Si se puede

To the editor - Southampton Press:

July 2, 2007

During the run-up to the recent Southampton Village Election, you printed an advertisement which contained false information about the facility in Huntington Station which was established to get day-laborers off the streets
of that locality. The advertisement alleged that recent violent crime in Huntington Station was caused by the presence of the day laborer site.

The advertisement in question was apparently designed to influence the recent election. It failed in that regard. However when lies are printed, a correction is in order.

I spoke with Ms. Dolores Thompson of the Huntington Station Enrichment Center last week. She told me that her organization established what they call a "safe site" in order to improve safety on the streets both for workers and vehicular traffic. The facility was established in 1998. It does not regulate the hiring process. It only provides a place for workers and employers to negotiate. Ms. Thompson says that her Center works with the police on other public safety issues.

She has seen the crime statistics and categorically stated that the allegations of a connection between crime in the area and the safe site are untrue.

Statitics on crime sent to a member of the Southampton Coalition for a Worklink Center by William English of the Suffolk County Police Department's Research and Development Section show no serious crime in the last several years at the location of the facility.

Newsday recently reported on two serious crimes in Huntington Station. They had absolutely nothing to do with the operation of the day laborer facility.

Perhaps the Press will send a reporter to Huntington Station to learn how one of several facilities for day-laborers operates and to survey independently the public safety situation.

Meanwhile, we have an un-safe situation here in Southampton, one that can be corrected in the fashion of Huntington Station. And we can do more than that by establishing a facility that will regulate the hiring process, stop unscrupulous contractors from taking advantage of immigrant workers and thereby help improve the wages paid here in construction and other trades.

A pledge of funding by the Hagedorn Foundation and an agreement with Catholic Charities to run the proposed facility mean that no public funds will be needed. Can we do this?

Si se puede!
Yes we can!

Anthony Ernst, Southampton
Ann and Michael Anthony, Hampton Bays
John Linder, Sag Harbor
Dianne Rulnick, Water Mill
Bob Schepps, Southampton
Pastor Rose Ann Vita, Bridgehampton