July 8, 2020
I write to commend the Springs Fire Department and its emergency medical services personnel. On Saturday, June 27, I awoke to alarming symptoms, necessitating an emergency trip to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. Within minutes of a 911 call, two beautiful young people arrived at my door to transport me to the hospital. One male, one female —— one black, one white — one volunteer, one on salary. They worked in tandem to monitor my vitals, provide reassurance, and weave their way through horrendous weekend traffic to ensure that I arrived safely to a waiting medical team who immediately took me to the E.R.
During that first weekend of summer, when Covid threatened and countless young people opted for the beach or a backyard barbecue, two young, selfless adults chose instead to give of themselves to save the life of a stranger. They made all the difference. Thank you, Kamal and Felisa.
July 13, 2020
To The Star:
People are finding beautifully painted shells deposited randomly on the edge of properties in Napeague. They just show up, Some have inspirational messages. My favorite is the broken shell that says “Nobody’s Perfect.” Everyone is enthralled with the sweet mystery of the painted shells. The identity of the artist(s) is on everyone’s minds. It has become a game to find new ones. It’s rare that anyone takes them, but when they do, people definitely feel a loss. My grandson, Liam, and I collected shells and left them out front. We wrote on one shell “Paint Me,” and “Thank You” on another. I never want to know who they are. It’s such a wonderful sweet mystery.
July 9, 2020
To the Editor:
A loon found semifrozen at Lazy Point. A seagull with a broken wing at Shinnecock. My husband and I have called the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center about these animals and more throughout the years, and never failed to find someone eager to help no matter the day or the hour.
What a welcome pleasure to see Durell Godfrey’s photo and Christopher Walsh’s story about the center’s latest rescue right there on the front page of today’s Star. Here’s hoping that this coverage brings attention — and donations — to this remarkable organization. Thank you.
ALICE HENRY WHITMORE
The story and photo covered the rescue of a juvenile osprey. Ed.
July 13, 2020
In the midst of the current situation, we should all look around the village and take heart at the many lovely improvements taking place.
Most notably, planters now line Main Street, Newtown Lane, and the entrance to the Reutershan parking lot. Two years ago, Rose Brown came to the Ladies Village Improvement Society and asked for help with a beautification project other villages had been undertaking for years. We were honored to participate and thought of last year as a pilot project that everyone deemed a great success.
Under the guidance of Dave Collins and his team, led by Mike Bouker, this year’s results are even more stunning. With careful supervision from the Department of Public Works, the containers have been improved, soil quality upgraded, plant material more carefully selected, and special care given to the planting process. Once again, dedicated L.V.I.S. volunteers, Ami Ayre, Gale Aldred, and Sue Vaughan, take great pride in tending their planters on a regular basis. This project is a delightful joint venture, celebra-ting our mutual anniversaries — the L.V.I.S.’s 125th and the incorporated village’s 100th.
From the stunning plantings in the 114 roundabout, to the improved triangle between the parking lot and the L.V.I.S. driveway, to numerous infrastructure projects, improvements to the north end of Herrick Park and the exciting plans for its total renovation and the dredging of Town Pond, many thanks go to the village trustees and the Department of Public Works for focusing on making our beloved village even more of a haven for its residents and visitors during these trying times.
With best wishes,
July 8, 2020
To the Editor:
I noted that in the June 25, 2020, Starwords crossword, the Idi Amin question referenced a Nigerian leader. However, it should be noted that Mr. Amin ruled in Uganda, not Nigeria.
PETER WINSTON SMITH
July 5, 2020
I was very glad to see Christine Sampson’s coverage of the conditions at the post office (“Overwhelmed by Volume,” July 2, 2020). Thank you, postal workers. What essential worker heroes they are.
Most customers are polite and patient, but not all. I have seen some pretty bad behavior at the post office. One whiner would not wait on the line but walked right up to the counter with her order pulled up on her phone, and insisted the employee find her package. Another, standing right in front of a sign loudly proclaiming “The post office is hiring / $17.+ to start / Excellent benefits,” said, “They should hire more people. This is ridiculous.” The 20 or so of us on line just watched in disbelief while the postal worker informed her very calmly and professionally that this (East Hampton 11937) was a post office designed to serve a population of 10,000 now serving 100,000. Most of us who witnessed the exchanges felt a swell of pride and appreciation for the postal employee’s calm demeanor and keep-it-togetherness.
This brings me to my second point. It has been reported that the East End of Long Island has the lowest response rate to the 2020 census of any community in New York State. In East Hampton, seasonal occupancy, the timing of the count, three ZIP codes where most people get their mail at a post office box, fears surrounding nonpermitted apartments and rentals, and, oh yeah, Covid-19, have all conspired to undermine the purpose and intent of the census: To get an accurate count of the number of people for the purposes of representation in government and funding for public services.
There is nothing nefarious about the census.
Want a bigger post office with more staff? Want greater representation on the county, state, and federal level? Want more funds for public and emergency services, education, hospitals, and road improvements? Take five minutes and go online (2020census.gov) to complete the census.
Not online? Call 1-844-330-2020. Don’t have a phone? Write to U.S. Census Bureau National Processing Center, 100 Logistics Avenue, Jeffersonville, Ind. 47144, then go to the post office, mail your letter, and say “thank you” to the employees at the post office.
July 10, 2020
Last week I implemented my solution to the leaf blower issue by asking the man who cuts our grass not to use a leaf blower anymore.
Perhaps we all could face this leaf blower issue the way we handle the mask issue: each of us doing our part for ourselves and our neighbors, thus reducing our own and our neighbors’ tense nerves, not to mention saving everyone’s hearing.
Trying to do my part.
July 12, 2020
This letter is about meetings. As a local educator for over 35 years, I have attended hundreds of meetings, large and small. As East Hampton High School science department chair, and later as the East Hampton School Board president, I have personally led scores of meetings. In my extensive experience with meetings, I have seen it all.
