Letters to the Editor: Scoot trains, farmers markets and abortions


Could it be?

Scoot train? Could it be Southold will soon be getting regular train service? WLNG had Supervisor Scott Russell on Friday to discuss this and other viable concerns.

East End public transportation, particularly on the part of the Long Island Rail Road, has been almost non-existent. There are just two trains daily from Greenport to Riverhead. The Suffolk Transit operates the S92 bus Monday to Saturday on a regular time schedule between Greenport and the Hamptons. They added a Sunday bus for one season only, despite increased fares.

For years several organizations have advocated for a comprehensive rail and bus system that would relieve the seasonal transportation congestion and add commuter service year round. The LIRR has never adequately addressed the transportation needs of our community.

Apparently, all that will be in the past according to The Suffolk Times article of Feb. 5 (“Could ‘scoot’ train become a reality?”). One would have thought the LIRR had forgotten there were people living here. The good news, as presented in the article, is the LIRR included an expenditure for the train portion of the long sought-for transportation; it’s in the LIRR’s five-year capital plan.

If it comes to reality, the East End will have regular and often train service. These are shuttle trains and they might be similar to the shuttles that exist at JFK airport, but diesel.

In the Times article, a LIRR spokesman reportedly said they are looking to increase service and ridership. It’s nice to see the media and our town supervisor putting a positive spin on this subject. We all should call and write our representatives to urge them to advocate for us to the LIRR.

Joel Reitman


Give better service

Suffolk County Transit has proposed a 25-cent increase on the S-92 bus route effective May 1, 2012. The fare increased on June 17, 2011 to $2.00, supposedly to cover Sunday bus service from July 3, 2011, through September 10, 2011.

Suffolk County Transit claimed the S-92 has the most ridership. If this is true, then why is the fare increasing again? Raise the fare on the other routes instead of always targeting the S-92. Passengers who use public transportation can’t afford a car and all the expenses that go along with it, or they may not have a license or they are just trying to go green.

Suffolk County Transit certainly is not trying to go green, nor are they concerned about the working poor. I ride the S-92 six days a week and can tell you that I don’t even gross $10.00 per hour. If a passenger takes the bus like I do, they’re paying a minimum of $24 a week. That’s $96.00 a month, and that doesn’t include a transfer to another bus when you get off the S-92.

Something has to be done to stop these fare increases. Signs are taped inside the S-92 busses stating the proposed increase, but unless you are sitting in the handicapped seats in the very front of the bus you will walk right past the sign. The sign states that there are going to be public meetings on the fare increase. What a joke. You know it’s already been decided.

The S-92 runs almost every half-hour during the day, but after 4 p.m. the next bus leaving Greenport and heading to the South Fork is not until 6:30, really 6:45 p.m. or later.

What Suffolk County Transit needs to do is increase service. They need to redo the schedule so that there are the same number of buses heading to the North Fork as there are to the South Fork.

Just like the cards the county drivers handed out to passengers asking if they would ride the bus on Sunday, there should be a petition on the S-92 buses asking passengers if they would be willing to pay an additional 25 cents bus fare. My solution to the problem is to have only passengers who ride the bus on Sunday pay the additional fee.

Brenda Brust


Look elsewhere for Y

I can’t believe there is no questioning of a 40,000-square-foot building coming to the North Fork. Forty thousand square feet. Ouch. I would think that if a building of this magnitude was to be built behind the East Marion or Cutchogue post office there would be a loud uproar. Wouldn’t there? Why no outcry now? Because it’s in Aquebogue? This hamlet is the gateway to the North Fork.

If the Y is going to be built, why not build it in a purely commercial zone — say near the more centrally located bowling alley on Route 25 in Riverhead? This would be two commercial and recreational buildings next to each other. Sounds like a win-win kinda thing.

As “boxes” go, has anybody asked how many small businesses will be destroyed? This would partially include pre-K, child care and possibly fitness centers. Has anybody visited the partially, densely wooded 8.9 acres in this picturesque, rural corridor? A big difference from Route 58, isn’t it? Yes, I know there is a big business right across the street. One is in. Let’s keep it like that. If one wants to keep and preserve open space you cannot pick and choose which ones. They are all important.

Some may look at this as NIMBY-ism. When you really look at it, it looks like environmentalism. Open space-ism. Saving-our-wooded-area-ism. Besides, there already is a white elephant — or to use local lingo, a “white sea robin” — in Mattituck; Capital One is vacating soon. The asphalt is already down. The building is already up. Why not put the Y there? There are plenty of different alternatives. Oh, and one more thing: Let’s save what’s left.

Dean Sambach


We mean business

How can we get rid of that pesky Greenport Farmers’ Market, with all its annoying broccoli and stuff?

We already stuck them in that crummy parking lot instead of Mitchell Park. We’re actually charging them for the privilege, if you can believe that, but they just don’t seem to get the idea. We can’t cut their hours anymore since they hardly have any.
I know, let’s give them a rent hike of 250 percent, that’ll let them know we mean business.

Congratulations to deputy mayor George Hubbard (did anyone know that we have a deputy mayor?) for this brilliant suggestion. Here’s my brilliant suggestion:

Let’s give deputy mayor George Hubbard a 250 percent salary cut and use the money to improve the Greenport Farmers’ Market. Let’s have a place for artisanal, local, fresh, organic, healthy food.

