Authors Posts by TBR Staff

TBR Staff

TBR Staff
TBR News Media covers everything happening on the North Shore of Suffolk County from Cold Spring Harbor to Wading River.

by -
0 28

The discussion locally and nationally about potential suspensions for students who participated in the walkout March 14 has us thinking.

The issue with suspensions, we feel, is that it’s the wrong way to go about punishing a student for his or her wrongdoing, based on both context and merit.

Giving a student a day off from school for misbehaving or not completing his or her work doesn’t seem quite like a punishment. Even an in-school suspension doesn’t seem like an effective answer. Surely something more productive and positive can be born from an instance of student rule breaking. Community service or completion of acts of kindness in lieu of a day at home on the couch, for a student who talks poorly about another student or answers foully when speaking to a teacher or administrator seems more appropriate. Exercises that create more inclusion and less exclusion might have a more positive effect in the long run.

In situations when a student is violent, sending a message that it cannot be tolerated while also remaining under supervision of the school community, say, with additional counseling time or through a written
personal reflection about the ramifications of their behavior, would create better outcomes than a day at home playing video games or watching TV.

Schools are admittedly in a tough position in deciding how to handle punishments for students who used class time to make a statement on an issue they feel passionate about. More can be learned from, say, being
assigned to research and report about civil rights protests in the 1960s.

For the record, we are behind Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) sentiments regarding districts’ reactions to the March 14 walkout. Yes, it’s against school rules in all districts to walk out of school in the middle of the day, but students experiencing a moment in time of solidarity and turning it into action is something worthwhile that educators should seize on as an opportunity for learning, not vegetating with a day off.

“Peaceful expression of views on controversial issues that is not disruptive or threatening is a right that all students have in this country, and any attempts to stifle this speech violates the constitutional rights of student and faculty to free speech,” Cuomo said in a letter. “Threatening to discipline students for participating in the peaceful demonstrations is not only inappropriate, it is unconstitutional. Reports that schools may also discipline faculty are also highly concerning and would send a terrible message to our students.”

Reports by parents and students claim districts like Rocky Point, among others, were suspending kids for participating in the national event. We urge those districts to view this as an opportunity for a teachable moment. These are unique times requiring unique responses.

Freshman midfield Jack Krisch. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

With a new head coach comes a new goal for the Huntington boys lacrosse team: take two more wins.

Senior attack Colby Martin. Photo by Bill Landon

Last year, the Blue Devils finished with a 6-10 record, with three of those losses coming from one-goal games. The last time Huntington made the postseason was 2013, losing to Miller Place by a single score in the first round. If the team can win just two more games than last season, the Blue Devils will end the five-year playoff drought.

“We need more structure — more discipline by implementing a system that guys buy into and that works, that makes the guys like lacrosse,” head coach Julian Watts said. “We’re changing the culture, not the tradition, but changing the way we prepare them for games, making sure they’re confident, putting them in the right spots, and hopefully, they can execute.”

Leading the charge will be senior goalkeeper Sam Bergman, a three-year starter who began every game between the pipes last year.

“There so much more room for growth,” the coach said. “And we’ll continue to grow — there’s no limit to how good we can get. We’ve got to continue to push each other, maintaining that chemistry on and off the field. It’ll come down to us playing to the very last minute of [every] game.”

According to Watts, who played at St. Anthony’s before competing for Hofstra University, this season is about more than athleticism and stick skills.

Junior midfielder Jordan McCoy. Photo by Bill Landon

“[I want a system that] makes them want to come to practice,” he said. “But along with structure and discipline, there are consequences. We have great coaches instilling a good work ethic along with hard work and paying attention to details. [If they] don’t cut corners that will bring success both on the field and off it — it’s all of the little things that count.”

He said he sees the younger athletes pushing the older ones to show them what they’re made of, and the elders setting the standard for how practice should go. They’re all bringing the energy, according to Watts, including senior defensive midfielder Mike Abbondandelo and sophomore Jack Stewart, who will lead the team with Bergman.

“We lost three games last year by one goal, and in each it came down to miscommunication on the field,” Stewart said. “But this year, we’ve got great team chemistry and a much better vibe. We’re all on the same page.”

