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The Village News, Bellport's Paperless NewspaperLetters 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the candidates or members of the community that are received after 5:00pm on the Saturday prior to Election Day, will not be published by Bellport.com.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.

 


 

June 12, 2019

Bob Morris for Bellport Mayor

For the next Bellport Village election on June 18th, I support Bob Morris for Mayor. I believe Ray Fell is a good man and Mayor but for very principled reasons, I support the alternative candidate in this race.

We found Bellport Village five years ago and I’ve spent weekends here and at times, more than weekends. I love it. It’s the kind of place that isn’t easy to find. I credit Mayor Fell and the Trustees for much of its success and economic stability. I’ve even supported the Mayor and Trustees in previous elections. You might say, why change now – but I’ve two very important reasons.

First, why have elections if there is always only one candidate for each job? This strategy keeps interest and action to an all-time low and voting becomes meaningless. In my mind, that’s not a democracy but closer to an autocracy and I believe Bellport deserves better. I am moved when we act on our civic duty and that means we need candidates. I think it’s brave of Bob to throw his hat in the ring. He is smart, accomplished, and he loves Bellport. Bob believes Bellport can be even better and he has a strong agenda.

My second reason is more personal. In the 2018 election, Mayor Fell stood by former Assembly Representative Dean Murray and promoted his State Senate race in a campaign flyer (reported on by Bellport.com). Mayor Fell publicly stated in that flyer that Murray “will fight for our interests”. Well, Murray lost – which is good news. While in the Assembly, Murray may have advocated for Bellport but his interests were never mine. His Assembly voting record included opposing access to abortion services (6221), opposing restricting individuals convicted of domestic abuse from purchasing a firearm (8121), opposing NY’s health insurance plan (4738), and opposing the Marriage Equality Enactment (8354).

Of course these Assembly votes are not critical to the day-to-day running of Bellport Village but these are issues that are fundamentally important to me. I wish the Mayor stayed out of Murray’s failed State Senate race, or at the very least, not promoted his endorsement in his Mayoral capacity. Someone who made a point to support Dean Murray in 2018 can’t get my support in 2019 – if you know me, it is obvious why.

This year, there is a choice in the Mayoral election and you can learn more about both candidates at the “Meet the Candidates” event on June 15th (9 AM – at the Village Green). Our votes matter!

Jenny Coffey
Bellport Village

 


 

June 12, 2019

Hoop the Dock

Hoop the Dock.

H the D.

It’s a Bellport tradition. A coffee, a roll, a sunrise and a drive around the Dock. Park for a few minutes and relax. Check out the wind, the tide, nature’s glory. Can you see the waves in the breach? Are the snappers biting? How’s the crabbing? Sit in your car and enjoy a moment of solitude on your way to work, or maybe after a hard day. See a friend and say hello, or just a nod of appreciation for the wonder of the place. Sit in the shelter of your car and watch the tempest. Incredible. Have you seen the way the light reflects off the the ice when it’s so cold fingers go numb and breath turns to crystal. The way the ice, covered in snow, wind blown white and gray, stretches the horizon, and creates a small fleeting tundra. Or a summer thunderstorm rolling past, over the ocean, lighting, rumbling, growling with static energy. A flock of ducks a half a mile long. Black against one steel sky and water. All of this is ours to behold by simply driving ( or bicycling) around our beautiful Dock.

Why would we change it?

H the D.

Save our dock.

John Beitel
Bellport, NY

 


 

June 11, 2019

Bob Morris for Mayor

Though I am not a Village resident (four houses outside the village) I support Bob Morris for mayor of Bellport Village.

Mayor Fell’s “One Village” platform worked to get him elected. Ray Fell has done a more-than-adequate job as mayor. However, no candidate should run unopposed.

Bob Morris’ “It takes a Village” ideas are what Bellport could use right now. Inclusiveness and transparency.

Come to the Village Green this Saturday morning and hear what Bob has to say.

Joe Varsalona
Bellport, NY

 


 

June 2, 2019

Open Letter to Mayor Fell and the Village Board of Trustees

Letter to the Editor

It was distressing to see bright orange and white plastic markers suddenly making an appearance on our historic dock. From a slight distance their awful linearity reminded me of a wall. I spoke to the Village Clerk who informed me that they were placed there to prevent the traffic “chaos” that occurred over the weekend because of the removal of the cement tire stoppers. Evidently people pulled out of their parking spots by going forward instead of backing out and then proceeded in the wrong direction. Needless to say, then, this ugly solution is well intentioned despite the fact that the same thing happens at parking lots all over, apparently with less drama. Unfortunately however, no matter what the intention, these eyesores are totally inappropriate for our beautiful marina and should not be there. They are an affront to the aesthetics of our village and our sense of place; an omen for a Village whose Board seems inclined to take it for granted.

As you know, the Village adopted a master plan in 1988 that named the marina as “one of the Village’s most valuable and important assets” (page 25) and specified the goal “to preserve and maintain the overall beauty of the waterfront area” (page 4). What has been installed on the dock ignores the very goals the Village has set for itself. Surely we can do better! While the cement tire stoppers were abhorred by many (myself included) because they were a pedestrian hazard cluttering the dock, they more or less blended in. If the Village can’t think more creatively, perhaps it should ask for advice. Some very talented architects and designers live in Bellport and it would behoove the Mayor and Board of Trustees to tap their talent. What we have right now on the dock disrespects what this Village is. That is unacceptable.

