Featured Story
03/28/17 6:00am
03/28/2017 6:00 AM

Southold Town is considering a pair of amendments to the town code that could affect waterfront property owners.

The changes were among the topics discussed at Saturday’s meeting of SoutholdVOICE, a nonprofit promoting awareness of issues affecting shoreline and marine resources.

READ

03/12/15 12:00pm
03/12/2015 12:00 PM
The historically cold winter, and the freezing and refreezing that came with it, have broken and splintered dozen, if not hundreds, of docks that line creeks and other Southold Town waterways. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

The historically cold winter, and the freezing and refreezing that came with it, have broken and splintered dozen, if not hundreds, of docks that line creeks and other Southold Town waterways. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

“It looks like a war zone.”

That’s how town Board of Trustees president John Bredemeyer described the damaged docks that now line Southold’s creeks and bays. The historically cold winter, and the freezing and re-freezing that has come with it, has broken and splintered dozens, if not hundreds, of the wooden structures.

From Mattituck to Orient, the freeze has popped pilings out of area waters like turkey timers.  (more…)

02/10/15 4:00pm
02/10/2015 4:00 PM
John Bredemeyer, a Southold Town Trustee and chairman of the shellfish advisory committee, takes a water sample for DNA analysis from the Cutchogue creek complex in 2013. (Credit: Carrie Miller file)

John Bredemeyer, a Southold Town Trustee and chairman of the shellfish advisory committee, takes a water sample for DNA analysis from the Cutchogue creek complex in 2013. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

Frustrated with years of trying to get the State Department of Environmental Conservation to reopen waterways long closed to shellfishing on the North Fork, members of Southold Town’s shellfish advisory committee say only one solution to their problem remains.

Local state legislators must put pressure on the DEC to make sweeping changes to its shellfish monitoring program, they told members of the Town Board at its work session Tuesday.

(more…)

01/25/15 8:00am
01/25/2015 8:00 AM
Two deer grazing behind a Cutchogue home last year. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)

Two deer grazing behind a Cutchogue home last year. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)

The overpopulation of deer is increasingly affecting the human and natural landscape in Southold Town. It is directly and indirectly impacting our water quality, our shoreline bluffs, headlands and wetlands.

And so it affects each one of us who live on and love the East End. Some say the end of the whitetail deer problem is many years away. Others suggest it is coming sooner, with changes in land use practices such as fencing or deer resistant plants or changes in hunting or culling practices. (more…)

01/24/14 5:00pm
01/24/2014 5:00 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Southold trustee and bayman Jim King harvests oysters and clams in Mattituck Inlet last week.

Local baymen have some more underwater acreage from which to gather clams and oysters this winter.

State Department of Environmental Conservation officials announced last week that from Jan. 15 through April 15, commercial and recreational fishermen can harvest shellfish from about 52 acres of Mattituck Creek. Up to now it’s been illegal to harvest or sell shellfish from that area.

The acreage will remain open so long as no more than three inches of rainfall is recorded per day for seven consecutive days, state officials said.

John Bredemeyer, president of the town’s Board of Trustees and a member of the shellfish advisory committee, said Mattituck Creek has good-sized hard clams and a very healthy oyster population, “so for both classes we expect to have a good harvest.”

Previous Coverage: Using DNA to curb water pollution and reopen Cutchogue Creek complex

This is an area that was routinely closed to baymen throughout much of the 1980s and 1990s, and its progress didn’t come simply by the work of Mother Nature.

Since about 1995, the then newly elected town Trustee Jim King began testing area creeks previously closed by the DEC in hopes of identifying specific sources of pollution. Using the collected data, he and the other Trustees began working with town engineers to mitigate stormwater runoff coming in from nearby roads and homes, since it was the runoff that was found to be affecting the creek’s water quality.

“The project we did was on Bayview Avenue on the west side of Mattituck Creek. The town put in multiple dry wells along the side of the road,” Mr. King said. “They put a whole drainage system in there.”

