01/23/14 7:00am
01/23/2014 7:00 AM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO  |   The deer population on the North Fork continues to grow.

To the editor:

Early in the morning of Jan. 19, I saw it lying in the road on Ludlam Avenue. My first thought was that it was too small to have made it through the winter, anyway. The least I could do was drag it off to the side of the road by the woods and notify the town. (more…)

01/16/14 6:00am
01/16/2014 6:00 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO  |  Vacant land is fast disappearing on Route 58. Irwin Garsten owns the above piece of property, just east of the Hudson Savings Bank building, where he has a site plan application for a shopping center.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Vacant land is fast disappearing on Route 58. Irwin Garsten owns the above piece of property, just east of the Hudson Savings Bank building, where he has a site plan application for a shopping center.

To the editor:

In your story about the dwindling commercial land along Big Box Alley (AKA, Route 58), it seems you neglected the next progression of commercial development. If we understand anything about real estate developers it is that turning land into big bank accounts is a never-ending endeavor, so the real question is, “What will they covet next?”

Can the 40 acres that were Homan’s Farm, on the northwest corner of Route 58 and Northville Turnpike, be preserved, or will that be the next shopping mall? The southeast corner is still undeveloped, though it’s mostly low-lying and swampy.

How far north can they still develop if they take land north of that intersection? Will Sound Avenue fall to the bulldozers? Can we reasonably defend that now well-traveled rural corridor from the lawyers of real estate developers, or not? If the commercializing of Riverhead with all that would never be permitted in Southold or Southampton teaches us anything, it is that nothing in Riverhead is sacred.

Edward Burke, Riverhead

12/19/13 6:00am
12/19/2013 6:00 AM


To the Editor:

I have read with concern the stories about how the drop in Peconic real estate transfer tax (Community Preservation Fund) revenues is causing a shortfall in paying bonds used to buy farmland transfer development rights and open space.

It seems that years ago the bonds were predicated on the tax revenues continuing at the top of the real estate bubble. Now that the bubble has burst, our town government is looking to quick fixes — and possibly Riverhead taxpayers — to fix the budget hole.

I do not understand why no one is looking to any of the financial advisers who profited off of the bond deal to have them fix the problem they caused, if indeed the town looked elsewhere on advice on whether or not to enact this program.

If the call was made in-house, then those people in the town should be removed from making financial decisions. It would have been a matter of common sense that any borrowing and bond payments be based on, at most, an average of tax revenues over several years. An even safer number would have based the bond issuance on the prior low point of those revenues. This failure has a deep financial cost to us.

If any outside financial professionals could be considered liable for past, self-serving advice, then we need to seek legal remedies against them.

Ian Wilder, Riverhead

12/12/13 7:00am
12/12/2013 7:00 AM


To the editor:

It was appalling to learn that a tentative plan is in place to kill thousands of deer across Brookhaven and the East End using trained snipers to manage the growing population.

The plan, which would also include bow hunters to come within 150 feet of private residences rather than the current regulation of 500 feet, is extremely dangerous and perhaps deadly.

Rather than create an inhumane agenda to deal with the growing deer population, why were methods not in place all along to inhibit the expansion of this docile species across eastern Long Island?

Deer culling, the management of a deer population in a certain area, using birth control vaccines has been successful in national parks for years. Instead, we choose to have hunters hanging from trees in the dark targeting innocent animals. Rather than tout this plan, we should be ashamed to even present it.

Jason Hill, Ridge

12/08/13 10:01am
12/08/2013 10:01 AM

Schmitts HorseradishTo the Editor:

Last Tuesday I was pouring over the half ton of catalogues that I get this time of year deciding what I could send my nieces and nephews in the midwest.

I was shocked at the prices of gifts in these catalogues for chocolate, popcorn, candy and on and on.

I really hated to just order a gift basket that was mostly wrapping and little inside, so Wednesday I decided I would try to find something local.  (For the past eight years living in Georgia, I would go to a pecan farm and get bulk pecans grown right there).  Y’all don’t grow pecans here, so I went down to my local farmstand and all of the things I needed were there.

They have several kinds of horseradish that are local and yummy along with local jams and honey.  I spent less than half of what I was going to spend in catalogues and it is a local product.

On Thursday I picked up the paper and read about buying local and chuckled to myself.  I began to think of things that would be wonderful gifts that are a part of our community and would continue to give:  a painting or photograph from a local artist, music lessons, dance lessons, a massage, physical training session, a monetary gift to a charity.

