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Letters to the Editor: 10.31.19

Wed, 10/30/2019 - 12:43

Find the Time
Springs
October 28, 2019

Dear David,

The hectic days of summer may be over, but our local farmers are still hard at work, growing and harvesting cool-season produce.

We at the Springs Food Pantry continue to be awestruck by the amount and quality of produce that these farmers bring us every Wednesday. Their deliveries began in the spring and will continue to arrive through Thanksgiving. Even in the summer, when they are working so very hard to stock their own farm stands, they find the time to come to us.

Heartfelt thanks to Accabonac Farmstand, Amber Waves, Balsam Farms, Quail Hill, Share the Harvest Farm, and Three Sons Farm for their continuing generosity. Our recipients appreciate the bounty of fresh produce and the knowledge that our local farmers are concerned about hunger in our community.

Sincerely,

PAMELA BICKET


Springs Food Pantry
Nicknames
East Hampton

October 26, 2019

Dear David,

What’s in a name? A lot apparently when it comes to our hamlets. Shall it be Springs as we always call it, or not? Does it matter? To some it does, and I get that. I remember a phone call in the late ’90s, a friend from Toronto announcing “I’m in the East Hamptons!” I laughed. “There’s only one,” I told her, then asked, “Where exactly are you?” “Northwest Woods,” she said.

“Good, I’m in the woods too. I’ll see you soon.” People, like my one sister, like to say, “My sister lives in The Hamptons.” I cringe when she says that because people then assume you’re rich and your neighbor is Alec Baldwin. Or in my sister’s case, Jon Bon Jovi.

I tell everyone I live in Montauk. It’s easier. Then they talk about fishing, and I can mention my book about a floating brothel, and we’re off on an interesting conversation.

I wanted a more exotic name growing up. Something like Sojourner Truth. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway; my father never used our names. We were given various nicknames depending on our mood that day and his sense of humor. “Happiness,” for instance, when I was a sullen teen. Or maybe “Mookie Wilson,” if he’d just watched a ballgame. “The communist,” was a favorite later on. A friend calls me “Drew.” Another “Delancy.” I’m thinking of combining the two for a pen name. Maybe I’ll sell more books with an androgynous moniker. Hope springs eternal. And speaking of Springs, remember a rose by any other name.

Sincerely,

NANCI LAGARENNE


f.k.a.
East Hampton
October 26, 2019

Dear David,

The First Amendment would preclude town officials legislating what people want to say. If people want to call it Springs or the Springs that is their choice.

But as for the town’s sign, was “The Springs” a typo?

As a compromise, may I recommend that the new sign read “Springs, f.k.a. The Springs”?

Respectfully,

SPENCER SCHNEIDER

Doing Something?
East Hampton
October 25, 2019

To the Editor,

On Columbus Day, I tried to retrieve my mail from my post office box. I was unaware that the door is now locked on weekends and holidays and one has to use a credit card to enter. The small group assembled there was also trying to enter. A number of those gathered there commented that they had seen persons who appeared to be homeless lying on the floor inside on the weekend.

“Well, I guess they had to do something,” was the general opinion.

Are any of the candidates running for office in our town, particularly the incumbents, aware of and doing something to help these persons who must be homeless? Shame on them. Shame on us. Shame on me.

KATHY POLICANO


Moral Blindness
Sag Harbor
October 24, 2019

Dear David,

I read with disgust of Sag Harbor Mayor Mulcahy’s plan to move the regular work meetings of our village government to Saturday mornings at 10 in order to increase transparency and “get more heads in the room.”

I am sure the mayor is aware that all three Jewish congregations in Sag Harbor — the Orthodox, the Conservative, and the Reform — hold Sabbath services in accordance with religious law on Saturdays at 10 a.m. Apparently the Jews of Sag Harbor are not included in Ms. Mulcahy’s idea of “heads in the room.”

This recalled for me the years when the Jewish Center of the Hamptons could not get children who were preparing for their Bat and Bar Mitzvahs to attend Sabbath services as part of their preparation for these celebrations because the East Hampton schools held all their athletic practices on Saturday mornings.

Such moral blindness is unforgivable. Jews deserve to be able to attend village meetings, and Jewish children deserve to be able to practice with their teams without compromising their religious obligations. When will this stop?

SUSAN PASHMAN


Very Fortunate
East Hampton
October 7, 2019

To The Star:

Having recovered from a sudden and very serious medical emergency this past summer, I want to thank the following institutions and individuals from the bottom of my (repaired) heart: Springs Ambulance, Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, the E.M.S. ambulance service, which transported me to Stony Brook University Hospital, the surgeons, and all the other medical personnel who operated to save my life and nursed me back to health at that excellent hospital.

Also, my gratitude goes to the staff at St. Charles Hospital, especially the physical therapy and occupational therapy instructors, and their counterparts at the Hamptons Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Southampton. I would also like to commend and thank the social workers at Stony Brook, St. Charles, and the Hamptons Center, whose administrative skills solved many problems.

I believe that we are very fortunate to have such excellent health facilities on eastern Long Island.

Sincerely,

MARALYN RITTENOUR


The Second Time
Amagansett
October 19, 2019

Dear Editor,

I’m writing regarding your article dated Oct. 17 referencing another school board member resigning midyear from the Amagansett School Board as of five weeks earlier on Sept. 11.

In the article you state that the board “sent out inquiries seeking prospective members.” I’m an Amagansett school parent, and the most recent PTA president. I was not contacted or even aware that a search was being conducted over the last five weeks. I’ve confirmed with several other parents that they were not contacted either. So who exactly did the board reach out to solicit the field of applicants you reference? Since most parents in this small school were not aware of the search, or that the spot was available, what constitutes a “field” in your opinion?

You also quoted school board president Kristen Peterson that “Mr. Warren’s experience as a member of other boards made him stand out from the field of applicants,” apparently not enough to reference in your article, and has he ever attended an Amagansett School Board meeting?

This is the second time in two years that the Amagansett School Board has run a covert search to fill vacant seats that become available midyear. Both times they failed to gain the consensus of just the three other members of the board, so how strong can these candidates really be? And with the support of just three Amagansett residents, how can they be more qualified than two recent candidates who received close to 90 votes each from the taxpayers of Amagansett? I confirmed that neither of them was contacted about this search either. Both times, we, as a community and as parents, are notified that a seat has been vacated and filled in the same article.

Last year, the Sag Harbor School Board conducted a transparent process to fill a board seat that opened midyear. The Amagansett taxpayers are paying for a full-time superintendent and principal to educate just 80 students — where is their leadership in all of this?

The Amagansett taxpayers and school families deserve and are entitled to a transparent process to fill open board seats. Claudia was the first diverse candidate to join the board, and as a community we will miss her commitment and thoughtful leadership. While the school is small, it doesn’t have to be small-minded. What is the school board trying to gain by running such a tight process?

When a “meet the candidates” meeting was arranged last May so the community could hear from all the candidates, it was shut down by a resolution signed by two active school board members. The meeting was planned for May 20 at the Amagansett Firehouse.

“Resolved, that the PTA shall undertake no action(s), expend no funds, make no statement(s) or communication(s) by email or otherwise, and arrange no event(s) relating to the contested 2019 Amagansett School Board election in which as many as four current PTA members may be competing against each other for election to only three seats.”

Regarding the budget, I look forward to receiving my tax refund check in the mail, but why weren’t some of these funds used to run a midterm election and have the taxpayers participate in the board recruitment process?

On a happier note, it is great to see the affordable housing project well on its way. A project that the school said they couldn’t afford, but are now able to give money back to the community. A project that the school said there is no room for more students, but are now grouping grades together because of low numbers. A project that will save Amagansett School.

CAROLINE CASHIN


Multifaceted Solution
East Hampton
October 27, 2019

Dear David,

No one associated with the South Fork Wind Farm has ever suggested that this project would provide 100 percent of the town’s commitment to total renewable energy sources by the year 2020. Rather, the town’s sustainability committee has made it clear that 100 percent clean energy for the town can only be met by a mosaic of different methods that include rooftop solar, large capacity battery storage, C.C.A. (Community Choice Aggregation), conservation projects such as the Peak Savers program, offshore wind, and community solar (which recently took a giant step with our town’s opening of the largest municipal solar farm on the South Fork).

What South Fork Wind supporters have said is that East Hampton cannot reach its 100 percent clean energy goal without the wind farm. It is a significant portion of the multifaceted solution and will supply electricity to power 70,000 homes on the South Fork. Simply put, we will not reach the goal of 100 percent clean energy if this fairly modest, but powerful, 15-turbine wind farm is not built.

Orsted, the Danish developer who is seeking approval to build the South Fork project with its New England partner Eversource, is the most experienced offshore wind developer in the world. The company pioneered the first offshore wind project in 1991 off the coast of Northern Europe. Since then the company has installed thousands of offshore wind turbines in hundreds of successful wind farms around the world. They currently supply over 25 percent of the world’s wind energy. Their experience and expertise in offshore wind technology is well documented and unmatched.

Local elections often produce hyperbole and false accusations, but the statements of the “opposition” in this year’s contest are shocking. They either don’t know what they are talking about or they are deliberately misleading the public.

Sincerely,

JUDITH HOPE

Win With Wind


Beach Lane
Springs
October 28, 2019

Dear David,

Offshore wind power has the capacity to meet all of the world’s electricity demand according to a new study by the authoritative International Energy Agency. The study found that offshore wind has the technical potential to provide 36,000 terawatt hours of power a year, 50 percent more than the world’s total power consumption today.

