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Letters to the Editor for October 22, 2020

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 19:06

Selfish Threats

Sag Harbor

October 19, 2020

Dear Mr. Rattray:

Re: “Five State Agencies Sign On to Wind Farm Plan,” Oct. 15: Now that five state agencies have rallied in favor of South Fork Wind and the logical Beach Lane cable route in Wainscott, we need to support this plan wholeheartedly. We can’t let Nimbyism delay getting the turbines in the water.

Large-scale renewable power is the only way to meet the state’s mandate for a 70 percent renewable power grid by 2035, a goal set by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act that Governor Cuomo signed in 2019. Offshore wind is a vitally important way to reduce and eventually eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels with their climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions.

To delay this project further is only to deny the emergency of climate change and our need to accept change to combat it. Wainscott residents need to do the right thing for the common good and stop their selfish threats of litigation.



A Sore Thumb

East Hampton

October 15, 2020

Hey David,

Hope all is well at The Star. Just wanted to weigh in on the wind farm offshore.

First of all, I oppose the wind farm. Have you been over to Block Island in the last few years? As you know, there are five turbines offshore that stick out like a sore thumb. To clutter a beautiful horizon with those turbines is a sin, not to mention the bird and whale problems. And if someone says there is no problem then they have no idea what they are talking about. Not one of those pro-wind farm people has a crystal ball.

Second, all one has to do is pick up a copy of the Block Island Times and do a little reading. Block Island has had nothing but problems with the cable area where it comes ashore.

Here are a few headlines: Sept. 19: “Reburying Wind Farm Cables to Begin.” Oct. 3: “Project to Rebury Wind Farm Cables Complex, Costly.” Oct. 10: “$60 Million Cable Reburial Project Underway.”

So I certainly hope our local government has done their homework. But then again, with the Democratic majority we do have the Biden factor. Best regards as always. 

Yours to command,



Love and Respect


October 19, 2020

Dear David,

Charles Hitchcock, Chuck to almost everyone, died two years ago on Oct. 24. Chuck did more for the improvement of people’s lives than anyone else who I have known personally.

Chuck had strong views about what is best to be done, but he also showed that love and respect can change people.



Circumvented Process

East Hampton

October 19, 2020

Dear David,

The village board meeting held last Thursday was embarrassing and painful to watch. I don’t know how Jerry Larsen can appoint Marcos Baldron with absolutely no experience, and a salary of $145,000, to the most important position in the village vacated by village administrator Becky Hansen. The process is to assign the position to someone temporarily and then post the position, reviews the resumes, and, most important, includes the entire board, as was discussed during this board meeting by Trustees Tiger Graham and Rose Brown.

This is the second meeting that Jerry Larsen has added something important to the agenda at the last minute, excluding Graham and Brown, as was also mentioned by Trustee Graham. Is this going to be Jerry Larsen’s regular behavior? What is the point of having a board to make decisions if Jerry is going to be a dictator and circumvent the process?

He also circumvented the process when he promoted two police officers this past Thursday, once again excluding Trustees Graham and Brown. It was obvious that Trustees Chris Minardi and Sandra Melendez are more loyal to Jerry Larsen than to the village residents who elected them, by their lack of involvement in the discussion. What a disappointment the Newtown Party has become in such a short amount of time.



Lawn Signs

East Hampton

October 19, 2020

Dear David,

It is the norm in October prior to elections: Political lawn signs for one candidate or another arouse irrational anger and signs are mutilated or just stolen. Posting a sign is protected by law, even if the sign is not on your property. Signs are costly, and the cost is covered by individuals, or campaigns, or local Democratic and Republican parties. As such, they are private property.

Think of it this way: If you park you car (private property) in a public spot, and it is stolen or damaged by another party, you have a claim. Same goes for lawn signs, whether they are posted on your own lawn or perhaps at a cross-section on town property.

The internet is rife with ideas on how to protect your signs. Here are some fun ideas:

• Well-lit area, close to your home

• Security cameras

• Barbed wire around them

• Trap: mix Vaseline and glitter and put it on the edges of the sign.

• Slather dog poo on strategic parts of the sign, or

hot sauce, so when they rub their eyes after the fact . . .

• Electrify the sign

• Just google, “how to protect your political lawn signs.”

