05/11/15 4:00pm
05/11/2015 4:00 PM
State comptroller Tom DiNapoli. (Credit. Flickr/nycomptroller)

State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. (Credit. Flickr/nycomptroller)

A high profile $211 million local business and tourism advertising campaign championed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo lacks the performance measures needed to determine if the spending has been a wise decision, according to an audit released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. (more…)

05/06/15 8:00am
05/06/2015 8:00 AM
Southold highway department crews patching potholes on Main Street in Greenport in February 2014, when there wasn't as much work to do. (Credit: Cyndi Murray, file)

Southold highway department crews patching potholes on Main Street in Greenport in February 2014, when there wasn’t as much work to do. (Credit: Cyndi Murray, file)

Elected leaders from across Suffolk are demanding more state funding to help repair roads severely damaged during a cold and snowy winter.

The East End Supervisors and Mayor Association — which includes the supervisors of Southold, Riverhead and Shelter Island and the mayor of Greenport — has penned a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo requesting a one-time jump in CHIPS funding, which is federal money that is distributed by the state Department of Transportation to local government for maintenance of local roads and bridges. (more…)

04/28/15 8:00am
04/28/2015 8:00 AM
SWR-football-player-Isreal-Squires-120214

Shoreham-Wading River High School football plays a championship game at Stony Brook University’s Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk, file)

Citing “unconstitutional alterations” to the state budget, Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed millions in appropriations for stadium upgrades at Stony Brook University’s Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium earlier this month. (more…)

04/09/15 10:00am
04/09/2015 10:00 AM

Thumbs upFARMLAND PRESERVATION

A big thumbs up to the state’s decision to give its Farmland Protection Program a $35 million boost, bringing the program’s budget up to $177 million for 2015-16. Like repairs to roads, bridges and other infrastructure, preserving farms is a sound investment — and much less speculative than pricey economic development “pet” projects. The farmland program, which was understandably slashed in half during the recession in 2008, is now back to full health and monies will continue to be available for towns to use to protect farms. Although most of the money will go upstate, it’s in the interest of agricultural communities statewide to remain healthy, forward-thinking and, most of all, intact for generations down the road.

(more…)

04/09/15 9:00am

In a big boost to a statewide program aimed at protecting farmland, the budget that passed last week in Albany has allocated more money than ever before to the initiative, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced. The 2015-16 state budget added $35 million more for the Farmland Protection Program, a number that, according to the American Farmland Trust, places New York in the top five among states capitals setting money aside for farmland protection.

(more…)

04/09/15 8:00am
Students leaving Roanoke Avenue Elementary School to board the buses Monday afternoon. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Students leaving Roanoke Avenue Elementary School to board the buses Monday afternoon. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

“They couldn’t have made a worse decision than what we have in our hands right now.”

For someone who has been a vocal critic of New York State’s public education system’s high-stakes testing model, which has been enacted for the past few years, Greenport and Southold Superintendent David Gamberg’s comments Tuesday about next year’s state education budget came as especially critical.

While the budget adopted April 1 increases education funding by over 6 percent statewide, it has been met with heavy pushback from educators near and far as Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues attempting to overhaul education accountability throughout the state. (more…)

03/31/15 8:00am
03/31/2015 8:00 AM
Shoreham-Wading River School District Superintendent Steven Cohen. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo, file)

Shoreham-Wading River School District Superintendent Steven Cohen. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo, file)

With reports trickling out of Albany that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has reached a tentative deal with lawmakers over the state budget and education reforms, local educators are calling for an independent commission to help develop policy moving forward.

According to published reports, Mr. Cuomo has backed off his demand to tie 50 percent of teacher evaluations to state test scores — up from 20 percent — and instead will task the state education department with improving the way teachers are evaluated.

As part of the deal, teacher tenure would increase from three to four years and schools will see big increases in state aid. (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…)