Articles by

Joseph Pinciaro

07/27/14 12:00pm

R052611_RHTown_BE_R.jpgAn audit by the town’s independent audit committee and internal auditor showed that policies and procedures within the town’s community development department could stand to be tightened up to prevent potential wrongdoing.

The audit explored the department’s home improvement program, a state-funded opportunity for local homeowners to receive help upgrading their properties based on their income levels. The program has given out about $1 million to 65 homeowners in town since 2008, community development director Christine Kempner said, though the audit focused on a narrow sample of applications — specifically, seven different files from 2013 were reviewed.

Eight different steps were laid out by the committee to tighten controls, including further formalizing bid withdrawals.

In addition, the committee suggested that efforts to spend available funds should be expedited.

Ms. Kempner said that a pivotal point person at the state level involved in processing files was recently laid off, accounting in part for the delays in funding requests.

Supervisor Sean Walter said that compared to his experience working with the community development during his time as assistant town attorney in the early 2000s — and taking into account that one full-time department employee was laid off in 2011 — results of the audit could not have been better. Only three full-time employees in the department remain.

“That report was as good as it comes considering what we’ve done,” he said.

Ms. Kempner and recreation department supervisor Ray Coyne — whose department underwent an internal audit last year — are both expected to speak to the board at a later date about measures they’ve taken in response to the audits.

07/25/14 4:12pm
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The Peconic River boardwalk that runs along the East Main Street parking lot.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The Peconic River boardwalk that runs along the East Main Street parking lot.

Looking to meet other businesses? Or are you an entrepreneur looking for someplace to put your profitable idea into action?

Head down by the Peconic River tomorrow for the first ever East End Small Business Expo.

Organized by the East End Small Business Alliance, the new organization’s founder Dave Lotito said last week that the event hopes to “introduce new pedestrians to downtown Riverhead and support businesses already established there.”

Mr. Lotito spoke in front of the Riverhead Town Board last Thursday, an effort for the members to learn more about what the group intends to do before issuing a special events permit — a permit they were OK giving to the group.

The Wading River resident, who said he runs the bar at Cliff’s Rendezvous and has worked at Blackwell’s, Michael Anthony’s and Stonewalls, was clear to the board as well that putting the event on would also showcase his own event services company, One for the Road Event Services.

He also mentioned that he’s “investigating making a substantial investment in downtown Riverhead.”

Saturday’s expo will kick off at noon and last until 10 p.m. and will feature several businesses and live music.

07/24/14 8:00am
A six-mile stretch of Main Road could be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The corridor includes Aquebogue’s Old Steeple Church, built in 1862 and designed by a farmer with no architectural experience, as well as Aquebogue Cemetery, which dates back to 1755 and contains the graves of numerous Revolutionary War soldiers. (Credit: Andrew Lepre)

A six-mile stretch of Main Road could be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The corridor includes Aquebogue’s Old Steeple Church, built in 1862 and designed by a farmer with no architectural experience, as well as Aquebogue Cemetery, which dates back to 1755 and contains the graves of numerous Revolutionary War soldiers. (Credit: Andrew Lepre)

It’s a stretch of road where Benjamin Franklin placed mile markers and early 20th-century car racers ran the road ragged, hitting speeds up to 70 miles per hour at a time when horses were the dominant mode of travel.

(more…)

07/19/14 5:58pm
Members of Riverhead's Ironmen squad pull up in the Class B motorized competition on Saturday. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

Members of Riverhead’s Ironmen squad pull up in the Class B motorized competition on Saturday. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

Fighting a fire, naturally, is a race against the fire: get it out as fast as possible by minimizing injuries in the process.

Firematics — or fire drills — is a race against the clock. No fire involved here, though the skills required in each drill are still ones that could someday come in useful on the scene of a fire.

And the teams take it about as seriously as a real fire.

“Being in the department itself is like a part-time job. And then being on the drill team is like another part-time job,” said co-captain Ryan McArdle on Saturday, as the Riverhead Fire Department’s drill team — The Ironmen — hosted its 28th annual tournament.

Nineteen different drill teams from across Suffolk  County participated in Saturday’s competition, which took place at the department’s training grounds next to the Route 58 armory.

Mr. McArdle said the team meets two days a week to practice, each one about three to four hours long. And with eight different events the squad participates in during the summer months, that doesn’t include getting ready for the competitions on Friday nights and cleaning up after the events on Sundays.

The contests consist of eight different events — five of them involving vehicles, and three others “old fashioned.”

Firematics is largely unique to New York State, though for those involved in the sport, it’s not unique at all. The teams have devout followings, with live video and audio covering more than one drill on any given summer weekend for those unable to make the events.

Winners and losers are often decided by just a split second — though for those in the middle of a competition, that difference can feel like an eternity.

“These can come down to tenths of a second,” said Mr. McArdle. “But when you’re out there, it feels like 30 seconds.”

The Ironmen finished eighth in the 19-team competition, grabbing five points — two points for finishing fourth in the motor pump competition, and three points for third in the B hose competition. 

Members of the Ironmen's Motor Pump team before the race Saturday. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

Members of the Ironmen’s Motor Pump team before the race Saturday. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

 

 

Click the following pages from more photos from Saturday’s event:

07/19/14 12:00pm
Riverhead, Taco Bell, Nathan's Famous, Route 58

A two-story restaurant is being proposed for a sliver of land between the Route 58 Taco Bell and Harrison Avenue. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Riverhead’s smallest proposed restaurant keeps getting smaller and smaller.

Though reducing the size, the number of seats, and the number of parking lots the restaurant can hold hasn’t been enough to get approval from the Riverhead Planning Board.

At least, yet. (more…)

07/18/14 8:00am
Eugene Lafurno pictured at his Baiting Hollow home, which he has dubbed 'The Epiphany.' Riverhead Town was given approval from a court last month to demolish the addition at the top of the house. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

Eugene Lafurno pictured at his Baiting Hollow home, which he has dubbed ‘The Epiphany.’ Riverhead Town was given approval from a court last month to demolish the addition at the top of the house. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

After taking a Baiting Hollow couple to court over an addition to their home — a project the town has called a health and safety risk — Riverhead Town was granted permission last month to knock the structure down.

The town, however, still needs to take certain steps to make that happen.  (more…)