Letters to the Editor: 03.21.13

Our readers' comments

Not a Clinic?
    East Hampton
    March 18, 2013
Dear Editor:
    At the zoning board of appeals meeting at Town Hall on March 12, much new information was revealed regarding the Dunes luxury rehabilitation facility currently operating in the Northwest Woods.
    The topic of the evening was whether or not the board should uphold the building inspector’s determination that the Dunes is a semi-public facility requiring a special permit and site plan review. The applicants maintain that they are operating as a family and that there should be no planning process or site plan review.
    The decision hinges on whether the Dunes, a projected $5.5 million-a-year operation, is indeed a clinic or medical arts building. Astonishing to me was the difficulty which one of the board members seemed to have deciding this question. That evening we learned that the Dunes, as described on its own Web site, has a clinical director, a clinical program, and a physician and two nurses on staff. It also has a New York State Controlled Substance Certificate as an institutional dispenser of Schedule II-IV narcotics. Yet, because Dunes patients remain overnight, some portion of the board seemed willing to entertain the possibility that the Dunes is not a clinic and is just a family?
    A paid clinical director leading a clinical program supported by clinicians is not a clinic?
    Let’s not spend any more time over-thinking the obvious. Given all this information, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck . . . well, you get the picture. But if this is not clear enough, I would remind anyone in doubt that it is in no way unusual for clinics to treat patients overnight for several weeks at a time. The Betty Ford Clinic, for one, would seem to resolve this question.
    East Hampton Town Code must be consistently enforced, and it is the job of the zoning board to do just that.

He Had a Good Life
    Tampa, Fla.
    March 14, 2013
Dear David,
    It must have been in the early ’70s. My brother called from Sag Harbor to ask if I would drive to Springs to buy a pony for his two girls. Off we went towing a horse trailer to buy a little brown and white pony called Henry.
    The sweet, pretty young girl riding him when we arrived was named Lisa.
    Henry spent many years running along Long Beach and up and down the dunes of North Haven.
    He had a good life.
    By the way, the check was made out to Willem de Kooning and the pretty blonde was his daughter, Lisa.
    Best regards,

Cyril’s: Additional Time
    March 17, 2013
Dear David,
    It seems clear to me that Theresa Quigley placed Cyril’s on the town board agenda for the Montauk work session, this past Tuesday, in order to support her own opinion about rezoning Cyril’s. Where is the fairness when the applicant’s attorney, Dianne LeVierrier, gets a special opportunity to try to prove her case to the town board on the benefits of rezoning Cyril’s?
    This support of an applicant is contrary to the fact that usually public hearings are kept open by written consent, not by more of the same oral argument by an applicant. No other speakers were given the same opportunity. Ms. Quigley was very candid at this work session in stating that she is for rezoning Cyril’s. She and Mr. Wilkinson (the three-to-four-minute-allowance supervisor) allowed the applicant’s attorney to speak for an additional hour-plus.
    Cyril’s has 63 violations, written by our own Code Enforcement Department. The case is in town court awaiting a decision by Justice Lisa Rana. Why is the case sitting in the courts, without resolving the problem?
    What is becoming of the fairness in the town? Should one board member be allowed to impact the law by opening additional time for an applicant’s comments and not inviting additional time to the residents of the area?

