Tags Posts tagged with "Francis G. Gibbons Sr."

Francis G. Gibbons Sr.

Pixabay photo

Attend May 1 public hearing on Maryhaven

On Monday, May 1, the Village of Port Jefferson will hold a public hearing at Village Hall at 6 p.m. to change the zoning for the Maryhaven Center of Hope — located across from St. Charles Hospital — to develop condos there.

Our elected officials are tasked with balancing the need for development with the equally important need to preserve open space. But striking that delicate balance is challenging, which is why it’s essential that we, the villagers, contribute to these discussions.

At the moment, not many details have been made available — not even all the trustees were fully briefed when the public hearing was approved April 3. As a result, the Port Jefferson Civic Association has not yet formed an opinion about this development. However, we do advocate and hope for thoughtful planning that both reflects the historical nature of our village and respects the environment.

But given what has transpired with some of the other apartment complexes that have gone up in the village, we can’t be confident that the public hearing will be anything more than a formality.

That’s why we encourage residents of Port Jeff, in the spirit of meaningful community engagement, to ask questions and make their voices heard, either by attending the May 1 hearing in person or writing letters. A strong showing from the public will help ensure that this hearing will not be just a formality and the concerns of the villagers will be addressed.

Ana Hozyainova


Port Jefferson Civic Association

Support community newspapers, Albany

Passage of the proposed New York Local Journalism Sustainability Act by the state Legislature is important to assure survival of local journalism. Most communities are down to one local daily or weekly newspaper. Newspapers have to deal with increasing costs for newsprint, delivery and distribution along with reduced advertising revenues and competition from the internet and other news information sources.

Daily newspapers concentrate on international, Washington, Albany, business and sports stories. They have few reporters covering local neighborhood news. Weekly newspapers fill the void for coverage of local community news. 

I’m grateful that your newspaper group has afforded me the opportunity to express my views via letters to the editor along with others who may have different opinions on the issues of the day. 

Albany needs to join us in supporting weekly community newspapers. Readers patronize advertisers, who provide the revenues to help keep the newspapers in business. 

Let us hope there continues to be room for TBR News Media chain publications such as The Times of Huntington, Northport & East Northport, The Times of Middle Country, The Village Times Herald, The Port Times Record, The Times of Smithtown and The Village Beacon Record.

Larry Penner

Great Neck

The Constitution must be defended

We are facing a moment when an individual has been accused of committing crimes and is being given all the constitutional protections afforded him by the United States of America and the State of New York.

If we are to believe the media, that individual, and those surrounding him, are threatening our society with violence if our constitutional laws are followed.

Also, if we are to believe the media, many of those making threats are elected members of our government, themselves sworn to defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

While most of the current debate is coming from one side of the political spectrum, I have lived long enough to see the other side ignore constitutional law enough times to fill me with an equal level of disgust.

I, and millions more Americans, have risked or given our lives to defend the Constitution. One of my ancestors, Benjamin Franklin, risked everything to give us the Constitution. What right does a group of greedy politicians, without regard to political party, have to spit on those sacrifices?

Before you take a side, get out your history books and read about Europe during the 1920s and 1930s. Mussolini, Stalin and Hitler, each, had millions of supporters. What did that get us?

Francis G. Gibbons Sr.


Community mourns swan together

On Monday, March 27, the mother swan, who had made the Frank Melville Memorial Park her home, died from injuries she had sustained. How? Why? No one will ever know for sure.

Mother Nature can be cruel. A week earlier people had noticed her odd behavior. She swam to the left, sometimes in small, frenzied circles next to her nest, but not on it. Her mate had taken her place. The community came together. Dozens of people tried to help. They watched and wondered, stopped their cars, and offered assistance. We consulted wildlife rescue groups, as well as Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown.

On that Monday morning, I was one of the people who stood and watched her listing like a sinking ship, her head sometimes underwater. She looked weak, lethargic, exhausted — near death. Someone speculated that she had gotten tangled in the pond vegetation. We secured a kayak and attempted a rescue. What we saw was worse than we had imagined. Her leg was tightly wrapped in a heavy mass of weeds. In freeing her, we saw that the leg was only bone, the skin sheared off, bleeding out. She was taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center where she died. On the park’s Facebook page, the outpouring of grief was overwhelming. But we were reminded that swans are not pets. The park did not own her; it only loved her.

On Saturday, April 1, the father swan was back on the nest, sitting on their eggs. Whether they will hatch, no one knows. But we’ll be watching.

Kerri Glynn


Pixabay photo

Can we trust the Suffolk County Legislature?

We have had a “clean water” sales tax for years. When last I looked both Suffolk County and New York State took that “clean water” sales tax money and put it into their general budgets. Suffolk County was taken to court where it lost and was ordered to replace the improperly taken money. Suffolk then claimed this money was needed to offset the costs of COVID-19, won a referendum and never truly repaid this money. I call this legalized “stealing.”

Now we are being asked to increase and extend this legalized “stealing” [through a 1/8-cent county sales tax increase to fund water quality improvement projects, subject to a mandatory referendum]. Additionally, we are being asked to provide politically well-connected persons with positions as “a 17-member wastewater management district board of trustees” to administer this money.

