Letters to the Editor: 05.03.18

Our readers' comments

Amazing Place

Hampton Bays

April 29, 2018

Dear David,

It’s official! LongHouse’s gardens are open for another season. I drove out on Saturday to join the throngs of happy visitors and to greet people as a volunteer docent. Everyone entering was upbeat and ready for a boost of joy this spring day.

I stood outside Buckminster Fuller’s “Fly’s Eye Dome” and heard several different languages spoken between family members. All ages enjoy this beautiful place filled with flowers and amazing sculptures.

A new installation by Orly Genger, called “Honey,” caused gasps and smiles. A wavy blue wall of tons of recycled lobster ropes, it’s a star piece. Inside you can view new statues that are gazing up, by Judith Shea, that make you think and wonder.

What is always a challenge (and fun for frequent LongHouse Reserve members and fans) is to see where things have moved and changed positions. Keep your eyes open and try to remember.

This place is a treat and a destination for me every season. Now in its 27th season, Jack Larsen’s creation is unique and shared with us all.

To cap off the opening day I sat in the earthen amphitheater and watched as Jane Alexander, Mercedes Ruehl, and Harris Yulin give an actors’ tribute to the late Edward Albee as it was dedicated in his name. Wow. What a gift right in the East End’s backyard on Hand’s Creek Road.

Thank you, Jack Larsen, Matko Tomicic, and the staff and board of this amazing place. Here’s to another banner season.



Highest Caliber

Sag Harbor

April 27, 2018

Dear Mr. Rattray,

I write this letter to say thank you to the detective squad of the East Hampton Village Police Department. I had the unusual opportunity to work with them as they investigated a sophisticated matter over a significant amount of time.

In particular, I appreciate the efforts and detective skills of Detective, now Sergeant, Steve Sheades and Detective Brian Eldridge. Detectives Sheades and Eldridge investigated voluminous documents and pursued the matter with the diligence, skill, and care of the highest caliber. I have been in and around law enforcement for my entire career and was well impressed with their police work.

It’s great to know that we have such excellence serving our community. 

Yours very truly, 


Fecal Bacteria


April 30, 2128

Dear Editor: 

The summer season begins in five weeks, and the populations of our towns and hamlets will triple, some possibly quadruple. Montauk Highway, the main conduit, will function at parade-like speed and savvy waze users will clog the meandering, country back roads. Left-hand turns, safe cycling, and lazy, handholding walks along the historic narrow lanes will be temporarily suspended or done so with caution by those who want to continue breathing the salty air. 

But that is the good news. The Hamptons is more than a coastal resort; it is a brand. Vacationers and tourists from all over the world come here year after year to experience the magic and mystique of the breathtaking scenery, the award-winning, glorious beaches, and gorgeous sunsets that dip below the horizon over reflecting pools of expansive water as their last light ricochets magnificently into the dewy clouds above. Vineyards, hiking trails, outstanding restaurants, museums, and galleries cap the majesty of the area. It is truly a paradise, and the multimillion dollar revenue the summer people and tourists bring in is essential to the livelihoods of the local fishermen, farmers, and businesses that depend upon that revenue to live. 

But our little piece of paradise is a fragile ecosystem constantly under siege by natural and man-made sources. Erosion and storm damage, fertilizer and septic runoff, marine life-sucking algae, plastic pollution, airport noise overload, loss of green space to developers, over- stressed roads, pick your poison — all of the above threaten our unique environment, home values, and economy. 

Of special interest to me were the preliminary results from a study of Georgica Pond in Wainscott. The Gobler marine and atmospheric sciences lab of Stony Brook University and the Friends of Georgica Pond Foundation performed the testing and found high levels of fecal bacteria in Georgica Pond and its tributaries leading to it from roads and storm-water runoff. But it wasn’t human bacteria from old septic systems as expected. 

The report concluded that animal feces from dogs and cats and rodents accounted for over 67 percent of the total fecal bacteria according to the report. Ick! 

That is bad news for everyone and our local short-streaming economy. Why? Because vacationers and waterfront owners will seek out other bathing ocean and bayfront recreational areas to go to when beach, inlets, and waterway closures occur with more frequency because of high bacteria counts and other harmful chemicals. 

That got me to thinking about my pet peeve (no pun intended) because animal feces contamination is something we can work toward eliminating, too. 

