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Letters to the Editor: 02.13.20

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 11:02

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Springs
February 7, 2020

To the Editor:

The 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, this year is also the 100th anniversary of the founding of the League of Women Voters of the United States.

On Feb. 14, 1920, the National American Woman Suffrage Association, which had worked for years to win the vote for women, voted to become the National League of Women Voters (later renamed the League of Women Voters of the United States). Now that women had the right to vote, they no longer had to fight for suffrage but needed to be educated on the issues on which they would be voting. This new organization would serve that purpose; Carrie Chapman Catt, who had been president of the National Woman Suffrage Association and became honorary president of the National League of Women Voters, stated in her opening address that the organization would be nonpartisan and educate women for citizenship.

Today, the League of Women Voters continues to accomplish that mission through the work of the national and state leagues as well as local leagues throughout the country. On the East End, the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons, Shelter Island, and the North Fork is active in helping citizens to register and vote, providing information about the candidates on Vote411, studying and hosting public information meetings on the issues facing our community, introducing students to the voting process, and educating voters on ballot propositions and election procedures. Although we remain strictly nonpartisan, we also lobby our legislators on issues on which our research and study have led us to take a position.

As we celebrate our 100th anniversary, we invite you to join us. Although we are still called the League of Women Voters, our membership is not limited to women and we work to educate and serve everyone in the community.

ESTELLE GELLMAN

Co-President

League of Women Voters of the Hamptons, Shelter Island, and the North Fork


Great!
Montauk
February 9, 2020

To The Star:

Great cartoon last week, Peter. Keep ’em coming!

ERIK PETERSON


On Bull Path
February 10, 2020
To the Editor,

East Hampton has a cell service problem. As many of you probably know, there are many many “dead” cell areas within the Town of East Hampton. This is no longer a convenience issue to enable streaming, texting, or emailing. Rather this is a safety issue. What happens when there is a medical emergency or auto accident in one of these dead zones? Precious minutes lost could result in tragedies. There is no doubt that our citizens need better connectivity.

There is a history here for proposed cell tower sites: the Springs Fire Department, Iacono Farm, and now the residential area on Bull Path. The tower would be the equivalent of an 11-story building, some 185 feet in a dense residential area. This would have a deleterious effect on property values of 15 to 30 percent. Will the Town of East Hampton reimburse these homeowners for their loses from the generous lease payments they receive from AT&T? I think not!

I know that this letter will be published a day after the planning board meeting and I hope that they have come to their collective senses. Hmm, a cell tower on a piece of open farmland or in the midst of million-dollar residential homes? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

 Sincerely,

 BRUCE N. STEVENS


Check and Verify
Wainscott
February 10, 2020

Dear David,

Thank you for printing the letters from concerned residents of East Hampton expressing their views regarding the proposed wind farm. Some state they have researched the facts yet seem to have obtained their facts from Orsted/Eversource. They have not conducted any independent studies or research, not even our town. I summarize some below to hopefully encourage others to check and verify on their own.

The towers, turbines, and blades for the South Fork Wind Farm will be made overseas. G.E. makes a new high-efficiency turbine that would raise efficiency while able to operate over a broader range of wind speeds. American companies have been building structures used in our oceans for decades, i.e., oil rigs, as well as other structures. American companies have been manufacturing propellers since the Wright brothers. Delivering the European-manufactured components to the U.S. will produce unnecessary additional fossil fuel consumption and environmental contamination. Using American-made products is good for American workers, not to mention our gross domestic product.

The shortest cable delivers the most power! Landing the cable in Wainscott would be the longest route, delivering the least amount of power. There are several options to land the cable farther east that would allow power to be delivered to the East Hampton substation, do not require digging up Route 27, and would improve the delivery of additional power to Amagansett and Montauk without requiring a new additional substation in East Hampton. The Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott has done the research and has been the only entity that I know of that has pursued any independent investigation.

The proposed South Fork Wind Farm obligates all of us to the highest cost for our electricity. Without this wind farm, LIPA will still be purchasing wind energy, which we can purchase at a lower cost. Not everyone in East Hampton is a millionaire and the same is true in Wainscott. Why obligate our residents to the highest cost for electricity simply to own bragging rights to be the first on the East End to have wind power at the highest cost? What politician would want that as their legacy?

