All Who Served
November 7, 2022
This Veterans Day, I wanted to express my heartfelt appreciation to the East Hampton Town Board. This past week it approved designating one parking space at each of five town parking lots to be reserved for veterans and active duty military personnel. The resolution, advanced by Councilman David Lys, was unanimously approved by the board “to pay homage to all veterans and active duty military who have selflessly served their country as members of the Armed Forces.” On behalf or all of us who have served or are currently serving our nation, thank you so very much.
JAMES G. LUBETKIN
Veterans of Foreign Wars
Everit Albert Herter Post 550
Around Town Pond
November 7, 2022
I’m writing regarding a recent article referencing future plans for a planting around Town Pond. I designed and installed the bioswale planting on the Village Green and the Methodist Lane meadow bioswale complex. I have plenty of experience with the implementation and end results of such initiatives.
It’s great to hear that the Town Pond area is being considered for an upgrade to its current state.
I thought I should publicly weigh in on the issue of ongoing maintenance. Plantings of this nature will require considerable maintenance. Allowing “nature to do its thing” will only be allowing the nonnative invasive weeds come back with a vengeance. Sadly, our local ecosystems have degraded to the point that nonnative invasive plant material has gained the upper hand.
My company maintains the village green planting about three times annually. We do this work without charge as a donation to the village. We stopped maintenance for one year in 2020 and almost lost the planting to mugwort, dock, and other weed intrusions. I, too, was hoping that nature would do its thing, but it didn’t work.
Interesting to note, the native hibiscus that was planted in the Village Green bioswale is thriving so much so that it seeds throughout and is becoming rather “weedy,” requiring an annual thinning.
Both projects are funded by public-private partnerships including a community preservation fund grant, Surfrider Foundation grants, in-kind donations, and private funds.
Considering our learned experience with the Village Green, we included a two-year maintenance plan in the Methodist Lane proposal. We are currently exploring ways to continue the maintenance program through a volunteer program and paid professionals. I think it is important to the success of any new plantings of this nature that professional maintenance and volunteerism working side by side be part of the package. The village and Ladies Village Improvement Society should start allocating funding to these areas that have become integral to the beauty of the village.
November 6, 2022
On Saturday, over 100 guests heard a compelling talk by Mike Solomon, an artist and art historian, at the 30th Annual Landmarks Luncheon sponsored by the Ladies Village Improvement Society. Mike’s talk focused on the life of the Abstract Expressionists James Brooks and Charlotte Park, and speaking from his personal relationship to the artists, and how they lived and worked on the 11-acre property nestled in Springs.
For many years, efforts to save and restore the studios and house of these two important artists has been underway, and it is with great sincerity that the Brooks-Park Arts and Nature Center Committee dedicated to this project thank the L.V.I.S., with special thanks to Rachel Cooper, the landmarks chairwoman, and Jeanne Hutson for organizing the event and introducing the Brooks-Park Arts and Nature Center to the community. We would also like to thank Christine Berry of Berry Campbell Gallery for sponsoring the event.
In time, and with the valuable support of all those who attended the presentation, the Brooks-Park Art and Nature Center will offer the community a dynamic campus for arts-related events and enjoyment of the natural world surrounding the buildings in which James Brooks and Charlotte Park worked. Both artists were dedicated and unique naturalists, and the future restored property will encompass their love of nature as well as art.
To all who attended, thank you for supporting this effort and we look forward to seeing you at future events.
If you would like to learn more about the BPANC, please email us at [email protected] and visit our website at: brooks-parkarts.com.
Lack of Rules
October 19, 2022
It seems like the rules governing the massive home construction sites need to be enforced, not ignored. On my corner at Atlantic and Bluff in Amagansett (a historic district, haha) there are two huge houses being built. I am not against the redevelopment of this corner; the problem is the lack of rules and enforcement on the development of these huge homes.
The contractors are parking 20 trucks each day all over the street, damaging town-owned and private property. Drive anywhere in town and observe stakes, fences, fiberglass poles, etc., put out by people trying to protect the aprons, driveways, and drainage around their homes from construction-induced illegal parking.
Big credit to the Highway Department. When we reached out to Superintendent Steve Lynch before the big storm in October, a few trucks were there in the morning, digging out the damage, and vacuuming all of the silt produced by these construction sites, out of the impinged drains. Otherwise, my property would have been flooded — again.
It is time for the town to institute real rules — and enforce them — about drainage, site-limiting fences, silt control, and impact fees so the municipal infrastructure can cope.