Nowadays, I watch local meetings televised by our East Hampton LTV, not necessarily because I have any dogs in any fights, but rather because I believe that, as a citizen, it is incumbent on me to stay informed about issues facing the village, our trustees, the planning board, the zoning board, and the town board.
The issues that come before our elected and appointed boards can be complex, layered, and sometimes interconnected with other agencies, foreign and domestic. I appreciate that at meetings differing points of view can and will arise and when they do, they will be respectfully received and considered, and perhaps be informative, if not illuminating.
Unbelievably and unhappily I have had to turn off the television and walk away from the past several East Hampton Town Board meetings because, inexplicably, before the meetings are anywhere near concluded, they devolve into palpable toxicity. The board leader treats one — only one — of the other members with such rude interjection and vitriolic obstruction that the viewer is punished. This in spite of the fact that the leader behaves toward the other three members with courtesy; one particular member is offered overt acclaim, commendation, and praise.
Given my particular vast set of “meeting annals,” I am forced to question stances, motives, and behind-the-scenes rationales.
This apolitical message is offered sincerely.
July 13, 2020
Your articles of the past two weeks related to our establishment and others contained misleading, and even erroneous information.
The two minor violations we were assessed had absolutely nothing to do with Covid safety issues, yet your headlines and the articles gave the impression that these violations, both of which have been remedied, were related to safety issues. They were not. Nor was I arrested, as it stated in a press release.
We have gone to great lengths to ensure the health and safety of our staff and patrons, and we remain committed to ensuring they remain securely in place.
Small businesses like ours depend on the trust and loyalty of our patrons. As longtime members of the Montauk business community, we expect our local press to treat us with the same care we provide our customers.
Rick’s Crabby Cowboy
Were No Masks
July 12, 2020
To the Editor,
It is hard to imagine the rest of the country watching the Covid crisis in New York this past spring and thinking it couldn’t happen to them. We did good here. We did what we were told. It worked. But today, a beautiful July Sunday at Town Line Beach in Wainscott, we saw hardly any people wearing masks.
At the narrow and semicongested entry to the beach where social distancing is hard, there were no masks. And on the long walk on narrow Town Line Road to the beach from distant parking spots, there were no masks. As beachgoers walked past other beachgoers in search of a safely distant spot, there were no masks. And masks were nowhere to be seen hanging around necks either. Not at the ready if someone was close by. There were no masks.
Yes, it was outside, and that is better, but probably not perfect. We should not get complacent now. And we should have more respect for one another. Isn’t it worth it, in this worst public health crisis in a century, to be better safe than sorry? Please add some masks to your beach bag. We all know it’s not a hoax.
ANDREW M. SACKS
Join the Fight
July 13, 2020
A few weeks back you kindly published my letter where I lamented the noncompliance with mask wearing by many of our local population. I suggested that without this simple weapon in the fight against Covid-19, we could well be in for a long battle. Sadly, this seems to be the case.
Mask wearing here has not become prevalent and with the spikes in Southern/Western states, we’re vulnerable to a large uptick here. Folks, get smart and join the fight. I’m tired of seeing masks discarded on the sides of roads (pretty disgusting — who does this?) and would much prefer seeing them on people.
July 10, 2020
I know, a bit out of nowhere in these demented and bizarro times, though I’ve been winnowing down what I put my attention on, trying to sort the junk from the good stuff.
Our family has been out here since I was a tiny person, and it is my most favorite place to be, no matter the season. Do I love what happens to the village during the summer, especially on Aug. 1, when all the city shrinks (until recently, my mother included), arrive for a 30-day run? God no. But we know how to avoid the crush, where to get fresh fish and veg without going into town, where the quiet inlets are, the less popular beaches, and all the shortcuts and back roads that get us where we want to go.
Very, very sadly my mom sold her house in August of 2018. My stepdad died many years ago, and it was getting too hard for my mother and her new partner — another N.Y.C. psychiatrist! — to manage the traffic on the L.I.E. So, they recently bought a house on Candlewood Lake in Sherman, Conn. (I know. Don’t even.)
It’s a very quick ride to Sherman from the Upper West Side. There’s no traffic, no matter when you set off, and it’s more manageable for two 84-year-olds. It’s lovely there, and the lake is beautiful but it has made my missing of this place even more excruciating. Luckily we have very close, very old family friends who let us use their house whenever it’s available, so we have been out a lot this summer. And though we’re not sure how to pull it off exactly, my husband and I are determined to have a place of our own again someday. There is no light like the light out here. There are no more beautiful beaches. There is also a powerful and ancient energy that feels particular to the East End — I’ve never felt it anywhere else — that I crave when I’ve been away for too long.
So finally, to the point of this email: I used to buy The Star regularly, as soon as we pulled into town. Now though a subscription will help me feel connected, even though I can’t be here as often as I’d like. There is nothing like The Star, and I don’t want it — or top-tier print media like it — to go anywhere. Especially now.
Thank you, David, you and your amazing staff, for maintaining the high standard set 135 years ago. I can’t tell you what it means to us.
Pull ’em Down
(Key of Em)
My great-granddaddy’s statue
Is standing brave and proud.
His ghost is singin’ ‘“Dixie”
Singin’’ “Dixie” to the crowd.
One of many monuments
That mark their legacy
But, along with all that glory
Came a thing called “slavery.”
Pull ‘em down to the ground
Their time has come and gone.
Pull ‘em down to the ground,
It’s time that we moved on.
We didn’t need these statues then
Don’t need ‘em anymore, so
Pull ‘em down to the ground
It’s time we end this war.
We fought and shot each other
With the rifle and the gun.
While never asking what this world
Would look like If we’d won.
