03/02/14 6:00am

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch from 6 p.m. Sunday to noon Monday, with meteorologists now calling for snow accumulations of about three to six inches across Long Island.

This is lower than earlier predictions of up to eight inches.

The forecast also includes 10 to 15 mph winds, with gusts up to 25 mph. Temperatures will remain in the teens and 20s.

(more…)

02/28/14 2:14pm
A mute swan mother with her cygnets in East Marion. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

A mute swan mother with her cygnets in East Marion. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

After getting pushback from lawmakers and thousands of residents, state environmental officials are considering major changes to a management plan that called for the eradication of New York’s wild mute swan population by 2025.

Included in those changes is a plan to achieve newly revised population goals that are unique to various areas of the state, and to achieve those goals through “non lethal means,” state Department of Environmental Conservation officials said.

(more…)

02/28/14 12:00pm
The Feb. 28 sun over Suffolk County. (Credit: Michael White)

The Feb. 28 sun over Suffolk County. (Credit: Michael White)

Cablevision officials are warning of brief TV interruptions starting today, Friday, and running through March 8 due to what’s known in the industry as “sun outages.”

“As the sun’s path across the sky gets higher each day, there are times when it goes directly behind a TV satellite and its radiation overpowers the satellite’s signal,” reads a notice sent to customers.

Customer’s Optimum digital cable services may be interrupted for periods of “a few minutes” during the series events, and will return to normal automatically, according to the notice.

The sun outages won’t affect Internet or phone services.

“Since sun outages are a natural occurrence, there’s nothing we can do to prevent them. However, we can let you know what channels will be affected and when,” the officials advised.

The first such occurrences will run from 11:09 a.m. to 1:52 p.m.

Click here for a scheduled of expected times.

02/04/14 10:06am
Blue Duck Bakery's chicken soup.

Blue Duck Bakery’s chicken soup.

You’ve just finished shoveling. The cuffs on your pants are wet. Your face and fingers are numb.

Worst of all, you feel a head cold coming on.

Don’t head inside just yet — at least not without first grabbing something that will truly make you feel better.

Check out our suggestions for local spots serving chicken soup on northforker.com.

01/02/14 3:00pm

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | April Yakaboski (second from left) leads a ‘hot yoga’ class at her West Main Street studio in Riverhead.

April Yakaboski is building an empire on West Main Street — and the 2001 Riverhead High School graduate is doing it one inspired, in-shape fitness student at a time.

Ms. Yakaboski opened her Aerial Fitness studio in June 2009 with the idea that she would offer her clientele experiences they couldn’t get at any other area gym. She did so first through aerial silks. Her students, also called aerialists, use the silks to suspend themselves from the ceiling and use their muscles to stretch, spin, bounce and flip to music.

She’s since opened two more health and fitness locations nearby. Her Hot Yoga studio occupies the second floor of the WRIV building — and gained regional media attention for its “Broga” classes for men. The latest addition, Spin-Sanity, opened in October in space previously occupied by The Hamptons Furniture Co. The spin cycle studio features 29 RealRyder stationary bikes, which she purchased from a Westhampton Beach fitness studio that had recently closed its doors.

For her creativity, business acumen and help in rebuilding a once-beleagured area, Ms. Yakaboski is the News-Review’s 2013 Business Person of the Year.

She also runs a paddleboard business on the Peconic River during the warmer months with friend and studio employee Rachel Goodale, offering locals as well as visitors to Riverhead’s East End Hyatt Place hotel a peaceful place to unwind on the water.

“She really wants to give clients what they want, so everything is based on what she gets back from clients,” said Ms. Goodale. “She has people of all ages, that’s the best part. She has as 73-year-old client who looks like she’s 50 because she works out every day. It’s an awesome place to work. I love going there and I love working there.”

She described Ms. Yakaboski as someone who’s “always thinking outside the box.”

Downtown Riverhead is also seeing the benefits of foot traffic, as the studios attract hundreds of people to the area each week.

“I try to do what the bigger gyms aren’t doing,” Ms. Yakaboski told the News-Review recently.

Even the spin cycles at Spin-Sanity are available at only four other locations on Long Island, said Roland Walker, who teaches a Sunday morning class in Riverhead. RealRyder-style stationary bikes “offers more of a core and upper body workout,” he said. The bikes – which go for about $2,000 a piece – pivot from side to side, offering a more real-life experience.

“There’s very few in the U.S., period,” he said. “She recruited me because she knew that I knew about that type of bike. They are very few instructors that are certified at teaching those bikes.

“It’s a big gamble, no doubt,” Mr. Walker said.

To hedge her bets, Ms. Yakaboski will seek certification for the unique bikes in January, along with Ms. Goodale and others.

For those involved, working in Ms. Yakaboski’s businesses doesn’t feel much like work.

The 200-plus clients are more like family, Ms. Goodale said, coming together daily for positive reasons.

“People see results quicker when they come to her studios,” she said. “People will say, ‘I was sick of going to the gym and doing the same routine.’ Everyone’s getting results and it’s fun. We look forward to seeing each other; everyone’s become friends.”

mwhite@timesreview.com

01/01/14 8:20pm
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | A Riverhead Town snow plow in Jamesport.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | A Riverhead Town snow plow in Jamesport.

There’s snow in the forecast for the North Fork starting early Thursday and running into Friday afternoon, with blizzard conditions reaching the area Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service.

It’s likely to snow early Thursday morning and into the day, but only about an inch is expected, though it will be windy, weather officials said.

The snow starting Thursday night and running through Friday is expected to drop three to seven inches over the region at first, before another one to three inches falls later.

The coastal storm is expected to taper off before 2 p.m. Friday, according to the NWS forecast.

The NWS has issued a blizzard warning for this time, with “dangerously cold wind chills. Blowing and drifting snow will produce dangerous travel conditions,” the warning reads. “Wind chills from 10 degrees below to zero to around zero will produce extreme cold impacts.”