Letters to the Editor

01/27/2011 8:00 AM |

RIVERHEAD
2010 the busiest year for firefighters
During 2010, the Riverhead Fire Department responded to a total of 1,095 alarms.
This was the most alarms in one year in the history of this department. Of this total, 84 were structure fires, 31 were brush fires and 25 were vehicle fires. About one half of the alarms were for automatic alarms, 65 for chiefs investigations and 85 for carbon monoxide alarms.
The dedicated volunteers in our department spent 11,450 hours responding to these alarms. Members also participated in over 18,000 hours in training, drills, meetings, work details, and other activities to maintain their proficiency in keeping lives and property safe in our community. Fire safety training for the children in all of our schools and at the annual open house is an important component of our community education program. In 2010, RFD volunteers dedicated 957 hours to this program and over 2,500 children received this important training in our elementary schools.
As chief of the Riverhead Fire Department, I would like to thank the community for your continued support. Our 180 volunteers live and work in our community and it is important that many businesses allow their employees to respond when called to protect lives and property.
Thank you again for your continued support
Chief Nicholas Luparella
Riverhead Fire Department

RIVERHEAD
Where’s the logic?
I read with sadness Nicholas Villani’s letter, “Fringe groups don’t represent Americans.” His letter reminded me of the saying “Believe in none of what you hear and half of what you see.”
The liberal media has obviously driven any common sense or logical thinking completely out of his mind. I guess I would be considered “sick” and part of what he calls “fringe groups.” He should just call me patriotic.
I am one of the 51 percent of the people in this country who provide no taxes for the other 49 percent. I have been to tea party rallies and have never seen a gun, a derogatory poster, any name calling or any spitting. There have been a minute few who have misrepresented the majority of hard-working, law-abiding, constitution-believing, true American taxpaying patriots. The liberal media is very happy to highlight them.
I for one am tired of this nation’s suckling-pig economics. Way too many people are on the dole. It’s time to clean them up, wipe their little faces off and send them to work.
Maybe everything should be free for everyone and that would be great. Seems people actually believe that. That notion is bringing this great nation to its knees.
Mr. Villani would have everyone believe he is a patriot, yet he obviously does not know what the “yellow” Gadsden flag represents.
How very sad.
Jim Breitenbach

ROCKY POINT
Changes afoot at shelter? Let’s hope so
It’s been a long time coming. Fifteen years, to be exact, if you use the Riverhead Shelter Volunteer Program (RSVP Inc.) as the starting point. The nonprofit 501(c)(3) animal rescue organization, founded in 1996, has fought a long, hard battle advocating reform at the municipal shelter. But it hasn’t been the group’s battle alone. The volunteers simply gave it a voice. Many advocates, both residents and non-residents, have recognized the need for change at the Riverhead shelter.
Veterinarian services that have been overlooked for years are being provided and there is talk of hiring a director.
Hopefully, the town now recognizes that a good shelter begins with good management. Hopefully, town officials understand that there are qualifications not covered in a civil service exam that are vital to the successful operation of a humane shelter.
And this holds true for the part-time animal control officer currently being sought, and any other would-be employees at the shelter. Hopefully, there have been lessons learned after all these years and the best possible candidates for these jobs will be selected, and not dictated by minimum civil service requirements or patronage.
In addition, it should be noted that a director is not state mandated and does not have to be a union position.
The other key ingredient for success is a strong volunteer program. And on that front, there is still the unresolved issue of Pat Lynch and Linda Mosca. Both were banned from volunteering by Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller, who, by the way, authorized the euthanasia of Bruno, Butch and other dogs “dangerous and beyond rehabilitation” and has been managing the shelter for the past five years. Why hasn’t the Town Board intervened on the dogs’ behalf?
So, there are still important changes pending. Time will tell if we have turned the corner and are beginning a new era. Let’s see what happens between now and November.
Sue Hansen

CUTCHOGUE
What we’re watching
Did you know that during an NFL playoff game, the ball is in play less than eleven minutes?
To wrap your helmet around that, consider this: The average broadcast of a game lasts seventeen times longer – a grinding 285 minutes. Where do the extra 174 minutes of down time go?
Not far, according to a Wall Street Journal study that analyzed last year’s playoff games on four major TV networks. Players spend roughly 75 minutes in huddles or milling around at the line of scrimmage. On average, broadcasters dedicate 17 minutes of airtime to replays. Typically, cutaway shots to refs and coaches total 13 minutes.
By comparison, cheerleaders only get a shockingly scant three seconds of tube time.
Sixty-plus minutes go to commercials, which come to think of it, is the reason a lot of people watch the Super Bowl in the first place, right?
Robert Geehreng