Victor Principe
Bellport, NY

 


 

May 29, 2019

Mayoral Election

For the past six years, serving the Village as a Trustee, I have come to realize the necessity of having a Mayor capable of establishing close working relationships with the leaders of other Villages, the Town of Brookhaven, the County and New York State. It is only through these relationships that lines of communication are developed, the understanding of issues and problems are shared and teamwork is established to implement solutions. The trustees through the leadership of the Mayor have applied for and received millions of dollars in grant money that helps to fund Village projects improving Bellport Village. For each $100,000 in grant funding our individual taxes are reduced by $100.00.

The Village dock bulkhead was damaged during Super Storm Sandy. Since the Sandy damage, the Department of Public Works Superintendent and the DPW staff have been doing dock triage so that our residents can enjoy the dock area. This past year the Village applied for and received $2,600,000 from FEMA to rebuild the bulkhead and replace the storm drains in the marina. Without the FEMA award, the rebuilding of the bulkhead and storm drain replacement would have cost $2,500 in taxes for every resident.

This budget year, the golf course will return to the Village’s general fund over $200,000. This is a $200.00 savings to each of your annual tax bills. The Mayor and the Trustees hired a turf maintenance company to improve the conditions at the golf course. This has increased the membership and the bottom line at the golf course for the Village.

As a Trustee and a member of the Fell, Ferrigno and Rosenberg team, I fully endorse Ray Fell for the position of Bellport Village Mayor.

Michael J. Ferrigno, VMD
Bellport Village

 


 

May 29, 2019

Support for Fell

Ray Fell was first elected Mayor of Bellport in 2013 along with Trustees Mike Ferrigno and myself. Since then, the Village has been virtually transformed. I strongly support the re-election of Mayor Fell and our One Village team to complete the work that needs to be done.

In 2013 at least one third of our Main Street stores were vacant. Streets and sidewalks needed attention. The Village and its taxpayers were subsidizing the golf course to the tune of over $100,000 per year. All of the Super Storm Sandy damage needed to be repaired, the highway yard needed a major overhaul, and the Village's storm water drains needed attention.

Trustee Mike Ferrigno and I were elected alongside Mayor Fell and the team has worked tirelessly to turn everything around. An aggressive grant campaign was begun. The result was the award of $6,000,000 of Town, County, State and Federal funds to repair/rebuild infrastructure and begin other projects. A continuing program of street and sidewalk repair and storm water drain replacement began to be implemented. The golf course has been improved, membership has increased, and it is operating in the black. The commercial district is fully rented and has never looked better. The highway yard now has a salt shed and has been converted from oil to gas, while the electric lines were put under ground and a new fiberglass gasoline tank was installed. And, perhaps most significant, careful fiscal stewardship has resulted in the Village receiving an AA+ credit rating.

But there is much left to be done. The main dock needs to be replaced and the Village has received a FEMA award of $2,600,000 to complete the bulkhead replacement and the replacement of the storm water drains at the dock. The pavilion at Ho Hum must be addressed and the Village is seeking funding and permits.

Mayor Fell has done a remarkable job in improving Village life. I strongly support him for re-election and urge the Village voters to re-elect him for two more years to complete the transformation we have started.

Bob Rosenberg
Village Trustee
Bellport Village

 


 

May 29, 2019

We’re Fortunate to Have Ray Fell as Our Mayor

When Ray Fell first ran for Mayor in 2013, I didn’t know him that well. But as we worked together on his first campaign, I realized that his experience as a trustee, as an educator for over 36 years and his steady approach to problem solving, would make him the perfect choice for the Mayor of Bellport Village. His understanding of running a municipality and his ability to raise money through grants and funds for the Village is truly critical. And as I have gotten to know him better over the years, I am further convinced that he is still the right choice for Mayor. He works tirelessly for the Village –24/7. He is willing to listen and hear resident’s issues. He has created a professional work environment in Village Hall and developed a talented team. He is honest and straightforward. You might not always like the answer you get from Mayor Fell but rest assured, he has the Village and your best interest at heart.

I am personally proud to call Ray a friend and have had the opportunity to work with him on Village issues. I have 100% confidence in his ability to do the right thing for the Village, the residents, and the future of our very special community.

I am asking all of you that have seen the vast improvements in the Village over the years to get out and vote for Mayor Ray Fell for reelection.

Thank you Ray for all that you do for the Village.

Michael Heitner
Bellport Village

 


 

May 28, 2019

Recent Editorial

Love your honest appraisals of happenings in Bellport Village despite my Brookhaven Hamlet residency. Don't hold back when politicians get out of hand.

Dave Winslow
Brookhaven Hamlet

 


 

May 28, 2019

Support for Ray Fell

I intend to vote for Ray Fell for Mayor and I urge you to do the same. Here is why.

