Letters to the Editor: 02.28.19

Commuter Connection
East Hampton
February 25, 2019

Dear David:
I’m writing to spread the word to East Hampton employers and commuters that the South Fork Commuter Connection, a rail and shuttle bus alternative to commuting by car, gets underway beginning March 4.

Those who fight the traffic to travel in and out of town for work each day may opt instead to take the L.I.R.R. South Fork Commuter Connection trains, two traveling eastbound in the morning and two traveling westbound each weekday afternoon.

Town-provided shuttle buses will meet the trains each day, transporting commuters to locations along a fixed route throughout the town designed to provide “last mile” transportation to workplaces, and in the afternoon the route will run in reverse to shuttle workers back to the trains. 

Schedules and complete information about the South Fork Commuter Connection can be found at sfccLIRR.com and on the town websites for East Hampton (EHamptonNY.gov) and for Southampton, which is also benefiting from the program.

This pilot program, which follows a successful similar effort in Southampton Town during the time when County Road 39 was under construction, is a result of efforts by Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. and Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, who obtained significant state funding for the last-mile shuttles and worked with the Metropolitan Transit Authority and L.I.R.R. to set up the additional East End train service. Officials and staff in both East Hampton and Southampton have been working for months to ensure a successful launch. 

I urge commuters to utilize the service, which will not only save time in traffic for your commuting, but will reduce carbon emissions and pollutions by getting cars off the road. 

The L.I.R.R. will evaluate the success of the program to determine if it should continue after the trial period. While the initial schedule may not entirely fit one’s work schedule, I would also urge employers to get on board and help make efficient train and bus service in East Hampton a permanent offering, by allowing some flexibility in the schedules of employees who would like to use the service, and by considering setting up their own transportation between their workplaces and the train stations.

As the service is new, we will 

welcome questions and comments, which can be sent to SFCC@EHamptonNY.gov. The trains start running next week. I hope to see you on board!

Sincerely,
PETER VAN SCOYOC
Supervisor
East Hampton Town


Community Housing
Sag Harbor
February 18, 2019

Dear David,
I wish to thank State Assemblyman Fred Thiele for his recent efforts to create a community housing trust fund via an increase in the transfer tax on real estate sales, as reported in the Feb. 7 edition of The Star.

Like many of The Star’s readers, I work in the real estate and construction industry, broadly speaking. Through my work I see the profound changes occurring here. As wealthy investors pour resources into this area, residential homes become primarily vehicles to increase capital accumulation. To increase property values, oversized houses, tennis courts, and swimming pools have become de rigueur. While this does create many jobs for local residents (and windfall profits for investors), it is also creating a shortage of housing that is squeezing working people out of the area.

This trend is neither equitable nor sustainable, and it is tearing apart the fabric of once tightly knit communities. Neighborhoods that recently teemed with life are now ghost towns. Streets where children used to play are currently lined with empty houses with real estate signs outside.

While the East End of Long Island has long been a resort area for the affluent, a balance must be struck. It is impossible for working people to compete with the wealth of Wall Street. Our politicians and communities must come together to create places and mechanisms that allow working people to live here.

JONAS HAGEN


Pigsty
East Hampton
February 19, 2019 

Dear David,
The Town of East Hampton is budgeting $590,000 in 2019 to the Y.M.C.A. to operate the town’s REC Center on Gingerbread Lane. 

I would like to publicly appeal to the Y.M.C.A. to purchase a mop and broom to clean the men’s locker room at least once a day, if not more. Actually, definitely more.

A pigsty is cleaner than the locker room, and it would unlikely pass a health inspection. 

If the Y.M.C.A. is not willing, then the town should reduce the budget commensurately. 

Thank you, 

SPENCER SCHNEIDER


Like Torture
East Hampton
February 24, 2019

Dear Editor,
I heard several gunshots between 10:50 and 11:10 p.m. last Monday night in my bed. I believe hunting that late is illegal.

My family and I live in the woods, and we have been terribly disturbed by getting wakened up by the horrifying gunshots on early Saturday and Sunday mornings, which are the only days we can sleep in.

This is not only disturbing, but also like torture for us knowing that our beloved deer and other living beings are getting killed. Bow hunting is even worse. I’ve heard too many sad stories about poor deer left to die slowly in agony.

I have also witnessed many empty gun shells that hunters leave behind on the bay, which I believe is littering, and many people have mentioned how their dogs went for deer’s headless carcasses that trophy hunters had left behind.

