February 23, 2021
This past week, the Ladies Village Improvement Society announced its choice for their very first executive director. Its choice is unexpected and disappointing.
In its announcement it hailed his community ties (a man who doesn’t live in our community but apparently has amazing connections dating all the way back to the early 1900s (cough, cough), and seemed to highlight the fact that he wasn’t in fact, a woman. Interesting choice for a civic organization 125 years old that gave women a place in community decisions where women might not have had a voice before — an organization formed before women even had the right to vote in our country.
We live in a world that is still rife with systemic sexism, which also includes very subtle sexism. “What if he’s more qualified?” “There’s no reason a man can’t lead a women’s organization.” “If men and women are equal what’s the big deal?” These are all questions that I have been asked when I posted this announcement on social media. So here is my response.
I find it very hard to believe that out of all the candidates who applied for this position he was the most qualified. If an organization has the word “ladies” in it one would assume that they would want a “lady” to help run their organization as hundreds of ladies have done now for 125 years without fail. Otherwise why not change the mission, the title of their organization, and start from there? Equality does not mean equity — a fact that has become abundantly clear this year to me in so many ways.
In a town with such a storied history as East Hampton, we still have so far to go to ensure equity within our community, whether it be by race or sex or class, and this is an unfortunate example of how much more work needs to be done to ensure we are at the very least moving toward that goal.
Tired of the fight for equity,
AMANDA S. JONES
Role Was Vital
East Hampton Village
March 1, 2021
To know me is to know that I loved my job at Main Beach. I started in 1995 when I was 14, under the-then beach manager, Jennifer Tarbet. Over my 26 years, I got to see the same look in countless new hires that I had at that age — the look of someone in awe that they were joining a special group who got to proudly say they were a part of the village family. For that is what we were there: a family.
On Feb. 5 in an executive session, which is closed to the public, Marcos Baladron presented the board with a recommendation to eliminate the office staff for village beaches. This included myself and two other employees, as well as an assistant beach manager. He claims to have made this decision after thorough discussions with Jaime Tulp, the beach manager hired in 2019. On Feb. 11, I received a phone call from Jamie telling me my job as office manager no longer existed.
To say I’m deeply hurt that not a single board member or the mayor, who all know me well (bar Ms. Melendez, whom I’ve never met) and knew of my dedicated service to the beach and the village, would not take a moment to get my input on what eliminating the office would truly mean for beach operations — well it would be an understatement of highest proportions.
And yet, because of my many years involved with the village (both as an employee and as a village resident), it should not come as a surprise to me how this played out. I know full well that often politics and rivalries get in the way of simple humanity. There is no other explanation for why I wasn’t consulted on this when the majority of those involved have known me for many years and know my character. If this is how decades-long loyal employees are treated by this new administration, it is a very sad thing indeed for the future of East Hampton Village.
With all of that said, I’m very concerned with the incorrect information Mr. Baladron was quoted as saying in last week’s Star article. I cannot tolerate untruths about a job I took very seriously.
“Mr. Baladron said Ms. Kerin’s description of her duties was outdated because Jamie Tulp, the current beach manager, handles scheduling and payroll. ‘She certainly did those tasks prior to Jamie Tulp arriving a couple years ago, but not anymore’, he said.”
Jamie Tulp did not handle payroll; as beach manager, Jamie signed all payroll sheets but that is the extent to which he “handled” it. At no time in his two years there did he spend the hours filling out payroll sheets or check every single day to make sure that every employee signed in and out properly or deal with the numerous mathematical issues that arose from giving employees higher pay rates before they were given board approval. All payroll was handled by me — and any beach employee can attest to that fact over the past two years.
As for scheduling, this was not a task that Jamie handled either. In 2019, the office scheduled the lifeguards, and Diane O’Donnell and Lisa Farbar, both assistant managers, scheduled the beach attendants. In 2020, the lifeguards were put in charge of their own scheduling, however there were so many problems, as so often schedules were not followed, and it was myself and the office who checked every single day to correct these discrepancies.
Knowing how important having accurate daily schedules of where lifeguards were assigned so that Covid protocols could be followed, we checked to make sure that those that were assigned to work were actually there and had signed in properly. To make sure that no one worked too many days in a row without a day off, as no one gets paid overtime at the beach. I took on this responsibility, as the managers were rarely concerned unless it was brought to their attention. As for beach attendants, when there were any issues with scheduling, most often the kids would come to me to deal with it.
I don’t know where Mr. Baladron received his information regarding my role and responsibilities but clearly, it was inaccurate and one would think whomever he spoke to had not been at Main Beach very much to think that all I or the office did was count money and issue parking permits.
