This week in Riverhead history: Cheerleaders robbed of L.I. title

The cover photo from the Feb. 13, 1997 issue of the Riverhead News-Review.

Excerpts from Riverhead News-Review stories published between five and 30 years ago this week:

15 years ago …

 A seven-second heartbreaker: Cheerleaders lose L.I. Championship on a technicality

For three minutes on Feb. 9, 1997, Riverhead was the best small varsity cheerleading team on Long Island, sports editor Bob Liepa wrote in that week’s News-Review cover story. For three magical minutes, the Blue Waves appeared to have a lock on a second straight Long Island Coaches Association Championship title. And they would have been the first to win the championship twice — if not for seven agonizing seconds.

Performing before a jubilant home crown in the Riverhead High School gym, Riverhead turned in a near-perfect performance only to see its championship foiled by a technicality.

Each team was allowed a maximum of three minutes to dance, but Riverhead’s routine lasted three minutes, seven seconds. As a result, the Blue Waves had to settle for third place.”We had it,” said coach Susan Ries. “They nailed it. They did everything they could to win the competition.”

Postscript: Riverhead would go on to win the title in each of the next five seasons, according to a Feb. 14, 2002 News-Review story.

30 years ago …

Survey: Court move from Riverhead would hurt

A town survey of Riverhead law firms, title and insurance companies, downtown businesses and government offices showed that up to 10 percent of Riverhead jobs would be lost if the county’s criminal and civil courts moved out of Riverhead, we reported in the Feb. 11, 1982 issue of the News-Review.

The study was organized by Riverhead Councilman Lou Boschetti after an announcement that County Executive Peter Cohalan wanted the county to look into the possibility of centralizing all county court locations to Hauppauge, though Mr. Cohalan said he was against moving the courts out of Riverhead.

Mr. Boschetti said the study found 490 jobs would be lost.

“That’s about 10 percent of the workforce her,” he said. “Unemployment is already a problem at 9 percent, that would raise it to 19 percent.”

25 years ago …

Caldor: We’re staying!

The rumor mill was grinding that the Riverhead Caldor store was going to close, we reported in the Feb. 12, 1987 issue of the News-Review.

“No, it’s not,” said Caldor senior vice president Al Buczka. “You have my word.”

The speculation grew out of Caldor promotions claiming “The Biggest Sale in our History!” and “Prices Slashed in All Departments,” we wrote.

The marketing directives came from parent company Mays, Mr. Buczka told us. the company’s $10 billion in assets made it the largest chain of retail stores in America, he said.

Postscript: Caldor’s lease in Riverhead was taken over by Walmart in 1999, according to The New York Times. Remember how everyone’s mom always called it Caldors, adding the ‘s’ for no apparent reason.

10 years ago …

Building still booming

Riverhead Town issued 217 building permits in 2002, after seeing 200 homes go up in the previous three years, Tim Gannon reported in the Feb. 14, 2002 issue of the Riverhead News-Review.

It was close to a record of 258 residential building permits issued in 1998, we reported.

5 years ago …

Indoor ski slope proposed, but are these guys for real?

Indoor skiing at the tallest building in Suffolk County and the first “snow dome” in the United States was proposed for 755 acres at the Calverton Enterprise Park, we reported in the Feb. 15, 2007 issue of the News-Review.

The $750 million project would include a 425-foot indoor ski slope, an indoor water park, a 500-room hotel, a convention center and a sports academy centering on 28 different sports, we wrote.

Postscript: Five years later, the answer to our headline is “no.”

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