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4216 Comments by highhatsize

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Democrat Regina Calcaterra launches campaign for State Senate

To peoplefirst:

I have no contrary evidence of Ms. Calcaterra's character since I never heard of her before today. However, your post was a cut-and-paste from her own campaign website. As such, you should have identified the source." Jan 21, 10 4:29 PM

Southampton councilwoman accuses supervisor of trying to 'control' her

As long as the Town Council persists in ignoring the 2,000 pound gorilla in the room wearing an STPD badge, what difference does any of this make?

We have learned a little about the STPD's absorbent capacity regarding tax dollars. We know that there was a $4.5M deficit in the police fund, (whatever that is), but don't know where that money went. We also know the MINIMUM salaries of police officers which were published on the Town website but have no idea how those numbers compare to their ACTUAL salaries including overtime pay. The minimum is staggering but the actual would be stratospheric.

Unless the Town Council shows some metal and takes on these overweening public "servants", it can appoint fifty committees and nothing will change. The simple reality is that the STPD costs a million dollars more than it should each year because cops stay on the payroll at will when they should be retired according to the Town code.

Were it not for this extra-contractual patronage, most if not all of the employees who were canned twenty-one days ago would still have jobs.

Meanwhile, the Town Council continues waste time arguing about the arrangement of the chairs in notional oversight committees." Jan 21, 10 4:58 PM

Democrat Regina Calcaterra launches campaign for State Senate

You are right about the insinuation. I found the article to be p.r. puffery and was annoyed that the Press would guilelessly publish it.

Thanks for the citation. There was no subtext to the request. I simply wanted to see where you were getting your information. Upon logging onto the site, I realized, as I had suspected when reading your initial post, that you had transposed text from there verbatim. Quoting the text and attributing it to the source is s.o.p. when so doing." Jan 21, 10 8:07 PM

Southampton councilwoman accuses supervisor of trying to 'control' her

I hereby release control of your orbital muscles." Jan 22, 10 5:58 PM

Race for vacant seat on Southampton Town Board heats up

Has either candidate said ANYTHING about what he proposes to do if elected? Anything concrete? So far this is a beauty pageant." Jan 22, 10 6:14 PM

Suffolk County announces handgun buy-back program

The devil is in the details.

This news article was an opportunity for the Sheriff's office to advertise their program, together with the circumstances under which the buy-back would occur. Since it is aimed only at ILLEGAL handguns, anyone taking advantage of it would be committing a crime right up until the moment that the handgun is out of his possession.

Under those circumstances, failure to state the amount of money for which the handgun will be purchased but, more importantly, failure to explain the provisions undertaken to protect the anonymity of the donor vitiate the program." Jan 22, 10 10:43 PM

Race for vacant seat on Southampton Town Board heats up

After reading the Fleming campaign website, a few questions come to mind:

1) Where do you stand on the question of requiring STPD cops to retire after their twentieth year of service, as required by the Town code?

2) Are you aware that the Town is paying more than a million dollars every year in salaries to cops who should have been retired rather than kept on the payroll?

3) Do you favor an addition to the Town code that prohibits STPD officers from appearing in uniform when off duty without the express permission of the Chief of Police and/or the Town Council?

Its nice that you would like the Town Council to hear more from the public before it passes resolutions. Who could be opposed to that? But, specifically, how about the above standard operating procedures that are costing the Town millions?

We await answers to these questions on your website with anticipation.
" Jan 24, 10 2:37 AM

While it is true that the Town Council is squandering millions of dollars on STPD patronage, this is not its most egregious failing. That is, after all, only money.

Worse still is the extraordinarily low ethical bar that the Republican Council members have set for themselves in handing out political appointments to party colleagues, and their belief, apparently, that a promise made while campaigning doesn't become a lie afterward if left unfulfilled
So it came as no surprise that the Republicans appointed Republican stalwart William Berkoski Jr. to the Town Planning Board in the face of criticism by numerous residents and despite Berkoski's apparent conflict of interest with a matter under Planning Board consideration.

