07/30/10 12:00am
07/30/2010 12:00 AM

SUFFOLK TIMES FILE PHOTO
Former supervisor Josh Horton, with police Captain Martin Flatley and ZBA chairwoman Leslie Weisman, explaining the logistics of the NOFO concert to the Town Board earlier this month

This weekend’s NOFO Rock and Folk Fest will go on as originally planned, without the late restrictions, including putting a cap on parking and shutting down the music early, that the Town Board had attempted to impose, a State Supreme Court justice ruled Thursday.
In a victory for the two-day show’s organizers, Justice Jeffrey Spinner ruled that the Town Board lacks the authority to overturn the permits previously issued by Southold’s zoning appeals board for the weekend show at Peconic Bay Winery in Cutchogue.
Supervisor Scott Russell said the town will not appeal. He called the ruling by Justice Jeffrey Spinner “fair,” but said it illustrates the flaws in the town’s permit review process. Town law allows the chair of the zoning board to issue a winery event permit without consulting with the other members, as was the case with the Peconic Bay application.
The Town Board attempted to add 21 new conditions to that permit after concluding that the application did not accurately reflect the event’s size. The organizers said they anticipated a crowd of about 800. But a letter from a NOFO staffer to potential vendors put that number at over 15,000. The Town Board demanded an end to the music an hour early at 6 p.m. and also sought a payment of about $6,500 to cover police costs.
The supervisor said he was dismayed by the legal challenge and contended that each of the new conditions was agreed upon by the organizers, former supervisor Josh Horton and vineyard manager Jim Silver.
“But at the last minute [Mr. Horton] runs to court because he doesn’t want to live with his own agreement, when they agreed to modest, reasonable restrictions to protect the health, safety and quality of life within the community,” said Mr. Russell. “When a judge tells us, too bad, your code doesn’t let you do that, it’s time to change the code.”
Mr. Horton said he understands the towns concerns and said the apparent disparity in crowd estimates stems from a misunderstanding. The 800 figure represents the number anticipated at any one time, not the total.
“1,200 to 1,600 is not unreasonable,” he said, adding, “Public safety is our number one priority.”
The supervisor maintains that the town was misled in a permit application “that contained so many misrepresentations that it’s almost fradulent.”
Still, he said he believes Mr. Horton will work to limit any potential negative impacts on the community.
“I look forward to the event going off as smoothly as possible,” he said.
Mr. Silver was not immediately available for comment.
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07/30/10 12:00am

The Mattituck School Board will operate a member shy for the next year.
Although at least four people expressed an interest in the vacancy created by former vice president Debra Cahill’s recent resignation, the board voted 4 to 2 Thursday night to leave the seat open. Earlier, the board voted 5 to 1 against member Douglas Cooper’s resolution to hold a special election
Board members seemed surprised at the 4-2 vote in favor of leaving the post vacant after vice president Charles Anderson made the motion in the process of eliminating options other than appointing someone to the position. Board member Douglas Cooper made the first motion in favor of holding an election for the empty seat, but that motion was defeated in a 5-1 vote.
Since the last board meeting July 15, at least four people had expressed interest in the position They include Barbara Taylor, Rob DiGregorio and former members Joan Ferris and Lynne Krauza. Ms. Krauza lost her seat on the board in last May’s election.
President Gerard Diffley said that at least one other person had also expressed interest in the position, but had not committed to run.
Prior to deciding to leave the seat empty, the board was divided over the best method of selecting a candidate. Several members said that they were uncomfortable making a decision when they didn’t know all the candidates. Mr. Cooper adamantly proposed that an election would be the only democratic way.
“It’s the American way,” he said, but board member Janique Nine countered, “It’s a waste of money.”
Board members estimated that a special election could cost between $4,000 and $6,00. With the time constraints involved in gathering petitions and giving public notice, an election would be unlikely before late September or possibly October. The new member would only serve through June of 2011.
“Democracy is not cheap. I believe it is the right of the public to choose,” said Mr. Cooper.
The vote to leave the seat vacant garnered won with the support of Mr. Cooper, Ms. Nine, Mr. Diffley and William Gatz, who just began his term in the seat Ms. Krauza had held. Two weeks ago the board rejected a call to move Ms. Krauza into the open seat.
Mr. Diffley said that he is open to the possibility of revisiting whether it would be better to appoint someone, but only if that  did not obligate the board to fill the position.
“I still struggle with it,” said Mr. Gatz, who wavered several times before casting the deciding vote.
“I’m very surprised by this,” said Mr. Anderson, who added that he had brought the motion to the floor simply to weed through the board’s options for filling the vacant seat.
The board made their decision under the watchful eye of a half-dozen community members.
“Several of the candidates happen to be women,” said Lynn Summers, who has lived in Mattituck for 42 years. “I hope those who were thinking of making a commitment do so in the future.”
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07/29/10 12:00am
07/29/2010 12:00 AM

