05/07/15 12:00pm
05/07/2015 12:00 PM

Nine Suffolk County legislators recently rejected a proposal to move a series of committee meetings from Hauppauge to Riverhead. Ask them why and you’re likely to get nine different answers. One thing none of these lawmakers would tell you, however, is what appears to be the truth: They don’t want to drive out here.

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05/05/15 8:00am
05/05/2015 8:00 AM
Southern Pine Beetles, which are devastating forests across the Northeast, have arrived on Long Island. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

Southern Pine Beetles, which are devastating forests across the Northeast, have arrived on Long Island. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

The Suffolk County Legislature may create a commission of state and local authorities to deal with the southern pine beetle, a rice-grain-sized insect devastating nearby woodlands, before the problem gets “too out of hand,” according to one legislator. (more…)

05/01/15 2:00pm
05/01/2015 2:00 PM
The red districts voted against holding more meetings further east, while the green areas voted for it. (Credit: Paul Squire,  Suffolk County district map)

The red districts voted against holding more meetings further east, while the green areas voted for it. (Credit: Paul Squire, Suffolk County district map)

The Suffolk County legislators’ reasons for voting ‘no’ varied: the inconvenience of moving staff, the cost of added mileage or a reluctance to mess with a government they say already works.

But there was one thing universally true for all the legislators who voted against a proposal holding more meetings on the East End: they all represent districts far west of here. (more…)

03/11/15 3:00pm
03/11/2015 3:00 PM
County Legislator Al Krupski spoke about the importance for unity among municipalities in the fight against helicopter noise. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

County Legislator Al Krupski speaking Sunday about the importance for unity among municipalities in the fight against helicopter noise. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

On Saturday, one day after he was indicted on charges that he was paid about $80,000 in salary from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office for work he didn’t do, Suffolk County Conservative Party chairman Edward Walsh was back screening candidates for office.

And one of the candidates who screened with him was local county Legislator Al Krupski, who gave a simple reason why: He wants the nomination and the criminal charges against Mr. Walsh had no bearing on his decision.

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03/07/15 12:00pm
03/07/2015 12:00 PM
Long Island Board of Realtors president-elect Mary Alice Ruppert speaks at last week's meeting. (Credit: Rachel Young)

Long Island Board of Realtors president-elect Mary Alice Ruppert speaks at last week’s meeting. (Credit: Rachel Young)

Short-term rental regulations may have been the main topic at last week’s panel discussion at Greenport’s Townsend Manor Inn, but many realtors in attendance had questions about another issue: a new Suffolk County anti-discrimination law that prohibits them from asking prospective tenants about their finances.

Passed in January by the county Legislature, the law amends Chapter 526 of the Suffolk County code to “incorporate changes adopted by the state,” according to a copy of the legislation.  (more…)

12/16/14 12:00pm
12/16/2014 12:00 PM
The unfinished bike path at EPCAL. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

The unfinished bike path at EPCAL. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

After town board members appeared to oppose completing a bike and recreational path at the Enterprise Park at Calverton over the summer, the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously approved allocating $200,000 to complete the path on Monday.

Riverhead Town and New York State have already contributed $100,000 each toward the path, though three miles of the 8.9-mile path remain unpaved.

The bike path will get walkers and bikers off the dangerous public road, as it is located inside the fence around EPCAL, officials say.

Initially, it appeared part of the southern portion of the trail would be on the public street on River Road, but that will now be inside the fence as well, according to North Fork county legislator Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue), who sponsored the funding bill.

“It will be an off-road, non-motorized trail of over eight miles long for use by all county residents,” Mr. Krupski told legislators Tuesday, adding that the county won’t have to pay anything else, since the maintenance will be handled by Riverhead Town.

Riverhead Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, who spoke before the legislature Monday, said the town is planning on holding events on the trail, such as fundraisers for the Wounded Warriors, and a Halloween Walk.

“We just think it’s a great project,” she told legislators.

Ms. Giglio was peppered with a slew of questions from western Suffolk legislators, who asked about things like whether the trail would impede economic development at EPCAL or use of the runway there.

She said the trail is not on part of the property where the town plans to see land for economic development.

“I’m comfortable with it,” said Legislator Robert Calarco (D-Patchogue). “I think bike paths are important.”

“I think it’s a reasonable investment,” said Legislator Tom Barraga (R-West Islip), who said it cost $1.7 million for a pedestrian-friendly trail in his district that only covered 8/10ths of a mile.

Riverhead Town’s alternative transportation advisory committee, to which Ms. Giglio is the liaison, has been championing the bike for the several years.

Supervisor Sean Walter said work on the extension of the bike path can’t commence until the environmental studies of the EPCAL site are completed and the town Planning Board approves the EPCAL subdivision which will show exactly where the bike path will go.

“We’re in the end stages of the study at this point,” Mr. Walter said. He thinks the subdivision could be approved some time in early 2015.

He added that he’s not sure if the $200,000 will be enough to complete the bike path.

12/03/14 12:00pm
12/03/2014 12:00 PM
The area that will be restored at Indian Island County Park. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

The area that will be restored at Indian Island County Park. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Suffolk County is moving forward with a million-dollar plan to restore seven acres of land at Indian Island County Park in Riverhead that once served as a dumping ground for the county’s dredging projects. The measure is expected to improve the surrounding ecosystem by re-opening proper tidal flow to the area.  (more…)