Letters to the Editor: 10.09.14

Our readers' comments

Bag the Bags
    October 6, 2014

Dear David,
    Please consider the following commentary on the downtown Montauk shoreline stabilization project. My assessment of the project is based on extensive experience in coastal zone management. More specifically, I was professionally employed in South Florida, where my role was to evaluate and facilitate shoreline protection projects. These included large-scale dune restoration and beach nourishment projects.
    To be clear, the proposed project is not true dune restoration, and representing it as such is an inaccurate description. Stacking more that 14,000 geo­textile bags along 3,100 linear feet at the toe of dune is, in fact, a form of coastal armoring. Covering the bags with a veneer of beach-compatible sand (about 3 feet worth) doesn’t change what it really is. During storm surges the bags will become exposed, and the reflected wave energy will cause the accelerated erosion of the beach. A beach, I might add, that is a highly active public asset and that has substantially more economic value than the oceanfront structures the project is purported to protect.
    Geotextile bags and tubes cause the same physical impacts as vertical seawalls, bulkheads, and rock revetments. The science is clear: Hardened structures cause the narrowing and eventual disappearance of the fronting shoreline. The project design calls for the geo-bags to be initially covered and then maintained over time (covered with sand).
    Do not be deceived, the geo-bag approach is shoreline hardening, plain and simple. Albeit, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And, the notion that the bags can be removed if problems arise is highly impractical, if not nonsensical: 14,000-plus bags weighing in at 1.7 tons each isn’t a dune and it isn’t temporary.
    While I can appreciate the political sensitivities for our elected officials — that is to say, how can local government turn down federal funding that has been tentatively earmarked for the project? — I submit that accepting this project as designed will be a misguided decision and sets a dangerous precedent. Not to overlook that it would contradict the tenets of the local waterfront revitalization plan, which acknowledges the adverse impacts of hardened structures and restricts them accordingly.
    Hasn’t the rock revetment protecting the Montauk Shores development taught us anything? The fronting beach is gone, and the revetment continues to have detrimental effects on the adjacent, downdraft beaches.
    In closing, I encourage the East Hampton Town Board to decline committing to local sponsorship in the project’s current form. Committing itself as the local sponsor will saddle the town with financial obligations that the town is likely to regret.
    Keeping the bags covered with sand while the beach unravels over time is a losing proposition. Bag the bags and instead recognize the economic value of the town’s beaches and embrace the concept of coastal retreat.
    East Hampton Town has demonstrated its leadership through a buyout program for the low-lying properties at Lazy Point. Once again, do the right thing and take the necessary steps to keep your beaches just that: beaches.

    Defend H2O

Dolphin Drive
    East Hampton
    October 6, 2014

Dear David,
    Citizens for Access Rights is a not-for-profit group dedicated to protecting public access to the beaches of East Hampton. The board of CfAR would like to make its members and the public aware of a public hearing, to be held on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall, at which the East Hampton Town Board is proposing to ban parking on Dolphin Drive in the Napeague area.
    CfAR regards a parking ban in this area as a serious loss of access. Currently there are access points at the south end of Dolphin Drive, and parking is allowed along the eastern side of Dolphin Drive. A parking ban in this area would restrict access to all except those who live nearby, essentially creating a private beach that only homeowners can access. There is enough room in the road right of way to permit parking to continue the way it is currently, allowing the public to park along the east side of Dolphin Drive.
    One has to look no farther than Napeague Lane just a few miles to the west to see what kind of dangerous situation can occur when parking and access to the beach is limited or prohibited. On any given weekend in the summertime you will find 20 to 30 cars, sometimes more, parked along Montauk Highway creating a traffic hazard. The cars parked on the highway create blind spots for traffic pulling out of the roads in that area. There are also people trying to cross the highway with traffic moving upward of 55 miles per hour. Clearly it is not a safe situation for anyone involved. The cars are parked along the highway because the surrounding area of Beach Hampton does not allow parking or access to the beach to anyone but the homeowners and their guests.
    It’s not hard to picture the same situation happening in the area of Dolphin Drive: People will park out on the highway and walk to the beach just as they do in the area of Napeague Lane.
    The board of CfAR urges its members and the public to share their views at the hearing in regard to the loss of access in this area. We also encourage everyone to visit our website and review the candidate questionnaire that was answered by the current town board members during the 2013 election to make sure their actions match up with their words.