Senior midfielder Mikey Abbondandelo. Photo by Bill Landon

Even though there’s more of a mental focus, Watts said the riding and clearing need to become second nature for his team so that it’s poised under pressure and in control, as to not make wild or out-of-bounds throw.

“We just want them to make the high-percentage passes,” said the coach. “If we can do that efficiently and consistently, that’s a recipe for success.”

Senior defender Anthony McDonald said his team’s roster is deeper this year than it has been in the past, and with a high number of returning players he said he’s excited to see where the Blue Devils can take themselves this season.

“I think we have a lot more experience on the field this year,” McDonald said. “Practice has been good, and we’re only getting better. We’re working hard, we’re pushing each other, and I see a lot of camaraderie and chemistry out there.”

Huntington will scrimmage once more before opening the season with a nonleague game at Kings Park  March 24. The first faceoff is scheduled for noon.

by -
0 307

By Bill Landon

Port Jefferson’s first-year girls lacrosse coach Kelly Walsh will be relying on her team’s defense to help the Royals improve on its win total in its second ever varsity season.

Last year, the Royals notched two wins, and ultimately fell short of a third with a 14-13 loss at the hands of Copiague. Although Port Jefferson hasn’t had a chance to have many outdoor practices yet this year, the head coach is liking what she’s seeing.

“I think we’re coming together pretty well,” said Walsh, who played for Commack and St. Joseph’s University. “I think we’re going to be strong defensively. The girls just bond really well, so I think now that some of them have put their foot in the water to get experience playing, even though we’re so young, they’re starting to get that connection with the older players.”

Brooke Zamek said she believes there’s more work to be done to be in a position to win games.

“We definitely have to work on some skills, because we’re not at the top of our abilities yet,” the freshman defender and midfielder said. “But we all know each other — we’ve known each other for a long time — and that helps us.”

Without any seniors on the squad, this year’s team is a mix of very new varsity players with a handful of juniors, but Walsh said her team will use that to its advantage.

“You wouldn’t know [the difference] between the eighth-graders and eleventh-grade player because they treat each other like sisters,” the coach said. “Youth doesn’t make that much of a difference, maybe in size, but you can see where the older girls just take in the younger players.”

Freshman Katelynn Johnston echoed the assessment of her coach and teamates about how her Royals will look this year.

“We communicate well, we work well together, we need to get better at our stick skills,” she said. “We’re young, but I think we’ll do fairly well this year.”

Midfielder Phalina Sciara took her critiques a step further, analyzing different particular aspects of Port Jefferson’s play.

“We’ve got to hone our passing and clean up our stick skills, but we shouldn’t be underestimated just because we’re a young team,” the junior said. “We have great coaches this year, so that definitely helps, and they know how to motivate us and I think we’ll do well this year.”

Walsh said the season will be a challenge with a small roster, but hopes her limited amount of substitutes can still make their own contributions.

“We’re going to have to lean on our subs,” Walsh said. “But they’re always talking about who wants it more amongst themselves, and that builds character.”

Port Jefferson will be tested when it opens the season at home March 28 hosting Deer Park at 4 p.m.

Kids get their heads shaved at the annual St. Baldrick's event at Centereach Fire Department March 16. Photo by Doug Dickerson

By Kyle Barr

On the night before St. Patrick’s Day, hair rained down onto the floor of Centereach Fire Department. People clapped and cheered as blonde, brown and even green-dyed hair fell from amused faces before being swept away during the annual St. Baldrick’s charity event to raise money for childhood cancer research March 16.

Area local Aimee Jackson watched her teenage son Zachary get shaved, the first head of the night to go bald. It was his fourth time participating, and every year the duo has tried to raise more and more money.

“The first time he did it he was little — 5 years old — we both did it,” she said. “He’s shaving in honor of his twin brother, Kendall, who passed away just before their fifth birthday.”

Zachary Jackson has his head shaved in honor of his twin brother, Kendall, who died of cancer at age 4. Photo by Kyle Barr

The Middle Country Youth Civic Association and Centereach Fire Department joined with local sponsors to host the fourth annual event. Before the buzzer even started sounding, the team of brave bald-headed
community members raised close to $30,000. By Monday, the event had raised over $47,000, close to twice the original $25,000 goal, according to event organizer Doug Dickson. The largest donor was 12-year-old Austin Vero, who raised over $15,000 alone.

