Articles by

Grant Parpan

Grant Parpan is the executive editor for Times/Review Newsgroup.

11/13/14 2:45pm

It was meant to be a private video shared among parents of local rowers.

Two days later, video footage of last weekend’s Riverhead Snowflake Regatta became a viral YouTube sensation.

The now infamous local video with nearly a half-million views, which exploded after it was shared by sports entertainment website Deadspin, NBC Sports and USA Today among others, was shot and published on YouTube by the mother of a local rower.

“I just happened to be taking video and some of the other parents were like ‘Oh, can you send me that?” explained Mary Kay O’Shaughnessy of Riverhead. “So I posted it and it was not listed. It was not public and I sent it to a few parents.

“I don’t know how it got out there.”

YouTube explains: “Making a video unlisted means that only people who have the link to the video can view it … but it could appear elsewhere on the web if you or anyone who you shared the video with shares it more broadly.”

Screen shot 2014-11-13 at 2.21.34 PM

The video depicts several mishaps during the annual racing event, including two crew teams stopped in the middle of the course with their boats apparently stuck.

Spectators along the riverwalk can be heard yelling and cursing at the boaters throughout the video.

Ms. O’Shaughnessy admits the video can be a bit misleading, though. At one point, the video shows an eight-women novice team striking a pier, appearing to force a teenage girl overboard as another team passes the rowers by.

Screen shot 2014-11-13 at 2.21.13 PM

But results show that race featured a staggered start time and the team that struck the pier continued on, and eventually won.

“Not one rower ended up in the water,” Ms. O’Shaughnessy confirmed. “It was very scary, let me tell you, very scary. But they popped back up, not one of them got in the water and they actually won the race.”

And even though websites are making statements like “Riverhead Rowing Sucks!” in headlines, no teams made up of rowers from Riverhead are featured erring in the video.



Ms. O’Shaughnessy, who acknowledged that she licensed the video at the suggestion of others after it went viral, said “it was never my intention to embarrass anybody. Absolutely not.”

“It was for the parents who watched it all happen,” she said. “It was sort of surreal.

“I had some new parents saying, ‘So, this is what happens?” she said. “I said, ‘No, this never happens.’”

One veteran rowing coach who witnessed the races — but asked not to be identified — said these sort of miscues do often happen during novice races.

“This does happen and it’s not a horrible thing,” he said, likening it to foot races where runners stumble over each other.

He said sometimes young rowers can’t hear instructions from their coaches while out on the water, or have trouble seeing over each other, which could make it appear that boats are stuck while the team tries to figured out what to do.

Screen shot 2014-11-13 at 2.22.07 PM

Ms. O’Shaughnessy said one positive from the video is that it might encourage coaches to address some safety issues within the sport.

“Maybe this can be used as a teaching tool for young kids [to learn] what to do when you get in a situation like that,” she said. “Or, you know, what not to do.”

Ms. O’Shaughnessy said she hopes the video doesn’t cause any trouble for the race organizers at East End Rowing.

“I’m so grateful the Snowflake Regatta is here,” she said. “It’s great for the local kids to go out and row.”

gparpan@timesreview.com

10/19/14 8:00am
Riverhead football coach Leif Shay addressing his players following their win over Newfield Oct. 11. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Riverhead football coach Leif Shay addressing his players following their win over Newfield Oct. 11. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

At 6-foot-4 and the Arby’s side of 300 pounds, I get asked a lot about my past life as a football player.

The truth is, I didn’t play much growing up.

I played youth football the summer going into fifth grade until my parents gave me the option of quitting after my coach was arrested on — of all things — a domestic violence charge.  (more…)

10/16/14 6:39pm
The house on South Harbor Road in Southold, where emergency officials were called following a shooting early Tuesday morning. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

The house on South Harbor Road in Southold, where emergency officials were called following a shooting early Tuesday morning. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

A 16-year-old alleged MS-13 gang member from Southold was arrested at Southampton Hospital Thursday where he was being treated for a gunshot wound following the Tuesday morning shooting incident on South Harbor Road, town police said.  (more…)

10/12/14 2:00pm
Nikola Tesla's final laboratory in Shoreham will be open to the public for three hours later this month. (Credit: Tesla Society, courtesy)

Nikola Tesla’s final laboratory in Shoreham will be open to the public for three hours later this month. (Credit: Tesla Society, courtesy)

You’ve likely driven past legendary scientist Nikola Tesla’s lab in Shoreham many times in the past.

And it’s even more likely you’ve never set foot on the lab’s grounds.

You can change all that from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 25.  (more…)

10/10/14 6:22am
A police officer investigates the scene where a pickup truck collided with an ambulance. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

A police officer investigates the scene where an SUV collided with an ambulance. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

A Riverhead ambulance en route to Stony Brook University Hospital was struck by an SUV in Riverhead Thursday night at the intersection of Middle Road and Northville Turnpike, town police said in a press release. (more…)

10/07/14 11:57am
Vivian Bell, right, with her daughter, Catherine Smith, at Ms. Bell's 100th birthday party in 2012. (Credit: Grant Parpan, file)

Vivian Bell, right, with her daughter, Catherine Smith, at Ms. Bell’s 100th birthday party in 2012. (Credit: Grant Parpan, file)

At her 100th birthday party outside Living Water Church in Aquebogue in August 2012, Vivian Bell was the liveliest person in the tent.

She sang. She danced. She hugged. She kissed.

“She’s the happiest person I’ve ever met in my life,” said Ms. Bell’s great-grandson, Ty Wilson, 25, of Wyandanch. “She has the energy of a much younger person.”

Ms. Bell, who was born Vivian Lenore Richardson, exhibited that exuberance right up until the end. She died Sunday afternoon at the age of 102.  (more…)