Letters to the Editor 02.07.19

The Last Duck           
Springs
February 2, 2019

Dear Mr. Rattray, 

The early morning reports from the Accabonac have quieted so I believe this year’s duck hunting is over. Saturdays and occasionally more often, I’d be awakened by the noise. I must admit I kind of enjoy the sound, usually beginning at dawn with the crack of six shots.

It was always six shots so I’m guessing it’s the same two guys, emptying their guns on something. I can’t imagine there are six mallards together in the harbor anymore so maybe they’re missing a couple of times or more hopefully just warming themselves with the barrels. The idea that they get a couple and wing one or two more always comes to mind, with the unpleasant thought of birds dying in the marsh, wasted. 

My days of hunting on the Pacific flyway ended after the first duck; virtually inedible from feeding on marsh grasses and seaweed. If these guys have a recipe I’d like to have it. You can get great duck at Costco, $15 gets you two halves with orange sauce.

So what’s the point? A local farmer used to feed the ducks in Pussy’s Pond but that makes them basically tame, and they are usually gone by hunting season. And that season is shrinking with shorter time and smaller bag limits. I don’t expect we will run out of ducks any time soon, but climate change may change all that. I wonder if our hunters will know when they’ve taken the last duck. I will because, sadly, that early morning wakeup call will be gone from the Accabonac.

And for further consideration, there were 672 auto/deer collisions last year, up over 40 percent from the year before. Getting run over is a lousy way to go. But this is a conversation our town just doesn’t seem to be able to have.

Sincerely,

JOHN POTTER


Overnight Cold            
East Hampton
January 30, 2019 

Dear Editor,

A long haul freight carrier’s loading dock is nothing more than a raised concrete platform surrounded by walls of oversize garage doors. Tractor-trailers, or smaller “jitterbugs,” are backed into the door openings level with the dock. Exposed to the elements, men on the dock then unload, separate, count, and record the number of pieces of the “incoming” freight and distribute it by wheeled cages, to smaller “outbound” trucks assigned to its final destination.

I’ll never forget working one night when the Arctic brought down two degrees and heavy winds. It was a long eight hours as the cold continually pressed on my body through the concrete floor, the metal cages, truck locks, and even the manifest stands where I dreaded removing my glove to write. Getting near the forklift was like finding a heating blanket.

Night shifts end at differing times but essentially between 5 and 8 a.m. That night, after hearing over and over it was 2 degrees, sometime around 6 a.m. the sun broke through one of the open garage doors, and I felt the full strength of the rising sun. It hit my body from head to toe and began to relieve my body’s stress brought on by the long overnight cold.

I’ll never forget as I closed my eyes to soak in the sun’s heat and prepare for my last hour of the shift, hearing the man on the radio say the morning temperature had risen to 3.

ALEX PICCIRILLO


Under the Rug 
Montauk
January 29, 2019

Dear Editor:

I am writing to express concern that apparently the town thinks local citizens should police the decisions of the Building Department on a case-by-case basis. An out-of- town builder is in the process of building an illegal three-story with an additional full basement home in front of my home in Montauk. 

Because I assumed the building inspector was hired to do their job and deny such blatant missteps, I am going to lose a Z.B.A. appeal on a very unknown technicality, because no one wants to point fingers. The bigger issue of how did this plan ever get approved is not being discussed at all. It’s a classic sweep it under the rug-act in a vacuum scenario we have all been seeing play out often with this administration.

JOE STAVOLA


Better Ways
Wainscott
February 8, 2019

Dear David,

In response to Mr. Rosenthal’s letter, “Riled Residents,” and your editorial last week, “School Growth Inevitable,” the response from a citizen of Wainscott for 32 years is we don’t want outsiders determining our destination. 

The citizens of Wainscott have fought outside influence for many years and largely made decisions, as it appears, that  are the envy of folks who live in other hamlets. The Wainscott School District has successfully fought consolidation pressures from New York State since we first moved to Wainscott. School growth is not inevitable; we will continue to fight outside influence on this matter, thank you.

Mr. Rosenthal’s letter is disgusting to me in that he misunderstood my analogy, makes many assumptions that are classist, xenophobic, and plutophobic in the pejorative sense. The analogy of Lefrak City has nothing to do with buildings, it was used to define the misuse of the term affordable housing and to illustrate the dead-end nature of apartment buildings in general. 

