Skip to main content

Letters to the Editor: 01.16.20

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 11:30

Visionary
Sag Harbor
January 9, 2020

To the Editor:

I really appreciated seeing the photos of the work of Nishan Kazazian. His work is really visionary, and I don’t recall seeing it elsewhere. Thank you!

REBECCA CURTIS


An Unwanted Duck
Springs
January 13, 2020

To the Editor,

Thanks to a united effort by people across Long Island, three animals in distress were saved (Jan. 1, 2020). The domestic ducks stranded on our Nature Trail were in bad shape; all three were emaciated, and one had a severely broken foot. They were the only three survivors of a dumping that took place in November, where six domestics “appeared” alongside the wildlife, left behind by someone who no longer had need of them.

Animal rescue has never been a competition. There are no grand awards given to volunteers, no payment beyond the satisfaction of helping a creature in need. There is a long history of farmyard ducks being neglected, with wildlife rehabs turning them away due to their domesticity, and animal shelters having no place for them. Rather than taking the time to rehome an unwanted duck (or several), many drop them where their wild cousins reside, assuming all will be well. Domestic ducks cannot fly or forage like their natural-born ancestors, and they lack the genetic resilience against many diseases found in the wild — parasites, infections, and the like. With nowhere to go, nearly all of them perish within months, or sometimes scant weeks, of their initial abandonment.

Disturbingly, this happens so often that many never notice. They’ll see a white duck in March that disappears by April, and another white duck several months down the line. Surely it must be the same animal? The reality is much more somber: That initial white duck (a Pekin, with a heavy, flightless body bred for meat production) has long since been killed, and a newly abandoned animal has taken its place. We do not have an established population of domestics. Instead, we have an ever-revolving door of animals being left to fend for themselves, creating an endless cycle of abuse, neglect, and tragedy. They are attacked by predators, hit by cars, stricken with illness, and starved, only to be replaced by another helpless creature in short order. Anyone who loves animals should be appalled by this.

I have rehomed over 10 domestic ducks in the past year alone. They were all thin and terrified, unsure of why the lives they’d always known had been abruptly upended. Now I am provided with regular updates on their welfare, and I joyfully watch them flourish, delighting in their comfortable new lives. In a world where social media reign supreme, it’s a simple matter to find a good home for a duck in need, which means there’s no excuse for illegal abandonment.

Our Christmastime duck friends are going to make a full recovery. The male rouen and female cayuga are gaining weight, filling out in places where they were nearly skeletal before. The female Pekin has a more difficult road ahead, with a fungal infection settled deep into her lungs and a broken foot, but her prognosis is good. According to her veterinarian, the clean break in her toe was likely caused by the bars of a small metal cage. Now she’s roaming on lush grass, lounging in a predator-proof coop, and doing what ducks do best: Eating her fill of nutritious food.

To those who donated time, money, and words of kindness throughout this rescue, I offer my sincere thanks. Three lives have been saved, and in the eyes of many, those lives were worth saving.

Warm regards,

MEGHAN BAMBRICK


Support for Dell
Montauk
January 13, 2020

To the Editor:

Local animal advocate Dell Cullum is engaged in a dispute with Long Island Orchestrating for Nature about ducks in the East Hampton Village Nature Trail. I do not have firsthand knowledge of the dispute. I simply want to emphasize what so many people know: Dell is devoted to the Nature Trail and its nonhuman inhabitants and has extensive knowledge about their behavior and well-being.

Dell has written a beautiful, heart-felt book about the Nature Trail titled “Eden of East Hampton,” and he has worked tirelessly to rescue and humanely relocate animals throughout East Hampton. In 2015, he was the first person to call attention to the death and suffering of deer as a consequence of the sterilization program. Dell is truly a hero to the animals. Community support for Dell is vital as the effort to protect our animal relatives goes forward.

BILL CRAIN


Wild Injustice
East Hampton
January 13, 2020

Editor,

 Craziest thing happened this past weekend. I received a call from a stranger in the Kings Park area. She told me that I needed to come UpIsland and check on these ducks at their local pond, where they flock to be fed by nature-loving folks. She had no previous training in identifying duck injuries, but just knew something was amiss. I asked her if there were other animal organizations in the area that might be able to help. She said there were a few, but she felt it was necessary that I come, disrespecting the other groups, who are probably most knowledgeable about the area, and just step on their toes, then over their heads, and just do as I please. I thought to myself that sounds like a perfectly normal and respectful request so I packed up my gear and headed west.

