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Letters to the Editor for April 9, 2020

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 17:45

Heroes Emerge
Springs
April 5, 2020

Dear David,

When the Town of East Hampton moved to an Incident Command Structure to handle the ongoing state of emergency, I became the liaison to the town’s Department of Human Services. In this role, I have the privilege of collaborating with the Human Services Department, East Hampton, Springs, and Montauk food pantries, Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center, the school districts, the East Hampton Clericus, OLA, Meals on Wheels, the Retreat, Family Service League, East End Cares, the list goes on.

I soon learned how each of these organizations was quietly and compassionately helping our children, our seniors, and our hard-working families during a time of tremendous loss, uncertainty, and fear. This new knowledge gave me pause, as I reflected on what it truly means to be a “hero.”

When I think of a hero, someone with super powers usually comes to mind. Sometimes they don a cape, possess super-human strength, and are extremely agile. But at this moment in time, our definition of a hero has changed. All of these folks who are working tirelessly and selflessly behind the scenes are heroes.

The folks at Human Services who are making calls, preparing meals and delivering them to our seniors are heroes. The staff and volunteers at East Hampton High School feeding our children so no child goes hungry are heroes. The volunteers at the food pantries providing nutritious food to those who are food insecure are heroes.

The teachers and teaching assistants who have had to adapt their practices so our children can continue to learn and have some sense of normalcy are heroes. The custodians and sanitation workers keeping our workspaces and our public spaces clean and sanitized are heroes.

The police officers, marine patrol officers, volunteer firefighters, and E.M.T.s who are a phone call away are heroes.

The grocery store workers who are ensuring that stores stay open so everyone has access to fresh food and essentials are heroes. And the nurses, doctors, and health care professionals who are putting their own lives at risk treating our sick are heroes.

In the midst of terrible events, heroes emerge. We see you. We thank you. May God bless you.

Take good care,

KATHEE BURKE-GONZALEZ
East Hampton Town Councilwoman

 

Gift Program
Springs
April 6, 2020

Dear David,

The Spring Food Pantry received some wonderful gifts last month, and how timely they have been! Last week, the number of people seeking food rose from over 300 to over 450. This week we expect even more.

Our first gift came from East End for Opportunity, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to help the less fortunate members of our East Hampton community. They purchased a 49-cubic-foot freezer for our pantry, which has doubled our ability to store frozen products.

And as if that were not enough, EEF0 also proceeded to initiate and promote a Friends of the Springs Food Pantry matching gift program. For every donation we receive of $250 or more, EEFO, with the help of certain individuals and foundations, matches that amount.

As an all-volunteer organization serving possibly the poorest hamlet in East Hampton, we never seem to find enough time for fund-raising. We wish to thank the EEFO board for their monetary wizardry, and even more for their spirit of generosity in these difficult times. We hope that EEFO’s amazing commitment to help us will inspire others to give as well.

Sincerely,

PAMELA BICKET
Springs Food Pantry

 

Working Together
East Hampton
April 4, 2020

Dear Editor:

We live in a special place where neighbors help neighbors in times of need, where volunteers get up in the middle of the night to respond to a crisis, and where individuals and community groups rally to provide food and other help to persons in need. This is the East Hampton I know and love and have been a part of all of my life. In this crisis we see it clearly and many folks are a part of it once again.

This week, I’ve seen some amazing examples of our very special community. I’ve seen local businesses taking care of people, like Round Swamp Farm delivering baskets of food to some of our elderly friends who are dealing with isolation and difficulty securing supplies. I’m aware of a restaurant manager who has been laid off because of this crisis and is now volunteering to help get food to people in need. I saw the fisherman from Montauk who gave away his catch to people in the community who needed food.

I’ve devoted a good deal of my time as an adult volunteering to meet the needs of this community, so I understand how important it is to reach out to each other and assist where needed. I’ve been a volunteer member of the East Hampton Ambulance Association since 1990. I’m a charter member of the East Hampton Healthcare Foundation and still serve on its board, and I’m in my third term as a member of the board at Southampton Hospital, where I’ve been a strong advocate for a 24/7 facility in East Hampton for emergency care.

I’m excited to see that dream coming to fruition as plans have been developed and funds are being raised now to see that become a reality in the next three years. In 2011, I founded the Southampton Hospital ambassador program, which uses volunteers to guide patients and visitors at the hospital by accompanying them to testing sites, answering questions and problem solving, and assisting staff with patient transports and errands of all sorts. So my concern for this community, its residents, and their medical needs is a lifelong one.

Those many years involved with the medical community on the East End have taught me one thing: We have a top notch system of emergency services here, from patient care to transportation to our excellent emergency room at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. We are in good hands! The hospital has been busy creating new patient rooms and expanding their emergency room facilities for triage and bed space to face this unusual challenge. The Healthcare Center at Pantigo Place is working hard to accommodate their patients. Our volunteer emergency services folks are answering every call with skill and care. Our hope is that we will weather this crisis without overtaxing any of the professionals and volunteers who are here for you if you need them.

If residents need help, they should call the new hot line set up by the hospital to answer questions and concerns at 631-638-1320. This line will be answered from 8 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday. If you feel you need to be tested for Covid-19 you can call 1-888-364-3065 for the Stony Brook testing site or the newly opened Riverhead site. Drive-through testing at the Riverhead ProHealth facility is by appointment only and is open to all, not limited to ProHEALTH primary care patients. Individuals experiencing Covid-19 symptoms and wishing to speak to a medical professional, or who wish to make an appointment at the Riverhead drive-through testing facility, can call the ProHEALTH dedicated hotline at 1-516-874-0411. The Riverhead drive-through testing site is located at 1149 Old Country Road, Riverhead, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m

Remember. If you need to go to the emergency room and it is at all possible for family to drive you there, please find your own transportation. Speak to your health-care provider first. If you need an ambulance, there will be one to respond as long as we take care not to overtax our system and keep our providers well.

Remember not to congregate and practice social distancing! If you want to walk on the beach, do it, but stay away from others. We have many miles of wide beautiful beaches, and there is room to walk without getting too close to others in the process. We can do this as long as we are working together!

We are a strong, resilient community, and we will weather this storm with everyone’s cooperation. Please stay home, take care of yourselves, and be well!

Sincerely,

BARBARA BORSACK

 

Spread Out
Northwest Woods
March 30, 2020

Dear David,

I hope this finds you and your family well.

Just a quick note to sound the alarm for people that are not understanding social distancing — particularly ones that are gathering on our beaches like it’s a normal summer day.

It doesn’t matter if you are a full-timer, part-timer, or real timer — you are putting us all in jeopardy of losing the privilege of using our beaches.