The town has been approached, again, for permission to bore at Wainscott Beach and dig test pits along the related cable route, but only along their “preferred” Beach Lane route in Wainscott. Orsted/Eversource has an alternative route, as required for the Article 7 review. They had several others and as the various affected areas voiced objection to them, those options were withdrawn. When Wainscott objected, that objection was not respected. Sadly, we must conclude that Wainscott simply has fewer voters. Walk all over them — they don’t matter? How can you have viable alternatives if they are not evaluated equally?

Any test digging in Wainscott should also be performed, at the same time, at their stated alternative site in order to have a proper, honest evaluation. If the town board is going to authorize the digs in Wainscott, Orsted/Eversource should be required to do them at the same time along the Hither Hills route as well, and along any other cable route that does not require digging up Route 27.

An additional alternative that doesn’t receive much discussion is one that would connect with an Orsted/Eversource project that will land a cable mid-Island, not disturbing any of our beaches. This will also reduce the cost of the electricity to the ratepayers. LIPA has already agreed to purchase that power at a lower cost, which should provide lower power prices to not only midIsland customers but to East Hampton ratepayers as well. That I would think any politician would be proud to have as a legacy. A midIsland cable landing does not require our town board or trustees to be responsible for any potential environmental impacts that may happen otherwise.

The residents of East Hampton depend on our elected officials to do what is best for our community. How can that be accomplished without due diligence and independent evaluation of the information and plans provided by Or­sted/Eversource for a project that will obligate all of us to the highest electric costs for the next 20 years?

Contrary to a recent comment, if the cable was landed at Hither Hills, there would be no “blasting” through the dune area. Orsted/Eversource would use the same drilling method under the dunes there to reach the same depth that they are proposing for Wainscott. They would be held to the same requirements there.

The current Orsted/Eversource work site planned for Beach Lane would be spread out on narrow streets, keeping one lane open most of the time but potentially requiring road closure, at times, possibly preventing residents access to or from their homes and not allowing emergency vehicles to pass quickly to respond to emergency needs. Those of us who live along the proposed route have witnessed numerous emergency responses over the years and know how difficult it can be to get necessary emergency vehicles to our beach even without the interference of unrelated heavy equipment. Hopefully, the town and the trustees will not allow this. The work site at Hither Hills, for instance, offers a much larger footprint that would not impact any residents and more easily accommodate emergency services. Most importantly it would also be safer for construction workers by providing onsite parking thus avoiding the need to transport them from and to offsite parking areas.

We are all residents of East Hampton, most all of us strongly favor alternative energy, and I commend the East Hampton board, not only for its investment in solar projects but past, present, and future efforts for conservation.

I do ask why this alternative energy project is creating so much inter hamlet name calling, finger pointing, and disharmony? Could it be the way Orsted/Eversource, with our town’s support and endorsements, has only presented two plans, one bad and the other, in a way that, on the surface, appears worse — a farce? Certainly it is not a plan that serves all the communities in the best way and designed to unite our support. Shame on them. Perhaps they are not the company we should be doing business with. How many times have they changed what they have told us? How many more times will they continue to change their narrative?

MICHAEL MAHONEY


Selfish Morons
Wainscott
February 8. 2020

Dear David:

The recent forum on the airport held at Rowdy Hall had the usual suspects there wringing their hands because we the people are sick and tired of the ever-present torment from these inconsiderate “Wiley Post” wannabes. They profess the time-worn be a good neighbor that rings hollow. We nearly came to tears that the rich will flee if they cannot avoid the traffic that we ordinary peons endure. The quality of life here is why they come.

The constant low altitude over residential areas along with the Sunday morning touch-and-go flying the same route over and over at low altitude like gnats. Then the never-ending swarm of helicopters ferrying so-called “elites” whom they allude are the life blood of the economy. The thousands of us who live year round pay taxes that support this town are the backbone. Dishes rattle, enjoyment of our properties ceases. Taxes move upward but our peace and quiet is like a downward elevator.

Last summer the air-traffic controllers voiced their complaints that helicopters come through a blind spot and avoid detection until the last seconds. Is this not bordering on a disaster? The airport manager himself took punitive action against a pilot flying low over the terminal. However, with all the complaints filed on the reporting systems that are in place, I have yet to hear of any disciplinary action taken against these daily violations. One only has to go to Sagaponack, North Sea, and the East Hampton movie, and see for yourself.

Then the gall of the whiners’ concern that 20 seasonal workers may lose their jobs if the airport closes. What about those in small struggling businesses? Nothing more then a pathetic pleading for their little dangerous nuisance and disruptive playground.

