Letters: Dog poop, ball pythons and a McGreevy barbecue


Let’s compromise

I never knew the subject of dogs on the beach could be so complicated.

Perhaps the answer to this dilemma is to allow dogs on a limited number of beaches providing their owners have a leash and a pooper-scooper. This way, those who feel there’s a chance they will be “harassed” but are perhaps uncomfortable confronting the owner can avoid the beaches in question.

The problem of Piping Plover nests being disturbed has already been solved by not permitting anyone or anything near their nesting sites to begin with.

The matter of what lackadaisical owners allow their pets to leave behind is another story entirely. Our beach parking lots and access roads are already dumping grounds for slobs too lazy or too cheap to get a town permit or hire a private hauler. To make things worse, Mother Nature has been kind enough to provide a few “natural” sources of pollution, deer and geese topping the list.

Add to them lawn chemical runoff and cesspools too close to the water and you have a situation that doesn’t need the addition of dog waste. If a location is deemed “at risk,” make it off-limits to dogs, pooper-scooper or not.

I hope this debate will not polarize those concerned with the question at hand. There is plenty of room for compromise and it’s important everybody wins. Taking the attitude of “my way or the highway” just won’t cut it, which leads me to wonder what if we were talking about horses or elephants instead of dogs?

Talk about Excedrin Headache Number 57!

Patrick Lohn


It’s not a Burmese

COURTESY PHOTO | The ball python, which we mistakenly called a Burmese, was taken to the town animal shelter.

I am writing to you about the article last week on the snake found on a TV in Orient. Based on the picture of the snake that was caught, I am 99.9 percent sure it is a ball python, not a Burmese python as was noted in the article.

I own two ball pythons and a corn snake and have handled reptiles since I was a kid. The ball pythons always have markings that are rounded on the edges. The Burmese, while similar in coloration, depending on the variety, have markings with angular edges akin to puzzle pieces.

The Orient snake in the photo has distinctly rounded markings. The ball python is a very docile snake, which is why they make great starter reptiles for kids. In general, the only time they will strike is when really hungry, and usually I’m holding the food at the time.

When scared they tend to roll up into a ball, thus the name, and/or try to hide. When they do bite, damage is very minimal, since the teeth are so tiny and have no venom because the python only uses them to catch and hold their prey while they constrict.

They’re curious creatures, though, and given a chance they like to roam and climb. I’ve lost mine in the house for two weeks once and found it hiding in the basement behind a can of corn on a shelf. The Orient snake was a definite explorer and probably chose the top of the TV because it was a nice warm spot to rest and pythons love the warmth.

Interestingly, they can go up to a year without food, which is amazing. I even had one go eight months without food once.

Talk about a diet.

Bob Ghosio


Where they belong

Two thumbs up to the police that were involved in capturing the men shipping drugs into the Riverhead and North Fork community. These two men should be behind bars. They prey on people who are addicts so they can continue making money off them. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Brenda Casey


What a beastly video

As an Orient resident, I have looked forward to Thursday and being informed of North Fork news in what I believed to be a family, community newspaper.

What happened to journalism? I am offended by the full page photos given to the “Beastly” video.

Standards have reached a low point. I hope future articles will be given second thoughts on suitability.

Helen Passanant


What next?

In Jack McGreevy’s recent letter (“It would have failed,” Aug. 2), regarding gay marriage, he asks what will happen next? The answer is simple. Now, married same-sex couples and families will:

Shop at local markets.

Bowl at the new bowling alley.

Plant tomatoes in their gardens.

Send their children to local schools.

Eat at local restaurants.

Pay their local, state and federal taxes.

Worship at the church of their choice.

Get ice cream at Magic Fountain on a warm summer evening.

Buy cheese at Bruce’s Cheese Emporium.

Barbecue hamburgers in their backyards with their neighbors.

They now get to do all of these as married couples, right alongside heterosexual couples and their families! They will have the same god-given and constitutional rights and responsibilities as other Americans who are “created equal!”

He also wrote: “As a Christian and a Catholic and most of all as an American, I feel betrayed.”

Which raises questions in my mind: Does Mr. McGreevy really believe Jesus Christ preached love and compassion for all, except homosexuals? Does he really believe the scandal-ridden Catholic Church is in a position to condemn anyone?

Does he really believe America is the “home of the brave and land of the free” except for homosexuals?

Betrayed? By whom? Elected officials, who have the responsibility of protecting the rights of all citizens?

We have all been betrayed by those politicians who oppose the civil rights of all and shout out “family values” while having illicit affairs.

