Letters to the Editor: Nov. 3, 2010

Police are here to serve you

This letter is partially written in response to the letter to the editor written three weeks ago, about the request from Riverhead Town for concessions from its employees. In the letter, the author made a statement in reference to our “well compensated police.”
Let us keep in mind the great work that is done by the men and women of the Riverhead Police Benevolent Association. We are here to serve 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Although we are paid well, the men and women of the PBA are there to do things most people do not do — render life-saving medical aid, check a dark building in the middle of the night and respond to calls of domestic violence or gunshots, to name a few.
The men and women of the PBA also are there to serve you, at the expense of their families. Many members work on holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving and miss out on countless family parties, and birthdays.
The Riverhead PBA is proud to announce the membership is taking a lag pay, as Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter had requested. This lag pay will be at a savings of over $200,000 to the Town of Riverhead. The PBA membership had voted to accept the lag pay Oct. 21. We are the first union to accept the concessions requested by the town. Many members will be affected not only by the lag pay, but also in their taxes, as they, too, are residents of this town. In these tough economic times everybody needs to contribute to achieve the greater good.
We take pride in serving the residents and guests of this great town, and look forward to continuing to serve. We hope everyone enjoys the upcoming holiday season, and has a happy and safe New Year.
Dixon Palmer

president, Riverhead Police Benevolent

Don’t kill  innocent dogs

You reported recently that the Riverhead Town Board was considering euthanizing adoptable dogs held at the town animal shelter. What a sad, shameful and shortsighted policy!
I adopted a Labrador several years ago from our town shelter. Today that dog serves once every week as a therapy dog at the Peconic Bay Medical Center nursing home.
My son recently adopted a mixed-breed pit bull from another town shelter and is training that dog to do similar service.
Both dogs also provide much companionship and joy to our families.
I ask our supervisor and Town Board members not to end the lives of these healthy and useful animals. Private not-for-profits devoted to ending unnecessary killing have offered their help and practical alternatives. The previous supervisor and Town Board embraced their offer. The current administration should do the same. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Phil Piegari

Think big at EPCAL

What eastern Long Island needs is the creation of a coalition of like-minded businesses to make the strengthening of the Enterprise Park at Calverton in Riverhead a strategic priority.
Why not take what is already there, waiting to be put to good use, and build on it? The valuable infrastructure is there, practically ready for use. It’s an airport.
Let’s create an air-transportation, commercial transfer-cargo hub. The isolated, almost 3,000 acres is ideally situated for development and expansion. It’s surrounded on all sides with good roads and with a rail-spur into the vast complex, just off the nearby LIRR main line. It’s time to think big. The original Grumman/Navy Airport was a fundamental transportation asset waiting to be developed for our region’s future. Strategists – the time is now!

Jack McGreevy

No surprise at all

Recently, we have read about terrorists planting bombs on cargo and passenger flights. Is anyone surprised by this?
Although airport security looks good on the front end, whereby passengers go through vigorous screenings such as pat downs and body scans, air freight security has always been sorely lacking.
The media will have us believe “some” air freight cargo goes on passenger flights. Not. Air freight cargo, aside from going on cargo flights, also goes on every single passenger flight, in every single airport in this country.
Items shipped include dead bodies shipped home from another location, radioactive drugs to hospitals and vials of bacteria being sent to and from labs like the Centers for Disease Control and Plum Island.  
Homeland Security needs to wake up and smell the bombs.
Did you know only 10 percent of cargo arriving in U.S. ports is ever screened? And they say Halloween is scary. Cargo freight should never be allowed on passenger flights unless it is screened with the same scrutiny as passengers. Otherwise why screen the passengers? Why screen at all?  
Cargo freight is as much a suspect as any passenger. Perhaps we, as unsuspecting individuals, should not assume Homeland Security is doing its due diligence and we should be outraged for being put at risk.  
A little knowledge goes a long way.

Marie Domenici