So many deer have been killed by speeding cars because we, the humans, have been taking their habitat, building fences to push them out to the road. We are the ones who have been destroying the forests, cutting the trees down to build houses. We do not need to take so many innocent lives. Deer have emotions as our pet dogs do.

When I attended the wildlife management advisory committee meeting this month, there were three hunters out of four members. One of them was proud that there have been no hunting accidents in East Hampton, but I just learned someone’s dog got killed, sadly. One accident is more than enough to concern. Maybe we’ve been lucky or the fact that local people haven’t been able to walk in the nature trails to avoid the danger? I know we are.

Carol Saxe, the East Hampton Group for Wildlife representative for the wildlife management advisory committee, brought her proposal to ban both gun and bow hunting on one weekend day throughout the hunting seasons to the town board meeting last Thursday.

Jeff Bragman said clearly that he will support the ban, but other members might just return the proposal back to the wildlife management advisory committee and will do nothing about it.

My family and I would very much appreciate it if they could consider banning weekend hunting, because we’ve killed too many deer, but I believe Carol’s proposal is fair and reasonable for everyone. I wrote and asked the board members to let the majority of the town residents enjoy a peaceful one weekend day, at least.

If you agree, please call or write to the town board members and let them know your concerns. Each one of our opinions matters, and together, we can make our beautiful community a better place. Thank you for your help.

Love for all,
YUKA SILVERA 


Overheard
Amagansett
February 10, 2019

Dear Editor,
Overheard at a bar on Friday evening:

Brock: “Read The Star last week?”

Cal: “Yep.”

Brock: “What the heck is a plutophobe?”

Cal: “Fear of Slugs?”

Brock: “So this guy doesn’t want the one-room Wainscott Schoolhouse to get bigger, to educate more kids, and accuses another guy of being ‘plutophobic in the pejorative sense.’ ”

Cal: “There’s creams for that.”

Brock: “And this guy who wants the school to stay in one room says that ‘subcultures appear in apartment complexes.’ ”

Cal: “Like neighborliness?”

Brock: “Perhaps he is a cop-phobe, a firefighter-phobe, a nurse-phobe, a teacher-phobe.”

Cal: “Could be.”

Brock: “Who do plutocrats hang with? Other slugs?”

Cal: “I may have plutophobia in the pejorative sense.”

Brock: “Me, too.”

Cal: “What was it Voltaire said?” 

Brock: “Oh, lord, make my enemies look ridiculous?”

Cal: “Later.”

Brock: “Later.”

All good things,
DIANA WALKER


No More Hiding
East Hampton
February 20, 2019

Dear David,
Thanks to Christopher Walsh’s article “South Fork Farm Is Just the Start,” your readers have a good summary of the Northeast offshore wind energy industry to date. Unfortunately for the East End at present, the South Fork Wind Farm project’s cable landing on Wainscott’s Beach Lane and the proposed buried transmission route to the Buell Lane substation by the East Hampton railroad station have been challenged by local self-interest efforts. In addition to the Wainscott residential community, who say not in my backyard, the fishing community closes their eyes to the climate change growing impact of a warming ocean challenging the ocean’s productive ecosystem, and with it, their fishing industry.

New York State’s aggressive plans to “procure renewable energy” and “stimulate development of a domestic offshore wind industry” are to be applauded as the planet’s atmosphere is choking from fossil fuel emissions. There is no more hiding behind climate change denial, as evidenced by the alarming U.S. government’s National Climate Assessment and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 

East Hampton, in 2014, boldly confronted the challenge locally by setting a goal to generate 100 percent of the town’s annual community-wide energy consumption from renewable energy sources instead of continuing to rely on fossil fuels. Now New York State has stepped in with its first offshore wind energy “solicitation” and the economic plans to stimulate its development. 

As a town board advisory committee striving for the 100 percent goal, the energy sustainability and resiliency committee, with support from the town’s Department of Natural Resources, has developed a renewable energy portfolio of green resources, including solar installations, battery storage facilities, green building codes, residential and commercial energy efficiency assessments, and green products. Once operational, the South Fork Wind Farm will contribute its power to meet this laudable 100 percent town goal. 

The energy generated by offshore wind is a community renewable resource, a commodity from which the entire East End will benefit. The success of offshore wind energy contributions to East Hampton Town’s 100 percent goal can set a standard for Northeast coastal communities striving to shed their dependence on fossil fuels by transitioning to proven and available renewable energy resources. Thank you, Chris, you are right, for these Northeast coastal communities, the South Fork Wind Farm is a very good “Start.”

