11/04/13 8:21am
11/04/2013 8:21 AM

An Amityville man was arrested for driving while intoxicated after police found him sleeping in a car parked at a Northampton intersection Sunday morning, Southampton Town police said.

An officer found William Washington, 29, inside his car with the engine running at the intersection of Lakeview Drive and Lake Avenue at 6:12 a.m., according to a police statement.

Police investigated and said they found Mr. Washington was intoxicated.

He was charged with felony DWI and held for arraignment, police said.

10/17/13 1:00pm
10/17/2013 1:00 PM

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Republican Linda Kabot, left, speaks while incumbent Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, who is running on the Democratic line, listens at the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association’s Southampton Town candidate’s night Tuesday.

Both the Republican and Democratic candidates for Southampton Town Board and Suffolk County Legislature agreed Tuesday that helping the northwest portion of town – most of which shares a school district with Riverhead Town – is an important goal in their campaigns. But the two sides disagreed about how best to achieve this goal.

One key disagreement concerned the proposed formation of a Riverside sewer district, seen by some as a key to economic development in the area.

The Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association held the forum Tuesday in David Crohan Community Center in Flanders, where candidates for Southampton Town Supervisor and council spoke, along with candidates for the South Fork’s Suffolk County Legislature seat.

Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst of Sag Harbor, running for reelection on the Democratic, Independence and Working Families lines, is opposed by former Supervisor Linda Kabot of Quogue, running on the Republican and Conservative lines.

Ms. Throne-Holst defeated Ms. Kabot four years ago and then won again two years ago when Ms. Kabot ran only a write-in campaign.

Ms. Throne-Holst said her administration has done a lot for the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton areas, including establishing an economic development task force, getting the county’s sex offender trailers closed, obtaining a grant for a walking trail to the river in Riverside, having the police department join the East End Drug Task Force and issuing a request for proposals from developers interested in jump-starting economic activity in Riverside.

“Economic development in Riverside is absolutely crucial,” Ms. Kabot agreed. But she said that having done a number of studies on the area, the town should be taking action. She said the area near the former car dealership on Route 104 should be rezoned for shopping centers and the property north of the Riverwoods mobile home park should be rezoned for senior housing. The Republican Town Board candidates have included a section on Riverside in their campaign platform, Ms. Kabot said.

The two candidates also differed about future handling of the area’s sewage. Ms. Kabot said the town should hook into downtown Riverhead’s system while Ms. Throne-Holst supports a $250,000 study of the issue. The views of the county legislature candidates, incumbent Jay Schneiderman and Republican challenger Chris Nuzzi, split along the same lines.

Mr. Nuzzi said he disagrees with doing a $250,000 study on sewers in Riverside since “we already know the answer,” which would be hooking into the Riverhead system.

Mr. Schneiderman, who sponsored the bill to fund the study, has said that Riverhead Town rejected a request to tie into their sewer system, which Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter has confirmed in interviews.

All candidates supported current plans to create a walking trail from Flanders Road to the Peconic River and to build a pedestrian bridge over the river from downtown Riverhead connecting to that path. Town and county officials hope to obtain a grant for that project.

“We have very serious issues here,” Ms. Kabot said. “The northwest quadrant of the town needs attention.” At one point, she added that she’d like to see someone from the area run for town board, though Ms. Throne-Holst’s running mate, Brad Bender, is in fact from Northampton. Ms. Throne-Holst later thanked Ms. Kabot for “endorsing” him.

Ms. Kabot said that during her two years as supervisor, the town brought the Big Duck back to Flanders, got the state to repave Route 24 and renovated the Crohan Community Center.

Ms. Throne-Holst’s running mates for Town Board are Mr. Bender, a former FRNCA president and landscaping company owner who made an unsuccessful bid for Town Board in 2011, and Frank Zappone of Southampton, currently her deputy supervisor. In the past, he was a school administrator for many years and also worked for Apple and for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Republican/Conservative council candidates are Stan Glinka of Hampton Bays – president of the Hampton Bays Chamber of Commerce and the Rogers Memorial Library and a vice president at Bridgehampton National Bank – and Jeff Mansfield of Bridgehampton, a finance professional who also has degrees in business administration and law.

