07/31/13 7:31pm
07/31/2013 7:31 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | North Fork right fielder Ryan Solberg making a catch for a long out.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | North Fork right fielder Ryan Solberg making a catch for a long out.


Armed with a broken bat, Ryan Solberg shattered the championship dreams — and hearts — of the Westhampton Aviators. At the same time, he gave his own team, the North Fork Ospreys, a boost, like a warm wind current upon which to soar to greater heights.

And it all came from a broken bat.

When a hitter breaks a bat while making contact with a pitch, it often results in a foul ball, a shallow popup or a weak grounder. But what may have been the most memorable broken bat of Solberg’s career resulted in a single that is sending the Ospreys to the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League finals.

“It makes it a little special,” Solberg said. “I have to keep that bat, for sure.”

With one out, two runners on base and two strikes against him in the top of the 12th inning, Solberg muscled the ball over second baseman Ryan Spaulding and into right-center field, scoring Jim Pjura for the go-ahead run in a 3-2 triumph over the Westhampton Aviators in the decisive third game of their semifinal series on Wednesday evening.

“I had a nice Texas Leaguer there,” he said after the game at Aviator Field in Westhampton. “That’s how baseball is. You just need a lucky break.”

Solberg said the pitch jammed him a little, but he thought the ball would clear the infield, so when he saw Pjura running back to second base, he yelled at him to go home.

Aviators manager Lou Bernardi said the single summed up a series in which hits “came at a premium.”

The Ospreys advance to the best-of-three finals against the Center Moriches Battlecats, who had swept their semifinal opponents, the Sag Harbor Whalers, in two games. That series will start Friday night in Peconic.

ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Dalton Curtis was the second of three pitchers North Fork used in its 12-inning victory over Westhampton.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Dalton Curtis was the second of three pitchers North Fork used in its 12-inning victory over Westhampton.

The Ospreys have made quite an about-face. They started the season with a 2-8 record and were at the bottom of the standings at one point before gradually working their way up the ladder. They have turned their season around. Wednesday’s result was their 13th win in 15 games, and now the fifth-year club is two wins away from what would be its second league title. The Ospreys were Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League champions in 2010. Like that 2010 team, these Ospreys certainly know how to win.

“We do a lot of different things to win games,” said Ospreys manager Bill Ianniciello.

On Wednesday there wasn’t much that the Ospreys didn’t do well. Their pitching and defense were top-notch.

Ospreys reliever Anthony Rosati entered the game in the bottom of the 12th after Cole Miller had led off with a stand-up double. But Rosati retired all three batters he faced, with the help of a fine stop by third baseman Ryan Burns of a hard-hit grounder by Darius Washington, who was thrown out on the play for the first out. The first baseman, Mike Hayden, did well to pick the ball out of the dirt.

“That’s the stuff that wins and loses games,” said Ianniciello.

All of the Aviators’ runs came in the first inning when J. C. Brandmaier, a strong candidate for the league’s most valuable player award, catapulted a two-run homer for a 2-1 lead.

Brandmaier, a superb talent from Dowling College, nearly won the triple crown this summer. He led the league in batting average (.382), was tied for first in home runs (6) and tied for second in runs batted in (28).

Bernardi knows who is getting his MVP vote.

“He had a tremendous season,” the manager said. “He was the guy that every pitcher circled in the lineup and said, ‘We don’t want this guy to beat us.’ There was no hot or cold streak for him. He stayed consistent for two months.”

But after Brandmaier’s homer, the pitching of Joe Salanitri, Dalton Curtis and Rosati kept the Aviators scoreless the rest of the way. Salanitri was economical, needing only 83 pitches over the eight innings he worked. The right-hander gave up three hits, one walk and had three strikeouts.

The Ospreys took a 1-0 lead in the first. Austin Miller delivered a double before Hayden singled him home.

“These are one of those games where you’re just sitting on the edge of your seat the whole game,” Salanitri said. “This kind of game is what baseball is all about.”

It was a remarkably tight, well-played series that underscored baseball’s fickle nature. After the Ospreys took Game 1, 1-0, the Aviators replied with a 4-2 win in the second game.

