Skip to main content

Letters to the Editor for July 9, 2020

Wed, 07/08/2020 - 17:55

Remembrance
Springs
July 5, 2020

To David Rattray:

I note that it is proposed in the design for the Rick Del Mastro park (“Park Plan Becomes a Tribute,” July 2) that one of the benches would be dedicated to the L.G.B.T.Q community. The Swamp, a restaurant, bar, and dance floor, served the gay and lesbian community for 25 years beginning in 1976. I believe that history requires a significant remembrance.

Parallel to the Swamp as a gathering place for men and women from the South Fork, the East End Gay Organization, organized in 1978, was an advocacy group in the developing gay-rights movement. Concurrently, the AIDS community emerged in mutual care and support through the Long Island Association for AIDS Care. It is nearly 20 years since the Swamp closed, and E.E.G.O. is no longer in existence. Much of what we fought for and celebrated, including going to the Swamp socially, has been brought into the mainstream.

Because the Swamp was so much a part of that history, and grateful for that recognition by the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee, I believe a commemoration deserves something more than a bench, perhaps a sculpture. I hope this thought might be brought into the design committee planning.

REV. ROBERT STUART

 

The Best
Santa Fe, N.M.
July 4, 2020

To The Star:

What an extraordinary treat to be perusing The Star of June 25, and come across the name Helene Richer Begun. I was in her class at East Hampton High when the high school was still on Newtown Lane (was it really that long ago?). I doubt anyone would even remember me from all those years ago, but I remember my two years (10th and 11th grades) as being the best of my high school years.

This small piece of memorabilia brought back so many wonderful memories.

LESLIE RICH

 

Collins Avenue
East Hampton
June 30, 2020

Dear David,

The railroad’s temporary stop sign at Collins Avenue and Accabonac Road must be removed. My husband and I sent letters to Supervisor Van Scoyoc in the beginning of April about the need to remove this stop sign. We received no reply to our letters and no notification of a board meeting on this topic.

Traffic was backed up along Accabonac all the way back to Floyd Street last Friday. It is backed up daily at least halfway to Floyd Street. This never happened before the placement of that stop sign.

Supervisor Van Scoyoc “spoke about the train trestle area of Accabonac Road and Collins Avenue” at an East Hampton town board work session on Feb. 25, saying “the L.I.R.R. put up a stop sign that seems to be working” and pointing out that the “board will have to codify the sign. The temporary sign has added a calming effect to the area that is heavily used.” Traffic backed up every day even to Floyd Street is not a calming effect.

There is also constant confusion: People coming from Pantigo who want to turn left onto Collins Avenue never seem to know if they should stop or not. The intersection is also constantly blocked by people who try to turn yet cannot enter Collins Avenue because it is totally full of cars. They then sit in the intersection. This was not a problem before this stop sign was added.

Accabonac is a purely residential road that is now a rush-hour parking lot. The stop sign should be removed. There is no calming effect but quite the opposite! At the very least, the supervisor and board members should come and observe the traffic at rush hour before they codify that stop sign.

Thank you,

BARBARA A. STRONG

 

Not Going Well
East Hampton
July 1, 2020

Dear Mr. Rattray:

It’s been a month since the Village of East Hampton’s ban on the use of gas blowers kicked in on June 1. It’s not going well on my block. Not one landscaper uses electric leaf blowers. Gasoline blowers still reign.

Homeowners seem to scurry away when the lawn trucks arrive — perhaps using this time for shopping trips, beach outings, errands, etc., so as not to endure the noise and the smell of gasoline wafting through an open window.

It seems frivolous to call the East Hampton Village Police Department and strain their resources as the village office suggests. How about fining the homeowner who permits the illegal activity? Homeowners who endorse use of banned gasoline blowers by their workers should be held accountable, and bear the consequence of a sum imposed for the banned activity.