PECONIC
Money better spent
While The Long Island Railroad (LIRR) cuts services to an ‘outpost,’ their word for Greenport, we on the eastern edge of Long Island continue to do with little public transportation.
The money however, does seem to keep coming to improve our transportation. The latest was in the fall when the state decided to extend the sidewalks so they would continue all the way west to Riverhead. A very noble idea, but not a very practical use of public funds.
Those sidewalks joined with existing ones that are in a terrible state of disrepair. When I drive along those sidewalks I tend to observe that they are not being used.
To digress from the sidewalks to a more practical use of public money applied to the same roadways, why not make the white and yellow lines visible?
Yes, the ones that help guide motorists as they drive. As of last night those lines were at best faded, at worst nonexistent.  
When one drives at night those same lines help guide the driver. When the fog, rain and now snow fall those lines help deter accidents.
Let our public transportation money be used where it will be most needed.
Joel Reitman

Comments

comments

21 Comment

  • The “Liberal media”, Jim? Fox news is the top network, and Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity are the top shows. You’re to the right of even THEM?! Is that what you’re saying? My goodness how the right has convinced even working class people like yourself into trumpeting their party line, as if it is to your own benefit. Unbelievable.

  • My old school. A disgrace to cut those teachers and programs. Call and write your state legislators to protest these draconian cuts to education. This Wednesday there is a rally and lobby day against Governor Cuomo’s education budget cuts in Albany.

  • why dont Gerstenlauer, if he is so upset take less money and maybe some jobs could be saved?

  • Its about time that got rid of some of those administrators. With most of the community on a fixed income, the school district should also be on a fixed income. We just cannot afford tax raises every year. People are concerned about the County Budget, but do you ever look at your school taxes?And WAGE FREEZES should be a given.

  • I agree the cuts to teaching staff & programs are terrible. The children will suffer for this…larger class sizes & increased standards will only contribute to greater pressure on our children. Teachers should recieve quality pay…they are required to have a Masters Degree and take many credits beyond what most people realize. Additionally, they spend many hours away from their families to help our children! They deserve respect and great pay. Many of them
    Live in our community & need pay increases to pay their taxes. Our community must come together for the benefit of our young children and all of our youth. Our children are our FUTURE. A society that values it’s future must invest in youth!

  • I agree the cuts to teaching staff & programs are terrible. The children will suffer for this…larger class sizes & increased standards will only contribute to greater pressure on our children. Teachers should recieve quality pay…they are required to have a Masters Degree and take many credits beyond what most people realize. Additionally, they spend many hours away from their families to help our children! They deserve respect and great pay. Many of them
    Live in our community & need pay increases to pay their taxes. Our community must come together for the benefit of our young children and all of our youth. Our children are our FUTURE. A society that values it’s future must invest in youth!

  • Stop the deceptive “state mandated expenses” for retirement and insurance benefits mantra. It makes it sound like the state is forcing these expenses on districts.

    It’s the UNION that mandated these expenses by pressuring the boards into accepting these bloated pay and benefit packages.

  • IT IS TIME TO STAND UP TO THE TEACHERS. WE PAY THERE SALARY. WANT TO KEEP THERE SALARY,FINE. PAY UP TO 35% OF YOUR MEDICAL. WHEN YOU RETIRE, PICK UP YOUR OWN MEDICAL LIKE THE PRIVATE SECTOR, GET YOUR OWN 401K PLAN. PAY FOR YOUR OWN EDUCATION LIKE WE ALL DO. NO SPECIAL PERKS. LET PARENTS RATE THE TEACHERS ,NOT THAT THEY STAY BECAUSE THEY HAVE A CONTRACT. NEW TIER FOR NEW TEACHERS TO ELIMINATE ALL THIS WASTEFUL SPENDING

  • IT IS TIME TO STAND UP TO THE TEACHERS. WE PAY THERE SALARY. WANT TO KEEP THERE SALARY,FINE. PAY UP TO 35% OF YOUR MEDICAL. WHEN YOU RETIRE, PICK UP YOUR OWN MEDICAL LIKE THE PRIVATE SECTOR, GET YOUR OWN 401K PLAN. PAY FOR YOUR OWN EDUCATION LIKE WE ALL DO. NO SPECIAL PERKS. LET PARENTS RATE THE TEACHERS ,NOT THAT THEY STAY BECAUSE THEY HAVE A CONTRACT. NEW TIER FOR NEW TEACHERS TO ELIMINATE ALL THIS WASTEFUL SPENDING

  • It is unfortunate that assumptions are made about the way a school district is run without knowing the true facts. Unfortunately, these ignorant rants bashing and undermining those who go into a profession to help society and impact childrens lives emphasizes the need for a more quality education! Obviously it is not coming from the home in certain instances!

