10/17/14 8:00am
10/17/2014 8:00 AM
Friends of the Big Duck Ranch vice president Fran Cobb (from left) in the Big Duck Museum's newly renovated barn with co-curators Lisa Dabrowski and David Wilcox. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Friends of the Big Duck Ranch vice president Fran Cobb (from left) in the Big Duck Museum’s newly renovated barn with co-curators Lisa Dabrowski and David Wilcox. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

It’s an industry that once defined the area. And while duck farming has faded over the past several decades, Friends of the Big Duck are determined to keep Long Island’s history in the business alive and well in Flanders for future generations to learn about.

“Most people have no idea how large the [duck] industry was out here,” said Lisa Dabrowski, co-curator of the Big Duck Museum, which opens its doors Saturday. “I am looking forward to seeing the reaction when visitors see how inspiring the industry really was.”  (more…)

07/05/14 3:09pm
07/05/2014 3:09 PM
The James Benjamin Homestead, circa 1782, is believed to be the oldest house in Flanders. It's on th eNational Register of Historic Places. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

The James Benjamin Homestead, circa 1782, is believed to be the oldest house in Flanders. It’s on th eNational Register of Historic Places. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Did you know that the David W. Crohan Community Center in Flanders was once the site of a roller rink known as Ben’s Roller Dome? Or that the long-shuttered Bayview Market at the corner of Longneck Boulevard and Flanders Road was built in 1910 and was used as a meeting room for the Flanders Fire Department when it first formed in 1948?  (more…)

06/22/14 10:00am
06/22/2014 10:00 AM

Cutchogue 7-Eleven reopensPetitions. Picket signs. Whistles and horns. Your local Democratic party leader comparing it to Walmart, which has “destroyed America.”

Dozens of letters to the editor.

That’s how you protest a 7-Eleven. At least, that’s how they did it in Mattituck in 2009.

The folks in Flanders, however, have taken another tack to try and stop a local “Sevs” from opening. They’ve waited until after construction started to raise concerns publicly, despite News-Review coverage of the store’s coming dating back to December, when plans for a 7-Eleven at Flanders Road and Cypress Avenue were filed.

All isn’t lost for Flanders residents, however.

If they keep up the fight, the company might see to it that a “countrified” version of 7-Eleven — complete with dry-stacked veneer stones and faux shingle siding — be built to improve the franchise’s appearance. You see, the Mattituck protesters never won their battle; they just got a prettier store.

I’d caution Flanders residents against fighting too hard, though. Just look at what happened on Route 25A in Wading River, where locals successfully protested a planned 7-Eleven in the 1980s and instead got a McDonald’s — albeit a “countrified” McDonald’s.

This all got me to thinking. What the heck is wrong with 7-Eleven, anyway? I can understand complaints about Walmart putting mom-and-pop shops out of business and altering the faces of entire communities, but are 7-Elevens really shutting down local pizza parlors and chasing away bagel shops? Are they undercutting the local IGA?

And is having a convenient place to buy milk or allergy medicine in the wee hours really so bad?

Despite everyone’s fears, the bump in traffic at the Mattituck location is barely noticeable — at least to me, and I work just a few blocks away.

When reached this week, Vince Taldone, a Riverhead resident who serves as president of the Flanders, Riverside & Northampton Community Association, admitted the community has been late in its protest of the 7-Eleven. He said the delayed reaction was due, in part, to the fact that the 7-Eleven crept up quietly, eventually supplanting the original plan for a mom-and-pop market, which most residents were expecting at that location.

Many of the people who have come to him and the community association recently with concerns, he said, fear the store will become a pickup place for migrant workers headed farther east. But he doesn’t see that happening, mainly because the Flanders store isn’t in a central location like with the Southampton 7-Eleven, which served as a hiring hall for years.

He thinks a real concern, however, is safety in that area of Flanders Road — for both vehicles and pedestrians.

“There’s a constant flow of cars moving fast, and you’ll have people turning into the parking lot at a pretty fast clip,” Mr. Taldone said. “This would be high-volume and it’s going to be tricky for cars getting in and out. Although it’s legal and meets the zoning, we really question the wisdom of a 7-Eleven on this corner.”

But at the same time, he said, Flanders and Riverside residents have been pushing for years for more commercial development in the hamlets to ease the residential tax burden. While 7-Eleven isn’t exactly Whole Foods, it’s something new and shiny along a corridor that at times looks like a place time forgot. Mr. Taldone speculated that the overall resistance to 7-Elevens everywhere might have been what led the company to choose the tiny corner plot far away from other commercial areas in the first place.

