04/30/10 12:00am
04/30/2010 12:00 AM

The Riverhead Blues & Music Festival draws some 10,000 to 20,000 people downtown over the course of two days each summer.

The Vail-Leavitt Music Hall appears poised to keep control of the Riverhead Blues & Music Festival, a two-day concert bash it has run along the Peconic River for the last four years.
The future of the popular event had fallen into doubt after a politically charged fight over control of the festival spun into what could have been a devastatingly prolonged stalemate.
“I’m a happy camper,” Vince Tria, event organizer and treasurer of the Vail-Leavitt nonprofit group said Friday after a meeting with Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter and Bob Lanieri of the Chamber of Commerce.
Both the Vail and chamber groups had submitted permits with the Town Board to run the event, which draws between 10,000 and 20,000 music lovers downtown each year, depending on the weather.
“I’m a happy camper,” Mr. Tria repeated. “But guess what? It’s over. And I think in one sense we all came out winners.”
Under the proposed agreement, the Vail-Leavitt would run the festival and the Chamber of Commerce would help in trying to garner corporate sponsorships, Mr. Tria said.
Although the Town Board won’t vote on whether to approve the Vail-Leavitt’s permit application until Tuesday’s 2 p.m. meeting, Mr. Walter said he was hopeful an agreement had been reached.
“I feel very good. I thought we had this settled once before. But I think we’re in good shape,” Mr. Walter said, declining to comment further until Tuesday’s Town Board meeting. “Everyone has to go to their respective boards now for approval.”
Both Mr. Tria and Mr. Lanieri expressed confidence in each of their boards to agree to the deal.
“We weren’t trying to take the Vail-Leavitt down,” Mr. Lanieri said of his group’s application to run the event. “We just wanted to make it better for all downtown, and uptown for that matter. We felt these people that have businesses on Main Street should have some input; they’re there all year.”
Chamber volunteers will be pushing for corporate sponsorships, Mr. Lanieri confirmed, while also running some booths during the July 17 and 18 event.
“And whatever else it takes so that downtown prospers,” he said. “I think we came up with an agreement to move forward so that the festival didn’t turn into a non-festival.”  CLICK HERE FOR PREVIOUS COVERAGE.
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04/30/10 12:00am

Home heating oil and sewage mixed with floodwaters on Horton Avenue after the record rainstorm. A month later, worries abound over environmental and health problems related to flooded roadways and a stubbornly high water table.

Elected and civic leaders looking to make the federal government reassess damages suffered in Riverhead and the rest of Suffolk County after last month’s record rainstorm are holding a media event 11 a.m. Monday on Horton Avenue.
Officials are hoping to encourage people whose homes and businesses were flooded by the storm, which spanned four days from March 27 to March 31, to come forward to report any damages.
Riverhead Town Councilman George Gabrielsen said lawmakers are trying to round up as many politicians as possible to put pressure on Washington to deliver federal aid to flood victims.
“I get the impression the federal government is hoping we’ll go away,” Mr. Gabrielsen said.
Governor David Paterson announced April 15 that storm damage in the region was not sufficient to warrant an application for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Instead he asked the Small Business Administration to make low-interest loans available to flood victims, which the agency has agreed to do.
But many local renters and homeowners live on fixed incomes and have said they would not qualify for the loans.
Although some businesses and private citizens have come forward with donations, Mr. Gabrielsen said a substantial amount of money is needed to tackle cleanup efforts, and perhaps move some of the homes in the Horton Avenue neighborhood to higher ground.
“We don’t need a band-aid, we need a fix,” he said.
Shirley Coverdale, wife of Pastor Charles Coverdale of the First Baptist Church of Riverhead, said prior damage assessments throughout the town and county were grossly understated.
She said that although Horton Avenue was the epicenter of destruction, there were people across the East End who lost their oil burners and many possession due to flooded basements. And the subsequent high water table, which she said will likely suffer from pollution from roads, farms and septic tanks, is only going to compound the damages.
“People, a month after this happened, are still pumping out all over the place,” Ms. Coverdale said.
She and others feel the environmental impacts to groundwater and the bays and Long Island Sound could be enormous, and fear a massive mosquito problem in the months ahead.
The Long Island Organizing Network will also be hosting a meeting at the First Baptist Church May 8 at 8 a.m. where people can state the damages they suffered, or even observed after the storm to get an even better handle on the devastation.
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04/29/10 12:00am
04/29/2010 12:00 AM

As promised, here are the winners of Riley Avenue Elementary School’s science fair: Kindergarten: Danny Regini, first place; Cameron Rothwell and Michael Gaffney, second place; Federico Cardenas, Giavanna North, Kayanna Harris and Brayden Monaghan, third place. First grade: Kaleigh Seal, first place; Jordyn Jager, second place; Taylor Bondanza, third place. Second grade: Caleigh Cantalupo, first place; Gabrielle Blom, second place; Jenna Smith and Siena Kahler, third place. Congratulations to everyone. I will list the third- and fourth-grade winners next week.

