Letters to the editor


Supervisor Walter should mellow out

Why am I, a former Riverhead town conservative leader, being screened by Riverhead Republican Committee? Go ask Edwin Tuccio. Mr.Tuccio has pleaded with both the Phil Cardinale and Sean Walter administrations to fix some downtown street lights. They are still not fixed.

It took five years and constant badgering to get benches at the Riverhead Railroad station; it took six weeks to get human feces and piles of garbage removed from the Suffolk Theatre. Riverhead town has a bucket list that’s growing. We don’t need the same old promises from our past and present Town Board. Our town government needs a new mission statement and needs to realize that 90 percent of what elected leaders say or do shows in their actions and body language.

Mr. Walter has to realize that people can’t be beguiled by statements, and I am quoting from last week’s News-Review, that “In my family when you raised your voice it wasn’t really a big deal. I like to project.” As a banjoist, I am very loud but my tone is always very mellow. Mr. Walter loves Riverhead, but if he wants to be a better supervisor he has to realize what my wife tells me, “Warren, you don’t have a hearing problem you have a listening problem!”

I can’t ignore the fact that Mr. Walter has been said to have threatened people on more than a few occasions. I’ve known Sean Walter well over 10 years. When I look at his face, it is kind and gentle. When we met at the Rotery breakfast he hugged me. It really hurts me when he and his peers fight. Mr. Walter accomplished a lot to win an election and hold office. But he has to learn to be like the old tribal leaders of the Sandwich Islands called kahuna who took personal responsibility for any wrongdoings of their people and made them right. Leadership can only be earned, and not by winning an election.

I promise that if I run for supervisor I’ll be a kahuna and not blame anyone. If I lose my temper for whatever reason I will apologize to that person or persons. Either way, I hope our next supervisor is that type of person.

Warren McKnight


Local shelter dogs deserve the ink

In Richard Parks’ letter regarding the Riverhead pound (“Animal shelter fatigue,” April 14), “enough” is indeed an appropriate word. Our family has dealt with enough money, tears, dead animals and heartache over 17 years. So have many others who cannot, as Mr. Parks states, “move on already.”

Basic cable does not include the government channels, and so the News-Review is our only access to town issues.
Perhaps the paper can run photos and descriptions of each dog at the pound, to either reunite them or to find a new family. Perhaps, your advertisers could sponsor each animal until adopted, with the knowledge that it will help all involved — the animals, the staff and the town residents.

Sandra Lee Mott


Endangered hamlet

There are times when the path taken by a community defines it for generations. It seems to me that we have reached such a crossroads in Wading River.

I wish I could say that the adoption of Riverhead Town’s Comprehensive Master Plan in 2003 protected this hamlet from the retail sprawl that plagues most of the rest of the island, but I cannot. I’m sorry to say, Wading River did not get what it asked for. What we thought we were getting was a small retail district centered on the Route 25A and Wading River Manor Road intersection that served the immediate local community. At least that’s what we fought for.

The spate of commercial proposals being considered is certainly not what I had envisioned. One of three proposed retail centers sits on a parcel that was zoned Professional Business and thus could not have been developed with stores. But that was before a judge ruled that it should revert to its pre-plan zoning and the town did not appeal, leaving the retail zoning intact. In addition, the proposed mall at the end of Sound Avenue sits on what was previously five separate parcels slated for less intensive uses, so I certainly never imagined a shopping mall there.

And other things have changed since the master plan was adopted, like the increase in traffic congestion. If it’s not pumpkins, it’s strawberries, Christmas trees or a wine festival. And though I’m happy local farmers are doing well, Wading River has a lot more thru-taffic now than it used to. And that needs to be factored into the equation.

To top it all off, current zoning could allow an additional 100,000 square feet of commercial development in addition to the four proposals we’ve been addressing in the Save Wading River initiative.

If the town does not put these proposals aside for now and take a fresh look at the corridor, Wading River could forever lose the small-town, rural charm that so many of us cherish. And that, I think, would be a tragedy.

Sid Bail

first vice president,
Wading River Civic Association


Removing dredge spoils crucial to estuary

The North Fork Environmental Council, or NFEC, commends the proposed initiative of Suffolk County to remove some of the dredge spoils from Indian Island County Park. As reported in the April 14 edition of the News-Review, the deposition of dredged sediments into coastal wetlands and salt marshes was unfortunately a very common practice before the true value and significance of these areas as wildlife habitats was realized and appreciated.

