No Longer Hides
June 29, 2021
Last year, June 19 was my first Juneteenth celebration. In our towns of Sag Harbor, East Hampton, and Southampton, the local African-American community showed that love must accept all equally and never supports individual confrontation.
I first wrote this acrostic poem in June 2020. It uses the first letter and word that spell Juneteenth in its 10 lines. A few poetry changes were included this week.
Juneteenth makes hearts want
Understandings to be shared. The date
No longer hides, but shows
Equal balance of one long warm day
Taken from early morning until late
Evening, where the exquisite night
Exposed a dazzling moon with uncountable stars
Necessary to befriend.
Take shared freedoms June 19th.
Hold them every day.
June 20, 2021
East Hampton Village failed to put flags out on Saturday — Juneteenth — the first-ever national holiday marking the end of slavery.
How could this be?
As we try to heal and transform the country from its hurtful racial historical past and present, this is the last message we need to be sending out as a community. All East Hampton residents need to hear and receive a swift and prompt explanation from those village authorities responsible for that decision.
It’s the decent, moral, and right thing to do — all Americans and East Hampton residents should be able to agree on that.
June 15, 2021
Very disappointing that no flags were flying along Main Street in Amagansett on Flag Day, June 14.
Had Only Love
June 21, 2021
To me, Betty Mazur was a role model for the best a human being could be. She not only believed in tikkun olam, the Hebrew phrase that means “healing the world,” she lived it. And in living it, she enriched this community beyond measure.
Many, many years ago Betty told me she had a dream, a very vivid dream. It occurred when she first came out here in the 1960s and fell in love with Amagansett.
She dreamt that she was on her bicycle, out here. And that she was rescuing wounded birds. Now for those of you lucky enough to know her, how Betty is that dream?
So she wasn’t just a healer of this world. She was a rescuer — birds, feral cats, seagulls, deer, and even ducks that didn’t need rescuing. She spoke not only bird, but cat and dog as well. Animals understood she had only love inside her.
And she worked fiercely to support the underserved, the invisible, the wounded human beings as well. She fought for the haul-seine fishermen, the immigrant community, battered women, the L.B.G.T. community. She was a steward of this land and these waters. She came to every zoning board meeting that she could and represented the dunes, the oceans, the light, the sand.
And she was not just a rescuer, but a warrior for justice as well. She organized demonstrations, made thousands of signs, marched, sat outside the Amagansett Post Office registering people to vote, made countless phone calls, knocked on hundreds of doors, and, to me, was the heartbeat of the Democratic Party here in Amagansett.
In her community at Treasure Island Drive, she was a force to be reckoned with, always fighting (politely, always politely) to keep building in the dunes as constructive as possible, to protect the water table, to keep a marl road intact rather than allow painfully hot macadam that would burn one’s bare feet on the way to the ocean. She supported local businesses, and I do believe she read every book in the Amagansett Library. She was so much a part of the warp and weft of the Amagansett community. Everyone who knew Betty loved this woman.
In other words she showed up! And when you encountered her, her smile would dazzle you, her elegance of speech would let you know you were in the presence of a lively, warm intelligence. Her curiosity and pleasure, her passion and dedication dragged you out of your niggling worries right into this very moment.
She knew, in every fiber of her being, what was important — and it was never things. It was this moment. It was love, it was kindness, it was generosity. It was her children and her grandchildren. It was tikkun olam.
For me, I am eternally grateful to have been a part of her life for the past 65 years. Her magnificent energy, her fierce love, her profound curiosity, her bravery when she didn’t feel brave always inspired me. I can only hope that her beautiful soul is swimming with dolphins, cavorting in the seas she loved so much, free to be her amazing, beautiful, extraordinary self.
June 18, 2021
Dear Mr. Rattray,
The East Hampton Middle School’s eighth grade class enjoyed a splendid day at Main Beach last Friday. We would like to thank the village board, the Main Beach staff, and the village Lifeguards for once again facilitating a great end of the year activity for our students.