The police had to break up big gatherings at Ditch Plain, Gerard Drive, and Maidstone beaches, among others. California and Florida have shut down their beaches. We are a small community that needs this access to remain cool, calm, and collected.

Please make sure to practice social distancing everywhere you go, but please be extra careful when you are on the beach.

Avoid popular beaches if possible — let’s spread out so we can all continue to use them.

Warm regards,

TIM GARNEAU
 

Warm Pizza
East Hampton
April 6, 2020

To the Editor:

Thank you Sam’s for delivery of a warm pizza to each Windmill II tenant last week. Delicious!

LALLY MOCKLER

 

The Ultimate
Amagansett
April 5, 2020

To the Editor:

The ultimate pandemic East End substance sandwich:

Simply Sublime peanut butter

Carissa’s Four-Berry Jam

Night Owl True Sourdough Bread

PETER STRUGATZ

 

A Lot Sturdier
New York City
March 31, 2020

Hi, David:

In these trying times, a story comes to mind. It was the height of the financial crisis 10 or so years ago. I was walking Main Beach in a January blizzard, freaked out totally about my life having been plunged into a dumpster, with no hope in sight.

So there I was, amid pounding snow and pounding waves, asking for a sign. Within moments, out of the wild swirl, a man appeared, walking a large dog.

He said as he passed, “You’re a sturdy soul.” It was an exclamation more than a statement. Well, those four words kept me going for a year.

Maybe we’re all a lot sturdier than we think? Just pass one test at a time? Until we graduate?

Best,

JEANNIE REED

 

Not Guilty
Springs
April 2, 2020

Hi there,

I’m one of the dreaded New Yorkers who have come to the East End to buy all your toilet paper and infect everyone with Covid-19. Not.

I’m actually a long-time Springs homeowner and resident. My family and I have been coming to East Hampton for 40 years, both in the summer and on weekends. We buy our groceries at the Stop N Shop. Get our haircuts at Water’s Edge. Eat dinner at Bostwick’s. Order pizza from Springs Pizza. Everyone seemed more than happy to serve us. But now, neighbors slam their doors. Locals glare as we go on daily walks. Pick-up trucks zoom by us on the street — dangerously close.

Not guilty. Not anywhere close.

Is there another side to this story that’s getting so heavily reported? I think so.

Best,

JANE GUNDELL
P.S.: We’ve been reading The East Hampton Star for 40 years, too.

 

Renewing Soon
Kernville, Calif.
April 3, 2020

Dear David and Helen,

This is Janis Peace. I want to thank you so much for continuing your invaluable service to the people of the East End.

I started coming to Amagansett in 1955 or so when I was 8 years old. My family owned the Oaks Inn in East Hampton for 13 years from about 1963 until about 1978 when it was sold. My father was Don Ely. Since moving to California in 1979, I have kept up with the Hamptons via your paper.

In the recent few years I have let the subscription lapse. Due solely to your efforts during this crisis I will be renewing my subscription soon. I appreciate your online service, but there is nothing like opening that wonderful physical newspaper and seeing what is going on in its entirety!

Many thanks again!

Stay safe!

JANIS PEACE

 

All Grateful
Amagansett
April 6, 2020

Dear Mr. Rattray,

I’m writing because I can. I can sit here, without a fever, not coughing, and just look out the window at the forsythia. Or I can get up, put a jacket on, and take a walk to the beach. Or I can keep sitting here, obsessing about all of this and feeding my inner angry, sarcastic nature with the usual: “Why the hell did he say that,  why would they do that, how could they fire a hero, how could one of the world’s most successful resort dinner club chains post a GoFundMe for their staff on Facebook, why are so many people posting dumb political rants? So, obviously, I’m sitting here thinking those things, leading inevitably to more self-loathing.

Okay, I’m better, and I hope you’re better, too. We’re all grateful that the Star is here to keep the community informed, and cautioned, in this uniquely challenging time. It can’t be easy for you and your small staff to stay on top of this and be with your families, and try to stay six feet away from people in the narrow isles of the I.G.A. And not touch your face and not squeeze the avocados. Actually, I was raking leaves on this stunning April day, but decided to come inside and write this. Because you will probably print it. Yes, I washed my hands first. Jesus.

Just when I’m snarling about the annoying Facebook posts (which I stupidly can’t stop scrolling through while touching my face), I notice that a very dear colleague in the music business died of the virus last night.

His wife, a founding member and past president of the Association of Music Producers, watched him die through the window of his room in I.C.U. She was not allowed inside, could not hold him or give him a kiss, though he “died peacefully,” in his sleep. And, of course, there will be no sitting shiva in a traditional way. But I’m here, writing this, and the sun is shining, and it’s warm outside. In a few minutes I’ll take a long walk, and think better thoughts about my “social” communities, posting their ideas and videos and rants. Like the rest of us, they’re at home, maybe with no one to talk to. They should vent and rant if they want, what the hell!

Finally, Nick Kraus of Stephen Talkhouse posted a GoFundMe page on Facebook for the benefit of the staff of our venerable Amagansett rock and blues venue. I paused and thought: The Talkhouse has been host to countless fund-raisers in its 30-plus year history and contributed many thousands to worthy causes and organizations in our community. For families in need, the Wounded Warrior Project, the list would be long indeed. And never taking a dollar at the door. If you’ve ever been a customer of Stephen Talkhouse, find that fund-raiser and give it up to a valuable, generous team.

Going for a walk now. I’ll finish raking later. Be well.

LYLE GREENFIELD

 

St. Patrick’s Stress
Naples, Fla.
March 30, 2020

To the Editor:

For the last 25 years, give or take the birth of twin grandsons on March 16 in 2016, I have held a St. Patrick’s Day party. No matter what day of the week it is, I always hold the party on March 17. Since I have no skill, little talent, and less patience for decorating, I hired Karen J., a woman who seems to enjoy tarting up my house and organizing my life and, a plus, she is pleasant to boot.

On Thursday, March 12, the only day on which Karen was available, she found the St. Patrick’s Day party cartons in the garage, lugged them in, and decorated the entry, the dining room, the living room, wherever she could find an empty spot. Green derby hats, shamrock ties, and boas now preened from floor lamps and end tables, courtesy of Joanne’s, Michaels, and that jewel of Naples, The Best of Everything.

By Friday, the 13th, a few couples who were growing increasingly apprehensive about the spread of the coronavirus began sending me their regrets. My three adult daughters, a very forceful triumvirate, insisted that I cancel the party, a party whose sole purpose was to elevate my Irish heritage. As the harridans relentlessly castigated me, I found myself checking out the coronavirus news online. While I coped with what felt like a heavy disappointment, I called the caterer, et al., and reluctantly sent out an email on the 14th canceling the party. With the exception of a cadre of blond women, bottle or otherwise, I sensed relief among the invited guests.

