Letters to the Editor: 08.02.18

Our readers' comments

Newly Created Jewel

East Hampton

July 23, 2018

Dear Editor: 

After living in East Hampton for over 45 years, first as a part-timer and the last 10 as a year-rounder, I have recently discovered a newly created jewel of a venue that will be a go-to place for all East Enders, whether a visitor or year-round resident. The place is called the Clubhouse and is located on Daniel’s Hole Road in Wainscott, as part of the East Hampton Indoor Tennis complex across from the East Hampton Airport. 

The facility is comprised of 10 bowling alleys, a state of the art miniature golf course with waterfalls and mini lakes. There is also an electronic game room with dozens of games for adults and children of all ages that has to be seen to be believed. There are also three bocce courts for all to enjoy. 

The restaurant seats many people with a classic pub style menu and offers at least 16 draft beers with interesting options to enjoy them. The area is surrounded by numerous large-screen TVs, up to 150 inches. I watched the World Cup finals there along with hundreds of other sports fans. I’m sure the Super Bowl and other major sporting events will be equally well attended. The tables are spaced far apart so you will not have to worry that what you talk about will appear on Page Six the next day. 

Hundreds of up-close parking spaces make access a breeze. There is also comfortable outdoor seating with firepits surrounded by a gigantic lawn, which I am told will have live music, and will be available for social events such as weddings as well as other events. 

Over the years I have heard that there are not a lot of activities for teenagers on the East End. The Clubhouse answers that issue with the bowling alleys, miniature golf course, and the fantastic must-see-to-believe game room all in a magnificent structure. 

The Clubhouse is a classic business school example of what private enterprise can create when given support by local government. 

Not being a wordsmith, I can say a visit to this fantastic facility will be worth more than 1,000 words. 

Go see it, enjoy it, and have fun. 


A Few Gems

Skillman, N.J.

July 24, 2018

Dear David,

Each July members of our family return to East Hampton where I was born and raised, and my wife and I join them for a brief visit. Things are very different from my first fond memories of the village well over 80 years ago. But amid all the changes, there are a few gems that remain constant — in fact have even gotten better with time. One of them is the Long Island Collection at the East Hampton Library, just across the street from our family place on Buell Lane.

Shortly after the inception of the Long Island Collection in 1930, my grandfather, David G. Mulford, began giving family documents — some dating back to the 1600s — to the collection. My father, E. Courtland Mulford, did the same, and in 2000 and 2003 I added nearly 150 documents, grateful to know that they would be preserved and made available to researchers for decades to come.

As one who is the unofficial family historian and genealogist, I have benefited immensely over the years by using the material in the collection, and have come to know and appreciate their longtime archivist, Steve Boerner. Steve always extends a warm and enthusiastic greeting, sharing with me some of his latest projects, always anxious for my input. Steve and I also keep in touch during the year and have been mutually helpful in various research and writing ventures. On behalf of myself and all those interested in East Hampton history, I want to recognize and thank Steve for the fine job he and others who work in the collection are doing.

Always remember, a study of history reminds us of the wise actions of our forebears, and at the same time, warns us of the mistakes of the past that we dare not repeat. In a period when our beautiful community is experiencing almost unbelievable change, let us treasure, support, and make use of one of our gems, the Long Island Collection.



A Scam

East Hampton

July 25, 2018

To the Editor:

On Wednesday afternoon I entered Stop and Shop parking lot off side street. I glanced to lot in front of building, looking for parking!! Lot was full. I proceeded forward as did the car in front of me to an available spot. After 25 minutes of grocery shopping, I returned to car to find a parking ticket! 

As I looked around I found many cars with same! I quickly saw parking attendant and asked him the deal! He said, “Oh, you need a parking slip!” I replied, How would I know that? He pointed to a 2x2 sign! I replied “Really!” I saw no sign as I followed car in front of me! There was no arm to stop you just a sign! As I glanced at the ticket — $80 — I almost dropped! How Stop and Shop can allow a scam of this magnitude is unreal! Coming from out of town this is clearly a mischaracter of justice! Needless to say, you got my last dollar! This seems like a job for the attorney general to look into! Preying on the innocent in East Hampton!


Trash Pickup


July 23, 2018

To the Editor:

My family has walked the Amagansett beach in front of our house since 1954. With friends and dogs (we all have dogs) we competitively collected sea glass, sand dollars, shells, fishing buoys, and even a clay pipe (a long-ago shipwreck?). Yesterday, after the storm, the ocean was still roiling when three of us (and a dog) headed east at 7 a.m. Casual trash pickup between points 10A and 19A (about a mile) turned into a mission. Armloads were taken to walkway trashcans and other piles retrieved by anonymous beach walkers (thank you). A 20 percent sample of our finds is listed below: 


21 nylon rope: 5 to 8 feet yellow, orange, blue, aqua; 2 greens; varying diameters

1 Kurig pod

3 plastic fast-food glasses, 2 Girl Scouts, 1 Dunkin’ Donuts

28 oz. juice cups

1 plastic 6-pack rings

1 2-lb. plastic sour cream container

4 plastic packing straps

2 plastic straws

4 small rubber rings

8 plastic bottle caps

1 infant’s stuffed toy leopard head (purple)

3 clear plastic takeout containers

1 part of a cardboard box

1 joint compound (5.4 kg/12 lb.) plastic bucket 

1 man’s athletic sock loaded with baby mussels

1 small clear plastic flip box (crayons?)

3 candy wrappers

1 plastic eye-drop bottle

2 Ziploc kitchen bags

2 scraps paper

22 opaque plastic paper w/writing — food, water, etc.

29 transparent wrapping (mostly food or unknown, 1 aerial signal bag) 

7 fragments of miscellaneous plastic balloons

5 Mylar balloons and 1 partial, clear printing very faded or gone

2 Mylar balloons with ribbons attached

9 parts rubber balloons (no ribbons) black, red, pink, blue, yellow, white

6 ribbons, no balloons attached


Mylar balloons, opened gently (use a shell), may be used as a bag for trash collection.





Help and Guidance


July 30, 2018 

Dear David:

In the Great Depression of 1929 bankers were depicted as monsters who captured the homes and farms of  hard- working people. Yes, well, this is not that kind of letter.

Both Hilda, a teller, and Jonathan Fogarty, the branch manager, of People’s United Bank on Pantigo Road in East Hampton are exceptional, caring employees, who patiently and knowledgeably gave this 85-year-old lady (me) such excellent help, guidance, and their time straightening out a problem.

We on the eastern end of Suffolk are lucky to still have people working who care about the customers they serve.

So, I happily bring them to your attention, David, and to your readers’ attention when they need the kind of help and guidance these people at People’s United give to and work for the interests of their customer.



