05/31/13 11:34pm
05/31/2013 11:34 PM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Police cruisers at Town Beach in Southold Friday afternoon.

A Queens woman was arrested after she left the scene of an accident on Adams Street in Greenport Friday afternoon and then got her car stuck on Southold Town Beach, police said.

Glorene Siarres, 63, of Douglaston, N.Y. was found to be intoxicated and in possession of marijuana when police arrested her shortly before 4 p.m.

She was charged with aggravated DWI, leaving the scene of an accident and unlawful possession of marijuana. She is expected to be arraigned Saturday morning in Southold Town Justice Court.

05/31/13 9:17pm
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Mattituck pentathlon athlete Shannon Dwyer competing in the 100-meter high hurdles on Friday.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Mattituck pentathlon athlete Shannon Dwyer competing in the 100-meter high hurdles on Friday.

SECTION XI INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIP STATE QUALIFIER

Delina Auciello is headed upstate and while she is up there, she will undoubtedly enjoy a piece of cake.

Auciello and another Bishop McGann-Mercy junior, Danisha Carter, both qualified on Friday for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association girls track and field championships. The timing is interesting, with the state meet to be held June 7 and 8 at Middletown High School. June 8 will be Auciello’s 17th birthday.

“That’s why I really wanted to go,” she said. “Yeah, it’s a birthday present.”

Auciello was ninth over all and the top Division II finisher in the 3,000 meters with a time of 10 minutes 58.39 seconds on Friday in the Section XI individual championship state qualifier at Port Jefferson High School. It was only her third time running the 3,000 competitively, and she was emotional following her race.

“I’m going to cry,” she said, but she successfully held back tears during an interview.

Auciello went to the state meet when she was a freshman as an alternate on a 4×400-meter relay team.

Cater punched her ticket to the state meet in both the 100- and 200-meter events by virtue of her performances on Friday. She clocked times of 13.03 seconds, bringing her 12th over all in the 100 preliminaries, and 26.22, good for seventh over all in the 200, but also qualifying her for Saturday’s finals in that event.

“We made it, yes,” Carter said. “I’m really, really excited, and it’s totally unbelievable.”

Carter said she was so amped up about the state qualifier that she “could not go to sleep last night at all. I was so pressured. I really, really wanted to do so good.”

Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Carter did well in the 200. She said it’s her favorite and best event. “That’s my race,” she said.

Earlier this season, Carter broke the school record in the 200 with a time of 26.20, which is just 2/100ths of a second off the time she recorded on Friday.

Now the two Monarchs will get to run on an even bigger stage.

“That’s all we wanted from the beginning of the year,” Carter said. “It’s what we’ve been looking forward to.”

If nothing else, it should make for a memorable birthday for Auciello.

TRACK NOTES Riverhead junior Kyra Braunskill took sixth place in the long jump with a distance of 17 feet 6 1/2 inches, a personal record.

The second and final day of the state qualifying meet will be tomorrow.

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05/31/13 5:39pm

TIM KELLY PHOTO | Marie Domenici addressing Southold Democrats during the party’s 2011 convention.

The Southold Democratic Party filled one of the vacancies in its 2013 town election slate Friday, choosing Mattituck resident Marie Domenici to run for town assessor.

“Marie is a tireless worker who follows town government and school boards closely,” said town Democratic Chairman Art Tillman. “She’s a totally involved civic person.”

Ms. Domenici was the first chairperson of the town’s renewable energy committee, which drafted the town code permitting wind turbines on agricultural lands. She previously worked as a senior project manager for American Express and most recently served as an energy educator in the solar energy industry.

Two years ago she ran unsuccessfully on the Democratic line for a seat on the Town Board.

“This is about being someone who’s involved in the community and if I can help people count me in,” she said.

The Democrats chose several candidates for town elected positions during the party’s convention Wednesday, but are still looking for another assessor, highway superintendent, Fishers Island justice and town clerk.

05/31/13 4:33pm
Splish Splash water coaster

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Bootlegger’s Run, the newest attraction at Splish Splash is 983-feet long.

Bootlegger’s Run, the newest attraction at Splish Splash in Riverhead will open Saturday, June 1, becoming the first water roller coaster in New York. Up to four riders get into toboggan-like cars that act like inner tubes during the ride’s drops, but shoot up the three hills of the coaster using magnetic devices called linear induction motors. The multi-million dollar ride is the most expensive in the park’s history.

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05/31/13 3:37pm

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Fire Fighter is currently docked at Mitchell Park Marina.

The decommissioned New York City fireboat Fire Fighter was a popular attraction at Mitchell Park Marina this Memorial Day weekend, but plans to move the boat to the commercial railroad dock came under fire during Tuesday’s Village Board meeting.

The contract between the village and the Fireboat Fire Fighter Museum to dock the vessel at Mitchell Park Marina will expire in June, according to Mayor David Nyce. Since its arrival in Greenport in February, the plan has been to ultimately move Fire Fighter to a permanent berth at the railroad dock near the East End Seaport Museum.

