Friday, January 14, 2011

Southold 2020 Master Plan– Citizens for a Sustainable Southold Vision Statement

Over the years the Town has conducted numerous studies, involving countless hours of community input, all of which came to the same conclusion: Southold is a unique and special place and we must protect our environment and preserve agricultural and maritime heritage. This in turn supports our local economy, fueled, in large part by tourism and second home ownership. If our farmlands are overdeveloped and our waterways, beaches and air quality are further degraded, Southold will become an environmental casualty.

Thus far, various Town Boards have fallen short of enacting legislation that would truly support the long-term vision and spirit of the various studies and plans produced over the last three decades. As a result, we have lost precious farmland to development, experienced inappropriate commercial overdevelopment and natural resources have been degraded (polluted groundwater, less bountiful and biologically diverse water bodies and marshlands are examples.) Rather than having concentrated growth in hamlets affording mixed housing opportunities, we have followed a pattern of sprawl.

There are more compelling reasons for the Town to have a clear and legislatively supported blueprint for moving forward in the coming decades: global climate change and the critical need to transition from expensive, dangerous carbon based forms of energy to forms of non-polluting renewable energy and the beneficial effects these will have on agriculture, natural resources and the economy on the North Fork. Finding solutions to these global problems on a local level is not at odds with goals previously identified by the Town. These pressing global problems are felt locally and can create the necessary momentum to get plans translated into law.

We can achieve a workable Comprehensive Plan if we acknowledge these issues and face them head-on. The challenges are great, but meeting them is doable if decisions are based on science and long-term community benefit. The Comprehensive plan process is an exciting opportunity to envision Southold as a diverse, sustainable and resilient community and to move this vision towards reality. Southold can be a model for other towns by becoming more self-reliant, managing our resources sustainably, and contributing to the larger issue of global stability. Our goal is to organize a group of citizens who share this vision and who will lobby for a sound Comprehensive Plan.


Preserve Farming–The world food supply is stressed by increased production and shipping costs, the continuing loss of productive farm land, and by the effects of climate change. The food supply is further pressured by increasing world population and hence an increase in world hunger. In the face of this, it will become more critical to maintain Southold’s agricultural base and the ability to produce food locally. Incentives should be created for those who want to grow food for local markets. In addition, the Town should promote and support CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and community gardens.

Preserving farmland is beneficial to the local economy. Reducing build out will keep taxes down. All reputable planning groups agree that added housing raises taxes:
Please see the Economic Benefits of Open Space Preservation issued by the Office of the State Comptroller, March 2010: .

Currently, as codified in Town Law, Agricultural Conservation (AC) land can become residential development. Although the Town identified prime farm land and acknowledged the importance of preserving AC land to preserve farming, AC land permits the same uses as R80 (2 acre/res. unit) land. The Town has a fairly successful Purchase of Development Rights Program (PDR), but it relies solely on the willingness of land owners to participate, the success of which is heavily influenced by market forces, and doesn’t guarantee farmland will be preserved. Current zoning has created a situation where farmland is often too expensive for farmers, especially for new farmers and those wanting to grow food crops as they are competing with developers for land.

The Comprehensive Plan must have mechanisms in place which will guarantee the best use for AC land is agriculture and stays in agriculture without residential development.

Protect Ground Water– Climate change is creating water shortages globally. The North Fork water is provided by a sole-source aquifer. We are bound to face water shortages in the coming decades and we cannot depend on out-of-town supplies of water to meet community needs. The heavy use of both residential and agricultural fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides have polluted both ground and surface waters and jeopardized human health. We must eliminate the use of dangerous chemicals, encourage best management practices, and phase out the use of household lawn and garden chemicals. In addition, we must carefully conserve our resource.

The Comprehensive Plan must have clear actions to protect our groundwater including ways to reduce the amount of dangerous chemicals that migrate into our aquifer, appropriate zoning for Special Ground Water Protection Areas (SPGAs) and effective conservation measures.

