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Letters to the Editor for September 2, 2021

Wed, 09/01/2021 - 16:13

Racially Loaded
Hampton Bays
August 29, 2021


It’s come to my attention that your paper published an article about Bill Tabert, a business owner who a few days ago physically assaulted one of his customers. In said article he was quoted saying that he serves “all kinds,” which, considering that said customer was a young girl of color, does not seem accurate. In fact considering that it was a racially driven encounter, the fact that he’s quoted using the words “all kinds,” which is a racially loaded use of language was an overall poor choice.

I’m aware that such a story about an incident like the one that occurred doesn’t shine the kind of light that one about a business does. Considering the kind of diverse community that we live in, it is more of the reality of what the people in the community are seeing every day. So at least have a look at what this young girl experienced. The lack of honesty about how much racism people of color face continues to feed the narrative that it is “gone” or “ doesn’t happen here.”

Thank you for your time,



Commerce That Serves
East Hampton
August 20, 2021

Dear David,

As executive director of the Village Preservation Society of East Hampton, I wish to extend my sincere apologies to those who went to the Emergency Services Building last week to participate in the V.P.S. information session and collaboration with the Anchor Society, introducing that organization’s concept to establish a general store downtown, bringing “commerce that serves community.”

As the Covid-19 virus numbers crept up, it seemed an appropriate last-minute decision to switch venues to Zoom, and a sign to indicate that change was never placed on the door at the firehouse. This led to some confusion and clearly frustrated, interested members of the public could not participate in a very meaningful and informative discussion. To those of you who tried to join us at the firehouse, I’m so terribly sorry to have inconvenienced you!

Please join us by contacting Bess Rattray at [email protected] to find a way to make this wonderful concept a reality.

Thanks and onward!




Unforgettable Night
August 26, 2021

To the Editor,

I would like to thank everyone involved who made Aug. 21 an unforgettable night at the Montauk Lighthouse. As Hurricane/Tropical Storm Henri sat just off the coast allowing the show to go on, the audience enjoyed the music of Hopefully Forgiven, The Montauk Project, and then, the Marshall Tucker Band. Let us not forget everyone turning towards our flag and the Lighthouse singing ?God Bless America.?

The Montauk Lighthouse is the perfect spot to gather and enjoy music with your family and friends while raising the money needed to preserve its history. It was great to see so many local families in attendance.

Thank you, Joe Gaviola and the entire Montauk Historical Society, Kenny and Sue Giustino, Soho Johnny, Lenny, all the volunteers, all the sponsors, and the bands. A special thanks to Henri for not crashing the party!

For anyone who missed it: See you next year.



East Hampton Village
August 26, 2021

Dear Editor:

Starting with a few near-quotes from Wikipedia: In 1920, Adolph Levitt invented the first automatic machine for making doughnuts in which the dough rings travel along a channel flowing with bubbling oil and then, once cooked, ascend a moving ramp before falling into a basket. I’m not sure whether Levitt’s machine included the revolving platform in the middle of the channel which turned the doughnuts over so that they were evenly cooked on both sides.

Somewhat later, Edward Anderson invented the Lil’ Orbits automatic donut machine and perfected the batter that went with it.

I’m not sure where as a child I first saw a doughnut-making machine, but I recall them from “five and dime” stores and county fairs in the West and Middle West. When I saw the machine in the window of Dreesen’s, back when they still had their shop on Newtown Lane, I knew exactly what it was and how it worked, and from time to time bought doughnuts, which tasted exactly as I remembered them.

Machine owners generally ordered their batter in powder form and mixed the batter with milk, or perhaps water if the batter mix included powdered milk.

It’s certainly possible that Dreesen’s has its own batter mix recipe, and I can understand local pride in local donuts. Maybe you had to grow up in the Middle West to have seen this technology before. Back then I tended to say that I felt like having a couple of doughnuts from Dreesen’s. Even the choices of sugar, powdered sugar, or cinnamon sugar did not originate locally. Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for Dreesen’s! Technological history, though, is history.




