Letters: Remembering Frank Wills and his commitment to Southold

08/23/2012 4:00 AM |


Energetic, concerned

Frank Wills, who passed away Aug. 14, was the chairman of Southold Town’s alternative and renewable energy committee, serving the community since 2007. The committee has lost a stalwart member.

This octogenarian proved to be an energetic and sincerely concerned environmentalist. He and I would travel together to energy task force meetings at Molloy College in Farmingdale to keep up with current policies and innovations in the energy field and bring those ideas back to Southold.

Frank’s commitment to conservation was second to none and he will be missed.

Peter Meeker

Editor’s note: Mr. Meeker is a member of the town’s renewable and alternative energy committee. 


Losing a true leader

The North Fork Environmental Council lost a dear friend, mentor and leader in former president Frank Wills. His influence is still felt by NFEC board members who joined during his tenure and whose appreciation of his selfless energy and commitment drive them today.

There are so few people who are willing to put community ahead of self and Frank was one of those people. His work with the NFEC, Southold Town and Sustainable Southold, among others, were just some of the venues where his knowledge, experience and generosity with his time and wisdom were able to shine and touch so many.

The NFEC family — our directors, officers and members –— sends its thoughts and prayers to Frank’s friends and family at this difficult time. But we hope that they can find comfort in knowing that Southold Town and all of the lives he touched are better off because of all he did.

Southold needs more people like Frank. He will be sorely missed, but his influence on critical issues and love of Southold will carry on.

Bill Toedter

president, NFEC


A great individual

Frank Wills and I were talking on Love Lane to a young man who showed us his many tattoos and Frank asked the man if the tattooing hurt very much.

Later, having coffee at the old Love Lane Market, Frank said he asked the question since his entire face was tattooed. I was quite surprised since I did not see any tattoo.

He explained that during World War II while detonating a mine, it exploded and his entire face was burned. Army doctors suggested he have his entire face tattooed the color of his natural skin, which he did — and it was painful.

When drinking coffee Frank kept his finger on his lower chin. He said he had to do that since he had no feeling there and didn’t want to have the drink run down his face. Frank also told me of his family’s escape from Nazi Europe. I had known Frank a long time and never heard these stories.

I asked why he didn’t mention this when his patriotism was questioned and he lost in his run for town Trustee in 2007. He said he didn’t want to.

A simple answer for a simple, but great individual. May you rest in peace, Frank.

Art Tillman

chairman, Southold Democratic Party


Puppy store concerns

I am concerned about these puppy stores. How many animals come from the puppy mills?

There is not enough being done about this situation. My main concern is the store in Aquebogue, where there’s been an effort to shut it down. There are too many dogs there that I believe are not being taken care of.

If you’re an animal lover like myself we need more people to get involved.

Elizabeth Day


Overwhelming help

In the August 16 issue of The Suffolk Times, Bob Liepa wrote a great column describing the recovery of my son, Joe Crosser, from an injury sustained during his senior year of high school baseball. Such an amazing recovery could never have happened without the many people who helped Joe get through a most difficult time.

The EMTs who arrived at the scene used their training, skill, expertise and humor to keep Joe calm and transport him to Peconic Bay Medical Center. Teammates, coaches, classmates, friends and parents provided support.

The PBMC staff was amazing. Vince Barry and the staff of Maximum Performance in Riverhead provided the physical therapy expertise to help Joe move from patient to participant. Joe was able to participate in a 120-mile Bike for Life Retreat thanks to the conditioning he received. Motivation to work hard to heal quickly so he could participate in that retreat was provided by fellow McGann-Mercy students and chaplain Father Jerry Cestare.

A happy ending to this story would never have occurred, however, without the skill and expertise of the surgeon, Dr. John Brennan.

Fifty days after bloodcurdling screams echoed over the Mercy baseball field, Joe walked to the front of the auditorium to receive his high school diploma. One hundred and three days after that injury and 120 miles later, Joe completed the Bike for Life journey, his leg intact with hardware.

