Letters to the Editor: 10.26.17

Our readers' comments

A Great Event

East Hampton

October 23, 2017

Dear David:

 The Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center was so pleased to be a part of Saturday’s East Hampton Village Fall Festival, organized by the East Hampton Chamber of Commerce. What a great event!

 From the start of the day till the end, Herrick Park was filled with community members enjoying the beautiful fall weather, meeting and chatting with neighbors, listening to the excellent music, eating, and perusing the vendors’ booths.

 From our booth in the kids zone, we saw so many families having a great day out together, with children enjoying the play equipment in the park, making crafts and big bubbles at the Children s Museum of the East End’s station at the gazebo, and trying out the climbing wall and other activities set up by the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter.

 We had lots of children stopping by our table to concentrate on the simple joy of making a paper-plate mask, and a good group lined up to follow one of our pre-K teachers for the costume parade.

Kudos to the East Hampton Chamber of Commerce for organizing this event. This is what our East Hampton community is all about.



Administrative Director


Program Director

Not a Restaurant

East Hampton

October. 16, 2016

To the Editor:

What is a sports bar? According to  Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, “a bar that has televisions for watching sports and is decorated with sports items.”

The new clubhouse that sits on East Hampton’s main aquifer at a new fun park is not a sports bar, it is 200-seat restaurant with 2 bars, an outdoor firepot, outdoor televisions, and music. Its owner boasts it is available for “birthday parties, bachelor parties, sweet 16s, bridal showers. and more,” solicits ideas for other events, promotes a 10-lane bowling alley, 3 indoor bocce courts, 40-plus games arcade, a golf simulator with over 100 courses, a 25,000-square-foot state-of-the-art mini-golf with night lighting for night play, indoor and outdoor tennis, with lights for night play, I assume. With all of this there will be additional bathrooms and parking for many, many cars. So near the handy airport and the gun club, adding noise from morning till the middle of the night.

All of this situated on land that is zoned for five-acre residential use and sits within a water recharge area, within the Georgia Pond watershed, and above a unique drinking water reserve called a deep-water recharge aquifer.

In spite of a temporary restraining order, the clubhouse group proceeded with construction without the environmental groundwater and wastewater management studies, something this extensive a project calls for, and a truly laughable traffic study.

A restaurant is not a permitted use, even in an overlay district, so when is a restaurant not a restaurant? When it’s called a sports bar. And that is what the legal notices in the middle of the winter for the public hearing at the planning board referred to. Sure sounds like a restaurant to me, trying to get around the restriction.

An extensive legal argument sat for a year awaiting Judge Molia’s attention. Her reasoning in the dismissal of the case my wife, Joanna, and others filed at the Supreme Court in Riverhead is preposterous.

I know Scott Rubenstein since he was a kid. I like him and his family, but that doesn’t make his undertaking correct.



Keep Filing


October 16, 2017 

Dear Editor,

At the East Hampton Town Board work session held on Sept. 19, the town’s environmental consultants, Harris, Miller, Miller and Hanson, presented aircraft operations and noise complaint data and analysis from Jan. 1 to July. Data from both the town’s PlaneNoise site and the not-for-profit AirNoiseReport.com site was analyzed. Some key points: Overall noise complaints increased in 2017 by 17,585 — a 133-percent increase over the same period in 2016. July 2017 had the largest monthly increase of 8,650 complaints, a 99-percent increase over 2016. By far, the largest number of complaints was filed on the easy-to-use, “real time” AirNoiseReport.com. 

If all affected residents filed complaints, the complaints statistics would be far, far higher. Several residents at the meeting stated that they, along with so many others, have for years suffered from complaint “fatigue” and no longer bother to file complaints, and that other residents have sold their homes and moved elsewhere due to the increasing aviation noise and pollution in our area. 

Annoying though it is to file a complaint, it remains the only way to document the extent of our torment from the relentless passage above our homes of commercial aircraft flying in and out of KHTO [the East Hampton Airport]. Without complaint data, our local, state, and federal officials will continue to underestimate the real numbers of people impacted by this aviation abuse, and the abuse worsens each year. The air traffic continues now, even in mid-October, so please keep filing complaints.

After years of gathering noise complaints, the data will soon play a critical part in the upcoming Part 161 study that the Town of East Hampton will undertake as part of the requirements of the Air Noise and Capacity Act (ANCA). If the town succeeds in winning Federal Aviation Administration approval through ANCA, East Hampton will again have the right to set restrictions on aircraft using its airport. 

Of great concern however, is that seaplanes, a fixed-wing aircraft type, have not been designated within any of the stage categories established by the F.A.A. to designate different types of aircraft noise. So, the costly Part 161 study will likely be completed without any consideration of the impacts of this noisy group of aircraft. Why should these aircraft, the third largest “noise offenders” at KHTO, be given carte blanche and possibly be exempted from any future restrictions? As a disenfranchised resident of another town, I implore East Hampton residents to request the board that this category of aircraft be included within the study. 

Thank you,


Additional Dangers


October 23, 2017

To the Editor,

The East Hampton Aviation Association remains remarkably consistent both in its demands for airport expansion and its refusal to accept any responsibility for the resulting widespread aviation torment they’ve helped perpetrate across the East End. 

With the complicity of former town boards, the airport manager, Jim Brundige, and other “friends” of East Hampton airport, the E.H.A.A. demanded the town undertake expansion projects like extending runways and erecting a permanent air traffic control tower. The tower, they said, would help with noise abatement; not so, said the Federal Aviation Administration — air traffic control is not about limiting aircraft operations and not about noise abatement. The F.A.A. was correct; like stink bugs drawn to light, the control tower attracted an increasing number of ever-larger jets, as well as fleets of fixed-wing planes and helicopters. 

The tiny E.H.A.A. group, which includes members who are not East Hampton residents, is again demanding the town spend millions of dollars repaving and reopening a secondary runway (4-22) that was deemed unsuitable by the F.A.A. and was closed in 1996 due to concerns about noise and safety of residents. That decision was revisited, more studies undertaken, discussed publicly at great length, and reaffirmed in 2009. 

Proponents of the commercial commuter companies and fixed-base operators at KHTO, the E.H.A.A. has argued against the town’s attempts to set restrictions and curfews. And the so-called Friends of East Hampton Airport group sued the town for its attempts to bring noise relief to residents. 

Now, E.H.A.A. is demanding the town undertake a massive and costly project, which will take small avgas-fueled (leaded aviation fuel) planes, some flown by student pilots, at very low altitude directly over 150 or so nearby homes. The current runway (16-34) takes them over a sand pit, not residences! And how will the town pay for this dangerous insanity? 

To meet the cost of the E.H.A.A.’s multimillion-dollar demand, it is possible that the town would be obliged to request more, toxic F.A.A. money — and that comes with 20-year F.A.A. shackles (grant assurances). Result: definitely no restrictions or curfews, open day and night for 20 more years, with traffic increasing exponentially every year. Our quality of life will further diminish, with additional dangers to residents, and increasing pollution of our already-threatened water, soil, and air. 

If ever there was a time and yet another reason to consider safe, environmentally-friendly alternative uses of airport land, another unreasonable and unsafe expansion demand by E.H.A.A. is it. 

Thank you,


Attacked From Above


October 19, 2017

Dear David, 

The airport has created a water-contamination problem, requiring bottled water, that has to be supplied by the town, to help — a proactive response.

One cannot shower or do laundry and dishes with bottled water. Forget swimming pools. I was completing an application with a check when the county heath and water department knocked on my door to conduct a free water test. 

My test was 10 weeks ago, and the final results I will not know for three more months. The contamination no doubt will get worse, as the penetration leaches downward. The answer is public water now! 

The Suffolk County Water Authority has an extremely deep well off Town Line Road, north of the rail tracks; what is the test status of this? Two test wells that contained unidentified petrochemical solvents at the entrance of the airport have vanished? Why and how? 

Years back, the Town Natural Resource Department was denied access to the town-owned land, that the gun club uses, to test for lead in the groundwater? Why?

Now the pilots want a Federal Aviation Administration-recommended aban­donment of runway 4-22, due to danger at its intersections with other runways, opened, solely for use on infrequent days or hours with certain wind conditions. Why? For their convenience? For $3 million to $5 million? Are people aware of the amount of oil in a ton of asphalt before it is compressed by a 10-ton roller? When will that oil get in the water? For, as one pilot stated, 42 operations? Yet, he failed to mention that sea planes and helicopters can use it.

So we get attacked from above as well. Almost intolerable noise and low-altitude flying already exists. The F.A.A. is the foremost authority and it recommended 4-22 be abandoned. The F.A.A. did an exhaustive historical wind study to make this determination. 

So the residents of the area affected have to suffer for the whims of those pilots, many of whom are not even town residents?. These are the same people who were part of a lawsuit against the efforts of the town board to mitigate a horrendous situation. A resounding no! Please attend the airport management advisory committee meeting at Town Hall tomorrow at 9 a.m. to send a message. Our health and well-being is the only primary concern. That is the responsibility of government. To the pilots: Go to Grabeski!