The Unexpected

East Hampton

July 30, 2018

Dear Editor: 

Commitment in the face of conflict produces character. The biggest problem in this country is that we must learn to live together or perish together as fools. Simply put, in a world of people who care less we must become someone who couldn’t care more. Conversations with the right people are priceless. The best way to describe behavior is what you do not what you feel, or what you think but what you believe. Education is the passport to the future. Tommorow belongs to those who prepare for it today. Don’t wait for opportunity, create it. Be the change you want to see in the world. With education, hard work, and integrity we can achieve our goals. Enthusiasm builds faith, generates hope, and is a power that will let you know who you need to be and where to go. Pride is a personal commitment, it is an attitude which separates excellence from mediocrity.

People are changed not by coercion and intimidation but by example. If you want to find real competition look in the mirror. You alone have the power to determine your value. Always expect the unexpected. It’s always better to be prepared. The wise respond and the foolish react. Wise people think then act. Foolish people act then regret. Friendship is a living thing that lasts only as long as it is nourished with kindness, empathy, and understanding. Each and every tomorrow has two handles. We can either hold on to the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith. It’s your choice. 

If you look for the positive things in life you will find them. The secret of success is to do all you can do without the thought of success. Only people of character can be trusted. There is one way to handle the ignorant and malicious critic (ignore him) for all the earthly creatures humans have the power to choose. Maturity is when the mirrors of your mind turn into windows and you see life more clearly. Logic will not change an emotion, but action will. Action is character. A group that keeps minutes and wastes hours is called a committee. Good sense is the master of human life. Common sense is seeing things as they are and doing things as they should be. Don’t audit life, face it, and make the best of it. 

We must learn to walk away from people who threaten our self-respect, morals, values, or self-worth. You can’t let the judgment of others stop you from being yourself; if you do you are no longer you. What you were yesterday and what you will be tomorrow is what you do today. Most obstacles go away when you walk through them. 

Your actions will always reflect who you are. Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were. Show the beauty of what happens when you let things go. Take a lesson from the weather for it pays no attention to criticism. If you have time to whine and complain, then you have time to do something about it. The best things in life aren’t things. Whatever the past has been we all have a future. The best sermons are not preached. Peace isn’t a destination. Peace is the way. Until you commit your goals to action you have intentions that are seeds without soil.


Let the Caribou Roam


July 24, 2018


Years ago, in 2008, we saw a fogbow levitating over Svalbard, a grey portal of a rainbow scattering the light over the Arctic island of Norway. We were mesmerized as its reflection shone on the waters below like a jewel of an apparition beckoning to the Hyperborean kingdom at the top of the planet. Our son Lysander, 31/2, was mystified by the ice sheets and our ship, a small expedition ship, even had to turn back from the ice in the archipelago. 

We saw polar bears on the ice and the marauding gait of these most immense canaries in the coal mine of the world impressed us with their power, stamina, and utter beauty as if wonder were still possible on earth. A few years later the Northwest Passage became possible in the summer months and the cryogenic realities of fading ice now looms over humanity like the sword of Damocles. 

This administration, now in reckless power, wants to open up drilling in the Arctic refuge and supposedly on only 10 percent of the vast terrain up north. That would not only be a tragedy for Alaska, it would be a tragedy for the earth. A network of pipes, landing strips, and machines would dot the face of a pristine Eden and say to the world: We will drill despite the Paris accord, we will conquer what is left of the West and the North and let Nature continue her heat waves, creation be dammed!

The price tag is a billion dollars! With all the billionaires in the world can somebody not just step and say I will salvage this for eternity. I will make a special lodge for those who wish to come and visit this supernal place and let the caribou roam so that the greatest mammalian migration on earth can rest in peace, so that the children of the future don’t have to say, “You gave us a waste site, high tech slum up there for a few weeks of oil? Are you crazy?” Disney gives cartoon features with clown fish and macaws and even polar bears. Our son saw polar bears since he was 3 and we returned mystified to Canada when he was 7. Something ineffable is imprinted in his mind and soul and it is the very soul of the planet for which no price tag can be calculated.

The Inuit told our guide from Baffin Island their people, the shamans, told of people who would change the weather. That was over a century ago. Nobody believed them. There were also prophecies of people who would “burn” the polar bear, one of the great totems and spirit beings of the Inuit. Today many are 

starving, swimming beyond their normal range to find food on land where there used to be ice or swimming beyond anything they have ever known to look for seal. The image of a skeletal polar bear roaming for food last year should make humanity shudder with shame. 

Money will not bring the ice or the bears back, nor will it bring wonder back to the children of the future who will ask, “Mommy, what’s a polar bear? Where did they go? What happened to them?” Our son, Lysander, was ingrained with a glimpse into something much grander than the self. He once said, at 8, “We have landed on the moon, but we haven’t landed on earth yet.” As we approach the end of this tumultuous decade when one-third of Africa’s elephants have been wiped out for trinkets and money, we should pray that something will be kept standing in 10 years’ time. The world has lost almost 60 percent of its animal life since I was born. What will indeed be left for Lysander’s son?

 The abject greed that exemplifies this “civilization” needs to turn around and fast. I know, having helped to alert the world to the elephant slaughter at the beginning of this decade when few were listening, that a Chinese billionaire has given $1.5 billion to conservation! Can not a like-minded European or American say this precious land is the last treasure of North America, the crown jewel of the American Arctic, the last shining natural diadem of the American Empire, “I will preserve it for all time.” 

Someone with some of the shameless bravura of the Great Gatsby but with a heart for the organic, with compassion for the future, should stand up and say, “I will make this haven safe for my children and theirs for hundreds of years to come. I will save a small part of the world with my money or I will fight for its lasting face until humankind is no more. I will defy the desecration of this ineffable piece of creation or die ashamed of my country and what man has wrought. I will hold this land and its creatures, both great and small, and its hundreds of thousands of acres of tundra and say, It is mine and it is yours and it is the Gwi’chin natives’, and it is perpetuity’s, and we will not condemn it to perfidy for the mercenary. Its blood is greater than oil’s liquid demise. It belongs to all people and its creatures are wholly sacrosanct.” Let those with the will and means to stand up for it now salvage what remains of our place on earth!




July 27, 2018

To the Editor:

With the reports of increased findings of the West Nile virus in the island mosquito population, I’m thankful for the hard work and vigilance of our vector control authorities. They are always quickly responsive and even with new pathogens (Zika, etc.) strive to keep us safe.

Also helpful in addition to their 631-852-4270 line, they can be emailed at Scvector@suffolkcountyny.gov to report any problems with increased mosquito infestation. Nice to see Suffolk County doing something so right. 