He suspects too that, in the end, people will likely be satisfied with the store’s convenience and other benefits.

“It’s a commercial building; it will pay a substantial amount of taxes to the school district,” he said. “People won’t have to drive to Hampton Bays or Riverhead. If we had known from the start it was going to be a 7-Eleven, maybe we would have pushed for a different intersection. But it serves its purpose; if you need a quart of milk on a Sunday night, there it is, and you’re a customer.

“It’s a running joke,” he continued, that “everyone hates a 7-Eleven until you need one.”

To underscore his point, think back to what was perhaps the loudest protest in recent decades against an East End 7-Eleven — in the Village of Sag Harbor. That store eventually opened on Water Street, right in the heart of the historic business district. Its owner was later elected mayor.

The company’s slogan isn’t “Oh, thank Heaven” for nothing.

Michael White is the editor of The Suffolk Times and Riverhead News-Review. He can be reached at [email protected] or 631-298-3200, ext. 152.

06/16/14 10:16am


Sponsored By Flanders Heating & Air Conditioning.

Flanders Heating & Air Conditioning is a customer focused heating and air-conditioning company that was originally started in 1954. Located in Flanders NY, we employ highly trained people whose goal is to make our company the best service company in the East End.

One Quick and Easy DIY Tip to Keep Your Home Cool and Comfortable this Summer!

Here’s the thing: the harder any piece of mechanical equipment has to work, the more energy it uses, and the quicker it needs service or repair. Look at it this way — if you change the oil in your car regularly, and keep the tires inflated, your car lasts longer and you get much better gas mileage, right?

Well, the same thinking holds true for your home’s central air conditioning system — do a little regular maintenance and not only will you pay a whole lot less to PSE&G, but the system itself will last years longer.

While it’s best to have a certified HVAC service professional perform an annual maintenance on your system in order to repair sealed areas, clean coils and fins, and adjust both the blower and refrigerant as needed, the one thing that you can do is replace your systems air filter on a regular basis.

Think of your AC system as something that breathes: the air filter is like a fine mask that traps dust and particulates so they don’t circulate through your home. But as they accumulate, the system needs to work much harder to ‘inhale’ — which means that you’ll use more energy and increase wear on the overall system. Plus, over time, clogged filter often give way, allowing dust and allergens to circulate throughout your house.

Luckily, the fix is an easy one — Just Change your Filter. And here’s how to do it:

1) Turn Off The Power:

IMPORTANT: Be sure to TURN OFF your Indoor Air Conditioning Unit before servicing the unit. Simply locate the safety switch, which looks like a light switch, on the blower, air handler or furnace, and switch it off. In some cases, the switch may be at the top of the basement stairs or on the wall next to the indoor unit.

2) Locate Your Filter:

Air Filters are always located in the airflow stream of your system, typically, in one of two places, the main living area, or the basement. In the main living area, air filter access will be on the return air-duct register: look for a large rectangular grate, usually located on either a wall or ceiling, often in a central hallway. If it is in the basement, it will be part of the air-handler unit, usually by your furnace. In this case, look for a panel or door (sometimes marked “Filter”) mounted near the blower motor. In either location, the panel or grate can either slide off or easily be removed with a screwdriver.

3) Clean or Replace Your Filter:

Once you have located the filter, check to see if it is disposable, or intended to be cleaned and reused. If the filter is disposable, simply discard and replace with a new one, taking care to match the arrows with the direction of the air flow. If it is a reusable filter, cleaning instructions are usually printed on the filter itself. In most cases, cleaning involves simply rinsing the filter with a garden hose and allowing it to dry throughly before placing back in the unit.

4) Once your filter has been either cleaned or replaced, secure the panels and/or grates in reverse order. Then, turn on the safety switch and restart you system.

And that’s all there is to it! Remember, a little maintenance goes a long way. Stay cool, and have a great Summer!

04/21/14 12:23pm
04/21/2014 12:23 PM


With winter ending and spring arriving, Long Island residents will soon face that humid, sweltering heat that comes with every summer season.

But this summer you don’t have to be miserable in the heat.

Flanders Heating and Air Conditioning has a number of tips and products to help anyone survive this upcoming season. (more…)