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Letters to the Editor for May 21, 2020

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 19:06

Be Safe
Albany, N.Y.
May 21, 2020

To the Editor,

Memorial Day is coming around the corner. As someone who has frequently visited the South Fork, I know this is an important weekend for many Suffolk County families and businesses. Especially during these extraordinarily challenging and stressful few months during this awful pandemic.

After all, this is the weekend that traditionally marks the beginning of summer, and I, for one, am looking forward to the return of warm weather.

But let's not forget the importance of safety as we enjoy the holiday. That means wearing a mask when in public and practicing social distancing, especially on the beaches and in downtown areas.

We encourage this to not only protect ourselves and each other, but we also want to avoid living through this nightmare again. We've sacrificed so much to bring down infection rates and hospitalizations, and we can't afford to repeat it all over.

We also recognize that Memorial Day is an important American tradition for our veterans and military families. That is why Governor Cuomo recently announced allowing ceremonies with 10 people or less, at the discretion of local governments. New York State will also allow vehicular parades to honor our veterans. We want New Yorkers to be able to celebrate safely.

Please remember, this virus is still in our communities. It will not take a vacation. So let's be smart. Exercise good judgment, respect others, and be safe this weekend.


Special Note
May 12, 2020

Dear Editor,

A sincere thank-you to the Montauk Fire Department (and Amagansett and East Hampton) for saving our co-op on Saturday! We are residents of Atlantic Bluffs Club in Montauk and were home having dinner when the fire started to rage Saturday night. 

We applaud the impressive response of the firemen and firewomen and the emergency medical technician team who responded. It was terrifying to watch the fire burn rapidly and spread with the high winds. But at the same time it was reassuring to know the situation was in capable hands.

It appeared to us that there were upward of 50 firefighters who spent hours putting out the blaze and making sure the other buildings were safe. They and East Hampton police officers were diligent in making sure all residents were safe.

We extend our deepest gratitude and respect to these men and women ? all volunteers ? who risk their own safety for the safety of others. Important also, they are our neighbors.

This was not just any Saturday night; this was during a time we were all concerned about our own and each other’s health because of the virus. Those who got the call were also getting ready for family events for Mothers Day. Everyone who came to help deserves our special note of appreciation and thanks.


Excesses of Privilege
May 14, 2020

Dear Friends,

For the past two years I have been following the takeover of the Atlantic Terrace. I used to refer to it as the “old encroacher,” as it inched its way westward along the dunes over the decades. I also watched Oppenheimer’s Surf Club units rise to 40 feet, completely blocking the ocean view for most on the western side of the Surfside area.

And now the old Atlantic Terrace is in the hands of another group with the bogusly elegant-sounding name, Bridgeton Holdings. They, in their own way, have become financial encroachers on the East End as they spread out their holdings for monetary gain in this residentially zoned corner.

Their plans to introduce a restaurant and event place will severely damage the quality of life in the Surfside area.

Montauk has long been conned by claims such as, “We’re not party people” and “We’re going to be great neighbors.” These words, of Atit Jariwala, the chief executive of Bridgeton Holdings, have been on the lips of many an entrepreneur in the past.

For years, we have been victimized by the noise of the Sloppy Tuna, excessive noises from inadequately landscaped pool surrounds. We’ve also been assaulted visually by the excesses in building construction that have changed the character of this fishing village. (I have written many letters to The Star on that matter, referring to some of the monoliths as “erections,” rather than construction.)

Variances have become the new go-to to get around established and neighborly norms. High-end lawyers are hired to seek those excesses of privilege. It would appear that these things are not being properly monitored by town boards. Thank God it is now apparent that there is a groundswell of people who will be taking this matter before the local boards, as well as to the State Liquor Authority.

And is there someone who can tell us just what constitutes a “private beach” out here?

With concern,


Smear Letter
East Hampton
May 13, 2020

Dear David,

It was difficult to read the “Tim Barnes” smear letter to The Star two weeks ago. I have no idea who Tim Barnes is or if he is even real. I do know that if he does exist he does not know Rose Brown.

 I was heartened to see all of the letters last week supporting Rose and her family. Most of these letters were from East Hampton residents who have known the Browns for 30 or 50 years. In the nine years that I have known the Browns I have found them to be of the highest moral character. They have both given so much to our village through serving on boards, coaching sports, volunteering in the Fire Department, and so many other community-minded activities. Our two youngest children have been friends with their youngest son since pre-K and we have gotten to know them more and more over the years through youth sports and school events.”

