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2963 Comments by Nature

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Local stationery and office supply shops react to Staples planned for Bridgehampton Commons

The Southampton Town Planning Board has no grounds to deny a company like Staples a site plan as long as they comply with the rules and regulations of the Town Code. Just because it's a big company doesn't mean the Town can say no arbitrarily.

Additionally, the owners of the local stationary store don't oppose a Staples because of the competition, they simply think it's not a good fit for the Hamptons. " Mar 23, 10 10:44 PM

As pstevens points out the proposed Staples will not require the construction of a new building. At the very worst this project could require a Phase III under SEQRA, but it would not cross the threshold of Postive Decleration which is gounds for denying an application." Mar 24, 10 2:23 PM

Correction: Part III, not Phase III" Mar 24, 10 2:25 PM

I'm all for Jobs creation and utilizing vacant buildings - however the owners of the Commons (Kimco) are doing fine and don't need the rental income. The owner has a pretty nice estate in Bridgehampton near Brick Kiln Rd. and Scuttle Hold Rd. " Mar 25, 10 3:33 PM

Developers present new plans for Tuckahoe hamlet center

While it would be preferable to many to see this area cleared of any development and replaced as a flower field (I presume you are talking about open space) the property owner needs to be a willing seller and the fact is they will make considerably more money selling to a developer than selling to the town or county." Mar 25, 10 3:38 PM

I agree with Turkey Bridge. Developers are smart and untrustworthy. They will use the guise of jobs creation or economic development or affordable housing to get the Board to give away the farm and then sit on the project for years when the Town is no longer in need of jobs or of economic development but the variances will have been given and the approvals will be in place. It's dangerous to approve for today instead of planning for tomorrow." Mar 25, 10 3:49 PM

To those complaining over the thought of a King Kullen being the anchor in this development - the Town Board and/or Planning Board cannot deny an application because it's a King Kullen. They cannot force a developer or property owner to not allow King Kullen in but instead allow Stop and Shop. If there were a distinct difference in traffic flow or services provided by a KK vs. Stop and Shop then it would be relevant but they are both grocery stores. Even making an arguement over a Wal-Mart vs. a Target is near impossible as they both fall under the category of big box stores.

If you truly do not want a King Kullen in the neighborhood and think a different chain would better serve the community your best course of action is boycott. When KK isn't making enough money and ends up closing, a Stop n Shop or similar company will swoop in and fill the newly vacant building. It is not the Planning Board or the Town Board who suggests what companies occupy approved retail spaces. " Mar 25, 10 9:39 PM

For what it's worth, existing Targets (Riverhead, Medford, etc.) have or are expanding to become "Super-Targets" which include full blown grocery stores. Of course now the main strip in Riverhead has 5 grocery stores (Target, Waldbaums, Stop and Shop, Best Yet and King Kullen) - plenty of competition for KK" Mar 25, 10 9:45 PM

Bridget Fleming sworn in, helps push through gridlocked resolutions

Congrats to the Southampton Town Board for seeing the potential the Energy Coordinator has and utilizing grant monies that have been made available. While only Bablyon Town currently has someone in this position, all Long Island Towns have the chance to hire someone for this position and have grant monies available.

The savings created by Mr. de la Houssaye will far exceed any "costs" he will have on the Town. It's unfortunate that it takes hiring someone to get the town to turn off lights, use less water, etc. but there is no one currently in the town with this responsibility and with access to the information and resources the new Energy Coordinator will have. If Mr. de la Houssaye does not secure funds for himself in the future, his position will be eliminated. It is unfortunate that Mr. Nuzzi and Mr. Malone did not take the time to learn the facts and properly understand this hiring.

" Mar 25, 10 11:27 PM

It's unfair to call Mr. de la Houssaye a hack unless you know him personally and can verify this. From a little googling it appears that Mr. De la Houssaye is extremely qualified - far more qualified than what the civil service requirements are likely to be.

Matt de la Houssaye is a waste-recovery and energy consultant with a Master of Science in Environmental Management and Policy from the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) at Lund University, Sweden. Matt’s current projects include a biomass district heating engineering study in Hudson, New York.

Additionally the job, to my knowledge, consists of much more than changing light bulbs and turning off faucets. My previous comment was a watered down version of what will be done. I believe the position will deal with programs such as Go Solar and Green Homes initiatives which will benefit not only the Town but it's residents.

