with the

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Local filmmaker to be honored

George C. Stoney made film about Bellport High School race riots



 George C. Stoney, resident of Brookhaven hamlet and New
York City, will be honored at the Museum of Modern Art
on Feb. 27-28, 2009. During the tribute, several of his films
will be shown, the most notable being Race or Reason: The
Bellport Dilemma.
 Produced by Stoney and directed by Betty Puleston and
Lynne Jackson, Race or Reason covers the years 1969-70,
when a series of confrontations at racially mixed Bellport
High School caused great concern in the South Country
School District. Local resident Betty Puleston opened her
home in Brookhaven, providing a meeting place where
black, white, and Latino students could air their grievances.
Stoney and Puleston provided them with a pair of video
cameras to facilitate dialogue. Thirty years later, the former
students got together to view and comment on the tapes. The
film will be shown on Friday, Feb. 27, at 8 p.m. According to
Stoney, DVD copies of the film will also be made available to
the Brookhaven Free Library and the South Country Library
in Bellport.
 Stoney has been called the father of public access television.
Perhaps a more fitting label would be the Dean of
American documentary filmmakers. Since 1946, he has
written, directed and produced many socially relevant
films. In 1952 he made All My Babies, a sensitive film on the
training of African-American midwives in Georgia, which

placed him at the forefront of American documentary film.
 Other films by Stoney include How the Myth Was Made,
a film about the legendary documentarian Robert Flaherty;
Shepherd of the Night Flock, a portrait of Pastor John Garcia
Gensel and his jazz congregation; The Weavers: Wasn’t
That a Time, about the well-known musical group; and
The Uprising of 1934, about the General Textile Strike, a
moving chapter in the history of labor movements in the
American South.
 In The Uprising of 1934, textile workers in the South
took the lead in a nationwide strike in which half a million
people walked off their jobs. The new union members
stood up for their rights and became a force to be reckoned
with, until management crushed the strike as millworkers
were murdered and thousands more were blacklisted. This
film will also be shown at the Stoney tribute, on Saturday,
Feb. 28, at 5:45 p.m.
 Stoney’s fame rests not only on his skill as a filmmaker,
but also in his role as a mentor and teacher to generations
of filmmakers all over the world. An early advocate of
using video as a tool for social change, in 1972 he helped to
launch a national movement to promote the use of cable TV
channels by the public. Thanks to his inspirational efforts,
public access television is available to many communities
across the United States.

Bellport grad to make pro debut

Boxer Adam Willett, 2008 U.S. Olympic team alternate, to fight Jan. 23

Adam Willett established his athletic prowess as a
track and football standout at Bellport High School
while learning the boxing trade at Lumber Jack Lou’s
boxing in Bay Shore and Atlantic Veteran’s Boxing
Club in Shirley. Willett used those skills to win two
New York Golden Glove Championships, four U.S.
National titles and earned a spot as an alternate on
the 2008 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team.
The 26-year-old Willett, “The Bellport Kid,” who
works as a security guard at his alma mater, Bellport
High School, will be putting it all on the line when he
makes his pro debut as a cruiserweight taking on a
tough ring veteran of fourteen fights Jan. 23 at the
Huntington Hilton.

Bellport High School graduate Adam Willett will
make his pro debut on Jan. 23. Willett made a
name for himself on the amateur circuit with several

Acree takes the lead

St. Joseph’s senior guard becomes college’s all-time leading scorer

David is the son of Bellport's David Acree (Class of 1979)

