Read this week’s Letters to the Editor

11/03/2011 5:00 AM |


Deeply disappointed

I was deeply disappointed with reporter Julie Lane’s Oct. 27 article entitled “Schools smacked on technology; Consultant says district’s use of advanced technology is state’s worst.”

A careful read of our report and the notes of my presentation clearly show that I said no such thing. And what confounds me even more was that after the meeting, I asked Ms. Lane if there was anything I could do to clarify or provide more details on the contents of the report. This offer was declined.

What I did say in the report and during the presentation was that the Southold district faced a number of challenges, not all of which were related to hardware and facilities, and that I believed Southold students were being disadvantaged by the current program.

I have done more than 300 such audits for districts in the U.S., Canada and internationally. I have seen better and I have seen worse. The intention of the audit was to identify baseline data that could then be used to begin to bring the technology program in the district up to 2011 standards.

My concern is that Ms. Lane played fast and loose with my words, and in doing so has done a grave disservice to the district, school board, teachers and administrators — particularly Superintendent David Gamberg — who are all doing their very best to bring quality programs to Southold.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to express my concerns.

Ian Jukes

Editor’s note: Through an editing error, Mr. Jukes’ position regarding the district’s standing in the state was misrepresented. His assertion is that, based on his audit of technology applications in 250 districts covering several states, Southold’s use of technology is the worst.


Disturbing numbers

The general condition of a country’s health is reflected in two statistics — life expectancy and infant mortality.

According to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, the U.S. ranks 50th among the 221 countries. Life expectancy is greater in all the European Union countries. We even have a lower expectancy than Jordan and Bosnia.

The average Canadian can expect to live 3.1 years longer than the average American and we have a greater infant mortality rate than Cuba.

For infant mortality, the U.S. ranks 46th of the 222 countries listed with 6.6 infant deaths per 1,000 births.

Clearly, something needs to be done and President Obama has tried, while Republicans continue to push for more cuts in social spending.

Let’s get this out to all. Send the message to Albany and Washington on Nov. 8. Vote rows A and G, the Save Medicare line, and save Social Security and Medicaid.

Art Tillman

chairman, Southold Democratic Party


Surely misguided

The Southold Democratic Party’s attempt to introduce national political issues into our little town local election is surely misguided.

This is easily proven each time someone like Councilman Krupski runs for re-election. Local Republicans cross party lines to vote for him because of his logical approach to what’s best for the town. He’s locally grown, with strong core values of faith, family and decency.

The recent ad in last week’s paper stereotyping what Republicans and Democrats believe conveniently omitted some topics that should be added to the list.

Republicans support the funding of our troops and the continued protection of our freedom.

Democrats want to gut the military and welcome all ideologies to our country.

Republicans want to seal our borders and prevent illegal aliens from further stressing our medical and social system.

Democrats want open borders and welcome all no matter what the cost to taxpayers.

Republicans believe in the sanctity of life and that a life begins at conception and should be cherished.

Democrats, through irresponsible choices, support the murder of millions of innocent babies right here in our own country,

One other thing. I hope the Democratic chairman who approved the ad isn’t spotted in 7-Eleven at midnight buying cold medicine for his grandkids. That would make for great hypocrisy.

Eric Izzo


Help save Medicare

My husband and I are on Medicare and we believe it should be saved for those who come behind us.

The Save Medicare line on the Southold ballot this year is a good idea because it lets me send a specific message that I want Medicare and not some worthless substitute. Those of us who are of an age to benefit from Medicare feel the day will come when you will appreciate the benefits as we do now.

If you think that Medicare is in danger, I urge you to consider voting on the Save Medicare line.

Julie Alexander


In your face

Regarding the political sign issue, it’s too bad a certain political party is earning the reputation of its national counterparts by being intransigent, uncompromising, in-your-face (one front yard sported 12 signs, some duplicates) and unconcerned about the beauty of the environment when it may be advantageous to them.

I had hoped local politics would be different.

Teresa Taylor


Nothing improper

Thanks to The Suffolk Times’ coverage of the election campaign for town justice, Southold voters have learned that a Southold Town Justice, Rudy Bruer, who is currently seeking re-election, committed a serious judicial error. An error that would have put a citizen in jail as a result of denying him his constitutional rights, had the verdict not been overturned on appeal.

The same judge, directed by the appellate court to hold hearings that might have allowed him to correct his error, failed to do so.

Brian Hughes, who is opposing Judge Bruer, called attention to this near-miscarriage of justice in a Sept. 8 letter to this newspaper. Jim Dinizio, an acknowledged supporter of Judge Bruer, has complained to the state court system’s advisory committee that the writing of this letter violates Canon 5 of the New York Bar Association Code of Judicial Conduct, according to which judicial candidates must “refrain from inappropriate political activity.”

