01/09/14 9:45am
01/09/2014 9:45 AM


The Riverhead Town Board met to to discuss traffic summonses with Police Chief David Hegermiller at its work session today, after Councilman John Dunleavy claimed in a brief discussion last week that some police officers didn’t issue a single Town Code violation all year.

The board also discussed a proposal to require owners of swimming pools to have a holding tank for emptying the pool, and the Jamesport Manor Inn and Mainstream House, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.

Click below to read a recap of the conversation and see the full work session agenda below that.

January 9, 2014 – Agenda(1) by Timesreview

01/07/14 2:05pm
01/07/2014 2:05 PM


Despite efforts from a local civic organization to halt it, the Riverhead Town Board voted unanimously on Tuesday to issue a land clearing permit for the Knightland shopping center proposed at the intersection of Sound Avenue and Route 25A in Wading River.

The board had planned to vote on a similar resolution in August, despite a court case filed by the Riverhead Neighborhood Preservation Coalition challenging the town Planning Board’s approval of the project. But a last minute court ruling put that vote on hold.

In December, a state appellate court ruled that the RNPC and others who had brought the lawsuit didn’t have legal standing to sue on the matter, and dismissed the case.

With the lawsuit out of the way, the Town Board discussed the clearing permit briefly at last Thursday’s work session and agreed to issue it.

“I note that my client has paid all of the required site plan fees and the substantial building permit fees, and both a clearing permit and a building permit should now issue,” said Peter Danowski, the attorney for Knightland owner Kenney Barra, in a letter to the Town Attorney Bob Kozakiewicz on Monday. Mr. Barra also owns the adjacent East Wind Caterers.

Knightland’s plan calls for 32,500 square feet of retail space and a 4,900-square-foot restaurant in a complex comprising 24 small buildings.

RNPC said on its web site that the court ruling dismissed their case “without ever considering the merits of the lawsuit brought on behalf of the community.”

Mr. Danowski said at the work session that his client has paid $23,000 in building fees, but that they are not removing or importing any sand or material and will not have to pay the $2 per cubic yard fee the town charges for excavations or importation of material from construction sites.

The meeting starts at 2 p.m. and New-Review reporter Tim Gannon will be live blogging. Click below to follow or comment, and see the full meeting agenda and resolutions packet below that.

January 7, 2014 – Agenda by Timesreview

January 7, 2014 – Packet by Timesreview

01/02/14 10:00am
01/02/2014 10:00 AM


The Riverhead Town Board is expected to discuss at its work session today the clearing permit for Knightlands, a proposed shopping center in Wading River that has been involved in litigation.

The board also is scheduled to discuss filling a vacancy on the town Planning Board left by the resignation of longtime member Lou Boschetti. In addition, the board plans to discuss a plan to reduce the number of parking spaces the town requires in some developments, and the Hamlet Center zoning district.

The meeting starts at 10 a.m. and News-Review reporter Tim Gannon will be live blogging. Click below to follow or comment and see the full meeting agenda below that.

January 2, 2014 – Agenda by Timesreview

12/31/13 2:00pm
12/31/2013 2:00 PM


The Riverhead Town Board voted to authorize legal action against the owners of the Glass Greenhouse Farm Market at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting, after holding off on such action at its prior meeting.

The town claims the new building, approximately 5,000-square feet large, is being operated in violation of the town code definition of a farm market, in that more than 40 percent of the items sold there are not grown locally.

Owner Walter Gabrielsen, reached afterward, declined to comment on the Town Board action.

The board vote was 3-1 with Councilman George Gabrielsen, Walter’s brother, absent. George Gabrielsen had previously said he planned to abstain on all votes involving his brother’s business anyway.

Councilman Jim Wooten cast the lone vote against authorizing state supreme court action. He has said he thinks the town can settle the matter out of court.

Supervisor Sean Walter and board members John Dunleavy and Jodi Giglio supported the action.

The supervisor has said the town took another business, A Taste of Country, to court on the same issue and prevailed, adding that it would be hypocritical for the town to enforce its code against one business and not another.

“If Mr. Gabrielsen wants to have 60 percent locally grown produce, I would support it 100 percent, but clearly when you walk into that building, that’s not what’s there,” Mr. Walter said two weeks ago.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the Town Board voted 4-0 in favor of awarding a contract to Borrego Solar to lease space on the town landfill for a solar project, and 4-0 in favor of a resolution requesting proposals to build solar energy projects on other town parking lots.

Click below to read a recap from the board meeting.

December 31, 2013 – Agenda by Timesreview

December 31, 2013 – Packet by Timesreview

12/03/13 5:00pm
12/03/2013 5:00 PM


The Riverhead Town Board hired Brad Hammond of Farmingville today to be its new senior building inspector, filling a post that had been occupied by a part-time employee since former building department coordinator Leroy Barnes retired in mid-2011.

Mr. Hammond worked for Huntington Town and was tops on the county civil service list for senior building inspectors. His salary will be just over $70,000, officials said.

Councilman John Dunleavy opposed the move, saying the salary given to Mr. Hammond was higher than the normal starting salary for that position. He also said he felt a town resident should get the job.

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said the town has saved more than $400,000 by not hiring a full-time person to replace Mr. Barnes.

In addition to the senior building inspector position, the town also now has a planning director plus a planning and building administrator who oversees both departments.

To see what else happened at Tuesday’s Riverhead Town Board meeting, click below to read a recap of reporter Tim Gannon’s live blog of the meeting.

