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Letters to the Editor for September 16, 2021

Thu, 09/16/2021 - 09:17

Out of the Water
Bridgehampton
September 13, 2021

Dear Editor,

All praise and maximum gratitude to the folks who took time out of their epic surf experience on Larry’s day (Friday) and assisted me out of the water after a surfing injury. I am a bona fide water-loving loner, and I was immersed in a pool of glee after getting to shore when folks dragged me up the beach at Radars, while screaming.  

Everyone was so comforting and encouraging. Thank you.

The Montauk ambulance experience was next-level. As we blazed west, I hugged the MTK teddy bear I was given for pain relief. The pain of my injury merged into a collage of green leaves wizzing by, a duet of baritone horn blasts with wailing sirens, and the ambulance crew talk comforting me. I still got the teddy bear by side.

Thank you,

JEREMY GROSVENOR

 

Something Incredible
East Hampton Village
September 13, 2021

Dear David,

As Mary’s Marvelous’s time on Newtown Lane (the retail shop) comes to a close, I am moved and so appreciative of the outpouring of affection and kind words I — and all of us here — have received. My heart is breaking a bit and it is so full when I realize the friends I have made on this journey.

I am deeply grateful for what has been my daily experience of Mary’s Marvelous. For 20 years, I have captained this ship, and I am proud of the place my team and I have made here. Mary’s has been “my place to go,” and a continuous opportunity to connect to something I love to do.

To all of you, the Hamptons community, you who have been with us and supported Mary’s Marvelous in any way — when we got it right and when we didn’t — thank you! You have been a part of my life and provided me and my team a chance every day to bring you a little happiness.

To my team, to each of you here with me now or at any time in our history, for your contribution of yourselves: You have been my co-creators of this Mary’s Marvelous effort. I have deep gratitude and respect for you, I have valued your talents, your diligence, and your senses of humor! Thank you for loving Mary’s Marvelous.

And so, with open arms and an open heart, ready to continue to discover more of myself, I say farewell for now and I’ll see you as I head into my future. So, hold on to your forks, my creative team and I are imagining a new Mary’s Marvelous! Something incredible is coming.

With love,

MARY SCHOENLEIN

P.S. Our last day of business is Sunday.

 

How Long?
Vienna, Va.
September 12, 2021

To the Editor,

I have spent whole summers in East Hampton from the age of 2 to 7 and then partial summers until I was 18 and went away to college. Now I only visit one or two weeks a year, and each time with some trepidation when I hear news of pandemic escapees decamping to East Hampton in droves and airport traffic escalating along with massive new buildings. How long can the open vistas and open spaces remain the way I remember them?

But each time I round the bend from 27 and see the East Hampton pond with the swans, the windmills nearby, and the drive onto Town Lane with the farms and then down to the bays and out to Gerard Drive and Lazy Point, I breathe easier and easier.

I want to tell this current town administration how grateful I and my family are for the hard and persistent work they have done to keep this treasured land green. Each time I visit I discover a new unspoiled vista, rolling terrain, or a hiking trail, and it is always a unique thrill. Thank you for protecting these last wild places we all cherish and for your continued commitment to making a healthier planet for future generations to enjoy.

ZACH CHURCH

 

A Great Meal
East Hampton Village
September 7, 2021

To the Editor,

Our Il Buco al Mare reservation coincidentally coincided with your review. As such we braced for subpar service, especially as the weather gods threatened rain. While a bit leisurely, the pleasant waitstaff served a great meal. Perhaps the relaxed southern Italian spirit was at work. What’s a few more minutes when surrounded by friends and family?

GRAY SCHWEITZER

 

Coming True
East Hampton Village
September 7, 2021

Dear East Hampton Star,

This morning I saw a headline in The Post that said that many N.Y.C. residents blame the city for the flood damage from the last two storms. At first I was angry at the speed with which these folks, whoever they were, were pointing fingers at the city managers. Then I realized that they are partly right to do so. The fact is that the city was never built to withstand the kind of rain that pounded it over the past few weeks.

My parents’ apartment on the Upper West Side is no stranger to leaks of all kinds, but between Henri and the remains of Ida, and all the rain in between, most of the apartments in the building had leaks and a few had outright floods. For two days, my parents endured water dribbling down a tarp into a 50-gallon trash can.

The simple fact is that the global warming trend, which is enhancing storms, fires, floods, and droughts, was predicted as far back as 1985 and was raised as a possibility back in the late 1800s. I remember the first models being run through a supercomputer and giving dire predictions if things didn’t change. Well, they didn’t, and the predictions are coming true.

The reasons things didn’t change (or maybe didn’t change enough) was that the government and big business were more preoccupied with the financial burden of doing something even when it was clear that it would cost many times more if nothing were done. Just take a look at the multi-trillion-dollar bill for the damage and loss caused by just the last two hurricanes and you might get the picture. And that doesn’t include the wildfires out west.

Hurricane season in the Atlantic still has three months to go. Let’s hope

we continue to be lucky. We are long overdue for a direct hit. I’m prepared. Are you?