LINDA JAMES
Chairwoman
Energy Sustainability and Resiliency Committee


We Must Move
Glen Oaks
February 21, 2018

To The Editor,
New York’s Green New Deal is not hot air. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s goal of fighting climate change by bringing online 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2035 is no longer just ambitious, but realistic, too. “South Fork Wind Farm Is Just the Start,” Feb. 21. We should wholeheartedly welcome this news.

We must move to clean, renewable energy. Given what we know about climate change, and the population and political upheavals already taking place as a result of drought-induced starvation and water shortages, severe storms and wildfires, there’s no longer an argument for fossil fuels.

There are local reasons, too, to welcome offshore wind. Spinning turbines 14 to 85 miles off the coast mean manufacturing, supply chain, installation, and maintenance jobs for Long Islanders, and good jobs, too. New York mandates that these new facilities use local workers and pay them well. All of us will have lower electric bills, and all the prospective plans include working closely with the commercial fishing industry to minimize impact on the fishing grounds.

Keep fossil fuels in the ground. Offshore wind is not niche anymore. It’s real, it’s growing, and it’s something to cheer about.

Sincerely,
KANWALDEEP K. SEKHON


Vehemently Opposed
East Hampton
February 25, 2019

Dear Mr. Rattray,
I am grateful to our State Assemblyman, Fred W. Thiele Jr., for taking a step back from giving a blank endorsement to Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind, formerly Deepwater Wind.

I am vehemently opposed to this wind farm to be installed off Montauk for a number of reasons.

First, I agree with his strong concerns that the Orsted wind farm is to be part of “the portfolio of an international energy giant, whose first decision was a 44 percent increase in the size of the project,” which we understand will bring over 800 megawatts of electricity to the town of East Hampton substation at Cove Hollow Road, and that’s just the beginning.

Now most of us do not know what 800 megawatts is or will do or how much of that is needed, but in the article by Christopher Walsh in The East Hampton Star of Feb. 21, 2019, it is stated that New York State has mandated up to 2,400 megawatts by 2030 and up to 9,000 megawatts by 2035. I would personally like to see a drawing of what that would look like in our Atlantic Ocean, 35 miles off Montauk. I think it would look like New York City built in our ocean here, and clearly, if this power can supply over a million homes with electricity, that is more than we need in East Hampton, and we will be turned into a power station for all of Long Island and the city.

I would also like to see a scale drawing of these tall and powerful turbines next to the Statue of Liberty, as I know that they are at least as tall as the Statue of Liberty and unlike the five turbines off Block Island, we now understand that hundreds, or over 1,000 turbines will be installed in the leased areas off Montauk. As an example, we could see photographs of offshore wind farms in the North Sea.

It would also be very helpful to see a photograph of a turbine brought by truck and trailer to site, as we might then understand the scale and what this would mean for our local roads. I do not believe that these turbines, in the number and scale proposed, can fit in our local roads or on the L.I.E., so of course they would have to be brought by ship, filling the horizon off Montauk with construction barges and helicopters and tankers bringing oil to lubricate the turbine engines, which would undoubtedly bring pollution to our clean and clear Atlantic Ocean and beautiful beaches.

And of course, electricity and water do not go well together, as we all learned as children, so the concept of bringing the electricity ashore in cables on the beach at Wainscott is kind of ridiculous when you picture happy families and little children playing on the beaches in the summer.

Second, we here on eastern Long Island treasure our beautiful landscape, including the road that skirts the ocean and farm fields in Wainscott. It is a treasure and a beautiful sight to behold. It would be a terrible loss to us all if this landscape and seascape were ripped up by this infrastructure giant, with no ties to our community and population who have lived there for the past 400 years. It would be a tragic loss to lose this.

Third, we should really listen to our fishermen. They know the ocean as quotations in the article by Mr. Walsh point out, and they know the patterns of migration and fish and they know the beauty of our ocean and the dangers of the ocean. They know firsthand that there are no fish without the microorganisms in the ocean bottom that feed the minnows and minnows feed the bigger fish, and so on up the food chain. 

The ocean is a treasure to us all here in the United States, and it is criminal that lease sites all up and down the coast of our Atlantic shores have been auctioned off to companies in the name of “green energy” when little testing of the effects of disruption and drilling into the ocean bottom has been done by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. I have read of the tests required by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and it is frankly less than what we require of a high school science project. Read it, very little is expected. 

And this B.O.E.M. is a new agency created to exist under two cabinet agencies, the Interior and Commerce Departments, so who there is going to be the boss and demand that we regulate and oversee what is going on in our offshore waters?

