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Readers weigh in on proposed sports complex in Mattituck

In an editorial last week, we asked readers to send in their opinion of an indoor sports facility, called Sports East, that is being proposed on Main Road in Mattituck. These are the responses.


Even in this age of hyper-sensitivity and partisanship on virtually every social and political issue, I believe one thing everyone on the North Fork would agree is the importance of exercise facilities to the overall health and well-being of our residents.

While the use of critical land, estuaries and waterfront demand close scrutiny, we need to keep perspective on the balance of commercial land use as primarily an aesthetics issue. We need to prioritize such use as to what is best for the whole community. We have to face the reality that our society faces a crisis in diabetes and both adult and childhood obesity burdening our health care facilities while increasing the cost of health care geometrically. This fact is reinforced by recent Community Health Assessments available from all regional hospitals.

Central to fighting these diseases are exercise and healthy living alternatives. The proposed facilities centered on the North Fork would provide a year-round location for children and adults to find alternatives to smartphones, video games, TV, overeating and, as we have recently learned, the scourge of heroin and other all to readily available street and prescription drugs.

I will admit to one selfish interest in being able to swim a couple of times a week closer than the 40-minute commute to Brookhaven Aquatic Center in Mastic Beach. The Town Board should perform its due diligence on the site plan and review this use. If there is objection and a deciding vote needs to be cast balancing all things, I would suggest that erring on the side of the health and well-being of our residents comes first.

Joe Pufahl

The author is a member of the Eastern Long Island Hospital Board of Trustees and a triathlete.


An indoor pool coming to the North Fork? Where do we sign up?

The Sports East indoor/outdoor facility proposal is welcome news to those of us who have followed years of failed pool talk at sites in Calverton and Aquebogue.

While the Peconic Bay and the Long Island Sound provide wonderful swimming holes during the summer, North Fork residents travel to Patchogue or Mastic in the spring, fall and winter to jump in a pool. A pool in Mattituck would be a local resource enjoyed by area residents year round. Swimming lessons, aquatic and fitness programs as well as free swim hours will add to the recreational opportunities available to every age group from toddlers to seniors. If the developers are savvy, they’ll design smart. A 25-yard U.S. regulation, six-lane pool will be a greater potential revenue source than any other design.

In addition to the indoor pool, Sports East is to be commended for other features in its nine-acre proposal. The gym, indoor track, yoga platforms and batting cages can enrich recreational options every season of the year regardless of the weather.

Making Mattituck a destination after pumpkin season and before our local asparagus are plentiful can only be good for the Town of Southold. Let town decision-makers be persuaded that the public good can be well served by a privately funded facility supported by the community.

Roxanne Zimmer


In regard to your editorial about the proposed sports complex in Mattituck, I think it’s a great idea!

As a member of the Town of Southold Youth Bureau, we are always looking for after-school activities for our kids. An indoor complex where they can go to swim, play basketball, use batting cages, an indoor track, play soccer and on and on, is just what the Town of Southold needs.

If you’re not on a sports team in school, or a club, what do you do after school? Hang out? Play video games? This would give these kids the opportunity to keep active and interact with their peers, from their school and all through the town.

Many years ago, I ran a roller hockey facility in Setauket. At one time I had 55 teams playing at various age levels. From 8 years old and up, what would they have been doing without this activity?

Robert Duffin

Lafayette, Calif.

I strongly support the proposed indoor sports complex. I grew up in Cutchogue in the late 1980s, early 1990s. My friends and I loved playing sports, but by November, we had nowhere to practice and nothing to do. We would have to prop windows and sneak into the Mattituck High School gym to play hoops, only to get chased away by staff or ticketed by cops. We were bored stiff, and had to play video games and watch TV until spring.

A desirable community like the North Fork, where my extended family still lives, should make it easier for kids and parents to stay healthy, focused and engaged. Recognizing the benefits of an affordable and centrally located indoor sports complex is a great first step to foster this energy, and will provide a nice counterpoint to the abandoned office park next door.

Buck Endemann


I am writing to very much support an indoor sports facility, especially a pool. I and four other senior ladies from Southold travel to Riverhead’s Saf-T-Swim three mornings a week at 7:20 a.m. It would be so nice to have a closer facility for water aerobics. We have all been hoping for it for many years now.

I’m sure everyone, male, female and especially the youth, would benefit from the sports fields and courts. My daughter and her four boys in Massachusetts have these available to them and they are used by many.  Here’s hoping.

Sharon Wren


I would love to see a sports facility, with a real pool, suitable for lap swimming. My husband and I want to retire to our Southold home in a year or two. I need to swim for health reasons.

Mary Pinker


My friends and I have been traveling a half-hour, three times a week for the past eight years to attend a water aerobics class. We have to get up at 6:30 a.m. Heaven would be to have a heated pool in Mattituck!

There are so many senior citizens with arthritis and joint replacements out here. A place for lap swimming is nonexistent and very much desired. Yes, yes, yes!

Jeanmarie DiNoto


Yes, we absolutely need an indoor sports center. I was disappointed when the YMCA didn’t open on the North Fork. How great to have a place where our residents can swim indoors during the winter months.

Helen Coster