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06/12/14 6:00am
Plans to move and expand the Galley Ho restaurant were the subject of a public hearing Monday.(Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Plans to move and expand the Galley Ho restaurant were the subject of a public hearing Monday.(Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Last week’s coverage and editorial on the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund’s plan to relocate and renovate the Galley Ho restaurant received a large dose of feedback. Here are a sample of two letters to the editor written in response. (more…)

10/31/13 6:00am


To the editor:

Whatever happened to the cute cartoons each week from Peter Waldner? I was upset to see that he had to get some political digs into this week’s cartoon. In fact, I think The Suffolk Times is no longer the hometown newspaper that I started to read many years ago. It seems to be trying to get into politics outside of our local elections.

If I want to see such political cartoons, I can buy the big-time newspapers. I just want to find out what is going on locally, not in Washington, D.C. I hear enough of that on the news each night.

My advice to Peter is, keep it cute … not political.

Elizabeth Fletcher, Mattituck

To the editor:

The Oct. 24 cartoon displayed “frightening” Halloween masks. One of the masks is that of Senator Ted Cruz. Now, I am sure that this mask will frighten a “few,” who are also frightened of the truth. However the rest of us will react as they did in Amarillo, with an eight-minute standing ovation for the truth being told by Senator Cruz.

Louis Williams, Southold

To read more letters to the editor, pick up a copy of this week’s Suffolk Times on newsstands or click on the E-Paper.

10/17/13 7:00am

To the editor:

In his column last week, Troy Gustavson wrote that “the Democratic Party is largely disorganized and dysfunctional” in Southold Town. He said this as a reason for us accepting Judge Bill Price on our Democratic line. This is not the truth.

What we do not currently have are any Democrats elected to town government, leaving the Republican Party in total control and making all appointments. This is not good in a democracy. When it exists, abuses occur and the status quo leads to inaction — as in deer, ticks and the Vineyard 48 abuses. Some call it the “Good Old Boy System.”

Indicative of this was the all-Republican Town Board’s decision to have the leadership of the Republican Party screen candidates for the vacant seat of Democrat Al Krupski at Republican headquarters. Though it may have been Republican Party leadership that told the Town Board this was the way it was to be, Democrats who were interested saw through this charade and did not bother to screen.

Regarding his claim of disorganization: Most of our committee positions are filled. If there is a Democrat interested on Fishers Island, please contact me. We have three district leaders. We have monthly meetings and often guest speakers. Fundraisers and parties are well attended, We have subcommittees as the need arises. One is responsible for attending Town Board, Planning Board and, at times, ZBA meetings. They report to us at our monthly meetings.

The Southold Democratic Party is an open party. We welcome new arrivals and encourage all to get involved. We believe all are a “natural resource” and many bring a variety of talents and ideas often gained elsewhere.

Regarding Judge Bill Price: How the Republican Party would reject this respected Republican judge with 32 years’ experience is beyond comprehension. We were most happy he chose to run on our line. We did not ask him to change his registration, so he will run as a registered Republican on the Democratic line. Troy, I seriously doubt a man of Judge Price’s experience and caliber would even consider running with the Southold Democrats if we were disorganized and dysfunctional.

Judge Price commented after one his first meetings with the Southold Democrats on how different our meetings were from Republican meetings. He said that at Republican meetings, the leadership says what is going to be, but Democrats actually discuss and arrive at a consensus.

Art Tillman, Mattituck

Mr. Tillman is chairman of the Southold Democratic Committee.


To the editor:

Two nations under God, really? Troy wants a nation of equal opportunity for all but he admittedly will deport anyone who does not agree with his views. For the sake of argument, let’s name the two new nations: One is “Nation Superior” and the other is the “Nation of Dummies” ( formerly, “Ye Olde United States”).

The leaders and citizens of Nation Superior will all be progressive thinkers and superior minds. If you do not agree with a superior mind, out you go, banished to the Nation of Dummies.

Sounds like a familiar scenario, doesn’t it? A scenario that has been repeated many times throughout the history of the world.

As the superior minds are basking in wonderment at their brilliant ideas, the Nation of Dummies will be designing, building and creating, because they live in a country that promotes life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, ONE nation under God. Naturally, the dummies will welcome any superior mind to live amongst them. Uh, here we go again!