Disney World Countdown
    East Hampton
    March 14, 2013
Dear David:
    Both Sylvia Overby and Peter Van Scoyoc have endured the outrageous verbal assaults of Theresa Quigley and Bill Wilkinson since they became members of the East Hampton Town Board. Most of the community is fed up also.
    Sylvia, it’s obvious to many who have been witness to Ms. Quigley’s incredibly rude behavior toward you, that she is jealous. Even the way she addresses you as “Ms. Overby” is an attempt to marginalize you; that you’re not part of her group. We all know that you are a pleasant, intelligent, and radiant woman; she is not.  Now to Ms. Quigley’s latest ugly comment about a “high-school intellect.” Well, the New York Law School that Ms. Quigley attended (not to be confused with New York University  School of Law) has dropped in the latest U.S. News & World Report law school rankings  from 135 to 151-156‚ in the third to fourth tier of all U.S. law schools; so much for her intellect!
    Peter, you are a well-respected and very popular local guy. So naturally  you won your election by the largest margin of anybody who ran; Mr. Wilkinson by only 15 votes. Now to his latest ugly comment that he didn’t “respect you.” Clearly this is a man who doesn’t respect the East Hampton community either. Remember, he once called himself “like a C.E.O.” Well, that appears to be one of his sore points. In the “Mad Men” days of the broadcast/advertising world (’60s and ’70s), Personnel was considered the lowest rung of the corporate ladder. As it was the administrative side, guys rarely took that route. Women who didn’t go to college and/or have the desire to move up the ladder were usually attracted to this division. Personnel did not analyze the marketplace, did not pitch new business, did no profit analysis, did no business forecast and projections, and they did not deliver revenue to the company. So, Mr. Wilkinson probably received meager respect throughout his career — not like a C.E.O.!
    No matter who wins this year’s election for town board, it has already been determined that neither Ms. Quigley  nor Mr. Wilkinson will be part of it. This is, of course, good news to most of the community. I cannot recall such disagreeable, mean-spirited, and ill-tempered board members.
    The Disney World Countdown is on: 291 days, 8 hours, 31 minutes, 5 seconds!

Historic Route
    March 13, 2013
Dear Sir,
    We have recently purchased a house in the Noyac section of Sag Harbor. Since last summer, we have been subject to extremely disruptive helicopter and airplane noise. We purchased the house to live year round and raise our children in the area. It is unfair that the flight path has recently shifted to Noyac, a heavily populated area with a strong year-round population, from its previous route over Northwest Woods.
    We strongly urge that the flight path return to its historic route over Northwest Woods.

Common Ground
    March 18, 2013
Dear David,
    Do I detect some civility creeping into the letters from airport proponents and noise opponents? Perhaps it is time to look for common ground, but first, a dose of reality.
    If you happen to be one of those unlucky people who live under the east-west helicopter path variously labeled the “power line” or Jessup’s Neck route, helicopter noise nearly doubled last July (Georgica Pond picked up some of the load) when the Northwest Creek route was eliminated. If you live anywhere else, jet and helicopter traffic has declined by 16 percent since 2007 and all other aircraft by 42 percent. So except for the aforementioned, noise has gotten better, not worse.
    The airport is not being expanded. ­Reopening runway 4-22 and closing ­16-34 would simply be a change of ­secondary runway. The Airport Noise Abatement Advisory Committee chaired by Kathy Cunningham and vice-chaired by Charles Ehren, repeatedly recommended a seasonal control tower  for noise control from 2006 up through its final report in late 2009. Deer fencing, albeit without Federal Aviation Administration funding, is something noise opponents conceded to be a sensible safety measure years ago.
    Noise opponents need to acknowledge that helicopters are the predominant cause of airport noise. An A.N.A.A.C. report found (and other studies have corroborated) that helicopters are responsible for almost two-thirds of all noise events. F.A.A. procedures governing restricting helicopters (stage-2 aircraft) are less stringent than for fixed-wing aircraft, regardless of the status of F.A.A. grant assurances.
    Airport proponents need to acknowledge that although the data has already been gathered, a completed noise analysis ($500,000) is a prerequisite to any restrictions, whether or not a Part 161 study ($1 million to $1.5 million) follows.
    The most recent estimate of the cost of rehabilitating runway 4-22 was $3 million. The full list of airport repairs and safety improvements in the airport master plan was estimated to cost $7 million. The F.A.A. will pay for this if the town board decides to apply for grants.
    Noise opponents need to acknowledge that whether or not F.A.A. grant assurances are in force, mandatory restrictions on helicopters will most likely cost upward of $5 million when the inevitable cost of litigation is included. So both airport proponents and noise opponents want to spend several million dollars***onents have identified a source of funding that does not preclude mandatory restrictions on helicopters. Opponents have not said how they would pay for litigation resulting from mandatory restrictions or how they would pay for needed repairs and maintenance absent the F.A.A..
    So it comes down to this: Airport proponents want to spend $3 million to $7 million to fix up (but not expand) the airport. Noise opponents want mandatory restrictions that will likely cost $5 million for helicopters and significantly more if jets and seaplanes are targeted. Only when each group can acknowledge the legitimacy of the other’s core needs and discuss realistic sources of funding can meaningful progress begin.
    Among the differences, I can visualize some common ground. Can you? More important, can this town board or the next one approach these differences in a responsible, respectful way to mediate a solution, or will it continue to be politics as usual? We’ll see.

