05/28/10 12:00am
05/28/2010 12:00 AM

Questions, concerns and frustration
have prompted federal representatives to call for a meeting to hear
from East Enders on the Federal Aviation Administration’s proposed
rules for helicopters flying over Long Island.

Gerry Petrella,
who runs Senator Charles Schumer’s Long Island office, has called for a
meeting at East Hampton Town Hall at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

posted its proposed rules on Wednesday, which were expected to mandate
routes from Manhattan to East Hampton Airport and Gabreski Field. But
the proposed regulations only mandate a 2,500 foot altitude and travel
on the “North Shore Route,” an established flight path one mile off the
North Shore from the New York City area to Orient Point. It says
nothing about how the helicopters will get from that route to the
airports near the South Shore.

The FAA is accepting comments on
the proposed rules, and one outcome of Tuesday’s meeting may be filing
a joint proposal to strengthen the new regulations with regard to
helicopter traffic over the East End.

The rules are posted at
regulations.justia.com/view/176708. Instructions on the many options to
submit comments, which are due by June 25, 2010, are listed there.

Comments can be seen or posted at regulations.gov. Search for rule FAA-2010-0302.

05/28/10 12:00am

New signs banning car shows were put up at the King Kullen
shopping center in Wading River last Thursday.

The nostalgic feel of all the classic cars lining the parking lot at King Kullen in Wading River was gone Thursday.

Quietly parked between all the modern vehicles shoppers drove to the strip mall were just a few classics.

was the first week since the property owner posted signs throughout his
lot warning that car shows were unwelcome, so after six years Wading
River Cruise Night was canceled Thursday.

“It’s like we’ve lost our best friend,” said regular Lee Colon, a retired police officer from Ridge.

owner Charles Serota banned the impromptu car show after receiving
complaints from business owners that the vehicles were taking up too
many parking spaces.

A police car patrolled the lot Thusday night, making sure the show didn’t go on.

about 7 p.m. seven regulars were instead parked in downtown Riverhead
to display their cars along the Peconic waterfront, a spot where Town
Supervisor Sean Walter said they’d be welcome. Those drivers hope
others will soon join them, so the regular gathering survives.

“I think it’s an ideal location,” said Bill Mango of Aquebogue. “I just hope it takes off here.”

But not everyone will be as quick to join him.

“What am I gonna do on Thursdays?” Mr. Colon asked. “I’m not moving. I’m staying.”

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05/27/10 12:00am
05/27/2010 12:00 AM

A 270-foot high wind turbine at the Riverhead Town Sewer District property on Riverside Avenue would generate about $250,000 a year in revenue, and would pay for itself in about 10 years, according to a study of the project conducted for the town.
The $40,000 study was done by DHL Neutral Services, an European company with a Long Island branch in St. James.
The wind turbine of that size would result in an energy savings of about 41 percent under current conditions, and 23 percent when the sewer plant’s proposed $17 million upgrade is completed, since the plant would need more energy after that, according to sewer district superintendent Michael Reichel, and Peter Rusy of DHL Neutral Systems.
Councilman John Dunleavy said he thinks the project is a step in the right direction.
“We should start thinking about going green in this town,” he said.
The Town Board commissioned the study last November and got the results last month.
The proposed location of the turbine would be toward the northern part of the sewer district property, near the woods near the scavenger waste plant, according to Mr. Rusi.
The proposed tower would be larger and would generate more energy than the one just built on Half Hollow Farms in Laurel, and that one is currently the largest turbine on Long Island.
The study estimated noise levels from the facility at 50 decibels, which would not be in violation of the town’s noise laws, and it listed the generating capacity at 750 kilowatts. The next step in the process is to study wind currents at the sewer district property, which is expected to take between six and nine months, officials said.
The estimate construction cost of the tower is $1.6 million, according to the study, but the town would have to seek competitive bids for that job.
Mr. Rusi said his company does not build wind turbines.
The town sewer plant was upgraded to a state of the art level of treatment about 10 years ago, but now new federal and state regulations are requiring  an even more extensive upgrade that officials estimate will cost about $17 million.
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05/27/10 12:00am