Babylon Town has set an excellent example with green energy and environmental progress and it is likely Southampton Town as well as other Towns on Long Island will work together and progress. Having an Energy Coordinator be in charge of these programs is the first step.

I will take your word that Mr. de la Houssaye is a "friend" of those who want him at town hall - this is a common occurrence for better or worse (usually worse) but passing a Civil Service test and securing grant monies are necessary for him to maintain this job. " Mar 26, 10 10:03 PM

Fairway Restaurant closed after 20 years

Is it just me or is this how business works? There was a lease agreement between two partners, at the termination of the lease, the terms of the lease changed and the leasee didn't want to agree to the new terms. That's business and what makes this country great. If I sign a lease for an apartment for $1000 a month, and in 5 years at the end of the lease, the landlord raises it to $1250 does that make him a jerk? Should he be fired? It's not like the lease was broken. And as BIGjimbo12 points out, the owner and manager of Love Lane Kitchen live in Southampton Town which qualifies them as "locals". If you people are so adamantly against this, boycott. " Mar 28, 10 11:52 PM

While many of you may be saddened at the prospect of a favorite restaurant closing, it's not as if it is being replaced with a disgusting chain restaurant like a Denny's. The Love Lane kitchen is a fine establishment and fits in perfectly with the Hamptons vibe. There is nothing preventing Mr. Murray from opening a new restaurant in the Hamptons.

Do any of you remember the "uproar" over the BBQ place across the street from Poxabogue? Many local property owners in the surrounding area publicly decried such a move and worried that the air would permanently smell of barbeque and it would lower their property values. I have yet to smell this "offensive" odor while driving by, and to the best of knowledge it is a fine establishment that is appreciated in the community and does brisk business. Before you let your emotions get the best of you, please take a step back and realize it is business and the new establishment may be just as good or better and that Mr. Murray might open another restaurant and become more successful. " Mar 30, 10 2:51 PM

Southampton Town Board keeps hearing open on proposed condos in Speonk

BIGjimbo12 - while your idea of a public benefit is reasonable, it is not a true public benefit and you need to understand why that clause was written into the legislation. The purpose of it was so that a developer would get extra leeway if they provided a public park, ballfields, significant amounts of open space, a public pool, etc. An increase in the tax base does not qualify as a "public benefit" because the general public doesn't benefit from it. Yes, in theory there will be a small relief on the tax burder of taxpayers but in areas with rentals, the residents of the area aren't paying the property taxes anyway.

Unfortunately, this clause in the legislation has been bastardized with developers and lawyers using all sorts of ridiculous items as "public benefits" including "up-scale" restuarants and landscaping. " Mar 30, 10 3:45 PM

Seven towns to sue MTA over payroll tax

The Towns are trying to protect their own. Their dispute is not that Southampton doesn't "benefit" from the tax, its dispute is that the tax is unconstitutional.

As for local government protecting its own - they are. If this tax is repealed, it puts a lot of tax payer $$$ back in the public coffers. Not to mention anyone self employed must pay this tax and all businesses, big and small, must pay this tax. By getting it repealed, the Town's "own" people have more money to spend and aren't being taxed for something so utterly ridiculous. " Mar 30, 10 8:06 PM

Lesko never stated he supported the tax. What happened in Brookhaven was many of the Town Board members didn't want to pay the tax which would of course be illegal (regardless of the validity of the law which is now in question). The comptroller (former Southampton Town comptroller) was then thrown under the bus for making the payment, even though it was her job and she had no say in the matter. Lesko was accused of "sneaking" the resolution onto the agenda, which is ridiculous because all Town Board members get the agenda before hand and it was not a walk-on item.

