12/08/13 10:04am
12/08/2013 10:04 AM

Schmitts HorseradishTo the Editor:

Last Tuesday I was pouring over the half ton of catalogues that I get this time of year deciding what I could send my nieces and nephews in the midwest.

I was shocked at the prices of gifts in these catalogues for chocolate, popcorn, candy and on and on.

I really hated to just order a gift basket that was mostly wrapping and little inside, so Wednesday I decided I would try to find something local.  (For the past eight years living in Georgia, I would go to a pecan farm and get bulk pecans grown right there).  Y’all don’t grow pecans here, so I went down to my local farmstand and all of the things I needed were there.

They have several kinds of horseradish that are local and yummy along with local jams and honey.  I spent less than half of what I was going to spend in catalogues and it is a local product.

On Thursday I picked up the paper and read about buying local and chuckled to myself.  I began to think of things that would be wonderful gifts that are a part of our community and would continue to give:  a painting or photograph from a local artist, music lessons, dance lessons, a massage, physical training session, a monetary gift to a charity.

Even a hand-written letter (does anyone do them anymore?) would please many people. I have only skimmed the surface with these gifts and haven’t even mentioned the wines that are becoming world class.

Just think outside the box (store).

George Moravek, Riverhead

Editor’s Note: We want to hear where you shopped local this year, what you bought and why you shop there. Please leave a comment below.

09/09/13 10:11am
09/09/2013 10:11 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO

To the Editor:

Last week, when we brought home our weekly Suffolk Times, my wife and I retired to our deck in the early evening, cocktails in hand, to tackle Louisa Hargrave’s quiz column “Test your wine knowledge.”

We thought this would be good, clean, end-of-summer fun, dusted with a patina of enlightenment. Although my wife and I have sampled local wines for more than a decade (and my wife has worked, off and on, in the wine industry), we could no more succeed at Ms. Hargrave’s quiz than we could put together a nuclear cyclotron using only an Ikea instruction manual as a guide. In fact, we only got one of the 20 questions right — and that was by guessing.

It would seem to me that a “quiz” should be fun, accessible, and inviting as a way to enjoy the subject matter; in this case, wine. Ms. Hargrave’s questions were pitched somewhere near a fi nal exam for an M.S. degree in oenology and viticulture at one of our fi ner institutions, like Cornell University. I also question whether anyone looked at her exam — sorry, quiz — from an editorial capacity and might have gently suggested that it be ratcheted down a notch or two to something approaching the mortal plain.

I am a professor at NYU, specializing in drama and musical theater (indeed, I have a weekly radio program about theater music on WPPB, 88.3FM), but I wouldn’t dream of giving my students — or listeners — such an abstruse and recondite series of questions on Broadway show tunes. But, inspired by the wine quiz — for those of you who missed it — here are three bibulous questions from the world of musical theater, pitched at Ms. Hargrave’s level of inquisition:

1. This beloved 1956 musical is set in a vineyard in the Napa Valley: how many LP disks comprised the original cast recording?

2. The 1933 musical “Champagne Sec” was based on “Die Fledermaus”: who played the female lead?

3. “Come taste the wine/Come hear the band,” goes a lyric from the title number of this 1966 musical. What color was the leading lady’s hair during the out-of-town tryout, and what was it when the show opened? (Alas, Peg Murray is not allowed to compete for Question 3 — extra points if you know why!)

Good luck!

Laurence Maslon, Southold

09/02/13 10:00am
09/02/2013 10:00 AM
LYNCH FAMILY COURTESY PHOTO | Civil rights activist Bill Lynch of Mattituck.

LYNCH FAMILY COURTESY PHOTO | Civil rights activist Bill Lynch of Mattituck.

To the Editor:

Having read about the death of Bill Lynch this week, I was reminded of my frequent encounters with Bill while his mother, Lily, was still alive. He and I met a number of years ago, when it was time to update the heating system in their home in Mattituck. Then we would talk from time to time when he would call me for service. Of course, as is my habit when meeting clients at their homes, I try to get to know them on a personal level. I was fascinated to learn from him of his work in the world of politics. And, being something of a political wonk myself, appreciated to hear that someone from such a small-town upbringing could end up being the deputy mayor in one of the largest cities in the world, and become so respected in the geopolitical world.

His experience was varied and extensive but his matter-of-fact way of relating his stories was truly refreshing. He was quick to smile and always left me feeling more like a friend than a business acquaintance.

While we were members of different political parties, Bill always emphasized the need to look past our differences, yes, both racially and politically, to find a common ground for which we could do better to serve our community.

He being 25 years my elder, and certainly a whole lot more politically experienced, I took his advice to heart. And I think approaching public service in this way, Bill’s way, has served me well. I feel honored to have known Bill Lynch and am saddened by his death.

Bob Ghosio Jr., Mattituck

Mr. Ghosio is a Southold Town Trustee and Republican candidate for Town Board.

08/12/13 12:00pm
08/12/2013 12:00 PM

To the Editor:

After all the articles and protests, one in a torrential downpour in Greenport, against the use of animals in circuses, we get a front page photo of an elephant being hosed down by a benevolent fireman in the Aug. 1 issue of The Suffolk Times.

I’m certain that if the sponsors of the circus told their children and grandchildren how the elephants came to be in the circus, they’d have nightmares. These animals have been stolen from their mothers at a very young age; been orphaned because their mothers were shot and killed and their heads hacked off for the ivory in the tusks; and been mistreated in the course of their training to do silly tricks, and worse, rise on their hind legs, putting all their massive weight on their joints.

Protests were held wherever the circus appeared on Long Island, and letters from Greenport residents have been sent to the fire department asking that consideration be given to hiring a circus that does not use animals — so far to no avail.

But hope springs eternal and, as I did last year, I will hold the hope that the good people in Greenport will think of the welfare of the animals who are taken from their natural environment and made to behave in ways and in places that are alien to them. This is an affront to their dignity.

Marilyn Flynn, Cutchogue

To the Editor:

Your  front page  photo of an elephant being sprayed by a fireman is an endorsement of the inhuman treatment practiced by the Cole Bros. Circus. Your pursuit of profit has clouded your moral compass.

David Markel, Southold

08/04/13 10:00am
08/04/2013 10:00 AM
TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO | The main animal disease research lab on Plum Island.

TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO | The main animal disease research lab on Plum Island.

To the Editor:

Regarding the Plum Island property, I totally disagree with the plan to preserve it.

Its preservation would have a negative effect on two of the most important challenges facing Southold Town: high property taxes and a lack of well-paying jobs.

First, we should realize that Southold Town already has over 4,000 acres of preserved open space, of which about 3,000 acres are open to public use and off the tax rolls and thus require taxpayers’ money to maintain. Therefore, if the federal government did give up Plum Island, I question the practicality of giving up perhaps several million dollars per year of property tax revenue to preserve an 840-acre island that I suspect very few of us will ever get to see or enjoy, but which we will have to pay to maintain.

Likewise, if developed either residentially or commercially, there would be a need for a large number of well-paying jobs, such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, architects and engineers, to name a few.

Plum Island could well be a jewel in the economic vitality of Southold Town. Let’s not waste it, but invest in it for the future.

Douglas Cooper, Mattituck