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…)

12/21/14 2:00pm
12/21/2014 2:00 PM
A medical marijuana distribution facility in the San Fernando Valley, California. (Credit: Laurie Avocado, Wikimedia)

A medical marijuana distribution facility in the San Fernando Valley, California. (Credit: Laurie Avocado, Wikimedia)

While it is not likely to take effect until 2016, New York State is one step closer to allowing patients access to medical marijuana, and that could open the door for a distribution center on the East End.

(more…)

06/27/14 12:00pm
06/27/2014 12:00 PM
A view of the bay and SHelter Island from Pepi's Restaurant in Southold, near Port of Egypt. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

A view of the bay and SHelter Island from Pepi’s Restaurant in Southold, near Port of Egypt. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Despite the op/ed pieces, press conferences, television appearances and lobbying by county and state officials and environmentalists from across the region, 2014 may not be the year for clean water on Long Island.

The state Senate failed to act last week on sweeping legislation aimed at safeguarding Nassau and Suffolk county’s many bays and tributaries, Long Island Sound and groundwater aquifers.

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06/26/14 6:00am
06/26/2014 6:00 AM
(Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

(Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

When this newspaper penned an editorial earlier this year supporting the legalization of medical marijuana in New York State, our editorial board braced for pushback from our readers.

We didn’t expect Molotov cocktails to be thrown through our office windows, but we certainly anticipated letters and phone calls from readers referring to us as mainstream liberal left media.

That never happened. Not one letter. No phone calls.

We quickly realized our readers actually agreed with us on this one. Apparently, our representative in the state Senate, Ken LaValle, did not.  (more…)

06/25/14 4:00pm
06/25/2014 4:00 PM
Police at the scene of the fatal hit and run on Route 58 near Woodcrest Avenue in  July 2013. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

Police at the scene of the fatal hit and run on Route 58 near Woodcrest Avenue in July 2013. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

Harsher punishments for those who flee the scenes of serious car accidents will have to wait another year, lawmakers say, after a pair of bills — one passed by the state Senate, another by the Assembly — failed to get enough support in the opposite house.

The legislative session in Albany ended last week with no agreement on the bills.

In May, the Senate had approved legislation — co-sponsored by state Senator Ken Lavalle — that would have increased penalties across the board for those who flee from accidents, minor or serious. That bill died in the Assembly transportation committee.

Meanwhile, the Assembly passed their own bill last Thursday night, with just hours left in the legislative session.

That legislation was co-sponsored by local Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo, and would have created a new charge for those who flee serious or fatal accidents while driving with a suspended license or a prior conviction for drunk driving or leaving the scene of an accident.

In an interview this week, Mr. LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) said there wasn’t enough time left to compromise on the differences between the two bills. The Assembly’s bill also lacked support in the Senate.