05/03/15 8:00am
05/03/2015 8:00 AM

They make the sound that still tears at my soul. They bring me the promise of peace and they Pavlovianly ready me for violence. It’s the same sound — the sound of a chopper.

In my generation, it was the distinctive clop-clop-clop of a Bell UH-1 Iroquois — the famed Huey. But there are other helicopters that bring the same feelings to generations of warriors.  (more…)

05/02/15 10:00am
05/02/2015 10:00 AM
Hudson, a 12-year-old dachshund, died last April. (Credit: Charity Robey)

Hudson, a 12-year-old dachshund, died last April. (Credit: Charity Robey)

Last April, our beloved dachshund, Hudson, died. He was 12, which is pretty old in dog years, as they say.

My husband suggested we wait a year before we started sniffing around for a new dog, “out of respect.” I thought this was a strange idea, but now that a year has passed, I can see some good has come of waiting. No good for Hudson alas, but waiting has helped me understand what that long, black dog meant to me.  (more…)

04/26/15 10:00am
04/26/2015 10:00 AM

As a young scientist, I trained as a post-doctoral fellow with the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Long before Babesia became part of our local lexicon, I was searching for this and other causes of zoonotic diseases (i.e., those transmissible from animals to man) in the jungles and rural areas of Colombia. I therefore have a particular appreciation for the dangers posed by the current prevalence of ticks and tick-borne diseases on Long Island.  (more…)

04/24/15 8:00am
04/24/2015 8:00 AM


Saturday’s opening day ceremony will be Tony Sammartano’s last as Riverhead Little League president. After about 15 years at the helm, organizing an activity that hundreds and hundreds of kids have had the opportunity to enjoy, it’s time for him to move on to greener pastures.

Problem is, it’s not exactly clear who, if anyone, is going to run the league after Tony and his wife, Jennifer — another of the league’s five board members — step down. (more…)

04/21/15 12:00pm

A mere four years ago, and for decades prior, one could not find any substantial evidence of students opting-out of standardized testing. At first glance, the current, heated, conflict over state testing and the “opt-out” movement appears to be a dispute between those who believe in and those who dispute the value of state tests. But this conflict goes deeper. It is a conflict about what is good for children and adolescents, about how children learn and thrive, and about how to raise young people to enter into and contribute to their communities as mature members of a democratic society.  (more…)

04/18/15 8:00am
04/18/2015 8:00 AM

baby column

Kids, by nature, are scorekeepers. Meaning they’re constantly comparing what they have — or more specifically, what they don’t have — with other kids, and keeping track.

I know this because I was a kid and I knew plenty of other kids, too. We all kept score, whether it was a blockbuster movie another classmate got to see first, a neighbor’s vacation to Disney World or trip to Action Park, or everyone having Reebok Pumps except for you. (more…)

04/05/15 10:00am
04/05/2015 10:00 AM

Much has been said of late concerning Common Core and its effect on the education of our children, particularly with regard to testing and evaluation. And while I agree with the criticism that the implementation of the curriculum has been unwieldy and uneven, I understand the vision and intent of the Common Core standards.  (more…)

04/04/15 8:00am
04/04/2015 8:00 AM
This photo taken after the Shoreham-Wading River football team's L.I. championship victory won in the sports feature photo category in the New York Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk, file)

This photo taken after the Shoreham-Wading River football team’s L.I. championship victory won in the sports feature photo category in the New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk, file)

Nine years ago, I attended my first New York Press Association convention.

I had just joined Times Review Media Group as a reporter and had no idea what to expect. What I found was a lot of newspaper people scared of the big, bad Internet.

With putting newspapers out each week, we have no way of updating a website, folks said. This is impossible. We will all go out of business.  (more…)