Letters to the Editor: 09.13.18

Our readers' comments

True Hero

East Hampton

September 4, 2018

To the Editor:

I would like to take time to send a little note to say thank you for the way the Town of East Hampton showed patriotism for the passing of John S. McCain. He was surely one of our great statesmen and will be surely missed.

His being shot down and taken prisoner by Vietnam for 51/2 years. He was a remarkable man and a true hero who gave his all and loved America. Only one person said he was not a hero. For that, I think he will pay for the bad choice of words. 

My career in the Navy lasted 25 years, and I enjoyed every day of it.


Slipped Unnoticed


September 4, 2018

Dear Editor,

Where: East Hampton train station.

When: Friday night, Aug. 21, when hordes were disembarking from the 6:45 train.

What: In hugging my guest, my cellphone slipped unnoticed from my hand.

Who: Officer Petersen, who answered my frantic call to my cellphone.

Who: Two responsible, but nameless, young Samaritans, a girl and a boy, who gave my phone to officer Petersen.

More what: Thank you all very much.


Very Fortunate

East Hampton

September 4, 2018

Dear David,

 My last weekend at the East Hampton Vet Group, where I have worked for the past 24 years, has come and gone. The next chapter in my life will be spent for six months out of the year in the Basque region of France, where my daughter lives, and where we lived and  I worked as a vet, from 1991 to 1994, before we came to East Hampton. 

I’m not ready to retire completely, and will look at options over there, possibly with Veterinarians Without Borders, or just relax, teach tai chi, and enjoy the great food and culture of the region. 

I feel very fortunate to have lived and worked here, and to those of you whom I’ve had the pleasure of serving, and who have entrusted me with the care of your pets, I thank you. 

I also want to sincerely thank my staff, especially Debbie, Patty, and Sarah, for their constant support and loyalty over the years.

So, until next spring, I bid you all adieu.



Art and Longevity


The Liebers, married 72 years, died today

in Springs, East Hampton, two hours apart,

ages 96 and 97. “It’s time to go, Sweetie.”


Gerson, still painting, told Judith, she who made

exquisite brocaded silver handbags carried

by Jackie Kennedy, Princess Diana, Mrs. Bush,


in the shape of fans, eggs, boxes, pigs.

You could fit hardly anything into their tiny space —

a lipstick, a hundred-dollar bill.


Limited editions,

Which is what we all are in the end.

Like matching purses.



Toilsome Oval

East Hampton

September 7, 2018

To the Editor:

I’ve just returned from some time away and was catching up with back issues of The Star and other local issues. This morning I tried out (not the first time) the new “roundabout,” surely a misnomer. I think it should be called “The Toilsome Oval,” perhaps with the “toil” bolded, and should it turn out to cause more problems than it solves, we can keep “Dead Hoss Cemetery” up our sleeves. 

Both the village and the town seem determined to make bicycle access to Route 114 and Sag Harbor more than just difficult. It’s now a Hobson’s choice between the oval or the perilous narrow and busy section of Stephen Hand’s Path between Long Lane and the traffic light at Route 114. 




East Hampton

September 7, 2018

To the Editor:

I have just read this week’s interview-based coverage of the bikini issue, which attempts to correct The Star’s recent non-fact-based article.

But the damage has been done. How a community paper could print an article defaming such a fine, kind community member as Ed McDonald is chilling.


McDonald’s Letter

East Hampton

September 10, 2018


We were greatly encouraged to read Ed McDonald’s letter describing “what actually happened” regarding the occurrences at Main Beach. Ed has always been a paragon of integrity, honesty, and caring.

The Star should take all necessary steps to let the truth be known.



False Alarms


September 10, 2018 

Dear Editor, 

I would like to apologize and extend a heartfelt thank-you to the Montauk Fire Department for tolerating another round of false fire alarms at the East Hampton Shellfish Hatchery building this past weekend. Despite a monthly “V.I.P. maintenance” fee from the alarm service company, false alarms seem to be the norm, and of course they always occur on the weekend and in the middle of the night.

Thanks again for your patience and response to these alarms; hopefully we can get it fixed up and not have to contend with these false alarms in the future, and certainly never the real thing. Now I’m tasked with clearing the 300-plus text messages sent from said alarm company to my phone. Here’s to a quieter rest of September! 


Shellfish Hatchery director

The Bermuda Triangle


September 9, 2018

To the Editor,

Another season has ended with another party weekend and we are left in the wake of a totally out of control community. It started Friday night when an Uber dropped off someone at our house, and he proceeded to make his way in, thinking his friends had rented the house. Luckily, we were awake and stopped him from entering the house. This is the third time this has happened. Out-of-town cab drivers who depend on GPS often get addresses wrong. We have four to five perfectly good taxi companies based in Montauk. The owners keep an eye on their employees and practice quality control. I’d challenge the others to do the same, but they have already left.