They cite the millions, but not one dime goes to the general fund for services that benefit the residents to offset the rising costs to us. Considering most of them do not even reside in the town, they have a big pain.

Over 600 acres that we cannot even use, and the only thing we get from it is sleep deprivation, air pollution. (Yes. The small planes use leaded fuel that is spread over several square miles, putting families in danger during the most critical time of crash landing and taking off.) Forget the gallons of fuel trucked over our fragile infrastructure and loaded into the potential “bombs”: aboveground tanks sitting above ground over water recharge and wooded areas. Look at how close they are to the main runway that handles the large planes and jets. So these selfish morons who feel they can fly at whatever altitude they want, and violate the rules that present the “not if but when” it will happen. Imagine the catastrophe that will be the end result.

The time is now that the town government put the safety and welfare of the residents as the main priority. They are under sworn oath to protect us as their first duty, and stop catering to special interest groups. There is a safe and giant airport in Westhampton that will serve their needs and only disturb the fauna and ticks. Kobe Bryant’s helicopter went down strictly because of low altitude validated by witnesses. It’s a matter of time here.

Imagine a 600-acre solar farm that will benefit every single person in this town. This is the vision to be embraced.

Yours truly,

ARTHUR J. FRENCH


Please Sign
Noyac
February 3, 2020

Dear Editor,

The state is once again letting down East End residents by not protecting our water. As of January 2020, the Sand Land mine is applying to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to have another permit to allow “importation of finished products such as crushed stone, crushed concrete aggregate, and compost created off-site.” These operations are illegal under the town code and three Appellate Court rulings. How could the D.E.C. entertain another application?

Look at the history: Bringing these materials on site violates the D.E.C.’s own promise that these materials would all be removed from the site permanently as of Sept. 11, 2018, in a “Notice of Intent to Modify.” This letter also indicates that “mining activities at the facility cease and reclamation activities begin.” In this notice the D.E.C. cited the Suffolk County Health Department’s June 2018 test results of the aquifer beneath the mine as a reason for its modification. The Health Department found arsenic, excessive iron, manganese, other heavy metals, radioactive elements, and other contaminants in the aquifer, the source of drinking water for everyone on the East End.

Yet in March 2019, D.E.C. commissioner Seggos said that the mine would be allowed to excavate 40 feet deeper to our aquifer for another eight years and have an additional two years for reclamation. Why the flip-flop? How can the D.E.C. ignore the contamination found in the aquifer? Why has the D.E.C. done nothing to clean up this contamination?

And now we have another permit application being considered by the D.E.C. We demand to know why the D.E.C. reversed its decision and why the D.E.C. has not addressed the contamination in our groundwater. Before any permit is issued, we demand a public hearing, an opportunity to voice our concerns and have our questions answered.

The Noyac Civic Council has set up an online petition. If you want to drink safe water, please sign the petition by 9 a.m. on Feb. 14: change.org/demand-clean-water.

Sincerely,

ELENA LORETO

President

Noyac Civic Council


For the Graces
Montauk
February 10, 2020

To the Editor,

Between Feb. 11 and July 16 in the year 1858, Our Lady appeared 18 times to the 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous in the cave of Massabielle near Lourdes, a city of southern France, situated in the foothills of the Great Pyrenees. This has since become one of the world’s most famous pilgrimage centers on account of its innumerable miracles of physical and spiritual healing.

This information comes from a book called “Saint Companions For Each Day.”

The saints were enthusiastic about God! They did not hesitate to ask Him for the graces which he offers to all. But alas, how seldom do we ourselves request them!

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us now and forever, amen.

VINCENT BIONDO


Mental Confusion
East Hampton
February 10, 2020

To the Editor,

Upon glancing at the cover of this week’s Star dismay turned to shock. A man dressed as a woman addressing young toddler children at the library in Sag Harbor with a caption that the drag queen will be appearing soon at the Children’s Museum in Bridge.

Incredible to me that anyone in their right mind would promote this to young, impressionable kindergartners. How about letting them at least reach puberty before fostering this mind-set on them? The last thing youngsters need at that age is mental confusion about sexuality.

Comments on local social media cannot be repeated here. Suffice to say many feel this is totally outrageous to put it mildly. Shame on both the library and the museum for hosting this, and most of all shame on the parents who simply check off a weekend event for their kids. This kind of stuff would never fly in the heartland.

