06/02/14 10:00am
06/02/2014 10:00 AM
Protestors outside the Riverhead Post Office Saturday afternoon. (Credit: Jerry Bilinski, courtesy)

Protestors outside the Riverhead Post Office Saturday afternoon. (Credit: Jerry Bilinski, courtesy)

To the Editor:

On a visit to my local post office this Saturday, I was shocked to be confronted by a disturbing display on the sidewalk in front of the building.

Two protestors who said they were supporters of Libertarian politician  Lyndon Larouche had set up shop on the curb in front of the Riverhead Post Office. I have seen them before while driving around Suffolk County. However, I was still surprised by their appearance in the town where I live.

Apparently, they have been traveling around the county and setting up displays in front of post offices across Suffolk County. While they may be engaging in free speech on public property, and don’t appear to be violating any laws, I personally believe they are promoting a form of hate speech that harms our community.

One large sign they display prominently specifically portrays President Obama with a Hitler mustache superimposed across his face. I found this to be particularly troubling in that it associates the President of the United States with a heinous figure who facilitated the Holocaust. I think it crosses over the line and goes beyond just bad taste.

I approached the two people running the protest and politely asked them to please take down the photo of the President with the Hitler mustache. I let them know that I was a resident of Riverhead — they were not — and that this specific sign violated my sense of community standards.They were very polite, but refused.

When I invoked the connection to the Holocaust they replied that “Obama was engaging in a Holocaust right now all around the world.” That’s an absurd statement insulting not only to victims of the Holocaust, but also the memory of that event.

Now many people in the community would say just ignore this type of fringe group. I disagree.

Who in the community would say just ignore them if the Klu Klux Klan or a Neo-Nazi group started demonstrating in front of the Riverhead Post Office? I say its important to shine a light on their views and activities.

Hatred and ignorance needs to be confronted wherever and whenever it raises its ugly head. We should not be fooled by those espousing hateful views just because they are ordinary looking citizens and present themselves politely and in a non-threatening manner.

We should always be vigilant in not allowing hatred to creep into the mainstream culture here in America.

Besides being personally offended, I feel pain for my Jewish and African American friends in Riverhead who have to be exposed to this on a routine trip to the post office. Unfortunately, community apathy sometimes allows ugly and hateful messages to go unchallenged.

What can be done? How about a counter protest everywhere these people choose to set up shop? If they choose to return to Riverhead next week, I feel compelled put together a counter demonstration with the theme being “Free Speech, Not Hate Speech.”

I sincerely hope that like-minded residents here in Riverhead will join me.

Jerry Bilinski, Riverhead

12/08/13 10:01am
12/08/2013 10:01 AM

Schmitts HorseradishTo the Editor:

Last Tuesday I was pouring over the half ton of catalogues that I get this time of year deciding what I could send my nieces and nephews in the midwest.

I was shocked at the prices of gifts in these catalogues for chocolate, popcorn, candy and on and on.

I really hated to just order a gift basket that was mostly wrapping and little inside, so Wednesday I decided I would try to find something local.  (For the past eight years living in Georgia, I would go to a pecan farm and get bulk pecans grown right there).  Y’all don’t grow pecans here, so I went down to my local farmstand and all of the things I needed were there.

They have several kinds of horseradish that are local and yummy along with local jams and honey.  I spent less than half of what I was going to spend in catalogues and it is a local product.

On Thursday I picked up the paper and read about buying local and chuckled to myself.  I began to think of things that would be wonderful gifts that are a part of our community and would continue to give:  a painting or photograph from a local artist, music lessons, dance lessons, a massage, physical training session, a monetary gift to a charity.

Even a hand-written letter (does anyone do them anymore?) would please many people. I have only skimmed the surface with these gifts and haven’t even mentioned the wines that are becoming world class.

Just think outside the box (store).

George Moravek, Riverhead

Editor’s Note: We want to hear where you shopped local this year, what you bought and why you shop there. Please leave a comment below.

09/29/13 2:31pm
09/29/2013 2:31 PM

Anonymous commenting online

To the Editor:

There is one thing that many find irresponsible about your publication. You continue to allow people to comment anonymously about articles and letters on your website.

Riverheadlocal stopped that practice a while ago and all the mutant morons who love to knock almost everything have taken over your site. I will defend anyone’s right to comment even if I disagree with them. However, most people I speak to agree and take exception to them hiding behind their assumed identity, without the courage or conviction of associating themselves with their own opinions. It should not be permitted.

It is cheap gossip that is promoted by your publication, which brings it down to gutter gossip publication level, not an award-winning weekly newspaper.

Why not allow letters to the editor to be published without identity also, which is not your policy. Having different policies seems unethical.

You won’t print it, but you allow them to do so on the website. Which is it?

Start printing anonymous letters or stop them on the web site. Which is it?

Martin Sendlewski, Riverhead

P.S. Gee Mike, I can’t wait to see if you publish this.

09/02/13 5:00pm
09/02/2013 5:00 PM
TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Excavation at the site of a future Costco on Route 58.

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Excavation at the site of a future Costco on Route 58.

To the Editor:

As election time quickly comes upon us, I urge each and every voter to get out and question those running for election to the Riverhead Town Board.

The current board has been stuck in neutral as they are fixated on the constant development along Route 58. They claim the development is needed for the additional tax base. As most, if not all, residents can attest, we have not seen any tax breaks while these numerous development projects are granted substantial tax breaks. What we do see is increased traffic, severe business loss on Main Street and a complete change to the country environment we have long enjoyed, as well as utter disregard for the residents who have to live alongside these projects.

The question we must ask these candidates, as I see it is, is simple: If we need to improve the amount of revenue we have in our town, what are you doing or going to do to cut the unnecessary waste and spending? If the only solution they have to generate and manage funds is to keep building for increased tax revenue than it wont be long before we will resemble one of New York City’s five boroughs. I for one came here because of the country and peaceful surroundings. If I wanted to live in a urban setting, I could have stayed in western Nassau.

Paul Spina, Calverton

04/01/13 8:35am
04/01/2013 8:35 AM
COURTESY PHOTO | Assemblyman Dan Losquadro in November 2011.

COURTESY PHOTO | Assemblyman Dan Losquadro in November 2011.

To the editor:

The absence of a state assemblyman representing our district is a very poor reflection on the state of New York government.

Former assemblyman Dan Losquadro, who was elected in good faith to represent us in Albany, abdicated his post after only 2 1/2 years to run for a totally unrelated position, that of Brookhaven Town highway superintendent, leaving a vacancy that may be filled by a special election.

I find it disturbing that Mr. Losquadro did not even serve out his term, a reflection of either lack of interest in his constituents, or personal ambitions fulfilled by becoming highway chief for an adjoining town that is, for the most part, out of the Assembly district in which he served. At the very least, one has to be cynical about his motives.

Now Phil Cardinale, a former Democratic supervisor in Riverhead, says he has to assess whether or not he has “enough interest” to run for the position vacated by Mr. Losquadro, balancing his desire to maintain an enjoyable retirement with the responsibility of being a public servant.

While his candor is commendable, this isn’t a position approached with wishy-washy indecision.

The North Fork needs an assemblyman with the passion and commitment of Fred Thiele of Sag Harbor or Senator John Flanagan of Smithtown, a person who will represent his constituency with all the energy he or she can muster.

In particular, someone has to step to the plate and be a voice for our senior citizens, business people, property owners and taxpayers who are underrepresented in state government. After all, those already in the public sector have strong unions and the government behind them. But the rest of us out here have no voice or authority, especially with the abdication of our assemblyman.

Harry Katz, Southold