11/30/12 7:00pm
11/30/2012 7:00 PM

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Ryan Bitzer and the Riverhead Blue Waves will play Garden City Saturday for the Class II Long Island Championship.

When Garden City defeated Wantagh 21-17 Sunday, the Trojans locked up their fourth consecutive Nassau County Division II championship. Trips to the Long Island championship have become the norm for Garden City.

Only they haven’t always ended well.

The Trojans have lost their two L.I. title games (26-21 to Bellport in 2010 and 14-7 to Newfield in 2011) heading into Saturday’s noon showdown with Riverhead at Stony Brook University. [Live coverage will be provided at riverheadnewsreview.com]

The 10-1 Trojans needed to overcome a 10-point deficit late in the third quarter Sunday to make it four straight titles.

Garden City features a versatile quarterback in junior Brett Stewart who is a threat to run and pass. Stewart rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown against Wantagh while also throwing for 120 yards and a touchdown.

The Garden City offense revolves around Stewart so the Riverhead secondary will need to lock down the Trojan receivers to allow the players up front to contain Stewart’s running game. Stewart’s 21 passing touchdowns this season is a school record.

Garden City’s always been known to have a strong defense and this season the Trojans have given up 13.6 points per game.

In Riverhead’s last trip to the Long Island finals in 2008, the Blue Waves defeated Elmont 42-6. This will be the third time Riverhead will play for a Long Island title since the current system was implemented in 1992. The Blue Waves lost 20-0 in 2003 to Garden City.

Garden City is 4-9 all-time in the Long Island championship.

joew@timesreview.com

11/30/12 4:51pm

A superstorm Sandy disaster relief benefit concert is scheduled for Polish Town Hall Friday night.

The concert, organized by Eastern Long Island Executives and Maureen’s Haven, will raise money to help families displaced by the storm. The show will feature the band Mispent Youth and other local acts.

It’s scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Food and a cash bar will be offered at the concert and there will be a silent auction and 50/50 raffle.

The show will run until 11 p.m. at 214 Marcey Avenue in Riverhead. Tickets will cost $40 per person.

11/30/12 4:00pm
Times/Review Newsgroup hosts legislative debate

GIANNA VOLPE FILE PHOTO | Christian Helck put the finishing touches on a new sign at Martha Clara Vineyards in August. A legislative debate is now set for Jan. 7.

Times/Review Newsgroup is hosting a legislative debate on Monday, Jan. 7 at Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead.

The debate will pit Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter, a Republican, against Southold Town Councilman Al Krupski, a Democrat.

The candidates are running in a special election to fill the county’s 1st Legislative seat, vacated earlier this week by Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches), who was elected supervisor of Brookhaven Town Nov. 6.

The election is expected to be held on Jan. 15, officials said, though the Democratically controlled Suffolk County Legislature has yet to vote on setting a date.

Times/Review’s newspapers and news websites cover most of the legislative district, including Southold, Riverhead and Shelter Island. The district also reachers into eastern Brookhaven.

“It makes sense for us to host this event, given our entire coverage area fall within the 1st Legislative District,” said Times/Review publisher Andrew Olsen. “We’re looking forward to it, and we hope the debate and our coverage of it are a great service to our readers as they prepare to cast their votes.”

Times/Review Newsgroup, based in Mattituck, publishes The Suffolk Times, Riverhead News-Review and Shelter Island Reporter newspapers, as well as the papers’ affiliated websites, the seasonal Wine Press magazine and several newspaper supplements and local event guides.

Prior Coverage:

Walter, Krupski to square off in special election

Editorial: Winter election will be heating up the North Fork

AL KRUPSKI   and   SEAN WALTER

11/30/12 3:33pm

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Firefighters take a tour of a Suffolk County police helicopter after a Riverhead Fire Department drill Thursday night.

More than 100 firefighters and emergency volunteers from departments and ambulance teams across the North Fork drilled with Suffolk County Police Aviation members at a Riverhead fire station in Calverton Thursday night.

Members of the Riverhead, Jamesport, Flanders, Manorville, Ridge and Wading River fire departments, Riverhead and Flanders ambulance units and Riverhead Fire Marshals crowded into the station for a presentation by two aviation police and a paramedic.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | (R-L) Suffolk County Aviation officers John Venturo and Joe Sedotto, and paramedic Shawn Edouard speak at Thursday night’s drill.

