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the candidates or members of the community that are received after 5:00pm on the Saturday prior to Election Day, will not be published by Bellport.com.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

 


 
September 27, 2020

Support for Senator Monica Martinez

We have seen the brutalist attack ads on Senator Monica Martinez on TV.

I am writing to describe her true record and her real accomplishments.

With her eye on public safety, Senator Martinez introduced a bail reform bill that would protect us. Her bill would empower judges to determine whether someone should be detained, pretrial. To ensure the greatest fairness, Senator Martinez called for an appeals panel also.

Senator Martinez has led the fight against gang violence. She has secured funding to ensure that our law enforcement agents are correctly equipped.

Senator Martinez wants Suffolk County taxes to be under control. She secured nearly $42 million in support of local government. Her proposed 2 % property tax cap, and support of the STAR exemption will save the average Suffolk County homeowner an average of $6,000 a year.

Senator Martinez’ policies are supported by the New York League of Conservation’s Voters and the Sierra Club. With $300 million secured for the Environmental Protection Fund, she has also procured $350,000 for drainage projects where they are urgently needed. She continues to advocate for our beaches, our parks, and our safely from natural disasters, and is award 100% (perfect) score by the 2019 State Environmental Scorecard. (Lee Zeldin’s lifetime record is 13%.)

Martinez led the charge against disgusting, illegal dumping. The perpetrators chose to dispose of toxic materials in disadvantaged neighborhoods, exposing residents to 50,000 tons of hazardous waste: asbestos and pesticides. Senator Martinez’s bill will prosecute illegal dumpers, protecting us.

I haven’t even taken Senator Martinez’ strong advocacy for students and pro-health stances into account.

Do you wonder who paid for the brutalist ad? It’s a company that was only formed this August and is registered in Delaware.

Jennifer Vorbach
Bellport Village

 


 
September 21, 2020

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s made our lives better and fairer. Her challenge to Congress to end pay discrimination toward women, which led to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, benefited women and families across the country. At the time of its passage a typical working woman lost an estimated $431,000 over her lifetime because of the gender pay gap: Money that her family could have used to buy a home or put two kids through college.

Indeed, what made Ginsburg truly a treasure was her ability to remind us how much we all lose when discrimination exists toward any group. Among her landmark cases, she challenged a military regulation that denied husbands of women serving in the military the same benefits as military widows. In another case, she went after a Social Security provision that denied widowers the same survivor benefits as widows.

Both were based on the antiquated assumption that women were not critical breadwinners to their families. In her elegant arguments – whether against discredited notions of a woman’s place or abilities or against the evisceration of the Voting Rights Act – she taught us that unchallenged prejudices hurt not just women but men, families, communities and the nation as well. She will be missed.

Sue Hornik
Bellport Village

 


 
September 15, 2020

Petition Re: Lawn Care

As per the petition attached, it has taken the CoVid quarantine which has returned our Summer Residents 24/7 to enjoy the bounty of the 5-day outrage of noise and pollution in the execution of maintaining our greenery!

To the petition organizers I recommend "Full Speed Ahead!”
PLEASE!!

Barbara D Knowles
Bellport Village

PETITION TO MOVE TOWARD A GREEN FUTURE IN LAWN CARE IN BELLPORT FOR PURPOSES OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND QUALITY OF LIFE

We, the undersigned, are petitioning the Village of Bellport to address the noise and environmental pollution caused by gas-powered lawn equipment––including leaf blowers and hedge clipper––as well as the overall detriment to the quality and life and health of Village residents due to the daily barrage of noise and air pollution caused by mechanized lawn machines. We are requesting the following:

1. In line with other municipalities in New York and across the nation, as well as a recently proposed amendment to New York State public health law (S 1300-d, dated January 29, 2020), a ban on the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in the Village of Bellport.

2. In line with other municipalities in New York and across the nation, as well as advocacy organizations such as Quiet Communities, Inc., a ban on gas-powered hedge trimmers, or a severe restriction on the number of continuous hours they can be in use, in the Village of Bellport.

