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Letters to the Editor for July 15, 2021

Wed, 07/14/2021 - 18:17

An Amazing Journey
Springs
July 2, 2021

Dear East Hampton Star,

Because of Covid-19, I would like to take this opportunity to personally let the senior citizens of East Hampton Town know that I am retiring from the East Hampton transportation program. It’s been nearly 30 years that I have been driving for the East Hampton Town’s senior citizens transportation program. It’s been an amazing journey. I have met the most kindhearted and interesting seniors, along with their families, in our town. As a whole, my position has never felt like a job. It felt more like I was driving my own parents or grandparents to and from their homes for shopping, doctor appointments, and everywhere in between. I have been truly blessed and will miss each one of them.

Back in 1992, I was very fortunate to be hired by Edna Steck, the founder and director of the Human Services Program. I learned a lot from her. Without a doubt, under her supervision, all of us employees had a high morale, compassion, respect, and understanding for the elderly and each other. We respected the other person and I feel, that’s what made us stronger as a “family.” I wish [each of] my remaining co-workers the best of luck in their own life’s journey.

Although, the senior citizens’ faces and names have changed throughout the years, the warmth and close feelings that we shared toward one another have not. As the saying goes, “What goes on in Carol’s bus, stays in Carol’s bus.” We had some great laughs, stories, and tears over the years.

As I start my new journey in life, I will never forget the seniors’ advice, as they winced with pain in their legs, arms, or back and walked onto the bus. They would stop, smile, and say, “Carol, don’t ever get old.” I would laugh with them and say, “Then what are the consequences?” We would laugh. Though I did promise that I would not get old, but I would get older. We both agreed that was fair enough.

Now, it’s my turn to smile.

Sincerely,

CAROL L. BENNETT

 

Her Special Mission
East Hampton
June 27, 2021

Dear Editor:

The Amagansett community, East Hampton Town, and especially the Democratic Party lost a true and valuable friend with the passing of the remarkable Betty Mazur. Betty became active in the local Democratic Party when we had won no elections that anyone could remember. In the early ‘70s Democrats were outnumbered by more than two-to-one in party registration, and often did not even bother to field candidates. She saw voter registration as her special mission, and she was fiercely dedicated to that vital job, year after year, in good times and bad.

I once asked her how many thousands of new voters she had registered over the years. She said she didn’t “keep count,” but I know that the number, if we knew it, would be astonishing. She did it out of love of community and love of country — the rarest of politicians: a person who was in it for all the right reasons.

With gratitude,

JUDITH HOPE

 

Thanks to Schumer
Amagansett
July 9, 2021

Dear David,

We have received substantial relief from the federal government through the Shutter Venue Operators Grant program. We want to thank Senator Chuck Schumer, who fought tirelessly to get this program through Congress in December and pushed for more money for the program in the American Rescue Plan, along with providing flexibility for venues to get assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program and S.V.O.G. He has also been our champion in pressing the Small Business Administration to fix implementation problems so the money would flow to all eligible applicants. Thanks to Senator Schumer’s efforts, we can make it through this crisis and recover.

Best,

PETER HONERKAMP

 

The Stephen Talkhouse
Comparison Incorrect
East Hampton

July 12, 2021

Dear David,

Since when does a restaurant reviewer compare and contrast the restaurant under review with another named restaurant? The answer is never, except in the case of The East Hampton Star. It is with much disappointment that your reviewer chose to compare my restaurant, Coche Comedor, with that of the Rita Cantina in his opening paragraph. His comments, comparison, and generalizations are without merit and incorrect.

The restaurant business is a hard business and of late has become even harder. We as an industry do not need the local papers commenting in any way about any restaurant that could possibly negatively impact its business. I wish nothing but the best for the folks at Rita Cantina in their new venture.

Regards,

MARK SMITH

Managing Partner

Honest Man Restaurants

 

Doesn’t Say Mango
Springs
July 9, 2021

To the Editor,

It used to be “the customer is always right,” but I guess that’s all changed.

At Citarella I feel this is still honored, and have occasionally returned food items for various legit reasons. I’m sure it’s a pain for them, but each time I am treated with courtesy and respect.

Not so at Red Horse Market, where I took a curried chicken salad sandwich the other day. I took a bite and had to spit it out, as it was filled with, besides some chicken, cubes of mango. I am violently allergic to mango. I took the sandwich back, with my receipt, and was introduced to the manager. I explained “I’m sorry, but I can’t eat this, it has mango in it, and I am very allergic.”

“But that’s our recipe,” stated the woman, in a tone that I could only immediately read as belligerent.

“Sorry,” I repeated, “but I didn’t know it contained mango, and I can’t eat it.”

Stabbing her finger at the label, she said, “It says Curried. Chicken. Salad.”

“Yes, but it doesn’t say mango,” I said, becoming alarmed that the store manager was now arguing with me, the customer. “I can’t eat the mango in it. It doesn’t say it contains mango, etc.

It went on, devolving from this, ending with her turning her back on me, and me carrying the sandwich from the store, feeling confused, attacked, uncared for (if nothing else, aren’t we supposed to have some sympathy for allergies?) angry, and defeated. The mango was actually some kind of reconstituted fruit substance, not real mango, but I had to be safe.

The sandwich label did not reveal its full list of ingredients as required by law, in any case. But more important, the woman was so rude, so dismissive, so aggressive, that I vowed never to set foot in Red Horse Market again, even though I’ve been shopping there since it opened many years ago.

Oh well. Today, a woman on her cellphone walked down the middle of my driving lane on Bay Street in Sag Harbor. I tapped lightly on my horn to let her know I was there, attempting to drive in the driving lane.

“F—k you, you f—king b—-h,” she screamed at me, continuing to walk in the traffic lane, forcing me to move around her into oncoming traffic.

