Letters to the Editor: 02.15.18

Our readers' comments

So Well Served

Oakland, Calif.

February 6, 2018

Dear Mr. Rattray,

I would like to thank the members of the East Hampton Village Police, and especially Detective Lt. Anthony Long, for the professionalism and kindness shown to me concerning the recent death of my mother, Harriet T. Peele. Also, I would like to thank the members of the Village Ambulance Association and the staff of Stony Brook Southampton Hospital for the compassion shown to Mrs. Peele in her final hours. It is reassuring to know that East Hampton remains so well served by those who dedicate themselves to public safety and caring for others.



Thank You All


February 8, 2018

To the Editor,

My wife, Lisa Ward, passed away Monday night, Feb. 5, after a five-month battle with cancer. I would like to send out a thank-you. First, I would like to thank my wife. Thank you for the last 32 years. You were always there for me. Through all of the good times and through the tough times. We had a lot of fun. When you passed away, babe, I lost my wife and my best friend. Next, I would like to thank my sister-in-law, Bonnie Jean. Her help the last month was invaluable. Bonnie Jean was always there when I needed a hand. Whether it was driving Lisa to the doctor in Southampton or Riverhead, or helping dress Lisa or running to the I.G.A., Bonnie Jean was always there. 

I would like to thank Bobby Bowman. On a rainy and foggy night, while I was driving to Southampton Hospital to pick up my wife (she was being released after a two-night stay), a deer ran out in front of my truck. I tried avoiding the deer, but ended up in the woods. Bobby came out in the rain and not only pulled the truck out of the woods, he loaned me a car. I then picked my wife up, and she was able to sleep in her own bed that night. Once my wife could no longer walk, whenever it was time to take her to the doctor, I needed a hand carrying the wheelchair with my wife in it down the front stairs. When I returned from the doctor, I would need a hand carrying Lisa in the wheelchair back up the front stairs. I would call Bobby Bowman and give him a couple of minutes’ notice, and he was at the house to help. Every time I needed him, he was there. 

I would like to thank all of the doctors and nurses. They made the journey a little easier. The hospice nurses were incredible. I would like to thank the Prado family. Not only did they come by with food and flowers, but they offered their plumbing staff to help with my plumbing business. Thank you J.P., Mick, the girls, and all of my and Lisa’s friends.

 There were so many people who called, texted, stopped by, dropped off food and drink, sent cards and flowers. I had over 100 text messages. The love you showed for my wife is humbling. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.


Celebrate These Lives

East Hampton

February 8, 2018

Dear David:

As a military wife, mother, daughter, and sister, I am particularly sensitive to negative remarks about those who serve. So, as I was researching the many veterans of World War I for our year of celebrating these men and women at the Farm Museum on North Main Street, I began to have great empathy for Sarah and George Fowler, who lived on Springs-Fireplace Road in the Montaukett home which may have been moved from Montauk or built on site in the 1880s. George and Sarah saw four sons go off to fight the Huns: William Walker, John Henry, George, known as Jake, and Norris. These handsome young men served overseas or in the States with more than four million other sons, although they were not considered citizens at the time. The Indian Citizenship Act granted them citizenship in 1924. More than 10,000 Native Americans served in the United States Army, and 2,000 in the Navy. William served in the 367th Infantry, and was honorably discharged in 1919. All four survived the war and returned to East Hampton, where they lived out their lives.

This family feared for their sons, just as I have feared for my sons in the U.S. Marines for 20 years. This family had no obligation to fight for the United States, but they did fight. These young men served their country honorably. We celebrate their service and will portray them and others at the museum in the spring. Please note that the information I have shared is from the Long Island Collection at the East Hampton Library, and we will share much more with you when we open in April. We are actively looking for pictures, letters, stories, and mementos of Bonac in World War I. Help us celebrate these lives! 



Helping Those in Need

East Hampton

February 12, 2018

Dear Sirs, 

Last week’s article describing the changes in Maureen Haven’s activities here on the East End left out one salient point. Although most local churches and volunteers organizations have had to stop their work, Sag Harbor’s Christ Episcopal Church continues to partner with Maureen’s Haven to offer shelter for the homeless. 

Here, we use our upper Parish Hall to shelter as many as 10 men each night. We provide safe haven for a good night’s sleep, dinner, and a morning breakfast. So far this year we have been able to serve our clients four Sunday evenings, including a very special Christmas Eve and Christmas Day session. 

None of this would be possible without the help of the dedicated volunteers of not just our church but the many men and women of Temple Adas Israel, the Unitarian Universalist Church, Old Whalers’, and others who donate their time, effort, and charity. This concrete validation of our role in helping those who need it most is one we all embrace and hope to continue and build on in the coming seasons. 

For those who have an interest in helping us help the needy, there is one more night, March 11. We welcome everyone who wants to share in this richly rewarding effort to contact us. 