Troy has made me realize why I am so happy to be dumb.

Bob Guarriello, Southold


To the editor:

Regarding Troy Gustavson’s babbling about our divided nation: He needs to secede to a remote island and clip his coupons and collect his government check.

Brenda Cibelli, Mattituck


To the editor:

You speak for yourself and I for the 51 percent of this country who believe that they earned their place in this society and that it is not a God-given or Obama-given right to place your hand in my pocket to find the funds for your health care.

Where do you come off suggesting that we find our own place where we can be self-sufficient and thrive while you all drop out and hang on to the shards thrown to you by the government? This is a fundamental divide. No, not slavery, but fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. That’s right, Mr. Gustavson, work.

This half of the country isn’t afraid to work. Just look at Israel. There they sit in the midst of a swirling porridge of greed and destruction as its main ingredient and they flourish. They have created 77 percent of the world’s patented material and extend their hand to others in need by developing medical technologies to heal rather than harm; to educate rather than denigrate; to enlighten and enhance rather than suck the very core of life from every productive citizen.

Yes, I’ll take that second half plus the extra 1 percent and form a more perfect union. I would never impose my standard of good care, or adequate income, or sufficient nutrition, or whether to nurse or bottle-feed my babies, or whether you should marry or who it is your should marry, or whether there is too much salt or sugar in your diet, or whether you choose to have a child or not.

If you remember the TV series “The Prisoner” — “ I am not a number, I am a man ( in this case, woman).”

You never had my permission to take away from me what was given to me by the founders of this great nation and I pray that we find a true captain to steer this ship, which is most certainly headed to the rocks, to safe waters.

Carla Rosen, Peconic


To the editor:

This letter is in response to Troy Gustavson’s column regarding the government shutdown. So many words have been traded back and forth on the issue. I am waiting for the voice of leadership, the unifying principles that sparked our Constitution. This voice is neither Republican nor Democrat. This voice is the God of the Bible, the God of our Founding Fathers, the God who loves America and who laments over our “progressive” move past a simple humble confession that He has answers to. We don’t, clearly.

Let us regress and turn back. Implore His mercy and wisdom and ask for direction. Let’s pray now for those in government on both sides of the aisle.

Imagine returning to prayer to the one and only God before sessions in government, our work day, our school day. That is our history and our Judeo-Christian heritage. This was our strength. It is never too late. “If My people humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways, I will forgive their sin and heal their land” — 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Lorraine Zito, Mattituck


To the editor:

Reading Troy Gustavson’s column last week simultaneously brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my face.

My husband, Freddy, was a dyed in the wool, right of center, left of extreme, retro conservative Republican — until one morning during a local election season. He was entering the Southold post office (or was it the pharmacy?) and several GOP officials were campaigning, with leaflets in hand. Being a kindred spirit, he stopped to chat with them. They dissed and ignored him.

Never one to hide his lantern under a haystack, he proceeded to lambaste them. He felt that his shaggy, long-haired and bearded look had caused the Republicans to believe he was a leftist liberal (God forbid) and thus not worthy of their breath.

This was the beginning of his change in voting pattern, splitting his ticket (for the first time) to vote against those who dissed him.

Bernie Kettenbeil, Southold

The late Fred Kettenbeil Sr. of Southold worked for many years as a delivery man for Times/Review Newspapers.

06/18/13 5:00pm

LINDSAY REIMER PHOTO |  A storm whips across Long Island Sound Monday night at Town Beach in Southold.

Suffolk Times reader Lindsay Riemer captured images of last night’s quick moving storm that swept across the area before leaving behind a beautiful sunset. Ms. Reimer’s images were shot at Town Beach in Southold.

LINDSAY RIEMER PHOTO  |  A sunset Monday night at Town Beach in Southold.

LINDSAY RIEMER PHOTO | A sunset Monday night at Town Beach in Southold.

04/04/13 6:00am
GARRETT MEADE FILE PHOTO | The North Fork Ospreys players need a place to stay this summer.

GARRETT MEADE FILE PHOTO | The North Fork Ospreys players need a place to stay this summer.

To the editor:

I’m so excited that I saw one of my first ospreys of the season.

