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Letters to the Editor for June 11, 2020

Wed, 06/10/2020 - 19:14

Dishonest Company
June 8, 2020
Dear David:

I was appalled today to learn that the majority of our town board is planning to allow Orsted/Deepwater Wind/Eversource to perform test borings at Wainscott Beach on Beach Lane this summer, with the intent to leave equipment parked overnight at the end of Beach Lane, along with potentially hazardous waste from the test bores. Yet again, this is clear evidence that Orsted/Deepwater/Eversource says one thing and does exactly the opposite. It does as it wants.

How we can conduct business with such a dishonest company is beyond me. Yet it seems the town will do anything for money.

From the start, Orsted/Deepwater/Eversource has stated they would not perform these borings or test digs between Memorial Day and the end of September. Yet the town has evidently approved this, for a fee of course, and yet the time has run out. Now the town wants to give them approval to do the borings at the beach during the summer season when everyone is using the parking lot and our beach. (That must be a good payoff I am sure).

Enough is enough! The town must be brought to task on this outrageous decision to circumvent not only the residents of Wainscott but all those that enjoy the use of our pristine community beach. There is only a small amount of parking available here as it is, and the noise that will be generated by the drilling equipment and vehicles associated with this endeavor, starting at 7 a.m. and continuing till 7 p.m., is totally unacceptable. This is our community and it does not belong to Orsted/Deepwater/Eversource.


Righteous Anger
Louisville, Ky.
June 3, 2020

To the Star:

A lot has happened, and a lot is happening across the country. I want to offer a specific word of challenge to help us navigate the days before us. We cannot afford to fall into reactive patterns that do not bring real change. That is why there must be protests and plans. We must raise our voices in objection to these senseless killings and demand accountability for all involved. Protests can take on different forms but should be planned and not be merely reactive, because the point is to apply moral and social pressure to bring change.

Community leaders and organizations need an underlying or guiding philosophy that inform our plans and work — activism, advocacy, public policy, education, and ministry. Neither fiery memes, rants, or debates on social media, nor signs and shouting in the streets will bring our communities change because much of it is reactionary in nature. We must do more than get worked up emotionally.

Passion is good, but it must be channeled. Righteous anger should lead to organizing, voting, writing new policies, educating our communities about our issues, leveraging financial resources, strengthening black institutions, such as historically black colleges and universities, building interracial coalitions, and holding black (and other) leaders accountable for representing our issues. We have to create and support mechanisms of change, and reaction will never make that happen but plans rooted in a deeper philosophy will.

I learned this from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who organized masses of people for social change because he had a guiding philosophy that informed the work — non-violent direct action. We do not have to agree with King’s philosophy of nonviolence. I do, but others do not. The point is that he had a philosophy that undergirded his advocacy work. So, when he led a protest, he had a goal in mind. We need to know the outcome, what we want to see happen, and who or what entity needs to be challenged and for how long. This is a qualitatively different approach than getting worked up and hitting the streets in anger.

I also want to make two final points for our consideration. Dr. King left us both practical models to follow as we take up justice work and a legacy of strength. At the core of his legacy was his belief that we should resist violence and hatred. We must be rooted in a tough love, for it gives us the strength to resist retaliation.

“An Experiment in Love” (1950s):

“I stressed that the use of violence in our struggle would be both impractical and immoral. To meet hate with retaliatory hate would do nothing but intensify the existence of evil in the universe. Hate begets hate; violence begets violence’. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love; we must meet physical force with our soul free.”

Violence and its fuel, hatred, must be resisted. Black people are hurting, but hate is not the answer. King’s reminder that violence is impractical and immoral needs to be heard in parts of members of both the black and white community who want to use peaceful protests as arenas for violence and looting. He also warned about the forces of reaction during times of war. I believe his thoughts here apply to times of intense national conflict.

Martin Luther King Jr., NBC News Interview (1968):

"It is really much more difficult to arouse the conscience during a time of war. There is something about a war like this that makes people insensitive. It dulls the conscience. It strengthens the forces of reaction and it brings into being bitterness and hatred and violence."

During times of major conflict, emotions run hot and deep. During these times, we identify enemies and mobilize to destroy them. More dangerously, during these times, we require family and friends to choose sides. "Are you for us or against us”“ This is what King meant by the statement “it makes people insensitive.” They will do all sorts of things against others because they are caught up by the forces of reaction.”