Affordably protect/restore wetlands, shorelines and water bodies and facilitate public access – Our beaches, wetlands and water bodies have been degraded by pollution, inappropriate shoreline development and overfishing. Subterranean septic systems are responsible for much of the harmful nitrogen that leaches into our groundwater and our surface waters, damaging wetlands, killing fish and encouraging the growth of invasive species. Current law regarding the maintenance of septic systems is inadequate, routinely ignored, and rarely enforced. Run-off from roads and farming operations has further polluted creeks and estuaries. Shoreline hardening in the form of docks, bulkheads and groins has hastened the erosion of our shores and limits public access to our shorelines. The accelerating rise in sea level confronting our hardened shoreline will result in the disappearance of salt marshes and intertidal zones. Episodes of storm surges launched from higher sea levels will cause destruction and financial hardship to public and private properties.

The Comprehensive Plan must include tangible actions that will strengthen and enforce septic codes, reduce road and farm run-off, decrease the use of agricultural and residential pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers, prevent further shoreline hardening, and strengthen the wetlands code so it reflects current science. Finally, the Town must become a proactive partner in restoring regional fisheries. The plan must include mechanisms that limit or modify development in areas that are threatened by climate change and rising sea waters.

Limit/direct future residential development –Because Southold does have limited resources (especially clean, potable drinking water) and the community has agreed preserving farming and protecting our natural resources are priorities, build out should be substantially reduced from what is allowed under current zoning. In addition, rather than creating new subdivisions on AC lands, development should be limited to the Hamlet Centers, where opportunities for mixed housing, including work force housing, may be greater. Citizens have been skeptical of plans increasing Hamlet Density without a guarantee that the potential for an equal number of housing units would be extinguished elsewhere. This has led to the fear that sewers and public water in the hamlet centers (which may, in fact, prove better for the environment and for public health), would lead to increased development and would eventually extend into areas outside of the Hamlet (Halo) Zones.

The Comprehensive Plan must adopt mechanisms which will substantially decrease build out levels from what is allowed under current zoning. In addition, mechanisms must be in place to direct additional development to Hamlet/Halo areas while extinguishing a comparable amount of potential development elsewhere.

Encourage Development of Renewable Energy –The gulf coast disaster has revealed the real cost of continuing to rely on fossil fuels for energy. If we are to transition from carbon producing fuels and do our part to stem the tide of global climate change, reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources and become more self reliant, the Town must act proactively to promote this transition. This can be done in a number of ways including through tax incentives, more liberal laws in relation to wind and solar development (especially in AC land and SGAs) and Town Sponsored Renewable Energy projects.

The Comprehensive Plan must include mechanisms which will promote the development of renewable energy in a significant, local way.

Lower Southold’s Carbon Footprint–Our reliance on automobiles, our penchant for bigger and bigger homes and our clear-cutting of woodlands all contribute to global climate change.

The Comprehensive Plan must adopt “green building” standards that promote energy, water and resource conservation as well as requiring non-toxic building supplies, etc. Also, the town must adopt legislation that will reduce the square footage of new housing with legislation such as “pyramid laws”. In addition, the plan must include more stringent clearing and tree codes that reflect current science. Policies must be adopted that will promote pedestrian and bicycle traffic rather than cars, especially in our hamlets. The Town must work toward a regional transportation system which shifts from cars to light rail and bus.

Strengthen the Local Economy – The current economic trend in America – that wealth continues to flow to the affluent while middle and working class Americans find it harder to make ends meet – is a serious problem in our society. Southold is no exception to this socioeconomic malaise. Indeed, it is changing our community in ways that continue to rob our town of its special uniqueness. The exodus of working people and the young continues. Many young people want to stay in Southold but cannot survive here. We are a mostly senior community, and we risk becoming a community where only wealthy seniors and second homeowners can afford to live.

A recent demographic report (See Southold 2020 website) shows as of 2009 our population was 21,605. Of those 9,938 were employed. The retired population was 8,440 and those described as empty nesters numbered 3,231. (The report does not break out full time versus part time residents)

Tourism is main the economic engine for Southold, but if the economic downturn continues on for many years this could change. We must augment this by creating sustainable businesses that are not just tourist-dependent low-paying service jobs. We should seek new ways to create and sustain jobs through such things as tax incentives and encouraging the adaptive reuse of existing buildings.

We should explore creating a Sustainable Southold through obtaining federal and state sustainable community funding. See:

Some ideas for sustainable businesses are: renewable energy research and development; green building retrofit and construction; marine science research, expanding aquaculture, creating a business incubator for entrepreneurs in Internet and technology-based businesses. A mentoring program could be set-up with retired seniors interested in sharing their expertise with young people. A survey could pinpoint town residents currently working from home in businesses in which workers can telecommute.

