03/08/15 8:00am
03/08/2015 8:00 AM
County Executive Steve Bellone (center) touts the benefits of the county's new sex offender monitoring efforts in Hauppauge last week. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

County Executive Steve Bellone (center) touts the benefits of the county’s new sex offender monitoring efforts in Hauppauge last week. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

East End towns and villages are now under political and media pressure to participate in Suffolk County’s sex offender monitoring program. This program is operated, under contract with the county, by the Parents for Megan’s Law advocacy organization. Taking a position against a new sex offender monitoring program, here or anywhere, will not help me win any popularity contests. However, I think it’s important for us to take an objective look at this program’s potential impact on the community, its taxpayers and those it targets before jumping on the “Let’s get tough with sex offenders” bandwagon.  (more…)

03/07/15 8:00am
03/07/2015 8:00 AM
A sandbar juts into Peconic Bay at the end of Pine Neck Road in Southold. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

A sandbar juts into Peconic Bay at the end of Pine Neck Road in Southold. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Compared to people living in western Long Island, those on the East End are in a better position to recognize the connection between the environment and the economy. The region also has a proven track record when it comes to protecting a way of life. Case in point: the Community Preservation Fund, which uses a tax on local real estate transactions to preserve farmland and open space.  (more…)

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…)

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…)

02/22/15 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…)

02/16/15 10:00am
02/16/2015 10:00 AM

Twenty months ago, I lost my husband to cancer. Although I knew his diagnosis was terminal, one is never prepared for the loss.

Over the decades of losing parents, siblings and friends, the loss brought sadness, but life for me still went on. You learn to make adjustments and get on with your life, while longing, remembering and praying for those who have moved on.

(more…)

02/15/15 7:00am
02/15/2015 7:00 AM

The advantages (or disadvantages) of social media include experiencing the sentiments of people in places where you once lived. I’m in Maine now, but in the last month I’ve experienced the devastation of my former friends and family back home on the North Fork. The feelings on the above-average snowfall have turned from fleeting enjoyment to abject horror. I’ve watched and listened with a particular interest as a person to whom several feet of snow has become not only normal, but a source of pure enjoyment.

(more…)