Letters to the Editor: Animal shelter, group homes and Obama


How about some compassion

I was loathe to respond to Thomas W. Smith’s regurgitated diatribe regarding group homes for fear of giving him a platform to continue his misanthropic screed, but mistruths unchallenged can become facts themselves.

I have never disputed that group homes enjoy benefits that other taxpayers must shoulder, nor that Riverhead Town has a higher concentration of group homes than the other East End towns. My letter was merely to point out that group homes are a vastly preferable solution than those of the past and that from a broad economic view they are far less expensive. If this offends Mr. Smith then I apologize.

This is part of the reason that years back I declined to sign a petition against the construction of the home on our street which the petitioner so artfully pointed out was because “we certainly don’t want ‘those people’ on our block.” Ah, sweet human compassion.

But I digress.

It is not Mr. Smith’s facts I am challenging, it is his opinions that I revile. As he indignantly pontificates on his tax burden, whether it be his favorite target of group home or schools or whatever his letter of the week bemoans, he never once offers an alternative or even acknowledges that as a community we ought to do something to help those less fortunate than ourselves, or that we should support institutions from which we receive no direct immediate benefit.

Mr. Smith, we pay taxes and our wheelchair-bound, severely mentally and physically disabled neighbors don’t — I got it. Please don’t insult my intelligence because I have the temerity to come to a different conclusion from your unassailable facts; nor will I impugn you for lacking charity — though your letters never demonstrate any. Facts only inform opinion, Mr. Smith — it is wisdom, experience, and hopefully compassion that moves opinion to collective acceptance.

Good luck in your ceaseless quest to abrogate your support for our schools and the disabled; I choose a different, hopefully higher road. In lieu of your predictable apoplectic response, how about we leave it that even disagreeable people can agree to disagree?
Paul Farrell


Does anyone care?

The never-ending sad saga of the mismanagement of the Riverhead animal shelter by the town continues. Now, according to two reliable sources familiar with what’s going on, a temporary animal control officer has been hired for six months to assist the few existing part-time personnel that are there now. These “temporaries” and “part-time” people save dollars, but that money isn’t going to help the poor shelter dogs or make them adoptable. Twenty-six are there now. Where is the medical care? A permanent trainer? Volunteer dog walkers who are there every day, not once a week? Why doesn’t the shelter advisory committee walk dogs or go there? What is the point of their meetings at Town Hall? Where are the physical separators so the dogs don’t see each other and get agitated? (That’s poor Elvis’ problem. He doesn’t like other dogs because he was never socialized. Soon and sadly, he’ll become a euthanasia statistic without rehabilitation.) Shelters keep the dogs calm. I read they also work with the dogs in small groups to socialize them. Meanwhile, the best animal control officer I’ve ever seen, Sean McCabe, is wasting his talents and love of dogs in the Riverhead sewer department; see if your town officials will explain that one to you.

Someday, we’re told, the shelter will be privatized. By then, all the dogs will be crazy and unable to be helped. I’m told one shelter director turned the job down. Another very well-run operation nearby is being wooed by the people who make money decisions.

That’s still pending. What do your Riverhead Town leaders care about the animals, readers? As I said last week, animals don’t vote.

Let me add that they also think you and the advisory board don’t care either. For the animals’ sake, get angry. I certainly am. And I care.

Pat Lynch


Dismayed, not angry

In the coming months, I predict many editorials will be written for and against the present administration and its ideology.

As an independent voter, I’m troubled by the direction people of the social progressive mindset would take this country. While it’s true I’m distraught, saddened and even dismayed by the social progressive’s ideology, I’m not yet angry.

I leave the anger and rhetoric to the far left social progressives in Washington and the Wall Street occupiers who believe success and capitalism is un-American.

Mr. Obama has succeeded in promoting class warfare by calling for the redistribution of wealth while overspending, increasing the national debt, devaluating the dollar and weakening the military so that the social progressives can continue paying for unserviceable pork and entitlement programs.

The Democratic Party has been replaced by the new Communist Party, whose only agenda is anti-religion. The bigotry of the secular progressive left is apparent when they take down crosses or censure “one nation under God” or “In God we trust.” A Communist does not pray to God, and what’s more he doesn’t want you to pray to God.

It was the social progressive Democrats that were instrumental in removing prayer from the classroom and banning the mention of God or displaying any icon in schools. They did this under the guise of separation of church and state.

The Founding Fathers were men of vision and moral conviction. They believed in a supreme being, a creator of all things good — in a word, God. They used the Bible as a framework when writing the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. The social progressives within the public school system will never include those facts as part of the curriculum in an American history class.

Like so many, I lean toward the traditionalist belief in a system or party where the recognition of a supreme being is first and foremost and the belief that our rights come from God, not the state, Mr. Obama or the social progressive Communists.

God bless all that would follow the Constitution and save the U.S.A.

George Dengel


Victimized again

It is grossly unfair when a section of the population is singled out for a specific action.

So it is with us, the folks from the East End. Once more, the Suffolk County Legislature raises our cost of living. As reported recently in a Jan. 5, 2012, Newsday article, they say, Suffolk bus ridership will see their first fare increase in two decades when the cost of a ride will rise by one-third. This is not the first fare hike for the East End.

The rate was increased last spring from $1.50 to $2 to cover additional operation on Sunday for two routes, S92 and 10C. Both serve only the East End. They run from Orient through Riverhead and on to the Hamptons and back. As soon as the nice weather ended, so did the Sunday service, however the fare increase remained.

Newsday continues, “Under a plan unanimously approved … the fare will rise from $1.50 to $2 on most routes.” Read carefully, “most routes” does not include routes S92 and 10C. These fares will rise not to $2, but to $2.25. That’s 75 cents in less than a year, certainly more than the one-third increase mentioned.

Maybe that’s not so bad, you might say. However, the last fare hike here was just last spring. That put us, the East End, at the highest rate in all Suffolk. Now the fare is even higher and the service lower. Once again, a small section of the population bears the burden and gets less in return.

Where are our government officials when we need them?

Joel Reitman