Skip to main content

Letters to the Editor for October 1, 2020

Wed, 09/30/2020 - 11:11

Doc Russ
September 27, 2020

To the Editor,

Recently I was reminded of Irene Silverman’s “Relay” piece from a couple of weeks ago, “One Lucky Lady,” where she recounts her good fortune at living in a community where neighbors act, well, neighborly. My story is not nearly as dramatic — Ms. Silverman was rescued by the Lesters when she had a flat tire — but I think it’s a pretty good example too.

In my case, I was moving some furniture around the living room and noticed that the floor lamp was missing that little knob that turns it on and off. I remembered reading something (probably in The Star?) about a guy called the Lamp Doctor, so I Googled him — he is, in fact, called “Doc Russ,” and his business is called the Lamp Hospital — and gave him a call. “Come on over, young lady,” Doc said. “I’ll fix you up with a knob.”

When I get there, I’m greeted by a charming man and his bouncy little dog. He was working outdoors in kind of a tented area, surrounded by hundreds of lamps. He takes one look at mine and says, “Oh, the missing knob is not your problem. You have a burned out (name of thing goes here).”

“Oh, so the lamp is no good?”

“No, it’s a very good lamp. Just a sec.”

He disappears for what does, literally, feel like a “sec,” and hands me my lamp, new whatnot and knob and all.

I reach for my wallet and he shakes his head. “You read about me in The Star, you say? Just tell The Star about this.” I agreed, and then I told him my name. “You’re a Whitmore? I know a bunch of Whitmores! Be sure to tell Eleanor hello for me.” So, after I email this letter, I’m doing just that. Thank you again, Doc Russ!



Our Good News
East Hampton
September 26, 2020

Dear David,

Good news seems to be the very thing that many are hungering for these days.

We want to thank you for spreading our good news with the great placement of the story of our wedding in last week’s paper. The lightness of step and the joy caught by Durell Godfrey in the photo seems to have captured the hearts of many.

If the reaction to our blissful vows is any sort of barometer, the reach of The Star is wide, enthusiastic, and wholehearted.

To more of the same,




Locked Out
East Hampton
September 23, 2020

Dear David,

I am writing to express my deep appreciation and thanks to the East Hampton Town Police and specifically Sgt. [Wayne] Mata and his officers for their outstanding work dealing with a difficult landlord “lock-out” situation last week.

As many of your readers know, due to the pandemic, there is currently a moratorium on all evictions in New York State. Further, due to legislation passed in 2019 it is also a criminal offense for a landlord to change the locks on a tenant or take any other action to “lock out” their tenant without a court order. This is an important protection for many families on the East End who have seen their paychecks and ability to earn money during the pandemic dramatically reduced. The legislation ensures that during these extraordinary times folks can at least maintain a roof above their heads. To be clear, rent is still owed, but the law is intended to keep people in their homes and their possessions off the side of the street while we all push through this pandemic together.

On the Friday night going into Labor Day weekend, OLA received a call that a tenant — a family of four — had been locked out by her landlord and all the family’s possessions had been put onto the street. OLA called East Hampton Town Police, who responded immediately and with the utmost professionalism. The responding officer, Sergeant Mata, was exemplary in handing a very difficult situation with distraught parties on all sides. He was able to fluently communicate in Spanish and to explain and assure the tenants of their rights. His squad’s quick intervention secured an outcome that was fair to all involved and prevented a family from spending Labor Day weekend homeless.

Watching his squad in action made me very proud of this town, of its police force, and leadership, and that felt important for me to share.

With gratitude,


General Counsel

OLA of Eastern Long Island


Past Labor Day
East Hampton
September 27, 2020

Dear David,

We can all be really glad East Hampton Village lifeguards worked an extra couple of weekends this year.

With parking restrictions listed, the beaches were fairly busy with sun and water bathers alike. So it’s good to have the waters safe.

And I applaud the new administration (mayor and newcomer trustees) for extending the season. It’s common sense and simple enough to recognize that folks use the beaches well past Labor Day.