This study attributes that growth in part to the higher power production that offshore wind yields, reports The Financial Times, and to the fact that the output of offshore wind is less variable than onshore wind or solar, making it more comparable to a “baseload” power source.

That’s a game changer. And it is happening right here in our beautiful resort community, helping to slow the threat of climate change that already brings us rising sea levels, acidification of our waterways, and more severe hurricanes.

The South Fork Wind Farm offers East Hampton an opportunity to make a significant and essential contribution to this transformation of our energy systems.

Enormous investment will be called forth to not only build and install the turbines — whose costs are dropping precipitously — but also to vastly improve the distribution systems that carry the electricity from the turbines to our homes, our government, and our businesses.

The Town of East Hampton has an important role to play. To be responsible stewards of financial resources as the nation embarks on this crucial enterprise, it clearly makes sense to authorize the cable landing that will be least costly. There are two main costs to consider: 1) the direct expense for laying the cable underground, as water mains are, and 2) the indirect costs of disruption during the burying of the cable. The direct costs will be paid by Orsted, the company building the wind farm. But the indirect costs will be paid by all of us who live here and/or earn our livings here.

Two practical routes to the substation have been proposed by Orsted, the South Fork Wind Farm developer, after considerable study of a larger number of possible routes.

The Beach Lane landing in Wainscott is clearly the least expensive directly, and by far the least disruptive and costly for our community. It is only a third as long, under four miles.

The route is primarily a residential street with fewer than 200 homes, most of which are uninhabited during the one winter season it would take to install the cable.

In contrast, the alternative route is three times as long, roughly 12 miles. Burying the cable on this longer route would take two years and involve considerable disruption along Route 27, frustrating for all of us and bad for businesses along the route. Clearly it would be more expensive.

There is another significant factor: The Town of East Hampton would have considerable authority over all aspects of the construction if the cable lands on Beach Lane, e.g., times of the year and of the day that construction can take place.

But the longer route would be under state control, far less likely to be well informed of and responsive to local needs and desires. The choice of Beach Lane looks to me like a no-brainer.

Sadly, a group of wealthy homeowners on Beach Lane have put up a million dollars and are disseminating blatantly false information to oppose this choice. This is Nimby (Not in My Backyard) at its worst. Let’s resist it and make the sensible choice.

ALICE TEPPER MARLIN


Leading the Way
Springs
October 25, 2019

Dear David,

There seems to be a repeated recitation of false statements from those who deliberately distort the facts in East Hampton’s energy plan.

We can all agree with the unanimous resolution adopted by former Supervisor Larry Cantwell’s town board that East Hampton should reach a goal of 100 percent use of renewable non-carbon-producing energy. East Hampton can be proud that we are once again leading the way toward a healthy environment for our residents and visitors. The town board studied and understood that there was no one magic bullet of using just one resource to meet all our renewable energy needs.

Think of a quiver of arrows. Each arrow represents what is needed to help hit our target of 100 percent renewable energy for our community. Some of the options are explained below.

We began looking at our two most significant sources: wind and sun. I was pleased to learn that the Northeast Coast of the United States averages the most consistent wind offshore in America. Why not harness sources of energy that surround us and are free and will not be depleted?

The town sustainability committee has led the way in recommending the use of solar power. Take a look at the solar complex built off Accabonac Road on almost 20 acres of cleared land at the old brush dump that is owned by the town. The town has been systematically installing solar panels on our town buildings. Efforts are being made to set up funds to help homeowners install their own solar panels. However, solar power will not be able to meet all our energy needs alone.

Conservation is another important aspect of meeting our 100 percent renewable energy goals. We can all contribute to that effort by using power more efficiently, and it saves us money!

Our community supports an active commercial fishing industry, so the town is hiring an expert who will study the impacts of the proposed South Fork Wind Farm to marine life from the cable and 15 wind turbines located 35 miles off Montauk and report the findings to the town board.

Because a new political party and its candidates are deliberately distorting East Hampton’s clean energy plan, you can stay informed with fact-based information by accessing winwithwind.org.

When you vote Tuesday for wind and sun, then more power to you!

Sincerely,

DEBRA FOSTER


Climate Crisis
East Meadow
October 22, 2019

Dear Mr. Rattray,

Storms have brought flooding to the East End for years, but more frequent and more severe storms are among the phenomena climate change is bringing us (“Wind Storm Causes Flooding, Outages, Downed Trees,” Oct. 17). Forest fires have become ubiquitous, large areas of the world have already warmed past dangerous levels. The climate crisis might be out of control. It already affects all of our lives, and will only get more obvious as agriculture and infrastructure are affected.

We can still react to this crisis with a massive effort to switch from burning harmful fossil fuels to using renewable energy provided by the sun, wind, and geothermal sources. East Hampton, for example, has already gone renewable. The town will have a 100 percent renewable-powered municipal government by 2020.

These local efforts are extremely laudable, but they’re not enough to save us. We need to overturn our oil and gas-based power system within the next few decades. The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed this summer provides the framework. What it doesn’t have is the ways and means or the budget.

The youth of today are right. We really do need to change the world, or we won’t survive the results.

JAY BLACKMAN

A How-To
Brooklyn
October 21, 2019

To the Star:

It’s so encouraging to see East Hampton getting a large solar installation online. Way to lead the charge!

Hitting the goal of six gigawatts of solar power spread across the state by 2030, as laid out in the recently passed Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, will take a concerted effort by communities in every corner of the state. Now we can point to East Hampton when asked for a how-to.

There’s really no excuse anymore for not taking up solar initiatives in New York. With the cost of solar having dropped approximately 90 percent in the last decade, and towns like East Hampton and others getting their hands dirty with implementation, there’s never been a better time to take real action at the municipal level on the energy revolution we need to fend off the climate crisis.

Here’s hoping this is one of many sunny stories coming to light in our wonderful state.

L.D. LIBRA


A Pleasure
Amagansett
October 27, 2019

To the Editor,

Yesterday, I voted on the first day of early voting at Windmill Village in East Hampton. While parking was limited (I got the last spot!), the polling place was staffed well and the process worked well. The only other issue was the two or three minutes it took for my ballot to print.

Having been a voter by absentee ballot in the past, I must say it was a pleasure in this divisive time to vote in a town election for a fellow I know from the gym and whose wife has worked on my occasional back flare-up. Good luck to David Lys.

TOM KEARNS

Working to Protect
East Hampton
October 28, 2019

Dear David:

It has been an honor to serve the people of East Hampton for eight years on the town board, the last two years as your town supervisor. The faith and confidence expressed toward me in the last three elections is indeed humbling and I have worked every day to uphold that trust by working to protect and enhance our community.

Solving problems requires calm leadership, motivation, a strong work ethic, and relevant experience to ensure community engagement and constructive dialogue. I have been a full-time year-round resident for 30 years and raised a family here. My children attended our local public schools, where my wife taught for over 25 years, and I owned and operated businesses in town for decades. I understand the many different aspects and dynamics of East Hampton, and I have demonstrated my commitment through my many years of community service and volunteerism.

There is still much more to do to protect our beautiful surroundings and quality of life here in East Hampton. I want to do what I can to ensure that future generations will continue to enjoy the beauty and bounty of our surroundings and experience the care and support that our small-town community offers. I ask for your support on Tuesday to continue this important work.

Thank you,

PETER VAN SCOYOC


A Privilege
Amagansett
October 27, 2019

Dear David,

It has been an honor to serve my community for the past eight years as your councilwoman. With my colleagues on the board who are also seeking re-election, Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc and Councilman David Lys, we have expanded the number of volunteer committees to more than 30 and welcomed the participation of more than 300 residents of our local community in local government. This ensures community involvement in water quality issues, coastal erosion, energy sustainability, future planning, business opportunities, affordable housing, and more.

I am proud to receive the endorsement of the Long Island Environmental Voters Forum. Their endorsement said, “We know that we can count on you to support a healthy environment and a healthy economy.”

I am passionate about preserving our environment and our history. I am committed to protecting our quality of life, and I understand that our economy is dependent on it. It is a privilege to serve the community I love and the people who make it extraordinary. I thank you and humbly ask for your vote on Tuesday or during this week of early voting at the community room at Windmill Village II.

Sincerely,

SYLVIA OVERBY


Four-Year Term
East Hampton
October 28, 2019

Dear Editor:

It has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life to serve as the town councilman of East Hampton over the past 21 months. To be able to assist my family, friends, and the residents of the township that I have grown up in has been extremely rewarding.

I have enjoyed the constant challenges that are presented to me as a councilman, and I do believe that I have performed those duties to a very high caliber. I have brought energy and decorum to a role in town government that the residents of East Hampton can see on a daily basis and I hope appreciate. In the short time that I have been in office, I have moved forward to completion many stalled infrastructure projects and also have successfully initiated new legislation to assist with affordable housing initiatives within the township among other meaningful work.

I was appointed last January to East Hampton’s Town Board, the first such appointment in over 30 years. From then on I went straight to work for the residents. In the same calendar year of 2018, I ran two successful elections in which I was humbled by the residents’ voices, in which they elected me to fulfill the vacated one-year term of town councilman. Once again, after those elections I went straight to work and did so at a high level for you, the residents of East Hampton.

Now, I respectfully ask the residents of East Hampton to vote for me again on Tuesday for the office of East Hampton Town councilman, to serve a full four-year term to help lead and shape the town that I love and cherish into the year 2020 and beyond. If I earn your vote, I promise you that I will continue to work hard every day as your representative and to make you proud of not just my but your hometown during my entire term.

I thank you again for your support and for your commitment to our slice of heaven called East Hampton.

