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Letters to the Editor for July 29, 2021

Wed, 07/28/2021 - 12:45

Lack of Lifeguards
Springs
July 24, 2021

To the Editor,

I went to the East Hampton Y.M.C.A. today to swim some laps. I was greatly disappointed to learn that the pool would be closed all day due to a lack of lifeguards.

Please, if you are qualified, or can qualify, get down to the Y.M.C.A. and become a lifeguard, full time or part time. The community needs you.

BILL BROWN

 

Maybe a Rainbow
East Hampton
July 25, 2021

Dear David,

Quoting once again Brandi Carlile, “I’m not asking you to move on or forget it, but these are better days. To be wrong and admit it, is not amazing grace.” I speak to the hopeful feeling that comes over me, in the midst of the myriad issues we can complain about — and rightfully so, because they do matter, like getting vaccinated. It helps all of us because the collective needs protection to end this pandemic for good. We are all happy about being out and about, not having to be masked, hugging again, hearing live music, and looking forward to traveling to see loved ones we haven’t hugged in a year and a half. If that isn’t freedom, I don’t know what is. So your stance on vaccines for whatever long-held belief or concocted conspiracy nonsense is moot to me. Sorry, but you’re compromising your own health and your loved ones and everyone else’s by being cement-footed. True freedom takes others into consideration. A wise man once told me most of our troubles and angst are due to one thing: fear. When we let go and put that aside, we can think more clearly and love more fully.

I have found people being helpful while out amongst them in our hamlets. Talking out loud to myself (yeah, it’s a thing) in Stop and Shop. “Why isn’t the olive oil with the vinegar? That would make too much sense!” A man overheard me and told me there was some olive oil on sale up front, which aisle to find it in, and all with a smile on his face. I thanked him. Simple kindness.

In general, in my perambulations about town, none too fast these days with a still-recovering total knee replacement (the horror!), I notice people looking right at me with eye contact and a “hello” or “good morning.” It’s nice. Trust me, I’m no Pollyanna, I can swear like a sailor to myself while driving if you’re on my tail (why are you?) or you’re daring to cross not in a crosswalk but boldly in front of moving cars on the road (don’t!) If I can walk down to a crosswalk, so can you, love.

I am finding little gems of time and places where human connection is a gift: a new farm stand, an old familiar shop where people know your name, a day of swimming and laughing with loved ones and friends. The joy of painting with a grandchild whose outlook on the world is not yet jaded, rather acutely aware and ever amusing, where rainbows are added in the most unlikely scene, on top of a fire truck. Why not?

The world is a hard place, but we can be soft sometimes, while we navigate it. As David Whyte puts it, when he writes in his poetry about abandoning the conversation we keep having, getting us nowhere: “The world was made to be free in. Anyone or anything that doesn’t bring you alive, is too small for you. Pay attention to things that are bigger than you.” Maybe a rainbow, the night sky, the shapes and figures in clouds, the way the lavender sways in the breeze, a fresh outlook. I do hope you experience one of those things this summer.

In gratitude,

NANCI LAGARENNE

 

We Can Agree
East Hampton
July 20, 2021

Dear Mr. Editor,

Hope your varnish is moving forward; mine is on hold, dealing with a generator problem.

I see Arthur French went after your “hate America” writer, Hausig. Thanks for the support, Arthur.

I was amazed to see you have gotten down, nice and dirty, you know, deplorable, like the rest of us slobs. I am referring to your “Saturated Roads” column. You had the audacity to call an innocent bystander a “Trumper” — name calling! In your left Democratic world, I would think this is a no-no, almost a hate crime. How did you know that stranger’s political agenda?

However, I do see something we can agree upon: We can blame all our traffic and congestion woes on our local government, for sure. Who else has spurred the local building boom with their “Yes” policy to overbuilding and get yourself a variance.

Our local TV station pushes a trip to the East End daily. We don’t need any more people out here — there’s no room, but the government keeps promoting, and the people keep coming.

And for the anti-blower people, I’ll offer a deal: I’ll stop running my gas blower when they shut down the party house at 12 Will Curl Highway.

As always, yours to command,

JEFFREY PLITT

 

All Hands on Deck
Montauk
July 25, 2021

Dear David,

To the many Concerned Citizens of Montauk supporters who contributed to our very successful event at Gurney’s in Montauk on July 21, thank you.

