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Letters to the Editor, June 6, 2019

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 17:05

Purple Pearl
    Santa Fe, N.M.
    June 1, 2019
Dear David,
    Word has come to Santa Fe about a precious purple pearl that was discovered housed in a clam in Bonac. I suspect the price of a clamming license has skyrocketed as a consequence. I’ll be inspecting my clams more carefully.
    I’m considering quitting my day job as a contractor and investing in the newfound discovery. Say, how much is a clam rake nowadays? This could turn into wall-to-wall clammers.
    Before you know it, bay property will be out of sight.

Taking Action
    East Hampton
    May 29, 2019
Dear Mr. Rattray,
    Talk about taking action! Thank you to David Lys, John Rooney, and all the town employees who so quickly arranged for the repair of the David King Memorial Baseball Field. Their fast response shows not only the respect they have for the memory of David King, but also the care they have for the children of our community, who will now be able to play on the field again.
    With much appreciation,

    East Hampton
    May 27, 2019
Dear Mr. Rattray,
    I want to commend White’s Pharmacy for helping me out this past Memorial Day weekend. I had a time-sensitive prescription delivery caught in traffic (shocking!) and was resigned to waiting for it there on a particularly beautiful day.
    But White’s insisted on delivering it to my house upon arrival while I enjoyed my sunny-day plans. I know home delivery is not a huge deal these days, but this arrangement required no apps, doubt, or delivery charges — just a nod and a smile.

Horseshoe Crabs
    East Hampton
    May 27, 2019
Dear David,
    Fascinating Mast-Head about male and female horseshoe crabs. But pray, how do you tell one from the other?

Male horseshoe crabs are about half the size of the females. Ed.

A Big Help
    East Hampton
    June 1, 2019
    I am pleased the East Hampton School District is starting a bilingual program in the kindergarten. This will be a big help for all the incoming students. The students will join in and be able to talk with each other in both languages. Young children pick up language faster than when they are older. Thank you, Beth Doyle.

Just One Rule
    East Hampton
    May 27, 2019
To the Editor:
    This will only be obliquely about our town and its admirable newspaper of more than a century’s standing, but relevant I think it may well be.
    When I began my four years of undergraduate education at Dartmouth College one had to take two terms of freshman English. It was a firm obligation. At that time also every professor on the faculty was required to teach at least one freshman course every year. Perhaps it was this requirement that caused the English department to come up with a unique-to-me method of teaching the craft of writing.
    All faculty members had the option to teach pretty much whatever they felt would be their most compelling material to a college freshman class, but the department made only a single requirement.
    One paper per week would be required, slated by the instructor at his or her selection of topic or theme. There was just one rule, and in that rule was the learning experience: No paper could be longer than one-and-a-quarter double-space typewritten pages. If a paper was submitted that was longer than that it would be given back to the student unread. Only upon refashioning it to not exceed the maximum length requirement would it be read by the instructor and graded.
    By having to edit our own writing we learned how to write. For a major reunion a few years ago our class requested essays from everyone on their life after Dartmouth. More than half obliged and the results were bound in a nice-looking volume. What struck me about the essays, apart from their personal interest, was the sheer quality of really all of the writing. This contrasted highly to my own experience teaching there sometime in the ’90s. The English department had abandoned that policy long ago and students were regurgitating 30 to 50-page papers about topics on which they often knew little, and the quality of the writing was appalling. This at Dartmouth!
    I credit a very wise and possibly short-lived policy on how to best teach writing. Any local relevance is up to the reader.