Saturday morning, we awaken and show up to work to find garbage everywhere on our property, the road closed due to a rolled-over car, a police officer in the hospital (luckily, not seriously injured), and another drug deal gone bad. Back to our location, to clean up the mess from the night before. 

We have had so much this summer we had to increase the size of our Dumpster. Saturday night comes along, and we have a stabbing, a fight at 7-Eleven, and more unruly behavior. This is just a description of one holiday weekend. This summer has been overly out of control. Over the summer we have had people fornicating in the Dumpster, defecating, urinating, and vomiting on the ground, and sleeping in our trucks on our property. We have installed a security system, “No Trespassing” signs, and notices that there are cameras, but the behavior continues.

We are going from a small fishing and beach resort to a place where people no longer feel as safe as they used to. We are no longer insulated from the crimes we always heard about on the news UpIsland.

We realize this situation is more complicated than it appears. I would like to make some suggestions, since we are in the middle of the Bermuda triangle of the nightclubs in town. We should never have to feel threatened by drunken, drugged out, self-centered, over-entitled young partygoers, who walk out in front of your car in a drunken stupor, and yell at you when you blow your horn. 

I feel it is going to take the effort of the town, the police, and the citizens of Montauk to correct this problem. The town has attempted to ease the problem on Route 27 by the Memory and by 7-Eleven by putting up pedestrian crosswalks. However, not many people use them, and the road is so dark with our “dark skies” ordinance, that it almost makes the situation more dangerous.

We have thrown thousands of dollars in overtime and rental of out-of-town police departments at this problem and used people from our own town in other departments, such as fire marshals, Marine Patrol, Code Enforcement, and Parks Departments. But many of these officers are unarmed and thus unequipped to handle a violent situation like we had this weekend. Nor was that supposed to be part of their job. 

I strongly suggest we take a much harder stand and allow the police officers to be more aggressive and make more arrests. When these young kids throw a phone into the face of a policeman, to record every word, they should have the right to be more aggressive, and the town should be willing to stand behind each incident when they ask these officers to put themselves in harm’s way. 

The continued allowance of bad behavior puts a huge burden on our volunteer ambulance squad, who have spent countless hours taking drunken, overdosed, out-of-control people to the hospital, diminishing our resources available to people in unpreventable emergencies. 

We should have a place to keep the arrested people overnight in Montauk, even if it is a portable cell. Word has gotten out that drunkenness will not be tolerated on St. Patrick’s Day in Montauk. People are turned away at the train. We could do that in summer, but we don’t. We don’t want to stop people from coming to town, but we want them to stay in control. The difference now from prior decades is the sheer volume of people coming to Montauk just to party. Montauk was always a summer destination for enjoyment and relaxation, but we didn’t always have this many people. 

Out of respect for all the people who have worked so hard in the past to develop Montauk, I think we owe it to them and to ourselves to get this place under control, and to maintain the quality of life and the beauty of the town, and to maintain the relaxed summer atmosphere that we are all about. 

If not, we are going to find ourselves like every other dumpy up-the-Island town that has failed, where the property values have fallen because of out-of- control behavior. This opinion is ours because we have lived in the middle of it for too long. I welcome your input on this. Please call me if you have anything you can add, any ideas or solutions to suggest. 631-905-3611 is my cellphone.

Let’s make it known: Montauk is a beautiful, peaceful community by the beach that is a great place to vacation and have fun. But taking it too far is no longer tolerated.

Respectfully yours,


The Last Stop


September 9, 2018

To the Editor:

It is tiring to read rants that 7-Eleven is the source of all summer evil in Montauk. When local merchants and bar owners enjoy a much-deserved respite in Puerto Rico or Florida come winter, I am grateful for a location with longer store hours.

You can swipe at the corporation ownership of 7-Eleven, too, but residents have done well by selling their businesses to the highest bidder, which is their reward for years of hard work.

7-Eleven is just the last stop, and for some follows a night of overindulgence at bars and clubs, many of which are locally owned. Maybe owners of these places need to be more vigilant when it comes to “over serving.”

The summer problem in Montauk has little to do with coffee and snacks, and you can’t drink that much beer between the 7-Eleven exit and your vehicle in the parking lot.


Times Have Changed

Old Bennington, Vt.

August 29, 2018

Dear David,

Hard to believe that 60 years have passed since I first came to East Hampton, and 50 years since I bought the Peitereit farm on Cedar Street.

In those days, years ago, we often took excursions out to Cartwright Island to picnic, fish, and swim, and never had any problem using it. I remember that it was quite large and wooded. At a certain point, after some storms, the trees were swept away, and so was much of the land, and it was a shock to see it diminished to a shoal, often covered by the tide.