This was the first time we were able to meet in person with the larger Montauk community in nearly 18 months. It was an incredible opportunity to reconnect, reunite, and re-engage. Montauk faces several large and complex environmental challenges, and we need all hands on deck to protect our waters and beaches and ensure Montauk’s environmental sustainability.

Whether it’s our bacteria, harmful algal blooms, or pollution-source tracking programs, or our efforts to finally bring effective wastewater treatment to downtown Montauk or ensuring our beaches, dunes, and wetlands can survive in the wake of climate change and sea level rise, this work requires an engaged community willing to get involved.

I encourage anyone who missed the event and wants to hear more and get involved to visit our website preservemontauk.org, give us a call at 631-238-5720 or email [email protected]. There are plenty of upcoming opportunities to participate, and we’d love to meet you!

Together, we can protect and preserve Montauk.

Sincerely,

LAURA TOOMAN

President

 

Significant Costs
New York City
July 21, 2021

Dear Editor:

The Star’s editorial “Riverhead Lights Up, Other towns Should Too” (July 15) rightly proclaims that “recreational pot is already here,” noting that even if towns do opt out of allowing marijuana dispensaries, they cannot prevent delivery services from bringing the drug to consumers’ front doors. But it errs terribly when advocating for towns on Long Island to unconditionally embrace the rampant commercialization of cannabis purely for purported monetary gain.

While tallying up new tax revenues to be used for the civic good, officials must consider the significant increase in costs for safeguarding public health, whether emergency room visits, traffic accidents and fatalities, or under-age use. Colorado, an early legal pot state, has recently revised its laws to restrict access to high-potency pot and medical cannabis, after physicians reported an alarming increase in psychotic episodes among teens consuming such products. Decriminalizing pot is the right move, but without strong rules and regulations, legalization will come at a high price.

Sincerely,

MITCHELL S. ROSENTHAL, M.D.

Dr. Rosenthal was the founder of Phoenix House, which provides substance abuse services in nine states and the District of Columbia. Ed.

 

Acute Negligence
East Hampton
July 26, 2021

To the Editor:

Gail Sheehy was a fixture here on the South Fork for many years. Among her many books, “Necessary Losses” stands out to me in particular. As the youngest of seven, I’ve lost all but one sibling, and she, two years my senior, is now gravely and terminally ill. The loss of one’s parents is expected, but still traumatic when it actually happens. One thinks of everything one should have, could have, shared or asked after they are gone. 

Worse is the loss of a child; my husband’s 8-year-old son from his previous marriage drowned two years after our marriage in 1974. That wound will never heal.

But life can be even crueler. I lost my husband over four months ago, not to Covid-19, but to the negligence of caregivers in a hospital here in the area. He is barely alive. He is breathing. He eats. He sleeps. But he is in severe physical pain. He has been bedridden since mid-March.

Only four days and four nights in the hospital to be treated for a urinary tract infection, the poor man was totally neglected by both the doctors and the hospital nursing staff. It is a sad, sad commentary on what happens to elderly patients here on the East End, one of the wealthiest communities in America. The rich and famous throw money to this institution, mainly to see their names emblazoned over additions or wings; in an emergency, they will fly to the very best New York hospitals, rather than being treated locally.

Ms. Sheehy was a friend; we did yoga together alternating between her lawn or mine. She wrote so well and insightfully, she could have written an article titled “Unnecessary Losses,” referring to the acute negligence on the part of our local hospital staff. As a talented author, she would have commanded an audience and perhaps have made a difference. Her voice is missing. Mine is muted and my husband’s life is totally compromised. My hope is that this letter might make a difference.

Sincerely,

JANE MAYNARD

 

The Delta Strain
East Hampton
July 26, 2021

To the Editor,

I think there were some elements missing from your important editorial in the current issue of The Star, “The Third Surge.”

If I am reading it correctly in several different sources, being vaccinated against Covid with, as just one example, two shots of the Pfizer vaccine, protects one against infection by a factor of 94 percent. Studies from Israel have concluded that Pfizer, et al., protect from the Delta strain by 65 percent, which means that already vaccinated persons have a significantly greater chance of being infected with that strain, though it also suggests that they will remain protected from a more serious bout with it and are highly unlikely to die from it.

