Letters to the Editor: 10.05.17

Our readers' comments

Tradition Going Strong

East Hampton

September 28, 2017

Dear David,

I would like to congratulate my granddaughter, Hailey LaGarenne, 7, who dug up a whopper of a clam last week and entered it in her very first Biggest Clam Contest. And yes, she was out there in the weather, which some days was quite lovely, though some mornings were chilly, in that bay at Napeague Harbor, like a trooper. 

The girl is part mermaid, she loves that bay that her great-grandmother, Barbara Jean, successfully clammed for so many years, whose nickname was Twinkle Toes. Born on her great-grandfather Harry LaGarenne Sr.’s birthday, Hailey shares the enthusiasm he had for clams to eat and swimming in the bay, and now carries on the tradition of the Biggest Clam Contest, which he never missed. Pop would have been elated at meeting her and seeing her win last week. Mom, too, but sadly she can’t be here now. I think she knows in her heart. She and Hailey shared a special love and kindness.

So yes, Nancy R. Peppard, this new generation is not only “interested,” they are enthusiastic and love digging clams. It is a tradition passed down for sure, and going strong. 

I hope this letter is not too long for Redjeb Jordania! We writers get carried away sometimes. But I offer no apologies for my long letters, I don’t profess to be Proust, and I don’t need a blog; I write books. And my “poignant evocative” letters to this newspaper got me noticed for a trustee nomination and candidacy in 2011, where I defended my “local” status by saying I wasn’t born in a clamshell, but love East Hampton, as if I were born to her.

Thanks for the space, 


Not ‘Dilapidated’


September 30, 2017


It is amazing to me that Jane Rivkin would resort to writing such a meanspirited, rude letter to the editor of The East Hampton Star after being “saddened and angry” at the “dilapidated, ugly food truck,” at Indian Wells Beach. She states, “I have wanted to write this all summer,” and also that she visits the beach daily. Why hadn’t she simply stopped by to discuss her concerns with the vendor? First of all, the trailer is not “dilapidated.” It has passed New York State inspection for roadworthiness and is insured. It has passed the Suffolk County Health Department’s examination for cleanliness, and met all state, county, and town requirements needed to operate a hot dog/snack truck just four months ago. 

As far as our food choices, we are only permitted to sell prepared, prepackaged foods because of our designation as a Hot Dog Wagon. Hot dogs, chips, candy, and soda is pretty much it. As far as “fun” foods, ask the hundreds of children who utilize this truck’s bounty. They all seem very happy with our service, as do workers on their lunch break looking for an affordable lunch without the long deli lines. 

Her calling it “ugly” is what particularly confounds me. My experience has been that the opposite is true. Many visitors have photographed it and commented favorably on its “vintage,” “eclectic,” and “beach shack” look. 

I would like to say I am sorry that it does not meet her perceptions of beauty, but I am not sorry. Some might think her sprawling, ostentatious $18 million estate is “ugly.” I personally feel a more modest beach cottage would have been much more attractive.


Morally Clean


September 27, 2017

Dear David,

I came across the Sept. 7 issue that I had put aside after reading an interesting tidbit in “The Way It Was.” From 100 years ago you quoted, “E.D. Terbell, the proprietor (of the Sea Spray Hotel), deserves much credit for having successfully managed a morally clean hotel this summer and may the succeeding years of business in this hotel be as creditable as this year has been.” 

To me, this begs the question: What the heck happened in 1916? Fill us in if you can.

With piqued interest,


Finest Kind


September 26, 2017

Dear David,

Once again, I am reminded how lucky I am to live among the “finest kind” of people, to live in the Town of East Hampton. 

Responding to what turned out to be a fraudulent distress call, the men and women who came to my St. Michael’s Senior Housing apartment in Amagansett wanted only to help, were kind, understanding, and when told that nothing was wrong and that I hadn’t called for help, that I was not in distress — they were just as kind and understanding.

What good people, volunteers, dedicated, whose lives that day were disrupted to respond to a call for help, though fraudulent — who arrived to make an octogenarian feel safe and cared for. 

They are indeed, as they say in Bonac, the “finest kind.”

In gratitude,


A Better Solution


September 29, 2017

Dear David,

It makes absolutely no sense to me for the M.T.A. to spend millions of dollars (which we will ultimately pay for) and a year (or more) of traffic disruptions (and to the neighborhood), to raise the train trestles and train beds to accommodate a few individuals who cannot or won’t read clear signage about the height of the trestles. 

Instead, why not at least try the method used at the Midtown Tunnel: A string of bells or chains are hung across the road, which alert drivers when they hit the roof of the truck. Plenty of time for the driver to turn around and avoid the trestle. 

I don’t understand why this simple method is not being proposed. There are metal shops in East Hampton that could fashion bells that would be aesthetically acceptable to the village and town (and the M.T.A., presumably). That solution might take a few days to install, versus a year of disruptions and traffic tie-ups. 

We deserve a better solution to a problem that is caused by a few but will disrupt the many. 


Leaf Relief


September 28, 2017

To the Editor,

I have attended three meetings with board members (firehouse), candidates (at Gurney’s, on the 26th) and with Mr. Cantwell, who was gracious enough to receive me as a drop-in. He had received letters regarding my issue and, since I had not received a reply, I went to his office.

I was not given much hope for leaf relief any time soon. The proposed bagging of leaves may be a possibility in the future.

I am a senior citizen. I live here full time. I have grandchildren in the school system,

I need to have my loose leaves collected. We can no longer cope with lifting them up in a garbage pail and over the edge of the container at the dump. Bagging them is costly and difficult as we age, and for this reason Southampton collects loose leaves as my husband and I remember since 1978.

If Southampton, a larger town, can collect loose leaves for seniors like me, how is it that East Hampton Town, which provides transportation as far as Riverhead for seniors, a day care program gram for seniors, a social worker who looks in on those who cannot take care of themselves, and an excellent meal for those seniors who come at midday, cannot or will not do something for us?



