07/29/10 12:00am
07/29/2010 12:00 AM

It’s about time.

Congress must do the right thing and approve the Long Island Sound Improvement Act of 2010, introduced earlier this week by East End Democratic Congressman Tim Bishop and Republican Peter King of Nassau. At more than $1 billion, it’s not a cheap measure by any means. But if we’ve learned anything from the BP disaster in the Gulf, it’s that money wisely invested in environmental protection can pay off handsomely in preventing the enormous cost and equally staggering damage that are the sorry legacy of doing nothing.

This legislation would set aside $125 million in federal assistance in 2011 and $250 million in each of the subsequent four years. Addressing concerns that throwing money at a problem doesn’t necessarily guarantee success, the bill calls for a review every two years of the continuing Long Island Sound study’s effectiveness.

With all the emphasis on the health of East End and South Shore bays, we tend to take the Sound for granted. Water quality in the Sound off the eastern half of Long Island is pretty good, but it won’t stay that way by just wishing it so. The Village of Greenport’s sewage treatment plant pours its effluent into the Sound. And Brookhaven Town has its hands full with Sound shore flooding and stormwater runoff issues.

The Sound is one big body of water and its health is directly tied to human activity far beyond Long Island — in New York City and every New England state except Maine. The Connecticut River, which separates Vermont from New Hampshire, flows through Massachusetts and Connecticut right into the Sound. What goes into the ground eventually reaches the water, in this case the Sound estuary system.

Said county Legislator Ed Romaine, “We need to make the Sound, which has become a dump, pristine again.”

The only way to accomplish that is with federal assistance.

07/29/10 12:00am

There are times when an event transcends sports and becomes a happening. That was the case with the North American Sunfish Championships that concluded Sunday at Mattituck Yacht Club, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

On a hot, humid, sun-splashed Saturday morning, with colorful tents and trailers and sailboats ringing the ball field next to the club, and with people of all ages enjoying the festivities, the celebration was in full swing. There were 88 boats in the open competition and 41 in the Junior North American Championship.

“We bid for the championships as part of our 100th anniversary celebration,” said event organizer John Condon. “We wanted to do something big. The event has never been on the East End. The last time it was on Long Island was in 1996 in Sayville. So, this was a great honor for our yacht club. We were excited to get it.”

The races, with the boats going twice around the three-mile course, began July 20. Condon said the unusually hot and humid weather, with an occasional thunderstorm mixed in, impacted some of the races.

Bill Brangiforte of Massachusetts, who had to withdraw from the World Championship a month ago because of tendinitis in his left elbow, entered the North American Championship and took it race by race as he monitored his elbow closely. This approach proved to be the magic formula for Brangiforte.

In the final race of the regatta, Brangiforte had a clutch performance in the breezy conditions that threatened his elbow the most. He finished second overall in the race with 45 points to clinch the championship. He narrowly beat longtime friend Mark May of the Shattemuc Yacht Club, who finished second with 50 points,

The recently crowned youth world and junior North American champion, Jose Guitierrez of Venezuela, was third with 53 points.

07/29/10 12:00am

It truly was a team effort.

Long Island, with a strong performance on Sunday, the final day of competition in the men’s/women’s cycling open, captured third place and won the bronze medal at the Empire State Games in Buffalo. Jake Sisson of Mattituck and Robin Shea of Manorville were members of the Long Island team.

Western came in first place overall with 2,205 points, while Adirondack (1,846) was second and Long Island (1,670) third. This is the fourth medal the Long Island cycling team has won since 1983.

The cycling competition, which was held in Grand Island, Boston and Aurora, took the total points from four events.

The Long Island team was down by 100 points going into Sunday’s final 40-mile race. Sisson called the high level of competition humbling.

“A lot of these guys are so fast, you feel a little overmatched at times,” Sisson, 22, a 2006 graduate of Mattituck High School, said. “But I still felt good I was able to contribute.”

Sisson, who graduated from Cornell University this past spring with a degree in human biology, health and society, has been racing bikes since he was 16. He especially made an impact in Sunday’s final race.

