September 5, 2021
It’s been quite a summer: record temperatures, droughts, massive forest fires, and devastating floods, all signs of accelerating climate change. Yet, for most of us, it’s business as usual. I’d like to believe that most of us have good intentions, that we are not deliberately unethical.
If we understood or thought about just how environmentally destructive our lawn maintenance habits are, we’d be appalled and make some simple, positive changes. If we knew that the average two-stroke engines used by the public and yard crews emit as much atmospheric pollutants in a half-hour as driving our nation’s most popular pickup truck for over 1,000 miles, or that the worker behind that machinery is exposed all day to carcinogens and ultra-fine particulate matter, wouldn’t we consider alternatives? If we knew that gas-fueled yard equipment operates at decibel levels high enough to cause permanent hearing loss and a range of health problems, would we feel comfortable paying someone to do the dirty work we ourselves won’t do?
Our suburban obsession with perfect lawns is not essential. And there are alternatives, even for those who won’t give up this particular fetish. Most routine yard maintenance can be handled by battery-run and corded machinery, even a rake can be better equipment for some small jobs. The battery technology keeps improving. Depending on the brand, most of these are far quieter and certainly far less polluting than the gas versions.
Decreasing the noise and atmospheric pollution, however, is only part of the solution. The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Guardian have all recently run articles on alternatives to traditional grass lawns. We are in the middle of a massive collapse of bird and insect populations. Simply put, they suffer from a near worldwide loss of habitat. When we cut, blow, and rake our properties we deprive insects of necessary life-cycle habitat. Needless to say, all these insects play an essential role in our ecology. Without them, we’re finished.
There is something you can do. Give up some portion of your yard to native wildflower and native grass meadows. These can be as or more aesthetically pleasing than the traditional great lawn many of us attempt to maintain, and the meadows don’t need the pesticides, fertilizers, etc., required for grooming that perfect lawn. If you like, you can still keep an army of landscape crews at work. Just change their roles. Instead of contributing to a poisoned environment, they can be the proverbial good stewards of the one planet we have.
September 6, 2021
To the Editor:
In last week’s edition of The Star you printed my letter to the editor, “Unforgettable Night.” I noticed there was an error. Please review my letter, following the title “God Bless America,” notice that I placed an exclamation point, not a question mark. I am assuming that was an accident on your part, a typographical error.
Please let it be known that I love this country and the flag that represents it. I would never take a knee during the National Anthem, turn my back toward our flag or question the words God bless America!
Twenty years ago, after the attacks on 9/11, I felt a strong presence of patriotism and love for America. There was an overwhelming support for our military and our police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians and everyone who protects us. What happened?
God bless America! God help America!
September 1, 2021
I am writing in support of my friend Alan Patricof, who has written two letters regarding the weekly listing of goings-on about town, movies, theater, music, as well as all events taking place in East Hampton for the week.
I am a new full-time resident and would greatly appreciate knowing, in a functional format, what is available in East Hampton for me to participate in for the coming weeks and months.
GAIL R. SARNER
September 3, 2021
I want to start out by giving a big shout-out and thank you to all the local individuals and organizations who gave out scholarships to our children and went about it the right way. But I want to call out the Montauk Fire Department for not doing the right thing. Their application clearly stated that two scholarships would go to children with an affiliation to the fire department and two would just go to Montauk kids. They should have put all the applications into two piles and chosen their top two from there. This was definitely not the case. All four of the recipients were affiliated with the fire department. Three were junior firefighters and one was a junior E.M.T. The chief even handed his own niece her scholarship. I and others found that interesting.
I emailed the fire department and called and left a message regarding this to find out what the qualifications were but nobody bothered to call or email me back. This was so unfair to all those who applied and thought they might have a chance. Some kids wouldn’t have wasted their time or effort filling out an application if there was no hope.
If this is the way the fire department wants to do it moving forward, then the verbiage in the application should be changed to reflect that they are giving four scholar-ships to Montauk graduating seniors. Needless to say, I and many other parents were not happy with the way things went this year. If I am wrong I would love someone from the fire department to get in touch with me and explain to me how they choose their recipients.
Wasted Six Years
September 6, 2021
To the Editor,
I appreciate the coverage of the cell tower issue in Springs, as the story seems to change from week to week. As someone who had a car accident over three half a years ago on Three Mile Harbor and could not get cell service afterwards, I have written to this paper and the town board a handful times about the need for upgraded infrastructure in this area. I’ve warned that if this problem was not fixed that it would likely lead to unnecessary accidents and, sadly, poor cell service would seem to be one of the factors that led to the recent hit-and-run tragedy.
