January 31, 2022
It is very frightening to be a senior living alone in East Hampton in the snowy winter. The very real threat of being trapped in your home by a mountain of plowed snow deposited in one’s driveway is terrifying in the truest sense of that word. No exit, no entrance.
Every year for the past 31 years I have called prior to a storm and asked the Highway Department not to plow me in. I’m not a prima donna asking for special treatment; I know this is a crapshoot, but I have the only driveway in my entire intersection, no guessing necessary.
For the most part, my requests to the town have been civilly heard and the plowmen have done a great job and have deposited snow on the road shoulders. Even last year at the height of the pandemic the plowmen deposited snow on the shoulders and not in my driveway.
This year, I was treated instead to an explanation of how snow plows “work.” Wow. What a change.
The Matterhorn remains at the top of my driveway.
Tale of Two Hamptons
January 31, 2022
I appreciated your poignant piece on the South Fork’s housing crisis in last week’s Star — a crisis, as you say, that “everybody’s talking about” and for which “no one seems to have found the right solution.” The firsthand accounts of the people you interviewed were heartbreaking. They were stories of the Hamptons, “so far from the only ones,” that most of us could relate to and probably fear could happen to us as well.
The section of The Star that included your op-ed piece ironically included the Classifieds. They graphically backed up the tale of the Hamptons you were presenting. A page and a half of employment opportunities were included — many were part-time and included jobs as a cashier, lifeguard, in food service, as a horse stable groomer, as drivers, in customer service, groundskeeping, retail sales, store clerks, as a custodian or handyperson, a service technician, etc. Immediately following the employment section was real estate for rent, which contained exactly one year-round house rental (for $4,950 a month), a November-to-May room rental, and a writer’s haven sanctuary for $1,500 in Springs. The back page of the same section was made up of a full-page ad for a $6.2 million house in East Hampton Village.
That tale, which most of us are too familiar with, is fostered in splashy reality television shows like “Selling the Hamptons,” which premiered on Discovery + this week. The title says it all. The international real estate agents on the program are about introducing viewers to the hulking mansions — and egos — that define the East End real estate market. As the show’s title sequence puts it: “ ‘Selling the Hamptons’ “ is about selling a magical place — beautiful people, beautiful cars, beautiful homes and really good celebrity sightings. People will do whatever they have to do to get a deal done.” As one of the developers warns the agents at an opening for a $21 million Southampton house: “If you can’t sell this house, you will all be replaced.”
Let’s start a dialogue among East End and South Fork community members so you and others will have some idea of what we say to the people you describe in your op-ed piece. Housing policy is being rediscovered in a big way around the country. Major elements of a “housing for all” agenda would include funding a Section 8 housing voucher program and investments in building and maintaining subsidized housing units. There would be an embrace of sweeping rent control measures in which annual rents would be capped at 1 to 3 percent of the consumer price index or by some fixed amount above the overall rate of price inflation. Landlords could apply for waivers if significant capital improvements are made, which will incentivize landlords to improve the conditions of their properties.
Most people are in situations where they’d be perfectly happy staying where they live and they’d like to see the neighborhood get nicer without paying considerably higher rent. The housing-for-all agenda would deliver on that and help stop the hemorrhaging of people who are the backbone and soul of our community — heartbreaking tales your paper reports on.
The alternative is the other tale of “Selling the Hamptons” rooted in an ultra-competitive world of greed, scandals, profit motives, market economics, and six-figure commissions. As one of the brokers on the first episode of the show freely admits: “I have big-dick energy — that’s just who I am — a self-styled hustler who wants to make money. . . . I’m going to make as much money as I humanly can. I like shiny things too.” Another agent and cast member, accustomed to the demands of the uberwealthy and growing up among real estate royalty, as she puts it on the show, admits, with embarrassment, that her developer father pleaded guilty to a $58 million Ponzi scheme and is now serving a six-year prison sentence.
We all need to start having that serious dialogue.
Turf Is Terrible
January 29, 2022
Don’t look down. I suppose it’s true: “out of sight, out of mind”! If we just ignore something, it’s not a problem. That’s what last week’s article “Aiming for a Little League Field Upgrade” suggests. The town plans to use artificial turf on the new fields. I’m sure it will be lovely. But there’s a big problem: Artificial turf is terrible for the environment.