Extra special thanks go out to Damien O’Donnell of Harbor Bistro and Dave Rutkowski of John’s Drive-In for their generous donation of lunch and ice cream.
Events like this are what make this such a special place to grow up. Thanks again to all who made the day so special. Congratulations to the middle school class of 2021 and as always, go Bonac!
Eighth grade advisers
East Hampton Middle School
East Hampton Village
June 20, 2021
I feel compelled (and unsolicited) to let you and your readers know how absolutely delicious the Main Beach Hut food concession is! Susan Dayton makes the most fabulous lobster rolls, just perfection, lots of good lobster meat, not too much mayo and celery, and trust me, her lobster roll compares favorably to the many I have eaten from my days sailing the Maine coast!
A guest came to East Hampton on Friday and I promised him a great lunch with an unbeatable view of the sea. So rather than bucking traffic, I took him to the Main Beach pavilion, which certainly beats out any view from all the other fine restaurants in the neighborhood. And so, my guest and I raved about the fare and the view!
I just want everyone to know, as we celebrate our new beginning after a virus crisis year, we need to support our local venues. The concession stand got off to a rocky start with the most miserable Memorial Day weekend ever.
I encourage everyone to support Susan to make this eatery a success. P.S.: Please note that she takes credit cards!
Protecting Our Parks
June 21, 2021
I would like to commend The East Hampton Star for its editorial in last week’s paper “Still Hope for Pantigo Fields.” The editorial accurately points out the numerous flaws in the town board’s decision to destroy the cherished Little League fields on Pantigo Place. It is a must-read.
It’s time to show we truly care about our children and families. Instead of just talking about quality of life and small-town feeling, we must work to protect it. What better way to start than by protecting our precious parks? Do not take them for granted. If you do, the town board, as the shenanigans at Pantigo Place proves, can take them, change their zoning to “commercial industrial,” and lease them to the low bidder — as they are attempting to do to the Pantigo Place ball fields.
Our parks are essential assets that benefit us all, a key component to a healthy and vibrant community. Any attempt to destroy them or rezone them for other uses must be resisted in the strongest way possible.
We must begin by demanding that this town board not demolish the Pantigo Place ball fields.
Save the ball fields at Pantigo Place — for our children and our community.
Field of Dreams
June 20, 2021
To the Editor,
Having raised two boys to men playing baseball on the Pantigo fields, it is my view that future generations should have the same opportunity.
To quote from the movie “Field of Dreams”:
“This field, this game, is a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good, and could be again.”
June 21, 2021
Pantigo Place Little League fields: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” Or, more appropriate, in this case: Don’t take it away.
It was more than 20 years ago that I use to take my kids to play Little League at the Pantigo ball fields. I remember rushing out from work to pick them up, go home, change, and rush to be on time for the game. It was easy; everything was close, and we were a lot fewer people back then. I used to love the community atmosphere of this little tucked-away field and spending time with other parents from Amagansett, Montauk, Springs, and East Hampton cheering our kids’ games. Such precious memories and friendships created.
I believe our town board to be smart enough to rethink their decisions and find an alternative site for the emergency facility that does not take away from our community this much-needed park.
More Than Permitted
June 15, 2021
To the Editor:
I ask my fellow Wainscott citizens to reconcile the following facts:
1. Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott’s website claims that two of the advantages of that group’s attempt to incorporate Wainscott are that the incorporated village would be able to “Enact more stringent energy conservation and green zoning rules” and “preserve [Wainscott’s] unique, bucolic characteristics through more responsive zoning.”
2. Gouri Orekondy Edlich and Alexander Edlich, who own a house at 40 Roxbury Lane, Wainscott, are two of the principals behind Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott. The Agenda for Tuesday’s meeting of the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals included an application by the Edlichs for two variances, including one variance of 758 square feet from Section 255-11-67 (10) of the town code to allow the residence to remain at 4,344 square feet where 3,586 square feet is the maximum gross floor area allowable.
In short, this application seeks to legalize a home that contains 758 [more] square feet, or 21.14 percent more gross floor area than permitted by the town code.