 When I arrived I just couldn’t believe what I saw. So many ducks in one spot, and not one looked happy. In fact, I couldn’t find one smile in the entire brace. It was a most pitiful scene, equaled only by the horrible visuals the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shows me every evening at dinner time. I sat there and cried for 10 full minutes at the horror, and knew I had to make a change. Who protects these poor wild animals from the dangers of the wild, I thought to myself. Then I turned and saw an information sign that clearly had a help line to a local nonprofit organization, but that didn’t answer my question. My question was what resource was available to protect these creatures? Certainly a human organization should have been assigned to this area to unnecessarily impact the wildlife and disrupt the natural flow of nature. But no, this place was running purely on nature’s instinct and the wildlife’s natural behavior, and this was absolutely unacceptable. That’s when I vowed to be the hero, and make a change so desperately needed.

 With 30 years’ experience, I felt it best to proceed without a plan. This would create the most risk and danger to the animals; however, there were a lot of ducks to be rescued, and I had to get this ball rolling. I thought about contacting the local police to see if they would stand by me while I infiltrated their town and created an absolute circus. Then I thought about contacting the county’s S.P.C.A., but they were already out strong-arming another legitimate do-good organization, so I chose to knock this out on my own. So again, with all the experience I needed and using absolutely none of it, I grabbed my big metal net pole and started chasing and swinging.

 I had several dozen ducks desperately in need of medical attention running around in a panic as I chased them aggressively with my net and pole. The ones that got exhausted from stress quickly fell motionless, and those are the ones I scooped up first. I figured I’d grab the ones I could catch, and they would be the ones that needed the most help. A few I accidentally hit with my metal net, so if they weren’t in need of help, they were now. But that’s okay, because I was there, and everything was going to be okay.

 At the end of the day, my results were as follows: I rescued and saved 30 wild ducks from the dangerous wild. Why anyone would think a wild duck could survive in the wild is beyond me, but that’s why I’ve dedicated my life to these poor and helpless creatures of the wetlands and public feeding ponds. Five of my patients had cold feet, another five had hangnails, while 10 others had a few missing feathers. The remaining 10 ducks I saved had much more serious issues.

Two were abusing duckweed and needed substance abuse counseling, three more were bipolar. One poor mallard suffered from schizophrenia and thought it was a black duck, two others had anger control issues, while the remaining two simply had self-esteem problems and were showing signs of wanting to give up. There were a few others with visible body lacerations, some with bumble foot, and one with a broken wing, but those ducks were really hard to catch so, after an hour or more of chasing them around I decided to let them heal naturally. After all, I had the worst of the lot, and I felt I had done a great thing for this town I’d never been to before, nor had any previous connections to.

I crammed all the ducks into small crates then into my vehicle for a long drive back home. Just before I was leaving, a gentleman showed up with a camera, so I quickly grabbed a nearby duck, and as the duck wailed in panic trying to break free from my human grasp, I held it tight to my breast as if I were comforting a human baby. I’m hoping the local paper will get hold of that photo. It really captured the fright-filled bond I made that day with all the waterfowl. I took lots of photos of the rescued ducks, along with their inflictions, but I can’t show them to anyone.

The wild ducks are now residing at a non-wild and unnatural facility where they finally live a life of confusion and displacement. Oh, but I can’t tell you where that location is either. I couldn’t be prouder of my accomplishments in this matter. I’m now eager to ambush another strange town and disrupt their wildlife as well, with fraudulent claims of distress.

Now, with all sarcasm aside, let me leave you with a little true fact about mallards. Mallards will often pair up with their mate in October and November, and will stay together until the end of the breeding season (from March to May). They are generally monogamous, while some are seasonally monogamous. Either way, those ducks removed from the duck pond in December/January, were more than likely separated from their mates. This is the result of LION’s inexperience and lack of knowledge necessary to be proper stewards of our animals (either wild or domestic). Suffolk County S.P.C.A. should have known better as well, but then again, they have no business being involved with wild animals and really just added fuel to an already disastrous fire of wild injustice.

LION also took away the mallard with melanism, who I’ve been using as a learning subject for children and adults who I lead learning tours for at the Nature Trail. This animal couldn’t have been healthier and was obviously misidentified as a farm-raised cross-bred mallard. Again, their lack of knowledge created a loss for our local education program. I want to thank the East Hampton Village Board for again standing around like mutes and allowing this to happen. Then again, if things continue in the village as they have been, perhaps in five years the Nature Trail will be eliminated, filled in, graded over, and replaced with an Abercrombie & Fitch, where you’ll be able to purchase a duck down parka for under $400.

DELL CULLUM

Wildlife Rescue of East Hampton

Not a Seal
Amagansett
January 9, 2020

To the Editor:

Congratulations to the Village of East Hampton as it celebrates 100 years of incorporation. The recent edition of The Star reported on the new seal unveiled by the village board, displayed on a new village flag.

As this community and The Star usually maintain a high level of discourse, permit me the following comments.