Like many Bellport homeowners, my wife and I work in New York City during the week and come to Bellport most weekends. Though we have owned our house for almost ten years, I was never active in Village affairs until last year, when I became involved in opposition to the Trustees’ proposed regulation of Bellport home rentals. I was convinced that the Mayor and the Board would ram through their legislation and that it was all “a done deal”. Mayor Fell proved me wrong, about him and his style of leadership.

Mayor Fell listened carefully and took seriously all voices on both sides of the issue; he met with the officials of other Long Island townships to better understand how Bellport’s situation compared with theirs, and drew his own independent conclusions based on his understanding of our Village’s needs; ultimately he found a creative and pragmatic compromise that balanced the concerns of both parties to the conflict. His solution has proved successful. Working with Ray since then I have come to admire his open-mindedness, his sense of fairness, his personal integrity, his unwavering support of citizen initiatives on behalf of Bellport, and his unrelenting dedication to the best interests of the Village. In a time of growing divisiveness in our society and of inevitable change in our Village, I believe that Mayor Fell’s character and style are Bellport’s best guarantee for a well-balanced future. I endorse him enthusiastically.

Len Groopman
Bellport, NY

 


 

May 18, 2019

Bellport Village Speeding Cars

Dear Larry:

As usual you are one of the greatest assets Bellport Village has… Your reporting events and editorials are the most professional. …Speeding has always been a problem in the Village, it started with horses and has never stopped… You and I and several others know where the problem lies… we have no enforcement, we gave that up years ago when we let the newly formed Suffolk County Police were formed.

The 5th Pct Commander is doing the thing that any Police Chief would do: putting his available manpower where it is needed the most “HIGH CRIME AREAS.” Bellport Village is not and therefore gets very little Police present……Our code Enforcement cannot do moving traffic violations. One possible solution would be to see if Bellport Village could emend the Charter to allow with County PROPERLY TRAINED Code Officers be allow to do moving violation (speeding etc ONLY within the limits only of the Village of Bellport. If this could be amended this would give Code Enforcement a much further area of operations…All details would be worked out between the County and Bellport Village. Perhaps local Politicians could help or a NY state Legislature… Larry I am not a lawyer so I do not now details of how to go about looking in to this, (I am 92 yrs old)… but I see it as the only answer……

John D Langfeldt
Palm Beach Gardens, FL

 


 

May 18, 2019

Improvements in Bellport Village

I attended a Village Board meeting recently and heard good news about our new bowling alley. I also found out that the end of the marina lot will be restored this fall for parking and driving – looping the D – as they say. Many residents were advocating for a pedestrian area instead. The board discussed, then dismissed it. Along with plans for a driving range that they originally kept from the public, it was a disappointment.

I love Bellport – a sweet, scenic and caring community which is why I’m running for mayor. Our current mayor and board works hard. But I wonder how much they think about the little things that contribute to our quality of life. Here’s a list-in-progress of the small stuff, which I tend to sweat because I’m an idealist:

1. Glass recycling. Rather than be a leader, our board and mayor seem to be okay with letting residents toss glass in the trash. Even if glass recycling isn’t economically viable for Brookhaven Town, other communities across the country have figured out how to keep it going.

2. Lunch, flies at Ho Hum -- Issues other than the pavilion: Apparently ground water safety ended our sandwiches. But maybe we can figure out how to get them back? Also, our greenhead flies are increasing with warmer weather despite the fly traps provided by BVPF. A breed of dragon fly eats them as happened on the Jersey Shore several years ago. Is there a conversation to have with Cornell Cooperative Extension about a study?

3. Streetlights. Many of the new LCD models, chosen by a previous administration, throw off bad glare. They can be adjusted so they don’t ruin our night skies. It’s a small fix that could still provide security while restoring a feeling to our charming village streets other than prison yard.

4. Leaf blowers. Communities including Southampton and DC have new laws to tone down noise and air pollution by replacing gas blowers with electric. Do we have a mayor and board willing to investigate or is it easier to live with what we have?

5. Golf course, country club. Many (not all) don’t like the proposed driving range behind yards on South Howells Point Road, with 40-foot nets, thwacking golf balls, traffic. Most ranges in Suffolk aren’t in quiet residential areas near wetlands with birdlife. The Mayor and Board argue it will make money. Can we do better with our club building or the two unused buildings behind the pro shop slated for demolition? Would the board investigate options to open an inn? What about a pool – a community boon for kids and seniors? Finally, is our golf course a leader in sustainability? Our bay needs our help.

I know it’s easy to throw ideas around. But I want to see the kind of transparent, open minded leadership that sweats the small stuff along with the big. I love Bellport. I want to love it even more.

Bob Morris, Candidate for Mayor
Bellport, NY

 


 

May 12, 2019

Karen Johnson for SCCSD BOE Trustee

A whole new school board is coming at South Country with 4 open seats. I urge everyone to get out to vote for our new leaders! Please attend Meet the Candidate Night to see where the candidates stand on important issues our community is facing.

I am writing today to ask you to consider voting for Karen Johnson for Trustee. I have had the pleasure of personally knowing Karen for the past 5 years. She has two children, a nineteen year old Bellport Graduate (soon to graduate Cortland University) and the other, a 5th grader at Frank P. Long.

