05/31/12 5:59am
05/31/2012 5:59 AM

We were pleased to learn this week that the Suffolk County Water Authority has backed away from its plan to build a wind turbine at Laurel Lake in Laurel.

The water authority announced plans earlier this year to build the turbine to help power its pumping station near the lake.

While we recognize the need for alternative and renewable energies, sometimes you have to scrap a plan because it just doesn’t make any sense. That’s what we’d say about constructing a 100-kilowatt wind turbine in the middle of a scenic nature preserve — it makes about as much sense as building a giant aqua blue nuclear power plant in between two beautiful town beaches on Long Island Sound.

Neighbors also rallied against the wind turbine proposal as a possible fire hazard that could harm the area’s wildlife.

What’s even more telling is the water authority’s explanation for why it backed off the plan. A spokesperson said it could take as many as 25 years for the agency to recoup its investment in the half-million-dollar turbine.

It’s nice to see a government authority recognize that sometimes long-term financial gains can be too costly in the short term.

The water authority’s decision seems like something we should all be satisfied with.

05/31/12 4:00am

ORIENT

Where were they?

I was very interested in your May 17 article on the vets running from Orient to ground zero. It was a great story.

I live in Orient so my daughter, her husband and myself waited for the Marine runners and cheered them on, but we were the only people out there.

We later followed behind in our car on the way to Greenport, but there was no one out to cheer them on there either. To make it worse, when they ran through Greenport no one knew what it was all about.

There was a Channel 12 crew there so I asked how come this wasn’t covered by their news. They never heard of it.

I love all the tall ships and fun and Orient’s lovely parade to the memorials, but I think Channel 12 should have covered it or at least mentioned it on the news. After all, Memorial Day is all about remembering those who gave their lives for us.

Thank you for your article because that’s the only way I knew about it.

Mary Zeballos

LAUREL

Just pick it up

For the life of me, I can understand why the town, instead of monitoring local waste management companies, doesn’t just contract the companies to  pick up our garbage.

It’s not justified to say that since some households have a little weekly trash and some have a lot, we should continue this silly yellow bag routine. Having your garbage picked up by the town is not a luxury, it’s an essential service that should be paid by all equally.

I have never had any children in any of the Southold schools, but I still pay my fair share for school taxes. I use Go-Green and am very satisfied with their service. The town should either hire them, along with the other local garbage companies, to pick up our garbage or let free enterprise flourish.

I’m willing to bet that if the town hired carters to pick up our garbage, the increase in local taxes would be less annually than I’m paying to Go-Green.

Please, just pick it up.

Vincent Falco

GARDEN CITY

Don’t look at us

In your otherwise interesting recent article regarding attorney Brud Rossmann, you incorrectly state that he is “registered” with the New York State Bar Association and imply that in some way the New York State Bar Association has been lax in not disciplining Mr. Rossmann.

It is a common misconception that the New York State Bar Association is responsible for the admission, registration and discipline of attorneys in New York. In fact, the bar association is a private voluntary association of attorneys and has no authority over attorney admission, registration or discipline. Those are all government functions.

Admission to practice law is controlled by the New York State Board of Bar Examiners and the four Appellate Divisions of the Supreme Court. Registration of attorneys is done through the New York State Office of Court Administration, and discipline of attorneys is done through the court system and the department disciplinary committees of the four Appellate Divisions of the Supreme Court.

A. Thomas Levin
past president, New York State Bar Association

SOUTHOLD

On-target editorial

Your May 25 editorial was on target. We members of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary applaud your editorial about attention to safe boating practices and the importance of boating safety courses.

A safety course specific to canoe and kayak sports will be offered by the Southold Flotilla on the evenings of June 19 and 21 at the Southold Town Recreation Center in Peconic. With the increased interest in the sport, there have also been increased accidents, injuries and deaths. This course is designed to address the safe use and enjoyment of these vessels. To register call 765-5182.

