06/29/11 9:00pm
06/29/2011 9:00 PM

We know gay people. They are not strangers to us. They are part of life on the North Fork — but even making such as comment is ridiculous. People are people. They’re all over the place.

The idea that the state should deny any of our friends, neighbors, co-workers or relatives the legal protections of marriage is as abhorrent as any form of prejudice against anybody. We are all created equal. We all deserve equal rights. A government that singles out any group for discrimination is a dangerous government.

Demagogues, as well as reasonable politicians and good citizens, have opposed gay marriage on moral and religious grounds. Homosexuality is a sin, or at least unnatural, they say, and the law should not legitimize it. Nature created homosexuality, not some demon working down in hell. It is part of life.

For some, it may have been less about morality than politics and keeping the support of social conservatives. How ironic it is that the people who claim to believe so vehemently in freedom and private rights are the first to shout who should be allowed to do what in their private lives.

The federal and state constitutions forbid legislation that restricts religious freedom; it follows that neither level of government should legislate on the basis of religious, rather than legal, principles.

Senator Mark J. Grisanti, a Republican from Buffalo, promised in his campaign to oppose same-sex marriage. But according to The New York Times, he told his colleagues on the evening of Friday’s dramatic New York Senate vote that he had been wrong.

“I apologize for those who feel offended,” Mr. Grisanti said, clearly addressing constituents who had agreed with his original position on same-sex marriage, but “I cannot deny a person, a human being, a taxpayer, a worker, the people of my district and across this state, the State of New York, and those people who make this the great state that it is the same rights that I have with my wife,” he said.

What a courageous and decent man.

Each of Long Island’s nine Senators voted in opposition to the bill. Of the North Fork’s representatives in Albany, Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) and Assemblyman Dan Losquadro (R-Shoreham) both voted against the bill, which passed the Assembly last week and which Gov. Mario Cuomo signed into law soon after the Senate’s approval Friday.

“How does it feel?” Gov. Cuomo asked one upstate Republican who also had changed his mind and voted for the bill. “Feels good, doesn’t it?”

How do our legislators feel? Neither of the men who represent the North Fork and Shelter Island in Albany issued a public statement after their votes, as historic and important as they were.

06/29/11 3:32pm

Irma Judith Utter

Irma Judith Utter of Mattituck died suddenly on June 24 from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident on County Road 48 in Mattituck.

Funeral arrangements are in the care of DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Mattituck.

A complete obituary will appear in a future edition of The Suffolk Times.

06/29/11 3:31pm

Former Orient resident Estelle Edwards Adams of Solomons, Md., died June 17 at Asbury Solomons retirement facility. She was 97.

She was born in Amagansett on Aug. 27, 1913, to Elizabeth (Green) and John Dudley Edwards. She graduated from East Hampton High School in 1929 and from the State University of New York at Cortland in 1932.

She married Edward Burgess Adams of Orient on Nov. 25, 1937, and they lived in Orient for 66 years. Before leaving to raise her family, she taught third grade at the Orient elementary school. She later returned to teach as a substitute in both Orient and Greenport schools.

Family members said she was an enthusiastic volunteer at Orient Methodist Church, Home Extension and other organizations, and enjoyed helping friends develop reading skills, prepare taxes or write their wills.

Predeceased by her husband in 2005 and her son Robert in 2003, Ms. Adams is survived by her sons, Don, of Ignacio, Colo., and Lawrence, of Prescott Valley, Ariz.; four grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.
Donations may be made to Orient Methodist Church or the Orient Fire Department Ambulance Fund.

06/29/11 12:56pm

TIMES REVIEW FILE PHOTO | Bucks feed at a 4-Poster feeding station like those tested over the last five years on Shelter Island.

A newly published final report on the five-year 4-Poster tick management study conducted on Shelter Island finds that tick populations significantly declined, for the most part, in areas where the deer-feeding devices were set up compared with the North Haven control site, where no 4-Posters were used.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced Monday that the exhaustive, complex and highly detailed scientific report on the study, which began in 2007, has been completed and is now available online.