The Ross School
    Santa Cruz, Calif.
    March 10, 2013
To the Editor:
    Your article on Mrs. Ross and The Ross School, in its negative slant, is unfair to both. The opinions attributed to the “handful of parents interviewed” are especially questionable. I know from many visits to the school over a period of nearly 20 years that parents are generally very happy with the school. Otherwise they would not have selected it for their children.
    In particular, I can categorically refute the implication in this sentence from the article: “Mrs. Ross’s forthcoming absence is but the latest ripple in an environment described by some parents as chaotic and unstable.”
    The chief elements of the school’s environment that might seem unstable are the annual improvements to its physical plant, to the scope of its program — from two grades (grade 5 and 6 when I first visited in 1995) to 15 grades (p-12 today), to the quality and integration of the curriculum, unique in the world, and to its financial foundation, from dependent to sustainable.
    University of California

Courtney Ross’s Vision
    Sag Harbor
    March 13, 2013
To the Editor:
    I was really disheartened to read your recent article about Courtney Ross. The shallowness of the story and the decision to use anonymous petty attacks‚ as if the The East Hampton Star were Page Six, are an embarrassment to your publication. Why not instead tell the story of a private citizen who has infused hundreds of millions of dollars into the economy of East Hampton‚ or a private citizen who has started a not-for-profit that has become the second largest employer in East Hampton after the town‚ or a private citizen who has given scholarships to hundreds of local children from her own pocket?
    Instead of publishing such shallow and hurtful dribble, you could report on Courtney Ross’s decision to circumnavigate the globe and add the facts about how she is involving Ross School (as she does with everything). Print a story about her plan to research the health of our living oceans and study firsthand the beauty of this subaquatic living system that we humans are so thoughtlessly destroying. Her plan is to catalyze and strengthen Ross School’s marine science program, and pursuant to this initiative she is establishing the Courtney Sale Ross Scholarship for Marine Studies, to be awarded to a student interested in marine biology. It is likely she will have a group of students join her in the South Pacific this summer to study coral reefs.
    Who has the right to judge the way Courtney Ross spends her money? Has anyone given more to our community?
    Does our local publisher thank her by publishing anonymous, hurtful, petty comments in his East Hampton Star?
    Both of my children go to Ross School, as do David Rattray’s. My family is just one of the thousands who have been blessed by and benefited from Courtney Ross’s vision and her generosity.
    I have worked for Courtney Ross for 25 years, and for as many years she has delegated me to distribute her largesse anonymously in our community and everywhere else she goes. I know no one who gives of themselves and their resources as generously as Courtney Ross, asking for nothing in return except the best from and for her students.
    It hurts my communal integrity to its core to read the words you have written and to know that this is the thanks Courtney Ross receives for the incredible gift she has given.
    For shame East Hampton Star!