There have been letters to The Star from people that have actually worked at the beach for many years, as they listed just some of the multiple reasons why my role was vital and just how much I added to the reputation of Main Beach being voted among the best in the country, none of which were about parking.
I am hoping that this can serve as a lesson for the board, both new and old members, for the new mayor and administrator. Do your research. Never take things at face value without digging deeper and going to the source. Know that for every line on the budget, there is a person, or multiple persons, who will be affected by your decisions. This is not Washington, D.C., where a politician, with the stroke of a pen, can make major changes without having to see the faces of the people it affects. This is East Hampton, a tiny place that, for those of us that have been born and raised in it, is incredibly special. You went to school with these people, you have family dinners with them, you see them at the grocery store, at restaurants, at funerals, at weddings. There is no hiding behind politics or “it was a simple budgetary decision.”
Decency and respect should not take a back seat to how the village operates. When someone, who is a friend to many on the board and has been loyal to the village for well over two decades, is treated as something so easily thrown away without so much as a thank you, it is a sign that you are forgetting what this small village is about.
It is the people that make this place what it is. Without the local people, we are just another resort town, lumped in with all others as “the Hamptons,” a term I’ve always hated, as each town is so different and I take great pride in being from this particularly unique one, East Hampton.
ROSE LAWLER KERIN
Replaced by App?
February 25, 2021
Although I no longer reside in the beautiful town of East Hampton, I do receive The Star in the mail — not always on time — but still news to us when we receive it. Recently I have been reading about many changes in the village: the sewer issue, parking issues, and changes at Main Beach.
This new parking app? There are a few of us over 55 who would not know how to use this! And second, one must own a smartphone! What about those of us who still use a flip-phone? We will not be able to park. Please take a moment to think about this. What is a senior citizen to do? What if you accidently leave your phone at home?
Second, the new parking proposal for Newtown Lane: This will have the traffic backed up to the railroad station and down North Main Street. They say this was done many years ago and it worked. East Hampton did not have the influx of people or cars back in those days (in the 1940s).
I would also be concerned about the outdoor dining areas that are close to the curb. Someone could accidently put their car into drive, instead of reverse, and create a catastrophe. It happened just last year at the market on Race Lane.
Lastly, Main Beach has been rated as one of the top beaches in the country. This was my beach of choice since the early 1960s. I can remember calling the beach to find out the color of the flag and the water temperature. Over the years, many cheerful and helpful people answered the phone in the beach office. I can recall Will Strong, Hazel McGuirk, Katie Babcock, Fred Yardley, Jim McCourt, Chris Tracey, Ed McDonald, and Rose Lawler just to name a few. One of them was always at the window to greet people, answer the phone, answer questions, give directions, explain the parking regulations, handle emergencies, and so on. Recently I have read that the most recent manager, Rose Lawler, was let go for no apparent reason and she will be replaced by a parking app? This is ludicrous!
Rose is a local, loving, kind, smart, hard-working individual who has worked the beach from the ground up. Then in a blink of an eye, she is let go. She knows the job and the people inside and out. A big loss for the Main Beach community. Perhaps the village board should give this more thought. Computers are great when they work but you lose that personal hometown touch.
Just my thoughts after reading the last few issues of The Star.
To Reinvent Policing
February 24, 2021
On June 12, 2020, Governor Cuomo put out Executive Order 203 as a plan to reinvent policing in New York State. As a resident of Suffolk County, I am anxiously waiting to see what our elected officials implement. We must invest in our communities, rather than investing in more police training and police resources in already overpoliced communities.
The People’s Plan, created by several community-led coalitions, offers 12 proposals for structural reform to ensure Long Island is safe for all Long Islanders. Locally I think their approach to traffic stops would greatly help the community. It would help eliminate disparity in traffic stops on Long Island by transforming the policies regarding police traffic enforcement, exploring options for alternative unarmed traffic officers, and collecting, publishing, and analyzing comprehensive data on traffic enforcement in alignment with the Police Statistics and Transparency, or STAT, Act. Ending pretextual stops and warrantless searches during traffic stops is also part of the plan and would go a long way in promoting equity. The county has a responsibility to listen to community members and invest in resources to allow them to thrive.
March 1, 2021
Since 2003 the East Hampton Volunteer Ocean Rescue and Auxiliary Squad have been responding to water emergencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, assisting those in distress along the Town’s miles and miles of unprotected beaches.
Ocean Rescue members participate in year-round training, enabling them to respond to multi-agency calls and assist other emergency response organizations such as the Coast Guard, Marine Patrol, local fire departments, and dive teams. They are an extraordinary group of volunteers performing an invaluable and life-saving public service.
