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Letters to the Editor for August 27, 2020

Wed, 08/26/2020 - 11:51

Above and Beyond
East Hampton
August 21, 2020

Dear Editor,

I am writing to commend our own East Hampton lifeguards for their extraordinary lifesaving efforts in and out of the water this summer. Without Johnny Ryan and his team’s excellent, thorough plan, we wouldn’t even be on the beach during this pandemic. They have all gone above and beyond to keep us safe in ways they never have needed to before. The lifeguards took on the challenging extra task of monitoring the adherence to the safety guidelines with the same professional and friendly manner as they do in all their work.

Sadly, some people have responded to the lifeguards’ requests in a downright rude and nasty manner. As highly trained and skilled first responders, they deserve our utmost gratitude and respect. I salute all the lifeguards, the instructors who trained and certified them, and all the team members for their exceptionally good effort. Please positively support them in any way that you can.

MIKE GUGLIELMO

 

Sheer Luck
New York City
August 24, 2020

Dear David,

I extend my condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Kim, the young man who drowned last week off Napeague. It’s a tragedy. This and other drownings on the East End highlight an uncomfortable truth: We have a disproportionate number of unprotected ocean and bay beaches. The unprotected beaches are particularly popular this summer, with parking restrictions at many town and village beaches, and the folks who swim there tend to be nonlocals who may not be familiar with our dangerous waters. And they are very dangerous.

It’s sheer luck we don’t have more tragedies. People get into trouble and can drown in minutes. Unless there is an alert Good Samaritan nearby, a swimmer in a rip tide may perish before our qualified first responders can arrive. For good and not so good reasons, it’s unlikely there will ever be more protected beaches manned by guards. “No Swimming” signs don’t work, and we don’t enforce them. Although signage about how to escape rip currents and identification numbers at these beaches are good steps, we have to ask: What else can be done? There are solutions.

Better signage could help. Signs seen throughout the U.S. clearly warn swimmers of the extreme risks and dangers of swimming without a lifeguard. Scaring people (just a bit) can go a long way. Another thing that can be done is to expand the number of possible first responders. Let’s give immediate alerts to the hundreds of off-duty, certified lifeguards in our community. It will reduce response time. I’m not advocating dozens of folks rushing to a scene. Yet a certified lifeguard could coincidentally be in the nearby parking lot, and could make a save if alerted through 911. I’ve seen it happen several times.

Sincerely,

SPENCER SCHNEIDER

 

Anti-Covid Tool
Amagansett
August 22, 2020

Dear David:

 On a recent visit to Mattituck, I was heartened to notice signs mandating masks whenever in public in Southold, regardless of distance from others. A sample of pedestrians indicated almost 100 percent compliance. This seemed in contrast to what we have in East Hampton and on the lanes in Amagansett where, on the latter, no more than 10 percent use this simple and effective anti-Covid tool.

One strong reason for this difference is in the confusion caused by the “six-foot distance” mask requirement we have here. This is a somewhat silly, confusing, and self-defeating proviso. Who knows when one will be six feet from anyone else? What about maskless joggers who chug past? Absent a clearly understood federal mandate, the town should get serious and consider mandatory mask usage, regardless of distance.

GERALD PANE

 

Hospital’s Mission
Southampton
August 24, 2020

Dear Editor,

For many years the communities of East Hampton have requested the development of additional local health-care resources. The need for expanding emergency care to support the communities of East Hampton, Amagansett, Springs, and Montauk is well documented. Ever-worsening traffic patterns have made these needs even more acute, as well as placing growing burdens on the town’s volunteer ambulance services.

In response to these requests, the Southampton Hospital Association has expended significant resources and planning effort to develop the East Hampton emergency department facility proposal. This unique facility would provide not only essential emergency care but also other services needed by our East Hampton communities. Plans now would provide 10 emergency treatment rooms and a resuscitation/procedure room, including an obstetrics-gynecology treatment room, a normal isolation room, a bariatric room with cardiac observation and isolation room capabilities, two general exam treatment rooms, and an ophthalmology exam treatment room, two general fast-track treatment rooms, and a pediatric fast-track treatment room. Additionally, the site would offer diagnosis and testing, including blood and specimen collection, a stat lab shared with emergency services, imaging (one each of the following rooms: X-Ray, C.T. Scan, Bone Densitometry, Ultrasound, Mammography, and space for a future M.R.I.).

The proposed site of the new East Hampton emergency department was selected after several years of study and in close collaboration with East Hampton Town officials. The proposed site offers a number of advantages; most important, it would be adjacent to the East Hampton Healthcare building off Pantigo. The ability to locate medical and emergency services near each other has many far-reaching benefits for the provision of health care to the residents of East Hampton. This is a location, which even the editorial admits is “well placed.” The Southampton Hospital Association has already expended significant resources reviewing alternative sites, developing plans, and pursuing appropriate regulatory clearances. We will continue to take necessary steps to research, understand, respect, and preserve the unique historical and environmental legacies of all our East Hampton communities.

The Southampton Hospital Association, whose goal is to support Stony Brook Southampton Hospital’s mission of delivering health-care services and expanding access and clinical programs on the East End, would build the facility and lease it to Stony Brook Medicine. The association will be conducting an archaeological survey in accordance with the New York State Historic Preservation Office’s recommendation. The survey would investigate the potential for intact Native-American features on the Pantigo site. The town established a Little League ball field relocation committee, which retained an independent engineering surveyor with experience in guiding municipalities in designing and constructing baseball and softball playing fields. The Southampton Hospital Association has committed to raising the funds required for two new Little League fields at a new location selected by the Town of East Hampton.

Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, an integrated site of the Stony Brook Medicine health-care system, and the Southampton Hospital Association are wholly committed to providing quality health care that meets the needs of all the people and communities on the East End. The East Hampton emergency department is essential to our community and the location should reflect the vital health-care needs of the town, village, and hamlets. The Pantigo site does that.

KENNETH B. WRIGHT

Chairman

Southampton Hospital Association

ROBERT S. CHALONER

President

Southampton Hospital Association

 

Emergency Center
Springs
August 24, 2020

Dear David,

Thank you for your editorial and for Mr. Whitmore’s letters about the change of use of the Pantigo Place Little League fields to a Stony Brook emergency center. For a few years, I have made an occasional statement to the town board about a need for fuller analysis. Here are some of my comments, with help from yours and Mr. Whitmore’s.

First, almost no one knew, or appeared to know, that the land has dual zoning. Not only is recreation allowed, but it is also zoned for affordable housing. In fact, after a discussion in 2005 about the town’s strong need for affordable housing, almost the entire area comprising Pantigo Place, including the lands containing the important buildings at 200 and 300 Pantigo Place, were made eligible for affordable housing.

This concern for both affordable housing and housing for their employees should be an important requirement for Stony Brook before the permission to construct is finalized. The town and Stony Brook should work together to provide housing for low-income residents as well as their workers who are not low income. How many year-round employees will there be? How many seasonal employees will be a summer addition? The needed housing can be on that site or another, but can a necessary amount be found and afforded if it is not constructed, purchased, or rented by Stony Brook?

 Another issue is whether the size of the new emergency center will be adequate for a significant increase in our town’s population, as well as an increase in the number of months that are spent in residence in East Hampton. Can the emergency center be expanded to handle more patients and services? What if more construction is needed? This should be analyzed before construction is allowed.

I have mainly discussed the housing and construction issues because that has not received much discussion. However, most immediate is the closing or moving of the Little League ball fields. There are possible locations for Little League fields other than the large area at the bottom of Stephen Hand’s Path.

 First, the community preservation fund has purchased a small but important selection of properties for recreation, but only a few purchases have been used for individual or small-group recreation, and none has been used for organized recreation. It has been hard to get organized recreation accepted for any C.P.F. purchase. The Nature Preserve Committee can do a knowledgeable investigation of preserves and C.P.F. purchases, and study if they can be changed to organized recreation with or without night lighting.

The town should take a broader look at the issues regarding the emergency center, both pros and cons, especially when looking into the future. In the year of 2050, East Hampton will hopefully appreciate its history and natural environment, but because of the town’s expansion, new construction and additional services will have been needed. Plan ahead.

ZACHARY COHEN

 

Collective Fit
East Hampton
August 24, 2020

Dear Editor,

 The East Hampton Town Board is determined to lease the East Hampton Little League’s Pantigo Place ball fields to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital for 99 years. In exchange for the cherished 4.5 acres, the town will receive $1.75 million — chump change designed to ameliorate the destruction of the Little Leagues’ Pantigo Place ball fields. $1.75 mil for a park created for our children decades ago when children and baseball seemed to matter, but apparently today are only a commodity to be traded to the lowest bidder. Wow, our young ball players come cheap.

 Little wonder that the town is planning to force the Little Leaguers to drive to distant Wainscott to play ball at Stephen Hand’s Path “park.” The park (a park in name only) is a remote dumpsite for the town’s unwanted active recreation needs. Explored as a possible landing site for the proposed emergency annex, it was soundly rejected by Stony Brook Southampton Hospital because of its unsatisfactory location. Thank you, Stony Brook for pointing out the obvious.

However, replicating in kind, the Pantigo Place ball fields on another suitable alternative site with $1.75 million would be impossible if the town does not already own the land but instead must purchase a new parcel. I’m not in the real estate biz, but I therefore suggest that the purchase price of the ball fields deserves to have another 0 tagged on.

And a zero is what I award the town board for an unquestionably wretched deal that sells our children’s ball fields for peanuts and then attempts to send them to an inarguably inferior site to play baseball. What is this board thinking? How can they justify this deal? How can they do this to our young ball players?

There is no exchange in kind for these fields. On the contrary, there is a net lose of 4.5 meager acres of active recreation parkland created for our children in East Hampton. F.Y.I., the town recreation website lists the Pantigo Place ball fields and the tiny Edith Parsons recreation site behind the senior center on Springs-Fireplace Road as their only two active recreation sites in East Hampton. So out of less than 5 total acres of active recreation in East Hampton, this ruinous little deal with Stony Brook Southampton Hospital will remove 4.5 acres. Do the math. It appears that the town board is suffering a collective fit of misopedia and dislike, intensely, of children playing baseball in East Hampton.

Is that any way for the town board to defend the Little Leaguers of our town and their “field of dreams?” This town board must provide, immediately, a truly equitable site for our Little Leaguers to play ball — or leave them where they have been for decades, at Pantigo Place.

