Tag Archive | "Suffolk County"

Whalers Baseball Challenged Early

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Pierson shortstop James Sherry waits to make a tag at second base against Southampton last week.

Pierson shortstop James Sherry waits to make a tag at second base against Southampton last week.

By Gavin Menu; photography by Gavin Menu

One week into the spring season and the Pierson baseball team has already gone on a rollercoaster of a ride.

Preparing for a trimmed down league schedule compared to years past, the Whalers have been “fortunate” to open the season with a competitive series of non-league games against larger schools, according to head coach Jon Tortorella, who believes the early challenges will be beneficial for a team expected to make another deep run in the postseason this year.

The Whalers let a six-run lead slip away against Southampton on opening day at Mashashimuet Park last Thursday. Senior ace Forrest Loesch started the game and left after four innings with a comfortable 7-1 lead. James Sherry pitched well in relief, but four defensive errors led to seven unearned runs and, ultimately, a 10-7 win for the Mariners.

Pierson bounced back with an 8-1 road win at Mercy on Friday and capped the week with a 3-2 loss to Westhampton Beach on Monday. The Hurricanes, who expect to make the playoffs in Class A this year, won in walk-off fashion with a tie-breaking run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

“Good game, good team,” Tortorella said about the Hurricanes. “They scored two in the first, and one in the bottom of the seventh. They had two outs, and their kid hit a single to right to score the winning run.”

Tim Markowski picked up the win with a complete game against Mercy and Nick Kruel pitched well against Westhampton in wintery conditions, going the distance with his trademark knuckleball.

All in all, Tortorella said his pitching staff has been as good as advertised so far this season.

“I’ve been pleased with our pitching, big time,” Tortorella said. “They’re not in mid-season form and they’re still finding their stuff. It’s nice to see them battle through and gut out some innings even though they don’t have their best stuff yet.”

Against Southampton, a lively home crowd came out for spring-like weather in Sag Harbor and Pierson’s bats were alive during an explosive first inning. Johnny Chisholm kicked things off with a triple, and came home on an RBI single by Loesch. The Whalers batted through the lineup, with Aaron Schiavoni, Loesch, Markowski, Kruel and Jack Fitzpatrick all coming around to score.

Loesch scored again in the bottom of the second, but the Whalers bats went quiet for the remainder of the afternoon, and the defense fell apart late with Sherry on the mound. Southampton scored five runs in the top of the fifth inning, and four more in the top of the seventh. Pierson finished with a total of six errors.

“After Thursday, we really cleaned our defense up,” Tortorella said. “We scored six runs in the second inning against Mercy, and our pitching was the same. I was happy with our defense and how they responded.”

The Whalers will play one last non-league game tomorrow, March 28, at East Hampton at 4 p.m. The League IX season will begin with a three-game series against Smithtown Christian, starting on the road Monday at 4:30 p.m. The series will return to Sag Harbor for game two on Thursday, April 3 at 4:30 p.m. and will wrap up back at Smithtown Christian on April 4, also at 4:30 p.m.

New York State Declares March 17 Pyrrhus Concer Day

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Brenda and Fred

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. presented Brenda Simmons, director of the African American Museum on the East End, with a proclamation declaring March 17 to be Pyrrhus Concer Day in New York State last Saturday.

The document was presented at a program held at the Southampton Historical Museum honoring the 200th anniversary of Concer’s birth. Over 120 people attended the event, including Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley and Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman.

Lady Whalers Riding High into New Season

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Leading the Pierson softball team this season will be, from left to right, Kasey Gilbride, Meg Schiavoni, Emma Romeo, Sam Duchemin, Zoe Diskin and Sabrina Baum.

Leading the Pierson softball team this season will be, from left to right, Kasey Gilbride, Meg Schiavoni, Emma Romeo, Sam Duchemin, Zoe Diskin and Sabrina Baum.

By Gavin Menu; photography by Michael Heller

There’s a bright and confident aura surrounding the Pierson softball team as it heads into the spring season. And rightfully so.

The Lady Whalers have returned almost their entire lineup from last year’s team, which advanced to the New York State Class C Final Four before losing to eventual state champion, Frewsburg, in the semifinal round. The returning players include co-captains Kasey Gilbride, Emma Romeo and junior pitcher Sam Duchemin, all who have championship pedigree to spare and high hopes of overcoming last season’s semifinal loss.

