Letters to the Editor: 06.21.18

Our readers' comments

Lasting Impact


June 5, 2018

Dear David,

With deep sadness, we write to extend our sympathies to the Krupinski and Bistrian families for the tragic loss of Bonnie and Ben Krupinski and their grandson, Willy Maerov. It is well known that Ben and Bonnie were always saying that they wanted to “pay back” to this community for the success that, in fact, they had worked so hard to achieve. Bonnie was an important member of the Ladies Village Improvement Society, adding her talents to many of our programs, and they both were mutually committed to the beautiful renovation there, which took place this past winter. 

Also Ben, the contractor on the Guild Hall renovations from 2001 to 2006, made a lasting impact on our cherished cultural center. To make this project even more challenging, it was decided to do the construction in phases over a five-year period. As a result, Guild Hall never had to close its doors. Galleries, education center, staff offices, and the theater were each renovated in separate stages. Ben’s personal time and that of his crew was all donated, a contribution of close to $2 million. Of course, the renovation of the Life-Saving Station at Atlantic Beach and the new Parrish Art Museum are just two of Krupinski Builders’ recent accomplishments. 

Our community will never be the same. Their loss is a terrible tragedy, one that can’t be measured. Still, we will always remain thankful to the Krupinskis for what they did to make our lives here in the Hamptons vibrant and beautiful for generations to come. We are proud to have called them our friends.




Expression of Love

Water Mill

June 15, 2018


It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Joe Pintauro, a Parrish Art Museum collection artist, playwright whose work we were honored to present, and beloved member of the museum family and the community. Joe was a true renaissance man, accomplished in so many creative media, whose contributions to the artistic life on the East End are legendary.

In 2016, the Parrish was proud to present a staged reading of “Men’s Lives,” Joe’s poignant play about the demise of the baymen and their way of life on the East End. And we were thrilled to present the world premiere of “Salvation,” just four days before his passing. 

“Salvation” is a musical adaption of three one-acts from Metropolitan Operas — a collection of his short plays, published in 1997. The Lichtenstein Theater was sold out for the performance that featured six singers and piano accompaniment. Joe sat in the front row next to his husband, Greg Therriault, and literally surrounded by admiring fans and friends from far and wide. At the close of the program, the expression of love and support for both of them was unlike anything we’d ever seen. 

To learn of his passing four days later was a terrific blow. But the experience of watching this brilliantly talented man bask in the good will and warm wishes of those in attendance will remain a precious memory in the history of this institution that none of us will ever forget. 



Parrish Art Museum

Giant Jive


June 12, 2018


The town has a stern rule about signs. How come the Jitney is allowed to parade through town with huge, obnoxious signs on the sides of buses. Riders are transformed into bouncing signboards, and onlookers must endure giant jive.  


Twilight Zone


June 18, 2018

Dear David, 

Since we are not in the Suffolk County Department of Health survey zone for private well water testing, we have entered the twilight zone. 

We are told not to drink the water, our neighbors only hear from us what is going on, while the Town of Southampton, Suffolk County Department of Health, New York Department of Health, and the Department of Environmental Conservation wait for more data to be gathered while more glasses of water are consumed.



Almost Fooled Me

East Hampton

June 17, 2018

Hi, David:

I live in East Hampton Village. I have received many calls over the past few weeks from a toll-free number — 866-875-7909 — that purports to be from National Grid but in fact is a scam, where they tell you that your gas is about to be shut off and ask for immediate payment info over the phone. 

The real National Grid phone number is 1-800-930-5003, and I am pretty sure that by law, the gas company cannot just shut your gas off on the spot. I think there is a legal process they must follow. I’m not sure if others in the community are getting these calls, too. I don’t have the time to do this, but maybe someone from The Star can check this out and write a short article on this. They almost fooled me, and I’m sure there have been a few community members who were taken in by this scam.


The Tipping Point


June 17, 2018

Dear David,

How much worse could it get before you say “enough?”

It all starts with good intentions. Let’s support the local real estate brokers, contractors, landscape companies, pool guys, etc. Let’s support the local economy. Development commences. More people come to the “hot town” (with respect to Peter Wolf). 

More development ensues; more people come to town and see how lovely it is. They tell their friends and more people come. Before you realize it the contractors are at full tilt, the trades are all fully employed, the service people are funding 401(k)’s and everyone is happy. Except the people who came here 30 and more years ago, who remember what it used to be like. They are not happy!

They are not happy because:

• Traffic gets worse each year

• Noisy private planes and helicopters have no concern other than their own bottom line

• Huge houses are built on small lots

• Clearing large portions of lots ensues to accommodate the huge houses

• Leaf blowers throughout the week drive neighbors mad with noise and pollution

• The trade parade all year round coming to the fabulous Hamptons to make their own killing, creating more traffic

• Large landscape trucks clog the small village lanes to service the huge houses

• Armies of service people are needed to clean, manicure, and primp the huge houses

• Housing for the workers who keep all this going becomes a problem

• Everyone complains about housing affordability

• The schools are filled to capacity with the children of the workers

• Airbnb opens an opportunity to allow more people to come for short periods

• Hordes of party-going 20-somethings who view the “Hamptons” as an opportunity to cut loose and trash an otherwise lovely small resort come to town

• D.W.I.s and D.U.I.s on a regular basis, many driving with no license because their licenses were pulled because of previous drunk/impaired infractions

• Incivility rises in crowded conditions 

• Water wells around the airport report pollution from an unknown source

• Ponds polluted with nutrients pour- ed on the properties to keep the lawns green and weed free

• Pesticides sprayed on a regular basis to keep down the indigenous bugs (bees die)

I could go on ad nauseam but I think that most people get the point. The Town of East Hampton has reached the tipping point beyond which there is no turning back. It’s over, it’s happened, and we are the worse for it. 