I’m a big fan of dogs but not of irresponsible dog owners. I am fortunate enough to be able to stroll along the beautiful stretches of beaches every day, all year long, under every weather condition, and the amount of dog feces left by owners is a dirty little secret that no one talks about. The fact of the matter is people bend and break laws all the time. According to the police logs, it’s very rare that anyone is fined for not picking up dog litter or having dogs on parts of beaches where they are not permitted. Towns simply do not have the resources to consistently enforce the existing laws so they are a bit of a joke. Signage prohibiting or regulating dogs on beaches is confusing, often measured in feet (?!) — feet and times and dates of usage inconsistent from beach to beach. 

The “dog at large” law contributes to the problem. Owners let their dogs off leash on the beach and then turn to look at their phones or walk away engrossed in thought or conversation. With their backs turned or their attention on something else, the dogs squat and do their business, often without the owner even aware of it. If you don’t believe me, grab a bottle of rosé and your beach chair and count how many dogs are let loose at 5 p.m. during the summer season on any given beach. And then watch how many owners completely miss the act of their dogs relieving themselves. It’s eye opening and very disturbing. It happens as well during the day by dog owner scofflaws who, in full defiance of the regulations, sneak their furry best friends onto the beach just to watch them overheat and pant. 

There is nothing more unappealing than to be on the beach watching a dog squat inches away from your towel, or have a child unearth dog waste, bagged or unbagged, while building sandcastles. Of course, it’s just awful to step in it with bare feet. Think about how you must wash it off. I’ve watched dogs lift their legs on fishermen’s gear, the back of chairs with people sitting in them, and witnessed owners fling bags filled with dog waste into the ocean. It’s abominable but it happens. Not to mention, too, the documented dog attacks on our beaches that have happened sporadically. But, nevertheless, the beach should be the last place a child or anyone should fear for his or her life from an unleashed, out-of-control dog bearing down on him or her. 

As true advocates for our bathing and fishing beaches, given our strong dedication to the preservation of land and sea, and recent headlines of contamination, the banning of dogs on beaches at any time during the summer season deserves responsible consideration by our elected officials and well-respected local environmentalists. Because not only do our towns explode with people in the summer season, so does the canine population. 

Other coastline states with several hundred miles of bathing beachfronts, from New Jersey down through Florida, strictly prohibit dogs on bathing beaches during the summer season for two obvious reasons: public health and safety, and tourism revenue. It’s just common sense, and the beautiful Hamptons could learn from their example. 

I would support designating tax dollars for the installation of more dog parks just to know that when I lay down my towel, a puppy didn’t just squirt or squat there a few minutes before. 

To anyone who is outraged by the suggestion of banning dogs on beaches during the summer, consider this: Would you lay down your towel and sunbathe in a municipal dog park or let your child dig there with their bare hands? 

Mother Nature can naturally filter out some of the man-made and animal waste we deposit on Earth but our beaches, oceans, bays, and inlets, the main attraction, if you will, should be treated with kid gloves, not as a waste- management site for meat-eating canines. Funny, but I’ve never seen anyone walk a cat on the beach. 

In absence that this topic will gain any speed or support before Memorial Day, and (frankly, we all know there are more pressing problems in the world), for the sake of a few weeks of recreational fun in the sand without fear of stepping on or lying in one less form of animal fecal bacteria, if you must walk your dog on a beach, please give them ample opportunity to relieve themselves first in your own backyard. 


Conservation Easements


April 30, 2018

To the Editor:

A few years ago the Town of East Hampton conveyed conservation easements in the Stony Hill area of north  Amagansett.

The town resolution stated that the easements were consistent with the town’s clearly delineated public policy of preserving open space and scenic vistas and that said conveyance would yield significant public benefit.

That was then. Today, the area is far from being of  “public benefit.” It has become a nuisance to the residents and visitors and a burden to taxpayers due to the need of frequent grading to eliminate potholes.

Having lived there for 33 years, this year was undoubtedly the worst. The road is a narrow, dusty dirt road, full of potholes and dangerous to anyone venturing to walk or jog through. It used to be a peaceful country road of beech trees and wildlife where we could safely walk and even enjoy the luxury of riding on horseback, as neighbors used to do..

With the advent of GPS, the road has become a short cut from Town Lane to Accabonac Road. Trucks (even 16-wheelers), tandem landscape vehicles, and off-roaders in Jeeps and Land Rovers speed through, creating hazardous conditions for drivers and pedestrians alike. 

As to the noise and dust? It is unbearable. A person with an  asthmatic condition could not live in the area. The road conditions are dangerous for all, not just to the Stony Hill residents, but to all who use the road, such as emergency vehicles and school buses.

