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Letters to the Editor for November 17, 2022

Wed, 11/16/2022 - 16:41

We Welcome All
Southampton
November 11, 2022

To the Editor,

I am very grateful for The East Hampton Star’s coverage of the distribution of GoBags to the local police agencies. As noted by the reporter, it is our fervent wish that the bags never need to be used but knowing that officers have an additional tool with which to respond to an emergency involving a person with autism gives some comfort.

The reporter makes an excellent point noting that while training in crisis intervention is offered at the county police academy, there is little in the way of specific training involving autism. Chief Mike Tracey specifically made mention of the lack of training.

It is precisely for that reason that the Flying Point Foundation for Autism has been offering a three-hour first responder training seminar every year for about the last 10 years. We bring in an expert from the Autism and Law Enforcement Education Coalition, who speaks specifically how to respond to an emergency involving a person with autism. In fact, it was this year’s presenter, Chief Thomas Buckley, who brought the idea of the GoBags to us.

Scheduled to coincide with Autism Awareness Month, the seminar is offered every April on the East End. We welcome all our East End police officers to the seminar, as well as anyone wishes to learn more about the topic. Please reach out to us at [email protected] and so we can notify you when the 2023 date is scheduled.

As always, we are thankful to live in a community that looks out for one another and for all the first responders who keep us safe and healthy.

KIM COVELL

Executive Director

Flying Point Foundation for Autism

 

Might Not Happen
Montauk
November 11, 2022

To the Editor:

On Oct. 30, the Kiwanis Club of East Hampton held its annual Family Fun Day at the American Legion in Amagansett. The weather was absolutely amazing, and a large crowd came out to enjoy all the festivities. However, due to an electrical issue, only a few hours earlier, it looked as if the day might not happen at all. Luckily, fate was on the community’s side, and Marc Mathews of First Light Electric came to the rescue.

Within only five minutes of being notified there was a problem, Marc arrived at the Legion to survey the situation. Putting breakfast with his granddaughter on hold, Marc spent the next two and a half hours making sure that all the blow-up rides and bouncy castles would have power and be ready for the children of East Hampton Town. While Marc insisted it was no big deal, he brought tremendous relief to our club and more important made sure the children would not be disappointed.

The Kiwanis Club depends on the community’s support so that it can achieve its goal of supporting youth programs and activities in our town. Community members like Marc Mathews exemplify the spirit that provides that support. We will be forever grateful to Marc for his selfless act that day.

Sincerely,

RICK WHITE

President

Kiwanis Club of East Hampton

 

His Vision Bright
East Hampton
November 9, 2022

To the Editor,

Joseph O’Connell, or better known as Dr. Joe to all of us at the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter, was an everyday face who greeted members and staff with a warm and kind smile. Although I’d only had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Joe for nine months, I felt as if I had known him forever. As he was a board member and one of the founders of this center, we spoke anytime he was at the Y to work out. He made sure to stop in to see me and discuss innovative ideas for programming. Dr. Joe’s dedication to the Y.M.C.A. was powerful and heartfelt. He was a staple in this community and he envisioned this Y.M.C.A. as a beacon of hope for both children and adults.

Everyone at the Y.M.C.A. will miss Dr. Joe and our deepest condolences go out to his entire family. His memory will live on throughout this community, and I promise to keep his spirit and vision bright in this branch.

On behalf of everyone at the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter,

MOLLY TUZIL

Executive Director

 

Before Their Time
Amagansett
November 13, 2022

Dear Mr. Rattray,

I hope you're finding something productive to do on this rainy Sunday. I might recommend cleaning your closet — we both know you're hoarding T-shirts that should be thrown out, or at the very least ripped into rags for window cleaning duties. On the other hand, it's probably a sunny Monday by the time you're reading this, so never mind.

First (well, following that digression) let me personally invite you to my author talk at the East Hampton Library on Dec. 1, 6 p.m. I'll be reading from and talking about my book, "1000 Days in St. Barth." The event will be in the Baldwin Room, which has a large screen, so we'll be able to project images from the book as well. For you, Mr. Rattray, the library is a mere two-minute walk from your office at The Star — what a great opportunity to ask me why the hell I treat you so rudely in these letters. Hope to see you there!

