Letter to the Editor: 04.11.19

Truly Special
Montauk
April 3, 2019

Dear Editor:

I speak for myself, George, my brother, Michael, my sister, Linda, and our entire family when I say thank you, Montauk! We are overwhelmed by the love and generosity that this great community has shown us. Starting with Sam Joyce and Jenni Balcuns for opening up on their day off to feed us at Sammy’s. Shannon Coppola of Montauk Salt Cave and Jen Harned for organizing and orchestrating all of the food for the celebration of my mom’s life (Joanne Roge) at Sail Inn following her service, and really making sure we did not have to worry about a thing. 

Joe and Pam of John’s pancake house, Shawn and Karen Hewitt, Lyndon and Bob, Roni Oberg, Maura Donahue, Maura Mirras, Sarah Newberry, Jackie Tyrell, Melissa Mahoney, M&R Deli, Alice Houseknecht and the Montauk East End Foundation, the incredible staff at Sail Inn, Dotty, Sunny, Mary, Julie, and Cindi. Pastor Bill Hoffmann and the Montauk Community Church for handling a service with that number of people! 

I could go on and forgive me for not, because there are so many people who came together and made a horrible time better for us. Montauk is a truly special place and forever has our hearts and gratitude. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

We love you and God loves you. 

JACKI ROGE


Memory Lane
Amagansett
April 6, 2019

To Ms. Rattray:

Your “Connections” piece from the April 4 issue sent me careening down Memory Lane. Not only do I recall all the words to the “Saturday’s Child” nursery rhyme (I was a Thursday, and had “far to go,” but I also worked in a newspaper office years ago.

I, too, can remember working with X-Acto knives and those melted wax machines while pasting up the pages. I was not allowed to go near the Linotype machine, but I wasn’t sorry. There were plenty of other jobs there, and as a budding journalist who needed money for college, I was only too happy to do them. 

Thank you for bringing it all back.

ALICE HENRY WHITMORE


Role Models
East Hampton 
April 5, 2019

Dear David,

Did you know there is a sorority at Stony Brook University whose mission is to end domestic violence? On March 31, I attended and spoke at the 19th annual gala of the Theta Chapter of Omega Phi Beta and was overwhelmed with inspiration. Members of the sorority raise funds to support local domestic violence agencies to help end violence and abuse. These women are role models for all of us.

Recently, Omega Phi Beta sorority hosted an art workshop where Stony Brook students could create art that supports survivors and demonstrates the repercussions of abuse and violence. The art was displayed at the gala and was beautiful, provoking, and meaningful. Through art, they are raising awareness and speaking out against violence, not unlike the Retreat’s juried art show at RJD Gallery.

Rappers, poets, songwriters, dancers, musicians, and vocalists shared their performances in honor of victims and survivors. There was so much talent and participation, all performing to help end abuse. 

To those who doubt involvement of our college students and their commitment to causes they believe in, I experienced the students’ determination, hope, and dedication to a cause, and to shifting the culture on campus and in communities. There is hope for change because our future generations are committed to ending social injustices, including abuse and violence. They are not only speaking out but engaging in social activism. I learned a tremendous amount by being a part of this event, and I commend this sorority on its work and mission. 

LORETTA K. DAVIS

Executive Director 

The Retreat


Two Providers 
East Hampton 
April 4, 2019

Dear East Hampton Star,

Back in 1976 or so, BBC scriptwriter Douglas Adams created his most famous meme: “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.” Along with predicting that it would eventually be possible to carry an entire library in the palm of your hand (in a smartphone, for example), he did one really clever thing. Within the story, the cover of the guide has the words “Don’t Panic” written in large, friendly letters. I’ve begun to wonder if these words ought to be posted where East Hampton residents can see them regularly. Personally, I’ve been waking up in the morning asking myself, “So what’s today’s disaster going to be?” Often it’s a new and inane law, which accomplishes exactly what it shouldn’t or simply the way people fail to behave while driving.

The latest potential disaster concerns the fact that, despite what I was personally told by the store’s management, King Kullen has not only been sold but it has been sold to Stop & Shop! With this deal, the job of offering us access to many of our most basic needs will be placed in the hands of just two providers: Stop & Shop and I.G.A. I have nothing against I.G.A. particularly, other than that the one on North Main Street has too little convenient parking and the one in Amagansett, though clean and well stocked, only has half the brands I rely on.

