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02/13/19 2:00pm

COURTESY PHOTO

The New York State Legislature approved a bill to ban offshore drilling February 5.

The bill amends the Environmental Conservation Law to prohibit offshore oil and gas production. It would prevent the State Department of Environmental Conservation from leasing state-owned underwater coastal areas for drilling and also stop the Office of General Services from authorizing leases that would increase oil or natural gas production in federal waters. (more…)

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07/26/16 12:00pm
COURTESY PHOTOS State Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), left, and Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor).

COURTESY PHOTOS State Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), left, and Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor).

Recently released financial disclosure reports for 2015 show that both state Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) and Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) have resigned from positions at Twomey, Latham Shea, Kelley, Dubin and Quartararo, the prominent Riverhead law firm where both previously worked. (more…)

Featured Story
04/22/15 12:00pm
AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO | The entrance to 13 North Ferry Road.

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO | The entrance to 13 North Ferry Road.

Tuesday at its work session, the Town Board turned to an agenda item —“Uses allowed in a business zone.”

The discussion was spurred by a dispute at 13 North Ferry Road, owned by Dan Calabro. (more…)

03/01/13 2:30pm

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | The Miss Nancy fishing boat moves through Greenport Harbor.

Life could get just a little easier for East End commercial fishermen if a bill Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-C-Port Jefferson) ushered through the New York State Senate has the same support in the Assembly.

The bill that passed the Senate with only a single negative vote would allow commercial fishermen to aggregate their daily catch limits over a seven-day period. A fisherman could, for example, catch three times his daily quota on Monday and two times the limit on Wednesday and then stay off the water until the following Monday, thereby conserving fuel. The bill that passed the Senate would also allow individuals, each of whom had a fishing license, to go out together in the same boat with each able to take a daily or aggregate limit.

“Fuel for running a fishing boat is extremely costly,” Mr. LaValle said, noting that it “significantly cuts into the already slim profits” fishermen get.

Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor), who is shepherding the bill through the Assembly, said he and Mr. LaValle drafted the bill together in consultation with local fishermen.

While the Assembly is focused on getting a budget passed by the April 1 deadline, Mr. Thiele said as soon as that’s accomplished, the fishing bill would move ahead.

“It’s a bill that is high on my list,” Mr. Thiele said.

Assuming the Assembly gives the legislation the go-ahead, it would go to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature.

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01/29/13 3:19pm

JULIE LANE PHOTO | School Superintendent Michael Hynes is continuing his efforts to protest state aid cuts.

Superintendent Michael Hynes has carried his arguments against state aid cuts to Shelter Island to Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr.(I-Sag Harbor), the man who will represent the Island next year thanks to redistricting. He has also emailed Senator Kenneth LaValle with his arguments. And he plans to contact Governor Andrew Cuomo prior to the February school break if he hasn’t made headway with the state legislators, he said.

He told the Reporter last Friday the district can’t sustain the 17.1 percent cut in state aid projected by the governor’s budget proposal and said he intended to take his case to elected officals.

“I talked to Assemblyman Thiele today and emailed [Mr.] LaValle,” Dr. Hynes said. “I am hoping to have more information by the end of the week.” Mr. Thiele was receptive to the superintendent’s concerns and told Dr. Hynes he would call him again when he has more information from Albany.

The cut projected for Shelter Island would amount to $83,588 from the $486,263 the district received from the state to help fund the current school year.

“I compare it to the stages of dying,” he said in a Friday morning telephone interview. He described himself as locked into the first phase — anger.

“I will never get to the acceptance phase,” he said. “It’s outrageous and it’s not just us,” he said. East End schools are all being viewed as though they possess the wealth that is typical of wealthy Hamptons communities, the superintendent said.
The proposed cuts have no rhyme or reason, Dr. Hynes said, echoing a refrain that has been voiced by East End superintendents in the past: the state aid formula reflects higher property values here, but not lower salaries earned by many workers on Shelter Island and the North Fork.

“We cannot sustain this,” Dr. Hynes said last week. It would “handcuff” Shelter Island School as it undergoes major transformations in efforts to better prepare its students for college and the job market, he said.

When Governor Cuomo announced his budget proposal last week, he boasted about an overall 3-percent hike in school aid statewide that would see education spending rise from $20.2 billion in the current school year to $20.8 billion next year. Then came the district-by-district breakdown with more bad news for East End Schools, Dr. Hynes said.

Shelter Island’s loss would put it among the top four in the state of districts being asked to sustain state aid cuts. That’s a position the superintendent doesn’t eye with any pleasure, he said.

The district begins its budgeting process on February 11 with a meeting set for 6:30 p.m. in the school library.