08/21/13 10:00am
08/21/2013 10:00 AM

FILE PHOTO | The Tall Ships Challenge could be returning to Greenport in 2015.

The Tall Ships Challenge could be returning to Greenport Harbor in 2015.

During Village Board work session Tuesday night, Mayor David Nyce said he received a letter from the Tall Ships of America indicating interest in returning to the village.

The ships drew more than 60,000 people when they ported in the village last year during The Tall Ships Challenge 2012 tour. Mr. Nyce has said the village made about $20,000 above the $190,000 it cost to host it.

Tall Ships of America did not provide any schedule for the 2015 tour, however, more details on the event are expected to be provided to the village in the coming weeks, Mr. Nyce said.

The village needs to respond with a request for proposal by next month, he added.


07/29/13 8:00am
07/29/2013 8:00 AM
GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Charles Millman speaks at Congregation Tifereth Israel in Greenport Sunday morning.

GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Charles Millman speaks at Congregation Tifereth Israel in Greenport Sunday morning.

Toward the end of a presentation on his investigation into the TWA Flight 800 crash, Mattituck resident Charles Millman was asked what he thought caused the plane to go down just 12 minutes after takeoff on July 17, 1996.

“I think it was not the center wing [fuel] tank,” Mr. Millman said, contradicting the official report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board, following its investigation into the crash that left 230 people dead.

Mr. Millman, a retired aircraft engineer who once served as a maintenance manager at John F. Kennedy International Airport, worked as a consultant for the NTSB in the aftermath of the TWA Flight 800 crash over the Moriches Inlet in East Moriches. Now, 17 years later — and after a recent documentary offering alternative theories into the crash of the Boeing 747-100 headed from JFK to Paris, France has made headlines — Mr. Millman says he believes the federal government should reopen its investigation.

“I don’t know what happened that day,” Mr. Millman said during his presentation to the Men’s Club of Congregation Tifereth Israel in Greenport Sunday. “I do know that I think the investigation should be reopened and looked at carefully.”

The NTSB announced June 28 that it’s currently reviewing a Petition for Reconsideration of the Board’s findings and probable cause determination regarding the flight. The petition was received four weeks prior to the world premiere of the documentary, “TWA Flight 800,” on the EPIX television network. The film, which features six retired NTSB investigators who say the government’s explanation was a cover-up and the jet was actually downed by a missile, has since screened at the Stony Brook Film Festival and will also be shown Aug. 8 at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington.

Mr. Millman, who has not yet seen the documentary, said the pristine condition of several items recovered from the crash and the NTSB’s inability to replicate an explosion of a center wing fuel tank during its investigation have led him to dispute the government’s official position on the crash.

As part of his presentation to more than two dozen people at the synagogue Sunday, Mr. Millman shared the NTSB accident report, which states the explosion of the center wing tank as the probable cause of the crash. The report says the explosion was most likely caused by a short circuit outside of the tank.

“That doesn’t seem to make too much sense to me,” he said.

Mr. Millman also passed around photographs, newspaper articles and notes from the investigation.

Conspiracy theories have surfaced since the day of the crash, with more than 100 eyewitnesses having told investigators they saw a streak of light headed toward the aircraft moments before it exploded in the sky.

The government has maintained that what those witnesses actually saw was a piece of the aircraft falling from the sky, a theory Mr. Millman disagrees with.

“Common sense says that if hundreds of people say they saw [the streak of light] ascending, then it was ascending, not falling,” Mr. Millman said.

The investigation into the crash lasted more than four years and is reportedly the most expensive crash investigation in U.S. history.

Two men who attended the presentation Sunday said they had sons who were witnesses to the crash. Jed Clauss of Mattituck said his son, Josh, was surfing in Westhampton when debris from the plane landed near him.

Mr. Clauss said Josh returned home with a piece of plastic that surrounded one of the plane’s windows. They called the FBI to report the discovery and an investigator was sent to the house, he said.

