10/14/13 7:00am
10/14/2013 7:00 AM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Appraiser Karen Sampieri examines a gold pocketwatch during Saturday's appraisal event in Riverhead. The watch was valued at between $400 and $1,000.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Appraiser Karen Sampieri examines a gold pocketwatch during Saturday’s appraisal event in Riverhead. The watch was valued at between $400 and $1,000.

G. Greux.

That’s what the hastily scribbled signature at the edge of the faded etching Jose Capitulo was holding spelled. Or, at least, that’s what he thought it spelled.

“Gustave Greux,” he said, as more of a question than a statement of fact. He had done some homework on the yellowed piece of art he and his wife Lorina bought at an estate sale along with a pile of old books. The best result was that Greux, a French engraver from the last 19th century.

A search or two on the Internet had turned up little about the work of art portraying a young woman sitting by a tree, or its potential value.

So on Saturday morning, Mr. and Ms. Capitulo trekked from North Babylon to the Hyatt Place East End in Riverhead to be one of hundreds to have their antique art, jewelry and knickknacks appraised by New York City auctioneers.

More than 500 items ranging from old hockey sticks to silver rings to picture frames were valued as part of the appraisal day, hosted by East End Arts, said the organization’s executive director Pat Snyder.

“It’s been a blast so far,” she said as she surveyed the dozens of people on line waiting for their turn.

The appraisals were done by Heritage Auctions, the same company that was used in some episodes of “Antiques Roadshow,” and each appraiser had a specialty. One was an expert in jewelry, another fine art, yet another a master of coins and rare currency.

Most of those who waited on line for hours to have their heirlooms valued didn’t strike gold at the appraisers table.

More than one set of grandma’s old rings turned out to be just worth its weight in metal, while another golden pocket watch was determined to be average for the time period and worth around $400.

Still, Mr. and Ms. Capitulo were hopeful their estate sale find would net them a healthy profit.

As the pair sat across the folding table in the appraisal room, appraiser Aviva Lehmann snapped open a handheld magnifier and hunched over the etching. She didn’t recognize the name of the artist, and a search through her database revealed no notable matching sales.

Gustave Greux, whoever he was, probably didn’t make the Capitulo’s piece.

The condition of the 19th century etching — frayed and acidified at the edges — only further deducted from the value, Ms. Lehmann declared.

The final determination: the etching was worth no more than $50 to $100. It probably wasn’t even worth investing any money into the restoration, Ms. Lehmann said..

“It’s very well done,” she said apologetically. “It’s beautiful. I would hang it.”

The couple tucked the artwork away with the paper it came from. Sure, they said, the etching wasn’t worth big bucks. But it was still a good deal.

“We got it for 2 dollars, so we’re pretty happy,” Ms. Capitulo said.

psquire@timesreview.com

10/13/13 3:46pm
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTOS | The 38th Annual Riverhead Country Fair was held on the Peconic Riverfront Sunday morning.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTOS | The 38th Annual Riverhead Country Fair was held on the Peconic Riverfront Sunday morning.

Despite overcast skies and chilly breezes, the 38th annual Riverhead Country Fair drew thousands of people to the downtown area on Sunday.

One of the largest festivals in New York State, the fair celebrates Riverhead’s agricultural heritage and features displays and competitions, live music, vendors and family-friendly entertainment.

See the photos at northforker.com

10/13/13 1:00pm
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Volunteers with the community advocacy group Save Main Road work on restoring the Witch's Hat in Aquebogue Saturday afternoon.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Volunteers with the community advocacy group Save Main Road work on restoring the Witch’s Hat in Aquebogue Saturday afternoon.

Just in time for Halloween, Aquebogue’s historic “Witch’s Hat” got a bit of a touchup Saturday afternoon.

Volunteers with the community group “Save Main Road” spent the afternoon pulling off old shingles, clearing out debris and throwing away garbage as part of the ongoing restoration to the former roadside stand.

The Witch’s Hat — so called because of its pointed roof and strange shape — was built in 1927, and once sold gas, candy and cigarettes to drivers. The building was named a town landmark in 1987, but had fallen into disrepair.

Earlier this month, Jamesport-based landscape company Kaiser Maintenance cleared away trees at the building’s site. On Saturday, volunteers began to clean away years worth of rotted shingles and dirt that accumulated on the structure.

