11/30/10 3:51pm
11/30/2010 3:51 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Talmage Agway assistant warehouse manager Clarence 'Clicky' Trent pts some food brought in by a customer in the food drive box Monday.

Various businesses around Riverhead Town are accepting food and toys for needy children, families and even pets this holiday season. Stop by or mail goods to any of the following locations:

Talmage Farm Agway Food Drive
Where: Talmage Farm Agway, 1122 Osborne Ave., Riverhead
When: Friday, Nov. 12 to Monday, Dec. 20
For every container of nonperishable food that is collected, Talmage Farm Agway will donate one can or a pound of dog or cat food to the Riverhead Animal Shelter. To donate, drop by Talmage Farm Agway, call 727-3100 or go to www.talmagefarm.com.

Vail-Leavitt Music Hall Toys for Tots
Where: Vail-Leavitt Music Hall, 18 Peconic Ave., Riverhead
When: Thursday, Dec. 16 from 7 to 11 p.m.
The Vail-Leavitt Music Hall will present Original Voices at the Vail & Jessie Haynes 7th Annual Toys for Tots Open Mic. Tickets are $5 at the door and all ages are welcome. Go to www.vail-leavitt.org for more information.

Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York Toy Drive
Where: Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York, 2450 North Wading River Road, Building #13, Wading River
When: Monday through Friday, 9 – 5 p.m.
Donations of new unwrapped items in original packaging can be dropped off at the campus or mailed to Little Flower c/o External Relations, 2450 North Wading River Road, Wading River.

Toys for Tots at Wading River and Riverhead All-State offices
Where: 6278 Route 25a, Wading River, and 1236 Roanoke Ave., Riverhead.
When: Now until Dec. 13.
New unwrapped toys can be donated at either of the two office locations to be given to the needy before Christmas. For more information, call 929-3400 or 727-1700.

Toys for Hope, collecting toys from all over Long Island
This not-for-profit organization provides toys, books, clothing, activities and more to needy and homeless children and their families.
Send checks to Toys of Hope, Inc. P.O. Box 1247, Huntington, NY 11743

[email protected]

11/30/10 3:11pm

Carrie Meek Gallagher, the head of Suffolk County’s Department of Environment and Energy, will be taking a job as the Suffolk County Water Authority’s chief sustainability officer, a newly formed position.

The SCWA board voted unanimously to approved Ms. Gallagher for the position. She served as a county commissioner for four years.

Jeff Szabo, the authority’s chief executive officer, said the new position was created in order to focus on environmental protection initiatives, including water conservation, the use of renewable energies, recycling and waste reduction.
“Carrie is the perfect person to help us realize these goals,” he said.

The responsibilities for the new chief sustainability officer include: monitoring potential environmental threats to over 560 active wells; developing the authority’s infrastructure; implementing the authority’s land management program; furthering the authority’s energy optimization efforts; and developing detailed plans for future land easements, officials said.

“I look forward to focusing on the big-picture issues that will impact the Suffolk County Water Authority’s future, and by extension the future of all Suffolk residents,” she said.

Officials at the Suffolk County Water Authority, which is not a county agency but a state public benefit corporation, said Ms. Gallagher would start in January.

11/30/10 1:31pm

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had a very nice long break, with lots of food and fun. This morning I began a holiday cleanse in preparation for the feast of Christmas!

Get some Christmas shopping done right around the corner! On Saturday, Dec. 4, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Old Steeple Community Church in Aquebogue will be hosting their annual Christmas bazaar and luncheon. The bazaar includes selections of boxed homemade Christmas cookies, handmade crafts, gift items, holiday breads, jams, jellies, pickles, kitchen knives, lightly used articles and the raffle of a handmade quilt. Lunch can be ordered from a varied menu from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call 722-3070 for more details.

Hallockville Museum Farm will host Christmas at Hallockville on Sunday, Dec. 5, from noon to 4 p.m., complete with music, crafts, food and more. The Hallock Homestead will be decorated as it would have been in Victorian times. Raffle tickets for a summer golf vacation or a winter ski vacation, complete with $1,000, can still be purchased! The winner will be announced at the Christmas celebration. For more details on the raffle and the celebration, call 298-5292, e-mail [email protected] or visit hallockville.com.

The Wonder of Christmas show at Living Waters Church Theatre in Aquebogue will take place Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 9-11, at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 12, at 3 p.m. Tickets for the Sunday matinee are already sold out, so don’t wait to get your tickets for this spectacular Christmas show. The dedication and talent within this small community are really amazing to behold. There are some gifted actors, dancers and performers who pour heart and soul into this Christmas show. It is not to be missed. To purchase your tickets in advance, call 722-4969. Tickets are $24 for adults and $19 for kids 17 and under and for seniors 55 and older. A portion of the proceeds benefits those less fortunate within our communities.

