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Letters to the Editor for July 30, 2020

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 19:13

Fresh Produce
Springs
July 27, 2020

Dear David,

In early April, word got around that the Springs Food Pantry was overwhelmed by requests for food. Ken Koch, the executive manager of the Maidstone Club, reached out. He offered to assist in any way that he could.

Mr. Koch heard that we needed more freezer space, and his crew brought us a very large freezer chest, cleaned and ready to plug in (we are still using it). He asked if the club could provide anything else.

I suggested that they might be able to donate lettuce or onions or carrots, as these products were weekly staples. Mr. Koch proceeded to confer with Chef Ian Scollay, and they offered to provide all three! Every Wednesday morning, staff from the Maidstone Club delivered 10 or more cases of iceberg lettuce, 150 pounds of carrots, and 100 pounds of onions. By the middle of June we began to receive fresh produce from our local farmers, and we no longer required the abundance of produce that the Maidstone Club was providing.

We want to extend our deepest thanks to Mr. Koch and Chef Ian for their unstinting support at a time when the number of people seeking food had risen over 300 percent and monetary donations were just beginning to trickle in. This kind of generosity gave all of us at the Springs Food Pantry a sense of safety as we moved forward, and just as important, a feeling that our mission was being recognized by the community.

Sincerely,

PAMELA BICKET

Moderator

Springs Food Pantry

 

Grateful
Amagansett
July 26, 2020

Dear David,

I want to broadcast the largest, loudest, most profound thank-you to every member of our town’s services!

During this hellish summer, with unimaginable problems,

East Hampton’s work force has been superb. I am so proud and grateful to our town government, which is calmly and competently managing these difficult days.

Please stay strong and well. Thank you!

Most sincerely,

BETTY MAZUR

 

Was the Soul
East Hampton
July 22, 2020

To the Editor:

Rick Murphy was sui generis, “a diamond in the rough,” said Linda Sherry, who knew he’d been sanding and painting the hulls of boats in Sag Harbor, when she first touted him some years ago to Helen Rattray, this newspaper’s publisher.

Boy, could he write, and boy, could he report — a skeptic with style, a Brooklyn boy with a sidesplitting sense of humor and rats in his stomach.

When he went over to The Independent, we at The Star opened that paper gingerly each week, wondering whose official feet he’d be holding to the fire, whose ox he’d be goring. Ours perhaps? He was a force very much to be reckoned with, which kept us on our toes — just what you want in a country that purportedly champions a free press. 

He was the soul of The Independent — ever street-wise, yet ever funny, and ever kind, as my wife and I and our weekly publisher-editor daughter, Kathryn Menu, whose first job, thanks to Rick’s good offices, was at The Independent, happen to know. Thus Mary and I could not believe it when we read, in connection with news of his death, that he’d been let go when The Independent and Dan’s Papers merged on June 22.

You would always want Rick on your side, just as those he’d deemed lunch money thieving kids did, who, when he would outsprint them every morning on his way to school in Brooklyn, kept calling after him, “No, no, man — we want you for our track team!”

One day he slowed down enough to hear what they were saying. It must have been a wonderful feeling — just as buoying, I imagine, as when later in life, having found his true calling, and giving it his all, his many-faceted talent was hailed year after year by his peers.

Add this voice to that crowd.

JACK GRAVES

 

Bicycle Revolution
East Hampton
July 23, 2020

Dear David,

Loved your editorial on biking.

East Hampton is ripe for a bicycle revolution, trips to beach, shopping, trails, less cars, more parking.

Biking alone is great; cargo bikes are great for even more fun. Then there are electric cargo bikes, which change everything and are quickly becoming the new status symbol. Move over, Tesla.

JIM GERAGHTY

 

Wear a Mask

 

It’s not a hard task

To wear a mask!

 

Wear it with pride

It’s the right thing to do.

 

It will protect you from me

And me from you!

 

Truth is truth

Facts are facts

The corona virus

Is a deadly act!

 

So the thing to do

Is not a hard task!

And all we ask is to

Wear a mask!

HAZEL SPECTOR

 

Black Lives Matter
Amagansett
July 21, 2020

To The Star:

Wanted to let our community know that last night someone stole our Black Lives Matter sign by our home front gate in Amagansett. Better news is we’ve ordered a stockpile of new signs. We won’t be silenced.

Cheers!

ANNETTE GRANT

 

Thank You, C.C.O.M.
Montauk
July 21, 2020

To David Rattray:

Your article on the 50th birthday of the Concerned Citizens of Montauk reminded me that it’s been 50 years that my family has been part of the Montauk community.

In the summer of 1970, my folks, Lynn and Arnold Fenton, bought two plots on the crest of Big Reed Path from a corporation that included Leon Starr and Perry Duryea. Theirs was the second house to be built on the hillside overlooking Big Reed Pond, the Lindley house and the lighthouse and Montauk harbor — all before 50 years of tree growth have limited the views somewhat.

