02/22/14 7:00am
02/22/2014 7:00 AM
Barbaraellen Koch file photo | Employees of the Dinosaur Walk set up shop in Riverhead in 2004.

Employees of the Dinosaur Walk set up shop in Riverhead in 2004. (Barbaraellen Koch file photo)

To the editor:

Riverhead’s town boards have been notorious for irresponsible giveaways of town assets at the taxpayers’ expense, including the fire sale of the industrial core at EPCAL to a developer who flipped the property at substantial profit soon after he closed the deal with the town. Unfortunately, the proposed sale of the East Lawn building and the old firehouse seem to follow in the tradition of dumb decisions by the town.  (more…)

02/20/14 7:00am
02/20/2014 7:00 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The view from Route 105 bridge at Indian Island golf course as the Peconic River leads into the Bay.

The view from Route 105 bridge at Indian Island golf course as the Peconic River leads into the Bay earlier this year. (Barbaraellen Koch file photo)

Last week, Joe Fischetti rightly identified nitrogen as a significant cause of declining regional water quality, but I disagree with his view that policy efforts should wait until every technical question is resolved, because I doubt it will ever happen.  (more…)

01/30/14 7:00am
01/30/2014 7:00 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The view from Route 105 bridge at Indian Island golf course as the Peconic River leads into the Bay.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The view from Route 105 bridge at Indian Island golf course as the Peconic River leads into the Bay.

To the editor:

I remember when platinum-based catalytic converters were first proposed. Comments were split between “it will bankrupt the automakers” and “no one will be able to afford new cars.” (more…)

01/23/14 7:00am
01/23/2014 7:00 AM
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO  |

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO  |   The deer population on the North Fork continues to grow.

To the editor:

Early in the morning of Jan. 19, I saw it lying in the road on Ludlam Avenue. My first thought was that it was too small to have made it through the winter, anyway. The least I could do was drag it off to the side of the road by the woods and notify the town. (more…)

01/16/14 6:00am
01/16/2014 6:00 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO  |  Vacant land is fast disappearing on Route 58. Irwin Garsten owns the above piece of property, just east of the Hudson Savings Bank building, where he has a site plan application for a shopping center.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Vacant land is fast disappearing on Route 58. Irwin Garsten owns the above piece of property, just east of the Hudson Savings Bank building, where he has a site plan application for a shopping center.

To the editor:

In your story about the dwindling commercial land along Big Box Alley (AKA, Route 58), it seems you neglected the next progression of commercial development. If we understand anything about real estate developers it is that turning land into big bank accounts is a never-ending endeavor, so the real question is, “What will they covet next?”

Can the 40 acres that were Homan’s Farm, on the northwest corner of Route 58 and Northville Turnpike, be preserved, or will that be the next shopping mall? The southeast corner is still undeveloped, though it’s mostly low-lying and swampy.

How far north can they still develop if they take land north of that intersection? Will Sound Avenue fall to the bulldozers? Can we reasonably defend that now well-traveled rural corridor from the lawyers of real estate developers, or not? If the commercializing of Riverhead with all that would never be permitted in Southold or Southampton teaches us anything, it is that nothing in Riverhead is sacred.

Edward Burke, Riverhead

12/19/13 6:00am
12/19/2013 6:00 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO

To the Editor:

I have read with concern the stories about how the drop in Peconic real estate transfer tax (Community Preservation Fund) revenues is causing a shortfall in paying bonds used to buy farmland transfer development rights and open space.

It seems that years ago the bonds were predicated on the tax revenues continuing at the top of the real estate bubble. Now that the bubble has burst, our town government is looking to quick fixes — and possibly Riverhead taxpayers — to fix the budget hole.

I do not understand why no one is looking to any of the financial advisers who profited off of the bond deal to have them fix the problem they caused, if indeed the town looked elsewhere on advice on whether or not to enact this program.

If the call was made in-house, then those people in the town should be removed from making financial decisions. It would have been a matter of common sense that any borrowing and bond payments be based on, at most, an average of tax revenues over several years. An even safer number would have based the bond issuance on the prior low point of those revenues. This failure has a deep financial cost to us.

If any outside financial professionals could be considered liable for past, self-serving advice, then we need to seek legal remedies against them.

Ian Wilder, Riverhead

12/12/13 7:00am
12/12/2013 7:00 AM
JIM COLLIGAN FILE PHOTO

JIM COLLIGAN FILE PHOTO

To the editor:

It was appalling to learn that a tentative plan is in place to kill thousands of deer across Brookhaven and the East End using trained snipers to manage the growing population.

The plan, which would also include bow hunters to come within 150 feet of private residences rather than the current regulation of 500 feet, is extremely dangerous and perhaps deadly.

Rather than create an inhumane agenda to deal with the growing deer population, why were methods not in place all along to inhibit the expansion of this docile species across eastern Long Island?

Deer culling, the management of a deer population in a certain area, using birth control vaccines has been successful in national parks for years. Instead, we choose to have hunters hanging from trees in the dark targeting innocent animals. Rather than tout this plan, we should be ashamed to even present it.

Jason Hill, Ridge

12/05/13 6:00am
FILE PHOTO |

FILE PHOTO |  Pulaski Street School first opened in 1937.

To the editor:

The Riverhead Landmarks Preservation Commission commends the Riverhead Central School District and BBS Architects for developing plans for additions to the Roanoke Avenue and the Pulaski Street schools that are sensitive to their historic architecture.

The Roanoke Avenue School, which opened as a high school in 1924, is the oldest in the town. Reflecting the town’s understanding of the importance of education, it was referred to as the “million dollar school,” although it almost certainly did not cost nearly that much. With numerous Greek and Roman architectural allusions, this structure is a course in architectural history in itself. Recognizing its significance, the Riverhead Town Board designated it as an official town landmark in 2005. It is also included as a contributing building in the Downtown Riverhead Historic District, created by the Town Board in 2006.

The 1937 Pulaski Street School is perhaps even more architecturally interesting. Designed by a Southampton architect, William I. La Fon, nearly half the cost came from federal WPA funding designed to alleviate effects of the Great Depression. Although not officially designated yet as a town landmark, it is certainly equally deserving of that honor.

Recently, BBS Architects and school district representatives met with the commission and presented plans for additions to both structures. In each case the designs respect and replicate elements of the original historic architecture, but also adapt these buildings to fit current educational requirements.

We thank the Riverhead Central School District for being such a good custodian of the historic resources under its control.

We also want to thank school Superintendent Nancy Carney for asking the Landmarks Preservation Commission to review this project, even though there was no legal requirement for the district to do so.

Richard Wines, chairman, Riverhead Landmarks Preservation Commission