Letters: Keep local control at EPCAL

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter lobbied state officials to create a clearinghouse or authority to better coordinate the permitting process at EPCAL.


Keep local
control at EPCAL

For years, Riverhead’s bumbling town boards have turned away some of America’s top developers who were ready, willing and able to transform EPCAL into the economic engine it was given to the town to create. The Burman giveaway of a decade ago was succeeded by the reckless selection of Riverhead Resorts to develop the property — a disaster that tied the land up for four years.

Unfortunately, creation of a new bureaucracy at EPCAL being lobbied for by Mr. Walter and his questionable advisers -— some with ties to Long Island’s most notorious government-connected criminals — can’t assure today’s crop of local officials won’t make the same dumb decisions.

Moreover, while the legislation championed by Mr. Walter calls for a new commission with staff and consultants paid for by town taxpayers, there is no explanation why the work can’t be done by the town’s own bloated planning, zoning, and community development agencies. Strangely, Mr. Walter has failed to hold any public hearings, let alone get any public input about his plans, nor are we aware of who authorized Mr. Walter’s “political conscience” to lobby state officials on behalf of the town.

We have yet to see Mayor Bloomberg give up control of Brooklyn to Albany. Mr. Walter’s plan for EPCAL makes just as much sense.

Ron Hariri

East Marion


I read the article in the May 10 issue regarding the town taking Go-Green to court again in an effort to force residents who use their service to continue purchasing yellow bags. I am not a lawyer, so I do not understand the legal rationale for a case like this.

We citizens pay our local taxes that support the town’s services. Scott Russell points out that the yellow bags are to supplement these taxes. People pay extra depending on the level of service they use, that is the amount of garbage we bring to the local dump. By using Go-Green, my garbage is not even going to the Southold Town dump so I cannot understand why I would be paying this progressive tax.

It honestly seems a bit of a strong-arm tactic to keep a competitor out and create a monopoly. I’m a supporter of our local government and think they do a wonderful job on most issues. This, however, just seems an assault on free enterprise and the local business community.

Until we adopt a communist system in America, private companies have every right to compete with government, right? That’s how a capitalist economic system functions.

I switched to Go-Green over a year ago and am so pleased with their service. The company requires that we segregate our recyclables, which of course we do.

I must say on many trips to the town recycle center, the regular garbage area is full of material that was not sorted. I’m not sure how well the town is policing recycling as they accuse Go-Green of not doing.

The company I used prior to Go-Green for garbage pickup continually threw the receptacles that we provided at our expense all over the driveway and broke them beyond repair on more than one occasion. They also left recyclables with no explanation as to why on several occasions.

I was so happy to have the opportunity to choose a company that provided superior service.

Bob Siachitano


Thank you

The family of Donald Fox would like to thank Riverhead ambulance, Peconic Bay Medical Center and Stony Brook University Hospital for their services. We also would like to thank everyone for the support and kindness everyone gave. Everyone did an awesome job and we appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts.

Lorraine Fox and Sylvia Oliver


What type of

As an independent, middle-of-the-road voter, Randy Altschuler has to convince me and like-minded locals if we are to support his election bid — one with important national consequences. If he is successful, he would add to the present Republican majority in the House and provide added power to its agenda.

Yes, he announces his support for more jobs and lower gas prices. Do you know anybody who doesn’t? But I would like to hear about a few tougher questions:

Will he sign on to the Grover Norquist pledge never ever to raise taxes … under any circumstance? This stance has produced gridlock, not agreements — not even when a 10-1 plan cutting spending ten times that of increased revenue was offered.

Does he support the Republican Ryan budget — one that will privatize Medicare for my children and my grandkids? The budget also includes the doubling of the present interest rate for college loans as well as the curtailing and/or elimination of other social programs.

Will he support a significant national infrastructure endeavor, one that is desperately needed and a surefire job-creator and yet not supported? And how would he provide the funding for it?

We certainly need a discussion/debate on these and other topics.

Ed Goldstein


It’s now or never

Grover Norquist is the founder and president of the lobbying organization Americans for Tax Reform. Ninety-five percent of current Republican congressmen signed Mr. Norquist’s “taxpayer protection pledge,” which binds them to never pass a tax increase.

Is Mr. Norquist assigned this job by the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights or by any government action? No, he is simply a right-wing agitator who found a GOP hot button to push. Should this sort of pledge be allowed as a part of government? No. Is this sort of behavior the way Congress should work? No. Congress should respond to constituents and to logic, not to lobbying fanatics.

A CNN poll determined that three-quarters of the public favor the “Buffett rule,” which simply states that CEOs should not enjoy a tax rate lower than the rest of us. And yet, the GOP in Congress will not listen.

