04/29/10 12:00am
04/29/2010 12:00 AM

Paul and Barbara Stoutenburgh photos
Fishing is in our blood and every chance we get we drop a line in. Sometimes we have great success, other times not so great. On our last trip we caught sheepshead and had them for supper that night.

Barbara and I awoke to the squawking of fish crows and laughing gulls, each trying to outdo one another. Our world was awake and ready to start a new day. The mockingbird that had sung through the night is now singing its full repertoire of songs to start the day. The loud machine-gun sound of the red-bellied woodpecker knocking on the metal gutter finally put an end to our dream world.

We often watch the pelicans drift by on their early morning search for prey below. Once a target is located, the birds, with wings pressed to their sides, drop into the water in a great splash in hopes of capturing a morning meal. Then, as the pelicans bob up to enjoy their catch, they are harassed by laughing gulls landing on their backs trying to rob them of their catch.

The least tern, the smallest of all our terns, has just arrived from its winter quarters in and around the Caribbean. We never tire of watching it as it hunts for food in a similar fashion to that of the osprey: it hovers over its prey and, when all conditions are just right, plummets into the water.

We heard these small terns even before we saw them. Their high-pitched plaintive cry is unmistakable. This delightful little tern nests on beaches and is having a difficult time finding suitable safe nesting sites, as many of the beaches have been taken over by humans. In some places nesting sites have completely disappeared, making the birds seek alternate places to lay their eggs, such as the tops of buildings, where they are now successfully raising their young.

It seems hard to believe our six months’ stay in Florida has come to a close. This last day found us adding a new bird to our list: a green heron. This is the first time we have seen this short-legged heron, but there it was. It brought back memories from back home, where for years a pair of green herons nested a short way from our house. They made daily trips to feed their young on the goldfish from our pond. This shy little heron can usually be found stalking under our dock at home. It flies up and scolds us for intruding when we go to the boat to go fishing.

My son and I were able to get out for one last fishing trip here before heading home. Fishing was good for a change and we got a dozen sheeps¬­head, a fish similar to our porgies in shape and fight. Barbara caught the most but, believe it or not, I caught the biggest!

We’ve enjoyed the birds, fish and flowers here regardless of the cold, which was unusual for everyone everywhere. We always find something new to make our day complete, whether it’s watching someone on a nearby dock reel in a bonnet head, a most unusual shark that has an eye on each side of its large spade-shaped head, or exploring a new island or beach or preserve on some windy day with rain in the forecast.

That bonnet head shark I spoke of is one we had not seen before. It is also called shovelhead because of the shape of its head. They grow to be about 3 1/2 feet long. The one we saw was only about two feet long, about the size of a sand shark you might catch when fishing in Peconic Bay. While they do range to New England, they are rare there. They feed on blue crabs, shrimp, mollusks and small fish.

With one eye on each side of its head, the shark moves its head back and forth like a metal detector as it swims along the bottom, then turns quickly to bite into any sign of disturbance made by something trying to get away.

We took time recently to visit Lido Beach, where huge darning needles milled around us out of the wind. While standing and watching them, we spotted what we thought was an osprey. As it got closer we could see it was carrying a huge, fat fish and it was then we realized what we were seeing was not an osprey but an eagle. The fish was so big and heavy the bird just skimmed the treetops as it headed for its nest to feed. What a sight!

When we arrive back home we will be greeted by a path of daffodils linking our house to our daughter’s and another long line of them planted last fall up our driveway. We’re anxious to see the great-grandkids, including the newest one arriving any day. Now the third generation of our family is beginning to explore the woods around our place, the chickens, the cows and the gardens, and when they get bigger they’ll take a walk down to the pond to see or hear the spring peepers or frogs or see the turtles lined up on the logs sunning themselves. One day they will swing out over the pond as their parents and grandparents before them have done and some of them, more adventurous, will drop into the water just for fun.

Life is good no matter where you are, north or south, east or west. Wherever you are, life is there and it’s what you make of it that counts.

04/29/10 12:00am

* Cornell Cooperative Extension will offer a four-session program on nutrition, health and parenting at the Robert L. Perry Jr. Day Care Center in Greenport from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, May 5, 12, 19 and 26. The bilingual English-Spanish program is sponsored by a grant from the Hagedorn Foundation. Sessions are free, but pre-registration is necessary. Child care will be provided. Call 477-2931.

* Maureen Mills of Greenport has been appointed to the Eastern Long Island Hospital board of trustees. She has served as a member of the community relationship development committee since 2005, assisting with the ELIH Summer Gala and Golf Classic, the hospital’s largest fundraising events. Ms. Mills is active in the family-run canvas business, William J. Mills and Co.

