Letters to the Editor: Fired coaches, dredging and the local dump

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Ed Barbante, who has a 68-27-14 record coaching Mattituck, said his six-year run in charge of the team has ended.


Why fire the coach?

As Mattituck girls’ varsity soccer alumni, we would like to confront the issue of the release of Mattituck varsity soccer coach Ed Barbante.

We both had the chance to play for Mr. Barbante through his first season at Mattituck in 2006. Not only has Mr. Barbante succeeded as a coach, he impacted our lives as a tremendous role model. His positive attitude, commitment to his team and strong leadership qualities are admirable.

He taught us much more than what was just left on the field. He has proven himself worthy with all of his accomplishments as a coach. He was thrown into an incredible program that had just come off a state championship, took over with great pride and helped the new team excel.

He has always put 110 percent into the team and has succeeded with multiple league championships and a county championship.

One of the most important aspects to remember is that Mr. Barbante has been able to gain trust and respect from his players.

If Coach Barbante was not approved by the board because of playing time issues, everyone must realize that we are lucky enough to live in such a small community that there are no cuts and everyone has a chance to even be a part of the varsity team.

Playing time must be earned and is a privilege. At the varsity level you must work for it, like many life’s issues that come your way.

This is truly a sad time for Mattituck girls’ varsity soccer. “Barb” is irreplaceable.

Marissa Jacobs and Nicole Guja


Dredge the inlet

I am disappointed that the Army Corps of Engineers has failed to dredge Mattituck Inlet.

Mattituck Inlet is one of only 10 Long Island Sound maritime centers, abutting marinas hosting more than 20 commercial vessels and over 100 recreational vessels, boats in transit, local police, and New York State DEC. It is one of the few launch points for rescue boats.

Larger vessels have difficulty entering marinas in the inlet at low tide, which is not only an inconvenience, but a safety hazard.

One of the larger vessels moored at Mattituck is an oil service tender that travels to and from an oil platform three miles in the Sound. This platform pumps oil through a pipeline more than a mile long to onshore storage tanks in Riverhead. More than 90 percent of the East End’s heating oil is supplied by this platform. If an incident occurred at low tide, the service tender would find it difficult, if not impossible, to reach the platform.

The inlet was last dredged in 2004, yet only part of the work was completed before funding was diverted to the South Fork. The North Fork cannot continue to play second fiddle to the Hamptons. Mattituck Inlet is an important waterway and should receive the same attention as those on the South Fork.

I would urge Congressman Bishop to work with the Army Corps of Engineers to have it dredged sooner than later. We need all of our federal officials to speak up for this much needed project or it will not happen.

Edward Romaine
Suffolk County legislator


Yes, let’s sue ’em

Bravo to Supervisor Scott Russell.

The chronic postponement by the Army Corps of Engineers in failing to dredge the Mattituck inlet is intolerable. Years of committee discussions and proposing schedules to carry out the work have not yielded results.

Forceful and timely action to get the dredging done is necessary. Hopefully the proposed lawsuit will be effective.

Thank you, Supervisor Russell.

Ronald Stritzler


Hi or bye to the Y?

NIMBY, NIMBY on the wall,

What’s the worst plan of them all?

Is it a tasting room for hand-crafted brew?

No, I’m afraid that will help only a few.

Then is it a brand-new convenience store,

One that replaces an existing eyesore?

No, that’s too easy you’ve got to think more.

Well, what can it be that should make me complain

About something most everyone says is a gain?

Think fitness and fun and getting in shape,

So you won’t be afraid of the measuring tape.

Fitness? Fun? Now I know what to say!

It’s got to be the new YMCA!

Pat Lohn


More erosion

Your Feb. 23 article on erosion problems at Goldsmith’s Inlet in connection with a dredging operation brought to mind problems caused by a similar effort to dredge a deep channel in the summer and fall of 1990.

As in the case of the current effort, the stated purposed of the dredging was to increase tidal flushing. Presumably this was to address water quality issues, even though county officials had determined that unfiltered freshwater inflow was the primary cause of E. coli contamination in the inlet.

