Letters: Fourth of July, ticks and presidential politics


A truly great day

One of the most pleasurable Fourth of July events took place in Orient on Sunday.

The second annual Heritage Days takes you back in time. With the North Fork Chorale singing and residents young and old reading the Constitution, it was a great day to be on Long Island.

It was a hometown parade filled with children on decorated bikes, followed by a barbecue. The Founding Fathers couldn’t have done better.

Joel Reitman


Time to take on ticks

Any conversation with someone living in Southold will somehow include deer, ticks, Lyme disease, babesiosis or one of the many other tick-borne diseases.

Either they’ve had tick issues or know of someone who has suffered through the effects of a tick bite and the resulting bacterial infection.

Our recent weather pattern has helped the tick population to grow exponentially, with the associated problems growing at the same rate.

The issue is a major one, and one which appears beyond the effort of any single group or individual.

It seems a joint effort of many is needed, and needed now. If there are any individuals or organizations, whether civic, homeowner, garden, environmental or business related, who would like to discuss the formulation of a joint effort to attack our town’s tick problem, email me at [email protected].

John Betsch
chairman, SoutholdVoice


A big beach crowd

We went to Kenney’s Beach the other night to watch a beautiful sunset. While we sat there, I noticed a sign tacked to the lifeguard stand that said, “Capacity 150.”

What could that mean?

Could it be that the town did not want more than 150 people congregating on the beach for fear of some kind of clandestine uprising?

Did it mean that the sandy soil could not support any more weight — in much the same way that the signs in elevators limit the capacity to a certain number of people and weight — for fear of beach-goers causing instant erosion and slippage into the Sound?

Did it mean that more than 150 people would be sitting on blankets and beach chairs that were too close together and were a danger to one’s health and well-being?

Is this the way for the town to spread the populace over as many beaches as possible to avoid crushing crowds at any one?

And then I thought, how do they enforce this regulation?

Do the lifeguards take a head count periodically? Do the police patrol the beach regularly and do their own count?

Is there a secret force of agents who surreptitiously count when no one is looking?

And once discovering that there are over 150 people, how do they correct the problem? Is there some kind of last-in/first-out method? Does someone actually approach a set of beach-goers and say, “I’m sorry. ma’am/sir, but you’ll have to leave. The beach is over capacity.”

Are there other standards of removal? Too well-tanned? Not tan enough? Too fat?. Too skinny? Bad swimsuit?

I’m surprised that this has not become an issue and feel strongly that this needs to be settled and perhaps repealed.

Jack Barthel


True independence

The public interest is not always the same as popular opinion.

When local government officials support the public interest I support them. Currently, Southold Town government is following the crowd rather than listening to each individual and making decisions based on what is in everyone’s best interests.

As an American interested in the public interest, I consider myself more patriotic than those who refuse to recognize individuals’ rights to independent opinions.

Benja Schwartz


No notice printed

On Tuesday, June 26, the Republican Party held a primary election for senator and congressmen.

I work for the Board of Elections and was assigned to work at the town senior center in Peconic.

We had a potential for about 288 registered voters, of which only 18 actually voted. That’s roughly 5 to 6 percent. One gentleman said that he didn’t know that it was an election day, but spotted our signs by the roadside.

We had seven staff workers from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and tons of unused ballots, all costing the State of New York. BOE personnel were paid for an even longer day, plus the cost of unused ballots at 53 cents per unit. No wonder each election costs the state $1 million.

On June 21, The Suffolk Times did not print any notice of the upcoming election.

On Sept. 13 we have another election for local officials. That’s Thursday due to the 9/11 disaster.

I do hope your newspaper will announce this election.

Jane Welz


Poem from a patriot

Sons of Liberty, Free at Last!

My name is many,

we speak from the past;

Young, like you, we lie

buried in scattered fields —

unmarked, unknown —

no sons, daughters to call our own.

