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Letters to the Editor for October 6, 2022

Wed, 10/05/2022 - 17:43

Nine Miles Northeast
Springs
October 1, 2022

To the Editor,

Christopher Gangemi’s piece “Best-Kept Secret In Public Safety” (Sept. 29) points out that one of the first questions the dispatcher asks when fielding a 911 call is: “What is the address of the emergency?” In my case, my answer was, “About nine miles northeast of Montauk Point Lighthouse.”

Me and a friend were in an 18-foot Boston Whaler in early November coming back from blackfishing off Block Island around 4:30 p.m. when the power went. A broken grounding wire had shut off the engine and all electronics, including my VHS radio. We came to an abrupt stop. It was calm out, and the tide was slack, but I knew the forecast was calling for the prevalent fall, hard 20-knot wind out of the northwest. With a full moon and hard wind against tide, we certainly would not have made it through the night in that little Whaler on anchor or adrift.

Between us, we had one working cellphone. It only had 10 percent left on it, and it showed one bar of signal strength. So I made a hail-Mary 911 call.

The East Hampton dispatcher who answered could not have been more professional or competent. He immediately recognized the danger we were in. Calm, present, and concerned, he had me crawl out of the wind into the little battery compartment and told me how to put on the battery saver on the phone. Luckily, I had an app on my phone with GPS coordinates, and I was able to relay my longitude and latitude numbers to him. Then the phone went dead.

The sun went down, and around 6 p.m. we were already taking on water from crashing waves when a small light emerged that was indeed the Coast Guard. One minute of hesitation on the dispatcher’s part and we would have never been rescued. Lives saved, no doubt about it. God bless that man on the other end of the line.

JEFF NICHOLS

 

Stop to Help
East Hampton Village
September 28, 2022

To the Editor,

For some people whose names I don’t know: The other day someone left the side gate in our front yard open, and one of my dogs got loose. We live on the highway and have already had a dog killed through exactly the same carelessness, so this was more likely than not another lethal situation. I am angry and ashamed of myself. Even a little more care on my part would have headed off the danger, and, David, I hope you publish this letter before my wife is back from travels; it’s best she never hear about this.

Deuce is a big sighthound, doesn’t know from cars. It is his nature to hunt, and there is game to be had along Pantigo Road. He crossed the highway at full stretch probably four or five times, trailing his leash, wearing his most devilish grin, entirely oblivious to my calls and innocent of the danger he was in. For once, the trade parade was a good thing — on half the road traffic was at or near a standstill. I wouldn’t have guessed how many deer were hiding in the bushes so close to the road. Deuce finally wore himself out to the point where I could get hold of him.

A young man was walking west, who stopped, put down his backpack, and probably spent 20 minutes helping me. I never had the chance, or else was too distraught, to thank him, and I want to do so now.

I want to thank as well the police who were so promptly on the scene, the two women from animal rescue, all the drivers who slowed down, and whoever was driving a black pickup truck that somehow screeched to a stop so I wouldn’t have to explain yet again to my grandchildren.

I am sorry I live on a highway where the speed limit is 40 miles per hour through a residential district. The state has done studies and so turns a deaf ear to me and to the mayor. Still, I know how much the fault is my own. I am sorry I’m so careless but very grateful to live in a village where all these people would stop to help.

JOHN FORD

 

Continuing Mission
Springs
October 3, 2022

Dear East Hampton Star,

As a longtime member of the Springs Community Presbyterian Church, I thought your readers might enjoy hearing some of the recent events at the church.

The last two years have been challenging for the church and congregation, but we have continued our Sunday services with a mixture of outside and appropriate inside services. The need for the Springs Food Pantry, led by Holly Reichart-Wheaton, expanded dramatically during the pandemic, meeting the increased demand from now more than 250 families.

The Rev. Rob Stuart has returned to us and provides thought-provoking, profound sermons and guidance. With over 35 years ministering to East Hampton communities, he has a deep understanding of the moral and ethical issues our communities face. A new piano and Reggie Starks provide inspiring musical accompaniment to our services.

We had a long-overdue reconstruction of our belfry and tower and now offer a fresh face on the historic center of Springs.

Every second Sunday each month, we have youth church services in which the children participate in the service. We recently celebrated our first baptism in quite a while.

