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.

Change is inevitable, we are told. That often overused phrase has more meaning now than ever before. For many, the suburban lifestyle that we have grown accustomed to is slipping away, not by choice but for economic reasons.

Surveys in the past, taken by Nassau and Suffolk residents asking if they planned to continue living here, showed the desire to exit is increasing dramatically. It should come as no surprise that many residents plan to leave the island. The cost of buying a home or renting one on Long Island has become exceedingly high and beyond the reach of many who would continue to live here, if they simply could afford to.

For many, living here is no longer feasible. The cost of owning and maintaining a home has become such a financial burden that the only realistic alternative is to relocate off the island.

Affordable housing has become a serious issue that continues to threaten the demographic profile of both Nassau and Suffolk counties. For many, the dream of owning a home and raising a family here has become just that: a dream.

A growing number of residents in the 18- to 24-year old demographic profile are either moving or are planning to leave the island, primarily for economic reasons. Although this is alarming, the fact remains that little is being done to retain this segment of our population. As a result, the demographic profile of our island will shift in favor of older, established residents, who can somewhat better handle the financial drain of living here.

This precarious situation is quite problematic as the status-quo of our island is undermined as this transition progresses. The void left behind by our newly evolving social landscape will not easily be filled. This is in stark contrast to an island that was a prime destination for countless young adults who wished to stay here and maintained a quality lifestyle.

As more and more residents are forced to vacate their homes, a sense of despair takes hold. Like characters from John Steinbeck’s ‘ Grapes of Wrath’, families are exiting Long Island in search of a better and most importantly, affordable lives.

Jason Hill, RIDGE

04/17/14 11:41am
04/17/2014 11:41 AM
Ordering at a SONIC. (Credit: Creative Commons stock art)

Ordering at a SONIC. (Credit: Creative Commons stock art)

The popular Sonic fast food chain is eyeing Riverhead Town for a new location.

A modern twist on the classic 1950s-style drive-in, the only Sonic restaurant on Long Island is on Deer Park Avenue in North Babylon. When it opened in April 2011, regional and local media reported lines of cars on the busy thoroughfare waiting to to eat.

At a public Town Board work session Thursday, Riverhead planning officials said the company, which was founded in 1953 with a string of Oklahoma root beer stands called Top Hat, is now eyeing a location within town — though it hasn’t found one yet.

Click to read the News-Review live blog from Thursday’s Town Board work session for more information.

There is currently a second Long Island Sonic restaurant proposed for Nesonset near the Smith Haven Mall, where the company successfully reversed a Smithtown ZBA ruling denying the project from moving forward, according in Newsday.

03/21/14 1:40pm
03/21/2014 1:40 PM

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Anatomy of a deer cull author and former U.S. Department of Agriculture sharpshooter Joseph Albanese chatted live with Suffolk Times and Riverhead News-Review readers from 2 to 3 p.m. Friday.

Mr. Albanese answered questions based on his experiences participating in culls and other work with the USDA.

Click the button on the box below to replay the online forum.

03/07/14 5:00am
03/07/2014 5:00 AM
The entrance to Peconic Landing in Greenport. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

The entrance to Peconic Landing in Greenport. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

The Peconic Landing retirement community is hosting a holistic health fair on its Greenport campus Saturday.

“The four-hour fair offers a warm environment where visitors can explore everything from the world of organic foods and nutrition to many ways to reduce stress and promote relaxation for optimum health,” according a press release about the event.

People are invited to the fair learn about physical and massage therapy, and even pet therapy, as well as Eastern healing techniques such as acupuncture, Reiki and Qi Gong.

Representatives will also be on hand  to inform attendees on the potential benefits of yoga, reflexology and healing touch.

The “Whole Person Health and Wellness” fair is free and open to the public. It runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The fair will be held in the community center at Peconic Landing, 1500 Brecknock Road, Greenport.

02/07/14 2:24pm
02/07/2014 2:24 PM
JOSEPH PINCIARIO PHOTO | The Radio Shack  in the King Kullen shopping center Wednesday.

JOSEPH PINCIARIO PHOTO | The Radio Shack in the King Kullen shopping center Wednesday.

In a story that has so far been unconfirmed by the electronics company, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week RadioShack plans to close 500 of its 4,500 stores as part of a restructuring move.

If substantiated, it’s unclear whether the electronic store’s three locations on the North Fork — Route 25a in Wading River, Route 58 in Riverhead and Main Road in Mattituck — will be affected.

(more…)

01/01/14 8:20pm
01/01/2014 8:20 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | A Riverhead Town snow plow in Jamesport.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | A Riverhead Town snow plow in Jamesport.

There’s snow in the forecast for the North Fork starting early Thursday and running into Friday afternoon, with blizzard conditions reaching the area Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service.

It’s likely to snow early Thursday morning and into the day, but only about an inch is expected, though it will be windy, weather officials said.

The snow starting Thursday night and running through Friday is expected to drop three to seven inches over the region at first, before another one to three inches falls later.

The coastal storm is expected to taper off before 2 p.m. Friday, according to the NWS forecast.

The NWS has issued a blizzard warning for this time, with “dangerously cold wind chills. Blowing and drifting snow will produce dangerous travel conditions,” the warning reads. “Wind chills from 10 degrees below to zero to around zero will produce extreme cold impacts.”

11/12/13 11:01am
11/12/2013 11:01 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Segulls fight for real estate space along the Peconic River Tuesday.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Segulls fight for real estate space along the Peconic River Tuesday.

The Riverhead area and much of eastern Long Island saw the season’s first dusting of snow Tuesday morning.

According to the National Weather Service, a cold front that swept through the area in the early morning hours resulted in a mix of rain and snow — and eventually just snow — falling over the region.

The snow persisted through the morning commute, from about 6 a.m., and tapered off about 10 a.m.

(Read more below.)

And while Nov. 12 might seem like an early date for snow, with the official start of winter still 40 days away, recent years have seen even earlier first snowfalls.

Nov. 8, 2011, marked a messy commute for Long Island motorists as well, with sleet and snow flurries falling over the area.

That figure was bested by an Oct. 29, 2011 nor’easter, which resulted in a significant amount of snowfall and a rare “white Halloween” two days later.