Letters to the editor

Who is she?
Isn’t it interesting that Carole Geiss waited until after the new town shelter was completed to become a letter-of-the-law citizen?
What made Carole Geiss think she could solicit bids on behalf of the Town of Southold? I don’t recall voting for her.
Maureen Sanders

Here’s the other side
How unfortunate.
So many people willing to vilify me in public. (“Shelter backers see plot,” Suffolk Times, Feb. 17.) They don’t know me, have no facts, no knowledge of my history, or even the history of NFAWL.
Does loving animals give those people a reason to think that I’m an evildoer?
I bet I have more experiences with animals than most of them. To help a puppy or kitten into this life is an unforgettable experience. Helping to ease the suffering of a horse so weak he could only sit like a dog, or a goose whose spinal disease wouldn’t permit him to walk are experiences I’ve suffered.
Ever remove a fly from a horse’s third eyelid, help a vet float a horse’s teeth, or worm her? I have.
I nurtured three feral cats for years, until they trusted me enough to sit in my lap for grooming. And as a volunteer for NFAWL, I worked with Max, a Shar-pei mix, every day for ten weeks, and proudly watched him walk away with his new owner.
I adopted Lolly from the shelter, a beagle whose previous mammary cancer could well shorten her life. After ten months, she died in my arms.
That’s who I am.
Let me ask: Who among them knows what Southold’s procurement policy is? What a DL-18 or a DL-89 is? What a shelter report was? What Ag and Markets law concerning dog control is? How New York state not-for-profit law classifies humane societies?
I do.
Councilman Orlando, in an e-mail dated Feb. 3, asked me, “Can you let the people know that might be interested in bidding? Thanks, Vinny.”
I did that. Was that collusion? Absolutely not! Did Mr. Orlando do anything wrong? No. Did I do anything wrong? No.
Did anyone, especially the reporter, ask me my side of the issue? No. In a letter delivered personally to the Town Clerk’s office, I informed the Town Board, town attorney and clerk of my action and heard from no one.
When did helping the government do its job become a crime?
Are apologies due me?
You bet.
Carole Geiss

Teachers are worth it
Teachers provide an imperative service to our community in preparing our nation’s youths for adulthood, a process necessary if the U.S. is to remain a global superpower.
True, Long Island teachers are some of the best-paid in the nation. Upstate teachers with 15 years on the job are making under $50,000 a year. Long Island is also one of the most expensive places to live in the nation. If teachers are to be able to survive on Long Island, there has to be appropriate compensation. New York’s education system is one of the top four in the country because of the requirements placed upon our teachers.
Teaching is not a job, it is a profession and teachers need to be compensated as such. We expect doctors, lawyers and architects to earn salaries commensurate with their lengthy educations. Why are teachers any different?
To all who say teachers make too much, consider the most common avenue to obtain initial certification, which is good for five years, is to earn a bachelor’s degree. The state then gives you five years to obtain a master’s needed for permanent certification. To keep that certification ­­— meaning keep your job — a teacher must continually attend classes and seminars for what’s known as continuing education credits.
All the while, teachers routinely spend several thousand dollars a year on classroom supplies, and occasionally food and clothing for their students. Teachers also may enter the workforce with up to $250,000 in student loan debt.
Do the math. How long do you think it’ll take to pay that down earning $50,000 a year while raising a family on Long Island? Professionals should not have to take vows of poverty as a requirement of a career.
Even on Long Island, teachers typically start in the $35,000 to $45,000 range. The high salary numbers quoted are not the norm, but are rather the few teachers who have been there for decades and are nearing retirement.
People often say, “but they’re off for the summer.” What they fail to realize is that teachers also arrive at school early and stay hours late and take work home with them. A typical teacher’s weeknight is work-filled, which is even more complicated should that teacher also have a family. Teachers also come in to school on weekends, all with no overtime pay.
Teachers often have second jobs in the summer, because in most parts of the state a teacher’s salary is not enough to raise a family.
Compound all of this with having to deal with parents having chips on their shoulders, thinking that the teacher “makes far too much.”
Does your job require this of you?
Josh Hubbard

