03/31/12 6:00pm

Just 90 minutes in to “Long Island’s Best! A Pet Adoption Expo” at Polish Hall in Riverhead a dozen pets had already found new homes.

Event organizers told us they already saw eight dogs and four cats get adopted.

The event was organized by the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, and featured adoptable pets from nearby shelters such as Kent Animal Shelter, the Riverhead Town Shelter and the North Fork Animal Welfare League in Southold.

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03/31/12 4:00pm

Family and supporters of Doobee Hansen, a young girl from Southold who is fighting an abdominal illness, gathered at the Soundview Restaurant Friday night for an ’80s dance party in her honor.

Doobee made a brief appearance at the festivities, which included a costume contest, a raffle and dancing. The event was to benefit both Doobee and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation

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03/31/12 10:00am

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Suffolk County Legislator Ed Romaine said a long-term care facility for children is needed here.

What was once little more than a dream for Long Island families who desperately need local care for their medically dependent children is now moving closer to reality.

A Suffolk County task force is in the works to look into bringing long-term pediatric care to the area to fill the gap in medical facilities for children in need.

According to a Jan. 12 Riverhead News-Review special report, few local long-term medical care options exist for children with severe medical issues. Since that time, some politicians and hospital administrators have said the issue will not be easy to resolve, while Suffolk County-based nonprofit groups have stepped up their efforts to find a solution.

During a meeting of the county Legislature’s health committee last week, Legislator Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches) brought up the issue of pediatric care following coverage of the issue by several media outlets. Other legislators like Kate Browning (D-Shirley) have offered suggestions on how to address the lack of care for children in need.

And now, Mr. Romaine’s office said, lawmakers are planning to form a county task force to tackle the problem.

“We’re working with the county executive to establish a task force or a commission to look into the feasibility of bringing a facility to Suffolk County.” said Bill Faulk, legislative aide to Mr. Romaine. “Within the next month or so, there will be something official.”

Karen Serva, whose daughter Caroline suffered a severe brain injury following her premature birth in 2010, spoke at the meeting last Thursday and urged legislators to focus on a solution for Long Island children in need.

“This is a critical issue on Long Island, and it is wrong,” Ms. Serva said during the meeting. “Parents should not be separated from their children, especially sick children like my daughter.”

Ms. Serva and her husband, Rob, travel two hours twice a week from their Sound Beach home to Westchester County to see their daughter, who will turn 2 years old next week, at Blythedale Children’s Hospital.

Other children, like Riverhead teenagers Michael Hubbard and Rashad Jackson who were injured in near-fatal accidents last year, are also at Blythedale for rehabilitation — miles away from their homes.

The proposed task force will look into the necessary permits, licenses, building needs and “all the aspects” of creating a facility for long-term pediatric care within the county, Mr. Faulk said.

“We figure if we put a bunch of experts together in the same room they can figure out what it takes to get it done,” he said.

Mr. Faulk added that a public-private partnership like the East End Veterans Clinic at the County Center in Yaphank would be ideal, since it would not have any financial impact on Suffolk County as the county government wrestles with its looming debt.

Using the county’s Foley Nursing Home is one of the hypothetical scenarios that may work, he said.

“We don’t want to utilize county resources, but we can provide the space,” Mr. Faulk said, adding that the former Capital One office building on Main Road in Mattituck as also been floated as a possible location for a facility.

Ms. Serva said in an interview that she is optimistic about the progress being made to bring a pediatric care facility to Long Island.

“Just the fact that it seems to be snowballing … obviously for us, this is for the better,” she said. “It means everything to me. This offers my family in particular a lot of hope that Caroline will soon be back with our family, on the same island.”

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03/30/12 8:22pm
03/30/2012 8:22 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mike Reed of Greenport scoring on a wild pitch in the third inning while Southold pitcher Alex Poliwoda applies a late tag.


It was only the fifth game of the season for the Southold baseball team, and yet, it was an important one. Losses in their first four games had made it that way for the First Settlers.

“This was definitely a must-win game,” said shortstop/pitcher Kyle Clausen.

Two freshmen made their first varsity pitching starts, but Southold turned to a veteran to help steer the First Settlers to their first win. Clausen pitched four scoreless innings to wrap up Southold’s 8-2 defeat of Greenport on Friday at Greenport High School. It was just what the First Settlers needed.

“We broke the ice,” Southold coach Mike Carver said. “Sometimes the toughest thing to do when you’re down is to break the ice.”