The city of Dubuque, Iowa committed to a sustainability, which it defined as “a community’s ability to meet the environmental, economic, and social equity needs of today without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” Its model has a three-part approach that addresses: environmental and ecological integrity, economic prosperity and social and cultural vibrancy. (See ) Although Dubuque is much larger than Southold, its programs are worth exploring for ideas we could implement in Southold.

The Comprehensive Plan must include mechanisms which promote a variety of sustainable job opportunities, thus ensuring Southold becomes a diverse community (good jobs for younger people) not one solely based on a tourist/service economy. Also, mechanisms must be adopted which ensure a meaningful amount of affordable housing stock.

Preserve Plum Island –Plum Island is both an ecologically diverse and historically significant island and must not be developed commercially or residentially. All environmental degradation and pollution resulting from the operation of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center must be remediated by the Federal Government before it vacates the island. Plum Island must be preserved as a National Wildlife Refuge as argued by the Preserve Plum Island Coalition. (

The Comprehensive Plan must include zoning provisions preventing commercial or residential growth of Plum Island and facilitates the establishment of a National Wildlife Refuge which would encompass all or most of the island.

*Plans are good, but only if there is legislation to support the goals of the plan. In turn, there must be mechanisms in place to ensure that codes are enforced! The Town must dedicate the resources necessary to hire staff to accomplish efficient, fair enforcement, the cost of which could be offset by the levying of fines that truly fit the violation and are more than just the “cost of doing business” and can serve as an deterring example to those may be tempted to violate the Town Code.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Organic Farmer Looking for Volunteers

Gwynn and I met with Mark Ungar, a farmer working ten acres of land on Oregon Road in Mattituck. Propagating himself as example, His dream is to "get Long Island healthy", to spread his agricultural model from the North Fork throughout New York State

He is looking to build a cadre of volunteers--right now they are planting heirloom tomatoes--in return for a share of the harvest later on. These trained volunteers could also become an invaluable resource for other farmers.

We urge you to visit Mark and his group on the weekends--he is there from 10 am (he drives in from New Jersey), plant a few tomatoes, learn more about his operation and see how you can support his admirable project. They serve an excellent vegan lunch too!

More on his blog

Hazel Kahan

Friday, April 17, 2009

From the Ground Up: Building the East Marion Community Association

by Ruth Ann Bramson

This article describes the creation of the East Marion Community Association and offers suggestions to others looking to establish their own community groups.

Community Need
In June 2007, a group of strangers met to discuss the ‘Oki-do’ (now Shizen) project proposed for the Oyster Farm property in East Marion. They decided that the residents of East Marion not only needed to oppose the out-of-scale Shizen development but also to monitor other issues of concern to the hamlet. This same group eventually became the founding board for the East Marion Community Association.

From its inception, the East Marion Community Association (EMCA) has had enthusiastic support and participation from local residents. The prospect of a large hotel spa operation being developed in our small community raised people’s awareness: We needed to organize in order to have an effective political voice. Other local issues were also on people’s minds in the spring of 2007. Many East Marion residents were alarmed by the news that the town was developing a plan to purchase land adjacent to the East Marion Post Office for a small commercial area and by the fact that they had been out of the process. In addition, there were persistent concerns about the increased residential development in East Marion in recent years, about the loss of farmland, about traffic, noise, illegal housing and other issues that were impacting on people’s quality of life.

We recognized a need for building a community. East Marion lacks a hamlet center and does not have many local organizations to bring people together. Many newcomers and part-timers found it difficult to get to know people and feel part of a community in East Marion. Lifelong residents and more recent arrivals had no place to meet and get to know one another.

Developing a Core Group
EMCA has been fortunate in its initial leadership team. The founding board members are a diverse, talented and committed group with backgrounds and skills that include expertise in local environmental issues, communications technology, layout and design, database management, community development, and organizational management. The original founding board has been augmented by additional members who bring special skills and provide links to parts of the community not represented on the original board. By making board meetings fun as well as productive and including food and time for socializing, board members have become not just colleagues but friends.

Developing future leadership for EMCA is an on-going process. We have four committees: government, action, history project, and membership. We identify leaders through one-on-one meetings designed to learn what is important to residents and how they might want to become involved.

