Proud of the Department
I would just like to take this opportunity to thank Chief Wayne Mortensen and all of the outstanding members of the Sag Harbor Fire Department for the incredible honor that they have bestowed on Linda Gronland and my son, Jordan Haerter by making them honorary members of the department. For 207 years now the SHFD has been the heart and soul of our community providing life saving emergency services under perilous circumstances. Members sacrifice precious time away from their families to train and prepare for the worst and they ask for nothing in return. Every time you hear the fire whistle blow, each and every one of them is about to put their lives on the line for someone in need.
The department, however, is much more than this. They are the thread which holds the fabric of our community together. Whenever someone needs a hand up or a hand out they are the first to respond, mostly with no public recognition of their actions. Thousands of East End residents have been touched by their kindness, generosity, and fortitude but every person living in Sag Harbor, especially, should be forever in their debt. They will always hold a special place in our hearts. For Jordan to now be made a member of this department is one of the greatest and most meaningful acknowledgements of his heroism to date, and for that I shall always be grateful.
Imagine for a moment that you are James Madison, our fourth President and the “Father of our Constitution.” Your instructions in 1787 were as follows: “Hey Jimmy, the Articles of Confederation are not working. Write our new nation a Constitution that will work.
As you write, you bring your all to this momentous task. All of your learning, your experience, your knowledge of human nature, your knowledge of men and power, and your knowledge of the history of governance become evident as your quill strides from words to sentences to document. And all generations of Americans can do no less than thank you for writing a living Constitution that has only 27 Amendments and has served America well for 234 years.
You know, however, it is imperative that citizens must understand their Constitution in order for your effort to have long lasting success. You know that only by understanding the Constitution can citizens make their elected representatives adhere to its principles so that America would always have a democracy “of the people” rather than one “of the government.”
So, fair readers, just how angry were you that so many Democrats and Liberals objected to the reading of our Constitution in the House of Representatives? The height of the high and mighty in Washington knows no bounds. Our democracy is diminished by such people.
By the way, our Constitution was not read in the Senate because our Senators understand the Constitution completely as evidenced by our 14 trillion dollar debt and Washington’s constant desire to tell a free people how to live. Jimmy Madison must be rolling over in his grave.
Getting Around in the Snow
Thank you so much for devoting editorial space to the snow removal issue. Thanks are also due the Village Board of Trustees for acknowledging that there is indeed a problem and to our Village Department of Public Works which successfully cleared roadways and has continued to attempt to keep up with icy conditions. I am particularly grateful to my neighbor, Francisco Lopez, who used his snow blower up and down the block so that at least the sidewalks in our immediate vicinity were usable by parents and children making their way to the elementary school.
Today (Sunday) was sunny and, in some spots, snow was melting, but as I walked downtown, to meet a friend for coffee, I was challenged to find a safe route. I used sidewalks where possible, but passageways would abruptly end, requiring an occasionally treacherous climb up and over the icy berm to the road.
As your editorial stated, “it looks like we’re in for a long snowy road ahead” and dealing with it may not be as simple as a public notice with regard to the Village Code. While the proper (heavy) equipment made it possible for small mountains of snow to be removed from the business district, residents who live on narrow streets, with virtually no front yards (much of our historic district) find that there is no place to put the snow which needs to be removed from sidewalks in front of their properties. Once the plowing is accomplished, it is not physically possible for an ordinary person to remove the mounds of snow/slush/ice which result.
Obviously, we cannot all keep a “small Bobcat” handy for these occasions, but if the Village owns such a thing, perhaps we can come up with a plan, including fees for service, which will accomplish the goal: a Village in which people can safely get around, whether on foot or by car.