The simple fact is that the King Kullen in Bridgehampton is probably the most important single store between Southampton and Montauk Point. Even people who regularly shop at King Kullen in Hampton Bays, Riverhead, or Manorville have commented that ours is miles better than those others. This is why this single store has become the “go to” for everyone who lives east of the Shinnecock Canal. I can’t emphasize enough how vital this store is to this community.

I have to admit that I stopped going to what used to be East Hampton’s A&P when the company changed its name to Waldbaum’s. After the last renovation while the store was still under the Waldbaum’s brand, I saw some behavior by employees and discovered that it was encouraged — specifically putting conventional produce in bins reserved for organic. When the store manager answered my report with “So what? It’s all the same thing,” I never went back. 

Another reason I won’t shop at the East Hampton Stop & Shop is that I’ve been in quite a few other groceries under the same banner. To a store they were all filthy and the produce showed signs of gnawing by rats and mice. I remember once lifting a potato and finding that the rat that had been eating it was still there. I have heard similar stories from certain King Kullen staff members that Stop & Shop has a terrible track record when it comes to hygiene.

One of the more disturbing things about this changeover is that none of the King Kullen employees know if they are going to have jobs much longer. The company is notorious for kicking out the old staff and replacing them with all new people.

The Bridgehampton King Kullen has long been heralded as having the best reputation and being the most profitable location in a chain that has a reputation for excellence and has been around for more than two centuries. The company claims to have been the first supermarket chain in America. With such a long and illustrious history, you’d think that someone other than Stop & Shop would want the brand.

What really gets my goat is not that King Kullen may be irrevocably changed forever (though there is that), but that East End grocery shopping will now be controlled by a local monopoly of sorts. Sure, there are a few small markets like Schmidt’s in Southampton and Provisions in Sag Harbor and of course Citarella, which now has stores in East Hampton, Bridgehampton, Southampton, and Westhampton Beach. 

The problem with all these stores is that they are upscale and very expensive. With times being what they are, people are going to have even more trouble finding enough money to live on.

Here’s to hoping that the change is only cosmetic.

Note: “Hitchhiker’s Guide” was originally a six-part radio play before it was reworked into the first two books of the five-book trilogy. Also: Don’t panic. And always know where your towel is.

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely, as always,

MATT HARNICK


Plastic and Dog Waste
Bridgehampton
April 5, 2019

Dear David:

On a recent trip south to attend a wedding, my husband and I did a layover in the beautiful shore resort community of Ocean City, Md., to break up the trip.Two things I learned:

Number one: To fill 12,000 seasonal jobs by more than 100 employers, the city conducts an annual job fair. Employers include restaurants, hotels, construction and landscape companies, retail sales, lifeguard positions, beach jobs, traffic control, etc. The fair is free, and offers résumé services and job-training seminars, such as alcohol awareness for bartenders and servers. In addition, the organizers provide information on obtaining health insurance, seasonal housing, and safety. All applicants need to do is dress for success, take a résumé  and/or application (provided on the city website), identification, and a pen.   Perhaps it is not too late to organize such an event at Southampton College to help with the increasing problem of filling the shortage of seasonal help and housing here. Local real estate brokers could get involved, too.

Number two: Dogs are never allowed on bay or ocean beaches and are restricted on boardwalks. The same goes for all of the New Jersey, Delaware, and Virginia coast, as well, where restrictions vary but dogs are banned on oceanfront beaches once the summer season begins, i.e., when people begin to lie on and play in the sand. 

I cannot vouch for the cleanliness of the sea along that entire coastline (lucky for us we are 90 miles out into the ocean, far from sewage waste sites and factories), but you’ll never step in or see someone bury dog waste in the sand, be greeted by overflowing dog waste receptacles at the entrance to the beach (tourists, look away!), or be surprised by a warm stream of urine against the back of your sand chair on those resort beaches. Not to mention safety concerns — dog attacks and bites. 

The rules and regulations concerning dogs on beaches vary here from town to town and hamlet to hamlet, but nowhere I found are our four-legged friends entirely banned from romping unleashed and excreting on the sand during the summer season. East Hampton might have bragging rights for being the first town to ban plastic bags in the nation, but it should come with a disclaimer. 