CHIP DAYTON


Huge Demand
Sarasota, Fla.
February 10, 2020

Dear Mr. Rattray:

Due to the huge demand, I have been asked to organize an MS-13 story book hour for children here on the East End. Can someone tell who I can contact at the Bridgehampton public library to help with this?

Sincerely,

TOM BRENNAN


Look at the Numbers
Springs
February 10, 2020

Dear Editor,

We are now into week seven of the Criminal Justice Reform Law, and it is an unmitigated disaster. Major crimes have spiked in New York City 17 percent, with similar results throughout New York State. Just this past week, a witness against two released MS-13 gang members was murdered by associates. Then we have the sorry of Gerod Woodberry, who between Dec. 30 and Jan. 8 robbed five banks with the last one the day after he was released under the new bail reform laws.

Crime rates in New York City were up 16.9 percent in January. Shootings increased by 28.8 percent as well as substantial increases in other major crimes such as robbery, burglary, and car theft. Yet Bernie Sanders tweeted his support for New York bail reform: “Our cash bail system is a disgrace that disproportionately hurts Black, Brown, and poor Americans. New York did the right thing by reforming its bail law and must not go backwards.”

Facts are stubborn things. Before bail reform, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer testified that one out of four people are released on bail the same day, and more than half make bail within 72 hours. More than 75 percent are out within a week, with 90 percent making bail within two weeks, and only 5 percent of people take longer than one month to make bail.

In your opinion piece, “Justice Reform Burdens Can Be Remedied,” dated Feb. 6, you wrote, “Make no mistake, race plays a huge role. Black Americans are wrongfully convicted and sent to prison at a much higher rate than white Americans. Black Americans even when found to be innocent later, are jailed, on average, more than three years longer than whites who are also exonerated.” While any miscarriage of justice is unacceptable, we have to look at the numbers. Over 30 years nationwide, there were only 2,398 overturned convictions. In New York State, there were only 281, with 53 percent of those being black Americans. This is hardly an epidemic of racial injustice.

Political ideology and philosophy of racial politics make for great headlines and fire up misguided supporters but rarely, as in the case of New York, accomplish its goals. Suffolk Sheriff Errol Toulon, who happens to be an African- American, recently made these points. African-American children and immigrants are more likely to be crime victims. Black youths are victims of violent crime at significantly higher rates than their white peers and are more likely to be victims of child abuse, robberies, and homicides. Children who witness and are victims of violence are more likely to internalize trauma and engage in the types of risky behaviors that can lead them into criminal involvement. Incarcerated men and women often report histories of family dysfunction, being victimized by childhood abuse and sexual assault, and having close family members involved in crime. Most are undereducated, have substance abuse and mental health problems, and often feel hopeless. Without appropriate intervention to address the underlying criminogenic factors, these individuals will be intermittently incarcerated throughout their lives, and bail reform will do nothing to address the root of their contact with the criminal justice system. In fact, we need only look next door to New Jersey to see that reductions in pre-trial detention have not addressed racial disproportionality in state prisons.

I couldn’t agree more with Sheriff Toulon, who also states, “As a society, we have failed these individuals over many decades through misguided public policies, and a lack of political will to tackle the complex human service needs of the poor and especially those with mental illness.”

Sheriff Toulon is a Democrat who has come out strong against the criminal justice act. But what of Democrats such as congressional candidates Perry Gershon and Bridget Fleming, our local elected Democrats, and the East Hampton Democratic Committee? Do they stand with the radicals in the Democratic Party and believe that letting criminals free to victimize our communities is okay?

The East Hampton Republican Committee is the local party dedicated to working families, a living wage, environmental conservation, equality, diversity, and economic development for all. 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 N.Y.C. political doctrine. Let us work together for a better East Hampton for all.

MANNY VILAR

Chairman

East Hampton Town Republican Committee

Mr. Vilar stated that black Americans made up 53 percent of overturned convictions in New York State in the last 30 years. However, just 17.6 percent of the state population is black, according to the census, a percentage that is higher than in the 1990, 2000, and 2010 censuses. This means that more than half of the people who are wrongfully convicted in New York are black, even though they make up less than a fifth of the population. Ed.


Health-Care Costs
East Hampton
February 8, 2020

To The Star:

Imagine if you never had to worry about medical bills. No bills for visits to the doctor, no bills for hospital stays, and never having to hand over money for prescriptions. And, of course, if you get sick or get injured, the last thing you want to get is a bill. This is the ideal, which has been labeled “socialized medicine.”

