Letters to the Editor: 11/10/16


Keep Sidewalks Clear

Dear Editor:

I feel so very fortunate to live in a village where most of life’s necessities and amenities are available within walking distance. But, walking in the village is not without its hazards. I wish to address but two of them: lack of attention to overgrowth of hedges, plantings and vines as well as the possibly soon-to-be-apparent need to remove snow and ice, both of which often require that pedestrians walk in the road; inconvenient at best, hazardous at worst.

All village property owners should be aware of two important village code items as they relate to our sidewalks:

Village code 235-18. B. It shall be the duty of every owner of real property in the Village to keep plantings, shrubs, and hedges in front of their real property trimmed back to the property line with any street, sidewalk, or Village property.

Village Code 235-4. A. It shall not be lawful for any owner or occupant of land or premises adjacent to a sidewalk in the Village to suffer or permit any ice or snow to remain on the sidewalk in front of said premises so as to impede travel longer than 24 hours after cessation of a storm or formation of such ice.

  1. Any person who shall violate any provision of this article shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine not exceeding the sum of $250 or imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both, for each and every such violation.

I am pleased to note that when I have called property owners’ attention to these concerns, they have almost always corrected the situation. It is my hope that raising awareness will lead to greater, if not universal, compliance.

Sincerely yours,

Margaret Abelman Bromberg

Sag Harbor


Managing Stress

To the Editor:

When I was walking point in the canine corps in Vietnam, I was assigned another dog handler whose nickname was “Chicken Shit”. He was given that name by the other dog handlers because he was so afraid of walking point that he would do anything to avoid walking in that point position.

When helicopter dropped the two dog teams off for a search and destroy mission, one of the other dogs started limping. I would ‘t be surprised if his handler had kicked his dog in the leg to make him limp. According to proper protocol, the senior dog handler should have radioed for another helicopter to pick both dog teams up and bring them back to their base camp where the dog could b given proper first aid, but he did not.

During the mission, I saved an entire platoon of soldiers from walking into an ambush by reading my dog’s alert on the enemy’s position. I saw my life go through my head on that mission and I’ll never be the same. I have b suffering from post-traumatic stress, eventhough my dog and I saved all those men. It is ironic, I saved all those men, but I couldn’t even save myself. Part of me died when I stuck my chest out to receive the final piece of Vietnamese lead. I felt it ricochet off my helmet and hit the dirt. I swore, after surviving Vietnam, I would never let the government use me in any way, shape or form again; especially supporting the government getting involved in senseless wars.

When I returned to the base camp, after the mission, I was on an emotional high because I had just saved an entire platoon from an online ambush. An online ambush is one in which the enemy is parallel to its target . I was also elated because I had just escaped from a near brush with death in that ambush.

Since I was not the senior dog handler and Chicken Shit was, he had me walk point for three days with my dog, while he and his dog, who was limping, walked in the rear of the patrol in a much safer position.

In the meantime, Chick Shit had put me on report for forgeting my dog’s food and water on the mission. I had started my food and water with my dog for three days. He was well and alert enough to detect that ambush.

I was livid when I found out that had reported me for maltreating my dog. I started yelling at the top of my voice, “Chicken Shit you have a big mouth!” He responded by saying “I am going to stick you with my bayonet, if you don’t shut up!” I picked up my M-16 and pointed it at him.

Thank God the safety was on, or I might have been writing this story from prison.

After I pulled the trigger on my weapon, I realized what men in uniform must be going through when confronted by a stressful situation which makes them do something that they ordinarily would not do.

After that incident, I started jogging around the base camp perimeter to lose some weight. Not only d I start shedding some pounds, I started feeling better. I was more relax and less stressed. There is nothing more stressful than walking point with a German shepherd in Vietnam. As a matter of fact, my job was the most dangerous job in Vietnam. I started feeling sharper and more alert on my missions and so did my dog. After all, he was jogging with me.

I feel, from my own personal experience in Vietnam, that exercise is one of the best  ways to help reduce stress. If police departments throughout this country would initiate exercise programs, including walking, running, biking, weight training, yoga, tai-chi or meditation, there might be a noticeable reduction in stress among police.

Stress is the real enemy, not people, black or white, who are involved in police traffic stops or carrying a weapon with a concealed weapon permit. Stress can be heightened, improper rush to judgment and actions which may be extremely dangerous and regrettable. There is nothing more stressful than having the power of life or death over someone else.

According to Clint Eastwood’s movie, “The Unforgiven,” “When you take a man’s life, you take away all that he is, all that he was and all that he ever will be.”

Richard Sawyer