Maybe it was possible to anticipate this mess but no one actually did anything to stop it. 




Behind Closed Doors


June 18, 2018

Dear David:

At the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee meeting this month, the town board broke its promise of holding no events other than Soldier Ride on the “555” property in Amagansett. 

I love the East Hampton Library and donate to its fund-raiser every year, but this town board is operating by making decisions behind closed doors. The decision to have the function on 555 is not about only one function; I have been informed it is about allowing all community preservation fund properties to have certain events approved by the town board.

Certainly, Peter, Kathee, and Sylvia have been on the town board long enough to know about this commitment to Amagansett regarding the C.P.F. property 555. That promise was made in July 2017 by Supervisor Larry Cantwell, and the board was informed at that time. This new proposal for the use of C.P.F. property is not only disturbing, but I have not heard the board discuss it at any meetings. There are so many questions. 

Sincerely yours,



A Neophyte


June 15, 2018

Dear David:

At the June 11 Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee meeting, Councilman David Lys, the town board liaison, had a meltdown. He brought to the committee not one, but two adopted town board plans for Amagansett without having first consulted ACAC about them. 

The first is a plan to use the 555 property for a fund-raising event in violation of previous promises to the community, the law that governs use of the community preservation fund and the open meetings law. 

The second is a plan for the Amagansett parking lot. In the case of the parking lot, a subcommittee of ACAC had worked on a plan and submitted it to the town board. The board completely ignored the work of the community members and wrote its own plan with no community input. The board’s plan has been scheduled for public hearing on June 21. Mr. Lys refuses even to consider modifications to the board’s plan in response to concerns expressed at the ACAC meeting. Modifications were not presented to the town board in Mr. Lys’s liaison report to the work session of the town board the following day.

So much for transparency in board decision making or public participation in making policy.

One cannot quite blame David. He is just doing what Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc and Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez tell him to do. But that, in a nutshell, is the problem. As a neophyte, proposed by Supervisor Van Scoyoc and Councilwoman Burke-Gonzalez for appointment to the vacancy created by Van Scoyoc’s election as supervisor, David Lys does not have either the experience or the independence to do other than what he is told. 



Recreational Use


June 15, 2018

Dear David,

At the meeting last week of the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee, Councilman David Lys, the town board liaison, informed the committee that the town board has decided to allow the 555 property on Montauk Highway to be used for Author’s Night, a fund-raiser for the East Hampton Library.

Last week was the first that that the town board has even mentioned this proposal to ACAC. Now it is a done deal. Worse, it was somehow decided by the town board in executive session so that the public would not know what’s going on.

I have worked for the library for the past nine years, volunteering to help raise money at the Author’s Night event. The East Hampton Library offers the community many classes and programs at no charge due to its fund-raising. But I am appalled that the town board never brought the issue to ACAC for community input.

The community preservation fund purchased the 555 property and promised to keep it as open space, agriculture overlay district, and for recreation. The land should only be used for these purposes. It’s the law!

When Councilman Lys was asked about the misuse of the C.P.F. property, he explained that the library event is “recreation.” When asked to define the recreational use, he said, “Reading.” You couldn’t make this up if you tried!  This event is not a “reading” event, it is a fund-raiser.

The town board wants to allow and codify commercial uses of all C.P.F. property, such as carnivals as fund-raisers, and is using the library as a wedge to do it. It’s no wonder it doesn’t want the public to know what’s going on.

There is no excuse for decisions made in secret, behind closed doors, with no public participation, even for a worthy cause such as the library. I had great hope that Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc would restore transparency to town government. This is a big disappointment.




The Smell Test


June 18, 2018

Dear David,

I happened to attend a citizens advisory committee meeting in Amagansett on Monday, June 11, and during the presentation by David Lys (the town board’s liaison to the C.A.C.) of matters pertaining to Amagansett, he mentioned, almost in passing, that the board had approved a very large, two-day fund-raising event at the so-called 555 property on Montauk Highway. He presented it as a “done deal.” His announcement was a bit of a shock to me.

As I recall, and I am sure the minutes of the meetings will support my memory, the C.A.C. over the past several years had been asked by the previous liaison, Larry Cantwell, for their desires for the use of the property (especially because it is a property purchased with community preservation fund money to preserve open space). 

