Letters to the Editor: 7/6/17

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What Counts?

Dear Editor

In order for anyone to resist the start school later movement, they have to disregard what Sag Harbor’s current high school administration says; that they believe “the evidence is clear and overwhelmingly in favor of later start times.” For anyone to be in favor of keeping the school time the same at 7:35 a.m. they also have to disregard what is available from pediatricians and teen sleep researchers. There is more than anecdotal information, it’s countrywide, and it isn’t ambiguous, and it isn’t along party lines. It’s also inconvenient.

If there is any good information to suggest that what is best for the kids’ academic and athletic performance is to keep the same early start times, it just isn’t out there. There are those in every community that are not interested in change, but there’s no study that supports teenagers getting to school before 8:30 a.m. is better. I go to some board meetings, and I want to measure what is being taught in school. At the last meeting a current Sag Harbor School Board member admitted that the latest surveys can be messed with in any direction, and Chris Tice said she knows of someone that took the survey ten times. That means that the only thing one can derive from those results is nothing. Worse. These opinion surveys can mask as science, and science, similar to medicine, and even math itself, doesn’t care what opinions are. If science is rejected, if medical research is rejected, then truth is negotiable to opinion or consensus, and that is an all too common message in 2017.

If we reject reasonable medical research that a little lack of sleep in teenagers compounds to create negative effects, but choose to honor an anonymous survey instead, then we also reject common sense. If that same research shows that this shortage of sleep increases teen traffic accidents by 70%, increases the propensity for recreational drug use, and at the same time, decreases a teens’ capacity for successful academic and athletic performance; then how can anyone reconcile anything of merit in any textbook? In any class. Here’s another question; How many teen traffic accidents / overdoses / failed classes / sports injuries are a direct result of the current school start time schedules? Ridiculous question, many of you say, unless we ask the same person ten times. Let’s say the world agrees with that ridiculous notion for a moment; then how many of these events have to then occur conclusively because we have rejected science? Three traffic accidents and one broken leg? One of each maybe? If that depends on how many kids you have or when you have to be at work, I certainly understand, the answer doesn’t matter because there’s just no room for change.

We will do what is best for our family, and we wish every other family the best for their own personal family decisions. Our local school board, however, is tasked with making the schools’ scheduling decisions for 2018, and they not only get to make decisions based on what their seasoned administration says, and also what science and medicine says is best, but they have to. Maybe even more vitally important is the board has to send a strong, unified message to every student that science, medicine and the truth count at least as much as the students themselves.

Simon Harrison

Sag Harbor

 

Cinema Part of a Bigger Village

To the Editor:

The Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce is looking forward to a revitalized Sag Harbor Cinema. Since our business district is made up of many and varied parts, the rebuilding of the cinema will be a noteworthy part of the fabric of our village. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that it is only one part and must be considered in relation to all the other parts that make Sag Harbor work as the most unique village on the East End.

Our Main Street business district serves many purposes including civic, cultural, service and commercial. There is something for everybody and we must not lose sight of this. The percentage of locally owned businesses is the largest of any East End village, and we would like to maintain the environment which allows these businesses to thrive. It is their survival that is the true heart of the village which appeals to locals, weekenders and visitors.

Sag Harbor has a viable business district. We are not looking for large projects to revitalize a downtown area which has fallen upon hard times. We need to make sure all parties involved recognize the existing needs of the current environment and those which will be created by a project as large as the cinema project. The Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce hopes to work with all parties involved to ensure a positive transition as the cinema project develops.

Sag Harbor Village is equal to the sum of its parts. We are ready to do our part.

Lisa Field

President,

Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce

 

Kudos to TCOs

To the Editor:

I wanted to express my thanks to the Sag Harbor Police Departments Traffic Control Officers (TCO’s) for the job they are doing on the busy streets of Sag Harbor Village.

While it’s not a glorified job, these young men and women keep traffic moving, help cars back out of diagonal spaces safely and protect pedestrians crossing the busy Main Street. This summer crowd is not easy and they are doing an upstanding job!

I live in North Haven and work in Sag Harbor Village and am sure I’ll pay my fair share of parking tickets this season, as I always do. But it’s worth it; otherwise our fair village would be a disaster with the number of cars that come through it on a summers day.

Best regards,

Michael Daly

North Haven

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