Letters to the Editor


Shoot, with a camera

So much for cooperation from the pilots that fly their helicopters to the Hamptons for the rich and famous.
I live near Mattituck Inlet and on Memorial Day afternoon all I could do was try to drown out the intrusive noise of helicopter after helicopter over my neighborhood. I was under the impression that there was an agreement worked out by our elected officials to have these elite aircraft fly north and over Long Island Sound or west over the ocean toward New York City.
Why the operators of these helicopters fly over Mattituck to go westward is beyond me.
Perhaps just as there is a hunting season for the annoying deer there should be an open season for helicopters from Memorial Day until Labor Day within the restricted airspace. There would be real consequences for flying in a no-fly zone. Tracking of aircraft with a real penalty in the pocket of the operators and owners and suspension of the pilot’s license might get the attention of all involved.
I hope that officials on all levels of government step up and insist on compliance with the agreement to fly over open space and not over major populated communities. Record the violations on video and contact your officials. Please, if you are going to shoot, do so with a camera only.

Mike Burke


Promises, promises

As a homeowner and part-time resident in Cutchogue for the last six years, it is fair to say that the quality of life in my area has definitely and slowly deteriorated.
In just six short years, even though the Town of Southold tries, it seems a constant, relentless, disregard from the politicians when it comes to the helicopter noise issue.
The people elected them and are just given typical political posturing and false hopes, from both sides of the aisle. How sad to see a little piece of what my wife and I thought was paradise slowly slip to … well, just not a very quiet and peaceful area to live in.

Dennis Sheehan


It’s just not true

I was shocked to learn of the allegations leveled against me by my neighbors that my B&B Harbor Knoll is engaged “in a full blown wedding business” and that our business has disrupted the neighborhood.
Nothing could be further from the truth. I have held only two private weddings since we have owned our house since 1973; my daughter’s wedding in June 1997 and a small one for the daughter of a close family friend held five years ago.
There have been no buses on the private road, which we own, no wandering guests and no loud music, as further evidenced by the fact that no police report or complaint has ever been filed. The statements made by my neighbors to the Village Board are completely false.
After nearly 40 years as a resident of Greenport and having served as president of the maritime museum for several years, head of the Greenport Improvement Committee, president of the North Fork Bed and Breakfast Association, on the board of the Greenport Business Improvement District, head of the Greenport Holiday Festival and head of the Greenport Merchants Association, I feel confident in my reputation as a concerned and responsible citizen, business owner and a person of integrity.
The charges against me are patently false. I would have appreciated The Suffolk Times presenting a balanced story, rather than slanting the article with misleading and unfair information about me and my business.
I would like to stress that I defend my right and the right of all property owners to enjoy the use of their property, which includes the right to entertain family and guests.

Leueen and Gordon Miller


Too much info

Since my 8-, 5-, and 3-year-olds cannot advocate for themselves, let me, their mom, do it for them.
Last week I received a letter from Southold School advising about the purchase of a new “point of sale” payment system for lunches. This will have every child in the district under an ID card plan.
What the letter fails to explain is whether a parent can decide to opt out of such a plan. It goes on to say: “Linked to each student’s identification card is an account that will be updated with information pertaining to lunches that have been either pre-paid and/or charged … But what we are exchanging for this payment system? The answer is our right to privacy and liberty.
Some think it’s harmless. The letter even says, “Ultimately, the use of the point of sale system will decrease the amount of time students spend on a serving line, giving them more time to enjoy their lunch.”
Really? Is the wait really that long in our elementary school? I have been present during two of the lunch periods and the staff does an excellent job of taking care of our kids.
There are districts currently using fingerprint scanning and some even ration whether a child has met their “quota” for cookies for the month. Some districts are not even allowing children to bring lunch from home anymore.
Whatever happened to student responsibility and parent responsibility?
Do we really want a secure website (which never is) handling data about our children when they’re too young to understand the ramifications of giving up their individual liberties for the sake of a system? I don’t want my children, their information or anything other than academically related information to be a part of any sharing.
Is our district really that large that we really need a system like this? Is it really worth the cost, when the budget just cut out one of the drama productions at the high school level?
Let’s spend money on the kids and not on policing the kids and micromanaging lives. Enough is enough.

Mary VonEiff


Touching lives

On behalf of all the volunteers who give generously to the Maureen’s Haven homeless outreach, I want to personally extend a resounding thank-you.
Whether you helped at this church or at other houses of worship, or through the Peconic Community Council, or any of the various fundraisers, your kind and generous support has truly saved lives.
This host site has decided that we are choosing to run our homeless outreach on our own, no longer under the auspices of Peconic Community Council doing business as Maureen’s Haven. Our homeless outreach conducted at Mattituck Presbyterian Church every Thursday night for the last nine seasons will continue operating with a new name and will continue to have a profound impact on those who help and those whom we help.

