Letters to the Editor: 08.20.15

Our readers' comments

Springs: Heart and Soul

East Hampton

August 3, 2015

Dear David,

I read with great dismay about Fran Silipo being removed as district clerk for the Springs Union Free School District. I worked closely with Fran all those years. Her professionalism and confidentiality were beyond reproach.

As superintendent, I could always rely on Fran to provide me with information confirming legal issues that we regularly faced as a district. Highly organized and meticulously detailed, Fran never missed a beat with special-education questions, voting clarifications, state education issues, or other demands. She was always one who could be trusted and counted on to provide forms, help with voter registration, answer questions, all with a helpful smile and will-do attitude. The board’s action moves Springs closer to a commonplace bureaucratic public school, and not the little gem on the East End that it has always been.

I met Margaret Thompson, former music teacher at Springs, a few months ago in Amagansett. She remarked how Springs had seemed to lose its heart due to resignations and retirements. Now it has lost its soul with Fran’s removal as district clerk.




Springs U.F.S.D., 2002-2009

An Awesome Night

East Hampton

August 14, 2015

Dear Mr. Rattray,

I just have to tell you and your readers what an awesome night last Saturday was! The organization of the East Hampton Library staff and volunteers was brilliant.

Hats off to everyone.

Thank you to the 100 authors and all great library staff!


Estia’s 25th Anniversary

East Hampton

August 5, 2015

Dear Editor,

Wednesday morning’s sunrise at Old Beach Lane was magnificent, I can’t describe the feelings I have as I sit here and think about the journey that got me to this place. Upon arrival in East Hampton I was at a fork in the road. This community has often reminded me how lucky I am having taken the right turn.

We signed a lease with Dell Cullum in February of 1991. The small storefront on Amagansett’s piece of 27 East was called Estia back then. I was determined to set up a restaurant in what was a coffee shop; the next day Jessica and I got started. Without the help of people like Marie Miller, Linda Palmer, and John Papas that determination would have been short-lived. A few days later a tall man with a big smile walked through the door. He introduced himself as Terry the health inspector, another key player in our 25-year marathon in the restaurant world on the East End.

It wasn’t long before I met the crowd — George Schulte, Donovan Fitzpatrick, Michael Henkel, and so many others —  who referred to themselves as the counterculture starting their mornings with me at the eight-stool counter at 177 Main in Amagansett. Without them I wouldn’t be serving the community today. Then came the artists, John Alexander, George (G.E.) Smith, Dan Rizzie, Alec Baldwin, Bill King, and so many others. All making introductions and soft suggestions about things that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. Case in point, the night when my video projector cut out in the middle of the feature film by Taylor Barton, during our Pasta Shorts event in ’92. After apologizing to the crowd, G.E. took me aside, smiled, and said, “It’s going to be okay. If it was perfect, it wouldn’t be in Amagansett.”

Over the years I’ve learned to cook, thanks to my friends and Basil Brothers Dennis MacNeil, Gerry Hayden, and Charlie Palmer. I’ve learned to take food from seed to plate under the watchful eye of a master, Scott Chaskey, and I’ve learned to take opportunity as it comes. In the winter of ’96, when a new sales rep for the Sagg Pond vineyard (now Wolffer Estate Vineyard), Gayle Hann, introduced me to the iconic chef Michael Romano, I was pleased to have him in for breakfast. When he asked me if I could take the next three-week shift on his pasta station at Union Square, I was thrilled. I did it, not always as well as others but in the end it was one of those things that has made me the competent chef I am today.

I’ve also learned to look to this community for help. That happened early on. In the first summer, on a hot, crowded Saturday night, my newest hire, Long Suciu, came up from the basement with terror in his eyes. The electrical panel had just blown up and was in flames. The fire department was called, and in three minutes I was surrounded by my neighbors Joe LaCarrubba, Michael Cinque, John Alexander, and, to my great comfort, Terry O’Riordan, the health inspector. Where else in the world does a new guy like me find himself in a jam and get such highly regarded help in a moment’s notice? To say I’m grateful for my choice to serve this community is an understatement.

With 25 years under my belt as a chef, waiter, bartender, dishwasher, gardener, owner of Estia operations, the most important group that I can thank is the long list of people who have walked into my kitchens, served coffee and Long Island wine, cleaned the bathrooms, and showed up on a moment’s notice to cover anther’s shift. I can immediately think of Virgil Suciu, Long’s dad, and all of his family. The Matlick family, who all worked for me. For those who visit us in Sag Harbor you might know our amazing team Julia, Pamela, Cesar, Irwing, Matilda, Raul, Tomasa, Maria, and Juana. All working hard, smiling through challenges, and showing up on time to work long hours, following literally hundreds of others who have served breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Estia’s dining rooms. Then there’s the kitchen crew: Ruben Bravo, Mike Ruggerio, Laura Donnelly, Chris Polidoro, Jeff Winters, Bam bam, and so many others. They’ve all helped me to start and finish every season, then walk through the winter quietly serving the community that supports us year after year.

A few things I’ve learned over the years from world-class examples:

“Use the best ingredients and don’t do too much to them.” — Charlie Palmer

“Build soil and don’t overwork it.”—

  Scott Chaskey“Grow old with good friends.”—           Michael Cinque“Push yourself a little harder and believe that you can achieve your dreams.”

— Laurie ColeI could go on for a long time, but time doesn’t allow. This is a special day. The Little Kitchen is closed to celebrate Estia’s 25th anniversary (under my watch) with a fiesta by taking a siesta. The staff in Sag Harbor deserves a day off. Expressing thanks to all who have helped me in my journey with Estia, especially my bride, Jessica, who had no idea what she was getting into when she agreed to sign the lease in Amagansett alongside my name. She’s shared a life beyond my wildest dreams, and made the best dreams come true by standing at my side in February and March, then running after me in June, followed by sitting on the beach and waiting for me to come home in July and August. The three children we share, Lyman, Mansell, and Whittier, are priceless, again thanks to her and all who have worked at my side in the restaurants and in our homes. My daughters have learned to take time, plant a seed, let it grow, and then at harvest time celebrate the effort. My Estia’s family has made a difference in all of our lives.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me at Estia’s. This community is my home, and for that I’ll always be grateful.


All Is Grand

Outside Northwest Harbor into Gardiner’s Bay

Motorboat cruises on a bluebird day.

At Three Mile Harbor, Sammy’s Beach side,

Throttle back engine drifting in with the tide.

Pitching an anchor, at this picturesque scene

July thirty-one, twenty-fifteen.

Seafood dinner at the Bistro, back to Gardiner’s Bay by seven

Sunny waters glisten beneath a tranquil blue heaven.

Throttle up motor, watch it churn

Foam sprays up evenly beyond the stern.

Rounding Cedar Point Light, we idle for a look

A blue moon climbing, we drop a hook.

Our bow points east, stern points west,

The seascape surrounding us is one of the best.

A picture-perfect vista, so uniquely inviting,

A rosy sun falling to a full moon rising.

Weighing in anchor, a soft night clear.

Our speedboat brings us to the Sag Harbor pier.

An iridescent canopy shimmering in color

Underneath the bridge, we pass another.

High up on her bow, our eldest son stands

With his girlfriend there, all is grand.

