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Letters to the Editor: 07.04.19

Tue, 07/02/2019 - 11:23

A Call Comes In
June 30, 2019

Dear Editor:

A terrible tragedy occurred here in Montauk this week. Twin little girls were murdered and their mother is accused.

The Montauk volunteers — E.M.T.s, fire department personnel, as well as the East Hampton police responded and could not do anything to save these two little ones. They were faced with a horrible situation, to say the least.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to all of them. They never know what they may be faced with when a call comes in. They are very special people, may God bless them.



Will Miss You
Sag Harbor
June 28, 2019

Dear Mr. Rattray:

With bittersweetness, I offer my congratulations to Barry and Beth Johnson on their upcoming move.

I got to know Barry through several different opportunities, mostly through his service in the Town Police Department. In my experience, Barry truly represented the finest (in East Hampton, perhaps, finest kind). Not only in the sense of his service in the department, but in the way that a community, our community, expects our officers to serve and protect. Congratulations, Sgt. Johnson, on an exemplary career.

It’s not surprising that such an outstanding member of our community would have an equally noteworthy spouse. I grew to know Beth best through her work at the Eleanor Whitmore Early Education Center. Beth handled some of the center’s important duties, yet each day, she took the time to greet each little boy and girl, and every parent and sibling, with a smile.

East Hampton will miss you, Barry and Beth, what is a loss for East Hampton is a gain for Palmyra, Va., your new home. We wish you and your family the best of luck in your new home.

Yours truly,


Injured Swan
East Hampton
June 28, 2019

To the Editor,

Where else in the world would a police officer, in the middle of a busy Friday morning rush in Sagaponack, block traffic to assist an injured swan and her two babies.

Thank you officer! You make me, amongst other reasons, proud to be an American.


Snapping Turtle
East Hampton
June 27, 2019

Dear David,

I would like to send a big thank-you to Officer Brittany Smith of the village police. I stopped for a large snapping turtle that was crossing James Lane in front of Home, Sweet Home this morning at around 5 a.m. as a surfer in a pickup raced around my car. The turtle looked absolutely prehistoric. I had nothing in my car to prompt him back into his drainage ditch, as undignified as that seems, it’s where he lives. Officer Smith had just the right prodder in her car to encourage him on his way.

It was a wonderful small-town moment. Not many bunnies or turtles this year, but so far, I’ve saved a few — none bigger or meaner than this old guy, however.


Across the Street
June 20, 2019

To the Editor,

My husband, who is disabled, myself, and an elderly friend eat at Indian Wells Tavern often. One day as I got out of the car, I was alerted to stop walking as there was a sudden curb I hadn’t noticed where I would have fallen off.

The poor planning was corrected by taking away several parking spots, together with the disabled spot in front of Indian Wells. Really, four parking spaces to put in a crosswalk!

Not only do we now park across the street, but the “Disabled Parking Only” sign is still on the post, while the parking space in front of it has parallel white lines indicating, “no parking”?

I live in Montauk and only one parking space was eliminated for a crosswalk.

Who will straighten this out — the Town of East Hampton, the so-called engineer, the police department, the department that aids disabled people? Someone out there should straighten this mess out.


Not Bicycle-Friendly
East Hampton
June 29, 2019

Dear East Hampton Star,

As the Fourth approaches, our roads get ever more treacherous and it gets worse every single year. Most of you reading this know what I’m talking about already and have probably gotten tired of my many letters on the subject. Actually this letter is more for those who get The East Hampton Star outside our area who are here mostly in summer or on weekends. Hopefully it will be in time to do its intended job.

Roads on the East End of Long Island were originally laid out long before there were cars. They were really meant for horses and horse or ox carts. A few were even Native American hunting trails, which predated the arrival of horses. When automobiles came into vogue, the roads began to be paved but they were very narrow and any attempt to widen them would result in taking an obnoxious amount of private land away from residents. It would even force the destruction of long-established homes and no one really wants to do this. Why the history lesson? Because too many people come to the Hamptons intending to ride or run casually, often without researching or planning their routes and this is incredibly dangerous.

The local villages have taken great pains to try to welcome bicycles and joggers on our roads, going so far as to drastically reduce speed limits as low as 15 miles per hour on many back roads. While most cars have no trouble with 20, 15 is very difficult to sustain for more than a mile or so.

In practice, most people seem to ignore these limits and many drive well above 30 miles per hour on these roads. Last year, my car was rear-ended while sitting still, and the right-rear end was smashed in by a car going 45 miles per hour on a road where the limit was 20. On many roads, such as Scuttlehole Road in Bridgehampton, where the limit is 35, people pass me like I’m standing still!

The point I want to make is that the Hamptons are really not bicycle-friendly. Most roads which have “Share The Road” signs have no shoulders and the margins are so rough and uneven — and often at a high slant — that there is no place for a bicycle or any other human-powered vehicle (such as a skateboard or Razor scooter) to go. This leads to an open competition for road space, and if something happens, the car is going to win every time, even if the driver is at fault.

Compounding the problem is that most casual cyclers, and, in my experience, most experienced or professional cyclers, are unaware that according to New York State Law, they are vehicles and as such they must adhere to all the same traffic rules and regulations as cars. Most don’t stop at stop signs or red lights. They think it’s fine to ride on sidewalks and pedestrian paths and think nothing of nearly running people over. Walking the streets of East Hampton can be a real health hazard.