3. The creation of a lawn maintenance schedule by geographic zone, similar to the Sanitation pick-up schedule, that designates on which days lawn maintenance with mechanized equipment can occur on particular streets of the Village. Each zone would permit three days a week of mechanized work, allowing for all households to maintain their properties, while providing for 4 noise-free days for residents. Hand-powered and non-mechanized maintenance and garden work would be exempt from this regulation, as would exceptional circumstances due to named storms.

 


 
September 11, 2020

The South Country Central School District, Agents for Lasting Change

The members of the Board of Education of the South Country Central School District would like to acknowledge the swift action of the commissioners and chiefs of the Brookhaven Fire Department in denouncing the actions of some of its members to display a confederate flag on a taxpayer-funded fire truck. We also appreciate the support for anti-bias training by the NAACP and many of our elected officials to change this hurtful behavior.

The South Country Central School District encompasses the Brookhaven Fire District. Therefore, we recognize how an incident like this, in such a diverse community as ours, can be used as a teachable moment for both the members of the fire department volunteer service and our community as a whole.

We are all neighbors, coworkers, family and friends. Tolerance and support of one another must go hand-in-hand. The South Country Central School District Board of Education pledges to do our part in examining our education curriculum to ensure that we are educating our students to be the best they can be. We further pledge to be an instrument for lasting change against systemic racism, intolerance and social injustice.

Sincerely,
The South Country CSD Board of Education

E. Anne Hayes, President
Cameron Trent, Vice President
Gena Ancona
Melissa Aruta
Cheryl A. Felice
Clyde Parker
Chris Picini

 


 
September 6, 2020

Letter to BFD Chief Di Pinto

Dear Chief Di Pinto Jr.,

The BVA Board is writing in response to the display of a Confederate flag on a Brookhaven Fire truck.

The Board is eager to see quick and transparent resolutions to the investigations begun within the State Division of Human Rights Department and the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission. The Board looks to you, Chief Di Pinto Jr., for your continued open and clear communication with our community on the steps, actions and results your department is procuring.

The BVA Board has a history of working with the Brookhaven Fire Department for the good of our community. We look forward to continuing that partnership in a way that employs and celebrates the fundamental principles of any community: diversity, equality and inclusion.

The BVA Board cannot more strongly agree with your statement that racism has no home in our Firehouse nor in our community.

Sincerely,
The Brookhaven Village Association Board

 


 
September 2, 2020

Brookhaven Hamlet Fire Truck

There is no such thing as a Brookhaven Hamlet Fire Truck.

Brookhaven Fire Department is In The Brookhaven Fire District and covers Brookhaven hamlet , most of Shirley west of The William Floyd Parkway and parts of Yaphank and Bellport . We operate two fire houses fully equipped one in Brookhaven the other in Shirley on Camp Upton Road . We average 800 alarms and we do not operate an ambulance. Our chiefs as well as our members come from all the mailing addresses and at present one fire commissioner Is from Shirley .

This is not an official statement but a simple explanation that I would explain to anyone . I hold no position and no longer respond but I’m a 58 year member.

Ron Kinsella
Brookhaven, NY

 


 
August 31, 2020

Confederate Flag on Fire Truck

As a Brookhaven Hamlet resident I was appalled to see a photo taken this weekend of a Confederate flag draped on a fire truck belonging to my local fire department. This flag is a symbol of hatred and there is no place for it, or the racism it represents in today’s society. Brookhaven Fire Chief Peter Di Pinto said in a statement that the incident involved a single firefighter, acting alone, and he condemned it adding "racism has no home in our firehouse.” Apology accepted. But what’s needed is for the fire department to take action by removing the individual responsible for this hateful act immediately. A slap on the wrist won’t do.

Larry Tierney
Brookhaven Hamlet

 


 

Editor's Note: This letter is in response to our recent Seen & Heard piece.

August 30, 2020

Lee Zeldin Head Fake on the Postal Service

Thank you for your excellent coverage of the demonstration in Bellport last Saturday morning in support of the U.S. Postal Service. In particular, your video of interviews with participants helped illuminate the multiple concerns that brought people to the protest.

