Letters to the Editor: YMCA support, mange and politics

Reader Tracy O'Lear snapped this photo of a red fox at Corey Creek in Southold in November 2010.


Can’t we end mange?

Regarding the article on mange in last week’s edition, my dog was one of the cases reported so I speak with experience.

The AP photo of the two beautiful red foxes does not depict mangy animals, so heads up to all the locals saying “aww.” The one on my property is big like a dog, no longer has hair on its tail — or most of its body, for that matter — with big beady eyes and a lot of lumps, resembling a nasty, mean-looking cartoon character, unlike that photo.

The fox gave it to my dog and my dog gave it to me, as we were first misdiagnosed as being allergic to Carpet Fresh and told to give the dog a bath. Needless to say, that’s when the transference of mange occurred from my dog to me and my family.

After a few more days of uncontrollable, 24/7 itching, we returned to the vet and were given the correct protocol. Although the article states that people get “mild itching,” take it from me, it’s out-of-control itching.

We are now four weeks into it and the fox is still lurking around. We don’t want this back! I called all the animal control authorities, who basically said there’s nothing they can do. But then a wildlife rescue group said if we trap it they’ll come get it. We now have a trap, the humane kind, but so far we’ve managed to trap a cat. The fox is now feeding from a beautiful doe that someone hit and ran at the entrance to my driveway last Friday night.

It may not sound like it but believe me, I am a huge animal lover. However, there has to be a better procedure in place for authorities to catch a fox, treat it and release it on some desert island or something.

We just need to stop the spread of mange. Isn’t there a better way?

Jeanne Genovese


There’s no downside

Congratulations to the Peconic YMCA committee, working to finally bring a YMCA facility to the North Fork in a location that is convenient to residents of both towns.

Let’s hope that this time NIMBYISM doesn’t thwart the project as it did many years ago in Southold Town.

Each of my three adult children lives in a community with a thriving YMCA. All three facilities are exceptionally well-maintained and attractive additions to their residential neighborhoods. The educational opportunities are varied, with offerings for the youngest child to the oldest grandparent.

My grandchildren have benefited from their beginner swimming lessons as babies to classes in CPR and baby-sitting, physical conditioning and strength training, arts and crafts, chess, and drama, to name only a few, and from participating in service projects that benefit the entire community.

The Y provides a number of recreational programs, providing for the needs of everyone at any skill level. Each of the YMCAs collaborates with the local municipalities, libraries and school districts in a constructive way.

There is no downside to having a vibrant YMCA on the North Fork. I hope the residents of Riverhead and Southold see the proposed Peconic YMCA as a long overdue project that all will support.

Joyce Grattan


No NIMBY, please

The proposed YMCA to be built in Aquebogue is a needed addition to our community.

The closest YMCA is about 30 miles away and I know because I drive to it several times a week to swim. It was noted in last week’s paper that the proposed location is on a rural corridor with specific limitations on what may be built.

It seems to be that this argument is more of a “not in my backyard” argument than a real reason for not allowing a valuable educational and recreational resource in our community.

I live off Church Lane and am very familiar with Main Road. It is my understanding that there will be ample parking and traffic patterns will not be disrupted any more than those visiting wineries or farm outlets out east.

Let’s keep an open mind and do what is best for our community and its residents.

Ed Borella


Remember seniors

I am writing in support of the YMCA, with a few additions.

Since the majority of the population on the East End is age 50-plus, I would like to strongly recommend the addition of a hot tub/spa to the proposal. The healing benefits of soaking in warm/hot water are well known.

As aging progresses, it is essential for soothing injuries and maintaining movement.  Otherwise, it’s a very long ride to Gurney’s Inn from the North Fork.

I would also like to suggest the addition of a wellness center which includes, massage therapy, yoga and Pilates. Again, these forms of exercise are rehabilitative and would benefit all.

Essentially, an old fashioned YMCA will not be sufficient to meet the needs of our community.

Please design this facility so that it matches the rural East End architecture and also landscape it so that it seamlessly blends in.

It’s high time that North Fork residents have access to swimming year-round. Bravo!

Susan Ulrich


A big benefit to all

As a parent of two active children, I support the building of the “Y” in Aquebogue.

It will provide an all-year option for kids to have more to do in the area. Swimming at the indoor aquatic facility exposes them to one of the best forms of conditioning.

Having grown up with schools that provided indoor swimming all year round, I feel that it is something our community could benefit from.

With all of the other activities it will also provide many social and physical benefits to residents of all ages.

John Bradley


Support for YMCA

The group that has been trying for 15 years has once again found what seems to be a great site in Aquebogue for a YMCA for our community. As seems to be the norm, no matter where a site is proposed in a town comprised of some 200 square miles, the naysayers and NIMBYists quickly step forward with their objections to the proposed site.

In general, the objections concerning having a YMCA stem from a general ignorance of what a YMCA really is. YMCAs are good neighbors and bring far more positives to the community than negatives.

The YMCA is a greatly needed amenity for our town. YMCAs are a benefit to a wide range of people, from young children to the elderly. They are welcomed with open arms by communities throughout our country and the world, the exception being Riverhead.

It is time that those who support the YMCA, that is the majority, let it be known. It would also be nice to see a greater level of support from our Town Board, which has been generally apathetic in working to bring a YMCA to our town.

Jeff Fulcoly


Pricey primaries

Why do we need three primaries this year? Governor Cuomo doesn’t think taxpayers want to pay for three primaries. Each primary costs state taxpayers approximately $10 million.

