Gustavson Column: We made quite an unsatisfactory trade

TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO  |  Al Krupski won the special legislative election Jan. 15.
TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO | Al Krupski won the special legislative election and he resigned from his seat on the Southold Town Board.

I’m beginning to have some serious second thoughts about voting for Al Krupski for Suffolk County legislator. And that’s only because if he hadn’t won, and subsequently resigned his seat on the Southold Town Board, Jim Dinizio wouldn’t have been appointed to replace him.

Is it naive to think that a Republican-dominated Town Board might appoint someone from Krupski’s own Democratic Party to replace him? (Short answer: Yes.) But appointing a Democrat would have meant preserving a modicum of ideological balance on the board, not to mention respecting the wishes of the majority of voters who have repeatedly re-elected Krupski to that local office.

Others might argue that, as a registered Conservative, Mr. Dinizio does bring balance to the Town Board, or that he’ll play the healthy role of the Town Board’s squeaky wheel. But I don’t buy it.

More likely he’ll be voting lock step with the GOP majority — and that, as we have painfully learned over the years, is a recipe for mischief. But as we also have learned from practical experience in Washington, the political pendulum usually swings in the opposite direction. So a few years from now don’t be surprised to hear complaints about too many Democrats, and too few Republicans, on the Town Board.


A month ago in this space, I raised the idea of establishing a local gun buyback program similar to those that have been established around the nation in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. More recently, the concept has been tentatively embraced by the chiefs of police of Southold, Shelter Island and Riverhead towns.

It’s too early to say exactly what form the program might take, but it seems likely to be a Second Amendment-respecting, voluntary, anonymous program aimed at getting old and surplus guns out of homes, where national statistics suggest the most accidents and suicides by guns take place. This is the last you will read about this issue in this space. Stay tuned for updates via the chiefs themselves.


Maureen Roslak of Southold is the winner of the Academy Award contest announced in this space two weeks ago. For correctly guessing all six winners (Best Movie: “Argo,” Best Director: Ang Lee, Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz and Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway), she wins a $100 gift certificate to the Mattituck Cinemas, courtesy of Times/Review NewsGroup. Congratulations, Maureen.


And some Oscar trivia: Former Greenport summer residents (they used to live on Seventh Street) Albie Hecht and Susan McLaury won Academy Awards Sunday night as co-executive producers of “Inocente,” chosen Best Short Documentary. According to the film’s website, it tells the story of 15-year-old Inocente, “a homeless, undocumented immigrant, who clings to her determination to become an artist in the face of a bleak future.”

It was McLaury and Hecht’s second Oscar nomination. Two years ago, they were nominated as co-producers of the documentary film “War/Dance.” They are co-founders of Shine Global, “a non-profit film production company dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of children worldwide.”

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