Letters to the Editor

05/06/2010 12:00 AM |


Enjoy it, respect us

It’s wonderful to hear that the DEC is completing plans for a new access ramp to the Sound in Mattituck. As the “largest public water access of its kind,” this project will no doubt afford more opportunity for many more people to enjoy our beautiful waterway.

As a year-round resident who lives on the main road leading to this site, I have just one plea to locals and visitors alike: Please respect this residential area and obey the speed limit. I hope that law enforcement will also do their part for the safety of residents, motorists, bicyclists and wildlife in the area.

Kara Jackson



Always ask questions

On Sunday, May 2, I attended what was to have been a Q and A with Congressman Tim Bishop at the synagogue in Greenport. A number of disturbing events lead me to write this letter.

The notice was a couple lines in The Suffolk Times two weeks ago, so my secretary called the congressman’s office to confirm. After a long pause, the congressman’s staff inquired if the caller was a congregant, to which my employee answered that she was not. She was then told that it was only open to congregants.

A call was then placed to a representative of the synagogue to inquire why the event should be so limited. The synagogue representative was surprised and at a loss as to why Mr. Bishop’s office had said that it was only for congregants.

I did attend and found that everyone was warmly welcomed and admitted without being questioned as to affiliation. The congressman did not permit questions orally but required that they be submitted in writing. I asked if I could please ask my own question as my hand had been injured and was told to have the person with me write it out. I did and was later shocked as I realized that a question which I was listening to was actually my question which had been rewritten. Mr. Bishop answered the way many politicians do, which is to say he answered a question that he wanted to answer. He failed to respond directly, ignoring the facts presented.

We have more than a right, we have an obligation to ask questions. During the Bush administration Hillary Clinton said that questioning our government was the highest form of patriotism. She was right then and it remains right now, even when the administration changes.

In the sixties during the protest era questioning authority became the norm. Today it seems we have evolved to a point where questions are only directed at the party we didn’t vote for. Should we never challenge someone from our political party? Why not? What are we afraid of?

Kenneth Zahler



What about us?

What is wrong with the people of Orient when it comes to clean drinking water?

I live in Orient and it boggles my mind that there are people living in slums in large cities across America that have better and safer drinking water than I do. Clean water is now a possibility for the people with contaminated wells in Orient, but the effort is being put in jeopardy due to the 18th-century attitude of some in the community.

This cabal of moldy-thinking residents is putting their own interests above the health risks that contaminated water poses for the rest of us in Orient. The health department has warned many of us not to drink the water if you are pregnant, a small child, on chemotherapy or if you have a compromised immune system.

It is indeed unfortunate that this group of “just say no to clean water” has been making false and misleading statements in an effort to satisfy their own selfish agenda, whatever that might be, at the expense of those of us who desperately need it.

What they don’t tell you is that the Oysterponds School District spends $5,000 per year on water testing and the company doing the testing does not check for gasoline in the water. Aside from saving $5,000 per year, the school would be able to install a fire safety sprinkler system that would not only be added protection for the children and staff, but for the building itself.

The Orient Fire Department does an outstanding job that makes us all proud, not only in fire protection but also in response to emergencies. They, too, would benefit from public water because of the increased water pressure from hydrants and the fact that individual homeowners would be able to install in-home fire safety sprinkler systems that could save lives and property.

For those of you in Orient who wish to join us in the fight for clean water, e-mail me at [email protected] Supervisor Scott Russell basically told an audience at a recent board meeting that they base their decisions on the crowd’s response.

This group of “just say no to clean water” may be gloating over the board’s decision not to extend the water map to Orient. But they fail to mention their biggest achievement yet, and that is how they fractured and divided the community.

As for the Southold Town Board, they have abrogated their responsibility by not protecting the health and welfare of the community. The have also abrogated their position of trust, at least for this writer.

William Gibbons



Divorcing authority

The Suffolk County Water Authority and the Department of Health Services seem to have convinced Tim Bishop that the water on Browns Hills and elsewhere in Orient is significantly polluted. But we could have shown him evidence that an independent well on Browns Hills tested lower in contaminants than water provided by SCWA.

The scenario offered by Mr. Bishop suggests endless continued wrangling between SCWA and the town rather than what most of us hoped for, that is, respect for the wishes of the community and an end to the specter of SCWA involvement in Orient. The community began by wanting SCWA to hold off until zoning could be strengthened to deter development.

