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January 16, 2013


Fair Share

Dear Mr. Murphy,

Commissioner Blass said he was treated fairly at his interview Thursday and asked that I send you supporting documentation to set the record straight with regard to false statements made by the Southampton Supervisor and tenant you interviewed. In addition, it would be nice if you corrected that statement about CHI turning a "handsome profit."

I attach the motel's certificate of occupancy, which clearly lists it as a 32-unit motel. In addition, the motel has a permit from the Suffolk County Health Department that clearly indicates it is "year-round" and not "seasonal."

I assume you confirmed that the supposed "court date" listed for the two women tenants was a fabrication since they had not been served with any court papers.

In terms of billing, you were correct in saying that the motel cost being paid to the landlord is about $38 per day, or less than half of a standard motel. CHI receives a "per diem" from Suffolk County for each occupant of $52.90, which is a rate that blends all of CHI's homeless facilities and includes the motel cost plus all approved costs of security, case management and counseling, supplies, linens, administration, liability insurance, etc. As you correctly reported, the contract is cost-based, meaning that if the agency earns any surplus over the approved and documented costs of the contract, it must be returned to the county (hence there is no profit).

When discussing "fair share," please put in perspective that the 30 families at Hidden Cove are the only homeless families placed by DSS in the entire town. This is out of 450 homeless families in Suffolk County. Brookhaven and Babylon, for example, have many more facilities and homeless families. And at Hidden Cove, they are moved within four months to five months on average, after receiving help in finding housing and jobs.

In terms of "fair share," the Workforce Housing Needs Assessment determined the need for Southampton to create 227 affordable units between 2005 and 2020 out of the total need of 16,500 for Suffolk County (see attached). If you have a better idea of Southampton's "fair share," then I'd be interested in hearing it.

The real issue is the refusal of most local community zoning boards to allow development (thus restricting supply). I believe the free market would take care of the demand if allowed to do so without huge taxpayer subsidies (today it takes over $200k in subsidy to produce one affordable rental apartment!). As a believer in the free enterprise system, I believe the time is right to educate the public as to the benefits of smart growth development where density can help reduce taxes and bring back Suffolk County's tax base.

I hope this is helpful.

ALEXANDER H. ROBERTS

Executive Director,

Community Housing Innovations, Inc.

Editor's Note: It's a myth that not-for-profit companies don't earn money. All they have to do is spend as much as they take in. In the case of CHI the company grosses almost $17 million a year. Mr. Roberts and other employees draw healthy salaries. The elderly woman in question received a Notice of Eviction. That is followed by court action -- in this case we are guessing it has been forestalled because of the publicity generated by our articles.

Gunaholics

Dear Rick,

Just when you think you have heard the most outrageous mouthings from our gunaholics, they one-up themselves. Following is the twisted logic presented by Larry Ward, Chairman of Gun Appreciation Day, stated at a press conference celebrating the event:

I believe that gun appreciation day honors the legacy of Dr. King. First of all we're looking for a peaceful protest, looking for people to come out and to remind the members of Congress and the president how we feel about our Second Amendment, and the truth is, I think Martin Luther King would agree with me if he were alive today that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country's founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history."

Did anyone tell this "Chairman" that Martin Luther King is not alive today because he was assassinated with a firearm? No, he is not around to be boggled by this "Chairman's" asinine assertion. Arm the slaves that were kidnapped; taken by force from their homeland and thereby erase the slavery chapter in our history. No doubt those history books would be printed in Texas with their traditionally unique distortion and rewriting of textbooks. Why not? It was seen fit to have Bachmann in the House "Intelligence" Committee and Akins in the House "Science, Space & Technology" Committee. What's a little enhancing of history?

Grand Old Party, if there are any of you left, wake up and take it back. Take back your party, which has been no less kidnapped and degraded as were those slaves.

NICHOLAS ZIZELIS

Gun Grabbers?

Dear Mr. Murphy,

The only way you gun grabbers can win an argument for eviscerating our constitutional freedom to own guns is to set up a straw man – in this case, a caricatured Wayne LaPierre – and dishonestly lampoon the NRA's argument for our first freedom.

The Second Amendment was not enacted so we can shoot ducks or varmints. It was included so we, the people, might have a fighting chance against a government gone wild with unchecked power. You know, like George III.