However, while infected for the week or so they are mildly sick, they can transmit it to others, some sources suggesting that they can easily transmit it to eight or nine others in the course of that week. They can transmit it to both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, and it can easily be to friends and family, including children, for whom there is not yet an approved vaccine. Many of those people may be unprotected by vaccination, and it is the unprotected who are currently facing the most dire results of the Delta strain.

Spending any time in the centers of our East End towns makes it very clear that neither masking nor social distancing are being observed. The city of Los Angeles has reinstituted their requirements for both. I am surprised that our mostly affluent and educated populace clearly observes neither.

FRED KOLO

 

To His Advantage
East Hampton
July 26, 2021

David,

The politicization of the Covid-19 pandemic is one of the most bizarre happenings in our political life. Trump’s perception that he could scheme it to his advantage, instead of leaving it to the health care professionals, backfired. He believes it’s what cost him the election — not his failure in virtually everything he tried to do, not Secretary of State Tillerson calling him a moron. Not Gen. Mark Milley realizing that he was more Nazi than American. He lost because of the “blank” pandemic.

Moving forward, there is a strong belief in the Trump camp that if the pandemic took him down it could also put him back in power. If the pandemic drags on it will be a burden on the Democrats and no longer Trump’s failure. Keeping it alive by not vaccinating, not wearing masks, and denying its virulence will work to his advantage.

There are laws in medical and health care science that are fairly certain. Viruses like Covid-19 will mutate exponentially unless they are controlled and stamped out. The constant mutation may render the vaccines less effective and require booster shots and new vaccines. The longer the virus is active the greater the number of variants.

Consequently, if one third of the population refuses the vaccine and the government’s attempts to limit the spread, it will, logically, get worse and worse. If a new and more powerful variant takes over, Trump believes that he will be returned to office to save the day.

Logically, he pushed to create the vaccine, got vaccinated, along with all of his peeps (Rand Paul included), but is willing to sacrifice everyone else for his glory. Patriotism. Americana at its finest. Election fraud didn’t work. The Jan. 6 attack didn’t work. Will some Covid-19 variant save his bacon?

It is necessary to understand the sickness and the perversion behind this thinking. Behaving in a way that will send the country back to its early pandemic condition for political gain is an indication of extreme mental instability. Anything to bring Trump back to power is acceptable. Trump uber alles. Play it again, Adolf.

NEIL HAUSIG

 

Of the Unwise
Plainview
July 26, 2021

To the Editor,

The current pandemic of the unvaccinated could just as accurately be called either the pandemic of the uneducated, pandemic of the uninformed, pandemic of the unintelligent, pandemic of the unwise, pandemic of the uncooperative, or pandemic of the unpatriotic.

RICHARD SIEGELMAN

 

Preservation
East Hampton
May 13, 2021

David,

The concept of preservation and conservation of any natural, God-given thing is sadly relatively new to us all. After World War II, the idea was to build up and out, to use up and use all, to find homes for returning vets, and to sell everything to everyone. The whole landscape was for sale and resale. It seemed as if the bargains were everywhere and you were foolish to pass them up.

In East Hampton, the locals were dominant, and I could not go walking down street and not see a few cousins. That was the 1950s through the 1970s. Houses were going up, motels were going up on the stretch, stores were everywhere, even in Bridgehampton. But we were still a small town and considered rural.

In the ’60s, in between high school and college, I was taking dictation for my grandfather Ferris Talmage, as he was slowly going blind with glaucoma, a result of untreated diabetes. He started writing letters to The Star in the early ’60s, when he retired from a large potato farming operation on Long Lane, about preservation. Growing up in Springs, he hunted, fished, traveled the paths less traveled, and called Louse Point God’s Little Piece of Heaven. 

He started saying repeatedly that we had to save forever what was left. We must stop building out; we must create a movement to stop selling and start feeling that what we had was irreplaceable, precious beyond price, incapable of being reproduced, and bottom line, the thing that would make East Hampton known all over the world, a stunningly beautiful small town with ocean, bay, fields, vistas, incomparable history, and two hours out of New York City.