Maureen’s Haven’s Coordinator 

Christ Episcopal Church     



February 11, 2018

Dear David,

Thank you to East Hampton Star photographer Durell Godfrey for drawing attention to the stone piece painted with the words “Beware of Locals!” that was printed in the Lettters to the Editor section of last week’s paper. 

I have always found this particular piece of artwork, which is visible from the road on Gerard Drive, quite offensive. I am wondering, does anyone else feel this way?



Meat-Free Diet

East Hampton

February 8, 2018

Dear Editor,

Feb. 14 marks the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period before Easter when Christians abstain from animal foods in remembrance of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the wilderness.

The call to abstain from eating animals is as current as the teaching of evangelical leader Franklin Graham, yet as traditional as the Bible (Genesis 1:29). Methodist founder John Wesley, Salvation Army pioneers William and Catherine Booth, and Seventh-Day Adventist Church founder Ellen G. White all followed this higher call.

A meat-free diet is not just about Christian devotion. Dozens of medical studies have linked consumption of animal products with elevated risk of heart failure, stroke, cancer, and other killer diseases. A United Nations report named meat production as the largest source of greenhouse gases and water pollution. Undercover investigations have documented farm animals routinely caged, crowded, mutilated, and beaten.

Today’s supermarkets are well in tune with the call to abstain from eating animals. They offer a rich array of plant-based meats, milks, cheeses, and ice creams, as well as the more traditional vegetables, fruits, and grains. Entering “vegetarian” or “vegan” in your favorite search engine provides lots of meat replacement products, recipes, and transition tips.




Conflicts of Interest


February 11, 2018

Dear David,

I am naturally suspicious. Especially when it comes to financial conflicts of interest. 

The engineering firm hired by the Springs School Board has simply advanced as large a scheme as possible for a build-up of that school; and no wonder, this company (B.B.S.) will net over a million dollars as a commission based on a percentage of the project, estimated to total $23 million for the already overtaxed Springs residents. 

This does not include (after repeated requests), the increased annual budget required to staff, maintain, repair, and pay for more utility expenses. The school board could have listened to their own facilities committee on which I sat with teachers and experts in construction and financing fields and put forth a more conservative plan.

The only way to get a reasonable plan that provides, rightly, for the better education of the children of Springs (about which no one is opposed) is to vote this plan down on March 6, at the school from 1 to 9 p.m.

Maybe then we can get what is needed and what we can pay for.  



Gold Medals


February 8, 2018

Dear David,

Gold medals to Sylvia Overby and the East Hampton Town Board members who shepherded the current town hamlet studies! They may have aborted the certain slide of East Hampton into aesthetic awfulness, mindless development, and environmental devastation.

Having lived here the better part of a very long time, I assumed that even cataracts wouldn’t sufficiently blur the depressing architectural reality that has transformed proportionately sensible shelter into cliché branding for the rich and tacky.

Hopefully, my grandchildren will have the option to live where the water and air are clean, they can find an affordable place to rent, and the shoreline is left to its own natural devices.

All good things,


The Truck Issue

East Hampton

February 12, 2018

Dear David:

Here on Osborne Lane, this is what a typical morning looks like: Riverhead Lumber, Citarella, Mickey’s Carting Corp., Bud Lite, Quackenbush, East End Gutters, Nardy Pest Control, Norsic Cesspool Services, Riverhead Lumber, Montauk Brewing Co., FreshDirect, General Roofing and Siding, Hardy Plumbing and Heating, Riverhead Lumber, Pete’s Produce, Pipe Masters, Chef’s Warehouse, Liberty Oil, Cromer’s, Riverhead Lumber.

Of course, there are always the usual gardening trucks (now with large trailers attached), school buses, fire engines, and regular truckers racing to work, and, in the afternoon, racing home again. It is almost impossible to get out of your driveway without having to wait — ever!

Many years ago, there was a comprehensive plan, where the truck issue was brought up by many concerned citizens. It was given attention, and there were some interesting solutions discussed, such as an area near the airport that could be used as a drop-off depot. Nothing much happened. However, the East Hampton Village Board started closing off all the village streets adjacent to Newtown Lane to truck traffic. It was a devastating decision, especially for Osborne Lane, which has the smallest length of village property.

There was absolutely no mention of this issue in the hamlet study.



My Choice Is Rona


February 11, 2018

Dear David,

The longtime chairwoman of the East Hampton Democratic Committee, Jeanne Frankl, is leaving that position. Our committee, which has up to now been a solid working group, has managed through their hard work and perseverance to elect supervisors and Town Board members over and over. Now we must choose a new chair. Several people are running. My choice is Rona Klopman to become our new chair. A retired teacher, she is one of the most committed people I have ever had the opportunity to know. Besides being a committee member for 10 years, she ran for office twice as a trustee, almost winning last time, and has attended their meetings religiously. 

