July 19, 2021
To the Editor,
Last Friday, I joined the line for the wine store and started chatting with the gal in front of me. We talked about Covid, and this line was to place an order since you can’t get into the store. I mentioned that I had just lost my 53-year-old firefighter son to Covid, and she told me her daughter is in the hospital with anorexia. Now I’m sad for her.
I asked what was she doing in Montauk and she said her husband sent her for a massage and that she lived in Springs. My broken heart then turned to hug her, mother to mother, and encourage her with hope for her daughter.
We both had different store clerks and I didn’t know that she paid for my wine! I was so touched, and thanked her multiple times but didn’t think it was enough so I’m writing hopefully that she will see how much I appreciated her kindness and sympathy in the loss of my son.
LOIS J. PAGLIAROLI
Memories of Amagansett
July 17, 2021
To the Editor,
Thank you for the article about my father, Pete Rana, and brother Peter in the July 15 issue of The East Hampton Star. It brought back wonderful memories of Amagansett in the 1940s, 1950s, and into the 1960s. My uncle Ralph Rana and his son, another Pete, had a barbershop in Bridge-hampton at the same time. I suppose I can include myself on the roster: I cut my husband’s hair, such as it is.
DIANA RANA VOORHEES
Cedar Lawn Cemetery
July 19, 2021
It was with disgust that I read the article in last week’s paper about Cedar Lawn Cemetery being used as a parking lot for Robert Lococo of 64 Cooper Lane’s private party. What has become of this town that someone would feel this is acceptable behavior?
Then for his employee, Mark Mercer, to imply that Stephen Lynch, a well-respected town official, was lying about the number of cars he saw is shameful. Maybe he is living in the land of “alternative facts.”
Also, I would have thought any reputable valet service would know that parking in a cemetery is not an acceptable thing to do.
There are many old local families who have members buried in the cemetery, but I will address just two. My mother-in-law, Katharine Edwards Bennett, who served her country during World War II, is buried there, as is her father, Dr. David Edwards, a devoted family doctor who served his community for over 50 years. Both I am sure would turn in their graves if they knew that their final resting place was being used as a parking lot. They and everyone else buried there deserve our respect.
My mother used to say that no amount of money can buy class and good behavior and I think the actions of Robert Lococo have proved her point.
‘Guests’ Don’t Care
July 19, 2021
To the Editor:
Do people really not care? Let’s analyze this issue — and try to come up with the answer to this nightmare. We have an influx of people each season — possibly more than this town can handle. Most every resort town has the same problem, but we — Montauk — seem to be getting the people who like to throw their trash and garbage on our beaches and roads. Why is that? Who was raised that way?
Really — 10 receptacles at Ditch Plain? Is that really needed? It’s like visual pollution, and then we see that isn’t enough as “guests” will leave their household garbage alongside of the cans. There are some who would argue that the guests (using term loosely) just don’t care. Is that it?
I was raised (and most of you reading this the same) that whatever you take to the beach you take home with you. “Carry on. Carry off.” Now that’s not too difficult. I could never imagine going to a beautiful pristine bucolic beach and not leaving it the same way as when I arrived.
Our society has produced people who just don’t care. I’d like to believe that one sees a trash can and decides to fill it with household garbage, instead of using the recycling center (which by the way is available to all for a small fee) is just lazy. So how do we resolve this? Make a townwide campaign, such as the mask mandate? Have fewer trash cans?
This is nothing new; a littering campaign has been in effect nationwide for decades. So are we raising people who just don’t care? I’m at a loss except to do my part when I see trash, pick it up. Kind of takes the fun out of going for a walk and picking up all this crap, right?
While I’m at it, speaking of people who don’t care, those who don’t want to be vaccinated. Put everyone in jeopardy and themselves — doctors, nurses overloaded again. We’re never going to get out of this mess because of people who don’t care. I would bet the people of under-privileged countries would give anything to have a vaccine, but then we have our entitled Americans who have decided to make a political statement out of science — get the vaccine or teach your kids yourself at home!
Free to Visit Here
July 16, 2021
To the Editor:
Following its July 6 meeting, it appears that the board of directors of the Clearwater Beach Property Owners Association is committed to keeping in place the misleading and, we believe, meanspirited signs describing our Springs neighborhood as a “Private Community.” We are writing to The Star to reassure nonresidents of Clearwater that, despite the signage, they are free to visit here on foot, bicycle, or motor vehicle just as they would any other public place in East Hampton.
Entrance to the marina at the end of King’s Point Road is restricted to members, but the leafy streets, fresh air, breezy beaches, and birdsongs of Clearwater are not “private” and are available for all to enjoy. We will be happy to welcome you here as long as you drive safely and respect the rules that protect our fragile environment.