From an environmental standpoint and to encourage assimilation, it is far better to spread out the environmental impact by encouraging accessory apartments in houses than the detrimental density increases of an apartment complex. Subcultures develop in apartment complexes, where assimilation is easier in individual apartments spread throughout the community.

All of Wainscott is not wealthy. I was a blue-collar carpenter when I moved into our 1,700-square-foot house I built with my own two hands. Both of our children are successful products of Wainscott’s one-room schoolhouse; at that time there was a one-to-one ratio between student and teacher. I’ll leave it to educators to speak about the advantage of one-to-one ratios verses 30 children in one classroom. It was the citizens of Wainscott who made that choice and gave that opportunity to our children, for which I am very grateful.

I am one of those honorable, hard-working, smart, and skilled foreign-born immigrants who had the opportunity to become successful living on the other side of the tracks of Wainscott. I bid on building the first Whalebone Woods development under the Tony Bullock administration. We lost it by $1.00/square foot, but our specifications were of higher quality. We renovated one of the original houses and found no insulation in the walls. That would not have happened if we had built it. 

I am very happy Mr. Rosenthal is a product of Whalebone Woods, but as a professional, I believe there are better ways to build work-force housing and next generation housing, as the industry calls them. Equity is built by ownership in property; buildings depreciate over time. There are better ways for the next generation to experience the American dream as I did. Sometimes things aren’t always what they seem.

Sincerely,

FRANK DALENE


Persistent Pressure
Southampton
February 3, 2019

To the Editor:

In October 2017, more than 15 months ago, the Town of East Hampton began notifying the residents of the village of Wainscott that their private wells might be contaminated with perfluorinated compounds, specifically PFOS and PFOA. Residents, at least those who actually received the notification, were discouraged from drinking or cooking with the water, told to contact the Suffolk County Water Authority to have their water tested, and instructed to contact the Town of East Hampton if they wanted to have bottled water delivered to their homes.

As I mentioned, not everyone received the notification. That’s because the notification was addressed to individual homeowners according to their street number, and everybody knows that the post office in Wainscott does not deliver to individual homes — you have to get your mail at the post office, if you have a P.O. Box.

Not a great deal is known about PFOS and PFOA, but the following facts are not in dispute: 

1. Because of their unique ability to repel oil and water, PFOS and PFOA have been used in surface protection products such as carpet and clothing treatments, nonstick coatings on cookware, and fire-fighting foams. 

2. Exposure to PFOS and PFOA over the Environmental Agency health advisory limit of 70 parts per trillion could result in adverse health effects, including developmental effects to fetuses during pregnancy or to breastfed infants, cancer, liver effects, immune effects, and thyroid effects.

3. On Dec. 18, 2018, the New York State Drinking Water Quality Commission recommended that the New York State Department of Health adopt a maximum contaminant level of 10 parts per trillion, a level that would be the lowest in the country.

4. Neither PFOS nor PFOA breaks down over time in the environment nor do they dissolve in water.

5. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recently concluded that the likely source of PFOS and PFOA in private wells in Wainscott is fire-fighting foam that was used in fire-fighting exercises conducted at the East Hampton Airport, a property owned by the Town of East Hampton.

The work done to date by the Town of East Hampton to address and remediate the contamination of private wells in Wainscott likely would still be in its infancy but for the efforts of the newly-elected town board member Jeff Bragman, and persistent pressure from the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee. Indeed, the town has repeatedly told Wainscott residents that it does not have the legal authority to take various actions or pay for various work. Notwithstanding these proclamations, the town found a way to provide bottled water to residents, offer rebates for individual filtration systems, create a water-supply district, and install water mains down the middle of Wainscott’s largest streets. The town even found a way to procure a $9.6 million grant to offset most of its cost of installing those water mains.

But the town has one more step to take: It needs to cover the cost of connecting Wainscott residents to the newly installed water mains. Readers may recall that through a modest tax increase, all East Hampton taxpayers are financing the cost of installing the water mains, although that expense has largely been covered by the $9.6 million grant. The cost of connecting to the mains, however, is to be borne by the individual residents of Wainscott. Estimates for the cost of this work have exceeded $100,000, depending on how far your house is from the street.

To help reduce the financial burden, the town, apparently thinking it was doing the residents a favor, entered into a contract with Asplundh whereby Wainscott residents could finance the cost of the connection over 20 years, again, through a tax payable to the town (presumably with interest). But when residents began receiving estimates of the cost for their particular connections, they started calling private contractors and plumbers to see what they would charge. What they learned was that the private contractors and plumbers could do the work for 50 to 75 percent less than Asplundh.   