Left Turns
East Hampton
August 30, 2021

Dear David,

Kudos for addressing the issue of left turns. It has been a thorn in my side for years, but I sneer and bear it even as the problem grows worse by the weeks and months. This behavior is exhibited by both transients and locals. The practice is rude, selfish, and inconsiderate: To let 10 or 12 cars back up behind you just to take a shortcut down a residential street and save 60 seconds in travel time is unacceptable, particularly when you are part of the problem.

Then, as most of us wait patiently in line for the light, the side street pours into the line and makes it even worse. Osborne Lane and Miller Lane suffer the most. Sure, sometimes one cannot avoid making a left turn without a traffic light, but how would these drivers like it if the constant traffic was through their quiet neighborhoods while their kids played in the yard? All it does is make the traffic worse for the rest of us.




Values Will Crater
East Hampton Village
August 30, 2021

To the Editor:

Regarding that bad brew on Toilsome Lane: On Aug. 19, The East Hampton Star was kind enough to publish my letter about the proposed brewery, restaurant, and beer garden. It would have indoor seating for 140 patrons, but an unlimited capacity outdoors that could be used for rock concerts. The business would abut my property, and more generally, severely disrupt what is now a quiet residential neighborhood. Despite the fact that it is zoned residential-commercial, at the moment residents and several modestly scaled businesses co-exist easily. That would end.

Last week while shopping in Citarella, I chatted with an old acquaintance of mine whom I hadn’t seen for several years. He asked me if I still had my home on Toilsome Lane. I replied that I still had it but I was concerned about the beer garden. He had the audacity to laugh at me, as he told me friends of his were behind the project and, I had “better get used to drunks throwing up on your lawn.”

I am sure he is correct, and I question how real estate agents will try to explain to buyers interested in purchasing a home on Toilsome Lane, Gingerbread Lane, and all the adjoining streets in our immediate area as to the consequences of this beer hall.

The news of this proposed brewery has almost certainly caused the value of my property to decline — and that is before ground has been broken! Imagine how those values will crater once the beer hall is a reality. And not just mine but everyone’s in the zone bounded by Newtown Lane, Route 27, Stephen Hand’s Path, and Main Street.

I am no enemy of commerce; I ran a family business in New York City for 50 years. I also understand that the current administration was elected on a platform of business development in the village. Nevertheless, the interests of business must be balanced against those of the community, especially in a mixed-use, residential-commercial neighborhood. The government’s role is to act as an intermediary and strike that right balance, not to rubber-stamp any idea that comes along just because it creates economic development.

The alternative is mayhem. As one recent letter writer to this newspaper put it, the proposed beer hall represents a return to “Cyril’s (outdoor drinking!), Surf Lodge (inebriated people walking along a busy road!), Crow’s Nest (lines of traffic!), and a Memory Motel (outdoor brawls!).”

This proposal is the thin end of the wedge. If something as inappropriate, overscaled, and out of character as a brewery and beer garden can be shoehorned into a quiet residential neighborhood, more and larger disruptions to our quality of life will follow. East Hampton as we know it will be over.

Is that what we want? Is that our destiny?

I call on Mayor Jerry Larsen and the village administration to do what is necessary to achieve a result that serves all parties.



Double Standards
August 30, 2021

Dear David,

Town officials, in their sudden rush to erect a new cellphone tower, seem to be applying a double standard to the Crandall-Norfolk woodlands community in Springs. The double standard is clear as day when you compare the town’s misguided and widely criticized proposal to put a 185-foot-tall tower in the Crandall-Norfolk woodlands compared to the Springs Fire District’s request to house a new emergency communications tower less than a mile away. 

As the town board heard at its last work session, it is indisputable that towers at both locations will result in many of the same negative impacts on the community, notwithstanding the fact that the Crandall-Norfolk site is one of the last remaining woodlands specifically dedicated for open recreation space in Springs, while a temporary tower at the Springs Fire Department, on the other hand, could be rolled into a parking lot. Hopefully, members of the town board now realize they have an obligation to apply the law consistently. If a tower isn’t appropriate at the Fire Department because of its impacts on the community, then it’s obviously not appropriate at the Crandall-Norfolk woodlands either.