East Hampton Village
July 13, 2021
Dear East Hampton Star,
Like most of you, I’ve been reading a lot of articles concerning the current labor shortage in our area, many from nonlocal sources. The one in particular which caught my attention was in Vogue, mainly because it opened talking about the “lack” of personal grooming salons (hair, nails, even pet groomers) and only later talked about problems finding more necessary things like landscaping and housekeeping services. And while the housing shortage for those who would provide services is a large factor, there is another which is almost as impactful — and was a problem long before Covid 19 hit us. Simply put, it is the way servicepeople are often treated by visitors, which makes them willing to sell their homes for insane amounts of money and go where work is more lucrative and the cost of living much lower.
I have said many times that the Hamptons are not to everyone’s taste, nor should they be. We used to be a community of fishermen, artists, and a certain group of rich elites that was fun to visit but took a certain kind of attitude to settle in. Most of this has been lost simply because people have worked to change the Hamptons into what they want it to be rather than appreciating what it is. And when it fails to bend to their whim, they take it out on those of us who chose to live here because we liked it the way it was.
Please remember that if you moved here in the past two years, you are still a newcomer. And you are hardly a local if you only come out on weekends or for a month or three. And if you have trouble finding a new housekeeper or landscaper or can’t get an appointment to get your nails done, just remember - someone got squeezed out who might otherwise be helping you get the quality of life you’re otherwise used to. Money can’t buy labor if the labor force has been driven away!
Just some food for thought.
As always, thanks for reading.
Not a Cure-All
July 14, 2021
Last week’s letter from my old friend and colleague Mike Bottini thanking the town board and responsible professional landscapers for the astounding success of the new seasonal gas and diesel leaf blower ban took the words right out of my mouth. The return of hours of unbroken quiet to the neighborhoods in the first 60 days has been a near-miracle. Residents are turning off their radios, opening their doors and windows, and enjoying being outside again. Actually standing around on the sidewalk and talking to neighbors. Yikes. It’s like being let out of prison.
Those of us encircled by overgroomed megamansions urged a town blower ban for years and are particularly grateful. Of course, in a short-season resort town the new law is not a cure-all. Just one neighbor choosing to enlarge his or her house or build a new swimming pool during July and August can pretty much ruin an entire summer for dozens of nearby families. Yet, heavy construction can (and does) happen almost every year on some streets. That’s why resorts like Nantucket have addressed this “high season” problem — and we should think about doing so, too.
July 19, 2021
I was alarmed, but, unfortunately, not surprised that misinformation was delivered to the town board by the out-of-town consultants and town employees about the proposed and very expensive project to replace all our streetlights with LEDs.
All LEDs save energy over prior light sources. However, LEDs can be problematic when not carefully specified. The people who spoke to the town board do not have adequate training or experience in best practices lighting design for streetlighting. Only lighting designers, trained by the Illuminating Engineering Society with experience in “dark sky” criteria know how to specify LEDs to protect the view of the night sky, the environment, our health and vision, and to provide safe and effective night lighting while using energy wisely.
It is a serious problem when people who are associated with the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are consulted on lighting issues. That organization is funded by the lighting manufacturers and energy utilities and advocates for the maximum number of fixtures and energy output. It would be like asking coal and oil lobbyists to consult on methods to reduce global warming. The Lighting Research Center has routinely lobbied against all outdoor lighting regulations. And they are well funded.
There are “good” LED streetlights: They are first evaluated as whether the streetlight provides a public benefit and the lowest light level is determined, the proper Kelvin (1,800 to 2,200) specified, timing controls set to meet need, and reflectors installed for a better, more energy-wise solution.
Cars have headlights; streetlights should be used only to provide lighting for conflict areas with pedestrians. We need to use streetlights to see objects and people to avoid accidents, and only during expected activity in the streets. Sidewalk lighting is a separate issue and needs different solutions.
The town board needs to apply common sense and to consult with independent, trained lighting designers for this expensive project. Towns all over the state have applied poor criteria to these LED streetlight conversions and are suffering the consequences, including in Southampton.
July 19, 2021
Growing up in East Hampton, you learn early in life, that the three most important principles of real estate are: location, location, location!
Yes, those principles are accepted as gospel, in this, the most real estate-centric of communities. So why on earth is the East Hampton Little League being forced to give up a perfectly good location at Pantigo Place in East Hampton for an inferior location on the other side of town in Wainscott? Has someone lost their mind? Especially when one considers that there are numerous, well-located sites in Amagansett, East Hampton, and Springs.