Did you know that only a small number of plastic pet waste bags are biodegradable even when they claim to be? I suspect the government-issued ones available at most of our area beaches are not 100 percent biodegradable due to the higher cost of such bags. And did you know that animal waste runoff is one of the main contributors polluting our recreational waters and drinking water? The fact is we don’t have the cleanest or safest beaches, and we suffer from dog fecal contamination in our waters. It won’t get better unless the laws become more restrictive. 

If our elected officials can see fit to ban plastic straws and bags for environmental reasons, certainly it is their fiduciary duty to ban dogs and their waste bags from public bathing beaches for 10 weeks out of the year for the same reason. We’re not the Jersey Shore but maybe we could learn a thing or two from it. Or just fuhgeddaboudit, and keep digging our toes in the sand with caution. 

CAROL DRAY


Hits the Target
East Hampton
April 6, 2019

Dear Editor,

The downing of two Boeing jets by a computer software program that was both poorly designed and tested, murdered nearly 400 people. 

Technology has advanced to the point where the general human inclination to defend the status quo, the delays we see in local government making up its mind to do something useful outside the bounds of conformity do not affect machines. The machine does what it is programmed to do, and it acts decisively.

To see where this is headed you might want to take a look at the following website (tracking-point.com). What is being sold there is a gun that can be pointed at a human target a half-mile away and will send the bullet to that target with greater accuracy than a sharpshooter. It hits the target every time. It requires no skill on the part of the shooter. The computer acquires the target and guides the bullet. This is not science fiction. The gun costs $6,995. It only took five years to go from DARPA-sponsored R and D to a consumer product.

Empires have been built or destroyed by advances in technology. Alexander the Great destroyed vastly superior forces by a combination of a perfected phalanx and cavalry. The Romans used a modified spear to cause their enemies to drop their shields. The Persians destabilized the eastern Roman Empire, the source of much of Rome’s wealth, by mounting archers on horseback to defeat the Roman legions.

We live in an era of rapid technological change. Electing defenders of the status quo, whether the puppets who take their cues from self-aggrandizing local party bosses (to keep their government jobs), or the climate change deniers in Washington, gives us a Chamberlain in charge, not a Churchill.

As a retired computer software specialist, my greatest fear is that we will continue to elect what you are told to do, politicians who are too slow or frankly too stupid to react to the dangers we can all see today. Taking orders from a computer is not the future we should welcome.

PAUL FIONDELLA


Green New Deal
Springs
April 1, 2019

Dear David,

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the favorite punching bag of Trump TV and the G.O.P. They’ve called her an “architect of chaos” for promoting the Green New Deal’s shocking idea that we can address the existential threat of climate change while creating good, living wage jobs and protecting a just transition for people in the fossil-fuel industry. In a recent town hall about the Green New Deal, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez called for fully funding the pensions of coal miners in West Virginia while transitioning the state to renewable energy and rebuilding the Flint, Mich., auto industry by producing electric cars. She says you can’t tackle climate change without tackling economic injustice. 

Many people think that’s a moral issue, that climate change falls heaviest first on the poor, who are the most vulnerable, so we have a duty to protect them. But the connection goes the other way, too, and that should concern even the most selfish billionaire: Economic inequality makes climate change worse. Even billionaires live on Planet Earth and making the climate hostile to living beings will eventually affect all of us, no matter how much money and wealth you have.

Take the recent unrest in France. President Macron ignited a firestorm when he tried to institute a higher gas tax to meet the Paris Climate Pact goals. It was the last straw for small town and rural French residents, who have suffered two decades of increasing austerity and disinvestment in their communities. Public transit has been slashed to the bone. Wages have not kept pace with inflation. When the only way to get around is with your car, adding a carbon tax to your fuel costs is a boneheaded recipe for creating hatred of climate-friendly policy. 

Macron rescinded the gas tax increase in the face of what was called the Yellow Vest rebellion. What if, instead, he had pledged to invest in a massive mass transit and jobs program that would bring good jobs and clean transportation to France’s rural and small town communities? That’s the kind of project that the G.N.D. would promote: a win-win-win for the climate, entrepreneurs, and the struggling poor and middle classes.

