05/27/13 9:50am
05/27/2013 9:50 AM

Three men were arrested after a fight broke out in the parking lot at 111 Main Street in Greenport early Monday morning, Southold Town police said.

After the fight, which was broken up by police officers around 1:30 a.m., Matthew Gilligan of Flanders and Jesse Maggio of Southold, both 24 years old, were found to be in possession of marijuana, police said. They were both charged with disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana.

John Maniaci, 25, of Yaphank was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, police said.

All three men were held overnight at police headquarters for a morning arraignment, according to police.

05/19/13 11:00am
05/19/2013 11:00 AM

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Joyce Conklin and Jim Miller(right) accept an award from the North Fork Environmental Council as Senator Ken LaValle praises the work of Mr. Miller and Ms. Conklin’s late husband, Bob.

The late Bob Conklin of Flanders and Jim Miller of Southold were honored as “Environmental Champions” by the North Fork Environmental Council on Thursday for their work establishing a fish passage at Grangebel Park.

The rock passage allows alewives and other fish to migrate from fresh to salt water, where they become food for other larger species like fluke, weakfish and striped bass.

Also honored was Kevin McAllister, the Peconic Baykeeper for the past 15 years, who received the “Richard Noncarrow Environmentalist of the Year” award.

The awards were handed out at the Suffolk Community College culinary school in downtown Riverhead.

The Peconic River, like many rivers in the late 1800s and early 1900s, was dammed up in spots to provide power for mills and other uses, cutting off the alewives’ migratory routes, which spawn in fresh water and migrate to salt water.

Mr. Conklin, a science teacher at Riverhead High School, initially would take his students down to the river to carry the alewives over the dam using nets.

But since this solution could only help a limited number of fish, Mr. Conklin in 2000 sought out the help of Mr. Miller, an environmental engineer and the founder of Miller Environmental in Calverton.

Mr. Miller helped set up an Alaskan Steep Pass, which was commonly called a fish ladder, and which helped the fish migrate over the dam from fresh water to salt water and back. But the fish ladder was only a temporary structure.

After a few years, they embarked on a plans to establish a permanent fish passage system at the Grangebel dam.

That system, which was aided by state and federal grants obtained by Riverhead Town, was completed in early 2011, just months after Mr. Conklin died in December 2010.

An estimated 50,000 to 70,000 alewives pass through the rock passageways, officials says. Eels also use the passageway.

The efforts of Mr. Conklin and others were featured on an episode of the television show, Lunkerville, in 2012, and that segment was shown Thursday night.

“It has reached a magnitude beyond our belief,” Mr. Miller said in the video. “We had fantasized that maybe some tens of thousand of fish could possibly migrate. We are now of the belief that it’s hundreds of thousands.  As they migrate out into the bay, they become primary foraging fish for the striped bass, the fluke and the weakfish, and those fish migrate out into the ocean, and the sharks and tuna will feed off the blue fish.

“It could actually impact the entire fisheries on the east coast of the United States.”

Mr. Conklin’s award was presented posthumously to his wife Joyce. She and Mr. Miller also were given proclamations by a number of elected officials.

Mr. Miller said Tim Griffing and Byron Young also should be recognized for their efforts in creating the fish passage. George Bartunek, who worked on the fish passage, said this was what Mr. Conklin loved to do.

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Peconic Baykeeper Kevin McAllister accepts an award from the North Fork Environmental Council at a reception in downtown Riverhead Thursday.

Mr. McAllister works for a private non-profit environmental organization called Peconic BayKeeper.

“He’s a man who has made a dramatic impact on our waterways,” said State Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), who said Mr. McAllister has highlighted the damage done to waterways by cesspools, and helped bring that issue to the forefront.

“The Peconic Bay is a resource people believed was infinite and no matter what we did to it, it would be still be there,” said South Fork state Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor). “We’ve found out now that is not the case.”

NFEC president Bill Toedter said Mr. McAllister has highlighted the fact that “what we do on land determines what happens with our waters.”

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12/11/12 12:00pm
12/11/2012 12:00 PM
TLC, Cablevision, Dhonna Goodale

GOODALE PRODUCTIONS COURTESY PHOTO | Dhonna Goodale’s great room in Flanders all decorated for Christmas.

Diva philanthropist Dhonna Goodale and her family’s home in Flanders will be one of four houses featured on a TLC special called “Four Houses: Deck the Halls,” which airs Tuesday night.

The show documents a $10,000 competition between four contestants and their spectacular Christmas displays, judged on originality, tradition and elegance, Ms. Goodale explained.

“I go out and lose my mind over Christmas because it’s my most favorite holiday,” Ms. Goodale said of her reasons for going all out every holiday season. “I was the fourth person and while other people just wanted to win, I was looking at the bigger picture.

“I was looking at this as a springboard for me to host my own show.”

