11/28/13 10:00am
11/28/2013 10:00 AM
JOE PINCIARO PHOTO    | Road work in Wading River just to the west of the Duck Ponds.

JOE PINCIARO PHOTO | Road work in Wading River just to the west of the Duck Ponds.

Brookhaven Town has begun a second phase of work on the Duck Ponds in Wading River, installing catch basins and underground piping to reduce the amount of pollutants carried into the ponds by stormwater runoff.

Town contractors dredged the eastern pond in April 2012, using a $170,000 state grant and $170,000 in town money, said Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner. The town also installed a water quality unit to trap road runoff, and prevent it from entering the ponds, she said.

Phase II, which draws on the same $340,000, includes replacing the culvert under North Country Road, installing catch basins along North Country Road to the west of the ponds, and installing a water quality unit to pick up road runoff west of the ponds, Ms. Bonner said.

“Since a significant amount of trash was found to accumulate in the northwestern corner of the pond, we will also be installing a trash guard unit at the pond outfall to prevent trash from traveling further upstream stream and entering into the remaining Wading River system, which eventually empties into to the Long Island Sound,” Ms. Bonner said.

Riverhead Town also had planned to commit $170,000 to the project for drainage and bulkhead repair work but lost the county grant it had hoped to use for the project, according to Supervisor Sean Walter, who said the town hopes to reapply for that funding.

Officials said that while only about 10 percent of the Duck Ponds site is located in Riverhead Town, rainwater from its roads funnels downhill into the pond — ultimately finding its way into Long Island Sound.

The work being done at the Duck Ponds has important ecological value, said Sid Bail, president of the Wading River Civic Association.

The water from the ponds, which lie at the heart of the hamlet’s historic business district, travels under North Country Road though piping that is being replaced, and ends up in Mill Pond, a large pond behind the former Pizza Pie on Sound Road and other stores nearby, he said. That water, in turn, runs into Sound, so pollutants that end up in the Duck Ponds as a result of stormwater runoff could be contributing to Long Island Sound pollution as well, Mr. Bail said.

“Lately, there’s been a bloom of invasive plants in the western Duck Pond that may be the result of the pipe under the road being clogged,” he said. “These are plants that thrive in stagnant water.”

Mr. Bail said he was told by Brookhaven Town officials that the work, which started last week, would be completed by Dec. 20.

“They’re doing a pretty good job of moving the traffic through this area while the work is ongoing,” Mr. Bail added.

tgannon@timesreview.com

03/05/13 10:41pm
03/05/2013 10:41 PM

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Assemblyman Dan Losquadro at his former office in Calverton in 2011.

Get ready for another election.

If preliminary results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections hold up, North Fork State Assemblyman Dan Losquadro will be the next Brookhaven Town Highway Superintendent. The likely victory means a special election will be held in late spring to serve out the remaining 18 months of his current term in Albany.

BOE results show Mr. Losquadro (R-Shoreham) defeating Kathleen Walsh (D-Centereach) by nearly 800 votes, with more than 51 percent of the nearly 23,500 votes. Just one election district had not reported as of 10:40 p.m.

The post opened up in November after previous Highway Superintendent John Rouse won a county judge’s seat. Mr. Rouse, a Democrat, had held the job since 2004.

Ms. Walsh is a Brookhaven Town Councilwoman, first elected in 2005, who also served as deputy supervisor under Democrat Mark Lesko. Endorsed by Democrats in her two most recent elections, she is a registered Republican. She is the wife of  Brookhaven blue collar union president Bill Walsh.

Mr. Losquadro, 40, had won re-election to his Assembly post in November after first being elected to the job in 2010, when he defeated incumbent Marc Alessi. A County Legislature from 2004 to 2010, Mr. Losquadro has never lost an election.

Tuesday’s special election was already the second of the year on the North Fork. Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue) won a special election for County Legislature over Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter in January.

A race for the 1st District Assembly seat — which spans west from Southold Town, through Riverhead and into part of Northeastern Brookhaven Town — could muddy the picture for the November local elections in which town and county seats are up across the North Fork.

