07/04/14 2:00pm
07/04/2014 2:00 PM
TR0703_Column_BE_C.jpg

Jen Becker making hats for newborns and preemies at her home in Southold this week.

At 4 a.m. the morning after my son was born, a nurse ducked into the room as my wife and I were falling asleep and gave him his first bath. When she was done, she swaddled him up tight and placed a red, green and white knit cap on his tiny bald head.

It was two days before Christmas and baby Jackson had his first hat. Even with a dresser drawer full of infant caps, the hospital freebie kept his skull warm long after the holidays.

Perhaps it’s because it was made by hand, or maybe just because it was sturdier than the others, but we loved that darn hat. While we realize he’ll never wear it again, there’s no way we’re tossing it in the garbage any time soon.

It turns out we’re not alone. (more…)

01/11/14 8:00am
01/11/2014 8:00 AM

GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Times/Review babies Jackson Parpan (left) and Abigail White with moms Vera and Suzanne were both recently delivered into the world with help from Mattituck nurse and loyal Suffolk Times reader Douglas Massey.

When you’re an editor of a local newspaper, you expect to meet readers in all sorts of places; the grocery store, schools and libraries are the most common among them.

The hospital delivery room is not the sort of place you’d expect to make that connection — especially at a hospital more than a half-hour outside your coverage area.

But Stony Brook University Medical Center is exactly where I — and Times/Review editor Michael White three months before me — recently met Douglas Massey.

Yes, Mr. Massey, a nurse from Mattituck who happens to be a loyal Suffolk Times reader, coincidentally played a role in the delivery of the two most recent Times/Review babies.

In dealing with patients, Doug, a 52-year-old father of three, is quick to acknowledge that he’s a man in a field traditionally associated with females. It’s all part of a bedside routine he uses to put patients at ease during stressful times. It’s no secret that there’s usually anxiety in a hospital room and it helps if the professionals there treat the patient with compassion and know how to turn a tense moment into a positive experience.

Mr. Massey’s bedside manner was so natural, he gave both Mike and me the initial impression he’d been working as a nurse for decades. That’s not the case.

A laid-off construction project manager, he graduated from nursing school in May 2011, which is when The Suffolk Times first shared his story. While his journey sounds like it could have been a ’90s TV sitcom starring Tim Allen, Doug doesn’t exactly play it for laughs. He’s serious about his calling and it’s clear he cares deeply about helping others.

“If a person is caring, has the intellectual capacity to make it through nursing school and can apply that knowledge on the job, then that is what really matters,” he told the paper in 2011. “If you are empathetic and not afraid to show it, then nursing is the right profession for you.

“I love doing this,” he added. “I love helping people. There’s nothing better. Helping people get back to full function is as good as it can get. I’m a lucky guy to have fallen into it,” he said.

For Mike and me, having someone like him hold our wives’ hands during the most important day of our lives was a blessing.

What made the editor-reader connection even more unusual was that Mr. Massey does not typically work in the maternity ward. While his regular shifts are scheduled in an intensive care unit, he happened to be picking up overtime hours when he found himself in our delivery rooms.

One regret Mike and I both had after the deliveries was that shift changes prevented Doug from seeing our children enter the world. When my son was born at 11:35 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 22, Mr. Massey had left the room 45 minutes earlier for an overnight ICU shift. I felt disappointed when it was time for him to leave, and sad I hadn’t gotten the chance to properly thank him for all the help he — and all the other great nurses — gave us on the big day.

But reflecting on the delivery experience this past week, I imagined the great care Doug was able to give the ICU patients, who I’m sure needed him more that night than we did. They were lucky to have such a pro at their side.

Mr. Parpan is the executive editor of Times/Review Newsgroup. He can be reached at gparpan@timesreview.com or 631-354-8046.

01/01/14 2:30pm
01/01/2014 2:30 PM
AMC COURTESY PHOTO  |  The cast of Breaking Bad.

AMC COURTESY PHOTO | The cast of Breaking Bad.

Editor’s note: Due to space constraints, this list was chopped down to just nine things the author liked about 2013. We also eliminated any reference to Sean Walter, weather events, EPCAL, Common Core and any of the other things we’ve written about on a dozen pages in this issue.

No. 2,013 — Finishing this list. It took me 11 days and I poured my heart and soul into this. I hope nobody chops it down to fill a small hole on page 8 or flips it upside down to make it one of those lame year-in-review countdowns.

