Letters to the Editor: Village at Jamesport, Wading River and foie gras

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The proposed Village at Jamesport would be built on this lot just west of the hamlet's business district on Main Road.


An abomination

In a recent News-Review Guest Spot about the proposed “Village” at Jamesport project (“Town Board vote will shape Jamesport’s future,” Jan. 26), I focused on the damage that 25,000 square feet of new offices and restaurants would do to the hamlet’s economy, which already suffers that much empty space. Parts of Jamesport look like downtown Riverhead, with all the empty storefronts, and this project would make things much worse.

I also said there’s either a massive error in the project’s site plan or it’s designed to deceive. “Bistros” with 80 square feet per customer will never happen.

Naively, I thought this would cause Town Board members to pause and ask tough questions of the developer. I was wrong. Last week, board members voted — 5 for, 0 against — to approve the last regulatory step. They’re now free to decide on required special use permits.

But here’s big news: Projected tax revenues were wildly overstated. The 423-page environmental impact study erred. No one noticed, and the Town Board voted to accept. Actual taxes, if the project thrives, will be $172,000 less per year than promised.

This shopping mall was a bad deal at the stated $350,000 tax contribution. At just half that, it’s an abomination.

If you agree, remind your supervisor and councilmembers that they have the power and the obligation to deny special use permits.

Larry Simms


Just say no

If all goes as planned and a 40,000-square-foot building is built in Aquebogue, we can all say goodbye to our bucolic North Fork.

Aquebogue is the first town east of 105; it begins the true North Fork that tourists, locals and newcomers alike all love. We are surrounded by farms, beaches and wineries. If the construction of this project moves forward and commercializes our land, we can only ponder what would come to follow — more buildings that could eventually extend the commercial density of the Route 58 corridor out to Greenport. I vehemently oppose a building of this size and scope to be built in a rural area. Building a Y is going to destroy our local businesses, which provide some of the same amenities as what the YMCA does, make for more vacant buildings as well as removing traffic from downtown, further contributing to the decline of the area.

There are plenty of vacant commercial buildings in downtown Riverhead, which is centrally located. In addition to revitalizing downtown, a downtown location would better serve the diverse socioeconomic population of Riverhead at this central location. We who are true North Fork natives and continue to want our land to stay true to what it means to live on the North Fork, need to say no to this immense commercial project, or you can say goodbye to the North Fork.

Christina and Timothy McElroy


How do you figure?

I am writing to express my complete dismay and sense of frustration with the Town Board and the consulting team, BJF, with regard to the Wading River planning study. This firm, hired through resident tax dollars, has concluded that our hamlet of Wading River can sustain an increase of 230 percent of additional retail. That’s 123,000 square feet. This is after a recent economic study by the same firm, which was also hired by Brookhaven Town, stated that 23,000 square feet was the maximum amount of increased retail that Wading River could sustain. Additionally, this study does not include the “Venezia Square” proposal, which includes a large commercial development west of Wading River Manor Road between May’s Farm and Tuthill Alexander Funeral Home.

What happened to the “red and blue dot resident survey” that BJF took a few weeks back? A majority of residents there strongly opposed this type of development. BJF’s suggestions are not a balanced approach to development, nor do they consider resident input. Obviously the town meetings to gather ”input” from the community were smoke and mirror ploys to make residents feel like their voices mattered. I can’t believe that BJF, or the Town Board for that matter, had any intention of listening to the community or considering the cumulative effects that these five developments will have on Wading River and the quality of life for its residents.

Michele Dougherty


How can this happen?

Last year, I warned of the dangers of an unchecked Republican Town Board in pushing through a developer’s agenda that will make our town look more and more like Crookhaven East. The public outcry about overdevelopment from Wading River to Jamesport confirms my worst fears. Unfortunately, being able to say I told you so gives me no solace.

Nor do I derive any comfort from the supervisor’s sojourn to Albany with his “political conscience” Anthony Coates (an unelected personal adviser to Mr. Walter with an unvetted past) to lobby for the creation of a new bureaucracy modeled after, of all things, the Pine Barrens Commission, to control development at EPCAL. According to Mr. Walter, the new bureaucracy will come up with rules that will allow certain projects to be fast-tracked for approval. Walter says he met with Republican legislators Ken LaValle and Dan Losquadro and a bill is already being drafted. The last time Mr. Walter relied on outside advice about EPCAL, he told us he was directed by a party boss from Brookhaven to give another extension to the joke called Riverhead Resorts.

I hope the supervisor can offer some explanation on how he can unilaterally give up control of a multimillion dollar asset that belongs to the citizens of our town to politicians from dysfunctional Albany, bankrupt Suffolk County or elsewhere — without any public input or Town Board vote.

Ron Hariri


A good guy

Every so often, something happens that restores one’s faith in people’s goodness. Saturday afternoon I lost my wallet while I was out shopping. I was upset with the potential loss of credit cards, driver’s license, insurance cards, etc. Shortly after returning home, a gentleman knocked on my door and returned my wallet. My dog was barking so loud that my wife didn’t get a chance to ask his name. His thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated. There are some very good people out there and this was one of them!

Guy Fein


The cause of pain

I am rarely shocked after being on this earth a long time, however, today I saw a bumper sticker that had a map of the USA with the words underneath. “Don’t re-Nig in 2012.”

Like or don’t like Mr. Obama, but that’s so unacceptable on more levels than I have words for. Blind hatred has caused much of the pain on this earth over the centuries since we’ve come out of the cave.

Remember the old saying, “Thoughts become words, words become actions, actions become habits, habits become character, character is everything.”

Rosellen Storm


It’s inhumane

We have a responsibility to treat humanely the animals we use for food. There is nothing humane or natural about the force-feeding of geese and ducks, whether using a traditional metal funnel or a smaller plastic feeding tube, as stated by Chef Arie Pavlou at Comtesse Thérèse Bistro (“Delicious or plain inhumane?” March 8).

According to PETA, as much as four pounds of grain and fat are forced into the animals’ stomachs two to three times daily, causing their livers to bloat to up to ten times their normal size.

Many animals choke to death, have their organs rupture during the force-feeding process or experience other physical abnormalities.

As of July 2012, the sale of foie gras will be illegal in California. New York State needs to take the same action, but until then, you can express your objection to this cruel practice.

We go out to dinner several times a week and do not patronize restaurants that serve foie gras.

Alexandra Simmonds