A simple method is to elevate your sign beyond reach. You will need a ladder; so will anyone who wants to remove the sign!



Waiting Outside

East Hampton

October 19, 2020

Hello David

If I’m not grossly mistaken, or my memory is shot, The Star has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris for president and vice president of our country. I hope you have, because what follows is a scathing critique and warning about one of President Trump’s most egregious statements: his urging of his supporters to bum-rush polling places to “watch very carefully” on Election Day.

I myself intend on voting in person, just as I have in every election prior to Covid. I understand the risk. I will take all possible precautions to protect myself and others. Truth is, which neither party will openly state, and I truly believe, that the only way to make sure a person’s vote counts is to vote in person. Standing in line to vote this November is a lot better alternative than, just say, standing in line in a landing craft waiting to hit the Normandy beaches. Yeah, I think it’s that important.

But what will that day be like at the polling places? Will Trump supporters be milling around inside, with or without masks, trying to usurp the authority and oversight of the official Suffolk County election observers?

So I’m suggesting to you, being in a position of public regard and having a platform from which to speak and act, to, quite frankly, make a stink. Every public polling place has a maximum occupancy capacity set by town and village fire marshals. I urge you to call on those town and village officials to enforce those occupancy restrictions.

In essence, if you’re voting, you’re good, but you might have to wait your turn outside. If you’re an official election worker, you’re good. But if you’re a malingerer, loitering because Trump “told you to,” and that person’s presence pushes any location over its maximum occupancy and keeps voters waiting outside, then you have to leave. The fire marshals are probably too few to accomplish this. Somebody will probably have to float the concept and enlist the assistance of the police departments.

Maybe this is an overreaction. But we have never, ever in our lifetime had a presidential candidate urge thuggery at our polling places. There are sound and reasonable laws on the books to counteract his outrageous call.

To erase any qualms, I swear to you I am an ardent Biden-Harris supporter. I have contributed my own money to their campaign in a time of financial hardship. I have volunteered for their campaign by making cold calls in battleground states. I have a Biden-Harris sticker on my truck. So far, no one has vandalized it.

I hope this message finds you and your family healthy and safe.



130 Miles


October 19, 2020

Good day,

On Saturday we had a great tailwind from the Northwest soothing us to our destination of the Montauk Lighthouse. Eagles in the sky and deer on the road.

Leon was a mile from the conclusion of his inspiring silent protest of police brutality for Black Lives Matter, 130 miles walked from N.Y.C.- Montauk, 1 to go. He inspired folks along the South Shore, even the ones who didn’t get it, will get it.

This walk was about Black people being shot down by the police, the people who are paid to protect, not execute, compliant or not. The number of cities settling, millions of dollars out of court with grieving families is proof of guilt.

Even though the Trump truck parade would be starting 24 hours after he finished the silent protest, it gave us energy.

Their horns, grunts, and revving engines were the future of the road we were on. Soon enough they will realize we are all in this together; their trucks will have dead batteries and be out of gas soon enough.



Headed East

East Hampton

October 19, 2020

Dear David,

Sunday afternoon, headed east to my mom’s in Montauk. In the back of the Sienna van a white plastic bag bulging with the week’s garbage. Coming up the hill passing the Hither Hills overlook around the bend toward the dump, a pickup truck passes in the opposite lane with a “Trump 2020” flag waving from a pole in its bed. Then after a few seconds another truck with a “Trump” flag. Maybe they’re the guys often parked in front of the Shagwong. On my right now, almost hidden in the woods, a skinny Black guy with a horizontal 8-and-a-half-by-11 “Biden” sign.

Turning left into the dump, a woman on the corner waving a “Trump 2020” flag. At the dump exit, the woman waving her flag more energetically. After about 100 yards the traffic is stopped. A traffic jam? Here? In Montauk in the middle of October? Pickup trucks, SUVs, sedans, all with “Trump 2020” flags flying, all the way down the hill into Montauk. Then there’s a car behind me with a “Trump 2020” flag. And another behind that one. As the minute passes the line behind me is as long as the line in front of me.