Lesko had no choice and made it quite clear at the time that the Town was paying the tax (I believe in the neighborhood of $500,000) because the town was legally required to. He then stated that it would not prevent them from taking legal action in the future, which they are now doing. That is not an about face, that is doing his job, being responsible, and following the law. " Mar 31, 10 7:37 PM

And, prey tell, did Mr. Lesko (who by no means I'm a big fan of) coerce and dupe into joining him in a lawsuit? " Mar 31, 10 9:38 PM

Bridget Fleming sworn in, helps push through gridlocked resolutions

For those who are under the belief that because a position is Civil Service it is funded by the Town and has complete union protection, I encourage you to educate yourselves. A position can have a civil service test and requirements, but can be funded by alternate means (i.e. grant monies) and can be eliminated if these monies dry up. Additionally, a civil service position can be excluded from the union (i.e. Chief Environmental Analyst/Chief Planner/Chief Building Inspector) if the title is listed as a department head. The Town is looking into civil service because of several reasons - the major reason being that it will result in a pool of "qualified" candidates which can help offset the appearance of nepotism or political appointments. " Mar 31, 10 9:42 PM

Another small plane overshoots runway at Montauk Airport

Editor: What's with the clearly outdated/incorrect photo? I believe this was used in another recent article about a plane going off the runway. It would be beneficial (and honest) to give an explanation of this photo (same plane model perhaps?) otherwise it's quite misleading and is unprofessional. I expect better from this paper. Thank you. " Apr 5, 10 7:32 PM

After further review the article states that it was flame retardant spray. My apologies - I still think there should be a description under the photo though. " Apr 5, 10 7:48 PM

Southampton Town looks to confer authority of peace officers on code officers

Nicole: Employees of the Building Department and Zoning Board are completely separate from Code Enforcement.

Elliot: You are quick to make assumptions. I have no personal interest or relation in this matter but can tell you the Code Enforcement officers are nothing short of professional and good at their jobs. One thing that is often overlooked is the complexity of their position. They are responsible for enforcing literally every code on the Southampton books. From Housing to Environmental to Business to Residential etc. etc. it's an unbelievable workload and there is never a shortage of code violations. " Apr 5, 10 8:32 PM

Beached humpback whale draws a crowd in East Hampton

It's a Minke Whale - not a Humpback. " Apr 6, 10 2:26 PM

Uncleronk: Cush was referring to the 2nd word in the article "beachedt"

Split Rock: I was simply making a point of what happens when you hear something from 1 "reliable" source about the species. You (and the Press and Newsday etc. etc.) are correct. " Apr 6, 10 3:05 PM

Abrupt and tearful end to Stony Brook Southampton dream

I assume this is laced with a touch of sarcasm - but eminent domain required fair price paid (some people, I'm not suggesting you) believe the government gets it for free. So, that being said, there's no way SHT could ever come up with the $30-80 million it would be assessed at.
" Apr 7, 10 7:34 PM

This is beyond ridiculous and absurd. The people responsible for this decision are clearly not qualified for their positions and don't understand how near-sighted this is. Aside from the students who are going to need to find a new school, the faculty and employees who are going to be laid off, etc. etc., I don't understand how this makes fiscal sense. They spent $40+ million dollars AFTER buying the property, and now they are going to let it sit and rot? How will SUNY ever convince a student to go there in the future when the financial situation improves? They can't be trusted - and these are the same people (well, SOME of the same people) who complained and whined and said how horrible it was that LIU closed. " Apr 7, 10 7:37 PM

The Town is on the verge of laying people off because of a budget crunch - where is this money going to come from? The state? The same people who are closing this because they don't have enough money?

I understand your point, but it's fiscally impossible and there's a reason this college is closing for the 2nd time in 5 years. Southampton Town is not better qualified to run this university. A private entity couldn't, and the state can't. Furthermore, I'm not an expert on eminent domain, but I'm not sure the Town could "take" it from the State. I believe it's only legal when a government takes it from a non-government entity for the benefit of the public. Passing public money around doesn't benefit anyone. " Apr 7, 10 8:22 PM

Southampton Town restructures, considers staffing needs

It's called a Union.

Also, many people assume gov. workers all make great money. Excluding police (which is a seperate union anyway) and dept. heads/political appointments (as they are not in the union) government workers get paid relatively low wages (in comparsion to similar jobs in the private sector). Many civil servants work for the government because they want to help their communities, do good work, etc. etc. and forgo big fat paychecks. In return, however, these employees and their union (CSEA) have negotiated excellent benefit packages. The average civil servant is not making $100,000+ a year and as many of you know it's not easy to have a family (especially on Long Island) while making $50,000, so the benefits are a big help. " Apr 8, 10 11:20 AM

ATH is not planning to "can" anyone. The article states:

"Those staff cuts would be achieved through attrition and early retirement incentives, Ms. Throne-Holst said"

This means no one will be fired, however it's possible people will be "pressured" into retiring. There's a big difference between attrition/early retirement incentives and firing people. I don't think ATH could get away with firing 20% of the Towns employees and it certainly would torpedo hopes of getting re-elected." Apr 8, 10 11:27 AM

Whale beached in East Hampton survives first attempt at euthanization

The Town of East Hampton has no say in this - it's a federally endangered animal, and is also protected under the Marine Mammals act. The only thing EH is responsible for is burying the whale after it passes.

