10/11/14 7:47pm
Riverhead coach Leif Shay addressing his players following their win over Newfield. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Riverhead coach Leif Shay addressing his players following their win over Newfield. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

BLUE WAVES 20, WOLVERINES 15

The Riverhead Blue Waves’ defense took the philosophy of “bend but don’t break” to extremes in Saturday’s 20-15 win over the Newfield Wolverines in Selden.

In the first half of the Suffolk County Division II game, Newfield was stopped on Riverhead’s 6-yard line after going for it on fourth down with 2 yards to go on. The Wolverines were stopped on fourth-and-1 from Riverhead’s 4 on their next drive, and they were intercepted on a third-and-1 play on Riverhead’s 6 on the drive after that, leaving the score at 8-7 Newfield (1-4) by halftime.

In the fourth quarter, after both teams got their offenses going a little more, the Riverhead defense stopped Newfield on a fourth-and-3 from Riverhead’s 10 to seal the win. (more…)

10/11/14 12:00pm
Lawmakers are trying to grapple with the legal issues surrounding flyboarding and other similar water sports. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Lawmakers are trying to grapple with the legal issues surrounding flyboarding and other similar water sports. (Credit: Paul Squire)

The pros and cons of flyboarding were debated during Tuesday’s Riverhead Town Board meeting, at which a proposal to set new regulations for the relatively up-and-coming activity was the subject of a public hearing.

Flyboarding involves being thrust into the air by water-propelled jetpacks that are attached to people’s feet and powered by a jet ski tethered to the device. (more…)

10/07/14 2:00pm

liveblog

The pros and cons of flyboarding were debated at Tuesday’s Riverhead Town Board during a public hearing on a plan to regulate the up and coming sport, which is being done at Treasure Cove marina.

Jim Bissett IV, who operates Flyboard Long Island  at the marina, said the town’s proposal to push them 500 feet off shore was excessive, while some neighbors said the Flyboarding was noisy.

The board also voted to rezone the Second Street firehouse to DC-1, a mostly commercial zone that’s in place on most of downtown Main Street. The town agreed to change the zone as a condition of a $500,000 sale of the property to Suffolk Theater owner Bob Castaldi, but some residents, as well as Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, argued that the town should seek new bids for the property now that it is rezoned to a more business-friendly zone.

The board also agreed, in a 3-2 vote, to authorize the conversion of the Henry Pfeifer Community Center in Calverton into a new town animal shelter.

 

(more…)

10/06/14 10:00am
Bob Summerlin of Northampton speaks at last Wednesday's "Riverside Rediscovered" meeting, where residents were asked to identify what type of things they feel Riverside needs. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Bob Summerlin of Northampton speaks at last Wednesday’s “Riverside Rediscovered” meeting, where residents were asked to identify what type of things they feel Riverside needs. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

About eight years ago, Southampton Town officials held a meeting in the Phillips Avenue school on a proposal to revitalize Riverside through the creation of a new Main Street business area, and people at the meeting were asked to break into groups to discuss what type of things they feel Riverside needs.  (more…)

10/03/14 12:30pm
Members of the Suffolk County Planning Commission at this week's meeting. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Members of the Suffolk County Planning Commission at this week’s meeting. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Despite calls to deny it from two environmental organizations, Riverhead Town’s proposed 50-lot subdivision and reuse plan for the Enterprise Park at Calverton took a step forward Wednesday, as the Suffolk County Planning Commission gave its approval to the project, with some recommendations.

The EPCAL subdivision is required before the town can start selling individual lots on the 2,400 acre property.

Town officials are banking on income from land sales and leases (though they have said no subdivision would be necessary in order to secure the lease) at EPCAL to balance its budget in 2015 and future years.

(more…)

10/02/14 5:12pm
  (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

East Street in Jamesport, a private road. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

To plow or not to plow?