Dr. King’s warning about the forces of reaction should remind us of the deeper spiritual nature of our struggle. That is why we should never engage an adversary committed to evil on their terms. It only draws us into the very evil we are seeking to resist. In the words of the New Testament letter to the Ephesians, we need to stop being “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” (4:14) and not fall into the mimetic trap of “repaying evil for evil” (Romans 12:17). Friends, do not allow yourselves to get swept into the rising tide of hate, for it is only a prelude to condoning or participating in violence.

I encourage you to read my articles on the neglected dimensions of verbal violence in our civic discourse in Black Politics Today magazine. It delves into the verbal dimensions of violence rampant in our communities and on social media. My prayer is for God to grant us inner peace, strength, compassion for hurting people, understanding, and wisdom to confront evil with good. I also pray that God “lead us not into temptation” but “deliver us from evil” so that we do not succumb to the forces of reaction.

Contributor and co-director Black Pulpit and Public Square

Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church, East Hampton and co-director Black Pulpit and Public Square

East Hampton
June 7, 2020

To the Editor,

Growing up in the 1950s in East Hampton as an African-American young person, I was sheltered from the real racism that most of this country was experiencing and suffered. Attending schools in East Hampton, I never really learned one thing about African-American history. It was only through what my parents could tell me, and family history. After higher education, I learned from other sources such as Martin Luther King Jr.’s actions and his speeches, traveling on civil rights tours of the Deep South, my involvement with groups such as the N.A.A.C.P., community action groups, and 20 years or more on East Hampton Town’s Anti Bias Task Force that I learned.

There has been so much inequality that exists among people of color in this country! African-Americans have contributed much to this country and have been treated unfairly. After 400 years, how far have we come’ You only need to visit the African-American Museum in Washington, D.C., and other museums that display African-American achievements to really know how much has been given to this great country by African-Americans.

When you hear and read about people like Ahmaud Arbery just three months ago in south Georgia, when he was chased down by two white men claiming they were trying to perform a citizen’s arrest, and George Floyd more recently, who was held down to the ground by a police officer kneeling on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds during an arrest, I wonder how long we will continue to be blind to injustice’ Why not teach tolerance in our schools, enlighten our young people about other cultures, and more about the history of African-Americans in history classes, hire more qualified minorities in our school systems, government, and the justice systems. Our nation’s highest court is busy overturning convictions, and the rest of the justice system is trying to make sure that convictions never happen in the first place.

It’s good to see the demonstrators and marching that is going on around our country today being led by groups of diverse young people who have had enough of the failures of leaders in this country to recognize Black Lives Do Matter. I agree the destruction of property is not constructive and does not reflect those who are protesting peacefully for change. If our country changes it will be because of young people. They will not give up or give into the past. A new country is emerging out of a chaotic past, and a new generation that will never give in to injustices!

Town of East Hampton Anti-Bias Task Force

Open and Deadly
June 8, 2020

Dear Editor,

The pot is boiling over and the very strong winds of change are blowing! It is terribly tragic that it has again taken the horribly tragic loss of another young black American human being’s life, George Floyd’s, at the hands of a rogue police officer to bring us to this point.

Growing up in New York City in the 1940s and 50s and throughout my life, I have experienced too many failed starts to ending the horrible discrimination and racism in our country. From the desegregation of the military in the 40s, through the civil rights movement in the 60s with its marches, the Children’s March, Martin Luther King Jr.’s work, sit-ins, the desegregation of public schools, the passage of the Civil Rights law and the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. Still, in this 20th century more than 40 years later, the hateful racism is more open and deadly, the racists more vocal.

After 400 years, you would think we had become more. It is more than time to begin espousing the basic value established in our Declaration of Independence on which our nation is founded: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights that among them are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”. We are all human beings entitled to these rights no matter our race, background, where we came from or anything else.

Although education and training are an important part of effecting change and may reign in our behavior it does not necessarily change thinking or attitude. What we really need is a very basic change in our moral foundation, individually and as a society, culture, and nation.