“Thank God for our barbers — with all the hair on the ground, they bring their own guys, they’re sweeping all the time,” Dickson said, laughingly.

The night was full of Irish flavor with the inclusion of FDNY Emerald Society bagpipers and Irish step dancers from Mulvihill-Lynch Studio of Irish Dance in Lake Ronkonkoma. Attendees were decked in green from head to toe, including Rob “Squid” Wilson, who was one of many prospective head-shavers to dye their hair green.

Wilson has been hosting local St. Baldrick’s events for 16 years. This year, he dressed in a bright green shamrock coat and a green tiara.

“My team is the Squid and the Squires,” Wilson said. “Each team is a bunch of clowns like us who are doing it for the right reasons.”

He and his friend Tom Duffy have been involved and shaved their heads every year since their first rodeo.

“It’s important to show kids it’s not a big deal to get their heads shaved,” Duffy said. “My big thing is I feel if [scientists] can cure cancer with kids — they can cure cancer.”

Members of the Suffolk County Police
Department shave their heads at the event. Photo by Doug Dickerson

Several staff members at the fire department joined in the shaving spirit, including Assistant Chief Joseph Feola.

“It’s a huge event — one of the bigger events we have,” Feola said. “It’s great to see all this support from the community.”

Nine barbers and hairdressers volunteered their time to shave heads, including the owner of Rockabilly Barbers of Stony Brook’s Vinnie Ferrara. He and his crew of barbers have also been involved in the event for 16 years.

“The greatest thing about it is that we’ve been doing it for so long and seen so much money raised,” Ferrara said. “It just goes to a great cause.”

“The people are so into it,” owner of Centereach-based Blondie’s Creations Inc. Mary Beth Mastando said. She and her team have been shaving heads at the event for three years.

“The community gets together, and everybody helps,” Mastando said. “They’re excited to be shaving their head, and I’m the one doing it, so that’s pretty cool.”

The Centereach St. Baldrick’s organizers are accepting donations until next year’s event. To join in the cause, visit

by -
0 311
Miller Place sophomore Lauren Mancini carries the ball downfield with a Mount Sinai defender on her back during a scrimmage. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

Miller Place boasts a mix of youth and experience in its girls lacrosse team this season, including nine eighth-graders, many   of which were on the Panthers playoff team last year.

Miller Place sophomore Madison Murphy gains possession off the draw. Photo by Bill Landon

The team finished its 2017 campaign with a 7-6 record, making the playoffs but falling to rival Shoreham-Wading River in the opening round. The girls scrimmaged Syosset before going toe-to-toe March 17 with New York State champion Mount Sinai, scoring several goals against their formidable neighbors.

Being a young team, boasting just four seniors with sophomores, freshmen and the nine eighth-graders making up the rest of the roster, Miller Place head coach Thomas Carro is under no illusion as to what’s in store for his squad this season.

“We’re going to have some growing pains in the beginning,” he said. “They’re going to make mistakes. We turned the ball over like 11 times in that last scrimmage [against Syosset], so we’ve got to limit those — and we will.”

Carro said five-year senior goalkeeper Hailey Duchnowski, along with returning defenders, should keep the Panthers in games.

“I think we have one of the best goalies we’ve ever had,” Carro said of Duchnowski, also pointing to junior defender Ava Burns and sophomore midfielder Madison Murphy, who he said is “going to have a good year.” “If those girls play hard, that stuff becomes contagious and the younger group will follow them.”

Miller Place freshman Alexa Corbin moves the ball through midfield in a scrimmage against Mount Sinai. Photo by Bill Landon

Duchnowski pointed to areas of promise and areas of concern she has with her unit up to this point in practice.

“We are doing really well at moving the ball fast on offense, coming together on defense, working hard,” she said. “But we’ll have to get better in transition.”

Murphy’s assessment of her team’s progress so far she said belies its age, but also noticed moments of weakness.

“We have a bunch of athletes,” she said. “We need to play together as a team, and if we do that it’ll all come together. We’ll need a lot of communication on the defensive end as well as on offense, and if we can do that fluently we can win.”

Senior Nicole Beck will also provide the Panthers with the leadership they need, and said, like her coach always does, Miller Place doesn’t rebuild, it reloads.