“It’s been a great series,” Salanitri said. “There were a lot of points in this game where we were just like, ‘Oh boy,’ and you’re thinking, ‘This doesn’t look good for us.’ And then all of a sudden we’re back up. It’s really a roller-coaster ride, so you just have to hang with it the whole time.”

Solberg remembers the way the ride ended last summer, with him making the final out in the first round of the playoffs. He should have fonder memories of these playoffs.

“It was good to come back and redeem myself, to be able to get the big hit at the end,” he said.

After Burns squeezed Dan Parisi’s popup for the game’s final out, the Ospreys happily exchanged high-fives. They could finally breath easy again.

“Thank God it’s over,” Salanitri said. “Let’s go on to the championship.”

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07/31/13 5:00pm
JAY SCHNEIDERMAN COURTESY RENDERING | The footbridge that would cross the Peconic River and connect Riverside to downtown Riverhead.

JAY SCHNEIDERMAN COURTESY RENDERING | The footbridge that would cross the Peconic River and connect Riverside to downtown Riverhead.

The Suffolk County Legislature voiced its support Tuesday of Southampton Town’s application for state funding to build a pedestrian footbridge that would span the Peconic River and connect Riverside to downtown Riverhead.

The resolution, which was approved 16-0, allows the recently acquired county parkland in Riverside to be used as the southern terminus for the proposed bridge, and authorizes the county to take whatever steps are needed to facilitate the bridge plan.

The northern part of the proposed bridge would begin near the Long Island Aquarium on the Riverhead Town side of the river, officials said.

Approvals from Southampton and Riverhead towns would ultimately be needed as well.

Southampton Town also has applied for a $50,000 county grant to make a walking trail from Flanders Road to the river, at a point where the bridge would begin.

The estimated cost of the bridge is $1.145 million, according to county Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk), who sponsored the resolution. The state grant being sought allows the cost of land acquisition — which was already paid to the former property owner — to be used as a matching portion of the grant, so long as it was purchased in the past three years.

In this case, the $2.4 million land acquisition occurred in September of 2011, which puts it within that three-year window, and means that the entire $1.145 million cost of the bridge could be funded by the state grant if it is awarded for the project, Mr. Schneiderman said in an interview.

“It wouldn’t cost the county or the towns of Southampton or Riverhead anything,” he said.

The 14-acre parkland in question had been owned by Dede Gotthelf of Southampton, who had planned to built a hotel there, but her proposed plans got bogged down by environmental concerns and she sold the property to Suffolk.

The grant being sought has an Aug. 12 deadline for submission, so Mr. Schneiderman had to convince Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone to put the vote on the agenda through a certificate of necessity, allowing it to skip the committee process.

The Flanders Riverside and Northampton Community Association is already in support of the foot bridge, said Vince Taldone, the group’s president.

“We have these 14 acres that were acquired for parkland and now we’re looking to find what we can do with it,” he said. “How can we make the best use of it? Now is the time to start looking, because Southampton Town is seriously engaged in a revitalization effort for Riverside.”

The town has a Riverside economic development committee that is planning on issuing a request for proposals from developers with ideas on how to rebuild the beleaguered Riverside hamlet.

“We think one of the things that will make the area more attractive to investors is to have a beautiful park across the street” from a Main Street-like business district envisioned for Flanders Road, Mr. Taldone said in an interview.

“This would be a great addition to the kind of economic development and facelift we’re trying to bring to that area,” Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne Holst told the Legislature Tuesday. “It’s somewhat unique and a great attraction that would help both Riverhead and the Town of Southampton in the areas of Flanders and Riverside, which have been in some economic distress.”

Mr. Schneiderman recently unveiled a 3D computer graphic “vision” for Riverside at a FRNCA meeting, calling for the creation of a small downtown area near the traffic circle. The vision includes the walking trail and footbridge over the Peconic.

“I think this will become a landmark,” Mr. Schneiderman said of the proposed bridge. “People will get married on the bridge, and people will come to Riverhead just to walk on the bridge.”


