08/31/10 12:00am
08/31/2010 12:00 AM

Long Island University has granted Peconic Public Broadcasting Inc., the group that currently runs Long Island’s only National Public Radio affiliate, a three-day extension on the Aug. 31 deadline to make the final $637,000 payment on the station.
LIU released a statement Tuesday evening saying that if the group cannot meet that deadline, the university will offer 88.3 FM’s license and equipment to “several other public radio organizations that have expressed an interest in acquiring WLIU.”
Peconic Public Broadcasting, which was formed last year, beat out two other suitors and signed a $2.4 million deal in October to purchase the station from LIU. At that time, the group signed a letter of intent with the university to purchase the station for about $850,000 in cash, with the rest coming in services.
The group, headed by current staffers at the Southampton-based public radio station, has been operating under the call letters WPPB since then. Station manager Wally Smith did not immediately return calls for comment.

08/31/10 12:00am

Housekeepers Wesley Mann and Leo Krumholz set up cots Wednesday at Peconic Bay Medical Centert o be used by people in the event that they might be evacuated due to Hurricane Earl. The hospital is also installing a temporary back up generator, so the air conditioning can remain on.

So what does Hurricane Earl have in store for Riverhead?
“So far it appears there’s a chance we may get some tropical force winds, between 30 and 50 miles per hour, and maybe two to three inches of rain,” said Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller, who is the town’s emergency preparedness manager.
But that’s if the current predictions don’t change.
“It’s a little difficult because it’s so far out,” he said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty, so we’re treating it as if the hurricane is going to hit here.”
Many Riverhead residents, particularly those in the Horton Avenue vicinity, are still recovering from flooding in March.
Could there be a repeat?
“Anything is possible, but that’s not being predicted,” Chief Hegermiller said. “There’s been no prediction of flooding so far.”
He said it appears the storm will hit during low tide, which will further reduce the chance of flooding.
“We are basically watching it and putting our response plan into action,” said Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter. “The big concern I see is for the mobile homes. We’re planning to have buses ready to evacuate the mobile home communities to an emergency shelter if necessary.”
Mr. Walter said most mobile homes are only equipped to handle winds of between 60 and 90 miles per hour when they’re strapped down. He said the town is planning to call mobile home communities to alert them of the possible evacuation plan.
The hurricane thrashed the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean on Monday, causing powerful wind and rain, as well as floods on parts of the island.
Earl is the fifth tropical storm and the second major hurricane of the season. As of Tuesday morning the category 4 storm had maximum sustained wind of 135 mph. It is moving west-northwest at 14 mph, threatening the east coast as early as Friday.
The hurricane formed on Sunday and is expected to strengthen over the next few days.
Although the storm will likely come close to Long Island, many experts predict it will miss Montauk Point by more than 100 miles.
If shelters are needed, the Red Cross handles sheltering for Riverhead Town, and has designed the Riverhead High School and Middle School as possible shelters, the chief said.
Riverhead Town has posted some information on its website about things residents should do to prepare for emergencies.
That information deals with creating an emergency plan, preparing a disaster supply kit, and paying attention to local weather forecasts.
The town site also includes links to other agencies, such as the American Red Cross and state, county and federal emergency agencies.
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08/31/10 12:00am

JUSTIN SCHEIN PHOTO/ Colin Beavan with his daughter,
Isabella, buying locally grown squash at a New York City
farmers market.

Imagine going a whole year eating only locally produced food, getting around only by bike and scooter, producing little or no garbage and not buying anything new. Oh, and no toilet paper or coffee either.
That’s how New York City writer Colin Beavan, aka “No Impact Man,” and his family spent the 12 months from November 2006 to November 2007

08/31/10 12:00am

The Riverhead School District learned this week it will receive just over $750,000 from the federal education jobs bill.
New York’s total share of the
federal funds is almost $608 million. The money is intended to create or
maintain 8,200 jobs across the U.S. The money will be distributed using
the state aid formula and is expected to start flowing next month.
funds can be spent on compensation including bonuses, pay raises,
in-service days, pensions, student loan repayment assistance,
transportation subsidies and childcare expenses.
Districts have until September 2012 to use up the entire fund.

08/30/10 12:00am
08/30/2010 12:00 AM

A piece of Americana
Don Fisher (from left), president of The Railroad Museum of Long
Island, and Richard Gorddard, president of the Twin Forks
Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, unveiled a
bronze plaque at the rededication of the Riverhead Railroad

One hundred years later, the Riverhead Railroad Station was rededicated Saturday.
First opened to the public on June 2, 1910, the station was constructed by a group of Irish-American bricklayers in 1909 after the aged wooden structure was demolished.
The rededication was part of the 11th Annual Riverhead Railroad Festival this weekend. The event is sponsored by the Railroad Museum of Long Island.
With renewed interest and cooperation of the LIRR, which adjusted train
schedules to facilitate the arrival and departure of County and State
Court jurists to Riverhead, the station begins another important part of
community life in Suffolk County and Riverhead Town this year.
In attendance for the rededication were Supervisor Sean Walter, Legislator Ed Romaine and Councilman John Dunleavy.

08/28/10 12:00am
08/28/2010 12:00 AM

Sound Park Heights Civic Association president Eric Biegler addresses a group of concerned citizens from Reeves Park and other communities in Riverhead Saturday morning about the possible future commercial development along the rural corridor of Sound Avenue.

