11/05/18 6:00am
11/05/2018 6:00 AM

By now, you’ve probably heard them debate the issues — and you’ve certainly seen their TV ads — but who are they?

Here’s some background on the candidates for Congress, state Senate and state Assembly. READ

02/06/15 12:00pm
02/06/2015 12:00 PM

state leadersAlbany is in need of serious reform. It’s been known for years, even decades, and is obvious to anyone who pays the slightest bit of attention to our state government.

There appeared to be hope with the 2010 election of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who ran on a reform agenda. But he ended up shutting down his own highly touted investigative body, the Moreland Commission, when its members began to hone in on the root of all problems in Albany: outside money earned by lawmakers, and specifically lawyers who have long claimed they couldn’t disclose details of their work — including their clients — because that would be a breach of lawyer-client privilege. (more…)

06/25/14 4:00pm
06/25/2014 4:00 PM
Police at the scene of the fatal hit and run on Route 58 near Woodcrest Avenue in  July 2013. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

Police at the scene of the fatal hit and run on Route 58 near Woodcrest Avenue in July 2013. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

Harsher punishments for those who flee the scenes of serious car accidents will have to wait another year, lawmakers say, after a pair of bills — one passed by the state Senate, another by the Assembly — failed to get enough support in the opposite house.

The legislative session in Albany ended last week with no agreement on the bills.

In May, the Senate had approved legislation — co-sponsored by state Senator Ken Lavalle — that would have increased penalties across the board for those who flee from accidents, minor or serious. That bill died in the Assembly transportation committee.

Meanwhile, the Assembly passed their own bill last Thursday night, with just hours left in the legislative session.

That legislation was co-sponsored by local Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo, and would have created a new charge for those who flee serious or fatal accidents while driving with a suspended license or a prior conviction for drunk driving or leaving the scene of an accident.

In an interview this week, Mr. LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) said there wasn’t enough time left to compromise on the differences between the two bills. The Assembly’s bill also lacked support in the Senate. 

09/13/12 9:45pm
09/13/2012 9:45 PM

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Bridget Fleming (right) will oppose Senator Ken LaValle in a November election.

Southamptown Town Councilwoman Bridget Fleming won in a landslide over Jennifer Maertz of Rocky Point in a Democratic primary to face Senator Ken LaValle in November, unofficial results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections indicate.

Ms. Fleming, 52, of Sag Harbor received 79 percent of the votes Thursday with 2,031 cast in her favor to Ms. Maertz’s 531.

Ms. Fleming was an assistant district attorney in New York City, where she prosecuted sex crimes and headed a unit that prosecuted fraud in public programs. She was elected to fill a vacant seat on the Southampton Town Council in 2010, and won a full four-year term last year.

Ms. Maertz, 36, is an attorney from Rocky Point, and lost to 36-year incumbent Mr. LaValle two years ago when she stepped in after candidate Regina Calcaterra was taken off the ballot due to a residency issue.

During a debate last month, both Ms. Maertz and Ms. Fleming criticized Mr. LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) as a “part of the culture in Albany” that has not sought more tax allocations for the East End from around the state.

Both candidates said they support same-sex marriage and argued that changes needed to be made to the 2 percent tax levy cap passed by the state last year.

They differed on the important of campaign financing, with Ms. Fleming saying she stood the best shot of beating Mr. LaValle due to her leftover campaign funds, while Ms. Maertz said voters should choose based on a candidate’s positions, not the size of their warchest.

08/10/12 4:00pm
08/10/2012 4:00 PM

SUFFOLK TIMES FILE PHOTO | A Greenport man crashed this boat into a breakwater last October. No one was seriously hurt.

In the wake of a tragedy that claimed the lives of three children when a cabin cruiser capsized in Oyster Bay Harbor, state Senator Ken Lavalle (R-Port Jefferson) announced he is drafting legislation to give insurance breaks to boaters who take boating safety courses.

“Boaters depend on the rules of the road, common sense and courtesy,” Senator LaValle said. “We can’t teach common sense, but can teach boaters the rules they need to know to operate their vessels safely.”

The bill, which Senator LaValle said will be introduced within the next week, would entitle boater’s who take a basic safety course to a 10 percent discount on their insurance, while those who take a more advanced course would receive a 15 percent insurance reduction.

The state Senate held a public hearing Wednesday on boating safety in New York waters.

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