Sincerely,

SUE RAKOWSKI

 

Some Relief
East Hampton
July 6, 2020

Dear David:

Bravo Sag Harbor for setting wise guidelines for the use of leaf blowers! Perhaps now we will have some relief. I hope East Hampton and the whole world will follow suit! Thank you.

PATRICIA ANHOLT HABR

 

Frustrating
East Hampton
July 6, 2020

Dear David,

Cellphone service in East Hampton has never been great but over the last several months it has gone from annoying to ridiculously frustrating to nonexistent in many places. Maybe it’s just my Verizon service, but I doubt it. I’m sure there are stories to be told where emergency calls to family members or emergency services have not gone through. I understand that erecting new cellphone towers is fraught with Nimbyism and cumbersome regulations, but town officials were elected to make tough decisions to protect the safety of our community. It’s time for them to get working. They have been as silent as my iPhone’s dial tone.

DAVID KUPERSCHMID

 

In a Canoe
Wainscott
July 6, 2020

To the Editor,

The Town of East Hampton is insisting that my 90-year-old mother finally learn to drive. It’s possible I’m exaggerating slightly. But before I explain, let me say for the record that this is not a terrific idea. She’s still a sharp and independent woman, but has always had an adversarial relationship with a broad category of things she refers to, dismissively, as “machines.” Finesse a three-point turn? Grasp the concept of the emergency brake? Please. My mother has trouble operating a clock radio.

After my father’s death 10 years ago, she became the sole owner of a property in Wainscott that my family has had since 1974. She relies on my brother and me to get her around, including to the Wainscott beach, which she has always particularly enjoyed. Because the Town of East Hampton makes residents’ parking permits available only to homeowners, my brother and I have been allowed only nonresident stickers for our cars. And now, because the town has decided not to issue nonresident stickers during the pandemic, our household — taxpayers out here for 46 years — does not qualify for any town parking stickers at all. That’s absurd.

I suppose we have other options for getting our elderly mother to the seaside now and then — besides putting her behind the wheel, or transferring ownership of the house, or driving her to the beach and just leaving her there. We might, for instance, deposit her at the public landing for Georgica Pond on Route 27 and push her off in a canoe, having equipped her with a paddle, some basic supplies, and a nautical map.

We’d like to believe that, given the unusual circumstances, and her age, the Town of East Hampton might overlook the technicality and allow our household a single parking permit, of any sort. Though maybe there’s some plausible justification for their reluctance. It’s hard to know, because for a month and counting now, the town hasn’t even bothered to acknowledge, never mind reply to, our emails or letters.

GEORGE KALOGERAKIS

 

False Narrative
East Hampton
July 5, 2020

Dear David,

I have been in and out of politics and government, at every level, for over 40 years. As for political ads, I am not easily shocked. But I was both shocked and saddened to see the full-page ad posted by the Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott. On the Fourth of July weekend, the message appropriated the style and structure of the Declaration of Independence and used it to launch a vicious personal attack on Peter Van Scoyoc, East Hampton’s thoughtful and soft-spoken town supervisor.

The allegations, intended to make the case for the creation of a new village government for Wainscott, were numerous, and either totally false or grossly misrepresented the facts. At this perilous time for our nation when we should all be seeking ways to unite our communities, it is disappointing to see good people of Wainscott manipulated by a handful of super-rich summer residents in order to stop an underground utility cable that would deliver clean, renewable energy to 70,000 South Fork homes and businesses, benefiting us all. And they have added to their list of grievances their opposition to a modest affordable work force housing opportunity that would be located on Route 114 (closer to my home in Northwest Woods than to the mansions on Beach Lane).

Their latest goal is the incorporation of Wainscott as a village with boundaries that run all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the south side of Route 114, and from Division Street in Sag Harbor to Stephen Hand’s Path in East Hampton. Taxes would be increased dramatically on the homes and businesses within these boundaries to pay for the services and administration of a new village.

