03/01/13 8:00am
03/01/2013 8:00 AM
EPCAL Cars Sandy in Calverton


A 40-year-old South Carolina man transporting Sandy-damaged cars from the Enterprise Park at Calverton to Detroit was arrested Thursday after cops found him in possession of a loaded 9-mm handgun, Suffolk County police said.

DEC COURTESY PHOTO | Hurricane Sandy damaged cars parked on the grasslands at EPCAL.

DEC COURTESY PHOTO | Hurricane Sandy damaged cars parked on the grasslands at EPCAL.

Freddie Foggie Jr. of Boiling Springs, S.C. was also driving on a suspended license at the time, police said.

The arrest comes about seven months after Mr. Foggie was charged in a fatal accident in North Carolina that killed a 72-year-old Florida man who was a prominent developer, according to charlotteobserver.com.

In that case, two cars being hauled by Mr. Foggie somehow came loose, fell off the truck and struck cars that were traveling behind, the Observer reports, citing a crash report.

News reports and court records show he’s due back in a North Carolina court March 7 for misdemeanor charges.

On Thursday, Mr. Foggie was stopped along the Long Island Expressway in Islandia, near the Exit 58 Park and Ride, about 5:50 p.m. when Suffolk County police officer Robert Copozzi noticed equipment violations on a Chevy pickup truck, which had a trailer hauling three cars, police said.

During a routine safety inspection, Officer Copozzi noticed the handgun, which was loaded with a high-capacity magazine, and arrested Mr. Foggie, also issuing him nine tickets for a score of safety violations.

The truck, owned by JK Trucking and Auto Sales in Mississippi, was taking the vehicles from a Sandy-damaged car storage site at the enterprise park and taking them to Michigan, Suffolk Police said.

Mr. Foggie is facing a third-degree criminal possession of a weapons charge and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, police said.

He was scheduled to appear in First District Court in Central Islip Friday, officials said.

There are three sites at the EPCAL property — a former Grumman Corporation fighter jet testing facility — at which thousands of storm-damaged cars are being stored. Two are through agreements with Riverhead Town to store cars on town-owned runways at the property.

A third storage site is on grass on private property, at which the DEC has ordered the cars be removed over environmental concerns.

Those cars have not been removed, said Supervisor Sean Walter.

“They are [still] being stored illegally,” Mr. Walter said of the cars on private property, owned by Jan Burman.

“The DEC has ordered Burman to remove the cars, so hopefully the DEC will be victorious in getting these cars out of there,” he said. “He’s going to have to remediate that entire site, from what I understand, because it is one of those grassland areas that are supposed to be protected.

“So I don’t know how much that’s going to cost him.”

Mr. Burman could not be immediately reached for comment.

“There’s going to be a lot of this,” Mr. Walter continued about storm-damaged cars being sold off at out-of-state dealers. “There’s no possible way I’m buying a used car right now. These titles are going to wind up in other states, with their titles washed away.They’ll end up overseas and in Mexico.”

As for some the drivers leaving the sites, Mr. Walter also said many of them are taking to side roads in violation of weight limits.

“We’ve been all over these drivers; these 3/4-ton pickup trucks with the trailer are over our weight restrictions for a part of River Road, Wading River Manor Road,” Mr. Walter said.

“They’re writing tickets,” he said of town police efforts to curb the activity.

Read more about the cars at EPCAL

01/19/13 9:00am
01/19/2013 9:00 AM
TIM GANNON PHOTO  |  A giant pile of superstorm Sandy debris has sat in front of Sheila Ganetis' Morningside Avenue home in Jamesport for almost two months. Town officials say she'll need to pay to get the junk removed.

TIM GANNON PHOTO | A giant pile of superstorm Sandy debris has sat in front of Sheila Ganetis’ Morningside Avenue home in Jamesport for almost two months. Town officials say she’ll need to pay to get the junk removed.

Fence slats, wood pilings, tree trunks, even pieces of staircases.

Superstorm Sandy dumped a lot of debris at Sheila Ganetis’ Jamesport property — and at her mother’s house next door.

