March 12, 2021
The village board is eliminating the position of office manager at Main Beach. In doing so they may be saving money; however, they are losing a valuable asset. Rose Lawler Kerin has been working at the Main Beach for over 26 years, and that experience is priceless.
I taught Rose at the Middle School when she was in seventh grade, shortly before she applied for the job of beach attendant. In class she was intelligent, diligent, thoughtful, kind, and friendly. She carried these traits to her job at Main Beach. Rose was, and is, a “people person.” She is exactly the type of person that you want to have dealing with the public, and these are the people that the village board serves.
There were times I asked the beach managers, “How is Rose doing?” Their reply was, “Rose is great; she really knows how to deal with people, in a good way.” People would come off the beach with a question or complaint, and Rose would greet them with a smile and would try to solve whatever problem they might have or point them in the right direction.
After 26 years at Main Beach, Rose must have seen it all. She was there to help as well as to carry out her jobs in the office. The village may save some money, but it will be hard to replace her knowledge and her smile.
I have seen former boards acknowledge their employees’ service to the village. The least the board could have done was to publicly thank her for her dedication and service to our community. I for one will miss her at the window at Main Beach.
GARY W. ZAY
A Weekly Plan
East Hampton Village
March 14, 2021
In lieu of the proposed sale of monthly beach parking permits, may I suggest a weekly permit plan that would be more profitable for the village and more equitable for renters?
Most monthly rentals occur over 30 days that often span two months. For example, June rentals often include Memorial Day, and August might be through Labor Day. In both cases, at $300 a month, the renter would need to spend $600 to cover their rental period — more than the current cost of the entire season. A weekly permit would not only be more equitable for such renters, but would increase the village’s revenue from the projected $450,000 to $760,000 annually.
A weekly (Monday to Sunday) beach permit could be $80, with the 500 maximum number available for each week — the same number of permits proposed under the monthly scheme. This way more renters would be able to purchase a permit aligned with their visits. If all were purchased, the village would realize incremental revenue of $760,000, not $450,000. This weekly scheme also allows for adjusting daily parking inventory based on the number of unsold weekly stickers.
Before moving forward with any scheme, there are additional questions requiring further investigation. How many daily permits constitute the “substantial” reduction referenced by Mr. Baladron. What will be the timing be of the distribution plan? How far in advance can permits be bought? Will the number of weeks be limited?
The current daily parking permit is available for a fee at Main and Two Mile Hollow Beaches. I suggest the permits under consideration be applied in the same manner. Wiborg’s, Egypt, and Georgica already have limited and unattended parking. By including these beaches, personnel will need to be reallocated or increased for enforcement, reducing the net revenue to the village.
March 12, 2021
On the first sign of spring, with the temperature breaching 60 degrees, it was wonderful to sit outdoors in the sunshine and listen to the pleasant sounds of chirping birds. This was rudely interrupted by the howl of leaf blowers in the garden of a neighboring home (whose owners only appear a few times per year). I watched as a few leaves were blown back and forth, while a cloud of dust, accompanied by noxious fumes, wafted toward me.
This reminded me that we will all have to undergo yet another season of ear-shattering noise and pollution. The question is why haven’t our elected officials — after so many seasons — done anything to rein in this intrusion on our well being?
Team Human Services
March 15, 2021
While many of us thought that the shutdown last March to “flatten the curve” would be temporary, we soon learned that the global pandemic would not only change much about our daily lives but would cause a great deal of pain and loss for far too many people. One of the silver linings from the last 12 months has been the extraordinary work of the town’s Department of Human Services under the creative and nimble leadership of Diane Patrizio, the director, as her department was laser focused on keeping our senior citizens home and safe.
It was on March 10, 2020, that the Department of Human Services quickly pivoted from being a meal program where seniors gathered together each weekday at noon to a home delivery service providing five frozen meals each week.
From March 10, 2020, through March 11, 2021, the town’s Human Services Department delivered over 67,000 meals and prepared more than 70,000 meals. In addition, they picked up and delivered hundreds of prescriptions and made over 10,000 wellness calls to 800 seniors.
