11/30/11 10:25am
11/30/2011 10:25 AM
Charles H. Miller, "Girl in a Boat," 1880, watercolor on paper.

Charles H. Miller, "Girl in a Boat," 1880, watercolor on paper.

Two notable events are set for this weekend at the Suffolk County Historical Society on Riverhead’s West Main Street.

“Charles Henry Miller: Painter of Long Island” opens Friday, Dec. 2, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit includes paintings, sketchbooks and other memorabilia illuminating the artist’s life and career. Many works on display — including Mr. Miller’s first painting, created when he was just 16 — have never been seen publicly. The exhibit, which runs through Feb. 11, coincides with the release of a book of the same title written by show curator Geoffrey Fleming, director of the Southold Historical Society, and Ruth Ann Bramson, the artist’s great-granddaughter. The book is available at the SCHS Weathervane Gift Shop.

On Saturday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., SCHS presents “Wooden Wonderland,” a special holiday show and sale featuring the work of over a dozen Long Island woodworkers. Hand-carved Santas, gnomes, ornaments, birds, duck decoys and fish will be available for sale, and craftsmen will demonstrate a variety of carving skills and techniques. A donation to the society is suggested at the door.

For information, call 727-2881.

11/30/11 8:45am

Police are searching for the two suspects who used a stolen credit card at the Riverhead Walmart store last summer.

Suffolk County Police are searching for the suspects who stole a wallet from a vehicle in Manorville and used one of the credit cards it contained at the Riverhead Walmart store last summer.

Police said the wallet, which had cash and credit cards inside, was stolen from a vehicle parked in the Silver Ponds townhomes complex between 4:30 p.m. July 16 and 7:30 a.m. July 17. Police said there were several other car thefts reported in the area about the same time.

The card was used at the Route 58 Walmart about 10:30 a.m. July 17.

Two suspects, pictured above, were caught on video surveillance at the store.

Anyone with information about this crime is being asked to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-220-TIPS.  All calls will be kept confidential. Suffolk County Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

11/29/11 10:00pm
11/29/2011 10:00 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The driver of this SUV drove across a neighboring lawn and into this house.

A 41-year-old man crashed an SUV into a Riverhead house on Tuesday and fled the scene on foot, only to turn himself in to police three hours later after investigators contacted him via cell phone, authorities said.

Michael Murray, who was described as being undomiciled, plowed a relative’s Chevy Blazer into a Roanoke Avenue house just after 5 p.m., taking out a chunk of garage and drawing police, firefighters and utility workers to the scene while canine units and other police searched for him.

He was hiding in a farm field when police later located him, said Riverhead Police Lt. David Lessard.

“He was … about one-quarter of a mile away, out in the dark, kind of hiding in some brush,” he said.

Mr. Murray was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, then taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment of minor leg injuries, officials said.

“He was out there in the rain; he was having difficulty walking,” Lt. Lessard said. “He had bruises and contusions. He was walking but hobbling. He couldn’t have stayed out there all night.”

He said Mr. Murray was hiding in a field “dead in the middle” of Roanoke Avenue — where the crash happened — and Horton, Reeves and Sound avenues when police contacted him using a cell phone number given to them by relatives in Wading River, where the car is registered.

Mr. Murray, who is a licensed driver, was not intoxicated at the time, Lt. Lessard said.

“He said he fled because he was afraid,” the lieutenant added.

Investigators learned Mr. Murray was driving a relative’s car, which he did not steal, and was following another car from a local auto repair shop when he lost control for unknown reasons and drove into the white, ranch-style house, damaging the garage and affecting some power lines.

Police were still investigating the exact cause of the crash.

Firefighters at the scene said they suspected the house’s chimney may have been compromised by the impact, and that removing the truck posed a challenge because of the risk of further collapse.

No serious injuries were reported.

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11/29/11 8:59pm

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Riverhead senior Kevin Williams will look to build off his success last spring as he focuses more on the running events this winter.

As a standout middle distance runner and jumper, Riverhead senior Kevin Williams often faced the difficult task of competing in a jumping event immediately after finishing a run.

“It made it very hard when you’re coming off an 800, 600 or 1,000 and having the triple,” said Riverhead coach Sal Loverde. “Your legs are gone.”

In the offseason, Williams and the coaching staff spent time discussing what the best route would be for him this year, beginning in the winter track season. The consensus was for Williams to focus on middle distance events, specifically the 600.

“I think that’s going to be a very strong event for him,” Loverde said.

Williams had plenty of success in the 600 last year. He finished third at the league championship behind seniors from Hills West and Bellport. He ended up eighth in the event at the large school championship.

Williams was a terrific triple jumper last year as well. And while that won’t be his main focus this year, Loverde said he’ll still get the opportunity to jump from time to time, especially in the spring season during dual meets.