While the private option was far less expensive, residents are required to pay the full amount of the connection at the time the work is done. When residents asked the town if it would finance the cost of using a private contractor or plumber, as it was offering to do with Asplundh, the town said no. When asked why not, the town responded with its standard answer: It cannot legally do so. This means that Wainscott residents, who are blameless for the contamination of their wells, must find $10,000 or $20,000, or maybe as much as $50,000 or $60,000, at the time the work is done, to gain access to clean water.

The town’s answer is not good enough. The Town of East Hampton has a duty to provide clean water to its residents and it must find a way to pay to connect Wainscott residents to the water mains. The issue is clean water — clean water to drink, clean water to cook with, and clean water to bathe in. Is there really any more important issue?

The Town of East Hampton just spent $4.8 million to buy a one-acre property on Hook Pond in order to “open up the viewshed to the pond.” Isn’t it more important to provide access to clean water than to spend millions enhancing a water view?

The town must find a way. 

DANIEL A. OSBORN


Completely Derelict
East Hampton
February 4, 2019

Dear David:

Your editorial last week about Deepwater Wind can best be described, charitably, as frivolous. There is no useful analogy to be made between an industrial project in the ocean in the midst of a fertile fishing ground and “Tate’s Cookies.” Not least, because Tate’s Cookies is not a utility and a monopoly that ratepayers have no choice but to support financially come what may. 

Without any evident sense of irony, you complain that public concerns about environmental impacts are “speculative.” Indeed, almost everything about the project is a matter of speculation, because Orsted-Deepwater has intentionally withheld most of the pertinent information, upon the absurd claim that it is proprietary and so cannot be disclosed to the public that will ultimately bear the costs of the project, and has affirmatively lied about various other aspects of the project and its plans.

Information about possible environmental impacts doesn’t exist because the town board majority of Van Scoyoc, Overby, and Burke-Gonzalez, falling all over themselves to display their environmental virtue, have developed no public record of decision whatsoever, not as to environmental issues, financial issues, or the “going rate” for payments by such a project to the community. Nothing. 

The only analysis in the public domain has been developed, painstakingly, by private citizens, such as Si Kinsella, Thomas Bjurlof, Michael McDonald, Rachel Gruzen, Krae Van Sickle, Bonnie Brady, and one (count ’em, just one) public servant, town trustee Rick Drew. The rest of our town government, and particularly the town board majority, are dead at the switch, completely derelict in their responsibilities. 

The epic failure of our town board members to do their jobs was detailed in a six-page, single-spaced letter, dated Jan. 31, 2019, from counsel to residents of Wainscott to the town board. Perhaps you can send an investigative reporter over to Town Hall for a copy. Or, if you like, I can e-mail it to you.

Except to the extent that fellow citizens of exceptional ability and devotion have done what they can to do the job the lazy, no-account town board won’t do, everyone is left to speculate. You, too. Do you have any concrete information about this project as the basis for your opinions? Anything you would like to share with your readers? 

It is the principle of sound planning, as embodied in the State Environmental Quality Review Act, that before a government agency takes an action or commits to an action, such as entering into a grant of easements to land Deepwater’s cable, a public record must be created in which environmental consequences are thoroughly explored, alternatives and mitigation measures considered, and all are balanced against environmental, social, and other factors to achieve a sound outcome. 

Do you see any of that going on? No, you don’t. What you do see is a bunch of patsies, who, seduced into a stupor the moment someone yells “green energy” at the rising seas, imagine themselves heroically saving the planet while doing absolutely nothing of any kind. To his credit, Assemblyman Thiele has belatedly recognized that this emperor has no clothes and had the guts to withdraw his previous support. 

The problem is not, as you say, the lack of information in his public statement by so doing. The lack of information is the main reason he can no longer stomach this. 

Sincerely,

DAVID GRUBER


Cry of Hope
Springs
February 4, 2019

Dear David

We might ask of the phalanx of 11th-hour outrage now emerging over the proposed wind farm, where were these people during the years that it took hundreds of persistent activists to get the Long Island Power Authority to commit to renewable energy? All of them profess great concern about climate change as preamble to enumerating their many reasons for opposing the project. But we are hearing from them only now.

