The Village News: Letters to the Editor


Letters to the editor must be submitted via email and must include the author’s name, address, and daytime phone number so that Bellport.com can confirm the source of the submission. Letters can be up to 500 words in length and should be in good taste, not libelous, and not "Fake News." We expect our readers and their letters to be civil to one another and we expect them to remember that we are all friends and neighbors and to conduct themselves accordingly. If you'd like to submit a Letter to the Editor, send your letter to letters@bellport.com.

Letters are posted as soon as they are received, not just once a week, so check back often!

The purpose of Bellport.com's Letters To The Editor section is to encourage the free exchange of ideas and experiences in our community. However, the decision as to which letters to publish is solely at the discretion of the Editor. While Bellport.com and its staff try to make every effort to see that no libelous statements, inaccurate or misleading opinions or statements, or "Fake News" appears on Bellport.com we wish to make it clear that the opinions expressed in the letters, articles, correspondence, etc. herein are the responsibility of the contributor and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Bellport.com and its staff. Accordingly, Bellport.com and its staff accept no liability whatsoever for the consequences of any such inaccurate or misleading opinions or statements.

In regards to elections (national, state, local), Bellport.com imposes a 48 hour “Blackout” period before Election Day. In other words, assuming Election Day is on a Tuesday, any letters from the candidates or members of the community that are received after 5:00pm on the Saturday prior to Election Day, will not be published by Bellport.com. We do this in order to prevent last minute claims being made and “Fake News” that don’t give sufficient time for which to respond.

 


 

August 19, 2022

Bail Reform — Facts not Fear

Assemblyman Joe DeStefano’s recently published op-ed in The Long Island Advance, linked the “crime wave sweeping through our communities” to bail reform.

Regrettably, he resorted to highlighting individual cases of violence to stoke fear in us. This is the tactic too many politicians have used since the day after bail reform went into effect. The reason they cherry pick the most inflammatory anecdotes is because data for their claim doesn’t exist. It didn’t exist on Day One, and it doesn’t support his conclusions 2 years later. On the broadest level, an uptick in violence is happening all across the country, and there has been no change in bail laws in most states. The claims that the spike in crime in New York is connected to bail reforms is completely unsubstantiated and simply not true.

In fact, there are real solutions to reducing crime and improving public safety. In his op-ed, the Assemblyman referred to them when he said that the state should enact meaningful legislation that improves the quality of life for every resident of this state. I agree. Unfortunately, his punitive measures fail to address the real solutions that will have long-term positive impacts on public safety —reducing the number of illegal guns, improving mental health care, education, youth activities, and job training programs.

Finally, the Assemblyman accuses Democrats of a “depraved indifference to human life.” This rhetoric is divisive, malignant and irresponsible. It will never move our legislative bodies toward productive debate that will result in constructive and effective solutions.

We need to demand that all of our legislators work hard to ensure the use of high-quality data, reasonable interpretation of data, and civil rhetoric to get the job done.

Phyllis Hartmann
Bellport

 


 

August 15, 2022

Primary Election Day on Tuesday, August 23rd

Tuesday, August 23rd is Primary Election Day. In the Town of Brookhaven, only registered Republicans can vote that day. The Democratic Congressional candidates have no primary opponents, so will not be on the ballot until the Nov. general election. They are Jackie Gordon in Congressional district #2, and Bridget Fleming in Congressional district #1. Whereas, the Republican Congressional candidates in both District #2 and #1 have primary opponents to determine who will be their candidates in the general election.

Larry Tierney
Brookhaven

 


 

August 15, 2022

Redistricting

A word about the Brookhaven Town Redistricting efforts that are currently underway. I was born and raised in the Village a Patchogue and I currently reside in Bellport Village. I am a retired member of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, served as a past executive board member and President of the Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees, currently serve as a member of the Board of Education in the South Country Central School District and, in full disclosure, I ran for public office for Brookhaven Town Council in the 4th district in 2019. I say this to demonstrate my lifelong willingness to help others and my deep concern for uniting diverse communities.

In its efforts, Brookhaven should ensure equity in its redistricting by drawing at least one majority/minority council district. The 2020 census numbers indicated a shift in Suffolk County's population, with Black and Latino residents comprising 33% of the population, up from 19% in the 2010 count. This is an increase of 76%, and that change should be reflected in the Town’s council districts.

At the State level, we have seen two majority/minority Senate districts drawn, one in Nassau County, one in Suffolk County. The Suffolk County legislature has committed to drawing at least four majority/minority districts. The town of Brookhaven, the largest town on Long Island, should do the same.

