Featured Story
05/08/18 12:46pm
05/08/2018 12:46 PM

To the Editor:

Riverhead Central School District’s budget will be presented for approval next Tuesday to voters, who will also choose three candidates to represent the community on the Board of Education. We are fortunate in this community to have a number of candidates who are willing to take the time to run for such an important position and all should be commended for their desire to serve the public.  READ

Featured Story
04/30/18 9:38am
04/30/2018 9:38 AM

To the Editor:

After 50 years of being associated with education in Riverhead Town, I am breaking with the Riverhead Central Faculty Association’s endorsement for the Board of Education.

I am probably the only former member of the Riverhead Board of Education who can see our school district through four different lenses—a teacher for over thirty years, the teacher union president for five years, a community member for 50 years, and a BOE member for eight years, four as president.  I have been on the sending and receiving ends of criticism and kudos for work in each of those areas.  I am proud of the contributions I have made over the years to ensure fair and equitable education for all of the students in this school district.

As I am sure you are aware, I resigned from the BOE last year in protest of its lack of transparency and the lack of regard for New York State Education Law.  At the time I resigned, the President of the BOE, Susan Koukounas, made numerous decisions without input from fellow members.  Several of those decisions involved keeping a secret “personnel file” in the district office.  

Deals were cut behind closed doors. Her attitude was that the other six members, without being consulted, were there to rubber stamp her arrangements made directly with the superintendent.  Her response to my resignation was, “these allegations are untrue, and Ms. Cotten-DeGrasse is having difficulty not being the BOE President.”

I expressed my concerns regarding Ms. Koukounas’ leadership style to her and other members of the board in 2016, hoping for a change.  However, after two years of her presidency, if anything, the situation got worse.

I have expressed my concerns to the Riverhead Central Faculty Association, but am sorry to see that they are endorsing Ms. Koukounas for re-election.  The school district has a new superintendent and we need a new Board of Education — one that is honest with parents and taxpayers, not one that hides its decisions and disregards any concerns brought before it.

I am working with Elizabeth Silva, Amelia Lantz, and Ronald Fisher for election on May 15.  In all my years in education, I feel this is the most important decision we will make.

Ann Cotten-DeGrasse

Featured Story
04/01/18 5:57am
04/01/2018 5:57 AM

To the editor:

With the arrival of spring, I am reminded that April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month and, with your help, our team at the North Fork Animal Welfare League is committed to making our community cruelty-free. Animal cruelty and neglect cross all social and economic boundaries.  READ

Featured Story
03/31/18 5:58am
03/31/2018 5:58 AM

Riverhead’s current Town Board inherited a reckless giveaway of what’s left of EPCAL for a fraction of fair value to serial fraudster Daniel Preston and his start-up Luminati. After the property was tied up without a penny of consideration for almost a year, the board then, in effect, allowed Mr. Preston to assign his letter of intent to various permutations of entities allegedly controlled by the Ghermezian family. Mr. Preston’s involvement was sufficiently suspect that Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith and her running mates during last year’s campaign called for an independent investigation into prior dealings between then-Supervisor Sean Walter and Luminati. READ

Featured Story
01/15/18 6:00am
01/15/2018 6:00 AM

Less than a week into her term as supervisor, Laura Jens-Smith held a private closed-door meeting with the new partners of Daniel Preston (exposed by the News-Review as a serial fraudster) prior to the “qualified and eligible hearing” on the proposed EPCAL sale. In circumventing the open meeting law in a prearranged secret rendezvous, Ms. Jens-Smith engaged in exactly the same lack of transparency in negotiations with Luminati she campaigned against.  READ

Featured Story
10/15/17 6:01am
10/15/2017 6:01 AM

I’m writing regarding the problem of extreme traffic congestion on both our roads during the fall (pumpkin) season. On one hand, it’s great to see one of our local merchants (in this case Harbes) doing so well, and it’s also nice to see that so many non-local folks want to share in some of the charms of what we experience here on the North Fork.

READ