Letters April 16, 2009

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Making Fundraising Difficult

Dear Bryan,

I was not surprised to read in the April 2 Express (“Final Bulova Suit is Tossed”) that Mayor Ferraris is among the many Sag Harbor residents who regret that the renovation of the former watchcase factory does not appear to be possible in this economy.

I was deeply troubled, however, to hear him actively discouraging his neighbors from supporting an established community non-profit such as the Group for The East End, suggesting its efforts to ensure a thorough review cost us the project, and cost the village unnecessary legal fees. Like the mayor, I dearly hope the factory will be intelligently renovated before it is lost. I am also grateful, as I imagine he is too, that the community had a searching if overdue debate on the need for subsidized housing for year-round residents.

As a longstanding member of this community who cannot imagine owning a home here, I know the issue all too well. I will not debate here whether it would have been good for Sag Harbor to have a luxury development downtown, or whether such a venture could have been financed at this time, with speedier approval. I will just say that I appreciate the participation of the several non-profits that help to keep the public informed of these lengthy review processes, serving as their eyes and ears, and often as their voices. With many local residents only in residence seasonally, and powerful interests in play, non-profit advocacy organizations play vital roles—as the community has asked them to. Do we need to make their fundraising harder in these difficult times?

Do we really want to live without such oversight? Even as Sag Harbor has been up in arms about a proposed development along the waterfront, another has been built. Would anyone argue that the review is just as thorough when the public is not watching closely? I wonder.

Stephen Longmire

North Haven

Successful Fashion Show

To the Editor:

On Sunday, March 29th, Stella Maris Regional Catholic School held its 5th Annual Fashion Show Luncheon. For the second year in a row, the event was held at Most Holy Trinity Parish Hall. Also for the second year in a row, the event was a great success, raising over $9,000 for the art program at Stella Maris.

Each year, the Fashion Show Committee chooses to honor an outstanding supporter of the school. Honorees in the past have included the late Monsignor Donald Desmond and Sister Angela Hearne. This year, we chose to honor our own Mrs. Jane FitzGerald Peters, our principal.

Thanks in large part to Mrs. Peters vision, dedication, and perseverance, Stella Maris Regional Catholic School is a thriving educational environment. Our enrollment continues to increase each year. Not only are we getting bigger, we are getting better! Standardized testing routinely places our students in the top 6% of the nation. Each and every classroom, from kindergarten through 8th grade, is equipped with state-of-the-art technology.

All of this learning takes place in a school that reinforces the Catholic beliefs and values that we teach at home. What a gift.

Thanks to all who attended our 5th Annual Fashion Show Luncheon. It was a great afternoon of fundraising and fashion.

Sincerely,

Jennifer S. Fowkes

Stella Maris Regional Catholic School

Flags

How many flags will we give away?

How many sons and daughters

Will be led to teir slaughter?

We honor the fallen and dead

When we should honor the living instead.

It seems to me, if you want to be free,

There are other ways to serve your country.

Remember, after everything is said and done

You don’t have to carry a loaded gun.

Richard Sawyer

Sag Harbor

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