The vice chairwoman of the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee apparently agrees, writing in an Aug. 16 letter to the editor, “Members of the public are understandably concerned about a cell tower going up in their neighborhood.”

The town board seems to finally have agreed to find an appropriate location for a tower that doesn’t put people’s homes at risk, and Peter Van Scoyoc publicly committed to restart negotiations for a tower at Camp Blue Bay. It’s unfortunate they didn’t come to this conclusion before local residents pointed out the double standards.




Not So Long Ago
August 16, 2021

Dear Editor:

Once upon a time not so long ago, we would have breakfast on summer mornings on our lawn in Wainscott overlooking Georgica Pond. It was one of the joys of summer. We can no longer do that — the continual roar of planes and helicopters makes conversation impossible and utterly destroys the serenity that brought us here.

Once upon a time we sat on the lawn toward the close of the long summer afternoons to chat with family and friends and enjoy a quiet drink. We can no longer do that. Twilight is in the grip of the rush hour dash to East Hampton Airport. The scene reminds me of the newsreels I saw as a boy of the Berlin Airlift. There is no room for conversation. No calm enjoyment of birdsong. Everything is drowned out by the incessant, loud rumble overhead.

I understand that people want to get here as fast as they can afford. But in their hurry the fliers are killing the goose that laid the golden egg. The determination of a few to get here at top speed is destroying why we want to be here.

We are approaching a tipping point at which an air-conditioned apartment in Manhattan will offer more tranquility than a lawn in Wainscott. The goose is bleeding. Before it dies we must close the airport.



Above Aquifers
August 19, 2021

Dear Editor,

I attended the Aug. 3 work session in which Peter Finkel and Lisa Liquori gave a very good presentation about the airport. I was surprised when Peter mentioned that the Ross School is just on the border of airport property and will come back to this.

Lisa took over for the second half of this presentation, and I noticed Lisa missed mentioning that on page 14, subject 5 referenced “Land uses above aquifers affect quality of recharge.” I wish Linda talked more about this with the Gulfstream Vs and VIs that land at HTO and all the other big jets that will burn well over 200 gallons of toxic fuel on HTO property above a major aquifer, from landing with full throttle reverse then taxi back to airport gate to let a couple of people off, then to warm up before departing (empty) and finally full throttle on takeoff and 30 seconds over the Town of East Hampton. Please, let us not forget all the other 20,000 crafts small and big using HTO — where is this exhaust going? Way I see it, the aquifer may be clean today but sooner than later it will not.

Now back to the Ross School, I just heard news from San Jose, Calif., that the airport which serves small private planes will be closing due to toxic lead levels in children that live near the airport. Unfortunately this airport took F.A.A. money and will not close till the funding expires. This is a quote from the article: “Researchers said the children’s lead levels compared with those found in children who drank contaminated drinking water in Flint, Michigan, at the height of that city’s lead-poisoning crisis.” This report can easily be found by Googling, “San Jose Lead “

Climate change is real.



August 25, 2021

Dear Mr. Rattray:

Sept. 11: a day that changed the world. Thousands of people went to sleep the night before or packed a suitcase, a flight bag, prepared for work, worried about a sick loved one, or dreamed of a new adventure not knowing the horror they’d face in just a few hours. My heart goes out to all affected by this tragic day.

Four planes were hijacked on that sky-blue morning and used as missiles to kill a total of 2,996 people. (Many of our brave first responders and residents subsequently died as a result of the toxicity they encountered that was directly linked to Ground Zero.)

Most of us will never forget where we were and what we were doing the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. This year, we sadly commemorate the 20th anniversary of this sorrowful day. And yet, the East Hampton Community Alliance, charged with keeping the airport open, has chosen to designate Sept. 11 as Just Plane Fun Day, hosting games and amusements at the East Hampton Airport.