The Arts

Artist’s Reception for exhibit of paintings by Nella Khanis, Saturday, Aug. 7, 3-5 p.m. at Mattituck-Laurel Library, Mattituck. On view through August. 298-4134.

Old Town Art and Crafts Guild art show and sale and chinese auction, Saturday, Aug. 7, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Village Green in Cutchogue. Call 734-6382 or email [email protected] Rain date Sunday, Aug. 8.

Presentation by oil collage artist John Haubrich, Saturday, Aug. 7, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at East End Arts Council, Riverhead. Fee $25; members $15; advance registration required. 369-2171.

Call for entries for 45th annual Photography Contest sponsored Friends of Riverhead Library. Open to all photographers. Limit 2 entries, $3 per photo; ages 18 and under and college students $1. Works due at library’s art gallery Saturday, Sept. 25, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Reception Friday, Oct. 1, 7 p.m. Call for prospectus: 727-3228, ext. 106.

Call for artists for East End Arts Council’s “Scenes From a Book” juried photography show slated for Sept. 3-Oct. 8 in EEAC’s Riverhead gallery. Guest juror Ann Chwatsky. All photography, digital traditional, manipulated or not. Limit 3 works; $20 per piece or 3/$55. Call for prospectus: 727-0900 or email [email protected] Submissions due Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 26-28.

Benefits

Oysterponds Historical Society’s annual summer benefit, Saturday, Aug. 7, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at private residence in Orient overlooking Bug Light. Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, raw bar and more. Tickets $125. RSVP by July 30 to 323-2480.

CRAFTS

Vendors wanted for Old Town Art and Crafts Guild snow fence show and sale slated for Saturday, Aug. 28, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on guild grounds in Cutchogue. Shop open until 6 p.m. Call 734-6382 or email [email protected] Rain date Sunday, Aug. 29.

Family Fun

Family Farm Day! Saturday, Aug. 7, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Charnews Farm, Southold, hosted by Peconic Land Trust and Southold Mothers’ Club. Kid-friendly activities, farm animals, arts and crafts, face painting, straw doll-making, tug-o-war, three-legged race and more. Bring picnic lunch; beverages and baked goods available for purchase. Free. Rain cancels. 283-3195, [email protected]

Film

Movie ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ Friday, Aug. 6, 1:30 p.m. at Mattituck-Laurel Library, Mattituck. Directed by Tim Burton, from Walt Disney Pictures. Free; all welcome. 298-4134.

Flicks at the Farm: Thursday Night Movies at Charnews Farm, Southold, at dusk, hosted by Peconic Land Trust. Thursdays, Aug. 12, 19 and 26. Bring picnic supper and blanket or chair; reserve at 283-3195. Free; rain cancels.

Amei Wallach introduces her acclaimed documentary ‘Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, The Mistress and The Tangerine,’ Sunday, Aug. 8, 3 p.m. at Floyd Memorial Library, Greenport. Free; all welcome. 477-0660.

Food and Drink

Southold Historical Society’s annual Ice Cream Social, Saturday, Aug. 7, 1-4 p.m. at Maple Lane Museum Complex. Hershey’s ice cream, chocolate syrup, children’s games, face painting, hay rides, live music, tours and more. Grilled hot dogs, soda, lemonade and specially-made baked goods available. Entrance to grounds free; food and games require tickets available for purchase on site. 765-5500, southoldhistoricalsociety.org.

