01/25/14 4:22pm
01/25/2014 4:22 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Dan Hughes, who scored a game-high 22 points for Shoreham-Wading River, tries to dribble around Greenport's Willie Riggins near the baseline.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Dan Hughes, who scored a game-high 22 points for Shoreham-Wading River, tries to dribble around Greenport’s Willie Riggins near the baseline.

WILDCATS 64, PORTERS 46

Difficult but doable.

That was the assessment Shoreham-Wading River coach Kevin Culhane gave of his boys basketball team’s chances of qualifying for the playoffs for the third time in four years. In order to do that, the Wildcats will have to win their final three Suffolk County League VI games. (more…)

12/13/13 5:30pm
12/13/2013 5:30 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | More than 40 worshippers ran from Greenport to Riverhead Thursday afternoon to deliver a holy flame honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, a popular religious symbol.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | More than 40 worshippers ran from Greenport to Riverhead Thursday afternoon to deliver a holy flame honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, a popular religious symbol.

A small crowd was gathered around a blue pickup truck parked outside St. Agnes Church in Greenport just after noon on Thursday for the big unveiling.

As one of the men began pulled off the wrapping protecting a statue strapped to the bed of the truck, the worshippers circled the truck to take pictures.

A small statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe — a beloved religious icon for Latin American Christians — was perched on a cherry-colored wooden pedestal called an anda, which was decorated with flowers laid on fake grass.

An arch framing the idol was interwoven with roses. The display took almost a month to prepare, organizers said.

As four men carefully carried the platform into the church, another group was rushing back to the East End from New York City by van, bearing a sacred flame to commemorate the day.

For these devout Hispanic men and women, the hours of preparation were worth it.

“It’s to say thank you,” said Riverhead resident Tarciso Cerafico — who helped build the tribute — through a translator. “For my health, for my family’s health, for what I’ve received here in the United States.”

More than 40 runners — men, women, and children from across the North Fork — helped carry the sacred flame from Greenport to a special mass in Riverhead Thursday evening to honor the religious symbol on her feast day.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe, is a title for the Virgin Mary connected to a specific image of the holy figure that is believed to have been revealed to a devout Catholic in Mexico on the man’s cloak in the 1500s.

Though Our Lady of Guadalupe was originally a Mexican icon, she has since spread to areas across Latin America as a symbol of peace and protection.

“They dedicate everything they do to be under the protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe,” said Sister Margaret Smyth, founder of the North Fork Spanish Apostolate.

The Virgin of Guadalupe is celebrated each Dec. 12, the day the image was originally revealed, according to the church. While Latin American Christians on the North Fork have celebrated her feast day in the past, organizers decided to try something special this year.

A group of worshippers drove into New York City to retrieve a holy flame that had been run from the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City to New York City over the past 80 days.

The flame was part of the ceremony held at St. Patricks Cathedral. As residents gathered in Riverhead for an early morning mass Thursday morning, the volunteers lit a lantern with the flame in the city and drove it back out to Greenport.

Organizer Jose Galvan said the flame had been a tradition in celebrations in New York City for years, but the ceremonies were too far for most North Fork residents.

“It seemed like it was impossible for us to go in and do it,” Mr. Galvan said. Someone came up with the idea to bring the flame out East, and the community rallied around the plan.

“We got a lot of people for our first time,” he said.

The flame was transferred to a hand-made torch and carried into St. Agnes Church on Front Street.

Worshippers sang hymns in Spanish and prayed as the display Mr. Cerafico helped build was laid at the head of the altar in the church.

After blessing the statue and the flame, the group of runners loaded up the statue into the back of a pickup truck. They then took turns running with the flame along Route 25 into Riverhead, with the truck carrying the statue driving close behind.

Local police in Southold and Riverhead approved the parade in advance and helped keep the runners safe, Sister Margaret said.

The group ran for hours, finishing the roughly 20-mile journey later that evening at St. John’s the Evangelist Church in time for the second mass at 7 p.m.