Greg Brown was my younger son’s baseball coach a few years ago, and he was incredibly supportive of all the players as well as a great teacher of the game. Our sons are good friends and have been playing basketball together for years. Greg and I always find time to catch up as we watch our boys play. He is a humble and caring person, and I am lucky to have him as a friend. He does not deserve to be dragged through the mud by some nom de guerre.” “

I have been impressed by Rose’s community involvement since she ran for and won a Village Board seat. I have spoken to her numerous times about matters in our village. She always listens intently and has a great understanding of the issues. Most recently, I have been inspired by both Rose’s and Tiger Graham’s concern regarding the PSEG lines on McGuirk Street and Cooper Lane and their energy behind the Herrick Park improvement initiative. We all know that politics can be ugly, but for those of us lucky enough to live here we hope that the ugliness will stay clear of our hamlet. I find the attempted besmirching of Rose Brown and Tiger Graham despicable. It is my hope that the community will realize that the letter penned by “Tim Barnes” was a part of a smear attempt that is long on allegations but lacking any facts whatsoever.”



Good Person
East Hampton
May 14, 2020

To the Editor:

I have known Barbara Borsack a long time. She is a good person to hold the position of mayor of East Hampton Village.

When she was chief of the ambulance, she did the best. If ever there was a problem, she took care of it right away. I know she will do an excellent job as mayor.

I am very proud of her. She will make us all proud of her.


Just Plain Mean
East Hampton
May 12, 2020

Dear David:

I’ve lived my entire life in the incorporated Village of East Hampton. I have never seen the level of questionable behavior by any political party that we see now. I was brought up in a political family in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and it was different. Your word was your bond back then, and now we are confronted with the politics of smearing one’s opponent and being just plain mean.”

I have known the Brown family my entire life, and I respect Kenny Brown; he raised two wonderful sons and Greg Brown followed in his dad’s footsteps becoming a police office for the village. Their heart is in the right place and their concern is for those they serve.

Greg worked hard to attain his recent promotion, including achieving the top score on the Civil Service test, which enabled him to ascend to lieutenant in 2019. I believe his promotion was well deserved.”

Rose Brown has served the Village of East Hampton in many ways throughout the years and worked hard to win a seat on the Village Board. She is a full-time mom to three great kids: Austin, Maddie, and Andrew. She is dedicated to her family and her community, and I believe she has made a difference.

And to “Tim Barnes,” I would say that the Brown family deserves more. Honesty, integrity, and the willingness to be open to the same scrutiny that you expect them to live by. It’s unfortunate that you are not willing to be accountable for your words and actions.


The Finest
May 17, 2020

Dear David:

You are not “mere scribblers” (Editorial, May 14); you give us the news and opinions where we live — critical to any community.

Congratulations on turning out one of the finest weekly newspapers in the country, week after week.



No Surprise
May 18, 2020

Dear Mr. Rattray,

Thank you for again pointing out in last week’s editorial the perennial “bassackwards” activities of the town board in attempting to present itself as actually doing something worthwhile in response to the very real danger to our residents from a Covid-19 resurgence, and trying to help our beleaguered business community. While all of the current appointees are obviously qualified in their areas, public spirited, and deserve our gratitude, the lack of beginning with the science and medical aspects of greater social engagement is glaringly dumb. “A draft pick made later . . . “ can work in sports negotiations, but not in municipal government.

I was pleased to see that all the money that went into the hamlet studies was finally justified with the adoption of the final report. We spent quite a bit of time and money figuring out that Springs was okay, needed bike lanes, had little commercial activity, but was at least graced with high taxes for our school and ever-increasing traffic along the Fireplace Road commercial gateway to the hamlet. No surprise there.

Ironically, no consultant suggested that the hatchery be consolidated into an over 8,000-square-foot commercial facility that leaves the most affected neighbors in the dark throughout the process. Nor did the consultants recommend avoiding proper planning review, existing residential zoning, and community- preservation-fund appropriate land-use rules, and ignoring the legally required State Environmental Quality Review Act.

That the town board continues to defy common sense, and evidently supports a dumb vanity project that will further burden Gann Road, decrease public access to the waterfront, waste well over $5 million for literally a dime’s worth, or less, of water-quality improvement, if any, fits right into this board’s self-congratulatory thoughtlessness.



Duck Creek Farm Association

Acting Locally
Sag Harbor
May 12, 2020

To the Editor:

The Long Island Power Authority needs to move ahead to allow municipalities like East Hampton to buy their power through community choice aggregation (C.C.A.).