Our doors are open to everyone, and we are proud of our 140 years of contribution to Springs. Please join us if you can for Sunday services at 9 a.m., and please bring your children. We have a continuing mission to grow our community and get to know all our neighbors.

Sincerely,

WENDY HALL

Clerk of the Session

 

Whale of a Wave
East Hampton Village
October 2, 2022

Dear Editor,

Durell Godfrey outdid our local surfers last week when she caught one whale of a wave. Her picture captured an awe-inspiring, high, and roiling sea as contrasting backdrop to a girl and her dog out for just another happy jaunt on the beach.

A spectacular shot!

Cheers,

WENDY SERKIN

 

How Hateful
Sag Harbor
October 3, 2022

Dear David,

Last Wednesday, I was taking a walk with my daughter through the Jewish cemeteries located in Sag Harbor on Route 114. I often visit not only because of the historical and creative gravestones, but because you can feel love there. It’s very apparent that the graves of the deceased are visited and their plots are well cared for. I have my favorites, and I always find a new name and life to think about.

So, on this day, what happened next was extremely disheartening. A young man, driving alone, yelled as loudly as he could out his open window, “Jew!”

Why? How disrespectful! How unnecessary! How hateful. Who taught him to blindly hate like that? I fear our young have become casualties of our media-centric, anxiety-provoking society.

On top of that, some are still being taught to see only differences instead of similarities and to harbor misguided grudges. It’s a very sad and disturbing combination.

They will need each other more than they know.

Sincerely,

LIZ DOBBS

 

Of Trees
Springs
October 3, 2022

Dear David,

The article “Exhibition to Illuminate Trees” spoke to me. First, I was so happy to learn the article referred to an art show and not to the ill-advised practice of literally illuminating trees at night.

The “A Celebration of Trees” art show focuses on the majesty and beauty of these special and magnificent gifts to us.

Where would we be without our native trees? They provide food and habitat for hundreds of species — beneficial insects, birds, and mammals. Their leaves enrich the complex soil beneath our feet and provide habitat for wintering insects, salamanders, and box turtles. Their roots form an intricate relationship with fungi and, along with enriched soil filter, contaminants which would adversely affect our drinking and surface waters.

They decrease storm runoff, provide cooling in summer, color in fall, and nuts which sustain wildlife. Mature trees sequester large amounts of carbon, as well as provide oxygen in the air we breathe.

Even when they have reached the end of their lives, they continue to be important in the ecology of our yards as habitat for beneficial insects and cavity-nesting birds and a source of nutrients for the soil microbiome.

Removing these magnificent natural giants that have been on our planet for 360 million years must be a decision of last resort, not a matter of course.

Think before you chop. What you do on your property matters to all.

Sincerely,

CHRISTINE GANITSCH

 

For Natural Grass
East Hampton
October 2, 2022

Dear Editor:

Have you heard the news? The mayor of Boston has issued an order banning any new installation of artificial turf in city parks. Why? She’s concerned about protecting the public’s health and our environment. Researchers have found PFAS (“forever chemicals”) in the plastic turf’s “grass” blades and layers of backing. PFAS can leach into the environment, polluting our bays, creeks, and aquifers. Boston joins other municipalities in Massachusetts — Sharon, Wayland, Concord, and Martha’s Vineyard — in opting for natural-grass fields.

We’ve all read about the alarming increase in microplastics detected in fruits and vegetables, in packaging, in water sources, and even in seabirds and fish. Lindsey Pollard, a biologist, warns that the microplastics in artificial turf can be released into the environment “on rainy or stormy days, or when the field is cleared of snow.” Is this what we want for the East End?

We sweltered through one of the hottest summers this year and had to deal with a serious drought. Artificial turf playing fields become “heat islands” in hot weather. Because of this, the United States national soccer team only plays on natural-grass fields. In England, where “elegant plastic lawns” have grown in popularity, dog owners were warned to keep their pets away from overheated artificial turf this summer.

And what about children using these playing fields? Sarah Evans, a pediatrician and public health professor, noted, “We already know there are toxic chemicals in the products, so why would we continue to utilize them and have children roll around on them when we have a safe alternative, which is natural grass?”

Natural-grass playing fields are better for the environment, pets, and people. I hope our towns, villages, and school boards are rethinking proposals to install artificial turf here.