So it was a real privilege last month to offer a town board resolution designating E.H.V.O.R. as an emergency rescue and first aid squad. This critical designation allows their active members to display green lights on their vehicles when engaged in emergency operations which are typically life threatening.
E.H.V.O.R. also assists with the town’s junior lifeguarding program and with the training and testing of all lifeguards here on the East End. It promotes water safety at community events, supports not-for-profit organizations at its water-based events, and educates the community on the dangers of rip currents.
To learn more about its important work, visit ehvor.org.
East Hampton Town councilwoman
Unfair to Both
March 1, 2021
Michael Z. Jody’s review of the novel “In case of Emergency” reads more like a Cliffs Notes study guide than a literary critical analysis of another’s creative effort. It is a hurried, hastily written synopsis of 90 percent of the novel’s plot line, thus effectively revealing and deconstructing any future prospective reader’s interest or curiosity level.
While critical analysis, either positive or negative, is fair game in a professional written review, the absence of thoughtful examination of such matters as technique, structure, and creativity in favor of a sort of breezy, loosely constructed, written plot travelogue, relying heavily on space-filling extended quotations from within the novel’s text, is unfair to both author and reader.
While I do not personally know, nor have ever met the authors, I believe they have been both intellectually mistreated and shortchanged by the unprofessionalism of both the reviewer and the publication. If you are going to take on what should be the serious task of judging the hard work and creative industry of any individual’s effort, have the respect and good grace to do it in a comprehensive and honest professional manner.
February 28, 2021
To the Editor:
We are appalled that the East Hampton Democratic Committee did not endorse Jeffrey Bragman for re-election to the town board. Mr. Bragman has been an exceptionally thoughtful, independent board member. At times, he must have been tempted to go along with the other board members, rather than speak his mind, but he has never failed to give his true thoughts. He has done his best to ensure that the board follows the law, and he has urged observance of environmental impact studies without compromise. He has truly listened whenever we have raised concerns about animal welfare, just as he has listened to all residents.
The Democratic organization is unhappy with dissent within its ranks. This attitude doesn’t speak well for an open, democratic process and it will produce narrow-minded decisions.
The Democratic leadership has failed to support a person the town should treasure.
BILL and ELLEN CRAIN
February 28, 2021
To the Editor:
Several years ago I changed my voting registration to the Democratic Party from the Republican Party. My reason was that I found that I no longer agreed with Republican positions on most every issue. In particular, I found the party had become increasingly intolerant of views that were not consistent with the party’s mainstream — a trend that has (sadly) only continued, as evidenced by the censures that have been placed on those Republican lawmakers who have voted their conscience.
East Hampton’s local Democratic Party now seems to have borrowed a page from the Donald Trump playbook with its disowning of Messrs. Bragman and Drew. This is extraordinarily unfortunate. Any administration in any jurisdiction that is not tolerant of or receptive to alternative points of view should not remain in office.
Willing to Dig
February 21, 2021
Dear Mr. Rattray,
I was surprised to read that Jeffrey Bragman did not receive the Democratic Committee’s nomination for a position on the town board. We stand to lose a valuable member of the board. Mr. Bragman’s knowledge of town zoning and planning has been an asset to East Hampton town government.
Throughout his tenure as town board member, Mr. Bragman has demonstrated that he is willing to dig deeply into issues, state his opinion eloquently, and stand by his opinion, even if it is not a popular one. Mr. Bragman is diligent, fervent, intelligent, and clear thinking. He has fortified the town board to help make important decisions now and for the future of East Hampton.
A Party Line
March 1, 2021
I am writing to voice my disappointment with the East Hampton Democratic Committee’s decision to not endorse Rick Drew in the next trustee election. I want to begin though by stating that my criticism is of their decision — and the process they used making it — when they chose to not endorse this particular incumbent, and it is not intended in any way to represent my views on David Cataletto’s credentials and capabilities. I do not know David and look forward to learning more about why he wants to serve as a trustee.
I am a natural resources consultant, and have been in front of the trustees on a regular basis for close to two decades. As with any group, some members have been better than others. But what does “better” mean in this context? For me, it means having a commitment to protect our environment, having a willingness to educate yourself on the issues brought before you, and being willing and able to engage with the public civilly and in good faith. In all my interactions with Rick, he has exemplified these characteristics.
Which raises the obvious question: Why didn’t the committee endorse him?
If they had good reasons, it would be useful for the committee to share them with the public; and it would be the fair thing to do for the incumbent whom they turned on. In the absence of any explanation, it is hard to disagree with Rick’s assessment that he is being punished for not blindly following a party line advocating for the proposed wind farm. The committee’s lack of transparency should not be accepted and, if it is not corrected, it may very well come back to haunt them in time.