Why She Does It
    Sag Harbor
    March 13, 2013

To the Editor:
    East Hampton has more American fishing history than any other town in the nation. Stripers funded our nation’s education system 350 years ago. Seems we now have a fish problem in our local seas, and worldwide: coral bleaching down south, caused largely by acidification, caused by burning petroleum.
    Fish populations are crashing because of fishing techniques that are just too effective (sonar, radar, nylon lines and nets, and some simple mismanagement). Combine that with a worldwide population that has doubled since I was born in 1964 — a hungry seven billion or eight billion people. Houston, we have a problem. This world, in half my 49-year-old lifetime, has pushed our world’s marine resources so far down the aquatic food chain that my grandchildren might be left with marine algae pellets to accompany fish stories.
    Three hundred and fifty years of fishing history changed irretrievably forever in the past 35. Tuna on the brink of extinction, salmon lines down more than 99 percent in many places, orange roughy discovered as a food fish and endangered in under 10 years. This list could go on.
    We can do something if we support those that can see fit to look for answers. I happen to know that Courtney Ross has planned for some equipment to be installed onto her new “used” boat that can be controlled by students at The Ross School. Instruments that measure data in the sea to see what bad is happening. She might have to travel far to find what is happening good in the sea; good thing she has the interest, the ability, and the means to look for it, while passing the torch to 14-year-olds at the school.
    I’ve known Mrs. Ross for 25 years, and I even taught a surfcasting class to an early class at Ross and I know why she does these things. Evidently, not everybody does. The funny thing about 14-year-old students, given the right questions and the right tools, is that they can change the world. I know about these things. My father wrote a book in 1973 called “Data Structures and Programming,” and it was the textbook for a summer class given at The Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, part of N.Y.U., where my father taught computer science. A 14-year-old took that course and invented e-mail. Yup.
    I was also 14 at the time, but I still haven’t invented anything. I’m sure that there are similar stories which light up what’s really important in our local neighborhood, and I’m writing this letter to your paper because I am also lit up. I’m lit up because your paper, our paper, chose to allow a purely sniping article about Mrs. Ross to be printed when it was written by someone interested in gossip usually associated with supermarket rags. Guessing here, but I can’t help but think that newspapers are reaching hard for customers because of the invention and popularity of what another 14-year-old invented, but decorum and common sense doesn’t have to migrate online with newspaper’s ad revenues.
    This article seemed to be negative only, but I only read it once, maybe I missed something. I do remember that some parents described the Ross School environment as chaotic and unstable, and as a parent of a fourth-grader, I know that raising a child is challenging, and yes, chaotic at times. Impulsive, maybe, but gratefully so.
    Mrs. Ross has invested what could be hundreds of millions of her family fortune directly, and the last 20 years of her life, into our community in search of What’s Next. Not many people get that, but more will be revealed, eh?

A Noble Cause    
    March 12, 2013
To the Editor,
    I found your recent article regarding Courtney Ross and the Ross School to be both inaccurate and particularly aggressive.
    Courtney and her late husband, Steven Ross, had a vision to create what is known as The Ross School. Mrs. Ross, through her generosity and hard work, has kept that vision alive for the past 20 years. Her dedication to the school and the children it serves has been extraordinary. As the chairman of the board of trustees, she has guided the school from its infancy to what we all hope to see, a self-sustaining institution that will proudly represent both the East End community, as well as the global community.
    Mrs. Ross is quite fortunate, but so are many other residents of the East End. The difference with her is that she has put her money toward a noble cause.
    Instead of applauding her great accomplishment, your innuendos regarding her wealth and management skills make you unworthy of the pen you hold. If you are to be entrusted with reporting the news, you need to leave your petty jealousies at home.
    The Ross School has been a wonderful privilege for my daughter to attend for the past eight years. Her global education will prove to be a priceless asset when she enters college and beyond.
    I thank Mrs. Ross for her tenacity, and I condemn people who recklessly criticize those who have taken the risk to create.
    Fortunately, Mrs. Ross will enter the next chapter in her life with her solid East End institution in the hands of extremely competent faculty and staff. Mrs. Ross has guided the development of the school and now it will function with the direction of the talented faculty, who do not require day-to-day hands-on monitoring.

The writer is president of the board of the Ross School Parents Association. Ed.