Sincerely,

NANCY ERBER

 

Going Electric
Springs
October 3, 2022

Dear David,

We all want affordable energy. We all want energy security. We all want to transition to clean energy that doesn’t poison our air or harm our health. Right?

The gas industry in New York (propane and methane) knows that. That’s why they’ve named their campaign against New York’s plans to move to clean energy “New Yorkers for Affordable Energy.” This astroturf group is backed by the American Petroleum Institute, Enbridge, Millennium Pipeline, and some New York utility owners like National Grid. It’s why they claim to have a “clean energy transition plan” that actually locks New Yorkers into decades more of polluting and expensive fracked-gas infrastructure. And it’s why they tout “energy security” while just announcing a 29 percent hike in prices, on top of last year’s 21 percent hike.

You’ve probably seen their ads on TV or in emails. They are desperately trying to stop New York’s transition to cheaper, cleaner, more-secure renewable energy. Don’t be gaslighted by their lies. Here are the facts:

Going all-electric is cheaper. Replacing space and water heating with energy-sipping electric heat and cooling pumps and hybrid electric water heaters would slash monthly energy bills for households in Suffolk County across every fuel type, saving $769 per year on average. Put solar panels up and costs plummet even more (with solar panels, I pay about $15 a month on my PSEG Long Island bill). Now, that’s energy security.

Want help with putting in solar, energy efficiency upgrades, and heat pumps? The Inflation Reduction Act will lower the cost to the average household in Suffolk by $13,196. Every income level benefits, from upfront discounts for low and moderate-income households (100 percent and 50 percent of costs, respectively) to 30 percent tax credits for high-income ones. And those are just the savings from the act. Other federal and state programs will boost the savings. Now, that’s affordable energy.

The only “clean energy transition plan” that will bring New Yorkers the savings they deserve is the one being developed by the New York Climate Action Council. Their “scoping plan” to carry out the mandate of New York’s groundbreaking climate law is due out by Dec. 31. It’s why the gas (lighting) industry is so desperate to stop it — and why we need to support it now.

FRANCESCA RHEANNON

 

Scope of Work?
East Hampton Village
October 3, 2022

David:

As anyone following East Hampton Village knows, Jerry’s dishonest and fraudulent abuse of power remains unabated. Jerry touts the administration’s transparency, but it’s so, so, so far from the truth.

A perfect example occurred at the July 6 board of trustees meeting on Resolution 143-2022. Its primary purpose was to approve employees’ salary schedules and appointments for various committees. Additionally, it included 26 professional consultants. For every firm, there was no indication of the proposed expenditures, hourly rates, or scope of work. And most of them did not appear in the preliminary budget submitted.

As is Jerry’s rule, it was unanimously approved.

On July 21, I filed a Freedom of Information request covering fiscal year 2022 and fiscal year 23. I requested agreements, contracts, expenditures, the scope of work, contract value, labor rates, and pass-through costs for each. I started with seven: Carol Hayes Consulting L.L.C., Jackie Dunphy L.L.C., NextGen ADV, PS Digital Long Island, Praxis Public Relations, Proudcity Inc., and Kimberly Woods.

Except for a few Excel spreadsheets and one Master Service Agreement with a web-hosting company, I received nothing. As for reasons, I can think of a few, but unfortunately, none are legal.

Jerry, can you help me out?

Thanks,

DAVID GANZ

 

Tax Machines
East Hampton
September 23, 2022

Dear Editor,

My family have been East Hampton homeowners for 30 years or so, loving it out here, taking part in every aspect of the community. Our parents went on hikes with the Trails Preservation Society when they were still agile. My mother was a literacy volunteer at the John Marshall school, volunteered countless hours with Friends of Guild Hall, and was a docent at her beloved Pollock-Krasner House until she was 91. The beach was our nirvana.

I would have let these two Seinfeldian incidents go, until a woman from the Justice Court was so incredibly rude to me this morning that it only added insult to insult to insult to injury.

Please judge for yourselves the “Beach Permit Screw Job.”

As we all know, permits are required at the village beaches, and a “limited number” of beach permits are sold for the summer at $500 each, allegedly because of the limited number of parking spaces, okay. However, since last season, a $300-per-month digital parking pass option became available. So if you missed the cutoff when the limited number of $500 parking permits were sold, you now have to pay $900 for the same beach parking during the same season. And it’s for the exact same number of parking spots in the exact same lots! Yes, this means you, Town of East Hampton homeowners, et al. Welcome to GougeHampton!