On an added note, those homes in the affected contaminated areas have lost considerable value because of the water and more due to the increase in noise and danger.

Yours truly,


Well Publicized

East Hampton

October 23, 2017

Dear David,

I was puzzled by the phrase “blindsided” in the headline of the Oct. 19 article “Blindsided by Oyster Farming.” As director of the East Hampton Town Shellfish Hatchery, I served on the Suffolk County aquaculture lease program advisory committee from 2005 through 2009, as did Arnold Leo and Stuart Heath, who were representing local bay fishing interests in the development of the shellfish lease program in Peconic and Gardiner’s Bays. 

Early in the process the committee emphatically advised the county to strongly engage the individual towns in the program’s development in order to avoid just this kind of thing and that advice was taken to heart. Regular publicly noticed committee meetings were held in Riverhead to accommodate attendees from both forks and special well-publicized informational meetings were set up in Southold and Southampton to inform the public close to home of developments at critical times in the process, including at its very beginning.

The Star wrote more than one article on the program and published notices of these meetings of interest. Here, the county actually came to the town’s own fisheries advisory committee in order to locate the lease sites in waters adjacent to town.

Okay, that said, I gleaned from the article that the county is taking a reasonable approach to this issue and the lease program has been designed to accommodate continuing input and potential modifications if warranted. However, I would like to point out that the program provides opportunity to make a living, or at least part of one, on the water. Many in the bay fishing community who are being pushed out by other forces have welcomed it and are benefiting from it. I would hope that their more well-heeled neighbors could see their way to accommodating this newer form of a traditional bay craft.




Mr. Aldred is a candidate for East Hampton Town trustee. Ed.

Correct Balance


October 23, 2017

Dear David,

The town is fortunate to have Francis Bock as a trustee, and I urge everyone to vote for his re-election. Francis is completing his third term, and the second in which he has served as the clerk. Experience counts in trustee matters, and Francis has it.

As the clerk, Francis’s work has been especially effective through his wise ability to bring forth ideas from all the trustees as well as from our knowledgeable community so that the entire trustee body can find the best solutions. His guidance ignores party lines. This manner of leadership has allowed the own to benefit not only from the organized skill of the Democratic trustees but also from the participation of the highly qualified Republican trustee, Jim Grimes.

Francis’s view of the role of the trustees exemplifies the correct balance between cooperation with the town board and other agencies while acknowledging the independence of the trustees as a separate elected body. The trustee review of the Deepwater Wind project demonstrates an unbiased and probing approach that will ultimately improve the final outcome.

Please vote to re-elect Francis Bock this Nov. 7.


Crosses Party Lines


October 22, 2017

Dear David,

Thank you to Christopher Walsh for his excellent coverage of the trustees’ opening of Georgica Pond. The cutting of the inlet is always an exciting event and a marvel to watch as the freshwater river forces its way against the powerful Atlantic. Not to “pat ourselves on the back,” as one recent letter writer has complained, but many are saying this cut may be the most successful in memory. 

The tidal exchange we are seeing is a thing of beauty. Visitors to the site have witnessed various species of marine life passing in and out of the pond, eager to re-establish an ecosystem that has suffered due to the long drought of salt water. Georgica Pond is historically opened to the ocean in the spring and again in the fall. This year, the spring letting was canceled due to the early arrival of colonizing bird populations; piping plovers arrived several weeks before normally anticipated, canceling the project just as the contractor was literally transporting his equipment to the site. 

Being responsible board members, we asked that the contractor return to base on Thursday, Oct. 12. East Hampton Town trustees Bill Taylor, Jim Grimes, and I, along with members of the Georgica Association and Friends of Georgica, traveled to Stony Brook to meet with officials from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and United States Fish and Wildlife. 

The group discussion addressed our 10-year maintenance permit application that is currently under review. The meeting was most productive, and one of the benefits of the project is the creation of a management plan for Georgica Pond. The plan will include the seasonal openings along with the option to open for emergency reasons, which will be specifically spelled out. We will file the plan with the parties of interest so all will know what to anticipate.

 We expect this management plan to serve as a template for all water bodies under trustee stewardship, as we continue to wrestle with issues of water quality. This trustee board has worked very hard to re-establish working relationships with other governing agencies, local and beyond, as well as community groups having interest in the trustees’ holdings. This work is being done in a bipartisan fashion, in spite of obstruction by a few. Good work crosses party lines, and I hope we have the opportunity to continue moving forward.




East Hampton Town Trustees

Democratic Candidate for 


Solid Progress


October 23, 2017

Dear David,

It was almost three years ago when Francis Bock and myself started recruiting candidates to run against what we considered a meanspirited, intransigent bunch of incumbent Republican trustees. Both Francis, a former clerk of the trustees, and myself, a first-term trustee, thought the trustees needed to move in a different, more positive direction. 

We succeeded in changing the board’s outlook with a combination of Democrats, Independents, and a Republican, all unafraid to interact with other levels of government as equals. We have been making solid progress on improving water quality, removing invasive plant species, dredging for both environmental and navigational safety, and beach re-nourishment. We successfully defended our beach driving and beach access rights, winning the Napeague Beach lawsuit. Georgica Pond is open and clean.

We are making progress, but there is a lot to do, so I am asking that you vote for the incumbents and new candidates who are committed to keeping this progress going. Now is not the time to go back to the bad old days. The new Democratic candidates are all committed to progress; please vote for them.


Mr. Taylor is a candidate for East Hampton Town trustee. Ed.

Cohesive Team


October 23, 2017

To the Editor,

Our East Hampton Town trustees are stewards and watchdogs that protect and maintain public access to our beaches, harbors, and ponds, East Hampton’s most valuable assets. The trustees identify the problems, identify the possible solutions, and take the steps necessary to implement solutions within a timely response. The trustees must work as a cohesive decision-making team for future generations. I urge you to vote for the person, not the party.

Our current board has worked well with one another, with outside agencies, and our local government, while maintaining their authority. Rick Drew and James Grimes have been knowledgeable and helpful new additions to the current board. Our town is facing some very serious issues of water quality, the proposed wind farm, and beach access for all. Thank-you to those trustees who have worked these past years and for those offering their time and service for the future. 


Half-Baked Result


October 23, 2017

Dear David, 

After some reflection I’m convinced that the worsening water quality in some of our harbors and ponds is a direct result of poor leadership at the trustee level. People cannot expect to do a proper job while doing two jobs in the same time period; the best that can be expected is a half-baked result. If the voters in East Hampton are satisfied with the current situation they should re-elect the Democratic majority. If not, we the Republican candidates offer an experienced and extremely qualified group willing to tackle these problems head-on. We will earn any confidence placed in us. Please realize I’m not trying to say that any of those in office now are bad people. They’re not. It’s just that the job is not getting done, and it’s too important a job to leave undone. 

Best regards, 


Republican candidate for 

Town Trustee 

Progress Made


October 23, 2017

Dear David,

As I am running for re-election to the board of trustees, I would like to take this opportunity to update the residents of East Hampton on the progress we have made since I came on the board two years ago. 

We have worked with applicants, agents, and the Town and Village of East Hampton for a more consistent policy regarding wetland buffers along Hook and Georgica Ponds.

We have worked with the Georgica Pond steering committee to develop strategies for mitigating high nitrogen levels in Georgica Pond, one of our most delicate and scenic natural resources.

We have worked to develop a direct relationship with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Army Corps of Engineers as well as other parties interested in our trustee waters. We now have a face-to-face relationship with these agencies, allowing for better communication and a more streamlined permitting process.

We have rewritten our sand-fencing policies to make it easier for property owners to get permits for installing snow fencing along our beaches. The old policy was both time-consuming and expensive for property owners, requiring both before and after surveys. That has been replaced with a much more streamlined policy.

When our local fishing community could not get answers to their concerns regarding the offshore Deepwater Wind farm, the harbor management committee, a subcommittee of the trustees of which I am a member, took on the task of organizing meetings with Deepwater for the fishing community and the general public. At these meetings, environmental concerns and community benefits were discussed at length.

In working with the Lazy Point community, we have enabled Cornell Co-Operative Extension to begin a major eelgrass restoration project in Napeague Harbor.

We have remapped and organized the duck blinds in the town.

Over the next two years, with the public’s support of my re-election, I would like to focus on the water quality of our waterways and ponds. I feel this will continue to be most important. Dredging of Georgica Pond should be scheduled for this coming winter season, removing the substantial sand shoal at the south end of the pond. 

This prevents the efficient water exchange during our seasonal letting, which is critical to the health of the pond by raising salinity levels. This prevents harmful blue-green algae blooms in lower water temperatures, resulting in higher dissolved oxygen, which benefits fish and other creatures. The excavated sand will be used to replenish our local beaches.

 I would also like to see improvement in the dredging of Accabonac and Napeague Harbors. This work in the past has been done strictly for navigation purposes. Moving forward, we realize the needs go beyond those.