The relocation of the 120-foot ship, now a nonprofit floating museum, is pending a determination by Suffolk County on whether it can dock at the railroad pier. The county leases the railroad dock to the village for a token fee of $1 per year, according to Mayor David Nyce. In exchange, Greenport maintains the dock. The county, however, is the final authority on who can use the dock — which is intended exclusively for commercial fishermen — and it has the right to refuse any sublease agreement the village enters into regarding the railroad dock.

The possible move drew outrage from fisherman Sidney Smith, who said he believes there’s an overlooked problem with electrolysis in the water surrounding the pier. Electrolysis can cause premature rusting and deterioration of metal boat materials. Built in 1937, Fire Fighter has a riveted hull, the same material used to construct the Titanic, Mr. Smith pointed out during the meeting. Furthermore, the boat has not been hauled out in more than 12 years.

“No one knows the condition of the bottom [of Fire Fighter],” he said.

Mayor Nyce said after the meeting that though the boat had not been hauled out it was inspected last fall.

Mr. Smith is ultimately concerned moving Fire Fighter would take space away from commercial fishermen. He argued that allowing the floating museum to moor at the railroad dock would violate Greenport’s Waterfront Revitalization Act, which was enacted to protect its working waterfront.

“We will make sure anything we write protects the village,” Mr. Nyce said. “We will discuss with the current tenants at the railroad dock to figure out if there is enough room. We think there is.”

The railroad dock is in need of extensive repairs and the village hopes the lease agreement will help fund its restoration, according to the mayor.

Mr. Nyce said he is meeting with Suffolk County officials before the contract is set to expire on June 6.

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05/31/13 10:25am

Greenport Village Hall.

Greenport’s Section 8 housing program is stretched to its limit, prompting the village to take a close look at who receives rental subsidy assistance, according to village administrator David Abatelli.

The Section 8 program offers federal rent subsidies for moderate- and low-income residents. Eligibility and amount are based on annual gross income and family size. The housing benefits are opened-ended, allowing individuals and families to stay on Section 8 indefinitely so long as they meet federal standards.

Eighty Greenport families currently receive Section 8 subsidies. By next year, five will be cut from the program, Mr. Abatelli said.

To better understand how the funding is distributed, the village plans to list program participants in three categories: retirees, the disabled and low-income working families. Officials said the analysis is the local response to a nationwide problem.

In March, sweeping federal budget cuts known as the sequester dealt a large financial blow to the Section 8 program, operated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Federal law limits the program to U.S. citizens, but some non-citizens with immigration status are eligible, including agriculture workers who have been granted lawful temporary resident status and those with refugee or asylum status.

Sequestration reduced the amount of support for affordable rental housing by roughly 5 percent, according to HUD. The department estimates 125,000 recipients nationwide will totally lose their assistance as a result of the cuts.

Local public housing agencies such as the village have been authorized to take steps to address budget shortfalls, according to HUD. Those steps include holding back new vouchers and tightening eligibility standards.

As a precautionary measure, the village is no longer accepting Section 8 applications, Mr. Abatelli said.

Instead of abandoning people cut from Greenport’s program, the village may consider transferring some recipients to neighboring communities whose Section 8 housing programs are less stressed, he said.

Greenport faces a unique set of challenges regarding Section 8 housing, including high rentals and factoring in payouts to seasonal workers who use the program during the off season.

Mr. Abatelli is to present the report to the Village Board later this summer.

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05/31/13 5:00am

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | A helicopter spraying a Jamesport potato field in 2010.

Manufacturers of atrazine, one of the most widely used herbicides in the U.S., are pulling the product off Long Island.

Starting next spring, products containing atrazine – an herbicide commonly used to control broadleaf and grassy weeds – will bear a label indicating they are prohibited for use on Long Island, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The restriction, however, was not put in place by the state DEC – pesticide manufacturers, including Syngenta, voluntarily decided to restrict the product’s sale.

The pesticide is commonly used by Long Island corn and potato growers, as well as municipalities and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to control weeds at right of ways, said Joe Gergela, executive director of the Long Island Farm Bureau.

The manufacturers’ decision follows years of debate concerning atrazine’s presence in Long Island’s groundwater. It is the third-most prevalent pesticide detected in the groundwater, after metalaxyl and imidacloprid.

Between 2007 and 2010, atrazine was detected 124 times in 51 different locations on Long Island, according to the state DEC. Fifty-two of those findings involved 15 different locations on the North Fork.

The majority of those detected concentrations fell well below drinking water and groundwater standards, the DEC states in a data report.

A statement from Syngenta explained that the decision to pull atrazine followed the manufacturer’s involvement with the state DEC’s development of the Long Island Pesticide Use Management Plan, still in its draft stage.

“Older pesticide products that have been detected in groundwater at levels well within EPA guidelines, like atrazine, have been part of the discussion,” Syngenta representatives said in a statement to the newspaper.

Local farmers said alternatives for atrazine are available.