    Citizens for Access Rights

Rental Regulations
    October 6, 2014

To the Editor,
    Thank you, Jack Hassid, for expressing so clearly your ideas (“Guestwords,” Oct. 2) about how to strengthen the proposed East Hampton Town rental law.
    This summer in the Amagansett dunes, I was surrounded on three sides by rental properties. The situation made for three months of annoyance and sleeplessness. It became obvious that some of these properties had been rented not to single families (as required by the town zoning code) but to companies that then used them, I was told, as recreational facilities for clients and employees.
    To add insult to injury, the homeowners then depart the area for the summer while we, their neighbors, as Mr. Hassid points out, “are left with the consequences of loud parties, scores of guests,” etc.
    This is not the way a civilized, caring community behaves. However great the financial incentive to owners and their real estate agents (who are interested only in their commission), these groups should accept that while they say they can’t ignore the income, we can’t ignore the need to rein in their disregard of our rental regulations.
    Let’s strengthen the law so we can all spend our summers in the peace that we came here for.


Very Important
    East Hampton
    October 6, 2014

To the Editor,
    The senior citizens transportation service we receive from East Hampton Town is appreciated.
    For people who no longer drive this is very important. We are taken to all our medical appointments. It also takes us shopping, to drugstores, to lunch at the senior citizens center, and many other places.
    The service’s office is located at the senior center, 128 Springs-Fireplace Road in East Hampton. You can call 324-4443 to sign up. The person in charge and the drivers are very good.


Food and Water
    October 5, 2014

Dear David,
    The two things all humans, as a matter of fact all living beings, must have to live are food and water. As we approach the future, both of these commodities will become more precious and more scarce. Here on the East End, we are so fortunate to have the best soil in the state — maybe in the country — providing us with a bounty of foods. Our water, through the efforts of an enlightened town board, who recognize that our sole-source aquifer, which is located under our feet, must be cared for, and we    have through the efforts of Pio Lombardo and others begun to take the steps needed to do just that. It is time for all of us to care, and for the many East Hampton town and village boards to become more aware of what’s at stake when they make decisions that will affect our lives and the lives of future generations.
    So how disheartening is it to read that there is great farming land in Wainscott that has become the center of a monumental discussion and subsequent decision. This land may be lost to development forever; more house and less food, more septic systems and water pollution as they heap chemicals on their oh-so-green lawns. Though the price for the land is quite high, perhaps through careful negotiations and a little give on the part of the owners, it can be saved to provide us with food and, in the meantime, keep those open vistas that make this place unique and attractive to our tourists.
    As Tim Bishop has said many times, who will want to come here if we do not have pristine beaches, clean water, and vistas to look out over the horizon?