Now each town employee works within a job title and duty statement as ascribed by the Civil Service system. To respond to the needs posed by the pandemic, Human Services staff quickly expanded their responsibilities beyond their titles and duties as they took on new roles and responsibilities. In a tight kitchen with inadequate freezer space at first, staff went from preparing 1,300 meals in March 2020 to preparing more than four and a half times that many meals in April. Their jobs, which have always been more like a calling for them, truly became essential. When a need arose, they worked as a team and figured out how to address that need, discovering their own hidden talents and the hidden talents of their co-workers.
This past year has been both challenging and fulfilling for the 25 members of the department. Under Diane’s leadership, the staff grew as individuals, as a department, and as members of a team — Team Human Services. By focusing their efforts on the needs of others, they were able to channel their energy and talents to address the critical needs of vulnerable community members. And we are mighty grateful to the members of the Human Services Department for their commitment, their grit, and their service.
Deputy Supervisor and
Liaison to Human Services
P.S. If you know of someone in need, please reach out to the town’s Department of Human Services, at 631-329-6939.
March 15, 2021
Words cannot express the depth and breadth of gratitude to everyone who played a part in bringing and administering the Covid-19 vaccine to East Hampton residents. Everyone involved worked tirelessly before and during the vaccination events.
To the administration and staff of Stony Brook Hospital, to East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc, Councilman David Lys, and the entire town board. To the East Hampton police and traffic officers who were so helpful and patient guiding the endless traffic. And to the beautiful, joyful, selfless volunteers who were awe inspiring, a heartfelt “thank you.” The spirit of community and caring engendered in the gathering of extraordinary people provided as great a sense of well being as the vaccination itself!
A Key Cog
March 15, 2021
I just read the East Hampton Press article about Thomas Sessa, the unsung hero of the East Hampton vaccine distribution. In a chance encounter and as a persistent altruist, Mr. Sessa pursued the town as a medical data specialist. He and his wife helped the town set up a vaccination center at the vacant school on Stephen Hand’s Path. This couple is to be thanked for all their efforts in setting up the vaccination site, and watching many get their Covid-19 shots through their efforts, built for the town’s online hub.
Mr. Sessa and his wife built the data collection portal that his company, Datanomy Group, uses to help hospitals care for patients better. The vaccination portal ehtownvaccine.org went live on March 2 and in two days was used to contact 200 seniors for vaccinations who were able to get shots and another 1,000 who were offered appointments the next day. Mr. Sessa’s site was a key cog in the vaccination effort, which required a vast database of names, numbers, and eligibility for gathering information from each vaccine recipient.
This town has Mr. Sessa and his wife, Dayna, to thank for all their efforts in the vaccinations getting into East Hampton residents’ arms and the donation of all their time and experience to set up the vaccinations. They are truly unsung heroes and should be applauded!
Leadership Like This
March 8, 2021
Thank you to Peter Van Scoyoc for his focus on bringing the vaccine to East Hampton. This is a challenge in these times of limited vaccine access, and the town board’s persistence has paid off.
In addition, Peter’s reasoned decision on the petition to incorporate Wainscott is in the best interest of the Town of East Hampton, as well as the hamlet of Wainscott. With leadership like this, East Hampton is in good hands.
JEREMIAH T. MULLIGAN
March 15, 2021
To the Editor,
These are interesting times we live in! Governor Cuomo has cooked the books in a politically motivated attempt to hide from the public the tragic loss of life in nursing homes caused by his executive order. Then there is the fiasco roll-out of the Covid vaccines, the disastrous effects of the state’s economic shutdown of businesses and schools that defied science and common sense, and now to top it off, after seven accusers came forward, with more anticipated, Governor Cuomo had joined the list of sexual deviants who have used their elected position as a conduit for sexual predation.
Kudos to the many Democrats, including State Senate Leader Stewart Cousins, State Assembly leader Heastie, and U.S. Senator Schumer, who have all forcibly demanded that Cuomo resign. The reality is that at their level of political engagement it is a complex and challenging decision: Each of these Democratic leaders displayed the type of leadership needed to enable other Democrats to come forward.
Interestingly, the total inability and refusal to demand that Cuomo resign by the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee and elected town Democratic officials and candidates, one of whom is the committee chairwoman, is telling. The East Hampton Democratic Committee has made it clear that party allegiance is the singular most important trait in their recent nominations, and not to disappoint, even after The East Hampton Star called for Cuomo’s resignation, our local Democratic leadership maintained lockstep allegiance to a governor accused of sexual misconduct and crimes.
