survey: Real Estate Is Back as Americans’ Favorite Long-Term Investment, James Royal,  Bankrate.com, distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC, August, 2019.

Thursday, August 15, 2019


On June 14, 2019, Governor Cuomo enacted sweeping legislation, Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, expanding certain rent provisions STATEWIDE.  “The Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974 was expanded as part of this sweeping legislation.  The legislation also strengthened the substantive rights of residential tenants against landlords while bolstering tenants’ procedural rights in the face of an eviction.”

Some of the most notable provisions include:

1.    If a tenant breaks a lease, the landlord must attempt to re-lease the property.
2.    Security deposits are limited to 1 month’s rent.
3.    Processing, review or acceptance application fees are prohibited.
4.    Background check fees are limited to lesser of actual cost or $20.
5.    Late payment fees are capped to lesser of $50 or 5% of monthly rent.
6.    Landlord must give tenant 30-90 days’ notice to (1) increase rent 5% or more or (2) intention not to renew the lease.
7.    Damages in eviction proceeding are no longer recoverable.
8.    Grounds for eviction can be rendered moot if tenant pays in full prior to hearing.

There are a number of additional provisions that address timing, of eviction proceedings, warrants, etc., that landlords should be aware of. If you have rental units, talk with your attorney and find out how the new law applies to you.

Source: NYSAR (New Your State Association of REALTORS, Inc.), 13 Things to Know: Expansion of Rent Regulation and Tenant Protection, prepared for NYSAR by Harris Beach, PLLC, Attorneys at Law.

Thursday, August 8, 2019


Southold Town is exposed to coastal erosion from both sides - the sound and the bay – due to climate change and storms that have become increasingly less predictable.  But we are also victims of our own actions - wake from water vessels along the shoreline; and our own inaction- failure to address erosion issues before it’s too late or too expensive to fix – like Hashamomuck Cove. “Erosion is difficult to address,” Scott Russell, our Town Supervisor, said in Newsday. “Every solution that we’ve read about or seen has been expensive and short-lasting.”*

            Regardless of the obstacles, we all have a stake in doing what we can to protect the shoreline. Waterfront property owners have an additional responsibility to do the best that they can to protect and prevent erosion on the waterfront property entrusted to them.  Solutions are out there. A possible practical solution that may be employed is creating natural shoreline protection. Cornell Cooperative Extension at Cedar Beach is nearly ready to open a Demonstration Center of various natural shoreline solutions for the benefit of the community.

            Want to know more?  Join me at our SoutholdVOICE Annual Meeting, Saturday, AUGUST 10, 2019, at 9 AM, where we will discuss how we as homeowners can do our part to fight erosion on our own waterfront properties. The meeting will be held at the American Legion Hall, 51655 Main Road, Southold.

As mentioned in last week’s column, we will also cover Health Department Septic Code changes and innovative systems to make our waterways and ground water cleaner.  In addition we will have a update on Dredging and Goldsmith’s Inlet.  Our panel will include:

Al Krupski - 1st District, Suffolk County Legislator
Joyce Novak, PhD – Director, Peconic Estuary Program
Glenn Goldsmith – Southold Town Trustee
Justin Jobin – Suffolk Department of Health Services, 
Environmental Projects Coordinator

The session is open to all. It’s free…and so’s the coffee!  Hope to see you there – it’s important to you not just as a homeowner, but as a member of the community.

*Newsday, July 28, 2019, Shoring Up LI’s Beaches, pages A2-A4.

Saturday, August 3, 2019


Did you know that effective July 1, 2019, Suffolk County has put in place new regulations that affect our home septic and cesspool systems?  These Sanitary Code changes are part of a broad, multi-pronged effort to combat nitrogen pollution of groundwater and local bays.

We all support the need to have clean water, and reduce nitrogen pollution from our septic and cesspool systems, and that changes are necessary.  It’s therefore most important, that we, homeowners, know what is happening, when and how it will affect our homes - today and in the future, and the potential cost involved.

Here are the highlights of the recent County Health Department announcement:

·       Cesspools, outlawed in new construction since 1973, will no longer be allowed as replacements for old cesspools.
·       Homeowners are not required to replace existing systems, but voluntary replacements must meet 1973 standards for new systems.
·       For the first time, replacement of existing cesspools or septic systems will require filing of registrations with the health department.

75% of Suffolk County does not have sewers. Approximately 360,000 homes have residential onsite sewage disposal systems - about 250,000 are cesspools, which discharge untreated waste, that can contaminate surface and groundwater and contribute to harmful algal blooms. The current changes that became effective July 1, do not require property owners to upgrade or replace functioning systems.  The new requirements will come into play when an existing system must be replaced. 

Homeowners may also voluntarily choose to upgrade their system to an “innovative alternative onsite wastewater treatment system (IA/OWTS) for which incentives are available from the county.

Want to know more?  Join us at the SoutholdVOICE *Annual Meeting, at 9:30 am, Saturday morning, August 10, 2019, at the American Legion Hall in Southold.  Our program will include an informative panel discussion with our County Legislator, Al Krupski and Health Department official, Joyce Novak, PHD who will fill us in on the County’s Septic Improvement Program, tell us how it will affect you as a homeowner, and answer your questions. Hope you will join us!

*SoutholdVOICE is a not-for profit, 501(c)(3) organization, whose mission is to provide a forum to promote awareness of issues affecting shoreline and marine resource, and proactively advocate balance between regulatory issues and property rights for the benefit of our community.

Source:  Suffolk Health Officials Outline Changes to Wasterwater Practices to Take Effect on July 1, 2019,” Suffolk County News, May 20, 2019, www.suffolkcountyny.org