“Maureen’s professional experience in small business and finance will be invaluable to the [ELIH] board,” said hospital president and CEO Paul Connor III.

* Pharmacist Elizabeth Hyland from RiteAid Pharmacy will provide information on medications at an Ask a Pharmacist forum at Mattituck-Laurel Library, 11 a.m. to noon on Friday, April 30. Call 298-4134.

04/29/10 12:00am

My wife is afraid of our ice machine.

As for me, I was at first very happy to even have an ice machine. Growing up in Queens, my family’s idea of a new refrigerator was to get the old one professionally painted. Even that was anticlimactic because the guy my parents hired painted our fridge the wrong color. He actually sprayed it white when he was supposed to do beige, explaining to my mom that our last name, which was written on the order ticket, threw him off. He got it right eventually. Still, I remained envious of my friends whose homes boasted ice machines.

How I yearned to be able to simply press my Batman cup against a machine of my own during breaks from Super Mario Bros. or Nintendo Ice Hockey. Instead, I had to comb through bags of peas and frozen tomato sauce just to crack open a tray of low-grade cubes, which always seemed to take on the subtle flavor of leftovers.

Refilling the ice tray was especially torturous.

Now that I have arrived, having purchased my first home in December, I can say this: Never did I imagine that this long-coveted machine would throw my life into such a tizzy.

Let me quickly note that my wife, Suzanne, is afraid of her own shadow. God forbid I get home 10 minutes early and happen to stumble upon her blow-drying her hair; one day the neighbors are going to hear her screams and call the police.

My working nights in Manhattan a few years back was also a challenge for us. Waking Suzanne at 12:45 a.m. to let her know I was home was always heart-wrenching. It was tough to see my companion of six years stare at me with a look of terror before she realized who I was. I tried different approaches, but the results were always the same. I always felt bad for her, too, considering she had just three or four hours of sleep left after each ordeal.

Now I just feel bad for me. Especially when ice levels in the house are low.

You see, when that magical ice machine, like an outer space nebula spinning dust into a newborn star, pushes that perfectly formed piece of crystal into the tray with its brothers, my wife wakes up.

The lower the ice level, the louder the clunk of ice on ice.

She’s usually not sure what woke her up, she just knows it’s something. And she’s not going back to sleep unless I walk through the house like a maniac in my boxer shorts and socks with a T-ball bat in hand.

I even have to check the unfinished basement just in case brazen burglars decide it would make sense to play some Ping-Pong in the middle of a heist that, incidentally, wouldn’t net them much unless pawn shops are now paying top dollar for antiquated computers and old Time magazines.

My wife is often fast asleep upon my return. Having no one to talk to, I usually just put the bat away and lie down with my heart pumping — because even after circling houses and apartments hundreds of times in my life with a bat or blade, there’s still a part of my brain gearing up for that long-awaited, rage-fueled encounter.

That day may come just yet.

And after I get finished with the bat, we’ll probably have to buy a new refrigerator.

Michael White is the editor of the Riverhead News-Review. He can be reached at [email protected] or 631-298-3200, ext. 152.

04/29/10 12:00am

“This is a whole other breed of folks. There’s lots to know, like what kind of rubs are best, a number of types of wood to choose from, various sizes and shapes of barbecue pit and grills, all kinds of things to consider like smoke rings and barbecue ‘flavor prints,’ whether to cook fast or slow, hot or medium. But most of the barbecue cookers that do it for a living have already learned the real secret: The barbecue business is when you get to charge for doing something you love and would probably be doing anyway. Barbecue men have to have stories to tell, too, and they tell them best while stoking the fire and getting the meat ready. They also tell them best when they’ve got one hand free to motion and one hand filled with a cold can of beer, for leverage.”

“Barbecue Men” by Big O’s restaurant in Valera, Texas

Barbecue is a complex word. We barbecue on a grill, we eat barbecue, we go to a barbecue and we like barbecue sauce. We’re not even agreed on how to spell it. But we do know that when May rolls around we move out onto the deck, uncover the grill and get ready to barbecue. When we grill food, we do it on an open charcoal- or gas-fired grill, usually at high heat, but not always. When we slow-cook food over coals or wood chips, we are smoking or barbecuing it. Both methods produce some delicious food that is often enjoyed out on the deck with friends.