Now here I must say that Grampa Talmage had a gift of speaking and writing that made people stand still and listen or read. He was eloquent, passionate, and an intellectual in old dungarees and a torn flannel shirt. As a Syracuse University graduate, he had served in many capacities for agriculture in New York State and was comfortable in any setting, with anyone.

I would walk into the living room after my Gramma had prepared me for how much smoke was in the air and who was visiting, and find Juan Trippe, of Pan Am, with his huge cigar, one of the Borden boys looking handsome in hunting gear, Peter Matthiessen, or Mary Ella and Bob Reutershan, Peter Clarke, Herb Field, or Stuart Vorpahl and Ormonde de Kay all talking at once, but going silent when Grampa opened his mouth. My grandfather adored me as the first grandchild, so he told me where to sit, next to him, keeping me away from any wandering hands.

By 1965, this group of movers and shakers had formed the Preservation Society of the East End, as a 500-member nonprofit public relations organ to spread the controversial idea of preserving the land, the sea, the vistas, the fields, and the history of East Hampton. More letters were written. People spoke in public settings, press arrived to listen to the man talk. It was a movement. Grampa was the president. Sadly, he was also slowly dying.  By Christmas of 1968, when I came home from Syracuse University, I knew he looked weak and frail. In April of 1968 he went home.

Just as an aside, his obituary ran in all the local papers, including The Southampton Press, and a young Marine from Southampton was in Vietnam and read it, listing me as a survivor. When we met the following year in Southampton Hospital after his parents’ tragic accident and my dad’s fatal illness, he asked me if I was Ferris Talmage’s granddaughter. The name Prudence did the trick! We are married 52 years in July.

The Preservation Society of the East End became the Group for the South Fork in 1975. Shortly after that, Suffolk County began the farmland preservation movement in 1982, which purchased development rights to keep the farmland open space. Soon, Fred Thiele of the New York State Assembly began to think about a bigger and more effective program to preserve land for recreation, historic preservation, and open space, and passed the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund law in 1998, which has been one of the most successful tools used to preserve land and history on Long Island.

One of the people essential to my Grampa’s successful career in preservation was my dad, Ray Hamilton, who ran the farm almost single-handed, with my uncle Dave Talmage on call when necessary. My Dad also kept my Gramma smiling, and helped move Grampa around near the end of his life.

Grampa’s book, “The Springs,” served as the means for a scholarship that I awarded for many years to East Hampton High School seniors who chose a career in environmental work. The book is still for sale at the farm museum at 131 North Main Street, a property purchased with community preservation fund money and created to celebrate the history of farming and the Bonac community in East Hampton.

The North Main Street Freetown area of East Hampton represents one of a handful of places in the United States where Native Americans, freed Blacks, and English colonials lived, worked, and worshiped together for more than 150 years. Today, East Hampton is world famous, still incredibly beautiful, still protecting the water, the fields, the history, but then many of the locals are leaving with big bucks and sad backward glances for what was. The story continues.

PRUDENCE T.H. CARABINE

 

Not Mentioned
East Hampton
July 26, 2021

To the Editor,

I was so happy to read that the East Hampton board was thrilled with the proposed plan to build 50 apartments on Three Mile Harbor Road. That the board was able to enjoy the shiny and pretty renderings created by the development company that is being tasked with building 50 new apartments.

What was not mentioned was the impact on the hundreds of people who already live in the immediate area. The impact that 50 new apartments with hundreds of new residences will have on the traffic on Three Mile Harbor Road and the adjacent area, the impact of hundreds of new people using the local stores, the large uptick in new students in the East Hampton School District. There was no mention of the environmental impact on an already fragile water system.

It has become increasingly clear that the board has no interest in hearing how the residents of the area feel about almost doubling the population in this quiet family neighborhood. What is clear is that the board is thrilled with their windfall from the state and will build these additional 50 apartments with the additional hundreds of residences with no thought to the local community that presently lives in the immediate and surrounding areas.

There is clearly a need for affordable housing, but not in a neighborhood that is already at capacity. Perhaps, the town should consider the old Stern’s property or even the possible soon-to-be-defunct airport. There are other options that will not negatively impact hundreds of current residences.

