Think Outside the Box
To the Editor:
I am profoundly saddened to read that YARD is on the budgetary agenda at the Sag Harbor School District. As one of the originators of this program, I remember going to all the local village, town, county and state municipalities explaining the need for this program for the school because of the overlapping boundaries and limited resources. The issue of liability was discussed and a solution was achieved by forming an inter-municipal agency that simply required a majority vote of each district. In essence, it is no different that the annual homecoming bonfire held at Long Beach.
Some of the benefits would be exposure of youth at risk to new social settings with specially trained police and other youth from surrounding areas and this would help to develop relationships at the foundation level. The latchkey program after school would keep kids engaged at their most vulnerable time of day. The positives of this program far outweigh the negatives and the small investment will save the district exponentially on itinerant services that most assuredly will cost more.
In closing, I ask the board to think outside the box when considering this program.
Former President of the Sag Harbor School District
The Nuclear Curse
To the Editor
Caption in the New York Times read “Crisis Reviving Long U.S. Fight Over Spent Fuel.” A debate in the United States about how to manage such nuclear waste. Pools holding spent fuel at nuclear plants in the United States are even more heavily loaded than those at the Japanese reactors in the Fukushima, experts say. No plan to move the waste has emerged to replace a proposed repository at Yucca Mountain in the Nevada desert. Not in my backyard. The nuclear curse.
These recent news events brought back some vivid memories of former governor, Mario Cuomo. I was present when he single handedly took on the scientists from the Brookhaven Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor. Cuomo challenged all these brilliant minds, “Explain to me how you will dispose of the nuclear wastes.” Needless to say Cuomo won the debate and eventually Shoreham was shut down by the people in Long Island.
Today there are 14,000 nuclear dumpsites across our country with no money in technology to actually solve the problem. As one Congressman said, “You have an unholy mess on your hands.” What I resent is we have dumped these nuclear wastes on our children and generations yet to come. Unholy, yes, a nuclear curse, a dysfunctional government.
- The good news, Governor Andrew Cuomo is committed to shutting down Indian Point nuclear complex in Westchester Country.
In Appreciation of School Program Support
On behalf of the Sag Harbor Board of Education, I would like to heartily thank the following donors who made generous donations to supplement the funding for the Robotics program:
Vaughn College of Aeronautics, Chelberg & Battle Post 388 American Legion, T & S Mott General Contracting Inc., Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance, Peter Solow, Thomas Gleeson, Sag Harbor VFW Post 9082, Sag Harbor Lions Club, Twin Forks Moving & Storage, Ltd., Comerford Hennessy at Home Inc., Walter Sternlieb, Mr. and Mrs. Jeffery Lynch, F & G Pickering, Frank Bania, William Miller and Shirley Ruch, Bill Miller & Associates, Inc., Yardley & Pino Funeral Home, Inc., Carpet Man, and Ship Ashore Marina
These donations enabled Pierson Robotics to compete in the FIRST School-Business Partnerships of Long Island Regional at Hofstra University where the team was 8-2 with a ranking of 2nd place out of 50 teams. Many teams were supported by much larger corporations and businesses. If you want to see some video of the competition please check out the District website: http://www.sagharborschools.org/
Winston Churchill said, “the price of greatness is responsibility.” These donors have provided the responsibility to allow the students’ greatness to shine. During these hard economic times the community will be increasingly asked to support the aspirations and potential of our students as every educational budget is strained. Please come to the next Board of Education meeting to see a short presentation of the Robotic Team’s robot. If you would like to contribute your time or resources to this or any program for our students please contact the superintendent of schools at 725-5300.
Walter Wilcoxen, President
Sag Harbor UFSD
Importance of Sustaining Agriculture
As both a Sag Harbor resident, and one of the evening’s 88 guests, I would like to thank Slow Food East End and the American Hotel for a superb job organizing the Josh Levine fundraising dinner last Thursday. From the live piano music (and it wasn’t even New Year’s) to the always moving words of Quail Hill Farm’s Scott Chaskey, it was a thoroughly enjoyable affair with an impressive cross-section of community members showing support.
Improved technology and aggressive land preservation have made it possible for the East End to remain New York State’s most profitable agricultural region. However, it will only continue as long as there are dedicated individuals, particularly other young people like Josh, able to work the land. Thanks to the generosity of local farmers, and the coordinating efforts of SFEE member Jeri Woodhouse, the food for the fundraiser was donated and thus allowed all the proceeds to fund a farming internship in Josh’s honor. Unlike so many of the white tent parties that too often characterize “summer in the Hamptons,” there was no overhead, no administrative costs, and nothing taken off the top. In addition to the proposed memorial on Bay Street, which I think is a great idea, this internship not only commemorates the legacy of a life cut short, but contributes to the sustainability of a critical industry.
As this good work continues, I look forward to future events so we not only preserve the “family farm” of 11, 12, and 13 generations, but also the truly “community farm” that allows so many others to take part in the East End’s most definitive heritage.
Private Club, Public Park
To The Editor:
We are writing as members of the Mecox Bay Civic Association, INC (MBCA), a civic association of homeowners and taxpayers with residences on Wheaton Way, Mecox Bay Lane, and Bay Lane in Water Mill. For sometime, and at town taxpayers’ expense, the Town of Southampton has been working feverishly to permit the newly formed Mecox Sailing Association, Inc. (MSA) to convert the public park known as Mecox Bay Park into a private yacht club for the exclusive use of the MSA.
During the Town Board hearings, founding members of the MSA that were participants in a sailing program some 20 years ago spoke about the invaluable lesson learned regarding sailing and life. The reality is that the sailing program existed at a time when there were six homes in the area. Now there are over 70 and a community has been built with the approval of the town. As avid water users, we appreciate these sentiments and encourage the residents of the Town to enroll their children in the existing sailing programs the Town already provides rather than the conversion of a public park into a private yacht club for the exclusive use of a select few.
It has come to the attention of the MBCA that the Town has prepared, filed and paid for, on behalf of the MSA, an application to NYSDEC to destroy wetlands at Mecox Bay Park and an application to the Department of Health Services to permit the operation of a private yacht club at Mecox Bay Park without running water or restroom facilities. Putting aside the fact that the Town is advocating for the destruction of tidal wetlands and for children to use the facility without bathrooms, the Town has reneged on this commitment that no taxpayer dollars would be spent on this endeavor.
How much time has the Town Attorney and the Town Department of Land Management spent preparing these applications? The Town did hire a private surveyor to fulfill the requirements to file the applications with the NYSDEC and Department of Health Services. As taxpayers, we need to know if the MSA is going to reimburse the taxpayer for these expenses or whether this is just another taxpayer handout.
The question that must be asked in today’s atmosphere of tighter government budgets and economic stress on homeowners is, why is the Town spending taxpayer resources and bending over backwards to convert public parkland to a private yacht yard?
Edgar and Elizabeth Bohlens