Historically, a seal refers to a graphic device stamped into wax or lead utilized to indicate authority or authenticity. As such, the graphic devices are necessarily very simple (as they are relatively small, sometimes part of a ring), based on shapes defined only by lines, and monochromatic (only the color of the material is present, the image made visible by the shadows generated by the impression).

With time, new devices, symbols or logos, began to be used by entities to provide a mark of identity and differentiation. These symbols have a richer palette of possible shapes and colors and today are omnipresent in all sorts of communications: print, TV, cell, computer screens, video, etc. Yet they still have very real parameters of legibility, determined by the size relative to the distance observed, media of transmission, screen resolution, etc.

Such symbols are carefully designed by professional designers who are trained in considering all the implications of applying an official logo in a variety of applications, materials, and circumstances. It is important that such a symbol be effective in all situations, not only to be effective in fulfilling its function, but in order to ensure effective use of the substantial resources invested in these efforts. (A logo will be applied in a myriad of applications over a long period of time and represents a surprisingly large investment of resources and “brand” value.) Art is something else, created by practitioners with different skill sets, serving a different set of objectives.

The image displayed on the new village flag may be art, but it is certainly not a seal. When reduced dramatically in size to be used in various applications (stationery, newspaper ads, town ordinance signs, and stickers) or reduced to monochromatic applications (full color reproduction is not always possible) it simply will not work. It will not be legible — the minimal criterion for the success of a seal or logo.

The artist involved, Mr. Bluedorn, confirmed that this was the first time he had been asked to create “something so official.” I have no criticism of him. It is certainly a pretty drawing.

But I hope that in the future, village board members will consider all the implications of required professional expertise before using public funds to commission work. Maybe in 2120.

DAVID GROSSMAN


Advantage
Naples, Fla.
January 9, 2020

To the Editor:

With five months to go before the village’s mayoral election, it is questionable policy to appoint a new mayor for the next six months. The deputy mayor has had ample time (since July) to prepare for filling in the mayor’s role for this time period until the people of the village decide in June who should be their mayor.

If the appointment goes to one of the candidates running for mayor, it can clearly mostly be seen as a blatant maneuver that attempts to give the advantage of incumbency to a candidate during the upcoming election. It just doesn’t pass the sniff test. I would advise against it.

Sincerely,

A.M. BUTLER


Questions
Bridgehampton
January 8, 2020

To the Editor,

There is a very important election to occur in our beloved East Hampton Village this summer. Has the current mayor given a reason he is not fulfilling his term? Seems odd to me and that there could be some political reasons for this. I think questions need to be asked and answered here.

ADAM M. MILLER

Rigging
Berwick, Me.
January 8, 2020

Dear Editor:

Clearly an attempt at rigging the election in favor of Barbara Borsack. Everyone knows incumbents have a higher likelyhood of re-election. The current mayor is playing the residents for fools. A fair election, and let him endorse his candidate of choice (if he chooses to), not play games like this. That should piss off every East Hampton voter.

KEVIN D. GRAY


Unfair
East Hampton
January 7, 2020

To The Star:

Appointing a new village mayor now is inappropriate seeing as there will be elections in five months’ time. We need to keep the election process open and honest without giving anyone an unfair advantage. I may not live in the Village of East Hampton, but I work, shop, and spend my money there, and local politics do affect me.

Sincerely,

JACQUELINE DUNPHY


An Edge
Wainscott
January 7, 2020

To The Star:

With five months to go before the village’s mayoral election, it is inappropriate to appoint a new mayor during this time. This appointment would clearly be seen as to give Ms. Borsack an edge during an election.

Sincerely,

GARY WALEKO

This letter was generated via an automated link on a group email sent by Jerry Larsen, a former East Hampton Village police chief running for village mayor in the June election. In addition to Mr. Waleko, 12 other people submitted the same letter. The Star asks that letters be written by their signers and be unique. Ed.


Rubber-Stamping
East Hampton
January 10, 2020

Dear David,

The bottom line regarding these sand mines across the East End is not whether they are polluting the groundwater, they are. Neither is it the up-in-arms citizens groups and evidence of contamination in health reports done by the Suffolk County Health Department. Nor is it the tree huggers versus big business.

“The buck stops here” were the very words of one of their own people in charge of issuing permits like candy to sand-mine operators since the first mine was dug. So the buck indeed stops, as it stands, with the State Department of Environmental Conservation, but not in the arrogant capacity their mining permit person insisted. Rather, that power needs an end date.