“We put ourselves in her hands,” said Oscar Cruz, a Greenport man who helped carry the flame. “It means everything for us. So we’re glad and we’re happy to do something for her.”

psquire@timesreview.com

11/28/13 5:00pm
11/28/2013 5:00 PM
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Suffolk County officials have asked the fireboat Fire Fighter museum to leave the railroad dock in Greenport.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Suffolk County officials have asked the fireboat Fire Fighter museum to leave the railroad dock in Greenport.

When the fireboat Fire Fighter docked in Greenport this past February it was hoped that it could become a permanent fixture in the maritime community — a floating museum where youngsters could learn about the vessel’s rich history battling fires in New York City.

But less than 10 months later, the former FDNY ship appears headed back toward New York City.

The Village of Greenport received a letter from the county attorney’s office late last month stating that the decommissioned fireboat turned nonprofit museum would need to vacate the railroad dock within three weeks, or the county would take further action.

Suffolk County officials say they are now pursuing “all means available” to remove the ship from its mooring at the county-owned railroad dock. The ultimatum comes several months after a group of local fishermen and other village residents complained to village officials that the railroad dock is intended exclusively for commercial fishing purposes and therefore should not host Fire Fighter.

With time running out to remove the boat from the railroad dock, Fire Fighter museum president Charlie Ritchie is scrambling to find another deepwater dock to moor the 134-foot vessel.

“We were looking to private mooring in Sterling Harbor, but it doesn’t look like that is going to work,” he said. “Now we’re looking closer to New York City. We just know we have to get out as soon as possible.”

Mr. Ritchie said the move alone could cost the nonprofit more than $800 in fuel costs and would set back the restoration of the ship.

The Greenport Village Board had voted to move the historic boat to the railroad dock when the contract to dock the vessel at Mitchell Park Marina expired in June. But in its letter last month, the county said it never signed off on the move.

County Legislator Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue) said the presence of the boat at the railroad dock has created a potential liability for the county.

“If it damages the dock it’s hard to say what would happen,” Mr. Krupski said. “If it sinks, it could damage the oyster beds there. The dock was intended to be used by commercial fishermen and they could be displaced with the fireboat there.”

While the Village of Greenport leases the railroad dock from the county for a token fee of $1 per year, the county has the right to refuse any sublease agreement the village enters into regarding the dock.

Greenport Mayor David Nyce told the public in June that he wanted the village to end the lease agreement for the dock — saying it has caused nothing but “headaches.”

The village began renting the dock in 1982 in hopes of enticing additional fishing boats to tie up there. Instead, Mr. Nyce said, the dock has become a “liability” for the village and hasn’t produced a significant revenue stream.

Village administrator David Abatelli said that although three weeks have passed since the county informed the village of the need to move the boat, there’s not much that can be done to take immediate action.

“All the county said was they were going to take further action,” he said. “I don’t think they’re going to come with a tug boat to move it.”

Suffolk County attorney Dennis Brown said Monday that he can’t comment on the matter, nor could he say what action the county might take to move the fireboat.

Mr. Ritchie said his priority now is to continue to work with the village and the county to come to an amicable solution.

“It’s a shame; we thought we’d have a long relationship with the village,” Mr. Ritchie said. “The board, the village administrator and the mayor have all been good to us. And I can honestly say not one of our visitors has ever said a negative thing about the boat.”

Fire Fighter was christened in 1938 and was used to fight fires along the New York City waterfront for more than 70 years before being retired in 2010.

The vessel spent two years at the Brooklyn Navy Yard before being transferred to the museum in October 2012. It’s the third-oldest fireboat in the country and the fifth oldest in the world, according to the museum.

cmurray@timesreview.com

10/17/13 6:00pm
10/17/2013 6:00 PM

RACHEL YOUNG FILE PHOTO | Tom Spurge in August on the platform at the Ronkonkoma train station, where he makes the first of two transfers when he commutes from Greenport to Penn Station for his job in Manhattan.

The Long Island Rail Road extended its weekend “summer service” on the North Fork further into the fall.

The LIRR agreed over the summer to extend service into November and has now posted some signs at train stations indicating weekend service will run through Dec. 1. Printed schedules and the PDF format on MTA.info, however, still lists service ending Oct. 13.

Weekend service between Greenport and Ronkonkoma will now be extended to Dec. 1 and include Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, according to the LIRR.

