Letters to the Editor

Same old story
The last few weeks, this paper has run numerous finger-pointing letters or articles about the former and current town administrations. The Equal Time piece that really got me was the one by Councilman George Gabrielsen. I would like to ask Mr. Gabrielsen what he’s done since taking over a seat on the Town Board.
Former supervisor Phil Cardinale’s Town Board was Republican. Mr. Cardinale was mute if in fact the Republicans realized by votes they could have run this town. Instead they supported through vote the same projects Mr. Gabrielsen mentions in his piece.
During this year’s budget process, Mr. Gabrielsen, along with Town Board members Jim Wooten and John Dunleavy, tore apart last year’s budget, when in fact the trio added significant spending to that budget. So they were really pounding themselves and not Mr. Cardinale. This amazes me. Did they forget what they did last year?
Today we still have a Republican board and, guess what, they still have not realized they could run the town. Supervisor Sean Walter has the same problem Mr. Cardinale had. I see no difference, we still have a dysfunctional board. Last year or this year the board is still on the treadmill — and going nowhere fast.
Laurie Downs

Just like the Indianapolis 500
Another week is almost over, with car after car coming from Southold, using the Indy 500 race track, aka Peconic Bay Boulevard, as an alternative to Route 25. As I walk along the road each and every morning, I see drivers passing me well in excess of the posted 35 mph speed limit.
At least once a week I see drivers crossing the double solid line into oncoming traffic in order to get around the ‘slower’ drivers, those who are only doing an estimated 40 mph. Twice in the past month I have had to do a quick two-step because cars have veered onto the shoulder to avoid collisions with these drivers. But even with repeated e-mails to Riverhead Town Supervisor Walter, asking for a police presence on the road, nothing has been done. I therefore have to wonder just how serious an accident has to happen or whether a pedestrian must be killed before something is done to slow down these speeders.
Thomas W. Smith

Health care fears
We have now entered the open enrollment period, the time when all people ages 66 and up have a choice and a chance to choose a drug plan.
You cannot get Part D drug coverage at any other time of the year. You know, of course, that you have to have a drug plan. Medicare has a penalty set up if you do not have continuous drug coverage from age 66, or whenever you started Medicare.
Yes, Medicare in its infinite wisdom has decided that if you do not have a drug plan you will pay one percent of the national base beneficiary premium, this being $32.34 in 2011, multiplied by the number of months you did not have drug coverage.
This penalty is not a one-time payment. This is a lifetime penalty. This money is added to your premium payments.
Who will receive this penalty money? That is the question I am asking anyone who may know.
Why was this put into the Medicare contract and who does it benefit? It certainly doesn’t benefit the seniors, especially seniors who have taken care of themselves and are not on medication. They must pay for drug coverage anyway.
This is our government-run health care. I am very nervous about health care for the general public.
The insurance companies are charging premiums now that are higher than some monthly mortgage payments. The drugs that are prescribed cost more per pill than a Big Mac.
What is going to happen?
Does anyone have an answer?
Maureen Chiavola

Better protection
I am writing to correct some information that was included in the recent article, “County sued over farmland protection (Oct. 28).”
The article stated that, “In the past, construction for agricultural operations was allowed to cover up to 10 to 15 percent of a preserved property…. The new rules, adopted Sept. 16, allow farmers to develop up to 25 percent for a parcel for which development rights have been sold if they can show the county’s farmland commission that a lower limit would pose a hardship.”
This statement may lead the reader to conclude that the county has loosened the restrictions on preserved farmland. This conclusion would be completely incorrect. The revisions enacted in September place legal limits on the percentage of a farm that can be utilized for agricultural structures for the first time in the history of the program.
Prior to this amendment, the only restrictions on such structures were in the form of guidelines (not law) that only applied to greenhouses. The new law limits all structures to no more than 10 to 15 percent of the farm site and limits any variances to a maximum of 25 percent. The new law is much stronger than the old law.
Other highlights of the new law include:
All variances require a public hearing and approval of the farmland committee along with the approval of the County Legislature’s environment, planning and agriculture committee.
The new law adds restrictions on mining, soil disturbance and solid waste disposal that were not previously regulated.
All non-agricultural uses are expressly prohibited.
The new law creates enforcement requirements, including the ability to require (through a court) restoration of any damage to the county’s interest and to also impose penalties of up to $10,000 a day.
Thomas Isles
director, Suffolk County Department of Planning

Food drive thanks
The Riverhead Key Club would like to thank all those who made our recent food drive successful. We were standing outside of King Kullen last Friday evening collecting food for the baskets to be distributed to our school social workers.
We had attended a school board meeting and learned from the coordinator of our district food service that the rate of Riverhead’s free and reduced lunches was 47 percent and we know that it could be even higher because often students are too embarrassed to bring in the required paperwork. That means at least half of us may not be getting enough to eat at home. Not only for holidays, but all year long, the Riverhead Key Club will be making strong efforts to collect food for distribution.
Special thanks go out to the manager of King Kullen for calling us and offering us a place to do this. Thanks to Mr. Bruce Tria and WRIV Radio for his continued announcements that we were there and to the people who stopped by after hearing him. We also want to thank every King Kullen shopper; whether you contributed $1 or $20, a can of cranberries or a turkey, all went to the baskets going to our schools.
Please remember our offering quote: “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” — Helen Keller.
Each one of you helped to make a great Thanksgiving dinner for those families! We are only one but with this community’s help, we will make a difference.
Kim Moreno
president, Riverhead Key Club

State Farm Insurance Company and Fortune Magazine recently surveyed deer collision with motorists. Included was cost of repair.
Nationally, 1.1 million cars/deer accidents cost almost $4 billion per year.
New York State had 77,582 collisions, at a cost of $260 million. Not addressed were the 100 to 200 folks who won’t be with us because of these accidents.
Richard Bishop