Of course, major erosion changed Louse Point and Accabonac Harbor, too, but never was there any doubt in our minds that Cartwright Island was separate from Gardiner’s Island. The shoal off the southern tip of Gardiner’s Island, however, we respected as part of the prohibited zone, which might provoke live fire from the much-feared caretaker!

How times have changed — not for the better!

Best wishes,


Actually Ran


September 10, 2018

Dear David,

Last May 16, the annual Amagansett School Board and budget vote was held with only two candidates, Dawn Rana Brophy and Mary A. Eames, that participated in running for the one board seat that was available.

The town voted, and Dawn Rana Brophy won. But in the meantime, Patrick Bistrian Jr., the vice president of the board, at the time insisted he would be finishing out his two-year term with the school board. Mr. Bistrian has now resigned his seat, and there is an empty seat to be filled.

It is only fair that the person going in that seat actually ran in the race and was voted on by the local Amagansett community.

If you agree, please call the Amagansett School and leave a message for Kristen Peterson, president of the Amagansett School Board, at 631-267-3572 and let her know that you voted for Mary A. Eames and she should be the only person filling that seat on the board. 

Thank you


Cutting Corners

New York City

September 9, 2018


I spend some of my summertime in Davis Park on Fire Island. We are the last community before the national seashore. Over the last several years the helicopters going to the Hamptons have become more and more frequent and intrusive. This past summer was the worst ever. 

Initially, a few years ago, there were intermittent helicopters (Friday and Sunday mostly), and their flight pattern was out over the ocean until they cleared the communities. This year, they are cutting corners and veering north well before they clear the community. I doubt that the Federal Aviation Administration has granted them this route. But I suppose that it saves them on fuel, although at $675 per seat I don’t think that it’s much of an issue. The noise is at a level that any conversation at my house is forced to stop as they wap-wap-wap on their way.

I also visit a friend in East Hampton during the year and have been following the airport-helicopter issue in The Star. It is such an endless issue. Even when it seems that there would be some common sense. My heart goes out to your community and especially those living near the airport. It is sad to see that the luxuries of the well to do undermine the serenity and beauty we all seek in our homes and community.


What Fill Was Used


September 10, 2018

Dear David,

At Saturday’s Wainscott citizens advisory committee meeting the Wainscott hamlet study was discussed. The mention of the green pond at the southwest corner of the sand pit, behind Cowhill Road, was brought up by a C.A.C. member.

I recall that green pond and at some point it was filled in. I questioned the origin of the fill, and the Roberto Clemente Park in Central Islip and the toxic fill that was used that resulted in delay and an investigation, entered my thoughts.

So I asked, and there was a remark that there were attempts to get in there to test — to no avail. 

My next question is why is the planning board even entertaining any activity on this massive development that will turn Wainscott into Patchogue, with addition to the already-chaotic traffic on Montauk Highway. Stop this project in its tracks and stop wasting taxpayer funds until what fill was used and where it came from is tested. We have enough problems with the water and traffic here. 

Roundabouts and grandiose plans are certainly the destruction of Wainscott.

Yours truly,


Dead Asleep


September 10, 2018

To the Editor:

At its Thursday evening meeting, Sept. 6, Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said that for the six years that the town board has known of an impending crisis with emergency communications, only his administration is taking care of the problem. That will take another year, assuming Van Scoyoc and company get it right this time.

Who is he kidding? He has been on the town board for seven years. He was deputy supervisor for the four years of Cantwell. Has he forgotten, or was he sleeping? Councilwoman Overby and Councilwoman Burke-Gonzalez were right there with him, the three of them the majority on the town board, apparently all dead asleep for five years, allowing a grave problem to become a crisis.

Enough is enough.



Love Our Town


September 10, 2018

Dear David,

As you and others may know, my running mate, Sushil Sinha, and I are running for seats in Montauk on the East Hampton Reform Democrats Party line in Election District 10 this Thursday for the Democratic Party committee.

We’ve both been year-round residents of Montauk for almost 30 years. I’ve lived in Montauk since 1989, and Sushil moved out to Montauk from Hampton Bays as a child.

We are both invested in our community as homeowners, but each of us has in the past had to do the year-round seasonal find-housing shuffle and are well aware of the difficulties of being a local, year-round resident of Montauk.

We both love our town and have seen changes for years now that don’t exactly point to the future sustainability of our year-round local community, whether it’s housing, overall infrastructure overcrowding in the summertime, the Army Corps does Montauk beaches debacle, offshore wind, or the ability of our town board to honestly listen to locals’ concerns and then work with us to make things better. It’s as if we as a town are invisible.

