07/13/14 8:00am
07/13/2014 8:00 AM
Nothing says "street fair" like cotton candy.  From left:  Nick Dombroski, 9, brother Alex, 8, and friend Jayden Martino, 8, all of Ridge. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

Nothing says “street fair” like cotton candy. From left: Nick Dombroski, 9, brother Alex, 8, and friend Jayden Martino, 8, all of Ridge. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

The Mattituck Chamber of Commerce held its 37th annual street fair on Love Lane Saturday. The event featured vendors, live music, face painting, food and refreshments, as well as the crowning of Little Miss and Little Mr. Mattituck. (more…)

12/03/13 12:47pm
12/03/2013 12:47 PM

strongThe year 2013 has been a good one for the Strong family.

First came news in April that the family business, Strong’s Marine, purchased the former Matt-A-Mar Marina near the southern end of Mattituck Creek on Wickham Avenue. Strong’s Water Club & Marina is now operating on the 8.75-acre property and a new restaurant, Pace’s Dockside, is set to open on the property later this month.

Then came honors from Boating Industry Magazine and the Marine Retailers Association, which named Strong’s Marine among the top 10 boat dealers in North America.

Even with all the good news surrounding the nearly 50-year-old Mattituck family business, owner Jeff Strong said there was still something extra special about the latest honor bestowed on the family. Strong’s Marine has been named Business of the Year by the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce, which honored the family at a dinner held at Vineyard Caterers in Aquebogue Monday night.

“To be honored on the local level, that’s what’s nearest and dearest to our heart,” said Mr. Strong, who added that the Chamber was particularly helpful during challenging times for the company in the early 1990s.

Mr. Strong was joined by his wife, Re, his mom, Dotty, and sons, Jay and Ryan, in accepting the award. The Strong sons have joined the family business with Jay, 31, working as sales manager and Ryan, 29, serving as operations manager.

Mattituck Chamber of Commerce president Brooke Dailey said the Strong family’s decades-long involvement in the Chamber, including the 10 years Re Strong served as treasurer, helped make Strong’s Marine an easy choice for the award, and the purchase of the former Matta-A-Mar property and the business’ help restoring the Chamber sign at the corner of Sound and Wickham avenues made this the perfect year to honor the Strongs.

“Strong’s Marine has grown a lot,” Ms. Dailey said. “They’ve been great to the Chamber and we felt like this was a great time to honor them.”

Also honored Monday night was the Chamber’s immediate past president, Donielle Cardinale, who was named Person of the Year. A chamber member for two decades, Ms. Cardinale, a real estate Broker with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s, has for years helped organize the Little Mr. and Ms. Mattituck Contest and Santa Day at Rite Aid in the Mattituck Plaza.

“She’s done so much for our organization and we really wanted to honor her,” Ms. Dailey said.

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11/30/13 8:00am
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The Mattituck branch will close before next spring, bank officials said.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The Mattituck branch will close before next spring, bank officials said.

To the Editor: 

The Mattituck Chamber of Commerce is very saddened to hear about the closing of the Mattituck branch of Suffolk County National Bank.

SCNB has been in Mattituck for 26 years and plays a vital role in the community.

Janet Stewart, the branch manager, has been an incredible asset to the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce and, therefore, the entire Mattituck community. As both a general chamber and board member, Janet has strongly represented SCNB with enthusiasm, encouraging and educating on the importance of local banking and business within our small business community.

For 15 years, Janet has served as chairperson for the Mattituck Street Fair. She has worked tirelessly for years with dedication and an eye for improving the event and its profits, growing it into the Chamber’s largest fundraiser of the year and one of the most popular events on the North Fork. The event is also incredibly well-known and attended by vendors and visitors from all across Long Island, allowing tourism and small business to prosper with this promotion outside of our small North Fork region.

Janet’s enthusiasm spreads to her amazing staff, who, in turn, have also spent many hours of their own personal time volunteering to make sure local North Fork businesses (also their bank customers) are involved and well-represented each year at the event.

Janet and the staff at SCNB Mattituck have repeatedly represented their business with information and vigor at every event. Their easy and pleasant personalities, wit and knowledge of the industry have given Suffolk County National Bank a reputation of being Mattituck’s genuinely local bank.

With SCNB’s plans to push west in the near future, it seems the bank is leaving the people of the North Fork behind with only one branch, hence forgetting the people who helped build SCNB and sustain it through hard financial times.

The Chamber will not support a bank that does not feel Mattituck is important enough to maintain an office and current staff.

