Letters to the Editor: Dec. 15, 2011


Where were they?

Congratulation to Mattituck resident Paul Calabro in his successful court fight to secure the right to use a beach claimed to be privately owned.

It took the jury five minutes to reach its verdict that Paul was not guilty of trespassing. Let’s hope the verdict will have implications for all who claim what is not theirs and those who enjoy that which God has given and the law allows.

For shame, not one of Southold Town’s five Republican Trustees, nor anyone from town government, was present as interested parties at this precedent-setting trial. One would have hoped elected officials thought the people of Southold had an interest in this case.

Had the trial been held prior to the election they may have thought otherwise.

Art Tillman

chairman, Southold Democratic Party


Make ’em pay first

I agree with Gunther Geiss. The Dec. 1 issue contained some very interesting numbers pertaining to property taxes that are up to three years in arrears.

Is anyone at Town Hall checking the records when handing out expedited permits that we as taxpayers are subsidizing? Did the supervisor know that Pindar (Damianos family) owed the town and the paying public so much money.? If he didn’t know, why didn’t he?

Pindar makes a tasty product and keeps more houses from being built. But the new 100kw wind turbine should have been put on hold until the town received full arrears along with interest.

If I was three years in arrears I would be packing my bags — and not by choice. And I certainly would not have the gall to ask for an expedited permit so I could “cash in” on a grant.

Whose side are you on, boys?

Cecilia Loucka


Nice work, fellows

Last week’s storm caused a huge fir tree near the road on my absent neighbor’s property to fall across power lines. It took LIPA two days to come and repair the live wire dangling close to the ground, which required cutting away large sections of the fallen tree.

Luckily for me all those branches left on the ground at the edge of my field were on town property. I called the highway department Monday afternoon. A crew came at 8 the next morning with chainsaws and a front-end loader and cleared it all away.

Thanks, guys, I know it’s been a rough year for you.

Anne Hopkins


The holiday rush

I went to Southold Town Hall on Friday, Dec. 9, to renew my town dump sticker. I like to do it early to avoid the last-minute rush.

I was told that the 2012 stickers would not be available until the last week of December. That means that several thousand people will descend on Town Hall on the last five days of the month trying to renew their dump stickers.

It should be a lot of fun.

Donald Ritter


Expect the first at 1

In the “Diversity on deposit” letter of Dec. 8, Mr. McKenzie decries the fact he saw no white faces in the Hudson City Bank’s advertisements.

And, oh yes, he wants to see a Christian religious symbol of Christmas displayed.

Anybody else see the hypocrisy here?

Sounds to me like he’s in dire need of a visit from the three spirits of Christmas.

Pat Gomez


Election issue in ’12

The New York Times business section on Saturday, Dec. 3, made a few interesting points. In an article about the government’s case against Citigroup’s handling of the mortgage crisis, a number of scary things came up.

A fine was levied against a Citi employee for $285 million (pocket change for Citi) for his involvement in the handling of bundled mortgages in what are called “consolidated debt instruments.”

What happened? Citi sold $1 billion of mortgages to investors and then bet against those same mortgages. When the smoke cleared, Citi’s investors lost over $700 million and Citi made about $160 million and the employee took home a $1 million bonus with a guarantee of another year-end bonus of $2.25 million.

These deals are not illegal, and the assumption is the purchasers are sophisticated investors and can parse out this whole thing. (Do you know the intimate details of all your investments?) The kickback to Citi? The customer may not continue to do business with them. Wow.

While this fancy wheeling and dealing is not illegal, it is simply immoral, inappropriate and reckless. Penalized conduct? Hardly.

Does this point to the need for tougher financial regulation? You bet it does.

Think about this at the polls next year.

Howard Meinke


Attacking religion

Our First Amendment rights of freedom of religion are under government attack. Christianity in general and more specifically the Catholic Church.

Christianity is being besieged from all sides, with powerful interest groups out to deny us our basic liberties — and being mandated by the state to comply.

Fortunately, the religious are starting to realize that our freedom is at stake.

For instance, the Department of Justice is arguing the Defense of Marriage Act is a form of “bigotry” against the recently legalized New York State gay “marriage” law.

If these devious forces win, the cause of freedom is lost.

Jack McGreevy

P.S. Happy Holy Days to our Jewish brothers and sisters and a merry Christmas to all.

Geneva, OH

Jobs weren’t local

This letter is in response to Robert Villa’s Dec. 1 letter, “Bring back the jobs.”

It isn’t that Connecticut or Plum Island snatched 180 jobs that could have stayed locally on Long Island. The 180 jobs would exist regardless of where the employee lived. During my tenure at Plum Island as an employee I lived in Greenport, but many of the doctors and researchers lived in Connecticut to begin with. Some were associated with UCONN in Storrs and other animal disease research facilities in Connecticut. A few of the local employees I worked with moved to Connecticut because the cost of living was considerably cheaper than on the East End.

The use of marine vessels was usually a scheduled event to transport folks to Connecticut to maximize efficiency and minimize cost. During my tenure there, part of my job was to make sure the Connecticut folks signed up for the available trips to Connecticut. This occasionally required phone calls to the Connecticut folks to remind them of the boat schedule as they would get very involved in their work. It was only on very rare occasions that a special trip was made for anyone.

Things may have changed since I was there. While I can’t comment on Mr. Villa’s other points, I can say that those 180 jobs he mentioned, none of them were local, they were all on Plum Island.

Dolly Adriatico


Working together actually works

There’s a collective smile on the faces of New Yorkers proud of their government and what bipartisan cooperation can produce for a citizenry tired of the kind of bickering and backbiting that has stalled our federal government.

In stark contrast to the gridlock in Washington. D.C., the state Senate’s Republican majority has worked together with Governor Andrew Cuomo to accomplish major changes and positive reforms this year.

The new middle-class tax cut and job creation plan will build on these successes by cutting taxes for hardworking middle-class families, and helping to create new private sector jobs. The package delivers on my long-standing goal of derailing the job-killing MTA payroll tax. It includes $250 million in new tax relief through elimination of the MTA payroll tax on most small businesses and elimination of this job-killing tax for more than 290,000 small businesses throughout the 12-county MTA region; 81 percent of all impacted businesses will see the tax completely eliminated.

Earlier this year, working in a bipartisan manner, we accomplished some very important things for the people of this state, including eliminating a $10 billion deficit, bringing spending under control and capping property taxes.

This job-creating economic plan continues to defy the political gridlock that has paralyzed Washington and shows that we can make government work for the people of this state once again. I am pleased to have partnered with the governor on this agreement that reflects two of my long-held priorities: cutting your taxes and creating jobs in New York State.

Ken LaValle

New York State senator