We are told there will be one, countywide, sewer district with “zones of assessment.” Taxes collected within an established zone of assessment would be required to be kept segregated from taxes collected in other zones of assessment, except upon approval by the county Legislature on the recommendation of the district board of trustees.

Can we trust the Suffolk County Legislature? What do you think?

Francis G. Gibbons Sr.


Dog owners should respect a neighborhood park

Frank Melville Memorial Park in Setauket is a glorious place for all community members to enjoy year-round. It is particularly lovely in the spring when the trees are budding, the swans are nesting, the turtles are hanging out on the logs, the flowers are blooming, and people are emerging from their winter hibernation to walk the paths available for our enjoyment. I am one of those people, a community member who loves to bring her friendly chocolate Lab out for a walk on a regular basis. 

As a responsible dog owner, and more so, a considerate person, I take it upon myself to clean up after my large dog when he decides to do his business on park grounds. Sadly, and disgustingly, there are several individuals who have decided that they are above this inconvenient task and feel it is proper protocol to leave their piles wherever they may land so that others are subjected to not only the sight, but the aroma of their pets’ feces. Despite the fact that the park has not one, not two, but three receptacles and poop bag dispensaries, these individuals cannot be bothered to do what a respectful, unselfish person should do. Today was actually my favorite display as one person had taken it upon themself to pick up the poop, and then left the full bag in the middle of the grass adjacent to the pond. Perhaps this was meant to enhance the view? Seriously, what is wrong with you?

The park has several signs stating that if your dog is unleashed you will be banned from the park. The same standard needs to be upheld for those who choose to befoul these grounds with dog excrement. Besides being unsanitary, it is unfair to those who use the park responsibly and have the decency to leash and clean up after their pets. If you refuse to abide by common courtesy, stay home.

Stefanie Werner

East Setauket

Putting the park into parking in Port Jeff Village

The parking problem has persisted since the noted Long Island planner, Lee Koppelman, made Port Jefferson’s first village plan in 1965. Multiple updates continued to note this problem, including the 2030 Comprehensive Plan Update. 

As the village has increased parking capacity with more area and asphalt devoted to off-street parking, the less it has felt like an intimate village. Finding a spot, and the walk from your car — through other cars — to Main Street is not a pleasant start to a visit. In the planning to accommodate the car, the harbor front was converted from shipbuilding to parking, absurdly giving the car the best view of the harbor.

In 2006, sponsored by the BID, supported by the Village of Port Jefferson, we presented to the village community the concept of “Putting the Park into Parking” — as seen on the front page of this paper in 2006. The concept was to make a park on the harbor front and move the parking to a parking structure behind Main Street, replacing the asphalt wasteland with scaled-back street mews walks.

With rising tide predictions, the cars should be replaced — before they go under — with a sponge sustainable functioning education park. Parking is just one concern for quality of life in our village.

Michael Schwarting

Campani and Schwarting Architects

Port Jefferson

Uphold democracy by attending the April 3 village board meeting

When we think of dying democracies, we think of faraway lands, where democracies are overthrown by a military coup — like Myanmar in 2021 — or by rampant corruption and fraud, as in Haiti today. But there is a slower blight democracies die from: a gradual loss of trust in the electoral system. We can see that in our own backyard when local officials ignore and thus thwart the will of the majority. People still have the right to vote, but they no longer bother to do so. 

This fate threatens the Village of Port Jefferson today. We have some 6,000 registered voters in the village. Yet only about 1,200 vote in the mayoral election and even fewer for trustees. The current officers were elected with fewer than a thousand votes each in 2021 and 2022. 

Why is this? The residents have seen issue after issue decided by the Board of Trustees without considering the input of voters. The residents no longer even hope for a voice in village decisions.

Such recent decisions include building of apartment complexes in Upper and Lower Port despite strong opposition from residents; the $10 million bond that was floated to fund the “shield” solution to East Beach bluff erosion; and the parking lot built on the newly cleared forest at Mather Hospital.

But just last week, the Port Jefferson Board of Trustees added the keystone to the arch of despair that has developed over the years. The board and mayor unilaterally extended their terms of office from two years to four with no public debate whatsoever. Whether that extension would be bad or good for the village is not the issue. The issue is that, once again, the village residents’ rightful expectation that their will would be considered in their village government’s decisions was quashed. 

Village residents voted to incorporate as a village because we wanted to have self-governance, to make our own decisions about things that affect us the most. But this is now not the case.

As representatives of the Civic Association of Port Jefferson, we strongly urge the Board of Trustees, in their April 3 meeting, to rescind the undemocratic resolution to extend their terms they made at their last meeting.

We also urge the residents of Port Jefferson to show up at 6 p.m. at the April 3 board meeting at the Village Hall to express their disapproval. Don’t let democracy in our village die the death of apathy.

Ana Hozyainova, President

Holly Fils-Aime, Vice President

Port Jefferson Civic Association


We welcome your letters, especially those responding to our local coverage, replying to other letter writers’ comments and speaking mainly to local themes. Letters should be no longer than 400 words and may be edited for length, libel, style, good taste and uncivil language. They will also be published on our website. We do not publish anonymous letters. Please include an address and phone number for confirmation.

Email letters to: [email protected]

or mail them to TBR News Media, P.O. Box 707, Setauket, NY 11733