We hope if you are a registered 

Democrat, you will take the time to go to the polls at the Montauk Playhouse today, Thursday, and vote for us in E.D. 10 in Montauk and for David Gruber, who is running for town board, so that from the bottom up, we can focus on those issues that matter to those of us in Montauk who live here, no matter what the season.




Unity Is Important


September 10, 2018

To the Editor,

Dear fellow East Hampton voters, my name is Rachel Lys. I have been married to Councilman David Lys for 13 years and together for 18 years. I can speak to his true character, his true passion, and his true intentions. Shame on Mr. Gruber for turning his campaign into a negative smear campaign. 

Shame on the few Republicans who have spread lies and printed fake news regarding my husband. I am going to assume this speaks to the state of mind we are in because of our current leader on the national level. 

We have decided to protect our children and shield them from the false truths that week after week a few people have continued to write and publish. You know who you are, and we are so disappointed that you felt it was necessary to go this route. 

My David, David Lys, would never stoop this low. David is educated on the issues and will base his decisions on facts and the history of this town, as he has always done. He will express his beliefs, he will follow the law, and he will put what is best for the entire town first, not just for his own personal gain, unlike his opponent. 

Perhaps you are nervous that the wiser, more dedicated, and local family man is going to win. Shame on the Gruber supporters for trying to invade our privacy and trying to intimidate my children at school, at the local grocery store, and even church. If you have an issue with a decision my husband made years ago based on facts, then you have an issue with my husband: Take it up with him. You can contact him directly on his views regarding any topic and he will provide an answer, but my children are off limits. 

David Lys is the right fit for this position. David Lys has the support of three other current town board members and that unity could really help get things done in this town. That unity is important for the progress East Hampton needs. 

When casting your vote today please consider what you want the future of this town to look like. Do you want local families to be able to afford to live here? Do you want small-business owners to succeed here? Do you want public beach access? 

Allow David a chance to continue to do what he has been working so tirelessly on over the past nine months. Let David Lys finish what he has started. 

Your vote matters. At the last primary in Montauk, only 16 voters came out to the polls through the entire day. Your vote really does matter and one vote can make all the difference. Make sure you come out and vote at the primary this Thursday.



Democratic Choice

East Hampton

September 13, 2018

Dear David:

As the Democratic primary campaign for town board and the Democratic Committee comes to an end with the election Thursday (your publication day), I want to thank The Star for the invaluable service it provides to the community by publishing all letters it receives. This is the community’s soapbox, the way in which we can communicate our thoughts and opinions, sure to receive an audience.

I also want to thank a group of dedicated Democratic Committee members and campaign workers for the East Hampton Reform Democrats, who have exceeded any reasonable expectation of what could be accomplished in such a short time.

Finally, and most important of all, I want to thank from the bottom of my heart the people of East Hampton. A political campaign is a rare opportunity to meet many people that one would otherwise not encounter. You cannot normally just engage people on the street and in their homes.

The depth of feeling of everyone I met for the well-being of East Hampton and its future is profound. As is the unfailing courtesy of everyone, even those who were willing to share that they did not intend to vote for me for town board. We have something very precious here in East Hampton and must not lose sight of it as we work together to solve our problems.

Democratic government requires democratic choice. That means elections. Whatever the outcome of this election, the East Hampton Reform 

Democrats are proud to have done the work to offer Democrats a choice of their candidate for town board and of members of the Democratic Committee. We will continue to do so in the future in the best tradition of self-governing people.

I hope all Democrats will go to the polls today and vote. The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and everyone votes at their regular polling place.



Ray of Hope


September 9, 2018

Dear David, 

A win by a young man like David Lys would be a ray of hope in these ugly times. 

In two years a dream come true would be Michelle Obama, free from motherhood duties, leading us back to sanity. 


Public Safety


September 10, 2018

Dear David,

Listening to the town board last week at both its Tuesday work session and Thursday evening meeting, anyone’s B.S. meter should be reading off the charts.

On Tuesday, Supervisor Van Scoyoc said the Springs Firehouse tower is dangerous because there are houses in the “fall zone.” On Thursday, it was pointed out that, if the tower is dangerous, it has been there for three years, while the town is being sued by the Springs Fire District with nothing at all being done by the town about the so-called safety risk.

In reply, Van Scoyoc claimed he never said the tower is unsafe. I observed both meetings and heard Van Scoyoc contradict himself from one meeting to the next.

Then Van Scoyoc said the Springs fire chiefs were wrong when they said at the Springs Citizens Advisory Committee meeting that if the emergency communications system, already woefully obsolete, fails there is no backup.

Van Scoyoc claimed on Thursday there are multiple layers of redundancy, but then we have to believe that no one in the Fire Department knows about it or knows how to use the system, because they had an incident at the Springs School where they were unable to communicate.