“They’re focused, they have their goals set, they know what they want to do,” head coach Melissa Edwards said this week, speaking specifically about her co-captains, who were part of the school’s state championship field hockey team in the fall. “They are the leaders of my team, but this is a team thing. There is an overall family aspect to it. This is a group effort, and they get that.”

Gilbride and Romeo return for their senior years after having played varsity for the last four seasons. Gilbride is the team’s “coach on the field,” according to Edwards, not to mention its best hitter and sure-handed shortstop.

“Kasey overall is the consummate athlete,” Edwards said. “She’s lights out in field hockey, but she’s a very good softball player as well. She has speed and power.”

Romeo, who was injured for most of field hockey season, returns as the starting catcher and battery mate to Duchemin, who should be one of the top pitchers in the league, if not Suffolk County.

“Pitching is the only thing I worry about in the offseason,” Edwards said. “But Sam plays travel all year long, and as long as she is throwing, that’s all that matters. Pitching has to be a year-round thing.”

Also returning to the infield this spring are juniors Sabrina Baum, at second base, and Meg Schiavoni, at third. Freshman Lottie Evans returns at first base, giving the Lady Whalers a formidable, albeit young, infield that is stacked with talent.

“We are a returning squad, but we’re still a very young returning squad with only two seniors,” Edwards said. “Meg Schiavoni has gotten so much better, and Sabrina is so much better as well. Lottie’s so strong, she’s tall, she’s got it all. My infield is insane.”

Edwards is also excited to bring back a strong core of returning players in the outfield, including junior Zoe Diskin and freshman Isabel Peters, who started last year as an eighth grader. Freshmen Cali Cafiero, Maizy Guyer and Mackenzie Beadenbeck will compete for time in the outfield as well.

The Lady Whalers’ charge upstate began last year with a win over Port Jefferson in a three-game Suffolk County Class C Championship series. Port Jeff has moved up to Class B this year, so the only teams that could stop Pierson from another county title are Southold-Greenport and Stony Brook. There are no Class C teams in Nassau County, so a win in Suffolk would advance Pierson straight to regional competition.

There has been a re-alignment with league play this season, and Pierson will compete in League V with all of the Suffolk’s Class B and Class C schools. The league season will begin this Monday, March 24, with a home game against Mattituck at 4:30 p.m.

“It’s pretty neat coming off the run we had last year,” Edwards said. “And there’s an expectation to go back. Kasey, Emma and Sam are doing a dynamic job of keeping everyone focused.”

“Overall this season, we’re very optimistic,” she continued. “Our goal is to go back to states and we’re working hard at it.”

Suffolk County to Create Tick Advisory Committee

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At its March 4 meeting, the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously passed a resolution sponsored by County Legislator Jay Schneiderman to create a tick control advisory committee. The committee will advise the county’s Division of Vector Control on developing a plan to reduce tick-borne illnesses in the county.

The committee will consist of 12 members, including a person knowledgeable in the area of tick control designated by the commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services who will serve as the chair. Mr. Schneiderman will also be on the committee, as will County Executive Steve Bellone, Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory, Legislator Al Krupski, the chair of the Legislature’s Public Works Committee; Legislator William Spencer, the chair of the Legislature’s Health Committee, Commissioner Greg Dawson of Suffolk County Parks, a representative of an environmental advocacy group, a public health professional, a representative of the East End Supervisors and Mayors Association and a representative of the Cornell Cooperative Extension.

In 2013, Legislator Schneiderman sponsored a resolution that requires the division of Suffolk County Vector Control to submit a yearly plan to reduce the incidence of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 300,000 yearly cases of Lyme disease. There are 1,000 cases of West Nile per year, making it 300 times more likely that a Suffolk County resident will contract Lyme disease than West Nile virus, said Legislator Schneiderman.

“A primary function of government is to protect the health and welfare of residents of Suffolk County,” he said. “This committee will help Vector Control develop a plan to reduce the incidence of tick borne illnesses.”

North Haven Woman Charged in Serial Burglary Case

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By Kathryn G. Menu

A North Haven resident was arrested last week and charged in connection with a string of burglaries in East Hampton in 2013.

On Monday, March 3, Erin Reiser, 32, turned herself into East Hampton Town Police, Captain Chris Anderson confirmed on Wednesday. Ms. Reiser was charged with three counts of criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, a felony crime, as well as a felony count of possession of stolen property in the fourth degree and two counts of possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, a misdemeanor.