The Highway Department installed a couple of yellow caution signs of “Bumpy Road 20 Miles Per Hour Speed” with little success. The area speed limit of this narrow, dirt road remains 30 miles per hour and it is the major cause of the disastrous road condition.

The town board wants to see a petition requesting that the road be improved.  The board wants to see that there is  strong support from those who live on the road before entertaining a request to improve conditions.

There are about a dozen homes on Stony Hill Road and Laurel Hill Lane. I guess the board does not want to hear from the taxpayers that use the road and pay for its maintenance.

Please express your opinion and we will inform the town board. Thank you.


Offshore Wind


April 26, 2018 

Dear Editor,

According to a new study, climate change is slowing our ocean currents. This could lead to more extreme weather and further perpetuate sea level rise in the North Atlantic — bad news for Long Island. This news is just the latest news to document adverse impacts by harmful emissions from coal, oil, and natural-gas production on our planet. Ocean acidification threatens our fishing communities, sea level rise threatens our homes, and extreme weather erodes our beaches. 

Our energy choices matter. Choosing clean, renewable energy helps to fight climate change. East Hampton has a critical choice: Build another fossil fuel plant or invest in clean, renewable off-shore wind. All large-scale energy production has some environmental impacts. Offshore wind has one of the least environmental impacts. East Hampton needs to embrace the 100-percent renewable energy goal and make offshore wind part of the energy mix. 


Executive Director

Citizens Campaign for the Environment

Right to Navigate


April 24, 2018

Dear David,

I have seen little coverage in your paper of new legislation put forward by our local representatives, Senator Ken LaValle and Representative Fred Thiele, to allow Suffolk County to site more aquaculture leases, specifically for seaweed farming, in the waters of Gardiner’s and Peconic Bays.

The Star covered an early version of this bill in 2016, and now LaValle and Thiele are amending it. But not in the best way.

In light of the January lawsuit against the county by local residents, over the surprise appearance of oyster farm plots in the southeastern reach of Gardiner’s Bay near Promised Land (a.k.a. Napeague Bay) you would think that our state representatives would show some preference for town, not county, control of those leases. 

Local residents were caught by surprise by the oyster farm plots because there was no local control or local meetings held about this, only meetings in Hauppauge, very difficult for local residents to attend. As a result, longstanding uses of these waters have been simply ignored. The new oyster farm plots have been sited square in the middle of he bay used for recreational sailing and regattas for over 100 years, ruining it for that purpose.

The language of the amended bill does nothing to put more control in local hands. It does nothing to protect local residents and their rights to navigation of these waters, or historical recreation uses. In this, the law may well be in violation and contradiction of New York State Coastal Policy 21:

“Water dependent and water enhanced recreation will be encouraged and facilitated, and will be given priority over non-water-related uses along the coast.”

It may also be in violation of the public-trust doctrine, protecting the public’s right to navigate the waters freely.

Senator LaValle and Representative Thiele are to be praised for fostering aquaculture. Seaweed farming in particular may prove to have important environmental benefits. But siting of these projects runs up against many competing local uses. These decisions must be controlled at the local level, so the needs and concerns of local residents are better heard. Absolute county control of this program is a very bad idea.

Your paper, the town, the trustees, and all local citizens should all be pounding the table on this, and have a heart-to-heart with our representatives in Albany so local authorities retain control of our local waters. 

With this in mind, I suggest the following changes in the bill:

That the western portion of Napeague Bay, bounded by a line from Old Fireplace Road to Goff Point, except for the one pre-existing plot used by Multi-Aquaculture Systems, be otherwise free of mariculture plots and declared unsuitable for mariculture use, because of heavy and ongoing historical use as a sailing, boating, fishing, paddleboarding, and windsurfing recreation area. 

 That all existing plots in the waters adjacent to the Town of East Hampton cannot be renewed for 2019 and thereafter unless approved by both the East Hampton Town Trustees and certified as not conflicting with other prior public use and access to those waters, after the trustees hold public meetings on that subject, in July or August 2018. (With similar wording for other towns so impacted.)

That any proposed future mariculture plots must also be so approved, after holding similar July or August public meetings.



Our Own Enemy


April 27, 2018


Damn it. What is it about us Democrats that we have developed such a proclivity to cannibalize each other? Why can’t we have a dialogue and/or disagreements with each other without the venom, distrust, and hostility that too often permeates our dialogue? We become our own enemy when we adopt those characteristics that we so often criticize in those others with whom we disagree. While I very often disagreed with certain decisions of our town board as well as those of individual councilpersons, it was always with respect for them as neighbors, public servants, and fellow fallible human beings, trying to get through often tough lives. 