Traditional barbecuing involves less tender cuts of meat that are slow-cooked over indirect heat and usually covered. Hickory, mesquite or other wood chips are placed on top of the coals for flavor. Sometimes a bowl of water is placed under the meat to collect juices and provide steam. Long, slow cooking with a basting barbecue sauce results in well-done meat that can be very tender. Beef brisket, pork shoulder, country style ribs and bottom rounds of beef are examples.

Grilling is the best method for small, tender cuts of meat and poultry. Often beginning with a marinade, we place the food over hot coals and cook quickly, sometimes basting with barbecue sauce as we go.

Barbecue always requires a little forethought and lots of patience. But if you let the marinade do its magic and if you prepare the coals properly and let the slow cooking happen — you will be rewarded with some amazing food.

Slow-Cooked, Hickory-Smoked Short Ribs of Beef

Season 8 short ribs with coarse salt and pepper. Make a mound of charcoal in your kettle grill and ignite. Push the coals to one side and place a stainless steel bowl of hot water (about 3 quarts) on the other side of the coals. Wrap 2 handfuls of hickory chips in heavy foil and punch holes in the top. (You do not need to soak the chips.) Place this packet on the hot coals. Put the grill over all of this and place the short ribs on grill over the water (not over the coals) to cook with indirect heat. Put the grill lid on, with a small vent open, and cook for 3 hours. If the temperature gets too low, add more charcoal. Keep the lid on during cooking or you will lose heat. After 3 hours, remove the lid and baste the meat with the following sauce.

Serves 4.

Kentucky Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Sautà 1 cup chopped onion in 1 tablespoon butter until soft and golden. Stir in 1 cup ketchup and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Simmer over low heat and add 1/4 cup Kentucky bourbon, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup pineapple juice, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons molasses, a few drops of Tabasco and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Let cook, uncovered, about 30 minutes until sauce starts to thicken. Check for seasoning and add a little salt and more Tabasco if desired.

Barbecued Spatchcock Chicken

This is the method of butterflying a whole chicken so it lies flat on the grill. The term originated in 18th century Ireland. When prepared this way, the chicken looks very attractive and cooks evenly.

Purchase a whole 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken and remove the giblets. Place it on a cutting board breast side down. With a stiff boning knife make a cut along one side of the backbone. The cartilage is easy to cut through but you must go wide around the leg joint. Repeat on the other side of the backbone so that it is totally removed. Open the chicken up and make a small notch with your knife through the cartilage at the breastbone. Bend the chicken back with your hands and the hard keel bone will become exposed. Remove this with your hands and the chicken will lie flat.

Prepare a marinade with 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Marinate in a zippered bag for 2 hours.

Heat the barbecue grill until the coals are white. Preheat the grill and wipe clean with a towel dipped in vegetable oil. Pat the chicken dry and brush with oil. Place it skin side down on the grill and cook until grill marks show. Rotate the chicken and cross-hatch the grill marks. Turn the chicken over and move it to the side of the grill so that it cooks with indirect heat. It should take about 45 minutes to cook. Check with an instant-read thermometer to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove, cut into quarters and serve.

Serves 2 to 4.

Mesquite Smoked Spareribs with Texas Rib Rub

Purchase one whole rack of spareribs (not baby back) and cut them in half so they fit on the grill. Make a rib rub by combining 1/2 cup brown sugar; 1/4 cup paprika; 1 tablespoon each of chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder; and 1 teaspoon each of cayenne, black pepper and coarse salt. Rub this mixture on the ribs and let them sit while preparing the fire.

Prepare the kettle grill by mounding charcoal on one side and igniting it. Place a stainless steel bowl alongside the coals with 3 quarts of hot water in it. Put two handfuls of mesquite chips in heavy foil and punch holes in the top. Place the chips on top of the coals and put the grill back in place. Put the ribs over the water on the grill and cover, leaving the vent open a little. Slow-cook about 3 hours at 250 degrees (or thereabouts) until the meat is very tender and coming away from the bone. During the last hour of cooking baste with the following sauce.

Classic Barbecue Sauce

Combine in a saucepan 1 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup cider vinegar. Add to this 2 tablespoons paprika, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon minced garlic and 2 tablespoons canola oil. Simmer for 30 minutes at low heat. Check for seasoning.

Char-Grilled Marinated Duck Breasts with Smoked Duck Legs

Purchase 2 whole 5-pound ducks and remove the breast meat, leaving the skin on. Remove the leg and thighs, leaving them in one piece. You will have 4 breasts and 4 leg pieces.

