Hardy Plumbing
February 02, 2011

Not Square

Dear Rick:

Recently a resident of Sagaponack said that subdividing the open land gifted to the Peconic Land Trust and the South Fork Land Foundation "will be like having a beautiful Rembrandt and tearing off a corner."

The PLT now wants to be able to expand the foursquare that was moved by 50 percent, which will result in something that is no longer a foursquare; a piece of history on steroids. There is no doubt that the Architectural & Historic Review Board, and the Planning Board, will grant the size increase allowing the house to become something other than authentic. Unfortunately, it is an economic reality that not increasing the size of the house will result in diminished desirability and a decrease in value.

The end result will be that the citizens of Sagaponack will have lost an acre of gifted open space and an authentic foursquare house. We'll be left with an edited piece of history for all our troubles. Why? Why is this house being saved if it's going to be changed?

Trying to save historic structures in a highly-valued real estate market, based upon the good will of purchasers of historic structures and/or owners of historic homes, is wishful thinking. It has to make economic sense, not be economic suicide. Placing a historic designation on a house in Sagaponack is the equivalent to economic suicide simply because there is currently no economic premium for historic houses. The Village has done little by way of example in establishing any economic benefit to keeping historic houses. What they have done has created hardship for those who currently own them.

If a house, like the foursquare, is not historic enough to save on its own merits and authenticity, it's not worth prostituting ourselves to make it into something it's not and say it's a good thing. Historic houses should be identified beforehand, not after the fact. There should be tax benefits for keeping it historic.

The first suggestion moving forward is for the AHRB to authenticate this particular 1936 foursquare house. Show that the board places a premium on agricultural/historic structures by not allowing them to be "super-sized." Then figure out a way for the buyer to benefit economically from buying and keeping it historic.

A buyer willing to spend big bucks on Sagaponack real estate has a different set of values than those of us who are local. This difference can be bridged by making history a selling point to them. We must stop expecting them to appreciate the fact a Hedges, Topping, or Halsey once owned, built, lived, or worked there.

Sagaponack is not unique in this dilemma. Sagg just happens to be a great example and can act as a catalyst to solve the problem, not exacerbate it.


Blue Stars

Dear Rick,

I am a Blue Star Mom from Manorville, my son is currently serving in Afghanistan and I need your help to get this information out to my local friends and neighbors.

Our troops are returning from missions with severe frostbite . . . Long Island Blue Star Mothers NY6 is looking for MERINO WOOL SOCKS (no dollar store socks!!!)....and HAND & FOOT WARMERS to send to them. We will be shipping out an emergency shipment

If you'd like to help contact pattycruz1761@yahoo.com or you can drop off your donation at the Hough and Guidice Realty in the King Kullen Shopping Center in Manorville.

Thanks Rick.


P.S. Did you get your mom those flowers or apology yet?

Lessons Learned

Dear Editor;

It's been a long time coming. Fifteen (15) years, to be exact, if you use the Riverhead Shelter Volunteer Program (RSVP Inc.) as the starting point. The non-profit, 501c3 animal rescue organization, founded in 1996 has fought a long, hard battle, advocating reform at the Riverhead municipal animal shelter. But it hasn't been their battle alone. They simply gave it a voice. Many advocates, both residents and non-residents have recognized the need for change.

Veterinarian services that have been overlooked for years are being provided and there is talk of hiring a Director.

Hopefully, the town now recognizes that a good shelter begins with good management. Hopefully, they understand that there are qualifications not covered in a civil service exam that are vital to the successful operation of a humane shelter. And this holds true for the part-time Animal Control Officer (ACO) currently being sought and the fulltime ACO which may soon be replaced. In addition, is should be noted that a Director is not state mandate, does not have to be a union position and logically, all staff should report to him or her, including the ACOs. Hopefully, there have been lessons learned after all these years and the best possible candidates for these jobs will be selected, and not dictated by minimal civil service requirements, patronage or convenient personnel (re)assignments.

The other hallmark of success is a strong volunteer program. And on that front, there is still the unresolved issue of Pat Lynch and Linda Mosca. Both were banned from volunteering by Chief of Police David Hegermiller, who by the way, authorized the euthanasia of Bruno, Butch and other dogs "dangerous and beyond rehabilitation" and has been managing the shelter for the past five years. Why hasn't the Town Board, and in particular Supervisor Sean Walter and Animal Shelter Advisory Committee liaison Councilman Jim Wooten, intervened on their behalf? And we have yet to hear the outcome of Jim's investigation of Bruno's death, the shelter dog euthanized on Dec 21st under questionable circumstances.

So, there are still important changes and corrective measures pending. Time will tell if we have turned the corner and are beginning a new era. Let's see what happens between now and November.


The Truth

Dear Editor;

Pushing 82 I guess I can speak from experience: I've seen the best of times and the worst of times, and history has a habit of repeating itself.

It's been over 65 years since this country and its people have experienced any real form of national unity. I believe if our people could be reminded of our country's heritage and founding documents, and god's promises to our founding fathers as a group inspired by providence, then we could gain greater sense of unity, identity and a clearer vision of our destiny.

As recently said "yesterday's revival must be renamed today." Let the truth set us free!


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