The C.A.C. desired it to be used for open space recreation, such as walking or biking, or perhaps paths to push strollers or to give toddlers a safe place to be on bike or tricycle, with parents nearby, and everyone far from the highway and traffic. Not to be used for major events or fund-raisers or traffic-producing occasions that do not give a specific benefit or relate in some manner to the Amagansett hamlet. 

Not surprisingly, a quick look at C.P.F. rules for the use of properties seems to specifically prohibit this type of event. The worst part about the board’s approval of this fund-raiser (a traffic-stopping Saturday and Sunday in August with several prior set-up days and at least one removal day) is the way it was done: under the radar.

 It is beyond belief that the process of initial discussion, and the application and approval, mass gathering permits, site plans, parking and security info, tent permits, etc. was done in less than the four weeks between ACAC meetings, which was the reason Mr. Lys gave for not letting the C.A.C. know at the May meeting.

The hidden process that the town government used to send this fund-raiser through to approval does not pass the smell test of open government. Are they scared of public input? Do they say “To hell with the citizens, we’ll do what we want?” Is a public hearing so uncomfortable for them that they will avoid it by making decisions in executive session? It sure does seem that way.




Our Pensions


June 18, 2018

Dear David:

As the founding president of Police Benevolent Association of New York State which is the fifth biggest police union in New York State, I don’t typically get involved in political debates, but the proposed plan to divest hundreds of millions of dollars from all fossil-fuel producing companies in the state’s pension system is of great concern, and it should concern all New Yorkers.

It’s no secret that unfunded pension liabilities can cause a cascade of dire service cuts that leave our municipalities on the brink of fiscal disaster. Just look at states like Connecticut, New Jersey, and Illinois. Local governments such as East Hampton and its taxpayers are most vulnerable and will be least able to rebound in a financial downturn.

It’s not a question of whether divestment will cause a substantial loss, but how much? While recent reports about divestment warn about the effects of climate change, these studies have provided little evidence on exactly how divestment from fossil-fuel companies actually reduces the impact of climate change. However, several new studies, such as Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees 2017 Study on Divestment, have detailed the steep financial consequences of divestment to public sector employees, and to all working men and women. Their analysis concluded that if New York fails to fund the Common Retirement Fund adequately, counties, towns, and villages across the state would be forced to compensate for the shortfall with substantially higher taxes and cuts to vital government services.

Every New York taxpayer who relies on government services knows that these kinds of cuts make it harder for law enforcement to keep communities safe, provide much-needed services to our most vulnerable in our society, and maintain vital infrastructure. If law enforcement, social services, and maintenance and highway personnel do not have all the tools, equipment, and resources they need, public safety will be compromised.

The primary responsibility of any public pension-plan manager is to manage the investment in a way that guarantees the best return possible for beneficiaries. Even though many pensions are managed by politically appointed or elected managers, those individuals must be able to separate politics from the money. Political ideology must not upend common sense and practical and sound judgment.

Fortunately, here in New York, state comptroller DiNapoli has bucked the political tailwinds from environmental activists and has remained faithful to his responsibility as a fiduciary. Not only is he concerned about pensioners, but he’s also aware of the pain divestment would cause if municipalities across New York were forced to raise taxes or cut critical much-needed services like our first responders, infrastructure maintenance, and social services to our seniors and most vulnerable. Cuts that jeopardize  the safety and well-being of our communities are not and should not be a cost worth paying in the name of fighting climate change.

Along with my brothers and sisters in P.B.A. of N.Y.S. we have family members, friends, neighbors many retirees whose pensions are also tied to the state’s Common Retirement Fund. We didn’t take these jobs to get rich, but we did make contributions to our pensions every year to ensure we could depend upon a modest pension when we retired. Politicians pursuing ideological political agendas should not be allowed to gamble with the security of our retirements or with the safety of our communities.

Protecting the environment is essential, but not when protecting the environment means hurting working men and women, our communities’ most vulnerable, and seniors. As police officers, who keep our state safe, we see firsthand the adverse impacts and misery caused by failed governments that place ideology ahead of the communities they are entrusted to serve. 

Let’s keep politics out of our public pensions.





June 14, 2018


I am again writing in support of the Deepwater Wind project. The more I read the posted ads and/or comments against this project in the local commentaries, the more compelled I am to support Deepwater Wind. I am submitting a memo from their development office, that was addressed to the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee. It clearly gives full transparency to some of the false statements that have been made. I hope the town and trustees see Deepwater Wind as an innovative project that will surely change the course of history in our town in the most positive manner. 

Kind regards


Crucial Issue

East Quogue

June 14, 2018

To the editor:

More amusement for me arrived as I read the letters of those who argue against renewable wind energy based on uncertain costs. I was less amused, however, to realize that no one is addressing the crucial issue of energy demand and how to reduce it.

This is a major policy issue, because every supplier of power continues to operate on the assumption that energy demand (as a result of overdevelopment, population growth, and overconsumption) will continue to rise. None of those who oppose wind power have addressed these issues, much less analyzed their own contribution and that of the community at large. Nor have they addressed the true costs of fossil fuels, as they air their suspicions about future costs of wind energy. 