To give a brief background, I am a fourth-generation Montauk resident, graduated in 1976 with a degree in ornamental horticulture, and for the past 39 years have operated James C. Grimes Land Design Inc., specializing in native landscapes. Among many community service activities, I have been a member of the Montauk Fire Department for over 40 years, and have been active in the Boy Scouts since 1991, serving as scoutmaster for many years and currently as committee chair.

I would like to thank the voters and my fellow board members for their support over the past two years, and I hope the voting public will support my re-election on Nov. 7.

Thank you for allowing me to address the public in your paper.



Uncommon Sense


October 22, 2017


Carol Campolo’s letter to you, “Salient Experience,” which appeared in the Oct. 19 edition incorrectly refers to me as “president of the Save Our Baymen’s Association.”

Save Our Baymen is a social media group that was formed in an attempt to increase the public’s awareness of the environmental issues, regulatory policies, market conditions, and political agendas that are threatening the way of life of eastern Long Island’s few remaining full-time baymen. I am the founder and an administrator of this apolitical group but we are not an association nor do we have any officers.

As far as salient experience goes, I think that what I may be able to bring to the board of trustees, if elected, is better defined as a fair measure of uncommon sense. As I have chosen on many occasions to not in fact come in from the rain, it is not very likely that I am qualified to offer much in the way of common sense but I think uncommon sense may be of equal value in this push-button, virtual-reality, Google-it world that we now live in.

In contrast to common sense, uncommon sense will not necessarily tell you to come in from the rain but it enables you to know that it is in fact going to rain, why it is going to rain, when it is going to rain, and how much rain may fall. Uncommon sense also makes you acutely aware of which heading will take you to high ground if it doesn’t stop raining and how to build an ark using phragmites grass and pine sap should it become necessary to do so. 

Uncommon sense is not something that one can acquire by completing a formal degree program, by spending an entire career in a single discipline, or by watching reality television programs. Uncommon sense can only be acquired from actual hands-on experience in a broad range of diverse interests and disciplines.

Without doubt, I first began developing this uncommon sense while a member of the Boy Scouts of America, where I fell but one service project shy of attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. (Unfortunately, graduating from high school at age 16 and moving on to college cut that effort short.) During my time in the B.S.A. I backpacked various northern sections of the Appalachian Trail, the eastern section of the C&O Canal Towpath, along the ridges of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico, and watched the July 20,1969, Lunar Landing on a 12-inch black-and -white TV from the inside of a platoon tent at the National Jamboree in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I came away from those experiences with an insatiable appetite for our natural environments and also an interest in modern technologies.

Over the course of the half century that followed, which included raising four sons, I walked, hiked, canoed, kayaked, camped, hunted, fished, shell fished, and artifact collected from the headwaters of the Peconic River, along the ridges and gullies of our glacial moraines, and throughout the uplands, meadows, marshes, creeks, and bays into which they drain. Those experiences led to personal studies of the glacial formation of Long Island and the subsequent settlements of native peoples and colonists. 

Along the way I took an interest in genealogy, followed my ancestors back to the first century in Jutland, founded and served a five-year term as president of the Flanders Village Historical Society, and amassed a sizable collection of native artifacts.

With varying levels of formal education in the fields of natural resource conservation, avionics systems technology, residential electrical installations, and commercial vehicle operations, my employment history includes commercial driving, heavy equipment operation, landfill reclamation supervision, tree, shrub, and nursery stock management, aircraft systems operation and maintenance, as well as wholesale and retail seafood sales. I have also operated my own roadside farm stand, been employed in the local restaurant and landcape industries and have experience fishing commercially for lobsters in Long Island Sound and for scallops in our local bays.

As a former appointed member of Southampton Town’s Landmarks and Historic Districts board I co-authored the Flanders Hamlet Heritage Area Report and facilitated the landmarking and subsequent community preservation fund acquisition of the historically significant “Blue Barn.” 

I am also a past president of the Southampton Town Head Start program’s Parent Teacher Organization, a past president of the East End Surf Fishing Club, and was the founder and president of the South Fork Dart League. As a member of the Long Island Beach Buggy Association, the Southampton Alliance for Beach Access, and Citizens for Access Rights, I have been actively involved in preserving beach access rights in Riverhead, Southampton, and East Hampton Towns since the mid-1980s.

If successful in the Nov. 7 election I will welcome the opportunity to bring a fair measure of uncommon sense to the trustees of the Freeholders and Commonalty of the Town of East Hampton. 


Women Candidates

East Hampton

October 22, 2017

Dear David, 

I really hope our community is going to vote in November, especially for the Democratic Party women candidates. I want to support all of them, but specially Francesca Rheannon. 

I met her during the last presidential campaign, working for Bernie Sanders, going door to door canvassing. 

I know she will be a great trustee. I have been a lifelong advocate for the environment as a local artist, engaged with my artwork for environmental issues and especially fighting for clean water. I know Francesca will represent us to protect our community and push for: 

1. Clean water: science-based water management plan for our waterways, ponds, harbors, bays, and marshes to sharply reduce nitrogen pollution and other chemical hazards. 

2. Coastal conservation and resilience: promote “soft” approaches like dune and marsh protection in the face of sea level rise instead of hard structures that accelerate erosion. 

3. Shellfish restoration: promote and expand science-based restoration projects like the East Hampton shellfish hatchery and eelgrass planting in Napeague Harbor.

4. Promote environmental awareness about trustee initiatives among the public and in the schools.

 5. Continue and expand the work of the trustees in bringing community residents, the fishing community, town/state/federal agencies and scientists together to develop effective long-term management plans for water quality, coastal conservation, and fisheries protection.

I believe in good government. and Francesca will be listening to the community and its concerns, cooperating with our local government, basing solutions on the best knowledge available, and protecting the public welfare over private interests. 



Past Experiences


October 20, 2017

Dear David:

I am writing this letter to voice my support for Francesca Rheannon, who is a candidate for East Hampton Town trustee. Francesca has been connected to East Hampton since she was a young girl when her parents built a home in Springs. She has been living in that home since 2009. 

Francesca has long had an abiding interest in the environment and clean water. She is an award-winning journalist with a wide variety of activities and interests over the years, including sustainable farming, women’s health, workplace health and safety, and growing green businesses. She can be heard on New England Radio and Sustainable East End. Francesca is committed to continuing the good work of the current trustees in coastal conservation and resilience, science-based clean water management, shellfish restoration, and promotion of the community’s environmental awareness. 

I am certain of Francesca’s commitment to work hard for our town. I believe that her attention to detail and past experiences give her the ability to listen to all community stakeholders, to understand complex issues, and to be able to communicate her viewpoints to others. Please vote for her this November for town trustee. You will not regret that vote.



Personal Dedication

East Hampton

October. 23, 2017

Dear David, 

I write in support of Susan McGraw Keber’s candidacy for East Hampton Town trustee. 

During our 10 years of advocacy work on important environmental and quality-of-life issues, Susan has proven, time and again, that her personal dedication to this community is broad, intuitive, inclusive, and informed. 

Her extraordinary work ethic, open-mindedness, and innate sense of equity will well serve this community if she is elected town trustee. 



She Lives It


October 20, 2017

To the Editor:

I am writing to say if I lived in East Hampton I would be voting for Susan McGraw Keber for town trustee. I have known Susan for at least 20 years and she has an amazing level of energy and commitment for any project or cause she believes in. She has always loved all our waterways, and is a tremendous advocate for all of our environmental issues. She lives it in her daily life. I hope you will take the time to get to know Susan and you will give her your vote. You will be happy you did.


Southampton Village Trustee

Important Role


October 22, 2017

Dear David,

On Nov. 7 you will have 18 candidates for East Hampton Town trustee and only 9 will be elected. The trustees have an important role in our town, as they take care of our bottomlands, our water, and our beaches.

We need committed, hard-working, and honest people, people who understand the importance of this position and who will work tirelessly in keeping public access open to our beaches. This is why I will be voting for Rona Klopman on Nov. 7 for East Hampton Town trustee. 



Voting for Dems


October 22, 2017

Dear David,

As Election Day approaches we need to seriously consider the importance of our votes and not just the top of the ticket. I ask you to remember the trustees as they were before our present Democratic group were voted in. The meetings took place in a building that was cramped and dark, with poor sound making it difficult for the television crew to film there and the public to attend the meetings. The new group voted in almost two years ago brought the trustees into Town Hall and the 21st century. Not only could we see and hear them, but they also realized that to get things done they had to work with other agencies and governing bodies. In this complicated world we live in today, our Democratic trustees, along with Jim Grimes, are a great working group. 

Rona Klopman is a trustee nominee that I will tell you has been going to trustee meetings as well as board meetings for a very long time. She knows East Hampton as few of us do. You can spot her blond head in the audience of every meeting of the town board. Like our present Democratic town trustees, she is a worker and a lifelong learner. She is creative and has some wonderful ideas of how to make the trustees even more effective, like staggering the terms of the trustees. I will use my vote with great discretion voting for Dems like Peter, Kathee, and Jeff at the top of the ticket, but Rona is certainly one worthy of my vote. 