The D.E.C. is more than at fault, it is a rubber-stamping agency for wealthy sand-mine owners, if truth be told. You know it, and I know it; they obviously brag about knowing it. And how dare anyone challenge them, is their attitude. We dare. Time for those stone-age walls to be knocked down. They have not been following their own protocol in sand-mining permit applications and renewals. No water testing is done. And no one is allowed on private property to test the water. They sit on their throne granting these permits to mine sand, continuously disturbing the groundwater for years and years. It has taken its toll. It’s time to be done. Our only filter out here between clean drinking water and toxic chemicals is our sole source aquifer, which is in jeopardy. Allowing further interference with the aquifer is criminal. You can only treat water to a degree and then it’s useless to do so.

The D.E.C. can deny until the cows come home that they did nothing wrong. It’s all in the evidence, all in the paperwork where time and time again “no impact” to the environment (i.e., the aquifer) is declared.

Lawyer up all you want, the facts are there. Sand Land in Noyac is the precedent. The damage is done. Close it. And then deny any further permits to violate our aquifer at the other sand mines in East Hampton and elsewhere out here. Enough. The towns must take their power back from the D.E.C. concerning sand mining.

The people have spoken. The experts have spoken. It is time for the judge in the Sand Land case to do the right thing. Before we have a health crisis from polluted drinking water. Before the aquifer, which was deemed to be protected above industry and man’s greed, is polluted for good. This is a huge wake-up call to those who were asleep. The harbinger of a toxic water disaster is upon us. Heed the facts, and don’t let the D.E.C. continue to permit these sand mines to operate. You’ve been warned.

 Sincerely,

 NANCI LAGARENNE


Car Wash
Springs
January 12, 2020

Dear David,

As a longtime educator who, when I was in private school, one of my tasks as a teacher of humanities was to establish the meanings of the attributes of a culture. Leading the list of attributes was a government defined as taking care of the needs of the people. In our town, the governing body, our town board, has set up different groups called boards, i.e.: planning board, zoning board, etc., to supervise difference parts of that duty. Each has a specific duty.

Appearing before the planning board recently, I stated my objections to a car wash. Putting aside my in-depth understanding of our fragile aquifer as a hostess of a local LTV program, the developers of this project (How much money can I make off the quality of life issues of East Hampton, especially the hamlet Springs?) are dead wrong.

The location near the dump, with its own traffic, a future bus depot, and perhaps the busiest section of road, Springs-Fireplace Road, there is in East Hampton, is truly ridiculous. We don’t need it! We don’t want it! And we have done very well without it.

The Board of Cooperative Educational Services predicts as we become more of a second-home community and population subsides, our needs will change. People are not going to come out for a weekend and get their cars washed. Let’s hope these boards and our government will do their jobs and take care of the needs of the people who live in East Hampton and especially the long underserved hamlet of Springs.

Sincerely,

PHYLLIS ITALIANO


Tipping Point
Sag Harbor
January 7, 2020

Dear David,

I am totally sympathetic with Manny Vilar who wrote in his letter to The Star last week, “Sadly, East Hampton is on track to be a summer version of Palm Beach, where the work force commutes in but cannot afford to live.”

Here in Sag Harbor, Save Sag Harbor held a New Year’s Day fund-raiser at which their members congratulated themselves on having avoided the “East Hampton trap,” by which they meant we had avoided the plague visited on East Hampton by Donald Zucker, who bought up many properties on Main Street, rented them out to very high-end retailers, and gutted the village of its charming mom-and-pop stores. (Zucker has just bought a chunk of our own Main Street and is about to wreak his particularly nasty brand of “upscaling” here.)

But landlords like Zucker cannot charge high rents to retailers unless there is a market for the types of stores he rents to. And that market comes not from those of us who actually make up the citizenry of Sag Harbor, just as no one who is a year-round resident of East Hampton can afford to shop in Zucker’s tenants’ stores.

A village like East Hampton — and now, Sag Harbor — loses far more than affordable shops when this sort of upscaling happens. What attracts landlords like Zucker and all that follows in his wake is a rash of building for second-home owners. Why? Because these people do not consider our villages their homes. They do not participate in our community affairs. They do not send their children to our schools. They do not volunteer in our charitable organizations. They do not even subscribe to our newspapers. Instead, they invite their city friends and family to sit around their pools and perhaps go out for overpriced dinners at our restaurants.

We have reached a tipping point. We now have enough second-home owners that they are determining our economy. They have driven up the prices in our restaurants, our shops, our theaters, even our gas stations. They have driven up the cost of housing and the cost of raw land. Businesses whose owners do not live and pay taxes in our villages are happy to serve these people, but we who live here have lost our restaurants, our pizza places, our affordable shops.

It is understandable that the village governments do not care to stop this trend: People who pay high property taxes yet do not send their children to our schools represent a net financial gain. But what is lost to us is the sense of community, the one-for-all-and-all-for-one quality of life of a small community of neighbors who know and love one another.