The legislator spent Wednesday measuring the height of the Route 105 bridge, which spans the Peconic River to the east, with some string he bought from Kmart to find out how tall the proposed footbridge would have to be.

At high tide, the Route 105 bridge was 27 feet above the water, so the Peconic River bridge would not need to be any taller than that in order to avoid obstructing boat traffic, Mr. Scheiderman said.

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07/31/13 2:43pm

BING MAP IMAGE | The town plans to prohibit vehicle parking at all times along a half-mile stretch of County Route 48 from the western edge of Depot Lane to the eastern edge of a private road known as Road B near Vineyard 48.

In response to the outcry from Cutchogue residents, the town is considering new legislation to prohibit parking on the North Road in the vicinity of controversial Vineyard 48.

On Tuesday, the Town Board scheduled an Aug. 27 public hearing on the parking ban.

It is “no secret” that the town disapproves of Vineyard 48’s business practices, Supervisor Scott Russell said after the meeting. The winery has been at the center of countless complaints, including loud music and patrons wandering onto neighboring properties and having sex in public. Excessive traffic and disregard for parking regulations have also caused concern among vineyard neighbors.

“When you have an operator causing a public safety issue something needs to be done,” Mr. Russell said.

That “something” would be to prohibit vehicle parking at all times along a half-mile stretch of County Route 48 from the western edge of Depot Lane to the eastern edge of a private road known as Road B.

BILL SHIPMAN COURTESY PHOTO | Parking associated with County Route 48 nearest Vineyard 48 has resulted in conditions that impact the public health, safety and welfare in the surrounding community, according to the draft law.

Parking on Route 48 nearest Vineyard 48 has created conditions that affect public health, safety and welfare in the surrounding community, according to the draft law. The board believes these conditions have caused undue congestion, restricted on access and maneuverability and had dangerous traffic impacts, according to the draft law.

Accordingly, the town believes it necessary to impose parking and standing limitations to protect the residents of and visitors to the town, restrict the blocking of traffic flow and ensure the orderly use of roads within the town, according the proposal.

“It’s a continual problem,” Horseshoe Drive resident Bill Shipman said. “I do think it’s sad that you have to put a parking restriction on a particular area because a particular business is doing whatever they want.”

Councilman James Dinizo agreed.

“It is very hard for the town to enforce their rules when people want to just avert them knowing full well that we can’t do anything about it on the spot,” he said. “And then you people end up in the hell you’re in right now.”

The new parking restriction proposal was introduced the same day the board passed a controversial special events law, which came in response to residents’ complaints about such events — most notably at Vineyard 48 — and concern about the town’s options in addressing reported code violations.

The Aug. 27 hearing will start at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall meeting room.

07/31/13 12:55pm

Previous public discussions on Southold Town’s proposed leash law often drew dozens of people, but attendance at Tuesday night’s hearing was noticeably sparse in comparison.

Only a handful of people attended the Town Board’s third hearing in the past six months on a draft law designating specific times dogs are permitted on town beaches without leashes. But unleashed dogs run through other recreation areas at any time.

This week, for the first time, those against allowing dogs on the beach appeared to be as equally vocal as leash law supporters.

“You lost me on the logic,” said Mary McTigue of Southold. “Why in a recreation area such as a park would a leash be required, but if I’m on a beach it’s not? All bets are off at 6 o’clock?”

Current policy prohibits dogs on town-owned beaches at all times. After a first public hearing earlier this year, those who spoke overwhelmingly supported the idea of allowing dogs to run freely on the beach. Seeking a compromise, the town revised the proposal to ban dogs from town-owned beaches between May 1 and Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dogs could run free on town beaches during the off-season.

The draft also prohibits dogs and other domestic animals in recreation areas, picnic spots, children’s play areas and athletic fields where “no dogs allowed” signs are posted. Exemptions would be made for service and hunting dogs.

The town began re-examining its policies last year after Mattituck resident Dan Catullo said he was attacked on Bailie Beach near his home.

