07/19/14 8:00am
07/19/2014 8:00 AM
Migrant farmworkers at a North Fork vineyard. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Migrant farmworkers at a North Fork vineyard. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

It was a sunny August afternoon last year when we at the paper got word of police activity — a possible drug bust — in Mattituck. It turned out a 2-year-old boy had fallen from a second story window, dropping through open Bilco doors and landing in a basement below. He was airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center and, miraculously, escaped any major injuries.

Who wouldn’t say Aug. 27, 2013, was a good day for our area?

Well, plenty of people, apparently.

You see, the boy’s name was Javier Cruz. (more…)

07/03/14 3:30pm
07/03/2014 3:30 PM
Columnist James Varney believes intellectual diversity might not be welcome thing on Long Island's East End.

Columnist James Varney believes intellectual diversity might not be welcome thing on Long Island’s East End.

Does the Hyatt Place hotel in Riverhead have lefty-leaning computers in its lobby?

That’s what a columnist from New Orleans is claiming after he stayed there recently and found that the guest computers in the hotel’s lobby blocked websites he considered to be conservative leaning.

Yet the computers freely allowed more liberal leaning sites, he wrote.

(more…)

06/22/14 4:00pm
06/22/2014 4:00 PM
Phil Schmitt speaking with industry officials from upstate Wednesday afternoon. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Phil Schmitt speaking with industry officials from upstate Wednesday afternoon. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Phil Schmitt of Schmitt Family Farms in Riverhead welcomed farming support representatives from the New York City watershed region last week to share some of the conservation practices being used every day on the Roanoke Avenue farm.

(more…)

06/10/14 2:59pm
06/10/2014 2:59 PM
Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, calling for the banning of certain pesticides at the DEC's Draft Long Island Pesticide Pollution Prevention Strategy hearing at Suffolk County Community College in Northampton last year. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, calling for the banning of certain pesticides at the DEC’s Draft Long Island Pesticide Pollution Prevention Strategy hearing at Suffolk County Community College in Northampton last year. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

After 16 years of research and debate, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has released its strategy for safeguarding Long Island’s water supplies from pesticide contamination.

But that final document, at its heart, simply calls for more research and debate.  (more…)

05/19/14 2:01pm
05/19/2014 2:01 PM
Emily Espenkotter, 20, and her grandmother, Kathleen Kearney, 66, at Saturday's Suffolk County Community College commencement in Brentwood.

Emily Espenkotter, 20, and her grandmother, Kathleen Kearney, 66, at Sunday’s Suffolk County Community College commencement in Brentwood. (Credit: Espenkotter courtesy)

Standing tall and proud Sunday in a black cap and gown, 66-year-old Kathleen Kearney moved her tassel from the right side to the left, signifying the completion of her associate degree at Suffolk County Community College — and more than a decade’s worth of hard work and determination.

Before accepting her own diploma during ceremonies at the Brentwood campus fieldhouse, Ms. Kearney kept an eye on the aisle as her 20-year-old granddaughter Emily Espenkotter, a Shoreham-Wading River High School graduate, did the same, earning a degree in early childhood development.

It’s the first time in the college’s history that a grandmother and granddaughter have graduated at the same time. (more…)

05/17/14 12:00pm
05/17/2014 12:00 PM
Bailie Beach in Mattituck (Credit: Carrie Miller File)

Bailie Beach in Mattituck (Credit: Carrie Miller File)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is hosting a number of meetings to better understand groundwater resource needs in Nassau and Suffolk counties, in hopes of developing a wastewater management plan for the region.

On Monday, state and local officials, environmental and business leaders and researchers will be on hand discuss issues related to wastewater, septic systems and possible future solutions.

The meeting will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at Stony Brook University’s Charles B. Wang Center, according to a statement from the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Representatives from the DEC , Stony Brook University, the Town of Southampton, Environmental Facilities Corporation and the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery are expected to speak.

The plan’s goal will be to increase resiliency against future storms, improve water quality and provide additional protections for Long Island’s groundwater resources, according to the release.

On May 28, discussion will be opened up to the public for an evening meeting. The public can also submit written comments at Monday’s meetings or by emailing liwaterquality@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

Information on where the May 28 meeting will be held has not yet been released.

A final meeting scheduled for June will present recommendations on how to address wastewater and septic problems to Mr. Cuomo, the release states.