Recently our Congressman, Lee Zeldin, wrote to the House leadership expressing his support for the US Postal Service and criticizing tactics that would politicize the USPS.

I was pleasantly surprised that Zeldin was supporting an issue I care about. Even in ordinary times the Postal Service is an institution that knits our neighborhoods, communities and indeed our entire country together. Add to that the pandemic and the need to vote by mail, and it becomes critical to the exercise of our rights as citizens.

Yet when the Delivering for America Act was introduced in the House last weekend, Zeldin took a very different tack. The bill included a $25 billion appropriation in FY2020 funding for the Postal Service Fund, which would remain available until expended. It required the USPS to reverse new policies that might delay the processing or delivery of the mail and stopped the removal of any more mail boxes. Most importantly, it required the USPS to treat election mail like first-class mail, even if that requires overtime pay. Since the November election will depend heavily on mail-in ballots, the bill required that the USPS postmark all mail-in ballots on the day they are received by the USPS.

On the basis of his prior letter, I assumed Mr. Zeldin would support such a measure. Wrong. He voted against the bill. Fortunately, it passed the House anyway.

Does Zeldin really think his constituents won’t notice when he takes one position publicly on a matter of such importance and then votes the opposite way?

I for one will remember this on November 3rd.

Marc Rauch
Bellport, NY

 


 
August 21, 2020

USPS

I want to express my concern for the future of the USPS. I have been troubled for quite some time about the financial demands made upon it which have not been made of other agencies. Now, I am concerned that under Mr. de Joy it is being destroyed before our eyes.

We need to remember that this is our United States Postal Service and think about the many vital services the USPS provides to all of us. I don’t know what my husband and I would do without reliable, timely and reasonably priced mail service, especially now in the midst of COVID concerns.

We need the USPS to deliver our medicine. We need it to deliver food and supplies—we are seniors and like others at heightened risk for COVID, we must minimize the risk of shopping or picking up medicine or hand sanitizer in person; private couriers or shoppers are beyond the means of many of us. I needed it to send sewn masks to our children and grandchildren when masks were otherwise hard to get. We need it to communicate and pay our bills and we will be depending upon it to deliver our absentee ballots.

My husband is a veteran and we are especially concerned about his fellow vets--100,000 of them work for the USPS and well over 300,000 depend upon the USPS to deliver their medicine. They gave so much for us; how can we let Mr. de Joy jeopardize their jobs and leave them without medicine?

For the sake of seniors, veterans and all of us who depend upon the USPS and to preserve our right to vote, we must stop Mr. de Voy and his ruinous policies. We must get behind our postal workers and continue to stand up for them. We must save our United States Postal Service.

Susan Beckett
Bellport, NY

 


 

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

August 16, 2020

Response to Editorial About Boat Slips

I read your editorial about boat slip rentals for this summer and I watched the recorded discussion by the Village board of the matter.

In any normal commercial transaction a payer has the expectation that he will receive what was described in his purchase agreement. Ergo the slip holders should be reimbursed for the non-availability of the slip services they bought.

If the village board cannot claw back some money from the contractor for the late delivery of the dock area in working condition then some legal proceeding should be initiated. If no basis for a claw back exists then some heads should roll at Village Hall either because an incompetent contractor was chosen or because Bellport Village stake holders were not adequately protected by the contract entered into by their representatives.

Graheme J B Williams
Bellport, NY

 


 
August 7, 2020

PSEG Problems

PSEG needs to be doing better job. On Thornhedge there are several elderly residents. No repair crews have even been seen - and no work done. I hope the Mayor is doing his best to fight for our interests.

S. Stoneburn
Bellport Village

 


 
August 7, 2020

Bellport Brewing Company

I'm writing this letter in regards to the Bellport Brewing Company finally coming to Bellport. Their original location in Yaphank was not the right place for them to be at all since they are the Bellport Brewing Company.