After Dec. 1, there will be no weekend train service between Greenport and Ronkonkoma until spring. However, the service may resume earlier than in years past, according to signs at the train stations.

SEE ALSO: From the North Fork to NYC, commuters tell their stories

Weekend service on the Greenport line previously ran from Memorial Day weekend to Columbus Day weekend as a result of budget cuts implemented in 2010.

The LIRR said the restoration of service is a response to customer demand.

“The Long Island Rail Road restored a number of service cuts, implementing the changes gradually as budgeting allowed over the last few month,” said MTA spokesman Sal Arena. “All along the plan was for the LIRR to extend the weekend service to Greenport as far into November as possible.”

He said the weekend service will resume in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

The weekend and holiday schedule on the North Fork line currently includes two westbound trains per day and two Greenport-bound trains per day.

Jim Ellwood of Riverhead, an advocate for better East End transportation, said the announcement over the summer didn’t give a specific date for when the weekend service was being extended.

“Myself and some other transportation advocates met with them to express our concerns about the loss of the weekend service and we asked if they would consider extending it to the Thanksgiving Day weekend, and they agreed,” Mr. Ellwood said. “The North Fork is very much a fall economy.”

Mr. Ellwood said it’s “frustrating” that the printed schedules don’t reflect the extended weekend schedules, because some people might not know that the service is still available on weekends.

“We fought to get that service back and we don’t want to have a situation where people don’t use it because they don’t know it’s running,” Mr. Ellwood said.

The MTA website displays the correct schedules if searching under a specific starting and arriving location, just not on the PDF schedule, Mr. Ellwood said.

M. Arena said in August: “The MTA was able to identify additional money, revenue from dedicated state taxes as well as internal cost-savings, that could be used to enhance train service and other customer amenities.”

The extension of weekend service on the North Fork is funded through this money, he said.

The MTA “made this decision based on customer demand and specifically to extend service to the fall harvest period, an important tourist season for the region,” Mr. Arena said.

tgannon@timesreview.com

10/06/13 3:53pm
10/06/2013 3:53 PM
GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Deacon Jeff Sykes and altar boy Chris Massey of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Mattituck bless a horse Sunday.

GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Deacon Jeff Sykes and altar boy Chris Massey of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Mattituck bless a horse Sunday.

It’s not every day you go to church with three horses, two donkeys, a guinea pig, several cats and a few dozen dogs. And that’s what people love about the Blessing of the Animal ceremonies held at area churches each October.

“It’s the most fun we have all year,” said Deacon Jeff Sykes of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Mattituck. “It’s particularly great out here. Other places, you’ll see some house pets. Here we have horses and donkeys, too.”

The Mattituck ceremony was one of several blessings held on the North Fork this weekend, along with events at Old Steeple Community Church in Aquebogue and St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Greenport.

09/23/13 9:13am
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Downtown Greenport was the site of the 24th Maritime Festival this past weekend.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Downtown Greenport was the site of the 24th Maritime Festival this past weekend.

East End Seaport Museum and the Village of Greenport hosted the 24th annual Maritime Festival this weekend.

The festival featured ship tours, artisan craft vendors, live music, pirate shows, boat races, children’s storytelling, contests, demonstrations and exhibits. Lighthouse tours to ‘Bug’ Light will take place at 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

New events this year, both in Mitchell Park, included the children’s Little Merfolk contest and an oyster shucking demonstration and exhibit.

09/20/13 5:00pm
09/20/2013 5:00 PM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | A young pirate at the 2012 Greenport Maritime Festival. This year’s event begins today and continues through the weekend.

Maritime Festival events schedule

Annual Greenport event runs all weekend long

FRIDAY, SEPT. 20 – SUNDAY, SEPT. 22

The East End Seaport Museum and the Village of Greenport will welcome maritime ships all weekend as a main attraction of Greenport’s annual Maritime Festival. The ships will be docked at Mitchell Park Marina’s fixed piers and will be open for viewing, tours and sailaways from approximately 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. An information booth will also be located in Mitchell Park. This year’s festival will celebrate Greenport Village and the East End’s “Land & Sea.”

FRIDAY, SEPT. 20

10 a.m. 