By approving these huge developments in historic areas, can we at least expect that the trees, bushes, and aprons around homes are not illegal parking lots for mid-Island trucks and the infrastructure systems are upgraded as a condition of approval, not degraded by truck tonnage and then the perp leaves town? At the moment, we hold the bag. That is a no!
East Hampton Village
November 3, 2022
Affordable housing has been the topic of discussion for the entire 37 years that I have been a real estate broker on the East End. I recall several times consultants were brought in to examine our situation specifically. Every time, they suggested allowing for accessory structures and mother-daughter-type apartments, of course, with both being permitted and consistent with code for safety. There were other suggestions as well, none of which were put into play. So I have to ask: Do you really want to tackle the 10-ton gorilla in the room? Allowing for accessory structures and apartments will not only allow young people to afford housing but also supplement income for retirees, therefore maintaining a balance in our community of all different ages and all different stages of life.
It is counterintuitive for the town to dictate parameters around how much square footage or how much rent someone can charge if you really want to tackle the 10-ton gorilla. As a bonus, these suggestions would not cost the town, the taxpayers, or the next generation of buyers any money at all and, most important, it would make an immediate impact on sorely needed affordable housing. Imagine immediate results at no additional cost. What could be better? There are so many layers to this and so much we can do. Why not start with what the experts suggest?
So again I ask, do you really want to tackle the 10-ton gorilla or do you just want to keep examining it every year and taxing even further the next generation of buyers?
JUDI A. DESIDERIO
Their Fair Share
October 31, 2022
To the Editor,
Long Island voters need to be better informed about the gross unfairness that exists in the New York State property assessment laws. Simply put, it might come as a surprise to some.
Reassessment is a way to ensure one neighbor is not forced by law to pay another neighbor’s taxes. It does not mean your taxes will increase, only those who are under-assessed will be forced to pay their fair share.
The way the existing law is written, property assessment assessors who are well aware of the inequities cannot by themselves fix the gross unfairness that exists with obsolete assessments, some of which are almost 100 years old. It requires the municipality themselves to bite the bullet and have the political courage and ethical obligation to mandate reassessment, even if the cost of doing so is high. Unfortunately because of so much misinformation and the high cost, their moral and ethical obligations take a back seat.
For example, Riverhead has over 17,000 properties, and it’s been 43 years since the last overall assessment.
A good part of the problem is the use of fractional assessment vales that appear on the tax bill, which causes property owners to incorrectly believe it is what the town thinks is the true value.
The only people who benefit from the existing law are under-assessed property owners, lawyers, tax-appeal companies, and politicians who receive contributions to maintain the unfair and unethical state laws.
Who is it that cannot believe trust in the law and government is necessary to make America great!
Window for Appeal
November 7, 2022
Justice Baisley ruled against the town regulating its own airport. The airporters are ecstatic while the rest of us are ever more determined to end this scourge of pollution (air, water, noise). It is incumbent on the town to appeal the ruling at once. I am told by attorneys there’s a 30-day window for notice of appeal, expiring Wednesday. If the town supports the regulation its citizens demand, there must be an appeal, in addition to other means of ever-more-necessary regulation.
Make a Call
November 7, 2022
To the Editor,
The easiest thing to do is make a phone call, then you get a meeting. Then you ask a question. Now we wait for the answer.
Dated Fairy Tale
November 7, 2022
I am writing in response to Judy D’Mello’s “One Couple’s Journey to Adoption” (Nov. 3). In it, she writes that Nov. 9, World Adoption Day, hopes “to lift up all voices in the adoption community, to share your story, to reflect on your adoption journey, and to connect with those touched by adoption.” As an adult adopted as an infant during the baby-scoop era who has reunited with my family of origin, I no longer wish to be part of the dated fairy tale this article is set up to become.
The voices who wish to celebrate adoption as an answer to abortion, infertility, and, yes, even queer parenting, are very loud indeed. The silenced voices are the ones who cannot celebrate adoption: the traumatized infant who suffers the effects for a lifetime and the pregnant mother who, without the means to support her child, must relinquish out of desperation, not choice. Her scars last a lifetime, too.
Am I not the only reader confused by the story’s title and pleased by the unexpected happy ending here? The anonymous young mother had the strength to stand up to the system, the money, the attorneys, and potential adoptive parents’ pressure and keep her child to raise herself. Studies show that most women wish to keep their children and only lack of financial means holds them back.