According to police, Ms. Reiser was the girlfriend of Justin Bennett, a resident of Springs who was arrested in October and charged in connection with a rash of burglaries on the South Fork. On Wednesday, Capt. Anderson confirmed that Ms. Reiser was in a 2003 Toyota sedan occupied by Mr. Bennett when detectives pulled the vehicle over on Route 114 in October.

“We recovered from the interior of the vehicle jewelry, with some electronics, and that is what these charges are connected too,” said Capt. Anderson.

In November, Mr. Bennett pled not guilty to 25 counts of burglary in the second degree, one count of attempted burglary in the second degree and one count of attempted burglary in the third degree, all felony crimes. According to police, beginning in January of 2013, Mr. Bennett burglarized 25 homes in East Hampton, Sag Harbor and Southampton.

The thefts totaled over $126,000 in cash, jewelry and prescription medications, according to the indictment. Mr. Bennett admitted to police that he suffered from a severe heroin addiction, which led him to commit the crimes.

He has been held in lieu of $200,000 cash bail or a $400,000 bond, at Suffolk County Jail in Yaphank.

The charges Ms. Reiser faces in connection to the case are directly tied to the evidence police recovered from the Toyota in October, said Capt. Anderson, adding that Ms. Reiser’s arrest was delayed as a result of the ongoing investigation.

Ms. Reiser was arraigned on March 3 before East Hampton Town Justice Steven Tekulsky, and posted $2,500 bail at the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside.

 

 

New York Legislators Call For Two-Year Delay on DEC Plan to Eradicate State’s Mute Swan Population

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Mute swans at the East Hampton Nature Trail on February 17. Michael Heller photo.

Mute swans at the East Hampton Nature Trail on February 17. Michael Heller photo.

By Tessa Raebeck

New York officials have introduced legislation that would impose a two-year delay on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s plan to eradicate the state’s mute swan population by 2025.

Co-sponsored by Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. of Sag Harbor, the bill would halt the DEC plan, which was introduced in December, and require the DEC to illustrate the “actual damage” the mute swan population causes to the environment or other species before exterminating the birds altogether.

“Wildlife experts, rehabilitators and environmentalists do not unanimously agree that exterminating the mute swan population is justified,” Mr. Thiele said in a statement. “In addition, there is debate amongst such experts about whether the planned eradication of the mute swan population is even minimally beneficial to the ecosystem or to our environment. Therefore, it is incumbent on the [DEC] to illustrate the necessity of eradicating this non-native species by demonstrating the actual damage to the environment or other species caused by mute swans.”

Mute swans are a species of swan named “mute” because they are less vocal than other swans. Native to Europe and Asia, they were brought to North America in the late 1870s due largely to their aesthetic appeal. Initially introduced in New York as ornaments on the estates of the lower Hudson Valley and Long Island, mute swans were present in the wild by the turn of the 20th century.

According to the DEC, the mute swan population had increased to about 2,000 statewide by 1993, peaked around 2,800 in 2002 and is now estimated at about 2,200, most heavily concentrated on Long Island and in the lower Hudson Valley.

A mute swan in East Hampton. Zachary Persico photo.

A mute swan in East Hampton. Zachary Persico photo.

“On the East End of Long Island, the mute swan is often visible in local ponds and waterways,” stated Mr. Thiele. “My office has not received one report in all my years in office that the mute swan is a nuisance or an environmental problem.”

The DEC says the non-native species causes a variety of environmental problems, “including aggressive behavior towards people, destruction of submerged aquatic vegetation, displacement of native wildlife species, degradation of water quality and potential hazards to aviation.”

Although opposed to the DEC plan, local ecologist Tyler Armstrong said there are ecological benefits to reducing the population. “It would help rare native waterfowl, as mute swans defend large nesting territories and exclude other birds from nesting, as well as competing with native birds for aquatic vegetation, like eelgrass,” he said.

The DEC has conducted “mute swan control activities” since 1993, but not to the extent permitted by the new management plan, which will include shooting free-ranging swans on public lands and private lands (with owner consent) and live capture and euthanasia.

North Haven resident Richard Gambino, professor emeritus at Queens College, said the DEC’s reasons for exterminating the swans are scientifically flawed.