“He asked Josh if he noticed a Grady-White [boat] headed in the opposite direction,” Mr. Clauss said. “I always found that curious.”

Mr. Clauss says he’s always believed kinetic energy from a missile shot in the direction of the plane caused the explosion.

Mr. Millman said he hasn’t dwelled on what caused the crash, since he doesn’t exactly know, but he thinks the time has come for the government to take another look.

“I don’t know what happened,” he said, “but 230 lives were affected and when you also consider [all their family members], a tremendous amount of people were hurt by this crash.”


07/13/13 9:00am
07/13/2013 9:00 AM
Caleb Hodges, 71, was last seen at his Ridge Rest Home residence about 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Caleb Hodges, 71, was last seen at his Ridge Rest Home residence about 3 p.m. Wednesday.

UPDATE: An elderly Ridge man who went missing Wednesday afternoon was located Friday night unharmed, Suffolk County Police said. No further details were given as to the man’s location.

ORIGINAL STORY: Suffolk County Police are looking for an elderly Ridge man who went missing Wednesday afternoon.

County police issued a Silver Alert about 1 a.m. Thursday for Caleb Hodges, 71, who has schizophrenia and early stage Alzheimer’s disease.

Mr. Hodges is described as black, 6-foot-1 and weighs 160 pounds. He has black hair, is unshaven, has no teeth and was wearing black army boots, police said.

He was last seen at his resident at Ridge Rest Home about 3 p.m. Wednesday, when he boarded a bus traveling to a program at the Peconic Bay Medical Center.

He never returned to the rest home in Ridge.

In the past, he has been known to travel to Greenport to visit friends, police said.

Anyone with information about Caleb Hodges is requested to contact detectives at (631) 852-8752 or call (631) 852-2677.

Silver Alert is a new program implemented in Suffolk County that allows local law enforcement to share information about individuals with special needs who have been reported missing.

06/23/13 4:43pm
06/23/2013 4:43 PM

A Riverhead painter faces a charge of criminal mischief after he had a disagreement with a client over money and then posted a sign to the other man’s store, saying the man “doesn’t pay,” according to a Southold Town police press release.

Louis Cardamone, 50, hung the sign on the Greenport store after the store’s owner declined to pay him in advance for a paint job, police said. The owner paid Mr. Cardamone half the money up front and said he would pay him the rest upon completion of the job, police said.

The sign caused damage to the siding on the Main Street building, police said.

Mr. Cardamone was arrested Saturday evening and released on cash bail, police said.

06/09/13 10:00am
06/09/2013 10:00 AM

COURTESY PHOTO  |  Floyd Memorial Library opened in 1917 on First Street. The stone building was donated by Grace Floyd, whose grandfather William Floyd was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The architecture of Greenport illustrates the village’s growth from its pre-Revolutionary beginnings through its heyday as a commercial whaling center into a modern-day working waterfront that serves locals and visitors alike.

After the Revolutionary War, the village was called Green Hill — named for its expansive marshland and a hill located near present-day Greenport Yacht and Ship Building. The hill was leveled at the turn of the century to fill in the marsh that would become the incorporated village.

Lacking the natural materials to make their own, residents relied on bricks shipped from Europe to build the foundation of the village’s earliest homes until the discovery of clay, according to local historian Carlos DeJesus.

Many buildings were even floated into Greenport, village historian Gail Horton said.

Today, Greenport’s historic district consists of 254 wood-framed structures, a mix of residential and commercial, laid out in a fan shape from the village’s Main Street waterfront business district.

Vernacular, Greek revival, Italianate, Queen Anne and Victorian styles were among the most popular home designs.

COURTESY PHOTO | The Metro Theatre was a popular attraction in Greenport during the early 1900s.

“The architecture of this village is fascinating,” Ms. Horton said. “You can walk around and really see the past in the housing. You can tell what people did for a living.”