Those who wish to give $20,000 or $50,000 to attorneys, like the well-meaning couple in this story, should be glad their fairy tale quest ended this way. Study after study shows adopted people have twice as many suicide attempts, higher rates of psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, and eating disorders, than non-adopted people.
The popular notion that babies are better off adopted by genetically unrelated people of higher financial status is being debunked in study after study. Saving Our Sisters is an organization that helps pregnant mothers come up with solutions to parent their babies, rather than try to extract a precious commodity from them. Groups that truly give voice to those most affected, like Adoption Healing Network and Adoptees Connect, are voices I prefer to hear on World Adoption Day.
KARIN FALCONE KRIEGER
November 4, 2022
To the Editor,
How does State Supreme Court Justice Richard Ambro justify sentencing Daniel Campbell, a hit-and-run killer, to a mere 90 days in jail for stealing almost 90 years of life (well, at least 60, 70, or 80) from Devesh Samtani, 18 when he was killed?
Ninety days is only about 4 percent of the up to seven years in prison that the single criminal count (leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, a class-D felony in New York State) is punishable by. And Daniel Campbell didn’t even have the “excuse” of having been drunk or high on drugs to explain how he could have driven his car right into Samtani.
Those 90 days in jail work out to approximately 18 days for not having been watching the road in front of his car and hitting Devesh with it, plus 18 days for leaving the scene of the accident, plus 18 days for never calling 911, plus 18 days for never taking himself to the police station, and 18 days for admitting to the police (who had to go to his home in order to arrest him) that “To be 100 percent honest with you guys, when I looked at the damage, I thought I killed him.”
And does Justice Ambro think a token fine of $2,138 is sufficient “payment” for taking the life of an 18-year-old who had only experienced about 6,700 days of life because that works out to about 30 cents a day!
Finally, once Justice Ambro learned in a Sept. 8 letter from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office about Daniel Campbell’s prior dangerous-driving record in which he “racked up a catalogue of reckless driving violations that included causing a head-on crash in White Plains in 2021 after going the wrong way down a one-way street and getting caught speeding just weeks before the Amagansett accident.” Why didn’t Justice Ambro throw the book at Campbell?
If Daniel Campbell ever drives and kills another pedestrian after his six-month jail “vacation,” the victim’s blood will figuratively be all over Justice Ambro’s hands.
November 5, 2022
To the Editor:
Shame on Manny Vilar for calling Bridget Fleming a “radical extremist” in his letter to last week’s Star. I voted for Ms. Fleming but, goodness, she is a mainstream Democrat, just somewhat left of center from where I stand.
Mr. Vilar’s rhetoric speaks volumes. At the height of political pragmatism and tolerance in parliamentary systems in the 20th century in England, France, and elsewhere, people of radically inconsistent political faiths served together in a world of loyal opposition, certain, despite the deep differences in their politics, that they belonged together and could make the system work. Our Constitution also is based on a premise that we all belong together, although it seems to have been more of a struggle here to remember that.
Calling someone a radical extremist screams that they should be ejected from the system, not merely by electoral defeat, but by any means necessary, including violence. Mr. Vilar is, unfortunately, a very typical Republican today in the incipient violence of his routine rhetorical excesses. Who then is the radical extremist, Ms. Fleming, who is looking for a fair electoral fight, or Mr. Vilar, who doesn’t want to be in the same country and system as her?
An interesting sidelight: Last Thursday at early voting at Windmill Village, the staff confirmed that there had not been any Republican poll watchers all week. Did the Republicans not have the volunteers needed? Or are they holding themselves out of a system they will feel free to accuse of fraud later?
November 7, 2022
Three hundred-eight Republican election deniers are running for office this midterm election. Many were strategically placed through vigorous primary challenges, heavily financed by right-wing zealots. These candidates are obviously beholden to Ex-Potus’s anti-democracy game plan.
With powerful right-wing support, these candidates are expecting an easy road to power, winning seats that will give them extraordinary power to affect future election outcomes and rules. This is dangerous gimmickry, far from established democratic process.
Almost $17 billion ($17,000,000,000) was squandered on media for negative midterm campaign food fights, tons of false accusations and pathetic attempts to defend from them. There was no room for presenting honest platforms, or discussion. Can you imagine where all that money went? I doubt Democrats got any, but the media certainly profited, stashing it in tax-friendly circumstances.
Anyway, the frenzy of nasty election behavior is mostly over by the time you read this. If you have any money left, not yet squandered on campaign donations, can you pay for your rent, food bills, health care, and other stuff like energy bills? Are you so exhausted you can’t think more about it?