Finally, the Atlantic Ocean is a great treasure to us here in America, for food, recreation, travel, shipping — endless activities. I have witnessed with sorrow the pollution of the Atlantic where I grew up, closer to New York City, and I find joy and solace in seeing the mighty and clean Atlantic here in East Hampton. 

As Orsted/Deepwater Wind is not a green company nor a scientific company, their mandate is to return profits to their investors, most notably hedge funds and banks. The destruction of our shore and fishing industry is not a concern; they have a mandate to deliver electricity but at a huge cost, and continued huge cost to be borne by our local residents and our State of New York.  

And when the turbines age quickly in the salt water and turbulent seas, that is just another cost that we will bear to make their project profitable. All this cost to have the infrastructure that ages out in 25 years at most.

Finally, when alternative and truly green and properly scaled projects are available and being quickly developed to create a more viable grid, not beholden to infrastructure behemoths, we should not support Orsted and offshore wind in the Atlantic.

Sincerely,
ALICE WAINWRIGHT 


Viable Alternative
Wainscott
February 25, 2019

To the Editor,
Why does the goal of wind power for East Hampton feel laudable, but the means feel so shabby? Perhaps because we have caught on to Deepwater Wind’s gun-to-your-head negotiation tactics. At every stage of this process, Deepwater has, at the last minute, raised urgent demands that if not met will terminate the project. As time passes, serious questions have been raised as to whether:

The Town of East Hampton needed to grant an easement in order for Deepwater to submit a complete application to the New York State Public Service Commission.

The Town of East Hampton needed to allow Deepwater to bore two 100-foot pits at the beach or dig up to 200 archaeological test holes throughout Wainscott for its application to be complete.

Long Island Power Authority trustees needed to approve the grant of one-time, end-of-year tax credits that would save ratepayers money despite Deepwater Wind’s representations to the contrary.

Deepwater is now employing those same tactics related to alternative landfall and routes for its high-powered cables. Only this time, Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc, Deputy Supervisor Sylvia Overby, and Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez are enabling this concerning behavior.

Since September 2018, Deepwater has publicly committed to public regulators that it has two viable options to connect to the LIPA substation on Cove Hollow Road in East Hampton: Wainscott and Hither Hills. The company wants to make landfall at Wainscott Beach (Beach Lane) and run its 460,000-volt cables throughout the hamlet because it maximizes its own profits (please note that Deepwater Wind’s corporate parent recorded its highest profits ever last year). In its own submissions to the Public Service Commission and the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, however, its comparison tables show that Hither Hills is superior to Wainscott on multiple dimensions.

Deepwater keeps saying it has a viable alternative with Hither Hills, but its actions belie these representations. For example, while Deepwater has initiated “archaeological” test digging for the Wainscott site they have not filed any plans to conduct the same tests in Hither Hills.

This lack of action at Hither Hills fits their go-to play: Create no viable option at Hither Hills (through inaction and otherwise), so whatever the results of the environmental report, the town board and trustees are forced to (continue to) go along with Deepwater Wind’s more profitable site at Wainscott Beach. The narrow majority members of the town board are becoming the Charlie Brown of the East End. They know that Lucy has taken away the ball before the kick, but yet they still kick again.

PAM and MIKE MAHONEY


Consider Options
Wainscott
February 25, 2019

Letter to Editor:
As the evolution of energy supply on Long Island is considered and actions are taken to advance laudable renewable energy goals, we need to urge the state agencies with authority over these matters, the Town of East Hampton and trustees who control easement rights on Beach Lane, and the Long Island Power Authority to proceed in a measured and deliberative manner concerning the development of offshore wind facilities. 

Long Island cannot accommodate most renewable energy options because it is heavily populated with limited available real estate. How renewable energy development proceeds on Long Island is, therefore, critically important. Since LIPA issued its request for proposals for energy solutions a few years ago, New York State, through the Public Service Commission, has undertaken a comprehensive initiative to develop 2,400 MW of offshore wind facilities to serve Southeastern New York. The P.S.C. has invited LIPA to work cooperatively with two other state entities, the New York State Energy Research Development Authority and the New York Power Authority, for the procurement of 800 MW of offshore wind facilities in phase one of the state’s offshore wind initiative. 

