Letters to the Editor


It’s about balance

I have great respect for Pierre Gazarian’s prose and delightful insight. Yet one responsibility we have as humans is good stewardship of the land, and that is one argument not made in his latest piece.

We are stewards of our companions both feline and canine. Faced with their overpopulation we neuter and spay. This is good management not available in any practical way to the wild creatures around us.

Throughout the years we have systematically stripped all natural predators from the deer population, allowing them to reproduce unchecked. They have adapted easily to us, yet not us to them. A man and woman produce 2.2 children on average. One buck and two does can produce 33 fawns in their lifespan. It is not man crowding them out, so much as the reverse.

My ancestors have been here since Indian times. I have lived my whole 57 years within the North Fork. I can tell you as fact that as a child it was truly a rare event to ever see a deer. The occasional sign of a deer or hoof prints were something to remark upon while wandering in the fields. Now I look out daily to herds.

I pull into my driveway and wait for five or six to wander out of my way so I can pull in. I travel early before the sun rises on my daily commute when deer are active. I have never had a vehicle that hasn’t been hit. One of my sons has been hit nine times. My daughter had one’s head smash through her driver’s side window. If it had antlers it would have killed her.

This is an emotional issue for many people, but an illogical one in my view. Deer are graceful and attractive and being “doe-eyed” is part of our vernacular. This colors the argument. If we were having the same issue with wolves or warthogs I very much doubt so many voices would be raised to their defense.

It is time for us to take responsibility for the problem we have created. Unfortunately it means being the predator that we have otherwise eliminated from the environment. Better to dispatch a deer with a single shot than mangle it with a car and let it suffer.

If someone can come up with a more palatable suggestion I’m sure everyone including myself would be thrilled. But until then we have to “man up” and fix what we’ve broken, the balance of nature.

Ched Baker



An Orient thank-you

The Orient Water Group is very grateful for the support of many of our elected officials in our struggle to preserve our community’s control over its own water.

New York State Assemblyman Marc Alessi acted quickly to convene the first meeting between the community and the Suffolk County Water Authority.

Supervisor Scott Russell and the Town Board worked hard to bring SCWA into the appropriate application process, gave the community an opportunity to be heard and refused to extend the water map.

The Town Trustees were forced to grapple with a complex application, which should more appropriately have been submitted to another board, and made the correct decision to deny the application because SCWA did not have all the necessary permits.

And Legislator Ed Romaine was always responsive to his community’s needs and supported our efforts.

We particularly want to thank Congressman Tim Bishop, who listened to us and exerted the power of his office to resolve a situation which, because of the stimulus funds, was what a friend of ours has described as looking like a three-dimensional chess game. Without his intervention, we might find ourselves in a very different place.

We thank you all, and so do all the living things in the fragile ecosystem of Dam Pond.

Kathleen Becker, Amal Chaudhuri and five others



Hide behind the map

I was disappointed that the Town Board denied the extension of the SCWA pipeline to Orient. The board continues to hide behind a legally questionable map of where public water is allowed.

Why is this public utility limited when others are not? Is it an unfounded fear of development? Unfounded because the Town Board, through zoning, has control of development within the town.

By limiting the availability of public water, the Town Board has denied thousands of their constituents of access to clean, constantly tested drinking water. How many people have their private well water tested as often as SCWA tests theirs?

They’ve also lost access to clean water whether the power is on or not. If a storm were to knock out power for several days, how many residents would be forced to leave their homes due to a lack of potable water?

The board also denied the choice of whether to hook up to the public water or not. Those not deemed worthy of public water are forced to bear the cost of maintaining and/or replacing their private wells.

I grew up in a home without public water and had to have a new well drilled when the original one went bad, which took several days.

Public water provides the very best in fire protection through the availability of hydrants. It is easier and quicker to access water from a fire hydrant than through any other method. The lack of hydrants leads to a higher ISO rating and higher fire insurance premiums than residents in areas with hydrants.

Public water also ensures the best price for homes when they are sold. Most buyers don’t know what a private well is, and given the choice would buy a similar home with public water over one without it. This also means less money received by the town for preservation through the 2% tax.

Given all of this, why does the Town Board continue to hide behind the water map? Are they truly looking out for the best interests of their constituents, or are they listening to the vocal few who are motivated by an unfounded fear?

Adam Kaelin



The Orient Taliban

Recently, new officers were chosen to represent the ladies auxiliary of the Orient Taliban, oops, I mean the Orient Uncivic Association.

These lovely ladies are the very same people who have now denied clean water to the residents of Orient, lowered real estate values, decreased firefighting capabilities by denying the fire department increased water pressure, increased our electric bills and lost running water during blackouts and hurricanes.

One of these fine office-seekers supported reverse osmosis systems so strongly that it made me wonder if she had any interests in the sale of these systems that only add more concentrated pollution to our already-damaged water supply.

The election of these new Orient Uncivic Association officers was totally contrived by Ms. Freddie Wachsberger, head puppeteer and head of the nominating committee. As far as I know there was no opposition, which is just the way they like it.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate these lovely ladies on their victory in opposing common sense and thereby becoming very large fish in a very small pond of undrinkable water.

All kidding aside, I wish them all the best of luck.

William Gibbons



Kudos to Greenport

I live in Saugatuck, Michigan, (a resort town on Lake Michigan, across the Lake from Chicago), and the Los Angeles area. My wife and I visited Orient last weekend and went to Crabby Jerry’s in Greenport for a drink on the pier.

As this was a Sunday, the restaurant and town were extremely crowded. While at the restaurant my wallet fell out of my pocket. I did not realize this until a half-hour later while walking through the town. I immediately went back to Crabby Jerry’s and looked around the table I was using. My wallet was not there.

I then went to the bartender and asked if a wallet had been turned in. I was told no, but one of the bartenders went to the kitchen to see if it was there. Sure enough my wallet and all of the cash and credit cards were turned in to the kitchen.

I would have had a major problem the next day without my driver’s license, as I was flying back to Los Angeles. This outcome would not have happened at any other resort town.

Let’s hear it for Greenport.

Ken Gold



Where’s the logic?

Everyone would enjoy the proposed [Southold] library addition. However, does this make sense?

We are burdened with heavy town taxes presently and the additional costs seem prohibitive. I use the present second floor and frequently find that I am the only person there.

One would have to have a Titanic mentality to vote for this project.

Richard Bishop



A community asset

Although I am a resident of Cut