Yours,

CHARLIE WHITMORE

 

Worked Hard
East Hampton
August 22, 2020

Dear Editor:

 The upcoming election on Sept. 15 in East Hampton Village is going to be a pivotal one in this village’s history. The future of the village is very fragile, and a good deal of permanent damage can be done under the wrong leadership. Inn owners want to expand and create live music venues to rival Montauk. Retailers complain that they want to be another Sag Harbor, with busy sidewalks of tourists. None of the changes they want would benefit the village residents — only cause congestion, lack of parking, noise, and loss of the peace and quiet enjoyment we love. It would be impossible to go back if some things are allowed to change.

 We, the candidates from the Elms Party, are all lifelong residents of East Hampton Village. We are the only party that can make that claim. We have spent our lives here, and we own businesses here. We understand the need to balance a healthy commercial core with peaceful residential neighborhoods because we live here, and have for a very long time. We want our own businesses to thrive, but not at the expense of the peace and quiet of the residential neighborhoods where we live.

 We believe that the investments our residents make in their properties deserve to be protected, which is why we have worked to legislate noise ordinances, lower speed limits, and impose weight limits on our residential streets. We’ve instituted changes to our zoning code to increase setbacks and control rooflines to eliminate massing in new construction. We’ve worked to protect our historic buildings and our scenic views, and protect our groundwater and ponds. We believe in renewable energy, and have installed solar panels on our emergency services building and our public works building, as well as added electric vehicles to our fleet. We’ve worked hard to maintain a Moody’s rating of Aa1, and save our taxpayers money. We’ve added staff to supplement our volunteer emergency ambulance corps and added code-enforcement officers.

 In addition, we enjoy a good working relationship with East Hampton Town, working together on projects such as our joint fuel facility, an ongoing coastal erosion study, and the new joint traffic task force. We also have nurtured relationships with county and state officials, and work closely with them when necessary.

 We are East Hampton Village, and we trust that the other residents are wise enough to recognize wolves in sheep’s clothing. Our village depends on it. Please vote Row C on Election Day.

Sincerely,

The Elms Party

BARBARA BORSACK

Candidate for mayor

RICK LAWLER

Candidate for trustee

RAY HARDEN

Candidate for trustee

 

Some Initiatives
East Hampton
August 24, 2020

Dear David,

In the last few weeks we have contrasted our approach to governance to that of both the Elms and Newtown Parties. We have also highlighted some policy differences, of which there are many. As we move forward, we will continue to draw distinctions both in terms of policy and process. We will also continue to introduce some initiatives we intend to advance if we are given the opportunity to serve. Last week, we articulated our case for the installation of bike lanes in our village. This week, we will discuss the substandard condition of many of the sidewalks throughout the village and our thoughts on developing an effective plan to address the situation.

We have walked just about every sidewalk in the village in the last few months, and it is quite apparent that the long-term degradation of the sidewalks has outpaced repair and replacement efforts for many, many years. Stopgap repair measures have been taken to reduce trip hazards presented by uneven cement slabs often caused by tree roots raising the level of one slab higher than the other. Village crews shave down the leading edge of the raised slab to reduce its profile, which helps as a short-term measure. However it is still a trip hazard and an eyesore. These interim fixes are very evident. Elsewhere, many of the cement walks are so cracked and uneven that they pose a real danger to pedestrians with trip hazards all too common. We also must navigate up and down some adventurous funhouse-type brick walks along James Lane and parts of Main Street. Some of our blacktop sidewalks are also in need of replacement.

The condition of our sidewalks not only poses a danger to the public but really takes away from the beauty of our village. Stopgap measures with piecemeal repair efforts are short-term solutions at best. We believe a comprehensive plan with a beginning, middle, and end, followed up with an annual maintenance program designed to keep pace with necessary repairs, is an efficient and appropriate remedy.

Cement sidewalks must be contracted out, as the Department of Public Works does not have the training, personnel, or equipment to install new sidewalks. Small repairs and brick walks, however, can be done in-house. We would like to see both the contract work and the in-house work completed within a reasonable timeline, across a maximum of two to four fiscal years, dependent on cost. A repair/replacement cost estimate for the full scope of work will help us establish a realistic timeline. We can then plan to adequately fund the budget line for sidewalks across fiscal years for the anticipated term of the project.

Our sidewalks should be both functional and visually appealing, as they are prominent elements of our beautiful streetscapes, which add to the charm of the village. We believe this is an important initiative that we intend to advance.

Stay tuned. More good things to come! Please consider us for your vote.

DAVID DRISCOLL

Candidate for trustee

 

Gaudy Sign
East Hampton
August 24, 2020

Dear David,

It pains me to write this letter because I am seeing something that I hoped never to see in this village. With both of my mayoral opponents professing their love for the beauty of this village of ours, they both have moved to desecrate it with obnoxious political lawn signs.

The Fish Hooks Party will never put up lawn signs. And I invite my opponents to take down their signs, and let their ideas, leadership, and ethics speak for them, not some gaudy sign that nobody wants to see.

If this is indicative of the kind of change Jerry Larsen is promoting, and if that’s not the kind of change that you want, vote for the Fish Hooks Party on Sept. 15 — Tiger Graham for mayor and Dave Driscoll for trustee.

ARTHUR (TIGER) GRAHAM

 

Clear Plan
East Hampton
August 22, 2020

Dear David,

I am writing to you regarding the upcoming East Hampton Village elections just a few weeks away.