Why the town has wasted six years suing its own fire department in Springs over a much-needed cell tower has never made any sense to me — a more competent group would have reached some sort of compromise long ago.
I’m dumbfounded, however, that the town supervisor has recently claimed that this important issue is now being “politicized.” Where has he been for the last six years? Did he not realize during this entire time that this was a serious safety issue, not just for the highest-density residential area of the town, but other areas of our town too? Why did it take full-page ads being taken over a year ago in local papers complaining about this obvious shortcoming to finally get any acknowledgement of the problem?
More importantly, how is it that the town apparently did not approve in 2019 an application to upgrade the small cell tower that already existed at the Girl Scouts camp — an area of 170 acres that presented the least impact on surrounding homes? How is it that only a month ago the town said nothing could be done at the Girl Scouts camp, then only a few weeks ago it was suggested eminent domain might be used to force a solution there, and now we find out this administration rejected a tower permit at a site that already had a tower? This clearly needs to be investigated further and whoever is responsible for turning down this simple solution to a problem that has plagued our area of town for so long should no longer be in a position to make such decisions.
From what I can tell from the questions I have asked over the last month, this may have come down to the size of the tower that was adequate for residential service (120 feet), but not the town’s emergency system (150 feet). The difference in height is probably 30 feet at a site where nobody would ever see the tower anyway. This could not have been figured out two years ago? The endless double talk and gross incompetence at this point over such an important public safety issue that most other areas have figured out how to handle would suggest to me that we need a change of leadership for the town and that opportunity presents itself this fall.
Die on the Road
September 3, 2021
To the Editor,
Apparently, based on The Star’s Sept. 2 letters published, no Star reader besides me is bothered by the fact that the hit-and-run killer of 18-year-old Devesh Samtani was released without bail, even though “Mr. Campbell faces charges for leaving the scene of an accident so severe that the crime alleges ‘gross negligence, reckless disregard for life, and willful evasion of the state’s lawful prosecution’, (as) East Hampton Town Justice Steven Tekulsky said at (19-year-old) Mr. Campbell’s arraignment on Aug. 19.”
So probably no East Hamptoner is bothered by a similar “double-crime” (committed by both the reckless driver and the releasing-judge) that just took place in Nassau County’s Old Westbury. In this latest hit-and-run (Is there a pandemic?), a Hempstead District Court judge released (I would say “loosed upon the public”) on his own recognizance (also) 19-year-old Benjamin Zavala — after he struck Old Westbury Police Officer Matthew Martines with his car. Officer Martines had been investigating a previous single-car crash when he was struck by Zavala’s car and “flew through the air about seven to eight feet” (according to a witness).
Yet, even though the officer suffered “serious” injuries, and even though the hit-and-run driver was arraigned for “leaving the scene of a crash involving injury, reckless endangerment, assault and reckless driving,” this judge also set the clearly dangerous driver free — free to drive again, free to hit someone else, and free to again “run” away (in his car) after leaving his injured victim to suffer and/or die on the road.
As culpable (and “guilty” — though not yet “proven” in a court of law) as these hit-and-run drivers clearly are, I think I’m even angrier at the judges who set them free to endanger others.
Isn’t anyone else besides me mad as hell (and not gonna take this anymore)?
September 5, 2021
Dear Mr. Editor,
Hope you and your vessel weathered the storm. Two letters from the Aug. 17 issue deserve mention. “Party in the U.S.A.” from Jaine Mehring and “Lack of Foresight” from Ann Chakinis were both dead-on balls accurate. They should be read by all.
As our town continues to be strangled, special event permits like the one issued for the Amagansett party should not be allowed. It’s just too much, case closed. The disruption caused by these events is so far reaching as mentioned in the letter that it cannot be comprehended. the fact that only four complaints were registered makes sense to me but no sense in general. I have a party and excessive rental house on my block, and out of 16 homes I am the only one who complains along with one other neighbor. I can only presume no one cares, they’re scared, or don’t want to complain in case they want a party. Excessive noise and disruption comes from people, too many people.
As mentioned, development needs to be curtailed or stopped. Until local government gets a grip on this root cause it will continue and at a rapid pace. By getting a grip I mean do away with special permits, limit gatherings, short-term rentals, and any other vehicle that attracts people. We have a 365-day supply already.