Grant Parpan

Grant Parpan

No. 1,841 — The $20.13 Thursday night prix fixe at ALure Restaurant in Southold. As a chubby fella who likes seafood and great restaurants with affordable prices, this was the best thing that ever happened to my digestive system. And I have a good outside-the-box suggestion for chef Tom Schaudel and restaurateur Adam Lovett that’s so cutting edge they probably haven’t thought of it yet: Do the same thing next year, but charge $20.14.

No. 1,611 — Purchasing a Prius C from Riverhead Toyota. At 6-foot-4, I look ridiculous in it, but I’m the only one laughing when the gas meter reads 52 miles per gallon.

No. 1,202 — The moment when I realized shortly after Primary Day that I may never hear the name Anthony Weiner again.

No. 1,057 — Seeing “Gravity” in IMAX 3D. Two hours of floating through space with Sandra Bullock in spandex shorts was nothing short of an amazing experience. When I try to figure out which film deserves best picture each year, originality is among the biggest factors for me. I’ve never seen a movie that looks and sounds anything like “Gravity.” It’s easily my choice for Best Picture of the Year.

No. 729 — Completing my 34th year on Earth without playing Monopoly. About a dozen years ago I realized I’d never played the game. Now I do everything I can to avoid it. It’s a stubborn Irish guy thing.

No. 434 — Great friends. I read all the time about the brain drain on Long Island and particularly the East End. I’ve been fortunate to have most of my friends stay close by. It’s the biggest reason I’ll never leave Long Island.

No. 216 — Two words: “Breaking Bad.” One more word: Wow.

No. 1 — The moment I realized I was going to be a dad and that my son will top each list moving forward. It wasn’t until that first sonogram that it set in as reality. Hearing his heart beat a million times per minute made me realize he was not only healthy, but as hyperactive as his mom. My favorite thing about him is that he’ll always be half her.

Happy New Year, everyone. Looking forward to another year of bringing you the news when 2014 finally begins.

Mr. Parpan is the executive editor of Times/Review Newsgroup. He can be reached at gparpan@timesreview.com or 631-354-8046.

12/08/13 8:00am
12/08/2013 8:00 AM

Town of Riverhead sign

Riverhead certainly has its share of quirky news items.

From silly police blotters to the colorful characters who make headlines, sometimes the news here just makes you laugh or cry or both.

Sure, that can be said for most places, but sometimes in Riverhead it seems like there’s something in the river.

In the past few months alone, there’s been a handful of zany stories, from the multi-million dollar pot operation in a house on Osborn Avenue to the Calverton teen who said he and his friends brought a deer home to “clean it up and give it water,” but admitted they took a break to drink some Natty Ice and pose for Instagram photos before releasing the animal back to the wild.

Certainly, these are not the stories that define Riverhead — a spirited community with more heart than a Hallmark store on Valentine’s Day and more soul than a James Brown record — but there’s something to be said for the volume of unusual news items that pops up in this town of 33,500.

It turns out, that’s always been the case, even back in the days when everyone’s name was Reeve or Tuthill or Wells or Howell or Hallock or Young. (No, seriously, it was even worse back then.)

Recently, while combing the archives of the New York Times, studying local history, I was overwhelmed by the number of weird-but-true news items pertaining to Riverhead. Perhaps the bizarre was the only way city folks paid any attention to this tiny farming community around the turn of the past century, but it sure seems they had plenty of items to choose from. The archives leave you with the impression that when The Gray Lady — a nickname for the Times — wasn’t poking around Tammany Hall, it was poking fun at Polish Hall.

Here’s five of my favorite tales of mostly silly Riverhead news, all courtesy of the Times, and all more than 100 years old.

School children use tobacco

Jan. 7, 1901

If you went to school in Riverhead in the first week of the last millennium it was probably not a good idea to smoke cigarettes.

Sure the addictive nature of nicotine and the many health issues associated with smoking weren’t so well known back then, but there was a whole other reason not to smoke in those days: principal George Brown.

When Mr. Brown learned that many of the boys in the school had developed the habit of smoking, he sent a letter home to parents. He warned the parents that smoking on public property could lead to a $2 fine and that “tobacco has a bad effect on the mind and body of a growing boy.”

But what really makes this Times story stand out is the final paragraph:

“[The letter] is said to be the first intimation many fathers had that their boys smoked, and during the last couple of days many of the lads have preferred to stand when they might sit. It is also said that although there is usually a falling off in attendance at Sunday school after the Christmas tree exercises, many new faces appeared in the classes today, and the circular is believed to have started a moral wave in the young.”