Particularly Telling
    East Hampton
    May 28, 2019
Dear David,
     With respect to town board improprieties and the ongoing debacle over Duryea’s Lobster Deck on Tuthill Road in Montauk, I have previously been quoted in the press saying, “Something in this situation is rotten. Mere incompetence and negligence are possible. Criminal conduct is also possible.”
    This past week, more details emerged into the light, strongly suggesting that “mere incompetence and negligence” do not suffice to explain the behavior of Supervisor Van Scoyoc and the town board. All the local papers and Newsday reported this past week that Marc Rowan, the current owner of Duryea’s, said in a sworn affidavit that, at a meeting on Feb. 14, 2018, with Supervisor Van Scoyoc, also attended by Councilman David Lys and town attorney Michael Sendlenski, Supervisor Van Scoyoc invited Mr. Rowan to sue the town to give the town board “political cover” to reach a settlement.
     In his affidavit, Rowan describes the meeting, saying, “During the discussion, we addressed each material issue covered in the final settlement between the parties. . . .” He then goes on to say, “At that meeting, Mr. Van Scoyoc stated to me that he wanted to globally resolve the issues relating to the premises, but that the town board did not feel it could negotiate a resolution without judicial assistance because of politics and public pressure. Mr. Van Scoyoc accordingly asked the petitioner to file suit to provide the town board with political cover.
     Supervisor Van Scoyoc denies Mr. Rowan’s account. According to Newsday, Van Scoyoc wrote in an emailed statement, “I informed the property owner he could go through the standard town review process to seek necessary approvals. In response to his claim that patents supersede the town’s jurisdiction regarding the docks, I indicated the town’s position is that it maintains jurisdiction to regulate those areas and, if he wanted to challenge that, he must do so through the courts.”
    Mr. Rowan’s description of what occurred squares with the facts we already know far better than Mr. Van Scoyoc’s denial. Particularly telling is that, contrary to its standard practice in real estate litigation of this type, the town board did not hire expert outside counsel. It was ultimately forced to do so when the illegal settlement was revealed. Outside counsel, with an ethical responsibility to the client, that is the town itself not the town board, could not have been expected to go along with a scheme of phony litigation for the sake of appearances.
     In the 10 months from the filing of the lawsuits until the settlement, the town attorney never filed with the court so much as a single document in defense. In a normal litigation, this would be inexplicable. In a fake litigation, kind of like a fixed wrestling match, conducted by mutual agreement purely for show, it makes perfect sense.
    Also, in the stipulation of settlement that was filed with the court earlier this year over the double signature of the town attorney, the town purportedly conceded Mr. Rowan’s jurisdictional claims, everything else that Mr. Rowan had asked for, and then some. If Mr. Van Scoyoc really wanted the courts to decide the merits, why was literally everything conceded? What sort of settlement is it when the town surrenders completely without mounting any defense at all?
    Van Scoyoc cannot now claim ignorance of the terms of the settlement. Again, as reported by Newsday, even after the improper settlement was unearthed and publicly reported by David Buda, “Van Scoyoc also initially defended the settlement, telling [Councilman] Bragman during the meeting [at which Bragman publicly questioned the settlement], that “four out of five of us worked really hard on this.”
    Neither Supervisor Van Scoyoc nor Councilman Lys can claim merely to be naïve neophytes with respect to such matters. Both served on the East Hampton Town Zoning board of Appeals. Mr. Van Scoyoc was a member of the Z.B.A. in 1997 and joined in the 4 to 1 majority that year when it ruled that activities at Duryea’s Dock that Rowan now claims “pre-existed” the zoning code did not. If they did not pre-exist the zoning code in 1997, they cannot do so today, as the illegitimate stipulation of surrender provides.
    If Mr. Rowan’s account is truthful, Supervisor Van Scoyoc and Councilman Lys were both compromising the interests of the public for purposes both personal and political, a clear case of misconduct. Several times in the past year and more, even before the illicit Duryea settlement came to light, I have decried the lawlessness of this town board and said that such conduct should not be tolerated by the public. I continue to think so.
    The Democratic Committee, writing to support Mr. Van Scoyoc, Mr. Lys, and Councilwoman Overby in their bid for re-election, would have you believe that only “a small group of disgruntled Dem­ocrats” has been critical of such behavior and other unlawful conduct by the town board incumbents.
    A small group of now former Dem­ocratic Committee members did try to sound the alarm more than a year ago. Predictably, as is always the case when the powerful are questioned, they were met with insults and ridicule, including from The East Hampton Star. Now, as more and more emerges into public view, there is widespread and growing public dismay.

    Sag Harbor
    June 3, 2019
Dear David,
    I’m writing to highlight a successful, cost-effective partnership among the East Hampton Town Trustees, the Nature Conservancy, local citizen-scientist volunteers, and the Suffolk County Division of Vector Control, in a cooperative pesticide reduction project at Accabonac Harbor, and to recommend to your readers the importance of supporting these excellent trustees in their bid for re-election, so they can continue their good work on this, and many other important projects.
    For many years a debate has raged between advocates fighting the use of the pesticide methoprene on one hand, and the county’s Vector Control program on the other, with one side stressing the need to eliminate the use of methoprene, while the other side held steadfast to the position that the pesticide was necessary because of the need to control an overpopulation of mosquitoes.
    Two years ago we embarked on a project to gather data regarding where and when mosquito larvae appear in the Accabonac Harbor marsh, and to report the data to Vector Control, which agreed to adjust their pesticide-spraying plan according to the data. The results have been highly encouraging, resulting in a 50 percent reduction of the use of any pesticides on the wetlands, and a significant reduction of area sprayed, including the elimination of spraying except on the upper marsh. Some steps to restore the wetlands, to allow natural predators of mosquitoes to thrive, and to reduce breeding areas have also begun.
    The project would not have gotten off the ground, much less been so impressively successful, without the dedication, commitment, and plain hard work of the trustees Susan McGraw Keber, John Aldred, Bill Taylor, and Francis Bock. The project began in 2017, with Stony Brook University student interns walking the marsh and using a specially-designed GPS app to plot mosquito breeding locations, characterized by level of activity.
    In 2018, led by the trustees, the program was expanded to use additional samples and to cover 190 acres of Accabonac Harbor marshlands. Using the data, aerial treatment zones were reduced to cover only active mosquito breeding hot spots, greatly reducing pesticide use while more effectively protecting human health by reducing mosquito breeding. Estimated cost savings of $18,000 were achieved.
    This year, the cooperative project will be continued and will begin to allow for the next phase of planning for more extensive wetland restoration. The goal is to continue to reduce, and even eliminate, pesticide spraying on the wetlands, while keeping the mosquito population under control.
    In such a geographically large and diverse county, facing significant budget constraints, this kind of partnership with local officials so deeply committed to serving their community, is exactly what is needed to tackle our many environmental challenges. As stewards of the wetlands, these highly capable town trustees are on the front lines, protecting our residents from the harmful use of pesticides, while effectively controlling the mosquito population.
    Trustees McGraw Keber, Aldred, Bock, and Taylor face a primary challenge on June 25. To allow them to continue this great project and many others, I recommend that your readers support them, along with their running mates Rick Drew, Jim Grimes, Mike Martinsen, Tim Garneau, and Ben Dollinger. At a time when too often politics gets in the way of good government, these trustees have shown how we can work together — effectively and efficiently —to get longstanding problems solved.
    Suffolk County Legislator

First-Time Trustees
    East Hampton
    June 2, 2019
Dear David,
    In less than three weeks, there will be a primary election to determine which nine town trustees and one town justice candidates will represent the Democratic Party in the November elections.
    While I’m a current trustee, nominated by the Democratic Committee for a second term, and would appreciate democratic voters’ support in the primary for the chance to run in November, it’s really three first-time trustee candidates, also nominated by the committee, that I would like voters to give spe­cial consideration. They are Tim Garneau, Mike Martinsen, and Ben Dollinger.
    Tim, Mike, and Ben are each relatively young family men, working and raising children in town. As such, they are acutely aware of the linked economic and environmental challenges we face in passing on the traditions of the East Hampton we have known. All are eager to invest their time as town trustees in helping craft a more positive future for all families.
    They’re running for all the right reasons and in these contentious times, I hope Democratic voters find that as refreshing as I do and will vote in the June 25 primary election to support Tim, Mike, and Ben’s candidacies.