Van Scoyoc says he educated the town’s fire chiefs about how to use the radio system at a meeting last week. Do we really believe the Fire Department doesn’t know how to use its radios and Van Scoyoc does?

The report from within Van Scoyoc’s meeting with the fire chiefs is that he was livid that the Springs chiefs dared to call the attention of the public to the public safety problem. That’s how he deals with it, trying to intimidate our first responders into silence. 

Van Scoyoc told them it will take another year to bring the new system online. But the public is kept in the dark.

Then Councilwoman Burke-Gonzalez claimed the Springs tower was not designed for a 700-MHz system. But chief fire commissioner Patrick Glennon says that it was designed to meet Suffolk County standards for 700-MHz communications, the preferred frequency band for emergency services. Burke-Gonzalez has a professional background in advertising. Who are we going to believe?

Van Scoyoc also claims the Springs tower was never designed for use by the Fire Department at all, but only as a source of revenue from cellphone companies. The lawsuit by the Springs Fire District against the town specifically says that “the communications facility is necessary for the Fire District to provide fire fighting and emergency services.”

In the Star article of May 7, 2015, written by then associate editor Joanne Pilgrim, now Van Scoyoc’s assistant, it was reported by her that the purpose of the tower was emergency communications. Last Thursday night, Pilgrim was given a raise to $75,000, probably to make sure she knows where her bread is buttered and to keep her mouth shut.

Finally, in the ultimate insult to the intelligence of the public, Van Scoyoc claimed that this problem was understood six years ago, but that only his administration is taking care of the problem.

Van Scoyoc has sat on the town board for the last seven years. He was deputy supervisor for four of those years, and Van Scoyoc, Overby, and Burke-Gonzalez have been the town board majority for the past five years. Did Van Scoyoc forget that he was sitting there for the entire time that the town board has failed to address this critical safety need?

Weeks after the Springs chiefs went public with the problem, the town board only moved this last Thursday to hire an engineer to figure out how to install the system it already bought on the towers it already has And then only because of letters to The Star asking how the heck the town board managed to buy a system without figuring out first whether it can be installed on the existing towers.

The coup de grace? Burke-Gonzalez says the new communications system the town bought was never intended to include Springs in the first place. It was intended for towers in Noyac, Wainscott, East Hampton, Amagansett, and Montauk. What about Springs, where the chiefs say they have dead zones on the current system that are a threat to public safety?

The question now is whether Supervisor Van Scoyoc is ever telling the truth. And the rest of the board majority, Overby, Burke-Gonzalez, and Lys, sit there mute while Van Scoyoc makes up whatever he needs to to get himself out of the crisis of the moment. 

Bragman tries to raise the right questions, but is then subjected to abuse and invective by the supervisor for doing his job as a town councilman. Just watch on LTV.

It needs to be said clearly and out loud, these emperors and empresses have no clothes. They are incompetent at the most basic tasks of governance.

There is a Democratic primary election today, Sept. 13. If we allow these people to continue to govern, we 

Democrats will have no one but ourselves to blame. Democrats must get to the polls and vote to make clear that they will not accept incompetence by Van Scoyoc, Overby, Burke-Gonzalez, and the current candidate, David Lys, who does nothing but agree with them. Silence is not an option.


Should Not Lie

East Hampton

September 5, 2018

To the Editor:

It may be difficult to understand the endorsement of a candidate by reference to a film made in 1966 about a Russian Orthodox monk and icon painter, Andrei Rublyov, who died in 1430. But I see much in that film that is relevant to modern times. Tarkovsky’s film presents two views of the medieval world. Vignette after vignette shows the cruelty, the inhumanity, the absurdity, and brutal punishments meted out randomly, purposely on the ragged ignorant peasants of Russia in a chaotic world. It could be modern Syria or sub-Saharan Africa, where hope dies fast and there is a hellish world. Rublyov cannot paint. This is the outer view. The inner view is the one we all face: What can be achieved in life and what cannot.

David Lys is a candidate who is willing to accept the Town of East Hampton as it is in its current state as the best of all possible worlds, David Gruber does not. David Gruber says we should look as clearly as we can at the problems we face and try to solve them with competence, and if we cannot, we should not lie to the people, especially telling them we have solved the problems when we have not. Which candidate then is more likely to take on the issues that we face? I favor David Gruber not for any dislike of David Lys, but for the greater depth of experience he has of life.

Andrei Rublyov withdrew from life to the monastery to paint religious icons. Tarkovsky’s film was banned in the Soviet Union until 1971.

Russia has never solved its problems.


The Present Course

Sag Harbor

September 10, 2018

To the Editor:

David Gruber has more than earned his stripes being dedicated to fair and honest government.