Diversion Court

Hampton Bays

September 27, 2017

To the Editor, 

Members of our team read your article “Montauker Guides Legal Aid” about Cynthia Darrell’s appointment as the supervisor of the Legal Aid Society’s East End Bureau.

The reference to the Riverhead and Southampton drug treatment courts is not entirely accurate. In fact, the drug treatment court is a hub court, called the East End Regional Intervention Court (EERIC). This diversion court serves defendants from all East End town and village courts, including East Hampton, Southampton, Riverhead, Westhampton, Quogue, Shelter Island, and Southold.

EERIC has been in existence since 2004, operates pursuant to the 10 key components endorsed by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, and maintains over a 50-percent success rate for its graduates. We are enclosing some brochures, which provide further information regarding this diversion court. Please feel free to contact this office for any reason whatsoever. 



East End Regional Intervention 

Court Resource Coordinator II

Legal Assistance


September 27, 2017

Dear David, 

Occasionally my activities can have an overlap. As you may recall, I am the self-appointed East Hampton Town Common Whipper, an ancient enforcement position. I also serve as an advocate for EEFO, East End for Opportunity. EEFO provides low-cost legal assistance to our local workers. 

EEFO has cases of employers who withhold payments, arguing that undocumented status is the reason. They are wrong. Beautifully dressed, I will escort these miscreants to the pokey (we have a list).

EEFO has cases of families who have had to bear enormous financial burdens because the now-comatose loved one did not sign a living will. (I would suggest that in my case, this negligence would not endear me to the family.)

EEFO has cases of mislaid (25 years, 30 years) undivorced spouses who resurface and can legally claim 50 percent of the deceased’s assets. The common whipper might try and influence legislation that would have the coroner stamp “stupid” on the dead spouse’s forehead.

EEFO has a case of an East Hampton property owner whose family is now stuck with mortgage payments and a possibly prolonged probate situation. No will. Dumb, dumber, dumbest. (Full disclosure: I am redoing my will. Be nice to me.)


Want to Respond

East Hampton

October 2, 2017

Dear David:

I read the letter “Moving Away” by Madison Jones in last week’s Star, and it was a welcome breath of fresh air. I don’t know Ms. Jones, but she artfully describes an appreciation of the natural beauty and the heritage of our town. 

It was her thoughts about making the change of life that comes with leaving the nest and discovering the world beyond that affected me the most. It brought back memories of my own, and how much I gained from different venues and cultures, before eventually settling back in the county where I grew up. Whether she winds up back here or elsewhere, I have no doubt after reading her optimistic, intelligent letter that she will be successful in whatever she chooses to do.

  I also want to respond to the letter “Birth Control for Wildlife” by Patricia Hope in The Star two weeks ago. I know that in the past she has written about the PZP vaccine for deer population control, which is applied inexpensively by darts, and I have also written letters about it a couple of years ago. 

When I asked a town official involved in deer management decisions whether serious consideration was being given to this humane method, I was told that all methods are on the table, but I have seen little evidence of this method being proposed or implemented by the town or village. 

You can learn more about it by going to www.humanesociety.org and typing “PZP deer control” in the search box at the top. There are several good articles about it, including one as recent as last July, showing how successful the results from it have been.


He Walks the Walk


 October 1, 2017

Dear David,

Early this morning (6:30 a.m.) I was on my constitutional at Atlantic Avenue Beach with my dog when we came upon the stunning sight of three deer, two does and a young buck, standing on the crest of the dune looking south, out over the ocean. With the golden early-morning sunlight on them, it was an unforgettable moment of natural beauty. 

As I left the beach a few minutes later I saw a couple of people with bags, gloves, and the aluminum pickups often used for garbage collection, on Bluff Road.

As I drove by I recognized Dell Cullum and probably family and friends, picking up trash. No press, no photos, and not much talking, best I could tell.

I do not know Mr. Cullum beyond his reputation, but he walks the walk, as they say. While somewhat disturbed by all of the recent vitriolic “talk” in your fine publication about matters like deer and trash, my opinion has been swayed by someone who walks the walk. They seem to be few and far between these days. Thanks, Dell, and peace.


Invaluable Knowledge

East Hampton

October 2, 2017

Dear Mr. Rattray,

Dell Cullum’s invaluable knowledge, experience, and dedication to helping animals and serving the community should not be underestimated or overlooked by the East Hampton Town Deer Management Committee.

Mr. Cullum was quick to return my call when I reached out to him for help after I took a sick crow to Dr. Turetsky’s Veterinary Clinic of East Hampton. From there the crow was taken to the Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays, where it died. Wildlife Rescue determined the crow had been poisoned. 

I had noticed two crows exhibiting odd behavior before I found the sick crow. I also saw a blue jay acting in the same stressed-out manner, and the following morning I found a dead blue jay in the yard. 

I told Mr. Cullum about the birds’ odd behavior and he explained the birds were poisoned by someone who was using poison to kill mice and not by someone who was intent on killing birds. Days later, my neighbor found a dead owl in her yard; we suspect the owl must have eaten a poisoned mouse. 

If Mr. Dell Cullum runs for a town trustee position, he has my vote.

It’s the overpopulation of the human animal that has upset the balance of nature, causing mass extinction of animals and plant life, and continues to do so at an alarming rate.


Connected With Deer

East Hampton

October 2, 2017

Dear David,

I don’t mind the negative reactions to my “infamous letter.” The results confirmed my intentions, and the positive reactions confirmed my contentions. Again, I can argue or debate the deer issue to the very end with ease. It’s less difficult when logic and good morals fall on the side of life, rather than the ideals of death. 