As you may know, I, together with many Village and town residents, have been working for the past six years toward a resolution to the 267 “monster utility poles” that were approved by the East Hampton Village and town boards together with PSEG in 2014 and placed for 6.2 miles from East Hampton to Amagansett. These giant poles and high-tension lines were erected on front lawns and above sidewalks in the Village and across beautiful vistas along town Lane by Balsam Farm and the South Fork Country Club. The Village and the town knew, after the enormous community outrage, that this was a colossal mistake yet have been unable and/or unwilling to fix it. What it comes down to is this was a big powerful company taking advantage of small local governments that were “asleep at the wheel.”

As we continue to explore options to hopefully get some resolution to the utility pole mess that was created six years ago, I think it is time for some change in our local government and we need to consider people who have expertise dealing with large organizations, who have managed and coordinated agencies and staff and who have sophisticated, effective experience.

The Fish Hooks Party made up of Arthur “Tiger” Graham (running for mayor), David Driscoll (running for trustee) and Rose Brown (current trustee) are the team that is ready for the challenges that face East Hampton today. They are not the party promising everyone everything without serious solutions or the party trying to address major issues right before an election that have been neglected all along. Instead, Tiger, David and Rose have a clear plan and realistic approach of how to proceed forward. They have the experience and knowledge needed to deal with issues of today and they want progress for East Hampton but they want it done the right way and with local input.

I am concerned with preserving the beauty and natural surroundings of East Hampton as well as the well being and prosperity of our residents. I have friends and acquaintances in all three political parties and, as I have previously stated, respect everyone for running. However, we need to choose the best people for the job right now in 2020 and Tiger, David and Rose of The Fish Hooks Party are our best choices.

Election day is right around the corner on September 15th. Please visit the Fish Hook Party sites at fishhooksparty.org and on Facebook to learn more about Tiger and David. Take a look at their experience and knowledge and what their goals are for East Hampton. The questions and answers to the VPS interview of the trustee candidates are also worth reading.

Please remember to vote on Sept. 15!

Yours truly,

LYNNE YARDLEY BROWN

 

Changing Needs
East Hampton
August 21, 2020

To the Editor:

I write to state my unequivocal support for Arthur (Tiger) Graham for mayor and Dave Driscoll for village trustee. Messrs. Graham and Driscoll are by far the most qualified candidates for these posts particularly at this critical time in our community.

Covid-19’s ultimate impact on the Village of East Hampton will be a migration of many individuals and households to East Hampton Township on a more year-round basis than at any time since the East End’s rise as a summer destination. This transition requires mature leadership with a deep understanding of this development and its attendant needs.

For the past four months residents of the village have received a great deal of material about the three candidates. The candidacy of Jerry Larsen particularly concerns me, an individual who has sued the village, after receiving a very attractive financial settlement at the time of his “retirement.” following the trustees’ decision to not renew Mr. Larsen’s contract as chief of police due to conflicts of interest, clearly has questionable motives in seeking the position. Mr. Larsen does not pay village taxes as his primary residence is outside the village limits. His rental of an apartment on Newtown Lane appears very much to be a matter of short-term convenience.

Delivery of Mr. Larsen’s promises to the business community would result in East Hampton’s becoming another Coney Island — particularly in summer. It would not result in establishing the village as a resident-friendly place for the village’s residents on a year-round basis. While the days of Marley’s and the Five and Dime will not return, the promotion of unique local stores such as the Monogram Shop, Stevenson’s, and Bonne Nuit should be the core of the village shopping experience. With the growth of all-season residential presence, restaurants will thrive, but must simultaneously accommodate the fact that the village is a residential community in the first instance.

I also am appalled by Mr. Larsen’s use of the Police Benevolent Association in his campaign. In a village such as ours, the police force has no business being politicized. It is extraordinarily inappropriate.

Ms. Borsack and her running mates have been actively involved in village affairs for many years. Their campaign material would have one believe that they have been responsible for every initiative the village trustees have taken in recent years. Certainly they have been responsible for some, but in my judgment, new blood is required to address the changing needs of the community.

Since being elected to the village board three years ago, Mr. Graham, a full-time resident of the village since 2004 and a village taxpayer since 1983, has been in the forefront of many initiatives that are critical to the village’s future. These include the redesign of Herrick Park, improving the village wastewater system, and the introduction of responsible outdoor dining.

He served as the East Hampton Historical Society’s president for nine years, during which time the society’s funding was vastly improved. He led the restoration of the Moran House, relying on private funding without any recourse to any government sources. His wife, Katy, is the current secretary of the Village Preservation Society and was treasurer of the East Hampton Garden Club for 10 years. The essential point is that Tiger’s roots in, and commitment to, the village go very deep.

The strengths and achievements of Dave Driscoll with the New York Police Department are nothing less than extraordinary. Yet, like Tiger, he has deep roots and history in East Hampton. The opportunity village residents have to elect him to the village board should not be passed up.

I was born at Southampton Hospital in 1950 and have voted in East Hampton since I was first able, in 1972. I have known Katy Graham, whose ancestors were established in the community over 100 years ago, all my life, and Tiger for 40 years. Tiger not only has the highest level of integrity but also is a real visionary. There can be no question that he and Dave are best for the village: both the one we know and love and the one that faces a new future.