C.C.A. can lower utility costs at the same time that it facilitates more purchases of renewable energy, fostering the development of wind and solar resources to power homes and businesses across the East End. Large-scale wind and solar will help get us where we need to be: generating energy without extracting, transporting, and burning fossil fuels.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been a good leader for the state in climate and energy policy. Towns and other authorities need to do their part, as do we all. In acting locally, we fight globally.


Glorious Reminder
May 18, 2020

Dear Editor:

Yesterday, Sunday, May 17, was a gorgeous day. The kind of May day when rhododendrons bloom, grass gets green, pool furniture comes out to stay, and the beach becomes more about sitting than walking. And for those living in helicopter flight paths it is often a time of immense frustration as the thunderous roar above becomes unbearable.

But yesterday afternoon and evening were different, very different. As the sun sank you could hear the birds. Not the giant, home rattling, polluting, motorized mega-bus captain-of-industry flying predators with which we’ve become inundated. Rather it was the birds we used to hear: the ones visiting our feeders.

It was reported to me that between the hours of 3 and 8 p.m. yesterday, Sunday, helicopter traffic in and out of East Hampton Airport was virtually nonexistent.

It was reported to me by many that it was both unexpected and quite pleasant. Thousands all over the South Fork of Long Island have forgotten what a quiet Sunday afternoon at home feels like. And what a glorious reminder yesterday was.

Commuter helicopter traffic to East Hampton Airport is truly the definition of nonessential. It has spoiled home life for thousands of people who’ve chosen to live here for quality of life and peace and quiet.

If East Hampton Airport can’t cease commercial commuter operations and return to a hobbyist’s airstrip, it should be closed. Shut it up or shut it down.

Oh, did I mention what a great day yesterday was?

Yours in peace and quiet,


May 18, 2020

Dear East Hampton Star:

This past Sunday was the first day the weather and my work schedule conspired to allow me to spend time at my pool on my deck, enjoying a day at home. As I relaxed there, I thought about how much more time most people in the Hamptons and on the North Fork will be spending at home this summer than in past ones.

And for some reason not one single helicopter flew over my head yesterday afternoon. In bad weather on a summer Sunday it is not unusual for helicopters to pass less than 500 feet above my home, as often as every few minutes as they make their way to East Hampton Airport. On sunny days they may be a little higher up but the noise is still stressful and endless.

As I write you this letter early on a Monday morning, I can hear the rumble of a large Sikorsky shuttle, probably two or three miles away, arriving to pick up or dispatch perhaps one or two individuals while disturbing thousands. If helicopters come and go as in past years, summer at home is going to be miserable for many.

Lots of things will be changing in the near future. Can we please change the airport to an organic garden or something else useful and quiet?

Best wishes,


Special Kudos
May 14, 2020

To the Editor:

First let me send kudos out to all essential employees, first responders, and health care workers — those who run toward danger when all others go the other way are true heroes!

Now on a personal note, I want to send special kudos to my granddaughter Victoria Schlitt. Many of you have met her — one of her summer jobs was as a server for Honest Man Catering. Last spring, I was proud to attend her pinning ceremony (graduation) from college. Last summer, she took and passed her certification exam, the NCLEX. This last fall she was hired as a full-time registered nurse by Northwell Health. Now comes this nightmare pandemic. The last time I saw Victoria was over three months ago. Phone calls and texts just don’t cut it. To say she got her baptism under fire doesn’t hold a candle to the truth. It was during one of those phone calls that she said something that made the hair on my neck stand up. She said, “I’m going to work until I get sick.”

I am looking forward to the time when we can break bread again with the family! I love you, I miss you, and I can’t wait to see you!


P.S. Victoria never got sick and continues to work daily. 

A Godsend
East Hampton
May 16, 2020

Dear David,

The demand at our local food pantries has increased significantly as a great number of our neighbors and friends are struggling with food insecurity as a result of the pandemic.

The folks at the Springs Food Pantry have shared with me that the number of clients they are serving has more than quadrupled and that their weekly grocery bill now totals approximately $10,000, or $40,000 per month, to feed and nourish our neighbors, both young and old. Consider that. Each week they are ordering, accepting deliveries, packing, and then distributing $10,000 worth of groceries.

This labor of love is occurring throughout our community, at the Springs Food Pantry, the Montauk Food Pantry, the East Hampton Food Pantry, the Wainscott Food Pantry, and the CMEE Pop-Up Food Pantry. But due to supply chain issues, these local food pantries are finding it difficult to source the much-needed dry goods and other grocery items for their food-insecure clients.