Turn around again, to from where we began

Lunar lights beckoning from sea and land.

By Cedar Point Park

We view mark.

Near houses all lit,

We bear south a bit.

At Mile Hill Road, where this journey had begun

We stow away our tender. Our day is done.


Eat Out or Bring In

East Hampton

August 16, 2015

Dear Editor,

Having recently been rebuffed by some of the people whom I intended to compliment in a letter to the editor, and even though their negativity was errant and laughable, in order to fulfill my compelling need to write about something, I turn to a topic of great interest probably only to me, the Hamptons summer restaurants, their prices, quality, and attendance.

Since the food preparer in my household declared our kitchen a no-cook zone and turned the oven and stove into planters, and, to make the matter more complicated, added a personal avoidance of meat, we have been forced to follow the eat-out-or-bring-in regimen every night, except when my urge to open the grill prevails.

We do like some of Citarella’s prepared foods, especially their soups, and Hampton Market will more than suffice for  fresh salads, but having to face the dinner crowds on weekends and rush to get to Bostwick’s Sea Food on Pantigo, Indian Wells in Amagansett, or Dockside in Sag Harbor — a few of our easy drop-ins — becomes boring and annoying.

With the balance of the restaurants in the drivable area all having menus that could be carbon copies and their prices like those in the Palm, seemingly all set to cover and make up for the months after Labor Day and before July 4, they are not usually in our quest unless we make reservations.

We did, however, violate the No Thursday through Saturday dine-out rule last week, and we were met by the usual crowded entrances and the tart, take-no-prisoners attitude of the owner of Dockside, both leaving us with no chance. What followed was a joint “not again” for Indian Wells, and so we drove into Bridgehampton to the newly re-opened World Pie, where that restaurant was, surprisingly, half-empty on a Thursday night at 7.

Result? World Pie has been renamed Third-World Pie, and yet still pricey, but now we understand why it was half-empty.

Just to show my equanimity of review, we did eat at Serafina on North Main Street, and found it to be very good, with attentive service and normal Hamptons pricing.

Right now there is still Sam’s in the wings, or Cittanuova, and I am  perfecting my grilling skills.


Get Me a Rugelach

East Hampton

August 17, 2015

To the Editor:

Eli, come home!

What did the Peconic Land Trust do?

The Zabar’s-light of the past six years was low-key, fresh, varied, and a nice place to sit on the lawn, read the paper, and have breakfast or lunch. It wasn’t broke, why did they try to fix it?

I visited the new Amagansett Market today, and it was post-apocalyptic. Eerily quiet, mostly empty shelves, and really depressing. There are locally made canned or packaged items, but “no cooked or prepared food,” as one of the employees told me. The Peconic Land Trust apparently is not allowing prepared food to be sold.

This quaint location is now an indoor farm stand (tables still remain, but as a taunt), predestined to fail as there are so many outdoor stands that we already frequent and enjoy. Get me a rugelach and coffee and maybe I will forget today’s visit.


Click to read astory on the new Amagansett Farmers Market that appears in this issue on page 1, section C. Ed.

Delayed Response


August 17, 2015

To the Editor,

In reference to a statement by Mike Mirras, a Montauk firefighter, in last week’s Star concerning the delayed response of a recent ambulance call due to Edgemere Street traffic and pedestrian congestion in Montauk:

The particular ambulance call was in response to the alarm for help for a 1-year-old baby.

Those of us who have served as firefighters are trained to make rapid but safe responses to all alarms for fires and emergencies. As fire increases exponentially, every minute of delay in arrival at the scene is cause to the dramatic increase in volume, expansion, and intensity of fire.

It is reckless to assume that we in Montauk can continue to dodge the bullet, when in fact it is common knowledge that delays are incurred by Montauk fire apparatus proceeding south on Edgemere.

One minute may seem trivial to some, but as a mother helplessly watches her baby’s lips turning blue, that minute is eternity to her as she helplessly waits for medical assistance from trained Montauk emergency medical technicians, ambulance drivers, and firefighters.

Our town leaders are not immune from egregious negligence and need to move expeditiously to resolve this matter. Assuredly, if there is a major fire, with apparatus delayed, there is a strong likelihood that injuries will be incurred by firefighters and civilians alike. The phrase “What did you know and when did you know it?” will certainly be applied in the subsequent negligence action against the town.

Montauk firefighters are superior and dedicated individuals, trained to extinguish fires and rescue people. They need the town to resolve the unnecessary delay responses of these gallant organizations that protect us all.

Respectfully yours,


Lieutenant (Retired)

New York City Fire Department

Prisoners in Our Homes


August 15, 2015

Dear Editor:

We have real problems here in Montauk this summer. My grandchildren come to spend time with us and usually bring their bikes, skateboards, and boogie boards. Due to the no-care atmosphere out here this summer, I have had to tell them leave the wheels home. It is too dangerous for a car driver, let alone preteens and teens on bikes. I was pulling out of a space just yesterday and two women on bikes came from nowhere and one passed on my left and one on my right, and I was already moving. I don’t even want to touch the taxicab issue!

While reading last week’s Star, I noted that Town Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc and Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez seem to think 7-Eleven is mostly to blame for the beach drinking — “pre-gaming” — as noted. Almost looks like to blame 7-Eleven, attention is taken away from personal responsibility, or could it be that a 7-Eleven is not wanted in Amagansett?

I was among the hundreds at the meeting in the firehouse last month where so many citizens of Montauk addressed the board; you were all polite and smiled nicely. So here it is the middle of August, and we in Montauk are like prisoners in our own homes.

I don’t know what the Democratic agenda is; let’s hope we see a change come November and perhaps next summer we will welcome visitors who come with families. Those who do not obey the laws with the overcrowding of houses, traffic violations, public urination, serving drunk individuals, etc., should be dealt with and pay a hefty fine. We do not need more laws. Enforce those already on the books and stop wasting taxpayer money on nonsense and perhaps hire more police to enforce current laws.

Why is it every time lawlessness is carried out by bad people, stupid people start taking away the rights of good people?



To Control the Chaos

East Hampton

August 17, 2015

Dear David,

Thank you for your comments in last week’s editorial page regarding the town government’s efforts to bring order and safety within and on the streets of Montauk adjacent to the establishments known as Surf Lodge and Sloppy Tuna.

Restricting parking on Edgemere Street and reducing the occupancy restrictions at Sloppy Tuna are the latest in a series of actions taken by the town board and Supervisor Larry Cantwell to control the chaos of which you speak. Examples of these efforts by the town include the following:

• Obtained a restraining order against the Harbor bar, also in Montauk, to prevent overcrowding.

• Considering a rental registry as a way to control over-occupancy of rental houses and overcome short-term occupancy that has mushroomed because of Airbnb.

• Creating an online compliant system that allows citizens to file a complaint without having to go to Town Hall and which makes the complaint available to code enforcement officers immediately.

• Actively prosecuting Cyril’s.

• Greatly increasing enforcement proceedings, to 1,076 in the first half of 2015 from about 600 a year earlier.

• Passing a law prohibiting motels from opening bars and restaurants (opposed by Margaret Turner, a Republican candidate for town board).

• Restricting helicopter traffic at the airport.

• Increasing police staffing in Montauk.

