• We’re expecting some heavy rain today, with thunderstorms also possible after 3 p.m., areas of fog and a high temperature near 61 degrees. A dense fog advisory is in effect until 10 a.m. Rain is expected to continue overnight, with gusty southwest winds. New rainfall totals are expected to be between an inch and an inch and a half. We’re also looking at a 30 percent chance of rain on Christmas Eve, mostly in the afternoon, with a high temperature still expected to be around 67 degrees. Christmas Day is expected to be mostly sunny, with a high near 60 degrees.
• Eastern Long Island lost a son in Afghanistan this week when 31-year-old Staff Sergeant Louis Bonacasa of Coram was killed, along with five other members of the U.S. Air Force, after a suicide bomber on a motorcycle attacked a patrol near Bagram Air Field on Monday. Sgt. Bonacasa was based at the 105th Air Wing at Stewart Air National Guard Base in New Jersey, and was on his fourth tour of duty. He leaves behind a wife and five-year-old daughter. His body is expected to be returned to Dover Air Force Base today, as funeral arrangements are being prepared.
• For many members of the Riverside community, the passage Tuesday of the Riverside Revitalization Action Plan was an early Christmas present. For Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, it was to be her last action in office as town supervisor. But for everyone involved, it was just the first step in what will still be a long road ahead for one of the most economically challenged communities on Long Island. The Beacon’s full story is online here.
• Do you ever wonder about the difficulties Long Island farmers face when trying to ship their produce off of the island, through the congested mess of bridges and tunnels surrounding New York City? One Connecticut man is trying to change that, by building a 65-foot electric catamaran that can move 12,000 pounds of produce across the Long Island Sound. The story of Bob Kunkel’s plan to build such a boat is featured on the website “Modern Farmer” this week, online here. The proud but battered Long Island potato is also featured in the article.
• The Southampton Press is hosting a debate for the special election to fill Brad Bender’s Southampton Town Council seat on Jan. 16 at 1 p.m. at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill. All are welcome to attend.
• Just in time for the latest heat wave, the New York State Department of Transportation announced yesterday (it was the first day of winter) that they’ve received 62 new state-of-the-art tow plows, which the state will use this winter to help clear state roads more efficiently. Funding for the plows comes from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s NY Responds initiative, which allocated $50 million for new winter storm equipment. The plows attach as trailers to the back of plowing trucks, and can be hydraulically adjusted to swing to the side of the truck, allowing the plow to clear two travel lanes at once, up to 24 feet in width.
• If you missed this past weekend’s performance of the live radio play of “It’s a Wonderful Life” at The Suffolk Theater in Riverhead, you have two chances in the upcoming days to hear the broadcast on WPPB, 88.3 FM. The play will be aired at 7 p.m. on Christmas Even and then again at 10 a.m. on Christmas morning.
And that’s the way things look at dawn’s light here today.