Two weeks ago, developers were required to submit proposals for phase one offshore wind facilities to NYSERDA. Projects were required to have valid interconnection requests filed with the New York Independent System Operator, Inc. A total of 18 proposals were submitted by four different developers. Deepwater, now known as Orsted, the developer of the South Fork Wind Farm, submitted three of these proposals. Based on the interconnection queue publicly posted, a number of these developers, including Orsted, have proposed interconnection points on Long Island. For example, Orsted (listed on the independent system operator queue as BayState Wind) has proposed three different potential interconnection points on Long Island, including one in Brookhaven. From news articles to date, it appears that Orsted plans to use its commercial leases in federal waters off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts for both its South Fork project and the projects just proposed to NYSERDA. 

Projects proposed by the developers responding to the NYSERDA request for proposals may more efficiently and cost-effectively provide renewable energy to meet Long Island’s needs, while limiting environmental impacts. In light of recent developments, we urge the state and the town to more fully consider all newly available options for interconnecting these projects to the New York system. While the Town of East Hampton recently prematurely granted Deepwater’s accelerated request to move forward with test borings for one of its two landing-site options (Beach Lane in Wainscott), these recent developments surely warrant reviewing the alternative: Bring all of the energy from offshore wind facilities on land at a more centrally located interconnection point on Long Island (west of the South Fork) and utilizing LIPA’s distribution system to transfer power to Long Island’s South Fork. 

ALEXANDER EDLICH
Chairman
Citizens for the Preservation
of Wainscott


Impossible to Know
Wainscott
February 24, 2019 

Dear Editor,
Deepwater Wind has spent thousands of dollars to place full-page advertisements in local papers, including yours, in which they portray their South Fork Wind Farm project in an unfair positive light, while the regulatory-mandated advertisements, informing people of the actual details of the project are tiny and hidden.

What’s in the fine print? A plan for the wind farm landing site that further maximizes the record profits of Deepwater’s corporate parent, Orsted, at the expense of our community. Despite the fact that Deepwater itself has identified a viable alternative landing site that would not interfere with any East End residential communities you will not read about that in their “feel good,” full-page advertisements, while they continue to pursue the more disruptive option. 

Since the beginning of this process, Deepwater and the town board have orchestrated a clandestine process, avoiding public participation on major agenda items and have passed detrimental resolutions without any notice or public deliberation. 

If you blinked, you may have missed it when our elected representatives slipped a resolution onto the town board agenda within hours before their meeting. That resolution, without any public input, hearings, or debate was barely passed 3 to 2, and allows Deepwater to prematurely bore two 100-foot-deep holes near Wainscott Beach’s fragile dunes and dig some 200 4-foot-deep pits throughout Wainscott. 

Unless you are devoting a substantial portion of your day to follow our town representatives, it is impossible to know everything that is going on with the South Fork Wind Farm and, that is exactly how Deepwater wants it.

We can have green energy while still protecting the very beaches and coastlines that environmentally conscious policies are supposed to preserve. We can be pro wind, while also advocating for what is right for Wainscott. As we unite as a community and make our voices heard, we can help guide the implementation of this project so that proper, independent reviews steer this plan — in order to benefit our community rather than to fill the already-deep pockets of Orsted, the corporate parent of Deepwater.

This is my opinion. 

ROSEMARIE ARNOLD


Not Laughing
Wainscott
February 25, 201

Star Editor,

Isn’t it funny how it takes forever to get approval in our town for a pool or an addition on your house, but if you’re a giant foreign corporation, like Orsted Deepwater, your request to bore two 100-foot-deep holes near Wainscott Beach’s fragile dunes and dig about 200 4-foot-deep pits throughout Wainscott gets approval with lightning speed and no oversight? Well, the residents of Wainscott are not laughing.

My neighbors and I are all longtime supporters of green energy, and we were thrilled to hear that a wind farm was coming to East Hampton. But as plans for the South Fork Wind Farm have developed, I am left with troubling questions: Who is this project really benefiting? Is Deepwater being candid? Are the town board and trustees over their heads in approving such a complex infrastructure project in which they have no experience and have hired no expert consultants? Why are plans for disrupting Wainscott Beach moving with lightning speed and no public input when there is a viable alternative site (Hither Hills)? If this were all for the good, why all the secrecy? 

While going green is important to me and so many others in East Hampton, doing so does not mean blindly trusting any corporation that claims to have a noble mission, but is actually maximizing its already record profits (look up its results released on Jan. 31) at the expense of a community. Good corporate citizens balance profit maximization with the needs of the local community. And that’s not a laughing matter. 