A Sitting Judge
    East Hampton
    June 2, 2019
To the Editor:
    I have been a volunteer in the East Hampton Justice Court for more than 15 years. On many Mondays during the year I am in court listening to our judges dispense justice. My service to our court system has allowed me to observe Justice Lisa Rana during her numerous years of occupying the bench. Therefore, I feel qualified to share a few thoughts on how she conducts her courtroom, and, what someone might expect when appearing before her.
    There is no question that she has acquired a vast knowledge of the law in a variety of areas, something vital to any sitting justice. She clearly has gained this knowledge through her multi-faceted experience in private practice, and by expanding that knowledge while adjudicating from the bench.
    She is supercautious and especially painstaking when persons appearing before her do not have a familiarity with the English language. I have seen her hold cases over for second call if the court interpreter is not present at the time of the appearance of a party needing such services. I have never seen her rush through a proceeding so quickly that a litigant cannot understand what is happening. In fact, on many occasions, I have seen her repeat herself to the interpreter and wait while the interpreter goes back over the same ground until the party actually understands what is happening. Not something you see in many courts these days.
    There is a reason you won’t see Justice Rana on the street electioneering before the June 25 primary. By law, candidates for judgeships must be and remain nonpartisan. Unlike other candidates for office, judicial candidates must refrain from partisan political campaigning. Justice Rana’s “campaigning” can include only discussion of her personal qualifications, such as her earlier and current relevant experience with the law. Anyone running for town justice in East Hampton using old-fashioned partisan, political attack methods is violating his legal and ethical responsibilities. Partisan politics and East Hampton Town justice cannot be positively connected in the same sentence when it comes to a judicial candidate or a sitting judge.
    I personally think that the fact that Justice Rana was born, raised, and has lived most of her life in East Hampton, as has her family, is a plus when it comes to meting out justice in our community. While this factor is minimized by some people, I believe it is only downplayed by individuals who cannot make claim to her decades of community experience and knowledge.
    Justice Rana’s lifetime in the community aside, her longevity serving on the East Hampton bench, and her many years of practicing law, have given her the ability to dispense justice in a fair, impartial, and judicial manner. The cornerstones of serving as an effective arbiter of the law in our court.
    Justice Lisa Rana, through her continuously competent and distinguished service to our East Hampton community, deserves your vote on June 25.
    East Hampton
    May 27, 2019
Dear David,
    I am writing because in last week’s Star I was named as running under the East Hampton Fusion Party for highway superintendent, which I have respectfully declined.
    I am running on the East Hampton Democratic and East Hampton Independence tickets. I would like to thank everyone in the Town of East Hampton for your patience and cooperation over the years. I am looking forward to working for all of you in the years to come.
    Thank you,

Reinvent the Wheel
    May 27, 2019
To the Editor:
    Thank you for your thoughtful editorial “Share the Road, Save the Planet,” May 23. Ever since the big automakers started pitching us in the 1950s, we’ve been a car culture. It’s time to reinvent the wheel.
    Even Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with his otherwise progressive Green New Deal, is ignoring the transportation sector’s enormous effect on the climate crisis.
    Fortunately, East End towns and villages are starting to plan for a greener future. But they’ve got to do better.
    Nobody should feel endangered by riding a bike or by walking. Bike and pedestrian-friendly paths must become our new normal. If you must drive,
drive electric. Town and village planners should also be building in electric charging infrastructure. Municipal fleets and buses are also candidates for electric conversion.
    This may be, too, the opportunity for some public education to persuade people to leave their cars behind as often as they can. After all, old-style cars’ tailpipe emissions are harming our health right now. That’s an appealing short-term concern if the long-term reality of the climate crisis to too scary to think about.

Clean Energy Goal
    East Hampton
    May 27, 2019
Dear David,
    Bravo David! This week’s back-to-back editorial columns featuring support for offshore wind and calling for bicycle paths, address two opportunities this community has in striving for the town’s 100 percent clean energy goal. Offshore wind power will return to its 350-year East Hampton history. No matter what scenario the East Hampton community of deniers use in an effort to stop this renewable energy supply, the future growth of offshore wind on the East Coast is happening. What this community of deniers is risking is East Hampton’s economic investment and leadership in a future driven by renewable energy.
    “Share the Road” bike paths, in addition to providing a safer mode of individual transportation on the cluttered East End roadways, would serve to encourage less automobile usage. Even as the automotive industry transitions to electric and hybrid models, there will always be an economic, and certainly an environmental, benefit to leaving the car home. I have just returned from Amsterdam, a mighty example of an international city that moves on bicycles. Given a safe biking option, sharing the road can happen here.
    The town-appointed energy sustainability + resiliency committee has a renewable energy portfolio, its tool chest, in advising the town board as it strives for Long Island’s first 100 percent clean energy goal. Offshore wind is the portfolio’s significant contributor in the transition from a dependence on the fossil fuel industry to clean energy resources. Clean energy “mobility” enhancements, e.g., bike paths, are included in the committee’s growing tool chest.
    Energy Sustainability and Resiliency Committee