Telling the Story
In engaging community members, we believe that it is important for each of us to have a chance to tell our stories. We use this storytelling approach in recruiting new leaders and members, in how we talk about EMCA and its goals, and in engaging participants in discussion topics at meetings. We think of this in terms of three fundamental stories: the ‘story of me,’ (sharing our individual stories about who we are and what is important to us,); the ‘story of us,’ (who we are as a community and as an organization, and who we want to be); and the ‘story of now’ (why it is important for people to be involved at this particular time in our community’s history).

The Importance of Structure
Critical to building a new organization is work on its structure. This includes establishing how the group makes decisions; meeting locations and times; legal status; funding; membership guidelines and dues; mission goals and objectives; and group dynamics. Creating this structure was a major effort during EMCA’s first year.

EMCA’s purpose and mission were developed by the membership through a process that gave everyone a chance to be heard. While there were several community members who in EMCA's earliest days advocated for an organization in which a small number of leaders could make decisions quickly and speak out freely on public issues, this sort of top-down decision making by a small number of people is not the way we chose to structure our community organization. We felt that people support the decisions they have a part in making, so at EMCA we are committed to reaching positions on issues through a participative process using consensus, whenever possible.

After deciding what kind of group we wanted to be and starting to accept dues we needed to take legal steps to formalize the organization. (It is difficult enough taking on Town Hall without complicating life by adding the IRS to our problems!) There are various ways to go about this: You can consult a how-to-incorporate handbook (available in many local libraries), borrow the bylaws from a similar group to use as a guideline, or consult an attorney. EMCA actually did all three.

How We Engage
Community change is best initiated when community members are in a room together. It is then that a shift in expectations is noticed and reinforced. We try to create the experience of belonging at meetings, by utilizing both small and large group discussions, by posing questions that engage people in discussing possibilities and their own power to initiate change, and by making it safe to express doubts and dissent.

We design hospitality into our meetings. We greet people personally and always provide delicious home-baked refreshments. Before diving into the agenda we often pose a connection question such as asking people to introduce themselves to someone whom they do not know in the room by describing an experience they have had with the issue being discussed at that particular meeting. Our February Cabin Fever Potluck Lunch and our August Ice Cream Social seem likely to become community traditions.

History as an Organizing Tool
We realized early on that very little attention has been paid to preserving East Marion’s rich history, which goes back to 1661. A priority for EMCA has been rediscovering a shared sense of our community’s history and rebuilding East Marion’s pride in its heritage and culture. It is our belief that local residents need to know about East Marion’s past as a maritime and farming community in order to feel passionate about preserving what is left of it. So far, we have hosted three gatherings to share old photos and artifacts from East Marion’s past and to hear people’s stories about the community. We are also collecting videotaped oral histories from long time residents.

Taking Action
EMCA is an action organization committed to advocating for the interests of East Marion with Southold Town officials and other governmental agencies. Fundamental to our approach is our Meeting Monitoring Team made up of members who observe all meetings of the Town Board, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and Trustees and report back to the organization about any issues that may impact East Marion. They are our early warning system. The meeting monitors have also given East Marion a visibility in Town Hall that the community did not have in the past.

When it comes to taking action on issues we take several approaches. When an issue is of significant and lasting concern to our community we engage in a community education process and work toward a consensus. That is what we did in regard to the proposed Shizen project. We distributed fact sheets and over 70 members participated in a consensus meeting. On some issues where we do not have a compelling vested interest or firm position, we feel we can still be effective community advocates by having an EMCA representative appear before a governmental body to ask probing questions. That is what we did in regard to the proposed expansion at Plum Island. On other issues, such as the Oysterponds School budget, we provide background information to members and urge them to take whatever individual action they see fit.

Ms. Bramson is the president of the East Marion Civic Association.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Action Alert:Natural Resources Division Dropped

by Anne Murray

The Town Board was set this week to vote on the establishment of the long-awaited Natural Resources Division – but a lack of support by three town board members meant the issue never even came to a vote.

The public has long sought a division to manage the town’s precious natural resources in a more efficient and science-based manner. We are very disappointed that the town cannot agree to enact such an important safeguard.

Board members Al Krupski, Bill Ruland and Vincent Orlando are opposed to the division, while Supervisor Scott Russell, Tom Wickham and Louisa Evans are in favor. The stalemate, after months of planning and discussion, led the disappointed supervisor to tell the board he would not bring up the issue again.