We are stripping ourselves of our actual wealth — our time, money, and our good character — to accommodate this outrageous behavior of self-serving autocrats seeking to weaken our true democracy.
Who knows how much bickering is ahead of us during the time of vote counting, and who will actually prevail? Will there be ugly lawless challenges, or peaceful transfers of power? Do we have a realistic chance to see our democracy survive? Can the real work of government resume so it can accomplish those manifold important issues that one could almost hear through the chaotic political din? If we had listened carefully, most folks of both parties actually agreed upon most of the big issues that need immediate attention.
Now is no time to relax and celebrate, no matter which side you are on, and no matter if your favorite issues prevailed or failed. It should be obvious by now that the last seven years has been a period of terrible disruption politically, medically, economically, here and worldwide. No single domestic politician, whether Democrat or Republican, or international leader, or authoritarian dictator, has the ability by himself to create such chaos. We must recognize that there is a collective disorder in the universe that is moving everyone worldwide in a very dangerous, destructive direction.
Here in the United States, we have a history of leading the world in the ideals of democracy, but recently we have become more focused on greedy self-serving autocracy and now find ourselves tempted to follow the dictates and examples of ugly, power-hungry international authoritarian regimes.
It’s time to reassess our thinking. We can fight among ourselves and fail as a leading nation or regroup our strengths and ethics to resume our respected position as a successful democratic republic.
With wishes for the return of our civility and sanity,
November 7, 2022
To the Editor:
This is the information from National Public Radio: David DePape isn’t from San Francisco; he lives in a nearby city called Richmond. He attended pro-nudism rallies in 2012 in San Francisco with noted local nudist activists. And while that may make him sound like a bit of a San Francisco hippie, blogs he published online show he took a rightward turn in recent years, embracing QAnon conspiracy theories. That connects with what he told police after the attack. He said he was punishing Nancy Pelosi for what he called Democratic Party lies. DePape’s true intention was to kidnap Speaker Pelosi, torture her, and see her rolled in a wheelchair in front of Congress.
Charging documents revealed he had zip ties he intended to use to restrain Paul Pelosi, along with rope, a roll of tape, an extra hammer, and a pair each of rubber and cloth gloves. So if you are riding the bandwagon, the concrete proof is the confession from DePape.
Stop printing letters that are stating information that is not supported by facts. For instance, how do we know Mr. DePape was never a Republican, or he didn’t support the Jan. 6 insurrection, or is not politically motivated? The information above is from one of the most unbiased news organizations.
And finally anyone who thinks the Democrats are the ones inciting violence lives in an alternate universe. I and many others just want the truth. Is that so difficult?
Going to Run Out
November 1, 2022
To the Editor,
We got to vote on Tuesday without the virus restrictions that China gave us so they didn’t have to deal with four more years of a Trump presidency. Enough said about a B.S. stolen election. Let’s get down to what you can expect from a Democratic vote on Tuesday: more unprecedented and unpunished crime on New York streets. Kathy Hochul supports a no-bail law that is letting criminals back on our streets to commit more crimes. Imagine a world where criminals go free and our borders are wide open so terrorists can walk into our country. Thank you, Biden voters, for forgetting we had 9/11, where 2,996 innocent Americans died that day; I’m sure some of the “woke” culture thinks we are not innocent Americans. Yes, if you voted for Biden, then you voted for open borders. Thank you, you must have forgotten about 9/11 that day.
Thank you, Biden voters, for voting for a president who just raised our taxes and gave the Internal Revenue Service $80 billion of your dollars to target you. Thank you, Biden voters and woke demon-crats for campaigning on an agenda that allows schools to teach gender identity and for putting pornography in your schools. Thank you, Biden voters for late-term abortion. Trust me, I am pro-abortion, but not at eight months.
America is failing at the moment. Putin is laughing at Biden. Thank you, Biden voters, for spending billions of dollars on Russian fuel to support the attack on Ukraine. Why? Because Biden voters wiped out the possibility of us being fuel-independent again with your failed vote.
Remember, Democrat states want to defund the police. Zeldin backs the police and will fund policies to take back our streets. We need our police fully funded.
Biden calls his inflation at 8.6 percent, while fuel is up 44 percent, airline tickets are up 33 percent, used cars are up 23 percent, hotels are up 23 percent, hundreds of things we pay for are up at over 10 percent-plus. How does the 8.6 percent math work? It must be close to an election for that low figure. It should be in the 20-percent-plus range.
