Thank you!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Cliff Saunders, owner of Cliff’s Elbow Room, and Jackie Buttafuoco, a young lady without whom our wedding there wouldn’t have happened. 

Also, many thanks to Times Review Media, and especially Chris Francescani, for the lovely photo and story about my day joining hands with Suzanne in the place where we first met.

It was one of the nicest, most cherished memories in my 15 years since this Queens boy moved to the North Fork. 

With great appreciation and humble thanks,

Vinny Spampinato


Whither the water main?

One year ago this week, you and other media outlets reported on the groundbreaking for a water main extension project that would carry water from the Central Pine Barrens aquifer to a pump station near Laurel Lake.

Officials of the Suffolk County Water Authority — including the authority’s chairman — were joined by Southold’s then-town supervisor [Scott Russell] for the occasion. Cameras rolled and reporters took notes as a large section of pipe was lowered into a trench that had been pre-dug into Peconic Bay Boulevard, just east of Laurel Lane. Stories and photos appeared in The Suffolk Times and elsewhere.

Since that date, the trench has been filled in and Laurel Lane has been restored but there has been no other work done in the area. In fact, I’ve been led to believe that the area where the ceremonial groundbreaking took place is not even along the planned path for this project. Interesting. 

Of course, it could be that work is being done in other areas along the pipe’s planned eight-mile route, although news coverage of the groundbreaking reported that the project was moving from east to west. Those of us who use Peconic Bay Boulevard to travel between Southold Town and Riverhead would certainly have noticed crews working on a project of this magnitude. Coverage of groundbreaking day also suggested that the SCWA was not entirely clear on how it was going to fund the $35 million project but was hoping to use federal and state grant money. Sounds tenuous.

What is the status of this important project? Perhaps The Suffolk Times could do some follow-up. In addition to learning whether this project is going ahead and when, I’d be particularly interested in knowing who paid for the crews and materials used to dig up Peconic Bay Boulevard, “fake” the installation of a pipe as the purported kick-off of the project and then make road repairs that were only necessitated because somebody wanted a photo-op.

David Levy 


Things are changing

Thankfully, I was born in the ’40s and enjoyed clamming, crabbing and fishing with no limits or permits. We took care of our precious resources for our next generation. We cooked on a wood fire in the backyard, not on a Weber!

We bought our ice from Wayside Market. It cost 25 cents a block and lasted a week. We went out on Fridays to Jack’s Shack, The Tavern, The Barge, Apple Tree and the bowling alley in Greenport. These were happy, simple times. Town Beach was the place to swim, fish and socialize. Great times! Our wardrobe was a T-shirt, cut off long pants and our bare feet. Summer was the time. 

We drove Chevys, Fords, Plymouths, Dodges and Studebakers. We bought our parts from Mullen Motors. Still here! The cars were at least 10 to 15 years old. We smiled, shared and were well mannered. We all had the same goals: Enjoy life, be respectful, appreciate things/life, show love for family, neighbors and country.

Lastly, appreciate what you have and not be concerned with what you don’t have. Life is short.

Foot note: The Tavern still exists; now It’s Southold Fish Market. Charlie is a prize. The home of the High Tide Little Neck Clam, a seafood delight! Try some. 

Bob Mohr 


The roots of student loan debt

In response to recent letters from Mr. Kramer and Mr. Bittner regarding student loan forgiveness, we feel compelled to address their oversight of crucial aspects of the issue.

First, it’s essential to acknowledge the historical context of student loan debt in the United States. Policies enacted over 30 years ago perpetuated inequities in higher education, particularly affecting marginalized communities. This deliberate tactic limited upward mobility for economically disadvantaged Americans, ensnaring them in a cycle of debt with crippling interest rates. While President Biden’s efforts to address this injustice are commendable, they represent the bare minimum required to begin rectifying our classist and racist system of higher education access.

What troubles us most about [their] letters is their narrow perspective, which fails to recognize the broader impact of student loan forgiveness. By fixating solely on the perceived burden on taxpayers, they overlook the systemic inequalities contributing to financial instability in our communities. Redirecting U.S. tax dollars toward initiatives like student loan forgiveness can address the root causes of financial instability and foster economic growth at local levels.

The suggestion to file for bankruptcy is, at best, tone-deaf. Bankruptcy can severely impact credit ratings, hindering access to credit and future financial opportunities. For those already struggling to repay loans, bankruptcy only exacerbates their socioeconomic challenges.

Moreover, student loan debt extends beyond financial concerns; it’s a matter of equity, justice and ethical responsibility. Disproportionately burdening marginalized communities, it perpetuates cycles of poverty and limits upward mobility. Addressing this issue is crucial for creating a more equitable society where everyone has access to opportunities for success.

Understanding the broader implications of student loan forgiveness is essential for fostering equity and justice for all. At the very least, we should consider how it can provide parents with student debt the chance to spare their children from similar financial burdens, thereby working toward ending generational poverty and stagnation.

Gillian Schroeder and Jackie MacLeod


Kudos to Michael Levy

I was planning to write something very similar, as history teacher, retiree, grandmother and concerned citizen, but he has succinctly and intelligently conveyed my heartfelt fears and warnings for all of us as political season is in full bloom. I hope everyone will examine their consciences, study the important issues and vote for democracy.

Elizabeth Weiss

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