The Bible does not say that marriage is only for a man and woman.

Mr. McGreevy should invite his gay neighbors over for a barbecue, and open his mind. They are everywhere! Get used to it.

Thom D’Angelo


I didn’t get arrested

To all my friends and neighbors. I’m writing to reassure you that I was not the woman with the same name as mine who was arrested in July. I’m still that sweet Rosemary from Greenport you all know and love. Thank you for not believing the gossip going around.

Rosemary Brown


Non-Olympic spirit

The summer Olympics are upon us and it can be rather difficult not to get drawn in by the excitement that surrounds them.

It’s a time for each country to rally behind its athletes as they compete on the world stage. It’s the spirit of the Olympics where champions are born and heroes are minted. From former medalists like Michael Phelps to a newcomer like Gabby Douglas, the Olympics serve as the forum where lifelong hopefuls can make their dreams come true as the world watches.

I could not help myself thinking, “What if we took the mind-set of the current administration and put it to work on the Olympics?”

A guy like Michael Phelps would be labeled a “fat cat” Olympian. Too many gold medals for you, Mr. Phelps. The only responsible thing would be to give some of those medals to some of the other athletes who just aren’t as talented as you are.

How about taking it one step further? Instead of the medalists feeling elated about their accomplishments, let’s tell them that they have too much talent.

Let’s make them pay their “fair share” by forcing them to break up the medals and give a little piece to each of their competitors who did not have the same skill set needed to win a medal.

It’s just not fair that the medalists have more ability and skill than their competition. Who cares if they worked harder, sacrificed more and put more hours into achieving the ultimate Olympic success?

It’s time that we realized that in the game of life not everyone can be a gold medalist, but the opportunity to be one is out there for all to obtain. It’s the competition, challenges and success stories that makes America great.

I just wished the guy in the White House realized this. But I think he’d be more inclined to say, “That gold medal, you didn’t win that.”

David Muntner


Dodd/Frank disaster

In response to Steve Curry’s July 19 “Bishop’s on our side” letter, let me point out that the bill he refers to is Dodd/Frank, not Dobbs Frank.

Also, Tim Geithner knew of the LIBOR scandal in 2008 and didn’t do anything about it. He was president of the N.Y. Federal Reserve Bank and did nothing about rate fixing/collusion between banks. It’s a criminal act and people should go to jail for it.

Mr. Geithner knew of a criminal act being committed that could erode the integrity of the markets, yet did nothing about it. He also didn’t pay his taxes from 2003 to 2007.

Mr. Bishop signed on to one of the most sweeping pieces of legislation in our nation’s history, as did many members of Congress who knew they set this disaster in motion in 1997 when they decided everyone in the country was entitled to own a home, regardless of whether or not they could afford it.

Mr. Dodd and Mr. Frank are now retired. Mr. Dodd received special treatment from Angelo Mozilo. Mr. Frank, well, he didn’t know that his partner was running a brothel in the home they shared in D.C.

Neither one of them will ever know how many jobs they’ve killed because they used a chain saw where they should have used a scalpel. Nor do they understand the costs to the banks to do business that Dodd/Frank heaps on them that will be passed on to the consumer. That’s you and me.

Cheers to Randy Altschuler for at least saying he’s going to try to fix it.

Phillip Mastrangelo


Thank you all

My name is Alphons Westee. I recently lost my wife, Margaret, after a brave battle with cancer.

She was the love of my life for 70 years and I never thought there would be a day I would live without my beloved. I fully understand how blessed we were to be together for 70 years and be able to enjoy our family and friends well into our late 80s.

Death is never easy and as much as I thought I would handle every detail there are people I need to thank and express appreciation for.

First, East End Hospice, who were amazing in handling Margaret’s transition as well as educating my girls and me on what to expect and supporting us as we all dealt with the last precious moments we had. They were supportive and loving and I don’t think we would have been able to be ready for what happened without them.

Second, Karen and Mark Heppner from Coster/Heppner Funeral Home, who are without a doubt the two most professional, kind, caring and respectful people I have ever done business with. They made our darkest hour a little brighter with their kind words and loving support.

Finally, the Town of Riverhead Police Department, mainly Sgt. Egan, Officer Cavanagh, Officer Carey and the whole COPE unit, who were there to facilitate the funeral procession from Cutchogue to Calverton move smoothly, allowing us to be together with dignity and respect. They gave my Maggie a sendoff she would be honored and proud of.

On behalf of our daughters, our grandchildren and our great grandchildren, thank you to all of you for making our time of need a little easier.

Alphons Westee Jr.