The day before St. Patrick’s Day, the cleaning lady took all the greenery down and returned the cartons to the garage. To celebrate my Irish roots, my husband and I, clad in green, cruised the hamlet of Naples from Fifth Avenue to Gordon Drive in a green-and-white 1958 Pontiac Star Chief convertible in the early evening of March 17.

On Friday, March 20, I walked in the front door and noticed that the highly detailed boat models of an Italian Riva and a Chris Craft were no longer perching on the entry’s console table. So I called the non-emergency number for the Naples police to report the theft. Hesitating a bit on my call to the non-emergency number of the Naples police, I did say apologetically that the boats were not in the category of money or jewelry. In an understanding Fred Rogers-like voice, the woman calmly said that any robbery mattered.

No more than 30 minutes later, a policeman appeared at my door and requested my driver’s license. That done, and after reciting what facts I could, he told me that a forensics person would be there shortly. An avid “Law & Order” fan, I was keen to observe the forensic expert at work. A white van with “FORENSICS” written on the back pulled into the driveway and a uniformed blond pony-tailed woman stepped out. After my brief recap, she went to the van and returned carrying what looked like a good-sized toolbox.

As she carefully brushed a blue carbon powder on the table to pick up fingerprints, she warned me about the mess it could create and instructed me that a damp paper towel was the best way to remove the blue traces. (I learned that “Dexter” was her favorite crime show.) The police left with my affidavit and an assurance of my willingness to prosecute.

Unsettled, I began checking locks, scraping up keys, and glancing at the empty table. Since jewelry and money were not taken, my friend Betsy and her son jointly decided that it was an inside job. It turns out they were right. A few anxious days passed as I considered what security means and my part in it.

Three or four days after the theft, John, the Bob Vila of Naples, texted me that he had an hour or so to finish a repair on a sliding door he had begun the preceding week. When I handed him the eight-inch screwdriver he needed, he stepped outside to fix the door. All the door needed was a bit of adjusting and a few squirts of WD-40. As he was leaving, we talked about the coronavirus, and I mentioned that the police had been there.

“I heard about the boats. You know, Carole, I think I saw the boats in that room where you had me store the wall clock,” he said, motioning to our little-used office. “Oh, I sighed, shaking my head as I followed him to the office. And there on a glass-topped coffee table sat the Riva and the Chris Craft . . . exactly where Karen J. had placed them. That I did not notice the boats’ absence earlier in the preceding four days, I can only attribute to the coronavirus/party stress. Embarrassed, head hung, I called the police yet again and met with another policeman to withdraw my case.

CAROLE O’MALLEY GAUNT

 

Still Renting
New York City
April 5, 2020

To the Editor:

Hi, we had a trip planned for my immediate family for next week.

We booked it when this pandemic was not nearly as bad as it is now. Turns out, one of the people in the group tested positive for Covid-19 and everyone else had been exposed to him a lot so it’s probably safe to say some more of us have it.

I reached out to the rental company to tell them I would need to cancel. At that time, the policy on their website stated,

“For reservations booked before March 20 with arrivals on or before April 30, 2020:

We want to provide peace of mind and offer additional flexibility for upcoming arrivals while also balancing the impact on our global host community. If your circumstances require you to postpone your travel, we will waive cancellation penalties and apply your past payment toward future travel when you rebook with an arrival on or before Jan. 1, 2022.”

One of their reps got back to me saying he spoke to the property owners and they were willing to book me on the same dates next year. I told him that that was unacceptable because we do not need that house next year, and I pointed out what it says on their website. He told me “unfortunately that does not apply to lux bookings.” It didn’t say that anywhere on their website.

Then I asked him if I can at least receive a credit to use at any of their properties in the future, and he said that the policy is it must be used at the same property. Again, the website didn’t say that, but as soon as I sent that email, I checked the website again and they added those words “at same property.” I was shocked and frankly disgusted that they literally went on the website and changed the wording as I was talking to them.

Anyway, I’ve been going back and forth with them for a little while now, and they don’t want to budge. They’re basically saying that we can come next week (even though we have a confirmed Covid-19 case with us) or take their made up ultimatum.

Obviously, we are not going to go because we don’t want to put anyone else in danger of contracting this disease. But I thought I would send you this message so you can know that there are companies out there still renting houses in the Hamptons to people who are confirmed with coronavirus. It’s sick, and I think they need to be called out about it. They should also be held responsible for not keeping to their policies.

Thank you,

YOSSI GUREVITCH

 

Governor’s Orders
East Hampton
April 4, 2020

Dear David:

Despite Governor Cuomo’s order to stop all nonessential construction, when I called the East Hampton Town building inspector’s office on Friday to report business as usual at the massive renovations going on at a home in my neighborhood, I was told that each construction site is allowed one contractor working at a site.

The one contractor at the site I reported included multiple men working (out of one truck) as well as the family in the home, who recently arrived from God knows where.

Apparently, East Hampton Town interprets the governor’s orders quite differently than they are intended.

NANCY R. PEPPARD, Ph.D.

 

The Best
East Hampton
March 30, 2020

To the Editor:

I was advised to get antibacterial soap and none was to be found. On my way to New York City I stopped at CVS in Manorville, and the clerk showed me where I could find it. I went to the aisle she pointed to and when I got there a young woman was standing by the section I needed. She asked me what I was looking for, and when I told her she said she got the last bottle. She looked at me and said, “You are a lot older so you can have it,” and gave it to me.

Good things do happen, and this season brings out the best in people.

STEPHEN GROSSMAN

 

Glove-Hand Art
East Hampton
April 1, 2020

Dear David,

I write with great concern as both a resident and an East Hampton Town trustee. We have all been kept informed as to the considerable and life-threatening dangers of Covid-19. We have learned that it is highly contagious and is often spread by touching surfaces, so I must ask, why are there rubber or latex gloves strewn on the ground at stores, at our public beaches, in the parking lots, left in store carts outside, or merely thrown down at a curb by a roadside?

To those individuals who do this: Who do they believe will or should pick up those discarded gloves that may well be laden with the Covid-19 virus? Responsible and proper discarding of these gloves or masks or anything used to prevent the spread of the disease is to bag them securely before discarding the items.

My good friend and photographer, Durell Godfrey, and I have been talking. She’s my co-creator in this idea. We hope your readers, young and old alike, will participate. It’s a fun and creative project for our community!