Moreover, Jim Malone has yet to fulfill the promise that he made to quit his job as deputy county clerk when elected, (reported in this paper on May 27, 2009), in order to have the necessary time to devote to his Town Council position.

With these examples of unprincipled behavior by Town Council members, is it any surprise that the STPD PBA emulates them in protecting its patronage perks?

Those vying for the vacant Town Council seat should speak out. Tell us what you think of this sort of behavior. How will you be different?

The Town Council, by its actions, sets the standard of ethical behavior for all Town employees. STPD PBA misbehavior did not arise spontaneously, it grew in imitation of its political masters." Jan 24, 10 7:36 PM

Democrat Regina Calcaterra launches campaign for State Senate

I made no accusations about Ms. Calcaterra. In my earlier post, I indicated that I had never heard of her. My latter post, (the one that the moderator removed), presented some facts that I had learned about her while googling her name in the previous half-hour. I thought that the facts were unique and interesting, nothing more, and so I posted them. I also posted a query in light of what I had read. No doubt, it was the latter question that caused my censoring.

To be as clear as possible regarding my deleted post and the question that I raised without repeating those words that caused its deletion , nothing that I posted was pejorative to Ms. Calcaterra. (The editor, apparently, saw it differently.)

Ms. Calcaterra seems to be a strong, viable candidate for LaValle's seat. I hope that her candidacy will bring interest and excitement to a contest which, whether you are for or against LaValle, has been a stately progress to reconsecration rather than a race for some years.

Parenthetically, I think that the censoring of my comments reveals that the editors of The Southampton Press are using obsolete criteria for censorship. It's 2010, not 1950. Put me back." Jan 24, 10 9:53 PM

Foundation takes reins at Southampton Town Animal Shelter

God bless Susan Allen and all the people who are continuing the good work of the animal shelter.

When the takeover of the shelter was reported in the Press, the article stated that all the employees would keep their jobs with the exception of an assistant director. This article, however states that all the original employees were laid off.

I wonder if that was what motivated one of these former employees to throw out the DVDs. Did she feel betrayed, having been told that her job was secure and then being dismissed? It's a story that the Press should follow up." Jan 25, 10 4:24 PM

Poxabogue restaurant faces ouster

The scenario that Mr. Wankel has put into play is obvious. He is trying to force Mr. Murray out so that his man can run the restaurant. Rather than simply refusing to renew Murray's lease, which would look bad since he is such a good tenant, Mr. Wankel has made the new lease terms onerous. He is so confident of his success that he has even had his man apply for a liquor license for the restaurant that he does't yet run.

When Mr. Avella is in charge, Mr. Wankel will make all the changes the he wants without anyone, such as a sitting tenant, naysaying him.

Since Mr. Wankel is acting in bad faith, the Town Council should contact him and make him justify his behavior to them.

To paraphrase Mr. Murray, why fix something that isn't broken?" Jan 25, 10 5:30 PM

Foundation takes reins at Southampton Town Animal Shelter

I have no doubt that thre newly appointed staff at the [former] fown animal shlter wll prove to be much more adept at shepherding the shelter thorogh lean economic conomic times than the Town employees whom they are replacing.

The private takeover is s a labor of love in which each animal placed in a forever home is an emotional triumph for its caretakers, (as well as a certification that they are effective in the vocation that they have chosen as their life's work.) The same is not true of the personnel whom they replaced who were selected, in part, due to Republican political debts.

Here's hoping that animal control becomes, once again, a duty of the Town which will reassume the responsibility of running it informed by the exmple of the non-profit's success during the interregnum.

One hopes, as well, that the Animal Control department is never again singled out for annihilation when the Town budget is in deficit. There are other programs whose cessation would be good for the Town and which would fund both the Aniomal Shelter and the paychecks of the forty pople who were dismissed at the beginning of January." Jan 26, 10 3:58 AM

Democrat Regina Calcaterra launches campaign for State Senate

Rubbish. Your preconceptions have distorted your perception." Jan 26, 10 5:39 PM

Bishop girding for fall fight

Bishop is a principled legislator who embodies the Democratic Party ideals, including National Health Care. He has also been assiduous in bringing home pork for the local boys.

