Letters to the editor

Everyone should have their say
I strongly support Riverhead Supervisor Walter’s proposal to require public hearings for site plans for commercial development.
Riverhead is currently the only town that doesn’t send out notifications of commercial development to surrounding property owners. That needs to change. Not only should adjoining property owners be notified, but proposed commercial development site plans should be posted on the town’s Web page, along with the date and time of the Planning Board’s public hearing on the matter.
This is not only a matter of transparency, it is a fundamental right for local residents and other interested parties to have a say on how their communities are to be developed and how the architectural, traffic and other amenities of development impact their community. Thank you, Mr. Walter, for addressing this important issue.
County Legislator Ed Romaine

What happened with dog catcher probe?
“The town is finally moving in the right direction,” Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter told the News-Review in response to news animal activists got that the town’s head animal control officer, Lou Coronesi, would be transferring out of the town dog shelter.
Well, it sounds good. But I’ve been down this road before. Three years ago, the “right direction” was supposedly privatization. And that right direction led to a bridge to nowhere.
I asked Councilman Jim Wooten recently what, exactly, was standing in the way of removing Mr. Coronesi from the shelter.
“It’s complicated ,” he replied.
Really? Let’s start with Dec. 21 and take this one step at a time. Dec. 21 was the day Bruno, a dog at the shelter, was euthanized. Jim was going to conduct an investigation. Three people were involved: Mr. Coronesi, Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller and Mr. Walter. As well as the paperwork. How complicated could it be?
Mr. Wooten never did share his findings. Bits and pieces of the story have appeared in the local papers, but key questions go unanswered. Why did Mr. Coronesi write contradicting reports a day apart? Did he, in fact, lie to the supervisor, claiming that the dog bit a child? And if so, did he lie to the police chief as well? Why did the chief refuse Mr. Wooten’s request to delay the dog’s death? Why has no one been held accountable? If you ask Town Board members about specifics, it’s a “personnel matter” and this convenient veil of secrecy is used to conceal the truth.
Whatever happened to Bruno — a dog in a municipal shelter, funded by taxpayer dollars — is a matter of public concern. And everyone has a right to know what happened. Then, the town can wrangle with the personnel fallout behind closed doors. Telling the truth is simple; hiding it gets complicated.
Maybe that is what Mr. Wooten meant.
It’s been nearly three months since Bruno died, and with the exception of vet visits and testing stool samples at the shelter, nothing else has changed. So, Mr. Wooten and Mr. Walter, please don’t tell me about the “right direction.” Just tell me the truth.
Sue Hansen
Editor’s note: Ms. Hansen is a former town shelter volunteer and a member in RSVP Inc., a nonprofit animal rescue organization founded by other Riverhead shelter volunteers.

What a treat it’s been
I must commend the members of the Riverhead Highway Department on the great job they have done this snowy and windy winter so far. I live on Reeves Avenue and anyone who travels this road knows it is a rural farm road. In the past winters with much less snow the road was impassable.
This year the highway department did a great job of keeping the road drivable. I know because I am a hospital worker who leaves work at 1 a.m. and what a treat to be able to navigate the road. Thank you all.
John Grodski

It’s an airport; use it that way
We agree with many others, the EPCAL property in Calverton, all 2,900 acres of it, would make a wonderful air-transportation cargo hub.
It once was a large airport facility, with two long runways and all the necessary supporting infrastructure; operated and once owned by the U.S. Navy, which was assisted in its management and operation by the Grumman Corporation.
The facility is ideally situated, and makes good common sense to develop what is already available to the region and create a  round-the-clock economic generator for all of eastern Long Island.
Put what we have to its best use! It’s much too valuable to lose, and the potential is great.
Jack McGreevy