We also offer boating safety classes at the town rec center each winter for ages 10-18 and each spring for adults. Anyone interested in these classes, finding additional information or setting up a boating safety class for six or more may contact me at [email protected] or at 298-8130.

Barbara Christianson
flotilla commander, Southold Flotilla 18-08

SOUTHOLD

These are the facts

This letter is a response to one I read a few weeks ago.

The author lambasted President Obama from all sides, referring to him as a “demagogue” among other things. I am here to set the record straight and refute these outlandish and unsubstantiated claims about our president.

It must be said again that Mr. Obama is not a socialist. If we’re going to classify him as such because of the Affordable Care Act, than Mr. Romney is a socialist as well, seeing as he implemented an almost identical program as governor of Massachusetts.

In fact, the president has filed more trading suits with the WTO against China for unfair business subsidization than President Bush ever did.

Turning this country into a plantation society in which he would have ultimate control? That’s just preposterous. Were that the case, would he bail out both the banks and the auto industry? He would have just told the nearly 2.5 million people who would have lost their jobs to find work on a farm rather than keeping factories and banks open.

Mr. Obama hasn’t done anything to “assault” our Constitution. President Bush signed the Patriot Act, not Mr. Obama. Considering that letter, it’s clear we still have the right of free speech, no matter how stupid or outlandish that speech may be.

He’s held up surprisingly well on foreign policy and making the move to kill bin Laden took guts. Unannounced military action within an “allied” state is dangerous, yet he took the risk and it paid off.

He took the lead and with NATO stopped the air assault on the Libyan people by their own government. If anything, that’s very American and should make us all proud as we stand with the Libyan people in their fight for freedom against the tyranny of an oppressive, genocidal regime.

The president has not disgraced us internationally; in fact, he’s brought some ethos back to the American message of freedom.
Mr. Obama’s rejection of opening up American oil fields comes from hard science and good business practices.

Whether you want to agree with the science or not, oil is bad for the environment. Trying to promote American jobs through tax breaks and subsidies for green technology does nothing for his “pals in Saudi Arabia.”

God help our president.

God bless our president

Jake Brassil

05/31/12 2:00am

It could well have been a riff from the late, great Gilda Radner’s “Saturday Night Live” days and her classic character Roseanne Roseannadanna. Only this time it wasn’t Mr. Richard Feder from Fort Lee, N.J., who had written in, it was his possibly very-distant relative Ms. Jenny Feder of Greenport, N.Y. (“Ka-ching,” May 24.)

And I quote: “I am dismayed by the Suffolk Times’ willingness to repeatedly publish lunatic rantings on its letters page.

“It must sell papers for them. (Why publish otherwise?)

“On the upside, these embarrassing spewfests are also magic fundraising tools.

“Every time J.C. of East Marion writes another letter, ka-ching, money for the Democrats …”

Busted, again. Why, of course, that’s obviously why The Suffolk Times regularly publishes the pointed offerings of East Marion’s man of letters, John Copertino — to sell newspapers and to not-so-secretly attempt to help its favorite political party.

Not.

Let me say that I have the utmost respect for the artistic talents of Ms. Feder, whose marvelous, whimsical constructions of miniature houses are on display in our home and the homes of both of our daughters. But I do have a substantive problem with her conclusions in this instance.

For the record, we publish J.C.’s letters because one of our primary responsibilities as a news organization is to provide a public forum for the dissemination of opinions, no matter how objectionable others may find them. And then, of course, there is something known as the First Amendment to the Constitution, which protects the right of Americans to freely express their opinions. And traditionally, newspapers have been a forum for the public expression of those opinions.

Having said that, however, I think it probably is time to revisit our policy on the allowable length of letters to the editor and the frequency with which individual letter writers can expect to have their letters published. There is a danger, and obviously Ms. Feder agrees, that certain letter writers, including the aforementioned J.C., have tended to dominate our letters pages in recent times. And the fault is entirely ours, not theirs, because we set and enforce the policy.

