Letters To The Editor
Publication The News-Review
Date June 2, 2005
A planning conundrum
To the Editor:
"Eighty-five percent of kindergarteners will work at jobs that don't exist today." I don't know what research came to that conclusion, but I've seen that quote in print three times and my intuition tells me to believe it.
The people of Riverhead say they don't want an airport at EPCAL. But sometimes, what people say and what they mean are two different things.
I, for one, am opposed to aircraft buzzing over my back yard, or sounding like a fleet of vacuums sucking up my living room. But what if they were silent? What if they were the size of minivans? Would I still mind? What if they were no more of a distraction than the birds and insects that share the same air space? Is this possible? The fact of the matter is we don't know what the future holds. And planning for it can be a conundrum.
EPCAL is Riverhead's future and its conundrum. It has a 7,000-foot runway - a vital component to the infrastructure of an airport. But we don't want an airport today, so we put a "for sale" sign on it. But airports and aircraft will change. A hundred years ago we rode in horse-drawn carriages. Thirty-six years ago we flew to the moon. What can we expect in another 10, 20 or (can you imagine?) 50 years? Many of us will be gone by then. But not our kindergarteners. They'll be 55 years old and working at jobs that don't exist today.
Yes, we say we don't want an airport now. But would we, should we consider an airport - or something similar -- in the future?
I don't have a crystal ball -- but my intuition tells me to believe it.
P.S. I am still an advocate of establishing a 300-acre zoo and animal sanctuary on Long Island, preferably EPCAL. A business plan was submitted to the Riverhead Town Board, the RDC and Steve Levy in April (see www.calvertonzoo.com for details).