Instructions are simple: Outline your hand with fingers spread, and with crayons, watercolors, or acrylic paints, color the image in. Make designs inside the “glove hand.” It’s up to you how to color it in. Send it to me at my email address: [email protected].

Just as I did with balloon debris I found in the village and town for the Mylar and latex art I framed: “Save A Fish,” “End Balloon Pollution, I will use your “glove-hand art” to make another framed work of art done by all of you! Together, we can make a statement that tells people not to leave potentially dangerous gloves behind as debris for others to clean up.

Our East Hampton town board members issue daily updates that are posted to the website as well as Facebook and other social media outlets. Their efforts to be informed and up-to-the-minute, accurate news is encouraging as we all wonder with trepidation and fear how we will get through this horrific pandemic.

Many thanks to Assemblyman Fred Thiele, Suffolk Legislator Bridget Fleming, and our Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. They are fully engaged in representing our community’s needs. In addition, we have daily access to updates from New York State Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. His concern is evidenced by his hard work and efforts to help residents of New York.

Our deepest gratitude to our postal workers, delivery personnel, refuse and road department workers, E.M.T. volunteers, volunteers who make or deliver food, our restaurant owners who stay open to provide takeout, food pantry volunteers, hospital staff members — nurses, doctors, medical technicians — and school teachers striving to provide virtual classrooms are all to be commended for their dedication and diligence, often without the proper supplies and equipment meant to protect themselves.

If I’ve left anyone out, and I’m certain I have by oversight, please know we all appreciate of every single person who is giving of their time and energy through this difficult and trying time. You are all noble people — the true heroes of our community. Thank you all. You are amazing, and I am proud to be a member of the Town of East Hampton!

From our family to yours, we wish everyone all the best of health, comfort, kindness, and generosity of spirit through the days and nights ahead.

Warmest regards always,

SUSAN MCGRAW KEBER

 

Toxic Littering
East Hampton
April 1, 2020

To the Editor:

Who are the people that are discarding their used vinyl gloves in our parking lots after they complete a shopping mission? I stopped counting the tossed garbage at 12 in the Stop and Shop lot this morning.

Don’t the employees of CVS, Stop and Shop, etc., have enough to do? They are opening early for seniors, trying to keep items stocked, cleaning the checkout counters and aisles, and soothing angry customers who can’t find their favorite brands or are upset that supplies are low. Stop and Shop even placed additional trashcans in their lot, to no avail.

Sadly, this toxic littering can’t be policed. One can’t help but think that full-time residents would not treat our beautiful towns in this cavalier manner.

Sincerely,

SUE RAKOWSKI

 

Bad Thing
Amagansett
April 4, 2020

Dear David,

Being confined to home isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are many ways to keep busy. However, this would be more tolerable were it not for the hideous buzz of leaf blowers. While I know that this is the time for spring cleanups, I can’t see how the use of such mind-wracking equipment should be considered “essential.”

GERRY PANE
 

Sterilizers
East Hampton
April 5, 2020

Dear East Hampton Star,

When Covid-19 first appeared one of the first things I did was to plug in my Ultra Violet sterilizers. As the virus has spread, I was happy to see that at least two of the doctors I visited (for other reasons than Covid) had sterilizers running in their waiting rooms. It’s been rather shocking to me that no one has made any mention of the use of U.V. sterilizers in the face of this disaster. It may not be a solution, but it can’t hurt and it probably would help.

I first came across the concept of U.V. sterilization as a way to keep algae and pathogenic microbes from gaining a foothold in aquarium or pond water. I later found out that a similar device could be used to remove pathogens from the air. Most people know that U.V. light comes in different strengths. The famous ones are U.V.A., which is comparatively harmless, and U.V.B., which is what causes sunburns and later skin cancer. The comparatively unknown U.V.C., which is used by U.V. sterilizers, does a much better job at disrupting genetic material. And the great news is that it kills viruses as readily as it does bacteria and mold spores. I checked, and all known strains of coronavirus (including Covid- 19) are definitely killed by U.V.C. exposure. That’s the good news.

Like all seeming miracle cures, this one has a major flaw. The U.V.C. wavelength only works at very short range. It is also dangerous to expose living tissue, such as skin, to direct exposure as it causes rashes, blisters, and cancer. Thus a U.V. sterilizer consists of a chamber through which air or water is passed where it is exposed to U.V.C. light in an enclosed environment. Whether water or air, what comes out has had most, if not all, the pathogens it contained neutralized. The trick is to make sure that whatever is passed through the unit doesn’t move too fast. The reaction takes a second or so and if the particles don’t spend enough time in the chamber, they can survive.

My original reason for purchasing U.V. sterilizers was mainly as a precaution to keep my family’s home safe for my octogenarian parents in the event of severe influenza or other infections. The intention was to set at least one unit up in a sick room near the infected person to try to reduce the intensity of airborne pathogens. I always knew it was not a solution in itself, but couldn’t hurt and it might just help a bit.

I’m firmly of the belief that U.V. sterilizer units might have made a significant difference if they had been implemented early in public places such as movie theaters, restaurants, and the lobbies of buildings for a start. I would like to assume that hospitals would have them on hand, but I have no data on this. Shame on them if they don’t. While the big push was for masks and respirators (which are, incidentally, both more important and vital than sterilizers), to ignore such a simple device, which might just save a few lives, is hard to fathom.

If you can get one or more, I would do so. A number of smaller, inexpensive units spaced around the house is probably better than a single large one in just one room. It is important to get the air purification unit, which may or may not be part of an air-filtration system. The unit should not have an exposed U.V. bulb! Depending on size and quality, they run from $30 to $600. The more expensive ones are the combination particulate filtration and U.V. sterilization. Unfortunately, viruses are so small that even HEPA filters cannot remove them in significant quantity, yet they might remove 1 or 2 percent of coronavirus, which is fairly large. Again, this doesn’t hurt and at this point might actually help in a very minor way.

Again, this is not a silver bullet. Not even close. However, combined with washing hands, wearing masks in public, and social distancing, it’s something we all can do to try and combat the common foe.

As always, thanks for reading. And to all those reading this, if you are well, stay well; if you are sick, I hope you get better soon.

Sincerely as always,

MATT HARNICK

P.S.: Fun Fact: did you know that there is a wonderful and challenging board game called Pandemic?

 

Spread the Word
Amagansett
April 6, 2020

Dear David,

A few days ago, C.D.C. changed its guidance on wearing masks to prevent Covid transmission. It now recommends the use of “cloth face coverings” to reduce virus transmission in public settings, like stores. This change in guidance has clearly confused the public. Many people, including business owners, are not getting the message.