The added drainage system improved water quality enough for the DEC to start opening the creek on a conditional basis. It has been re-opened a number of times since 2000, DEC officials said.

Mr. King, who is still a Trustee, continues to do sampling while the creek is open, checking its water after rainfall and snowy conditions, he said, adding that a number of people make the testing program possible — from those who transport samples to Stony Brook, to the owner of Braun Seafood in Cutchogue, who continuously donates ice to keep samples cool on their trip west.

Mr. Bredemeyer and the committee have extended Mr. King’s efforts, sampling waters in the Cutchogue creek complex, which includes East Creek, Mud Creek and Broadwater Cove. These Peconic Bay creeks have been closed to shellfishing since 2004 due to water quality concerns.

Their hope is to get Mattituck Creek and the other creeks re-certified as regular shellfishing areas for baymen.

“There’s a benefit to everybody if we can get some of these creeks reopened,” Mr. King said.

For updated information regarding the status of Mattituck Creek after a rainfall, call Southold Town at 765-3912.

[email protected]

01/03/14 7:00am
01/03/2014 7:00 AM

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Southold town council members James Dinizio (left) and Robert Ghosio at Thursday morning’s inauguration as highway superintendent Vincent Orlando looks on.

Newly elected Southold Town officials were sworn in last Thursday during an inauguration ceremony held at Town Hall.

Southold Supervisor Scott Russell greeted the newly elected officials, who took their oath of office led by Southold Justice Rudy Bruer.

Town Board members James Dinizio and the newly elected Robert Ghosio, formerly a town trustee, were among those sworn in. Mr. Ghozio said he was excited to get involved in issues beyond environmental sensitivity and wetlands.

“I think we have a few good issues this year,” Mr. Ghosio said. “Certainly we hope to resolve the issues with Vineyard 48, which seems to be moving along … and trying to start working towards a resolution to the problems that we have with the amount of deer that we have in town.

“It’s going to be a learning curve for sure. Even though I have been working in the town for seven years, now I get to learn about the other departments I never had anything to do with,” he added.

The Town Board will need to appoint a new trustee to replace Mr. Ghosio. A special election for the final year of the term will then be held in November, said Peter McGreevy. Mr. Russell said the Town Board could even appoint an interim trustee who would then step down to let all non-incumbents vie for the seat in the election.

Incumbent Republican trustees John Bredemeyer, Mike Domino and Charles Sanders were all sworn in, as was assessors Bob Scott and Kevin Webster.

Betty Neville was sworn in as town clerk, a position she has held since 1997.

Justice William Price was sworn in for his ninth term as Southold Town Justice. Fishers Island Justice Louisa Evans was also sworn in.

In a past interview, Mr. Price said this will be his last term serving as town judge.

Former councilman Vincent Orlando was sworn is as highway superintendent just in time for the impending snowstorm.

“I’m looking forward to getting the first snowstorm under my belt,” Mr. Orlando said.

[email protected]

11/02/13 8:00am
11/02/2013 8:00 AM
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Trustee candidates debate issues like water pollution and beach access during Tuesday's forum.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Town trustee candidates at last month’s debate.

TOWN TRUSTEE
Four-year term, three open seats
Salary: $18,344

John M. Bredemeyer III
Hamlet: Orient
Occupation: Incumbent Trustee, professional assistant at Suffolk Community College, retired county health department employee
Party lines: Republican, Conservative, Independence

About him: Mr. Bredemeyer, 62, lives with his wife in Orient, where they raised two children. He is a graduate of Cornell University and has more than 35 years’ experience in environmental monitoring, pollution assessment and public and environmental health enforcement. He formerly worked in the marine unit of the Suffolk County Health Department’s office of ecology. He has worked on numerous environmental initiatives, including building and running a collector for atmospheric nitrogen inputs to the Peconic Estuary. Mr. Bredemeyer was first elected in 1984 and presently chairs to the town’s shellfish advisory committee. He is also a volunteer firefighter.