Not to Endorse?
February 23, 2021
To the Editor,
An explanation is needed. Assume you have a business. Wouldn’t you hire the best people and hold on to employees who are knowledgeable and experienced? To grow your business and keep it relevant and innovative, you would encourage employees to suggest new ideas and urge them to feel free to disagree with management if they see a different and-or better approach to handling some issues. It would be illogical and foolish to want to stamp out creative original thinking and discourage employees from becoming informed.
The pandemic found businesses having to have employees work from home. One drawback has been that newly hired people were deprived of the daily one-on-one mentoring of more experienced employees. It became harder to learn the ropes and understand subtleties of the business.
If you agree with all of the above, then ask yourself why on earth would the East Hampton Democratic Committee decide not to endorse Rick Drew for trustee in the coming November election? What possessed them to snub an intelligent, articulate, hard working, knowledgeable, experienced, well-respected three-term trustee, substituting instead someone who likely knows very little about the job? An innocent mistake? I seriously doubt it?
In January 2020, after new trustees were sworn in, the pandemic hit. The trustees switched to virtual public meetings and had to curtail one-on-one and smaller meetings, or conduct them via Zoom. The new trustees credit Rick Drew with being extremely helpful to them during this time.
When the Deepwater Wind project was in discussion, Rick had made it his business to become extremely well informed. He was very vocal in his belief that some aspects needed closer consideration. In part because of Rick’s efforts, the town and trustees will be receiving far more compensation than was originally offered. But in the process Rick may have ruffled some feathers.
In its failure to endorse Rick Drew for trustee, the East Hampton Democratic Committee has made a serious mistake. It has shown itself to be operating more like some Republican legislatures that censure those who are dedicated to becoming informed and doing the right thing rather than falling into lockstep. This sets a very unfortunate precedent.
East Hampton Democratic voters — and all voters — are owed an in-depth explanation from the Democratic committee as to why someone who has been an acknowledged and proven asset to the trustee board was denied endorsement.
March 1, 2021
To the Editor,
It’s sad and actually borders on ludicrous that the former “party of the environment,” the East Hampton Democrats, have chosen to not just overlook, but to insult three proven, competent, and experienced options for government: Jeff Bragman, Rick Drew, and John Whelan.
Erring on the side of caution when it comes to our environment is hardly as foolhardy as just accepting the word (and the baksheesh) of a huge out-of-town conglomerate for which profit is the only goal.
Is it too much to ask these people who should know better to go back a few decades when they were the party out of favor and remember that reasoned dissent was the key to their eventual success?
Jeff Bragman has been one of the staunchest defenders of our environment and our quality of life for nearly 40 years. Rick Drew asked questions and dug in to get answers until he was satisfied enough to proceed with vetting the wind farm.
And John Whelan has done stellar work outside of the spotlight as chairman of the zoning board of appeals. I can’t possibly think of three people I’d want more in town government.
Please don’t consider this an indictment of the Democratic committee’s choices. I know them. They are good people but have obviously been chosen to toe the committee’s line. Their knowledge and experience pale in comparison to the skill sets offered by Bragman, Drew, and Whelan.
It’s a sad day for this East Hampton voter.
Voices of Opposition
March 1, 2021
It was disappointing to learn incumbent Councilman Jeff Bragman of the town board and Rick Drew of the town trustees were left off the Democratic party’s November ticket. It’s troubling because the two men were the only known voices of opposition to elements of the proposed South Fork Wind Farm project.
Mr. Bragman in particular has raised legitimate environmental, legal, and due process questions regarding the town’s rush to grant an easement to foreign-based financial developer, Orsted, prior to New York State completing its environmental review. Bragman’s and Drew’s shared stance against the wind farm and subsequent exclusion was deemed “coincidental” by Betty Mazur vice chairwoman of the board’s committee. I think not.
The East Hampton Star suggested Bragman’s ouster was at the supervisor’s request. This event was preceded several weeks ago by the town supervisor’s removal of Bragman as long-time liaison to the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee in favor of a more compliant board member likely not to stray from the supervisor’s agenda. Given the significance of the wind farm project on the Wainscott community these actions can’t help but to undermine the trust between Wainscott residents and the town.
These are just the latest moves that have in part ignited Wainscott’s popular incorporation movement. The actions taken and not (i.e. not hiring an independent expert advisor for the wind farm project) has for many, stoked suspicion and reinforced the desire for self-determination by the people of Wainscott.