Flying Bizarrely

East Hampton

July 30, 2018

Dear David,

The airport powers that be, such as they are, decided for “safety” purposes to abolish the ocean access for helicopters (used by perhaps 10 percent of flights) and have all of them come and go over Wainscott, Northwest, Sag Harbor, Noyac, and the North Fork. Perhaps it had something to do with easing the discomfort of those around Georgica Pond, as well as making it “safer” for oversize jets to blast into our village.

However, I cannot see how crowding more helicopters into the same airspace is “safer,” as I routinely see aircraft directly over my home flying bizarrely in many different directions — with a “flight path” seeming to be the result of a coin flip. I have been to a lot of airports, and I have never seen one that has “choose your own” as a flight path. When there is a collision over my home, I do hope that my sweet little grandchildren are not here.


Still Years Away

East Hampton

July 22, 2018


It has now been more than five years since the senior services committee was organized by Mary Ella Moeller, and nearly four years since we made our report, and we are still years away from having the senior services that are needed in this community.

It is time to rethink the plan to shoehorn an inadequate monstrosity into too small a site on Springs-Fireplace Road. It will take years to get that building through the approval process. A park will be destroyed, and there is another better plan if the town board would only get itself focused.

First let us recognize that the services needed by a 55 to 75-year-old are not the same as 75 to 90 and over 90. These services depend upon whether you are mobile or not, whether you can drive at night or at all, and your general health. Some seniors can benefit from a more extensive wellness set of preventive services and the social interaction based at a community center such as the Montauk Playhouse. Other seniors will need someone to shop for them, day care, and a health aide. 

The lesson here is to abandon the notion that everyone over 55 or even over 65 can be looked at as one undifferentiated mass in terms of need. Once you get past that notion you can focus on what should be built at Springs-Fireplace Road. Here is my suggestion to the town board. Abandon the shoehorn plan and go for something immediate and practical.

Step One: Move the Human Services Department out of their trailers and find another location for them. Do this immediately.

Step Two: Buy the C.D.C.H. building off Stephen Hand’s and redesign it as a community center with senior services. The existing building there can be used now, as is, with a planned ground level cafeteria for the senior nutrition program as the next design step in the near future.

Step Three: Refocus the existing senior center on Springs-Fireplace Road to meet the needs of the residents in the very nearby Accabonac housing complex. Keep the senior day-care program there. Use the additional space freed up by getting rid of the trailers to make whatever modest additions are necessary to meet the needs of these residents.

The over-65 population in 2016, according to the U.S. Census estimates, is already 24 percent of the population of East Hampton. This figure will increase dramatically over the next decade as the baby boomers age. The notion that the park-destroying monstrosity planned for Springs-Fireplace Road will serve all of our senior needs for 20 years cannot be supported by any of the numbers shown in the memorandum discussed by the town board last Tuesday. 

Don’t let yourself be shortchanged or fooled by those playing political games with senior needs.



Farsighted and Sensible


July 30, 2018

Dear David:

The town board’s wise decision to approve landing in Wainscott of the cable for the South Shore Wind Farm is cause for celebration, and appreciation for the farsighted and sensible Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc and board members Sylvia Overby and Kathee Burke-Gonzalez.

This access and utility easement carries us one step further on the high road to transform from fossil fuel to renewables, delivering on East Hampton’s commitment to be powered 100 percent by renewables by 2030.

Too bad that Jeff Bragman and David Lys lacked the foresight and commitment to that goal to vote with the majority. One can only hope they will come around when the board votes on the formal, detailed agreement drawn up by the legal team, a process now funded by last week’s board decision.

The Deepwater Wind approvals process will have nearly two dozen more approval decisions ahead. With our town’s decision, East Hampton will have standing to intervene as in-depth environmental reviews are conducted at the state and federal levels and by the public utility commission.

The town will also now have full authority to specify a wide range of elements related to the laying of the cable on land, so as to minimize disruption of traffic and to avoid any construction on land during our peak seasons.

Once the cable has been laid — as anyone who made a trip to Block Island to see Deepwater Wind’s cable landing there knows — all that will be visible near the beach will be a few manhole covers in the parking area. The ugly overhead wires now leading up the road from the beach will be buried, and all Deepwater related cables will, too. The fanciful charge that children playing on the beach will hear the electricity running deep underneath is just paranoia or mischief with no basis in fact.

There will still be two more related decisions to be made:

1. The town board consideration of the formal, detailed agreement and

2. The trustees’ decision.

We must hope that the trustees will follow the will of the vast majority of our citizens, the leadership of the town board, and its mission to protect our waterways by advancing this crucial step toward sustainability. Any and all possible adverse ecological impacts from the wind farm are dwarfed by the immense damage exacted by acidification of 

our waterways and climate change attributable to burning fossil fuels. If the trustees deny access, then Deepwater will proceed to land on state property. That would entail far more disruption to traffic and construction noise, because the land route to the substation would necessarily be considerably longer. And the trustees would forfeit $8.5 million in funds Deepwater pledges for a wide range of important water protection and sustainability work, plus the prospect of local jobs that otherwise are likely to go to Rhode Island and Connecticut residents. The fishing community will almost certainly find no adverse effects on their livelihood from the wind farm, just as none have been observed in Europe where over 4,000 offshore wind turbines spin. Nevertheless, a system should be designed and established to assure that Deepwater Wind will compensate commercial fishermen if it is fairly established that any such damage does occur as a result of the construction and operation of the wind farm.

Each of us can also make substantial contributions to the great transformation to renewables. We can all take pride in the fact that our town was the first in New York State to set a goal to fully transition to renewable energy. Each and every one of us can and should participate in the various energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities available in the South Fork Peak Savers 

programs. Check out EnergizeEH.org. Read about the energy efficiency, peak savers, and solarize programs. Some are free, like Nest smart thermostats; others provide rebates for improvements to your home, such as installation of solar energy and energy efficient pool pumps. Apply for one and all. John and I appreciate the benefit we derive from the 10 kilowatt solar power on our roof and Nest’s peak energy-saving system for our air conditioning.

Thanks to all the thoughtful citizens who took the time to participate in the open town and trustee meetings on these matters so integral to the beauty and the economy of our gorgeous seaside community, the marine life we seek to protect, and the fishing community that will benefit from sustainable energy sources.




July 30, 2018

Dear Editor,

Joe Ricketts, conservationist, American businessman, philanthropist, found­er, and former C.E.O. and chairman of TD Ameritrade founded the Ricketts Conservation Foundation. The foundation’s mission is stated “to support the conservation of wildlife and wilderness areas and to promote the importance of environmental stewardship as an enduring value . . . is the belief that conservation is everyone’s responsibility. As we move toward the future, government resources may not be sufficient to deal completely with environmental challenges, requiring private sector commitment to conserve our wildlife and wilderness areas. By answering this need and encouraging others to do the same.”