My final warning/plea is to pedestrians: Please be careful. Please cross at designated crosswalks. I don’t care how far out of your way it seems, crossing where there is no crosswalk is both dangerous and illegal. This is especially true of areas like the one in front of Citarella in East Hampton, which forces you to cross six lanes of traffic.

Such intersections are complicated enough for cars to navigate. Add the constant danger of drivers who run red lights and on top of that, bicycles and skateboarders who think they have more right to the roads than anyone else and you begin to wonder why, with so many pedestrians wandering into this mess, there aren’t more accidents! We’ve been lucky, that’s why.

To sum up, the Hamptons are an incredibly popular place and our summer population gets bigger every single year. This means more of everything, especially cars and bicycles.

To those for whom this is the first of my letters you have read, I want you to know that for years I’ve been trying to foster cooperation to make our roads safe for all kinds of recreation. Sadly, last year, I felt that I couldn’t responsibly support cycling or skateboarding on any of our local roads due to the danger posed by misbehaving drivers. So my final word is please don’t expect to be able to ride out here like you can in places like Vermont or Pennsylvania or even upstate. Our roads are too narrow and there are just too many hazards — sand, gravel, service and utility trucks, cracks and potholes — to really be bicycle or skateboard-friendly.

Not everywhere is designed for you to do everything. You can’t swim in the deep Sahara desert, you can’t play badminton underwater, and you really can’t ride on our roads and expect to be safe. I hope this doesn’t fall on deaf ears.

Thanks for reading, as always.


Our Vistas
June 28, 2019

To the Editor,

I admit to being startled the first time that I saw the billboards on Route 27. And admittedly they are out of place and unattractive. However, I am much more upset when huge unattractive and garish homes are built on pristine lands, both north and south of the highway.

The billboards are a momentary distraction; these homes permanently disfigure the landscape.

I wish that those who are so indignant about the billboards would devote some of their energies to fighting the destruction of our vistas.


Safe Again
East Hampton
July 1, 2019

To the Editor,

Times are changing. I have resided at Windmill 2 since Spring 2003, feeling safe. Last Monday, June 24, life changed.

After leaving my apartment for 20 minutes, my wallet was stolen from my unit. The police and the detective were outstanding. The robber, after two previous robberies at Windmill 2, is now in jail.

I want to thank all who helped me get back to feeling safe again.



An Easy Target
Avon, Conn.
June 18, 2019

To the Editor,

I read David Rattray’s article on Hook Pond and his assertion that the carp have impacted the fishing and water quality.

As a fisherman and environmentalist, my passion for catching (and releasing) carp is often at odds with its reputation as a potential invasive species and a world-renowned sportfish.

In the Midwest the issues of common carp (not to be confused with Asian carp) as an invasive species are well documented. Research by Sorensen and others have highlighted low oxygen in “nursery” marshes, which are devoid of predator species, as playing a significant role. The lack of predation on eggs and larvae results in significant juvenile carp recruitment and the corresponding biomass impact.

Here on the East Coast, however, as in most parts of Europe, the common carp is rarely the cause of water quality issues or loss of habitat for native species or wildfowl. The carp spawning areas are well oxygenated and readily accessible to native predatory species such as bluegills. As a result very few carp reach maturity, and the biomass remains below the threshold that is likely to have any impact.

A quick look at a satellite image of Hook Pond surely provides a clue to the primary source of any excess nutrients? The use of lawn and other treatments on the surrounding golf courses and properties will likely cause significant algal blooms along with oxygen depletion.

Carp are an easy target to blame for water quality problems but are not necessarily the root cause. Water abstraction, low flow conditions, higher water temperatures, silting, excess nutrients, low oxygen levels are among just some of the issues that stem from factors such as waterside property and land development.

Next time I’m on Long Island we should go carp fishing on Hook Pond. Now that might be an interesting article!

Kind regards,


Use Leashes
East Hampton
June 29, 2019

Dear David,

Just want to remind dog owners to please use leashes. Last Monday, a dear friend and her caregiver were walking on Sarah’s Way near the duck pond in East Hampton and two large dogs jumped on them, knocking them both to the ground! The caregiver suffered a bruised knee, but my friend had a broken nose and lacerations on her face from the encounter. Two men were walking the dogs without leashes and told the women that the dogs were only being “friendly,” but seeing my friend bleeding, they offered to take both women to the clinic in Amagansett.

My friend could not be treated there because she needed an X-ray, so the men drove the women back to their car and asked for the phone number where they could be reached. The caregiver drove to Southampton Hospital’s emergency room, where they spent several hours waiting to see a doctor. 

It turned out that my friend had a broken nose and needed to see a specialist. Thank goodness she did not break any other bones!

Guess what? Neither man called to see how the women were!

Here’s hoping these men will read this letter along with all dog owners and remember that leashes are meant for the safety of others as well as dogs.

Thank you,


Humbled and Thankful
June 29, 2019

Dear Editor,

I love our community and for many profound levels I will forever have a special bond and affection for our town. On May 8, my mom, Amelia Eninger Branco Vilar, passed away, and over the past two months every time I sat down to write this letter, I just could not. It has taken me a while to be able to accept the closure of this chapter in my life and the lives of my family. I am beyond humbled and thankful for the support and love shown our family by so many.