The first house on the hill was built by David Webb for his aunt and uncle Dudley and Frankie Hardy. My folks’ home was designed by David’s dad, Richard Webb, with homage to the lighthouse in the form of an octagonal-shaped living room.

Our house was built by Dave over the winter of 1970-71. I actually got to work on some finishing touches of the house in the summer of 1971 as I worked for David that summer and the next. The ceiling framing of the octagonal room was a spider web work of art built by master carpenter Bob Stuyvesant who lived down the road on East Lake Drive. I got to work on the house with Poppi Briand being regaled by his stories of rumrunning on the beaches of Montauk and Amagansett during Prohibition.

I distinctly remember how relieved our folks were when C.C.O.M. helped secure the Big Reed Pond area as parkland rather than the 2,000 planned houses! Our family have been members of C.C.O.M. ever since.

The house is still in the family, and we and many, many others have been able to enjoy the hiking and biking trails throughout the parklands. Thank you, C.C.O.M. for all you do!

BRAD FENTON

 

Need to Brag
East Hampton
July 23, 2020

Dear Editors,

I cannot help myself. With all due respect to our hard-working fishermen, why is it that we have trophy fishing photographs in The Star every week? We despise all other animal trophy images from the world over. Why not those of fish?

I defend a person’s right to fish or hunt if the goal is a source of food. However, are the images of killing these animals something we need to brag about? I have friends who love and care for their pet fish as I love and care for my dog. Is this not offensive to them? Just the other day, I read that the fish in the tank of the East Hampton Library children’s section were behaving differently since the children cannot visit at this time. Was that a joke? I don’t think so.

Is it not offensive to brag about killing of any kind? Is this a message we want to send our children? I wonder if you might consider my words.

PATRICIA ANHOLT HABR

 

Embrace and Enjoy
East Hampton
July 27, 2020

To The Star:

Bugs are just a part of summer, an essential part. I truly hope that people who visit here, as well as people who live here, can learn to view our insects and other invertebrates as a seamless and integral part of the natural beauty that makes this area so attractive. Nature is why people come here, and invertebrates are an essential part of that. Embrace and enjoy it.

We have such an awesome diversity of life on the East End, and while our mammal species are limited to a fraction of what you find on the mainland, we make up for it in birds, amphibians, spiders, insects, and the plethora of tiny aquatic creatures in our salt and fresh water. They all depend on each other, and many birds, reptiles, fish, and amphibians directly depend on certain types of insects.

If we allow ourselves to make false and sweeping generalizations about insects, (that they’re dirty, or all carry diseases, or they’re ugly or undesirable, or that it’s acceptable to kill or otherwise mistreat them) instead of defending their essential qualities, unique beauty, and humbling diversity, then we risk losing all of this, and we take another big step toward becoming disconnected from what makes this place so special.

To anyone reading this, please make choices that protect the ecosystem as a whole. Learn to enjoy every part of summer, bugs and all.

TYLER ARMSTRONG

 

Get Things Done
East Hampton
July 27, 2020

Dear David:

Did you receive an email recently about Herrick Park? Thank you to the Elms Party for their recent email heralding all that’s been accomplished!

When Rose Brown and I ran for village trustee in 2018, right at the top of our list of initiatives was the renovation of Herrick Park. (It had deteriorated and been neglected over the past 20 years.) We talked to our community, we walked through the park, and we both agreed, “America’s most beautiful village” could do better. Two years ago, after we were elected, Rose and I formed and met with our committee (comprised of village stakeholders and relevant village department heads) to discuss the scope and plan for the park. Our committee engaged and led the evening meeting (which we would like to do more of!) at the Middle School to introduce our plan to the village. Over 80 villagers and members of the community came to see the presentation by the LaGuardia Group. Rose and I met with the school board, which remains excited about the plan, including the ability for our high schoolers to hold Friday night football games in Herrick Park.

We, like you, want our park to be a beautiful recreational and social hub of the village for all the community to enjoy, especially our youth and families. In just two years (since being elected to the board) we initiated many interim fixes and improvements so the park could be enjoyed by all of the community. Under our leadership:

• David Collins and the Department of Public Works restored the north end of the park by removing the dilapidated fence and driveway,

• Regraded the entire north side of Herrick along Newtown Lane,

• Improved the sidewalk,

• Installed a new tree box and tree (with assistance from the Ladies Village Improvement Society),

• Removed the dilapidated and vandalized shed by the softball field,

• Put up new basketball rims and nets,

• Improved the overall cleanliness and maintenance of the park.