Constant Presence

East Hampton

October 223, 2017

Dear David: 

 I am writing in support of Rona Klopman, a candidate for East Hampton Town trustee. I have known Rona for many years and have found her to be hard-working and dedicated. She is a constant presence at various town meetings, affording her a wealth of knowledge about all aspects of town government. If elected, Rona will be a great asset to the board of trustees.


Awesome Volunteers

East Hampton

October 23, 2017

Dear David,

I want to thank all the outstanding volunteers who came out last Sunday to help me clean the roadside of the Napeague stretch. I’ve led this charge against roadside litter on the stretch twice a year for the past three years, because I think it’s a vital highway. I believe what people see along the drive dictates how folks perceive our treatment of our own environment. I also believe people will treat their present environment the way they see others treating it. If our roadsides are trashed with litter, then some folks find it easier to add to the filth. On the other hand, if folks drive down a clean highway and see volunteers cleaning, then perhaps they will think twice about tossing that bottle or plastic wrapper out the window, and maybe even think of volunteering themselves at some point. 

We had a great turnout of folks who worked very hard for half a day attempting to reach a new goal, which we did. We cleaned both sides of the state highway from Cranberry Hole Road to the Old/New Montauk Highway split. By 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon the entire stretch was a visual beauty, a rare sight nowadays. I invited all the political candidates to join in and besides myself, only three showed up to help clean up the heavily used and abused highway: Manny Vilar, Susan McGraw Keber, and Rona Klopman. Big thanks to those folks.

I also attempted to contact all the businesses who advertise as sponsors of the litter removal program along the stretch we cleaned, but none of them showed up. All but one were pest-control companies. Anyway, the people that did show up brought their heart and their best game, and we completed a job that the New York State Department of Transportation and their Adopt-A-Highway Program couldn’t complete and haven’t been doing properly for years.

I spoke with the headcheese over at D.O.T. and this is what he told me about how the program works. He says, after all the responsibilities the D.O.T. has during each day “the last thing the men want to do is pick up trash; we found it was something we could easily palm off on someone else.” The state has hired only four companies to handle the well-over 500 segments of roadways the D.O.T. has litter control of, and adopts out. Two companies do this nationwide and are based out of Southern California. Another is dispatched out of Islip and the last from Southampton.

“They don’t do this out of the goodness of their hearts, so they charge,” says the D.O.T. supervisor. “We don’t allow just any volunteer to clean these highways because these guys do staging, have special equipment, wear protective clothing, and have proper liability insurance to do this job right,” he continued, not realizing I and our volunteers are the only people cleaning Napeague stretch, while the people getting paid to do the job are not.

So, who pays? The company that pays a “couple hundred bucks” for the best year-round advertisement you can buy on eastern Long Island, and even better, on a roadside that has always been purposely void of all billboard advertising because of the beautiful and natural landscape on the final stretch before reaching Montauk.

Unfortunately, I and our volunteers also pay, because we are doing the hard work and doing it completely in half a day. Yet D.O.T. subcontracting companies get the money, and the advertising businesses get the credit. Despite the state’s sham of a program, it’s still not enough to deter me and the awesome volunteers from doing what’s best for our community, which we call home. Perhaps some of these advertising businesses should take a stand rather than take advantage. They don’t need to worry about rocking the boat, because every time I and other volunteers clean their advertised segment, we’re going to publicize it and make big waves locally and to the state. 

For those of you who have previously seen the constant stream of filth along the Napeague stretch, be advised that these well-staged litter removal crews that don’t show up are required and contracted to clean each advertised one- mile segment two to four times a month, year round (except when snow is present). Napeague stretch would sparkle if that was being done. However last Sunday we removed over 500 pounds of trash within a five-mile stretch of state highway, having previously removed 1,106 pounds back in March of 2017. Ninety percent of Sunday’s haul was plastic. I smell something rotten with this program, and it’s not the trash.

The state grounds crew should also stop adding to the problem by mowing over the trash. This goes for all mowing crews as well. It only multiplies the trash into smaller pieces, which makes it so much harder to pick up and more time-consuming. Almost all of the Napeague stretch trash had been mowed over. A simple added step of picking up trash before mowing by the paid crews could make litter removal easier by the volunteers who don’t get paid. It’s not just the right and responsible thing to do, it’s also the respectful thing to do. 

One last thing: Speaking about the visual beauty in this town, you’ll never see a “Vote for Dell Cullum” sign on the side of the road. I’m working hard to better our environment and our town’s visual beauty, not the opposite. If you don’t know me already, I’m Dell Cullum. I’m running for East Hampton Town trustee and I walk the walk. Vote for me and you’ll get more action, less talk. Serving the community, before politics.


Democratic Candidate for 

Town Trustee

Problem Solving

East Hampton

October 22, 2017

Dear David,

I’m writing to endorse Willy Wolter, my husband of 44 years, for trustee of East Hampton. He is highly disciplined and motivated. Having been in the fashion business, he pulls on these talents to make creative and resourceful decisions. It’s a rare gift, and I know it will benefit and capitalize all aspects of the trustee mission.

From this background, Willy is an expert at problem solving and collaborating with others to achieve the desired results effectively. These talents will be needed to address trustee issues, but also to make sure the trustee decisions are passed and completed in a timely manner.

I’ve read what other trustee advocates say about their qualifications for trustee. They not being done.

Willy uses his leadership skills at the East End Community Organic Farm and has been on its board for over 12 years. He directly overseas the community service people and uses each of their skills to benefit EECO Farm. He has achieved loyalty and good work ethics with the community service people. His problem-solving ability is appreciated, and he keeps all 120 EECO Farm patches issues and challenges resolved.

He collaborates effectively with town supervisors to be sure all the community service people are doing their make-up chores. He has volunteered for several activities at the Ladies Village Improvement Society.

He was president of our private road in Riverside, Conn., and condo president in Greenwich.

We’ve lived in Northwest Woods for 27 years, always concerned about the free and open land and waterways.

I’ve read about other trustees and all their experience with being harbormaster, fishing boat owner, and so much fishing knowledge passed down through generations. I understand many of the proposed propositions have been delayed and shelved in committee for months; Willy and the other trustees will get them approved.


A Referendum


October 23, 2017

To David Rattray:

I’ll be brief. Long letters can be deadly dull and put you to sleep.  There are two reasons to support all Democratic candidates on Nov. 7.

First: Without exception, these are good, decent, highly competent and knowledgeable women and men. They believe in protecting our waters, our land, our history, and our underserved. They believe in treating others with civility, dignity, and respect. If more people were like them, not only our town, but our nation, would be a better place.

Second: As a United States Army veteran, I am deeply offended by and ashamed of our president. The same goes for the cowardice of Republicans and their collective silence over Trump’s un-American actions and un-American values. America is better than Trump. We in East Hampton are better than Trump. His values are not our values.

Nov. 7 no longer is simply a day of local elections. Across America, it will be viewed as a referendum on where we see our country headed under Trump and his Republican followers. 

East Hampton’s Democratic Party has presented a slate of candidates who will provide our community with outstanding leadership and governance. Every single one deserves our support.


Public Beach Access 

East Hampton

October 23, 2017

Dear Editor,

As we have in election years past, the board of Citizens for Access Rights has submitted questions related to beach access and ownership issues to the town trustee, town board, and supervisor candidates. The CfAR board would like to let our members and supporters know to be on the lookout for an email from CfAR with the candidates’ responses. We will be emailing the responses to our members and supporters along with posting the responses on our website, citizensforaccessrights.com. 

The board of CfAR urges everyone to read through the responses and consider each candidate’s position on public beach access when heading to the polls on Election Day. 

If you wish to become a CfAR member and support public beach access and ownership and to receive updates and mailings regarding beach-access issues, you can also sign up to become a member on our website. 

We thank everyone for their continued support of CfAR and public beach access and ownership.




Citizens for Access Rights



October 23, 2017

Dear David:

With two weeks to go, anecdotal evidence suggests that many potential voters in our region: 1. don’t know much, if anything, about individual candidates; 2. are unaware of arguments pro and con about the ballot question on a proposed state constitutional convention, and 3. are indifferent to local elections, citing them as a Sisyphus-like expense of energy and a waste of time. In Springs, where I serve as an elections inspector, the turnout at the last (primary) election was pitiable.

While it has been argued that increased numbers of voters in many areas on the East End would likely benefit Democrats over Republicans, especially if more newly enfranchised people turned out to vote, that view has not translated into action. For Democrats, some of whom are still fighting the Sanders-Clinton rift, the results have been self-defeating.

Cynicism is not only a cliché, it is impractical. Numbers count, psychologically as well as demographically, and attract money. Off-year elections presage larger contests, and none is more important for Democrats than capturing the congressional seat for Congressional District 1 held by Trump mini-me Lee Zeldin. Surely every registered Democrat in our region knows someone who is eligible to vote. Sending a so-called message by not voting discourages candidates who have civil and constructive contributions to make to the growth of our region and the fate of our country.  

Let it be noted that, as mandated by the board of elections, inspectors with Democratic affiliation serve alongside Republican colleagues and respect the nonpartisan rules of service at the polls.