Turn-of-the-century dwellings occupied by the working class are typically found on cross-streets near Carpenter Street. Most are small, simply designed homes sited close to the street on deep, narrow lots.

The village’s official jailhouse was also located on Carpenter Street. The jail was nicknamed the Greenlight Hotel because a green light was turned on out front when the jail was occupied. While no longer used in any official capacity, the brick building still stands at 232 Carpenter St.

Members of Greenport’s rising merchant class built their homes on Bay Avenue. They favored the Italianate style, which features decorative molding, often in a floral motif, and open front porches with tapered square columns.

Main Street was where wealthy captains constructed grand, impressive houses. At one point the road was called High Street or Captain’s Walk after the stately homes. It even held the name Murray Hill — a reference to the upscale Manhattan neighborhood.

An example of the upper-class-style house is the Ebenezer W. Case House at 527 Main St. Mr. Case resided there through the mid-1800s. The two-story house is a vintage Victorian with a side bay window and a double front door.

Sterling Street was also the site of prominent homes. Built in 1835, the waterfront residence at 162 Sterling was home to the president of New York City Fire Insurance Co. The house, set on spacious grounds, has several unique features, including a Palladian style window in the front gable and wood fanlight carving in the gable.

Many of the multi-room houses in the village were later transformed into bed-and-breakfasts.

Today, Greenport’s Historic Preservation Commission keeps a watchful eye on its oldest residences, and has even published a pamphlet, “Recommendations for Homeowners,” as a guide for protecting the historic integrity of the buildings.


05/27/13 9:53am
05/27/2013 9:53 AM

Three men were arrested after a fight broke out in the parking lot at 111 Main Street in Greenport early Monday morning, Southold Town police said.

After the fight, which was broken up by police officers around 1:30 a.m., Matthew Gilligan of Flanders and Jesse Maggio of Southold, both 24 years old, were found to be in possession of marijuana, police said. They were both charged with disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana.

John Maniaci, 25, of Yaphank was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, police said.

All three men were held overnight at police headquarters for a morning arraignment, according to police.

05/12/13 12:00pm
05/12/2013 12:00 PM

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Jimmy Lin at Sakura, his new sushi restaurant, on Front Street in Greenport.

Greenport has a new sushi and hibachi restaurant.

Jimmy Lin, owner of Sakura Japanese Restaurant on Route 58 in Riverhead, has opened a second location on Front Street, across from the post office. Sakura, which opened April 28, took over the space formerly occupied by Andy’s Unbelievable Burgers and Seafood.

“I’ve lived in Greenport for 15 years and wanted to bring a professional Japanese restaurant here,” Mr. Lin said. Sakura opened its Riverhead location in 2010.

The menu at Greenport’s Sakura includes a variety of lunch and dinner specials as well as sushi and hibachi meals. Unlike the Riverhead location, hibachi grills have not been integrated into the dining room and all food is cooked in Sakura’s kitchen, said Mr. Lin, who also owns New China restaurant on Front Street.

He said that if business goes well at the new Sakura, then he’ll consider expanding the restaurant to add a second dining room that can accommodate hibachi grills so customers can watch their food being prepared in front of them.

“We’ll see how the summer goes,” Mr. Lin said. “We had plenty of customers last week.”

Sakura Japanese Restaurant is located at 204 Front Street in Greenport and offers dine-in, catering and takeout. It does not make deliveries. Call 477-3888 for more information.


04/06/13 10:00am
04/06/2013 10:00 AM
Greenport Temple

JULIE LANE PHOTO | The Congregation Tifereth Israel building in Greenport.

Did you know that the Beatles were not Catholic? It was a shock to learn that fact, which, as I recall, a sibling shared with 10-year-old yours truly on the way home from a trip to the barber shop one Saturday morning. Given that the old man served in the Army Air Corps in World War II and never gave up his GI style, our hair was about as long as the grass on a putting green and Earnie, the one-legged Austrian (I’m not making that up) was done with us in no time flat. Buzz, buzz, buzz. Next!

