04/20/15 3:46pm
04/20/2015 3:46 PM
Corky Laing of Greenport rehearses earlier this month at his Southold studio. (Credit: Rachel Young)

Corky Laing of Greenport rehearses earlier this month at his Southold studio. (Credit: Rachel Young)

It’s about starting a conversation.

That’s what Corky Laing, drummer for the band Mountain, said recently about “Playing God — The Rock Opera,” his heavy-metal collaboration with Finnish bioethics professors Tuija Takala and Matti Häyry.

“There’s no agenda here,” said Mr. Laing, who is 67 and lives in Greenport. “We’re just enjoying the academic part.” (more…)

02/06/15 2:00pm
02/06/2015 2:00 PM
A helicopter at East Hampton Airport. (Credit: Kyril Bromley/The East Hampton Press, file)

A helicopter at East Hampton Airport. (Credit: Kyril Bromley/The East Hampton Press, file)

Battle lines have been drawn by the Town of East Hampton in the war over excessive helicopter noise plaguing East End residents, especially those on the North Fork, Shelter Island and around the airport.

The board has crafted a local law to take control of the town’s airport and put significant restrictions on aircraft traffic.

The draft law, still subject to a public hearing and a vote, was announced at an East Hampton Town Board work session Wednesday and would:

• ban all helicopters on weekends during the summer season; (more…)

08/16/13 2:35pm
CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO |  During the eulogy Friday, the Rev. Michael Walrond Jr. said William Lynch Jr.'s legacy will be everlasting — because of all the lives he touched.

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | During a eulogy Friday, the Rev. Michael Walrond Jr. said William Lynch Jr.’s legacy will be everlasting because of the countless lives he touched.

Widely-known civil rights activist and political consultant William Lynch Jr. died Friday, Aug. 9, from complications of kidney disease. He was 72.

Mr. Lynch was born July 21, 1941, in Mattituck to William Sr. and Lillie Lynch and graduated from Mattituck High School in 1959. As a teenager “Butch” as he was known then, played soccer, basketball and baseball. Of his youth on the North Fork, Mr. Lynch told The Suffolk Times in 2008,“Those were the great years for me. I’ll never forget them.”

Family and friends gathered at New Bethany cemetery in Mattituck on Friday to honor the man they remember as a great Mattituck High School basketball player with a heart of gold.

“He dined with presidents but his heart never left Mattituck,” Sally Goode-Carragher told a reporter before the services. “He always fought for the little guy and never forgot his humble roots.”

(Click on the tab below to read the Aug. 22 Suffolk Times article about Mr. Lynch and his remarkable life in politics.)

Friends said Mr. Lynch maintained ties to his hometown throughout his life.

Family friend LeRoy Heyliger remembered running into Mr. Lynch around the time of Christmas 1965, while the men were serving in the Air Force in different divisions.

“Our planes were in for service, and I heard a voice call my name,” Mr. Heyliger recalled. “It was Bill. He was back from overseas and said that he was discharged.”

It was soon after that Mr. Lynch moved to Harlem to work for a job training and policy institute at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

And so began his venture into politics.

In 1975, Mr. Lynch successfully managed Diane Lacey’s campaign for Democratic district leader in Central Harlem and the Upper West Side. He went on to work on presidential campaigns for Senator Edward M. Kennedy in 1980 and the Rev. Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988. He also worked on the campaigns for Congressman Major Owens of Brooklyn in 1982 and state Senator David A. Paterson in 1985. Later, in 2008, he worked as a consultant for Mr. Paterson, who at the time was just taking over as governor for the outgoing Eliot Spitzer.

From 1985-1989, Mr. Lynch served as chief of staff to then-Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins and was instrumental in Mr. Dinkins’s victorious mayoral campaign in 1989. It was during this time he earned the nickname “rumpled genius” for his combination of political skills and wrinkled wardrobe. He served during the Dinkins administration as the deputy mayor for intergovernmental relations, and maintained a longstanding political relationship with Mr. Dinkins.

“He was really a warrior for all races and colors,” Hazel N. Dukes, president of the NAACP New York State Conference, said Friday. “He was instrumental in the success of that campaign.”

Some of the most important moments in his career included working with former South African president and anti-apartheid crusader Nelson Mandela, Mr. Lynch said in the 2008 Suffolk Times interview. After Mr. Mandela was released from prison in 1991, Mr. Lynch helped him campaign for political reform in South Africa. “He was an unbelievable candidate and human being,” Mr. Lynch said.

Mr. Lynch founded his own political consulting firm, Bill Lynch Associates (LLC) in 1999, working on numerous campaigns in the New York area. He also served as a co-chair of John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004.  At the time of his death, he was working as a consultant for the mayoral campaign of city Controller, John Liu. His motto “make it happen” stayed with him through his entire life.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Lynch; his children, William Lynch III and Stacy Lynch and a grandson, William Lynch IV.