Deccember 3, 2013 – Agenda by Timesreview

Deccember 3, 2013 – Packet by Timesreview

11/29/13 4:10pm
11/29/2013 4:10 PM

JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | The celebration begins for Carey after a 20-6 win Friday night over Riverhead in the Class II Long Island Championship at Hofstra University.

CLASS II Long Island Championship
Carey 20, Riverhead 6

Hofstra University

The Riverhead Blue Waves fell to the Carey Seahawks 20-6 in the Class II Long Island Football Championship at Hofstra Stadium Friday.

It was the second straight year the county champion Waves lost in the Long Island title game.

It’s the first L.I. championship for Carey of Franklin Square, which scored all three of its touchdowns during a nine-minute stretch in the second quarter. The Seahawks hadn’t won a Nassau County title since 1978.

Jaron Greenidge scored Riverhead’s only touchdown on a 14-yard pass from quarterback Cody Smith with 9:21 left in the fourth quarter. The Waves threatened to score again with about two minutes to play, but turned it over on downs five yards from the goal line.

Smith was 21 of 32 passing for 161 yards and the one score. He rushed for 42 yards on 8 carries.

Running back Ryun Moore — filling in for Jeremiah Cheatom, who was academically ineligible — had 20 carries for 126 yards. Moore also had a team-high seven tackles for the Waves.

Riverhead receiver Ryan Hubbard caught eight passes for 71 yards. Teammate Darren Jefferson had seven catches for 57 yards.

Carey quarterback Ray Catapano was 7 of 16 passing for 92 yards and one touchdown. He also scored on a 7-yard scramble.

Seahawks receiver Andrew Ris, who caught the one score from Catapano, also threw for a 35-yard touchdown to Nick Spillane.

Conor Colasurdo of Carey led all players with 8.5 tackles.

Riverhead actually outgained Carey 316 yards to 268.

Read a recap of our live blog below:


11/14/13 3:00pm
11/14/2013 3:00 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Apple Honda owner Irwin Garsten (foreground) discusses the deal Mr. Dunleavy offered at the Town Board work session Thursday morning.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Apple Honda owner Irwin Garsten (foreground) discusses the deal Mr. Dunleavy offered at the Town Board work session Thursday morning.

Town Councilman John Dunleavy assured the owner of a Riverhead auto dealership that the town could “circumvent” its bidding process by buying a natural gas-powered car from the dealership at a reduced price.

Apple Honda dealership owner Irwin Garsten came before the board at its Thursday morning work session, frustrated that the apparent deal had been called off by the town attorney’s office.

The deal surprised the other town board members, who said they had no idea the discussions had taken place. Mr. Dunleavy insisted there was “nothing underhanded” about the deal.

“John [Dunleavy] came back to me and said the following: the town would buy the vehicle if I sold it for under $20,000 and they would circumvent whatever rules may be in effect [for] having to put it out for a bid,” Mr. Garsten told the board.

The vehicle, a 2012 natural gas-powered Honda Civic, was donated to the town on a one-year free lease in June 2012, according to the lease agreement between the town and the dealership.

The car was donated as a joint promotion of clean energy between the town and Apple Honda, town officials said at the time.

The Town Board didn’t originally know where to put the car when it was donated, eventually assigning it to the town’s senior center, Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said Thursday.

“It’s not like we need a car,” she said.

There was never an understanding that the town would be obligated to buy the car at the end of the lease, she said.

But that’s not how Mr. Garsten expected the deal would work.

He said he called Mr. Dunleavy after the lease had expired and agreed to offer the car to the town for $19,990 — below market value — because Mr. Dunleavy had assured him the town could buy the car from his dealership without having to solicit for other offers.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Riverhead senior center aide Daryl Sulzer lets Etta Pietocha, 90, in the town's new natural gas vehicle after they just filled it up at National Grid property last year.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Riverhead senior center aide Daryl Sulzer lets Etta Pietocha, 90, in the town’s new natural gas vehicle after they just filled it up at National Grid property last year.

The town’s bidding policy does require the town to request separate offers for items under $20,000, town, officials said during the meeting

Mr. Dunleavy said he was told the bidding requirements did not apply for those purchases.

When the town attorney’s office found out about the pending vehicle purchase, they checked to see if the town could find it for cheaper, complying with the rules, Mr. Garsten said.

The town’s decision to back out of Mr. Dunleavy’s deal was like a “slap in the face,” he said.

“My integrity is at stake in this thing.” Mr. Garsten said.

While Town Board members agreed the car was worth the money, they weren’t sure they could afford the vehicle. Ms. Giglio said maintenance costs would have to be taken into account since the town’s garage couldn’t service the energy-efficient car.

No line item for the car was included in the town’s budget either, she added.

After Mr. Dunleavy protested town officials taking issue with the deal, Councilman George Gabrielsen admonished him for making agreements without consulting the whole board.

“You don’t speak for ‘we,’ ” he said.

Mr. Dunleavy — who was recently elected to a third term  and during the campaign boasted of securing “the free use of a natural gas vehicle” for seniors — said he wanted to make the town more green.

He said the town should start by buying one car and later buying two or three over time.

But Ms. Giglio said the town could not just buy cars whenever it wanted.

“I want solar panels on my house, but I can’t afford it,” she said.

Mr. Dunleavy claimed the other board members were only upset over the deal because “my name is attached to it,” a line that caused some members of the board to roll their eyes.

The Town Board members agreed to talk to the senior services department, which had been using the freely leased car before it was returned earlier this year and see if town workers needed the vehicle purchased.


For a full recap of the Town Board’s work session meeting, see below:

Riverhead Town Work Session