Mr. Losquadro is a native of Wading River and a 1990 graduate of Shoreham-Wading River High School. He lives in Shoreham with his wife, Lynn, a teacher in the SWR district, and their son, Joseph.

09/29/12 1:00pm
09/29/2012 1:00 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | A Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance vehicle parked in Riverhead earlier this summer.

A woman living in the Riverhead Town portion of Manorville last month urged the Riverhead Town Board to change the boundaries of local ambulance companies so that her neighborhood could be covered by the Manorville Community Ambulance, which is much closer to her neighborhood than the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance.

Now, several residents in the Brookhaven Town section of Calverton say they’d like to have their neighborhood covered by the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance instead of the Manorville Community Ambulance — also because it’s closer.

The residents are hoping the two towns can hammer out a deal.

Streets such as South River Road, Pinehurst Boulevard, Starr Boulevard and the Calverton Hills apartments are located in Brookhaven Town, but have Calverton Zip codes. They area served by the Manorville ambulance, even though Riverhead’s ambulance building is much closer.

Likewise, streets like Oakwood Drive and parts of Wading River-Manorville Road have Manorville Zip codes but are located in Riverhead Town. Clare Bennett of Oakwood Drive appealed to the Riverhead Town Board in August, asking that the Manorville ambulance be allowed to serve her neighborhood, citing response times from Riverhead.

Meanwhile, Lillian Rider of South River Road in Calverton told The News-Review this week that she’s hoping to have her neighborhood served by Riverhead ambulance instead of Manorville.

“It’s just ridiculous trying to get an emergency vehicle in this neck of the woods,” Ms. Rider said. Calls to 911 often go to Riverhead police first and are then relayed to Suffolk County police, she said.

“I think everyone here would be in favor of that,” Ernie Fugina, president of the Peconic Lake Estates Civic Organization, said of the idea of having Riverhead ambulance service his neighborhood. “It takes a long time to get an ambulance.”
PLECO’s members live in areas like South River Road, that are just south of the Peconic River.

Riverhead Councilman John Dunleavy said Tuesday that he’s working to set up a meeting with officials from Brookhaven Town, the Manorville Community Ambulance and the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance to discuss the boundary issues. He said it will likely take place around the second week of October, but no date has been set.

“The Brookhaven Town Board has to approve it,” Mr. Dunleavy said. Likewise, the Riverhead Town Board is the agency in charge of the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance, whose boundaries do not extend outside the town.

When officials were talking about just having the Manorville part of Riverhead Town covered by Manorville Ambulance, they thought Riverhead would have to contract for services and pay Brookhaven for the ambulance service. But if the Riverhead ambulance can serve a part of Brookhaven, the towns might be able to exchange the services, Mr. Dunleavy said.

“If we can do a swap, it may not cost us any money,” he said.

tgannon@timesreview.com

08/27/12 7:00pm
08/27/2012 7:00 PM

FILE PHOTO | Legislator Ed Romaine (R – Center Moriches) as announced he will seek to run for Brookhaven Town Supervisor this fall.

Brookhaven Town Republicans have nominated North Fork county Legislator Ed Romaine to run for Brookhaven supervisor in a special election this fall, party leaders announced this week.

The committee’s vote to choose Mr. Romaine, of Center Moriches, was unanimous, GOP officials said.

“The Brookhaven Town Republican Committee unanimously supports Ed Romaine as our candidate for town supervisor,” said committee chairman Jesse Garcia. “Ed Romaine is a proven tax fighter who will ‘Reinvent Brookhaven’ and ensure Brookhaven is an affordable place to raise a family, create private sector jobs, grow our local economy, and ensure the rural character of our communities are protected.”

“I am humbled to have the support of the Brookhaven Town Republican Committee,” Mr. Romaine said. “I have lived, raised my family, and paid taxes in this town for more than 40 years. I am committed to making Brookhaven a better place to live and work.”

Democratic Town Supervisor Mark Lesko announced his resignation earlier this month. He’s stepping down to lead Accelerate Long Island, a nonprofit organization.

