Letters to the Editor: Wading River study, animal shelter and great athletes

BETH YOUNG PHOTO | Frank Fish of BFJ Planning spoke to Wading River residents about proposed changes along the Route 25A corridor.


Don’t change our hamlet

I felt compelled to write after attending Saturday’s meeting at St. John’s Church regarding development proposals for Wading River. I’ve lived in Wading River since 1974 and have seen many changes, and as I feel compassion for the livelihood of these developers, I also feel we have everything we could possibly want or need only within a few miles east or west of us. There is no true need for any of those projects in our beautiful hamlet. So, I guess my question to the Town Board would be this: When is enough enough?

Kristine Nolan


The message is clear

Rarely does a community meeting on any topic draw hundreds of participants, but when it does, it speaks volumes.

Last Saturday, by my estimates, 400 people packed a community-planning meeting for Wading River. Good for them! Clearly, this kind of turnout affirms the case (made over and over by the Riverhead Neighborhood Preservation Coalition, Group for the East End and the Wading River Civic Association) that engaging the local public is critical to the formation of intelligent and acceptable land-use policy for any community — and that the community cares enough to participate.

When finally asked, a vast majority of Wading River residents sent a clear message that they oppose the kind of strip mall-dominated sprawl that has devastated the Route 25A corridor to our west; that they want to protect the rural character of their community; and that the potential development density currently allowed along the corridor must be reduced.

I encourage all your readers to continue to insist that the Riverhead Town Board take decisive action to implement a new land-use plan for Wading River that is fundamentally grounded in the public interest.

Jenn Hartnagel


Good things happen at shelter

I would like to ask the people of Riverhead and the surrounding towns if they have ever adopted a dog from the Riverhead Town animal shelter and had a pleasant experience. Was the shelter clean? Did it have heat, hot water? Did the dogs have food, water, blankets, toys or treats? Did you see the volunteers walking or playing with the dogs or the staff playing with the dogs? If they needed medical treatment, did they receive it? Did you ever lose your dog in a storm or the kids let it out and the shelter picked it up? Was your dog hit by a car and the shelter took it to the vet? Were you relieved to have your dog back, safe and sound? Did the shelter go out of its way to help you? I know you have! I’ve heard the stories and the shelter has adopted out thousands of dogs and returned thousands to owners. So write in and tell everyone your positive stories. It costs absolutely nothing to write in, so everyone can see the good side of the shelter instead of the same old bad stories. Tell everyone about the most positive experience with the shelter for you and your best friend.

Most of the dogs at the shelter have never had it so good. Sad, but true.

Ricky Muller


What a man!

Thank you for the entertaining, informative articles on the area’s greatest athletes in history. I live in Connecticut and my dad saved the articles for me to read, for which I am grateful.

I am a Riverhead High School, Class of ’87, graduate and I felt special to know three of the athletes on your list. What was great for me was that both Carl Smith and Kevin Braunskill, besides being great athletes, were both extremely nice, humble people and well-liked by all. I played baseball against Keith Osik while he played at Shoreham-Wading River and one of my life’s baseball highlights and memories was pitching against him on a chilly spring day at Riverhead.

I am writing to add my two cents regarding your list of the greatest athletes. If you had said greatest achievers, I would not be writing you. I believe one of the greatest athletes not to make your list was Dr. Chris Lao, another 1987 Riverhead graduate. I teased him and still tease him today as being the best athlete not to get a sports scholarship. He played soccer, basketball and tennis, as well as other somewhat less popular sports that got very little notoriety. There was not a sport he played — and he played them all — that he did not excel in. Nor is there anything he seems to do, for that matter, that he does not excel in (except getting back to you in a timely manner, but that’s for another day and another letter).

He’s blessed with great hand-eye coordination, quickness, athleticism, intelligence and among people who knew of him, they would say the same thing. I play golf with him on our annual golf outings and it’s no surprise to see him — even though he barely has played the sport — drive the ball 300 yards. Obviously, I am only one man and one letter, but I thought the man should deserve at least an honorable mention.

John Chrabolowski


Take an active role

There have been many articles and letters in this newspaper about the importance of early breast cancer detection. They have raised our collective awareness and consciousness about combating this disease and finding a cure.

As a husband, I have always thought that my role was simply to be supportive. To go with my wife to the doctor when she had her annual breast exam. To remind her about doing her self-examinations and ask her how she is doing.

Husbands, significant others, partners, lovers and BFFs need to take a more “hands on” approach. No joke.

While doing a self-exam, your woman might miss a very small lump or mistake it for an insect bite. A small mark or bruise on the skin might be an abrasion from a new bra, or it might be the initial stages of a cancer. She might err on the side of not wanting to panic or upset others. Or she might think that it is most likely nothing. And then there are doctors who’d rather be optimistic and not order an “unnecessary” test. That’s all what I term as “optimistic denial.”

We need to be a “second opinion”. If two heads are better than one, then another pair of hands properly inspecting her breast can’t hurt. Learn how and how often to examine her.

Do it while you are doing a tick check. Have fun or be absolutely serious about it. If you find anything suspicious, run, don’t walk, to a specialist. No democracy here. Make a pact that if either one of you suspect something, it will be checked out.

Too many brave women here have been the victims of breast cancer. Is it caused by the MBTE in our water or the constant “controlled” radioactive discharges from nearby nuclear power plants? Is it the chemicals in our food or the air pollution that we breath? Is it stress or is it genetic? It’s all suspect.

There are continuing advances in medicine to battle this insidious disease. The “magic bullet” may happen in the near future. But until then, we do know that early detection is the best hope. The earlier the better and your involvement is an additional step toward that goal.

So, to all those husbands, significant others, partners, lovers and BFFs, I suggest you join her in a breast examination as an extra Valentine’s Day gift this year. It won’t cost you anything, but she will value it as priceless, for sure. Hopefully you also gave her a card and flowers or something else, too.

The life you might help save may very well be the love of your life.

Vinnie Novak