01/22/15 9:30am
01/22/2015 9:30 AM

The Town Board discussed a proposal that would allow applicants to pay an additional fee to have their application “expedited” at Thursday’s work session. The proposal would allow the town to hire an outside consultant to do the bulk of the review, and then that consultants consultants’ work would be reviewed by the town planning staff to ensure that it complies with regulations.

The proposal comes in the wake of concerns that applications will be backed up in the planning process due to staffing cuts in that department this year. The town did not fill the planning director and environmental planner positions following retirements in both of that slots, and the planning department is left with one planner, a part-time environmental planner and planning and building administrator Jeff Murphree, who oversees two departments.

The expedited review proposal would need a public hearing first, and the town must issue a request for proposals for consulting firms interested in doing the work. It’s not certain if this would need approval from the Civil Service Employees Association, the union that represents town workers.

To read a recap of News-Review reporter Tim Gannon’s live blog of the work session, click below,  and scroll down for the full meeting agenda.

Live Blog Riverhead Town Board work session 01-22-2015

 

January_22,_2015_-_Agenda(2) by Timesreview

01/22/15 8:08am
(Credit: Crime Stoppers photo)

(Credit: Crime Stoppers photo)

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in a Main Road burglary on Jan. 13.

Sometime between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. at least one suspect entered MCN Distributors warehouse, located at 121 Main Road, and stole assorted air conditioning equipment by loading it into a box truck (pictured above). The truck was then driven to another location, where the stolen items were removed from the truck, according to a release.

(more…)

01/22/15 8:00am
Tristan and his mother Raven Krueger leave their home on Twomey Avenue Wednesday morning. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Tristin and his mother Raven Krueger leave their home on Twomey Avenue Wednesday morning. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

On Wednesday morning, Raven Krueger of Calverton took her son Tristin to Stony Brook University Hospital for chemotherapy. It’s a routine the family has been forced to repeat twice a month since the teen was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in December 2013, just before his 17th birthday.

After this particular treatment, however, the Kruegers did not have a home to return to.

On Saturday, Tristin, now 18, was with his two older brothers in their Twomey Avenue home when they heard what sounded like gunshots. The noise came from shotgun shells exploding in the attic, where a fire had erupted. (more…)

01/21/15 7:00pm
01/21/2015 7:00 PM

The Riverhead Town Board debated the pros and cons of flyboarding with Flyboard LI owner Jim Bisset IV and Kevin McAllister of Defend H2O at its meeting Wednesday night, even though the public hearing on new proposed regulations on flyboarding isn’t scheduled until next month.

(more…)

01/20/15 10:51pm
01/20/2015 10:51 PM
Congressman Lee Zeldin addresses his supporters at the Suffolk County GOP gala at Emporium in Patchogue on Election Day. (Credit: John Griffin, file)

Congressman Lee Zeldin addresses his supporters at the Suffolk County GOP gala at Emporium in Patchogue on Election Day. (Credit: John Griffin, file)

Tonight, during President Obama’s 7th State of the Union, he stood before America to share his priorities for 2015.

This was my first State of the Union Address. One would hope that a freshman member of Congress would be able to walk away from this moment encouraged and inspired by the great opportunity to chart a better path forward for America with the Executive and Legislature committed to seeking common ground on issues related to our economy, foreign policy, health care, energy policy, quality of education and other priorities.

I’m entirely unconvinced that this President has dedicated himself towards uniting a nation deeply divided by partisan division, racial tension, and security threats.  (more…)

01/20/15 9:39pm
Shoreham-Wading River sophomore Ethan Wiederkehr goes up for a rebound against Mike Smith of Amityville. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Shoreham-Wading River sophomore Ethan Wiederkehr goes up for a rebound against Mike Smith of Amityville. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

WILDCATS 47, WARRIORS 45

As Amityville guard Rae Toppin caught a pass on the baseline, with the court seemingly all to himself, everyone inside the Shoreham-Wading River High School gym would have had the same thought: here comes overtime.