So it was a godsend that the JBJ Soul Kitchen, a non-profit organization run by the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, identified the need and established and stocked a food bank within our town for distribution to our local food pantries.

On behalf of our community, a heartfelt thank-you to Dorothea and Jon Bon Jovi for so generously and compassionately supporting our neighbors who are struggling, and bringing this to fruition in record time, to Holly and Scott Rubenstein for always putting community first and opening up the Clubhouse for this critical work, and to Eddie Burke Jr. for his thoughtful collaboration so we could facilitate the needed town approvals and get our local food pantries in line to take advantage of this philanthropic endeavor.

The mission of the JBJ Soul Foundation is “rebuilding pride in one’s self and one’s community, one soul at a time.” Dorothea and Jon, you are two kind and generous souls.

Take good care,


East Hampton Town Councilwoman

P.S. If someone is in need of assistance, please reach out to me at [email protected].

Class Warfare
May 18, 2020

Dear David,

“Nonessential” is a horrific word. It has so many negative connotations implicit in the word itself that it cannot be used to describe a business under any circumstance, even in the context of the Covid-19 crisis. Imagine if you as an individual were determined to be “nonessential.” How would that make you feel? What would that do to your self-worth? Then imagine if your entire family and thousands who you employed for over 40 years were determined to be nonessential by a self-imposed dictator for no rational reason whatsoever. The horror of it all!

A business is an individual: It is born, is nurtured, thrives, and some die. How can an elected official in the United States, single-handedly determine if a business lives or dies? Only those elected officials who have illegally usurped the rights granted to us by the United States Constitution.

Businesses that were determined to be essential or nonessential during this crisis were arbitrary and discriminatory; nothing was based in science or fact, it had nothing to do with the virus. For example, residential construction federally was deemed essential. Comrade Cuomo deemed it nonessential until the police chief got so angry because too many people were calling and complaining, without basis, that workers were bringing the virus from up the Island, which caused the supervisor to write a letter to the governor to declare residential construction nonessential, according to the supervisor’s press release. Except we know who brought the virus from New York City.

The police chief could have stopped workers coming from UpIsland, but it’s a great example of class warfare, discrimination against blue-collar workers. As a result, local blue-collar workers were also discriminated against; they were not permitted to work. That was horrible and more dangerous than the virus itself. It is abusive and disgusting to think our local government officials would conspire in such an injustice and discriminate against such workers who proudly contribute to our labor force.

When residential construction was deemed nonessential, affordable housing was excluded. This is when I knew it had nothing to do with the virus. I cut my teeth as a framing contractor for affordable housing. Efficiency and the bottom-line number is the priority in building affordable housing. Everyone is working on top of one another to create maximum efficiency. The coronavirus has a greater chance of spreading in an affordable housing project than an 8,000- square-foot house that allows for separation of trades and greater safety than C.D.C. requirements.

The correct words to use in defining businesses in relation to spreading the virus is “high-risk” or “low-risk” businesses, but that would mean there needed to be a basis in science or fact to make such a determination. That would have had opposite results of what was intended. King Kullen, Kmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Walgreens, for example, are all high-risk businesses in spreading the coronavirus since massive numbers of people go through these stores. Mom-and- pop boutique stores that only see a few customers a day are low-risk businesses. Don’t be fooled, this had nothing to do with the virus.

Choosing a word such as “nonessential” enabled those with self-imposed, newly usurped powers to creatively define what was essential and nonessential without a basis in science or fact, just because they deemed it so. That is horrific. The numbers still don’t add up. Nothing makes sense.



East Hampton
May 15, 2020

To the Editor:

It is very disconcerting to read your article in last week’s paper: “East Hampton Town’s First Responders Want a Say.”

The only words that come to mind are completely outrageous, that our volunteer first responders in the ambulance emergency medical service in a written statement stated that the medical community “is woefully under-represented to the point of insult.”

As if that was not bad enough, they further said, “We in E.M.S. are completely in the dark on what the plan is for the coming months and what to expect,” and, “We need clarity and, more importantly, to have our thoughts heard.”

I am an exempt first responder with both the Springs and Montauk Fire Departments and am an active law- enforcement management professional with 38 years of experience. It is beyond clear the East Hampton Town Board is unprepared and incapable of the leadership we need during this state of emergency.