DAVID E. EAGAN
June 18, 2021
I think it was Yogi Berra who said it is better not to outlaw something than to legalize something by non-enforcement. Therefore, I would call for the repeal of the leaf blower law in East Hampton. It is not enforceable and wastes tax dollars.
Calls to code enforcement are answered by the helpful staff who can only send over an inspector to witness the violation. They will not take your word for it.
By the time they arrive, however, the offensive activity is long over and goes unpunished.
In other words, you can use a leaf blower so long as it is quickly. Better yet, have a lookout on the road.
Although courts and authorities routinely accept affidavits or statements from witnesses of crimes and will prosecute same, apparently leaf blowing is such a serious offense (or inviolate right) that it cannot even be reported by citizens.
Therefore, unless this ridiculous situation is corrected, our elected town officials need to repeal the law and publicly admit they are blowhards.
SPENCER L. SCHNEIDER
June 18, 2021
I think I will stop getting beach stickers. Instead, I will get one of those magnetic signs and slap the name of some landscaping company on my truck. Then, apparently, I can park wherever and whenever the hell I want.
Truck Beach Games
June 19, 2021
The main justification politicians use in support of beach driving is that it is a “traditional activity.” But the continuation of a public nuisance does not transform it into an immutable right.
Using the beach as road and parking lot is incompatible with the more time-honored traditional beach experiences of sunbathing, beachcombing, and of ocean haul-seiners driving on the beach to carry out their trade.
The Appellate Division Second Department chipped away at this ever-growing bad habit when this past February it ruled in favor of riparian landowners’ right to exclude vehicles from “Truck Beach.” Thereafter, town politicians brazenly encouraged the violation of the court’s ruling by posting signs informing motorists they could drive on Truck Beach if they were going fishing — as if sportfishing with a fishing pole was equivalent to haul seining off the ocean beaches.
After being apprised of this, the court issued a second order prohibiting driving on Truck Beach. (It is unclear whether the second order intended to prohibit ocean haulseiners from driving on the beach.) Undeterred, local politicians reacted by removing the signs and merely “asking” motorists to refrain from driving on Truck Beach. These politicians now question whether the town is even allowed to enforce the court’s second order. The politicians should beware that the Appellate Division does not tolerate game playing and can hold them in criminal contempt.
Against this backdrop, the politicians have stated their intention to have the town appropriate Truck Beach. The way that works, and what the politicians are not telling the public, is that the town declares its intent to buy before knowing the cost of appropriation.
The politicians’ assertion that the cost will be nominal is highly improbable. The U.S. Supreme Court has declared, “[a]n essential element of individual property is the legal right to exclude others from enjoying it.” Making a private beach public will be a substantial cost to the taxpayers, because, for one reason, the riparian owners’ view overlooking the beach and ocean would be obstructed by the beach traffic. The town will initially pay the landowner nominal consideration and the landowner will have to litigate for years to obtain fair compensation. Importantly, the town cannot back out when the court determines the cost is higher than the amount the town initially paid the owners.
The politicians are setting up taxpayers to pay an astronomical amount so that the largely young and able-bodied beach drivers can drive and park the cars on Truck Beach.
LAWRENCE J. KONCELIK
Service Next to Nil
June 21, 2021
Dear Mr. Rattray,
The article in this week’s Star by Christopher Walsh titled: “Wireless Dilemma Will Get Worse in East Hampton” is both informative and alarming! Simply put, it reminds us again of what happens when one forgets that the trouble with tomorrow is it usually arrives before one is ready for it.
Once again too, Supervisor Van Scoyoc’s response is classic. Instead of proposing a fix for the problem, he elects to again kick the can by saying he will “poll” it again at some point in future “so we have a better idea as to what the community wishes in terms of wireless services moving forward.” If there is one thing we should not need at this point, it’s another (money-wasting?) study that effectively allows Mr. Van Scoyoc and the town council to again put their heads in the sand and study the matter to death. As Mr. Walsh’s article clearly shows: The problem is not going away.
