07/04/15 5:59am
07/04/2015 5:59 AM

Almost daily, the media teases stories about how to lose weight and get into shape and the answer is always the same: diet and exercise.

Most folks don’t want to hear that, though. We like the idea of a magic solution, but in the end, most of life’s answers are pretty easy. It’s the doing it that’s tough. That’s why it’s kind of disheartening to see all the attention yet another downtown study is getting (cover story, June 26 Riverhead News-Review: “Downtown parking & traffic & housing, oh my!”). We know what the answers are in this town; the hard part has been doing it. (more…)

03/02/15 10:59am
03/02/2015 10:59 AM
An artist’s rendering of the main atrium at the Family Community Life Center’s recreational and other facilities.

A rendering of the main atrium at the Family Community Life Center’s planned rec center.

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to some thoughts on drug arrests found in both a recent News-Review editorial and a follow-up letter from Richard Park. I agree that we can’t arrest our way out of a gang problem.

More convictions aren’t the answer. As a community, we need to provide our youth with alternatives to drugs and gangs. As the News-Review pointed out, Riverhead has no YMCA or large recreation center. We need to offer a safe place for our teens to hang out and have fun, one with structure and supervision. The town’s answer is that we can’t afford anything like that now. (more…)

04/21/14 3:00pm
04/21/2014 3:00 PM
This Riverhead house in foreclosure was scheduled to be sold on the steps of Town Hall in 2010. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

This Riverhead house in foreclosure was scheduled to be sold on the steps of Town Hall in 2010. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

To the Editor:

Swaying in the wind, their presence hides an escalating problem that virtually affects us all.

Once the symbol of upward mobility and a promising future, real estate signs on front lawns in many cases signify another casualty inflicted by the high cost of living on Long Island.  (more…)

02/13/14 5:00am
02/13/2014 5:00 AM

We can agree that nitrates in our surface water are a problem and may be the cause of the brown tide and red tide in the bay. Politicians and environmental groups have proposed that the removal of nitrates from our sanitary systems will mitigate this problem, and are forming a Wastewater Commission, comprising appointed political members to force the removal of all existing sanitary systems within 1,000 feet of the surface waters.

That may sound simple, but on close analysis it is problematic. The removal of existing sanitary systems, especially for older homes, requires excavating and removing nearby trees, and possibly destroying driveways, patios or lawns. After the installation of the new, experimental system, you still will face the task of replanting trees, reseeding lawns and the possible reconstruction of patios and driveways. There would be about 80,000 homes affected, whose owners would need to spend up to $20,000 per home to comply with these new laws. That is a cost of $1.6 billion.

Most of those homes are on the East End’s twin forks.

The problem with this mandate is that the removal of nitrates from individual sanitary systems is a very complex scientific and engineering problem and, at the present time, there is no proven way to remove nitrates from individual sanitary systems. There are some experimental systems, but they have not demonstrated effectiveness over the long term. You do not want to spend that kind of money and destroy all those yards without a proven, long-term solution.

What is needed is a committee of scientists and engineers to resolve the technical and engineering problems first before a law is put into effect.

Solve the technical problems first, then form a commission to implement the effective solution.

Joseph Fischetti, Southold

Mr. Fischetti runs a civil and structural engineering practice in Southold.


10/03/13 6:00am
10/03/2013 6:00 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Workers harvest grapes at a North Fork farm this summer.

On your story regarding the problem North Fork farmers are having in hiring people to help with the crops and the harvest, this is just a small part of the entire attitude of workers in today’s American welfare state.

A person who is out of work in New York can receive up to $405 a week, or $21,060 a year, for doing nothing except sitting home watching television. A person who is on welfare in NYC can also sit at home doing nothing except watching television, even while welfare provides the equivalent of an hourly pre-tax wage of $14.75, or $30,680 a year.

All while people who are not a citizen of this country, and are here to make enough money to support their families back home, wherever that might be, labor for a $12/hour salary working in 100-degree heat.

So the farmer on the North Fork is caught on the horns of a dilemma, where on one hand he is unable to get Americans to do the farm work and, on the other hand, there is less and less foreign labor to do the same work at equivalent costs.

09/26/13 6:00am
09/26/2013 6:00 AM
Suffolk theater opening

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | East Main Street looking west near the theater.

To the editor:

I take exception to the “downtown Riverhead” references as expressed by Mike Roth of the Wading River Chamber of Commerce in last week’s feature article about Wading River’s ailing business district. Mr. Roth’s references that after years of decline, Wading River is “all of a sudden downtown Riverhead” and that the “worst case scenario is status quo, nothing moves on and it becomes another downtown Riverhead” are way off base.

These negative connotations may have applied to Riverhead’s downtown a few short years ago, however they do not apply at all today. Our downtown is now an example of successful downtown revitalization with over 15 new businesses opened up or planning to open soon. I have been here all of my life and have seen many attempts to turn our downtown around that did not take hold, however it is unmistakable that this time, downtown Riverhead’s revitalization is for real.

It is becoming a more vibrant and safe place to live, work and play as a result of the efforts of Supervisor Sean Walter, the Town Board, the Business Improvement District, Industrial Development Agency, the town’s community development office and the residents and businesses here. I have strolled through downtown many evenings to see people fishing and eating dinner along the riverfront and enjoying Grangebel Park, once a drug haven, now a wonderful park where people say hello to each other as they walk by.

Downtown Riverhead is back, it is safe and it is becoming a successful destination that no longer deserves or is representative of its past negative perceptions similar to those expressed by Mr. Roth.

Martin Sendlewsi, Riverhead

Editor’s note: Mr. Sendlewski is a partner in the Summerwind Square complex and sits on the downtown Business Improvement District board of directors.