Fourth annual Summer Barbecue Extravaganza, Saturday, Aug. 7, 3-8 p.m. at the Corso residence overlooking Long Island Sound, Cutchogue, hosted by The North Fork Animal Welfare League. Hors d’oeuvres, barbecue, cocktails, live music and dancing. Tickets $95; RSVP: 765-1811. Casual attire.

The North Fork Bounty 2010 Eastern Long Island Hospital Gala, Saturday, Aug. 14, 3-8 p.m. at home of Luba and Louis Corso on Oregon Road in Cutchogue. Food prepared by North Fork’s “Top Chefs,” cocktails, raw bar, gourmet cuisine using fresh local produce, desserts by Blue Duck Bakery and Butta’ Cakes. Tickets $175; proceeds benefit Emergency Dept. at ELIH. Luxury raffle and auction prizes featuring fine jewelry and vacation opportunities. 477-5164, www.ELIH.org/Gala.

Fourth annual Seafood Fest to benefit CAST, Sunday, Aug. 22, 6 p.m. at the Wharf House at Founders Landing, Southold. Tickets $50, includes complete seafood dinner and complimentary glass of wine or beer. RSVP: 477-1717.

For All Ages

Classic Car Night, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 6-9 p.m. in Greenport’s Mitchell Park. Parking in park next to carousel. Open mic night and music. All welcome; free. 404-2507.

For Children

Art and Craft classes for ages 7-14, Saturday, Aug. 7, 9:30-11:30 a.m., features Project Runway Fashion Show; kids model their creations. Taste If You Dare, Thursday, Aug. 12, 9:30-11:30 a.m.; dry and package your own dip mixes using fresh herbs, flowers and spices at Old Town Art and Crafts Guild, Main Road, Cutchogue. Fee $12; must be received prior to class. 734-6382.

Sea Stories and Crafts with Mira Dougherty-Johnson at East End Seaport Museum, Third Street at Ferry Dock, Greenport: Sea Stories for Tots ages 3-6, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 11 a.m. and for ages 7-9, 1 p.m. features Lighthouses. Class fee $3; includes take-home craft. 477-2100, [email protected]

Music

Jazz Improv evening with masters Billy Johnson and Teddy Charles, Thursday, Aug. 12, 7-8:30 p.m. upstairs in East End Arts Council’s Carriage House studio, 133 East Main St., Riverhead. Fee $10 at door; members and music students free. 369-2171, eastendarts.org.

Summer Showcase Concert Series on Town Green at Silversmith’s Corner, Southold, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m. features Rich Stein and the Counter Clockwise Ensemble. Bring seating. Rain location Southold United Methodist Church. Free; donations appreciated. All welcome. 765-3598.

The No Doubt World Famous Riverhead Summer Band’s Twilight Concert Under the Stars, Monday, Aug. 9, 7:30 p.m. on front steps of Pulaski Street School, Riverhead. Marches, Broadway, classical, pops, big band and more. Music director John Eyre. Bring lawn chairs, blankets and insect repellent. Rain location inside. Admission free. 727-6538.

First Friday Open Mic Night With LiZa Coppola, Friday, Aug. 6, 7-10 p.m. at Custer Institute and Observatory, Southold. For all ages. Musicians, comics, poets, magicians and storytellers. Hosted by singer/songwriter LiZa Coppola. Free; donations accepted. 765-2626.

The Natural World

North Fork Audubon’s family nature walk led by Bev Prentice, Saturdays through August, meet 9 a.m. at Red House Nature Center, Inlet Pond County Park, Route 48, Greenport. Walk through woods to pond and Sound shore, identify trees, wildflowers, ferns, mammals and birds. Weather permitting. No registration; info at 793-0113. Suggested donation $5 family group. [email protected]

The Sciences

What’s In The Water? summer science/nature study program for ages 13-15, Monday-Thursday, Aug. 16-19, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. hosted by North Fork Audubon at Inlet Pond County Park, Greenport. Use scientific methodology and laboratory-quality testing materials to explore freshwater pond habitat, set up experiments, analyze pollutants and more. Bring lunch, sunscreen, bug repellent, hat, pencils and camera. Fee $100 for 4 days. Register: 765-9227, [email protected]

Sports and Recreation

New Suffolk Waterfront 5K Run/Walk and 1K Kids Run, Saturday, Aug. 14, 9 a.m. at New Suffolk Avenue. Registration 7:30 a.m. Pre-race yoga session 8:15 a.m.; race begins 9 a.m. sharp, runs through narrow country roads and ends at waterfront. Awards ceremony 10:30 a.m. Bring family beach gear, kayak and picnic for day at beach. Information/registration: newsuffolkwaterfront.org, 917-961-3014. Co-sponsored by Peconic Land Trust and New Suffolk Waterfront Fund. All proceeds benefit conservation of waterfront.

