09/30/10 12:00am
09/30/2010 12:00 AM

Happy October, friends and neighbors. If you’ve been in the stores lately you might have thought it was late November. Can you believe some already had their Christmas stuff out? I almost fell down when I saw the Christmas trees on display and all the decorations and wrapping paper. Hello out there, we do not want Christmas in September. Can we just get through Halloween? Please!

The second annual Antique Auto Show at The Big Duck Ranch will be held on Sunday, Oct. 10, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rain date is Oct. 17. Preregistration for your antique vehicle is $15 by Oct. 5; $20 on the day of the show. Admission is $5; children under 10 are free. Vendor space (10 x 10) is available for $35. There will be live music, raffles and prizes. Bring the entire family! For more information, call Terry at 631-591-2416 or e-mail [email protected] Applications can also be picked up at The Big Duck.

Do you enjoy working with children? If yes, the Southampton Youth Board is looking for interested community members to fill vacancies in its membership. The board is charged with advising the Town Board and the town’s Youth Bureau on issues involving local children and families. Volunteer members are appointed by the Town Board following an application and screening process. Meetings are held on the first Wednesday evening of every month at Southampton Town Hall. Positions are open to those who reside in Southampton Township or work for an agency that serves Southampton children and youth. For more information, or to apply, call Nancy Lynott, Youth Bureau director, at 702-2417.

Bay View Pines Civic Association’s next meeting is tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. at the David Crohan Community Center. Special guest will be Chief Town Investigator Dave Betts, who will speak about code enforcement. All are welcome to attend.

Stephanie Harroun, who celebrated her 19th birthday on Sept. 18, had much more to celebrate that day: She placed second in the women’s division of the Long Island Motocross. Her brothers Ron Jr. and Ben placed third and sixth, respectively. Following the races the family went to Uncle Jim’s and Aunt Pam’s house for a birthday party. Mom, Dad, Ron Jr., Ben, and all your family and friends hope you had a great day!

Roanoke Avenue Elementary’s PTO is having a Fall Harvest fundraiser at Martha Clara Vineyards Saturday, Oct. 2, at 11 a.m. There will be plenty of fall decorations for your home. Everyone is welcome.

Did everyone enjoy that blast of heat last Saturday? I liked it, I’m a summer baby. All fall means to me is that winter is coming.

That’s all for this week, folks. Call or e-mail me with anything you’d like to share with the community. Please drive safely and put those cell phones down.

09/30/10 12:00am

RIVERHEAD CARE CENTER COURTESY PHOTO

Owners: Riverhead Care Center LLC

Year established: 1968

Location: 1146 Woodcrest Ave., Riverhead

Phone: 631-727-4400

Number of employees: 190

Riverhead Care Center is committed to providing excellence in both 24-hour skilled nursing long-term care and short-term rehabilitation and subacute care, according to administrator Mary Ann Mangels.

Its state-of-the art rehabilitation center offers physical, occupational and speech therapy. “Our focus is on independence, mobility and recovery in a creative, relaxed, well-oriented environment,” said Ms. Mangels.

Residents enjoy a complete range of stimulating programs and activities. “We treat all of our residents like family because our philosophy is, ‘We are a family,’â” she added.

Riverhead Care Center recently received the IPRO Quality Award for safe patient handling, making it one of only 17 facilities in New York State to receive the honor. “As part of our patient safety program, we use the newest safe patient handling technology and lift equipment in our Zero Manual Lift program. This ensures added safety for both our residents and our staff,” Ms. Mangles explained.

It’s also the only subacute rehabilitation facility on the East End to offer Cardiac Telemetry Monitoring Therapy, which enables patients to benefit from continuous telemetry monitoring while undergoing therapy. Candidates for the program can include those with valve replacements, coronary artery bypass grafts and arrhythmia, including those with atrial fibrillation, syncopal episodes and congestive heart failure.

Riverhead Care Center is both Medicare- and Medicaid-certified, and participates in a variety of HMO plans, including Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Visit Riverhead Care Center online at riverheadcarecenter.com or schedule an appointment to visit the facility in person.

