Letters: Proud to call Riverhead home

PHOTO COURTESY OF RIVERHEAD SCHOOL DISTRICT | Teachers and school staff competed in a sports-themed fundraiser to raise money for two Riverhead students Michael Hubbard and Christopher Timpone.


Truly touched

It is a great and amazing thing to witness all the love this great town has given to myself and my wonderful son, Michael Hubbard. It was wonderful to see students, teachers and staff from all the Riverhead schools have a fun time at the Crazy Sports Night event for my son and Christopher Timpone. I can tell you that your love has been the best medicine in our journey, which is now at 10 months.

Riverhead Town has been my hometown for 53 years and I cannot begin to tell you how you have increased my faith in what our town is all about. We stand proud with you to say we are from Riverhead, home of the Blue Waves. Blue Waves, you continue to show the school spirit, and I am so, so proud to stand with you, Class of 1977. It is truly a blessing to have your support and love on our journey. I want you to know I so look forward to the day Michael and I both can say thank you in person. ’Til then, thank you, thank you, thank you, and may our spirit of the Blue Waves make us all proud of our great town, Riverhead.

Nancy Reyer (Michael’s mom)


Free rein
for developers

Some ideas are so bad and so outrageous that you just can’t let them pass without comment, and there was a doozie introduced last Thursday at Town Hall by Riverhead planning director Rick Hanley. He suggested the town consider leaving all the retail zoning intact along the Wading River 25A corridor (yes, you read that correctly) and apply an “overlay zone” that would give property owners the option to build a wide variety of additional uses and more square footage than currently allowed. Yes, the concept is to let the developers build whatever they want because, according to Mr. Hanley it would seem, they’re smarter than we are and they’ll end up doing what’s best for the community.

Does it sound reasonable to you to let the financial interests of a few landowners dictate the future of this small Riverhead hamlet? Well, it apparently sounded pretty good to the supervisor, who said he’s asking BFJ — the firm currently preparing a planning study of the corridor — to flesh out this brilliant idea.

So, first the town refuses to impose a moratorium on projects in the study area, then it approves developer Kenn Barra’s Knightland — the most controversial of several development proposals — without waiting for the analysis, and then refuses to incorporate that project into the analysis because it’s being sued for not studying the area prior to its planning board approval (ironic, huh?).

Next, the Town Board suggests to BFJ that it remove the split zoning, which would increase development potential in the corridor and reduce the effective open space, then it directs BFJ to back off their recommendation to rezone the Zoumas parcel so that the Central Square shopping center can go forward, and now they’re considering giving developers carte blanche.

Hmm. So the people of Wading River signed petitions, sent letters and emails and came to meetings by the hundreds to tell officials they don’t want their town overdeveloped like so many towns to the west, and the Town Board responds by thumbing their noses at us. After all, it’s nearly two years until the next election and politicians count on the public having a short memory. Please, take a hard look at your local government and ask yourself, whose interests are they really looking out for? And who’s really working for whom?

Dominique Mendez

president, Riverhead Neighborhood
Preservation Coalition



The rich get richer

I hope you’re paying attention as the conservatives flaunt their Paul Ryan deficit solution.

It balances the budget fix on the backs of the poor, the jobless and the homeless. This is an “in your face” example of pamper the wealthy while damaging the middle and lower classes, the elderly, the poor and students. Medicare cuts, Medicaid cuts, Pell grant cuts, food stamp cuts, all to shift the pain to the less fortunate.

Apparently, in the conservative view, coddling the 1 percent driving their Lamborghinis and jetting between seasonal mansions, together with balancing spending cuts on the back of the rest, is a formula to save the country from disaster.

As we continue to outsource jobs to the cheapest foreign labor and direct ever more income to the wealthy, the CEOs and the stockholders, the situation for the average Joe is getting ever nastier. The wealthy will wallow in more money and the rest will give up more and more and apply personal deprivation and sweat toward resolving the country’s debt problem.

The United States was formed on the concept of a people united in their efforts toward equality and freedom. Now, in an era of greed and political deafness, the conservatives have turned that concept upside down.

The conservative GOP plan is a terrible course for the country. This is a path to financial gain for the few until the ship of state starts to sink. It’s a route to disaster. It’s unfair and it’s un-American! It will hurt the majority of our citizens and it will add to the decay of our United States.

We must unite to fix this mess in November.

Howard Meinke


Justice must
prevail in Florida

If you’re not familiar with the situation in Sanford, Fla., involving the death of a young black teen, here’s a quick synopsis: A young black male named Trayvon Martin was shot down in cold blood by a member of a neighborhood watch group all because of Mr. Martin’s appearance. He was young, black and wearing a hoodie. We’ve heard the arguments from both sides. We can have different views, but there cannot be different facts. The shooter, George Zimmerman, states that Mr. Martin was the aggressor. Yet as one listens to the 911 call, one must conclude that Mr. Zimmerman was in fact the aggressor. What was Mr. Martin’s weapon as an aggressor? All they found on him was a bag of Skittles. Let us stop kidding ourselves — “it is what it is,” cold-blooded murder fueled by hate. Not only should Mr. Zimmerman be charged with murder, a hate crime enhancement is justified.

Reality is not an illusion and hate crimes are real. Whether motivated by race, gender, sexual preference or religion, when it is obvious that a crime took place due to one’s dislike or prejudice bestowed upon another, then the hate crime element is attached. Oftentimes we feel not connected to atrocities like this. If you think that this could never happen in your town, village or city, let me send you a memo titled: “Hate is Alive and Well.” There are many other Zimmerman-type characters out there stereotyping and then fatally acting on that stereotype. A young black male wearing a hoodie was viewed as a threat, a combatant and an aggressor. This is not a “teach-able moment,” it’s a “reach-able moment” — the justice system must reach out and charge Mr. Zimmerman. Let him have his day in court, even though he should have been arrested and charged from the beginning. I say let’s seek justice in a peaceful manner and steer away from the agitators that only seek retribution through violence. We in the African-American community have always been told to be peaceful. I pray that justice will prevail. If they drop the ball on this one, I don’t know how much more peace the community has left in its tank.

Carnal Hobson Jr.

Editor’s note: Mr. Hobson is a former Riverhead resident.


Changed the world

How does Holy Week touch us? Do we truly believe?

It’s part of recorded history since the Roman rulers documented everything. The passion and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ were duly recorded by the powers of the Roman Empire, as prescribed by law.

And so it came to pass, the crowd chanted, “Crucify him!”

And Jesus, the Christ, was condemned to death.

It is written in the Gospel of Mark, leading up to the crucifixion; “They struck His head … spat upon Him … mocking Him … Then they led Him out …” where, as recorded, “He was nailed to a cross” to die a horrible death.

What took place, three days later, changed the world forever.

On Easter morn, God’s only son rose from the dead.

Jack McGreevy