10/31/10 11:59pm
10/31/2010 11:59 PM

An off-duty Southold Police officer and his wife were airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center Sunday after the couple, who were riding a motorcycle, were hit by a car driven by a Riverhead man in Southold.

Peter Dicandia, 40, and Sharon Dicandia, 41, both of Southold, were traveling northbound on Hortons Lane just after 11 a.m., when they were hit by a car driven by Joseph Pelis, 69, of Riverhead. Police said that Mr. Pelis failed to yield the right of way and turned in front of the motorcycle, causing the collision. The couple was taken to Stony Brook and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Mr. Pelis, who was uninjured, was charged with failure to yield the right of way and driving an uninspected vehicle, both violations.


This post was originally published Oct. 25, 2010
10/31/10 11:58pm


As part of the ongoing effort to relieve overcrowding at the town’s animal shelter and find homes for healthy dogs, Riverhead Town officials are now naming a dog of the week in hopes of finding homes for the animals.
This week, an 8-year-old American Staffordshire terrier mix named Coogie finds herself in the spotlight. Coogie was used as a breeding dog and so suffered a severe infection when she was dropped off at the shelter by her owner.

“Coogie has recovered from her illness and is ready to share in a loving relationship with a family,” town officials said. “She is gentle, loves people and is deserving of a nice home with a fenced yard.”

Anyone interested in Coogie should visit the Riverhead Town Animal Shelter at 532 Youngs Avenue in Calverton. The shelter is open seven days, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Shelter workers can be reached at 369-6189 or, if no one answers, at 466-0885.

10/31/10 11:54pm

A Flanders man was arrested for allegedly selling drugs at a bar in Southampton, Southampton Town Police said.

Maurice Richardson, 26, of Riverside Avenue, Flanders, whom police say is also known as “Cuppy”, was observed selling cocaine at area bars over the course of an investigation by the department’s Street Crime Unit including two separate occasions when he sold the drug to an undercover police officer at Southampton Publick House.

At the time of his arrest Richardson was found in possession of 10 individually packaged gram bags of cocaine, which police said he intended to distribute at local bars and clubs.

Mr. Richardson was charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all felonies, according to police.

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This post was originally published Oct. 23, 2010

10/31/10 11:53pm

Rechler Equity Partners has until the end of this month to pay a $250,000 fee for a six-month extension to buy 300 acres at EPCAL from Riverhead Town for $18 million, according to Supervisor Sean Walter.

But town board members say the company still wants to amend its proposal to include some housing and retail uses, and a majority of the Town Board members are opposed to that.

Now Rechler will have to decide if it wants to continue negotiating with the town, or if it will simply pull out of the deal.

When the town first went into contract with Rechler Equity Partners in 2007, they offered $35 million for 300 acres, on which they proposed to build a 2.7 million square foot, hi-tech industrial park that would be phased in over 10 years. Rechler had said the project would generate some 3,700 construction jobs and 7,650 permanent jobs over 10 years.

But in 2009, citing the economy, the asked the town to drop the price to $18 million, which the board, under then-Supervisor Phil Cardinale, agreed to do.

Earlier this year, Rechler asked board members for changes in the permitted uses on the site to allow for more than 900 apartments and retail uses mixed in with light industrial uses. Four of the five Town Board members say they oppose housing on the EPCAL site, and Councilman John Dunleavy said he favors a mixed use, but feels Rechler wants too much housing.

The contract with Rechler initially set July 26 of this year as the deadline by which the developer was to decide if it wanted to extend its contract with the town by another six months, according to town officials, who said that to do so, Rechler would have had to pay the town $250,000, which would come off the overall purchase price and be held in escrow.

After Rechler asked for more time to make that decision, the town and Rechler worked out the agreement by which Rechler would pay a non-refundable amount of $125,000 for an additional three months in which to decide if it wants to pay the $250,000 fee for the additional six month extension or they would be in default of their contract, officials said. The Town Board approved the three month extension by a 3 to 1 vote, with Councilwoman Jodi Giglio opposed and Supervisor Sean Walter absent.

The three months expires at the end of October, according to Mr. Walter, who said Rechler now must decide if it wants to pull out of the contract or continue to negotiate with the town, despite the board’s opposition to the changes in uses sought by Rechler.

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This post was originally published Oct. 23, 2010

10/31/10 11:50pm

An East Quogue woman was arrested for driving high Thursday evening after a witness saw her injecting a needle into her arm in a 7-Eleven parking lot in Riverhead and driving away, Southampton Town Police said.

The witness reported the incident to police and followed Katie Dolan, 23, who was allegedly driving erratically, as she traveled south. Police did not specify which 7-Eleven Ms. Dolan was at.

Ms. Dolan was stopped on County Road 104 in East Quogue by Southampton Town Police about 8 p.m. for failing to maintain her lane and speeding, authorities said.

After the stop, police found heroin, a hypodermic needle, a syringe, Oxycodone and other prescription drugs on her.

Ms. Dolan was charged with driving under the influence of drugs, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, failing to maintain her lane and speeding.

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This post was originally published Oct. 22, 2010

10/31/10 8:46pm

TIM GANNON PHOTO Rev. Charles Coverdale (center) speaks to the Riverhead Town Board Thursday.

First Baptist Church of Riverhead is proposing construction of 132 apartments and a Family Community Life Center that will provide athletic facilities, day care and senior care space on acreage surrounding its church building on Northville Turnpike.

The church has been proposing such a facility, on and off, for more than 20 years.

“When we did a study, we found that the greatest needs in this town are for a recreational center and for workforce housing,” said the Rev. Charles Coverdale, the church’s pastor for the past 28 years, told the Riverhead Town Board at a public work session last week.

