11/14/13 9:00am
11/14/2013 9:00 AM
JOSEPH PINCIARO PHOTO | Shirley Coverdale, right, speaks at a recent Flanders, Riverside, Northampton Community Association meeting.

JOSEPH PINCIARO PHOTO | Shirley Coverdale, right, speaks at a recent Flanders, Riverside, Northampton Community Association meeting.

How can a group of people organize to achieve a common goal?

That’s a question facing the Flanders, Riverside, Northampton Community Association — one that was addressed at the group’s monthly meeting Tuesday night.

Though it appears that the area will soon be represented on the Town Board for the first time in recent memory – Northampton resident Brad Bender held a 143-vote lead after Election Day, with nearly 900 absentee ballots to be counted – declining membership in its civic group remains a long-term issue, especially with projects of community concern looming on the horizon.

“The numbers continue to decline, but it still is a good-sized membership of paying community members,” said FRNCA president Vince Taldone. “To me, that alone wouldn’t upset me. My main concern is that people are not participating in the discussion about the community they live in.”

Mr. Taldone said Wednesday that over the past three years, membership in FRNCA — which asks a $20 annual fee of its members — has dropped from 130, to 115, to 90.

Tuesday night’s discussion centered on turning those numbers around.

Shirley Coverdale, who sits on the board of Long Island Organizing Network and was recently named a co-chair of the Suffolk County Democratic Committee’s newly formed Black and Hispanic Democratic Committee, also shared her experience in community organizing.

Ms. Coverdale has most recently been at Riverhead Town Hall to support a special zone that would permit construction of the Family Community Life Center – a multi-purpose facility proposed for land owned by First Baptist Church, where her husband, the Rev. Charles Coverdale, has been pastor for over 30 years. She told FRNCA members that over the past 20-plus years, as she and others have attempted to bring that project to fruition, it’s drawn over $1 million in donations.

“A funny thing happens when you organize people,” she said. “Money follows.”

Ms. Coverdale also shared an anecdote about 15 homeowners affected by torrential flooding that ruined homes in the Horton Avenue area in the spring of 2010.

Through a series of one-on-one face-to-face meetings, she said, personal connections formed to strengthen a core group of people, widen their reach and eventually attract $3.5 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to compensate people whose homes were destroyed — quite a feat for such a small group, she noted.

In recent years, FRNCA leaders have helped draw resources to the area south of the Peconic River, including a Brownfields Opportunities Area grant of nearly $240,000 intended to spur revitalization in the Riverside area, which has 15 dormant, contaminated properties. Meanwhile sewer and traffic studies have also been in the works there, though Mr. Taldone said Tuesday that study after study could be part of the reason it’s hard to draw people to FRNCA meetings.

“Too many promises, too many studies for years and years,” Mr. Taldone said. “They lose faith. When I go to them, and say ‘This is amazing, and it’s happening now,’ they don’t even believe me.”

Northampton resident Chris Sheldon said that a decade ago, when Southampton Town was conducting a Riverside Revitalization Study, “we could have filled Phillips Avenue school.”

Moving forward, Mr. Sheldon suggested “finding new blood” and engaging those members of the community face-to-face.

Mr. Bender pointed to his Southampton Town Board campaign, noting that knocking on 2,000 doors and hearing people out in-person made the difference in what looks like an election victory

Speaking to an audience of no more than a dozen people, FRNCA leaders said Tuesday they’ll spend some of the organization’s limited funds on colored palm cards to have on hand when they speak to their neighbors in the future. And as the brownfields grant and other projects continue, they hope to see more locals come out and participate in the future of their community — at public meetings about the actual projects and at monthly FRNCA meetings.

“When the bulldozer is taking down buildings, maybe then people will believe what’s happening,” Mr. Taldone said. “But, by then, everything will be decided.”

10/21/13 4:00pm
10/21/2013 4:00 PM

SouthamptonPD HQ4 - 500

A Flanders man is facing aggravated DWI and drug charges after he was arrested for driving through Flanders without headlights on early Saturday, town police said.

Fernando Hernandez Reyes, 28, drove south on Flanders Road without his lights on about 12:50 a.m. and turned onto Oak Avenue without signaling, according to a police report.

Police pulled Mr. Hernandez Reyes over and found he was intoxicated, police said. An officer searched him at the scene and found he had a “quantity of cocaine” in his possession, according to the report.

