12/05/14 10:58am
12/05/2014 10:58 AM


There were plenty of frights in Riverhead for the start of the Edgar Allen Poe Festival. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

There were plenty of frights in Riverhead for the start of the Edgar Allan Poe Festival. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

The Edgar Allan Poe Festival looks like it will be doing an encore next year around Halloween.

Riverhead Town Board members discussed the possibility of doing the festival again next year at their work session Thursday with Sal St. George, who organized the event, and Ray Pickersgill, the president of the Business Improvement District Management Association, which sponsored it. (more…)

10/29/14 3:44pm
10/29/2014 3:44 PM
WaterFire in Providence, R.I.. Credit: Oko Zoko

WaterFire in Providence, R.I.. Credit: Oko Zoko

Light up the Peconic!

A plan to bring “WaterFire” to downtown Riverhead could be in the works. WaterFire Riverhead, as it’s being billed, is a based on similar WaterFire displays around the world — the nearest being in Providence, R.I. — that feature bonfires on waterways while other artistic displays and performances take place around them. (more…)

07/17/14 9:37am
07/17/2014 9:37 AM
Sal St. George making his Edgar Allen Poe Festival pitch to business leaders in Riverhead Town Hall Wednesday. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Sal St. George making his Edgar Allan Poe Festival pitch to business leaders in Riverhead Town Hall Wednesday. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Port Jefferson has hosted a Charles Dickens Festival around Christmastime for the past 13 years. And now, the man who has been instrumental in the success of that event, wants to do something similar in downtown Riverhead: an Edgar Allan Poe Festival. (more…)

02/21/14 8:25am
02/21/2014 8:25 AM
The Riverhead indoor Farmers' Market is located at 117 East Main Street. Barbaraellen Koch photo.

The Riverhead indoor Farmers’ Market is located at 117 East Main Street. Barbaraellen Koch photo.

Less than three weeks after the Riverhead Farmers Market kicked off on East Main Street, it’s already outgrown its space. By far.

“We have a waiting list of 60 vendors,” said Ray Pickersgill, president of the Business Improvement District, and one of the key organizers in the weekend market — along with Community Development Director Christine Kempner and Browder’s Birds proprietor Holly Browder.

Beyond looking for excess space, Mr. Pickersgill — co-owner of downtown’s Robert James Salon — said at Wednesday night’s BID meeting that right now, he’s hoping to extend the market with the help of the two.

“If we could continue it all year, there are enough farmers who are looking to do it,” Mr. Pickersgill said.

While the BID has hosted a farmers market in the past on Saturdays, Mr. Pickersgill said on Thursday that having Ms. Browder on board, as a member of the Long Island Farm Bureau, has been key in gaining momentum for this season’s winter market, which is expected to wrap up in mid-May.

The market got its legs after Ms. Kempner ran into her old neighbor, Ms. Browder. The poultry farmer told Ms. Kempner that the winter market she went to previously, in Sag Harbor, had shut down this season. Coordinating with Mr. Pickersgill, it didn’t take long until they got enough vendors to fill out a market in downtown Riverhead.

Held at 117 East Main St. each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the market currently hosts 30 vendors in the 8,000-square-foot building downtown that previously housed Swezey’s department store.

The BID is paying $3,000 for 18 weeks in the current location.  The building next to it, which was once Swezey’s, is owned by Eli Mizrahi, who is seeking $8,000, Mr. Pickersgill said, indicating that they can’t afford that.

Also at Wednesday night’s meeting, members of the BID management association said that — after first bringing the idea up in 2011 — they are still pursuing putting a skating rink downtown. 

Mr. Pickersgill floated the idea of making the rink a pavilion, adding that sliding glass panels and heaters on the ceiling could be installed in the winter to host the farmers market


01/29/13 8:00am
01/29/2013 8:00 AM
Anthony Coates, Supervisor Sean Walter, Jodi Giglio, Riverhead

FILE PHOTO | Anthony Coates last year, announcing his intentions to run for Town Council.

Saying he didn’t want politics too mixed up in downtown business efforts, declared Town Council candidate Anthony Coates resigned from the downtown Business Improvement District Management Association last week.

Mr. Coates, a downtown Riverhead resident who does not own a business in the area, has served as resident director of the BID Management Association since 2010, when he was appointed by town financial head Bill Rothaar.

“I resigned because my name has been mentioned — most prominently by me — as a candidate this year,” Mr. Coates said. “And the business of the BID is too imporant and the progress we’ve made is too important to have the BID wrapped up in at least one moment’s discussion as to whether it’s political.”

Mr. Coates, also a political adviser to Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter, submitted a letter of resignation last Tuesday, about two months after he announced intentions to seek the Riverhead Republican nomination to run for a Town Council seat in November.

The BID is a taxing district that uses funds from area businesses to bring awareness and foot traffic downtown through events, promotions and capital projects. The Management Association manages planning and finances, though the Town Board officially makes up what’s called the BID board and votes on financial allocations and setting annual budgets.

BID Management Association president Ray Pickersgill said he would “truly miss” Mr. Coates.

“He was our spokesperson, emcee for all our events,” said Mr. Pickersgill, who owns Robert James Salon on East Main Street, “but also he was very instrumental in our dealings with Town Hall. He helped me a lot with day-to-day operations,especially corespondence to solicit sponsors and handling press releases. He is my friend and I wish him well.”

The BID Management Association’s board of directors comprises one supervisor appointee, currently Ed Densieski, the town financial coordinator appointee position that Mr. Coates held and a Town Board appointee, currently local architect Martin Sendlewski.

When “fully constituted, ” 13 people make up the BID Management Association’s board of directors, Mr. Coates said.

The other members are elected by BID taxpayers, with the next elections in June.

Meanwhile, the group does have a potential replacement resident director “who is very interested” in the volunteer job, Mr. Pickersgill said.