04/05/14 4:57pm

Game-of-Hamlets-Vertical-copyThe Game of Hamlets is down to a battle between two closely related hamlets. Orient vs. Greenport.

The two Southold Town communities won in landslides this past week, with underdog Orient shocking Riverhead with 71 percent of the vote. Greenport knocked off Mattituck 67 to 33 percent.

Come Tuesday at 5 p.m., we’ll find out which local hamlet people like the most.

VOTE NOW!

Northforker.com has been hosting the 16-hamlet bracket tournament, sponsored by Corcoran Group, since March 13.

On the weekend of April 12-13, we will host an open photo shoot, inviting anyone who lives or works in the winning hamlet, for a large group photo to appear on the cover of the April 17 edition of The Suffolk Times. The photo shoot will take place in a public location in that community. We’re looking for as many people to show up as possible for the photo. Full details will be announced after the winner is chosen.

The April 17 issue will be dubbed either the Orient or Greenport issue, with sections featuring coverage about the winning hamlet.

To vote, simply click on the Birds Eye View or Vote Now icons below and cast a vote on each of the two matchups.

04/03/14 8:00am
Riverhead Charter School principal Raymond Ankrum outside the Calverton school Monday morning. Mr. Ankrum is at the center of a dispute among teachers at the school. (Credit: Michael White)

Riverhead Charter School principal Raymond Ankrum outside the Calverton school Monday morning. Mr. Ankrum is at the center of a dispute among teachers at the school.
(Credit: Michael White)

More than a dozen Riverhead Charter School teachers and administrators have come out this week in defense of Ray Ankrum, the school’s principal and executive director, who’s facing “union-busting” accusations that include firings and intimidation tactics directed at staffers sympathetic to the school’s teachers union.

Mr. Ankrum’s supporters include six veteran teachers who are members of the school’s leadership team. The team is also being implicated for taking part in anti-union activities in violation of state labor laws, according to two complaints filed with the state Public Employment Relations Board.

(See the full complaints at the end of this story.) (more…)

03/27/14 5:43pm
RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Police investigate the scene of a fatal accident Thursday morning in Laurel.

Police investigate the scene of the fatal accident Jan. 16 in Laurel. (Credit: Rachel Young, file)

Police say vehicle paint particles found on a Jamesport man who was hit by cars and found dead in January indicate a third vehicle — possibly the one that took his life — might have been involved.

The drivers of a car and SUV that hit James Callaghan stayed on scene that foggy Jan. 16 morning, and told police the victim was lying in the roadway when they struck him on Main Road in Laurel.

They are not suspects in Mr. Callaghan’s death, police said. (more…)

03/27/14 5:00pm
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Bridgehampton National Bank Mattituck branch manager Deborah Orlowski and her employees will be moving into the former SCNB building on the Main Road in Mattituck this summer after it is remodeled.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Bridgehampton National Bank Mattituck branch manager Deborah Orlowski and her employees will be moving into the former SCNB building on the Main Road in Mattituck this summer after it is remodeled.

Call it the House that Orlowski Built.

After four years of growth at Bridgehampton National Bank’s shopping center branch in the Mattituck Plaza, the branch and its employees — including longtime Mattituck banker Debbie Orlowski — are moving across Main Road to the brick building recently vacated by Suffolk County National Bank.

“The exterior’s being worked on right now,” said Jim Manseau, who oversees all of the bank’s 26 branches from Montauk to Merrick. “The building was power-washed the other day. We’re going to seal and stripe the parking lot. And we’re doing some pretty decent renovations to the interior — new bathrooms, paint, rugs — an entire re-do.”

The company and landlord are just waiting on town building permits, he said. The plan is to open before the end of summer.

Mr. Manseau said the move was made possible because of how much the Mattituck branch has grown since hiring Ms. Orlowski from Capital One four years ago. She had worked for 38 years at North Fork Bank — back when it was called North Fork Bank and Trust Company and had just six branches — and Capital One before leaving in May 2010 for Bridgehampton.

“We’ve grown from $18 million to $55 million” since acquiring Ms. Orlowski, Mr. Manseau said.

Ms. Orlowski credits her success to the decades’ worth of relationships and trust she’s built with area clients.

“I started here May 3 of 2010 and it’s been wonderful,” she said. “I took a small branch that had been here for about 20 years and actually more than tripled the deposits. I’m kind of proud of that.”

Not much thought went into the decision to lease the building, Mr. Manseau said.

“We were contacted by someone after [Suffolk County National Bank] left and we said, ‘Absolutely,’<\!q>” he said. “We really believe in the Mattituck marketplace and that’s a great space, with plenty of parking and a drive-up window.”

The same staff customers have grown accustomed to in the plaza’s location, which has been in operation since 1992, will also make the move.

“The plan is, when the time comes, we’ll open Saturday in the shopping center and come Monday morning we’ll be open across the street,” Mr. Manseau said.

The 104-year-old Bridgehampton National Bank, which is based in Bridgehampton and just opened a Shelter Island branch last year, is getting ready to open a loan production storefront in Riverhead and is renovating its Southold and Sag Harbor stores, Mr. Manseau said.

The bank is also expanding its footprint to the west.

“We’re in Greenport, Shelter Island and Montauk, so you can’t go farther east,” he said. “But we want to continue to address our more mature marketplaces.”

Officials with Suffolk Bancorp, the parent company of SCNB, announced in November the branch would be closing by March, along with three other branches in Port Jefferson Station, Manorville and Montauk Harbor.

At the time, Suffolk Bancorp president and CEO Howard Bluver said the branches would close to make the bank more “efficient and nimble” and to protect the “best core deposit franchises.”

“Following these actions, we will continue to have the premier branch system in Suffolk County, consisting of 24 branches situated in key locations throughout the entire county,” Mr. Bluver said. He added that the locations were picked for closure following an analysis of the company’s branches by an outside consultant.

The Mattituck branch closed on Feb. 14 and the property, which had been owned by Suffolk Bancorp, was sold shortly thereafter, bank officials said this week.

03/07/14 4:19pm
Nile Rodgers and Adam Lambert at last year's AFTEE concert. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Nile Rodgers and Adam Lambert at last year’s AFTEE concert. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

All for the East End officials were surprised to learn Thursday of an August music festival similar — yet unrelated — to last year’s AFTEE concert event at Martha Clara Vineyards, said Claudia Pilato, an executive board member for the nonprofit group.
(more…)

03/02/14 3:00pm
Wedel Signs workers installing the Veterans Memorial Park last April in Calverton. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch photo)

Wedel Signs workers installing the Veterans Memorial Park last April in Calverton.
(Credit: Barbaraellen Koch photo)

Riverhead Little League officials announced Saturday the scheduling of a new tournament to be held in town in memory of two fallen American soldiers, U.S. Army Sergeant Jonathan Keller and Sergeant First Class Anthony Venetz Jr.  (more…)