That means we are really close to the return of the North Fork Osprey collegiate baseball team. They’re one of seven teams in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League that play here on the East End.

This will be the third year our family will host one of the players. These college baseball players come from all over to hone their baseball skills and get a chance to be spotted by a Major League scout.

These past two summers have been a lot of fun for the four of us. In our first year our 6-foot, 8-inch pitcher came from Iowa and had the time of his life and we still keep in contact with him and his parents. James Kohler loved to fish and learned a whole new vocabulary living with us as he had only ever fished in fresh water. We made it a point to help him discover salt water fishing as well as the shellfish. Too bad he wasn’t around for scallop season.

James is still playing for his college baseball team and holds the highest GPA on his team at the University of Evansville. He majors in biology and will go pre-med.

Last year we hosted Mark Brennan, who attended Marist College on a full academic scholarship. His shellfish allergy kept us from encouraging salt water activities, except for tubing and fishing or just hanging out at the beach.

He was on his feet with the mention of strawberry picking. When he left in August, my son was able to add catcher to the list of positions he was able to play. Mark bonded quickly with us and the kids keep in touch with him on social media.

We are so looking forward to seeing who will be living this summer in our spare bedroom, now known as the “Ospreys” room.

We are in need of a few more Osprey host families. If you think you can host a player, please call 734-7167.

Janet, Ken, Julie and Sam Dickerson, Cutchogue

To read more letters to the editor, pick up a copy of this week’s Suffolk Times on newsstands or click on the E-Paper.

04/01/13 8:41am

To the editor:

With so many of our politicians concerned for the health and well-being of their constituents, with their laws on banning large sugary drinks, hiding cigarettes behind the counters as well as banning “energy drinks” from teenagers, I have to wonder why not one of these elected officials has ever proposed a bill to ban the sale of all tobacco products as well?

With the various diseases and physical problems that tobacco causes, along with the billions of dollars in associated treatment costs, there is a compelling reason to stop the use of tobacco. Yet these same “concerned” public officials continue playing to the news media instead of just saying: “No more tobacco will be sold here!”

Thomas W. Smith, Jamesport

02/28/13 6:00am
KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO  |  The town may soon have a say on dogs on the beach, such as this one taking a dip at Goose Creek in Southold.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | Some readers have taken exception to the idea of dogs being required to have a leash at all times on beaches.

To the editor:

I just got back from a walk with my dog. It’s a sunny day. This winter is going to end! We were alone on the beach where we usually go.

She ran and ran and ran. She ran in circles. She ran on ahead, leapt over objects in her path, swept on in a wide circle and zoomed back to me, grinning. Then off again. She really needed some exercise.

What will I do if I cannot let her off leash at appropriate times and in appropriate places? There is just no way I can give her enough exercise without somewhere to run free.

What would I have done when I first adopted her?

She came from New Orleans after Katrina. She was so frightened, and she was going to be euthanized. The North Fork Animal Welfare League rescued her and we adopted her. We were warned that all the Katrina dogs wanted to escape, to run, run, run.

I found this beach. It’s almost surrounded by water, then wetlands, then a very quiet road. I let her off the leash. She ran, and it was that running that brought her back to life. That plus clean air, good food and a safe new home.

In New York City, dog owners and non-dog owners have found a mutually agreeable solution. Dogs may be off leash in the parks before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m.

Surely we can work something out in Southold.

Venetia Hands, Orient

To the editor:

I applaud Dawn Bennett’s Feb. 21 letter, “A ridiculous law.” Most dogs, like most people, are social animals and adapt well to social situations. Sometimes, however, people unknowingly provoke dogs to behaviors that people deem inappropriate, and sometimes otherwise considerate dog owners fail to pick up their dogs’ droppings.

But this does not mean that we need laws treating all dogs as though they were mad. Rather, we need avenues for informing the public about canine behavior and about responsible dog ownership. The knowledge thus promulgated could make life easier and healthier for both human and canine citizens.

Dogs make many valuable contributions to human life. In addition to the widespread joy in having them as pets, dogs provide a safety net in homes. They assist the police and the military, they assist the blind and they often give greater solace to the elderly and the ill than do other humans.