09/30/10 12:00am

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO

Jamesport’s genteel past
Visitors approach Wisteria Court, one of the grandest homes in South Jamesport, during Saturday’s Historic Jamesport House Tour to benefit the Jamesport Meeting House Preservation Trust. Wisteria Court – named for the vine that once covered a cast-iron fence that surrounded the property – was built in 1913 by a wealthy New York City chocolate manufacturer who fell in love with the daughter of a Jamesport hotel owner. The second annual tour featured a dozen homes not seen at last year’s event.

A great time was had by the members of Eastport High School’s Class of 1940, who celebrated their 70th anniversary at the Meeting House Creek Inn last Thursday. Justine Wells reports that there are nine graduates remaining out of the original class of 24 students, and six of those nine have their original spouses! At reunions over the years they have told of their World War II experiences, recorded their 1938 hurricane stories, and this time taped “How I Met My Spouse” for some good laughs. They all want to keep meeting!

Reminder: First Parish Church is sponsoring a Blessing of the Artists day Saturday, Oct. 2, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. For reservations and information, e-mail [email protected] or call 905-1614.

This weekend is about pets of all kinds! In honor of the Feast of Saint Francis, which is Oct. 4 on my liturgical calendar, there are a few events happening this weekend that will celebrate our four-legged friends or creepy-crawly, slithering companions. Martha Clara Vineyards will host a fundraiser for Kent Animal Shelter on Sunday, Oct. 3, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. called “Wines and Canines 5K Run/Walk.” See Calendar for details.

Also on Sunday, Oct. 3, at 1:30 p.m. there will be a blessing of the animals on the lawn of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Mattituck, rain or shine. The event is nondenominational; all animals and responsible pet owners of all faiths are invited! To register, call Nancy Deegan at 298-8304 or e-mail her at [email protected]

If you drive by my house on Herricks Lane, please take note of the giant pumpkins on my front porch! Johanna and I, being the lazy farmers that we are, threw down some seeds in July and said a little prayer that something would grow in time for fall! Johanna was thrilled to discover her hard work and prayer yields such fruit! If only life were this easy!

09/30/10 12:00am

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO
Treasure Cove Marina in Riverhead is building a 100-room Hyatt hotel on its East Main Street property, which is slated to open next summer. It’s one of many North Fork marinas that are changing or expanding services in the hopes of attracting more people to boating.

Pleasure boating has taken a dive on the Peconic Bays in the past few years, but North Fork marina operators are tweaking their business plans and offering innovative services and packages to make boating a viable option again.

Jeff Strong, owner of Strong’s Marine in Mattituck is altering his business model by offering boat rentals, refurbished repossessed boats and a full range of repair and refurbishing services.

“We like to kid that it’s a lot cheaper than a divorce attorney or a psychotherapist” to keep your boat, he said. “People are not taking long vacations, but you still need a break. It doesn’t take long to get out on the Peconic Bay.”

Mr. Strong said that his staff of 38 full-time employees is ready to help people who decide to invest in their current boat instead of trading up. His marina will re-power and rebuild boats and take on cosmetic projects from teak accents to fiberglass work and new canvas and vinyl.

He is also trying to make buying a boat more affordable. “Over the last two years, we’ve developed a very good relationship with the banks and have processed a lot of repossessions for them. We refurbish and re-market them at good values,” he said.

The marina has a fleet of six Pursuit and Cobalt power boats for rent or sale ranging from 20 to 24 feet, and it offers dockside mobile services for people who keep their boats at private docks.

Other marinas, like Port of Egypt Marine in Southold, have diversified their businesses in the past few years. Eagle’s Neck Paddling Company moved from its location west of downtown Southold at the beginning of the summer to offer kayak and canoe rentals at Port of Egypt, and Hertz Rent-a-Car set up shop there this past summer.

The marina is also offering new options for staying at Heron Suites, a resort hotel with efficiency apartments adjacent to the marina, this summer.

“People are taking their boats out less frequently,” said Port of Egypt CEO Bill Lieblein. “We’ve started to offer a ‘slip and a suite’ program, where people rent a suite for the season and by doing that we gave them a special rate on the slip and suite combination.”

The marina offered a frequent-visitor program this summer, through which boaters who booked rooms at the beginning of the season for five weekends received a lower rate. Port of Egypt plans to continue that service next year.