What most people complain about with this idea is that the money has to come from somewhere, and no one has done a good job of explaining this. I would like to offer a simplified model of how socialized medicine could work — and be paid for. In fact, this model is already in use in most other developed countries around the world, and they have just as good health care as we do. Sometimes better.

Let’s begin with the cost-benefit argument. Right now, to get even decent care most people have to pay a lot of money to a health-care provider, which is a fancy name for a health insurance company. Even with the flawed Affordable Care Act in place, these companies, which are run as for-profit businesses (which I personally think is unethical), find ways to exclude a lot of high-cost applicants and worm their way out of payouts. Often the payouts don’t cover even a quarter of the medical bills they were supposed to, and those who have pre-existing conditions (asthma, cancer, arthritis) can find themselves being priced out, if not completely turned down.

While the pay-in for group health care offered by many bosses is a bit less, it’s still a burden. Most policies average $3,000 to $6,000 a year (that’s a solo policy for a single person or couple) which is a lot already. And those are the most basic of policies. They have complicated contracts connected with them, which only a lawyer can untangle.

Imagine if instead of paying this money to unscrupulous corporations who worry more about the bottom line and their investors than your health (both mental and physical), you could pay this money in taxes, and never have to deal with the health providers again. This is how most European countries, especially England, France, and Italy, handle health-care costs. It works because the government, under ideal conditions, is not looking to make a profit for itself but rather to benefit the average citizen.

There would be strict rules that none of this money could be used to pay for elective surgery, such as liposuction or collagen injected into the lips or even something like Botox. Of course, reconstructive surgery for something like a lost nose, ear, or other body part would be covered; this is necessary for the patient’s mental health as well as his or her acceptance by society.

Just how much we might each pay for such a system is up for debate. Since it would be part of our taxes, it would be scaled to what each person can afford to pay. It has been argued that the super-rich should not have to pay medical bills for the poor by paying a much larger rate in taxes. That’s not how it should be thought of at all. They should think like responsible C.E.O.s of a big company, buying a bulk health plan. Most millionaires and billionaires actually employ thousands of people if not tens of thousands. By paying into a government-run medical program, they will not only be getting first-class health care for a fraction of the price, but they are ensuring that their workers also have first-class medical care without having to worry about the bills. Bills = stress = impairment = lost productivity. Good care will also make sure that injured or ill workers get back to work in a timely fashion instead of extending their down time. It’s really a win-win situation.

I know there are people out there who want to keep their health-care plans. I also know that the health-care providers, like most big businesses, don’t want to see their industry wiped out. The argument is similar to the main one, which was put forth by the fossil fuel industry: Why put all those workers out of a job? In the case of the fossil-fuel industry, the counterargument, which was never made forcefully enough, is that these substances were and still are causing irreparable damage to the world’s biosphere.

In the case of health care, making a profit from other people’s illness is unethical, especially if you’re not going to cover crippling expenses. Interestingly, I wrote a paper on how to deal with this problem, and the best solution is for the government to retrain and hire them to do all the clerical work such a department needs.

The one fly in the ointment that I can see is that you need a government that is not out to make money for itself for this to actually work. We would need a government with integrity and a good sense of ethics (scientific, not religious). Sadly, we currently have a president who lines his own pockets with taxpayer money every time he patronizes one of his own golf clubs or resorts (and he does so often); we also have a Congress dominated by Republicans, who are more interested in keeping their jobs than in doing what is ethical and/or just. I fear that this combination is unlikely to change in the near future, and every day we move closer and closer to dictatorship.

If we are serious about making life better for everyone in this country, we need to rid ourselves of the likes of unethical and, frankly, imbecilic Republicans who bear the lion’s share of the blame for the worst things that have happened to this country. (To be clear, I’m not speaking of Republicans in general, but the ones who are in Congress, with the exception possibly of Senator Romney, who all let the president off the hook for truly heinous crimes.) And, by the way, I don’t let the Democrats off too easily either. There should have been a lot more articles of impeachment, but that’s another story.

To put all this in simple terms, it would be nice to have our health care paid for by the government, just as every other first-world country does, but to do that you have to be able to trust the government to do it right. The one we have right now, I fear, would not be up to the task. Though Democrats are far from perfect, the real problem is Republicans, who do as they like and not what the people who elected them would have them do.

As always, thanks for reading. These are just thoughts.