Kudos to my fellow lifeguards. A very special shout-out to our guards Alyssa Kneeland and Aiden Cooper. When a call came though from dispatch of a dog stranded 300 yards out at sea, they dashed over from Main Beach to Egypt Lane on the village ski. They were able to recover the near-drowned pooch and the good Samaritan kayaker who got there first. Very happy ending.




Dangerous Intersection
East Hampton
September 26, 2020

To the Editor:

When does a dangerous intersection remain dangerous after extensive construction? When the intersection is at Toilsome Lane and Buell Lane. The double traffic circle is a cross between riding bumper cars and the teacup at the fair.

I was taught that prior to exiting a traffic circle it is the law that you use a turn signal; yet I think I am the only one who is aware of it or follows it. People play chicken, guessing whether the car in the circle will continue in the roundabout or exit. A false step on the accelerator leads to close calls or worse. The installation of signage to remind drivers of the necessity of signaling is an essential safety measure.



Plain and Simple
September 24, 2020

To the Editor,

Postmaster Gibbons has to reinstall the drive-up mailboxes on Methodist Lane as soon as possible — it’s plain and simple.

East Hampton locals, and all the new Bonackers, have had to put up with the East Hampton Post Office with its next to no parking spaces, overflow from the ill-placed CVS, crossing Montauk Highway to pick up the mail, buy a stamp, or mail a letter.

Years ago the drive-up boxes were placed at the end of Gay Lane at the stop sign, which was another epic disaster. When they were installed on Methodist Lane, countless letters, cards, and bills were mailed each day by countless drivers easily using the boxes on their way to work or driving into the village. It was easy, safe, and not out of the way. For the postmaster to say that they were rarely used is a blatant lie. Just another poor response and poor judgment from a man who never has to cross Montauk Highway or circle the roads in hope of a parking space. Put the boxes back now!




Farther Away
September 26, 2020

Dear Editor,

I was reviewing the Parks and Recreation chapter of the 2002 East Hampton Town Comprehensive Plan recommendations when I came upon this passage referring to the ball fields on Pantigo Place:

“Little League practice can continue to use the lighted neighborhood scale park at Pantigo Place for the immediate future until more hamlet parks become available closer to where the children live” — not farther away, as on Stephen Hand’s Path in Wainscott but closer to the children in Springs, Amagansett, and East Hampton.

Over 25 local citizens of diverse backgrounds contributed to the writing of the Parks and Recreation chapter, including the then-president of the Little League.

The guiding concept behind the document is to bring active and passive activities into our communities, not farther away from them. With vision, inclusion, creative design, and proper planning, a park can improve the quality of life for everyone in our community, children, adults, and senior [citizens] alike.

To quote the National Recreation and Parks Association, “There are no communities that pride themselves on their quality of life . . . or maintain that they are environmental stewards of their natural resources, without such communities having a robust, active system of parks and recreation programs for public use and enjoyment.”

Sounds reasonable to me.



‘Our’ Environment
East Hampton
September 28, 2020

To the Editor:

An engaging and thought-provoking letter from Walter Donway in your Sept. 24 issue set me to thinking: He explains that the term “environment” is from the field of ecology and pertains to particular species and their favorable, or unfavorable, habitat, and further that there is not “a general species habitat.”

 I don’t take exception to this but I must point out that there are very few landed portions of the globe which are not inhabited to some extent by a single particular species, the one called Homo sapiens. Would this not make it correct to call the portions of our planet inhabitable by our own species, and thus specific to it, an “environment,” and one that in fact girdles a vast portion of the Planet Earth? On this basis it seems to me even scientifically correct to refer to “our” environment.



Killed for Food
East Hampton
September 23, 2020

Dear Editor,

While we debate the composition of our nation’s Supreme Court, there can be no debate about the supreme suffering taking place in our nation’s factory farms.

Recent undercover investigations show male baby chicks suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground alive because they can’t lay eggs. Laying hens are packed into small wire cages that tear out their feathers. Breeding sows spend their entire lives pregnant in metal cages. Dairy cows are artificially impregnated each year, and their babies are snatched from them at birth, so we can drink their milk.

I found more details at — World Farmed Animals Day, launched in 1983 to memorialize the tens of billions of animals tormented and killed for food. I learned that raising animals for food is also hurting our health and the health of our planet.

