03/20/15 6:00am
03/20/2015 6:00 AM

To the editor:

I just returned from out of town and was dismayed to learn that the Riverhead High School “forum” held on March 12, 2015, regarding the decision to reduce the academic day from nine to eight periods was little more than an empty gesture on the part of the administration. A word of caution to the administration: Do not be lulled by the lower-than-expected turnout. Some of us were out of town, while many others (myself included) must work two to three jobs to support our families and pay huge tax bills.  (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…)

03/17/15 6:00am
03/17/2015 6:00 AM
Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) is a House Foreign Affairs Committee member. (Courtesy file photo)

Congressman Lee Zeldin is a House Foreign Affairs Committee member. (Courtesy file photo)

Freshman Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) has had a good few weeks.

We’ll hold our fire — for now — about his joining forces with reactionary U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, spouting conspiracy theories about American foreign policy.

But we commend him for supporting local educators fighting the Common Core system by introducing legislation and also for standing with opponents of ear-splitting helicopter traffic over the East End.

Mr. Zeldin has weighed in on Common Core by writing an amendment to an education bill that ensures school districts won’t be penalized by a denial of federal funds if they opt out of using the “teach the test”-heavy form of education overhaul.

While you’d be hard-pressed to find many people who are against challenging our students to rely less on memorization when it comes to math -— or think more critically when it comes to English — the sweeping, comprehensive rollout of the Common Core standards itself has been a disaster.

Mr. Zeldin is correct in seeking to allow districts to bail on Common Core as it stands. (more…)

03/16/15 6:00am
03/16/2015 6:00 AM

To the Editor:

The United Riverhead Terminal, or URT, on Sound Shore Road in Northville stores over 160 million gallons of heating oil.  It is a “pre-existing, non-conforming use,” meaning that the town has upgraded the zoning for this area and, according to town code, they may continue to exist with the same use. However, the URT is now asking for an expansion of their facility for the mixing and storage of gasoline.

The proposed “special permit” application should be denied for a number of important reasons. (more…)

03/16/15 6:00am
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…)

03/15/15 7:00am

Administrators with the Riverhead Central School District and Eastern Suffolk BOCES should be commended for putting together a creative, pragmatic approach to a unique problem precipitated by last summer’s influx of young people fleeing violence-torn regions of Central America.

And they did it on relatively short notice.  (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…)