Right now our utility bills do not come close to reflecting the full costs (and negative impact) of energy production and consumption. Neither the fossil-fuel energy industry nor elected officials, nor the public want an increase in energy bills, but for different reasons. For the industry, this would cut demand and thus reduce their profits. For politicians it would mean defeat. For the public? Perish the thought that consumers should pay the proper price for energy.

The result is political paralysis; not one candidate for public office would dare to suggest that we need to cut energy use through such mechanisms as a carbon tax, mandatory federal energy efficiency standards, or elimination of federal tax breaks and subsidies. Those who oppose an increase in energy costs in order to reflect the true environmental costs of energy production are doing the public no favors. The underpricing of energy is what encourages overconsumption; it is in fact the actual cause of the climate change crisis. 

A carbon tax, or fee and dividend, by raising energy prices, will in fact penalize the more affluent and will compensate the poor, who use less energy. It will also accelerate the transition to a completely renewable energy economy. Those who would put the brakes on wind energy are in effect supporting coal mining, offshore oil development and well blowouts, oil tanker accidents and leaks, well contamination from fracking, pipeline leaks, pollution, and a faster rise in global temperature. These are the alternative to wind turbines! They have made themselves part of the problem, not part of the solution.

I am stupefied at the uninformed opposition to what, in the end, is a sane and imperative solution to the energy crisis. Perhaps, given the victory of Donald Trump, I should not be surprised that so many people remain uninformed about the forces that are producing climate change and still judge public policy issues from their own narrow viewpoint.

As the west Antarctica ice sheet slides faster into the warm ocean, the time window left for us to avoid global environmental and economic catastrophe is quickly diminishing. Unless this is changed in the next decade, the climate crisis will be irreversible. The political result will be a governmental authoritarian crisis response that will require costly defensive measures to protect coastal infrastructure and communities. 

At that point we could well face mandatory energy rationing and other equally severe restrictions. Between now and then, there is no time much less money to implement measures sufficient to avoid disaster. Solar panels on our houses, wind turbines in every back yard, they won’t happen in time. And every obstacle placed in the way by the doubters brings the crisis closer.




June 16, 2018 

Mr. Rattray,

As the air temperature rises, the beach waters warm, and we ready ourselves for the economic surge that provides many of us with a large amount of our annual income, I want to turn our attention to our southern borders. 

Simply put, the policy of our president and his regime of separating children from their mothers, is unacceptable to this American. The immoral and inhumane aspects of these actions do not have to be explained. 

Sadly I’m starting to see too many people fall silent to this regime’s disturbing behavior, as they look at the latest quarterly reports of their investments. 

Silence is not an option,


Let’s Visit


June 15, 2018


Thanks for the shout-out in last week’s endorsement for the New York State First District primary. But I question your assertion that Let’s Visit Leeeldin was “cynically named.”

The name and reason for Let’s Visit Lee Zeldin, which I founded in November 2016, is in no way based on a belief “that people are motivated by self-interest and a distrust of human sincerity or integrity.” People who show up to “visit” their representatives, whether in person, via email, United States Postal Service, or a phone call, are in the best position to make change for the greater good.

L.V.L.Z. doesn’t exist because Representative Lee Zeldin would not make public appearances; Representative Zeldin doesn’t make appearances because L.V.L.Z. does.


For Kate

East Hampton

June 18, 2018

Dear David,

I’ll be supporting and voting for Kate Browning in the Democratic primary for the First Congressional District on Tuesday.

I worked with Kate for several years after Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of New York City and western Long Island, including the Mastic-Shirley area in her county legislative district. At the time, I worked for the Nature Conservancy, and we were pursuing a federal, state, county, town, and private partnership to buy out homes on private septic systems in the floodplain on the Mastic-Shirley peninsula. 

After Sandy hit, the interest and the funding for moving ahead with buyouts of homes, demolishing them and their infrastructure, and restoring the land to its natural state gained momentum. Kate and her staff supported environmental protection and the buyout program, while also taking a keen interest in the human needs and predicaments of her constituents. I found her to be a smart woman who understood the issues, had smart, devoted staff, and cared deeply about the working people she represented.

Her attention to constituent service and leadership for the people of her south-central Brookhaven legislative district got her re-elected on the Working Families and Democratic lines for six consecutive two-year terms until term limits forced her to retire from the Suffolk Legislature at the end of 2017.

Kate is not a typical politician. She is not flashy or a great orator. She is a decent, hard-working mother, wife, and grandmother who cares about the 99 percent of people in this country and on Long Island who are not rich and who struggle with health care, the cost of housing, drugs, gangs, and violence. She understands the critical role of the environment on our island, in our country and on our planet. Her husband is a police detective. Two of her sons are in the military. She is a naturalized American citizen for 20 years from Northern Ireland and understands the promise of our country.

I urge my fellow Democrats to also support Kate Browning on Primary Day, Tuesday, so that she can replace Lee Zeldin in the United States House of Representatives and help return us to a country we can be proud of again.



Elected Already


June 16, 2018

Dear David,

This is an important alert to East Hampton Democrats. The upcoming primary on this Tuesday, June 26, to choose our Democratic representative to Congress is one of the most important decisions we will make this year.

