02/28/13 4:40pm
02/28/2013 4:40 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Governor Andrew Cuomo shares his "State of the State" address at Stony Brook University Thursday afternoon.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Governor Andrew Cuomo shares his “State of the State” address at Stony Brook University Thursday afternoon.

New Yorkers will learn from the destruction and disasters in the wake of Hurricane Sandy — and we’ll come back stronger because of it.

So vowed Governor Andrew Cuomo at a “State of the State” address Thursday he delivered at Stony Brook University.

“There was a silver lining to this storm,” Mr. Cuomo said. “You saw New Yorkers coming together to help each other in an unprecedented way … There is such power in that unity, there is such strength in that unity.”

He delivered the speech hours after he presented his plan for the coming year to an audience in Brooklyn.

Mr. Cuomo also described his plans for increased investment in start-up businesses, women’s equality legislation, and more and better education for New York children.

Here are some of the highlights of Mr. Cuomo’s proposals:

• Mr. Cuomo proposed adding more schooling for the state’s children, including pre-kindergarten for all New Yorkers.

Although he supports increasing time in the classroom so students can learn more, he said it would be up to each district to determine whether they would make school days longer, make the school year longer, a combination of both, or to leave their year the same length. Mr. Cuomo added the state would pay for “100 percent” of the initial costs for extended education in the state’s districts.

• He will work to raise the minimum wage to $8.75 per hour, saying the current minimum wage of $7.25 is not enough to sustain a working family and was less than surrounding states.

“It’s the right thing to do, it’s the fair thing to do, it’s long overdue in my opinion,” Mr. Cuomo said.

• He will not seek to raise taxes this year, to change the stereotype of New York being a “tax capital.” At the same time, he said he would close the $1 billion budget deficit by finding “efficiencies in the state government.”

• The key to economic success for New York state is to build regional economies, Mr. Cuomo said. Long Island, he added, is a much different economy than those in Buffalo or Rochester. He said he would continue work on the state’s Regional Development Council program and propose business incubators to entice students and entrepreneurs to start businesses in the state.

• Mr. Cuomo praised the state’s decisions to legalize gay marriage and enforce stricter gun controls, saying the state had a responsibility as a “progressive” state to lead the way on social issues. He proposed a “women’s equality act” which would close the gap between men’s and women’s salaries, introduce zero-tolerance rules against sexual harassment, fight workplace discrimination due to gender and protect abortion rights.

The audience gave the governor a standing ovation after he announced the plan.

• The state will dump in more than 3 million cubic yards of sand to restore the Long Island’s beaches damaged in superstorm Sandy. Mr. Cuomo said the beaches will be reopened by Memorial Day.

• Mr. Cuomo proposed “hardening” state utility systems to prevent future incidents like the gas shortages after Sandy and widespread power outages.

• Mr. Cuomo said the state will fund buyouts for homeowners who wish to leave flood-threatened areas. Homes will be purchased back at pre-storm prices, he said.

• The state will work to provide grants to local municipalities that need funds to make storm repairs and improvements, Mr. Cuomo said.

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02/28/13 2:29pm

Capt. Joseph C. Gordon Sr. of Southold died Feb. 27, 2013. The lifelong North Fork resident was 64 years old.

He was born in Greenport July 20, 1948, to Joseph and Marian (Gaffga) Stulsky. After graduating from Greenport High School, he married Elizabeth Nintzel on May 1, 1971, in Mattituck.

Joe was a Vietnam War veteran, having served four years in the U.S. Navy. He was honorably discharged as Petty Officer 2nd Class and was the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal. He served two years in the Naval Reserve. He then joined the Southold Town Police Department, where he served for 21 years. He was also the captain of the charter boat Ship Happens.

He was a past president of the Southold Town Baymen’s Association, vice president of the Southold Town Police Benevolent Association and a member of the Junior Order of Mechanics and Griswold Terry Glover Post No. 802 of the American Legion.