Respectfully,

DAVID LYS


First Choice
East Hampton
October 28, 2019

Dear David,

I would like to recommend David Lys as the first choice for a town board seat. He is of a generation that is not well represented in town government but is the backbone of the community. He is smart, hard-working, and is willing to listen to everyone. He has shown by his work in the time he has served on the town board that he is a perfect fit.

Sincerely,

BRIAN P. CARABINE


Very Positive
East Hampton
October 28, 2019

Dear David,

My past letters to The Star have dealt with other subjects than politics, but I feel it is important to express my feelings about the local candidates in this contentious election. I have, over the course of many years, attended town board meetings, read in The Star about issues in the town, and have had direct interaction with some of the incumbent members in some situations that have involved me personally. I have also attended candidates debates. I am not a politician, but in my professional career, I have dealt with many types of organizations and individuals, and have a good sense of what it takes to be successful.

I want to express my strong support of Peter Van Scoyoc, Sylvia Overby, and David Lys in this election. I have a very positive feeling about their abilities and commitment to doing their best to serve the people of the town. There have been several longstanding issues with opposing interests in the town, and I feel that they have tried to implement policy that is fair and in keeping with the town’s values. With issues that have concerned me, I have been able to speak directly with some of them, and have received the attention and information that I was looking for.

We had an administration in the past that misdirected town funds, and another that was rude to the public and some board members, and they were voted out of office. I don’t feel that the criticism being directed at the incumbents by their opponents in this election is fair, nor do I feel it justifies removing them from office. We should appreciate the good job they are doing for us and reelect them.

JON HOWARD


Contrast
Amagansett
October 28, 2019

Dear David,

Less than a week until Election Day. It’s been a long campaign, especially if one remembers the primary. Voters have been inundated with political campaign messages, essential to inform us but definitely a lot.

To those voters who are still undecided despite the onslaught let me make a suggestion:  Take the temperature of the messages. The contrast in messaging in this election is sharp.

One side is calm, the content reasonable and positive. It offers specific information, a solid list of accomplishments and concrete plans for going forward. The other is hot and angry. It pushes negative attacks on everything being done by incumbents and grandiose promises unsupported by experience for the future. What is its vision for our community?

As a longtime resident feeling fortunate to live in this special place, I look back on decades of different government leadership and their accomplishments. I can say with confidence that temperature, temperament, and a clear vision do matter, that having an idea of the kind of town we want to be and taking the high road in promoting it has far better potential for our future than slinging the mud. (We all have surely learned this from observing Washington, D.C.)

So my choices for Election Day are the team that has a vision of what it wants and knows how to get it done: Peter Van Scoyoc for supervisor, Sylvia Overby and David Lys for town council, and the nine trustee candidates, Francis Bock, Bill Taylor, Susan McGraw Keber, Richard Drew, Benjamin Dollinger, Tim Garneau, John Aldred, Mike Martinsen, and James Grimes.

Sincerely,

BETTY MAZUR


Takes the Cake
Montauk
October 24, 2019

To the Editor,

Are you having trouble deciding who to vote for in the upcoming town board election? All you need to do is go to LTV on demand and watch the Montauk Chamber of Commerce-sponsored debate that took place on Oct. 21. If you do so, your mind will be made up quickly and definitively.

The three Fusion Party candidates are exposed for their lack of substantive policy proposals and for having one single strategy, which is to attack the character, motive, or competence of their opponents.

Betsy Bambrick is way over her head running for town board. Her only recurring remarks are different versions of a one-note tune, which is that the current town board doesn’t listen to its constituents. She makes no mention of any concrete or coherent plan on any of the topics debated.

Bonnie Brady adds a lot more meat to her remarks, but when you reflect on what she says, it’s all as empty as Betsy Bambrick’s statements except it just sounds as though it’s scholarly. But it’s not.

She rattles off impressive sounding studies and references but there’s nothing material or substantial by way of potential solutions. She is, however, full of sarcastic remarks and complaints. If you listen closely, which is a difficult and tedious task because it’s mostly gobbledygook and hyperbole, you will see that she has a shallow understanding of the issues and relies mostly on blaming those in power for everything that hasn’t gone her way.

David Gruber, however, takes the cake when it comes to denigrating and mocking. I assume he must have a certain level of intelligence given his résumé. Unfortunately, he doesn’t use it to formulate much in terms of replacement ideas or counterproposals that would move the conversation forward constructively. His only proposal that sounds as though it should be given any serious consideration is his plan to build affordable housing using increased density to do so. The rest of his diatribes focus on what a terrible job the incumbents are doing.

It’s true, as he states, that criticism in political campaigns is essential in order to expand the boundaries of possibilities, to grow and to innovate. That’s if ideas and designs of policy are the subjects of debate. That’s not what David Gruber does. He belittles, disparages, and accuses the incumbents of being inept. Anyone can do that from the balcony. Tell me how you would do it differently if we put you on center stage. Don’t just give us that old line that you would get all the right experts to work on it.

If you’ve been paying attention, you would know that the current board members running for re-election have been intelligently putting into place bright, fresh, and innovative ideas to keep our town on the cusp of innovative solutions for every challenge that this community faces, and have done so while maintaining a fiscally sound government. It’s to our benefit to keep them in their position so as not to interrupt the sound ecosystem of governing they’ve overseen. They are the smart choice on Election Day.

But don’t take my word for it. Watch the debate. It will be obvious who you should vote for.

LOU CORTESE

P.S. The surprising star of the night was Andrew Strong, who is running for town justice. He exuded humility, empathy, and a youthful bright sensibility in addition to having a wide and varied experience in law.


Has a Choice
East Hampton
October 25, 2019

Dear Editor,

Elections have consequences, and this election is no different. As county executive, Steve Bellone raised our taxes and fees by over $200 million, increased county spending to a record $3 billion, has a current county deficit of $900 million, and raided the sewer stabilization fund by $171 million to balance his budget!

As a result of Steve Bellone’s fiscal mismanagement, Suffolk County has declared seven fiscal emergencies and received seven bond downgrades. The result of Steve Bellone’s mismanagement is Suffolk County bonds are rated as junk bonds, and for the second year in a row Democrat state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has declared Suffolk County as the most “fiscally stressed county” in New York State.

The good news is we have a choice, a proven leader, current County Comptroller John Kennedy. As county comptroller, John Kennedy has fought hard to save millions of dollars despite Steve Bellone’s wild spending. Comptroller John Kennedy has led the opposition to Steve Bellone’s attempts to illegally strip the powers to oversee county finances by the county comptroller and the County Legislature.

Comptroller John Kennedy, working across party lines, was able to achieve passage of relevant legislation which benefited our veterans, preserved local open space, protected our groundwater and local ecosystems. As comptroller through his audits, John has saved millions of dollars that Steve Bellone would have otherwise wasted. In 2016, in a move that consolidated government and saved even more taxpayer dollars, John took over the duties of the county treasurer. Newsday called John Kennedy “a pragmatic, independent thinker. The kind that Suffolk needs.”

As county comptroller, John Kennedy has been a proven fiscal watchdog and he sponsored legislation to create new revenue. John has cut county spending while maintaining critical county services, all with no general-fund tax increases. As county executive John Kennedy will balance the budget, improve the bond rating that will save taxpayers millions of dollars.

For County Legislature, Linda Kabot has nearly 14 years of experience at the executive and legislative levels of local government, far surpassing Bridget Fleming. Linda served as Southampton Town supervisor from 2008 through 2009 and councilwoman from 2002 through 2007. Before holding elective office, Linda Kabot worked in Southampton Town Hall for six years as executive assistant to a previous town supervisor.

Lastly, here in East Hampton as in county government, we, too, have significant issues that will impact the lives of every resident. The current town board’s failure to resolve our first responders emergency communications system, address contamination of our groundwater, harbors, and bays, mistreatment of our town employees, lack of affordable housing, and economic development, effectively dismissed off, had the concerns of residents adversely impacted by town board decisions and abandoned our senior citizens by failing to follow through with a senior citizen center.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “The government you elect is the government you deserve.”

This election, East Hampton has a choice to elect dedicated candidates for town board, trustee, and town justice who will get results, who believe in open, transparent government, and value the opinions of all citizens. On Tuesday, vote for the Fusion slate of candidates on the Republican, Conservative, Libertarian, and Independence Party lines.

MANNY VILAR

Chairman

East Hampton Town

Republican Committee


Kabot Understands
Amagansett
October 27, 2019

Dear David,

I have had the pleasure of spending some time with Linda Kabot, a Suffolk County Legislature candidate, this campaign season. Focusing on the East Hampton local campaigns, I had not thought much about other candidates, especially on the county level.

One week before the election, I realized how available and accessible Linda Kabot has been on a local level attending the local debates, events, and functions. She thoroughly understands the local issues in East Hampton, from the communications tower in Springs to our environmental problems with water and septic and our affordable housing crises for local individuals and working families. Linda understands our need for a new senior center and our need for a plan to restore our beautiful beaches in Montauk. Plainly speaking, Linda Kabot understands our community.

Not only can Linda Kabot speak intelligently about our local issues, but on the county level, Linda is hugely concerned with how Suffolk County’s bond rating is now near junk bond status and the fiscal crisis that looms. She understands that the Suffolk County Legislature’s primary role is fiscal responsibility.

I realize now that Linda Kabot is a local candidate. Linda Kabot is knowledgeable and genially concerned with East Hampton issues. Linda Kabot listens to every one of us, regardless of what political persuasion we are. Please consider joining me to support our local Suffolk County Legislature candidate, Linda Kabot, on Tuesday. 