As you know, our current Republican representative, Lee Zeldin, has no problem with gutting the vitally important Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Zeldin supports destroying the affordable health care that allows pre-existing conditions to be covered, supports the arrogant Environmental Protection Agency czar, Scott Pruitt, who is currently burying a bombshell report on a new list of toxic chemicals that is linked to cancer, low birth rate, and weakening our immune systems. He is also being investigated for 12 different incidents of carelessly spending thousands of our taxpayer dollars on (get this) installing a soundproof telephone booth in his office and buying pens worth $1,200 each to give out to donors and lobbyists! 

If you feel that Republican Lee Zeldin is not representing your values and priorities in Congress, then we must choose a Democratic candidate who can beat him. Although there is a list of good Democratic candidates, there is only one that surveys show has the best chance of beating Lee Zeldin. That person is Kate Browning.

You might not have heard of her yet because she lives near Selden up west. However, she is the only Democratic candidate who has been elected already — six times with 57 percent of the vote (this is critically important) in a Republican district to the Suffolk County Legislature! 

Kate is the only Democratic candidate who has experience and a proven record starting with the opposite actions taken by the incumbent Republican “representing” us in Congress. 

Ready Kate has voted for 12 balanced budgets, supports Planned Parenthood, Affordable Health Care, voted to preserve 1,000 acres of open space in our district, secured $189 million of federal money to invest in infrastructure that will keep our drinking water clean and harbors and bays fresh for enjoyment and unpolluted so our fishing community can continue to reap its bounty.

Kate promises to stand up to the extreme Republican agenda in Washington.

With a husband who is a New York Police Department detective and a son just back from Afghanistan, Kate agrees with them that the only people who should have access to automatic weapons are trained military and law-enforcement members.

Bottom line: There are more Republican voters in Suffolk County than Democrats, so we should vote for a candidate who will fight for Democratic ideals, but can secure a crossover vote from some Republican and Independent voters.

Kate Browning has proven in six elections that she can. Then in office she puts the people of her district first and pushes negative political posturing out of her door.



A Progressive

East Hampton 

June 14, 2018

Dear Editor,

Perry Gershon has my vote as the Democratic nominee for Congress District 1 in the June 26 primary elections. 

1. Perry is true to his own convictions. When he graduated from Yale in 1984, he went to medical school to follow in his parents’ (both famous doctors) footsteps. But one year before graduating, he quit because he decided he did not have the passion to be a physician. 

2. Perry started one of the very first sports bars in Manhattan and was successful in that business. 

3. But he needed more financial and economic knowledge, so he went to University of California Berkeley for his master of business and graduated in 1993.

4. Perry co-founded a real estate lending business, LoanCore Capital, which in the past 25 years has closed more than 20,000 loans with total of $14 billion. He never declared bankruptcy (unlike United States president #45, who filed four times!) and always worked with his clients to avoid their filing for bankruptcy. He foreclosed only two times, even during the height of the financial crisis of 2007 to 2010. 

5. In so doing, he helped keep jobs and created jobs indirectly through lending to his clients so they can continue to improve and expand their real estate business. 

6. Perry is not a politician, but having seen the rise of authoritarianism, xenophobia, racism, sexism, maligning the media, tweeting fake news, he could not just stand still. 

7. As a progressive Democrat, Perry leaves a successful career behind and chooses to enter the relentless world of politics and public service to stand up to a boorish, egoistic, self-dealing, amoral, con artist that is the president #45. 

8. Most of all, Perry is able to raise campaign funds to fight and defeat National Rifle Association supporter, Trump ally, Tea Party Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin!

Please vote for Perry Gershon on June 26!


The Best Chance

East Hampton

June 18, 2018

Dear David,

I was disappointed to read The Star’s editorial of June 14 titled “Democratic Primary Choice.” The piece begins by describing “a cold calculus” of party members looking for the candidate most likely to defeat Zeldin, rather than the one most qualified. If you left it there, I might be willing to agree. But by endorsing the young, feisty, and very smart Elaine DiMasi without suggesting how she will be able to win in a Republican-dominated county that went for Trump, you do us all a disservice. Your editorial makes it sound like the goal of defeating Zeldin is not our prime objective, but in reality everyone who wants to halt the current deconstruction of our democratic norms must be united in this very serious goal. Zeldin has made himself an errand boy for Trump, and we must do everything in our power to unseat him.

I was impressed with Ms. DiMasi when I heard her speak at the candidate forum in Amagansett hosted by our town Democratic Committee. Many East Hampton citizens might agree that we’d surely benefit by having a scientist in place to educate the know-nothing science deniers in Congress, but we’d be remiss to believe that the rest of New York’s First Congressional District thinks the same way as our town. For now, New York is a blue state, but here in Suffolk County we don’t have the luxury of picking the most progressive candidates and riding the blue wave if we want to win. 

Here, where Democrats are in the minority, we need a strong plan to bring Independents and disgruntled Republicans as well as new voters into our fold. We need to address issues of importance to various segments of a democratic coalition that must include working families, minorities, women, L.G.B.T.Q. people, homeowners, business owners, public servants, seniors concerned about their Medicare and Social Security, and so many more. We must respect our differences, but come together for a common goal. Most important, we need a candidate with proven ability to pull support from more than the Democratic Party base to win in western Suffolk where there are close to four times the active voters we have on the East End.

