Letters to the Editor: Jan. 5, 2012


Requiescat in pace

Mercy, mercy, mercy. An angel amongst us is now an angel above us.
Rest in peace, John Romanelli. You will be missed but not forgotten.

Joann Tamin


Give credit to Anne

I am responding to Mr. Ed Blesch’s very nice letter about classical music concerts here on the East End. I thank him for his words of appreciation and his love of music.

I certainly agree with him about drawing in the young people of the community and giving them the opportunity to hear really fine live music.

One correction: I am not the director of Orient Community Activities. The honor of serving as president goes to Linton Duell, acting president in the absence of Anne Mackay, who has recently stepped down for health reasons.

Anne, president of OCA for many years, really should be recognized for her vision and leadership in restoring Poquatuck Hall to its rightful place as a community center for music, theater, meetings and parties.

Janes Smith

secretary, Orient Community Activities


Thanks much, elves

I would like to thank all the North Fork “elves” who helped with the East End Pajama Drive, which collected and distributed more than 200 pairs of new, warm pajamas to children in need in eastern Suffolk.
Our special thanks to everyone who donated and especially to the staff at King Kullen in Cutchogue, Rosemary Martilotta and her “yogies’ and the Mattituck, Cutchogue New Suffolk and Southold libraries.

Donna Giancontieri


We miss you, Skip

In my Dec. 1 column I touched on Orient’s loss with the passing of Skip Wachsberger. I mentioned that I would continue my thoughts in a letter to the editor. Well, that never happened.

My reason for not writing it at the time was indecision on just what to say and do justice to this special man. Everyone who spoke about Skip had a different vision of this very talented, gifted, colorful member of our Oysterponds family. However, the consensus expressed in hushed tones was just that — his hushed tones, his gentleness, his courage and the belief that he was tucked in, at peace and rest tending to the heavenly gardens.
It’s rare indeed, but no one said one cross word about Skip.

Just prior to Christmas I was at a party and we were telling Skip stories. I reluctantly told my favorite, which I said I couldn’t share in print. That attempt at self-censorship was voted down by all in the room, so here goes.
About 20 years ago a friend of mine who was my date for one of my high school soirées mentioned that he had since dated Skip. The next time I saw Skip I told him of our mutual friend. I followed that with, “Every guy I had a crush on in high school was gay.” Skip quickly responded, “Every guy I had a crush on in high school was straight.” That was said in monotone and he didn’t miss a beat or blink an eye. That was so Skip, who was anything but monotone.

When my mom died after a lengthy struggle with her health, I remember saying to Pat Cavanaugh, wife of Pastor Jim of Orient Congregational Church, that I’m not sure why I feel so sad since I knew this was coming. Pat, a licensed therapist, said death is like getting hit by a bus you see coming at you as opposed to one you don’t. Oysterponds was hit by a bus in November, but it was one we’ll all hop on eventually and meet again.
God speed, Skip.

Carol Gillooly


No one could go?

Southold Trustee John Bredemeyer recently wrote that the Trustees were working the day of the Rivera-Calabro trial. The charge of trespassing against Mr. Calabro carried implications regarding the Public Trust Doctrine and the public’s use of the beach below the mean high water mark. Therefore, the trial had implications for owners of beachfront property and the public.

The trial lasted not one day, but over a three-day period. Further, Mr. Bredemeyer wrote, “Had our schedule been otherwise, I am sure we would have been at the trial.” It seems a stretch to say five Trustees were working three consecutive days in a row on Trustee business and unable to send at least one Trustee to this important trial and report back.

Three Democrat candidates defeated in the last election found time and attended the trial. Not one of the Republican winners attended, nor did any office holder, nor did the town attorney.
Yes, the state, the town and the Trustees have not provided guidelines as to the location of the mean high water mark and we Democrats support a clarification, as I’m sure most do.

Art Tillman

chairman, Southold Democratic Party


Recognize the rights

As the author of “Long Island Sound: Its People, Places and Environment” published by New York University Press in 2004, and a contributor to a forthcoming book on the management of the Sound sponsored by the EPA’s Long Island Sound Study, I have read with interest your publication’s coverage of the Mattituck beachfront controversy and have delved further into similar, though not necessarily analogous, situations elsewhere, particularly the Destin, Fla., case.

In Destin after sand was brought in to replenish eroded beachfront, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the newly created beach was public property rather than the property of landowners, whose parcels had previously stretched to the water’s edge.

In contrast with the nature of the beach replenishment in Destin, in Mattituck natural forces deposited sand on Sound Beach Drive properties west of Mattituck Inlet, thereby increasing the size of these properties. Given the fact that the property owners are paying taxes on the accreted land, it does not seem unreasonable that they wish to reserve this property for the use of their families and guests.

The public still has the right to access the beach below the mean high tide line, but public access to the accreted beach, which the town recognizes by virtue of its taxing authority as private property, is a violation of the rights of the property owners.

Along the same lines, one cannot help but wonder how our local public authorities would react if the state were to claim the accreted beachfront at the Mattituck Park District beach to the west of Mattituck Inlet. If that were to occur, the town would presumably sue the state with the cost of such legal action borne by the taxpayers of our town.

Going back to the time of the Founding Fathers, private property rights have been enshrined in this country. It’s time for the Town of Southold to reaffirm these rights. Doing so will be in the town’s best interest and will in no way conflict with the public trust doctrine’s recognition of the public’s right to access beachfront up to the mean high water mark.

Marilyn Weigold


Put the rock back

People, don’t you think it is enough already? Chris and Richard Rivera have been singled out long enough. Any homeowner would do at least as much to protect their own property.

But to have the Town of Southold come in and remove a large rock from within a private property line simply because the town thinks “it’s in the way” is ridiculous. Put it back and let this vendetta against the Riveras go.
Probably your readers do not know, but Mr. and Mrs. Rivera are very philanthropic. They donate to charities all year long. They participate in fundraisers for the less fortunate in our area and are a kindhearted couple. They constantly put others before themselves. Their goodness goes unnoticed by most.

Chris and Richard are fair and strong businesspeople. The Town of Southold would be wise to follow their example and just leave them alone.

Please stay off their property and beach area, and for goodness sake put the rock back.

Donna Schmitt


This is the year

Happy New Year, North Fork! Here we are again, another year older and deeper in debt.

Say, are you still waiting for that hope and change to kick in? Oops, bet I hit a nerve with that one.

You have to admit, we got the change and after busting your butt all week I’ll bet that’s about all you have in your pocket. Wouldn’t it be great to keep more of what you worked so hard for instead of giving it to some Washington bureaucrat to spend on some frivolous entitlement or pork project?

When it comes to hope, my only hope is that more people woke up New Year’s Day and realized that this is the year we can put our great nation back on track.

In just a little over 10 months we will go to the polls to right the injustices perpetrated on us by the social progressives in the Democrat Party.

A progressive is a socialist and a socialist is a communist and it’s not my fault that the communists hijacked the Democrat Party. The problem is that there a large number of good and loyal Democrats who are oblivious of this fact.

My parents and grandparents wouldn’t recognize their party. This may come as a shock, but I was a devout Democrat until Jimmy Carter came along. I used to think that no one could be as bad a president as he was. Sadly, I stand corrected. Mr. Carter was and still is a jerk, but Mr. Obama and his ideology are dangerous.

Think I’m wrong? Think again. You’ll know that what I have stated is true when you see the squealing rebuttal letters against me. It’s not my intention to insult or defame the office of the president of the United States, just the ideology of the man that holds the office.

Wake up, America. It’s not who we are voting for, it’s what we are voting against.

George Dengel