Worked Tirelessly

East Hampton 

October 23, 2017

To the Editor,

It’s easy to be the outsider who insists you can do a better job. That is, until you actually get the job. Like President Trump said, “Nobody knew health care could be so difficult.” (In this case, definition of nobody = Donald Trump.) 

Closer to home, most people know serving on a town board is not easy. There are constituents with a wide variety of concerns and problems, some of which inevitably conflict with each other. To be a good public servant, you need to listen to all concerned, study and understand the issues, and make the best decision possible. Peter Van Scoyoc and Kathee Burke-Gonzalez have both demonstrated time and again they are willing to tackle thorny issues and make difficult decisions, while always keeping the best interests of the town front and center.

From securing grant funding to tackling water quality issues in Accabonac Harbor, Three Mile Harbor, and Pussy’s Pond to acquiring over 300 acres of land with community preservation fund money (including parcels purchased to protect ground and surface waters), Peter and Kathee have worked tirelessly to protect the environment and quality of life in East Hampton. That they have accomplished this while maintaining fiscal responsibility and achieving a town credit rating of Aaa is amazing. 

But perhaps best of all is the respect they have shown for all those they deal with — other board members, government officials and their constituents — respect that is often sorely lacking in other political arenas. 

Let’s ensure our town keeps heading in the right direction by voting for these two incumbents on Nov. 7. 



Celebrate the Right


October 23, 2017

Dear David:

One hundred years ago, women fought, and some died, to win the right to vote.

Much of that fight occurred right here in East Hampton. I was one of several hundred this summer who celebrated and honored those who bravely fought for us.

This November, as happens each year, there will be another election. But this year it’s different. I was devastated last November when an unabashed misogynist was elected as my “president.” I was in Washington the day after the inauguration and marched with hundreds of thousands of other women also in shock.

It was on that day that I realized that we have a voice and cannot let what the suffragettes fought for die a slow, silent death. So, please join me on Nov. 7 and vote. I do hope you will vote for Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, not because she is a woman, but because she (and her running mates) has fought for values all of us hold dear and want to preserve. But, more important, by voting we celebrate the right we have only by the efforts of those women who fought so long ago.

So, on Nov. 7, please honor those who fought so long ago and vote for the candidate of your choice.



The Right Candidate


October 23, 2017

Dear David,

I am naturally disappointed in your choice for East Hampton Town supervisor. 

In my capacity at the P.B.A. working across party lines during this past 2017 legislative budget cycle, I was heavily involved in the successful passage of budget legislation apportions to address the heroin and opioid crisis. As a member of a diverse group comprised of law enforcement, outpatient substance abuse counseling, rehabilitation services representatives, and other similarly interested partners, we pushed through budget legislation that invests $213 million to address the heroin and opioid crisis in New York, representing an increase of over 100 percent from 2011. 

The investments include $145 million for community-based providers, $65 million for 8,000 residential treatment beds, $9 million for housing units, $41 million for opioid treatment programs, $21 million for outpatient services, $9 million for crisis/detox programs, $27 million for state-operated addiction treatment centers, $6 million for naloxone kits and training, and $25 million for expanded programs, including family support navigators, peer engagement, and 24/7 urgent access centers

In other areas of great concern to those in our community, I have proposed the creation of an immigrant affairs office and economic development office. Additionally, I have proposed looking into the feasibility of a regional transportation authority, regional power authority, a comprehensive Civil Service class and compensation evaluation of the entire town work force, the thorough review of the town code, aggressive public-private investments in affordable housing and workspaces, real public ethics reforms, including compliance with the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics to name just a few.

East Hampton is at a crossroads that requires bold solutions, the know-how and wherewithal to get the job done to protect our environment, quality of life, and fabric of our society. 

I bring with me a long list of contacts from highly-skilled professionals to elected officials throughout New York State, experience in navigating multiple layers of federal, state, and local bureaucracies, the expertise and track record of getting the job done, which is why I believe I am the right choice for East Hampton Town supervisor and ask for your vote on Nov. 7



Mr. Vilar is the Republican candidate for East Hampton Town supervisor. Ed.

Last Thing We Need

East Hampton

October 22, 2017

Dear David:

I had the occasion today to look at the social media feeds of the East Hampton Republican campaign. I found there two rather surprising, to put it mildly, posts.

The East Hampton Town Republican Committee wrote, “If you want progress like what’s happening in Washington then you should Vote Manny Vilar East Hampton Town Supervisor Jerry Larsen Paul Giardina,” followed by hashtags “#trump45 #donaldtrump #trump.”

A couple of days after Trump, in an attempt to defend his own unseemly behavior, sends his hapless chief of staff before the press to fabricate a story about a Democratic congresswoman that videotape of the occasion immediately shows to be false — only the latest in a string of outrages emanating from the White House — does it need to be said that the last thing we need in East Hampton (or anywhere on the planet for that matter) is “progress like what’s happening in Washington?” 

Nor do we need local public office-holders who look upon the ongoing debacle in our nation’s capital and think that’s a good thing. Trumpism in East Hampton? That would be progress? Really? 

Then, on Manny Vilar, the Republican supervisor candidate’s, Facebook page, I find posted a definition of “stu-pid-i-ty” with a photo of Sen. Charles Schumer and the words, “behavior that shows a lack of good sense or judgment. Example: Democrat/liberal [in boldface] .  .  .  synonyms: lack of intelligence, foolishness, denseness, brainlessness, ignorance, dull-wittedness, slow-wittedness, doltishness, slowness. More: Liberal, Democrat [again in boldface].”

Mr. Vilar, as a candidate for supervisor, should by now be aware that a large plurality of the registered voters in East Hampton are registered with the Democratic Party. Me, too. It strikes me as a lack of good sense or judgment for a candidate for local office to insult the entire opposition party and the largest group of voters in town by holding them up as examples of stupidity.  

I thought we had enough of town board members insulting the public under Republican Supervisor Bill Wilkinson. We should be grateful that we have had for the past four years a town board that behaves with dignity and civility. If this is Mr. Vilar’s idea of “putting people before politics,” supposedly his campaign slogan, no thank you. That’s not progress. It’s a big step backward.  



Plan Clearly States

East Hampton

October 23, 2017

Dear David:

You can tell it is election season not by the color of the leaves but by the color of the misrepresentation and venom in the Letters to the Editor section. Let us take a look at several hostile fictional statements made in letters to the editor published in last week’s Star and replace them with facts.

Fiction: “Paul Giardina proposes to   establish a ‘septic squad.’ ” Fact: No, the town code has a requirement that every septic waste system in the town be inspected every three years. Granted it has not been enforced by the town.

Fiction: “Private residential septic projects are not eligible for funding under either of these [Environmental Protection Agency/State Revolving Fund] programs.” Fact: No, the septic plan we propose would, in fact, use the municipal authorities that exist to apply to the fund. This has been already vetted by both the E.P.A. and the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation. The town has never applied to the fund over its life, according to a spokesperson for the E.F.C.

Fiction: “Their [The town’s] approach promises much more money for the project than the G.O.P.’s plan.” Fact: No, the town board plan would be limited to 20 percent of the community preservation fund annual revenue, which is about $5 million each year. The plan we have proposed could fund larger amounts which would be repaid by the users. As an example, the current Montauk commercial septic neighborhood plan would cost about $35 million over a four-year construction period and could be recouped by either user fees or amortizing the cost proportionally over the neighborhood septic district that would be created. Assuming the Montauk project went forward, that would clearly utilize all C.P.F. funding for all that time period and still come up short. Thirty-five million divided by four is $8.75 million, which is greater than $5 million. Further, if the C.P.F. money was used to fully fund the Montauk project, there would be no money for residential upgrades. 

Fiction: “. . . its disregard for homeowners’ finances. . . .” Fact: No, the plan clearly states that a property owner who cannot pay for an upgraded system or cannot afford to reimburse the town for the upgrade would not be required to go forth with an upgrade.

Fiction: “He [Paul Giardina] proudly touts that he was with the E.P.A. for 30 years.” Fact: No, I was employed by the E.P.A. for 41 years, and you can check that with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Fiction: “The town can do the upgrade at your expense or your certificate of occupancy would be invalidated.” Fact: No, the Giardina plan says nothing of the sort.

Fiction: “The town can do the upgrade at your expense.” Fact: No, the Giardina plan requires the homeowner to consent.

I sent a letter on July 17 to the author of several of these outrageous misrepresentations, Bruce Colbath, an attorney, offering to explain the plan and inviting him to make amendments to the plan based on sound scientific, engineering and economic principles. 

No reply was ever received.

I understand that it can be tough for an attorney to use a calculator or to offer intelligent insight on a matter involving science or engineering, so may I suggest a simple solution. If the author of these incorrect assertions promises not to practice engineering I will promise not to make believe that I practice law. 


Followed Paul’s Lead

East Hampton

October 23, 2017

Dear Editor,

As I watch the East Hampton political campaigns progress there is one thing that stands out. The leadership that Paul Giardina has consistently demonstrated and how the current town board and the town board candidates have followed Paul’s lead. 

