05/24/14 10:00am
05/24/2014 10:00 AM
Long Island Aquarium Exhibit Artist Eli Fishman shows Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter one of two steel fish sculptures that mark a fish ladder at Grangebel Park. (Courtesy photo)

Long Island Aquarium Exhibit Artist Eli Fishman shows Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter one of two steel fish sculptures that mark a fish ladder at Grangebel Park. (Courtesy photo)

Two steel fish sculptures were unveiled this week at Grangebel Park in Riverhead to commemorate “World Fish Migration Day” today. The sculptures are part of a newly renovated fish ladder by Long Island Aquarium Exhibit artist Eli Fishman.  (more…)

05/18/14 8:00am
05/18/2014 8:00 AM
Downtown Riverhead looking west. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Downtown Riverhead looking west. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Trader Joe’s? Multiplex movie theater? They’ve been bandied about before for downtown Riverhead. And it looks like planners are still trying to get them to come.

Planning firm Nelson, Pope and Voorhis — conducting a Brownfields Opportunity Area study for the town — presented an update on its plans so far last week in town hall, informing the Town Board of a “Dare to Dream” concept it’s giving a shot in the hopes that one of the popular ideas might finally stick.

The proposals — the type of projects residents have repeatedly called for — were done without talking to the property owners whose properties are included in the “dream” proposals and were strictly meant as a means of bringing up the idea, said Catherine Eiseman of NPV.

“It’s kind of a dream scenario,” she said. “It might stimulate some ideas.”

Some of these ideas would require an assemblage of smaller properties into one larger parcel, she said.

One idea was to create a “river-oriented recreational development” on land on the south side of West Main Street, across from Snowflake and east of Bouy One. Ms. Eiseman says Bouy Oone “would be the anchor” and the idea would be for a bed and breakfast-type business.

There’s an auto repair shop and two houses in that area now.

A walking trail along the river, connecting to an existing boat launch in the area, also is envisioned.

Another idea she floated called for assembling properties across from Spicy’s on West Main Street in hopes of bringing a grocery store. Maryhaven Center of Hope and an auto glass business are among the businesses on this spot now.

The study envisions about a 14,000 square foot building with a “Trader Joe’s-type” store and a line of smaller retail stores fronting West Main Street. In addition, NPV also envisions a two-level parking garage behind the stores.

Supervisor Sean Walter has said that Trader Joe’s has rejected his attempts to get them to come to Riverhead in the past.

Also discussed was the idea of attracting a multiplex movie theater, something town officials have been trying to do for years without success.

“It’s come up over and over again in our public outreach,” Ms. Eiseman said.

She suggested that a multiplex might be built outside of the downtown area as part of a visitor’s center that would act as a “new entrance to downtown.”

In addition, she said, NPV is exploring the idea of finding publicly-owned properties that could support a combined multiplex and indoor parking structure. No specific location for a multiplex was suggested.

The town’z zoning currently doesn’t allow movie theaters anywhere but downtown. Mr. Walter, who tried unsuccessfully to bring Regal Cinemas to the former Woolworth building a couple of years ago, said recently that Regal also rejected his idea of building a multiplex at the site of old Walmart building on Route 58, which would have needed a zone change anyway.

Mr. Walter has said he’s called every movie theater company he can find in hopes of bringing one to Riverhead.

One area where a multiplex was proposed, but not built, was on Railroad Avenue, which coincidentally was another area the BOA study singled out in its “Dare to Dream” section.

Ms. Eiseman said the area across the railroad station could be redeveloped as mixed-use building with apartments on the upper floor and a parking garage.

A group led by John Burke of Riverhead has proposed almost that exact project, with apartments, a parking garage and a multiplex. However, they will need to purchase all of the Railroad Street properties across from the railroad tracks, as well as a town’s parking lot, to do so.

There will a public “open house” presentation on the progress of the BOA study on Tuesday, May 20, from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the Suffolk Community College Culinary Arts school on East Main Street.