Like most of us, Karen is a concerned parent looking to bring necessary changes to this district. I know she will be an advocate for our children as her and I have collaborated on several community projects that we developed. Some of you may remember the Atlantic Point Christmas Sing Along, or the Blood Drive we ran for Long Island Blood Center. Recently, we staked out at Medford’s Stop and Shop and collected food and monetary donations for a local food pantry. Karen excels in bringing the community together to bring positive changes. Karen goes above and beyond when she dives into a project!

Karen’s only intention in running for school board trustee is to implement positive changes and make sure our tax dollars are used to benefit the students and teachers by providing a healthy, modernized learning environment.

We will all be very lucky have Karen Johnson on our school board. She will spend thankless hours standing up for what she believes is just.

Gena Ancona
Bellport

 


 

May 5, 2019

South Country School District’s Trustee Election

There is an important election on May 21st for the South Country School District’s Budget Vote and Trustee Election. The Bellport Teachers Association has endorsed the below candidates for Trustees on the District’s Board of Education.

We believe they got it right.

Clyde Parker is a retired successful businessman who started a company that employed 190 people here and abroad. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of both the Long Island Community Hospital and the Bellport Boys & Girls Club. Clyde’s concern for our youth is exemplified by his organizing a bus with parents and kids that went to the demonstration in Washington DC after the Parkland tragedy.

Anne Hayes is a Bellport attorney and civic leader whose legal expertise will be an asset in dealing with contracts and litigation issues. She’s a member of the Strategic Planning Committee for South Country School District. Anne and her husband David Smith have lived in Bellport Village for 40 years, and their two sons graduated from Bellport High School.

Melissa Aruta is a teacher who can give advice on the challenges facing students in our school system. If elected, Melissa would be the only teacher on the Board and her perspective is needed. She and her husband Joseph live in East Patchogue and have two children presently attending our schools.

Cameron Trent is a graduate of our South Country schools and now serves as trustee on our local Library Board. He also volunteers on the finance and facilities committee for South Country School District. Let’s have at least one young person on the Board who knows the schools inside and out.

We believe these four candidates represent a balanced slate of experience and expertise. We are grateful for these neighbors who are willing to volunteer their time to see that taxpayers’ dollars are spent wisely on the education of the next generation.

Please Vote, Tuesday, May 21st, in the Trustee Election and Budget Vote at the Bellport Middle School on Kreamer St.

Jane and Larry Tierney
Brookhaven Hamlet

 


 

April 16, 2019

The Burning of Notre Dame

The building of Notre Dame (Our Lady) Cathedral was started in mid-1100’s and finished about a century later and stood majestically since the 1200’s til 2019, some 9 centuries until fired gutted it yesterday. The beautiful paintings in the naves and stained glass windows was the way one’s catechism was often taught to the masses who could not read nor understand Latin. To walk into Notre Dame was like entering heaven to people for centuries; even in modern times -- certainly when I entered-- one looked up automatically in awe. Its great western rose window in the afternoon sun was a mass of jewels. I worked in Paris for two years (‘77&’78) as a young lawyer with Cravath, and quickly fell in love with Paris and France. I attended recitals on the grand organ given on Sundays afternoons in Notre Dame scores of times, and sat to read or contemplate in the garden behind the Cathedral and watch the boats chug by on the River Siene. Jim and I have vacationed in Paris more than any other place on earth. The French firefighters kept the twin bell towers wetted and saved the Treasury, praise be. President Macron vowed to rebuild Notre Dame and pledges are coming forth. I am saddened that I and adults will not be alive when the reconstruction is complete many, many decades from now. Now, we just have our just memories and videos of what stood for nine centuries. Let us all donate and help France in their noble cause to revive this magnificent symbol of civilization.

Recall that France came to the aid of the American colonies in their fight for independence. General Lafayette came to help Alexander Hamilton strategize and General Washington in battle. The French navy fleet arrived to blockade the bay of Yorktown after Cornwallis was there, thus allowing the Colonialist and French troops to end of the War of Independence in 1781. And of course, the Statue of Liberty in the Verrazano Narrows, New York City was a gift of the French people to the American people in 1886.

(Sadly, the stanza at the pedestal of that Lady -- “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” – is anathema to President Trump who hates immigrants and his ICE troopers put children and adults in separate 10’ high chain-link cages, even though his mother immigrated from Scotland and his current wife is an immigrant from Slovenia.)

Will Struyk
Bellport Village

 


 

April 12, 2019

BJ's Gas Pumps Update

Just an update to the BJ's gas pumps... The Brookhaven Town Board has voted to approve the zoning changes needed for gas pumps to be installed at BJ's in Bellport.

Thanks to anyone who voiced an opinion.

Dennis Conley
Bellport Village

 


 

April 2, 2019

Gas Pumps at BJ's in Bellport

Your readers might be interested in knowing that there will be a hearing/meeting at Brookhaven Town Hall on April 11th at 12:00 noon, regarding gas pumps being installed at BJ's in Bellport.

There seems to be a concerted effort to block gas being offered at this location. Nobody appears to be asking the residents or BJ's members what their opinion on this is. They can contact their Brookhaven Town councilman, Michael Loquercio @ 631-451-6968 and give an opinion on this.

