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North Shore Report: This Week in Local Controversies

Every community has its issues that get locals heated. Here are a few that made headlines.

Communities are a hotbed for opinions about the place they call home, and they aren't always on the same side. That's clearest when talking about local controversies, the issues that incite the passionate debates that are at the core of civic engagement.

So let's take a look a few stories that touched on hot North Shore topics this week.

Brian drain isn't a North Shore problem, young professionals are leaving Long Island from all corners, driven by high cost of living, few downtowns and a lack of affordable housing. But the Three Village area might be the best microcosm we have on Long Island to illustrate this. With Stony Brook University based there, you'll find a diverse community from the college who are choosing to hit road over settling down in the area. We spoke to a few people about why they stay or go.

The topic of vacant storefronts is a sore one for Smithtown, where dozens are sitting idle as eyesores in the community. This week we looked at a site that was built and slated to open as a Wendy's until work abruptly stopped right when the place seemed done. Years later, the never-used building is still gathering dust.

While the empty Wendy's annoys local, plans for Hess to build a convenience store at the site of a decrepit vacant gas station on Commack Road has many in the community downright mad. Scores came out to a public hearing on the proposal in Smithtown Thursday to air their grievances.

While the news surrounding the traffic-stopping reconstruction of Route 347 in Hauppuage was good this week – it's moving along – locals are still frustrated with how the project has clogged the area. However, it's a scenario that will affect the region as the construction moves east towards Port Jefferson.

In Port Jefferson, a years-long project to reconstruct route 112 in finally finished. But in the eyes of locals, the $7.1 million spent didn't exactly fix all the roadway's problems. Traffic is still a concern for many.

Got a local issue you think we haven't covered yet? Email henry@patch.com and let us know.

Don Walsh February 26, 2012 at 11:47 PM
2/28 Town meeting on the expantion of Forest Labs. On Commack road. 3 pounds of mud in a one pound sack. How much more can we take?

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