07/06/14 10:00am
07/06/2014 10:00 AM
Here's a low-resolution photo that came out of the Brookhaven Town press shop in 2013. It's Councilwoman Connie Kepert congratulating engineers on an award. Notice the date stamp.

Here’s a low-resolution photo that came out of Brookhaven Town’s press shop. It’s Councilwoman Connie Kepert congratulating engineers on an award. It was taken on April 6, 2013, if you couldn’t tell from the time stamp. I imagine this got printed nowhere.

Public relations firms: News organizations can’t live with ’em.

And life would sure be a lot harder without ’em.

That might not be the first thing you’d expect an editor to say, but it’s the truth. Relationships with people in the PR business — and spokespeople for many elected leaders — are an important part of the job and can be very helpful at times.

Other times, though, I really just have to shake my head. (more…)

06/18/14 1:00pm
06/18/2014 1:00 PM
A Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps volunteer displays the drug Narcan, which is used to treat opiate overdoses. (Credit: Paul Squire)

A Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps volunteer displays the drug Narcan, which is used to treat opiate overdoses. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Police officers in three local departments are among the newest officers to be equipped with naloxone, a lifesaving heroin overdose drug.

The Riverhead, Southold and Southampton police departments have been approved for the Community Overdose Prevention (COP) Program, which supplies funding to equip officers with naloxone, an antidote that can instantly reverse the effects of a heroin overdose.

The program is funded through the state Attorney General’s Office, which has approved funding to equip almost half of the state’s police with the drug.


Each kit consists of a pouch containing two prefilled syringes of naloxone and two atomizers to administer it through the nose, as well as gloves and an instruction booklet. Each kit costs about $60 and has a shelf life of approximately two years, according to a press release.

Long Island has received the second largest number of naloxone kit reimbursements in the state, trailing only New York City.

“By providing police officers with naloxone, we are making this life-saving overdose antidote available in every town, village and hamlet on Long Island,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Prior to the program, ambulance personnel were the only responders equipped with the drug.


03/05/14 6:01pm
03/05/2014 6:01 PM
(Credit: Facebook Screen Shot)

(Credit: Facebook Screen Shot)

Social networking giant Facebook has vowed to help put a stop to illegal gun sales initiating on its social media sites, officials announced at a press conference Wednesday.

Facebook, which also owns the picture sharing platform Instagram, has agreed to remove posts by users who are trying to skirt gun laws and sell firearms illegally, said Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management.  (more…)

02/04/14 10:05am
02/04/2014 10:05 AM

FILE PHOTO | Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday the success of the state’s I-STOP program.

A new online system called I-STOP that’s used to track prescription drugs is helping to curb drug abuse across New York, state officials said Monday.

More than 66,000 health care professionals have run more than 7 million individual prescription checks on nearly three million separate patients since August 2013, according to a press release issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.


07/12/13 12:00pm
07/12/2013 12:00 PM

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO |  Looks Great Services, the company that ran into opposition in Riverhead after superstorm Sandy, is at the center of a state Attorney General investigation.

A Huntington company that ran into opposition from Riverhead Town officials after it brought wood chips from Nassau County to Sound Avenue in the wake of superstorm Sandy is at the center of a state Attorney General investigation into campaign contributions from Sandy cleanup contractors, according to an article in Newsday.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman subpoenaed campaign information from Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and the Nassau GOP regarding campaign contributions from contractors who got work in the wake of the storm, including Looks Great Service, which has more than $70 million in storm cleanup contracts with Nassau County, the report states.

Looks Great Services is headed by Kristian Agoglia of Huntington. Mr. Agoglia’s family also owns farmland on Sound Avenue in Riverhead under the name Justin Purchasing Corp, and equipment from Looks Great Services has been stored there.

Mr. Agoglia, whose address is in Dix Hills, contributed $1,500 to the Friends of Ed Mangano in January, according to state Board of Elections records.

The Associated Press reported that 23 Sandy contractors, including Looks Great Services, contributed more than $144,000 to Mangano’s campaign in the 11 weeks after the storm, the report states. Mr. Mangano has claimed that all of the contributions have been reported to the Board of Elections, as required.

The Suffolk County district attorney’s office raided Looks Great Services’ Huntington office Tuesday, removing company records and computer hard drives, according to Newsday.

Locally, Riverhead Town officials issued a stop-work order to Justin Purchasing Corp on Dec. 16, 2012 after it had brought  more than 32,000 cubic yards of wood chips from a Nassau County facility in Eisenhower Park that processed Sandy debris. The material was brought to Justin Purchasing’s 41-acre farm on the north side of Sound Avenue property in Riverhead.

Justin Purchasing said it sought to further shred the wood chips and allow them to decompose over a six to 18 month period in order to become mulch and supplement the soil on the farm. It later filed an application seeking permission to bring in more than 125,000 cubic yards of material from Nassau for this purpose.

The town claimed the company needed town permits to bring the material on-site. Justin Purchasing’s lawyer, Mary Hartill, said they assumed a permit was unnecessary because agriculture is exempt from that requirement.

But town officials questioned whether the material was being imported for agricultural purposes.

In the end, the town and Justin Purchasing reached an agreement in April to allow the company to continue processing the 32,000 cubic yards of wood chips it had already brought to the premises. But the company could not import any more.