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.
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.
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.