When the bank closes, so will the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce’s account.

We implore SCNB to reconsider this decision and offer the opportunity to present to the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce at a member meeting, should the company so wish.

Mattituck Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors

Brooke Dailey, President

10/08/13 3:30pm
10/08/2013 3:30 PM
RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | The audience listens as Joan Bischoff of the North Fork Promotional Council leads a forum Oct. 7 for Southold Town business owners on ways to extend the tourism season.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | The audience listens as Joan Bischoff of the North Fork Promotional Council leads a forum Oct. 7 for Southold Town business owners on ways to extend the tourism season.

Southold Town business owners discussed ways to extend the tourism season at a forum hosted Monday evening by the Southold Economic Development Committee and North Fork Promotion Council. 

“It’s the first time since we’ve been in the business of agritourism that I’ve seen so much effort taken to bring people to the East End,” said Joan Bischoff of the North Fork Promotion Council, who led the discussion. “It is time now, I think, that people come to the North Fork, especially in its offseason.”

The forum, which took place at the Peconic Lane Community Center, is part of a major public relations effort and significant advertising campaign for Taste North Fork, a new pilot shuttle bus service to connect wineries, hamlets and local businesses this Veteran’s Day weekend.

The pilot program has been made possible through a portion of a $335,000 “I Love NY” grant that aims to help promote agritourism on the East End, according to the East End Tourism Alliance.

Steven Bate, executive director of the Long Island Wine Council, said during the meeting that he hopes to have shuttle buses run at 45-minute intervals during Veteran’s Day weekend. Plans are still being finalized, he said, but the bus loop is scheduled to run from Riverhead to Greenport. The buses will stop in each hamlet with most of the stops being at local wineries, Mr. Bate said.

“We’re hoping to have buses come by at 45-minute intervals so that people will have time to taste some wine or do an activity, then hop back on the bus,” Mr. Bate said. “We want to promote the fact that there’s a lot going on the North Fork that weekend.”

During the roughly two-hour long discussion, local business owners were asked to weigh in on the planning process for the event and brainstorm activities to make the implementation of the “I Love NY” grant a huge success.

Mr. Bischoff urged the roomful of business owners to band together and coordinate events with one another that help promote business on the North Fork this Veteran’s Day weekend and beyond. He also encouraged them to actively promote their businesses through social media.

“It’s been difficult to get the restaurants to talk to the vineyards, to get Southold business owners to talk to Greenport business owners,” he said. “We have to put that aside a little bit for this event and start thinking as North Forkers,” he said.

Rosemary Batcheller, owner of the Village Cheese Shop on Love Lane in Mattituck, said during the meeting that she and other Love Lane merchants are planning an event called “Taste Love Lane” during Veteran’s Day weekend. They have invited some local farmers to attend, she said, and each individual merchant will run a special promotion.

“If this goes well, and if the money comes back again, I can really envision a beautiful welcoming,” Ms. Batcheller said.

Donielle Cardinale, of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s in Mattituck, addressed the crowd and told them that if the region can attract visitors to come to the North Fork during the fall and winter, every local business will benefit. Ms. Cardinale sits on the boards of three local organizations: the Economic Development Committee, the North Fork Promotion Council and the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce.

“The North Fork is on stage and we need to perform so that we keep the audience coming back,” she said.

[email protected]

01/31/13 9:00am
01/31/2013 9:00 AM

Brooke Dailey

New Suffolk native Brooke Dailey is the new president of the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce, replacing Donielle Cardinale, whose term has expired.

Ms. Dailey’s family owns and operates Laurel Stone Supply Plus on Main Road in Laurel. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, she has extensive experience in advertising and marketing, including serving as marketing director for the Twomey Latham law firm in Riverhead. She joined the chamber’s board of directors in 2009.

As president, Ms. Dailey said, she’d like to increase participation in the chamber and offer members relevant and effective tools and ideas to spur business growth.

Chamber still selling gift cards

The Mattituck Chamber of Commerce is still selling Mattibucks gift cards, which can be used anywhere, at face value, without an activation fee.

The chamber launched the Mattibucks program during the holiday season to support local merchants. While group members hope the cards will be used locally, especially during the off-season, they are good at any business that accepts credit cards.

Mattibucks cards are available in $25 and $50 denominations at Suffolk County National Bank in Mattituck. Anyone purchasing $250 worth of cards gets a $25 card free.