Prepare a marinade with 1 cup Grand Marnier (or triple sec), the juice and zest from 2 oranges and 1/4 cup sugar. Marinate all the duck pieces overnight. Prepare the grill as above for slow-cook smoking with hot coals, a bowl of water and wood chips. Smoke the legs for 3 hours until they are fully cooked and very tender. Remove them and keep warm. Add some fresh coals to the grill, remove the water bowl and grill the duck breasts at high heat until medium rare, about 5 minutes per side. Brown the skin over the coals, but do not burn.

Cut the smoked legs into two pieces each and slice the grilled duck breasts. If desired, roast the duck bones and make a stock from them, using the marinade as flavoring.

Serves 8.

John Ross, a chef and author, has been an active part of the North Fork food and wine community for more than 35 years. E-mail: [email protected]

04/29/10 12:00am

THURSDAY, APRIL 29

3:30 Greenport Zoning Advisory Committee, Third Street firehouse.

5 p.m. Greenport Planning Board work session, Third Street firehouse.

MONDAY, MAY 3

4 p.m. Southold Planning Board work session, Town Hall.

TUESDAY, MAY 4

9 a.m. Southold Town Board work session; 4:30 regular meeting, Town Hall.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 5

5:30 p.m. Fishers Island School District budget hearing.

7:30 p.m. Southold Board of Education budget presentation/work session, high school auditorium.

THURSDAY, MAY 6

5 p.m. Greenport Planning Board, Third Street firehouse.

6 p.m. Southold Zoning Board of Appeals special meeting, Town Hall Annex.

04/29/10 12:00am

Another Monday morning at the desk, and we’re catching our collective breath after another hectic but enjoyable field trial weekend. As soon as we’re finished unloading dogs, horses, and gear, we’ll organize everything so we can head off in a couple of weeks to the next distant trial to test our own pointing dogs and watch (or judge) others run theirs.

Field trialing has an emotional appeal that keeps trialers in the game for a lifetime. Jan’s father purchased his first Brittany from a Kansas kennel back in the 1950s, helped found a club in the Chicago area, and began attending trials not long afterwards. Hunting with him for years, Jan caught the competitive “bug,” and I got pulled in even before we married. Except for a decade in the 1990s, when we had logistical problems getting to trials, we’ve trialed ever since.

One thing you learn pretty quickly is that trial dogs, trained well, make superior hunting dogs, thanks to their manners in the field. The reasons for staunch points — releases only on definitive commands to find other birds, locate downed birds or retrieve birds to hand — are apparent to any experienced hunter or guide.

Contests for pointing dogs have been run by individuals and clubs for some 140 years, ever since setter and pointer owners competed for prizes and pride on Southern plantations (quail), on northern prairies (native prairie chicken and, later, pheasants), and in eastern and Midwestern woodlots (ruffed grouse and woodcock). As native wild birds became more scarce, beginning 80 to 90 years ago, trialers began to work more and more with birds raised specifically for the competitive events. Except for a few “wild bird trials” or “cover dog trials,” pen-raised quail, chukka partridge, and pheasant are now set out during trials for adult dogs to find and point. (Note: there are separate trials for retrievers and flushing spaniels as well, and so-called hunting tests are just as popular as the trial game.)

Adult pointing dogs in gun dog, shooting dog or all-age stakes are expected to work in smart, forward ground patterns with continuous drive and desire, point birds hard and in a stylish fashion (think “standing like a stone wall” with head and tail erect as if posing for a classic painting!) until the handler arrives to walk up and flush the bird. In a non-retrieving stake, a blank pistol is fired and the standing dog is led off before being sent on to hunt for another bird. In a retrieving stake, gunners try to kill the flushing bird, and the dog waits for a command to retrieve the fallen bird to hand. Perfect manners show the dog is “steady to wing and shot.” Juvenile “derby” dogs point their birds with lesser manners, though their ground pattern is judged the same way, while puppies over 6 months but less than 15 are judged on ground pattern alone and have no birds set out on their courses.

Interesting things take place in real trial situations. We’ve seen many derby dogs with admirable adult manners, and just last weekend, we judged a puppy stake where a few youngsters had lovely steady finds on some woodcock that had drifted in the night before.

Field trial clubs always welcome newcomers and spectators. Many of the stakes at trials are run with handlers, judges and observers on horseback, and wranglers bring rental horses. If you’ve had a little riding experience, try to ride, because you see the panorama much better when you’re eight feet off the ground. For years trialers would climb on these gaited, calm walking horses wearing nothing more than their usual hunting apparel, boots and hats included. Today, more and more field trialers wear riding helmets and riding boots for safety.