Like many of East Hampton’s old families, my family is fortunate to know a lot about our ancestry. In Portugal, my dad’s family has been in the same area since around the 11th century (1000 to 1100). As the story goes, the Vilars (DeVillars in France) are of the same lineage of Hugh Capet, king of the Franks and first king from the House of Capet. The Vilar branch of the DeVillars migrated to Portugal when Henry Capet, grandson of Robert I, Duke of Burgundy, became count of Portugal. Henry’s son Alphonso Henriques, born in Guimarïes, Portugal, became Portugal’s first king, establishing the kingdom in 1139. To this day in Portugal, my family is referred to as Guimarïeos as an acknowledgment of the family’s origins.

In the 15th century, my family settled in Murtosa, Portugal, and much like East Hampton, the same family names appear over and over again. Marques-Vilar, Da Silva, Nunes, Lopes, Fonseca, Oliveira, Vieira, Andre, Valente, Tavares, Cirne, Martins are as common there as Lester, Cullum, Bennett, Miller, Anderson, Fithian, Edwards, Talmage, Parsons, Hand, Mulford, Hedges, Osborn, and Dayton are in East Hampton. The big question is not if you’re related but rather how.

My dad always said East Hampton in early 1960s reminded him of Murtosa, the town where he grew up. Murtosa, like East Hampton, was a farming-fishing community but what he liked most about East Hampton was the sense of community and family ties that went back generations. Friends and family are everything, and were never more than a short distance away.

Almost every year my mom and dad (who we affectionately call the fish commander) would vacation in the spring for six weeks in Portugal. They would stay at our family’s home, which has been in the family since the 1500s, travel the countryside, and visit with family and friends. Sadly this year, my mom, Amelia, took ill, developing phenomena which triggered a heart issue that had incapacitated her in an I.C.U. of the Dom Pedro Centro Hospital in Aveiro, Portugal.

When my mom took ill, my 95-year-old dad was not on his own (I am an only child and was home in the States), but the extended family and community jumped in to help. I immediately got the first flight out to Europe, flying overnight to Lisbon, then a bullet train north to Aveiro, where I was met by a second cousin, Dr. Joe Vilar, and his wife, Maria. At the hospital, I then met another second cousin, Dr. Tony Vilar, and the two, along with other doctors, apprised me of my mom’s condition. The situation was grim, and sadly, mom passed away four days later.

Now I was left with the daunting task of getting mom and dad home. On the Portuguese side, more family jumped in to help: Manny and Luisa Lopes, Ana Maria Rebimbas, and Hugo Silva Figueiredo. All were second and third cousins and helped me navigate the Portuguese/European Union bureaucracy. On our side, Congressman Lee Zeldin and his staff, along with Anabela Malveiro, American citizen services assistant, U.S. Embassy Lisbon, helped me navigate our bureaucracy. Here at home, my wife, Christine Stark, with the help of Father Ryan Creamer, the staff of Most Holy Trinity, and Ken Yardley of Yardley and Pino took care of the local arrangements and the spiritual healing of the kids, who had been on vacation with their grandparents and had returned the day their grandmother was hospitalized.

Lastly, all the close friends who did so much to help our family weather the storm, heal, and pay tribute to mom: Bob Davis, Dawn Green, Maria Goncalves, Denise Fenchel, Allison Anderson, Kyle Vorpahl-Ballou, the members of the Springs Fire Department, Springs Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary, One Stop Market, Amagansett Wines and Liquors, Wittendale’s, East Hampton Village, Town, and New York State Park Police, Police Benevolent Association of New York State, East Hampton Town employees, East Hampton and Suffolk County Republican Committees, and 50-plus years of community and friendships from East Hampton to Albany — all too many to list individually.

Just as I started this letter with “I love our community and for many profound levels, I will forever have a special bond and affection for our town,” family and friends are everything, and I cannot express strongly enough how thankful we are for your thoughts, prayers, and all you did during this trying time for our family.

Thank you and God bless you all.


Gas Pump

She was young and good looking and had a new car.

She went to get gas, which wasn’t too far.

She filled up the tank and was on her way.

Driving along, it was a beautiful day.

The people were waving, she thought she was special.

Not knowing she was dragging a hose full of ethyl.

When she finally stopped and saw what she had done,

She was sad and depressed and there went the fun.

So back to the station to make it complete, I was here a while ago and forgot my receipt.


Poetry Awakens
July 1, 2019

Dear David

In the Arts section of The Star this week, your dedicated readers will see a small colorful ad for the East Hampton Poetry Marathon.

What would summer be without our annual tribute to the poetic muses? Like the scent of our ocean breezes, poetry awakens us to something precious and fleeting.

Our poetry season is swift — only four Sundays, three in July and then the first week in August. We invite those who wish to share these passing moments of enchantment to join us at the Mulford farm, 10 James Lane in East Hampton.

Look for our advertisement for the full summer schedule in this issue of The Star.



World War II Memoir
June 30, 2019

To the Editor:

The recent re-enactment of the June 13, 1942, landing of Nazi saboteurs in Amagansett is testament to the power of an incident that occurred 77 years ago. It still shocks that the German menace lurked undetected on our shores when most believed the war was an ocean away. Those familiar with the saboteurs’ story may be interested in what happened to them after they left the beach. My stepfather, Vice Adm. John L. McCrea, wrote about his personal involvement with their fate in his World War II memoir, “Captain McCrea’s War.”

In June 1942, then-Captain McCrea was naval aide to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, working closely with the president at the White House on varied matters great and small. Steve Early, Roosevelt’s press secretary, once told McCrea he knew F.D.R. thought highly of him because the president gave him “the goddamnedest things to do.” McCrea’s assignments involving the saboteurs clearly fell into that category.