It is said that people are put in our path for a reason. There is no doubt that these many people were clearly put in Joe’s path so that, as the headline read, “Crosser finds there is life after injury.”

Thank you just seems so inadequate.

Diane Crosser


A memorable night

Congratulations to Peconic Landing on its 10th anniversary celebration.

Who needs the Boston Pops or Macy’s 4th of July fireworks? The Atlantic Wind Symphony and the fantastic fireworks provided an evening not to be forgotten.

Dick Keogh


Spending isn’t cut

Howard Meinke continues to wail about ”massive cuts” in federal spending supposedly promoted by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan that would lead to all kinds of horrors.

But as Daniel J. Mitchell of the Cato Institute pointed out in an article in The Wall Street Journal last week, the budget proposed by Mr. Ryan projects federal spending will increase at an annual rate of 3.3 percent over the next 10 years. That compares with the Obama administration’s projected increases of 4.3 percent a year over the same period.

The only “cut” would be in the rate of increase.

Mr. Mitchell also noted that federal spending now amounts to 24 percent of gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nations’s economy. That’s 32 percent higher than the rate in 2001, when Bill Clinton was president.

Jack Abele


Profit over patients

During the Bush administration, whenever the Democrats criticized the president they were called unpatriotic, yet when Mitt Romney traveled to Europe he not only insulted our allies but also bashed the present U.S. administration. How come there were no calls about his lack of patriotism?

If the Romney/Ryan team wants to privatize Medicare, and their plan really affects those in nursing homes right now, who will pay for my mother in a nursing home I could not afford?

Talk about killing grandma, one of the Republican charges against Obamacare.

If you want to know why Romney hates Obamacare, read The New York Times August 15 front page article “A giant hospital chain is blazing a profit trail.”  Profit, not patient care, is the topic. This is exactly why we need the new programs for health care for everyone, not just the rich.

In the late 19th century, businessmen ran the government on almost every level. They claimed they were defending capitalism and freedom. What were they called? The Robber Barons.

Barbara Ripel, Ph.D.


Who’s serving whom?

The Obama administration has succeeded in its efforts to make us all dependent on big government.

Think about it: How many government employees and their spouses will vote against Obama in this coming election? Why would they, since they make on average $20,000 more than the comparable private sector employee.

Why do you suppose that the only significant new hiring has been by the federal government? More votes and dependency? Is Mr. Obama trying to buy more votes?

There are 107 million Americans receiving some kind of government welfare. No, that doesn’t include Medicare and Social Security.

Neither does it include benefits that the illegal immigrants are receiving. They’re soon to include educational benefits that you as a taxpayer may not have access to for your children.

Mr. Obama would lead you to believe that the wealthy are too wealthy. How absurd, since the top 20 percent earners paid 70 percent of all federal taxes collected and more than 50 percent of working Americans pay no federal income taxes at all.

So what’s the gripe?

A question we should ask is why go into debt to send my kids to college if their education will eventually enable the entitlement group to sit back and leech off their taxes?

Keep this in mind: The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government doesn’t first take from someone else.

Read the history of the failed regimes of the smooth-talking socialist dictators of the past and compare this to that of the Obama administration’s blueprint for government control over our lives.

Be aware that if the government controls health care, it then controls you.

God help America.

God bless America.

John Copertino


Bishop cares for us

I’ve noticed as I drive here and there a few signs encouraging people to vote for Randy Altschuler for Congress.

I wonder if they know that he comes from New Jersey and has been on Long Island a short amount of time. He knows very little about Long Island and nothing at all about the East End.

I’ve lived here 20 years and I see how our East End is as beautiful as it was 20 years ago. If you think that’s just an accident, you’re wrong. People who know Long Island, and especially the East End, had everything to do with it.

Tim Bishop has lived his life here and his family has lived here for 12 generations. That’s the kind of knowledgeable person I want to elect to ensure that this area will stay beautiful and pristine for the next 20 years. I hope most want the same thing.