Thanks for reading.

Sincerely,

MATT HARNICK

 

A Responsibility
East Hampton
September 6, 2021

Dear David:

At the Aug. 3 design review board meeting, a preliminary proposal for building the Toilsome Brewery was presented by the Diamond family’s Mill Hill Realty Corp. The board chairman initially expressed a positive view of the project and later stated, “all boxes for approval have been checked” (LTV fact check). Only after comments from attending residents was a subcommittee formed. No report yet has come forth.

Numerous concerns of Toilsome Lane neighbors and their surrounding residents need to be addressed. As the brewery is considered to be on the outskirts of our village Main Street, it would be surrounded by residential housing, including a historic house dating back to 1799. The opposite side borders railroad property. (Would that be an accident waiting to happen?)

Although the plan includes a full-fledged brewery, tasting room, second-floor restaurant, and an outdoor beer garden on approximately one and half acres, the property is connected to four acres of historical farmland. Would the open field be used for crowd and car overflow?

Traffic studies are always done for large projects; yet here, the traffic study was considered unnecessary even though the entrance and exit are within seconds of the Gingerbread-Toilsome curve. The road is narrow, dark at night, and with no sidewalks, which all suggest the potential for fatal accidents. No one on Toilsome wants to face such a tragedy happening at their front door.

The brewery will function year round with a suggested limit of 140 people and approximately 63 cars. However, special events, and of course, Oktoberfest celebrations, will happen. How and who will keep crowds and parked cars, possibly on surrounding lanes, under control? Will buses be used to transport attendees? With such activity, outdoor lighting, noise, and loud music are major concerns.

Everyone has a right to use their property but along with that right comes the responsibility to the community. As a Toilsome neighbor, I urge Mill Hill Realty, the East Hampton Village boards, and our surrounding residents to work together to create a productive yet neighborly environment, one that benefits everyone concerned!

Sincerely,

JANET DAYTON

 

Reduce Traffic
East Hampton
September 13, 2021

To the Editor,

Attention, town residents who use long-term parking: The village no longer sells yearly stickers for $240 to non-village residents. Instead they now charge $10 per night for parking. That means if you leave your car in the long-term lot on Sunday evening and pick it up on Friday you will now pay $200 per month, or over $2,000 more per year. That’s a huge increase — even for the Hamptons.

On the positive side, the town is currently a partner of Long Island’s ninth annual Car Free Day Long Island, on Wednesday. Call all of your representatives. Visit carfreedayli.com, tell these people to negotiate a fair yearly rate with the village for those who use long-term parking. We are the ones who have chosen alternative modes of transportation and help reduce traffic, vehicular greenhouse gas emissions, and improve air quality.

To the village: You have a chance to help trade gridlock for cleaner communities. Show Car Free Day L.I. that you believe in their goals.

Do what’s fair and needs to be done or you will find hundreds of cars back on the road!

BILL NICOLAI

 

Utmost Respect
Montauk
September 11, 2021

To the Editor,

I’m hearing a lot of chatter about the letter to the editor I wrote about the local scholarships. I’m hearing that people are upset and don’t understand why I would say something against the fire department.

I just want to clarify that I have the utmost respect for all the women and men who volunteer their energy and time for our community. I also want to say that I believe the fire department does an extraordinary job keeping the community safe and this is no easy task in the summer. They are also very good to the community.

I stand by my letter but I think going forward they should have two separate scholarships and have one just be for junior firefighters and junior E.M.T.s. This way you would entice more young people to get involved and they would be rewarded for their service. Just a thought.

CYNTHIA IBRAHIM

 

Laid Bare
Springs
September 13, 2021

Dear Star:

I don’t know anything about the national origins of the writer of last week’s letter which pathetically described East Hampton as “nothing more than an Ecuadorean slum.” Whatever his ancestry, unless he is a Native American, his immigrant forebears were doubtless greeted with similar laments by those already here when they arrived. I have known a few Ecuadorean members of our community over the years and I am happy to report that none of them have displayed the kind of primitive, low-minded bigotry that the writer proudly laid bare on these pages.

Thanks,

DAVID ROSENBERG

 

Tip of the Iceberg
Springs
September 13, 2021

Dear Editor,

East Hampton Town government is a failure! Not because those who are elected are bad people, because they are not. They are charming people, very nice people that unfortunately lack the experience and skill sets to get the job done.

In 2017 I ran for supervisor. I laid out several fundamental problems that plagued our town, and, astonishingly, nothing has been accomplished: The airport remains a divisive issue as ever. Cellphone and emergency communications remain nonexistent and continue to place our residents at risk. The emergency communications tower at the Spring Fire Department remains tied up by the town planning and zoning boards.

The offshore wind farm still threatens our commercial fishing community and the sanctity of Wainscott. Our harbors and bays continue to be polluted by a lack of proper septic systems.