Carver said his team didn’t panic after opening the season with three losses to Smithtown Christian and another to Pierson/Bridgehampton. For one thing, slow starts are nothing new to the First Settlers. They have a history of them, including last year when they opened the season with a 1-5 record.

Even so, Carver had had enough of losing. He said he told his players before Friday’s Suffolk County League IX game, “Today is the day to stop the pain.”

And they did.

Clausen (1-2), a senior right-hander, allowed two hits and one walk, striking out three after relieving freshman Alex Poliwoda. Poliwoda, who lasted three-plus innings in his first start, gave up five hits and two earned runs. He walked two and struck out three.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport shortstop Brian Tuthill keeping his eyes on a bouncing ball.

Matt Drinkwater (0-1) was Greenport’s starting pitcher. Over four innings, he allowed three hits, two earned runs and three walks against three strikeouts.

Clausen also roped a run-scoring single in the first inning when three errors helped Southold assume a 2-0 lead.

A run-scoring triple by Shayne Johnson in the second inning and a Clausen sacrifice fly in the third stretched that lead to 4-0.

It was a sloppy game defensively, with the teams combining for nine errors. Three of those errors by Southold in the third helped Greenport pull to within 4-2. Back-to-back singles by Mark Pagano and Michael Reed were followed by an Austin Hooks groundout for the first Porters’ run. Then Reed scored on a wild pitch, making it a two-run game.

A three-run Southold rally in the fifth gave the First Settlers more breathing room. Anthony Fedele led things off by cracking a single, and then walks to Luke Hokanson and Will Fujita loaded the bases with none out. One out later, Rob Mahony brought in a run the hard way, by getting hit by a pitch. Hokanson and Fujita later scored on the same throwing error.

Fedele supplied Southold’s final run in the sixth. After being hit by a pitch and stealing second base, he scored on an errant pickoff attempt.

“We had two bad innings,” Greenport coach Chris Golden said. “It’s not like we got dominated or beat bad. We just didn’t execute when we needed to execute.”

Pagano, Reed and Brian Tuthill had two hits apiece for Greenport (1-2, 1-2). The Porters put up seven hits — two more than Southold — but they were lacking timely hits. Greenport hit 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position.

“We have to chain our hits together and execute on defense,” said Pagano, who along with Reed are the team’s only seniors. “We gave up too many unearned runs.”

The big difference between last year’s Greenport team and this year’s Porters can really be summed up in one name: Shaun Hansen.

With Hansen’s graduation last year, Greenport said goodbye to its ace pitcher and a terrific hitter. “Shaun Hansen was a guaranteed win every series,” said Pagano.

Golden said he likes his team’s pitching as well as the play of his sophomore shortstop, Tuthill.

“We’ll have our good days; we’ll have our bad days, too,” Golden said. “Once we become more consistent in hitting in situations, that will make a difference.”

Finally, after four losses, Southold enjoyed a good day on Friday. And, make no mistake, fifth game of the season or not, it was a big win for the First Settlers.

“Big, big,” Carver said. “Oh, it would have been a long weekend [had we lost]. One and 4 is lonely, but 0 and 5 is really lonely.”

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03/30/12 6:00pm

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Customers flocked to the Hallmark Card & Gift store owned by Allen Patel next to the King Kullen in Riverhead Friday afternoon.

One in 175.7 million.

Those are the odds to win Friday night’s $640 million Mega Millions jackpot, the largest lottery jackpot in world history. But don’t tell that to the thousands of customers who poured into stores across the North Fork Friday for the chance to win big.

For these lottery players, many of them playing for the first time, it’s not about the odds, but the dream.

“This is the first time I’m playing Mega,” said Rose LaBarca of Riverhead while she waited in line at the Hallmark store on Route 58 in Riverhead. She held up her ticket with bubbles filled in to match her children’s birthdays. “I didn’t even know how to do this, someone had to tell me.”

Gas stations and grocery stores from Riverhead to Greenport reported higher than usual turnouts, both from regulars and first-timers, ahead of tonight’s 11 p.m. drawing.

Qamar Zaman, a store manager at the 7-Eleven in Greenport said he had more than 1,000 people come into his store Thursday to buy tickets, and hasn’t counted the number who came in so far Friday. Mr. Zaman said he hasn’t seen lotto fever like this in years.

“Before there was that Powerball lottery, but this time it’s crazy people,” he said.