But the more we researched the issue the more convinced we became of two things. One, we need time to research whether we can provide ourselves with better water with our own filters than that provided by SCWA and at a lower cost. Secondly, that SCWA was an organization of which we wanted no part.

We believe that the stimulus funds, which were obtained by SCWA under possibly questionable circumstances — they signed a contract for stimulus funds which depended on their attesting to having all necessary permits, which they apparently didn’t — are driving the issue because no one wants to take responsibility for losing the funds. But they shouldn’t be used as a cudgel against the town and the community.

Mr. Bishop should not be fooled by the collusion of SCWA and the county health department in an issue which we believe is not about health, but about power, money and access to our aquifer.

Freddie Wachsberger



Give us the choice

Responding to last week’s “Water main fight” story, let me refer to a little “ancient history.” Back in 1987 there was not the fear of development, but an actual plan for development by the owner of the property at the tip of Orient Point. He did not need the Suffolk County Water Authority to get his plan going, any more than a current developer needs such hook-ups. Then as now, there were provisions in the regulations that allow water filtration systems for property development.

Back then, the Orient Association, through persuasion of facts, not fears, garnered the support of then-County Executive Michael LoGrande for legislation to tap taxpayers’ funds to purchase the property at the end of the point, which is now a part of the Suffolk County park system. Because of his response and efforts, there are no condominiums at the point.

Now I read that as a member of the Orient Association, I am opposed to the SCWA current plan for Orient. No so. I live on the Main Road and would be eligible for a hook-up. Although I do not know all the costs involved, I am one of the citizens here who would like to be allowed to make my own decision.

Regardless of how many signatures come on the current petitions, I believe Henny Penny was wrong: The sky is not falling in Orient.

Helen Proud



What must we cut?

Your article regarding the Greenport School budget (4/29/10) was correct in so far as it states that I argued against excessing two more teachers, and that the other board members were committed to holding the line on spending. What it doesn’t say is that we were all trying to hold the same line.

Earlier in the process we had already eliminated three teaching positions. I suggested eliminating one administrator rather than two more teachers for roughly the same reduction in spending. The difference between us was not with regard to the size of the budget, but rather about which positions to eliminate.

Dan Creedon



A socialist nightmare

Our glorious president Obama has just stated publicly that, “I do think that after a certain point you’ve made enough money.” I guess that he should stick to his Teleprompter before he makes these ad-lib remarks.

Does he include his billionaire friends and supporters like Oprah Winfrey and George Soros or Bill Gates and Warren Buffet as making too much money? By the way, he and Michele grossed $5 million last year. That is a hell of a lot of “too much money”.

Obama is typical of the elitists that want to control the rest of us with their socialist government while they amass more wealth. I have a good friend that lives in Russia and knows too well the evils of socialism. Igor — that is his name — tells me that the bureaucracy created by their socialist government has become so corrupt that if you want to obtain a dog license or any other license, you have to bribe the clerk. Bribery is rampant and is the only way to get things done there.

Obama will create 16,000 new bureaucrat government jobs to enforce Obamacare. Is that the way to fix unemployment?

What really bothers me is the people that write to your paper to defend Obama and criticize people like me who try to shed light on Obama and his socialist friends. I look at the names attached to the pro-Obama letters and with a little imagination it’s easy to detect their family origins.

Most of their ancestors come from Europe, where they suffered religious and political persecution.

Do they have the foresight to imagine this happening here? Am I an alarmist? Maybe so, but we have the power now to remove the possibilities of repeating what happened in Russia, Poland, Germany and elsewhere.

I search for the reason that the pro-Obama people want to give power to a group that wants to control every facet of their lives, just as their grandparents were controlled.

Have they not learned anything from history? Have they not learned that the only people that benefit from socialism are those that are in control and who amass untold wealth while the common man waits for hours in lines in the hope that they can get a loaf of bread?

Don’t they recall those scenes from as late as the 1980s? Has it been too long ago since we viewed the eastern bloc citizenry suffer under their government rules? Do they remember the daring escapes to gain freedom from the socialist oppression? They came from Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany and elsewhere.

Obama will be replaced, hopefully before he destroys our country. But the people that voted for this charlatan will remain. Will they have learned their lesson?

“Redistribution of wealth.” Good grief, don’t let it happen here. All it will do is gain votes from the low-income people to allow the wealthy to remain in power so that they can enforce socialism while they reap the rewards of capitalism.

John Copertino



Contributing nothing

I’ve just thought of a constructive way for all the Tea Party/anti-Obama people to help do away with the deficit they complain about constantly.