$10,000 if he won’t preach

Dec. 15, 1910

When Helen C.H. Stone of Riverhead died at the age of 80 in 1910, she left in her will a hefty sum of money to her great nephew, Thomas Gilbert Osborne.

But the inheritance came with a string attached.

You see, Ms. Osborne’s brother Thomas, for whom the boy was named, had been a Reverend. The lifestyle of the clergy, as Ms. Stone saw it, didn’t require hefty sums of money.

She believed a clergyman of the Methodist faith had no fixed residence and didn’t need money for “settling down.”

So when she left $10,000 for 17-year-old Thomas, Ms. Stone added a stipulation that the teen not get the money if he opted for life as a minister. The boy’s father told the Times he saw no indication his son would join the clergy.

As for her house, Ms. Stone left that to someone else, but upon that person’s death, young Thomas was to inherit the house as well. Again, provided he was “not then a clergyman.”

The family poisoned: a farm hand whose appetite was a subject of joke accused

Dec. 13, 1892

Middle Road farmer Benjamin Fanning liked to have a little fun at the expense of one of his farm hands, Charles Ryder.

Mr. Ryder was said to have a voracious appetite and Mr. Fanning couldn’t help but joke about it at the dinner table.

One day, Mr. Ryder had enough. I’ll let the Times tell this part of the story:

“Fanning was in the habit of commenting jocularly upon the rapid disappearance of food when Ryder was feeling well, and Ryder eventually grew bitter in his resentment of the remarks. At dinner Friday night Fanning remarked. ‘Well, Ryder, a man who is hungry and continues to eat after I am full to the brim ought to quit eating.’

An angry Mr. Ryder stormed out of the house. The next morning he refused his usual cocoa.

Later that day Mr. Fanning and his wife and daughter all fell ill. Analysis of the cocoa showed it contained plaster of Paris and Paris green.

Mr. Fanning secured a warrant, but when he returned home with a police officer, Mr. Ryder had departed with his belongings in an attempt to leave town. He didn’t get far, as he was soon located at the Calverton Station and arrested.

Eels made Riverhead dark

Nov. 28, 1895

We’ve all experienced a power outage or 20 in Riverhead. Usually, it’s during a rain or snow storm or a big heat weave.

It’s never because of eels. But what happened in Riverhead on Nov. 27, 1895, was.

There’s not too much to say about this one, but the Times reported that Riverhead was in darkness after more than 300 pounds of eels that had clogged the water wheel at the Hallet electric light plant.

It took more than an hour to clear the eels from the machinery.

Prayed and the rain came

August 4, 1894

Riverhead was experiencing serious drought in the summer of 1894. So much so the only place the community’s many farmers felt they could turn to was to the church. As the Times put it:

“Great damage had been done and it began to look as if total destruction was to be the fate of Suffolk County earth products.”

The congregations of Northville, Jamesport and Aquebogue decided to have a traditional day of fasting and they joined together for prayer at the Old Steeple Church in Aquebogue.

Even as they prayed, the skies opened up.

“For more than an hour the rain fell,” the Times wrote. “And for more than an hour the grateful farmers sang their songs of gladness.”

Even the younger farmers in attendance, who laughed at the old-time method of fasting in an effort to have God hear their prayers, were now believers in the custom of their ancestors.

Among the names of the local farmers there that day: Wells, Howell, Hallock, Young and Tuthill. Yes, some things never change.

Mr. Parpan is the executive editor of The Riverhead News-Review. He can be reached at gparpan@timesreview.com or by phone at 631-354-8046.

11/16/13 10:00am
11/16/2013 10:00 AM

JOSEPH PINCIARO PHOTO | A group of Southold police officers have started growing moustaches to help out a local family in need. From left: officers John Helf, Tim McGowan, Andrew Garcia, Brian McNamara and Bill Brewer, Sgt. Bill Helinski and officers Dave O’Kula and Chris Salmon.

When I first heard of “Movember,” an international charity event that raises awareness of men’s health issues by encouraging men around the world to grow moustaches during November, I thought for a moment I’d let my own whiskers blossom this month.

But just for a moment.

That’s not to say I didn’t really want to participate. It’s just that I can’t.

I’m one of the rare men who, despite being four months shy of my 35th birthday, doesn’t have the ability to grow a proper mustache.