On March 20, Governor Cuomo enacted through executive order 100 percent closure of nonessential businesses statewide, with exceptions made for essential services such as groceries and health care. Unless you were hiding under your bed, the governor’s executive order did not come out of the blue! The very next day, the East Hampton Town Board should have been implementing its emergency management plan had they had one.

Nonessential town employees should have been repurposed to ensure community outreach to the most vulnerable members (seniors) of our community. Several committees and subcommittees, where appropriate, comprising the stakeholders, should have been organized immediately to review every facet of the local economy and the impacts of the declaration of a state of emergency.

In an emergency, there are two types of people, leaders and followers. Leaders understand the risks and make the hard decisions. Popular or not, preparedness, mitigation, and public-safety decisions must be made. Leaders understand that. Followers lead from behind, hesitant to make a decision, and will offer excuses to the point of detriment. Unfortunately for us, our town board sans one member has been wholly incapable of leading. Many in our community share that view and noticed the absence and lack of ability of the town board, especially during the critical first weeks. The East Hampton Town Board has adopted a lead-from-behind mentality, which has been recognized by many in our community and made clear through your reporting.

Past weekends have been accurate indicators of the town board’s poor leadership, lack of planning, and inability. This Memorial Day weekend will be difficult at best. Let’s hope that the town board can finally find the leadership that to date has eluded them.

The East Hampton Town Republican Committee encourages all in our community to do something positive, check on an elderly neighbor or someone you know who is less financially stable. Donate to our local food pantry at 631-324-2300 or online at and, most important, 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 New York City political doctrine. Let us work together for a better East Hampton for all.



East Hampton Town

Republican Committee

Serious Hot Spot
East Hampton
May 18, 2020

To the Editor:

I am a 72-year-old, full-time resident of East Hampton. I’d like to bring a very serious matter to your attention. I believe that the Hamptons are in danger of becoming the next serious hot spot for coronavirus over the next three months. This is a transient area about to face a population explosion. In East Hampton alone, the year-round population is 21,457. The summer population in this town alone is 94,000. To make matters worse, the median age of year-round residents is 61.5. We also have only one hospital out here, Stony Brook/Southampton Hospital, for the entire East End.

In local articles, the town leadership is justifying opening up the beaches and community because of "the need to give the children the beach because they are not in school." I believe the driving force behind all of this is the same as in Georgia: economic recovery over the safety and health of the people. This area cannot be treated according to the metrics of areas with a stable population. It is facing a disaster. The numbers right now are low because we are less crowded than many areas and because we are all being very careful. The town has been caring for the elderly population very well. Medications and other needed goods are delivered to us by volunteers, and we are being called regularly to check on our well-being. The year-round population that lives here is not what it’s presumed to be -- only the rich and famous. There are people who work here and have families, and others who have retired.

“On sunny days people come out from the city and walk around unmasked and are not socially distanced. This is before the Memorial Day influx. There are numerous large groups of young people sitting together, and possibly infecting each other. In Palm Beach, seven days after it was reopened there was a spike in the numbers of coronavirus. What will happen out here in three months? And explain to me how they are going to trace illness with people from all over coming out here, and day trips and rentals. Once the virus spreads out here, it will be spread everywhere.”

The approach to opening up out here has to be different. The real population numbers need to be taken into consideration, and the fact that we have only one hospital to serve everybody. There must be strict rules and limiting the numbers of influx, otherwise there will be a disaster. The people in charge must take responsibility.”


Forever Grateful
East Hampton
May 18, 2020

Dear David,

Six weeks ago, I put a group of East Hampton residents together to make masks for our town’s health-care workers, first responders, and essential workers. We have now finished our project and there are a bunch of people that need to be thanked.

Our group of 61 women and men were able to create a total of 1,441 masks for people in East Hampton working to keep us safe as well as the volunteers for this project. We were able to reach out to 96 separate businesses and organizations in East Hampton and make sure they were protected.

Our numbers were:

1,441 total masks and MERV-16 filter material.

150 masks and/or filters went to volunteers for the project.

3 masks were unusable.

1,288 masks went into our community for essential workers, first responders, and health-care workers.

Recipients from Wainscott to Amagansett included all post offices, both police departments, doctors’ offices, two food pantries, all grocery stores, farm stands, dozens of restaurants, town departments, social workers, the Retreat, and a long list of other places.

Five women were my guideposts, and I thank Lynn King, Emily Marcus, Kathy Walsh, Wendy Serkin, and Karen Levitt from the bottom of my heart for giving me advice and helping run this effort.