There’s an environmentally essential ecosystem underground that keeps our soil healthy. It filters our water, provides habitat for a complex web of fungi, insects, and bacteria that support our above-ground habitats. It is essential for the life of trees, for absorbing stormwater, absorbing carbon, and feeding life higher on the food chain. Artificial turf smothers that ecosystem. It prevents rain from permeating the soil. It’s an artificial blanket that keeps leaf litter from providing nutrients to all that lives beneath it. Why would an environmentally conscious town use it?
Supposedly artificial turf is more convenient, if you believe the sales reps. But it too requires extensive maintenance to maintain its chem-green appearance and resilience, all of which require chemical treatments, and despite the claim that it is recyclable, good luck finding a landfill that will actually take it. Do we really need more micro-plastics and rubber particles pervading every space of our lives, because that’s what artificial turf gives us. It is environmentally unfriendly in every stage of its brief life.
And then there’s the question of its health consequences. That debate is alive and controversial. There is sufficient uncertainty about what we are breathing and absorbing when we churn up particulates from the artificial turf.
We tend to overwater and over-fertilize our grass turf lawns. But we don’t have to. Real grass playing fields needn’t be a maintenance burden, and there are studies that show they can be less expensive to maintain than artificial turf. As we watch the world spiral into climate and environmental disaster, do we really need to AstroTurf more and more of our green and breathing planet? I expect more from a town that has declared an environmental emergency.
“Man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.” — Rachel Carson
Invest in Real
January 30, 2022
To the Editor,
I write to express my concern about the choice by East Hampton Town to use artificial turf as the surface for the new playing fields on Stephen Hand’s Road. Of course we are all delighted that the town will now have a new medical facility and newly upgraded sports facilities, but plastic turf should not have a place in a community that is committed to the environment.
Installing artificial turf requires removal of precious soil, installation of a layer of unsustainable plastic material, maintenance with disinfectants that further damage the soil and may leach into the water table, and if that’s not enough, it off-gasses, and can cause sports injuries. The plastic grass material (a lot of it) has to be replaced regularly (generally more than the sales rep will admit), and, although touted as recyclable, there does not appear to be a single recycling facility in the United States that will take it. So where does it end up — ocean plastic?
Instead, why not consider properly installed and managed real organic grass? Most of the time, the argument for plastic turf is made against playing fields that are worn out, neglected, compacted, and dusty or muddy. This is not necessary; a well-maintained field of real grass is the best playing surface and is not more expensive to install or maintain.
Why not invest in real? Real soil, real seed, and the smell of real grass. Add maintenance with electric mowers, and East Hampton Town will be leading the way in community health and environmental commitment. Why not make this a full-circle healthy choice to go with our new medical facility?
Perfect Earth Project promotes toxic-free landscape practices. We offer to collaborate with and assist the town to prepare an installation and management plan for a fully organic, successful, and real grass field. Please don’t go plastic.
EDWINA VON GAL
Perfect Earth Project
Wrong for East Hampton
January 31, 2022
The town board’s recent announcement that it intends to install “state of the art” artificial turf ball fields at the Child Development Center of the Hamptons site is the wrong choice for East Hampton.
The location is within a water recharge overlay district, where the land filters and stores large quantities of rainwater which supply our drinking water.
Artificial turf is a fossil fuel product that uses shredded automobile tires. It is manufactured using per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, the chemicals that contaminated the Wainscott aquifer. It is not recyclable; it has caused an illegal dumping crisis across the U.S. because it wears out and is very expensive to landfill.
The town’s “Climate Emergency Declaration” acknowledged an urgent need for sustainable environmental practices. It also promised that climate mitigation and the elimination of greenhouse emissions would guide all planning decisions. Using artificial turf fulfills neither commitment.
Native grasses and real turf best filter and protect the aquifer. Little League games bring our community together and are an important part of our small-town identity. Kids need the experience of grass-stained pants and dirt fields, even if games get rained out. Real ball fields are best for our drinking water supply, best for our community, and best for our kids.
Mr. Bragman is a former East Hampton Town councilman. Ed.
Compare the Runoff
January 31, 2022
Good news: Little League ball fields are going to be relocated and refurbished. Bad news: The Star reported that East Hampton Town Councilman David Lys and Town Trustee Tim Garneau, chairman of the relocation committee, are planning to use synthetic field turf at the new site — but artificial turf is a bad investment for our kids and our environment at a time when we should be thinking of ways to reduce, not increase, the amount of plastic and other synthetic materials leaching into our drinking water, agricultural land, and waterways.