As you may know, the four Amagansett saboteurs were part of a group of eight men trained in Germany and transported to the U.S. by U-boat. The other four landed in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., on June 17, 1942. The eight intended to meet in Ohio and cause as much damage as possible in the United States. The operation leader was George Dasch, the man who spoke with young John Cullen, the Coast Guardsman who encountered and reported the suspicious men on the Amagansett beach.

Dasch and his cohorts took the Long Island Rail Road to New York City. In days, Dasch decided he did not want to go forward with the sabotage operation and contacted the F.B.I. to report it. Although the F.B.I. immediately initiated an investigation based on Cullen’s encounter on the beach, the bureau initially refused to believe Dasch’s report about the operation.

Ultimately, however, the eight saboteurs were arrested and tried before an ad hoc military tribunal established by executive proclamation by President Roosevelt, who feared the civilian courts would be too lenient. All the saboteurs were convicted and sentenced to death.Here, John McCrea enters the picture. One afternoon shortly after the trial, he was summoned to the office of Dorothy Brady, secretary to the president. Already there was Samuel I. Rosenman, White House counsel and adviser to F.D.R., who commented, “John, it looks like we are in for something.” Once in F.D.R.’s presence, the president asked them to review the transcript of the military tribunal proceedings — some 2,700 pages — and recommend final action to him as soon as possible. Sam Rosenman had been a justice of the New York State Supreme Court, but McCrea felt woefully inadequate to this task. He was a lawyer admitted to several bars, who had done three tours in the office of the judge advocate general, but he never had regarded himself as a practicing lawyer, much less an appellate judge. In due course, after many late nights and the consumption of much coffee, Rosenman and McCrea produced a memorandum for the president concluding that the trial had been fair and the sentence legal. They also pointed out that Dasch and another defendant had rendered substantial assistance to the prosecution. Ultimately, the president commuted the death sentences for the two who had provided assistance. McCrea was relieved that his involvement with the saboteurs was over.

But his relief was premature. One Monday a few weeks later, the president wanted to speak with McCrea in his office. F.D.R. noted that six saboteurs were under a sentence of death and remarked, “Will you please see to it that the sentences in those cases are carried out by the end of the week?” McCrea’s response, conditioned by 30 years’ naval service, was a calm, “Aye-aye, sir.” But he left the office in great distress at the prospect of arranging the death of six men, albeit pursuant to legal sentences. For security reasons, the executions had to be carried out in complete secrecy. No one but F.D.R. and McCrea were to have advance knowledge of the date. Neither McCrea nor the general who had custody of the men knew anything about executions. By happenstance, the general’s executive knew the required protocol because before he was called up to active duty, he had been second in command of the District of Columbia jail. Late that Friday night, McCrea called the general and told him to carry out the sentences. This was accomplished by the morning. McCrea got little sleep that night. Thirty years after the executions, he still felt squeamish about that assignment.


Striving to Grow
June 28, 2019

Dear David:

On Friday, July 12, 6 to 9 p.m, LTV will be hosting its first annual fund-raiser to support our local programs and classes. We are looking forward to a big turnout from our community to enjoy LTV’s Comedy Night Special. The event will open with an hour of get-to-know-your-neighbor socializing, followed by the hilarious comedians Elayne Boosler and Michele Balan, and capped off by a live auction with fabulous offerings, including three nights in a beautiful, historic, 1902 house with 75-foot dock on a private island just an hour from New York City. All donations are tax deductible, of course.

The money raised will help us upgrade equipment for the LTV Media Center and to continue expanding our free producer classes for our local residents! We offer so many new and exciting programs, including videos from our extensive archives, which run 24/7 now on LTV’s Channel 20. We are always striving to grow and do more. We want to provide state-of-the-art equipment to our neighbors producing shows, recording meetings, playing music, and putting on staged productions.

LTV encourages anyone who wants to learn pre-production, production, and post-production skills to contact us. If they have a smartphone, we can get them to start producing from the first lesson. All classes are free for our residents, a bargain and lots of fun! If someone is already a professional, we definitely want to hear from them and have them use our facilities, too.

LTV is an incredible local resource for all levels of expertise and talent. Our goal is to help train and assist anyone and everyone in our community who would like to reach out via public access TV and tell us their stories!

The LTV board of directors, our staff, and Comedy Night’s performers look forward to meeting and greeting you all, as well as showing off our beautiful facilities.

Visit our website at to get tickets, to sign up for a class, or just to sample some of our programming on demand.

LTV has been chronicling our lives for over 30 years; stories of fishermen, farmers, celebrities, artists and all the diverse people that work live and summer in our beautiful town. On behalf of all of us at LTV, I want to thank everyone in our community for their support! We look forward to continuing this local tradition for the next 30 years.



Board of Directors

Airport Land
June 26, 2019

To the Editor,

Let’s think about closing the noisy airport and building an affordable housing village, on the airport land with a childcare center, a community center, and athletic fields, surrounded by wooded bike and hiking trails. It could be a mix of single, senior, and family housing units — all with solar panels, cedar shingle siding — two story buildings with a park-like setting with space set aside for community gardens. This plan could solve two major problems that our town faces: noise and affordable housing.

