Editorial: Thumbs up, thumbs down for 2014

Mattituck soccer players at the high school after retuning home from winning the state championship in November. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo photos)
Mattituck soccer players at the high school after retuning home from winning the state championship in November. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo photos)

ThumbUpMattituck soccer wins it all

Editorial: The disappointment of losing in the state semifinals two years hung over the Mattituck boys soccer team as a senior-laden squad geared up for one last run together this year. The Tuckers entered the season with high expectations and more than delivered on them. The Tuckers’ run to the state championship — the third in program history — was the kind of feel-good story that made a community proud. The players set a goal for themselves and then went out and achieved it.

In two state playoff games in Middletown, N.Y., the Tuckers won by a combined score of 9-0, leaving little doubt as to which team reigned supreme in New York. Afterward, coach Mat Litchhult announced he was resigning as coach and senior Kaan Ilgin was named the state player of the year.

ThumbdownDeer cull is a dud

Editorial: In our 2013 “Year in Review issue,” we gave a “focus on deer” a thumbs up after years of deer population growth reached a tipping point and local leaders seemed poised to act on the issue.

As it turned out, however, a tipping point can be one tricky place.

As the cull became less of an idea and more of a reality, pushback intensified. Fierce opposition from two unlikely allies — animal advocates and hunters — basically rendered the cull moot, thanks in large part to a lawsuit that halted the number of permits that could be given out, not that many were filled, anyway.

By the time sharpshooters from the U.S. Department of Agriculture left town, less than 200 deer had been killed — barely a fraction of the county’s estimated 25,000 to 36,000 deer.

Even the cull’s organizer, Long Island Farm Bureau president Joe Gergela, admitted “It didn’t work.”

ThumbUpFinal piece of the puzzle

Editorial: This was a historic year for the Peconic Land Trust preservation group. That also means it was a good one for all those who have worked for decades to protect and preserve the town’s and the region’s agricultural heritage and way of life. In March, the land trust acquired the last of 11 parcels that now make up its 98-acre agricultural center in Southold. The center features working farms with educational and mentoring components for younger people looking to get into farming. There’s also a community garden there that attracts a diverse group, from schoolchildren to older people fond of tomatoes to Hispanic immigrants growing chili peppers.

Now, thanks to the Peconic Land Trust, they’ll all get to work together in one place.

ThumbdownA bad year in Greenport Village Hall

Editorial: Failed equipment combined with a lack of information coming out of Greenport Village Hall marred some villagers’ confidence in their elected officials in 2014.

The Village Board got off to a rocky start in January, when Mayor David Nyce had to issue a public apology for failing to answer residents’ concerns about a large increase in their December 2013 power bills.

In September, the Village Board once again got beaten up in the court of public opinion. Documents showed the board was requiring an outspoken Greenport commercial fishing captain, Sid Smith, to hold a $2 million insurance policy for his boat, Merit, and telling him he had to leave the railroad dock if he didn’t pay for the coverage. Village records, however, showed that all the other boat owners using that dock were only required to carry $1 million insurance policies.

The misinformation at Greenport Village Hall was concerning this year … to say the least.