Letters to the Editor

2010 the busiest year for firefighters
During 2010, the Riverhead Fire Department responded to a total of 1,095 alarms.
This was the most alarms in one year in the history of this department. Of this total, 84 were structure fires, 31 were brush fires and 25 were vehicle fires. About one half of the alarms were for automatic alarms, 65 for chiefs investigations and 85 for carbon monoxide alarms.
The dedicated volunteers in our department spent 11,450 hours responding to these alarms. Members also participated in over 18,000 hours in training, drills, meetings, work details, and other activities to maintain their proficiency in keeping lives and property safe in our community. Fire safety training for the children in all of our schools and at the annual open house is an important component of our community education program. In 2010, RFD volunteers dedicated 957 hours to this program and over 2,500 children received this important training in our elementary schools.
As chief of the Riverhead Fire Department, I would like to thank the community for your continued support. Our 180 volunteers live and work in our community and it is important that many businesses allow their employees to respond when called to protect lives and property.
Thank you again for your continued support
Chief Nicholas Luparella
Riverhead Fire Department

Where’s the logic?
I read with sadness Nicholas Villani’s letter, “Fringe groups don’t represent Americans.” His letter reminded me of the saying “Believe in none of what you hear and half of what you see.”
The liberal media has obviously driven any common sense or logical thinking completely out of his mind. I guess I would be considered “sick” and part of what he calls “fringe groups.” He should just call me patriotic.
I am one of the 51 percent of the people in this country who provide no taxes for the other 49 percent. I have been to tea party rallies and have never seen a gun, a derogatory poster, any name calling or any spitting. There have been a minute few who have misrepresented the majority of hard-working, law-abiding, constitution-believing, true American taxpaying patriots. The liberal media is very happy to highlight them.
I for one am tired of this nation’s suckling-pig economics. Way too many people are on the dole. It’s time to clean them up, wipe their little faces off and send them to work.
Maybe everything should be free for everyone and that would be great. Seems people actually believe that. That notion is bringing this great nation to its knees.
Mr. Villani would have everyone believe he is a patriot, yet he obviously does not know what the “yellow” Gadsden flag represents.
How very sad.
Jim Breitenbach

Changes afoot at shelter? Let’s hope so
It’s been a long time coming. Fifteen years, to be exact, if you use the Riverhead Shelter Volunteer Program (RSVP Inc.) as the starting point. The nonprofit 501(c)(3) animal rescue organization, founded in 1996, has fought a long, hard battle advocating reform at the municipal shelter. But it hasn’t been the group’s battle alone. The volunteers simply gave it a voice. Many advocates, both residents and non-residents, have recognized the need for change at the Riverhead shelter.
Veterinarian services that have been overlooked for years are being provided and there is talk of hiring a director.
Hopefully, the town now recognizes that a good shelter begins with good management. Hopefully, town officials understand that there are qualifications not covered in a civil service exam that are vital to the successful operation of a humane shelter.
And this holds true for the part-time animal control officer currently being sought, and any other would-be employees at the shelter. Hopefully, there have been lessons learned after all these years and the best possible candidates for these jobs will be selected, and not dictated by minimum civil service requirements or patronage.
In addition, it should be noted that a director is not state mandated and does not have to be a union position.
The other key ingredient for success is a strong volunteer program. And on that front, there is still the unresolved issue of Pat Lynch and Linda Mosca. Both were banned from volunteering by Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller, who, by the way, authorized the euthanasia of Bruno, Butch and other dogs “dangerous and beyond rehabilitation” and has been managing the shelter for the past five years. Why hasn’t the Town Board intervened on the dogs’ behalf?
So, there are still important changes pending. Time will tell if we have turned the corner and are beginning a new era. Let’s see what happens between now and November.
Sue Hansen

What we’re watching
Did you know that during an NFL playoff game, the ball is in play less than eleven minutes?
To wrap your helmet around that, consider this: The average broadcast of a game lasts seventeen times longer – a grinding 285 minutes. Where do the extra 174 minutes of down time go?
Not far, according to a Wall Street Journal study that analyzed last year’s playoff games on four major TV networks. Players spend roughly 75 minutes in huddles or milling around at the line of scrimmage. On average, broadcasters dedicate 17 minutes of airtime to replays. Typically, cutaway shots to refs and coaches total 13 minutes.
By comparison, cheerleaders only get a shockingly scant three seconds of tube time.
Sixty-plus minutes go to commercials, which come to think of it, is the reason a lot of people watch the Super Bowl in the first place, right?
Robert Geehreng

Money better spent
While The Long Island Railroad (LIRR) cuts services to an ‘outpost,’ their word for Greenport, we on the eastern edge of Long Island continue to do with little public transportation.
The money however, does seem to keep coming to improve our transportation. The latest was in the fall when the state decided to extend the sidewalks so they would continue all the way west to Riverhead. A very noble idea, but not a very practical use of public funds.
Those sidewalks joined with existing ones that are in a terrible state of disrepair. When I drive along those sidewalks I tend to observe that they are not being used.
To digress from the sidewalks to a more practical use of public money applied to the same roadways, why not make the white and yellow lines visible?
Yes, the ones that help guide motorists as they drive. As of last night those lines were at best faded, at worst nonexistent.  
When one drives at night those same lines help guide the driver. When the fog, rain and now snow fall those lines help deter accidents.
Let our public transportation money be used where it will be most needed.
Joel Reitman