4-Posters are plastic feeding stations affixed with four rollers on vertical posts that apply a solution of the common pesticide permethrin to the heads and necks of deer as they feed on corn. Ticks concentrate heavily in those areas of the deer, which are the primary hosts for the black-legged or deer tick, the dog tick and the Lone Star tick, which carry diseases includes Lyme, babesiosis and erlichiosis.

New York State has never approved permethrin for such a use, and it forbids deer baiting because it could spread chronic wasting disease. For those reasons, the DEC initially opposed any 4-Poster experiment. For the study to happen at all, it took a letter from Shelter Island resident and former Governor Hugh Carey to then-Governor George Pataki asking him to tell the DEC to relent as a matter of public health. The DEC soon began talks with citizen groups and public officials to develop a comprehensive plan for conducting and funding the study.

The study was conducted by Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension in association with many other entities, public and private, including the Town of Shelter Island. The comprehensive final report was prepared by Cornell University and its Cooperative Extension service.

The program received $1.6 million in funding from sources including the state, county and town as well as private interests. It used 60 4-Posters in key sites on Shelter Island, which is continuing a limited 4-Poster program on its own using 15 feeding stations.

The study’s data, said project director Vincent Palmer of the DEC, “will enable DEC and DOH [the state Department of Health] to make fully-informed decisions with regard to the role this technology may play in reducing tick populations and the human incidence of tick-borne diseases.”

Some of the report’s findings have been previously announced locally and do not come as a surprise on Shelter Island, where the program was once a hot topic. Intense controversy over the experiment died down gradually after the study had been underway for a year or two.

A group of residents there in 2005 and 2006 lobbied town, county and state officials for the chance to try 4-Posters as a way to cut the local tick population and reduce the incidence of tick-borne disease. The device had been developed by scientists working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the early 1990s to reduce tick infections on grazing cattle in the Southwest.

Locally, hunters and some environmentalists feared the permethrin would contaminate the environment as well as the Island’s deer herd, threatening hunters who handled or ate them. Supporters argued that broadcast yard applications of permithrin solutions by commercial tick-spraying companies had already introduced the chemical into the environment.

The study did find permethrin on some deer hides and in neck muscles in both the treatment and control areas. No traces were found in any deer haunches, which were also tested for residues. The study cautions that the use of 4-Posters could be problematic in areas with chronic wasting disease, which biologists believe may be spread by deer coming in close contact, as they could do at a feeding station.

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06/29/11 12:29pm

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Assemblyman Dan Losquadro at his desk in Calverton. He will soon move his local office to downtown Riverhead.

As Assemblyman Dan Losquadro winds down from his first session in Albany, he told Times/Review Newsgroup he plans to turn his focus to local issues this summer, while still preparing to pick-up where he left off next year by pushing for school district relief from state mandates.

Mr. Losquadro (R-Shoreham) said in an interview that he had a “very productive” first session, because he believed Governor Andrew Cuomo “pushed the same agenda” as the freshman assemblyman and other representatives did in passing a balanced budget on-time and to control spending.

The final vote Mr. Losquadro cast after midnight Friday was in favor of a 2 percent property tax cap bill, which the governor proposed and passed in both houses. Included was about $125 million in mandate relief, a measure Mr. Losquadro described as “a good start.”

“I thought the governor gave in far too easily on the mandate relief issue,” Mr. Losquadro said. He believes key driving costs in school districts and local governments — Medicaid and pensions — will be more thoroughly addressed next year.

While Mr. Losquadro’s first session was consumed by hot-button issues such as tackling a $10 billion budget deficit and same-sex marriage legislation — which he said he voted in opposition because of his Catholic beliefs — Mr. Losquadro said he was pleased with his bills addressing local issues passed during his freshman year.

Some of those pieces of legislation include repealing the state’s saltwater fishing licence fee and restoring promotional funding to wineries.

“Tourism is such an important part of our economy,” he said. “Quality of life and the character of our communities is very important to keep.”