I would be delighted to answer any questions the Star’s readers have about Tiger. I can be reached at 917-971-9281.

Sincerely,

WALKER WAINWRIGHT

 

I Support Rick
East Hampton
August 24, 2020

To the Editor:

I have known Rick Lawler for many years. He is a man of integrity, honesty, and perseverance. Rick’s 35 years of police experience with the Suffolk County Police Department in numerous supervisory positions, this experience as a village trustee, and recent appointment to mayor are the reasons I support Rick for re-election as a trustee on the village board. Furthermore, his leadership, hard work, and dedication during the Covid pandemic have contributed to the low infection rate in our village.

Though I do not live in the village and cannot vote, we do own property there. He has shown that he is acutely aware of the burden facing our local businesses in the core hub of the commercial district. He has gone out of his way to support them in any reasonable way possible.

Sincerely,

MARJORIE DIAMOND

 

The Real Threats
Wainscott
August 24, 2020

Dear David,

Over the last few weeks, I have written in opposition to the proposed incorporation of Wainscott. This week, I write about the opportunity that the Town of East Hampton has to step up to its responsibilities to the citizens of Wainscott.

As noted in earlier correspondence, I see the incorporation drive as an expression of privilege by people who have not looked beyond the wrong reasons for incorporation, something you called out in your July 23 editorial. You recognize that the real threats to Wainscott’s future lie not on Main Street or Beach Lane but on and north of Route 27. These threats have either not been addressed at all by the proponents of incorporation or addressed only by cryptic slogans evoking images of a bucolic English countryside.

I don’t join the proponents in their efforts to defeat the wind project or to block affordable housing and think these are, at the very least, grossly inadequate reasons for incorporation. But even those in Wainscott who might be inclined to see these issues as good arguments for local control should seriously consider whether a new village would be prepared or fiscally able to deal with the issues that are the real threats to Wainscott’s future. I have seen nothing to suggest that it would be.

I have implicitly expressed confidence in the Town of East Hampton to deal with the big issues, particularly development issues, facing Wainscott. I do think, however, that you are fair in your editorial to ask whether the town will actually do so. Although it has adopted the Wainscott Hamlet Study, which provides a sound basis for dealing with the development of the sand pit, it has not yet enacted the zoning changes recommended by the study. Now that the development plan has been filed, the town should act to put in place the hamlet study’s recommended zoning changes that address not just the sand pit but also the commercial strip along Route 27. A fight will surely follow such zoning changes, but the town has the experience, expertise, and resources to prevail in that fight.

A concrete demonstration of commitment to Wainscott would also go a long way toward persuading those who may be uncertain about incorporation to see the wisdom of our casting our lots with the Town of East Hampton.

Sincerely,

JOHN HALL

 

Primary Goal
Wainscott
August 24, 2020

Dear David:

I write this in my private capacity, and not as a representative of the town or the town planning board, which I chair. My letter of last week, as transmitted to The Star, quoted the words of Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1643 (“No such speed limit . . . shall be established at less than 30 miles per hour”). When prepared for publication, the word “thirty” was changed to the numeric “30” but, due to a typographic error, the number appeared in the newspaper as “39.” Although I am sure that nobody could have seriously thought that the statute specified a 39 miles per hour maximum speed, thank you for acknowledging the error, and correcting it quickly in your online edition.

It is fair to observe that the animating force and primary goal of the Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott is to prevent a proposed electrical cable from landing at Beach Lane. The number-one reason for incorporating Wainscott, as listed on their website, is to: “Exercise all available power to influence the decision on whether Orsted can land its high-power electric cables in Wainscott when other less-impactful alternatives have now been identified and remain available.” Elsewhere, 100 percent of “Our Key Points” on the website relates to the proposed Beach Lane cable.

Other goals, such as “better control our local and school taxes” and “set and enforce lower speed limits in Wainscott” and “protect our unique agricultural heritage, better advocate for our local farmers, and preserve the unique, bucolic characteristics through more responsive zoning” are not attainable on the promised budget of under $300,000, assuming an incorporated Village of Wainscott could be certain to have influence or jurisdiction over these areas. These are, at best, window dressing for the paramount objective, which is to prevent the electrical cable from traveling under Beach Lane.

Now, let’s just assume that in the coming months, Wainscott is incorporated as a village, and let’s further assume that — somehow — an incorporated Village of Wainscott prevails in the myriad administrative processes and the certain-to-follow litigation, and the proposed cable landing at Beach Lane is thwarted. The question which proponents of incorporation must be prepared to answer is: Then what?

That answer must be (with apologies to Dick the Butcher): “First — Pay all the lawyers.” Certainly, proponents of incorporation are not naive enough to believe that Orsted, or any other company with the financial wherewithal to undertake a project as massive as that which is proposed, is going to simply fold up its windmills and sail away from the Beach Lane landing, merely because a new governmental entity has entered the fray.

The reality is that the only way in which an incorporated Village of Wainscott — or any other opponent of any aspect of Orsted’s proposal — can have any hope to prevent Orsted from going forward is to lawyer up and be prepared to fight. This is a fight that will take place in boardrooms and administrative agencies and, most likely, ultimately, in court — and probably more than one court. It is a fight that is likely to take years, and it is a fight with no certain outcome.