“It was my best day,” he said. “It was good for me to prove what I could do the last day. It showed why I earned my way onto the team. It was kind of my crowning achievement. I worked hard. This was my goal. It took me by surprise that I qualified for the team at the trials at Suffolk Community College in Riverhead back in May. But this validates the work I had done.”

Long Island Coach Gregory Durovich praised Sisson’s “youthful exuberance.”

“His exuberance is matched by his determination to contribute as a team player,” Durovich said. “Unlike much of amateur cycling, both college cycling and the Empire State Games are designed around team competition. Jake’s early experience¬ fit right into¬ the team’s ethos of earning every point and making every sacrifice toward the goal of¬ winning a team medal. Having just graduated from Cornell, he is very familiar with the racers in central New York. He was unexpectedly helpful in providing me intelligence¬ about many of the racers on the teams that we were working to defeat.”

For Shea, 52, this was her 15th Empire State Games. She individually won a bronze medal in this year’s sprint race and was fifth in the road competition against a tough field of cyclists.

“This is a really fun, great experience,” Shea said. “We learn so much and make so many friendships. You train and build up and apply it and see how well you do. It is like letting the cork out of the bottle.”

Durovich said Shea has been a leader of the women’s squad since the 1990s.

“Robin prefers to not be formally referred to as a team captain for fear that her teammates might feel obligated to set their own ambitions aside to follow her instructions,” Durovich said. “Even without a formal title, her teammates respect her and draw inspiration from her training ethic and race savvy.”

Shea has been a part of all four Long Island medal-winning teams.

“Robin has competed in quite a few editions of the Empire State Games,” Durovich said. “She¬ has earned her share of gold, silver and bronze medals in road races, points races, and team time trials. As a coach, I rely on her experience, work ethic and dedication to the team. She¬ is a resource that I and the entire Long Island cycling team is lucky to have.”

Also at the Empire State Games, Cassidie Watson of Manorville was part of the Long Island team that won the silver medal in scholastic women’s volleyball.

Jason Orban of Manorville won a bronze medal with Long Island’s Scholastic men’s soccer team.

In the open division, Shannon Skeggs of Southold was part of Long Island’s silver-medal winning softball team.

In women’s rowing, Lauren Woodhull of Riverhead won a silver medal. Erik Divan and Daniel O’Neill, both of Riverhead, won silver medals in men’s rowing.

James Owen of Riverhead won a bronze medal in the men’s decathlon.

07/29/10 12:00am

WESTHAMPTON — After being briefly dislodged from second place in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League Hampton Division, the Riverhead Tomcats were back in their familiar slot.

Two-run homers by Nathan Pittman and Chase Fowler helped boost the Tomcats to a 7-1 win over the Westhampton Aviators and into a second-place tie with the Aviators on Saturday.

Both teams were left with 18-18 records with five games remaining in the regular season and the second seed in the division playoffs still very much up for grabs. They have beaten each other five times this season and will not meet again this year, unless it’s in the playoffs.

Pittman and Fowler both swatted their second home runs of the season, tying them with Matt Fleishman and Kevin Needham for the team lead.

Needham was hit on the back of his head by a pitch in the second inning and left the game at Hite Field in the fourth to go to a hospital to be checked out. Tomcats Manager Randy Caden said it was a precautionary measure.

Aviators pitcher John Soldinger, who brought his record to 3-3, coasted through the first four innings, during which he allowed only one hit. But he ran into trouble in the fifth, when the Tomcats picked up four runs from five hits and two errors. One of those hits was Pittman’s home run. A single by Jeff Welsh brought in the first run of the rally. With two out and runners on first and third, Eric Schlitter scored the fourth run on an errant toss off a grounder hit by Fowler.

The Tomcats’ starting pitcher, Joey Novak, allowed five hits over five innings in picking up his third win in four decisions. He struck out six and walked two in addition to hitting a batter.

Games between these two teams seem to have an edge to them, and this contest was no different. A pitch by reliever Steven Roche in the sixth flew behind Pittman’s head and hit the backstop. Was it a message pitch for Pittman’s earlier home run?