My husband and I are members at several wineries and vineyards out east and end up going to eat while we are out there. We love going into Patchogue to hit up Blue Point Brewery's new location then going for food at one of their local restaurants. Our village needs things for people to do when heading here, perhaps while waiting for a table at one our wonderful restaurants and shopping in the stores. This microbrewery would help our local economy when the weather doesn't allow for a trip to the beach or a round of golf.

I truly hope the board sees the benefit of having the Bellport Brewing Company become another destination to go to when visiting our beautiful village.

April Ackerly-Dahn & Robert Dahn, Jr.
Bellport Village

 


 
August 6, 2020

Open Letter To the Mayor and the Board of Trustees

On Monday, August 10th at 7PM via Zoom the Village Board of Trustees will consider a proposal that entails a change to the Village Code pertaining to the all-important Neighborhood Business-Transition Zone in order to allow a brewery business with food trucks.

The transition zone on Station Road above the Four Corners was proposed in the Master Plan for Bellport in 1988 and passed into the Village Code soon after the plan was adopted the following year. Its purpose was to delineate the downtown and prevent sprawl- especially in the form of small strip malls- that have disfigured other communities on Long Island. The goal was to preserve the buildings that exist while continuing to allow a mix of residential, professional, and commercial use. According to the Code, vintage buildings that are no longer used residentially cannot be torn down, but they can be converted to professional offices. The idea behind the transition zone was to preserve Bellport’s sense of place by providing a “buffer area” north and east of downtown. The village committed significant resources, manpower, and time to come up with a strategic plan that made sense and would do just that.

As we understand it, the proposed change is to allow a brewery in an existing commercial building that is in the transition zone E. So far so good. But then the proposal seeks to permit “food trucks as an accessory use.” Section 21-286.15 of the Code states that “no accessory buildings and/or uses are permitted in the Business E Zoning District” while Article 1. General Sec. 21.1 states “no accessory building shall have a kitchen…no accessory building shall be used…for income producing purposes.” These restrictions are foundational to the Code. Why emasculate it for the sake of a single business? Besides tampering with something that has served the village well for 30 years, eliminating this restriction is not appropriate for two other reasons.

First, it raises the question where these trucks would be parked. There certainly is no room on the shoulder of Station Road. Not only would that be unsightly, but it would also pose a traffic hazard by blocking the view of southbound drivers as they approach South Country Road. If a truck motor needs to run, it would add to noise and air pollution. The backyard and driveway of the building does not offer a solution either and the issue of pollution remains. So where would these food trucks be placed?

But there is an equally important issue to consider. The idea of having a “scene” where people drink beer, mill about, and then drive away could be problematic and flies in the face of the village’s concern for traffic safety.

Victor Principe and John Renninger
Bellport Village

 


 
August 6, 2020

Statement by Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine and Highway Superintendent Dan Losquadro Regarding PSEG Storm Response

Like many of our residents, we are disappointed and frustrated with the response by PSEG to Tropical Storm Isaias and the systemic failure of the utility’s communications system.

While the quantity of outages is lower than those experienced during Superstorm Sandy, the communication problem has been far worse. Their outage map is not reflecting actual outages, leading residents to wonder if PSEG is even aware of their outage. Further, the new municipal portal which was set up to report critical outages and blocked roads in need of PSEG support failed less than two hours after the start of the storm. The collapse of PSEG’s telephone and text systems have led to a near information blackout. In short, the entire communications system put in place by PSEG was a monumental failure.

Brookhaven Town, which has more than 3,700 miles of roads and is physically larger than Nassau County, has been working around the clock to clear our roads of fallen trees and branches. The survey and overhead line crews provided to us by PSEG are there to support that function by de-energizing lines, not to rebuild electrical infrastructure and restore power. We have had over 1600 trees come down across the town with more than 400 of those involving power lines. With no crews assigned to this task on the day of the storm, seven yesterday and ten today, it will take many more days to clear those roads that require PSEG assistance. This has resulted in street closures, residents unable to leave their homes and a dangerous obstacle for emergency responders.

For years we have all seen advertisements from PSEG about the millions of dollars they have spent on tree trimming, communications systems, municipal portals and other preparations in the event of a major hurricane. Isaias, which was only a Tropical Storm, shows that this investment of our money did not bear results.

