09/19/14 11:43am
09/19/2014 11:43 AM
The Second Street firehouse was obtained by Riverhead Town in 2011 in a land swap with the Riverhead Fire District. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

The Second Street firehouse was obtained by Riverhead Town in 2011 in a land swap with the Riverhead Fire District. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

A brewery is one of the uses Suffolk Theater owner Bob Castaldi says he’s considering for the Second Street firehouse, which he has offered to buy from Riverhead Town for $500,000.

But he says he doesn’t have a deal in place just yet; that’s just a use being considered.

“There’s a lot of things up in the air and nothing is concrete yet,” Mr. Castaldi told the News-Review. “I’ve got a lot of ideas and that is one of the things floating around.”

Mr. Castaldi didn’t identify the brewer, though a co-owner of a company called Long Beard Brewing later confirmed they were looking at the location. (more…)

09/14/14 6:00am
09/14/2014 6:00 AM
Wells Homestead Farmstand in Aquebogue. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Wells Homestead Farmstand in Aquebogue. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Well, here we are again. It’s September, back-to-school time on our North Fork. Teachers in many classrooms will ask youngsters to write a few paragraphs describing their summer vacations. And those youngsters will groan and then settle down, attempting to use big, important-sounding words, trying to impress their teacher.  (more…)

09/13/14 8:00am
09/13/2014 8:00 AM
Randy Clement (left) and Mile Weber Jr. of Clement Carpentry of Jamesport working on the Witch's Hat restoration Thursday morning.

Randy Clement (left) and Mike Weber Jr. of Clement Carpentry of Jamesport working on the Witch’s Hat restoration Thursday morning.

The curiously shaped “Witch’s Hat” in Aquebogue is getting a much-needed makeover thanks to donations from area businesses and volunteers.

Spearheaded by the Riverhead Landmarks Preservation Commission, along with the Save Main Road preservation advocacy group, the roadside structure — named an official town landmark in 1987 — will be restored back to its original specifications.

The stand was built in 1926 by Henry and Lena Flemming, and used to sell gas, candy, cigarettes, and eventually ice cream to motorists from the 1930’s to 1970.  (more…)

08/31/14 8:00am
08/31/2014 8:00 AM
The airbase was established in 1946 and is currently used by a few area pilots. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

The airbase was established in 1946 and is currently used by a few area pilots. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has proposed removing Mattituck Airbase from New York’s Superfund program, saying the property no longer poses a threat to public health or the environment, DEC officials said.

Before it makes a final determination, the DEC will accept public comment for the next month. The property is currently on the state’s Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site list, which identifies properties being investigated for potential hazardous waste and outlines any cleanup efforts taking place.

The airbase, located off New Suffolk Avenue in Mattituck, is one of 11 properties currently being investigated across Riverhead and Southold towns.

It was created in 1946, when Parker Wickham of Mattituck, who overhauled airplane engines during World War II, converted part of his family’s New Suffolk Avenue potato farm into a small airport and plane engine rebuilding shop under the name Mattituck Services, according to previous Suffolk Times coverage. The property is still owned by the Wickham family.

The site currently operates as an “informal airbase used by a few area pilots,” said Southold Supervisor Scott Russell.

The 12-acre site included a half-acre parcel where chemicals — including fuels, oils and cleaners — were once used for maintenance and repair work, according to state DEC officials.

According to the state agency’s listing, solvent rinses and wastewater used on the property were discharged to leaching pools in the area from 1946 to 1979, leaving elevated levels of copper, iron, nickel, zinc, lead and cadmium in nearby soils, as well as several pesticide ingredients.

To remedy the pollution, 25 tons of contaminated but non-hazardous soils were excavated from the area surrounding the leaching pools in 1997, with excavation extending at least three feet below the water table, the DEC listing states. The area was then packed with clean fill and closed.

Soil testing conducted in November 2013 found no lingering impact from the contaminants in question and it was determined that no public or environmental threats exist at the site, according to DEC officials.

Mr. Russell said he’s encouraged to hear that the historic site stands to be removed from the Superfund program.

“If the DEC is satisfied, naturally we are,” he said. “Certainly it is in the town’s interest to see all [of these areas] get remediated and delisted.”

Agency officials are asking that any public comments regarding Mattituck Airbase be mailed to Cynthia Whitfield, project manager, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Environmental Remediation, Remedial Bureau A, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-7015 or emailed to cynthia.whitfield@dec.ny.gov. You can also call 518-402-9564.

The comment period will close Oct. 5 and a final decision will be made on or after Oct. 26, according to the DEC release.

cmiller@timesreview.com

08/23/14 12:00pm
08/23/2014 12:00 PM
Lone star ticks, seen here at different life stages, are among the most abundant tick on the East End. (Credit: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County)

Lone star ticks, seen here at different life stages, are among the most abundant tick on the East End. (Credit: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County)

Is that a tick, a chigger, or a tiny spider?

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County is working on creating a handy smartphone app to help East Enders get an answer to that question and many more with the touch of a button. (Spoiler alert: There are no chiggers on Long Island.) (more…)

08/17/14 5:00am
08/17/2014 5:00 AM
Crab cakes from Orient by the Sea. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Crab cakes from Orient by the Sea. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

It seems I’ve failed. During past weeks, I’ve spent so much time searching for something that appears not to exist. And all because of a great big sign I saw outside Modern Snack Bar on Main Road in Aquebogue.

The sign read “The Best Crabs Are Here.” Now I know our North Fork has the best of many things. From beaches to bays, to warm summer days, we are blessed. But crabs? I knew I’d have to investigate.  (more…)

07/28/14 10:00am
07/28/2014 10:00 AM
Zachary Studenroth, president of the Cutchogue New Suffolk Historical Council, notes that the settlers in the 1600's were quite a bi shorter than now. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch photo)

Zachary Studenroth, president of the Cutchogue New Suffolk Historical Council, notes that the settlers in the 1600′s were quite a bi shorter than now. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch photo)

As you can walk near the library on Main Road in Cutchogue, it’s easy to overlook the collection of buildings scattered, almost haphazardly, on a gentle hill at the nearby Village Green.

But three structures on the green — the old schoolhouse, the Wickham farmhouse and the “Old House” — are much more historic than they seem, offering a glimpse of centuries of North Fork living. (more…)