Best,

MARY WASERSTEIN

 

Absolute Win-Win
Amagansett
July 25, 2021

Dear Editor,

I was just paging through the 2002 Recreation Committees Recommendations to the East Hampton Town Comprehensive Plan (the town’s only parks and rec plan) when I came across this interesting paragraph:

“The town is geographically spread out. It is not easy for employed adults in Montauk to travel to Herrick to engage in recreational activities. Similarly traffic concerns in and around East Hampton Village make it difficult for parents in Springs and Amagansett to transport their children to a recreational site in Wainscott. For this reason we endorse the use of hamlet parks to meet the basic recreational needs of the community.”

How prophetic is that from 2002? The traffic has only become worse than we could have imagined.

The plan calls upon each hamlet to provide for the passive and active recreational needs of their own hamlet. That means Springs, Amagansett, Montauk, and East Hampton should endeavor to provide hamlet parks within their neighborhoods to meet their citizens’ needs. Thoughtful, simple, and logical, yes? And with the recent purchase of 17 acres, the Bistrian parcels in Amagansett behind the library parking lot, it will now be possible to provide the Little League with several wonderful new fields right behind the commercial district in Amagansett.

The town can certainly provide three or four acres up in the back of the property near the railroad tracks for our children to play baseball. They can farm (organically, of course) the front portion of the parcel and no one will be the wiser.

It’s perfect: The children get a place to play ball with plenty of nearby parking and amenities. The Amagansett shops and restaurants get a boost in early spring business. And the parents don’t have to drive, unnecessarily, back and forth across East Hampton Village — into the trade parade rush hour — to get to Wainscott. Thereby creating even more traffic. It’s an absolute win-win.

Additionally, the Stony Brook Hospital and East Hampton Town Board people can profess to be concerned for the welfare of our local children and families.

Simple, no?

CHARLIE WHITMORE

 

Residents Do Want It
Springs
July 26, 2021

To the Editor,

Your article about the possible new cell tower on town-owned property had some very useful information: “Springs is ‘the last major hole’ in the recently upgraded emergency infrastructure.”

Why is it that the area of Springs that is by far the most densely populated is the last to hopefully get a new cell tower? The Northwest Woods section of town got one incredibly fast at its new fire department and it is just as close to neighboring properties.

The town board has acted irresponsibly for six years now as they have either dithered, or sued their own fire department in Springs about activating a tower there. All other fire departments in town have cell towers. Sadly, Springs has gotten the worst of both worlds for six years: terrible cell service, while also having a 150-foot tower that was not able to work.

Despite the title of your article “Many Pan Tower Plan,” that is just not the case. When a person put a call out to boycott this new cell plan on NextDoor last week, the first 40 responses were to say it is badly needed and it should be built! It is time for the town board to finally do this and, no, it should not be a temporary measure either.

Luckily, a long-sought-after compromise can finally be reached if this town board has a backbone. Cell service in our area should be an embarrassment to all involved that it is taking so long to fix. While one hears quite often about those (a few dozen?) who don’t want it near their neighborhood, understandably, it really is a necessity and there are probably at least 1,000 residents who do want it! That is how democracy is supposed to work right? Not, “Well, we will get to back to you in a few years if we get re-elected,” as has been the story for too long.

The site is seven acres and provides for safety and the potential to be hidden about as well as could be possible. Thanks once again to local resident Zach Cohen who pointed out to the town that they had control of this land and should use it wisely.

BRAD BROOKS

 

In the Fall Zone
Springs
July 9, 2021

Dear David,

With respect to the need for emergency and cell service in Springs, I want to express thanks to Kathee Burke-Gonzalez and the town board for proposing a temporary tower on land the town would purchase, or has purchased, in Springs. Further, her clear message that the existing tower was illegally erected at the Springs Firehouse and is not a viable short or long-term alternative is absolutely right. The Springs Firehouse tower is about 100 feet to the closest house and is, I believe, 150 feet high. A new tower has been proposed there of 180 feet that would need 30 variances.

This area is densely populated, and Ms. Burke-Gonzalez said there are about 24 houses in the fall zone. The alternative site is much less dangerous to families. The nearest house would be more like 300 feet from the center of a large unbuilt area if the site is, in fact, on Crandall Street, as reported in The Press. Photos of metal panels that detached and flew off the tower the town erected at the East Hampton Transfer Station make it clear that these towers pose real danger to surrounding homes and inhabitants. The storm during which part of the tower came off at the transfer station was not even that strong.

