Letters: Riverhead P.D., YMCA opposition and the prez


Where’s Walter coming from?

Supervisor Sean Walter blithely dismisses the notion that the Riverhead Police Department might have, to put it bluntly, a racial problem. His comments to your paper (e.g., “…it’s time to start looking beyond what our colors and differences are”) suggest that he is, at best, a negligent executive, insofar as he chooses to ignore the fact that a police force which mirrors its community is capable of more effective policing. One would hope that he (and other officials, including the police chief) would do everything in his power to reduce crime and improve community relations — goals any town supervisor should embrace. A more cynical reading of his response is that Mr. Walter is an opportunist playing to dark impulses within the ranks of the police officers and body politic at large. If this is the case, Mr. Walter won’t be the first politician to have done so, but the moral implications for Riverhead’s residents, as well as the practical ones — in the form of higher crime rates and discrimination lawsuits — are not so easy to overlook.

Michael Oil


No YMCA there

I am a resident of Aquebogue and I am opposed to a YMCA in my community.

Main Road east of Route 105 has been designated a rural corridor with limitations on what can be built. A 40,000-square-foot building (that’s as big as the Roanoke Avenue firehouse) with two acres of “supporting structures” is clearly not within the parameters of the intention of the designation.

It’s also clear to me, and should be to everyone, the main purpose of the facility is recreational, not educational as they want us to believe.

It belongs in a commercial area, not here.

Richard Wheeler


Politics, not progress

The current federal budget debate is really more about timing than about substance.

Both Democrats and Republicans are interested in gaining financial balance and erasing the flowing red ink. The difference in approach is extremely important.

The Republicans really do believe in fiscal balance, but by first throwing the country into a few more years of misery to achieve the byproduct of getting rid of Mr. Obama. That’s the GOP’s grand strategy.

President Obama wants to spend on our old and failing infrastructure, green-energy development, entrepreneurial support, broadband development and tax modification and many other job-producing and country-strengthening measures.

He also supports education improvement, air quality improvement, health care improvement and other items to improve the quality of America. As jobs grow and GDP grows, government income grows, dollars become available for budget balance and then, deficit reduction.

The GOP wants to immediately eliminate energy research, entrepreneurial support, teaching positions, environmental improvement, infrastructure spending and more.

Republicans want to lower taxes on their cohorts and to make large cuts in spending right now. The result is to stop the potential for GDP growth, to stop the green shoots of increasing economic activity and to kill off the beginnings of job growth.

The Republican big bet here is to use “President Obama’s failure to right the economy” as the “beat Obama” weapon.

The big question: Is this the activity that our proud Democracy should support? Politics was once about what’s best for the country, not what’s best for certain connected constituents.

We must all pay attention and consider the alternatives. There has never been a more important election in America.

Howard Meinke


A different time

One of the advantages a senior citizen has today is being able to remember all the presidential elections of the past. Spanning the years from FDR to our current president gives us a viewpoint of understanding not available to younger voters.

In the days of FDR, the television camera had not yet become common to invade the internal lives of those who lived in the White House and so it was not often acknowledged that he could not walk and needed a wheelchair to do the normal things of living.

Whether the reporters were not allowed to photograph him in anything but a standing position or whether they revered the office of the Presidency, I don’t know, but rarely was his physical condition photographed. Nor did the news contain any hint that his love life did not include Eleanor. His voice was strong; his pleasing accent clear and the radio gave us what we knew of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

It is not so today, with instant revelations on each of the different contestants wanting to be the chief executive. Hardly does the candidate throw his hat in the ring but the media searches for enticing stories it can publish of their past and of their views on all pertinent matters. Probably it is a good thing to know if the one we choose to be our leader is faithful enough to have sustained a good marriage or not, to have conducted his business affairs in an honest way and to be knowledgeable in world affairs. But with so much attention given to each candidate’s swing up and down, it is not surprising that folks are wearying of this nominating circus.

Long before we enter the voting booth, the whiny voices of some seem to grate on the ears. And strangely enough, as we listen to this group of debaters wanting to be president, there are those in the wings of governor’s mansions and lawyer’s offices all across the nation, plotting and planning their rise to power in future elections. This assures us of a continual line of politicians willing to lead us into war or prosperity. And I hope it is the latter.

June Bassemir


Whatta place

I wish to thank two dear and reassuring ladies (whose names I did not get, but hope they read this), the EMS and police for their kindness and efficiency when I “totaled” our car on Dec. 19. My husband and I were in Peconic Bay Medical Center for a day and again received the best of treatment. Our rather slow recovery has delayed this letter, but not reduced our gratitude.

We have been summer residents of Orient and the North Fork for over 50 years and can only be grateful for the wonderful community that opened its heart and gave us its expertise to look after its people. We are glad that our grandchildren can continue to appreciate the special quality of our woods and fields, our creeks and beaches. Thank you!

Bob and Sylvia Gordon