Featured Story
07/29/14 12:00pm
07/29/2014 12:00 PM
A female deer tick on a leaf. (Credit: Daniel Gilrein)

A female deer tick on a leaf. (Credit: Daniel Gilrein)

Suffolk’s planning efforts to reduce tick-borne diseases across the county officially starts Wednesday.

That’s when the newly formed tick advisory committee meets for the first time. The 12-member group, made up of health experts, environmentalists,  local and county government officials and others, meets at 11 a.m. at the County Center in Riverside. (more…)

07/26/14 8:00am
07/26/2014 8:00 AM
Legislator Kara Hahn has proposed legislation that would regulate county food vendors. (Courtesy photo)

Legislator Kara Hahn has proposed legislation that would regulate county food vendors. (Courtesy photo)

A bill up for a public hearing at Tuesday’s meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature would mandate that certain county food contractors maintain a healthier standard in their offerings to the public.  (more…)

07/14/14 12:23pm
07/14/2014 12:23 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Sunday bus service ridership is most popular on the S92.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Sunday bus service ridership is most popular on the S92.

Six months after Suffolk County made year-round Sunday bus service available to the public, ridership has steadily increased month-over-month, specifically on the route which spans the East End.

According to numbers provided by Legislator Jay Schneiderman’s office, ridership on Sundays in June topped 5,000 — up from about 1,100 in January. (more…)

07/09/14 2:00pm
07/09/2014 2:00 PM

Phone

Area codes. What began as the replacement for human telephone operators quickly turned into a disclosure of geographical locations, along with — in at least some instances — an indication of social status.

The glamour of Manhattan’s “212” area code even spawned a website where one can spend over $500 to purchase a number with the three special digits.

As they say, all good things must come to an end.  (more…)

06/17/14 1:00pm
06/17/2014 1:00 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The view from Route 105 bridge at Indian Island golf course as the Peconic River leads into the Bay.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The view from Route 105 bridge at Indian Island golf course as the Peconic River leads into the Bay.

After last year’s inaugural ‘Discover Suffolk County Parks Day,’ county parks will once again be open to residents at a discounted rate one day this summer, as county leaders hope to advertise its natural amenities to those who might not otherwise take advantage of them.

The discount day will take place this upcoming Saturday, offering any Suffolk residents the rate of admission they would have if they had a green key, which cost $24 and are valid for three years.

“Discover Suffolk County Parks Day offers residents an opportunity to explore parks they have never seen before or revisit those familiar from their childhood,” said Bellone.  “With the vast array of ecosystems, beautiful scenery and recreational opportunities, there is something for everyone to enjoy.”

At lifeguard-supervised beach parks, green key cardholders pay $8 while non green key-cardholders pay $15; and at inland parks green key cardholders pay $6 while non-green key cardholders pay $13.

Last year’s event was held on a Thursday, which ended up being a rainy day as well.

Legis. Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk), chair of the parks and recreation committee, co-sponsored the measure to offer the discount along with Legis. Kara Hahn (D-Stony Brook).

The Suffolk County Parks Department operates 27 parks county-wide, covering over 46,000 acres.

Click here for a list of county parks.

06/13/14 7:00am
06/13/2014 7:00 AM
Dave Colone, Chairman of Suffolk County Planning Commissioner; Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment; Bob Delucca, President and CEO of the Group for the East End, County Executive Steve Bellone, Dick Amper, Executive Director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society and Deputy Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory. (Courtesy photo)

Dave Colone, Chairman of Suffolk County Planning Commissioner; Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment; Bob Delucca, President and CEO of the Group for the East End, County Executive Steve Bellone, Dick Amper, Executive Director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society and Deputy Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory. (Courtesy photo)

Not once, but twice, this newspaper has wagged its finger at Suffolk County government for dipping into its Drinking Water Protection Program without just cause, using the voter-approved preservation dollars to balance its general fund books.

Environmental groups responded to the county’s actions with litigation(more…)

06/04/14 4:00pm
06/04/2014 4:00 PM
The land on the west side of Park Road will likely be preserved as farmland by Suffolk County. (Credit: Google Maps)

The land on the west side of Park Road and north of Sound Avenue will likely be preserved as farmland by Suffolk County. (Credit: Google Maps)

It looks like they won’t be paving one parcel on Sound Avenue and putting up a parking lot.

While one 14.7-acre parcel had one been slated for a shopping center, the Suffolk County Legislature voted unanimously to authorize the purchase of its farmland development rights, disallowing any future commercial development on site.

The development rights purchase totals $1,238,160, or $84,000 per acre. The deal still awaits County Executive Steve Bellone’s signature, but the resolution to authorize the approval was introduced in the legislature at the request of Mr. Bellone.

The land is owned by Boom Development, headed by Ed Broidy of Southampton, and is located at the northwest corner of Park Road and Sound Avenue in the Reeves Park community. Mr. Broidy has already accepted the offer, according to the county resolution authorizing the deal.

In 2013, the county had planned to purchase the property as open space, with the goal being to make it a park and fitness trail. The proposal would have required Riverhead Town to pay for the cost of creating the park, which officials said at the time would cost about $76,000, and to maintain the park in the future.

As the Town Board was considering the resolution to approve the town’s part in the open space arrangement, Councilwoman Jodi Giglio and Councilman George Gabrielsen objected, saying the town doesn’t have the money to build the park, and instead arguing that the county should preserve the land as farmland. The two penned an opinion piece with the News-Review arguing the same.

With Supervisor Sean Walter abstaining on the issue because he once represented Mr. Broidy as an attorney, the open space plan lacked the three votes necessary to be gain approval, and the Town Board’s other two members eventually threw their support behind the farmland preservation plan.

Under the farmland preservation scenario, the county would purchase the development rights from the land, which is actively farmed, and it could continue to be farmed, but could not be developed.

The county has never publicly revealed what the purchase price would have been as open space.

Ms. Giglio brought up the fact that the county legislature was voting on the farmland preservation resolution during Tuesday’s Riverhead Town Board meeting.

“Hopefully, this land will remain a farm for another couple hundred years and it won’t be a park, so we won’t have to worry about maintaining it or spending any money,” she said.

She and Mr. Gabrielsen have argued that this land has been farmed for more than 200 years.

Mr. Broidy had proposed a commercial shopping center on the property in 2003, around the same time that EMB Enterprises, headed by Kenney Barra, proposed a commercial development on the northeast corner of Sound Avenue and Park Road.

The Town Board at the time rezoned both properties, as well as property on the south side of Sound Avenue, in response to opposition from Reeves Park residents toward the commercial applications. That resulted in lawsuits being filed by all property owners.

While Mr. Barra and the property owner on the south side of Sound Avenue, R & K Precision Autoworks, prevailed in their lawsuits against the town’s rezoning, Mr. Broidy had been working on a settlement of his lawsuit.

The land owned by Mr. Barra eventually was purchased by the county as well two years ago, and is now a September 11, 2001 Memorial Park.

tgannon@timesreview.com

06/03/14 3:07pm
06/03/2014 3:07 PM
Barnum, a cocker spaniel, was rescued from a puppy mill in 2009. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

Barnum, a cocker spaniel, was rescued from a puppy mill in 2009. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

Suffolk County is poised to become the first county in New York State to regulate the sale of animals, as the county legislature unanimously approved a measure on Tuesday that sets a framework for discouraging pet retailers from buying from unsafe breeders.

(more…)