Letters to the Editor


NOFO Rock Fest II

The Josh Horton and Peconic Bay Winery NOFO music fest was the thrill of a lifetime and the best music venue my wife and I have ever been to.

The crowd was as orderly and respectful as could be. Security personnel were all professional, helpful and more than adequate in numbers. The music on Sunday, the day we were there, was expertly run by a sound crew who had the various bands perfectly balanced. No matter where you were at the festival, the music was enjoyable and never too loud.

After all the negative hype and worries about this undertaking, the Town of Southold can be very, very happy that they let this event take place. They should also support it wholeheartedly in the future. Everyone my wife and I spoke with is eagerly anticipating NOFO music fest II.

This event certainly reinforces the Town of Southold as a place to visit on the East End.

Joe Sferlazza



A wonderful event

Thank you very much to all involved in the NOFO Music Festival. This was a wonderful family event, well thought-out, organized and respectful to our community.

It did not start too early nor go too late. There was more yard sale traffic on Saturday morning and church traffic on Sunday and the traffic jams from the fall pumpkin pickers is far worse than anything brought on by this concert.

Josh Horton, Jim Silver, the Peconic Bay Winery staff and support staff were courteous and readily available to answer any question. The nice variety of vendors, shade, children’s activities, cooling tents and a second stage for local musicians all added to a well-rounded weekend.

To have the opportunity to expose our family to this level of music talent right here on the North Fork was priceless. The musicians and their people encouraged interaction. Our youngest son brought his guitar, which the artists were more than happy to sign and encourage him to keep playing. This never would have happened at a large venue up island.

Thank you again. We look forward to NOFO music fest 2011.

Eddy and Kim Chilton



It’s not music

A rock concert is a large gathering of people who sit for hours listening to screaming commercial noise (it’s not music) for the benefit of a few people who walk away with a suitcase full of money.

Donald Ritter



Gov’t interference would ruin industry

The recent story of the Southold Town Board in a legal scuffle with Peconic Bay Winery over a special event in Cutchogue really comes as no surprise. After all, when was the last time a local government gave up an opportunity to regulate a successful business?

The town lost that legal challenge. But the Southold Town supervisor declared to have a greater control over such events in the future, control that will certainly impede the wineries ability to turn a profit.

Industry officials say that competition with California and upstate New York vineyards has forced Long Island wineries to offer more kinds of these special events. With so many Long Island businesses being forced to close and relocate to other less taxed and less regulated regions, why would the Southold Town Board risk crippling an industry that pumps nearly $300 million into the North Fork economy?

The answers lie in paradoxical complaints from a small segment of the population that complains about traffic, while at the same time complaining of road expansions. A population that screams for farm land preservation yet complains of agricultural tourism.

The answers lie in this motivated big governmental voting block and the politicians that pander to their arbitrary needs by cherry picking regulatory legislation, thereby preventing necessary and vital economic growth to any business that appears to be successful.

Real political leadership does not come from hindering, impeding, and regulating. Real political leadership should instead come from returning economic liberty to the community.

We cannot progress by impeding growth. We can not prosper by hindering industry. We can not survive without a local economy. After all, we all don’t have government jobs.

Ronald Reagan once said, “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

For as long as anyone can remember, that has been our local government’s view of our economy. And that’s one of the reasons why right now there is no local economy. One thing though is certain. If Southold succeeds in regulating winery events, thereby hindering the wineries ability to turn a profit, mark my words we will soon be hearing of the need for winery subsidies and winery bailouts. Southold should leave the wineries alone. Stop big government. Return to free markets.

Frank Seabrook

Editor’s note: Mr. Seabrook is publisher of Suffolk County Liberty Report, a Conservative blog and online news aggregate news.



Credit where it’s due

Your coverage of last week’s Town Board meeting with winery representatives mischaracterized the source of grant funding for a number of our regional tourism promotions.

At the meeting I noted that Senator LaValle had procured a large grant to help us promote wholesale business for our wineries in New York City. However, the economic downturn reduced wholesale opportunities dramatically and caused us to shift some of those resources into tourism promotion to boost tasting room sales during the recession.

Separate projects and events like the Winterfest Jazz on the Vine program, Barrel Tasting Month, Run for the Rosàs and, most recently, the Long Island Wine and Food Festival have all been part of our broader strategy to generate tourism to the region.