The battlefield is growing in the debate over a proposed shopping center at the corner of Park Road and Sound Avenue, as representatives of civic associations outside of Reeves Park are now joining the fight.
The residents also have begun a petition drive, and hope to deliver a petition with 1,000 signatures against the development plans to the Town Board at its next meeting on Sept. 8, which is a Wednesday afternoon.
At a meeting at Reeves Beach Saturday morning called by residents who have opposed EMB Enterprises’ plans for a 28,000 square foot shopping center and restaurant, representatives of civic groups from Wading River, the Willow Ponds condo association, and from the Riverhead Neighborhood Preservation Coalition also were present.
“We all feel that further development of Sound Avenue is to the detriment of every taxpayer in the Town of Riverhead,” said Eric Biegler, president of the Sound Park Heights Civic Association, which represents the Reeves Park area. “It’s not just a Reeves Park issue. It’s a Willow Ponds issue, it’s a Wading River issue, it’s an issue for downtown Riverhead, where they cannot fill their stores and not fill their developments. To put more development further away, is only going to draw business away from them.”
Town officials have said they cannot litigate the EMB Enterprises case any further. EMB, owned by Kenn Barra, sued the town after it rezoned the property from commercial to residential in 2004, after he had submitted a commercial application. Supervisor Sean Walter said the town lost the initial court ruling on the case, and also lost the appeal. The appellate court ruling declared the site plan approved, pending an environmental review, he said.
The Sound Parks Heights group recently hired attorney Carolyn Zenk, who wrote a legal opinion stating that while the courts overturned the first rezoning, the Town Board later rezoned the property from commercial to residential again after that, and that the second rezoning was done properly. She feels the town should take no action and simply regard the land as residentially zoned, which would prevent a shopping center.
Mr. Biegler said there also have been unpopular developments in other parts of the town, where town officials have sided with the developer.
“This is a disturbing trend,” he said Saturday. “That our town leaders are going to ignore what we say, and what we want, as taxpayers and citizens and voters, for the betterment of the developers.”
“This is definitely a Riverhead, not just an issue for one local community,” said Dominique Mendez, the co-founder of the Riverhead Neighborhood Preservation Coalition, a non-profit group that is attempting to bring all of the civic organizations in town together. “Unfortunately with the Town Board, it’s numbers. We’ve got voting power, we pay taxes and we need to be a voting block and show them that they have to factor in what residents like, and our quality of life. We need to be heard.”
Bob Kelly, a Reeves Park resident whose brother Tom, also a Reeves Park resident, was a New York City firefighter who was killed on Sept. 11, 2001,  commended the town for naming Park Road after his brother several years ago, but added, “It means a lot to me. I don’t want to see a Burger King behind it.”
Mr. Biegler commended Mr. Walter for saying he didn’t believe the shopping center belonged on Park Road, and for saying he felt the town should try to buy the property in question for use as parkland.
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08/28/10 12:00am

A fire broke out early Saturday morning and burned a garage to the ground at
an abandoned Northville Turnpike home.

A fire burned a garage to the ground at an abandoned home in Riverhead early Saturday morning, police said. No injuries
were reported.
Riverhead Fire Department volunteers arrived at the Northville Turnpike home at about 3:45 a.m. and put out the flames.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation, police said. The Suffolk County Police Arson Squad also responded to the scene.
Police are asking anyone with additional information to call 727-4500.

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08/26/10 12:00am
08/26/2010 12:00 AM

A cabbie from Riverhead allegedly driving high on crack cocaine, ran a red light Wednesday afternoon in Flanders, causing a three-car crash that sent him and another person to an area hospital, authorities said.

Southampton Town Police said 45-year-old Louis Mannino of East Main Street, who was driving a taxi without any passengers, ran the light near the intersection of County Road 105 and Flanders Road about 3:30 p.m., causing the accident.

Mr. Mannino had a crack pipe on him and admitted to smoking crack cocaine earlier in the day, police charged. He and a passenger in one of the other cars were taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center, where they were treated for minor injuries and released.

Police did not release the identities of the other drivers or passengers involved.

After his release from the hospital, Mr. Mannino was taken to Southampton police headquarters and charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

* Frantz Orcel, 28, whose address is listed as the homeless sex offender trailer on the county jail property in Riverside, was charged with failure to report a change of address Saturday afternoon at Southampton police headquarters.

Mr. Orcel headed to headquarters to complete his sex offender address verification paperwork as required by state law, and was subsequently arrested on a warrant for not notifying police of his address change within 10 days, officials said.

He is considered a Level 3 sex offender because of a 2005 conviction for forcible touching, involving two girls, ages 15 and 17, according to the state’s sex offender registry.

He was arraigned in Southampton Justice Court and released on $500 bail, police said.

* Enrique Gonzalez, 31, who was also living at the sex offender trailer, was charged with failing to report a change of address last Wednesday, police said. He was picked up at the trailer on a warrant for failure to register as a sex offender and then taken to police headquarters for booking, according to police. Additional information was not available.

* Joe McKay, 63, of Pine Street in Riverside was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana Friday night on Flanders Road in Riverside, where he was found in possession of crack cocaine and marijuana, according to police.

* A 17-year-old Riverhead woman reported being punched in the head by another woman during a dispute last Monday night on Kirk Avenue in Flanders. The victim was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment of discomfort and swelling, police said.

* Frank Jefferson, 25, of Wildwood Trail in Northampton was charged with criminal contempt at police headquarters after he violated a court order of protection on July 14, police said.

* Danielle Hall, 30, of Ludlam Avenue in Riverside was picked up on a bench warrant for failure to appear in court last Wednesday with regard to prior assault and harassment charges, police said.

Those who are named in police reports have not been convicted of any crime or violation. The charges against them may later be reduced or withdrawn, or they may be found innocent.