The village had authorized the purchase of two parcels nearby that have since been left uncared for, with little maintenance. A great idea ? but nothing was done with them. Just recently the Department of Public Works cleared and trimmed the trees, and one day we hope to take down the chain-link fence around the property so the public can benefit from these extraordinary parcels. Unfortunately, in the past much of the park’s upkeep has been overlooked, (in fact, currently the tennis courts are closed because they aren’t playable, andthe basketball courts are in the same poor condition.) When the tennis courts had to be resurfaced in 2015, that should have been the wake-up call that the park needed attention. We are dedicated and committed to getting this fixed.

We are very happy that both opposing parties are heralding the initiatives we adopted in 2018. The Fish Hooks Party has taken the mantle on these ideas, and we are heartened that there is such broad community support for them. Rose and I have proven that we don’t just have good ideas, we take action and get things done. We’re convinced our style of leadership is what the village needs to move forward into the future, not back into the past.

Please, Vote for Arthur (Tiger) Graham for mayor, and David Driscoll for trustee on the Fish Hooks Party line on Sept. 15.

P.S.: I haven’t written about David Driscoll’s myriad skills and accomplishments. Please visit our website to learn more about this 25-year New York Police Department management veteran who helped the rescue effort for “Sully’s plane” and ran the rescue operation in Breezy Point during Hurricane Sandy. In terms of experience and expertise, no other candidate for trustee comes close.

Thank you,

ARTHUR (TIGER) GRAHAM

East Hampton Village Trustee

 

Earned My Vote
East Hampton
July 22, 2020

To the Editor:

I have been a village resident for over 20 years and have never had any contact with anyone in village government. A week or so ago, I saw a social media post about the upcoming village election. I wrote a response about what I felt was the poor condition of the village roads and lanes. To my surprise, I received a message from village official Barbara Borsack, and at her suggestion we arranged to meet this morning at Middle Lane, one of the very worst-condition lanes.

I arrived to find not only Ms. Borsack, but also Richard Lawler and the head of the Public Works Department. They agreed that the roads needed work, and explained how they had to deal with public utilities and building contractors who all caused damage. They promised to address the worst conditions now, and look at more extensive repaving in the next budget cycle. They were all concerned and very professional about the problems. I know they earned my vote.

ALLAN P. WHITE

 

The Menu
Springs
July 23, 2020

To the Editor:

Please review The Star’s policy of writing infomercials for its advertisers.

This policy diminishes the paper’s reporting, as the reader must work very hard to separate reporting and opinion from these blatantly false columns.

We all understand that you must “play to get paid” from advertisers wanting to get the Star recommendation, but it is a bit disrespectful and dishonest to your readers.

The Star restaurant reviews always glow (and yet the restaurants are often mediocre), and in the rare case some honesty creeps in, all hell breaks loose. (Remember the Babette’s to-do?)

Today I read “New Tavern Opens Thursday in Amagansett,” and assumed that I was reading copy sent over by the owners.

My fave was the punch line: “. . . the menu features tavern-style dishes similar to its predecessor, as well as some healthier options. . . . A dozen wings with sweet chili or teriyaki sauce costs $14, a steak sandwich on a ciabatta roll with onions, peppers, and horseradish is $20, a lobster roll is $29, and a kale and quinoa salad is $16.”

Has anyone at The Star ever tried the menu at Indian Wells Tavern?

DANIEL FRIEDMAN

 

Parallelism
Newburgh, N.Y.
July 23, 2020

Dear Editor,

This is in response to the short write-up by Carissa Katz identifying the man and woman in an old photo as Duane and Mary Whelan, who “raised a large family on 40 acres near the Grace Estate where they also raised cows and pigs.”

First error: The picture is not of my parents, Duane and Mary, but it is of my dear Aunt Doris and Uncle Larry Koncelik. I remember the day he received his Ph.D. in history after raising a large family!

Second error: The land we lived on was shared by my parents and by my aunt and uncle, and it was originally purchased by them from the Grace family.

Third error: The phrase quoted above is an example of faulty parallelism. It is true that we were raised by my parents, and it is true that for some time we did have animals; we were not raised in the same way. We children were given faith, love, culture, and fine educations. The pigs were fed slops.

Finally, I don’t need the prize but a bit of an apology is always nice!

Sincerely,

REBECCA O’HERRON

 

Sufficient Evidence
Springs
July 22, 2020

David,

I recently received data from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ private well survey for properties north of the industrial area and the landfill. The survey area is entirely within the Springs School District, and I find the results to be informative and alarming. I have prepared two summary spreadsheets to articulate the data to reflect analytes (contaminants) above the maximum contaminant level (M.C.L.) and analytes detected. See attached. I have also attached the original Suffolk County Department of Health Services data and a map of the survey area: includes the area between Three Mile Harbor Road and Accabonac Road, Floyd Street to the souh and Copeces Lane to the north, as well as beyond the southern borders of Springs.

In summary: From the 223 wells tested out of a total survey goal of 514, there were 123 analytes (contaminants) above the M.C.L. and another 4,690 analytes detected. These are disturbing results for a sample this small and this should raise concerns.

