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…)

03/29/15 2:00pm
03/29/2015 2:00 PM
COURTESY DRAWING  |  A rendering from 2013 of what the new Kent Animal Shelter will look like.

COURTESY DRAWING | A rendering from 2013 of what the new Kent Animal Shelter will look like.

Like the pets we’ve helped all these years, we now find ourselves facing an uncertain future. No one wants to live in a cold house constructed of cement that’s falling apart, not even animals.

Over 55,000 animals have been spayed or neutered and over 40,000 have been rescued and placed in new homes since Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton was built in 1968. How ironic, is it then, that the organization that made that happen may soon face its own untimely demise?

It’s the very thing that we have fought against for our homeless animals for the past 47 years. (more…)

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…)