One thing among several that our previous supervisor brought back to our Town Hall and community at large was civility and respect for each other. He and I disagreed on occasion, but it was never with rancor or disrespect for each other. That is why his administration worked, while the previous one was constantly mired in the muck of meanness, disrespect, and cynicism.

 There is enough guile and corruption coming out of our nation’s capital hourly that we don’t need to add to the disdain and disrespect for one another so commonplace in so-called politics today. Unless the town board demonstrates its disability to govern in an honest and open way, let’s let them do their job. We, yes we, elected them to do a job for the town, not just Democrats. I see no reason to distrust either their motives or actions while I also understand the opinions and feelings of many Dems who have become so shellshocked and insular by the barrage of B.S. emanating from the White House, that we are tending to distrust each other, friend and foe alike.

Let’s roll up our sleeves and focus on the tough and vital job of getting Congressman Zeldin out of Washington. All our time and energy should be channeled to get his seat for a winnable Democratic candidate this November.

Personalities aside, we Democrats must continue undivided, unselfish, and united as the thinking, compassionate, and progressive party, leading our entire town to constantly becoming the very best that it can be.

Whoever will be our new chairperson should reflect and represent the very best vision that our party has to offer to not only Democrats but to our community at large.

How about a cup of coffee?


Democratic Committeeman

Tammagansett Hall


April 29, 2018

Dear David:

An organization’s internal conduct is a reliable bellwether of its culture and values more broadly. 

Tammany Hall and the late 19th-century Philadelphia Republican machine are but two examples that demonstrate the link between broken and corrupt party organizations’ internal misconduct and external failures of governance. Just as transparent, ethical, and democratic parties tend to nominate candidates who share their values and carry them into public office, parties deficient in these values will produce like-minded candidates and leaders. Consider the words of Boss Tweed: “I don’t care who does the electing,” he said, “so long as I do the nominating.”

In New York, the party system remains integral to our governance, so the conduct and culture of political parties should reflect the highest ethical standards. This is doubly true for the governing party. When this party’s internal conduct reflects shady maneuverings and anti-democratic self-dealing, it raises serious concerns about the state of governance in the town more broadly.

That’s why Rona Klopman’s letter of April 26 and related legal action (Christopher Walsh: “Dems’ Feud Heads to Court,” April 26) gives me no pleasure. Ms. Klopman alleges serious, anti-democratic misconduct and rot at the core of the governing party in this town, with troubling implications for us all.

Her startling account is no less 

than East Hampton’s own “Game of Thrones”: infighting among power-hungry, ego-driven partisans whose first and last concern is to maintain personal control over the spoils. When a party’s leadership succession process is anywhere near as corrupt, anti-democratic, and illegal as Ms. Klopman alleges, voters should see it as the proverbial canary in the coal mine, and start asking larger questions about the candidates and public officials that this party produces and has produced.

So kudos to Ms. Klopman for taking on Boss Frankl. It sure seems like it’s time to do as F.D.R. and La Guardia did and put partisan politics aside to bust “Tammagansett Hall” once and for all. And the reformers of today, like those of yesterday, will have a friend and supporter in the local Republican Party.


East Hampton Town

Republican Committee

More Lawsuits


April 28, 2018

Dear David,

As a member of the airport management Advisory Committee (AMAC) and an active pilot based at East Hampton Airport for almost 40 years, I would like to address several gross misrepresentations concerning activities at the airport that have recently been the subject of several letters to the editor as well as articles in the local media.

As a result of poor planning and consistent failure to maintain the infrastructure of the airport by past town governments, the operation and function of air and ground operations are compromised by a patchwork of traffic-flow procedures to accommodate a widely varied mix of aircraft attempting to use secondary runways as taxiways that were never designed or constructed to bear the weight of aircraft now using the airport.

The circuitous taxi routes and congestion of aircraft parking and movement activity, especially on busy days of operation, have led to delays of arrivals and departures and aircraft having to circle in holding patterns waiting to land.

There is no “dodgeball in the sky” or “mayhem” at the airport, as some would like to describe it, simply unnecessary delays that could be mitigated if the town would take the advice of AMAC, who unanimously support the completion of the parallel taxiway that this advisory committee has studied and discussed for over two years, but which the town board seems to lack the resolve to move forward with.