The complaint is groundless. Canon 5 specifically states that “nothing in this section shall prohibit a judge or candidate from participating in his or her own campaign.” Judicial candidates are permitted to attend and speak to gatherings, appear in newspaper and television advertisements, and distribute pamphlets in support of their candidacy.

If a judicial candidate can be censured for publishing a letter reporting official information embarrassing to an incumbent judge, as Mr. Dinizio suggests, then the provision of the Code that explicitly allows a candidate to participate in his campaign is meaningless.

Michael Simon


Send GOP a signal

We often complain that our vote never counts. This year the Democrats have stood by their commitment to not use those political road signs, and we have seen a noticeable difference.
The way to say thank you and to see this continue on both sides of the political fence is to vote for the Democrats. This will make a real difference in our community and your vote will be noticed by both parties.

Thank you, Southold Democrats, for helping make the North Fork look prettier for all of us this year, residents and tourists alike. If you’d rather keep our roads sign-free, send a signal to town Republicans by voting for the “no signs Democrats.”

Audrey Horton

Editor’s note: Ms. Horton ran for Town Trustee on the Democratic line in 2009.


Stop the signage

I realize I’m getting old and crotchety, but does the sight of all these political signs bother you as much as it bugs me? There are stretches of road where the pure number of signs is almost comical. It’s also distracting. While driving, how can one text, eat a Big Mac and read the names on the signs at the same time? You would need an additional arm. I’d like to find out if there is any relationship between the amount of signs and actually winning the elections. I doubt it; the reverse might be the answer.

Maybe we should vote for the candidate with the least amount of these eyesores. I’m starting an “Occupy the Traffic Circle” movement to protest against political signs. Currently, I am the only member. My wife refuses to join. My brother-in-law may show up. I do plan on asking Pat Kelly, the voice of Riverhead High School football, to cover the event.

I plan to take over the median at the traffic circle on Route 24. I’ve chosen this traffic circle just in case some of the scruffy people from Occupy Wall Street or any other Woodstock wannabes show up, then we can move to the park across the street. Please join me. If you have a blue tarp, please bring it.

I also propose the following rules:

• No signs until 30 days before an election
• No signs on public, railroad or vacant properties
• Limit the number of signs to 50 per candidate
• Signs must be taken down on Election Day

Monday night someone destroyed every small [Riverhead] Democratic candidates’ sign and two of the large signs on Peconic Bay Boulevard. Let’s stop this senseless, childish behavior. Let’s ask all major parties to agree to eliminate all signs. One party tried to eliminate signs in 2009 and the other party won. We need all parties to make this work.

James Farrell


They ‘misspoke’

Germany had a propagandist whose mantra was that if you tell people a lie long enough and loud enough they will believe it. He vilified and isolated a segment of the German population for opposing his party’s ideas and ideology.

Democrats don’t lie, and if you caught them in a lie, they really didn’t lie, they misspoke. What would the Democratic Party have to gain by lying, I mean misspeaking, in their ad campaign?

Perhaps they have a desire to gain power and the purse strings of the town budget and the tax money, which they can funnel toward more Democratic entitlements?

It’s no accident that Southold’s financial status does not mirror the national economic debacle, which as everyone knows was caused by the Democrats’ “anointed one.”

Southold is solvent only because of the leadership of Supervisor Scott Russell and the Republican board. Republicans believe in sound fiscal policies, the Constitution and God.
Two truths are evident: It’s all Bush’s fault for giving us Mr. Obama, and the most cost-effective and surest way to put Americans back to work is to put the president and the Democrats out of work.

If this country follows course, in 2012 we’re looking at a type of civil unrest that we haven’t seen since 1861, when slavery was the issue. Today we’re looking at enslavement from the national debt and that’s the issue.

God save us from those who misspeak.

George Dengel


Avoid their mistakes

Sound Avenue, or the North Road, is Southold’s version of Sunrise Highway or the LIE. The North Road is a wide multi-lane divided highway that, by its very nature, promotes high-speed driving.

On occasion, drivers lose control and their vehicles veer off into oncoming traffic. At these speeds, that relates into serious life-threatening accidents. On the LIE and Sunrise Highway, the traffic engineers have convinced the local government to pay for and install wire barriers. These braided wire and metal post structures have failed at least once, with the vehicle breaking through this device.

I’m sure that this engineering mis-marvel will come to Southold sooner than later. Why not pre-plan for the event, realizing that what they have up-island doesn’t work? The barrier is constructed of man-made materials that seemingly do not do the intended job.

A better idea is to put an ecologically friendly barrier that will do the job. Junipers or other tall, woody vegetation planted in the median will stop vehicles and will also diffuse the oh-so-blinding glare of oncoming headlights.

Joel Reitman