Letters to the Editor


Why is Karl Rove involved in our affairs?

President Obama’s historic deal, cutting $4 trillion dollars from our national debt has been rejected by House Republicans. Instead, they are going to vote on a plan they call “Cut, Cap and Balance” that seriously undercuts Medicare and Medicaid funding and virtually codifies the Bush tax cuts forever by requiring a two-thirds super majority vote in both houses of Congress to repeal them.
After running up trillions of dollars in debt with two unfunded wars, an unfunded prescription drug benefit and unfunded tax cuts, those same House Republicans are threatening to default on paying the bill for those debts by not voting to raise the debt ceiling.
With that as a background, Karl Rove’s secretive PAC American Crossroads is arrogantly running television ads in the 1st Congressional District, blaming Congressman Tim Bishop for “voting for skyrocketing debt.”
With Randy Altschuler waiting in the wings to stage a second run for Congress, this raises two questions. Has Mr. Altschuler contributed personally to Karl Rove’s PAC American Crossroads, and does the 1st CD really need Karl Rove to tell us how to vote?

Jerry Silverstein


More than blight

It is with concern and certain sadness I read of the possibility of a potato blight in effecting the potato crop on Long Island.
References to the tragedy that blight in Ireland is often misunderstood. The blight caused the dispossession or death of 1/3 of the population of Ireland. The Great Hunger, or an Gorta Mór in Irish, was caused by cruel neglect, misrule and indifference by the British government to the suffering of the people of Ireland. In the 1840s they were subjects of the British Empire. During “Black ’47” there was surplus of food available, sheep, cattle, barley, oats, and rye being exported to England for profit by absent British landlords. 
This blight might cause hardship but not famine. for this is America. Thanks to the patriots who fought and died in the War of Independence for our freedom we are citizens, not subjects at the whim of despots.
For those interested in the facts, refer to “The Great Hunger” by Woodham Smith, “Paddy’s Lament” by Thomas Gallagher and “The Famine” by Liam O’Flaherty. 
Forgive but never forget.

Brian Kelly


Amper’s way off base

I must respond to Pine Barrens Society director Richard Amper’s inaccurate letter about the county’s role in the open space program.
A few weeks ago, I held a press conference emphasizing the success of Suffolk’s open space program and my call on other levels of government to partner with the county to purchase even more. Numerous representatives from the major environmental groups stood beside me in support of the partnership that my administration has had with these organizations in helping to make the largest investment in open space preservation in our county’s history.
Present were representatives from the Group for the East End, Peconic Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy and Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment. The only so-called environmentalist not appearing, and again standing alone in criticism of the open space program, was Dick Amper.
Why would all these environmental groups be supportive of our efforts while Mr. Amper would maintain criticism? Perhaps it’s because I’ve been one elected official who has spoken out against Mr. Amper’s tactics in the past.
Mr. Amper believes he must constantly be critical and scare people into thinking that their drinking water is poisoned so that they could turn around and donate money to his organization.
Mr. Amper has been critical of elected officials who accept donations from developers, yet he bristled when I’ve often noted that his organization is funded in large part by the same developers he claims to abhor.
In any event, because I called Mr. Amper out on his tactics, he doesn’t like me very much. Consequently, he will never admit that Suffolk County under my leadership has done enough. (The day he admits we’ve done enough is the day he becomes irrelevant.)
He disingenuously tries to compare the number of acres we’ve purchased in my administration with those of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. How can you make such a comparison when all the low-hanging fruit of the earlier administrations is now gone and we’re left primarily only with small parcels that we can close?
But the fact remains that while last year the entire state invested only $5 million on open space preservation on Long Island, and while Nassau County only invested $6 million, we in Suffolk invested a colossal $88 million in 2010 alone and a whopping $450 million to date thanks to the support of the public referendum for open space preservation.
This is the largest investment in a seven-and-a-half-year period in our county’s history. My administration is quite proud of this and is looking forward to working with our environmental leaders and town and state partners to make this program even better.
Perhaps in the future Mr. Amper will lay down his chronic knee-jerk criticism and join in our efforts.

Steve Levy

county executive


Do the right thing

Watching the government fall over themselves has become a national obsession. I would suggest we all stop obsessing.
What is needed at this time is decision. Is there a decisive member somewhere in the government?
Where is the “Great Compromiser” of this age? I know we have to stop the spending, that is obvious. But we also probably need a way to increase revenue without hurting the public. That is the angst we feel right now.
I remember as a kid wanting to go swimming at the pool. However, I was short on cash. The answer was simple, you set up a lemonade stand and ten cents later you could go to the pool on a hot summer’s day. If you ran the stand right you could take the whole neighborhood.
My suggestions is every member of our three branches of government chip in and set up a lemonade stand and do their part. I for one would at least feel they are doing something for the salary we provide to them.
Right now I am sick of this political theater. We are red, white and blue, not just red and blue. It’s time to do the right thing for all.

Bob Bittner


Golf outing a success

We wish to thank the participants, volunteers and sponsors who made the John C. Mendreski Memorial Golf Outing such a successful day. The money raised will be used to fund scholarships for college-bound Riverhead High School graduates in the coming years.
We offer special thanks to the management and staff of the Woods at Cherry Creek. They could not have been more accommodating, and their attention to every detail insured that we had a fun outing. Plus the food was great. Thanks, guys!

Delores Mendreski
Ross Manarel
John Neely