Each of us has to choose whether to subsidize these atrocities with our food dollars. My choice has been to replace animal products in my diet with the healthful, cruelty-free, plant-based meats and dairy products, as well as the rich selection of fruits and vegetables offered by my supermarket. A quick internet search provided lots of recipes and sound advice.




Doing Anything?
North Haven
September 26, 2020

Dear David:

What is with our local Democrat party organization? What are they doing to get rid of Lee Zeldin? Are they doing anything to help elect Nancy Goroff?

Perry Gershon came very close to unseating Lee Zeldin two years ago, but the official Democrat committee didn’t seem to appreciate that. They refused to back Gershon for his second run against Zeldin, even though he upgraded and continued his campaign throughout the subsequent years. He was effectively branded a loser, even though Zeldin needed two attempts to win his current seat. Then, at the last moment, two people decided to challenge Gershon.

I question the supposed infinite wisdom of our local Dems that caused them to back Bridget Fleming, even though she had just re-won her seat as local legislator in November. Rather than getting to the business of her actual job, she immediately decided to swap her November 2019 win for a new run for the congressional House seat held by Zeldin, and challenge Gershon.

Gershon didn’t give up then either. But suddenly, out of the blue, came Nancy Goroff. Nobody had ever heard of her. She made a rather plain and uninspired live presentation in the early debates with the two other candidates.

According to the June 2020 reported campaign fund-raising record: Zeldin raised $4.8-plus million. He spent $2.1 million and had $2.6 million in cash remaining.

Goroff raised $2.6-plus million. She spent $2.3 million and had only a bit more than $324,000 remaining.

The “Source of Funds” report is of more interest to me because Zeldin reported only 27.09 percent of his money came from small individual contributions of less than $200 and zero percent (nothing) came from “candidate self-financing,” but 42.30 percent came from large individual contributions, plus 22.17 percent from PAC contributions, totaling a massive 64.47 percent from what ordinary citizen voters would call wealthy special interest groups. Notice, nothing, from Zeldin, the Trump toady himself!

The Goroff fund-raising report showed 8.43 percent came from small contributions, 46.06 percent came from large individual contributions. A token 1.48 percent came from PAC contributions, and an astonishing 43.39 percent came from candidate self-financing. One could say 90 percent from special interests. Remember, this is a primary candidate in a race that claimed Perry Gershon was “buying his election” with his Park Avenue wealth!

Goroff popped up from obscurity with lots of money, and claimed she could save us from the Zeldin-Trump menace by herself, through her special credentials being a chemistry science professor and a female. Sounds like a science fiction story, something like “Spider-Woman,” doesn’t it?

Lee Zeldin has been, and continues to be, a disaster for Suffolk County. He represents the bizarre self-serving Trump right-wing regime only. Just look at his disgusting speech in support of Trump’s re-election during that vulgar Republican National Convention on the White House lawn. While Trump disgorged lies, fear mongering, and threats from the nation’s revered property, Zeldin was part of the huge crowded mob audience applauding this despicable scene.

To defeat these despicable people we must know that Nancy Goroff can stand up against this extraordinary level of corruption and deception.

Trump managed to have his name emblazoned upon National Park properties, the White House, as well as on the Washington Monument during the fireworks show. If this doesn’t demonstrate to you the unbridled takeover of our government with impunity, you must be blind.

We all have to vote to replace Zeldin to put a stop to the destruction being inflicted upon us locally. I worry we are not supporting Nancy Goroff properly enough to get that job done. Nothing has come to my attention since she defeated Gershon and Fleming to help me understand why this woman is capable of defeating Zeldin.

Except for the recent appearance of a few feeble roadside signs and hearing of a few late-night TV ads, I have seen almost nothing in print or through the mail or on TV or via the internet about Goroff. What in God’s name is she waiting for? Why are the Democrats so lax in mounting a strong campaign against Zeldin?

I worry that this campaign by Goroff may be a Trojan horse meant to split the Democrat votes, leading to a weak candidate, allowing Zeldin to have a free path to winning a third term. I want to be wrong, but I get the sense the Democrats are not doing anything to protect themselves from such a well-known Republican scheme.