Holy cow, the town just spent $28 million on more land in Amagansett, my hometown. Yup, and it includes 17 acres of community preservation fund property. Why can’t we use just three or four acres for the children of our community. Is that too much to ask? Aren’t our children deserving enough? Or are the town board and Southampton Hospital going to continue to push their contemptuous plan — the plan that picks on our children and forces them and their families to travel out of their neighborhoods to play Little League baseball?
Exchanging Pantigo Place for Stephen Hand’s Path is not an equitable trade. And our town board and Southampton Hospital know it. If it were an equitable exchange the hospital would have scooped up the Stephen Hand’s site long ago. Problem solved.
But the Pantigo Place fields are in a superior location, it can’t be denied. Stephen Hand’s Path is far too distant from the ballplaying children and their neighborhoods and demands that the children be driven across the village in the evening into the cruel trade- parade traffic to play games. The town should be making access to recreation easier for children and families, not harder.
As stated in the Town of East Hampton Comprehensive Plan Recommendations, “Little League practice can continue to use the lighted neighborhood scale park at Pantigo Place for the immediate future until more hamlet parks become available closer to where the children live.” So why then are this town board and Southampton Hospital trying so desperately to send our kids to Wainscott when perfectly good options exist in Springs, East Hampton, and Amagansett. A number of available sites are listed in the recommendations in the comprehensive plan we created in 2002.
And where are the “Existing Conditions Inventory,” needs assessment studies, and “Articulated Goals” backed by relevant data that enable this Pantigo Place swindle to transpire? This is a swindle that also robs our community of valuable parkland through a process referred to as the alienation of parkland.
The town’s only written vision for parks and recreation is spelled out in the Town of East Hampton Comprehensive Plan Recommendations of 2002. They should read it.
The Town of East Hampton and Southampton Hospital must stop trying force our kids out of the hamlets in which they live to play ball.
Provide our kids a location to play baseball that befits their status in our community. Or leave them where they are at the Pantigo Place ball fields.
Save the Pantigo Place Ball Fields!
July 19, 2021
Re: “Emergency Communications Overhaul Is Just the Start” on July 15:
As a full-time resident of Lincoln Avenue, I was deeply disturbed to read about Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc’s plan to erect a “temporary” cellphone tower on a truck — with plans for a permanent structure — at the intersection of Norfolk Avenue and Lincoln Avenue, a densely populated residential street. Notably, this is the first time some neighborhood residents have received notice of this proposal.
There is little doubt that a tower would adversely impact the nearby residents and would be far more appropriate and safe in a commercial district. Has the planning board assessed the impact of a tower on the surrounding neighborhood? Moreover, questions remain as to whether a tower in this neighborhood violates the town’s code, raising questions about why the town has not sought community input for this proposal.
JACQUELINE ESPOSITO, ESQ.
Over the Beach
East Hampton Village
July 16, 2021
I am all for banning helicopters and most large commercial planes, but haven’t we overlooked one more noisy nuisance — those single-engine, slow-moving planes dragging an ad flag back and forth over the beach shoreline?
Can we please pull their licenses to fly and stop one more noisy irritant?
July 19, 2021
If East Hampton Town decides to close the airport, it should not rush to create more open space but rather examine how the acreage could be used to address two major issues the town is facing: traffic and housing.
Redevelopment of the airport should include plans for a transportation hub centered around a railroad station in Wainscott. Long-term parking at least as large as what is currently available in East Hampton Village could be provided for use by both Long Island Rail Road and Hampton Jitney passengers traveling to and from New York City. This would make the East Hampton Village’s proposed parking permit fees a moot point and moving the Hampton Jitney stop from Montauk Highway in Wainscott to the airport would eliminate traffic tie-ups caused by the Jitney, as well as provide a much safer venue for travelers getting on and off the bus.
In addition to parking for those traveling to and from New York City, a larger, secure parking area should be built for the tradesmen to park their vehicles to be left overnight so that they too can travel back and forth by train and then drive their vehicles from the airport to their job sites rather than clogging up the roads in the daily trade parade. Plank Road should be extended from 114 to Daniel’s Hole Road to provide a better route between 114 and the airport than winding around Wainscott Northwest Road.
Year-round bus routes from the airport to Wainscott, Sag Harbor, East Hampton, Amagansett, and Montauk could shuttle office workers to and from the train station, further alleviating daily traffic flow in and out of East Hampton.
As others have suggested, the town should encourage industrial companies along Springs-Fireplace Road to relocate to the airport to help alleviate traffic in that area.