• Prohibiting drinking on Indian Wells Beach.

Most of these actions were taken or were in the process of being taken before the meeting at the Montauk Firehouse. At that meeting people came together and agreed to work in a bipartisan way to deal with what all agreed is a serious problem.


Must Take Responsibility

East Hampton

August 17, 2015

Dear Mr. Rattray,

As an East Hampton resident and candidate for the East Hampton Town Board, I am concerned as are many others about the nighttime “club scene” in beautiful Montauk. So on Saturday night after a lovely late dinner at the Surfside Inn with friends, we all set out to tour downtown Montauk to get a first-hand account of the situation.

 From about 11:30 p.m. until a little before 2 a.m., we looped around Montauk, driving to the various hot spots including Ruschmeyer’s, Solé East, Surf Lodge, Sloppy Tuna, the Point, Navy Beach, and others. Where we were able, we got out of the car to check out the scene up close and inside. One manager stated that they were closing at midnight because he did not want to disturb his surrounding neighbors. A number of clubs had long lines of people waiting to get in and appeared to have security at the entrances.

There was a strong police presence in the downtown area. Several police officers were stationed outside a particular club and their interaction with the young clubgoers was courteous and professional. Speaking with the officers they noted that the chaos really starts when the clubs close and patrons look for taxis to get them home. We were told that many of the taxis don’t want to leave Montauk and charge outrageous fares to do so, a problem for one wanting to get back to East Hampton or elsewhere.

We noticed a preponderance of taxis throughout our tour. While taxis are critical for keeping those drinking from driving, sadly, not all followed the traffic rules. There was quite a bit of double-parking, discharging of passengers in the road, improper U-turns, and an overall cavalier attitude toward speeding laws. At one club, the line of taxis briefly blocked the road, stopping traffic, and if an emergency vehicle needed to get through, it would have been a problem. The taxi issue needs to be resolved.

Montauk is a resort community and people come from all over to enjoy its natural beauty and have fun. It is a community of homeowners and many thriving small businesses that bring much-needed services to its residents. Many are owners who live here and are good neighbors. But, where those businesses and their clientele become a nuisance — and worse — to a community, they must take responsibility to ensure how they make their living does not destroy the fabric of the community. Visitors to our town also bear an obligation to abide by our laws and conduct themselves in a responsible manner.

We need to learn from the problems of the last few summers and develop a comprehensive plan for how the town will deal with the large influx of our summer visitors. We need to start the planning now, identify the problems, evaluate what worked and what did not work, how procedures can be improved, staffing needs, and timing for proper training. Residents and businesses should be included in the discussions.

Let’s be proactive, not reactive, so we are ready for next season.



Candidate for

East Hampton Town Board

Do Something!

East Hampton

August 14, 2015

To the Editor:

1. Cars leaving parking lot (next to Waldbaum’s) must exit onto Newtown Lane when the village is crowded. How stupid to make all cars turn right. This causes more traffic in the heart of the village. This prevents hundreds of people who live in Northwest Woods from a direct route home. Allow left turns!

2. Landscapers are paid to make houses look neat, clean, and manicured, but ruin the shoulders on every road! How stupid to park on shoulders and ruin the grass, the brush, the edges of the road. Make them park in the customer’s driveway!

3. Signs for the film festival (October) are all over. Too many, too early, looks like litter. The town and the village should remove them. Isn’t there an ordinance on the books with a time limit for how far in advance of an event one can place signs, or how many signs, or for how long? Enforce this!

Do something!


Amplified Music

East Hampton

August 15, 2015

Dear David,

Several weeks ago you asked readers about pet peeves and to write in. I will tell you about mine and how I deal with it.

My pet peeve is amplified music. I despise its invasive characteristics, and I don’t care if it’s commercial or private.

There is no way it’s acceptable at any level, whether it’s a nightclub or restaurant with some makeshift band screaming out the lyrics to “My Wife Stole My Checkbook” or some jackass in his backyard playing some heavy-metal rock. We the people should not have to endure this invasive behavior or the invasion of our privacy.

I know we have codes to protect us but they don’t go as far to eliminate the intrusion. So, as a professional gadfly, I have come up with my own “anti-amplified music” countermeasure. It worked rather well for me in my neighborhood. Of late we had a few houses change hands and one ended up a party house (more than four unrelated adults), and amplified music came to Breeze Hill Road. After my complaints were labeled borderline, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

My countermeasure is a very nice semi-portable 1964 Kohler 10-horsepower, single-cylinder generator. Runs great. I cut off the stock exhaust and built a custom exhaust that swivels so I can actually aim the exhaust noise where I want it to go. It is also fitted with a custom trumpet-type tailpipe, which makes it very effective as far as reverberating and amplifying the exhaust noise.

I was foaming at the mouth for my first countermeasure. Sure enough, a Saturday came around and the boom, boom, boom started up and out came the Kohler. It took about 15 minutes for the noisemakers to figure it out. As I watched them looking around the yard, pointing toward the sky and holding their hands over their ears, I broke down with laughter. This went on only two or three times and bingo, no more amplified music. Just barely, which is okay with me.

I believe it was Newton who said that for every action, there is an equal and oppose reaction. This is mine. So for all you people suffering from noise, light, or an excessive anything, develop your own line of defense.

Yours to command,


Two Concerns

East Hampton

August 17, 2015

To the Editor:

Two concerns.

1. Rental registry, Big Brother watching. Do we really want local government involved in our private rental agreements?

2. Going postal, East Hampton. Will someone please hire more people at the East Hampton Post Office? Great employees trying to process needs, but they certainly do not have enough help.


Without Limitations

East Hampton

August 17, 2015

To the Editor:

Kudos and thanks to Richard Mothes Jr. for championing Sammy’s Beach last week when it was invaded by rowdy, noisy, partygoers. However, the statement credited to Chief Harbormaster Ed Michels in the editor’s note attached to the Mothes letter cries out for clarification.

According to the note, Chief Michels supported the apparent failure of his Marine Patrol to shut down the all-night party by explaining that “had the party had a permit [required for 50 or more people], the amplified music would have been illegal; under the current town code, gatherings without permits can have amplified music.”

Is Chief Michels saying that when 49 people gather on a beach or at your next-door neighbor’s house, they are not required to obtain a town mass-gathering permit and can play amplified music without limitation to volume and/or duration? If so, how can that be?  

Please, Chief Michels, provide us with further explanation.


Common Ground

East Hampton

August 15, 2015

Dear David,

For some time the East Hampton Town Trustees have been working very hard to make sure they are perceived as an independent board, so hard that sometimes the responsibilities the public expects from them are overlooked.

One of the great responsibilities of the town trustees is to monitor and maintain the bottomlands of our harbors and ponds. Often the inlets to the harbors gather sand deposits through tide changes and storms, making them shallow and difficult for boats to navigate. Smaller channels sometimes close completely, choking off the harbors from the clean saltwater needed to flush them clean and allow sealife to move in and out.

To keep these inlets open demands occasional removal of these sand deposits, a process known as dredging. To complete these projects requires a number of environmental surveys and permits. One of the permits required, however, is from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Our current town trustees refuse to recognize the existence of the D.E.C. and feel that they are not required to apply for the New York State permits.