Wind-generated, like all renewable energy, has great potential and can if used correctly be a valuable tool in reducing harmful CO2 emissions and mitigating climate change. All of the above said we cannot afford to let our guard down and fall into the trap of believing all renewable energy including offshore windmills are inherently “good for the environment” and free from harmful ecological negative impacts. We must understand that the planet’s ecosystem is interconnected in many ways and everything we do has an effect both positive and negative.

For example, take sea level rise, which is due in small part to the slow melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps, and many of the world’s glaciers, causing the runoff to feed into rivers and directly into our oceans. When in fact the majority of sea level rise is caused by the thermal expansion of the oceans which absorb up to 90 percent of the extra heat associated with global warming. It is this absorption of excess heat which increases the volume of water causing it to expand, and sea levels to rise. 

We must also understand there is a big difference between environmental and conservation ideology. I would also be remiss not to point out that politics are even more divergent. Politically driven environmental ideology would have you believe that all climate change is human related, a cause and effect philosophy. The belief is that environmental change has a clear, direct impact source and the urgency to effect change will outweigh the negatives both ecological and 

socioeconomic. Conservationism as described by Mr. Ricketts, on the other hand, believes that despite the best intentions of environmentalists there are many facets to climate change and no single direct solution. Each solution must be weighed against environmental and socioeconomic impact to reduce not only the original problem but not to create a new problem that may be even worse. 

As this relates to Deepwater, we have a governor in the middle of re-election with 2020 presidential political aspirations, G.E. Financial, Citibank, and D.E. Shaw investors with the potential to earn billions in profits, New York State Power Authority and LIPA which are refusing to release vital cost information on potential adverse future consumer costs, and environmentalists who have the best intentions at heart.

In opposition, you have several groups banned together. The local residents directly impacted by construction, infrastructure improvements, and health impacts. Consumer advocates accurately point out that offshore wind isn’t profitable under current market conditions and remains the most expensive type of renewable energy available. The local commercial fishing industry, which is best described by Bonnie Brady, the Long Island commercial fishing industry representative. “Our state’s top port, Montauk, is the 59th largest port in the United States, and seventh largest in the Mid-Atlantic, landing over 13 million pounds of fish worth just under $18 million at the dock. Our top three ports, Montauk, Shinnecock, and Greenport, landed just under 20 million pounds of fish in 2013. Long Island’s commercial fisheries spread just under $260 million to our coastal communities, and from boat-to-table, it is a $1.4-billion industry to New York overall.” Lastly, conservationists who, like myself, recognize that we have a responsibility to be vigilant stewards of the environment by living up to the tenets of sustainability and balanced use to mitigate threats and damage to the health of all natural ecosystems.

I have been and continue to be unconvinced that Deepwater Wind is the environmental nirvana professed by supporters. There remain too many unanswered questions. Scientific analysis of the potential environmental impacts is nonexistent. The much-touted $8 million benefits package is peanuts when compared to the $1.4 billion commercial fishing industry. 

Then there is the money and politics. It appears that both Governor Cuomo and President Trump agree and are both in agreement in the development of wind energy projects in the waters off New York. Cuomo and Trump united in the fight to save Deepwater. Oh, the horror of it all!?


One-Way Ticket


July 26, 2018

Dear David,

The following can be shared.

Gwendolyn: “The East Hampton Democratic Committee is in the midst of a brouhaha.”

Cicely: “Will there be food?”

G: “There’s a breakaway group calling themselves ‘reformers.’ ”

C: “Oh, like Martin Luther.”

G: “They’re fed up with the ‘old’ guard.”

C: “This appears to be a call for the common whipper!”

G: “Didn’t they confiscate them?”

C: “I have a stash of fold-ups.”

G: “What you need is a motto, a raison d’etre.”

C: “You mean besides ‘We hate them’?”

G: “ ‘We’re a one-way ticket to somewhere!’ ”

C: “You stole that from Chris Walsh, but it’s good. ‘We’re a one-way ticket to somewhere.’ ”

G: “And they all lived happily ever after.”

All good things,


Unkind Response


July 30, 2018 

Dear David,

Prudence Carabine writes you a letter in which she makes a point of saying that town board candidate David Lys is her godson and then praises him for his devotion to the local community, “Bonackers, black families, and Montaukett families.”

She then writes in a derogatory manner about town board candidate David Gruber’s saying that he does not “recognize or relate to” the struggles of local families. Mr. Gruber responded to her letter with his own, writing, “I don’t know why she believes such a thing. . . . I led the effort to found a school, the Hayground School in Bridgehampton

. . . a living organization that has served many local families and has a specific vocation of inclusivity for minority communities, including the local African-American community and the Shinnecock community with which it has formed an enduring bond. . . . I made the founding and substantial contribution to its scholarship fund so that it could realize its dream of inclusivity.”

Ms. Carabine then writes again, saying, “Hubris and snark do not become David Gruber. If he thinks I am not objective about my support for David Lys, he doth protest too much.  .  .  .”

I don’t know what David Gruber thinks, as Ms. Carabine seems to believe she does, but I can read what he wrote. “Hubris and snark?” What on earth is that supposed to mean? 

I cannot imagine why an act of generosity by Mr. Gruber should elicit such an unkind response. Can we not have a political campaign that embraces the civic contributions of everyone?


The Proper Role


July 27, 2018

Dear David:

As an elected Member of the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee it has been disappointing to experience the recent discord within the committee. One significant area of friction on the committee has been the proper relationship between the Democratic Committee and the town board.

In recent weeks some members of the town committee, including James MacMillan, who I will oppose in Election District 3 in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary, have expressed their belief that since, in their view, they were responsible for “electing” members of the town board, they were entitled to tell those board members how to vote on matters of local concern. This position strikes me as both ridiculous and a gross misunderstanding of the appropriate relationship between political activists and the officials they support.

As a committee member I have 

believed that the proper role of the Democratic Committee is twofold: first, to help select candidates to run as 

Democrats for public office at the local (town board), state, and national levels, and to work to help those chosen candidates get elected, and second, to consider questions of public policy as they arise from time to time and to provide policy guidance to elected officials as circumstances require. Guidance on policy, not orders on how to vote.

I hope the members of the Democratic Committee that are elected in the Democratic Party primary on Sept. 13 will see the proper role of the committee as supportive and advisory to those Democrats elected by the East Hampton community to the town board.



Circle of Irony


July  29, 2018

Dear David:

In 2010, the East Hampton Town Board hired Charlene Kagel as an auditor under Len Bernard’s tutelage. Charlene had worked for Southampton in the finance department. 

In 2014, the town board created the position of director of public safety and hired Charlene’s husband, David Betts, for the job created for him. Things had not been going too well for him in Southampton, as can be read in multiple news reports. The board granted Betts a waiver so that he could be paid a full-time salary in East Hampton while collecting a pension in Southampton.

