11/12/14 11:45am
11/12/2014 11:45 AM
Supervisor Sean Walter and councilman George Gabrielsen at a recent town board work session. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Supervisor Sean Walter and councilman George Gabrielsen at a recent town board work session. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

The lights have been dimmed, but they’re not being turned off.

At least, not yet.

Plans to build at least one peaker plant at the Enterprise Park at Calverton — to produce energy that would be sold to the Long Island Power Authority — are now on hold. But much remains in motion while LIPA decides whether renewable energy projects at the Calverton site are worthwhile, a decision that will affect Riverhead taxpayers directly, since balancing next year’s budget hinges, in part, on lease agreements with private power vendors at EPCAL. (more…)

11/06/14 5:25pm
Several agencies helped with the search warrant execution on Lewis Street in Riverhead. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Several law enforcement agencies assisted with a search warrant execution on Lewis Street in Riverhead Wednesday. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

A Rochester man — one of three people arrested during Wednesday afternoon’s raid in Riverhead — is facing charges for drug possession and fleeing police related to an October traffic stop, according to town court records.

The property on Lewis Street, owned by a former attorney for the Town of Southold, has also been boarded up by Riverhead code enforcement after finding unsafe conditions inside. The homeowner told the News-Review that he had “lost track” of the property after a “rental situation went bad” and commended Riverhead Town for addressing the situation. (more…)

05/19/14 8:00am
05/19/2014 8:00 AM
HIghway department workers install a street sign last year along the Peconic River in memory of fallen ambulance volunteer Heidi Behr, as the Behr family —  Heidi's grandmother Dorothy, mother June, father John and sister Dana look on. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

HIghway department workers install a street sign last year along the Peconic River in memory of fallen ambulance volunteer Heidi Behr, as the Behr family — Heidi’s grandmother Dorothy, mother June, father John and sister Dana look on. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Nine years after two people were killed in an Aquebogue ambulance crash while transporting a cardiac patient, two of three claims filed by the victims’ families against Riverhead Town and the ambulance company have been thrown out of court.
(more…)

02/18/14 10:16am
02/18/2014 10:16 AM

Suffolk County Legislature, Sean Walter, Ed Romaine

Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter will deliver his 2014 State of the Town address to a special joint meeting of the Riverhead Lions, Kiwanis and Rotary clubs on Tuesday, Feb. 25 in the Sea Star Ballroom at the L.I. Aquarium and Exhibition Center in downtown Riverhead.

The special tri-club meeting is hosted this year by the Rotary Club of Riverhead. The dinner meeting begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $45 per person. A sit-down dinner will be served. Pay at the door by cash or check payable to Rotary Club of Riverhead, but advance reservations are required.

For more information about reservations for the dinner, visit the Riverhead Rotary website, RiverheadRotary.org and see “Club Events” in the right-hand column.

12/24/13 12:11pm
12/24/2013 12:11 PM
GRANT PARPAN FILE PHOTO | Don't bother putting your comingled recyclables out on the curb until Jan. 15. Paper and cardboard pick-ups has also been delayed until Jan. 8 due to the holiday schedule, Riverhead Town officials said Tuesday.

GRANT PARPAN FILE PHOTO | Don’t bother putting your comingled recyclables out on the curb until Jan. 15. Paper and cardboard pick-ups have also been delayed until Jan. 8 due to the holiday schedule.

Riverhead Town officials are reminding residents about the change in the recycling pick-up schedule caused by the holidays.

The next paper and cardboard pick-up will be on Jan. 8, according to a press release. As for comingled recyclables, residents and business owners are asked to wait until Jan. 15 to place them on the curb.

Sanitation Superintendent John Reeve described the new schedule as a “rare” occurrence since this year’s Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays both fall on a Wednesday, which is the same day when the town collects recyclables. He said the town hasn’t had to make such an adjustment since 2002, which is the last time both Christmas and New Year’s Day fell on a Wednesday.

“Oh behalf of the Town of Riverhead, I wish to apologize for this inconvenience and thank residents for their understanding and cooperation,” he said in a statement.

12/11/13 9:35pm
12/11/2013 9:35 PM
COURTESY PHOTO | People skydiving in a vertical wind tunnel. Skydive Long Island is looking to build a new indoor skydiving facility in Calverton.

COURTESY PHOTO | People skydiving in a vertical wind tunnel. Skydive Long Island is looking to build a new indoor skydiving facility in Calverton.

The latest round of the New York Regional Economic Development Council awards were announced Wednesday and more than $4 million is coming directly to the North Fork.

A total of $715.9 million in state funds and tax credits were awarded to the 10 regional councils across New York. Long Island is receiving $83 million for a total of 98 projects, the most of any region in the state.

Nine of those projects are on the North Fork.

Below is a list of each of the local projects, the name of the applicant, the state’s description of the project and the amount awarded.

Projects are listed in descending order based on the total number of dollars received.

Town of Riverhead Community Development Agency

Project: EPCAL Sewer Treatment Upgrade

Funding: $1.34 million

Description: Upgrade of Calverton sewage treatment plant from secondary to tertiary treatment, which will provide both economic development and environmental benefits to this regionally significant project site with immediate potential for job creation benefit.