Well, okay. I reluctantly paid the $900 penalty fee for the digital beach permit — only because my nieces love going to Main Beach when they visit. I received my email confirmation. Did I mention that I paid $900 for a permit that is sold for $500?

Then, lo and behold, guess what happens next? Yes, I get a parking ticket at Main Beach. With my super-special $900 digital beach parking permit I actually got a ticket for parking without a beach permit!

Deep breath. Okay. I called the village. It should be a simple matter after all, and spoke with Lorraine from the mayor’s office, a lovely woman. She empathized and asked me to come in with the ticket and she’d take care of it.

I went over. Unfortunately, Lorraine was in a meeting, though the gentleman there said he could help. A while later, after working on the computer, he tells me it’s been canceled but, to call the Justice Court in about a week to make sure. At that point I didn’t bother to be bothered any further, so I passed on that one.

Sigh, the nightmare continued, because guess what happens next? I then received a summons in the mail for parking without a beach permit! As John McEnroe would say: “You cannot be serious!”

Now, I had to call the East Hampton Court clerk, who told me the ticket was indeed closed. When I asked for her name so I could document what seemed to be an endless torture, she replied, “No! Not after you insulted the entire Town of East Hampton”! O.M.G., you cannot be serious.

And now, the “East Hampton Long Island Rail Road Station Screw Job.” Next is the other latest gouging of East Hampton Town residents who need to park at the East Hampton L.I.R.R. station. We are now penalized $15 per day since these machines were installed — that is if you’re desperate enough to park there. I go to Southampton now, where they continue to have unlimited free parking.

At least East Hampton had seven days of free parking. But some genius decided the spaces (that continue to be free and unlimited at the Southampton station; did I mention that?) can now become little East Hampton Village tax machines. Therefore, when commuting weekly it is $75 a week, $300 a month, $3,600 a year.

I noticed an amazing phenomenon this past summer: There were empty parking spaces where there have typically been none at the L.I.R.R. station parking area! Village of East Hampton, “you cannot be serious!”

Submitted with the deepest respect to the Town of East Hampton,

ALLISON DREW KLEIN

 

Housing Fund
Amagansett
October 2, 2022

Dear David,

I urge all residents of East Hampton to vote “yes” for Proposition 3 on November 8 to establish a community housing fund. This very important non-partisan initiative will provide funding to assist first responders, teachers, young professionals, and the sons and daughters of our town who want to be able to afford a home in the town they grew up in.

The future viability of East Hampton relies on your vote.

DAVID HILLMAN

 

Nothing Has Been Done
Wainscott
October 3, 2022

Dear David,

Since 2005, the 70-acre former Wainscott Sand and Gravel mine has been the elephant in the room. In that year, the town adopted a new comprehensive plan that recommended that the remaining heavy industry be limited, consolidated, and well screened, and that other clean, low-intensity commercial uses be developed, which would be coordinated with the existing business district, as well as a limited amount of moderate income housing. It concluded by saying, “Finally  a large portion of the reclaimed pit should be devoted to open space and recreation.” The 2020 Wainscott Hamlet Plan echoed this recommendation and added the option for a new train station.

During all this time, nothing has been done to advance these recommendations. No zoning changes, no purchases, no new overlay districts created.

Today, the East Hampton Town Planning Board is facing a 50-lot commercial-industrial subdivision application that does not consolidate or limit heavy industrial uses such as the Redi-mix plant and brick and tile manufacturing, creates 48 additional one-acre commercial-industrial lots that have no connection to the existing business district, and has no open space provisions other than the meager 10-percent perimeter buffer required under the code for such subdivisions. How can this be happening in a town that prides itself on its environmental record and has declared a “climate emergency” that should inform all planning and zoning decisions?

While making strides on 2lst-century solutions for the town’s challenges, it appears the town board is still accepting 20th-century proposals for this critical piece of land. I hope the town board will act immediately to negotiate a better outcome in Wainscott and be proactive to prevent similar scenarios from unfolding on the other remaining sand mines in the town.