Unfortunately, the lying and manipulating of self-serving interest groups has thwarted the legitimate process of democratic voting and representation of our people.

In order to reverse the present course, this first step being taken by David Gruber in running for the Democratic nomination for town board is essential to put East Hampton back on a positive track.

I hope there will be a big turnout of voters for David, as an acknowledgement for his efforts and as an endorsement for his values.


Sleazy and Cruel


September 10, 2018

Dear David:

I strongly endorse David Gruber for town board in the Democratic primary.

Democracy at the national level is under the greatest threat in my lifetime. Through the country, there are hope-inspiring stories of local Democrats rallying to create firewalls. My sister-in-law was just elected to her town board in Pennsylvania as part of a “blue wave” in her town and state. 

Local progressive victories are important for two reasons. First, they create sanctuaries of good values such as compassion, tolerance, and a promotion of diversity. Second, they can serve as a launch pad to recapture the national scene.

I would have imagined that East Hampton would be among the first places to experience this surge. Instead, our Democratic Party has done the opposite, nominating a lifelong conservative Republican, David Lys, so acceptable to the local, pro-Trump Republican party that they thought of cross-endorsing him. This was a baffling choice, and the Democratic Party leaders have made no attempt to explain it. Instead, it has been their way or the highway, as their vituperation against longtime members who did not agree with their decision, clearly illustrates. They have adopted their approach, “When you cannot explain, insult,” from an ancient playbook of the other party.

Mr. Lys has been personally cordial to me in our rare direct encounters. People who know him personally tend to like him. But there has been a lot of hype about Mr. Lys’s “Democratic values.” Such transformations do sometimes happen, but are vanishingly rare. Mr. Lys has not shown us this is his reality, and therefore has not earned the right to represent the values of the town’s Democratic voters. Instead, he is a cipher, picked for unknown reasons by a political machine, and forced on the rest of us through bullying, not persuasion. In fact, I would think better of Mr. Lys if he had refused the support of the Democratic machine, given the sleazy and cruel way it has been operating.

David Gruber, by contrast, has been involved in Democratic politics out here for a long time and his views and values are an open book. The party now busy demonizing him leaned on him heavily before this, asking him, among other sacrifices, to undertake an uphill run for supervisor. 

The East Hampton Town Demo­crats’ current David Lys narrative depends on the loudly trumpeted assertion that “reform” itself is a bad, deceptive thing. Growing up in Brooklyn where the reform Democrats fought the vestiges of the Tammany Hall machine, reform, like compassion, tolerance, and diversity, has always been a good word for me. There is no institution so perfect it can’t use some improvement. The Democratic Party in East Hampton needs a ton.

Therefore, I am urging you to vote for David Gruber for town board and the associated reform candidates for the town committee.


Damage Was Done

East Hampton

September 9, 2018

Dear David,

On Thursday, Democrats will go to the polls to vote for either David Gruber or David Lys to represent the party this November in the race for Peter Van Scoyoc’s old town board seat. It should be an easy choice: 

Gruber is a lifelong Democrat who has championed causes like local control over the airport, and Lys is a lifelong Republican with troubling views on ICE, deportations, and abortion. Gruber is running with the support of salt-of-the-earth Democrats. Lys has taken thousands of dollars from developers and Republicans. 

Under normal circumstances, in a Democratic primary, Gruber would win, no contest. But these aren’t normal circumstances. That’s because local influence peddler and small-time party boss Chris Kelley has weighed in on the side of Lys, rehabilitating the Republican into a paragon of Democratic virtue. Unfortunately, there’s nothing democratic about Lys’s political career. The only reason he is even a contender is that Kelley convinced three of four representatives on the town board to confirm him — a decision that split the local party. 

But at the slightest hint of dissent, former committee chair Jeanne Frankl (presumably with Kelley’s direction) concocted a plan to oust the dissenters and appoint a hand-picked successor, Cate Rogers, to lead the committee. Frankl began shuffling members around the districts, prompting a lawsuit, which forced concessions from the leadership but was ultimately dismissed under questionable circumstances. Rogers did ultimately win the chair position. 

Still, the damage was done. And Kelley seems to know it, which is why he and Rogers have helped Lys create his own unique line on the ballot — a Unity Party line — as a backup in case Gruber wins. At the top of every petition, Kelley, Rogers, and Frankl lent their names. Kelley notarized the certificate of acceptance and Rogers signed on as the contact. 

In other words, the Democratic leadership has no intention of allowing Democratic voters to make the decision of who runs for town board in November if the choice is not for David Lys. One way or another, they have decided that Lys will be on the ballot. 