It’s hard to walk behind a horseback “gallery,” but it can be done if conditions are dry and the brace you’re watching isn’t a “barnburner.” Rugged hiking boots are important, and, as anyone in the East knows, tick repellent, liberally applied to both skin and apparel, is part of everyday hiking in fields and woods. Because many courses loop around the field trial areas, you can often see quite a bit of the trial through field glasses once you figure out where on the perimeter you should stand. Trialers are generous folks who love to talk about their canines, and the traditional “happy hours” or club dinners on Saturday nights are ideal for meeting them and talking “dogs.” Incidentally, trials take place rain or shine!

The best local opportunity to see a trial is to come to the Sarnoff area off Route 104 in Southampton where the Long Island Pointing Dog Field Trial Club is holding an AKC-licensed weekend trial on May 1 and 2. For trial details and a sample premium, contact the trial secretary, Patricia Amato, at [email protected], or 722-3832 before 10 p.m.

04/29/10 12:00am

Barring a last-minute infusion of state funding, two popular Greenport teachers won’t be on the faculty in September, both victims of budget cuts. Their jobs were cut because they were the most recently hired teachers in their departments.

By a 4 to 1 vote, board members adopted a $13.8 million budget proposal Wednesday, April 21, that essentially would freeze spending and carry a 4.5 percent tax increase. The tax hike would have been higher if board members had restored the $140,579 required to keep the two faculty members, English teacher Luke Conti and gym teacher and coach Todd Gulluscio.

Two students left the board meeting in tears after the vote.

Some 75 students had pleaded with board members the previous week to retain the two teachers, even if it meant making cuts in sports programs.

A letter to the board from 2007 Greenport graduate Danielle Aviva-Millman and first-year board member Daniel Creedon’s arguments for keeping the teachers didn’t move the others from their determination to hold the line on spending.

“I’m insulted that you even considered getting rid of Mr. Conti,” Ms. Aviva-Millman wrote in her letter, which student Zoe Panagopoulos read to the board. Ms. Panagopoulos said the reason so few students attended Wednesday night’s meeting was that they had been disappointed the previous week, feeling the board wouldn’t be swayed.

“Nothing anybody has said has fallen on deaf ears,” board president Heather Wolf replied. “To be a responsible board member, you have to be dispassionate.” She added that the board could not base its decisionon the popularity of particular teachers.

“I’m disappointed with where we are,” Mr. Creedon said, defending the teachers. “This kind of teaching is what has made this school special. At the end of the day, the question is, who do we want to teach our kids?”

But with the need to ask taxpayers to approve a bond issue later this year to pay for critical replacement and repair work on the building, other board members said they couldn’t justify funding the two teaching positions.

Greenport board members will outline their budget proposal for voters at a meeting on Tuesday, May 11, at 7 p.m. Voting on budgets and school board seats in all districts takes place a week later, on Tuesday, May 18

SOUTHOLD

Southold Board of Education members agreed on April 21 to ask voters to approve a $25.67 million budget for the next school year. That’s $117,916 above the current spending plan and calls for a tax rate hike of 1.24 percent.

While the board decided against seeking givebacks from the teaching staff and other union employees, Superintendent David Gamberg previously noted that district employees are now contributing toward their medical insurance. Rather than accept pay cuts, union employees agreed to work longer hours.

Southold’s board will explain the budget during a special meeting on Wednesday, May 5, at 7:30 p.m. The district’s regular work session will follow that hearing.

NEW SUFFOLK

With six additional high school students moving to the district over the summer, the proposed bottom line for New Suffolk Elementary school’s 2010-11 budget ended up being $788,704, a proposed spending increase of $62,799, or 8.6 percent, over this year’s budget of $725,926. New Suffolk taxpayers have to pay out-of-district tuition for seventh- through 12th-grade students living in the district.

“We had to severely redo our budget once these unanticipated tuition costs came up,” school board president Tony Dill said this week. “We’ve seen a significant increase in our secondary students over the years, which has driven costs over which we have no control.”

The budget vote for all districts is May 18. In Greenport, voting will be from 2 to 8 p.m.; in all other districts, polls will be open from 3 to 9 p.m.

[email protected]

04/29/10 12:00am

TIM KELLY PHOTO
Claudia Ramone tells the town Historic Preservation Commission on April 20 why she and her husband want to demolish and replace their 19th century house in Orient.

The Orient couple looking to demolish an old house and build a new one have made their case to the town’s Historic Preservation Commission, which has yet to rule. But if comments from several panel members are any indication, the couple’s dream of a new house may be heading into a buzz saw.

