Community Viewpoint

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Dear Editor:

Mr. Toranzo’s letter last week placing the blame for outer beach closures on Suffolk County was unbelievable. Local governments are mandated by federal agencies to protect the birds. Failure to do so can lead to heavy fines and even jail time for local officials.
Even more unbelievable were statements that piping plovers can be moved to new locations. This is in direct violation of the federal laws!! Clearly Mr. Toranzo is misinformed. No such game plan can exist. Plans that work around the nests are allowed. After researching plans in other parts of the country that Fish and Wildlife Services has approved, I do not see how it can be successful at Smith Point. There are only two programs in the whole country, Massachusetts and Oregon, and the geography of those parks do not compare to Smith Point.
Smith Point is unique due to the park having only one access road. When alternative management plans were implemented in other parts of the country, there were a host of options to manage recreational access concurrently with plover protection that do not exist at Smith Point. To be successful, Burma Road must be separated from the plover habitat by large, densely vegetated dunes. At Smith Point, the federal government is making that impossible. In the absence of physical barriers (contiguous dunes), plovers are still at serious risk. Federal agencies are reducing dunes and preventing Suffolk County from separating Burma Road.
This is hypocrisy at its best. If federal officials want to work with local residents to improve access, then they need to allow Suffolk County to build our dunes up and strengthen the only road we have. Mandating conditions that create more nests in the only areas we can access the beach from is absolute stupidity. We need Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and Congressman Zeldin to stop Fish and Wildlife Services from destroying our dunes. Then maybe a management plan can succeed and be worth the cost.

Brenda Rooney
Mastic Beach

Graffiti Removal Program

Dear Editor:

Continuing past efforts, Colonials Community Volunteer Corps, sponsored by Colonial Youth and Family Services, has begun its Graffiti Removal Campaign for 2017. Volunteers will be working hard on this project every Friday through the fall. Spurred on by many years of successful efforts and buoyed by tremendous amount of community support volunteers look forward to this project each year.
The goal of this project is to remove graffiti vandalism from municipal property in our neighborhoods. To date, volunteers have removed 5,533 pieces of graffiti vandalism. Our volunteers strive to maintain these sites while continuing to expand the scope of this project.
If you are a student in the William Floyd School District in grades six through twelve and would like to be volunteer call 631-281-4461 and ask for Ray or Sam about registration information.
If you would like to make a monetary contribution to this project all donations are greatly appreciated.

Ray Hopp
Colonial Youth & Family Services

Say No To Sound Beach Crossing

Dear Editor:

Bayville Mayor Paul Rupp and village trustees recently reminded the taxpayers on Long Island of Governor Cuomo’s multi-million dollar study on the Cross-Sound Bridge. This project has been continuously blocked year after year for decades, with opposition from elected officials, Long Island families, small businesses, and environmental groups.
This is another example of petty partisan politics the governor is using to advance his run for the White House, and the taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill. The governor is catering to special interests, rather than our families on Long Island.
The most recent study, conducted in 2007, estimated that the construction alone would cost taxpayers over one hundred million dollars. This does not include the ecological damage that would disrupt and cripple the ecosystem and wetlands, our pristine shoreline, and the historic North Shore of Long Island.
Countless properties would be bought up by eminent domain, driving property taxes up even more. Our property taxes are too high as it is without adding this undertaking.
This is not a sound project and I simply will not support it. I’ve been in Albany fighting to end these pointless studies which never bear fruit. All of the Cross-Sound Bridge studies over the last decade say the same thing, it’s bad for the environment, bad for business, and bad for the taxpayer, yet here we are digging into it again. This is a waste of time and money.

Assemblyman Michael Montesano
15th Assembly District

Filed in: Community Viewpoint

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