It’s only reasonable that the Town Board acknowledge the needs of dogs and create means for the fulfillment of those needs.

Maureen Sanders, Orient

To the Editor:

Dogs leashed at all times on the beach? Install cameras to shame the offenders? Huh?

Things have changed a great deal around here over the years. There are more humans from elsewhere, retirees with a cause, with ideas for improving things in their narrow scope of vision. But dogs are part of the fabric of the human experience, as are cantankerous, griping complainers. I have experienced far more negative behavior from humans than from dogs on the beach or elsewhere.

Back off and let dogs and their owners be, and let the Town Board weigh matters of real consequence.


Jack Gismondi, Peconic

11/08/12 4:00am

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | A dock in Greenport, the day after Hurricane Sandy.


ELIH says thanks

Hurricane Sandy was an event of unprecedented consequence. Thanks to all who assisted, Eastern Long Island Hospital weathered the storm without any casualties or structural damage.

Despite record-breaking surges, ELIH employees remained calm and did what needed to be done, all while watching out for the patients under our care and each other’s safety.

Accolades to all of the staff who came in, stayed overnight or accepted reassignments, while making personal sacrifices in order to do so. When patients needed to be evacuated, the rapid response of Peconic Bay Medical Center, North-Shore University Health System, Peconic Landing and Stony Brook University Hospital facilitated the safe relocation of 46 patients.

Due to collegial relationships and genuine concern, this monumental task was accomplished within four hours. Keeping the lines of communication open and pooling resources was reassuring to all involved. Keeping patients safe and out of harm’s way was clearly the first priority.

As we all know, and can now better appreciate, while emergency plans serve as a guideline, it takes ingenuity and fortitude to assess immediate needs and take action to ensure a positive outcome. To all of the employees, who were front and center, going above and beyond, you are the true assets at ELIH and in our community.

To those who cared for patients, transported patients, were reassigned or volunteered to stay, who kept the water out, the pumps going, the physical plant intact, everyone fed, medical supplies coming, diagnostic testing going, you should all be proud of the herculean effort undertaken through one of the worst storms on record.

Paul Connor III

president and CEO,
Eastern Long Island Hospital


Not much help at all

What a wonderful group of young people came to Town Hall on Nov. 5 to represent FEMA.

They are volunteers for FEMA from AmeriCorps and are from all over the country, including California, Indiana and Washington State. Most were in their early 20s, looking to help us as they could.

The FEMA representation here was strictly to secure homes in immediate danger. At this point, they were not here to distribute food, clean up property or even help with a tree in a precarious position. It was disappointing to me, and of course to so many of the senior citizens there, to ask for help with downed trees, destroyed fences, food spoilage and flooding.

FEMA is a great organization but they could not help anyone that I could tell, as their mission was more appropriate for Rockaway disaster than the East End.

The volunteers basically directed people to fill out online applications, period.

Still, it was good to see dedicated sincere young people trying to help.

On another matter, how did gas prices jump over 30 cents in one week at some gas stations? Gouging?

Eve Randall


Outstanding efforts

I want to commend the staff of The Suffolk Times for the outstanding efforts during Hurricane Sandy.

The use of written articles, pictures, videos and the blog was extremely well coordinated. A special thanks goes out to those who monitored the blog over a 24-hour period and worked tirelessly to provide real-time comprehensive perspectives, pictures and videos to hundreds of interested readers.

Speaking specifically for myself, I don’t live permanently in Southold so I was particularly concerned about the impact of the storm in the area and its effects.

One reporter specifically made his way to Beixedon to provide some video coverage of the beach. Although the video was not all reassuring given the damage, it certainly removed some of the uncertainty involved with the situation.

Once again, I wanted to recognize the professionalism and work by The Suffolk Times and thank you for bringing the coverage to your readers.

Jeff Caravella


Thanks for the pics

I want to thank both The Suffolk Times and the Riverhead News-Review for posting pictures of the recent storm.

My family lives in Riverhead and Laurel and because of the power outages, I couldn’t get in touch with them.

It was helpful seeing pictures and realizing, although it was bad, it looked like most folks were doing OK.

Lynn McNulty


Hi from Afghanistan

I am currently deployed in Afghanistan and I would just like to thank you and everyone who works at The Suffolk Times for allowing me to see what’s going on back home.