In 2016, Mr. Betts took the Civil 

Service exam in order to remain in this job. His low score on the test rendered him ineligible for his job under the Civil Service Law. 

The purpose of the Civil Service Law, ushered through the State Legislature by Teddy Roosevelt, is to prevent political hiring and firing, cronyism, preferment to friends in government hiring, and nepotism, preferment to family in government hiring. But, specifically in reference to Betts, Supervisor Van Scoyoc then complained to the press about the need to comply with Civil Service Law.

Not content merely with complaining about the rigor of the Civil Service Law, on June 12, 2018, the town board passed a resolution to change Betts’s title to town code compliance and emergency management administrator, a position for which there is no current Civil 

Service list. In this manner, the town board evaded the Civil Service Law, creating a new job for Betts, who was not qualified to keep his old one.

Betsy Bambrick, at the time the head of code enforcement but subordinate to Betts, also took the Civil Service test at the same sitting as Betts. She scored very high, third highest in the county, which should have made her a prime candidate for the job for which Betts was no longer eligible. But then the town board forced Betsy to retire. She is now one of several code enforcement employees with lawsuits against the town.

As reported by Joanne Pilgrim, then writing for The Star but now Van Scoyoc’s executive assistant, employees who said they feared retribution and therefore wished to remain anonymous sent emails alleging a hostile work environment in the division, which is headed by David Betts, and challenging Ms. Kampf’s [hired by Betts as his assistant] qualifications to do her job. 

The Star went on to say, “There was rising tension, the employees said, after Ms. Bambrick took a Civil-Service test to qualify for the job title held by Mr. Betts.”  Ms. Bambrick was initially Ms. Kampf’s supervisor, but in September 2016, Ms. Kampf was promoted to the newly created position of assistant public safety director, becoming Ms. Bambrick’s supervisor.

To close the circle of irony, Kagel, Betts’s wife, is now in charge of writing the town policy on whistleblowers, such as employees who complain anonymously about impropriety for fear of retribution, and on employee use of social media so that the town can suppress embarrassing disclosures by employees.

Why the extraordinary deference by the town board to Charlene Kagel, the town’s chief internal auditor? 

Like I said, you can’t make this stuff up.


Back on the Ballot

East Hampton

July 30, 2018

Dear David,

Everyone in East Hampton knows Andy Malone. He has lived on the eastern end of the island for the last 90 years and more. He is a bright light in our town. He is also the longest serving member of the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee. 

I met Andy about eight years ago when I began working with the Democratic Committee. Andy and I became friends. I would pick him up and drive him to meetings and take him home after each meeting. During our drives we would talk and listen to music.

He would tell me about the committee and the history of the Democratic Party in East Hampton. How the party would stand behind him when he was the chairman and how he was the delegate to the New York State Democratic Party for East Hampton. He never misses a meeting, and is always optimistic. 

This is why I am disheartened at what the leadership of the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee did to this esteemed elder of our party and community. Andy was given a blank, invalid committee nominating petition by Jeanne Frankl for his election district, E.D. 2, the East Hampton part of Sag Harbor and the Northwest Woods north of Swamp Road. 

Andy drove to Sag Harbor and knocked on doors on Lincoln Street, Hillside Drive, and Harbor Avenue. He obtained his required 20 signatures. Then he handed his petition in to Betty Mazur. He thought he was going once again to be on the ticket. He was wrong.

The Democratic Committee leaders had already assigned two other people to run for E.D. 2 and given them valid petitions. But they had neither the courage nor the decency to tell Andy Malone. They didn’t want him any longer, but they wouldn’t tell him. Definitely not “Leadership That Unites,” as they like to claim.

The saving grace was David Gruber, the East Hampton Reform Democrats candidate for town board. In reviewing petitions at the Suffolk Board of Elections, Mr. Gruber noticed the invalid petition that Andy Malone got signatures for, because his witness signature was on it. He realized the game that had been played upon Andy and immediately took steps to rectify the situation. 

All 20 of Andy Malone’s signatures had been deemed invalid by the board of elections. Andy actually drove up to Yaphank by himself and went to the board of elections to learn about what had been done to him by people he trusted. He also found out that David Gruber had in fact placed him back on the ballot by making room for him on the East Hampton Reform Democrats slate.

Andy Malone is now unquestionably on the E.D. 2 ballot for the East Hampton Democratic Committee. The East Hampton Reform Democrats are all pleased we were able to right this wrong done to a beloved member of our community and party.

Andy gave me a piece of advice several years ago, “Make sure whatever you do, you can sleep at night.” I have carried these words with me every day, and I now ask myself, how can these leaders sleep at night knowing that they wounded such an incredible trailblazer for our local Democratic Party?



Government Informers

East Hampton

July 23, 2018 


Recently, I watched Ari Melber, on MSNBC, host a special on Michael Cohen Esq., the former attorney for President Donald Trump. Mr. Cohen is currently in the crosshairs of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice. During the special, Mr. Melber mentioned that Michael Cohen and Felix Sater recently attempted to put a business deal together for Donald Trump and the Russians. The name Felix Sater sounded familiar. I have been hearing it lately on the news. 

The following morning I went into “the cave,” our basement, to look through my law files. I have criminal case files going back over 40 years including organized crime, drug cartels, and murders. Found a file about a high-profile racketeering case in 2000, United States of America-against-Frank Coppa, et al. The Department of Justice, in the Eastern District of New York, indicted 19 for a $40 million stock fraud and money-laundering scheme. The government claimed six defendants were affiliated with organized crime, then went on to name three crime families: Bonanno, Genovese, and Colombo/Persico. 

I represented defendant number three, Daniel Persico Jr. We knew each other 10 years prior to the Coppa case. On March 2, 2000, he surrendered with me as his attorney, was arraigned, and released on a million dollar bond. During our appearance I was provided with a copy of the indictment. It was a half-inch thick and read like a season of the “Sopranos.” It named Felix Sater, Salvatore Lauria, and Gennady Klotsman as unindicted co-conspirators. Meaning they had flipped and were working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice. On March 2, 2000, my client and I knew, for certain, that Felix Sater, Salvatore Lauria, and Gennady Klotsman were government informers. The informer Felix Sater, in the Coppa case, is the same Felix Sater who recently attempted to get Trump involved in a business deal with the Russians. What?

Began a search of Felix Sater online. Discovered many articles. Culled it down to several below and a legal filing.

First, a brief pedigree to connect the dots. Felix Henry Sater, birth name Felix Mikhailovich Sheferovsky, was born on March 2, 1966, in Moscow, U.S.S.R. His family left the Soviet Union when he was 6 years old. Found their way to Brighton Beach, New York, and settled in. Mikhail Sheferovsky, Sater’s father, was a member of the Russian mafia. It branched out from Little Odessa, a.k.a. Brighton Beach, New York. Sater, after graduating from high school, attended Pace University. He left Pace to work on Wall Street. He got a broker’s license and was steadily moving around and up. In November 1991, Felix Sater, 25, was arrested for assault. 