March 1, 2021
With the coming of a new political season, the Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott is bemoaning the hamlet’s supposed lack of political influence. Two recent posts to C.P.W.’s Facebook page argue that “Not a single member of the East Hampton Town Board is from Wainscott. Not one. Zero. And yet, they’ve got a boot made by Orsted stomping on our face! We have a right to shape our OWN future.” (Feb. 21) and “None of the board members are from Wainscott, so why should we trust them to put our interests first? It’s time we stood up and made our voices heard!” (Feb. 23)
The thesis underlying C.P.W.’s complaint is that Wainscott’s presumed needs are not being met because the town board and the town trustees have no members from Wainscott. This is an unthoughtful and fundamentally undemocratic idea that begs the question: Why has not one person associated with C.P.W. sought office or even screened with the Democratic Party for town board or town trustee? (I have no idea whether any of C.P.W.’s denizens are screening with any other parties, but if they are, well, good.) I believe the reason is that C.P.W. knows that when it gets to any issue other than the Beach Lane cable landing, C.P.W. has no real thoughts, whether about policing or zoning or planning or land preservation or maintaining water quality or anything else that matters to Wainscott in particular or to the town as a whole.
C.P.W.’s overwrought complaints about the absence of representation on the town board and the town trustees begs another question: If no one from Wainscott, or from C.P.W. especially, is willing to even try to run for townwide office, which brings with it a real budget and real professional staffing to tackle these important issues (not to mention a salary, to boot), how can C.P.W. honestly expect to attract qualified individuals to address these issues for a village that C.P.W. promises will have virtually no budget and that will rent professional staffs from the town? Can anyone really expect that village officeholders will do this essential, important work for free?
C.P.W. demonstrates a shameful level of willful ignorance by suggesting that any capable person would take on executive responsibility for a village of the size and complexity of Wainscott on a voluntary basis for very long. Wainscott is not Sagaponack, as Mayor Louchheim has observed. C.P.W. won’t admit it, but sooner or later, a village of Wainscott will need to hire a professional village manager, at a not inconsiderable cost to its taxpayers.
Very truly yours,
February 27, 2021
Dear Mr. Rattray,
This letter is not about Ted Cruz. And it’s not about Donald Trump, so return to your seat. Although I will say that the recent demolition of the Trump Plaza casino in Atlantic City may actually have anticipated my proposal for the 246-story Donald J. Trump Presidential Library, Casino, and Tower, which was to be built in Atlantic City. Coincidence? We’ll see.
This letter is about the Say No to KHTO initiative begun by concerned citizens of East Hampton, who would like to see the closure of East Hampton Airport this fall, when the town’s contract for management of the airport will expire, and it will be (relatively) free to decide what to do with the nearly 600-acre property, of which it is the sole owner. So what is KHTO anyway? It’s the F.A.A.’s designation code for the East Hampton Airport. And the Say No group wants it closed and the property repurposed for uses that can actually benefit the environment and the people who live here.
How controversial is this issue? How difficult would it be for the town to make the decision, “That’s it, we’re closing the airport — no more private jets, insufferable helicopters, constant noise, and air traffic pollution. Done.” Really difficult, probably, because the opposition (pro-airport) flies with very deep corporate pockets. And money can buy a lot of P.R., a lot of fliers (no pun intended), a lot of ads. The crux of their message will be: “The town relies on the revenues and investment from the people who need to get here from anywhere, quickly. Without the airport, that revenue will dry up — and who will attend the summer fund-raisers?” To which I would answer with my special words that tend to be crude references to fecal matter, so I won’t.
Some may remember a time when the airport was actually a charming thing. A few single or double-engine planes coming and going, most frequently in the “busy” season. In the 1990s there were between 5,000 and 10,000 flights in and out of East Hampton annually. Today the number is in excess of 30,000, and the aircraft include large private or chartered jets and a great many helicopters. Thus, something more closely resembling metropolitan air traffic enters and leaves our “country” community during our much-extended “season.” Proponents of the airport and its services have no answer for the tens of thousands of complaints from residents annually, numbers that grow with each passing month. Instead, they speak of the convenience of the wealthy who can afford a ticket or charter and are so very important to . . . what?
Would people stop coming to East Hampton if they were unable to fly? Of course not. In the early 1900s the rich came to their vacation residences by train. Before that, by horse-drawn carriage. What has drawn (pun intended) people to our community was never the train station, nor the airport. It was always the sea, the bay, the dunes, farmland, serenity, skies, nature, which begat art, culture, cuisine, etc., in short, the extraordinary beauty of this place. The party tents and fund-raisers came later — and still before the airport. Do people need to get back to the city for a meeting in 30 minutes? Hey, they haven’t left here for the past nine months. The meeting’s on Zoom. Your shirt and tie/cashmere sweater and pearls look great and no one can see your boxers or Lululemon tights below the kitchen tabletop.