Although Mr. LaValle has provided us with crucial financial and legislative assistance over the years, two of our important regional tourism promotions — the Long Island Winterfest and the new Wine and Food Festival — would not have been possible without the significant support of the county executive’s Department of Economic Development and Workforce Housing and our very effective county Legislator Ed Romaine.

Steve Bate

executive director, Long Island Wine Council



One perfect event

After all the worry and panic over the NOFO Rock and Folk Festival it turned out perfect.

No worries, no litter, controlled traffic and a lot of wonderful memories and friends made. They did some job and should be given a lot of credit for thinking ahead and having everything prepared for. Josh did a wonderful job in organizing.

The only sad part of the festival was the quickly traveling word around the grounds that the town was going to be putting something in place so this doesn’t happen again. Figures! Proves my point from my previous letter.

I think the organizers might have a little bit of resistance, just a tad. But this is something we need out here. People of all ages, music of all types, blasts from the past and a touch of today.

Music is life because without it, life is empty. Many hearts were full this weekend in the spirit of peace. Thanks to all who worked so hard to make it happen.

Gregg Schweitzer



Deer a serious issue

I read Carol Gillooly’s letter regarding the deer population with interest, as my husband is finally starting to recover from babesiosis.

This is not an illness to be taken lightly. For two weeks he had high fevers, utter fatigue and not enough energy to do anything other than doze. He is short of breath and his red blood cells have been compromised. We are grateful that he wasn’t hospitalized and is slowly improving.

Something must be done about the deer problem. They are hazards on the road, bring economic distress to the agricultural community and carry the ticks that cause terrible illnesses.

The deer population is a serious issue that should be taken seriously.

Tippy Case



On its own merits

Isn’t it ironic that a visitor from Grand Rapids can see a “hidden agenda,” but Village Board members somehow do not?

Two board members voiced their opposition and or concerns regarding the Block Island boat tying up at the railroad dock, one of them saying, “I do not want a ferry service at that location.” How odd that a person would think that a dock that was originally built in 1844 expressly for a ferry service (to go to among other places, Block Island) and is next to a present day noncompeting ferry operation, would be the wrong place for this service.

The second trustee cited liability concerns, because they were also tenants at that location and because they had insurance that would make them and the village more likely to be sued.

I’m guessing the logic is ferry passengers are more litigious than partyboat patrons. The official position of the mayor and trustees was the operation violated portions of a lease agreement between the county, village and LIRR. But vessels acting as both excursion boats and fishing boat have occupied that dock for decades.

At one time or another all the tenants at that dock violated the terms of their dock permits, including icing, making repairs, driving trucks onto the dock, stringing lines across the dock, packing out and fueling. Those violations where handled with either a simple phone call or a quick visit from the harbormaster. Never before this incident did a tenant receive a heavy handed letter from the village attorney about a perceived violation.

The ferry service should pass or fail on it’s own merits, not because of territoriality, an often misquoted lease agreement or outdated notions of who has the right to be where or whose tenant’s occupation is more valid.

John Saladino



A coded insult

While I disagree with all of the political opinions made by Brian Mills in his letter last week, I’ll limit my comments to one statement that astounded and dismayed me. In his last paragraph he writes, “So, if CD-1 has the same genetic make-up as San Francisco…”.

This intolerant, prejudiced, considered coded insult of anyone of whom Mr. Mills does not approve no longer has any place in American politics. I realize that this is difficult for some to accept.

If this type of coded insult is what the political right means when they say, “Let’s take back America,” then what they really mean is that they want to take America backward. Backward to a past that never served us and that we have now outgrown.

Mr. Mills endorses the two Republican front-runners and recommends them to us. While I seriously doubt that either candidate would make such a hateful statement, in coded or overt form, I recommend that all of us in the 1st Congressional District, right and left, reject the endorsement of someone who would.

Morton Cogen



Basic politics 101

As the election season is already in full swing, and with a third to a half of each week’s letters political in nature, I thought it might be helpful to provide a brief guide explaining some of the terms and catchphrases that appear week after week after week, ad nauseam.

“TARP” — The newest version of the federal government’s age-old solution to any problem; throw money at it. The bigger the problem the more you throw.

“Economic Stimulus Package” – See above.

“Infrastructure” – Just one of the problems No. 2 is supposed to be fixing.

“Intelligent Decision”