“Yeah, it was definitely a message pitch,” said Pittman, who took umbrage at it. After he popped up, Pittman had words for the Aviators, but nothing more came of the incident.

“We always have trouble with these guys,” Fowler said. “We don’t really like them that much.”

He added, “I think it gets the dugout going a little bit. It’s not bad, but at the same time we’re not out here to hurt anybody or anything.”

Aviators catcher Chris Griffin offered his take on the incident. “That’s just good, healthy, competitive baseball,” he said.

The Tomcats were the beneficiaries of another two-run homer in the eighth, this time by Fowler, who delivered a shot over the left-field fence, making the score 6-1.

In the ninth, the Tomcats twice loaded the bases without the benefit of a hit. Four walks that inning helped, though, and the Riverheaders tacked on an insurance run, courtesy of Tyler Brant’s sacrifice fly.

“I thought we played good all the way to the ninth inning,” Fowler said. “We made the plays in the infield and we backed up our pitchers.”

The Aviators scored first in the game, in the second after Kevin Heller and Griffin led off with singles. One out later, Heller slid home on a chopper to Novak, whose toss to catcher Mike Lonsdale wasn’t in time.

Four of the five Hampton Division teams will qualify for the playoffs. The division semifinals will be single-elimination games leading to the best-of-three division finals. The No. 2 seed in the division will receive a home game in the division semifinals, and that’s motivation enough for Griffin, who is the only returning player from Westhampton’s league champion team last year.

“We would really love to have a home game, especially for the first game because it’s one and done, and we feel more comfortable playing here than anywhere else, so getting that would be huge for us,” he said.

With a 12-5 loss to the Sag Harbor Whalers on Tuesday, the Tomcats dropped back into third place, one game behind the Aviators.

07/29/10 12:00am

Love Riverhead? Be there.

On Wednesday, Aug. 4, iloveriverhead will meet at Digger O’Dell’s on East Main Street. Gather at 6:30 for a 7 p.m. meeting to discuss how summer is going in downtown Riverhead and to begin setting priorities for the future. RSVP to info@iloveriverhead.com.

The next meeting is set for Wednesday, Sept. 15, in the Grand Room at Riverhead Free Library.

Get in on National Night Out

The Riverhead Town Police Department is asking residents to help fight drugs and crime and build support for crime prevention programs by participating in a National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 3. People are encouraged to hold front-porch vigils, leave lights on between 7 and 10 p.m. and join with neighbors to organize block parties, cookouts, flashlight walks and youth programs.

National Night Out kicks off at 2 p.m., when poster contest winners will be recognized at the Town Board meeting. During the early evening, the local crime prevention unit will visit participating neighborhood watch groups. Giveaways sponsored by Target and Schwing Electric and a visit from McGruff the Crime Dog will be highlights.

Call 727-4500, ext. 317, to find out how to establish a neighborhood watch and how you can help make National Night Out a success in your community.

Vacation Bible school events

Calvary Baptist Church of Riverhead is sponsoring three vacation Bible school events in the month ahead.

A free Bible and Baseball camp for kids ages 7-12 will take place Monday-Friday, Aug. 9-13, 9 a.m. to noon, at Stotzky Park in Riverhead. Just bring a baseball glove.

During the week of Aug. 13-20, 6:30-8:30 p.m., the church will host an imaginary journey called Road Trip — Route 254, involving Bible stories, crafts, games and snacks. It’s open to all children entering preschool through grade 6 in September.

Finally, on Saturday, Aug. 21, everyone is invited to a free Vacation Bible School Community Celebration at the Riverleigh Avenue church from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Call 727-4112 or visit CBCRiverhead.org.

Lend a helping ‘paw’

to Kent’s homeless animals

Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton has teamed up with Marley Ozyilmaz of the Calverton Getty/Baskin Robbins in a new fundraising campaign called Pause for Paws.

Animal-loving patrons of Getty/Baskin Robbins can purchase a paw for $1, $5 or $10, write their name on it and display it on the wall inside the shop. In addition, Mr. Ozyilmaz will donate four cents to Kent for every gallon of FlexFuel sold at his station.

Bean and Bagel Cafà in Calverton has also jumped on the Pause for Paws bandwagon, and Kent hopes to expand the effort to include other local businesses.

