08/10/13 6:00pm
08/10/2013 6:00 PM

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Denise Lucas and her dog Duke at Saturday’s opening of the ‘Duke’ Dog Park at Stotzky Park.

Riverhead Town officials and members of the non-profit Riverhead Move the Animal Shelter group officially opened the town’s second dog park Saturday.

The ‘Duke’ Dog Park at the north end of Stotzky Park is named after Denise Lucas’s dog, Duke, a 7-year-old Husky/Shepard blend.

Ms. Lucas is the leader of the Move the Animal Shelter group, which has held dozens of fundraisers to help privately fund the construction of a new, and better, town animal shelter.

But along the way, she and her group also got involved in helping to establish the town’s two dog parks. The Isaac Dog Park off Route 25 in Calverton opened last summer.

“I’m glad it’s done so we can move on with our promise to the community to move the shelter,” Ms. Lucas said. “We’ve got to really work hard with the shelter project.”

Sept. 27 will mark two years since she got involved in the project, she said.

The town turned over management of its animal control department this year to the non-profit North Fork Animal Welfare League. Both Ms. Lucas’s group and NFAWL, as well as the Town Board, support moving the town shelter from its current location on Youngs Avenue to the Henry Pfeiffer Community Center on Grumman Boulevard in Calverton.

NFAWL has received a $300,000 bequest from Patricia Toner Troxel of Mattituck for use in building an animal shelter, but that money can’t be used for a municipal building. The plan is to build a new facility on the Grumman Boulevard site and use additional money raised by NFAWL and Ms. Lucas’s group to renovate the Pfeiffer building into an animal facility.

NFAWL has plans for a cat shelter and spay-neuter clinic, in addition to the dog shelter.

“However NFAWL and Denise want to do it, I support,” Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said.

Ms. Lucas said the town’s highway department and recreation department, along with Councilman James Wooten, were helpful in getting the new dog park ready.

Mr. Wooten said there are still some things that need to be done, such as putting in picnic tables, hydro-seeding the lawn and connecting it to a water source.

Mr. Wooten said he’d like to build one more dog park in the eastern part of the town, but he has to discuss it with the rest of the Town Board first.

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06/28/13 2:13pm
06/28/2013 2:13 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Riverhead Little League will host the state softball tournament for 11-12-year-old majors division in July.

The Riverhead Little League is getting set to host the state softball tournament for the 11-12-year-old majors division at Stotzky Park.

The six finalists in the state tournament will arrive July 8 and start playing July 9. The tournament could run as long as until July 13, with the one state champion moving onto the overall Little League World Series tournament in Williamsport, Pa. at the end of the month, according to Tony Sammartano, Riverhead Little League president.

The games will be played at Stotzky Park, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day until a champ is crowned.

But while hosting the event is an honor for Riverhead Little League, it’s also expensive, Mr. Sammartano said.

The host league has to provide lunches for players and pay the lodging costs for the players, although not for the players’ families.

As a result, Riverhead Little League has planned a number of fundraising events to help in the effort.

“We really could use your support,” Mr. Sammartano said in an appeal to members of the community. “It’s a big event and something a league doesn’t get to have very often.”

The last time the state championship was held in Riverhead was about 2004, he said.

A July 8 fundraising banquet at Calverton Links’ Eagle Landing restaurant is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 at the door, and there will be a 50-50 raffle and a Chinese auction that also will serve to help offset Riverhead Little League’s overall costs.

League officials are still hoping local residents or businesses can make donations or provide gifts to be auctioned off.

Mr. Sammartano said some businesses have been very generous, such as Home Depot, Digger O’Dell’s bar and restaurant and McDonald’s.

Another way the league is raising funds is through a journal for the tournament.

The league is selling one-page ads for $300, half-page ads for $200 and quarter-page ads for $75.

Mr. Sammartano asks that anyone interested in donating items for the Chinese auction, buying a journal ad or making any kind of contribution to the Little League call him directly at (631) 767-8206.

So, what are the chances of a local team playing in that tournament?

Mr. Sammartano said the Riverhead team was eliminated Thursday, but that the North Shore league’s team, which covers Mount Sinai to Shoreham was still alive as of Thursday night.

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05/01/13 12:20pm
05/01/2013 12:20 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A Riverhead Town employee boarded up the Little League's storage area Sunday morning after someone broke into the building the night before.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A Riverhead Town employee boarded up the Little League’s storage area Sunday morning after someone broke into the building the night before.

Three days after someone broke into the Riverhead Little League’s concession stand and storage area, ransacked the building and made off with nearly $800 in cash and items, the concession stand has been reopened, the league’s president said.

Tony Sammartano said the concession stand was back up and running Tuesday.

COURTESY PHOTO | The doors to the Little League's concession stand and storage area were both damaged.

The doors to the Little League’s concession stand and storage area were both damaged.

“There was a bit of a shortfall, but we did [set it up again,]” he said. The money raised by concession sales pays for the Little League’s umpires, he said.

Mr. Sammartano said sponsors of the Little League had offered donations to help get the stand running again, as well as recoup some of the losses.

The concession stand was targeted Saturday night, when someone smashed in the doors of the building in Stotzky Park near the ballfields, police said.

The thieves took about $500 in cash from the building and about $250 in equipment and food was stolen, according to a police report. Three dozen baseballs and old Little League shirts were stolen from the storage area, Mr. Sammartano had said.

The Little League had kicked off opening day to its 61st season just hours before the burglary. The building had been broken into once before about two years ago, he said.

Riverhead police are investigating the break-in.

