03/23/15 12:00pm
03/23/2015 12:00 PM

No doubt you have heard the news that public education is in need of reform. Gov. Cuomo has said so. Former CNN anchor Campbell Brown has said so. Even President Obama has said so. And what do all these people have in common? Well, a few things. None of them has taught students a day in their life. All of them have received pay or political contributions from the charter school movement and/or testing companies and all of them have wholly endorsed more charter schools.  (more…)

03/20/15 6:00am
03/20/2015 6:00 AM

To the editor:

I just returned from out of town and was dismayed to learn that the Riverhead High School “forum” held on March 12, 2015, regarding the decision to reduce the academic day from nine to eight periods was little more than an empty gesture on the part of the administration. A word of caution to the administration: Do not be lulled by the lower-than-expected turnout. Some of us were out of town, while many others (myself included) must work two to three jobs to support our families and pay huge tax bills.  (more…)

03/15/15 10:00am
03/15/2015 10:00 AM

A confession: I have not been ice boating even once this winter on either Great Pond or Hallocks Bay. And that’s because I’ve been on the North Fork for less than a week between Christmas and today. And therein lies the challenge of writing this column every other week. How can I keep it local and relevant if the former Joan Giger Walker and I, in our so-called retirement years, are away from the North Fork for nearly half the year?

Short answer: I can’t.  (more…)

03/15/15 7:00am

Administrators with the Riverhead Central School District and Eastern Suffolk BOCES should be commended for putting together a creative, pragmatic approach to a unique problem precipitated by last summer’s influx of young people fleeing violence-torn regions of Central America.

And they did it on relatively short notice.  (more…)

03/12/15 6:00am
03/12/2015 6:00 AM
Forty businesses were cited last month for failing to clear their sidewalks. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

Forty businesses were cited last month for failing to clear their sidewalks. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

To the editor:

Thank you for the stories you wrote about the snow safety hazards along Route 58. I worry about my life and safety every time I need to go to the bus stop.

I was very surprised that, after property owners were fined for not shoveling the snow on the sidewalks and after the recent snowfall, the sidewalks are in worse shape and more dangerous than they were before.  (more…)

03/08/15 8:00am
03/08/2015 8:00 AM
County Executive Steve Bellone (center) touts the benefits of the county's new sex offender monitoring efforts in Hauppauge last week. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

County Executive Steve Bellone (center) touts the benefits of the county’s new sex offender monitoring efforts in Hauppauge last week. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

East End towns and villages are now under political and media pressure to participate in Suffolk County’s sex offender monitoring program. This program is operated, under contract with the county, by the Parents for Megan’s Law advocacy organization. Taking a position against a new sex offender monitoring program, here or anywhere, will not help me win any popularity contests. However, I think it’s important for us to take an objective look at this program’s potential impact on the community, its taxpayers and those it targets before jumping on the “Let’s get tough with sex offenders” bandwagon.  (more…)