09/22/13 8:00am
09/22/2013 8:00 AM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | North Fork Table & Inn owners Gerry Hayden and his wife, Claudia Fleming-Hayden, inside the Southold restaurant in a 2011 photo.

Local chefs and artisans will band together to help raise money for Gerry Hayden, the longtime executive chef and co-owner of Southold’s North Fork Table & Inn, who was diagnosed in 2011 with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“A Love Shared,” scheduled for Oct. 13 at 8 Hands Farm in Cutchogue, will include a wine and amuse-bouche tasting followed by an intimate, family-style dinner prepared by noted North Fork chefs, including Lia Fallon of The Riverhead Project and Keith Luce, of Greenport’s The Square. Local shops and artisans — including Catapano Dairy Farm in Peconic and Southold’s A Taste of the North Fork — will provide hors d’oeuvres.

Event organizers hope to raise $75,000 to help provide quality-of-life care for Mr. Hayden, who is 48, and also to support ALS research.

“The event was sparked by an outpouring from the community around me, to help me with my quest to eradicate ALS permanently,” Mr. Hayden wrote in an e-mail. “It was my idea to start a farmers market at the restaurant and have only the farmers we use at the restaurant to share and promote the farm-to-table philosophy.”

Maria McBride, an event planner with Peconic Productions who is helping coordinate “A Love Shared,” said she began talking with Mr. Hayden earlier this year about putting together an event. “If Gerry can get up each day and face his health challenges with humor and grit, then we knew we could certainly create a memorable party to raise money to support Gerry’s fight with ALS,” she said.

ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a rapidly progressing, incurable and fatal neuromuscular disease characterized by progressive muscle weakness that results in paralysis, according to the Stony Brook University School of Medicine website.

As the phrenic nerve to the diaphragm muscles fails, patients lose the ability to breathe without ventilator support.

Mr. Hayden, who has lost the use of his hands to the disease, said he plans to publish a memoir about how cooking and food have molded him. The book will also include recipes.

In the meantime, Mr. Hayden said, there are three things he’d like to raise awareness for, three things close to his heart: funding for ALS research, the North Fork’s artisan farming community and the tight-knit, talented community of Long Island chefs he belongs to.

“‘A Love Shared’ is my mantra now,” he said. “The phrase itself is how I would liked to be remembered.”

Tickets for “A Love Shared” cost $250 each; only 200 are available.

To purchase tickets or make a donation, visit aloveshared.com or leave a message with Peconic Productions at 631-862-5414.


09/10/13 7:46pm
09/10/2013 7:46 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Kenji Fujita, a former goalkeeper turned field player, scored the only goal in Southold's win over Shoreham-Wading River.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Kenji Fujita, a former goalkeeper turned field player, scored the only goal in Southold’s win over Shoreham-Wading River.


It was a good game for goalkeepers, current and former goalkeepers alike.

In an entertaining non-league boys soccer match that saw one goalkeeper turn in an exceptional performance and another goalkeeper save a penalty kick, it was a former goalkeeper of all people, Kenji Fujita, who scored the game’s only goal.

Fujita, a senior forward, struck a brilliant first-timer off a driven centering ball from Shayne Johnson with 8 minutes 13 seconds left in the first half, and the goal stood for Southold’s 1-0 victory over visiting Shoreham-Wading River on Tuesday.

It’s striking how well Fujita moves as field player. Then again, he is hardly new to playing the field. Although he was Southold’s No. 1 goalkeeper last year, he saw some time in the field and scored 3 goals. He played as an outside midfielder for his travel team, the Center Moriches Huskies, last spring, and also ran for Southold in a summer league.

In the meantime, Southold has a new first-string goalkeeper, John Charles Funke. The aggressive junior was outstanding in the Southold goal, making 8 saves for his first career shutout.

“He’s crazy,” Fujita said. “He has no concern for his body. He goes out there every day, just a hundred percent.”

When Shoreham-Wading River turned up the pressure later in the second half, Funke came up big, making a reflex kick save on Zachary McAuley and then fisting away Jack DelDuca’s follow-up shot. Funke was also aided in the second half by a goal-line clearance from Brian Hallock.

“He made some great, great saves,” said Southold coach Andrew Sadowski.