The Green New Deal aims to get everyone on board with a bold investment in all America’s communities — rural, urban, poor, middle class, and more. It will boost domestic entrepreneurship. It will boost jobs that can’t be easily exported to low-wage countries. It will spark huge innovation that could actually Make America Great Again. And it could just save our future.

Those who say that’s impossible are the real architects of chaos — climate chaos. We can’t afford not to do the Green New Deal. New York’s Climate and Community Protection Act is New York’s Green New Deal. It will be voted on in this legislative session. Please support it. 

FRANCESCA RHEANNON


Allowed It to Happen
Montauk|
April 2, 2019

To the Editor,

She’s mocked, that Bronx kid. They poke fun at her intelligence, that kid with the cum laude degree from Boston University. They scoff at her dire predictions and her Green New Deal.

Yet the reality of those predictions sits right on our doorstep in Montauk. A.O.C. sees our need for being proactive on the broad scale, and so does PSEG for Montauk! 

PSEG’s plans for its Montauk substation have met with resistance and almost town mutiny. The initial site for its relocation showed horrific insensitivity to the ambient character of our community. Certainly our disapproval is well deserved. But — there’s a big but in all of this.

Somehow or other we also should have had a little insight into the magnitude of the growing need of this electric source. Yes, the site on Industrial Road may be affected by rising water levels. (Deny that, you global warming deniers and/or politically correct whiners about our coastal sands being dragged away through higher tides and more ravaging erosion.) 

But.

That magnitude of need is a result of higher usage. And what might cause that drain? Well, for one thing, the proliferation of giant houses! These are barely lived in all year but occupied during increasingly hotter summer months. Fully air-conditioned, they meet the needs of the less-hardy vacationers. I can remember when blankets were needed on some summer nights; that was before motels were erected along the dunes. Right now, that old encroacher, the Atlantic Terrace, has mounted air-conditioning fixtures for each of its units that gleam in the sun and radiate heat — as well as dispel it when they’re in use. Allowance for these megastructures and megamachines has created our current problem.

All the variances that have reshaped our community clearly never anticipated just what the variables in our weather would entail. Today we’ll be protesting down at the Playhouse. Ironically, many of us may not realize that while we may not be part of the problem, we’ve allowed it to happen by our past inaction.

GERTRUDE MURPHY


Citizen Reaction
Montauk
April 8, 2019

To the Editor:

While excellent in both content and craftsmanship, The Star’s reportage of the April 2 PSEG new substation presentation in Montauk contained two inaccuracies. 

Over 500 individual informational pieces of literature were distributed to attending individuals during the entire event. Two hundred-plus people attended the presentation in the morning/afternoon period, and over 300 attended that evening. Afterward, PSEG executives stated it was the largest and most successful event of its kind in PSEG Long Island history. The utility also stated that the huge and uniform negative volume of Montauk citizen reaction, and the consistency of facts relative to the inappropriateness of the site, made ultimate corporate rejection of Flamingo Road a certainty.

The Star also gave far too great individual credit to Montauk United for the huge success of the above effort. This major Montauk victory would never have happened if it were not for the extraordinary dedication and leadership of Shaun and Izabelle DeJesus, assisted by Bonnie Brady, Tom Ciccariello, John and Irene D’Agostino, Eddie Ecker, Julie Evans, Ken Giustino, the Anthony Testas, and Lee White. A very special and positive contribution of effort was also made by president Linda Barnds and the entire membership of the Montauk Citizens Advisory Committee. 

Most important of all was the united and overwhelming encouragement and support of the citizens and friends of Montauk by way of a 3,000-plus signed petition, hundreds of supportive emails, and enthusiastic, positive group participation in all our efforts. 

Powerful and formidable elements were opposed to our efforts. PSEG, a multibillion dollar incredibly influential business entity, was days away from purchasing the Flamingo Road properties and determined to locate a huge industrial facility at that site. Led by Supervisor Van Scoyoc and Councilwoman Overby, the East Hampton Town Board on four separate occasions unanimously refused to support any and all efforts to prevent the purchase from happening. Montauk’s own Concerned Citizens of Montauk also declined direct Flamingo Road support.  

In the end, none of it mattered. 

Through unity, the people of Montauk prevailed.  