Sincerely,

SARA DAVISON

Executive Director

Friends of Georgica Pond Foundation

 

Will Resonate Here
Wainscott
October 2, 2022

Dear David,

This coming Saturday, we are co-hosting a screening of a documentary film called “One Big Home” at LTV Studios in Wainscott. It is the story of how residents in one town, Chilmark on Martha’s Vineyard, came together to address the negative impact that accelerating overdevelopment was having on many aspects of their community.

This film is not new; it took 12 years to make and was released back in 2016. However, we think it will resonate broadly here in East Hampton. The dynamics that define the story remain timely and very relevant here today as we are all grappling with the severe impact of runaway development on our town infrastructure, natural resources, quality of life, rural character, irreplaceable sense of place, and, most important, on affordability and availability of homes for people who live and work here full time.

It is easy and comforting to draw parallels between Chilmark and East Hampton, and between Martha’s Vineyard and the East End over all. Indeed, we share some very similar characteristics as small towns, geographically “isolated” coastal communities, and economies that are in large part defined by second homes and seasonal resort-area dynamics. Yet there are also differences, and each community has to identify its specific needs and define its own destiny.

We know there are a great many people in East Hampton who are likeminded in their concerns about the overwhelming scope and scale of construction and blistering pace of development, and who want to see the town board do something about it. We’re also aware there will be people who disagree with the addition of any restraint, no matter how well considered, and there will be vocal, well-funded interest groups that will oppose strongly any proposal laid upon the table.

One of the things we appreciate so much about the movie is that the filmmaker, Thomas Bena, fairly and objectively approaches issues of unrestrained development by including various and diverging points of view and tussling with his own perspectives and potential biases.

Most important, the film is a testament to how the active engagement of citizens can achieve constructive change. What the film does best is reassure any community threatened by a loss of equilibrium and destruction of character that it is possible to slow or even halt that process and restore balance. That is, if members of that community decide to stand up, engage, and fight for it. 

Citizens of East Hampton really do need to get in there and advocate for what they think is important, both in terms of what we preserve and how we evolve. The first step of course is to start a real, out-in-the-open conversation that includes listening and debate. We hope this film event will inspire that conversation.

Sincerely,

ESPERANZA LEON

Wainscott Heritage Project

JAINE MEHRING

Build.In.Kind/East Hampton

 

Stealing Signs
Springs
October 3, 2022

To the Editor,

Every year around election time, yard signs litter the landscape, and I stress the word litter.

As unsightly as the signs are, they are a part of the political process to aid candidates in getting their names out and attract attention to their campaigns. We’ve heard a lot about voter suppression over the past years, including the theft and vandalism of yard signs.

Every year there is a rash of thefts of Republican yard signs from homeowners’ private property, and this year is no different.

I get it. The Democratic Party had failed elected leaders with failed policies that had led to the worst recession since the 1970s. Out-of-control crime, support for late-term abortion after 15 weeks up to and including moments before birth, cashless bail that prioritizes criminals over victims, discovery laws that place witnesses’ lives in danger, diminishment of parental rights of radical school administrators, and raising the age of juvenile defendants, which encourages more crime. Let us not forget excessive Covid mandates led to over 15,000 dead senior citizens, a play-to-pay culture of corruption, an attempt to defund our police, and the list goes on and on.

So I get it; Democratic supporters have to result to stealing yard signs off of the front lawn of Congressman Zeldin supporters in an attempt to suppress voters.

This election the choice is clear if you want to change the direction New York State is headed in. We encourage everyone to vote for Lee Zeldin, governor, Nick LaLota for Congress, Peter Ganley for Assembly, and re-elect Tony Palumbo, senator.

As for the Democratic petty thieves, we are offering a reward for anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest of any individual apprehended for stealing yard signs. Voter suppression is un-American, whether you’re stuffing ballot boxes, voting in two locations, or committing acts of petty thievery.

We have reported NY JHU2292 to the East Hampton Town police for stealing Zeldin yard signs. We have you on video and photographs, which can be seen on the East HamptonTRC Facebook page. We encourage you to turn yourself in.

MANNY VILAR

Chairman

East Hampton Town Republican Committee

 

Leadership in Action
East Hampton Village
October 2, 2022

Dear David,

In this off-year election, thank you for The Star’s well-stated editorials concluding, “Your vote matters.” Suffolk Legislator Bridget Fleming, campaigning for the open seat in New York’s Congressional District 1, details on her website, bridgetforcongress.com/issues, the Long Island issues she will champion for “your vote.”

