Far into Kitty Merrill's article, The Levy Shocker – about Steve Levy's surprise decision to leave office at year end, I managed to find one small reason to chuckle. It came with a sarcastic reference to me by Jay Schneiderman as the "handpicked" candidate of Mr. Levy to run against Schneiderman later, this year.
This, from the same man who just months ago, approached Steve Levy about a job in the Levy Administration as commissioner of Energy and Environment, or deputy-commissioner in the Department of Parks out at Montauk because – in his words, he is tired of commuting to Hauppauge?
This, from the same guy who met at Suffolk County Republican headquarters last week with GOP chairs from East Hampton, Southampton, and Brookhaven to ask for another chance to make things right for himself with the Republican Party?
This, from the same guy who spoke of duping Suffolk County Democrats into thinking he was one of the family when actually, his decision to abandon the Republican Party for the Independence Party masked his real goal - to position himself as a potential cross-endorsed candidate to run against Congressman Tim Bishop?
The Bible tells us to value faithfulness as a treasure to be held ". . .on the tablet of your heart." It is a mystery to me why Democrats cling to Mr. Schneiderman. His idea of faithfulness has the value of an unredeemable coupon.
To be clear, the only person whose say-so I sought was my loyal wife, Joann. Then, the decision to pursue the Republican and Conservative nomination for legislator was mine alone. Why? Mr. Schneiderman's performance, voting record and behavior showed me why we get shortchanged as a region – it's the lack of a respected voice in Hauppauge.
PATRICK SKIP HEANEY
Failure To Enforce
Letter to the Editor,
All Suffolk County voters are concerned about crime, high taxes and the economy. We do not blame illegal aliens for all the problems we face today, that would be unfair. But, it is a fact that illegal aliens in Suffolk County make every problem we face worse.
Over 10 percent of all Suffolk County jail inmates are criminal aliens, and many of these are members of violent drug gangs. The citizens of Suffolk County, especially our teenagers, should not have to compete with illegal aliens for scarce jobs.
While illegal immigration is caused by the FEDS failure to enforce the law and secure our borders, there are many things that state, county and local government can and must do.
Steve Levy had the courage to distinguish between immigrants legal and illegal, and this helped make him popular with voters. All elected officials -- and anyone looking to replace Levy -- need to remember that opposing illegal immigration is smart policy and smart politics.
We will meet with all candidates, including those running for County Executive and we will ask them to support the Rule of Law.
I was surprised to hear the news on channel 12, that some politicians are proposing we pay to educate illegal immigrants, when we can't even afford to educate our own children, especially now with our economic problems, and cuts having to be made to keep our schools from going under? We have no money or teachers to spare. These people have already broken our laws, and shouldn't even be in this country. This could never have happened in 1951, when we came here legally, after having all the papers and health checkups, and jobs that adults already had to have waiting for them. My mother and grandmother came here and made a commitment to the United States by becoming citizens, as soon as they could.
Haven't we also learned anything from the serious problems our hospitals are having by supplying free care to non-residents, who have no insurance and no money to pay for their own care? In one way I feel sorry for them, but then I remember that they have already thumbed their noses at us and our laws, by coming into the United States illegally. We can't get into our own schools without stopping in the office first to tell them who we are and what we want there. Yet the teachers can't question who these illegal students are or where they came from. Does that sound safe to you? These illegals could care less if they bankrupt our country, as long as they get what they want. If we have any extra money, why not spend it on our own poor, and possibly homeless children, who are legal residents?
What we also should do is stop the automatic citizenship of babies born in this country, unless one of the parents is already a citizen. All this is adding to the economic hole we are digging for ourselves. We have got to make tough decisions to get us out of the hole, and giving free education to people from other countries is going in the wrong direction.
HELGA S. GUTHY
Shocked And Dismayed
An alarm goes off!
As you know my historical novel ITZIG: 1900 - 1935 was honored by both Kirkus and Stadtarchiv Dachau and received favorable reviews from our local papers and from readings and local discussions. (In fact there is another reading/discussion at the Amagansett Library on April 10th.)
I learned that ITZIG was given as a gift to the Jewish Center of the Hamptons by two separate people who had bought the novel. Three books, in fact, were gifted to the Jewish Center library, and, I am told the Rabbi passed it along to his programming and education committee to hopefully schedule a discussion event.
I was, therefore, more than shocked and dismayed when the executive director of that committee called and told me she did not want ITZIG for her members to read and that I should come and "pick-up" my books.
When I asked why, she repeated 'I do not want this for my members to read.' When I told her members had read ITZIG and found it "fascinating" and "challenging," the woman repeated 'I don't want it for my members, come and pick it up.'