If you really need to have a 500-people special event, rent a Manorville corn field in the middle of nowhere and pitch a tent! Limit short-term rentals; I think the limit is two rentals of less than two weeks per season. If it’s two weeks or longer then there is no limit, so do the math. Two weeks, that’s 26 rentals a year! Twenty-six different sets of people causing havoc. It’s the short-term ones that are the disrupters. Code enforcement does its best, but by the time these short-termers drop in, blink an eye, they’re gone, leaving their garbage, carbon footprint, and disgruntled neighbors. Another point we can agree on is the editorial from Aug. 26 “Zoning for More.”
It seems that all our local government, both village and town, want to do is to expand, which is evident by our current traffic and building quagmires — all self-created. Our new village administration was elected by the promise of “expanded use,” not preservation. So, as we go into Labor Day weekend, we can look back at a hectic summer like no other. Good or bad, it’s done.
Looking forward to some piece and quiet, maybe January and February? And let’s keep a close eye on the 50-unit hotel on Three Mile Harbor Road and the beer barn on Toilsome Lane. They will be turning points. As always, best regards.
Yours to command,
Think About This
September 3, 2021
To those residents of East Hampton Town both full and part time: As you sit on your back deck complaining about your neighbor using their gas-powered leaf blower, and how you think the village’s reconfiguring Newtown Lane to angled parking is such a bad idea, or finally how you’re so appalled that the town would require you to get a new beach driving or parking permit every five years, think about this.
You could be stranded in Afghanistan by the current administration, to fend for yourself as the Taliban controls the city. And as an American citizen, you have to rely on private contractors to assist you in getting back to America. Or log onto YouTube and search “Grand Isle, La., Hurricane Ida drone footage.”
Finally, if that doesn’t give you perspective of just how bad it could be, do a Google search of “Ida hits New York City.” Remember, no matter how bad you think you may have it listening to your neighbors’s leaf blower, or having to spend five extra minutes looking for a parking spot in the village, you could always have it worse.
Exercise in Deceit
August 30, 2021
To the Editor:
After decades of real estate money polluting the New York State Legislature, the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 was passed and hopefully will improve the lives of some tenants, stabilizing neighborhoods and reviving hopes for a responsive government. But we cannot ignore the problems with the law that have already negatively impacted members of the Hamptons community.
Our family have been summer residents of Amagansett for 35 years. The last two summers (2020 and 2021), due to health considerations, we have been unable to make the trip from California so decided to rent out our beach cottage located on a dirt road in the dunes — nothing fancy, but a lovely home in a desirable location.
The decision to rent has been an exercise in deceit and grifting by the tenants, and, I’m sorry to say, the real estate brokers.
Our 2020 tenant, an owner of an enormous house in Water Mill, asked for a two-month extension after Labor Day. We declined her offer, hopeful to find a year-round tenant. Just as we were about to show the place, the tenant agreed to stay for the year. We drew up an extension agreement and canceled the open house. The tenant, represented by Douglas Elliman, never signed, stayed for two months, and left us in the lurch.
This season, Jennifer Hoopes, a Corcoran Group agent, made an aggressive offer for her clients (sight unseen) for a price above what we were asking. We objected and insisted that the tenants see the place to be sure it was what they wanted. Both Hamptons Realty Group, who sold us the house in the 1980s, and Ms. Hoopes, as proxy for her clients, went through the house. No punch list of small repairs or accommodations was requested. Everybody loved it!
The minute the tenant moved in, however, we received a long list of grievances, i.e., pollen on the outdoor lights, chipped dishes, rust on a fork. We tried to be nice, but in early June, a tree root that had apparently been causing a slow drain required a six-hour plumbing repair. McMahon Plumbing, our longtime plumbers, handled it quickly and professionally.
Our broker also bent over backward to assist, so we were completely blindsided when instead of paying the rent on July 1, the tenants had a lawyer contact us claiming that the house had been “uninhabitable.” Shocking.
More shocking, Labor Day is fast approaching and our tenants have been in our allegedly “uninhabitable” house all summer refusing to pay their rent, while threatening litigation to extort a favorable renegotiation. The Corcoran agents ignore our pleas for help saying, “It’s with the lawyers.”