Southold (2-0) nearly tacked on a second goal when Shoreham-Wading River goalkeeper Adam Piotrowski (8 saves) was judged to have fouled Will Richter. But the 6-foot-2 Piotrowski kept his side in the game by springing to his left and knocking aside Richter’s penalty kick 7:25 into the second half.

Southold’s Drew Sacher nearly tacked on an insurance goal late in the contest. After expertly controlling the ball with his right foot, Sacher sliced forward and directed a shot that crashed off the crossbar.

After a rather flat first hour, Shoreham-Wading River (0-2), as if reacting to a belated wake-up call, picked up its play dramatically over the final 20 minutes but wasn’t rewarded with an equalizer.

“We didn’t start playing until the last 20 minutes,” Shoreham-Wading River coach Andrew Moschetti said. “The last 20 minutes, all of a sudden, it’s a different team on the field.”

Referring to the close scoring chances his team had, Piotrowski said, “Sometimes I wish I could just go down there and do something.”

Having played their season opener just the day before — a 3-2 loss to Kings Park despite 2 goals from Doug DeMaio — the Wildcats rested three banged up starters on Tuesday: Anthony Cusano, Daniel Mahoney and Kyle Pendergast.

Southold won its season opener, 3-2, over Hampton Bays on Saturday, with its goals coming from Hallock, Sacher and Richter. Tuesday’s game was the continuation of a good start to the season for the First Settlers, although they did get a scare when Fujita got hurt with 27:42 remaining. He put little pressure on his right foot as he was helped off the field, and it didn’t look good. Nine minutes later, however, he re-entered the game. Fujita said he believed it was a cramping issue, and he was determined to get back on the field as soon as he could.

“I don’t come here to just sit,” he said. “I come out here to play hard every day.”

Fujita’s work ethic has become his trademark. Sadowski said it is no surprise why Fujita has been doing well in his second soccer life as a field player.

“Obviously, the big reason why he’s playing so well is because of what he does on the training grounds,” Sadowski said. “If you don’t train hard and you’re not open to being a better player, you won’t be a better player. He is everything that I could possibly ask. He is an excellent teammate. He is an extremely hard worker, and his skill continues to improve.”

Fujita said he enjoys playing forward, but he seemed stuck when asked what position he prefers to play.

“There are things that I miss about goalie,” he said. “I wish I could do both, but that’s not really possible.”


GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River goalkeeper Adam Piotrowski pushing aside a penalty kick by Southold's Will Richter.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River goalkeeper Adam Piotrowski pushing aside a penalty kick by Southold’s Will Richter.

09/07/13 10:00am
09/07/2013 10:00 AM

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Farmer KK Haspel, owner of The Farm in Southold, said biodynamic preparations cost her as little as $8 an acre.

It’s easier to work with Mother Nature than to fight her, according to some North Fork farmers.

These farmers don’t use conventional farming methods – applying synthetic pesticides and fertilizers — but they aren’t considered “certified organic” either, although their growing techniques involve only natural materials.

They farm using biodynamics.

The Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association describes this technique as “a spiritual, ethical, and ecological” approach to agriculture, food production and nutrition. It dates back to the 1920s, when a group of farmers became concerned with the declining health of the soils, plants and animals on their land, according to the association.

“The basic premise is to bring the natural ecosystem and natural local ecology back on to your farm,” said Barbara Shinn, owner of Shinn Estate Vineyards in Mattituck. She described it as “restorative farming.”

Ms. Shinn said synthetic fertilizers and pesticides upset a farm’s natural ecosystem, stripping away healthy organisms as well as the pests they are designed for.

“It’s about balance,” said KK Haspel, owner of The Farm in Southold. “When you have a lot of pests it’s an indication there is an imbalance in your soil.”

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Blueberries grown using biodynamic preparations on the vine at KK’s The Farm.

Instead of chemicals, these farmers use what they call “preparations” made from fermented manure, minerals and herbs, Ms. Haspel said.

Different preparations add microbes back into the soil, stimulating effects like root growth and photosynthesis, combating fungus and regulating the plant’s use of nitrogen naturally bound up in the soil, according to the Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Biodynamics Inc., which makes the preparations.

“It increases the microbial action exponentially in the soil,” Ms. Haspel said, who began planting biodynamically in 2000 and attended a year-long course at the institute to learn about the different farming methods.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | An infestation of insects indicates an imbalance of microbes in the soil, according to the owner, who said she does not use any pesticides on the farm.

