Monday Briefing: Planting the seeds of common sense

When I first learned about a plan to build a community garden in downtown Riverhead, I immediately had my doubts.

Sure, such a garden would bring neighbors and families downtown to grow herbs and vegetables 0n an otherwise wasted town-owned parcel, but it was too simple an idea, and made too much sense.

It seems such plans suddenly get very complicated when they make their way into Town Hall.

So I wasn’t surprised to soon learn the land had already been promised to local veterans as the site of a future war memorial. It seemed that even though no plans to build a memorial seemed imminent, the community garden plan had indeed fallen apart.

But Supervisor Sean Walter said he and town employees researched the matter and could no find any evidence to support the claim.

So in January, the Town Board officially designated the site for a community garden. Planting began Saturday in a Jamesport greenhouse.

There aren’t any actual seeds in the ground downtown yet, but — and at the risk of jinxing it — congratulations to River and Roots community garden group co-founders Amy Davidson and Laurie Nigro. They didn’t give up on their vision, even when it seemed others, like me, may have.

Just having gotten this far is remarkable. I’m looking forward to seeing the site built.

• Speaking of the supervisor, Mr. Walter recently led a small contingent of town officials to Manhattan’s Pier 81 to get a tour of a 100-foot-long dinner cruise boat called The Cabana. He and the others had set up a meeting with supposed businesspeople who weeks ago pitched a plan to run cruises out of downtown.

But upon arrival they learned The Cabana wasn’t there, and neither were the businesspeople. Check out our story.

Not only did The Cabana “marketing representative” Ed Graham later explain to the News-Review that his business partner had tried to cancel the NYC meeting over the phone because the partner ended up in a hospital (Mr. Walter said no one here received a message), it also so happened that the huge vessel was  removed from the premises that same morning and trucked to New Jersey or Staten Island. A likely story indeed!

Mr. Graham said the paper would be hearing from his partner early last week, and “everything would be straightened out with the town.”

We never heard from anyone. And we don’t expect to.

• Mr. Walter is taking another field trip today. He’s headed to Atlantic City to check out some of the wind turbines there to get a better idea of what one would look like — and sound like — if built at the sewer treatment plant off County Road 105, as proposed.

What he and others find may very well determine if the turbine, which has its supporters, gets built over the protests of nearby residents.

He should check out Harrah’s and The Borgata while he’s there. Something needs to get built at EPCAL. Why not a casino?

• It may not be summer yet, but things are starting to heat up on the East End, according to a Channel 12 Long Island.

News 12 is looping a news story today featuring some good footage from Alantis Marine World’s Hyatt construction site and also at Splish Splash, which is undergoing an expansion that includes a new wave pool.

The story wasn’t immediately posted to the Channel 12 website, but will likely appear before the evening news runs.

• My wife and I got good news from “our” dog breeder Saturday, who wrote to us that one of her females is pregnant, as confirmed by a vet test. Since we were the first to fill out an application and send a check, we’re first on the list.

So it looks like we’ll be getting a Goldendoodle F1b pup in early July.

Some may call it just a pricey mutt. But from what I have found all of today’s pure breeds developed from crossing other breeds hundreds or thousands of years ago. These Goldendoodles are being bred to be the perfect family pet, especially for people with mild allergies.

Maybe in a 1,000 years they’ll be a breed of their own. Then I can take credit for being ahead of the curve.

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