If there were the will to do this, the powerful tide of second-home owners could be stemmed. Small towns and cities all over this country are doing this. So is the brilliant city of Tel Aviv. And in New York City, this method of shifting the balance of housing costs is about to be implemented to make more of the city’s housing stock available to the people who work there.

Two years ago, Tel Aviv realized that more and more luxury condos were being built in the city, while fewer and fewer Tel Avivians could afford to live near where they worked. European Jews, fearful of anti-Semitism, were buying up clusters of apartments as a hedge against having to suddenly migrate to Israel. The city answered promptly by levying tripled property taxes on apartments that were not owner occupied at least half the year.

What would happen if Sag Harbor and East Hampton did the same? Those who want to live in luxury would find another place to build their McMansions. They would dine out elsewhere. They would shop elsewhere. Property prices in our villages would drop, and so would all the costs of living for those of us who are still trying to live here.

This does not mean that businesses would be driven out. It means they would have to sell more affordable meals and merchandise, sell to those of us who make up the real heart of our communities. Not so bad, really. Do our local governments have the will to do this?

SUSAN PASHMAN


Insult to Injury
Springs
January 13, 2020

Dear Editor,

Outrageous is a word I have heard many times ever since your article in the Jan. 9 Star titled “Gansett Meadow Move-In Ready in 2020” was printed.

What has everyone fired up is the realization that the town’s affordable housing program will not be for struggling local East Hampton residents, such as our struggling volunteer first responders. According to Catherine Casey, executive director of the East Hampton Housing Authority, “Applicants will be divided into four groups: Suffolk residents with no preference, Suffolk residents with preference, non-Suffolk residents, and non-Suffolk residents with preference.”

Ms. Casey further stated “that the town had anticipated that firefighters would also be given preference, but the state is not likely to allow it.” Additionally, Ms. Casey states, New York State asked the town Housing Authority for a lot of demographic data, and firefighters are very white and male. The state’s not comfortable because they feel that it would give an edge to racial demographics.

To add insult to injury, Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc is quoted in another story in your paper touting at the “state of the town” address the town board’s affordable housing achievements, “50 new affordable-housing units under construction or recently completed, and a total of 22 acres of land acquired to develop more and that the town has produced more units of affordable housing per capita than any other town on Long Island.”

Then lastly, in another story, you report that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Fred W. Thiele Jr. and Tony Palumbo and Senator Kenneth P. LaValle. The legislation, which was something I personally championed while in Albany but am unaware of a single town official doing the same, authorized towns in the Peconic Bay region to establish community housing funds to be funded by a supplemental real estate transfer tax. Additionally, the legislation would have ;

1. Formed an advisory board in any town that has created a community housing fund to review and make recommendations regarding the town’s community housing plan.

2. Would have allowed residents of the five East End towns to vote on imposing a 0.5-percent real estate transfer tax to create the Peconic Bay Community Housing Fund.

3. It would have established a funding source to be used to build new housing and rehabilitate existing houses for affordable programs.

4. Provided financial assistance to first-time home buyers, to create public-private partnerships to develop housing.

5. It would have created a counseling service to assist potential buyers.

There is nothing we can do about the governor’s veto other then resubmit the legislation and try again. But as far as the town board goes, there needs to be full disclosure and accountability. The town board has a credibility problem, and it would appear that pursuing political housing ideology is more important than the needs of our local struggling families. The town board needs to come clean and answer these three simple questions.

1. Did the town board know this prior?

2. If the town board did, why did they not share this with the community?

3. If the town board did not know this, then why not?

Many of us understand federal, state, and county money comes with conditions, which is why the Thiele and Palumbo and LaValle legislation was so important. Where many of us feel betrayed and misled is the fact that the conditions cited by Ms. Casey were not disclosed. The current elected town board members campaigned on creating affordable housing for East Hampton residents, in particular, our firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and ocean rescue volunteers. At no point has anyone of our elected super majority 5-to-0 Democratic town board members told us that East Hampton residents would be at best disenfranchised, at worst discriminated against in favor of non-local residents from out of town.

This is outrageous and is not representative of East Hampton values but rather national political ideology over our struggling local community.

The East Hampton Republican Committee is the local party dedicated to working families, a living wage, environmental conservation, and economic development. We believe in bipartisan solutions regardless of financial status or political party affiliation. Access to the government should not be based on what you can afford or how much you donate to a national or local political party. Town government should be fair, equitable, open, and transparent to all.

Come and check us out at our next monthly meeting. We will not judge, nor will we demand that you follow a national, state, or New York City political doctrine. Let us work together for a better East Hampton for all.

MANNY VILAR

Chairman

East Hampton Town

Republican Committee


Against Humanity
Amagansett
January 13, 2020

Dear Mr. Rattray:

I would like to thank The Star, and reporter Christopher Walsh, for printing the very nicely written article about the (pick one) old guy, fool, goof, oddball, visionary standing outside Town Hall with signs.