Let me be up front. I am not impartial. I am Paul’s campaign manager and his wife of 28 years. I am very proud of my husband’s accomplishments and his passion to help improve the lives of all who live in East Hampton. What I find striking, after attending and reading your article about the recent debates, is how much he has already demonstrated his leadership skills in his campaign and how the rest have followed. 

For example, Paul had suggested several years ago to one of the town board members and has stated over and over in his campaign that the Part 161 process is the way to help curtail the noise at East Hampton Airport. Three years and $2.5 million in legal fees later the board is now exploring the Part 161 process. 

Paul commissioned an independent study to determine the most pressing concerns of the community. Water quality was number one and has been his mantra from the beginning of his campaign. Now every candidate has jumped on the water quality bandwagon. (Did I mention that Paul and I have both devoted our careers to environmental protection?) Paul developed a water treatment plan for the town in the fall of 2016. The current town board followed suit and developed their own several months later. 

Paul and his party reached out to hear more from the public through listening sessions. The Democratic candidates scheduled theirs soon after. None of these are unique issues, however, I have watched Paul define this election. Regardless of the outcome, he has already moved the town board to action. Now that he has developed an opioid policy I’m hoping the town board will also pick up on this lead before the epidemic gets worse.

I believe the town board needs to address the concerns of its people and that’s what Paul wants to do. Why not let Paul continue to lead and move the town board to action by voting for him on Nov. 7. 


Higher Level


October 23, 2017

Dear David,

Since moving out here 20 years ago to marry Bulgarian George I have typically stayed away from local politics for several reasons. Our Montauk paradise seemed to be running just fine, and the die-hard old-timers of the Concerned Citizens of Montauk and the citizens advisory committee (both citizen-based organizations in Montauk) fought hard to maintain our beautiful environment even while our seasonal visitor population began to swell more and more each year. My feeling was that people listened to each other in spite of their differences and were able to come to decisions based on mutual respect between government, citizenry, and business. I felt confident that all was well. But then things started to unravel. 

Serious issues were clearly being swept under the proverbial rug. One of the most horrifying issues for me is our severely diminished quality of waters, including highly contaminated drinking and bathing water from both our personal and water authority wells. Our bay waters are having the life choked out of them from the excessive use of lawn fertilizers. Our ocean waters are highly contaminated with fecal bacteria. 

I and many others believe our current administration of eight long years has waited much too long in addressing a situation they have known about and done precious little for. Indeed it wasn’t until last November when the community preservation fund finally voted to utilize 20 percent of this fund (that we pay into) to improve our septic systems with rebates. All well and good. But not enough when one considers the enormous number of challenges we have.

Paul Giardina, on the other hand, has opened this discourse on a much higher level, clearly indicating that these monies are simply not enough for our needs, and as a former 45-year veteran with the Environmental Protection Agency specializing in environmental issues (he spearheaded Brookhaven’s cleanup disaster), he knows of what he speaks. His suggestion that we should avail ourselves of a portion of the $2.5 billion E.P.A. fund allocated toward cleaning up New York waters makes perfect sense to me. 

His long career in this area, coupled with his love of our town, is a huge gift to us. Unfortunately, I have discovered that there is a deep divide of partisanship, even in our small community. Indeed one woman at a recent meet-the- candidates event told me, “What an intelligent man. But he is the wrong party.” 

During the short time remaining before we elect two new town board members, I encourage you to reach out and do your homework. We have so much at stake to lose.  Do take the time to find out who this highly articulate, professional, and intelligent man truly is. Not to mention the contacts he has. After all, isn’t it about who you know in this world?

In the name of our Mother Earth, our children, and their children, let’s not continue on the same-old, same-old simply because of political affiliation.

Respectfully yours,


Total Costs

East Hampton

October 23, 2017

To the Editor:

Bruce Colbath’s letter published in last week’s East Hampton Star betrays several gaps in logic and distortions of Paul Giardina’s position on septic system cleanup in East Hampton Town. I’d like to expose these fallacies, misdirection, and distortions so that readers can better judge the value of Mr. Giardina’s plans.

The main fallacy Mr. Colbath makes is projecting out the total cost of one remediation alternative but not any other. This form of mathematical trickery is a propaganda technique. If you want to fool a jury or the public about something that involves a cost or price, all you have to do is project out a total cost over some imaginary time frame, then argue on the basis of the total cost in a disparaging manner against the actual annual cost. That makes for good propaganda but it’s bad for public policy.

You can understand how fallacious this reasoning is by thinking about an example in the other direction. If you want to buy a car, some could say, just stop getting your morning coffee at Starbucks and simply make your own at home. A venti or large fresh brewed coffee costs $2.25, while a home brew costs about 25 cents. That gives you about $2 a day, yielding about $60 a month, or $730 per year. With compound interest set at 7 percent, you can save up more than $31,000 at the end of 20 years. So, go ahead, you can buy that Nissan now. You got it covered just by making your coffee at home instead of picking it up at Starbucks. Is this fallacious and ridiculous? Of course it is, even though the numbers work out just fine. This is the kind of smoke Mr. Colbath is trying to blow into our eyes, and his argument is equally ridiculous and fallacious.

In the case of rebuilding a sewage system the issue is not the source of the funds to fix it but, rather, the problem is that the system is broken in the first place. As a consequence of neglect and apathy at Town Hall over several administrations, the situation has been allowed to spiral out if control.

I’m sure that any college sophomore who has taken a couple of courses in accounting and actuarial science can work out the numbers. The total costs of contaminated water involve what we will have to pay for a source to replace water for current needs. Add to that the costs associated with heath impacts — the dollars required to treat incremental cancer cases, plus lost productivity, plus the declining value of homes that are in the hot zone, etc., in addition to the costs associated with amelioration, which are just a fraction of the total cost to society. The actual value of the casualty could run into multiple millions of dollars.

There’s a time factor here, too. In other words, inaction will not produce savings — it will only make matters worse and increase the total price tag that society, as represented by the government, will have to pay in the long run.

There’s another serious flaw in logic that Mr. Colbath is committing; it’s called the free money fallacy. He thinks that since 20 percent of the C.P.F. funds could be available for the purpose of water improvement, that this is free money since the C.P.F. is funded by tax receipts from home sales. It’s not something he has to pay out-of-pocket. Of course, this money is not “free” because these funds must be diverted away from other worthwhile goals we expect to get funded by our taxes. In this case, it is aquifer improvements produced by restoring natural wetlands and wilderness spaces. It’s not free in other ways, but you get the point.

The other problem with using C.P.F. funds is that they are insufficient. At best, they will only ameliorate about 5 percent of the problem each year. So, here comes another fallacy and misdirection that lies within Mr. Colbath’s assertions. It will take too long to produce any results because the problem will be getting worse instead of getting better. 

It’s a community-based problem and the town needs to treat it that way — not as a problem of individual homeowners. Let me show you what I mean: If a hurricane hits East Hampton and knocks down 20 houses on a street, you can’t say you’ll be addressing this casualty by repairing one house per year for 20 years. Over that time frame, lots of folks will be living in the streets or will need to turn to other resources to meet their needs. This approach is not an answer to the disaster. Nor is Mr. Colbath’s C.P.F. free money the answer.

The problem of spoiled water resources is one that has been complicated by the local government’s apathy and inaction. The time has come to defend our water through public policy and repair it from years of abuse and neglect. Piecemeal solutions will not be enough. We need leadership to take responsibility for this disaster as a community and take steps to produce the best pure water outcome in the shortest possible time frame at the lowest relative cost. 

The Environmental Protection Agency fund will be a cost-competitive resource. As a former E.P.A. officer, Paul has the contacts within that agency and the know-how to develop competitive proposals to get us funded. We can’t have this problem stretched out any longer through apathy, illogical arguments, and misdirection. The time for action is now. When Paul is elected, he promises to develop an urgent plan to clean up our water right now. He won’t wait for 20 years to get it done.


How Nice


October 23, 2017

Dear Mr. Rattray,

Should Springs residents vote for Jeff Bragman? The answer is heck no!

Mr. Bragman and his 1-percenter clients on Cedar Street believe their neighborhood is too pristine to have their own school’s bus depot and maintenance facility located there. Arguing that his clients’ health and safety would be jeopardized by their own school buses, Bragman persuaded the town board that the scavenger waste site, on Springs-Fireplace Road, was a much better place for the facility. Shame on the town board, including Peter Van Scoyoc and Kathee Burke-Gonzalez.

This impending traffic and environmental nightmare, on the already-congested and dangerous Freetown/Springs corridor, somehow, is not unhealthy for Springs residents. How nice.

It gets better. This group thinks that by offering the Springs School Board the opportunity to house our vocational students at this facility, we will be more accepting of this environmental nightmare. Some of these same people bleated years ago that the scavenger waste site was a toxic dump and had to be closed. But, now it’s okay to send Springs vocational students there? You can’t make this stuff up. 