I found an article in The New York Times, in part about the assault, dated Dec. 17, 2007, “Real Estate Executive with Hand in Trump Projects Rose From Tangled Past‚” by Charles V. Bagli. Sater surfaced, in the early 2000s, at Trump Tower. He was a real estate development executive at the Bayrock Group. Their officers were on the 24th floor, right below Donald Trump. 

Sater, while at Bayrock, did several  real estate deals with Trump before his criminal convictions were revealed by Mr. Bagli. In the early ’90s, Sater was convicted of assault in the first degree. During a fight he broke a martini glass and stabbed a broker in the face with the broken stem. Sater was sent to prison. In December 1998. He pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and became a government informer. His plea involved the above $40 million stock fraud and money-laundering scheme. According to the Coppa indictment, Sater was one of three who devised the scam to steal, by stock fraud and money laundering, the $40 million. Found another article online, published Dec. 19, 2016, in The American Interest, “The Curious World of Donald Trump’s Private Russian Connections‚” by James S. Henry Esq. He is a good friend and a “true believer.” His article, in part, is about Felix Sater and his business connections to Donald Trump. Mr. Henry starts the article with a question, “Did the American people really know they were putting such a well-connected guy in the White House?” He continues citing two quotes. The first, “Tell me who you walk with and I’ll tell you who you are.”— Cervantes. Followed by, “I’ve always been blessed with a kind of intuition about people that allows me to sense who the sleazy guys are, and I stay far away.” “Donald Trump, Surviving at the Top.” 

Henry shows whatever the nature of President-elect Donald Trump’s relationship with President Putin, “he has certainly managed to accumulate direct and indirect connections with a far-flung private Russian/former Soviet Union network of outright mobsters, oligarchs, fraudsters, and kleptocrats.” When it comes to Donald Trump’s Russian connections, Sater is number-two on the A List. Number one is Tevfik Arif, the founder of Bayrock.

Also read an article in New York magazine, “The Original Russian Connection‚” by Andrew Weiss, dated Aug. 3, 2017. For the article, Weiss spoke with Felix Sater and Frederick M. Oberlander Esq. It is well written, informative, and interesting. Shows what has happened, almost to date. Sater, while working at Bayrock, concealed his prior felonies. On Oct. 23, 2009, 11 years after pleading guilty to racketeering conspiracy, he was sentenced by Judge I. Leo Glasser in the Eastern District of New York. Got a slap on the ass and sent on his way. The judge and the Department of Justice allowed Sater to keep, illegally, his ill-gotten millions. 

Felix Sater, while the chief operating officer at Bayrock, made several real estate deals with Donald Trump. These deals were made before he was sentenced. Concealing his felony convictions was an ongoing fraud perpetrated on the lenders and investors doing business with Sater and Bayrock. All the while under the auspices and protection of our government. Felix Sater claims, while at Bayrock, he got information for the C.I.A. about Stinger missiles for sale by Osama bin Laden and some of bin Laden’s cellphone numbers.

Also found a writ, online, dated Nov. 3, 2014. It mentioned the Coppa case, Felix Sater, Salvatore Lauria, Gennady Klotsman, and Daniel Persico Jr. The following day, I called the counsel of record, Richard E. Lerner Esq. I was interested in his read on Felix Sater and wanted to know more about the writ. I arranged to meet him and his client, Frederick M. Oberlander Esq. at the LTV Studios in Wainscott. We spoke for several hours — about Felix Sater and the federal and state litigation covering the last eight years to date! Find below the after action reports to date.

On May 10, 2010, a legal war started in the Southern and Eastern District Federal Courts of New York. It continues to date in the choke of secrecy imposed by our government. On one side the F.B.I., D.O.J., federal courts and Felix Sater’s high-priced attorneys. Some are former assistant United States attorneys from the Eastern District of New York. Arrayed against Frederick M. Oberlander Esq., who later was joined by Richard E. Lerner Esq., It began when Oberlander, on behalf of a former employee of Bayrock, filed a civil RICO case against Bayrock that included Felix Sater as a defendant in the Southern District of New York. The lawsuit alleged tax evasion, fraud, and money laundering.

  Oberlander attached, as an exhibit, Sater’s pre-sentence report. Prepared by a United States probation officer re his guilty plea in 1998 to racketeering conspiracy for stock fraud and money laundering. The civil lawsuit alleged wrongful conduct with only one connection to the stock fraud and money-laundering case, Felix Sater. Our government and Sater’s attorneys went after Oberlander. The civil case was quickly sealed. As well as most litigation re Felix Sater’s criminal background and shady real estate deals at Bayrock. 

Sater’s attorneys would claim that Oberlander’s use of Sater’s presentence report was extortion. They also claimed exposure would endanger Sater’s life. Oberlander argued he has a First Amendment right to speak about Sater’s criminal past. Free speech necessary to warn the public of Sater’s illegal business deals at Bayrock while concealing two felony convictions. The legal war, in secret, continued up, down, and sideways in our federal courts. On Oct. 24, 2014, it was before District Court Judge Brian M. Cogan in the Eastern District of New York. The day before, Sater’s attorneys, Michael P. Beys Esq. and Robert S. Wolf Esq., filed a letter in support of their motion to hold Oberlander and Lerner in civil contempt. Two years earlier, Judge Cogan had referred Oberlander and Lerner to the United States attorney’s office to investigate them for criminal contempt. So far re the motion and referral, nothing has occurred.

During this legal war, Oberlander and Lerner have exposed secret federal court proceedings involving government informers. This includes secret sentencing without notice to crime victims, illegally denying them their right to be heard and their right to restitution. Also the wide use, by the D.O.J. with federal courts, of the cooperating witness exception in violation of the First Amendment. All of the above were used and are being used to protect the informant Felix Sater. This has led to the ongoing secret selective persecution of Oberlander and Lerner. Another troubling disclosure is the proven blindness by the F.B.I., D.O.J., and federal judges, to Sater’s illegal deals and millions made at Bayrock. This turning of blind eyes was before he was sentenced in 2009 — while he was a government informer ensconced at Trump Tower. 

I discovered that Felix Sater’s attorneys, Michael P. Beys Esq. and Robert S. Wolf Esq., falsely told federal Judge Brian M. Cogan via a filed letter dated Oct. 23, 2014, and on the record Oct. 24, 2014, that Gerald Shargel Esq. was my client’s attorney in the Coppa case. I know Gerald Shargel Esq. He had nothing to do with the Coppa case or my client. The letter was filed and, in part, read into the record: “Re: In Re Motion for Civil Contempt, 12 MC557 (BMC).” Sater’s attorneys were going after two attorneys, Frederick M. Oberlander Esq. and Richard E. Lerner Esq. The gist of their letter is so incredible it made me smile. 