Thank You,

DAWN BROPHY


Persistent Inaction
East Hampton
October 27, 2019

Dear David,

The best part of a political campaign is the people you meet. After all, you cannot normally stand in front of a post office or grocery store and expect strangers to talk to you about what concerns them.

Running for supervisor and having now had the chance to talk to many people from Montauk to Wainscott, I am certain that a majority know what I know, that our town government is stuck and has been stuck for a long time, making so little progress on the important problems — of affordable housing, water quality, emergency communications, senior needs, response to beach erosion, renewable energy — that the problems are winning.

Indeed, at the Springs Firehouse pancake breakfast this very morning, one resident who struck up a conversation at my table said, more or less, “Banning balloons is all well and good, but come on. With all of the serious problems we are facing, that is nothing for the town board to brag about.”

As heartening as it is to meet so many people who care deeply about East Hampton, it is as, or more, disturbing how many are completely disheartened, convinced that the commitments of political candidates, myself included, will always be empty, because for so long they have been empty.

Far too many people from the year-round community have told me they are leaving East Hampton for good, some within weeks, because they no longer see a future for themselves and their families here. That includes people who have lived most or even all of their lives in East Hampton and some whose families have been here for generations. They are frustrated and heartbroken at being unable to stay in the home they have known. This is the direct consequence of the persistent inaction of the town board.

To all those who are feeling hopeless about their future here or are about to leave, I say, please don’t go yet. Give me and my running mates, Betsy Bambrick and Bonnie Brady, for town board and our fine trustee candidates the chance to prove to you that you belong here and that we can keep this community intact if we get on about solving our problems with energy, creativity, commitment, and a fierce sense of urgency appropriate to the task.

The candidates of the EH Fusion Party, Democrats, Republicans, and independents working together to solve local problems, are all on the Independence Party and Libertarian Party ballot lines. On Election Day, or during early voting, take a shot with us at a shared future in our common home, East Hampton.

Sincerely,

DAVID GRUBER


Disappointed
Montauk
October 24, 2019

To the Editor:

I attended the candidates forum in Montauk held Oct. 21. Incumbents Van Scoyoc, Overby, and Lys presented strong rebuttals to charges made by Fusion Party candidates for the town board. The incumbents came armed with facts, figures, and a knowledge of East Hampton’s struggles and their achievements thus far — honestly acknowledging roadblocks.

Fusion Party candidate David Gruber wanted to do study after study without mentioning how to pay for that, and Bonnie Brady wanted sandbags removed from the beach — again without discussing the dollars and cents involved. Betsy Bambrick also left me wanting in the details.

Town Justice Lisa Rana read some jury instructions in her introduction — I would have preferred her own words.

Democratic Town justice candidate Andrew Strong connected with his personal résumé and promise to work hard for the town in which he has chosen to raise his family.

While there are Fusion candidates who have individually done good work in the community, they disappointed in their chance to shine — sounded like lots of grudges to me. They should have been way better prepared.

And that is why Van Scoyoc, Overby, Lys, and Strong have my vote.

PAT LUKASZEWSKA


Party of One
East Hampton
October 28, 2019

Dear Editor:

As reported in The Star last week, David Gruber is funding basically the entire Fusion Party campaign. Of the $76,000 raised by the Fusion Party in 2019, David Gruber contributed all but $116.85 — a party of one.

This sounds like a party boss, but then he would need a party to boss and the Fusion Party has no line on the ballot.

The Democratic Party on the other hand has more than 250 small donors, a full slate of vetted and qualified candidates, and an active Democratic committee supporting its campaign and candidates.

JERRY MULLIGAN


Petty Bashing
Amagansett
October 24, 2019

Dear Mr. Rattray,

This letter is in response to Mr., Doty’s unreasonably harsh criticism of Elizabeth (Betsy) Bambrick. It’s a good thing for town government to encourage elected officials to be civil and behave in a cooperative manner. However, when this morphs into discouraging questions and stifling any criticism, the result is that all vibrant discussion that would encourage growth and creativity is silenced and the result is entropy.

Anyone who has watched town board meetings over the past year with objective eyes and ears can observe that both council members and the public at large who dare to point out flaws, illogic, and blatant illegalities being proposed by the board are greeted with snarky comments, bullying, and disrespect.

Mr. Doty’s petty bashing of Betsy smacks of white-male privilege. Would he apply these same pejoratives to a male candidate? Get “woke,” Mr. Doty, ladylike doesn’t cut it in this race against bullies who totally lack flexibility and transparency in their running of town government. Their dealings with the public and even some of their fellow board members are peppered with dismissiveness and outright insults. Proposals are brought to light as faits accomplis, but don’t really hold up under closer scrutiny due to failure to follow proper procedure. Upon presentation, despite the holes and the questions, the attitude is one of “just nod your head and we’ll keep moving on to the next boondoggle.”

Somehow, the issues that really concern the common man (Springs Fire Department emergency tower, the new senior center, affordable housing, even the damn dangerous and glitzy new crosswalks) are kicked down the road for another day. Move along; nothing going on here. Instead let’s talk about what a glorious vanity project the new hatchery (built with “free” money) will be. Let’s give town-owned land to some politically connected billionaire for his vanity project. (Better yet, let’s let him steal it through fraud. Then we can’t be blamed.) Let’s have closed-door meetings with the new owners of Duryea’s and set off a firestorm of lawsuits the taxpayers can pay for. Let’s lease valuable downtown parking spaces in Amagansett for Tesla charging stations while removing 24-hour spaces used by locals going into the city via Jitney. We don’t need to discuss any of this with the citizens, just steamroller right over them.

Certainly, to get away with all this chicanery the town supervisor needs complacent “ladylike” compatriots alongside him who keep their heads down and only raise their voices to say “second” or “aye.”

I’m sorry, Mr. Doty, if you perceive Betsy as “arrogant” or “abrasive,” etc. What you are really so disturbed by is the voice of a strong, intelligent, well-spoken woman with great clarity of thought, imagination, and a desire to see this town and how it is run improved. It takes energy and clear thinking to take on these challenges. It also takes character and courage to point out publicly that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes!

Betsy possesses the aforementioned traits in abundance. I will be proud to vote for her on Tuesday.

Sincerely,

PATRICIA KNIGHT


Lackeys
East Hampton
October 24, 2019

Dear Editor,

I regret to inform you that the golden goose is dead. The long series of bad laws, bad decisions, and taxpayer money wasted on foolish projects has finally killed the goose. While doing nothing for the people who live here and ignoring projects the community needs, such as a new senior center, assisted-living housing, and a viable local economy built around the needs of a resident, small-business-employed working class, Town Hall has become the captive of the self-interested Democratic machine and its filthy clan of losers.

The town board cannot get anything done and cannot do anything right.

Thanks to a property tax law that penalizes middle class homeowners, East Hampton is no longer a destination place where people want to live. We have an Airbnb future.

The tick-infested woods, the traffic, the lack of concern for the elderly, the patronage mill that is Town Hall, the lack of services for those who need them, and the lack of basic human values suffocated the goose.

This is a town where an elderly person suffering from dementia can be left to rot on the street. And nobody from the town attorney to the town board to the County Legislator will lift a finger to do anything.

Where what words to paint on a sign provokes more concern than the lack of assisted-living services for the elderly hunkered down in their homes. Where there is no community center. Where there are no good jobs to keep young people from moving out.

And what do we elect to the town board to solve these problems? Twomey-town lackeys and idiots. Cowards and timeservers waiting for their government pension.

Seven years have passed since the fools were told the senior population would grow to be 25 to 35 percent of the population. Sylvia Overby says they are working on it. Traffic strangling our roads and making getting in and out of town a nightmare, and Van Scoyoc poses for the camera on a bicycle!

Wake up, East Hampton. Throw the bums out.

PAUL FIONDELLA


Shake Them Up
Springs
October 27, 2019

Dear David,

As Tuesday inches closer, I must once more voice my very strong feelings about our town’s future. We should be anxious about any government being controlled by one party for a long period of time.

This is why I support the Fusion Party and their candidates, Judge Lisa Rana for re-election, David Gruber for supervisor, Betsy Bambrick and Bonnie Brady for town board. They will begin to work on the issues that have plagued us like the shellfish hatchery being moved to Gann Road, a business in a residential area. Really, Mr. Lys?

A town’s government should never be in control of one party, administration after administration. Let’s shake them up so we can get a fresh approach to running our town. Vote for the Fusion Party candidates on the Conservative or Libertarian lines.

Sincerely,

PHYLLIS ITALIANO


Insensitive Actions
Amagansett
October 28, 2019

Dear Editor:

It is difficult to believe in candidates who tell you that they have integrity while they behave badly at the same time. If they had integrity, they wouldn’t have to tell us, we’d know.

Quid pro quo is here in East Hampton politics and will be apparent at this week’s town board, next Thursday, meeting where you will witness the appointed town board member who received approximately $10,000 (most not trackable) in campaign contributions from local land owners/developers. He will put forth a resolution to buy a piece of worthless swampland in Amagansett from the campaign contributors’ family for $160,000 of taxpayers’ money. Not a bad investment for these contributors who happen to be from the opposing political party. (Odd but true.)

The three Democrats running for re-election have been a big disappointment for many of us folks here in Amagansett. After 10 years of community involvement with the land known as 555, our previous supervisor was able to protect it for community use as open space and passive recreation. The development and management plans were discussed and agreed upon by the former supervisor and the members of the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee. The reason for the acquisition of this land was specific, as described in the community preservation fund purchase resolution: “The preservation of agricultural open space and recreation; and for protection of the community character.”

