11/30/13 5:00pm
11/30/2013 5:00 PM
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Suffolk County Water Authority assistant superintendent Warren Jensen.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Suffolk County Water Authority assistant superintendent Warren Jensen.

In an effort to reduce the impact of chemicals on Long Island’s groundwater, the Suffolk County Water Authority wants to learn more about how North Fork farmers cultivate their land.

The public agency has contracted Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County to gather data from local farmers about their agricultural practices, hoping to better understand if and how the chemicals they use are reaching groundwater.

“We want to have a better handle on things like what crops are being grown and what products are being used to grow those crops,” said Carrie Meek Gallagher, chief sustainability officer for the SCWA.

A farmer’s irrigation and product storage practices can each play a role in whether or not chemicals are leeching into the groundwater, she said.

After gathering the information, Cornell scientists will make recommendations on how farming practices might be improved to protect water quality in the future, Ms. Gallagher said.

Dale Moyer, agriculture program director at the county extension said researchers are in the beginning stages of planning the study, which they hope to start sometime early next year.

“Based on what we learn and understand, we may come up with additional practices to avoid or minimize any impacts from the pesticide use,” Mr. Moyer said. “Now is the time when the farmers aren’t so busy, so there can be some conversation and discussion of practices of what’s being done and what can be done.”

He said there are many materials farmers use that do not make their way into groundwater, so researchers hope to also get a broad understanding of products working well in the area.

The program, which will cost about $5,700, will focus on farms surrounding the agency’s well field off Route 48 near Mill Lane in Peconic. The well field, one of 17 overseen by SCWA, has seven individual wells, Ms. Gallagher said.

It is one component of a long-term plan the authority is working on to continue supplying North Fork residents with safe drinking water — free of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers used in agricultural production, according to SCWA officials.

“Currently, 27 out of 56 authority supply wells on the North Fork are on treatment for pesticide-related contamination,” said SCWA chairman James Gaughran. “As the equipment needed to filter out these chemicals is extremely expensive, it’s in the best interest of our customers to take whatever steps are possible to reduce the amount of these chemicals entering the aquifer system.”

This year, SCWA installed a filter known as a granular activated carbon system, at one of the seven wells in the Peconic field. The system, which holds 10,000 pounds of carbon, costs about $750,000, not including maintenance, said Warren Jensen, an assistant superintendent with the agency.

Trace amounts of at least five different chemicals commonly used in agriculture had been detected in groundwater at the Peconic site, according to 2012 SCWA data. They include nitrates (nitrogen) and metalaxyl, two of the substances most widely contested by environmental advocates.

Many of the pesticides or fertilizers that have been detected in Long Island’s groundwater are what the agency calls legacy contaminants that are no longer available for use on Long Island, Ms. Gallagher said. Some of the detected compounds, however, are still being used in fertilizers and pesticides on Long Island.

If SCWA finds the information gathered by Cornell useful, it may extend the program to each of its additional well fields.

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11/30/13 12:00pm


A 20-year-old homeless man was arrested for trespassing after he was found sleeping in a school bus parked in the Riverhead School District’s bus garage early Tuesday, police said.

Monwell Wright was arrested at the Osborn Avenue bus barn about 3:50 a.m, authorities said. He was charged with criminal trespassing and held for morning arraignment.

• Tools and equipment worth over $13,500 were reported stolen from a Burman Boulevard business on Tuesday, police said.

Sometime between Oct. 8 and Oct. 14 a number of lawn mowers, portable heaters, compressors and an assortment of other tools were stolen from a secured holding container at the Calverton business, according to a report.

Tire patterns from an unknown vehicle could be seen leading up to the doors of the container, authorities said.

Detectives are investigating.

• A 24-year-old Riverhead man was arrested on a DUI charge after police stopped a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of Taco Bell early last Tuesday, according to a town police report.

Lionel Trent was arrested about 1:15 a.m. for driving while ability impaired by drugs and unlawful possession of marijuana, police said.

• A backpack containing more than $5,500 worth of computer equipment and jewelry was reported stolen from a vehicle parked in the Walmart parking lot last week, police said.

The items, which were kept inside a red Swiss Army backpack, were removed sometime on Nov. 16.

• An unknown male confronted a Pulaski Street Elementary School student Friday, offering the student a toy, police said.

The student was making his or her way to the school’s entrance when approached by the man, according to a report. Additional information was not immediately available.

