Articles by

Tim Gannon and Joseph Pinciaro

Featured Story
07/01/15 2:14pm
D.A. Thomas Spota at a press conference on Wednesday. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

District Attorney Thomas Spota at a press conference on Wednesday. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

District Attorney Thomas Spota revealed details of a “pretty sophisticated scheme” that included a Calverton man as the “chief reseller” on Long Island and involved shipping marijuana from farms in northern California to Suffolk County. (more…)

06/25/15 6:00am
A birds' eye view of downtown Riverhead earlier this week. (Credit: Andrew Lepre)

A birds’ eye view of downtown Riverhead earlier this week. (Credit: Andrew Lepre)

Twenty one years ago, the News-Review reported that there would “definitely be a 751-space, two-story parking structure” created in downtown Riverhead to address a burgeoning traffic problem.

While that traffic problem remains — and in fact, more residents than ever are living downtown, with more residential units in the works — the parking garage remains a dream.

But that didn’t stop a consulting firm from examining the idea at Town Hall recently after giving downtown traffic a grade of “F.”

That proposal, as well as others, were all part of a wider look into developing downtown Riverhead as it continues to grow — from a traffic perspective, a housing perspective and an overall marketing perspective. (more…)

05/26/15 8:05pm
upervisor nominee addresses the Riverhead Town Democratic Committee after his nomination for supervisor Tuesday evening. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Supervisor nominee Anthony Coates addresses the Riverhead Town Democratic Committee after his nomination for supervisor Tuesday evening. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

At one point it seemed like it could be a rematch of the 2013 supervisor’s race. And then it didn’t. And at one point, Supervisor Sean Walter’s former political ally, Anthony Coates, announced that he was running against him as a Democrat. And then he wasn’t. And then he was.

Follow? Don’t worry. The rumors are over.

(more…)

03/12/15 2:00pm
Supervisor Sean Walter and Anthony Coates. (File photos)

Supervisor Sean Walter and Anthony Coates. (File photos)

Anthony Coates, a former political adviser to Supervisor Sean Walter — who is up for re-election this fall — has been noncommittal on whether or not he’ll run for public office since the two have stopped working together.

And while Mr. Coates is still hesitating to commit to running for a Town Board position again (he failed to receive a Republican nomination for Town Board in 2013), he did say he’ll be screening for the Democratic nomination for supervisor to “explore the possibility of running.” (more…)

03/03/15 5:51pm
Town board members review material that came from EPCAL at last week's work session. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Town board members review material that came from EPCAL at last week’s work session. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

A day after finding out that material dumped at Enterprise Park at Calverton without state approval tested positive for traces of several chemicals including DDT, town officials found out today that one more hazardous material was found in it: asbestos.

According to Supervisor Sean Walter, the town was informed by phone by Maximum Environmental Management on Tuesday about the positive results.

Highway Superintendent George Woodson took the blame on Thursday for allowing the material, about 200 cubic yards, to be dumped on site prematurely. Mostly soil and crushed concrete, the material — which was given to the town for free — was meant to be used as a base for a recreational path around Enterprise Park at Calverton.

It remains dumped near the eastern runway at the former Grumman site.

On Monday, the town received information that the material had been tested and those results showed that it exceeded the allowable residential use standards for lead, zinc, and three pesticides (dieldrin, DDD, and DDT), according to Maximum Environmental Management, which did the testing.

However the testing did not include some particular objects in the material. According to the results, “the focus at this point in time regarding laboratory analysis was the soils rather than the small items/objects.”

News that the material could be a liability to the town broke after it was discussed at last Thursday’s work session

Some of it was placed on a table in front of the town board, and Councilman George Gabrielsen said, “This looks like an asbestos shingle.”

That piece was sent separately to be tested and the result came back positive, Mr. Walter said.

Asked why asbestos wouldn’t have been detected in the original test results, Mr. Walter said the asbestos wouldn’t likely be found unless it was in a chunck, as opposed to dispersed.