It has been noted that their reasoning is suspect. Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. has taken up their charge, for example, that offering 130 megawatts of clean power, versus the original 90 megawatts, with no increase in footprint, is a “bait and switch.” I’d call it a free upgrade.

The buyout by Orsted is a shift from a company with one 30 megawatt project of experience, to the largest, most experienced offshore wind company in the world, with thousands of turbines under management producing clean energy. 

One wonders if these people, having agreed to be cut open by an internist doing his second procedure, would feel cheated if the board-certified supersurgeon came in at the last minute. They raise the flag of xenophobia by expressing mistrust of this “foreign corporation.” For goodness’ sake, our cars, cellphones, and most anything in our hands leaving a store has been made by a foreign corporation.

The list goes on, but it’s pretty clear that Mr. Thiele’s claim of 10-to-1 calls against is evidence only of a very well-organized Nimby campaign that did a great job of doing a phone barrage to his office.

A separate group of rejected politicians is using the project as a cudgel to berate the politicians who beat them, to claim superior knowledge and propose alternative projects, solar, microgrids, even landing the wind project somewhere other than Beach Lane, all of which will undoubtedly run into the same Nimby opposition wherever proposed, and result in another span of years of dithering, debate, and dumping of tons of carbon into the atmosphere that nobody knows how to remove.

Given the 12 years current science is giving us to significantly change our way of life, I urge our elected town board to stand their ground. Maybe they are staying strong on this because they see the beach disappearing in Montauk, they see the standing dead trees killed by the southern pine beetle all over our town — threatening wildfires like California’s or rotting on the ground and releasing their tons of stored carbon instead of breathing out oxygen. Maybe they understand, even if the fishermen do not, that the ocean ecosystem that is the bedrock of our economy is acidifying and warming from the absorption of fossil fuel carbon, and the sons and daughters of today’s fishermen, with business as usual, will go to sea and come back with empty holds.

The most ambitious study of what is needed to run the world on renewable energy has a long list that includes: 3.8 million 5-megawatt wind turbines, 49,000 300-megawatt concentrating-solar power plants, 40,000 solar photovoltaic plants, and 5,350 100 megawatt geothermal power plants. The list goes on, but you get the idea: We are tragically behind schedule, and one measly offshore wind farm will not save us. The self-serving resistance we are witnessing here, however, is a good case study of why, more than 30 years since the science became clear, our children are destined to inherit a world degraded and defiled by ignorance and greed. It will be interesting to see if those who are expending so much energy to kill this project will display similar persistence in pursuit of that remaining list of things to do, or will they just return to their comfortable redoubts in satisfaction or bitterness when this dispute is resolved.

If nothing else, Deepwater Wind is a desperate cry of hope that some remnant of the world we inherited will remain for the kids we see today emerging from school buses with their colorful backpacks flapping behind them as they run to their mothers’ arms.

DON MATHESON


Luddites
Amagansett
January 31, 2019

Dear David, 

I believe Deepwater Wind’s opponents have ample personal, idealistic, or political motive for their opposition, including protecting their neighborhoods, garnering support for other priorities, and supporting their runs for public office, as is their right in a democracy. What they don’t have is either an appropriate sense of urgency or a sense of history. 

We are on the verge of destroying the world, not to mention our own precious strip of earth, by continuing to use fossil fuels. A lot of wind power could go a long way toward ending their use. But the equipment is clumsy, with unknown dangers. The manufacturers are understandably eager to profit economically, and they may not be entirely straightforward about the benefits they are providing. Although social innovators are working on cost-effective arrangements for disseminating their product, the C.C.A.s that would address the current monopolistic and expensive control of distribution are a work in progress. Stop, and wait, says the opposition. History, no less than the seriousness of the matter, says no. 

Think of the cotton gin, the Model T, the telephone. Do you remember the mainframe computer and the hegemony of IBM? Each successor of these inventions was replaced by a better one, leading to today’s high and relatively democratic state of technology. The same will happen with wind power and its dissemination, as long as we save the world in which we hope to enjoy the improvements. 

The opponents of Deepwater Wind are Luddites, willing to sacrifice the public good, indeed the public’s survival, for personal interest or ideals. Our town board is right to respond to the current urgency, relying on history’s demonstration and our own determination that we can make each successive step fairer and more effective than the last. 

Sincerely, 

JEANNE FRANKL 


Panic Attacks      
East Hampton|
January 31, 2019

To the Editor:

Your college logic course taught classic fallacies of argumentation. Here is one that might be termed “the argument from intimidation.” Its form: “If you disagree with my argument/assertion, then you must be ignorant/crazy/flaky.”