That Mr. Bragman cares more about his payday and 1-percenter clients than Springs School students should not be a surprise. Remember, Bragman infamously cracked, during the venomous fight for the East Hampton Library extension, “The parents of children in Springs are not going to drive all the way to the village after a full workday to bring their kid to write his term paper in the library. It’s not going to happen.”

Bragman uttered that insensitive and what some believe racist remark years ago, but only has just apologized because now he is running for office and wants our vote. Sleazy, no?

As a proud Springs resident, I will be voting for Paul Giardina for town council, a decades-long environmental professional, Manny Vilar, resident of Springs with children in the Springs School for town supervisor, and Jerry Larsen, former East Hampton Village Police Chief, for town council. 



Into the Future

East Hampton

October 23, 2017

Dear David:

If there is any one person who this town can depend upon to lead us into the future, it is Jeff Bragman. This opportunity is as lucky as we are ever going to get.



At the Eve


October 23, 2017

Dear David:

So, after months of campaigning, we are at the eve of the election. The important question is: What have we learned?

Let’s start with the G.O.P. town board candidates. For supervisor, Manny Vilar is the candidate. Other than the mantra of 30 years in law enforcement, he has offered little to justify electing him to the lead governance position in our town. Despite professing to have “plans” to deal with every issue he has been asked about, he offers nothing to commend his candidacy.

Mr. Giardina is an equally suspicious enigma. He repeatedly touts his 30 or more years at the Environmental Protection Agency, but it is unclear if he learned anything there. He has offered a proposal to preserve Montauk’s beaches — build a seawall — that would achieve the exact opposite result: Those beaches would be forever lost. A real boon to tourism, right? 

His only other proposal of note — an alternative to the town board’s septic system upgrade — is not only as wrong-headed, but it belies his self-proclaimed experience in the regulatory process. His plan would impose significant costs on homeowners, but he deceptively promises that monetary relief (in the form of homeowner loans) would come from state funds, not community preservation fund monies voters have dedicated to improving water quality. The problem is that one statewide source (the $2.5 billion state fund) would offer minuscule benefits to East Hampton. His other source (the state revolving fund) is a non-starter, under it, private remediation efforts are ineligible for funding. If I can figure this out, it’s hard to believe a 30-year veteran of the E.P.A. is so clueless.

Mr. Larsen strikes me as nothing more than an empty suit. His candidacy hits the skids with the lawsuit involving an alleged conflict of interest involving his security company. Substantively, he offers nothing to justify support.

Now, the Democratic slate: Peter Van Scoyoc rightfully received the endorsement from The East Hampton Star. Mr. Van Scoyoc can trace his ties to East Hampton back to the 1600s. While not in and of itself a qualifier, he has studiously fought for every interest we in the town hold dear. Peter has supported efforts to rein in the abuses our beaches and Montauk saw during the Wilkinson years. He is an outspoken protector of our natural environment, including the town’s revolutionary septic upgrade plan, which provides grants to eligible homeowners to cover the bulk of the cost. The town budget is in the best shape it has been in years. He supports reasonable restrictions on East Hampton Airport traffic. He deserves your vote.

Kathee Burke-Gonzalez is the social conscience of our town government. As a mother, she has worked to raise awareness on a variety of social issues affecting our community, and especially our kids. She has increased mental health services and spearheaded efforts to educate our students on sexual abuse as they prepare to leave for college. 

She has worked to aid the less fortunate by, for example, helping to provide a grant to Meals on Wheels to help feed the poor and elderly. And, importantly, she has led the fight for reasonable airport restrictions that would enhance the quality of life here. She deserves your vote.

Jeff Bragman is the newcomer on the Democratic slate. As a lawyer myself, I have followed Mr. Bragman’s career on and off as his cases and issues have hit the press. He has fought for environmental protections his entire career, most recently derailing the ill-conceived shopping center that threatened Kellis Pond. To his credit, he has pursued causes, often controversial, but always on behalf of community interests, something that make us in the legal profession proud. Unlike Mr. Giardina — a pretender, Mr. Bragman has earned the mantle of an environmental leader in our community. I look forward to having his perspective and environmental leadership on the town board.

The choice for town board, in my view, is between neophytes offering nothing but ill-founded ideas and proven leaders who have worked to better the future of our town, and their running mate who has fought, and will continue to fight, for interests that would enhance our town.

Peter Van Scoyoc, Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, and Jeff Bragman have earned your trust and deserve your vote.



For Heaven’s Sake


October 23, 2017

Dear Editor:

With all due respect to Jeffrey Bragman, Esq., I have to ask the following question: How many attorneys does our town need on the town payroll for heaven’s sake? More than five?

From the East Hampton Town Board website: The office of the town attorney serves as counsel to the town in all matters. Town attorneys prosecute and defend claims on behalf of the town, draft legislation and town code amendments, and prepare and review contracts entered into by the town. The town attorney’s office also provides legal counsel and advice to all elected officials, municipal appointed boards, and the various town departments.

Our town attorneys include Michael Sendlenski, town attorney, John Jilnicki Sr., assistant town attorney, Elizabeth Baldwin, assistant town attorney, Nancy Lynne Thiele, assistant town attorney, and Hope DeLauter, assistant town attorney.

How about we make room for Paul Giardina on the town board and elect a representative with decades of specialized experience from working at the Environmental Protection Agency. Let’s put party affiliation aside for the betterment of the town, and have everyone vote for Paul Giardina for East Hampton Town Board. 


Not Afraid


October 23, 2017

Dear Editor: 

Jeff Bragman has been a longtime voice for environmental protection. He has been a forceful advocate for residents opposing threats to our vulnerable drinking water supply. 

The area surrounding Daniel’s Hole Road is one of those areas. It contains a deep-water recharge aquifer, located in a special groundwater protection area. It is the reserve of our purest drinking water, supplying public wells for thousands of residents. 

We need Jeff Bragman on the town board. He is not afraid to make hard calls to preserve our water for future generations



Outstanding Record

Sag Harbor

October 23, 2017

Dear Editor:

Jeff Bragman and I share an unshakable commitment to protecting the environment. I am writing to urge that you support him for town board. 

For years I have watched Jeff work tirelessly on behalf of residents and neighbors concerned about overdevelopment and its damaging aspects for our rural communities. He is a forceful advocate and a pragmatic person who can listen and look for solutions. Jeff has an outstanding record of getting things done to protect our history, our rural character, and our vulnerable supply of drinking water.

As parents, we agree that East Hampton must remain a real community for future generations. Jeff is committed to working hard to make that happen.  

Jeff’s proven commitment to environmental protection and his love for East Hampton as his home is obvious. He will be a strong new voice for the town board.



Ms. Fleming is a Suffolk County legislator. Ed.

Getting Things Done

East Hampton

October 23, 2017

Dear Editor:

Jeff Bragman has been a tireless environmental advocate for decades. In my book, being an environmental leader means more than sitting in an office. You can watch him on LTV. He is always facing off with municipal boards all over the East End, urging the strict application of zoning rules to control overdevelopment and protect our natural resources. 

Whether it is historical preservation, the creation of open space, or dune, wetland, and pond protection, Jeff has taken it on. 

He has a long record of getting things done. His experience and knowledge will provide a fresh perspective for the Town Board. 



New Voice


October 23, 2017

Dear Editor: 

Jeff Bragman will be a welcome new voice on the town board. Jeff is an accomplished advocate, and always standing strong for environmental protection.  He is practical and skilled at getting things done. On virtually every controversy, he stands strong for environmental protection.

Let’s put him to work on town board. We need his voice and his values.




For Manny


October 20, 2017

Dear David, 

Please print this letter for Manny Vilar for supervisor. Vilar knows that the Deepwater plan is not good for us, or anyone else except Deepwater and its contractors. Ask anyone on Block Island if their rates have gone down. They haven’t. Plus, several Great Lakes counties have already challenged offshore wind plans that aren’t as harmful. They know the consequences are bad, and so does Manny Vilar. Voting for Vilar for supervisor is a vote against energy rate hikes.

Thank you,


Do-Nothing Democrats


October 23, 2017

Dear David,

The recent environmental forum put on at Scoville Hall by the New York League of Conservation Voters and the Concerned Citizens of Montauk revealed that politically things have been turned upside down in East Hampton. Traditionally, East Hampton voters have been able to count on the Democratic Party to uphold the environment and the Republicans to push the interests of developers. But now it is the Republican candidates who are much more aggressive in promoting water protection and conservation than the Democrats.

When Bob DeLuca of the Group for the East End asked the two sets of candidates whether they would be in favor of an audit to determine how much land the town had actually purchased to protect the Stony Hill aquifer, the source of water for two-thirds of the populace of the Town of East Hampton, the Republicans enthusiastically said yes they were in favor. The Democrats said they were not in favor. 

No surprise, because the Democrats have violated their responsibilities under the town comprehensive plan and they have only protected and purchased two lots during the entire term of Larry Cantwell as supervisor! This is the worst preservation record of any Democratic administration in the history of the community preservation fund, and only two lots ahead of the worst administration in C.P.F. history, that of Supervisor Wilkinson who purchased none, and let countless East Hampton treasures and vitally important morainal lands be destroyed. 