The proposed division within the planning department was discussed during many town board work sessions, and was the result of many months of work by principal planner Mark Terry and director of planning Heather Lanza.
"It's clear that the division of natural resources is a dead issue," Russell told the Suffolk Times. "I find it regrettable. The entire process turned out to be a monumental waste of time."
The Natural Resources Division was supposed to improve efficiency in application review by the various boards, such as the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Planning Board and the Town Trustees, achieve greater continuity in the application processes, and establish a clear path of communication and accountability.

Although the measure was budget-neutral and would use existing staff, some board members said they feared the move might require civil service positions in the future.

If you agree that Southold needs a Natural Resources Division, you must act and make your voice heard to the town board members who are reluctant to establish this division. If enough voters pressure the town board they may revisit the issue;


Scott Russell- 765-1889
Vincent Orlando - 369-4900 x 215
Bill Ruland - 298-9159
Tom Wickham - 734-6441
Al Krupski - 734-7841
Louisa Evans - 788-7054

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Sponsored by The Riverhead Town Energy Advisory Committee

Riverhead Town Hall
Wednesday January 28th at 7:30 PM

The Public is Welcome to Attend

Clean Air NY is a dynamic collaboration of organizations and individuals in the New York metro area who are taking actions to improve our air quality. This initiative is sponsored by the New York State Department of Transportation and Clean Air NY wants to help New Yorkers live better and breathe easier by improving the air quality.

Clean Air NY’s presentation explains the following:

  • Specific travel choices that every individual can make to help improve the air quality on AQAD and year round.
    The causes of poor air quality in the New York metro area and the why we are working to improve it.
  • How the region’s poor air quality affects every New Yorker’s health, especially sensitive groups such as people with asthma, children, and the elderly.
  • Air Quality Action Days (AQAD) are days when the air quality is especially poor in the area and usually occur during the summer months.
  • When an individual, employer, or community organization joins the Clean Air NY network, they receive an e-mail or text message update the day before an AQAD.

    For more information on Clean Air NY, please visit


by Mark Haubner

As the subject of electronic recycling is very large, we're going to narrow this discussion to include Southold and Riverhead Towns' treatment of residential waste PCs and monitors. We will save our discussion of proper disposal of cell phones, TVs, microwaves, toner cartridges and batteries for a later time. Corporate electronic waste disposal also deserves a deeper look and we will search out the local businesses which are making an effort to make a difference by disposing of their many PCs and monitors properly.

It's 2009, and as far as electronic recycling is concerned, we're only slightly further ahead of where we were 15 years ago. A majority of American households now have more than one PC, and with ONE BILLION computers having been sold around the world by 2002 (Gartner Dataquest) and another BILLION at work today, each having an approximate lifespan of 3 years, they're turning to waste at a mind-boggling rate. We simply have to be much more conscientious about our disposal habits starting right now.

Keep in mind that 3-year-old PC may still be of some value to a non-profit organization of your choice—but by the time it reaches 5 years of age, it will be more of a liability than an asset to an organization. So let's focus on unusable PCs and the big, glass, CRT (glass screen) monitors that can’t even be used as boat anchors. Where do they all go? There are plenty of them going to the end of the driveway in residential settings, although many townships across the U.S. are working at un-curbing the flow going to the landfill.

Lead, heavy metals (selenium, chromium, etc.), silicon, PVC and a lot more are incorporated in the motherboard, power supply and various drives in a PC. If they are relegated to the landfill, the toxic metals leach out into the soil and find their way into the aquifer or run off into the bays, rivers or oceans.

When properly recycled, they are either shredded so that the components containing the desirable metals can be pulled out, or they are sent overseas (Pakistan, India, etc.) for people to unsolder the components by hand. (Some years ago these basic components--capacitors, transistors, etc.--were actually found being resold as new to computer manufacturers, leading to a lot of computer failures in the field and a high cost to the manufacturers in the way of customer service calls and parts replacements.)

If you have a Dell, HP, Gateway or Toshiba PC, their websites provide the following:

So what about a person who has the “worthless” 5-year-old PC and CRT (glass screen) monitor, can’t donate it, and doesn’t want to pay to ship it to New Hampshire but wants to dispose of it safely?

If you are a resident of Southold, you can take it to the Transfer Station (town dump).