The Star’s lead editorial, Jan. 24, “Rate of Sea Level Rise Demands Action,” opens with: “Unless you are a person who thinks the Apollo Moon landings were faked, or the Earth is flat, it is impossible to argue with NASA’s observations of sea-level rise.” 

Still, this is not heavy weaponry. To intimidate anyone disputing the case for catastrophic global warming/climate change, high caliber intimidation typically is used. The critic is a climate “denier,” as remote from reality as those who refuse to believe that between 1939 and 1945 some six million Jewish men, women, and children were exterminated by Hitler’s National Socialist (Nazi) regime.

The Star editorial, however, is factual, adequately documented, and cogently written. It does not need to pre-emptively intimidate critics.

As a matter of fact, I do not disagree with NASA’s observations as such, if narrowly stated. But, as an aside, it is possible to disagree without being an all-round flake. For example, The Star says that “coastal tide gauges show even greater rate of rise” than the NASA measurements. What that means, and the original NASA report points this out, is that the two systems of measurements disagree. The original NASA report also says it averaged the two results. It also said “other factors” confounded the measurements; thus, the researchers used the much-disputed computerized global climate models to massage the figures. 

But to the results: As reported, NASA, since 1993, has used satellite altimetry to measure the rise in the sea level. In approximately 25 years, the level reportedly rose 3.5 inches. The Star editorial speaks of the “unrelenting” and “extremely alarming” increase. (The rise over the course of the 20th century is estimated at about 8.0 inches.) 

If my math is correct, 3.5 inches in 25 years is 14 inches in 100 years. So that, by the year 2120, or thereabouts, the average sea level worldwide (all sea level is not equal) could be 14 inches higher. By the end of the 21st century, roughly 75 years from now, the sea level could be 10.5 inches higher.

Please note: The NASA measurements tell us only that if the rate of sea-level rise measured/estimated for the past 25 years is projected to the end of this century, will increase sea level 10.5 inches higher. Given a century’s lead time, will Long Islanders figure out how to cope with a 10.5-inch rise, so our children in their old age will not “curse our memory,” as the Star editorial warns?

At this point, there should be a bright red line across the page. We now move from satellite measurements of one factor — sea-level change — into interpretations laced with assumptions and driven by ideological conviction and the goals of alarming readers into action. 

The Star says that NASA attributes the sea-level rise to global warming, which expands sea water and melts ice sheets and glaciers. 

The Star refers to a new report that the Greenland ice cap is melting “four times faster than previously thought.” The result is additional melt water pouring into the seas. The story projects what would occur if all Greenland ice melted.

This study, Jan. 21, has not been published long enough to be analyzed by other scientists. But Greenland’s ice cap, glaciers, and melting rates have been the constant target of climate research, earlier studies, and repeated editorial panic attacks. Many of the observations and interpretations given to justify that panic have been debunked.

You might be surprised that this newest study, in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, covers only 2003 to 2012 to draw its “four times as fast as previously thought” conclusion. You see, 2012, the year of the alleged four-times melting rate, was a huge exception, noted at the time. 

NASA scientists did concede to reporters that warming might be involved. But the most definite statement, admittedly way down in the news stories, was from Lara Koenig, a glaciologist at the Goddard Institute of Space Studies and member of the research team analyzing the satellite data. She said: “Ice cores from [Greenland’s] summit show that melting events of this type occur about once every 150 years on average. With the last one happening in 1889, this event is right on time.”

Okay, some NASA scientists said the 2012 melting was “unprecedented” and some said it was a recurring event, “right on time.” It can’t be both, can it?

Thus, choosing 2012 as the damning comparison year for a (ridiculously brief) 10-year climate study led to that four-times-more-rapid-melting conclusion. It means little about any long-term trend in Greenland melting. Several subsequent years, in Greenland, already have been historically cold.

In 2016, another study shed light on that “insta-melt” in summer 2012. The lead author, Marco Tedesco, is research professor at Columbia University’s Earth Observatory and adjunct at the NASA Goddard Institute. The conclusion, published in the European Geosciences Union journal, The Cryosphere, was that increased snow melt over the whole surface of Greenland resulted from the snowy surface getting darker over the past two decades. That led to a complex feedback process. The darker surface, a study of the satellite data showed, reduced the snow’s reflectivity, or “albedo,” so that it absorbed more heat from the sun and melted faster. Albedo was likely to keep decreasing, as much as 10 percent by the end of the century.