Our town employees, despite carrying the community through a pandemic and surge in population, remain underpaid and disrespected. The appointed political boards remain a den of inappropriate political influence and patronage. The senior citizens center remains unbuilt as the old building caves in around our seniors.

There has yet to be any discussion of serious ethics reform to the point I am told Councilwoman Overby lived in Florida for months and conducted Zoom-call board meetings. There is no discussion of term limits or creating election wards, so board council members and trustees are elected from the hamlets where they reside.

Traffic has only gotten worse by the day. Hard structures continue to ruin our beaches while the town wastes millions of dollars on sand replenishment. While wild partygoers besiege Montauk, the residents are left to fend for themselves.

There has been no economic investment in creating a living wage while more and more families find their only alternative to sell their homes and move away. There still is no medical emergency facility.

Think that is a whole lot of failure? The listed above is just the tip of the iceberg!

The East Hampton Town Democratic Committee would like to believe this election is a referendum on national politics. Well, it is not. This election is about the basics. Nothing above has to do with whether you voted Biden or Trump but instead has everything to do with local issues that directly impact every member of our community. That’s why this election is about change and good government.

This year the choice is clear: Vote. The current town board that has failed or the one that brings integrity, ethical conduct, and the experience to get the job done by voting for: Kenneth I. Walles, supervisor, George B. Aman, councilman, and Joseph B. Karpinski, councilman.

If you want to make a difference to move East Hampton forward for all its residents instead of the chosen, we want you to come to join us to help make the town government responsible and responsive. If you are interested in a better East Hampton, regardless of your political party affiliation, contact me at 631-324-0528 and screen for the open positions.

MANNY VILAR

Chairman

East Hampton Town Republican Committee

 

No Discussion
Amagansett
September 3, 2021

Dear David,

At the end of the Sept. 2 town board meeting the supervisor made a statement that all further town board meetings would now be held by Zoom starting Sept. 7. It was probably due to the fact that a ruling came out Thursday morning from the Open Meetings Law Committee in Albany which, “authorized permitting in public in-person access to meetings . . . to be held remotely by conference call or similar service.” There was no board discussion, but a determination by Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc alone, that made the decision that the board go back to meeting on Zoom. There was no mention of Town Hall being closed; as far as I know the clerk’s office remains open as do the town offices. How about protection for town staff?

The Town of Southampton has not made a decision, as of today, Sept. 3, about their meetings being held in public or not, the East Hampton Airport discussion meetings scheduled and advertised to be held in person at LTV have not yet been discussed, East Hampton Village will stay open until “there is a huge scary turn in numbers,” but the East Hampton Town supervisor made the quickest decision to go remote.

One has to think about the reason for this extremely quick decision to close down only the open meetings.  The supervisor is under the microscope as far as the many poor decisions he is making for this town. Transparency is not what he is known for and one has to wonder why he made this quick decision. Is it an easier way to function for the supervisor to use the remote method? Fewer people to question his decisions in the public forum?

It should get the town voters thinking about their vote for supervisor in November. My vote is going to Councilman Jeff Bragman for supervisor. Make a note that he is running on the Independence Party line when you go to vote. Send for an absentee ballot to make sure you vote on Nov. 2 — the election is only two months away.

Sincerely,

RONA KLOPMAN

 

Blocked a Road
Amagansett
August 29, 2021

To the Editor

Reading Mr. Walsh’s story on geocubes reminds me when years ago he called me and Steve Graboski “Two residents of Bay View Avenue, both of whom complained about their loss of access to the beach.” Complained? No, I believe standing up for our rights that were violated by government agencies that should have been protecting our rights and access.

Yes, it’s true, Virginia, 30 days of not covering these cubes makes the permit null and void. They remain. It’s been said by everyone for years. Most recently stated by our supervisor who has allowed a road and emergency access to be blocked for four summers, along with his complicit town board members. After all, it is the town’s agent who has blocked a road. The town should have opened this road years ago. 

The Star did multiple stories on this road in 2019, The Daily Mail as well. Not even a response from the town board all these years. Until magically Aug. 10 the town board now took notice. I wonder why?

I don’t begrudge anyone for trying to protect their home. The bigger issue will always be Napeague Harbor that is consistently neglected. Once a right of way was blocked the permits were not valid anymore. It’s immediate removal. So what permit is permitting this structure to still be here? Not any currently. No permit at all. Besides having a second illegal row behind the first.

Has anyone ever looked at a tax map? Your receiver of taxes office made the assessment in 22 seconds. That’s going to come down. The Department of Environmental Conservation Permit Division claims they wouldn’t allow that to happen, Laura Starr? How about you, Darlene DeFabio from Marine Resources? It’s been a year and a half waiting for your superiors to call me.

The 30-foot easement in between these homes? Does anyone realize homes on a true urban renewal road need to give up road-widening easements to the Town of East Hampton? By the way that null and voids all previous deeds.

