Letters to the Editor

06/10/2010 12:00 AM |


Plenty left to save

In the June 3rd issue of The Suffolk Times MaryAnn Fleischman questioned why anyone should bother to “save what’s left,” (the North Fork Environmental Council’s slogan) as, in her opinion, there’s “nothing left to save.” While I certainly sympathize with her daughter’s traffic incident, I could not disagree more strongly with her statement concerning saving what’s left.

There are numerous land use and open space challenges to the North Fork by developers, business owners and even governmental entities seeking every conceivable edge, all with environmental costs. Currently, Plum Island and its future use are being debated. The federal government would like to sell it to the highest bidder, which in all likelihood, would be a developer of luxury housing. There is also talk of the island becoming a national park, certainly a noble idea.

The North Fork Environmental Council (NFEC) has a long-held opinion that Plum Island should be an alternative energy research and production facility. Clearly, the current unfortunate, man-made, oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico demonstrates that solar, wind and tidally produced energy are of the utmost importance and could be generated on Plum Island. Additionally, the highly specialized jobs that such a facility would provide could keep our college-educated and technically trained young adults at home.

Contact your local officials, tell them you’d like to see Plum Island become an alternative energy facility. But let’s take a stroll down Memory Lane and see what has already been saved.

Had it not been for the efforts of the NFEC and others, there would have been a sand mining operation in Jamesport where a yet-to-be opened New York State Park now exists.

The NFEC was also the first organization to come out against the Shoreham nuclear facility, which was the first of two nuclear energy facility’s planned for the North Fork. More recently, we led the fight against Broadwater and its LNG facility destined for Riverhead in the Long Island Sound.

Farmland and open space preservation efforts for Riverhead and Southold are ongoing. Visitors from all over the world come to vacation here, an area designated by the Nature Conservancy at one of the “last great places.” Were there nothing left to save these travelers would not be coming to vacation at our bucolic North Fork.

Indeed, there is a need to continue the work to save what’s left.

Ours is a lifestyle that deserves preservation where one can see working farmlands and vineyards and the open vistas they provide. A lifestyle where one can stop at a farm stand and pick up locally grown vegetables, buy fresh-caught finfish and scallops or just take a walk on a beach or park. Where a day’s fun can be had by the entire family by picking strawberries or pumpkins.

Nothing left to save? I disagree. Let’s all work together to “save what’s left.” We’re worth it.

Ken Rubino

president, North Fork Environmental Council



Don’t kill the dream

In light of the recent Town Hall discussion regarding vineyards, food and local businesses, this bride-to-be would like to add her two cents about what it is to have “some girl’s dream.”

When my fiance and I decided to have a wedding at a North Fork vineyard, it wasn’t merely because we wanted a vineyard wedding. Our priority was to escape the wedding manufacturing industry and hold an event that not only brought friends and family together over some great wines, but as well positively support the local community my fiancà ‘s parents recently moved to, and his entire family, including myself, has fallen in love with. And thus far, our experience has been incredible.

Contrary to claims made by Supervisor Scott Russell, Shinn does not cater any weddings held on their property, so we set about finding a caterer. I reached out to Love Lane Kitchen and at that point in time, they had never catered a wedding. While using a neophyte caterer may send a stressed bride sprinting the other direction, my fiancà and I saw a positive opportunity to work with people who care about local food as much as we do. They agreed to cater our wedding and since then, they have not only developed a prosperous catering business, they as well have hired numerous North Fork denizens. Also, instead of buying cheap domestic beer we are using Greenport Brewery.

We have friends and family coming in from across the United States and Canada, and they will be staying at numerous establishments and even at the KOA campground. The Friday night before the wedding we are having a meet-and-greet at Claudio’s in Greenport. Paul and I chose Shinn Estate Vineyards specifically because they share the belief that “local” is vital.

I can safely say that everyone we have encountered has a strong desire to preserve what’s natural and beautiful about the North Fork. Returning to Town Hall, why cut off the hands that are helping the North Fork to stay so? Naturally, increased traffic and stressed brides are probably more of a nuisance during the summer. But, I think the best way to support the local economy of the North Fork and to preserve its uniqueness is to think a bit more creatively and limit the bickering.

Lisa Frenchik



Encourage vintners

I am relieved that the Town Board will allow the scheduled weddings at Shinn Vineyards this summer since the first of them this month is my son’s.

Our family wedding will provide business to the local restaurant, Love Lane Kitchen, that is catering it and to several motels and B&Bs that will accommodate most of our guests for at least the weekend. Paul and Lisa have made arrangements with many local merchants for flowers, tents and linens. In addition, our rehearsal dinner at Claudio’s and the purchase of foods and wines for and by our guests will be putting money into the local economy.

Next year Shinn will not be able to be this kind of a conduit for local business on the North Fork. I wonder at the town practices that discourage a vineyard that farms organically and is one of the more bucolic and less intrusive of the grape growers in the area.

As a full-time resident for these past three years, I am in awe at the vagaries of rules and regulations that govern zoning out here. I came to live in a very beautiful area and I want to see it preserved, but I am disturbed at the vacant stores and short-lived businesses.

This town needs to encourage the local farmers and vintners. They are at the heart of what is great on the North Fork.

Sally Kahn



Bravo and kudos

Special thanks to North Fork Community Theatre members, volunteers, donors, patrons and all who helped with the NFCT benefit yard sale on June 5.

We appreciate the ongoing community support in working toward the purchase of our theatre building in Mattituck. Thank you for making this fund raiser such a success.

Mary Ann Sieczka

Michelle Scheer



Other folks’ money

I’m retiring at the end of this month. Can I get a $25,000 grant to study the needs of retirees in Southold Town?

Gee, on second thought, I will figure this out myself and do it without spending other people’s money.

George Schneider



Focus on driving

With the North Fork century (100 mile) bike race coming up on August 29, I just wanted to remind drivers that cyclists will be training this summer on the roadway with you.

Please focus on the road. Putting on make up, texting or eating should be done before you start driving so everyone makes it to their destination in one piece. Thank you.

Donna Carvevale



Appropriate words

So now Southold has achieved the ultimate contradiction in terms: a for-profit thrift shop (Suffolk Times, May 27).

I hope the generous Southold residents who “donate” to Ms. Phelps’ shop understand that they are providing her with free stock to sell at a profit. That gives her an advantage over established local merchants and any “contributions” are not tax-deductible like those to a bona fide charity thrift shop.

As for including the word “outreach” in the name of her business because, according to the article, “she could find no other appropriate word for what she does.” Well, I can think of several appropriate words for it, which I leave to your readers’ imaginations.

Denise Rathbun



Thank you, Hess

I am happy to see that the Hess station in Mattituck has not followed the deceptive practice that most other gas station in our town have, namely charging one price for cash and another for credit.

Funny that these stations display the cash price prominently and the credit price discreetly. Do the people who wait in line know what they are really paying when using a credit card?

Welcome back, Hess.

Dennis Lane