According to the Town's Waste Management page: Electronic Waste (E-Waste) is now accepted at the Transfer Station daily during normal business hours. Residents may now dispose of their used computers, TVs, stereos, and other electronic trash safely on any regular business day, at no charge. This service is for Southold Town residents ONLY (proof of residency is required).

If you are a resident of Riverhead, you have two choices:

The Town of Riverhead has a S.T.O.P. (Stop Throwing Out Pollutants) program during which times (May 30th and Oct 10th, 2009) they will take e-Waste.

If you don’t want to wait until spring you can and don’t mind making the trek to e-Solutions’ (Nick Gerbino, owner) facility at 200 Engineers Road in Hauppauge, they will take PCs and servers free of charge. They are charging only 20 cents per pound for monitors and TVs (about $6.00 for a 15” CRT) in order to maintain a viable commercial enterprise. Here they actually dismantle, shred, test and resell various parts (among other data destruction services) and are not part of the dumping of boatloads of junk on the Third World at all.

It’s hard being conscientious, but we also need to make sure that our elected officials and Town Departments are also working toward solving this huge waste problem at a grassroots level.

For a more in-depth look at this subject, see: the Electronic Industries Alliance's Consumer Education the NationalRecyclingCoalition the New York State environmental agency the International Association of Electronics Recyclers the Rethink Initiative effort


by Hazel Kahan

This article first appeared as an op-ed in The Suffolk Times on Jan. 15, 2009; Reprinted by permission, Times/Review Newspapers Corp.

While the troubled national and global economy affects each Southolder in its own way, it also offers each one of us a role in sustaining our community.

My friends and I have been talking about the things we can do—or have done--to protect our community, regardless of how much we may have suffered (or gained?) in the financial downturn. We think of it as the new community economy, with some of the flavor of the underground economy but living firmly above ground, on home ground.

The unyielding torrent of dire information about the shrinking economy creates in us feelings of scarcity and pessimism, leading us to retreat, to keep ourselves to ourselves, to be less generous and outgoing.

But we don’t have to be like that.

Instead, we can change the lens through which we see things. What money things can we do without money? What if we look at money not as something for hoarding or buying but instead as a form of renewable energy, self-produced and transformative? What, to paraphrase Frosty the Snowman, can we do to let it flow, let it flow, let it flow?

My friends and I found that if we could replace our feelings of scarcity with sufficiency, we could start believing that we actually have enough. We find that our perspective changes once we shift from hoarding to sharing and once we discard the idea of life as a zero sum game in which I can only win if you lose and that your gain must mean my loss.

Here are some of the ways we are trying to build a community economy:

1. Spending as much of our money right here where we live. Almost everything we need is available right here and, if it’s not, maybe we can do without it. And if it’s not exactly what we were looking for, so what? And, of course, we can find things here we couldn’t find anywhere else—and not just in the summer!

2. We take an hour or two to visit locally-owned retailers, dropping in for a chat and finding out how they’re doing or buying something from them, even if we don’t actually need it right then. We can always tuck it away as a gift for later.

3. As factors in local businesses’ cash flow, we try to pay our bills on time, if we can. This helps them which helps us keep our community stable.

4. We raise the question to local fuel companies that have customers on locked-in rates: do you really have to insist on that agreement? What might you gain by reducing your customer-neighbors’ anxiety?

5. If we’re not feeling as financially stressed as a friend or neighbor, we consider asking if we could pay them to do a chore we might otherwise do ourselves. Encouraging money flow through our community will help us all.

6. We look to see what goods and services we can barter with each other. For example, I’ll cut your hair if you help me carry my stuff out of my basement to the dump. Time and energy replace money in the community economy.

7. We’ve thought of buying space in our local media when we have something to announce or celebrate. A weakened media would greatly affect the sustainability of our community.

8. If by good fortune or business sense one of us is presented with a lucrative project, we ask ourselves if we could share some of the work with a less fortunate friend or neighbor. This way more of the ‘lucre’ will flow through more lives. This can’t be a bad thing.

Contributing to Southold’s sustainability by recognizing and building the community economy will, of course, yes, save gas but, more significantly, will help preserve the quality of our town. We look at Riverhead and Patchogue and see how difficult it is to revitalize towns that forgot their people.

Finally, a community economy directly caters to our self-interest by protecting our investments in our own houses. One of us asks: “Who wants to buy a house in a community that looks like a ghost town?”