    When the overall goal of education is to prepare students for life after they leave the walls of the school district; cutting programs and reducing funding will not only ill-prepare students for standardized MANDATED testing (which society uses as a scorecard to measure the succeess or failure of the district, and drives property values) but, students suffer in comparison to students from other districts where they value their kids overall education when competing for admission into college or occupational skills acquire for the workforce.

    If you can look beyond 365 days, you may see the bigger picture. It transcends the salaries some complain about, when a teacher is mandated to jump through hoop after hoop from indebting themselves financially to fund their education, to successfully passing certification exams (funded also by themselves!), to the rigorous contractual mandates/directives they complain less about, than others do that they are justly compensated.

    In other countries, teachers are treated with dignity and respect. What message are we sending our children? If you work hard, obtain an education and try to help society: society will terrorize your profession with generalization and villify the salary and benefits you earn if you become a teacher! Not only do teachers work 180+ days, but 180+ nights! Teachers retire far later than some other professions also funded by taxes, and get less of a % of their pay and no one seems to care about that. It’s cheaper to education a child and keep them off the streets than take away their options, lessen their employability, and incarcerate them if they get into trouble!

    News 12 ran a story last night on the Syosset school district, where their superintendent makes in excess of $500,000 and they are one of the highest taxed areas without any state aid at all.(Longwood used to get 50%, now 37% state aid). When asked if their property taxes are too high and the Super makes too much, residents overwhelming said, “NO!” “She is worth every penny and then some!” They cited scores on standardized test, graduation rates, job readiness, and the increase in their property values as a result of a quality education! Cutting programs and funding is NOT the answer!!!

  • It certainly is “unfortunate” that people rant and rave about things they obviously know nothing about. There is no way – that if NR was active in Board meetings, Budget Committee meetings, Legislative Committee meetings and more – that a comment like that would have been made.

    What a foolish thing to say! OF COURSE those things are mandated by state law!!

  • First of all, Pam, you obviously did not pay much attention while you were in school. Your statement should read, Why doesn’t Gerstenlauer, if he is so upset, take less money…..You and everyone else should realize that Dr. Gerstenlauer’s salary is such a tiny part of the big problem. The amount of money he makes is just a drop in the bucket when looking at the whole financial picture.

  • Seriously? Your response is riddled with errors and half truths. If YOU are the parent that is rating a teacher, I say, “No thank you!”

  • We Need to keep the music alive for our student & Teachers- past, present, anf furture. Lossing these programs will hurt the student and teachers of longwood. The music progran has been the a big part of my sons life. He started in the 4th grade with a great teacher & has continuned with music & he is in the 9th grade. He told me that if he does not have a chance to continun with tha music program he will not know what to do. He enjoys Band, Marching Band, Pep Band and Jazz Band. So Please try to help keep the Music Alive.Why is our furure the first thing to get cut. We all say our children are our future so please do not cut the programs and all the hard working teacher out of our children life.

  • I dont belive that they shouldnt be cuting the music programs because its just the wrong diccisson. Taking away the fouth grade programs wont do anything but slow down the kids potental to learn. I know with out the music programs i would have no clue what i would be doing at this point, and starting a such an early age gave me the extra time and knowledge I needed to get were I want want toi be. I feel that for some kids music is like there sport and taking away all the oppurtunites c like the clubs and everything else wouldn’t help, it would just hurt them.So I think it would be completley irrational to take away these programs

  • I dont belive that they shouldnt be cuting the music programs because its just the wrong diccisson. Taking away the fouth grade programs wont do anything but slow down the kids potental to learn. I know with out the music programs i would have no clue what i would be doing at this point, and starting a such an early age gave me the extra time and knowledge I needed to get were I want want toi be. I feel that for some kids music is like there sport and taking away all the oppurtunites c like the clubs and everything else wouldn’t help, it would just hurt them.So I think it would be completley irrational to take away these programs

  • sorry typo i dont belive that they should be cuting the music program

  • The word you needed to use was, “We pay THEIR salary…Want to keep THEIR salary…” THERE is the term used for a place or a point within an action. THEIR is a form of the possessive case THEY used as an attributive adjective before a noun. Teachers are not the only public employees that receive pensions from the government. Teachers DO pay for THEIR own education. They are required by State Education Laws to have a Masters Degree in order to receive certification and THEY PAY FOR THOSE DEGREES WITH THEIR OWN MONEY. I would prefer to not to have parents who are unable to spell correctly rate any of my children’s teachers. With your horrible spelling, grammatical errors, and sheer ignorance, you belong on Wall Street with the other incompetents.

  • You should have paid better attention to your grammar lessons in school…horrifying use of the word there!

  • You should be ashamed of yourself for your statement, “You belong on Wall Street with the other incompetents. ” How dare you and how ignorant you are. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. The community should be rallying together to support keeping programs for the children, not attacking each other over grammatical errors.

  • The problem is most of the other people living in the community aren’t getting raises and can’t afford to pay higher taxes.