As some used hammer to tear away at the pine wood on the roof, other volunteers dove inside the Hat, and turned up an old pice sign and a wooden piece of artwork buried in the dust. Next Saturday, volunteers will return to the Hat to finish the job, so that the scope of the renovations to restore the building can be completed.

psquire@timesreview.com

10/11/13 1:00pm
10/11/2013 1:00 PM

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Robert Boden’s casket being carried into St. John the Evangelist R.C. Church in Riverhead Friday morning.

Hundreds of mourners turned out to say goodbye to longtime Riverhead Police Detective Robert Boden Friday morning at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church.

Uniformed Riverhead Police officers, New York State Troopers and members of then McGann-Mercy High School football team — Mr. Boden sponsored a yearly award for a Mercy football player — lined the road leading to the church. The Riverhead Fire Department hung a flag from two ladder trucks.

Members of the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance and the Flanders Northampton Volunteer Ambulance also were present, as were the Eastern Long Island Police Pipes and Drums, which played as Mr. Boden’s casket was carried into the church.

Mr. Boden, a 32-year veteran of the Riverhead Police Department who achieved the rank of detective, died on Oct. 7 at the age of 54 at Stony Brook University Hospital after suffering a pulmonary embolism a few days earlier.

OBIT: Robert Boden

10/10/13 3:02pm
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Students participate in a Project Fit America exercise using weighted hula hoops.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Students participate in a Project Fit America exercise using weighted hula hoops.

Students from all five of Riverhead Central School District’s elementary schools jumped and twirled on Thursday as the district started its participation in Project Fit America, an athletic – and educational – opportunity aimed at battling childhood obesity made possible through a combination of private donations and public grant funding.

Riverhead will be the first school district in the state to run the program.

Aimed at fighting childhood obesity, the program is a new addition to Pulaski Street Elementary School, Roanoke Avenue Elementary School, Riley Avenue Elementary School, Philips Avenue Elementary School and Aquebogue Elementary School – thanks to donations by PBMC Health, the Suffolk County Lions Diabetes Education Foundation, and Brickman Group landscaping and turf maintenance.

The program is used by more than 870 schools nation wide, according to the program website.

The Project Fit physical education program curriculum utilizes state-of-the-art outdoor fitness equipment, which is set up as a playground and designed for exercises that address the areas children commonly fail when doing a physical fitness test, according to the program website.

It also includes equipment that can be used indoors, such as three-pound hula hoops and jump ropes.

The children will learn through games, activities and challenges, “fresh ideas that will get kids excited about staying healthy,” said Bill Hedges, physical education teacher at Riley Avenue Elementary School.

Superintendent Nancy Carney said “pre- and post-test outcomes from other participating schools show a 41 percent increase in upper body strength, 19 percent increase in abdominal strength and 14 percent increase in cardiovascular endurance.

“Riverhead is absolutely thrilled to be the first school in New York State to receive this grant and to work with Project Fit America,” she said.

PBMC Health raised $60,000 in grant funding, which was matched by the Lions. Brinkman covered the cost of installing equipment at each of the five schools.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning, PBMC Health president and CEO Andy Mitchell said the event was “a day that defines a community.”

“The results from other areas of the country were what influenced PBMC’s interest in this project,” he said. “This program represents our commitment to schools, children and their families along with a focus on preventative measures that we can invest in to keep our community healthy.”

While helping students show off their new equipment, Philips Avenue Elementary School principle Debra Rodgers said the financial help was what made the project possible.

“There [was] no way our building or our district would have been able to afford it without their help,” she said. “It’s going to promote teamwork, physical fitness along with nutrition and we’re hoping overall well-being.”

Fourth grade Philips Avenue student Azharia Allen, 9, said she was most excited about a climbing exercise on the new outdoor playground.

“You’ve got to jump up onto this pole, and you pull yourself up — you climb it,” she said.

cmiller@timesreview.com

10/06/13 6:00pm
10/06/2013 6:00 PM

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | Riverhead Fire Department firefighters demonstrate a response to a car fire.

The Riverhead Fire Department hosted its 15th annual open house Sunday. The event featured a heavy rescue demonstration, fire trucks on display and tours of the Roanoke Avenue firehouse.