As soon as the former supervisor retired, the current supervisor decided against the wishes of the local community and against the guidelines set forth by the community preservation fund.He proceeded, along with Ms. Overby and Mr. Lys, to reward campaign supporters with the opportunity to run an elegant fund-raising party on the community preservation fund land so they could make $400,000 and attract 2,000 cars through residential streets. While Ms. Overby thought that the Port-a-Sans and massive parking on farm fields were the “community character” stated in the resolution, Mr. Lys thought that reading was the “recreation” part. (Meanwhile people were drinking, not reading.)

Most rational people would not interpret the above resolution to mean either of those uses. None of the above had anything to do with Amagansett and was simply payback for their friends. The three “Democrats” running for re-election still refuse to let the Amagansett residents be part of the management plan and have ignored two written requests from the Amagansett citizens advisory committee sent eight months apart, asking the board to allow the residents to be part of the decision-making process, especially since we were asked to be just that during the previous supervisor’s tenure. It now looks as if private citizens may have to pursue a lawsuit to stop the illegal mass gathering on the preservation land since these incumbents refuse to have a discussion with the Amagansett community about its use.

You may have heard of the billionaire represented by the law firm of the incumbents’ campaign manager who was almost awarded free Amagansett land abutting his property, which actually belongs to the town and our Paumanok trail system. Thankfully, a local resident who watches the town board for unusual activity caught this and was able to prevent this questionable land transfer.

Amagansett is without doubt the most low-key hamlet in East Hampton, and most of us are happy with its early American feel and the simplicity of Main Street. Although we did need a lighted crosswalk, we now have three that flash out of control when no one is there. The disco-like lights are bright and flashing very much like a 42nd Street billboard while the huge crossing signs are directly from Patchogue. People have complained that they are not working correctly and look ugly, yet they are still flashing at all hours. In addition, there was zero thought given to the aesthetics of our lovely hamlet.

We also have a maritime historical area along Bluff Road opposite the historic district. There are old historic buildings there that many of us care about. These structures are statements about our local history and deserve respect. When it was time to replace the wood roof on our historic Marine Museum, the incumbents did not think it mattered what they used to replace the roof, so they wanted asphalt. Despite many emails from neighbors begging them to give our historic buildings the respect they deserve by replacing the wood roof with the same, just as most of the nearby houses have. Once again, all voices were ignored, and they put the fake roof on. To those of us who value local history, this was the equivalent of painting a mini-skirt on the Mona Lisa.

Understandably some of these things may sound unimportant to outsiders but these are just a few examples of the insensitive actions taken by these three candidates that chip away and finally erode our town’s character and quality of life. I used to vote reliably for these people but sadly the party has morphed into something that I cannot support. So please, “Democratic” candidates: No more advertisements about integrity, quality of life, our seniors, transparency, or the environment while quid pro quo is widely practiced within this current administration.

It’s time for some new blood on the town board with Gruber, Bambrick, and Brady, who have bonded together across party lines to change this current “pay to play” routine. You’ll find these three and the other nonpartisan candidates for change on the Independence line. Let’s also maintain the integrity of our courts by re-electing Lisa Rana.

Thank you,

JAMES MACMILLAN


Not One Dime
Amagansett
October 27, 2019

Dear Editor;

I read with great amusement a letter to the editor in last week’s Star by Joan and Vincent Priore from Lazy Point, endorsing some of the present only Democratic East Hampton Town Trustees for the Tuesday election. I find it amusing because they endorse the exact trustees that voted for the biggest giveaway in the history, I believe, in East Hampton Town. Some of the trustees they endorse gave them (the Priores and all Lazy Point residents) a 35-year lease on the property that their houses sit on, trustee land, for not one dime gained by the trustees.

Many local residents opposed this giveaway but it was done so quickly it gave them no time to fight. I supported a 10-year lease for Lazy Point, not 35. A letter written to The Star on May 6, 2019, by a former Natural Resources Department former employee, John Botos, stated, “I am saddened to hear that the town trustees approved the lease renewal for Lazy Point. Such a decision clearly demonstrates a lack of vision and sound decision-making based on science and logic. I’m shocked that Bill Taylor did not recuse himself during the vote, being he is an employee of the Natural Resources Department. A town employee who is also an elected official has no business mixing the two responsibilities.”

This same present Democrat-controlled board also now seems to support a controversial and also very opposed building of the Gann Road project of an oyster and shellfish hatchery for around $5 million-plus in a residential neighborhood. This same Democrat-controlled board will also not give us an answer as to whether or not they support the Deep- water Wind project it seems until after this election. They certainly at this time do not seem to support the fishermen.

We also should not forget the tape I was sent this year of Bill Taylor, James Grimes, and Francis Bock, and I cannot help but wonder what the district attorney’s office has done with that investigation? That tape was disturbing to me as to how they run that office, and I believe that changes need to be made.

The voters have the opportunity this election in early voting or Tuesday, on the Independence or Libertarian line, to elect a trustee board that will bring integrity back and I trust the voters to do so.

Sincerely yours,

ELAINE JONES

Chairwoman

East Hampton Independence Party


Must Split Ticket
East Hampton
October 28, 2019

Dear Editor:

Watch it! This town is fast moving toward being completely Democratic Party-controlled. I am sure you agree, Mr. Rattray, we need multi-party representation on the town board and among the trustees. That’s why voters must split their tickets on Tuesday.

Take a look at the Fusion Party candidates. They represent a unique political blend of local folks who have expressed a willingness to work together by putting partisan politics aside, including Democrats from the Reform Democratic Party. The easiest way to find all these candidates in one place on the ballot is on the Independence line. Vote left to right from supervisor on. Split your ticket. Bite the bullet. 

Also, check out ehfusionparty.com. Read about the diverse backgrounds of the candidates if you need more convincing. And, hey, while you are on the website, how about making a donation? I just did.

LYNNE W. SCANLON


Party Platform
East Hampton
October 27, 2019

To the Editor:

A cohesive group of East Hampton Republicans, Reform Democrats, and Independents have joined together to form a party for change. These concerned citizens of our town have joined from the left to the right across party lines to create a party and a platform in dispute of our withstanding governance in East Hampton Town Hall. The Deep- water Wind Farm project and the lack of lifesaving communication at the Springs Fire Department will jeopardize both the livelihood of our fishermen and fisherwomen and the safety of our residents, respectfully.

These are two issues addressed within the Fusion Party platform. The Fusion Party represents the residents of East Hampton who want an alternative to the present one-sided, one- party governance of our town board.

Respectfully submitted,

DEBORAH ANN SCHWARTZ

East Hampton

Town Republican Committee.


Make No Reference
East Hampton
October 28, 2019

Dear David,

My dear friend Russell Stein objected on these pages last week that Fusion Party signs in Montauk that say “Beaches, Yes! Dirtbags, No! are a thinly disguised smear against Democratic Committee candidates for town office. While it was doubtless unintentional, ironically the only calumny results from his letter.

The signs make no reference to any person. People west of Montauk may not know that in Montauk, the only place where the signs were posted, the downtown beach lined (for four years) with geo-bags that scar the beach is universally referred to as Dirtbag Beach. The reference in the signs to beaches and their deliberate placement make the message unmistakable. That is, without doubt, criticism of the condition of the beach. The town board’s decision to dig up the primary dune and line it with sand-filled geo-bags is a legitimate target of criticism.

If you want a different approach to the problem of shoreline erosion due to sea level rise, vote for the Fusion candidates.

Sincerely,

PAT TRUNZO III


Democratic Trustees
Springs
October 27, 2019

Dear David,

With the election 10 days away, I can’t help but reflect on what a strange campaign it has been. Thanks to the so-called Fusion Party, we have a Republican Party barely represented. The good Republicans of East Hampton have no town board candidates to vote for, no highway superintendent, and a very limited trustee slate.

As a candidate for town trustee, I feel we have faced no countercampaign whatsoever. And now, with the release of the latest election financials, I can see why. The Fusion Party has received $79,116 in contributions and all but the $116 is from David Gruber! This is the second consecutive election in which Gruber and gang has attempted to buy seats in town government.

 The incumbent Democratic town trustees have shown what public servants focused on solutions can accomplish. We now have easily accessible public meetings, televised live. We welcome the public to express their concerns in that live forum.

Water quality issues are being aggressively confronted with our partnerships in science, public agencies, and private organizations. This year, our team successfully spearheaded legislation at county and local levels to ban the intentional release of helium balloons, protecting birds and marine life from accidental entanglement or ingestion. Also, we continue to protect public access rights.

Our work on the South Fork wind project has been exemplary. This board has been fully engaged from the beginning, with public informational forums, highly qualified legal counsel, and hundreds of hours of research. We intend to see that East Hampton gets the best possible outcome from this historic project.

A main goal for the coming term, should we retain control of the board, is to see future trustee elections occur on a staggered basis. We believe this would allow for all parties to offer quality candidates and make it easier for the voters to study the slates.

Above all, we have made the town trustees relevant and respected. Please support Democratic trustees and all the Democratic candidates on Tuesday. We can continue the progress we’ve made only with the voters support.

Vote row A all the way.

Sincerely,

FRANCIS J BOCK


Giving Back
East Hampton
October 26, 2019

Dear David,

My name is Susan Vorpahl, and I am an incumbent East Hampton Town trustee seeking a second term in office. I am a lifelong resident of East Hampton with family roots dating back many generations. As a public safety dispatcher for East Hampton Town Police and a 13-year volunteer member of East Hampton Village Ambulance Association, I am experienced in working under pressure in highly stressful situations. I also am a treasurer for the P.B.A., a C.P.R. instructor, member of the East Hampton Healthcare Foundation’s public access defibrillator program, and a deacon in my church. Giving back to our community is important to me.