The cause is soot embedded over centuries in the miles-deep Greenland Ice Cap. While soot blowing in from wild fires contributes to the problem, it hasn’t been driving the change, the study found. The real culprits are the feedback loops created by the melting itself.

“You don’t necessarily have to have a ‘dirtier’ snowpack to make it dark,” said Tedesco. “A snowpack that might look ‘clean’ to our eyes can be more effective in absorbing solar radiation than a dirty one. Over all, what matters is the total amount of solar energy that the surface absorbs. This is the real driver of melting.” (The study used satellite data to compare summertime changes in Greenland’s albedo from 1981 to 2012.)

Although accelerating Greenland melting is not caused by global warming, Professor Tedesco did see an effect of a warming climate. The melting cycle could be stopped with lots of snowfall and less melting, but that doesn’t seem as likely given the immediate warming trend.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the National Geographic article moved quickly to another alarming story: the Antarctic, it seems, is now melting six times as rapidly as thought. As it did with Greenland, the story projected what would happen to the sea level if all of Antarctica, all of it, melted. The Star editorial did not follow National Geographic to this very latest alarm, nor will I.

But several analytical comments on the story are offered on a site I have recommended: “What’s Up with That?” In brief, it seems that the study purports to draw its conclusions based in part on a period for which relevant data don’t exist. And the numbers, even if accepted, do not add up to a threatening long-term sea-level rise.

I do not believe we can predict climate conditions 100 years hence any more than we can predict what today’s Long Island babies “by their old age” then, will be cursing or praising. I’m guessing probably not the sea level, but that’s not a prediction, just a hunch.

WALTER DONWAY


Not for Sale
Springs
February 3, 2019

Dear Editor:

Last week on a frigid Thursday night close to 100 friends concerned about the direction the town board and trustees are taking East Hampton gathered at the Palm restaurant. The gathering, hosted by the East Hampton Town Republican Committee, had guest speakers, which included Congressman Lee Zeldin, representatives for New York State Republican chairman Ed Cox, Suffolk County chairman John LaValle, State Senator Ken LaValle, and Senate minority leader John Flanagan, State Assembly minority Leader Brian Kolb, Suffolk County comptroller John Kennedy, Southampton, Brookhaven, and Smithtown Republican Committees. 

More important though, was the friends from every hamlet in East Hampton and not just Republicans but Democrats, Independents, and folks not registered to any political party that all attended and we all had one concern, our community. 

Under my chairmanship, my mission and the direction of focus will be East Hampton. East Hampton has been my life and is my life. From childhood to the present I could not have achieved everything I have had it not been for this great community. My mom and dad, and those amazing families, the Andersons, Bocks, Bistrians, DiSunnos, Lesters, Millers, Bennetts, Fenchels, Vorpahls, and Schaffers, to name a few, all strong, wonderful local families that created the fabric of society that helped and parented each of us as children to become the adults that we are today. One thread of the community fabric was it mattered not if you were a new resident from away or here for generations, the fabric was huge, loving, and all caring. It was a community of grace and empathy for the disenfranchised and downtrodden. A hard-working salt of the earth community that was accepting and open. 

Today East Hampton is at a crossroads; the very fabric of society that I just mentioned that has existed for generations is struggling to survive. 

The current town board and town trustees under the direction of a small group of political insiders are more concerned about enacting public policy that prioritizes issues and access based on a governor’s political ambitions, national political ideology, enrichment of the uber-wealthy 1 percent, and finances of politically connected law firms. Under these types of administrations, the fabric of our community will quickly become lost.

Increasingly, East Hampton has become the playground for the rich and famous for sale to the highest bidder while our hard-working families and seniors struggle to make ends meet.

We cannot sit idly by as New York City values and wealth become more important than our working families, children, seniors, young adults. 

This year, we are going to change that! We are going to stop the scourge of Deepwater that would wipe out our commercial fishing community, do permanent environmental harm to our underwater ecosystem, and forever change the character of Wainscott and Montauk. We are going to make real progress in creating economic opportunities, affordable housing, and workspace. We are going to do something about groundwater contamination and the pollution of our harbors and bay. We are going to invest in our community, young families, seniors, town employees, to create an economic environment for our local residents rather than drive families and businesses out of town. 