One need only look back at Town Board meetings over the years and find Rona in the audience, front and center. She has been a member of the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee, serving as both chair and co-chair, and president of her community group for years. No one on our committee or any other candidate for chair has been as involved in the doings of East Hampton as Rona and knows the ins and outs of each hamlet, which is important when campaigns roll around. This energetic hard worker, with an independent strong voice, which the power brokers are afraid of, will do a brilliant job as the leader of committee. I stand with Rona!



Frightening Assault


February 8, 2018

Dear David:

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits our government from abridging the freedom of the press. While the Trump administration holds the next amendment sacrosanct, it has been methodically undermining the freedom of our press, with the goal of muzzling the ability of the press to credibly (even if unfavorably) report on the conduct of our government.

Recently, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services threatened to ban a veteran (and reputable) reporter from future news conferences after he refused the centers’ request to delete three sentences from a story he published. Then, during a subsequent press call, the reporter’s phone went mute and he was told he was not allowed to participate. 

The administration’s accusations that veteran, respected reporters are engaged in “Fake News” simply because the news is uncomfortable to the administration are bad enough. Especially when the same administration officials then hypocritically seek out those same reporters to place news or gain their ear. The very act of stifling news reports or denying press access is a frightening assault on the First Amendment.

It has become more than apparent that Mr. Trump is intent on erecting an autocracy. Controlling journalistic content and denying access to journalists from the operations of the government helps to create the darkness that allows an autocracy to flourish. Next, I’ll wager that we’ll soon see a military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.

I find it hard to believe that any Americans envisioned this when they cast their ballot last November. It is now critical that Congress become an effective check on a runaway executive branch. So, it goes without saying that this November your vote could not be more important. Use it to create an effective Congress, not one filled with Trumpettes.




Zeldin 2008


February 8, 2018

Dear David,

My wife was recently clearing out the attic and came across a Lee Zeldin 2008 campaign letter that supports both offshore drilling and alternative energy. The letter in part reads: “I support increased drilling in the 2,000 acres on the coastal plains of Alaska, offshore and elsewhere domestically while supporting research and development into alternative energy.” Fast-forward 10 years. A press release from Mr. Zeldin declares his “opposition to offshore drilling off the coast of Long Island.” Nimby sure, smart probably, principled not so much.

The 2008 campaign letter also proclaimed Zeldin’s support for alternative energy. I wonder what our congressman thinks of the proposed alternative energy wind farm to serve East Hampton with clean energy. Will it be Nimby or principled?


Other Motivations


February 9, 2018

Dear David,

I have 34 years in the environmental-protection, law-enforcement business. First on the law-enforcement side, then as the representative of the outstanding men and women of New York State’s environmental protection law enforcement community as their Patrolman’s Benevolent Associate president and legislative representative.

I have also written more than once about the difference between environmentalism and conservationism. In short, environmental philosophy versus conservation scientific analysis and how the potential for environmental disaster due to good-intentioned individuals with misguided opinions and beliefs are ever present. I have also called to attention how we must be ever cognizant that individuals and political figures espousing environmental philosophies may be rooted in political ideology and not thoroughly vetted scientific analysis, and economic principles may have other motivations.

As long as humans walked the Earth, there have been those manipulating and pushing political agendas to seek political and financial gain at great expense to others. I am saddened that renewable energy has become so politicized, but when the opportunity for massive profits becomes a reality, it is not surprising.

We should never lose sight (of the fact that) we have a politically ambitious governor seeking re-election this year with an eye on the White House in 2020. Investors D.E. Shaw and Co. hedge fund, Citibank, G.E. Financial, and PSEG will make millions and millions of dollars on the Deepwater project.

On Jan. 29, 2018, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo released the comprehensive New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan, which will guide the development of 2.4 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, enough to power up to 1.2-million homes with clean energy. To spur the development of renewable resources, Governor Cuomo announced in his 2018 State of the State address that the state will issue solicitations in 2018 and 2019 for a combined total of at least 800 megawatts of offshore wind power.

I had hoped at this point before moving forward, the Deepwater offshore windmill project would have presented more scientific data that would answer the many questions that are of concern to environmental conservationists like myself, ratepayers, and the commercial fishing industry. Unfortunately, it would appear that with the political push of Governor Cuomo and a political ideology that places environmental philosophy over sound ecological scientific study, our answers are less than forthcoming. It would also appear that despite their excellent intentions, our well-meaning East Hampton Town government and trustees are less likely to do the due diligence that correct environmental conservation policy requires and many in our community seek.

Increased electric rates, the decimation of our commercial fishing industry, irreparable ecological and environmental damage are all possibilities. Reminds me of the adage be careful of what you ask for as you may get it.