I guess whether you’re a customer, or just a human being, the rudeness and incivility are here to stay.

BARBARA THOMAS

 

Driver’s Handbook?
Amagansett
July 12, 2021

Dear Dave,

I am writing regarding the utter incompetence taking place on our roads. I realize we are dealing with people who probably only drive two months of the year, but have they never read the driver's handbook?

Let me start with the stop sign, it is not a suggestion, it is the law. When you come to a stop sign you are supposed to come to a full stop, look around you, check the coast is clear, and then proceed with caution.

Now to the double yellow lines: You are supposed to stay on your side, and not drive straddling them. The only time you can cross over them is to pass a cyclist, jogger, or walker when you are giving them the legally required three feet of distance, and only then if the coast is clear and there is not a vehicle coming toward you. It should not become a game of dare between drivers.

Now to speed. When you are driving on our winding narrow roads, please do not treat them like a slalom course. Even if the speed limit says 30, at this time of the year it is better to err on the side of caution, you never know what is around the corner, once again possibly cyclists or pedestrians.

Now to those pedestrians and cyclists. Pedestrians, please walk in the direction of the oncoming traffic — that way the driver can see you and you can see them. Also, if you insist on walking four abreast, no doubt talking about where to get your next glass of chilled rosé, please go to single-file so the cars can pass you safely. Cyclists, I would ask the same consideration from you, when you are cycling with the traffic, please go single-file as drivers are now required to give you three feet of clearance, and if there is more than one of you that makes it even more dangerous. Share the road means share with everyone.

Drivers, please do not stop in the middle of your lane to wave across someone on the opposite side of the road who has a turn signal on. You may be patting yourself on the back about how considerate you are being, but you are putting everyone at risk. Anybody wishing to turn across a lane should have their turn signal on and should wait until it is safe for them to turn, not wait for a good Samaritan to cause an accident.

Now to another point that is not in the drivers manual but more a problem caused by local planning boards: gates at property entrances. I understand people want gates at the entrance to their properties, after all they must protect themselves from theft, paparazzi, and unwanted visitors, but please can we make the gate the length of a food delivery truck, or at least the length of a limousine, away from the road. That way you are not blocking the road for the rest of the traffic while you fumble to remember the security code.

So, to finish I would ask that people calm down when you are driving, take your time, and be considerate of others. Life is too short to risk it all driving like idiots.

Sincerely,

FIONA BENNETT

 

Reprint This Trash?
Montauk
July 12, 2021

To the Editor,

So, seriously: How does East rationalize reprinting the repulsively sexist Kenneth B. Walsh’s “Montauk” on its cover?

When I first saw it at 11 years old in 1976, I was repelled. It’s no less disgusting 45 years later.

Why on earth would East reprint this trash 45 years later, nipples and all?

Disgusted,

LAURA EULER

 

Current Cover
East Hampton
July 11, 2021

To the Editor,

Wow. What a relief! I thought the current cover of Hamptons magazine objectified the female body, but I checked and found there was a female editor and mostly female staff, so I must be wrong.

BILL NICOLAI

 

Another Chance
East Hampton
July 10, 2021

Dear David,

The July 8 “History of the Flags” letter to the editor, while offering an interesting overview of that history, throws little light on whose responsibility it was to put out American flags in the Village of East Hampton on June 19 in honor of he first observance of Juneteenth as a federal holiday — a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the nation.

We were told wrongly that the placing of American flags throughout the town was a function of veterans groups — which evidently prompted the July 8 response by the quartermaster of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

Concerning his criticism that Juneteenth was “just made a holiday the day before and that we could have cut everybody some slack before hammering them and creating conflict, which was not necessary,” we quote from The Star’s June 23 editorial, which made this point: “In Southampton there was a Juneteenth celebration in Agawam Park and up the way on North Sea Road, the opening of the new Southampton African American Museum, both of which were attended by elected officials.” If Southampton could do it, why not East Hampton?

As far as political responsibility for the flags is concerned, it was gratifying to see East Hampton Mayor Jerry Larsen’s comment in the July 8 Star where he admitted, “It was my oversight that flags were not put up, I take full responsibility for that and the only thing I can say is that moving forward we’ll do a better job.”

We look forward to working with Mayor Larsen and all other East Hampton leaders making sure that the holiday never becomes an oversight again and that we all do a better job celebrating it. We hope that this allays the quartermaster’s concerns about my letter hammering people and creating unnecessary conflict. Juneteenth represents another chance for America to heal, atone, and transform itself.

As the Plain Sight Project documents, “In East Hampton, Southampton, and across Long Island and New England, enslaved Blacks were present from the beginning of the colony. Slavery on the East End and the North as a whole is not widely understood for the essential place it had in the American experiment. As early as 1687 there were 25 enslaved people living in East Hampton out of a population of 500. Every household of means in East Hampton from the 1650s onward had one or two enslaved people.”

The importance of beginning this discussion openly and honestly cannot be overstated.

It was troubling to read in the quartermaster’s letter that when the Veterans of Foreign Wars was doing the flags, it was not a mandated list but a list that “grew organically over the years. Organizations meet, suggestions are made, decisions are made and actions are taken, he said. “It takes time.” For many, this reminds us of Martin Luther King’s 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail” As Dr. King put it then, “For years now, I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ ”

As the Plain Sight Project also put it, “What the response will look like —- how the names will be honored by the memory of the enslaved returned to our shared history — will be up to residents and community leaders.”

We agree with the quartermaster on his point that we are not told how to respond to everything in this country — nor should we ever be. He and all of us have a choice on how we respond. We hope he and East Hampton residents will respond in a transformative and healing way to Juneteenth and the dialogue we need to have about the legacy of slavery in our country and our communities on the East End.