How very despicable. On their website, they mention that they will be holding a type of salute to the fallen. The gesture is underwhelming. Nothing about Just Plane Fun Day says, “respectful tribute” to our first-responder heroes and to the citizens we lost.




Deeply Offensive
Sag Harbor
August 26, 2021

Dear Editor,

The Save Our Airport campaign must have a tin ear. The date they chose for their Just Plane Fun Day  at the airport is Sept. 11. This is not just heedless of the date’s significance, it’s deeply offensive to associate it with “fun” for those of us with very personal memories of what happened on that date 20 years ago, not to mention the many who lost loved ones. Not a way to win support.



East Hampton
August 7, 2021


The leaf blower ban in the town has made a noticeable improvement with regard to noise pollution. Unfortunately, it is due to end shortly.

I would encourage homeowners to instruct their landscapers to continue using electric blowers — and rakes and brooms — until we can get the town and village to ban them entirely.

I encourage all village and town residents to contact our supervisor and village mayor to ban the blowers permanently.




Changing Climate
East Hampton Village
August 29, 2021

Dear David,

The beached sailboat photo on The Star’s Aug. 26 front page is a visual reminder of nature’s impact on our East End shorelines. Directly under this photo is Chris Walsh’s excellent article, “Threat of Sea Level Rise Is Even Greater.” No one in our coastal community should ignore Chris’s excellent report on a local discussion by the scientific community’s original climate change spokesperson (circa 1981), James Hansen. Chris has provided his readers with highlights from Dr. Hanson’s career and the scientist’s reaction to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released this month. Most critical to the East End are Dr. Hansen’s ominous predictions on sea level rise and, the “several solutions to the climate crisis” he proposes.

Thank you, David and Chris. You have provided our community with this important opportunity to better understand what a changing climate means in our community.



For Cate Rogers
East Hampton
August 30, 2021

Dear David,

Labor Day is upon us, and it is still too hot to work or spend time outdoors. A recent report by the United Nations clearly placed the blame on emissions from fossil fuels for the increase in heat-trapping CO2.

The environmental problems we all face must be dealt with at all levels of government from national to local. One candidate for East Hampton town board has not only local governmental experience but also an extensive and impressive environmental resume. She has also been a long-time small-business owner on Long Island. Her accomplishments are too numerous to mention but the short list includes nine years on the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals, member of the East Hampton Energy Sustainability Committee, East Hampton’s Solarize-Energize Task Force, co-chairwoman of the New York Coalition of Climate Reality Chapters, and a member of the Springs citizens advisory committee.

Our town board needs members with experience in areas that directly impact East Hampton. That person is Cate Rogers, who will bring a wealth of relevant experience to the East Hampton Town Board.


East Hampton Town Democratic Committee 


Left Behind
Sag Harbor
August 28, 2021

Dear Editor.

I had an epiphany: I couldn’t understand how our military and government could be stupid enough to leave $83 billion of our military equipment in Afghanistan when they left. If anyone is interested in the amount of equipment left behind, just Google it, it will blow your mind! Well, here’s a good reason, the military industrial complex stands to make tons of money furnishing our military with new weapons, helicopters vehicles, etc., etc, to replace all the equipment left behind. That means plenty of money will flow back to politicians and their leaches. I guess they think we are not paying attention as we watch sitcom shows on TV, while all this is happening.

There was a time that I didn’t think this way; now I don’t trust drug companies, manufacturers of military equipment, nor the woke military and government. To add insult to injury, in spite of giving the Taliban all the military equipment, some of it very sensitive, the military took no action to destroy the equipment when they left or bombed the equipment now to destroy all the incredible hardware they left behind. Am I the only one that thinks our president and our military leaders are stupid? Wake up, America, we are being had!



A Genius Move
August 30, 2021

Dear David,

Secretary of State Blinken makes a statement the Taliban will let Americans through to leave Kabul. Can you swallow this moron’s information? In the meantime, our fabulous president, Joe Imbecile Biden, gives the Taliban the names of our Americans in Afghanistan thinking they will let them through to the unsafe airport. What a genius move.