Beach Lane
    June 3, 2019
Dear Editor,
    In “Cable Fight Obscures Greater Issue” (May 23, 2019), The East Hampton Star regrettably recycles the same conventional wisdom in attacking the Wainscott residents who have questioned the Deepwater landing site at Wainscott Beach and running the cable along Beach Lane and then throughout Wainscott. The opposition in Wainscott to the siting is broad based as evidenced by a 10-to-2 vote against it by the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee, 1,300 signatures on a petition opposing Deepwater’s proposed Wainscott site, and increased voter registration in Wainscott. The editorial both minimizes the risks of the project and ignores the failures in process. Ideological fervor in the name of a great issue should not obscure analytical rigor.
    Contrary to the suggestion of the editorial, the residents are not alarmed because of a cable that is as “unseen” as the wind. The residents are, in fact, alarmed that a large-scale infrastructure project involving disruption and longstanding adverse impacts could be permitted to go forward when other viable, less intrusive options to residential areas are available.
    The installation of a massive transition vault will be located some 800 feet onshore on Beach Lane. The construction will require large-scale rigging and pits. The drilling operation, pulling of conduit and cable, construction of a 35-foot-long-by-10-foot-wide transition vault, and splicing of cable, will be a long-duration operation. This construction will alone significantly affect the approximate 20 residential homes within 500 feet of the landing and have long-term impacts.
    After the installation, every person accessing the beach from Beach Lane will be confronted by the access points to that cable vault. For the residents of Wainscott more generally, the use of heavy equipment and the installation of duct banks and cabling will be disruptive (e.g., traffic, lighting, diesel fumes, noise). As to how long this construction project will take, whatever the assertions of a short period, we all know that construction does not move quickly — especially on narrow streets such as Beach Lane — and is frequently subject to construction delays.
    The cable itself is hardly “unseen,” but a 230,000-volt electric cable to be sunk under the beach and then expanding to lines aggregating 460,000 volts through Wainscott (extra-high voltage-classified lines start at 345,000 volts). The “unseen” cable will also involve scores of manhole covers and at least 20 permanent vaults the size of ocean shipping containers along the land route. The manhole covers will be the source of future bumps and potholes on Beach Lane and Wainscott with unsightly temporary repairs.
    Once the cable is laid, it will still not be “unseen.” Cables deteriorate and eventually fail. The failure might be isolated or might require system replacement. Such failures frequently fail within a manhole or pull box, where there are splices or inconsistencies in the insulation value of the cable. Repairs of high-voltage cables do not take place quickly and might be conducted on a 24-by-7-hour basis for extended periods, with noise, nighttime work lighting, heavy equipment, traffic, and exhaust fumes resulting. The repair might result in a weak spot in the cable installation, creating the possibility of future cable failures with associated repairs.
    While The East Hampton Star suggests that residents should take comfort that all will be well by relying on appropriate reviews, they failed to point out that the Deepwater cable laid in Block Island on Rhode Island was exposed and continues to be exposed (and no longer “unseen”). This is not surprising given that offshore wind is a new source of energy and, in fact, has never been employed in New York State.
    As to the process by which Wainscott has been selected, The East Hampton Star’s confidence is ironic because Wainscott Beach has been identified as the leading alternative without any independent environmental reviews whatsoever (and despite a viable unresidential site being identified). Indeed, the East Hampton Town Board indicated an intention to grant an easement to Deepwater for drilling without engaging any independent environmental or transmission advice.
    Rather than being a decision on the merits, the premature focus on Wainscott was a function of politics and money. Money, in the sense that a cheaper route was picked by Deepwater to maximize profits. Money was also involved because of Deepwater providing a so-called “community benefits package” (mostly in-kind, self-serving, and self-advancing services and projects over 20 years) as part of luring the town board to put the site in Wainscott. The selection should take into account that there are other routes that don’t involve residences and family farms. In addition, the Hither Hills route would involve an underwater cable route that is shorter by some 11.8 miles thereby reducing energy loss. Inexplicably, The East Hampton Star seems to be suggesting a new standard for Public Service Commission approval: The best available site is the one that is the most profitable for the developer.
    As to politics, a majority of the town board (there were two courageous dissenters) imposed this burden on Wainscott because there are fewer voters in Wainscott. This is a tyranny of the majority. The disdain for the needs of the Wainscott residents with respect to the installation infrastructure and extra-high-powered cables in Wainscott is directly related to the rumblings that The East Hampton Star cites with respect to the residents exploring the formation of their own town in order to have their voices heard.
    Climate change is important, but so is the environment in which we live. The unprecedented installation of electric power should not be effected pursuant to a Nike slogan: “Just Do It.” What does need to be done is a careful review as to the landing site that presents the best available environmental compatibility. And what also needs to be done is to stop treating Wainscott residents as inconvenient pests because they are raising legitimate issues as to the proposed landing site. Walk the lanes of Wainscott and see if you still believe that such a heavy infrastructure project in a farm and residential community makes sense when there are other viable sites closer to the wind farm. If you spend more time in Wainscott and listen to its residents, you might just get a better result.