This small group of self-interested, part-time residents has created a fearsome false narrative on the perils of the South Fork Wind project, and are asking hundreds of Wainscott residents to foot the bill for the Nimby protection of their exclusive enclave. I hope the good people of East Hampton will not be taken in by this shameful campaign.

Sincerely,

JUDITH HOPE

Former East Hampton

Town supervisor

 

False Product
Springs
July 6, 2020

Dear David,

Wainscott will be forever changed not by the installation of an underground electric cable to deliver much-needed renewable or by a much-needed mall affordable housing development of new neighbors. It will be forever changed by residents who have decided to sever connections to the community of East Hampton. They want no part in solutions to the needs of the community or responsibility for their contributions to the problems of our town.

However, the deepest tradition of the hamlet of Wainscott is of neighbor helping neighbor, no matter in what part of town help was needed. When the townspeople were beset by a natural or man-made disaster, they did their part to help those in need. They pitched in with all they could. That is the tradition of Wainscott.

Now these town traditions are threatened by an attack-marketing campaign touting creating another layer of government to be controlled by the few. Yes, an incorporated village will be controlled by the few. They say the government positions will be nonsalaried. Ask yourself this question. Who can afford a job with no salary, no benefits, no retirement plan? Do you have the money it takes to campaign against their choices in future village elections? The teams of lawyers and national marketing agencies and engineers that they can afford cost more than yearly salaries for some. Will you forgo your equal representation in town government? Petition: “Signer Beware.”

This campaign began last year with personal attacks on a neighbor whose reputation in this town has been built upon a lifetime of community service and a town leader who has been appointed and elected to your own government for decades. Peter Van Scoyoc is a town leader who refuses to put the power of a few over the needs of the many in his job as supervisor. We have known that for decades. Peter and his family are a part of the fabric of this community, whether you agree with his politics or not. Try as hard as money will buy, they could not redefine Peter, and he won Wainscott by an overwhelming majority in 2019.

The group who have appropriated the name of preservers of what is Wainscott will be the ones who forever change the fundamental core of this entire town. We work together for the good of the many, and not the power of a few.

Good people of Wainscott: It is you who now must preserve the traditions of your community and our town by rejecting the false product you are now being sold.

Sincerely,

CATE ROGERS

Chairwoman

East Hampton

Democratic Committee

 

At It Again
East Hampton
July 6, 2020

Dear David,

Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott, or C.P.W., is at it again. Don’t let these wealthy self-centered people fool you into doing something that will not benefit you.

In the beginning, C.P.W. was all in favor of the South Fork Wind Farm but now it is not. Initially, C.P.W. did not want a cable buried under Beach Lane on its way north to the L.I.R.R. right of way. C.P.W. raised big funds from the wealthy few involved and hired teams of lawyers, engineers, P.R. firms, etc. C.P.W. waged battle on the Article Seven front with the various New York State agencies, such as the Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Public Service, Department of Transportation, and Department of State. C.P.W. fought against the East Hampton Town Board, East Hampton Town Trustees, and a variety of other organizations that wanted the best decision for the 70,000 residents who would benefit from the South Fork Wind Farm.

Apparently, C.P.W. sees the handwriting on the wall that few of the 70,000 beneficiaries are on its side. So, C.P.W. upped the ante, and now says that renewable energy is not good, and even if it is, it should be brought in from UpIsland. C.P.W. knows that this would be very expensive since the current infrastructure would need to be replaced to carry the increased load. C.P.W., seeing failure looming, has now hired another law firm to lead the charge to incorporate Wainscott as a village.

C.P.W. makes numerous false allegations against East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc that exist only in the minds of C.P.W. Peter Van Scoyoc has treated this whole process as a fair and thoughtful arbiter of the many issues and concerns around the South Fork Wind Farm. He has been very patient in listening to all sides and giving all sides an opportunity to be heard. Peter Van Scoyoc represents all the residents of East Hampton Town, and C.P.W. is right about one thing ? only a small number live in Wainscott. The South Fork Wind Farm will benefit every resident of East Hampton Town, not only with adequate electric power but with cleaner air and water, not to mention bluer skies.