Even a hand-written letter (does anyone do them anymore?) would please many people. I have only skimmed the surface with these gifts and haven’t even mentioned the wines that are becoming world class.

Just think outside the box (store).

George Moravek, Riverhead

Editor’s Note: We want to hear where you shopped local this year, what you bought and why you shop there. Please leave a comment below.

12/05/13 6:00am

FILE PHOTO |  Pulaski Street School first opened in 1937.

To the editor:

The Riverhead Landmarks Preservation Commission commends the Riverhead Central School District and BBS Architects for developing plans for additions to the Roanoke Avenue and the Pulaski Street schools that are sensitive to their historic architecture.

The Roanoke Avenue School, which opened as a high school in 1924, is the oldest in the town. Reflecting the town’s understanding of the importance of education, it was referred to as the “million dollar school,” although it almost certainly did not cost nearly that much. With numerous Greek and Roman architectural allusions, this structure is a course in architectural history in itself. Recognizing its significance, the Riverhead Town Board designated it as an official town landmark in 2005. It is also included as a contributing building in the Downtown Riverhead Historic District, created by the Town Board in 2006.

The 1937 Pulaski Street School is perhaps even more architecturally interesting. Designed by a Southampton architect, William I. La Fon, nearly half the cost came from federal WPA funding designed to alleviate effects of the Great Depression. Although not officially designated yet as a town landmark, it is certainly equally deserving of that honor.

Recently, BBS Architects and school district representatives met with the commission and presented plans for additions to both structures. In each case the designs respect and replicate elements of the original historic architecture, but also adapt these buildings to fit current educational requirements.

We thank the Riverhead Central School District for being such a good custodian of the historic resources under its control.

We also want to thank school Superintendent Nancy Carney for asking the Landmarks Preservation Commission to review this project, even though there was no legal requirement for the district to do so.

Richard Wines, chairman, Riverhead Landmarks Preservation Commission

11/30/13 8:00am
11/30/2013 8:00 AM
PAUL SQUIRE FILE PHOTO | Attorney Vincent Messina (right) speaks to the Riverhead ZBA with researcher Stephen Dewey on behalf of a proposed addiction facility in Calverton.

PAUL SQUIRE FILE PHOTO | Attorney Vincent Messina (right) speaks to the Riverhead ZBA with researcher Stephen Dewey on behalf of a proposed addiction facility in Calverton.

To the Editor:

Concerning the proposed drug rehab facility for Calverton, there are many questions that come to mind. Has there been a study to determine the impact on the community? One drug addict terrorized the East End, including an armed robbery at the Hess station in Calverton. How many drug addicts will this facility bring to Calverton? What is the release policy from this rehab facility? If they flunk out do they just waltz out the door to Calverton?

Isn’t it enough that we have a giant prison right down the road?

Christine Shields, Calverton

11/21/13 6:00am
11/21/2013 6:00 AM

I have had the pleasure of being a town resident for the past 33 years. I attended and graduated from the Riverhead school system and have owned a business for the past 12 years. There are a few experiences I would like my son to enjoy that I was able to have growing up. Among those is walking down Main Street and having breakfast at “Poppa Nick’s.”

Actually being able to do Christmas shopping — all of it — downtown and not at a 65,000-square-foot super store that has Christmas trees on display in October! Enjoying the Polish Fair with classmates and not worrying about crackheads, gang members or sex offenders at each corner. Quality of life is very important. In my business, and many others, bigger is not always better; it’s the quality of what you offer not the quantity that separates you from the rest.

There is no need for three sporting goods stores, four grocery stores, countless “big box” stores, two home improvement warehouses, three super sized wholesale clubs and seven pharmacies within a three-mile stretch of road. Oh yeah, and lets not forget Tanger Outlets. (Everything but a cinema, which would be great.)

My point is that growing up here was possible and very enjoyable without every major brand chain store breaking ground and taking up what little space we have left. Our elected officials should have a long-term view of quality additions to our town, not short-term, low wage, non-community-based or -supported projects.

If even a quarter of the amount of effort that is being spent on finding the magic plan for EPCAL was focused on Main Street and the surrounding area, Riverhead would be a true destination for people to live in, start and grow businesses — and not just visit for its “retail” stores. When I tell friends from upstate that I live on Long Island, they think it is going to look like Nassau County when they visit. Let’s make sure that we don’t let that happen.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | East Main Street looking west near the theater.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | East Main Street looking west near the theater.