Poor Danes
    June 3, 2019
Dear Editor,
    Thank goodness for the East Hampton Star editorial board: You are protecting the tired, the poor, and unprotected people abroad. Or, rather, should we say in Danish, Gudskelov.
    Apparently, your May 23 editorial, “Cable Fight Obscures Greater Issue,” refers to an impoverished group of Danes and the Danish government (which owns 50.1 percent of electricity provider Orsted, the parent company of Deepwater Wind, the developer of the South Fork Wind Farm). The Star seems to worry the adoption of a route for the high-power electricity line that would make landfall in a state-owned park and then run along the Long Island Rail Road tracks would cost Deepwater more money than running an even longer route that goes through a residential, bucolic neighborhood. It writes, “As best we understand, this would be substantially more expensive than the Wainscott route.”
    We are very sure the Danes appreciate The Star looking out for Danish profit margins, fortjenstmargener, actually it’s just profit margin in Danish) and internal rates of return (interne afkast, actually they just say “IRR”). Since the South Fork Wind Farm isn’t owned by a public utility, it will hit the Danes hard.
    That is really important. To put it in perspective: The poor Danes have only the tenth-highest G.D.P. per capita in the world. Its national electricity champion (with only 49 percent market share for electricity production), Orsted, only delivered an all-time high operational profit of DKK30 billion, $4.59 billion, last year, up only 33 percent from 2017. Its offshore wind farm division increased offshore profit by a measly 29 percent to DKK11 billion ($1.7 billion) last year. Its impoverished shareholders have only had their shares increase from DKK340.80 to DKK532.80, or 56 percent, since January 2018.
    We must save the Danes from themselves, in fact. Silly them: Their Deepwater subsidiary, which they bought for $510 million last year, bid for the South Fork Wind Farm and wrote it had an alternative viable landfall site and route option that might be slightly more expensive for them. No amounts of nearly $2 billion in revenue over 20 years will ever cover up that self-inflicted egregious mistake, which The Star has made us aware of. Maybe a 39 percent return on capital employed by running it through a residential neighborhood in Wainscott is better than a much lower 38 percent return on capital employed by landing it in a New York State Park parking lot. We are sure the Deepwater subsidiary’s talented chief financial officer and Orsted’s corporate chief financial officer are sweating bullets over how close that potentially lower return on capital employed is to their cost of capital of maybe 10 percent. Geez, maybe a 28-percentage point spread (rather than 29 percentage points) is way too close for comfort and they won’t build the wind farm. Yikes (same word in English as in Danish)!
    We are so glad that The Star has focused on the key goal of making the Danes more money. It is so important The Star prioritizes that impoverished class over local citizens with legitimate, fact-based, democratic concerns about the route for your desired wind farm.
    One other idea for The Star: Given your clear concerns about the welfare of Danish shareholders, maybe you don’t need to charge them anything for the $8,000 full-page ads they buy from you on a weekly basis. You could chalk it up to charity.

Verbally Spinning
    June 3, 2019
Dear Editor,
    An East Hampton resident, Judith Hope appeared on behalf of Win With Wind at the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee meeting on Saturday morning, proceeded to lecture Wainscott residents about being narrow-minded, and then slipped out the door. While Judith filibustered the meeting, the one thing she failed to mention in her remarks is that she represents Win With Wind and does not actually live in Wainscott. After exiting the Wainscott Chapel, she left it to the actual Wainscott community members who live here to deal with her out-of-hamlet mess.
    Ironically, for someone who claims to be dedicated to the “facts” about wind power, she had no problem verbally spinning falsehoods about other topics.
Judith said, for example, that a Deepwater landfall site at the state park at Hither Hills would impair the campgrounds used by the “middle class.”
    Fact: Deepwater said the transition vault would be installed under the large, already-existing parking lot at Hither Hills.
    Fact: Deepwater would pay a “community benefits” package to the New York parks for improvements there, which thousands of campers and visitors (to the bigger park area) would benefit from annually.
    Fact: Construction would take place in the shoulder season and not impact camping.
    Fact: New York State has, at least twice so far, used state parks to land underwater electric transmission lines, For example, the Poseidon and Neptune lines at Jones Beach.
    Fact: All of the more than 1,300 signatories of the petition said they were in favor of renewable energy (wind included) and conservation.
    Fact: Wainscott community members have petitioned to have Deepwater choose the alternate route that Deepwater said was a viable alternative.
    Fact: The Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind chief executive officer, Thomas Bros­trom, wrote in his May 30 letter to Wainscott citizens that “Your clear support for renewable energy is appreciated.”
    Fact: Many Wainscott citizens have been working productively with Deepwater to determine the best route for their wind farm so it can happen.
    No need for her to come back to the W.C.A.C. to lecture us. She can lecture those who wish to listen to her from her home in East Hampton.