C.P.W. then attacks Peter Van Scoyoc for selling Wainscott’s legacy by burying an electric cable under its roads. I am not sure what legacy they are talking about, but I note there was no complaint or reference to legacy when Peter Van Scoyoc and the East Hampton Town Board provided Suffolk County water to many Wainscott residents. Please note, these water pipes were buried under Wainscott’s roads.

C.P.W. then complains that Peter Van Scoyoc hasn’t reduced the noise sufficiently at East Hampton Airport. C.P.W. knows full well that the airport situation is now controlled by the Federal Aviation Administration, and not by the East Hampton Town Board.

C.P.W. and its wealthy sponsors, who, by the way, are involved in New York City with organizations to help minorities and the disadvantaged, are alleging that Peter Van Scoyoc has failed to control multifamily housing by proposing to build affordable housing on Route 114. The one thing East Hampton needs is affordable housing for its many workers.

C.P.W. is stretching to find any reason to justify incorporating Wainscott. Incorporation will cause taxes to go up in Wainscott and will not give any leverage to Wainscott in the airport noise discussion.

C.P.W. claims its new Wainscott village board will serve without compensation: You get what you pay for.

Wainscott will need to reimburse East Hampton for the millions it spent on the water pipes, and it will need to contract for police, fire, schools, highway maintenance, and all the other village services now provided by the Town of East Hampton.

The South Fork Wind Farm will eliminate the fossil fuel-fired “peaker plants,” which are used in the summer months to meet the increased demand for electricity. These “peaker plants” may get more use now that the pandemic has caused an increase in East Hampton’s population that may not go down in September. These “peaker plants” foul the air and water with CO2, causing air and water pollution to the detriment of humans and fish.

Don’t let these wealthy, self-centered people fool you into doing something that will not benefit you.

JEREMIAH T. MULLIGAN

 

Street Scene
East Hampton
June 30, 2020

Dear David,

This past Saturday evening around 7:30, as I was driving through Southampton on the way to dinner at a friend’s home, I happened to pass Main Street, which was blocked off by several police cars. While it was approaching dusk, I could see to my left the entire Main Street lit up and alive with people sitting in effect in the “town square?” enjoying dinner alfresco. It could have been a street scene in any seaside town in the U.S. or Venice, or Capri, or for that matter Paris or Rome, as well, full of life. Tens of tables with socially-distanced diners enjoying a summer night under the stars.

By coincidence, coming home at 10:30 p.m. I passed Job’s Lane, which was also closed off with a continuation of the street scene, the equivalent for East Hampton of the crossroads of Main Street and Newtown Lane, with people still wandering, dining, and I suppose doing some shopping. What a nice way to spend a summer evening ? all socially distanced with masks! It is high time for the East Hampton Town or Village administration to get with the program, and act in a more enlightened manner to bring activity back to the center of East Hampton — at least for a few evenings or events in the town center.

And while I am at it, complaining about the need for a more progressive administration in East Hampton, how about doing something about cellphone connections so we don’t consistently have to deal with dropped calls from the edge of town on one side to Wainscott, and on the other, from the town center on 114 to close to Sag Harbor. We have to get off being a third-world country and join the 21st century, adding some long-fought-for cell towers.

You may not see the connection, but they are connected, in the sense that we need leadership that recognizes that East Hampton cannot allow itself to fall asleep while our neighboring towns are welcoming activity. Dining, shopping, and communicating are part of the social fabric of life — even during a pandemic — as long as people are careful.

Sincerely,

ALAN PATRICOF

 

Not Good Enough
East Hampton
July 6, 2020

To the Editor:

Once again I read with dismay in this morning’s online edition of The Star a report on the holiday goings-on in Montauk. The article titled “Covid-19 Violations at Montauk Nightspots” went on to report that unmasked dancing throngs were widespread at all the popular “watering holes” throughout the holiday weekend and that collected re­ports/videos will be forwarded to the State Liquor Authority. For the present, however, the punishment seems to be confined to citations for what amount to low-level violations.