The airport land offers ample opportunity to build affordable housing — the development at Gansett Manor is 37 units on roughly five acres, and the proposed development at 286/290 Three Mile Harbor Road is for 50 units on 14 acres. A 20-acre section of the airport could be reserved for another 100 affordable housing units.
The town should also reserve space for a medical facility as a future need for a larger hospital than what is proposed for the ball fields on Pantigo Place will surely arise, given the continued population growth.
Finally, the town should research the feasibility of building a solar farm on the airport land to further the stated goal of reducing carbon emissions and generating renewable electricity.
I have no strong feelings about keeping the airport open or not but if it is to be closed, the town must take time to determine the best way to utilize the space wisely both now and for the future and not be quick to mandate that it will all be kept as open space.
July 19, 2021
Wainscott’s Tom MacNiven infers the good but ingenuous people of Montauk are being manipulated by a group of “dirt-spewing hucksters” who claim that if East Hampton Airport closes, “a thundering herd of noisy, dirt-spewing Sikorskys will descend upon their unsuspecting village, destroying it once and for all.” True, he is absolutely correct. All of Montauk is deeply concerned by the very real possibility of a potential commercial helicopter invasion, however, what is questionable and confusing is his employment of the term “huckster.”
MacNiven condescendingly suggests it’s all fake, a joke, lies told to alarm and confuse the gullible people of Montauk. The noise, the Sikorskys, the dust, the thundering herd, the destroying of the village. All of it false, dirt. But, wait a second. Are not all of the above-listed assaults the very same arguments MacNiven and his neighbors have made in demanding the closure of East Hampton Airport? If it is indeed all a pack of “trumped-up dirt” and spewed falsehoods, as suggested, why are they all so desperately attempting to rid themselves of something that somehow would not exist in Montauk? On the other hand, If it is indeed true, a terrible unlivable situation existing in and near the East Hampton Airport, they are knowingly attempting to minimize and transfer that horrific problem to another part of the Town of East Hampton. Or is it just another huckster talking out of both sides of his mouth, forever complaining of a terrible problem in his backyard, while attempting to diminish its significance when opportunity presents itself in unloading that very same problem onto a distant neighbor’s backyard?
MacNiven, et al., need not concern themselves over Montauk citizen naivete in being taken unawares by what are the biggest crises the hamlet has faced in the past 80 years. It is, and we know it to be. The citizens of Montauk are fully aware of the magnitude of the problem, the forces who have caused it, the incredible damage it can cause to the social and economic fabric of the community and, most of all, our total commitment in never letting it occur.
July 17, 2021
I see that some have castigated The Star for wanting to put residents first in the airport saga. Valid reasoning — so you took the time to speak for the residents being placed first. The town board should consider only one thing: the safety, health, and well-being of its residents, as well of those in nearby communities that are affected, not the fact that some well-heeled special interest groups cause all the problems.
I was astonished to even read a suggestion that the terminal be enlarged, including a restaurant and playground, because children love airplanes? More bathrooms to put over the sole source aquifer, the deepest part of which is under the airport. A moronic suggestion, considering there is a wonderful place called the Clubhouse already in place across the street that provides these entertainment opportunities. Why not a Dunkin’ Donuts, Kentucky Fried Chicken, or a 7-Eleven? The armageddon scare tactic is a farce.
Apparently these two wizards are oblivious to the fact that for years, PFOS and PFOAs and traces of diethylstil-bestrol contaminated our wells, and the heaviest concentration came from just north of the terminal. How badly has our long-term health been affected?
The unidentified petrochemical solvents found in the test wells, one of which was paved over for a parking lot, apparently doesn’t concern them at all. It is still there and percolating downward. Where are the Department of Environmental Conservation records?
The issue is that thousands of residents are severely impacted by the noise and the low-flying aircraft, placing them in danger. The mere fact that residents who contribute to the economy and tax base in affected communities cannot even enjoy their properties. Leaf blowers are banned because of the noise and pollution, but the leaded-gasoline aircraft fuel that is spewed over a five-mile radius during takeoff is not?
I wonder how they would like it if someone stood near their homes and created the noise and danger to their families day after day for decades, similar to what they create, then dumped leaded fuel particles all over their properties? Maybe they should just research the data on the carbon pollution we suffer. They couldn’t care less.
The consultants proved that closing the airport would have a minimal economic loss. Now a “head count?” Why not demand they produce receipts when they fly out to prove how much they spent?
Then they use fearmongering to frighten Montauk residents about flooding the small airport with thunderous flights — an obvious lie.
Here is my suggestion, take your buckets of pollution and move to Gabreski, where only flora, deer, and ticks are impacted.