In Riverhead, Treasure Cove Marina, next door to Atlantis Marine World, is building a 100-room Hyatt hotel, which marina owners hope will be completed next summer.

“Last year, with the price of gas, it was a tough year for everyone, not just me. All the marine businesses felt it,” said Treasure Cove general manager Lorna Smith. “This year has improved but it’s not back to where it was.”

Ms. Smith said the addition of the hotel could boost tourism in downtown Riverhead, where both the Marine World aquarium and the restaurant Jerry and the Mermaid, which is on the marina property, are major destinations.

Other marinas are holding the line on fees. Larry’s Lighthouse Marina in Aquebogue has not raised its seasonal slip rental rate in three years and does not plan to increase its $110-per-foot seasonal rate in 2011.

“We’ll take it one year at a time and see how bad things get,” said owner Alex Galasso. “We’re trying to do a little more to ease the pain. We’ve gotta keep people in boating.”

Mr. Galasso said that he already has enough reservations to completely fill a newly-built indoor storage area that can accommodate 60 boats this winter. He hopes these reservations are a sign that the recession is fading.

“People were doing just the basics on their boats, but now they’re starting to do the preventative maintenance that they had put off for a little bit,” he said. “But the whole industry is changing again. We don’t see a real influx of younger people getting into boating as it was when times were good.”

He said that the marina is continuing to offer a spring launch cocktail party, fishing tournaments and poolside lunches to keep families interested in boating.

Bill Witzke, who owns Albertson Marine in Southold, is counting on his dedicated service staff to keep boaters on the water through the economic doldrums.

“We’ve certainly been affected by the recession, like any recreational business,” he said. “But we were not a big sales operation. We didn’t get affected as much as businesses that rely more on boat sales. We’re more service-oriented. We have a full parts department. Repairs have always been a hallmark of our business. Anybody that needs help, we’re always here.”

Brewers Stirling Harbor Marina in Greenport is counting on its relationship with 20 other Brewer-owned locations in the Northeast to get through the tough times.

“We offer incentives to travel from one area to the next. We have a lot of boaters coming through here,” said marina manager Jesse Gaffga. “We have marinas in Glen Cove, Port Washington, Mamaroneck, Massachusetts, Freeport, Maine. We have had transients coming from Maine. We have people traveling up and down the coast in the fall and springtime.”

Brewer Stirling Harbor offers people who have seasonal slips at other Brewer marinas a discount of 50 percent or more off transient dockage, which, at full cost, runs $3.50 a foot per night.

“The business has changed a lot just due to the economic crunch,” he said. “There’s been a change in boaters. Some are no longer in it due to the cost and some have gotten older. But more people are coming from other areas.”

New Suffolk Shipyard owner Michael Irving was unavailable for comment for this story.

[email protected]

09/30/10 12:00am

The Raynor Family Association will hold its annual reunion, “Round Up XlX,” Saturday, Oct. 2, at The Meadow Club in Port Jefferson Station. It will start at 9:30 a.m. with registration, coffee, exhibits and a social hour, followed by a brief annual meeting and program. Luncheon is included. Call Jeanne Raynor at 516-623-5967 or e-mail [email protected]

St. Isidore School has had a fabulous start to the 2010-11 school year. The new pre-K and science lab are almost finished. A big thanks to the new CYO sports coordinator, Bill Nabrizny, for all his hard work and communication with all the families. Also, a big thank-you to Janet Bahnke and Linda Rooney for coordinating the golf outing fundraiser, which raised more than $16,000. Sister Linda would like to thank all the EMTs and police officers who responded to her “low blood sugar” reaction, and her dogs, Rags and Scott Phillips, who are her heroes.