The trustees put a barricade at the top of the hill here when they gave the Brick Yard Kiln permission to use the two deer paths to the water in 1873. The 200-year barricade. Do you know why? So, no one would build where water can rise. It should have stood until 2073. That barricade was taken down in March of 1972. This was just a dirt road. That stopped at the barricade. Our home didn’t have a number until urban renewal. It was just called “the home behind.”

On Aug. 10 I spoke at the zoning board of appeals meeting, unaware of the events that took place during the afternoon. I made reference to the fact the home in question that night, just like here on Bay View Avenue, has a second, not-permitted row. In my humble opinion, I would call that fraud. I once again stated in my humble opinion that it was deliberate fraud. That should invalidate the permits as well. I called on the Town of East Hampton, the Town of Southampton, and the Army Corps of Engineers to cease work with Aram Terchunian and his company, First Coastal. I also called on a review of all his work since 1975. We know they won’t do it. Government protects their own. The town board certainly has kept mouths shut for years.

Kevin McAllister of Defend H2O just gave a smoking gun document to the town board on Aug. 17. It’s Aram Terchunian’s 1987 document from the Department of State about the destructive nature of known static structures. But he can build them. This man is the modern-day Music Man. He claimed on Nov. 19, 2019, at a Z.B.A. meeting he didn’t knowingly block a road. His plans dated 2018 show the road. Oh, we got trouble. Trouble, trouble. Right here in River City. 

The bags on Bay View are so dangerously close to Napeague State Park that I allege they have built into the state park, old provisions from when the Nature Conservancy got the land in 1972 and sold it to the state in 1976 carried over. Any commercial structure in the park will revert it back to its prior owners. Well, we may have just lost a state park to boot. November can’t come fast enough. Preferential treatment and not enforcing the law. That’s your current town board. All five of them.

The tides are changing.

From the oldest home-owning family on Bay View Avenue,

JOE KARPINSKI

Mr. Karpinski is a Republican and Conservative candidate for East Hampton Town Board. Ed.

 

Public Safety
Amagansett
September 14, 2021

Dear David,

I was pleased to learn that East Hampton Town extended lifeguard services at our ocean beaches beyond Labor Day. Fall is one of the best times to be at the beach, but dangers for the unwary persist.

The community-sensitive action was typical of the way our town board under Supervisor Van Scoyoc’s leadership has acted during the pandemic both to enhance public safety and to keep available as much as possible the world-famous amenities of this lovely place. That our beaches have been open and felt both pleasant and safe in the face of Covid’s ups and downs, reflects the consistent graceful way that masking and social distancing requests were stated, posted, and enforced.

The town has been alert to the range of individual and community needs presented by the Covid crisis. Heartening visitors and residents, and benefiting the economy, restrictions on social gatherings were accompanied by loosened constraints on dining outdoors. Meanwhile residents discovered that our part of Long Island seemingly had been overlooked in the distribution of vaccines. Uniquely among town leaders, Supervisor Van Scoyoc arranged and set up a massive vaccination site right here where thousands received shots.

Our town has been blessed by good leadership, shaped by experience and at the ready when we needed it most.

Sincerely yours,

JEANNE FRANKL

 

No Decision
Amagansett
September 12, 2021

To the Editor:

The East Hampton Town Board has taken the well-traveled road of conflicted politicians. They will “study” the issue, conduct town halls to take the local temperature, and kick the can farther down the road.

This further study and town hall meetings are all nonsense. After many years the town board certainly has all the information it needs to make a decision. However, they’re caught between two factions: the commercial interests who want to keep the money train rolling and the suffering voter-taxpayers who have been driven slowly mad by the constant noise.

The unintended consequences of either decision have yet to be uncovered.

However, as we all know — no decision is a decision. The money keeps rolling, and the noise keeps driving the citizens crazy. Our leaders have let us down.

Sincerely,

RICHARD ZIMMERMAN

 

Like a Threat
Wainscott
September 16, 2021

Dear Editor,

At the East Hampton Town Board work session on Sept. 7, the president of Blade, Melissa Tomkiel, called in. You’re familiar with Blade, right? It is the helicopter company that flies thousands of operations to the East End of Long Island. On the call she said, “We will likely be increasing flights to the Montauk [sic], places like Sag Harbor, and Westhampton, in the event that East Hampton Airport is no longer available.”

Is that a threat? It sounds like a threat. It sounds like: “You close East Hampton Airport, we are going to inundate Montauk.” Or is that old-fashioned fearmongering targeted at our sisters and brothers in Montauk?

Then she spoke about compromises on noise abatement from helicopters. The helicopter companies have been promising for years to compromise. I won’t hold my breath.

Finally, she waxed poetic about electric aircraft as if their mass production were around the corner. Are they really? I have a Chevy Bolt; I see a few Teslas in East Hampton; but the vast majority of cars and trucks in our Town use gasoline even when electric vehicles have been on the market for years, so suggesting that electric helicopters are, “not that far out in the future,” as she claimed on the call, is disingenuous, at best.

The helicopter operators and pilots have had ample opportunity to meet the residents of the East End halfway. And yet they have fought every measure to mitigate the traffic. The status quo is unacceptable.