Mr. Lesko helped found the group, which seeks to make Long Island more appealing to tech startup companies

Mr. Lesko’s resignation comes just before a difficult financial season for the town, which faces a multi-million dollar budget crisis. His resignation takes effect next month.

The Brookhaven Democratic Commitee last week nominated Brian Beedenbender, Mr. Lesko’s chief of staff and also a former county legislator, to run for the supervisor job.

Deputy Supervisor Kathy Walsh will be acting supervisor in Mr. Lesko’s absence, officials said.

Mr. Romaine was a teacher before serving in Brookhaven’s housing and community development department in the 1980s.

From 1986 to 1989, he served as a county legislator and was later elected to Suffolk County Clerk, where he served until 2005.

That year, he was again elected to the Suffolk County Legislature and currently serves the First Legislative District, which reaches from eastern Brookhaven along the North Fork, including Riverhead, Southold and Shelter Island town.

Mr. Lesko’s resignation will take effect in September. The special election will be held on Nov. 6.

The winner would be sworn in right after Election Day, with a vote for the legislative seat taking place 60 to 90 days later.

Mr. Romaine would be able to continue serving as a county legislator if he loses the town supervisor race.

mwhite@timesreview.com

08/20/12 6:03pm
08/20/2012 6:03 PM

FILE PHOTO | Legislator Ed Romaine (R – Center Moriches) as announced he will seek to run for Brookhaven Town Supervisor this fall.

Suffolk County Legislator Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches) has announced he will seek the Republican nomination for Brookhaven Town supervisor, which will be left vacant by resigning Supervisor Mark Lesko this fall.

Mr. Romaine, now serving his fourth consecutive term as a legislator, said he was approached by Republican leadership to run for the office.

“This is something I thought long and hard over,” he said. “But then I said, hey, that will make this race very interesting because even if I lose I come back to the job I love.”

Brookhaven’s supervisor seat will be left open this September. Town Supervisor Mark Lesko announced his resignation earlier this month to lead Accelerate Long Island, a nonprofit organization. Mr. Lesko helped found the group, which seeks to make Long Island more appealing to tech startup companies

Mr. Lesko’s resignation comes just before a difficult financial season for the town, which faces a multi-million dollar budget crisis. His resignation takes effect next month, and his position will be filled during a special election this November.

Mr. Romaine, a longtime Center Moriches resident, was a teacher before serving in Brookhaven’s housing and community development department in the 1980s.

From 1986 to 1989, Mr. Romaine served as a county legislator and was later elected to Suffolk County Clerk, where he served until 2005.

That year, he was again elected to the Suffolk County Legislature and currently serves the First Legislative District, which reaches from eastern Brookhaven along the North Fork, including Riverhead, Southold and Shelter Island town.

Mr. Romaine said that the “challenge” of balancing Brookhaven Town’s budget appeals to him, adding he would work to trim the excesses in town spending while keeping vital services intact.

“We will ‘Reinvent Brookhaven’ by streaming government, by making it more responsive to its residents, by working to resolve quality of life issues, by making our town a better place to create jobs, and by preserving our environment,” he said in a statement.

Mr. Romaine said the town “cannot spend monies [it doesn't] have,” but added that he would not seek to layoff town jobs to fix Brookhaven’s fiscal problems if elected. Mr. Romaine also stressed the importance of keeping the environment safe while letting each of the town’s 44 hamlets “be heard.”

Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter, a fellow Republican, said he was “really excited” by the news.

“I was sorry to see Mark Lesko go,” he said. “Those are big shoes to fill and I think Ed Romaine can definitely fill them…I think it’s wonderful.”

Mr. Walter said Mr. Romaine’s skills would be better used by serving as a town supervisor, adding that he would encourage the county’s Republican Committee to choose Mr. Romaine as the nominee.

“It’s a no-brainer,” Mr. Walter said.

psquire@timesreview.com

08/08/12 10:30am
08/08/2012 10:30 AM

Wading River firefighters responded to 22 calls, including two water rescues and a lightning strike, last month, according to figures released by Wading River Fire Department officials. Wading River ambulance crews responded to 77 calls last month, the report states.

Wading River firefighters have responded to 126 calls through July of this year, fire officials said. Ambulance crews responded to 431 calls so far in 2011.