Other techniques include following a calendar that estimates the best days for germination when planting seeds, and leaving parts of the farm untouched.

Ms. Haspel said she farms only two of her five acres.

Both she and Ms. Shinn said that, aside from helping the environment, there is a cost benefit to biodynamic farming.

The preparations cost between $5 and $8 per acre and are simply mixed with water. The solutions are then applied by hand using a whisk-type tool, Ms. Haspel said.

“I can say with using the natural additions to my soil, and not man-made fertilizer, I estimate I save approximately $2,000 a year just on soil additions alone,” Ms. Shinn said.

She began the transition to biodynamic farming in 2004, wanting to take a more organic approach to maintaining her vineyard. She said she relies on books and seminars to learn the farming methods.

Biodynamic farming, she said, allows her vineyard to use the yeast that occurs naturally on the grapes’ surface for fermentation.

“What you’re growing is going to be a much more natural reflection of the farm and of the place your food and wine is growing from,” Ms. Shinn said. “We’ve definitely seen an evolution in our wines. Our wines have become much more complex much more concentrated and definitely have an earthy characteristic.”

Those who take a biodynamic approach “treat their farm as a single living organism,” Ms. Shinn said.

“It is a whole different way of thinking and doing things,” Ms. Haspel said. “I’m doing it, and I am doing it successfully.”

Both farmers, who are among just a few currently using biodynamics locally, say they hope others will begin using these methods to restore the health of the North Fork’s soil and surface water.


08/25/13 9:55am

SoutholdPD Sign - Summer - 500

A seafood delivery truck driver from Southold was arrested on drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident charges after a two-car crash Saturday evening in Riverhead, authorities said.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Brian Pressler, 26, of Southold is walked into Southold Town Justice Court Sunday. He was charged with DWI in Southold and cited with leaving the scene of a crash in Riverhead.

Brian Pressler, 26, was driving east on Route 25 in Laurel about 8 p.m. in a delivery truck from Braun’s Seafood in Cutchogue when he was pulled over by Southold Town police, who were alerted to the accident by Riverhead Town police.

Riverhead police said Mr. Pressler had his high beams on and was tailgating a brown Honda at the intersection of Main Road and Edgar Avenue in Aquebogue about 7:50 p.m., when he rear-ended the vehicle.

After he was eventually located in Laurel, officers at the scene determined Mr. Pressler was intoxicated, police said.

He was charged with DWI and issued a citation from Riverhead police for leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, police said.

Southold Town Justice Rudolph Bruer said at an arraignment Sunday that this was not the first time Mr. Pressler, who was released on his own recognizance, has been before him for an alcohol-related offense.

08/25/13 7:39am

Kennys Road Route 48 Southold

A Riverhead was involved in a fatal crash at the intersection of Route 48 and Kennys Road in Southold Saturday night, Southold Town police said.

Lawrence Damiani, 84, of Greenport was turning onto Route 48 shortly after 7 p.m. when he failed to yield the right of way and was struck by another vehicle heading west, police said.

Mr. Damiani and his wife, Janice, 83, were pulled from the car by Southold Fire Department volunteers and airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center by a Suffolk Police helicopter. He was pronounced dead a short time later, police said.

The driver of the other vehicle, Muhammad Asjad, 33, of Riverhead was transported by Greenport Rescue to Eastern Long Island Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, police said.

Ms. Damiani’s condition was not immediately known.

08/12/13 9:00am
08/12/2013 9:00 AM
CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | A classic car show fundraiser was held in Southold Sunday to benefit the Sweeney family of Laurel.

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | A classic car show fundraiser was held in Southold Sunday to benefit the Sweeney family of Laurel.

More than 400 local residents attended a classic car show in Southold Sunday to support Mattituck fireman Michael Sweeney and his family.

The Sweeney home in Laurel was badly damaged in a fire just two weeks ago.

The benefit classic car and motorcycle show at the American Legion Hall was organized by a group of Mr. Sweeney’s oldest friends. You can read more about how the fundraiser came to be by clicking here.

07/22/13 10:30pm
07/22/2013 10:30 PM

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO  |  Emily St. Louis of McGann-Mercy fights down low against Southold Monday night in the Town of Brookhaven Summer League.