MICHAEL HANSEN

 

Same Consideration
Orient
September 13, 2021

To the Editor:

As the East Hampton Town Board ponders the airport’s fate I hope they consider these questions. Is the tiny revenue bump East Hampton receives from KHTO users worth all the aggravation? Does East Hampton have a responsibility to other East End towns that are burdened with the majority of the aviation routes?

Why do so few routes come in over East Hampton only? If new routes were introduced over East Hampton, would residents be happy? Do other townships deserve the same consideration as Montauk when it comes to the number of operations and unwanted noise, especially those without airports?

In the history of “fly neighborly” efforts at KHTO, has there ever been a route that truly abates noise? Why are over-water routes being pushed when noise travels more efficiently over water versus land? Do water-facing residents and beachgoers deserve the same quiet as landlocked residents? Has anyone studied what the incessant air traffic is costing other townships in reduced property values? 

Is being 35th on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of top New York State lead polluters consistent with the town’s green initiative? How confident is the board in the airport’s impact on the aquifer?

What percent of air taxi users are actually East Hampton property owners? How many window-buzzing, conversation-interrupting flybys during dinner hour does the board consider acceptable? Given all that East Hampton offers, does the board really think there will be a massive drop in summer visitors without air taxis?

ADAM IRVING

 

Flying for Hire
East Hampton
September 10, 2021

Editor,

Tennis fans watching the U.S. Open are bombarded with ads for a company flying helicopters for hire to East Hampton airport.

We don’t actually need more helicopters out here.

Close the airport.

Thank you,

KATE EPSTEIN

 

Electric Air
East Hampton Village
September 13, 2021

To the Editor,

Times are changing fast as everyone feels and knows — science, technology, ecology. Let’s take a forward leap to the South Fork, say, only three years from now. The country has moved quickly in many directions: electric cars, better nutrition, faster internet, hotter summers. By then, electric-powered air taxis, already in the beta stage of testing, will fly, connecting to suburbs and cities with passenger pickups and reserve bookings.

A trip, say, to greater New York from East Hampton is projected to be competitive with train fare or the Jitney. Travel time: a little more than 30 minutes, spot-to-spot. A quick trip to several locations in Manhattan might likely be possible. On the ground, service from Uber and Lyft is already improving. By then, more electric cars, with the ability to pick up potential air taxi passengers.

The many current articles about the anticipated capabilities of air taxis are all predicting their wide usage soon. By as early as 2024, electric air taxis will already be in service, they say, for some locations. 

If we visualize the possibility of air taxi service from the Town of East Hampton, then our airport could become a regular pickup discharge point for air taxis serving the South Fork. Traffic on 27 would be reduced substantially; aircraft noise down to a dim purring flutter.

Some believe that air taxi pickup points in and around Manhattan and suburbs may be more varied than ground transportation offers now. Let’s stay open to these promising economic possibilities, soon-coming, by saving our airport, so strategically located.

I am sympathetic to those who have bought or own real estate yearning that the airport would be closed. The current noise problem must be addressed. However, those deeply annoying issues can be mitigated if we have the will to reduce aircraft noise, limiting it to certain times of the day. Moreover, there can be studies about keeping inbound aircraft over less-settled areas and possibly using a steep, low-power descent toward landing in most cases. There may be other ways to regulate noise levels and I am sure some of those are under consideration. Let’s continue to explore and institute changes and procedures to address this interim problem.

Into the future, then, comes the possibility of the East Hampton airport becoming a hub for air taxis to whisk passengers to cities within range or even to nearby towns. Let’s not kill the future lifestyle gains for our area by shutting down our airport. We can plan now to be early users for the electric air taxi service, be an ecological leader and electric transportation early mover.

Our little airport must adapt to serve our community. If we allow it to be closed, it will be politically and economically difficult to reopen. Would we not like the opportunity to become a pro-environment travel model for the South Fork and the East Coast? To lead in creating a clean-air travel option for our community? Reduction in automobile traffic in and around, to and from, the Town of East Hampton?

Perhaps the best way for our local government to approach this coming boon would be a study about the projected arrival of electric air taxis for public use. Such positive research would include all the possible changes to mitigate problems of the near-airport residents currently. And, to encourage the consideration of the new array of choices in moving ourselves more quickly and more in a more climate-friendly way. We can work this out.

Disclosure: I seldom use, or have used, the East Hampton airport in the 30 years that I have been a part-time resident here. I make frequent trips to Manhattan by car, so air taxis would be a big advantage for me, as I believe for many other residents and visitors.

I am privileged to be a board member of the Village Preservation Society but my views do not reflect necessarily those of the members of that noble group.

I have no investment in electric aircraft or related companies.

TED HARTLEY

 

Pay No Heed
Wainscott
September 11, 2021

Dear David,

The torture and torment of helicopters must stop at all costs. The term, “torture and torment” was first coined by former Congressman Tim Bishop and U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer in a 2009 joint letter to the F.A.A., “These low-flying helicopters have tortured and tormented Long Island communities for far too long,” Schumer said.