East Hampton Town Anti-Bias Task Force

Right Message
East Hampton
June 8, 2020

Dear David,

I want to express my admiration and my gratitude to East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo. His wonderful letter to the community was exactly the right message, at the right time, from the right person. If every police department in America showed such leadership, the scourge of police brutality and its awful consequences would, with time, become a distant memory.

Congratulations, as well, to the town supervisor for his eloquent statement, and to the town board for their support of Chief Sarlo in delivering this very valuable message.


Former East Hampton Town supervisor

Great Job
June 8, 2020

Dear David:

Kudos to our police, with an invisible presence at the demonstration yesterday. Never more than three officers together, directing traffic and being helpful to drivers and pedestrians alike.

Great job — and also a good example of what a police presence could and should be.


Change the World
East Hampton
June 7, 2020

To The Star:

All the protests in the world won’t change anything. They make one feel better for having attended, nothing more.

I will not blame all cops for the behavior of a few! I know cops who put their lives on the line for us every day, and some who have been injured or have lost their lives for us in the line of duty. Yes, we must root out those who are bad, as killing when not being threatened is inexcusable!

I come from a color, religious, and ethnic-blind home. Those who know me know why and know how I have lived and continue to live my life accordingly.

I learned a long time ago that it is by our behavior alone that we change the world, and that, only one person at a time.

Good for thought.


Line of Defense
June 8, 2020

Dear David,

Common sense requires an honest assessment of observations and a critical analysis of facts.

I have a 30-plus-year career in law enforcement, with almost as many in labor relations. In 2010 I became the founding president of the fifth-biggest police union in New York State, the Police Benevolent Association of New York State.

Mr. Floyd’s death while being arrested is tragic beyond words. Those who exploit Mr. Floyd’s death to commit crimes and push forward through violent means political ideologies that diminish public safety and endanger citizens and police officers are not representative of the many good and decent people who seek to exercise their rights of free speech.

Although some would disagree, our police officers are the last line of defense against those who would spread anarchy and commit heinous acts upon free society.

There are many facts about the tragic death of Mr. Floyd that we do not know. Black Lives Matter and others have adopted a narrative that systemic racism is widespread and pervasive in law enforcement agencies throughout the nation.

First, let’s look at what we do know: Training of police officers and the departmental policies under which those police officers work vary widely. The single greatest chance of injury to both the police officer and defendant occurs during the arrest process. There are around 385 million estimated police-citizen contacts. There are about 11 million arrests yearly. There are roughly 50,000 assaults on police officers; 15,000 involved the use of deadly weapons; 14,000 police officers were seriously injured in those assaults. There were approximately 1,000 defendant-citizen deaths due to police shootings. Each and every shooting in which a death occurs is presented to a grand jury. In almost every instance the shooting is justified. The radical breakdown of the defendants are 350 were black, 650 white. There were a handful of fatalities that did not involve police shooting and those, too, were all presented to a grand jury.

Contrary to the narrative perpetuated by the press, politicians, and political activists, there is hardly an epidemic racism and police violence toward citizens regardless of race. In a nation of 330 million citizens, as unfortunate as it may be, deaths from police use of force are often unavoidable and rare.

Please do not interpret the above as a discounting of people’s beliefs. Sadly, some of those beliefs are warranted, but [more] are not. Facts and statistical data do not back or support the allegations claimed.

We also must not discount that some find violence and criminality acceptable instruments to achieve political ideologies. There are also individuals with evil intentions who seek the opportunity to pursue criminal conduct during the uncontrolled protest movements. These groups seek to destabilize the ability of law enforcement through social outcasting and defunding.

As I started out, the police are the last line of defense against those who would spread anarchy and commit a heinous act upon free society.

East Hampton Town Republican Committee

Mr. Vilar’s reporting of 350 black police-shooting fatalities and 650 white is misleading. Blacks and African-Americans make up about 14 percent of the United States population but are 54 percent of the deaths, using his information. Data sources about the number of people killed in encounters with police annually in the United States vary widely. Ed.

June 6, 2020

Dear David:

A few years ago, we swapped our house with a couple in an obscure Italian hill town outside of Alba. During our two-week stay, we had the fortune of meeting a neighboring family and became fast friends. Anecdotally, we had intended to celebrate our wedding anniversary at a purportedly reputable nearby restaurant, and related to them that we were sorely disappointed. Sealing our friendship, our newfound family invited us for our real anniversary dinner that lasted hours.

