04/10/14 6:00am
04/10/2014 6:00 AM

The Riverhead Charter School in Calverton. (Credit: file photo)

To the editor:

Regarding “Teachers step up behind charter school principal” by Michael White: Principal Ray Ankrum states in the piece, “My focus is on the top 10 percent of my staff. It’s the 10/80/10 rule of business. The bottom 10 percent will do whatever they can to cause disruption.”  (more…)

03/20/14 7:00am
03/20/2014 7:00 AM
The landmark Big Duck monument in Flanders, a forgotten hamlet in Game of Hamlets. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

The landmark Big Duck monument in Flanders, a forgotten hamlet in Game of Hamlets. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

To the editor:

In regard to the Game of Hamlets article in last week’s edition, once again the hamlet of Flanders is forgotten.

Our ZIP code is 11901 (we get mail through Riverhead post office). We pay Riverhead School District taxes, and we shop, bank, work, and use Riverhead doctors, dentists, etc. But not once are we included in the hamlet survey. Our Little League team is now in Riverhead, and we have a beautiful park here for that purpose.  (more…)

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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01/30/14 7:00am
01/30/2014 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.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The view from Route 105 bridge at Indian Island golf course as the Peconic River leads into the Bay.

To the editor:

I remember when platinum-based catalytic converters were first proposed. Comments were split between “it will bankrupt the automakers” and “no one will be able to afford new cars.” (more…)