Simply put: This is not good enough. It is time for local authorities to demand that offending club owners and restaurateurs do the right thing. If they do not, then it should be automatic that either their liquor licenses and-or their operating licenses should be lifted. Perhaps a schedule of issuing a warning plus a $10,000 fine for the first infraction, a 90-day suspension plus $50,000 fine for a second violation, and revocation for a third violation within 12 months would compel the offenders to better police their patrons.

Yes, this is draconian, and to some may smack of a police state, but unless the punishment is severe, no one will pay attention. And pay attention they must or small businesses throughout the East End will again be faced with an even more draconian punishment of a blanket shutdown of their establishments, which many of them cannot survive if it happens again.

If Albany continues to be unresponsive, then Mr. Van Scoyoc, with full support of the Rattray family (owners of The Star), should do whatever is necessary to pressure Mr. Bellone to suspend the offender’s right to operate and actively campaign against any politician, regardless of their party affiliation, who does not actively lobby the governor for targeted and meaningful enforcement.

Respectfully,

JAMES R. WELDON

 

Catch, Carry
East Hampton
July 6, 2020

To the Editor,

It has been well established and verified that animals can catch, carry, and transmit the Covid-19 virus. So why are people still encouraged to train their dogs to urinate, defecate, salivate, expectorate, and violate the six-foot distancing protocol at public beaches?

MATT NORKLUN

 

Out of His Depth
East Hampton
July 6, 2020

To the Editor,

France declared war on Germany shortly after the German invasion of Poland in September of 1939. By June of the following year, Hitler’s armored divisions had defeated France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. With the aim of defeating the English next, German aircraft were relocated to airfields on the northern coast of France and were bombing London and other English towns incessantly night after moonlit night, while German subs were torpedoing British supply ships. The destruction was bringing England to its knees.

In the winter of 1940, Prime Minister Churchill appealed to President Roosevelt requesting American assistance in maintaining the flow of food and military supplies to England. On Monday evening, Jan. 6, 1941, at the State of the Union address, Roosevelt asked the country to grant Churchill’s request: If agreed, Roosevelt described a world to come that would be founded upon four essential human freedoms: speech, worship and freedoms from want and fear. America did not hesitate, and we all know the results.

Today, as we fight World War III — Covid19 — might we think that our current president would be man enough to have concern for others that he would wish to ease the world’s suffering? But no, he decides to buy up for America alone the world supply of the one drug, Remdesivir, which can help reduce the effects of the pandemic. Shame, shame, shame. And as for the freedoms of speech, worship, and freedoms from want and fear he has no interest, they do not affect his own future.

Like a man trapped by more and more frequent implications of wrongdoing and corruption, Trump’s response is, “It wasn’t me. It wasn’t my fault. Not my responsibility,” such as the removal of the Manhattan United States attorney. William Barr ordered the dismissal. Russian offered Taliban bounties to kill our troops? “I know nothing about that.” (Now he knows but still does nothing.) Covid-19: “States have the responsibility for the medical and economic response.” Anger at Black Lives Matter but no suggestions for change of policy. Will not wear a mask despite advice, we could go on. Clearly out of his depth, incapable, and emotionally bankrupt.

Our New York congressman, unfeeling Lee Zeldin is a repeat performance. As a military man who served in Iraq, briefly, the lack of concern for his fellows in arms is truly appalling. Let us rid ourselves of these wimps and march behind fully functional real leaders with empathic concerns who treasure and demand freedom of speech and worship and freedom from want and fear.