At the time, they had two boys, 8 and 11 years old. A couple years later, after Trump’s election, we had an Easter rendezvous with the mother (Monica) and her sons in Rome. Over Easter dinner, Monica explained that her sons had difficulty going to sleep, worrying about the effect the Trump administration and its agenda would have on Italy, and on Europe as a whole.

Fast-forward to this week to an email exchange with Monica. In light of the protests over the Floyd murder, she said that her sons were watching the protests and asked me how she could explain the situation to them.

Harking back to the words of President Reagan, Monica’s sons see America as that beacon of light on the top of the hill and are wondering what has happened to her. So is Monica, so am I, and it’s likely that so is the rest of the world.



East Hampton
June 8, 2020

To The Star:

Three and a half years of the Trump administration have left America reeling, its values and ideals subverted and sabotaged. But the best of America is still here, too, embodied in each of us who wants to see our country live up to its promise: It is in the hospital janitor, the supermarket clerk, the doctor, the bus driver, the first responder, who all courageously go to work every day during a pandemic; it is in the teacher who Zooms into the lives of students; it is in the peaceful protestors who march and make their voices heard even though they risk a virulent virus, and, at times, virulent cops, and it is in the police officers who do their jobs professionally and respectfully.

For those who believe that this country is better than the racism, the flouting of the rule of law, the incendiary tweets that are the hallmarks of the Trump administration, this can be a time of transformation, when we do the work that needs to be done, to face uncomfortable truths, to become knowledgeable about issues and elections on both the local and national levels, to hold elected officials accountable, and to make civic action a part of our daily lives.

Yes, this can be a transformative time for us. But if it is not, if this is simply an extraordinary moment that dissipates, if in November we do not resoundingly defeat Donald Trump and his renegade Republicans, then that truly will be the end of the grand American experiment in democracy.



Caring and Courage
East Hampton
June 5, 2020

Dear David,

There is a callous, heartless, soulless old man residing in the White House who watches now while the country he has brought close to ruin shows how extraordinarily great it is, and always has been, in spite of his ridiculous slogan to the contrary. His ignorance, ineptitude, immorality, and depravity have been evident since he took office, but in the crises of 2020 his utter lack of leadership and his pathological loyalty to himself alone have brought this country to its knees. The murder of an innocent black man under the shoe of an enraged white man is epically symbolic of what this president embodies, endorses, and inflames. But now, the growing masses of outraged people in this country and around the world are sending a clear message to the man and his equally culpable henchmen that the injustices must and will end.

God bless the extraordinary, everyday heroes as they fight against pathogens, loneliness, sadness, hunger, fear, and now evil. This love and caring and courage and sacrifice are the zenith of humanity and this president is its nadir. Remember in November.



Worse Again
Inverness, Fla.
June 3, 2020

Dear Readers:

When Trump ran for president in 2016 his campaign slogan was “Make America Great Again.” Well, let me ask you, what the heck happened”

America currently has a deadly virus infecting our nation, resulting in more deaths than any other nation on the planet. We have a failing economy. We have massive unemployment. America has protests and riots going on, worse than we have had in over half a century since Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, due to unfair treatment and murder of minorities. And Trump does not like minorities, as shown by his dislike of Muslims, etc., in his campaign verbiage and diffuseness he railed in every direction in his last campaign.

America is not getting great again at all. It is by far worse again. Just in time for Trump’s present-day non-re-election campaign. When will Republicans ever grant these truths?


Jigsaw Puzzle
June 8, 2020

Dear Mr. Rattray,

Apologies for this letter, to you and to anyone who might read it. I know your time might be better served taking a yoga class online, or hearing about “Infinite Possibilities” from Deepak Chopra on Facebook. These are just words, and I’m having as much difficulty arranging them as my mother-in-law had in assembling a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle of a field of sunflowers. Dizzying.