Check out scenes from the event below:

10/06/13 3:53pm
GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Deacon Jeff Sykes and altar boy Chris Massey of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Mattituck bless a horse Sunday.

GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Deacon Jeff Sykes and altar boy Chris Massey of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Mattituck bless a horse Sunday.

It’s not every day you go to church with three horses, two donkeys, a guinea pig, several cats and a few dozen dogs. And that’s what people love about the Blessing of the Animal ceremonies held at area churches each October.

“It’s the most fun we have all year,” said Deacon Jeff Sykes of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Mattituck. “It’s particularly great out here. Other places, you’ll see some house pets. Here we have horses and donkeys, too.”

The Mattituck ceremony was one of several blessings held on the North Fork this weekend, along with events at Old Steeple Community Church in Aquebogue and St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Greenport.

09/29/13 12:10pm
09/29/2013 12:10 PM
VERA CHINESE PHOTO | The Times/Review Newsgroup team celebrates its victory in the first ever East End Media Kickball Tournament.

VERA CHINESE PHOTO | The Times/Review Newsgroup team celebrates its victory in the first ever East End Media Kickball Tournament. From left: managing editor Joseph Pinciaro, northforker.com editor Matt Kapelas, reporter Cyndi Murray, executive editor Grant Parpan, reporter Rachel Young, reporter Paul Squire, reporter Carrie Miller, account executive Erica Brower, account executive Tina Volinski, reporter Tim Gannon, classified executive Kim Volinski and publisher Andrew Olsen.

It was a tournament with home plate collisions, a triple play,  trash talking, several controversial foul calls and requests to verify players’ documentation. No, not the Little League World Series or the Major League Baseball postseason. We’re talking about the first ever East End Media Kickball Tournament.

When the final run crossed home plate the Times/Review Newsgroup team, featuring staff members from the Riverhead News-Review and The Suffolk Times, was presented a trophy as the undefeated champion of the three-team double elimination tournament.

“We were a great team both on and off the field,” declared Times/Review reporter Rachel Young, the team’s self-appointed spokesperson.

The idea for the tournament, which was played at the North Sea Community House in Southampton, was first conceived by editors of The Press News Group of Southampton and Times/Review Newsgroup at a hotel bar in Saratoga, N.Y. last spring. Representatives of fellow East End newspaper The Sag Harbor Express agreed to field a team and the event was organized by Press executive editor Joe Shaw.

Mr. Shaw said despite his team’s loss in the championship round, he was excited to see the tournament run smoothly.

“I’m glad nobody twisted an ankle,” he said afterward. “I definitely thought we were going to have to call an ambulance.”

While no 911 call was ever placed, several calls were made at the last moment to secure an actual kickball after Mr. Shaw showed up at the field with several rubber supermarket bouncie balls.

“You can’t play kickball with those,” protested Sag Harbor Express publisher Bryan Boyhan.

By the start of the second inning of Game One, the useless rubber ball was replaced with an actual kickball and the action continued.

The Times/Review squad won the championship with victories of 7-1 over Southampton, 4-1 over Sag Harbor and 12-9 over Southampton in the final game. Southampton defeated Sag Harbor 6-4 in the semifinals.

Times/Review left fielder Kim Volinski was awarded tournament MVP by an unofficial vote of the awards committee. The classified executive and former college soccer player kicked a home run and wowed the crowd with several dazzling outfield catches.

Northforker.com editor Matt Kapelas won the Golden Hands award for his stellar play at third base for Times/Review.

The Play of the Tournament award was given to the Sag Harbor Express infield for turning a triple play against Times/Review.

Press News Group account executive Keith Schultz was awarded the Silver Slugger award for his dramatic home run in the semifinal game.

Sag Harbor Express account executive Terry McShane of Mattituck was awarded Potluck MVP honors for arriving with one of his Lickitty-Splitz Ice Cream Cartz.

Also of note from the tournament was the absence of Southampton Press Western Edition editor Frank Costanza, who was said to sit out the tournament as he begins his annual Festivus preparations. Times/Review web editor Joe Werkmeister, an absolute sports fanatic, was also curiously absent from the tournament, but a World Adult Kickball Association source said he was “werking.”

“We came in saying we just gotta take it one game at a time,” said Times/Review captain and executive editor Grant Parpan. “It’s a shame there had to be a winner, really, but I’m glad it was us.”