I have seen Bridget’s leadership in action developing environmental programs with regard to our threatened coastline and in supporting the growing Long Island clean energy industry. We are most fortunate to have this opportunity to send Congress an accomplished legislator and Long Island advocate.

Yes, your vote matters.

LINDA JAMES

 

Book Banning
Montauk
October 2, 2022

Dear David,

In 1933, as the Nazi regime sought to consolidate its censorship over schools, newspapers, magazines, radio, and libraries, Nazi student associations held numerous book burnings throughout Germany in many university towns. Works by liberals of all stripes, pacifists, Social Democrats, Marxists, homosexuals, Jews like Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud, the American writers Ernest Hemingway and Helen Keller, and the universally acclaimed Bertolt Brecht and Erich Maria Remarque were burned.

In the past four years, we have recorded a similar phenomenon of censorship (without the bonfires) by state legislatures and local boards of education throughout the United States. According to the American Library Association, works by Toni Morrison (“The Bluest Eye”), Harper Lee (“To Kill a Mockingbird”), Margaret Atwood (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), William Golding (“The Lord of the Flies”), and Steinbeck (“Of Mice and Men”) have been removed from school libraries.

From what I have read, most of the bannings appear to revolve around parental concerns about themes involving violence, racism, bigotry, and sex. If these are the major reasons for book bannings, I fear greatly that next on the list will be the Holy Bible — both Old and New Testaments.

Let’s be honest, the Bible is full of violence. Look at those poor Egyptians who were drowned when God closed the Red Sea when they were chasing the fleeing Hebrews. Look at the ancient Roman dudes when they were conquering the Mediterranean area, imposing the Pax Romana and beheading and crucifying people left and right. The Roman leadership was so bloodthirsty that it crucified its own soldiers for showing cowardice and losing battles. Look at the reigns of Tiberius, Caligula, and Nero that are chronicled in the New Testament.

The Bible is also full of sex and sexual imagery. Those ancient kings, even if they were married, were quite fond of “lying down” with whomever they wanted — even if the women were married to another. I am sure that any teenager would be able to understand that “lying down” was not an allusion to an afternoon nap nor a nighttime cuddle.

As for bigotry, white evangelical Christian segregationists in Southern states in the 1950s and 1960s used biblical quotations to justify white supremacy and Black separateness. Many Ku Klux Klan members were “good Christians” even when they were lynching Black men and blowing up Black children. At the same time, the Bible was used to suppress equality for women and gays (and it still is).

The sad fact is that many boards of education members and state legislatures in our nation today are forgetting the role of fostering critical thinking in our young people. Our youngsters are our future and they are as sharp as tacks. They know a con when they hear it; they know a fake when they see it. In short, they do not need a member of a board of mis-education to explain reality to them.

The good news is that the vast majority of B.O.E. members and local librarians are caring and hard-working, civic-minded individuals who dispense with political agendas to cultivate and encourage freedom of thought.

Cheers,

BRIAN POPE

 

Wackos in Wainscott
Springs
October 3, 2022

Dear David,

Last week I had a close encounter with wackos in Wainscott. Mailing some letters at the Post Office, I was hailed into conversation by political pamphleteers. One of their number said that his wife was running as an independent against Chuck Schumer. I assume that was Diane Sare, who calls herself a “LaRouche Independent.”

It has come to this in our political landscape, that one would actually claim affiliation with an eight-time presidential candidate that neither Republicans nor Democrats would allow in their party. For those too young to remember, Lyndon LaRouche was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for an alphabet soup of fraud and swindling endeavors, including $30 million in unrepaid loans. Among the many conspiracy theories he employed to beguile his cultlike following was that AIDS originated in a Russian laboratory (foreshadowing Trump’s China Covid) and, my favorite, that the Beatles were a creation of a British psy-ops operation to undermine America. His Washington Post obituary called him “an extremist crank” who “built a worldwide following based on conspiracy theories, economic doom, antisemitism, homophobia, and racism.” I admit, the guy was ahead of his time. Today, with the right handlers and enough dark money, he could get elected.

Initially unaware of who I was talking to, I inquired about the candidate’s stance on climate change. The group erupted in animated shouting about how the tiny percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere couldn’t possibly change the climate.