There have been times over the years when our policy has been quite different from what it currently is. For instance, there was a time when letters commenting on national or international issues weren’t published. We intended the letters pages, like all other content in the paper, to be strictly local. But over time, that policy seemed unreasonably restrictive, and we changed it to the point that in some weeks now the letters page could be mistaken for the International Herald Tribune’s.

We also have imposed limits on the length of letters. And although no such limits are cited in the letters policy published periodically — but not consistently — on the letters page, the Times/Review website states the following policy:

“All letters addressed and written exclusively to the editors of The Suffolk Times, the Riverhead News-Review & the Shelter Island Reporter will be published, space permitting, except assertions judged to be libelous; letters about private, personal disputes, unless they are judged to be of significant community interest; and thank-you letters, which may be held to allow opinion letters to appear.

“Third-party letters, such as copies of letters sent to town officials or other parties, will not be published unless they are revised as letters to the editor. Letters should be brief and to the point and must not exceed a maximum of 350 words. Letters are subject to editing for length and clarity. All letters must bear the name of the writer. Use of a pseudonym is not permitted. A mailing address and phone number are required for verification, but will not be published.

“Submission by email with an attached text file is preferred. Letters may also be hand-delivered to our office at 7785 Main Road, Mattituck, N.Y.

“There is no deadline for letters; they will be published in the next available edition as space allows.”

A 350-word limit, huh? Tell that to the gent whose 456-word letter on the 2012 presidential race was published in last week’s Suffolk Times.

Accordingly, and in no small part due to Jenny Feder’s prompting, our letters to the editor policy will be reviewed, revised and hopefully applied consistently, so help me James Madison.

05/30/12 7:00pm
05/30/2012 7:00 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Southold shortstop Rob Mahony throwing to first base while Pierson/Bridgehampton's Sean Hartnett tried to break up the play.

Twice delayed by weather-related postponements, the Suffolk County Class C baseball finals were worth waiting for. It was an entertaining series, with both Southold and Pierson/Bridgehampton running neck and neck through the first two games. As the one-run margins in those first two games attest, the teams were razor close.

Until Tuesday.

From the neutral point of view, Game 3 was easily the least intriguing of the three games, but it was the decisive one. Pierson/Bridgehampton kept its unbeaten home record intact, cranking out 11 hits (four more than it had in the first two games combined) for a 7-1 victory that brought the Whalers the county championship in front of their fans at Mashashimuet Park in Sag Harbor.

“It was a good day for us,” said Pierson/Bridgehampton coach Jon Tortorella.

Although it managed five of them on this wind-blown afternoon, hits weren’t easy to come by against Colman Vila, the junior left-hander who can now lay claim to the unofficial title as the best pitcher in League IX. Vila ran his record to 9-0 with complete-game wins in the first and third games of the series. In those 14 innings, he registered 13 strikeouts against seven hits and five walks, allowing only one run. Although an official series most valuable player award wasn’t presented, he would have been the most deserving recipient of such an honor.

“Vila is a great pitcher, and he definitely shut us down this whole series,” said Southold’s senior pitcher, Kyle Clausen.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | One of Southold's seniors, Luke Hokanson, watched as his high school playing career came to an end.

Of course, other players came through for the Whalers in the series, players like Forrest Loesch (5 for 10, two runs, one run batted in) and Aaron Schiavoni (3 for 8, one run, two RBI, three walks).

The Whalers evidently weren’t thrilled with how they played last Thursday in their 5-4 loss in Game 2. That heightened their intensity for Game 3 and sharpened their focus. “We had a lot of hitting practice,” said Loesch.

And it showed.

The pitching rematch between Vila and Clausen, who may be regarded as the second-best pitcher in the league, wasn’t exactly the same as in Game 1 last Wednesday when both pitchers threw two-hitters in a 1-0 Pierson/Bridgehampton win. This time, Tortorella said, the Whalers took a smarter approach in the batter’s box. They made Clausen work.