It is the vitally important Ronkonkoma morainal lands, which perform their filtering, cleaning function for the aquifer below that are so important to our well-being and our clean water. If we allow our morainal lands to be built on and destroy the natural filter for our wells, we will all have to go on public water, and we will be forced to pay for and drink chlorinated water that can give us cancer. Thanks, but no thanks. I want to keep my well clean, like almost all East Hampton residents. 

Some of the Democrats are total phonies. They ran on protecting our water, and they have done no such thing. They have only bought two lots to protect the aquifer that supplies the water to two-thirds of the people of the Town of East Hampton. That Kathee Burke- Gonzalez has only voted to purchase two lots to protect the aquifer the community of Springs depends upon is a scandal, when she ran on a platform of land conservation to protect our water, which she has clearly not fulfilled. 

I have personally taken Peter Van Scoyoc to Amagansett Springs Aquifer Protection’s number-one priority: the Smolian lot, which is not only vitally important for its high morainal water filtration and groundwater recharge, but also has 23 wigwams on it. The chief of the Montauks, Bob Pharaoh, has declared that this is the winter camp of the Montauks, so this land is also vitally important to our history. The chief told this to the director of natural resources, Kim Shaw, but nothing has been done. Nothing has been done by Peter Van Scoyoc, as usual. Sadly, yet another case of do-nothing Democrats. 

And to think that the Democratic Committee could have chosen to give us Jay Schneiderman, the best conservation supervisor we ever had, as a candidate but chose do-nothing Larry Cantwell instead, which has indeed been a disaster for East Hampton’s water conservation efforts. Southampton Town has reaped the benefits of that choice instead. 

Peter Van Scoyoc told the East Hampton Environmental Coalition that the town has done a lot up in Stony Hill. In fact, the town has done astonishingly little to protect our water from the Stony Hill aquifer. The Peconic Land Trust owns 310 acres of the Stony Hill woods, Suffolk County owns 42 acres, and the Town of East Hampton owns 29 acres. 

Even the crook McGintee preserved 22 acres, almost five times more than the Cantwell administration, despite the fact that the Democrats ran on the promise to protect our water. Every person in Springs, Amagansett, northern East Hampton, Napeague, and Montauk should thank the de Cuevas family for their generosity and foresight in protecting our water. 

Nevertheless, we are in a water crisis, as State Assemblyman Steve Engelbright has confirmed over and over. Engelbright is the hallowed emeritus professor of geology at Stony Brook University, and he has stated that our aquifer is at the tipping point, where any further development on top of its vital portions could lead to disaster. Only Paul Giardina, a former Environmental Protection Agency regional director, seems to understand the depth of the threat to our water and is poised to prevent it. He has a plan to protect 50 lots above the Stony Hill aquifer.

When Gordian Raacke asked if the candidates would welcome a new environment committee so as to keep the town board members aware of pressing issues, the responses from the candidates were quite revelatory. The Democrats said the town had too many committees already. The Republicans were welcoming of the idea and felt that an environment committee could provide a useful dialogue between the town and them.

Another astonishing fact about the Democrats in the Cantwell administration is that they have continued a lawsuit against a whistleblower shell fisherman named Harry Ellis brought out of political retribution by previous Supervisor Wilkinson. Ellis caught Grimes Contracting Company illegally dredging Lake Montauk, and the Department of Environmental Conservation fined Grimes $130,000. 

But Grimes was a big Wilkinson supporter and the town vindictively sued Ellis. Everyone assumed that as soon as Wilkinson’s term was over, the town would drop the suit. But the Democratic administration of Larry Cantwell has been wasting more than $50,000 of our tax money to maintain a lawsuit against a man who should be getting town commendations for his courage and acumen in catching Grimes illegally dredging and harming Lake Montauk.   But instead Cantwell, Van Scoyoc, and Burke-Gonzalez have continued to harass Ellis for years, and tens of thousands in legal fees, simply because he protected Lake Montauk. This astonishing attack on a whistleblower is not only immoral, but also a massive waste of taxpayer funds. It is also an abrogation of the environmental commitment that the Democrats in this town used to uphold.

It’s time for a change. We need real environmentalists to run our town for we are in a water crisis. Paul Giardina, Manny Vilar, and Jeff Bragman are the only ones who seem to understand that.



Amagansett Springs Aquifer 


New Beginning

East Hampton

October 22, 2017


Most problems in life are because of two reasons: We act without thinking or we keep thinking without acting. Thinking is just a matter of talking to yourself. Pain can change you, but it does not mean it has to be bad. Change it to wisdom. Each day is a loan; spend it wisely. If only closed minds came with closed mouths. Ability is what you are capable of doing. 

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. Motivation determines what you do and attitude is how well you do it.

No one can go back and make a brand-new start. But anyone can start from now and make a brand-new beginning. Growth means change and change involves risks. Stepping down from the known to the unknown. A negative mind will never give you a positive life. Life becomes simple when a man learns how to deal with fools. More often than not it is himself. The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it. Everyone wants happiness; no one wants pain. But you can’t have a rainbow without rain.

When the roots are deep there is no reason to fear the wind. Life is not all good and it’s not all bad. The acceptance of both brings understanding that life is to clearly appreciate all the benefits as well as differences. The difference between a lie and truth is endurance. Life will teach us how to make good use of time, while time teaches the value of life. Remember the past is where you learned the lesson. The future is where you apply the lesson.


The Year of the Pig

East Hampton

October 16, 2017

Dear David,

If Charles Darwin had been a fly on the wall when Donald Trump spoke at the evangelical values voters conference in Washington, D.C., he would have had his hands full trying to figure out the origins of those species. Racist, homophobic, misogynist to their core, it seemed more like Muammar el-Qaddafi presenting his program to ISIS.

Yes, the founders gave everyone the right to practice whatever religion they wanted. We have had thousands of sects of all varieties and styles and while most probably weren’t embraced by the president, they had a voice. A pulpit, a soap box, a newsletter, or a website.

What is striking about this fundamentalist evangelical sect is how closely it parallels fundamentalist Islamist sects. The similarities to extreme Shariah law should make all red-blooded Americans wonder who they really are. The sheer joy with which they embrace Trump and everything he stands for is a pathetic example of genetic modifications and inbreeding going astray. (We were warned as children about the potential problems that inbreeding, or is it incest, might cause.)

The real problem is health care. Once Jesus is brought into the equation, the problem disappears. If you have a solution, put it out there. If not, shut up. Yet  the Trump position on health care, which evangelicals embrace, is about Obama. The difference between the A.C.A. and Obamacare is the essential difference between human beings and apes. Animals always take care of their own, with humans, it’s more a 50-50 proposition. Obama, at 50-percent white, isn’t white enough for Trump and the evangelicals.

So, by calling the A.C.A. Obamacare we introduce the necessary racial component to the issue and find comfort and support from Jesus in destabilizing and destroying the health care system that serves 330 million people. With no alternatives in sight. However, playing the race card on health care goes to the heart of the white supremacist-neo-Nazi philosophy and exposes the nasty underbelly of who they really are.

Values voters, Trump, Bannon, neo- Nazis. Just one big happy family under the evangelical tent.

So why is the Republican Party silent? Why do Christian leaders sit on their hands? Is their silence a sign or complicity or do they lack the courage to stand up and tell the truth? Seventy-five percent of the population disapproved of the Republican health care plans, yet 49 Republican senators and evangelical conservatives still supported it. It must be the year of the pig.


Welch Welched

Allentown, Pa.

October 22, 2017 

To the Editor: 

Re: “No Decency”:

But here’s what the establishment won’t tell you. Attorney for the Army Joseph Welch was no champion. And it wasn’t a case of a lone Senator Joseph R. McCarthy versus the Army. Rather, whistleblowers in the Army had come to McCarthy for help.

In 1954, the subject of 35 Red moles at the sprawling Fort Monmouth complex in New Jersey had some in the Army leadership on the ropes. McCarthy’s committee was at its best. The swamp had been losing the battle to cover up Russian subversion of our government left over from Roosevelt and Truman. Eisenhower was hopping mad — not about subversion but about McCarthy.

Then came the fateful turn. The establishment exposed McCarthy staff attorney Roy Cohn for taking a shine to G. David Schine in seeking special privileges for Schine’s Army enlistment. 

At first glance, it wasn’t a good move by McCarthy when he lost his temper and brought up at Army-McCarthy hearings the subject of Welch’s associate Fred Fisher having been a past member of the Communist-front National Lawyers Guild. Yet it was Welch himself earlier, in the April 15, 1954, New York Times, who first outed Fisher!

The left always leaves out McCarthy’s response: “Mr. Welch talks about this being cruel and reckless. He was just baiting; he has been baiting Mr. Cohn here for hours.” Welch had been gay-baiting Cohn on national television, talking about “fairies.” It turns out that Welch welched on a prehearing agreement where he wouldn’t bring up the brilliant young prosecutor Roy Cohn’s homosexuality in return for McCarthy’s silence on Fisher.