09/22/13 5:30pm
09/22/2013 5:30 PM
TIM GANNON PHOTO | Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter is flanked by Jeff and Christine McKay is celebrating the opening of their new venture, Vines & Hops, in downtown Riverhead Sunday.

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter is flanked by Jeff and Christine McKay is celebrating the opening of their new venture, Vines & Hops, in downtown Riverhead Sunday.

A new business opened up in downtown Riverhead this weekend.

Vines & Hops is a collaboration between a married couple — a strength and conditioning coach and a physical therapist — who are changing course to sell wine, beer, coffee and Artisan foods.

Jeff McKay of Jamesport is the strength and conditioning coach and massage therapist, and his wife, Christine, is the physical therapist.

“I just didn’t want to do it anymore,” Jeff said in explaining his new venture. “I’ve been doing it for 30 years and I just said, ‘You know what? I’m done.’ So I basically just reinvented myself. People were saying ‘I can’t believe you’re doing this.’”

They are.

The McKays hosted a ribbon cutting at the newly opened Vines & Hops, which is located in a storefront on Main Street across from the former Woolworth building.

“We started this whole process back in the spring,” Jeff said. “I think it was in March, we had looked around at a couple of places in Jamesport, and they fell through, which we’re kind of happy about now. Then one day, I told my wife I was going to call around and see what’s available on Main Street. I had gotten in touch with Ike Israel of Richmond Realty and when he told me what they wanted for this, I almost fell off the couch. Back in the 90s, this storefront would have been triple what we’re paying now.”

The McKays quickly went about working on the lease and getting a liquor license. Given the choice of taking their time and opening in the middle of winter or rushing to open at the end of summer, the McKays chose now.

“We’re looking to have entertainment after the Holidays,” Mr. McKay said. “Just an acoustic guitar on weekends. And next year, since the drive-through next door is part of this property, we are looking to do an outdoor beer garden, which will also have wine. And the whole brick facade is going to be a continuous waterfall.”

Vines & Hops has two large-screen televisions on the wall, wi-fi available for computer users and a number of couches for patrons to sit on.

The menu has buttermilk dough slider rolls from Goodale Farms in Aquebogue, filled with flank steak or Buffalo chicken;  empanadas with spinach- and goat cheese-filled pocket crusts and other Artisan small plate and dessert bar menu items.

And they have locally made craft beers and wines from the likes of Long Ireland, which is based in Riverhead, Southampton Public House, Pindar, based in Peconic and others. They also sell various specialty coffees and teas, such as latte, cappuccino, and espresso.

Mr. McKay said he’s happy to be a part of downtown Riverhead’s renovation.

Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter, who attended the ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the site Sunday, concurred.

“I am so happy you’re taking a chance on us, because we will do everything at our disposal to make you a success,” Mr. Walter said.


09/20/13 4:25pm
09/20/2013 4:25 PM
RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | The site of a car crash Friday afternoon in Jamesport.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | The site of a car crash Friday afternoon in Jamesport.

Four people were sent to the hospital after a four-door sedan crashed into a telephone pole shortly after 3 p.m. in Jamesport.

According to Riverhead police, the car was heading eastbound, just east of Jamesport Vineyards, when it veered off the road and into the pole.

Police are still investigating the cause of the crash, which shut down Main Road for close to an hour while traffic was diverted around the scene.

Police said the driver and passengers of the car were sent to Peconic Bay Medical Center by Mattituck Ambulance for non-life threatening injuries.

LIPA was on scene repairing the pole, and as of 4:15 p.m., Main Road had been cleared back up.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | A car is towed away after its driver hit a telephone pole on Main Road today.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | A car is towed away after its driver hit a telephone pole on Main Road today.

07/30/13 4:37pm
07/30/2013 4:37 PM


Members from several North Fork congregations will gather in Mattituck’s Strawberry Fields August 3 for a day of music, prayer and sermons at the Great North Fork Awakening.

The free event, which starts at noon and ends at 8 p.m., is being hosted by volunteers and will consist of short sermons from various Long Island churches. Greg Gaffga, pastor of the Mattituck Presbyterian Church, will give the opening sermon.

In a press release, Monica Harbes, who owns Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck with her husband, Ed, said the event is geared toward “anyone who is interested in renewing their faith, seeking spiritual direction, or those who may have questions about beginning a relationship with God.” Ms. Harbes was not immediately available for further comment.

Local Christian rock band Crossing Jordan will perform two short sets during the day and a longer set in the evening.

Food vendors will be on site, but guests are invited to bring their own picnic baskets.


07/25/13 10:00am
07/25/2013 10:00 AM

An underage Jamesport woman was arrested for driving while intoxicated Thursday morning in Mattituck, according to a Southold Town police press release.

Yvonne McKay, 20, was pulled over on Route 25 in Mattituck a little after midnight for failing to maintain her lane, police said. Upon further investigation, Ms. McKay was found to be intoxicated, according to a report.

She was arrested for misdemeanor DWI and held at police headquarters overnight awaiting arraignment.

07/11/13 10:54am
07/11/2013 10:54 AM

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Karate kids perform during the Jamesport Fire Department parade Wednesday.

The Jamesport Fire Department’s annual parade kicked off Wednesday with fire departments from across the East End marching along with bands, politicians, and farm equipment.

The fire department’s annual carnival, which started Tuesday night, runs through Saturday night.

A fireworks show will conclude the carnival Saturday night.

07/10/13 5:00pm
07/10/2013 5:00 PM

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | Husband and wife duo John and Margret Scialdone urged citizens to impeach President Obama.

