09/01/14 8:50am
09/01/2014 8:50 AM
Grapes ripening at Clovis Point vineyard in Jamesport. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Grapes ripening at Clovis Point vineyard in Jamesport. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

While Long Island’s grapes weathered a harsh winter just fine, the unusually erratic and wet winter months upstate New York experienced have led to extreme losses of grapes across that region, putting the local commodity in high demand, according to the state Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Read more at northforker.com.

08/31/14 2:00pm
08/31/2014 2:00 PM
The palcohol.com homepage.

The palcohol.com homepage.

An expanding selection of powdered products is opening up some dangerous doors, according to federal officials who are warning consumers not to get caught up in the novelty.

The Suffolk County health department, too, is urging buyers to stay away from one product in particular: powdered pure caffeine.

A single teaspoon of the powder is roughly equivalent to the amount of caffeine in 25 cups of coffee, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which issued a warning following the death of a teenager who used the product in July. (more…)

08/31/14 8:00am
The airbase was established in 1946 and is currently used by a few area pilots. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

The airbase was established in 1946 and is currently used by a few area pilots. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has proposed removing Mattituck Airbase from New York’s Superfund program, saying the property no longer poses a threat to public health or the environment, DEC officials said.

Before it makes a final determination, the DEC will accept public comment for the next month. The property is currently on the state’s Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site list, which identifies properties being investigated for potential hazardous waste and outlines any cleanup efforts taking place.

The airbase, located off New Suffolk Avenue in Mattituck, is one of 11 properties currently being investigated across Riverhead and Southold towns.

It was created in 1946, when Parker Wickham of Mattituck, who overhauled airplane engines during World War II, converted part of his family’s New Suffolk Avenue potato farm into a small airport and plane engine rebuilding shop under the name Mattituck Services, according to previous Suffolk Times coverage. The property is still owned by the Wickham family.

The site currently operates as an “informal airbase used by a few area pilots,” said Southold Supervisor Scott Russell.

The 12-acre site included a half-acre parcel where chemicals — including fuels, oils and cleaners — were once used for maintenance and repair work, according to state DEC officials.

According to the state agency’s listing, solvent rinses and wastewater used on the property were discharged to leaching pools in the area from 1946 to 1979, leaving elevated levels of copper, iron, nickel, zinc, lead and cadmium in nearby soils, as well as several pesticide ingredients.

To remedy the pollution, 25 tons of contaminated but non-hazardous soils were excavated from the area surrounding the leaching pools in 1997, with excavation extending at least three feet below the water table, the DEC listing states. The area was then packed with clean fill and closed.

Soil testing conducted in November 2013 found no lingering impact from the contaminants in question and it was determined that no public or environmental threats exist at the site, according to DEC officials.

Mr. Russell said he’s encouraged to hear that the historic site stands to be removed from the Superfund program.

“If the DEC is satisfied, naturally we are,” he said. “Certainly it is in the town’s interest to see all [of these areas] get remediated and delisted.”

Agency officials are asking that any public comments regarding Mattituck Airbase be mailed to Cynthia Whitfield, project manager, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Environmental Remediation, Remedial Bureau A, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-7015 or emailed to cynthia.whitfield@dec.ny.gov. You can also call 518-402-9564.

The comment period will close Oct. 5 and a final decision will be made on or after Oct. 26, according to the DEC release.

cmiller@timesreview.com

08/23/14 3:00pm
08/23/2014 3:00 PM
Rust tide caused by Cochlodinium in Peconic Estuary in 2012. (Credit: Bill Portlock)

Rust tide caused by Cochlodinium in Peconic Estuary in 2012. (Credit: Bill Portlock)

If you’re a resident in one of the five eastern towns surrounding the Peconic Estuary, the nonprofit Peconic Green Growth wants to hear from you to better understand area wastewater practices. (more…)

08/23/14 12:00pm
Lone star ticks, seen here at different life stages, are among the most abundant tick on the East End. (Credit: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County)

Lone star ticks, seen here at different life stages, are among the most abundant tick on the East End. (Credit: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County)

Is that a tick, a chigger, or a tiny spider?

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County is working on creating a handy smartphone app to help East Enders get an answer to that question and many more with the touch of a button. (Spoiler alert: There are no chiggers on Long Island.) (more…)