Now, to be clear: I am not saying this is a good fight or a bad fight or a fight worth having or a fight to be avoided. But an incorporated Village of Wainscott, and all of its residents, from Beach Lane all the way up to its boundary with the incorporated Village of Sag Harbor, will be required to bear the costs of that fight.

Yet, the proponents of incorporation make absolutely no mention, and avoid any conversation, about these legal expenses, which in the course of just one year will surely exceed the $300,000 annual cost, which they have claimed it will take to operate an entire incorporated Village of Wainscott.

Very truly yours,

SAMUEL KRAMER

 

Tilt at Windmills
Wainscott
August 18, 2020

Dear David,

What drives the Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott on their Quixotic quest, and to tilt at windmills? The proposed wind turbines off Montauk will be 50 miles from Wainscott Beach; they will not be visible from Beach Lane. The proposed transmission cable will be six feet under the road at Beach Lane; it will not be visible. The underground concrete vaults that they fear so much are constructed of the same concrete of every basement of every house on Beach Lane; they will not be visible.

The electricity from the wind turbines will provide power to 70,000 homes. How much diesel and gas would it take to produce that much electricity? If C.P.W. succeeds in their ill-conceived plan, they will deprive us on the East End of cleaner air and a cleaner ocean. Why are they doing this?

The water temperatures in the mid-Atlantic are as high as they have ever been. Death Valley, which is always hot, reached 130 degrees the other day. World temperatures for each decade over the past 50 years have been higher than in the previous decade. And yet C.P.W. keeps fighting against a cable that would be six feet under the road, 30 feet under the beach, and out of sight. (By the way, eight-and-a-half miles of water mains installed last year in Wainscott are six feet under our roads.)

By the end of Cervantes’s masterpiece, Don Quixote’s wits have returned and he is once again, “Quixano the Good.” I hope the same for Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott.

MICHAEL HANSEN

 

Slaves to Sin
Montauk
August 22, 2020

To The Star:

Why are there so many problems in our country today? So many people have turned their back on God. When you turn your back on God, you are turning your back on God’s laws, the Ten Commandments. Believe it or not, God’s laws give us the real freedom we need to live our lives with joy. When we reject the Ten Commandments, we become slaves to sin. The founding fathers of our country wrote that you could create the greatest system of self-government ever devised by man, which they did, but it would be of no good unless we have a society of citizens and elected representatives of virtue. In 1798, John Adams, the second president, pointed out that our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.

God bless America.

VINCENT BIONDO

 

Toxic Outputs
Noyac
August 25, 2020

Dear Editor,

Large, long-range jets now land frequently at KHTO. An older model Bombardier Global Express 6000 jet, configured for 19 passengers plus two crew, was a recent visitor. According to the manufacturer’s specifications, under best possible conditions to take off safely, a loaded Global 6000 requires 6,476 feet of runway — more than 2,000 feet longer than KHTO’s main runway (4,255 feet). Under best possible conditions to land safely, the manufacturer states maximum operating weight is 78,600 pounds. KHTO’s main runway has a weight-bearing cap of 60,000 pounds. Ergo, no surprise that KHTO’s runway is showing signs of wear, yet oversize aircraft have not been prevented from landing at East Hampton Airport.

Some large jets have been reconfigured to carry fewer passengers in luxurious comfort. The carbon footprint of passengers on a fully loaded private jet is enormous, but even with a lighter load and fewer passengers, the carbon footprint of each traveler is simply obscene. Long-range jets like Global 6000 can burn 500 gallons per hour in flight. Gulfstream G550s can burn over 650 gallons during the first hour of flight (newer models burn less). Burn rate varies, dependent upon aircraft, model, weather, weight, etc., but all aircraft emit the greatest amount of noxious substances at and within a few miles of the airport, when accelerating during takeoff and de-accelerating during landing, the two most dangerous phases of flight. The Village of East Hampton and hamlets of Wainscott and Northwest are well within the range of the very worst toxic outputs from all aircraft operations.

The Town of East Hampton is promoting the goal of reducing its carbon footprint. Meanwhile, local aviation proponents are urging the town to make way for even more numerous, dangerous, and health-threatening, carbon-producing jet operations at KHTO, suggesting that grasslands be paved to increase overnight parking for more jets, urging construction of a passageway to allow “special” passengers secure ground transit to their automobiles, i.e., to avoid coming into contact with lesser beings, and suggested additional paving for automobile parking to allow for future growth!

Proposing these expansionist upgrades is a group of volunteer airport advisers, who support keeping KHTO open. The pro-aviation crowd often identify themselves as “friends” of the airport, but have filed numerous lawsuits against the town and likely will again. The Federal Aviation Administration recently dropped its objections to the town using airport income to defend its interests at the 600-acre property and now agrees, as the courts did earlier, that airport income may be used to fight KHTO’s legal battles. That could open the way for the town to close KHTO in 2021, re-envision land use with safe sustainable practices that will focus on protection of our endangered aquifer, and benefit town residents. Or the town can keep KHTO open, primarily as a jetport that few East Hampton residents could afford to use and fewer want in their midst.

It’s time for East Hampton to stop enabling polluting aviation operations that daily imperil the health and well-being of all communities on the East End for the benefit of out-of-state corporations and a handful of egocentric airport users. Close KHTO in 2021.