Miller Place junior Ava Burns battles for a ground ball against Mount Sinai. Photo by Bill Landon

“We lost a great amount of talent last year, but so far we’re still able to put up the numbers offensively,” Beck said. “It’s been impressive — we didn’t think we’d be able to do that — we have a lot of young girls who are playing really well.”

Murphy said her team’s preparation for the league opener at home against last year’s nemesis won’t have anything to do with the athleticism of the team, but with the mental preparedness. Miller Place will host Shoreham-Wading River March 28 at 4 p.m.

“If we go into that game with a positive mindset, work as hard as we can, I think there could be a positive outcome,” she said.

Carro said his team competes with some of the sport’s top Long Island talents, and said finding a way to neutralize high-caliber opponent’s threats will be key to competing with the cream of the crop.

“Shoreham lost a lot [of talent] last year, but it’ll be a test for us to play a team that’s next door to us; the girls all know each other,” the coach said. “We have Rocky Point and Mount Sinai [as neighbors and opponents this year], and those are tough teams. These girls come out and play hard against those teams, and if we take care of the ball and make good decisions, we can be in the game with anybody.”

by -
0 603

Members of state championship-winning field hockey team look to bring another title home this spring

Samantha Tarpey goalie, Ward Melville's junior goalkeeper, reaches to make a save during practice. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

Three Ward Melville multi-sport athletes are hoping to not only share knowledge of success through teaching, but through osmosis.

Lexi Reinhardt, Kate Mulham and Kerri Thornton, all veterans of the Patriots field hockey team, have tasted success at the highest level. After bringing home the school’s first state title since 2008, they returning starters are hoping to do it again, but this time, with the girls lacrosse team.

Ward Melville senior Shannon Brazier make a pass during practice. Photo by Bill Landon

“Our core players are high energy, they’re high speed, high power, just go-go-go,” head coach Kerri Kilkenny said. “After those girls won the field hockey state title they were all texting me, ‘we’re doing it again in the spring.’”

Ward Melville ended its 2017 campaign 17-1. The Patriots powered through the regular season, going 16-0 in Division I before topping West Islip in the Class A quarterfinals. Going 17-1 would seem to be an accomplishment for any team, but for Patriots, the single-score loss to Northport in semifinals stung, and the pain still lingers. Ranked No. 1 in Division I heading into this season, Ward Melville has its sights set on a new objective.

“Our focus is working hard and getting better every day,” Kilkenny said. “This year I’m more concerned about making sure that we are taking care of ourselves — that we are becoming better, that we are improving and that we’re working hard every single day.”

The Patriots lost 13 seniors to graduation, spread evenly across the field — four attackers, four midfielders, four defenders and a goalkeeper. Kilkenny said with the girls playing on club teams over the summer, she’s not worried about filling in the gaps. Senior Shannon Coughlan will anchor the defense, the duo of Shannon Brazier and Shannon Berry will lead the midfield and Jill Becker will guide the attack.

Ward Melville senior Nicole Liucci moves the ball downfield during practice. Photo by Bill Landon

Brazier said the bitter taste left in every girl’s mouth after the loss will be used as motivation.

“We’re all trying as hard as we can because a lot of us are seniors,” she said. “This is our last year, so we’re giving it our all. Even though we only had one loss last year, it ended our season. We weren’t happy about that, so we’re using that to fuel our season this year.”

Coughlan, who agreed with Brazier, said she is also looking to get her team up to speed.

“We have new personnel on defense, so we’re going to have to work on communication with each other to get to where we’re comfortable,” Coughlan said.

Ward Melville will scrimmage top Division III teams in Mount Sinai, Shoreham-Wading River, Eastport-South Manor and Bayport-Blue Point before the season opener against visiting Riverhead March 27 at 4:30 p.m.

“My senior class is a great, dynamic group — they’ve been with us a few years now and they all have tremendous potential,” Kilkenny said. “All of the girls are like sponges; they want to learn, they listen, they’re coachable. They really are a wonderful group of kids.”

Jack Blaum discusses school security measures at the March 14 Three Village school district board of education meeting. Photo by Andrea Paldy.

By Andrea Paldy

The Three Village school board meeting opened to a packed cafeteria at R.C. Murphy Junior High March 14 following a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Foremost on the minds of its attendees was still school security. Following the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, exactly four weeks before, parents wanted to know how the district would continue to ensure their children’s safety.

