These docks are our docks
My family and I enjoy tying our boat up at the Riverhead town dock. We refer to it as â€śgoing up the river.â€ť Occasionally we will have a meal at one of the fine downtown eateries or sometimes we just get ice cream and enjoy the riverside view. Normally we have most of the bulkhead to ourselves and wonder why more boaters donâ€™t take advantage of this privilege.
Thatâ€™s why I was perplexed by Hyattâ€™s proposal to manage the docks and charge $2.50 per foot for short-term (transient) dockage. Thatâ€™s $50 for a 20-foot boat! At that price we will definitely find another destination to spend our leisure time and money.
This could be the end of my letter; however, since I live and pay taxes in Riverhead, I would like to see the continuation of growth that has begun to flourish downtown. Boats are an attraction that draw people and enhance the atmosphere of the riverfront. I believe that charging for short-term dockage will discourage downtown growth. I also ask myself: Why would the Hyatt want to get involved?
Help beautify our downtown
The BID has issues with Councilwoman Jodi Giglio over the handling of downtown. Aside from events, part of bringing people downtown is beautification of the area. The Riverhead Garden Club has been working hard to restore the historic 1850 Corwin English knot garden at the East End Art gallery. First, our dwarf boxwoods were stolen, which had been planted at our expense, and only through the generous donation of Councilmen George Gabrielsen did we get mulch and marigolds to plant. The sprinklers donâ€™t work anymore so members of the garden club hand water the garden.
If we want visitors to walk down Main Street and shop and eat at local places we must make it attractive. The garden club is involved in many local projects and it is difficult to â€śspread ourselves so thin,â€ť so to speak. Email our president, Regina Rouge, at firstname.lastname@example.orgÂ and let us know how you can help.
Put politics aside
The town Zoning Board of Appeals has a vacancy. In addition, another seat will become vacant in January 2013. I wish to appeal to the all-Republican Town Board to consider the qualified Democratic applicants that have submitted their resumĂ©s. One such applicant is Mr. Larry Williams. Mr. Williams is a longtime resident of Riverhead and is currently serving on the Riverhead creation committee. He is president of his local civic association and is co-founder of the East End Voters Coalition. Mr. Williams has demonstrated his qualifications and dedication in serving Riverhead over the years. The Zoning Board of Appeals will do well to have Mr. Williams on their team. I am pleased to know that three Town Board members â€” Jim Wooten, John Dunleavy and Jodi Giglio â€” have put aside political partisanship and pledged to support Mr. Williamsâ€™ appointment to the ZBA. His appointment will break the cycle of exclusion by this administration. The ZBA has important work to do in our growing and developing town. So, let these vacancies be filled quickly by qualified applicants regardless of political affiliations, for the good of Riverhead taxpayers.
Editorâ€™s note: Mr. Williams ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for a Town Board seat in 2010. He is not related to Larry Williams.
Ban assault rifles
As a native Westerner born in Aurora and a grandson of Fairplay, Colo., homesteaders, owning rifles and pistols was common.
My dad gave me my great-grandfatherâ€™s shotgun and as a kid I rebuilt a .22 rifle. Iâ€™m not a hunter, havenâ€™t shot a weapon since I was in the military, but I believe in the right to own guns.
But an assault weapon? Why? You certainly wouldnâ€™t use one to hunt. Itâ€™s primary purpose is to immediately kill or maim combatants, certainly not the innocent.
Murder is a very sad part of living in our world today, but so too is cold-blooded carnage like what just happened in my hometown. Thatâ€™s because of the availability of assault weapons to the general public.
Enough! Please tell our lawmakers to ban the sale of these weapons.
Thanks to our forefathers we have the right to own them, but why would you want one?
Ignorance is bliss
John Henryâ€™s Guest Spot, â€śOur ignorance on issues is dangerous,â€ť (July 19) points out an ignorance in the voting age group of 18- to 29-year-old Americans.
Mr. Henry used words like staggering, breathtaking, appalling and alarming. He noted Pew research as a respected organization. I agree with Mr. Henry that â€śignorance isnâ€™t bliss.â€ť
With Mr Henryâ€™s article in mind, I found a Pew Research report from November 2008, called â€śYoung Voters in the 2008 Election.â€ť The report simply states â€ś66 percent of those under age 30 voted for Barack Obama.â€ť
I thank Mr. Henry for bringing this problem to light. I also believe knowledge of the issues is extremely important when voting in November.
Whose interests at heart?
Last week, casino Billionaire Sheldon Adelson announced a $5 million contribution to Eric Cantorâ€™s YG Action Fund super PAC. This is significant to all of us who live in the 1st Congressional District, because Mr. Cantor has hosted multiple, high-dollar fundraisers for Republican Congressional candidate Randy Altschuler.
Two years ago, our local airwaves were barraged with hundreds of thousands of dollars of ads from Karl Roveâ€™s American Crossroads super PAC supporting Mr. Altschuler. This year, with the Citizenâ€™s United ruling opening all elections to unlimited secret contributions, these ads funded by groups outside our community will blanket our airwaves. Look forward to a thousand commercials featuring a narrator with a deep, scary voice trying to convince us that Mr. Altschuler (a Suffolk County newcomer) will better represent our interests than Tim Bishop, who has spent his life in dedicated public service where he grew up â€” eastern Long Island
Do you think that Mr. Adelsonâ€™s main concern has anything to do with the concerns of our community, or is he simply placing a bet on which party will give him the biggest tax break on his billions?
Mr. Altschuler came to this district three years ago after failing to get nominated for Congress in New Jersey. He flooded our CD in 2010 with thousands of road signs and the largest billboards our district has ever seen. This year weâ€™ll see if Mr. Roveâ€™s and Mr. Adelsonâ€™s money together can put him over the top.
If it does, what does that say for the state of our democracy?
Stay away, Sally
R.I.P. Sally Ride, 1951 to 2012
1st American woman astronaut.
Ph.D. in physics and astrophysics from Stanford University.
Loving partner of Tam Oâ€™Shaughnessy.
She didnâ€™t live long enough to be banned from being a Boy Scout leader.
When will we learn?