Mr. Losquadro, who defeated incumbent Democrat Marc Alessi in November, said that while he plans to meet with residents this summer to address their concerns and create a plan-of-action for next year, he believes some of his constituents won’t be in his district for long.

Redistricting occurs every decade following the completion of the U.S. Census. The 2010 census data shows Mr. Losquadro represents a population of nearly 149,000 residents, making his Assembly district the largest in the state.

“How that’s going to go is anyone’s guess, but it’s going to happen,” Mr. Losquadro said of redistricting process.

Another change for Mr. Losquadro will be his office, which he plans to move next week from Calverton to downtown Riverhead.

“It’s smaller, has greater access and it used to be Patty Acampora’s office,” he said, referring to the 400 West Main Street office of the former assemblywoman. Mr. Losquadro said he’ll move by Aug. 1.

While Mr. Losquadro said he’ll miss his long drives to Albany, during which he listened to Pulse on satellite radio, he’s looking forward to spending the summer with his 17-month-old son.

“That aspect of it is difficult, but the fact is everyone up there is in the same boat,” he said. “Everyone is stuck away from home. Everyone is stuck away families. So there’s a great camaraderie [and] a great friendship that you build with people.”

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06/29/11 11:51am

Daysman ‘Daisy’ Morris said he had a complaint about my column: I complain about the weather too much. So just for him, I’m not going to mention a word about the weather this week. However, Mr. Morris, I make no guarantees for next week!

There are some special moments that occur that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Such is the case with some of our Greenport Rotarians. Craig Richter was named Rotarian of the Year and fellow Rotarians Robert Van Cleef and Patrick Walden were given the prestigious honor of becoming Paul Harris Fellows.

Beth Richter, who just graduated from Greenport High School, thought she was at the induction of Rotary officers solely to sing the national anthem, But she got the surprise of her life: Beth was also named a Paul Harris Fellow — only the second student in Greenport Rotary history to receive this distinction. The first was exchange student Sabrina Buset, who spent the 1999-2000 school year in Greenport. Congratulations to you all!

Congratulations also to Brenden Kudlinski — son of Michael and Robin, grandson of former North Forkers Ted and Terry Kudlinski of Stuart, Fla., and great-grandson of Edie Kudlinski of Greenport. He traveled to Cooperstown, N.Y., to participate in the baseball playoffs for 13-year-olds with the Jupiter Diamondbacks, one of 106 competing teams from all over the nation. The Diamondbacks landed in the top 16 and Brenden placed fourth in a throwing contest as well. Next year, his brother Timothy hopes to follow in Brenden’s footsteps.

La Leche League of Greenport will hold a yard sale Saturday, July 9, from 8 a.m. to noon at 421 Second St.

Also on July 9, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church will hold a chinese auction in the parish hall. Doors open at 11 a.m.  Admission is $5 per person, which includes six tickets. The drawings will be held at 1:30 p.m.

Attention Tiger Woods wannabes: It’s time to show the world how talented you are. The Porters Gridiron Parents will host their seventh annual Gridiron Golf Classic on Tuesday, Aug. 2, at Island’s End. The cost is $175 per person, which includes a barbecue lunch, driving range, greens fees, golf cart, beverage cart, open bar, full buffet dinner and awards and prizes. The field is limited to 75 golfers and you must register by July 21 by contacting Barbara at 477-6114 or [email protected]

Adding another candle to their birthday cakes this week are Christian Davis on June 30; Kevin Urban, Liane Schoenstein, Brittany Bond and Jenna Loper on July 2; John Charters III and Russ Gagen on the 3rd; Karen Williamson, Joe Walters, Anthony Breese and Kimberly Gaud on the 4th; Chris Macomber, C.B. Brooks and Bill Claudio on the 5th; and Suzanne Hulse, Melanie Doroski and Macey Klipp on the 6th.

The happiest of anniversaries is wished for Pat and Jerry Urban, who celebrate 42 years of marriage on July 5.

The 4th of July holiday is right around the corner and with it comes an early deadline for all columnists. So please call me by June 30 with any information for next week, as I’ll be submitting my column that evening.