A similar presentation was held in March.

05/06/14 9:57am
05/06/2014 9:57 AM

MayMile

Sponsored By Peconic Landing.

Peconic Landing strives to be one of the pre-eminent continuing care communities in the United States. We are achieving our goals by operating as a partnership with our residents, Board of Trustees, management and staff.

For those looking to get in shape this spring, the ninth annual May Mile offers exercise as well as a chance to give back to the community. This fun-filled event will take place on Saturday, May 10, at Peconic Landing in Greenport and will benefit the Greenport Fire Department. This intergenerational event has become the East End’s premier Older Americans Month celebration and Peconic Landing welcome runners of all ages and abilities.

The special 5K race began in 2005 and has since raised more than $160,000 for the fire department. In fact, the 2013 May Mile event raised $24,250 alone. With more than 500 participants each year, volunteers and raffle sponsors, these benefits and funds have helped the Greenport Fire Department purchase, refurbish and maintain vital safety equipment.

Registration and stretching begin at Brecknock Hall at 8 a.m. and the race start will take place shortly after that at 10 a.m. Following the race will also be an award ceremony at 11:15 a.m. where Father Thomas Murray, pastor of Greenport’s St. Agnes Church, will be presented with the Old American Champion Award. This award annually honors a Long Island or local individual for their service and dedication to older Americans. Following the award ceremony will be a celebratory barbeque lunch.

Racers and others attending the event will also be given the chance to take part in a special raffle. Raffle items include a membership to Eastern Long Island Hospital’s Fitness & Wellness, a Galaxy Gear Watch and Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, a Dooney & Bourke bag and much more. Raffle proceeds will also benefit the Greenport Fire Department.

For those we cannot attend but still want to contribute, donations are also being accepted. Among the sponsors of the May Mile are The Suffolk Times and Greenport and Southold IGA, butnsponsors and raffle prizes are still being sought.

Peconic Landing invites you to come join them and many others at this special spring event. Not only will you be improving your own well being, but you will also be helping to improve the local community by benefiting the fire department. There is no better way to welcome spring than to compete in a fun-filled race around Greenport.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Jack May of Main winning the May Mile 5K Saturday morning with a time of 18:50.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Jack May of Main winning the May Mile 5K Saturday morning with a time of 18:50.

05/04/14 3:53pm
Police return to the shore after they were unable to locate a sailboat that had issued a distress call Sunday afternoon. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

A police boat returns to the shore after officers were unable to locate a sailboat that had issued a distress call Sunday afternoon. The U.S. Coast Guard is continuing the search. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

A missing person report is being filed for the owner of a sailboat that made a distress call from the Long Island Sound Sunday afternoon, according to a Riverhead Town police press release.

Ciro Stellges, 59, of Selden was operating a 26-foot fiberglass sailboat named “MAC” when he called 911 at around 1 p.m. and told police his boat was “taking on water,” officials said. The sailboat was built in 1977 by C&C Yachts and its registration number is NY7059FR, police said.

It’s possible Mr. Stellges made the distress call while his boat was sinking near Wading River beach, police said. He had left from Mattituck earlier in the day and was heading to Port Washington, officials said.

The Riverhead Police Dive Rescue Team and Suffolk County Police Department Aviation and Marine units searched for the sailboat, officials said, and Jamesport and Wading River fire departments were on standby.

The boat was not found after a more than 60-minute police boat search of the water, officials said. The police search was finally called off shortly after 2 p.m., but the Coast Guard confirmed at 3:30 p.m. that it is “in the process of conducting a search.”

An officer from the Coast Guard station in New London, Conn. said its search is focused three miles off the shore between Jamesport and Mattituck. The Coast Guard is using two 45-foot boats and a helicopter to search for the missing sailboat, an officer confirmed at 5:30 p.m.

gparpan@timesreview.com