Letters to the Editor: Oct. 21


Wouldn’t take much

I think that people should do a little more community service.
Recently, my friend Dimitris and I visited St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Southold to visit the grave of my grandmother, who recently passed away. While we were there, we noticed that many of the flowers and plants on the other graves were bone-dry.
Luckily, there were faucets around the cemetery. So Dimitris and I watered all of the flowers. It didn’t take long at all and it will keep those flowers alive, which will keep the whole cemetery looking beautiful.
I think that if everyone did a little extra work, all of the cemeteries can be bright and colorful, instead of a place that you don’t want to go to.

Davie Cichanowicz, Jr.


Chuck in a chopper?

You don’t suppose Chuck Schumer could be in one of those helicopters, do you?

Jack Barthel


Leslie is wrong

This is in regard to Dick Leslie’s letter of Oct. 7.
When Mr. Leslie attends an Oysterponds School Board meeting, and someone there says something to him that he does not agree with, or asks him a question that he does not wish to answer, he huffs and puffs and threatens to call his lawyer, or sue for slander.
After his recent letter in your paper, I could very well do the same, but I won’t. I could actually call Mr. Leslie untruthful, but I won’t.  
I suppose I could call my attorney and threaten to sue for libel, but I won’t. It is not necessary to do so because I deal in facts, not fantasy.
I am not sure why Mr. Leslie thinks that I signed the last two contracts between Oysterponds and Greenport School. Being as knowledgeable as he thinks he is, he should know that only the president of a BOE signs contracts. I stepped down, after nine years, as BOE president in 2002 and I assure you that there have been at least two contracts, perhaps more, signed between the two schools.
In the last eight years, there have been six other BOE presidents; Bob Mills, Tim Frost, Martha Tuthill, Ted Webb, Walter Strohmeyer and Deborah Dumont. One or more of them has signed a contract with GHS. There have been, in the last eight years, too many chiefs and not enough Indians, which may be the root of all this strife.
Mr. Leslie should not worry about what I do with my shovel. But perhaps he should use his own to clear out the rhetoric and innuendo surrounding the Greenport High issue and state the real facts, one of which is that Mr. Leslie does not seem to want Oysterponds students to attend GHS and he refuses to say why.
By the way, my father, husband, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, sister-in-laws, brother-in laws, sister, cousins, daughters and I all attended GHS.
Yes, my daughter has been teaching there for 10 years.
When it comes to publishing letters from Dick Leslie, would you please note that he was one of the task force members who worked on the Mattituck versus Greenport report? Seems only fair that his “bias” be noted as mine always is.

Linda Goldsmith
member, Oysterponds Board of Education


Getting around

The LIRR just cut all weekend service on the North Fork, and the buses do not run on Sunday.
I don’t have a car, so I walk, bike and kayak to get around when the weather is good. I’ve asked our public officials what can I do when it’s freezing during the winter when we don’t have public transportation on Sunday?
Everyone talks about “being green,” what’s good for the environment and global warming. Public transportation is usually part of those discussions and it should be provided every day.

Donna Campbell


Where’s the story?

How is it possible 130 boats from across the Northeast descend on New Suffolk for The Whitebread, a spectacular sailboat race, and The Suffolk Times can’t even list the results?
Heaven forbid you actually write a story about it.
I write as a concerned fan of a sport that is tragically under-represented in Suffolk Times pages. It has nothing to do with our spectacular second-place finish in the cruising canvas division this year.

Tim Wacker


Win back the cup

As a first-time participant in the Greenport Ocean Race, I would like to publicly thank the organizers, the sponsors and the Village of Greenport for putting on a first-rate, well-run, real-deal, whiz-bang thriller of a boat race. Thanks for your support and your efforts.
Congratulations also to the participants, one and all. This was, as advertised, an ocean race, with the weather to prove it. We saw gusts in the 40s and a lumpy sea to match.
For my money, a true ocean race is right up there with a marathon. You may not finish first, but it is an accomplishment just to finish. Well done, all around!
One more word on a related matter: The overall prize for this race has now been won for the third straight year by the same boat, Dark and Stormy from Noank, Conn., skippered by Mike LaChance. We saw them out there and saw a well-sailed boat that made some gutsy moves. But the America’s Cup is on its way back to America after stops in Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and Spain. I think it’s time that the trophy for the Greenport Ocean Race made it back to Long Island. I don’t just mean this just as loudmouthed “go-team hurrah.” I have a specific suggestion.
Mike LaChance is a Mudhead. Nothing against Mike; his yacht club affiliation is the Mystic River Mudhead Sailing Association and that’s what they call themselves. When it comes time for the Greenport Ocean Race, the whole club pitches in to stack the boat with the best sailors they’ve got. I’d like to call on our local yacht clubs to do the same.
Maybe run an elimination series to pick a club’s lead challenger. Maybe form a consortium of clubs for a joint effort. Maybe The Suffolk Times could follow the action as the efforts take shape. So here’s something to think about over the winter. They say once is an experiment, twice is a perversion. These folks have won three times now, fellas. Time to kick it up a notch.
Fair winds, guys.

