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…)

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…)

01/23/14 7:00am
01/23/2014 7:00 AM
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO  |

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO  |   The deer population on the North Fork continues to grow.

To the editor:

Early in the morning of Jan. 19, I saw it lying in the road on Ludlam Avenue. My first thought was that it was too small to have made it through the winter, anyway. The least I could do was drag it off to the side of the road by the woods and notify the town. (more…)

01/16/14 6:00am
01/16/2014 6:00 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO  |  Vacant land is fast disappearing on Route 58. Irwin Garsten owns the above piece of property, just east of the Hudson Savings Bank building, where he has a site plan application for a shopping center.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Vacant land is fast disappearing on Route 58. Irwin Garsten owns the above piece of property, just east of the Hudson Savings Bank building, where he has a site plan application for a shopping center.

To the editor:

In your story about the dwindling commercial land along Big Box Alley (AKA, Route 58), it seems you neglected the next progression of commercial development. If we understand anything about real estate developers it is that turning land into big bank accounts is a never-ending endeavor, so the real question is, “What will they covet next?”

Can the 40 acres that were Homan’s Farm, on the northwest corner of Route 58 and Northville Turnpike, be preserved, or will that be the next shopping mall? The southeast corner is still undeveloped, though it’s mostly low-lying and swampy.

How far north can they still develop if they take land north of that intersection? Will Sound Avenue fall to the bulldozers? Can we reasonably defend that now well-traveled rural corridor from the lawyers of real estate developers, or not? If the commercializing of Riverhead with all that would never be permitted in Southold or Southampton teaches us anything, it is that nothing in Riverhead is sacred.

Edward Burke, Riverhead

12/19/13 6:00am
12/19/2013 6:00 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO

To the Editor:

I have read with concern the stories about how the drop in Peconic real estate transfer tax (Community Preservation Fund) revenues is causing a shortfall in paying bonds used to buy farmland transfer development rights and open space.

It seems that years ago the bonds were predicated on the tax revenues continuing at the top of the real estate bubble. Now that the bubble has burst, our town government is looking to quick fixes — and possibly Riverhead taxpayers — to fix the budget hole.

I do not understand why no one is looking to any of the financial advisers who profited off of the bond deal to have them fix the problem they caused, if indeed the town looked elsewhere on advice on whether or not to enact this program.

If the call was made in-house, then those people in the town should be removed from making financial decisions. It would have been a matter of common sense that any borrowing and bond payments be based on, at most, an average of tax revenues over several years. An even safer number would have based the bond issuance on the prior low point of those revenues. This failure has a deep financial cost to us.

If any outside financial professionals could be considered liable for past, self-serving advice, then we need to seek legal remedies against them.

Ian Wilder, Riverhead