Some Republican candidates were also critical of the current administration for not following through on a pledge to create a night court within the town justice court, something Flanders and Riverside residents felt would help deal with quality-of-life offenses.

Ms. Throne-Holst said the attorneys in town didn’t want to go to night court, and the decision to have night court was up to the town justices, who didn’t pursue it. She said the Town Board can’t force judges to do something since they themselves are elected officials.

Correction: The print version of this story in the Oct. 17 News-Review incorrectly said the meeting was Monday.

tgannon@timesreview.com

10/07/13 5:00pm
10/07/2013 5:00 PM
GOOGLE MAPS

GOOGLE MAPS

A Mattituck woman slashed the tires of a Northampton woman’s Jeep before threatening her and her boyfriend with a knife Saturday morning, Southampton Town police said.

Betty Bolling, 31, slashed the tires and gouged the rear driver’s side quarter panel of the victim’s vehicle with a kitchen knife at her residence on Pine Court about 8:20 a.m., according to a police report, causing about $750 in damage.

Ms. Bolling then approached the victim while “holding the knife in a threatening way,” police said.

The victim locked herself in her house, and Ms. Bolling drove away from the property, police said. She later drove by the victim’s boyfriend “displaying [the] knife,” according to a police report.

Ms. Bolling then drove back to her house on Route 25 in Mattituck, where Southold Town police found and arrested her, police said.

She was charged with two counts of second-degree menacing — both misdemeanors — two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and third-degree criminal mischief, all felony charges.

08/25/13 11:23am
08/25/2013 11:23 AM

A Riverhead man was arrested Saturday night after he left the scene of a crash on Wildwood Trail in Northampton, Southampton Town police said.

Gregory Lee, 43, was involved in the two-car crash shortly after 11 p.m. when he fled the scene. He was located a short distance from the crash and was found to be intoxicated, police said.

Both drivers were taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Mr. Lee was charged with DWI and leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, police said. He was transported from the hospital to police headquarters and has since been released on $750 cash bail.

SouthamptonPD HQ2 - 500

05/20/13 2:00pm
05/20/2013 2:00 PM

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | The sign that went missing in Northampton earlier this month.

A sign welcoming people to Northampton on the west side of Lake Avenue has been stolen.

The sign theft was reported on Sunday, May 12 , and is believed to have taken place sometime between May 9 and May 12, Southampton Town police said.

[Related: Northampton, has it ever truly existed?]

It was reported to police by Brad Bender, who, at the time, was the president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, which purchased the sign, along with other hamlet signs in Flanders, Riverside and Northampton.

Mr. Bender briefly mentioned the theft at FRNCA’s meeting on May 13, when he stepped down as president and Vince Taldone was elected to replace him.

FRNCA paid about $2,500 for this particular sign, and the organization received county grant money to pay for this sign and another one on County Road 51 to the south, as well as signs in neighboring Flanders and Riverside, Mr. Bender said.

Northampton was founded in 1951 and has a population of 458, according to the now-missing sign.

While there are no formal boundaries for the hamlet, which has a Riverhead zip code and is in the Riverhead school district and fire district, the name Northampton is generally used to describe the area located in the vicinity of Wildwood Lake.

tgannon@timesreview.com

03/13/13 10:00am
03/13/2013 10:00 AM
Brad Bender of FRNCA

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Brad Bender at a civic meeting in Flanders in 2011.

The head of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association is stepping down.

Brad Bender, who has served as the civic group’s president for four of the past five years, said at Monday’s meeting he is stepping down to run for a Southampton Town Council seat in the fall.

The group’s elections will be held at its April 8 meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. at the David Crohan Community Center in Flanders.

“All positions are open,” Mr. Bender said at Monday’s meeting. “We’ve had the same people switching hats the last few years. I will step down as president, and more than likely I will be running for Town Council again this year.”

He will stay on the board as a general board member, he said.

Though, he reminded, there is no guarantee he will be nominated by a political party for a November run.