What a bold, environmentally forward thinking move it would be for the town to shut the airport down. (MacArthur Airport is only 50 some miles away, so stop with the hanky wringing.) Imagine the community uses for 570 acres of land: a park, athletic fields, hiking and biking trails, a 10-acre solar farm that could reduce everyone’s utility costs, performance space. What if a portion of the land could be the site of an eco-friendly affordable housing community? Anyone who has lived in this blessed town knows some family’s son or daughter who’s had to move away because they couldn’t afford to be here, where the average selling price of a single family home jumped to over $1.1 million in the middle of 2020, according to a report from Douglas Elliman — driven by pandemic demand, of course. (Speaking of “pandemic demand,” those home sales also resulted in a 66 percent increase in East Hampton Town’s portion of the community preservation fund to over $34 million for the year. Can we all imagine a creative and beneficial use for at least one-third of those funds in transforming the 570 acres formerly occupied by the East Hampton Airport? Show of hands. Good. Fantastic.)
But what if emergency air transport is needed on the East End, whether for medical reasons or natural disaster relief? Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton is only 28 miles away. And there are emergency helicopter landing sites when hospitalization is required and land transport dangerous.
There will certainly be public hearings on this issue in the coming months, and the interested parties will attend and raise their concerns, and voices, on both sides of the matter. I don’t know if there’s ever been a referendum of East Hampton’s residents held on the topic. In 2017 the governor signed into law the requirement that a referendum be held should the town wish to accept any future F.A.A. grant for the airport’s operation.
So, the town of East Hampton owns that 570-acre site, thus we’re all stakeholders, right? It would be more than interesting to know exactly how the resident taxpayers would vote on the matter of No to KHTO. My guess is that the airport would lose its wings in an environmental shot heard round the world.
One if by land, two if by sea, none if by sky.
The Most Vulnerable
February 27, 2021
In reading The Star last week I came across your estimate that only 500 out of 22,000 residents have been vaccinated against Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. I’m one of those seniors over 65 that qualified for the vaccine and obtained it through the procedure set up by Columbia Presbyterian, all due to my own efforts. I have had both shots and am now 14 days after the second one. That makes me fully vaccinated.
Your readers should understand the importance of this elderly age group, of which I am a part, getting vaccinated with some priority. Eighty-one percent of all deaths from Covid-19 occur in people over 65. It has been suggested by some scientists that if this age group gets fully vaccinated then much of the impact of shutting down the economy could be reversed because the spread of the virus to the most vulnerable segment of the population and the worst consequences of an infection would be prevented.
Assuming that is true, another serious question must be raised: What if the general public decides the epidemic is over because vaccination is underway and refuses to observe social distancing and mask wearing as a result? And what if the vaccination rates among the over-65 population in East Hampton remain as low as you have stated?
People over 65 probably make up one-third of East Hampton’s population. With summer coming and crowds mingling, we could have a problem.
While the senior citizen program in East Hampton has done an excellent job in providing meals and checking in on homebound seniors, it does not appear that any organized effort has been made to get all seniors here vaccinated. That would involve direction from the town board, which over the last decade has ignored the needs of seniors and apparently lacks the competence to handle such a task.
That is unfortunate.
Who You Know
February 25, 2021
Obtaining a coronavirus vaccine injection in East Hampton is like everything else: It’s who you know or how much money you have, period.
Many Hours Away
February 27, 2021
To the Editor,
Governor Cuomo’s Health Commissioner Howard Zucker may claim that New York State “is doing a phenomenal job” distributing Covid-19 vaccine doses, but this 77-year-old Long Islander and his 74-year-old wife would have to drive 2,016 miles to and from Buffalo, or 1,792 miles to and from Potsdam, or 1,760 miles to and from Plattsburgh, or 1,704 miles to and from Rochester, or 1,364 miles to and from Syracuse, or 1,196 miles to and from Utica, or 1,016 miles to and from Binghamton, or 852 miles to and from Albany, or 176 miles to and from Manhattan, or 152 miles to and from Westchester, or 128 miles to and from Aqueduct, or 120 miles to and from Stony Brook, or (closest of all state sites to us) 84 miles to and from Jones Beach in order to make the two round trips necessary for the two required doses.
Unfortunately, the state website almost always states “No appointments available currently” for each of those 13 sites. Strangely, the one location (and just like in real estate, the three most-important factors to consider are “location, location, location”) that occasionally does have appointments available is faraway Potsdam (convenient only if we were on our way to Montreal), and each of the four 448-mile trips required would be too many miles and too many hours away for both my 77-year-old bladder and 13-year-old car.
