Letters to the Editor: Coyotes might help our environment

Coyotes might help our environment

Although there may be some or many that fear the arrival of coyotes, I suspect they more scared of us than we are of them. The question is whether these are pure coyotes or the coywolf of Quebec that live in pairs successfully in urban settings. As we have been plagued by Lyme and other tick-borne diseases due to over population of deer that somehow cannot be successfully controlled, I wonder if coyotes will finally bring a solution. It’s not the elimination of deer that reduces Lyme in humans, but the overpopulation of deer. Like the reintroduction of the wolf in Yellowstone, I wonder if coyotes just might help restore the balance in the North Fork ecosystem.

Jay Cardwell 

Be grateful for our vets at Christmas

Most veterans have stood Christmas watch in places near and far away. We all would rather have been home, I assure you. We all stood them with fellow veterans, some of the best people we have ever known. Many have already passed on. Time just marches on and on. I think of those who stood the watch before and now after me. Some of those watches were at the front others in the rear. Each watch an every watch is important! 

A veteran somewhere is standing watch today, thinking of home, family and God! May our country always pray for these men and women with joy and gratitude. Merry Christmas, I’ve been there and may the peace of our Lord always guide you.

Bob Bittner

Placards are better

While not a major issue, it was disappointing that Southold Town regressed to the use of the outmoded “stickers” for beach parking and disposal permits. The practice of the past two years — a prominent placard to be hung on the rear view mirror while actually at the beach or transfer station was more modern — and unquestionably far more aesthetic. There is no need to have a permanent sticker on one’s vehicle just for the relatively few times one may go to a beach or the dump. I could understand someone not being excited about plastering one’s $40K+ car with stickers. I realize some preferred stickers because, for some reason, they “forgot” to place the placard. Their somewhat lack of understandable “forgetfulness” or responsibility was hardly the town’s fault.

Terrance Nolan

North Carolina
What happened to the old church?

I saw a piece in The Suffolk Times on an upcoming holiday show at CAST (the old Methodist church) and was very upset about the condition of the building and how run-down it looks. My family were big contributors to the church way back in the years. My first father (Jack Clark) rode on a crane and took down the cross, painted the belfry and then replaced the cross after it was cleaned. My grandfather (Raymond Dickinson) donated a lot of the bushes that were in the front of the church. I can’t believe the town would let this building look this way. I hope someone will try and give the building a good painting and needed repairs!

Jay Clark

South Setauket
Everyone deserves their day in court

Everyone deserves the presumption of innocence and due process under the law. This includes Legislator-elect Catherine Stark, who was arrested for driving under the influence. As Ms. Stark awaits her day in court, she will be able to go to work and receive treatment for her illness at home. Legislator-elect Stark isn’t the first elected official in this situation. 

Bail reform provides the same opportunities to those who would have previously languished in jail because they lacked the funds to pay to get out, which disproportionately impacted poor people and communities of color. The GOP/Conservative Party platform centered on fearmongering around criminal justice reform legislation. I hope that this moment, where one of their own is affected, will provide the GOP and Conservative parties a moment of self-reflection on their fearmongering of bail reform. The right to due process shouldn’t only apply to the wealthy, powerful, and well-connected.

Shoshana Hershkowitz

Please help CAST meet its needs

I am writing on behalf of the Center for Advocacy, Support and Transformation Board of Directors. I have been a CAST board member for over 10 years and have been president since 2017. CAST needs your help this holiday season. When I joined the board in 2013, CAST had an annual budget of $194,000 and served fewer than 500 families in Southold Town. We are currently serving over 1,300 families and over 3,200 individuals across Southold Town and Shelter Island with an annual budget of over $2 million.

We expect to provide over 400,000 meals this year. To give some perspective, pre-pandemic in 2019, CAST provided approximately 40,000 meals. In 2020, CAST provided about 198,000 meals. In 2021 we provided 244,000 meals and in 2022, we provided over 361,000 meals.

