01/02/15 8:00am
01/02/2015 8:00 AM
Mattituck soccer players at the high school after retuning home from winning the state championship in November. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo photos)

Mattituck soccer players at the high school after retuning home from winning the state championship in November. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo photos)

ThumbUpMattituck soccer wins it all

Editorial: The disappointment of losing in the state semifinals two years hung over the Mattituck boys soccer team as a senior-laden squad geared up for one last run together this year. The Tuckers entered the season with high expectations and more than delivered on them. The Tuckers’ run to the state championship — the third in program history — was the kind of feel-good story that made a community proud. The players set a goal for themselves and then went out and achieved it.

In two state playoff games in Middletown, N.Y., the Tuckers won by a combined score of 9-0, leaving little doubt as to which team reigned supreme in New York. Afterward, coach Mat Litchhult announced he was resigning as coach and senior Kaan Ilgin was named the state player of the year.

ThumbdownDeer cull is a dud

Editorial: In our 2013 “Year in Review issue,” we gave a “focus on deer” a thumbs up after years of deer population growth reached a tipping point and local leaders seemed poised to act on the issue.

As it turned out, however, a tipping point can be one tricky place.

As the cull became less of an idea and more of a reality, pushback intensified. Fierce opposition from two unlikely allies — animal advocates and hunters — basically rendered the cull moot, thanks in large part to a lawsuit that halted the number of permits that could be given out, not that many were filled, anyway.

By the time sharpshooters from the U.S. Department of Agriculture left town, less than 200 deer had been killed — barely a fraction of the county’s estimated 25,000 to 36,000 deer.

Even the cull’s organizer, Long Island Farm Bureau president Joe Gergela, admitted “It didn’t work.”

ThumbUpFinal piece of the puzzle

Editorial: This was a historic year for the Peconic Land Trust preservation group. That also means it was a good one for all those who have worked for decades to protect and preserve the town’s and the region’s agricultural heritage and way of life. In March, the land trust acquired the last of 11 parcels that now make up its 98-acre agricultural center in Southold. The center features working farms with educational and mentoring components for younger people looking to get into farming. There’s also a community garden there that attracts a diverse group, from schoolchildren to older people fond of tomatoes to Hispanic immigrants growing chili peppers.

Now, thanks to the Peconic Land Trust, they’ll all get to work together in one place.

ThumbdownA bad year in Greenport Village Hall

Editorial: Failed equipment combined with a lack of information coming out of Greenport Village Hall marred some villagers’ confidence in their elected officials in 2014.

The Village Board got off to a rocky start in January, when Mayor David Nyce had to issue a public apology for failing to answer residents’ concerns about a large increase in their December 2013 power bills.

In September, the Village Board once again got beaten up in the court of public opinion. Documents showed the board was requiring an outspoken Greenport commercial fishing captain, Sid Smith, to hold a $2 million insurance policy for his boat, Merit, and telling him he had to leave the railroad dock if he didn’t pay for the coverage. Village records, however, showed that all the other boat owners using that dock were only required to carry $1 million insurance policies.

The misinformation at Greenport Village Hall was concerning this year … to say the least.

12/29/14 4:00pm
12/29/2014 4:00 PM
Eastern Long Island Hospital president Paul Connor III. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Eastern Long Island Hospital president Paul Connor III. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport had much to celebrate this year, what with word of a coming surgical unit expansion and the availability of new surgical specialty services.

They are a welcome change in a time when health care reform has made for many unexpected challenges for hospitals big and small.  (more…)

12/28/14 4:00pm
12/28/2014 4:00 PM

SHrealestate

A “follow-through.” A “major recovery.” A market “on fire.”

Whatever you want to call it, North Fork’s real estate agents seem to agree: 2014 was a strong year that built on the successful bounce-back that began two years ago.

And even into December, that market was still surging.  (more…)

12/28/14 12:00pm
Greenport/Southold/Mattituck quarterback Matt Drinkwater. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Greenport/Southold/Mattituck quarterback Matt Drinkwater. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

It was a rough year for the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck high school football team. Not only did the Porters fall short of the playoffs, but they fell two weeks short of completing the regular season. (more…)

12/27/14 4:00pm
12/27/2014 4:00 PM
Michael Montgomery and his son Christian at their home in Mattituck. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Michael Montgomery and his son Christian at their home in Mattituck. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

February — A “true piece of Greenport’s history” is found during construction in Greenport High School’s cafeteria. Underneath the decades-old paneling rested a 1-by-6-foot piece of wood bearing the signature of Barton B. Corwin — one of the original contractors who built the school in 1933. The plank is now on display in the cafeteria.  (more…)

