Letters to the Editor: January 12, 2012


St. Isidore School still going strong

Contrary to the unfortunate and inaccurate statements made by an official from Our Lady of Mercy in a recent News-Review article, there are no plans now, or in the future, to downsize St. Isidore’s Roman Catholic school from a full-service, K-8 school.

In fact, St. Isidore is in the middle of a two-year plan to strengthen the curriculum by adding Regent’s algebra, biology and a foreign language course.

By making these changes, St. Isidore will continue to provide a seamless transition to the 9th grade. Currently, as in the past, St. Isidore graduates enroll in the best preparatory schools, including St. Anthony’s, Chaminade and Sacred Heart, to name a few.

As St. Isidore approaches its 50th anniversary in 2012, the faculty, students, staff and school board are looking forward to the next 50 years, educating students in the Catholic tradition at an affordable cost.

John Bockino

president, St. Isidore school board


Not a squealing rebuttal

Thank you for publishing a letter from one George Dengel under the heading “This is the year” (Jan. 5, 2012) regarding the elections in November 2012. It is gratifying to see our regional paper assume its role as a forum as this contentious political controversy unfolds. You will shoulder the onerous, but necessary, task of trying to present a fair balance among the wildly divergent points of view that characterize the political arena in this great and unusual nation.

I do not intend to debate the author of the letter point by point because, that would be pointless. I do sense that he is angry. He is angry at progressives, socialists and communists, apparently all the same in his observations. He is angry that these ideological rogues “hijacked” the “Democrat”(ic) Party. He is angry about “the injustices perpetrated on us by the social progressives.”

Well, I am a social progressive and I am angry about many things as well. I am most angry about a greatly obstructive Republican Party whose only apparent goal is to return the country to the “Gay Nineties”; that’s the 1890s, by the way. Indeed, those times weren’t so gay for a different 99 percent back then, that struggling, non-union mass of little people, literally little because many of them were children, often living in overcrowded tenements and working in fire traps and worse.

Social progressives (Democrats? Socialists? Communists? Whatever the soubriquet du jour adopted by the right wing happens to be) are essentially responsible for creating the middle class society we cherish and will soon lose if the Republicans, who seem solely dedicated to preserving only the interests of the 1%, hold sway.

In closing, at the risk of being snarky, this letter, as you will note, is definitely not a “squealing rebuttal.” To be sure, one stuck pig in the argument is quite enough.

Edward Weiss


Good shelter

I haven’t really been following all the controversy at the animal shelter. However, just to give some firsthand perspective, I just adopted a dog from the town shelter a couple of weeks ago and the town employees were very friendly, helpful and seemed to really care about, and more importantly, like the dogs they care for. The young dog we got was very healthy, fit, happy and well cared for. He adjusted really quickly to our home, which tells me he had personal attention and kindness at the shelter. This is actually the second dog we got from the shelter. The last one was 12 years ago and it was the same story. In fact, he was the best dog we ever had.

Scott Gillespie



Congratulations to Highway Superintendent George Woodson for being named News-Review’s Public Servant of the Year. Under Gio’s leadership and tutelage his department did a fantastic job removing leaves from Riverhead yards and roads. I can’t wait for snow to see what an outstanding job Gio and his well-trained employees will do plowing our streets.
Let’s not forget, under Gio’s assistance, New York State repaved Main Street and painted parking lines so clearly that almost anyone can parallel park properly. And, I got my tree back.

Thanks, Gio!

Jim Dreeben


Fact: Group homes are a big drain

Reading Paul Farrell’s Jan. 5 letter to the editor concerning group homes makes me wonder why he feels that concerns about the number of homes in Riverhead Town are misplaced. The fact of the matter is that this town has about 50 percent of all the group homes situated in the five East End towns, even while Shelter Island has none, and even as the remaining 50 percent of these homes are divided among the three other East End towns.

Mr. Farrell should also realize that with each group home that is situated within our town, that means one less piece of real estate that will contribute to the overall school and property taxes. These group homes enjoy the protection of the police, fire department, ambulance service, as well as all of the many other services that are provided by town taxpayers, while contributing not one cent in return. As with many Riverhead homeowners who do not have children in the school system but who still contribute to our school system, the same cannot be said of these group homes. They are just one of the many “mandates” coming down from our so-called representatives in Albany who are dictating that we do this or that, yet provide not a dime to local governments to carry them out.

The IGHL group home situated on Timothy Lane in Jamesport was able to install not one, but two large solar panels at an estimated cost of $125,000. I have to ask, just how many homeowners within our town could afford such an expense, especially when we’re paying an average of between $7,000 and $8,000 each year in property taxes? Many more of us would have these panels installed on our homes as well, if we weren’t paying local taxes.

So I say to you, Mr. Farrell, that while you are certainly entitled to your own opinion, you are not entitled to your own facts. And these are the facts, as I have stated.

Thomas W. Smith