This land we call ‘America’
That runs from shore to shore.
Would be two seperate countries, now,
Or three or even four. (To chorus)
The drums roll;
The bugles blow.
The Lost Cause is lost;
So, let it go.
We didn’t need these statues then
Don’t need ‘em anymore, so
Pull ‘em down to the ground
It’s time we end this war
TOM PAXTON and JON VEZNER
July 13, 2020
I support Long Island receiving electricity from efficient ocean-based wind farms. For two years, I have supported East Hampton and Southampton forming, preferably together, a community choice aggregation (C.C.A.). But proper management of a C.C.A. would not support the original 90 megawatts of the South Fork Wind Farm, which was originally called Deepwater Wind. It is outrageously more expensive than other clean energy sources that the C.C.A. can purchase.
Not all the supporters of creating a C.C.A. understand how they operate. One very important point is that the local C.C.A. determines the purchase of produced or stored electricity, but it has little to no control on that purchase being delivered to the C.C.A. members. In the near term, purchases of clean energy would almost never be delivered or rarely be delivered to clean energy members of the C.C.A. even though they are paying for it. That clean energy coordination of purchaser and user in a C.C.A. will improve when most of Long Island and/or New York State energy production is clean energy.
There is one main cable that now carries electricity to homes and what is inside it is determined by LIPA/PSEG. Even if East Hampton has a C.C.A. with many members who choose to only pay for clean energy, all the East Hampton houses will receive the same electricity from the big cable that currently exists. No one in East Hampton will receive much clean energy until that is what LIPA/PSEG mainly delivers to all Long Island.
The manager of a C.C.A. must purchase at the lowest available cost. It becomes highly unlikely that a well-managed C.C.A. would purchase the original 90 megawatts from Deepwater Wind. Even the South Fork Wind Farm admitted that it would cost at least twice what is mainly being introduced by the new, nearby, nearly 10-times-larger wind farms. They are even charging nearly double for their 90 megawatts compared to what they will receive for 40 recently added megawatts coming from their same wind farm. That is the most ridiculous pricing I have ever heard of.
Based on the contract with LIPA, LIPA will purchase any of the 90 megawatts from the Deepwater Wind portion of South Fork Wind Farm for outrageous prices that are at least twice as high as the other ocean wind farms. But no matter where that electricity ends up in the LIPA system, the properly managed East Hampton C.C.A. will never want to buy it.
There is great irony. LIPA will have to pay an outrageous high price for South Fork Wind Farm’s first 90 megawatts. But the people who are the clean energy C.C.A. residents of East Hampton will never have to pay for the expensive Deepwater Wind energy if our C.C.A. is properly managed. Another reason I want Southampton and East Hampton to have just one combined C.C.A. is to enforce proper, nonpolitical management.
C.C.A. clean energy people can smile if the C.C.A. is properly run because they will never have to pay the outrageous price to South Fork Wind Farm. But poor Long Island — your 1.1 million LIPA/PSEG customers, who do not belong to an East Hampton clean energy C.C.A., will pay for it no matter where they live and where it tends to be used.
July 11, 2020
As a former member of the East Hampton Town Board and point person for East Hampton’s 2005 master plan, I can report that town decision makers hold the Wainscott hamlet in high esteem as the entrance to our seaside community with its bucolic farmland rolling to the ocean dunes.
The recent full-page ad, paid for by the Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott, complains that East Hampton Town has not treated them fairly. This misleading attitude reflects some ignorance of Wainscott’s history and cooperation with East Hampton Town to protect the hamlet’s rural character. Instead, this group wants to sever the mutual connection to East Hampton that Wainscott has enjoyed for generations.
If Wainscott residents vote to incorporate as a separate entity, they should be aware that their property taxes will increase because they would now have to pay double taxes to both East Hampton Town and to Wainscott village.
East Hampton Town has consistently worked to protect Wainscott’s zoning, safety, and character. I was on the planning board in the 1980s when developers with deep pockets were descending on East Hampton to checkerboard our rural rich farmland next to the dunes of the Atlantic Ocean. Hundreds of fertile acres were being proposed for subdivisions named for what they were destroying, like Wainscott Farms, complete with lots to grow McMansions selling for millions of dollars that could become an elitist enclave.
Supervisors from Judith Hope to Peter Van Scoyoc supported a halt to development to stop the impacts of the run-away tsunami of overdevelop-ment washing over our hamlets. Working with the county executive, property owners voted to buy the development rights over local farmers’ land. The optional program was a win-win. The farmers in Wainscott could get paid for what they would receive if they sold to developers who had been knocking on their doors, but still use their land for agriculture.
In addition, the town board rezoned Wain-scott’s prime farmland and the forests above their aquifer, significantly reducing the amount of development by 40 percent in those necessary areas. Any subsequent subdivision was mandated to preserve 70 percent of open space that could continue to be in agricultural use. The open farmland at the corner of Town Line Road and Main Street and the Babinski farm on Beach Lane are prime examples.
The Wainscott hamlet needed public water mains and the town board, led by Peter Van Scoyoc, delivered. Note that there were no complaints about having the underground water mains buried along Wainscott’s roads then.
To avoid the western Long Island strip commercial zoning on both sides of Montauk Highway, the town board rezoned the south side of Montauk Highway in the Wainscott hamlet with residential development and required a 100-foot natural buffer along the highway.
The town board worked with the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee to buy an open lot along Montauk Highway for a small park. In addition, the recent hamlet study reflects the recommendations of the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee, including rezoning the Wainscott pit to include a large community park.
Wainscott has a long tradition of citizens who have committed their leadership, talents, and energy to improve the whole Town of East Hampton, like the Osborns, Hands, Niggleses, Babinskis, and McCaffreys.
Finally, to the residents of Wainscott, both part-timers and old-timers, please do your homework on both sides of this important village separation issue. Be careful what you wish for.