 I mean no disrespect to Ms. DiMasi. We need her ideas and energy, and I hope she will remain in the public sphere, but I cannot see her winning against Zeldin her first time out. Zeldin has too much entrenched support: a lot of party money, the Koch brothers, Bannon, the National Rifle Association, and many adamant Trump supporters. This is why we have to hit him where he lives.

 Kate Browning is our best chance at defeating him on his home ground. Both Browning and Zeldin are residents of Shirley in Suffolk County’s Republican-dominated Third District, where Browning won six consecutive elections as Democratic candidate for Suffolk County legislator. In her last election before she was term-limited out, she won 63 percent of the district vote, where Trump won only 55 percent. She has solid government experience and an in-depth knowledge of the people, needs, and workings of our county so she is well suited to represent us in Washington. Her county experience has taught her how to work across all party lines to actually get things done.

Browning has made Suffolk County safer by passing one of the toughest sex offender laws in the country. She’s focused on quality of life issues, rehabilitating foreclosed zombie homes and selling them to first-time homebuyers, keeping them away from speculators and absentee landlords. Some of her other accomplishments include securing funding for clean water infrastructure to protect drinking water and our shorelines, supporting Planned Parenthood, increasing access to cancer screening, increasing renewable energy projects, preserving open space and parkland, fighting to pass strong gun safety laws, and securing funding for homeless veterans. She supports DACA and immigration reform.

 Browning’s life tells the common story of an immigrant coming to this country to build a new life and choosing to give back to a community that welcomes her. She was born and raised in war-torn Belfast, Northern Ireland, during “the troubles.” At 19, she left for Germany, where she met her future husband, Steve, who was serving in the United States military. In 1989, she and her husband settled in Shirley. A mother of two sons and a daughter, she took a job as a school-bus driver and became involved in the bus drivers union. When the local government did not respond to the union’s needs, she chose to run for local office where she could make a difference. 

Her message was evidently on target, as she beat the incumbent and was re-elected five more times. This may also explain why she now has the endorsements of many local unions as well as Senator Gillibrand’s Off the Sidelines PAC, County Legislator Rob Calarco of Brookhaven, County Legislator Bridget Fleming of Southampton, County Legislator Bill Lindsay of Islip, and others. Those who know Browning and her work stand behind her, trusting that she will continue to fight for us on the national stage. 

Additionally, her ties to the community are strengthened through her family. Browning’s husband is a decorated detective in New York City’s Police Department and retired from the Army National Guard in 2006. Her sons, Sean and Aodhan, serve in the Air National Guard, 106th Air Rescue Wing, Westhampton, and Sean has served three tours in Afghanistan. She knows firsthand about service to this country, and as a union leader, a mother of three, and a bus driver of middle school children (including the young Mr. Zeldin!), it’s safe to say that Kate Browning is not one to take a lot of guff from the boys club in Congress.

I will support whoever wins the Democratic congressional primary on June 26, but I strongly encourage my fellow Democrats to vote for Kate Browning, who has the best chance of winning. Brainpower and high ideals alone aren’t enough this time.


Kate Understands

East Hampton

June 17, 2018

To the Editor:

TV Lee Zeldin is an acolyte of Donald Trump, who frequently is on TV but can’t seem to find the time to meet with his constituents. The best interests of New York Congressional District 1 are not getting the full attention they deserve.

There are a number of candidates running in the Democratic primary on June 26. They include a recently transplanted businessman and a scientist. They each have some good ideas but neither has any political or legislative experience. In these unprecedented and challenging times we need a candidate and representative who has a proven track record of success, especially in western Suffolk County, where the District 1 elections are decided.

Kate Browning has won running as a Democrat three consecutive times in a western Suffolk Republican district. She served three consecutive terms in the Suffolk County Legislature working across party lines to get things done. She passed one of the toughest sex offender laws in the country. She secured $200 million in funding to build a new sewer district in Mastic and Shirley. She fought to protect drinking water and shorelines. TV Lee, on the other hand, has voted for bills that would jeopardize our environment. TV Lee is wed to Trump who thinks Scott Pruitt is doing a great job at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Kate understands the importance of the Affordable Care Act and will work to improve it. TV Lee wants to repeal or kill the Affordable Care Act.

Kate is pro-choice, stands with Planned Parenthood, and is a strong proponent of women’s rights.

Kate is a first-generation immigrant and agrees that the immigration system needs reform. She is in favor of protecting the Dreamers and passing a clean bill to allow them to stay and earn their citizenship. TV Lee does not want to protect Dreamers. Kate is opposed to Trump’s cruel new program to separate children from their parents at the border.

Kate is in favor of gun safety legislation. She supports banning military- style assault weapons and expanding criminal background checks. TV Lee co-sponsored concealed carry bill, which would allow residents of other states to carry concealed weapons throughout New York State. TV Lee opposes any ban on assault weapons and has voted to make it easier for people with mental illness to purchase weapons.