Theater

Northeast Stage presents Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar,’ Friday-Sunday, Aug. 6-8, 7 p.m. in Mitchell Park, Greenport. Directed by A.D. Newcomer, costumes by Joan Chambers, performances by local cast, visual production by local artists. Admission free; bring lawn chair or blanket and cooler. 208-6933, [email protected] Rain location Greenport High School.

‘Twelfth Night By Two,’ Saturday, Aug. 14, 8 p.m. at Poquatuck Hall, Orient. All 12 characters of Shakespeare’s play performed by Aleda Bliss and Rosa Palmeri, directed by Peter Gould. Tickets $15; children $5. [email protected]

North Fork Community Theatre presents 2010 Youth on Stage production ‘Kiss Me, Kate,’ through Sunday, Aug. 8. Music and lyrics by Cole Porter. Evening performances 8 p.m.; matinee 2:30 p.m. Tickets $20; 298-NFCT, wwwNFCT.com.

Tours and Trips

East End Lighthouses Off Shore Lighthouse Cruise, Saturday, Aug 7, visits all 12 area lighthouses in New York and Connecticut. Depart 9 a.m. Greenport/LIRR Ferry Dock. Light breakfast and buffet lunch served. Fee $99 all inclusive. Tour approximately 8 hours. Wear casual attire, boat shoes or sneakers; bring windbreaker or sweater for evening comfort. Pre-registration required: mail check payable to East End Lighthouses, Inc., P.O. Box 21, Greenport, NY 11944 and indicate date of cruise and number of participants. Credit card payment on website. www.eastendlighthouses.org. 406-6180.

The Written Word

Book discussion’The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ by Stieg Larsson, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 4 p.m., led by Bev Wowak at Mattituck-Laurel Library, Mattituck. Rescheduled from Aug. 3. Copies available. 298-4134, ext. 6.

This I Believe, Mondays, Aug. 9, 16, 23, 4-5:30 p.m. at Peconic Landing, Greenport. Workshop led by Keith Wheelock for ages 55 and older. Listen to personal beliefs of others and explore your own. Register at Floyd Memorial Library or Peconic Landing. 477-0660.

Book sale at Cutchogue-New Suffolk Library, Cutchogue: Friday, Aug. 6, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (dealers welcome 8 a.m.); Saturday, Aug. 7, 9 a.m-4 p.m. (bargain buys 3 p.m.). 734-7569.

07/29/10 12:00am

A crowd of spectators waiting in New Suffolk to watch the weekly sailboat race around Robins Island last Wednesday instead saw an awesome spectacle of nature as the area, under an enormous anvil-shaped cloud, was pounded with severe lightning and near hurricane-force winds. The maelstrom also may have produced a small waterspout.

A massive, intense, fast-moving thunderstorm descended from across the Sound and moved overSouthold Town just before 6 p.m. on July 21. Before arriving here, the same storm generated a tornado that touched down between Plymouth and Bristol in Connecticut.

In Southold, the storm knocked down a tree on top of three cars parked at Town Hall for a Southold Town Trustees meeting. They included a car driven by a Suffolk County Water Authority official, who was thereto defend the authority’s controversial Orient water main plan.

“We get beat up every time we come out here,” said the water authority’s attorney, Tim Hopkins, who was in the parking lot surveying the damage Wednesday night.

The weatherunderground.com website reported last Thursday morning that citizens had called reporting a waterspout, essentially a tornado on the water, off New Suffolk at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The thunderstorm moved southeast across Peconic Bay, wreaking havoc in the East Hampton hamlet of Springs, where downed trees cut off all roads connecting Springs to other hamlets.

Though the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Suffolk County just prior to the storm’s arrival over Long Island, it announced Friday that damage on Long Island had been “straight-line,” not cyclonic, from winds between 65 and 70 mph.