A huge thank-you to Living Waters Church for the amazing dramatic interactive experience of “A Night in Bethlehem.” The church was decorated inside and out as the town of Bethlehem, complete with a live donkey, a bustling inn, shops and the manger where Joseph and Mary proudly displayed their newborn son (a real baby)! The actors told the Christmas story while the children made Christmas crafts, took a picture with Santa and Buddy the Elf (Pastor Rick), and enjoyed delectable treats in the inn. This free event was an amazing gift to the entire community. My daughter Johanna’s eyes danced with delight as she expressed, “I will never forget this night!”

11/30/10 1:00pm

How are you, friends and neighbors? I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday. We went to Janet and Ken Dickerson’s and had dinner with my husband’s side of the family this year. It was very nice and everything was delicious. I’m very thankful that I have family here on Long Island and don’t need to travel. I’ve never flown on a plane, but from what I hear, flying for the Thanksgiving holiday is a nightmare. Put me, the biggest chicken in the world, on a plane and it’d be even more of a nightmare for the passengers. I guess I’m doing everyone a favor by not flying. You can all thank me later.

The Southampton Youth Bureau would like to thank Teachers Federal Credit Union for donating Thanksgiving dinner baskets to two local families. These donations provided them with a bountiful Thanksgiving dinner that they otherwise would not have had. The Youth Bureau is always hosting fun events for the children of Southampton Town. Visit town.southampton.ny.us/ for more information on events and also the fall leaf-cleanup schedule. Each area has a different schedule so it’s good to know when the trucks will be in your neighborhood.

The Riverhead High School Blue Masques will present the drama “Stage Door” in the Charles Cardona Auditorium at RHS on Friday, Dec. 10, and Saturday, Dec. 11, at 8 p.m. There will also be a matinee on Sunday, Dec. 12, at 2 p.m. The show is directed by Jessica Guadagnino. Tickets are on sale now and at the door. Visit riverhead.net, click on the calendar, then click on the dates for full details.

Well, that is all for this week, folks. It’s been very quiet here. I’d like my phone to ring and my inbox to be stuffed, so if you have any news you’d like to share please get in touch with me. Thanks again for reading this column. Be safe and remember to slow down on our roads.

11/30/10 12:55pm

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The land that Ed Broidy owns to the west of the entrance to Reeves Park was farmed last summer.

The owner of nearly 15 acres on the northwest corner of Sound Avenue and Park Road in Riverhead says he might be willing to sell his land to Suffolk County and scrap his plans to build housing along the state-designated rural corridor, the News-Review has learned.

That news comes as residents of the nearby Reeves Park neighborhood are still holding out hope that developer Kenney Barra will ultimately agree to sell his 4.1 acres at the northeast corner of that intersection, instead of developing a commercial center there.

The owner of the 15-acre parcel, Ed Broidy, recently wrote a letter to county Legislator Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches), whose district spans the North Fork, about the possibility of selling to the county.

In response, Mr. Romaine proposed a bill to have the land preserved as open space, but the proposal scored low in a preservation scoring system used by the Legislature’s environment, planning and agriculture committee and was tabled.

Mr. Romaine plans to meet soon with county parks and planning officials, as well as Reeves Park residents, to craft a proposal to have the property purchased for use as what’s called a “hamlet park.” Such parks can be maintained by towns, villages or even nonprofit groups.

“This is a process where the county does not exercise eminent domain and must have a willing seller,” Mr. Romaine said. “I have an interest in doing this because I would like to see less commercial development along Sound Avenue. It has a little bit to do with changing the course of direction, not always allowing the developers every square inch of roadway on Long Island. This is truly the last rural corridor that exists here.”

Mr. Broidy first proposed building a 22,000-square-foot shopping center six years ago, around the time the town changed the zoning at his property and several others along the road and at the intersection to prevent commercial development.

He was one of three property owners who then sued the town to challenge the rezoning, the others being Mr. Barra and the owners of R&K Precision Autoworks, on the south side of the intersection. Both Mr. Barra and the R&K group ultimately prevailed in court, but Mr. Broidy instead began negotiating a settlement with the town in which he would agree to build houses instead of stores.

Mr. Broidy, who currently leases his land to a farmer, said this week that he had wanted to build 18 houses on the 15 acres, which is more than the zoning permits, but he has since agreed to build 16 houses with a “gentleman’s farm in the front, along Sound Avenue, to make it look nice.” That is, if he doesn’t sell to the county.

Asked if he would prefer to build the homes or sell the land to the county, Mr. Broidy said, “Obviously, if I got enough money from the county, why should I build?” The county would first need to do an appraisal of the property, to which Mr. Broidy said he is not opposed.