As for Piping Plovers, they are a federally and state listed threatened/endangered species and the federal and state governments require EH to comply with the endangered species act. Closing sections of the beach to 4WD vehicles and shutting down fireworks shows are decisions required by state and federal law, EH is just in charge of doing the ground work. " Apr 8, 10 12:54 PM

Mother Nature is playing out - it is natural for a sick whale to beach itself. It just so happens that it beached itself on a popular beach and humans are now witness to it. This is something that has played out as long as whales have existed. I agree it's sad and terrible, but if the Whale didn't become beached due to direct actions by humans, this is natural and mother nature. If you take it out to sea there's a chance of sharks eating it alive - is that "better"?

I do agree that it is preferable for the whale to be towed to sea *after* it passes away, but unfortunately in this day and age there are "liability" issues related to this. " Apr 8, 10 3:44 PM

Apparently naming the Whale after a certain previous public figure is deemed "innapropriate content" " Apr 8, 10 4:14 PM

A lot of people are under the impression that this animal could have been saved or dragged off the beach and back into the sea, but Mr. Bowman chose not to for unscientific reasons. I'm being completely serious when I ask this:

What does Mr. Bowman gain by leaving the whale to die? Why would he *NOT* do what is best for the animal? What is the *angle* he is playing?

perhaps the answer is just lack of knowledge/experience? " Apr 8, 10 7:15 PM

Why would he purposely *NOT* do the right thing? That doesn't make sense to me." Apr 8, 10 9:38 PM

I do not know Mr. Bowman, and I am not attempting to defend him - more asking what the consensus is out there as to why someone would not do the right thing and "save face".

What I do know, is that Mr. Bowman is the president of the *ONLY* licensed/accredited marine mammal rescue facility in NYS and has staff has been successful in saving many seals and sea turtles and dealing with other emergency situations.

I also know that NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association) has been brought in to help and even THEY do not know how precisely to proceed. Fortunately, there aren't a lot of people on this planet who have experience euthanizing an endangered whale which means this situation almost never happens.

There also are federal and state regulations as well as the general safety and well being of those involved which all need to be considered in this matter. Could this have been handled better? Perhaps, but my guess is that there will be a full and complete review after this ordeal is over and Science, biologists, marine mammal rescuers and the general public are all learning a lot from this matter which can be applied in the future.

I'm not sure why so many of you are ready to burn this man at the stake and are complaining about him being in front of the camera. As president of the organization, he is the face of it and should be answering questions and giving information. " Apr 8, 10 10:24 PM

They brought the whale out to sea because it was already dead. This whale was alive and would likely just beach itself again. Plus, there are "liability" issues in this day and age unfortunately with this sort of thing - so if someone ran their boat into the whale you know they'd sue.

In 1970 in Oregon, a dead whale washed up and officials didn't know how to get rid of it (apparently bringing it out to sea didn't cross their minds). So, they used a 1/2 ton of TNT to blow it up. Whale chunks showered people who came to watch and destoryed a car - while 1/2 the whale didn't even explode and had to be buried on the beach anyway. We have come a LONG way since then." Apr 9, 10 10:30 AM

A lot of them look young and as if they're right of college, becuase they *ARE* young and right out of (or in) college. They're either interns or volunteers - very few people get paid at the Riverhead Foundation. Those who volunteer or intern with the Riverhead Foundation almost certainly are marine biology or a similar area of study majors and have a passion and interest in marine mammals and sea turtles.

The Riverhead Foundation has a superb track record for rescuing and rehabbing seals and sea turtles - but a whale is a completely different ballgame. As I have previously pointed out, other agencies (notably, NOAA) have been called in to help.

The Riverhead Foundation does not 'control' the entire coast of Long Island. They are the only accreddited group to rescue and rehab marine mammals and sea turtles, but there are federal and state regulations that still apply. If you think they could be doing a better job - volunteer yourself or donate money so they can further educate their volunteers and purchase the best equipment. It was reported that many of the vets were at a conference in Virginia and were not able to arrive at the scene ASAP - because they were getting education for situations like this.

