11/10/12 3:00pm

Wading River resident Frank Seabrook has declared an interest in running on the Republican line for the Suffolk County legislative seat now held by Ed Romaine, who will leave it soon to take over as Brookhaven Town supervisor following Mr. Romaine’s victory in a special election on Tuesday.

A special election to fill the legislative seat is expected in early 2013.

“There are many interested in this position, all highly qualified and all really good people,” Mr. Seabrook wrote in a press announcement. “But having never held elected office before, I believe that I would bring a fresh perspective to the district.”

Mr. Seabrook, a member of the Riverhead Town Zoning Board of Appeals, is the publisher of the Suffolk County Liberty Report, a conservative blog.

“While we can all agree on the importance of preserving and protecting our farmland and open space, I believe of equal importance is the preservation of our people. Over the last 30 years, we have watched a mass human exodus off this once great island. And I believe a lot of that has to do with the policies that have been enacted by our county and local governments.”

He wrote that as “taxes, deficits, regulations, fees, fines, and red light cameras continue to rise, so do the amount of our parents, children, and industry leaving. It seems that our government no longer serves the people, it actually harasses the people.”

Mr. Seabrook, a New York City police officer who retired after 20 years, wrote that he is a construction manager for a large general contractor. He has been a resident in Wading River for 21 years.

He has been married 25 years, has two daughters attending Dowling College and a son in the Shoreham-Wading River High School. He holds a BS degree in architectural engineering and wrote that he is working on his masters in civil engineering and construction management.

11/10/12 1:25pm

“We are done dealing with LIPA Headquarters,” County Executive Steve Bellone declared Saturday, joining a chorus of state and local officials from Governor Cuomo on down who have decried LIPA’s slow pace in fully restoring power in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the nor’easter that followed it this month.

Mr. Bellone said he had “cut ties with LIPA headquarters and has begun directing local assets to expedite restoring power.”

He made the declaration in announcing that he would hold a press conference on the issue at 2 p.m. Saturday at the parking lot of the LIPA-National Grid office in Brentwood.

TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO | Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone became the latest public official to speak out against LIPA’s response to Hurricane Sandy today.

09/15/12 5:00pm

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL PHOTO | Lone star ticks in different stages of their life cycle, with newly hatched larva at right.

Anecdotal evidence suggests there may be a surge in the population of lone star tick larvae in the region, including Shelter Island. People who walk through a cluster of these freshly hatched ticks won’t know it until they start to itch and find red welts all over themselves — and perhaps in the center of a few of those welts they’ll notice a dot so tiny it’s smaller than a period on this page.

Hello, lone star larvae.

The good news is that the itching and the red welts are an allergic reaction to the tick’s saliva, not a symptom of some mysterious and terrible systemic infection. The welts and itching will go away but long after your ticks are gone; sometimes it takes a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, an anti-itch cream helps.
Even better news, larval lone star ticks are not known to carry any tick-borne diseases.

Lately, stories have been circulating of people finding welts all over themselves. Often they never notice any tiny ticks, all of which may have dropped off by the time the welts appear. These folks may be told by doctors or pharmacists that they’ve been bitten by chiggers.

We don’t have chiggers here, according to Scott Campbell, a Shelter Island resident and entomologist who heads the Suffolk County Department of Health Services Arthropod Borne Disease Laboratory. Since he went to work for the county in 1995, he says he’s never found a chigger anywhere on Long Island and he’s been looking. Chiggers are found to the south and west, in warmer climates, he says.

Lone star larvae begin to hatch in July and are active through late summer and into October. Chiggers are active earlier in the spring and into the summer, especially after wet weather. They lay scattered eggs, 15 to 50 a day in the soil. Adult lone star females lay hundreds of eggs in clusters. “That’s why people are coming in with dozens of bites,” Dr. Campbell said.

What to do? Besides the anti-itch cream, put all affected clothing and bedding in a hot dryer for 15 or 20 minutes to kill any live ticks. The ticks on your body will all fall off after feeding. Those that fall off in your house will die from dessication so they are not a health threat. Dr. Campbell said using permethrin cream is not necessary although it is one of the protocols described on some web sites  for lone star infestations.

Take preventative measures, including treating clothing with a permethrin-based pesticide and using repellents on your skin. Lone stars can survive in drier, hotter environments than other ticks so it may be harder to avoid the places they might be. Keeping clear of heavy brush and leaves and long grass works pretty well for dog ticks and deer ticks but it seems to be no guarantee the lone stars won’t find you.

It may not make it any easier to know you’ve been bitten by lone star larvae and not chiggers. But it is good to know, isn’t it, all that itching doesn’t mean you’re still infested with bugs, whether ticks or chiggers or any other little horrors?

This originally appeared as an editorial appeared in the September 6, 2012 Shelter Island Reporter, a Times Review newspaper.

06/02/12 3:43pm

BARBARAELLEN KOCH | Olaf and Stacy Vinje of Calverton at their booth Vinje Antiques and Imports where they sell contemporary and antique decorative arts.

“Antiques on the Riverfront” in downtown Riverhead featured more than 30  vendors and experts available to make free appraisals. The appraisers were Lloyd Gerard of Lloyd’s Antiques of Eastport, Terri Davison of Westhampton, furniture restorer Ken Ellis of Hampton Bays and Arthur Thomas of A1Aappraisers of East Hampton.

The event, which was staged for the first time last year, is sponsored by the Riverhead Business Improvement District.

The morning drizzle didn’t dampen the spirits of either the sellers or bargain hunters. Olaf Vinje and his wife Stacy of Calverton, owners of Vinje Antiques and Imports, said at around 11 a.m., an hour into the event, that “we are off to a good start in spite of the rain we have already done well.”

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