Sater’s attorneys claim “on July 27, 2012, Colombo-associate Daniel Persico assaulted Mr. Sater’s co-defendant Salvatore Lauria, a government cooperator, and threatened to kill Mr. Sater. We allege that this incident was the result of Oberlander and Lerner’s illegal dissemination of sealed information to the press and their improper disclosures to attorney Gerald Shargel, who had represented Persico in the very case that Mr. Lauria and Mr. Sater cooperated with the government on.”

 Their letter claims the above dissemination occurred in 2011. However, on March 2, 2000, the feds issued a press release about the Coppa case that showed Felix Sater as a government informer. On March 2, 2000, in open federal court, defense counsels were given copies of the Coppa indictment that showed Felix Sater to be a government informer.

I am certain that Oberlander and Lerner had nothing to do with outing Felix Sater, Salvatore Lauria, and Gennady Klotsman. On March 2, 2000, Daniel Persico Jr. was released on a million-dollar bond. He remained out until he surrendered to the Bureau of Prisons on May 6, 2002. If anything happened on July 27, 2012, between Daniel Persico Jr. and Salvatore Lauria there is no connection to Lerner and Oberlander. Mr. Sater’s attorney’s allegations to the contrary are knowingly false. 

How is it possible that Sater’s attorneys made a mistake by substituting Gerald Shargel Esq. for Joseph Giannini Esq. as the attorney of record for Daniel Persico Jr. in the Coppa case? Many federal judges know me, including Judge I. Leo Glasser. Same goes for the assistant United States attorneys in the Eastern District of New York and the Southern District of New York.

I now recall that Salvatore Lauria and journalist David S. Barry wrote “The Scorpion and the Frog,” their book published in 2004. Mr. Lauria claims it is a true story about him and the Coppa case. Lauria, throughout his book, includes copies from the Coppa case indictment. He made only one change in each document and throughout his narrative. Wherever Felix Sater’s name would appear in the original documents or in the narrative it has been changed to Lex Tersa. Lex for Felix and Tersa for Sater. Tersa is an anagram, a word or phrase made by transposing the letters of another word or phrase. Danny Persico Jr. gave me a copy shortly after the book was published. I found it in “the cave.”

At the end of May I met Oberlander and Lerner at the Eastern District of New York. Each had been served with a grand jury subpoena signed by an assistant U.S. attorney. The government wanted them to disclose all their contacts re Sater, Lauria, and Klotsman. This includes all media contacts! I was there to testify that Oberlander and Lerner had been falsely accused of outing Sater, Lauria, and Klotsman. This grand jury matter, 17-MC-2242, was before District Court Judge Lashann DeArcy Hall.

The court would not take my testimony or accept my affidavit. I know the assistant United States attorneys have my affidavit with attached exhibits. The judge, from my view, appeared to be openly hostile to Oberlander and Lerner. The proceeding was put over to June 27, 2018. Then a day before postponed with no date. I will appear to testify, on any date, for Gerald Shargel Esq., Frederick M. Oberlander Esq., Richard E. Lerner Esq., and Danny Persico Jr.

Felix Sater is currently doing a media blitz. On March 16, 2018, he did three TV interviews: one on ABC with George Stephanopoulos, another on CNN with Chris Cuomo, and one on MSNBC with Chris Hayes. Sater is also on the cover of Newsweek magazine published June 15, 2018. Sater is attempting another creation of himself. Why? Sater now claims he was always a government informant. It is common knowledge he is cooperating with special counsel on the money-laundering investigation. Some believe he is Mueller’s golden goose. Others believe he will cook Mueller’s goose. 

I will be 75 in a few moments. There were times when I thought I would not see 25. Been around the block several times. Know things about my nature. Some good, some very bad. Also know some about human nature. Some good, some terribly bad. Found out the hard way the only thing for certain is nothing is for certain. Anything can happen. Many times I do not know how or why. Being a Marine and going to war was the defining time of my life. In my prime I struggled to keep a bit of humanity. I won, and my moral compass swung back near normal. For all my life experiences I am baffled by what is happening to Frederick M. Oberlander Esq. and Richard E. Lerner Esq. Beyond any doubt, they have nothing to do with the outing of government informants Sater, Lauria, and Klotsman. 

Is our government punishing them because they are fighting back? I learned another lesson the hard way in Nam. Do not trust the government. Why? Because it is run by men. Another question, why are our government, the D.O.J., and our federal courts siding with Felix Sater and his attorneys? Finally, why is our government trying to keep everything secret? Something is wrong here. I stand with Oberlander and Lerner. As Marines say, “There it is.”

Semper fi,



Sex Abuse


July 25, 2018

Dear David,

Before the many very generous members of our community continue to support the Retreat to the extent our community has, you may want to ask why the Retreat won’t support a petition calling for using federal civil rights law to protect children from pedophiles. I’ve been asking for many months for their help only to be told that I should call their “hotline.”

Eight states and the Territory of Guam — the Territory of Guam! -— are more enlightened than New York because they have no statute limiting prosecution of child sex-abuse predators, whereas our state, New York, has the most restrictive and archaic statute of limitation that prohibits the most severely traumatized victims of child sex abuse from prosecuting their attacker. 

In New York, the victim must remember by age 18 and prosecute no later than age 23. What if the victim’s memory doesn’t return until age 45 because a 38-caliber “Policemen’s Special” from the old dragnet days was shoved into his mouth with the threat of blowing his brains out? One could easily think that New York’s statute of limitations was written by pedophiles. Which raises the question of why New York State Republican Senate leader John Flanagan is obstructing reform of New York’s statute. Why?

That all the states treat child sex abuse differently is a violation of Article 1 of the 14th Amendment, which calls for “due process” and “equal justice before the law.” Only the federal government can remedy this imbalance in our laws: If the Feds can step in when states fail to adequately prosecute hate crimes, the same should be true in the treatment of childhood sexual abuse.

So: Why does the Retreat refuse to share this link petitions.moveon.org/

sign/use-federal-civil-rights with their supporters so they can decide for themselves whether to support this initiative or not. The Retreat could even send it out to their supporters with the disclaimer that the petition does not necessarily reflect the Retreat’s position. It’s as simple as that. Boom! Done! So why won’t the Retreat do that?