Throughout the 1950s and ‘60s, when much of this area was dominated by agricultural fields, there were vigorous campaigns to veto any efforts to build a bypass from Southampton to Montauk and instead improve the L.I.R.R. service. Organizers made it clear they wanted to thwart both day trippers from New York City and make things generally less attractive for any “city-fools” coming down for the season.
Last Fall, Mr. Van Scoyoc again told us the matter of siting a cell tower in the Wainscott area would require careful study. What happened? My cell service is still next to nil in that area.
I’m not sure it takes any further postponement of the inevitable. Optimum is either incapable of upgrading the current network, the backbone of which was put into service in the 1980s by its predecessor’s predecessor, and/or financially unable to do so. Perhaps the time has indeed come to bite the bullet and invite multiple bidders to submit competitive proposals for providing a level of service that meets both current usage patterns and anticipates future demands for a largely wireless streaming capacity vs. the largely outdated coaxial cable TV and VoIP telephone system now provided — without competition — by Optimum.
Once these proposals are submitted, only then should the electorate be polled — not before.
JAMES R. WELDON
June 21, 2021
To the Editor:
Congratulations to the Democratic candidates and the successful advancement for some. I am looking forward to participating in a positive campaign and movement for the betterment of East Hampton Town.
My hope is that we can strive to resolve many of the outstanding issues and be proactive with those ahead of us. My campaign for East Hampton Town supervisor will be one of solutions and will resolve costly issues that may prove to be extreme through ongoing litigations.
We must hold the line on taxes and revisit many of the issues that have been with us for some time. One concern of mine is that although the Democrats tout their concern for a living wage for our town workers, they fall way short of this goal, evidenced by the feeble increase agreed upon that amounts to approximately 38 cents per paycheck. These workers keep our town running and do what they can with what they have to work with.
There are many more issues that need to be addressed in the upcoming months. I look forward to the challenge.
East Hampton Village
June 21, 2021
To the Editor:
A few months ago, Marcus Baladron, the East Hampton Village administrator, presented to the board a very generous offer from Andrew Saunders (president of Saunders Broadcasting Corporation and owner of Hamptons.com). The offer was to provide free Wi-Fi and cameras at the four village beaches and eventually Main Street and Herrick Park. It would be a 10-year agreement fully funded and maintained by Saunders Broadcasting.
After being queried by trustees, Mr. Baladron fervently stated and reiterated a number of times the “free” Wi-Fi would have no branding or advertising, just free Wi-Fi. The offer was philanthropic with no business benefit or in Trustee Brown’s words, “It’s a win-win.” The board approved to move forward with one recusal.
The Wi-Fi is now up at Main Beach. The network name is “Hamptons.com Free Wi-Fi,” where an email is required to access the Wi-Fi, and the user is directed to the Hamptons.com homepage containing fluffy stories and banner ads. Moreover, they are automatically subscribed to the weekly Hamptons.com newsletter. This is completely antithetical to the original understanding and intent. By collecting email addresses and automatically subscribing the user to Hamptons.com, it is no longer philanthropy, it’s blatant profiteering. The more subscribers, the more they increase revenue from advertising. I’m surprised Mr. Baladron, who touts his digital acumen, was not aware.
Recently, a number of village residents and Trustee Graham raised concerns. It’s probably the reason Steve Glick, representing Hamptons.com, appeared at Friday’s board meeting under the guise of an update. As to the current status: Main Beach is operational, but there are logistical issues at Two Mile Hollow, Georgica, and Wiborg’s. Once these issue are resolved, the installations will begin on Main Street and at Herrick Park.
What followed was a carefully orchestrated discussion. The village administrator initiated it by commending Saunders Broadcasting’s significant investment. Subsequently, he supported the current branding and capturing of email addresses. After a nonsensical discussion with no business understanding or governing rationale the board agreed to move forward, in principle, to allow branding and requiring email addresses for Wi-Fi access.
As of now, it appears the village will be getting free Wi-Fi and Saunders will be increasing their Hamptons.com circulation unbeknownst to most people.
