Featured Story
09/17/15 8:00pm
CHRIS LISINSKI PHOTO

CHRIS LISINSKI PHOTO

In the crisp air of a September afternoon, 15-year-old Christian Shackel and his father, Matt, can easily pick up and flip the wooden skeleton in their Aquebogue front yard. But soon enough, once Christian adds six more sheets worth of plywood, fiberglass and an engine, the 18-foot handmade work skiff won’t be quite as easy to lift.  READ

06/20/15 6:00am
A screen registered boaters will reach on their smartphones when they use the SlipFinder app to locate a last minute reservation for a boat berth. (Credit: Courtesy)

Registered boaters can use the SlipFinder app to locate a last minute reservation for a boat berth.

Need to order a pizza? Click on an app. Need to book a plane ticket? Click on an app for that, too.

Need to find an open slip at a marina while out on the water? Well, now there’s an app for that.

The app SlipFinder — a recent addition to the boating world designed by two Long Islanders — allows boaters to make last-minute accommodations from their smartphone. Several local marinas have signed on with the app this season, while others remain skeptical over its effectiveness.

(more…)

06/05/15 12:00pm
06/05/2015 12:00 PM

An osprey couple is preparing for the birth of its three babies in a nest on the North Fork.

Best of all, you can be there to watch it. The hatchlings’ arrival — expected any day now — is being filmed and shown via a live video stream online.

Tax Reduction Services (TRS) is sponsoring Osprey Zone, a website that allows people to watch the osprey couple, affectionately named George and Gracie, in their nest with a view of the Peconic Bay.

The exact location of the nest hasn’t been revealed since the company doesn’t want people spooking the birds, said TRS president Paul Henry.

The feed has been live on the site since June 1. The osprey family has been seen nesting in that location since April, according to comments on the site.

Mr. Henry, who set up the streaming software, said he plans on making the website a permanent installation. He’ll use clips from the footage filmed this summer to make a documentary that will run on the site during the winter.

“We have footage from last year when they started building the nest and we’re getting footage of the babies being born and fed and learning to fly,” he said. “Hopefully during next spring, they come back and do it all again.”

Osprey Zone also features saved videos. The one- to two-minute long clips feature the birds returning to the nest with a fish, guarding the eggs, communicating with each other and more.

Mr. Henry said that while the hatching of the babies is exciting, there’s more to the birds’s story than that.

“There’s a wonderful story about how [the osprey] came back from near extinction,” he said. “That’s a very big part of story and my interest as well.”

He said that while he has a personal interest in both the osprey and filming, TRS is sponsoring the livestream for the community and Long Island as a whole to enjoy.

“I really think this is a really valuable thing here,” said Mr. Henry. “We have people contacting us who are bedridden, students, or disabled who are just watching it and enjoying it. It’s kind of calming. I think there’s a certain medicinal value to it in the way it affects people.”

[email protected]