Yours truly,


Where It Belongs
July 1, 2019

Dear David:

It was welcome news to hear last week that PSEG Long Island had agreed to end its efforts to place an electric power substation on county parkland in the 3,000-acre Hither Woods/Hither Hills preserve. The substation, which was intended to replace PSEG’s existing substation on Montauk’s Industrial Road and the shore of Fort Pond, will instead be built on commercially-zoned land adjoining the Long Island Rail Road tracks. Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc, who was instrumental in getting PSEG to abandon the Hither Woods plan, deserves credit for this turnabout, as does the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society, which organized its membership to fight for the protect

PSEG’s project would have obliterated 5.4 acres of Montauk forest and would have put an industrial facility deep in the woods and right next to Paumanok Path, Long Island’s 125-mile-long flagship hiking and mountain-biking trail. It was a bad idea from the start. PSEG also deserves plaudits for being willing to change its plans once public opposition was made clear.

In the deal worked out by Supervisor Van Scoyoc, PSEG won’t be building a substation on parkland. Nor will it be built in a residential neighborhood. The new substation will go where it belongs — in an industrial area where it can be built safely above the flood plain. Finally, the existing substation on Fort Pond will be removed, with that land devoted to public pond access. This is surely a conclusion which all can applaud.



Montauk Substation
June 28, 2019

Dear Editor:

On June 25, you report that Supervisor Van Scoyoc secured PSEG’s agreement to “locate the [new Montauk] substation in an industrial area during a conference call on Monday, according to a press release from his office.”

Mr. Van Scoyoc’s press release fails to mention that the nearest residential lot is located 63 feet away from this new site.

You also report that “PSEG Long Island will raise the level of both the substation equipment and of the road, and install drainage structures in order to alleviate persistent flooding in the vicinity.”

I will be very curious to see how PSEG proposes to alleviate flooding in an area that is located on a 1,000-foot-wide flood plain between Fort Pond Bay, 430 feet away on the north, and the large freshwater Fort Pond, about 300 feet to the south. There is literally nowhere for the water to drain to. If you don’t believe me, you can visit my basement, where you can observe the tides rise and fall any time there is a storm, and many days in between.

Shore Road has always had flooding problems. The road — the only access road for residents of North Shore and Navy Roads — has become an axle-busting disaster, nearly always under water since the town approved paving over the lot at the north end for the battery facility. Adding more pavement will simply mean more water with nowhere to go.


East Hampton
June 28, 2019

Dear Editor,

I want to thank The Star’s reporter Jamie Bufalino for reporting on the issues I raised at the last meeting of the East Hampton Village Board. One of the issues I raised was the lack of recycling receptacles on any of East Hampton Village streets. Trustee Lawler responded by stating, “But there are recycling cans at all the beaches.” Main Beach has five garbage receptacles on the sandy beachside and five garbage receptacles on the deck of the beach pavilion, but not a single recycling receptacle can be found at either of these heavily trafficked locations. There is, however, one inconspicuous and inconveniently located recycling receptacle at the head of each side of the Main Beach parking lots.

In addition, there is no signage to direct the public to the recycling receptacles. I have personally seen a substantial volume of recyclables in the garbage cans on both the beachside and deck pavilion. Many of the plastic water bottles I noticed in the garbage were the same brands of water sold within the pavilion. The village has an obligation to make recycling easily accessible. Recycling receptacles are obviously necessary on the beachside and pavilion deck. While East Hampton’s intention is honorable, the village’s attempt to promote recycling at Main Beach is ineffective. Mayor Rickenbach stated, “We want to lead by example” when referring to the village using electric leaf blowers. Doesn’t the Village of East Hampton have an obligation to lead by example and effectively promote recycling on its streets and beaches?

I suggested at the meeting that residences and businesses within the Village of East Hampton should have to recycle and the village should enforce such. As it is now, personal residences and businesses can hire a trash service to pick up their unsorted refuse (trash and recyclables) without making an attempt to recycle and which may or not be sorted and properly disposed of. Mayor Rickenbach’s response to my suggestions was that he (the village) didn’t want to “force” recycling upon village residents and businesses. Again, shouldn’t the village be leading by example with respect to promoting recycling?

The last issue I raised at the meeting pertained to the air, water, and noise pollution created by fireworks displays. I asked the trustees whether these externalities were considered prior to their approval of fireworks funding. Many people have pets that react negatively to the noise externalities created by fireworks. Think about this and then extend this compassion to the many various forms of wildlife that are within the sound range of fireworks displays and how this wildlife might respond. The air and water pollution created by fireworks is fairly well documented. Mayor Rickenbach’s response included, “I think it’s wonderful.”


East Hampton
June 25, 2019

To the Editor,

Well, our community is polarized. As I wandered around today I took notice of newspaper racks. Starbucks does not carry The New York Post, The New York Times atop but few left.

Post untouched at the Golden Pear. Post sold out at I.G.A., senior discount day. Times piled high untouched.

Then over to Amagansett. Jack’s: Times nearly gone, Post rudely skimmed, left bent and tattered on counter unpaid.


East Hampton
June 17, 2019

Dear Editor:

The next form of pollution will be if they pass a law requiring landscapers to switch to battery-powered blowers and trimmers. The batteries can only be charged and drained so many times then they are worthless. Landscapers will have to use 8-10 a day. By the end of the summer most batteries will be useless! Where do they dispose of them?

How about the Tesla owners? Nobody thinks ahead! Also, how about the fuel that will be required by the electric company to produce the power to charge these batteries?