Strongly in Favor
July 3, 2020
To The Star:
On July 2, I read an article in 27 East regarding the movement to incorporate the hamlet of Wainscott that caused me great concern. Regarding potential tax increases, Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott’s initial study indicated a minimal change to property taxes and is having an in-depth study done, the results of which will be made public.
It was also stated in the article that the residents of Wainscott may have to reimburse the town for the cost of installing a public, safe water supply to residents due to the contamination of our wells. We were told that it was not safe to shower with our well water, let alone drink it. The town concealed the presence of the toxic chemicals at our airport that ultimately leached into our drinking water, poisoning our wells.
Orsted/Deepwater/Eversource is offering an undisclosed amount (at one point, $1 million) to be contributed to the town to help defray the cost of this installation, even though they had no legal responsibility for it. Is this to encourage the town to endorse landing the shore cable at the Beach Lane beach?
C.P.W. has stated they support renewable energy from the start. They have also stated that they want the same studies that Orsted/Deepwater/Eversource is planning to do in Wainscott to be done at alternative sites. This is what Orsted/Deepwater/Eversource and the town said they would do and then reneged on. How else can the town fairly evaluate the best site. Despite many requests and suggestions, not only from C.P.W., but from the public and a town board member, the town sees no reason to perform independent studies as promised. They must be incredibly knowledgeable to be able to evaluate what is best for our community and to risk our health, environment, and marine life by appearing as experts in these areas. I am not so sure.
I support renewable power that reduces carbon emissions. I also believe we must be good stewards, not only of our land environment, but also of our ocean and marine environment. A decommissioning plan will be implemented in 20 years and we must decide how that should be addressed. If infrastructure is left, who bears the legal responsibility of potential damage to sea life and to the marine and fishing industries? Should the infrastructure be left in the sea bed or removed? What will replace that source of power that we are told is so urgently needed immediately? Is this a matter of getting through 20 years with fingers crossed, hoping that a new technology emerges, leaving us with waters littered with archaic structures, or do we pull it all out and dump it in visible landfills. Either path has a downside.
Orsted/Deepwater/Eversource is doing this to make money for a foreign company, do not be fooled by them. Why not remove the sea cable? They claim that removing the installation would cause more disturbance to the marine environment than leaving their litter. Of course, not installing the infrastructure to begin with would cause the least disturbance. They do intend to leave it, and I ask, if in the years after the decommissioning, the sea-bed cable should become exposed and negatively impacts the fishing community, what then? Must the fishermen absorb the cost of damage to their fishing gear, as well as their losses for something that was not their fault?
Orsted is not manufacturing the equipment and infrastructure (blades, structures, and other manufactured turbine generators) for the South Fork Wind Farm in the U.S.A., and the components will be shipped from countries overseas on ships burning fossil fuels. Some support positions will be filled with American workers. This does not seem very green.
Let us say that the wind farm is built, and we receive the benefit of green energy from wind. Does that mean we can shut down our land-based generators? No, it does not. They will continue to be operational, and they must. When the wind turbines are not producing electricity, the generators will kick in to meet our power needs. We cannot shut them down, as it will take too long to bring them back online when needed. When I spoke to a representative from Orsted/Deepwater/Eversource about this, the person acknowledged it and said the best thing would be to convert to natural gas generators to meet our need and reduce CO2, not their wind farm. We use wind power when we can and incur additional expense to convert to natural-gas generators. So, wind energy is going to cost ratepayers money, plus we need to pay the cost of natural gas generators. We are already obligated to the highest cost of electricity because of this wind farm and we will also have to pay more on top of that. What will that cost be?
I would like to see a scientific study that shows what the actual reduction in CO2 emissions should be realized for East Hampton from this project. I am surprised that one has not been produced. How can we proceed with such a huge project without one?
When I became aware of the South Fork Wind Farm, because of a notice posted at the post office about a public meeting to discuss Deepwater, I attended that meeting. After that meeting I contacted Woods Hole and asked if any studies had been done on the effects on whales, and other marine mammals/fish. The person that I spoke with said yes, and pointed to the increased beaching of whales and dolphins throughout Europe. It was suggested that I Google the subject. I did, and was appalled and saddened. Since Block Island’s wind farm has been online, we have seen more beaching of whales. Coincidence? I do not think so, but time proves all, does it not? I also learned that simply driving the pilings into the sea bottom is very disruptive to whales. Not only the sound, but the vibration disrupts the sonar that sea mammals use to navigate. Once operational, the turbines continue to emit resonance in the sea. It is hoped that the sea mammals will eventually adapt. I wonder how many sea mammals will have to die before they do. Or, worse yet, prove that they do not.
Our area is a fishing and farming community and not known for being an energy producer, yet our town certainly seems intent on making it one, potentially paid for by the fishermen and farmers. I do not see how that helps them or improves their net income.
Clean renewable energy is great, do not get me wrong. However, to eliminate the need to run the fossil-fuel generators, we would need to use storage batteries. It will take a tremendous number of them, however, as there will be times where weeks go by with not enough wind to run these turbines. These batteries, currently are not inexpensive, are not eco-friendly, and not recyclable yet.
I commend Mr. Van Scoyoc and the town board for the initiatives they have taken to obtain green energy. Their solar installations are impressive. Wind sounds good, but once evaluated, causes me considerable concern. We can and must protect our community and not surrender it to a foreign-owned company’s disruption.
Recently the East Hampton Town Board, with a 4-to-1 vote, approved granting Orsted/Deepwater/Eversource permission to conduct a test bore in the Beach Lane beach parking lot, after assuring Wainscott residents that the procedure would not happen during the summer months. On Monday, June 22, I drove to the recycling center. When I returned, I drove down to the beach parking lot. What a mess. It would have been impossible to drive out onto the beach if necessary, as no access lane was available. The gridlock and the closeness of pedestrians to cars trying to navigate in the parking lot and turn around was frightening.