I would have to credit my late father, Stuart B. Vorpahl Jr., for being my inspiration for deciding to run for an esteemed seat on the Board of the Trustees of the Freeholders and Commonalty of East Hampton. I use the word “esteemed” because the East Hampton Town Trustees are the original governing body of our great township; being a governing body for 333 years is quite extraordinary. Deriving their sovereign authority from the Dongan Patent of 1686, the board of trustees maintains a pivotal role in the governance and protection of our public’s common lands.

During my first term in office I worked on various committees consisting of Accabonac Harbor, pump-out boats, and roads. I have also worked closely with Steve Boerner, a historical researcher and archivist, on his consulting work regarding Cartwright Shoals, and currently on the board’s research into Northwest Harbor and surrounding areas.

Supporting our fishermen, working to improve our water quality and its ecosystems, maintaining public access to our beaches and waterways, ensuring compliance by private property owners bordering trustee roads, erosion and the effects of hardened structures on our shorelines, are some of the issues I will continue to work on and support. It has truly been an honor to serve our community as an East Hampton Town trustee, and I humbly ask for everyone’s support on Election Day.

Sincerely,

SUSAN M. VORPAHL


Clean Water
East Hampton
October 28. 2019

Dear David,

On Thursday night at our Democratic trustee campaign rally I spoke to the crowd how most of the trustee candidates have mentioned that clean water is one of the most important topics for all of us.

With that on my mind, last Monday I went out with Surfrider’s Blue Water Task Force and water-sampled several locations and then took the samples to Stony Brook Southampton and worked in Chris Gobler’s lab for three hours. It was a great hands-on experience and a real eye-opener as to what’s involved in our quest for clean water.

I feel strongly that actions speak louder than words and with that I ask you for your vote.

Sincerely,

TIM GARNEAU


Unique Rights
East Hampton
October 27, 2019

Dear David,

My name is Stephen Lester. Many of you know me as a former trustee with over 12 years of experience, and I am now seeking re-election to the board.

I come from a longtime local fishing family that has lived in East Hampton for many generations. Over the past few years I have had many friends and family in the community who have come to me with their concerns about trustees and issues relating to the board’s actions. I believe I have the knowledge and experience to serve the community as a trustee again and to preserve and protect the trustees’ unique rights and privileges granted to them under the Dongan Patent on behalf of all East Hampton residents equally.

Please vote for me on Election Day, Tuesday, along with Susan Vorpahl, Dell Cullum, David Talmage, Fallon Nigro, and Michael Havens.

Thank you,

STEPHEN LESTER


New Ideas
Montauk
October 28, 2019

Dear David,

My name is James C. Grimes, and I am running for my third term as East Hampton Town trustee.

Four years ago, when I was first elected to this position, the trustee board had a backlog of applications, some of which dated back several years. The board was also involved in several lawsuits with no real resolution in sight, Georgica Pond was a mess with toxic algal bloom, and the board was at odds with the Lazy Point community.

The election of 2015 ushered in a new board with new ideas. The new board quickly sought to implement their ideas, which included:

Adding two new deputy clerks (at no additional cost to the taxpayers) to handle the workload previously handled by a single clerk, including clearing up the backlog of applications.

Moving the meetings from the cramped confines of the trustee office to Town Hall, which allowed for the meetings to become televised and afford more room for the public to attend.

In cooperation with Sara Davison and the Friends of Georgica Pond, several projects including the harvesting of algae, increased letting of Georgica Pond, and dredging of the north bottleneck in Georgica Cove.

Working directly with the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Army Corps of Engineers to get the dredging of the south end of Georgica back on track.

Engaging with other community stakeholders to get other projects in the works to improve the water quality in Napeague Harbor, Accabonac Harbor, Northwest Creek, and most recently Little Northwest Creek.

Streamlining our policies on sand fencing along our beaches.

Working with the Lazy Point community to give them longer leases on properties.

Working directly with the Village of East Hampton to come up with a new policy for implementing more garbage cans and trash removal at our beaches.

Spearheading public meetings with the Deepwater Wind turbine project through our harbor management committee.

This has all been possible through the hard work of not just one person, but by the team of seasoned, elected trustees, including Francis Bock, Bill Taylor, Rick Drew, Susan McGraw Keber, John Aldred, and myself. I have truly appreciated all the support from the community in my last two terms on this board and look forward to your continued support on this coming Election Day.

JIM GRIMES


Line A
East Hampton
October 28, 2019

Dear David,

In a few short days we’ll once again have the opportunity to vote for the candidates we feel will best represent our community.

Our nominated East Hampton Democratic candidates for trustee are comprised of outstanding individuals whose expertise, knowledge, and dedication to the preservation and protection of our fragile environment will enhance our efforts. Each candidate is thoroughly qualified and steeped in a sincere desire to work to maintain, and when needed improve, our trustee-owned properties — our waterways, bottomlands, beaches, harbors, estuaries, roads, and fisheries.

Our new candidates for this election include Mike Martinsen and Ben Dollinger of Montauk, and Tim Garneau of East Hampton Northwest. Each one of them will bring new energy and ideas to the trustee board.

Candidates for re-election include Francis Bock, Bill Taylor, Jim Grimes, John Aldred, Rick Drew, and myself. All of us are eager to continue our work in the assigned committees we serve on and to see through the several important issues we are currently engaged in with a successful outcome for our community.

I ask for your support for Peter Van Scoyoc, Sylvia Overby, and David Lys for re-election to the town board.

The Democratic candidate for East Hampton Town justice, Andrew Strong, has experience, compassion, and a full understanding of what our community needs and deserves to be safe in accordance with the laws. Andrew will bring a fresh new intellect to our court system.

Please support and vote for the nominated East Hampton Democratic candidates for trustee and town board and Andrew Strong for town justice on Tuesday. Vote line A, all the way!

Thank you,

SUSAN MCGRAW KEBER


Independent
Amagansett
October 27, 2019

Dear David,

Your editorial “The Trustee Election” in the Oct. 10 Star was right on target. With 18 candidates running, how could anyone really get to make an informed decision on who to vote for and what they really stand for?

A staggered term, as you have proposed, is so very important to how trustees function in looking out for our precious assets. It gives the voters a chance to really evaluate the best people for the job as well as how they are performing in listening to what the residents really have to say.

When I ran for trustee two years ago, part of my promise at that time was to promote a staggered term of office for the nine trustee positions along with a “blue book” of trustee regulations, fees, and permits needed, as had been done in Southampton. Unfortunately, I came close to winning (10th place), but didn’t actually make it. Hopefully, this year will be a successful one for my election to a trustee position so I can fulfill these promises.

I have watched the trustee meetings or actually been at the meetings for the past 10 years. It is astonishing to me that five of the present nine candidates are actually Democratic committee members on the Democratic ballot line. Does the Democratic committee actually want to have the power over the trustees as well as the town board? After all, the trustees are supposed to be an independent body devoted to clean water, ocean beach access, and keeper of the Dongan Patent, and not totally responsive to a political committee or the town board.

As an independent thinker, not beholden to any political group, I am asking for your vote, either in early voting (through Sunday) or on Election Day, Tuesday. Look for the Fusion Party candidates on the Independence and Libertarian ballot lines. I’m the last trustee candidate on both lines.

Sincerely,

RONA KLOPMAN

Bipartisan Team
Amagansett
October 21, 2019

Dear David,

My name is Bill Taylor, and I am asking for your vote for myself and all the other trustee candidates from the Democratic team running this year on Row A. Our bipartisan team was selected by the East Hampton Democratic Committee and overwhelmingly endorsed by the voters of this wonderful town in the June primary election.

We are a group of environmentally sensitive individuals with a great deal of local knowledge and the proven ability to get things done. In the past four years we have demonstrated just how effective the trustees can be in improving water quality, protecting public access, and working on the huge, ongoing and upcoming projects and problems involving energy and erosion.

In our next term, voters willing, we will open a dialogue with all interested parties about changing the trustee election cycle. Staggering the terms and providing for smaller groups of candidates running each election will give the voters the ability to make more informed decisions.

Whatever the issue, our Democratic slate can be trusted to always look out for the public good. We ask for your vote on Election Day. Vote Row A, all the way, on Election Day.

Thank you,

BILL TAYLOR


Save Dongan
East Hampton
October 28, 2019

Dear Mr. Rattray:

Not too long ago an article appeared in your paper regarding a voice recording taken in the town trustees office without the knowledge of those heard. Among those voices are trustee clerk Francis Bock and deputy clerks Bill Taylor and James Grimes. Of course, they were outraged! How could someone be so dishonest, deceitful, and underhanded? So, we were told the “electronic eavesdropping” evidence was forwarded to the district attorney for investigation. What’s become of the matter? Should we assume no new information has been received, or if it has the trustees are not disclosing it?

Actually, I’m less concerned about the fact the eavesdropping occurred and want to focus on the content of the recording. The comments heard seem to have been (deliberately) downplayed and not addressed by these men or the press!

The bottom line: These three town trustees, appointed by a majority of the board members to represent them, made it very clear the public they were elected to represent mean very little to them. In addition, one of them confesses to violating the conditions of Department of Environmental Conservation permits regarding phragmites removal and advises a constituent to do the same! Not a peep from the other two at the time or from the remainder of the board since then on this disreputable behavior.