The holiday home-maker said she can’t disclose too much about the show due to a confidentiality agreement, but described three of her 12 themed-Christmas trees, which are strewn throughout the property.

“One of my favorite trees is the money tree,” she said, laughing. “I put fake and real money on it…”

Twelve trees aren’t the only thing that makes Ms. Goodale’s holiday display extravagant.

The display has also featured hired Santa helpers actually wrapping presents to be given as donated gifts, a team of Mrs. Claus’s from around the world gathered for holiday workshops to “discuss the world and how to make Christmas even better,” and even the big man himself, Santa Claus, working out in her gym, Ms. Goodale said.

“He may be portly,” she said, “But he’s healthy, so all the Santas are working out this year.”

Ms. Goodale says the actors set up shop during the show and other tours of the house by community groups.

“I want to thank the community and the different groups that came together to make this possible,” she said. “There’s so much talent out here.”

Ms. Goodale said those looking to tour the house can visit goodale-productions.com or visit her Facebook fan page.

The show airs at 10 p.m. on Cablevision channel 28.

An earlier version of this story reported that the show is part of a series. It is not.

11/18/12 9:00am
11/18/2012 9:00 AM

TARAH SABBATINO PHOTO | A bald eagle in the osprey’s nest on Colonel’s Island on the Peconic River between Flanders and the Indian Island Golf Course in RIverhead.

Flanders resident Tarah Sabbatino has a new neighbor.

Over the past couple weeks she said she kept spotting what she thought might be a bald eagle in the osprey’s nest on Colonel’s Island, just south of the Indian Island Golf Course in Riverhead.

On Saturday, she finally got close enough with her zoom lens to snap a few photos of the bird to confirm it is, in fact, a bald eagle.

She said she first spotted the bird after Superstorm Sandy struck the area. She believes it could have been chased here by the storm.

10/23/12 11:01am
10/23/2012 11:01 AM

A 25-year-old Southold man told police the Flanders drug dealer who he let borrow his mother’s car to pay off a drug debt never returned the vehicle, according to a Southold Town police report.

Police questioned the man after his 60-year-old mother filed a police report last Sunday stating that the woman watching her home while she was out of town told her the car was missing. She said she suspected her son might have sold the car to support his drug habit, according to the report.

The son, who has since been taken to a local detox center, told police the dealer promised to return the car but has not yet done so.

Detectives are attempting to locate the man in possession of the car and return it to its owner, according to the report. The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed.

10/14/12 10:00am
10/14/2012 10:00 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | This Flanders Boulevard property has been abandoned for several years. It is one of seven in Flanders that have been seized by Suffolk County and given to Southampton Town for affordable housing efforts.

Flanders resident Suzane Fialho glanced over at the vacant lot next to her parents’ home. The ranch-style house, abandoned and decaying, was covered in vegetation and a tree limb had fallen onto its roof. Weeds and trees had taken over the lawn and a long green vine reached through an open window into what was likely the living room.

Ms. Fialho said her family moved to the neighborhood four years ago and watched as the property went to ruin.

“We had neighbors before who just didn’t care,” she said.

Now, through a Southampton Town affordable housing program, a new building will soon rise on the property, as well as six others in Flanders. The work should be completed by next summer.

“I think cleaning up the neighborhood would be nice,” Ms. Fialho said.

The affordable housing project, developed by the town housing authority and the Long Island Housing Partnership, a nonprofit housing developer, using land seized by Suffolk County, will turn seven Flanders properties into three-bedroom, two-bath homes for lower- to middle-income, first-time homebuyers, officials said.

“Everything is ready basically to get the shovels in the ground,” said James Britz, senior vice president of the Long Island Housing Partnership.

The 1,300- to 1,400-square-foot homes will cost $153,000 to purchase and will be built by a private contractor. The seven properties are on Maple, Oak and Brookhaven avenues and Flanders Boulevard, Mr. Britz said. The houses should be completed by next summer.

The Sept. 13 lottery for the properties gave first preference to veterans, though none took advantage of the offer, officials said. Residents of Southampton or those who work in the town were next in line before the lottery was opened to the general public.

Of the 55 people who signed up, 11 were chosen for the seven Flanders lots and other properties available in Southampton Town, officials said. The lottery winners will need to meet several requirements, such as having a steady income and the ability to secure a mortgage.

Five additional lots in Riverside have already been given to the town by Suffolk County already, but Long Island Housing Partnership officials said they don’t know when those properties would be available through lottery.

Southampton Town Housing Authority executive director Richard Blowes could not be reached for comment.

Most of the properties were made available through Suffolk County’s 72H program, which converts lots that were seized for tax violations into space for affordable housing.

“Every once in a while there’s a lot that could be used for a municipal purpose, including for affordable housing, as a way for the towns to address the shortage of places for people to live in the community,” said county Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk).