Dennis Conley
Bellport Village

 


 

April 1, 2019

Some New Ideas for the Bellport Golf Course

Here I am spending the long winter months in the warmth of Florida but keeping up with news about the Village of Bellport. Of course, there always seems to be some controversy and this year offers several. The two biggest revolve around the Ho-Hum pavilion and the golf course. Since, in my old age, I have become more of a golfer than a beach-goer, let me tackle that issue first and come back to the pavilion in a later letter.

The golf course is actually a many-faceted issue. The proposed construction of a driving range—or “practice area”—is one part of the controversy. But, since some residents have pointed out that the course is “parkland”, there is a call for making it more accessible to residents who choose not to golf. Additionally, there is the economic concern of how the course can be made more profitable and, therefore, less burdensome to the taxpayers. I would like to offer some solutions to all of these concerns.

The main opposition to the driving range seems to be that the netting required to keep balls out of backyards would be visually offensive as well as ecologically damaging. This is understandable. As a golfer and a conservationist, I, too, object to ugly and dangerous netting. But I have a solution to that problem: an invisible force field. Yes, I know it sounds a little crazy, but reliable sources have assured me that this technology is currently being developed by the joint alliance of the US Department of the Interior and NASA for eventual use on the southern border. They have not yet perfected the technology to cover wide expanses of over a thousand miles, but it has been demonstrated to work in short test areas ranging up to half a mile. Perfect for the use of a driving range.

I have been informed that the government is currently looking for practical means of testing the efficiency of the system on a small-scale basis. With the grant-writing skills of our mayor and board of trustees, we should be able to acquire the technology for the driving range at no cost to the taxpayer. Also, it is completely invisible, silent, and safe for both people and wildlife. Installed correctly it will provide a virtual “wall” extending from ground level to a safe height of fifty-feet.

Now, some residents have expressed the need for a community pool on the golf course. This is a capital idea and I propose that it should be built near the fifteenth fairway overlooking Mother’s Beach. It might require some bulkheading and landfill, but it would be accessible from the beach parking lot by an attractive footbridge over the scenic creek. Perhaps some golfers will appreciate a cool dip on hot summer days before finishing their round?

Again, this could be done at little or no cost to the taxpayer. It can be financed by selling the Village Hall, which sits on prime Bellport Lane property worth at least $1.5 million. The village could then lease space in the South Country Library taking over the reference section. The library’s reference section could then be consolidated into the main part of the library taking over part of the huge fiction area which is rarely used by anyone. This would also add revenue to the library to offset expenses and possibly lowering taxes.

Also, the village might give some thought to selling the aging and antiquated community center. It requires expensive maintenance, and, seriously, do we really need an antique bowling alley? The library has a large meeting room and a theater in the basement which affords a perfect venue for village meetings.

Another idea for making the golf course more available to non-golfers is taking advantage of the serene and scenic creek that flows out to the waters of Great South Bay. I propose that this waterway is a perfect place for gondola rides. Every weekend there is at least one wedding taking place at the country club. What more romantic opportunity for a wedding party than a gondola ride on a moonlit night? This could be another money-maker for the golf course!

I understand that some residents would like to have the course opened to elderly walkers who can enjoy its scenic and traffic-free trails. This, too, can be easily done with little liability and even a small profit for the course. I propose that each senior citizen rent hardhats from the pro shop each time they stroll out onto the course. The rental fee of, let’s say, $3, could add up to several thousand dollars over the fiscal year. To encourage participation in these meanders an official walking club might be established. Might we call it, The Bellport Half-Fast Walkers?

Since we are going to make provisions for the older residents, why not do the same for the young ones? I’ve often been bothered by the appearance of the 2nd-fairway, where an ugly, weed-choked berm surrounds the base of the cell tower. Besides being unsightly, it is a hazard that swallows a lot of errant golf balls. This could be improved—at a profit—by building the berm higher—say forty-feet—and facing it with an attractive rock-climbing wall. Helmeted rock climbers—who are mostly young—would have a safe and attractive place to practice their sport. I’m sure they would pay at least $20-per hour. There might even be room at the base of the wall to have an outdoor health bar serving wheatgrass smoothies, kale slushies, and other healthy drinks. Very profitable! An added benefit is that some of these young people might be encouraged to take up golf.

These are just a few practical suggestions that can be implemented with little or no investment. More ambitious improvements could be discussed in the future. For example, the beach at the end of the golf course is currently only utilized by crabbers, clammers, and oyster-poachers. With the addition of several truck loads of white sand extending from Mother’s Beach to the western end of the course we could have a lovely bay beach. Perhaps the Ho-Hum pavilion could be floated across the bay and installed just offshore as a combination picnic pavilion, fishing pier, bird-watching station?

So, the uses of the golf course are manifold. Let’s not get too bogged down with just golf.

Richard Weissmann
Bellport, NY

 


 

March 27, 2019

To Complain or Sue: Fell’s Masterplan for Golf

Ref: Larry’s Editorial and Letters from Carlos, Louise, Jennifer about Fell’s approved Driving Range inside the Village.

Mayor Fell and Board approved a Bellport Golf Course Plan to erect a multiple lane driving range costing $1 M++, largely through non-public, subrosa meetings.