Going to School
February 25, 2021
To the Editor,
I know I won’t get it but I’d like an explanation why my kids are home three days a week and just down 27 there are kids going to school five days a week since September and playing sports. I thought “we” were all about doing what’s best for kids?
I heard from experts all summer long how it was safe to open schools and many states and districts have shown that to be true, but not in East Hampton I guess? I know everyone has been petrified by Fauci’s lies, but when are we going to follow the science and put kids back in class? I guess we’re hoping next year?
After our kids’ education has fallen behind the districts and states that are going full time, and if you’re counting on a sports scholarship for your kid, you’d better have the ways and means for a travel team or send your kid to another school.
So we’ve ruined children’s lives for a year now, when are we going to do what’s best for the kids? I won’t discuss the skyrocketing numbers of adolescent suicides and overdoses or all the damage done to kids by keeping them on their phone and computers for a year. None of the rules implemented in East Hampton schools make any sense.
Ignored the Story
March 1, 2021
Our governor sent over 12,000 of our fellow senior citizens to their deaths, and the major liberal media literally ignored the story. But as soon as sexual harassment accusations came to the fore, the progressive liberals couldn’t restrain themselves. Off with his head!
Liberalism is a mental illness.
March 1, 2021
The word unity is thrown around a lot lately. According to Merriam-Webster, it means the quality or state of not being multiple, oneness, or, have being in a state of harmony with another. A happy marriage comes to mind or a team sport.
When you attend a sporting event, you’re not there to root for the opponent. The line is drawn. Battles are won and lost. But the game (insert democracy) doesn’t change the rules or move the goal posts (insert constitutional law) to assure an outcome for one side. If your team loses fair and square, there will be another match and chance to win again (insert election day). That is the consolation prize for losers and every fan (insert citizen) is united in that principle and mostly a good sport about it.
Politics is a different beast. Unity isn’t possible with multiple political parties; neither is going to forfeit votes to the other just for the sake of harmony. Then we’d be a one party “democracy “and you know where that leads to: tyranny. It’s a pipe dream to think unity is possible in our country when for the last six-plus years we’ve been anything but unified on anything at all. We can’t even agree on what a peaceful protest is or if Abraham Lincoln really did free the slaves.
Even reaching a “middle ground” would be a stretch — where would the lines be drawn and who are the referees? The media and press? Big Tech? The trillionaires who fund the billionaires who fund the PACs, lobbyists, and unions? Perhaps it could be a tone-deaf celebrity who doesn’t know the difference between a chief justice and a justice of the peace.
To attain unity, you must trust one another in pursuit of the same goal. All must accept differences will exist, be willing to compromise, enter into good faith negotiations and exercise sound, fiduciary judgment when spending taxpayer’s dollars — all for the common good. All we get is a $26.70 trillion debt and a computer geek holding court with a government-paid career laboratory technician, spewing their wisdom on public policy about a virus the W.H.O. says the Chinese had nothing to do with the spread of, as the rest of the world, including us, crash and burn. I don’t recall voting for non-legislators to weigh in on matters of crisis and public policy and budgets that affect my health and prosperity, no matter what their backgrounds are. People with a financial stake in the game shouldn’t be whispering in the ears of elected officials. Follow the money.
But our Congress isn’t interested in unity, so why should Congress expect it of the citizens? Because they don’t and could care less. If it wasn’t for the double standard, Congress would have no standards at all. Congress is only interested in finger-wagging, blaming the other side for all our problems and keeping Americans in a constant state of misery and uncertainty with the media as their cheerleader, stoking hate and mistrust of each other and the government. Can anyone seriously think unity is possible in a country where its leaders threaten to harm each other and froth at the mouth over every misstep the other makes? What do these endless “investigations” do for us minions in lockdown when no one is ever accountable for any crime, only to fuel more division, civil unrest and pad their campaign war chests while draining our pockets?
And we don’t need another political party as some people are thumping their chests about. We need to take back the country from politicians whose vision of the United States is control, oppression, victimization, isolation and division. Simply put aside your political beliefs and differences while in session and cross the aisle to listen, debate, and respect opposing opinions. That’s what taxpayers pay Congress for. It’s not necessary or productive to always be right while thinking everyone else is always wrong. The Unites States is not a one size fits all, but the ideology holds steadfast. For the people, by the people. In that end, we can all be unified.
It’s essential to have opposing opinions and debate in a true democracy. But let’s call a truce on the hatred, fear, canceling, and disrespect of fellow citizens. Raise the white flag, Washington, and set an example for the rest of us of how to work through differences without destroying someone’s character. Read the Constitution occasionally as a reminder of its original intent for good governance, liberty, inalienable rights, justice, and peace. Don’t use citizens as your pawns for power. Send us a lifeboat instead — we’re drowning in a whirlpool of hate worshipping.
