One Way to Cope
November 5, 2020
No matter which side you are on it looks like we (Americans) are in for a battle this winter. This, plus fighting the pandemic, wearing masks and staying away from friends can leave us feeling terribly depressed.
This morning, on CBS News, a leading psychologist recommended that one way to cope with this situation is to get outside and walk amongst trees. Sounds too simple to be true, but studies show that it actually works. Trees set an excellent example for us. For eons they have survived disease, blights, and fires yet still give birth to new trees and carry on.
Just like us, they come in different species and colors and yet there is no discrimination amongst them. Scientist have found that they actually communicate with each other by sending warnings through their underground root system of oncoming blights, etc.
Next time you are out for a walk take a moment to take a hard look at a tree. You might feel better!
November 8, 2020
At the village board work session last Thursday, Mayor Larsen made a point of having his five department heads make a public presentation of their five-year capital plan requests.
It is necessary for a village to create a capital plan in order to use as a tool when preparing their annual budgets going forward. The plan is a road map, if you will, or a guide, in order to intelligently realize the need for certain infrastructure and equipment expenses, and then plan how to realistically pay for them in the future budgets of the Village.
Realistically, not every proposal can or should be fulfilled. The plan is carried out by balancing a perceived need with the ability to pay and stay within responsibly established budget guidelines.
At the end of the presentation, Mayor Larsen implied that the prior village board had not done a good job of fulfilling their responsibility to adequately fund and procure department requests. He indicated that he had been left with an inadequate and failing infrastructure, and that he would have to spend additional money in order to correct it.
That could not be further from the truth. The prior village board fulfilled nearly 85 percent of what department heads had requested in the prior five-year capital plan, which ended in July of this year.
As examples, the village board funded the updating of the 911-dispatch system for a cost of $1 million. That project was paid for without borrowing as a result of good financial planning by the village administrator, Becky Hansen. The board also recently funded the purchase of over $1 million to the Fire Department in the form of two new fire trucks and air packs used for interior firefighting. The village also funds an annual road improvement budget, which was recently increased to $300,000. Additionally, the board purchased two new ambulances and a new first-responder vehicle. The list goes on and is available to anyone who cares to know.
I cannot sit back while Mayor Larsen continues to try to disparage the good men and women who served on the village board prior to his election for his own political purposes. His comments last week were an obvious attempt to cover up his recent reckless spending, which will certainly negatively impact his budget going forward.
Mr. Larsen needs to get out of campaign mode and into governing mode. By that, I mean responsible governing which considers the interests of the residents he has sworn to represent.
Time will tell if he can make the transition successfully.
East Hampton Village
November 8, 2020
To the Editor,
Bess Rattray’s column, "The Shipwreck Rose," has already become a favorite of mine. Smart, wry, nostalgic, contemporary, insightful, empathetic, self-deprecating, self-celebrating. And funny! More than once I’ve caught myself laughing out loud.
Thanks for the new addition to your already great editorial lineup.
Did It to Himself
November 7, 2020
The first president I voted for in my life was John F. Kennedy. Over the years I voted for whoever I thought would be good for our country, Ronald Reagan was one, Bill Clinton another, George Bush, John McCain, Barack Obama. At times some we support don’t win, but I have always supported whoever did win.
I did not vote for Donald Trump because from the very beginning I knew he would not be good for the democracy of our country. My first clue was when he mocked a disabled reporter at one of his rallies and when he said at one of his rallies early on that he would punch someone in the face. His support of Russia’s Putin only made me think, what did Putin have on Donald? His crazy handling of the coronavirus should have been the final clue for everyone.
Donald Trump, I believe, is one of most ignorant presidents America has ever seen. I think he thought that if he appointed and changed the Supreme Court they would make sure he remained president. The only problem was that the 2020 election had nothing to do with the Bush-Gore fallen chads and will never end up in the Supreme Court. Even Richard Nixon saw the writing on the wall as president and resigned so he would not put the country through an impeachment.
As far as counting all the votes: Democrats don’t count the votes alone. Both Republican and Democrats all over the country count the votes together in every district and watch each other as they do. There are poll watchers, both Republicans and Democrats, with a certificate to watch from their leaders. I have done it many times over the years,
If Donald Trump lost the election he did it to himself. I think America was sick of the Trump rhetoric and his many, many lies.
President Trump is now refusing to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden, but Joe Biden is our president, and Kamala Harris is our first woman vice president. God Bless them both, and we must now concentrate on the coronavirus.
November 9, 2020
Thursday morning after Biden was declared the president-elect, I felt a visceral change in my body. It was as if a cloak of fear, panic, and oppression was lifted off my shoulders. It was the way freedom feels.
I wanted to celebrate. We drove through Amagansett hoping to see people dancing in the streets like in Times Square. But everyone was sleepily going about their business. (Did we miss the dancing in the streets?) I began to blare my horn. (Yes it was me!) “Let’s get the celebration started,” and people came alive, shouting with joy. (I only got one middle finger.)
