Letters to the Editor


For the love of Main Street

Robert Lifson of Huntington had a very interesting opinion piece published Aug. 13 in Newsday. He was writing about the ongoing efforts to revitalize Huntington Station. They have had an experience that is similar to ours in Riverhead, which is to say that they have repeatedly tried strategies that haven’t worked. Mr. Lifson likened it to the fictional Scottish town of Brigadoon that appears every 100 years.

As treasurer of Vail-Leavitt Music Hall, I understand the importance of having major events in the downtown business district. We have taken the Riverhead Blues Festival, which lost more than $20,000 a year when the BID Management Association ran it, and turned it into an event that provides funding for the music hall. The Riverhead Country Fair has a 35-year tradition of drawing crowds to Main Street and serves to provide funding for the good works of Townscape. Events can bring very positive attention to Main Street and draw people who may not have otherwise come.

Yet, they alone will not revitalize Main Street. That’s been proven over the years as many groups held events in downtown Riverhead in the hope that they would be the key to revitalization. Some were very creative, like having a boat show along the river. Others included summertime fireworks shows and even a bonfire during the holiday season. They have their place, but they alone will not bring about the change we will need.

Now we have weekly car shows that draw hundreds of people to the parking field. It works well, particularly during the summer months when the weather is favorable. Still, that will not help draw a crowd in January when the owners of those cars keep them in garages to protect them from the weather.

What is needed is a coordinated effort by the town, the Chamber of Commerce and the BID Management Association. Downtown summits that have no discernible goals and announcements of businesses that “may” come downtown do not equal revitalization. Some would have called that the “illusion of progress” only a year ago.

That coordinated effort should begin now and must be comprehensive, lest we find ourselves in the position that Robert Lifson of Huntington described in Newsday only a couple of weeks ago.

Vincent Tria

treasurer, Vail-Leavitt Music Hall


You almost killed me!

I just had to write this after my near-accident experience. Last Friday I was on Flanders Road, signal on, making a left turn onto a side street with a stop sign.

There was a car at the stop sign with its signal on for a left turn onto Flanders Road. There was a lot of traffic going both ways. When the oncoming traffic cleared, I started to make my left turn, and the vehicle at the stop sign also did and we almost hit. The woman driving shouted out her window, “I was here first.”

Since when does a vehicle from a side street at a stop sign turning onto a major road have the right of way? Doesn’t the driver have to wait until the road is clear to make a turn, right or left? Or because that person was there first he or she can cut off all the traffic on the main road and make the turn? Has Section 1141 of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law, which states, in part: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection shall yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard”, been changed to read, “Who ever is first may cut off all oncoming traffic”?

Doris Schneider


A step further

The article on an animal abuser registry gave me an idea.

How about a registry of abusers and neglecters of the elderly?

Fines and/or punishments to be determined.

Alice Grace


A regional concern

The stormwater road run-off problem in the Peconic Estuary is a regional problem.

Since the polluting of the estuary is a concern of the five eastern townships, it should be addressed and solved working together as a unified region.

If we work together and declare the overall contributing factors from all five towns as one, the substantial amount of money required to solve this serious condition may be more obtainable from the federal government as “shovel-ready-projects” ready for funding.

As we are well aware, in unity there is power. Regionally, working together we have leverage.

Jack McGreevy


They came to the rescue

I am very grateful to my congressman, Tim Bishop, and my assemblyman, Marc Alessi, because they and their staffs worked together to rescue my granddaughter’s career. My granddaughter, Vicky, is studying to be a nurse, and she had a grant to help pay tuition for this fall and tried to register for her classes when an insurmountable roadblock was thrown in her path. The local college had sent Vicky’s $1,200 past-due tuition bill to a collection agency, which now was demanding $2,200, money both Vicky and I did not have, and the school would not let her register without immediate payment.

Thanks to the efforts and influence of Congressman Bishop and Assemblyman Alessi working together, Vicky’s collection fees were reduced, and my granddaughter now can attend nursing school. Congressman Bishop and Assemblyman Alessi have demonstrated that they truly care about the people they represent and will take action to help them when the need arises.

Vasso Patrikis


A wonderful article

What a wonderful article in last week’s issue about our local artist, Helen Kroeger.

My husband, Mark, and I are lucky enough to have an original work hanging in our funeral home in Cutchogue. This painting was given by George and Edie Canavan of Mattituck to my parents, Jean and Tony Trubisz, in 1966 as a present for their new home. “The Golden Meadows” proudly hung in their home until 2007 when the house was sold.

Fortunately, upon our purchase of the funeral home in early 2008, the painting travelled with us to Cutchogue and found a new home in our conference room.

Thank you for providing us with history about our local artist.

Karen Heppner


Protect the animals

Kudos to Jon Cooper, Suffolk County legislator from Lloyd Harbor, for introducing a law to help protect animals.

I recently reported an incident of animal cruelty in the worst degree, death. Three years ago I rescued seven small guinea hens in Cutchogue. They were hand-raised as my pets, and they trusted humans. They are animals which roam at large daily and return to their human caregivers nightly. The exception is when a guinea hen goes broody and stays out all night sitting on her nest.

On June 29, 2010 a neighbor called the police. One guinea hen was broody, I did not know where her nest was, but I had heard nesting calls from the beach. I asked the officer to ask the neighbor if I could look for the nest to remove the eggs. The officer told me twice, “Don’t go there!” That night only four guinea hens came home to roost. When I went to file for the police report, an officer told me that someone had killed my guinea hens.

I couldn’t believe the law allows people to kill animals that wander onto their property. I consulted a lawyer and learned that state Agricultural and Markets Law Article 26, Cruelty to Animals Section 353 applies to all animals everywhere. Southold Town police are taking the position that it does not handle cases of animal cruelty. What? I would like to know why we have laws if no one enforces them!

Animal abuse is senseless, cruel violence against the vulnerable. It is common knowledge that there are correlations between violence against animals and violence against humans. This town needs to get educated about protection of our animals.

Nancy Sawastynowicz