05/31/14 10:00am
05/31/2014 10:00 AM

Classic Car Night resumed down by the Peconic Riverfront on Thursday night, as about 20 classic car owners drove downtown to enjoy the sun.

The weekly gathering in the parking lot by the river is sponsored by the Business Improvement District, and runs through August.

Miss the cars this week? Head down there next week. Or in the meantime, check out these photos from Thursday night. (more…)

03/12/14 6:11pm
03/12/2014 6:11 PM

Joe Murphy Jr. tries out the synthetic ice at a demonstration Wednesday morning for town officials. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

While officials were impressed with the demonstration of a synthetic ice skating rink Wednesday morning in downtown Riverhead, the question of where the best location would be for the rink is still undecided.  (more…)

02/20/14 3:08pm
02/20/2014 3:08 PM
A 2008 rendering of the proposed skating rink and pavillion planned for downtown Riverhead, from architect Martin Sendlewski

A 2008 rendering of the proposed skating rink and pavillion planned for downtown Riverhead, from architect Martin Sendlewski

The Riverhead Business Improvement District’s management association is still going to pursue grants to try and build an ice skating rink and pavilion in downtown Riverhead, BIDMA members said last night.

The BID and the Riverhead Town Board have been discussing the possibility of bringing an ice skating rink to downtown Riverhead since 2011, but the idea lost steam in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012 — a storm that left about five feet of water in the Peconic Riverfront parking lot in downtown Riverhead and flooded many businesses there.

(more…)

02/19/14 4:00pm
02/19/2014 4:00 PM
Pickersgill in Riverhead

NEWS-REVIEW FILE PHOTO | BID management association president Ray Pickersgill in downtown Riverhead.

The Riverhead Town Board is planning to vote at its meeting tonight to petition the Business Improvement District Management Association to hire its current president, Robert James Salon co-owner Ray Pickersgill, as executive director, for a salary of no more than $6,000 for 2104.

Supervisor Sean Walter says he proposed the measure in light of how much time Mr. Pickersgill — currently serving as the BIDMA president — has put into revitalizing downtown during his four years as BID president, which is an unsalaried position.

Mr. Walter said the money would come from the BID’s $96,500 budget, which the Town Board is also voting to approve tonight. He believes there is enough money in that budget — up from last year’s $81,600 budget — to fund the position.

“Ray has done so much work for the BID at the expense of his own business, and there’s money in the BID that would allow this,” Mr. Walter said. ”I think it’s time for the Town Board to recognize his sacrifice with more than just a proclamation.”

The supervisor said Mr. Pickersgill’s efforts as BIDMA president have brought thousands of people to downtown Riverhead through events like the recent indoor Farmers Market, the weekly Cruise Night car shows in the summer, and the annual cardboard boat races.

The Town Board is officially the governing body of the BID, but the seven-member BID management association runs the day-to-day business of the BID.

Mr. Pickersgill, who would have to give up his BIDMA seat, was uncertain whether he wants to keep that seat or take the executive director post, which is not a voting position. The BIDMA would also have to vote to create the position.

“I have mixed emotions,” Mr. Pickersgill said in an interview. “If I’m not the president, will I still have the control I have now to get things done?”

He said he wanted to talk to the executive director of the BID in Patchogue to gauge his experiences.

The BID has had a paid executive director in the past, but currently has no paid staff. Mr. Pickersgill said the board saved about $30,000 a few years ago by eliminating its secretary and its office, but he said he took up some of those responsibilities himself.

The BID is a taxing district comprised of 322 properties in the downtown Riverhead area. Its functions include capital improvements, holding events and trying to bring people to the downtown area.

12/09/12 11:26am
12/09/2012 11:26 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The bonfire Saturday night stretched for 30 feet.

More than 500 people attended the 13th annual Holiday bonfire Saturday night as Santa Claus arrived via boat to greet the children and light the Christmas tree.

The 30-foot long bonfire was fed logs by volunteers Ed Densieski and his daughter Cassie, Ray Dichoff, Gary Joyce, Martin Sendlewski, Dave Young and Joe Densieski. They used two pallets of pine to get the fire started and had 5 cords of hardwood to burn that the town provided.

To keep the holiday spirit going DJ Phil Schmitt Jr. ‘Make Some Noise’ spun the tunes. And as families waited for Santa Claus, there was free hot chocolate with whipped cream and free cookies from the Blue Duck Bakery.

The bonfire, sponsored by the downtown Business Improvement District’s management association, featured Town councilman Jim Wooten as the emcee. The event was the brainchild of former councilman Ed Densieski.

Santa arrived a little after 5 p.m. on a Christmas-lighted boat on the Peconic River captained by Duane Lewin of Aquebogue. He was escorted to the Christmas tree by Mr. Wooten, who led the children in a countdown from 10 to one when Santa flicked the switch to light the tree.

Children waited in line to visit with Santa in the Gingerbread house, tell them their Christmas wishes and have their photo taken.

Around 6:30 p.m. Rabbi William Siemers and congregants from Temple Israel in Riverhead came down to light the Menorah for the first night of Hanukkah.

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