The Town of Riverhead hosted the 13th annual Snapper Tournament along the Peconic River on Sept. 11. Anglers ranged in age from 2 to 70-plus. This year’s tournament honored all those who died on Sept. 11, 2001, and their families. Junior division winners: third place, AJ Prince; second place, Jonathan Visek; and first place, Ryan Just. Just and Visek both caught a 16 1/2-inch snapper but Ryan caught his first. He received a trophy and a rod and reel combo donated by Warren’s Tackle in Aquebogue. Adult division winners: third place, Jeff Izzo; second place, David Sitipila; and first place, Don Visek with a 17 1/8-inch snapper. Don won a trophy and a rod and reel combo donated by West Marine in Riverhead. Thanks to Captain Ray Kelly, who works hard on this program every year so that children and adults get hooked on fishing, and to the Town of Riverhead Recreation Department. For more information, visit adventuresinfishing.com.

Happy birthday to Nicole Hynds, Jayme Seal (who turns 6), Isabel Luparella (who turns 5) and twins Bryce and Hailey Groth (who turn 2) on Sept. 30; Casey Jo Hubbard (who turns 1), Kevin O’Rourke, Grace Tocci (who turns 10), and Evelyn Skop (who turns 2), Oct. 1; Heather Grodski (who turns 21), Oct. 2; twins Diane Zak and Donna Grodski (who turn 50), Oct. 3; Buddy Turbush, Oct. 4; Mark Gajowski II and David Raynor, Oct. 5; and Peggy McKinney, Oct. 6.

Happy wedding anniversary to Kim and Kenny Nash on Oct. 1; Karen and Jay Quartararo, who celebrate their 12th, Oct. 2; Marie and John Dunleavy, Oct. 3; and Karen and Mark Heppner, Oct. 4. Hope your day is special.

09/30/10 12:00am

TIM GANNON PHOTO
Riverhead Town residents will be faced with a 4.3 percent hike
in taxes if the Town Board approves Supervisor Sean Walter’s
proposed 2011 budget, despite the fact that the tentative plan
features a 1.5 percent reduction in spending.