Paul Pomerantz


It’s sea turtle time

Now is the time of year that most sea turtles leave this area and head south for the winter.  
A number of them, lulled by the relatively warmer waters of our Sound and bays, linger too long and are trapped by a sudden cold snap that brings water temperatures down below sustainable levels for reptiles.
October, November and December are critical times for saving these trapped turtles. Anyone who walks the beach during this time can play a crucial role in saving them.
As water temperatures drop into the 50-60° F level the turtle’s body starts to shut down. Later in the winter when water temps are below 50°F it’s too late, as hypothermia kills the turtles. Finding a turtle in the next few months can save it’s life.
Here’s what to do and not do.
First, call the 24-hour rescue hotline at 631-369-9829. This is the number for the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation. It’s a good idea to write the number down and keep it in your wallet. Call immediately for further instructions and to arrange for a pick up of live or dead sea turtles.
Do not attempt to warm the turtle as rapid warming may cause irreversible damage to a turtle. Also, do not place the turtle in water.
Time is a factor in raising body temperature and rehabilitation.
Remove smaller turtles from the beach and hold in a cool, sheltered area such as an unheated car or truck bed. Or cover the turtle to protect it from the elements until the response team arrives.
If a turtle is left on the beach your presence will help to protect it from predators. Larger turtles that are too heavy should be protected by placing a blanket on them and clearly marking the area for the pick-up team.
You can patrol at anytime, but chances are greater at finding a cold-stunned turtle at low tide, particularly after storms or cold snaps. As you walk check the beach from the dune to the water line. Check the water for floating turtles and check for turtles beneath dried seaweed.
The three types of sea turtles you are likely to see are the larger green and loggerhead and the smaller Kemp’s Ridley.
The Riverhead Foundation is also interested in data on any sightings of other marine mammals. Call 631-369-9840 ext. 24 to leave a number and a message.

Rick Kedenburg


Kudzu is here

Kudzu is a plant in the pea family that has finally arrived in Southold. It is a climbing, coiling, and trailing vine native to southern Japan and southeast China and has earned such nicknames as the “foot-a-night vine,” “mile-a-minute vine” and “the vine that ate the South” (of the United States). Learn to recognize this invader and let’s try to get rid of it before it firmly takes hold and starts destroying trees with its weight. I found it along the southwestern fence at Colonial Village right in the heart of town.
For successful long-term control of kudzu, it is not necessary to destroy the entire root system, which can be quite large and deep. It is only necessary to use some method to kill or remove the kudzu root crown and all rooting runners.

Skip Albertson
A Southold native and property owner, Mr. Albertson lives in Olympia, Wash.


50th anniversary

To the Editor:

It’s the little things in life that matter. On Sunday, Oct. 17, a significant event took place at North Fork Country Club: The Southold Historical Society celebrated its golden anniversary, 50 years of promoting and preserving the history of the North Fork.
On behalf of the residents and friends of our community, we would like to thank those who have selflessly given so much so that our heritage is preserved: the foresight of the late Ann Currie-Bell and other founding members, including Adele Rich and Herb Adler (both in attendance), Goeffrey Fleming, the society’s director, the board, committee members and the general membership and the townspeople of Southold, among others, who support the Society — along with those politicians present offering proclamations supporting the good work achieved by the society, even naming the 17th of October Southold Historical Society Day in Suffolk County.
We are reminded that Southold is the first English speaking community in New York State and, as such, our community has one of the deepest roots of all history nationwide. We are fortunate to live in such a place; where we can still clearly see and experience this firsthand.
For those who did not attend the event, we encourage you to visit the society’s website, personally stop by the Prince Building on Main Road housing the society headquarters and archives, and become supporting members. Membership, after all, is a small amount to achieve so much. Happy 50th anniversary, Southold Historical Society.

Nicholas Planamento and
Walter ‘Bud” Jackson
Both writers are members of Southold Historical Society and officers of Mattituck-Laurel Historical Society.