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio — a political adversary of Mr. Walter’s who was called a liar by him at last week’s work session over a dispute about the material — said it seemed strange that the asbestos wasn’t detected in the first tests but was in a subsequent test.

07/17/14 8:00am
After several attacks in the downtown Riverhead area this year — most of which have targeted Hispanic males — the town will revive its dormant Anti-Bias Task Force, a group 'meant to be a proactive agency in promoting tolerance and understanding.' (Credit: Carrie Miller)

After several attacks in the downtown Riverhead area this year — most of which have targeted Hispanic males — the town will revive its dormant Anti-Bias Task Force, a group ‘meant to be a proactive agency in promoting tolerance and understanding.’ (Credit: Paul Squire)

A string of violent assaults and robberies in the downtown area this year — most of which have targeted Hispanic men — has town leaders responding by reviving a group aimed at bringing the community together.

Dormant almost since its inception in 2007, according to town officials, Riverhead’s Anti-Bias Task Force will soon begin meeting again. (more…)

06/24/14 9:37pm
State Senator Lee Zeldin, left, and primary opponent George Demos.

State Senator Lee Zeldin, left, and primary opponent George Demos.

It will be a rematch between Tim Bishop and Lee Zeldin this fall.

State Senator Lee Zeldin defeated George Demos in Tuesday’s primary to secure the GOP line in the race for New York’s 1st Congressional District seat.

Mr. Zeldin, 34, defeated Mr. Demos with 62 percent of the vote, grabbing 9,654 votes compared to 5,880 for Mr. Demos.

Name Votes
Lee Zeldin  9654
George Demos  5880

Mr. Zeldin (R-Shirley) will now prepare to redeem himself on Nov. 4 after his first run for political office six years ago against Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), in which he earned 41 percent of the vote compared to the incumbent’s 58 percent.

Despite the previous results, he said he believes his odds are much better this time around in a midterm election, which national pundits widely agree can often bring fewer Democrats to the polls.

“In 2008, there were certainly factors that were out of our control that are not the same dynamics now,” Mr. Zeldin said Wednesday morning. “Barack Obama was much more popular than he is today. People were suffering from [former President George] Bush fatigue and the war in Iraq. And the economy at the end of September really started to get a lot worse.”

Personally, he pointed to experience he’s since gained at the legislative level — he was elected to the New York State Senate in 2010 — which has brought him more name recognition, a pool of campaign volunteers and better campaign financing.

Despite all that, Mr. Demos outspent Mr. Zeldin throughout the primary campaign at a rate of more than three-to-one, spending over $1.9 million compared to Mr. Zeldin’s $580,000.

Mr. Demos — who ran in two previous primaries, in 2010 and 2012 — said he was unsure what the future would hold for him.

“I want to continue to be involved in public service and fight for conservative principles,” he said. When asked if he might run again for public office, he said he hadn’t decided yet.

A spokesman for Mr. Bishop, Keith Davies, released the following statement after Tuesday’s race.

“Lee Zeldin now has a voting record which shows he has far-right positions which are out of the mainstream in Suffolk County. Not only did he oppose the bipartisan SAFE Act which expanded New York’s ban on assault weapons, he led a Tea Party rally to denounce it.”

Mr. Bishop will be running for his seventh consecutive term after defeating challenger Randy Altschuler in his last two campaigns.

05/01/14 5:00am

 

Clockwise from top-left: Town hall, the armory building, police station/justice court, Second Street firehouse (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Clockwise from top-left: Town hall, the armory building, police station/justice court, Second Street firehouse (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

If Riverhead Town Board members don’t agree on much, they at least agrees on this: The town needs a new location for its justice court.

But how to construct it, or where to put it, or how much the town should spend on it have remained topics of constant conversation at Town Hall in recent few months — with little, if any, common ground being established.

(more…)