Locally, Stuart’s Seafood Market is ahead of the curve on this, already requiring that customers wear mask and gloves before entering the store. But other stores are not. In the rest of the local stores I have visited, half the customers are not wearing masks or gloves, and so are putting themselves and everyone else at risk of disease and death. They are raising, not flattening, the curve.

The Star, and all other local papers, should do more to spread the word about this. Everyone should wear a mask in stores. Many experts believe wearing masks in public is key to controlling Covid.

Governor Cuomo and the town board (yes, they can lead the way independently) should immediately require that all employees and customers in an interior shared public space — a store, place of business, or commercial vehicle — wear gloves and a fabric or paper face mask, or plastic respirator, over their noses and mouths.

Strong state and local action on this, immediately, would save lives, and show great leadership. I am a Libertarian, but this is a case where an order would be helpful to businesses, because:

(A) Previous official advice against wearing masks, now known to be in error, is confusing to the public so we can’t rely on the public or business owners to know what to do.

(B) It saves lives and levels the playing field for all.

In addition, state and local governments should encourage citizens to donate professional-grade medical masks to local hospitals, where they are desperately needed, while making their own cheap D.I.Y. fabric masks and plastic respirators if they don’t already own a mask. Masks can be purchased online, but there is a wait for delivery.

C.D.C. and others also provide helpful instruction on how to make homemade masks and respirators.

Thank you, everyone, for your urgent attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

ROD RICHARDSON

 

Vanities
Florence, Ala.
April 2, 2020

To the Star:

If the Covid-19 crisis continues into the next several months, it will generate powerful incentives for certain classes of Americans to jettison the constraints of “social distance.” Especially inconvenienced will be those who place high importance on personal appearance and who have long relied upon professional expertise found outside the home. This includes those ladies for whom a weekly visit to the hair salon has become a long-standing necessity. Less often, but with some regularity, ladies concerned with appearance at the other bodily extremity seek the services of pedicurists. Add to the list those males who periodically require the services of barbers or hair stylists.

The emporiums that offer these services are not on the lists of businesses typically excluded from closure during these stressful times. So, how shall these vanities be served in the time of Covid-19? My guess is that we shall see the emergence of illicit salons—basement and back-door operations in the style of the Prohibition-era speak-easy. Which raises another question, namely, with the proliferation of these houses of ill shame, will responsible law enforcement agencies produce one or more Elliot Ness-like crime busters? Will these nefarious operations be busted up with axes and sledgehammers, as were the distilleries and illegal bars operated by Al Capone and other outrageous scofflaws in the non-alcoholic erstwhile?

Only time will tell.

JOHN P. CROWDER

 

Greedy Bastards
East Hampton
April 3, 2020

To the Star:

I’m old enough to remember World War II because I was born in 1938. I clearly recall my mother taking me to nursery school (Dad was off fighting) so she could go to work for the war effort. She worked at RCA, where they had refit machines that made radios in order to make parts for guns, I think. Her twin sister had gone to Dearborn, Mich., to be a Rosy the Riveter and work on planes where once cars were built. The whole of the United States was helping in the war effort, while kids like my cousins and me were stashed in nurseries, which often weren’t kid friendly.

Unfortunately, we now have a president who has surrounded himself with selfish, greedy bastards like he is. They are all self-serving. Which is why we haven’t converted our factories to make ventilators, masks, breathing machines, etc., and other equipment needed in this war against a deadly virus. Imagine if these greedy politicians had been in office during World War II, we would have lost to Germany.

MARILYN FITTERMAN

 

Into the Fray
Montauk
April 6, 2020

To the Editor:

I am grateful that Suffolk County has finally received the assistance it needs with the intercession of U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin.

I am also disappointed that our state has been thrown into the fray of competing for medical supplies because of the incompetence, ineptitude, and arrogance of the Trump administration. Since when has America become the country that must “bend the knee” to an emperor who is wearing no robes? (Apologies for the image this may conjure.)

I much prefer the heroism of U.S.S. Roosevelt Captain Brett Crozier, fired for daring to protect his troops by speaking out, and now himself fighting Covid-19. Only people like him give me hope.

PAT LUKASZEWSKA

 

Freedom to Move
East Hampton
April 5, 2020

Dear David:

I believe people have a fundamental right to use their property unless that use, or multiple uses, create a health care crisis where there may not have been one. We are not in a situation where the consequences of callous and, I must say, selfish actions are unknown. But new people arriving everyday or every weekend have created a clear, palpable, and reasonable fear.

Reports of people coming out to the East End with the virus, and others, untested, arriving on weekends as homeowners or short-term renters, correspond with the growth of virus cases here. There seems to be no kind of restriction on this kind of movement even though the movements violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the governor’s executive order to “stay in place.”

If “Typhoid Mary” Mallon had had a house here, would she have been freely allowed to go to the supermarket, to the beaches, to the dog park? Mary Mallon was asymptomatic but was believed to have infected 51 people resulting in three deaths. Her freedom to move about was taken away from her, and there is still a raging debate whether this was just or unjust, appropriate or inappropriate. With the current coronavirus situation, there are too many unknowns to play the “house in the Hamptons” game without restriction and concern for the general welfare of the people here. 

We were not prepared for this. We knew we were not prepared for this. In November 2005, the Bush administration prepared a “National Strategy For Pandemic Influenza,” which had as one of its premises that the pandemic would strike young people more adversely than older people. The Obama administration used the Bush plan as the basis of its own plan when faced with Ebola, H1N1, and Zika outbreaks. The problem is that the new, or novel COVID-19 is not acting as presumed and has been more deadly to older people than young people so far.

On Feb. 9, 2016, James Clapper reported to Congress in a report entitled “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community,” which stated, “Infectious diseases and vulnerabilities in the global supply chain for medical countermeasures will continue to pose a danger to U.S. national security in 2016. Land-use changes will increase animal-to-human interactions and globalization will raise the potential for rapid cross-regional spread of disease while the international community remains ill prepared to collectively coordinate and respond to disease threats. Influenza viruses, coronaviruses, such as Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and hemorrhagic fever viruses such as Ebola can quickly pose regional or global threats.” On Jan. 10, 2017, Dr. Fauci summarized the various threats for the last three decades and expressed his general concern. The 2019 version of the worldwide threat assessment reflects the same concerns that James Clapper outlined earlier.

We have been aware of the pandemic threat for some time, but not prepared for its actuality. Just as the West Coast is constantly talking about “the Big One,” and going about business as usual, COVID-19 is another kind of “Big One” hinted at for years that has finally struck.