All right, enough with the self-promotion. It's been a difficult few weeks and months on so many levels. Several dear people have passed, seemingly long before their time should have come. Right now I'm thinking of Dan Shields, Danny, as I'd always known him. It's not that we were close; he'd supervised five different projects with Mike DiSunno & Son for Mary and me over a period of eight years: demolitions, septic installations, basement excavations. Such a gentle and helpful man, and never an unkind word for anyone. I used to wish we had a project just so I could call Danny, discuss the details, and shoot the shit!

At the funeral home, the outpouring of love and heartbreak was palpable. To see his brothers and sisters from fire departments near and far by the hundreds, in full dress uniform, was beyond moving. And then the incredible truck parade in Danny's honor on the day of the funeral — what a tribute to this special soul from his community. God bless.

Less than two weeks earlier, we'd lost our neighbor and friend Kent Feuerring, who died when his small plane went down in Three Mile Harbor. Kent was a film producer who worked in diverse media, including commercials. My company partnered with him in creating a campaign for the State of New Jersey following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. "Stronger Than the Storm" was the theme, and Kent was the steady force who brought all the pieces together on extremely short notice. That's when I met Kent for the first time, on that project, and whenever we'd see each other out east after that, it was always warm and friendly. He was one of those who brought the sunshine with him.

 Less than two weeks before that, my friend and former business partner, Brad Stratton, died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 55, leaving behind his beautiful wife, Dana, and two teenage kids. This brilliant musician and stoic Down Easter from a small town in Maine was married at my home in the dunes in the spring of 2001. On Sunday the 6th we drove to Brooklyn for the celebration of Brad's life. To hear the tributes, stories, and music from his friends, family, and fellow musicians was a heartbreaking reminder of what is now missing from our physical world — feelings I know that accompany all unexpected tragedy and loss, and perhaps especially when we realize we hadn't had (or taken) the opportunity to reconnect or express our love for the ones now departed. That's how I feel. And for all of us, these personal losses arrive in the context of calamitous tragedies, natural and man-made, that hang over the world like an opaque film below the ozone layer.

Makes it a bit hard to think about cheerfully discussing a book filled with stories and pictures from a beautiful island somewhere out there. But I'll get past it. We always do. For now, I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. Hope you get to spend it with family or friends, or both, and have a reason, as you look around your table, to say grace — whether to God or your lucky stars. (Save me some stuffing, okay? Thanks!)

LYLE GREENFIELD

 

Louse Point Lot
Springs
November 14, 2022

Dear Editor,

In August of 2021, I wrote a letter to The Star questioning the appropriateness of a recycled asphalt material that was used to pave the Louse Point parking lot. I am very happy to report that the recycled asphalt product has been removed from the parking lot, replaced with a gravel-type material.

The Department of Natural Resources defined the project plan with input from the nature preserve committee and the Accabonac Protection Committee. The objective is to minimize asphalt-related runoff into Accabonac Harbor and bolster Louse Point’s dunes and vegetation to resist the storm-related erosion that occurs each winter. The first phase included the removal of the recycled asphalt.

The construction is not over. At this time, Louse Point Road is closed to traffic past the launching ramp. The project is scheduled to be completed by early next spring. So far, it is on track to be a wonderful restoration project.

Best regards,

PATRICE DALTON

President

Accabonac Protection Committee

 

Beach Lockers
East Hampton Village
November 14, 2022

David,

I applaud East Hampton Village Board’s idea of separating Main Beach locker rentals and Lot 1 parking pass fees. As a locker holder, I’d be happy to save $250 and forgo the Lot 1 pass. I’ll travel in a sustainable mode: my bike. If I choose to drive, there’s Lot 2 or Lot 1 after 1 p.m.

Jerry, while I have your attention, hasn’t the “Platinum Bull” overstayed his welcome? And when will the village code be revised to allow picnic tables and benches? Jerry?

DAVID GANZ

 

Worthy of Costco
Amagansett
November 5, 2022

To the Editor:

I would like to thank the members of the East Hampton Town Board for their efforts regarding our new streetlights. Some of these new streetlights have been installed on the roads in my hamlet of Amagansett. Each one is worthy of the Costco parking lot in Riverhead, and I’m grateful.