As for the widely heralded “victory” of the town’s revocation of Fly Blade’s lease to have a counter at the airport terminal building, it should be noted that, in effect, it will not stop Blade from operating out of the airport.

AMAC was notified about the action at its April meeting with no forewarning or knowledge of the town’s intention to take this action and so it was a complete surprise to AMAC and, apparently, the airport manager.

While the town’s action may be characterized as a step toward controlling helicopter activity, the more immediate result is likely to be yet more lawsuits depleting, once again, the airport budget while repairs and maintenance continue to be ignored.

AMAC consists of eight members representing both airport neighbors and airport users, three of whom are highly intelligent attorneys with years of experience with airport matters, who could no doubt have given sound advice to the town on the likely repercussions of Fly Blade’s lease revocation.

A more accurate description of Blade’s activity at KHTO would be a scheduled airline masquerading as a ride-sharing entity, not the other way around, which is what initially drew the attention of the Federal Aviation Administration, which will have the final say as to whether they can continue to operate at all.  The town’s action in revoking their license would appear to be a symbolic gesture with the potential of unnecessarily costing the town legal expenses if Blade decides to sue. To create an advisory committee with an agenda to study and find solutions to the challenges of operating a town asset as important to the community as the airport, and then ignore their recommendations, is both disingenuous and a waste of expertise and experience.



Capacity and Use


April 24, 2018

Dear David:

The East Hampton Town-owned airport is controlled by the Federal Aviation Administration and subject to grant assurances until 2021. Therefore, the town cannot control the airport’s noise, pollution, or contamination. Under present law, the F.A.A. determines the use at the airport, including capacity and noise issues.

The town recently was given approval to use airport monies to fund litigation to control the airport. The National Business Aviation Association (N.B.A.A.), along with other aviation interests, is now appealing that ruling.

The F.A.A. and the aviation interests are not concerned with the well-being of the residents of this town. Their one and only concern is maximizing aviation profits. Unfortunately, the airport management advisory committee (AMAC) appears to be complicit in that agenda.

The committee has voted to recommend extending the existing taxiway and other paving projects around the terminal area at a cost of over $2 million. 

This is not an F.A.A. requirement. Such an expansion will allow increased capacity and ground movement at the airport. In addition, there has never been an environmental impact study done.

The airport has already been the source of serious contamination to the local water supply.

I commend council members Jeff Bragman and Sylvia Overby for realizing the harm in going forward with such an expansion when the town is attempting to restrict capacity and is undertaking a multimillion-dollar Part 161 application to the F.A.A. Bravo to both for speaking out and questioning the logic of going forward. I hope the other members of the town board will follow their lead. Jeff and Sylvia appear to be the only ones who have the interests of the residents as a primary concern. It seems obvious that expanding the taxiways to increase capacity at a cost of $2 million and simultaneously requesting restrictions to airport traffic is illogical, irrational, and counterintuitive. 

Some members of AMAC appear to have little if no concern for the residents of this town. In fact, one member is seriously recommending that the town build a heliport to accommodate all the helicopters. Seriously, does that serve the interest of the community? Maybe it should be built in her backyard.



Pristine Woodlands

East Hampton

April 29, 2018

Dear David,

The town board’s fresh plan for the former Tony Duke Boys and Girls Harbor astonishingly totally disregards the very specific management plan for the property that was developed by the Town of East Hampton Department of Land Acquisition and Management. This property is the last stretch of pristine woodlands bordering Three Mile Harbor, and to compare it to the covered pavilion at Maidstone Park in Springs and the picnic area at Fresh Pond in Amagansett is, frankly, disingenuous. We, the neighbors of Boys and Girls Harbor, are especially shocked at such a comparison from a town board that has come to office as environmentalist and conservationist champions.

This property is a nature sanctuary, a habitat for dozens of species of flora, birds, and wildlife. There are certainly improvements that could be made such as upgrading the trails and demolishing the old mess hall, which is decrepit and covered with graffiti. But the property is not a habitat for events and picnics, equipped with all of the enforcement and maintenance issues associated with such areas. The Boys and Girls Harbor management plan was carefully crafted by our town officials in 2010 and clearly delineates the land use that allows public use and enjoyment in a manner compatible with the natural, scenic, historical, and open-space character of such lands and preserves the native biological diversity of such lands — and does not degrade the ecological value of the land or threaten essential wildlife habitat. It also notes the importance of maintaining the peace and tranquillity of the surrounding neighborhood and protecting the property’s natural and historical resources. 