LTV: An Open Call
    East Hampton
    March 18, 2013
Hi David,
    As a newly inducted producer at LTV, I am currently hosting a community outreach project which I am hoping will expand the LTV family, which seems to have lost much of its more interesting programmers and the real spine of the organization; camera people, directors, and active producers willing to go into the field for more interesting and diversified projects.
    To that end, I am holding a “Producer’s Club” meeting on April 4 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. It will be an opportunity for people to meet, learn about LTV, and hear from long-entrenched and experienced oldtimers who have shown interest in mentoring newcomers. Building production teams is a goal, as is creating a directory of interests and talents where attendees can register as hosts, guests, camera people, directors, and producers. LTV is astoundingly user-friendly!  They can ask for help with personal projects as extensive as small films and studio segments or as simple as public service announcements regarding important public issues or fund-raisers.
    I thought it might be an interesting bit to have Lois Wright (the unusual “Lois Wright Show”), David Brandman (“Talent Showcase”), Richard Rosenthal (senior issues and an originator at LTV), and others at the studio to meet with a reporter for a brief exchange.
    This club meeting is absolutely an open call to the community. I am working with the senior advisers at the Windmill Village complexes to invite that section of the populace to enjoy the social benefits of a symbiotic relationship outside of the home. It seemed odd there was no consistent contact between the studio and the local high schools and so I am creating an opportunity for youth to join in.
    My favorite projects will include a young filmmakers series and a series of students addressing published authors. The first is to be filmed this month and features aspiring writers reading the works of authors (their choice) to the authors themselves. A discussion as to why the excerpts touched each student will ensue.  Lots of fun ahead!
    Any coverage you might offer would be greatly appreciated. Perhaps readings from the paper might prove of interest — editor’s choice.

Less Grand But Doable
    East Hampton
    March 14, 2013
Dear David,
    The letters concerning climate change never cease to amaze me. Of course the climate changes! It always does! It is warming now because we are in an entirely natural cycle of warming followed by cooling. The cycle is about 125,000 years in length. This is not the warmest in the last five cycles. Humanity is not driving the climate, nature is.
    The seas do not rise and fall at our whim. Storms, drought, pestilence, and so on take no notice of us. Sandy, Carol, and the ’38 Hurricane were not caused by us! Spending vast sums to “do something” about climate change is utterly wasted. Why not do something about the things in nature we can accomplish?
    Clean up old burning dump sites, the area in Sag Harbor that was designated a Superfund site, and the like. These we can do if the writers who complain about the environment put real effort and organization into it. While they are at it, get the folks at the so-called Environmental Protection Agency to permit the restoration of Town Pond. It needs to be about four feet deep in the center, tapering up to the banks.
    Fifty-plus years ago it was that way, and had carp, perch, catfish, snapping turtles, painted turtles; ospreys took fish there, frogs lived there, occasionally swans nested there, muskrats lived there, now none live there. The E.P.A. will not let the pond, man-made by the way, live again.
    Maybe the local, motivated, rather than try and save the Earth they could successfully accomplish a less grand but a real doable project! It will take more than letter-writing to overcome the inertia of the bureaucrats in Albany. It is not tilting at windmills though.