The affordable housing was available to those who make between 80 and 120 percent of the median income, Mr. Schneiderman said. Though town officials could not be reached to provide the exact figure being used for the program, 2010 U.S. Census data shows the median income for the area was $81,250 per household in that year.

The eligibility extends above the median income because of high housing prices in Southampton Town, Mr. Schneiderman said.

“In the economy we’ve seen through the last few years, even making above the median income you still could not buy a house,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “If you’re priced out of the housing market, [the program] should apply to you.”

But Mr. Schneiderman hinted that tighter budget constraints may force the county to stop the program in the future.

“There’s been some talk recently about suspending the program because the county is so broke we can’t give things away,” he said. “I’m hopeful that it’ll continue.”

Vince Taldone, vice president of the Flanders Riverside Northampton Community Association, whose members have worked with the housing authority on past programs, said some residents disagreed with the town when officials first proposed using some of the lots for rentals. The town later scrapped those plans.

“Bringing in affordable home ownership was what everyone wanted,” Mr. Taldone said. “We want to have people who are fully invested in the neighborhood.”

Lottery winners, none of whom could be reached for comment, will also receive a landscaping stipend that lets them pick and pay for shrubs or flowers to decorate their yards to enhance the curb appeal of the neighborhood, he said.

Cesar Umana, a former Southold resident who moved six months ago to Flanders, which is a racially and ethnically diverse community, described the neighborhood as “a little different” than less-diverse Southold.

He believes the affordable housing will help the area by increasing the tax rolls.

“It definitely can build up some revenue,” he said.

Another resident down the road, who asked to remain anonymous, said he doesn’t care whether the housing is affordable or not, so long as the homeowners are good people.

“Black, white, Spanish, it don’t matter,” he said. “We got a mix of people around here … It’s not the house, it’s the people who live there.”

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08/16/12 9:50pm
08/16/2012 9:50 PM

A Flanders woman was arrested on a bench warrant Thursday morning, nearly two years after she failed to appear in court on a charge of operating motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, according to court records.

Jacqueline Powell, 44, was arrested at her home on the warrant, which was issued in Southold Town Justice Court on Dec. 15, 2010, according to a prior Suffolk Times report.

Ms. Powell, who reportedly lived in Riverhead at the time the warrant was issued, was transported to Southold police headquarters and processed. She is expected to be held overnight for a court appearance Friday, police said.

06/12/12 7:00am
06/12/2012 7:00 AM

Four North Fork residents were arrested last week as the result of traffic stops in Riverhead and Southampton towns, New York State Police said.

Jessica King, 29, of Mattituck was charged with driving while intoxicated and unlawful possession of marijuana after she was stopped on Route 24 in Flanders at 2 p.m. June 5, police said. Passenger Sarah Harbes, 20, of Matituck, was also arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana, police said.

On June 10, at 1:35 a.m. state police arrested Elise Martino, 57, of Mattituck for driving while intoxicated on Route 58 in Riverhead, police said.

Nicole Romano, 24, of Riverhead, was arrested at 3:26 a.m. June 9 for driving while intoxicated on Foster Avenue in Hampton Bays, police said.

04/25/12 3:32pm
04/25/2012 3:32 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck lacrosse coach Timothy Corcoran resigned after being arrested for a hit-and-run crash Friday.

The Mattituck High School lacrosse coach was the man arrested for driving while intoxicated after striking and injuring a teen bicyclist with his vehicle late Friday night on the Peconic River bridge and fleeing the scene, according to Riverhead police.

Police said the collision took place in the southbound lane of the Route 105 bridge just after 10:30 p.m., injuring 16-year-old Juan Moreno of Flanders, who was found at the scene with injuries.

State police later found the driver, Timothy Corcoran of Babylon, 43, at the Riverside McDonald’s on Route 24. He was taken to Riverhead police headquarters and charged with drunk driving and leaving the scene of an accident, police said. His vehicle was impounded.

Mr. Corcoran, who is not a teacher in the district, resigned Saturday as Mattituck High School’s varsity lacrosse coach, officials said.

An update on the teen’s condition wasn’t available Wednesday.

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02/29/12 7:00am
02/29/2012 7:00 AM

A Greenport man who sped away from an officer during a traffic stop on Flanders Road in Flanders Feb. 5 is also wanted on a warrant from Suffolk County Police, Southampton Town Police said.

A town police officer had responded to a home on Flanders Road after receiving a complaint about an intoxicated person, police said. A Chevy Tahoe with Indiana plates was located and the man behind the wheel first gave the officer a false name, then took off and could not be located, police said.

Police later discovered that the man was Robert Lechner of Greenport and that there is a Suffolk County police warrant for his arrest on a scheme to defraud charge, according to police.