The following is a breakdown of the number and types of fire calls in July.

Automatic alarms: 15

Assist/service calls: 1

Lightning Strike: 1

Gas leaks: 1

Vehicle fire: 1

Structure fires: 1

Water rescue: 2

The following is a breakdown of the number and types of ambulance calls received last month.

Allergic reaction: 2

Assault: 1

Trouble breathing: 7

Cardiac arrest: 1

Chest pain: 4

Choking: 1

Convulsions: 4

Diabetic: 2

Fall: 16

Headache: 1

Heart problem: 4

Heat exposure: 1

Lacerations: 1

Maternity: 2

Psychiatric: 2

Sick: 8

Stroke: 1

Motor vehicle accident: 8

Traumatic injury: 3

Unconscious: 7

Unknown: 1

Firefighters responded to a total of 262 calls in 2011; emergency medical technicians responded to 735, according to figured from last year.

“On behalf of the Wading River Fire District, please be safe,” fire officials said.

02/22/12 2:44pm
02/22/2012 2:44 PM

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Brookhaven Town has issued 10 'quality of life' violations to the owner of the home at 30 Randall Road in Wading River.

Brookhaven Town’s Quality of Life Task Force issued 10 appearance tickets earlier this month to the owner of a single family home that had been split up into four apartments on Randall Road in Wading River, according to a press release from the Town Supervisor’s office.

Town officials said they found that an illegal two-bedroom apartment over the garage of the house at 30 Randall Road, and two more one-bedroom dwellings in the basement. The home, which according to Brookhaven tax records is owned by Scott and Gina Noethiger, also containe no functioning smoke detectors in any of its bedrooms.

“You know how unsafe is it for people to live with out smoke detectors?” said Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner, who represents Wading River. “It’s not right for people to have multiple families living illegally in a house so the homeowner can make his mortgage payment.”

Town investigators said they also found an unregistered vehicle and several tires dumped illegally on the premises. The property owner is due in court March 22, according to the town.

“The property owner of this illegal multi-family home will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko said in a prepared statement. “I thank our Quality of Life Task Force for the job that they do every day to clean up our neighborhoods and for cracking down on serial offenders and property owners who blatantly disregard our laws.”

Brookhaven Town formed its Quality of Life Task Force three years ago and Mr. Lesko says quality of life fines have more than tripled in that time. He said the town issued $1 million in fines against serial offenders for the first time in 2011.

gparpan@timesreview.com

01/28/11 1:16pm
01/28/2011 1:16 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Town highway worker John Appicello removes snow from Pulaski Street last week to make room for more.

Riverhead Highway Superintendent George “Gio” Woodson said the town has enough money left in its annual snow removal budget to cover two more snow storms until Dec. 31.

But forecasters are already predicting more snowfall Tuesday.

If the town spends more than the amount allotted for snow removal, Riverhead could be sending an additional bill to residents.

Last year, neighboring Brookhaven Town issued a $2.3 million bill to its residents to cover snow removal, which cost the average homeowner about $15, according to Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko .

Riverhead, which is much smaller than Brookhaven, has about $70,000 left for overtime costs and $100,000 for salt and materials for 2011, Mr. Woodson said.

“If you go over [budget], then everything comes back to the taxpayer,” he said. “Our budget isn’t busted yet.”

The town has spent about $70,000 in overtime in January alone and about $75,000 for materials including salt, according to Mr. Woodson’s assistant, Susan Beal.

January 2011 is now the snowiest January in Long Island history, according to the National Weather Service in Upton. A reported 34.2 inches has fallen at Islip’s Long Island MacArthur Airport this month. The previous record was 21.5 inches set in 2005.

But the budget could be just one of our worries. Mr. Woodson said flooding might persist once the mountains of plowed snow begin to melt. Aside from hindering motorists’ views, the snow piles are also making it difficult for the town’s 33 highway workers to plow the town’s 444 miles of road lanes.

“The roads may get a little narrower if we get [an additional] 18 inches,” he said.

vchinese@timesreview.com

Read more in the Feb. 3 issue of the News-Review.