Embrace Renewable
    New York City
    June 3, 2019
Dear Mr. Rattray,
    Ask anyone in the New York area, and they’ll tell you: The old one was better (“Wind Farm Critics Step Up Efforts,” May 30). Judith Hope, founder of Win With Wind, in remarking that it’s in the DNA of people in East Hampton to “oppose things” is just saying that in a different way.
    That doesn’t just go for the relatively minimal surface changes that will ensue with the advent of offshore wind. The old planet was better, too, the one we had before we started messing it up with the fossil fuel emissions that are creating our current global climate crisis.
    We must hope that the parties will come together in East Hampton and quickly find a mutually acceptable way to bring renewable offshore wind on board. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s goal of 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035 is a laudable and necessary one, and can be accomplished only once the air is cleared of misperceptions. We need to stop burning fossil fuels and embrace renewable ones.
Win With Wind
    June 3, 2019
Dear David,
    As a former teacher at Springs School, the public interest in learning more facts about the South Fork Wind Farm is heartening. East Hampton’s residents are known for being concerned about the damaging impacts of any project that could affect our fragile environment.
    As a member of the new citizens committee, Win With Wind, I totally support their goal to provide actual facts so our residents may educate themselves and make informed decisions. It is difficult to wrap our heads and hearts around the projection that if we continue to use fossil fuels, southern downtown Montauk will be underwater. In fact, Montauk itself will be an island because the stretch along Napeague will be inundated to the point of having to build a bridge to access Amagansett.
    Biddle Duke has written an excellent article in The Star’s recent magazine, East. He has researched local, state, and federal studies and compiled data that specifically affect our town. So let’s get local so we can visually picture the dangerous impacts of continuing to use fossil fuels in East Hampton.
    As he states, “Flooding and rising seawater have already seeped into our aquifers (the only source of our drinking water). Saltwater intrusion is already common in some low-lying areas.” So heads up, Louse Point, Gerard Drive, Three Mile Harbor, Northwest Creek, Hook Pond, Sammy’s Beach — our ocean shoreline owners — Ditch Plain, Napeague, and Georgica Pond.
    Mr. Duke also cites the fact that fewer freezes and recorded warmer temperatures here have caused more insect-borne diseases. From 2004 and 2016, the number of tick and mosquito-caused diseases has tripled. Guess who leads the nation? New York. Suffolk County is the hotbed. How many people do you know who have contracted Lyme disease here? New insect diseases are also appearing — in some cases causing death.
    West Nile disease has appeared on the disease scene. Once again we are number one in the number of cases among all eastern states. Caution: Do not use dangerous insecticides because they leach into our drinking-water aquifer. Biddle Duke recommends using cedar oil.
    Our commercial fishermen are already negatively affected. Lobster, cod, and other money fish are heading north. The only good news is that it is projected that Chesapeake’s blue crab will eventually end up in Long Island Sound — that is if the eelgrass does not die off and algae blooms do not continue to explode.
    As temperatures increase, there will be increasing pressure on LIPA’s aging fossil fuel plants, more brown-outs, and intermittent to no air-conditioning.
    My point is this: If we switch to renewable energy sources and stop pouring carbon into our atmosphere, this wonderful planet is capable of stabilizing and healing. An important part of that balance is the opportunity to use one of the planet’s most obvious sources — wind! And here is the really good news, East Hampton and the Northeast Coast have the most-consistent wind in the U.S.
    Think again about the effects of not using renewable sources, especially the wind surrounding us. The choice is clear. Win with wind!

A Red Herring
    East Hampton
    May 28, 2019
Dear Editor:
    The editorial on the cable fight was spot on!
    Climate change, global warming, and pollution caused by burning fossil fuel are clearly upon us, and almost all scientists agree on the cause. By using a combination of renewable energy — solar, thermal, and wind energy — we can dramatically reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to produce electricity.
    The cable issue in Wainscott is a red-herring argument. Recently, water pipes were installed underground in Wainscott and there were no complaints about disruption or inconvenience. Now, a conduit will come ashore and be buried under the shoulder of Beach Lane and then continue underground to connect with the Cove Hollow Road substation. With the use of modern drilling techniques this whole process will be done efficiently and in the off-season.
    Block Island fishermen have acknowledged that the fish have returned to the Block Island Wind Farm area and an increased number of sportfishermen have returned because the fishing is so good. I agree that we need to address the concerns of our fishing community, which are already being affected by rising ocean temperatures that cause cold water and warm water fish to move farther north. The turbine foundations act as artificial reefs that attract algae and seaweed and become a food source for fish. The turbines are to be placed so that fishing can continue among the turbines. Also, Orsted has agreed with the East Hsmpton fishing community not to place any turbines in the Cox Ledge area, which is important to local fishermen.
    Another red herring is a health concern. Every electric line causes an electromagnetic field. We have all lived with them for many years. Yes, the wind power cable coming ashore carries 138 kV, but it will be enclosed in a conduit and buried underground so that the electromagnetic field level at the surface on Beach Lane will not be a danger. About 40 years ago the theory that people living near aboveground high-tension wires would be overexposed to electromagnetic fields was thoroughly debunked.
    Wherever the wind power cable comes ashore, it will benefit all of us. We need the South Fork Wind Farm.

Sick Person
    East Hampton
    May 30, 2019
To the Star:
    I am so sad and would like to express my condolences to the lady who lost her companion dog to the anger of a sick person. I cannot imagine her pain. Two years is not enough punishment in my opinion. My head, not my heart, hopes the criminal gets the help he needs. God help the animal he brutally murdered and may she or he rest in peace.
    There is no greater love than that of a dog, the most devoted animal to humans, and this is shameful.

    June 3, 2019
To the Editor:
    Our 535 members of Congress haven’t passed any lifesaving gun control laws in the seven years since 20 first graders were shot to death in Newtown. So I’m theorizing that they’re waiting until those 26 (including 6 teachers) Sandy Hook deaths, combined with the 49 in Orlando, 58 in Las Vegas, 17 in Parkland, 12 in Virginia Beach, and scores of others in many other American cities reach a grand total of 535 — because only then will these 535 craven congressional cowards be able to imagine some crazed killer somehow shooting all of them dead. Then, maybe they’ll act. But don’t hold your breath.