NIGEL NOBLE

 

Brutal Conquest
East Hampton
July 6, 2020

Dear East Hampton Star,

In the rash of protesters taking down statues of “Confederate heroes,” the focus has widened to include many of this country’s founders. While men like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were definitely slave owners, they still laid the groundwork for a country that was constantly striving for “a more perfect union.” In fact, those very words were penned by Jefferson himself, and it shows that the founders knew that there was a lot wrong with their new country. There is some evidence that Jefferson, particularly, really didn’t like the idea of slavery. However, thanks to the generations that came before them, the economy of the new United States of America was heavily dependent on slavery, and could not have survived without it. This is not an excuse but a simple fact, and a disgusting one too. But do we condemn the men who helped shape the original 13 colonies into states? It’s not an easy question. My information has always been that Washington was a pompous and harsh man who was not well liked, but was a good leader. He insisted on being called “your lordship” by all but close family and friends. This from the first president of the United States, where “all men are equal.”

The one historical hero of the United States who I would be glad to see lose his lofty seat is Christopher Columbus. This man is known the world over as “the man who discovered America.” Today we know that the Vikings were here centuries earlier, and there is tantalizing but scant evidence pointing to a cocaine trade between Egypt and the Americas. What Columbus did was open the door for a brutal conquest of two continents full of vibrant civilizations and sophisticated cultures. Columbus never set

foot on the mainland. In addition, he was a brutal man, who was hated by his crew and many have reported that

he was even incompetent. There is a reason that this part of the world is known as “the Americas” and not “the Columbias.”

The two continents are named after explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci, who was the first person to map the East Coast of North America in the regions that would become the United States, Canada, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia. My point is that I would really like to see Columbus’s statues taken down and Columbus Circle renamed Vespucci Circle after a man who really did travel and discover in the Americas, and who had a better reputation than Columbus.

To shift gears slightly, I just want to say that while I like the idea of a Statue Garden of American Heroes, I shudder to think of who President Trump would want to see enshrined there! Let’s not forget that he took money from David Duke (and then gave it back, but only because he was caught doing it). A Trump-inspired Garden of American Heroes could easily include in its suggested celebrities such fictional figures as Simon LeGris and the Lone Ranger.

We have just finished celebrating the Fourth of July, a holiday that many actually wonder about due to its unsung connection to slavery. I would argue that even though the Declaration of Independence, which is what is actually being celebrated, was hypocritical in claiming a belief that all men are equal in a country that was dependent on slavery, it was a stepping stone toward getting rid of slavery. Lincoln had a terrible decision before him: Let brutality continue to be enshrined or risk the economic collapse of the country he was supposed to be leading. Unlike the founders for whom it wasn’t really a choice, President Lincoln took a risk and wound up with an armed rebellion on his hands, which turned into the United States Civil War and resulted in his assassination.

It’s unfortunate that after all the blood that has been spilled in this country over civil rights of all kinds we still live in a society that could have been written on the barn door at the end of George Orwell’s Animal Farm: “All Animals are created equal, but some Animals are more equal than others.” It’s only when we can see each other without bigotry or xenophobia that this will truly be a country of liberty and justice for all.

Thanks for reading. Stay well.

Sincerely,

MATT HARNICK

 

Needed Gravitas
East Hampton
July 1, 2020

To the Editor:

People call this a “crazy” time. I see it as a sick time. It is not just the change in our usual lifestyle caused by the pandemic. All over the world, governments are taking advantage of a complete lack of order. China has taken over Hong Kong with little or no reaction from the West, save Great Britian’s offering to take in those with British passports. Russia is being the usual bully where it can, and possibly keeping Putin in power till 2035 or so. The United States has not only lost credibility around the world, but we, as a nation, don’t begin to practice what we preach.