Anonymity can be a good thing

In response to last week’s Guest Spot in which the author lamented law changes that allowed for anonymous money in political ads, does he think that perhaps our public education is failing because there are teachers unable to assess the contents of an ad without knowing who paid for it? Could the reason the sponsors seek to remain anonymous be that they fear retribution?
Look at what happened to Target corporation when they made a political contribution. Does the column’s author, Jerry Silverstein, think that the name of a nurse at a Catholic hospital that donates to a pro-abortion group should have her name divulged or a Planned Parenthood employee that donates to a pro-life group have their name divulged? I say when it comes to political speech the more the merrier.
I think the ability of Congress to threaten, investigate and punish political enemies is of far greater concern than an ad sponsor seeking anonymity.

Stephen Casko


Butterflies are free

Butterflies are truly wonders of nature as Mr. Stoutenburgh writes (Migrating monarchs are on the move, Oct. 14). His article is excellent and points to some varieties in types of butterflies, plants and migration.
Butterflies have been called “magic in motion” by certain authors and as Mr. Stoutenburgh states they are truly remarkable as they dance along. They are drawn to our homes and gardens by the nectar-rich plants that they so love. It is not just the monarch that flits and dances here in Southold Town but frittaries, swallowtails, skippers, sulphurs and many more species of the group of insects called Lepidoptera.
Other species do migrate south each year, not just the monarch. Red admirals, viceroys and American ladies also migrate to avoid the freezing temperatures of the north.
We attract the monarch primarily with the plants of the milkweed variety, which includes the butterfly bush, but also includes other varieties from the asclepias plants known as the buttery weed. These plants are of the lilac family and emit a similar aroma, as Mr. Stoutenburgh says.
Other plants, such as aster, bee balm, coneflower, daisy and lupine, act as attractors to other species of butterflies. If we keep to native plants, we will entice not only butterflies but all sorts of other winged creatures, many of which are often mentioned in “Focus on Nature.”
I hope everyone will plant a few of these native plants so the natural process that draws butterflies to us all summer long will continue to increase and improve our own habitat.

Joel Reitman
Mr. Reitman is a master gardener.


Laugh out loud

I thoroughly enjoyed Joanne Sherman’s “Going Thoreau-ly Batty” article in the Sept. 23 issue of The Suffolk Times.
As a former housing development brat myself, now living in Cut­chogue, I totally related to her hilarious article. We are living in very hard, and often frightening, economic and national times.
Thank you for publishing this delightful, down-to-earth article, which made me laugh out loud.

Ruth Hoffman


Recall our heritage

Our country was founded by people that worked hard and believed in themselves. For years, this independence and strong-mindedness carried our citizens and our country to ever increasing levels of strength and importance. Now, in this worldwide economic downturn, a new and disheartening atmosphere has enveloped us. We have begun to doubt ourselves and to listen to modern day hucksters instead of believing in our own powers of observation and thought and action.
This current political season is rife with loud newcomers to the political scene spouting unsupported ideas that will benefit the few while damaging the country. Do you really believe that health care legislation and financial reform should be repealed? Is Medicare and Social Security really a waste? Do you really feel that our failing education system is not an issue? Do you really believe that the country’s problems will go away because some witch doctor says, “I will cut taxes, cut spending and you will prosper”?
Please, let’s all get back to our roots. We are the followers of those strong people who built the United States. Let’s not abandon our heritage now. We must use our own brains and logic and install a government in November that can carry us back to prosperity and strength. To allow ourselves to be led across the thin ice of wild claims and unsupported rhetoric will have deadly consequences.

Howard Meinke


It’s about us

As a reminder to all, the United States Constitution begins: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union …”
Not “I” or “Me,” in order to get or do whatever “I” want.

George Kreiling


A low-life tactic

I was driving on Route 58 today and I saw one of the many political signs that dot the landscape before elections. This one was different.
It wasn’t promoting a candidate. It was attacking one. The sign stated “Stop Randy Outsourcer,” an obvious attack from the Tim Bishop camp to get people believing that Randy Altschuler was responsible for outsourcing American jobs. Usually I ignore these signs, but this one bothered me.
First, because I previously voted for Tim Bishop. He had made many claims of what he would do for the people of the North Fork. Over the years I watched his actions and voting record. I attempted to ask him questions on some of my concerns and I was ignored like the rest of the people of this congressional district.
When I first heard of Randy Altschuler as well as the other candidates that were running I looked into them. I had questions for them also. All the others answered my questions. I might not have agreed with them, but they were up front. What bothers me most about the “outsourcing” sign is that besides being a low-life tactic it is also not true.
I know Tim Bishop is a semi-intelligent man so he should know there is a big difference between outsourcing and global. Outsourcing is when an American company closes its doors here and moves its manufacturing facility to a different country to avoid save money. That is not what Randy Altschuler did.
He built an American company, has many American employees making decent livings and the company became big enough to expand to additional countries. Tim Bishop’s false claim is the equivalent of calling Coca-Cola an outsourcing company because they make their products in other countries as well.
It’s frustrating watching your elected officials with no business experience try to fix the economic problems we are facing like a crackhead with a stolen credit card.