“I hate to lose another tool that we have for weed control, but there’s quite a bit of other alternatives that we can use. It’s not like some of the other pesticides,” said Phil Schmitt, a corn grower in Riverhead.

“We will live without it,” said Mr. Gergela. “We don’t like to lose it because we won’t get it back and it is harder to get the newer and better products here in Suffolk.”

Mr. Gergela said he believes it was a business decision made by the manufacturers.

“It costs millions of dollars to do the testing required to get a pesticide or herbicide registered for use here,” Mr. Gergela said. “We are such a small part of the market it is not worth it for them to go through the hoops.”

Syngenta’s Long Island customers represent less than half a percent of all its U.S. customers, representatives said.

Farm bureau members say their biggest concern is making sure the effective alternatives are available to growers.

“Almost all of the new pesticide products being produced are safe and more effective, so we are trying to get them [to be sold in the area],” said Jeff Williams, manager of governmental relations with the New York Farm Bureau. “It’s a frustration that while these products are coming off the market we are still working to get the newer products on.”

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05/30/13 6:00pm
05/30/2013 6:00 PM
All proceeds from the golf outing will go towards Villa Veritas, an upstate New York inpatient recovery center.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO  |  All proceeds from the golf outing will go towards Villa Veritas, an upstate New York inpatient recovery center.

Two members of the 1969 “Miracle” Mets, former football players and boxers helped raise funds for an upstate New York inpatient alcohol and drug addiction recovery center Thursday afternoon.

The Fourth Annual Mainstream House Golf Outing at Cherry Creek Golf Course, which featured more than 100 golfers, was organized by Bobby Hartmann, who runs the Mainstream House recovery center. Mr. Hartmann, who is in his 12th year of recovery, gives all of the proceeds from the golf outing to the Villa Veritas Foundation, which he and many others have used to help fight their addictions.

“Since then I’ve felt a debt of gratitude,” he said. “That’s why I do all this … They’ve touched a lot of lives.”

Mr. Hartmann said many of those in attendance had recovered at the Villa Veritas center. Ken Lavery, a clinical coordinator for the center, said seeing former patients years later, still clean, is among the best parts of the outing.

Several sports stars attended the fundraiser, including Ed Kranepool, the Met’s second all-time hits leader. Former Met and Long Island Ducks owner Bud Harrelson attended along with boxer Gerry Cooney, former Jets football players Greg Buttle and Rich Caster.

“It’s a good cause, good people,” Mr. Kranepool said. “We’re just trying to raise awareness of this issue.”

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05/30/13 4:00pm

FILE PHOTO | This year’s Relay For Life will start Saturday night at Cochran Park.

More than $50,000 has already been raised for this year’s Relay For Life that begins Saturday night at Jean Cochran Park in Peconic.

The eighth annual American Cancer Society Benefit begins with an opening ceremony at 6:30 p.m. The Luminaria Ceremony is at 9:30 p.m. Donors can choose to dedicate a personal luminaria in honor, memory or support of a loved one. Or donation dollars can be assigned to a team or participant to help them reach their goal.

The event will feature live music along with Henna tattoos, chair massages, a bake sale and face painting.

Check-in begins at 4 p.m.

For more information on the event, click here.

Check out photos from last year’s Relay for Life here.

05/30/13 1:45pm

TIM KELLY PHOTOS | Southold Democratic Town Board candidates Mary Eisenstein and Ron Rothman.

Giving Republican Town Justice William Price the Democratic nomination after the GOP dropped him from its ticket was a headline maker, but it wasn’t the only decision made during the town Democrats’ nominating convention Wednesday night.

The party also selected a third-generation Southold store owner and a communications specialist and mediator from Mattituck to top the Southold Democratic Party’s ticket in the fall elections.

The supervisor’s position, which has a four-year term, is not on this year’s ballot.

The party also selected three Town Trustee candidates and one town assessor hopeful, but left open two assessors positions, Fishers Island justice, highway superintendent and town clerk.

The Town Board candidates are Ron Rothman of Rothman’s Department Store on Main Road in Southold and Mary Eisenstein, the operator of Melmar Enterprises, which offers workshops in corporate and individual communications. She’s also a mediator who has worked to resolve civil cases before the Town Justice Court.

For Trustee, the Democrats chose South African native Geoffery Well, a retired corporate IT officer; Joe Finora Jr, one of the organizers of the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League and Bill Funke, who prior to his retirement worked in the marine insurance industry.

Although three Trustee positions will be on this year’s ballot, the party selected just one candidate. Southold resident Jason Petrucci, who earned a master’s in government and politics from the University of Maryland, will run to fill the 26 months left in Assessor Darline Duffy’s term. Ms. Duffy is retiring this week.

The party left it to Chairman Art Tillman to continue the search for candidates for the other positions.

The Democrats were thrown a curve Wednesday morning when Highway Superintendent Pete Harris, the party’s only representative in local elected office, announced he will retire at the end of his term.

Mr. Tillman said he has “feelers out” for potential highway candidates.

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