Truly a shame
As parents of soccer players we are truly sad that 140 players and their 13 coaches had to make the decision to leave the Mattituck Soccer Club.
Some of these teams have played together for years, and in order to avoid team and coach restructuring with the merge, we felt we had no other choice but to leave the club. We made our decision to leave as teams because we didn’t want to take the risk of our kids being placed with another coach, another team or without a team at all if they went through the newly initiated assessment process.
It was unfortunate that the MSC’s board of directors decided to move the club in the direction of an academy-style program without consulting the players’ parents who would be funding these changes. Club fees increased unreasonably without an explanation, even when asked.
Because of the decisions made by the club’s directors, the majority of our local travel soccer players are not playing locally, and that is truly a shame.
Hopefully in the future, major club decisions will be made with input from parents to better benefit our soccer community as a whole.
Kim and Richard Perry
Susan and Sid Beebe
Kerri and Keith Reda
Maggie and JC Merrill
Tina and Darryl Volinski
Terri Boyle Ackermann
Jean and Dennis Reichardt
Pam and Daren Pfennig
Right the wrong
For the last three years our daughter has played on the girls’ Whitecaps soccer team. The team chose her and we chose the team.
Having multiple children who are involved in multiple activities, you learn to look for positive activities that involve positive people. We have three wonderful coaches who not only are trusted, respectable people, but have a passion for soccer that they generously share with our children. It was not fair of Mattituck Soccer Club to take that from our girls by threatening to split them up and send them off to various locations.
We chose to keep our team together, but it has certainly come at a cost to our children. Our team was barred by MSC from registering in the Long Island Juniors. Instead, we played in SSI, an intramural league where we did not meet any real competition. We were also not allowed to play on the lighted fields, which are paid for by our very own tax dollars. To continue to play in the fall, we are looking at having to call East Hampton our home field.
A board of seven made decisions affecting hundreds of children and, in an attempt to save soccer in our community, they’ve certainly lost more than they have gained. It’s time to right that wrong.
All teams that existed prior to the new regulations should be grandfathered in to be allowed to play the way our teams were originally set to play under the guidelines MSC originally set.
Then a meeting should be held for involved parties, and a discussion should take place to see what types of programs benefit our community and yet stay in line with the objectives of the MSC.
Here’s our opportunity to teach our children an important life lesson: That although people do not always agree, resolutions can be made to allow people to live in harmony.
Lisa and Rob Fox
Why not merge?
In reference to Mr. Gray’s letter, all his complaints could be solved simply by merging Oysterponds with the Greenport school district. Then he would have representation and could communicate his desires for how “our” children are educated at any board meeting he wished to attend.
Why doesn’t he bring up consolidation at the next board meeting? I suggest that he make it to one of the meetings rather than conference call in, but he’ll need insulation from all the heat that the suggestion of merging our two districts will generate.
In all seriousness, Mr. Gray is only trying to get the most for his district for the least amount of money. Of course, the result of that is more cost for my district.
Perhaps the Greenport school board should do the same. Maybe they could start by evaluating the eroding tax base; after all, this is where the problem lies, not in how much we give our children but how much we can afford to give them.
A perfect example is the recent decision by the Greenport Village Board to “preserve” the Mobil property at the end of 4th Street. That will cost our school district nearly $11,000 per year and will benefit no one except Exxon Mobil. Put another way, the Greenport school board made a choice not to contest the plans that Southold Town and Greenport Village have for that property and the result will be educational cuts in the future.
Another example is the recent annexation request on the west end of Greenport Village. The school board actively opposed that application because they said that adding more children to the school district would raise taxes. That reasoning does not seem to jibe with the situation we in Greenport find ourselves in, now does it?
James Dinizio Jr.
I find it comical that Oysterponds school board member Thomas Gray complained of “taxation without representation” in last week’s letter to the editor when he shrugs off his fiduciary responsibility of representing the constituency that elected him to the school board.
According to public records, his attendance rate at school board meetings is around 40 percent. An attendance rate that low is antithetical to the idea of a representative government.
Not the real total
Before voting for the 2012 Mattituck-Cutchogue school budget on May 15, 2012, we would like taxpayers to be aware of the following:
Superintendent James McKenna’s 2011-12 salary is $184,520, with a benefits package of $42,115. In 2007-08 the superintendent’s salary was $147,175, with a benefits package of $35,313. How many taxpayers’ salaries and benefit packages have increased 21.5 percent in four years?