In addition to restricting construction workers as reported in the Star last week, I urge Governor Cuomo to do whatever it takes to keep people in place, not just request or advise them to do so.

JIM DEVINE

 

Obsession
North Haven
April 3, 2020

Dear David:

The Covid-19 crisis has been a wake-up call worldwide. While we study, implement, and cooperate with the best available medical information and isolate properly, we might think a bit about how this threat got so uncontrollable and destructive. A look at our bizarre priorities could be useful, rather than pining about being cooped up, inconvenienced, and bored for a while.

Worldwide, we are fighting for our medical lives. We are also faced with fighting for our economic lives. Let’s be realistic, a good economy is useless if you have lost your health or your life.

Preparedness is understood, but difficult to accomplish. It requires a willingness to partially satisfy the need for instant gratification. To put it in farm- management language, one should save some of today’s grain for seed and for winter, rather than eat it all now and have nothing for next year, or unexpected disaster.

Our technology-driven, button pushing, quarterly earnings, grab-it-now obsession has left us unprepared for survival. We can only hope we do survive, and do better in the future.

How is it that Italy, the country that gave us music, art, literature, film, Ferrari, wine, and pizza, is now sending us Covid-19 testing swabs because we have almost none? This is after Italy suffered the pandemic severely and also received some international ridicule.

Why did we abandon our national pandemic study, and its recommendations? Why did we give up FEMA emergency supplies warehouses in lieu of depending on commercial box-store warehouses? Why do we have no coherent national health care system?

We became oil independent thanks to massive government subsidies, but allowed our citizens to be medically dependent on the good will of others. Right now, the world’s oil addicts are scheming to manipulate the market price to save their own economies. It seems half the world is focused on its business while the other half is focused on its actual survival.

Seems like bizarre priorities to me.

ANTHONY CORON

 

Should Be Careful
Montauk
April 2, 2020

Dear Star:

It had been nice not to see any letters in The Star for the last two weeks from Manny Vilar. Well, this past week he started by getting on his Republican soap box in praise of Lee Zeldin.

Manny, F.Y.I., Zeldin is a political hack. Zeldin’s name should not be used in the same sentence with Governor Cuomo. Governor Cuomo understands what a leader is when a pandemic hits; I doubt if Zeldin knows how to spell leader.

Let’s be honest, Zeldin does not represent the people of Long Island, he is a Fox News correspondent who sucks up and lies, along with Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity.

Manny Vilar should be careful about how he throws around the word Republican — Trump, McConnell, Zeldin, Gaetz, Meadows, to name a few — not sure I would want to be associated with those prolific liars. The initial rescue package, which was passed by Republicans in the Senate, had no oversight and gave Steven Mnuchin and Donald Trump the authority to dole out half a trillion dollars. Manny, I guess that was all right with you? I am thankful that Nancy Pelosi put an end to that. I call that ethical, not political.

Let’s remember this Trump gave Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom, another prolific liar who, along with Trump and the Fox News idiots, said this pandemic was a “hoax,” “will go away when the weather gets warm,” has it “under control,” and “accepts no responsibility.”

The truth is Zeldin is not worthy to shine Governor Cuomo’s shoes, and your other Republican buddies will pay for their total incompetence.

I have voted for Republicans in past elections but that was before they became the party of conspiracy theories, voter suppression, and total hypocrisy. I am tired of listening to the constant lies and misinformation, which has become the DNA of the Republican Party.

Also: What happened to the Fusion Party? LOL.

ROBERT IHLE

 

Malfeasance
Springs
April 4, 2020

Dear David:

We have been watching desperate first responders plead for lifesaving personal protection equipment as they continue selflessly to treat COVID-19 victims. We have also watched as Mr. Trump has callously lied about the seriousness of the threat posed and, equally callously, shirked all responsibility, instead thrusting the blame onto state governors, leaving it to them to find the equipment they need.

An example of Mr. Trump’s ineptitude has been his fumbling of the efforts by General Motors and Ventec to retool an idle plant and dedicate resources to produce as many as 80,000 needed ventilators. The reported price tag was $1 billion, or $12,500 each. Then, Mr. Trump’s administration pulled the plug on the plan, concerned about the cost.

We have then watched Governor Cuomo explain how Mr. Trump’s dithering has allowed the price for a ventilator escalate to some $50,000! And there still aren’t enough to go around. Even more appalling is that the federal Emergency Management Administration is competing with the states to buy ventilators at those escalated prices.

Mr. Trump watched as his ventilator folly turned into a political firestorm. And, as is his wont, in a stunningly fabricated turnaround, he lashed out at G.M., directing personal insults at Mary Barra, its C.E.O. Accusing G.M. of “wasting time” and trying to “rip off” the government, he tried to use the Defense Procurement Act to camouflage his earlier malfeasance, but he still hasn’t ordered G.M. to do anything. Another week (and more) has been wasted, meaning additional unnecessary deaths as Mr. Trump fiddles and lies.

What makes his balking at the $1 billion cost of the G.M./Ventec venture even more galling is that deep in the G.O.P.-led economic rescue package is a $170 billion bonanza for America’s richest real estate investors. An easy-to-miss provision permits wealthy real estate investors to apply losses generated by real-estate holdings to minimize taxes on profits generated by other investments, such as capital gains from stock investments. The 2017 tax cut package limited the use of such losses to offset only the first $500,000 of a married couple’s non-business income, such as capital gains. The stimulus bill lifted that restriction (including a retroactive reduction for the past two years, effectively rescinding the 2017 restriction). The estimated cost — $170 billion over 10 years. Not surprisingly, both Mr. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have claimed huge real estate losses. Of course, this bonanza was forced down the throats of Democratic lawmakers, whose primary concern was for American workers and small businesses.

The COVID-19 pandemic will pass. It will be exceedingly costly for normal Americans and their families. This November, as we go to the polls to pick our future leaders, let us all remember that Mr. Trump and his G.O.P. cohorts put the interest of the wealthy ahead of those of the sick and the needy. So both Mr. Trump and his toady, Lee Zeldin, have to go. I urge you to support Perry Gershon as our next congressman.

As a final note, words are insufficient to thank our first responders everywhere for their courage, as well as those who show up at work and continue to feed and take care of us all. I, for one, can’t thank you enough.

Sincerely,

BRUCE COLBATH

 

Burning Hole
Rockland, Me.
March 31, 2020

Editor:

Mitchell Zuckoff, being interviewed about his book on 9/11, said of Flight 93, the plane we’re told crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, “I spoke to the woman who witnessed the plane’s descent the longest” and it unfortunately didn’t occur to the interviewer (whom Zuckoff naturally praised. What obvious question about 9/11 ever is?) to say:

“But wait a minute, Mitch. Witnessed the plane’s descent the longest. Doesn’t that mean it was more a crash-landing than a crash? It having a descent to witness? And if it was a crash-landing and into a field, remember, where’s the plane? There wasn’t any plane, was there? No luggage, no fuselage, no tail section. What did that one witness say? It was a burning hole in the ground? Mitch? Mitch?”