The incessant commercial use of helicopters and seaplanes, ferrying people to and from New York City and East Hampton Airport has continued to plague residents on the East End, 12 years after Senator Schumer’s statement, indeed far, far too long. Aside from the obvious tormenting noise, safety and carbon emissions are much greater reasons for eliminating their use. In fact the town board has no choice even if it means closing the airport.

In 2013 the town board unanimously adopted the “Comprehensive Energy Vision,” which states: “The town of East Hampton will become a leader in sustainable energy policies and practices by substantially reducing energy consumption through conservation and energy efficiency while significantly increasing the use of renewable energy technologies.”

In 2014, acting upon the Comprehensive Energy Vision, the town board unanimously adopted the community-wide goal to have 100 percent renewable energy in electricity, transportation, and heating fuels by 2030.

In 2015 the town board unanimously adopted the Town of East Hampton Climate Action Plan, “which was the town’s initial blueprint to its climate emergency response, listing specific steps for local climate mitigation, resilience, adaptation, engagement, education, advocacy, and research and development programs.”

On March 4 the town board unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the declaration of a climate emergency in the Town of East Hampton, which states, “Resolved, that by declaring this emergency the town board is committing to make climate mitigation and the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions a guiding principle and objective of all municipal operations, all policy and purchasing decisions, all planning and zoning decisions, all aspects of town business for the foreseeable future”

Helicopters and seaplanes are the most inefficient form of transportation to and from East Hampton with the largest per-capita carbon footprint above any other form of transportation by far. These carbon footprint calculations have been presented to the town board by local experts. This is the lowest hanging fruit for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions in transportation, bar none. Eliminating the use of helicopters and seaplanes must be the first order of business by the town board under this adopted emergency declaration. This is not discriminating by aircraft type, only eliminating use by carbon emissions. The long list of unanimous town board decisions across various political administrations is proof and a mandate from the voting citizens of the Town of East Hampton that this is the will of the people.

I plead with the local pilots to support these efforts, the airport doesn’t need to close; I don’t want to see it closed. The airport can remain open for recreational, private fixed-wing aircraft, having no larger carbon footprint than a locally operated recreational boat. In fact any recreational use has far fewer carbon emissions than a commercial use for transportation. We have agreed that the mixture of fixed wing and rotary aircraft is unsafe. I understand this as a pilot, safety was a major concern when I filed my first report to the town board in 2008. If we remain divided, the airport will surely close due to your ill-conceived alliances.

I ask the town board, please pay no heed to the non-voting New Jersey carpetbaggers who have no interest in or consideration for greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, simply because they don’t live with the threat of rising sea levels we see rising all around us. They simply don’t care.

The voice of the people of East Hampton has spoken, the town board must act now under the emergency declaration by eliminating the use of helicopters and seaplanes as a form of transportation even if it means closing the airport.

Sincerely,

FRANK DALENE

Founder

East Hampton Helicopter Noise Coalition

Citizens for Airport Safety and Equity

Co-Founder

Quiet Skies Coalition

 

Obscene
East Hampton
September 13, 2021

Dear Reader:

The East Hampton Aviation Association is a lobby group with a dozen or so members. Their long scheduled Just Plane Fun Day was held at the East Hampton Airport on 9/11. Sept. 11 as Just Plane Fun Day? What an obscure blunder. Who even are these people?

PATRICIA HOPE

 

Nine Reasons
Wainscott
September 12, 2021

To the Editor,

I offer nine reasons to close, rather than modify, East Hampton Airport.

1. Public land of this acreage should be used for the public good; 1 percent of the people benefit, whereas everyone else is both denied access and subjected to the unremitting assault of aircraft pollution (air, groundwater, visual, and noise).

2. If the airport remains an airport, it can be returned to its current state, or worse, with a change of the town board, a public referendum subject to the lies and distortions of the airporters’ lobby, Blade, etc., and a 3-to-2 vote to take F.A.A. money.

3. The notion of returning to the good old days when it was just a little ol’ country airport with Piper Cubs flying around is not going to happen. Just deciding what type of aircraft may use the airport is problematic. Regulating types and curfews and restrictions will be a constant problem. Planes turn off their responders routinely now and come in at all hours invisibly. There are rogue operators. Will there be 24-hour security at the airport to ensure this doesn’t happen?

4. Another huge problem with “small planes” is that they too are quite invasive of privacy, are plenty loud, often fly dangerously low — and use leaded fuel, avgas, which is spewing lead particulate matter into the air and into the groundwater. And this is a hundred yards from a preschool!

5. The pilots of smaller planes have never done anything to support the community in calling for restrictions and regulations. They continue to support the status quo, routinely mocking community members who complain about their callous behavior.

6. And finally, with regard to “smaller planes,” they are responsible for thousands and thousands of operations per year. If they are the only type allowed, we will likely see an increase in their number, perhaps exponentially.