Fortunately, we live in a country that values and protects private property and enforces contracts. Ours, brokered by the agents, require the landlord to send a certified letter to the tenants if in default, notifying them of a $5,000 penalty that will accrue for each day they remain in arrears.
The tenant’s lawyer responded by citing the Tenant Protection Act of 2019, noting that $50 is the maximum we could charge her clients for being late, and besides, “My clients are not obligated to pay you a full month’s rent, and you are not entitled to receive a full month’s rent, if the home was not habitable.”
So, last year, our tenant didn’t sign her contract, and we got shafted. This year we have a fully signed contract by the tenants and we have threats from Tina Palazzo Fairweather, Esq.
The Tenant Protection Act, though well intentioned, may need a few tweaks so both tenants and landlords are protected.
Specifically, the act makes it illegal for a landlord to collect more than one month’s worth of rent as a deposit or an advance, and it does not distinguish between long-term and short-term rentals. Why not? Can’t there be an exemption for over-market summer rentals? In the past, being permitted to collect the entire summer rent offered landlords protection against exactly what we’re experiencing now — a disgruntled tenant in arrears.
An eviction, something unthinkable to our family but provided for in the contract, according to the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Civil Bureau, who giggled at our naivete before making clear, a lot of landlords are not getting paid due to the pandemic. One local broker speculated that the eviction process could take months! But isn’t due process for summer rentals a matter of public convenience and necessity?
We propose an after-the-fact small claims court wherein either a tenant or landlord could seek relief from an administrative judge, possibly by mail, if either side felt something went wrong during a summer rental. Evidence takes time to organize and time heals most wounds.
In summer rental markets, where the rent is often high, if a tenant feels an administrative remedy is not litigious enough for their taste and would rather engage an attorney to imply that the “warranty of habitability” has been broken, the tenants should be required to move out. You can’t have it both ways because you’ve hired a lawyer.
As Sir Edward Coke, one of the godfathers of common law, famously said in the 17th century, and most scrupulous lawyers agree, “No-one is judge in [their] own cause.”
Tenants who break signed contracts in an attempt to extort landlords should face treble damages.
September 6, 2021
It concerns me greatly that East Hampton will make the same mistakes as Southampton as the streetlights are converted to LEDs. It is a very expensive project and needs to be done properly, according to best practices.
These are the mistakes Southampton made: There was no review of existing streetlights since many were installed without consideration of public benefit (wasting taxpayer money). A fixture was chosen by the consultants that was too high in blue light (without conferring with their own Dark Sky Advisory Committee). The light levels on the ground were too high (costing Southampton taxpayers an additional $200,000 more to “dim” them — which could cause liability issues); many were installed improperly, no controls to allow shut-offs when not needed, and no master plan streetlight policy was implemented.
We can avoid these same mistakes here in East Hampton if we hire an experienced lighting designer (not an engineer — they are not trained in lighting design, and no one associated with the Lighting Research Center) to review our streetlights and to recommend LED fixtures that produce a lower blue light percentage, in 1,800 or 2,200 Kelvin. Less blue in the light source causes less fatigue and eye strain, less sky glow, and lower impact on flora and fauna.
Compromise Can Happen
August 30, 2021
To the Editor,
As a resident of Amagansett for almost 40 years and a private pilot for 48 years I decry the unnecessary noise caused by aircraft flying low over populated areas. The noise generated by people due to the lack of collaboration between town residents and the aviation community has been nearly as offensive.
I feel that East Hampton Airport is an institution that is meant to serve the interests of the entire (flying and non-flying) public, and I view the East Hampton Airport re-envisioning project as an opportunity to hear ideas and reach mutually acceptable compromises where each side can give up a little to achieve a great result for everyone.
I propose the following recommendations to help maintain the benefits of having a local airport while meeting all of the needs of the community:
Banner-towing aircraft should be prohibited from flying over homes and limited to flying over water. I believe that airplanes that fly over homes at altitudes lower than 1,000 feet above ground level are violating federal aviation regulations, which the public and the town may control by issuing complaints to the F.A.A.
Helicopters should be limited to flying at or above 3,000 above ground level when over homes and must use approach and departure routes that should be agreed upon by aviation users, the public, East Hampton officials, and the F.A.A. Curfews should be negotiated and agreed upon by the town and Aviation users and enforced with penalties imposed for violations.
The public and aviation users should be educated as to the new procedures and prohibitions with provision made for complaints, hearings, and appropriate actions. False, frivolous, and nuisance reports of alleged violations should be punished with appropriate fines and loss of the right to file future complaints.