Next we rode into East Hampton. More people were out and responded to my horn uproariously.
But in Sag Harbor, the party really began. Tons of people in cafes or strolling the streets cheered, jumped up and down, and danced. Yay! Soon a van with huge Biden signs pulled in front of us and we formed a two-car caravan driving up and down Main Street honking our horns, joined by all the honking horns around us. It truly was a party!
And there is so much to celebrate. Going forward, the person at the helm of our country will be somebody safe and trustworthy. We won’t have to wake up every morning panicked, “What harmful thing will the president do today?”
Biden cares about the people of this country. He will save us. He will take control of the coronavirus and the terrible despair of unemployment and homelessness. He will take global warming seriously and participate in the world community to save our planet. He will fight to end systemic racism and maintain health care for our citizens. All these issues were terrifying us all — and nothing was being done under Trump, except to stoke the problems.
I think back to all those brave people who stepped up to save our democracy in World War II with appreciation. I put on my father’s old Army jacket that he wore in France, picturing how frightened, yet determined to save democracy, he must have been, and how glorious he must have felt on V.E. Day. I believe we all feel the same release from tyranny.
I realize now that having had our democracy yanked away from us will lead us to a new love of this healthy way of life, make us vigilant, protect it, and never take it for granted again. For me, I reconnected with my love for the American flag. For four years this powerful symbol had been desecrated. Now we can carry it with pride.
November 4, 2020
I am a Republican, but I am not writing to you as a Republican. I am writing to you as a very concerned citizen of the U.S.A. I am 78 years old and can remember what it was like to vote in a presidential election in the 1960s, 1970, 1980s, etc. There was consistency in the process of voting. That is not the case now and it opens the whole process in so many areas for corruption and disenfranchising honest voters.
There used to be voting machines that were the same. Today they are not. There used to be a process for counting votes that was the same. Today there is not. There used to be a date and time to vote that was consistent. Today it is not. There used to be a cutoff time for counting and reporting votes. Today it is not.
Instead of evolving over time to having the greatest process for voting, we have slipped backwards to becoming a country that can be labeled as a “banana republic.” How awful. I do not buy the fact that the current process is due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I stood in line as millions others did to vote. We wore our masks and stood six feet apart and all was good.
And here is where I must get political. This was not good enough for the Democrats, who foisted upon us the absurd 2020 voting process. They have done everything possible to remove our duly elected president from office. I am so offended by what they have done, and are doing, to America. I must stop here, as all I wanted to do is to speak out about this flawed and corrupt voting process. If Trump loses, because of this and all the other dirty tricks by the Democratic Party and the media, all of us in about a year will look back and rue the day that we stood by and either supported these activities or stood by and let it happen.
I hope America is strong enough to survive this travesty.
November 9, 2020
To the Editor,
This past Sunday was a beautiful day, and as I sat on my front porch, a couple that I did not recognize walk past my home looking right at me. Being friendly, I say, “Hello, a beautiful day for a walk.” (I believe it is the neighborly thing to do.) They clearly see me and clearly see the Trump-Pence sign and flag and proceed to state something to the effect of “You are everything wrong with this town, and you should move”
Sadly this is not the first instance I have experienced this type of rude and intolerant behavior. I have had my first-responder “blue line” American flag displayed and had people drive past my home beeping their horn yelling “F” the police and other vulgarities, including snarky comments like the above informing me I am not welcome here!
Speaking to others in East Hampton, I am not alone. Just recently, a neighbor whose family I know since childhood has a family member that is an East Hampton Town police officer and whose families date back to the town’s founding families. They too have experienced similar rude intolerant nasty comments because they had a blue line American flag displayed.
Indicative of the behavior above, although this is not new, the frequency with which I have heard our newer residents and guests from away complaining about “the locals” is troubling. And if you ask them what you mean, they respond, “You know, the Bonackers,” not that I think they even know what a Bonacker is. In each instance, my response remains the same: “The locals you know, those folks that date back generations and who ancestors founded the town are amongst the nicest, accepting, caring, loving, welcoming, and tolerant communities I have ever known regardless if you moved to town 100 years ago or yesterday and I will any day of the week prefer them to you!”
I have lived on the same road since I was 5 years old with the exception of living in Montauk for six years, raised all six of my kids here was a volunteer fire fighter, Little League and football coach, among things! This used to be a community where you did not need to lock your doors, kids played safely in the street, leaving bicycles and toys overnight on the side of the road with the local dog making the rounds visiting the neighbors for doggie treats. If and when we lock our doors our neighbors know where the outside key is hidden, and if you can not make it home in time to get the kids off the bus someone is there in your stead with a smile and hug so no child comes home to an empty house. We look in after our elderly neighbors and help them as they did the generation before. Neighbors help one another out regardless of ethnicity, religious observance, sexual preference, or political ideology.
East Hampton really was more like a scene out of “Mayberry R.F.D.”