A) Louise notes the “entire population of Village Residents has had zero input”. Right and that’s how Fell has operated previously in his Admin. Clerk Kocay can confirm that the Administration has been chastised (but not sanctioned) for performing via nonpublic meetings.

B) Residents cannot work toward a “Bellport Country Club Masterplan.” The Mayor and Board never write/say “Bellport Country Club” – but only Bellport Golf Course or Tennis club because years ago Bellport Village ceded the right to use “Country Club” when it signed long-term lease of the Clubhouse to Irish Coffee House of Islip. Only events held by Irish Coffee House can say @ Bellport Country Club. [Peters on the Green is a subtenant of Irish Coffee.] Twice I publicly suggested Trustee Rosenberg, a retired corporate bankruptcy lawyer (who end/revise leases, contracts, pension plans, employment contracts etc. etc.) get out of the harsh restrictions in that lease with Islip Coffee House; but no response/action.

Issues Presented:

A) Environmental – wetlands and wildlife: Has the State Dept. Environmental Protection been alerted? The DEP can be rigid about wetlands.

B) Aesthetics – giant nets 40-70 feet high by hundreds long (normally located outside residential areas). Golfers don’t care about aesthetics – they wear flamingo pink pants.

C) HUGE ISSUE: NOISE POLLUTION. If this driving range has 4 positions each getting a bucket of 25-30 balls that’s at least 4 loud WACKs once per minute per position = 16 WACKs per minute = 960 WACKs per hour from 6:30 to 7:30 daily, say 8 active hrs per day = up to 7,680 WACKs daily = 53,760 WACKs per week. If there are 8 driving pads double those figures. Residents of So. Howells Point Rd. will not be able to sit outside, use their pool, entertain or BBQ, etc., but might “go postal” due to wracked nerves from WACK-WACK-WACK like water dripping torture. [Try this: sit with family and yell WACK 16-32 times a minute for several minutes no matter who complains. Now imagine that all day long.]

D) Constant noise = reduced value of one’s house – big time for sure.

Solutions:

A) NOW get a court injunction against Village from commencing building.

B) MOST IMPORTANT: concerned Village residents should engage Atty Lee Sneed to represent “Several Bellport Residents vs. Mayor Fell and Board of Trustees”;
>> these angry letters on Bellport.com are ignored by Fell and friends, so
>> you have to “sue the bastards” to get them to open their ears; your property value is at stake plus your nerves.

C) Vote Fell out of office in June – enough of Ray already.

D) Elect 2 new trustees who are not septuagenarians or octogenarians.

My thoughts: Jason Crane for Mayor, Marylou Bono and John Kocay for trustees (while allowing them to retain their paid posts as Heads of Roads, Bldg. and Tax, and Village Clerk and their respective salaries therefor and to hire an assistant per department. These three people are smart, available to the public, and young enough to think logically -- and not scurry about surreptitiously like rats over our sleeping bodies.

Will Struyk
Bellport Village

 


 

March 25, 2019

Editor's Note: This letter is in reference to our recent award.

Bellport.com's Award from Constant Contact

My heartfelt congratulations to you and Bellport.com for getting an award from Constant Contact! That is a fine achievement and the fact that this is your 7th award in a row speaks volumes about the value we as community members have in your service. Many, many thanks for doing such a great job with the news of Bellport/Brookhaven!

Jane Graham
Bellport Village

 


 

March 14, 2019

Editor's Note: This letter is in reference to our recent editorial.

Your Editorial About the Traffic Study

Having lived in Egypt for several years earlier in this decade, I’ve come to believe that speed bumps (ubiquitous in Egypt) are the only effective solution to speeding on local streets.

Speed bumps are simple, cheap and easy to maintain. They are effective because they work on the principle of enlightened self interest: slow down or wreck your own car! Given those two options, the vast majority of drivers instinctively make the right choice.

Some say that speed bumps create their own kind of traffic noise as cars slow down, traverse the speed bump and accelerate again. However, compared to the typical roar of cars speeding by on South Country and Station Roads, speed bumps would be quiet as church mice.

Marc Rauch
Bellport, NY

 


 

March 14, 2019

Editor's Note: This letter is in reference to our recent editorial.

Bellport Village Automobile Traffic

The problem with cars speeding in the Village has probably been around since they were invented… as for enforcement forget it… When we went with Suffolk County Police, the Village gave enforcement away. Bellport Village is not a high crime area, Suffolk County Police are in high crime areas…not in Bellport Village to enforce speeding cars. There has never been an effective means to enforce speeding cars. The only system that was put forth years ago and would most likely work is this ……. Put traffic lights on all cross streets to South Country Roads in the Village, making sure to time each one differently.. I am sure this will slow traffic down.

John D Langfeldt
Palm Beach Gardens, FL

 


 

February 28, 2019

Editor's Note: This letter is in reference to our recent editorial.

Traffic Study

The only real solution to the traffic problem on South Country Road is enforcement.

Joe Varsalona
Bellport, NY

 


 

February 27, 2019

Editor's Note: This letter is in reference to our recent editorial.

Traffic Study Editorial

I enjoyed your article. What I think they really should do is...

