Letters to the Editor


Report from highway superintendent

When giving a talk recently at Reeves Park, the president of the association there introduced me as having the hardest job in Riverhead, because I have to deal with Mother Nature and some of her tantrums.

So far, this has been a year of snowstorms, heat waves, floods, drought and more potholes than one can count. Tough weather conditions create potholes, a job that is always waiting to be filled. In addition, the employees of the Riverhead Highway Department met the challenges by keeping emergency highways open, getting to residential roads as quickly as possible, filling potholes constantly, maintaining drainage systems, paving roads and putting up signs. We did our best to keep ahead of the floods, but some places wouldn’t cooperate with our pumps. About $200,000 was spent on pumping water and road reconstruction that was not anticipated in this year’s budget.

But good things happened, too. In just two and a half years, we have accomplished more than in the previous eight years. We have a highway department we can be proud of, and it’s getting even better! On the highway department website, riverheadli.com/highway.html, there are five pages of a list of jobs done since 2008 and 2009. To mention a few:

* 67 roads have been paved throughout the towns.

* 150 drainage boxes have been installed or repaired.

* Line striping completed throughout the entire town.

* Saved $90,000 in fines for items not addressed in past years.

* Saved over $1 million by purchasing essential used equipment, instead of new equipment.

And more is planned to improve our highways and make your driving experience safer:

* Establish mile markers on Sound Avenue (Over 200 years ago, Ben Franklin placed mile markers on Long Island roads. It was a good idea then, and it’s a good idea now.) The markers will identify specific areas for firefighters and ambulances.

* Continue working on drainage systems and working with farmers and other towns to contain stormwater runoff.

* Start to clean over 70 recharge basins to prevent flooding.

Roads are lifelines of our communities. Riverhead’s highway department is committed to keeping them safe at all times. All the town residents and the town government working together will make Riverhead a better place.

George ‘Gio’ Woodson

Riverhead highway superintendent


Water thoughts

Just wondering if the trusty old Route 58 water main can support the continued commercial development along the highway? And I wonder if residential customers will have to subsidize commercial water needs by draconian rationing methods? And I wonder if it would be a lot of work to dig up Route 58, install a new water main, and re-pave the highway?

Dick Marakovits


Help save public radio on Long Island

Peconic Public Broadcasting is at the core of arts and life on eastern Long Island. It is a piece of what makes the East End so special to us. Station manager Wally Smith and his impressive team have kept us in touch with our communities through intelligent, objective programming over the years. They have introduced us to musicians, writers and artists through on-air conversations, giving us the opportunity to hear firsthand their thoughts and opinions, and open our minds to understanding the creative process.

They offer information in a way that is not presented by any other media. Peconic Public Broadcasting is a unique service and a tremendous asset. Eastern Long Island would suffer if it were lost. The East End Arts Council, like many other organizations on the East End, is indebted to Peconic Public Broadcasting for generous air time and a true partnership where we can share our stories and reach new audiences. They have helped us to grow our organizations. Now is our time to help them. This is not the time to stand back expectantly waiting to see whether the station is successful raising the necessary funds to stay on the air. This is public broadcasting; public meaning us. We need to step up and support the station that is so valuable to us.

Pat Snyder

executive director, East End Arts Council


Sleepless nights

Okay, politicos, we’re sick of it. Who’s going to take the lead of stopping the East Hampton aircraft from flying over the North Fork?

This morning, we had helicopters in tandem over our residence. And we didn’t count the seaplanes. The choppers and C-130s from the 106th are welcome and comforting. But why the heck do we have to suffer from the South Forkers who want to get to the city?

We don’t blame the pilots — heck, the crow flies straight. Okay, you elected officials who are, supposedly, interested in our welfare, who’s going to step up to the plate? Come over on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Then again, the rest of the week isn’t much better.

It amazes us that you can sleep at night. We certainly can’t in the mornings.

Brian Dickerson


A fitting tribute

Thanks and congratulations to the Riverhead Monday Night Band — John Eyre, music director and conductor — for its “Tribute to Howard Hovey” special concert Aug. 9. The event featured not only favorite musical selections of Mr. Hovey, but solo performances of his two sons, Arthur and Robert. The concert celebrated the 100th anniversary of the late Mr. Hovey’s birth. Thanks also to the Riverhead Town Board and Supervisor Sean Walter for presenting an official proclamation recognizing the valuable and unique contribution Mr. Hovey had made to the musical and cultural life of the community.

Mr. Hovey founded the Monday Night Band in the mid-1940s, serving for many years as its conductor, during which time he secured the services of numerous renowned soloists such as the world-famous cornetist James Burke, clarinetist Stanley Drucker of the N.Y. Philharmonic Orchestra and William Bell, tuba virtuoso, to name a few. Mr. Hovey was also highly involved in other community musical projects, such as the Douglas Moore memorial concerts and the Community Concert Association.

Mr. Hovey also taught music in the Riverhead School District from the mid-1930s to the mid-1970s, when he retired. His students went on to perform with the U.S. Marine Band, U.S. Air Force Band, Indianapolis Symphony, among other groups, and served as distinguished music educators themselves.

Mr. Hovey was recognized throughout New York. He was elected president of the New York State School Music Association and received the prestigious NYSSMA “Distinguished Service Award.”

The Suffolk County Music Educators Association (SCMEA) annual tuba festival is named the “Howard Hovey Day of Tuba,” in his honor. (Mr. Hovey was also a well-respected performer on the tuba.)

It is a fitting tribute to Mr. Hovey that he is being recognized for his numerous and successful efforts in bringing, and supporting, so many varied musical and cultural activities to the community.

Charles Cardona


Stop killing geese

We named our puppy Cain. Why? Here’s the story.

On July 23 approximately 400 Canada geese, both adults and babies, were rounded up, put in turkey crates, and taken off and gassed. Where? Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

The perpetrator? The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture with the approval of Mayor Bloomberg, the NYC parks commissioner and the state DEC.

This was a result of a report prepared in 2009 to protect airplanes from encounters with Canada geese. Planes do have problems with migratory Canada geese. However, the murdered geese were non-migratory.

The report was supposed to be kept secret, but the N.Y. Times broke the story. NYC people are great animal lovers and are raising Cain. Cain was named to support their efforts and as a memorial to the 400 departed geese.

And there’s more. The report calls for the elimination of 170,000 Canada geese in New York State and for similar measures in the vicinity of all major airports in the U.S.

If you’re an animal lover, spread the word. I will do my share by writing to the politicos who rely on my vote.

For further information, Google “Canada geese in NY.”

Maureen Sanders