Prepared to voice their concerns, some parents came armed with statistics and studies, while others wielded their experience in law enforcement. But, before public participation, which took place at the end of the meeting, those gathered heard a detailed and, in his words, frank presentation from security coordinator and chief emergency officer Jack Blaum.

Parent Bethany Riddle speaks at the March 14 Three Village school district BOE meeting. Photo by Andrea Paldy

“It is impossible to create a bulletproof plan,” he said. By regularly analyzing national and world incidents, Blaum said he can identify and bolster what the district is doing to safeguard schools.

For example, one of the best plans the district has in place is its “default lock-out” of the buildings, Blaum said. External doors to schools are locked during the school day and for some time after it, he said. To be admitted to district buildings, visitors must undergo two-pronged vetting, which entails showing ID before being buzzed through the first door into a vestibule, and then having that ID, typically a driver’s license, scanned before anyone is allowed through the second door.

In addition to bullet-resistant film over glass around the schools, every school in the district has at least two security guards — there are three at the junior highs and 13 at the high school — and all are active or retired law enforcement officers, Blaum said. After hours, there continues to be security presence and surveillance cameras running in and outside of the buildings.

Blaum explained that staff is trained in lockdown procedures and options in an active shooter situation. Each school has lockdown drills with staff and students four times a year. There are hidden panic buttons around district buildings to call a lockdown. Blue strobe lights and sirens are activated and are purposely loud and distracting to make it difficult for anyone, especially an attacker, to concentrate, the security coordinator said.

Administrators have extensive emergency management training, including on how to control severe bleeding. Security personnel is also receiving emergency management technician training in addition to learning how to recognize explosives and manage a bomb incident.

“We need to not be afraid of calling out the behavior of other children.”

— Janine Salgado

There is also a system that provides direct communication with emergency services at Suffolk County Police Department’s 6th Precinct and Stony Brook and Setauket fire departments, as well as shared communication channels. Blaum also explained how any student and staff following “see something, say something” protocol is also beneficial.

“I need intel instantly,” he said. “All the red flags were missed,” he said referring to the Parkland school shooting incident.

It wasn’t until the end of the presentation that Blaum hit on the issue of arming teachers.

“That is not going to happen,” he said to applause..

Regarding an armed security guard presence, he said the district is exploring its options.

“It has a tremendous amount of moving parts to it,” Blaum said.

Parent Robert Kronenberg, an attorney and former New York Police Department officer, agreed that an armed presence would require a lot of tactical planning, and expressed confidence in Blaum’s approach and ability.

He added, however, that if there’s a shooter in the school, he believed there’s only one thing that’s going to stop that.

“It’s not some security guard, it’s not just some guy with a gun that you hire,” Kronenberg said. “It’s a former or current law enforcement officer who has the tactical training and the guts to confront a shooter while that shooter wants to kill every child he sees walking down the hallway.”

Two other parents expressed similar sentiments. However, the majority of the close to 20 speakers on Wednesday felt differently.

“There is no evidence that an armed presence increases security.”

— Bethany Riddle

“There is no evidence that an armed presence increases security,” said psychologist and parent Bethany Riddle. “On the contrary, while it might provide a perception of safety, research indicates that the presence of armed guards increases the risk of violence and injury.”

Most speakers echoed Riddle’s thoughts, suggesting that more resources be put toward psychological and social welfare, anti-bullying measures and teaching kindness.

“We need to not be afraid of calling out the behavior of other children,” said Janine Salgado, a mother of three. “And being comfortable and calling those parents and telling them what you see.”


Assistant superintendent for business services Jeffrey Carlson gave a preliminary report on the budget for the 2018-19 school year. The cap on the tax levy increase will be 1.97 percent, an estimated $3 million, Carlson said.

Though he does not anticipate a big increase in state aid, he said there will be no cuts for budgetary reasons. There will, Carlson said, be an increase in the district’s contributions to the employee and teacher retirement funds. To cover the $1.5 million increase, the district will use funds from the reserves, which are set aside precisely to cover such expenses, he said.

“While we never look at using reserves lightly, it’s what it’s there for — to help mitigate the increase in the retirement system cost,” Carlson said.