“This happened outside the purview of your proposed new law,” he said. “Thus rendering moot the very problem that has precipitated this action in the first place. I don’t want them in my yard or at my throat.”

Mr. Catullo said Southold has the draft law backward. He cited East Hampton’s recent approval of a dog leash law that requires pet owners to keep dogs leashed at all times while on the beach. East Hampton’s law reversed its previous policy that permitted dogs on the beach during the summer season during designated hours.

“They have seen the light in my view,” Mr. Catullo said. “Apparently these people are wise enough to go in that direction. It seems to me we are not wise enough to do the same.”

Fueling the concerns of the opposition, Councilman Chris Talbot suggested the leash law would probably not be enforced.

“Have you gotten a ticket for your dog walking around on the beach now?” Mr. Talbot said. “I find it hard to believe something would happen.”

Once a new policy is in place, the board will work with the chief of police and bay constables to develop methods of enforcing the code, Supervisor Scott Russell said.

The board tabled the leash law, but is expected to re-address the policy during its Aug. 13 meeting.

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07/31/13 10:00am

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Chris Ujkic is seeking his seventh straight title in the Bob Wall Memorial Tennis Tournament.

Steve Paskiewicz earned a place in the men’s singles final of the Bob Wall Memorial Tennis Tournament with a 6-0, 6-1 semifinal defeat of No. 3 seed Richard Anderson. Paskiewicz will play the No. 1 seed Chris Ujkic in Saturday’s final at Robert W. Tasker Park in Peconic. Ujkic is seeking his seventh straight men’s singles championship and 19th title overall in the tournament.

The women’s singles final will pit Rosemary Krocke against Kate Freudenberg.

Richard Chizever will get a chance to defend his title in the men’s 50-plus singles division thanks to his 6-0, 6-0 semifinal win over No. 3 Tom Cahill. No. 4 John Czartosieski recovered to take down Andrezej Kopala in a three-setter, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.

Saturday will be a busy day for Chizever. He will also play in the men’s 50-plus doubles final along with his partner, Bob Lum. The top-seeded pair will be matched against No. 2 Tom Cahill and Ed Lee. Chizever and Lum beat No. 4 Richard Brooks and Mark McDuffy, 6-0, 6-0, in the semifinals.

All of Saturday’s finals will be played at Robert W. Tasker Park, starting with the women’s singles final and the men’s 50-plus doubles match at 8 a.m. The men’s singles final is set for 10 a.m., with the men’s 50-plus singles contest to go at 11 a.m.

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07/31/13 8:00am
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Allied Building Supply is looking to move to land in an industrial subdivision owned by 1998 Peconic LLC, a group headed by Paul Elliot of Miller Place and Jim Miller of Southold. The property is just south of the Cinco de Mayo restaurant on Route 25.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Allied Building Supply is looking to move to land in an industrial subdivision owned by 1998 Peconic LLC, just south of the Cinco de Mayo restaurant on Route 25.

Allied Building Products, whose representatives last month told the Riverhead Industrial Development Agency that the New Jersey company was torn between Calverton and Westhampton as the site for its first East End location, appears to have chosen Calverton.

Paul Elliott, part owner of 1998 Peconic LLC, said in an interview this week that Allied has signed a lease with that company. The lease is conditioned on the company’s receiving IDA tax incentives.

The incentives for which Allied and 1998 Peconic would qualify include sales tax abatements on the cost of building supplies, mortgage tax abatements and a property tax abatement on the value of improvements to the property that starts at 50 percent and decreases five percent per year over 10 years. The value of the land would not be subject to the abatement.

IDA members told Allied representatives July 8 that the board could not grant any abatement without a signed lease for the Calverton property. The next IDA meeting is Monday, Aug. 5, at 5 p.m.

Mr. Elliot, of Soundview Realty Group, owns 1998 Peconic LLC with Jim Miller of Miller Environmental Group Inc. 1998 Peconic has proposed building a 16,700-square-foot industrial facility on property on the east side of Edwards Avenue, north of Miller Environmental and south of Cinco de Mayo restaurant.

