06/12/14 7:00am
06/12/2014 7:00 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | A bridge proposal would connect downtown Riverhead with county-owned parkland on the south side of the Peconic River.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | A bridge proposal would connect downtown Riverhead with county-owned parkland on the south side of the Peconic River.

By definition, a bridge needs two sides to move someone from one place to the next.

And one proposed pedestrian bridge — spanning the Peconic River to link downtown Riverhead to Riverside — now has the official support of both of those sides, as a majority of Riverhead Town Board members OK’d a measure last week to apply for a state grant application to fund the project.

(more…)

05/31/14 10:00am
05/31/2014 10:00 AM

Classic Car Night resumed down by the Peconic Riverfront on Thursday night, as about 20 classic car owners drove downtown to enjoy the sun.

The weekly gathering in the parking lot by the river is sponsored by the Business Improvement District, and runs through August.

Miss the cars this week? Head down there next week. Or in the meantime, check out these photos from Thursday night. (more…)

05/24/14 10:00am
05/24/2014 10:00 AM
Long Island Aquarium Exhibit Artist Eli Fishman shows Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter one of two steel fish sculptures that mark a fish ladder at Grangebel Park. (Courtesy photo)

Long Island Aquarium Exhibit Artist Eli Fishman shows Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter one of two steel fish sculptures that mark a fish ladder at Grangebel Park. (Courtesy photo)

Two steel fish sculptures were unveiled this week at Grangebel Park in Riverhead to commemorate “World Fish Migration Day” today. The sculptures are part of a newly renovated fish ladder by Long Island Aquarium Exhibit artist Eli Fishman.  (more…)

05/17/14 5:39pm
05/17/2014 5:39 PM
Saturday was the last week the farmers market will be held indoors. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Saturday was the last week the farmers market will be held indoors. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

The Riverhead Farmers Market has by most accounts been a huge success operating out of a vacant former downtown storefront in the winter months.

And now, farmers and sponsors of the market are hoping that the following it generated will follow the market outdoors starting next Saturday.

Today was the last day the weekly market will run out of the former Swezeys’s Furniture store site, where it’s been held every Saturday since Feb. 1.

Beginning next Saturday, May 24, and running through Nov. 1, the farmers market will be held outside, with the vendors located on the grass along the Peconic River in the downtown parking lot, according to Ray Pickersgill, the executive director of the Riverhead Business Improvement District, which runs the market.

“I’m predicting we’re going to have a large turnout” for the outdoor market, Mr. Pickersgill said. “I am advertising it as to biggest farmers market on the east end and I will make it the biggest farmers market. I’m trying to get at least 40 booths if I can.”

Linda Carey of Linda’s Baking Company has been a vendor at the market since mid-March and she’s already got an outside booth, selling her baked goods on the outdoor loading dock of the building.

“We love it here,” she said. “We’ve got a water view.”

She hasn’t committed to the outdoor market yet but said she’s leaning toward it.

04/17/14 3:00pm
04/17/2014 3:00 PM
Traces of chemicals harmful to humans and wildlife have been found in the Peconic River in the area of the Connecticut Avenue boat launch in Calverton. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Traces of chemicals harmful to humans and wildlife have been found in the Peconic River in the area of the Connecticut Avenue boat launch in Calverton. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

A multimillion-dollar chemical treatment facility currently pumping toxic contaminated groundwater from the Enterprise Park at Calverton — left over from years of pollution at the former Grumman site — is meeting its goals thus far, officials said last week. And while the large plume is not traveling underneath the Peconic River, as feared when it was first reported five years ago, it will take several more years of treatment before it is cleaned up.  (more…)

03/03/14 7:13pm
03/03/2014 7:13 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Canada geese in the Peconic River just south of Riverhead's West Main Street on Friday.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Canada geese in the Peconic River just south of Riverhead’s West Main Street on Friday.

Riverhead Town officials may take another stab at trying to get the state to ease restrictions on a law that severely limits development along the banks of the Peconic River.

“Right now, there’s no incentive to revitalize,” said Charles Voorhis of the engineering firm, Nelson, Pope and Voorhis, which was hired by the town to complete a $610,000 Brownfield Opportunities Area grant study of West Main Street and downtown Riverhead. (more…)

12/14/13 3:19pm
12/14/2013 3:19 PM
JAY SCHNEIDERMAN COURTESY RENDERING | The footbridge that would cross the Peconic River and connect Riverside to downtown Riverhead.

JAY SCHNEIDERMAN COURTESY RENDERING | The footbridge that would cross the Peconic River and connect Riverside to downtown Riverhead.

When Vince Taldone saw the state had given an $88,875 Economic Development Council grant for the pedestrian walkway he has been pushing for on the Peconic River in Riverside, he wasn’t sure what to think.

“I thought, how do they expect us to build a bridge for $88,000?” said Mr. Taldone, who is the president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association.

Southampton Town, on behalf of FRNCA, has submitted a grant application seeking $1.145 million for the pedestrian bridge project.

But upon closer inspection, it turns out that the $88,875 was specifically meant for the planning and design of the bridge.

Mr. Taldone said they had submitted the grant application quickly in order to make the deadline for submissions, and had not done any engineering or design of the proposed bridge, which would allow people to walk over the river from county parkland in Riverside to the parking lot in downtown Riverhead.

“I thought they were missing a zero,” Mr. Taldone said. “But they made it clear they weren’t saying no and they weren’t expecting us to build a bridge for $88,000.”

Mr. Taldone and County Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk), who has been involved in a number of Riverside revitalization plans and who proposed the pedestrian bridge at a FRNCA meeting, both said in interviews Friday that they fully understand why the state would want to commit money to the design of the bridge before committing money to constructing it.

“They put their stamp of approval on the concept,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “That’s big. The fact that they put $88,000 into the design of it anticipates that they will also fund the construction of it.”

He said he believes the design work can easily be done in time to submit additional grant applications for the construction work next summer.

“Obviously I was hoping to get the whole thing funded in the first round, but I’m not disappointed,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “I’d be disappointed if we got nothing.”

Southampton Town recently received a $15,000 county grant for walking trails through the parkland leading to the likely location of the pedestrian bridge, and the town currently has a number of revitalization efforts underway in Riverside, which has traditionally been an area with little commercial development and high amounts of blight.

Included in these efforts is a recently awarded contract with Renaissance Downtowns to be a “master developer” of Riverside, a county study on the feasibility of establishing a Riverside sewer district, a study to redesign the Riverside traffic circle as a two-lane roundabout, and a recently awarded $236,900 state Brownfield Opportunity Area grant to study ways to redevelop areas in Riverside that may have had contamination in the past.

Read the pitch from Riverside’s new master developer

tgannon@timesreview.com