Your friend who stated 'they have no interest in getting their hands dirty" must have been speaking figuretively, because a necropsy on a whale is VERY dirty business - as is feeding and caring for the seals and sea turtles who wash up on our shores.

The quickness to judge an entire organization from ONE event and based mostly on reports in the Southampton Press and Newsday is extremely short sighted and ignorant. Look at the orginzations track record, look at the number of seal rescues and rehabs they do - look at the number of whales that wash up in America and how many are saved. " Apr 9, 10 12:53 PM

Southampton Town Board authorizes emergency dune restoration work in Hampton Bays

The Conservation Boar would have no say, as the ocean is not defined as a regulated Town wetland.

The Trustees have and DO support beach renourishment projects and do not put up road blocks.

The 'roadblocks' are almost always due to the federally threatened/state endangered Piping Plover and the State has and does give exemptions to this in specific situations. All work must be done by April 1st, but in rare instances it's extended to the 15th - with one requirement being that a qualified proffessional inspect the site for Piping Plovers to ensure no harm is done. " Apr 9, 10 12:58 PM

Whale beached in East Hampton survives first attempt at euthanization

I was not speaking of Mr. Bowman, but of the people who work for the Riverhead Foundation - who are actually in the field working with these animals.

Mr. Bowan is the President of the Riverhead Foundation doesn't *have* to be a marine biologist since he isn't adminstering drugs or saving animals or making decisions in the field. The accusations that he should be fired because he is not a marine biologist are akin to saying the President should be removed from office because he is not a Soldier - even though he is the Commander in Chief.

I do not know of Mr. Bowmans professional creditials aside from his company - Land Use Ecological Services (an environmental consulting firm) but obviously he has the passion and desire to work for the Riverhead Foundation, and the board members have found him a competent candidate for such a post. Again, this is *ONE* incident which the majority of those commenting have 0 experience with. The foundations track record speaks for itself." Apr 9, 10 3:05 PM

Beached whale in East Hampton put down; euthanization dart missing on Main Beach

I agree PBR. It's sad to see a giant creature like this die but it's Nature. It's a shame it wont be dragged out to sea to be a food source for the fish and the birds. " Apr 9, 10 3:44 PM

Whale killed with bullet; experts defend how beaching was handled

Re-read the article. It BOUNCED off the whale - which is covered in a FOOT of blubber. Not an easy task. " Apr 10, 10 9:49 AM

The Town of East Hampton would not be responsible for paying to have it dragged back out to sea. It's a federally protected animal - the cost likely would have been paid for by NOAA or the Coast Guard or similar *FEDERAL* agency.

East Hampton Town and the Riverhead Foundation had *NO* jurisdiction because it was a *FEDERALLY* protected animal" Apr 10, 10 9:51 AM

If it was pulled out to sea and too weak to swim - it would have drowned. Not exactly a great way to go... or perhaps be eaten alive by Sharks.

That being said, I don't agree with darting it and shooting it - would have preferred they left it alone but dragging it out to sea would have accomplished nothing. " Apr 10, 10 9:53 AM

Thank you for the correction - East Hampton VILLAGE would not have to pay for it." Apr 10, 10 4:19 PM

I wouldn't say defensive as much as annoyed at the ignorance of the general population who are spouting off on topics they know nothing about. " Apr 10, 10 4:20 PM

Dart used to try to kill whale in East Hampton is still missing

Why do you continue to spew anti-Riverhead Foundation propoganda when all of the reports made it CLEAR they had NO jurisdiction and therefore cannot be held responsible for the decisions made?" Apr 10, 10 10:25 PM

Additionally, the youtube link you provided is an entirely different situation. There are no waves, no surf, no deep water and it's in a funnel shaped embayment which has significantly larger tidal cycles meaning when high tide arrived it would be significantly easier to push it back out to sea. This is not the same as a whale beaching itself along the shoreline of the ocean. " Apr 10, 10 10:27 PM

I have no association with the Riverhead Foundation but I know what they do and and have seen the good work that has been performed by their dedicated staff (I'm not including Mr. Bowman in that group). I have taken the time to understand and learn what the Riverhead Foundation does (have never volunteered or donated money) and have visited their facilities. I have personally called the foundation about distressed seals which they promptly rescued and rehabilitated and I have seen them release seals back to the wild.