That was the question this morning, as Supervisor Sean Walter and Highway Superintendent George Woodson went toe-to-toe in an argument over whether or not the town highway department should be plowing private roads.

June Bassemir, who lives in the private community of Waterview Terrace in Jamesport, came to Town Hall to complain at the beginning of Thursday’s work session to bring the issue to the Town Board’s attention. She said she had heard about Mr. Woodson’s intentions to stop plowing private roads a few months ago from a highway department employee.

Before the meeting had even started, Mr. Walter jumped right in.

“It’s unacceptable for him to be doing this, and the residents should stand up and protest against the highway superintendent,” he told Ms. Bassemir. He said a Wading River resident told him that the policy of not plowing private roads cost her a real estate sale, because Fannie Mae has a provision that it will not loan money for property that doesn’t have a road maintenance agreement.

The supervisor also said that Mr. Woodson was sending out a letter regarding the new policy.

“Pursuant to New York State Law,” the letter from Mr. Woodson states, “the town, inclusive of the highway department, may not use town personnel and equipment to maintain or repair private roadways, remove trees and brush, plow snow from private roads etc., except in the event of an emergency such as a serious illness or fire.”

“I asked him not to send it out,” Mr. Walter told Ms. Bassemir, saying it shows “total disrespect.”

“I’ll say it on the record,” he said. “You should be picketing the highway superintendent.”

Mr. Woodson was not in the room at the time but apparently caught wind of the supervisor’s statements and showed up later in the meeting.

Click here for our live coverage from Thursday’s meeting.

“Are you actually telling people to protest the highway department?” Mr. Woodson asked. ”[Plowing private roads] is against the law.”

In an interview later on Thursday, Mr. Woodson said that he had been approached by residents living on some private roads in town — he did not want to specify which ones — who threatened to sue the town if it didn’t pave the private roads they said were damaged by town plows.private road fight[1]

The highway department never plowed private roads before his predecessor, Mark Kwasna, unless there was more than six inches of snow, Mr. Woodson said.

In 2004, the Town Board accepted 75 private roads into the town road system following a public hearing. Mr. Kwasna, who was highway superintendent, said at the time that many of those roads had been maintained by the town for 20 to 30 years.

“If we’ve been maintaining them, we’re basically taking on the liability anyway,” Mr. Kwasna said in 2004.

Mr. Woodson said Thursday that Riverhead is the only town in the county that plows private roads regularly.

Locally, Southold does not plow private roads, and Southampton does, but only when the supervisor declares a town wide emergency, officials from those towns told The News-Review.

Mr. Walter said he worked with Mr. Kwasna on legislation to allow some private roads in the town to be plowed. He feels the town could face a lawsuit if it stops plowing a road it has plowed for more than 10 years, even if it is a private road.

“If we’ve been plowing the roads for 10 years and now we’re going to stop, what do you say to those residents?” Mr. Walter said. “It’s basic constituent service.”

Mr. Woodson said he has met with civic associations and homeowners groups from the private roads to explain his position.

Rich Stephenson, the president of the Waterview Terrace Civic Association, which has private roads, says the town has been plowing those streets for 30 years. He said he has met with Mr. Woodson and town attorney Bob Kozakiewicz on the issue.

He said losing that service would be a large financial burden on residents there, many of whom are senior citizens, if they had to hire a private contractor or buy their own plow — and it could be worse for streets that do not have a civic association.

But most importantly, he said, “We need to know immediately what the town is going to do. There’s no time to sit on the fence.”

According to Mr. Kozakiewicz, the state constitution prevents towns from using tax money on private streets. However, another section of state law allows a road that has been maintained for 10 years or more to be accepted into the road system of that municipality.

Officials say one upstate town has divided its roads into three different categories, each of which is permitted a certain degree of town services. Riverhead officials say they may consider something like that.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Mr. Walter worked with Mr. Kwasna on legislation that would allow some private roads to be paved. He worked to write legislation that would permit private roads to be plowed.