1) No parking on Station Rd (between S Country and the middle school).
2) That will open up the road for easier access to the parking lots behind Roosters etc.
3) Combine Roosters, IGA/CVS, and those offices parking lots (maybe even combine the Library’s parking lot???)

The area behind Papa Nick’s Pizza and Roosters and unutilized. The village is in desperate need of parking, especially the businesses on the north side of S. Country. They really should connect the parking lot of Roosters to IGA/CVS and then run an entrance or exit between Roosters and Papa Nick’s / Rice Realty.

Traffic study

David M Duffy
New York, NY

 


 

February 25, 2019

Editor's Note: This letter is in reference to our recent editorial.

Make Bellport Country Club More Than Just a Golf Club

I, too, am opposed to building a driving range at the Bellport Country Club for many of the same reasons that have been stated in the previously published letters to the editor by Carlos Aparicio and Jennifer Vorbach. However, I think there is a bigger issue at play than improving the golf course and adding a driving range.

What I find most upsetting is the way this proposal for the Bellport Golf Club Masterplan was initiated, reviewed and voted into acceptance by Mayor Fell, the Village Trustees and the Golf Commission. The Bellport Village Country Club is designated as municipal parkland which, as taxpaying residents, we all bear the burden of fiscal responsibility and liability. This entitles all residents to representation with regard to any and all plans, especially a Master Plan. Yet, decisions regarding management, capital improvements and planning are made by a committee of golfers based on a survey of resident and non-resident golfers. What about the residents of this Village that do not play golf? How were they represented in this master plan which addressed only one, albeit the largest, component of the Bellport Country Club? Was the general voting population in the Village ever consulted about exactly what amenities other than golf would fit their needs? Was a survey ever sent to Bellport Village Residents asking what they would like or be willing to pay for?

The Bellport Country Club, for years, has functioned as a private Golf Club. After questioning many Village residents regarding the Master Plan and what they envisioned for the future of their Country Club, the overwhelming response was to build a community pool. Additional suggestions included expanding Peter’s on the Green, swimming lessons, lifeguarding instruction, family community events, and extended tennis court hours. Seniors expressed a need for designated walking periods on the course paths as a way to safely exercise.
What an opportunity the Mayor and Trustees have to be inclusive and serve the entire population of Bellport Village, not just residents who play golf. Let’s give opportunities to residents who cannot afford their own private pools now that we face issues with the eroding beach, the safety of the pavilion and rebuilding the dock.

There is an entire population of Village Residents that have had zero input when it comes to The Bellport Village Country Club. If one does not play golf, one does not appear to have a voice, a vote, or representation.

If the Mayor and Trustees truly represent all residents Bellport Village, I implore them to stop, step back, and reexamine the Golf Master Plan. Hold open town meetings, create a commission representing a cross section of the Village residents and allocate funds that represent the needs of all.

Let’s work together to create a true Bellport Country Club Master Plan and ensure that all residents are represented.

This country is suffering from political divisiveness. Let’s be proud of a Bellport that is inclusive, not exclusive.

Louise T. McGuinness
Bellport Village

 


 

February 17, 2019

Editor's Note: This letter is in reference to our recent editorial.

Prospective Golf Course

Attached you will find a perspective that has been constructed over an actual photo taken from my property looking towards the DRIVING RANGE, as THEY very carefully never refer by its name. The net depicted is a 40' net, I decided to portray the lowest net possible, since even at 40' it is so outrageous it certainly did not need any extreme height. (some driving ranges go up to 60-70) The second one will give you an idea of what they are talking about.; it will take couple of readings of the Master plan to envision it, as they have worded is such a condescending way as if we are somehow stupid. LOL

Golf

Golf

As you can see it is simply a monstrosity that will absolutely destroy the character of our Village.

The delicate balance of historical and nature that attracted me to Bellport is under attack by an irresponsible Mayor and trustees that in my view should be out of a job.

That us educated and reasonable human beings are put in a position that we need to fight our own government over building a driving range 120 feet away from homes, in a historical village abutting an incredible sensitive ecosystem of wetlands where wildlife and inhabits along with plants of all kinds.....sincerely leaves me dumbfounded.

I have read the Master Plan, the way that it has been carefully worded as to appear to be sensitive and considerate.

It is again an insult to anyone that completed 8th grade.

We have named it:

FELL'S WALL

An excerpt from the master plan....read it for yourself.

"All of the recommendations are made with respect to the existing site conditions and the traditional design style to ensure that renovated or additional features blend compatibly with the golf course and compliment the overall setting."

We need to kill this!

Carlos Aparicio
Bellport, NY

 


 

February 17, 2019

Editor's Note: This letter is in reference to our recent editorial.

Bellport Country Club at Risk

I draw your attention to the below, which headlines the Bellport Village website.

fell

The idyllic description is apt. It describes Bellport as it is today, and explains why so many of us have chosen to make it our home. Bellport is quiet, low-key, friendly, and just lovely.

The serenity of our community is now under threat. The surreptitious plan, which Bellport.com unveiled, puts a proposed driving range, with attendant 40 foot nets, adjacent to the wetlands on the eastern boundary of the Country Club. This plan, if executed, will irrevocably change the tone of our historic Country Club, and the Village that harbors it.