Williams leads a balanced Riverhead team. Loverde said while the Blue Waves have been known for their sprinters and jumpers, this year’s group features a strong core of distance runners as well.

“Over the course of the last three or four years we’ve started to progressively start to garnish points and show improvement in the mid-distance areas,” Loverde said. “And that’s only excelled more especially with the strong cross country season that Riverhead had.”

The core of distance runners includes junior Anthony Galvan, freshman Nick Cunha and sophomore Travis Wooten.

Junior Jeff Pittman will be another key contributor for the Blue Waves. He’ll run sprints from the 55 through middle distance events like the 600. He can also triple jump and long jump.

“He’s just a phenomenal kid and a great leader in our program,” Loverde said.

Sophomore Clifton Russell is a strong long jumper who can also run sprints. Last year he finished second in the long jump at the league championship.

Fresh off a trip to the state championships in cross country, Shoreham-Wading River senior John Lee returns to lead the Wildcats’ winter track team. A defending league champion in the 1,600, Lee leads the Wildcats’ distance runners, which should once again make up a strength of the team.

Lee finished fourth last year in the 1,600 at the small school county championship. He’ll also run the 3,200 this year.

Senior Tyler Keys, who’s also coming off a strong cross country season, will run the 1,000 and 1,600. Last year he placed fourth in the event at the county championship.

Sophomore Ryan Udvadia, who was another all-county cross country runner along with Lee and Keys, will also run distance events.
Sophomore Jack Kelly, junior Dan Purschke and junior Keith Steinbrecher will all run distance events. Together they’ll make up the core of the Wildcats’ 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 relay teams.

Junior Tom Sager returns in the pole vault, which is not contested until the end of the season at the state qualifier. Last year Sager just missed qualifying for the state meet after he cleared 10 feet. His teammate, Ben Canellys, was the county champion. Canellys graduated in the spring.

Sophomore Michael McDonnell is an all-around athlete who can do the triple jump, long jump and run sprints.

Junior Charles DeMaio returns in the shot put. Last year he was fourth at the league championship.

Shravan Joshi will run the hurdles.

Shoreham coach Bob Szymanski said he expects Amityville and Bayport-Blue Point to be the toughest competition within the league. The Wildcats finished in third place last year at the league championship.

The McGann-Mercy Monarchs return for their second season of winter track under coach Matthew Perry. The Monarchs scored nine points at last year’s league championship.

“I graduated a lot of seniors last year,” Perry said. “I still have some guys who have been performing well for us.”

The Monarchs return senior John Marano, who competes in the long jump and sprints. Perry said Marano can jump around 19 feet.

Marano is a captain along with Drew Rajotte who was injured last spring and is looking to bounce back in the shot put.
Patrick Derenze will run the distance events.

“We got a lot of new kids coming up and some young kids that are hopefully going to step up to the plate,” Perry said.

As the Monarchs begin the season, Perry said the focus will be on seeing where the starting point is for each kid.

“Are we starting off better than we did last year or about the same?” he said. “And where can we go from there to improve for a better end of the season compared to last year.”

Perry said the turnout has been about the same as last year when the Monarchs had 30 kids.

“They’ve been working really hard these first couple of weeks and I’m really proud of them,” Perry said. “That’s a true testament to our captains, who have been keeping everyone together.”

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11/29/11 5:17pm
wind turbine

EDVARD LOVAAS COURTESY PHOTO | Work has begun on a wind turbine at Pindar Vineyards in Peconic, the turbine will be the biggest in Southold Town.

This week Pindar Vineyards in Peconic will put up the biggest wind turbine in Southold Town.

Alex Damianos, who spearheaded the project at his family’s vineyard, estimates that the $550,000 turbine will supply at least 90 percent of the vineyard’s energy, which currently costs, on average, $60,000 per year.

The 100 kilowatt turbine, manufactured by Northern, is the same model installed two years ago at Half Hollow Nursery in Laurel, said Mr. Damianos, son of Pindar Vineyards owner Dan Damianos. The Laurel turbine is in Riverhead Township, which historically has allowed larger turbines. The turbine in Laurel was installed by Eastern Energy Systems, while Pindar’s turbine is being installed by GreenLogic. Southold Town did not allow turbines with power output ratings greater than 25 kilowatts until Pindar Vineyards inquired about changing the code to allow the bigger turbines this past spring.

“One hundred kilowatts was unheard of,” said Mr. Damianos, who said that he was told by the Southold building inspector that it could take up to a year to get permits for such a large turbine.

Since then, they’ve been on a mad dash to get the permits in place and the engineering done to have the turbine installed before the end of the year, in order to take advantage of a 30 percent grant from the federal government due to expire at the end of this year.