The Unity Party petitions are currently being challenged by the Republicans in court, and Kelley and the 

Democrats are assisting in defending them. If Kelley’s machine was helping the town by meaningfully slowing the takeover by moneyed interests, which is forcing locals to move, it would be a little better (though still not democratic). But Kelley’s Democrats have utterly failed to meaningfully address these problems, perhaps by design, since Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartararo represents developers.

East Hampton has continued its transformation into a retirement community/playground for the privileged and the wealthy. The houses are bigger and emptier in the winters, the cars more expensive, air traffic is more prevalent, there’s little for young people, and the stores are increasingly seasonal. 

The local community has consolidated into a few affordable areas, but even then many are feeling the pressure to move. Money overwhelms us in the summer, but with the loss of year-round residents, local businesses face increasingly harsh/slow winters.

East Hampton is too small for dirty machine politics. At the very least, Gruber’s Reform Democrats understand that there has to be a future in East Hampton for local people who don’t make $300,000-plus per year or have investment portfolios. 


Puppet Masters

East Hampton 

September 9, 2018

Dear David,

From Republican chair Amos Goodman’s petition to the State Supreme Court challenging the legitimacy of David Lys’s so-called Unity Party, we learn, to no surprise, that the Unity Party was in fact organized by Chris Kelley, Jeanne Frankl, and Cate Rogers, two former chairs and the current chair of the East Hampton Democratic Committee. They are the named “vacancy committee” on David Lys’s Unity Party nominating petitions.

Lys himself, a political beginner, didn’t understand that he was supposed to cover his tracks. And so, naively, he said to the press that he was organizing the Unity Party so that he could run against the Democratic Party’s nominee in November even if he should lose the Democratic primary election today.

There we have it, Kelley, Frankl, and Rogers, so-called Democratic leaders, plotting to run a candidate in the general election against the winner of the Democratic primary. 

As for David Lys, either his commitment to the Democratic Party isn’t even paper-thin or he is easily manipulated by Kelley et al. The puppet masters don’t even bother to hide the strings, so confident are they that Lys will never catch on. They could have found obscure fronts for Lys’s Unity Party that no one would have noticed, but they put their own names right there on his petitions for all to see. Kelley himself is going to court to defend Lys’s Unity Party petitions in the hope of ensuring that Lys can run against the Democratic Party nominee should Lys lose the primary.

Kelley, Frankl, and Rogers, this junta, desperate to cling to power at all costs, refer to themselves, comically, as “Leadership That Unites.” It would be funny, if it weren’t tragic. 

The Democratic Party needs urgently to clean house. The East Hampton Reform Democrats were organized to restore democratic governance to the Democratic Party, to rid it of the vote-rigging, bossism, cronyism, and nepotism that Kelley, Frankl, and Rogers embody. 

Democrats, get to the polls, open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at your regular polling place, and vote. You should all have received in the mail a postcard showing you clearly the East Hampton Reform Democratic candidates for Democratic Committee seats — Reform Democratic candidates in your election district.

The time to act is right now, today.



Note to Readers

The two letters that follow, by Jill Danis and Jim MacMillan, are based on the false claim, repeated in Reform Democrats email announcements and in Facebook ads, that David Lys did not write in his father’s name for United States president in the 2016 election. According to the Suffolk Board of Elections, write-in candidates’ names only appear in official results if the candidates themselves alert the board of elections. Mr. Lys is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for East Hampton Town Board. Mr. Lys’s father, Hakim Lys, did not declare his candidacy for president in the 2016 election. Ed.

Alternative Facts


September 10, 2016

Dear David:

 To curry favor with Democrats and get their votes, East Hampton Town Board candidate David Lys, a lifelong Republican until he was appointed to the town board last January, claims that he did not vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

Although he did not vote for Hillary Clinton either, Lys claims that he wrote in his own father’s name on the 2016 presidential ballot. This was reported by you, twice, in The East Hampton Star, including again last week in an editorial. 

In that editorial, you referred to 

Democrats who raised the question whether Lys voted for Trump as “perfidious.” The perfidy in this matter, defined as deceitfulness or untrustworthiness, is not ours. You, Mr. Rattray, owe Democrats who care about commitment to our party an apology.

The names of people who receive votes for president, including all write-in votes, is a matter of public record. A tally of the votes cast in 2016 for president, including every single write-invote, is available from the Suffolk County Board of Elections. A copy of the official board of elections tally accompanies this letter and has been distributed to all the local newspapers. No one voted for Hakim Lys, David Lys’s father.

Lys advertises that he has “Democratic values.” I am a Democrat, and respect for the truth and facts is among my Democratic values. As a Democrat, I reject Donald Trump’s “alternative facts” and chronic lying. David Lys is evidently willing to dissemble in order to make it appear to Democrats that he is one of us. 