TOM BOGDAN 

Montauk United


Beach Lane
North Haven
March 25, 2019

To the Editor, 

Beach Lane is one of the few tranquil roads left on the East End, where children can walk or ride their bicycles unattended in relative safety to and from the ocean beach. To subject these unknowing children to electromagnetic radiation from Deepwater’s buried high voltage cable buried alongside Beach Lane is a travesty and should not be allowed. 

A better alternative would be to run it down the middle of Georgica Pond from the ocean to the Montauk Highway. Its only effect then would be on blue-claw crabs and residential fish. 

Note: Electromagnetic radiation can damage living cells beyond that resulting from simple heating and can be a health hazard. 

GEORGE MCAULIFFE


Dissenters Are Silenced
East Hampton
April 4, 2018

To the Editor:

It is tough to slow the juggernaut that is “saving the planet” from “catastrophic climate change.” I use the latter phrase because no scientist “denies” that global warming is real. If our atmosphere did not have greenhouse gases to trap the heat of the sun, it would be a lifeless ice-covered rock hurtling through space. 

In fact, the chief value of carbon dioxide is as plant food and the modest global warming since the Little Ice Age (1300 to 1850), including human-caused warming since the Industrial Revolution, has enormously “greened” the planet and given a huge boost to agricultural productivity.

It is tough to dispute “catastrophic climate change” because, as Debra Foster (Letters, April 4) exemplified in her response to my letter the previous week, partisans of drastic action on climate are dead certain that science has demonstrated their case. If that is so, of course, then anyone who “denies” the case has bad motives — indeed, is to be compared with (genuinely deranged) deniers of the Nazi Holocaust.

Thus, arguments of the denier, by definition, are unworthy of a reply; all that is required is to point out the denier’s bad motives. For example, Foster seemed to say the proposed Independent Presidential Commission on Climate Change will be supported by fossil-fuel interests. In fact, as a federal government commission, it will not be. Some fossil-fuel companies may support it, as in applaud it. Big difference.

She points out that the proposed chairman of the commission, Princeton University physics professor William Happer, is not a climate scientist. And he was fired from a climate science group by then-Vice President Al Gore. Al Gore is not a climate scientist, either; he has become something of a laughingstock for having dramatized short-term predictions of climate disaster already falsified by now. 

Sadly, formal training in climate science probably tends to disqualify you from an independent commission. History has shown “science” can be in the grip of political ideology. As was eugenics, the population-bomb panic, and “limits to growth” because of vanishing natural resources like oil. Demonstrably, the record is that the ideology of radical environmental science and “deep ecology” gave rise to the global-warming hypothesis and drives the so-called “science” of catastrophic climate change. 

One indicator is the utter intolerance of dissent (denial). Being a certified climate scientist almost might be a disqualification for an independent commission because no dissenters from climate change orthodoxy get government research grants. None. Dissenters are silenced or driven from the profession as was Judith A. Curry, Ph.D., former chair of atmospheric and environmental sciences at Georgia Tech.

It is not yet evident, but the case against “catastrophic climate change” is gaining momentum as one claim after another of climate scientists, their political cheerleaders, and their environmentalist partisans is debunked by real science. I have discussed in letters here how the science has gone against catastrophe claims made regarding the Great Barrier Reef, frequent and more violent hurricanes, the Greenland ice cap, sea-level rise. To that list might be added polar bear depopulation and wildfires, to mention only two.

The gradual catching up of science with climate catastrophe ideology, despite every attempt to quash dissent and defame dissenters, probably explains the escalation of anti-denier rhetoric with references to dooming our grandchildren and “the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t act.” (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) 

Relax. I think the grandkids will be okay. A useful major study by Judith Curry tested and retested the probabilities of extreme sea-level-rise predictions. She showed that the biggest remotely probable average sea-level rise by the year 2130 is one meter. Given that this is the very worst possible scenario, do you think with more than a century of preparation and advances in science and engineering our grandchildren who live on seacoasts can deal with it?

WALTER DONWAY


Took Action
East Hampton 
April 8, 2019

Dear David,

On March 20, Congressman Lee Zeldin held a press conference rightfully calling on Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen to raise the cap on the guest-worker visa program. On March 28, the secretary announced she would be lifting the cap and allocating the additional 30,000 H2-B visas. I want to thank Congressman Lee Zeldin for listening to his constituents, understanding that the initial number of nationally allotted visas, 66,000, was not enough. 