MITCH SOLOMON


The Birth Rate
Sag Harbor
February 25, 2019

Dear Editor,
When will the media stop covering the ridiculous statements AOC [Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez] is making? Now she says the people should consider not having babies due to the condition of climate change. Does she know any facts about birth rates? No country can sustain its economic existence with a birth rate of fewer than two children per family. Almost all countries in Europe are in danger of collapse since their birth rates are much less than two, except Muslim families. Hmmmmm.

Another subject. Muslims will most likely take over most of Europe if this keeps up this century without firing a shot. All it takes is a majority of Muslim voters in each country to change the country to a Muslim nation. Don’t misunderstand me, as I am not anti-Muslim, but I am against destruction of European culture. Pay attention!

The last time I checked, the U.S.A. birth rate was just under two children per family.

AOC is focusing on the wrong audience for climate change. She should focus on the U.N. where the worst polluters are Russia, China, and India. If the U.S.A. invested the trillions of dollars AOC and other liberals/socialists want on fighting climate change it would change nothing. Winds blow. Check out the jet stream. Then there are fires in Brazil that purposely burn forests and the sporadic volcanoes that spew carbon that would wipe out anything we might do.

The media should look at the studies the National Geographic has reported on over the years to show that nature is largely responsible for climate changes. Just look at basic core samples that are taken from the ice that go back 50,000 years. AOC needs to do her homework.

Enough already. This nonsense must stop, and the media should promote other politicians who are doing good for our country and report accordingly. One example in our own backyard is Lee Zeldin.

THOMAS METZ


Politically Left
East Hampton
February 23, 2019

To the Editor:

Hamptons residents from Southampton to Montauk find their public policy decisions, now, driven by environmentalist imperatives. That also is true on the state level, of course, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo is seeking to lead the national left environmental wing of the Democratic Party.

Right now, Montauk is embattled over plans to cope with allegedly catastrophic sea-level rise some say in 10 years, some 20 years, some the end of the century. But in the latest major report on the topic, in November 2018, Dr. Judith Curry, a climatologist and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, now principal of a consulting firm, writes:

“There is no consistent or compelling evidence that recent rates of sea-level rise are abnormal in the context of the historical records back to the 19th century that are available across Europe. There is not yet convincing evidence of a fingerprint on sea-level rise associated with human-caused global warming. The recent acceleration in mean global sea-level rise (since 1995) is caused by mass loss from Greenland that appears to have been larger during the 1930s.” 

“In many of the most vulnerable coastal locations, the dominant causes of local sea-level rise are natural oceanic and geologic processes and land-use practices. Land use and engineering in the major coastal cities have brought on many of the worst problems. Local sea level in many regions will continue to rise in the 21st century, independent of global climate change. Values exceeding 1.6 meters require a cascade of extremely unlikely to impossible events, the joint likelihood of which is arguably impossible.”

Why, then, the widespread alarm? You cannot grasp the answer to that question until you ask: Why aren’t conclusions like Dr. Curry’s regularly reported in The New York Times (or Washington Post, or on CNN, etc.)? Because for better or worse — you decide — the leading news media are politically left of center. And the crux of the issue: The “catastrophic climate change” hypothesis is not a scientific position but a left ideological one. If that was not clear till now, I trust that the Green New Deal resolution introduced into Congress helps make the point.

In fact, environmental catastrophe-driven policy, not mere climate science, is the contemporary justification of the political left for a historic transfer of economic control from the market to the government. Notice that today European green political parties are left of traditionally Democratic Socialist parties.

This week’s Star, reflecting local politics, has two front-page stories on town policymaking, both environmental. Montauk business leaders and other residents seem to have intervened just in time (we hope) in the new green “vision” for the town. What has happened is all too typical. Town officials, with their penumbra of private environmentalist advisers and consultants, first propose “just a study.” And then, “just a contingency plan.” And then, “just acceptance of the plan in principle.” And then, when citizens awake to the implementation step, they are met with cries “Where were you through all of this planning?” By then, the frog has slowly been boiled.

The only tactic that can succeed, I think, is to refuse to let policy be shaped by reference to the highly debatable predictions of climate catastrophe. These predictions, in any case, as I have suggested, are ideological not scientific positions. They are the stuff of the contemporary centrally planned and directed economy. And even Communist China knows that doesn’t work. 

On plans for the wind farm as much as the Montauk retreat, the appropriate response is: We don’t want to make local plans based on green political ideology, not even green political ideology decked out as scientific consensus.          Because it is far from scientific and not remotely the consensus:

“I am a skeptic. Global warming has become a new religion,” Nobel Prize winner for physics Ivar Giaever.

Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history. When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” 

U.N. I.P.C.C. Japanese scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, award-winning environmental physical chemist.

“The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds, scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists.” 

Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the U.N.-supported International Year of the Planetopogenic global warming.”

U.S. government atmospheric scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

You should not feel “out of touch” with “science” or “the scientific consensus” by opposing the alarm-driven stampede toward central economic planning as local policy. Private ownership, private enterprise, and private initiative all mean making our own investments with our own capital directed by our own judgment and taking our own risks. That is anathema to the Green New Deal crowd. But it is freedom.

WALTER DONWAY


New Threats
Springs
February 25, 2019

Dear Editor:

Water quality is a, if not the, top concern for residents on the East End. Local, county, and state government have responded to this concern by mounting several recent initiatives, including substantial subsidies for new septic systems to control the nitrogen pollution that fouls our waters and decimates shellfish populations. 

But several recent moves from the Trump administration and the Supreme Court pose serious new threats to our efforts to clean up and restore the health of our waterways and wetlands. These moves attack the very foundation of our ability to protect our waters: the Clean Water Act. 

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency published a proposed rule to redefine the meaning of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act. It would be the most significant rollback of Clean Water Act protections since the Reagan administration, according to wetlands scientists.

It would strip protection from streams that are dry part of the year, affecting more than half of wetlands and 18 percent of streams without relatively permanent surface water connections to nearby waterways. Provisions in the rule would devastate wetlands separated by berms, dikes, roads, or other structures.

Then, in a pincers attack on the Clean Water Act, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that could further weaken it. The case would decide whether the Clean Water Act covers pollution that moves through groundwater before reaching a federal waterway. As we all know, a significant amount of the pollution that fouls our wetlands, bays, and harbors, moves through groundwater from leaking septic systems and cesspools.

Local residents who care about swimming at clean beaches, fishing in clean waters, and being able to preserve and protect our beautiful environment for ourselves and our children will call their representatives in Congress and submit comment to the federal register about the proposed rule at federalregister.gov.

FRANCESCA RHEANNON


I Am Proud
Amagansett
February 24, 2019

Dear David,
Party labels shouldn’t define who you are, but they should define what you stand for in this community. In this respect, I would like to thank the Republican Party and their committee for endorsing me, a Democrat, to run for trustee in East Hampton. In the November local election, the Republicans have chosen to select candidates who will do their best for this town and as a trustee candidate I am proud to be one of them.

Together we can do great things for our town. I am humbled and honored that the party has placed their trust, confidence, and support in my abilities. Now on to November!

RONA KLOPMAN


Bigotry
East Hampton
February 21, 2019

To the Editor:
Responding to your editorial regarding Congressman Zeldin’s statements about apparent anti-Semitic comments in Washington by some new members of Congress. I’d like to comment as follows.

Many leading Democrats and Republicans took exception to the congresswoman’s anti-Semitic comments. A difference of opinion is always welcome, but hostile terminology is not appropriate in the halls of Congress. The crudeness of the congresswoman has to be responded to and for that I congratulate Congressman Zeldin for that endeavor.

The second comment is on the religious bigotry of some senators’ objecting to federal posts by the president or his staff. Their objections are not based on qualifications but on their Catholic religion or membership in religious fraternal organizations, i.e., Knights of Columbus. The anti-religious bigotry of these senators should be opposed by all Americans.

Respectfully,

CAPT. JOE MCBRIDE


Plenty of Votes
East Hampton
February 22, 2019

To David:
I will probably be chastised for saying this but this movement is crazy. It will be looked at as an attempt to buy voters. That is perhaps the worst reason to consider such a position. Sorry to have to say this, but this racist country will be further divided.

The best way is for Democrats to put into place a jobs program that will literally raise all people’s opportunity to move into the middle class. There are plenty of votes in Congress for a 2020 Works Progress Administration that will begin to give rise to more jobs and higher hourly wages.

I hate to say this but the African-American community has been the recipient of countless programs to make life better. These programs have given millions of minority individuals and families the help they have needed to rise above a position of servitude. A 2020 W.P.A. will put good taxable salaries into the hands of millions of people who will spend those salaries raising the economy of the whole country.

Couple this work program with a more reasonable tax on the top 5 percent of income and this country will be able to do a lot of the things millions of voters feel have to be done. To hell with the trickle-down theory.

Trickle down
Trickle dow
Trickle do
Trickle d
Trickle
Trickl
Trick
TOM FRIEDMAN


Democratic Socialists
Rochester
February 25, 2019

To the Editor:
It is about time that the American people were educated and informed about what true socialism is and is not.