Montauk Blockhouse
    Pacific Palisades, Calif.
    October 4, 2014

Dear Editor,
    Thank you for Janis Hewitt’s recent article about the county’s failure to maintain the house and property that my mother “donated” and “leased” in what is now a county park in Montauk. There are a couple of points that merit clarification.
    My mother founded the Concerned Citizens of Montauk when the land around her house was threatened by development. She had witnessed the dense subdivision that occurred at Culloden Point, and she thought that Montauk would be better served by preserving some open space.
    I was present at the first meeting she held with her friends, who were all summer residents, at which she tried unsuccessfully to get them to support her effort to save the land that was then called Indian Fields. I vividly recall her friends saying things like “you can’t fight City Hall,” and other negative comments.
    In spite of this reaction, she persisted with a few stalwarts. She went into the year-round community and found supporters, many of whom were from the business community but who had a love of Montauk and its wild environs. This flew against the common belief at the time that the town cleaved into two adversarial communities, the summer people and the locals. In the end, the land was saved by the tireless efforts of many, many people, local and summer residents, and it established an effort that still exists today to keep some open space here.
    Her reward was to have her house and land condemned by the county, an act of retribution by local politicians who were silent partners in the original plan to develop the land that was preserved. She was given 30 days to vacate the property. At that time, she was a single mother of three and she had a full-time job. When it looked like the county would take her property away, and compensate her only for its assessed value, James Buckley, a United States senator, heard about her plight and introduced her to Daniel Mahoney, an Albany atorney who later became a federal judge. They fought for several years to get an awful deal. She “donated” her home and land, and was granted a 35-year “lease,” which was paid by subtracting one 35th of the home’s value each year until it became worthless.
    She loved her home so much that she took this terrible deal.
    Fast forward to 2010 when the 35 years were up. As you wrote, my family offered repeatedly to maintain the house at our own expense if the county would allow us to continue using it, since they had no plans for it and no resources to maintain it. It’s not easy to live in a place without electricity or heat, as evidenced by the fact that the other house in the park that the county took over in 1975 was burned to the ground the first year a ranger stayed there, when he dropped a kerosene lamp. But that’s another story for another time.
    I am often asked why the county did not accept our offer, and my answer is that it is always safer for a bureaucrat to say no rather than yes. And yet, there are nothing but losers here. We lost our mother’s house, and the county is losing a piece of history. The current state of affairs is as sorry as it was predictable. The county never had the will, the vision, or the resources to maintain this piece of property, and it won’t be long before it is beyond repair.
    The only good news is that the land was saved, and the better news is that there is still a vital element in this town of people who want to preserve the place that drew us all here in the first place. I have been heartened recently by the effort to prevent the East Deck property, and thereby Ditch Plain, from being colonized by developers.
    What is best for Montauk? There will always be a variety of opinions. Are the business interests best served by supporting the spring-break crowd that comes on weekends to get trashed and to trash the town, or do the residents provide as much support to local businesses just by living here? What kind of town do we want?
    That was the question my mother was asking in the 1970s, and that question continues to be relevant today. Again, I thank you for your interest in the Blockhouse past, present, and future.


Feral Cat Poem #77

we get no kick from Champagne
mere alcohol doesn’t lift us at all

but we get a kick out of you

Some folk they go for Coke
You, you go for broke

Every time you see us standing there
you give us the boot
and don’t give a hoot

yeh, man, we get a kick out of you


Deer Sterilization
    East Hampton
    September 29, 2014

Dear Editor:
    I am writing in response to your editorial from last week titled “Failure Predicted,” concerning the village’s decision to move forward with a deer sterilization program this winter.
    As you are aware, the village has spent years reviewing, researching, and discussing deer-management programs that would address the overpopulation that the East End of Long Island has been grappling with and is now taking steps to deal with. The decision to undertake a sterilization program was made after much review and consultation and the village feels it will address the issue at hand.
    At the outset, the editorial’s headline can be construed as incorrect. Communities that have undertaken deer sterilization programs have seen population declines between 10 percent and 30 percent in the first year. The village is committed to the sterilization program as a multiyear program. Further, sterilization is conducted while a lethal means is also occurring within the targeted community.
     Unfortunately, hunting alone cannot solve the current deer overpopulation problem. The programs must work in concert with each other. While some may view hunting as the most cost-effective means to address the deer population, and while reduced setbacks may prove to be more successful, it simply will not get the deer population to a manageable level.
    The village is actively working with White Buffalo to get the cost per deer down to the lowest possible level. And thanks to the help of many community members and the Village Preservation Society, our goal is to make this a successful public-private partnership, which can be beneficial to the entire village constituency.
    Finally, with regard to a regional approach to deer management, the village remains an active member of the town’s deer management committee and is committed to working with the town on other deer-management tools. In the case of sterilization, however, this tool is best managed and executed on a local level.
    The village will continue to work with residents, the town, and the hunting community to reach its goal of a safe and healthy environment for all to live here.