We think if we all respond as if it were our own racial, religious, or ethnic group that was involved as slaves, we would all know what the response would and should be.

Sincerely,

JIM VRETTOS

REV. DR. WALTER SILVA THOMPSON

East Hampton Calvary Baptist Church

 

Long-Term Parking
East Hampton
July 10, 2021

Dear David,

I’m writing to concur with Peter Kingham’s letter to The Star which asks the village board to reconsider its withdrawal of long-term parking permits for town residents.

The $10 per day fee is prohibitive for those who use the lot on an ongoing basis. Taxis to the train station and Jitney are scarce and extremely expensive. And as Mr. Kingham comments, the use of mass transit is discouraged by this decision.

I also urge the board to reconsider its decision and reinstate long-term parking permits for town residents.

KATHLEEN FLEMING

 

Long-Term Parking Fee
East Hampton
July 11, 2021

To the Editor,

I’m writing to support my fellow neighbors who oppose the $10 per day long-term parking. For New York City commuters, that means $40 to $50 a week in parking fees alone. An annual pass should be offered to year-round residents of the town.

Thanks,

ZACH SMITH

 

Prohibitive
Springs
July 10, 2021

Dear David,

I’m writing to concur with Peter Kingham’s letter to The Star, which asks the village board to reconsider its withdrawal of long-term parking permits for town residents.

The $10 per day fee is prohibitive for those who use the lot on an ongoing basis. Taxis to the train station and Jitney are scarce and extremely expensive. And as Mr. Kingham comments, the use of mass transit is discouraged.

I also urge the board to reconsider its decision and reinstate long-term parking permits for town residents.

LYNN FEINSON

 

More Solar Power
Sag Harbor
July 11, 2021

To the Editor:

In a joint victory for clean energy and the state’s Office of Renewable Energy Siting, a large new solar facility of 36 megawatts is joining three smaller ones in Calverton. The Office of Renewable Energy Siting, or ORES, a key part of the climate-forward policies ushered in under Governor Cuomo, speeds up the approval process of renewable energy projects of 25 megawatts and larger. Before ORES, this process was arcane and endless, yielding few completed projects. And we have no time to waste.

The Office of Renewable Energy Siting makes sure we get the renewable energy projects we need to fight the climate crisis, which is making itself extremely evident this year. The Pacific Northwest suffered under triple-digit heat. The American West is ready to ignite. Farmers are triaging their crops for lack of water.

Meanwhile, New York’s Clean Futures Act, which would have banned new and redeveloped climate-killing gas plants, thus favoring more solar and wind generation, didn’t make it to the floor of the Legislature in Albany. Shame on Assembly leader Carl Heastie and Senate leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

In this context, 36 megawatts of solar power in Calverton is very good news indeed. Welcome to the East End!

KATHLEEN BOZIWICK

 

Do What’s Right
Amagansett
July 10, 2021

Dear Editor:

To quote the opinion piece in The Star June 10, titled “Still Hope for Pantigo Ball Fields.”

“The East Hampton Town Board is picking on kids. It is not intentional, to be sure, but sticking with the idea of allowing an emergency-lite medical facility to replace a pair of side-by-side baseball diamonds and offering an insufficient replacement near the far western edge of the town, it sure looks that way.”

Yes, it is exactly what it looks like. The Little League kids are being picked on and run out of town for the promise of better fields in Wainscott. No doubt about it.

There has been no coherent argument put forward as to why the children must be driven to such a remote location. Certainly not one that has made any sense, anyway.

And during the last year and a half that I have been protesting this Pantigo Place swindle, the Springs School District has constructed two lovely playing fields of their own, one a multipurpose field and the other a beautiful baseball field.

It is an absolutely first-class recreation ground, and more important, they didn’t have to go to Wainscott to build them.

The Springs School park is right in the center of Springs, where the children and their user groups can easily access them. Just the way it should be. In immediate proximity to where the children live. Proving, conclusively, that parks and recreation can be placed within our neighborhoods.

See, town board, it’s not that hard or painful. You just do what’s right for the families and kids of our community.

Show us that there is still a soul in this community and that not everything we hold dear has been sold. That we are not yet suburbia. And we know how to care for our own children and families.

And just maybe, you can find a remnant of our small-town values. Values that compel us to embrace our young Little Leaguers rather than picking on them and running them out of town.

CHARLIE WHITMORE

 

Springs Tower
Springs
July 11, 2021

To the Editor,

The latest round of hearings, studies, commissions, and all kinds of babble, blather, and smoke and mirrors regarding cell-phone service in Springs is upon us, with no end in sight. But this dog-and-pony show is totally unnecessary, because the facts are quite clear.

Everyone, including me, agrees that cellphone service in most areas of Springs is terrible. I live in the far reaches of Clearwater Beach, an especially bad area. Everyone also knows we need a cell tower to solve this problem. Most people know that since 2015 a perfectly suitable tower has stood at the Springs firehouse on Fort Pond Boulevard, erected at the Springs Fire Department.

This tower is identical to the one in use at the Amagansett firehouse and the three cell towers that were almost the only structures still standing after the huge hurricane that hit Homestead, Fla., several years ago; those towers are still standing. The Springs tower would provide most of the service Springs needs, would bring needed revenues to Springs Fire Department coffers and thereby some tax relief to Springs residents, and, most important, would give Springs firefighters and E.M.T.s the communications so vital to the safe performance of their duties.

The problem is that David Kelley, a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, filed an utterly frivolous lawsuit against the tower, tying it up in the courts for years. Mr. Kelley is the brother of Chris Kelley, the longtime Grand Poobah of our local Democrat Party. Our feckless town board apparently doesn’t want to cross the Boss, so the tower remains dormant while the board concocts one ludicrous proposal after another. Springs firefighters and E.M.T.s frequently can’t communicate with residents in need or with each other. Lives are put in danger. The daily frustrations of Springs residents continue unabated.