Our major donors, my husband, James Meyer, Emily Marcus, Cathy Lowenstein, Jeff Bragman, Cathy Peacock, Mary Kay Brennan, Rita Weil, Patty Grignon, the East Hampton Ladies Village Improvement Society, and Maria Vitelli donated money and materials for the project, and I am forever grateful. There were also 10 smaller donors, too.

Bonnie Brady, who started this project in Montauk, and Donna Matlock, the pattern maker for the masks we sewed, were instrumental in sending me on this path and lighted the fire to make sure East Hampton workers were protected. Without them, this would not have happened.

Our cutters: Lynn King, Leslie Clarke, Bess Rattray, Patricia Hand, Joan Denny, Ida Jennings, Sharman Peddy, and Nancy Pearson cut filter material, cotton fabric, ribbons, and elastic in record amounts.

Our sewers: Debbie Walter, Karen Levitt, Ursula Thomas, Trish Franey, Jane Hastay, Kathie Lisi, Joyce Tuttle, Elaine Drury, Jana Bennett, Dao Suciu, Francesca Rheannon, Virginia Griffiths, Bonny Reiff-Smith, Ann Foster, Patty Grignon, Patricia Feiwel, Laura Mitchell, Renee Gallanti, Clarence (Kelley) King, Richard Marrocco, Lisa Brown, Carol Mohlenhoff, Suz Landi, and Francesca Freedman. They sewed tirelessly for a month straight.

Our transporters: Wendy Serkin, Andy Goldstein, Betty Pasteur, Lauren Walsh, John Brennan, Rachel Lys, Elizabeth Linker, Joyce Tuttle, Katherine Persky, Cathy Peacock, Dorrie Tillinghast, Allie Tillinghast, Susan Gilmer, Matthew Grinnell, Debbie Goodman, Christopher Rupp, Linda Fuller, Sue Waterbury, Joan Goldberg, Carolyn Viens, and few others not wishing to be named. These wonderful people picked up and moved material, mask kits and masks all over the town and got them to where they needed to be next. Their efforts were extraordinary.

Our callers: Kathy Walsh, Jola Marcario, Teri Kennedy, Rose Marie DeSantis, Susan Curly, and Mary Kay Brennan. They contacted as many businesses and organizations as humanly possible to make sure East Hampton had protective masks.

As a small army, we were able to accomplish an incredible feat. I am very proud we were able to help our community in such a positive way. From the bottom of my heart I thank each and every one of you for taking the time to help us complete this very important role we have played in our town.

To see picture of some of our recipients, go to

Remember, when in public, wear a mask. You might save the life of a grandmother, mother, sister, or daughter, grandfather, father, brother, or son. And when someone near you wears one, they might be saving yours.

As a community we can accomplish anything!

Stay safe,


Viral Verse
Florence, Ala.
May 2, 2020

To the Editor:

A presidential interrogatory, bestirred my muse, the product is this story. These stanzas of coronavirus verse warn of such “remedies” as make things worse. So friends, this anguished warning take to heart: From “cures” that kill you, hold yourselves apart!

A Viral Verse

For Covid-19, so infective,

Might untried measures prove effective?

When paired with ultraviolet light,

Might disinfectants aid the fight?

Would Lysol shot into our veins

Ease those coronavirus pains?

Could Clorox as ingested dose

Bring this infection to a close?


The Trumpster hoped such remedies

Could bring an end to this disease.

Alas, these Trumpian solutions

Offered no cure but bred confusions!


Says Lysol, Don’t shoot up our stuff,

For it will kill you, sure enough!

And Clorox warns, internal dosing

Will take your life soon to its closing!


The Trumpster says, ‘Twas all satire!

To which I answer, pants on fire!


This doggerel verse is the product of a creatively deranged elderly widower who herewith releases it into the public domain, unfettered by any claim of exclusivity and with no restrictions on its proliferation!


I Say Secede
May 17, 2020

Dear David,

Trump is correct about one thing: It’s time to use disinfectant. I suggest, however, that we use it on our gene pool or we’ll be stuck with the idiots ruling over us in the form of the G.O.P. I’ve thought of them as the Gang of Putin given their kowtowing to Putin and his orange-haired crony illegally occupying the White House. Trump’s collusion stole the “impossible” 2016 election, and he’s currently prepping to cancel 2020. Do you really think “Moscow Mitch” will prevent that? They may now be the Gang of Putzes, but they’re ruthless nonetheless, i.e., “Let New York go bankrupt!” I say secede if so. They want to lose their economic engine, that’s fine with me. We’ll become a wealthy city-state nation akin to Singapore. Let the “red” states pay their own way.