So how does one proceed without these documents? In the past, the town board would sometimes agree to apply for these permits in its name. (In fact, the town is doing that very thing to get a permit for dredging Georgica Pond right now!) This is not so difficult to arrange as long as the trustees are getting along with the town board. There have been times when the trustees are at odds with the board over some issues, leaving the town with no desire to do the favor of applying for the documents. The result is a waiting game. In the meantime, the harbors and inlets continue to deteriorate.

The simple answer to this problem is for the trustees to accept that the D.E.C. exists and apply for extended permits themselves so a true maintenance program can be established.

Many people don’t realize that the town trustees have no legal ability to create or enforce laws for the lands they hold. They must depend on the town board to do this for them. From time to time we see the town board create laws affecting property under trustee jurisdiction, usually involving public safety. The trustees sometimes claim to not be aware of these changes, and a public argument ensues, resulting in embarrassment for both sides. Both boards need to know what the other is considering when it involves trustee holdings. Why is there no liaison on the trustee board to the town board?

Either a town councilperson or staff member should be there, and vice versa. This is a simple solution that will get things done in a timely and civil manner. These are a small number of examples that illustrate how the lack of cooperation with others only serves to erode the relevance of this unique board. Negotiating on common ground is the key to strength.



Mr. Bock is a former East Hampton Town Trustees clerk and a candidate for trustee on the Democratic, Independence, and Working Family Party lines. Ed.

Bullyish Tactics

East Hampton

August 14, 2015

Dear David,

I am so angry about the town trustee behavior at the Aug, 11 meeting that I do not know where to start. Their present problem is the location of garbage cans on the village beaches.

The village fathers, led by Mayor Rickenbach, have been taking care of the village in fine style for many long years. They have received awards for their beaches, not to mention their village and the wonderful ways in which they host tens of thousands of visitors every summer — and the needs of year-round residents: providing upstanding ambulance care, and the honorable members’ leadership and bravery of the East Hampton Fire Department, and Highway Department work in evidence all over the village. I am so angry at the bullyish tactics of our trustees.

That said, I am embarrassed that Deputy Mayor Barbara Borsack and Village Trustee Rick Lawler stood for a long time at an easel and were berated at length by the town trustees regarding how they handle their village garbage can situation.

What ever happened to the town trustee days when there was an oval table that seated all in attendance around it and the conversation was a work session, not a dictatorship, and situations were worked out between the entire board and applicants?

Just because the town trustees have been around for over 300 years does not mean that they can act like barbarians. I have not been so angry in a long time.

My apologies, please, go out to Barbara Borsack and Rick Lawler and any other village trustees who have crossed the path of these town trustees. Village fathers run a tight ship, a proper system, and have always been above standards. I, who have nothing to do with these actions, regret what they went through at the hands of government, and also to citizens who are regularly treated with words like “shut up” and “sit down” by this town trustee board.



Running for Trustee in 2015

Their Way or Highway


August 16, 2015

Dear David,

I was present at two trustee meetings when East Hampton Village administrators came to personally respond to two complaining trustee letters discussing overflowing trashcans on the village beaches. This last time (Aug. 11) the village’s deputy mayor, Barbara Borsack, and a village board member, Richard Lawler, came in person to try to resolve the issue. Last time it was Rebecca Molinaro, village administrator, and Ed McDonald, manager of Main Beach for 42 years.

Both groups were polite and civil to the trustees. In return they were treated to conversations that did not allow for any exploration of a reasonable answer to the situation of having garbage cans on the village beaches and removing them to road ends every night. So the trustee dispute with the village goes on without a solution. It now has become a pissing contest by the trustees for control, as it usually is.

Civility, when there are issues, reflects who you are. (Remember Wilkinson and Quigley.) The current trustees have little interest in an honest or productive discussion that would end in a solution. It’s their way or the highway!

Instead of sending offensive letters, why did they not meet with the village administrators and discuss alternatives for the beach garbage? New York City has solved its problem by placing solar and recycling cans on the street. (Some even have Wi-Fi in them, for additional hotspots for personal devices, while on the streets for garbage and recycling purposes.) These cans work in all kinds of weather and might be perfect on the beach or high-traffic areas.

We know how much garbage the city accumulates. If they can do it in the city and solve some of the garbage problems, we need a new, reasonable trustee board to bring civility and solutions back to East Hampton Town.



The writer is a candidate for East Hampton Town Trustee in November’s election. Ed.

Important Concerns

East Hampton

August 15, 2015

Dear Editor,

Many thoughts come to mind as I begin this letter. So let me start by saying that only a little over two months ago, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined myself writing a letter to the newspaper introducing myself as an Independence Party member running on the Republican ticket as a candidate for town board.

Many people have asked me why. I’ve never been interested in being involved in politics, or becoming a politician, for that matter. What does interest and concern me is our community. I’ve spent well over 25 years volunteering for various organizations here in our town. We live in a very beautiful and unique area and need to preserve what we have, while dealing with the changes. We need foresight. I am disheartened with many of the things that have happened here over the years. In particular, I am diligently concerned with Montauk. I grew up in Montauk and graduated from Montauk Public School and East Hampton High School. I’ve only been away from the area while attending college. The drastic changes that have occurred in Montauk hit home to me for obvious reasons.

This past June I was approached by the Republican Committee and asked to screen with the party. During the conversation, I stated that if in fact I do decide to get involved and do get elected, one of my very first priorities would be to try and get the situation in Montauk under control. I said this prior to the July town board meeting that was taken over by the Montauk residents. Things have been on a steady decline for quite a number of years. Those of us who are parents to young adults in their 20s are all too familiar with the uneasiness that occurs when Montauk is mentioned in their social plans.

It is disappointing to me that it took a meeting such as the one in July for the town board to finally take things seriously. Their untimeliness resulted in a disastrous media frenzy, and thus, repercussions. All of the negative attention is attracting even more of the clientele Montauk does not need and less of those they do need.

Just as the problems in Montauk have been ignored, so has another serious issue involving the townwide taxicab companies. Either the town board has no idea what is going on or they are looking the other way. How are these companies getting away with charging the outrageous fares that they do?

On July 11 of this year, a Saturday, my niece and a friend called numerous cab companies for a ride from Main Street, Amagansett, to Head of the Harbor. It’s approximately a six-minute drive. Every company gave her the same price —$150. She had no choice but to pay.

This is not an isolated incident; it’s happening all of the time and has been allowed to happen by the town board for years. There are a series of other issues dealing with cab companies as well.

Does anyone know that they can and do refuse rides to passengers if the passenger happens to be alone? That they can refuse a ride to a passenger who needs to go from Montauk to somewhere out of town? It is mayhem right now. Fights over fares, erratic driving, accidents, price-gouging. All of these issues are being ignored, but to make matters worse the board has actually helped them to continue all of this by making it extremely difficult for Uber to operate in town.

A law was created requiring Uber partners to have a physical office location. Uber pulled the app and now it no longer exists for us in this area. This also took jobs away from locals who may have wanted to start their own business and work with them.

As a business owner myself, I would very much appreciate it if the town would create a law that would require my out-of-town competitors to do the same. In fact, why not do it for all of us — caterers, valet parkers, plumbers, etc.? This would certainly eliminate our traffic problems!