We all support improved emergency communications and improved cell service but not by putting people at risk. That is just wrong.

KRAE VAN SICKLE

 

Get Facts Straight
Springs
July 20, 2021

Dear David,

Reg Cornelia’s letter to you last week concerning the lawsuit involving the Springs Fire Department cell tower is representative of some misinformation that, unfortunately, has fueled the debate over the communications issues in Springs. In sum, Reg claims that a lawsuit that I have brought is meritless and has approval of the fire department tower tied up in litigation. Let’s get the facts straight.

First, it is not my lawsuit. The lawsuit to which he referred was brought not by me but by the fire department with backing from Elite Towers, the private company that hopes to profit from the leasing of the facilities of the tower to private cell carriers.

When the fire department erected the tower several years ago, almost literally overnight under cover of darkness without any public notice or hearing, I objected to the zoning board of appeals. The Z.B.A. agreed with my objections that the fire department had not, in sum, followed the proper planning board procedures, such as undertaking a proper site plan review. Instead of following the direction provided by the Z.B.A., the fire department sued the town. With the town’s consent, I joined the lawsuit by intervening as a defendant.

Far from being meritless, as Reg has misinformed your readers, the New York State Supreme Court agreed with the Z.B.A. and upheld the Z.B.A.’s initial ruling. That is a publicly available ruling if Reg or anyone else would like to read it. That ruling was issued over a year ago, and if it was meritless, you must ask why the fire department, together with their financial backers at Elite, never sought the court’s reconsideration of the ruling, never appealed the ruling, and has never begun the site plan review the Z.B.A. initially ruled was the proper procedure to undertake.

Instead, proponents of the fire department tower want to ram down everyone’s throat an even bigger tower right smack in the middle of one of the most densely populated residential areas of town without any kind of review, safety, or regular zoning considerations. They would like to demonize the upward of 1,000 petitioners in the area who have objected to a tower that has some 20 or more houses within its fall zone, borders a town historic district, casts a shadow over Accabonac Harbor, and serves as an ugly beacon for as far as Hither Hills. Indeed, one need look no farther than the similar pole at the town landfill to understand the dangers of debris flying from the towers in even mild storms. But for the fact that the fire department already erected a tower on its property, no one would reasonably consider that site as an appropriate one for the use it proposes.

Instead of bemoaning a lawsuit that the fire department initiated and falsely blaming it on others, perhaps the proponents should do nothing more than comply with the law and follow the proper procedure as the Z.B.A. directed it to do years ago.

In the meantime, I, like many, applaud the town for undertaking the new site in Springs that does not present the same dangers and problems as the fire department tower, addresses our emergency communications and cellular service needs, and respects the rule of law.

DAVID N. KELLEY

 

Some Such Number
Amagansett
July 22, 2021

Dear Editor,

I believe the editorial last week about the airport really says it all. However, you neglected to point out the demographics of this rich-vs.-everyone-else thesis. This is the 1 percent vs., the .001 percent, is it not? Or some such number. The people who fly business class to Italy for their fall biking trip vs. those who take their Falcon 900 to Greece? Give me a break.

My brush with the airport came when my (late) Mom became unable to travel by pedestrian means (bus, car, train) to visit. I was able at reasonable expense to charter a small, single-engine plane from East Hampton to Massachusetts and back. We had five years of nice visits this way, to her great delight, until she passed. That is what a community airport is for.

I also note that the same five or so people seem to have grown roots in your letters section, thinking confusedly that they are deputized assistant editors. Give me a second break and please limit repeat weekly letters from the same people harping on the same things week after week and open up the forum to a younger voice. Your paper will be better for it. Many thanks.

JOHN MANNIX

 

Not Going to Happen
Sag Harbor
July 25, 2021

Dear Sir:

It would have been more accurate for your editorial to say, “Let’s ignore any arguments or facts that lead to a different conclusion or outcome. We don’t like rich people, and the airport exists solely to cater to those people.” If you think that the airport exists solely for rich people, you might wish to speak with people who work at the airport or who have needed rapid transport for medical care. Then I would suggest talking to those people who depend on the airport to support their businesses or commute to their jobs in other areas.