Kyle William Wilkens 

Mr. Wilkens is a 2010 graduate of Southold High School


Hello from the UK

We were shocked and sorry to see the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in Greenport.

We had one of the best holidays we have ever had staying there in August, and much of that was down to the warm and friendly local community. We were made welcome everywhere; Claudio’s, the brewery and the extremely wonderful Alice’s Fish Market, where we got the best fresh lobster.

There were too many pleasant encounters to detail here, but a memorable one was when we visited the hardware store on Main Street to fix a bike tire puncture. The owner could not have been more helpful, carrying out the job in a manner I would describe as both efficient and relaxed, during which time we shot the breeze, covering the fishing history of Greenport to the subtleties of the Scottish dialect.

We also enjoyed several nights and a few beers in the Rhumbline, watching the Olympics with great services from the staff there. We spent a lot of time on the several beautiful and varied beaches, all within easy reach.

I must say, the town cast its spell over us and we can’t wait to return. We sincerely hope you recover from the terrible damage quickly, and our thoughts are with you. We have been acting as informal ambassadors, encouraging friends to visit your lovely town as I am sure they would enjoy it as much as we did.

Paul and Tania Donnachie


A job well done

Like so many others, Claudio’s waterfront was rocked by Sandy’s tough punch in the gut, sustaining substantial damage to our docks and infrastructure.

It’s going to be costly, but we’ve been there, done that and we’ll be back better than ever. It’s just what we all do here on the North Fork.

That was perfectly clear even before the beginning of Sandy’s relentless body blows to all of us. The preparation and follow through of both Southold Town and the Village of Greenport’s hard-working crews was nothing short of outstanding.

Even at the height of the storm the Southold Highway Department and our great cops were constantly keeping the pathways clear to ensure we’d be able to get where we had to go. With the lashing wind and surf-like waves rolling into the village, our crews were out there facing up to Sandy’s pummeling ensuring clear pathways for our always ready EMTs and fire departments.

While LIPA is a continuing disaster for all Long Island, including the North Fork, Greenport’s utilities, leaders and crews alike including Mayor Nyce were on top of it from the beginning. They faced the potential electrical disaster, communicated with the community and businesses alike and executed a carefully planned rolling shutdown for the village.

With Sandy running out of blows, they kept us in the loop for the orderly start-up of our grid and Greenport was mostly back on line in less than 48 hours. How’s that stack up?

Sandy may have landed some pretty heavy shots, but with the fighting efforts of a lot of people, all who are our neighbors every day, we got the TKO.

Well done.

Bill Claudio


When the tide is out

Recently I was mopping the salt off my buckled kitchen floor and wondering how low the motor in my washing machine is.

I thought of my favorite quote: “The cure for anything is saltwater: tears, sweat, or the sea.” – Isak Dinesen. It didn’t seem to apply until I started thinking about how people have been acting the past few days.

I thought about the people I met wandering around in the middle of the night in New Suffolk trying to figure out what they could do.

I thought about the gawkers taking pictures on my front lawn while I tried to get the boards with nails sticking out from under their feet.

I thought about all the people who offered me help, lodging and elbow grease.

I realized that the best and the worst in us is more obvious when the tide goes out. And I realized that in some sense this storm has washed something away and offers us a chance to be grateful and to continue to do something that matters.

George Cork Maul


Love thy neighbor?

“Love thy neighbor” are words to live by. But I don’t have to love that landscaper’s gas-powered leaf blower at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we should all be neighborly and we should help each other in any way we can.

But when people are in gas lines, wasting gas to make an unscathed home look pretty, that’s not very considerate.

A rake, now that’s something I can love.

Thomas Lambert


He kept the peace

A note of thanks to Sergeant Helinski and the Southold police officers who responded to a potentially problematic situation at the Valero gas station on the Main Road in Cutchogue early Saturday morning Nov. 3.

There was information circulating that the station had received a gasoline delivery early that morning, which was confirmed by the employee within the 24-hour store. The employee stated that they would start pumping gas at 6 a.m. and a line starting forming up Depot Lane.