“A possible sighting of a waterspout was reported near New Suffolk, but it dissipated before reaching land,” according to the weather service.

John Murray, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said he’d received one “citizen’s report” of a waterspout off New Suffolk. “We’ve had enough heat and instability, a cold front and strong wind shear, so it’s certainly possible,” he said.

George Cork Maul, who lives near the New Suffolk waterfront, said that he saw the sky turn a greenish hue as he was walking home not long after the crowd at the site of the boat race had dissipated. He said he wasn’t sure it was a waterspout, but it certainly seemed to be an otherworldly weather phenomenon.

He said that he saw “what looked like a horizontal funnel of a mixture of wind and water. It came out of Cutchogue Harbor, went through the north race of Robins Island and then scooted across the bay.”

Boat captains waiting for the weekly New Suffolk race to start said that they had turned back after seeing heavy lightning moving in fast from the north, before spectators on shore saw the waterspout.

“We saw it building and my nephew was on his iPhone checking the radar,” said Dave Comando, one of the boat captains. “One cell ended up right on us. The lightning changed our minds right there. We went back with our tails between our legs.”

He said that he’d just made it back to his car around 7 p.m. when a torrential downpour hit.

“That’s just when we’d have been at the farthest point” in the race, Mr. Comando said.

New Suffolk resident Ellennora Goldstein was on the beach with a large group of people waiting for the start of the race when she saw all the boats turn around.

“When I went down there, the big thunderstorm had just approached. You could see the lightning coming from the Sound,” she said. “For a while, we thought the boats were going to go. The lightning was closer and it was really, really dark. The sky was a smoke-gray charcoal color. We left around that time.”

Cyclones are no stranger to New Suffolk, which suffered more than $1 million in damage from a Category 2 tornado — their winds can range from 113 to 157 mph — on Aug. 8, 1999.

“Waterspouts will happen. When you get severe thunderstorms, you’ve got turbulence over the water,” said Mattituck weather observer Len Llewelyn, who said he hadn’t heard reports of Wednesday’s waterspout.

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07/29/10 12:00am

Recently I witnessed a confrontation between a group of cyclists and a motorist. The motorist was waiting patiently at a light on Route 25 with her blinker on, signaling a left turn. The group of about 30 cyclists facing her on the opposite side of the road proceeded to go through the red light and when it turned green, the motorist was prevented from making a left turn. The motorist began screaming out her window to the cyclists that they should abide by the laws. Some of the cyclists answered her with lewd gestures. The question for you is, who will hold on to stress longer after the incident, the cyclists or the motorist?

If you answered the motorist, you’re probably right. In the past few weeks I have heard many people complain about traffic and cyclists and limos and vineyards and rock festivals. It’s summer, and we’re surely experiencing stimuli unlike at any other time of the year. Just trying to make a left turn can raise our physiology a few notches.

It doesn’t take much for anybody to recall an incident that stressed them out, and the need to commiserate is greatly understood. However, when you continue for days or weeks to relive stressful situations verbally or just in your mind, you prevent stress from dissipating. The more stress, the more the response. That can often cause issues in your tissues because it’s similar to trauma. While the injured tissue heals, adjacent structures around the site remain tight and splinted, still reacting to the initial response.

The immediate response to stress is to go into fight-or-flight mode. Dictated by the sympathetic nervous system, your heart rate increases, blood pressure soars, and muscles contract and tighten as you shout and gesture. These responses are all good, and the fight-or-flight response is healthy and protective so long as the response doesn’t linger far after the incident.

We have a built-in feedback system that can prevent these responses from lingering and return our physiological systems to a dynamic constancy or equilibrium. The feedback system is called our parasympathetic nervous system.

All through the day, we experience fluctuations. When the fluctuations are extreme, the body must fight harder to come back to a neutral state. With an untrained parasympathetic nervous system, the body may stay in the fight-or-flight mode, supplied by the sympathetic nervous system, which can lead to chronic stress syndromes, such as persistent neck pain, headache, stomach disorders and high blood pressure.

Yoga trains the parasympathetic nervous system. By the body’s being stressed in yoga postures and then moving into deep relaxation or meditation, the parasympathetic nervous system is challenged and strengthened.