“If the county buys it would be for parkland, which I have no problem with,” he said. “It would look nice there.”

Mr. Romaine said Reeves Park residents have pitched an idea to turn Mr. Broidy’s property into a public farm from which plots could be leased to area residents.

As for Mr. Barra’s land, residents have asked that it be purchased as a hamlet park. The site would include parkland and a Sept. 11 Memorial. But Mr. Barra thus far has publicly stated that he intends to build, not sell. Still, the county has begun planning steps towards the acquisition of Mr. Barra’s property.

“I think we have a high point of entry,” Mr. Romaine said of the county possibly acquiring the properties, “because the owners are looking to maximize [property values] and the county is looking to go with straight appraisals, which are coming in much lower than they did two or three years ago, but it’s certainly worth a shot.”

He said the process of acquiring a property, from inception to closing, lasts at least a year.

[email protected]

11/30/10 12:37am

Janet L. Grabie, a lifelong resident of Mattituck, died on Saturday, Nov. 27, at her home. She was 76 years old.

She was born Aug. 22, 1934, at Greenport Hospital, the daughter of Vera Kinsey and Alois J. Lutz. She graduated from Mattituck High School and the Glen Cove Hospital School of Nursing, having worked there and also at Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport. She was also a real estate broker and a member of Mattituck Presbyterian Church.

Predeceased by her husband, Walter L. Grabie, in 1997, she leaves a brother, Henry K. Lutz; a niece, Stephanie Lutz; and two nephews, Garrisson Lutz and Jerrold Lutz. She was predeceased by a nephew, John L. Bagshaw.

A graveside service on Wednesday, Dec. 1, at Old Bethany Cemetery in Mattituck was followed by interment. The Rev. George Gaffga officiated. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home of Mattituck.

11/29/10 11:53pm
11/29/2010 11:53 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Roanoke Avenue Elementary was closed this morning due to a faulty boiler

The Roanoke Avenue elementary school in Riverhead reopened Tuesday. The school was closed Monday due to boiler problems.

School officials were forced to make the decision to call off classes Sunday night, after it became apparent the boiler would not be fixed — and the school would not be heated — in time for the start of the week, said Sandra Kolbo, a spokeswoman for the Riverhead School District.

Staff members were required to report to Roanoke, she said. Officials did not suspect the faulty boiler posed any danger to students.

It has not yet been determined how the students, grades K through 4, will make up for the lost day.

11/29/10 9:39pm

So, what were you doing at 4:15 Saturday morning? Sleeping, presumably. I, on the other hand, was glued to a flat screen television, watching a DVR replay of the Boise (Idaho) State versus University of Nevada college football game.

Boise State lost in overtime — ending the nation’s longest Division I winning streak at 24 games in the process — meaning that I lost, too. And that’s because I had placed a wager on the outcome of the contest, as has been my practice since my college days (daze?) some four decades ago.

Hold it right there! Before you alert law enforcement authorities to my betting proclivities, please be advised that I have never, ever placed a wager with a bookmaker. That would be against the law, I’m told, so I limit my sports bets to friends and unsuspecting acquaintances.

Unsuspecting acquaintances like my former barber, who for many years always bet on the white man, while I always bet on the black man, in professional boxing matches. (Hmmm. Let’s see: Chuck Wepner or Muhammad Ali? Gee, I think I’ll go with the African-American.) Yes, I know that constitutes racial profiling, but all is fair when it comes to betting on sports.

I think it would be safe to say that I am a serial sports bettor. And never is that more obvious than when an unsuspecting acquaintance walks up to me on the street and forks over a five-dollar bill or extends his or her hand in search of the fiver I owe them. Often, I have completely forgotten making the original wager, which is something you might want to keep in mind the next time you’re short of cash and happen to pass me on the street.

My urge to place wagers on sporting events is so powerful, in fact, that I often place bets against my favorite teams, like the Yankees, football Giants and my alma mater, Penn, also known as the University of Pennsylvania (and not Penn State University!). And this is how it works: If your favorite team wins, you don’t really care if you’ve lost the bet. But if they lose, the sting of the loss is offset by the appearance of a crisp five-dollar bill. Duplicitous? For sure, but try it, you may come to like it.

Just this week I collected on another sports bet. Only this time it was with a suspecting friend. Sam and I have wagered on nearly every Penn-Harvard football game in recent memory, and this year my lads prevailed, 34-14. But there wasn’t a crisp five-dollar bill riding on the outcome. The stakes were breakfast at one of our favorite eateries outside Boston, LobstaLand, and I surprised my buddy by bringing along our 3-year-old grandson, who made his “Pa” proud by doubling down on two pancakes and a side of bacon — all underwritten by the hapless football team from Harvard.

When it comes to betting on sports, there’s no such thing as starting them too young.