At about 6:15 a.m., when they had not started pumping gas, Sgt. Helinski asked about the delay and the worker told him the owner had decided not to open until 8. Sgt. Helinski insisted on speaking with the owner and said a public danger could be brewing with the line-up of cars and an angry group of citizens.

After a contentious discussion, gasoline was flowing a half-hour later. Throughout the incident, the sergeant and the other officers were calm, professional and respectful to all involved.

The peace was maintained and a temporarily scarce resource was appropriately dispensed.

Tom Mauri


We will save it

I was dismayed to see the Galley Ho in New Suffolk characterized by The Suffolk Times as “all but destroyed” after the hurricane. Especially since our engineer thoroughly inspected the site and advised us that “damage to the structure is minimal, the structure needs to be supported to limit additional damage.”

There was damage along the length of our shoreline and the New Suffolk waterfront property was no exception. But I think the hundreds of individuals who have contributed to preserving this property would have appreciated accurate reporting, not guesswork, about its status post-storm.

As I write, another storm is headed this way and we can only hope that the Galley Ho will again remain intact. We plan to stabilize it as quickly as possible and move it, temporarily, away from the marina to facilitate bulkhead repairs which had already been scheduled for late November.

For the record, and to be perfectly clear and accurate, we are continuing to fundraise to preserve and protect this community asset.

Barbara Schnitzler

chairwoman, New Suffolk Waterfront Fund

board of directors


Go underground

Last year in the aftermath of Irene I submitted a letter which basically said LIPA’s decision not to move power lines underground due to financial reasons would ultimately lead to even greater expense in the form of future storm damage. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy has driven that point home and the results are painful to watch.

It’s bad enough people have suffered such great losses, but to have more than 980,000 people on Long Island without power is very hard to take. I’ve lived in many places throughout the U.S. and the only one I can recall not having underground power lines was the town where I grew up in New Jersey. Everywhere else, from NYC to Laramie, Wyo., the only time customers lost power was when they didn’t pay their bills.

LIPA has said repeatedly the cost for a project like I’m suggesting is prohibitive — and perhaps at first glance it is. But let’s look at this problem in a little more detail.

An undertaking of this size requires two main ingredients: labor and financing. How many new jobs would be created by this massive endeavor? I think quite a few and if you listen to anybody running for office on Long Island their number one priority is keeping and creating jobs.

And what about the money? Surely the federal government with its endless supply of funding for projects of dubious or no merit and all its “stimulus” money that by all accounts hasn’t created one new job should be called upon to significantly participate in financing a project of this size and scope.  To be sure, I wish at least one of our elected officials, especially at the federal level, would seriously look into this matter. Who knows? The bill might end up being named after them!

On another matter, last week a letter criticized The Suffolk Times’ policy of not printing the names of email contributors whose letters are posted in your online edition. I totally agree their names should appear.

The Internet freely allows people to spew out all kinds of garbage under the veil of anonymity. But ultimately, what value can be placed on the opinion of someone who won’t even sign their name to it? They might as well be leaving their “message” on the wall of a public toilet because that’s all it’s worth.

Patrick Lohn


Crossed messages

In the editorial page endorsements of your Nov. 1 edition it was stated that I declined to be interviewed by Newsday as the Democratic candidate for the 2nd Assembly District.

Quite the contrary, I was interviewed by Mitchell Freedman in connection with my candidacy at my home in Mattituck. A photographer sent by Newsday had taken my picture prior to interview. I also appeared for a debate for Channel 12.

Perhaps there was some confusion over crossed voice messages, but I most certainly didn’t decline the opportunity to give my views and thoughts on how best to represent the 2nd Assembly District to the editorial board.

Nicholas Deegan


Sign your name

I strongly agree with Mr. Brennan regarding the anonymity of people’s postings on media websites.

When I make a statement I’m willing to stand behind it with my true name, not some pusillanimous cloak of a nickname known by only a few. Yes, many of the postings are gross untrue accusations and characterizations put out there in a cowardly way.

If what these people are saying is true, then why are they afraid to use their real names? The Suffolk Times is not alone here, as many other online media sites allow the timid to engage in this form of misinformation.

The Internet is a wonderful thing for people in a real and true democracy to participate in. Let it not be changed into a false ideology of the mean-spirited few.

