Letters to the Editor: August 25, 2011


Walk in our shoes

I must reply to the letter from Peter Banc. First, I would love to see him get up at 4 a.m. to start his day on our farm. I welcome him to join us for a few hours to walk in our shoes and see how hard it is to make a living farming.
When he gets to all the damage to the crops we grow from the birds, deer and raccoons let’s see how he feels.
Farmers have no control over the animals that ruin our crops. And since we must do what the DEC tells us to do, we are very limited in controlling the animals we may encounter. Not to mention having no rain for weeks or disease from too much rain.
Mr. Banc has no idea what it takes to be a farmer. Farmers feed America. Would he rather buy fruit and vegetables from out of the country, not knowing where they come from or how they’re grown? Here in the good old USA all farmers are tightly controlled on how to farm the right way.
To the coward who came on our farm and cut our corn guns, shame on you! We know who it is and the police were called.
The critics were well informed before they purchased their homes that there were working farms near them. They also had to pay a percent of the sale of the property to the town to help keep farmers farming.
Did they just wake up one day and realize one of the oldest family farms in the state is near?
Also, we are not deaf. Our home is closer to the guns than the critics are, and we turn them off on Sundays.
I have never seen any man work as hard as my husband, son and son-in-law. Come and join us and get a real eye-opener on real work.

Ethel Terry


Defending farmers

Some of us were born and raised here. We are surrounded by acres and acres of farmland and we love it. We grew up with all of the farmers and prior farming generations. We live in a special place. Everyone knows each other here, not like other places where people don’t even know their next door neighbor.
Our farmers work very hard so we can all enjoy fresh, local vegetables. Corn is in season now, and the farmers are using the propane cannons to keep the birds and other pests away. Where did the critics get “3 months of noise pollution”? Don’t they have anything better to do than count the number of times the cannon goes off?
As for the remark about tourism, who asked them to come here?
Besides the cannon, farmers also need to use electric fences to keep out deer and people. Yes, people, who I can see from my house stealing flowers and vegetables. Who do they think they are?
We choose to live here surrounded by farms and nature. That’s what the whole North Fork is about. Who are they to be so arrogant? Their letters are an insult to all of us who live here. If they don’t like it here, perhaps they should go back where they came from.
Maybe the traffic and strip malls are what they should be counting. Listen closely to the noise they generate. I’m sure they’re not as beautiful as Orient or the people who live here.

Pat Mack


God bless farmers

Local farmers don’t need my help in defending themselves against negative comments. I’m sure concern for such comments falls well below crop disease, bad weather, poor market prices, lack of help, equipment breakdown, overpopulation of deer and New York State bureaucracy.
I consider it a privilege to live amongst a dying breed, the American farmer. Most local farms have been here for generations. Many existed long before this nation. I’ll stand by the local farmer any time and any place.
So corn guns blaze away and slow-moving tractors take to the roads. You’ll not hear me complain.
May the blessings of God always shine on your fields.

Colin Stevens


Talk to the farmers

In response to Vivian Cunningham’s letter, my first question is did she talk to Danny Latham or Sep’s Farm?
Did they tell her they lost two days of their first corn in July to raccoons? Did they tell her they lost two acres to birds? Maybe they should sell their land to a developer so we can have 2,000 houses built in Orient.
I am a homeowner in Orient and I hear the cannons. But it is a matter of survival for them. Why doesn’t she freeload on someone on the South Fork next year?

Bill Arnold


Living in paradise

It has been my great privilege and joy to live in Orient since 1985. I have spent the last 11 years restoring the Orville Terry homestead on Main Road. Ten of my acres are farmed by the Terry family, which has tilled this land for hundreds of years.
Crops are rotated and this year it’s corn. I walk this land every day and I’ve watched the corn grow from seed. Perhaps Mr. Banc and Ms. Cunningham should spend a day with an Orient farmer to see just how tough it is to bring crops to market. They should see the flocks of birds ruining the corn when the cannons are not on.
I hear the cannons and I walk on, thanking my lucky stars I live in paradise.
Perhaps the folks who damn the cannons should spend 24 hours in Manhattan with the sirens, the street noise and the overnight garbage pickup. Lots of people call that home.
Orient is a special place with a rich farming tradition. These are real farmers who deal with weather and wildlife every day. They deserve our respect and thanks.
We would be better served if those who call them “selfish and arrogant” never crossed east of the causeway.

Suzanne Egan


Quiet and barren

After reading Peter Banc’s and Vivian Cunningham’s letters, I thought of my last visit to Orient in June for the funeral of Mooreen Terry. David, her son, shared the memory of riding bikes on the back roads with his mom and she frequently reminding him to “look around because this will all change.”
I must say the two letters concerning the use of propane cannons by farmers to protect their crops do not reflect those who embrace a rural agricultural lifestyle. But Peter and Vivian can take heart, there are only a few farmers left in Orient and their children may choose another way of life.
The legacy of the family farm in Orient will end and will be replaced with barren quietude.