Let’s give our local farmers a break.

Paul Pomerantz


A continuing exodus

As regards the Suffolk Times editorial of Feb. 9 (Unintended consequences) regarding the 2 percent tax cap, I offer the following:

First, the necessary reduction in teaching staff will only result in the falling back to the more normal teacher-student ratios of prior years. It is also appropriate since student population is declining.

Second, I thought the Legislature’s intent was to impose a 2 percent cap on each taxpayer’s property tax bill. This of course would require the Town Board to impose this cap on the schools, including each of the various taxing entities, much as California has done.

If this is not the final result, the exodus of young people from the North Fork to Maryland and other southern states will only continue to accelerate.

Third, I welcome The Suffolk Times’ emphasis that teachers’ salaries, including steps and benefits, approximate 6 percent a year. Over a period of 20 years, such increases amount to a tripling of salaries.

Walter Strohmeyer

former president, Oysterponds school board


Other factors, too

A portion of the Feb. 23 editorial (Hope springs eternal) presented what I believe is an incomplete explanation for our unusual weather.

While all scientists probably agree that an “arctic oscillation” (AO) has long been a primary factor influencing much of our climate and weather, many believe something quite significant has begun to change how that complex cycle works.

The AO system is powered by the energy from the sun, which is trapped by certain greenhouse gasses of our atmosphere.

That’s their normal function, which makes life on earth possible. However, due to man’s activities, particularly since the Industrial Revolution, the amount of those gasses, including carbon dioxide and methane, has increased significantly.

Consequently, more sun energy is being retained close to the earth.

Some of that additional trapped energy is also being incorporated into the AO system, resulting in it becoming, in effect, more energized and consequently disrupted.

Formerly mild, predictable weather patterns are becoming increasingly erratic and more intense.

Yes, the arctic oscillator is still at work, but it’s no longer the same old AO it used to be. It’s becoming supercharged, and as a consequence, so is our weather.

Is there absolute proof? No, but this perspective certainly presents a strong possibility that something else is at work.

Global warming may well be causing the weather, and entire climates, to change. Basic physics, and much increasing research, suggests that is what may be happening.

Herb Stelljes


I don’t see it

I can’t find contraception, condoms, etc., in my copy of the U.S. Constitution.

Can somebody please help?

P.S. When we elect a community organizer, that’s what we get.

Next time, ignore the speeches and check the résumé.

Ken Stein


Not here, please

I would love to debate politics with Mr. Meinke; however, I don’t think it is right that he and others use these letters for free advertising to promote their agendas.

Bob Guarriello


Bishop is the best

There was a day that most Americans voted for the candidate, not the party. The fact that the East End’s “conservative” electorate has sent Tim Bishop to Congress through five election cycles indicates that many here still do.

It’s clear why: He’s the best man for the job and is experienced, smart, fair and transparent. While his likely Republican opponent, Randy Altschuler, has had to pull in GOP bigwigs to bolster him, Congressman Bishop can stand on his record.

Mr. Altschuler can complain, but he has none of his own on which to stand.

Mr. Altschuler has absolutely no experience in government. He may be a successful, wealthy businessman, although that status has been gained by outsourcing Office Tiger’s jobs overseas, but what does he know about critical international issues?

Like Herman Cain, who also had no experience in politics but thought he might run for president, Mr. Altschuler emerges as a successful businessman thinking he can run for Congress. There’s a disconnect here. America’s choice is not just about business but a myriad of other issues that make an experienced candidate so attractive.

Mr. Altschuler makes Congressman Bishop personally responsible for the mess the country is in. Didn’t it start in the Bush administration? And couldn’t we have gotten out of it sooner without the obstructionist Tea Party? I’m sorry — eastern Long Island is not Tea Party territory like the Midwest and South, nor should it ever be, with such an educated, successful populace that can see beyond party politics.

Mr. Altschuler and his supporters have labeled Congressman Bishop a “target,” the language of warfare. In comparison, I attended a packed public meeting last Friday to hear Congressman Bishop talk on issues for the elderly. Not once did he attack or blame his Republican colleagues but instead praised the bills he helped pass with bipartisan support.

Edwin Blesch


‘Moral progress’

Mohandas Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Gandhi was considered by many to be of great wisdom. If I may transpose the above quote to read, “…its moral progress can be judged by the way its unborn innocents — the babies in their mother’s wombs — are treated.”

Since Roe vs. Wade, 40 years ago in this nation of ours over 43,000,000 innocent babies have been willfully aborted.
Are we still a great nation? Only God knows.

I think we’re now at that point in time where that judgment will be made. Now it’s up to us to show “moral progress.”

Jack McGreevy


Sorry for what?

I look at the television in disbelief and wonder just what makes the leader of this once-great country apologize for accidentally burning Korans. Here is a president of one of the most tolerant countries on the entire planet apologizing to a country whose intolerance of other religions is beyond belief, a country that looks the other way when suicide bombers blow themselves up in mosques, killing innocent women and children in the name of holy war.

Therefore I stand up and say to everyone and anyone who will listen: Today I am ashamed to be an American.

Thomas W. Smith