So all you diesel buyers for trucks, homes, and machinery, well, you might want to figure something else out this winter because under Biden we are going to run out. It’s bow-hunting season. I am a dedicated bow hunter, but one of my best big-game catches was at 2 a.m., when I caught two Biden-voter neighbors stealing my American flag, my police flag, and my Trump flag. Now that is true big-game hunting. They were caught on security cam, and the police delivered one of them an embarrassing message. A good friend of mine just caught a fishing guide at the Lake Club stealing Zeldin campaign posters from his lawn, all documented by East Hampton Town police. Free speech in America? Yah, not if you’re not agreeing with a woke Democrat.
Remember, you failed America in 2020 if you voted for a senile over-the-hill politician. On Tuesday, you got another chance. Never forget, and God bless America.
November 5, 2022
Reading an editorial of Nov. 3, I swear that President Biden’s writers wrote it for you. Do you really believe that Alejandro Mayorkas has done a good job? He has lied to the American public and totally looked the other way concerning the border, that it is secure. He also was willing to have Border Patrol agents punished when he truly knew they were innocent. Is there something wrong to seek probes on alleged wrongdoings? Is it only fair to probe into Republicans?
Here are some more facts, which I should have written about before the election: Under Biden’s leadership, seniors are getting the biggest increase in their Social Security checks in 10 years. Fact: President Nixon in 1972 signed into law automatic benefits adjustments tied to the Consumer Price Index, a large increase law due to annual cost of living adjustments.
“My administration has delivered the largest one-year drop in the deficit in American history.” Fact: the deficit dropped due to the expiration of pandemic aid, not any action by the White House.
Congressional Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare, saying they will shut down the government. Fact: No Republican has said they want to reduce Social Security, not Medicare. Not one.
Lies, lies, and more lies. Imagine the president talks about a good friend of his, when this person died before Joe Biden was even born.
In God and country,
To clarify: Republican members of the House of Representatives released in a budget plan in June calling for spending cuts, including raising the Medicare and Social Security ages of eligibility and withholding payments to those who retired early and had earnings over a certain limit. In the United States Senate, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has suggested that funding for Social Security and Medicare should be discretionary, not mandatory, meaning that lawmakers would have to approve the spending each year. Don Bolduc, a New Hampshire Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, has advocated for $1.2 trillion in Medicare reductions and said that future retirees should transition from Social Security to private savings accounts. — Ed.
November 6, 2022
It is rare that a case comes before the Supreme Court that allows us to explore in depth the true nature of the United States. The debate on affirmative action does all that and more.
In order to fully understand the issue one needs to understand that the period from 1940 until 1980 was a complete aberration for the country. Everything from the New Deal to Social Security to Civil Rights was, as the French would say, a coup de folie, temporary insanity. (The French excuse for excessive wild and uncontrolled behavior that permitted people to return to their normal lives without conflict, guilt or remorse.)
So, since affirmative action came into play during the 1960s, it is clear that opposition has a strong historical and practical basis. Two philosophical concepts predominate the thinking: First, as W.C. Fields once said, “Never give a sucker an even break” and never underestimate the stupidity of the American people. Second, United States Christianity, devoid of Jesus, has always lined up behind big business in terms of greed and power and finds affirmative action antithetical to its values.
We tend to believe that George Floyd with a knee on his neck or pictures of Indigenous children dying from the smallpox-infected blankets given to them by the church (we stopped killing Indigenous peoples because we got everything we wanted from them) or kids being killed in Alabama are symbolic of the need for affirmative action. The real reason for affirmative action, however, is that our system beats the crap out of everyone it can and gives preferential treatment to the wealthy and upper classes.
Looking at our history uncovers our imperfections, but rather than diminishing our achievements, it gives us a chance to ameliorate and improve the world we live in.
Allowing affirmative action to exist opens a Pandora’s box of problems if we accept discrimination as the basis for governmental action to redress this problem. The field would need to include working class people of all colors, races, and genders — more than half the population.
It would bring into question the harsh reality of our economic, political, and social systems and demand that they rectify the abuses that they have poured down on the population. So, in typical American fashion, we weaponize the issue, deny the reality, and scream discrimination rather than trying to figure out what to do about the problem. The millions being spent on anti-L.G.B.T.Q. ads says it all. While Trump has championed our basest, subhuman qualities, he didn’t create them — he just let the cat out of the bag.