A later chemical test revealed his blood alcohol content was .18 percent, police said.

He was charges with aggravated DWI, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and several traffic violations, police said.

10/21/13 7:53am

SH_CopsSouthampton Town police arrested three men in three separate incidents early on Sunday and Monday mornings on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol in the Flanders-Riverside area.

According to police, Margarito Morales, 35, of Riverhead, was arrested on charges of DWI and several other vehicle and traffic violations about 1:45 a.m. after he was caught driving drunk on Lake Avenue in Riverside.

James Bennett, 25, of Flanders, was charged with DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, a felony. Bennett was arrested shortly after 5:15 a.m. on Flanders Road in Flanders.

On Monday, East Hampton resident Francisco Moctezuma, 47, was arrested on a DWI charge after being pulled over on Flanders Road in Flanders just before 5 a.m.

Police said all three were arraigned in Southampton Town Justice Court.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that all three arrests were on Monday morning.

10/17/13 1:00pm
10/17/2013 1:00 PM

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Republican Linda Kabot, left, speaks while incumbent Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, who is running on the Democratic line, listens at the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association’s Southampton Town candidate’s night Tuesday.

Both the Republican and Democratic candidates for Southampton Town Board and Suffolk County Legislature agreed Tuesday that helping the northwest portion of town – most of which shares a school district with Riverhead Town – is an important goal in their campaigns. But the two sides disagreed about how best to achieve this goal.

One key disagreement concerned the proposed formation of a Riverside sewer district, seen by some as a key to economic development in the area.

The Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association held the forum Tuesday in David Crohan Community Center in Flanders, where candidates for Southampton Town Supervisor and council spoke, along with candidates for the South Fork’s Suffolk County Legislature seat.

Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst of Sag Harbor, running for reelection on the Democratic, Independence and Working Families lines, is opposed by former Supervisor Linda Kabot of Quogue, running on the Republican and Conservative lines.

Ms. Throne-Holst defeated Ms. Kabot four years ago and then won again two years ago when Ms. Kabot ran only a write-in campaign.

Ms. Throne-Holst said her administration has done a lot for the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton areas, including establishing an economic development task force, getting the county’s sex offender trailers closed, obtaining a grant for a walking trail to the river in Riverside, having the police department join the East End Drug Task Force and issuing a request for proposals from developers interested in jump-starting economic activity in Riverside.

“Economic development in Riverside is absolutely crucial,” Ms. Kabot agreed. But she said that having done a number of studies on the area, the town should be taking action. She said the area near the former car dealership on Route 104 should be rezoned for shopping centers and the property north of the Riverwoods mobile home park should be rezoned for senior housing. The Republican Town Board candidates have included a section on Riverside in their campaign platform, Ms. Kabot said.

The two candidates also differed about future handling of the area’s sewage. Ms. Kabot said the town should hook into downtown Riverhead’s system while Ms. Throne-Holst supports a $250,000 study of the issue. The views of the county legislature candidates, incumbent Jay Schneiderman and Republican challenger Chris Nuzzi, split along the same lines.

Mr. Nuzzi said he disagrees with doing a $250,000 study on sewers in Riverside since “we already know the answer,” which would be hooking into the Riverhead system.

Mr. Schneiderman, who sponsored the bill to fund the study, has said that Riverhead Town rejected a request to tie into their sewer system, which Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter has confirmed in interviews.

All candidates supported current plans to create a walking trail from Flanders Road to the Peconic River and to build a pedestrian bridge over the river from downtown Riverhead connecting to that path. Town and county officials hope to obtain a grant for that project.

“We have very serious issues here,” Ms. Kabot said. “The northwest quadrant of the town needs attention.” At one point, she added that she’d like to see someone from the area run for town board, though Ms. Throne-Holst’s running mate, Brad Bender, is in fact from Northampton. Ms. Throne-Holst later thanked Ms. Kabot for “endorsing” him.

Ms. Kabot said that during her two years as supervisor, the town brought the Big Duck back to Flanders, got the state to repave Route 24 and renovated the Crohan Community Center.

Ms. Throne-Holst’s running mates for Town Board are Mr. Bender, a former FRNCA president and landscaping company owner who made an unsuccessful bid for Town Board in 2011, and Frank Zappone of Southampton, currently her deputy supervisor. In the past, he was a school administrator for many years and also worked for Apple and for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Republican/Conservative council candidates are Stan Glinka of Hampton Bays – president of the Hampton Bays Chamber of Commerce and the Rogers Memorial Library and a vice president at Bridgehampton National Bank – and Jeff Mansfield of Bridgehampton, a finance professional who also has degrees in business administration and law.