What They Wanted
    June 1, 2019
Dear David:
    It seems that Robert Mueller was loved by the Democrats before the Mueller investigation, then hated by the Dems after his report came out, now, guess what? An eight-minute press conference, the Democrats worship Mr. Mueller; he gave them what they wanted.
    Mueller made statements you cannot charge a sitting president. Why then did     he take this on? Two years later and millions of taxpayers’ money thrown out the window, people’s houses raided by swat at the crack of dawn, threw them in jail, lives destroyed, bankruptcy for many for lawyers’ fee.
    Plenty of leaks by Mueller and in truth Mueller worked as an operative to impeach President Trump. His report never mentioned Hillary’s FISA report she bought and paid for. If there was a crime it would have been in his report; there was no underlying crime to prosecute. Mueller hired all Trump haters, Dems with a passion to get Trump. They did the legwork for this report.
    Russians are innocent, until proven guilty, but according to Mueller, Trump is guilty until the Mueller team says he’s innocent.
    Nadler now doesn’t want Mueller grilled by the G.O.P. because he feels the Dems now have their narrative. Thanks Mr. Mueller. The G.O.P. would destroy him. Nancy Pelosi is another story. This will be next week’s letter.
    In God and country,

End of the Line
    Brick, N.J.
    May 29, 2019
Dear Editor,
    To Jayma Cardoso, Surf Lodge, 183 Edgemere Street, Montauk, N.Y. 11954:
    I was bemused recently to read The New York times article about your Lakeside Surf Lodge Inn and its apparent modern day toilet problems.
    You see, the old Lakeside used to be painted yellow, kind of a weak and watery yellow, if you know what I mean, and I placed a curse on your property, Spring Break, 1981. It’s a strong curse, one that survives the decades, and for the proper remuneration, I will lift it so you have no more need to worry over pee line problems forever. Pay attention. This is a ransom note. We are not kidding around.
    You see, the Montauk winters are long and lonely, and there is nothing, and I mean nothing, happening in Montauk between Sept. 30 and May 30, with the exception of the spring break bump. Being stationed in Montauk as a young full of life and active Coast Guardsman is its own special kind of hell, with zero opportunities for wholesome entertainment, only the unwholesome kind, and in retribution I placed a curse that spring break 38 years ago, which clearly continues to inhabit the Lakeside to this day, a yellow curse you are running the risk of being harassed with forever. Unless you act, it will survive you in your Surf Lodge and pass on in eternity. You will be famous for it, well not that it, but famous for the number-one thing, and that’s not a good fame, that’s infamy, that’s the bad fame and you don’t want that, the number-one fame yellowing your reputation forever, so listen up.
    During the long and dreary gray repeat gray repeat gray sliver of sunshine then quickly gray again Montauk winters, with so little to do, socializing becomes an important part of one’s week. It’s either socialize, rubbing shoulders with the fishermen at the bar, well, there’s so much room you don’t actually need to rub shoulders at all, you can mail a joke to the people down the bar you are socializing with at Gosman’s or the Dock or Tiny’s, there’s so much space in those places in the off-season your joke will be delivered by Tuesday, but perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that instead of rubbing shoulders in Montauk in the winter you rub your noses in the eau de fisherman coming from the soul or souls at the end of the bar in the flannel shirts and the gnarled callused hands nursing a seven and seven. Yes, the smell is that strong, sweat and fish and fish parts and fish guts and diesel oil and marine mold and wow, what an authentic real, live fisherman down there, whew. My nose can’t take it.
    That is your entertainment if you are a healthy young fit Coast Guardsman posted at the End of the World, Long Island.
    Unless you become a semi-regular patron of the Lakeside and its picture window looking out onto Fort Pond, that is. There the bartenders will actually practice their craft on you, testing mixtures, trying tinctures, working to get the look of the cocktail just right, and if you’re not careful those Alabama Slammers said bartender is “practicing” with will actually land you in the slammer, wondering just what the F it is you did to annoy Barney Fife the Montauk cop enough to pull the lone bullet they allow him out of his sock and actually put it in the gun. Doesn’t everyone drive at 80 miles an hour-plus all around Montauk in the off-season, officer?
    But, you do return to the Lakeside, because it doesn’t usually smell of the eau de fisherman we previously established, nor does it have the charm of the wintertime I.G.A. supermarket with the stale hot dog rolls marked down again for all the right reasons, and dammit, they will actually sell, those stale hot dog rolls, because it’s Montauk and where are you gonna go for fresh ones in the winter at the End of the World, all the way down the Napeague Stretch? No, you’re not gonna drive 40 miles round trip for fresh rolls, so crunchy hot dogs it is, toast the rolls for christsakes, and the bright spot of the week is getting the hell out to the Lakeside Surf Lodge Inn.
    And then, after days and weeks that blur into Montauk gray cold and so windy damn I think my toes and fingers fell off and is my nose still attached to my face can you check please because I’m afraid to touch it for fear it will fall off right now and then it’ll be noseless Montauk winters; after braving all that the Atlantic storms and King Neptune can throw at you, what the heck happens?
    You get invaded. That’s your Montauk poke in the eye with a blunt stick reward, the summer season invasion.
    Just to be clear, there’s a staging practice invasion before the Blessing of the Fleet, because like any good paramilitary super civilian force, there’s always a mock test invasion, prior to the actual sunshine and warmth invasion, and the L.I.R.R. and LILCO actually help this invasion force move out and take over Montauk, those traitorous treasonous railroad and power company bastards, they’re Benedict Arnolds, all of them, sponsoring invasions of outsiders. May their lawns be forever overrun with left-behind road trash.
    This practice invasion starts in spring, during spring break, where there’s rarely ever a real hint of spring in the Montauk air, just a slight letup from the constant refrigerator door to freezer door deep freeze back to the balmy refrigerator existence, punctuated with the aforementioned eau de fisherman assaulting the tender nostrils oh so regularly and ungently.
    And, they take pride in their fishiness, those fishermen, so don’t think any of your outside world customary influences are gonna apply, nope, not at all.