Rioting, looting, police turmoil seem to be the norm. Covid-19 cases are spiking in some states, and this seems to be caused by the younger age group who can be virus carriers without their knowledge. Many are marching and mingling as part of the Black Lives Matter movement throughout the U.S.A. and internationally. Stores have been vandalized without any legal recourse. Law and order are nonexistent! In New York City, Sunday, June 28, there was shooting in the streets, starting around 3 a.m. on West 132nd Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard in Harlem, shooting and bottle throwing at the police! New York’s extremely ineffectual Mayor De Blasio has been sticking by his “Open Streets” initiative since mid-May. So lawlessness thrives, with 125 shootings in the first three weeks of June. Everyone has been released from Rikers! What’s next?

The police are powerless; there is mass hysteria, organized movements, and it all seems to be politically motivated. So all this is happening at a time when the citizenry should be united. What is sorely lacking is leadership Ñ locally, nationally, and internationally. Where are they? Today’s political climate does not produce diplomats anymore. We had a strong potential leader in Senator John McCain, whom the Republican Party rejected as their presidential candidate in favor of Bush Two. McCain became everyone’s hero, Republican or Democrat after his death, but not before. Churchill saved Great Britain from Hitler’s intended invasion. F.D.R. salvaged this country after World War II with the New Deal and the federal works program. Both were diplomats and leaders who united their people, and the people responded. It is the optimism and ability to communicate directly and effectively that make great leaders. There is not an ounce of Churchill’s eloquence or Roosevelt’s “Fireside Chats” to guide and inspire; it is all about politics and ego and of course, the 2020 election!

It would seem this crazy or sick time, whatever you want to call it, is the perfect opportunity for someone with knowledge, ability, and stature to fill the void. Is there someone who is a proven leader and inspirational speaker? Possibly Bill Gates, Ms. Haley (ex-ambassador to the U.N.) Michael Bloomberg (as a non-presidential candidate) Pope Francis, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Clarke, Someone of stature who is non-political.

Alas, money and power are mainly what motivate today. Perhaps in this unusual time we will have the needed gravitas to think about what is most important in our individual lives. And just maybe, we will come out of it with a better understanding of what truly matters. Education and values are what come first to mind. Thoughtless, mass hysteria are what is taking hold. Is it really going to change events, and lives, if the Teddy Roosevelt statue is removed from in front of the Natural History Museum in New York City? Or if the Jefferson and Lincoln statues are removed? Or even our first president, George Washington? These are all great leaders in the history of this extraordinary country. Should we worry about the classic movie “Gone With the Wind?” Or deny the fact that Christopher Columbus discovered America? All this, statues, flags, movies, books, are part of our history, a part of the fabric that makes America what it is today. Why not try building on the positives that have been accomplished over the years. We can’t change what was wrong with the past, but we can learn from it. Teach the history of this country Ñ the rights and wrongs. Growth and knowledge come from honest education, not from the denial of the historical facts.

JANE MAYNARD

 

Check Us Out
Springs
July 4, 2020

Dear Editor,

The Democratic Socialists of America, which is a faction in the Democratic National Committee, is pulling the D.N.C. platform and ideology to the radical extremes of unacceptability. Their views are not accepted by many mainstream moderate Democrats, who are finding themselves pushed out of their own party.

The Democratic Socialists of America believe that our society needs to be reimagined. How many times have you heard that phrase recently? Our national culture, history, and by extension our nation’s founding principles, on which our freedoms and liberties are derived, all need to be changed. The collapse of the rule of law and subsequent breakdown of society are all critical to accomplish their goals.

A fundamental component is the attack on our criminal justice system and the war on our police. Our legal system, law enforcement, and military are the fundamental protectors of our constitutional freedoms. The D.S.A. and by extension the D.N.C., through implied and in some cases direct consent, have enabled the antifa movement to seize and hijack what was a just cause for legal reforms and national dialogue after the tragic death of George Floyd.

With the promises of equality and tolerance, they seduce followers by playing on the emotions of victims of past transgressions. As justification, they vilify other classes of people and when faced with opposition they resort to intimidation and violence.