The Bellport course was designed by legendary golf architect Seth Raynor, and is touted on the village website as one of the oldest and most beautiful courses in the country. Adding a driving range to this majestic landscape is akin to building a Superdome in the Grand Canyon. Unthinkable.

Board members have stated that down-the-road revenue from the Country Club may eventually repay the debt to the Village. But it’s we, the taxpayers, who would be fronting the money and assuming all the risks and liabilities. The Board acknowledges that, at best, their scheme may break even. Who in their right mind would invest in a such a weak business plan?

Bellport has pressing issues: the foundering docks, the drowning Pavilion at Ho Hum, road repairs, and general maintenance. With our tax dollars at stake, let’s get our priorities straight and make sensible investment decisions.

It has been said that golf is a good walk spoiled. What this plan proposes is a golf course and a village spoiled.

Jennifer Vorbach
Bellport Village

 


 

February 6, 2019

Editor's Note: This letter is in reference to our recent editorial.

Golf Course

I met you a few summers ago with Harriet and Stuart Levine, I have been building my home at 20 South Howells Point Road for several years.

The situation with this driving range, is simply a nightmare. As a Harvard trained architect, I am shocked that this insensitive, outrageous idea has gained any kind of hold in our village.

The way this Mayor and his group have gone about this project in the most of clandestine of ways leave not only speechless , but incredibly angry.

The impact that this low class, transient, short sighted development that completely ignores the aesthetics ( the 19th century sensibility) , property values, and quality of life for us residents that will be directly abutting this crap, is too large to even begin to comprehend.

We are getting ourselves organized as residents of South Howells Point Road and the many friend that are simply outraged at this monstrosity.

I wanted to thank you for writing the piece from the bottom of my heart. I am presently working on a perspective of what this RANGE will look like.

Insulting us (the Mayor) by changing the name from a driving range to practice area (for it to go unnoticed) is a disgusting move.

All resident of this village that love Bellport, should scream to the top of their long We Don’t want this!

A Mayor that is willing to hurt village residents and the village as a whole this way is hard for me to comprehend.

Again, thank you and we can see all the help we can get….

Carlos Aparicio
Bellport, NY

 


 

February 6, 2019

Editor's Note: This letter is in reference to our recent editorial.

Practice Area/Driving Range

When I moved here 28 years ago I didn't have much time for golf but I would play here occasionally. It was a nice course, in pretty good condition, and as a resident the price was right. I would go down as a single in the morning and the starter would join me up with a few other players and we'd enjoy a few hours of golf together. I didn't know if they were residents, members or the very rare I would come to find out "resident member".

I started to play more often over the years and I was noticing the decline of the courses conditions. The greens that were perfect were becoming beaten up, fairways bare, bunkers unplayable and yet people were paying a premium price to play here.

I started referring to the course as an example of the law of diminishing returns. Members were spending thousands to play there only to see their money be used to offset the residents taxes. Less money was spent on the course, conditions suffered, membership declined steeply and it was a whirlpool of failure. Membership had fallen from over 650 to less than 300 over a twenty year span. I had become a "resident member" as my free time increased and spent more time on the course. Most of the people I played with were non-residents and they were appalled at the declining course conditions. It got so bad that I joined another club that was 15 miles away and more expensive, but I'd rather do that than play here. It was a dump.

I stayed away for five years but then three years ago I returned to find the course in fabulous condition. I had played here over that time but it took a while for the course to respond to the care and attention given it by the new maintenance crew that was hired. I rejoined as did many of the member friends that had left over the years.

Your op-ed seems a bit misleading. I've attended the golf commission meetings and there are no lights mentioned for the range, not to mention "tall" night lighting. There would be no increase in traffic, as only members, guests and residents would be allowed to use the range. Traffic light? Decrease in property values? They have increased dramatically the last few years so any decrease would probably be normal economics.

You refer to when the course was created as a reference to membership and use. It was built in 1890 something and it was probably used by the wealthy homeowners at the time. Over the last 125 years it has morphed into today's semi-private club.

I don't understand the position on non-resident members. It seems that the course has always had a majority of those members, that's what makes the course survive. If you want a golf course then you need members who will pay double the membership fee of what a resident pays. They all do that as well as spend money in the restaurants and other village establishments. The course wouldn't be affordable without them.

Most golf courses I've played at have driving ranges/practice areas and adding that to the BCC would greatly benefit the membership. The membership was surveyed if they wanted a range and how they would pay for it, they will be paying for the range with an increase in dues to cover the cost. There was no Electoral College and the majority vote wanted it and may get it...

Mike Mislin
Bellport, NY

 


 

February 6, 2019

Running for Library Board

I’m running for the South Country Library Board of Trustees! For nearly 5 years I worked at South Country Library. I started as a page, moved up to clerk, and then began running the Outreach Program delivering books to our homebound residents. My time as an employee taught me the power that libraries give to communities. I am running for the Board of Trustees position to ensure South Country Library maintains it’s positive impact for the people of our community, and to advance it onto new horizons. I hope to have your support on Tuesday, April 2nd!

Jack Nix
East Patchogue, NY