The best way to do this is to bring Coram, a diverse area long split into three separate districts, into Council District 4. Shirley can also be moved into Council District 4, relieving some of the population overflow of Council District 6. The community of Ridge, rather than being split between Council Districts 2 and 4, can be solely placed in Council District 2, where there is a need to increase the population in the that district. This would ensure equity that reflects the change in demographics over the past decade.

If Brookhaven is truly committed to a serving all of its diverse residents, then they should strongly consider adopting all of these changes.

Cheryl A. Felice
Bellport

 


 

Editor's Note: This letter is in response to our recent Editorial.

August 4, 2022

Speeding in Bellport Village

I write in support of your recent editorial about the lack of enforcement of speeding laws within the village of Bellport.

This subject is vexing and of very long standing here. To be sure a reasonably frequent series of measures have been taken to reduce speeding. These include a moveable speed measuring device which bears a warning sign about “Strict Enforcement” and a “Silent Policemen” in the middle of the road at the corner Main & Howells Pt Rds.

And, of course, those measures in your editorial. These with other permanent signs may be good to support law enforcement activities but they do not issue violation tickets and in my experience as an observer and a driver they have very little effect. Those who live on Sth Country Rd have good reason to be upset by the danger and noise of speeding vehicles at hours.

Driving a vehicle is very much an in-the-moment activity during which an operator is not usually musing about their behavior vis-à-vis the stringency of local law officials. An external in-the-moment action such as a traffic light or an effective speed bump would probably obtain compliance, and such actions have been proposed – but not installed.

So how about something new? A Safe and Peaceful village promotion with signs and actions to broadcast this orientation. Then actions against those who disobey the vehicle regulations. Install speed cameras, which actually work, at least on the three main roads entering the village. The flash of a camera to a speeder will be an announcement that their transgression has been recorded and they should expect a notification. A permanent warning sign that such cameras are in effect will also have a salutary influence.

In my opinion two extensions to this would be: (i) to make the cameras noise sensitive to capture the violation of speedsters with exhaust resonators and/or monster-truck drivers who sound-pollute this friendly/safe/quiet village (ii) reduce the speed limit in the center-village to 20 mph. This is a hazardous area because of double parkers and jay walkers are incompatible with speeders.

Graheme J B Williams
Bellport Village

 


 

July 18, 2022

Gun Law

It was disheartening to read Assemblyman Joe DeStefano’s Op-Ed in last week’s edition.

While our country is reeling from the repeated slaughter of innocent children, DeStefano thinks more guns are the answer. He also repeats the “Big Lie” that the Democrats want to defund the police, believing this will help his reelection in November. We need protection from gun violence, like ‘red flag’ laws that keep assault rifles out of the hands of mentally unstable individuals, not political finger pointing.

Clyde Parker
Bellport

 


 

July 17, 2022

US Supreme Court Ruling Rolling Back New York Gun Law

I’m shocked by Assemblyman DeStefano’s support of the Supreme Court’s ruling against the decades old law that strictly limited who could carry a firearm in public in New York City, the nation’s largest and most densely populated metropolis.

New York City police officials made clear that they strongly opposed overturning the law because it will put New Yorkers at further risk of gun violence, injury and death. As one former policeman noted, “The Court’s decision has made the job of the New York Police Department much harder overnight.”

John Miller, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, went further noting, “The mayor, the police commissioner and every police officer has a grave concern that putting more guns on the streets of New York is not going to come to a good end.”

For Mr. DeStefano, who hypocritically claims to Back the Blue, to completely ignore the expertise—and safety--of police officers is irresponsible.

Susan Beckett
Bellport Village

 


 

May 27, 2022

North Bellport Industrial Project Proposal

Brookhaven Township is reviewing a proposal for yet another heavy industrial project in North
Bellport. The proposal is for a truck warehouse comprising 3 large buildings (over 500,000 sf)
and overnight parking.

To their own admission, the project could cause the following (this is an abridged list, please
refer to the attached document for more):

Deforestation (almost 52 acres)
Erosion
Polluting of streams, ponds, rivers, and lakes
Depletion of water supply
Degradation of habitat
Loss of endangered species
Light pollution
Application of pesticides

To say nothing of the various pollutions, atmospheric and noise, the trucks will bring. To say
nothing of the stress those trucks will cause to our disintegrating roads. And to say nothing of
the deleterious effects on the citizens of North Bellport, who would be most impacted.
We have until June 3 to write our comments to Brookhaven‘s Senior Environmental Analyst,
Peter Fountaine: pfountaine@brookhavenny.gov

Please read below for more details about the scope of this project:

https://www.brookhavenny.gov/DocumentCenter/View/28382/2022-0001-SP-AIREF-StationRoad-Logistics-Draft-Scoping-Document

Jennifer Vorbach
Bellport