Several years back, during a 10-day holiday break from work, I decided not to shave. The goal, for comedy’s sake, was that I’d return to the newsroom a moustachioed man. But while my beard filled in nicely across most of my face, one of my coworkers kindly pointed out just how obvious it was that the moustache was “lagging behind.” I’m sure Abe Lincoln <I>could<I> have grown a moustache, but not me.

The next year I didn’t shave for a month to prepare for a Halloween costume that required a nice thick goatee. In the end, I would have been better off just drawing one with a brown Crayola crayon.

Perhaps it’s because I grew up in the 1980s that I always wanted to grow a moustache.

Born a Mets fan, unfortunately, I wanted nothing more than the ability to grow my own Keith Hernandez. I’d have even settled for a Wally Backman or a Terry Leach.

And it wasn’t just in baseball where I grew jealous of men with hair above their upper lips. Everywhere I looked as a kid it seemed someone was rocking a moustache. Magnum P.I. used his to reel in the ladies on TV, John Oates of Hall and Oates fame fought off “maneaters” with his — and who could forget the glory of Hulkmania? Even “Weird” Al Yankovic had a nice moustache.

I can remember as a kid praying I’d one day be able to grow facial hair. Instead, God gave me body hair in all the places that aren’t cool. If it were possible to style a nice moustache out of triceps hair, I’d be a real modern-day Burt Reynolds.

Of course it didn’t help growing up when my good friend Matt was already using an electric razor in the fifth grade. By the time we were in high school we all still looked like kids, while he looked liked Andy Sipowicz. As I was writing this column this week, I texted Matt to see how long it would take him to grow a moustache. His wife responded, “He could grow one in five minutes.” If I had Matt’s hair-growing abilities, I’d pull a Rollie Fingers one month and a ZZ Top the next. Instead, Matt joked, I’m like Benjamin Button, becoming more and more baby-faced the older I get.

So it’s smarted a bit the past couple months as I had to watch the Boston Red Sox relish the power of a fine October beard last month, followed by the sweet “Movember” moustaches growing all around me this month — including a group of about 20 police officers who decided to let their moustaches grow out and pitch in an entry fee to help out one local family in need. The officers are also selling pins to people who want to help the cause.

It’s certainly nice to know there are people out there picking up the slack for me, but sadly, I won’t be celebrating “Movember” again this year. For me it’s just plain old “November” — as in no ability to grow a moustache.

Grant Parpan is the executive editor of Times/Review Newsgroup. He can be reached at gparpan@timesreview.com or by phone at 631-354-8046.

09/14/13 8:00am
09/14/2013 8:00 AM
GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Councilwoman Jodi Giglio celebrates her primary election win with fellow Town Board members James Wooten (left) and George Gabrielsen.

GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Councilwoman Jodi Giglio celebrates her primary election win with fellow Town Board members James Wooten (left) and George Gabrielsen.

 

You get the clearest picture of a political landscape in the first couple hours after a contentious primary election. It’s the one truly honest time in politics.

Talk to candidates and their campaign supporters during a primary election cycle and most of what you’ll hear is loaded with style and thin on substance. The issues are rarely discussed in primary campaigns, as the candidates focus more on shredding opponents. Then, miraculously, by the time you get closer to the general election, everyone’s suddenly united.

It’s all about those first few hours after the primary. The emotions are still raw; the peace has not yet been brokered; and the gloves are off.

Tuesday night in Riverhead was a perfect example of that. Between now and November, Riverhead Republicans will pitch a united front. Even if it’s just on a piece of literature you carry straight from your mailbox to the recycling bin, you will be sent the message that Sean Walter, Jodi Giglio and John Dunleavy will work together these next two years to cut spending, lower your taxes and grow the local economy.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But that’s a sales pitch. If you want to know how the players really feel, you’ve got to get to them while they’re still digesting primary results and before they’ve had a chance to sleep on them. With reporters tracking all six Riverhead primary candidates Tuesday — including myself, who spent the night with the Giglio campaign — we were able to capture some revealing takes on the current state of Riverhead politics.

Take Mr. Dunleavy, for instance. Sensing momentum for the Coates campaign during the primary run, Mr. Dunleavy aligned himself with Mr. Coates and Mr. Walter, who once called himself a “man without a party.” For the moment, after Mr. Coates failed to win the nomination, he finds himself in a political minority on the Town Board.

“As you can tell tonight, the Republican Party is with Jodi at Outerbanks,” Mr. Dunleavy said from his living room Tuesday night. “All I have is my supporters here.