Special effort should be made to enhance and maintain the transportation, operational safety, emergency and medical evacuation capabilities, noise abatement, and other benefits provided to the community by the airport and the flying community and to educate the public so that anyone who needs these services can have easy access to them.
I believe that East Hampton Airport should be preserved for the benefits it provides to the public. Having no airport between Westhampton and Montauk would create a hardship for the residents of East Hampton who depend upon it economically, for necessary travel, and for medical and other emergency services. East Hampton Airport can be preserved and the noise attenuated by people of good will coming together and being willing to compromise, something that hasn’t been fashionable lately, but which I believe can happen in East Hampton.
STEPHEN M. BECKERMAN
Double the Dangers
August 6, 2021
To the Editor,
Robert Rifkind’s letter describing the outrageous inconvenience of helicopter noise is on the money. Something must be done. But what? Move the noise 20 miles east, so that town residents in Montauk get the noise? Why do “close the airport” proponents absolutely ignore the Montauk issue? Removing the garbage from your lawn and dumping on your neighbor’s lawn is not only immoral, it doesn’t solve the community’s garbage problem. In fact, in this instance, it only makes it worse because of the unique locale of the Montauk airstrip that would absorb 50-plus percent of all current East Hampton Airport traffic, and probably even a higher percentage of its helicopter traffic.
Shifting that traffic to Montauk would not only involve more homes, there would be an increase in noise because of the longer helicopter route, which may be over land. And there would be a horrendous increase in auto traffic on already clogged Montauk and Amagansett roadways — the highway and the Further Lane-Bluff Road shortcut.
There is substantial danger to the environment because of the location of Montauk’s single 75-foot-wide airstrip. Not only is it cheek by jowl to East Lake Drive, it is adjacent to two town parks and a swamp. In the summer of 2003, a plane took off from Montauk on what Helen Gill, the airport manager, described as a “gorgeous moonlit evening” and crashed into adjacent Big Reed Pond. Parts of the plane were discovered sticking out of the water at 10:20 a.m. the following morning. All three occupants were dead.
During its days in the pond, the plane, of course, leaked oil and gasoline. Aside from poisoning resident fish, crabs, herons, swans, etc., the pond drains into Lake Montauk!
The New York Times concluded its story of the crash with these paragraphs:
“The wreckage was still mired in the mud last night. Chief Sarris [EH town Police] said the plane’s removal might be difficult, and posed some environmental problems. The pond is an extensive wetlands, and the access road is a narrow, rugged track that might have to be widened by bulldozer to get a heavy crane to the site, the chief said. Meanwhile gasoline or oil was leaking into the pond.”
“We are very concerned about the environmental impact, both of widening the road and of the plane remaining in the water” the chief said, “We are already getting somewhat of a sheen on the water.”
Shouldn’t we worry about the substantial increase in polluting aircraft and auto traffic at that ecologically sensitive site? And is it unreasonable to assume that if we double the flights, we will double the accidents, double the pollution, double the dangers to motorists, bikers, runners, walkers, and moms pushing strollers on adjacent East Lake Drive?
If we cared about the safety of our inhabitants and our environment, we could not find a worse site in all of the Town of East Hampton to plant a busy airport. And given that Montauk Airport is already there, should we really double or triple its danger to the community and to the environment? Obviously not, and doubtless that is at least one reason each member of the town board has pledged not to take any action that would increase Montauk Airport traffic.
Good people, ignoring the Montauk issue isn’t going to make it go away.
September 5, 2021
On Friday the Department of Environmental Conservation announced a detailed investigation to determine the nature and extent of contamination at the airport. It has been reported that the largest PFOS and PFOA concentrations are just north of the terminal and along parts of Industrial Road. This contaminated the drinking water wells of Wainscott residents and no one knows how long we were consuming that water or the long-term health issues. Now we have the lead contamination to deal with.
The Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose, Calif., is in close proximity to 21 schools. They collected 17,000 blood sample tests from 2011 to 2020 and found dangerous levels of lead contamination in the children.
We here also have schools, day care, and recreational facilities in close proximity to the airport. Add in all the adults that are affected just being in that vicinity.
Studies indicated that lead particles and carbon can be spread over five square miles during takeoff and landings. I doubt this will be discussed a the “re-envisioning” hearings. So does the town permit this to continue and allow this pollution to continue to get worse, so 1 percent can expose all of us?