    Village of East Hampton

Cruelty to Animals
    East Hampton
    October 6, 2014

To the Editor:
    With more than 7 billion members of the human species now living on this very crowded planet, is it any wonder that many ignorant and unenlightened people seek to place blame for every mishap in nature upon the voiceless animals who inhabit this planet with us, and for the very things for which we are responsible and to blame. Unfettered breeding of the human species along with concomitant destruction of wildlife habitat, to make room for even more people, their cars, their cesspools, their McMansions, are bringing us to the point of no return — unless Mother Nature finally decides to seek justice for all. And perhaps one day soon she will.
    If you follow any of the many organizations and newsletters focusing on animal, wildlife, and environmental issues that are widely disseminated on the Internet, you will note that vicious and barbaric cruelty to animals has become a daily part of our way of life, and one to which the East Hampton Town and Village Boards have generously contributed over the years, by promoting and sanctioning the slaughter of innocent wildlife, in the name of maintaining archaic traditions, or even by using the sorry excuse of “managing” populations.
    Wildlife slaughtered with guns, bows, in cruel traps, by hunters, and/or hideously poisoned by out-of-control governmental agencies continue to make this a commonplace reality, an appalling nightmare for nature-loving citizens, and for children who instinctively love animals. Killing is promoted by bloodthirsty industries, groups, and agencies that live off and profit from slaughter (guns, gear, ammunition, permits, etc.) and is condoned by a dumbed-down, gun-crazy society that still views killing as a solution to problems, or, all too often, as an acceptable form of amusement or recreation! Taking the lives of innocent, sentient beings who have the capacity to suffer and feel pain is still, regrettably, an unevolved but accepted way of life and a knee-jerk reaction to problems, for those seeking easy, quick-fix solutions.
    This is the 21st century and we’re living in skyscrapers, not in caves! It’s long past time to finally take off the blinders, remove the earplugs, read, listen, and learn, so that we can become part of the inexorable future of growing voices demanding alternate solutions to killing, demanding justice for all and an end to the violence against voiceless, innocent beings who have as much right to their lives as we do to ours.
    No weekend slaughters! No dangerous bow-killing just yards from homes where children and pets play and families live! No more killing!
    Please note: The number of wild animals on earth dropped by half in just 40 years. Biodiversity is a crucial part of the systems that sustain life on earth — and the barometer of what we are doing to this planet, our only home. We urgently need bold global action in all sectors of society to build a more sustainable future,” according to the international director general of the World Wildlife Fund, Marco Lambertini.
    “There remains a group who are so persistently abused and marginalized that their suffering is ingrained in our everyday lives. If animals could talk, their chorus of cries would drown out every other noise in the world. We are all animals. We are all living, breathing beings who share the same Earth. We all feel pain and suffer when we are hurt or deprived of our lives, our families, our freedom; we all have the right to experience kindness, compassion and dignity.” — author unknown

    People for the End of
    Animal Cruelty and Exploitation

More Time With Tony
    East Hampton
    October 3, 2014

Dear Editor,
    On Aug. 22, we had to call 911 for Tony Mammano, who was having a medical emergency. We want to take this time to say thank you to the following: Lisa Charde for recognizing that Tony needed A.L.S. (advanced life support), Officer Joseph Izzo from the East Hampton Village Police Department, who was so very kind, the Springs Ambulance, East Hampton Village Ambulance, the paramedics, and all the A.M.T.s and E.M.T.s who responded.
    Your professionalism and knowledge gave us more time with Tony before he passed on, and that time was so very precious. Words cannot express our gratitude. We have the best first responders here in East Hampton and Springs.
    Thank you.


Efforts Are Appreciated
    October 6, 2014

Dear Mr. Rattray:
    We would be remiss if we didn’t give our thanks to this wonderful community for all of its support for the Hamptons Marathon and half-marathon, which took place on Sept. 27. The race was once again a huge success, and we need to make sure that all of our wonderful volunteers know how much their efforts are appreciated!
    The list would go on forever, but we want to make sure to applaud the efforts of the following: Girl Scout Troops 859 and 1768; Boy Scouts Troop 298; East Hampton Police Athletic League kids; Project Most’s amazing team of helpers; Southampton Hospital’s medical volunteers: doctors, residents, and nurses alike; Springs School parents, students, and staff for their unwavering support and help on race day (and the night before); the Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center volunteers, and last but definitely not least, a special thanks to the East Hampton Police Department, whose officers as always went above and beyond to ensure the safety of the runners, and we appreciate their efforts in more ways than we can say.
    On behalf of the runners, we also want to thank everyone in the community who came out to cheer them on. It makes running the 13.1 or 26.2 miles so much easier when you have people on the roads supporting your every step.
    We will be making our annual donations to Project Most, Southampton Hospital, and the Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center, along with smaller donations to a variety of local charities, in early November. We are so proud that we can support all of these wonderful organizations that mean so much to our communities.