Let’s stop kidding ourselves. Ever since the Covid social engineering reprogramming project began, we’ve spiraled down a rabbit hole of self-loathing. Our media and the government have weaponized the virus so well we aren’t even recognizable as a free society anymore. We just follow orders like numb soldiers under the constant threat of court-martial. Two weeks, three months, no masks, triple masks, quarantine the sick, lock down everyone! Close the schools, open them up but keep children separated from each other in Plexiglas cages behind masks. No wonder child suicide has skyrocketed. When this does end? At what point do we claim back our sovereignty from a germ? And why do we need anyone’s permission to carry on with our lives? Are we that dumb and compliant? It happened in Germany once. I suppose anything’s possible.
(To be continued.)
March 1, 2021
A bill for an American rescue plan urged by President Biden to pass A.S.A.P., did so in the House. Please God, don’t let it go forward in the Senate. Here’s hope some normal Democrats will see the plan for what it really is, a horrifically bad Pelosi policy.
In this stimulus there’s too much pork, which has nothing to do with Covid-19. This bill is stuffed with cash for programs in no way dealing with the pandemic.
Less than 9 percent of the bill will be used to fund public health. There is still $1 trillion from the last bill not spent. Just 1 percent of this Covid bill goes to the number-one priority right now, vaccine production and distribution.
Speaking of distribution, seniors on the East End are totally being thrown under the bus. Help us.
On top of last year’s $4 trillion Covid relief, we are looking to bankrupt America with the new $1 trillion pork package. Only $600 billion, less than a third of it, is for actual relief efforts. Most of the $350 billion in state bailout cash goes to blue states, like California, New York, even New Jersey, receiving payouts, is making first full payments in its state pension system in 25 years. These states destroyed by Democratic politicians stood back and waited for the bailout. What will they do next?
Felons will get a part of the stimulus, felons including child molesters, rapists, and other public predators. We could give more help to families in need, but no, give it to felons. Please look into the actual distribution of all the monies and tell me why museums and arts, etc., are a part of Covid.
Gas is up and still rising. Thank you for that.
In God and country,
March 1, 2021
To the Editor,
President Biden, would you please prayerfully reconsider your stand on abortion. As a Catholic, you know that promoting legislation for making abortion more available is a grave sin. You may be placing your eternal soul in danger, and I use the “may” because I do not know what is in your heart, and only God can be your final judge in this matter.
May God bless and protect you, Mr. President.
What We Did
February 28, 2021
Last week, Diana Ortiz, a Roman Catholic nun, passed away at the age of 62. Her name will have little familiarity with contemporary politicians who are struggling to deal with the immigration issue. The problem lies in Ortiz’s story, which doesn’t touch the consciousness of any of our elected officials.
Guatemala was the site where the Roman Catholic diocese sent Ortiz to work with indigenous people. A civil war that lasted 30 years was raging. The civil war killed 2 percent of the population and made another 1 percent disappear. The civil war was the unquestioned provenance of the U.S. government in conjunction with American corporate interests. It was nothing special. Business as usual.
Ortiz, while working with families, was kidnapped by a group of paramilitary soldiers who had been trained and operated by the U.S. government in the School of the Americas. They held Ortiz for a period of time during which she was interrogated, tortured, and gang-raped. The procedure was standard behavior taught by U.S. trainers. The paramilitary group was operated by an American adviser. He realized, after several weeks of torture that they had kidnapped the wrong nun and took her out of the area.
Back in the U.S., Ortiz tried to figure out what had happened to her. Her efforts were ridiculed by the U.S. government and by her church. Nobody thought it was a big deal. Nobody cared.
Ortiz learned over the next few years that what she experienced, rape, torture, disrespect, and the complete repudiation of who she was as a human was the story of the Guatemalan people. What we did to Diana Ortiz we did to the population of Guatemala. Not because they were a security threat or could damage our great American image, but because of bananas. Keeping the price of bananas high enough to ensure the profits of the United Fruit Company justified the destruction and debasement of seven million people.
So, when hundreds of thousands of people from Central America flock to our border, the inner workings of our security apparatus understand that they may have a grudge to bear. That they may genuinely hate and detest us for what we’ve done to them. And that they are absolutely right. Yet, the fact that they are still coming shows what an incredible job we did on their country.
So for every cretin who thinks that our history has no importance, check out Diana Ortiz’s story. No one says that we have to be perfect, but we could minimally try to be honest. MAGA means what exactly?