The board’s refusal to grant a permit for the tower is stupid, costly, and dangerous. Springs residents, whatever their party affiliation, should demand an end to this foolish charade. The solution is simple and immediately available: The town board should grant a waiver to deal with whatever paperwork missteps took place in 2015, as they are so often wont to do when it suits them, and issue a permit forthwith.

The safety of Springs residents, firefighters, and E.M.T.s should be paramount, not the misguided preferences of an influential few.

There is a cute little meme currently circulating in Springs which sums it up nicely: “Flip The Switch!”

Sincerely,

REG CORNELIA

 

Time for a Change
Amagansett
July 12, 2021

To the Editor,

David Lys had hoped no one was bothered he made an executive decision on a weekend to dump more sand in Montauk — I mind. You can just throw money and sand away on a weekend? Does the town board have a permit to make this decision freely? What are the parameters for it? Any time is a good time? Is it the anytime a bag is exposed you have 30 days to cover the bags or forfeit the permit? Can you dump sand wherever you feel like? Certainly, they do it once a year. Now three times this year? Do we see a fourth on the way? How much was that again? I’m sure the money didn’t come directly out of your pocket, Mr. Lys.

The town was slated to spend another $300,000 after the $750,000-plus they already did this year? How much was lost right after we had Tropical Storm Elsa come through on Friday?

When Wilkinson dumped sand in front of Surfside Drive homes after a storm, people were ready to run him up a flagpole. Was it the right choice then? Maybe? Now year after year we continuously need to cover these geobags in Montauk.

The affectionately now named Dirt Bag Beach geobags play the role of the major part of the problem: Erosion happens 50 years quicker in areas with these hardening structures. Remember now it’s said to protect the buildings? The beach being destroyed repeatedly is expected and acceptable if the buildings are standing. The goal line is always moving back. Moving back is what might have to be done.

“Temporary” was what our then-Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc echoed to the heavens in 2015, but it never means that. These structures far too often become permanent. The Fire Island to Montauk Project was apparently almost here. In 2018, not here yet as the bags remained. The bags seem permanent now.

Present day, FIMP is still not on the way and preliminary reports show the demand will outpace what the Army Corps of Engineers can physically keep up with. The 40-plus feet that’s been lost has been after the bags were completed in 2016. If you’ve never watched the time lapse it’s worth the watch.

I’ll remind you all that temporary means anything under a year. But, not to fear, remember the Army Corps will pay for the seawall-sandbag removal. Maybe it’ll be the county. I’m sure it’ll all be a cost to us. This project was to include the covering of the bags with natural, native sand so the view would be that of the old beach? Let’s start holding the members who were on the board then and seek re-election now accountable.

Will they ever give us an answer? Maybe we’ll get more “I think” from Supervisor Van Scoyoc. Can someone help him learn “I think” means it’s not a factual statement? Face the facts.

Van Scoyoc can’t deal with factual statements.

The rest of the board will remain silent, as always. You can’t stop the water, storms, or the weather. Government always finds a way to change the climate. It’s time for a change: Walles, Aman, Karpinski.

JOE KARPINSKI

Republican and Conservative candidate for East Hampton Town Board

 

In Response
Montauk
July 12, 2021

To the Editor,

There is no disrespect to the editor, but clarification is warranted in the editor’s response to the “Does Not State” letter to the editor from Jon Howard (in the July 8 Star) in response to my letter (in the July 1 Star).

I would encourage all interested to read the piece in The Independent on May 23, 2019, by T.E. McMorrow. It states Edward Burke, an attorney representing Marc Rowan, said the meeting on Feb. 14, 2018, was between him, Van Scoyoc, Sendlenski, Councilman Lys, and Rowan. He said he did not recall Van Scoyoc mentioning political cover. Rather, Burke summed up the thrust of the conversation by saying, “The only way to get this right is to get a judicial determination or interpretation.” Rowan was contacted through a spokesman and gave a similar account of the meeting. On May 21, 2019, published by The Southampton Press, Michael Wright stated, “The supervisor says he told Mr. Rowan that the town’s position was that much of what he requested was not something that the town could grant in accordance with its laws and that if Mr. Rowan thought otherwise, he would have to take the matter to court”.

The town board’s position has not changed even under Larry Cantwell’s supervision.

In the meantime, while this matter is being litigated, and considering the last two weeks of incredibly high bacterial levels reported adjacent to that location from the Blue Water Task Force, Duryea’s should schedule bi-weekly pumpouts to ensure septic and greywater are not discharged into Fort Pond Bay.

See bwtf.surfrider.org for the extraordinarily high bacteria level report.

LAURA MICHAELS

Sworn depositions, including from Marc Rowan and Town Councilman David Lys, differ from the above accounts. Ed.

 

Six Hours After
Plainview
July 10, 2021

To the Editor,

How dumb is the New York State law that allowed an obviously drunk boat driver (who admitted to having had “a few drinks,” was unsteady on his feet, had bloodshot eyes, smelled of alcohol, and had just crashed his boat into a jetty on the Great South Bay in Sayville) to refuse to have his blood drawn right after the crash, which had ejected and presumably killed a “lost at sea” passenger? His blood sample was not taken until a warrant had been obtained six hours after the crash. But even dumber was the law that allowed this clear-and-present danger to the public to be released on bail — free to kill other victims by driving another boat (or car or truck) while drunk.

RICHARD SIEGELMAN

 

A Third the Noise
East Hampton
July 10, 2021

Dear David,

I would like to see East Hampton lead the way on the East End in the implementation of silent fireworks. Silent fireworks, used frequently (and sometimes by law) in Europe, are not actually silent but they do generate about a third of the noise of traditional fireworks.