As I said before, Joe Biden has never been right on foreign policy in his 40 years of being in Washington. This is a man who hovers over children, holding them close, smells women’s hair while wrapping his arms around them, makes remarks about how young she looks, etc., etc.

Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller posted a four-minute, 45-second video on Facebook, wearing his uniform, ripped into the military for Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. Colonel Scheller has been relieved of his command. I know it all; president strikes back quickly.

The so-called deep grief on President Biden’s face cannot exonerate him from the responsibility for what happened in Kabul. Nor can he shift blame on former President Trump. Biden says the buck stops with him; then stop blaming everyone else. You are the president today, you left $80 billion of equipment in Afghanistan. You left in the middle of the night. You closed Bagram Air Base. You cannot compare your son’s death from cancer to the disaster you created in Kabul. All you had to do was evacuate our Americans, our supplies, all military equipment, and the Afghans who risked their lives to help the Americans.

Your debacle cost us 13 men and women in our armed forces, and exactly how many Afghans are still to be counted. This is your bloody hands. If your hatred for Trump wasn’t so bad, if you would have taken advice from top military personnel, all could have been avoided.

President Biden claimed every commander agreed with him on his withdrawal plan, this is another bald-faced lie, along with his statements foreign countries’ leaders did not say anything bad about his so-called debacle, another bald-faced lie.

Never forget 9/11, and never forget what happened on President Joe Biden’s watch.

In God and country,



Refused to Talk
East Hampton
August 29, 2021


On Monday, the front page of The New York Times recounted the story of our Afghan war. The most salient point of the story was that in November 2001, the Taliban began peace/surrender talks with the Afghan leadership. The U.S., under the direction of Donald Rumsfeld, refused to talk with them. We could have been out of the country in six months. Twenty years later, Trump made a bonehead deal that sold out everyone except the Taliban.

Trump’s deal with the Taliban didn’t include the Afghan government — no peace or security provisions, no protections for anyone except U.S. soldiers leaving the country. Trump’s mind-boggling cruelty and total disrespect for the Afghan people was no different from previous administrations’. Afghanistan never had any real value to us. Now it has even less.

The current mess at the airport is certainly on Biden’s watch but it is hardly different from the previous 20 years. Criticizing Biden is fair but petty crap compared to the major screw-up that Afghanistan has been since the war began.

We didn’t go to Afghanistan to save or help the Afghan people. We went to punish the Taliban and kill bin Laden.

For the political clowns who rant about our losing the war and the betrayal of U.S. values: Stick your heads back in the sand. Afghanistan was botched because we had no plan and acted out of anger and a need for vengeance. We ignored the country’s history and our own history of war without a logical plan or any plan. It took a month to kick out the Taliban and 10 years to track down bin Laden in Pakistan. What were we doing in Afghanistan all those 20 years?

We were screwed over by our leaders, who fabricated this massive war on terror instead of going after bin laden and taking him out. While it was okay to screw the Afghans, it wasn’t okay to screw our soldiers and their families and the American taxpayers. This would be a demented farce if it weren’t true.

How often do we repeat the same process with the same ending and pretend we were great? We aren’t great and sometimes we really stink, but we never learn. The idiots scream that we are the greatest country on earth and we may well be so, yet we still screw up and being great doesn’t get you on the subway.

In our brain-dead political ether zone, the war started two weeks ago and whatever happened before doesn’t matter. Lindsey Graham is screaming, “Impeach Biden!” This hypocritical, two-faced pig who mongered the war from day one has become righteous. No Lindsey, you should resign in disgrace for all your war votes.

Biden is the last man standing, so in our political-media dysfunction he gets the heat. It’s kind of like Iraq. When we took out Saddam, we turned the Middle East into a hellhole. Saddam meant no Isis, no terrorism, no chaos. We created the mess because? Bush’s mess; Obama took the heat.

If there is a lesson to be learned from Afghanistan it is that we are slow learners. Really slow. We are either incredibly stupid or incredibly evil. Where is Trump when we need him?


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