Community Viewpoint

LIRR Grade Crossings

Dear Editor:

I attended the public hearing on August 23 at the William Floyd High School regarding the need for another grade crossing to alleviate the traffic problems on the Mastic Peninsula. The hearing was called for by Councilman Dan Panico. A study was done by Nelson and Pope Engineers on how to address the problem. Mentioned in the study were the present crossings: Mastic Rd., Wm. Floyd Parkway, and Smith Rd. The study addressed the crossings at Mastic Rd. and Wm. Floyd Parkway and that a new crossing should be constructed at either Hawthorne St. or Madison St . At no time during the discussion by the engineers or others on the dais was the crossing at Smith Rd. ever mentioned again.
Back in 1978, a debate involving the same issue was being discussed. I submitted a proposal regarding Smith Road, the other crossing mentioned in this study but not discussed. Smith Road’s present paved portion runs from Montauk Hwy. to Ranch Dr. in the western portion of Shirley. The right of way for Smith Rd. runs further south to Tallwood Dr. in South Shirley. A few blocks north of that it intersects with Havenwood Drive. Havenwood Dr. crosses Wm. Floyd Pky. and connects with Neighborhood Road. There is a traffic light at Wm. Floyd. I proposed at that time to pave the remainder of Smith Rd. to Havenwood Dr. This would provide an additional route out of Mastic Beach and South Shirley. Vehicular traffic which would eventually travel west on Montauk Hwy. or Sunrise Hwy. could use this route. This could take a large volume of traffic away from Wm. Floyd Pkwy., Mastic Rd., and the densely populated center of the peninsula. Smith Rd. has no residences on its west side and there is a traffic light already in place at Montauk Hwy. The portion of Montauk Hwy. where Smith Rd. meets it is much less traveled than the portion between Wm. Floyd and Mastic Rd.
Several days after I submitted this proposal in 1978, I received a letter back from the Director of Traffic Safety for the Town of Brookhaven, Vincent G. Donnelly, P.E. He stated that my recommendations were well taken and valid and would be evaluated. So….. from 1978 until now, what has been done on this? NOTHING!!! Why?? Could someone please tell me why this common sense proposal can’t happen and thus help with this critical situation?

Richard Oldham, Mastic
No Spine Whatsoever

Dear Editor:
It didn’t take long before feeling disgust for our new village administration, and one trustee in particular, for yet again showing his true colors to the people. Recently, the village board of trustees voted 5-0 to hire none other than the previous mayor, MAURA SPERY to work for the village during its final months as a “Grant Coordinator”.
Yes, that’s right, the same Maura Spery who overspent the village into a deficit, The same Maura Spery who tried raising taxes 125%, The same Maura Spery who hired a convicted 4x felon and hid it from her own board. The same Maura who refused to do criminal background checks and supported her decision to hire this felon to run code enforcement even after he was charged with lying on his job application (most likely at her direction). The same Maura Spery who consistently lied to the people that put her in office, targeted individuals that spoke out against her, and got the village sued on multiple occasions because of her actions.
First, there is no time to apply and receive almost any new grants for the remaining few months as a village, so this paycheck is nothing more than a payoff.
For Trustee Joseph Johnson to vote yes for this is absolutely appalling. Mr. Johnson criticized Maura Spery’s every financial mistake for years, campaigned and spoke out against her failure in leadership and constant misappropriation of public funds, cronyism, and deceitful actions. Now that Maura is his friend, he apparently has no problem handing her a $5,000 payoff.
Joseph Johnson hiring Maura Spery is the equivalent of President Trump hiring Hillary Clinton to run his email servers.
Mr. Johnson has clearly shown the people he stands for nothing and has no spine whatsoever. If I were him I would save myself the embarrassment and simply step down since he is clearly unfit to hold a strong opinion, and without that he couldn’t possibly hold a seat in office even after turning his back on the people who supported and voted for him.
Mr. Johnson, you are a disgrace and a perfect example of what an elected official should NOT be. You stand for nothing and should be ashamed of yourself for raising taxes and giving your friend this payoff on the taxpayers dime.

Chris Anderson, former Mastic Beach Trustee

Hurricane Harvey

Dear Editor:

The threat from Hurricane Harvey is far from over, as extremely dangerous flooding continues in Texas and parts of Louisiana.
Getting help in some areas will be challenging in the days ahead due to devastating floodwaters and closed roads. This is a heartbreaking and challenging situation for those in the storm’s path.
The American Red Cross, thanks to the generosity of our supporters and volunteers, is working around the clock to provide safe shelter and comfort for the hundreds of thousands of people impacted by this disaster.
This is a time for communities to come together and support one another.
Thanks to the generosity of 7-Eleven, Inc., all donations made in the next 24 hours to Hurricane Harvey will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $150,000. This is a chance for your impact to go twice as far. Please give generously to those who need it most.
Here is an update on our response, as well as ways to get help:
More than 1,800 people took refuge from the deadly storm Saturday night in 34 Red Cross and community shelters in Texas, and one shelter in Louisiana. We have enough shelter supplies in Texas to support 28,000 people and supplies for an additional 22,000 people are being sent in now. In addition, tractor trailer loads of ready-to-eat meals, comfort kits, kitchen supplies and cleaning supplies are on the ground in Texas. Nearly half of our emergency response fleet – more than 150 vehicles – have been mobilized. The Red Cross has prepositioned blood products in Houston ahead of the storm to help ensure we can maintain an adequate blood supply.
Harvey will continue to produce an additional several feet of rain over the next several days, and millions of people are facing flash flood warnings, including the entire Houston metro area, which is under a flash flood emergency.
There are numerous reports of people stranded in their homes, and water rescues are ongoing. Roads are flooded, rail lines are shut down, airports closed and hundreds of thousands are without power. Numerous hospitals, nursing facilities and dialysis centers are closed.
Please donate now and have your gift matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $150,000 to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
If a friend or loved one is in harm’s way, urge them to be safe and listen to the advice of emergency officials. People in life-threatening situations that need rescue should call 9-1-1 or the U.S. Coast Guard at 281-464-4851.
You can find shelters by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767), visiting redcross.org or by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App. The Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
I will continue to keep you updated with more information on our response. I am so grateful to you and your support of the Red Cross.

Harvey Johnson,
Senior Vice President,
Disaster Cycle Services,
American Red Cross

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