It’s hard to fathom that Lake Ronkonkoma ever drew thousands of people. Today Long Island's largest freshwater body stands a monument to environmental neglect because an assortment of municipalities are either unwilling or unable to cut through the tangle of red tape that strangles it.
Everyone knows Long Island is home to Billy Joel, Charles Lindbergh’s first trans-Atlantic flight, and the nation’s first lighthouse, in Montauk, but here are some lesser-known local facts that may surprise even longtime Long Islanders.
The first-ever Long Island “haunted bus tour” launched successfully last weekend from the Clarion Hotel on Veterans Memorial Highway in Ronkonkoma. The six-hour tour, which included visits to a handful of allegedly haunted sites, was one of many featured events of Haunt-Faire 2016: A Convention for All Things Haunted, which ran Aug. 5-7.
Advocates and citizens frustrated with the avalanche of corruption scandals on Long Island and statewide are rallying and organizing other grassroots efforts aimed at pressuring lawmakers into being more ethical and transparent. Local good government groups picketed this week outside the Long Island office of New York State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Smithtown), urging him to allow passage of ethics reforms for Albany lawmakers before the legislative session ends June 16. And a New York City-based nonprofit this week announced that it’s suing LI municipalities that fail to turn over financial documents in a statewide citizen-led transparency initiative recently started in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Suffolk County residents will have to start dialing their 631 area code even when calling phone numbers that share their area code starting next month, according to telephone service providers. Eastern Long Island callers will have to dial all 10 digits instead of the core seven digits that make up phone numbers starting June 18. The change is in advance of phone companies starting to assign the new 934 area code for Suffolk starting July 16. Those who currently have 631 area code numbers will keep their current phone numbers.
Disgraced ex-Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke pleaded guilty to federal civil rights violations and conspiracy charges Friday for beating a suspect and ordering police to cover it up. Burke was arrested in December 2015 on allegations by federal prosecutors that he had beaten Smithtown resident Christopher Loeb while in police custody two years earlier and coerced police officials who had witnessed the beating to lie to investigators about what they’d seen.
The ex-chief's attorney believes it is "pretty likely" that the case will start on March 21.
The Roots & O.A.R. rock The Paramount, Patent Pending & Candlebox hit Revolution, & Kirk Whalum jazzes up Madison Theatre at Molloy, among so much more!
A federal judge sided with prosecutors who argued that the ex-chief can't be trusted.