These lamps, the underside is labeled “LED 14,” successfully illuminate an area that is completely unnecessary for street lighting. This is perfect for an oversize, nondescript parking lot, and, maybe, that’s what the streets in Amagansett have become as more and more of our residential streets are blocked with construction vehicles that usurp fully half the road.

Regarding construction vehicles, there seems to be no recourse to remedy road blockage as, I guess, there is too much time and effort spent selecting these new, powerful streetlights that for the board to take a moment to direct enforcement to enforce existing parking laws, well, that must wait.

I know, I know, we must have our existing houses torn down and rise anew at quadruple their previous size, forever changing neighborhoods, and somebody has to drive up and complete that work — what to do? But I digress. I apologize.

These new LED lamps, replacements for those sad, sulfur bulbs, quiet in their ghostly orange manner, which maintained our dark sky and illuminated only what was needed in the street — poor guys, they had no chance in modern and efficient East Hampton. But maybe the LED labeling is a nod at cost savings and energy efficiency. Kudos there. The town will save money.

Happily, though, these new LED lamps are blocking out the night sky. Their pumped-up brightness is no match for our formerly enjoyable dark sky, where we could look up in the street and see actual stars, constellations, and, maybe, a meteor. But that is not the case now, but maybe we are better off for it: Who needs the night sky?

Lastly in this matter of gratitude, now that the trees are shedding their leaves and the sky and land have opened up, these new LED lamps are illuminating the front of houses. I am thankful because if there is a need for me to clean out my gutters, work on painting the trim, or rake up some of those pesky leaves the town no longer picks up curbside, I can do it at night!

Once again, I thank our board members for a job well done.

MATTHEW WARD

 

Buying Up Sag Harbor
Springs
November 10, 2022

To the Editor,

I read with disbelief (again) your reporting on “Dockside Will Close for Good on Sunday.” Has The Star turned completely into a public relations firm for the slick operators who are buying up our villages and businesses? Has anyone at The Star noticed the before and after of these acquisitions? Evidently not with quotes like: “Eric Miller said, ‘We look forward to welcoming back their longtime Sag Harbor customers and offering something exciting and new.’ . . .”

For current fans, they said they will continue operating at a “reasonable price to create an approachable, egalitarian restaurant with harbor views.” Does anyone believe a word of this P.R., and, if not, why provide credibility rather than critical reporting?

I, for one, do not believe a word of it. Not just because I have seen The Star do this numerous times, but because every single person on Nextdoor Sag Harbor has pointed out that the money guy, Mr. Potter, has been buying up Sag Harbor, and not for the benefit of our current residents.

DANIEL FRIEDMAN

 

Rushed Through
Sag Harbor
November 14, 2022

To the Editor,

As one of the people mentioned in your article “Sag Harbor Board Moves Ahead on Potter Project” (Nov. 10), I would like to clarify some critically important issues.

Many of us in Sag Harbor feel that the unique character of our community is under threat. We are facing pressures from developers that are unprecedented in the 31 years I have lived in the village. The most recent development, the Potter-Conifer shopping and affordable housing complex, a 108,000-square-foot structure proposed for a contaminated flood zone in the center of the village, is of particular concern.

The village opened the door to this development, which would be one of the largest in Sag Harbor’s history, with the passage of new affordable housing laws in June of this year. As a lifelong and ardent advocate for affordable housing, I welcomed the initiative, and hoped it would provide responsible solutions for our acute housing shortage.

One of those laws, Local Law 13-2022, lifted the impediments to the rental of accessory buildings in Sag Harbor’s residential district. Like virtually everyone I know in our community, I applauded this long overdue reform to our housing codes.

But another law, Local Law 12-2022, which went little noticed when it was passed, dramatically changed village codes to allow for massive construction in the most environmentally problematic part of Sag Harbor. That law was rushed through without the full environmental review mandated by New York’s State Environmental Review Act and with very little community notice or comment. Indeed, most of the residents and small-business owners who would be profoundly affected by the new law had no idea it had been passed.

Because of this, a group of concerned citizens, led by Save Sag Harbor, felt we had no choice but to challenge the law with what is called an Article 78 filing. We hoped to overturn the law and require the village to go through the rigorous environmental and community review necessary to determine whether any major new development is either safe or feasible in the proposed area.