EBDK Research at Calverton 

Project: CARE NY (Calverton Addiction Research and Education Research Center)

Funding: $1 million

Description: CARE NY (Calverton Addiction Research Education), a substance addiction Research Center and a separate Recovery Center, will construct an addiction research and education center at the Calverton Enterprise Park to complement an adjacent proposed treatment center.

Peconic Landing

Project: Special Needs and Acute Rehabilitation Center

Funding: $800,000

Description: This $44 million project is the expansion of dementia care and rehabilitation facility in Greenport.

Long Island Wine Council

Project: Access East End

Funding: $285,000

Description: This program is a multimodal transportation and marketing initiative to generate visitor traffic from the NY metro area, east coast, national and international source markets during off-season and midweek periods. By opening the East End of Long Island to new customers from the NY metro area and other east coast population centers, we expect that this program will draw thousands of new visitors to the region.

Skydive Long Island 

Project: Altitude Express Indoor Skydiving Facility

Funding: $250,000

Description: Altitude Express Inc. will build an indoor skydiving attraction on Long Island which will operate year round. The company anticipates this attraction will draw another 50,000-100,000 visitors to the area annually.

East End Arts Humanities Council

Project: Long Island Winterfest

Funding: $162,000

Description: East End Arts is requesting grant funds to support an expanded marketing strategy and to hire a festival coordinator to support the implementation of a five-year strategic plan toward a goal of growth and sustainability of LIWinterfest: Live on the Vine, an award winning agricultural tourism program designed to generate tourism traffic to the East End of Long Island during the slowest months.

East End Arts Humanities Council

Project: Winterfest Expansion Project

Funding: $99,408

Description: East End Arts will expand marketing strategies and hire a festival coordinator to improve growth and sustainability of its LI Winterfest — an award winning agri-cultural tourism program. The six-week program of live music performances at wineries, theaters and area hotels, along with special promotions at restaurants, hotels, transportation companies and area businesses generates tourism traffic to East End of Long Island during the off-season months.

Sidor Farms 

Project: Business Expansion

Funding: $50,000

Description:  The Cutchogue company will expand its potato chip manufacturing operation and tour facility including a museum on the History of Long Island Potato Farming.

Ultra Motion 

Project: Advanced Manufacturing Skills Program

Funding: $30,000

Description: Ultra Motion LLC of Cutchogue will train six workers in IPC (Institute for Printed Circuits) J-STD-001D Soldering Certification, computer-aided design, inventory control, and supply chain management.

gparpan@timesreview.com

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.”

tgannon@timesreview.com

01/11/13 10:00am
01/11/2013 10:00 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Property owners near Wading River Beach are saying the Town of Riverhead has not complied with a settlement regarding property rights from 2011.

The Wading River beachfront homeowners who brought a $1 million federal lawsuit against the town claiming it was not enforcing trespassing laws regarding their property in 2010 now say the town hasn’t done any of the things it said it would as part of a 2011 settlement.

The suit was filed by Long Island Soundfront homeowners Jim and Amy Csorny, Michael and Alice Brown, Daniel and Babette Sackowitz, and John Stankaitis, Kelly Eibs and Jessica Eibs-Stankaitis, the latter of whom is a town animal control officer.

They claimed their property extends to the mean high water mark on the beach and that people have trespassed on their property and the town has not taken enforcement action to stop it.

The issue became a battle over beach rights, and the town initially vowed to fight the landowners on the grounds that the land in question was public beach.

The Town Board, in December 2011, voted to settle the lawsuit  in a split vote that was preceded by a lengthy public debate over beach access.

Council members George Gabrielsen and Jodi Giglio voted against the settlement, but Supervisor Sean Walter and councilmen Jim Wooten and John Dunleavy supported it.

Mr. Walter said the town would likely lose if the case proceeded.

The settlement required the town to take some steps to protect the property owners and the judge in charge retained jurisdiction of the case for a year after the settlement to ensure that the terms of the settlement were met. That year expires on Jan. 23.

In a Jan. 7 letter from David Lazer, the attorney for the homeowners, to U.S. District Court judge Joanna Seybert, Mr. Lazer writes, “Pursuant to the settlement agreement, the Town of Riverhead undertook to perform certain obligations to effectuate the terms of that agreement. Among them were the erection of a permanent barrier along the eastern boundary of the town boating access ramp in Wading River, the erection of permanent signage at appropriate locations warning the public that no access by pedestrians or motor vehicles was permitted south of the mean high water lines, and appropriate ticketing and prosecution of persons who trespassed on the plaintiffs’ properties. To date, the town has not done any of these things.”

Mr. Lazer is asking the judge to extend her jurisdiction another six months.

Mr. Walter said the town intends to comply.

“We had our permits and then the hurricane came,” he said Thursday. “We’ll get it done.”

The Town Board discussed the case in executive session Thursday.

“We discussed moving forward with our end of the bargain,” Mr. Wooten said.  ”We do have a stipulation of settlement.”

tgannon@timesreview.com