Treated Equally
East Hampton
July 1, 2019

Dear Editor,

On Saturday, Barbara Borsack held a fund-raising event for herself in the garden of a private home located in a residential neighborhood of East Hampton Village.

I don’t see a problem with anyone doing this, except that Ms. Borsack and her fellow board members put a law into effect that prohibited village inns from holding outdoor events due to their locations in residential neighborhoods. Whether an event is for fun, profit, or fund-raising, we all should be treated equally under the law. Why is one entity allowed to host a large gathering but not another? Perhaps the law should be amended to allow a certain number of events per location, whether it be a private residence or a business.

How is it fair for Ms. Borsack to be able to conduct her business in a residential area, while being against a business owner doing the same?

I am not a village voter, but I work, shop, and dine in our beautiful hamlet. It is the hub of our entire community, and it matters to village and town residents that everyone is treated the same.


Run for Mayor
East Hampton
July 1, 2019

Dear Editor,

This letter is a public thank-you to the people who came to our campaign kickoff party, which was held on June 23 at the historical Maidstone Hotel, and an invitation to those who would like to join us to move the village in a positive direction. Below is part of the speech I gave at the event. Please contact us at our website:, if you would like to join us.

I have lived in East Hampton most of my life and grew up just around the corner from here. I have devoted 34 years of my life to public service, retiring from the East Hampton Village Police Department in 2017 and serving the last 14 years of my career as the East Hampton Village police chief.

I have decided to run for mayor because I feel I understand what our community needs and desires to move into the future. We need to change the direction of a village government that is negative to a village government that is positive. We need to bring our year-round residents, second-home owners, town residents, and business owners together to make our community strong and vibrant year round. Our village is here for everyone, our beaches, our houses of worship, our restaurants, our stores, our museums, and our library are all places for our community to enjoy.

In my opinion, it is government’s job to assist in helping our businesses stay vibrant. That is why I will create an office of business and tourism which will work as a liaison between business and government to help businesses grow and to embrace tourism.

Preserving the historical heritage of our village does not mean that we cannot enjoy the benefits of the 21st century. The business district needs to be reinvigorated; the first step is to install a centralized sewer system on Main Street and Newtown Lane. I will immediately start work on a centralized sewer system, without using tax money.

The Newtown Party will:

• Increase parking

• Improve traffic flow in our parking lots

• Bury the power lines on King and McGuirk Streets

• Allow outdoor seating at restaurants now

• Bring mom-and-pop stores back to the village

• Create work-force housing, and bring young families back to our community.

• Assist the town with increasing affordable and senior housing.

These are all things we can do together. I look forward to working with everyone.


Very Grateful
June 29, 2019

Letter to the Editor:

As I move forward in my campaign for re-election as your East Hampton Town justice, I want to thank those individuals who braved the elements of Election Day and voted for me in the Democratic primary election.

In particular, I am very grateful to those individuals who publicly supported me in the primary and who have pledged to continue to support me in the November election.

The primary election was clearly a partisan one and, I believe, not a reflection of our community as a whole. Come November, all East Hampton residents will have the opportunity for their voices to be heard and counted. The future of our town and our community lies in your hands. I will be on the campaign trail and hope to see you out there.



Taking the Time
East Hampton
June 30, 2019

Dear David,

On June 25, East Hampton registered Democrats had the opportunity to choose, by primary elections, the candidates for town justice and town trustee they wish to represent them in the November general elections. Overwhelmingly, they chose the entire slate offered by the East Hampton Democratic Committee. Clearly this committee has a finger on the pulse of their constituents.

I wish to thank those who came to the polls to face a complicated and very confusing ballot. You have once again demonstrated yourselves to be informed and politically astute voters, understanding the value of this election, and taking the time to study the issues.

Our success was not possible without the efforts of the members of the Democratic Committee, who themselves recently faced a very similar primary challenge. These amazing people dedicated an enormous amount of time and effort to help those in their election districts understand what this primary was about: how a candidate registered to opposing party is able to challenge one of our own. The Democratic Committee’s extraordinary efforts are so appreciated by both the candidates and the electorate. I’m very proud to be counted as a friend and a colleague.

And thank you to The East Hampton Star: Your endorsement tells me that you understand the efforts of the sitting Democratic trustees for what they are. The East Hampton of today doesn’t resemble the town it was 30 or even 20 years ago. As life here has become more complicated, so have the duties of the board. Therefore, we have searched deeply to identify broad-minded candidates with diverse experience to address today’s issues and focus on these problems.

Finally, thank you to my wife, Barbara, and the families of all our candidates. Your sacrifices and support are appreciated above all others. Only you can fully understand the cost of these efforts.



Greatly Appreciated
East Hampton
June 26, 2019

Dear David,

Just a quick note to thank everyone so much for their support in the Democratic primary for town trustee.

It is greatly appreciated, and I would like to thank and congratulate all of the other candidates on our slate.

We are a solid, diverse, and forward-thinking group, and I hope the support continues throughout the entire town for us in November.

Also, thanks to the Democratic Committee and leadership for all the hard work put in to make this election such a great success.

Finally — congratulations to Andrew Strong for his convincing victory and best of luck to him as we all go forward.

Warm regards,


Long Lane
East Hampton
June 24, 2019

Dear David,

I support the town’s adoption of a Long Lane roundabout, reported by The Star on June 20.

The legitimate concern that it might destroy the distinctly rural feel of that intersection is, to me, outweighed by public safety concerns.