The East Hampton Town Republican Committee has nominated a slate of candidates that include Republicans and Democrats. The committee priorities in selection: value leadership, personal investment in our community, professional accomplishment in all of our candidates. Not on the list, a political doctrine to a national plan and allegiance to a sexual predator corrupt governor.
This year, the choice is clear: Vote the current town board that supports a corrupt criminal governor or bring integrity and ethical conduct to East Hampton Town Hall by voting for Kenneth I. Walles, supervisor, George B. Aman, councilman, and Joseph B. Karpinski, councilman.
If you want to make a difference to move East Hampton forward for all its residents instead of the chosen, we want you to come to join us to help make the town government responsible and responsive. If you are interested in a better East Hampton regardless of your political party affiliation, contact me at 631-324-0528 and screen for the open positions.
East Hampton Town
Such Cute Outfits
March 14, 2021
In response to Larry and Betty Smith’s letter of last week, they claim the Democratic committee did not endorse certain incumbent candidates because others showed more enthusiasm during the interviewing process. I was not privy to those interviews, so I have to take their word for that being the reason, albeit with a few grains of salt.
I have nothing against the candidates selected, and enthusiasm is important. Cheerleaders at sporting events can really get the fans excited, and they wear such cute outfits too. But it is the players who slug it out on the field and on the courts. They have a strategy and the game plan in mind. They use their skills and talents to get the job done and win.
So when it comes to candidates for office, I would prefer serious, knowledgeable, experienced, hard-working “players” like Jeff Bragman and Rick Drew on the team, not cheerleaders. But to each his own.
If it’s enthusiastic cheerleading they claim the Democratic committee looks for, I assume you and others may have secretly voted for the ultimate cheerleader. That being the guy who really knew how to whip up a crowd, but nearly destroyed democracy in the process: Donald Trump. However, I suspect some Democratic committee members place even greater value on unquestioning loyalty than enthusiasm. Am I right? Isn’t that what Mitch McConnell demanded of his conscience-lacking minions in the Senate?
Is it possible the “coaches” on the Democratic committee have been referencing the wrong playbook?
March 14, 2021
Because recent news articles, an editorial, and letters to the editor contain misinformation about the East Hampton Democratic Committee, a refresher course in local Civics 101 is in order:
Who are the members of the East Hampton Democratic committee? We are teachers, small-business owners, community organizers, an architect, a winemaker, artists, a web designer, a filmmaker, attorneys, a decorated veteran, activists, real estate agents, insurance agents — all of whom live, work, and volunteer in our town from Wainscott to Montauk. We are elected in a primary election every two years by registered Democratic voters who elect two committee members for each of the 19 election districts in East Hampton. The committee is one of 10 subcommittees of the Suffolk County Democratic committee and we are bound by its by-laws to nominate candidates for local office. This is our responsibility, which we take seriously.
How do we make our selections? First, we place ads in local papers that we are seeking qualified candidates for those offices that are up for election in November, i.e., supervisor, town council, trustees, town clerk, etc. Next, we arrange individual interviews with each and every respondent to the ads to meet with the entire committee to present themselves as a candidate. Current officeholders must also meet with the committee if they wish to seek nomination. This is comparable to a job interview where you introduce yourself, share your qualifications, and explain why the committee members should support your candidacy.
If you are a current officeholder, you would also describe your accomplishments during the present term and what you like to accomplish if you are re-elected. After the presentation there is a Q. and A. with the committee members. The committee spends many hours interviewing all the interested parties.
Prior to the nominating convention, committee members may receive direct calls from those candidates who wish to reach out to seek support. Also, members have conversations among themselves, discussing their impressions and reactions to those individuals who interviewed.
The last step is the committee’s nominating convention at which the members put into nomination their choice for each office. Each nomination must be seconded. And after nominations for each office are closed, there is a roll call vote; the winner is the nominee who receives the most votes. It is an orderly process. The specifics of what a person says during the interview are confidential.
To correct the misinformation, Jeff Bragman’s presentation to the committee made it clear that he was not interested in being renominated to the town board. Mr. Bragman did not ask any member of the committee to nominate him and to no one’s surprise, no one did. It should also be noted that a news story was released prior to the nominating convention, stating that the committee rejected him. The Democratic committee did not “throw Councilman Jeff Bragman overboard,” rather Mr. Bragman threw himself “under the bus” to create a narrative.