Surviving are his wife, Elizabeth; his mother, Marian Bitzer of Riverhead; two children, Tanya G. (Todd) Newman of Southold and Joseph C. Gordon Jr. (Kristen) of Westhampton; a brother, Robert Gordon of Bivalve, Md.; his sisters, Sharon Rumpler of Southold and Marilee Fuss of Baiting Hollow; and two grandchildren, Dylan Cole Newman and Kelsey Rose Newman.

The family received friends March 3 at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Southold. Funeral services were conducted by the Rev. Thomas Murray. Interment with U.S. Navy honors took place March 4 at Calverton National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Southold Town Baymen’s Association, P.O. Box 1802, Southold, NY 11971.

This is a paid notice.

02/28/13 2:00pm
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Demitri Hampon appeared on the cover of a Suffolk County Community College campus magazine in 2012.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Demitri Hampton appeared on the cover of a Suffolk County Community College campus magazine in 2012. He would have graduated this spring.

In life, Demitri Hampton always tried to encourage young people to attend college — just as he was doing.

That spirit will live on through a scholarship fund that has been set up in his memory.

The DQH Memorial Scholarship will be offered to Riverhead High School graduates attending Suffolk County Community College, said Jamal Davis, Mr. Hampton’s brother.

Mr. Davis said the award is a way to “keep it positive and keep kids in school, continuing their education like my brother did.”

“Basically, we’re doing this to not let his name die,” Mr. Davis said.

The beloved 21-year-old man who always made those around him laugh was shot and killed last month after two armed, masked men burst into his cousin’s house, police said.

Family members said Mr. Hampton confronted the intruders, who were holding some of the family members at gunpoint, when he was shot.

The killing stunned Riverhead, and hundreds of mourners turned out to pay tribute to Mr. Hampton in the days after his death.

Suffolk County police are still investigating the crime and could not provide an update on the status of the case.

Before his death, Mr. Hampton was heavily involved at the college, especially with the Black Male Network, a group of students devoted to being good role models for young men.

The annual scholarship will help students who are following in Mr. Hampton’s footsteps pay for tuition and books.

Mr. Davis said the family chose to focus the scholarship on incoming Suffolk County Community College students because many local students from town choose to go there.

The scholarship, Mr. Davis said, will help to “ease the financial barrier.”

“I’ve been to college before, so I know how that is,” Mr. Davis said.

The scholarship will be handed out this year to two or three applicants, depending on how many donations the fund receives, he said. The family is planning a first fundraiser for the scholarship in May.

In the meantime, Mr. Davis said relatives has been doing their best to cope with Mr. Hampton’s death.

Mr. Davis thanked the family’s friends and others in the community who have been there to help them in the weeks after the shooting.

“We’re hanging in there, you know?” Mr. Davis said. “We definitely appreciate everyone’s support, because we do have a big family and a big community. Thankfully we were surrounded by good people.”

Any students interested in the scholarship can apply at Riverhead High School. Donations to the scholarship will be accepted at Capital One bank branches in Riverhead under the DQH Scholarship Fund.

Donations can also be made to the DQH Scholarship Fund, 57 Maple Avenue, Riverhead NY, 11901.

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02/28/13 12:00pm

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The southern entrance into the already-developed part of EPCAL, referred to as the industrial core.

A plan released this week by local environmentalists for the redevelopment of Enterprise Park At Calverton is nearly identical to the one that Riverhead Town is presenting to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said.

“It’s very close to our plan,”  Mr. Walter said.

He said that’s a good thing because it’s important to have the environmental community working with the town as it presents its plans to the DEC.

Richard Amper, the executive director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, called on local environmentalists in November to come up with a plan of their own for EPCAL. Mr. Amper said at the time that Mr. Walter “is launching a one-man war on the environment.”

Mr. Amper and others released their plan this week.

“From what I’ve seen, there does seem to be agreement,” Mr. Amper said.

Mr. Amper worked with Bob DeLuca of the Group for the East End, Geoffrey Freeman, an architect and planner, Tony Coates, a former Business Improvement District member, and Ray Pickersgill, the BID president, to come up with a plan.

His group, led by Mr. Freeman and including members of the business community, did not see the town plan when it put together its proposal, he said.