12/24/14 12:00pm
12/24/2014 12:00 PM
Sean Moran (5) pumps his fist after scoring in sudden-victory overtime to bring Southold a second straight county title. Joining in the celebration are, from left, Ryan DiGregorio, Walker Sutton and Shayne Johnson. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Sean Moran (5) pumps his fist after scoring in sudden-victory overtime to bring Southold a second straight county title. Joining in the celebration are, from left, Ryan DiGregorio, Noah Mina and Shayne Johnson. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

What Sean Moran described as an “out-of-body experience” were the moments immediately after his overtime goal brought Southold a 1-0 triumph over Pierson/Bridgehampton and a second straight Suffolk County Class C boys soccer championship. (more…)

12/23/14 12:00pm
12/23/2014 12:00 PM
Tournament director Jim Christy presenting a scholarship to Molly Kowalski before the women's singles final of the Bob Wall Memorial Tennis Tournament. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Tournament director Jim Christy presenting a scholarship to Molly Kowalski before the women’s singles final of the Bob Wall Memorial Tennis Tournament. (Credit: Garret Meade)

A longtime summer staple on the North Fork, the Bob Wall Memorial Tennis Tournament, played its last match. After 36 years, the plug was pulled on the tournament by its sponsor, Times/Review Newsgroup, in light of declining player entries. (more…)

01/05/14 12:00pm
01/05/2014 12:00 PM
GLEN GOLDSTEIN COURTESY PHOTO  |  For-profit events such as the North Fork Century ride (pictured) are no longer allowed in Southold Town.

GLEN GOLDSTEIN COURTESY PHOTO | A biking/hiking trail from Riverhead to Orient would be just what this writer is looking for in 2014.

I know you’re supposed to make resolutions for the New Year, but this year I have only wishes. (Truth be told, my resolutions don’t seem to have worked out all that well in the past.) We’ll not dwell here on the obvious wishes — world peace, good health, a return to the Original Obama and a 28th World Series title for the Yankees — but focus instead on this place that we all know and love: Long Island’s North Fork.

It’s an intensely personal list — perhaps a tad, uh, wishful — and I make no claim that it’s comprehensive. And if you don’t like Troy’s list, I encourage you to send yours to me at [email protected]. I’ll share the best wishes in this space in the near future.

So here goes:

• I wish Southold Town would take some of the hundreds of thousands of dollars it receives each year from the Community Preservation Fund to develop a plan for a new biking/hiking trail from the Riverhead Town line to Orient Point. Such a trail might use portions of the Long Island Rail Road right of way and existing nature preserves, parks and bike paths, but the big piece would involve new access through existing vineyards and farms. The positive impact on the tourism industry here would be incalculable.

• I wish the folks who program the Suffolk Theatre would step it up a level or two in terms of the acts they’re presenting. If attendance has been disappointing, it’s because Suffolk hasn’t been able to reach the level that the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center and Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett seem to have reached. Yes, I know, that takes dough, but better acts will generate more dough.

• I wish the Village Cinema in Greenport would stop trying to be everything to everybody (now showing: Superman 17!) and instead pattern itself after an art house theater like the Sag Harbor Cinema. After all, the Greenport theater is owned by Shelter Island summer resident Josh Sapan, who is chief executive officer and president of AMC Networks, which has presented such outstanding independent-style programing as “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead.”

• I wish the Greenport business district could attract a few more traditional retailers. Men’s clothing, sporting goods and electronics/computers are sectors that come to mind, and I’m sure there are others. (Historically, The Arcade used to fill some of those niches, after a fashion, but the big box stores in Riverhead are killer competition for a purveyor of general merchandise.)

• I wish the Democratic Party would regain its former juice and re-establish some semblance of a two-party political system in Southold Town.

• I wish that the Greenport and Southold school districts’ recent decision to share one superintendent represents another significant step toward broader school consolidation — administrative, academic and athletic. Imagine, for example, a boys varsity basketball team that includes Greenport’s Gavin Dibble, Southold’s Liam Walker and Mattituck’s Gene Allen. We’re talking state championship, baby!

• I wish Southold Town’s justices and The Suffolk Times would reach an accord that would allow the ultimate disposition of certain cases they hear, such as DWIs and other arrests, to be published regularly in the paper. That way, if an original charge is reduced or dismissed, or a person is found not guilty, readers of the newspaper will know about it, just as they knew about the original arrest.

• I wish rumors that a new indoor tennis facility is coming to the North Fork prove to be true. We’ve needed one for decades and a quick survey of clientele at the indoor tennis facilities in Quogue and Westhampton suggests we’ve got enough players up here to make a North Fork facility viable. Not to mention the impact it might have on the high school tennis programs here.

• Finally, I wish the Southold Town Highway Department would move Village Lane, Orient, to the top of its to-be-repaved list. The former Joan Giger Walker and I start out virtually every road trip — whether it’s to Greenport or Cincinnati — over some of the roughest road America has to offer. (OK, it’s no Cross Bronx Expressway, but it’s still pretty darn bumpy.)

Settle down. I told you this was a personal list.