If all of them willingly waive their rights to Social Security and Medicare (those nasty government programs begun by past presidents), enormous amounts could go toward repaying the deficit. Then they could take care of their own health care and retirement incomes without depending on “socialistic” government programs. That way they can actually do something positive for the country, rather than just wagging their tongues, making ignorant negative statements. As things stand now, they contribute nothing, not even one workable new idea.

By the way, I’m a registered Republican and a social conservative. But I realize that Bush and his cronies created these problems, so more of the same tired policies will only make it worse.

Susan Orlie



Not all enemies are found abroad

Your paper ran a cartoon parody of a garden party meant to mock tea party members. I felt a reply was in order.

They went to a tea party, it was known as WWII. They prayed to God and passed the ammo. As any good soldier would do. Some I know wouldn’t go. And some thought it for others to do. But all who went did what they did. For me and you. Yeah, even the likes of you.

I went to a tea party, they called it Vietnam. And if they fought that war again, I’m in, the same as then. I know your thoughts though we’ve never met. And hope we never do. For not all our enemies are abroad. For instance, well, there’s you.

So you can mock the tea parties. And have your little laugh. But I bet you’ll ask for them to help. When Obama wants your a–.

Robert Celentano



We’ll just have to see

So Times/Review cartoonist Peter Waldner is not only happy to mean-spiritedly stereotype Tea Partiers, but my “fans” as well (few though they may be). If he is willing, I’d love to have a signed original of his “Hugh P. Fan Club” cartoon. I’ll frame it and put in on my wall as a witty testament to leftist tolerance of dissenting opinion.

As to those letters confirming Waldner’s insistence that the Tea Party is little more than an uninformed, angry mob, I suppose we’ll have to wait until the 2012 elections to see if that party’s beliefs carry any weight.

I also couldn’t help noticing that all four letters seemed to take the stance that there could be no legitimate objections to our current administration’s expansive policies. Rather, as Noemie Emery has written, the writers seem to have “conflated any resistance to any item of their agenda with motives of a dark nature: racism, nativism, ignorance, fear of ‘the other’, etc.”

In any case, I will take what I believe to be the moral high ground and decline to maliciously stereotype all those who are alarmed, upset, freaked out, beside themselves, terrified, indignant, incensed, up in arms, down in the mouth or otherwise made miserable by Tea Party — or my — opinions.

Hugh Prestwood



Build a better RR

So the Long Island Railroad finds providing service to Eastern Long Island a losing proposition. So be it. They are in the old-fashioned railroad business. They have “tunnel vision” and are so set in their ways and thinking, sometimes they can’t tell if the sun is rising or setting over their old railroad.

It’s setting, folks. Wake up! It’s a new world.

A big new sun is rising and they need to think big and put it to good use. Clean and affordable solar power is in. Creative, innovative people should take the system over, at least out on Eastern Long Island, and create a new rail transportation system powered by solar energy. We have the know-how.

Yes, the technology is there. Engineer the placement of the solar panels over the present railroad right-of-way east and west facing the sun. That should present no problem in capturing this green energy and its use.

The future is in our hands. Go for it.

Jack McGreevy



A green diet choice

I appreciated Heather Cusak’s letter about the small, everyday things we can all do to help the environment. But there was one glaring omission from her list — going vegetarian.

According to the United Nations, meat production accounts for one-fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions. Raising and shipping animals like cows and pigs takes an enormous amount of energy, to say nothing of the waste run-off from factory farms that pollute our waterways.

A recent University of Chicago study found that if all Americans began eating vegetarian for just one day a week, it would be the environmental equivalent of taking eight million cars off the road. You don’t have to go completely vegetarian or vegan to make environmentally-friendly food choices. Visit www.meatfreemondays.co.uk for more information and recipes.

Hannah Lyons



Lifesavers all

On behalf of my parents, I would like to thank the Southold Fire Department, Chief Witzke, the Southold EMT Squad, the Southold Rescue Squad, the Southold Police Department, the police airlift pilots and everyone else who assisted in the transport of my father to Stony Brook University Hospital earlier this spring.

The professionalism, respect and concern that were shown toward my father and mother will never be forgotten. Your rapid care and proficient handling of my father after he was injured saved his life. The comforting moral support that was given to my mother while my dad was loaded into the helicopter will stick in my mind forever.

Thank you all again for keeping my dad alive.

Ed Baumann