Letters to the editor: Art auction collab success!


Thank you!

We wanted to share that “New Views for Old Pews,” the collaborative art auction to benefit the Center for Advocacy, Support and Transformation and North Fork Contemporary, was a resounding success! A little background: Sixteen pews that had outlived their usefulness in the former 19th-century Southold church that CAST now calls home were offered to selected artists, artisans and craftspeople to be creatively transformed into objects better suited to their new roles in the community. These newly transformed pews were auctioned last Saturday night and the event raised well over $10,000 for the two collaborating not-for-profit organizations.

Our sincere gratitude goes out to the artists for all their hard work — Hideaki Ariizumi, Brad Ascalon, Glynis Berry, Scott Bluedorn, Christian Demchak, Garance, Jay Hodges, Larissa Killough, Joyce Orrigo, Will Paulson, Verona Penalba, Adam Straus and Allan Wexler. Thank you to our auctioneer, Barry Bergdoll, professor of art history at Columbia University and former architecture curator at MoMA, the great staff at CAST, and the entire North Fork Contemporary, Inc. team.

Generous financial support for the project came from North Fork Side by Side, Peconic Green Growth and private contributors. And special thanks to Landscaping by Oswaldo for their help in transporting the pews. And finally, we want to thank all those who came out to participate! It made for a great evening!

Sean Elwood


The Golden Rule should guide us

Please send sincere congratulations to the citizen who wrote a letter recently for a meaningful, fact-filled letter about the coming election. I have been composing the very same sentiments for the last few weeks as I get more angry and stressed by what this unhinged former President has done to this country. I see and hear hatred, un-American activities, the trial of the century revelations and a general sense of dread everywhere I go and in every news report I see. It is unbelievable to this senior citizen born during World War II to have a replay of those horrific events.

As a retired history teacher, grandmother and proud citizen of America, I hope all your readers examine their consciences, consider consequences of four more years of drama, trauma, dysfunction, allegiances with dictators like Putin, lies and attacks on just about every minority residing here. America First, America White, America Christian is history that failed.

My and my husband’s Irish immigrant parents and grandparents, as well as every other ethnic group, have contributed greatly to this wonderful melting pot of ideas, writings, inventions and customs that we can all embrace. I had wished we all moved from the ”Irish need not apply” signs and welcome new immigrants in an enlightened era.

As for the ambitious Latino workers who keep my condo in beautiful condition working long hours for little pay, I say thank you and welcome you if you obey the rules for entry and teach us all the value of hard work leading to citizenship. The Golden Rule of “do unto others as you would have them do unto” you is basic humanity.

Elizabeth Weiss


Hotels are not the problem

Farm stands create traffic jams, not hotels! We promote tourism and when they come they are not allowed on our beaches and they have no place to sleep. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against farmers or tourists, but to deny a businessperson their right to pursue their dream that’s within the local laws and guidelines is absurd. In my 60-plus years in Southold, I cannot think of one highly controversial project when allowed to be completed that did not benefit us. In fact, traveling our roads and especially Route 25 is far more aesthetically pleasing than it was 60 years ago. A healthy business environment is essential to Southold’s future. 

Robert Guarriello


He was wrong on loan forgiveness 

I’m sorry, Mr. Gismondi, that at 63 you are so angry at people who have taken a different path than you did (“I worked hard for what I have,” April 18). I’m 74 and I know that that much anger hurts you, not the people you resent. My wish, as I approach the exit ramp of life, is to hope later generations will have a better quality of life and if forgiving student loans helps, I applaud it. I’m appreciative to the teachers who taught me, my children and grandchildren. I’m appreciative of government employees who deliver mail, and keep our environment somewhat safe. What I’m trying to say is that it is much easier on my wellbeing to embrace a positive outlook. I’ve been called a Pollyanna. That’s OK. The glass is half full and it’s clean water.

Rosellen Storm


Yes, vote wisely in November

I am moved to respond to Stephen Tettelbach’s opinion, advising us all to “Vote wisely in November.” I see Mr. Tettelbach has indeed drank from the “Anti-Trump Kool-Aid,” stating that Republicans feel Trump has been appointed by God to do great things. Sorry to break it to you Mr. Tettelbach, only God can do great things. Let’s not talk about lies, narcissism, nepotism and greed. I’m afraid our current president has a large share in all of the above; however, you apparently have chosen to close your eyes to it.

This president has opened up our borders in a way our country has NEVER seen! The amount of illegal immigrants entering our country is absolutely unfathomable! Who are these people? Does anyone know where they have gone? We are spending millions of dollars feeding and housing them, and yet they have the audacity to complain about their accommodations and the taste of the food! Please, Mr. Tettelbach, do not jump on the uniformed bandwagon, talking about “Trump’s lackeys,” saying that President Biden was “ready to sign into law a plan to deal with immigration much more effectively.” Why wasn’t that done from the get-go? I’m sure you are aware, that on the very first day of his presidency, Biden reversed Trump’s border wall initiative along our southern border. All President Biden has to do is simply sign an executive order closing the border, it’s that simple, but making President Trump the scapegoat is always a better option for this administration. 

Regarding the economy, apparently the president has not been to the grocery store lately. Paying $7 for a pound of ground beef, and $3.59 for a gallon of gas? So, yes, I too advise everyone to vote wisely in November.

Karen Gerrity


Our democracy is imperiled

I am a “baby boomer” and proud New Yorker. In my lifetime, I have seen many phenomenal, historic events: man walking on the moon, the best popular music of all time (’60s music is still used in ubiquitous commercials), the ’69 Mets, Jets, and Knicks winning championships, Woodstock, muscle cars and the gaining and taking away of fundamental human rights. 

Like every other human under God, I have sinned and have my shortcomings. In my later years I try to be fair and sensible, leading to a progressive lifestyle. No one is perfect, but we all have equal rights. The Republican Party has been an insidious, fearful and forceful player in exploiting unforeseeable flaws in the U.S. Constitution to benefit their unpopular agenda. The MAGA candidate for president in 2024 has said that he wants to do away with the Constitution and be a dictator on day one of his presidency. That phenomenal and historic event is one that I do not wish to experience. 

Ari Berman recently published an article in Mother Jones (“The Democracy Bomb,” May-June 2024), which lays out the frightening course of events that has led to our current exposure to class warfare. 

Berman makes a succinct case for how autocracy is inevitable unless the unafraid and reasonable majority in our nation enacts a sea change through a historic vote against a party whose candidate has been accused of fraud and sexual assault while under indictment for electoral fraud and trying to overturn a free and fair election. I put my personal beliefs and my extremely successful country over any political party affiliation and certainly over any accused criminal. 

I urge all voters to read Berman’s article that attempts to shine a light on the perils our democracy faces. And it is my belief that the democracy I have lived under for so many years is far superior to any dictatorship or autocracy awaiting to change history for the worst. 

Peter Meeker


We must draw the line somewhere

Fiction is spreading faster then fact in today’s America. Why? Simply put, a lack of leadership everywhere! Hateful speech accepted on the college campus. A president who tries to thread the needle between all sides. A Congress more interested in party than country. Education is meant to teach us how to discern right from wrong. Doing the right thing is always best. How do you know if it’s right? Listen to your heart understand your values. “Death to America” is not free speech; it is hateful speech. It should not be tolerated. No one, not one person in this country, should feel unsafe. 

If we are to remain America and continue to grow, our leaders must lead and not continue to be ambiguous. The wishy washy just does not cut it. It is time to draw the line.

Robert Bittner