Mr. Bender ran for Town Council on the Democratic slate in 2011 and came up 92 votes short, finishing third in a four-way race for two seats. In 2011, some Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association members argued that Mr. Bender should resign the presidency if he was running for town office, so as not to politicize the organization.

But when Mr. Bender did step down, no one else wanted to fill the post.

The board then ended up changing its bylaws so that Vince Taldone could be its new president, because he was the only person who would take the job. Mr. Taldone lives in Riverhead Town but owns property in Flanders. The board eventually changed their bylaws to allow people who own property in Flanders, Riverside or Northhampton but don’t live there, to run for its board.

Mr. Taldone served as president for one year, but Mr. Bender returned to the post shortly after the election.

tgannon@timesreview.com

01/18/13 10:00am
01/18/2013 10:00 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Southampton Town purchased Riverleigh Avenue lot in Riverside but have not maintained it due to lack of funds.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Southampton Town purchased Riverleigh Avenue lot in Riverside but have not maintained it due to lack of funds.

The communities of Flanders, Riverside and Northampton have been complaining for years about illegal dumping.

Now, Southampton Town has come up with a plan to help clean up these areas and other parts of the town.

The Town Board last Tuesday approved the creation of a townwide blight mitigation fund and approved increased fines for illegal dumping.

“In general, the purpose here is to create a funding source in our effort to address some of the blighted properties, particularly in the Flanders-Riverside area,” said Southampton Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst.

The concept is simple. One penny of every dollar the town court receives in fines and fees from any offense — whether related to dumping or not — will be put into the new Townwide Blight Mitigation Fund, according to assistant town attorney Carl Benincasa.

The money will go into a reserve fund, which can be carried over from year to year, and can be used to clean up litter and refuse on town land only, Mr. Benincasa told the Town Board last Tuesday.

He estimates that, at the current pace, the fund will generate about $18,000 per year.

“The goal is to provide quick access to funds to facilitate cleanup of those properties, while not adding burden to the taxpayers,” Mr. Benincasa said.

The board also added a $100 surcharge to fines for littering, which carries a maximum penalty of $1,000 or 15 days in jail for a first offense. The surcharge money will go directly into the blight mitigation fund, officials said.

For second or subsequent offenses within 18 months of the first, fines will range from $1,000 to a high of $5,000. But under state law, the $100 surcharge can be applied only to first offenses, which are violations. Second offenses are considered misdemeanors, to which surcharges cannot be attached.

The new law also allows the town to collect civil fines of $150 for the first day litter isn’t cleaned up after an initial charge is issued, then $250 for the second day and $500 for each subsequent day, according to Mr. Benincasa.

Vince Taldone of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association said he was “thrilled” by the new law.

“We normally beat up the Town Board for failing to address problems, so when they come up with an innovative approach to what’s been a long-standing problem in the town, I don’t even know how to express my happiness,” he said.

Mr. Taldone said that when there is litter on town land, the highway and recreation departments often claim they are not funded to do cleanups on town-owned property. The new measure finally provides a funding mechanism, he said.

While the board adopted the blight mitigation fund and the new fines unanimously, officials say they are still looking to make further changes,

Councilman Jim Malone said first offenses will each contribute $100 to the fund through the surcharge, but the second offenses will only provide the fund with only between $10 and $50, based on the penny policy.

“One would believe the second offense would be more egregious,” Mr. Malone said.

“That does sound a little absurd,” Mr. Benincasa said.

The board agreed to adopt the new fines as proposed, but continue working on changes in the future to correct the issue.

tgannon@timesreview.com

12/01/12 8:00am
12/01/2012 8:00 AM

SHAUN MCKAY

Established in 1959, Suffolk County Community College is the largest college in the State University of New York (SUNY) system.  The college’s Eastern Campus opened in 1977.

Like most community colleges, the campus realized substantial growth in recent years. Enrollment has grown from 2,789 in 2008 to 3,516 for the fall semester of 2012 — an increase of 26 percent. I believe this growth is reflective of an enhanced appreciation for the value found at community colleges, as well as Suffolk’s exceptional programs and its highly dedicated faculty and staff. With approximately 90 percent of all new high-wage jobs requiring a college degree or post-secondary training, our continued success in preparing the area workforce for jobs that actually exist is vital to our economy.

