12/31/13 2:42pm
12/31/2013 2:42 PM


Locals could be heading back to work in 2014 with some snow, as the National Weather Service has forecasted a chance of snow starting mid-day Thursday, as well as a brief flurry to ring in the new year tonight.

Areas of low pressure moving in increase the chance of snowfall on Thursday, with moderate accumulations expected between five and eight inches, said Joey Picca of the NWS. While heavier snow is expected later this week, snow flurries are expected tonight starting about 5 p.m., Mr. Picca said, clearing up just in time for a sunny but cool New Year’s Day.

Eastern Long Island residents could see wind gusts upwards of 30 to 35 mph, with snowfall ending mid-day Friday, he said, adding that these predictions were still preliminary.

In the meantime, the NWS has issued a hazardous weather outlook throughout Long Island, New Jersey, and southern Connecticut, noting that “a prolonged period of snow is expected late Wednesday night into Friday morning. At least six inches of snow is possible … with blowing and drifting of snow due to strong winds.”

Check back with the Suffolk Times as more information becomes available.

12/31/13 2:30pm

FILE PHOTO | Who will be our Person of the Year?

The Suffolk Times will announce its Person of the Year in its Jan. 2, 2014 issue.

Here’s a list of people that have won the award since 2000:

2012: Southold Town’s Emergency Response Team

2011: Paul & Barbara Stoutenburgh

2010: Scott Russell

2009: Ryan Creighton

2008: North Fork NJROTC

2007: Maureen’s Haven

2006: Southold Town Animal Shelter

2005: Ronnie Wacker

2004: Josh Horton

2003: Regina Maris crew

2002: Colin Van Tuyl

2001: Frank LePre

2000: Ellie Hall

12/31/13 12:00pm
CYNDI MURRAY FILE PHOTO  |  A group of politicians are protesting the sale of Plum Island Animal Disease Research Center.

CYNDI MURRAY FILE PHOTO | Town leaders eliminated any chance of overdevelopment on Plum Island this year, earning a thumbs up from this paper.

A focus on deer

What has four legs, a white tail and is considered a “public health crisis”?

At this point, it’s probably clear the answer is deer.

With frustrations coming to a boiling point over the damage the animals cause to crops, health and cars, local officials took more action this year than in recent memory to get the deer population in check.

An ad hoc group was formed to bring numbers down, legislators lobbied a state assemblyman from Lindenhurst to move on a bill he’s kept in a key committee and, before long, the federal government is expected to bring in a team of sharpshooters to cull the herd and reduce the crisis.

Rotten to the Common Core

New York State has agreed to adopt high-stakes testing and controversial teacher evaluation systems tied to Common Core State Standards for a one-time installment of $700 millions in federal Race to the Top grant money. That’s less than 3 percent of what the state spends in a single year on education, experts say. Hardly seems worth the money to tie ourselves to a system that, at best, may help already college-bound kids attend marginally better colleges but will likely cause at-risk youths, English language learners and students with disabilities to fail in school in even greater numbers. Since the overhaul wasn’t created by legislation, lawmakers can, and do, deflect blame.

Protecting Plum Island’s future

It’s not often these days that a town can zone more than 800 acres without writing over existing zoning. But that happens to be the case with Plum Island, the home of a federal animal disease research center that has been in headlines for years since the federal government decided in 2008 to close the lab, sell the land and use the proceeds to pay for the cost of a new $1.1 billion facility in Kansas.

While visions of golf courses, casinos and high-end resorts have danced in the heads of some at the thought of such a large space, town leaders eliminated any possibility of overdevelopment on Plum Island with the zoning it enacted this year.

No clam chowder for you

It’s hard to imagine a Greenport Maritime Festival without a chowder contest. But that’s what we got this year.

In what organizers called an effort to better reflect Greenport’s legacy as an oystering community, this year’s Maritime Festival instead featured hundreds of oysters paired with local wine and beer.

The move didn’t sit well with locals who questioned why the committee felt oysters are so much more important to our heritage than clams.

We agree the move was short-sighted and only stood to rob people of an event they look forward to each year. Apparently the committee has come around on the issue and the chowder contest will be back for 2014.

A good first step for Dems

The Southold Town Democratic Committee deserves some credit for producing a nearly full slate of candidates this year.

While they caught some grief from this newspaper for not putting together the most qualified bunch, we’d be remiss not to at least acknowledge that the committee worked hard to give Southold residents a choice this year.

It was a good step forward for the party and, we hope a sign of even better things to come in a town where voters too often haven’t had any choice at all in many races.

12/31/13 10:30am

permitSouthold Town residents who already purchased dump and beach stickers for 2014 will need to head back to town hall to pick up a new one after the town received substandard stickers. And those who haven’t bought one yet will have to wait.

According to the town, the permits that were printed and had been previously sold were “defective,” since they were printed with material meant for indoor stickers, as opposed to the outdoor material needed to stick on cars heading to the town dump and beaches.

“The glue doesn’t hold up to the [outdoors] and the stickers are not vinyl,” according to the town clerk’s office. In addition, due to complaints about the pale gray color of the disposal permits, the color will be changed.

It’s not immediately clear when the new stickers will be in, though the town is hoping early next week. But until then — and for two weeks after they come in — $5 dumping fees for single-entry residential vehicles will be waived.

In addition, enforcement of beach permits will temporarily be put on hold while the town waits for the new stickers to arrive.

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12/31/13 10:28am

Robert Peters of Southold died Dec. 23, 2013, during surgery in Manhattan. He was 75.

