03/02/15 12:00pm
03/02/2015 12:00 PM
Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) is a House Foreign Affairs Committee member. (Courtesy file photo)

Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) is a House Foreign Affairs Committee member. (Courtesy file photo)

In Lee Zeldin, Eastern Long Island has sent to Congress someone who in just two months in office has become a national figure taking on radical Islam.

The rapid rise to prominence of Mr. Zeldin comes as ISIS conducts beheadings, burns alive a captured Jordanian pilot, abducts and rapes women and carries out other heinous, barbarous acts.

At issue at a recent meeting of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, to which Mr. Zeldin was appointed by the House Republican leadership, a rarity for a freshman member, was ISIS and President Obama’s submission to Congress of a war powers measure to fight it. (more…)

03/02/15 10:59am
An artist’s rendering of the main atrium at the Family Community Life Center’s recreational and other facilities.

A rendering of the main atrium at the Family Community Life Center’s planned rec center.

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to some thoughts on drug arrests found in both a recent News-Review editorial and a follow-up letter from Richard Park. I agree that we can’t arrest our way out of a gang problem.

More convictions aren’t the answer. As a community, we need to provide our youth with alternatives to drugs and gangs. As the News-Review pointed out, Riverhead has no YMCA or large recreation center. We need to offer a safe place for our teens to hang out and have fun, one with structure and supervision. The town’s answer is that we can’t afford anything like that now. (more…)

02/28/15 12:00pm
02/28/2015 12:00 PM
An iced Iron Pier in Northville. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

An iced Iron Pier in Northville. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Driving with my wife, Vera, and son, Jack, down Route 25 in Calverton on Sunday, I witnessed a picturesque scene: Two women on cross-country skis gliding up the bike path at the Enterprise Park at Calverton, while rays of sunlight pierced through the trees around them.

For a moment, I thought to myself, “Where is my camera? I must turn around.” Then I kept driving.

There’s a reason I didn’t want to stop. The temperature reading on my dashboard told me it wasn’t worth it.  (more…)

02/27/15 1:50pm
02/27/2015 1:50 PM
Sidewalk2

Dallas Wiese walks up Route 58 about once a week to meet his mother after her shift at Stop & Shop ends. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

Many Riverhead taxpayers have made clear from time to time — whether it’s at public meetings, through correspondence or conversations with newspaper staff or even in our online comments section — that they think lots of big businesses in town have it too easy.

Whether the reason is the tax breaks given by the Industrial Development Agency, the terms of a final site plan approval by the Planning Board or — most recently and quite obviously — lax code enforcement over shoveling sidewalks on Route 58, the public’s perception sometimes is that the town overlooks average taxpayers in favor of of business owners.

Related: Riverhead issues $10K in tickets for uncleared Route 58 sidewalks

Those perceptions could be argued: The town’s code enforcement resources are limited and businesses do generate jobs and tax dollars. If they don’t get some kind of breaks here, they will just get them elsewhere.

But for a family earning the town’s median household income of $62,144 — or the 43 percent of families bringing in less than $50,000 — those arguments can understandably fall on deaf ears. And frequently the people walking up and down Route 58 in need of sidewalks are earning on the lower end of the income scale and rely on public transit to get from place to place.

It should go without saying that enforcing the town’s code is the right thing to do. Unfortunately it took nearly until March for tickets to be issued — far too long for those forced to walk along a busy thoroughfare in below-freezing weather, not to mention the drivers who nearly hit defenseless pedestrians.

The fine for failing to clear sidewalks — $250 — is rather paltry in relation to the size of the town’s budget, but the rules are the rules. Hopefully, the town will keep up with enforcement and will press the issue harder next winter should similar circumstances arise.

If businesses continue to choose not to comply, perhaps the fine should be increased.

02/27/15 9:59am

Words such as “crisis” and “urgent” often lose their currency when public officials spend them as freely as sailors on sprees.

But credit Shelter Island Supervisor Jim Dougherty — chairman of the East End Supervisors and Mayors Association — for pursuing an end to a fully realized crisis confronting the region’s future in the form of polluted groundwater and the waters that surround us(more…)

02/26/15 6:00am
02/26/2015 6:00 AM

To the editor:

There are few times when I so seriously disagree with an editorial to the point of needing to airing my own views. As I understand it, the point of the Common Core Learning Standards is to improve the level of education in our state. Beginning with the well-established standing of our students’ educations compared to other civilized nations around the world, where we rate behind so many other countries, it would seem to indicate the need for radical reform.  (more…)

02/22/15 10:00am
02/22/2015 10:00 AM
Riverhead Town Board members at a meeting last year. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Riverhead Town Board members at a meeting last year. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

National debate about corporate campaign contributions is endless and abstract. The discussion becomes manageable and much more real if we look at a small, local example of how the practice damages government and hurts taxpayers.

I’m not suggesting, or even hinting, that anything illegal occurred; that does not make the activity any less noxious or offensive.  (more…)