East Hampton is home to the greatest number of self-proclaimed environmentalists ever. Many of them sprang into existence when the town and village started the negative campaign about our deer. Wildlife charlatans soon followed, claiming to confirm the many so-called issues caused by the deer, while the town and village stood by promoting the hogwash. It has now turned into the most irresponsible, damaging, and dividing decision our local government could have made, and it looks like we’re going to entertain the travesty for another term, regardless of who takes over. Meanwhile, the tick epidemic, speeding vehicle issues, and illegal fencing continue, and are safely being ignored. 

I didn’t recognize one name from those who were insulted by my letter other than Carl Safina, who I don’t even think read the letter, therefore I respect their opinions and have no reply. Dr. Safina, however, I can’t help but reply to correct his return fire. I didn’t mind his reply. I don’t know him well enough to even be a fan. I did get his book in a free gift basket, along with some other stuff at a summer event. 

Carl Safina, author of the New York Times best seller “Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel.” Nice read, but after his letter last week I find it funny how I’m supposed to believe Dr. Safina has a connection with wildlife, and yet my spiritual connection with wildlife and my persistence to preserve and protect it isn’t worthy of his approval. Dr. Safina carelessly states I didn’t quote anything Ms. Wolffsohn said, but obviously he missed the several quotes I referenced, including her “capture and euthanize” comment, which was the basis of my concern, or the fact that I sit on East Hampton Town’s deer management committee, where I and others have witnessed Ms. Wolffsohn’s harsh rhetoric toward our deer many times before. 

Safina, however, hasn’t attended any deer management committee meetings, so he knows nothing of the issue he’s attempting to defend. He also botched up my comment about terrorists and psychopaths, but he does confuse it with some bizarre reference to a separate comment I made about me eating steak and fish. Since I’ve said publicly before that I cowardly don’t kill my food myself, I could only summarize that Dr. Safina didn’t read, or at least comprehend, my letter at all, but rather just fired back at me for insulting his friend. Admirable if you’re a friend, but very sloppy and confusing from my perspective. 

Dr. Safina then mentions that neither honesty nor religion has anything to do with understanding ecology, or deer. That’s his opinion, and one I absolutely do not subscribe to. In fact, I find it offensive that he claims the context of my spiritual beliefs doesn’t exist. The honesty angle applies to everything, including understanding ecology. A great example is creating and posting fraudulent data concerning the ecology, and the deer. I’d say honesty is key, Dr. Safina doesn’t agree. Safina’s best comment of all is his answer to the problem. He claims the choices are “do nothing or institute lethal deer control.” No room for non-lethal methods, Dr. Safina? Contraception not even worth a mention of possibility? Wonder how the animals would “think or feel” about that? 

It’s now clear to me, Dr. Safina doesn’t really know what animals “think or feel” at all, because all the animals I connect and communicate with want to live. All of them. 

While some folks are writing books about what animals are feeling and thinking, I’m actually out there every single day interacting with the animals, thinking and feeling with them. Besides my wildlife business and my wildlife-rescue operation, I’ve had extensive experience with white-tailed deer in three states, from breeding to management, and everything in between. Locally, I have cared for two deer herds every day for the past five years, a winter herd in the village and a year-round herd of special-need deer on a private parcel in the town. Along with expert medical insight from well-respected veterinarians in two states, who understand my passion for earning, I’ve been fortunate to gain even more knowledge about these beautiful animals, and all our wildlife. 

In other words, I’m quite connected with our deer, and I don’t need a book to tell me what these animals are thinking or feeling. As far as ecology, it’s quite clear the human element is continually destroying the wild and natural element, by reshaping, picking and choosing what lives and what dies, polluting our air, land, and sea, and doing it all under the guidelines created by the Earth’s most invasive, self-destructing, and ruthless species, humans. 

Administrations turn their heads as more and more illegal fencing is set in place, more corridors eliminated, forcing a dangerous situation for both humans and wildlife, then blaming their negligence on those who can’t verbally rebut, the deer. Now that’s some stand-up governing. Everyone is united and presently convinced that the tick issue locally is at an epidemic level, yet not one thing has been done to actively gain control of the problem. Why don’t we have 4-Posters in place? I was told by a town source that getting the units wasn’t a problem, but rather locating, filling, and maintaining was the issue. If that’s the case, let me go on record as once again offering my services to the town at no cost, but simply to benefit my community and actively lead an effort to stop ignoring the real problem. 

Again, I have extensive experience in this field, having designed and produced many (hand-welded) 55-gallon deer feeders for an out-of-state sanctuary, which I also filled and maintained for over a year. I presently have the resources to create a group of volunteers including myself, to place, maintain, and fill all the 4-Posters throughout the program, again at no cost to the town or village. Checkmate, what do we do now? Will the town jump at this golden opportunity and get this program rolling, or do they ignore the real epidemic for another four years? Do we end the game and begin with positive actions, or does the town keep staring at the game board contemplating another way to deal with the repercussions of negligence? 



Serious Concerns

East Hampton

October 1, 2017

Dear David:

I appreciate the coverage I received this week from your paper, and especially Christopher Walsh, regarding our study of the concerns of East Hampton citizens. As reported, I am basing my entire campaign for East Hampton Town Board on those issues that our residents identified as a serious concern. Many of these issues are controversial, and will require consensus-building through leadership. 

The town board has waited from 2014, when the Wilkinson administration issued their water quality management plan, to this election year to deal with the septic problem in Montauk. They are spending less than $50,000 to look at this problem, and neither their grant application nor the actual tasks to be performed were available to the public when their grant was filed. This is no way to do business. 

We have an erosion problem in Montauk, and, for that matter, with all of our beaches. We have an opioid epidemic in the town, which is really infecting our youth. We need housing solutions for our high school graduates, our seniors, and our legal work force. We need to use the right renewable energy resources that enable us to meet our environmental goals by the early 2020s. 

I have proposed solutions for all of these issues, which can be put in place before the next four-year election. We cannot wait another four-year election cycle to talk about solutions to these “serious concerns” of our citizens. On Nov. 7 it is time to decide. If not now, when?