01/13/13 12:00pm
01/13/2013 12:00 PM

TIM KELLY PHOTO | Times/Review Newsgroup owner Andrew Olsen (right) introduces legislative candidates Al Krupski and Sean Walter at the start of the Jan. 7 debate sponsored by Times/Review.

Andrew Olsen, who with wife Sarah recently purchased the Times/Review Newsgroup, which publishes The Suffolk Times, will be the featured speaker at the next dinner meeting of the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce Thursday, Jan. 17.

A native of Southold now residing in Cutchogue, Mr. Olsen has served as a publisher of Times/Review’s publications since 2003.

The meeting will take place at the Bayview Inn in South Jamesport, starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25.

RSVP to Pat Patchell at 722-3458.

Times/Review also publishes the Riverhead News-Review, Shelter Island Reporter and Long Island Wine Press.

12/04/12 12:15pm
12/04/2012 12:15 PM

TIM KELLY PHOTOS | Supervisor Scott Russell (right) was joined by Deputy Supervisor Al Krupski in presenting Mr. Nine with a Town Board proclamation.

From his family and friends to top officials in Town Hall, many people turned out for Monday night’s Mattituck Chamber of Commerce’s holiday party to honor Ray Nine, a Mattituck native who has given of his time and talents to the chamber and several other community organizations.

Here are some photos from the party.

Mr. Nine, who has been a member of the Mattituck Fire Department for 54 years, is congratulated by current Chief Jason Haas.

Eileen Solomon (right) of Eastern Long Island Hospital’s community affairs office presents Mr. Nine with a proclamation from hospital CEO Paul Connor. Looking on are Mr. Nine’s wife, Dotty, and chamber president Donielle Cardinale.

Pastor George Gaffga of the Mattituck Presbyterian Church, who made a lighthearted reference to Mr. Nine’s use sometimes of salty language, describing the former church board member as “a saint and a sinner.”

PAUL ROMANELLI PHOTO | The full Mattituck chamber board of directors with Dotty and Ray Nine.

12/03/12 9:00am
12/03/2012 9:00 AM

TIM KELLY PHOTO | Ray Nine will be honored by the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce Monday night.

In 1950, when he was just 10 years old, Ray Nine bought a used lawn mower for $25 and went into business for himself. He’s been a working man ever since.

The Mattituck native later ran his own trash collection company and, after selling that, started his own sand and gravel business, which he still operates at age 72. But it’s not so much what he did and does during the workday that prompted the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce to honor Mr. Nine as its man of the year, an award he’ll receive during the group’s holiday party Monday night. It’s more about what he does on his own time.

He’s been active in the chamber since the early 1970s, serving as its president in 1981-82. He always volunteered his time and equipment to put help together the Love Lane Street Fair each July and he’s led the chamber’s effort to provide each paid member with a lighted Christmas tree.

Mr. Nine has been a member of the Mattituck Fire Department for 54 years and has served as an officer since 1990. He also served a term as president of the board of directors at Mattituck Presbyterian Church.

“He is just amazing,” said Rocky Divello, whose family acquired Mr. Nine’s trash collection business in 1971. “He’s probably the hardest-working guy I ever met in my life. Anytime you needed Ray — bing — he was there before you could put down the phone. There’s no dust on him. Old-timers who knew Ray when he was a boy said he was always working, working, working.”

Mr. Nine said it was with a great deal of regret that he resigned from the chamber this past June, the result of Parkinson’s disease, with which he was diagnosed in 2009.

“It’s slowed me down, but I’m still grateful that I can operate,” he said. “I take every day I can get.”
He’ll definitely be missed, said Donielle Cardinale, current chamber president.

“As a kid I can remember going to various chamber events with my parents and Ray was always there, doing more than his part to offer his dedication and volunteer his time,” she said. “He has most definitely made his mark as one of this organization’s most valued members.”

“Ray taught most of us what it meant to be involved in community,” said Bill Bladykas, former owner of the Love Lane Sweet Shoppe and a past chamber president. “There weren’t many people who you could count on to show up the night before the street fair and at 6 a.m. the next morning, but Ray Nine was a given. He taught by example; if Ray can do it why can’t we? If any organization had 10 people like Ray they could rule the world.”

The soft-spoken Mr. Nine doesn’t see his contributions as extraordinary.

“That’s what happens when you love a place. You get involved,” he said.

He and his wife, Dotty, have lived in the same house since 1963 and raised four children.

“Ray has been supportive of not only the chamber but the whole community,” said Janet Stewart, manager of Suffolk County National Bank’s Mattituck branch and a chamber board member. “He is always there is lend a helping hand whether it is decorating the town at Christmas, the annual Street Fair, the beautification of Mattituck and the list goes on and on.”