Mr. McKenna’s salary was misrepresented in the April 26 Suffolk Times article, “School chief is fine with smaller raises” because his benefits package was not stated.
Also, be aware the assistant superintendent’s 2011-12 salary is $152,955, with a benefits package of $27,128.
This information and other salaries and benefits packages can be verified at longisland.newsday.com/schools/salaries.
Keith and Christine Piacente
A wake-up call
We in Southold Town cannot ignore the problem any longer — pollution of our surrounding waters has become a major public health problem.
Our once pristine Mattituck Creek has become so polluted it has been declared off-limits to shellfishing because of serious concerns for the health of the public.
If this isn’t a wake-up call, I don’t know what is.
Solving the problem has to be our number one priority. We can’t wait any longer; there’s too much at stake.
member, Southold Town
Conservation Advisory Council
Lies & assumptions
Assumptions simplify problem-solving and often determine the solution. Perhaps I should assume we all know that.
Three items in the April 26 issue are related. The cover story about the agriculture segment of the town’s comprehensive plan deals with farmers manufacturing on their farms. Martin Sidor would make potato chips there because he grows the potatoes.
I assume that making things is quite different from growing things and zoning, as well as assessment, should treat each differently.
Similarly, partying, dancing and picnicking are entertainment and so hardly related to growing grapes. Some assume farmers and vineyard operators need and deserve every advantage. Others assume the state’s ag and markets rules favoring agriculture cannot be changed. Planners and community leaders need to make their assumptions public.
Bob Bittner’s letter called for finding honest politicians willing and able to tell the public the truth. Isn’t that like finding hens’ teeth, even in Southold? Apparently he assumed that the public is ready to hear something other than the fairy tales that give them relief and determine their votes. I assume some of us vote on likability and promise of change.
Stanley Brown chastised Ken Stein for not recognizing a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study showing Obamacare would reduce the federal deficit. But by law, the CBO must conduct its studies using the assumptions provided by Congress. In this case, they included revenues and savings, such as cutting Medicare Advantage and doctors’ fees, would occur immediately and costs would occur in “out-years” — BS for “much later.” He should not put his faith in that result.
A more recent CBO study with assumptions from a different Congress show Obamacare would add $1.7 trillion — yes, trillion — to the deficit over 10 years. Let’s not assume government works for us.
So Senator Moynihan’s remark that “everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts” is trumped by Lincoln’s: “Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.” The lies usually begin with assumptions.
Orient without Anne
This past Saturday night at Poquatuck Hall in Orient was the third annual “Song Swap,” dedicated to the memory of Anne MacKay, who had died two days earlier.
There was hardly a person in that standing-room-only crowd who didn’t owe a debt of gratitude to Anne.
At one time not long ago, I thought we should have made Anne MacKay the honorary mayor of Orient. The essence of Anne was that she built community wherever she went. She was an early resident of the Browns Hills neighborhood in Orient, where she recruited friends to save old buildings and create a neighborhood.
She was a very visible and proud lesbian. She was president for many years of Orient Community Activities, which maintains Poquatuck Hall and the monuments in town. She was very active in Vassar alumni activities and was honored there just last year. She taught many North Fork newcomers how to clam, introduced residents to the joys of sailing, and helped organize poetry readings and the first Song Swap. And she was a founder of the North Fork Women for Women fund supporting health care for uninsured lesbians.
I first met Anne when we moved to Browns Hills 10 years ago (still newcomers, obviously). As she had done with so many others, Anne quietly set about to make us welcome. Every few weeks she’d call and say “Can you come for a while? There’s someone I want you to meet.”
I can’t imagine what Orient will be without Anne MacKay. She was a modest woman who made a huge impact wherever she went and touched more lives than most of us will ever know.
Harry says thanks
My name is Harry Lewis from The Harry Project, and I would like to thank everyone for helping make my home a safer place.
On April 17 the Greenport Rotary and Claudio’s Restaurant threw a benefit fundraiser for The Harry Project. It’s hard to express the gratitude I feel after experiencing such an outpouring of love from my family, friends, coworkers and caring locals who took the time to come out and support the spaghetti dinner fundraiser. It was such fun meeting all of you, getting to shake your hand and to talk a little.
I would also like to send out a big thank-you to everyone who has contributed to The Harry Project in any way over this past year. There are so many of you out there who have contributed money, graphic design talent, architectural talent, physical labor and loving support. I’m truly overwhelmed by all of the goodness out there.
