Letters to the Editor


Ditch the leftist slant already!

Regarding Michael White’s column about media trends. Let’s get real. As a local contractor, I find more and more folks in our towns on the North Fork are tuning in to Fox News. Whether its grandmas, the local doctor or auto repair shop, folks are watching Fox News. Why? Because we viewers do believe it’s fair and balanced and it represents what we want in a news show. And who are we to judge? Why, we are “We the People.” We are tired of hearing twisted news. In his recent column, which stated MSNBC has enjoyed success, Mr. White should check the ratings; it’s a failure as news and as commentary. And if he writes that he has a “litany of complaints” about Fox, then list them so we can see the true nature of his opinions.

This paper has tried in the past to sound like “The Village Voice” with past editors, and it not only hurts your circulation but hurts my business as an advertiser in your paper. I’m tired of seeing all the unsold editions at the gas stations and delis. Stop trying to kiss up to out-of-towners and stick to what matters to us folks! And if you feel like ripping into Rupert Murdoch, then be fair and balanced and investigate MSNBC (owned by General Electric) and also George Soros as influencing the media. No, I didn’t go to Columbia, but I did attend the University of H.K. (hard knocks) Thank you.

Chet Kutscher

How will Riverhead deal with proposals?
There are three large projects, less than a mile from one another, now being proposed in Wading River. One of them, called “Knightland,” is located in the small triangular piece of land just east of the intersection of Sound Avenue and Route 25A. It includes 30 stores, a 106-seat food court and a tourist information center. Riverhead Town’s adopted master plan is contradictory concerning this parcel and seems to call for both multifamily residential/professional office zone as well as Business CR, but not the shopping mall now being proposed. The zoning map is not in conformance with the master plan and was clumsily revised at the last minute without proper public input ­— for the same owner whose Park Road property also benefited from a last-minute zoning change. The traffic generated will create two dangerous intersections. And, when combined with the other two projects, the traffic and danger will be much worse.
The second project, the proposed “expansion” of Great Rock Golf Club, includes a 6,600-square-foot catering hall addition, plus a second story and basement. Covenants on this property do not permit restaurants or catering, but the owners profess that the expansion is legal and needed — the same owners who said they were about to go out of business only months ago. A catering operation of this size, in the midst of a residential neighborhood, will diminish the quality of life and property values of the residents.
The third project, “Central Square,” located just east of the King Kullen shopping center, is for a 145-seat restaurant, a two-story office building, two retail/medical buildings and a bank.
Taken individually and, especially, when combined, they will change the character of Wading River forever and ruin the entrance to one of the most scenic and historic corridors of our town. Riverhead’s planning department, Planning Board and Town Board do not have to move forward with the first two of these plans, as they are not allowed by town code, our master plan or property covenants. Will town officials stand by the law and the residents or will they ignore both? Yes, a healthy local economy depends on businesses thriving here. But if we ruin our neighborhoods, who will want to live here?
Phil Barbato
co-founder, Riverhead Neighborhood Preservation Coalition


This is our democratic system?

I recently received a concerned call from my 21-year-old daughter who is a college senior in Pennsylvania. It seems that individuals from a vaguely named “voters group” called her on her cell phone to poll her on her vote. It was not initially represented that way; it was presented as a “survey” which she was told at the end of the exchange was recorded. The way it was presented she initially consented to answer the questions. She was first asked if she voted in the recent election. She indicated that she did so by absentee ballot. The next question was worded in a thinly veiled attempt to figure out for whom she voted. My daughter sensed this and told the survey person that she wished not to answer as her vote is confidential and that its her privilege and right to keep it that way. The surveyor said okay and then persisted by asking her what she thought of Congressman Tim Bishop, again she indicated that she would not answer those kinds of questions. She was curtly told that her responses were being recorded, my daughter hung up and called me.
The concern is that because she voted as an absentee her vote won’t count and for the first time in my life as a voter I had some real concern about this. My husband followed the process of obtaining the absentee ballots for our two “away” college students from Board of Elections in Yaphank. He was told that my son wasn’t registered to vote and couldn’t get an absentee ballot for him. We thought he was registered. Then, on Election day, as my husband signed the book to vote, he clearly saw my son’s full name in the book so  my son clearly was prevented from filing his vote, which was his constitutional right. All because of someone’s oversight and ineptitude?
As for the pollsters, I know this is a closed election but trying to trick people into telling you who they voted for and preventing 18-year-old absentees from voting is unethical. Asking if you voted is okay, ‘but it’s not okay to ask for whom. I really feel for our sons and daughters in the military who fight for these rights; are their absentee ballot counted?