The 1990 dredging also resulted in an accretion of sand in the mouth of the inlet, but in that case the culprit seemed to be the depositing of dredge spoils to the east of the channel, where it could be blown back into the channel by northeast storms.

There is an important condition that has changed since 1990. After the jetty was constructed in 1964, major erosion was unleashed on the shoreline east of Goldsmith’s Inlet. The primary dunes were washed away along with a wide swath of beach.

When the only substantial house that had been built near the dunes was suddenly on the edge of the sea its owners constructed a groin to keep it from falling in. For the next 40-odd years, that groin worsened erosion problems to its east, but it stabilized the area between Goldsmith’s Inlet and the house.

The beaches gradually rebuilt to their former broad shape and a vegetated foredune area grew up. Then in 2007, the town announced plans to acquire the Bittner house and groin and to demolish them.  Several of us who have ties to the area raised concerns that removing the groin without making any adjustments to the jetty could trigger a new round of erosion, but the town didn’t think there would be a problem.

By fall 2010 the groin was gone, and now we are reading about increased erosion of the county parkland. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

Lynn McWhood


A townwide pickup?

Our local dump is based on a system that provides residents the opportunity to dispose of household garbage and return recyclables. All this is part of the town solid waste management district.

The current system “limits the tax burden on residents and allows people to determine for themselves how best to handle their waste,” as stated on the town’s website. Further, the website states, “while there is a property tax assessment dedicated to the district, district operations are mainly funded through user fees. These consist of bag fees under the town garbage bag program [the Yellow Bags], tip fees on disposal [and] annual permit fees” and income from recyclables.

With no income from the yellow bags and recyclables from individual residents, and no income from several carting companies (apparently, they no longer require recycling, as per advertisement in this paper), our dump is likely to see a drastic decline of business and income.

The dump will be completely underutilized and ultimately become a thing of the past. And this means that the debts on the facility will have to be picked up by taxpayers. Maybe it’s time to create a town residential garbage pickup program for all residents.

Jeff Abrams


It’s inhumane

We have a responsibility to treat humanely the animals we use for food. There is nothing humane or natural about the force-feeding of geese and ducks, whether using a traditional metal funnel or a smaller plastic feeding tube, as stated by Chef Arie Pavlou at Comtesse Thérèse Bistro (“Foie gras foes cook up a mystery,” March 8).

According to PETA, as much as four pounds of grain and fat are forced into the animals’ stomachs two to three times daily, causing their livers to bloat to up to ten times their normal size.

Many animals choke to death, have their organs rupture during the force-feeding process or experience other physical abnormalities.

As of July 2012, the sale of foie gras will be illegal in California. New York State needs to take the same action, but until then, you can express your objection to this cruel practice.

We go out to dinner several times a week and do not patronize restaurants that serve foie gras.

Alexandra Simmonds


A sign of strength

Following up on the letter by TSgt. LeRoy Heyliger (“A sign of strength,” March 8) supporting the president’s apology for the unintentional desecration of the Koran, I would also submit that Mr. Obama’s decision not to invade Iran and Syria — for the time being — despite the pressure put on him by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Senator McCain, is also a sign of strength.

Hopefully this nation will continue on its path of economic reconstruction and avoid the pitfalls of the war hawks who wish to drag us into further battles in the Middle East regardless of the cost to the United States.

Strength is the resolve not to be intimidated by the likes of Mr. Netanyahu and others whose agendas may not be in the best interests of the United States.

Harry Katz


The old soft shoe

Luther (Bojangles) Robinson was perhaps the 20th century’s best-known tap dancer, but his routine paled compared to what I saw at Tim Bishop’s recent town meeting.

Being a true Democrat, Tim thrilled the audience of disgruntled constituents by opening with a soft shoe followed with a step tap dance and finally a buck and wing.

The town meeting fell just short of a tar and feathering party as he tried to explain what was not going on in Washington while demonstrating how out of step he was with his constituents’ needs and concerns.

Go to your local library and ask for a copy of “Uncle Sam’s Plantation” by Star Parker. I found it online and purchased it on my Kindle. Ms. Parker’s book is a must-read for anyone who is disgruntled, confused or obsessed by the national debt, rising taxes, social unrest, class warfare, government hypocrisy and especially the out of control entitlement programs.