A List of Accesses 


September 30, 2017

Dear David,

One of the biggest things I would like to accomplish if I am elected a town trustee for the fourth time is to compile a list of accesses to trustee holdings (beaches, roads, etc.) that could be issued to residents as they receive their local beach, parking, dump, etc., permits.

Our residents can’t enjoy trustee property unless they know how to get there. This is a service that is long overdue. I will also encourage our town board to do the same in Montauk, and both the Villages of East Hampton and Sag Harbor to do likewise. 

It is to all our benefits to know where we can go, how we can get there, and any time restrictions may have been placed upon these areas. These places are available for the enjoyment of all of our residents, and if I am elected again I will make it my business that they’re available to all.

Respectfully yours,


For Julie Evans


September 28, 2017

Dear Editor:

This letter is my endorsement of Julie Evans for East Hampton Town Trustee. I’ve known Julie Evans for nearly 30 years. Her late husband, Capt. Mike Brumm, ran the Montauk charter boat Daybreaker at Westlake Marina and through him the three of us became friends. 

Julie combines two rare traits: She cares a lot and she knows what she is talking about. She’s been around the block on many local issues related to conservation, land use, development, and zoning. She is also rather fearless. Her fearlessness makes her an authentic person; she’s not a politician. She’s got a degree in environmental science, a captain’s license, and a real estate license, and she is tuned in to where land meets water meets development like nobody else I know. And she loves our area for itself, not for how much money can be squeezed from it, or from residents.

Julie is running for town trustee, and she believes trustees are just that — trustees, not simply landlords. Julie believes that exorbitant raises in the rent on trustee lands is morally objectionable, especially when the rent is paid by senior, long-term residents on fixed incomes. Julie believes that the delicate balance between our land, wetlands, and the ocean should be our focus.

Water quality is an issue that Julie Evans worked on as part of the Lake Montauk Watershed report mandated by New York State; maintaining high water quality remains one of her major issues. This is crucial, because overdevelopment is causing toxic algal blooms and declines in water quality, threatening not just shellfishing but residents’ health. It is my belief that Julie will vote against plans to bury a Deepwater Wind electricity cable through our trustee lands on the north side, a position I agree with because our remaining undeveloped in-trust lands need to remain undeveloped, not torn up and right of wayed. 

Please consider voting for Julie Evans for East Hampton Town Trustee in the coming November elections.


Democratic Team

East Hampton

September 30, 2017

Dear David, 

I have been honored to serve as an East Hampton Town Trustee for the past two years. During this tenure our Democratic team has completed several important environmental projects and worked effectively with local community groups. It has been very rewarding to work with our local community on projects such as the opening of the Gerard Drive culvert on Accabonac Harbor, groundwater inflow studies on Three Mile Harbor, and the expansion of our town’s oyster gardening program on Hog Creek. 

The opening of the Gerard Drive culvert has improved water exchange between Gardiner’s Bay and the northern section of Accabonac Harbor. Our expansion of the trustees’ water testing program has allowed us to compile important baseline data on the health of our local waters, a necessary starting point for watershed planning and remediation.

Communication and cooperation with regulatory agencies such as the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the State Department of Environmental Conservation have facilitated new permit approvals and opportunities for remediation work on Georgica Pond. Our program at Georgica Pond has been highlighted by Suffolk County as a model for other water bodies on Long Island. Our community enjoyed great kayaking and sailing during the summer of 2017, as the pond was the cleanest it has been in years. Through cooperation with the East Hampton community, further improvements are planned for Georgica Pond in 2018.

Our persistence regarding the Napeague Beach lawsuits resulted in a favorable court ruling this year supporting local beach access rights. We will continue to defend responsible beach access for our East Hampton community. 

The trustees’ harbor management committee has led in-depth discussions with the Deepwater Wind management team. We have worked hard to represent the best interests of our community and to protect our local fishing resources. These discussions have led to improvements in the original plan. One example is the proposed rerouting of the main transmission cable from the Gardiner’s Bay northern route to the southern ocean route to minimize environmental impact on our bays. Our meetings have shown that the voice of our community has a powerful role in designing a world-class 21st-century energy system.

The Democratic-led trustee board has provided professional management of our harbors, beaches, and bottomlands. It is important that we continue our good work in support of clean water, protection of beach access rights, and sustainable shellfish reproduction. Engaging the community and working together to improve our water quality and protect our marine environment is our priority.

Please vote for our Democratic trustee candidates for a professional and responsible term of service. 


Vote for Rona


September 28, 2017

Dear David,

I want to go on record as strongly endorsing Rona Klopman as candidate for East Hampton Town Trustee, endorsed by the Democratic, Working Families, and Women’s Equality parties. She has been a tireless community activist for many years, dedicated to keeping our community and waters as pristine as they were when the Dongan Patent of 1686 was established by King James II.

Rona has been attending town board meetings for over eight years and is well informed on all issues in our town. She watches all of the Z.B.A. and planning board meetings and has attended trustee meetings for over the past five years, and is so knowledgeable that she can give you information on most any, if not all, issues that come up before the trustees. 

She has been active in exploring the shellfish industry’s expansion and Georgica Pond and Wainscott Pond’s water quality issues, and actively supports testing by Dr. Gobler as being essential to helping make our waters healthy again. If you read the letters to the editor section of The Star, Rona’s values and ideas are often expressed in her letters.

Rona’s election to the trustee board would add an intelligent, active, and knowledgeable woman to this body! 

Vote for Rona on Nov. 7. I am!


Passion and Commitment

East Hampton

October 2, 2017

Dear David,

I have had the pleasure of knowing Susan McGraw Keber for over 30 years. During this time, I can attest to her passion and commitment to the East Hampton community. Her love of the ocean led her to become a certified scuba rescue diver and underwater first responder. She is actively involved in the Accabonac Protection Committee, the Surf Rider Foundation, Concerned Citizens of Montauk, East Hampton Trails Preservation Society, and the Northwest Alliance.