Astrid Lehmann


Former supervisor glosses over record

After a decade in town government, he huffs and he puffs, but Phil Cardinale doesn’t make sense when he attempts to justify his legacy of failure in Riverhead Town Hall.
Last week, Mr. Cardinale penned a News-Review column desperately trying to put a good face on the mountain of debt he left the taxpayers of Riverhead. The fact is, on Mr. Cardinale’s watch debt at the Riverhead landfill grew like crabgrass and every man woman and child spends about $3,000 a year paying for Mr. Cardinale’s wasteful spending at our dump.
Mr. Cardinale wrote that he submitted town budgets that called for small or no tax increases but what Mr. Cardinale didn’t say is that his budgets, as submitted, were irresponsible and shameful as he omitted programs that obviously a Town Board member could not in good conscience allow to be taken out of the budget. Phil played a constant game of chicken, daring the Town Board to add back needed items like snow removal and police protection and then he labeled the town board as “big spenders.” Mr. Cardinale loves to crow that our credit rating went up while he was supervisor, but do we hold faith that the same geniuses who gave “A-pluses” to Enron and Lehman Brothers were paying attention to Riverhead?
Mr. Cardinale’s bogus budget claims combined with his legacy of failure with the Wilpon deal, the Apollo project, an empty downtown, his failure with the Suffolk Theatre, his giveback of grant money that could have rebuilt our sidewalks and built a rail spur at EPCAL, his failure to make even one land transaction at Grumman during the biggest land boom ever, his failing grade from environmentalists for not protecting open space and his voodoo economics all make Mr. Cardinale poorly equipped to offer commentary on today’s Riverhead.
I believe the new supervisor, Sean Walter, is bringing decent, thoughtful government to Town Hall with none of Phil’s nastiness. It has been less than a year and I think Mr. Walter is off to a good start. Let’s hope Mr. Cardinale’s peeking out of the tent doesn’t mean he wants a political comeback. The people of Riverhead have seen his act for too long.

Constance Danowski


Shameful car ad

After watching a Toyota Highlander television ad this evening, I found myself very annoyed. The ad shows a boy hiding behind a bush outside his school when his dad comes to pick him up from school in the family station wagon, which happens to be about 15 years old. Another “hip” boy then comes out of school and gets into his mom’s brand-new Highlander and says, “Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you have to be lame.” The first boy is then seen throwing himself into the dad’s clunker car so no one will see him.
What a sad message this sends to young people. So if your family cannot afford a brand-new vehicle, you should be embarrassed in front of your friends? This is outrageous media advertising by a carmaker that not so long ago had many problems of its own. Is this the new way to sell vehicles? Should children of not-so-privileged families be made to feel inferior because of the vehicle their parents drive? What is wrong with the car industry today that they have to stoop to this sort of advertising?
I, for one, will not purchase a Toyota in the near future … or maybe ever!

Lois Marascia


Democrats = doomsday

In response to last week’s letter by Jerry Silverstein (Stay informed; show up in 2012).
Thank God someone else realizes that the Democrats are spending this country and its future into something that’ll make the Depression look like an uptick. What? That’s not what he meant? Never mind.
Well, Mr. Silverstein was right about one thing. Everybody better make damn sure they show up on Nov. 6, 2012, or there won’t be a Nov. 8, 2016.

Gary Joyce


Where are our payment extensions?

When considering the utter fiasco that Riverhead Resorts and the Town of Riverhead having been going through, I can only wonder if the same consideration would be given to town taxpayers if we couldn’t come up with our taxes when they are due. I have to believe that it’s one set of rules for corporations such as Riverhead Resorts and another set of rules for the rest of us.

Thomas W. Smith


Talk about being taken for a ride

In visiting the Riverhead Country Fair, I bought my 7-year-old son a bracelet to go on unlimited rides and paid a whopping $25! However, there was no information given at the ticket booth on height restrictions for the eight rides — until we physically got to the ride. Well, after realizing I just paid $25 and my son could only go on two rides, I went back to the ticket booth for a refund.
After going back and forth with the very nasty ticket lady, Jamie, she finally agreed to give me a refund, on one condition: She needed the bracelet back. So, now my son is trying to get his arm through the ticket booth window (while crying) and she can’t get the bracelet off, nor did she have a scissor. The end result? No bracelet; no refund. So much for coming together in the community.

Allison McCrann


She’s a fine example

Congratulations to Maryjane Raynor, owner of Raynorshine Cruises/Cruise Planners of Riverhead, on being designated a cruise line counselor. (Business Beat, Nov. 11.)
I had the privilege of sitting next to Maryjane at the East End Women’s Network’s general monthly meeting in October. She is an accomplished, personable working woman and mother.
Maryjane is a typical example of EEWN membership and an asset to our network.

Ceil Carpenter
member, EEWN board of directors