The site mentioned in the News-Review article is only one of several locations in the Peconic Estuary where dredge spoils were thoughtlessly dumped.

The NFEC also thanks Suffolk County Legislator Ed Romaine for emphasizing the importance of this restoration project at the Indian Island Park, another example of his commitment to North Fork environmental issues. Mr. Romaine will be recognized as the NFEC Environmentalist of the Year during a reception at Martha Clara Vineyards on May 13.

George Bartunek

vice president, North Fork Environmental Council


Nothing partisan in Janoski remarks

In response to Anthony Coates’ letter (“Don’t smear the dead for politics,” April 14). I didn’t smear Joe Janoski, I believe what I said was the truth. I’m also not sure how he turned what I wrote into something political. Maybe Mr. Coates doesn’t know that I have been a registered Republican all my life, and had supported Joe while he was in office. The problem was when he left office, and decided that we owed him more money. I’m sorry Joe died, but that is the truth. The Business Improvement District leaders can name their concert after anyone they want, it just brought back bad memories for me.

If Mr. Coates knew me, he would know that I am the least partisan person he would ever meet. I have always voted for people with that same outlook, they need to be honest, and not put their politics ahead of the need of our town or its people. I have voted for Democrats and Independents, as long as I believed the candidates to be good people.

The reason I wrote my initial letter (“Some concerns with ‘Janoski Fest,’” March 31) was because of the bad treatment some in the BID have given to the people from Vail-Leavitt Music Hall over the past few years, making it impossible for them to continue its fundraiser. Eventually those at the Vail-Leavitt just stopped trying, gave up and made other plans.

Helga Guthy


Kudos on oil moves, Mr. President

Many thanks to President Obama for pressuring Brazil to dig for oil — on land and at sea — now!  You see, Brazil needs the jobs, and China really, really needs that oil! The leadership in Beijing sees low oil and gas prices as a hedge against inflation, which means we’ll still be able to buy cheap goods from China to offset the higher gas prices we’ll be paying here! Thank you so much, Mr. President, or as they are saying in China, “shee-yeh,” Mr. Obama. And in Brazil, “Gracias, Señor Obama!”

Dick Marakovits


Celebrate the earth

People were put on this planet to make it a better place, not to destroy it.

Tomorrow is Earth Day, and lets celebrate our beautiful planet. If you are looking for a miracle, open your eyes. There was one this morning just around sunrise.

Thank God and the universe that everyday on earth the sun comes up (or, technically, the earth rotates  so that here in Southold we see the sun again) and we have sunlight, warmth and another day.

I hear a lot of negativity in the news, but we are very lucky to have clean air to breath, clean water to drink, trees, Peconic Bay, Long Island Sound, farms and many big open, protected spaces. We have opportunities everyday to make our world cleaner and more peaceful and to help sustain life on earth.

Recently New York State changed its I love New York campaign from a red heart to a green heart to promote eco-friendly tourism and to teach people to appreciate the natural world of our state.

The first earth day was 41 years ago when 20 million people marched in cities all over our country to ask for clean air and clean water. Out of those rallies came many laws to protect the environment, including the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, and the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

So what can you do to reduce garbage and smog and cancer and disease and war? Plant a tree, walk or bicycle, buy and eat whole foods, buy nothing with plastic packaging, drink tap water, compost and use the compost in your garden or give it to a farm.

Help the town and the North Fork Audubon and the Peconic Land Trust maintain our parks and trails. Walk a dog at the shelter or pet the cats. Get chicks for your own eggs. Use a rake instead of a gas powered leaf blower. The emissions of a leaf blower running for one hour are the same as a car driving 200 miles.

Walk our beaches to protect endangered species like the piping plover and least tern during nesting season, and to count horseshoe crabs mating on these full moon spring nights.

The osprey are back, the forsythia is blooming, the crocus are up, the daffodils are showing their sunny faces. I know people were put on this earth to add culture and music and art and not destroy it with plastic and burning oil and gas.

Make everyday Earth Day. And this year Earth Day falls on Good Friday… Love our Earth. It’s a great planet.

Heather Cusack