The time is well past that we residents will no longer continue to tolerate having our health, safety, and quality of life severely impacted by so few. Close it down. It doesn’t belong in a residential area.
ARTHUR J. FRENCH
A Million Gallons
July 15, 2021
To the Editor,
There are many environmental reasons to close the airport, but I’ll add one that doesn’t get much attention: Almost a million gallons of leaded fuel (the type that was banned in cars over 20 years ago) are sold each year at the airport. Studies have shown it can have adverse effects on people (especially children) who live in close proximity to the facility.
Noise pollution has also gotten a fair amount of attention, but I was surprised to learn in the last year that as many as 40,000 noise complaints were made previous-ly in one year and that number continues to climb. Many are by those who do not live in our town, but their concerns should also be take into account especially since apparently 40 percent of those arriving at KHTO do not stay in East Hampton. If one does the math, this facility creates over 100 noise complaints on average for each day of the year for those on the East End!
The real reason though that I’m writing is to point out that the airport does not make financial sense for our community. While there can be debates about how much revenue is generated by the 0.1 percent of the population that uses the airport, I was also surprised to learn that if the facility is used as an airport with F.A.A. oversight that all the revenue generated there must go back into maintaining the facility. No revenue can be generated for the town [than what] comes from the use of this area.
If the 600 acres that encompass the airport were thought of as a public good, as it should be, there are a handful of other better uses for this area. A significant solar farm that used roughly half of the 200 acres of already cleared land could generate 25-30 megawatts of power — 12-15 percent of our local needs and at a time when we need it most, in the summer. Moreover, this type of development might generate $1 million a year in lease income for the town every year.
Other parts of the cleared area could be used for affordable housing development that we badly need and that might save the town at least $10-$20 million in future land purchases. Parks and new recreation areas would also be possible.
Thus if one looks at this from a purely economic standpoint, it is obvious the airport should be closed as this opportunity presents itself. Given that our town supervisor has recently said a voter referendum is appropriate for the issue of marijuana dispensaries in our area, I would like to think that the same is true for how the airport closure issue is handled. A popular vote would seem to be the right answer for this problem that affects so many in our town.
Lastly, on an unrelated note, I would like to thank Zach Cohen for his hard work and research that has resulted in an important option to help solve the chronic cell service problem that has plagued Springs for at least six years now. Hopefully this serious safety issue will finally be resolved.
July 19, 2021
In reply to last week’s letter from Mr. Karpinski, a Republican candidate for town board, I find it interesting and encouraging that Mr. Karpinski supports the “managed retreat” of the downtown motels from the shoreline. This is possibly the first time I am aware of a Republican candidate for the town board supporting such a position.
Where was Mr. Karpinski when we looked for Republican support for the motel relocation plan put forth in the Montauk Hamlet Study? The study provided development credits to encourage voluntary retreat of the motels from the shoreline, thereby providing an economical relocation incentive rather than waiting for the hurricane to dictate the terms. The Van Scoyoc administration took tremendous heat for even suggesting that we examine such a forward-looking proposal.
I wonder if Mr. Karpinski knows that our last Republican supervisor, Bill Wilkinson, working in conjunction with the motel owners, hatched the current geobag solution and invited the Army Corps of Engineers to provide beach-armoring solutions to protect the motels. In fact, during that time, Wilkinson and Councilwoman Theresa Quigly, both Republican members of the town board, even supported a rock revetment.
This geobags plan was already baked when the Cantwell administration inherited it. It was endorsed by the motel owners and the Montauk Chamber of Commerce. Seductively, it also included a commitment from the Army Corps of Engineers to come back later with the “sand-only” engineered approach to widen the beach. Could you imagine the outcry from the motel owners if this was rejected? More important, can you imagine the cost for the town to defend against the inevitable lawsuits from the motel owners should a storm decimate their structures? You could see the court headlines: “Town negligently rejected the federal Army Corps solution leading to hundreds of millions of dollars of unnecessary property damage.” There was no option but for the Cantwell administration to move forward with this fully vetted proposal that was endorsed by the so-called pre-eminent engineering outfit — the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
As for the recent attack on town board member David Lys, does Mr. Karpinski realize that Mr. Lys is the town board liaison to the Montauk Citizens Advisory Committee? Does he know that Mr. Lys was responding to the urgent, bipartisan request from the C.A.C. to immediately secure sand for the storm-ravaged Ditch Plain Beach before the rapidly approaching July 4th holiday? If Mr. Karpinski had walked Ditch Plains Beach, he would have found it difficult even to enter the beach, let alone swim, given its condition. Ditch Plains Beach is arguably one of the primary economic drivers for Montauk and needs to be a viable beach to support nearly every business in Montauk.