The Most Deadly Critter
    March 15, 2013
Dear David,
    This past September, East Hampton Town Trustee Deborah Klughers made a presentation to the town board, asking to restrict what Suffolk County can use in their mosquito spraying, especially  methoprene, in our saltwater marshlands, to combat the spread of the West Nile virus (The Star, Sept. 20, 2012).
    True to form, the head of the county’s vector control unit informed the town board that the chemical methoprene does not pose a threat to the environment (The Star, Oct. 18, 2012).
    This is exactly the same response from government and industry that Rachel Carson received nationwide when she published her book “Silent Spring” in 1962, concerning the negative effects of pesticides, including DDT, on the environment.
    The threat to the marine environment, contrary to what the mosquito killers state about methoprene, is real.
    This chemical, among other effects, stunts the mosquitoes’ development by preventing molting. It has the identical effect on larval shrimp, crabs, and especially lobsters.
    Lobster fishermen are finding egg-bearing lobsters in Long Island Sound that have molted before their eggs have hatched, shedding their eggs along with their shells (Toxic Action Center, July 2001).
    Methoprene also acts as an antihormone to kill the mosquito, but it does the same thing to lobsters, with extremely small doses.
    Both lobsters and mosquitoes are arthropods, they both have chitinous external shells or skeletons, and develop and grow from larvae through the molting process.
    The mosquito killers voice over and over that the applications of the chemicals are at very low doses, they degrade very rapidly in the environment, but nobody has any answer as to how the chemicals used in mosquito control have now been found in lobsters many, many miles from any applications of these chemicals.
    Both methoprene and resmethrin have been found by Connecticut scientists in lobsters harvested from Long Island Sound (The Star, Aug. 20, 2012).
    The pesticide methoprene has a nasty side effect when the compound rapidly breaks down after exposure to sunlight. It converts to retinoids, which can cause birth defects in humans and frogs. There is a global epidemic of skeletal deformities in frogs, as much of its ­early development is controlled by retinoids.
    It has been pointed out by a member of the Environmental Research Foundation that pesticide regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency have missed a key feature of a chemical (methoprene) whose safety they regulate (Toxic Action Center and Maine Environmental Policy Institute).
    The concerns about mosquitoes have a long history, to wit:
    In England, prior to the establishment of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, during the preparations for the departure of the Winthrop fleet in 1630, John White organized an emigration from his own region and wrote a tract called “The Planters Plea.” “The muskitoes indeed infest the planters . . . but after one yeares acquaintance, men make hight account of them; some sleight defence for the hands and face, smoake and a close house may keeps them off.” Governor Bradford (Plymouth Colony) wrote, “They are too delicate and unfitte to Begine new plantations and collonies, that cannot enduer the Biting of a muskeets; we would wish such to keepe at home till at least they be muskeeto proofe”(“Builders of the Bay Colony,” by Samuel Elliot Morison).
    The mosquito is the most deadly critter on earth.
    The French had to abandon the digging of the Panama Canal because they had lost about 50,000 men to mosquitoes and gnats. When the Americans took over they sprayed oil, probably kerosene, on everything in sight, plus medicines were being developed to combat malaria and yellow fever. Still, by the time the Panama Canal was completed the Americans had lost 5,000 men.
    The war against mosquitoes has been active and very expensive for a long time, with no final results other than failure to accomplish the intent to eliminate these critters. Here in East Hampton in 1912, “A New York party will contract to exterminate all the mosquitoes on Napeague Beach, thus rid all the Territory in that of the pests” (The Star, Sept. 13, 1912).
    I believe the people behind this attempt to eliminate the mosquitoes were from the Devon Colony in Amagansett, because a bronze plaque dedicated to the founder of the Devon Colony in 1906, Richmond Levering, said he “exterminated the mosquitoes for the community in 1918” (“Amagansett,” by Carlton Kelsey).
    I read this plaque probably 40 years ago, but the mosquitoes are still here.
    In 1923 a proposition on the town ballot asked, “Shall the sum of $8,000 be raised in the years 1923 and 1924 for the elimination of the mosquitoes in the Township?” (The Star, Oct. 16, 1923.)
    The mosquitoes are still here.
    In 1939 DDT was invented. This chemical was to be God’s gift for the killing of all sorts of pesky bugs and mosquitoes, with no harm to the environment.
    I remember very well that morning in the mid-1950s when the Suffolk County Mosquito Commission aerial-sprayed all of eastern Long Island, from ocean to bay, with DDT. After they sprayed us on Oak Lane in Amagansett, within half an hour many birds were falling out of the trees with tremors, then dying. My grandmother had a cement fish pond the size of a car right where the driveway to Stuart’s Fish Market is now. The DDT killed everything in the fish pond. We tried to save some of the tadpoles, but no luck.
    All the dragonflies were killed. The swamp ponds in Amagansett were covered with dead dragonflies, and they have yet to recover to pre-1950s levels.
    All the fiddler crabs were killed in our harbors. They used to be so thick, their movements across the mud flats would make a noise. They too have not fully recovered to this day.
    On the ocean beach there was a toad that lived in the beach grass. They were killed off as well, from this aerial spraying of DDT.
    The only critters that survived this aerial onslaught by government were the mosquitoes.
    During these years, both government and industry disputed all this destruction of the natural environment, continuing to tell us how safe DDT was. These great people don’t sing this song anymore ­today about DDT, but have changed their tune, to tell us how safe pesticides such as resmethrin, metheprene, Surge, malathion, fyfanon, Naled, temefos, permethrin, and sumithrin (pyrethroids), etc., etc., are.
    These chemicals prevent molting, attack the nervous systems, eat up the chitinous skeletons, etc., etc., of the mosquitoes. They also kill off the natural predators — killie fish, tadpoles, frogs, dragonflies, and beneficial insects such as wasps, honeybees, and other pollinators.
    Malathion is an ingredient of nerve gas. It attacks the nervous system of the mosquito. Contrary to what product labels state, it is harmful way beyond just killing mosquitoes.
    Malathion has been linked to Saku disease in children and adults in Saku, Japan. Malathion is described as a pesticide with many health risks by the Toxics Action Center in Boston.
    For reasons totally unknown by scientists, insecticide poisoning by the classes of pyrethroids are of long duration in humans, and none of it is good.
    Prior to September of 1999, West Nile virus was unknown in the Western Hemisphere. In July and August 1999, some 40 crows and several exotic birds were dying in and around the Bronx Zoo. Nobody knew why this was occurring, as New York State had no way to test for a disease they knew nothing about. When the Centers for Disease Control starting testing some of these birds, they discovered the West Nile virus.
    This discovery, in early September 1999, became a new epidemiological mystery, with people in the New York City area becoming sick and some dying from West Nile without a clue as to how the virus arrived in the city (Newsday, Queens edition, Sept. 28, 1999).
    In May 2000 a new mosquito from Japan and Korea was found in 35 locations in Connecticut. The mosquito, Aedes japonicus, is a most competent vector for the West Nile virus. It was found in tire dumps last summer but now has spread far and wide in Connecticut.
    The scientists now believe this “new” mosquito came to this hemisphere in shipments of used tires from Asia. The waters in the tires are excellent breeding areas (Newsday, Queens edition, May 9, 2000). This is exactly how the Asian tiger mosquito appeared in Houston, Tex., in the early 1980s.
    With millions upon millions of used tires in America, why would anyone want to import them from Asia? But apparently this is what happened.
    Where were the “great people” from Customs or Fish and Wildlife in Houston or New York City, who are supposed to prevent entry of invasive species into this country? We now have two very dangerous mosquitoes in the Western Hemisphere with no way to send them back home!
    By September 1999, New York City began intensive spraying in all five boroughs, with malathion and resmethrin, ditto with Nassau and Suffolk Counties, mainly on the western North Shore. Not long after this extensive spraying program to “prevent the spread of the West Nile virus,” rainstorm runoff from Hurricane Floyd apparently triggered a massive die-off of lobsters in western Long Island Sound. An estimated three million lobsters were killed. The scientists and government agencies — the great people — reasoned that warm water and low oxygen caused the die-off.
    Lost in this shuffle is the known fact that these same poisons that kill the mosquitoes also, in extremely small doses, will kill lobsters.
    About 13 years ago some high school students on Mount Desert Island, Maine, decided to find out what would happen to a lobster placed in a tank, then adding a few drops of a pesticide. The lobster died instantly (“The Secret Life of Lobsters,” by Trevor Corson).
    To properly address this warm water theory, in January 1996 the oil barge North Cape went aground off the coast of Rhode Island. It spilled about 800,000 gallons of home heating oil. January is not the time of warm water, but an estimated 12 million lobsters, because of the toxic effect of the heating oil, were killed.
    Herein lies the rub: All mosquito sprays are diluted with petroleum distillates or man-made chemical compounds. These distillates have been proven to be as toxic as the pesticides are. When you combine all these goodies into storm water runoff, it can make tough going for shrimp, crabs, and lobsters. Besides, warm water would be a 24/7 problem in Long Island Sound but the die-off in pots seems to generally occur after heavy rainstorms.
    Another mystery with West Nile virus is that in all other regions of the world, this virus has little or no effect on birds, but this strain we’ve got is extremely deadly to all types of birds. In the first year (1999), thousands of birds were killed. Here now in 2013, birds are still falling out of the sky dead. If this bird kill continues, this will be the real disaster from West Nile, because we will be awash in bugs.
    This virus is also killing horses, bats, and small mammals like chipmunks and squirrels.
    The epicenter for West Nile virus in the summer of 1999 was New York City. The city, along with Nassau and western Suffolk County, spent millions of dollars to eliminate the mosquitoes so as to prevent the spread of the disease. The following year (2000), despite all this massive spraying of pesticides, the virus expanded from the immediate area of New York City to an area from Canada to Maryland (about 2,500 square miles).
    Within four years, despite more and more pesticide spraying, by now in several states, the West Nile virus is now in 48 states and Canada.
    At a lobster health symposium in October 2004, estimates of the amount of just malathion alone, sprayed by New York City in 1999, range from 8,666 pounds to 44,092 pounds (Newsday, Nov. 8, 2004). This wide disparity in numbers can only be described as extremely poor bookkeeping by the great people.
    What good did this spending millions upon millions of dollars do to stop the spread of the West Nile virus? It has done no more to eliminate the mosquitoes than those men from New York who were contracted to exterminate all the mosquitoes on Napeague Beach in 1912.