“They spent three months trying to determine what needed to be preserved as far as endangered species, wetlands and grasslands and they came up with a plan we think the town can work with,” Mr. Amper said.

The town will need to formally submit a plan to the DEC, which Mr. Walter thinks it is close to doing, and after that, the plan will be subject to a scoping hearing, where the public suggests issues that should be studied in an environmental impact study. After that, it must undertake that study.

The study will take about a year before the plan can be approved, he said.

“It’s key for everybody to have input, so this becomes a partnership with everybody,” Mr. Walter said.

While the two maps look identical, the one submitted by Mr. Amper’s group states that 695 acres can be developed at EPCAL, while the town traditionally has said its plan identifies about 600 acres.

Mr. Walter thinks that’s just because the town has access to surveys and computer models of the land in question.

He said that if anything, there’s only about 50 acre difference between the two plans.

“For too long, some have suggested that EPCAL development has been blocked by environmentalists,” Mr. Amper said. “That’s never been true and it’s high time we proved it. Intelligent planning dictates that we identify the areas that must be protected before additional land is developed.”

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02/28/13 11:24am

Dorothy A. Smith died Feb. 27 at her home in Riverhead. She was 77 years old.

Visiting hours will take place tomorrow, Friday, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at McLaughlin Heppner Funeral Home in Riverhead. A service will be held Saturday, March 2, at 11 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist R.C. Church in Riverhead, followed by interment at the church cemetery.

Donations may be made to East End Hospice.

A full obituary will appear in a future edition of the News-Review.

02/28/13 10:00am
TIM GANNON PHOTO | The Henry Pfeiffer building on Grumman Boulevard goes mostly unused.

TIM GANNON PHOTO | The Henry Pfeifer building on Grumman Boulevard goes mostly unused.

Riverhead Town’s sparsely-used Henry Pfeifer Community Center on Grumman Boulevard in Calverton may have a new purpose, as the town’s new animal shelter.

A group called Riverhead Move the Animal Shelter, headed by Denise Lucas, has been holding fundraisers for more than a year trying to raise money to build a new animal shelter for the town. The current shelter, on Youngs Avenue, is considered to be too small, and in a bad location, with a recycling facility surrounding it and the town landfill across the street.

While the RMTAS group had been considering building a new building, the idea of the using the Pfeifer Center was suggested last week by Supervisor Sean Walter and Councilman Jim Wooten, and was discussed at Thursday’s Town Board work session.

(See what else happened at Thursday’s work session by clicking below.)

That idea has met with support from Ms. Lucas’s group, from the majority of the Town Board and from the nonprofit North Fork Animal Welfare League, which takes over the operation of the town shelter on Friday morning.

Mr. Wooten said he originally thought a new animal shelter should be built behind the new dog park RMTAS built at EPCAL. But the cost of building a new building, along with the cost of extending the town’s sewer lines to the building, would be in the millions, officials said.

The cost of retrofitting the Pfeifer Center into a dog shelter could be done much quicker and with much less cost, officials said.

“I think I could get it done in a matter of months,” Ms. Lucas said in an interview, adding that the timing would be up to the town, since they are raising money to give to the town for a new shelter.

Meanwhile NFAWL has received a $300,000 bequest to build a new animal shelter and they have been planning to use it on a new cat shelter and spay/neuter clinic which they had proposed to locate on land leased from Rex and Connie Farr on Youngs Avenue.

But that proposal has met with widespread community opposition, and if NFAWL can build that facility on the town-owned land by the Pfeifer building, that controversy would go away. The bequest money cannot be used on a town-owned building, but the town could sign a long-term lease to allow NFAWL to situate the building at the Pfeifer property, officials said.

The proposed cat shelter was on the agenda at Thursday night’s Riverhead Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, where the hearing was held over for 30 days, but which time, officials said, they believe a decision on the Pfeifer site might be finalized, and the Youngs Avenue proposal might be withdrawn.

To read News-Review reporter Tim Gannon’s blog on else happened at Thursday’s work session, click here:

February 28, 2013 – Agenda by rnews_review

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Suffolk County FEMA official Jeff Simons (center) at Thursday morning’s town work session.