Claudia and Julien Ramone appeared before the commission on April 20 seeking permission to raze their small mid- to late 1800s house at 130 Village Lane, which lies within separate federal and town historic districts. They plan to replace the house with a two-story structure of similar design.

The commission has never before considered a request to tear down a house within a historic district.

The application appears to boil down to one basic question: Would the demolition of an old house, one the preservation group’s chairman described as “lackluster” and “nondescript,” amount to an unacceptable cultural loss for a community that contains both town and federal historic districts?

During her presentation, Claudia King Ramone said she and her husband want to replace “an eyesore” with “a suitable and safe home that would fit in with the character of the village. We’re not out-of-town yahoos trying to build a McMansion on Village Lane as a weekend home.”

As to the current building’s historic significance, she directed the panel to an Oysterponds Historical Society book that lists the structure but makes no mention of any significant architectural details. Neither does it speak to any historic relevance. It’s unlikely the house’s current appearance matches how it looked when listed on an 1858 map, Ms. Ramone added. Exterior additions since then include a front porch and a bay window and asbestos siding.

She told the commission members the cost to preserve the structure and complete recommended upgrades and repairs is prohibitive.

“Without the right to maximize the livable space in our home, including a full second story, the investment required to restore the property will not be made,” she said.

All but one of the other speakers supported the project, but several commission members seemed to hint that the Ramones face an uphill fight. The engineer hired by the town to examine the structure declared it “sound and in good condition,” a finding that contradicts a report submitted by the Ramones.

While change within a community is expected, the federal law that established the national historic district says an original structure must be maintained if it is found to be in good condition, said commission member Ron Rossi.

“It’s common in Southold town to rehab old buildings,” Mr. Rossi said, adding that he’s done it twice. Each of the commission’s seven members lives in a historic house.

Jamie Garretson, an Orient architect and commission member, said the Ramone home’s modest nature “is a representation of the diversity of the town. It sits at the northern end of Village Lane, next to what once was “a muddy thoroughfare at the edge of town.”

It does hold a place in local history and so the phrase “complete tear-down is jarring to me,” Mr. Garretson said.

The commission’s approval would set a precedent for other tear-downs, said member Barbara Schnitzler, who asked how many demolitions could occur within a historic district before the area loses its historic value. The commission has reviewed 11 applications to alter historic houses, the bulk of them in Orient, and approved each one. The Ramones’ demolition request is the commissions’s first.

The replacement structure “could be built anywhere in America,” said Ms. Schnitzler. “And that’s the point.”

Freddie Wachsberger, former president of the Oysterponds Historical Society, didn’t see it that way.

“I always thought of Village Lane as an organic, living streetscape,” she said at the meeting. She suggested that the proposed house is a good fit for the neighborhood and that the existing house currently “is not sympathetic to the needs of a 21st-century family.”

The Ramones, who both work in Manhattan, have two small daughters.

“It isn’t a museum,” Ms. Wachsberger said, and suggested that the commission’s approval “seems a no-brainer.”

Village Lane resident Walter Millis called the house “ugly” and “of no use to anybody.” In a letter to the commission, Burke Liburt said he “can’t imagine a more welcoming gateway to Orient than the charming home they propose.”

But another Orient resident, former Planning Board chairwoman Jeri Woodhouse, said the request is far from a no-brainer.

“I wouldn’t say this house is ugly,” she said. “It talks to some of the history of the town.”

Its demolition, Ms. Woodhouse told the commission, “would be one more way that we chip away at our history and our heritage.”

The commission will continue to accept written comments on the Ramones’ application through May 4.

[email protected]

04/29/10 12:00am

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO
The owner of Barker’s pharmacy on Love Lane in Mattituck has sold his business to CVS. Barry Barth, a Riverhead pharmacist and owner of the building, said he will reclaim the space as Barth’s of Mattituck. Above, a misspelled CVS sign at Barker’s directs customers to its ‘Maine’ Road store, which Mr. Barth pointed to as proof that big chains don’t know their communities.

Barry Barth said he couldn’t bear the thought of another small pharmacy falling into the hands of a big box store.

That’s why he decided to take over the space and open his own drugstore after the owner of Barker’s Pharmacy on Love Lane in Mattituck decided to sell to CVS.

“To see another one fall into the hands of CVS, it’s very painful,” said Mr. Barth, a pharmacist whose family has owned Barth’s Drugstore on Main Street in Riverhead since 1912. He owns the Love Lane building and formerly operated the pharmacy there. He will call the new pharmacy, due to open sometime this summer, Barth’s of Mattituck.