We should commend the town board for responding swiftly to get sand on the beach at Ditch Plain in time for the July 4th holiday. The beach is now in good condition because of this effort. In fairness, when Bill Wilkinson was confronted with a similar issue roughly nine years ago, he too successfully restored Ditch with sand, perhaps one of his only positive accomplishments.
July 18, 2021
To the Editor,
Preferential treatment is hard to ignore, especially when a house on your road has had renters for the last six weeks. Is it because it’s Paul McCartney’s daughter, who already destroyed the beach, is suffocating the tidal marshland (which her home is built in), and had her geocubes built so dangerously close to Napeague State Park they might actually be in it? Well, that means we’ve lost the entirety of the state park. So much for her being a man-made climate change activist. Now back to the topic at hand.
What does one make of this? They are not on the rental registry; they haven’t been since 2019. Renters last year. Advertisements by Saunders for $150,000 during the pandemic for Labor Day until June this year. June has passed and now to this new renter for now as aforementioned the last six weeks. Taxicabs and Ubers picking up and dropping people off in a caravan. The constant speeding up and down the road.
Guests who shouldn’t be here. What’s the point of being on a private road? Nothing about it has ever been private. Anyone can come here. Anyone can do as they please even if they violate a permit issued or expired. Urban renewal may be the biggest farce in the history of this town. How do you not start with drainage? We might as well be a town road. Is the property manager of the house in question trying to make a quick buck? Should he have his license revoked? It should be. Code enforcement checked it out and confirmed to me it’s a renter in week one. They still get to stay? Why? A few weeks later issuing a “warning.” Do they receive a warning every week, as our new head of Code Enforcement claims he sends units out to check these “known” places? It’s almost like the “warning” our police department issued when we had an 18-wheeler stop and drop off a crane for a construction site at 1:30 in the morning. Houses shaking on Bay View and Mulford worse than when I was in any of my tornado warnings at college.
“Warnings” given to builders who have topped or over-cleared and not yet put bales of hay around the erected eco-barriers. Not to fear, they will revegetate when done. No, I would like to see revegetation immediately. Centuries-old pines destroyed for more houses when we already have a land-use issue that’s been known on the South Fork longer than I’ve taken breaths. We need to make them revegetate now and wait for new pines and trees to re-establish. That’s five years, by the way. That’s a way to make sure a job is done correctly.
But what of our dilemma? I suppose the second homeowner who isn’t here and is renting out a house illegally will always be the top priority to not be bothered in this town. No summons has been issued, to my knowledge. The preferential treatment needs to be ground to a halt. Yesterday’s gone but tomorrow is just starting. November can’t come soon enough.
Walles. Aman. Karpinski.
Republican and Conservative candidate for East Hampton Town Board
Water in Peril
July 19, 2021
In the words of Belinda Carlisle, “. . . just hang on for a minute, I’ve got something to say.”
When is it okay to sacrifice the greater good for the pleasure of a few? Never, I’m thinking. Our water, specifically our sole-source aquifer and our ocean, are in peril. I love Montauk and its beaches and all that it encompasses, where fishing is a way of life, so study your wind turbines carefully, please. We need renewable energy, yes, and we need fish, too. Balance.
The very land you walk on and get comfy to catch those unforgettable sunsets with a cocktail or a heavenly sunrise with a morning coffee, you owe to people who came before you, people who knew it was important to put substance over expansion and money.
Hilda Lindley saved Montauk. Put that on a bumper sticker. Yes, she stopped the men who would destroy the quaint fishing village we know and love. Men like Arthur Benson and Carl Fisher, who saw dollar signs and a “Miami North.” Later, Eugene Haas thought it brilliant if he could open up freshwater Big Reed Pond to saltwater Lake Montauk. Uh, no man, said Hilda Lindley, and she stopped that disaster. She saved Big Reed, and, as the locals refer to it, Indian Field, where the true natives, the Montauketts, lived and honored the land and sea. We could learn. Apparently we haven’t yet.
Hilda Lindley started the Concerned Citizens of Montauk. How would she feel now knowing geobags of dirt and God knows what are on a pristine Montauk beach, repeatedly being covered up with what isn’t even beach sand? Instead, sand should have been dredged from the ocean, but that did not happen.
Did the Army Corps of Engineers screw up? Of course. Did they pimp out the town? Uh, yes. Now we pay a sand mine owner to continuously dump sand, not beach sand, mind you, all at a hefty cost to the town. The sand mine owner, Pat Bistrian Jr., providing the sand and making a fortune, is compromising the aquifer in a special groundwater protection area in the middle of our neighborhood in East Hampton, coincidentally called Freetown, former home to the displaced Montauketts of Indian Field.