What the board, village attorney, and administrator don’t understand or are just ignoring is that Saunders will be profiting significantly from the Wi-Fi. Emails captured with the user being aware are added to the subscription base for the Hamptons.com newsletter, increasing Saunders’s revenue. The long-term benefit for Saunders far outweighs any Wi-Fi installation or maintenance costs.
While there are opt-out provisions, it’s pretty well hidden in the bottom of the screen. This tactic is in direct violation notice of this “Screen Opt-Out” Federal Trade Commission notice, similar to ones in Canada and Europe. Moreover, the tactic requiring an opt-out has been deemed unethical and unacceptable practice by the United States Chamber of Commerce and the Direct Mail Marketing Association.
As for Mr. Glick’s complaint about increased installation costs, they’ve already installed cameras at seven Hampton locations. What was particularly concerning was Mr. Glick’s answer to the email question. He claimed he doesn’t know what they do with them. He knows exactly what they’re for — to build a circulation and revenue for the newsletter and lead generation for Saunders Real Estate. As for security, there don’t seem to be any security measures safeguarding the information.
I strongly urge the board of trustees to immediately stop further installations and, in the short term, have Saunders eliminate the email requirement for Main Beach Wi-Fi.
The current arrangement and its history is fraught with ethical and legal issues. They are worthy of being reported to the inspector general.
A Walk in the Park
June 15, 2021
To the Editor:
Wait just one minute. With climate change, polluted air, global warming, wars continuing, and new ones threatened, atomic bombs still being produced and threatened, systemic racism, hunger, terrorism both foreign and domestic, our non-functioning government, wiretapping, and hacking of personal and collective information, a Supreme Court deciding cases that will influence our way of life for years to come, the threat of a seditious ex-president nullifying the last election that he fantasizes he won when over 50 courts said otherwise, our own neighbors are still going hungry, our suicide rate has already exceeded the deaths from all the wars fought in the last 200 years, aren’t we and the world, still in the eye of one of the most deadly pandemics this world has known with still no vaccines for much of the world, “We would like to have a one-acre ‘small dog playground’ in the 21- 45 (?) acres of the Springs Park.” Who said that?
Now you’re talking: That’s something to really get riled up about, isn’t it? If nothing else, what if it just makes a neighbor feel more secure and able to enjoy a walk in the park?
“Neighbor is not a geographic term. It is a moral concept,” a quote of Rabbi Joachim Prinz.
A bit less squealing and a lot more feeling would make our town an even better place to live. We can make a difference. Just be nice and try to see the big picture.
Disturbing the Peace
June 21, 2021
Madness at the East Hampton Airport: I believe that disturbing the peace is a law, is it not?
The airport goes beyond disturbing the peace; it is a health and environmental issue.
Please close the airport.
BOB and SUSAN CASPER
Surrounded by Houses
June 17, 2021
While there is a lot of discussion and legal jostling around the Bistrian Middle Highway sand pit, the community is virtually silent on the DiSunno sand mine on Fresh Pond Road in Amagansett.
Extremely close to wetland areas and approximately one mile from Fresh Pond, this active mine should be of concern to all Amagansett residents. The 4.5-acre property was granted a permit renewal in 2019 for an existing mine that is valid until May 2024.
The property sits in the middle of a neighborhood surrounded by many houses — most of which are served by well water. It is also within shouting distance of the Stony Hill aquifer. In fact, the East Hampton Natural Resources Department is in the process of installing groundwater monitoring wells. One must wonder: If these operations pose no danger, why would we need monitoring equipment?
The lack of transparency and communication regarding these operations should have us all asking tough questions before there is a problem with our groundwater and damage to our wetlands.
Should Not Judge
June 20, 2021
As a lifelong Catholic, I am appalled at the bishops who want to deny Joe Biden communion. Are they going to then deny communion to everyone who has been divorced, married more than once, who has committed adultery, or is a pedophile? How do priests know they haven’t been giving communion to persons who also are pro-choice or who have had an abortion? Is every Catholic to be questioned before receiving communion to make sure they meet the criteria to be considered acceptable?