While Uber drivers must follow laws created by the town board, local companies do not. For example, per section 226-3 and 226-5 of the town code, business owners and individual drivers must be fingerprinted in order to obtain a permit to drive in town. The law also says that it may be waived at their discretion. I understand that maybe there could be a few, but when information was requested for the number of drivers receiving background checks, the answer from Town Hall was “zero results” (no one has been fingerprinted, no background checks for anyone, contrary to what the law requires).

 Uber would have been healthy competition. A passenger can see what his or her fare will be prior to securing the ride, and how the driver is rated by previous passengers. If Uber were to start here again, I would like to see the handful of decent cab drivers that I know partner with them and start their own business. It’s a disgrace to see a few good drivers’ reputations spoiled by the majority.

There are other equally important concerns that are facing our town. It is the town board’s responsibility to look out for our safety, health, and welfare. If I am elected, I will listen to you, the voter, and do what’s best for our community as a whole. I will return phone calls and emails; personal communication is one of my priorities. I want voters to feel like they can depend on me as a fellow member of the community who has the ability to make a change and takes each of their concerns seriously. I will make sure that all of our voices are heard. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please email me: lisa@lisamulhernlarsen.com.

I am running in a primary in September to get the endorsement of my party. The local Independence Party had made its endorsement prior to my nomination in June. If you are an Independence Party member, please come out and vote for me on Thursday, Sept. 10. For more information about me, please visit my website: lisamulhernlarsen.com


A Tool With Teeth


August 17, 2015

Dear David,

Last week I read about two or is it three houses in East Hampton Town that were “housing” camp counselors for a local camp. In one single-family residence on Ocean Boulevard there were 25 kid counselors. This house had been altered without the required building permits or inspections, making it a dangerous place to live, and a dangerous place to live next to. Imagine the overload on the septic system, what might happen if a fire occurred, blocked windows and exits, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors lacking, illegal basement bedrooms without windows — if there ever was an advertisement for the need for a rental registry, this is it.

What with the Montauk rental mess, the recent disclosure of two buildings being built in Springs on Manor Lane and Cedar Ridge with eight bedrooms, “by investors,” for the Ross School, which the Ross School says are not dormitories, makes one ponder what in God’s name is happening to our residential neighborhoods where our homes are our castles and where we have worked 30 years, or are still working to be able to buy and maintain. What is going on?

The camp counselors conundrum is the latest manifestation of slum landlording, and, yes, just outright greed. It is time for the Town of East Hampton to take the subject of overcrowding seriously. In Springs we have a plethora of slum landlords, with overcrowding and blight affecting our neighborhoods, school system, and social services. What’s next?

A rental registry would ensure that houses rented in all of East Hampton Town are in compliance with EastHampton Town Code. It would substantially fine those who insist on overcrowding single-family residences, be they tenants or landlords. It would protect the landlord, as well as the tenant and the neighborhood, from septic pollution and other would-be catastrophes.

For those who say rental registries are failures, that is just misinformation. Educate yourself. Speak to enforcement officials or town officials in Southampton, Riverhead, Huntington, Greenport, Brook­haven, Islip, Babylon, and South­old. They are enforcing their code and pleased with their rental registries. The misinformation and downright screaming by some is not helpful and in some cases downright malicious. Methinks they doth protest too much.

For those who say the laws are already on the books and all we need are more boots on the ground, these tired standard retorts are just ignorant, or, worse, dogmatic. That is their answer to everything and a recipe to do nothing.

The only way ordinance officials could enter the camp counselors’ casa to cite the many violations was by search warrant. A search warrant requires an issuance from a judge, a fire marshal or other town officials on hand, and a cop at the site to serve it. This takes time and costs money. No one likes to go to the expense of getting a search warrant. It is very rarely done in East Hampton Town because it is expensive. With a rental registry, ordinance officers can evaluate each individual situation and enter a suspected overcrowded home if there is evidence of overcrowding.

A rental registry would greatly help the ordinance enforcement department to enforce current law. It is a tool with teeth that can and will stop a lot of the illegal renting.

We all know it is going on. The proposed rental registry is not perfect, but it is valuable in protecting all of us from unsafe and illegal renters. The rental registry denies no one from renting lawfully. Why all the fear, shouting, exaggeration, misinformation, and bombast?

Soon we shall see the final draft of the rental registry that the town board has been working on. It is a worthy instrument, thoughtfully constructed, and it is worth your while to peruse and understand it.

I have heard from real estate brokers that this concept is untenable and just another hoop to jump through; that hoop is the Building Department. If this is so, please contact the town board and tell them of your concern. They are listening.

And to those who say this is not necessary and all we need are more boots on the ground, please go and speak to some other East End towns. We have, and we have learned they are quite positive about their rental registries. They will tell you it is necessary, it is not perfect, but it defines what is illegal and holds either tenants or landlords responsible and accountable. It enables ordinance enforcement to enforce. That is what we want our code enforcement department to do. We want code enforcement to enforce the law.


Unsafe at Any Speed

East Hampton

August 14, 2015

Dear David:

While driving my scooter home from the beach on Aug. 12, I hit a crater-size pothole on West Drive off Springs-Fireplace Road. I lost control, fell, and sustained, luckily, only minor injuries. But I could’ve been seriously injured if I weren’t driving slowly. I’m familiar with the existence of these potholes on this street, but this time the light and shadows obscured them.

These six or seven potholes have been there for years. I called the East Hampton Highway Department and they advised that the street isn’t under their purview; it’s maintained, they say, by the “neighborhood.” They couldn’t tell me who I could speak with.

There ought to be a town, county, or state law (enforced) requiring it to be maintained by someone accountable. It is a public road and it is unsafe at any speed. Because the street has been like this for as long as I can remember, I suspect it’s deliberately unmaintained to discourage traffic, but that’s just rank speculation.



How’s the Family?


August 14, 2015

Dear David,

If asked, I would advise the former police chief of East Hampton not to accept a position in support of a local nightspot, i.e., Sloppy Tuna. I don’t think it reflects well on the East Hampton Town Police Department to have their former boss advocating for a raucous watering hole named after the negligent hygiene of a busy prostitute. I really don’t.

I did hear from a fly on the wall at a meeting between this former police official and our current police chief. (East Hampton is being sued by the former’s current employer.)

Current: Nice watch!

Former: Dialed to the bank.

Current: Ethics?

Former: Come again?

Current: Ethics?

Former: Oh, it’s better, thanks.

Current: How’s the family?

Former: Expensive.

All good things,


Water Protection

East Hampton

August 17, 2015

Dear David,

The community preservation fund has successfully preserved open space that would otherwise have been lost to development. The proposed extension of the program will generate sufficient funds to meet other important environmental needs, such as the protection of water quality. The recent algae bloom in Georgica Pond underscores the need for serious research leading to programs that will prevent and remediate water quality degradation.

As regards groundwater protection, there is a need to educate the public about danger of the use of toxic chemicals on our lawns and gardens. Too many people use these products without realizing that they seep through the ground into the aquifer, our sole source of drinking water. A major educational initiative in which the public is made aware of the health impacts of exposure to these toxins, as well as organic alternatives, is badly needed and long overdue. C.P.F. money will be well spent protecting all of our water resources. Failing to do so would be a great disservice to our community.