Mitchell Zuckoff, by then, would be looking at the interviewer and his bulging eyes would tell more truth than anything that had been said to that point. “What are you doing!?! Why are you asking me this!?!”

Now we’re all being told to stay in our rooms. Deadly pandemic about, you may not know you have the symptoms! The person you might speak to might not know he has the symptoms! And one of you might pass it along to someone who’ll never know he has the symptoms!!

And out the back door go the banks with their trillions. Just another smoking hole in the ground. But the last.

C.J. MELLOR

 

Some Victory
Springs
April 6, 2020

Dear David:

First of all, thank you for continuing to publish The Star during this difficult time.

As we are all painfully aware, a silent killer is ravaging our country. The question we all need to face is: Did it have to be this bad?

Well, what is clear is that bureaucratic bumbling by the Trump administration resulted in at least three months lost before the Covid-19 virus was taken seriously by Mr. Trump — and thousands have paid with their lives.

The bumbling actually began three years ago, when Mr. Trump’s disdain for both science and “deep state” civil servants crippled the federal government’s ability to respond to a crisis. Mr. Trump ignored warnings and plans passed along by the Obama administration (while lying about Obama’s response to pandemics), failed to fill some 700 vacancies at the Centers for Disease Control, failed to replenish stockpiles of medical supplies, and didn’t stop John Bolton from shuttering the pandemic preparedness center within the National Security Council (and then lied about not knowing about it).

Then, for months, Mr. Trump downplayed the threat posed by the virus and then as it worsened pleaded the excuse that no one could have foreseen it. And that’s just another lie: In 2015, Bill Gates warned that a global pandemic was a more likely disaster than nuclear war. “War games” early in the Trump administration warned that the U.S. was unprepared to combat a pandemic. And, in a Feb. 3 report, Trump’s own National Security Council predicted that between 80,000 and 100,000 Americans could die from coronavirus.

It was only until after Mr. Trump’s hyperbole that churches would be full for Easter became a political pinata, did he seem to take the scientists’ dire warning seriously. In embracing Dr. Fauci’s warning that between 100,000 and 240,000 might die, one can envision the solipsistic wheels in the Trump brain working. If the death toll fell within this range or maybe even lower, he could declare victory.

Some victory, given that the Trump administration has erected insurmountable barriers to medical workers from receiving the medicine and life-saving equipment they desperately needed. His refusal to make the national stockpile available to states, instead claiming it to be “ours,” certainly cost additional lives.

Let’s be clear on one thing: If the U.S. death toll falls within Dr. Fauci’s projection (and hopefully below that), the victory will not belong to Mr. Trump. Instead, the laurels justifiably rest on the shoulders of the governors, medical doctors, nurses, and all other hospital personnel that took seriously their responsibility to serve others under the most onerous pressure — and, in the face of Trump’s uncaring incompetence. Damningly, Mr. Trump has chosen to accuse them of pilfering needed medical supplies.

Recognizing the political disaster Mr. Trump’s lost months have caused, “Moscow Mitch” McConnell now attributes the “lost months” as being wasted by the Trump impeachment hearings. Let that canard sink in for a moment. At no time during the impeachment process do I recall a moment when any Republican lawmaker tried to focus our attention on the threat posed by Covid-19. Not once. Instead they rose as a chorus to denounce impeachment as a hoax.

A perfect example is the conduct of our so-called congressman, Lee Zeldin: At no time during his myriad television appearances during the impeachment process did he call our attention to the Covid-19 virus. Instead, he was just another of Mr. Trump’s cheerleaders.

Voters should reject any G.O.P. attempt to spin an American death toll as any kind of a victory. That toll only symbolizes its utter inability to steer us competently through what is arguably our nation’s gravest crisis. For that, no G.O.P. lawmaker deserves your vote.

Sincerely,

CAROL O’ROURKE

 

Justified Concerns
Springs
April 3, 2020

Dear Editor,

Our first responders, medical professionals, and essential employees need our support. One of the ways we do that is by following the directives from our elected leaders. In a time of crisis, there is no room for partisan politics. We are all in this together, from Republicans to Democrats and every political persuasion in between.

Those that choose to continue the political attacks only help to erode the confidence citizens have in our elected leaders’ administrations. This, in turn, only makes the jobs of our first responders, medical professionals, and essential employees that much more difficult. Think of it as a trickle-down effect: If the judgment of president and governor are not to be trusted, then why would you believe the message their administrations are advancing and, to a greater extent, the folks on the front line implementing those directives.

Many in our community voice strong and justified concerns about those from away that traveled to East Hampton to escape N.Y.C. and did not shelter in place, as directed by the administrations of both President Trump and Governor Cuomo once arriving in our town. Think of this: If President Trump and Governor Cuomo can work together, why would we not? But yet some just cannot regardless of the potential harm they may do for reasons only they can explain.

There will be plenty of time, hopefully sooner than later, to be critical of our president and governor. The post-crisis critique should be in depth and extensive and, hopefully, on a partisan level. In the meantime, do something positive, check on the elderly neighbor or someone that you know is less financially stable. Donate to our local food pantry at 631-324-2300 or online at easthamptonfoodpantry.org and, most importantly, love your neighbor.

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

 

Absolutely a War
East Hampton
April 5, 2020

To the Star:

Perhaps the only thing the Trump administration has gotten right in dealing with the coronavirus is that “We are at war.” Yet unlike any other war we have been involved with, and virtually every major crisis our nation has faced, the federal government took the lead. Because the virus is first a health care issue Trump refused to have the federal government take the lead and deferred to the states.

So, instead of having a national defense policy we had 50 separate states enacting their own policies. Every other country in the world utilized a central government policy just like in wartime. We were either incapable of adapting to the problem or chose a state-based solution because of a political ideology of small government no matter what.

War, and this is absolutely a war, is impossible to conduct on a state-to-state basis. It requires coordination and direction and decision-making from the central government. Imagine if in World War II we gave every state the choice to participate in the war effort or to tailor its participation to its own particular style. Imagine if New York or California declined to participate in a war and refused to pay taxes that were used in this effort. More than 25 percent of U.S. tax revenues come from these two states.

Imagine if states were to close their borders to other states or refuse to share materials and personnel or information on the virus (see China). Texans wear masks and test everyone, while Ohioans don’t do either.