I was ready to jump out of my vehicle when I saw a little boy dart past his mother, coming dangerously close to a moving car trying to turn around. I immediately called the town and left voice-mail messages for the board and trustees. When I returned home, I emailed Mr. Van Scoyoc. He replied that all was well and sent photos that must have been taken early in the morning, as the parking lot was not even half full at that time. I told him that vehicle access to the beach was impossible and emergency vehicles would not be able to get through. He replied that all was well, and told me to be well. I had hoped that perhaps someone from the town would drive over and check on it.
The following day, I went to the parking lot and at least Ms. Jen Garvey was there from Orsted/Deepwater/Eversource, initially taking up parking spaces along with the workers taking up additional spaces. When I mentioned this to her, she told me that the town told them to park as close to the equipment as possible which, of course, meant fewer parking spaces for residents. Ms. Garvey did move her car though, freeing up one space, and she thankfully kept a lane open for vehicles to reach the beach if needed. Perhaps there was a silver lining with this incident, at least for the residents of Wainscott. No one liked what they saw or heard. There was frustration, disgust, n and anger, good motivation to incorporate. Orsted, not showing sensitivity or responsibility to our community, did not have anyone there till after I called and sent emails to the town supervisor as well as the attorney for Orsted. They subcontracted the work and did not require that someone be there to assist in maintaining beach access for emergency vehicles, residents, and the safety of people entering and leaving the beach. It does appear that neither the town nor Orsted/Deepwater/Eversource cared. The noise was disturbing not only on the beach, but up the street.
When I asked Ms. Garvey about the boring, she directed me to speak with Eric who, I recall, indicated that they were boring to a depth of 150 feet. I asked why, and he said to see if it was compatible for burying the sea-to-shore cable. If the cable is being buried at a depth of 30 feet, why bore to a depth of 150 feet and why are they not locating the transition vault or running the cable directly under that location? Our aquifer is 10 feet below grade, and to a depth is 70 feet. For Orsted to bury their transition vaults to a depth of 12 feet below grade, they will need to drive footings into a stable subsurface to support them. I suspect they will use steel, which will ultimately react and leach into our aquifer and ultimately into our ocean along with chemicals from the concrete vaults. Yet Orsted/Deepwater/Eversource has not disclosed how they would place vaults into our aquifer when I have asked. They simply state that they have done it before. Again, Orsted is hiding what is really going to happen. Not a company we should be doing business with, in my opinion. I feel that the town is not protecting the residents of Wainscott and is selling out our environment and ocean for pollution for a minimal benefits package.
Wainscott residents will not be used. We have attempted many times to be heard but the town chooses not to listen, unlike Montauk and Amagansett, where residents said no. There has been no consideration of East Hampton, Atlantic, or Egypt beaches, which are the overall shortest distances to the substation. They skipped to Wainscott, saying it is the shortest route without clarification. How can Orsted/Deepwater/Eversource and the town defend this when alternative sites have been suggested that would prove to provide the shortest cable route to the substation by landing the cable at Atlantic or Egypt Beach? How can they, without any real investigations of these sites, including the state-owned Hither Hills site, which clearly would be safer for citizens, beachgoers, and workers during construction.
The Citizens for the Preservation Wainscott have paid for studies and are doing an honest evaluation of alternative routes. Has the East Hampton Town Board or trustees done that? No! Orsted/Deepwater/Eversource simply states that Wainscott is the most “elegant “and their preferred route, not based on fact. They do state Hither Hills would require digging up Route 27 to run the land cable, but it does not. Then they say they do not have rights of way along the L.I.R.R. Have they asked? I do not think so. I suspect that the L.I.R.R. would be happy to sell them rights of way, and PSEG and LIPA will gladly endorse trenching and burial of new cables capable of delivering more power to Amagansett and Montauk. It is only a matter of time before PSEG and LIPA must either replace the 100-plus-years-old lattice towers along the railroad or bury new power lines out to Amagansett and Montauk to meet their power needs at some point. In addition, PSEG and LIPA plan on building a new substation out in Amagansett. They will also be building a new additional substation at Cove Hollow adjacent to the adjacent to the existing one. Why not just build the Amagansett substation capable of accepting the sea-to-shore cable there. I was told the agreement Orsted/Deepwater signed was to deliver the power to the Cove Hollow substation. Why not go back to them with the support of the town and the ratepayers and revise it. After all, they are also planning to add additional power transmission out to the new substation. Combining it all makes more sense and must ultimately cost less while providing a shorter cable run delivering more of the wind-generated power.
Now is the time to address this, not later and not to make errors for the sake of making a foreign company richer and provide workers from overseas with employment. Look at the big picture. What is truly best for our community, our fishing community, and ratepayers.
Orsted sent a letter to the Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott last May stating they would explore other options other than Beach Lane beach. It was a request for us to keep quiet about them until after they secured leasing rights for another, much larger (six times bigger and more lucrative) offshore project farther west. Of course, Orsted/Deepwater/Eversource chose not to honor what they wrote. Proof again that Orsted will say anything to get what they want, always working in their best interest.
I do hope Win With Wind and the Audubon Society do an honest evaluation as well. I know they care, do not have all the facts, nor have they seemed open to learning about them, but I do hope they will challenge and investigate what I have laid out here. Contact Woods Hole or any other marine biology center. Look at what has happened in Europe, the North Sea, Ireland, England, Wales, Norway, and Denmark. Ask PSEG if they will be idling their generators, and question whether or not they are comfortable with taking jobs from Americans? Selling out to benefit a European country and company, when American workers and manufacturers have been making and installing marine rigs in our seas for decades using American manufactured equipment, should be a huge concern. Maybe check on the pending lawsuits against Orsted and countries that have embraced wind power.