In the 1990s, it was revealed that there were rusting barrels of unidentified petrochemicals outside the East Hampton Air Lines hangar and found in the test wells, one of which was paved over. I was under the impression that the D.E.C. had declared a Superfund site at that time. No wonder my letter to the D.E.C. about this was never replied to.
The law stated that no federal funds can be used for any project that “may” imperil the declared sole-source aquifer. Was any F.A.A. money used on the main runway? According to hydrology maps, the deepest part of the aquifer lies under the airport.
So now the D.E.C. is finally going to do soil samples to determine lead contamination? Now, some 25 years later it has started? I have mentioned the soil samples many times over the years and to realize that was never done is shocking.
More people are now aware of the letters, in addition to the destruction of normal living conditions by noise and pollution, that have raised issues with our sole source of drinking water. Yet the town board, whose purpose is to ensure the health and safety of the residents it serves. The re-envisioning is a code word that the residents’ protection may not be the sole priority. Recent advertisements, “Live in the Hamptons, and commute to the city by helicopter,” for a few hundred dollars have surfaced, adding to the lead pollution of the air we breathe and the groundwater we drink.
One has to wonder, years ago, if the Maidstone Gun Club, whose firing range berm was a backstop, was it ever mined to clean out the tons of lead? There’s a chemical reaction from the acid rain, and percolation only goes down. Yet soil testing by the Natural Resources Department was denied access. Why?
How can the town board even think of keeping the airport open — to serve the wealthy? Looks like mini-La Guardia area and the size of the jets parked there on a weekend. Yet the town residents get zero use but suffer the consequences of allowing it to remain. The town board owes strict allegiance to the affected communities and the residents. Our health and safety should be the only priority, not accepted as some sort of collateral damage. Close the damn thing now!
ARTHUR J. FRENCH
May Be an Issue Here
September 6, 2021
To the Editor,
Jill Danis has once again brought up Councilwoman Sylvia Overby and Florida. It seems there may be an issue here. I would hope we could clear the councilwoman’s name. We could ask her for clarification but, again, this is a woman who just found out a road is blocked in town as we passed the fourth Labor Day anniversary. I see she has her finger on the pulse of the community.
I had asked LTV where they kept Freedom of Information requests. Michael Clark sent me on a wild goose chase, first sending me to the town clerk since there are no requests on the LTV website. After filling it out and submitting it, Michael Clark denied that LTV could acknowledge such a request, since they aren’t a government agency.
All this may be true. But LTV does receive funding through the Town of East Hampton from our general fund? That would be our money. That would be government money. Where does the government get money? The taxpayers! Using taxpayer funds would subject LTV to a Freedom of Information request. Michael Clark directed me where to get a FOIL request. To this date they haven’t produced any of their own.
Then again, LTV believes it is exempt, as they are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, private not for profit, private corporation and, for the town, an independent contractor. This actually means it should be filing as a 509(a). At least that’s what the I.R.S. states if you receive government money. Spoons out? Let’s continue to stir.
Michael Clark has now added on our “C.C.” list in corresponding emails one Jeff Bragman — the ethics man? The liaison, current sitting councilman and a candidate for supervisor shouldn’t know about these emails. I am still a private citizen, though running for public office, not now sitting in any office. I told Michael Clark I consider his interventions a “contribution in kind.” I would also call our supervisor’s weekly show another “contribution in kind,” considering I know my running mate Ken Walles hasn’t been offered any equal and ample on-air time. I wonder if an offer has been made to Mr. Bragman?
I bring that up because most recently Larry Elder stopped his show to run for governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger had movies pulled, Ronald Reagan had movies and TV shows pulled during both gubernatorial and presidential campaigns. This is not a proper way for LTV to conduct business. I will make this clear: IP addresses from Zoom meetings should be in the possession of LTV and the Town of East Hampton. I’ll do you one better: Zoom actually would have given just the information of the location by state the individual was in. That means we can know who was here and who wasn’t just by knowing the state. Shall we clear a name, or do we have a controversy?
I’m looking for us to have some transparency. To clear the board members’ names in the most factual way. Instead, we’ve encountered a flat-out refusal to even acknowledge a FOIL, a potential I.R.S. debacle, contributions in kind, collusion (as Michael Clark had stated in an email, the town advised him). Yes, Jill Danis, something is rotten in the state. It’s starting to stink.
The tides are changing.