• Three vehicles in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven by the Route 58 traffic circle were vandalized with permanent marker early Wednesday, according to reports. The damage was reported about 1 a.m., police said.

Those who are named in police reports have not been convicted of any crime or violation. The charges against them may later be reduced or withdrawn, or they may be found innocent.


11/30/13 11:59am

Southampton, Hampton Bays Police station

A Greenport man previously convicted of driving while intoxicated was arrested again on a drunken-driving charge last week in Southampton Town, state police said.

Police stopped Ronald Smith, 47, as he was heading south at 87 miles per hour on County Road 51 last Thursday, according to a police statement. A state trooper found Mr. Smith was intoxicated and arrested him at the scene, police said.

He was charged with felony DWI and held overnight at the Suffolk County jail.

• A Hampton Bays man with a suspended license was caught speeding in and out of his lane in Flanders while driving drunk in a car with switched license plates earlier this month, police said.

Aureliano Robles-Raymundo, 32, was seen driving a 2002 Ford pickup truck last Saturday on Flanders Road near Cypress Avenue at 70 miles per hour, 30 miles per hour over the speed limit, according to a police report. He was stopped by police, who found Mr. Robles-Raymundo’s breath smelled like alcohol, his eyes were bloodshot and glassy and he was unable to stand or walk on his own, the report states.

He was also unable to take a field sobriety test and had slurred speech, according to the report.

He was arrested at the scene and charged with DWI.

• A Flanders man was arrested for allegedly choking someone at a Flanders residence Sunday night, police said.

Luis Martinez, 24, got into a dispute with another person about 7:40 p.m., according to a police report. Police were called to the house after the argument and arrested Mr. Martinez.

He was charged with criminal obstruction of breath, a misdemeanor.

• A Riverhead man turned himself in to Southampton Town police headquarters one day after he took a set of speakers from a locked vehicle in Riverside earlier this month, police said.

The set of roughly a dozen speakers worth $200 and a Sound Cube speaker worth $300 were taken from the trunk of a parked car sometime between 3 and 7 a.m. last Friday, according to a police report. The lock had been broken open.

The victim said someone took the speakers and sold them to a third party without his permission, police said. Police found the person who allegedly had purchased the speakers, but refused to help police, according to the report.

The next day, 48-year-old Anthony Jenkins of Riverhead walked into police headquarters and admitted to police that he broke the trunk lock and took the speakers. He was arrested and charged with petit larceny and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors.

Mr. Jenkins was released with a future court date.

• A Flanders man was punched in the face last Saturday by a driver who honked her horn outside his house, then smacked him and drove off when he came to investigate, according to a police report.

The victim said a vehicle was parked outside his home and was “beeping their horn repeatedly” about 10:40 p.m., the report states. When the man went outside to see if everything was OK, a woman he didn’t recognize stepped out of the car and punched him in the face, police said.

She then jumped back into her vehicle and drove off. Police said the harassment case is still under investigation.

• A Flanders man’s door was damaged last Monday after a woman attempted to kick it in while he sheltered another woman inside, police said.

The victim said a woman he didn’t know came to his door asking for help about 5:05 p.m., according to a police report. A few minutes later, another woman tried to get into the man’s house, screaming for the first woman to come outside, police said.

The second woman began kicking at the door, damaging it, before both women fled the scene, according to the report.

Police searched the area but could not find either woman, the report states.

• A $500 laptop was stolen from the Suffolk County Community College campus on Nov. 14, according to a police report.

The victim told police the laptop — an Apple MacBook Pro — was taken while she was in the study lounge in the Orient Building on campus sometime between 3:30 and 6 p.m., the report states.

Those who are named in police reports have not been convicted of any crime or violation. The charges against them may later be reduced or withdrawn, or they may be found innocent.

11/30/13 8:00am
PAUL SQUIRE FILE PHOTO | Attorney Vincent Messina (right) speaks to the Riverhead ZBA with researcher Stephen Dewey on behalf of a proposed addiction facility in Calverton.

PAUL SQUIRE FILE PHOTO | Attorney Vincent Messina (right) speaks to the Riverhead ZBA with researcher Stephen Dewey on behalf of a proposed addiction facility in Calverton.

