03/31/15 12:00pm
03/31/2015 12:00 PM
The town adopted regulations for flyboarding (pictured) at a meeting on March 18. (Credit: Paul Squire)

The town adopted regulations for flyboarding (pictured) at a meeting on March 18. (Credit: Paul Squire)

After debating the issue numerous times since last summer — in fact, the word “flyboard” appears in 12 headlines in the News-Review online archives — the Riverhead Town Board adopted new regulations for flyboarding at its March 18 meeting, where the vote took place without much debate near 11 p.m., after a four-hour meeting.

But the owner of Flyboard LI, the company that brought flyboarding to the waters of downtown Riverhead last summer, says he’s leaving rather than trying to adapt to the new rules, which would push the activity out into deeper water near the Route 105 bridge.

“Unfortunately they are kicking a great new startup business out of town,” Flyboard LI owner James Bissett IV said via email. (more…)

02/03/15 3:15pm
02/03/2015 3:15 PM

CoatesAnthony Coates, a former political ally of the supervisor who ran an unsuccessful Republican primary for Riverhead Town Council in 2013, is planning to launch a new website he hopes will act as an “online civic association” dealing with issues in Riverhead Town.

“What I want to do is be in a position to bring attention to issues and get the community to discuss them and come to some consensus,” Mr. Coates said. “I’m doing this because I find there are a number of issues before the town now that will determine where we go as a town for the next generation.”

The site, BetterRiverhead.com, will launch on Feb. 24 at an event at the Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport at 6 p.m.

Mr. Coates was a lifelong Democrat who changed his registration to Republican for the 2013 race and has now changed it back to Democrat.

Prior to his run for town board, Mr. Coates served as a political consultant for Supervisor Sean Walter largely from mid-2010 through mid-2012, receiving nearly $30,000 from the supervisor’s campaign funds, according to campaign finance disclosure forms. He last received money from the campaign in February 2014, when he was paid $500.

Mr. Coates feels that while civic associations do a great job in addressing issues in their specific areas, he wants to address issues that are more townwide and will have longtime implications, such as EPCAL, town spending and development.

“I’m not confident we’re going in the right direction,” he said of the town.

Although he is charging a $20 admission to the Feb. 24 event, Mr. Coates says he will not accept advertising on BetterRiverhead.com.

He said he can’t rule out that he may someday run for political office again, but he says that’s not what this website is about.

“This is about trying to create an alternate voice in the political process,” he said.

The site, BetterRiverhead.com, will launch on Feb. 24 at an event at the Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport at 6 p.m.

12/05/14 6:00am
12/05/2014 6:00 AM
East Street in Jamesport, a private road. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

East Street in Jamesport, a private road. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

Town Board members say they plan to unveil a list later this month that will outline which private roads in Riverhead Town will get minimal highway services and which won’t receive any.

It makes sense to get the list together before the first storm of the season hits, but there’s a glaring hole in their plan: They have no system in place on how to accurately poll the residents who live on these roads in order to figure out who wants the town’s help and who does not. (more…)

11/19/14 7:51am
11/19/2014 7:51 AM

 

Councilman John Dunleavy (left) and Sean Walter at a previous work session. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Councilman John Dunleavy (left) and Sean Walter at a previous work session. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

The tentative 2015 Riverhead Town budget proposed by Supervisor Sean Walter at the end of September is likely to become the adopted 2015 budget automatically on Thursday, as a motion to vote on adopting the budget failed at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting.

Under state law, the deadline to approve a final budget is Nov. 20, and if the board doesn’t vote to make any changes to the supervisor’s budget, it automatically becomes the final budget at that point. (more…)

10/24/14 3:00pm
10/24/2014 3:00 PM
Dieter Von Lehsten, the co-chair of Southampton Town's Sustainability Committee, at Riverhead Town Hall on Thursday. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Dieter Von Lehsten, the co-chair of Southampton Town’s Sustainability Committee, at Riverhead Town Hall on Thursday. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

The Town Board appears split on a plastic shopping bag ban in Riverhead Town — last pitched to the board in May of this year — which was discussed in town hall last Thursday, and could be subject to an inter-municipal agreement with other towns and villages in the area.

Dieter Von Lehsten, the co-chair of Southampton Town’s Sustainability Committee, spoke at the work session to try and convince Riverhead to ban single use plastic shopping bags, something Southampton Town is considering and Southampton Village and East Hampton Village have done.

In May, members of the East End Supervisor’s Association said that they were aiming to pass an East End-wide plastic bag ban by Earth Day of 2015. Mr. Von Lehsten has since been making the rounds to East End towns and villages, trying to convince them to enact the ban.


Get the news to come to you: like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Riverhead Councilman John Dunleavy and Mr. Wooten said they both support the plastic bag ban, while Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said she wants to have a public hearing before deciding.

“Plastic bags are hurting our ecology,” Mr. Dunleavy said. “They don’t disintegrate.”

He said three large box stores in town — BJ’s Warehouse, Costco and Aldi — now ban plastic bags.

Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said that he’s already getting calls from the New York State Supermarket Retailers Association asking whether Riverhead plans to ban plastic shopping bags.

The supervisor believes there will be a lawsuit if the bag ban is enacted.

Mr. Von Lehsten said there has been no lawsuits filed against Southampton Village and East Hampton Village, which both adopted the ban in 2011.

“They don’t have the level of retailers that Riverhead does,” Mr. Walter said, alluding to the large national chain stores on Route 58. ”The lawsuit is going to happen.”

He suggested the five East End towns start a defense fund to pay the cost of any legal fees associated with a lawsuit challenging the plastic bags.

He feels the ban should be done on a county level, and not by individual towns.

“The single largest consumer item globally are single used plastic bags,” Mr. Von Lehsten said, quoting from various scientific studies. “We are using, by the lowest estimates, 500 billion to  one trillion bags annually.  That is a lot of plastic bags. And considering that these things never totally disintegrate, it is a gigantic environmental and health problem for us.”

He said the country goes through over 100 billion bags annually, and Southampton Town, uses 23 million bags annually.

“Only four to seven percent are recycled, and the rest goes into landfills or the ocean,” he said.

10/22/14 8:00pm
10/22/2014 8:00 PM
A six-mile stretch of Main Road could be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The corridor includes Aquebogue’s Old Steeple Church, built in 1862 and designed by a farmer with no architectural experience, as well as Aquebogue Cemetery, which dates back to 1755 and contains the graves of numerous Revolutionary War soldiers. (Credit: Andrew Lepre)

A six-mile stretch of Main Road could be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The corridor includes Aquebogue’s Old Steeple Church, built in 1862 and designed by a farmer with no architectural experience, as well as Aquebogue Cemetery, which dates back to 1755 and contains the graves of numerous Revolutionary War soldiers. (Credit: Andrew Lepre)

Four of the five Riverhead Town Board members have signed a letter asking the town’s Landmarks Preservation Commission and the state Office of Parks and Recreation to withdraw the town’s application for a proposed National Register Historic District along Main Road in Aquebogue, Jamesport and Laurel, according to Councilman George Gabrielsen.  (more…)