We hoped the board of trustees would respond to our petition by revisiting the clearly flawed process that led to the passage of Local Law 12-2022 (we have not challenged Local Law 13-2022). Unfortunately, the board of trustees has instead decided to spend taxpayer money to fight us in court, while proceeding with a review of the Potter-Conifer project that the law enabled.

With the announcement of new consultants and a stated commitment to a thorough review, I had at least hoped that the review of the Conifer project would be more deliberate and transparent than the process that led to the passage of Local Law 12-2022. That hope was dashed at the Nov. 8 board of trustees meeting.

The agenda of the meeting, available online two days before the meeting date, indicated very little focus on the Conifer project. Almost no one noticed that buried deep in the agenda, under Action Items, was a resolution for the board to “Assume Lead Agency Status and Issue a Determination of Significance” for the project.

But the agenda appears to have been altered 75 minutes before the meeting started. Added at that time was a new agenda item, a review of an environmental assessment form by the village’s consultants, Cameron Engineering.

The form is an essential first step in determining whether a more extensive review, an environmental impact statement, is necessary. In other words, without proper notice to the public, the board was about to embark on a highly consequential review of the Conifer project.

There was no indication at the start of the meeting that this review was about to take place. The meeting was packed with other business, including an important discussion of a local law establishing the Historic Black Beachfront Communities Overlay District.

More than two hours into the meeting, the mayor pointed out that the polls would close shortly and encouraged anyone who had not voted to go and do so. Most people did leave. Then casually, without any explanation, he asked Cameron to review the draft environmental assessment form Part 2 they had prepared as a response to the Part 1 submitted by Conifer Realty.

Under state law, documents to be reviewed in a public meeting must be made available to the public. When we asked for copies, we were told that, since they were drafts, we had no right to see them. Even if correct — and legally it was not — that was an extraordinary position for the board of trustees to take.

It appeared that critical decisions about the Potter project were going to be made, in a rushed fashion, with no opportunity for public engagement. That is why my husband and I were upset and why my husband shouted that the meeting was, “a sham!”

Three of the trustees pointed out serious errors in the Cameron draft. But even that draft clearly established moderate to large potential environmental impacts that require a full environmental impact statement.

However, the compromised assessment Part 2, inadequately reviewed by the public and apparently hurried past the trustees, will provide the initial foundation of the draft scope for the environmental impact statement, a process that will determine whether the Conifer project can actually be built in an environmentally sound manner. This essential review has already started on very shaky ground.

What happened at the Nov. 8 board of trustees meeting was about much more than a group of residents becoming agitated over a faulty review. It concerns the integrity of the process, the future of our village, and the responsibility of our elected officials, not to developers but to the taxpaying citizens of the community.

The Environmental Review Act process mandates transparence, adequately noticed public meetings, and extensive opportunity for public comment. I can only hope that in the coming months, Sag Harbor Village government will take that process much more seriously than they did on Nov. 8.

KATHRYN LEVY

 

Still Blocked
Amagansett
November 14, 2022

Dear David,

Katy Casey decided to write about me the other week. She is the director of the East Hampton Housing Authority. In the same writing, Katy Casey decided to “think” for me, all while telling the public to vote on a ballot proposition. This was one even the town board stayed away, to the best of my knowledge, from telling the public how to vote. An employee who would benefit from the inevitable “yes” vote is quite unethical, in my opinion.

No, Katy Casey, I won’t go to the Planning Department to ask about the numbers you’ve touted. You explain. It’s your quote. I also wasn’t talking about the tearing down of existing structures. We have five new houses on our block with deforestation and overclearing. New homes six, seven, and eight are apparently on the way. The carelessness has destroyed the habitat and now it’s to the wetlands. We’ve lost a majority of our beach, as the formally denoted Beach Access 33A is still blocked. We’ve lost having our families, friends, neighbors be able to stay here.

I’ve been fighting to protect and preserve what should have been protected areas and lands even in town documents back to 1983. That is also the year the town declared it had an affordable housing issue. Today we have a sanctuary in our backyard of deer, rabbits, owls, turkeys, frogs, snakes, turtles, to name a few.

So, if you can’t answer where the 10 percent left of land to be developed is, how can we expect you to usher in affordable housing when Suffolk County just last year had a poverty line of $110,000. If you don’t make that amount you are poor. Reality bites for us all.