Thank you all for caring enough about me to help. I appreciate your kindness more than I can accurately express.
Harry Lewis Jr.
Recently I attended the funeral of one of the many North Fork seniors who has passed away in the course of the years.
Each one has devoted themselves to both protecting our country while in the armed forces, and then in latter years having become volunteers in many organizations, such as the American Legion in Southold and the Southold-Peconic Senior Citizens Club, the only such club on the North Fork.
At one time there were over 100 members in this group, and now that is down to less than 50.
The new generation of retirees are not volunteering or participating in the above activities. Why? And what can be done to get the young oldies involved?
Perhaps it was the nature of the older individuals having served their country.
This group needs help. The senior club meetings are held the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at the town recreation building on Peconic Lane in Peconic.
An angel at IGA
Before the Easter weekend I stopped at the IGA in Greenport to pick up snacks and soda for a long trip upstate. However, in my chaos I lost my wallet.
When I realized it, I backtracked to all the places where I had stopped. For four days I worried.
But when I came home there was a note in my door, with a name and phone number. It seems Katie Johnson, a checker at the IGA, passed it to her father, who returned it to me fully intact.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am to this young lady. Thanks to Katie and her family for returning it.
When my Dad turned 90 and announced that he had “renewed his contract” for 10 more years, we never doubted him and assumed that, in fact, he would make it to 100.
I think we all had that same feeling about Gert Reeves, who, however, was never presumptuous enough to speculate about her expiration date. After all, at her 99th birthday last month she was planning her century celebration. Rightfully so, since her mom, Fannie King, lived to 103.
When the call came that Gert had breathed her last, it was shocking and sad. It was always amazing to visit with her and realize how much of Oysterponds history she knew and had lived.
One of my favorite stories she often shared was set during the hurricane of ’38 and her adventure of driving the school bus to the “Point” to pick up the students. She described the ferociousness of the wind as she tried to open the door, as the wind on the other side had other ideas. She talked in great detail about each student she had on board that day and how she deposited them all home safe and sound.
The same couldn’t be said for her mom, who is a legend here since she’d boarded the ferry with her Model T that same morning in 1938 and, since even at the best of times communications were primitive then, Fannie finally tootled back to the North Fork two weeks late, with lots of tales of her escapades to captivate all who would listen.
Gert made me chuckle when she talked about growing up in Orient as one of five girls, She was the oldest, followed by Vera, Edwina, Fran and Peggy. I remember that because she said that on Christmas Eve at the Congregational church, they would get up and sing “We Five Kings of Orient Are.”
Gert was always my source for anything that happened here in the last 90 years and she was clear to the end. I even took my iPad to show her pictures on Facebook of her great-grandson’s wedding and she never skipped a beat and understood that it wasn’t magic that was making them appear.
Gert was always here, unassuming, undemanding, always welcoming and smiling to whoever dropped in or crossed her doorstep. Her family is huge and she was loved by all, which in itself is a great tribute. Respect wasn’t optional back in her day. She died April 20, the same date my mom did 16 years ago (mom was a year older). So now I’ll have two great ladies to think of on that day. It makes me smile now to even think about it.
Godspeed, Gert Reeves. You will be so missed. May you rest in peace; you deserve it.
Now a brief word
In reference to Troy Gustavson’s column of April 19:
Two Wheelers of America, unite. Buy American.
Edgar Martell Jr.
More than baseball
It’s Oct. 16, 1969. I am 7 years, 5 days old, and I have returned home from school and can’t wait to watch the last game of the World Series.
To my surprise, my father is home also and, together, I in my Catholic school uniform and he in his work clothes, we witness our New York Mets achieve what was thought to be impossible. They win the Series and become baseball’s best.
Baseball isn’t always about baseball. Sometimes it incorporates other times in one’s life that become more important than anything. You see, the Miracle Mets’ winning was great. The two-bedroom apartment that my dad and I witnessed it in was great. The black-and-white console we watched it on was great. Yes, that time of my life was great. However, it wasn’t until years later that I found out just how great that day really was.
My dad told me when I was in my early 20s that he had been offered a free ticket to that miracle of a day on Oct. 16 to see the Mets win the World Series. I was in disbelief when I asked him why he would turn down a ticket for that game. His response to me was, “I asked if there were two tickets and they said no, so I declined.”