Afundraiser/luncheon for the Through an Angels Eyes Foundation and the American Cancer Society will be held June 15 from noon-4 p.m. at the Vineyard Caterers in Aquebogue. The Foundation’s mission is to “bring awareness to the impact that retinoblastoma has on children.” My co-worker Kerin’s little son Cormac has retinoblastoma, a cancer of the light-detecting tissue of the eye. Hosted by Saddle Lakes Cancer Support Group in Riverhead, all proceeds will benefit the Foundation and ACS. Tickets cost $40. There will be fashions by Renee’s of Mattituck, a chinese auction and door prizes. A cash bar will be available and raffle tickets will be sold. To purchase tickets or for more information, call Eileen Orlowski at 369-2545. Do consider attending and donating to this wonderful cause.

Congratulations to James Alfano, who will celebrate the sacrament of confirmation on May 3, from your Mom and your sister, Kelly. May your day be perfect, James.

A very happy 10th birthday to Allyson O’Kula, who will celebrate on May 1 with what we hope is a nice, warm and very sunny day. Belated happy birthday to Allyson’s brother Stephen, who turned 13 on April 24. Happy birthday to you both from your mom and dad and all your family and friends. Also belated birthday wishes are sent to DJ Yakaboski, who turned 10 on April 27, with lots of love from Mom and all your family and friends, especially all your “Babes in Toyland” friends. We hope you had a perfect day, DJ.

Those wonderful lilacs are in full bloom! I make sure to fill my home with them because they are only here for a little while. If you pick some of these amazing blossoms remember to take a hammer to their stems and really squash them. If you don’t they won’t absorb enough water, resulting in their not even lasting for a day. So get out there and pick and squash.

That is all for this week. I hope you are eating your fresh asparagus. Remember, this veggie is only available for a short while, so eat all you can. Take care, be safe and I shall talk to you next week. Bye.

04/29/10 12:00am

Time for tea and talk
Mary Paone (left) of Manorville joins friends Louise Ramsey, Pat Bolt and Nancy Flesch, all of Riverhead, in Hallockville’s historic Naugles Barn Friday afternoon for a traditional spring tea. The afternoon of tea, food and stories – tales of scandal in old Northville told by Richard Wines and Nancy Gilbert – was organized by the Hallockville Knitters, which also auctioned off hand-knit pieces made by members. Proceeds support Hallockville’s educational programs.

Forty members of the Long Island Antique Power Association, using tractors and plows dating from 1937 to 1960, joined together April 18 to plow 50 acres at Tuccio’s buffalo farm on Roanoke Avenue in Riverhead. This was the association’s first activity for 2010 and although it was hard work, it was also lots of fun for those who participated.

The annual roll call and inspection of the Riverhead Fire Department will be held on Sunday, May 2, at 6 p.m. at fire headquarters. A memorial service for deceased members of the fire department will also be held. The public is welcome to attend.

Congratulations to Heather and Christopher Abatelli on the birth of their son, Tyler William, who was born on April 17 weighing in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces. Grandparents Fran and Bill Schaefer are thrilled with the new addition to their family.

The Long Island Organizing Network, in conjunction with First Baptist Church, will hold a meeting with concerned residents, FEMA and local politicians regarding the flooding on Horton Avenue, on Saturday, May 8, at 9 a.m. at the church, located at 1018 Northville Turnpike in Riverhead. Shirley Coverdale and Sister Margaret Smythe are working together to assist the families residing in the 20 homes that have been affected. Donations can be sent to First Baptist Church at the address above, or to Sister Margaret Smythe at the North Fork Spanish Apostolate, 220 Roanoke Ave., Riverhead, NY 11901. Donations of pots and pans or linens would also be appreciated and can be dropped off at the Apostolate. Let’s help those less fortunate during these trying times. There will be light refreshments. Hope to see you there.

Due to the closure of the George G. Young Community Center, the Riverhead Garden Club will hold its May 4 meeting at noon at the Jamesport Meeting House on Main Road and Manor Lane. Parking is available in the community center parking lot. Dessert, coffee and tea will be served.