We on the East End rely on the guest-worker visa work force to maintain the vitality of our businesses. Although this is only a temporary solution to a permanent problem, businesses of New York Election District 1 can rest a little easier knowing their elected leaders not only listened, but took action.

Sincerely,

KYLE BALLOU

Secretary 

East Hampton Town Republican Committee


Just Say No
Springs
April 8, 2019

Dear David:

Mr. Trump has just promised that the G.O.P. would be “the party of health care.” But nothing could be further from the truth; his latest antics and the G.O.P.’s actions evidence, yet again, that the G.O.P. is nothing more than the party of deception. Mr. Trump’s words mask what he actually does and only mislead Americans.

Perhaps you missed this, but just a week ago Mr. Trump’s attorney general told the court presiding over a lawsuit brought by 20 G.O.P. state attorneys general that the Trump administration supports the lower court decision (now on appeal) that if upheld could invalidate all of the Affordable Car Act. So despite his promise that the G.O.P. would be the party of health care, in truth, it has consistently sought to be the party that nullified health care.

The upshot of the endorsement of the lower court decision, coupled with the G.O.P.’s efforts to sabotage the A.C.A. and its failure to come forward with a workable (and fair) health-care solution, evinces a G.O.P. position that millions of people should lose health insurance and be vulnerable to discrimination based upon their medical history. And with that, let’s introduce “the party of health care” Mr. Trump says is just over the horizon.

Here is just a taste of what the “Party of Health Care” would foist upon Americans if that lawsuit succeeded: 21 million Americans could lose their health insurance with no feasible federal or state replacement; 12 million Americans who obtained Medicaid coverage through the A.C.A. would lose that coverage; 113 million Americans with pre-existing conditions would immediately risk losing coverage of such conditions, or be subjected to crushing increases in coverage costs; 109 million Americans would face lifetime limits on health-care coverage without the A.C.A., and lastly, two million Americans under 26 years of age, now covered under their parents’ insurance by virtue of the A.C.A., would lose that coverage.

Recall that the G.O.P. promised us that its “replacement” plan launched as an election ploy in 2016 would protect those with pre-existing conditions, that they were guaranteed access to health care. What they failed to disclose was that while those with pre-existing conditions had access to insurance, its plan allowed insurers to exclude from coverage the pre-existing conditions that affected the prospective insureds, or the premiums for coverage of those conditions could be subject to astronomical increases. And G.O.P. candidates stood in front of lecterns and flat-out lied that this wasn’t the case.

And now, Mr. Trump has admitted that the G.O.P. has no plan to replace the A.C.A. should the lawsuit he has endorsed succeed. Instead, he is asking Americans to trust the G.O.P. because if it is elected in 2020, he promises “incredible” health care. Our Congressman, Lee Zeldin, is equally complicit. After voting for a health-care bill that even Mr. Trump thought was “nasty” and offered no protection against pre-existing conditions, he lied to voters by claiming that the G.O.P. 2016 plan would protect those with pre-existing conditions. Let that sink in: After 10-plus years of subterfuge, we are now being asked to trust these scoundrels with our health care. There was a motto coined long ago by Nancy Reagan that is again apt: “Just Say No.”

Sincerely,

BRUCE COLBATH


Prefer Trump
Rochester
April 8, 2019

To The Editor:

I was worried when President Trump hired Tea Party favorite Mick Mulvaney to not only be his budget director, but to also serve as his chief of staff. I have heard from several reliable sources that it is largely Mulvaney who is behind Trump’s current budget proposal, which would deeply cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. When he was a Congressman, Mulvaney was widely known for saying that Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme” that is “unconstitutional” and ought to be abolished. 

He is an example of a growing number of national-level conservatives who seem to believe in (but won’t publically admit it) “Survival-of-the-Fittest” Social Darwinism, whose ultimate goal is to see all federal government social safety-net programs abolished. In addition to the Koch brothers (who at least openly admit that they want Social Security to be abolished), other such Social Darwinists can be found in the House Freedom Caucus, as well as “The Movement Conservatives,” which includes Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, and Mike Pence. This is why there are many “liberal/progressive” Democrats like myself who do not want to see Pence become president and who actually prefer Trump over Pence because Pence is much more conservative.