There are strong arguments on both sides of the keep/close KHTO debate. The simplistic statements that there are no reasons to keep the airport are wrong. As much as I want to keep the airport open, I understand that others have reasons to believe that it will be better to close the airport.

If the airport were to be closed, there is an argument that pollution and noise will disappear and that the environment will benefit. That would be true if all the airplanes, pilots, and commuters disappeared. That is not going to happen; the planes will relocate to other airports, their pilots and owners will get in their cars and fly them from different locations right over the same beaches, houses, and areas they travel now. The result will be more automotive pollution, more automotive congestion, and more automotive accidents and injuries. And, the noise won’t be any less; it will be more incessant because a cruising aircraft traveling farther, of course, makes more noise and more pollution.

There is the argument that closing the airport could lead to more environmentally friendly uses. That would be true if the land were completely bare of any structures or runways. Just removing the runways and supporting roads is a huge, dirty task. There are probably between 1.5 million to 2 million cubic feet of runway and supporting roads. Removing all that concrete and asphalt is a dirty and noisy job that could take years and thousands of truck trips, big, smelly, loud diesel dump trucks. Imagine living anywhere near where those large diesel trucks travel, filled with the jackhammered asphalt and concrete. There will be additional traffic, noise, and pollution. I have lost three automobile windshields to construction debris that bounced onto the road from those trucks. And, the debris on those trucks was tarped, too, but still fell off.

I live in the flight path, and I am largely unaware of when a jet goes overhead as the noise is so short-lived. I am more likely to hear the smaller aircraft, but that noise only lasts for a few seconds, too, and is not invasive. Frequently, the noise from neighborhood children, flocks of crows, or — my least favorite — the geese, drowns out those sounds.

If you live in the flight path of the helicopters, I am very sympathetic and supportive of your desire to lessen that noise and traffic. In my view, the noise is excessive and intrusive. However, closing the airport would force the helicopters to travel to Montauk, which would make the problem much worse.

CLIFFORD I. LAVINE

 

A Few Assumptions
East Hampton
July, 26, 2021

To the Editor,

An editorial in The Star’s July edition, “The Airport’s Last Stand” makes a few assumptions, which, in my humble opinion, are erroneous.

First: “The voting constituency in favor of the airport’s continued use . . . could be counted on two hands.” Clearly this is a metaphor, but continuing on the same line I took off my shoes to double my arithmetic capacity, and had no trouble exceeding my quota.

Second: “While those indifferent or outright opposed” explicitly places the indifferent into the camp of the opposed (a.k.a. the “No” people). If that were true, why then have several town administrations always refused to even consider putting the question to a townwide referendum?

Last: Referring to the ones in favor, “the topmost fraction of the 1 percent,” is also totally groundless. As a resident of East Hampton, and a pilot, I have responsibly flown airplanes in and out of our airport, as well as many others worldwide. I am clearly aware that I am far away from the top 1 percent, for if I were, I would be living in Monte Carlo.

It all goes to show that trying to fly an aircraft well, and attempting to be a good journalist, have at least one thing in common: Never assume anything.

GERARD BOLEIS

 

Airport Alternatives
Wainscott
July 21, 2021

Dear David:

Thank you for your thoughtful and sensible editorials regarding the future of East Hampton Airport. Not only are they on point, but they’ve also served to initiate a lively discussion here in the letters columns, many of the letters appearing from the heretofore silent majority of both North and South Fork residents sick and tired of the noisy, dangerous environmental disaster that KHTO has become. Keep them coming, folks!

A few comments on those letters: Rich Morey’s vision of the potential of the area that includes both the Wainscott “pit” and the airport is exactly the kind of forward thinking that begs for further study. Alternatives to the airport are many and they are diverse.

Decisions on what will eventually replace the airport should not be rushed. But studying those ideas should not keep the airport open one day longer than the current grant assurances provide for. Let’s hope that the local town board is courageous enough to avoid some sort of Solomon-like split-the-baby edict. A little well-deserved respite from this summer’s worst air-traffic assault ever is both fair and overdue while we figure this out.