Among the analytes above the M.C.L. and those detected are multiple ones known to be cancer-causing and organ-affecting contaminants.

Nineteen test results above the M.C.L. were found for lead and manganese. Excess lead and manganese are associated with neurological and developmental problems, and are particularly hazardous for young children. The presence of fecal bacteria was widespread.

Although 4,690 analytes detected are below the M.C.L., I believe consideration should be given to the possible compounding effects (synergistic effects) of having this many detected contaminants in a sampling of only 223 wells; an average of 22 per home. For sure, not all of these analytes are harmful to human health but enough are.

Currently there is no evidence to support the concept that East Hampton is Long Island’s Love Canal. But there is sufficient evidence and collective knowledge to support practices by residents, industries, and the town that will better protect drinking water and thereby protect the health of the community, especially children, who drink proportionately more water to body weight than adults.

Being proactive makes for a better community and saves lives and money. I believe this information is worthy of press coverage more so than a letter to the editor. Please review the data I have attached. Please feel free to contact me with any further questions you may have.

Sincerely yours,

FRANK RIINA

 

Financial Hardship
New York City
July 27, 2020

Dear David:

I write this in my private capacity, and not as a representative of the town or the East Hampton town planning board, which I chair.  I also write this as a resident of Wainscott for over 26 years, as someone who was a member of the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee for over 13 years  — including 8 years as co- chair — who enjoys many friendships in Wainscott.

At the July 11, 2020, Zoom meeting of the Wainscott C.A.C., proponents of an incorporated Village of Wainscott stated that incorporation’s additional annual costs to residents were expected to be as high as $300,000.  I believe that this figure wildly underestimates the additional expense, which Wainscott residents will bear if incorporation comes to pass.

In their literature, supporters claim that incorporation “will also allow us to exercise greater control over zoning.”  Leaving aside precisely what that nebulous statement means, Wainscott residents should consider the costs associated with issues of zoning and land use.

The town of East Hampton has a zoning code, which has been law for over 60 years; it is highly detailed and takes into consideration a wide range of uses and potential uses of land.  It has been the subject of dozens of Article 78 proceedings and legal challenges in federal and state court, and it has always withstood attack.

Drafting a village zoning code would be no easy task, but that cost is not mentioned by proponents of incorporation.  In order to have a zoning code that can withstand legal attack, an incorporated Village of Wainscott would need to develop and issue a comprehensive village plan, hold meaningful public hearings, and take into account the myriad residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial land uses already found within its proposed boundary which, as proposed, is identical to the existing boundary of the Wainscott School District.

New York State Village Law 2-250 provides that immediately upon incorporating and continuing for up to two years, pending land-use applications in an incorporated Village of Wainscott would be governed by the East Hampton town zoning code.  However, the town’s enforcement and administration of the zoning code would continue only  “until the first day of June following the first day of January next succeeding the date of incorporation and thereafter by the appropriate village officials.”

This means that the costs associated with reviewing and approving or denying site plans, special permits, and all other land use applications would be borne by solely by the residents of an incorporated Village of Wainscott.  These costs include paying for the hard work which is presently performed by the paid professionals and staffs of the East Hampton Town planning Department, Town Building Department, and Town Natural Resources Department, as well as the town planning board, town zoning board of appeals, and town architectural review board, all of which have paid administrative staffs of their own.  This is not work which ought to be subcontracted to neighboring towns or incorporated villages —  at considerable cost — particularly if an incorporated Village of Wainscott wishes “to exercise greater control over zoning,” The proponents of incorporation make no provision for these expenses, which surely will be many times the fanciful $300,000 overall budget which they promise.

Then, once the newly formed boards of an incorporated Village of Wainscott issue rulings   — whether granting or denying land use applications and variances  — litigation is certain to follow.  In the current land use environment, in which millions of dollars are at stake even in the most mundane matters, Article 78 proceedings are routine business.  The legal fees associated with just one hotly litigated matter could easily cost up to $300,000.  Presently, the entire town of East Hampton pays these unavoidable legal bills; a serious financial hardship would be imposed on the residents of an incorporated Village of Wainscott if future legal bills were solely their responsibility.

Leaving aside the costs associated with developing a zoning code, processing on-going applications as well as new applications and litigation, proponents of incorporation also ignore conflicts which are certain to arise within the confines of an incorporated Village of Wainscott.  In order to withstand legal attack, a zoning code must take into account a range of actual and potential uses of land under its purview.   In the town of East Hampton, these land uses are accommodated between town Line Road and Montauk Point.  In an incorporated Village of Wainscott, an equally wide variety of land uses, as well as a diverse population, must be accommodated within the narrow space between town Line Road and Route 114.