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02/18/13 1:15pm
02/18/2013 1:15 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO  |  Georgia Gabrielssen (left) and her mother Janice were the first skaters to try out the ice rink Thursday.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Georgia Gabrielsen (left) and her mother Janice were the first skaters to try out the ice rink when it opened.

With frigid temperatures today and school’s closed for President’s Day, it’s a perfect opportunity to hit the ice rink at Stotzky Park. The Riverhead Recreation Department announced the rink will be open today from noon to 8 p.m.

The rink, which debuted last month, is free to use.

The town purchased the materials needed for the rink last year, but the climate never dropped enough for the water to freeze. That finally changed this year.

02/03/13 7:00am
02/03/2013 7:00 AM
BARBARALLEN KOCH PHOTO  |  The temporary ice rink at Stotzky Park was closed after temperatures rose above freezing. But it may reopen for a few hours Sunday.

BARBARALLEN KOCH PHOTO | The temporary ice rink at Stotzky Park was closed after temperatures rose above freezing. But it may reopen for a few hours Sunday.

Riverhead residents and even some out-of-towners enjoyed five straight days of ice skating at Stotzky Park when the weather dipped below 20 degrees last week. The rink is now locked but Councilman George Gabrielsen said he was hoping that the below freezing overnight temperatures will allow the rink to reopen for a few hours Sunday.

The town’s recreation department is expected to check the ice at noon today. If frozen enough, the rink will reopen at that time.

Temperatures are forecast to hover around 32 degrees and overnight to dip in the 20s for the next five days. Mr. Gabrielsen said he will ask the fire department if necessary to spray down the surface to smooth out the ice.

Recreation Department director Ray Coyne said the rink will likely be open again once it freezes.

“It’s going to be hit or miss,” he said. “I was very impressed with the amount of people who came out to enjoy the skating.”

The department said it will provide updates via Facebook on the Riverhead Parks and Recreation page.

RELATED: Time to grab some skates and hit the ice

RELATED: Video — ‘This ice rink is so cool, I want to live here’

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01/26/13 5:45pm
01/26/2013 5:45 PM
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO  |  At Stotzky Park's new ice rink Saturday, three friends from Baiting Hollow tried out their skating skills.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | At Stotzky Park’s new ice rink Saturday, three friends from Baiting Hollow tried out their skating skills.

On the first weekend Riverhead’s new ice rink at Stotzsky Park was open, dozens of kids showed off their skating skills.

The temporary rink opened last Thursday and is free for all to enjoy, said Riverhead town councilman George Gabrielsen.

The town purchased the materials needed for the rink last year, but the climate never dropped enough for the water to freeze.

The rink will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily until the temperature rises above 32 degrees.

01/24/13 3:30pm
01/24/2013 3:30 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO  |  Georgia Gabrielssen (left) and her mother Janice were the first skaters to try out the ice rink Thursday.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Georgia Gabrielsen (left) and her mother Janice were the first skaters to try out the ice rink Thursday.

Thanks to a blustery blast of arctic air this week, the flooded roller hockey rink at Stotzky Park turned into a vast light blue field of smooth and glistening ice.

The temporary ice skating rink opened for the first time Thursday afternoon after more than a year of waiting.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO  |  Councilman George Gabrielsen's wife Janice arrives at the rink with freshly sharpened skates.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Councilman George Gabrielsen’s wife Janice arrives at the rink with freshly sharpened skates.

Recreation Department director Ray Coyne and town board members gathered at the edge of the rink this afternoon for the opening. Councilman George Gabrielsen’s wife Janice and 27-year-old daughter Georgia were the first skaters to try out the new rink.

“This is going to be the ‘George Gabrielsen Family Skating Rink,’ ” said councilman John Dunleavy.

Mrs. Gabrielsen said she’s waited 30 years for the rink.

“I’m in my glory,” she said as she slowly and cautiously maneuvered around the ice. “I just got my skates sharpened. It’s good but I just have to get used to this.”

Georgia Gabrielsen said it was only her second time on ice this year. She skated in Greenport earlier this month.

The town brought the plastic liner and PVC piping needed to convert the roller skating rink into an ice rink last year, but it never got cold enough to make ice, so the rink was never used for ice skating.

It’s free to skate, but ice skates are not provided, Mr. Coyne said.

The rink will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily until the temperature rises above 32 degrees, he said.

Mr. Coyne said that they have received many phone calls about the skating rink and predicted a large turnout over the weekend.

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BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO  |  Town board members (from left) John Dunleavy, George Gabrielsen, Jodi Giglio and Jim Wooten officially open the rink Thursday afternoon.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Town board members (from left) John Dunleavy, George Gabrielsen, Jodi Giglio and Jim Wooten officially open the rink Thursday afternoon as Mr. Gabrielsen’s family tested out the ice.

 

01/23/13 3:49pm
01/23/2013 3:49 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO  |  The temporary ice skating rink at Stotzky Park will open for the first time at 2 p.m. Thursday.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The temporary ice skating rink at Stotzky Park will open for the first time at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Riverhead Town’s temporary ice skating rink in Stotzky Park will have ice skating for the first time Thursday as temperatures dipped below freezing long enough for the first time this winter.

The town brought the plastic liner and PVC piping needed to convert the roller skating rink into an ice rink last year, but it never got cold enough to make ice, so the rink was never used for ice skating.

But that’s changed this year.

Riverhead Recreation Department Superintendent Ray Coyne has announced that the town “will officially be opening the gate to the ice rink” at 2 p.m. Thursday.

It’s free to skate, but ice skates are not provided, Mr. Coyne said.

The rink will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily until the temperature rises above 32 degrees, he said.

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