It’s hard to calm down lately. I guess the long walks are helpful, and the bike rides. But I’m still pin-balling between headlines, finding precious little comfort in the good news of the good works being done by good citizens every hour of every day. So shame on me. But I salute and celebrate the millions of brave and passionate citizens of the world who came out and marched and raised their voices in anger and frustration, demanding justice and change. To see thousands lying face down in the streets and parks, hands behind their backs, side-by-side, pandemic be damned — it was and remains an inspiration. I feel confident there will be change, dramatic change, in the weeks and months ahead, culminating (in part) in the election of Joe Biden, who will win by a landslide, ushering in a new era of civility and cooperation among ourselves as citizens and our allies around the planet.

And then I hear about the conservative ex-husband of a dear friend of Mary’s who said, of the murder of George Floyd, “He probably deserved it.”

And I have to remind myself of some personal history, which to most would probably be considered ancient: In April 1967 I drove with my fellow classmates 700 miles from Ohio to attend the peaceful demonstration against the Vietnam War in New York City (demonstrations took place simultaneously in D.C., Los Angeles, and around the country). There were over 400,000 of us in Central Park and millions more around the country.

What a powerful feeling it was, to be a small part of something so large, so historic. But three years later the war was still being fought and four students, antiwar protesters, were shot and killed by National Guardsmen on the campus at Kent State University. And the Vietnam War raged on for three years after that. It seems like yesterday and a million years ago at the same time. I love my friends who served and fought, and I love my friends who protested. And now we’re here, those of us who’ve lived to see the day, along with three more generations, displaying the same passion and fervor for another righteous cause. Though millions disagree, and I have to make myself understand that, which is difficult because it would be easier to just use some bad language and post some bullshit on Facebook. Hence this letter, so apologies again.

Have I ever mentioned that my grandfather was born in 1877” Just 12 years after the end of the Civil War? Twelve years after four million slaves in this country were suddenly “free.” Imagine having been born as an owned human being — and now you’re “free.” Free to spend the next 150 years “earning” actual equality, under the law and in the hearts of your fellow citizens. And now it’s 2020, but you don’t quite have it. I don’t have helpful words for that. I’m terrible at jigsaw puzzles. But it feels like pieces are falling into place at this moment. When you watch someone working on one of those puzzles, and they get a corner done, and next thing you know six more pieces come quickly. Maybe it’s like that right now. That’s my hope.

Just occurred to me: Women got the right to vote in this country 100 years ago, in 1920. I’m not a history buff, but why the hell didn’t women always have the right to vote” A little off topic but not really. This letter is only tangentially about #blacklivesmatter. But also other things because, as previously and apologetically mentioned, my head is pin-balling.

I’m being told I should end this letter by another voice in my head. Fine, but first, what have we learned” Is there a “teaching moment” I should summon here” Yes, there is: Do not fail to vote. I won’t tell you who to vote for “you know how I feel. Just vote, do your duty, be a good citizen, and exercise your blessed right. And also, do a YouTube search for Sarah Cooper and her lip-sync channeling of our current president. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to buy me a glass of wine when the joints open up again.



Systemic Racism
East Hampton
June 5, 2020

To The Star:

When the first settlers came to America, bringing pestilence, death, and Christianity, they were faced with half-naked, physically imposing native men and women. Overwhelmed by this natural beauty and freedom, they called them savages. Long before we had blacks, Asians, Latinos, and slaves we had racism. Racism was the pre-eminent driving force that allowed this country, from its inception, to be what it is today.

When slavery was abolished 260 years later it was the slavery not the racism that we couldn’t abide. Racism went on as usual. Morphing into different forms during different time frames. Racism was so wound in our nation’s development that it could have become the 11th commandment: “Thou shalt always defend white supremacy.”

Skip to the present and Minnesota. Another brutal killing, and a series of peaceful protests turning into riots. Same old, same old crap. It could be analogous to killing school kids, except that we haven’t yet institutionalized that process. Close your eyes and it’s the 1960s or 1940s, et al. It’s a byproduct of our system that has never not been racist and has its racism permeate all of its existing institutions.

Don’t blame the police. They are the front line troops who exist to defend our system and our institutions no matter how racist they might be. Blaming the police misses the bigger picture. The less flattering big picture that all of our institutions are, and have always been, racist: schools, churches, military, criminal justice, government, businesses, etc.

Institutional white racism is defined really simply by the number of African-Americans who have died from the virus given their percentage of the population. If that doesn’t resonate there are a million other examples that make the case. It’s not personal but systemic. So while we lead our daily lives we permit and abet this racism by our silence and our inaction. While the vast majority of Americans believe that racism is wrong, they seem not to grasp their role in maintaining and perpetuating its existence.

