File photo: John Neely

Congressional hearings have been in the news a lot lately. This week in 1947, now-infamous hearings got underway by Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee, investigating Communist influence in Hollywood.

The “Hollywood Ten” resisted, refusing to testify, arguing that the hearings were illegal and violated their First Amendment rights. They were all convicted of obstructing the investigation and served jail terms.

In response to pressure by the McCarthy committee, the Hollywood establishment implemented a blacklist of work by some 325 screenwriters, actors and directors who were not cleared by the committee. The blacklisted included: actor/ filmmaker Orson Welles, playwright Arthur Miller, composer Aaron Copland, and writers Dashiell Hammett and Lillian Hellman.

Also this week in history: On Oct. 21, 1879, Thomas Edison successfully tested an electric incandescent lamp with a carbonized filament at his New Jersey laboratory.

On Oct. 22, 1962, President John F. Kennedy went on TV to inform America that Russia had missiles in Cuba.

Riverhead Coffin Races, 2017. File photo: Courtney Blasl.

Coming up this week:

On Oct. 22, the Riverhead High School girls cross-country team is running at Indian Island County Park to raise awareness for metastatic research. Stromski’s daughter Madison is a member of the team.

The Town of Riverhead will host a Civil Service job informational seminar on Wednesday, Oct. 23 for residents interested in learning how to obtain Civil Service employment. There will be two sessions, one at 6 p.m. and another at 7:30 p.m. The seminar takes place at the Riverhead Senior Center, 60 Shade Tree Lane, Aquebogue.

The News-Review is hosting a Riverhead Town candidates debate on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at Polish Hall in Riverhead. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. (Insert shameless self-serving plug here: RiverheadLOCAL is Facebook Live debates Oct. 29 & 30 at 7 p.m. both nights. The council candidates face off on Tuesday, Oct. 29 and the supervisor candidates debate on Wednesday, Oct. 30.)

“Little Women, the Musical” is on stage at North Fork Community Theatre Thursday, Oct. 24 through Sunday, Oct. 27. Curtain at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Trunk or Treat at Stotzky Park on Friday, Oct. 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. Transform the trunk or tailgate of your vehicle into a spooky, sweet, fantastic display where kids can trick-or-treat. Feel free to dress in costume.

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” will be screened at The Suffolk Theater on Friday, Oct. 25 at 8 p.m., kicking off Riverhead’s Halloween Fest. There is no admission charge but there is a $20 per person food and beverage minimum.

Run for the Ridley, a fundraiser for the N.Y. Marine Rescue Center in Riverhead, starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26.

It’s household hazardous wastes collection day in Riverhead on Saturday, Oct. 26, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Riverhead Highway Department facility on Osborn Avenue. Riverhead CAP and Riverhead Town Police will also collect unused or unwanted prescription medications on Saturday at the highway facility.

Southampton Town Police will collect expired and unused medication for safe disposal on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Crohan Community Center on Flanders Road.

Early voting kicks off on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Riverhead Senior Center, 60 Shade Tree Lane, Aquebogue. See story for more information.

Food Truck Derby at Hallockville on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. will showcase local culinary businesses including Eat Me Drink Me, Mattitaco, Moustache Brewing Company, Rolling in Smoke, Chiddy’s Cheesesteaks, North Fork Doughnut Company, Island Empanada, Roxy’s Ice Cream Truck, Anewyorkicanthing, Nice Buns, Cheezy Pete’s, and more! The food truck derby is sponsored by Edible East End and Isobel Media.

Riverhead’s Coffin Races take place on Griffing Avenue at 3 p.m. Saturday. (Check-in time: 2 p.m.)

Dracula the Play opens at Vail-Leavitt Music Hall on Saturday at 3 p.m. A second performance takes place at 8 p.m.

There’ll be trick-or-treating along Main Street in Riverhead from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

The Grand Halloween Costume Parade steps off at 7 p.m. on West Main Street and proceeds east on Main Street, ending with entertainment and an award ceremony on the Riverhead Town show mobile on the Peconic Riverfront.

The current school board at its organizational meeting July 2.
Photo: Maria Piedrabuena

Here’s the lineup of government meetings in Riverhead this week:


  • Riverhead Industrial Development Agency, 5:30 p.m. at Riverhead Town Hall.
  • Riverhead Anti-Bias Task Force, 5:30 p.m. at Riverhead Senior Center, Shade Tree Lane, Aquebogue


  • Riverhead Board of Education, 7 p.m. at Riverhead High School


  • Architectural Review Board, 4 p.m. at Riverhead Town Hall


  • Traffic safety committee, 8:30 a.m. at Riverhead Town Hall
  • Town Board work session, 10 a.m. at Riverhead Town Hall
  • Parking District advisory committee, 4 p.m. at Riverhead Town Hall
  • Zoning Board of Appeals, 6:30 p.m. at Riverhead Town Hall


  • Alternative transportation committee, 10:30 a.m. at Riverhead Town Hall

In case you missed it

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.