Her work ethic and dedication to East Hampton know no bounds! She would be an incredible asset to the people of East Hampton and would make a phenomenal East Hampton Town Trustee.


Made an Impact


September 28, 2017

Dear David,

I want to thank everyone who participated in the recent Democratic Party primary, and especially my supporters. If I count each person who voted for me, contributed to my campaign fund, or simply wrote in support of my effort, you numbered significantly over 1,000 residents. 

For the incredibly hard-working volunteers who persevered alongside me, I give my deepest thanks. Together we shared a vision for the town, and our many conversations with concerned voters clarified and expanded it. We did not prevail in the vote this time, but our voices have started a movement for change.

While recognizing the accomplishments of the incumbent Democratic administration, especially on environmental issues, we aspired for greater focus on core social policies. We asked for real action on affordable housing opportunities. We asked that African-Americans and Latinos have a say and a presence in town government commensurate with their historical and rising importance. Overwhelmingly, we asked for policies to save what traditionally has been an economically and culturally diverse community of people who both live and work here. The recent comments on affordable housing by the Democratic slate, as well as the 2018 supervisor’s budget, suggest that we already have made an impact.

Most important, we felt that the meaning of “Democrat” had to be honored — to allow all Democrats a choice, to understand the importance that primaries serve in policy discussion, and in the way we conduct ourselves as colleagues. Inclusion, openness, and tolerance will be important goals going forward.


Larsen Is a Leader


September 30, 2017

To the Editor:

I have known Jerry Larsen for many, many years now. When our kids were school-aged I found myself on the East Hampton Little League Board, eventually as board secretary. Tim Brenneman at the time was the board president. I knew others on the board, but this was the first time that I met Jerry. 

I quickly realized that Jerry got things done. You know, the people that fall into the 20 percent that make an organization’s goals happen, the person that goes the extra mile to see that not only their responsibilities are met, but others’ as well. The person that makes you feel totally welcomed! 

I realized very quickly that Jerry Larsen was a leader. So it is not surprising when Tim left the board that Jerry was voted in as East Hampton Little League board president, unanimously. 

Any local family knows that years ago, sports were broken down by incorporated villages, and teams were segregated by village. I am very proud that under Jerry’s leadership the transition and implementation that joined all the incorporated villages into an all-inclusive sports experience, which was a bumpy ride, is still in place today.

After our kids aged out of Little League and into high school, my son Brandon was looking for a summer job. He was hired by the East Hampton Village Police Department as a T.C.O. Brandon was also playing on a travel baseball team. Jerry Larsen has always been supportive of our town’s youth, and he worked with Brandon’s baseball schedule, enabling him to play a rigorous travel baseball schedule while he worked full time! Jerry treated his employees with compassion and respect.

Jerry also has a pulse on the challenges that our youth face today. As Village Police Chief he understood the drug issues that have challenged every town in these United States, including ours. To speak to him about this issue is an eye-opener. He understands the challenges of keeping our communities safe, and secure.

Jerry was not only chief of police, but the department head of the townwide 911 call center for the entire Town of East Hampton, which includes Sag Harbor, Montauk, Wainscott, Springs, and Amagansett. As our small town’s population grew, so did 911 emergencies. This call center is vital to the safety of all. 

As emergency manager for the police, fire department, E.M.S., and pubic works, for the village, town, and other contracted areas of East Hampton, Jerry’s leadership qualities got the job done.

I am supporting Jerry Larsen as a town board member, not because of partisan politics, but because of the person Jerry Larsen is. Jerry thinks out of the box, has a pulse on our community, and actually knows who our community members are. He has huge concerns about our town’s environmental health, the challenges of the rampant growth of our communities, and protecting our town from big corporate business. 

Whether you are an electrician, a plumber, contractor, landscaper, policeman, fireman, schoolteacher, pilot, local, or second-home owner, Jerry can represent and lead our community though all of its challenges.


For Jerry Larsen


September 29, 2017

Dear Editor, 

Having known Jerry Larsen for eight years, it came as no surprise to me that he uncovered the town board’s long-kept secret regarding the use of airport revenue to pay legal fees in its fight with the airport over airport noise and congestion.

In 2015, the town board promised us, the taxpayers, that not 1 cent of our taxes would be used to fight these legal battles. In fact, Federal Aviation Administration rules state clearly that airport funds cannot be used for legal battles that are in opposition to airport users. (Yes, the town can use airport funds in litigation to defend the airport in battles, but not to work against it.) If the F.A.A. finds that the town board is in violation of this statute, the taxpayers will be on the hook for millions of dollars for the return of the money to the airport fund, including hefty penalties and fines. There is ongoing litigation concerning the town board’s actions, and they have intentionally kept this information from the taxpayers.

Jerry has the integrity, courage, and drive to look at all aspects of our local government, and speak out. He has repeatedly acknowledged that airport noise is a problem and one of the most important challenges we face here in East Hampton. However, he leads the groundswell of opinion that closing the airport is not the solution, as its closure will certainly cause irreversible financial hardship for our town and spawn other public safety concerns in its place.

I have full confidence that Jerry can bring both sides together and negotiate a reasonable solution that will accommodate all needs and preserve our quality of life.

Vote for Jerry Larsen on Nov. 7. Let’s make a positive change for our community.


Applicable Experience

East Hampton

October 1, 2017

To the Editor:

The recent community study in your Sept. 28 issue of The Star, “Clean Water, Erosion Top Concerns,” reveals our biggest issues of concern to be water quality: the purity of our drinking water, and the need to aggressively address wastewater contamination. And we are all, of course, deeply concerned with erosion of Montauk Beach and the failure of the latest attempts to curtail that erosion.