Armed with pamphlets and signs depicting President Barack Obama in the likeness of Adolf Hitler, a husband-and-wife protesting team that tours the region set up camp in Jamesport Wednesday.

John and Margret Scialdone stood outside Jamesport Commons Shopping Center on the Main Road throughout the day, urging citizens to impeach the president.

The Scialdones are members of the LaRouchePAC. Named for a former presidential candidate from the 1960s, the group works to raise awareness on issues like the Glass-Steagall Act that was designed to separate commercial banking functions from investment banking activities.

The law was repealed in 1999.

The group is now fighting to reinstate the legislation, which it believes will remove government commitment from bailing out private sector debts and end “too big to fail banks.”

And since President Obama isn’t doing anything to reinstate Glass-Steagall, the couple likened him to “a fascist.”

“He belongs in jail,” Ms. Scialdone said, adding that money to bail out banks could go toward other endeavors, such as space travel.

The couple travels around the tri-state spreading the message.

“We are heartbeats away from the great financial meltdown in American,” Ms. Scialdone said.

Alabama, South Dakota, Indiana and Maine have passed a resolution in support of Glass-Steagall.

07/10/13 12:00pm
STEVE ROSSIN PHOTO | The Jamesport Fire Department Parade is tonight at 7 p.m. The carnival continues throughout the week.

STEVE ROSSIN PHOTO | The Jamesport Fire Department Parade is tonight at 7 p.m. The carnival continues throughout the week.

The Jamesport Fire Department has put the finishing touches on setting up for what has become a staple for the Town of Riverhead — its annual summer carnival.

The weeklong event kicked off Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. by the corner of Main Street and South Jamesport Boulevard at the George Young Community Center. This year’s event marks the events 58th anniversary of the event.

Jamesport Fire Chief Duffy Griffiths said people have been anxiously awaiting the start of this year’s festivities.

“We start getting questions about when the parade and fireworks are coming as early as May, people line up their vacations around it,” Mr. Griffiths said.

There are over a dozen rides to choose from like the Himalaya, a large tilt-a-whirl that is expected to be one of the more popular attractions among carnival goers this week. In addition to the rides, there will be opportunities to play carnival classics like the balloon and darts game as well as trying to sink someone in a dunk tank.

Other activities expected to take place this week include the customary parade which begins Wednesday at 7 p.m. Residents can also gaze at fireworks in the starry sky, which will close out the festivities Saturday night at 10 p.m.

Mr. Griffiths said the event has been a rewarding experience since he first joined the fire department.

“I’ve been doing it for 13 years and it’s great, people are happy when they come and you get to see the same faces and new faces every year,” he said.

One of the things Mr. Griffiths says he loves most about the carnival is being able to share the experience with his kids.

“The kids love it, it’s great because they’re 10 and 7 years old and as they get older and go on different rides they get a little more freedom,” he said.

The carnival will be open from 5 p.m. to midnight each day. Admission is free,but the Fire Department is accepting donations to help pay for the fireworks show that will take place Saturday night.

07/04/13 5:00pm
07/04/2013 5:00 PM
Polish insurgents

COURTESY PHOTO | Dr. Peter Badmajew and his first wife, Antonina Soszka-Badmajew, beside the Baltic Sea in 1951. The two had met through common friends who were insurgents during the uprising.

It was during World War II, early August 1944. Poland was occupied by Nazi Germany and Dr. Peter Badmajew of Jamesport, now 85, was a member of Poland’s Home Army, fighting to liberate his home city of Warsaw.

WWII Warsaw uprising insurgency

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Dr. Peter Badmajew, 85 of Jamesport, recently self-published a memoir of his experience as an insurgent in the Warsaw uprising.

As light filled the sky, marking the third day of the uprising in Warsaw, Dr. Badmajew stood on guard, keeping watch while members of his platoon slept. Through breaking light he saw German soldiers completely surrounding the home where he’d taken refuge.

This is one of many turning points described in Dr. Badmajew’s self-published memoir, “The History of a Warsaw Insurgent,” which depicts his experience as a 15-year-old soldier during the war.

“I ran upstairs and I woke everybody,” he said. “We organized a chain and we started to move all our belongings into the attic, not to leave any sign that insurgents were there.”

As German soldiers filled the home, he and six others gathered in a hidden crawl space just underneath the attic. As the last insurgent, a woman, entered the space, a German guard was making his way up the attic steps, just above their heads.

“When I looked up I saw the sole of his boot between the gaps of those beams. Sand was like a stream falling on our heads from the floor above,” Dr. Badmajew said.

“This was the greatest stress that I can remember,” he said. “I thought, ‘This is the end, I am going to die here.’ ”

Dr. Badmajew went undiscovered. He continued to fight for almost two months before he was captured and forced into a cattle wagon that transported him to a prison camp, where he worked until he was able to escape.

The memoir describes Dr. Badmajew’s first time shooting a gun during the war — and the German soldier on the receiving end. He began writing about the experience upon his escape from prison camp, calling on other insurgents who had survived the war to help him remember the details.

The book was originally released in Poland in 2008 and has become part of the Warsaw Uprising Museum, dedicated to preserving history on the war in Poland.

He recently added to the book and published it in the U.S. just a few months ago. The revised book also covers his personal challenges of prostate cancer and losing his second wife to an untreatable brain disorder known as supranuclear palsy.

After the war, Dr. Badmajew studied medicine, went to Canada on an internship and eventually came to the U.S.  He went on to become a surgeon and has been in practice in Jamesport, with an office on Main Road, for over 25 years.

“The History of a Warsaw Insurgent” is available for purchase online and will be featured at a book fair in Frankfurt, Germany, in October.