Caren Heacock

homeless outreach coordinator


Their logic is lacking

The continuous blast from the right is “stop wasteful expenditures, reduce entitlements and get to a balanced budget now” OK, we agree on the need to reduce the deficit, the only question is the priorities of how and when.
Most recently, in an eruption of illogic, the Republicans refused to eliminate the ongoing subsidies to the oil companies.
They’re saying that the most profitable of companies, Exxon and a few others, with $30 billion of yearly profits and a guaranteed growing market deserve a subsidy of $5 billion per year.
At the same time the Republicans are running a virulent campaign against “entitlements,” such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Farm subsidies, which only giant industrial agricultural corporations participate in, are also off limits. No family farms here, only the Exxons of farming are in on this with $23 billion spread over a few giants.
Close to three-quarters of the farm community receives zero, nada. No subsidy money to farmers here on the North Fork.
Taxes are also a focus of this illogic. The very richest of us have had their taxes lowered over the Reagan-Bush years. In the face of the growing deficit, the Republicans have refused to let the Bush tax cuts expire, so the rich get off once more.
Remember when we talked about progressive taxation? That’s a dead conversation among the GOP. They still hold “trickle down” as a key to economic vitality, in spite of contrary analysis and experience.
It’s long past time to take a hard look at the priorities and logic of the Republicans. It’s very clear that they favor the wealthy to an unreasonable extent and that they’re happy to heap trouble on the working class and the elderly.
Here in Southold, where the household median income is $30,000, we should pay attention and study the various claims and determine whose programs are in our interest and whose programs actually undermine us. This is important.

Howard Meinke

Editor’s note: Mr. Meinke is an alternate committeeman in the Southold Democratic Party.


Look it up again

Mr. Hunter’s pithy advice to “Look it up” (May 26) leaves his argument against gay marriage vulnerable.
As a graduate of a major religious university, and a retired college professor of literature as well, I know well the famous Sodom and Gomorrah passage he cites from the Old Testament’s first book. What Mr. Hunter appears not to know is that Biblical scholars and exegetes generally interpret that passage as an admonition against inhospitality, not against homosexuality.
As far as the famous passage in Leviticus 18 goes, which is usually cited against homosexuality, consider the context of the book that it is in. Mr. Hunter hopefully is not troubled by Biblical passages that have as little relevance to modern man as his does. For example:
Leviticus 19:27 requires men to wear untrimmed beards.
Leviticus 11 throughout says eating shellfish, certain animals and birds, rabbits, pork and snails is considered an abomination. These dietary rules may make sense in the desert because of health concerns and sanitation, but on the North Fork?
Leviticus 11:8 forbids touching the skin of a swine. Must we outlaw football?
Leviticus 20:14 requires burning to death both the man or woman who sleeps with an in-law.
Leviticus 20:14 forbids a farmer to mix crops in a field. It also does not allow a woman to wear a garment of two different fibers. There go agriculture and the fashion industry.
Exodus 21:7 includes a list of horrors permitted in families, such as allowing men to sell their daughters into slavery.
Exodus 35:2 states the one who works on the Sabbath “shall be put to death.” Yet another blow to the economy.
While the Old Testament’s God is a wrathful one who says “smite thine enemy,” the New Testament’s God is a merciful and forgiving one who asks us to “love our enemy and our neighbors as ourselves.” So please do not throw us bigotry in the name of Scripture.

Edwin Blesch Jr.


A slanderous attack

In the May 26 issue Mr. Spackman accused me of “seeming to be a closet racist.” He does a great disservice to black Americans by spewing forth terms like that without proof.
It is a frivolous accusation used by the deadbeats and dregs of society to acquire positions, welfare, and entitlements they do not deserve. He twists my opinions into half-truths.
Also, bowing to the King of Saudi Arabia, is not “a polite gesture,” as he states. It is demeaning to all Americans because Mr. Obama represents America.
He wrote that I am guilty of “psychotic tirades” and that I have “an unhealthy obsession for Mr. Obama.” If it appears to be that way, it is because he is a disgrace to the office he holds.
This is America, I have the right to comment on any elected official’s performance. Although Mr. Obama would change that if we allow him to.
In his letter Mr. Spackman wrote, “I hate Obama because of the color of his skin.” That is exactly why Mr. Obama was selected as a candidate, so that the left can attack anyone that disagrees with his policies and performance as being based on racism rather than performance. How shrewd. How sad. How controlling.
He even comments about my use of his name, Barack Hussein Obama, which is the name that he was sworn into office with.
Mr. Obama represents everything that most Americans abhor.
Mr. Spackman does not control me or others like me by his slanderous attacks. We have a right to our opinion.
I am a veteran. We lost 100,000 young Americans to the Communists in the Korean and Vietnam wars. Communism is an ideology that Mr. Obama embraces. “Redistribute the wealth” indeed.
His defeat will be astounding, and then the deadbeats in this country will have to find other ways to bleed us taxpaying, hardworking Americans.
God Bless America and our right to free speech, within limits of the law.