The Riverhead Planning Board is also scheduled to vote on a resolution Thursday night to approve the proposed commercial building, showroom and sales office that will be constructed for Allied Building Products, according to the Planning Board agenda. The building would be on a new road called Miller Way.

David Doran, Allied’s regional manager for New York, told the IDA on July 8 the company was considering either the Edwards Avenue site or a site in Westhampton near Gabreski Airport.

“Right now, we just want to see what our options are,” he said at the time.

The company will ultimately need 30,000 square feet but has an option to expand at the Edwards Avenue site, he said.

Allied Building Products is a family-owned building supply company that was started in Jersey City in 1950 and now has more than 180 locations across the country and over 3,100 employees, according to its website.

Allied would have six or seven employees at the Calverton site in the first year and “ramp it up quickly after that,” said Mr. Doran said. The company pays a “living wage” of more than $20 per hour, he told the IDA board last month.

He had also told the IDA that tax abatements were being offered at the Westhampton site as well, although it was unclear who was offering them. The Suffolk County IDA said it was not working with Allied Building Products, and Southampton Town doesn’t have an IDA.

Mr. Doran could not be reached for comment this week.

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07/30/13 10:26pm
07/30/2013 10:26 PM

After a half hour of contentious debate, the Southold Town Board adopted a special events law to the “tremendous disappointment” of the Long Island Wine Council.

Members of the agricultural community criticized the draft law during a public two weeks ago when speakers offered numerous suggestions to amend the policy they said unfairly burdens businesses with fees and penalties for holding large events. Opponents of the bill said they were blindsided by the board’s decision to vote without incorporating any of their suggestions.

“The Town of Southold has chosen to burden the small businessman with time consuming applications and fees and to threaten them with burdensome fines and penalties,” said Sal Diliberto of the Long Island Wine Council. “The town should be doing things to benefit the industry, not limiting the ability of that industry to function in today’s difficult economic times.”

The law gives the town more control over events held at wineries and other properties and prevents an unlimited amount of special events from taking place at any one location. It would require a permit for any gathering that exceeds a building’s occupancy or parking capacity or is otherwise prohibited by the property’s zoning. A permit would also be required for events involving the closing of a public street, the use of amplified sound, the sale of food or merchandise, the placement of portable toilets and a number of other circumstances.

Fines for violators range from $500 to $5,000.

The agricultural community was not alone its opposition. For the first time, councilman Chris Talbot spoke out and voted against the law.

“There are changes that need to be made and I’m not supporting it,” he said. “The wine industry has grown this area. So many people come out here and spend their money. We are reaping all the benefits of these wineries and farms and for government, a Republican government, to throw another hurdle in the way of these businesses that are struggling to survive… I just have to say no to this law.”

The measure passed 5-1 with Mr. Talbot voting no.

Read more in Thursday’s issue of The Suffolk Times in both our print and electronic editions.

07/30/13 10:25pm
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | North Fork center fielder Nick Heath closing in on a  catch of a line drive hit by Westhampton's Darius Washington in the second inning.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | North Fork center fielder Nick Heath closing in on a catch of a line drive hit by Westhampton’s Darius Washington in the second inning.


The dominant theme so far in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League playoffs is that these games are close affairs. Just look at the final scores from the first four games in the two semifinal series: 1-0, 3-0 (in 13 innings), 3-2 (in 10 innings), 4-2.

No blowouts here. Those results indicate that runs are hard to come by, and so are wins. No one said the road to the league championship would be easy.

“You have some of the best players from around the country playing together, and no one wants to lose,” said Ryan Burns, the North Fork Ospreys captain and third baseman. “You’re either a winner or you’re not, and I think everyone here wants to be a winner.”

In tight games such as these, the slightest thing can mean the difference between victory or defeat. One pitch. One swing of the bat. One catch.

And then there is what Cole Miller did for the Westhampton Aviators on Tuesday night at Jean W. Cochran Park in Peconic.

With two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh inning, Miller cleared the bases with a double that gave the Aviators a three-run lead, sending them on their way to a 4-2 victory over the Ospreys to force a decisive third game in the semifinal series.