There is a strong correlation between child sex abuse and school shootings; verbal and physical bullying of children, partners, and pets; sexual harassment, rape, prostitution; addiction to drugs, nicotine, and alcohol; unstable marriages and any subsequent trauma to the children, including estrangement from a parent which makes them vulnerable to predators; early sexual experimentation leading to unwanted pregnancies (and all that that entails), and a host of other adolescent and teenage misbehavior that are calls for help but we punish instead. The numbers of children who are incarcerated and abused every year numbers in many hundreds of thousands, all the while producing new pedophiles whose brain chemistry was altered producing new monsters to prey on our kids.

How many women are beaten and murdered each year by partners with uncontrollable rage? The numbers are staggering and equivalent to the populations of several of our states out West combined! How much road rage is rooted in childhood sexual abuse? How many burglaries each year? How much arson? In a discussion with three New York City detectives whose specialty is tracking (hopefully catching) serial killers, I learned that childhood sexual abuse is the one abuse they all share in common; while there are many forms of child abuse this is the one thread that ties them all together. 

I was informed 20 years ago by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that I will never succeed in accomplishing this very needed change in our laws. I guess they already knew there were members in Congress like Dennis Hastert, the former Republican speaker of the House who determined which legislation would come to the floor, who was a pedophile and is now serving time. How appropriate that Ohio Republican congressman Jim Jordan, currently under investigation for covering-up sexual abuse allegations while a coach at Ohio State, is in the running to be the new speaker (if the Republicans retain control of the House). That’s up to us.

As shocking as all of that is, the greatest shock and disappointment has been to learn that the very people advocating for survivors to be heard and helped are the very ones that are betraying this initiative to protect our future children. It is truly a sad state of affairs when those I once believed would be natural allies in this quest are the very ones who want nothing to do with it. I don’t know why this is. All I can say to the Retreat is: “Shame on you.”




Lame-Stream Media

East Hampton

July 30, 2018

Dear Editor,

The sun came up today. The power is on, the TV works, and people are out and about enjoying a summer day in the Hamptons. The economy is running along nicely, unemployment is low, and people who left the work force under the Obama regime are re-entering it. Our laws are being enforced, we aren’t at war with anyone, and we are actually talking to potential enemies rather than shooting at them. Sounds pretty good to me — or am I missing something?

I only mention this because you would think that we are in the end times if you watch the Crap News Network, Nothing But Crap nightly news, PMSNBC, and the rest of the snowflake media. Every day there is a new outrage, some new disaster or some transgression which has a mass triggering effect on the oh-so-sensitive media types. For them, yesterday was the worst day ever only to have today become the worst day ever but tomorrow will be the worst day ever. In fact every day for the last 688 days has been the worst day ever.

They must be delivering the Xanax and Zoloft by the truckload to lefty-liberal newsrooms across the country. How can one continue to function normally if you lurch from day to day thinking this day has to be the absolute worst day only to find your editor or producer telling you “No,” tomorrow will be worse. And there it is: “Normal.” There is nothing normal about the perpetually outraged hysterical leftists who can’t help but make fools of themselves every day.

While the rest of America is enjoying the summer with a few extra bucks in our pockets, income ticking up, and confidence in our country again, the lame-stream media are like Chicken Little telling us the sky is falling. People don’t care about hyperbole, they care about the tangible, and having Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow crying on TV doesn’t compare to having a job, taking care of your kids, and standing up for Old Glory.


Notably Silent


July 30, 2018

Dear David:

In a decision earlier this year, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a union rule requiring members of federal unions to pay dues could violate members’ First Amendment rights and, accordingly, held the requirement unconstitutional. This decision, known as Janus, has been roundly criticized as damaging these unions’ ability to survive. 

Our congressman, Lee Zeldin, had been notably silent on both the Janus decision and his position on organized labor. Pressed recently by his Democratic challenger, Perry Gershon, on this and Mr. Zeldin’s acceptance of support by conservative, anti-union donors, Mr. Zeldin claimed to “strongly disagree” with the Janus decision and claimed to be a strong supporter of organized labor.

If one digs a bit deeper, Mr. Zeldin’s claims seem to be just more Zeldin double-speak. His legislative actions belie his claim of embracing organized labor. Votesmart.org has compiled a raft of ratings by various organized labor associations and these ratings tell a far different story than Mr. Zeldin’s rhetoric. At best middling, and often just downright dismal, these organizations view Mr. Zeldin as no friend of labor. And, this is a friend to labor?

In contrast, Mr. Gershon knows that labor forms the backbone of the U.S. economy and is a strong supporter of organized labor. He can be trusted to deliver support for the backbone of our economy, instead of Mr. Zeldin’s offering words that are belied by his actions.



Me-First Program

East Hampton

July 29, 2018


In 1945 at the end of World War II the death count was almost 50 million, a staggering number in five years. The bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima ushered in a nuclear threat that could kill that many people in five weeks. The carnage and the nuclear calculus set the world on a mission to try and avoid future catastrophes and guarantee peace and prosperity for everyone. Understanding that we could and probably would destroy each other if we didn’t do something about it. The collective effort, forming the United Nations and establishing hundreds of treaties and agreements, has limited the damage while not fully resolving the problem.

The fall of the Soviet Union ended the ideological battle between communism and capitalism and the external challenges to existing ideologies. Socialism, whatever it means, had many of its ideas integrated into most nations and served as a measure of establishing a safety net. The primary struggle existed internally for most nations around the accumulation and distribution of wealth.

Fascism, on the other hand, never disappeared as a means of controlling and manipulating people. Dictatorships and democracies easily navigated the fascist playbook to sustain power and denigrate the opposition. There was always a delicate balance between governance by popular consensus and autocratic manipulation. Often, it was difficult to determine which was really in play.

The end of the war engendered a period of incredible economic growth and prosperity for much of the world. This shared prosperity lasted about 30 years in the West before the usual movements based on greed and avarice began to erode its value. Forty years later the loss of economic traction has brought us back to pre-1945 where global cooperation and sustenance has given way to autocratic self-indulgence.

Almost everywhere in the world leaders like Putin, Duarte, Erdogan, Xi, and Trump are on a me-first program. In Italy, Venezuela, Austria, India, and much of Eastern Europe, the same program is being instituted. “Me first” (Deutschland über alles under Hitler) is based on denigrating others to establish self-esteem. Blaming their situations on weaker groups, often minorities, instead of directing their anger at the real causes of the problem. Becoming incredibly rich in the process.

The U.S. once stood as a beacon of democracy no matter how flawed it really was. We were viewed as a positive influence in the world or at least as a counterbalance to many dictators and autocrats. We tried to hold countries accountable for extreme violence and oppression. We looked to lead the world toward some sense of democratic prosperity.

Under Trump, we have returned to our baser instincts. We are crass, boorish, and overtly racist. Governance through violence in the form of threats of war, personal denigration, and scapegoating is now the norm. Fascism in all its oppressive cruelty.

When Perry Gershon compared Trump to Hitler he was spot on. Read the history. There’s nothing to debate.