In spite of common sense and informed economic analysis, in spite of past history and in spite of their constituents’ polling results, the GOP continues to support a “no tax increase” policy. And we sink deeper and deeper into the financial morass.

With the November elections approaching, we must all pay attention. These wild-eyed zealots must be replaced with thinking legislators who understand basic economic activity and realize that they work for the United States and not lobbyists with narrow self-serving agendas.

When the new Congress is in place we must pass the “Buffett rule.” Then let former president Bush’s tax cuts expire. And then watch the dreadful statistics improve. Common sense in November. It’s now or never.

Howard Meinke


He is a disgrace

Barack Obama is not only a disgrace to the office he holds, but also to this great country, which he is attempting to convert into his socialist empire.

He has nothing but contempt for the country that provided him the opportunity to be an outstanding figure in history. Instead he became a dismal failure .

He has disgraced us internationally and has bribed those who choose entitlement over achievement.

He is committed to converting our nation into a plantation society, which of course he will control.

The truth about this demagogue will come to light, unfortunately, after he leaves office, which a lot of us hope happens after the next election.

He has learned his strategy from Alinsky and Ayres and continues to follow the party line of transforming this country into a facsimile of the failed European countries.

We shouldn’t sacrifice jobs for 99 weeks of unemployment compensation.

We shouldn’t allow his continuous assault on our Constitution.

Mr. Obama’s refusal to open up our own oil fields is a feeble attempt to make us oil dependent on the Middle East countries, especially his pals in Saudi Arabia, so they can control our daily lives with exorbitant gasoline prices.

Instead of relaxing some of the ridiculous environmental laws that handcuff our business sector, he does the opposite, creating more unemployment.

Instead of lowering taxes on all businesses, especially our small to medium-sized ones, he allows them to fail, so that he can exercise more control over the unemployed sector that he creates.

Barack Obama will be defeated and he will live in memory as our worst president, and he will not only have disgraced our flag, but his family as well.

How unfortunate for them and those that trusted him with their votes.

The truth about Mr. Obama will eventually be revealed. I only hope that it won’t be too late to right the wrongs that we have sustained under his presidency.

God help America.

God bless America.

John Copertino


Sound familiar?

It’s déjà vu all over again.

JP Morgan Chase announced this week a $2 billion to $4 billion dollar loss. Under the cloak of a financial hedge, they actually engaged not in risk management, but in some very risky risk-taking — risk-taking with depositor money.

The banks like this system where they get to keep their profits when it goes well, but share their losses with you and me when it doesn’t. They still know they are too big to fail and operate like they know it.

The Volcker Rule as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, if implemented, would have prevented this type of wild speculation. JP Morgan Chase is one of the most respected and smartest banks, but also is one of the most aggressive in their efforts, working 24/7, to water down the Volcker Rule.

They have the full support of Gov. Romney and Congressional Republicans in this effort. They are wrong.

This announcement is the canary in the mine. This cannot be blamed on Fannie Mae, or cunning poor people tricking unsuspecting bankers. The Volcker Rule and Dodd-Frank defend the interests of the middle class and must be implemented.

This event tells us clearly that Wall Street reform is necessary because it is our economy, our jobs, our pensions and in fact our national security that are at stake.

Mort Cogen


It’s all connected

Even the experts seem to be missing a few of the most essential points related to our ground and marine waters.

Connections between source and use:

Private wells should be supported and promoted in shallow glacial aquifers. Piping water should be avoided. Plastic bottles contaminate water.

Connections between faucet and drain:

Our community has one aquifer; we should and can do what is necessary to protect it. Our water supply is connected to wastewater disposal.

Connections between private, collective and environmental interests:

In local estuarian environments, one polluting property damages the owner’s interests as well as damaging the neighborhood’s interests. Private property is connected to public property.

Considering these points, it’s clear that Suffolk County Water Authority, Suffolk County health department and Southold Town must work together. The problem is that none of them are connecting the dots. For whatever reasons, each is working to keep the dots separate.

I love swimming, sailing and sitting on the bluff. Thinking outside the box means considering multiple points of view at once. If we don’t think outside the box the world is impossible to understand.

Benja Schwartz


’Til next year

I would like to thank the Riverhead community for all the support I received organizing the American Cancer Society’s “Bark For Life” event May 6 at Martha Clara Vineyards. Our little event raised over $25,000 in the fight against cancer. I am planning on continuing my work with this event and hope that next year we can do even more.

I wish to thank all the shop owners who graciously allowed me to put posters and fliers in their storefronts. I also offer my heartfelt gratitude to the following businesses: Applebee’s, Friday’s, Panera, The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Spicy’s. They all provided gifts to be raffled off at the event to help us raise even more for The American Cancer Society.

And to those who came to the event, with or without their pooches, you make it all possible. I am so proud to have been part of this. I hope to see you all there next year.

Diane Barba