Some Republican candidates were also critical of the current administration for not following through on a pledge to create a night court within the town justice court, something Flanders and Riverside residents felt would help deal with quality-of-life offenses.

Ms. Throne-Holst said the attorneys in town didn’t want to go to night court, and the decision to have night court was up to the town justices, who didn’t pursue it. She said the Town Board can’t force judges to do something since they themselves are elected officials.

Correction: The print version of this story in the Oct. 17 News-Review incorrectly said the meeting was Monday.

tgannon@timesreview.com

10/07/13 3:00pm
10/07/2013 3:00 PM

The Riverhead News-Review is partnering with Flanders Heating & Air Conditioning to give you the opportunity to win a free generator.

We all know how valuable a generator is for all of us living on the East End.  We’ll be giving away this great prize through rafflecopter – which means you’ve got to “like,”  “follow,” “re-tweet,” or “share” to enter to win.

It’s easy and fun.  The winner will be announced Tuesday, Oct. 15.

Flander Van

THE PRIZE:

A Honeywell, 3250 watt portable generator.  This generator boasts an OHV engine designed for long life, a user-friendly design, a large steel fuel tank and heavy duty wheels.  It’s a $650 value.  The generator must be picked up by the winner at Flanders Heating & Air Conditioning in Flanders.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ABOUT FLANDERS HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING:

Flanders Heating & Air Conditioning was founded in 1954 and in 2004 was purchased by Doug Matz, a third generation East End heating and air conditioning businessman with the experience of developing business and implementing process while inspiring teamwork and insisting on quality. Today, Flanders has over 30 associates and a fleet of vehicles to serve the growing demand for heating, air conditioning and indoor air quality products and services.

10/06/13 8:15pm
10/06/2013 8:15 PM

SH_Cops

An unlicensed Flanders man was charged with driving while intoxicated at 9:30 a.m. Sunday when his vehicle nearly collided with several cars parked along the street where he lives, Southampton Town Police said.

Fredy Lopez, 24, was arrested on Silverbrook Drive, where police said he was driving with an open container.

He was charged with aggravated DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and ticketed for driving with an open container, police said.

He was processed at Southampton Town headquarters where he is being held overnight for a Monday morning arraignment.

10/06/13 11:37am

SouthamptonPD HQ4 - 500

A Flanders man with a suspended license was charged with DWI early Sunday morning after he was observed failing to maintain his lane of travel on County Road 39 in Southampton, police said.

Denis Ramirez, 35, of Flanders was pulled over by police shortly before 1 a.m. and was arrested after officers determined he had been driving drunk, police said. He brought to police headquarters, where he was held overnight pending a Sunday morning arraignment.

In addition to the DWI charge, he was charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, police said.

10/02/13 10:00am
10/02/2013 10:00 AM
GOOGLE MAPS

GOOGLE MAPS

Reeves Bay watershed residents now have an opportunity to earn cash toward landscaping while helping preserve nearby waters.

The Peconic Estuary Program announced Tuesday a new rewards program designed to help educate residents and reduce pollutants from entering bay waters.

The pilot program is designed after successful programs in Maryland and other states, said Jennifer Skilbred, education and outreach coordinator for the program.

About 1,200 property owners in the Flanders area are eligible to receive up to $500 each to build rain gardens or conservation landscaping on their property using native plants. The total reward depends on which project they pursue, and landscaping must be a minimum of 50 square feet, according to the program.

Homeowners can also install 50 gallon (or more) rain barrels, designed to catch rainwater to be used to water plants when needed.

The projects are designed to reduce storm waters from entering the nearby estuary, Ms. Skilbred said. Participating homeowners are also asked to avoid using pesticides and fertilizers.

A total of $50,000 in federal funding has been secured for the program from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“It’s a first come, first serve basis,” Ms. Skilbred said. “The more homeowners we get involved the better.”

Program officials are working on developing a demonstration for the property of the Big Duck in Flanders, program officials said. If successful, the project will expansd to other areas across the East End.

For more information on the rewards program visit www.PeconicEstuaryRorgram.com.

Or, contact Jennifer Skilbred at jskilbred@eastendenvironment.org.

cmiller@timesreview.com


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