Letters to the editor: A thank you to Kate and Ryan’s Team


A thank you to Kate and Ryan’s Team

The following letter is to Kate Oliver, a student at Mattituck High School, for her work supporting the “P.S. I Love You” week at MHS. The message came across loud and clear. It is OK to talk about mental health, suicide, fear and loss as a normal part of interacting with others. I wanted to thank Kate publicly after I had the pleasure of helping Ryan’s Team serve a hot lunch to the faculty and staff at MHS. I saw Kate in action and am awed.

Dear Kate:

Thank you for taking the initiative to be part of the group to organize “P.S. I Love You” week at Mattituck-Junior Senior High School honoring the legacy of your brother, Ryan Oliver. It was a successful week for all. I am sure you have been told by many that you are strong. You are. But I do not believe that is what is nourishing you on your grief journey. I know from experience that grief does not move in stages. Grief does not fade. It actually accumulates. That’s where the strong part comes in, I guess. You get stronger at carrying what cannot be fixed. I see something more in you. 

When people tell me I am strong, I do not feel strong. I feel brave. What I see in you and what I experience is courage. You are courageous. You are able to dip into the deep well of courage that is our community, including your friends, your support systems — your amazing family.

You have helped recharge the aquifer that feeds the deep and abiding well of courage in our community. The well is there for everyone. May your community nourish you while you journey with the love and the courage and the grace you find along the way. We are there for you and you are there for others. I appreciate you. I appreciate your family. 

Anne Smith

Ms. Smith is a member of the Southold Town Board.


Trump’s ‘day one’ would be a disaster

It’s so painfully obvious: If Donald Trump is reelected president, you can expect to see inaction or backsliding on four of the most important issues of our time — gun safety regulation, health insurance coverage, access to abortion and climate change. When he was in the White House, Trump generally toed the line of the National Rifle Association and threatened to veto a bill passed by the House of Representatives that would have required universal background checks for prospective firearms purchasers. (The legislation stalled in the Senate.) 

Out of office, he was no better, resisting new gun restrictions even after a school shooting two years ago in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two teachers. Instead, he called for having armed officers in every school and the training of teachers who would carry concealed weapons. As president, Trump pressed hard, but unsuccessfully, to have Congress repeal the Affordable Care Act, which has cut the uninsured rate in half from 2010; by last March, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 40 million Americans had health insurance coverage under the ACA, the highest number on record. Trump was unimpressed. By last November, he was posting on social media that “Obamacare Sucks!!!” and promising “much better Healthcare” while offering no details.

And don’t expect that the man claiming credit for appointing three conservative jurists to the Supreme Court who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade will work hard to mitigate the havoc that decision has wrought for women seeking abortions in states where access to the procedure is now drastically reduced. Trying to limit the damage done by ending Roe would jeopardize Trump’s standing with evangelicals, a hugely important part of his political base. 

Then there’s climate change, which Trump has called a “hoax” despite overwhelming scientific evidence that human activity is the prime driver of global warming. Ignoring that evidence, as president he pulled the United States out of the 2015 Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change adopted by nearly 200 nations that’s intended to substantially reduce the global greenhouse gas emissions responsible for heating the planet to dangerously high temperatures.

President Biden, on his first day in office, moved to bring the country back into the agreement. Given that he has famously vowed to promote “drilling, drilling, drilling” for oil on “Day One” in a second term look for Trump, if re-elected, to again withdraw the United States from the accord. “My guess is that pulling out of the Paris agreement will be considered in the first few weeks,” George David Banks, a former Trump White House climate adviser, told the Washington Post in December. “My guess is that they’ll have an executive order already written.”

Bottom line: We can’t afford four more years of Donald Trump in the Oval Office. Even with his bad memory, Biden is better than this.

John Henry


Mr. LaLota must act

This week, the United States Senate passed a bipartisan bill which will supply Ukraine with vital materials for the country’s continued war against Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Unfortunately, House Republicans are refusing to even bring the bill up for a vote because Donald Trump has voiced opposition to it. I ask all readers to call our congressman, Nick LaLota, to urge him to do everything in his power to get this important legislation passed. Abandoning the brave people of Ukraine will diminish our standing in the free world and will embolden Russia, China, North Korea and other enemies.

John Neely