Outcry over plan to ship shelter dogs to Brookhaven Town

03/01/2011 2:01 PM |

Buster, a Riverhead Animal Shelter pet, gets a check-up from a vet. Riverhead officials said they're looking to transfer shelter pets to Brookhaven in an effort to save money.

Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter’s proposal to ship dogs from his town’s animal shelter to the Brookhaven Town Animal Shelter in Yaphank has met with opposition from some residents as well as from the Brookhaven councilwoman who is that Town Board’s liaison to the animal shelter.

But Mr. Walter said he has discussed the issue with Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko, who has expressed interest in the idea, and that he will continue to pursue it.

The supervisor said he ­­­­believes such a program could save Riverhead between $100,000 and $150,000 per year. He said he was hoping to keep it under wraps until the details get worked out, but it came up at an animal shelter advisory meeting Monday when Police Chief David Hegermiller discussed it while responding to a question.

Calverton resident and animal rights activist Rex Farr asked Mr. Walter about the plan a day later, at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting.  Mr. Walter then spilled the beans.

“Mark Lesko and I have had preliminary conversations where they are interested in taking over our animal shelter function,” Mr. Walter said. “In fact, so much so that they said we close our animal shelter and bring all the animals from Riverhead to Brookhaven. I think it’s a fantastic idea.

“The preliminary numbers we’ve discussed are that it would probably save [Riverhead Town] about $150,000 per year. It is exactly in line with what Governor Cuomo’s been talking about. It’s exactly in line with what every single municipality has been talking about. It’s combining municipal services, there would be no duplication of effort, We would still have an animal control officer in this town, Whether it is a Brookhaven ACO or a Riverhead ACO remains to be determined.”

Brookhaven has 160 dogs, Mr. Walter said. Riverhead has about 18 currently.

Brookhaven Town Board member Jane Bonner, who serves as the that Town Board’s liaison to the shelter, said in an interview during Tuesday meeting in Riverhead that it would not be possible for Brookhaven to take on the new pets.

“We’re full,” she said. “We don’t have any room. No.”

Ms. Bonner also told the News-Review that Mr. Lesko’s office told her no such move is in the works.

Mr. Lesko could not be reached for comment, although Mr. Walter said he phoned him after Tuesday’s meeting to tell him “the cat was out of the bag.”

He said Mr. Lesko knew already, because reporters had tried to contact him.

Told later of Mr. Bonner’s comments, Mr. Walter said, “I think she doesn’t understand what we’re talking about. This was not meant for public dissemination at this point.” He said he and Mr. Lesko first began discussing the idea after both attended a meeting of the state Pine Barrens Commission.
Members of Riverhead’s shelter committee on Monday voiced immediate opposition to the potential move.

“No way,” said committee member Connie Farr, who is Rex’s wife. “If I lose little Fluffy and I have to go to Brookhaven to retrieve my dog, and I live in Riverhead and I paid all my taxes, I would be very [angry].”

Her husband on Tuesday said, “This is not the answer to the problem.”

Mr. Farr said any solution to the animal shelter issue must include the removal of ACO Lou Coronesi,  who has clashed with shelter volunteers and who recently came under fire for his handling of a case involving a pit bull named Bruno that was euthanized in December, and for previous animal crime convictions.

“I didn’t propose that idea,” Mr. Walter said in an interview Friday when asked about the previously expected move to remove Mr. Coronesi from shelter position and place him into another town position. “But we have taken appropriate actions with Lou and that’s a personnel issue and I can’t go further than that.”

“Other things probably will happen in the not-so distance future if I’m successful,” the supervisor added.

Councilman Jim Wooten, who is the Town Board’s liaison to the shelter advisory committee, said Friday that no matter what the plan is, he thinks Mr. Coronesi should be moved to another position and that the town should work more cooperatively with volunteers at the shelter.

Dogs kept at the shelter are usually either dogs picked up as strays or dogs surrendered by their owners.