The most popular components of artificial turf are crumb rubber (made from recycled tires), T.P.E. (acrylic) coated sand, and zeolite (alumino-silicate mineral). Some incorporate processed organic materials like cork or coconut husks. Compare the runoff of any of these manufactured products to the other ball field option: natural grass.
There are mountains of ads and websites for manufactured turf companies on the internet, but we should be scrolling past the alluring promises of antimicrobial action and enhanced permeability, green “look” and “natural feel,” and instead invite environmental experts to assess the synthetics’ long-term impacts. Scientific studies in Denmark and Sweden and class-action lawsuits in California, among others, are raising questions about microplastic pollution and this turf’s durability. AstroTurf and its offshoots may appear more “modern” and low maintenance, but we need to carefully consider the future as we cover more and more of our open land.
January 31, 2022
I hope this emails finds you well.
For the record, I wanted to express my family’s opposition to the installation of any artificial turf fields on the East End.
As you may know, I am a Sag Harbor resident and the founder of the Change.org petition asking ecommerce shippers for plastic-free options. The petition has gained over 750,000 signatures. Data on the list of supporters revealed that a large majority are moms who are fed up with the burden of managing plastic waste in our households and neighborhoods that we could avoid with better options.
The burden of disposing of an artificial-turf field, let alone the health implications of the turf itself on our children and fragile ecosystem, are in direct opposition to our efforts to reduce the waste we produce as parents. We cannot afford to take this slip backwards and put giant plastic coverings on the grounds our children play on — especially in an oceanside community where the reasons why are so obvious.
If turf becomes a serious reality in our local community, I will take the discussion to the petition list for national comment and consider a spin-off petition leveraging the supporters we have already gained. We are smarter than this, and I trust our nature-loving community of highly-educated parents will do the right thing.
Thanks for all you do at the East Hampton Star,
Just Plain Wrong
January 31, 2022
This is not my regular beat, but, even from the perspective of climate change, anything constructed from plastic that could be structured with organic, sustainable materials is just plain wrong. Plastic turf is an environmental and health hazard — to the kids, to the aquifer, to climate, not to mention that it cannot be recycled, needs entirely replacing every 8 to 10 years and, in the meantime, has utterly degraded the soil that lies beneath it.
Sag Harbor parents successfully blocked a push for plastic turf at Pierson and I hope East Hampton does the same. Let’s get Perfect Earth to volunteer its services (I know Edwina von Gal is up for this) and create an organic (real!) turf grass installation and maintenance program that our kids can play on. No plastics, no pesticides, no chemicals. Enough. Thanks for listening, yet again.
With gratitude, David. The Star has long been my East Hampton paper of record.
Risk to Survival
January 21, 2022
Tribal politics and self-serving ambitions are ruining our government’s ability to function. This same mind-set seems to be affecting business, health care, and now our daily social interactions. Blunt arrogance, including falsehoods and rumors, stands in the way of achieving success. Handling the Covid-19 pandemic, implementing critical public sector projects, and many other vital social needs are stuck in limbo, and they go unmet — to our collective disadvantage.
Tribalism seems rampant. I have noticed that some of the “regular” contributions to the Letters section of The East Hampton Star include dubious and prejudicial statements posing as facts, suggesting we have some of that poisonous thinking here in the Hamptons as well. The damage this continued obstruction and blindly taking sides is doing should be obvious, and we must return to a more cooperative behavior to avoid disaster.
Our cherished art-garden resource, the LongHouse Reserve, experienced a terrible loss when its founder, Jack Lenor Larsen, died in December 2020. Jack had carefully planned the succession of his beloved gift to the public over many years, and he spoke candidly and often with his major supporters to keep everyone current on his plans.
It was a surprise to learn some unfortunate and unexplained deathbed changes suddenly took place days before Jack’s passing that significantly altered the strength and direction of his estate. Suddenly a new board was created, and assets were shifted — then, and most uncalled for, the long established and effective director was abruptly terminated. No disclosure of any of this was made to staff or donors until it was a fait accompli.
In the world of nonprofit organizations one can suggest a donor base is somewhat equivalent to the stockholders in a for-profit enterprise. Both have important vested interests that should be respected. Bullying and lack of full disclosure are not appropriate for any board of trustees. It leads to lack of trust and withdrawal of investments.
At least some minimal advice and discussion with the significant supporters of LongHouse would have been expected to maintain continuity, collegiality, respect, and good order. Such was not the case at LongHouse by the new board. It’s no wonder people see this as a coup of some sort, with a serious risk to the survival of the enterprise.