Someone visiting recently asked me, “Is that quarry still here on your road?” Quarry indeed. And now he wants to dig 110 more feet into the aquifer, creating a six-mile lake, which he will then walk away from after exhausting his sand mining, leaving a dangerous nuisance in a neighborhood filled with children. If a judge allows this, and the town doesn’t take its power back from the state, we’re truly a lost island. Are you grasping the full impact of this? It is all connected, as are we.
Hilda Lindley, if she were alive today, would be appalled. She and her family were stewards of land and sea and took on the big guns and won. What have we become, mere placaters of the moneyed and demanding ones? Who is setting the tone here, anymore? Where are the Hilda Lindleys? I hope at your C.C.O.M. soiree at Gurney’s, you talk over cocktails as you gaze at the ocean, about Dirtbag Beach and the damaging geobags and not-beach sand being dumped there to save a few hotels and condos. One cannot stop the tides and hold back the ocean. You’re lucky they lasted this long. But that is not the town’s problem or ours. What is, is saving all of our water and our aquifer.
We all drink from the same spout out here. There is no magical water source from afar. The water is underneath us, but never beneath us. Let’s act like we deserve such a gift as Mother Ocean and clean drinking water. Let’s honor Hilda Lindley, whose spirit flows in Montauk waters and beyond.
July 13, 2021
The editorial in the July 8 issue of The Star about Lee Zeldin was a very angry editorial. Not much was actually written about Lee Zeldin. I still know nothing about his work as a congressman.
The editorial mentions, in a not very reasoned way, his support for Donald Trump and the “big lie” about the 2020 election. From what I have read and seen, there are numerous videos and eyewitness reports attesting to election fraud perpetrated during the election in crucial states.
Accusing Zeldin of “raw ambition” and of wanting a “racist . . . form of government” is character assassination and without one iota of supporting evidence.
Furthermore, New York State definitely needs a replacement for Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The scandals surrounding him, with accusations of multiple women of his sexual harassment and misconduct and his callous placement of sick elderly Covid patients from hospitals into nursing homes resulted in the deaths of thousands of elderly, all while he took his mother out of a nursing home, he definitely needs to be replaced. He should be in jail.
Problem With Gene Pool
July 18, 2021
To the Editor,
Adults dumb enough to choose or refuse to be vaccinated against the deadly Covid-19 virus have previously been unintentionally and inadvertently referred to by both genius Albert Einstein (“Only two things are infinite — the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not so sure about the universe”), and the comedian Steven Wright (“The problem with the gene pool is that there’s no lifeguard”).
Unvaccinated anti-vaxxer adults who increasingly contract Covid-19, infect others, and ultimately die themselves also fit the profile of Darwin Award winners as defined by author Wendy Northcutt in her book “The Darwin Awards: Evolution In Action.”
She wrote about people who “contrive to eliminate themselves from the gene pool in such an extraordinarily idiotic manner that their action ensures the long-term survival of our species which now contains one less idiot” . . . “people who are bewilderingly unable to cope with obvious dangers in the modern world”, and people whose behaviors display a “grave lack of sense and misapplication of judgment.” She also talks about the “gulf between ignorance and stupidity,” although I’d say that considering the more than 600,000 (which is more than half a million, folks!) coronavirus deaths here in the United States, adults still refusing to be vaccinated have managed to successfully combine ignorance with stupidity.
However, I truly hope that this letter gets published, goes viral, is read by millions of anti-vaxxers, and motivates (at least one of) them to save their own lives (plus the lives of others).
July 19, 2021
What a difference a competent president can make!
In less than six months, the Biden administration has worked to have available enough vaccinations to protect everyone in the U.S. His team has worked to ensure that the approved vaccines are safe and effective for almost all (but the youngest) Americans. As a result, more than half of all Americans have been vaccinated. And, the administration’s success would be even more profound if not for the rejection by the G.O.P. and its mouthpieces of vaccination efforts with arguments that have no basis in either fact or science. Indeed, the G.O.P. opposition to vaccination efforts has reached such an extreme that the Tennessee G.O.P.-led Legislature has banned efforts to encourage young Tennesseans from getting any vaccine, including polio and tetanus! In Tennessee today, stepping on a rusty nail is now a life-threatening experience.
The only impetus behind such idiocy can be that the G.O.P. will pursue for its own political gain any path that portrays the Biden administration negatively — including letting its own get sick and die. Seriously, is this the political party that deserves to have the rings of power?