The trustee vote was a very different story. A highly qualified new candidate made an excellent presentation to the committee that generated significant support from the members. Ten names for the nine slots were put into nomination. For the first time ever, we had more names than positions for the trustee board.
During the roll call vote, some committee members announced the names of each of the nine candidates they voted for, while others, in an effort to expedite a time-consuming repetitious process, voted for all candidates “except for” and then named the person they were not voting for. This did not change the result of the vote. We apologize for not insisting that each committee member state the name of each of the nine candidates they voted for.
The final step in the process is the collection of Democratic voter signatures on Democratic designating petitions, which are then filed with the Suffolk County Board of Elections for the placement of candidates on the ballot for the June 22, 2021, primary election. Ready now for the pop quiz?
East Hampton Town
March 15, 2021
East Hampton’s Town’s recent climate emergency declaration hopefully will help those supporting environmental degradation by aviation emissions to finally connect the dots. Emissions from aviation are forecast, in the coming years, to overtake emissions from all other sectors of the transportation industry. A frightening forecast.
Already this year at KHTO, East Hampton Airport, jet operations rose 290 percent in January and 88 percent in February, compared to pre-pandemic 2020 flights. Those jaw-dropping jet statistics were provided by airport management. Smaller turboprop aircraft operations showed triple digit increases in each of those two months.
Believe air traffic at the local jetport will begin to lessen as pandemic panic recedes? Think again. The environmentally-insensitive passengers flying in charter or private jets and other aircraft are not about to give up what they believe they are entitled to — to fly in comfort and at their convenience and ignore their carbon footprint and the menace their journeys pose to residents’ safety and health and to the environment.
If you have any doubt that the residents of East Hampton, not to mention its neighbors, would benefit from a transformation of the town property that now operates as a carbon-enabling facility at the edge of the village, please visualize what 51.5 million pounds of black carbon look like. That’s a conservative estimated amount of carbon dumped annually over Long Island by nonessential private air travel to KHTO in 2019.
100 Percent Goal
East Hampton Village
March 14, 2021
Thank you again, Chris Walsh. Your government reporting continues to demonstrate how best to utilize your fundamental awareness of the climate change impact on this coastal community. The March 11 article on the town board’s unanimous March 4 vote for a “climate emergency declaration” provides a complete report on this dramatic government legislative decision.
In addition to town board legislative actions, the many articles you have penned certainly help to raise community awareness on escalating climate threats. We need both as the town continues to strive for the 100 percent goal, another town board dramatic decision in 2014, to replace fossil fuels for 100 percent clean energy resources by 2030 in all sectors (electricity, heating, and transportation).
As a member of the New York State Climate Smart Communities beginning in 2009, the town’s 2015 Climate Action Plan was produced as an educational tool to raise community climate awareness and generate a sense of urgency. It was the beginning of a process that continues today. The 2021 Climate Action Plan will continue, as a climate smart community, to strive to meet the 100 percent goal developing a road map in accordance with the climate emergency resolution and to offer the residential community a mitigation checklist for its role in the elimination of fossil fuels.
East Hampton continues to move forward in challenging the climate impacts in our own backyard and setting a leadership role in the state and nation. Thank you, East Hampton!
Wasteland of Deceit
March 13, 2021
The difference between where we are as a nation today and where we were four years ago could not be starker. Four years ago, a new president spoke of ending what he saw as “the American carnage.” Four years later, that administration ended with the president leaving America for dead as he engineered and then cheered the riotous assault on the very foundation of our democracy. Throughout his four years, Trump basked in the creation of cultural strife and moral decay as the embodiment of his perverse notion of growth. Consequently, the victim of the carnage Trump spoke of literally became America itself.
The carnage that Trump wrought upon America harkens back to the Arthurian myth of the Fisher King. Recall that the Fisher King’s authority had been eviscerated by a compulsion for wealth, an aristocratic and narcissistic lifestyle, and a dependence on fealty from those for whom he lacked respect. As a result of this perfidy and immorality, the Fisher King was rendered impotent, his lands infertile and drought-stricken. It was only the arrival and dedication of a pure-hearted stranger that would allow the land to become fertile again.