On the right track
On Friday, Feb. 18 County Legislator Ed Romaine put more traction on the LIRR tracks than the MTA has done in many years as he railed against the lack of meaningful train service on the North Fork.
We pay the highest fares on the line. And while our tax dollars, over $60 million per year, go to the MTA, we get little in return.
The North Fork Environmental Council supports the calls of Legislator Romaine, Supervisors Russell and Walter and Mayor Nyce for not only the MTA to take action, but also for the residents and business owners of the North Fork to make their voices heard and make the MTA take notice and act.
One-time North Fork summer resident Albert Einstein once said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” If the MTA is not willing or able to solve this problem, then the state and county should stand ready to let the East End towns use those tax dollars to come up with a solution.
Five Town Rural Transit, Inc., a nonprofit organization, has done much research and work in this area, and offered many reasonable, affordable and eco-friendly solutions. It’s about time we take those ideas off of the drawing board and put them on the tracks so we can take some cars off the road and keep more money in our pockets.
With gas prices forecast to surpass $4 per gallon this year, how long can we afford to wait?
New York City and Albany can’t seem to understand, let alone solve the North Fork’s problems. Let us take the steps needed to get back on track.
The five town plan can save the North Fork money, better our environment while increasing our transportation options and at the same time help us “save what’s left.”
Bill Toedter
president, North Fork Environmental Council

Leave the firm alone
The restrictions the town is trying to impose on Go Green Sanitation are unconscionable.
The service I receive from Go Green has been a great benefit to my handicapped father, who up until recently would separate all his recyclables and wait until I could drive them to the refuse facility. Now for a nominal fee we do not have to deal with flimsy yellow bags, multiple trash containers, separating recyclables or driving to the refuse center.
We are paying for the convenience of having someone else separate our recyclables. There are multiple commercial dumpsters around the Southold area filled with mixed refuse not placed in yellow bags or separated. Why is the town allowing these companies to get away with this, yet Go Green is targeted?
Lawrence Rubin

Get out of the way
In his recent Equal Time article, Jim Bunchuck, Southold Town’s solid waster coordinator, said federal and state laws require municipalities to ensure “the safe and legal disposal of waste.”
Since Go Green is safely and legally disposing of North Fork waste, further argument is an unnecessary exercise.
It’s time for the Town of Southold to step aside and allow the private sector to attend to waste disposal in an efficient and economical manner.
Warren Knudsen

LIFB says thanks
We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to you and your staff for attending our semiannual young farmer dinner at Half Hollow Nursery last week. Your presence is a vital part to sharing the ongoing issues faced by our current and new-generation farmers from all over Long Island.
In fact, this year we not only received an increasing number of Ag Youth Scholarship applications (a scholarship available to any Farm Bureau member high school senior), but the first-place winner for all of New York, Jessica Anson of Yaphank, was one of the many future agriculturalists right here on Long Island.
We believe the growing number of attendees to our Young Farmer dinner clearly demonstrates the strength and viability of the agricultural industry. But without you, our voice cannot be heard by the community as a whole.
Thank you.
Joseph Gergela
executive director, Long Island Farm Bureau

It’s not over yet
I am writing in reference to Beth Young’s story “Snow days within limits” in last week’s Suffolk Times.
I do not want to bust the bubble of the local school superintendents, but the fact is there are three more weeks of winter left.
The month of March is a transitional month when we go from winter to spring. March has been known to play tricks on us. We could see some more snowy and windy days.
Even April has been known to give us some white stuff.
Leonard Llewellyn Jr.
Mr. Llewellyn is a weather observer for the National Weather Service.