Some (too many) are willing to follow these know-nothing liars over the cliff. It embarrasses me to admit that, as a historian and retired teacher, our educational system has not produced critical thinkers among at least 47 percent of our population. In New York, American history now begins with the Civil War, not the colonizing that resulted in a united nation with a Constitution containing the right of secession written into it. How are we to explain the slavery and racism still tearing this country apart?

If you were at all familiar with the curriculums of other states, you would wonder how much of this was purely intentional and political. A course I was responsible for teaching to high school students in Missouri was solely on Mussolini’s Fascist Italy, Hitler and Nazi Germany, and the Japanese militarists - subjects I am very familiar with. But no mention of World War I and how it gave us the Second World War on a platter. Context is missing in both and in too many of the issues pressing upon us.

The result is that we’re drowning in a swamp of idiots, swindlers, and deplorables, taking this nation in directions it does not wish to go. That’s right! If you’re K.K.K., or a white supremacist-nationalist, or a neo-Nazi, you are despicable and deplorable. What do the deplorables see in Trump? A kindred spirit! The rest of his blind and willing followers do not see through this con artist. They’re either incredibly naive, ignorant, or just plain stupid. He has filled “his” government with incompetents, sycophants, suck-ups, and thieves. It’s the demagogue Trump who will take their guns away -- that’s what dictators do; they don’t like elections, either!

If the reader cannot point to where they live on a world map, that person will never understand what is going on in the rest of the world or how it will impact their lives. They will never understand the dynamics pushing us toward economic collapse, war, and extinction due to our stupidity, lack of foresight, and irresponsible procreation. We’re a species with a death wish and little respect for life on this planet. Witness all our trash now polluting the earth. These same people have the right to vote in electoral contests they know nothing about while having no idea whom to believe.

While there are conservatives I may disagree with on many issues, with me being a militant, progressive liberal, pro-choice, feminist, Irish-Iroquois Democrat, one thing true conservative Republicans and I agree on is that the cretin in the White House must go. While our detractors will insult us with derogatory terms and threats that the “white coats” will be coming for us, I’m more concerned that it will be the “brown shirts” coming for me in 2021. Those readers suffering from “Trump Deranged Syndrome” should hope the white coats are coming to help them get their heads on straight. Trump trumps Covid-19!



To the Gutter
May 18, 2020

Dear Star:

Today I realized that I have gone from disagreement to disgust when I listen or read about the Republican Party. As I watch the “G.O.P. cowards” who are afraid to challenge the most unfit-for-office president this country has ever seen, I feel sick.

As I see the daily numbers of death, which this country is witnessing, I refuse to become numb to this disastrous pandemic, as Trump would wish. The United States is 4 percent of the world’s population but we have 25 percent of the deaths from this virus. Read that again, and say to yourself why? I think history will very quickly answer that question. Our president at the time was totally incompetent. He refused to tell the truth about any aspect of this virus. He still thinks he is a reality television personality.

This pandemic is not going away anytime soon, and we are in a very dangerous place because of this administration. I like to think and hope people have had enough! Republicans have caused this country so much hardship over the years and now we are possibly on the verge of another depression. When Trump finally figures out that this health crisis must be addressed before any economic rebound will take place, it may be too late. The Centers for Disease Control put out a document explaining the guidelines for opening up the state economies. The guidelines were very cautious and detailed the dangers of proceeding slowly and meeting three-step criteria. The guidelines had the signature of Dr. Fauci written all over them. Trump has now shelved the guidelines, another “only I can fix it” moment.

Someone has to explain why people support a person who is a pathological liar and who has created a disaster that will affect every person in this country negatively for years. Trump now owns a horrible economy, 30 percent unemployment, and the death of soon-to-be 100,000 American lives.

This Republican Trump presidency, with lies and incompetence, has brought our country down to the gutter. History will not be kind to Trump and his fellow Republicans; volumes will be written about their lies, ethics, and spineless behavior. I am totally disgusted, and you should also be. We are better than what Republicans have to offer.


The Greater Good
Shelter Island
May 15, 2020

To the Editor:

Lately I have been receiving lots of mail regarding the Democratic primary for the first congressional district. The three candidates are Perry Gershon, Bridget Fleming, and Nancy Goroff. I wish they would stop.

The latest available public poll by GBAO for Newsday puts Gershon in first place with 44 percent of the voters. That is greater than Fleming (21 percent) and Goroff (9 percent) combined. As I understand it, both Fleming and Goroff have the resources to battle this out to the end. My decades in marketing and politics tell me this gap cannot be closed and their effort will be futile.