Wainscott, like every hamlet or village, is made up of a diverse group of individuals, but seems to be easily labeled by those who are offended by our concerns, using derogatory financial statements. Regardless of financial status, we all care about our community and each other. Perhaps it is time to pursue incorporation. Not only will incorporating Wainscott allow us to protect our beach, it will allow us to have local zoning, some control of the sand pit, the airport, and schools. Everyone I have spoken with is in favor of considering incorporation.
In the past, I have submitted to the town board and to Orsted the studies that support what I have stated, and I will gladly submit them again, and provide them to anyone who would like a copy. The town board and Orsted said they would review them. No clue if that ever happened.
I am writing this not only to express my frustration but disgust with what is being forced on Wainscott and all East Hampton residents. I am sure we all support green renewable energy, but we should be told the full impact of what that entails. When Montauk and Amagansett stood up against the cable landing there, Wainscott residents did not turn on them. We supported them with our silence, and we continued to visit and patronize their businesses. It would be nice to know they support us as well. I want to provide information, have people research it, and decide what they want. After all, it does impact us all, our neighbors, businesses, and wallets. We owe it to ourselves, and future generations.
Have no doubts about Wainscott’s intention to incorporate. Almost every person I have spoken with has been strongly in favor of it. I am happy to report the Citizens for the Preservation Wainscott, as of the Fourth of July weekend, already has enough signatures to put the petition on the ballot. We do look forward to the support of all residents of Wainscott, welcome their opinion, and will listen to them. We want to hear from anyone who is a registered voter, particularly, and I am happy to listen and discuss this with anyone. Please do not hesitate to contact me.
Ironically, if Wainscott had received some serious level of respect and concern from the Town of East Hampton as well as from Orsted/Deepwater/Eversource, Wainscott residents might not have considered incorporating at this time and the Town of East Hampton would not need to be defending their decisions, or lack thereof.
July 13, 2020
Nothing is more duplicitous than the message of the full-page East Hampton Star, July 2 ad titled, “The Declaration of Independence of Wainscott.” Undeniably, the Citizens For the Preservation of Wainscott have modeled this “Declaration” after the United States Declaration of Independence. Shame on each Wainscott community resident for linking a personal “not in my back yard” motivation for burying an offshore wind cable underground on Beach Lane, and, the vilification of the town supervisor, who is not a “king,” to the United States Declaration of Independence.
Under the leadership of Thomas Jefferson, these authors stated principles on which the United States government, and each of its citizens, are based.
LINDA BRADY JAMES
July 12, 2020
The Wainscott anti-environmental movers and shakers know that they are losing the war. While they fight to maintain the fossil-fuel status quo, they know that our communities want renewable energy in the form of offshore wind. So they placed a full-page ad in The July 2 Star to try to gain support for a move to secede from East Hampton. Hey — if you can’t beat ‘em — leave ‘em! The ad was such a mishmash of hysterical fear-mongering, half-truths, and lies that it’s hard to know where to start in addressing their disinformation campaign. One thing is for sure: The Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott’s so-called “Declaration of Independence of Wainscott” is an embarrassing document.
As a year-round Montauk resident, I am impelled to answer C.P.W.’s nonsensical proposition to move the planned South Fork Wind Farm transmission cable from Beach Lane, Wainscott (four miles onshore, mainly along side streets to the Cove Hollow substation, to Montauk or Napeague (11 miles onshore disrupting traffic along Route 27).
The Wainscott option represents one off-season year of construction to complete the Beach Lane-to-substation subterranean transmission cable. That, as opposed to two years (minimum) — two years! — of off-season construction along the Napeague stretch, Amagansett Main Street, and East Hampton Main Street. Of course, none of that will affect the (mostly part-time) Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott. Why should they know or care about hardships for folks who live on Montauk and work in the Hamptons? (Or live in the Hamptons but work on Montauk?) Why should they know or care about what two years’ worth of construction will do to the Montauk commuters who must rely on Route 27 to get to and from work. I wonder how many of these C.P.W. anti-wind activists work at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital? Plenty of Montaukers do. I wonder how many are teachers throughout the Hamptons? Plenty of Montaukers are.
I cannot believe that the actual residents of Wainscott — many of whose families represent generations of Wainscotters — can possibly be willing to cede the future of their historic hamlet to a group of Johnny-come-lately types. Take a look at who is behind the incorporation of Wainscott “movement”: uber-wealthy, seasonal estate owners who apparently could care less about the year-round working stiffs in the hamlets.
I guess these “freedom-fighting,” independence-seeking carpetbaggers just think the rest of us should suck it up because they are masters of the universe and used to getting their way. And the rest of us can just pound sand.
Very truly yours,
July 12, 2020
In The Star this week, I read three letters written by Judith Hope, Cate Rogers, and Jeremiah T. Mulligan (informally called Jerry) attacking the Wainscott community for their goal in incorporating their East Hampton Town hamlet and questioning Wainscott for not accepting Orsted’s cable in their residential neighborhood. The thrust of their letters seemed to come from the Democratic Committee, since Cate Rogers is the chairperson of the Democratic Committee and Jerry Mulligan a Democratic Committee member, and of course, we all know where Judith Hope stands. Talk about “a small group of self-interested” people who are politically motivated. I can’t help wondering if there wasn’t a discussion among the three of them about a letter-writing campaign against Wainscott.
This morning, I was on the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee Zoom meeting and watched a presentation on incorporation by residents Gouri and Alex Edlich. A super presentation loaded with factual information and research done by experts hired. Judith Hope and Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc were present for this meeting. All the supervisor did was talk endlessly and try to dissuade the residents from their pursuit of incorporation.