For the past two Fridays I have been in front of Town Hall with signs about the existential global climate crisis. Week one, I received very limited response and was alone. Week two, alone again, but had a visit from Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc. We had a pleasant and interesting conversation, climate related. He gave me some encouragement, which I really appreciated.

I also had 21 horn honks (some did a  two-tap) and numerous waves and thumbs-up from passing vehicles. These were also appreciated.

I’m standing there trying to raise local awareness of a global problem and rising global movement. “Fridays for Future/Fridays for Climate Change” was begun over 73 weeks ago in Sweden by a young lady named Greta Thunberg. She has become an inspiration for millions, with more seeing the peril every day. Her message is simple — pay attention to the science and we must act now.

As Greta asks, and I ask, don’t listen to us: Wake up to the science! Nearly everyone has a phone and/or a computer! Do the research, read about the science from legitimate sources, learn, and be very afraid! The numbers and prognosis are frightening. The future of our children’s children’s children is on the line.

The one number that has struck me the most in my own research is our daily emissions of carbon into the atmosphere — 200 billion pounds per day! Two x 10 to the 11th. Here’s what that looks like — 200,000,000,000.  Every day we delay is exacerbating and accelerating the destruction of the only place we know of to live. Every day we fail to act makes attempts to repair the damage more difficult. We are answerable to our children and descendants. What will our children be able to say to their children that we did when we knew?

Knowing this and failing to act would be a crime against humanity! Failing to act would be evil! But we are not evil! We’re good, and we can do anything together! But we need to become aware that this is truly an existential environmental crisis! Time to wake up.

We, the people, in order to form a more perfect union with the world and each other. The choice is ours. It’s going to take a monumental effort to clean up the mess we have made, and we’re going to have to do it together! I will be in front of Town Hall every Friday at 9 a.m. Please come stand with me to meet like-minded people, converse, and make some noise. Let’s make lots of noise!

Forgive me if this sounds self-righteous or preachy; I’m scared. Scared not enough people will awaken to the seriousness of this crisis in time to act. Not for me, I’ll be dead. For all the beautiful children I see everywhere. And all the mothers. And all the fathers. And life.

I’m on Facebook if you want to message me for more info or to join the fight. Please, no haters or deniers; I’ve heard enough of that already.

HARRY LAGARENNE


Personal Attacks
Wainscott
January 13, 202

Looks like the unquestioning pro-Deepwater Wind crowd has unleashed Plan C to aid their partner Orsted run a high-power electric cable throughout a residential neighborhood: Personal intimidation and character assassination.

The group whose founder was also the co-founder of Win With Wind — who promised to bring facts to the debate about the South Fork Wind Farm — ran an ad in The Star last week attacking supporters and advisers to the Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott. Clearly unwilling to debate the merits of the high voltage cable landing site in a residential neighborhood, they decided that their cause permitted them to try to maliciously and recklessly harm their fellow citizens’ reputations. The effort had no other purpose than to try to silence them and the more than 1,300 Wainscott community members who signed their petition.

Whatever the merits of the pro-Orsted group’s goals, outlandish personal attacks against fellow citizens discredits their “movement” and the South Fork Wind Farm project. One would hope these scandalous attacks are not consistent with Orsted’s corporate values and fair dealing with local communities and should be disavowed by Orsted publicly and immediately. Unless, of course, Orsted tacitly supports these thuggish tactics in a win-at-any-cost effort to missinform and divide our community. Now would be an opportune time for them to make it clear where they stand.

MICHAEL ELKINS


Latest Hypocrisy
Wainscott
January 13, 2020

To The Star:

Orsted supporters have now, ironically, adopted scorched-earth tactics as the opposition to Orsted’s proposed landing site for a massive electrical cable project builds and the tough questions are asked. Win With Wind and its other offshoots preach the need to be fact-based, but spend most of their time trying to foment some form of class warfare. Their latest hypocrisy is to run a hate-filled ad with multiple high-pitched accusations against volunteers in a grassroots and broadly supported Wainscott community group. The main thrust of their argument is that opposition to the Orsted project is filled with class enemies who simply have no right to join the public debate because they have “deep pockets” and are “wealthy Wainscott millionaires.” This is civil discourse? Those are facts? Among many other errors, they raise a bizarre Ukrainian connection and include a local politician who is not even part of the group!

This is the latest unhinged outburst from the co-founders of Win With Wind. Among their two prior contributions to the debate were:

1. Attending a Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee meeting in June 2019 to berate the 100-plus attendees who vitally care about the future of Wainscott, accusing them of being selfish and then walking out of the meeting before the presentations were completed (only to have to clarify her statement two weeks later in a letter to the editor after getting called out for it);

2. Running another ad in The East Hampton Star in November 2019 accusing all 1,300 Wainscott community members of being “wealthy millionaires” and selfish for blocking the will of Orsted to run a powerful electric cable through their residential community.