“Clausen is a great pitcher, and I think the other day against him we really just tried to do too much,” Tortorella said. “We talked about keeping things simple and just putting good swings on the baseball. They didn’t let good pitches go. They weren’t intimidated. If they saw something they liked, they swung the bat. As you could tell, there were some great at-bats.”

The lion’s share of the pressure in this game — and in this series — must have been on the Whalers. With eight seniors, they are a little more seasoned than Southold. With their sparkling 20-3 record, much has been expected of them.

And what is Southold to make of its season?

Well, it wasn’t a bad one, especially after an 0-4 start. The First Settlers won 13 of their final 16 regular-season games to not only get into the playoffs, but knock rival Port Jefferson out of contention in the process. They finished with a 14-9 record.

Southold relied heavily on three of its seniors — Clausen, Will Fujita and Luke Hokanson. Southold coach Mike Carver calls them the “MV-Trio.”

This series showed Southold’s potential as well as its shortcomings, which the team needs to shore up if it hopes to grab the county crown next year. Southold’s fielding was shaky at times and its hitting was sporadic. Perhaps that can be attributed to youth. The First Settlers were clearly hurt by a lack of depth. It’s amazing what a difference even one player can make.

But Game 3 left no doubt which team was most deserving to represent Suffolk in the Long Island final against East Rockaway on Monday. Still, that doesn’t ease the pain the First Settlers must have felt over their season coming to an end.

“It’s kind of sad to see that for some guys, this will be their last organized baseball game ever,” said Clausen, who will not be one of them. He will go on to play for the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

For a team that started the season with a number of question marks, though, Southold cannot feel too badly about what it did. Carver said his young players learned a lot.

“I’m proud of them,” he said before meeting with his seniors after the game. “It was a good season. I think we accomplished a lot of good things this year and I think they played over their heads. They pushed themselves. We got whatever we could out of each other.”

[email protected]

05/30/12 5:00pm

SCNB COURTESY PHOTO | Raymond Mazgulski in an undated photograph.

Longtime Suffolk County National Bank president Raymond Mazgulski of Mattituck died Tuesday, May 29. He was 88.

Mr. Mazgulski worked at the bank since 1947 and served as its president and CEO from 1975 to 1987.

“Uncle Ray. That’s what everyone called him,” said Jim Stark of Riverhead, whose family has been involved in the bank. “Ray was banker of bankers. He knew the industry, he knew about financing and he knew the community. He wasn’t the type of bank president who would hide away in the closet. He was always out in the community, attending affairs and meeting people, and his office door was always open and he would say good morning to everybody.”

Mr. Mazgulski started out at the bank as a consumer loan clerk and worked his way up the ladder, eventually becoming bank president, according to the Riverhead-based bank’s executive vice president, Frank Filipo.

“Having joined the SCNB team in 1994, I personally got to know Ray in the latter part of his banking career,” Mr. Filipo said. “He was a true community banker in every sense of the word. He knew everyone in the company, and just about every customer who did business with us.

“Ray was a huge influence on SCNB as it grew to prominence in Long Island’s banking community,” he continued. “We still have many employees who were here at SCNB during Ray’s tenure, and he will be missed by all.”

Mr. Mazgulski served as chairman of the board from 1980 to 1996, and he was bank president and CEO from 1975 to 1987. He was on the bank’s board of directors from 1965 to 2000, Mr. Filipo said.

Mr. Mazgulski was instrumental in the bank’s move from its old headquarters on Main Street, in the building where WRIV 1390 AM studios are now located, to Second Street, Mr. Stark said.

“Ray may have retired years ago, but he never stopped working for the bank,” said John Galla, who has worked with the bank for many years. He likened him to George Bailey, the kind-hearted banker played by Jimmy Stewart in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

“He was a fine gentleman and this is a great loss,” Mr. Stark said.

A wake for Mr. Mazgulski is scheduled for Friday, June 1, from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Mattituck.

The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, June 2, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Good Counsel R.C. Church in Mattituck. Interment will follow at Sacred Heart R.C. Cemetery in Cutchogue.