7. We cannot afford to allow luxury recreation to continue to accelerate the climate crisis. Flying an aircraft for pleasure is no longer acceptable, just as burning leaves was finally banned decades ago. And gas-powered blowers were banned this summer. Did anyone miss their awful noise and air pollution?

8. As long as the land is an airport, the rental income from commercial businesses on the apron cannot benefit the taxpayers, nor can the land be used to generate additional revenues for the town.

9. As long as the land is an airport thousands of local people will have to risk their very lives when walking, running, or riding bikes on our crowded and dangerous roadways, such as 114 and Further Lane and Town Lane.

If we don’t want endless problems indefinitely, we need to close the airport and use the public’s land for the common good. That’s just common sense.

BARRY RAEBECK

 

Quiet Enjoyment
Amagansett
September 13, 2021

Dear Mr. Rattray,

As you know, 18 years ago I was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma. A tumor inside my head, situated directly on the auditory nerve on the left side. Fortunately, I was told at the time that this was (is) a “benign” tumor. (Doesn’t that sound lovely? Benign.) And, fortunately, no surgery was prescribed at that time, because, I was told, hearing would never fully recover to my left ear anyway, whether the thing was removed or not. The auditory nerve is so sensitive that it would be impossible not to disturb or compromise it by removing the tumor. So if we happen to see each other and decide to catch up, Mr. Rattray, remember to talk to the right ear. Thanks.

You’re probably wondering what my acoustic neuroma has to do with the closing of East Hampton Airport. No? Well here it is anyway (though you might have to work a bit to put the reasoning together): At the time of my diagnosis I was informed that the auditory nerve is the second most sensitive nerve in the body, the optic nerve being most sensitive. Okay, that’s the background. Now keep the word “noise” in mind as we go forward.

The airport was built in 1936. At that time there were no jets coming in. No helicopters chopping back and forth. And, more important, even by 1950, the population of East Hampton was a mere 6,325. Most of the lands surrounding the airport were either farms or forests of scrub pine and oak. By 1980 the town’s population had more than doubled to 14,029. And since then, it has doubled again, to 28,385 residents (representing a 32-percent increase just since 2010). As air traffic has increased exponentially over the course of those years, so have the number of people whose lives have been adversely impacted by the ceaseless airborne noise during virtually all daylight hours.

In the face of this remarkable population growth has the Town of East Hampton been turned into a suburb? No, though the forces of development are powerful. Through the community preservation fund and other initiatives, hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in purchasing the development rights to thousands of acres of farmland on the South and North Forks. Thousands more acres of wetlands and waterfront areas have also been preserved. Why did we do that as a community, Mr. Rattray? It’s not a trick question. Forward-thinking East End residents did it to preserve and protect, to every extent possible, what is special and precious about the land we live on, and the waters we’re surrounded by. It’s the reason we’re here, the thing our senses get to indulge in by virtue of being here. The open land and beautiful shoreline our eyes can feast on. The smell of the sea, the bay, the fields. The taste of the amazing bounty our lands and waters yield. Oh, and our sense of touch can participate in all of the above, rest assured. Those are also the reasons people who don’t live here come to visit.

Back to the noise: It is counterintuitive, with all that’s been done to preserve this remarkable environment that nature has gifted us, to ignore the relentless assault on our hearing from aircraft swarming our air space. There are several definitions of air space, but here, for me, is the relevant one: The space above private land needed for its quiet enjoyment. Quiet enjoyment should be the right of every resident of this community.

There’s a reason we never widened the highway from Southampton to Montauk. It’s much the same reason that we invested those millions in land preservation and waterway protection. Please hear this: The only way we can give our ears the quietude they’re entitled to is to clean up our air space. And close the airport.

Keep it down,

LYLE GREENFIELD

 

New Park
Springs
September 10, 2021

To the Editor,

East Hampton Airport covers 600 acres. The average golf course covers 140 to 180 acres. The largest acreage for a golf course is 190 acres, and the smallest acreage is 100 acres. More golfing opportunities are certainly needed here in town for the average golfer of average means. A nice golf course would take up perhaps 30 percent of the current airport’s acreage. Greens fees matching Montauk State Park’s would be appropriate. As at Montauk, local residents would pay less than visitors. Greens fees, other fees, and restaurant rent would help support our new park.

Tennis courts, pickleball courts, basketball courts, running tracks, baseball/softball fields, farmers markets, and other health-supporting facilities would take up, of course, much less acreage than a golf course. In addition, covered and uncovered picnic areas would provide wonderful opportunities for families, fraternal groups, and other “regular” people. There would be plenty of room left over, at a remote corner of the park, for an emergency helo pad.

Also, it’s time we establish a deer preserve instead of murdering 541 deer per year on our roads, a really inhumane way of ending the lives of these beautiful animals. Several wooded and fenced acres could be set aside at a far edge of the new park for a deer preserve. Town employees could dart a few deer in the wild each week and move them to the deer preserve. Benches outside the fence would allow children and others to come by to enjoy their beauty. “Feed Bambi” cash collection boxes would be placed with merchants around town to reduce the cost of feeding the deer. Also, those with extra food (e.g., supermarkets, restaurants, etc.) could deliver it to the preserve (or place it in a conveniently located Bambi Truck, perhaps in Reutershan).