To the Editor:

Concerning the proposed drug rehab facility for Calverton, there are many questions that come to mind. Has there been a study to determine the impact on the community? One drug addict terrorized the East End, including an armed robbery at the Hess station in Calverton. How many drug addicts will this facility bring to Calverton? What is the release policy from this rehab facility? If they flunk out do they just waltz out the door to Calverton?

Isn’t it enough that we have a giant prison right down the road?

Christine Shields, Calverton

11/29/13 11:28pm
11/29/2013 11:28 PM
DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Riverhead's Jaron Greenidge runs for a first down before meeting up with Carey's Taylor Steinberg.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Riverhead’s Jaron Greenidge runs for a first down before meeting up with Carey’s Taylor Steinberg.


Black Friday will forever have a different meaning to the Riverhead High School football team.

As extraordinary as this season has been for Riverhead, one couldn’t help but feel that a Long Island championship wasn’t in the cards for the Blue Waves on Friday. For one thing, Riverhead had lost the services of two senior starters, running back Jeremiah Cheatom and outside linebacker Taiheem McKay, because of academic ineligibility. At this final stage of the postseason, that would be a significant blow for any team.

Then again, that has been the way things have gone this year for the Blue Waves. They meet a challenge, and then prepare for the next one. So, what’s another obstacle?

Well, Carey, as it turned out, was quite a formidable one. Just ask Carey’s opponents in its previous 11 games, all wins by the Seahawks.

For the second year in a row, Riverhead’s quest for a second Long Island crown fell short in the Class II final. Carey, playing in its first Long Island final in team history, saw to that. The Seahawks scored all of their points in a span of 8 minutes 49 seconds in the second quarter and made it stand for a 20-6 triumph at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium.

Afterward, it was the Carey players jumping for joy and hugging each other for having capped a perfect 12-0 season while the Riverhead players solemnly trudged toward their sideline.

“It was just an off day,” said Riverhead senior Jaron Greenidge.

This has been a magical season for Carey, which a week earlier defeated Garden City for its first Nassau County title since 1978. Considering what Carey has now accomplished, it was only logical to ask the team’s seventh-year coach, Mike Stanley, if this is the best team the Seahawks have ever had?

“We can say it now,” replied a grinning Stanley, clutching a giant plaque shaped like Long Island.

How much of a difference did it make not having Cheatom and McKay on the field?

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Carey running back Mike DeLeo is stopped by Riverhead defensive lineman Jonathan Lee for no gain.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Carey running back Mike DeLeo is stopped by Riverhead defensive lineman Jonathan Lee for no gain.

“It’s hard when you have a leader like Jeremiah be at the heart of your running game, and you know Taiheem has been instrumental to us as the outside linebacker, but we’ve been doing it all year, replacing guys, next man up, next man up,” said Riverhead coach Leif Shay, whose team is 1-3 in Long Island finals. “It was a little more difficult against a great team. Give Carey credit. This wasn’t us losing to Carey, this was Carey beating us.”

Cheatom’s absence was big, considering he ran for 1,742 yards and scored 18 touchdowns this year. Ryun Moore, a good-looking sophomore, started his third game of the season at running back in place of Cheatom, who missed the season-opening game because of academic ineligibility. Roger Foster started in place of McKay.

Asked about the impact of not having those two players, Moore said, “Honestly, it hurt us a lot.”

Although perhaps not as much as it might have, thanks a good deal to Moore, who also played outside linebacker. He ran for 126 yards on 20 rushes and made 7 tackles (5 unassisted), one for a loss.

Carey has been an offensive juggernaut, outscoring its opponents by 456-64. Its quarterback, senior Ray Catapano, put up video-game numbers, remarkable numbers this season: 36 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 2,163 yards.

So, imagine what went through the Seahawks’ minds when they completed the first quarter on Friday without having scored a point. “That never happened to us before,” said Catapano, who went 7 of 16 passing for 92 yards and was sacked three times.

For all of Catapano’s passing skill, it was his legs, not his arm, that brought Carey its first points. With the ball at the Riverhead 7-yard line, Catapano went back to pass. Seeing no one open, he scrambled first to his right before trekking back to his left and finding an opening into the end zone. He then made a 2-point pass to Nick Spillane for an 8-0 lead 1:34 into the second quarter.

With the Carey fans chanting, “Carey! Carey! Carey!”, the Seahawks wanted more. On the ensuing kickoff, Luke Spano scooped an onside kick that caught Riverhead (10-2) by surprise. Mike Catanese covered up the ball, giving Carey possession at the Riverhead 36.