Mr. Bowman spoke to reporters because he is the President of the Riverhead Foundation and as such is responsible for communicating with the media. Did he do a good job of communicating to the media? No. If no one from the Riverhead Foundation was answering questions, my guess is many people would be outraged that no one was answering their questions and that they were being silent.

A better question in this is why NOAA was so quite in all of this and did not make clear until several days had passed that they had full "jurisdiction".

You (and others) need to understand what the Riverhead Foundation does and their responsibilities. They do not respond to these situations because they think it's fun, they do it because they are THE ONLY accredited/licensed marine mammal (federally endangered whales excluded) and sea turtle rescue organization in NYS. They were called to the scene because they are local and could be there and begin to assess the situation and communicate that to NOAA. The Riverhead Foundation has a highly educated and qualified staff on-hand and they volunteered there time to remain at the scene of the whale and assist NOAA and takes notes and make observations which will be used in the future to educate fellow biologists and rescuers etc. etc.

To the best of my knowledge and understanding it was in no way Mr. Bowman's call (though he clearly did not make this fact evident) as to how to proceed once the whale had been washed up - he was and is a mouthpiece.

Is it your belief that all of the wonderful work this organization has done to save turtles and seals is moot because of one incident, in which the federal government was actually in charge? There may not be true "marine biologists" on staff, but I can assure you there are Marine *Mammal* Biologists on staff who ARE the experts.

I don't agree with NOAA shooting this whale to end its life and believe that this was a last ditch effort in order to quell the rising anger and frustration by the media and general public. " Apr 10, 10 11:02 PM

Officials: Missing dart used to try to euthanize whale most likely washed out to sea

This is just out of curiosity... did you choose the name Montauk? I haven't read it in any reports.

What is your source that, "The custodians of the whale "Montauk" are hereby notified that tampering with the whale carcass, failure to preserve it for further analysis, or destruction of it, will be punishable to the full extent of the law."

The area that the Whale washed up is not Trustees property. To the best of my knowledge and understanding of the Dongan Patent and NYS Law, the ocean beaches contain Easements to the Trustees allowing the public to access them. The Trustees have no jurisdiction over OCEAN bottom lands - only bay bottoms. NYS has full control of everything *below* the high tide line, which is where the whale was.

Some people have expressed or intimated that my responses are combative or defensive, but I'm merely trying to provide facts and ask questions so that slander and misinformation isn't spread haphazardly. If you do not know something for fact, don't make an argument about it. " Apr 11, 10 5:48 PM

Thank you for clarifying.

What was, in your opinion, "illegal" with the way the federal government handled this situation?

It is my guess the Trustees have been quiet because they know a claim would not be supported as per case law and they would have no interest in the situation which in theory could result in them paying for the removal of the Whale.

Why would they want to be involved? What would be the benefit?" Apr 11, 10 7:05 PM

Evidence of what?

I don't understand why you think something criminal was done. The FEDERAL government was in control the whole time (regardless of what was portrayed by the local Riverhead Foundation). What legal authority is going to step in? NOAA is the *TOP* authority in the country and this happened in US Waters on US Land.

You seem to not understand that a necropsy was performed by NOAA in conjunction with the Riverhead Foundation and samples of various parts of the whale were sent to a multitude of labs for further testing. " Apr 11, 10 9:13 PM

I'm not being defensive - I'm trying to answer your question. NOAA is the top authority - therefore, no legal authority will step in because no one has the authority to do so.

Please explain what you believe was done illegally? You have continually implied and/or stated a crime was done, but have not laid out the basis behind this. " Apr 11, 10 9:38 PM

I went on Wednesday for an hour to observe - that is my only connection to this event.

My apologies if I am coming off as combative - it is my frustration that is showing as you continued to imply something illegal was done but did not provide further explanation.

You have asked questions to which I replied, and the answers apparently were not satisfactory which resulted in having to reaffirm them. NOAA is in charge and will likely have an internal review.