Additionally, the district will continue to plan for capital projects, which are reimbursed by the state at a rate of 66 percent. As has been the case with many of the projects over the past few years, many projects on deck will be related to safety and security, Carlson said.

Photo by Corinne Conover

Homage to Conscience

By Corinne Conover

I was truly blessed to live 12 wonderful years with great memories and milestones in Strong’s Neck. I wrote this non-fiction piece as a heartfelt thank you to a place that has so much enriched history and beautiful landscapes that, combined with my loving parents and sister, was “home.” Our new ventures take us to Queens and Manhattan. Thank you for reading.

Photo by Corinne Conover

This would be my last time at my “other home.” The home where we played volleyball in the rain — countless barbecues, bike rides around Conscience Point and round the bend to the church steeple, carriage house and the old tavern where George Washington would go to when he would visit, which now is a historic home.

The home where we would visit a secret garden at Avalon, where a wealthy father dedicated a park with hiking, and trails in loving memory to his young son who passed away. Endless kayaking trips with me and dad and Sonny, even after years later, when the kayaks finally gave in and deflated. We had to float back home with our arms spread out. Dad said, “We were penguins that day.”

I offered to take my sister’s dog Foster on the last day for a nice walk, just him and me. We made it to Conscience Point. Gazed at the sun starting to set. The tall tree overlooking the inlet to the ocean and headed to the shoreline. There, before us, sat hundreds of colored rocks from seaweed, salt and growth. And, thought “Who am I, to choose one rock that no longer gets to stay here in its natural state?” It is a lot similar to how I feel of the natural inward beauty that some people exude in life with a conscience. So, I left the rock in its place. “Home.” Looked up at the setting sun. Thanked God and solemnly said … Goodbye.

WINTER’S GRIP Karen Brett of Sound Beach snapped this photo on March 7 after the Nor’ easter. The heavy wet snow bent the evergreen branches in her neighbor’s backyard, causing them to droop. She writes, ‘It looks like aliens trying to climb over my fence! Just a little bit scary.’

Send your Photo of the Week to

by -
0 99

The two tribes have set their respective baselines while New Yorkers yearn for compromise and actual, tangible change.

The Republican-held state Senate has thus far made its position clear. Billed as the way to keep kids safe, its legislative school security package, which passed March 6, has several strong ideas and mercifully doesn’t get New York educators any closer to possessing firearms on school grounds. It establishes funds for districts that want to hire school resource officers, and opened the definition to include retired or active duty police
officers, deputy sheriffs and/or state troopers, who would be allowed to carry weapons on campuses. The package also provides state education aid to districts acquiring safety technology or otherwise improving
security of facilities. A bill to create more funding for schools to hire additional mental health professionals was also included.

On its face, the Republican package does plenty to improve safety in schools. A Suffolk County initiative announced by Executive Steve Bellone (D) last week would allow districts to give access to existing surveillance systems to the police department, designed to speed up response times during mass shooter situations. The package and the new county scheme are outside of the box and forward-thinking ideas that are welcome for making students safer. The Republican plan passed with bipartisan

However, the only use of the word “gun” in a press release announcing the package from a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) is in reference to potential future legislation that would create funding for districts seeking more weapon detection systems. At the end of February, the state Senate voted down a package of measures introduced by the Democrats that aimed at addressing access to firearms.

That legislative bundle included stronger background checks, a ban on bump stocks and an “extreme risk protection” measure designed to keep weapons away from people who are determined by a court to pose a risk of harm to themselves or others. In other words, common-sense, bare minimum gun control measures that do nothing to infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. A similar package made it through the New York State Assembly the same day.

“I am not encouraged that we’re there yet,” state Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) said when asked if he thought the discussion about guns at the state level was progressing among both parties.

“Schools must be safe havens where students can learn and teachers can teach,” Flanagan said in a statement announcing the Republican bills. “In New York, we must act swiftly and decisively to implement additional measures in schools throughout our state to give students, parents and teachers the resources and peace of mind that they deserve.”

He and his fellow local senator from the Republican conference, Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), have yet to respond to a request for comment through respective spokespersons asking if either intend to support the Assembly package.

If the Republicans are serious about creating “peace of mind” for schools and parents, the school safety measures are an excellent start, but the Assembly package should be passed too.