A presidential primary is scheduled for April. A congressional primary is scheduled for June. A state legislative primary is scheduled for September.

Unless our elected officials in Albany take action to combine these dates, it will cost taxpayers $30 million. I thought we were trying to reduce spending.

Donald Wagner


An old problem

I was bullied 65 years ago and my daughter was bullied 30 years ago.

It’s not a modern problem to be blamed on teachers, churches, or other groups.

Richard Brewster


What’s the answer?

Congressman Bishop was questioned by me on WLNG radio a few weeks ago. I asked him the same questions when he first became our congressman, three times later at public meetings and in your letters to the editor column, twice.

The congressman has never answered me, even though he promised at these public meetings and more recently on the radio.

All I ever asked him were how many aliens have green cards in his district and how many were deported the previous year?

He promised more recently on WLNG that I would get an answer from him within a week to 10 days. I’m still waiting.

Could he be this inept to forget? Could his staff be so poor as to forget to follow up if he told them?

Mr. Schaffer, the county Democratic leader, was asked the same by me and he never answered my letter.

Mr. Tillman, the local Democratic leader, was asked if he could get me an answer. He didn’t.

Will Mr. Bishop or Mr. Schaffer or Mr. Tillman ever get me a response?

Thomas McKenzie


A truly bogus issue

A double standard is bad enough. To then use it to stir up fear and rage is shameful.

Let’s be clear. The Catholic Church and other religions have always been exempted from paying for contraceptive coverage in their health insurance plans. Let’s also be clear. President Obama has proposed no change here.

Religious-run hospitals, universities and charities are another matter. For years, many prominent Catholic universities and hospitals have provided this coverage on their own initiative with little or no fanfare. Here are four good reasons for this:
These institutions provide services to all Americans. They accept federal funds for their existence. These institutions hire people of all religions and no religion. Lastly, the use of contraceptives is the best way to reduce abortions.

Consider that this same rule was signed into law by Gov. Romney. Even more telling, this same rule was signed into law by Gov. Huckabee of Arkansas. The reason this rule has been adopted by 22 states and these two Republican governors is that it respects and protects both the First Amendment and the moral beliefs and rights of American women to protect their own health and organize their lives.

The reason this rule has had broad support is because it was the perfect compromise that respected American women and our religious institutions.

So what has changed? Compromise that allows us all to get along has become an anathema to Republican leadership. Even ideas that have had Republican support in the past are now regarded with hatred if proposed by President Obama.

And now that the economy is showing signs of consistent improvement, Republican congressional leadership and presidential hopefuls can’t resist concocting an issue to stir up fear and rage where there is just a sensible attempt to accommodate the rights of all Americans and our religious institutions.

Let’s drop the double standard and get along with each other. It can be done.

Mort Cogen


It’s about conscience

Growing up, I was an avid reader. Hidden away under my covers late past bedtime with a flashlight, tucked inside the laundry chute during chores, perched on a neighbor’s tree limb on a lazy Saturday afternoon, children’s books were my constant companion. I favored the fantasy genre, reading over and over the entire series of Madeleine L’Engle’s “Wrinkle in Time.”

I also loved Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings,” digesting with great interest the adventures of Bilbo and eventually Frodo and his companions as they made a quest to save Middle Earth. Finally, the series that initiated my fantasy obsession: “The Chronicles of Narnia”; as four children humbly and with weakness and sincerity attempted to free and then to rule Narnia, an image of a paradise of natural beauty and a feeling of other worldliness I longed to experience firsthand.

As a pastime, I lost myself in the battles of good versus evil. In reality I felt enveloped by the love and security of a fine family and resided in a country where freedom was expected and protected from assault by a Constitution and Bill of Rights penned 200 years prior.

How lulled we all can become after two centuries of relative peace and protection. Certainly our country has not been without some battles. The Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War fought on our own soil taught us the importance of holding our nation together in times of trial.

Then there were the battles of equality and justice, such as the civil rights and women’s movements. Still, in my humble estimation, the United States of America remains my Narnia, a special place where dreams are realized and opportunity abounds in spite of challenges and imperfections.

This week my Narnia was shaken. I watched with great concern, and then ultimately fear, as the highest official of our land stated he would not recognize a religious group’s freedom of conscience and the practice of their faith in the public square.

The practice of faith in public is the highest and most precious form of speech. As people choose by faith to heal the sick, care for the poor and educate youth in a religious setting, that recognizes the work as a means of giving life to religious conviction.

To penalize the right to speak this message of work for the good of society, by simultaneously forcing them to violate core beliefs in other areas is religious bigotry and intolerance.

While faith is nothing if not accompanied by works, belief is nothing if it is compromised. The events of this week were a clarion call, waking us from the slumber of childhood fantasy and history books to recognize that the battle of freedom is still a reality.

For the protection of all Americans, and of our pluralistic nation, freedom of religion and speech needs to be protected from directives that force others to violate their conscience.

Kerry Scott


‘Orient Winter’

Shadowed sentinels and olive drab,

Cedars line the road on my

Winter afternoon walk through the wetlands.

There’s no breeze,

The water is still and brown.

Communities of sparrows

Scratch in last fall’s

Litter of oak leaves.

Bittersweet vines

Entangle the locust trees.

The air is crisp and clean.

A sweet and bitter season

Helen Reiss