I was always taught in Catholic school that we should not judge, that Christ was not only surrounded by sinners but extended a hand to help them. My grandmother, a devout convert to Catholicism, taught me to respect others’ opinions. She always said we should live an honest and Christlike life.
We now have a Catholic president for only the second time, and this one actually practices his faith, yet bishops want to deny him communion. He who lives in a glass house shouldn’t throw stones. This is from a religion in the depths of a sexual assault controversy, not to mention a falling enrollment.
I truly believe that President Biden sets an example that should be admired.
June 20, 2021
Cardinal Spellman died this week. What I remember about him was his relentless advocacy for war and his encouragement to the soldiers going to Vietnam. A Catholic archbishop supporting war and violence is not a big deal. What is a big deal is the Catholic Church debate about what to do with Joe Biden and his support of abortion rights. Like the Church with its storied history of violence and war and with its support of genocides, the crusades, the inquisition, the wholesale slaughter of Protestants, Jews, and Muslims, and dropping the A-bomb should be the censoring body for Biden’s policies? Jesus, are we talking blasphemy or is this a joke or just business as usual?
The latest expose, New York Times, June 19, describes the Vatican as a bacchanalian pleasure palace that rivals the Strauss-Kahn erotica model. Surely, U.S. bishops have more serious issues to deal with than Biden’s position on abortion.
When the Southern Baptist Convention elects an ultra-conservative leader who recognizes for the first time that there might be racism in the country, the press is screaming about moderation and transition. Somehow, the transition from Goring to Himmler is going to slow down the procession of Jews to the concentration camps? We talk about progress because a Southern church leader takes his head out of his butt to see what’s going on around him and thinks there might be a problem. Finding time away from the church’s primary business of making money, reinterpreting the story of Jesus throwing the money lenders out of the temple, to demanding a cut of the action. Praise Jesus? Send cash or money orders.
In the desperation of historic losers, church leaders are searching for ways to represent all the negativity and repulsion they can muster in order to bring their lost leader back to the White House in the next eight weeks. If he’s not reinstated by then, summer will almost be over and a new deadline will be the fall surprise instead of the summer sunrise. Q will lose some face in the brain-dead miasma of election fraud and the “peaceful protest” of Jan. 6, but Jesus will certainly bail them out by posthumously declaring sainthood for the buffoon.
It’s not enough that we experienced a pandemic that destabilized in real terms the basic necessities for life on the planet; food, shelter, work, health care, and education having all been torn asunder. That the lunatic fringe, including the Republican Party, actually believes in the alternate reality it has created. And now our church leaders decide to open the vaults of its carefully protected psychopathology and expose themselves to the world in full naked regalia of their torn and bleeding carcasses.
Too much crap. Too batshit to swallow. We were so much better off when the lunatics ran the asylum.
Out of Control
June 21, 2021
Thank you, President Biden, for all the dreams of Obama being completed in the United States of America. You need a cognitive test. You fumble and forget where you are. Let the citizens know the truth about who is running the White House. The idea that you want to get back into a nuclear deal with Iran; this was Obama’s dream, now I’m waiting for billions to be sent in unmarked bills to Iran. Doing this will make the biggest race for nuclear weapons throughout the Middle East; is this what we really want?
It’s bad enough you’ve destroyed the border, jobs, and so much more, now you will destroy more jobs, blow inflation into the universe, so much more.
Crime is out of control in Democratic-controlled cities, and these mayors and governors refuse to be accountable. They’re all very busy blaming everyone else. Every day it’s a new excuse. I personally don’t understand how these officials allow crime to be a free-for-all. Since these liberals have taken office, new rules: Commit a crime, you’re out with no bail quicker than the paperwork is completed. Who the hell dreamed up this no bail? Let them out to do crime again and again. Do something about these judges who let these fierce criminals back on the streets so murder would be their next crime, knowing they will get away with it.
Now we want to teach racism in the lower grades of education. Bad enough liberal professors brainwashed the college groups, now let’s destroy the younger group. As a parent, grandparent, I would be the first to tackle this bull with the educators. Porn for kindergarten. What’s next? Thank God parents are voicing their opinions.
In God and country,