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March 05, 2014


Lesson Learned

Dear Editor,

I happened to be reading Dr. Annacone's Eye on Education article in last week's Independent, in which he wrote of one of his most successful teaching events. I was one of his students at that time, in the 1964-65 school year. I still remember the grief he got 50 years later over the water pollution project he had us work on.

To be brief, at the time all raw sewage outflow from Sag Harbor's Main Street stores and the Bulova Watchcase and Grumman factories flowed through a pipe just west of Long Wharf and directly discharged right into the harbor. Dr. Annacone had us plan a course of action on what to do about this problem.

This became a highly controversial project, where the editor of the Sag Harbor Express refused to print our letters about this problem. The Mayor and the village board threatened to have the school fire Dr. Annacone for bringing up this situation. Within a week he told us he had been advised there was NO problem and to drop the project forthwith.

While Sag Harbor's pollution project that we worked on was halted, a lesson was learned on how the old boy network operated in the village. People would not pull their heads out of the sand and see what was happening. The waste was full of heavy metals, including mercury and arsenic from the cleaning solvents used in the factories. All shell fishing was closed.

Nowadays such denial by a village board would be unheard of. Those involved would face serious prison time. Dr. Annacone was just a little ahead of his time on this pollution issue. As things go, a few weeks later we were playing softball in back of Pierson and Dr. Annacone broke his ankle, putting him out for most of the remaining school year. If I recall shortly thereafter, Dr. Annacone went to Puerto Rico and received his doctorate, and went on to bigger and better things. Good to see he is still around and active in education.

BRUCE BACKLUND

Less Than Amusing

To the Editor,

Regarding another of Jerry Della Femina's less than amusing columns - specifically "Cranky Talk," he might want to look in the mirror before calling others "idiots" a la Chris Christie.

Apparently he is a climate denier, which puts him in the same category as those who John Kerry described as believing the world was flat.

PATRICIA MASON

Rubber Stamper

Dear Editor,

Our busybody Congressman Tim Bishop, our very own rubber stamp-everything-the-president-tells-him to, is at it again. As the president is hardly shy about redistributing what belongs to someone else; Bishop too, with hands out for illegal contributions to make himself and his cronies wealthier, has no problem reaching into the small businessman's pockets and deciding what salary the businessman should pay his employees on the basis of what he thinks is fairness and social justice.

For the average liberal American who hasn't a clue about the laws of economics or the laws of physics for that matter, raising the minimum wage sounds great. It makes them "feel" better about themselves to see the wealthy bodega owner pay his part-time high school kid who lives at home "a fair minimum wage" that Bishop calls a living wage. This way the high school dropout can look forward to full independence with two wives and a girlfriend, all three families raising their children in the grandparent's basement apartment. AKA "Social Justice."

Tim Bishop, Barack Obama, and New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo with his New York SAFE ACT brought social justice to upstate New York which was forced to move thousands of firearm manufacturing jobs to Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama on the economic principle that No Business is Good Business, and even more justice to these United States as detailed at FactCheck.Org:

"The number of persons living in poverty also worsened again in 2012, according to the most recent Census figures. As of last year, 46,496,000 persons lived in households with income below the official poverty line, an increase of nearly 6.7 million since 2008 and 249,000 since 2011. The total poverty rate remained unchanged in 2012 at 15 percent of the total U.S. population. So for the second straight year, the poverty rate was 1.8 points higher than it was in 2008. The poverty level is now at a 50 year high."

ANDREW BENJAMIN

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