Together with you, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, we are going to restore compassion, understanding, transparency, and respect to town government. We are letting everyone know East Hampton is not for sale to the highest bidder.

To accomplish these goals, we are going to need like-minded friends and partners that are dedicated to helping us help our community. 

The East Hampton Town Republican Committee will be screening potential candidates on Saturday, Feb. 9, and Sunday, Feb. 10, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Amagansett American Legion. 

Political party affiliation is unimportant, but what is important is your love of East Hampton, dedication to the community, desire to be a voice for the disenfranchised and downtrodden, respect for our seniors, desire to help our children and young families, belief in environmental conservation, and to be a voice (a loud voice) for the little guy regardless of race, gender, religion, nationality, or sexual preference. 

We want you!

MANNY VILAR

Chairman

East Hampton Town 

Republican Committee 


A Seeker
Montauk
February 4, 2019

Dear Editor, 

Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli wrote a pocket “Handbook of Christian Apologetics.” In this book there are answers to the crucial questions like, do faith and reason conflict? Does God exist? Was Jesus more than a man? Is there life after death? Are miracles possible? Was Jesus raised from the dead? Is Christianity the only true religion? 

These two men answer hundreds of these questions in this little book. The reason I bring this book up is because these two men were on EWTN this morning (The Catholic Television Network on channel 135), on a program titled “The Philosophers Bench,” and their discussion centered around the “new atheism.” 

If you are a “seeker” you will definitely want this book. God bless these two men!

VINCENT BIONDO


From the Lip
East Hampton
February 3, 2019

Editor:

Shooting from the lip in the geopolitical world is more often than not an exercise in self-flagellation, without substance. It creates noise. Shows bravado. Stimulates the uninformed. Disturbs the essential tranquillity of life. But in the real world it is little more than the opening salvo in a complex, often overwhelming interaction. Lip service used to imply substance and knowledge and was rarely used by our leadership because of the complexities of the world. The president has been constantly caught in the reality of his ignorance and the dangers of his behavior become clearer every day.

The shutdown is a clear example. A deal was agreed to and then reneged on  by the president, who then took responsibility for shutting down the government. But his shutdown had no plan, No end game. No awareness on his part of the political forces at work. He returned to the original plan unchastened and unbowed because his intellectual capacity doesn’t go beyond shooting from the lip.

No one told him he was over-matched. Unprepared. Below the pay grade. So he got his butt kicked (Fat Lip) and wasted 35 days.

The conflict with intelligence officials and the withdrawal from the missile treaty with Russia are two more examples of mindless lip service. Refuted by the entire intelligence community on his assessment of North Korea, Isis, Syria, the border, etc. Trump babbles stupidly about how they need to go back to school. Then states that there was no disagreement between them. The world watches and listens and understands that there is a village idiot running the country.

Withdrawing from the missile treaty opens the world to a new arms race that has taken decades to get under control. He doesn’t understand the history or the process of diplomacy or the long-term consequences of his behavior. He isn’t capable of making these decisions. 

At some point the Congress has to decide that the president is unhinged, incompetent, and a danger to the nation. Put aside his racism and sexism and his lack of human compassion and focus on the present danger that a seriously deranged mind is in the process of perpetuating.

NEIL HAUSIG


Boot and Tow
Plainview 
February 2, 2019

To the Editor:

Is Paul Margiotta, executive director of the Suffolk County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency, a “man or a mouse?” Possibly neither, since he has acted more like the “Boy Who Cried Wolf” since 2016. As Newsday reports, Margiotta first talked aggressively about going after scofflaws with booting and towing in 2016 — but he did not follow through.” 

Now, three years later in 2019, he threateningly claims: “As of March 1, every vehicle (owner) who owes a large amount of money will be subject to boot and tow.” But notice how he does not say will be booted and towed, but only will be “subject to” booting and towing. 

So he’s likely to again not follow though on his threats — even though Suffolk “is gearing up to boot and tow as many as 43,000 scofflaw vehicles and another 40,000 for moving or parking violations.” 

Of course, as Newsday also reports, “the traffic agency, formed in 2013, has not gone after scofflaws until now. In 2014, the County Legislature authorized fees of $250 for booting, $350 for towing, and $75 a day for storage, but the county never implemented a program.” 

I guess Suffolk legislators and officials never learned the concept “say what you mean, and mean what you say.” 

I wonder how law-abiding county residents who either never break traffic laws — or pay the tickets they do receive — feel about this issue.

RICHARD SIEGELMAN