Nothing the town board is proposing as a fresh plan to increase the utilization of this property comes remotely close to complying with the plan’s well-conceived covenants. If the property is allegedly underutilized it might be because many of our visitors, for whatever reasons, are simply not interested in hiking on rustic paths through a beautiful nature preserve.

The hundreds of neighbors who have lived in this area for many years were all major supporters of Boys and Girls Harbor, which was a tightly controlled and managed activity. What the town board is currently proposing is unmanageable. The location is too remote to police and a haven for mischief. It’s hard to believe there is a groundswell of taxpayers clamoring for a picnic pavilion with restrooms, amenities, and paved trails that comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act to be created in the middle of the most pristine woods surrounding Three Mile Harbor. 

Given the problems our beloved town has enforcing existing laws, keeping the summer crowds in check and maintaining public areas, our town board is inviting trouble from many quarters by abrogating the current land usage management plan for this property. The board is embarking on a plan to fix something that is clearly not broken. 



Our Gratitude


April 30, 2018

Dear David,

As Amagansett School parents, we want to express our gratitude to Eleanor Tritt for her years of service and dedication to the school. Our children have thrived at the school, and it has always been clear they were the first priority in school decisions.

The school has also done a wonderful job in preparing our children for the schools that will follow Amagansett in the years ahead.

Amagansett’s fiscal responsibility has only modestly raised our taxes yearly, if at all. We have high hopes that Mrs. Tritt and the school board will find a successor for her who echoes her values and dedication to what has amounted to a job well done.

Thank you, Ellie!








Voting For Me


April 30, 2018

Dear David,

I am pleased to announce that I will be running for re-election for the position of Amagansett School Board member on May 15, 2018. 

I am a native of Amagansett and attended the Amagansett grade school. My family has a deep connection with the Amagansett School District. In late summer of 2016 I was appointed to fulfill a vacated board position. The appointment had special meaning for me. Three generations of my family graduated from the school district including my father, Peter Rana Jr., and my own three children. My mother, Virginia Rana, served on the Amagansett School Board as board president for many years. While attending the Amagansett grade school, my children enjoyed a very strong curriculum with fantastic teachers and a very strong and involved PTA. 

As a strong believer in service to others, especially children, I joined the PTA and served as treasurer, vice president, and president. Together with motivated parents, the PTA was revitalized and the biannual fall fair was created and still operates today. My only PTA rule: “Put the students first and good things will follow.” 

A well-run school district is much different today than in the past. New York State is demanding greater accountability from its districts, whether the district is small or large. While our auditors have complimented the district as being well run and fiscally responsible, as a board we continue to look for strategies to meet New York State demands and to meet our district goals. 


To select and hire an outstanding superintendent. 

Keep our district fiscally responsible to taxpayers.

Make decisions based on district policies and governmental regulations, keeping the district compliant.

Provide excellent teachers, staff, programs, and services.

Support using technology in our schools responsibly.

Develop and revise district mission, goals, policies, and vision.

Continuing support of the community use of the building. 

Support community outreach events such as inviting and celebrating our veterans into our school.

Continued support of PTA programs and activities.

Facilitate and support transition training for new personnel.

Keep the school facilities in good repair.

Continue to revise and improve the building emergency response plan and district-wide school safety plan. 

Please consider voting for me on Tuesday, May 15, at the Amagansett School between the hours of 2 and 8 p.m. And please continue to support our school and vote “yes” to the school budget. If you are unable to vote in person on that day, please contact the district clerk at the Amagansett School to apply for an absentee ballot.  


Dawn Has Excelled


April 29, 2018

To the Editor:

I have known Dawn Brophy for over 20 years and I wholeheartedly support her in her re-election campaign for her seat on the Amagansett School Board.

As a former 2003-2016 Amagansett School Board of Education member myself, I understand the complexities of the position. Dawn has the experience, intelligence, dedication, and temperament for this role. When a vacancy arose last year. I was not surprised that the current B.O.E. appointed her to fill the seat and was pleased that someone who had held Amagansett School parent leadership roles and was very familiar with our student needs would be the new member.

Dawn had served on the Amagansett School Schol District Management committee for many years while I was on the board. On that committee, she represented parents of the district and met with school leadership as well as sending district leadership to discuss a variety of topics that affect Amagansett students, including safety, educational rograms, and new initiatives. When my first child entered Amagansett Grade School in 2000, I joined the PTA. At that time, Dawn was a PTA officer, I believe treasurer, and then later V.P. and eventually president. She tirelessly volunteered for every school event, and I learned so much from her. Our children were similar ages and when baseball season rolled around and my boys were old enough to play, Dawn was the East Hampton Little League secretary and her husband my boys’ coach; their dedication to the community and our youth was endless. In both these organizations there are strict rules about the funds raised and Dawn kept detailed books accounting for all the funds.

