Thank you, Scott, for all you’ve done
My letter is about Southold Town, founded as a township in 1640, and the town that it is today in 2024. We all know Southold today, we know the South Fork, Western Suffolk, Nassau and the city. Our community developed in a certain deliberate way, not by accident, but by people like Scott Russell who gave decades of his life to public service.
We just had a local election and the major issues were quality of life issues. Scott Russell was an elected official when the conservation subdivision law was passed. He was supervisor when the Town Board approved the work of the Hamlet Stakeholders. He was supervisor during the whole of the Comprehensive Plan. He was supervisor when the Big Box law was passed. He was supervisor when the townwide drainage code was passed. And when the dark skies law was passed, and when the noise ordinance was passed.
He was supervisor when the town zoned Plum Island upon sale, and when the Orient side of Plum Island was zoned upon sale. He was supervisor when the decision was made NOT to borrow heavily against future revenues of the Community Preservation Fund (almost 20 years ago!), ensuring a healthy land preservation program today.
Scott Russell formed the deer management committee and the Alternative Energy Committee. Scott didn’t work alone, or do all this by himself. He worked with everyone, elected officials from both sides of the isle and any community members who had a stake or interest. Our town is way better off today in 2024 because of his efforts, his commitment and his foresight.
It was an honor to have worked with him all those years. Thank you Scott Russell for your efforts.
Mr. Krupski is Southold Town supervisor.
The courts still play an essential role
In Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court stopped the hand counting of ballots in Florida and effectively declared George W. Bush President of the United States. There’s no evidence that a single Republican in this country of 300+ million people were bellyaching over that decision. After all, the Supreme Court was supreme.
Fast-forward 23 years and all you hear from Republicans is that neither the Supreme Court of Colorado nor the Supreme Court of the United States has any business being involved in presidential election issues. It should be, they argue, up to the voters. The hypocrisy of this position is palpable.
If a majority of Americans were shocked by the jury finding in the O.J. Simpson murder case, would it have been appropriate to have a vote to overturn the decision because it was unpopular? Or how about any other court decision, whether handed down by a jury or a judge? Are we going to get a vote on an outcome we don’t like?
The lower court in Colorado, after days of evidentiary hearings, found as a factual matter that Donald Trump engaged in an insurrection to overthrow the government of the United States. That decision went up on appeal and the Colorado Supreme Court didn’t disagree with the finding of fact that Trump was an insurrectionist; it disagreed with the trial court’s ruling that Clause 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution did not apply to presidents – in other words, that the presidency is a get-out-of-jail-free card and like Richard Nixon once said, “When the president does it [commits a crime], it’s not a crime” (referring to the Watergate break in).
If, as the other Republican candidates now insist, it’s not up to the courts to be involved in determining what the Constitution means, then what’s the purpose for having any judicial system? We can just make every legal issue a matter of voters’ choice.
That can’t be the law. So now, the Supreme Court, with three Trump appointments sitting on it, will have to decide whether, when a president is found by a court to have committed an insurrection, he can be held accountable under the provision of the U.S. Constitution that clearly says any officer who has taken an oath to support the Constitution is disqualified from holding office again. It’s pretty straightforward, but leave it to the Republicans to try and twist the Constitution into a legal pretzel.
These leaf blowers are a menace
As Greenport Village trustees work toward passing the new Chapter 88 noise ordinance, the board would do well to consider the long-term health damages of gas-powered leaf blowers to Greenporters — not to mention birds and the environment.
People who have lived in Greenport for more than 15 years remember when there were no leaf blowers. Somehow folks managed to get their yards in order without so much noise and air pollution. And those who didn’t bother to rake their leaves? Well, so much the better for the insects, like fireflies, who overwinter in leaf mulch and for the birds who eat those insects and are terrified by leaf blowers.
Those of us whose backyard peace and quiet is regularly disrupted when the blowers with their hearing-damaging sound arrive on a weekly basis to our neighborhoods, of course, have the option to go indoors. Though leaf blowers’ low frequency buzz can penetrate walls and windows. And health organizations report that noise pollution at this level creates high blood pressure, headaches, stress and a diminished quality of life.
And what about the often low-paid workers who carry these 22- to 30-pound two-stroke engines on their backs? They absorb long workdays of unremitting hearing-damaging sound, not to mention the carcinogenic pollutants coughed out by these outdated engines. Do we understand that the workers making our yards so neat risk losing their hearing and developing cancer from exposure to benzene and microscopic emissions?
As Greenport Village trustees review the new Chapter 88 noise ordinance, the board should move toward a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers and lawn equipment to protect people, birds and the environment. Other landscape services on the North Fork have already proven that the use of quieter electric-powered equipment is welcome by many residents. These forward-thinking business people are proving you can care about the environment and be profitable.
These will only add to worker shortages
In reading your recent article, “Latest hotel bids in Greenport” (Dec. 21, 2023), I couldn’t help but wonder if the town and/or the developers had considered the dire shortage of workers in this region. Although it may not be required by code, I’m curious to know if the developers have included in their plans housing for staff, or reserved spaces for all staff who drive, or have plans for arranging free or low-cost transportation to meet their needs. Or will these projects just be adding to the already serious shortage of year-round workers in Greenport?
Ignorance is not bliss
Nikki Haley was the governor of South Carolina. South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union in 1861. It was the first state to join the Confederacy in 1861 and was the site of the first battle of the Civil War at Fort Sumter in 1861. And she does not know slavery was the primary cause of the Civil War? She lacks “deep structure” [Noam Chomsky, 1959] when it comes to her American history knowledge. Scratch the surface of some/many of these politicians and what do you get? Ignorance and naivete.