As for those folks who can not tolerate the diversity of others, I would like them to know we were more than fine long before they moved here so please don’t try to change our town we like it just fine the way it is.
November 9, 2020
To the Editor,
Each war has many battles, some are won and some are lost. The battle for the soul of our once-great republic rages on. The patriots of our time are on the field of battle as I write this. They are trying to save our republic, the greatest in human history, from the clutches of tyranny and the evil one. Those of us who are not in the trenches with these patriots must pray for their success. That is how “We the People” play our part in this war.
The churches and all other houses of worship out east are many and there are so few in them. If we fill them and pray for our patriots we have a better chance of victory. Our Lady of Victory, please pray for us.
May God bless and protect the United States of America.
November 7, 2020
Civility seems to be fast disappearing from our once-special place. Including the sophomoric stealing of political signs just because of support for different candidates. The protest should be settled in the voting booth, not on someone’s front lawn under the cover of darkness.
When I moved here 30 years ago from another special place, I marveled at how nice the people were, and I soon realized that it was not a mistake moving here. Going to farm stands and poultry farms for eggs seemed like a throwback to gentle times. “Wow!” was all I could say.
Then as the years passed a whiff of change started to creep in with rudeness towards the people who grew up here: “You locals should stay home so we can do our shopping.”
The driving started with the so-called “citidiots” thinking they were driving on the Autobahn with their Rovers, Benzes, and B.M.W.s. Then the pandemic arrived and it exploded to even to where shelves were stripped bare with hoarding, as if the people who lived here didn’t require food or even toilet tissue. I though the Tudors invaded.
Then here was a parade of vehicles with waving flags and horns honking showing support of a candidate — not that much different than a high school or college homecoming. Everyone has the right to applaud or disagree but to engage in the unsavory behavior is unwarranted, to resort to vulgarity where even one of your staff displayed classless behavior. I was under the impression that the most commonly used four-letter word started with the letter “N” as in “next.”
A friend was in front of White’s Pharmacy when three pre-teen girls ran into the street and gave the middle finger to the parade. Where did they learn that? Vulgarity and obscene gestures continued and are out of place. A thumbs-down would have conveyed the same message with some civility.
The participants were within their rights, as were the people who disagreed, many who were peaceful. For the paradegoers to hide their license plates for fear of vandalism or even worse, arson, is a scary feeling. We have witnessed this and it is still going on in Portland, Seattle, and other places.
One individual decided to deliberately bring eggs to throw as projectiles. Thankfully no one lost an eye or suffered an injury. Will a copycat Antifa in training appear and bring bricks, bottles, and Molotov cocktails? It has happened only 100 miles away. A vice-president candidate on a filmed interview had predicted riots will occur and continue. As we witnessed, the boarding-up of stores and buildings, anticipating violence.
This chaos and unrest needs to stop immediately.
ARTHUR J. FRENCH
November 9, 2020
Donald Trump has lost. The racist, sociopathic, egomaniac is finished. There is an enormous sigh of relief for the 74 million people who voted for Joe Biden. There is also substantial consternation for the 70 million who voted for him. What to do?
Biden won by more than 4 million votes, and if the 1.5 million suppressed votes were added in it’s a mandate of almost 4 percent. Mandates are tricky and easily undone. As of Monday no Republicans in Congress had congratulated Biden, even though Fox and most conservative outlets are calling him president-elect.
There is little question that Trump provided something special to those people who fervently supported him. How does Biden fill the space that Trump has vacated and bring the nation more together?
Analyzing the reality of Trump’s first three years complicates the process. Economically, despite his rhetoric, the country didn’t perform. Every metric, except for the stock market, which isn’t one) was mediocre to poor. Adjusted gross domestic product (debt is not an asset) was under 1 percent. Job growth was 20 percent below Obama’s last three years. Real wages stagnated. Over all, pretty crappy.
The Supreme Court is now conservative — an economic negative for all working and middle class Americans.
Education, health care, immigration, and infrastructure were either negative or close to zero. Climate and clean air and water were all below zero.
Internationally, our position in the world deteriorated to the level of bit players threatening our security.
So, what did Trump provide for 70 million people — maybe 25 million fervent supporters — that generated their support? He clearly gave them a sense of belonging and pride. But to what? Self-esteem based on thinking you are better than someone else rather then on what you’ve accomplished is a bag of crap. Individualism in the face of a national crisis is simply egomaniacal stupidity.
Divisive political agendas are really about divide and conquer. Throw people a bone and they will wag their tails. Find enough reasons to make them angry and they will roll over. But actually improving people’s lives is a really difficult endless task that requires hard work and vision. Why should I care about how many guns someone has or who gets an abortion or who prays to what God? How do these things affect my life?
When Obama was elected he was blindsided, then eviscerated, by the racism of the Republican Party. He didn’t threaten the established order with his policies, only by the color of his skin. Healing this country may start with Biden but the real cure is with the Republican establishment.
It could start the process by congratulating Biden. Eunuchs of the world, time to rise up.