Still here,

JOE KARPINSKI

 

A Team Effort
Springs
November 14, 2022

Dear David:

Springs had a very good Election Day.

My husband and I worked at the Springs Firehouse polls, along with more than a dozen other volunteers from both parties. It’s a tricky process: setting up the machines and materials, handing out and securing the ballots, and, finally, breaking it all down at the end according to strict guidelines.

We didn’t talk politics; we weren’t tracking exit polls. I didn’t know which of my fellow inspectors was from which party. It was a team effort and everyone very much wanted to get it right.

It was a very long day, but it was a pleasure. Thank you to Bridget and Rhiana, who coordinated the complicated operation with competence and good cheer.

So many people voted, and high voter engagement in a midterm election is a very good thing.

As I handed out ballots, and reminded voters to carefully mark the ovals inside the lines, there were nonpartisan jokes about what we learned in kindergarten, and occasional nostalgia for the old-school machines, with their clickers and drawn curtains.

There were no unpleasant incidents. Civility won.

All best,

ANN DAVISON

 

Unbridgeable Gap
Amagansett
November 12, 2022

To the Editor:

I can’t stop thinking about Manny Vilar calling Bridget Fleming a “radical extremist” in a letter to this newspaper a few weeks back.

I was amused to find the following statement Mr. Vilar made to The Star the day he  took over as local Republican chairman (it is in the Dec. 7, 2018, issue): “[W]e’re going to have to work as a coalition. I’m a big-tent person. I’m happy to attract Republicans, Democrats, Independents, libertarians, no party affiliation.”

The vast, really unbridgeable, gap between “big tent” and “radical extremist” inevitably leads me to pose the following to Mr. Vilar: Do you really even believe Ms. Fleming is a radical extremist? In that case, were your 2018 words pure manipulation, intended to trick voters into supporting a Republican ticket? Or, conversely, do you not believe your own words today, and are you merely an amoral opportunist, currying favor by aiding the schoolyard bully to punch out his victim?

After Tuesday, that schoolyard bully thing seems to be fading away even at the national level, and it never gained nearly as much traction here. Having said the words “radical extremist” you now own them, and because you said them in your official capacity, so does the local party.

Whether you believe Ms. Fleming to be a radical extremist or not, you clearly aren’t the leader your party would need to gain new members in East Hampton — or to aspire to electing a member to town board again.

Sincerely,

JONATHAN WALLACE

 

Red Ripple
East Hampton
November 10, 2022

To the Editor,

On the Red Ripple: All the Republicans had to do was keep their mouths shut, but they couldn’t help themselves. They made the mistake of replicating the Trump model, which was the biggest shake-up of American politics in decades.

By the end of Obama’s two terms, which followed the politically entrenched George W. Bush’s two terms, people were bored and ready for something refreshing, and the excitement of a Roger Stone-style campaign provided a modern firebrand for disenfranchised constituents to cling to. This impacted every peak and crevice of the landscape, and has permanently altered the way campaigns are run for all sides, so it’s understandable that the G.O.P. would try to play the game by the new MAGA rules; after all, even the Democrats are resorting to divisive bombastic rhetoric at every turn. But alas, this was a midterm election, in which some of the old techniques hold water. You play it safe, you don’t go bold, you stick to one key platform: the failures of the controlling party.

Instead of chopping up the red-leaning women’s vote by blasting sore winner cheers at the Dobbs decision, the Gallant Old Party should have left well enough alone. Instead of crying foul about the previous election, they should have honed critiques on the inability of the Dems to improve their quality of life ever since. Americans across the spectrum are feeling the effects of inflation; it’s a universal issue that would easily have pulled independents in every state, had they spouted off enough nonsense about deregulation and other empty promises to lower prices for the consumer.

This was not a presidential primary year, in which politicians needed to build a robust brand around their names before vying for New Hampshire — the conservative hardliners will vote for a moderate with an affixed (R) anyway, it was a time to simply point out that they were not the other guy. Needless to say, they went big, and went home, when all they had to do was keep their mouths shut.

Sincerely,

JONATHAN A. NEARY

 

Drip-Drip Leak
East Hampton
November 13, 2022

Dear David:

For months we have heard predictions from G.O.P. mouthpieces that the 2022 election would be a ?red wave.? This morphed into a “red tsunami,” with G.O.P. leaders predicting that as many as 60 House seats, and the Senate, would flip to the G.O.P. side of the aisle. I admit to having been worried.

