11/30/10 11:47pm
11/30/2010 11:47 PM

Teamwork. It is the one concept that Sal Campo, the first-year Southold First Settlers bowling coach, keeps coming back to.

“We really have a unified team,” said Campo, who takes the team over from the retired Ray Gramazio. “We are well-balanced and the kids work together. They help each other. They root each other on. This is a great group of kids.”

Last season the First Settlers had 197 points and placed fifth in Suffolk County League V. Graduation hit Southold hard. Still, Campo has a corps of returning veterans to count on like seniors Patrick Sinclair, Chris Manfredi and Chris Kirincic as well as juniors Brayan Palencia, Patrick Smith and Zach DePaulis, and sophomore Ben Glew.

Smith had a 175 average, followed by Sinclair (174) and Palencia and Manfredi both at 166.

Newcomers Kieran Brodarick, a junior, and sophomore Kyle Sparacino will also see action.

The Mount Sinai Mustangs, East Hampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson Bonackers and Southampton Mariners will all be tough to beat. But Campo said, “We can move up fast.”

“We have the potential to be the league champion,” he said. “Our new kids still need to develop their form a bit. They have come along fast, but we still need a little more consistency.”

Campo said keeping a “serious focus” is essential for the First Settlers to be successful this season.

“It is still early, but things are falling into place,” he said. “If all goes well … if we can continue the momentum we have … if we can continue our unified approach … that is the key to make good things happen. If we can keep doing those things, it gives us a big advantage.”

11/30/10 10:29pm

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Morgan Zuhoski is one of three senior guards who play for defending League VII champion Mattituck.

It may sound strange to say, with the Mattituck High School girls basketball team having lost its all-time leading scorer with Stephenie Pisacano’s graduation in June, but the Tuckers could be in an even better situation this season.

Defending League VII champion Mattituck (14-4 last season) looks well-positioned to return to the Suffolk County Class B final, the stage it reached last season before losing by three points to the Center Moriches Red Devils.

True enough, the Tuckers may not have any genuine star players, but they may have more than that in the form of experience, role players and a deep bench. That will help the team absorb the loss of Pisacano, who scored a school-record 1,465 points during her time in Mattituck.

“There are no egos, there are no superstars,” Mattituck Coach Steve Van Dood said. “Everybody wants to have fun and win.”

It looks as if the Tuckers should be able to do both.

Considering that Mattituck lost two of its starters — Katherine Wilcenski and Stefanie Loverde — to torn anterior cruciate ligaments last season (Wilcenski went down in the middle of the season, and Loverde was hurt early in the season), it’s extraordinary that the team fared as well as it did. “It did say a lot,” Van Dood said. “It just seemed like every girl stepped up.”

Now Wilcenski and Loverde are back, healthy and ready to play their senior season. They join six other returners, including junior guard Liz Lasota, who saw significant playing time, and Claire Finnican, a 6-foot 1-inch junior center who was the League VII rookie of the year. Three senior guards — Jackie Berkoski, Morgan Zuhoski and Jessica Boomer — are also back along with sophomore forward Lauren Guja.

Two young guards, Alexa Orlando and Shannon Dwyer, bring the team ball-handling ability and are new to the varsity level as are power forwards Allie Wilcenski (Katherine’s sister) and Catherine Connelly.

Van Dood said his team has size that it hasn’t seen in a long time with five legitimate bigs. “I don’t think many teams will be able to match up with us size-wise,” he said.

Because of that, the Tuckers can enjoy the best of both worlds, going with a lineup that features size or one that emphasizes speed.

Said Van Dood, “I think the girls now just have to believe that they can do it.”

Like someone walking into an unknown dark room, Dennis Reilly doesn’t know what to expect. The coach doesn’t know what his second season in charge of the Southold Clippers (10-10) will bring. The reason for the mystery is the uncertainty surrounding how his younger players will adapt to the faster, more physical brand of varsity basketball they will see as compared to the junior varsity game they were accustomed to.

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Southold Coach Dennis Reilly spoke to his players during a timeout in the county final against The Stony Brook School in February.

“We’re going to really be relying on a lot of young girls with not a lot of experience at the varsity level,” said Reilly, who has seven sophomores, three juniors and two seniors on his roster.

On the plus side, Southold has two returning starters in sophomore forward Melissa Rogers and junior forward/guard Lauren Ficurilli from last season’s team, which lost to The Stony Brook School Bears in the Suffolk County Class C final.

In addition, senior guard Sarah Smith has some experience as a starter, and junior guards Sarah Manfredi and Kelly Bosco are back as well.

Three sophomores — guards Sydney Campbell, forward Nicole Busso and guard Michaela Christman — have been brought up from a junior varsity team that went 16-2 last season. Christman sat out the entire season with a knee injury.

“It’s going to be a learning experience,” Reilly said. “We’re progressing along nicely. We’re a young team with a lot to work on.”

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11/30/10 8:50pm

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Point guard Connor Davis is one of Mattituck's five returning starting seniors.

This could very well be the best Mattituck High School boys basketball team since the 2003-4 season. That was a season Coach Paul Ellwood remembers well, and he should. It was his first season as Mattituck’s head coach, and the Tuckers won the Suffolk County Class C championship.

Mattituck (6-12 last season) is now a Class B team with undoubted talent and chemistry. For the first time since Ellwood has been the coach, Mattituck has five returning starters, all seniors. Although the team doesn’t have a single star player, it is perhaps the deepest team in League VII. Ellwood said he can go with a rotation that is nine players deep without a significant loss in quality, and any of seven players could score 20 points on a given night.

Tom Ascher, a small forward, was an all-league player last season who was the team’s top scorer, averaging about 14 points per game. Yianni Rauseo, a forward, was the team’s top rebounder, grabbing about nine boards per game and earning all-league honorable mention.

The other starters who are back are point guard Connor Davis, shooting guard Steve Ascher (Tom’s brother) and 6-foot 5-inch forward Cody Huntley.

“All these kids played all last year, every game,” Ellwood said. “They’re all skilled.”

As is Mike Mangiamele, a senior who can play shooting guard or small forward. He started some games last season, too.

New to the team are seven upperclassmen: guards Jovan Booker, Austin Tuthill and Connor Eagan, and forwards Tom Sledjeski, Ryan Malone, Ryan Dinizio and Matthew Jacobs.

“We have great chemistry,” Ellwood said. “They don’t worry about their stats. They just want to win games and get in the playoffs.”

Qualifying for the playoffs, something Mattituck has done twice in the past 10 years, would be a big deal, especially with the Tuckers tangling against traditional League VII powers such as the Southampton Mariners, Center Moriches Red Devils and Wyandanch Warriors, not to mention the Hampton Bays Baymen and Babylon Panthers.

Since the conclusion of the last school season, the Tuckers have played 36 games in spring, summer and fall leagues and camps.

“They’ve come a long way,” Ellwood said. “I think they feel like it’s going to be a special year.”

The Greenport Porters (14-8), meanwhile, could be facing a strange year.

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | While much of the roster may be up in the air, Greenport knows what to expect from its all-state player, Dantré Langhorne.

When discussing his team last week, Greenport Coach Al Edwards rattled off the names of his top four players. Dantré Langhorne, Tremayne Hansen, Jalen Shelby and Sean Charters are well-known names to Greenport fans. It was after citing those names, though, when Edwards ran into a roadblock. “After that,” he said, “everything is up in the air.”

Edwards said he couldn’t name 10 players who will be on the team. Greenport apparently doesn’t have anything near the depth it has had in recent years. Twenty-eight players came out for the varsity and junior varsity teams, and Edwards said he saw only saw 20 players at one time.

“It’s kind of a stressful thing, but nothing that I can control,” Edwards said. “That’s the way the hand is dealt.”

At the same time, Greenport has some players of undoubted quality, including the 6-5 twin towers of Langhorne and Hansen. Langhorne, a senior forward, was an all-state player last season. Hansen, a senior forward, and Shelby, a junior shooting guard, were both all-league selections. Edwards said the three of them are all potential college players. Langhorne, in particular, is a triple-double threat who is said to be stronger and smarter.

Charters, a junior, is expected to play point guard.

Greenport lost to the John A. Coleman Catholic Statesmen in March and failed to advance beyond the Class D Southeast Region semifinals for the first time in four years. The Porters had ousted Coleman Catholic from the playoffs the previous three years.

It will be difficult for Greenport, which is now a Class C team, to reach the regional phase again.

“We know what we’re up against,” Edwards said. “We’re big boys now. We’re growing up. We have a lot of young kids who have to grow up real fast.”

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Sal Manno may be asked to take on a greater scoring role for Southold.

The Southold First Settlers’ 2009-10 record is easy to remember, perhaps as much for the one loss as the 18 wins that preceded the team’s two-point defeat to The Stony Brook School Bears in the Suffolk County Class C final.

Although Southold graduated nine of the 12 players from that team, Coach Jeff Ellis said he is not looking at this merely as a rebuilding season. With Sal Manno returning as the starting point guard and two other veterans back in junior guard Winston Wilcenski and 6-2 senior forward Alex Conway, the First Settlers have some experience to work around.

Kyle Clausen, a junior, will be one of the three guards in the starting lineup. Two junior forwards, Will Fujita and Alex Sinclair, and a freshman, Matt Stepnoski, are competing for the fifth spot.

Forwards Anthony Fedele and Julio Palencia are new to the team, as is guard David O’Day.

Manno may be asked for more offensive production. “He’s always been a good point guard,” Ellis said. “Last year we didn’t ask him to score a lot because we didn’t need him to. We had more scorers around him.”

Aside from the question of depth, Ellis said his biggest concern is who will step up and be the next leading scorer after Wilcenski and Conway.

“It doesn’t have to be one guy scoring a ton,” said Ellis, who will enter his 13th season as Southold’s coach. “It could be four guys scoring a handful each.”

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11/30/10 7:47pm

Feel something shaking Tuesday morning? It was an earthquake registering 3.9 on the Richter Scale deep under the ocean floor south of Southampton.

The quake struck at 10:45 a.m. 79 miles south-southeast of Southampton more than four miles below the ocean’s surface, the Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network reported. Tremors were felt across the East End.

“I was reading and all of a sudden the house started to rattle,” said Jack McGreevy of Mattituck. “It felt like I was back in Brooklyn when the coal trucks used to rumble by.”

The tremors lasted no more than five seconds “but it was very noticeable,” he said. “It got my attention.”

His house was undamaged and nothing fell off his shelves.

The Riverhead and Southold police report receiving no earthquake-related calls.

11/30/10 5:33pm

When Ken Morrelly walked into his Southold kitchen on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, and saw the images on television of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and Pentagon, an idea was born. Last month that idea became reality with the opening of the Morrelly Homeland Security Center in Bethpage.

“That was the day the concept came that we had to be safer here,” Catherine Morrelly said about 9/11.

The Center, launched with state and federal funds at the site of a former Grumman plant, is operated by Mr. Morrelly’s nonprofit Long Island Forum for Technology (LIFT). Its purpose is to bring together public and private agencies and industries in order to integrate, and accelerate, the development of high-tech security systems and hardware.

In October 2009, at age 64, Mr. Morrelly suffered a fatal heart attack, just as his dream was nearing completion. At last month’s commissioning of the center, former Homeland Securities director Tom Ridge officially named the center for Mr. Morrelly, praising his leadership and foresight in developing the only facility of its kind in the United States.

Among the groups housed in the center in addition to LIFT are the New York State Office of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Transit Security Administration, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police and the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management. There’s also space for The Applied Science Foundation for Homeland Security, Resident Research Partners and various manufacturers and academicians who work together to translate theory into practical products.

“This was the greatest of all his projects,” said Ms. Morrelly, talking about the center at her Southold home Monday morning.

Trained as an electrical engineer as an undergraduate, with a master’s degree in marine science and an MBA earned through an executive program at Columbia University, Mr. Morrelly had a long career in designing systems for the Department of Defense. His work took him around the world, giving advice on technology thorughout the United States and in the Mideast, the Far East, Southeast Asia, South and Central America and Canada. He was an advisor to state and federal governments on national defense and job development. He secured funding for the center through State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre).

Surrounded by newspaper clippings about the center, a Navy League Award for Mr. Morrelly’s long service on the board of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., and a letter from the commander of the USS New York praising his contributions to Homeland Security, Ms. Morrelly said she found comfort in knowing her husband’s goal had been achieved.

“To keep up with Kenny, boy did I learn a lot,” Ms. Morrelly said. Married for 40 years, the couple were childhood sweethearts who met when she was 14 and he was 17.

“His way of relaxing was working,” Ms. Morrelly said. Even on the home front, he was regularly on the telephone. Otherwise, he could be found in his workshop engaging in his woodworking hobby. They lived in western Long Island moved to Southold in the 1990s. They have a grown daughter.

While Ms. Morrelly doesn’t have the technical expertise her husband possessed, she plans to remain involved with the center.

“They want me there,” she said. His former associates told her, “You bring Ken’s spirit back to us.”

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11/30/10 5:05pm

Cutchogue Fire Department’s annual Christmas tree and wreath sale is in full swing, offering Fraser firs starting at $45, basic wreaths for $10 and decorated wreaths for $15, as well as roping and grave blankets. Proceeds benefit the department’s Panthers Drill Team.

The sale lot, across New Suffolk Road from the firehouse, is open weekdays from 6 a.m. to midnight and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to approximately 7 p.m. Free local delivery is available.

11/30/10 3:57pm


Tracy O’Lear snapped this photo of a red fox at Corey Creek in Southold Saturday.The red fox, the largest of all foxes, is found throughout the northern hemisphere and feeds on small rodents.

“I don’t know about you, but it  has been a long time since I have seen a fox,” said Ms. O’Lear’s husband Les Gazzola.

11/30/10 3:31pm

The Oysterponds School PTA will hold a chinese auction at Poquatuck Hall on Saturday, Dec. 11, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. in conjunction with Orient Historical Society’s annual holiday house tour. Complimentary snacks and beverages will be provided and all auction proceeds will help support programs for Oysterponds students. Questions? Call 477-8130.

Orienteer Holly Mastrangelo is excited because an exhibit of her photographs opens this Sunday, Dec. 5, with a reception from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sparkling Pointe tasting room in Southold. She’s been spreading the word but didn’t share till now that her husband’s NYC band, Knockout Drops, will perform after her event. Sure sounds like a great way to pass a Sunday afternoon. Call 323-2311 to learn more.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend the Oysterponds Historical Society Winter Benefit, you’re in luck, as there are still a few tickets left for this Saturday’s soiree. The Webb House comes aglow and resembles what it might have looked like back in the 1700s, when it was built. This is a magical, elegant evening and one to be remembered. Tickets are $100 for members; $135 for non-members. Call 323-2480 for more details
Don’t forget the North Fork Chorale concert this Sunday, Dec. 5, at 3 p.m at the Congregational church. It’s always a special tradition for the holiday season. Tickets will be available at the door.

Congratulations to Orient kid Lt. “James Michael” Reeves, who tied the knot with Crystal Johnson Saturday in St. Augustine, Fla. Among those on board for the celebration were Orient grandparents Bob and Marge Reeves; Jim’s parents, Tom and Cheri; Crystal’s folks, Susan and Niles Johnson; East Marioneer Adam Hukill; and, of course, “my kid” Sarah. Making it a super-special occasion was the presence of Jimmy’s sister, Keri, who snagged a leave from her duties as an Army sergeant in Iraq and made it in the nick of time via trains, planes and automobiles. Jimmy, a naval pilot, and Crystal, a lawyer, live in Jacksonville, Fla. We all wish them abundant amounts of happiness in their marriage.

A few of our talented Oysterponders are part of the Peconic Bay Masterworks Choir, which will perform at Mattituck Presbyterian Church Dec. 10 and 11. Tickets are $15 and flying out the door. Please call for more info.

Helen Cox and I were taking a trip down memory lane and the name Joe Woglom came up. The mention of his name will most likely bring a smile to the lips of longtime Orienteers. Simultaneously, both Helen and I said, “Gee, I still have some of his $2 bills.” For any occasion, Joe would gift multiple $2 bills. That is a great legacy. (Is anyone else hoarding his currency treasures?) He was a very generous man and supported many local needs.

That segues me to a few of our many needs here. Poquatuck Hall needs a new floor. Please respond to the recent membership drive. OHS is trying to preserve our past and is hosting many events to raise funds. John’s Place at St. Agnes needs money for the homeless. And Heather Walker is still collecting hats, gloves and scarves for those in need. Her number is 477-8456.

God bless you if you can help.

11/30/10 3:25pm

As I sit writing this on Sunday morning, it’s a balmy 38 degrees (with the wind chill we can make that 25 degrees). I do love the Christmas season, but couldn’t we make it just a tad warmer?

The Greenport Business Association has been hard at work to ensure that we all get into the spirit of the holidays. While I can’t list all of them — you really need to pick up one of their brochures — here are a few of the many events going on in the village this weekend.

You want to make sure you’re at the foot of Third Street at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4, when the East End Seaport Museum will host a children’s film about the sea. Also at 11 a.m., and running until 3 p.m., is the Railroad Museum’s annual holiday open house where, rumor has it, Santa will be making an appearance. And from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, you can catch the holiday pet parade in Mitchell Park.

There will be free holiday concerts at Brecknock Hall at 4 and 8 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5. Reservations are required; call 477-3800, ext. 221. The annual lighting of the menorah will take place in Mitchell Park Sunday at 5 p.m.

If sports is more your thing, there will be a North Fork vs. South Fork kind of thing on Wednesday, Dec. 8, when the GHS boys basketball team hosts East Hampton at 6 p.m. and on Friday, the 10th, when it takes on Southampton at 6:15 p.m. Come on out to support coach Al Edwards and the great group of guys he coaches.

Speaking of basketball, I report with great pleasure that, as of this writing, the Duke Blue Devils are 6-0 in college hoops. So here’s a question for my non-Duke-rooting friends Linton, Diana, Jade and Matt Duell (Maryland and St. John’s fans); Tenesha Jensen (also a Terps fan); the Swains — Lou, Louis and Matt (UNC fans); Tim McLaughlin (Boston College); and Frank Van Sickle (Syracuse): Can anyone stop Duke? Stay tuned!

Congratulations are definitely in order for Sandra Bonczyk and Carl Vultaggio. Carl found an extra-special “egg” in their chicken coop last week and Sandra is now sporting it on her third finger, left hand! I wish the two of them a lifetime of happiness together.

The ELIH Auxiliary will host a book sale on Friday, Dec. 10, in the hospital conference room from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stock up on winter reading and holiday gifts for the entire family. They’ll have children’s books, cookbooks, craft books and more. For information, call 477-5196.

Blowing out one more birthday candle this week are Nancy Ryan, Sissy Herrmann and Caitlin Ryan, all on Dec. 2; “David T.” Tuthill, Corrine Ruther and Laura Atkins on the 3rd; Amanda Corwin Golz, Danielle Hubbard and Dan Letteriello, all on the 4th; Erica Gaud, Kathleen Sands, Tom Wood, Victoria Jensen Johnson and Ivan Suarez on the 5th; Michele Jensen and Kelsey Hubbard on the 6th; F.J. Kiernan on the 7th; and Chris Golden and Rob Lehmann on the 8th.

I’m sending extra-special birthday wishes to two extra-special people in my life: my husband, Jim, who celebrates Dec. 5, and my sister-in-law Cindy Tooker, whose birthday is the 6th. I hope your birthdays are as special as you are to me. I love you both!

11/30/10 3:10pm

Carrie Meek Gallagher, the head of Suffolk County’s Department of Environment and Energy, will be taking a job as the Suffolk County Water Authority’s chief sustainability officer, a newly formed position.

The SCWA board voted unanimously to approved Ms. Gallagher for the position. She served as a county commissioner for four years.

Jeff Szabo, the authority’s chief executive officer, said the new position was created in order to focus on environmental protection initiatives, including water conservation, the use of renewable energies, recycling and waste reduction.
“Carrie is the perfect person to help us realize these goals,” he said.

The responsibilities for the new chief sustainability officer include: monitoring potential environmental threats to over 560 active wells; developing the authority’s infrastructure; implementing the authority’s land management program; furthering the authority’s energy optimization efforts; and developing detailed plans for future land easements, officials said.

“I look forward to focusing on the big-picture issues that will impact the Suffolk County Water Authority’s future, and by extension the future of all Suffolk residents,” she said.

Officials at the Suffolk County Water Authority, which is not a county agency but a state public benefit corporation, said Ms. Gallagher would start in January.