He went on to explain that if I couldn’t go, he would rather watch the game on TV with me. I thought to myself that this man really loves me. How unselfish for him to choose a black-and-white TV versus Shea Stadium, just to have me by his side.
I will never forget that day when I found out he turned down that opportunity. I will never forget the ’69 Mets winning the World Series. But most of all, I will never forget how much my father loved me.
You see, baseball isn’t always about just baseball. It is a piece of our lives that is woven into so many other aspects of our lives.
My father died a young man. I am so grateful to have known him, and I only wish that someday I will leave an impression as strong on my own son. We are Mets fans and we will always dream bigger than any other fans on the planet. Our hearts are just a little bit bigger.
Who gets credit
Barack Obama deserves as much credit for the termination of bin Laden as Steve Bellone does for extinguishing the wildfires.
Both should keep their mouths shut and let the compliments rest with those who did the work.
Where the blame lies
Mitt Romney is very critical of President Obama’s efforts to build consensus with our allies concerning world unrest.
Mr. Romney would have us driving tanks and flying bombers into Syria instead of trying to work with the U.N. and supportive nations. Mr. Romney is critical of the president’s working toward U.N. action. He would rather the U.S. go it alone.
I guess Mr. Romney sees a lack of “GOP macho” in Mr. Obama. This is an example of the GOP unwillingness to understand that the days of the U.S. acting unilaterally as the world’s police force are over. That did not make sense, does not make sense and is now over.
George W. Bush got us into two endless wars as a result of 9-11. He enacted tax cuts for the wealthy but never acted to fund the wars. The huge budget deficit resulting from these inexplicable actions has us handcuffed today.
Of course, to listen to the GOP, this is the president’s mess. It wouldn’t do to let facts affect the story line. Mr. Romney’s other rant is that the president is causing the severity of the recession and the slowness of the recovery. The fact that we can’t get anything other than incomprehensible gobbledygook out of Congress does have something to do with that.
Early in the game the president and the House speaker had a fleeting budget agreement. Cuts in entitlements were actually on the table along with revenue and tax increases. The suggestion of tax increases caused the GOP to go ballistic, and this flash of logic flamed out.
The fact that the European financial system is looking very scary and is causing the Dow to dive is quite logical. Blaming the resultant falling market and investor nervousness on Mr. Obama is totally illogical. But what did you expect?
In reality, the GOP push for debt reduction has some logic, but the time is not now. Restoring the economy and then fixing the debt is the path to recovery. The GOP program of fixing the debt with the economy in the tank will drive us to ever deeper recession and disaster.
We’re hearing a lot of talk about opportunity because nothing is more American than opportunity. If we can get the brains and talents of all young people into the game we can restore America. The Opportunity Society is Gov. Romney’s plan for America.
To create the Opportunity Society, Gov. Romney says he wants to insure that America’s brightest get a good education. Public education is under pressure all over the country because of budget cuts, with more on the way. To insure the health of our public schools the governor has offered little, although he has proposed to eliminate or at least marginalize the Department of Education.
Budget cuts at the local level, coupled with the elimination of the Department of Education, should go a long way to preparing all of our best and brightest kids for college and their entrance into the Opportunity Society.
These days the price of college is growing, but the price of not going is soaring for the individual, as well as for the country. America needs more smart, creative, educated people. Unfortunately, states all across the country are cutting funding to state colleges. Private colleges aside, state colleges average $29,000 tuition per year. When asked by a college student how a middle class kid could afford college, Gov. Romney’s advice was to go to a less expensive school. $29,000 is the less expensive school, Governor!
The Ryan Budget, which Gov. Romney endorsed, is cutting back on Pell Grants by $170 billion over ten years. This hits poor and middle class kids the hardest. Federally backed college loans for low income kids with discounted interest rates will expire July 1. The president has called for an extension of these 3.4 percent loans, paid for by closing some corporate welfare. Giving in to Mr. Obama’s demands, Mr. Romney has finally agreed to the extension but insists on paying for it by taking away money from children’s and women’s health care.
I know, “corporations are people” and are apparently more important than kids and women. Two thirds of college grads come out with loans averaging $24,000 and this number grows every year. No wonder more and more kids and parents wonder how they can swing it.
When I was a kid, public schools prepared us for college. Brooklyn College, CCNY and Hunter colleges were free. None of our parents had been to college, but they knew their kids were going. Whether or not your parents had money or influence, a good education was available.
We had a real opportunity society back then, not just a campaign slogan.