The Principi Property

East Hampton

August 17, 2015

Dear Mr. Rattray,

Someday the East Hampton Town Democratic Party will have an idea, at least one, that will address how to keep Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota from flooding a Demo­cratic administration with subpoenas targeting their actions regarding the community preservation fund. Today is not that day (paraphrase of Mr. MacMillan’s letter of Aug. 6).

In the beautiful month of April, as the 2015 local election season began, Mr. Spota served Larry Cantwell’s administration with subpoenas in a far-reaching request demanding extensive records about the town’s $10.1 million taxpayer-funded purchase of 19 acres in Amagansett, locally known as the Principi property or “555” property, and now renamed Amagansett Farm. I think I have seen this movie before in the last Democratic administration and the ending wasn’t good. Hard-earned taxpayers’ dollars are still paying for that C.P.F. scandal.

Two weeks ago a letter to the editor accused the East Hampton Republican Party of all sorts of motives for having the audacity to question Supervisor Cantwell’s and Councilwoman Overby’s actions regarding the C.P.F. and Amagansett Farm property. The writer quoted C.P.F. law (although not completely), and he opined on what was legal and not legal, whether the structure on the property was a barn, a house, a spaceship (actually I said spaceship, sorry). Regardless, his conclusion was “Who knows? Who cares?”

See, here’s the problem with Democrats. When it comes to using taxpayer money and following the law, their philosophy, as the writer informs us, is who knows, who cares? Well, not only do Republicans care, but so does the principal author of the C.P.F. legislation, Assemblyman Fred Thiele, care. Thiele was quoted in several newspapers questioning the purchase of the property with a building on it. One of his quotes is: “You can’t buy buildings with C.P.F. money unless you tear them down.” (We know Cantwell and Overby never intended to tear down a building, because a request for proposals let by the administration on possible uses for the property requested that respondents address uses for the building.)

The Opinions Bureau, which is a C.P.F. watchdog committee, in an opinion given a year before the Cantwell purchase, also cautioned against the town purchasing the property and building. Additionally, Zach Cohen, East Hampton’s appointee to this committee, sent a letter to the town board, advising against this purchase. (Information obtained from The Independent, April 22.) And of course, the Suffolk County district attorney really, really cares.  

I am always so amused by Democrats’ accusations of Republicans’ motives.  Republicans I know as well as our terrific town board candidates, Tom Knobel, Margaret Turner, and Lisa Larsen, all support the C.P.F. But, unlike Democrats, Republicans prefer to support the C.P.F. and follow the law. We all live in this town and “rampant development” and so-called disinterest “in preserving the character of our town” affect Republicans too. Those issues are as important to all East Hampton residents as is having their elected officials break the law.

Supervisor Cantwell and Councilwoman Overby were warned by C.P.F. experts to choose wisely before they purchased Amagansett Farm. Yet they went ahead, pushed through the purchase, resulting once again with the Suffolk County district attorney taking up residence in Town Hall.

The writer ends his letter with a warning to the readers to “check the facts: History does repeat itself!” Indeed, sir, history does repeat itself. Ask D.A. Spota. 


The Same Name


August 12, 2015

Dear Editor,

    Recently a letter was published by a woman who was upset with her experience at Meeting House Lane Medical Practice in Wainscott. The letter featured an unpleasant experience with a woman named Erika. My name is Erica also and I was an employee there up until July 10. Friends and patients who weren’t aware that I was no longer there were quite upset upon reading this letter. Another woman with the same name started there July 13, and that was the woman referenced in the series of unfortunate incidents.

Thank you for allowing me to clarify this.


The Killing Field

Sag Harbor

August 15, 2015

To the Editor:

I understand that the East Hampton deer management advisory committee, which I fear should more aptly be called the deer extermination committee, is now pro­posing to enlarge the killing field for bowhunters to include the East Hampton transfer station, nature preserves, and several old brush dumps. This inhumane idea was scheduled to be presented to the work session of the town board on Tuesday.

The new “skilled” hunters, ready for their kill, will be selected by the Sportsmen’s Alliance, a private group endorsed by the National Rifle Association. Do we know if these “skilled” bowhunters have passed any kind of test or been state certified in any way? I have no idea. Will they wound deer and then leave them bleeding to die a long, painful death? I believe I have a good idea based on past experience. How many of these “skilled” Robin Hoods will be added? No clue. Why any of them want to have an outing to kill or maim a deer is even more of a mystery to me.

There are other humane and proven ways to prevent an exploding deer population, though according to an official aerial survey, our deer population has already declined. There is the successful 4-Poster sterilization plan, where deer brush up against a feeding station that rubs in an insecticide (a tick-icide) as well, not cutting the deer open and leaving them drugged to freeze to death, as was done by the White Buffalo group last winter.

Isn’t it possible to show some restraint and reason on this issue? We want to be able to hike our trails in winter without fear of being mistaken for a deer by a “skilled” marksman, or shot at by a gunslinger. There is plenty of area already for the killing. We really can manage the herds by sterilizing them, looking out for them, putting reflectors on trees by the road, which works very well in Europe. Also, we can stop to marvel at them. They are beautiful creatures. Perhaps you can remember how you cried as a child when Bambi’s mother got shot. If we need to shoot them (for sport?), how about with a tranquilizing dart, so that we can relocate them to the woods, where they have room to live without annoying anyone?

C’mon, people. Stop the expanded butchery. Write letters to the town board telling them to say no to the expanded killing areas. Make your voice heard too. All their emails are listed on the East Hampton Town Board website. We are supposedly smart people living here on the East End. Surely we can figure out how to reasonably coexist with a deer population whose territory we have invaded, fenced them out of, and usurped.


Two ‘Political Rallies’


August 16, 2015

Dear David,

I’m wondering what field of science Mr. Barocas will be lecturing on tonight, Aug. 20, at the public hearing on the nature preserve committee’s draft management plan for the South Flora Nature Preserve. Will it be meteorology, oceanography, or, hopefully, some new scientific discipline to defuse our alleged “ dune hysteria” here on Dolphin Drive?

At any rate, a lecture on any field of study would be preferable to the last two political rallies on beach-access parking that the last two public hearings turned into. Those two hearings were supposed to be on a management plan for a nature preserve — a piece of land!


We All Have the Right


August 17, 2015

To the Editor

To Robert Conti: I agree with your criticisms of my writing. Overblown, poor analogies, stylistically deficient, and perhaps illogical, I’ll take the D or worse you clearly point out as necessary. Thanks for your insight and glad you’ve time on your hands. I apologize to all who have been subject to this embarrassing exchange, and applaud your pithy commentary on my unfortunate attempts to make a simple point; to wit:

Neither you nor your neighbors have any right to a private preserve that I and my neighbors, all of us residents, paid for with the community preservation fund, our collective money. So, tedious criticism and tortured rhetoric aside, we all therefore have the right to conveniently use the South Flora Preserve existing public access points, as detailed in the nature preserves comprehensive draft management plan.

Call it what you will, lot, spaces, whatever, the plan’s identification of an area adjacent to the paved road on Dolphin Drive, an area currently occupied by nonnative Japanese black pine (and shady signage), is to be used so a few town-permitted cars can park. Thus, other residents and taxpayers can use the pedestrian access path you and your neighbors, friends, renters, guests, whomever you currently allow in your driveways, can leave their cars and walk up on the sand, and gaze at or otherwise enjoy the beach and Atlantic Ocean.

