05/23/15 6:00am
05/23/2015 6:00 AM


Whether it’s Riverhead’s Cardboard Boat Race, the Shelter Island 10K, a bird’s-eye photo of the Main Road corridor, the Enterprise Park at Calverton or the waterfront in New Suffolk, this media company has employed drone operators on a number of occasions to better tell the stories of our lives and times. Larger news outlets across the U.S. have also used drones to cover breaking news events that are difficult to document on foot or by car, such as floods and mass protests.

Images captured from these unmanned flying devices are also used by realtors, travel agents, chambers of commerce and other businesses. Even Amazon hopes to one day use drones to deliver packages to homes and businesses.

Yet much of the attention they’ve been getting lately has focused on the negative, from Peeping Toms using them to spy on NYC apartment dwellers, to worries about a remotely piloted aircraft possibly interfering with a commercial airliner. The federal government has been slow to respond with regulations that would simultaneously address safety and privacy issues and legalize commercial use of these unmanned aerial vehicles by trained and responsible operators. Under current rules, only the recreational use of drones is fully lawful, so long as the devices don’t disrupt air traffic.

• Read More: While the FAA makes new rules, local drone pilots are left waiting

The FAA has spent years crafting regulations and still seems likely to miss an official deadline set by Congress for enacting these rules. When any new measures will be adopted now seems unclear.

That’s probably just how government bureaucracies like it — who enjoys deadline pressure?

But in the meantime, many commercial drone operators are keeping their aircraft grounded while they could otherwise be contributing to their local economies and earning a bit of a living for themselves. For those who are still airborne — well, it’s pretty much impossible to enforce the outdated laws currently on the books anyway.

The FAA needs to come up with regulations that are flexible enough to support legitimate commercial uses but still address real safety security and privacy concerns. That shouldn’t have to take too much longer. Otherwise, a hodgepodge of local laws — which we’re already seeing in Suffolk County — will emerge that could unduly restrict both careers and recreation for many law-abiding citizens.

05/16/15 2:00pm
05/16/2015 2:00 PM


The basement here at the News-Review’s office probably isn’t all that different from your own.

It’s cold and musty. There are some dark corners, some old furniture, books and gym equipment from eras gone by scattered throughout. The insulation and duct work is exposed.

It’s pretty much your average basement.

But downstairs in the basement of the Riverhead News-Review (or, as it was previously known, the News-Review of Riverhead) are six file cabinets you won’t find anywhere else in the world — just like that box stuffed away in the corner of your own basement with those silly old photos of you and your siblings. (more…)

05/14/15 8:00am
05/14/2015 8:00 AM


We don’t need another robbery or a similar incident possibly related to gang activity as evidence that downtown Riverhead has a problem with crime. It has plagued the area for years, and it’s worth noting that, unfortunately, downtown Riverhead is not the only place in Suffolk County that could use, for lack of a better phrase, some cleaning up. It’s also worth admitting that crime can never be completely eliminated there or anywhere else.


05/13/15 5:46pm
05/13/2015 5:46 PM

Is Main Street safe? No it is not. There are many factors that lead to this dilemma, just as there are many solutions needed to correct it. Let’s start with the recent rash of armed robberies. Downtown businesses are struggling to begin with, and they work very hard at becoming part of the success story that this town truly needs for its revitalization. Having armed thugs walk into a business and forcibly demand money is an extremely frightening and dangerous situation for any local business owner. Just ask Barth’s Drug Store. There needs to be more police presence downtown – period.  This does not mean simply enlisting one part time police officer to walk around. It means confronting the problem with fully trained professional police officers, properly equipped to handle this growing problem. (more…)

05/12/15 10:02am
05/12/2015 10:02 AM
A truck with an oversized load on Main Road in East Marion. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

A truck with an oversized load on Main Road in East Marion. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

On April 27, the Town of Riverhead won a very significant battle in the war to keep the East End the last rural area on Long Island when billionaire John Catsimatidis withdrew his oil terminal’s application to expand into a full-fledged gasoline distribution center.


05/10/15 8:00am
05/10/2015 8:00 AM

Although Mother Nature doesn’t want to let go of winter, we are busy, like other boaters, prepping our vessel for the upcoming season. We were very lucky to have found our home on the beautiful Peconic River. It’s the perfect spot for us. We can fi sh the river and head out to the bays and beyond, enjoying Long Island’s waterways.


05/09/15 8:00am
05/09/2015 8:00 AM
NYIT Vocational Independence Program students watch as their dean, Ernst VanBergeijk, scales a rock wall at the Baiting Hollow Scout Camp Friday. (Credit: Michael White)

NYIT Vocational Independence Program students watch as their dean, Ernst VanBergeijk, scales a rock wall at the Baiting Hollow Scout Camp Friday. (Credit: Michael White)

The students enrolled in the Vocational Independence Program at Central Islip’s New York Institute of Technology seem to adore their dean, Ernst VanBergeijk.

All of the three dozen-plus college-age kids have learning disabilities and/or autism spectrum diagnoses, and this past school year, they showed their respect for “Dean Ernst,” as they call him, by rising once again to his annual fitness challenge.  (more…)