Hmm. Look who’s in the middle of a Trump rally. Three cars ahead, a passenger in the open window of an F-150 waves at a dark-blue New York State trooper’s cruiser parked on the grass beyond the shoulder. The crew-cut trooper from his open window waves perfunctorily then goes back to looking at his phone. In the lane opposite the F-150, an approaching 1969 Corvette convertible, top down, small American flags flying from each rearview mirror. You’d never know we were in the middle of a pandemic. Everyone’s maskless. Everyone’s happy. And everyone’s white. Lots of red baseball caps. Directly in front a silver Nissan Rogue with a rear bike rack holding three flags: an American flag on the left, another Trump flag on the right. My wife, in the passenger seat, asks, “What’s that flag in the middle?

We’re at a complete stop. The flag is moving only slightly in the breeze. It’s an American flag, with the white stars on the navy-blue background and the red and white stripes directly below. But the outer half of the flag is black, with a silver “Q” on it.

“Oh, that’s a QAnon flag.”

“What’s QAnon?”

“That’s a group that discovered that the Democratic Party has been kidnapping children and selling them.”

“Selling children?”

“Yeah, that’s why Joe Biden has so much money.”

Inching toward the intersection of Old Montauk Highway and Montauk Highway. A man and a woman on the grass on the left next to Second House Road are giving me the thumbs-up. On my right a woman near the shoulder of the road is taking pictures of the parade with her phone. She smiles at us and waves. My wife looks back at me and gives me the same smile, “You know you have your red baseball cap on.”



What in Blue Blazes?

East Hampton

October 19, 2020

Dear David,

It seems we have a contingent that believes people like me, who are offended by the overbearing Trump truck parades through our town have it in for anyone who disagrees with them. Au contraire: My experience since Trump entered the White House four years ago has been a very different and telling one. The name calling and assumptions aimed at me and my friends or anyone who was not a Trump voter last time, or a supporter since, have been relentless and frankly unkind.

Stick and stones aside, I’m no naive flower, I grew up in a borough that grew many loudmouths and uncouth people. Fuggeddaboutit. But I was not raised to be one of those loudmouths. I am quite happy about that. But apparently because I do not love me some Trump, like a few of my relatives through marriage, or supposed friends, I am called a “libtard.” Funny, I didn’t retort, “Thanks, retard.” You get what that refers to, I hope. I would never stoop so low as to use a slur some have used to those people they deem slower than them mentally. High road and all that.

I was also called “socialist”! Hmm. Where did that come from? Don’t know, and trust me on this, neither do they, since most of the name callers have no idea what socialism actually means. They heard it on Fox or Rush Limbaugh or from the name-caller-in-chief himself. Plus you’d have to read a book to actually learn about socialism. Sorry, that was glib of me. “You only read novels, you don’t know anything and can’t talk about Jared Kushner!” Hmm. I guess reading everything I can get my hands and eyes on doesn’t count, nor my college education and life experience, nor the fact that I’m a two-time author working on her fourth book. I know, consider the source, water off a duck’s arse. Click. Block. End of story.

Today, I was called “meanspirited,” for commenting on social media about the Trump truck brigade driving east on 27, Sunday. I used a metaphor and it was taken out of context, or maybe the person saying so didn’t remember I am a writer and I comment on things. If I were a cartoonist I would have gotten busy, drawing.

You don’t have to agree with me. Just like I don’t have to like Sunday’s truck brigade waving giant Trump 2020 flags in our faces. I compared the drivers to sheep following each other off the proverbial cliff, but instead, I said “. . . maybe they’ll drive their trucks into Mother Ocean, who will take them to deep fathoms of truth.” I know, ohhh, so terrible. Edgar Allan Poe is threatened. Give me a break. If I’m “meanspirited,” what in blue blazes is Trump? What is calling your sister-in-law, a “libtard?”

Listen, I know how to block people and adios them from my life, if necessary. But let’s call foul when we all see how the tide turned so drastically in four years. Why wouldn’t we not say “Stop the insanity and hate,” when we read the cheers for “Stand back and stand by”? Aggression is not debating. Threatening people is not peace. We don’t live in that kind of country, thank the Goddess. Metaphors won’t harm you, but division and hate hurt everyone. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but actions speak louder than words.

Thank you,



There for You


October 19, 2020

Hi David,

This past Sunday, over 2,000 vehicles that stretched over 10 miles participated in the pro-Trump car rally. The event was organized by Trump supporters and not affiliated with the state, county, or town committees, and had an impressive support show from Long Island residents.