Barker’s proprietor, pharmacist Demetrios Michaelides — who also ran a gift shop called the North Fork’s Little Secret in the same space — is now employed up the highway at CVS while his wife Fontiene keeps the gift shop going for a while.

Mr. Barth said that there are restrictions in Mr. Michaelides’ contract that prohibit the store from being run as anything other than a pharmacy. Once it closes, the gift shop will not reopen at another North Fork location. The Michaelideses will continue to run a gift shop they have on Montauk Highway in Eastport called Eastport’s Little Secret.

Ms. Michaelides said she and her husband had tried to make the pharmacy work but the economy made it difficult. The only thing keeping them afloat was the earrings, coffee mugs and picture frames sold out of the gift shop area in front of the store, she said.

Insurance companies reducing prescription reimbursement rates, mail-order prescriptions and a CVS and Rite Aid down the street made paying the pharmacy’s bills nearly impossible, Ms. Michaelides said.

Her family put their hearts and souls into the pharmacy, she added. Her three daughters, whose pictures are taped to the now-empty pharmacy counter, would color quietly in the shop’s basement as their parents worked.

“We would have loved to have kept it there,” Ms. Michaelides said of the pharmacy while choking back tears. “It just didn’t work.”

She said that she and her husband offered to sell the business to Mr. Barth before approaching CVS, but that he had made no monetary offer for it. As a result, the name Barker’s Pharmacy is history.

Mr. Barth ran Barker’s from 1989 until 2002, when he sold his share of the business — but not the real estate — to Raymond Gurriere; they, in turn, later sold the business to the Michaelideses.

Chain pharmacies do not know their communities the way a local pharmacist does, Mr. Barth said. He pointed out a sign, printed on CVS letterhead, on the Love Lane store’s front door that indicates the pharmacy has moved, and that patrons can fill their prescriptions at CVS on “Maine” Road in Mattituck, obviously referring to Main Road.

“Either they don’t know where they are or they don’t know how to spell,” he said.

Agnes Burkhardt, a senior citizen from New Suffolk, said she was sad to see the Michaelides family move because she fears she’ll no longer get the personal attention she needs with her medications.

“It’s the best drugstore in the whole Suffolk County,” she said while perusing the gift shop. Now “I’m going to CVS, but not by choice.”

Despite the bad economy and competition from CVS and Rite Aid, Mr. Barth, citing his experience in the business and the fact that he owns the building outright, said he’s confident that a pharmacy can thrive in that location. “I’m really committed to doing this,” he said.

[email protected]

04/29/10 12:00am

Try out for ‘Julius Caesar’

Open auditions for Northeast Stage’s summer 2010 production of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” will be held Wednesday, May 12, and Friday, May 14, at 7 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church, 768 Main St., Greenport. All roles are open. Rehearsals start in late May for performances Aug. 6, 7 and 8 in Mitchell Park. Contact director A.D. Newcomer at 208-6933 or [email protected]

Congressman to speak at Greenport synagogue

Congressman Tim Bishop, who represents eastern Suffolk County, will speak at Congregation Tifereth Israel synagogue in Greenport on Sunday, May 2, at 2 p.m. After reviewing local and national issues, he will invite questions from the audience.

Mr. Bishop, who was first elected in 2002, was provost of Southampton College prior to his election as congressman. He serves on the House Budget Committee, the Education and Labor Committee, and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The synagogue is located at 519 Fourth St., just south of the intersection of Fourth and Front streets. Call 477-0230.

Forum on teen depression

Dale Camhi of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will address parents and teens about this critical issue on Tuesday, May 11, at 7 p.m. at the Southold Town Recreation Center. Rachel Priest will share her personal story. Sponsored by the Southold Youth Bureau.

Tennis instructor wanted

The Southold Town Recreation Department seeks an experienced tennis instructor to conduct group tennis lessons at Tasker Park in Peconic for age groups ranging from 8 up. Salary is $30 per class; classes begin in May and continue through June 23. For details, call 765-5182.

Artist-in-residence sought

William Steeple Davis Trust of Orient is accepting applications, due June 30, for an artist-in-residence for the period Oct. 15, 2010, through Oct. 1, 2011. The program offers “a temporary place of abode for persons of good character.” Past recipients have included painters, sculptors, photographers, writers, poets and musicians. Interested parties should contact the trust at P.O. Box 371, Orient, NY 11957.