“He hit it right on the nose when he said the biggest need for the town is a recreation center,” said Councilman George Gabrielsen. “I’ve been driving for that for years. This is a win-win for the town.”

The project needs a hookup to the town’s sewer district and changes in zoning to allow the various uses over the 12 acres.

The town has considered creating a zone for life-care centers, and has created Planned Development Districts in the past that allow for a variety of uses on one property.

Rev. Coverdale said the church owns all of the land and plans to retain control of the apartments, which would be mostly rentals aimed at providing workforce housing.

The proposed apartments would be located north of the church in six new buildings, three of 21,600 square feet each and three of almost 16,000 square feet each. The three larger buildings would have a total of 75 units and the three smaller ones a total of 57 units.

The proposed three-story, 60,400-square-foot Community Life Center building would have an indoor basketball court and gymnasium, an indoor track, a fitness room, lockers, a performing arts center, a six-lane indoor swimming pool and space for classrooms, administrative offices, child care and computers, according to the proposal.

The plan also calls for three 2,000-square-foot professional office buildings on the southern portion of the property, and a 2,800-square-foot storage building.

The proposed office buildings would extend as far south as the intersection of Northville Turnpike and Middle Road, while the proposed apartments would back off Northville Turnpike, but would abut part of Midway Drive, according to drawings presented to the Town Board last Thursday.

“I love it,” Supervisor Sean Walter said. “I’m tired of talking about it. Let’s get it done.”

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said her main concern is how the project would be taxed, given the church’s nonprofit status.

Mr. Walter said state law would determine that.

While a nonprofit organization would be exempt from paying taxes, Ms. Giglio asked if the group would be willing to make a payment in lieu of taxes.

Cleveland Johnson Jr., executive vice president of a company called Strategic Fundraising Inc., which is working with the church on the project, said afterward that if a payment in lieu of taxes is required by the town, they will find a way to fold that cost into the budget.

Mr. Johnson said it’s too early to estimate the overall cost of the project, but he said it will be paid for largely through fundraising and grants.

Mr. Walter asked the Rev. Coverdale to present the town with a proposed zoning he feels would accommodate all of the mixed uses proposed in the project.

He said the town may also want to create a zoning district for facilities such as this. He noted that Timothy Hill Ranch and Little Flower Children’s Services also do not fit into existing zoning categories.

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This post was originally published Oct. 21, 2010

10/31/10 8:42pm

A large swath of state parkland that stretches from Northville to Laurel along the Long Island Sound will now be known as the Hallock State Park Preserve.

The new name is a departure from the previously proposed Jamesport State Park and Preserve name. Residents had been calling for a name change since the land is not in Jamesport hamlet.

The park’s master plan, which residents had the chance to comment on during a public hearing in April, was adopted last week, said a state Office of Parks and Recreation spokesman.

The plan calls for designating the parcel as a National Heritage Area and Park Preserve, as well as building a main road, a parking lot and eventual construction of a shore access road, park office and nature center.

While work is expected to start next year with the construction of the main road and parking lot, the entire master plan is expected to take 10 to 15 years to fully implement, officials said.

The land, which was once part of larger parcel of state land that was sold off to farmers — with the proceeds dedicated to building the park on the remaining state land — is undeveloped. There are no roads leading to the property.

The land had in the past been used for farming, a summer camp and also a sand-mining operation. The park is adjacent to the Hallockville Museum Farm and portions of the property were once owned by the Hallock farm family.

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This post was originally published Oct. 21, 2010

10/31/10 8:39pm

TIM GANNON PHOTO A 32,000 square-foot shopping center has been proposed for the small parcel where Village Beverage currently sits.

Yet another shopping center is being proposed along Route 25A in Wading River, according to the developer’s presentation before the Riverhead Planning Board Thursday.

This plan, called Knightland, seeks to build 32,518-square-feet of retail space in about 30 small buildings along with a 106-seat “cafeteria-style” restaurant on the triangle of land near the traffic light at Sound Avenue and Route 25A.

The plan for the site also seeks to merge five tax map parcels into one.

The applicant, Ken Barra who owns the adjacent East Wind Caterers, is proposing another shopping center in the Reeves Park area. Mr. Barra said the proposed project also would have parking access in East Wind’s lot.

Mr. Barra’s attorney, Peter Danowski, told the Planning Board Thursday that his client originally planned to build a vineyard and restaurant on the property a few years ago, but the Suffolk County Health Department would not allow the vineyard.

Planning Board member Lyle Wells said he felt the original plan should have been permitted.

“It’s unfortunate that they have driven an out-of-the-box concept that we had originally out the door,” he said. “Now, coming into Riverhead, instead of seeing something such as a country restaurant or a catering facility, with vineyards and what you’d hope to see in Riverhead as you come here, we are now seeing an extension of suburbia.”

Sid Bail of the Wading River Civic Association expressed concern to Mr. Barra afterward that the project would be duplicating services that exist elsewhere in Wading River.

Mr. Barra disagreed. He said the small shops, in buildings no bigger than 1,500-square-feet, would be “specialty retailers” owned by mom and pop families.

He said the buildings will be an improvement over the beverage distributor that’s there now.

The proposal is the second new shopping center currently being proposed along Route 25A. William Zoumas is proposing a 56,272-square-foot shopping center called Central Square at Wading River on Route 25A in Wading River, just east of the CVS pharmacy.

It calls for 31,000-square-feet of medical office or retail in two buildings, a 16,272 square foot two-story office building, a 145 seat restaurant and a 4,000-square-foot bank. It would be located on 17.8 acres that is half zoned commercial and half residential, but the development rights from the residential property are proposed to be transferred to the commercial part of the property, increasing the amount of building permitted there, but eliminating the ability to build on the residential property.

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This post was originally published Oct. 21, 2010