Rick Kedenburg


Creating roadblocks

Mr. Paterno objects to Troy Gustavson’s claim that Republicans spend their energy thwarting and discrediting our president.

The writer may object, but he can’t ignore Mitch McConnell’s declaration that his party’s number one priority was to be sure Mr. Obama was a one-term president. The obstructionism on the Republican side has been unrelenting, and undeniable, despite the president’s compromises and attempts to reach across the aisle.

The letter goes on to deny the Republican swing to the far right, claiming that the approach to fiscal and economic issues has been “consistent over time.” This is not true.

For example, from 1982 to 1992, under Republican administrations, the highest tax rate went from 70 percent to 50 percent to 31 percent. With each reduction of taxes, the deficit rose. Now, with a continuing deficit the Republicans blame on Mr. Obama, they not only don’t want to raise taxes on the rich, they want their tax cuts to continue.

This is not consistent or healthy fiscal policy. You can look it up, not make it up.

The Republican position on economic policies cannot be considered without including social and cultural policies in the conversation.

We have a Republican presidential candidate who endorses people like Rich Mourdock, senator of Indiana, who says pregnant victims of rape should bear the offspring because it’s “something God intended.”

Then there’s Todd Akin of Missouri, who claims women’s bodies can prevent conception after rape, and John Walsh, representative of Illinois, who declares the life of the mother is “absolutely” never a reason to terminate a pregnancy. There are at least 15 Republican candidates/senators who would forbid abortion in case of rape.

If these positions are not “far right,” I’d be terrified to find out what Mr. Paterno considers “far right.”

Teresa Taylor 


A truly fine captain

As a true courageous sea captain of old, Captain Robin Walbridge went down with his ship, The HMS Bounty, lost during Hurricane Sandy off Cape Hatteras, N.C.

Knowing Capt. Walbridge, that’s the way he, as an old salt, would have wanted to go — steady at the helm.

When aboard his vessel, Capt. Walbridge was a no-nonsense guy. As I remember him, when I worked and sailed on Bounty not that long ago, he was in command at all times. It was his strong presence and leadership that saved Bounty from going down when she was in Fall River, Mass., being worked on a while back.

No question, Capt. Walbridge’s crew on Bounty can thank him for their lives being saved. He was that kind of man.

Jack McGreevy

10/25/12 6:57am

To the Editor:

Last week a letter signed by all chief elected officials of the five East End Towns and villages, save East Hampton, was sent to the FAA by Assemblyman Fred Thiele requesting that a southern helicopter route along the Atlantic Ocean be mandated for craft heading to East Hampton from the south.

This request is not new. The letter referenced a June 2010 document signed by four East End supervisors requesting this same route change among other essential access limitations for both East Hampton airport and Gabreski airport in Westhampton Beach.

This is an important first step and Assemblyman Thiele, Congressman Bishop and Southampton Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst are to be congratulated for leading the charge. However, while there may be some justification for sending helicopters over the Atlantic to approach East Hampton airport, simply spreading the noise around victimizes greater numbers of homeowners and wildlife, rather than addressing the source of the problem.

What is new is that elected officials from all levels of government united, in short order, to properly represent their various constituents suffering from unrelenting aircraft noise from East Hampton airport. Our airport and the aircraft traveling to and from it has become a serious regional quality-of-life problem for all East End residents.

Notably absent from this request was the signature of East Hampton Supervisor Bill Wilkinson, who deferred, preferring the consent of the entire East Hampton Town Board before committing to such a request.

Councilman Dominick Stanzione, however, affixed his signature to this document, persevering in his solo decision-making approach to airport policy.

This same policy single-handedly created the Bastille Day bombardment of Noyac, North Sea, Sag Harbor, Shelter Island and North Fork communities from East Marion to Orient, when the councilman directed all helicopter traffic previously using the Northwest Creek route to come in and out over Jessups Neck.

Remarkably, it was this route change and the councilman’s independent action which galvanized elected officials all over the East End in efforts to provide relief from aircraft noise to their residents.

The noise problem at East Hampton airport is a political problem with a political solution.  Local elections are one year away. Voters are paying close attention to this issue.

Elected officials, take note.

Kathleen Cunningham

chairperson, Quiet Skies Coalition