    All the best,

Hamptons Marathon
    East Hampton
    October 2, 2014

Dear David:
    It was with some pride that I read of the success of this year’s Hamptons Marathon, having had a small part in its initiation. Diane Weinberger and Amanda Moszkowski have taken a germ of an athletic idea and built it with hard work, ability, and intelligence into a major yearly event that brings stature and benefit to our community.
    It was great to see the name Gubbins, our local royal family of running, in the winners’ circle.


Breast Cancer
    East Hampton
    October 2, 2014

Dear Editor,
    As the mother of a breast cancer survivor, I do not want to view breast cancer through the pink haze of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It seems more like “feel good about breast cancer month” than anything related to what my daughter, Jen, went through as someone with breast cancer. She was diagnosed in September 2000. The pain from her surgery, the sickness from the chemotherapy, and the psychological torment that she lives with even today are not snuffed out by the color pink. We are already painfully aware of breast cancer.
    We are aware that breast cancer exists, that every woman is at risk. But awareness masks the hard truths that cannot be made better with a pink ribbon, like the fact that people are still dying. In fact, in the U.S. alone breast cancer kills about 40,000 women and 450 men each year, and 522,000 women around the world. Awareness alone will never save the women and men we love from breast cancer. But prevention can.
    It is time to acknowledge the benefits we have achieved from awareness, and move forward with a new approach. The National Breast Cancer Coalition has set a deadline, “Breast Cancer Deadline 2020” to know how to end breast cancer by Jan. 1, 2020. They know that the only way we can truly end this disease is to make sure no one gets it in the first place.
    One of the actions the coalition is taking to know how to prevent breast cancer is working with researchers and patient advocates on the Artemis Project for a preventive breast cancer vaccine. Imagine a world where we do not have to worry about toxic treatments because no one needs to be treated. Another component to the Artemis Project is an initiative that examines metastasis, the process by which cancer spreads and becomes lethal.
    Think about it. No one gets breast cancer. No one dies of breast cancer. A vaccine, and knowing how to prevent the spread of breast cancer, would do the one thing awareness cannot, save the lives of the women and men we love.
    It is time to move from awareness to prevention. If much of the resources that are currently directed at breast cancer awareness were redistributed to prevention, imagine how much faster we could start saving lives. Until then, complacency will be the status quo in breast cancer. It’s time to stop advocating for the disease and instead advocate for the deadline. That deadline is Jan. 1, 2020.
    Buying pink gadgets for 31 days in October is not worth my time and effort. But a deadline for breast cancer that would spare future generations certainly is.

    National Breast Cancer Coalition

Were I to Govern
    October 1, 2014

Dear David,
    I will not ink the spot beside Andrew Cuomo’s name on Nov. 4. Mr. Astorino will not get my vote either. I might vote for myself.
    Were I to govern, PSEG-LI would become a solar and wind operation. Its current leadership would be assigned to pulling up floor tiles.
    Were I to govern, beaches would be replenished with clean sand, and driving upon them would be limited to fishermen (and women). I will walk.
    Were I to govern, any number of trucks could be on a property, as long as they are vintage, in mint condition, and available for parades.
    Were I to govern, I would revisit the ban on formula stores, knowing that breast milk is better.
    I would raise taxes on pools, landlords, and anyone who plants bamboo.
    I would prosecute those who do not signal, recycle, or get rid of bamboo.
    If I were to govern, my mother would call and ask, “Why?” and then add “Well, dear, you do have the clothes. . . .”

    All good things,

For Tim Bishop
    October 3, 2014

To the Editor:
    We the people of Long Island need to re-elect Tim Bishop.
    Tim has a proven record; he is a dedicated civil servant with experience, honesty, and faith who works diligently for all the people. Tim knows Long Island and knows the people and their problems.
    Lee Zeldin cannot even prepare an honest campaign ad in his own words against Tim. He used an old news story out of the toxic New York Post that was found to be untrue by the F.B.I. If he lies now, can his constituents trust him?
    Let’s not forget where Mr. Zeldin allowed a contractor to dump toxic waste. Maybe the F.B.I. should investigate this incident?
    Tim is an architect and knows how to build and develop jobs for Long Island. Tim cares about the same things we all care about: education, health, unemployment, Social Security, our beaches, coastline, forests, and most of all our families and seniors.
    On Nov. 4 please vote for Tim Bishop so we can all sleep better at night.