Well, a day after the election, results began to wash over America, the ?wave? or ?tsunami? looks more like the drip-after-drip leak from my kitchen faucet than anything approaching a wave. There is a reason for this. It was the G.O.P.’s message to voters that nullified what could very well have been a disastrous night for Democrats. 

For months, inflation, crime, the economy, and immigration were the cornerstones of their campaign fodder. But instead of offering specific policy proposals addressing these issues, G.O.P. candidates did something much different. They embraced vaporific claims that the 2020 election was ?stolen? (largely to curry favor with Donald Trump). They promised incessant investigations into all things Biden; the repeal of all Biden programs, most of which helped all Americans; a crusade against transgender women athletes; governmental action to screen harmless yet socially important books from libraries and schools; even more farcical, they went on a tirade against spurious claims that schools were installing litter boxes for students identifying as animals (presumably cats). On the serious side, several candidates promised to target Social Security and Medicare, with their elimination the goal. And candidate after candidate voiced ever-more-strict restrictions on women?s reproductive rights — only to learn that voters were solidly in favor of a woman?s right to determine her reproductive future. In other words, the 2022 G.O.P. candidates appeared unhinged, out of touch, or scared of the American voter.

As one watched these campaigns fall apart, it became apparent that the common strategy of virtually the entire raft of G.O.P. 2022 candidates was to be Donald Trump mini-me’s. Now that the election is in the rearview mirror, nothing should make Democrats happier than to have Donald Trump continue to spout his childish and vitriolic bile. Let the G.O.P. promote Donnie Junior to a star role as well; his lack of any footing in reality can only bode Democrats well. And hopefully the G.O.P. will continue to alienate American women and younger voters by continuing its campaign to ban rights to abortion and contraception.

I was afraid that the G.O.P. would drag America back to the 19th century. Regardless of where the dust settles, Tuesday proved that American voters decided to leave the G.O.P. there and have the country move on. 

Sincerely,

BRUCE COLBATH

 

Saw the Truth
Montauk
November 13, 2022

Dear David,

I can only assume people don’t care about crime, pushing people in the subway, beating people viciously, both in the street and on the subways, breaking into your residence; also, inflation, streets being filled with drug-addicted homelessness, mental illness, and filthy streets loaded with rats and mice. Add to this Hochul has all intentions of bringing into the city those who want abortions. Kathy Hochul vowed to have the city and state pay for the murder of said babies.

Ms. Hochul won 13 out of 62 counties — may the 13 get what they voted for. Long Island saw the truth and voted with what was truly on their minds. God help us.

In God and country,

BEA DERRICO

 

Make Lying Wrong
Springs
November 11, 2022

Dear David,

I have a baseball cap that reads: “Make Lying Wrong Again.”

One of the most popular ways to lie in political discourse is what is called in logic “hasty generalization.” If a Democrat were to say, “Republicans are Nazis,” that would be a hasty generalization. It would be true to say that Donald Trump refused to distance himself from Nazis marching and chanting, “Jews will not replace us,” but we all know Republicans who are not Nazis, so to make that statement is a lie by hasty generalization.

When Republicans say, “Democrats want to defund the police,” they are riffing on the angry slogan that emerged in the aftermath of a series of police killings of Black citizens.  This became a major subject of Republican attack ads in the recent election — and persists in letters to the editor of this paper — but does it stand up to scrutiny?

In a major study, (thirdway.org, Kessler and Murdock) a number of conclusions are germane: Large cities with Democratic mayors employ 75 percent more police officers per capita than comparable cities with Republican mayors. Democratic cities spend 38 percent more per capita on policing than Republican cities.

Since these budgets evolve over years, the inescapable fact is that Republicans, relative to Democrats, have been starving their police forces of funding for years. It raises the question of whether this might partially explain the fact that murder rates were 40 percent higher in 2020 in states won by Donald Trump versus states won by Joe Biden.

Evidence even more germane to the time period since “defund the police” emerged from a small group of agitators, in the most recent budget cycle, Democratic cities increased their budgets for policing slightly more than Republican cities.