“Without the federal grant, fiscally it wouldn’t work for us,” he said.

Mr. Damianos then went to Town Supervisor Scott Russell’s office and was happily surprised to find that the Supervisor and the Town Board were eager to put the town on the cutting edge of green technology. The board quickly adopted a code change to allow turbines rated for up to 125 kilowatts.

“We got it changed in one month thanks to Scott Russell,” he said.

GreenLogic poured the concrete foundation for the turbine about a month ago, and after waiting 21 days for the concrete to cure, began to erect the tower Monday, said GreenLogic senior project manager Ashlee Reiniger, who was on the site Tuesday. By Tuesday afternoon, the turbine and blades were installed, and GreenLogic crews were wiring it up to begin producing electricity.

“This is one of the best sites we’ve tested on Long Island,” said Mr. Reiniger. “It’s just wide open. Nothing stops the wind. The development rights are intact, so we can build there, and it’s close enough to the winemaking facility to feed the wires in.”

Pindar’s turbine is the fourth one in Southold Town. Osprey’s Dominion Vineyards, McCall Vineyards and Shinn Estate Vineyards all have smaller wind turbines.

“It’s a monument now,” said Mr. Damianos. “It’s wine made by wind. Now the largest winery has the largest wind turbine.”

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11/29/11 4:22pm

At practice Tuesday, Shoreham-Wading River coach Paul Koretzki planned to put his girls through an annual test. He’d line up cones along the track, then have the girls begin at the starting point for the 300.

ROBERT O'ROURK FILE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Shannon McDonnell is a standout in the jumps and middle distance events.

“They run and we see how many cones they can get in 40 seconds,” Koretzki said. “If they get the last one, they’re Shannon and Laura.”

That would be Shannon McDonnell and Laura Lee, two of the top returning runners for the Wildcats. McDonnell, who will run track at Yale next year, had a tremendous winter season last year as a junior. She won the league title in the long jump and was second in the 600 and third in the 300. Her best run in the 600 came at the state qualifier, when she ran 1 minute 37.65 seconds to win the event and advance to the state championship.

Koretzki said McDonnell will start off running the 1,000 and 300 before focusing back to the 600 later in the season.

Lee, a junior, also ran the 600 at the state qualifier, finishing in seventh place. She can also run the 1,000 and 300. She finished second in the 1,000 at the league championship last year.

The Wildcats were second as a team at the league championship last year, finishing 15 points behind Bayport-Blue Point.

The distance runners will be a strength for the Wildcats. Eighth-grader Kaitlyn Ohrtman, an all-county cross country runner, will run distance events along with senior Audrey Kelly.

Junior Kylie Trettner, an all-league race walker, returns for the Wildcats. She trained last year with Danielle Opatovsky, who was an all-American for Shoreham in the race walk.

In the field events the Wildcats return sophomore Madison Hubner in the shot put.

The Riverhead Blue Waves are led by first-year head coach Justin Cobis, who has been with the program for three years.

“It’s nice because we have a lot of kids coming back from the spring and from last winter who did some good things that we can build on,” he said. “And we actually have a lot of new blood in the program. We have some young kids that are starting to get some experience.”

Some of the top returners for Riverhead include seniors Fatima Brown and Rachel Harrison-Smith. Brown is a jumper/sprinter who finished fourth last year in the long jump at the league championship. Harrison-Smith was a ninth-place finisher in the 1,500 at the league championship.

Sophomore Kyra Braunskill, who had a strong season last spring as a freshman, should be one of the top triple jumpers in the county. She jumped 35 feet 10 inches at last year’s division championship in the spring.

Sophomore Rachel Conti will run middle distance events for Riverhead. She had a strong season last year, placing fourth in the 1,000 at the league championship. In the shot put the Blue Waves return Madison Blom. She was sixth in the shot at the league championship last year as a freshman.

The biggest name from last year, Juliana Marcucci, who narrowly missed qualifying for the state meet in the 1,500, did not return to Riverhead. Cobis said Marcucci, a senior, transferred out of the district.

“She’ll definitely be missed, but we have such a great, deep group this year that they’ll do fine,” Cobis said. “We wish her luck.”

The McGann-Mercy Monarchs have big shoes to fill after Olivia Schumann graduated. Schumann was the small-school county champion in the 300 and also ran on the school’s 4 x 200 relay team that won first place at the county championship. Two other members of that relay team also graduated.

The Monarchs also had a strong 4 x 400 relay team last year that finished fourth at the state qualifier, competing against every team in the county.

The Monarchs return seniors Sasa Vann in the sprints as well as Tori Tremble, who also ran on the 4 x 200 relay last year.

In the middle distances, the Monarchs feature sophomore Delina Auciello and eighth-grader Meg Tuthill.

