04/26/15 10:00am
04/26/2015 10:00 AM

As a young scientist, I trained as a post-doctoral fellow with the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Long before Babesia became part of our local lexicon, I was searching for this and other causes of zoonotic diseases (i.e., those transmissible from animals to man) in the jungles and rural areas of Colombia. I therefore have a particular appreciation for the dangers posed by the current prevalence of ticks and tick-borne diseases on Long Island.  (more…)

04/25/15 12:00pm
04/25/2015 12:00 PM
Eastern Long Island Hospital's Paul Connor, president and CEO  and Dr. Anthony Mitarotondo, chief of radiology at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. (Credit: Courtesy Photo)

Eastern Long Island Hospital’s Paul Connor, president and CEO and Dr. Anthony Mitarotondo, chief of radiology at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. (Credit: Courtesy Photo)

This is to announce the periodic return, at least for the foreseeable future, of this column, along with the news that the former Joan Giger Walker and I hereby accept Eastern Long Island Hospital’s Fitness Challenge.

If you haven’t heard about it, the Challenge is an effort by the best little hospital in the land “to get people moving while using social media to encourage donations,” according to a recent article in this newspaper. “I am asking everyone to pledge to walk 10,000 steps (a day) in honor of the hospital’s 110-year anniversary,” ELIH CEO Paul Connor was quoted as saying in a press release. (more…)

04/24/15 6:00am
04/24/2015 6:00 AM

To the editor:

Superintendent Gamberg’s outspoken efforts against the current New York State tests have helped highlight what is wrong with the current state of education. I am certainly no fan of standardized tests and applaud efforts to fight for better solutions. I do take issue with the idea that the proposed action is simply to “opt out.” (more…)

04/23/15 5:00pm
04/23/2015 5:00 PM

The deadline for submitting petitions to run for a seat on your local board of education was Monday — and, once again, it seems few people cared.

Not one of the five local ballots will feature a contested race. Zero.

Only three newcomers, Philip Mastrangelo in Oysterponds, Jason Cooper in New Suffolk and Barbara Wheaton in Mattituck-Cutchogue, came forward to serve this year, and three of 11 incumbents chose not to run.  (more…)

04/21/15 12:00pm

A mere four years ago, and for decades prior, one could not find any substantial evidence of students opting-out of standardized testing. At first glance, the current, heated, conflict over state testing and the “opt-out” movement appears to be a dispute between those who believe in and those who dispute the value of state tests. But this conflict goes deeper. It is a conflict about what is good for children and adolescents, about how children learn and thrive, and about how to raise young people to enter into and contribute to their communities as mature members of a democratic society.  (more…)

04/20/15 7:00am
04/20/2015 7:00 AM
Kevin McAllister of Defend H20 at a Southold Town Board meeting in February.(Credit: Cyndi Murray file photo)

Kevin McAllister of Defend H20 at a Southold Town Board meeting in February.(Credit: Cyndi Murray file photo)

The new Sag Harbor-based group, Defend H20, has emerged as a fearless environmental organization with a broad agenda.

It not only has the toughness to engage in battles against environmental wrongs, but a commitment to provide education so governments can do the right thing.

For example, the group, founded by Kevin McAllister who is its president, was integral in Brookhaven Town’s recent adoption of more stringent regulations for the discharge of nitrogen from sewage disposal systems in the Carmans River watershed. (more…)

04/18/15 8:00am
04/18/2015 8:00 AM

baby column

Kids, by nature, are scorekeepers. Meaning they’re constantly comparing what they have — or more specifically, what they don’t have — with other kids, and keeping track.

I know this because I was a kid and I knew plenty of other kids, too. We all kept score, whether it was a blockbuster movie another classmate got to see first, a neighbor’s vacation to Disney World or trip to Action Park, or everyone having Reebok Pumps except for you. (more…)

04/16/15 8:01am
04/16/2015 8:01 AM

Here’s what everyone needs to know about nicotine in any form, according to county health department commissioner Dr. James Tomarken: “Nicotine is a highly addictive drug and recent research suggests nicotine exposure may also prime the brain to become addicted to other substances. We all know the younger one starts the easier it is to get addicted, the longer they’ll be addicted and the harder it is to stop the addiction.”

Dr. Tomarken and other health experts are also concerned that electronic cigarettes, which contain liquid nicotine, are being targeted bu manufacturers to “very young” children. (more…)