Your editorial (“Wainscott’s Future Needs a Fine Comb”) rightly states “the area between town Line Road and the Georgica Association has retained a charm evocative of the South Fork as it used to be.”  But an incorporated Village of Wainscott would encompass an area far greater than that charming and historic site; it would begin at the Atlantic Ocean, cross Route 27, and continue north to the boundary of the incorporated Village of Sag Harbor.  Can there be any doubt that the retention of that “charm as it used to be” will result in pressures which will divide, rather than unify, an incorporated Village of Wainscott?

Very truly yours,

SAMUEL KRAMER

 

Nimbyism
East Hampton
July 26, 2020

Dear David,

Recently The East Hampton Star published a lengthy rambling letter about Wainscott Incorporated. Let’s get a few of the facts straight:

1. If Wainscott chooses to be a village, taxes must increase to pay for that new layer of government.

2. The water pollution resulting from the firefighting foam at the airport was a nationwide problem when it was first discovered to be harmful. This was not caused by the town board, but the board successfully dealt with it.

3. The history of the 2015 competitive bidding for additional power to be delivered to the Cove Hollow Road substation is well known. Orsted won that bid, and carefully chose the shortest overland route for the cable. The Beach Lane cable-landing site has been reviewed thoroughly by a variety of regulatory agencies, including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Now Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott (C.P.W.) demands more studies, and production of irrelevant information is a delaying tactic. As the administrative judge on July 21, 2020, said in denying C.P.W.’s most recent motion for more information, “C.P.W. has failed to establish the information relevant to, or necessary for, the purpose of introducing any relevant routes appropriate for consideration by the [Public Service] Commission.”

4. How the wind turbines are to be decommissioned has been fully disclosed.

5. Orsted is working with the fishing community, and has adjusted its plan to protect their interests.

6. Orsted is a well-respected international, publicly traded company (Nasdaq). Orsted ranks number one in Corporate Knight’s 2020 index of the Global Most Sustainable Corporations.

7. Orsted will source the components for the South Fork Wind Farm on a competitive basis as do Apple, Dell, Microsoft, Ford, General Motors, etc. Many homeowners do the same thing.

8. The diesel generators at the Cove Hollow Road substation will not be dismantled but will remain as emergency backup. The South Fork Wind Farm will produce energy to be consumed as it is produced, and if not, it will be used to charge storage batteries. To suggest that the generators be switched from diesel to natural gas is not a good idea since natural gas is a methane gas, which is about 90 times more harmful to the environment than CO2.

9. It is estimated that the S.F.W.F. may cause the average household monthly bill to increase by $1.50.

10. There is significant evidence that fish and sea life are not impacted by the wind turbines or power cables on the ocean floor. For many years there have been larger power cables running between Long Island and New Jersey and Connecticut with no impact on fish, fishing, or sea life.

11. Wainscott wants the benefit of electric power for its residents, but does not want an underground cable that will benefit 70,000 South Fork homes. This underground cable will have no impact on agriculture in Wainscott.

12. The recent test-hole drilling was done over several days as was agreed.

13. The engineering and material decisions are being carefully, thoughtfully, and thoroughly reviewed by knowledgeable professionals.

14. The well-funded summer residents of Wainscott who formed and are leading C.P.W. are a prime example of Nimbyism.

If you want Wainscott to continue to pay the lowest taxes in East Hampton, then you need to speak out and vote against the incorporation of Wainscott.

JEREMIAH T. MULLIGAN

 

Assurances?
Montauk
July 23, 2020

To The Star:

Regarding the planned East Hampton annex for Stony Brook Southampton Hospital:

• $10 million from New York State

• A sweetheart land lease ($20/year) from the East Hampton Town Board

In exchange for taxpayer support, did anyone on the town board consider getting assurances from Stony Brook Hospital that it would not bill patients for “level billing” or “surprise billing”? Or let third-party medical personnel such as out-of-network surgical assistants or anesthesiologists in the hospital?

Just asking,

THOMAS BYRNE

 

Textbook Case
East Hampton
July 27, 2020

To the Editor,

The opposition to the new, sorely needed cellphone tower by two Bull Path homeowners has been in the news lately. I actually attended and spoke at the planning board meeting when the proposal was being reviewed. As I waited my turn to speak in favor, one of the residents exclaimed that if allowed the tower would cause health problems, her concern being especially urgent in regard to her grandchildren visiting. I could not help it when I interrupted and spoke out of order.

“Scientifically unproven,” I said in a firm voice. Which is of course true. Then both complained that it would be an eyesore. Since when is a tower ugly? I also said. They further complained that it would affect their property values. I am old enough to have actually dumped there, next door to where they live now. That was almost 45 years ago when as the expression goes you couldn’t give that land away. It was next to a dump, with the not-so-sweet smell of lobster shells in the summer heat festering! But now they think their palace in the Hamptons is threatened by a tower, which is so urgently needed not so much for dead zones, but the overwhelming demand on the system with almost the entire town on either Facebook or Twitter or an old school chatty phone call all at once.