Funeral services took place in Manhattan on Thursday, Aug. 15 at Riverside Church, where over 1,000 mourners were in attendance, including former President, Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, former senator and secretary of state; Representative Charles B. Rangel; former secretary of State Basil A. Patterson; the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton, according to the New York Times article.

“I have to say it was a beautiful tribute to a man who was proud of his humble roots on the North Fork, who allowed others to take credit for his genius and stand in the limelight,” said John Vahey of Mattituck, who attended the services in New York as a guest of one of Mr. Lynch’s former colleagues.

“I don’t know how anyone could have attended that moving, beautiful service without being inspired to go out and make the world a better place.”

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03/25/13 1:00pm
03/25/2013 1:00 PM
Museum of Natural History comes to Long Island

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Anthropologist and archeologist Lisa Stevenson of Aquebogue inside the mobile museum which has exhibits on nomadic people: the Native Americans on Long Island, Montana and Mongolia.

The Suffolk County Historical Society’s “Moveable Museum” has officially rolled into action.

Artifacts are now easier than ever for students to access thanks to a unique gift from the Museum of National History.

Suffolk County Historical Society bus from

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | A Mongolian vessel made of Yak leather, 600 year-old Indian wampum beads and 1,000 year-old Indian spearheads.

In May 2012, the New York City museum donated a 37-foot-long Winnebago, retrofitted as a 250-square-foot exhibition space. The walk-in exhibit is designed to teach about nomadic cultures.

Now, after nearly one year, a new paint job and other interior upgrades, the mobile museum made its debut last Tuesday in the Sachem School District.

Students from Nokomis Elementary School in Holtsville learned about the Gabra, Mongol, Blackfeet and Algonkian people through interactive exhibits. The displays feature artifacts from both the American Museum of Natural History and the Suffolk County Historical Society.

“It’s like we’re training young Indiana Joneses,” said Kathryn Curran, Suffolk County Historical Society’s executive director. “It is a bridge to communities and neighborhoods.”

The museum also serves as a bridge to Suffolk County’s past. The historical society added the Algonkian exhibit as a way to bring the area’s history to life for students.

The Algonkian people are native to Long Island and the SCHS collection includes nearly 5,000 spearheads, arrows and other artifacts. Many are on display in the mobile museum.

The historical society hired two educators, Lisa Stevenson and Jen Lacey, to manage its rotating exhibits,

Ms. Stevenson, a practicing anthropologist and educator for more than 20 years, has tailored the program toward school-aged children. The curriculum is broken into two parts, a classroom session in school and a hands-on session in the mobile museum. Each meets New York State standards for education.

“It fits the need at the right time,” Ms. Stevenson said. “This is the best possible scenario.”

The historical society is currently seeking sponsors for the Moveable Museum.

Those interested in helping with or participating in the project can call 631-727-2881, ext. 101.

[email protected]

Moveable Museum in Riverhead

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The Suffolk County Historical Society’s ‘moveable museum’ made its inaugural trip to an elementary school in Sachem School District last week.

09/10/12 11:00am
09/10/2012 11:00 AM
North Fork, Orient, 9/11, Tour de Force, Riverhead

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | New York State Trooper Ryan Sypek preps his bike for the North Fork/Long Island leg of the four-day 9/11 memorial ride from Boston to ground zero.

More than 200 law enforcement officers arrived by ferry Monday morning to begin the North Fork leg of their 265-mile bicycle ride from Boston to ground zero in Manhattan as part of the 12th annual “Tour de Force” event.

Suffolk County police officer Jim Parker said the 9/11 memorial ride, started by NYPD detective brothers Mike and Rob DePaolis, began with 25 riders and has this year grown to 203.

“We honor officers who were killed in the line of duty and donate to the families themselves, averaging 25 donations per year,” Mr. Parker said of the ride in an interview last week. “It’s a four-day ride and this will be the third time we’re doing Boston to New York,” he added.

The ride began in Boston on Saturday and bikers arrived via Cross Sound Ferry in Orient at 8:30 before they were given a 5-mile Southold Town police escort about 9 a.m.

“I’ve been doing this for nine years now,” Mr. Parker, who has been in law enforcement 28 years, said. “It’s a bonding of brothers and sisters from around the country and the friends you make and relationships you build with the other cops during the ride are life long.”

The bikers were expected to hit the Riverhead town line about 11 a.m., on their way to downtown New York City.

Bikers will be trickling into Manhattan all day Tuesday, Sept. 11.

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Check back at suffolktimes.com for a video from the event.