When systemic racism produces overt racist behavior as in Minnesota, the system implodes. Sometimes it breeches and explodes. Riots and violence borne from frustration break out. They exacerbate the pain and provide no relief. We adjust and forget really quickly.

Ninety-nine percent of protests are peaceful. The violence that makes up the other 1 percent is almost always from the opposition. Yet we focus more on the violence than the peaceful protestors. Clearly ideas and behavior are too abstract for people to get worked up about. Even when the violence of our systemic racism is written in oversize letters like the Covid-19 death rates, we barely blink. But when the protests rage into rioting, looting, we are horrified and upset and have little discomfort with bringing in the National Guard.

By focusing on the rioting, cheered on by our racist president, we miss the bigger picture, which we are happy not to see. Trump is unabashed in his racism and normalizes it with little fear of recrimination. We’ve finally elected someone who embodies the most repugnant piece of our culture. We need to be better than that. Ultimately, we may not be, but we have to give it a try.


Elder Care
June 6, 2020

Dear David:

A couple of weeks ago, the New York G.O.P. House delegation (including our congressman, Lee Zeldin) spent the weekend at Camp David with Mr. Trump. The agenda had little to do with the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather, it was a weekend spent strategizing for the November elections and how best to position Mr. Trump in the face of his abject failures of leadership.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo must have been a bullet point (or picture) on Mr. Trump’s agenda, given that Mr. Cuomo’s approval ratings for his handling of the pandemic have consistently outpaced the dismal ratings for Mr. Trump.

How do we know this” Because early in the following week, those representatives asked for an investigation into New York’s “unclear and shifting policy guidance” for nursing homes. Of course, the goal was to sully Governor Cuomo’s approval ratings. The problem with their logic was that the state policies focused upon followed guidelines issued by Mr. Trump’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Even more pernicious, the tragedy that befell so many nursing homes and eldercare facilities across the nation is traceable to policies implemented by the Trump administration. In 2016, as part of the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration finalized regulations requiring, among other things, that nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities employ infection prevention specialists, and develop infection control and prevention plans to detect, report, and contain communicable diseases.

The Trump administration, in cahoots with lobbyists for the nursing home industry, decided that infection control protocols imposed “excessively burdensome requirements” upon the industry and began to unravel and fail to enforce the Obama administration’s regulatory scheme. The Trump plan eliminated the requirement of having an infection specialist on staff. At the time, epidemiologists decried the rollback, stressing the importance such staffing would play in infection prevention. How many lives would have been saved had we had a real leader” This is just another example of the Trump administration placing profit ahead of Americans” well being.

Did Mr. Zeldin, who consistently fakes concern over the health care afforded to his constituents, raise his hand and object to the Trump rollback” If he did, he should reach out to me, and I, in return, would be happy to disclose the opposition he voiced to the Trump administration. Instead, in Trumpian fashion, it’s all about diverting the finger of blame elsewhere. Now Mr. Zeldin and his cronies want to take down the governor. It’s time we elect a congressional representative who will actually work for us instead of toadying up to the disgraceful Mr. Trump. That’s why I’m supporting Perry Gershon. The Democratic primary is June 23: I hope you, too, will support Perry.



Send Bridget
June 5, 2020

To The Star:

I think that we all can agree the country is in real trouble. I think we all know that our country is in real trouble between an inept leadership, a devastating pandemic, and now racial unrest prompted by a leader whom seeks to divide us. It’s hard for a person to know what to do. It seems that we are stuck in a cycle of bad news, terrible attacks on our Constitution, and an affront to sacrifices made every day by our fellow Americans. I believe that the only thing we as citizens can do is support better candidates for our elective offices and vote them in.

Our representative in the House of Representatives is Lee Zeldin, a Trump acolyte who is not working for the people who elected him. We have the chance to send Bridget Fleming (our current Suffolk County legislator) to Congress. I hope you will join me in both contributing to her campaign and voting for her in the upcoming June Democratic primary and the general election in the fall. We are all eligible to vote by mail, as absentee should you feel the need to stay at home.