These environmental issues require a high level of expertise. One of our candidates, Paul Giardina, has spent his career solving problems that threaten the safety of our environment. Giardina is the candidate with the most applicable experience to address these pressing issues. Let’s put our political persuasions aside and put the most competent candidate in place.


A Clear Choice


October 2, 2017

Dear Editor:

All of us, Democrats and Republicans alike, who care about East Hampton’s environment were torn between commitment to Zachary Cohen and Paul Giardina. Zach is a good man, clearly with the best interests of East Hampton at heart, and with tremendous legacy knowledge about East Hampton. Paul is a retired Environmental Protection Agency executive with decades of just the kind of professional background and expertise which the current town board has shown is desperately needed. 

We now have a clear choice, since Zach will not be a candidate: Paul Giardina. 

We need an environmentalist with the best of credentials to save Montauk’s shoreline, rescue our drinking water, and stop the devastation of our fishing industry. 

Let’s get the real deal on the town board. Vote for Paul Giardina for town board. 


Real-World Experience


October 1, 2017

Dear Mr. Rattray,

I wholeheartedly endorse Paul Giardina for town board. 

Paul Giardina has 45 years’ experience in the field of environmental protection, serving presidential administrations from Reagan to Obama. As a senior manager, Paul has had widespread responsibilities in all of the federal environmental protection laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act, the federal Superfund, just to name a few. 

Paul is the real environmental deal. His real-world experience allows him to deal with environmental issues as a professional, not as a hired gun for special interests that seek to separate taxpayers from their money in the name of the environment.

To my Democrat friends who are disappointed with Zach Cohen’s loss in the Democratic primary election: Like Zach, Paul Giardina is not only committed to protecting East Hampton’s natural resources, but he also has the experience and professional credentials to ensure policy decisions affecting East Hampton’s environment will be made on solid scientific information. 

Election Day is Nov. 7. The polls are open from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Please vote for Paul Giardina for your future, but most important for us all, for East Hampton’s children. A vote for Paul Giardina is a vote for East Hampton’s future.



Noise From the Airport


October 1, 2017

Dear David:

When does a concern cease to be one? When one deliberately distorts the result of one’s own survey.

Mr. Giardina never ceases to amaze me. He has apparently conducted a statistically insignificant (read meaningless) survey from which he concluded that more than half the respondents to his survey opined that noise from East Hampton Airport was at least a “slight” to “serious” concern. Yet, he cavalierly dismisses these survey results as not reflecting a real concern. I often wonder if we even live in the same town. Noise from the airport has been such a concern that it is a frequent topic in local papers and town government meetings. When a regional public meeting is convened to discuss this problem, representatives from every neighboring town, including from the North Fork, attend and voice their concerns over the issue.

Tone-deaf to all this, Mr. Giardina candidly confessed that airport noise isn’t a problem that his administration would address. Let’s recall that it was just a couple weeks ago that the G.O.P. town board candidates took out a full-page ad in which they promised to “save the airport.” Now, reportedly stating that it’s not where he would put his money, one has to wonder what his flip-flop means for our town. It means catering to the outside aviation interests that exploit the airport for money, and which have refused to discuss reasonable restrictions on the use of the airport. It means ignoring the tens of thousands of complaints about airport noise made by victims of these outside interests over just the past few years. Voters should reject outright this kind of double talk and lack of concern for their would-be constituents.

Our town board thinks differently, and actually works to address the concerns of its constituents. Whether the concern is airport noise, as to which it is working to obtain local control so that a truly viable airport can be realized, or our concern for clean water and preserving our waterways, as to which, together with Suffolk County, our town board has developed a revolutionary plan to mitigate the problem of nitrogen pollution. (In stark, contrast, Mr. Giardina would have you and me pay for remediation work to correct systems that were code-compliant when installed.) 

Or our concern for affordable housing: While the G.O.P. candidates brag about having a plan, our town board is actually doing something. One affordable housing project already is underway, and as reported in The Star, the board is eyeing the purchase of property on Pantigo Road as a potential site for more affordable housing.

Peter Van Scoyoc, Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, and Jeff Bragman have demonstrated real concern for our town and deserve your vote this November so that they can continue to work on our behalf.



Emergency Management


October 2, 2017

Dear David,

In the emergency management field, many things keep us up at night and the type of incident that occurred in Las Vegas Sunday night is one of them. I cannot express how sad I am for the lives lost and the families shattered by this heinous act. I ask that we keep all the victims in our thoughts and prayers.

Last week at an East Hampton Town Fire Chiefs Association panel discussion, the topic of emergency management was brought up. At the time, I cited the importance that the East Hampton Town supervisor understands the necessity of having a firm grasp of the process and purpose of the many elements of the various types of emergency management plans. 

As an example, I used a recent Jimmy Buffett concert at Jones Beach, in which 130,000 attended in addition to the daily attendance of 50,000. To keep every hing in perspective, the entire population of East Hampton Town on July 4 is in the range of 74,000.

Unfortunately, the comment was made by the other camp that “East Hampton is not a rock concert.”

Now, this could have been just a snarky comment made during a campaign, or indicative of a failure to understand the importance of the many elements of the various types of emergency management plans. Either way, it is troubling.

As a 33-year career law enforcement official and founding president of New York State’s fifth biggest police union, the Police Benevolent Association of New York State, I require no on-the-job training, and have been endorsed by the East Hampton Town and Village Police Benevolent Associations and every P.B.A. in Suffolk County.

I have used this video prepared by the City of Houston in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security many times, during training I have provided to communities should they encounter an active-shooter incident. The information may save your life.

Sadly, it appears the whole country is a rock concert. I ask for your vote on Nov. 7 for Manny Vilar for East Hampton Town supervisor. 



Left Behind to Die


September 28, 2017

Dear David:

Suppose that the residents of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming combined, had lost access to food and clean water, leaving them vulnerable to cholera. And imagine those overflowing hospitals, without power, had no capacity to deal with an outbreak.