Save your blue pencil for something meaningful. Public property deserves appropriate public access. Let’s give that the A it deserves, and you’ll have no more of my poor writing on this topic. Deal?


Eye of the Hurricane

East Hampton

August 6, 2015

Dear David,

I write today for two reasons. First, to compliment you and your staff for an excellent community newspaper and for your strong editorial presence, which always attempts to give a more rational vision to the higher levels of any issue, especially when others only see their polarized, more narrow point of view.

This leads me to try to add a little perspective on one such current issue. It is the South Flora town access-preserve issue. Most know the satellite overview here is that some oceanfront Napeague homeowners believe they can be allowed to legally restrict access. Their assertion is that the dunes are fragile, and if altered in any way could or would have serious damage impact to their property when a major hurricane event occurs. They probably also have an understandable desire of more privacy at their beachside homes.

On the other hand, most locals and visitors believe that East Hampton has and should always continue the tradition to allow unrestricted beach access throughout the township, governed well by our historical town trustee system.

Here is, hopefully, where my input may add some value.

Just to preamble, I was raised in Montauk, and left to join the U.S. Navy in 1969. The Navy dropped me off in Charleston, S.C., which I made my home for 45 years with the exceptions of coming back for visits and to bury family members. In 2012, I relocated back here for good, just in time for Superstorm Sandy.

But during those away years, I lived on a barrier island just south of Charleston. It was very similar to the Napeague stretch. I was there on Sept. 21 and 22, 1989, when Hurricane Hugo came ashore, its eye splitting the Charleston jetties. Hugo was a Category 4 on the low side, with sustained winds of 140 m.p.h., when it hit the southeast Carolina coast. It was a large storm geographically, spanning some 600-plus miles across (Hugo was an apt name). For comparison, Hurricane Sandy was much bigger, some 980-plus miles in diameter, but thankfully carried much weaker wind speeds. Still it was a deadly storm. It carried a 13-foot storm surge into Sea Gate and Sea Girt, indiscriminately, taking some 150 U.S. lives.

Most everyone knows that the counterclockwise rotation of a storm is what causes the “storm surge” in the northeast quadrant. That wall of water is the real destroyer of lives and property. Hugo pushed a 20-foot storm surge some 15 to 20 miles inland. Thank goodness its northeast quadrant came across mainly in the Francis Marion National Forest, which was basically uninhabited. Luckily, South Carolina only had 35 deaths.

We all knew or know, directly or indirectly, people who took the brunt of the surge effects, whether they were in Brooklyn, New Jersey, or the Carolina coast, and some old-timer Hamptoners can even tell you of their memory of the great Hurricane of 1938 and the terrible flooding in Montauk and Napeague that it caused.

So to close, my point is that I do not believe the Napeague stretch’s ultimate fate will be affected too much by whether South Flora access is or is not expanded, when a big hurricane eye hits western Long Island.

I also do not believe that increased privacy will be an issue, as only homes built to six-foot-on-center hurricane standards will still be standing. Nothing much else will remain, except, of course, the dunes. Hurricanes have a positive feature in that they upwell large amounts of sand and rock when they overwash an area. Napeague would gain height and width over all, although the negative possibility of a new north-south channel being cut at the point of least resistance between Napeague Harbor and the Atlantic is real. (Sadly, that path is probably where the Lobster Roll sits now.)

As we approach the statistical peak of the season, everyone should prepare, and if you have never personally experienced a big storm’s surge, please do not underestimate the potential devastation that these walls of water can produce, and also please remember that nature’s power for ultimate change humbles man’s.

Respectfully and sincerely,


A Spot at the Lot


August 13, 2015

To the Editor:

The height of the summer season, the sun hot, the sky clear, a cool sea breeze, perfect beach weather! And so it was this past weekend, Aug. 7 to 9, when many people enjoyed the beaches at the East End Dunes Residents Association Napeague area. Biggest crowds I have seen at the beach yet.

People strolling to the beach, carrying beach chairs, umbrellas, many with carts loaded down with chairs, food, coolers full of cold drinks, beach toys for children and adults.

And no problem parking at the Atlantic Drive lot. And why not?

Here’s a guess from a longtime resident who notices things. Residents, all of whom are entitled to free beach permits, do not drive to the beach, they walk. Summer renters in this area don’t bother to get a beach permit because they don’t need one — they too walk to the beach, some from across the stretch highway. Surfers, some with permits, some without, usually only hit the beach very early in the morning, changing into their wetsuit gear at the lot, lugging their surfboards to the close-by beach entrance. They are usually gone by late morning.

Fishermen, too, get here early, park at the lot and haul their poles, coolers, etc., to the beach. If they have beach access vehicles, they use the lot to lower theirire pressures for better traction on the beach. They too, leave early, well before noon, before most people are heading to the beach. So you can have a big crowd at the beach during the height of the day, but no problem getting a spot at the lot due to the turnover and lack of need for parking from residents and summer renters.

This is why I, and many of my neighbors here, think the natural preserve plan to permanently efface a portion of the preserve here is a misguided plan. To cut down a swatch of vegetation to grade a 23-foot-wide level area for vehicles, backed by a fence, all to create some to 12 to 25 parking spots that are demonstrably not necessary, is not only questionable from an environmental point of view, but also aesthetically! And, it stands to reason, the more vehicles, people you put into closer proximity to the dunes, the more likelihood those dunes will be further degraded. And since Sandy, we are acutely aware here of how critical it is to protect those dunes, and so should the town board. The current preserve was purchased to prevent development along the dune area that the town thought was being compromised. The current town board administration, we would hope, would feel that this parking lot scheme is no less compromising.

And, finally, we had a point lost early in any discussion of this issue, which the people at EEDRA early pointed out, but was brushed aside by the preserve cabal: The importance of access by emergency vehicles via any of the roads to the development, especially along Dolphin and Marlin Drives. On Sunday, Aug. 9, a three-car collision on 27 just opposite Marlin Drive forced the authorities — police, fire, and medical — to close off east and west access on 27. Eastbound traffic was rerouted to Marlin Drive, most vehicles using Leeton Road, the next street, to make a left on Dolphin Drive to turn back to 27 East. Large oil trucks, camper rigs, Hampton Jitney buses, boat trailer rigs found it tight going and had to be careful making turns onto both roads.

Would have been difficult, if not impossible, to have two-way traffic when those large vehicles occupy most of the road. Something the town board should investigate and weigh in on when considering this proposal.


Bubba and Dubya


August 16, 2015

To the Editor,

I am a Marine veteran. In 1966, I enlisted as a private. In 1967, then a second lieutenant, I volunteered to serve in Vietnam. I did, as an infantry officer, for 13 months. I am a mustang, a Marine who rose through the ranks, to captain. Along the way, I have learned some things about character and leadership.

Some time back I read an article by the columnist Bob Herbert in The New York Times. He wrote, and I agree, that Bill Clinton opened the door to eight years of George W. Bush. Two endless wars and a catastrophic recession. I bet Al Gore hates Bill Clinton.