The airport is a perk for wealthy people, a source of noise pollution, and a big negative for the carbon footprint in our town. Let the wealthy fly to Westhampton and motor the rest of the way.

Close the airport and start planning East Hampton Veterans Memorial Park as described above.

BILL BROWN

 

New Season
Montauk
September 10, 2021

To the Editor:

The Department of Environmental Conservation has created a new, nine-day antlerless deer hunting season in September.

In his initial announcement, D.E.C. Commissioner Basil Seggos said the new season would contribute to “a better all-around experience” for hunters. He added that the “antlerless harvest” will reduce deer population sizes. In East Hampton, the season is for bowhunting.

This announcement is typical of the D.E.C.: The agency congratulates itself on the recreational opportunities it provides to hunters, but it says nothing about the suffering of the animals. Bowhunting is especially painful for deer because many are only wounded and die slow, agonizing deaths. The D.E.C.’s announcement also fails to address important questions. Does the “antlerless” season include fawns? If so, many residents will object.

Another question: Why are we to suppose that more hunting will control deer populations? It hasn’t worked yet. Isn’t it time to seriously pursue nonlethal methods like immunocontraception?

Such questions could stimulate meaningful discussions. But the D.E.C. didn’t announce the new season until Sept. 1, 10 days before its starting date. Municipalities weren’t given time to engage in thoughtful dialogue and consider whether they wished to participate.

I urge our town board to object to the timing of the announcement. The board should halt the September hunting on town-owned land and begin holding the discussions the issue deserves.

BILL CRAIN

President

East Hampton Group for Wildlife

 

Dominated by Hunters
East Hampton
September 12, 2021

To the Editor:

I am writing re the “rushed” decision, announced by the state on Sept. 1, which will allow the slaughter of antlerless deer and, also by definition, fawns, using cruel and inhumane bowhunting. Of course, it’s general knowledge that the D.E.C. is an agency dominated by hunters that promotes hunting and subsists on the fees paid for hunting licenses and the taxes on accompanying, related paraphernalia; this is a blatant conflict of interest foisted on a public that is surely, totally unaware. This ill-considered decision would permit people to stalk, hunt down, and, for the most part, mortally injure, if not summarily kill beautiful wildlife — causing incalculable suffering to sentient beings who are the unfortunate, innocent deer on town-owned land.

I wish to state my opposition to even more hunting and killing, and the possibility of unintended consequences, especially when there are so many more people who have taken up residence here in East Hampton, as a result of the pandemic. The town population these days is largely made up of people who love and enjoy the presence of wildlife, and who oppose these inexcusably heartless and unjustified kill ventures.

Interest in hunting continues to plummet nationwide, and the general population is not in favor of senseless bloodshed for a perverse sense of pride or ego. It’s time we led by example and encouraged our children to “hunt and shoot” wild animals — with a camera!

I urge the East Hampton Town Board to reject implementation of the ill-considered antlerless deer hunting season, through Sunday.

ZELDA PENZEL

President

People for the End of Animal Cruelty and Exploitation

 

Nasty Path
East Hampton
September 10, 2021

David,

In Friday’s New York Times columns by David Brooks and Paul Krugman, hardly radical thinkers, they describe the Republican Party’s descent into fascism and make an unquestioned case that the biggest threats to our democratic system are internal and not from abroad. Coming on the eve of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 it is a frightening commentary on the state of our country.

To fully grasp the extent of our war on terror, it’s necessary to read the “Cost of War” project put out last week by the Watson Institute at Brown University — $8 trillion, 900,000 dead, 39 million displaced. But I am not writing about 9/11 and the war on terror but about the sad reality of our political system and the need for the Biden administration to get its head out of the sand and join the real world.

A friend who has worked in politics for more than 40 years was horrified that as of last week Conway and Dejoy, Trump appointees, were still employed by the government. While both are incompetent clowns, they are more so Trump loyalists still operating on his policies. When Trump came into power virtually every Democrat got a pink slip the first week. What are the Democrats thinking? Or not?

Biden needs to see the political reality of the Republican Party and let go of his dreams of bipartisan interaction. The Republican Party is Trump and the lunacy of fake elections, Jan. 6, anti-vaxxers, and abortion mania and has pushed the envelope of our political system beyond the breaking point. The boundaries that have kept our democracy together have been breeched, and we are heading down a dark and nasty path to fascism.

So Joe, end the filibuster and get everything passed before the midterms. Pack the court if necessary. (SB8 threw the court down the toilet.) Pass all the vaccine and mask mandates that we need because everything to the contrary regarding the pandemic is idiocy. Be tough and nasty and not too stupid or at least tough and nasty.

NEIL HAUSIG


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