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…)

03/04/15 12:07pm
03/04/2015 12:07 PM
Guadelupe, 19, and her younger sister, Giselle, 13, hold flowers to place on their father's grave. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Guadelupe, 19, and her younger sister, Giselle, 13, hold flowers to place on their father’s grave last week following the death of German Mendoza Galicia. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

I’m sitting at my kitchen table. It’s Friday, Feb. 20. The temperature outside is in the teens, as it has been for the past several weeks. The sun is coming in through the window and the heat is on in the house. So I’m nice and warm.

Nonetheless, I am grieving. Let me backtrack a bit.  (more…)

02/26/15 5:00pm
02/26/2015 5:00 PM
Guadelupe Mendoza (left) and her sister, Giselle (right), are comforted by their cousin Luz Contrearas of Brooklyn. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Guadelupe Mendoza (left) and her sister, Giselle (right), are comforted by their cousin Luz Contrearas of Brooklyn. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

A homeless man who died last week while sleeping in an unheated garage was remembered by relatives on Wednesday as a hardworking family man who had been battling a drinking problem. (more…)

04/05/14 12:00pm
04/05/2014 12:00 PM
Former taxi driver Charlie, homeless since September, sits outside the Riverhead Free Library one recent afternoon. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Former taxi driver Charlie, homeless since September, sits outside the Riverhead Free Library one recent afternoon. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

John’s Place and Maureen’s Haven are programs whose main objectives are to help the homeless. In the winter months, these nonprofits work with various churches across the East End to provide dinner, a place to shower, a safe environment to sleep in overnight and a place to receive a bagged lunch for the next day.

(more…)