01/23/15 11:00am
Governor Cuomo giving his State of the State address the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany Wednesday. (Credit: Courtesy Flickr photo)

Governor Cuomo giving his State of the State address the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany Wednesday. (Credit: Courtesy Flickr photo)

Small business owners across the North Fork could soon benefit from tax reductions that would make income tax rates the lowest in New York State history, according to a proposal outlined by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State address Wednesday.

The proposition would help small businesses incorporated in New York State by reducing the net income tax rate from the current rate of 6.5 percent to 2.5 percent over a three-year period, amounting to a four percent reduction by 2018.

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01/21/15 12:00pm

Despite news that Southampton Hospital is one step closer to merging with Stony Brook University Medical Center, officials of the East End Health Alliance say their association with the South Fork hospital is intact — at least for now.

Formation of the Alliance — established in part to offer community hospitals better leverage in dealing with large insurance companies and to minimize competition among facilities — was recommended in a 2006 report by the Berger Commission, a state panel that examines health care capacity and resources in New York State.

Last Tuesday, the State University of New York Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with an affiliation that, once finalized, will allow Southampton Hospital to provide care under Stony Brook’s state operating license.

Any agreement would require the approval of multiple state regulatory authorities, including the state Department of Health, Attorney General’s office and state comptroller, according to a Stony Brook press release about the decision.

Peconic Bay Medical Center and Eastern Long Island Hospital — the other members of the East End Health Alliance — are also pursuing affiliations with a larger health system and are currently in talks with both Stony Brook and North Shore-LIJ.

If all three East End hospitals do not choose to align with the same larger system, “the Alliance would disestablish,” said ELIH president and CEO Paul Connor, an Alliance spokesman.

Alliance members met most recently Dec. 14, when they finalized a new contract with Empire Blue Cross that took effect Jan. 1, Mr. Connor said.

“No determination has been made to end the Alliance,” he added.

Disbanding it would require coordinated meetings and conversations by the organization’s board, said Demetrios Kadenas, chief development officer for PBMC Health.

The potential mergers are a response to new insurance reimbursement methods brought about by the Affordable Care Act, which now place a value on the quality and outcomes of care provided instead of the extent of care, Mr. Connor said in a release.

“ELIH has much to gain in terms of financial stability by partnering with one of these [larger systems],” he said.

Stony Brook officials are now working to file a Certificate of Need with the state health department that will be evaluated to ensure services align with community needs, according to the health department website.

Andrew Mitchell, president and CEO of PBMC Health, said that “as an integral member of the East End Health Alliance, we look forward to reviewing the Southampton Hospital-Stony Brook transaction when it is brought forward to the Alliance.”

Mr. Kadenas said Southampton Hospital’s affiliation “currently has no impact on PBMC Health and does not affect any current collaboration between PBMC Health and [Stony Brook].”

Mr. Connor added, “Until Stony Brook and Southampton gain all the requisite approvals, ELIH will not be impacted.”

cmiller@timesreview.com

01/19/15 4:15pm
Southold Elementary teacher Patty Mellas helps students Ben Ward, Aidan Russell, both 11, and Tate Klipstein, 10, pack care packages for veterans. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Southold Elementary teacher Patty Mellas helps students (from left) Ben Ward and Aidan Russell, both 11, and Tate Klipstein, 10, pack care packages for veterans. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Dozens of volunteers used their time off from work or school on Martin Luther King Day to participate in a number of community service projects across town.

A first for the Southold Youth Bureau, the Dr. King Day of Service event paired volunteers with a number of service organizations that were in need of helping hands.

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01/18/15 7:00am

Sipping bone broth: good or bad for you?

One new trend popping up in some health circles is sipping broth made by boiling the bare bones of chicken and other types of meat.

A quick Google search of “bone broth” describes the elixir as an immune-boosting, digestion-improving, cellulite-busting remedy that will even leave you with a dewy, wrinkle-free complexion — though those benefits can change depending on who you ask. (more…)

01/17/15 10:00am
Cricket (left) and Ralphie before being adopted. (Credit: Gabby Glantzman)

Cricket (left) and Ralphie, two pit bull mixes, before being adopted. (Credit: Gabby Glantzman)

It’s hard to imagine a five-month-old puppy taking care of itself, let alone multiple newborns.

It is a situation North Fork Animal Welfare League officials say can happen when owners opt against neutering their pets, leaving pups like Ralphie and Cricket without the support of a mother.

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01/16/15 8:25am
Jennifer Callaghan lets go of a red balloon in memory of her husband James. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Jennifer Callaghan lets go of a red balloon in memory of her husband James. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Among the hugs and tears shed beside an all too familiar stretch of Main Road Friday morning, laughs and lanterns filled the air long before the sun came up in remembrance of James Callaghan, a Jamesport man who was killed in a hit-and-run while jogging on a foggy Jan. 16 morning just one year ago.

More than 20 people joined at the sign bordering Riverhead and Southold towns at 5:45 a.m., about the same time police believe Mr. Callaghan may have been struck by a “blue metallic” vehicle that fled the scene.

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01/15/15 8:00am
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone at a press conference this week with elected officials. (Credit: Courtesy)

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone at a Monday press conference with elected officials. (Credit: Courtesy)

In the ongoing effort to combat the growing use of heroin across Long Island, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone on Monday announced a new strategy aimed at making a special drug more accessible to addicts at treatment centers and county facilities — though experts warn it’s no panacea.

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01/14/15 8:00am
(Credit: Carrie Miller)

From left, New Suffolk Elementary School students Robbie Cooper, 10; Jonathan Blanchard, 12; Katheryn Vitiello, 10; and Sadie Heston, 11. They’re using iPads to create a mini-movie that will serve as a public service announcement on bullying.(Credit: Carrie Miller)

Nobody wants to be the new kid in school. That’s a lesson long taught to students to help them better understand the impact of bullying.

Now, technology introduced to students at New Suffolk Elementary School is helping them share that valuable lesson in an interesting way. The school’s fifth and sixth grade class is using iPads to create a mini-movie that will serve as a public service announcement on bullying.

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01/11/15 7:00am
Maximus Health & Fitness owners Frank Distefano (from left) and Phil Durinck look on as personal trainer Greg Trent tries out one of the new LifeCycle GX spin bikes. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Maximus Health & Fitness owners Frank Distefano (from left) and Phil Durinck look on as personal trainer Greg Trent tries out one of the new LifeCycle GX spin bikes in May. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

So, it’s that time again. The calendar flips to another year and you announce and start to make good on your New Year’s resolution.

Often, that resolution is a commitment to improving one’s health, whether it be quitting smoking, losing a few pounds or watching what you eat. (more…)