This is the modern America Trump left us: a society and body politic reduced to a wasteland of deceit, meanness, and division, with sycophants of our Fisher King driven to maintaining this wasteland only for their own selfish gain. In this paralysis, the nation has lost its fertility, suffering from a spiritual and psychic wound that threatens a death spiral.
How do we fix this broken society? By regaining spiritual and psychological enlightenment and making peace with our demons. That is far easier said than done. But one can see a potential first step in President Biden’s March 11 address to the nation. Reaching out to all Americans, President Biden broke with our Fisher King and asked for all of us to cast aside the political demons that have beset our way forward. Instead of strife, he asked all of us to put our noses to the grindstone and work together collectively to right the American ship. We should all heed his call.
Our elected leaders too have a responsibility in this fight: it is to shuck the partisan divide and do their jobs. No better example of the abandonment of their collective responsibility can be found than in the unprincipled opposition by virtually the entire congressional Republican contingent to the president’s pandemic relief plan. Through this amoral opposition, they placed politics over the collective good of the citizenry they swore to protect; and, had they been successful, their antics would have accomplished little more than the continuation of our societal and economic misery — perpetuating the Fisher King’s wasteland.
In less than two years, we get to choose whether to side with the democracy the Biden administration promises or the perpetuation of an amorally selfish wasteland. To me, the answer is clear.
March 15, 2021
The weekly writer who loves France in his letter calls Americans cheapskates, greed mongers, penny pinchers, and reprobates. We may be different from every other industrialized country in the world. We could be like this for a variety of reasons. The minimum wage is not what sets apart employers from criminality. F.Y.I., this so-called increase in minimum wage will not take effect immediately. It will take a matter of years.
I was, at one time, owner of a small business with student employees. We treated them fairly. When business was good, they received bonuses. Why is it so hard to understand when the money is not there, you must automate and dismiss your staff? The other incident would be fire all staff and close. In this manner you lose your life savings, everything you worked hard for.
Studies don’t always have the correct answers. Poverty has always been here, and one way to remove the human race from poverty is to stop using government money the wrong way. Look at Baltimore, it’s a mess, has always been a mess, and where is the money that was funded to this state? Government, particularly Democrats, need to answer for their spending.
In God and country,
March 15, 2021
To the Editor,
I wonder if Nancy Pelosi thinks it would be a crisis if all the people crossing our southern border were voting Republican?
God bless America,
March 15, 2021
It is curious that in the past week Democrats have come out of the woodwork calling for Andrew Cuomo to step down as governor, each one more pious, self-absorbed, and obnoxiously repugnant. One would think they were trying to emulate their Republican political mates. Yet, while it is impossible to sink that low they are giving it their best shot.
Should Cuomo step down or not isn’t really the question. Cuomo, by many standards, is a pig, egotistical, self-serving, abusive, bullying, and disrespectful. But by our political norms he’s simply normal. In a world where the bar has been set so low that it has essentially disappeared, how do we attempt to judge Cuomo?
Calling in Trump as the standard makes us barless. He defies every norm of repugnance, criminality, and repulsion and remains heroic. Trump and his Republican cohorts are who we are as a people. How can we possibly talk about Cuomo in any serious manner?
When Reagan illegally armed the Contras in Nicaragua he directly caused the deaths of several hundred thousand people. He bowed his head and said that he lied. Didn’t apologize. No one asked him to step down.
When Nixon scuttled the Paris peace talks during the Vietnam War to help his election, he extended the war six more years. Wasn’t considered a big deal at the time. He easily won re-election in 1972.
When Gingrich was caught in a motel with his girlfriend while his wife was dying of cancer in the hospital next door. Zippo. See him on Fox heroically talking about the stolen election.
The Cuomo story is pathetic. Does being a bully and a schmuck make him too toxic to govern? Are we a bunch of whining wankers? Is there a reasonable path to find justice for the abused women? Who really cares?
Are Schumer and Gillibrand coming out against him sufficient reason for him not to go? We appear to be deep in the muck where we have been wallowing since our inception. Cuomo could solve the immediate problem by stepping down but the roots of this issue require a national conversation.
We need to establish a code by which people are treated and respected. Politicians need to understand that power doesn’t give them more freedom but puts them under the microscope.