Kate Browning has the essential legislative experience and has run well in western Suffolk County. She is the only Democratic candidate that can successfully run against TV Lee.


The Blue Wave


June 18, 2018

To the Editor

As June 26 approaches and East End Democrats like me, who are committed to unseating Lee Zeldin, get to know the (too many) candidates in the primary race, considerations are heightened with the importance of winning the midterms in November. 

While I have not met these candidates in person, l have, like many of my neighbors, done my due diligence watching their debates, reading their websites, and for most of them, communicating directly with them and/or their campaigns for clarification on their histories, positions, and ideas. 

We voters are asking ourselves some very important questions:

• Who will best represent our beliefs about matters and issues that are decided by our government?

• Who will most effectively legislate those things to best serve our community and our country?

• Who will have the best chance of beating Lee Zeldin in the November?

And for this election I’d add, who best stands for the kind of society we wish our country to be?

For me, the answer to all the above is unequivocally Vivian Viloria-Fisher. Vivian has walked the walk of true Democratic ideals her entire life, personally, professionally, and politically. 

Vivian is a known force in our district and has proven time and again that voters show up for her. Vivian is at the forefront of those issues that are currently in dire need of a champion in D.C. — immigration, gun safety, workers’ rights, women’s rights, the economy, the environment, and health care. She’s as solid as it gets. 

After an accomplished career as an educator, Vivian served from 1999-2011 as a Suffolk County legislator, six of those as deputy presiding officer, where she put ideas into action passing important legislation. Take a look at her website, vivianforlongisland.org, and you will see a candidate who not only lists what she “will” do, but the substantive accomplishments she “has already” achieved. From veterans’ rights, to environmental safety, to standing up to racism, she is a fearless, uncompromising leader.

She advocates universal health care, bans on assault rifles, the Dream Act, living wage, sustainable energy, prison reform, and strong protections against discrimination. 

Vivian serves on the board of Planned Parenthood, the Suffolk County Food Policy Council, and has been endorsed as Moms Demand Action Gun Sense candidate. Vivian is not afraid to speak out and act against the politics of hate that are so alive in our current environment — because as an immigrant from a country then run by a violent dictator, she truly appreciates that our free society depends first and foremost on upholding our vows to equality for all.

Vivian is precisely the type of candidate that is creating the swell of the Blue Wave across this country — flipping and winning in tough races. She has the most energized base of young supporters in this race, and it’s not just me, but statistics that call them the game changers in taking this election. Vivian will beat Zeldin, because she is the strongest contrast to his hateful politics and support of policies that are detrimental and dangerous to the people of Congressional District 1. Vivian will beat Zeldin because she is the leader that will inspire more people to show up and vote, because they know with her we will have a strong, smart leader fighting for us in D.C., not someone who says what they think is politically expedient. As she says, “I will speak truth to Power.” She will be our Elizabeth Warren, our Kamala Harris, our Joe Kennedy. She is a powerful surge in the Blue Wave, and if we really want a country we can be proud of, one that stands for the rights and opportunities of everyone, for equality, and for a clean, healthy, safe future, we need to jump up and ride with Vivian Vilora-Fisher June 26.


Liberal Bigotry


June 18, 2018


Imagine if one questioned Obama supporters’ eating habits! Helen Rattray’s column further exposed the holier-than-thou liberal bigotry that permeates this newspaper. Middle-class whites eat fast and fried food? Just whites, Helen? Next time just come out and say “F__k Trump and his supporters.”


P.S. I don’t eat fast or fried food.

All You Heard

Hampton Bays

June 12, 2018

To the Editor,

For the past 30 years, thanks to God, my wife and I have spent the month of May driving all around the beautiful country of France. No, Virginia, the French do not hate Americans.

I guess the reason I like France so much is because it reminds me of how Southampton was years ago before all the wannabes moved in. The French have such style and grace.

Believe me, we travel the highways and byways and have, for the most part, beautiful experiences. The road network is in good condition, litter free, and rarely do we see a gendarme. We are not into technology, so there is no cell-phone, iPhone, no satellite telling me which turn to make. There is no game plan, but that can be altered. Because of this, we have more beautiful experiences than in our own “backyard.”

When we stay in a hotel, most times we don’t even listen to TV. However, this time, in some places, we put on CNN International. Boy, what bias against President Trump. All you heard was Stormy Daniels. The reporters, Wolf Blitzer, Christiane Amanpour, and others, were looking so frustrated in their reporting. We would enlighten the French, in our conversations, that this was fake news. It’s too bad they don’t get Fox News. Back home, that’s all we listen to, not the other, un-American garbage that is thrown out there.

I feel history will place President Trump as one of the greatest presidents, and Barack Hussein Obama as our worst president. Thank you for reading my letter, and God bless President Trump and his beautiful family.

Yours truly,


Senior Citizens


June 12, 2018

To The Editor:

Too many of my fellow “progressive” Democrats (Ever notice how almost none of them call themselves “liberals” anymore?) seem to believe that we should all primarily focus on disagreeing with Trump and the conservative Republicans about their hateful views on “identity-politics” and the “culture-wars.”