Early education open house

Our Lady of Mercy Regional School in Cutchogue will hold an open house on Thursday, April 29, from 10 to 11 a.m. for the parents of prospective enrollees in its early childhood education programs: nursery (3-year-olds), pre-K (4-year-olds) and kindergarten.

The open house will take place in the pre-K classroom. For information call 734-5166 or e-mail [email protected]

Be a Film Fest programmer

Greenport Film Festival is celebrating its tenth season at Floyd Memorial Library with a special invitation to the public to join in the programming process for the eight-week summer session. Eight films will be selected from nominations submitted in person by those wishing to participate in a meeting at the library Sunday, May 2, at 3 p.m.

Each participant may nominate one classic, foreign or independent film not in the library’s DVD collection and not likely to be exhibited on local screens, and will “pitch” his or her selection to other participants. Everyone suggesting a film will participate in the voting.

The summer festival will run eight Thursdays at 6 p.m. starting July 8. For more information, contact Poppy Johnson at 477-0660.

Be part of the Mosaic

The ever-popular downtown Riverhead Community Mosaic Street Painting Festival is set for May 30. The 14th annual fest will include the traditional sidewalk painting, as well as music, storytelling, and more. The East End Arts Council invites professional artists and craftspeople to submit photos of their work for an outdoor art sale and street painters of all experience levels to sign up to transform a piece of Main Street. Applications for both are available for download at www.eastendarts.org or for pickup at EEAC’s office at 133 E. Main St., Riverhead.

EEAC also needs volunteers to work one-hour shifts between noon and 5 p.m. assisting with face painting and other festival activities. To volunteer, call coordinator Jean Caiola at 727-0900, ext. 307, or stop by the council.

Parenting workshops offered

Cornell Cooperative Extension will sponsor three parenting workshops next month at its headquarters at 423 Griffing Ave. in Riverhead.

On Tuesday, May 4, Tim Jahn will present “Mean Kids: What parents need to know about bullying” including “ways parents can help both victims and bullies.”

On Wednesday, May 5, Alysa Ferguson will explain why “Food and Fitness Matter,” address the causes and consequences of childhood obesity and offer practical tips on promoting healthy weight.

On Monday, May 10, Kerri Kreh Reda will discuss “Temper Tantrums: Yours and Theirs,” the causes and how to minimize them.

All sessions meet from 7 to 9 p.m. and carry a $5 fee. To register, call Laurie Wells at 727-7850, ext. 340.

Women’s support group

The North Fork Women’s Resource Center is sponsoring an evening support group for women in transition. Call 298-5376 for details.

Sign up for kindergarten

Kindergarten registration and screening for children entering Southold and New Suffolk public schools will take place on May 20, 21, 24, 25 and 26. Children who will turn 5 by Dec. 1, 2010, are eligible for kindergarten in September.

Parents must provide the child’s birth certificate, two documents indicating district residency, and a health history that shows immunization against polio, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella and Hib. Proof of residential custody is required for legally separated or divorced parents.

Stop in at Southold Elementary School on Oaklawn Avenue to schedule an appointment and pick up a registration packet. Call 765-5208 for more information.

Preschool screening set

Preschool speech and language screenings will be given by Katherine Gallagher on Friday, May 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Southold Free Library. Sessions will run 10 to 15 minutes. Release and permission forms, which must be signed prior to screenings, are available at the circulation desk. Call 765-2077.

EELHA offers scholarships

East End Livestock and Horseman’s Association is offering two $800 scholarships. Eligible applicants are graduating high school seniors (John M. Appelt Scholarship) or college students (Robert Krudop Scholarship) from any of the five eastern Long Island towns who are studying or planning to study veterinary medicine or any program associated with care or management in animal-related fields.

Applications, which are due by May 18, may be obtained at eelha.org and should be submitted to the association at P.O. Box 102, Peconic, NY 11958.

SCCC open houses scheduled

All three campuses of Suffolk County Community College will welcome prospective students and their families at an open house on Thursday, May 6, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

The Eastern Campus in Riverhead will host visitors in the Peconic Building.

Faculty and administrators will be on hand to provide information about more than 65 programs of study; financial aid representatives will be available to discuss grants, loans and scholarships; and members of the admissions staff will offer guidance.

Film program seeks instructor

The East End Student Film Project has announced that its summer programs will begin the week of July 6, with the annual film festival planned for the third week in August. A full curriculum and program applications will be forthcoming soon.

The group is currently seeking an experienced filmmaking instructor to begin work mid-June for the summer programs. Unpaid volunteers are also sought.

Interested candidates should call 477-1226 for additional details.