I spoke to the organizers and was disturbed and embarrassed to hear that of all the rallies they organized, by far the conduct of folks in East Hampton included foul language, obscene gestures, and throwing eggs at the passing vehicles. Over the past several weeks, the season of lawn signs has descended upon us. So too have many of our signs been stolen or vandalized and damaged.

There is a consensus that the Democratic National Committee has become the party of intolerance to the point that even if you are a Democrat and do not agree, you are unwelcome, especially after they get your vote on Election Day.

As the local Republican committee, we believe in good governance, term limits, equal representation, the Constitution, public safety, small government, and low taxes. We are fortunate to have a congressman that works tirelessly for our community. It matters not whether you are a Democrat or Republican, Lee Zeldin is there for you. His opponent has no governmental experience and knows nothing about the needs of the East End. She supports defunding the police and, in a screening, told the P.B.A. that she thinks police are dangerous!

Many of you may not know Nancy Goroff is worth north of $30 million, I am told, which would explain her disconnect from our communities’ needs.

In a little more than one week, Election Day will be over, and we, as a community, need to get back to the business of working together as advocates, concerned citizens, and neighbors. I only hope this past Sunday is not an indication of the way our town has become.



East Hampton Town

Republican Committee


Lee Zeldin


October 12, 2020

To the Editor,

The Montauk Boatmen and Captains’ Association, which includes boat captains and recreational fishermen, is supporting Congressman Lee Zeldin for re-election for the following reasons:

He has supported on the federal level legislation that assists our industry and recreational fishing. His sponsoring of bills, i.e., transit bill for Montauk Point to Block Island, is indicative of his working for his constituents in the First Congressional District.

On a recreational level, he was instrumental in removing the Department of Environmental Conservation license for all New York State recreational fishermen while he was a New York State senator. He was a leader in returning the additional $400 fee for charter and party boat captains in all of New York State. This $400 was in addition to the $500 we pay now.

We would respectfully request that the fishing community support Lee Zeldin’s re-electon.

We would also like to thank Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., who has consistently worked throughout his career on behalf of the fishing industry on the East End.

We are supporting Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo, who was endorsed by New York State Senator Ken LaValle as his replacement. Senator LaValle has also been helpful to the fishing community, and we are respecting his wishes to support Anthony Palumbo. Please vote for these two gentlemen on Nov. 3.






October 18, 2020

Dear David:

Jan. 20, 2021: The healing of America begins, as Joe Biden becomes officially president. The day before, Jan. 19, Trump surfaces in Moscow, begging Putin for asylum.



Who Is Trump?


October 19, 2020

Dear Editor:

Who is Trump?

On Sunday in the early afternoon, I watched a parade of cars with honking horns and Trump banners passing by on Route 27. Though I have seen these huge entourages of Trump followers on TV before, seeing them go by my home out east was horrifying. The line seemed endless and the question, “Why?” jumped into my mind. Why are these people lining up happily to support this person? Don’t they see who this man is?

As a psychotherapist for over 35 years, my job is focused on listening to people, observing their behavior and asking the question why, then putting the pieces together, helping people make connections and understand themselves better, and have a better quality of life.

So, I have watched , observed, and come to many conclusions about Trump. In the beginning, people quickly diagnosed Trump as narcissistic. That is easy to assess even if you don’t have a degree in psychology. What is narcissism? Narcissism is a personality disorder that is characterized by the following traits: selfishness, a sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy, and a huge need for admiration. This disorder comes from severe early deprivation (lack of love) beginning in infancy, and leaves the individual completely focused on fulfilling a hunger for love and admiration. The craving is so great that no one else’s needs matter. Is this recognizable?

As we moved through these last four years,Trump’s behavior has led me to believe that he has a more severe and serious diagnosis, as well. Why was it okay with him to put children in cages? Why was it okay for him to ignore the people in Puerto Rico, suffering during Hurricane Maria, and then mock them and blame them for their own disaster? Why was it okay with Trump to ignore Governor Cuomo’s pleas for help as people in New York were dying from Covid-19, and continue to allow hundreds of thousands of Americans to die all over the country, never showing one drop of remorse?