Jon Ferris


We the people

“The truth will set you free!”
Mr. Carl Paladino, the GOP candidate for governor, is under attack. He is being attacked and thrown to the wolves by his so-called friends. Even his own spiritual leader, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, went spineless and abandoned poor Carl to the wolves. Shame! Shame! Shame!
“Kill the messenger!” these hypocrites cried.
Sad to say, what happened is a sign of the times. We don’t have too many “stand up and be counted” leaders anymore — and we the people suffer.
We in this country need more men who have the courage of their convictions. Eunuchs need not apply.

Lee Ward and Jack McGreevy

East Marion

Bishop does the right thing

Randy Altschuler boasts of having created jobs in his own businesses. But we have no way of knowing whether he would support positions which would benefit ordinary citizens. Tim Bishop, in contrast, has a proven record of championing policies which actually help non-millionaires here on Long Island. He brought stimulus money to the 1st Congressional District, which saved the jobs of police officers, firefighters and teachers. He is fighting for regulation to eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax, which burdens many middle-income families.
Most recently, he has helped bring more than $55 million to New York State as part of the Small Business Jobs Act. This will enable the state to spur private lending to small businesses, which will get people back to work right here. Let’s make sure we give Congressman Bishop the chance to keep doing the right thing.

Lisa Deutscher


Government logic

Only our government could conceive and publish a cost of living index that omits food and energy, which are two of the most important requirements for human survival.
Edward Boyd


Tim Kelly’s my pick for president

Regarding Tim Kelly’s recent column, particularly his first listed priority as POTUS, namely health care: This week I received the nasty surprise that the price tag of my health care insurance went up by 45 percent. That’s correct, no missing decimal point: 45 percent. Unbelievable. But I guess it’s one of the “unintended consequences” of Obamacare that Mr. Kelly mentioned.
Whether it gets repealed, or just revisited as Mr. Kelly suggests, I have to say this: Schumer, Gillibrand and Bishop all voted for this ridiculous health care law without fully reading it and without understanding the full implications of it. That’s beyond irresponsible. Regardless of where one falls on the political spectrum, it would be irresponsible of New York voters to send any of these individuals back to Washington for more unintended consequences. Please vote out the incumbents. We can always do that again the next time around, until we get some representatives who actually read legislation before voting on it! I’d even vote for Tim Kelly in 2012!

Tom Pfalzer


The party of ‘no’

To the Editor:

Is it possible to live in this society where “hate-speak” supplants human discourse? It’s disheartening.
President Obama is not a magician; he cannot make our problems disappear. Problems that have existed for years in this country will take time to solve.
If I recall correctly, President Bill Clinton left office with a huge budget surplus. President Bush managed to erase this in his eight years in office. He also placed us in a position with our NATO partners and other global partners of thinking of the U.S. having a “John Wayne” mentality.
An unnecessary war in Iraq, costing thousands of lives and millions/billions of dollars (did we get the oil?); reducing regulations on Wall Street and the banks; military contractors (Haliburton, Cheney’s baby) making more money than our own volunteer military; inadequate equipment for our men and women, etc., etc.  I could go on and on.
People in the past have said, “We are dumbing-down our schools.” I believe the same is true of some of the latest breed of politicians, Sarah Palin for example. Perhaps she is attractive and perky and is a good shot at moose hunting, but did I want a vice president who appeared to be so ill-prepared for the job. What was John McCain thinking? A shot of adrenalin to a sinking candidacy? Don’t we deserve better? We are the United States of America; this is not a kindergarten rehearsal. Ms. Palin is so afraid of “death panels” in the health care bill: once again, too much tea. She’s afraid President Obama is going to strip the NRA of its power and take their guns away. I’m not entirely sure why ordinary U.S. citizens need assault rifles.
Gay-bashing and bashing the heads of minorities seems to be the national sport. Where are all the religious institutions condemning these actions? You hear few protests. Do you stand by or, as some people do, help our fellow human beings?
Do you vote for people like Carl Paladino, who promote fear and hatred, in my opinion? It doesn’t have to be Paladino, it’s anyone who does not think, gee, these are my neighbors, they are members of a family, they are someone’s brother or sister.
Republicans, the party of “No,” have few solutions that I have heard other than lower taxes for the rich, less regulations on Wall Street (notice Wall Street types on TV can’t stand Democrats); less regulation for the banks (give mortgages to people they knew could not pay); less regulations on the environment; less regulations on the oil industry … They love to spout off “Less Government.” It means they can get away with their greedy “success” stories: Exxon, Enron, BP, Haliburton, Karl Rove, Gillespie and head honcho, Dick Cheney.
Personally, the people I admire besides, of course, my family and friends (my dad was a NYC fireman) are these 33 men in the mine in Chile: they worked together for the common good.