If you prefer to donate online, you’ll receive a paw badge to display on social media sites. Visit kentanimalshelter.com.

Free summer camp offered

Living Water Full Gospel Church in Riverhead is offering a free week of summer camp for kids 4-12 Aug. 9-13 from 9 a.m. to noon. The theme is Egypt: Joseph’s Journey from Prison to Palace. Register online at lwfgc.org/vbcregistration or call 631-722-4969.

July 29 Taizà service planned

First Parish Church (UCC) in Northville invites the community to participate in a Taizà worship service on Thursday, July 29, at 7 p.m. Afterward, you may walk your special journey in the Labyrinth. There is no fee; free-will offerings are appreciated.

Taizà services, which combine singing, candle lighting, prayer and meditation aimed at quieting the soul and establishing spiritual connection, are held at the Sound Avenue church on the last Thursday of each month. All are welcome. Visit Spirit-Renewal.com.

Is your garden eco-friendly?

Times/Review Newsgroup is looking for pictures and information on ecologically friendly gardens and community gardens to be featured in next spring’s Home and Garden supplement.

We want to hear from you if you are using goods made from recycled materials, ecologically harvested timber and other earth-friendly ingredients; if your garden is filled with environmentally friendly garden supplies, accents and accessories; if you are growing an edible organic garden; if there is a habitat for wildlife; or any other ecofriendly gardening highlights. Information and photos are also sought on community gardens.

Send high-quality photos and information by mail to Lee Peters at P.O. Box 1500, Mattituck, NY 11952 or by e-mail to lpeters@timesreview.com.

Joint services to be held

Pastor Dianne Rodriguez of First Parish Church in Northville will lead two Sunday services in conjunction with Old Steeple Church in Aquebogue in August. First Parish Church will be the host church on Aug. 15 at 10:30 a.m. and Old Steeple Church will host on Aug. 22 at 10 a.m. On Aug. 15, Jeff Frank, founder of the Nature Lyceum School for Organic Horticulture, will lead a special children’s moment, and organic food will be served after the service.

Camp offers special session

Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck will hold a special respite weekend Friday-Sunday, Aug. 6-8, for children ages 6 to 21 with special needs.

The weekend is offered in addition to the camp’s regular program of one-week sessions for children with physical and mental disabilities. Campers will participate in a range of typical camp activities at the Center Moriches site, supervised by five counselors.

The cost is $350 per person, and up to 50 campers can be accommodated. To register call 878-1070 or visit camppaquatuck.com.

07/29/10 12:00am

TOWN HISTORIAN COURTESY PHOTOS
John Perkins
Supervisor, 1878-1892

You probably know that Sean Walter is Riverhead Town’s current supervisor, and you may even know the names of the last four or five supervisors. But what about the rest of them?

Who’s going to keep track of them?

Town historian Georgette Case had a similar thought and decided to preserve their memory by writing about them.

In a volume called “Riverhead Town Supervisors 1792-2010,” Ms. Case has compiled brief sketches of all 51 town supervisors, from the very first, Daniel Wells, in 1792, to Mr. Walter.

She’s also got photos of all those who served after photography was invented in the early to mid-19th century.

“All of these men who have held office should be honored in some way, and this book is my way of honoring them,” Ms. Case said. “I’m happy the living ones were eager to cooperate and send photos.”

Ms. Case will sign free copies of her book on Friday, Aug. 6, at 2:30 p.m. at the Riverhead Town Senior Center on Shade Tree Lane in Aquebogue.

All six living supervisors — Mr. Walter, Phil Cardinale, Bob Kozakiewicz, Vinny Villella, Jim Stark and Allen Smith — will be present at that event and they’ll sign copies of the book, too, Ms. Case said.

Anyone who attends the Aug. 6 reception can get a copy for free, while the supply lasts, but after that, it will sell for $34.99 at the Suffolk County Historical Society on West Main Street in Riverhead. Only 100 copies were printed, she said.

The reception will be hosted by county Legislator Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches), who was able to obtain a grant to cover half the cost of publishing the book, Ms. Case said.