With the scheduled program at Main Beach on Aug. 21, we need to consider how detrimental the loud noise is to a large number of our denizens. We all know that dogs can be terrified by the noises. Have you ever seen a dog shivering and whimpering for hours on end during a Fourth of July fireworks display? It is heartbreaking. More dogs are reported lost on the Fourth of July than at any other time as they bolt from their homes in a blind panic.

The hearing of animals, so much more sensitive than that of humans, can be permanently damaged by fireworks. Livestock, too, will panic and harm property and themselves in trying to escape. Birds and small animals will abandon their nests and become so disoriented that they never return. Birds fleeing the scene will crash into buildings and trees.

Not only are animals affected, but many humans must go into lockdown mode to escape the noise. Consider our combat veterans suffering from P.T.S.D., victims of gunshots, children on the autism spectrum, or anyone else with noise sensitivities.

It is true that silent (or reduced-noise) fireworks may not pack the same punch and, generally, cannot reach as wide an audience as traditional fireworks, but isn’t it time to consider the ill effects these have on creatures, human and animal? We all want to celebrate, particularly this year, but let’s evolve with the times and consider modifying our traditional festivities so no being is subjected to such stress and fear.

Yours sincerely,

BRONWYN QUILLEN

 

Roaring Engines
East Hampton
July 8, 2021

Dear David:

To attack a family in its home violates standards that define civility.

Listen to Detroit’s “noisiest cars ever,” deliberately souped-up with after-market mufflers. They wind out, doing racing changes, at 2 a.m. in East Hampton. The howls bring to mind the same word: irrational. The souped-up cars, the roaring trucks, the whining motorcycles — day and night.

This has nothing to do with the increase in traffic in East Hampton since the Covid-19 crisis — or just another summer. Yes, more cars, more workmen, and so, more trucks, long lines at the intersection of Stephen Hand’s Path and Route 114. That is life. Do we want this growth and urban congestion? Can we avoid it? Not my message here.

My message is a new culture of joy in roaring engines and winding gears that we hear tearing the night for a mile. This is deliberate violation of civility. It is disturbing the peace, noise pollution, and speeding. Also, the crime of altering mufflers with after-market purchases. It is the defiance we associate with the Mexican crime cartels. In case you missed it, stories of this “new reign of terror” have been appearing in newspapers across the country.

I have given up on the East Hampton police, sedating strolling streets to put tickets on windshields. Police Chief Sarlo poses as responsive to the community. Where is he?

The drivers who race through the intersection of Route 114 and Stephen Hand’s Path are a new culture. They get off on disturbing the peace at 2 a.m. They assert their defiance of civility by race driving. Thrills. Macho. The “fart-can” in your face. They are signaling only to each other, their own culture, and the signal is: “We rule these sedate, timid burghers! Wake up! We rule!”

Is this all right for our future, East Hampton?

They aren’t conducting their Nuremberg Nazi motorcycle rally on your street, so who cares?

Do I exaggerate? Sure, to illustrate a matter of principle. The roaring of thousands of Nazis on motorcycles rallying at Nuremberg terrified citizens into silence. The message: Powerful, macho men rule the night. Cower in your home. Hide. Maybe all will be well.

The stakes are not the same. This is just noise. But it also is screaming into the night: “You can’t ignore me! I am in your life! I am here and to hell with you!”

The East Hampton police and their feckless leadership are numb. They must live on side streets. And income from ticketing is priority number one.

David, I think you are our last recourse before vigilantism. Buy a few decibel counters and send reporters and photographers to the intersection of Route 114 and Stephen Hand’s Path. Get the story. Pursue it in its implications for health (hearing and stress), the implications for immigrant culture, the need for a new focus of law on lifestyle crimes. Perhaps there is a Pulitzer Prize in it. I hope so.

Nothing to worry about? Just the onward progress of East Hampton? Fine.

Do the story, as have so many other journalists around America.

WALTER DONWAY

 

Very Accurate
Noyac
July 9, 2021

To the Editor,

I greatly appreciate your editorials on the airport. As a resident of Noyac since the early 1960s, your perspective on the problem here is very accurate. On behalf of my family and neighbors, thank you!

P.S.: I just subscribed to The Star. Best newspaper on the East End.

JOHN KIRRANE

 

Deep Divide
East Hampton
July 7, 2021

To the Editor,

Underpinning the July 6 town board work session on the future of East Hampton Airport was the socioeconomic divide between those who fly in and out of the airport, and those whose daily lives, in their homes, are severely impacted by the constant noise of aircraft above them. Frustrated residents from Noyac, the North Fork, Southampton, and beyond spoke about being woken up, being unable to have a conversation in their own backyards, seeing their property values decline because their neighborhoods are on the flight path, though nowhere near the airport.

On the other side, one speaker in particular was emblematic of the deep divide, both economic and social, among residents on the East End. This speaker started with a list of his many generous philanthropic contributions to our community. He touted the airport as needed infrastructure to fly his employees in and out from far-flung places, and said that his business would suffer if the airport were closed. He ended his time speaking to the board saying that “anyway, if a hurricane comes, I need a way to get out.” The self-interest in this statement speaks volumes and should not be glossed over. What this speaker was really saying was that his needs are more important than everyone else’s.

While his contributions to the community are vast and to be commended, his attitude is anything but community-minded. Until those in power, with great privilege and money, come to recognize the impact of their behavior, both environmentally and ethically, what choice do we have? Shutting the airport may seem extreme, but those who act without regard, and, more specifically, without empathy for the majority in the community, cannot be trusted to do the right thing.

In the coming months, East Hampton residents have a voice in the future of our town and our quality of life. There is a possibility for potential compromise: returning the airport to its original use (small planes/owner-operated). This might be possible, but compromise with those who are looking out only for themselves seems almost impossible unless residents make their voices heard. We are all privileged to live here and all have a say in the future of our town.