[email protected]

05/30/12 2:04pm

FELIX CRUZ GARCIA

A 39-year-old Level 3 sex offender was arrested in Greenport this week for charges that he had failed to verify his latest address with the proper authorities, Southold Town Police said.

Felix Cruz Garcia, 39, —  who was wanted by county police and whose address is currently listed as the county social services trailer in Riverside — was observed walking on Third Street in Greenport on Monday night, town police said.

Southold police arrested him and transported to him Southold police headquarters, where he was processed and turned over to the Suffolk County Police Fugitive Squad. Local police said he was homeless at the time of his arrest.

Mr. Cruz Garcia was charged and convicted for rape in the third degree after he reportedly raped a 15-year-old girl in November 2002, according to the state’s sex offender registry. He has several aliases on the state’s sex offender registry list.

Level 3 convicted sex offenders are deemed by the state as the most likely to re-offend.

The social services trailers in Riverside and Westhampton are used to house the county’s homeless sex offender population.

05/30/12 11:48am

THURSDAY, MAY 31
5 p.m. Greenport Planning Board work session, Third Street firehouse.

MONDAY, JUNE 4
4 p.m. Southold Planning Board work session; 6 p.m. regular meeting, Town Hall.
5 p.m. Greenport Historic Preservation Commission, Third Street firehouse.

TUESDAY, JUNE 5
9 a.m. Southold Town Board work session; 7:30 p.m. regular meeting, Town Hall.
6 p.m. Mattituck Park District work session, Veterans Memorial Park.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6
7 p.m. Southold Agricultural Advisory Committee, Town Hall.

THURSDAY, JUNE 7
9 a.m. Southold Zoning Board of Appeals, Town Hall.

05/30/12 11:00am

A Connecticut man with a prior DWI conviction was arrested for driving drunk on Route 25 in Laurel early Wednesday morning, Southold Town Police said.

Henry Garcia, 22, of Danbury, Conn. was driving with a suspended license at the time he was stopped for a traffic violation shortly after midnight, police said.

He was arrested, transported to police headquarters and held for a morning arraignment, police said.

05/30/12 9:09am

Raymond A. Mazgulski of Mattituck died May 29 at the age of 88.

Mr. Mazgulski joined Suffolk County National Bank in 1947 and served as its president and CEO from 1975 to 1987.

The family will receive friends Friday, June 1, from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Mattituck. The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, June 2, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Good Counsel R.C. Church in Mattituck. Interment will follow at Sacred Heart R.C. Cemetery in Cutchogue.

05/30/12 9:00am

A Riverhead man is facing assault charges after allegedly pulling a man through a car window and biting him on the face during a road rage incident last week, police said.

Dean Morreale, 39, was arrested and charged with third-degree assault after the 2 p.m. incident last Wednesday on Route 58, according to a police report.

Cops said Mr. Morreale, who was driving a Volkswagen Passat at the time, began tailgating two people who were in a Mercury Marquis on Roanoke Avenue. He followed the pair into a CVS Pharmacy parking lot, where he cut them off, according to a police report. Mr. Morreale then allegedly pulled the passenger out of the car through a window and bit him on the right side of his face near the ear, causing him to bleed, a witness to the incident told police.

The driver and the passenger fought with Mr. Morreale, who also kicked a dent in the driver’s side door of the victims’ vehicle before fleeing the scene, police said.

The injured passenger was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment.

Police identified Mr. Morreale as the suspect after he called cops from his residence and said he was involved in an incident on Old Country Road. Police met Mr. Morreale at his home, where he allegedly told police he “assaulted that kid” and “pummelled him.”

He also said that he was the aggressor in the incident and was not provoked to fight, according to the report.

Mr. Morreale told police he thought he saw one of the alleged victims throw garbage out of the car window while on the road, which enraged him.

He was arrested, processed and arraigned at Town Justice Court, police said. He was released without bail.