I have worked with her on Town of Southampton issues and know that she brings experience and truth to power to her role, let’s send her to Washington.

I am writing to my neighbors and fellow citizens, who I believe have the good intentions necessary to save our country; a contribution in any amount is appreciated. The N.R.A. is funding Lee Zeldin. Please contribute what you can, any amount helps, and more importantly please vote in the June 23 primary and ask other Americans who value and have hope for our country’s future to vote on June 23 as well.


Testing Site
June 5, 2020

To the Editor:

Hello, I just learned of the site selection for Covid-19 testing in Montauk at the Montauk Public School, and I am personally outraged. Although school is out, many children go to the fields to play ball and use the playground during the summer months. In addition, the site is smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood. There are so many other sites in Montauk including the Montauk Playhouse that would be better suited for the testing site. This is absolutely the wrong choice.



Deserves Respect
East Hampton
June 8, 2020

Dear David,

It is about time that members of the town board stopped acting like school kids. Their consistent and hostile treatment of Jeff Bragman makes them seem like 13-year-olds. It is unprofessional, impolite, and considering Jeff is of their party, unacceptable.

Besides being a popular and highly respected person in the community, Jeff also holds a law degree, which puts him heads above the other members. The supervisor is particularly unbecoming when he constantly interrupts Jeff before he is finished speaking (talking right over him), telling him that they’ve heard enough, and belittling whatever information or ideas Jeff may have.

The other board members are always united and decided when bringing up important decisions to be discussed and passed. They should stop treating Jeff as if he comes from Mars. He is a duly elected Democratic town board member and deserves the respect they all get. I think he should run for Congress!

Yours truly,


Special People
June 8, 2020

Dear David,

Born Dec. 21, the first day of winter in 1919, my mother, Mickey, died young in 1964 from cancer. In Miami Beach, she died as the most popular woman married to the most popular man, Wolfie Cohen. Both had long lists of public work, and Wolfie was a famous restaurateur who had won four Miami Beach elections.

Miriam Rose (Goldhaber) Cohen was also a full-time mother for me and my younger sister, Robin (Sherwood). In the garage converted to my separate bedroom, Mickey came in every night to talk when I was supposed to turn off the lights. Mickey would hold my hand and that made her and me and the day wonderful. “Now turn off the light,” she would say, and I was kissed on the top of my head. My brain wanted to learn more, and when she left the bedroom, I would turn on a flashlight focused on a book. My mother knew what I would do, but the importance of what she said and what I did was not disagreement; it was coordinated love.

Mickey came from Johnstown, Pa., when that city was economically strong. Her family owned the main Pepsi-Cola bottling plant for western Pennsylvania, and it also produced other flavors. She grew up as a beautiful woman, who gave people happiness, and belonged to a strong Jewish family, who lived in an ample and delightful home. She married her first husband when young, age 21. They had a son named Allen 16 months later. After his birth, her husband forced her to have sex, though the doctor had said she was not yet ready. A few months after Allen’s birth, her husband was sent to World War II in the Pacific.

While her husband was away, Mickey lived with her parents in their original home. One day when Allen was a little more than 2 years old, he got away from the back porch of the house. In this steep part of Pennsylvania, he rolled and rolled without control down the side of the hill and drowned in a pond.

Mickey’s first husband was berserk when he returned from World War II. He constantly blamed Mickey for destroying his son. He forced her to have sex every day. He convinced many members of an important Jewish temple committee to tell Mickey that she had made a terrible error that killed her son and whose death was harming her husband. There was little regard for her depression, whose many causes included the death of her younger brother, who she always adored, in World War II in the Pacific.

Mickey’s mother determined to save her by taking her to Miami Beach for the winter.  Mickey met Wolfie. They saved each other. They were special people, and they became a couple that fully accepted and loved each other’s unique skills and passions. Wolfie married her in 1948 after Mickey obtained a divorce in Florida. But the original husband continued fighting against divorce both in Pennsylvania and Florida.

I was born to my Florida, married, parents in June 1949, and Robin was born in January 1952. In October 1952, after different state court rulings in Florida and Pennsylvania, the challenge of Mickey’s divorce went to the U.S. Supreme Court. Mickey won. Mickey and Wolfie were made secure as loving husband and wife by the highest court in the United States.


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