06/29/11 11:04am

Having lost 10 of their last 12 Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League games, the Southampton Breakers were in need of a pick-me-up, and that’s just what starting pitchers Jared Wagner and John Molloy provided on Tuesday.

Those two, along with game two closer James McMahon, combined to give up just one run in the twinbill with North Fork, and the Breakers’ offense showed signs of coming out of its funk in Southampton’s 6-1 and 1-0 victories.

The Breakers improved to 7-10 with the wins. They are a half game out of fourth place and two games out of second. North Fork still maintains the Hampton Division lead, holding an 11-7 record.

Wagner started things off with a complete-game four-hitter in game one. He struck out six and only a two-out rally, capped by Ryan Brockett’s run-scoring single, prevented Wagner from recording the summer’s first complete-game shutout.

Wagner had more breathing room to work with thanks to the Breakers’ four-run sixth. Steve Schrenk singled in two runs, and Robb Scott and Tito Marrero followed with run-scoring singles as well. That added to Southampton’s 2-0 edge, established in the fourth when Scott and Stuart Turner drove in runs.

Altogether, the Breakers had 10 hits, led by two from Turner, Marrero and Steve Harrington. Brockett had two of the Ospreys’ four hits in the game.

In game two, Southampton got on the scoreboard early when Schrenk doubled over the left fielder’s head and raced home on a single by Brant Whiting. That run ended up standing up for the Breakers, although North Fork nearly tied and went ahead in the seventh.

Molloy took a no-hitter into the fifth inning; it ended on a single by Chris Hueth. However, Hueth was caught stealing, and the shutout remained through six innings after a 4-6-3, inning-ending double play.

Southampton ran into more trouble in the seventh when Molloy allowed a leadoff single to Ryan Williams. After McMahon came on in relief, Matt Carroll singled to put runners at the corners with nobody out. However, Carroll was caught stealing, and McMahon induced a popout by Hueth and got Cody Perkins to strike out to end the game.

06/29/11 6:25am

When Renato Stafford of Peconic first opted to abandon supermarket shopping in favor of fishing and growing his own fruits and vegetables, it was all about his love of nature and his belief that he and his family could sustain themselves on a healthy and inexpensive diet.

Today, the 44-year-old thinks his chosen lifestyle might be the answer to surviving in a hardscrabble economy where many are unemployed or underemployed and struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

It’s what’s giving rise to his fledgling business, Home Grown, which specializes in building hoop houses and teaching people to grow their own food — not just during warm seasons, but all year long.

“My desire originally was to provide for my family, but now I want to help my neighbors to be strong,” he said. “People are always complaining about rising taxes on their property. Why not have your land pay you back?”

For many years, Mr. Stafford has earned a living managing estates and working with a friend installing flooring.

He calls it “hard, nasty work” but says it gave him the money necessary to provide for his family, which includes his wife, April, and children Ashley, 14; Sebastian, 5; Olivia, 4; and Sophia, 4 months.

Every spare moment, however, he was back on his land planting and developing systems that cut costs and minimized the work required to tend to his garden.

The Queens native calls planting his passion, and he credits his great-uncle Sebastian with sparking in him the initial inspiration.

When he was just 3 or 4 years old, his family would visit his uncle in New Jersey on weekends and it was there that Mr. Stafford discovered his passion for gardening.

“Right away I felt this connection to the earth,” he said. “My uncle could make anything grow. Back then, they didn’t use the word organic, but that’s what he did.”

The same feelings carry over to his fishing. When a friend asks why he seems to catch so many more fish than others, he says he really can’t explain it. He reels in so many fish, he often gives a lot away to friends and neighbors.

He also freezes some using a special method he said ensures that the fish still tastes fresh months after it was caught.

Yes, Mr. Stafford does buy some foods, visiting local farms for eggs, fresh milk and the occasional organic chicken, but he says he doesn’t rely on the supermarket to feed his family.

He hopes that others will see the benefits of this type of lifestyle as the economy forces more and more families to make decisions about how and where they get their food.