Another thing you can do to boost this nervous system after a stressful incident is to take a deep, cleansing breath and relax your shoulders. Then smile; it’s by far the best face-lift.

Denise Plastiras is a physical therapist at Maximum Performance in Greenport. She also teaches yoga workshops.

07/29/10 12:00am

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO

Long Island Ducks mascot Quacker Jack on stage with New York City pop/rock band If But When at the East End GreenFest on Saturday. In keeping with the festival theme, the band was powered entirely by solar energy.

The threat of global warming was on the minds of many who braved last weekend’s heat wave to gather at GreenFest at the Strawberry Fields fairgrounds in Mattituck

07/29/10 12:00am

Oregon Road, circa 1950, in a photograph from the C.H. Meredith Collection held by the Southold Historical Society.

This is part of an occasional series on the history behind the names of some Southold streets.

Back in the days of horses and buggies, a few miles could seem a long way. What’s considered close to home to a modern family could have seemed like the end of the world to a 19th-century farmer.

Historian Norman Wamback of Mattituck-Laurel Historical Society tells a tale that shows how that different sense of distance gave Oregon Road its name.

In 1840, a farmer named Orrin Wiggins purchased property in Mattituck by a road called Wines Highway. Mr. Wiggins, who later moved to Greenport, took the highway to First Presbyterian Church in Cutchogue every Sunday. The first time he went to the church, the minister introduced himself and asked where Mr. Wiggins lived. Mr. Wiggins replied that he lived on a farm near Wines Highway.

“The minister couldn’t believe he lived so far,” said Mr. Wamback. “‘Oh my goodness!’ he said. ‘That’s all the way out in Oregon!'”

The name stuck. From that day forward, Wines Highway was known as Oregon Road; the surrounding region is still called Oregon today.

BRIDGET DEGNAN

07/29/10 12:00am

Southold Town is planning to prevent its police officers from moonlighting at any establishment that has a liquor license, in hopes of avoiding a conflict of interest for officers who must enforce DWI laws by day but might contribute to alcohol use when they’re off duty.

Though town Supervisor Scott Russell said the new policy was aimed at keeping police officers from working as private security personnel at events and festivals, he said at a Town Board work session Tuesday that it would also preclude them from owning, or working in, any establishment that had a liquor license, including wineries, even as parking attendants.

The town attorney’s office plans to prepare a proposal establishing the policy for a vote at the board’s Aug. 10 meeting.

“The local police officers could even challenge this, but let them go to court,” said Mr. Russell. “If you want to go to work in another town part-time, that’s your business. In this town, it should be a very clean distinct line.”

Beach Sticker Blues

About two dozen residents have called Supervisor Russell since the beginning of the summer, he said, to complain they’d had no idea they couldn’t buy beach stickers at town beaches.

“People have gone to the beach and there’s not a beach attendant there, and now they’re getting tickets for $75,” the supervisor said at Tuesday’s work session. “I don’t think the intent was to keep local people off of local beaches.”

The Town Board decided this year to stop allowing young beach attendants to sell stickers. All stickers must instead be purchased at Town Hall.

At Mr. Russell’s suggestion, the board agreed to let the town attorney cancel any tickets people had received for parking without a sticker if they had later purchased beach stickers. He said that he would let the town justices know about the amnesty program.

“When you’re asking people to change their habits, you need to work with them,” Mr. Russell said. “It was my job to let the public know. I didn’t do that and I’ll take responsibility for it.”

Orient’s fire rescue boat

The Orient Fire Department was the highest bidder on a surplus 1989 24-foot Boston Whaler that was used by the Southold Police Department but the Town Board may sell the boat to OFD for a lower price.

The fire department bid $16,125. Five other bids were received, ranged from $1,000 to $6,000. Mr. Russell suggested Tuesday that the town sell the boat to Orient for $10,000, if an independent broker advises him that $10,000 is fair market value.

“We’ve done our job. What we got is one very high bid and five lower bids. To split the difference, I don’t have a problem with that at this point,” said Mr. Russell.

His suggestion came after a contentious meeting two weeks ago at which Orient’s fire commissioners requested that the auction be stopped and the boat be sold to them because, they said, Orient is in desperate need of a fire boat. Mr. Russell was not at that meeting.