A tyrant's first order of business is to disarm the populace. That business, aided by "journalists" safe behind the First Amendment, proceeds apace.

After that task is completed, they come for the printing presses.

F.W. MEEKER

Editor's Note: In real life Rick is armed to the teeth. It was an honest lampoon.

Deliberately Manipulated

To the Editor,

People who understand how our immigration system actually works cringe every time we hear the false claim that "The system is broken."

Our immigration system is not broken. It's being deliberately manipulated to fail. The Administration's goal: encourage more and more illegal immigration in order to justify the largest mass Amnesty (aka "Comprehensive Immigration Reform") in American history.

Since his first days in power Obama has used Executive Orders and Administrative Orders to systematically reduce enforcement of Federal immigration laws. His DHS pretends our borders are secure, when all empirical evidence shows they're not.

States that embrace "Local Enforcement" (Arizona) have been sued by Obama's DOJ, while DOJ has remained silent as States (New York and Illinois) terminated their Federal "Secure Communities" programs aimed at deporting Criminal Aliens. Obama's Justice Department opposes any form of local enforcement.

DOJ terminated a highly successful program (in North Carolina) to discourage others.

In four years, Obama has pretended that this effective tool to keep unlawful employees off America's payrolls does not even exist!

Passed in 2005, the REAL ID Act would make it difficult for illegal aliens to get valid Driver Licenses. Obama has delayed – again - the Federal deadline for States to comply with REAL ID law.

Every State that has passed Voter ID laws (to prevent fraud including non-citizen voting) has been sued by DOJ. Their claim? That these laws hurt so-called "Hispanic" voters.

In the past, when local police arrested an illegal alien with a single prior misdemeanor conviction, ICE could take custody of the individual who could then face deportation. But, in the closing days of 2012, Obama directed DHS to ignore criminal aliens unless they had three or more prior misdemeanor convictions.

Instead of rubber-stamping Obama's mass Amnesty, and what amounts to Mob Rule; Congress must reverse all of the above sabotage and policy failures.

Congress needs to provide regular "progress reports" to the American people who overwhelmingly support enforcement of our immigration laws.

ELAINE KAHL

Must See Theater

To The Editor,

Do Not Miss This Show. Last night I attended Love, Loss and What I Wore, currently showing in Southampton, with some girlfriends, I have to say it was so, so much fun! We all love Nora Ephron! Grab your mom, your sister, and/or your girlfriends daughter and head down to the Southampton Cultural Center (Th, F, S, & S) between now and 1/27, it was two hours hilariously spent, I promise, it's great! Don't miss it, and please spread the word, it's primarily a women's night out (unless your significant male other is really in touch with his feminine side) use this as an excuse to have an estrogen on parade night.

J. FRANCES POSENER

Plan Wisely

Dear Editor,

It's important for the entire five-town region: the potential sale and development of Plum Island (The Homeland Security facility for animal disease research). It can be a wonderful, natural preserve, passive recreational site and possibly a world-class exotic bird and animal preserve and botanical garden attracting tourism to Southold Town if the planning and zoning is completed thoughtfully and carefully.

Good decisions, made early on, can have a major, positive impact on the Peconic Bay region for generations to come. Think and plan wisely!

JACK MCGREEVY AND LEE WARD

No To Hagel

Letter to the Editor,

President Obama's recent picks for Secretary of Defense - Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State - John Kerry call into question Obama's judgment and wisdom and his ability to lead this country.

Chuck Hagel opposed the successful troop surge in Iraq and he wants to prematurely pull troops out of Afghanistan. He believes in placating Communist Cuba and wants to negotiate with the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah. Hagel is committed to negotiating with Iran on its nuclear development program. He wants to make dramatic cuts to our military, which will weaken our national security posture. Hagel will be in lockstep with Obama and will continue the policies of appeasement.

John Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War veteran with medals that Swift Boat commanders stated he did not deserve, will march to Obama's tune of appeasement. Kerry, in Congressional hearings, turned on his fellow Vietnam War veterans. He could be another apologist for the Obama administration.

As a former Navy enlisted man and officer I question the ability of the Obama/Hagel/Kerry threesome to lead this country from a position of strength in the world. I do not have confidence in the capabilities of these key individuals to promote our national security.

DONALD A. MOSKOWITZ

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