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Letters August 27, 2009

Posted on 27 August 2009

Two Causes of Accident


Dear Bryan

It is through a broken heart that I have come to write this letter. My name is Marion Allen and I grew up on Sunset Road in Sag Harbor. You cannot imagine my dismay as I read the one sided account of the accident that occurred there on August 13th.

First of all John Reidy (known as Uncle Jack to me) and his wife of over 50 years (Aunt) Mary were very close neighbors that felt like family to me.

I know that a headline like “Collision Leaves Mother and Child Seriously Injured” is just the type that sells newspapers. However, I never knew the Sag Harbor Express would stoop so low as to disrespect one of our local elder citizens. Yes, we all feel empathetic for a young mother and her child. It is impossible for me to imagine her suffering.

However, in the original press report that came out last week, two causes for the accident were stated. The abrupt turn made by the minivan and the car that was “traveling at an excessive speed.” It took both of these elements for this accident to be so injurious.

Secondly I felt so perplexed that the reporter had not done her homework. Not only does she not see all six people in this accident as individuals, she has gotten the obvious details mixed up. The glaring example would be “while Robertson opened the back of the Merlos purple Chrysler minivan.” According to my vision of the pictures in the Sag Harbor Express and the Southampton Press, the only purple car is the sedan than was driven my Mary Merlos. The minivan was driven by Mr. Reidy and appears to be gray.

This story seemed to dehumanize the Reidys and strip them of their dignity. How dare you! They are well loved and respected by their five children, their many grandchildren, neighbors and friends. The headline could have easily been “Collision Leaves Beloved Grandparents Seriously Injured.” This would have been yet another one sided version.

My heart and prayers go out for all five people who were physically injured in this accident and to Joel Clint who undoubtedly experienced trauma of a nonphysical sort.

With a Broken Heart,

Marion E. Allen

The reporter incorrectly identified the vehicle driven by Mary Merlos as a mini van. The report from Southampton Town Police Department says the contributing factor to the accident was “an improper turn/failure to yield right of way to traffic by Op #1 [John Reidy]“. There is no mention of excessive speed in the police report. -ed


Five Injured, Not Two


Dear Bryan

It was with great sadness I read the article about the car accident at Ferry and Sunset Roads in this week’s Express. As a mother, I cannot imagine Mary Merlos’ horror as she realized what had happened and wondered if her children were even alive. My heart goes out to her and her family with sincere wishes for a full recovery for Mary and her children.   

Your headline which read “Collision Leaves Mother and Child Seriously Injured” was a bit misleading. Further reading in the article revealed that there were five injuries in that accident. Two of them were long time Sag Harbor/North Haven residents Jack and Mary Reidy.  

It saddens me that the article barely mentioned these two dear folks who have been a staple in the village of North Haven since the early 50′s. Along with Jack’s two sisters and their families, they were among the first to build their homes on Sunset Road in hopes of a better life for themselves and their families. They grew a garden every summer, they chopped wood every fall, they volunteered in their community, they raised five healthy productive children and they were poised to live out their years in the peaceful beauty of their beloved home. My heart goes out to their kids, grandkids and to all the people in the village who might be effected by what Jack and Mary are suffering right now.

Regardless of what happened that day, FIVE people, not TWO, were seriously injured and many lives have been altered forever. 

Kathy Allen (former Sunset Rd. resident)

Bozeman, MT


Liberty or Death


Dear Bryan,

I am temporarily replacing the Stars and Stripes that hangs in our yard with a flag used during the Revolutionary War known as the Gadsden Flag. On the flag is a curled snake with the motto, “Don’t Tread On Me.”

You see, I have been labeled as a member of the “mob” by Obama and his supporters. Well, I will not stand by and watch my country become a socialist state. His nationalized health care must not pass and his liberal agenda must be stopped.

I was born a free man and I will die a free man be it either from natural causes or the cause of protecting freedom. Liberty and freedom are worth dying for and both are now greatly threatened by Obama and his extremist supporters.

I end with the motto of the Culpeper Flag, “Liberty or Death.” A good sentiment then and a good one now, too!

Bill Jones

Hampton Bays


Intense Work


Dear Bryan,

Many years ago I learned that the shortest distance between me and my goals always involves intense work, lots of creativity, luck, and finally the good will of others. As I run for the East Hampton Town Board on my Bonac Beach Party line, as a true independent, with no baggage, and no indebtedness except to the voters, I continue with this simple plan of intense work, lots of creativity, luck, and your good will. I am a competent, smart, experienced person who has been tempered by life to see honesty, integrity, public service, and hard work as the most joyful way as well as the easiest way to get things sorted out. Please vote for me in November for East Hampton Town Board, on the Bonac Beach Party line. I am from here and I care deeply about our future.  

Prudence Carabine

East Hampton


Sharp Knives


Dear Editor:

I read with interest your article about the teachers and the Sag Harbor School District getting “back to the table.” I hope they’re all ready to sharpen their pencils, because even though the so-called fact finder came up with recommendations that seem to favor the teachers, we can’t afford to give the teachers everything they want. The cost of health insurance benefits (who gets them in retirement anymore?!) and a guaranteed 14 percent raise over four years. I can’t imagine too many working people who are getting these kinds of benefits living in Sag Harbor.

Let’s hope there is a sharp knife at that bargaining table.

Elise Nader

Sag Harbor


Deserve Every Penny


To the Editor,

Bravo for our Sag Harbor teachers who are hopefully getting what they deserve. I don’t think the people here understand the enormous effort our teachers and staff make to make sure our children are well educated and taken care — in many ways in addition to the classroom. They deserve every penny of it.

Jan Finnerty

Sag Harbor

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One Response to “Letters August 27, 2009”

  1. Phil on L.I. says:

    I am temporarily replacing the Stars and Stripes that hangs in our yard with a flag used during the Revolutionary War known as the Gadsden Flag. On the flag is a curled snake with the motto, “Don’t Tread On Me.”

    can we get all the nutjobs to fly those flags so we’ll know who they are?


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