“I thought it would be a good time to start building bridges,” he said. “Let’s just break bread and move forward.”

Members of the board were split on his suggestion.

“It’s a public process. I’d love to give it to Orient but we can’t,” said Councilman Al Krupski Jr.

“Because they’re using it as a rescue boat, I would go with what the supervisor said,” countered Councilman Vincent Orlando,

Councilman William Ruland said that residents of other fire districts would, in effect, be subsidizing the Orient Fire Department if the town sold the boat for less than what it could charge.

“Have you ever been involved in a taxpayer suit? That’s why I’m not willing to bend,” he said. “They’re rare but I was involved in one.”

Mr. Russell said that he would seek the appraisal and continue the discussion at a future date.

[email protected]

07/29/10 12:00am

* Southold Human Services Department, Eastern Long Island Hospital and The Mental Health Association of Suffolk County will host a presentation on coping with chronic illness at the Human Resources Center in Mattituck on Friday, Aug. 6, from 11 a.m.-noon. The program is funded by Long Island Home through a grant from the New York State Office of Mental Health. Call 298-4460.

* Dr. Barbara Prestano of Peconic ENT will be at Mattituck-Laurel Library to conduct free hearing tests on Thursday, Aug. 5, 1-3 p.m.

The library will host yoga instruction for 10 weeks beginning on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 5-6:30 p.m. Bring a yoga mat or towel. The fee for all 10 sessions is $60, payable at the first class. Call 298-4134.

* Eastern Long Island Hospital’s North Fork Bounty Gala, hosted by Luba and Louis Corso at their Cutchogue home, will feature a continuous banquet of food from North Fork restaurants and will be held on Saturday, Aug. 14, at 3 p.m. with cocktails and a raw bar. The evening will include a live auction and an as-yet-unidentified celebrity guest. Tickets are $175. Call 477-5164.

Tickets for the hospital’s Dream Green Extravaganza raffle are on sale, with winners to be named at the Greenport Maritime Festival in September. The grand prize is $50,000. Tickets are $100 each. Call 477-5463.

* Robert Wieczorek and his wife, Dr. Rita Wieczorek, along with the parishioners of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Greenport, will be honored at San Simeon’s Cocktails by the Bay fundraiser at the Shelter Island Yacht Club at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 1. Mr. Wieczorek is past president of San Simeon’s Board of Directors. The Merry Makers will provide live calypso music and a silent auction will be held. Free passage to Shelter Island will be offered aboard the Plum Isle, with trips leaving Greenport at 3, 3:30 and 4 p.m. Tickets are $125. Call 477-2110, ext. 252.

07/29/10 12:00am

It’s about time.

Congress must do the right thing and approve the Long Island Sound Improvement Act of 2010, introduced earlier this week by East End Democratic Congressman Tim Bishop and Republican Peter King of Nassau. At more than $1 billion, it’s not a cheap measure by any means. But if we’ve learned anything from the BP disaster in the Gulf, it’s that money wisely invested in environmental protection can pay off handsomely in preventing the enormous cost and equally staggering damage that are the sorry legacy of doing nothing.

This legislation would set aside $125 million in federal assistance in 2011 and $250 million in each of the subsequent four years. Addressing concerns that throwing money at a problem doesn’t necessarily guarantee success, the bill calls for a review every two years of the continuing Long Island Sound study’s effectiveness.

With all the emphasis on the health of East End and South Shore bays, we tend to take the Sound for granted. Water quality in the Sound off the eastern half of Long Island is pretty good, but it won’t stay that way by just wishing it so. The Village of Greenport’s sewage treatment plant pours its effluent into the Sound. And Brookhaven Town has its hands full with Sound shore flooding and stormwater runoff issues.

The Sound is one big body of water and its health is directly tied to human activity far beyond Long Island — in New York City and every New England state except Maine. The Connecticut River, which separates Vermont from New Hampshire, flows through Massachusetts and Connecticut right into the Sound. What goes into the ground eventually reaches the water, in this case the Sound estuary system.

Said county Legislator Ed Romaine, “We need to make the Sound, which has become a dump, pristine again.”

The only way to accomplish that is with federal assistance.