Being on a school board is not an easy job and certainly at times quite thankless. There are very strict New York State laws that guide school boards. Dawn has excelled on that learning curve in the short time that she has been on the board. She asks the right questions and listens, two very important qualities. She is fiscally responsible and follows school law.

This current B.O.E. will make one of the most important decisions a board can be tasked with — that of choosing a new superintendent. I know that Dawn has the right skill set and will made a good choice for the Amagansett School students, parents, and community at large.

I strongly support Dawn Brophy to be re-elected as a member to the Amagansett School Board of Education and ask that you come out to vote in her support.


Latest Video


April 23, 2018 

Hi David,

LTV does a great service for the local communities by videoing the town board, trustee, and local school board meetings for public viewing.

I am not the best camera woman, but I have been videoing the board meetings of the Amagansett School Board and posting them on YouTube under Amagansett School Board Meetings, with the dates of the meetings for your viewing. (Perhaps in the future the school board might consider videoing their board meetings for the community.)

The latest video was posted of the Amagansett School Board meeting on Tuesday, April 17. In part two, under community comments, Patrick Bistrian Jr. confirmed that he has not gone to contract on the sale of his home and will be living in Amagansett completing the remainder of his two-year term on the school board.

The detailed budget breakdown should be arriving in our mailboxes soon. Please carefully review and attend the Tuesday, May 8, school board meeting at 6:30 p.m. with any questions you may have.



Undocumented People

Sag Harbor 

April 26, 2018 

To the Editor:

In the Middle Ages, thieves had their hands cut off, rebels were disemboweled, and heretics were burned at the stake. Those times are rightly regarded as harsh. Even ones who committed no crime were usually subject to severe restrictions. Peasants, known as serfs, were required to work the lands of their lord and were forbidden to leave. The only thing that distinguished them from slaves was that they couldn’t be sold.

There were, however, windows of opportunity. A serf who escaped and was not caught in a year and a day was thereafter free. Many of the medieval towns grew and prospered by the immigration of runaway serfs.

In America today, however, those who come here illegally can be rounded up and deported regardless of how long they have been here, no matter how upright and productive their lives may have been in the meantime. 

This contrasts with how we treat some very serious crimes. In New York State there is a five-year statute of limitations on crimes as serious as robbery and manslaughter. The state must prosecute within that time or drop the case forever after. 

It seems to me that treating the crime of illegally entering the United States more harshly than robbery or manslaughter is simply unjust. The statute of limitations should apply to illegal entry, after which a person who has been here that long and has not committed any serious infractions should be allowed to stay. 

Any nation needs to control its borders. I get that. But to lash out against good people who have added much to our economy and our culture simply because, as the right-wingers shout or email in all-caps THEY’RE ILLEGAL! misses the point. The policy of mass deportation undertaken by the Trump administration harms all Americans in many ways.

If America shows less compassion to undocumented people than the Middle Ages did to runaway serfs, so much the worse for us. To borrow words from Thomas Jefferson, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.


Supporting Perry


April 29, 2018

Dear David:

Remember Mr. Trump’s denunciations of Hillary Clinton as the figurehead for what he called “Pay to Play”? And his claims that only he and the G.O.P. could prevent Washington from becoming a swamp of such corruption?

Last week we learned that Mr. Trump and the G.O.P. have conned us yet again. Mr. Trump’s budget director (and head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) brazenly confessed about the “hierarchy” he maintained while in Congress. No attention was paid to lobbyists who failed to donate to Mr. Mulvaney’s campaign, while he was willing to play with those who paid up. This is “Pay to Play.” And, notwithstanding his lack of ethics, he earned a place in the Trump cabinet.

Not to be outdone, last year the G.O.P. chair of the House transportation and infrastructure committee, Representative Bill Shuster, fessed up to sleeping with a lobbyist for the airline industry. Everything was above board, he insisted, because the lobbyist “doesn’t lobby the committee.” His girlfriend told a different story. She admitted that, in fact, she did continue to lobby the committee, just not Mr. Shuster or his staff. Mr. Shuster has decided not to seek re-election.