Statistics from the Riverhead Police Department indicate that in 2010, the town impounded 155 dogs. In addition, 54 dogs were surrendered and seven more were either found dead after car accidents or brought in dead by owners for cremations. The town got 105 dogs adopted and 98 dogs — including the dogs found dead in the streets — were returned to their owners, and 13 were cremated. Of the 13 cremated dogs, eight dogs had been euthanized.

Chief Hegermiller said two of those eight dogs were euthanized for health reasons, leaving only six dogs having been put down last year because they were deemed unadoptable by shelter officials.

tgannon@timesreview.com

with Grant Parpan

Comments

comments

353 Comment

  • Is it any surprise the bumbling Chief (he and officer DWI make a lovely couple) and Sandmine Sean can’t even run a dog pound?

  • Have any of these people ever worked in animal shelters and do they realize the ratio of person to animal. Any addition to a large shelter from a smaller one makes all the animals suffer more, as the person to animal ratio continues to increase. Are any of these people involved really animal lovers, or are they all looking to prolong suffering of animals?

  • animals should be left alone – humans tend to think that they should control everything. animals don’t need “human’s help” they do just fine using their instincts. nature is smarter than we are, people tend to think otherwise.

  • Taxation as Extortion
    by Tibor R. Machan

    Liberty is incompatible with taxation. This despite that famous saying by Oliver Wendell Holmes that “Taxation is the price we pay for civilization.” In fact, taxation is a most uncivilized way of obtaining funds, given that it amounts to nothing less than extortion.

    Just think of it: You go to work for some company and are told you will receive a certain wage but actually receive but a fraction of what you have been offered. Why? Because a substantial portion is sent not to you, who earned it, but to other people. Why? Because if it isn’t sent to them, they will declare the company criminal and sick the police on it. So, the company is coerced to take part of your earnings and divert it to those who have this power to make them do so.

    If this isn’t exactly like what the Mafia does when it engages in extortion I don’t know what is. Yes, some of the funds extorted will be used for purposes that may actually benefit you and some who are extorted don’t protest. But maybe that’s true of what the Mafia takes from those whom it extorts, as well. And it doesn’t matter because what is wrong with extortion isn’t what the money is used for, but how it is obtained, namely, coercively.

    Often it is Robin Hood who is held up as the role model for justifying taxation: Didn’t he “steal” from the rich to “give” to the poor? Well, not, not really.

    Robin Hood did just the opposite: He stole from those who stole from the poor and returned the loot to the rightful owners. In those days the upper classes, from the king to all his cronies, routinely engaged in extortion. They disguised this, however, with the phony claim that everything belongs to the king and his cronies. Yes, monarchs and those who rationalized monarchy spun this fantasy and managed to sell it to the people that the monarchs were the rightful owners “of the realm,” that they had a “divine right” to rule us. This way when the bulk of the country went to work on the farm or wherever, they had to pay “rent” to the monarch and his cronies.

    Of course, if I live in your apartment, I pay you rent. It is your apartment, after all, so you have it coming to you. But what if you got your apartment by conquest, by robbing a bunch of people of what belongs to them? That is mostly how the monarchs got to rule the realm, by conquest. By all rights it is the folks who were working in the realm — on the land and elsewhere — who actually owned that realm, the monarchs being the phony, pretend owners, nothing better. But since they managed to bamboozle a great many powerless folks into believing that they did own the realm, the “rent” had to be paid.

    Since, however, the American Revolution put the lie to this monarchical ruse, the institution of taxation could not be passed off as some kind of legitimate rent taking. That major political change showed once and for all that monarchs were sophisticated thugs who ran roughshod over the rest of the people, who violated their basic natural rights all over the place, by robbing and conscripting them.

    Yet, because of the idea that we do need to have our rights protected by some means that involve costs, taxation remained a feature of the society that followed the change from monarchy to constitutional republicanism. Not a lot of taxation, mind you, because it seemed pretty clear to the Founders that taxation is in fact extortion. But they didn’t see some other, legitimate, morally acceptable way of collecting the funds needed to pay government for its service of securing our rights. Yet, they might have.

    There are other ways governments could be paid for their service of securing rights that couldn’t exist without legal protection. Contract fees, not taxation, could solve the problem.