“Uncle Sam’s Plantation” was panned by liberal progressives nationwide. Given Oprah Winfrey’s affiliation with the anointed one, I shouldn’t have been shocked to read how Ms. Parker was the object of ridicule on the Oprah Winfrey show, even though their lives practically mirror each other. Ms. Parker gives a firsthand account of how the political system works for itself while enslaving all of us.

We are looking at “more change” from the Obama White House if we continue on this track to social, racial, political and economic upheaval. Take a look at “Uncle Sam’s Plantation” and then ask yourself if that’s the direction we want to continue going.

God bless those who fight for freedom.

George Dengel


Where did it all go?

Where did all the money go? Why is the United States so deep in debt?

In 2000, when Bill Clinton was leaving the presidency, there was a budget surplus and it was possible that in the next several years the government would be able to significantly pay down the debt.

Here we are 12 years later and deeper in debt than anyone imagined. We are clueless about how to solve the problem other than to shred the safety net, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education, etc.

The debt issue is fairly simple to see. George Bush cut taxes on the rich. As a result revenue fell. George W. Bush started two wars, which have proven unwinnable, long-lasting and very expensive. At the same time that we were at war, there has been no attempt to pay for this by raising revenue.

The wars were “off budget,” which really means that this expense was rolled into the deficit. The final issue is that the Republican economic policies from 2000 until early 2009, in particular deregulation of the financial industry, led to a near depression with the loss of jobs and a further decrease in government revenue.

Where did all of the money go? It was not spent on Social Security, it was not spent on Medicare or Medicaid, it was not spent on education. The money went to tax cuts for the very rich and two ill-conceived wars.

Now the Republicans in the House of Representatives, led by Speaker John Boehner, want to blame the debt on domestic programs and on too much regulation. This is a gross distortion.

The president’s budget proposal begins to restore tax equity and much larger tax reform should be looked at in the future. The president’s budget also understands that the way to raise revenue is not through more budget cutting, but through sensible government projects that will create jobs and increase the tax base.

Steve Curry


Promise of freedom

I read the letters to the editor almost weekly. They provide some angst and some humor and some good old-fashioned sense. Sort of like “how do you carve wood?” The answer, “whittle by whittle.” They also provide proof that no two people have the same perception of the issue at hand or even of what was said during an event or meeting.

On the old TV show “Dragnet” Sergeant Friday used to say “just the facts, ma’am.” How he and his partner pieced them together made for a good story. I have to wonder if putting together the letters of opposite perceptions could ever produce the facts and thereby some sort of resolution to the issues we all face.

Mostly I see the letters as statements of “we all agree to disagree” with very few being able to see a vision of where we were, where we are and where we could be. What makes the letters to the editor so neat is that it’s a full extension of the First Amendment to the Constitution, in my opinion the greatest amendment that the Founding Fathers agreed to. Note it was an amendment.

People, wake up and read your Constitution, especially the First Amendment. “Congress shall make no law…” Associate Justice Hugo Black paints this picture: “The very reason for the First Amendment is to make the people of this country free to think, speak, write and worship as they wish, not as the government commands.”

Justice Douglas stated, “The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of people.”

I hope that all will come to the realization of the gift that the Founding Fathers gave to all of posterity in our Constitution. I also hope that all will stand for an idea greater than one’s own self.

Finally, I hope that we can all agree that what makes this nation the greatest ever to grace this planet are the ideas founded in our Constitution. Let’s not be so willing to discard them to demagoguery.

What’s in it for me? Freedom for myself, my family, my neighbors and for all. Just as long as we can all stay focused on the Constitution.

Bob Bittner


The cause of pain

I am rarely shocked after being on this earth a long time, however, today I saw a bumper sticker that had a map of the USA with the words underneath. “Don’t re-Nig in 2012.”

Like or don’t like Mr. Obama, but that’s so unacceptable on more levels than I have words for. Blind hatred has caused much of the pain on this earth over the centuries since we’ve come out of the cave.

Remember the old saying, “Thoughts become words, words become actions, actions become habits, habits become character, character is everything.”

Rosellen Storm