Only Trump
East Hampton
September 27, 2020

Dear David,

Very strange, but I remember Nancy Pelosi being in Chinatown in California, begging people to come and have a meal there, without a mask, “You really don’t need it here.”

I also recollect Dr. Fauci on TV compelling us to not wear a mask. Anybody else recall any of this? Strange only Trump gets pounded on, because we hate him so much. No mask today, tomorrow wear a mask. Let’s be honest, nobody has a crystal ball for the future, so let’s stop jumping on the BS.

There were 19 people with President Trump when the so-called lie, that he called those who served suckers and dumb kids. Even John Bolton was there and all 19 claim they never heard those words, the Atlanta newspaper editor now claims. It could be false.

To the never-Trumpers, Bill Kristol and his buddies are attempting everything they can to destroy Trump. When there is so much hatred out there, maybe stop and say, perhaps all this information is not true. It’s called benefit of the doubt.

I would like to personally thank all who served: This comes from the bottom of my heart and soul. Thank you.

In God and country,



Fine for Her
East Hampton
September 28, 2020

Dear David,

It is now very clear: If any woman votes for Trump, she is contributing to the end of women’s choice in America! Thousands of us marched in Washington as young women, along with thousands of young men. They were exhausting days, but an exhilarating experience. Of course, we didn’t expect all women to choose this option; they could have four, five, six, or seven children, as the Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has had.

If it’s a personal religious decision, that is fine for her. It is not fine for a position on the highest court of the nation that makes decisions for all women in the United States. Don’t forget that

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the first woman to lay in state since the foundation of this country. Think about this fact when you vote.

Yours truly,



That Moment
September 28, 2020

To the Editor,

In 2018, news broadcasts suddenly began to flash pictures of tiny children in cages across the television screen. It was outrageous, unbelievable, and terrifying. It should have been over by then.

We watched as officers wrenched children from the arms of their parents, wailing children, wailing parents, heartless officers. The president knew about the policy of separating children from their parents. He initiated it and despite the outcries did nothing to stop it. At that moment in time we saw what this man was all about. He was heartless, cruel and lacked humanity. This moment in time showed his very essence. Here was no way that he should have been allowed to continue to represent our democracy- to represent our children, our welfare. There is no way that anybody should have been able to ignore this act, even if this man said he was going to do something they liked for them. This was a moment in time for all Americans to stand up and say, “You’re fired.”

How could any humane person stand to see this, to ignore this? That was enough. Everything that followed has been a reflection of that moment. The president has allowed 200,000 people to die without lifting a finger to help stop the pandemic; is allowing, fires to burn across America unbridled, and is following herd immunity: allowing covid-19 to spread wildly throughout America even though it may kill millions more Americans. He has shown a lack of concern for human life, for America, and the American people.

There should not even be a question of possibly. It reflects very badly on our country and on the people supporting him. One cannot look past that initial moment in time when his humanity was revealed. That would be like looking past all the horrendous things that happened in Germany. To hurt small children, frankly to wreck them psychologically and emotionally for life. How many of them died? Where are they, do we really know? And now there are immigrant women in detention camps being forced to have unnecessary hysterectomies. What has happened to humanity in this country?

Too many people in this election are looking past those poor children, all the dead Americans from the virus and denying, ignoring, and rationalizing the list of transgressions by this president. Why? Looking past the caging of children was a defining moment for the American people, and possibly, the loss of our humane democratic way of life.



Extinction of Rights
East Hampton
September 28, 2020

Dear David:

Repeatedly in 2016, Mr. Trump beseeched Americans to vote for him asking, “What do you have to lose?”

Now that he has appointed Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who will likely give the bench a 6-3 conservative supermajority, it’s time to begin to answer that question.

Everyone’s first concern is abortion rights. But the problem is profoundly broader than abortion. The foundation for Roe is a 1965 Supreme Court decision, Griswold v. Connecticut. Griswold involved a challenge by the Connecticut head of Planned Parenthood to a 100-year-old Connecticut law that banned any drug, medical device, or other instrument that furthered contraception. The convictions of Griswold and a gynecologist for violating the statute were appealed to the Supreme Court. In an opinion authored by Justice William O. Douglas, the statute was declared unconstitutional.