If he loses, it will have nothing to do with his personal performance but rather with the electorate's profound dissatisfaction with a federal government that has rewarded criminally inept financial institutions with hundreds of billions of dollars at the same time that average Americans have lost trillions in equity in their homes, or the very homes themselves.

Republican candidates all will accuse their Democratic opponents of profligacy despite the fact that it was a Republican controlled White House and Congress that enabled Wall Street to steal, - - - and also, just to mention, missed 9/11; went to war by mistake; oversaw the biggest illegal immigration in the history of the world." Feb 3, 10 5:27 PM

Questions are raised over Town Board candidate's fund-raising restrictions

I don't think William Hughes is doing anything inappropriate in his fund raising. The laws are meant to prevent police officers from using the implied power of their position to intimidate or coerce people into voting for them. I don't think that anyone believes that that is the case here.

However, since Mr. Hughes has remained a Sphinx regarding his opinion about STPD patronage and the misconduct of off-duty police officers, (who used the intimidation of their uniform is precisely the manner that the fund raising laws are meant to prevent), the propriety of his campaign behavior is moot. " Feb 3, 10 10:04 PM

I would like to point out again that there is a law ON THE BOOKS of the Southampton Town code that states that a police officer's employment ENDS with their twentieth anniversary of service.

When I pointed this out originally, the nay-sayers denied its existence. When it was proven to exist, they said that state retirement law superseded town law. When it was shown that state law was not restrictive, they fell back on the argument that, "It has never been tested in court."

No, and it never will while the Town Council routinely reaffirms STPD million dollar patronage bonuses year after year. So, I'm with the nay-sayers on this one. Let's retire some of this deadwood and go to trial." Feb 4, 10 3:45 PM

Suffolk County judge overturns East Quogue marina application approval

The Trustees should take the position that no more docks can be erected on the waters under their supervision, for any purpose.

The South Shore bays are dying because of pollution. It gets worse ever year. Even considering the erection of new commercial docks is insane.

Perhaps if the Trustees prohibit new dock construction, the ST Council will seriously address the much greater problem of the leaching of sewage from cesspools into bay waters. Some sewage treatment program has to be structured. Either that, or look forward to the bays becoming as dead and malodorous as western Long Island Sound. " Feb 5, 10 1:14 PM

East End could get up to 8 inches of snow starting Friday night

My private forecasting service predicts 1&1/2 feet for Suffolk thanks to the gulf stream." Feb 5, 10 6:10 PM

Questions are raised over Town Board candidate's fund-raising restrictions

There was a time when it was considered to be infra dig actually to campaign personally for an office that one was seeking. That seems to be Mr. Hughes position. Many questions regarding his perspective and judgment have been raised in this thread. All could be answered by Mr. Hughes on his website." Feb 5, 10 6:18 PM

The contrast between the behavior of Mr. Hughes' apologists and the man himself is astounding. He could alleviate the worries expressed by the Southampton Town voters herein simply by posting on his website. But while his apologists are feverishly defensive, Mr. Hughes is inert.
" Feb 5, 10 11:10 PM

Broderick to star in Hamptons-based sitcom

I don't care one way or the other about Michael Broderick but a little online research revealed that no alcohol was involved; the family of the deceased has forgiven him; and, he was scheduled to meet with them years after the accident, (although I don't know if he ever did)." Feb 6, 10 2:00 AM

Southampton Town Planning Board balks at plans for Speonk condos

This is a guess but I think that the plume is cupric arsenate from a plant on the southern end of the Speonk-Riverhead road that produced treated lumber. It had a sign on it alerting motorists that the clouds emerging from the plant were steam from their production process rather than a fire, (so don't call the fire department). Shortly after it closed for good around fifteen years ago, it was revealed that, rather than capturing all the poisons left over from the processing and shipping them to approved disposal sites for toxic waste, it had simply been dumping them down the drain for decades.

I wondered how the licensing authorities could have missed the fact that no tanker trucks ever left the plant despite the millions of gallons of toxic waste that the plant produced. I allso wondered why no one ever was indicted." Feb 6, 10 2:13 AM

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