How dishonest, deceitful, underhanded, and illegal indeed! I will not be voting for Bock, Taylor, and Grimes. I support the “Save Dongan” candidates: Susan Vorpahl, Dell Cullum, Stephen Lester, David Talmage, Fallon Nigro, and Mike Havens.

Sincerely,

DIANE McNALLY


Been Inspiring
Springs
October 28, 2019

Dear David,

I just want to take a moment to thank all East Hampton residents for their engagement, support, and thoughtful feedback during this election.

Throughout this process the civic engagement I have witnessed throughout our town has been inspiring.

I am proud to be running on the Democratic and Working Families lines for East Hampton Town justice. Please remember to vote between now and Tuesday.

Sincerely,

ANDREW STRONG


Progressive Democrat
East Hampton
October 28, 2019

Dear Editor

I write to endorse Andrew Strong for town justice. Andrew is a progressive Democrat and a new voice for the town. He has the compassion, character, and competence to fulfill the duties of an office that is important to all residents.

Thank you.

JEFF BRAGMAN


Strive Every Day
Amagansett
October 25, 2019

Dear David:

The halls and courtrooms of our local justice court are true reflections of our community. In our justice court, a person of incredible wealth and privilege will sit next to a person who is struggling to pay the cost of a room in a house. The residents of East Hampton are a diverse group of people of various ethnicities, social status, and income levels. But in my courtroom, a person is a person. I strive every day to ensure that all people are treated justly and with equal dignity and respect, while at the same time, each person's case is evaluated individually.

I have been your East Hampton Town justice for the past 16 years. Before being elected to the bench in 2003, I specialized in representing children in child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, custody, and delinquency cases - protecting children and their interests. Before law school, I was a caseworker in New York City's foster care system, where I worked with families in crisis and volunteered as a rape crisis counselor at St. Vincent's Hospital. I bring to the bench the knowledge, insight, and compassion for the human condition gained through these experiences. And, I am the only candidate who has judicial experience.

On Jan. 1, our court, like all courts in New York, will be implementing new criminal justice system reforms passed by our State government earlier this year. These changes will significantly affect administrative procedures in the court, as well as how criminal matters are managed in the courtroom. The most experienced lawyers and prosecutors who appear in our local court are grappling with these sweeping changes. Now, more than ever, it is essential to have an experienced justice on our local bench.

I grew up here in Amagansett. My family has been part of our local community since 1916. I care about it deeply. I am an independent elected official, seeking re-election as your town justice because I love this community. I am committed to all of the people who reside here and to the welfare of the town that we call our home, whether you have lived here for a day, a year, or a lifetime.

I ask for your vote on November 5 – the upcoming election for East Hampton town justice – to continue my service to the community we all love.

            Respectfully,

            LISA RANA


The Strongs
East Hampton
October 27, 2019

Dear David,

I don’t know Andrew Strong, which is interesting, as I know all the Strongs out here. I do know Lisa Rana. We grew up together locally. One thing I have never thought of Lisa as is a Republican, Democrat, or Independent. She is just Lisa. A woman of incredible integrity.

She has become one of the best justices of the peace that East Hampton has ever had. I would ask the community to please keep Lisa Rana in office. This Strong votes Rana!

BILLY STRONG


Exemplary
East Hampton
October 27, 2019

Dear Mr. Rattray:

I write to you as an East Hampton resident and the former vice chairwoman of the East Hampton Town Republican Committee.

Judge Lisa Rana has been an exemplary jurist in the East Hampton Town Justice Court for the past 16 years. I happily endorse her for re-election.

During her nearly two decades on the bench, Judge Rana has proven to be a fair and principled judge, protecting the health and safety of the East Hampton community while also vigorously protecting the constitutional rights of the accused.

On Jan. 1 sweeping and comprehensive legislative changes to New York State’s criminal justice code will take effect and Judge Rana’s experience will be critical in navigating these changes while continuing to protect everyone. This is no time for on-the-job training. 

I also enthusiastically endorse and urge my fellow Republicans and Conservatives to vote for David Gruber for town supervisor and Betsy Bambrick for town council. Mr. Gruber is very smart, hard-working, and independent. Ms. Bambrick is retired from East Hampton Town government and is very knowledgeable about the inner workings of town government. The skills Mr. Gruber and Ms. Bambrick will bring to Town Hall are sorely needed.

Judge Rana, Mr. Gruber, and Ms. Bambrick have broad, public support as they are cross-endorsed on several party lines with differing political philosophies. Essentially, they are running a nonpartisan campaign, a concept good government groups have been advocating for decades.

Judge Rana can be found on the Republican, Conservative, Libertarian, and Independence Party lines. Mr. Gruber is on the Libertarian and Independence Party lines with Ms. Bambrick, who is also on the Conservative Party line.

Please vote on Election Day, Tuesday. The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sincerely,

CAROLE CAMPOLO


Dedicated to the People
East Hampton
October 28, 2019

To the Editor:

On Tuesday, East Hampton voters have an interesting group of candidates from whom to choose and a unique opportunity.

We received a Democratic Party mailer encouraging us to vote the straight Democratic line. Seemingly, the only thing that should matter or be considered by voters is that the candidates are on the Democratic ticket — long live identity politics! Their candidates are overwhelmingly incumbents on the town board and other offices, all of whom are rumored to be handpicked by the leaders of the Democratic Party. Loyal members must vote party first because it is the means by which the Democrats can maintain a hold (stranglehold?) on town boards and committees.

So, what is interesting and unique? Interestingly, the so-called undemocratic method of selecting candidates, employed by Democratic leadership, caused a split in the party, resulting in a unique slate of candidates for consideration. A breakaway group, Reform Democrats, have joined forces with Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, and others to form the Fusion Party. According to its literature, the Fusion Party is “committed to working with the entire community — without regard to political party — to solve local problems” — Clearly a novel and welcome concept in today’s political world. Fusion Party candidates appear on the Libertarian and Independence Party lines on the ballot.  

I am not suggesting there are not good people running from all the parties. I am saying vote people and not solely party! I urge voters to read as much as they can about all the candidates, to watch the debates on LTV if they missed them in person, and then to make a decision. Do you want the same old, same old, run entirely by the Democratic Party? Or do you want to give new, different candidates with creative ideas the opportunity to fix existing problems? Is it possible that fresh faces can bring fresh solutions, transparency, and a willingness to listen?

Educate yourself before voting. Do your homework and walk in prepared as though you were taking a test — study and learn the answers. If the first time you think about these things is when you have ballot and pen in hand, we lose as a community.

Fortunately, there is a candidate for re-election on the Republican, Independence, Conservative, and Libertarian Party lines, for whom we can vote because of the outstanding work she has done as our town justice for 16 years. Justice Lisa Rana is the only candidate for town justice with hands-on judicial experience: She served as chief administrative law judge for the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, where she oversaw 60 administrative law judges, who jointly adjudicated over 100,000 cases yearly. Currently she is the village justice in Sag Harbor, and, for the past 16 years, she has served as our East Hampton Town justice.

Justice Rana demonstrates insight and compassion from the bench. She comes by these qualities through hard work and the experience of her early years, representing the most underrepresented group amongst us — children — in abuse, neglect, domestic violence, custody, and delinquency cases, by helping families in crisis, as a foster care caseworker, and, as a volunteer rape crisis counselor. Her unique knowledge and experience with domestic violence cases, and other problems such as substance abuse and acts of violence, are issues she deals with almost daily.

Justice Rana believes in a system of justice for all persons and conducts her courtroom mindful of that ideal. For a litigant to receive the justice to which he or she is entitled, a court must be run by a jurist who is experienced, knowledgeable, and independent. Justice Rana possesses all these qualities, plus she is a hard worker, who listens attentively to the people who appear before her. She, has always been, and will remain, an independent elected official, who for 16 years has been dedicated to the people of this community — the place we all call home.

Vote for Lisa Rana on Tuesday.

BEVERLY BOND


My Aunt
The Bronx
October 27, 2019

Dear Editor,

The first time I saw my aunt Judge Lisa Rana in action was in the eighth grade. A classmate and I decided to use the opportunity of career day to see the operations of our local courtroom. As I watched my aunt, I observed how she blended being firm and exhibiting empathy to each defendant. Each time she made a decision, it was reasonable. Each defendant was treated fairly within the letter of the law.

A few years later, at Thanksgiving, my aunt and I decided to spend some time together and go to a nail salon. We were the only ones in the salon besides the manager and a nail technician. The nail technician received an absolutely terrible phone call in which she discovered her sister had just died in a car accident. Aunt Lisa immediately ran over to the distraught woman, gave her a huge hug, and let her cry. My aunt did something so essential in times of distress by asking the woman to listen to her questions. She asked her if her sister had any children. The woman replied that her sister had a daughter and a son. My aunt was so empathetic and told her to focus on helping and caring for them. She helped the woman decide what her next steps would be and talked the distraught manager into closing the salon as the woman needed to attend to her family.

I remember wondering if I and most others could at any moment rise to the occasion and react to a stranger with as much calm, empathy, and responsibility, attentiveness, and intelligence.

From my experiences and observations of her, my conclusion is that my aunt is an accomplished judge with exceptional expertise and skill.

This past winter, I ran into a mom that I have known for most of my life. We had not seen each other in a long time and were catching up. She told me how her son was involved in drugs in high school. Unknown to me, her son had overdosed on drugs. Police arrested him for drugs on his person. At his court appearance, my aunt, Judge Rana, was the sitting judge. This mom told me how grateful she was for my aunt, deciding that her son would go to rehab and not jail. My aunt had a choice, and she did what she believed was best for this mother’s son. The mom then told me how great this second chance was because her son received the help he needed, stopped involving himself with the wrong people, and now has been working and supporting himself.

