Letters to the Editor: Dec. 7, 2023

Letters to the Editor: Dec. 7, 2023

Photo by Raymond Janis

Thanking community for solidarity around farm animals

Dear Community,

I want to thank you, the community, for coming together to keep the animals at the historic Sherwood-Jayne Farm on Old Post Road in East Setauket.

A special thank you to those who stopped by on Nov, 8, while Preservation Long Island [the farm owner] was trying to take away the animals. There was no notice that they were coming that day. Your presence was deeply appreciated.

Even though the farm animals — the four sheep and Snowball the pony — will be removed at some time soon, your commitment to try to keep them at the farm brought our community together in a beautiful way. It was a deep disappointment that the director of Preservation Long Island hardened her heart to not let the animals live out their lives at the Sherwood-Jayne Farm.

No one knows when the director is planning to remove the animals. You may want to take some “Grandma Moses”-style photos before the animals are taken away.

Again, my sincere thanks.

Bonnie Dunbar


Three Village school board’s regressive decision on Regents exams

At the Nov. 29 meeting of the Three Village Central School District Board of Education, a decision was made to regress to the pre-COVID era in terms of how Regents exams will figure into our students’ grade point averages.

Instead of permanently instating the “do no harm” policy that has been in place since the pandemic, a slim majority voted to do away with it altogether. The “grading committee” apparently felt it was far more important to simply lower the percentage that the exams will count in a final course GPA from 12% to 10% rather than take into consideration the considerable damage these flawed exams can do to one’s final course grade.

The simple truth is that most students who will be taking Regents exams this year are either first timers or those who have not been tainted by the tests because of the policy that has been in place. I applaud the one board member, Karen Roughley, who delivered an extremely comprehensive argument for why the “do no harm” policy was the most advantageous opportunity for our students to be successful.

Students who excel all year and achieve mastery in their quarter grades should not have the average destroyed by one test. There are innumerable factors that can alter how students perform on their Regents, including test anxiety and/or other mental health issues, illness, outside distractions and so forth. Yet the board ignored the opportunity to ensure that our students do not suffer if they are unable to regurgitate information during a three-hour state exam.

New York State neither requires nor recommends that Regents exams be counted in a student’s final course grade. Several districts, including Jericho — that Three Village chooses to compare themselves to — do not count Regents exams in their final GPA.

Why then, with this information, does this district insist on continuing down this archaic rabbit hole? Is it not enough that the Chemistry Regents includes a downward curve or that the ELA and United States history exams have formats now that even the strongest students struggle with?

The grading committee’s claim that our students wouldn’t put forth the same effort if they knew the scores wouldn’t count was completely disproven by the data presentation at the meeting. The mere suggestion is insulting to our kids and those responsible for preparing them for the exams.

The board’s decision was one of cowardice and a disregard for our children’s success. To say I am disappointed, as a great many parents are, would be a huge understatement.

Stefanie Werner

East Setauket

Miller Place fire commissioner bid

Dear Residents of the Miller Place Fire District,

My name is Kyle Markott and I’m writing to ask for your support as I run for Miller Place Fire District commissioner. I believe my skills, knowledge and experience of fire district operations make me an ideal candidate for the position of fire commissioner.

I joined the Miller Place Fire Department as a .junior member in 1994 at the age of 14. After serving four years in the juniors, I was honored to be sworn in as an active member. As years went by, I rose through the ranks serving as chief driver, lieutenant and then captain of the Engine Company. In 2007 I was elected as 3rd assistant chief. I went on to serve eight years in the chief’s office attaining the rank of chief of department in 2013-14.

I believe what sets me apart is my experience with fire district operations. For the past four years I have served as a fire district manager. I handle all aspects of the fire district on a day-to-day basis including the management of a 20-person staff, creation of the annual budget, truck and building maintenance, overseeing a 24/7 dispatch and EMS operation, and daily interaction with all our vendors.

Having knowledge of what is happening in other fire districts and the county is also an important trait of an effective commissioner. For the past nine years I have served on the Suffolk County Fire Rescue & Emergency Services Commission, and I currently serve as chairman. This commission makes recommendations to the county executive and Legislature regarding fire and EMS services in the county.

I hope my over-26 years of experience in the fire and EMS service makes me the best candidate for the commissioner position.

The commissioner election is on Tuesday, Dec. 12, from 4-9 p.m. at the Miller Place Fire Department headquarters located at 12 Miller Place Road.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Kyle Markott

Miller Place