Why should we put our beautiful East End in the hands of someone who knows nothing about our needs and wishes? I don’t want someone from New Jersey having a say about Long Island.

Delores Ullmann


Safety net shredder

Mitt Romney has selected Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to be his running mate, a radical choice.

Paul Ryan is by any measure a radical conservative. He is the author of the tea party budget plan, and that plan will cut taxes for the wealthy and shred all the social safety net that has been developed in the United States over the last 80 years.

He wants to change Medicare into a voucher program that has no provision for rising health care cost and may cost senior citizens an additional $6,000 a year.

Mr. Ryan’s budget makes drastic cuts in education funding, from Head Start to college loans and Pell grants. Hundreds of thousands would be denied funding.

Like Mr. Romney, he would kill the Affordable Health Care Act and offer nothing in its place. He would ban all choice for women when it comes to health care issues.

He believes climate change is a myth and his budget severely limits the EPA’s ability to address environmental issues. But he supports large tax cuts for the wealthy and does not explain how his budget choices will reduce the fiscal problems without major tax increases for the middle class.

When Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan talk about the federal budget they’re not talking about real numbers and calculations. It’s all words and no analysis. Nobody has sat down with a pencil and a calculator and run the numbers.

They’re making very large claims about how all of this will increase jobs and bring the economy back to life, but in reality they are proposing exactly the same policies put forward by George W. Bush, which caused the problem in the first place.

We’ve already had 12 years of the Bush tax cuts and where is the economy today?

Steve Curry


Writer’s viewpoint

Do we want big, unlimited government telling us what to do?

President Obama says government is like a big brother, always watching over you, and it wasn’t really you, it was the government who pulled you up by your boot straps and made you who you are today. (Tell that to Thomas Edison.)

Thank you big government. I guess then, the indispensable, one of a kind, General George Washington has to bow to King George III of merry old England for his success in our founding of this nation; and that the Sons of Liberty couldn’t have won our nation’s (“We the people …”) fight for freedom without government.

President Obama, tell that fairy tale to our country’s Founding Fathers and all those great Americans who came after them.

We the people say let freedom ring — loud and clear!

Jack McGreevy


Lost four years

It’s been almost four years since we elected our president. He came to us pleading for and promising “hope and change,” but what we got was status quo. Even when his party held total command of governmental power he didn’t deliver on his message.

The country is still divided and nothing yet tried appears to be moving us forward. More regulation and lower mortgage rates certainly haven’t worked. Bailing out the auto industry has cost each of us our hard-earned tax dollars and all we got were more costly automobiles. It’s been reported that GM is handing out risky loans to unqualified borrowers. They’re doing this with our money.

The number of Americans requiring government assistance of one form or another is the highest it has ever been. Some say this is because the president inherited the greatest recession since the Great Depression. I’d say he failed at his at bat, just as the mighty Casey did for the Mudville Nine.

President Obama said when running for office that “if I don’t have this done in three years, this will be a one-term proposition.” His minions now state that President Bush was handed a surplus while Mr. Obama was handed a deficit. But they’re forgetting the 9-11 attacks and how the stock market and economy nosed-dived, and that the so-called Bush tax cuts prevented further economic downturns at the time.

The media and pundits seem to be controlling the election season. There doesn’t appear to be a true journalist out there anymore: one that presents both sides of the argument with facts, rejecting hearsay. Instead it’s all innuendo.

We have what I call “opinionators” who only push their side of the issue. This really is not good for the country. One media outlet has the moniker of “lean forward.” Leaning forward is the first step to falling on your face.

Here we are four years later and basically we are traveling sideways. Under this president’s leadership the deficit has increased greatly. Under this president’s leadership millions more Americans are out of work or under-employed and “going forward” seems highly questionable.

I could go on and on, but in my mind it has been a lost four years.

Bob Bittner