It is as if they believe that everything would be perfect in the country if only Trump would “make nice” to all groups and individuals in the country and stop insulting them.

Meanwhile, tens of millions of us struggle just to survive and try to pay our bills. For example, there are many senior citizens who can only afford to buy half of the insulin prescribed for their diabetes. They will probably go blind soon, have limbs amputated, and die an early death because of it.

So I am criticized by progressive Democrats like my two friends who have yearly incomes of over $175,000 because I don’t criticize Trump enough for his horrible and divisive remarks and behavior. Instead, I focus on trying to protect and enhance the federal government’s safety-net programs that so many millions of us depend upon for survival.



Fake News

 East Hampton

June 16, 2018


In the era of so-called fake news the most egregious piece revolves around our economy. The economy is booming, doing better than ever. Unemployment is at its lowest in decades. Wages increased slightly. But the questions are for whom and in what way?

When the word goes out, from the top, that the economy is booming the knee-jerk reaction at Fox and then the other media outlets follow suit. Mindlessly, stupidly, with fake experts and phony numbers. Yes, we are giving $2.6 trillion to corporate America as a gift. Freshly minted, debt based, and undirected. What about the minimum wage? 

Lag factor. For the first 18 months of any new administration the policies of the previous administration determine economic activity. Unless the economy is severely jolted like the crash of 2008 or receives a massive infusion of capital in 2018, new policies and ideas take several years before they translate into economic activity. Any, and there really isn’t much, credit goes to Obama not to Trump. For example, job growth in 2015 and 2016 was 20 percent higher than in 2017 and 2018.

Wages are the only real measure of a vital growing economy. From 2008, employment increased from a negative 800,000 per month to a positive 200,000 with virtually no increase in wages. When inflation is imputed most people’s wages declined since 2008 as they have since 1984. The federal government has done nothing to increase wages and, in fact, has worked as a lever to depress wages. All of the wage gains in the past 10 years have derived from local pressure to increase the minimum wage.

Regulatory changes have almost no short-term effect on employment or wages. Allowing coal companies to dump chemicals into local rivers or permitting banks to return to high-risk investments just puts the environment and the economy at greater risk. Nothing proposed was aimed at creating jobs or increasing wages. Less regulation is an oxymoron. Why were the regulations imposed is the real question?

Infusing $3 trillion into the economy has certainly given it a lift except 90 percent of the infusion goes to the wealthiest part of the economy and the small increases to the middle class have already been wiped out by increases in health care, education, and local taxes (making up for the shortfall). The burden of paying for the $3 trillion has yet to be imputed, but will certainly fall on the middle class.

Under Obama, infusions of capital to save the banking industry and General Motors were all paid back with interest.

Economic growth versus social welfare. The Trump tax cuts and budget were the worst kind of socialism gone amok. Giving away trillions of dollars without generating any return is another form of thievery. If the money had been given directly to the bottom 80 percent of the population it would have created a huge increase in demand and millions of jobs, which would in turn create more of both.

Newly imposed tariffs on a wide variety of products and our chaotic relationships with existing trade deals and treaties have created a level of uncertainty that will eventually destabilize the global economic order. As more and more countries distance themselves from involvement with the United States we lose whatever leverage we have on the economic playing field. The Trans Pacific Partnership formed without our participation will look to China instead of the U.S. None of this stuff was necessary or made any sense. All fake.

Former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan explained that the real growth level for the economy is about 2 percent and that we have entered into a period of stagflation where inflation will wipe out these already modest gains. Trump lies and his minions swear to it. See Trump, Kudlow, Navarro versus Trudeau.

Finally, the distribution of wealth is the economy’s biggest problem and should be the main focus of any government programs. Yet, unsurprisingly, Trump has resuscitated the failed fake “trickle down” theory, that only benefits the wealthy. Knowing that this will never work reclassifies him from liar to criminal. Unfortunately, neither is punishable in U.S. politics.

People need to check their bank accounts. Check their ability to get through the month without borrowing. Turn off their phones and their televisions and see the world as it really is. The fake news economy only works on those who want to believe.


My Prediction

East Hampton

June 11, 2018

To the Editor

Stand by, America, prepare for stupendous political, international, and military happenings, ensuing from the historical meeting between Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump. Encouraged by my recent accurate comments, may I take this opportunity to predict — super successful results and agreements to implement, accomplish in record time. Frankly the indications, dynamics for success have been there all the time.

Kim, third generation of tyrants, is the current despot ruler — one person, all the votes, young, restless, spoilable (corruptible?), exposed, and aware of the modern, digitized world, contrary to his father, and grandfather, eager to break out of “backwards” and step into “forward” and join. 

Us, United States, are blessed, for the first time, with a down-to-earth mind- set president, disregarding, discarding stale, blurring, paralyzing governmental orthodoxy. The facts are all there, I don’t have to prepare much. One does not have to be a Sigmund to realize, assess, and capitalize on this opportune situation. Yes, we have the right captain at the helm of our ship of state. 

They will “click” I predict. 


P.S. Please note that possibly some results may already be out at the time of publication, June 14,  or prior, but my prediction was sealed on Monday, June 11.