His pitch: Mr. Bredemeyer believes his experience and education with environmental issues has given him the understanding to make valuable contributions to the Board of Trustees.

In his words: “Your vote for me insures that you, the voter-taxpayer, get a ‘dividend’ on the huge public investment you have already made in my education, training and professional career.”

Michael J. Domino
Hamlet: Southold
Occupation: Incumbent Trustee, real estate investor, retired science teacher
Party lines: Republican, Conservative, Independence

About him: Mr. Domino, 69, has been a Southold resident for the past 17 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology as well as master’s degrees in engineering and education. He is a retired earth science teacher at Rocky Point High School and is currently CEO of Greenport Real Estate Investment LLC. Mr. Domino is a former U.S. Marine, past president of the North Fork Environmental Council and a 15-year member of the Southold Town Anti-Bias Task Force. Additionally, he is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Suffolk County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation, a certified DEC water sampler and a member of the Southold shellfish advisory committee. In 2012, he was appointed to fill the Town Trustee seat left vacant by current Town Board member Jill Doherty.

His pitch: Mr. Domino said that in his nearly two years on the board, he has placed community and environmental interests first, looking for ways to mitigate potential damage to the environment without compromising constituents’ property rights.

In his words: “As one of two incumbents seeking re-election to the Southold Town Board of Trustees, I possess a unique and balanced skill set that sets me apart from other candidates and makes me worthy of your vote.”

Joseph J. Finora Jr.
Hamlet: Laurel
Occupation: Independent businessperson
Party line: Democratic

About him: Mr. Finora, 53, lives in Laurel with his wife and children. He is a self-employed financial media-relations specialist and business writer. Previously a journalist, he has also written two business books and one novel. Five years ago, he establish the North Fork Ospreys baseball team in Peconic. He is a longtime volunteer youth baseball and basketball coach and recently raised money for new dugouts and modernizing the Mattituck High School baseball field. This is his first time running for public office.

His pitch: Mr. Finora said he believes in fairness, openness and helping neighbors. He said there is a need for greater balance in Southold’s government and looks forward to hearing and resolving the concerns of Southold Town residents.

In his words: “Most people around Southold know me due to my affiliation with sports. I’ve recently worked as an umpire learning to enforce rules and settle disputes. This is a great place to live and raise a family, but there’s much to be done. What we do today will affect how we live tomorrow in Southold Town.”

William C. Funke
Hamlet: Cutchogue
Occupation: Retired insurance manager
Party line: Democratic

About him: Mr. Funke, 66, retired to Cutchogue after living in New York, New Jersey, Florida and Germany. He is currently working toward earning a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s in environmental science. He spent more than 30 years insuring ships, cargoes and terminals. As a marine underwriter, he was part of the team implementing the Water Quality Improvement Act of 1970. He later went into software and hardware development for several small companies in New Jersey. This is his first time running for public office.

His pitch: Mr. Funke believes his experience as a marine underwriter taught him how government and the private sector can work together for a common goal. He said he wants to apply his skills to improve Southold’s waterways.

In his words: “The Sound and bay are unquestionably in a death spiral and I want to do what I can to help stop that.”

Charles J. Sanders
Hamlet: Greenport
Occupation: Associate broker, Town and Country Real Estate
Party lines: Republican, Conservative, Independence

About him: Mr. Sanders, 45, has lived on the North Fork since 1996. He worked at Hargrave Vineyard before beginning a career in real estate in 1999. He previously owned a real estate business and retail store. He is currently an associate broker at Town and Country in Southold. He joined the Air National Guard in 2008 and has served two tours in Afghanistan. This is his first run for public office.

His pitch: Mr. Sanders said he wants to contribute a balanced approach to the administration of Southold’s wetlands and the protection of a residents’ right to enjoy their property.