Since Republicans spend most of their ink claiming that Democrats spend too much, one might expect them to say, “Democrats spend too much on policing. Thank God some of them want to spend less.” In fact, in those few places where money has been reduced for police, it has been redirected to social services, in part due to police chiefs complaining for years that they are asked to deal with social problems which they are ill-equipped to handle.

It should also be noted that the actual leaders of the Democratic Party, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden, have declared unequivocally that defund the police is dead, with Mr. Biden calling for increased police subsidies.

If I can find these facts, the Republican Party knows them too. This did not dissuade them from making this lie a major weapon of their national campaign. 

Impress your friends: point out that this method of lying is called in logic, “hasty generalization” —  and get yourself a hat like mine. Until we can revive condemnation of lying, it will remain impossible to have a useful political debate.

DON MATHESON

 

Two-Party Governance
Springs
November 14, 2022

Dear David,

Election Day has passed, and we should thank everyone who participated in the campaign process. It’s not easy to be a candidate, to put yourself and your family out to public scrutiny. I want to personally thank all the candidates from both parties that participated in the 2020 election process.

I hope now that the successful candidates will govern and legislate, not from extreme ideological positions, but instead adopt a more centrist style of governing and legislating.

I’ve said this often: One-party rule is a recipe for disaster. Every government needs a healthy majority and minority, regardless of which party is in the majority and the minority. Without balance in government, we will experience wild swings in governance that will only serve to polarize our communities, fuel distrust, and detract from creating a more perfect union.

With 2022 behind us, we must look forward to 2023, when we have countywide and townwide elections. In this election cycle, we will elect a supervisor and two town board members.

Sadly, as with all governments that are one-party rule, failure becomes the acceptable norm, and East Hampton is no different. This year we will have an opportunity again to bring two-party governing and balance back to East Hampton.

If you are interested in running for office, we would like to hear from you. Your party affiliation is unimportant. What is important is you love East Hampton, you love our community, and you want to make a difference. The East Hampton Republican Committee is the local party dedicated to working families, a living wage, environmental conservation, equality, diversity, and economic development for all. We believe in bipartisan solutions regardless of financial status or political party affiliation. Access to the town government should not be based on what you can afford or how much you donate to a national or local political party. Town government should be fair, equitable, open, and transparent.

Come and check us out at our next monthly meeting. We will not judge or demand that you follow a national, state, or New York City political doctrine. Let us work together for a better East Hampton for all. I can be reached at 631-324-0528 or by email at [email protected].

MANNY VILAR

Chairman

East Hampton Republican Committee

 

Lost in Space
East Hampton
November 14, 2022

David,

With the 2022 midterms almost complete, there is a strong sense that our two-party system is still breathing and understands that alone each party is inept and lost in space. The only real solution, given the remarkable incompetence of both parties, is that they find a way to work together. Half a brain doesn’t do the trick in running a complicated extra-large country.

Every midterm starts with an automatic gift of 25 seats to the party out of power. This midterm had two special gifts: inflation and street crime. While both were real, neither one can be resolved by the federal government. Crime is a massive undertaking and is a function of local interventions. Inflation is controlled by the Fed and is a world-related issue beyond our control unless we want to totally revamp our economy. The Republicans’ failure despite the gifts would normally embarrass the party, but it is shameless and lacking in humility.

The Democrats got gifts as well: Election denial and Jan. 6 should have disqualified every politician that supported them, erasing the 25-seat gift. But, the big gift was the SCOTUS’s abortion decision, not abortion itself but the principle that the government had the right to tell us what we could or couldn’t do with our bodies. Insanely invasive and disrespectful. (Forget about the fake right-to-life drivel.) Everyone freaked at the thought of what else the government will try to control next.

Yet, while the Democrats survived, they should have destroyed the Republicans, who were devoid of any policy ideas and mired in the idiocy of MAGA madness. They didn’t and couldn’t because of who they are: clearly better than the opposition in ideas and policies but as inept and incompetent as the competition.

The question for all of us is how do we survive and prosper as a country where mediocrity is the gold standard in our political world? We don’t. So we beat the crap out of each other to release frustrations when we essentially want the same things.

It’s time to impose term limits on almost everyone. (We will lose some good people but it will be worth it.) Take the ridiculous money out of the system by imposing spending and contribution limits. Rewrite those parts of the Constitution that need interpretation. Reinstate the Voting Rights Act.

NEIL HAUSIG


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