Justina Babcock’s first introduction to varsity basketball at Southold came in her freshman season as a JV call-up for the playoffs. Over the next two years as a full-time varsity player, her role continued to expand.

Now heading into her senior season, she’s received the keys to the offense.

“She’s the quarterback,” said Southold coach Joe Read.

Babcock has experienced plenty of success in recent years with Southold. As a sophomore the team won the Class C Long Island championship. And last year as a junior she helped the team reach the Class C county finals.

To help extend that winning tradition, Southold players have been working hard in the Town of Brookhaven Summer League, where the First Settlers won Monday night via forfeit against short-handed McGann-Mercy at Shoreham-Wading River High School.

“We definitely want to get as far as we did two years ago,” Babcock said. “I definitely think we have potential this year. I’m excited.”

As the point guard, Bacbcock will play a huge role in the team’s success.

“She really came on strong last year,” Read said. “We stuck with her last year and she proved worth sticking with.”

Babcock came out against the Monarchs like she was in mid-season form. She drained a pair of 3-pointers to open the game and hit another long pull-up jumper early in the second half. She sank another 3-pointer in the final minutes of the game to give her a team-high 11. (There was no official score because the game was a forfeit)

Babcock said it was the first game during the summer league where she shot that well.

“It was a surprise that I was making all these shots,” she said.

It wasn’t a surprise to Read, who knows Babcock can hit the long-distance shots. The biggest thing Read said he likes to see from Babcock is her court awareness.

In the past, he said, Babcock — who’s almost always one of the shortest players on the court — would sometimes get caught too far under the hoop amid a crowd.

“When she’s pulling up tonight, it all opens up for her,” Read said. “If she got that out of the summer league, that’s great.”

Babcock said her biggest areas of focus during the summer individually are ball-handling and shooting.

“My coach always has me doing ball movements and everything like that,” she said.

Read said Babcock has an extra sense out on the court.

“She can see things happening,” he said. “That’s what separates athletes from talented basketball players. They can see it happening. I think she has it.”

The Settlers (3-5 in summer league) have gotten a good turnout during the summer league with plenty of players available each game. Against Mercy, Read rotated in players five at a time.

And most importantly, he said, everyone’s always hustling.

“Summer league is who hustles,” Read said. “That’s what they’re starting to believe in. They’re going to have a lot of fun this season if they keep playing like that.”

The Settlers swarmed down low against Mercy forward Emily St. Louis, who was the tallest player on the court.

“You can’t coach height,” Read said. “They did a great job.”

The Monarchs had only three players available at the start of the game, so a few players from Riverhead’s junior varsity — which played in the previous game — joined the team. The Monarchs got another player shortly after.

While the Monarchs haven’t always had the number of players they would hope for, coach Meaghan MacArthur said she’s liked the way the players have improved.

“The way that I’ve seen them improve just from summer league gives me a lot of hope for the actual season,” she said.


06/20/13 6:00am
06/20/2013 6:00 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Iron Pier Beach in Jamesport isn’t far from the town line.

To the Editor:

I am a resident of Riverhead Town and reside close to one of the town beaches. On my early-morning walks with my dog, I’ve witnessed people driving into the beach parking lot with bags of trash to stuff into the waste receptacles there. I tried to speak to one man who did this, but he quickly jumped back into his car and sped away, of course, leaving his garbage behind.

I can only assume my neighbors in Southold Town, who are required to pay as they go for their waste removal, seem to think it’s OK to travel into Riverhead with their trash for “free” disposal. Sometimes they even leave broken household items outside the pails. And now that the summer season is upon us, the amount and frequency is already increasing.

Since these pails have no covers, the raccoons, seagulls and even rats, have a feast, leaving a mess.

A quick search of the Southold website revealed that 13-gallon town garbage bags are sold for $.75 each. If one bag were used per day for 365 days, the expense would be $273.75, roughly the amount of the line item on my taxes for refuse and garbage of $270.

I’m sure this public space is not the only one being dumped on, judging from another letter you printed last year of someone complaining about a mess from critters getting into garbage at one of the other beaches. I’m not sure what the solution would be, but perhaps if the people who do this know their dirty little secret is out, they may do the right thing and dispose of their trash at their own expense — and in their own town.

Rose Kundle, RIVERHEAD

To read more letters to the editor, pick up a copy of this week’s Suffolk Times or click on the E-Paper.