Letters to the Editor


Don’t let up on puppy mills

As an owner of two dogs that were adopted from the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) in Wainscott, I can only hope that our legislators do something about the sale of “puppy mill” dogs here in Suffolk County. My dog Rosie was a breeder for a Tennessee puppy mill before she was rescued by ARF and adopted by myself. Even though she has some problems, she still is one of the best dogs that I have ever had the pleasure to own.
So I ask everyone who reads this letter to please call, write or email our county representative, Ed Romaine, and ask him to support the legislation being considered by the Suffolk County Legislature to ban the sale of out-of-state “puppy mill” dogs. Without us, these dogs will continue to live a miserable life, and then be tossed out with the garbage when they die.

Thomas W. Smith


Proclamation didn’t free all slaves

The recent article on Juneteenth is factually wrong as to what the Emancipation Proclamation did and when slavery finally ended in this country. The Emancipation Proclamation declared the slaves free only in the 11 secession states and only in those states to the extent the Rebels were still in control. Practically speaking, the slaves fled to the Union Army whenever the opportunity presented itself even in the non-seceding border states. Delaware was one of four non-seceding border slave states. The Union Army did not operate in Delaware. The slaves in Delaware remained slaves until Jan. 1, 1866, the day the 13th Amendment went into effect.

Michael Walter


Don’t blame workers

At the completion of another academic year, the last graduation cap has been joyously chucked into orbit to join the mitt launched into the air by Mets relief pitcher Jessie Orosco as he closed down the 1986 Red Sox.
Time to tip the hat to the teachers, aides and maintenance employees who contribute to one of the few remaining institutions working toward that elusive, neglected and recently maligned moral and political category of the “common good.”
A number of new members arrived in January in the halls of Congress and state capitals with a syllabus apparently designed to disparage teachers, police, firefighters and nurses and to assert “state sovereignty” as opposed to “states’ rights.” One wonders what happened to the notion of “a more perfect union?”
In a rewrite of history, we are told it is these working people who have brought the economy into hard times. We are informed fault lies with those who reject the claims the only rights we have are those bestowed by the free market, the whims of legislators and the benevolence of corporate employers.
The masters of the universe on Wall Street, plus corporate offices and politicians voting aye for lavish tax cuts are exempt from responsibility for the millions hoofing the pavements looking for a job to keep their families together. Blame those venal, rapacious union members who have the audacity to assert collective bargaining and just wages are matters to be discussed, not decreed by executive edict.
Collective bargaining is not to be confined to that upstart Oliver Twist timidly requesting another bowl of gruel. As this new syllabus analyzing the contribution, purpose and function in the economy is examined, one recalls the advice of Mark Twain: get the facts first, you can distort them later.
Kudos, a round of applause, a burst of “Olés!” and a take a bow to those teachers, police, firefighters and nurses who by words and actions indicate such values as critical thinking, conscience, courage and a sense of the “other” are alive and well in the land.
Their values are not factored into the Dow Jones index.

Tom Dunn


Keep it sacred

On gay marriage, say what it is, an alternative lifestyle and not mainstream.
Marriage is for the sake of procreation to further society’s existence. What would be next, marrying your cousin or allowing incest? Some things should just be sacred.
And anyone quoting Whoopi Goldberg might need some intellectual CPR.

Brenda Casey


My slice of paradise

To brighten every day, I take a walk through lovely Grangebel Park, rain or shine. My compliments to the landscape architect who designed the gardens and especially for using stella d’oro daylilies and hosta plants. At the north end of Grangebel is the new River & Roots Community Garden, with dozens of raised vegetable and flower beds. I make my lunch every day from the salad greens and herbs I grow in my box with the magical earth supplied to us. Tomatoes should be ready in a couple of weeks. Keep up the good work, Amy and Laurie, the garden’s co-founders.

Jim Dreeben


Worth fighting for

The July Fourth weekend holds special significance on many levels ­— school’s end, summer vacations, beach days and, of course, our country’s fight for independence. For me, this weekend meant something different.
I was pleased to see “No Vacancy” signs at hotels, lines at restaurants, packed beaches, bustling marinas and the likes. Yes, pleased, even though there are downsides to the summer crowds.
But just as July Fourth reminds us of how great our country is, these signs of summer reminded me that thousands of visitors greatly value and pay good money for what we have here on the North Fork and what many residents take for granted.
There’s our beautiful beaches, clean drinking water, swimming, fishing and other forms of recreation.
There’s also fresh farm produce, fresh seafood, fresh air, stunning water views, rural farmlands, open vistas and much, much more.
These are all things we should rejoice in, things that we should want to protect. We don’t protect these treasures by turning wetlands into more marinas, farms into more mini-malls, and clean water into water we can’t drink, can’t swim in and can’t fish in.
Two-hundred-thirty-three years ago, our Founding Fathers agreed that America was a special place worth fighting for. Today, can’t we all agree that the North Fork is also a special place worth fighting for?
We don’t have to agree on the best ways on how to protect it. Our forefathers had different beliefs and different approaches about our independence. But everyone — residents, business owners and politicians alike — needs to agree and work toward protecting what makes this a special place before no one wants to come here any more. Before there’s nothing left to save.
The North Fork Environmental Council asks everyone to do what you can. Store rainwater for your gardens, stop pouring toxic substances down your sink, prevent runoff from your property from going into our streams, ponds, creeks and bays.
You can also help with a beach cleanup. Demand our elected representatives not just speak but act in our best interest. Support our local farmers and baymen and donate what time and/or money you can afford to any of the organizations committed to preserving the North Fork.
We are an independent country thanks to those who have fought for that ideal throughout the years. For the North Fork to remain a place we want to live in and others want to visit, we are dependent on each other to do our part and fight to “save what’s left.”

Bill Toedter

president, NFEC