Hopefully they now feel ashamed of starting personal attacks and attempting character assassination. Educators really should know better.

PAMELA MAHONEY


To Buy Ads
Wainscott
January 12, 2020

Dear David,

You happy now? You write a nutty and dangerous editorial trying to “expose” the founders of a grassroots community organization opposed to landing Deepwater Wind’s power cable in Wainscott, and now you get your readers to buy ads in your paper attacking them personally? Wonder if you even gave them a discount. Shameful.

MITCH SOLOMON


Sad Attempt
Wainscott
January 13, 2020

To The Star:

Does the end justify the means? A group started by one of the Win With Wind co-founders has stooped to a new level of base discourse in our community. Running ads designed to individually stigmatize several community members who have — with the community’s support — stood up to a corporation with an arrogant plan to run a power cable through their residential community. The ads are a sad attempt to stifle debate; they do not even attempt to engage in a discussion on the merits.

Yes, the U.S. needs to take action on climate change (starting with conservation, reduced energy usage, and alternative energy sources). But that does not mean running over anyone in your way. Orsted supporters are now resorting to mean public denunciations and intimidation — riddled with errors, too — of those who would dare oppose Orsted.

Thank you,

JORDAN TERAMO


Patently False
East Hampton
January 13, 2020

Dear Editor:

Your editorial in the Jan. 2 issue of The Star continues to blame President Trump for embracing anti-Semitism. You wrote that President Trump embraced the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, declaring that some of them were “very fine people.”

This is patently false. He specifically condemned the neo-Nazis. Check his speech. He was, instead, referring to protesters in Charlottesville who were divided into two groups: those who wanted to take down the statue of Robert E. Lee and those who wanted it to remain standing. About these two groups he said: “There were fine people on both sides.”

The president’s remarks about Jews in the real estate business were initially as you quoted, but he went on to say that “Americans need to learn to love Israel more because you have people that are Jewish people, that are great people — they don’t love Israel enough.” Why was this comment left out? Very often I find his honesty and lack of polish refreshing, and occasionally I wish he would think a little more carefully before he speaks.

You mention that white supremacists have been brought into the White House by President Trump, but again no examples are mentioned. Were you happy with President Obama’s close relationship with the Rev. Wright (“Gd Damn America”) or with the frequent visits to the White House of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, two anti-Semites?

I applaud your paper’s policy of printing all letters to the editor; I’m benefiting from this policy now, but America will always be divided politically, as we have always been! Only totalitarian countries have unanimity of opinion, because opposing views to the government’s are suppressed. Nevertheless, the editor has the responsibility, in my opinion, to present facts when he is making charges about our elected officials.

Best wishes,

ELAINE EVANS


Zeldin’s Failure
Springs
January 13, 2020

Dear David:

This morning, in a bald-faced lie, Mr. Trump claimed that he “was the person who saved pre-existing conditions in your healthcare.”

This ludicrous claim came in apparent response to an ad by the Bloomberg campaign lambasting Mr. Trump for his efforts to eradicate the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). We all remember the G.O.P.’s efforts to derail the A.C.A. and replace it with the American Healthcare Act. And we all remember the G.O.P. representatives being cheered by Mr. Trump in the Rose Garden for its accomplishment. And we all remember Senator McCain casting the deciding vote that sent this legislation to its grave, with Mr. Trump then criticizing McCain’s vote as “treasonous.”

Contrary to Mr. Trump’s dishonesty, the American Health Care Act did not save pre-existing conditions. What it did was prohibit insurers from excluding consumers with pre-existing conditions but then allowed insurers to charge these high-risk consumers premiums at such a high cost that it would effectively deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.

Then after legislation eliminating the individual mandate passed, several G.O.P.-led states filed suit claiming the effect of that legislation rendered the A.C.A. unconstitutional. The Obama administration opposed those claims. After the Trump administration took office, his administration ceased opposing the states’ claims, and ultimately filed a brief before the Supreme Court actually agreeing that the A.C.A. should be found unconstitutional.

If the states and the Trump administration are successful, coverage provided under the A.C.A. will end and tens of millions of Americans will lose health care coverage, including those with pre-existing conditions, as well as children who are covered under their parents’ insurance until they are 26. And, the G.O.P. has no plan B! Some savior!

Let us also not forget that our so-called congressman, Lee Zeldin, fought for passage of the A.H.C.A. (which in the version passed by the House also threatened to deny coverage to veterans who sought treatment from V.A. hospitals). Mr. Trump’s dishonesty and Mr. Zeldin’s failure to fight for the needs of his constituency disqualify them from representing us. I hope you will join me and support Perry Gershon as our next congressman. He is already on record that he will try to save our health care protection.