“Everything affects the environment. The question is, do we have a sufficient reason, a necessary reason to kill them off, to exterminate them—and I don’t think we have one here,” he said, calling the plan “extreme.” The aggression shown by swans is evident in all mammals when they feel threatened and it’s arbitrary to call a species “alien” when it has been present for over 130 years, he added.

“If you’ve got a system such as nature—which is the most extreme system, with countless variables changing just about every second—we’re very limited in our ability to predict it,” he said, referring to the chaos theory.

Comments can be sent to the DEC by email to fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us with “Swan Plan” in the subject line by February 21.

New York State Regents Delay Full Implementation of the Common Core Until 2022

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State Education Commissioner Dr. John King, Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Regent Roger Tilles at a forum on the Common Core in December.

State Education Commissioner Dr. John J. King, Jr., Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch and Regent Roger Tilles at a forum on the Common Core in December. (Tessa Raebeck photo).

By Tessa Raebeck

Following criticism from Governor Andrew Cuomo, on Tuesday the New York Board of Regents delayed the requirement that schools fully implement Common Core learning standards until 2022.

The regents also reversed their stance on a measure that would have allowed teachers to defend themselves should they face termination due to students’ low test scores.

On Monday, the state regents proposed 19 measures to address issues with the Common Core, a set of educational learning standards mandated by the state. Governor Cuomo issued a statement on Tuesday saying the action was “yet another in a long series of roadblocks” in the implementation of new statewide educational standards. On Wednesday, the board tabled its recommendation to delay teacher evaluations until April, although the other 18 measures were passed.

As it stands, teachers who receive a rating (calculated by a formula largely dependent on students’ test scores) of “ineffective” or worse for two consecutive years can face termination, even if they have tenure. The measure would have allowed teachers to defend their jobs on the basis of the poor implementation of the Common Core.

Education Commissioner John J. King, Jr. and the regents have faced harsh criticism for the Common Core rollout, which opponents said was haphazardly implemented without proper training, instructional materials and correlations between what is tested and what students actually know.

“We have listened to the concerns of parents and teachers,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch in a statement released Monday. “We’ve heard the concerns expressed at the hearings and forums, and we regret that the urgency of our work, and the unevenness of implementation, have caused frustration and anxiety for some of our educators, students and their families.”

The board delayed the requirement for high school students to pass Common Core-aligned English and math exams at the “college and career-ready” level in order to graduate. The full implementation will now be effective for the class of 2022, rather than the class of 2017 as originally planned.

The measures will also reduce local testing in a few ways, the board said, including the elimination of  local standardized tests in kindergarten through second grade.

The board also delayed the launch of data collection by inBloom, a third party data warehousing company hired by the state to house students’ scores and private information—an especially criticized aspect of the implementation.

“The implementation of the higher standards has been uneven,” admitted Commissioner King, “and these changes will help strengthen the important work happening in schools throughout the state.”

The board also asked the legislature to fund a three-year, $545 million Core Instructional Development Fund aimed at “providing increased professional development for Common Core implementation, and to provide increased funding to reduce field testing, allow for the release of more test items, and support the development of native language arts assessments for English Language Learners.”

Congressman Tim Bishop, State Senator John J. Flanagan, State Senator Kenneth LaValle, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. and Assemblyman Anthony H. Palumbo at the 10th annual Regional Legislative Breakfast Saturday, February 8.

Congressman Tim Bishop, State Senator John J. Flanagan, State Senator Kenneth LaValle, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. and Assemblyman Anthony H. Palumbo at the 10th annual Regional Legislative Breakfast Saturday, February 8. (Tessa Raebeck photo).

Prior to the regents’ announcement, local legislators and school officials gathered at the 10th annual Regional Legislative Breakfast to discuss the state of education. Hosted by the Longwood Central School District and Eastern Suffolk BOCES, the discussion largely centered around the detrimental effects of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) on schools and how to eliminate it.

The GEA was created in 2010 to partially reduce a $10 billion deficit in the state budget. Pushing the burden from the state to public schools, a formula was devised to calculate an amount to be taken away from each district’s state aid.

During the 2011-2012 school year, the GEA was used to allocate an unprecedented $2.56 billion statewide cut in aid. Under the GEA, New York public schools have lost a total of $7.7 billion, or about $2,895 per student.

Centereach High School student president Sim Singh asked the officials what the legislature’s plan is to abolish the GEA and “to meet the state’s financial commitment to fund public education.”

“The battle with this will be with the governor and it will be in the assembly,” replied Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr.

Regardless of party, all legislators in attendance expressed their commitment to lobbying for the complete elimination of the GEA.

Dr. Carl Bonuso, interim superintendent for the Sag Harbor School District, watches a presentation at the Regional Legislative Breakfast February 8.

Dr. Carl Bonuso, interim superintendent for the Sag Harbor School District, watches a presentation at the Regional Legislative Breakfast February 8. (Tessa Raebeck photo).

According to the legislators, Long Island is disproportionately affected by the GEA. Long Island enrolls 17 percent of the state’s students, but receives 12 percent of aid.

“I think,” said Senator Kenneth LaValle, “we’ve got to not only protect what we have, but we’ve got to push back on other regions of the state who may want a disproportionate share.”

Since the start of the GEA, Suffolk County alone has lost $185 million in state aid, or $734 per pupil. Sag Harbor has lost $934,584 and Bridgehampton has lost $308,874.

On Long Island, a total of 3,908 school positions have been eliminated during the three years of the GEA. Long Island schools are receiving less state aid this school year than they received in 2008-2009 ($2.54 billion vs. $2.62 billion).

Janet Grossman

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The new president of the Youth Resource Center of Sag Harbor talks about the future and why this not-for-profit needs community support.

By Stephen J. Kotz

 You were recently named the president of the newly created Youth Resource Center of Sag Harbor, Inc. Why was the organization formed and how long have you been involved?

The Sag Harbor Youth Center and YARD (Youth Advocacy Resource Development) were merged beginning last summer and officially became the Youth Resource Center at the start of the year. County LegislatorJay Schneiderman really pushed for it. The two were competing for limited funding, and ever since the Youth Center had moved to the Old Whalers’ Church, not that many young people were using it.

I’m a retired teacher of English as a second language. I worked in the Sag Harbor School District for 24 years and retired seven and a half years ago. I’ve been involved with YARD since it was started, 15 years ago.

What is the new Youth Resource Center’s mission?

We want to have a place for the young people, the youth, of Sag Harbor to go after school where they can meet friends, play games, and socialize so they don’t have to go home to an empty house when their parents are working. We serve, in the community room at Pierson, 40 to 8 kids a day, mainly middle school kids.

We have games, we have refreshments and activities. Sometimes we have a workshop for kids, a babysitting workshop for instance. We try to offer resources so if they have a problem they can come in. We try to have trips for young people during school vacations and we have safe summer beach program that we run at Long Beach. We want to keep the kids entertained and engaged so they are not getting into trouble in town.

We also have a youth advisory board with 10 or 12 teens on it, so they can tell us what they want.

Now that the programs have been merged, do you see any advantages in funding?

We get some funding from the two villages, Sag Harbor and North Haven, a little funding from the school district, some from the county and some from the state, but we don’t know what we are going to get. A lot of people don’t know our beach program is not connected to the school, so we have to get our own insurance for that and liability insurance is $10,000 alone.

The reality is we are struggling, absolutely struggling.

What are your biggest needs at this point?

One of the most pressing things we need, even more than funding, is volunteers to join the YRC committee, which meets monthly. We know parents have a hard time getting out, but we need active members. They can be senior citizens.

I would like to be able to have more school trips. Over winter break, we took the kids to the bowling alley in Riverhead. This break they may go ice skating at Buckskill, but only about 10 have signed up, so we’ll need parents to drive them because we can’t afford a bus for only 10 kids. We have had trouble getting chaperones.

We also need people willing to work with fundraising. We used to have two or three fundraisers a year, but we only had one this year because there was not enough involvement.

We had a nice fundraiser at B Smith’s in November, but there were two other fundraisers that same night so we only came out with about $6,000 profit after a tremendous effort. We really need people to work on fundraising.

People can call me at 725-5132 if they’d like to help out.

Given the constraints you are facing, what will you focus on this year?

The main thing the kids love is the safe summer beach program that we run at Long Beach. I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to run the program through this summer. After that, I don’t know. If we can just get through this summer, I’ll be really happy.

 

Gilbride Signs Letter of Intent to Attend Richmond

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Family, coaches and friends of Pierson High School senior Kasey Gilbride gathered on Thursday  in the Pierson athetic office to celebrate as she signed a Letter of Intent to attend the University of Richmond on a field hockey scholarship.

Family, coaches and friends of Pierson High School senior Kasey Gilbride gathered on Thursday in the Pierson athletic office to celebrate as she signed a Letter of Intent to attend the University of Richmond on a field hockey scholarship.

By Gavin Menu; photography by Michael Heller

Kasey Gilbride, Pierson High School’s star senior field hockey player, signed a National Letter of Intent last week to play Division I field hockey at the University of Richmond.

Gilbride, who is currently a member of the varsity girls basketball team heading for the postseason, will receive a partial athletic scholarship and will report to campus to begin training in late June, almost immediately after high school graduation. She also plans to close out her high school playing career at shortstop on the Pierson softball team this spring.

“Kasey’s gritty playing style will immediately drive up the level of competition within our culture,” Richmond head coach Gina Lucido said this week while announcing her incoming class of freshman players. “Her athleticism powerfully exerts itself through consistent technical play and continual second effort Kasey has an ability to make game changing momentum shifts through her dynamic gifts and tough mentality. I am eager to see the influence of Kasey‘s winning ways and skill make a mark at the next level.”

Gilbride this week said the size of Richmond and the support of the community reminded her of Pierson and Sag Harbor, which was key in her decision to join the Spiders program. She also clicked with Lucido immediately.

“I love the family feeling of the program,” Gilbride said. “The coach tells the girls all the time that they are worthy of all their success. She actually has ‘worthy’ on the back of the girls’ warm-up tops.”

Gilbride, who was the first-ever athlete from Pierson to earn All-Region honors in field hockey, led the Lady Whalers to the program’s first New York State championship in the fall. And while her game and athletic ability dazzled most onlookers during her career, Gilbride believes she has a lot of room for improvement.

“Technically speaking, the game moves faster due to the turf and just the better skill level of the players, so I have to react faster,” said Gilbride, who is currently playing indoor hockey with her Strong Island team, which recently qualified for indoor nationals, which will be held, believe it or not, in Richmond.

 

Winterfest: Live on the Vine Brings Six Weekends of Wine and Music to the North Fork

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Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks Perform at the Live on the Vine Kick-off Event January 17 at the Suffolk Theater. Photo by Lenny Stucker.

Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks Perform at the Live on the Vine Kick-off Event January 17 at the Suffolk Theater. Photo by Lenny Stucker.

By Tessa Raebeck

Blues, soul, rock, jazz and country music are awakening the vineyards of the North Fork this winter as Winterfest: Live on the Vine combines over 100 musical performances with the natural beauty and exceptional wines of the East End.

Started as Jazz on the Vine in 2006, the annual six-week music festival returns this year as Live on the Vine, with a wider range of musicians, including many Grammy recipients and Grammy-nominated artists, performing at local hotels, restaurants, vineyard tasting rooms and other venues. Designed to stimulate local businesses – and entertain local residents – during the off-season, the festival offers countless specials on accommodations, restaurants and transportation for ticket holders, including ‘Winterfest Getaway’ package deals. Hopper Passes, new this year, allow festivalgoers to see multiple performances in a single day, weekend or throughout the entire festival, without paying separate entrance fees at each show.

Winterfest: Live on the Vine kicked off January 17 at the Suffolk Theater with a sold-out performance by blues-rock icon Johnny Winter. The music continues with multiple performances each day over six weekends, ending Saturday, March 22.

This Friday on Valentine’s Day, the Alexander Clough Trio, a jazz ensemble from Brooklyn, will play a free show at Bistro 72, a restaurant and lounge at Hotel Indigo in Riverhead from 7 to 10 p.m. Also in Riverhead at the Suffolk Theater, Myq Kaplan of Comedy Central’s show “Last Comic Standing” will present a stand-up routine, “Valentine’s Candlelight Comedy,” with dancing to follow.

Throughout the day on Saturday, February 15, 10 North Fork vineyards are hosting shows, with a performance by Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks at the Hotel Indigo Ballroom in Riverhead closing out the day. Another 10 concerts are scheduled for Sunday.

General Admission tickets for Winterfest: Live on the Vine cost $20 and include a glass of wine. Hopper passes do not include wine and are $30 for the day, $50 for the weekend or $200 for the entire six-week festival. For more information, visit liwinterfest.com.