Now, imagine that in response to any of these scenarios, the president of the United States variously ignored the plight of the affected Americans, blamed them for their own troubles, and provided inadequate help. 

This is precisely what is happening right now to the 3.4 million U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria essentially wiped out their ports, roads, electricity, communications, water supply, crops, homes, and businesses. 

Yet, a week after the storm, the response from our American president has been paltry. Where is the urgency, as there was after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, to approve the emergency funds that Puerto Rico will surely need? President Trump, so visible when Harvey and Irma hit, has all but ignored the devastation that Maria brought to Puerto Rico, devoting more attention to respect for the flag at N.F.L. games.

When he did turn his focus to Puerto Rico on Monday, it was only to say that the island “was already suffering from broken infrastructure and massive debt,” and that the island was destroyed, with billions of dollars . . . owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with.”

Two Trump cabinet members, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who traveled with Trump to Texas and Florida after hurricanes there, and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, made a joint public appearance Monday but didn’t even mention Puerto Rico. In the absence of large-scale aid, experts say the island could within days have disease outbreaks. 

It should come as no surprise that Admiral Paul Zukunft, the Coast Guard commandant, said Monday that he understands why Puerto Rico’s residents feel forgotten. “They feel isolated, and they’re probably getting a sense of betrayal, as well. Where is the cavalry?” Zukunft said.

No question the logistics are harder in Puerto Rico. But the 3.4 million U.S. citizens there have long endured second-class status — no voting members of Congress, no presidential vote, unequal benefits, and high poverty. The Trump administration’s failure to help American citizens in Puerto Rico with the same urgency as it offered victims in Texas and Florida reinforces a sad suspicion that the disparate treatment has less to do with logistics than language and skin color.

Our Congressman, Lee Zeldin, when asked about the tragedy besetting the island, responded that a commander should be appointed in order that when the federal monies do arrive, they could make sure that it went where it was supposed to go. 

Par for the Zeldin course. Even when he does say something, it usually is so sanitized and filled with duplicity that it is of no consequence. He should be shouting for troops, trucks, logistical experts, all run under the authority of a general whose command would be judged by speed, effectiveness, and results. I hate to politicize this tragedy in any form except moral.

We must treat this catastrophe for what it is, a human one of fellow citizens being left behind and left to die. This is surely the prognosis, if the present response, or lack thereof, portends the future of this island and its wonderful citizenry. This situation is Mayday, May- day, Mayday.


Let People Demonstrate

East Hampton

September 25, 2017

To the Editor:

I will never forget the first time I saw Colin Kaepernick play quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. They put him in during the third quarter and on his second or third play he ran through the Chicago Bears’ defense 42 yards for a touchdown. Then, in a subsequent series, he threw a 50-yard pass so fierce and direct his wide receiver, Randy Moss no less, dropped it.

Colin Kaepernick was it — the dream quarterback who could really do it all. Better than all the great 49er quarterbacks I’d watched since I returned from World War II, better than Frankie Albert, Y.A. Tittle, John Brodie, and yes, even better than Montana and Young. And what a specimen he was! His forearms seemed as thick as the cables holding up the Golden Gate Bridge. And fast. Despite his huge frame, he could outrun some of the speediest defensive backs in the N.F.L. The greatest of all time was with us.

But then, with an irony that spectator sports seem to use to milk and destroy us, it all collapsed. Within two years he was just an average, perhaps below-average, N.F.L. quarterback, his eyes a second too slow to find his open receivers, his feet a second too eager to flee the pocket from charging 330-pound opposing pass rushers.

Let’s face it, much of the sports commentariat said in effect: He is really just another overpaid oaf, with creepy tattoos and hairdos and furthermore, he is so shallow and self-centered he withdraws into his earphones instead of mingling with his passer-protecting teammates in the locker room.

So, in 2015, when he “took the knee” in protest of police shootings of African- Americans in Ferguson, Mo., instead of standing for the national anthem, his action was mostly attributed to sour grapes than to his personal principles.

And now that turns out to be not so. According to the sportswriter John Branch in the Sept. 24 New York Times, Kaepernick, who is half African-American, adopted by a white couple in California, decided the Ferguson racial incidents were an awakening for him. He wanted answers, studied the issues and history of race relations in our country, and now focuses on uncovering and donating generously to remote, underfunded charities devoted to furthering our American dream of equal opportunity and justice. He is also on his way to becoming, alongside Muhammad Ali and Jackie Robinson, a civil rights icon.

Which, leaving aside our president’s bluster that players kneeling during the playing of the national anthem should be fired, does ask the fair question of whether athletes should shun politics on game day and just play football.

Personally, demonstrations of patriotism at sports events do disturb me a little. When I was a boy, the national anthem was never played by a band or on a gramophone. The Marines never marched onto the field. There were no flags to pledge allegiance to. The planes never swooped in over the stadium. At Seals Stadium the loudspeaker played “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh-inning stretch. Kate Smith singing “God Bless America” and aspiring performers gargling the national anthem were still on the horizon.

I am a conscientious objector, opposed to all wars, yet ever proud of my service during World War II. I marched in protest of the Vietnam War, but was appalled to hear our soldiers called murderers and our police called pigs. When I have lunch at the town senior center I do stand and, along with the others, recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, exchanging the “one nation under God” reference for “one nation indivisible,” which I was taught in grammar school in the 1930s.

My good friend and neighbor, Yvonne Foley, explains all this by describing me as a “San Francisco Jewish Socialist,” a depiction I welcome as a great compliment.

So I say let people peacefully demonstrate or not, as they wish, whether they are spectators, players, or even president. And feel free to discuss it and argue, but without rancor. Kind of like the Quakers have done for nearly 400 years.