The other half, about $3,500, she paid out of her own pocket.

Ms. Case said she was able to interview Joe Janoski for the book shortly before he died earlier this year. He told her about the town seal and town flag, both of which he designed, she said.

When Mr. Janoski died in April, he was reported to have been “one of the longest serving” supervisors in town history, with 16 years in office. With the publication of Ms. Case’s book, however, we now know that the town’s longest serving supervisor was Sylvester Miller, who served from 1841 to 1861.

Mr. Miller was also the second-ever Wading River postmaster, succeeding his father, and was also a justice of the peace, a commissioner of the common schools, clerk of elections, militia commissioner and overseer of highways, according to the book.

“Back then, they often held many positions because there were not that many people in town to serve,” Ms. Case said. Elected officials also weren’t paid for their services in the 1800s, she said.

Some other interesting facts you’ll learn from the book:

* Joseph Kelly, town supervisor from 1942 to 1955, was murdered on March 28, 1961, and his murder remains unsolved.

* Two town supervisors, William Leonard and Frank Hill, were undertakers, and one, Hubbard Corwin, drove a stagecoach.

* Simeon Hawkins, a sea captain and lumber merchant, was elected supervisor in 1870, defeating his brother, Edward, by a vote of 335 to 325. Mr. Hawkins also held a position called “Superintendent of the Poor.”

* The first Democrat elected supervisor in Riverhead Town was Gilbert Ketcham in 1872.

* Henry Hallock, a farmer, was in office as supervisor in 1900 when his foot was caught in a piece of farm machinery and later had to be amputated. He died soon after.

“It was really a lot of work,” Ms. Case said of the book, which took about two years to write.

Prior to the 1960s or so, newspapers didn’t cover local elections as thoroughly as they do today, and campaign advertisements weren’t as prevalent either, so it was difficult to tell when a person took office. Newspapers from Huntington and Babylon actually had a lot of information about Riverhead, she said. Town clerk records also helped, she said.

And the earliest supervisors, not surprisingly, were the hardest to find information on.

In the case of John Terry, who served from 1821 to 1826 and again from 1834 to 1836, Ms. Case was unable to find anything except a newspaper article mentioning that he was supported by then-Governor Daniel Tompkins.

tgannon@timesreview.com

07/29/10 12:00am

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOT0
Joe Albanese, owner of the stalled Bowl 58 bowling center on Main Road in Riverhead, says that financial difficulties have halted progress on the building and that he is putting together a new team of investors for the project.

Financial problems continue to plague Bowl 58, the much-anticipated bowling center on Route 25 in Riverhead that has been sitting unfinished for months.

Developer Joe Albanese said the project, which was begun in 2008, is about 90 percent done but has run short of money.

“We’re putting together a new team of investors,” he said in a brief interview. “It’s a tough economy out there.”

Mr. Albanese said most of the interior work is done, as is the work required by the state Department of Transportation.

“Everybody said the town and the DOT would be problems, but the town and the DOT weren’t problems at all,” he said. “There’s about two months’ worth of work left, mostly finishing and furnishing.”

He said no work has been done at the site for some time due to the lack of financing, but he insists the project will continue.

“It’s still moving forward, but certainly not as fast as I would like,” he said.

Mr. Albanese has received significant assistance from the town on the Bowl 58 project.

The Planning Board, for example, allowed him to open before all the work required by the site plan approval was finished, and the Town Board allowed him to delay payment of a $48,000 water district bill through the posting of a letter of credit.

The town Industrial Development Agency also granted Bowl 58 a seven-year property tax abatement that gives the project a 50 percent exemption on the value of improvements to the property for each of the first three years, and then decreases that exemption by 5 percent a year for the next four years.

Bowl 58 also was involved in litigation when a group of contractors who had worked on the project reportedly filed mechanic’s liens totaling more than $550,000 against the premises and alleging breach of contract. Work on the project was stopped once before, in early 2009, due to financial problems.

When completed, Bowl 58 will have 28 lanes plus a lounge, restaurant, arcade and party rooms. It’s expected to cost a total of $10 million.

tgannon@timesreview.com