05/18/15 2:30pm
A view of Flanders Bay Saturday afternoon. (Credit: Rachel Young)

A view of Flanders Bay Saturday afternoon. (Credit: Rachel Young)

Update Monday 2:30 p.m.: A state pathology lab investigating the die-off of dozens of turtles in Peconic Bay has found marine biotoxins are likely the cause.

Though findings from a necropsy were “nonspecific” — meaning the turtle’s death could not be directly cited to the presence of the red tide byproduct saxitoxin — testing on the contents of the turtle’s intestines was inconclusive but revealed that saxitoxin may have been present, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said.

“Circumstantial evidence is consistent with the terrapins being poisoned with saxitoxin,” said state spokesperson Lori Severino. “If additional terrapin carcasses are found, [the] DEC will test them as well in an effort to confirm the cause of deaths in this terrapin die-off.”

Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons executive director Karen Testa had told the News-Review the group was hoping the turtles had been killed because of the harsh winter and not the toxin. She said the poisoned turtles may have been just coming out of hibernation when they ate the toxic shellfish.

“What that does is it paralyzes them and they would just drown. It’s a horrible death, “she said. “They get their first meal and its poison. It’s horrible.”

Original story: Flanders Bay and western Shinnecock Bay have been added to the list of local waterbodies where the harvesting of shellfish is temporarily prohibited due to unusually high toxin levels, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation announced Saturday.

Three area creeks were also shut down by the state in the last two weeks.  (more…)

05/17/15 8:00am

Anyone who builds a home addition or installs a swimming pool can reasonably expect their property assessment, which measures how much a house is worth and then taxes accordingly, to increase. But homeowners who think they’ve been unfairly charged have the option of filing a grievance with their town’s tax assessor’s office.

Just be sure to act quickly, because the deadline to file a grievance in New York State this year is Tuesday, May 19.

“Generally speaking, a lot of people don’t have a good impression of what their house is worth,” said Paul Henry, who has owned Tax Reduction Services in Greenport since 1990. In 2014, he said, the company helped more than 10,000 clients in Suffolk and Nassau counties file grievances in an effort to reduce their bills.

“What we do is find inequities,” Mr. Henry continued. “We look for properties that are being overvalued for the purpose of property taxes and then establish a value we think is more correct.”

(more…)

05/17/15 7:00am

Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Don’t sit too close to the TV or you’ll need glasses. Put down that spicy chili dog or you’ll give yourself an ulcer. These are health claims so pervasive that it can be difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. What should you believe? We asked local medical professionals to weigh in on some of the most popular myths.

(more…)

05/10/15 7:00am
The author has always been able to crack her knuckles — and almost all her other joints, for that matter. But is the habit bad for your health? (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

The author has always been able to crack her knuckles — and almost all her other joints, for that matter. But is the habit bad for your health? (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

I’m a crack addict, but it’s not what you’re thinking.

When I was 9, I discovered I could manipulate my ankles with very little effort. My toes, knuckles and elbows soon followed. By the time I was a teenager, I was regularly cracking my back and neck. Now, at 29, I’m a full-blown junkie of the “snap, crackle and pop” variety. It just feels good.  (more…)

05/08/15 8:00am
The Mad Hatters (from left) Sue Hanauer of Riverhead, Harold Gordon of Mattituck, Rita Cohen of Southold and Prue Brashich of Cutchogue during last week's bi-monthly knitting session at Ms. Hanover's kitchen table. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

The Mad Hatters (from left) Sue Hanauer of Riverhead, Harold Gordon of Mattituck, Rita Cohen of Southold and Prue Brashich of Cutchogue during last week’s bi-monthly knitting session at Ms. Hanover’s kitchen table. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

In 2003, Sue Hanauer was working on a project with fellow North Fork Reform Synagogue members when she developed the idea for Mad Hatters, which knits hats for local cancer patients.

“We were finishing a quilt cover for a wooden ark and were talking about what we wanted to do next,” said Ms. Hanauer, of Jamesport. “I had heard about a nationwide group that was doing caps for women and brought that to their attention. They liked the idea and the rest is history, as they say.” (more…)

05/08/15 7:00am
Sweet Tart owner Myoshi Cambra, right, suggests frozen yogurt toppings to friends Nancy Foth, front, and Nancy Iannucci, background, Thursday. (Credit: Rachel Young photos)

Sweet Tart owner Myoshi Cambra, right, suggests frozen yogurt toppings to friends Nancy Foth, front, and Nancy Iannucci, background, Thursday. (Credit: Rachel Young photos)

Former nurse’s aide Miyoshi Cambra opened Sweet Tart Frozen Yogurt Café in downtown Riverhead for a variety of reasons.

The first? Her entire family is lactose intolerant and the tasty treat is easy on their tummies. The second? She was tired of having to drive to shops in Manorville or Mattituck to satisfy her fro-yo cravings. The third? She thought East Main Street was the perfect spot to establish her first business.

Read more about it on northforker.com

05/07/15 1:55pm
This anti-bullying mural was unveiled at Riley Avenue Elementary School in Calverton Thursday. (Credit: Rachel Young)

This anti-bullying mural was unveiled at Riley Avenue Elementary School in Calverton Thursday. (Credit: Rachel Young)

Riley Avenue Elementary School fourth-grader Jon Vasquez said he liked watching the character mural go from “nothing to something.” His classmate Lily Kaelin said anyone who lays eyes on the colorful painting is “reminded to be kind.” Art teacher Melissa Haupt called it “inspiring.” (more…)