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11/05/14 6:00am
11/05/2014 6:00 AM
A show of hands on Monday night for 'Riverside Rediscovered,' the name of the project to revitalize the hamlet. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Residents chose the name ‘Riverside Rediscovered’ for the project to revitalize the hamlet. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Riverside Rediscovered will host a community asset and safety mapping meeting Thursday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. at Phillips Avenue Elementary School.

Attendees are encouraged to discuss solutions and suggestions to help revitalize the Riverside area. Appetizers will be served. Transportation and child care are available.

For more information, contact Siris Barrios, 323-868-2456, 631-591-3926 siris@riversiderediscovered.com or visit riversiderediscovered.com or facebook.com/riversiderediscovered.

08/29/14 7:00am
08/29/2014 7:00 AM
An abandoned gas station on Flanders Road just east of the Peconic Avenue circle. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

An abandoned gas station on Flanders Road just east of the Peconic Avenue circle. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Peconic Avenue has a new tenant, and locals should take notice.

Renaissance Downtowns has had a sign posted in its storefront for the past couple of months, but with a community liaison now on the ground and officially hired for the job, the for-profit company can officially get to work on charting a course for the future of Riverside.

Is it frustrating — and somewhat typical — to see another plan in the works for the beleaguered community, where making progress has for far too long been on the back burner for Southampton Town and Suffolk County leaders? Yes — but as the saying goes, nothing worth having ever came easy. And area residents have before them a great opportunity with a private company that’s financially invested in gathering public feedback — and crafting a vision for Riverside based on that information. Unlike with a government study, if the plan it ultimately develops isn’t executed, Renaissance Downtowns loses private money. Its motivations are financial, not political. That gives us hope.

However, it helps that political leaders are on board and supportive of the overall effort to lift up the area.

A public meeting will be held next month on a pedestrian bridge that could connect the hamlet with a burgeoning downtown Riverhead. A study has already been completed on the feasibility of a sewer treatment plant in Riverside, and the county seems on board to contribute funds to build one. This fall, voters townwide will go to the polls to determine if the hamlet — along with neighboring Flanders and Northampton — should get what we argue is a much-needed garbage district.

The missing link to realizing a long-term vision for Riverside is a cohesive effort from residents throughout the hamlet, not just a few politicians and civic leaders. While their support is vital, what’s paramount is feedback from those living and working there — and in downtown Riverhead — who will be most affected by long-term changes. They should stop by Renaissance Downtowns’ Peconic Avenue offices, give organizers five minutes if they drop by or, better yet, attend any upcoming meetings. Business mixers and community forums are in the works. Be there and let your thoughts be known.

08/28/14 8:00am
08/28/2014 8:00 AM
Siris Barrios, community liaison with Renaissance Downtowns, outside the company's office on Peconic Avenue. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Siris Barrios, community liaison with Renaissance Downtowns, outside the company’s office on Peconic Avenue. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Growing up in the 1980s and’90s in a racially divided part of Los Angeles, where drugs and gangs were prevalent, Siris Barrios remembers well the days of the 1992 L.A. riots and the civil unrest she saw.

(more…)

05/13/14 11:14am
05/13/2014 11:14 AM
A show of hands on Monday night for 'Riverside Rediscovered,' the name of the project to revitalize the hamlet. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

A show of hands on Monday night for ‘Riverside Rediscovered,’ the name of the project to revitalize the hamlet. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

And the winner is… “Riverside Rediscovered.”

That’s the name attendees at Monday’s Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association chose for the upcoming effort to revitalize Riverside, which has long been one of the more impoverished and crime-ridden hamlets in the county.  (more…)