Sincerely,

BRUCE COLBATH

Washes Up
East Hampton
January 13, 2020

To the Editor:

On Jan. 5 Lee Zeldin tweeted, “So ridiculous. Apparently this is from a new county law here in Suffolk.” The tweet was accompanied by a photo of a sign in a Dunkin’ Donuts that read, “We can no longer offer you straws or put them out for you to help yourself . . . you must ask us for a straw.”

So this is news to Mr. Zeldin, and he thinks it’s ridiculous? Legislation banning plastic straws that has been talked and written about since the beginning of last year and signed into law on Earth Day, April 22, is news to him? That this legislation had the support of many restaurants is probably also news to him.

Wake up, Mr. Zeldin. We live on an island. Anyone who has taken an early morning walk on the beach can tell you the amount of plastic that washes up is disturbing.

We deserve a representative who is not only aware of what is going on in this district, but who is willing to step up and support solutions to the urgent environmental issues of the day. We can do better than a climate change denier whose contributions are a cavalier attitude and snarky tweets.

Sincerely,

CAROL DEISTLER

A Selfie
East Hampton

Trump stands beside her,

the Statue of Liberty,

his hand up her dress.

BERNIE GOLDHIRSCH

About Wealth
East Hampton
January 9, 2020

Dear Readers:

To fully understand our relationship with Iran we need a proper context. Iran compared to the U.S. is a minuscule, powerless country with few resources, a pathetic military, and very little wealth. That Iran would consider going to war with the U.S. is substantially imbecilic. They are not imbeciles.

America’s context is really quite simple. Being white, Christian, and wealthy are all that matters. Virtually everything we do is about wealth; 95 percent of our actions have to do with wealth. The other 5 percent are random. We are an uncomplicated, narrow-minded people. Ask almost anyone in the world.

The problem with Iran is that its only real source of wealth is its oil. Unfortunately, we are awash in oil, and no longer need what Iran and the Middle East have to offer. If Iran fell off the earth tomorrow we wouldn’t know it was gone.

Yet we are doing all this crap with Iran as if it were 75 or 50 years ago, as a reflex — something we think we are supposed to do and aren’t really sure why. All this absurd energy and rhetoric and chaos and lies and distortions for no real reason.

Granted Iranians are kind of dark- skinned, not Christians, and pretty poor, making them an easy ideological target, but why bother?

It appears that we have lost our mojo. Our manliness. Our sense of proportion. We are wasting out time and we are made for better, more lucrative things.

We’ve never had a pure capitalistic pig as a leader before. Maybe he’s leading us astray? We’ve never had someone with no conscience and no concern for human beings before. Have we found our true messiah? He represents whiteness, religious depravity, and greed. Thank God, we haven’t impeached him yet.

NEIL HAUSIG


Seven Principles
Plainview
January 9, 2020

To The Star:

Haters (and hypocrites) come in all colors (and religions), but I wonder what percentage of the recent anti-Semitic hate-filled attackers of Jews have been simultaneously (and hypocritically) celebrating Kwanzaa during the last week of December, given that its seven principles include unity, responsibility, cooperation, purpose, and faith?

To them, I say, if you have a conscience, please feel some shame for your despicable assaults on decent people minding their own business, and try to begin following your own religion’s precepts, including Kwanzaa’s “self-determination” (to make yourself a decent person in 2020). And please re-read the list of Kwanzaa’s seven principles to convince yourself that anti-Semitism is not one of them!

RICHARD SIEGELMAN


Locust Magnitude
New York City
January 10, 2020

To the Editor,

Cutting off the nose to spite the face, a needlessly self-destructive reaction. Hate is blinding — two idioms currently acted played out relentlessly by the Democratic posse led by Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Chuck Schumer, and Jerry Nadler chasing, hunting the Trump, Biden, and Ukraine conspiracy machination, unfazed, undaunted by the pending of numerous crucial government initiatives and programs.

 In normal times and circumstances no creditable institution, sane political party, would even consider interviewing a candidate with Joe Biden’s liable susceptible baggage, aging health, and questionable state of mind. Yet there he is, and here we are.

Should Biden win the nomination, and the odds are very favorable, prepare for locust-magnitude landings of accusations assertions revelations of his and family’s. Overwhelming, paralyzing fast east to the Ukraine, an assured dash to computer data storage units by anxious, fervent, salivating gangs sensing, smelling rich, lucrative blackmailing possibilities, prospects.

Come on, Democrats, wise up! The president is doing you a favor cleansing your swamp. Appreciate a big favor.

EDWARD A. WAGSCHAL


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.