However, as we have seen in the national Democratic primary, the wisest course for the not-going-to-win candidates is to withdraw, and throw their important support behind the leader.

Because of the national crisis we find ourselves in, this is the time for self-sacrifice for the greater good, that being a return to some measure of national sanity. Lee Zeldin’s support of the president prevents that from happening.

I urge Fleming and Goroff to withdraw and help Gershon win back the seat for our district.


Different Drum
May 18, 2020


“The recent release of documents should seriously trouble every American no matter what belief. The rule of law has been trampled by a herd of diabolical subversives, whose under-oath testimony before congressional committees revealed zero evidence of any collusion yet in public they lied continually about “incontrovertible evidence.”

The spying started with the I.R.S. spying on conservative groups, and 17”assorted agencies were in lockstep. It was rampant beyond comprehension that not one of the involved testified that they had knowledge. Sally Yates “was shocked” that Obama knew so much! Yet they continued to lie, even to this day?

The weaponizing of the National Security Agency, C.I.A., F.B.I., Justice Department, and even the Foreign Intelligence Act court system to spy not only on the incoming administration but American citizens as well. Did this not undermine the rule of law?

Media denial propped up this attempted coup d’état. As documents were released, it points directly at the prior president. It is a fairy tale to think that 17 different agencies surreptitiously participated in this without the knowledge of Barack Obama. All because of a hatred and a crusade to elect Hillary Clinton.

However, below the surface there was a campaign to cover up her lawless behavior and that doesn’t have to be laid out. One has to wonder that the vitriol expressed in letters to The Star, if the truth was exposed, would have changed the thought process. Even last week our self-indulged historian, philosopher, socialist America hater, could find a different drum to beat. He could always get a one-way ticket to France, if it is so great there.

The Bill Of Rights is self-explanatory, and those who violate it need to be punished severely, as rule of law requires. We all need to be wary of why and how the face of pure evil reared its ugly head.

Yours truly,


Predator Class
East Hampton
May 17,2020

To The Star:

The differences between predators and victims is usually distinct and easily defined. The predator class of big business, politicians, and deranged criminals is rarely confused with their victims. Victims have little more than the sympathy of the public as they get the crap kicked out of them. In the 2009 financial crisis the predators were bailed out and the victims discarded. Oxycontin users are allowed to waste away while Big Pharma gets a slap on the wrist. Recently the predator class has learned that being a victim has more to it than sympathy. Victimhood can be a get-out-of-jail free card and a disguise for behavior that pushes the limits of acceptability.

Michael Flynn is a prime example. He brazenly consorted with Russian operatives in 2016, got caught, and pleaded guilty to a reduced sentence of lying to the F.B.I. Twice. Instead of 20 years for treason and conspiracy he got a pittance for lying. (Kids stealing a car get 5 to 10.) Flynn as a victim is absurd.

The F.B.I. has a long and sordid history of abuse of power, especially with regard to political movements and racial politics. It has abused and victimized people throughout its storied existence. No one who questioned the established order was safe from the F.B.I.

Flynn could have waited for Trump to give him a pardon and move on. The Department of Justice intervention wasn’t really about Flynn. It was about making Flynn a victim and creating an aura of sympathy around every one of Trump’s people who have broken the law in the past three years. It was about giving our predator class a victim ID card to excuse their behavior.

In the national DNA of winners and losers we have finally, after years of process, come to identify winners as victims. The winner class, predominantly white-male Protestants, can add the sobriquet of victim to their résumés. We may have killed 20 million Native Americans, but we carry the burden of this genocide in our souls while we continue to abuse what’s left of them. Not really. Never gave it much thought.

So, in our current history of predators and victims, besides the usual litany of blacks, Latinos, Jews, women, working and middle-class white males (who have watched their incomes decline since the mid-1970s), we welcome the predator class of corporate America and elected officials who aren’t satisfied with the benefits of their actions. They want something more: exoneration, redemption, adulation, and victimhood.

Greed alone doesn’t explain it, although greed is always the driving force behind our politics. Victimhood is the easiest way to avoid scrutiny and to explain away bad behavior. To cover up personal failings, incompetence, anti- social behavior, and fascism, don’t judge me, pity and defend me.

Cornell West in his tribute to Dorothy Day explains it so clearly, “We are who we are because somebody loved us or didn’t? Indifference to evil is worse than evil itself.”


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