Thank you,

PATRICIA CURRIE

 

Early Voting
Springs
August 16, 2020

Dear David,

For all those who are concerned about voting this year, I’ve gathered the following information:

The general election is Nov. 3. However, those registered to vote in Suffolk Country can vote early starting on Oct. 24, ending Nov. 1. Right now there is one early-voting poll site in East Hampton Town:

Windmill Village, 219 Accabonac Road in Springs.

Poll hours are:

Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 24 to 25, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 26, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 27, noon to 8 p.m.

Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 28 and 29, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 30, noon to 8 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 31 to Nov. 1, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

You can do early voting at any of the county’s early-voting sites. A complete, up-to-date list is available on the Suffolk County Board of Elections website. The Suffolk County Board of Elections needs more poll watchers and poll workers; then they might be able to set up additional sites for early voting and for the general election.

You can also vote by absentee ballot just to be sure. In that case your absentee ballot would be ignored if you happen to have voted in person as well. This is legal. They are also working on a way for you to be able to drop off your absentee ballot at any Suffolk County voting site. Those registered to vote outside of Suffolk County, such as in New York City, need to send their absentee ballots directly to their respective county boards of elections.

Hope this helps to alleviate some concerns about voting in this contentious time.

PEGGY BACKMAN

 

Something Tangible
East Hampton
August 24, 2020

Hi David,

Something happened last year when I went to vote in the primaries at the North Main Street firehouse. For the record, I have not missed an election in over 40 years. I came to find out that I was no longer on the voter rolls, no sign of my name or my street address for that matter. They handed me a paper ballot and told me to call the Board of Elections in Yaphank.

When I did contact them they said my vote was rejected due to the fact they have no date of birth for me. Okay. Gave them the information, and was promised a letter in the mail confirming I was registered. This was back in May. The letter did not come, but when I called I was in fact back on the roll. I asked why they thought this happened in the first place. No idea.

Weeks later, with all this news of the coming election and whether all our votes will be counted, I decided I wanted something tangible in my hand so when I vote in person, I have a Board of Elections, County of Suffolk, registration card, with a number! One phone call later, I was told to mail in a $5 check and within a week I had the card. The woman on the other end of the line was so pleasant and helpful; I asked her why she thought I was taken off the voter rolls. She asked if I forward my mail. Yes, for many years, with a start and stop date. According to her, if you forward your mail the government thinks you have moved and are no longer at your address. I have never seen this in all these years.

If you do forward your mail, you may want to call the Board of Elections at 631-852-4500, and to confirm all is well. This is not the year to not be able to vote.

Stay safe!

JANE E. LAPPIN

 

Absentee Ballots
Amagansett
August 20, 2020

Dear David:

Michelle Obama at the convention exhorted us to get our ballots and send them in, so I headed to Town Hall for info. They were closed because of Covid, so I called, and they told me to call the Board of Elections in Yaphank. No one there answered the phone. My friend suggested Lee Zeldin’s office. They told me they could not distribute applications for absentee ballots and gave me the phone number of Lavalle’s office. I got no answer at that number.

All of this was truly discouraging, and made me despair that the November election will represent the full voice of America. Later in the day I received a voice-mail message from Lee Zeldin’s office telling me they had mailed me the application. Hopefully I’ll get the application and the subsequent ballot and my vote will be counted.

Utah mails ballots to every registered voter. Wish New York did.

KATHLEEN MCCORMACK

 

Mail-In Ballots
Springs
August 23, 2020

Dear David:

He even fooled me. Remember when our congressman, Lee Zeldin, wrote to House leadership expressing his support for the Postal Service and criticizing tactics that would politicize the U.S.P.S.? I was so taken aback that I contacted his office, thanking him for being on the right side for once. I should have known better. How many times have I written urging readers to disregard what he does for publicity, and instead watch what he does behind closed doors in Congress? True to form, Mr. Zeldin’s letter, too, was just a head fake. And he got me.

Last week, House Democrats introduced the Delivering for America Act. Among other things, the bill would appropriate $25 billion in 2020 for the postal service fund, which would remain available until expended. Importantly, the U.S.P.S. would be required to reverse any policies that would cause delay in processing, delivery, or cause the nondelivery of mail. It would end the removal of any mail collection box available to the public. Additionally, it prohibits the U.S.P.S. from treating election mail as any class of mail other than first class, regardless of whether such treatment requires payment of overtime pay to officers or employees of the U.S.P.S. And, since the November election will be largely an election by mail-in ballots, the bill would require that the U.S.P.S. postmark any mail-in ballot the day it is received by the U.S.P.S.

So, given his letter to House leadership, one would assume that Mr. Zeldin would gladly support such a measure, right? Well, once again, you would be wrong. He voted against the bill. But it passed anyway.

The fact that the bill passed is, to be sure, good news. But, that’s not the point: Since when can our elected representative to Congress find blatant lying to his constituents to be conduct befitting his office? Every one of us should find that his penchant for dishonesty and deceit disqualifies him to serve in Congress.

Remember in November!

Sincerely,

BRUCE COLBATH

 

Sowed Discord
Springs
August 24, 2020

Dear David:

The past three and a half years have been a master class in the havoc that can be wrought when a president is constrained by neither truth nor decency. Starting with the size of his inauguration crowd, it’s been brazen lie after brazen lie (20,000 and counting), and a never-ending assault on the rule of law.