John Copertino


He’s so not PC

God bless John Copertino for speaking the truth and not being politically correct. I have always maintained that to be PC you must first emasculate yourself and then support the ideology of the liberal, progressive, socialist, communist and godless Democratic Party.
Keep in mind that the president bows to a Saudi Prince, calls for Israel to surrender land, fails to attend Reverend Wright’s church or any other church, failed to attend the National Prayer Day and yet some find fault with Mr. Copertino’s assessment of him.
At least Mr. Copertino got his name right, Barack “Hussein” Obama. Given the fact he has put this country in untenable debt and is changing this country into a Third World nation, I thought his name was Barack “Insane” Obama.
I wasn‘t absent when my teacher taught me that as with any melting pot, even the great American melting pot, a certain amount of slag accumulates on the top and periodically that slag has to be removed. Come 2012 we will be adding Mr. Obama to the Democrat slag heap atop Presidents Carter and Clinton.
For the record. I do not recall any of my public school history books mentioning what significant part Muslims played in the building of America. Was it the time we sent the American Navy and Marines to Tripoli to stop Muslim pirates from seizing American ships and enslaving American citizens? The Muslim pirates’ actions did contribute to the slogan “millions for defense, not one cent for tribute.”
Anyway, they all moved to Somalia and the liberal progressives are working on revising American history books.
If Muslims were instrumental in framing the Constitution, then according to their Sharia law there would be no Jews, Catholics or any other religious groups in the USA. Also, according to Sharia law homosexuals are stoned to death.
Michael Edelson, the self-proclaimed born-again atheist from Greenport, which I might add, happens to be the center of the godless Democrats on the North Folk, does not appreciate Mr. Copertino’s letters. I applaud his honesty. In fact, he may be the first honest Democrat I know.
Perhaps it’s time that Mr. Copertino’s critics tune out CNN and tune in the Fox News Channel. They’ve been so brainwashed by the lame-stream media, I doubt if they’re unaware of the systematic persecution and killing of Christians by Muslims in Egypt. May God save the republic of the United States of America and protect us from the liberal, progressive, socialist, communist, godless Democrats.

George Dengel


The math is simple

In response to my May 12 letter, two recent writers chose to attack the messenger rather than the message, which was a community cannot pay more than it earns.
The situation is further magnified upon retirement when teachers’ pensions usually exceed $60,000 (2% x 30 years x ending salary, usually over $100,000). For this school year, the average of the highest ending salary of all four contract salary schedules is $112,305. Further, as of the 2012-2013 school year this average for the two larger schools rises to $125,985.
Apropos the more recent writer who has possibly never read any of the current union contracts of the four North Fork schools, the following should be helpful:
The average teacher’s starting salary with a BA is $46,399 and with an MA, $49,963.
Also, the average contractual workweek is less than 35 hours a week plus extra compensation in the form of hourly pay or stipends is contractually available for a multitude of specified additional duties.
I wish to emphasize that $74,945 is the average salary of all the full-time teachers in this specific small school district for the current school year. The mean or the halfway point between the lowest salary ($54,078) and the highest salary ($89,743) is $71,910.
So like much of what else he had in mind, the most recent critic was wrong here as well.
Remember, a community cannot pay more than it earns, either in the form of compensation or pension.

Walter Strohmeyer
former president, Oysterponds school board


No potty, no money

On Saturday of Memorial Day weekend I went with my family to Veterans Beach, where we have been going for many years. There were two girls selling permits for the season for $5, a real bargain.
What I would like to know is why they are selling permits now when there aren’t lifeguards on duty, the signs say beach closed and pretty much everyone knows it’s swim at your own risk?
They had a ceremony at the building they built three years ago but did not have the bathroom doors open to all the people there for the start of the beach season. People are forced to either go home or use the portables, which can be quite disgusting.
If you’re going to take money then leave the bathrooms open.
We left about 4 p.m. and the girls were still selling permits. Can’t we use the money they are collecting to pay to have the bathrooms open?

Tom Marron