Riverhead Resorts’ request for a 30-day extension on paying $2.9 million it owes Riverhead Town under the terms of its contract will be voted on by the Town Board on Wednesday, and it appears the measure has enough votes to pass.
Councilwoman Jodi Giglio is the only member of the Town Board who has indicated opposition to granting the 30-day extension.
“They told us in December that they were going to close by April 30, they told us on April 30 that they needed an extension to May… so many things have changed on this contract,” Ms. Giglio said.
Riverhead Resorts’ contract with the town requires them to pay a $1.9 million fee each time it needs an extension to the scheduled closing date on 755 acres of town-owned land in Calverton, which they intend to purchase for $108 million. That scheduled closing date, which was extended once in December, passed on May 15.
Riverhead Resorts can buy up to five $1.9 million extensions.
The company is seeking to buy 755 acres of land from the town at EPCAL for $108 million in order to build eight theme resorts, including one that’s proposed to have an indoor ski mountain. The $108 million price is a reduction from the $155 million they originally proposed.
Mitch Pally, an attorney for Riverhead Resorts, said they are asking to push the May 15 deadline back 30 days to June 15, and that they believe they will have the entire $108 million by then. He said technicalities related to the U.S. Patriot Act has stalled the financing of the project, since one of the financing companies is from the United Kingdom.
Supervisor Sean Walter has said the money from the Resorts deal will help the town plug a $7 million budget deficit if the deal can be finalized this year. Mr. Pally said Resorts is committed to finalizing the sale in the calendar year 2010.
Councilman George Gabrielsen said he is willing to give Resorts one more extension, but none after that.
Councilman Jim Wooten, who said he opposed the project when he first took office, said he will nonetheless support the extension Wednesday, because the deal has come this far and it’s not likely that any other buyers could be found soon.
Councilman John Dunleavy also indicated he’ll support the extension. He believes the project will be very successful once it gets built.
Whether it will have an indoor ski mountain is still uncertain. Mr. Pally said the results of the environmental impact study that will commence with the project’s site plan application will determine what can and can’t be built.
[email protected]

05/27/10 12:00am

A building at the Suffolk County Center in Riverside was closed for several hours Thursday morning due to a suspicious smell, county officials said.
The Surrogate Court at the Evans K. Griffing County Center was evacuated as a precaution due to the odors emitted from welding being done on the building, authorities said.
“The odor and fumes got into the circulation system,” said county spokesman Mark Smith, adding that the building reopened that same afternoon.
The adjacent building, which contains the county labor department and county legislature offices, remained open during the incident.
County sources said the building was closed for a similar reason two weeks ago.

05/27/10 12:00am

County Executive Steve Levy said Thursday the Route 58 widening project will be complete by June 10.

The widening of Route 58 will be completely done by June 10, County Executive Steve Levy declared in a press conference Thursday, with only some road paving and striping left to be completed.
“This has been a long time coming,” Mr. Levy said.
The actual expansion of the road into five lanes will be completed by Friday, Mr. Levy announced at the event, held at the Hilton Garden Inn on Route 58.
The road striping and paving will be done by June 10, marking the completion of the entire job, which started last fall, Mr. Levy said.
“For many years, there was a great deal of gridlock on this road because of the bottlenecks,” he said. “It would go from two lanes into one lane back into two lanes, back into one lane, into a traffic circle. The result was a major traffic mess.
“The beauty of this project is that it will have a continuous two-lane flow in each direction, and a middle turning lane.
“The project, which cost $8 million, is on time and on budget, and those are sweet words to hear when you are in government.”
“We’ve been talking about widening Route 58 for 20 years,” Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said. Every time, he said, the issue of whether to replace the Roanoke Avenue traffic circle with a traffic light came up and would bog down the project.
The traffic circle remained, but is now a two-lane roundabout.
The Route 58 project was originally a much larger plan that was expected to cost about $70 million and would have needed federal funds. That project, which officials later agreed was not likely to get that much federal money, was more expensive because it called for wider lanes, which required the acquisition of additional property.
Mr. Levy said the project that was done cost only $8 million because it used existing county right-of-way for the expansion, and only widened the lanes to 11 feet instead of the originally planned 13 feet.
The change comes just before Memorial Day and just as three more large projects are looking to be built on the western part of Route 58, Mr. Levy said. These plans include Walmart, which wants to build a new store just west of Applebees; Lowe’s, which is being planned for the old Suffolk Life site; and Costco, which is proposed for a large shopping center on the old Hazeltine property, across from Riverhead Raceway.
Mr. Levy said the county legislature on Tuesday voted to override a DPW rejection of a proposed new stop light at the Lowe’s project, and he signed the override into law. Lowe’s had said it would not build the Riverhead store unless it got a new light where the front entrance to the Suffolk Life property is.

05/27/10 12:00am

Praying for peace
Spiritual Renewal Center at First Parish Church in Riverhead will host a day of praying, singing and walking the labyrinth for peace on Saturday, June 5, 1:30-5 p.m. Singer Stefan Andre Waligur and his songs of peace will be featured and Lisa Barrow will lead the Labyrinth Walk. Suggested donation, $10. For more information, call Pastor Dianne Rodriguez, 608-3827, or e-mail [email protected]

Is NFCT calling you?
Open auditions for an upcoming production of Sara Ruhl’s play “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” will take place Monday and Tuesday, June 14-15, at 7 p.m. at North Fork Community Theatre in Mattituck.
All roles are open; the cast comprises four women ranging in age from 25 to 80 and two men, age range 35 to 50.
Readings will be from the script. For more information, contact director Shawn Snyder at 748-0367 or [email protected]