In his words: “My civilian and military experience has instilled in me a strong work ethic and extensive administrative and interpersonal skills that I pledge to bring to the job of Trustee.”

Geoffrey M. Wells
Hamlet: Southold
Occupation: Retired television IT specialist; writer
Party lines: Democratic, Working Families

About him: Mr. Wells, 60, retired to Southold in 2013 with his wife. He grew up on a farm in South Africa before immigrating to the United States in 1980 and beginning his career in information technology. Mr. Wells was vice president of television information technology at Disney, ABC and Fox. In those roles he was responsible for creating and managing three new IT departments, implementing sales and creating and staffing a new East Coast data center. Mr. Wells is currently working full time on his second novel. His first, “A Fado for the River,” was published in 2012. This is Mr. Wells’ first run for public office.

His pitch: Mr. Wells believes his experience in communication and problem solving in the corporate world will be an asset to the Town Trustees. He said he would seek win-win outcomes and work toward making the board’s processes more transparent for residents.

In his words: “Change is inevitable. As Trustee, I will ensure that change is managed in such a way that our shoreline is protected and our quality of life as both private citizens and public custodians is not diminished.”

Read our endorsements for town trustee here

11/02/13 7:59am

(from left) John Bredeymeyer, Michael Domino and Geoffrey Wells.

There is perhaps no candidate better qualified for his position in this year’s Southold Town elections than incumbent Trustee John Bredemeyer.

Ivy League-educated and armed with a résumé that boasts more than three decades of experience in the areas of public health, science and the environment, Mr. Bredemeyer is almost too qualified for the post. It’s a blessing for the people of Southold Town that someone with this type of experience has been on the Board of Trustees for a total of 14 years, having served from 1984 to 1994 before being elected in 2009 to his most recent four-year term.

Having Mr. Bredemeyer, a Republican, and Democratic challenger William Funke on opposite ends of the table during the recent Suffolk Times debate was poetic. On one end of the spectrum, Mr. Bredemeyer proved to be a passionate and knowledgeable incumbent that night, while Mr. Funke showed he was simply the opposite. He declined to answer the first question of the night and failed to offer much of anything in the way of perspective for the remainder of the debate.

Profiles: Meet the candidates for town trustee

“How am I supposed to know?” might as well have been Mr. Funke’s campaign slogan.

The science and environmental experience of Mr. Bredemeyer and fellow incumbent Mike Domino, a retired science teacher and a past president of the North Fork Environmental Council, are unmatched by any of the four challengers.

Of those four, we believe Mr. Wells is the best fit for the seat being vacated by Dave Bergen, a two-term Trustee who was dumped from the Republican ticket this year.

A systems and processes guy with an impressive background in corporate information technology, Mr. Wells, a native of South Africa who moved here from New York City this year, is a bright candidate who could offer a unique voice to the board. He may lack institutional knowledge of the community, but we’re confident he’d be a quick study. We’re especially curious to see what type of advancements Mr. Wells, who ran the most passionate campaign of any of the six candidates, can make in the way of technology and modernizing the Trustees’ office.

Both Democrat Joseph Finora and Republican Charles Sanders, a late addition to the ticket after original GOP nominee David Zuhoski dropped out, failed to display much passion during the election season.

The only issues raised during the campaign — both by Democrats — related to beachfront property rights and perceived transparency issues with the current board. Republicans dismissed the former as a bay constable enforcement issue and the latter as not an issue at all. We tend to agree with the Republicans on both counts.

Instead, we wish we’d heard more from both sides about the very real issue of water pollution. During The Suffolk Times debate, Mr. Bredemeyer and Mr. Domino said the board has made improvements in this area, while Mr. Wells said there’s plenty more to be done.

“Leaching is happening on a daily basis,” he said. “It is a very serious situation.”

We’d like to see those three candidates work closely together on helping to improve our water pollution problem over the next four years.