The self-proclaimed “greatest builder in the history of the world” promised to rebuild America with a “beautiful” infrastructure plan. We heard about “infrastructure week” for five years. And what did the greatest builder deliver? Nothing but hot air.
Things changed after a real president took office. A trillion dollar infrastructure plan that would improve our roads, bridges, tunnels, and railroads appears to be on the horizon of bipartisan approval (unless, of course, the G.O.P. decides that the Biden administration should accomplish nothing to help Americans). Not surprisingly, our congressman, Lee Zeldin, voted against the House version of the bill.
One needs only to ride the Long Island Expressway to see how desperately our hard infrastructure needs improvement. Ignoring the demand for infrastructure improvement can have tragic consequences. Witness the collapse of the condo complex in Surfside, Fla.; all indicators point to the failure of the building management to properly maintain the building’s core as the likely cause.
In the past few days, the Biden administration announced Democratic agreement on a social infrastructure plan designed to help a broad swath of American families ignored by Mr. Trump. President Biden’s plan would support universal pre-K, paid family and medical leave, and nutrition assistance. The measure also would allow extensions of the child, earned income, and the child and dependent care tax credits, each of which would benefit low and middle income families. The plan attacks climate change as well, permitting spending aimed to achieve clean electricity, a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and funding clean-energy tax incentives.
This is what real leadership looks like. It is a breath of fresh air after the unmitigated cruelty unleashed by the Trump autocracy. And, it is leadership that we should all support.
And now for Mr. Plitt: the Normandy beaches from west to east are Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword; I have visited them all. For several days from D-Day plus-2 on, my father’s destroyer was anchored off the invasion site, helping stabilize the mission after the big guns left. A lifelong Republican (at least as far as I know), he is undoubtedly turning in his grave as the G.O.P. follows an autocratic path that spits on the graves of the servicemen interred on the Normandy bluff. And, if you believe that political criticism equates with bashing our country, it is you who lack the most rudimentary understanding of the democratic principles that form the core of our nation’s greatness.
July 19, 2021
Growing up in the 1940s and ‘50s in New York City, we were always aware of the anti-Semitism that pervaded the world around us. What is so striking is the comparison to systemic racism. Jews, even in N.Y.C., lived by unwritten but substantially enforced rules that affected their economic, political, and social existence. Jews could escape their Jewishness by changing their names, the way they spoke, and lying about their histories. Black people did not have any of these options. Anti-Semitism in the U.S. was no different than in the rest of world. The primary difference is that we claimed that it did not exist.
After World War II, when everyone in our family who was able joined the war effort, there was some hope that maybe the situation would improve. Given that Jews escaping Europe were denied entry into the U.S. and we showed little interest or concern about the concentration camps, it seemed that this hope was a big stretch. But Jewish soldiers, unlike Black soldiers, reaped the benefits of the G.I. Bill (the legislation that helped create our middle class). While the G.I. Bill did not open up corporate or union jobs to Jewish workers, it gave them substantial support in higher education and creating businesses.
My father told us to never trust the goyim (Chris-tians) even though lots of our friends were not Jewish. He told us about 2,000 years of systemic abuse and the need to insulate and protect. He talked about DNA and deeply rooted cultural beliefs that had no basis in reality and were impossible to refute. He said that most Americans did not know any Jews and wouldn’t know you were one if you didn’t advertise it.
There were so few Jews in America that anti-Semitism was never in the forefront of U.S. culture; 20 million Black people is another story. Four hundred years of difficult history and a major war. We are different from Europe in that we supposedly do not have proscribed classes. Everyone is created equal. Yet, our classes are equally forged by schooling, wealth, birth, and color. We have systems along with freedoms that limit and confine. Within these systems systemic racism flourishes.
The body of evidence that makes the case is so enormous that dialogue between opposing groups is not feasible. In the simplest formula for solving problems, problem recognition and acceptance is where it all starts. Recognizing systemic racism has no cost; it’s the ticket for coming to the table. It’s the prelude about what to do about it, if anything.
The problem as with every issue we face in the U.S. is truth. Truth is not an objective commodity. Even when something is written, spoken, filmed, truth is not necessarily what has been delineated. It is often what we want to believe, not what actually happened. There is no difference between Holocaust and racism deniers. The process is pathetically masturbatory. It is the impotence of small minds that can’t understand and function in a real world. It is a sanctuary for the mindless and the vicious. It would be a pandemic if we defined it as a sickness.
So, in the mind-numbing slowness of the nation’s awareness of who we are and how we behave, we search for any kernel of truth that seeps into the national dialogue and hope that it grows into something bigger and more beautiful.