I do admit I have a self-interest, ulterior motive to have the tower up and running A.S.A.P. because I’m an Uber driver losing my signal constantly. I accept requests only to have them not go through, ride and money lost. Same goes for the riders, I’ve been told by them that it sometimes takes forever just to get a driver when there are plenty of us out there.

Back to the meeting. As I started to speak I said this, slowly and surely: This is a textbook case of nimbyism — not-in-my-backyard syndrome. 

CHIP DAYTON

 

Emergency System
Springs
July 26, 2020

Dear Editor,

I do not know of a single person who thinks cellular service operates to any degree of acceptability in the Township of East Hampton. Frankly, the service is so bad that only once you cross into Southampton Town do you start to receive texts and voice mail from hours earlier if not the day prior.

During the 2017 and 2019 election cycle for East Hampton Town Board, we were told that the emergency communications system that our police, fire, emergency medical service, and town government depend on would be replaced soon. Everyone acknowledged the current system is so obsolete that replacement parts are no longer available, and it was held together by the equivalent of bubble gum and tape.

The past failures of the Democratic majority town board to get the job done provided plenty of campaign fodder in 2017 and 2019. We were assured that long after the system should have been replaced it was finally going to get done this time. Having a long career in law enforcement I understood how dangerously precarious the situation had become. I was relieved that they were finally going to take seriously their promise to get it done this time.

As an added bonus with the replacement of the emergency communications system would come much-needed upgrades to a wholly inadequate, outdated cellular system.

So here we are four years later. It’s the summer of 2020 and the Springs Fire Department communications tower is still not functional due to what can best be described as a political swindle to obstruct the Springs Fire Department. The town’s emergency communications system is one bubble gum wrapper away from total collapse. Third world countries have better cellular communication, and all that fancy new equipment still sits in a barn purchased without proper engineering and long since out of warranty.

Town government has but one responsibility, which is to provide for public safety, which is apparently not a top priority. God forbid a real natural disaster like a hurricane should descend on us. Your cellphone won’t work and our first responders will have to use Dixie cups and string.

Please, I implore the town board to stop the madness and get the emergency communications system up and running. Lives depend on it. Of all the issues to have during an election, this one we would much rather not have.

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. The 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.

MANNY VILAR

 

Problematic KHTO
Sag Harbor
July 27, 2020

Dear Editor:

Before many residents were up and about on Monday, July 27, Say NO to KHTO had received reports of jets, helicopters, and small planes already in the air, heading to or from KHTO. I checked scheduled estimated times of arrivals and departures for KHTO on FlightAware.com, an excellent flight tracking site available to the public.

The East Hampton air traffic control tower operates only from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the summer, yet before 9:01 a.m. that morning, 34 flights were scheduled to arrive or depart KHTO (14 scheduled flights E.T.A. between 6:34 a.m. and 9:01 a.m., and 18 scheduled flights E.T.D. between 6:39 a.m. and 9:01 a.m.)

That’s how our days begin, courtesy of the jetport, seaplane, and helicopter hub now operating at East Hampton’s problematic KHTO airport.

In 2019, there were approximately 30,000 flight operations at the airport. Each flight a very efficient carbon-dumping voyage, blanketing with jet fuel or leaded avgas emissions our homes and gardens, playgrounds and beaches, farm fields and waterways. With many of us isolating at home most of time, there is more opportunity than ever to witness and hear the air traffic destroying our quality of life and imperiling our health and that of our environment.

When the town of East Hampton accepted federal Aviation Administration funds to energize KHTO expansion plans beginning in 2001, they accepted ironclad F.A.A. rules imposed on operations at the airport, resulting in total loss of local control, and ensuring the airport remains open 27/7/365 to any aircraft able to land on its runways. The town was no longer permitted to set curfews or restrictions. That F.A.A. monopoly ends in 2021, when the grant term expires, and the town regains control of its airport. East Hampton can then close KHTO and return the approximately 600 acres of land to clean, sustainable uses that will benefit East Hampton residents, not out-of-state aviation interests and their thoughtless passengers. Save the East End, Close KHTO in 2021.

Thank you.

PATRICIA CURRIE

 

Port Investment
Bay Shore
July 24, 2020

Dear Mr. Rattray,

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced that the state would be seeking bids for another 2,500 megawatts of offshore wind projects this year, plus 1,500 megawatts in land-based wind in what the state is calling the country’s largest clean-energy solicitation of its kind. In addition, New York has identified 11 port facilities for a $400 million investment to build and maintain the wind facilities.

This is reason to celebrate. The governor should be commended for his nation-leading attack on greenhouse gases and commitment to renewable energy, especially offshore wind.

But New Jersey is publicly angling to be the wind port center of the East Coast. We need to get port investment going quickly lest we lose important, well-paying jobs. In particular, the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, in a community hard hit by Covid-19 and welcoming of the reindustrialization of its waterfront, needs to be the focus of port investment.