In times of trouble for others, it is my Aunt Lisa who steps in to help whether it is in her personal life or the courtroom. She always handles these situations thinking about what is going to most benefit the individual. For this reason, I ask you to join me on Tuesday and give your vote to Judge Lisa Rana.

MARISSA BROPHY


Uniquely Qualified
East Hampton
October 23, 2019

Dear Editor,

Judge Lisa Rana is the most qualified, most experienced candidate running for East Hampton Town justice. Her compassion and courtroom demeanor is second to none! For 16 years she has served our community in the courtroom. Prior to this, she worked as an attorney specializing in family law and protecting children in abuse and neglect, domestic violence, and child custody. She also volunteered as a rape crisis counselor and worked with foster kids in New York City. All of this experience makes her uniquely qualified as many of these same issues appear before the East Hampton Town Justice Court.

For the past 16 years she has had support of local Democrats, Republicans, and Independence and independent voters. Town justice elections should be about experience and local knowledge, not partisan politics!

Please join us in supporting Judge Lisa Rana on Tuesday! She is running on the Independence, Libertarian, Republican, and Conservative ballot lines.

Sincerely,

JOHN and

CAROLINE DUNNING


Fair and Impartial
Amagansett
October 28, 2019

Dear Editor:

During the 2016 election for town justice Judge Lisa Rana was endorsed by the Democratic, Republican, and East Hampton Independence Parties. Apparently her experience impressed!

I have known Lisa Rana my entire life and there is no doubt in my mind that Lisa has proven to be a fair and impartial town justice. I am sure that anyone who ends up in her court will be treated with the same dignity that she treats everyone.

There is no doubt in my mind that Lisa Rana loves this community and deserves to continue as our town justice. Vote for experience. Vote for integrity. Vote for Lisa Rana on Tuesday.

Sincerely yours,

VICKI LITTMAN


I Am Ashamed
East Hampton
October 28, 2019

Dear David,

Local politics has taken a dark turn in East Hampton. As a former co-chairwoman of the local Democratic committee, I am ashamed of my local party. They have stooped to bullying and lying to residents to appease people behind the scenes. Turn on LTV to see how town board members treat each other. Four gang up on one, simply for their own pleasure.

Where has integrity gone in East Hampton politics? How do these people look in the mirror and face their children while acting this way? We have been sold to the highest bidders in the west and are being turned into a mini-Manhattan.

Four years ago, the East Hampton Democratic Committee cross-endorsed Lisa Rana for town justice. She is a local woman making and doing good. This election cycle, they have named a newcomer to East Hampton for the position of justice.

Justice Rana has a C.V. that reads like a who’s who. She has fought for foster children and worked with rape victims. She was an attorney for neglected children and victims of domestic violence. Judge Rana also served as chief administrative law judge. These are the qualifications needed for the position of town justice in East Hampton.

How can someone who has lived here for about 10 years have a clear understanding of a town almost 400 years old?

The East Hampton Town Democratic Committee wants you to think there are only Democrats on their slate, that is not true. They have endorsed Republicans this year. Some have changed party simply for the Dem endorsement, while others are registered Republican. If there is a MAGA hat in one’s office, regardless of the “D” next to their name, they are not a Democrat.

Do not let them fool you into believing that “their” Republicans are okay, while others are not. I suspect they have knocked on your door or sent literature to your home and never mentioned who on their slate are Republicans.

Our town must be more important that national politics. We must vote for the individual. We must vote because it is our right. Most important, we as local residents must vote for East Hampton and return integrity to our town.

The first step is to maintain fairness and impartiality in the East Hampton Town Justice Court. Judge Rana proved to this town that she is that person.

Lisa Rana is the best qualified to hold the position of town justice and I hope you will join me in voting for her on Tuesday.

Sincerely,

ILISSA MEYER


Social Darwinism
Rochester
October 22, 2019

To the Editor:

According to President Trump and the national conservative news media, someone who simply supports a federal government social program that helps people, such as Social Security and Medicare, is a “crazy socialist.”

If we go by that definition, then that would make Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon crazy socialists because they both signed new federal government social programs that help people into law/existence, and they both supported Social Security.

In fact, Ike wrote a letter to his brother in which he stated that any Republican who wants to abolish Social Security is “stupid.” It appears that conservative Republicans have become a lot more conservative and “stupid” since around 1980 because we sure do have a lot of them nowadays who want to abolish Social Security and move our country toward “survival-of-the-fittest” social Darwinism.

I recently saw President Trump’s acting chief of staff and budget director Mick Mulvaney on television. When he was a congressman, he was a favorite of the Tea Party and was well known for stating that Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme,” that it is unconstitutional, and that it should be abolished.

More and more, today’s national Republican Party stealthily advocates for a crazy, coldhearted, and creeping survival-of-the-fittest social Darwinism.

Sincerely,

STEWART B. EPSTEIN


Novelties
Plainview
October 26, 2019

Dear David:

When Donald Trump tweeted “I thought I was doing something very good for our country by using Trump National Doral in Miami for hosting the G-7 leaders,” he almost had support in the nation’s Constitution. A close (but deliberately limited) reading of Article II, Section 2, paragraph 3 clearly states that “the president shall have power to fill up all vacancies.”

He wouldn’t want me to quote the end of that sentence. His Doral golf resort certainly has had a lot of recent vacancies in its rooms and bungalows. (Gee, I wonder if they contain refrigerators with freezers full of good old Bungalow Bar ice cream novelties.)

RICHARD SIEGELMAN


Two Reasons
Los Angeles
October 28, 2019

To the Editor,

Despite all tensions in the U.S. after an ongoing political scandal in the Trump administration (Trump-Ukraine relationship), the Kremlin says it hopes Washington won’t release details of Putin-Trump calls. There might be two reasons for it: The Kremlin adds pepper to the current woes of Trump or takes a political step for re-electing him in 2020.

At the beginning of this administration, the U.S. faced a large amount of criticism for its policies such as pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, border crises, interference in the Yemen war by supporting the Saudi-led coalition and, the most important one, the story of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump is the best option for Russia. The more isolated the U.S. becomes, the more opportunity Russia has to become the biggest world power.

After the murder of the U.S. journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi crown prince, the global community expected the U.S. to end selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, but Trump bypassed the congressional resolution and sold a lot of weapons to kill innocent women and children.

Freedom of speech and democracy is a good point in all societies, but the more important is to protect society from meddling.

RYAN JENSEN


Deadly Mix
East Hampton
October 27, 2019

Editor:

Donald Trump is a soulless idiot. In the context of Syria nothing else is necessary to know. Syria is a disaster. That genocide is possible and that hundreds of thousands of people’s lives have been turned inside out is not our problem. We’ve had serious minds and lifelong statesmen leading our country and the morass that is Syria doesn’t abate. The presence of Russians, Iranians, Turks, and ISIS under the leadership of a dictator is the simple reality. Faced with war, starvation, oppression, and hopelessness Syria trudges on. Faced with seven million refugees fleeing the country Syria keeps going. What’s the point?

If Syria fell off the earth tomorrow and disappeared would anyone besides the Syrian people care? In our current MAGA [Make America Great Again] mindset we absolutely wouldn’t. The question for us and for Syria is about a worldview. What do we believe in? How we’d like it to be? What we are willing to do to make it work?

The bloodbath of the 20th century gave rise to a worldview that included a social contract with peace and prosperity for everyone as its centerpiece. Admirable objective, but demanding a level of cooperation and industry that had never existed before. Seventy years in, we struggle with our natural inclinations to self-interest and the deadly mix of capitalism and Christianity. One hundred and eighty different entities meshing together for shared goals is a monumental long-term project.

The idea that an international organization would, through pressure and the sheer weight of its members, serve to eliminate senseless wars and pervasive poverty was quite brilliant. An international court where disputes could be adjudicated without violence was exceptional. A place where the various religions and political philosophies shared the same platform was mind-boggling.

For the U.S., our worldview as the world’s policeman aimed at protecting our self-interest was a deterrent to this new philosophy. The existence of a security council with the power to veto short-circuited the forcefulness. We constructed a system filled with loopholes that has limited its efficacy and real value.

As the world slips back to the early fascism of the 1930s, we lead the charge backward. Democracy, hardly a reality, was a special symbol to the world and a driving force in ending slavery and oppression. Democracy seemed so simple an idea but it has lost its most basic principles to a world of egocentric self-aggrandizement and the pursuit of wealth.

Guantanamo ends all conversations. Eviscerates our claims to being democratic, to not being fascist. It redefines repugnance in the non-American universe. Nothing is more deranged than our claims to democracy and freedom and Christian benevolence then Guantanamo. Trump and the G.O.P. are Guantanamo.

Kids in cages, massacres in Syria, $4 billion in arms to the Saudis, dozens of school shootings are all Guantanamo. Sept. 11 exposed our nasty underbelly. Trump has ended any uncertainty.

The conversation of our worldview is almost nonexistent on any governmental level. (Bernie aside.) We live in an alternative universe fueled by psychotropic drugs that create images of cheering throngs and MAGA morons. While in the rest of the world we are a big bag of shit. Perhaps not as smelly as some of the others, but still a bag of shit. There is little solace in knowing that there are places worse than ours. There is no solace in hearing the chant “Lock them up,” and knowing that we are the object of their derision.

NEIL HAUSIG


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