The Riverhead Community Awareness Program, in partnership with Riverhead Central School District and the Riverhead Prevention Coalition, will be hosting a parent forum featuring Dr. Stephen Dewey on Thursday, May 6, at 7 p.m. at Riverhead High School. Dr. Dewey’s presentation, “The Effects of Drug Abuse on the Human Brain,” will explain how alcohol and drug use affect the developing adolescent brain. He will discuss a range of drugs from alcohol to heroin and illustrate his data with actual brain scans. For more information, call Riverhead CAP at 727-3722.

Belated happy birthday wishes to Peter Podlas on April 16.

Happy birthday to Mark Griffin on April 29; Kyle Harris (who turns 15) on April 30; Kristen and Emily Brophy (who turn 13), May 1; Peter Friszolowski, May 2; Joe Arnau, Tina Atkinson, Diane Gianni and Andrew Buczynski, May 3; Kevin Curtis, Brian Block, and Anthony and Felicia Miles, May 4; and Glen Schafer, Amari Langhorne and Russell Murray, May 5. Be sure to celebrate.

Happy wedding anniversary to Walt and Lynn Smith on April 30 and to Barbara and Joe Vail on May 4. Hope your day is extra special.

Get well wishes to Leo Jasinski.

04/29/10 12:00am

The assignment I laid out for myself was a simple one. I’d spend Wednesday morning at Suffolk Police headquarters with $100 in my pocket, and I’d write about how far I could stretch that chunk of change at a police auction.

Somebody better tell Forrest Gump that simple isn’t always as simple does.

“What a great idea,” everyone was telling me.

“I can’t wait to read it,” they all said.

Unfortunately, nobody warned me about the basic checklist of five guidelines I needed to follow before heading to the auction:

1. Bring a chair to sit in. You’ll feel like a complete idiot standing in the hot sun all day while everyone else around you is sitting in comfortable lounge chairs.

2. Wear sunscreen. If you don’t, by 11:30 a.m. you’ll begin to look like The Man with One Red Face.

3. Bring a truck, or make sure you only bid on small items that you can fit, along with yourself, in your tiny little Dodge Neon — unless, of course, you are purchasing something that will drive your car for you, then you can always just take a cab home. (More on this overlooked detail a little later.)

4. Bring tools with you. You never know what you might need to disassemble in order to make it fit in your car.

5. Eat breakfast before you go. Chili dogs at 10 a.m. are never a good thing for your stomach or self-esteem.

Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes is credited with coining the phrase “To be prepared is half the victory.” Miguel de Cervantes I am not. If I only knew what the other half of the victory was, I might have had a fighting chance Wednesday.

I rolled up to the auction at 9 a.m., just in time to see the steal of the day. One man purchased a 46-inch Insignia LCD high definition television set for $160. My mouth began watering. “If this guy can bring home a $900 TV for $160, the possibilities of what I can get for $100 are pretty interesting,” I thought.

The next item up: five Pear-brand dresses. Suddenly, my mouth was a tad more dry.

Still, I have to admit, if you show up with a decent wad of cash, you can find some great deals on quality, unopened, once-stolen merchandise at a police auction. One man bought a Craftsman 3600 watt generator for $315, about half what he would have paid in a store. Another man bought a Paslode nail gun for $130, a savings of about $150 for the same item at Home Depot.

The real star of the auction was an older gentleman named Morris, a regular, it seemed, because everyone knew him. He spent his morning outbidding everyone on women’s and children’s clothing. He told me he gives the clothes away to people he knows. I was relieved to hear that, after he spent $5 on three women’s bras, size 36B.

Morris led a motley crew of auction bidders who seemed more like Applebee’s regulars than regulars of Sotheby’s.

Among my favorite items auctioned off Wednesday: a set of two crowbars and a bolt cutter. (Gee, I wonder if those items were used within the boundaries of the law.)

So, what did I buy?

Well, since you asked, after I spent my first $6 on two chili dogs and a Coke, I spent the next $54 on a men’s mountain bike with an air-cushion seat. I felt like Rickey Henderson at the time, as if I had stolen this item right out from underneath my fellow bidders, who went as high as $180 to buy other bikes.

There were just two problems: Rules 3 and 4. No, I did not drive a truck to the auction. And I did not have so much as a Swiss Army knife on me.

I had set just one other rule to supersede my $100 budget. If I hadn’t spent it all by noon — more than three hours into the auction — I would leave for work.

So when the auctioneers called for a 15-minute break at 11:15 a.m., I figured I better get my bike in the car so I’d still have enough time to spend my final $40.

So I wheeled my bike over to the car and opened the back door, ready to slide it in.

“Hmm, looks like I’ll need to go to the other side to turn the wheel,” I mumbled to myself.