The fact is that in true socialism, the means of production are owned by all of the people. In other words, in true socialism all of the workplaces and businesses are owned, controlled, and run by all of the people for the good and well- being of all of the people. Individuals and groups do not privately own them. In true socialism, we would not be totally equal in terms of how much we would get paid for our work, but it would be much, much more equal than it is now. There would not be any billionaires or people who have hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of millions of dollars in total wealth, most of which they inherited and did not earn by their own labor. We would share what we have.

Those individuals such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who call themselves Democratic Socialists are not really socialists at all. They are actually ultra-liberal, progressive Democrats who believe that our federal government should do more and spend more than it does now on the safety-net programs as well as other social programs to help the poor, the near-poor (those living on 100-125 percent of the federal government’s official poverty line), the lower-middle class, the middle class, and even the upper-middle class because they also have financial struggles and problems especially when it comes to medical and health-care expenses in their families. 

They don’t advocate replacing our capitalist economic system with a truly socialist economic system. They support our capitalist economic system, but they want a capitalist economic system that has more federal government spending to help all of the people just as our traditional allies do more of than we do here in the U.S.A.

So, Republicans and Democrats, please stop spreading the false belief that having a social program like Social Security somehow makes us a socialist country.Because it does not.

Sincerely,
STEWART B. EPSTEIN


Spelled Out
Plainview
February 24, 2019

Dear David,
President Trump doesn’t understand how our Constitution’s First Amendment allows “Saturday Night Live” to satirize the dumb things he says and does, and how they “get away with these . . . hit jobs without retribution.”

But if he could read at higher than a fifth or sixth grade level (John Kelly’s estimation), he could see that the “retribution” he seeks already exists within the language of both the First and Second (his favorite) Amendments. 

“Retribution” is actually spelled out within the words  “REspecting,” esTablishment,” “RIght,” “aBridging,” “well-regUlated militia,” and “petiTION.” 

It’s a shame Donald Trump didn’t accept Khizr Khan’s generous 2016 Democratic National Convention speech’s offer to lend him his pocket copy of the Constitution.  

RICHARD SIEGELMAN


Mooing of the Calf
New York City
February 24, 2019

To the Editor;
What has been will be again. There is nothing new under the sun, King Solomon Ecclesiastes 1:9. Well, here I go again or as accused there he goes again. Succumbing to the challenge of seeking uncovering a precedent (and the conjoined fun fruition) for the unforeseen happening occurring right now and alike in history. A confraternity, a sorority, unchained, liberated from a gulag of hard realism and pragmatism thrust into deliverance, spearheaded by arrogant, ignorant, quixotic anti-Semites charged and occupied the capital shading green graffiti, throughout proclaiming trumpeting ominous antagonistic plans, policies, if implemented assured to undercut, transform upheaval our prevalent democracy.

Having the advantage of biblical and historical schooling, this search was a no brainer. Once engrossed in this quest, the mooing of the calf became resounding yes, a calf, the golden calf, episode.  Approximately 3,500 years ago at one of exodus’s encampments at the foot of Mount Sinai, the almighty summoned Moses to ascent. He, Moses, stayed for 40 days there and then human development and civilization was destined. On descending from Mount Sinai and in his hands he carried the tablets written by God himself. His disciple Joshua awaited him. Together they approached the camp of Israel. When they came within hearing distance of the camp shouts of jubilation, celebration reached their ears. Moses soon saw what was going on, idolatrous rituals, festivities, orgies, around a golden calf. Evidently during Moses’ absence the Israelites gathered golden earrings, ornaments, and constructed the molten calf and they declared these be thy gods o Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. Exodus 23:4.

There is no ambiguity about what was that the Israelites did in that episode; they have bowed to it, worshiped it, sacrificed to it. They have been quick to turn aside from the way the almighty enjoined them. The ultimate moment of the Israelites’ apostasy.

Recognizable? There was an aftermath to this pertinent analogies biblical episode and it was not a very pretty one. Doubt if you, we, want to go there now? Not yet anyway.

Ironically or preordained, in September 2011 during the Occupy Wall Street occurrence, an inspired artist, James Salt, created a papier-mâché golden calf, took it to his church in downtown Manhattan. It was carried on the shoulders of two priests from Houston Street up to Thompson Street. It was surprising how many people in the street and the open bars recognized it immediately: “Why, that is the golden calf from the Bible!” 

Your call.
EDWARD A. WAGSCHAL