What about us?
America can’t pay its bills at home, yet Hillary Clinton is announcing that we are sending $150 million to Egypt to assist in its recovery.  
What am I missing with this logic?
Edward Boyd

Where’s the outrage?
Over the past several months, the Letters pages of the Times have been filled with strongly worded exhortations for reduced government intervention and a decreased tax burden on Southold residents.
Some of these letters border on incoherent ranting, others target our community’s teachers (who, for the record, are among the lowest-paid teachers on Long Island — look it up) or town employees. Some make very reasonable arguments for streamlining costs for nonessential services.
I expected to open this week’s Times to read a slew of letters urging our local leaders and representatives in Albany to fight against increasing our tax burden to ensure that the Army Corps of Engineers can rush their time line on completing the work to fight erosion on the Sound-front coastline of Southold. But I see no such outrage about this very expensive, “big government” project.
Moreover, I read in your story on the issue this week that our newly elected assemblyman, Representative Losquadro, who rode the coattails of a voracious East End tea party movement to edge out a great public servant in Marc Alessi by a thin margin, is actively campaigning in Albany for the state to contribute an additional $3 million to complete this work.
I support my fellow Southold residents trying to ensure the safety of their homes, and I hope that our local, state and federal representatives are able to figure out a way to protect against erosion in a fiscally and environmentally responsible way.
However, I offer this challenge to those who purport to be supporters of reducing “big government” intervention into our lives:
If you want to see teacher salaries reduced and benefits for town employees scaled back, or if you want Congressman Bishop to advocate for the reduction of Medicare/Medicaid and the privatization of Social Security, then you should also be opposed to asking our already bankrupt state Legislature to spend $3 million to ensure that a few folks don’t lose more acreage to the natural process of erosion.
And perhaps Assemblyman Losqaudro’s quick tack toward increasing the state budget is a sign that last year’s rage-filled diatribe against big government is a house of cards that collapses when it’s time to make difficult decisions about reducing spending.
If the so-called tea party is to have any credibility, its members need to be just as willing to express outrage at waterfront homeowners who want to spend tax dollars to avoid erosion of their land as they are willing to attack teachers, town employees, or poor folks who can’t afford to purchase health insurance for their families.
Doug Roberts

Open your eyes
This world of ours is in turmoil and our country is under threat by those that wish to do us tremendous harm.
But the leftist amongst us are still willing to down play the seriousness of recent world events. The leftist press like Newsday and the New York Times print very little when reporting on the Middle East conflicts.
Our borders are open, with one thousand illegal crossings of the uninvited each day, yet the Obama administration refuses to significantly strengthen those borders.
We have 60,000 troops in Germany and another 30,000 in South Korea. Why is that?
Why not move those troops to secure the defense of our nation?
We secured our air travel but not our borders. How ridiculous is that?
To my leftist critics who turn a question of security into an accusation of anti-Hispanic bias, get your head out of the sand and open your eyes.
The liberals have weakened this country with their ideologies and cannot realize that they may soon become victims, just as the 3,000 World Trade Center souls did.
Israel may soon be annihilated by the soon-to-be-united Muslim countries that will be eventually led by fanatic Muslim killers.
The brave, heroic people of Israel will not go down without a fight, but they will be defeated unless Obama comes to their aid.
We could learn something from the great Israeli people about readiness, nationalism and patriotism. But we won’t.
Will it take another attack on our soil to realize how vulnerable we really are?
Our leftist will scoff at that idea and choose to dilute any question of threats with accusations of bias, prejudice, hallucinations and over-reactions.
Do they think that they will be immune to an act of aggression against us?
Do these pampered progressives that have contributed nothing to this country (except criticism of our capitalist system and our conservative government) have any idea that we have been attacked by radical Islam since 1979?
When will they realize that radical Islam hates us?
This letter will be followed by ten letters of criticism just as my previous letters have. But so what? They will only serve to inspire me to write more.
I thank them for that.
God bless America, and the leftists too.
John Copertino