Said Mr. Bladykas, “Ray Nine is a giver and the Mattituck community is lucky to have him.”

The feeling is mutual.

“I have no desire to go anywhere else,” said Mr. Nine. “If I can stay here the rest of my life that’s what I’d like to do.”

[email protected]

Mattituck Chamber of Commerce Holiday Party
Monday, Dec. 3, 6 to 10 p.m.
Vineyard Caterers, Main Road, Aquebogue
Tickets are $45 and must be purchased in advance
Call 722-3458

12/02/12 10:35am
12/02/2012 10:35 AM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Santa proved Saturday in Mattituck that he still has an uncanny ability to make children cry when they sit on his lap and pose for a photo.

Youngsters lined up at Rite Aid in Mattituck Saturday for the chance to give their Christmas wish list to Santa Claus.

He arrived to the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce event, where students from the high school chorus sang sang carols, on a Mattituck Fire Department truck.

Below are some of the best shots from Saturday’s event.

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10/24/12 5:09pm
10/24/2012 5:09 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Candidates for federal, state and local races , including State Senator Kenneth LaValle (standing), had the chance to introduce themselves to voters during the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon Wednesday.

Candidates running for federal, state and local offices answered Southold residents’ questions Wednesday afternoon during the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce’s “meet the candidates” luncheon at the Meetinghouse Creek Inn in Aquebogue.

Jeff Strong, president of Strong’s Marine in Mattituck, moderated the two-hour event where nearly 20 people gathered to listen to each candidate’s platform.

State Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) left after making an opening statement because he had another event to attend to this afternoon on Shelter Island. His Democratic challenger, Bridget Fleming of Noyac, was absent.

Below is an excerpt from a pair of questions asked.

Question to congressional and state candidates: Do you see the local economy getting better or worse and what are your plans to help improve it?

Congressional candidates’ answers:

Incumbent Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton): The local economy is struggling from what has been the deepest recession in our nation’s history other than the Great Depression. I think there are signs that we are recovering, but we have a long, long way to go. One of things I’m working on is trying to bring the federal government back to the table in terms of investing in local wastewater infrastructure. The second thing is dealing with environment issues. I think the environment is our economy and the economy is our environment.

Challenger Randy Altshuler (R-St. James): When you speak to people locally, there’s a lot of uncertainty in the air. It’s scaring the daylights out of everybody. You see it from unemployment rates going up over the past decade to people becoming underwater with their mortgages. Some local businesses are seeing a little bit of a pick-up, but a lot of them are saying it’s still doing pretty poorly. I think we need change and the only way I think that will happen is if we have more business people in office.

State Assembly candidates’ answers:

Incumbent Dan Losquadro (R-Shoreham): I don’t think the economy is doing very well at all. I think, in large part, that’s because of the burden that is placed upon businesses and residential taxes that drive up the overall cost of living. New York State spent $20 billion on Medicaid expenditures last year. We need to control spending in areas where people may not think relate to education funding. But if we save a billion dollars in Medicaid expenditures, that’s a billion dollars we can put back into education funding.

Challenger Nicholas Deegan (D-Mattituck): I think the local economy is starting on an upspring. The bigger thing out here is transportation. If we’re going to be able to sustain the agritourism and wine industries, then I think we have to deal with transportation very quickly so that by next summer we have a plan going into place. The roads can only handle so much. We need to get some of the traffic off the road.

Question to Town Trustee candidates: There are reports stating water quality is affected by stormwater runoff and septic systems. Do you agree and what’s your plan to improve water quality?

Town Trustees’ answers:

Trustee Mike Domino (R-Southold): All the trustees understand the importance mentioned about [water quality]. The problem is funding, as usual. You just don’t throw money at a problem.  In many cases, there’s no need to change the [septic] systems we have now. The discussion now is being driven by a company that has a technology that they are pushing. It may or may not work. I’m not advocating a real quick jump on very costly systems. I would take a go-slow approach with something like that.

Challenger Jeri Woodhouse (D-Orient): I agree [stormwater runoff and septic systems] are contributing to what’s happening to our water. There’s a lot of new research that shows there are new kinds of septic systems that can be put in place. The problem is they’re very costly. I believe there’s funding available that can make it possible for people to purchase them. We should see if we can bring some of that money here because it’s vital to our economy to have clean water.

Check back on Election Day for full coverage.

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