Family members and friends said Mr. Peters enjoyed boating locally, gardening and encouraging local artists and gallery owners. His Southold home, they said, was “a work of art for him and a never ceasing delight.”

During his career in the financial sector, Mr. Peters also became an art collector and dealer, focusing on ethnographic art from around the world. Friends and family said they will miss his stories, jokes and “direct view of whatever crossed his gaze.”

After a graveside service in Queens, Mr. Peters’ family received visitors at his apartment in Manhattan.

12/31/13 9:56am

Jan B. Hajek of New Suffolk died Dec. 19, 2013, at St. Catherine of Sienna Hospital in Smithtown. She was 59.

She was born in Riverhead May 17, 1954, to William and Janet Yetter and attended Southold High School.

Ms. Hajek, a homemaker, was predeceased by her husband, George, and is survived by her daughter, Chantel, of New Suffolk; her mother, Janet McGowan of New Suffolk; her sister, Jean Yetter of Hampton Bays; and one grandchild.

Arrangements for private cremation were handled by Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue.

12/31/13 9:00am
FILE PHOTO | Vineyard 48

FILE PHOTO | Vineyard 48 in Cutchogue.

Update: Vineyard 48 back in business as it appeals SLA license revocation

After years of complaints from local residents, a back-and-forth with town leaders and even a lawsuit submitted against it on the town’s behalf, controversial Vineyard 48 had its liquor license revoked by the State Liquor Authority in December.

The ruling came as a relief to town officials, police and, perhaps most of all, neighbors of the Cutchogue winery who have long complained about a host of concerns, including loud music and patrons allegedly having sex in public on private property.

In response to those claims, the town put activities at all local wineries under the microscope. However, the Southold Town Board’s attempt to pass two separate pieces of legislation concerning the use of wineries has proven a tricky task.

After years of fine-tuning, the town adopted its controversial special events law this year, but the issue became muddied by a separate proposed policy to change the town’s legal definition of permitted winery uses.

In November the Planning Board requested that the Zoning Board of Appeals evaluate what constitutes a winery, including whether a “dance and/or social club” was permissible in a tasting room and whether a retail cigar shop was an acceptable accessory use at a vineyard, ZBA chair Leslie Weisman said.
Both those activities had become common practice at Vineyard 48, according to the ZBA, prompting investigations by both the town and the State Liquor Authority.

Vineyard 48 owner Matthew Metz has refuted all accusations against the vineyard and called the town a “bully,” saying it is unfairly targeting his business.

Shortly before the winery lost its liquor license Dec. 18, Mr. Metz filed suit against the town to defend his business, Supervisor Scott Russell said.

As the legal battle continues, the town’s attempt to hone its definition of a winery will have to wait until 2014.

Editor’s note: We’re counting down the top 10 news stories of 2013. Check back every day until Jan. 1 to follow along.

12/31/13 7:44am

A traffic stop in Riverside led to the arrest of a Greeenport man on drug charges early Tuesday, police said.

Howard Brooks, 49, was stopped by police on Flanders Road about 1:50 a.m. when he was found to be in possession of crack cocaine and marijuana,  Southampton Town police said.

He was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of marijuana and third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, police said.

He was being held for arraignment in Southampton Town Justice Court.


12/31/13 7:00am
BILL LANDON PHOTO | Greenport/Southold/Mattituck's Gene Allen tries to run around Mount Sinai's Griffin McGrath during Friday night's playoff game.

BILL LANDON FILE PHOTO | Greenport/Southold/Mattituck’s Gene Allen tries to run around Mount Sinai’s Griffin McGrath.

No one familiar with high school football in Suffolk County gave much credence to the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck football team coming into the 2013 season.

The Porters went winless the year before and were predicted to finish the near the bottom of the Division IV standings again. The Porters raised some eyebrows by winning their first game against Wyandanch. Then, each week, they somehow kept on winning.

They beat East Hampton, Southampton, Port Jefferson and then Stony Brook. Suddenly, the Porters were 5-0 and all the talk around town.

Greenport earned a spot in the playoffs as the No. 7 seed, where the Porters went up against one of the stalwarts of the division — Mount Sinai. The Porters put a scare into the Mustangs, eventually falling 20-14. Mike Cortese ran for three second-half touchdowns to account for the Mount Sinai scoring.

The Porters finished the season with a 6-3 record, their highest win total since 1970.

Editor’s note: We’re counting down the top 10 sports stories of 2013. Check back every day until Jan. 1 to follow along.

12/30/13 5:13pm
12/30/2013 5:13 PM

Linda Jean Nassivera-Weir of Peconic died Dec. 28, 2013. She was 70.

She was born at Glens Falls (N.Y.) Hospital March 5, 1943, to James and Geneva Nassivera and married Gerald Weir at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Long Island City on Nov. 28, 1964.

A former resident of Baldwin and Long Beach, she received her nursing degree from Lenox Hill Hospital and had been a pediatric hospice nurse there and at St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital.

Ms. Nassivera-Weir is survived by her husband, Gerald Weir; two children, Dorie Henning of Rockport, Maine, and Laura Bolliver of Southold; three grandchildren, Joshua (11) and Kaylin (17) Henning and Abigail Bolliver (15); and two sons-in-law, Kristopher Henning and John Bolliver. She was predeceased by a son, Gerald C. Weir, in 2008.

Friends were received Dec. 30 at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Southold. The Liturgy of Christian Burial was celebrated Dec. 31 by Father Thomas P. Murray at St. Agnes R.C. Church in Greenport. Interment was at Sacred Heart R.C. Cemetery in Cutchogue.

This is a paid notice.