That's exactly how all the trouble starts, isn't it? The literary purges by the Nazis in April and May of 1933 of books they didn't want their people to read either.
The Hampton Bays Generic Environmental Impact Statement is nearing completion. To insure a fair and balanced understanding of what has been transpiring between the Hampton Bays community and the Planning and Development Administrators of the Town of Southampton who have been orchestrating the text, I wish to respond to the letter in the Independent presented by Jack Capone early in March. It contains several gross inaccuracies and non-factual comments, which do not represent the truth. This is particularly important to me since I was personally named by Mr. Capone as one of the individuals he criticizes.
In deference to his age, I was not going to respond. However, at the request of our Planning and Development Administrator, Mr. Capone's submission to The Independent on March 2 was added to the official file for the Hampton Bays Generic Environmental Impact Study/Statement. This is outrageous since it indicates that our planning administrator is anxious to put untruths before the public. Therefore it is necessary to set the record straight.
As a point of interest, Mr. Capone attended several meetings of the Ad Hoc Committee which was charged with representing the community during meetings with Planner Freda Eisenberg during the Generic Environmental Impact Study discussions for Hampton Bays. This study was being prepared, with community input, over the last 2-3 years to serve as a Master Plan Update for our Hamlet. Mr. Capone never contributed one iota of comment to the discussions. Once when he was invited to give his thoughts to the group he responded, "I am not here to speak, just to listen." Very strange indeed. I would like to correct both his logic and his facts regarding the most important of his submitted statements to the editor as follows:
1. Myth: Mr. Capone named me in his letter complaining I was one of the persons who spoke at town hall about the content of the document, and Mr. Capone objects to the fact that I am and was speaking for the people of Hampton Bays.
FACT: When I spoke at the public hearings on this matter, I spoke for myself and never indicated otherwise during my introduction to the town board. Mr. Capone seems to be confused, thinking that the constitutional exercise of free speech is a noxious element, but submitting Letters to the Editor, smacking of slander without researching the facts is acceptable for him or whoever may have written his submission. He has done this repeatedly.
2. MYTH: Mr. Capone suggests that "local folk" - those whose families have been here for at least 50 years should be heard and given more credence and he mentions those families by name asking that they step forward and make themselves heard, assuming they will have a different input. However, none of them responded to his call to action or refuted the information presented to the Town Board by the implied "non personas."
FACT: The results of discussions which took place between the Ad Hoc Committee and the Planner were well distributed and noticed throughout the community by the Hampton Bays United Organizations, which included the Hampton Bays Citizens Advisory Committee and Hampton Bays Civic Association, as well as by the town which has posted a website for written comments. Progress was also reported in the local newspapers. There were two public hearings and written comment opportunities at the start of the process and recently. Anyone, if motivated, could have weighed in.
3. MYTH: Hampton Bays with a current population density far exceeding the recommendations of the 1970 Master Plan can easily accommodate an infinite additional number of residents.
FACT: Hampton Bays is beyond its population limits right now. Our resources cannot support the current density much less an infinite increase. Mr. Capone seems to overlook the need for clean drinking water, surface waters which can provide the shellfish and fin fish which are our economic engine , the devastating results of the brown and red tides which plague our waterways and the current findings of New York State which officially declare the surface waters of the South Shore Estuary "IMPAIRED." In addition, he totally ignores the huge tax burden which increasing density creates.
The letter which was presented by Mr. Capone for publication smacks strongly of willful ignorance and sour grapes. This is reinforced by the fact that our Planning and Development Administrator ( who is constantly fighting against community goals ) insisted it be put in the official file for the Hampton Bays Generic Environmental Impact Study, aka Master Plan Update. This obviously is an attempt to discredit those who are willing to sacrifice their time, talent and money for the betterment of Hampton Bays and share their knowledge with the community ( and the Town Board & Planning Department), in order to protect the health and general quality of life for all.
Ignorance and apathy are the bane of our existence.
MARY JEAN GREEN
Dear Mr. Murphy,
In response to my March 16 letter, your comment that a "reassessment has nothing to do with a property tax increase" is correct. A reassessment revalues the property on which the tax will be applied. Therefore a reassessment can cause property taxes to rise due to a change in underlying property value not due to a change in the underlying tax rate.
You are also correct that some properties are undervalued and therefore under-taxed. But my argument goes to the manner in which the reassessment was implemented in Southampton, i.e. it goes to the underlying re-evaluations and the redistribution of property taxes.
I'd also like to explain that I own an old house which I've tried to restore, so I can speak with some authority about both the town's and the business community's attitude toward old houses.
I also have a little zoning experience as it pertains to business. Therefore I'm pro business, but I can also recognize unethical zoning and unethical business conduct. Finally, the local newspapers are my source of information. Everything I discuss has already been published.