He has sought to end health-care coverage for millions of Americans (and continues to do so during a pandemic), encouraged violence against journalists and political opponents, attempted to extort the president of Ukraine, re-tweeted preposterous and vile QAnon conspiracy theories, actively sown discord whenever he thinks it’s to his political advantage, and most recently he installed an unqualified lackey to sabotage the U.S. Postal Service. The list goes on and on.

But Trump couldn’t have inflicted so much damage on his own; he needed help from those willing to excuse his corruption and incompetence, and in that respect, our congressional representative, Lee Zeldin, has been a standout. Parroting any number of the president’s ridiculous talking points — from how confessed felon General Flynn has been treated unfairly to decrying that Lt. Col. Vindman “is no martyr” (No, he’s a Purple Heart recipient who served his country for 20 years and came forward when he witnessed wrongdoing), to lauding the president’s “phenomenal” handling of the coronavirus. Zeldin is an embarrassment.

Nancy Goroff, a distinguished scientist with years of experience tackling difficult problems and finding solutions, is running against Zeldin in November. The choice is ours. Do we want a sycophant who has spent the better part of his last two terms supporting the worst instincts of a dangerous president, or a woman who will represent and fight for the interests of her constituents with dignity and intelligence?

Sincerely,

CAROL DEISTLER

 

Uncalled For
Springs
August 22, 2020

Dear David,

It seems the word of the century is racist. When you don’t like what someone says, or disagree with, call them a racist.

What I mean when I say there is no info about ex-President Obama, clearly his school records under the name of Barry are not found, or sealed. No marriage certificate and no birth of their children. There are school records of Michelle Obama at Princeton. Someone else brought up his birth certificate, and I only answered it.

However, calling someone a racist is so uncalled for. Ask my friends, they are African-Americans. Herschel Walker made a statement: “Stop throwing the word around, not needed.”

In God and country,

BEA DERRICO

 

­Systemic Racism
East Hampton
August 23, 2020

To The Star:

At the end of World War II the government passed the G.I. Bill of Rights, which enabled returning G.I.s and people who worked in the war effort to go to college free, get low-interest loans to buy homes, and a plethora of benefits to thank them for their service. The G.I. Bill has long been considered the primary stimulus that initiated the American middle class.

In keeping with the times and our history, Black soldiers were excluded from almost all of these benefits. They could go to war and die for their country, but they would remain second or third-class citizens. This is a tiny example of 400 years of a very special treatment. This is the basis of Black Lives Matter.

In its simplest form we have always been and continue to be virulently racist. While the form changed over time, the essential nature of our racism remains constant and consistently harsh. There is no question about this truth. It is who we were, who we are, and who we will continue to be until we decide to be otherwise.

When the Montauk Brewing Company put up a B.L.M. sign it was a clear and direct message that the owners believe that it is time to talk about this issue. It would be easy to have added that if you don’t understand what B.L.M. means then you are an ignorant, brain-dead racist piece of white trash. But that wasn’t on the sign even though in many cases it’s probably true.

What Montauk Brewing Company clearly and unambiguously stated is that it supports the U.S. Constitution and the belief that all people are created equal. This may be the most challenging principle for some of the American people, but it should be applauded and not disparaged. B.L.M. exists because this principle isn’t even remotely true.

The issue of violence around the B.L.M. movement is also unambiguously clear. Racism, especially systemic racism, is one of the most extreme types of violence. It may not involve lynching or blowing up churches, but it is analogous to having your head held under water for your entire life, obligating you to grow gills as a means of adaptation. Violence against African-Americans has gone on for so long that we no longer consider it to be violence, simply business as usual.

Violence always begets violence and what we see happening in our cities is a prime example. It is inexcusable, and should be unacceptable, but it is unfair to hold these violent actors to a higher standard then the supporters of systemic racism. End all the violence: Don’t cherry-pick what makes your political side happy.

The economic violence of Defund Montauk Brewing Company is hardly subtle. If you are against racism in our country, you give up your right to make a living. Believing in the Constitution is now a criminal act. The transference of criminality is the new Jim Crow.

The police, the courts, and the prisons are the apparatus that sustains systemic racism. They are the front-line troops who are carrying out orders. Defunding the police is not about getting rid of our police departments, but about rethinking how to make them work better. Minneapolis had done a huge police-retraining program a few years ago, but it didn’t save George Floyd. Certainly, a problem exists?

We have always had an unexposed problem of transference in our economic model. Slavery was clearly the American idea, and we have worked assiduously since its legal end to maintain an economic system that embodies those ideas. Throughout our history workers have been treated as badly as possible, except for a short lapse lasting from World War II and 1980. (The collapse of working-class America between 1980 and 2020 is simply a return to normal.) If it was possible to debase and exploit one segment of the population (Blacks), it was logical to expand that exploitation as widely as possible.

So the call of B.L.M. for fair and honest treatment is also a call for better treatment for everyone in the country. Not knowing who is screwing you has always been a problem for most Americans. Black people never had that problem.

So for the guys from Montauk Brewing Company, thanks for having the courage to say that systemic racism needs to be dealt with. For the defund Montauk Brewing Company people, you probably need to get off Facebook and read some U.S. history. The world is often not how we think it is. Need to get your shit together.

NEIL HAUSIG


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