Adrienne Dillingham


Respect neighbors

The Suffolk Times article regarding Satur Farms suing their neighbors references Paulette Satur’s letter to the editor that ended with the promise (or threat) that “I will take every action to protect our legitimate farming operation.”
The Suffolk Times Editorial, “Farmfield minefields” states that it is no surprise and inevitable that the farmers who run Satur Farms are suing their neighbors. The farmers I grew up with would never have thought of suing their neighbors.
My fondest memories as a child in Cutchogue are of farmers going to the beach at night and together dragging a huge fishnet. My dad took me with him to experience how wonderful it is to work together. Those farmers never felt the need to describe their farming as a legitimate operation.
The farmers I grew up with respected their neighbors. Roads were for going between farms, not for using as part of the farm. Take a ride on Alvah’s Lane and see how you feel when a forklift heads straight at you with the fork packed so high with boxes that you can’t see the driver.
The development rights to the Satur Farms property are held by Suffolk County and belong to the public. Why can’t the public see the open space? Satur has planted a screen to hide their row of buildings along the road. The open space is still there, but now it is there for their eyes only.
Demanding $14 million is a scare tactic. Judges require proof of actual damages so exaggeration and bullying won’t cut it. If Satur Farms lost $9 million on account of the neighbors signs, how much did Satur Farms make?
Words will never hurt me. And sticks and stones may break my bones, but diesel fumes may kill me. $5 million to punish someone for calling Eberhard Mueller a Nazi? Will someone please call me a Nazi? I’ll only charge $1 million.

Nancy Sawastynowicz


Painfully wrong

Hugh Prestwood’s letter about moving the 9/11 osprey sculpture away from the waterfront almost made me cry.
The magnificent bird is as much a beacon in our harbor as the Statue of Liberty is in New York’s. I, too, understand that perhaps Mitchell Park should not be littered with sculpture. But to not grasp the difference here, and to not even try to work out an exception to the rule, is a victory for mediocrity over vision and inspiration.
I beg the Greenport Village Board, please try to find a way around this painfully wrong decision. Mr. Prestwood calls it an “historic blunder.” I call it a tragedy.

William Sertl


Showing no courage

The osprey stood in Greenport for years as a symbol of remembrance and the courage shown by the American people on 9/11.
During an Aug. 22 public meeting not one village trustee would publicly state a position taken during the secret discussion on keeping the osprey or not.
I guess it’s just as well it’s going from a place where the leadership shows no courage.

William Swiskey


The rich are to blame

I am a union worker, I am not the problem.
Teachers, police officers, paramedics, firefighters, road workers and others are not the enemy. If you’re jealous of our benefits, fight for your own, not against ours.
We live here, pay taxes, work hard and try to support our families, too.
The rich who created this crisis are pitting middle-class families against each other.

Scott Foglia


What is the plan?

“Don’t remain silent on this issue. Let your voice be heard.” That was what Art Tillman, chairman of the Southold Town Democratic Committee, stated in The Suffolk Times.
Well, far be it for me to pass up an opportunity to have my voice heard.
Just what is Mr. Tillman’s plan to Save Medicare? I hope it has more substance than Mr. Obama’s plan for economic growth.
Did anyone ask Mr. Tillman’s minion drones exactly what the plan was as they collected signatures for a “Save Medicare” line on the November ballot?
What I heard standing nearby a collection site was a plethora of outlandish lies deliberately perpetrated to scare and deceive the elderly and uninformed.
Gerrymandering didn’t work, so now Mr. Tillman hopes to erode the Republican voting base by establishing a third party, “Save Medicare Party.” Mr. Tillman can form a third party, but should stop using the typical Washington Democrat policy of scaring the elderly by telling outlandish lies.
I really thought he was above using mendacity to accomplish his goals, I was wrong. It is now apparent that Mr. Tillman and Mr. Obama, the anointed one, share a common bond; both spew what the bull left in the pen.
Mr. Obama had no plan to save the economy, and Mr. Tillman has no plan to save Medicare.

George Dengel


Rotary says thanks

Twenty years ago, the Rotary clubs of Southold and Greenport joined together to provide a fundraiser that would help us make a difference to the local and world communities.
The lobster fest was born and since then we have been amazed and deeply honored to have the support of the wonderful people, not only from the North Fork but from so many all over the island, even as far away as Sweden.
Once again, we had a wonderful evening, serving well over 100 dinners of lobster, steak, mussels, and hot dogs and burgers for the children.
The atmosphere was possible not only because of all the hard work by the Rotarians, who were assisted by several of the NJROTC cadets and members of the Southold and Greenport High School Interact clubs, but also because of the generous people in our community.
We thank all those who helped and all those who continue to support Rotary and this wonderful evening. Our only regret is that we had to turn away some people who wanted to buy lobster tickets at the door.
See you next year, always on the last Saturday in July.

Barbara Ackermann
president, Rotary Club of Southold