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12/21/14 10:00am

While many folks know a carrot a day can help keep the eye doctor away, few realize that kale is the superior eye-strengthening veggie.

That’s because the vegetable is high in lutein — also known as the “eye vitamin” — and is helpful in preventing diseases of the eye, including age-related macular degeneration, which is virtually untreatable and is the leading cause of severe vision loss among those 50 or older, according to the American Optometric Association.

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12/19/14 8:00am
The Second Street firehouse was obtained by Riverhead Town in 2011 in a land swap with the Riverhead Fire District. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

The Second Street firehouse was obtained by Riverhead Town in 2011 in a land swap with the Riverhead Fire District. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

The sale of the Second Street firehouse has been in the headlines several times in the last couple of years.

Initially, it was expected that Suffolk Theater owner Bob Castaldi would purchase the building for $375,000. Then, after prolonged negotiations, the Town Board upped the price to $500,000 and unanimously loosened restrictions to allow additional uses for the property — prompting debate over whether or not other bidders should get a second bite at the apple. (more…)

12/18/14 11:45am
Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone speaks during the press conference at Southampton Town Hall Wednesday afternoon.  (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone speaks during the press conference at Southampton Town Hall Wednesday afternoon. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

East End police departments and villages across Suffolk County will benefit from a collective $6 million in sales tax revenue over the next three years, thanks to a new agreement announced by County Executive Steven Bellone during a press conference at Southampton Town Hall Wednesday afternoon.

The deal is one step in the right direction for securing a fair split in sales tax revenue for the twin forks — which aren’t policed by Suffolk County Police Department — a budgeting issue Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montuak) said he had been working on for more than a decade.

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12/17/14 2:37pm
(Credit: Carrie Miller)

(Credit: Carrie Miller)

The Cablevision building on Route 58 in Riverhead was evacuated Wednesday afternoon after the valve to a 2,000-pound propane tank was knocked off by a worker, causing a leak just before 1 p.m.

A neighboring McDonald’s was also cleared out while firefighters investigated, fire officials said.

A construction worker fixing windows on the Cablevision building accidentally knocked off the valve while using a skid steer loader, said Riverhead Fire Department Chief Kevin Brooks.

The propane leaked for about 20 minutes, so people were asked to leave the two buildings as a precaution, he said.

No injuries were reported.

12/14/14 7:00am

You know that warm fuzzy feeling you get after finding someone the perfect gift, helping an older person cross the street or, say, rescuing a wide-eyed kitten from a tight spot?

It’s more than a warming of the heart — it’s your brain’s way of rewarding you for doing something good, said Stephen Post, director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stony Brook University.  (more…)

12/12/14 3:30pm

The latest round of the New York Regional Economic Development Council awards were announced Thursday with more than $1 million funding tourism efforts across the North Fork.

A total of $709.2 million in state funds and tax credits were awarded to the 10 regional councils across New York. Long Island is receiving $81.9 million to support 97 projects — four of which are on the North Fork.

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12/12/14 3:15pm

New York State has awarded Riverhead Town $700,000 for an agricultural tourism center and permanent farmers market location at the vacant Second Street firehouse, it was announced Thursday.

The money is coming in the form of two New York Regional Economic Development Council awards meant to help fund the renovation of the historic structure, and establish the “Town of Riverhead County Agritourism Visitors Center,” which would also serve as the location of the ever-popular farmers market.

But the decision of whether to follow through with that vision may not be up to the town. The firehouse is currently being sold to Suffolk Theater owner Bob Castaldi for $500,000 and the closing is expected in January, said Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter.

Mr. Walter said the town applied for the grant in August, an effort that was spurred by August Ruckdeschel, an economic development specialist with Suffolk County, and Riverhead community development director Chris Kempner.

“The firehouse was a wonderful location for it,” Mr. Walter said after receiving notice of the award. “We have been moving the farmers market from place to place, and wanted to have a permanent home for it, as the other buildings are still for sale.”

“It is great for us and it is great for Mr. Castaldi,” he said. “This will give him a leg up and hopefully be the impetus for a shining star for Second Street, the way the theater is for East Main Street.”

Mr. Castaldi told the News-Review that he believes it would be a great place for an information center, noting “everything that’s going on with the firehouse is up in the air until we actually go to closing.”

“I am very interested in the idea of the center,” he said. “It is a great possibility. It has got to be looked into a little more and it all has to be planned out.”

In July, Mr. Costaldi said that while the market has had success on Saturdays, it is unclear whether that success would continue if expanded to several days a week. In September, he said a brewery is one possible idea for the firehouse.

Since November, the farmers market has been open Saturday and Sunday.

Calling Riverhead the gateway to Long Island’s twin forks, Mr. Castaldi said he envisions the center as a starting point for tourists, where people could stop for maps and information before moving on to the wineries and growing lot of breweries.

“They can take off from here and maybe come back and have dinner or stay at one of the hotels,” he said. “It would really put the spotlight on Riverhead.”

Mr. Castaldi said a dollar amount has not yet been placed on the renovation, as a plan has yet to be finalized.

Mr. Walter said the idea is “great for Riverhead and it will help to clean up an area of Second Street that we hadn’t really focused on.

“We have tremendous police presence down there, and having a number of people on Second Street is only going to help,” he said, adding that the market presently brings about 1,000 people to its current location downtown every weekend.

cmiller@timesreview.com

12/12/14 8:00am
The hand-held breath test, which is expected to become available in February, can detect a presence of THC on the breath for up to two hours after use. (Credit: courtesy photo)

The hand-held breath test, which is expected to become available in February, can detect a presence of THC on the breath for up to two hours after use. (Credit: courtesy photo)

Six months after New York State lawmakers voted to legalize marijuana use for medicinal purposes — and as pot laws become more relaxed across the U.S. — the availability of a breath analysis test to help determine if drivers are under the influence is that much closer.  (more…)