Learn From the Past
    East Hampton
    October 3, 2014

To the Editor:
    The process of our entanglement in war follows a script with almost no variations. Reagan, Clinton, Bush, Obama are separated by nuance, not substance. They all begin and end in the same place. A threat, real or perceived, much hyperbole, the arrival of our advisers, then the bombing, and finally, when there is no other option, boots on the ground. In the end, 5, 10, or 12 years later, we claim some kind of victory and get out, only to find that all our efforts usually come apart at the seams.
    History gets rewritten, but we seem to never learn from or acknowledge the past. We already know that Obama will cave and send in U.S. troops to stop the barbaric movement of ISIS. We know that the new democracies in the Middle East will stagger under the weight of the new political agendas. We know that Iraq might take another 50 years to work through its sectarian issues. And we know, as well as we know anything, that Saudi Arabia is the root of the religious-based chaos that we will do nothing about.
    The Saudis, our allies, our friends, intimates to the Bushes, the proponents of Salafism (a deranged historical version of Islam), are the creators and funders of ISIS, who believe that no other form of Islam is acceptable and willingly destroy religious and cultural artifacts that date back to 2,500 years B.C. More than 3,000 years before Islam existed and 4,700 years before Salafism reared its ugly head. Exaggerating Islam’s relevance in the region where thousands of years of other cultures dwarf its piddling achieve­ments. Not a trait uncommon to religious and political dementia.
    But the elitist Saudis, like elites everywhere, believe that the world exists to serve and bend over for them. Unshackled by faux democratic principles and bills of rights, they blatantly abuse and destroy, in the name of Islam, what they identify as nonbelievers. Islam, communism, capitalism, etc., repeats itself in a never-ending cycle and we never seem to fully understand the pattern.
    So, our Congress opts out of the problem. The Republicans go underground waiting for a chance to pounce on Obama, no matter what he does. Do we have a plan for our actions? A historical context to define, and some kind of timeline to measure our actions against? Do we have the intellect to learn from the debacle in Iraq?
    Can we use A.D.D. as an excuse again, so soon after Iraq?


The Best Laugh
    New York City
    October 2, 2014

Dear Editor,
    In this week’s New Yorker magazine, Andy Borowitz, the humorist, raconteur, and author, broke the “news” that President Obama and family are moving into a three-bedroom, 2,150-square-foot apartment in a doorman building in Manhattan.
    The apartment has a built-in washing machine and dryer and stainless-steel appliances, and is well secured by a doorman and concierge, who limit building entry to residents and guests.
    The White House has been put up for sale.
    That is the best laugh I’ve had since Ms. Derrico’s last letter to The Star.


Because of Erosion
    East Hampton
    October 2, 2014

Dear David,
    After reading the editorial on the fear of rising water levels in the Atlantic and the town board’s discussion with the Army Corps of Engineers on what to do in Montauk about erosion and importing sand, estimating 150,000 cubic yards would help, I recalled the book “The Geology of New York City and Environs” by Christopher Schuberth. The book includes Long Island in that description. This should be mandatory reading for anyone working to control erosion and preserve the Montauk village as is. This project will be no easy task.
    The actual rise of the Atlantic last century was just over one inch. Photographs and films of the late 19th century and beginning of the 20th century will show this. The quick sea-rise potential expired as the last great glaciers melted, bringing up the sea level by 300 feet at least. The land-based glaciers that permitted this as they melted are almost completely gone. Antarctica and Greenland are just not losing land-based ice, and that’s the only type of ice that will cause sea levels to rise. Greenland, some researchers say, is losing some land-based ice; others disagree. If you check the “Glacier Girl” story, you will find that the World War II-period P-38 soft-landed on the Greenland glacier with other aircraft in 1944. When recovered, the Glacier Girl was 268 feet down, and the team had to melt a tunnel down to the P-38, disassemble it in place, then hoist it up piece by piece — suggesting to me that there has been some increase in glacier volume.
    There have been only increases in land-based ice on the Antarctic continent, floating-shelf ice breaks from time to time. Floating ice and its melting will not cause a sea-level rise. So, in the year 2100, the sea levels will likely have stayed the same or possibly gone up another inch. No special reason to move back from the ocean as a result of melting glaciers.
    Long Island is a little different from the majority of ocean-fronting places. We have isostatic rebound. Simply, the last three glacial periods pushed the surface of the Earth covered by the glacier down, and the plastic-fluid mantle and core of the Earth is, now that the ice is gone, pushing it back up. The ’80s here on Long Island was likely a rebound earthquake, just as the Great Lakes earthquake some months back was. So Long Island is rising up just a little every year, maybe as much as an inch a century. We may get an inch-a-century sea rise, which may be offset by an inch-a-century rebound. Problem solved.
    Erosion is an entirely different matter and 150,000 cubic yards of sand will not help in the long term. A major hurricane would take that all away in less than a day. What can we do to make the cure be better than the illness? Compatible sand may be available from the Wisconsin sand dunes; the same glacier that left that sand left ours. It has the same quartz, which matches ours. It is expensive. Were I given a large enough budget, I’d take that sand by rail from Wisconsin to New Jersey, there load it onto trucks, and add it to the Montauk beaches, letting the set carry it along the oceanfront westward. The goal: to let nature restore the beaches from Montauk to Gravesend.
    That would cost not cubic yards of money but tens of cubic yards of money, something only the federal government could pay for. If not, then your advice to move back is valid — but because of erosion, not sea-level rise.
    For now, we need to add that 150,000 cubic yards, plan for another. Get petitions signed and sent to the state and the feds for the assistance that all of Long Island’s towns, cities, and counties need to help stabilize the South Shore.

