04/04/15 8:00am
04/04/2015 8:00 AM
This photo taken after the Shoreham-Wading River football team's L.I. championship victory won in the sports feature photo category in the New York Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk, file)

This photo taken after the Shoreham-Wading River football team’s L.I. championship victory won in the sports feature photo category in the New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk, file)

Nine years ago, I attended my first New York Press Association convention.

I had just joined Times Review Media Group as a reporter and had no idea what to expect. What I found was a lot of newspaper people scared of the big, bad Internet.

With putting newspapers out each week, we have no way of updating a website, folks said. This is impossible. We will all go out of business.  (more…)

02/28/15 12:00pm
02/28/2015 12:00 PM
An iced Iron Pier in Northville. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

An iced Iron Pier in Northville. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Driving with my wife, Vera, and son, Jack, down Route 25 in Calverton on Sunday, I witnessed a picturesque scene: Two women on cross-country skis gliding up the bike path at the Enterprise Park at Calverton, while rays of sunlight pierced through the trees around them.

For a moment, I thought to myself, “Where is my camera? I must turn around.” Then I kept driving.

There’s a reason I didn’t want to stop. The temperature reading on my dashboard told me it wasn’t worth it.  (more…)

02/07/15 8:00am
02/07/2015 8:00 AM

mcgreevy

It happened again last month. Jack McGreevy sent a letter to the editor and we received several angry responses.

Mr. McGreevy has developed a reputation as this newspaper’s most polarizing letter writer.

The Mattituck man has his opinions on a wide variety of topics, some of which, particularly his views on marriage, have been known to offend many, myself included.  (more…)

01/04/15 8:30am
01/04/2015 8:30 AM
Members of the U.S. Coast Guard boat into the Mattituck Inlet on the morning Ciro Stellges' body was found in the water. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro, file)

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard boat into the Mattituck Inlet on the morning Ciro Stellges’ body was found in the water. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro, file)

There is a common misconception among the public that the media enjoys reporting bad news.

That’s simply not true. I’ve seen a certain look on enough reporters’ faces when they’re asked to call a loved one for an interview after a tragedy to know it’s never easy.

I saw that look too many times in 2014.  (more…)

11/22/14 8:00am
11/22/2014 8:00 AM
St. Anthony's High School rowers during the annual Snowflake Regatta, which this year made national headlines for all the wrong reasons. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

St. Anthony’s High School rowers during the annual Snowflake Regatta, which this year made national headlines for all the wrong reasons. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

My wife and I were at a local restaurant the other night. The family of four sitting next to us was finishing dessert when a busgirl, who appeared to be around 14 or 15, let a glass of water slip from her hand. It didn’t splash anybody and no one appeared to be hurt, but it was an inconvenience for a few of the surrounding tables as the water spread across the floor and needed to be cleaned up.

What surprised me most about the incident was how the mother at the table, who appeared to be in her 40s or 50s, reacted to the spill.  (more…)

11/15/14 8:00am
11/15/2014 8:00 AM
Tim Bishop addressed the crowd on Election Day Nov. 4 after losing to Republican Lee Zeldin. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Tim Bishop addresses the crowd on Election Day Nov. 4 after losing to Republican Lee Zeldin. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

When I began reporting on Suffolk County politics back in February 2006, the Democratic party here was on the rise.

In Brookhaven Town, where I was assigned at the time, Democrats were one month into their first majority in more than 25 years. The party controlled the Legislature, the 1st District Assemblyman was a Democrat and so was our local congressman. Suffolk also had just as many Democratic town supervisors as Republicans in office and the county executive was a Democrat.  (more…)

10/19/14 8:00am
10/19/2014 8:00 AM
Riverhead football coach Leif Shay addressing his players following their win over Newfield Oct. 11. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Riverhead football coach Leif Shay addressing his players following their win over Newfield Oct. 11. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

At 6-foot-4 and the Arby’s side of 300 pounds, I get asked a lot about my past life as a football player.

The truth is, I didn’t play much growing up.

I played youth football the summer going into fifth grade until my parents gave me the option of quitting after my coach was arrested on — of all things — a domestic violence charge.  (more…)