Mary Jean Erario


An outright lie

I just heard a Republican commercial that claimed Tim Bishop voted to cut Medicare. This is an outright lie. To win elections Republicans tell people who actually depend on Social Security and Medicare that they are the defenders of these two programs. To make us believe this, they tell us they want to lower the deficit and reduce the size of government. Their actions prove that this also is not true.
Consider this: The Republicans gave us the Bush tax cuts. Their theory was that if they starve the government, it would get smaller. The result under the Republicans was that the government got bigger and the deficit skyrocketed.
The reason was that the big-money, big-corporate interests that own the GOP were all too happy with the big spending and big government. Why? Because they were the ones getting the bulk of this money. They were the ones getting almost all of the Bush tax cuts.
Now in 2010, the richest among us, and our biggest corporations, are plenty happy to see the deficits continue as long as they can stay on the Bush tax cuts gravy train and prolong big spending. The richest among us, through the GOP, insist that none of the Bush tax cuts should be preserved unless our richest one percent to two percent continue to get their full cut.
Speaking for the richest corporations and individuals, the Republicans cannot accept that as a matter of fairness or to reduce the deficit, the richest should pay a dime more. The unabashed and blatant greed, not to mention duplicity, is unmatched in my lifetime.
Here is the final immorality of this scenario. Over the next 10 years the preservation of the Bush tax cuts will add $3.8 trillion to the deficit. The GOP has not said where any spending cuts will come from to make up this loss. This tells us they have no intention of making the government smaller or reducing the deficit. The tax cuts will continue to benefit the richest among us and the spending will go into the coffers of the richest corporations.
When the crunch really comes, we will be told something will have to be done and unfortunately the only place the cuts can come from is — you guessed it — Social Security and Medicare. I mention this now so you won’t be shocked later on. The average citizen will again foot the bill so the richest can get richer by de-funding these programs.
Make no mistake, the GOP views your Social Security and Medicare benefits as ripe for the taking.

Mort Cogen


New thinking

As a North Fork resident, I had the pleasure and honor of recently meeting Randy Altschuler and his family at a parade in Southold. As a Republican he is running for Congress — with a wonderful program. What a breath of fresh air!
We listen to his opponent, with his wild stories and exaggerated account of himself and roll our eyes, and believe he is harmless. At least that’s how it used to be. But the detachment from reality, the arrogance of Washington, this incumbent career politician has gotten way out of control.
We have an upcoming election in November. If there was ever a time to bring new blood into the mix with new thinking, it is now. We have a great many serious issues facing our country. I think we should give Randy a chance to help solve them.

Jerome Cline


Many thanks

To the Editor:
We would like to take a moment to thank everyone for coming to Curves’ 3rd Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Day. At presstime, we had raised about $2,230. It took a lot of time and effort to pull this event off; we had 160 chinese auction items, plus a number of other raffles. Not to mention the food and beverages donated by members, the wonderful vendors, Pampered Chef, I Know and Mary Kay, and the ladies from The North Fork Breast Health Coalition who all took time from their busy schedules to come and be a part of this worthwhile event.
Thank you to all the local businesses that donated gift certificates and supplies. We could not have done this without the help of our special Curves ladies and friends and family: Doris Bernstein, Shelly Boyd Case, Pat Burns, Diane Kosciusko, Pudgy Jimenez, Lydia Lajda, Nancy Loeffler, Monica Nolan, Marie McDonald, Maggie MacDonald Andrews, Carolyn Menard, Janet O’Rourke, Sue Purcell, Marcia and Arthur Weinberg. And special thanks to Toni Esposito and her friends Maddy and Katie.
Thank you again, we hope to do another one next year!

Donna Burden
and Andrea Esposito
Curves of Cutchogue
Andrea Esposito is the owner of Curves of Cutchogue.

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