Of course, these examples pale in comparison to “President Dennison’s” paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy the silence of Stormy Daniels and Playmate Karen McDougal. This cauldron of corruption has engulfed the G.O.P. in scandal and puts an exclamation point on its inability to govern ethically. Voters appear eager to voice their displeasure at the ballot box.

We in the First Congressional District will get our chance to speak this November. It’s time to now think about who is best positioned to unseat Lee Zeldin. I urge you to pay attention to what Perry Gershon has to say. A Democrat since childhood, promising a voice for all of his would-be constituents, Perry would be an outstanding voice for our interests.

The Democratic primary will be held on June 26. I hope you will join me in supporting Perry.



Zeldin Took a Stand

Lake Grove

April 30, 2018 

Dear Editor,

My hats off to Congressman Lee Zeldin for voting against the bloated $1.3-trillion federal budget, a massive government spending plan that puts our children — and grandchildren, etc. — further in debt. 

Government spending should be going down. Money earned by the taxpayers should stay with the taxpayers. For far too long we’ve been sending money to Washington to only see it wasted by politicians who don’t care about us.

I’m glad Congressman Zeldin took a stand. He said no to a budget that we absolutely cannot afford. He said no to a budget that sends billions of our dollars outside the United States when it is desperately needed here. He went to Washington to speak for the taxpayers, not for the special interests who larded up this budget to unprecedented levels.

The impact of this wasteful government spending will haunt us for years to come. Lee Zeldin is speaking for our children and the many generations to follow that will have to pay back the huge debt this budget caused. 

Let’s continue to speak up against wasteful government spending and support leaders such as Lee Zeldin who have the courage to take a stand.


Gun Violence


April 30, 2018

Hello David,

On Friday, April 27, Police Officer Jesus Cordova of the Nogales (Ariz.) Police Department was shot and killed while attempting to apprehend a car-jacking suspect. Officers located the suspect inside a car, and as officers attempted a traffic stop, the suspect exited the vehicle and opened fire on Officer Cordova. Officer Cordova is the 26th officer to be shot and killed this year and the first officer fatality from the state of Arizona in 2018. Officer Cordova leaves behind a fiancée who is pregnant and three children.

Throughout my 34-year law enforcement and police labor leader career, I have lived this cycle when possible of traveling throughout the country to attend fallen police officer funerals.

As a follow-up to my letter from last week, “Grim Truth,” I hope this explains my conviction to see that gun-control reforms are adopted that as a police professional and police labor leader we know work.

Unfortunately, many of the gun-control advocates who profess varying types of gun control or bans in reality rarely deal with the issues firsthand that are attributable to both gun and non-gun violence in our society. Sadly it is this unfortunate well-intended, misguided advocacy that does little to mitigate those issues. Further complicating the discussion are those with no other intentions other than seeking economic gains, political gains, or the furtherance of political ideology. The grim truth is ultimately those most vulnerable in our community, and those entrusted to protect their families, and we suffer the consequences.

If we truly want to reduce violence both gun and non-gun in our society, we must change direction and address the actual causes of gun violence: unemployment, poverty, the breakdown of the family unit, a culture of violence, inadequate mental-health treatment, and the failure of government.

Lastly for those that follow the faith, but all are welcome, please recite this novena prayer posted for distribution by the Queen of Heaven Catholic Church for the Intercession of St. Michael, Archangel.

St. Michael the Archangel, loyal champion of God and his people, I turn to you with confidence and seek your powerful intercession. For the love of God, who made you so glorious in grace and power, and for the love of the Mother of Jesus, the Queen of Angels, be pleased to hear my prayer. You know the value of my soul in the eyes of God. May no stain of evil ever disfigure its beauty. Help me to conquer the evil spirit who tempts me. I desire to imitate your loyalty to God and Holy Mother Church and your great love for God and men. And since you are God’s messenger for the care of his people, I entrust to you this special request.

St. Michael, as the patron saint of police officers, I call upon you during this time of unrest in our nation. Please protect our police officers from harm. Keep them safe both bodily and spiritually. If one should fall, please escort them to the Seat of God.

St. Michael, please petition God to send the Spirit of Peace upon our nation, to help settle the unrest. Change the hearts of those that would promote hate and disorder.

St. Michael, since you are, by the will of the Creator, the powerful intercessor of Christians, I have great confidence in your prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God’s holy will, my petition will be granted.

Pray for me, St. Michael, and also for those I love. Protect us in all dangers of body and soul. Help us in our daily needs. Through your powerful intercession, may we live a holy life, die a happy death, and reach heaven, where we may praise and love God with you forever.