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

07/13/13 9:00am
07/13/2013 9:00 AM
Caleb Hodges, 71, was last seen at his Ridge Rest Home residence about 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Caleb Hodges, 71, was last seen at his Ridge Rest Home residence about 3 p.m. Wednesday.

UPDATE: An elderly Ridge man who went missing Wednesday afternoon was located Friday night unharmed, Suffolk County Police said. No further details were given as to the man’s location.

ORIGINAL STORY: Suffolk County Police are looking for an elderly Ridge man who went missing Wednesday afternoon.

County police issued a Silver Alert about 1 a.m. Thursday for Caleb Hodges, 71, who has schizophrenia and early stage Alzheimer’s disease.

Mr. Hodges is described as black, 6-foot-1 and weighs 160 pounds. He has black hair, is unshaven, has no teeth and was wearing black army boots, police said.

He was last seen at his resident at Ridge Rest Home about 3 p.m. Wednesday, when he boarded a bus traveling to a program at the Peconic Bay Medical Center.

He never returned to the rest home in Ridge.

In the past, he has been known to travel to Greenport to visit friends, police said.

Anyone with information about Caleb Hodges is requested to contact detectives at (631) 852-8752 or call (631) 852-2677.

Silver Alert is a new program implemented in Suffolk County that allows local law enforcement to share information about individuals with special needs who have been reported missing.

04/29/13 3:45pm
04/29/2013 3:45 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A woman driving this Hyundai Santa Fe crashed into three other vehicles Monday morning, sending all four drivers to the hospital.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A woman driving this Hyundai Santa Fe crashed into three other vehicles Monday morning, sending all four drivers to the hospital.

Update: The woman injured in Monday morning’s four-car accident is listed in “critical condition” at Stony Brook University hospital, according to a hospital official.

Original Story: A Coram woman was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries after crossing into oncoming traffic on Route 25 in Wading River Monday morning and smashing into three vehicles, Riverhead Town police said.

Three other people suffered minor injuries in the crash, police said.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The wreckage of a pickup truck that was struck in a multi-car accident in Calverton Monday morning.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The wreckage of a pickup truck that was struck in a multi-car accident in Calverton Monday.

Police said Melinda Covino-Costanza, 39, of Coram was driving a 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe compact SUV eastbound near Fink’s Farm about 7:40 a.m. when she crossed into the westbound lane and struck a 1993 Mercury driven by Daniel Sheppard, 62, of Mattituck.

Ms. Covino-Costanza kept driving east and collided with two other vehicles, a 2000 Dodge pickup truck driven by Sean Gordon, 38, of Jamesport and a Chrysler 300 sedan driven by Calverton resident Richard Murdock, 57, before stopping in front of the farmstand, police said.

Riverhead and Suffolk County police closed off Route 25 as Wading River and Ridge fire crews rushed to the scene.

Ms. Covino-Costanza was taken to Stony Brook University Medical Center with “serious physical injuries,” according to a police report issued about 3:30 p.m.

An airlift was called to take her to the hospital, but she was taken by Wading River ambulance crews by ground instead because she couldn’t be stabilized, said Wading River Fire Chief Jim Evans.

Mr. Murdock, Mr.Gordon, and Mr. Sheppard were taken by Wading River, Ridge and Riverhead ambulance crews to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries, police said. There were no passengers in any of the vehicles, police said.

Police impounded all of the vehicles for a safety inspection.

Ms. Covino-Costanza was issued a traffic violation for driving on worn-out tires, though the investigation is continuing.

Mr. Gordon was cited for unlicensed driving, according to the report.

Investigators are asking that any witnesses to the crash call (631) 727-4500 ext.326.

All calls will be kept confidential.

psquire@timesreview.com

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated Ms. Covino-Costanza was airlifted to Stony Brook University hospital. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital.