11/30/11 8:00pm
11/30/2011 8:00 PM

TIM KELLY PHOTO | San Simeon held a fundraiser earlier this year at Mitchell Park.

By a unanimous vote, with Trustee Chris Kempner absent following the recent birth of her second daughter, the Village Board turned down a request from San Simeon by the Sound Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation to use Mitchell Park for a fundraiser on July 29, 2012.

“It’s not that the board doesn’t see San Simeon as a worthy cause,” said Mayor David Nyce. But opening the park for annual events not related to Greenport Village could result in the public park being unavailable to villagers all summer, he said. San Simeon won board approval for its fundraiser this past summer but was told at the time that it had to seek another venue for 2012.

San Simeon lies just outside the village limits.

San Simeon’s development director, Andrea Parks, and development chair Nancy Morrow stormed out of the meeting following the board vote. But Ms. Parks acknowledged that she spoke with the mayor following the meeting. She declined further comment.

Ms. Morrow issued a written statement Tuesday saying, “San Simeon is disappointed that the village has decided to cancel our annual fundraiser in Mitchell Park. We were hoping to return in the summer of 2012 after having hosted a very successful event in July this year.

“The proceeds of the event are used to enhance the quality of care including the purchase of much needed new beds,” Ms. Morrow said. “As a Greenport Village resident and board member of San Simeon, I am saddened that the Village Board has chosen to reject such a worthy undertaking.”

More than 200 people participated in this summer’s fundraiser, Ms. Morrow said.

“We supported all the local businesses by utilizing local service providers and many of our guests stayed on to frequent the local shops and restaurants,” she said.

The mayor pointed out that in the past year, the board had made a similar decision and for the same reason turned down a request from Sts. Anargyroi & Taxiarhis Greek Orthodox Church to use Mitchell Park for its annual summer festival.

Trustee Mary Bess Phillips again prodded her colleagues to develop a clear policy on how the park, financed with federal, state and local tax funds, can be used.

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11/30/11 5:00pm

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | Peter Clarke, owner of Clarke's Garden on Main Street, will become president of the Greenport BID in January.

Although Peter Clarke is a fresh face in Greenport Village, the garden and home store owner says he’s ready to tackle local business concerns as the Greenport Business Improvement District’s new president.

Mr. Clarke, who moved to Greenport and opened Clarke’s Garden on Main Street in 2010, was recently tapped to succeed BID president Mike Acebo. Mr. Acebo has led the BID since its inception in 1994. The official vote confirming his succession will take place in January.

Mr. Clarke, a lifelong retailer originally from New York City, said BID members first asked him last year to become their next president because Mr. Acebo planned to step down after serving nearly two decades.

“I didn’t feel I was ready for it,” Mr. Clarke said. “I wanted a better understanding of the community and of running my own business here before leading a career group.”

It was then that Mr. Clarke decided to shadow Mr. Acebo as the BID’s vice president in order to prepare for a new leadership role.

We sat down with Mr. Clarke Tuesday at Aldo’s Cafe on Front Street to discuss his vision for the BID. The following is excerpted from that conversation.

Q: What do you think will help local businesses during the offseason?

A: I believe the January and February months are so weather-dependent that I would not focus a lot of money and effort there. I think we need to develop what I call the “shoulder seasons” for Greenport — a phrase that means not prime, but not dead.  Our focus is going to be to develop the period from Labor Day to Christmas and the spring period from March to May. There is a lot of potential to animate and to further develop activities in Greenport to drive business activity and to engage and entertain our residents and visitors.

Q: What are some events going on during the shoulder season that the BID plans to help with?

A: I think people start to breathe again here sometime between Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day because we have a very important, established, traditional Presidents Day parade here that’s been a fixture in Greenport where people from all over come and participate. That kind of breaks our winter hiatus. We have a unique opportunity this year because we’re participating in Tall Ships of America, which is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. We have a lot to do to get ready for that. The last time we had them here was in 2004 and we had over 50,000 unique visitors.

Q: What are the top concerns local business owners have?

A: The seasonality of the village, vacant stores and community support. Big box stores and the Tanger Outlets have pulled a lot of local dollars into Riverhead. It is very important to our businesses that [the BID] focus on ideas to improve service for our local clientele, as well as our visitors.

Q: What do you think the BID should concentrate on next year?

A: Creating a new level of participation. It’s important for us to create an open, welcoming environment for all members to come forward with their ideas and to make sure we encourage and foster this existing spirit of volunteerism in Greenport. One of the things that I would say is evidence of this new level of participation is that we had about 40 people attend our annual meeting [on Nov. 18]. That was probably the largest attendance many of the long-term members remembered having in many years.

Q: How can the BID help local businesses thrive?

A: The biggest achievement we had this year is the relaunching of our website. Since it was launched in August, we have already surpassed the number of visitors the prior website would receive in a year. The website has been the primary tool to help our local businesses. It includes a business listing directory where BID members can create a micro-website for their business. It’s really about showcasing the members. It’s about them. It’s not about us.

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11/30/11 3:37pm

A boater traveling out of Greenport Wednesday morning was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard after reporting his boat was sinking, according to a Connecticut-based news report published by CT Post.

The 50-year-old unidentified distressed mariner used his cellphone to report he was having chest pains and that he feared his 24-foot sailboat was taking on water, according to a Coast Guard press release.

Coast Guard officials said the sailing vessel’s electrical system was not operating properly, the radio was inoperable and the bilge pumps were not functioning. Weather conditions this morning on the Long Island Sound were reported as having poor visibility, including 4- to 6-foot waves with wind at 15 to 30 knots, officials said.

The boater was attempting to travel from Greenport to another destination on Long Island, CT Post reported. He was spotted two nautical miles south of the buoy center in New Haven, Conn., a Coast Guard spokesperson said.

The Coast Guard transferred the man to Branford, Conn. for medical treatment and he is in stable condition, officials said. No other information was immediately available.

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11/30/11 2:00pm

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Hal Goodale with the as yet unamed baby calf.

A local farmer is asking the public to help name his newborn calf.

The baby holstein heifer was born Saturday at Goodale Farms in Aquebogue to mom Lila at 6:38 p.m. She came into the world already weighing 82 lbs. 6 oz. and 34 inches tall. She nursed from her mother for one day and is now being bottle fed her mother’s milk, four pints four times a day, said owner Hal Goodale III.

Mr. Goodale is asking people to send in names by Saturday, Dec. 3rd. Email [email protected].

11/30/11 11:53am

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | More than 900 participate in the annual Turkey Trot this Thanksgiving.

On Thanksgiving morning, over 900 people participated in the Mattituck-Cutchogue Teachers Association’s 6th annual Turkey Trot 5K run/walk in Mattituck to benefit Maureen’s Haven and the MCTA.

The overall winner was 37-year-old Rick Trojanowski from Calverton, who finished with a time of 16:32.

Check out Katharine Schroeder’s photos from the race.

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11/30/11 10:23am
Charles H. Miller, "Girl in a Boat," 1880, watercolor on paper.

Charles H. Miller, "Girl in a Boat," 1880, watercolor on paper.

Two notable events are set for this weekend at the Suffolk County Historical Society on Riverhead’s West Main Street.

“Charles Henry Miller: Painter of Long Island” opens Friday, Dec. 2, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit includes paintings, sketchbooks and other memorabilia illuminating the artist’s life and career. Many works on display — including Mr. Miller’s first painting, created when he was just 16 — have never been seen publicly. The exhibit, which runs through Feb. 11, coincides with the release of a book of the same title written by show curator Geoffrey Fleming, director of the Southold Historical Society, and Ruth Ann Bramson, the artist’s great-granddaughter. The book is available at the SCHS Weathervane Gift Shop.

On Saturday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., SCHS presents “Wooden Wonderland,” a special holiday show and sale featuring the work of over a dozen Long Island woodworkers. Hand-carved Santas, gnomes, ornaments, birds, duck decoys and fish will be available for sale, and craftsmen will demonstrate a variety of carving skills and techniques. A donation to the society is suggested at the door.

For information, call 727-2881.

11/30/11 10:16am

Peconic resident Frank Mealy died Nov. 23. He was 75.

Funeral arrangements are in the care of DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Mattituck.

A complete obituary will appear in a future edition of The Suffolk Times.

11/30/11 8:10am
Mattituck

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Barbara Smithen, co-owner of Sherwood House Vineyards, holding a bottle of her 2010 Chardonnay.

This is due to be a busy week in the ongoing legal battle between Southold Town and Charles and Barbara Smithen, owners of Sherwood House Vineyards on Oregon Road in Mattituck, over the Smithens’ use of a shed on preserved land as a tasting room.

The town received a preliminary injunction prohibiting the Smithens from using the preserved land for retail merchandising and tasting activities as of Nov. 16, and both parties are due back in court on that matter Dec. 7, said assistant town attorney Jennifer Andaloro on Tuesday.

The Smithens also filed a lawsuit against the Southold Town Planning Board on Oct. 12, after the board refused to consider their proposed site plan this past summer. The town is due to respond to the lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court on Dec. 6. Ms. Andaloro said both matters are being handled in-house by the town attorney’s office.

For many years, the Smithens had been operating a seasonal tasting area in a 10-by-10 foot shed on a portion of their 38-acre vineyard where the development rights had been sold. They filed a site plan application in April to move the tasting area to a section of their property that still had its development rights intact, after they were cited by the town for conducting marketing and retail operations on preserved land.

Those Town Justice Court proceedings are still pending and are next due to be heard in court in January.

The Planning Board declined to further consider the site plan throughout the summer, citing the ongoing justice court matters, and eventually denied the Smithens’ application in September, after they refused to stop using the tasting shed while waiting for their site plan to be processed.

In their lawsuit, prepared by attorney William Moore of Southold, the Smithens ask that the Planning Board’s decision be reversed and annulled, and that their site plan be approved.

They say the Planning Board “has acted beyond its jurisdiction and has taken for itself the role of prosecutor, judge and jury while refusing to perform its own duties in the course of the review of the application.”

The Smithens also say in the suit that, since their vineyard is within a state-designated “farm district,” they have certain protections under state Agricultural and Markets Law against unreasonable restrictions from the town.

They say they have filed an appeal with the Agriculture and Markets department, which “is actively reviewing the town’s site plan regulations to determine if the town’s land use regulations and the respondent’s imposition of conditions comply with the provisions of state law or if they constitute an unreasonable burden on agricultural land.”

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11/30/11 8:00am

ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Nicole Busso, a junior forward, is one of Southold's eight varsity veterans.

Southold reminds Amanda Barrilo of Chittenango, the small village she played for in high school that is about a half-hour drive from Syracuse. But that’s not the only reason she said she feels comfortable in her new post as the Southold girls basketball coach.

This is the first varsity job for Barrilo, 23, who succeeds Dennis Reilly. Last season Barrilo was the Southold junior varsity coach. She coached Southold in summer and spring leagues in addition to holding open gym sessions twice a week during the fall.

“I feel like I really know” the players, she said. “I know their skills. I could get right in there right from day one.”

Barrilo has some material to work with. Eight players from last season’s team, which went 7-11 and lost to The Stony Brook School in a Suffolk County Class C semifinal, are back. Among them are forward Nicole Busso, guard Sydney Campbell, forward Melissa Rogers, guard/forward Lauren Ficurilli and guard Michaela Christman. They are all juniors except for Ficurilli, a senior.

The other returning players are junior guard Carley Staples, senior guard/forward Sarah Manfredi and senior guard Kelly Bosco. Two sophomores, guard Justina Babcock and forward Abby Scharadin, have been promoted from the JV team.

Returning to the playoffs for a third straight year is a goal. “I do think it’s within reach,” said Barrilo.

Barrilo said the dedication of her players has been inspiring. “I think they’ve all come in with the mind-set of wanting to be successful and they’re putting in a lot of effort,” she said. “They’re putting out their best for a successful season and that’s all you could ask for.”

Scoring could be a critical area for the First Settlers. Barrilo said the players cannot be afraid to miss shots.

“They need to build confidence in themselves as offensive players,” she said. “You can never make shots that you don’t take. … You’re going to learn that you’re going to make mistakes and that’s O.K. You just have to move on.”

Barrilo, whose father was a basketball coach, said she had dreamed of one day coaching a varsity team and feels blessed to have the opportunity. She said, “I was waiting for it so long and now it’s here before I know it.”

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Lauren Guja, a junior forward, was an all-league player for Mattituck last season.

The value of Lauren Guja, Alexa Orlando, Shannon Dwyer and Allie Wilcenski to Mattituck (5-13) may never have been greater. Those four account for all of Mattituck’s remaining varsity experience from last season.

It’s not a bad foursome. Guja, a junior forward, was an all-league selection, and Dwyer, a sophomore point guard, was the League VII rookie of the year. Orlando, a junior, is a heady point guard, and Wilcenski, a hard-working center, should play a more enhanced role this season as a junior.

“They’re going to spread the gospel to the other kids,” coach Steve Van Dood said. “They’re going to play a big role.”

As compared to last season, Van Dood said, the Tuckers have a little more speed, a little more toughness and a lot more depth. “I think it’s all good,” he said. “We have young kids who want to play. They want to play hard. They execute nicely. They’re a pleasure to have on the basketball court.”

The Tuckers are something else: young. They don’t have a single senior among them.

Alex Berkoski, a junior point guard, is back from an injury that caused her to miss the entire 2010-11 season.

Van Dood said he is happy with many of the new players: junior guards Nicole Murphy and Syndey Sanders, freshman forward Courtney Murphy (Nicole’s sister), sophomore forward Molly Kowalski, junior forward Jackie Jones and eighth-grade guard Katie Hoeg. All of them, except for Hoeg, played for Mattituck’s 17-1 junior varsity team last season.

Van Dood said figuring out a starting lineup will be difficult, and the Tuckers may send different personnel onto the floor on different nights, depending on the opposition.

The League VII competition is going to be tough, with the likes of Southampton, Center Moriches and Wyandanch. Even though the Tuckers are only one year removed from a Suffolk Class B final, finding the six league wins that would assure them of a playoff berth will not be easy. “League VII is probably one of the toughest leagues in all Suffolk County,” said Van Dood.

With so many young players on the team, Van Dood said the goal is to keep things simple and emphasize execution.

“They’re all working hard,” he said. “They all have their eyes on the prize. They’re listening and they’re learning and they’re getting better every day.”

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11/29/11 8:00pm
11/29/2011 8:00 PM

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Mattituck players celebrating their upset of Malverne in the Long Island Class B final. The new-look Tuckers lost nine players from last season's team.

So, what is different about the current Mattituck boys basketball team as compared to last season’s squad?

Answer: Just about everything.

“It’s going to be a complete makeover,” Mattituck coach Paul Ellwood said. “It’s like one of the shows my wife watches.”

That is bound to happen when a team — even a team that reached the Southeast Region Class B final and finished with a 16-7 record — loses nine players. Among them was Mattituck’s entire starting lineup.

That is why the defending Long Island champions were picked in a coaches’ poll to finish in last place in Suffolk County League VII this season.

Last season’s Tuckers left this season’s squad with an awfully tough act to follow. What are they to do for an encore?

“It’s just going to be an uphill climb this year,” said Ellwood, who enjoyed his second winning season since taking over the Tuckers in 2003. “The bad news is we don’t have any experience. The good news is everybody is going to get some playing time.”

The most experienced player Mattituck has is Tom Sledjeski, a 6-foot-5 forward/center. Three other seniors — guard Connor Egan, guard Austin Tuthill and forward Matt Jacobs — have precious little varsity playing experience.

But the Tuckers have had a couple of positive developments. Ellwood is anticipating good things from Eugene Allen, a sophomore guard who was brought up to the varsity team late in the regular season. Allen had posted a few 30-point games for the junior varsity team.

“He won’t be a secret for long,” predicted Ellwood.

A wide-eyed Allen witnessed the wild playoff ride Mattituck enjoyed, including Steve Ascher’s buzzer-beating tip-in to defeat Malverne in the Long Island final. Mattituck players simply refer to that memorable play as “the tip-in.” It may be the most legendary shot in school history.

“Even though I was the youngest guy out there, it felt good to storm the court,” said Allen.

Mattituck also has the good fortune to have K. J. Pertillar, a 6-3 transfer from Riverhead who played for that school’s JV team. Because of an ankle injury, Pertillar has been limited to light shooting in practice, but he is expected to be one of the team’s pivotal players. “He’s super athletic,” Ellwood said. “He’s going to help.”

While the team is expected to run primarily through those three players, role players like small forward Justin Tyler, point guard Tyler Connell, forward Will Gildersleeve, point guard Chris Dwyer, 6-3 center Taliek Flythe and forward Dylan Gougian could have a big say in how well the team does.