There is a new scoring king at St.
Joseph’s College and his name is David
Acree. Earlier this week the senior
guard tied the all-time career scoring
record of 1,577 on a free throw with 38
seconds left in the game and then surpassed
the mark with two more free
throws with 12 seconds left in a 72-71
win at Purchase College. The scoring
record currently stands at 1579 counting
Acree’s 14 points from the victory
in which St. Joseph’s improved to 9-2
overall and 4-1 in the Skyline Conference.
Acree, a graduate of Brentwood High
School, broke the record held by St.
Joseph’s Hall of Famer Fred Ostrick,
which stood since 1985. Ostrick scored
1,577 points during his four-year career
spanning from 1981-85. He was inducted
into the Golden Eagle Athletic Hall
of Fame as a member of its inaugural
class this past October.
Acree, who is a two-time team captain,
broke the SJC record for threepointers
made last season and has
stretched the mark to 245 this year. He
also holds the college record for most
three-pointers in a game with nine.
Over his four-year career Acree has
averaged 17.4 points per game, scoring
367 points as a freshman, 495 as
a sophomore, 524 as a junior and 193
thus far this season.
To start off his collegiate career, in
his freshman year Acree was named
2005-06 Skyline Conference Co-Rookie
of the Year. During the winter of 2008
he became the first St. Joseph’s player
to be named to the National Association
of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Atlantic
Region All-District Team. Last
season he was also named to the ECAC
All-Star First Team, the All-MET First
Team, the D3Hoops.com All-Atlantic
Region Second Team and the All-Skyline
Conference First Team.
Additionally, Acree has been named
to the Presto Sports/Metropolitan Basketball
Writers Honor Roll and has

won numerous Skyline Player of the
Week awards during his career. He has
helped St. Joseph’s become a recognized
team in the region as last season
they were ranked in the NCAA’s Atlantic
Region poll for the first time in the
history of the program.
As a high school player at Brentwood,
Acree was on the 2001 Suffolk County
Championship team. As a final career
capper, he would love to add a Skyline
Championship to his impressive basketball
resume. It would be the first one for
the college and the feat would send the
basketball program to their first-ever
trip to the NCAA Division III Championship
Tournament in March. ■

Effort underway to preserve Patchogue Village’s

Carnegie Library Building


 Its stately look, along with the natural
light that streamed in from its windows,
held an almost mystical lure for those
open to learning and inspiration. There
were story hours for children when
words alone encouraged imaginative
forays and a travel collection table
whose artifacts and photos brought a
more global view to local residents.
Adults browsed among its stacks, looking
for the perfect book to inform or
entertain during a day’s quiet times. In
1915, it led the state in circulation.
 The old Carnegie Library on Lake
Street had that kind of magical panache
before the area’s population exploded
and the new Patchogue-Medford
Library took its place. Across from the
Patchogue Fire Department, it’s still a
beauty. But the structure needs some
modern-day crusaders to champion its
 Tritec Building Company Inc., the
developer tapped for the Patchogue Village
Four Corners redevelopment project,
has agreed to move the historic
structure. Briarcliff College owned it
from 1980 and sold it to Tritec last year.
 According to an Aug. 6, 1905 New York
Times article, industrialist and philanthropist
Andrew Carnegie offered to
give the village of Patchogue a $10,000
Carnegie Library if they would agree
to spend $1,000 annually for its maintenance.
Village administrators had apparently
approached Carnegie, who began
funding libraries after 1901. Carnegie
supported the building of 1,689 libraries
in the United States and a total of 2,507
libraries in the English-speaking world
before he died in 1919.
 The Patchogue Carnegie Library was
dedicated on March 4, 1908. “They had
to get another $5,000 to finish the job,”
explained Patchogue Village Historian
Hans Henke. “It was the one and only
one around until the one on Main Street
was built. It’s one of the most distinctive
buildings in the village as well as
one of the oldest.”



Patchogue Village Mayor Paul Pontieri
agrees. “It is one of only two Carnegie
Libraries left on Long Island,” he
said. The other is in Northport.
“We’re hoping to save the brick portion
of the original building.” Pontieri
explained. “Tritec will do the moving
and put in the foundation and help us
with the infrastructure. We’ll look for
money for staffing and interior renovations,
but it’s actually in pretty good
shape and it’s only 3,000 square feet.
The heat was kept on and you wouldn’t
know it’s been closed for the better part
of six or seven years.”
Pontieri said moving the library from
the south side of Lake Street to the
north side in the village parking lot,
almost directly across from its present
site, is the current plan. “It would be
just to the west of the apartment house
there,” he said. “The building is 45 feet
wide and you’d end up losing maybe 10
parking spaces in that lot.”
The teardown of the Four Corners
buildings will begin within the next six
months, he said.
Pontieri estimated the project, including
staff for the building, would cost
about $250,000, but if anyone wanted
to contribute simple muscle power or
resources from a company they own,
they’d be welcomed with open arms.


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