    Yours truly,

The Tipping Point
    October 6, 2014

To the Editor:
    What have we learned after the climate march? Half of all nonhuman life, its wildlife, has been lost in the last 40 years!
    We indulge in the beauty and cosmology of the Higgs Boson particle, while countries antagonize each other and continue to build nuclear warheads. The cold war has been renewed, while the ice cap melts. Tens of thousands of walruses have just accumulated on the north slope of Alaska with nowhere to go. As individuals, we may have desires and inspirations, but what society and so-called civilization dictates is increasingly costing us the lifeline to existence.
    We cannot outsmart evolution, however hard we try. We cannot adapt to the mayhem of a deforested earth by becoming a new species, however hard we try to meld with the machine or find other planets to colonize. Bureaucrats, politicians, lawyers, educators, planners, scientists, and especially the businessmen, the financial sector, need to understand this now. Our species has reached the tipping point of what the earth will tolerate.
    As an Inuit elder once told Jean Malaurie when he was in the Arctic 60 years ago, “Earth will avenge herself. Already there are portents. Earth has had enough of man’s arrogance, greed, sophistry, and madness.” The Inuit, whom our son Lysander has visited twice in Greenland, know we are the people who change nature, as was prophesied a century ago. The time of purification, as the Hopi predicted, is upon us. How much purification will ensue depends on us. Nobody listens to the native people of the planet because they speak the language of the telluric realities, of the elemental forces, and they know we have sold the clouds. Metaphor is becoming mayhem.
    We can no longer act immorally toward the next generation, and we have five years to turn things around. The native elders that surround us here in New Mexico have a clairvoyance that the sorcerers of Wall Street do not possess. History, as it has operated in the 20th century, and the strictures of biology are now on a collision course! Decisions for all life must be based not on expediency and profiteering but on our relationship to the earth, its soil, and its countless other species, for they are our true and only real life-support system.
    The most paralyzing drought in California’s history challenges the ballast of the American empire. The tenure of our species and all life now depends on our ability to return to a measure of sanity and respect based on the biological parameters of Nature’s grace and ability to renew itself, and not on the dictates of our mechanical pride! The drought in California is symbolic of the entire empire. In the next decade, people could start to demand utter and complete change. How will 400 million people feed themselves? How will the planet?
    The carbon economy has to give way to an algae and solar and tidal and geo­thermic power economy. Perhaps able minds will be able to use the earth’s own orbit to power civilization as Tesla once envisioned. The undermining of earth as William Blake saw the “satanic mills” has had its day.
    The Hopi elders foresaw two world-shattering events, World War I and World War II, signified by two circles on their prophecy rock. The third world-shattering event is our separation from the organic and Nature. But it is a circle that has a slash through it. It is not a complete separation. Renewal is possible, but we have turn the ship around as if our lives depended on it!