    All of a sudden, because of the Invasion, Montauk belongs to other people, invaders, like a light switch. You might decide this invading force needs to be forced to share in the joys of a Montauk winter, if for no other reason than to cool them off for a second, because the invaders do need to cool the hell off, really, they are an overheated, overperfumed bunch, and you might be entertained watching the invaders bring their odd customs to your Montauk town, like sun and beach bathing and beer shotgunning and the exceedingly odd city custom of overheated small dance floor disco dancing.
    As any real Montauk person can tell you, there’s no dancing in Montauk, not ever. No real Montauk person is going to dance on land. That’s saved for the rolling decks of the boats, and it’s a pitching heaving rolling yawing kind of dance where the objective is to simply perambulate or to locomote in a way that mimics walking, but is really a series of unusually timed lurches, like a crab, sideways and frontwards mostly.
    So to see a group of overheated young fresh-faced kids invade the Lakeside and take over the bartender’s practice time, and then populate the dance floor with hot disco dance movements synchronized to the music, disco music, well, for a young Coast Guardsman stationed through the hell of a freezing Montauk winter watching over smelly truculent fishermen, well, you might be inclined to put a cooling curse on the place. It is cursed, a blessing in disguise, that cooling curse.
    Said curse involves sitting in the Lakeside Surf Lodge and reaching craftily and getting the yellow Johnny ray gun water pistol from behind the bar where the bartender keeps it, because, again, in Montauk winters you do get to see the backside of the bar, the backside of the establishment, the other side of life, and it’s not a smooth backside, but you know its tricks, that backside, and you know Pete the barkeep is just so damned busy he’s not going to give a hoot you swiped the yellow Johnny ray gun water pistol he uses for waking up sleeping drunks who slept passed out on the L.I.R.R. to the end of the line and staggered into the Lakeside Surf Lodge Inn to again fall asleep facedown on the Lakeside bar, but Pete the barkeep will most likely smile and let you have at it, stealing the yellow Johnny ray gun water pistol, so you can place your own cooling curse on the overheated, young fresh-faced invaders from the west.
    Establishing the curse is a fun thing, it’s hilarious. You see, your parents, dear Jayma, they disco-danced to the Bee Gees spring break 1981 and the Lakeside Surf Lodge actually turned on the disco lights over the disco dance floor, and they actually looked like they were having fun, those future parents of yours, until it got weird.
    The weirdness started when your Dad began doing a dance move that involved his arm moving up and then out to the side, something copied from God knows where, but when done properly could look cool, in a Hollywood or Broadway dancer kind of way, if you are into dancing, but in fishing Montauk this move had the effect of making us all roll our eyes and turning away laughing, and then, dammit, your Dad overheated and did that move again at the Lakeside, and again, synchronized to the disco, and then, well, it was just too tempting.
    The curse is this, and you can’t undo it, this curse, not unless you pay me dearly; in the middle of one of those hot disco dance moves, the pee yellow Johnny ray gun water pistol was aimed expertly, by a government trained sharpshooting marksman, me, and squirted at your Dad’s overheated head. It was a direct hit to the temple, fatal to overheating spring breakers.
    It was the beginning of the cooling curse you suffer from today, control of those streams of squirts.
    Jayma, If you’ve ever wondered about that certain hitch in your moves, the one you can’t quite understand but it’s there and is unique to you, it just comes and goes from time to time, that’s the explanation. It was me. Me and my yellow Johnny ray gun water pistol introduced the curse and that hitch in the movement of your overheated Dad, we cooled him off, he and lots of other overheated invaders to the end of the world, Montauk, spring break, 1981.
    It was glorious and hilarious both, that Lakeside Surf Lodge curse. Your Dad’s arm came up, started out to the side, and, squirt, he flinched. (I am still laughing my head off at how he shook his face.) And then as the disco beat went on, with the lights low and me nursing a Budweiser in my left hand with the other hand taking deadly aim under my left arm using the yellow Johnny ray gun water pistol, your Dad’s arm came up once again and, squirt, he flinched again. Absolutely hilarious.
    And, it wasn’t just your Dad that got squirted; it was quite a few overheated disco dancing future Dads who got a little wet hitch in their movements that night. To my recollection the yellow Johnny ray gun water pistol got refilled once, from the tap in the men’s bathroom because we’re not heathens and inhuman, just placing a cooling curse on the place and its owners and patrons, one that has continued to the present day.
    Call it a curse of the Montauk winters, if you will. I can remove this curse anytime you like, but payment beforehand is absolutely necessary, and it won’t cost the $1.4 million The New York Times says you shelled out for a new septic system, I promise. A cup of tea and a quick look around the old place will be perfunctory, prior to calling the Shaman of lost Montauk weekends and properly permanently removing the curse, which will involve a secret ceremony I will reveal once each and every one of my demands have been met.
    Don’t call the police. Don’t hire any detectives. And don’t you dare say a word to your insurance carrier because those bastards will wind up owning you forever into eternity if you do. There is no other way to remove the curse, and you will have long pee lines forever unless you comply with my demands fully and satisfactorily. Your latest investment won’t work.
    Use an encrypted email and send the name of the tea you have and the temperature of the water in your hot, boiling teakettle to this email address: [email protected], along with further contact instructions awaiting.
    This will be the first step in getting the 1981 spring break squirt cooling curse removed. There will be other curses to be exhumed, so no police, no F.B.I., and definitely no insurance company attorneys, those uptight thieving bastards. Just send the tea information, the water information, and keep the sugar handy.
    We have a yellow Johnny ray gun water pistol and we know how to use it.
    Think about that unexplained hitch in your step, your dance, your life, and how it got there. We’re warning you.
    We can remove that small hesitation forever, or you can suffer with it from now to eternity.
    A bigger curse can be placed, so be careful and no funny business or the Lakeside Surf Lodge Inn gets unlimited bad karma.


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