02/27/15 8:33pm
02/27/2015 8:33 PM
Riverhead senior Ed Matyka wrestles Peter Pappas of Plainview in the first round Friday of the state championship. (Credit: Paul Wager)

Riverhead senior Ed Matyka wrestles Peter Pappas of Plainview in the first round Friday of the state championship. (Credit: Paul Wager)

There will be no state champion for Shoreham-Wading River this season. But the Wildcats still have a chance for a memorable finish.

All three Shoreham wrestlers advanced to the second day of the New York State Wrestling Championships Friday at Times Union Center in Albany. Riverhead senior Ed Matyka won a pair of matches as well to advance. (more…)

02/26/15 2:00pm
02/26/2015 2:00 PM
The view inside Times Union Center for the 2013 state tournament. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister, file)

The view inside Times Union Center for the 2013 state tournament. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister, file)

Right around the time I spotted a condom on the bathroom floor of my shady motel room, I began to seriously question the wisdom behind driving to Albany in a snowstorm.

This couldn’t possibly be worth it, I thought.

It was February 2010. For the fourth straight year, I was bound for the New York State Wrestling Championships, a dizzying two-day marathon of hundreds of matches contested across eight mats on the Times Union Center floor.  (more…)

02/19/15 5:00pm
02/19/2015 5:00 PM
Shoreham-Wading River senior James Szymanski (yellow singlet) will wrestle for the first time in the state tournament after receiving an at-large bid this week. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Shoreham-Wading River senior James Szymanski (yellow singlet) will wrestle for the first time in the state tournament after receiving an at-large bid this week. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

James Szymanski spent the nearly two weeks in between the Section XI Championships and the state tournament last year training with all the wrestlers competing for Suffolk County. (more…)

02/06/15 12:00pm
02/06/2015 12:00 PM

state leadersAlbany is in need of serious reform. It’s been known for years, even decades, and is obvious to anyone who pays the slightest bit of attention to our state government.

There appeared to be hope with the 2010 election of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who ran on a reform agenda. But he ended up shutting down his own highly touted investigative body, the Moreland Commission, when its members began to hone in on the root of most problems in Albany: outside money earned by lawmakers, and specifically lawyers who have long claimed they couldn’t disclose details of their work — including their clients — because that would be a breach of lawyer-client privilege. (more…)

01/23/15 11:00am
01/23/2015 11:00 AM
Governor Cuomo giving his State of the State address the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany Wednesday. (Credit: Courtesy Flickr photo)

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

Small business owners across the North Fork could soon benefit from tax reductions that would make income tax rates the lowest in New York State history, according to a proposal outlined by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State address Wednesday.

The proposition would help small businesses incorporated in New York State by reducing the net income tax rate from the current rate of 6.5 percent to 2.5 percent over a three-year period, amounting to a four percent reduction by 2018.

(more…)

01/18/15 8:00am
01/18/2015 8:00 AM
Chancellor Meryll Tisch (left) alongside Regent Roger Tilles at a Common Core forum in Eastport in November 2013. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

Chancellor Meryll Tisch (left) alongside Regent Roger Tilles at a Common Core forum in Eastport in November 2013. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

Ordinarily, letters exchanged between governors and high-level bureaucrats don’t make it to the top of The New York Times bestseller list. But, sometimes, one comes across a letter that makes one sit up and say, “Whoa, what’s going on here?” I refer to a recent letter about education reform sent by Board of Regents chancellor Merryl Tisch to Gov. Cuomo’s office. (It was also signed by the new “acting” commissioner of education, Elizabeth Berlin.)

What’s striking in Ms. Tisch’s recommendations to the governor is the unstated proposition that there is a big difference between public education and state education, and that state education is far superior. From the chancellor’s point of view, public education hasn’t just failed poor, black and Hispanic children the most, but has somehow even failed kids in Great Neck, Jericho, Scarsdale and Garden City — even though many of them go on to the best universities in the nation.

The remedy? State education. (more…)

12/07/14 10:00am
12/07/2014 10:00 AM
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Students in Ms. Salmaggi's class work with iPads Tuesday morning at Southold High School.

Students work with iPads in 2012 at Southold High School. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)

There is no doubt that the largest portion of any local property tax bill is the amount funding the public school district. It’s a bill that causes taxpayers agita each and every year.

The 2 percent state cap on year-to-year tax levy increases is a temporary control tactic, not a sustainable strategy. And as we tighten our belts as a result of the cap, there are significant negative outcomes: pre- and after-school program cutbacks minimize opportunities for youth; increasing class sizes to maximum allowable levels results in instruction that cannot possibly address the needs and diversity of any given classroom population; lobbying for “our fair share” produces great photo-ops but makes us look like pigs at the trough; and staff layoffs are temporary fixes and only hand more responsibilities to someone already working at capacity, creating resentment and loss of pride in work.

So, what is the answer? (more…)