Announcements are great. Now we need shovels in the ground, and turbines in the water.

DAVID BISSOON

 

Woven Together
Sag Harbor
July 24, 2020

To The Star:

When Covid-19 struck Long Island, medical facilities were quickly overwhelmed. Incoming patients swarmed hospitals, wiping out supplies and equipment. In response, Representative Lee Zeldin issued a plea for more equipment and aid via Twitter. President Trump immediately responded to his request; 200,000 N95 masks were sent to Zeldin’s county the day after his tweet was published.

There has been a shortage of supplies not just around America but around the world. Developing nations have been struck hard by Covid-19: Illness and disease have always been an issue for such countries, but the pandemic has set back previous medical endeavors while also creating new ones.

It is important for American leaders like Lee Zeldin to fight not only for their districts but for the global community as well. Failing to help other countries not only hurts their people but hurts the United States as well. America is part of an increasingly globalized world — an increasingly globalized community. Covid-19 is an international pandemic that affects everyone; we are all tied and woven together, and America needs to do its part.

NICOLETTE SCHNEIDERMAN

 

Not That Hard
Springs
July 27, 2020

Dear David:

“Test, trace, and treat.” This has been the program that Governor Cuomo has been touting for weeks. Mr. Trump finally has paid lip service, albeit too late, to this program. The problem is that this laudatory procedure cannot get past the first step.

Friends of ours have been tested for various reasons and several have been waiting for more than 10 days for the results of their tests. So, once they receive their test results anyone testing positive now has to remember where they were and who they met during that period? How can any tracing program even begin to deal with these delays? Mr. Trump’s abject failure to embrace an effective testing protocol (and, in fact, sought to defund testing out of fear that increasing case numbers threaten his re-election chances) has placed the entire country at risk. Why are we putting up with this?

Here’s what needs to be done: Go back to square one. First, ramp up the testing system from beginning to end, so that tests, testing capacity, and testing supplies are adequate for the nation’s needs. Put in place an effective contact-tracing scheme — it doesn’t have to be perfect but it needs efficacy. Shut down the country for two weeks or longer if necessary. Then reopen gradually with the testing plan in place. Instead of using the military to oppress citizens and foment violence, put it to work to support the testing regimen and get the country up and running again. It’s all doable.

And, in the meantime there’s another pro-American purpose for the military: all the surplus food that is rotting or being turned under (or euthanized) could be bought from farmers, gathered and shipped to food centers around the country to feed those suffering. It’s really not that hard if you’re willing to put your mind to it and your nose to the grindstone.

None of this will happen with Trump in office. At the present rate, there will likely be 200,000 American COVID victims by the election, so maybe people finally will realize the menace that he poses to us all.

Sincerely,

CAROL O’ROURKE

 

Truly Chilling
Sag Harbor
July 23, 2020

Dear David:

There is nothing as convincing as live testimony. Mary Trump’s book is out, and a few will read it and some will believe it.

On the other hand, Mary Trump is now on NPR being interviewed by the first rate journalist/interviewer Terry Gross. With some luck, many more potential voters will actually listen to this. (Available on podcast.)

To hear Mary speak for herself without a scripted dialogue, and in response to thoughtfully probing questions, is truly chilling and informative. The lifelong character of the present aberration that is holding fort in our nation’s White House is discussed at length. The information revealed resembles that which is printed in her book. However one gets a solid feel that this woman is telling you the facts with little or no embellishment.

This creature, D.J.T., is really a psycho. Leave it to professional psychological analysis to figure out which types of psycho-aberration he fits, but for us and the sake of this country, he has to be removed.

Vote?

ANTHONY CORON

 

A Standstill
Springs
July 26, 2020

Dear David,

Why do Democrats constantly avoid the truth on the daily news, such as the protesting? Somehow I believe there is a big difference between a true democrat, and a liberal progressive. This constant threat that Trump is a dictator; did you not look at what the Obama-Biden team tried to do? The words “fundamentally change America.” Do you sincerely believe Comey and crew are so innocent of said crimes? Is it because you say so that we should believe you?

As far as Obama being a citizen, there’s no proof either way. “Barry”? There is absolutely no information anywhere about Barack Hussein Obama. Nothing. Not a school record. The birth certificate shown possibly not real, as at the time of his birth there was no electronic data such as the one shown. So let’s just say this info is at a standstill.

What does one really give a damn about taxes? What does your return show? How much you made and paid out, and what donations you made. You really care?

History of the United States of America in statues: It’s history. Your great-grandchildren will never be taught anything in school except the brainwashing of socialism.

Your other long xenophobia, etc., etc., are words Hillary Clinton, Ms. Progressive, started in her monotone voice, repeated by liberals. Do you care at all about the burning of America, do you not believe this is organized and that America should look like one big graffiti city? Hate is here and the murder of George Floyd is being used as an excuse. Please don’t insult us citizens. These protesters are not protesters. They’re terrorists paid for by Soros.

