Letters to the Editor

Needham, MASS.

A very happy ending

A few weeks ago, I traveled from Boston to New York in great anticipation of celebrating the wedding of my cousin John to his beautiful fiancà e, Jen.

I traveled via train to Connecticut, then the ferry to Orient Point onto Long Island. Saturday was an absolutely wonderful day, complete with bike riding, wine tasting, and a fresh seafood dinner with family. The weekend culminated with a beautiful wedding and reception on Sunday.

It was not until Monday morning that I realized that, while I was having fun, my wallet was nowhere to be found. I knew that I had misplaced it sometime on Saturday.

My fiancà e and I had an 11 a.m. ferry to catch so we headed off, back to New London and, ultimately, Boston.

Around 11:30 my cell phone rang. It was the bank calling to let me know that my wallet was found. The wonderful folks at the Southold Police Department called to let me know that my wallet, complete with all the cash and credit cards, was turned in.

What a relief! I was only hours away from calling the bank to cancel all my cards and would ultimately have to wait for new ones in the mail. This would have been quite a challenge since I was bound for California only three days later.

To the wonderful person out there who was so honest to turn in my wallet, thank you. You have truly restored my faith in people. To Officer Steve Grattan, thank you for your legwork in finding me and personally returning the wallet to my cousin in Greenport.

I love Greenport, not just because of the awesome vistas, great wine or tasty lobster, but for the honest people who give this place a certain charm. I did not realize there were places still like this in the world. Thank you for reminding me that there still are.

Frank Casano Jr.


Sleepless nights

Okay, politicos, we’re sick of it. Who’s going to take the lead of stopping the East Hampton aircraft from flying over the North Fork?

This morning, we had helicopters in tandem over our residence. And we didn’t count the seaplanes. The choppers and C-130s from the 106th are welcome and comforting. But why the heck do we have to suffer from the South Forkers who want to get to the city?

We don’t blame the pilots — heck, the crow flies straight. Okay, you elected officials who are, supposedly, interested in our welfare, who’s going to step up to the plate? Come over on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Then again, the rest of the week isn’t much better.

It amazes us that you can sleep at night. We certainly can’t in the mornings.

Brian Dickerson


Of wineries and helicopters

This morning I woke to the sound of birds chirping! I went to the beach and enjoyed the sounds of the sea. I pinched myself wondering if I still was dreaming, as these sounds of nature were seemingly from a departed time in my past. On the way home, I realized the sound of the helicopter overhead was missing. Dare I celebrate the return to tranquility?

My perfect morning bubble burst when I read Supervisor Russell inferring it will be more than two years to resolve the current crisis of wineries doing what they want, outside the designation of their status of agriculture.

What? More than two years? You are joking! This is crisis now and needs action now, not in excess of two more years! So I offer my simple brain to help the committee simplify the situation. I went to the dictionary for help. Agriculture is simply defined as “raising crops.” Vineyard is defined as “a farm of grapevines where wine grapes are produced.” Winery is defined as “an establishment for making wine.” Similar to a dairy farm raising cows then bottling the milk, a vineyard grows the grapes then bottles the wine.

Now go to the dictionary and gather the definitions for restaurant, music hall, bar/saloon, catering hall, gymnasium, comedy club, Wiffle Ball tournament emcee and live music showcaser. None is listed even remotely under agriculture. It’s a simple assessment that took me a couple of minutes, not a couple of years.

Now tax those non-agriculture events accordingly and fairly with their counterparts as ongoing or single entities. And be sure to add a clause in the new winery boundary descriptions of how to act like good neighbors by requiring all new ideas for events to pass through the town board/community first, rather than after they are fully operational for approval. That is a good neighbor, working in good faith, above board. No more secrets, building trust.

I’m not a celebrity. If I were, maybe my words would have the power to move and excite. Some things are just that clear cut and unpretentious, not drawing the hoopla from a celebrated one. Imagine celebrities at all events at each winery, every weekend of the season, similar to Rhinebeck, just to have the luxury of a no-fly zone. We’ll worry about the ground-based problems some other time.

The simple little nobody may finally enjoy the sound of no helicopters, thanks to the presence of the all-important celebrities. Shall we embrace that, too? Oh, listen, a helicopter just passed by, and there’s another in the rear as well. Where are the celebrities when you need one?

Mail a copy of this letter to the Town Board if you agree. Your power is speaking to them, not just to me.

MaryAnn Fleischman


Here’s a third option

Taxpayers on the North Fork are offered a stark choice each spring; Agree to pay even more in school taxes or take responsibility for the diminution of the quality of education here.

The William Floyd School District has found a third option, however. As reported last week, teachers in the William Floyd district have agreed to a second round of salary concessions, totaling $2 million, in exchange for a one-year contract extension.

District officials say concessions will allow them to restore full-day kindergarten classes, an alternative high school and a Junior ROTC program.

What a concept!

Frank Genovese


Visions of grandeur

My vote is no. Southold Free Library is well loved by its community, but, to most, observedly underused. To most events only but a handful attend. Perhaps it is because of programming or it could be the plethora of options one has in Southold Town, where there are four libraries within a 20-mile radius. In the age of Kindle, one can obtain any book for a small fee compared to the $300-$600 per year price tag that this library will end up costing. If one were asked to join a private library club, how many do you think would jump at the chance? One percent of the population is an overestimate. Though people love the library as it is, most would choose to use their own computer.

There was a bequest which encouraged the purchase of land and the development of these outrageous building plans. If they had asked, they could have saved a great deal of money. The answer then would have been no. Now they ask for our permission.