Ship Viewing, Tours and Sailaways • Maritime Museum • Railroad Museum • Blacksmith Shop  • Carousel • Camera Obscura

All open to the public

6–9 p.m.

Land and Sea Reception: A Taste of Greenport

East End Seaport Museum

 

SATURDAY, SEPT. 21

All day

Classic, Ice and Small Boats

Mitchell Park

10 a.m.

Blessing of the Oyster Fleet

Railroad Dock, foot of Third Street

11 a.m.–noon

Opening Day Parade and Blessing of Waters

Mitchell Park Marina and
Main and Front Streets

11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Captain Kidd’s Craft Alley • Treasure Chest • Roaming Pirates • Children’s Storytelling • Plein Air Art Show • North Fork First Responders Demo and Exhibit • Artisan Vendors and Demos • Maritime Museum • Railroad Museum • Blacksmith Shop • Carousel • Camera Obscura (all open to the public)

A Taste of the East End Food Court

Main Street and Central Avenue

Long Island Band Organ

Main Street and Central Avenue

Noon-6 p.m.

Oyster Shucking Demonstration and Exhibit

Front Street, in front of Mitchell Park

Noon

Little Merfolk Contest

Mitchell Park

1 p.m. 

Constant Wonder Children’s Program

Mitchell Park

Pie-Baking Contest

Main Street

2 p.m.

Lyrical Children’s Program

Mitchell Park

BBQ Bill’s Watermelon and Rib-Eating Contest

Front Street

3 p.m.

Tattoo Contest

Mitchell Park

Kayak Derby & Demos

Harborfront

A Mermaid’s Tale of Greenport by Gail Horton

Old School House

4 p.m.

Music

Foot of Main Street

4-6 p.m.

“Bug Light” Cruise

Seaport Museum – Railroad Dock

9 p.m.

Fireworks over Greenport Harbor

Mitchell Park Marina

 

SUNDAY, SEPT. 22

All Day

Classic, Ice and Small Boats

Mitchell Park

11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Captain Kidd’s Craft Alley • Treasure Chest • Roaming Pirates • Children’s Storytelling • Plein Air Art Show • North Fork First Responders Demo and Exhibit • Artisan Vendors and Demos • Maritime Museum • Railroad Museum • Blacksmith Shop • Carousel • Camera Obscura (all open to the public)

A Taste of the East End Food Court

Main Street and Central Avenue

Noon-6 p.m.

Oyster Shucking Demonstration and Exhibit

Front Street, in front of Mitchell Park

Noon

Lyrical Children’s Program.

Mitchell Park

Dory Race and Water Sports

Harborfront

1–2 p.m. 

Snapper Fishing Contest, ages 8 and under

Mitchell Park

1-4 p.m.

Music Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks, sponsored by WPKN

Mitchell Park

2–3 p.m.

Snapper Fishing Contest, ages 9–16

Mitchell Park

2–4 p.m.

Music

Foot of Main Street

4–6 p.m.

“Bug Light” Cruise

Seaport Museum – Railroad Dock

4 p.m.

Festival Raffle Drawing

Mitchell Park

4:30 p.m.

Eastern Long Island Hospital Raffle Drawing

Mitchell Park

5 p.m.  

Festival Closing

5-8 p.m.

“Flights of Fancy/Part 2” Art Exhibit and Wine Tasting

The Sirens’ Song Gallery, Main Street

08/25/13 7:39am
08/25/2013 7:39 AM

Kennys Road Route 48 Southold

A Riverhead was involved in a fatal crash at the intersection of Route 48 and Kennys Road in Southold Saturday night, Southold Town police said.

Lawrence Damiani, 84, of Greenport was turning onto Route 48 shortly after 7 p.m. when he failed to yield the right of way and was struck by another vehicle heading west, police said.

Mr. Damiani and his wife, Janice, 83, were pulled from the car by Southold Fire Department volunteers and airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center by a Suffolk Police helicopter. He was pronounced dead a short time later, police said.

The driver of the other vehicle, Muhammad Asjad, 33, of Riverhead was transported by Greenport Rescue to Eastern Long Island Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, police said.

Ms. Damiani’s condition was not immediately known.