Sincerely,

SHARONE EINHORN

 

Never So Few
East Hampton
July 8, 2021

Dear Editor,

The East Hampton Airport: Never have so few disturbed the peace of so many.

KATE EPSTEIN

 

Helicopter Lobby
Wainscott
July 9, 2021

Dear David:

After viewing much of last week’s town board meeting regarding the future of the airport, I feel I must commend the highly-paid, out of town, aviation-for-profit helicopter lobby.

It seems that they have convinced some in Montauk that if the East Hampton Airport closes, a thundering herd of noisy, dirt-spewing Sikorskys will descend upon their unsuspecting village, destroying it once and for all.

Meanwhile these hucksters and their assigns are looking the town board and Wainscott residents square in the eye promising that as early as next week a fleet of spotlessly clean, quiet, battery-powered whirlybirds will emerge like magic to ferry the elite to wherever it is they come from.

Their game plan is a simple one: Trick East Hampton residents into fighting with one another instead of together against the real problem.

If there is a solution to the horrific mess that HTO has become we must find it together, ignoring the pirates from away seeking only to continue the destruction-for-profit they seem to enjoy.

Beware the lines and wires of salesmen, cheats, and liars.

Sincerely,

TOM MACNIVEN

 

Scare Tactic
Noyac
July 9, 2021

Dear David,

Many of us have received a mail flier from the East Hampton Community Alliance stating that the airport is needed to provide medevac services.

This scare tactic is misleading. A fully operational airport is not needed for helicopter evacuations — helicopters only need a suitable helipad for landing and takeoff. Furthermore, helicopter evacuations are generally performed at the closest available spot where the emergency occurs.

Transporting a victim to the airport is not necessary and would involve additional lapsed time before treatment at the designated facility.

ED JABLONSKY

 

A Few Ideas
East Hampton
July 9, 2021

Dear Editor,

We are local residents and recreational pilots who support keeping East Hampton Airport open for aircraft operations. The airport has played an important role in the economy and development of our town and should continue to do so in the future. I have a few ideas as part of the airport’s future.

First, the airport facilities can be expanded and improved for greater community access. An aviation museum and restaurant can be added to the terminal building, as well as an aviation-themed playground. We know that many children are fascinated by airplanes based on the turnout at the annual Just Plane Fun Day events, which are very popular with local families.

Second, we should build a learning and educational center in a modern hangar. In collaboration with the local school boards, we can create an aviation theme STEM program for young children. For high school students, we can offer a curriculum for those interested in an aviation career. For those who may not be aware, at present, Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles Chapter 1647 is based at the airport, which provides educational opportunities in aviation and actual flights to children in our town.

Third, we should explore the installation of solar arrays at certain parts of the airport property as well as on every building where feasible to produce electricity for the town and airport. This will allow us to reduce the carbon footprint of the airport. This has been successful at Cape Cod Gateway Airport.

Over 90 percent of the town’s air pollution is created by cars and trucks that clog our roadways. The town should focus its efforts to reduce these emissions to improve our local environment. Residents should be offered incentives to purchase and use electric vehicles, bicycles, and other forms of low and non-polluting transportation. Addition-ally, the town’s fleet of vehicles, where feasible, and not compromising to public safety, should be converted to electric.

Another significant polluter in the town are the boats, which jam our waterways, harbors, and marinas. These craft emit pollutants into the water and air. The propellers cause distress and damage to the marine wildlife and environment. What are we doing to address this increasing danger to the town’s waterways and environment?

In short, it is disingenuous to target aviation as posing an inordinate threat to the environment.

As for community safety, the Suffolk County Office of Emergency Management, the United States Coast Guard, and the Civil Air Patrol rely on East Hampton Airport to base search-and-rescue and disaster-response operations. The airport is important for medical evacuations. It offers instrument approaches for fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters to land in low-ceiling conditions. This is critical in lifesaving situations for transportation to a trauma center.

The locally based pilots are committed to being respectful and helpful to our neighbors. We adhere to flight curfews, noise abatement procedures, as well as the recently adopted Pilot Pledge. A number of local pilots transport abandoned animals for ARF, as well as provide “angel” medical flights through the nonprofit Patient Airlift Services.

The pilots, the town board, and those who utilize the airport and other interested parties should sit down and work together for a mutual solution to continue to operate the airport and for it to continue to be an important part of our community for generations to come.

EDMOND C. CHAKMAKIAN, ESQ.

GARY HERMAN

 

No Magical Fix
Orient
July 11, 2021

To the Editor,

As the debate over repurposing KHTO airport continues, the East Hampton Town Board needs to study the fact that, historically, flight paths have been over other townships with minimal impact on East Hampton itself. Currently the November route primarily impacts Southampton communities like Hampton Bays, Noyac, and North Sea. For years, the flight paths disproportionately impacted Riverhead and Southold. Who knows which towns will be impacted by any future route changes, but given the history it’s a safe bet that East Hampton will be minimally impacted.

The East Hampton Town Board does not make route decisions. It makes no sense to poll East Hampton residents alone when researching the negative impact of aviation noise and pollution. By design, they have had minimal exposure and most have no clue as to how truly awful it is to live anywhere near the flight paths. Playground rules of fairness would dictate that if East Hampton wants the minimal revenue boost associated with air taxis, then its residents must also shoulder the negatives as well. As things stand, any study must include the negative impact on quality of life and property values for all impacted communities from New York City to the East End.