At that point I fell back on the rule that arguing with a person who has abandoned reason is like administering medicine to the dead. I walked away. One reads about these people in the papers, but I was shocked and saddened to encounter them face to face at the Wainscott Post Office as the worst climate disaster in Florida history was providing a minor follow-up to 20 million human beings recently rendered homeless by flooding in Pakistan.

I shouldn’t have been shocked in Wainscott, where a coalition of the coddled has been battling for years the gross injustice of a trench for a clean power line being buried on their street.

DON MATHESON

­

Forming Coalitions
East Hampton
October 3, 2022

David,

The country is divided, according to most of our pundits, but that is an egregiously spurious evaluation of our state of being. Listening to Van Jones on the Bill Maher show reminded me of the political conversations in the 1960s. Jones talked about coalitions of workers and people of color and women as being natural and logical, but difficult to put together. Maher, always rational and occasionally really smart, talked about the political energy and money that is spent in keeping these coalitions from forming.

When you ask someone (almost anyone) what are the most important things you need to live a happy enjoyable life, nowhere near the top of the list are, guns, abortions, political correctness, immigration, etc. Quality of life at its root begins with a home, a job, food, an education, health care, family, vacation and leisure time, religion or spiritual connections, friends. At the bottom of this list of universal and basic needs is all the political crap that deflects us from focusing on and attaining the basic needs.

The negativity and dysfunction we experience are caused by politicians and their controllers in the corporate community, the people who determine our happiness and our prosperity.

A simple but universally applicable issue is the price of drugs. Until Biden pushed through a mediocre, marginally effective drug negotiation bill, (mediocrity is the new brilliant in our idiot-box political universe) the United States government was not permitted to negotiate drug prices for its massive purchases. Protecting who? Big Pharma, not the 99.9 percent of the country who buy their drugs. Only when Big Pharma’s oxycontin machine caused major addiction and thousands of deaths did we even begin to think about price controls and helping the American people. Whose basic needs were we attending to?

Government’s primary — and only — real job is to provide for and protect the people. The only way this can happen is from a catastrophe like the Depression and World War II (see New Deal) or the forming of logical coalitions among everyone who works for a living and oppressed groups of all colors and races.

When Reagan took over in 1980, the primary concern to the people who supported him was the possibility of disparate groups with the same needs forming a coalition and demanding that their needs be satisfied. The response was to destroy the union movement and right-to-work laws (no benefits). It worked, and we no longer prioritize wages or living conditions or quality of life. Nothing is personal.

We made the transition from the quality of life to the quality of hatred. It’s the remarkable stupidity of rooting against the president because he wasn’t your choice. Even though his failure or success can impact your quality of life. Some kind of twisted self-loathing that distracts from the real world.

We have television channels and newspapers that exist to denigrate and diminish political leaders. It’s the Marie Antoinette syndrome: “Let them eat hatred,” not cake. Cheaper.

The calculus in the U.S. is relatively simple: Everything is about money. The color of your car or your underwear, the chemicals in your food and water and in the air you breathe. (When workers in meat plants were dying from Covid, they weren’t given the needed protections because it would cut into profits.)

Coalitions of people with the same basic needs are a threat to the existing order. Yet, it is the simplest and most logical way to get the government to focus on the quality of our lives. All of our politicians are dispensable and replaceable. Too many of them are useless and toxic.

The only real solution is that we leave the endless bullshit behind and focus on what we all need in common. Maher and Jones got it right. They need a little hope, and we need a little courage to make it work.

NEIL HAUSIG

 

Name-Calling
Montauk
October 3, 2022

Dear David,

Upon reading the newspaper from Sept. 22, I found, in my opinion, an editorial filled with plenty of bias.

To start, explain how, “Republicans are actively pushing hundreds of measures designed to keep people of color, urban residents, and the poor from casting their ballots.”

“Americans have a choice between basic human decency and what President Biden accurately called semi-fascism.” Really? Semi-fascism? I so resent this statement.

I’m not a Republican, but between Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden’s labels on Americans it’s getting disgusting. Where’s human decency in such name-calling for the good of democracy?

Why is it so hard to understand that the Supreme Court took away abortion from the federal government and returned it to the states? How does that overturn the abortion law? Jumping the gun and trying to riot the citizens by the statement. What’s next?

The 2022 election  is of the utmost importance. Please vote.

In God and country,

BEA DERRICO


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