Not long ago I saw a photo captioned “Bubba & Dubya: Howl to the Chiefs!” in The New York Post. Bill Clinton and Bush yukking it up together. Made me angry. I call the photo “Greed and Hate.” Below the photo it said in part that the two were not always so friendly. And in 2000, Bush campaigned for the presidency by promising to restore honor and dignity to the White House after the sex scandal that led that led to Clinton’s impeachment. Bubba and Dubya. Two characters. Cause and effect.

Bubba and Dubya are together again on the cover of the Aug. 3 edition of Time magazine. The cover title: “Game of Thrones,” the same title of a very popular HBO TV series. Could be politics is a game to them? Not so for the parents, children, and loved ones of the Americans killed and wounded in the Afghan and Iraq wars. Politics can be life and death; not for those who started our forever wars, only for the less than 1 percent who fight our wars.

Bubba lied to us about whether he had sex with that woman, then sat back as his people, including Hillary, trashed a defenseless Monica Lewinsky. Says something about his character, nothing good. Same for Hillary. Bubba opened the door to Dubya’s eight years of shock and awe. At least Hillary got the sympathy of being a woman wronged, then ran with it to the present. Cause and effect.

In 2008, Hillary lied to us about being under sniper fire and running for cover when she flew into Tuzla, Bosnia, in 1996. When proved a liar by a video of her arrival, she said in part, so I made a mistake. Her lies insulted us, especially our men and woman who have been under fire, including sniper fire. Still are. These lies say something about her character, nothing good.

On Oct. 11, 2002, Hillary voted to go to war against Iraq. She was one of the most outspoken in the Senate. She also argued that Saddam Hussein gave assistance to Al Qaeda. She voted for war without reading the then-current National Intelligence Report about Iraq. It was available. I read an unclassified version online. Neither made the case for war or that Saddam assisted Al Qaeda. Hillary took Bill’s advice. Her vote for war was an attempt to prove she was tough enough to be our commander In chief. It was a political decision by her and Bill. Says something about them. Nothing good.

Hillary says she cares about us, will fight for us, and is one of us. Who among us has amassed a fortune from speaking engagements and donations? And who among us can pay several hundred thousands dollars for a speech, or donate millions of dollars to a fund? Doesn’t all that money come with strings attached?

In 2008, Hill and Bubba had her chance. They blew it. The Clintons’, like the Bushes’, shelf time has expired. They must know this. Why the bother? Enough is enough. Electing our president is not a game of thrones.

Don’t we want a commander in chief who has outstanding character, experience, wisdom, and proven leadership?

I just read that the Clintons are coming out here again. Seems like they got a great deal, a house in the Hamptons for two weeks for $100,000. Of course, it will be a working vacation. A time again to cash in and out.

Semper fi,



The Game Is Rigged

Sag Harbor

August 17, 2015

Dear David,

The sign of our times. A world in transformation. It’s happening. First page of The New York Times, Aug. 15, 2015: “Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont gave another of his speeches that have drawn the largest crowds of the 2016 campaign . . . rallies around the country have made him the unexpected rival to Hillary Clinton for the Demo­cratic nomination.”

“The role of super PACS is corrupt and amounts to legalized bribery, he bellowed.” Then the usual doubts, followed by the corporate-controlled media and hedge funders who are becoming fearful. Surely out to get Sanders. To put it more simply, when Elizabeth Warren won the United States Senate seat from Massachusetts, the margin of victory was huge. Her mantra was, the game is rigged.

The editorial page in The New York Times indicated the number of manufacturing jobs in the United States has declined by five million, or 28.7 percent, between 1993 and 2015, while wounded warriors continue to climb. Very soon American soldiers will be in combat, another broken promise. How did we get here?

Treaties like the Pacific Rim Partnership designed by President Obama and held in secrecy by corporations only. Warren could be present but could not go public with any information. A handful of corporations versus 330 million people left out. The game is rigged.

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have promised to take on the role of taming corporate powers.

Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush have opened the floodgate for the flow of money, more of the same.

As for Donald Trump, in a warped fashion he appears to agree government is dysfunctional. Democrats should shout out, run, Donald, run.

My final plea to the American voters. There is more hope now than ever before. Now we have the right leaders in the right role at the right time. If we miss this opportunity we will pay a high price for the future of America.

The game is rigged.

Hang in there,


Give Women a Choice


August 10, 2015

Dear David,

For the Democrats who don’t understand, can’t read, or don’t understand what they read, here’s some info for you. If you defund Planned Parenthood, the money could or would go to care centers for women’s health care or help. Is this so hard to grasp? Is this war on women? They will get help.

So Planned Parenthood babies’ dead remains are worth more money than alive. There are thousands of centers for women’s health. Fetal body parts, not tissue, are being sold for profit. A beating heart is not a baby, Hillary? Place health care centers for women right next door to the abortion clinics; give women a choice.

Obama’s speech on Iran a joke, yes? It was the most repugnant, ridiculous  statement on foreign policy. It undermines the entire idea that Iran will play by the rules. Obama is again using bullying and force to have his deal approved. He’s on the phone pushing everyone he can to commit to his legacy.

In God and country,


The Iran Deal

East Hampton

August 16, 2015

To the Editor:

Only in the United States is there madness around the Iran deal. A sustained fever filled with boils, scabs, and bottles of antidepressants. Obama goes ballistic. Schumer feels pressure from contributors and bails, Republicans insert their heads another notch up their butts to try and remain focused. Sixty percent of the country is against the deal. It’s like the deal is life or death, branding a star on our foreheads that can never be removed, locked in stone forever. We are perceived as spoiled children whose lollypops taste like dog poo by the rest of the world. We don’t care.

Iran is the evil empire. Hates America because of our values? We return the hatred because they told us to screw off in 1980. Yet, we sold them arms during the Iraq war, violating the U.N. contravention, and used the money to destabilize a sovereign nation (Nicaragua). Before the Ayatollah, in 1953, we overthrew the democratically elected president of Iran (was he their George Washington?) because he wanted to nationalize the oil companies. A real Tea Party (Boston) type of operation. Our history with Iran really sucks, or at least our role in it.

Our problem is unrealistic expectations, the conflict between who we are and who we think we are. Delusion becoming inseparable from the real world. The greatest show on earth. History.

History is the obvious problem. We loved the Indians, treated the slaves well, adored our immigrants. We were awesome at Hiroshima, amazing in Vietnam, brilliant in Afghanistan, Iraq speaks for itself. At what point do we begin to understand that we are a country that is less than perfect? Kills millions of people, destroys countries? Just like the rest of the world. Our mediocrity is who we really are. We never, ever learn from our mistakes.

The Vietnamese don’t hate us, despite 3 million dead, 2 million maimed, and a water system that still spits poison? We were a small, insignificant blip in their 900-year-old civil war. Why can’t we get over it?

Do war heroes only come from the winning side, or are all soldiers heroes?

The Iran deal is a shot by a country that shoots a lot of blanks. Our military has been decimated by the idiots in Washington and their generals. Iran could never sustain a real war. We pretend that we are otherwise. That there is danger lurking everywhere. Why didn’t we wet our pants when the Soviet Union had 5,000 ballistic missiles pointing at us?

We should be ecstatic that we pulled off this deal given the ineptitude of the players. Real expectations would call this an almost-miracle.