Importantly for the present purpose, Justice Douglas found the Connecticut statute violated a couple’s right to privacy in the decision of whether to conceive a child. In so doing, he recognized that a person’s right to privacy is not explicit in the Constitution, but he found “penumbras” surrounding several of the Constitution’s amendments that suggested that a right of privacy was something the Constitution intended to protect.

The right of privacy found in Griswold formed the basis of the ruling in Roe that this “penumbral” right of privacy conferred, albeit in a limited fashion, a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy. But Griswold’s privacy right had a much broader impact on American society. Among other things, it provided the basis for the court to strike down a Texas sodomy law that was used to convict a Texan gay couple for conduct that took place in their home. It is not a great stretch to see the right of privacy born in Griswold as forming the foundation for the court’s embrace of the rights of same sex couples and extending to its embrace of same-sex marriages.

Should Ms. Barrett ascend to the Supreme Court, the right of privacy conferred in Griswold will be a conservative target, threatening the extinction of rights conferred over decades by the court upon women, gay and lesbian Americans, and those allowing couples to plan their families. So, when Mr. Trump asks us this fall “What do we have to lose?” the answer is simple: For many it is everything.




Real Criminality
East Hampton
September 27, 2020

Dear David,

In Philly for the week, I am getting a coffee on 46th Street. A car stopped in the street was having a conversation with someone standing next to him. Two police cars pulled up behind the car and waited for the car to continue along the road. After a minute they beeped. Another minute passed and they put on their sirens. The guy in the street gave them the finger and walked away. My daughter, who had lived in Philly for 24 years, tells me that the best thing anyone can say about the Philly police is that they suck.

During the same week the Republican Party decided to replace R.B.G. with a religious extremist who believes that wives should always be subordinate to their husbands. Going back on their word from 2016 about the people electing the next Supreme Court judge and proudly wearing the mantle of lying scumbags and degenerates. Remember Obama-Garland? Are we talking racism?

But topping the new judge deal was the president refusing to say that he will accept the November election results if he doesn’t win: The bedrock of our political democracy and the Constitution is the peaceful succession of power. His administration and most Republicans are lining up behind him.

So, if the leaders of your country don’t respect the Constitution or the simple rules of telling the truth and being responsible to the American people, how are we supposed to behave? (Are they Marxists?)

Trump and Co. are openly and happily committing treason. Not like consorting with Russia to rig the last election but way worse. The violence of this crime is an attack on the American people. Far worse than 9/11 or Pearl Harbor. Anyone who supports this process is equally guilty and should be punished. Remember the rationale for the Afghanistan war?

So, for everyone who criticizes Black Lives Matter and looters as un-American and criminal, it’s time to get off your butts and deal with the real criminality that is emanating from the White House. Being ignorant and racist about B.L.M. doesn’t mean you can’t understand treason. Or maybe treason is no longer a serious offense.



Article IV
September 26, 2020

To the Editor,

Kenosha “killer” Kyle Rittenhouse used the Constitution’s Second Amendment’s right to bear arms as justification to take his rifle over state lines and shoot people, but now he’s defying the same Constitution’s Article IV, section 2, paragraph 2, which clearly states that “A person charged in any state with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another state, shall on demand of the executive authority of the state from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime.”

Since the Illinois and Wisconsin governors have agreed on this extradition and signed the required warrant to return Rittenhouse to Wisconsin, he should already have been “delivered up.” There is no constitutional basis for Rittenhouse or his lawyers to contest this lawful transfer, nor any basis for Judge Paul Novak to give them yet a second delay (of 14 additional days) to “review papers and file pleadings.” They should merely be given two minutes to reread the 51 words of Article IV, section 2, paragraph 2.


Thank you for reading . . . 
...Your support for The East Hampton Star helps us deliver the news, arts, and community information you need. Whether you are an online subscriber, get the paper in the mail, delivered to your door in Manhattan, or are just passing through, every reader counts. We value you for being part of The Star family.

Your subscription to The Star does more than get you great arts, news, sports, and outdoors stories. It makes everything we do possible.