As for the Chicken Little approach to the problem trumpeted by Montauk’s One Guy United, that time and ink might be better spent joining me in rallying around a purchase of the Montauk Airport property by the town, county, and state. Many of the highest dollar infusions into the community preservation fund are coming from mega-dollar real estate deals in Montauk, where the billionaires are aggressively buying the millionaires out. Those are your Montauk-bound fliers, not people who will fly the extra distance to Montauk just to sit in westbound traffic to get to homes in Sagaponack — that’s absurd.

Cocooned by Edward Ecker County Park at Navy Road, the Montauk Airport property is something every East End resident might enjoy for years to come. Nobody (yes Montauk, you too) deserves the kind of aerial assault thousands here continue to suffer.

Had the town board done as requested by the airport noise abatement committee years ago and kept a complete record of every passenger who actually came and went from KHTO complete with final destination, we’d know for certain today how KHTO’s closure might affect air traffic in and out of Montauk. Not doing that study then is responsible now for the outlandish estimates fabricated by Montauk’s One Guy United and threatened by the lying liars representing helicopter concerns. It’s just more noise to have to endure.

Close KHTO this fall and let the ideas and suggestions flow.

Best wishes,

TOM MACNIVEN

 

Biden Stickers
Bridgehampton
July 26, 2021

David,

For years after the corrupt Hillary lost to Trump her supporters refused to remove their bumper stickers. Have you noticed the Biden stickers have all but disappeared a half year after the addled-brain buffoon was inaugurated?

Just sayin’.

TED DAMIECKI

 

Jim Crow Bull
Montauk
July 26, 2021

Dear David,

The president of the United States is running around the country spilling his lies. In Philadelphia, he claims that black people are not going to be able to vote in America anymore. He’s so busy throwing the Jim Crow bull around, he doesn’t understand the Crow election laws. It’s time for the president to stop lying to the American people. Check on your statements.

In measures, such as reducing the number of pre-election voting days in Georgia, there are zero in Delaware. If you want people to condemn a big lie, don’t tell one yourself. Biden and his administration believe the media won’t fact-check him, therefore, say what you want, you’re home free.

Let’s see how you feel about the following: We are dropping charges against five (count them), five Chinese spies, yes, dropping charges. As vice president, Joe Biden kept a variety of private email addresses from which he would sometimes forward and receive government correspondence, on, guess who, Hunter Biden’s laptop. Probably learned how to from Hillary Clinton.

Governor Cuomo obviously has a friend in high places; Justice Department will not investigate Cuomo’s nursing homes deaths, but criminal charges are still in play. Assembly speaker Carl Heastie’s loyalty is to Cuomo?

If I heard this correctly, Biden does not want Secret Service with him when he’s in China. That’s a first, this is the man who on his Inauguration Day swore he’d bring hope and honesty to America. Your polls are falling fast, President Biden.

In God and Country,

BEA DERRICO

 

Reconsider My Choices
Montauk
July 26, 2021

Dear David,

Although I usually vote for the Democrats in congressional and presidential Elections, recent statements by Republican Congressmen Jim Jordan, Jim Banks, and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy are forcing me to reconsider my choices.

All have made it very clear that the following are true: The Covid-19 virus was grown and released by the Chinese government. Covid-19 is being manipulated by Democrats to scare patriotic Americans. If people take the vaccination, they will get sick and die. If people do not take the vaccination, they will not get sick and die. If people take the vaccination, they will also receive a secret microchip implant developed by the deep state in the F.B.I. to monitor their every movement. The microchip will also enable Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the American Chamber of Commerce to monitor food, marijuana, and alcohol intake.

More, the Jan. 6 events were actually tours conducted by Capitol Police to introduce visitors to their congressional reps. Some visitors became agitated when they found out that there was no food court in the Capitol and a ruckus ensued. President Trump tried his best to quell the ruckus by promising to build a food court after he became president again in August. Or, the dust-up of Jan. 6 was due to Pelosi’s failure to build a Capitol food court and to provide enough security for Capitol Police.

As a result of the above candid views that I closely monitor on Fox News, I am seriously considering changing my voter registration to Republican. I just can’t believe all of these lies and doctored video tapes that intend to hurt the greatest president in American history. 

By the way, I was starting to get sick and I took a shot of bleach and bourbon, and I felt much better even though my esophagus got burned a bit.

One can only hope that Fox News will continue to do its job in keeping Americans aware of non-fake news and truthful reality.

Cheers,

BRIAN POPE


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