The roundabout at the intersection of Scuttle Hole Road and Mitchell Lane in Bridgehampton gives us folks not in our horse buggies a chance to slow down and enjoy the distinctly rural feel of the two wide-open fields bordering its the eastern side.

Perhaps more well-designed and well-placed roundabouts should be considered to force drivers to slow down and smell the roses.



Back-Room Deal
East Hampton
July 1, 2019

To the Editor:

At the Public Service Commission hearing on Deepwater Wind three weeks ago, the dysfunction of the Democratic monopoly on the town board was in plain view. There are only two landing sites being considered for the transmission cable, Beach Lane in Wainscott and Hither Hills, with Beach Lane the site preferred by Deepwater.

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. advised at the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee meeting several months ago that, based on his long experience with land-use regulation, the applicant never wants to consider alternatives to whatever it prefers, must be forced to do so, and that “two alternatives are not enough.”

When I asked at the hearing why Deepwater prefers Beach Lane, its representatives basically said that that is what they had negotiated with the East Hampton Town Board. This is a gross corruption by Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc, Councilwomen Sylvia Overby and Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, and Councilman David Lys of the process of environmental review and management, to which only Councilman Jeff Bragman has objected.

What is supposed to happen is that all of the reasonable alternatives are considered publicly, all of the environmental and other costs of those alternatives are analyzed, and the facts are then laid before the public before a decision is made as to where the appropriate landing site should be.

Deepwater’s technical representatives also candidly admitted that they really don’t know how their so-called second alternative of Hither Hills would work environmentally because they haven’t yet figured out where the cable would run to arrive at the East Hampton substation near Buell Lane. For example, they do not yet know the extent to which it could run along the L.I.R.R. right of way. But they said they are working on it. This is “analysis of alternatives” with neither analysis nor alternatives. A perfect farce.

The venture capitalists behind Deepwater, who have since sold out to Orsted, figured that East Hampton was for sale — because venture capitalists think all of life is a game of “Let’s Make a Deal.” With this town board, they found the right mark. They waltzed into East Hampton dangling $8 million of “community benefits” before the dazzled eyes of our impressionable town board — peanuts for a $2 billion project — and figured they had successfully bought Beach Lane.

Why Beach Lane? No doubt only because it is best and cheapest for Deepwater, not because it is best for us. Having already cut a deal with the town board for a Beach Lane landing site, why bother actually to analyze any alternative? The so-called Hither Hills alternative does not even exist on paper.

For the record, Deepwater should be considering and forced to analyze the shortest route, the route that passes the fewest homes and businesses, routes that do not pass right down the middle of a popular bathing beach, and alternatives outside East Hampton.

Although Mr. Van Scoyoc publicly stated at the hearing that the town board will now do the homework it should have begun two years ago, by participating in the Public Service Commission review process, that too is a sham. He also said that the town board will submit its detailed concerns to the P.S.C. on July 12, the formal close of the public hearing. Based on what, everything the town board doesn’t know about the project?

After many months of dithering, the town board has yet to hire a single technical adviser to assist in a submission to the P.S.C. Instead, they hired a real estate lawyer to continue negotiating the illicit deal with Deepwater. According to Zach Cohen at the last Springs Citizens Advisory Committee meeting, the record submitted by Deepwater is 4,000 pages long. No one can even read let alone make sense of it in the short time available. Are we to believe that, without any capability to do so, they are going to start and finish the technical work days before their submission to the P.S.C.?

The P.S.C. process is a quasi-judicial proceeding in which the petitioner, Deepwater, presents the case for its project and other parties, such as the town of East Hampton, can then respond to defend the public’s interests. The purpose of being a party to the P.S.C. proceeding is to critique scientifically the submission of Deepwater and to submit additional evidence regarding impacts in East Hampton. The town board has no ability to do either. Its “participation” in the P.S.C. process, starting at two minutes to midnight, is a pretense to deceive the public and make it appear that the town board is doing its job when it is doing nothing more than holding Deepwater’s coat.

The administrative law judge will make his decision to approve, disapprove, or modify the project based on the record presented by the parties. If there is no evidence presented of any adverse impacts of the project on East Hampton, or regarding the impacts of alternative sites for landing the cable, there is nothing for the judge to consider other than what Deepwater presents in its own favor. The decision then goes to Deepwater by default, exactly as the town board intends as that is the improper deal it made in a back room months ago.

The use of fake legal process, the pseudo-participation in the P.S.C proceeding, to cover up a back-room deal to evade the law should sound familiar by now. That is the tactic they used to cover up the dirty deal with Duryea’s Lobster Deck to evade planning board review, employing fake litigation. It is the tactic used to disguise the dirty deal to give a town road in Amagansett to a client of Democratic Party boss, Chris Kelley’s, law firm, employing a carefully contrived legal process to make it appear to be a gift to the town.

They are running the same con on the public again to cover up their failure to undertake any environmental analysis whatsoever, nothing, of the impacts of Deepwater on our town, our beaches, our residents, and our commercial fishing industry. The lawlessness of this town board is matched only by its brazenness.



June 29, 2019

Dear David,

What has happened to the U.S.A.? Watching two nights of Democratic debate, I can’t believe they call themselves Democrats. Democrats do not act that crazy. They should call themselves socialist.

President Obama five years ago went on television and said, “don’t send your children. If they should make it, we will send them back,” note he said, “We cannot know if these children even made it.”

In 2013 the Obama-Biden team built these cages, not President Trump.