I saw this solution work here daily in East Hampton about a decade ago, before lunch in our senior center. There was a table in the middle of the room where seven or eight regulars sat every day. One of them was African-American, and when the other diners rose for the pledge she just sat in her chair casually, displaying no interest whatever in joining in, her hand not over her heart even. The pledge completed, the pledging ladies just sat back down and everyone amiably chatted as they ate their carrot salad and sautéed potatoes.


All About Ignorance

East Hampton

September 21, 2017

To the Editor:

Donald Trump’s speech at the United Nations demonstrated an extraordinary historical ignorance and bellicosity that would be an embarrassment if it weren’t representative of who we are as a nation. Taking the United States out of the closet, Trump managed, in a short speech, to demolish 150 years of civility and the desire for world peace. The thousands of extraordinary minds that have worked to create an institution that would prevent the world from destroying itself have all been laid waste by the dangerous, deranged buffoonery of the president of the U.S.

Stasis: When Nixon visited China in the early ’70s it was a third world country bordering on fourth world. The Soviet Union was our most feared enemy. Communism was still alive and well, and Al Qaeda was a distant nightmare. Today, China is pre-eminent and the U.S.S.R. no longer exists. Why would anyone believe that the world will not continue to change, and that what we do today would not come back to haunt us?

History and truth: In 1953, the U.S. and England overthrew Iran’s democratically elected president because he talked about nationalizing their oil production. We installed the shah, created the secret police, Savak, armed it to the teeth, stole its oil, and essentially bankrupted it. Yet Americans see Iran as the evil empire. Every Iranian schoolkid knows that the U.S. destroyed their democracy, and instituted and supported a reign of terror that had thousands of people disappearing, which led to the ayatollahs and the oppressive religious regime in a country that believed in secularism. How many U.S. students are aware of what happened in Iran?

North Korea: Like a deranged child. Paranoid, petrified, unable to function in the world. Threatening to destroy the country is the standard Nazi solution, or simply one deranged infant to another. Only one country has ever dropped the bomb and believed it was for a good cause. History, again, doesn’t work in our favor. North Korea’s paranoia is not totally misplaced.

Our problem is all about ignorance. Almost all of our problems are about ignorance. Lack of curiosity. No desire to learn and expand our consciousness. There are multiple sides to every story. What role did the Taliban play in 9/11? Why did we attack Iraq in 2003? What about Cuba, Venezuela, Chile, Nicaragua?

Our leading the world is like driving without a license. No penalties, no matter how many accidents we cause.


Fanatic Adjuration


September 24, 2017

To the Editor,

Not since the bombardment of Fort Sumter was the stability of our union so threatened and imperiled as brought to light by the episodes in Charlottesville and many other American cities. Due to the diligent, laborious, and unnerving narrating of our conscientious media, we are being alerted to looming, menacing forces to the constancy and fundamentals of our centuries-old institutions, and our democracy. 

Nazism, fascism, white supremacy, the K.K.K., White Lives Matter, and several similars are on the march to subvert and destabilize? Pertinent at this point to backtrack to the circumstances and conditions that sanctioned the establishment of these formidable “political-plus” parties, and awaken to the dynamics of their acceptance and fanatic adjuration at that time.

In 1921, Benito Mussolini, a convert from communism and socialism (a very porous separation between those two), formed the Italian Fascist Party. At about the same time in Germany, a disgruntled group of German Army officers formed the National Socialist Party, the Nazi party. 

Germany, at the end of World War I, was in a severe depression, the economy in shambles, the harsh, despotic, humiliating, financial and military indemnities — compensation for the war devastation dictated by the Versailles treaties — taking their toll. Massive unemployment, prevailing hunger, cats, dogs, horsemeat part of the diet, rampant inflation. The value of money, currency measured in fully loaded wheelbarrows. Territories confiscated. To the west, Alsace-Lorraine annexed by France; the Ruhr demilitarized. To the east, part of Prussia occupied by Poland, creating a corridor for that landlocked country to the Baltic Sea. Danzig, a thriving German city port declared an open city. Monetary fines and reparations: 266 billion gold marks, in today’s market 850 billion. A Carthaginian peace. Historical German pride in the mud. An opportune time to make Jews the scapegoats. A landscape vulnerable, ripe for encroachment by a radical, extreme “savior.” Satan himself to be welcomed with friendly, open, hugging arms. 

Enter Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, democratically elected by 43 percent — workers, white collars, educated, old, young, rich and poor — the largest single party. The rest is history. 

Back home to the U.S.A. Early 2017. A new president installed, the Republican Party elected, majority in Congress, all government agencies, elected and appointed, operating and functioning well. The economy growing, strengthening, booming. The stock market at record height and climbing. Employment increasing, unemployment at lowest. Crime rates low and decreasing. Military most powerful, being bolstered, bettered, and invigorated. Oil exporting. The Fed very confident, planning a long vacation. Constant pounding at the gates — the most desirable country, population 320 million and growing.

The president only nine months at the helm, but already steering, navigating the ship of state masterfully, skillfully, and confidently, as if on his third term. Both parties partying at the White House together, bipartisanship blooming. Overdue, essential, neglected plans, projects, prioritized, on top of the agenda. Several already implemented, and only in the first nine months, three more years to go. 

A preponderant law initiated by the new secretary of education, a woman protecting man. The American Nazi Party, formed in 1960, the K.K.K., white supremacy groups, White Lives Matter, and several other similar memberships increasing to approximately 9,000. No elected representatives, none, and not for the lack of trying. 

Yes, America! Be alert. You, we, are very vulnerable, susceptible, in danger of being destabilized and revolutionized by extremists and radicals. One day soon, we could be startled to behold Panzers rolling up Pennsylvania Avenue, passing in front of a reviewing, smirking president, toward the capital, surrounding it, and arresting a joint session of Congress. 

Or so would CNN, Kinfolks, and the Left Bank have you believe. No need to elucidate xenophobia, right? Robert Larry Ripley, where are you? Some bizarre, dramatic, and intriguing happenings here and now! Great potential scenarios! Believe it! You will love it!