Just Get in Touch
    East Hampton
    March 18, 2013
To the Editor:
    So now we watch and listen to the new Republican Party in convention. Called the Conservative Political Action Conference, they gather in Washington to dissect their status as part of the Republican Party and the failures in the last elections.
    And dissect it they did. They performed an autopsy.
    The speakers invited to speak described the Republican Party as a total disaster, against immigration reform, against same-sex marriage, against women, against affordable health care, against the Violence Against Women Act, against science, against gun ownership regulation favored by 93 percent of the American people. How accurate they are. They are hardass nutz!
    One speaker says the party is narrow-minded, needs only to re-emphasize its priorities; another speaker says te party needs total revision, and their leader, Reince Priebus, after presiding over attempts to limit minority access to the polls in seven states, has the chutzpah to try to show that he knows how to win.
    A third speaker says they are a party of old white men and they need to find younger candidates.
    Donald Trump, a sorry excuse for a spokesman, said the country should let more Europeans into the country to counter the huge number of new Hispanic voters. Believe me, he said just that!
    They should have asked me, I’ll tell them what they need. Every candidate and spokesman during their campaign must get out of his soft seat in his office and get into the streets, mingle with the voters he wants to represent, get the feel of who they are, what they want, what they need, and just get in touch with them.
    Until that party acknowledges that some of their spokespeople are racist, misinformed, rich, ignorant about women’s health, and trying to tell people that slaves thanked their owners for the food and shelter they got.
    All these statements cover up policies and feelings that will never get them elected. They are doomed to hold the likes of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump as their best examples of leadership.