No points came out of that drive, but Carey later went to the air to score on successive possessions. Catapano found Andrew Ris for a 24-yard scoring connection.

After Riverhead went into punt formation on its next series, a high snap to punter Dylan Pace forced Pace to tuck the ball and run for a two-yard loss on fourth down. That handed the ball over to Carey on the Riverhead 35, prompting the Seahawks to try some more trickery. On the first play after the botched attempted punt, Catapano lateralled to Ris, who threw to a wide open Spillane in the end zone.

“There’s no tomorrow, so we have to pull out everything that’s going to work,” said Stanley.

A fumble recovery by Raheem Brown set up the seven-play, 80-yard drive that brought Riverhead its only points of the game through a 14-yard pass from Cody Smith to Greenidge with 9:21 left to play. Smith went 21 of 32 passing for 161 yards.

Carey’s next drive ended when Moore forced a fumble that Tyrese Kerr recovered for Riverhead. The Blue Waves moved the ball on 12 plays before the drive stalled on the Carey 9. Carey then ran out the final 1:31 for the biggest win in team history.

“It’s unreal,” Ris said. “For the past couple of years we just wanted to get to this game and finish the season strong. No matter how we got here, we just wanted to finish it.”

What did this Carey team have that set it apart from others? Perhaps togetherness.

“It’s just a special night, a special season,” Stanley said. “We played a lot of young kids last year. They grew up fast and our commitment in the off-season was terrific, but this group cared about each other probably more than any other group we ever had.”

Catapano said: “I think our team defines the word family. The camaraderie on this team, you can’t find it anywhere else on the island. … There’s no other team I’d rather play for.”

Addressing his players after the postgame awards ceremony, Shay told them he didn’t want to see any tears or sadness.

“They should never hang their heads,” he told a reporter. “They’re Suffolk County champions. They’re back-to-back Suffolk County champions, and for everything that they’ve had to endure, the town should be very proud of these kids and they should be proud that the program is in a good place.”

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11/29/13 4:10pm

JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | The celebration begins for Carey after a 20-6 win Friday night over Riverhead in the Class II Long Island Championship at Hofstra University.

CLASS II Long Island Championship
Carey 20, Riverhead 6

Hofstra University

The Riverhead Blue Waves fell to the Carey Seahawks 20-6 in the Class II Long Island Football Championship at Hofstra Stadium Friday.

It was the second straight year the county champion Waves lost in the Long Island title game.

It’s the first L.I. championship for Carey of Franklin Square, which scored all three of its touchdowns during a nine-minute stretch in the second quarter. The Seahawks hadn’t won a Nassau County title since 1978.

Jaron Greenidge scored Riverhead’s only touchdown on a 14-yard pass from quarterback Cody Smith with 9:21 left in the fourth quarter. The Waves threatened to score again with about two minutes to play, but turned it over on downs five yards from the goal line.

Smith was 21 of 32 passing for 161 yards and the one score. He rushed for 42 yards on 8 carries.

Running back Ryun Moore — filling in for Jeremiah Cheatom, who was academically ineligible — had 20 carries for 126 yards. Moore also had a team-high seven tackles for the Waves.

Riverhead receiver Ryan Hubbard caught eight passes for 71 yards. Teammate Darren Jefferson had seven catches for 57 yards.

Carey quarterback Ray Catapano was 7 of 16 passing for 92 yards and one touchdown. He also scored on a 7-yard scramble.

Seahawks receiver Andrew Ris, who caught the one score from Catapano, also threw for a 35-yard touchdown to Nick Spillane.

Conor Colasurdo of Carey led all players with 8.5 tackles.

Riverhead actually outgained Carey 316 yards to 268.

Read a recap of our live blog below:


11/29/13 12:00pm
JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO  |  Riverhead fans were fired up for tonight's Division II county championship game against East Islip.

JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | Riverhead fans were fired up for the county championship game. Today, the Blue Waves will play for the Long Island title.

Now, for an encore.

After last week’s stunning last-second win in the county championship, the Riverhead Blue Waves return to the field today for their final game of the 2013 season. The Blue Waves will face Carey at 4:30 p.m. at Hofstra University for the Class II Long Island Championship.

Check back tonight for a live blog from Stony Brook for real time updates on the game.

For a recap of Riverhead’s season thus far, click on the timeline below: