03/28/15 8:00am
03/28/2015 8:00 AM
Jeffrey Avilas Ramos, a Mattituck High School junior, competes in eSports called Major League Gaming playing mostly Call of Duty. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Jeffrey Avilas Ramos, a Mattituck High School junior, competes in eSports called Major League Gaming playing mostly Call of Duty. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Down a steep wooden staircase, in a small basement room to the right, an RCA TV sits atop a folding table. An Energy Guide sticker cuts off a portion of the TV’s bottom right corner. A cable on the left side dangles down to the floor, where it connects to an XBox One.

Jeffrey Avilas Ramos leans forward in a folding chair, his eyes fixated on the screen. The sounds of gunfire blast from the speakers. Ramos never flinches. 

03/23/15 12:00pm
03/23/2015 12:00 PM

No doubt you have heard the news that public education is in need of reform. Gov. Cuomo has said so. Former CNN anchor Campbell Brown has said so. Even President Obama has said so. And what do all these people have in common? Well, a few things. None of them has taught students a day in their life. All of them have received pay or political contributions from the charter school movement and/or testing companies and all of them have wholly endorsed more charter schools.  (more…)

03/19/15 2:00pm
03/19/2015 2:00 PM
Waterfront homes in Jamesport along the bay. (Credit: Barbarellen Koch, file.)

Waterfront homes in Jamesport along the bay. (Credit: Barbarellen Koch, file.)

On April 2, East Enders will celebrate an important milestone: The Community Preservation Fund will have generated over $1 billion and preserved more than 10,000 acres of open space and farmland. Approved by voters in 1999, the CPF uses a small tax on real estate purchases to preserve land and protect drinking water.

It is arguably the most successful land preservation program in the country. (more…)

03/16/15 6:00am
03/16/2015 6:00 AM
The scene of a seven-car pileup in Jamesport early last month. (Credit: Grant Parpan, file)

The scene of a seven-car pileup in Jamesport early last month. (Credit: Grant Parpan, file)

Ben Jones has for decades been on a crusade to get action on tailgating.

Mr. Jones, a paramedic on Shelter Island — and at 92 the oldest paramedic in New York State and probably in the U.S.— notes that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “a stunning 40 percent of all motor vehicle accidents are caused by rear-ending the vehicle in front or swerving and skidding suddenly from side to side to avoid doing so.”

Early on as a paramedic, Mr. Jones became aware of this major traffic safety issue. (more…)

03/15/15 10:00am
03/15/2015 10:00 AM

A confession: I have not been ice boating even once this winter on either Great Pond or Hallocks Bay. And that’s because I’ve been on the North Fork for less than a week between Christmas and today. And therein lies the challenge of writing this column every other week. How can I keep it local and relevant if the former Joan Giger Walker and I, in our so-called retirement years, are away from the North Fork for nearly half the year?

Short answer: I can’t.  (more…)

03/12/15 12:00pm
03/12/2015 12:00 PM

TOWN: Welcome back to the Town Hall meeting room, Moody’s. It’s great to see you again. Remember last time you were here in 2011 and you upgraded our bond rating? That was wonderful. I hope you’re back to present similar news.

MOODY’S: Actually, Town, I’m sorry to report this, but I’m here to tell you that your bond rating is being downgraded. You will now pay higher interest rates if you need to go back and borrow funds any time in the near future. (more…)

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…)