More than 30 years ago Brookhaven instituted a policy requiring new subdivisions to have all utility lines buried to better prepare these homes to weather significant storms. It is well past time for our electric utility to abandon the 19th century technology of power lines on wooden poles and make annual investments in beginning the process of moving all lines underground.

Brookhaven Supervisor, Ed Romaine
Highway Superintendent, Dan Losquadro

 


 

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

July 29, 2020

Masks

Thank you for your editorial COVID-19, It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over...I agree with all the points you made. Our numbers are very good because people in our surrounding communities have been paying attention to the suggestions made by the medical experts.

However, it is very troublesome to see, & come into contact with, employees at Home Depot, Lowe’s and Cirillo’s wearing their face masks below their noses, and sometimes on their chins.

Do we like wearing our two-ply masks on these hot & humid days? Absolutely not!! But we do it for the good of all, to show our respect for one another’s well being. We all need to comply with the safety precautions that are in place to keep the numbers of new cases and deaths from Covid 19 as low as possible. And that “ALL” includes the person slicing our cold cuts behind the deli counter at Cirillo’s.

Ronni Green
Bellport, NY

 


 
July 15, 2020

Vector Spraying

Below you will find the link the anti-vector sprays used in Suffolk County. The adult mosquito control products listed are Anvil 10 10 ULV, Duet ULV, and Scourge 1854.

Studies have shown that each of these sprays contains products that are considered harmful to humans and to wildlife.

https://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/Public-Works/Vector-Mosquito-Control/Vector-Online-Form 

A Suffolk County spraying helicopter was seen in the vicinity of Bellport recently. The Suffolk County website itself recommends that people and pets stay indoors and keep doors and windows shut.

Despite the spraying, it’s been a banner year for mosquitoes. And there appear to be fewer butterflies and moths. Only the cabbage whites seems to be plentiful. My street has experienced a rash of dead catbirds.

My neighbors and I have employed non-chemical sprays with excellent results.

It’s my hope that we can persuade Suffolk County Vector Control to convert to less toxic sprays. It’s also my hope that an efficient alert system can be instigated so that we know, at least a few days in advance, when chemical spraying will take place.

I invite anyone who would like to join me in this to email me at: jennifer.vorbach@me.com

Jennifer Vorbach
Bellport Village

 

 


 
July 12, 2020

Fireflies

It is one of the first signs and joys of summer when the fireflies appear as if by magic and glow above the grass in patterns of random beauty in the evening.

Reading up on their lifecycle, I discovered that they are dwindling around the world.

Probably many Bellport residents know this (or would assume it since so many other living things are in danger of disappearing), but I felt moved to write for any who don’t, about what we can do to help preserve these unique, enchanting beetles.

Xerces.org and firefly.org have a lot of fascinating info, but the main takeaways for conserving are:

- reduce amount and limit use of outdoor lighting
- try to provide places where they can breed
- let grass grow long in some part of your yard, leave at least some leaves unraked. Undisturbed logs /brush piles are good, as is water
- don’t kill too many snails or slugs -the larvae eat them
- reduce or give up pesticide treatments Unfortunately, suburban gardens are some of the last refuges of beneficial insects and pollinators - or perhaps it’s fortunate, since we can participate so directly in their preservation.

One other tip on these sites is to share your concern with neighbors, so here I am.

Lisa Keim
Bellport Village

 


 

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

July 12, 2020

It Ain't Over

Great editorial! I'm pleased that you continue to post COVID-19 data and related information. At the beginning I read about what was happening in Italy and how the 1918 pandemic killed more people than WW I and was proud that counties in the San Francisco Bay area issued orders to shelter in place very quickly after COVID-19 first appeared. I worried about my mother in East Patchogue and brother, whom we did persuade to come from his apartment in Manhattan to stay with her. New Yorkers evidently paid attention to what was happening around the world (and very shortly right there!) and did a great job of slowing the spread. Now California is relaxing its rules and COVID-19 is spreading faster than ever. Thank you urging people on Long Island to be careful!

Curtis Jones
San Jose, CA