07/16/12 11:00am
07/16/2012 11:00 AM

Despite what most people think, newspaper reporters are not ghouls.

Most of us don’t get a charge out of sad news, like fires, car wrecks, drownings and the like. To many, it’s the worst part of the job.

There’s really no worse night’s sleep for a reporter than the hours before having to cover a morning funeral, especially if a victim or victims’ family has been complaining about coverage — names that were spelled wrong, details not fully provided by police or whomever, etc. — leading up the event.

We do it because our editor told us to. In other words, it’s part of the job.

And things have been busy, so to speak, in the TimesReview Newsgroup’s coverage area over the last few months, especially the weekends.

That’s why this weekend was so welcome. No one was hurt, maimed or worse. We had a few DWI arrests but hope those who were caught end up being all the safer behind the wheel because of it. (There’s a glass-half-full way to look at it.)

The best part of all, business wise — of course, bad news is good for a media group’s bottom lines — is that site traffic was good.

Yep, the websites were humming along all weekend, despite it being beach weather.

For the curiosity seekers, here were our most-read stories that posted Saturday or Sunday, in order:

Shelter Island fireworks called off, twice

Jason Kidd nabbed on DWI in Southampton Town

Video: 1 minute from the all-classes Greenport HS reunion

Guest Spot about on North Fork becoming like the South Fork

3 busted for DWI Saturday night in Riverhead

Arcade store returns to Greenport

Photos from the Mattituck street fair

Seniors feud over financials at Calverton community

It was nice for a change to see people flocking to stories about street fairs, fireworks and high school reunions, as opposed to car crash photos.

• Managing three websites as the lone editor on a weekend can be quite a task, so I’ve mastered the art of scanning press releases to see if they’ll make for potential news items.Or so I thought I mastered the art.

Below is a funny email exchange I had with reporter Paul Squire Sunday afternoon. Squire was referencing a press release he had attached from the Southampton Town Police Department, which I had already “read.”

From Squire: Damn shame this is way outside our coverage area. I think East Hampton Patch had the scoop.
Me: Yeah, drunken Texan flies into the woods. Good [stuff].
Squire: It’s Jason Kidd the basketball player, not just some drunk Texan! 😀
Me: OMG!

I had read the email quickly to find out where it happened, and where the victim/suspect was from. But I overlooked the name!

We ended up posting something short on the Kidd crash to riverheadnewsreview.com anyway, even though it happened outside the coverage area. I figured there were enough Knicks fans in Riverhead who would want this news. Plus, it happened in Southampton Town, a chunk of which is in our coverage area. (And I had a nice tid-bit from a source that Kidd had just bought a house in Water Mill.)

I didn’t get any complaints.

Michael White is the editor of the Riverhead News-Review. He can be reached at 298-3200, ext. 152., or [email protected].

07/13/12 12:59pm
07/13/2012 12:59 PM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | The Mattituck Street Fair is fun for the whole family.

Hey everyone. I’m back from vacation and just in time. There are a lot of great events happening this weekend all over the North Fork. For times, locations and other information about my picks and all the other events happening this weekend, check out events.timesreview.com.

One “must do” event is the Mattituck Street fair. There’s music, craft booths, food and much more. Beat the heat and get there early Saturday morning. Head back to the Love Lane area later in the day to pickup BBQ chicken dinners from the Mattituck Presbyterian Church. You can also call 631-298-4145 and get tickets in advance.

Another one of my favorites is the Long Island Antique Power Authority Tractor Pull and show at Hallockville. This event is fun for the whole family, and kids under 12 can get in for free. You’ll be amazed when you see how much weight these tractors can carry.

Many of you drive by my next pick every day: the Jamesport Carnival. The carnival runs through Saturday and there is a great fireworks display at night to conclude the event. Park on Peconic Bay Boulevard for the best view. My favorite spot is near the marina near the South Jamesport beach.

Tonight on Shelter Island, Shelter Island Reporter editor Peter Boody is discussing his new book, ‘Thomas Jefferson, Rachel & Me.’ For more information, call the Shelter Island Library.

Shelter Island is also having fireworks Saturday night at Crescent Beach. The show begins at dark, and I know you can also see from points in Greenport.