Sincerely,

STEWART B EPSTEIN


Young Illegals
Amagansett
April 4, 2019

To the Editor,

Yes, our country has a crisis on its hands and Congress is doing nothing to stop the 100,000 illegals due to cross our borders this month. To add insult to injury, signs are being waved welcoming immigrants, in English, Spanish, and Arabic! The gated border is only one entry, but many come across the border where no walls exist, so they are not vetted, no one knows who they are or where they are headed. Are they sick? Will they die, as others have done, in the desert? 

Gangs recruit these young illegals, who can’t speak our language, into a life of crime, drugs, and murder. If that weren’t enough, the fentanyl that is confiscated is enough to kill every American four times over! And that is just what they catch! Fentanyl is responsible for thousands of overdoses. Are we willing to sacrifice our children for open borders?

It is time for the president, whose primary job is to protect us, to shut down the border, stop all payments to Mexico and others south of the border, until they control their own borders. Enough people have died from Chinese and Mexican cartel drugs and illegal immigrants who end up in more criminal activities. We don’t need them in our prisons nor on our welfare system. But maybe that is the point, to overwhelm the system.

Is that what you want? 

Congress wants? Make your voice heard.

In Liberty,

LYNDA A.W. EDWARDS


Feeling the Effects
East Hampton
April 7, 2019

Editor:

In the simple-minded world of America First, there is a serious disconnect between the real world and the president’s babbling. In virtually everything we have done as a nation, trade agreements, wars, military pacts, etc., America has always come first. So the implication that we aren’t or weren’t first is about appealing to a manipulated cretin mentality that lives in an alternative universe, where being part of greatness is about proximity self-esteem and transference. America First is a descent into a subterranean world where people pick over each other’s bones. The winners are the ones who perpetuate the idea and the losers are everyone else. Fortunately, we are only so dumb before it all implodes — a short note on how the real world functions. 

When Trump pulled us out of the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement, he went egomaniacally isolationist. Undoing years of hard work and undermining the efforts to contain and pacify China. Being dumb is not understanding the consequences of this action on the U.S. and Asian nations. The T.P.T.A. was a natural buffer to China’s bad behavior and economic aggression. It would have forced China to get its act together or be isolated by the second largest economic entity in the world. But the Bobo chose to go it alone, because of his greatness, and start a trade war with China, which has hurt China’s economy and our own. But, the world isn’t flat and what affects China has far-reaching consequences. 

So as China adjusts to a slowing economy, it imports fewer goods from other Asian countries and those countries are starting to feel the pain. Japan sends 40 percent of its exports to China and is so connected to China that its economy is sinking back to the stagnation levels of the last decades. South Korea and Vietnam are also feeling the effects of Chinese cutbacks as well as Japan’s. How far this all goes is difficult to figure out? If one isn’t a simple-minded American Firster it’s pretty basic global economics. That Trump and his advisers didn’t envision this problem is another “duh” moment in a universe of “duh” moments. So, screwing up the world out of inexperience, ignorance, and egocentricity is the real platform of America First. 

NEIL HAUSIG


Unconscionable Crime
Plainview
April 7, 2019

Dear David,

Cameras on school bus stop-arms, taking pictures of vehicles endangering our children’s lives by illegally passing stopped, flashing-light school buses, is a great idea, especially since “an estimated 50,000 motor vehicles illegally pass New York State school buses every day. The fact that this happens so often despite the (largely-unenforced) “first-time fine being $250 to $400, plus five points on your license, and possibly 30 days in jail” raises these questions:

1. Why does the (inadequate) State Assembly-passed bill let the police decide whether or not to “issue a civil fine of $250 to the law-breaking car’s owner” and “assess no points to the driver’s license” especially since Suffolk County Police Chief Stuart Cameron says, “We consider this an extremely serious offense.”

2. And why will East Meadow’s 30-day pilot program issue “no tickets during the test period” to law-breaking, child-endangering drivers?

If we really cared about our children’s health, safety, and lives, we’d put these cameras on every single school bus, and enforce penalties draconian enough to totally deter this unconscionable crime, such as $1,000 fines plus 30-day license suspensions for first offenses, impoundment of the vehicle plus 30 days in jail for second offenses, and a year in jail plus a lifetime ban on driving for third offenses.

RICHARD SIEGELMAN