Liberty was our cause and

freedom’s path called us home;

we, Sons of Liberty, gave our all

for you — “Let freedom ring”!

And so we whisper from our graves,

“Guard it well, America,”

it’s but a breath away, a heartbeat,

then no more.

Jack McGreevy


A real stimulus

Two rounds of quantitative easing have shown us that the program simply does not work. The money disappears into the banking system and never reaches the general public.

If the federal government truly wants to provide an economic stimulus it should send each taxpayer who is a United States citizen $10,000 to spend as he or she wishes.

The results would be immediate and the cost far less than what we have expended to date.

Edward Boyd


Good law

Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, it presents an opportunity for all citizens to examine the law before we head off to our respective corners.

Donald Berwick is the former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He would still be the administrator today but his appointment was blocked by Republicans in Congress in an attempt to derail the ACA.

Here’s what Mr. Berwick says is in the law that he enthusiastically supports:

• The law makes care more continuous over time, paying providers so they can communicate and coordinate more effectively. In this way it makes health care more efficient and will cut down on cost and medical errors down the road.

• The law attaches payment to quality rather than the sheer number of tests and procedures performed.

• The law focuses on providing preventative care to cut down costs and places more focus on quality and making care safer.

• The law has already created far more transparency for patients so they can more easily understand the treatments and costs of medical care.

• Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions more people will now be covered and the percentage of money spent directly on medical care has increased. This August, millions of Americans will receive rebate checks from their insurance providers if those providers have taken excessive profits or paid administrative costs that exceed indicated guidelines.

• Coverage limits have been removed that will prevent people from going bankrupt because of medical catastrophes.

• Coverage now cannot be denied to patients with pre-existing conditions.

• Adult children can now remain on their parents’ policies until age 26.

• No longer can you lose your coverage because you lose your job or get sick.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of people who currently receive their only medical care from emergency rooms will now get less expensive well care and preventative treatments in physicians’ offices.

Jerry Silverstein


Is this despotism?

On the last day of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 Benjamin Franklin wrote, and this is just an excerpt:

“Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general government necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government …”

Despotism is defined as cruel and arbitrary use of power or rule by a tyrant. Some synonyms are dictatorship, absolutism, autocracy or authoritarianism.

What doubt did Ben Franklin raise some 200-plus years ago? Could it be we are nearing the early stages of his doubt? Or worse, seeing it evolve before our eyes?

Our nation was built upon many notions, but none so more prominent than to limit the powers of government. Have we become so corrupted as to allow those limited powers to expand? Are we to look to government for everything? Can there not be a balance of individual responsibility and government oversight? If so, what might that balance be and at what cost?

This is the nation’s present day conundrum. I remember the president saying we are not “red and blue, but rather red, white and blue” and yet a law was passed on a Christmas Eve night by the party in power, not by a consensus, and to this day the polls say a majority of the country sees this as a bad law with some good points.

Is this an abuse of power? Is this a stage of despotism? Can this be resolved by requiring bipartisan approval of all bills, thus assuring all points of view are contained with in a bill before passage?

I don’t know the answer; I only pose the question.

Bob Bittner


Bipartisan approach

Thank you, Governor Romney and President Obama. Because of both your efforts, we finally have health care reform in America.

Bipartisanship and cooperation between the Republican and Democratic parties are the true authors of the Affordable Health Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare.

Romneycare was Governor Romney’s signature achievement while he was in office in Massachusetts. That was the first place in America where the Republican idea of the health care mandate, requiring all to buy health insurance, became law.

Massachusetts overwhelmingly approves of Romneycare and 98 percent of its citizens, including 99.8 percent of children, are covered.

President Obama has now rolled out Gov. Romney’s health care reform in Massachusetts on a national scale. The advantages of health care reform will now benefit the whole country.

Health care security is now within reach of all Americans.

Mort Cogen


No mas on Mao

No president of the United States of America should quote Mao Tse-tung.

Barbara Strang