03/13/14 11:36am
03/13/2014 11:36 AM
Credit: Flickr/Cave Canem

Credit: Flickr/Cave Canem

To the editor:

I am writing as a ‘Regular Joe’ taxpayer. I am just a middle class Suffolk County resident and taxpayer who is very troubled by the state of Suffolk County’s finances. Our county Legislature and County Executive Steve Bellone recently signed off on and approved multiple police contracts that will cost taxpayers $372 million through 2018. (more…)

03/06/14 5:00am
03/06/2014 5:00 AM
A Riverhead man was arrested last month after he allegedly attacked a homeless man with a hammer near the Grace Episcopal Church, officials said. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

A Riverhead man was arrested last month after he allegedly attacked a homeless man with a hammer near the Grace Episcopal Church, officials said. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

To the editor:

Concerning the article about the rising homeless population: I take exception to the inclusion of the one comment by an acquaintance of the man who is homeless who was hit with a hammer that “he probably deserved it.”  (more…)

02/27/14 6:00am
02/27/2014 6:00 AM
Pheasant chicks. (Credit: DEC, courtesy file)

Pheasant chicks. (Credit: DEC, courtesy file)

The Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program promoted by the N.Y. Department of Environmental Conservation is incredibly sick and a true government travesty.

The early 1900s are long gone and this program should be stopped. How can anyone have the mentality to raise pheasant chicks and then send them out into the woods to be shot? It’s beyond comprehension. I urge people to write to the N.Y. Department of Environmental Conservation (that is the most wrongly named agency I’ve ever heard of) and tell them you want this program ended. I don’t want any of my tax dollars used to pay people to raise pheasants and then send them out for target practice.

Larry Trepel, Mattituck

02/22/14 7:00am
02/22/2014 7:00 AM
Barbaraellen Koch file photo | Employees of the Dinosaur Walk set up shop in Riverhead in 2004.

Employees of the Dinosaur Walk set up shop in Riverhead in 2004. (Barbaraellen Koch file photo)

To the editor:

Riverhead’s town boards have been notorious for irresponsible giveaways of town assets at the taxpayers’ expense, including the fire sale of the industrial core at EPCAL to a developer who flipped the property at substantial profit soon after he closed the deal with the town. Unfortunately, the proposed sale of the East Lawn building and the old firehouse seem to follow in the tradition of dumb decisions by the town.  (more…)

02/20/14 7:00am
02/20/2014 7:00 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The view from Route 105 bridge at Indian Island golf course as the Peconic River leads into the Bay.

The view from Route 105 bridge at Indian Island golf course as the Peconic River leads into the Bay earlier this year. (Barbaraellen Koch file photo)

Last week, Joe Fischetti rightly identified nitrogen as a significant cause of declining regional water quality, but I disagree with his view that policy efforts should wait until every technical question is resolved, because I doubt it will ever happen.  (more…)

02/13/14 5:00am
02/13/2014 5:00 AM

We can agree that nitrates in our surface water are a problem and may be the cause of the brown tide and red tide in the bay. Politicians and environmental groups have proposed that the removal of nitrates from our sanitary systems will mitigate this problem, and are forming a Wastewater Commission, comprising appointed political members to force the removal of all existing sanitary systems within 1,000 feet of the surface waters.

That may sound simple, but on close analysis it is problematic. The removal of existing sanitary systems, especially for older homes, requires excavating and removing nearby trees, and possibly destroying driveways, patios or lawns. After the installation of the new, experimental system, you still will face the task of replanting trees, reseeding lawns and the possible reconstruction of patios and driveways. There would be about 80,000 homes affected, whose owners would need to spend up to $20,000 per home to comply with these new laws. That is a cost of $1.6 billion.

Most of those homes are on the East End’s twin forks.

The problem with this mandate is that the removal of nitrates from individual sanitary systems is a very complex scientific and engineering problem and, at the present time, there is no proven way to remove nitrates from individual sanitary systems. There are some experimental systems, but they have not demonstrated effectiveness over the long term. You do not want to spend that kind of money and destroy all those yards without a proven, long-term solution.

What is needed is a committee of scientists and engineers to resolve the technical and engineering problems first before a law is put into effect.

Solve the technical problems first, then form a commission to implement the effective solution.

Joseph Fischetti, Southold

Mr. Fischetti runs a civil and structural engineering practice in Southold.

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