Some Democrat


September 10, 2018

Dear Editor:

Warning all Democrats! The evidence is in. Now that the atmosphere has been spoiled by Trump for most Republicans to be easily elected, the new strategy is for Republican candidates to change their registration to that of a Democrat along with a big wink to their buddies as a signal that they will promote Republican interests. 

The current Republican running in the Democratic primary, Mr. Lys, was offered a position on the town board if, after 42 years, he would change his registration to that of a Democrat, which he did. This change of registration is so recent that it does not qualify him to vote for himself in the Democratic primary because he is still technically a Republican.

He did not vote for the Democratic candidate for president. He said several times that he wrote in the name of his father. Some Democrat that is! To make matters worse, it appears that the write-in wasn’t even true. According to the board of elections records, no one wrote in his father’s name. 

Then we have his lifelong Republican interests. Go have a look at the recorded campaign contributions he received. It looks more like a “Who’s Who” of Republican developers, land­owners, and the attorneys that represent them. The recent $250-a-plate fund-raiser at the waterfront estate of a major Republican contributor is also an indicator of Mr. Lys’s alliances.

As a representative of Election District 3 and a committee member of the East Hampton Democratic Committee, I expected a logical explanation from our leaders and our Democratic supervisor as to why a Republican was selected as our Democratic candidate, but after a lot of chest pounding, I was only told that he is young and has children in the Springs School system. What?

There are too many other behind-the-scenes decisions and schemes to go into here, but they all contributed to the unrest of many long-term Democrats. It is because we objected to the secretive agenda that the party controllers decided to primary us. “Do as we say or else” is the message they sent. 

This is why we need David Gruber on the town board. He has been involved with the East Hampton Demo­crats for years and is responsible for bringing us the Democratic majority we now have. Unfortunately, the campaign promises and plans have been neglected, which is why, instead of helping with the elections, he has decided to run for the town board himself. His education and years of experience far surpass any candidate we have had in a long time. We are fortunate that he will be there for us to help restore honesty and transparency to the town board and to prevent any further diluting or diminishing of our democracy and the local Democratic Party. Protect what we have. Vote David Gruber for town board. 

Thank you,


P.S. And vote for me of course in District 3.

Proven Himself

East Hampton

September 9, 2018

To the Editor, 

Outstanding leaders appeal to the hearts of their followers as well as their minds. Successful leaders follow the same advice they give to others. They know the way, go the way, and show the way. Know-how will surpass guess-how. A wise person knows what to say and when to say it. Planning without action is futile and action without planning is fatal. 

Every step in your life will lead you to your destination. It is not where we live but how we live that is important. Our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become. Open-minded people do not impose their will on others. They accept the realities and perspectives of life, collect moments not things. Believe it in your mind and achieve in your life. 

The key to understanding is first to understand yourself. Before you can really manage time it is important to know where you are going, what your priorities and goals are. A vision with a task is the hope of the world. I believe Lee Zeldin has that vision. 

As for Gershon, I believe there are many roads leading to dead ends. One of these is knowledge without wisdom. Knowledge without wisdom is either useless or destructive. Too many politicians speak before they think. If they don’t want to read it, see it, or hear it, they shouldn’t say it. A long tongue can shorten life. Some people unfortunately don’t have to turn out the lights to be in the dark. In reality they aren’t learning much because their lips are constantly moving. Politicians can be all wrapped up in themselves and what they offer is a very small packager. 

Mr. Gershon bought his house in East Hampton in 1999. He changed voter registration in 2017, making him among the newest voters in East Hampton. He has never run for elected office or has been involved in local politics. The flier that the New York State Democratic Committee put out states Mr. Gershon and his wife put down roots in Suffolk County more than 22 years ago, which would go back to 1966. His wife’s family has lived in Suffolk County since 1970, not him. Justice is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. 

Chapter one, the reward of justice. Love justice, you who judge the earth. I wonder how many politicians have read or understand that. We need our elected representative to be wise, honest, and just as Lee Zeldin has proven himself to be.


Took Offense


September 9, 2018

Dear David,

Listening to President Obama at Illinois yesterday, I shook my head and wondered what is this man thinking. My God, I took offense to everything that came out from Obama’s mouth, being subjected to this man’s lies all over again. He thinks all the good that President Trump has done, all credit is his.

Surprise, surprise, the protestors were paid to scream and holler at Judge Kavanaugh’s three-day hearings. Judge Kavanaugh has a dozen years on the bench and has written over 300 opinions in his name. The Democrats should have read some of these opinions instead of demanding the hearing be stalled.

These fool protestors interrupted both Democrats and Republicans. Who did they hurt? This judge has bipartisan opinions, he has been responsible as a judge, he is independent, and believes in the Constitution.

This is the kind of judge that belongs serving on the Supreme Court.

In God and country,