“I’m going to continue what I’m doing. I’ll have my supporters and I hope I get the support of the Republican Party,” he said.

Despite what you’re told between now and Election Day, this all-Republican Town Board will always lack chemistry. In one corner is Mr. Walter. In the other are Ms. Giglio, James Wooten and George Gabrielsen and, based on Tuesday’s results, we’d imagine Mr. Dunleavy will find his way to their corner sometime in the near future.

At least until the general election in November, the new Giglio-Wooten-Gabrielsen majority was the big winner Tuesday. Don’t believe it? Just ask them; they’ll be more than happy to tell you.

“Tonight was almost a mandate from the public that they don’t like the way we have been treated by the supervisor,” said Mr. Gabrielsen, who along with Mr. Wooten is not facing re-election this year. “They like the direction of the board, but they don’t like the way our government is being run by a supervisor who’s constantly in attack mode.”

Even with Tuesday’s “almost mandate,” the supervisor seemed perfectly content to distance himself from the rest of the board. His post-primary comments indicate he has little interest in uniting the party, but rather wants to continue the battle Mr. Coates fought — and lost.

In a sense, it’s a relief to see a supervisor who has more of an interest in pursuing what he believes to be best for the town over party politics. But when things become as contentious as they have in recent months, you wonder if the town would be better served by a board that has the ability to find middle ground.

Mr. Wooten said he believes the political in-fighting of the Republicans has held the town back.

“We have a government that’s always at each other’s throats,” he said. “Things are getting done, but we should be getting even more done.”

Which brings us to the group of people who could just end up being the biggest winners of all this election season: Riverhead’s Democrats, who likely won’t take long to break their curious silence.

Even some Republicans admitted Tuesday that they believe the contentious GOP primary will help the Democrats.

“If I were a Democrat, I’d seize the momentum,” Mr. Wooten said. “I hate to say it, but it’s true.

“They have a real opportunity here.”

Mr. Parpan is the executive editor of Times/Review Newsgroup. He can be reached at gparpan@timesreview.com or 631-298-3200, ext. 266.

08/02/13 7:00am
08/02/2013 7:00 AM

FILE PHOTO | Anthony Coates last year, announcing his intentions to run for Town Council.

I like a lot of what Anthony Coates is saying in his campaign for Riverhead Town Board.

A bright guy with a gift for gab, he’s painted an opponent as beholden to developers and himself as a political outsider who’s all about transparency in government.

He’s articulately outlined why you should believe he’s the better choice over his Republican primary opponents — well, one of them at least — and how much more he wants the job than anyone else. With 40 days left until the primary election, it’s been as spirited a challenge as you’ll see in this town or any other.

I’m just not sure it’s been a completely honest one.

In a phone call to WRIV radio this past June, Mr. Coates made a curious comment about the development experience of one of his opponents, Jodi Giglio.

“When it’s in your DNA and you represent developers, you represent them all over the place,” he said of the councilwoman. “Once it’s in your DNA, that’s where you’re cut from.”

That statement just hasn’t sat well with me since I heard it. Hasn’t Mr. Coates worked for developers? Isn’t that in his DNA?

Grant Parpan

Grant Parpan

It’s just an odd statement from a man who spent several years working closely with infamous Port Jefferson developer and automobile dealer John McNamara — a man whose empire came crashing down following his conviction in a $436 million Ponzi scheme. Mr. McNamara’s misconduct led to the arrest of Brookhaven Town officials he allegedly bribed to swiftly approve his development projects, though all town officials were acquitted in the case.

While the résumé Mr. Coates shared with the News-Review shows he worked as publisher of the Port Jefferson Record at a time when Mr. McNamara owned the paper, it makes no reference to Mr. Coates’ involvement with any other McNamara businesses. In fact, the résumé makes no reference to any experience working in development whatsoever.

It’s in line with an approach Mr. Coates has taken since moving to Riverhead, where he has acknowledged his time working for the disgraced developer in interviews but has often distanced himself from the scandal.

In an article published last March on RiverheadLOCAL.com, Mr. Coates said he ran “a portfolio of 15 businesses” for Mr. McNamara.

When asked about the résumé discrepancy in an interview with News-Review staffers last month, Mr. Coates said, “I did run a bunch of companies for him,” including a development company named 347 Corp. of Florida, a name similar to Route 347 Realty Corporation, the Port Jefferson Station company at the center of the McNamara bribery scandal. He stressed, however, that he had no involvement with the local development company or the car dealership, which Mr. McNamara used to secure financing from General Motors to keep his scheme afloat.

