Monday Morning Briefing: Politics, a bond proposal and puppy pictures

Riverhead School District taxpayers may be asked to head back to the polls this fall to vote on another building and a grounds infrastructure improvement bond. This after voters overwhelmingly rejecting a bond proposal last year.

A committee formed to help develop a new, scaled down proposal — this time with more community input — has just wrapped up. Its agreed upon bond proposal would amount to about $80 million.

The News-Review came out strongly in favor of the last, $120 million proposal. We’re going to reserve judgment on this one until more details emerge, and until we learn more about potential 2% local property tax cap laws, school mandate reforms (if that actually happens) and other measures in Albany that could have major effects on local taxpayers. This equalization bill, should it become law, could even affect property owners living within the same district in different ways.

• I’m getting a lot of positive feedback from the weekly, hour-long radio guest spot with Times/Review web editor Grant Parpan on WRIV 1390 AM. If you’re away from Riverhead and want to tune in from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Thursdays, you can do so by listening live through Grant and I sit with Dawn Patrol show host Bruce Tria and talk mostly about schools and local and regional politics, with Grant contributing with insights from neighboring Brookhaven Town. Believe it or not, given the topics, we have a lot of laughs, too.

• If you missed it, check out our dog adoption day slide show from Saturday. These pups and kids’ smiling faces can only help chase away those Monday blues.

• And if you haven’t done so already, check out our newly redesigned 2011 Spring Long Island Wine Press. Now that spring is really here (I hope) I know I’ll be spending a few afternoons sipping vino on the back deck of the area’s wineries. Pick up a copy of Long Island Wine Press, your ultimate guide to North Fork wine country, available on newsstands now.

• We sent reporter Tim Gannon to Polish Hall Friday as representatives from the East End Republican committees met to screen candidates to run for County Executive Steve Levy’s seat. No word on who the GOP will select yet, but in light of Mr. Levy’s announcement that he would not run amid an investigation by the Suffolk County District Attorney, this should be an interesting race to watch.

• Speaking of politics, I needed a break after a full week spent stalking Councilman Jim Wooten and Supervisor Sean Walter after Mr. Wooten’s announcement that he would be seeking the Republican nomination for supervisor. Good thing my wife and I already had a weekend getaway to New Jersey planned.

We spent much of the day Saturday at this Korean sauna and spa! One of these little igloo-looking saunas tops 200 degrees. Truly a great, yet at times panic-inducing, way to sweat out the toxins from the night before.