There will be a vote on Oct. 16 at the library. Please let your voice be heard. Don’t let our town be the laughing stock of this quiet, rural farm community. Before the vineyards, this town was economically diminished and now, thanks to the grape, visions of grandeur have overcome reason. Remember that the average age of our citizenry is 55 and they are living on fixed incomes.

Why not take these generous bequests and make an investment in making our library more inviting and accessible, not making it the largest structure on the North Fork? Please get involved and vote no.

Carla Rosen


Help save public radio on Long Island

Peconic Public Broadcasting is at the core of arts and life on eastern Long Island. It is a piece of what makes the East End so special to us. Station manager Wally Smith and his impressive team have kept us in touch with our communities through intelligent, objective programming over the years. They have introduced us to musicians, writers and artists through on-air conversations, giving us the opportunity to hear firsthand their thoughts and opinions, and open our minds to understanding the creative process.

They offer information in a way that is not presented by any other media. Peconic Public Broadcasting is a unique service and a tremendous asset. Eastern Long Island would suffer if it were lost. The East End Arts Council, like many other organizations on the East End, is indebted to Peconic Public Broadcasting for generous air time and a true partnership where we can share our stories and reach new audiences. They have helped us to grow our organizations. Now is our time to help them. This is not the time to stand back expectantly waiting to see whether the station is successful raising the necessary funds to stay on the air. This is public broadcasting; public meaning us. We need to step up and support the station that is so valuable to us.

Pat Snyder

executive director, East End Arts Council


Truly blessed

To the Editor:

My great-granddaughter came east from Colorado last week to be with us and be baptized here, and I was honored to become this beautiful child’s godfather.

Can you imagine, me, this little child’s great-grandpa, being asked at my age to watch over, protect and promise to help in raising my godchild as a good Christian in the Roman Catholic Church? What an honor to be asked and how proud I was, at this wonderful and moving baptism at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Mattituck, to say, “Yes, I do promise.”

Patrick Joseph McGreevy, my great-great-grandfather, who came from a starving Ireland as a young man to this great country of ours, would have been so proud to see what I saw this day: four generations of our family as one.

As one, together, we were truly blessed.

Jack McGreevy


Park district progress

On behalf of the Mattituck Park District commissioners I would like to thank the community members for their support in voting to approve our proposed 2011 budget.

I would also like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to the park district patrons who contributed money, labor, expertise or merchandise and helped on the park usage committee, the Easter egg hunt, the bluff stabilization at Bailie Beach, the planned conversion of the Veterans Memorial Park building, the new plantings and the restoration of the Mattituck Yacht Club groins.

The accomplishments we were able to achieve this year for the enhancement of the parks and the enjoyment of the community could not have occurred without your support.

Nicholas Deegan

Mr. Deegan is a Mattituck Park Dis¬­¬­¬­trict commissioner.


A fitting tribute

Thanks and congratulations to the Riverhead Monday Night Band — John Eyre, music director and conductor — for its “Tribute to Howard Hovey” special concert Aug. 9. The event featured not only favorite musical selections of Mr. Hovey, but solo performances of his two sons, Arthur and Robert. The concert celebrated the 100th anniversary of the late Mr. Hovey’s birth. Thanks also to the Riverhead Town Board and Supervisor Sean Walter for presenting an official proclamation recognizing the valuable and unique contribution Mr. Hovey had made to the musical and cultural life of the community.

Mr. Hovey founded the Monday Night Band in the mid-1940s, serving for many years as its conductor, during which time he secured the services of numerous renowned soloists such as the world-famous cornetist James Burke, clarinetist Stanley Drucker of the N.Y. Philharmonic Orchestra and William Bell, tuba virtuoso, to name a few. Mr. Hovey was also highly involved in other community musical projects, such as the Douglas Moore memorial concerts and the Community Concert Association.

Mr. Hovey also taught music in the Riverhead School District from the mid-1930s to the mid-1970s, when he retired. His students went on to perform with the U.S. Marine Band, U.S. Air Force Band, Indianapolis Symphony, among other groups, and served as distinguished music educators themselves.

Mr. Hovey was recognized throughout New York. He was elected president of the New York State School Music Association and received the prestigious NYSSMA “Distinguished Service Award.”

The Suffolk County Music Educators Association (SCMEA) annual tuba festival is named the “Howard Hovey Day of Tuba,” in his honor. (Mr. Hovey was also a well-respected performer on the tuba.)

It is a fitting tribute to Mr. Hovey that he is being recognized for his numerous and successful efforts in bringing, and supporting, so many varied musical and cultural activities to the community.

Charles Cardona


Ode to scooping

The petty, small-minded and absurd

Have managed to banish the turd.

Clean streets are the word.

Righteous wrath be incurred.

My dog and I give you the bird.

J. Gismondi


Stop killing geese

We named our puppy Cain. Why? Here’s the story.

On July 23 approximately 400 Canada geese, both adults and babies, were rounded up, put in turkey crates, and taken off and gassed. Where? Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

The perpetrator? The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture with the approval of Mayor Bloomberg, the NYC parks commissioner and the state DEC.

This was a result of a report prepared in 2009 to protect airplanes from encounters with Canada geese. Planes do have problems with migratory Canada geese. However, the murdered geese were non-migratory.

The report was supposed to be kept secret, but the N.Y. Times broke the story. NYC people are great animal lovers and are raising Cain. Cain was named to support their efforts and as a memorial to the 400 departed geese.

And there’s more. The report calls for the elimination of 170,000 Canada geese in New York State and for similar measures in the vicinity of all major airports in the U.S.

If you’re an animal lover, spread the word. I will do my share by writing to the politicos who rely on my vote.

For further information, Google “Canada geese in NY.”

Maureen Sanders

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