Gloomed and Doomed
    March 11, 2013
Dear David,
    Thanks to Harry Reid, this country has not had a budget in 1,402 days. He refuses to bring one to the floor for a vote. Unconstitutional?
    The Republicans passed a bill to give the president the authority to minimize the pain from the sequester, but he doesn’t want it. Why? This would mean his name is on it, the president doesn’t want his name on anything. It is so much easier to still campaign around the country and blame blame blame the Republicans. Aren’t we tired of hearing his whining?
    The sequester, the sequester that Obama signed onto in 2011? Now, my goodness, he got on that television, gloomed and doomed it from here to the high heavens. He told all of America how we were going to suffer, had Janet Napolitano read us the riot act about how traveling would have huge lines. Okay, no lines at the airports for a week now, but we managed to close the people’s house, better known as the White House, no more tours for the children.
    Watchdogs have come across e-mails from the feds. Hurt the public as best we can with sequester, in other words make the people hate the Republicans so all the country will vote Democrat in 2014. Believe me, some of the Republicans have to get the boot and pink slip too. If the president gives up golf for one year, that money will pay for the children to have guided tours in the White House.
    The president promised to be the most open administration in all our history, but we can’t take that to the bank, and at the rate he’s going there won’t be a bank. Hide the information about Benghazi, the sale of arms to drug dealers, all which has led to the death of innocent Americans.
    Can you imagine, the Obamas have spent over $1.8 billion of taxpayers’ money on vacation. I thank God for the local beach, that’s my vacation, I just have to pay to put gas in my car. Out of touch with Americans and no clue about economy.