In August 1992, Mr. Coates claimed in a federal forfeiture action against the McNamara companies that he was owed more than $11,000 for eight weeks of unused vacation time while he was employed by Mr. McNamara. He claimed he was owed that money by Route 347 Realty Corporation in Port Jefferson Station and not 347 Corp. of Florida, which was also listed as a defendant in the proceeding, according to the documents.

In a follow-up interview this week, Mr. Coates maintained that he never worked for the company at the center of the scandal involving Brookhaven Town officials, but his attorney advised him that claiming that company owed him vacation pay increased the odds of getting paid.

“You go after the bigger company,” he said.

Mr. Coates also said in the earlier interview that he stopped working for Mr. McNamara on his own terms after he sensed his employer was having financial difficulties.

“My first kid was born, I’m making oodles of money and for the first time now the job isn’t fun,” he said. “And also, I went from this wet-behind-the-ears kid who doesn’t know [expletive] to, you know, Sinatra. So I was like, ‘I’ll go off and do other things.’” He said they parted ways mutually in a planned departure and left the door open for him to still do consulting work for Mr. McNamara’s companies. He said he could afford to leave the job — even at a time when his first daughter was just an infant — because he had become financially comfortable working for Mr. McNamara. He said during the interview that to this day his tenure with Mr. McNamara has afforded him a comfortable lifestyle.

When asked how much he made working for McNamara companies, Mr. Coates said, “Oodles of money. Many, many, many zeroes at the end of the money.” He said his salary was for his job at the newspaper and he “earned bits and pieces of other things he touched … mostly I was paid through the newspaper, though.”

As a creditor in the federal forfeiture action, Mr. Coates stated his tenure with Mr. McNamara ended with “an out-of-the-blue termination” on March 15, 1992, one month to the day before Mr. McNamara was indicted in the scheme to bilk GM out of $436 million. Mr. Coates states in his claim that his weekly pay rate was $1,442 during the time he worked for Mr. McNamara — about $75,000 per year.

When asked in a follow-up interview if that was his salary and if he would characterize that as “oodles and oodles of money,” he said that was just his salary and the bulk of his pay came from performance-based bonuses from the other companies he represented.

Even the dates Mr. Coates worked for Mr. McNamara are inaccurate on the résumé, which states he published the newspaper from 1989 to 1993. But Mr. McNamara sold the newspaper in November 1991 and was arrested in April 1992. He admitted in the interview that he left the newspaper before it was sold and spent the remaining months of his employment with Mr. McNamara working for other companies, including a highly profitable heating oil company.

After first being questioned by this newspaper several months ago about possible inaccuracies in his own résumé, Mr. Coates said in an email: “There isn’t an item on my résumé that is disputable, exaggerated or in doubt. I knew what was coming at me, I took every precaution. I may be a bit off on a date here and there because who really remembers their life to the day?”

In that same email, he said of Ms. Giglio, “People with thin résumés shouldn’t throw stones. It’s about time someone calls this woman on her lies.”

Mr. Coates has no doubt he said a lot of the right things during his campaign. But I do wonder how much of it he truly believes and how much of it is just the right thing to say.

Is he really disgusted by Ms. Giglio’s career in development, despite having once worked for one of Long Island’s most powerful developers and having later worked on other development projects? Is he really a political outsider frustrated with the current Town Board, even though he’s been involved in Suffolk County politics for more than 30 years and has run the recent campaigns of the current town supervisor? (His résumé says his first job was as a Suffolk County legislative aide at the age of 16.) Is he truly committed to transparency when his own résumé leaves off his development connections and downplays his role as an employee of Mr. McNamara at the height of the scandal?

When asked similar questions this week, Mr. Coates said his DNA is made up of a lot of different parts. He’s not just a guy who worked for developers, he’s not just someone who’s worked in politics and government. He’s also worked for a fuel buyer’s group and in the financial world. He accomplished a lot at an early age and has rejected a lot of the bad he’s seen in the early part of his career, he said.

He says a reformed insider is really the candidate he is today. I just wish, in the interest of true transparency, his campaign did a better job conveying that to the voting public.

Grant Parpan is the executive editor of Times/Review Newsgroup. He can be reached at (631) 298-3200, ext. 266 or gparpan@timesreview.com.