Letters to the Editor


Phil, you had your chance; you blew it

Confucius said, “It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.” So, too, did President John F. Kennedy and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. While a candle may seem but a small light on large problems, its glow casts a great shadow, taking us forward in the right direction, not leaving us plaintively howling in the dark.
I just spent an exciting Friday night with a very large crowd of happy and hopeful people watching the Suffolk Theatre marquee light up. As a local citizen, I am particularly excited to feel part of the revitalization of our downtown. It takes positive and forward-thinking leadership to rally inventive, hard-working and sincere local citizens to move a town forward. In former supervisor Phil Cardinale’s recent Guest Spot (“Downtown needs a comprehensive approach, Sept. 1”), he makes a few misleading comparisons with respect to Route 58 and downtown, stealing credit for successful projects, investment decisions and redevelopment.
The facts are as follows:
1. The Town of Riverhead can have a thriving downtown in conjunction with our Route 58, both serving a different purpose; mixing past and present Industrial Development Association initiatives.
2. The Riverhead Business Improvement District, as well as our town supervisor, Sean Walter, has been involved in good-faith outreach to the owners of blighted sites downtown and they are making progress.
Mr. Cardinale, you had 10 years to accomplish this goal. You didn’t.
3. You haven’t told the public the true purpose for the $1 million Apollo GEIS investment. In actuality, this study charges all future developers an excessive and burdensome fee for its use that can only act to deter, not promote development.
4. As for your idea of comprehensive redevelopment, with all due respect, you had 10 years to accomplish this. You didn’t.
It is also baffling that you don’t understand the public benefit realized through the local Riverhead Industrial Development Agency. The IDA is a body to attract new businesses to downtown and to make businesses that are here grow. As chair of the Riverhead IDA, Mr. Cardinale, it is tiring to continually hear you and members of your political party shifting focus away from your 10-year period of downtown neglect and extremely poor decision-making.
Supervisor Cardinale, we had 10 years of your “better way.” So stop misleading the public — stop blowing out candles — join Confucius, Eleanor Roosevelt and President Kennedy. Stop cursing the darkness and light some candles! You’ll feel a lot better.
Kathleen Courtney
chairwoman, Riverhead Industrial
Development Agency

PD acted quickly
We would like to thank the Riverhead Police Department for their response the day of Hurricane Irene. That day we had my 89-yera-old mom over to spend the night also.
During the afternoon, my wife noticed a pickup truck towing a large trailer camper up our road and remarked that that was strange, as we live on a short and narrow cul-de-sac road. It was not one of our neighbors’ vehicles. We found the truck had turned around and parked on the road, about 100 feet from Herricks Lane. Someone then tied down the trailer and left it there to weather the storm. Our street is a narrow road and my wife, recovering from a quintuple heart bypass, was concerned that if the storm was as severe as the media was saying, or a possible tornado passed near, these vehicles might shift and block passage for any emergency/fire rescue vehicles to pass up our road.
Within 10 minutes of her placing a call, Riverhead Police Officer James Welsh showed up at the scene. After explaining our concerns — Officer Welsh agreed with the possible obstruction — and telling him we had no idea of the owner, he said he would look into it. Within a half-hour the vehicles were gone. This deed removed a tremendous amount of stress from my wife and, in turn, from me also. Again, I would like to thank Riverhead police and James Welsh for their quick and professional response.
Chester Kutscher