Of particular interest was Judith Hope’s letter and today’s meeting defense of Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc, and her description of him as “East Hampton’s thoughtful and soft-spoken town supervisor.” It is obvious to me that she has not watched any town board meetings recently nor attended any of the previous Wainscott meetings concerning Deep Water Wind. If she had, she might have described Peter differently — as a bully, a liar, and a person obsessed with his power in the position of supervisor.
I watch all town board meetings and Peter appears to be intimidated by Councilman Jeff Bragman’s opinions, particularly if they don’t match his. He almost never lets Jeff speak without raising his voice in disagreement, and will often interrupt his thoughts. Councilman Bragman is very smart, so perhaps Peter is annoyed by his opinions. It is painful to watch these meetings. Shades of Trump, Peter demands loyalty of his board. There exists no freedom of opinion there.
The Wainscott community is under much pressure with Deep Water Wind’s strongest defenders being this town board. They haven’t been listening to any input from the residents of the community. Wonder what Peter would have done if he lived on Beach Lane? One can only surmise. This town wants the money Orsted is willing to pay for the access cable, and therefore is not paying attention to Wainscott residents. Incorporation is their only hope of fair rule.
As a resident of Amagansett, I support Wainscott’s efforts on behalf of their community. Go Wainscott! We should think of doing this in Amagansett.
Time to Tweet
July 4, 2020
To the Editor,
Considering the heavy schedule the President Trump must face every day, I often wondered who and when he found the time to tweet.
The obvious answer came to me: It must be during the matinal lengthy grooming of his elaborate coiffure.
LOUIS C. MARTIN
July 12, 2020
This is a response to the letter of Mr. Manny Vilar, chairman of the East Hampton Republican Committee, which was published in last week’s East Hampton Star.
Mr. Vilar, why do you continue to promote the patently false Trump narrative that the Democratic Party is controlled by crazed and blood-thirsty Marxists whose “fundamental component is the attack on our criminal justice system and the war on our police.”
No president has done more to destroy our faith in our criminal justice system and create an authoritarian dictatorship than Trump. Look at his miserable record of firing F.B.I. Director James Comey, the firing of F.B.I. Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the purge of five cabinet department inspectors general within a six-week period, and the installation of Barr as attorney general, who carries out Trump’s every whim and wish. And let us not forget his impeachment for encouraging foreign interference in a presidential election.
Paradoxically, it appears that it is the Republican Party that has been radicalized:
• Barack Obama is not an American citizen? A big lie.
• I cannot release my taxes because they are being audited? Longest audit in American history, and still not finished.
• Good people on both sides in Charlottesville? Really? Good Nazis and Klansmen? Oxymoron?
• Defense of monuments to Confederate generals? They were traitors who violated their oath to our Constitution. They fought to preserve slavery. During the Civil War they massacred Black Union soldiers.
In addition to Trump’s xenophobia, misogyny, ignorance of American history, and support for white supremacy, we can now add sheer incompetence. We have over 140,000 dead from Covid-19 and 20,000,000 unemployed, but Trump says we have conquered the virus and our economy is roaring back. Folks, let’s face it, this dude is clueless.
In closing, I quote Mr. Vilar: “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.”
July 13, 2020
To the Editor,
My jaw quite literally dropped when I read Manny Vilar’s letter to the editor dated July 4, 2020. His rant about the Democratic Party being hijacked by the double bogeymen of antifa and Democratic Socialists is Trumpism at its most shameful, and is completely untethered from reality. Mr. Vilar’s hodgepodge of inflammatory G.O.P. talking points and fear-mongering is straight out of the far right Fox News echo chamber.
It appears that Mr. Vilar is in lockstep with today’s craven G.O.P., who have attached themselves to the sinking ship that is Donald Trump’s Republican Party at the expense of their own personal dignity and integrity. They are dinosaurs who refuse to adapt to a rapidly changing world, and whose party faces extinction as a new generation demands that America finally live up to the ideals of equality and freedom for all enshrined in our Constitution.
The Road to Hell
July 12, 2020
Just for a moment imagine a town that has developed into two unique communities. We will call one community Palm Beach. Palm Beach is the the exclusive home to the super wealthy and influential. The residents are who’s who of the world’s richest and most known names. Palm Beach is full of high-end stores owned by corporations and restaurants far out of the reach of the common man, the working class Joe, or the local residents who lived in Palm beach long before Palm Beach was on the map.
The second community we will call Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach is an ocean respite for the not so wealthy and is a mix of hotels, tourist stores, both second and year-round homes. The residents and tourists are for the most part regular folks, and no one who will be on Page Six of The New York Post except for a few high-profile Palm Beach types who prefer not to live in Palm Beach.
Myrtle Beach is full of local stores owned by local people all in the business of catering to the summer tourists. There are plenty of restaurants and some nightspots all priced to accommodate the summer tourist.
There is one problem in this town. Palm Beach controls town government and Myrtle Beach has no representatives on the town board. Palm Beach has a hard time understanding and addressing the unique needs of the Myrtle Beach community. The group thinking of Palm Beach is why Myrtle Beach won’t change their community to be more like Palm Beach. With the right regulations and enforcement Myrtle Beach will change to be more exclusive and trendy, well, more Palm Beach.
Such is the case of East Hampton and Montauk. Two very different communities with two very different economies. Montauk (Myrtle Beach) is ruled by East Hampton (Palm Beach) which, depending who you speak to will say governance at its worst is tyrannical, at its best ineffective.
Montauk has no representation on the town board and must endure every political folly the town board engages. One has only to look at the town’s failure to get sewage treatment off the ground, the fiasco of dirt bags on the beaches, the hamlet study, and the mishandling of the reopening and summer tourist season.