Two seniors for Mercy are Lauren Valle, who will run the 1,500, 3,000 and race walk, and Emily Venesina, who will run the 1,000 and 1,500.
In the field events the Monarchs feature seniors Shannon Nunez, Catherine Andes and Bianca Compas in the shot put.

“I’d say last year we really focused on the relay,” said Mercy coach Gregg Cantwell. “I think this year we’re going to do more individual stuff because we don’t have quite as deep of a team. If a relay happens to pop up in the middle of the season, I’ll focus on the really a little more.”

Cantwell said the goal is for as many girls to make the county championship and state qualifier meets as possible.

The team opens the season with its first crossover meet Saturday at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood.

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11/29/11 3:13pm

Former Riverhead resident Ruth Norma Evers died Nov. 26 in Deland, Fla. She was 91.

She grew up in Center Moriches, the daughter of Sadie and Frederick Sexauer. At one time she worked for a bank in Riverhead.

Predeceased by her husband, Horace, on Aug. 3, 2011, and her sister, Shirley, Ms. Evers is survived by her son, Frederick, of Guelph, Ontario, Canada; two granddaughters; and three great-grandchildren.

11/29/11 3:13pm

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Chef Arie Pavlou and Sommelier Dianne Delaney with a portion of the 105 pounds of found wild oyster mushroom.

Arie Pavlou said he looks just like Little Red Riding Hood when he goes mushroom hunting in the woods of the North Fork. He’ll wear a big jacket and carry a woven basket with the top open so his captured mushrooms are exposed to air.

He does differ from the fairytale character in at least one respect.

“I don’t skip in the woods,” he joked.

Mr. Pavlou, the executive chef at Comtesse Therese Bistro in Aquebogue, has been hunting for mushrooms since he was 5 years old and living in Cyprus. He and his friends would head into the woods two to three days after rainfall, when mushrooms were most likely to be popping up out of the ground and emerging from tree trunks.

Using knives to cut mushrooms at the stems, Mr. Pavlou has been harvesting different mushroom species and cooking up the edible ones for as long as he can remember.

Mr. Pavlou was roaming through the woods, woven basket in hand, in Riverhead and Cutchogue last week and came home with a mushroom hunter’s dream discovery: 105 pounds of wild oyster mushrooms. He found the majority of it in Riverhead and the rest in Cutchogue.

Wild oyster mushrooms aren’t rare finds on the East End by any stretch — Mr. Pavlou and fellow hunters happen upon the species at least once a season. But Mr. Pavlou and other Long Island hunters had never encountered such a large amount.

He immediately called Margaret and Joel Horman, 20-year members of the Long Island Mycological Club who live in Ridge, to confirm his finding.

“They got really excited,” Mr. Pavlou said. “They said oh, it’s a perfect specimen.’”

ARIE PAVLOU PHOTO | A picture Chef Arie Pavlou snapped of wild mushrooms growing on a tree.

Mr. Horman said he and his wife, both experienced mushroom hunters, were able to identify the mushrooms without using a microscope or chemicals, which is sometimes required with more obscure species.

“That’s one of the easier species to identify,” Mr. Horman said. “We had never seen such a large collection. It was really overwhelming.”

Upon confirmation that the mushrooms were edible, Mr. Pavlou immediately brought the bounty into his kitchen. He breaded and baked, he sautéed, he fried and he stewed to see which method worked best with the thick-textured mushrooms.

Dianne Delaney, sommelier at Comtesse Therese Bistro, paired the mushrooms, which are breaded and baked much like a veal cutlet, with Comtesse Therese Vineyard’s 2009 Russian Oak Chardonnay.

“The Chardonnay complimented the mushroom’s flavor and texture and really brought out the wild, mushroomy essence,” she said.

She said the tannins in red wines would be “too overpowering” and would mask with the subtle flavor of the mushroom.

“What you have is a gift from the gods of the woods and you want to appreciate exactly that: the earthiness, the texture, the flavor,” she said.

When the mushrooms are served as an accompaniment to steak and other red meat entrees, Ms. Delaney suggests serving it with Comtesse Therese Vineyard’s 2005 Chateau Reserve Merlot.

A favorite dish among the bistro’s staff was Brie En Croute, which involves sautéing and stewing the wild oyster mushrooms with cream and sage for four hours, and then folding the mushrooms and brie into a puff pastry to be baked.

To thank the Hormans for confirming his find, Mr. Pavlou gave them 20 pounds of his wild oyster mushrooms, which are named as such because their tops look like oyster shells.

The Hormans gave Mr. Pavlou trumpet of death mushrooms —black, trumpet-shaped mushrooms — in return.

Mushroom trading, Mr. Pavlou said, is a common courtesy.

“That’s what you do in the mushroom world,” he said.

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