Republican and Conservative candidate for East Hampton Town Board
LTV is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and is largely funded by a portion of the cable franchise tax Optimum pays to East Hampton Town. LTV welcomes all East Hampton Town residents who wish to produce their own noncommercial programming, providing technical training and channel time. Ed.
August 5, 2021
To the Editor,
A leader with a proven track record on numerous fronts. He convened local elected, safety, and emergency response officials to address the pandemic. He consulted with epidemiologists. He coordinated Covid testing and Covid vaccines when many local governments struggled to deliver the same. He communicated with the public, documents in English and Spanish, using social media, town website, LTV, and radio.
This is but one arena that received his attention. Others include protecting the environment, historic preservation, land preservation, affordable housing, town infrastructure and transportation. In each of these categories his administration has achievements.
East Hampton has thrived under his leadership. The town now has the highest available bond rating from Moody’s and is financially secure. East Hampton is the envy of the world and it attracts tourists from all over the world, especially during the summer season. The town leader pays attention to maintaining its character and he listens to its residents.
With a proven track record as a leader, Peter Van Scoyoc deserves to be elected to another term as supervisor. We need him and his leadership skills.
JEREMIAH T. MULLIGAN
East Hampton Town Democratic Committee
September 5, 2021
And again, The Star editorializes against Lee, if only because you are in lock step with Democrats. A bright future lies ahead for Zeldin, not so for East Hampton, which is now nothing more than an Ecuadorean slum, still steaming in under a Democratic supervisor who has declared East Hampton a sanctuary city.
September 6, 2021
As soon as the war ended in Afghanistan the Taliban began instituting their brutal anti-female policies. Magically, their viral religious fundamentalist message reared its ugly head in Texas. It’s remarkable how quickly ugliness and repression spread when the necessary ingredients are set free. The story for the Texas Legislature and the Taliban is one of conjoined twins. Deranged men beating the crap out of women, not because they believe in something, but because they can.
We all know how horrible the Taliban is, but are we aware of how horrible their Texas counterparts are? The Taliban’s primary issue is that they misinterpret Islam as the basis for their oppression. In Texas, however, it’s simply crass political manipulation. The death penalty capital of the Western world has never in its history and probably will never believe in the right to life for anyone.
If the rest of the U.S. is a right-to-life farce, Texas is a Broadway extravaganza.
The Texas law SB8 bans all abortions after six weeks, including for rape and incest. Yet, a large segment of women might not know they were pregnant by the sixth week. (Texas men have a special intuition about when a woman is pregnant, so all they need to do is ask.) The law also brilliantly takes the job of enforcement away from government, to avoid being prosecuted by providers and individuals, and puts it in the hands of private citizens. Private citizens can sue clinics and individuals who help someone to obtain an abortion and get paid a reward if convicted. The provider and anyone who helps the client must pay the penalty and are left without recourse. (Law of the street. Bounty hunters.) Is stoning next on the Texas agenda?
What was so interesting about Roe v. Wade was that it provided women with the right to legal abortion. It didn’t obligate them to have one. It took the government out of their faces and bodies. Individual freedom and autonomy. The new Texas law doesn’t give anyone anything. Like almost every law passed by Republicans it takes something away from people. Voting, free speech, workers’ rights. Shut up and do what you’re told.
Abortion has never been an issue for people of means; if you can pay, it’s always available. For poor people, back alleys, coat hangers, hideous drugs were the choices before Roe. Do we go back to the old days? Some of us have no choice. So, are we talking about race and class? Or what?
The same legislature that approved SB8 is against mask wearing in schools and in public, is negative on vaccinations and refused to expand Medicaid and food stamps. If they aren’t concerned about schoolchildren at risk is there any right to life connection in this bill? Which raises the question of their pledges to protect the country and obey the Constitution. If you are obsessed with the unborn and don’t care about the living, are you some kind of satanic freak and should you be allowed out on the streets? Is every day Halloween in Texas?
The seriousness of this obsession with the unborn is both a primitive and master race (see neo-Nazi) belief that the primary value of women is to be vehicles for procreation. Once the baby is born the woman’s value and the babies’, like used cars, diminish significantly.(See satanic references to Charles Manson.)
So, we need to understand that the SB8 law is a perverse scam by deeply disturbed politicians for personal gain. Just like in Afghanistan. We used to believe that spreading American values was part of our mission. In Texas the process seems to have been reversed.