On our Eastern Campus, we have been able to meet the demands of the East End’s demographics, while building a student-centered teaching and learning environment. This is a direct result of our commitment to meeting heightened student expectations and employer demands through a plan that has been methodically implemented by the campus and its administration.

Two years ago, the campus began an aggressive campaign of outreach to the community. It initiated a listening tour that visited area high schools in order to assess external impressions of the college.

This process garnered good, useful information that led to a customization of our annual open house format. Staff then researched best practices to orchestrate further change, speaking to their contemporaries across the country to help determine ideas that could be implemented here.

Benchmarking and measurement have helped the campus find efficiencies within its operation and, as the economy declined, they were able to do more with less. Today, the campus is in the midst of implementing a new student success center that will provide one location for students that will streamline access to staff, providing them with service that is accessible, professional and efficient.

Research shows that student engagement strengthens student success and that a student’s first-year experience is a critical factor in whether they remain enrolled and persist in their studies through graduation. The Eastern Campus makes an immediate effort to connect and engage with its students. Programs are in place to promote cultural and intellectual diversity initiatives and to foster both student- to-student and faculty-to-student mentoring relationships. This proactive, consistent manner of guiding students through the college has been highly successful.

It’s important to note that many members of the campus faculty and administration have received the prestigious SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence. These awards are given annually to individuals who demonstrate extraordinary dedication to their students and an exceptional commitment to excellence. Those selected for this honor are role models within the college and the state university. Having these award recipients as part of our faculty helps us demonstrate that our students are being taught by the very best.

In 2008, the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Center opened on East Main Street in Riverhead. After only its first year of operation, the center met its fourth-year enrollment projections, underscoring the demand for related jobs in this region and the general popularity of the culinary field. The program continues to grow as a result of its high visibility and our aggressive recruitment plan.

We have also been engaged in a concerted effort to complete the facilities master plan for the campus. In 2011, the College opened the Montaukett Learning Resource Center, a 40,000-square-foot building that houses our library. American Libraries, in its 2012 Library Design Showcase, recognized our library in the category of Collaborative Learning, acknowledging our special effort to provide space for collaboration while still respecting other patrons’ desires for silence. We were the only community college among 11 institutions recognized nationally in this category.

Our next major addition will be the construction of the 48,000-square-foot Health and Wellness facility, expected to open in 2014.

Our institutional partnerships continue to expand and represent yet another of Suffolk’s strengths. We have a satellite building on our Eastern Campus that accommodates some of Long Island University’s bachelor’s and graduate degree programs. Many of our students find this proximity appealing, allowing them to stay on the East End while advancing their education. Our partnership with SUNY/Delhi enables our culinary students to stay on Long Island, in the college’s Culinary Center, while completing their four-year degree under the direction of Suffolk faculty members who have been cross-certified to represent SUNY/Delhi.

This program allows our students to “transfer” from Suffolk to Delhi and earn their baccalaureate degree without leaving home. Since 2011, the College has also been partnering with colleges and universities on Long Island to offer full- and partial-tuition scholarship awards to outstanding students who graduate from Suffolk. This initiative now includes 11 participating institutions, where 46 of our graduates are supported by Stay on Long Island Scholarships that total approximately $1 million.

Finally, we maintain Long Island’s lowest annual tuition of $3,990. The College is sensitive to limiting tuition increases in order to keep higher education affordable for Suffolk County residents and we are extremely happy that our students did not see an increase in tuition for the 2012-13 academic year. We are grateful to our elected officials for their leadership in support of the college.

My vision is for Suffolk, as a premier learning-centered institution committed to excellence, to be recognized for its dedication to academic success that fosters lifelong learning. To learn more about the college and its programs, visit our website at sunysuffolk.edu or attend our campus open house on Thursday, Dec. 6, from 4 to 7 p.m.

Dr. McKay is the president of Suffolk County Community College. He lives in Manorville.