The problem is one of structure and national identity. How we come together in crisis or how we separate ourselves. A different government, in fact every other government in our history, would have taken the lead in battling the virus and would have directed the entire health care industry in this war. But this government chose to lay the responsibility on the states. Which had to be a recipe for disaster.

Competition between the states in this situation makes no sense. When the central government joins the competition, it goes off the rails. But the real question that is asked is about the structure of our health care system and its ability to deal with crises that are substantial.

We are one of the few industrialized countries that doesn’t have a national health care system, so we are obligated to create a mechanism every time a crisis arises. When it’s localized, like with a hurricane, we can react relatively efficiently, but with a pandemic we are lost in space. Our ability to move materials and staff is limited. Our ability to create policies like social distancing change from state to state. Ventilators, respirators, and basic medicines are all in short supply or nonexistent. Even wearing masks is complicated because of the confusion and lack of supplies. With 50 different health care systems we become unfocused and inefficient. We become paralyzed and incapable of responding when necessary. Not everyone has the same possibility of surviving.

The other structural problem we face is our social safety net. In England and France, for example, instead of laying off workers and closing companies, the governments subsidize salaries and everyone gets about 80 percent of their salaries. Businesses remain intact, and workers return to their jobs when they are back to business. Health care stays in place, and people don’t spend days trying to get unemployment or waiting for subsidy checks that may not come for four months. The insane dislocation for workers and businesses and uncertainty about their futures and the need to create massive spending legislation that is complicated and inefficient becomes unnecessary.

The pandemic illustrates the inherent deficiencies and cruelty of our capitalist system. The need to modify certain parts of it is fairly obvious. The primary threat is to the very wealthy and corporate America, who will earn a little less money off the efforts of average Americans. Greed and avarice trump common sense and stability.

The systemic deficiencies of our social safety net and our health care system combined with the level of incompetence, arrogance, and stupidity of our leadership is recognized as a severe form of structural retardation, a conundrum where the cure is as corrosive as the disease.

Hope isn’t around the corner.

NEIL HAUSIG

 

Vulgar Terms
Wainscott
April 3, 2020

Dear David:

Once again our resident, self-anointed historian, philosopher, bloviating, grand poo-bah of extemporaneous blather stays on course. For 30 years, I have read letters that the Star prints, and they all seem to contain matters of concern on issues that matter to the residents with rare exceptions. Never once do I recall ever seeing vulgar terms. I always just speedily see if his “Genuinely Bizarre” missives are sprinkled with vulgarity? Like last summer’s lecture on necrophilia wasn’t bizarre enough?

No less then nine times did his infatuation with using vulgar terms show how limited his vocabulary may really be. It resembled a C.D. with a scratch in it repeating the same over and over. His biblical reference comparison, as far out as it can be. Who cares?

Last week he praised the French researchers that were on the cusp of a cure for the Wu Han China virus. How far did that go? Somehow, one has to wonder, if he gets schooled by listening to Cardi B, Snoop Dog, and Flavor Flav’s disgusting low-life language. Hopefully, we do not see our self-anointed wonder of wisdom saunter down Newtown Lane with a big clock suspended from a garish chain, a cap turned sideways, fingers pointed inward, grabbing his crotch with the hideous Rap motions. Hopefully not with his latest vulgar term tattooed on his forehead.

Oh! Besides escargot, wine and cheese, how did his often touted country pay us back for saving their bacon twice in the 20th century? Low airfare to Paris, are featured.

The Star is a family newspaper, isn’t it?

ARTHUR FRENCH

 

Cadging Money
Springs
April 6, 2020

Dear Mr. Rattray,

Deb Foster’s letter last issue taking you to task for your editorial misses the point I believe you were legitimately making: town level disaster preparedness should be a town level concern, and encompass the unfortunate range of possible eventualities. Indeed, despite all the efforts past elected officials have made over the years to reduce density and maintain town character, we are nonetheless overdeveloped and looking at a slow motion catastrophe in terms of our water quality, sewage issues, and infrastructure, let alone woefully inadequate workforce housing.

Worse, the state seems intent, through the Department of Environmental Conservation, to allow substantially expanded below ground water level sand mining at the peril of our water quality. Furthermore, it seems our current board is all too willing to give Deepwater Wind a pass on overcharging us for power compared to other customers, and invariably to ignore common sense in building out infrastructure at their convenience for an inadequate offshore installation through Wainscott.

Similarly, this board, save Mr. Bragman, continues planning in the dark to further develop the Springs waterfront, ignoring the affected commmunity’s vociferous objection, to build an unnecessary, oversized, and unneeded, expanded oyster hatchery on Gann Road. This, in direct contradiction to Ms. Foster’s preservation focus.

This hatchery project will do nothing for water quality and will not increase jobs or promote commercial fisheries. We already have more viable shellfish hatching than we need. We are not setting up protected beds, carpeting the bottom of Gardiner’s Bay or Three Mile Harbor with super filtering bivalves to improve water quality less than we could by using the $5 million replacing at no cost to waterfront owners their aging septic systems. Not to mention 1099s!

What Mr. Lys and Mr. Van Scoyoc, especially, are intent on doing is cadging money from the state, which is all of our tax money, to impede waterfront access for most town residents in favor of paying recreational oyster growers, overcrowding the Gann Road dock area and launching ramp, blatantly overdeveloping community preservation fund preserved land without the real due process that any other developer would have to follow. What private entity would be allowed to place an 8000 square foot development on an acre of waterfront?

That former members of zoning and planning should think themselves above the law, and that ignoring the most directly affected residential community, and cherry picking the public opinion of the favored few, including the supervisor himself, is okay, is part of the mentality that brings us to this place in time.

IRA BAROCAS

President
Duck Creek Farm Association

 

Considering Seating
East Hampton
March 31, 2020

Dear David:

Granting seating at Mary’s Marvelous, at the present location on Newtown Lane is absurd! If there was a setback, as there are at other locations on Newtown lane, such as at Babbette’s, it might be a reasonable option. First of all, there is no wheelchair entry. In addition, there is a single, very steep step, and a very heavy door.

As a matter of fact, as a recovering spinal stenosis patient, I tried to enter the store, and I fell in the air on my head and my back practically to the entrance next door (Elegant Nails). I screamed and had to be picked up by some strangers.

I’ve considered suing the owner of the building who put the same doors and entrances facing Newtown Lane on the three properties located in the building. The store next to Mary’s has remained empty for the last few years. Why not use this store to feed her customers instead of on the street and have the owner of the building provide reasonable access?

LENI SALZ


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