I have been involved with the aviation noise issue since 2013 and can confidently say that there is no magical route fix to abate the noise. The noise footprints are miles wide, and most of Long Island is an extremely low-ambient-noise environment. The current push for water routes is silly, as water moves noise more efficiently than over land. Water-facing communities do not want aviation noise any more than other communities do. The strong showing from Montauk residents at last week’s board meeting says it all: No one wants aviation noise.

ADAM IRVING

 

Airport Debate
Montauk
July 11, 2021

Dear Mr. Rattray,

There’s something ironic in your drumbeat to close East Hampton Airport (“Airport Options: Put Residents First,” July 8), especially when in the very next breath you lament the insanity that is a holiday weekend in Montauk (“Five Nights of Hell,” July 8).

As I understand it, there are some pretty good arguments on both sides of the airport debate. It would seem you are of the view that the airport, as it is now operated, is unduly disruptive to the lives of people living to the north and west. Your solution is to shut it down and take it private.

 If only. What are the odds that, once closed, the airport could be reopened? Seems like a prime opportunity for an enterprising lawyer with well-heeled clients to the north and west to gum it up in environmental reviews and litigation for a very long time. Given how things tend to work around here, that seems to be an exceptionally likely outcome, if your recommendation were followed. Moreover, earlier published discussions of wildlife in the area and the opportunity for additional parkland (presumably because we have so little today) suggest that the environmental angle takes precedence over commercial and practical considerations — for you and The Star, at least.

In what way is that desirable for the residents of this town — meaning East Hampton and all of its hamlets? If the East Hampton airport is closed, what is the impact on East Hampton? For certain, it translates into increased traffic at the private Montauk airport, and on the roads from Montauk and Napeague and Amagansett and East Hampton Village to the fancy places farther west, whose residents and visitors routinely use the East Hampton airport today. You wrote about the degradation of Montauk by summer crowds — can you imagine (or will you acknowledge) the incremental burden and harm to our still quaint fishing hamlet and to the rest of the town? Do you care?

Our neighbors in Southampton and Sag Harbor are just that — neighbors. As you or I should with our own neighbors, East Hampton should be considerate of them, as they should be of us. But that doesn’t mean, by any measure, that East Hampton should take on unacceptable costs and burdens and simply write off a substantial capital asset in the interest of our neighbors, nor should the town burden a significant number of its residents with a shift in air traffic — and a readily predictable resultant increase in road traffic — just because it’s noisy. That’s lazy thinking, or it’s disingenuous.

The interests of East Hampton residents can be found on both sides of the debate, despite your editorializing to the contrary. Instead of advocating to shut the airport with the suggestion (one that few have any faith in) that it would be able to reopen as a private facility, perhaps you could lay out specific, concrete, and pragmatic (as opposed to pie-in-the-sky, never-gonna-happen nonsense) changes to how the current airport operates, so that it reasonably reduces the burdens for our neighbors and fellow residents without increasing burdens and costs on many residents in East Hampton. That would certainly be a valuable contribution by The Star. We’re waiting.

As an aside, I note that, in your Montauk editorial, you blame the disruptive crowds in Montauk on town officials and question whether Montauk residents really care. To be clear, out here in Montauk, my neighbors and friends do care and are not at all pleased by the damage and disruption (it isn’t technically mayhem, although that’s a starkly dramatic image), but we also know how important seasonal business is. The East Hampton Police Department does a remarkable job in Montauk all summer and year round, and contrary to your implication, the town government does a terrific job balancing commercial, quality-of-life, and law-and-order considerations.

You would do a much greater service to this community by making concrete recommendations for managing what troubles you and advocating for those recommendations as opposed to hectoring about what you read on social media. It’s always easier to complain, isn’t it?

JONATHAN YELLEN

 

Aviation Interests
Noyac
July 12, 2021

Dear Editor,

Fearmongering advertising by a small group of local pilots with aviation interests at East Hampton Airport (one a pilot and founder of Zen Air, the other an operator of a car rental franchise at KHTO) continues to land in our mailboxes. The most recent postcard attempts to instill alarm in residents about medevac and emergency flight services should the Town of East Hampton decide to close its problem-plagued KHTO airport after Federal Aviation Administration grant assurances end later this year.

Such contentions were countered just this past Saturday, at a public meeting, by East Hampton Councilwoman Sylvia Overby, who again stated that the airport was not the only location frequently used for medical and emergency evacuations, naming locations at Havens Beach in Sag Harbor, the 555 Property in Amagansett, and a site in Montauk, among other locations, where recent evacuations have taken place. In the Town of Southampton, there is a helipad on Meadow Lane and one at Southampton Hospital and a helipad has been proposed for the new Southampton Stony Brook Medical facility to be built in East Hampton. It seems likely if the airport were to be closed, the town would consider maintaining a helipad at the property on Daniel’s Hole Road.

Statements that emergency helicopters cannot land in severe weather conditions make little sense when police and medevac helicopters will not take off in severe weather conditions. Pilots flying police and medevac helicopters are among the best aviation professionals who take the utmost precautions for their own safety, that of the medevac technicians on board, and any injured party they are called to help. They will not endanger lives in the air or on the ground in severe weather. Stop the fearmongering and all nonessential flights.

Thank you,

PATRICIA CURRIE

 

Place Well-Being First
Wainscott
July 10, 2021

Dear David:

Once again, The Star speaks loudly for the residents to be a priority.

The town government is responsible by oath, to protect the safety and health of the resident, not only here, but all those far and near who are affected by the East Hampton Town-owned airport. The numbers are in the thousands.

As you so plainly put it, “Why should they suffer, because some jerk with a platinum credit card can bounce in and out by helicopter?”

The Sergeant Schultz routine that has gone on for decades shows an indifference toward the affected communities and residents, who cannot even enjoy their homes. Exposure to constant danger and pollution contribute to the disruption of daily living.