    But this alternative, legitimate method wasn’t in the cards following the revolution, so taxation remained, albeit in a rather modest form. In time, however, it got out of hand.

    After all, if the Mafia just took a tiny fraction of income from its victims, most would probably put up with it all rather than resist. But when the amount moves on to 25 to 70 percent, it turns into big time extortion. And that is how we stand now with taxation — it has become big time extortion.

    Some respond to this by noting that in other countries taxation is much higher. Sure, because they are even farther from having lived up to the spirit and letter of the revolution that America experienced, namely, removing power from government and returning it to where it belongs, the individual citizens. After all, it is America that is the leader of the free world, with a lot of other countries, including most of those in Western Europe, way behind. At least that is how it was supposed to happen.

    Instead, however, the American Revolution was betrayed and the U.S.A. has undergone a reactionary period in which it reverted, substantially, to the policies of earlier systems of government. This Europeanization of America is a shame, a damned shame. And it needs to be identified as such to have any chance of being arrested.

    The first step is to acknowledge, unapologetically, that the institution of taxation is not a civilized but rather a barbaric method to fund anything, because it amounts to nothing less than outright extortion, a gross violation of human liberty.

  • Taxation as Extortion
    by Tibor R. Machan

    Liberty is incompatible with taxation. This despite that famous saying by Oliver Wendell Holmes that “Taxation is the price we pay for civilization.” In fact, taxation is a most uncivilized way of obtaining funds, given that it amounts to nothing less than extortion.

    Just think of it: You go to work for some company and are told you will receive a certain wage but actually receive but a fraction of what you have been offered. Why? Because a substantial portion is sent not to you, who earned it, but to other people. Why? Because if it isn’t sent to them, they will declare the company criminal and sick the police on it. So, the company is coerced to take part of your earnings and divert it to those who have this power to make them do so.

    If this isn’t exactly like what the Mafia does when it engages in extortion I don’t know what is. Yes, some of the funds extorted will be used for purposes that may actually benefit you and some who are extorted don’t protest. But maybe that’s true of what the Mafia takes from those whom it extorts, as well. And it doesn’t matter because what is wrong with extortion isn’t what the money is used for, but how it is obtained, namely, coercively.

    Often it is Robin Hood who is held up as the role model for justifying taxation: Didn’t he “steal” from the rich to “give” to the poor? Well, not, not really.

    Robin Hood did just the opposite: He stole from those who stole from the poor and returned the loot to the rightful owners. In those days the upper classes, from the king to all his cronies, routinely engaged in extortion. They disguised this, however, with the phony claim that everything belongs to the king and his cronies. Yes, monarchs and those who rationalized monarchy spun this fantasy and managed to sell it to the people that the monarchs were the rightful owners “of the realm,” that they had a “divine right” to rule us. This way when the bulk of the country went to work on the farm or wherever, they had to pay “rent” to the monarch and his cronies.

    Of course, if I live in your apartment, I pay you rent. It is your apartment, after all, so you have it coming to you. But what if you got your apartment by conquest, by robbing a bunch of people of what belongs to them? That is mostly how the monarchs got to rule the realm, by conquest. By all rights it is the folks who were working in the realm — on the land and elsewhere — who actually owned that realm, the monarchs being the phony, pretend owners, nothing better. But since they managed to bamboozle a great many powerless folks into believing that they did own the realm, the “rent” had to be paid.

    Since, however, the American Revolution put the lie to this monarchical ruse, the institution of taxation could not be passed off as some kind of legitimate rent taking. That major political change showed once and for all that monarchs were sophisticated thugs who ran roughshod over the rest of the people, who violated their basic natural rights all over the place, by robbing and conscripting them.

    Yet, because of the idea that we do need to have our rights protected by some means that involve costs, taxation remained a feature of the society that followed the change from monarchy to constitutional republicanism. Not a lot of taxation, mind you, because it seemed pretty clear to the Founders that taxation is in fact extortion. But they didn’t see some other, legitimate, morally acceptable way of collecting the funds needed to pay government for its service of securing our rights. Yet, they might have.

    There are other ways governments could be paid for their service of securing rights that couldn’t exist without legal protection. Contract fees, not taxation, could solve the problem.