Sincerely,

MATT HARNICK


Homespun Methods
North Haven
February 4, 2020

Dear David:

For some peculiar reason the Cornhusker State caucuses have been a favorite for predicting the winner of a presidential national election. The Iowa caucus has now made a fool of itself, and the democratic process as well. Iowa’s much-touted quirky caucus system, being the first national election event, has just blown up, and should go into well-deserved oblivion. That it is ethnically limited and inaccessible to many delegates is another consideration.

There is no evidence of tampering at this time, but the voter-tallying app that the Democrats own Democratic National Committee recently bought and installed is a tremendous failure. A paper ballot backup provides the ability to count the voting by hand eventually. However, they still haven’t finished counting the votes because the tallying app really screwed up.

Of course, Donald Trump has taken this opportunity to ridicule everything about the Democrats and their incompetence.

That every state has its own home-cooked method of selecting national candidates, and designing its own voting procedures, has gone beyond quaint. It is obsolete and actually stupid, flawed, and putting the national vote at high risk for tampering and fraud.

Every state has dreamed up its own ideas of how to screen voters, design ballots, implement their favorite voting machines and methods. Every state has its own homespun methods of marking and counting votes and accomplishing primary voting to determine a presidential candidate. Some make a bit of sense, and some are shabby or even of corrupt purpose.

All of this state’s rights nonsense is just because of some misreading of The Federalist Papers, which would lead one to believe, in error, that every state should be an independent nation of some sort. This might be true for certain regulations that affect matters that are totally and exclusively the concern of any specific state.

Reality in this century shows clearly there are matters that are federal in nature and should conform to a uniform set of standards. It is time for us to give up the nonsense that every state can do everything in its own way. It’s time for uniform alcohol laws, marijuana laws, environmental regulations, driving laws, health care, education, gun laws, and now voting procedures.

That’s what needs to change, not all these laws changing from state to state to state. This is the very situation that was maddening about Europe before the E.U., when a 10-minute drive could put you across a national boundary, and you would have a whole other set of laws to deal with. Historically, there was a good reason for that then, but now there is no excuse in this country that calls itself the United States. To have laws that change 50 times when you drive around the country is absolutely absurd and dangerous. It is an inexcusable opportunity to put people at legal risk simply for traveling within their homeland.

In this age of election tampering, this caucus idea really stinks, and should be abandoned. There should be federal standards for voting machines and procedures and competent inspections, sound accounting procedures and documentation, and hard backup of data.

ANTHONY CORON


Let’s Show Them
East Hampton
February 10, 2020

To the Editor:

The impeachment trial showed beyond a doubt that the president tried to extort a foreign leader to interfere in an upcoming election on not just one occasion, but several, that many people in the administration were aware of and complicit in that effort, and that Senate Republicans had zero interest in getting to the truth, instead holding a trial that called no witnesses, including those with firsthand knowledge.

It is now clear that we are on a runaway train, heading straight toward authoritarian rule. At least Schiff and Co. tried to pull the emergency brake. But since that didn’t work, it really is up to us.

Let’s show them that most Americans respect this country and its most fundamental principles of democracy, that most Americans believe a president should not run his administration like a mob boss, that most Americans expect a president to lead by example, not one who leads by bullying and lying, punishing anyone who dares to disagree.

And in November, let’s remember that our representative, Lee Zeldin, still insists that the president did absolutely nothing wrong.

Sincerely,

CAROL DEISTLER


Hateful Liberals
Springs
February 6, 2020

Dear David,

Can you believe the time, money, and crazed Democrats have put themselves out there for a full acquittal. Are they that dumb to think they could do a half-ass job in the basement of the Capitol.

Call only witnesses they thought would help their case, stop the G.O.P. from asking questions, and not allow them to call their own witnesses.

The Democrats then sent their mess over to the Senate, expected them to clean everything up and find the president guilty.

Now we have the State of the Union, an excellent speech, plenty of applause, except for the white-suit hateful liberals. Nancy Pelosi claims, actually swears, she prays every day for the president. She says she doesn’t use the word hate, but she sure showed her hate when she tore the president’s speech in half. She then had the nerve to talk at a press speech about decorum. Where was the decorum when liberals sat during the speech instead of applauding, especially when the soldier came home. There were other instances when they should have stood, but showed their hate and remained seated. Talk about dividing the country — the Democrats have done more than their share.

I personally expected nothing else from Romney, he’s still sulking.