Why would the perpetrators of such a significant but misguided rearrangement resist any direct interaction with its most-significant donor base? Hiding behind a spokesperson or a public relations firm is not sufficient. There must be open, honest, and direct communication.
This stubborn unwillingness to communicate and partner directly with the donor community resembles the current cabal of Washington politicians who continue to cling to their own lies and misinformation for their own perceived benefit. It is a slow-moving disaster that needs not to happen. Facts are facts, but they refuse to acknowledge them. Their ship is going down, just like the Titanic, but they fail to take appropriate action.
Back to LongHouse, it has hit its version of an iceberg and nobody wants to see it go down — especially not the donors who have worked with Jack Lenor Larsen and Matko Tomicic over many decades to bring it to its present glory.
Time is of the essence, and survival is within reach, only if the current board will let in the light of day and work directly with the donors. Spring is almost here, and we must save this wonderful institution from this unfortunate situation.
One Genius’s Vision
January 30, 2022
To the Editor:
LongHouse Reserve, a foundation of sculptures, gardens, and collections on 16 acres in East Hampton, was the creation, and former residence, of Jack Lenor Larsen, internationally acclaimed fiber artist, textile designer, collector, author, gardener, and landscape designer. Mr. Larsen chose Matko Tomicic as executive director and for over 25 years they worked together, opening LongHouse to the public, with important sculpture and gardens, programs for all ages, increased membership and visitors, volunteers, and donors.
Prior to his death, Mr. Larsen and Matko Tomicic established plans for transition while preserving Mr. Larsen’s vision, for instance, with the Larsen residence to become an educational museum. Jack Lenor Larsen trusted and expected Matko Tomicic to keep and expand his legacy, as Mr. Tomicic has the international and national contacts to carry out a smooth, successful transition.
The current board, Caroline Baumann, Dianne Benson, Sherri Donghia, Richard Dranitzke, Fitzhugh Karol, Dr. Derick T. George, Nina Gillman, Ayse Kenmore, Mark Levine, Alexandra Munroe, Deborah Nevins, Peter H. Olsen, Suzanne Slesin, Jim Zajac, abruptly dismissed Matko Tomicic after over 25 years, and less than one year after Jack Larsen’s death. The board wanted to proceed in a different direction and replaced Mr. Tomicic with a current interim director unconnected to Jack Lenor Larsen or LongHouse Reserve.
What is this “new direction”? Why reject Jack Larsen’s vision for LongHouse and his executive director, Matko Tomicic? What can we expect? The visiting public and LongHouse’s neighbors have long enjoyed the quiet serenity of the sculpture gardens, so surely not an entertainment facility or amusement park on these 16 acres. Neighboring property owners, town, and other government officials and civic organizations should all be concerned about how a “new direction” might impact the community.
News of the current board’s actions has prompted scores of artists, volunteers, donors, and visitors to withdraw support, amidst some governmental investigation. The current board now has retained lawyers, and public relations consultants. If you donate to LongHouse Reserve, does your donation pay for the lawyers and P.R. consultants? Does your donation pay to support the LongHouse Reserve you know, or an undefined “new direction”? If you give a donation for a specified purpose, are you assured it will be used for that purpose only?
The incredible power and beauty of LongHouse reflects one genius’s vision to be enjoyed by us all, and Jack Larsen chose Matko Tomicic to guide his beloved LongHouse Reserve. The current board’s actions jeopardize LongHouse Reserve’s continuity and that vision.
Carry Out His Wishes
East Hampton Village
January 31, 2022
I’m writing not as a trustee of LongHouse Reserve named on the full-page ad in last week’s Star, but as a private individual and a close personal friend of Jack Lenor Larsen for many years. I loved Jack and know that he loved me. We had a special bond from our first meetings in the 1980s to our final kiss on his deathbed.
I owe our friendship faithful testimony and, unlike others, am sharing only what I was told by Jack, heard from Jack’s lips, what I witnessed in person, or read in legal documents he showed me, firsthand: confidential conversations and communications — not second-hand misinformation.
Fact: Just as he’d promised for many years, Jack did leave the LongHouse residence, the 16 acres on which it sits, the art, and the bulk of his estate including furniture and his collections to his beloved East Hampton community and the LongHouse board of trustees.
Fact: Jack wanted to provide for Peter Olsen, his life companion continuously for 34 years (and a founding trustee) and wished that he had done so earlier. He regretted that earlier versions were inadequate recognition of his domestic partner’s important contributions to his well-being and happiness.