History has seen all this before. Nazi Germany under Hitler, Communist Russia under Lenin, and Marxist China under Mao Zedong were all cut from the same cloth and responsible for the misery and deaths of millions. The similarities between the three and their movements are terrifying.

All three were tolitarians, be it Marxist.

Mao was an atheist.

Mao used minority abuses to fuel his cause.

Mao appealed to the youth.

Mao inspired student and union protests.

Mao used violence and fear to accomplish his goals.

Mao destroyed statues and history books in an effort to erase history.

Mao desired to destroy the government system to replace it with a Marxist structure.

The Democratic Party has worked so hard to shed the evils of its past support for slavery and racism to now become the new party of selective intolerance, hatred, and anti-Americanism. Democrats must reject unequivocally the ideology of Democratic Socialists of America, and repudiate the antifa movement. Democrats must rise up and take back their party from the brink. We need two viable voices that can work together nationally and here in East Hampton.

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.

MANNY VILAR

Chairman

East Hampton Town

Republican Committee

 

National Addiction
East Hampton
July 5, 202

To The Star:

In Joseph Stiglitz’s most recent economics opus, he writes that Bezos, Buffett, and Gates have as much wealth as 50 percent of the U.S. population. He adds that 40 percent of the U.S. population isn’t capable of handling a $400 calamity. Wealthy elites control political elites, and America is turning into Russia without health care.

For 100 years we struggled against communism because it was ideologically frightening to the accumulation of personal wealth. But since the U.S.S.R. collapsed and Putin and the oligarchs took over we have gone from adversary to secret admirer to unabated lover. Trump’s bizarre relationship aside, the Russian model, with oligarchs and the government elites owning all of the nation’s wealth, is the direction we are moving. Almost every Trump appointee is a multimillionaire and most of the elected Congress on both sides are the same. Power and wealth are interchangeable and each enhances the other. Democracy and the Constitution are a side bar to bandy about when we need to distract the public and camouflage behavior.

So we took a shot on Trump, but don’t really get that we put a fox in the hen house. All of the distractions around immigration and NATO, etc., etc., exist to obfuscate the reality that the Treasury has been turned into an A.T.M. and the password is “Screw You.” When his administration ends, it will get no severance pay because the vault will be empty.

Trump was right that the system was rigged, except he was one of the riggers. But it started in the 1970s, and has been operating for almost 50 years. There is something insidious in the accumulation of wealth for the pleasure of accumulating wealth. It is a kind of virus that infects the central cerebral cortex that anesthetizes the little bit of conscience that we might possess. It’s a kind of inhuman nature that has not only been normalized but adulated - our national addiction.

Our problem of inequality is all about abuse. We internalize abuse as normative, and blame either ourselves or someone below us in the pecking order. Our inability to think clearly allows elite groups to focus on accumulating wealth while we focus on social issues like abortion, gun control, religious freedom, and voter fraud, none of which is real beyond the obvious disconnect from reality. Losing income, health care, our homes are marginal in the context of social importance. They are dollars-and-cents issues that matter and are worth stealing because they make someone else richer. How many poor and middle-class people benefited from the housing crisis? How many are riding the stock market during Covid-19? Who really cares about someone’s sexual preference?

We are dizzily dumb with our prideful individualism and outsize belief in our personal freedoms. No unions, no government, no universal health care. We are self-made and independent. But the price for all this exceptionalism is $10 instead of $20 an hour. A slow death on OxyContin instead of health care that is reasonable and works. Poor schools, broken bridges, and little hope for our kids who will never live better than we do.

A simple question might turn the lightbulb on. Where has all the money gone?

NEIL HAUSIG


Thank you for reading . . . 
...Your support for The East Hampton Star helps us deliver the news, arts, and community information you need. Whether you are an online subscriber, get the paper in the mail, delivered to your door in Manhattan, or are just passing through, every reader counts. We value you for being part of The Star family.

Your subscription to The Star does more than get you great arts, news, sports, and outdoors stories. It makes everything we do possible.