02/20/15 7:00am
02/20/2015 7:00 AM
Governor Cuomo giving his State of the State address the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany Jan. 21. (Credit: Courtesy Flickr photo)

Governor Cuomo giving his State of the State address at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany Jan. 21. (Credit: Courtesy Flickr photo)

The rushed rollout of the Common Core State Standards under Gov. Andrew Cuomo during the 2012-13 school year set off alarm bells in school hallways and living rooms across the state. All of a sudden, teachers and parents in New York were being told that well over half of the student population had failed to make the grade based on the new Common Core-aligned math and ELA state assessments.  (more…)

02/19/15 7:00am
02/19/2015 7:00 AM

To the editor:

The Feb. 12 editorial stated in its headline “We can’t arrest our way out of a gang problem.” You’re partly right, but the problem is not arrests, it’s convictions and incarceration. Less love and more locks. Your article notes that drug and weapons defendant Darius Strong recently got off parole. (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…)

02/14/15 10:00am
02/14/2015 10:00 AM
George and John Giannaris at the renovated bar last year. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

George and John Giannaris at the renovated bar last year. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

Friday, Jan. 30, was an important date in the life of the North Fork. No, it wasn’t Groundhog Day, and it wasn’t the date of another Big Snow Storm. It was the seasonal reopening of the Hellenic Snack Bar in East Marion, and the former Joan Giger Walker and I were privileged to be there for the occasion.

(more…)

02/13/15 12:02pm
02/13/2015 12:02 PM
New York Times columnist David Carr at last year's WebSummit in Dublin. (Credit: Flickr/WebSummit. http://ow.ly/J17Xg)

New York Times columnist David Carr at last year’s WebSummit in Dublin. (Credit: Flickr/WebSummit. http://ow.ly/J17Xg)

The impact a person can have on someone, even someone that person never met, is extraordinary. That was brought home to me late Thursday night as I considered how someone I had never met gave me a greater appreciation and enthusiasm for what I do for a living.

I was in the process of preparing to post a basketball story to The Suffolk Times’ website when I noticed a picture of The New York Times’ media columnist, David Carr, on his newspaper’s website. Being in a hurry to do what I needed to do, I made a mental note to go back later and check out why Mr. Carr’s photo was up there. I assumed it was a video of a panel discussion he had moderated earlier that evening.

I was wrong. (more…)

02/13/15 7:00am

To the editor:

Regarding the recent downfall of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver highlighted in last week’s editorial and the lack of disclosure on the part of some of our local elected officials, there seems to be one common thread: They are all lawyers or connected to legal firms.

Ever needed, worked with or been set upon by an attorney?  (more…)

02/12/15 7:59am
02/12/2015 7:59 AM
The house at 29 Lewis Street remains boarded up three months after the raid. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

The house at 29 Lewis Street remains boarded up three months after the raid. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Breaking up an open-air drug market might spell relief for the afflicted neighborhood, but it is nothing like ridding a country of an occupying foreign force.

The relief is only temporary, especially in low-income areas.

As long as there are jobless high school dropouts, there will be more gang members and drug dealers ready to take the place of those serving time upstate. Indeed, it seems as if every two to three years the district attorney announces another big bust of a group of people ferrying illegal narcotics from NYC to Riverhead.  (more…)