The Democrats-liberals are at fault for the drownings of the father and daughter, as their promises are, “Come here. We will give you everything free, yes free.” We have thousands of vets and citizens who are homeless but my husband and I, plus you, must keep working to pay for all the free — for the illegals.

The Democrats/socialists want to shut down ICE, decriminalize border crossings. Imagine our country then: no laws, shoplifting is okay, and so much more will be legal, if they have their way.

Hello, Don Lemon, Nancy Pelosi, and all who ranted, “It’s a made up crisis at the border,” a very quick turnaround and now hold up pictures of the real crisis at the southern border. Congress, try staying in D.C. and do your job. Fix this immigration problem. Even Jeh Johnson agrees it’s a severe crisis.

Julian Castro, at the debate, claims transgender men who get pregnant are entitled to get an abortion. God, please help us.

In God and country,


Stolen Labor
East Hampton
June 29, 2019


There is a brilliant article in The New York Times Sunday Review section titled “Want to Be Less Racist? Move to Hawaii,” written by Moises Velasquez Manoff. One section of the article traces the origins of racism in the U.S. Identifying racism as a byproduct and rationalization for slavery, as opposed to racism being the engine from which slavery derived.

The economic origins of racism allow  us to understand why 154 years after the emancipation of slaves, racism is still a virulent and destructive force in our society.

No one questions the religious racism of the first settlers in their relationships with Native Americans. The complexity of which brings into question the bizarre offshoot of Christianity that was practiced in the colonies and later in the country. Anyone not practicing a particular brand of Christianity could be branded a heretic, but the treatment of Native Americans as savages extended the envelope beyond reason.

Religion aside, it  was only after the failure to enslave Native Americans and the unwieldy nature of indentured servitude that the colonists turned to African slaves as a labor option: An amazing option that essentially allowed the colonies to survive and prosper.

In truth, without this stolen labor supply, the colonies had no other options to produce products that could be traded and bartered for their essential needs. We need to be cognizant that the African slaves who came to America were essentially kidnapped from their communities and forced to work without pay for their entire lives. (There was not an iota of rightness in the process.)

The economy grew because of slave labor and the country became dependent and addicted to it. By the time of the Civil War 60 percent of the nation’s wealth was in slaves and 75 percent of the nation’s production was generated from slave labor.

In 1789, when our Constitution was established, the language “that all men were created equal” complicated the relationship between white colonists and slaves. What was originally a straight economic relationship took on a more defined political one. What is the value of a slave in population/census data. Are they 3/5 or 4/7 of a white person? They couldn’t possibly be 1/1, could they? The rationale for determining the value of slaves was determined by a racial component. Clearly blacks were inferior to white people and this statement of truth became the political rationale for our economic viability.

In the present day, the economics of racism remain powerful. Paying 20 million black workers $4 an hour less than white workers is $16 billion dollars a year in pure profits. Over 154 years the numbers add up.

The last piece in the article has to do with the transference of attitudes. In a racist society we tend to treat each other as we treat the objects of our racism. Our addiction to cheap labor from the slavery period influences us to send our business to China to increase profit margins. Our cheap labor jones allowed us to feel nothing while we destroyed working class America (everyone included). White on white isn’t called racism even though the roots are the same.

We were never great as a nation. We’ve had our moments ,and could use a few more. Check out Hawaii.


The Best Economy
June 25, 2019

To the Editor,

Just in case you Trumped-deranged liberals haven’t noticed: Right now we have the best economy in the history of America, lowest unemployment rates, more women working, lowest welfare rates, lowest black unemployment in U.S. history.

Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and we moved our embassy there. Donald Trump, a 72-year-old billionaire who gave up his golden years to take on a criminal organization called the Demo­crats. Keeping America great!

Looking forward to another six years.

God bless America,


‘Excellent Letter’
June 25, 2019

To the Editor:

When I heard that Kim Jong Un said that he received an “excellent letter” from Donald Trump, I couldn’t help but wonder which letter it was:

“P” as in “pussy” or “Pocahontas,”

“F” as in “fake” or “fantastic,”

“D” as in “sleepy”, “sloppy”, “sleazy,” or “shithole,”

“G” as in “genius,”

“L” as in “loser,” “little,” low-life,” or low-iq,”

“H” as in “horseface,”

“W” as in “wacky,”

“C” as in “captured,” “cocked,” “crooked,” “creepy,” “corrupt,” or “crazy,”

“D” as in “dumb,” or some other letter of the alphabet?


New York City
June 30, 2019

To the Editor:

Well they did it. They did it again, typical true-to-form Democrats updated, modernized a classical true-to-life definition. “Tragicomedy” is a literary device used in fictional works. It contains both tragedy and comedy. Mostly the characters in tragicomedy are exaggerated, and sometimes there might be a happy ending after a series of unfortunate events. It is incorporated with jokes throughout the story just to lighten the tone. Actualized in 64 A.D. by Emperor Nero (fiddling while Rome was burning) add Democrats squabbling, bickering while our southern border is being breached, confirmed during the recent Democratic presidential contenders’ debates.

Calling William! William! Some great ongoing happenings, formidable, tantalizing material accentuating fallacies, ignorance befitting your renowned masterworks: “Comedy of Errors,” “Much Ado About Nothing,” and all. An assured opportunity for your regeneration, revitalization into the 21st century.

A humbly suggested title: “Balderdash in a Dome-Shaped Cage.”


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