“I don’t want to sound like a pessimist, but things are changing dramatically,” he said. “I believe this is going to become a necessity.”

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06/29/11 6:06am

PHOTO COURTESY OF SCHS

“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.” So begins F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Rich Boy.”

And in turn-of-the century Suffolk County, one of the ways in which that difference was apparent was the ability of New York’s very rich to create a singular fantasy of rural life in the form of hunt clubs dedicated to the pursuit of waterfowl. Mostly privately owned and operated, these playgrounds were accessible only to the wealthy and well-connected.

Local residents could therefore only imagine the luxurious leisure activities that took place both inside the private clubhouses and outside, among hundreds of surrounding acres — unless of course those locals were hired as staff, guides or gamekeepers. Until relatively recently, that is. Much of that once private acreage is now open to the public in the form of state or county parks, where, for the most part, their rich histories go undetected by today’s visitors.

Richard Martin, Suffolk County Historic Services director, explains that the county had a strong interest in acquiring such land because of surrounding waterways.

“It has always been a priority to preserve the headwaters,” he said.

In Flanders, Hubbard County Park is home to two former hunt clubs — Black Duck Lodge and the Flanders Club, both of which were acquired in 1971.

Mr. Martin describes Black Duck Lodge as colonial revival in style.

“Financier E.F. Hutton extended the original building in the 1920s and it functioned for many years as a private hunt club strictly for friends of Mr. Hutton,” said Mr. Martin.

The Flanders Club was built in the first decade of the 20th century and is traditional Long Island farmhouse in style, complete with front porch.

“We are currently restoring it,” said Mr. Martin. “This was more of a secondary building near to the water. The interiors are very nice, especially the public spaces. There’s an elaborate brick fireplace in what you might call a great room used for socializing and meetings.”

The county has acquired three lodges over the years, including Suffolk Lodge in Southaven County Park, purchased in 1967.
But the hunt club is not defunct, by any means, says Dick Richardson, past president of the Pattersquash Gun Club in Bellport, an organization that has operated since 1922.

Originally organized by a group of Bellport men, the club currently has 60 members and is open to Brookhaven Town residents. In Mr. Richardson’s opinion, the truly exclusive clubs went out of business because they were individually owned, whereas the Pattersquash club is owned by Brookhaven “and we’ve been leasing the shooting rights since 1922.”

Mr. Richardson thinks, too, that development has had a significant impact on hunting in general, leading to a gradual decline in the numbers interested in the sport and consequently the demise of many of the private clubs.

Craig Kessler was conservation manager with the Flanders-based nonprofit Ducks Unlimited, which advocates for the protection of waterfowl and wetlands, until his retirement last year. Mr. Kessler is an avid hunter himself, and his work involved wetlands and waterfowl conservation.

What he’s observed over the years, he said, is the paradox involved in development versus hunting on Long Island. While he concedes that development has played a part in the decline of hunting, he believes it is in fact the hunters who may have averted even more congestion on the island by opting to sell their properties to the state or county.

“The Long Island community should feel quite indebted to hunters instead of persecuting them,” he said. “All of those properties — and I’m talking about across Suffolk and Nassau counties — are state or county parks. There’s probably around 20,000 acres that could have been sold to developers but these sportsmen wanted to perpetuate that open space. Think what would have happened if a Levitt or a Trump had gotten hold of it. It’s a great legacy.”

‘Private Places/Public Spaces’
Suffolk County’s Elite Hunt Clubs
and Regional Decoys

Can’t get enough hunt club history? Stop by Suffolk County Historical Society at 300 West Main Street in Riverhead, where the organization is running an exhibit on Suffolk County’s elite hunt clubs in the form of photographs, hunting club artifacts and — of course — Long Island duck decoys. Together with the exhibition, the museum’s entry display cases will feature Dick Richardson’s installation on the Pattersquash Gun Club. The museum is also sponsoring a weekly series of lectures on Thursday nights during July and August that will cover hunt club histories and environmental issues, and a silent auction of contemporary and period decoys on Aug. 18.

Call 727-2881 or visit suffolkcountyhistoricalsociety.org.