It is my opinion that this matter was not handled as gracefully as it could and should have been - but find the media and many people on this and other sites have been unfair and harsh to both the Riverhead Foundation and NOAA. Spouting off assumptions and guesses is not productive. I am trying to be the bearer of facts.
" Apr 11, 10 10:50 PM

Apples to Oranges. Whales were stranded because of the tide - and the article doesn't give nearly enough information to make an educated comparison. It is likely the whale species was considerably smaller in size.

That being said, it's commended and I'm completely for rescuing wildlife when possible." Apr 12, 10 9:05 PM

Whale killed with bullet; experts defend how beaching was handled

In an effort to spread facts and not lies/misinformation, it was not the Riverhead Foundation who shot the whale in the head, nor did they have any say in the matter. NOAA - aka, the federal government - made the decision.

Newsday has a wonderfully thorough article in their paper today about the situation, the players, and the decisions that were made.

Do I agree with everything that was done? No. Do I think it went swimmingly (no pun intended)? No. But it seems from the Newsday article, the people involved didn't either and they want to improve their skills and knowledge. The person who shot the whale claims he didn't get any sleep and intimated he is wracked with guilt and torn about what he had to do. That alone speaks volumes about the situation.

Further, while the Riverhead Foundation takes in a large amount of $$, their employees do not make a lot, and many are volunteers. Being a non-profit, I'm sure their budget is accessible to a certain degree, and you will see that it is extremely expensive to rehab and rescue animals. They are doing good things with their funds. They are far from experts at rescuing live humpback whales - but there isn't a person on this planet now or ever who was or is an expert at rescuing humpback whales.

Pointing to other whale "rescues" across the world involving other species, in completely different georgraphic and oceanographic circumstances only displays ignorance and it should be understood that each and every stranding is a completely unique instance. " Apr 13, 10 3:32 PM

NOAA was called as soon as Riverhead arrived on the scene and assessed the situation because the strnaded whale was a federally endangered Humpback Whale which means the Federal government must assume lead agency.

Riverhead handles seal and dolphin and turtle strandings because they are not federally endangered species (though they are all federally *protected* species).

Please, stop spreading lies and misinformation. It makes you look ignorant and is a diservice to the volunteers and biologists at the Riverhead Foundation (i.e. Rob Digiovani, Kim Durham)" Apr 13, 10 4:06 PM

Again, NOAA was called because it was a Humpback Whale. Not all whales are federally endangered species.

Furthermore, Riverhead Foundation does help with the rescue and rehab of whale species, even if its as simple as answering questions, taking down observations, providing equipment etc. " Apr 13, 10 4:24 PM

Non-Profits, by nature, don't "make" any money. " Apr 13, 10 7:52 PM

"A non-profit organization is an organization that does not distribute its surplus funds to owners or shareholders"

I know you are smart enough to understand what a non-profit is. Those in charge of the Riverhead Foundation are not making money. Atlantis Marine World, on the other hand, *is* a for-profit enterprise, with their owners taking home big paychecks.

A large majority of NPO's pay at least a handful of employees. It is near impossible (especially in a relatively low-population area like the East End of Long Island with a high cost of living) to get qualified, educated, skilled biologists to do real serious work and be on call 24/7 without giving them compensation. " Apr 13, 10 8:14 PM

Another non-profit wouldn't have showed up, because there is only one in NYS. Too my knowledge, I don't think there can be another one (there may be federal guidelines # of rescuers/rehabbers in a state or given area, I could be wrong though). Furthermore, it wouldn't be necessary - NYS had an excellent one, and even if you think it's not excellent, changes can be made to make it excellent. Also, I believe members from CT's rescue/rehab facility did show up to assist.

It would not be fiscally sound to have a facility (on the East and/or West Coast) that can take in whales up to the size of a full Humpback due to transportation costs and how little is known about keeping baleen whales in captivity. There needs are so above and beyond the needs of a Killer Whale or Beluga Whale, the 2 can really not be compared. Does this mean a price is being put on the life of an animal? In a sense, yes, but again, the general scientific consensus is that the majority of whales that are beached are sick and can not be saved/rescued anyway.

Saying that, "Nonprofits are on money quest and on power trip over numerous college age girls who basically support these organizations with their volunteering, donations and hope that one day they will too "work with marine animals". is an unfair jab at people who literally dedicate their lives to rescuing marine mammals and sea turtles. Plenty of volunteers at the Riverhead Foundation and throughout the country are men and many of them begin volunteering later in life (after retiring for instance). It's a disservice to make thoughtless comments like that and does nothing to get your point across.