    But this alternative, legitimate method wasn’t in the cards following the revolution, so taxation remained, albeit in a rather modest form. In time, however, it got out of hand.

    After all, if the Mafia just took a tiny fraction of income from its victims, most would probably put up with it all rather than resist. But when the amount moves on to 25 to 70 percent, it turns into big time extortion. And that is how we stand now with taxation — it has become big time extortion.

    Some respond to this by noting that in other countries taxation is much higher. Sure, because they are even farther from having lived up to the spirit and letter of the revolution that America experienced, namely, removing power from government and returning it to where it belongs, the individual citizens. After all, it is America that is the leader of the free world, with a lot of other countries, including most of those in Western Europe, way behind. At least that is how it was supposed to happen.

    Instead, however, the American Revolution was betrayed and the U.S.A. has undergone a reactionary period in which it reverted, substantially, to the policies of earlier systems of government. This Europeanization of America is a shame, a damned shame. And it needs to be identified as such to have any chance of being arrested.

    The first step is to acknowledge, unapologetically, that the institution of taxation is not a civilized but rather a barbaric method to fund anything, because it amounts to nothing less than outright extortion, a gross violation of human liberty.

  • WhAT nonsense! unless you are anarchist you (rather the clown you seem to believe is an intelligent American patriot, , Tibor Machem) would have us live without any government authority. You & yr pal seem to believe taxation is voluntary & somehow is a countervailing force against Liberty. It’s not, that’s why they are are called tips or contributions, but taxes. This idiot Tibor must hate America to want to see its demise as a good. Do you propose we abolish all government regulation & law? You & yr silly essayist don’t tell us how taxation is antithetical to Liberty. In fact we don’t have the slightest idea what you mean by liberty. You and all teabaggers hate democracy and our representative form of government, believing as you do taking taxes is unfair coercion by a corrupt and illegal government. You are hardly patriots, but of the same stripe as those Posse Commitatus weekend warriors, gun drenched & spouting “liberty” & “freedom,” who bought us nothing but havoc to the nation. Look up the Posse Commitatus on wikis if you are too young to remember them. They brought us several lethal fights with their adored guns, killing law officers. They brought us the Muarray Bldg killing of innocents in a nursey school in OK to tell us government is an evil. Tim McVeigh acted out of a lunatic belief we have an illegal government & they are not going to be taxed. Their utter stupidity led to one of the darkest days in the history of our Republic. Yes you have bananas, too bad you don’t have common sense. The extreme right Posse Commitatus kind of faded after the traiterous blast in OKlahoma. They reemerged as the Minimen, which also faded after the hienous murder of Brisenia Flores, a beautiful 9 yr old American by gun-drenched hoodlums who could murder a child to show us we have an illicit government. Funny, since the murder of Flores, the minis have disappeared for the moment, only to reemerge as Tea Partiers. I have personally seen the same shrill anti-immigrant hecklers who carry flags and preach hate against Latinos on many occasions show up at Teaparty demos right here in Suffolk, in Riverhead & Southampton. If you hate what America stands for, why don’t you move to a country without a goverment authority, let alone a democratic one. Somalia or the Sudan where government is so weak every male adult over 13 carries a dagger and a Kalishnikof machine gun should suit you to a T. You won’t have to pay taxes there or in the heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo or worry about government providing any kind of protection. I like civilization. I want a government with coercive authority. I prefer to pay taxes and live in America and support out government than follow yr ruinous idea of what kind of government we should have.
    If you really believe you shouldn’t pay taxes, if you really believe they are illegal, you should refuse to pay them. Step right up and proclaim yr principles; don’t compromise with evil; proclaim yr willingness to stand on principal. Refuse to use any government sponsored infrastructure, don’t use the roads. don’t shop for meat, because our government has no authority to protect consumers or inspect anything or set standards or enact laws. Don’t use county water or walk in a park or send yr kids to school or buy anything from anywhere that charges you tax upon goods. Teaparty Repubs are downright foolish. Too bad you can neither think or write for yourself, but only spout slogans and the stupidity of illogic..