danspapers.com DAN’S PAPERS July 30, 2021 Page 47
NEWS & VIEWS
BY TIMOTHY BOLGER
Five people were killed and a sixth was
critically injured in a head-on car crash in
Quogue on Saturday night, Quogue Village
Police said. It marked the deadliest auto collision
in years on the East End.
Justin B. Mendez, 22, of Brookhaven, was
driving alone in a Nissan Maxima westbound
on Montauk Highway when the car veered
into the opposite lane of traffic and collided
with an eastbound Toyota Prius near the
corner of Quogue Street East at 11:19 p.m.,
police said. Investigators noted that police
officers tried to pull him over for speeding
shortly before the crash.
The Uber driver behind the wheel of the
Prius, 32-year-old Farhan Zahid of Bay
Shore, and three of his passengers were pronounced
dead at the scene. The passengers
included three Manhasset men: 25-year-old
James Kiess, 20-year-old Michael Farrell
and his 25-year-old brother, James Farrell.
Mendez died a short time later at Southampton
Hospital. A Garden City woman who
was also a passenger in the Prius was taken
to Peconic Bay Medical Center, where she is
listed in critical condition.
Quogue Village Police detectives are investigating
the cause of the crash along with
New York State Police, Southampton Town
Police and Westhampton Beach Police.
Quogue Village Police ask anyone with information
about the crash to call the detective
division at 631-653-4791.
BY NICOLE FORMISANO
Local officials held the inaugural Scallop Toss
on July 19 to mark the Town of Southampton’s new
scallop hatchery that will help the struggling shellfish
population in the Peconic Bay.
Town and Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine
Program officials gathered at the Tiana Bayside Facility
in Hampton Bays to mark the start of the project
with the help of a nearly $580,000 grant from
the Community Preservation Fund.
“The quality of life in Southampton Town will
always be strongly linked to its natural resources,”
said CCE Marine Program Natural Resource Specialist
Chris Smith. “As importantly, it strengthens
people’s connections to our bays and creeks, our
As Dan’s Papers has
reported, federal officials
last year’s Peconic Bay
scallop fishery collapse
a disaster, but marine
the waterway believe
that the shellfish are rebounding
to their highest
level in more than a
To help, juvenile
clams will be raised in
cages, ensuring they
reach maturity, then
be released throughout
allowing them to spawn
and further contribute
to the wild scallop population.
The program will
expand the preexisting
coastal plant nursery
as well as encourage
the growth of eelgrass,
which is scallops’ natural
Peconic Bay Scallops
and their high price
point (sometimes $30 a
pound) made scallops a staple of not only local cuisine,
but the East End economy. But for two seasons
in a row, the local scallop population had been decimated
by conditions related to climate change.
The preservation effort will not only help the
baymen that make a living on the scallop harvest,
but also the environment. Scallops are filter feeders,
meaning they process the particles in the water.
During this filtration process, scallops can also remove
plenty of viruses, parasites and toxins from
“This program helps improve our water quality
while supporting our local economy and celebrating
our marine heritage, making it a winning situation
all around,” said Southampton Town Supervisor Jay
BY BRIANA BONFIGLIO
Riverhead, Calverton and East Moriches are among
the communities that New York State is targeting
to boost vaccination rates as Long Island’s positive
COVID-19 cases have been steadily rising once more
while the Delta variant of the virus spreads.
The communities among 117 zip codes statewide—
21 of which are on Long Island—that have
above-average new positive COVID-19 cases per capita
and below-average vaccination rates. The three
communities each have a vaccination rate of about
“What we’re looking at is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “A pandemic of
the population that still refuse to get the vaccine.”
The Long Island region, which includes Nassau
and Suffolk counties, has the second-highest COVID
19 positivity rate of all regions in the state on a
seven-day average at 2.27 percent as of July 26, according
to the latest state health data.
To help, the governor announced $15 million in
funding statewide to try boosting vaccination rates
in these areas. The money will go toward local organizations
that will initiate conversations with people
who are still unvaccinated in the community.
OFFICIALS TOSSED SCALLOPS IN THE BAY ON JULY 19.
NY Upping Vaccines in Riverhead
5 Killed in Headon
Scallops Tossed to Boost Bay