In God and country,

BEA DERRICO


Worthy of Discussion
East Hampton
February 6, 2020

Dear David,

The phrase so much in discussion in the failed attempt to impeach Donald Trump, “high crimes and misdemean­ors,” was in my view misinterpreted. The sophistry inevitable when lawyers debate obscured the common sense the framers intended. Republican legislators pretended that high crimes and misdemeanors are one thing. In fact, either the phrase was a tautology, or the framers were acknowledging that impeachment might be appropriate even in the absence of a high crime, or even a low crime.

The first definition of “misdemeanor” in the dictionary is “ill behavior, evil conduct.” This leaves to the discretion of the Senate what ill behavior or evil conduct should be worthy of a guilty verdict in impeachment proceedings.

In that case, the articles of impeachment could have required a good-size  truck to deliver. One-thousand six-hundred public lies would take some work to enumerate, and some time to debate. But to take just one example, defying the worldwide consensus of science related to climate change, and enacting policies that assure the onset of global catastrophe impacting billions of lives, surely qualifies by itself as ill behavior worthy of discussion on the Senate floor.

Congress should heed the proverb “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

DON MATHESON


Greenhouse Gases
Huntington
February 6, 2020

Dear Mr. Rattray;

You tell a sad but true story about warming winters in East Hampton. It’s been a long time since we’ve experienced the long freezing winters of the past.

However, a greater concern than the inability to take out our iceboats is the rising water that warming oceans are already bringing. A coastal resiliency plan has already estimated a $5.5 billion threat to private property in East Hampton. Homes are going up on pilings. Montauk is considering retreating from the coast.

Also, warming ocean currents, according to a recent study, are speeding up much more than anticipated. This will redistribute weather patterns and affect marine life. Our fisheries will feel the effect.

There’s no solution to this problem other than to stop putting the greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide and methane — into the atmosphere. We need a 100 percent renewable economy, including transportation and the energy grid. Gov. Andrew Cuomo promises that by 2050. It doesn’t look like we’ll be able to wait that long.

Sincerely,

ABBY PARISER


A Sad Time
Montauk
February 8, 2020

Dear David:

In his revolutionary pamphlets, “Com­mon Sense,” published from 1775 to 1776, Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

Let us face reality. It is indeed a sad time for our citizens and our democratic republic. On Jan. 31, 2020, the G.O.P.- controlled Senate voted to hear no more witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump. The G.O.P. senators stated that they needed more firsthand testimony, but then blocked John Bolton (with firsthand testimony) from testifying. Common sense? On Feb. 5, the Senate acquitted Trump of charges that he abused the powers of his office and obstructed Congress.

The G.O.P.-controlled Senate has now set a precedent that a sitting president is above the law and cannot be prosecuted for any criminal or noncriminal transgression. To be concise, Trump can continue to grope, rape, pay off porn stars, engage in extortion, bribe, direct political assassinations without congressional approval, and engage in corrupt foreign transactions for political benefit.

Trump is no longer a president. He is an authoritarian dictator who will continue with impunity to purge the American judiciary, the C.I.A., the F.B.I., and the N.S.C. At the same time, he has endorsed his coterie of “strong leaders” —Putin, Erdogan, Duterte, and MbS, butchers and assassins — all while alienating our longtime allies and friends.

I have no doubt that history will judge the G.O.P. sheep with the same brush used for the Nazi sheep who willingly voted for the enabling act and vowed to follow, without any sense of a moral compass, the will of Adolf Hitler.

There are, of course, many ways to deal with a dictator. I would most heartily recommend the course taken by our founding fathers. Revolt, and then vote. I had always believed that Americans were secure in the collective wisdom, tutelage, and vision of our founding fathers — Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, and Washington — men who pledged their lives and fortunes to create a democratic republic that would protect us from foreign and domestic enemies and dictators. Until Trump, the Constitution that they had written had done just that.

Cheers,

BRIAN POPE


Repeating VIND
Plainview
February 8, 2020

President Trump’s firing of Lt. Col. Alexander VINDman was a VINtage, VINDictive act by a revenge-seeking man unjustifiably feeling VINDicated by his impeachment acquittal. The only true VINDication earned was by VINDman, whose truthful testimony was supported by multiple other witnesses such as Gordon Sondland and Marie Yovanovitch.

It’s too bad the House of Representatives managers did not employ any lawyers as effective as the infamous “My Cousin VINny.”

RICHARD SIEGELMAN


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