“He definitely carried us offensively today and put some good swings on the ball,” Aviators manager Lou Bernardi said. “Cole is definitely an offensive threat. He’s a big lefty in the middle of the lineup, and it’s hard to throw a fastball by him.”

As the Ospreys learned only too well.

Losing is not something the Ospreys have been used to lately. Tuesday’s defeat was only the team’s second loss in 14 games.

Miller had a tremendous game. The left fielder, a quality player from a strong Georgia Tech program, went 3 for 4 (all of those hits were doubles) and drove in four runs.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | The osprey sculpture at Jean W. Cochran Park looking down at the North Fork baseball team named after it.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | The osprey sculpture at Jean W. Cochran Park looking down at the North Fork baseball team named after it.

“I like the spotlight,” he said. “I like the big game.”

After losing the first game of the series, 1-0, the day before, the Aviators were facing elimination. Then Miller stepped to the plate in the seventh and came through in a big way.

After Ospreys pitcher Tyler Knight retired the first two batters that inning, he walked Joey Havrilak and saw Ryan Spaulding line a broken-bat single to left field. That marked the end of the night for Knight, who gave up four hits over six and two-third innings and walked off the field to warm applause from the home fans.

His replacement, David Deliz, struck J. C. Brandmaier with his first pitch, loading the bases for Miller. When Miller saw a pitch he liked, he ripped a shot past the sprawling left fielder, Michael Fries, clearing the bases and snapping a 1-1 tie.

“Two-out hits are big,” Burns said. “That’s what wins and loses ball games.”

Miller said: “I give all the credit to my teammates to put me in that position, and I was lucky enough to get a bat on the ball, and good things happen.”

It was also Miller who doubled in the run that made it 1-1 an inning earlier.

The Ospreys have a Miller, too — right fielder Austin Miller. He was responsible for North Fork’s first run in the fifth, which he led off by looping a hit to center field. After a walk to Nick Heath and a double steal, Miller beat shortstop Rick Alessi’s throw home on Mike Hayden’s fielder’s choice.

The Ospreys’ second run came in the eighth when Hayden scored on a double-play ball.

Kyle Raleigh was the winning pitcher. Over seven innings, he gave up six hits and one run.

Ryan Solberg and Fries had two hits each for the Ospreys. Fries stole two bases and Solberg had one theft.

During the game it was announced that the Center Moriches Battlecats had topped the Sag Harbor Whalers, 3-2, to sweep that series and advance to the finals. The Ospreys wanted to conclude their semifinal series, too, but Cole Miller had other ideas.

Now it comes down to Game 3, which is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at Aviator Field in Westhampton.

“It’s going to come down to tomorrow,” Burns said. “Not a lot of us will ever get to play for a championship again. College baseball is so competitive. I know I’ve never dogpiled. I’ve never won a state title in high school. I’ve never had the chance to go to Omaha yet.”

Bernardi had to like the way his Aviators responded after a difficult defeat one day earlier. He said, “Today was a game that we knew it was win or go home, and we wanted to play one more game, and we get to do that tomorrow.”

It wouldn’t be going out on a limb to predict another close one. After all, it’s the playoffs.

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07/30/13 5:32pm

Shelley L. Bartolini of Southold died July 29 at his home. He was 93 years old.

He was born July 21, 1920, in Brooklyn to Cesare and Magdalena Bartolini. He was a scenic artist in New York City, a theatrical set designer and a member of United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829.

Family members said he loved sculpting, painting and design and also the North Fork, spending time in the local cafés in Mattituck and Greenport.

Mr. Bartolini is survived by his life partner, Mary Kirsch of Southold; his sons, Marcello, of Yorktown Heights, and Shelley Jr., of California.

Arrangements were handled by Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue. Cremation was private.

07/30/13 5:05pm

John F. Irving of Nassau Point, Cutchogue, died July 30 at his home. He was 71 years old.

The family will receive visitors Thursday, Aug. 1, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. and Friday, Aug 2, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue. Cremation will be private.

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