In God and country, something we all need,

BEA DERRICO

 

White Terror
Springs
July 24, 2020

Dear David:

According to Mr. Trump, it’s all about protecting America’s “heritage.”

What heritage, you might ask.  It’s the heritage represented by the statues memorializing Confederate leaders, military and otherwise. Leaving aside the notion that the conduct of these Confederates was nothing short of treasonous, the “heritage” represented by these statues is equally odious.

Many do not realize that most of these monuments were not erected right after the Civil War. Until 1890, there were very few statues or monuments dedicated to Confederate leaders. Most of them were built around the turn of the 20th century, after the post-Civil War Reconstruction governments had collapsed, largely as a result of racist policies emanating from the post-Lincoln White Houses. These policies led to the disenfranchisement of Blacks, suppression of civil rights through Jim Crow laws, and a resurgence of terror campaigns by Southern whites against Blacks. This era produced continued and more numerous lynchings, the resurgence of white supremacy organizations like the K.K.K., and the erection of Confederate statues and monuments in large numbers.

Yes, these monuments were put up ostensibly to honor Confederate leaders and soldiers. But the timing of the monument building makes clear that the real motivation was to physically symbolize white terror against Blacks. No one should think for a moment that these statues were meant to be somber post-bellum reminders of a brutal war. They were built much later, and most of them were explicitly created to accompany organized and violent efforts to subdue Blacks and to cement white supremacy in the South. There’s a reason Blacks consider these statues to be symbols of bigotry, terror, and oppression. It’s because they are.

This is the heritage that Mr. Trump is fighting to preserve. Such a noxious motive exemplifies the racism and cruelty Mr. Trump has employed as he has played the role of president. And Mr. Trump is not alone. His lackey and our congressman, Lee Zeldin, has embraced Mr. Trump’s racist notion of heritage. Last Wednesday, Mr. Zeldin voted against the removal of Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol complex. One statue Mr. Zeldin (a lawyer) voted to retain was that of Chief Justice Roger Taney, who wrote the infamous — and repulsive — Dred Scott decision, which denied citizenship to Black American slaves. Mr. Zeldin’s vote was not surprising given his penchant for traveling in the company of avowed white supremacists. Now ask yourselves this question: Is he the type of person we want to represent us in Congress? Or what we expect in a president? Of course not. So this November — please vote.

Sincerely,

BRUCE COLBATH

 

Refusing to Help
East Hampton
July 27, 2020

Dear David,

A line from Lou Reed’s opus “Walk on the Wild Side” best exemplifies the current Republican dilemma: “Little Joe never once gave it away. Everybody had to pay and pay.”

Their struggle with the new Covid-19 bailout bill is stalled around the issue of the additional compensation for unemployment insurance to U.S. workers. Not once in the past 50 years has the Republican Party initiated any program of any kind that supported U.S. workers, not wage increases, health insurance, paid leave, etc. ad nauseum.

In 2009 they battled the Democrats for benefits to homeowners and bankruptcies. In the first Covid-19 bill they were out outfoxed by Nancy Pelosi and were forced to cave in on benefits for workers — shocking freaking crazy — 50 years work up in smoke, making the Democrats look like saviors. This time, however, they are holding their ground and refusing to help people whom they have historically abused.

What shocked and dismayed Republicans about the last Covid-19 bill was the additional $600 premium that gave some workers more money then they were actually making before. One after another, they took to the podium to denounce this un-American un-Christian, un-capitalist behavior appalled that the country was getting ripped off by these low wage earners and not by themselves. Blasphemy or worse?

We are the wealthiest and perhaps one of the cheapest countries in the world. If we took away the wealth of Bezos, the Kochs, Walmart, and Gates we could bail out the entire country for six months. We could also borrow at zero interest another trillion for another six months. It’s not rocket science. The problem is philosophical.

Shouldn’t people who are in the crapper because of the virus be left there? They aren’t job creators. They don’t make large campaign contributions. They aren’t influentially married or having sex with politicians. What’s the point?

The last Covid-19 bill set a bad precedent. Workers will not only expect to be bailed out, they will expect a better standard of living. They will try an undo 50 years of robbing them blind and subsidizing the wealthy. They will claim that the Covid-19 disaster is not their fault, but the government’s, and they should be compensated. Imagine if they get the Black Lives Matter disease of asking for reparations for the way they’ve been treated and abused!

Are we at a crossroad in our political calculus? The Dems are ascending and have sent a massive bill to the Senate. People are turning on Trump because his buffoonery is all show. Will McConnell and Co. fold under the intense pressure of the existing and looming disaster or will they hold out for a last chance to give the American people another screwing? Will greed and avarice win the day?

NEIL HAUSIG


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