With his team trailing by two in the waning seconds of Tuesday’s game, Toppin found himself wide open under the basket. But he went up too strong, and somehow, his layup attempt missed and the ball fell safely into the hands of Shoreham forward Danny Hughes, who dribbled out the final two seconds in a 47-45 Wildcats win.  (more…)

01/20/15 3:15pm
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO

A public hearing will be held tomorrow in Riverhead on raising bus rates throughout most of the Suffolk County bus transit system to $2.25 per ride in order to pay for Sunday and night service.

But East End routes will remain largely unaffected.

The $2.25 fare is already in effect on the S92 — which runs from Orient Point through Riverhead and out to East Hampton — as well as the 10C, which runs from East Hampton to Monatuk. Rates on those lines, which already operate on Sundays and evenings, would stay flat at $2.25.


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Fares on the S92 and 10C were raised two years ago, allowing Suffolk Transit the funding to pay for weekend routes on the two lines. Proponents of expanding the system said at the time that Eastern Suffolk County’s economy was overdue for the move, as many people working in the service industries could use the system to get to and from work.

Deputy Presiding Officer of the Suffolk Legislature, Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk), was chair of the county’s transportation committee when service expanded to the weekends on the S92. He said on Tuesday that the time has come to expand service throughout the county; beyond the two East End lines, Sunday and evening routes run along what Mr. Schneiderman has termed 10 more “critical arteries” across Suffolk County.

“Service on those lines is going really well,” he said. “It’s time to expand it. Unfortunately we are asking riders for a little more. I hate to see rates go up. But riders are already paying that on the East End.”

Mr. Schneiderman said he hopes that eventually, the county will be able to secure state or federal funds to expand service further.

Tomorrow’s public hearing will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. at the county center in Riverside. It follows a hearing also taking place today in Hauppauge from 3 to 7 p.m.

01/20/15 10:00am

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 5.20.34 PM

Another commercial development could be headed to Route 58 soon.

The Riverhead Town Planning Board last Thursday reviewed an application for a new retail center in between the town highway yard and Hudson City Savings Bank, across the street from Lowe’s.

Apple Honda owner Irwin Garsten is seeking to build a 64,000-square-foot retail center on an undeveloped 13.5-acre site he owns on the north side of Route 58.

Even though the adjacent Riverhead Centre development has two traffic signals right next door, the Garsten project will likely need another curb cut on Route 58 because the Riverhead Centre owners declined to allow a cross access easement which would allow traffic from one shopping center to cross over to the next without coming back onto Route 58, according to Peter Danowski, the attorney for Mr. Garsten.

He said he guesses that there won’t be a traffic signal there.

Mr. Garsten’s access point on Route 58 will likely have a right-turn-only restriction, he said. The property also extends as far north as Osborn Avenue, and will also have an entrance and exit on that road, as well, according to Mr. Danowski.

The other issue on the Garsten site that was discussed by the Planning Board last Thursday involved a water body on the north end of the property.

“This has pond in front of it, which some people said was not a wetland,” said Jeff Murphree, the town’s planning and building administrator. “We said yes it was. So we sent this back to (the state Department of Environmental Conservation) which said, ‘yes, it’s a wetland.”

Mr. Danowski said the so-called wetland was a hole designed to capture rainwater runoff from Route 58 years ago.

He said the DEC had given him a letter several years ago saying it was not a formal wetland. but once the Garsten application was filed about two years ago, the DEC decided to take steps to classify it as a wetland, a designation Mr. Garsten has challenged.

“We’ve done everything they’ve asked us to do,” Mr. Danowski said, adding that the project has been moved back away from the wetland and a small building toward the front of the property has been eliminated.

The Planning Board voted to officially take “lead agency” status over the review of the application, rather than the DEC.

“We should work with DEC and the applicant together to look at a good design for the project,” Mr. Murphree said.

“We’re ready to rock and roll,” Mr. Danowski said. “We’ll do whatever Jeff wants.”