I secretly longed for long hair just like the Fab Four, who I had assumed were Catholic. Since we were Catholic, wasn’t everybody?

They’re not? Really? Wow! Well, obviously they’re not going to heaven. It’s as simple as that.

A few years later my hairstyle, if you could call it that, remained crew cut, which was just as well given that my Boy Scout cap just fit and a new one appeared as unlikely as my becoming an Eagle Scout. Our troop met in the Methodist church hall and you should have seen the look on Ma’s face when I passed along the good reverend’s invite to attend an ecumenical service.

Oh, no, you can’t go, said she. Why not? I asked, not at all unhappy at avoiding another hour in uncomfortable clothes sitting in a butt-numbing wooden pew. Why? Because they’re not Catholic. To be fair, Ma loosened up considerably over the years and without losing her faith became quite critical of the many blatant examples of hierarchical hypocrisy.

But if the reverend invited the Beatles? They could go.

I offer this slice of personal history to give an idea of my state of mind when attending a recent Passover Seder — my first — at Congregation Tifereth Israel in Greenport. Don’t get me wrong, I was pleased and honored to take part in the Seder, the service commemorating the Jewish people’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt. But I’m always nervous at religious observances, especially one totally foreign to me.

I think I knew one Jewish kid growing up. That number wouldn’t have been so ridiculously low had my folks never left Yonkers, but that’s how it was out in the sticks.

My apprehension was fed by the knowledge that a Seder is an interactive affair, parts of which date back thousands of years, so the prime directive coming from either the emotional or rational part of the brain was simple: Don’t screw up, don’t screw up.

Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Buddy, you’re not 10 anymore. Shouldn’t you be beyond that? Well, I’m not, OK? So sue me, whydoncha.

Fortunately, everyone at the Seder table received a copy of the Haggadah, the book read on the first night of Passover. (Haggadah means “telling.”) It covered everything. Ah, this is a piece of cake. During Mass we all had missals, the books with all the text and instructions, so with a Seder guidebook I had nothing to fear.

I perused the Haggadah before Rabbi Gadi Capela, a very energetic young man in his first year with the congregation, got things going. But just a few pages in, right on top of the page, it said, “Our Seder now has ended” and several lines below that, “La-shana haba’ah birushalayim,” meaning, Next year in Jerusalem!

Uh, OK, where’s the rest of the text? Good lord, I’m in trouble. It wasn’t until just before the start that it hit me. Dummy, like Hebrew, the book is read from right to left, not the other way around. Whew!

With the unjustifiable panic in remission, I could finally enjoy the not-unfamiliar trip through what some call a crash course in Jewish history. Indeed, the rabbi noted that to forget or forgo the story of slavery under Pharaoh or the freedom through Exodus is to lose faith and an identity maintained, often at great cost, since antiquity.

So I happily did the reading when my turn came around, even though my silent practicing went for naught when the Rabbi skipped some pages. I shared in the matzoh, tried the horseradish, the “bitter herb” recalling the bitterness of slavery and drank the four cups of wine representing the four promises of redemption. OK, it wasn’t really four cups, because at that point I might have decided I could sing in Hebrew as well as the rabbi. It was more like four small portions.

As a recovering Catholic who’s about as religious as the Kremlin, it was humbling to witness a community of faithful folk who embrace tradition in an active, endless effort to fend off the dark powers of mindless modernism. And who were kind enough to let a big Irisher share the special evening.

Did I mention the real, not ceremonial, food available in abundance at the Haggadah’s end? Incred-i-ble.

Could not have been a better evening, even if the Beatles had showed.

Tim Kelly is the editor of The Suffolk Times. He can be reached at tkelly@timesreview.com   or 631-298-3200, ext. 238.