And now he chooses to make it worse by espousing herd immunity despite the possibility of hundreds of thousands more Americans dying at a time when it has been so clearly proven in Sweden that herd immunity fails, and leads to more deaths. In fact, experts say that Sweden and the United States are the only countries with high overall mortality rates who have failed to reduce those numbers as the pandemic has gone on.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has just stated that there is the possibility of a vaccine as early as April, and many other countries have successfully gotten the disease under control through masking, testing, contact tracing, and social distancing. Why make a choice to kill Americans?

What is wrong with him? In the latest “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual” (D.S.M. 5), I believe Trump would be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, or A.S.P.D., which encompasses the traits of a sociopath or a psychopath.

One could say he’s sociopathic because he doesn’t show any empathy or concern for people or the rules, but I believe it is even worse. While sociopaths have no concern for other people, they may or may not cause major harm to others. They are often said to have a weak conscience, while psychopaths do not appear to have a conscience. Psychopaths have an actual desire to destroy other people.

Here are some of the traits of a psychopath: A psychopath does not seem to have a conscience; he shows a callous lack of empathy and shows no remorse or guilt; does not respect social norms or laws; engages in sexual promiscuity; consistently breaks laws; has a grandiose sense of self-worth and displays a glibness and superficial charm; engages in pathological lying; cons, deceives, and manipulates others; shows aggressive or aggravated behavior; consistently gets into fights or physically harms others; doesn’t consider the safety of others; behaves without thinking about the consequences; doesn’t follow up on personal or professional responsibilities (including not paying bills on time); has a shallow affect and poor behavioral controls.

This behavior shows up early in childhood usually as out of control rage and callousness. It is known that at age 5 or 6, Trump once stood at his fence and threw rocks at a toddler who was playing in a playpen in his neighbor’s backyard. When he was a few years older, he once jumped off his bike and pummeled another child. As a child, he was referred to as a loudmouth bully in his neighborhood. When he lost a ballgame at school he destroyed his bat. I believe Donald Trump falls into this category and is a psychopath.

How has he deceived this country and developed a huge following? Is he such a good salesman or is there something else driving the people in this country to ignore his destructive actions and his mental illness?

His followers don’t even see that he is using them and, in truth, finds their lives expendable. He puts them in danger, with his actions (maskless rallies) and lies (“Take hydroxychloroquine and you’ll be fine.”) It seems to be what I consider a combination of identification with the aggressor, (“If he’s strong and tough, so am I,” or, “If he’s rich, then I’m rich.”) It also has to do with a great outlet to express their rage about their personal lives. (Lock him, her, or it up.) Or have they been brainwashed by a persuasive used car dealer?




East Hampton

October 14, 2020

Dear David,

One of the most debilitating diseases is dementia. How Jill Biden and Joe Biden’s handlers can actually put this man on display is pathetic.

I know from my Mom how bad and pitiful you get. Jill must want the White House pretty bad to allow this and claim he is just fine.

Perhaps the handlers can explain to Joe that packing the court is adding more justices to achieve a political outcome. Packing the court is abuse of power. President Trump at this time is filling vacancies, left open by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Hunter will be the next serious topic.

In God and country,



Into the Gutter


October 19, 2020

Dear David,

As I watched the hearings on the Supreme Court nominee, I was astonished at the question proposed by the senator from Hawaii. I will not dignify her by even mentioning her name. All nominees deserve a dignified question-and-answer segment. This qualified candidate just happens to be a woman. If she was another faith, would that issue be raised?

The nominee had her diverse family present, and to ask that disgusting question, comes from the sewer mentality. The answer should have been, “Did you, senator?” Where was the apology and condemnation?

I guess the senator had amnesia regarding that question. Does the name Willie Brown ring a bell? A 28-year-old dating a still-married man in his 60s with political power. Did she ask one of her committee members that? Then, we have Blumenthal, the so-called warrior who lied about his military service. I misspoke. You lied, period, until you got caught!

While the nominee conducted herself with dignity, the panel descended into the gutter. I can imagine the pain her children experienced in hearing that question of their mother. Yet no apology from the panel. It seems that the question has been asked on prior occasions, why? Throw crap against the wall and hope it sticks? Her qualifications could not be tarnished and that is what the questions should be based upon. Even weekly letters in this paper and one weekly missive often containing hate and some vulgarity. All because of a lost election.

They should be looking into the released documents, regarding the Biden, China, and Ukraine scandal, the Russian hoax, released documents pointing the finger at the originator and up the ladder.

Shame on them!


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