Riverhead & Greenport are having live music events tonight on the Peconic Riverfront and in Mitchell Park. Bring your chairs and blankets and enjoy a relaxing time.

Speaking of music and Mitchell Park, here’s a good way to spend your Monday evening. Head to Greenport for free ballroom dancing lessons, followed by “Monday Night Dances in the Park”. Families, pets and picnics welcome.

For more events, tips and tricks, follow me on Facebook and Twitter. And if you don’t see your event listed on our website, make sure you email me.

03/24/12 2:30pm
03/24/2012 2:30 PM

GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | A North Ferry vessel makes a run from Shelter Island to Greenport Monday morning. North Ferry GM Bridge Hunt said he'd welcome a water taxi proposal connecting Greenport with Sag Harbor.

Two Shelter Island-based ferry companies aren’t too worried that a proposed Greenport-Sag Harbor water taxi will hurt their business. In fact, they welcome a new route linking the North and South forks.

North Ferry general manager Bridge Hunt, whose ferry connects Shelter Island with Greenport Village, said he believes the new water taxi will create another destination for his passengers.

“If we can connect people to another transportation connection, then that’s a plus for us,” Mr. Hunt said. “We’ll do our thing. They are going to do their thing … One more transportation connection is a win-win.”

The plan, proposed by Jim Ryan of Response Marine and Hampton Jitney president Geoffrey Lynch, would include shuttle bus service to and from the water taxis. The 35-minute boat ride between the two forks would hug the western shoreline of Shelter Island. During bad weather, an alternative route would move along the island’s eastern side.

One-way tickets would cost $11 and round-trips $20.

South Ferry owner Cliff Clark, whose boats run between Shelter Island and North Haven, said he first proposed linking Greenport Village and Sag Harbor Village about 12 years ago.

At the time, Mr. Clark said, he had support from former Greenport mayor Dave Kapell and even received federal funding to help pay for the project. But Sag Harbor Village, which bars ferries, shot down his idea.

“We didn’t want to be a bad neighbor, so we backed down,” Mr. Clark said.

Although Mr. Clark said he doesn’t know how a Greenport-Sag Harbor water taxi will affect his business, he described the plan as positive for the East End.

“It may cause people that would never go to Sag Harbor to discover a new community,” he said. “I know Jeff and Jim will do a good job.”

While Mr. Ryan and Mr. Lynch are facing the same legal hurdle Mr. Clark did, Sag Harbor Village is showing more interest in the plan this time around.

Sag Harbor Village Clerk Beth Kamper said the Village Board agreed last week to schedule a public hearing in April to discuss amending its code in order to allow a water taxi pilot program to start this summer.

Now that its South Fork neighbor appears to be on board, the Greenport Village Board has warmed up to the water taxi proposal. But some details still need to be ironed out before the village signs off on the plan.

During a March 16 public hearing Village Board members expressed the concern that water taxi passengers could fill up municipal parking lots. Mr. Lynch said at the meeting that he’s working on a parking agreement with the Greenport School District. If approved, Hampton Jitney would provide shuttle service between the school and the dock.

After Mr. Ryan and Mr. Lynch presented their case during the hearing, David Berson, owner of the electric boat Glory, was the lone speaker during the public comment portion. Mr. Berson said he’s concerned about the ferry’s potential negative effect on the bay and asked that an environmental study be completed before the plan moves forward.

After the hearing, Mr. Nyce reminded the public that anyone who could not attend the hearing can still submit written comments on the plan.

The village does not anticipate taking any additional action on the water taxi unless Sag Harbor makes the code change required for the vessel to land there.

[email protected]

03/06/12 9:43pm
03/06/2012 9:43 PM

DON BINDLER PHOTO | Dolphin close to shoreline in the shallows of West Neck Bay Sunday afternoon.

A common dolphin that had been spotted swimming in West Neck Bay on Shelter Island was found dead on Cedar Point in East Hampton, according to Julika Wocial, Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation supervisor.

Further details will be reported as they become available.

The dolphin had been spotted on Shelter Island two days ago swimming in a tiny cove area in the northwest corner of the waterway.