When volunteers later came to help with cleanup, much of the wreckage was piled in front of her Morningside Avenue home, waiting for road crews to remove it.

But there it has stayed.

And unfortunately for Ms. Ganetis, it now appears she’s stuck with it.

Riverhead Town’s highway department will take away only wood and brush left at curbs, not construction debris such as that outside Ms. Ganetis’ house, town highway officials said. As for the brush and cut-up tree pieces that are also in the pile, Ms. Ganetis said highway crews have told her they will only pick up brush that’s in a separate pile and not mixed in with other storm debris.

“The highway department rep who answered the phone [last Monday] told me that they were only taking vegetation now and that if there was one stick of non-vegetation, they wouldn’t take anything,” Ms. Ganetis said.

“I started crying on the phone.”

Town sanitation superintendent John Reeve said Ms. Ganetis will have to rent a dumpster and hire a private company to haul the storm debris away, adding that had his department known about the huge pile sooner, he might have been able to get removal paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“On Pye Lane in South Jamesport, they had massive piles of big stuff; they must have gotten everything in the bay washed up on their yards,” Mr. Reeve said, referring to the street adjacent to the town’s South Jamesport Beach.

Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller, who is also the town’s emergency management coordinator, took FEMA officials down to Pye Lane and FEMA agreed to pay for disposal of the debris. About six 30-yard rolloff containers of debris were taken from that area, the chief said, adding that storm debris collected at the western end of Peconic Bay Boulevard also qualified for FEMA reimbursement.

The sanitation department will accept debris that’s no longer or taller than four feet and is put by the curbside in a pile or container on the designated bulk item pickup day, Mr. Reeve said.

“But big bulky stuff has to go in a dumpster,” he said. “If these people had called earlier, or gotten the stuff out earlier, I would have made the chief aware of it and FEMA might have included that for reimbursement.”

He said the deadline for FEMA reimbursement passed on Friday.

Ms. Ganetis said volunteers from West Virginia University affiliated with North Shore Christian Church in Riverhead helped clean up her property and the immediate area and piled up the debris on the curb on Dec. 18. Three days later, a highway department truck came down her street, taking away large piles of debris from further up the road. The crews never made it as far as her property. She had assumed at the time that they were coming back.

Mr. Reeve said that Ms. Ganetis’ situation is unique.

“Right now, everything is pretty much cleaned up,” he said.

While Ms. Ganetis was talking with a reporter outside her home on Monday, a payloader, dump truck and one other highway department vehicle came down her street.

Ms. Ganetis couldn’t believe her eyes.

But then, the trucks stopped, backed up, turned around and left.

Highway Superintendent George (Gio) Woodson later said those trucks “were only going around looking for residual stuff we may have missed.”

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01/06/13 12:00pm
01/06/2013 12:00 PM
New Suffolk house doesn't have a first floor after Sandy

BETH YOUNG PHOTO | Until its fate is decided by Southold Town, what’s left of this New Suffolk house will stand high and dry on wooden cribbing.

The top part of a house on Kimogenor Point in New Suffolk now standing on cribbing is all that’s left of the structure damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

There’s no word yet from the town building department on whether enough of the house remains to allow homeowners to rebuild.

The Kimogenor Point Company, which has owned the private peninsula and the houses on it since 1915, earlier in 2012 planned to raze the structure and rebuild. But its request for a variance, filed long before the storm hit, was denied at that time by the Southold Zoning Board of Appeals.

The town eventually granted permission to expand and renovate the existing house, but the project was delayed again after the homeowners learned they would need to move it from its existing foundation and place it on pilings to meet new FEMA regulations, ZBA chairwoman Leslie Weisman said this week.

Ms. Weisman said once work began to put the house on cribbing, the walls apparently fell off.

The project is currently awaiting review by the town building inspector. The town code says if it’s determined that less than 25 percent of the structure remains, it cannot be rebuilt because the original structure was non-conforming.

Chief building inspector Mike Verity could not be reached for comment.

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