Fact: Peter has been given lifetime use of the New York City apartment he and Jack shared, as well as a modest living allowance. Upon Peter’s death, the apartment will revert to LongHouse Reserve.
Fact: Jack wanted to change his will several years before his death. Finally, in the face of unwelcome opposition to his desire to provide some lifetime support to Peter, and months before he passed, Jack fired his lawyers and hired new ones to carry out his wishes.
Fact: Jack was involved in every aspect of the strategic plan and thrilled with its emphasis on growth, change, and professional management.
Fact: Jack was his usual brilliant, articulate, and creative self until the very end. During my more than five long visits to Stony Brook Hospital, he was commenting on my clothing, current events, helping me plan a virtual benefit, and, to the point, deriding those who didn’t approve of his testamentary decisions. I heard him order a senior staff member to stop bringing up the subject or leave.
As a dear friend of Jack Lenor Larsen, I’m saddened by the inaccurate distortion of the facts by the signers of the aforementioned letter as they do not respect and honor Jack’s wishes nor the reputation of LongHouse.
AYSE MANYAS KENMORE
Town Failed Us
January 31, 2022
It’s the start of 2022. Orsted and Eversource have received many approvals to move forward with the South Fork Wind Farm. The East Hampton Town Board and Trustees hired attorneys and negotiated a large host community agreement package totaling some $29 million.
Orsted, a for-profit company 50.01 percent owned by the Danish government is receiving American federal subsidies for offshore wind paid for by taxpayers. Built into the cost of the project is the money to pay the $29 million to the Town of East Hampton to be paid by the ratepayers of Suffolk County, instead of providing power at a lower cost. The town will receive $29 million to spend as it wishes, paid for by ratepayers, who had no say. If the town needed $29 million, a simple tax increase to all residents would have cost considerably less than the $1.6 billion this project is costing. The Town of East Hampton should have looked out for the interests of residents and businesses and not for the host community agreement.
The town should have commissioned a thorough, independent review of the project, hiring experts to review the project and its impact on the communities of East Hampton. Funds were available from the developers for it and yet the town did not take advantage of it. They did a “great job” paying attorneys to draft the host community agreement but did not ensure that the developer of South Fork Wind would do as they stated they would.
The town has failed us, enriching PSEG and LIPA, along with a foreign government and Orsted-Eversource. Necessary upgrades to our existing power grid would have cost less. This project will allow the power companies to increase consumer rates without the New York Public Service Commission approval. PSEG can purchase from the grid all the “green” energy it wants at a much lower price without the invasion and impact to the East End or the marine environment. PSEG and LIPA are responsible for transmitting that power and have neglected to keep their grid able to do so. They will need to obtain approval for rate increases to cover the expense of upgrades to the grid. This will need to be done even with the construction of South Fork Wind (which will tend to provide less or no energy at the very peak time of demand).
Both Orsted-Eversource and the town have received presentations from Simon Kinsella, well documented with maps showing the location of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances contamination in Wainscott and warning of the danger PFAS presents to the residents of Wainscott. Mr. Kinsella on his own was able to obtain the information. Why hasn’t the town and/or Orsted-Eversource? The town and Orsted-Eversource clearly do not care, pushing forward to negotiate the host community agreement and needed easements.
It will be interesting to see how the town deals with the issues that will inevitably arise during construction and over the 20-year life of the project. Maybe there won’t be any? This might just be the first offshore wind project that Orsted gets right. After all, this project is different and previous issues won’t happen this time they say. The developer is not even guaranteeing any minimum amount of power to be delivered from this project, just referring to expected outputs. How did things go with Block Island Wind?
There is little up-to-date information available about the operation of Block Island Wind. Is it currently operational? How many turbines are producing power, and how much? This four-year-old project has had ongoing blade and major cable issues. Our northeast coastline has a long history of wild, raging storms and yet the federal government thinks it is a good location for massive wind turbine arrays, right in the path of the endangered right whale they want to protect, and on top of a major breeding seabed? The irony is unbelievable. Perhaps the federal and local governments and agencies have adopted the Orsted-Eversource style of saying one thing and doing another. This is wrong and needs to stop now! Orsted’s Block Island Wind went operational in 2016. It’s now 2022, and four out of the five turbines have been idled since last spring and at least one cable is still not repaired that I am aware of. How much money are Block Island residents paying for this every month? Why would anyone expect things to be different with this company? They already have a history of failures just as the predecessor of this company has. I see no protection for Suffolk County ratepayers in my reading.