So I ask the town board a simple question: Is the safety, health, and well-being of a huge number of residents not the priority in making the decision to close the airport? News reports from all over mention deadly plane crashes. Everyone forgets the crash and fire in the 1990s and recent events, like the East Hampton Village crash.

We have a town board that favors a green environment to protect water and resources. Is it not somewhat hypocritical to permit pollution of the air and ground by leaded-gas-flying aircraft, which threaten the safety of all of us? The threat hovers daily.

An airport doesn’t belong in an area with land fast being developed. Close the damn thing and place the residents’ well-being first and foremost. That should be the deciding factor.

Respectfully,

ARTHUR J. FRENCH

 

Warped Theory
Bridgehampton
July 12, 2021

To the Editor,

The progressive liberal Marxists continue to push the warped theory that white people are evil.

Therefore the young children of interracial marriage are being taught to hate one of their parents while in the classroom.

TED DAMIECKI

 

About Rules
Montauk
July 12, 2021

Dear David,

We have high school students getting on a plane, refusing to wear a mask, getting out of control. I ask, the plane was canceled, all removed, people going on vacation need to rent a motel. However, the high school students who caused this scene went about their own way, without a care in the world. No arrest, no fine, not even held in contempt. Walked away with a laugh. Why, why was nothing done to these gems? The disrespect shown is disgusting, you know they will do it again.

Athletes wearing U.S.A. gear turning their backs on the American flag. Hey, stupid, you are there because there is a sponsor for you to represent America. Ms. Berry, you are so self-centered you believe everything is about you. You do not belong on the Olympic team. It bothers you to wear a shirt with U.S.A. on it. It annoyed you that “The Star-Spangled Banner” was played while you in third place stood on the podium, because you told the committee it bothers you to hear that song.

Rules for the Olympics are in place by the world, drugs not allowed, no spot for you if or when you are tested, and, test-positive, you’re out. We don’t need politicians complaining about rules. A.O.C., keep your opinions to yourself. Rules are for everyone. The flag stands for all who gave their lives and limbs so we could be free. Believe freedom isn’t free.

In God and country,

BEA DERRICO

 

Sign of Desperation
East Hampton
July 12, 2021

David,

Only in the U.S. is the fixation with communism and socialism real and pressing. It is a sign of desperation and degeneracy that this pointless drivel is turned into a normalized subject of concern.

Last week a guy in Southampton held up a sign on Route 27 that “Democrats are Communists” — wishful thinking. Then Donald Rumsfeld dies and his anti-communist fabrications come to light in a scary, creepy way. Then in The Times Sunday Review section Yi-zheng Lian explains the political history of China and its Communist Party. The finishing touch is the Fox piece on American Marxism.

When glommed together we find a crazy quilt mixture of misinformation, incoherence, and manipulation all leading to a chaotic world which needs anything but chaos to survive itself. Only once we figure out how to live together in some kind of harmony will we be able to eliminate this chaos that our competing societies create.

The communism of Karl Marx never really took hold the way it was designed. It turned almost immediately to a violent fascism where the populace had little input and less power. More like quasi-slave states with slightly more freedom than the U.S. slavery model. The ultimate freedom, the right to leave, was denied. The competition between capitalist and communist ideologies was far more theoretical than real. Capitalism without free markets like communism without political freedoms were fabricated talking points. That we are debating the merits of both isms is a testimony to the depth of our political retardation.

The guy with the “Democrats Are Communists” sign is an idiot.

In Errol Morris’s “Fog of War” memo piece he explains Rumsfeld’s Iraq war aluminum tubes disinformation program, but adds on his effort to recast the threat from the Soviet Union. In the face of all the data showing the Soviets Union’s economic disaster and its military impotence beyond the nuclear threat, Rumsfeld concluded that the U.S.S.R. was a much greater threat than it actually was. He developed the process of concocting evidence to support an already determined conclusion. Questioning truth on the basis of predetermined beliefs. By the time the U.S.S.R. collapsed he had moved on to other things and didn’t look back. We live and suffer with “memo illusion” — a true patriot.

Yi-zheng Lian’s piece on China eviscerates the theory that China — communism — will follow the same path as the Soviet Union. China’s communism is a political concept for maintaining order and controlling 1.2 billion people. The Soviet Union introduced collectivism into a feudal society but never attained economic stability. Its collapse was built into the structure of its system. China’s economic system operates on capitalist principles with maximizing profits as its main objective. It has a history thousands of years old with dynasties lasting more than 500 years. Culturally China has a superiority complex vis-a-vis the rest of the world and has no interest in challenging the west politically. Its primary goals are economic dominance and maximum power. The threat from China is real. The Soviet Union was an inept powder puff in comparison. China is exporting T-shirts and computer chips, not communism.

Marxism, according to Fox, is a threat to our way of life. It was only ever a threat because it represented higher wages for workers, free health care, free education, good housing, and a ton of positive social benefits. All good stuff that most people, even the wealthiest, would appreciate. The allure of Marxism was its social humanism. The reality is that it never was going to happen here.

Marxism is comparable to the foreign car industry’s tons of ideas and systems that we incorporated into our domestic industry that make it function better. It’s less about the means of production then putting out the best possible product.

Yet, the struggle in the U.S. between corporations and workers is a class struggle that is Marxian in concept but basic business practices at its core. The refusal to share wealth is the primary question. So much so, that the Supreme Court, in a moment of mind-bending, opiate-induced idiocy, declared corporations to be people. Allowing them to manipulate the political system to sustain the unequal distribution of wealth.

If the idiot with the sign or the patriotic flag wavers or Fox news could actually articulate what they mean when they are talking about Marxism, it might merit a short discussion on the subject. But obfuscating real problems with garbage is nothing more than a giant circle jerk. Knowledge becomes dangerous when we refuse to seek it out.

NEIL HAUSIG


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