Letters to the Editor


Fischer’s behavior has been outrageous

I wish to make it clear to the people of Riverhead that I completely, totally and irrevocably oppose Greg Fischer’s candidacy for Riverhead Town Supervisor, and wholly endorse and support Phil Cardinale both in the Democratic primary and in this year’s general election. I made a judgment to join an independent ballot line to provide Riverhead voters with an additional opportunity to support my candidacy. Mr. Fischer is on that same independent ballot, but since then his outrageous behavior has convinced me that I must in no way be associated with this individual.
There are several reasons why I feel compelled to speak out now:
First, serious and substantial questions have arisen in the past several weeks regarding the propriety of signatures gathered under Mr. Fischer’s supervision to place him on the ballot. I agree with Democratic Chairman Vinny Villella that these questions need to be investigated thoroughly to ensure the integrity of our democratic process and protect the rights of Riverhead citizens.
Second, Mr. Fischer’s response, publicly to a media outlet, was to point to those who reported those serious irregularities, and say, “They will hang.” How dare he use such words in reference to the Coverdales, given the history of black relations in our country? Not only does this statement disqualify Mr. Fischer for any consideration for public office, they disqualify him from any debate in civil society. To vote for this person after such conduct is only to provide him with encouragement. Voters need to demonstrate their rejection of Mr. Fischer’s conduct at the ballot box.
And finally, Mr. Cardinale is far and away more qualified than both Mr. Fischer and the Republican incumbent, and together with him and Matt Van Glad as my Democratic running mates for Town Council, we can work together to reverse unconscionable tax increases and slipshod fiscal management in Riverhead Town Hall for the past two years.
Mr. Fischer needs to focus less on devious politics and vicious rhetoric, and more on acting like a responsible Democrat. Riverhead deserves better!

Marlando Williams

Editors note: Mr. Williams is a Democratic candidate for a seat on the Riverhead Town Council.


Keep cars off the beach

I notice we are now paying for ATV police patrols of our beaches, even at times beach driving is not allowed. I believe no other North Shore town does such patrols, even though they are all richer than Riverhead.
Most of the mischief on our beaches comes from people who drive on the beach, especially late at night (drinking, fireworks, gunplay, boomboxes, speeding, garbage, fires, etc). Perhaps we could improve the state of our beaches, and save money, by eliminating beach driving, as all the other North Shore towns have done.
Paul Adams


Motels aren’t dives

Well-meaning concern has been raised about the per diem cost of housing homeless families at motels. Please note that in Suffolk County, social services does not house homeless in “dive motels.” This is a catchy but totally inaccurate phrase. It also adds to the already unwarranted stigma suffered by homeless people, who already are fair game to the power elite. It feeds into the image that causes most motels to refuse to house homeless families. The Wading River Motel absolutely does not deserve such a characterization. That is exactly why use of motels as emergency shelters is so costly. It is a seller’s market. To suggest that, for what we pay, homeless could stay in a nice motel, is to overlook how most motels refuse homeless altogether.
Among the motels who will accept homeless families, we select those that provide the extra costs of camera surveillance, electric fences and on-site security staff, and which also continually serve clientele who are not homeless. We do not use motels (and there are many) that offer rooms by the hour. Most importantly, we can only use motels that pass muster with the state health and building codes and the county health department as being safe. That narrows the list considerably. And contrary to another false impression, we certainly do not warehouse these families indefinitely.
As soon as we have enough permanent shelters (952 is still not enough), the Department of Social Services will no longer need to use motels. Unfortunately, that is taking time, yet with careful and dedicated case management, we are moving 30 to 40 families per month out of homelessness and back on their feet. This is but one of the remarkable challenges of providing the best available shelter to homeless families, a large number of whom have never before sought government help of any kind, and most of whom are truly motivated to restart their often shattered lives.

Greg Blass
Department of Social Services


Wading River needs a moratorium

I have visited with many of my neighbors and other residents in all parts of Riverhead. I have attended numerous community events. I have spoken with business owners, farmers, teachers, retirees and families that go back seven or more generations. I have heard many concerns about our town and how our residents feel that many of their concerns have gone unheard.
As a fresh, new face on the political scene I have been assessing Riverhead’s needs and feel the time is now to stand up for our town. I will be diligent in making sure our residents’ concerns are heard and to be a voice on the Riverhead Town Board for us all.
I feel the future of our hamlets depend on this 2011 election. A study of the Wading River corridor alone will cost the taxpayers $42,000, and it does not guarantee to stop building by developers already in the planning stage. Some of the plans may not be in line with keeping Sound Avenue and Route 25A a rural corridor. It’s time to call a “time out” on all commercial building in the rural corridor. We need time to understand the issues and how they will impact the area now and in the future.
Riverhead and its hamlets have great opportunities as destination points for the many visitors that come to Long Island. We must move forward but in the right way and at the right time. Once our hometown feeling is gone it’s gone forever!
The Democratic primary is Tuesday, Sept. 13. Get out and vote!

Matt Van Glad

Democratic candidate for Town Council


Proud of our town

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the first responders, town employees, the American Red Cross and all of the volunteers who helped us prepare for Hurricane Irene so that our residents could be kept safe from harm. I would also like to thank Nancy Carney of the Riverhead School District for opening her doors to the residents of our community so that they would have a safe shelter from the storm.
As we continue our cleanup efforts and deal with the aftermath, I want to thank each of you that gave of yourself so selflessly to help those in need during a very difficult time. I especially want to thank the residents who have endured damage and power outages for their patience in getting things back to normal.
It is always inspiring to see how our community comes together to help each other when we need it the most. That’s what makes Riverhead so special and what makes me proud to be part of.

Sean Walter

supervisor, Town of Riverhead


Thanks for being there for us

We would like to congratulate the town, fire department and ambulance corps, as well as the American Red Cross volunteers for running such a successful shelter at Riverhead High School during Hurricane Irene. We are proud to live in a community that has so many dedicated and capable people willing to help neighbors during times of stress.
We are particularly proud of our custodial, maintenance and transportation staff that came out during the storm to open our buildings and transport people to the emergency shelter. We had district custodial and maintenance staff at our buildings ensuring that the air conditioning and lights remained on and that the building remained cleaned. We also had bus drivers stationed at points throughout Riverhead making sure that those in evacuation zones had safe ways to come to the town’s shelter. The district provided security staff on hand to assist the Red Cross as they helped those who sought shelter at the high school and we provided an interpreter for Spanish-speaking families. Being able to come together as a united Riverhead community makes this a special place.

Ann Cotten DeGrasse

president, Riverhead school board