I don't think we would see a different picture based on the number of animals rehabbed. The Riverhead Foundation is excellent when it comes to rescuing and rehabbing seals and sea turtles and have been successful with dolphins that have been brought in to their facility (getting a pod of dolphins to leave a harbor is a different story and inexperience tends to shine through in these situations).

Please back up your statement that: Big whales strand all the time, and now with even more seismic exploration we will see even more strandings.

I do not have the data, but it's my understanding that *live* whales, especially of humpback size, rarely end up beached or stranded. Even dead whales are a rather rare occurrence on East Coast beaches.

Lastly, for the umpteenth time, the Riverhead Foundation did not shoot the whale in the head, nor euthanize it. The federal government did." Apr 13, 10 9:44 PM

I never said this was done by the book, or done properly. Riverhead Foundation is proficient at rescuing seals and sea turtles, and should not be used as a scape goat because of this incident. It's a shame that they would get a black eye because of this - can you imagine if someone finds a seal or sea turtle in need of help and they don't call the Riverhead Foundation because of what they read about them in regards to the failed Whale rescue? Would you call them if you found an injured seal on NY beaches?

I have compassion. I would have preferred nothing be done and for nature to have run its course - who are we to interfere? But, that is not what happened.

I've stated I do not agree with the whale being shot in the head. I've stated that Mr. Bowman did a very poor job communicating. I've stated that this was not done perfectly, or well for that matter.

I don't believe I'm rationalizing everything. I'm understanding that what happened happened and it cannot be changed but as a result future humpback whale standings will be handled differently.

I'm for change, I'm for rescuing and rehabbing wildlife, whales included. Apparently I wasn't clear enough and I apologize for that. This situation was handled poorly by the federal government, and everyone involved. However, I don't believe it was done intentionally, or that pushing the whale back was an option (due to threats of drowning/shark attacks/size)

As for JJ the Whale, I only know what was in the link, but they did not state how long it was in captivity. I'm inferring however, that the baleen grey whale (much smaller than a humpback, mind you) was able to be held in captivity because it relied on milk. Feeding a baleen whale milk, and letting a baleen whale feed naturally on krill are two different things. This is not a rationalization, it is a fact.

Lastly, my goal is not to be 'right' or to 'win'. As previously stated, my goal is to present facts and steer this conversation on this thread in the right direction without pointing blame at people who are not at fault. " Apr 13, 10 10:30 PM

Thank you Sam for clarifying and helping me and all of us better understand how this situation works. I was unaware that ALL of the turtle species are federally endangered and the exact protocol. Regardless, the Riverhead Foundation was not in charge and did not make the end decision, and I am in agreement that Rob and Kim should not come out of this with a black eye.

" Apr 13, 10 10:41 PM

Your first two points are excellent.

Your third point makes no sense. The highway yard is "under 5 feet of water" because it was constructed decades ago in a low lying area directly adjacent to freshwater wetlands . There is a drainage area along North Sea Rd. which collects water and does what it is supposed to do, but currently the water table is at record highs in many areas of Long Island (North Sea I'm sure is no exception) and as such there is no where for the water to go. Eventually the water table will go down and so will the area of standing water.

The Trustees have nothing to do with flooding at the highway yard, nor did they have anything to do with the beached whale (ignoring the fact that we are talking about seperate towns here). The DEC and the Town Board have nothing to do with it either - the fact of the matter is the highway yard was constructed in an area prone to flooding a long time ago - likely before NYS wetlands laws (1970 I believe) or Town Wetlands laws were enacted. The Town is not immune to its own laws - though I am not so niave to believe it does not skirt them from time to time." Apr 14, 10 9:59 AM

It's highly probable that NOAA was involved in the dolphin stranding in MA.

Also, as I have previously stated, you cannot compare a 30' humpback whale in relatively rough surf in April on Long Island to unknown species of whales in a tropical area that were likely stranded for tidal reasons (inferred from the very limited information in that article)

Again, I do agree changes should be made, and this wasn't doing properly, but it doesn't do any good compare a dolphin rescue in Tasmania to this. That's like comparing a domestic hostage situation on Long Island to the terrorists taking a US soldier hostage. Two totally different scenarios even though they are both "hostage takings"" Apr 14, 10 8:06 PM

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