07/27/14 10:00am
07/27/2014 10:00 AM

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I was sorry, but not surprised, to see The Suffolk Times parroting the leftist party line regarding its coverage of the “border children” arriving in Riverhead.

According to the newspaper, this sudden tidal wave of nearly 60,000 children is the result of the kids “fleeing their violence-plagued homelands in Central America.” Frankly, this is a logic-twisting, flat-out lie. The violence in their homelands has been horrible for decades.

What triggered this onslaught was our president’s determination not to enforce our immigration laws and to “amnestitize” those illegal immigrants already here. A second factor is the exploitation of a well-intentioned 2008 law to stop Central American sex-trafficking, which is why it doesn’t apply to Mexican children.

The following was published in The New York Times July 7: “Originally pushed by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers as well as by evangelical groups to combat sex trafficking, the bill gave substantial new protections to children entering the country alone who were not from Mexico or Canada by prohibiting them from being quickly sent back to their country of origin.”

Instead, it required that they be given an opportunity to appear at an immigration hearing and consult with an advocate, and it recommended that they have access to counsel. It also required that they be turned over to the care of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the agency was directed to place the minor “in the least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child” and to explore reuniting those children with family members.

At some point, circa 2010, this “message” went viral in Central America. Kids under 17 from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, rather than being promptly sent back, could be given lawyers, “temporarily” taken care of and, when possible, reunited with any family members already living here.

And, oh yes, there is also a third factor in this equation: America’s far-left has no real interest in securing our border and, case in point, it doesn’t want the 2008 loophole law to be changed.

The following was published in The New York Times July 16: “Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader, reversed course on Wednesday and said she would not back changes to a 2008 law that gave certain undocumented immigrant children broader legal rights to enter the United States.”

Keeping that law in place is essentially flashing a big green light to keep sending children to the U.S. — 60,000 kids and counting. And, just imagine, they all get lawyers. Of course, the crux of the matter is the divide between those who believe any and all illegal immigrants should be welcomed into the U.S. and those who believe, as I do, that like many beneficial things — sunlight, water — too much of it can kill you.

Which (at least in my politically incorrect mind) begs two questions: Why exactly is it that these Central American cultures have been — for decades — so “violence-plagued”?And isn’t it reasonable to assume that a significant percentage of these would-be citizens are bringing those cultures along with them when they cross our border?

The author is an award-winning songwriter from Greenport.

07/26/14 10:00am
07/26/2014 10:00 AM
Broken Down Valise bartender Michelle Suarez (right) talks with customers (from left) Scott Nietupski, Jon Allen and Ed Grohoski on a recent Friday. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Broken Down Valise bartender Michelle Suarez (right) talks with customers (from left) Scott Nietupski, Jon Allen and Ed Grohoski on a recent Friday. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

New York on a hot day in June felt like mid-August, with the heat shimmering off the sidewalk; there was little shade in midtown. Walking by open doors blasting frigid air made it seem even hotter. Close to noon, the thought of a cold beer crossed my mind.

In my mind’s eye: the beer, ice cold, golden amber, in one of those Coca-Cola like glasses, condensation on its side, droplets of water running down to the cork coaster sitting on a glistening polished mahogany bar, the glass topped by a perfect crown of frothy white foam. (more…)

07/25/14 8:00am
07/25/2014 8:00 AM
FILE PHOTO | The state capitol in Albany.

FILE PHOTO | The state capitol in Albany.

“Anywhere he wants to.” That’s the punch line of the ancient joke about where an 800 -pound gorilla sits.

In our neighborhood, the big bully is Agriculture & Markets, the state agency tasked with “foster[ing] a competitive food and agriculture industry.”  (more…)

07/23/14 7:00am
07/23/2014 7:00 AM
Kimogener Point on the Bay off New Suffolk Avenue. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Kimogener Point on the Bay off New Suffolk Avenue. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

The only Long Islander running statewide on a major party ticket this year, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, a Democrat, was on the East End last week.

It was an unusual political happening since he was introduced by the top Republican officeholder in Suffolk County government, Joseph Sawicki, and because of the different constituencies involved in the event.  (more…)

07/20/14 8:00am
07/20/2014 8:00 AM
Heart attack survivor Joseph O'Byrne gives a special pin to Southold volunteer Renee Phelps, who performed CPR on Mr. O'Byrne and helped save his life in May. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Heart attack survivor Joseph O’Byrne gives a special pin to Southold volunteer Renee Phelps, who performed CPR on Mr. O’Byrne and helped save his life in May. (Credit: Paul Squire)

The Suffolk Times published a May 22 article involving me. It was titled “Southold EMTs, police save motorist who suffered heart attack.

I didn’t get the chance to read it then, because I was busy with other things.  (more…)

07/19/14 8:00am
07/19/2014 8:00 AM
Migrant farmworkers at a North Fork vineyard. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Migrant farmworkers at a North Fork vineyard. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

It was a sunny August afternoon last year when we at the paper got word of police activity — a possible drug bust — in Mattituck. It turned out a 2-year-old boy had fallen from a second story window, dropping through open Bilco doors and landing in a basement below. He was airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center and, miraculously, escaped any major injuries.

Who wouldn’t say Aug. 27, 2013, was a good day for our area?

Well, plenty of people, apparently.

You see, the boy’s name was Javier Cruz. (more…)

07/12/14 8:00am
07/12/2014 8:00 AM
Marco and Ann Marie Borghese purchased their Cutchogue vineyard in 1999. (Credit: Jane Starwood, file)

Marco and Ann Marie Borghese purchased their Cutchogue vineyard in 1999. (Credit: Jane Starwood, file)

The untimely and tragic deaths of Ann Marie and Marco Borghese have me thinking about the passage of time, particularly insofar as the North Fork’s grape-growing/wine industry is concerned. To the best of my knowledge, the Borgheses were the first second-generation owners/winemakers/industry boosters to pass from the scene, which is an indicator, after a fashion, of just how long this industry has been around hereabouts. Their recent deaths have also caused me to reflect on the list of others who passed before them, which, again, is a reflection that a lot of years have gone by since Louisa and Alex Hargrave planted their first grapes here in the early 1970s. But first, a word about the Borgheses.  (more…)