The foundation’s rescue unit arrived on the scene about 11 a.m., initially determining that the animal didn’t appear to be in distress. But there were concerns about it beaching itself in the shallows, especially during low tide, Ms. Wocial said. The team remained on the scene for more than 6 1/2 hours.

About 3:15 p.m., after the tide rose, the dolphin approached the deepest part of the cove and “that was good,” Ms. Wocial said. But she still had concerns that it was staying close to the shore and “I started to get a little nervous.”

She and team members donned dry suits and prepared to enter the water when the dolphin swam out and headed for deeper water in West Neck Bay.

Police and Shelter Island residents helped the team to ride around to various areas around the bay so the team could monitor the animal’s progress, Ms. Wocial said. Islanders not only provided rides around the bay but also gave the rescue team food and drinks, she said.

“I could wish all my dolphin rescues were around Shelter Island,” she said, crediting the cooperation of police and residents with making the job easier.

When last sighted before darkness Sunday night, the animal was in deeper water and appeared to be jumping and diving and making sharp turns consistent with feeding behavior, Ms. Wocial said.

State forest ranger Brian McAllister and Shelter Island Police continued to monitor West Neck Bay Monday morning and by midday had made no new sightings of the dolphin, leading Ms. Wocial to speculate that the animal had moved out to sea.

01/28/12 5:00pm
01/28/2012 5:00 PM

DON BINDLER PHOTO

Shelter Island birder and photographer Don Bindler took this shot of surf scoters off Mashomack Point Friday.

The birds form vast armadas as they rest on of the water this time of year.

Have a great photo you’d like to share with us? Send them to web editor Grant Parpan at [email protected].

01/28/12 10:30am

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Members of the Shelter Island Deer & Tick Committee with a 4-poster feeding station. Pesticide is applied by rollers on four vertical posts as deer feed on corn contained in buckets between each pair of posts.

After many years of debate, political wrangling and scientific investigation, New York State has joined the rest of the lower 48 in approving for widespread use the permithrin-based pesticide that is applied to the heads and necks of deer as they feed on corn at “4-poster” deer-feeding stations.

The purpose of the device is to kill ticks and reduce the incidence of tick-related illnesses among humans.

The approval limits the pesticide or “tickicide’s” use to Nassau and Suffolk Counties, where Lyme disease and other illnesses associated with tick bites have become endemic. Special permits will still be required to deploy the 4-posters because they violate a state DEC rule that bans the baiting of deer.

The decision is nothing less than momentous to the people — spearheaded largely by Shelter Islanders — who have been lobbying for it for nearly a decade.

It follows a three-year 4-poster test program on Shelter Island and Fire Island conducted by the Cornell Cooperative Extension under a special state permit. Its cost of more than $2 million was funded by the state, county and town as well as private donors. The town continues to deploy 15 4-poster stations under an annual extension of that permit. Local taxpayers pay the $75,000 bill for that. The test program deployed 60 units on Shelter Island.

The three-year test was conducted only after Shelter Island’s Gov. Hugh Carey wrote the sitting governor at the time, George Pataki, to order the DEC as a matter of public health to allow a test to see if 4-posters could lower the tick population. Until then, the DEC in Albany had adamantly opposed the use of 4-posters in New York State even though every other state except Hawaii and Alaksa had no rules against then.

The DEC said that drawing groups of deer to baiting stations might spread chronic wasting disease among the state’s deer herd; it also said that the tickicide deployed by the 4-poster was not registered for use in the state. The state’s hunting lobby bitterly opposed the 4-posters, fearing the tickicide it deployed would taint deer meat.

According to a Cornell report on the test-program that was released last spring, 4-posters were found to be highly effective in killing ticks while introducing no more permethrin into the environment than can be found by testing deer on North Haven, which was used as a control site. There were no 4-posters there and yet trace amounts of permithrin were found in its deer, most likely from the broadcast spraying of private yards and lawns by pest control companies with permithrin-based chemicals.

The DEC’s Vincent Palmer, who oversaw the Shelter Island test program, announced that the state had “registered” the 4-poster tickicide in an email sent to 4-poster stakeholders on Friday.