The drill started at 7 p.m., when the three landed their Eurocopter AS350 single-engine helicopter behind the firehouse  at the intersection of Riley and Twomey Avenues.

Suffolk County Police Aviation uses the $2.8 million helicopter, as well as two other single-engine and a roughly $9 million twin-engine helicopter for rescues, police pursuits, photography and search and rescues.

Officers Joe Sedotto and John Venturo and paramedic Shawn Edouard answered questions from the audience about tips for working with aviation authorities, during a forum held inside the station.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A firefighter watches as the single-engine $2.8 million police helicopter lands in Calverton Thursday night.

Mr. Sedotto advised the firefighters to communicate through their commanding officers to aviation’s commanding officers during operations, and said it’s important to keep civilians away from helicopter landing zones.

Exempts from the Riverhead Fire Department cooked hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner, and provided donuts and coffee to warm up volunteers on the frigid night.

After the Q&A, firefighters and ambulance volunteers toured the helicopter, taking photos of it up close before aviation officers climbed back in and took off.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Town Councilman and Riverhead Fire Department exempt John Dunleavy cooks up hot dogs and hamburgers with his fellow volunteers Thursday night.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Volunteer firefighters and emergency technicians were invited to ask questions to the aviation officials.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Volunteers got to peek inside the helicopter as officer Joe Sedotto circled the helicopter, explaining its equipment.

11/30/12 2:38pm

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Jerry Romano of 4Wall Entertainment tests out the theater’s new spotlights.

February 2. That’s the date that those behind the transformation of the Suffolk Theater, originally a Depression-era movie palace, say the restored entertainment center will make its grand public debut.

The long-awaited project, which in recent years has failed to meet multiple completion deadlines, is indeed coming together, said owner Bob Castaldi. Construction crews were busy installing a radiant heating system in the Main Street building Friday and concrete is expected to be poured for the floors in a week’s time, he added.

“It’s going really fast now,” Mr. Castaldi said.

When the construction is done the sloping floor will be replaced with level terraces, a design permitting a dinner theater business.

Earlier in the fall the theater set an opening date of New Year’s Eve. Production director Jim Vignato said he remains confident the project’s completion is not far off.

“The fact that we’re here is proof,” he said. “We’re rocking and rolling now.”

Read more about this story in next week’s Riverhead News-Review.

11/30/12 1:09pm

BILL LANDON PHOTO | Four members of the Shoreham-Wading River boys lacrosse team signed Letters of Intent, including (from left) Tim Rotanz, Ryan Stern, Alex Houlihan and Jake Kavanagh. Seven girls lacrosse players signed letters of intent, including Paulina Constant, Lauren Lustgarten, Alyssa Pearce, Alex Fehmel, Meredith Bushell, Jessica Angerman and Clare Blomberg. Chelsea Hawks (second from the right) signed to play softball.

After winning a pair of state championships in June, the Shoreham-Wading River boys and girls lacrosse teams had a total of 11 athletes sign letters of intent during the early signing period this month.

Shoreham senior Tim Rotanz signed with the University of Maryland after verbally committing to the longtime lacrosse powerhouse a year earlier. Rotanz, son of lacrosse coach Tom Rotanz, is the school’s all-time leader in career points with another season still to play.

As a sophomore Rotanz tallied a Long Island-best 110 points and followed that with a 91-point season last year in leading the Wildcats to the state title. He scored five goals with two assists in the championship game.

By the end of his senior season Rotanz will likely own school records for goals and assists.

Also signing letters of intent from the boys lacrosse team were Alex Houlihan with Southern New Hampshire University, Ryan Stern with LIU Post and Jake Kavanagh with St. Leo’s University.

The girls lacrosse team, after winning its fifth state championship, had seven girls sign to play in college. Last year’s tournament Most Valuable Player Alex Fehmel signed with Fairfield University. Two players signed with Ohio State University: Meredith Bushell and Paulina Constant. Bushell, a defenseman, originally committed to defending national champion Northwestern before deciding on Ohio State. Verbal commitments are non-binding.

Lauren Lustgarten signed with Central Connecticut, Jessica Angerman signed with Michigan, Alyssa Pearce signed with Sacred Heart and Clare Blomberg signed with Merrimack College.

One softball player joined the mix as Chelsea Hawks signed with Molloy College. Hawks has started on the mound for the past three years for Shoreham.

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BILL LANDON PHOTOS