Allan Patel, who owns the Hallmark store in Riverhead, said he has never seen turnout like this in the 12 years that he has owned the store.

“A lot of people are hoping to win,” he said. “They say, ‘That much? Let me play!'”

Mr. Patel decked his store in streamers and signs and told each of the thousands of customers as they walked in the door that his store is “lucky;” several years ago, the location sold a $250,000 Mega Millions second place ticket.

Riverhead resident Maria Hand, who was playing with her sister Ms. LaBarca, said she hoped the luck would rub off, but added she was mostly playing for the fun.

“It’s fun to have a dream,” Ms. Hand said as she filled out her ticket. “And then just pray a lot.”

The drawing is scheduled for 11 p.m.

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03/30/12 4:00pm

JIM COLLIGAN FILE PHOTO | Deer hunting could soon be allowed on 250 acres of Suffolk County land. on the North Fork

Suffolk County is exploring the possibility of permitting deer hunting on up to 250 acres of county-owned North Fork land, Laura Klahre of the town’s land management department and deputy director of public works Jeff Standish said this week.

The two have also been working with the county on opening up 144 acres owned jointly by the county and town at Soundview Dunes, Dam Pond and Hashamomuck Pond. Bowhunters would have access to those properties between Nov. 15 and Dec. 31.

The trails would be open every day, but hunters would use other areas, which would be mapped out on a grid, at the same time.

Since the properties are partially owned by the county, all county residents would be able to use them, Mr. Standish and Ms. Klahre said during the Town Board’s Tuesday morning work session.

Mr. Standish said he’d like to get the county to give the town information on hunters who have county permits to use the land, in case a problem arises. The county could discipline any problem hunters if the town reports their permit number, he said.

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03/30/12 2:00pm

Suffolk County has its eye on preserving 56 acres of farmland along Route 48 in Cutchogue through the county’s Drinking Water Protection Program.

The property is owned by Elmer G. Tuthill and Beatrice E. Tuthill.

The land had been a vineyard at one point, said Southold land preservation coordinator Melissa Spiro, but the vines may not have been maintained recently. She said the property is south of the railroad tracks, between Elijah’s Lane and Alvah’s Lane.

The county legislature took the initial steps toward the acquisition at its March 27 meeting, when a resolution authorizing the purchase was placed on the agenda, said Lisa Keys, a legislative aide to Legislator Ed Romaine.

The purchase will next go before the Legislature’s environment, planning and agriculture subcommittee.

“Ed was helpful in the planning steps,” Ms. Keys said. “He had discussions with the property owners last year sometime. We’ve made an offer. They’ve accepted it and we’re ready for a closing.”

She said she hopes the Legislature will vote to acquire the property by its April 24 meeting.

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03/30/12 1:00pm

Rose Wengryn of Mattituck died March 28 at San Simeon by the Sound Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Greenport. She was 88.

She was born March 6, 1924, in Brooklyn to Katherine and Roman Babich and worked as a stenographer for the New York City Department of Education.

Family members said she enjoyed sewing and fixing clothes for people.

Predeceased by her husband, Michael, in 2005, Ms. Wengryn is survived by her son, Michael, of Bellrose, and her sisters, Mae Bileski of Ronkonkoma and Annette Stepiro of New Jersey.

Visiting hours will take place Saturday, March 31, and Sunday, April 1, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue. A service will be held at the funeral home Monday, April 2, at 10 a.m. Interment will be at Cutchogue Cemetery.

Donations may be made to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

03/30/12 12:32pm

Nettie Oates died on March 30, 2012, at Eastern Long Island Hospital. She was 95.

She was born in Greenport on Nov. 23, 1916, to Thomas and Katherine (Keleski) Rempe. Nettie and her husband, Joseph Oates, owned and operated the Sea Shell restaurant for many years.

Nettie was predeceased by her husband in 1990 and by her son-in-law, Gregory Power, in 2009. She is survived by her youngest brother, Fred Rempe of Greenport; her son, Joseph P. Oates and his wife, Kathleen, of Huntsville Texas; her daughter, Carole Power of Jensen Beach, Fla., and Southold; and her daughter, Donna Charnews and her husband, Raymond, of Bluffton, S.C. She also leaves eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Visiting hours will take place on Sunday, April 1, from 4 to 7 p.m. at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Southold. The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, April 2, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Ostrabrama R. C. Church in Cutchogue. Interment will follow at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Cutchogue.

This is a paid notice.