He reported that the DEC had agreed to register the tickicide on January 9. It was approved “in conjunction with Special Local Need (SLN) Supplemental Labeling that is assigned the following registration number: SLN No. NY-120001. The SLN labeling specifies the restrictions, geographical use limitations, and conditions which must be complied with in order for 4-Poster Tickicide to be legally used in New York State. For example, 4-Poster Tickicide is registered for use only in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and may only be used in conjunction with a valid deer feeding permit issued in accordance with the provisions of 6 NYCRR Part 189.”

He wrote that “details associated with procedures involved with applying for a Part 189 permit authorizing the baiting of deer in connection with the use of 4-Poster Deer Treatment Devices are being developed. The NYSDEC’s Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources will provide details in the very near future.”

Shelter Islander Janalyn Travis-Messer, a real estate agent who was among those who lobbied for the 4-poster program, called the news “very exciting” in an email reply to Mr. Palmer that was copied to all the stakeholders. Her late husband Jim was a town councilman who suffered from Lyme disease.

01/24/12 5:00pm
01/24/2012 5:00 PM

Real estate photography has changed drastically over the past decade — and not necessarily for the benefit of longtime professional photographers.

Compounding the effects of the housing crisis, the transition from film to digital and the emergence of a new generation of photographers have led to much smaller incomes for established photographers and forced an exodus of veterans from what used to be a lucrative trade.

Local realtors agree that photographs have taken a hugely prominent role in recent years, as buyers view a multitude of photographs on real estate websites like Trulia.com and Zillow.com before agreeing to see a home in person. It’s just easier for anyone with a digital camera to snap some good ones.

Here are a handful of images from real estate photographers still in the business. And to read more, be sure to pick up a copy of this week’s Riverhead News-Review.

EDBERG MARKETING

This photo from Peter Berlin shows an aerial shot of a roughly 2,000-square-foot, 4-bedroom home on Shelter Island. The house is no longer on the market.

PETER BERLIN PHOTO

EDBERG MARKETING

Another bird’s-eye view of a home in Orient that is currently on the market for $1.4 million. With a water-front view, the home features 4 bedrooms.

PETER BERLIN PHOTO

EDBERG MARKETING

This photo of a Cutchogue home provides a glimpse to the water-front view the homeowner can enjoy while showing the spacious property in the front of the home.

PETER BERLIN PHOTO

EDBERG MARKETING

A tucked away home on the water, this two-story Cutchogue house is 2,000 square feet.

PETER BERLIN PHOTO

HAMPTONS GATEWAY PHOTOGRAPHY

A view from the front of a South Jamesport house.

PAUL DEMPSEY PHOTO

HAMPTONS GATEWAY PHOTOGRAPHY

This South Jamesport home features plenty of natural light in the master bedroom as captured by this photograph.

PAUL DEMPSEY PHOTO

HAMPTONS GATEWAY PHOTOGRAPHY

A view from the back of a South Jamesport house.

PAUL DEMPSEY PHOTO

12/20/10 10:44am
12/20/2010 10:44 AM

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | The Chequit Inn and Restaurant.

Owners: James and Linda Eklund

Year established: 1994

Location: 23 Grand Ave., Shelter Island Heights

Phone: 631-749-0018

Attire: Casual

Wheelchair accessible: Yes

Hours: Vary with season; call for current hours of operation

Website: shelterislandinns.com

The Chequit Inn was established in 1872 as the meeting and dining hall for Methodist campsites located in Shelter Island Heights. After the turn of the century, the Chequit became privately owned and has been hosting guests ever since.

Guests are welcomed to the Chequit in winter by its brightly lit, comfortable interiors, and in the warmer months, they can enjoy the inn’s patios, which are surrounded by hydrangeas.

According to owners James and Linda Eklund, “There are no surprises at the Chequit Inn, just happy service with good food at a price that will allow you to enjoy yourself with friends and family.”

While the menu varies by season, it always features fresh and local ingredients whenever possible. Sample menu items might include homemade clam chowder, sea scallop brochette, marinated grilled asparagus with herbed goat cheese, roast Long Island duck or crab cakes with a lemon garlic aioli.

And for dessert, diners can choose from options such as the traditional Scottish shortbread or fresh fruit crisp a la mode.

The Dining Guide is not a review column. It appears as a courtesy to Times/Review Newspapers advertisers.