This dramatic increase is due to a number of compounding issues: COVID-19; 40-year high inflation, particularly for food and fuel; an affordable housing crisis; and extremely high cost of living and low wages for service and seasonal workers along with older residents and people living with disabilities on fixed incomes.

This year alone, 410 new families, including 874 individuals, have already come to CAST for help. Although CAST has always relied primarily on the generosity of our community members for a majority of our revenue, as we have grown at an alarming rate due to the pandemic impacting low-income families and people of color disproportionately, CAST has depended on federal COVID-19 relief funding for food and emergency housing assistance over the last 3 years. Those federal funds are no longer available to us, yet the demand for our vital programs and services continues to increase significantly.

If we cannot make up for this loss of federal funding, we will be forced to reduce the amount of food we distribute to families in need and will have to consider reducing the number of times families can come for assistance. That reduction will put further strain on families already struggling to make ends meet. These families are our neighbors. Many work in the service, hospitality and agricultural industries that fuel our local economy. They attend our schools and places of worship and are essential members of our community. These families could not live and work here without the support of CAST.

Please consider a donation to CAST this holiday season to help us help our neighbors in need. Donate online at castnorthfork.org or mail a check to CAST, P.O. Box 1566, Southold, NY 11971.

Marc Sokol
President, CAST board of directors

East Marion
Why were people so rude at the meeting?

I attended the town meeting on Monday to hear the views regarding granting IDA tax benefits to the Enclave Hotels Project. The meeting was for people to voice their opinions regarding the subject and everyone was given three minutes to be heard. This is an equitable and civil way to conduct a space for opinions to be shared for or against. I was very upset at the behavior of the audience when people spoke. The lawyer for the applicant took the podium to outline his case which is expected and was shouted at. I felt ashamed of our town that we would not allow for civil and polite discussion. It seems the intolerance and rude behavior of many in our society is taking hold here as well.

I certainly understand both sides of this debate and was eager to hear everyone’s opinion. These developers have done some really nice projects in our town. They have improved and saved several properties which benefited our community. I think our citizens should have a respectful listen to their position.

Nancy Messer

These numbers are not accurate

I’d like to clear up a misconception that the Enclaves proposal will create 51 new, full-time, year-round jobs. Ed Glackin, partner in the Enclave project, spoke at the Sept. 28 Suffolk County IDA meeting. He clarified that the Enclaves will not create 51 full-time, year-round jobs, but 51 FTEs. Forty jobs will be minimum wage at $16 per hour, and 11 will pay $88,000 per year (chefs and managers, most likely).

An FTE is a Full-Time Equivalent. The difference between an FTE and a full-time, year-round employee is as follows. Assume 40 full-time workers each working 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year. That’s 80,000 hours a year. For FTEs, the 80,000 hours can be spread throughout the year in any fashion. So there might be 10 workers at 40 hours per week from December through April; 100 workers during July and August; and something in between, like 20 to 30 workers, in May and June and September through November.

An FTE can be one individual working 40 hours a week, or two individuals at 20 hours each, or 4 individuals at 10 hours each. Or, if one individual works 80 hours in a week, that’s like 2 FTEs.

Clearly, the FTE model allows for seasonality of the business, part-time work, and workloads greater than 40 hours per week. The FTE model also explains Mr. Glackin’s other comment, that he expects that for most of the workers, this will be their second job. It might mean students or school teachers who have summers off, or people already employed full-time elsewhere, that want to work extra weekend or night shifts. The IDA is considering $2.7M in tax breaks to the $44M Enclaves hotel project, in part based on the misconception that 51 full-time jobs will be created.

Theresa Dilworth

East Marion
Thanks for the Christmas lights!

I would like to compliment Greenport town for having such a beautiful Christmas light display this year. You can’t help but feel the spirit of the holidays when you drive through the village. Thank you to all that helped to make this such a wonderful holiday season! Kudos to you!

Karen Gessner

Let’s not give them any breaks

I think the owners and developers of The Enclaves project should pull themselves up by their bootstraps instead of relying on government handouts.

David Dickerson