“We’re going to have ups and downs,” said Ellwood.

The coach cannot deny that there is a curiosity factor among outsiders regarding how the team will look after its makeover. The Tuckers do have their work cut out for them. Most, if not all, of Mattituck’s league opponents are deeper, with more proven talent. The Tuckers have little experience in their back court and are more of a counterattack team this season.

“Obviously, you want to emulate, you want to replicate what you did last year, but it’s tough,” Sledjeski said. “It gives you something to work for if nothing else.”

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Sean Charters is Greenport's only returning starter.

This season marks a significant break from the past for Greenport (18-2). For the first time since at least when Gerald Crenshaw arrived on the scene in the late 1990s, the Porters do not have a single marquee name on their modest roster. One would have to go back over the years before Dantré Langhorne, Ryan Creighton and Crenshaw to mark the last time Greenport didn’t have a player of star value on the court.

The defending League VIII champions are picking up the pieces. They no longer have Langhorne, who scored over 1,400 career points and is now playing for Queen City Preparatory Academy in Charlotte, N.C. Tremayne Hansen has also graduated. On top of that, the Porters suffered another blow when Jalen Shelby, who would have been Greenport’s top player, transferred to Riverhead for his senior year.

But Greenport coach Al Edwards isn’t despairing. “We took a hit, but we’ll bounce back,” he said. “I like the chances with the team we have.”

What Greenport lacks in star power it hopes to make up for in teamwork and work ethic.

The Porters, who lost to Port Jefferson in the Suffolk Class C final, are once again back in Class D. “We shouldn’t have a problem making the playoffs, and who knows what happens once you get into the playoffs?” said Edwards, who has over 300 wins to his credit since becoming Greenport’s coach in 1979.

Sean Charters, a senior who will play shooting guard or small forward, is the only returning starter. “He’s a good stand-up shooter,” Edwards said. “He’s a smart player.”

Matt Dibble, a junior guard who played sparingly, is the only other returner.

Billy Doucett, a 6-1 junior forward, could be a starter along with 6-2 sophomore center/forward Austin Hooks, sophomore point guard Gavin Dibble (Matt’s brother) and sophomore point guard Max Eggimann. Mike Reed, a senior forward, will see plenty of minutes, said Edwards.

All of these players have played together in summer and fall leagues.

Unlike previous years, Greenport is more of a finesse, fast-breaking team. Edwards said the Porters will need to play good defense, pick up steals and score quickly.

“We want to make sure that we don’t give up a lot of second and third shots,” he said. “We have to try to find a way to make it work.”

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Winston Wilcenski of Southold knocked down a Long Island-leading 65 three-point field goals and averaged 22.1 points a game last season.

The most talented player in League VIII this season may be wearing a Southold uniform.

Winston Wilcenski was one of the top scorers in Suffolk last season, averaging 22.1 points per game and nailing down a Long Island-leading 65 three-point field goals. The First Settlers (10-9) are hoping for more of the same from their all-conference senior shooting guard. Not even a broken nose that Wilcenski suffered this fall while playing soccer for Southold has kept him off the court. He hasn’t missed any practice time.

In September, Wilcenski made a Suffolk top 40 team.

“I think he’s one of the top shooters in Suffolk County,” Southold coach Jeff Ellis said. “He’s a pure scorer, so that obviously in itself is big. Obviously, a lot of teams are going to be focusing on him, [so] that [will] free up some other guys.”

Ellis knows that one player alone, not even a player of Wilcenski’s caliber, can win games by himself. Others will have to contribute, like senior guard Kyle Clausen. In addition, senior center Alex Sinclair, senior forward Will Fujita, sophomore forward Matt Stepnoski and junior guard David O’Day may fill more prominent roles than they did last season.

The newcomers are freshman guard Liam Walker, junior forwards Peter Dicandia and Cesar Umana, and junior guards John Tomici and Cole Hiney.

Southold lost only two players from last season, point guard Sal Manno and big man Alex Conway, a big-time rebounder who averaged 12 boards a game. The First Settlers are athletic, but small, and rebounding could be a challenge.

Ellis doesn’t know what the precise makeup of his starting lineup will be, nor does he know who will be his sixth and seventh men.

“I know we’re going to play hard,” he said. “I know we’re going to play the best we can.”

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