Riverhead Town residents will be faced with a 4.3 percent property tax hike if the Town Board approves Supervisor Sean Walter’s proposed 2011 budget, despite the fact that the tentative plan features a 1.5 percent reduction in spending.
The supervisor’s proposed $50 million budget, which would eliminate six full-time and seven part-time jobs, is also contingent upon the town’s police unions’ members approving a lag payroll. Without it, the tax rate increase would climb to over 5 percent, according to Mr. Walter, who said the lag payroll savings would amount to about $230,000.
Among other highlights in the budget are a “dramatic cutback” in police overtime, Mr. Walter said.
The actual amount budgeted for police overtime in Mr. Walter’s budget proposal is $600,000, which is lower than the $660,000 budgeted in the adopted 2010 budget, but higher than the $575,000 in the amended 2010 budget that reflects mid-year cutbacks made by the town. But all three of those numbers are lower than the actual annual amounts for police overtime since 2003, when the lowest annual amount spent was $720,000. The highest was $839,729 in 2005, according to town records.
Dixon Palmer, the president of the town’s Police Benevolent Association, said it’s hard to tell if that overtime number can be met, because officers responding to homicides and accidents can’t just leave when their shifts are over.
The proposed cuts in overtime for all other town departments totaled about $135,000 less than the current year’s budget.
As for the lag payroll, in the which the salary savings would be paid to employees when they retire, Mr. Palmer said the PBA’s leadership is recommending that the members accept it, and ballots have been mailed out. He expects a verdict toward the end of next week.
Town department heads and nonunion employees also agreed to a lag payroll, the supervisor said. Town finance administrator Bill Rothaar said these employees can either take a lag payroll or 10 unpaid days.
Mr. Walter, who unveiled the budget last Thursday, called the proposed cutbacks “a vital step in our attempt to get government to live within its means.”
The 4.3 percent tax hike would be equal to an increase of about $94 annually for a Riverhead resident whose house is valued at the townwide average of about $330,000.
The town portion of the property tax bill accounts for about 23 percent of the total, with school taxes being about 54 percent, town officials said.
The cuts were needed to offset a $6.9 million budget deficit that Mr. Walter blamed on the use of one-time revenues by previous administrations. Another big factor, he said, was the $50 million landfill reclamation project, which went way over budget several years ago, and accounts for $4.3 million in debt service in his proposed budget.
“If we didn’t have that issue, with the cuts we made, you would be getting a tax decrease,” he said in Town Hall.
The budget also proposes to use about $2.6 million of the town’s $7 million surplus to offset tax increases.
Mr. Walter said the cuts were needed.
“Let’s face it, our budget is so far out of control we cannot tax our way out of our problem,” he said. “We have to cut the cost of government and that has a cost in terms of people and families, but we must swallow that bitter medicine.”
The full Town Board must review the budget and adopt a final spending plan by Nov. 20.
Matt Hattorff, president of the town Civil Service Employees Association, which represents most non-police employees in town, expressed disappointment with the proposed layoffs: “Here’s a guy who campaigned that he would not balance the budget on the backs of the employees, and now, here he is, balancing the budget on the backs of the employees.”
Mr. Walter said he had no choice but to lay off employees because the CSEA would not agree to either a 5 percent salary cut or a lag payroll.
The police’s lag payroll, should the unions agree to it, amounts to about $230,000, Mr. Walter said. It was uncertain when the two unions representing police would vote on the lag payroll.
The town also has offered a voluntary retirement incentive program to induce older, higher-paid employees to retire. Mr. Walter said one employee has taken advantage of this program and another three have expressed interest. In two of the cases, the employees in question also plan to continue working part-time. Mr. Walter said this will be “a tremendous savings” to the town.
In the one case that is finalized, building department coordinator Sharon Klos will be working 17 and a half hours a week for $30,000 per year, instead of 35 hours per week for $81,415.
As for revenues, the supervisor said they were projected to be “flat” and based on actual 2009 figures and half-year 2010 figures.
Adding together the projected fees for the planning board, building department, site plan, justice court fines, and mortgage recording tax, which are among the largest income sources in the budget, the projected 2011 total of $2.781 million in Mr. Walter’s budget is slightly lower than the $2.784 million anticipated in the 2010 budget, but higher than the $2.11 million actually received in 2009.
“The revenues projected for 2009 were about $900,000 short,” Mr. Walter said. He had criticized the revenue projections his predecessor, Phil Cardinale, made in this year’s budget, including the sale of the dilapidated East Lawn building and a fine in a lawsuit for allegedly illegally excavating on Route 58. Those revenues totaled about $800,000, and aren’t expected to materialize, Mr. Walter said.
One revenue item that is proposed to increase greatly in Mr. Walter’s budget is rental income for wireless communications. That number is projected to increase from $100,000 in the 2010 budget to $305,500 in the 2011 budget, as the town has awarded contracts to wireless companies to build cell towers on three town-owned properties on which they will lease space.
Despite the cuts two Town Board members, George Gabrielsen and Jodi Giglio, say they don’t think the budget is low enough. They both want to bring the tax rate increase under four percent, which they say would require about $100,000 more in cuts.
Mr. Walter said he’s not sure the budget can be cut any further.
[email protected]

09/30/10 12:00am

* The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Eastern Long Island Take Steps Walk will be held at the Riverhead campus of Suffolk County Community College Saturday, Oct. 2, at 3 p.m. Call 1-516-222-5530.

* Dr. Hannah Ortiz, a board-certified gynecologic oncologist, will speak today, Sept. 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. at a free women’s health seminar commemorating Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month at the East End Hotel Indigo in Riverhead. The program is presented by the East End Health Alliance, which includes Eastern Long Island Hospital, Peconic Bay Medical Center and Southampton Hospital. Call 477-5184.

* A geriatric interdisciplinary core conference on Seniors at Risk — What Professionals Need to Know, will be held at Martha Clara Vineyard on Thursday, Oct. 7, 8:30 a.m.-noon. The program is sponsored by Eastern Long Island Hospital Extension of the Long Island Geriatric Education Center. Call Leslie Sinnott at 477-5124.

* A social services information fair, sponsored by the Suffolk County Department of Social Services, will be held at Riverhead Free Library on Monday, Oct. 4, 6-8 p.m. Call 727-3228.

09/30/10 12:00am

Amber King and Lucas Abolafia

Amber King, daughter of Joanne and Chuck King of Orient, was married July 24 in Woodstock, N.Y. to Lucas Abolafia, son of Jillayne and Mark Abolafia of Flanders.

The couple lives in Catskill, N.Y., where Lucas is a member of the U.S. Coast Guard.