Please do not get me wrong. I personally like the town board members. They are nice people with good intentions. That said, we all know the saying the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
The time has come for major reforms to our elected and appointed town boards. We need term limits for all elected and appointed officials. We need designated hamlet town board seats where the person elected must be a resident of that hamlet. Appointed members of the various town boards must be bipartisan, and no appointed individual should be an elected member of a constituted political committee.
Only through diversity will Montauk achieve fair representation and their voices be heard. If East Hampton is unable to make these changes, there is another alternative for Montauk. Follow the path of Sag Harbor and East Hampton Village and the attempts in Wainscott to become an incorporated village. Either way, something must change.
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.
Got Good Bones
July 12, 2020
Dear Mr. Rattray,
Several days ago Mary was arranging some flowers on our front porch in Amagansett when a lovely woman walked by and asked, “Is this your house?” Mary confirmed that it was indeed her (our) house and the lovely woman said, “Oh, I walk by here all the time and it’s my favorite house on Main Street; it’s so beautiful and charming!” Always nice to hear a compliment like that. Which reminded me of the condition the house was in when we first were shown it just over six years ago by our friend J.R. Kuneth, a real estate agent for Halstead.
The house is in Amagansett’s Historic District, across the street from the Amber Waves farm and market. The place looked haunted then, shrouded in trees and overgrown bushes, porch brackets and floorboards rotted through, paint falling off the exterior walls, a gaping hole in the roof. Clearly it hadn’t received even the most basic upkeep in decades. J.R. seemed almost embarrassed to be bringing it to our attention, but said he’d get a key from the listing agent if we wanted to see it. We did. Maybe a haunted house would be affordable? So he left us there and drove off, and I discovered that a window on the porch wasn’t locked. What did we do then, Mr. Rattray? Did we stand on the porch and wait for J.R.? Come on, guess. You are correct! I opened the window and in we went for a self-guided tour of this (very) old house. We felt like kids, sneaking through an abandoned building, wondering what we might find. Well, there were no treasures behind closed cupboards and closet doors. Just faded wallpaper peeling off the walls, and that gaping hole in the roof with a 40-gallon bucket beneath it. But the floors didn’t creak, and they were pretty level. There was a front stairwell and a back one as well, as many old farmhouses had back in the day.
By the time J.R. returned we’d seen everything inside. Outside, we lifted a rotted wooden door to the basement, and I descended the broken stairs to the small dirt cellar, where an ancient oil-burning furnace and washing machine sat gathering grime. Later that day, I asked my good friend and builder Dan Kalish (who passed away five years ago this month, God bless his soul) if he’d be willing to go into the crawl space beneath three-quarters of the house with me, to check the wooden joists for rot or termite damage. A filthy mission, but Dan agreed, and what we discovered was remarkable: The wood was completely dry, looked like it had been milled 10 years ago, not 116. No cobwebs, no rodent droppings or corpses. “This house has good bones,” Dan proclaimed after we’d crawled back into the cellar. So we bought the property and restored the house. Tore off the wallpaper and the walls themselves, plaster and lath, a few tons of it, exposing those “good bones,” so the house could be wired properly and insulated. I’m sure I pulled 10,000 nails before the bones were clean. There once was a time before Sheetrock, kids.
The mind wanders, doesn’t it, Mr. Rattray? Thinking about the transformation of our house on Main Street got me thinking about the state of the United States of America, a thing many of us are obsessed with at this moment in history for reasons that don’t require repeating here, although I probably will. So this is what I started thinking: Our country has good bones. Yet, I think we might agree it could use some restoration. Our good bones include words with which we formed ourselves as a nation, the Declaration of Independence, for example. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Sure, some (atheists?) might wish to tweak certain phrases, but I think we’re pretty happy defending those unalienable rights. Good bones, and a pretty good start for the original 13 on July 4, 1776.
I’m no historian but apparently there were some conflicting notions of roles and rules among those 13 states. This required resolution and the convening of a Constitutional Convention in 1787, resulting in the ratification of our sturdy document in 1788, which begins with these venerable words: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” This document has been interpreted, defended, and modified by legal consensus from time to time, and has stood the tests of time for 232 years. Good bones.
Even our name has good bones. United States of America. First word, United. Some historians believe use of that name might have originated with Jefferson and his coauthors. But a few months prior to their draft of the manifesto, the term appeared in a letter posted in the Virginia Gazette, published in Williamsburg. The author, signing his or her letter anonymously as “A PLANTER,” was arguing for complete independence from, rather than reconciliation with, Great Britain, “for the united states of America.”
We’ve got good bones on paper. Good bones in the ground, too. The bones of people who fought for that independence and wrote those declarations. The bones of the ones who’ve defended those “truths?” we hold in wars far from our own shores. And the ones who’ve demanded and fought for those same truths (rights) in protests on our own streets. The bones of the wronged: the natives to this land, slaves, the wrongly accused, the disenfranchised. The bones of farmers, fishermen, miners, steel workers, artists, poets, cops, teachers, philosophers, inventors, lawmakers. We’ve got good bones. Some bad ones, too. (And a few bone spurs, eh?) But so far, for 232 years, we’ve been able to at least attempt the repairs. Put the house in order. Fulfill the promise of the words so the ones in the ground can rest in peace.
Am I becoming a bit transparent with where this is heading? Probably. So turn to the sports section or go make a sandwich. But here it is: Our United States are perilously divided right now. Too much screaming. Too much name-calling, mocking, profiling, threatening, brandishing. Not enough uniting. The challenges facing our United States in the immediate future will absolutely require some version of a united effort from all or most of us, challenges including but not limited to racial bias, the environment, economic stability, and opportunity for all, affordable health care and education, relationships with allies and adversaries alike, and, yes, how we soberly and methodically address something as overwhelmingly dreadful as a pandemic. Have I mentioned that when our newest grandchild is my age, the year will be 2092? Let’s make sure our states are still united by then, and that we have, in fact, formed “a more perfect union” or died trying.