When that didn’t work, I figured I’d need to lay it down through the trunk and into the back seat. That almost worked, but it appeared one of the pedals was caught on something in the trunk. So I gave it a little more pull. Turns out it was the front brake, which I accidentally shredded on a piece of metal.

Thirty minutes, 13 pounds of sweat and 10 greasy fingers later I decided to give up. There was no way in hell that bike was making it into my car.

So I left my first auction with 60 fewer dollars than I came with, and nothing to show for it but a stomach full of chewed-up chili dog.

At least I had some cash left for Alka-Seltzer.

Grant Parpan is the editor of The North Shore Sun. The News-Review’s sister paper. He can be reached at [email protected] or 631-744-0404, ext. 11.

04/29/10 12:00am

* Dr. Stephen Dewey, a senior scientist and researcher at Brookhaven National Laboratory, will speak about the effects of drug abuse on the human brain at Riverhead High School on Thursday, May 6, at 7 p.m. His presentation is part of a parent forum being hosted by Riverhead Community Awareness Program and the Riverhead Central School District. Call 727-3722.

04/29/10 12:00am

Hello, friends and neighbors. I hope everyone had a terrific week. This month has just flown by, hasn’t it? But we are that much closer to summer!

The next general meeting of the Friends of The Big Duck will be held on Tuesday, May 4, at the David W. Crohan Community Center, Flanders Road, at 7 p.m. Come on down and bring a friend.

Don’t forget the Craft Fair/Flea Market on June 5 at the Big Duck Ranch. They need to raise funds for the improvement of Big Duck Ranch and restoration of the buildings and a bathroom. If you would like to book a spot for the day, please call the Friends at 727-0593 or visit the website at bigduck.org. This will be a beautiful Southampton Town Park of 37 acres for all of us to enjoy. Please support the Friends in any way you can.

Attention, all business owners: If you need summer or year-round staff or can provide a learning opportunity for interns, come to the FREE Job and Internship Fair sponsored by Southampton Town Youth Bureau on Tuesday, May 18, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Hampton Bays Community Center, 25 Ponquogue Ave., Hampton Bays. To obtain a registration form call 631-702-2421 or download a registration form at southamptontownny.gov/youthbureau. Please respond by Monday, May 10. If you have questions or need more information, please contact the Town of Southampton Youth Bureau at 702-2421.

The annual Flanders Fire Department Memorial Service will be held at Flanders Memorial Park on Flanders Road on Sunday, May 2, at 10 a.m. All are welcome to attend. This is a ceremony that honors our departed members and firefighters and is a great way to pay tribute to those who have served our community and are no longer with us. Refreshments will be served at the fire department following the ceremony.

The Riverhead NJROTC is hosting a spaghetti dinner on Wednesday, May 5, at the Riverhead Moose Lodge, 51 Madison St., Riverhead. Dinner will be served from 5 to 8 p.m.; tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and children under 12. Takeout is available. A 50/50 raffle and auction will be held also. Tickets are on sale now through any NJROTC cadet or at the high school by calling 369-6806 or at the door that evening. Please try to attend to help support our NJROTC youth.

Spencer Shea came home for good last Thursday evening, after 12 weeks in the hospital following a serious car accident in January. On that evening quite a few rainbows were seen around town but the one that really got me was the picture someone took and posted on his Facebook fan page. It looked like it was sitting right on his house. I know rainbows are light passing through water in the atmosphere but I truly think this was a sign that all is well with Spencer.

Well, folks, that’s all for this week. Please remember to call or e-mail me with any news you’d like to share with the community. Until next time, be safe and be kind to one another.

04/29/10 12:00am

Owners Alex and Christine Galasso celebrate their 40 years in business.

Owner: Alex Galasso

Year established: 1970

Location: 229 Meetinghouse Creek Rd., Aquebogue

Phone: 631-722-3400

Number of employees: 18

Established in 1970 and celebrating its 40th anniversary, Larry’s Lighthouse Marina is a second-generation-owned business. Located in Aquebogue, off Great Peconic Bay, the full-service marina has 170 boat slips and can accommodate boats up to 70 feet for dockage.

On-site amenities include fuel dock, dockside dining and tiki bar, Gunite pool, climate-controlled showers, laundry, transient dockage, 35/55-ton travelifts and powerboat rentals. The marina offers outdoor and heated indoor storage, and there is a full-service brokerage on premises. They sell EdgeWater powerboats.

According to owner Alex Galasso, “Service is at the heart and soul of the marina.” The award-winning service department services Yamaha outboard, Mercury, Mercruiser and Yanmar and Cat diesels.

Larry’s Lighthouse Marina is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit them online anytime at lighthousemarina.com.