We all want to help our planet, reduce pollution and contaminants. We need to do this from a holistic approach though rather than clearing large tracts of land to put in solar arrays, for example. Trees, grass, flowers, crops, even weeds clear CO2. What about the endangered right whale? Fewer than 400 exist worldwide and they feed and breed in areas where they plan to construct the offshore wind turbines. Our federal government paid for a study that found squid die from the low-frequency noise, which pile drivers make in abundance, as well as the harmonics from the running of the wind turbines.
Oceans are the most critical aspect to life on our planet, after the sun. Sea currents cool and heat our climates. They absorb CO2 and produce oxygen. Offshore wind turbine arrays raise ocean temperatures, not to mention the equipment used to build and maintain them. Additionally, turning blades by wind power reduces the wind to cool our land masses. Oceans are a vital contributor to our food supply and the food chain fed by it. They must be protected and not damaged more by offshore wind.
Bonnie Brady and Meghan Lapp recently appeared on a discussion panel in Texas regarding offshore wind power. It is a must-see about the realities of the environmental impact that offshore wind can and will have. Do a Google search for Texas Zoom meeting, “Bonnie Brady, offshore wind,” and please watch it. In the article you will find a link, “Hosted by the Texas Policy Foundation,” which is so worth watching. Texas has now brought a legal suit in federal court to stop them. Massachusetts is suing in federal court, and I believe New Jersey has as well — in order to stop Orsted.
We do not have to have this project forced upon us. There are better alternatives for us that will provide green energy at less cost and still meet our town’s objective of carbon neutrality. Why is our town not considering them? Why is our town not doing everything it can to not only obtain non-CO2 energy but also to protect our fishing industry and our communities’ environments?
This project will impact our fishing industry severely, not just from the construction, but for eternity. Fishing nets, being dragged two miles or more behind the boats, will find it difficult to navigate through these offshore turbine arrays. The very installation of the turbines and cable landing will damage not only fish breeding grounds, but will also impact all sea mammals, fish, and creatures that live in that habitat, not to mention the impact to the right whale, now numbering fewer than 400 worldwide. How can any of us, let alone our town, endorse this?
Read what other countries throughout Europe have experienced and what impacts they have had. Orsted and other foreign companies (mostly owned by foreign governments) are now looking to the West to obtain the funds they need to pay for the expenses caused by offshore wind. What about Block Island Wind? I hear that Vineyard Wind is now most likely headed to the Supreme Court.
Why should Suffolk County ratepayers pay 22 cents per kilowatt hour from South Fork Wind, when PSEG-LIPA will be charging 8 cents per kilowatt hour from Sunrise Wind? They can and should simply purchase the power at the lowest cost for their ratepayers. Something is rotten in Denmark and now it’s rotten in East Hampton. Contrary to the lie that Orsted-Eversource told us, they have now stated in a Sunrise Wind informational meeting that Sunrise will be generating alternating current, as will South Fork Wind, only Sunrise Wind will deliver the A.C. to an offshore station, convert it to direct current, then transmit it ashore. Both projects are adjacent, both cables could be converted at the offshore station and sent ashore at the same location at a substantial savings to ratepayers.
Environmentalists think they are doing good by endorsing offshore wind. It is green energy, they have been assured, but they really should be looking out for our wildlife, sea, and shore environments. They really should be digging into just how green it really isn’t. Protect our endangered species, our environment. Don’t destroy it with the construction of invasive offshore wind projects.
Every resident, especially voters and not just those of us from the East End, needs to review what is happening for themselves. Our government’s actions, paying foreign countries with billions of our tax dollars, will result in potentially devastating losses to our food chain and to our fishing industry. All this for what they believe is “green” energy that will increase our climate temperatures, not decrease them. Politicians are being heavily lobbied by foreign government representatives to approve and subsidize offshore wind for their own profit and benefit, not ours. The marketing campaigns and dollars spent by them are enormous, yet they will reap profits far more than the expense if they are successful.
Now is the time for every resident in our communities to tell our elected officials to do better and do what is right. Experts in environmentalism, science, the public along with energy experts, should oversee these decisions, they should not be driven by political positions. We need to speak up to the elected officials who represent us and let them know what we expect and to ensure the protection of our communities, fishing industry, marine life, and wildlife, please.
A Word for This
January 31, 2022
In the month leading up to the 1980 presidential election, Mr. Reagan (the G.O.P. candidate) was fearful of losing women’s votes (and possibly the election) because of his discriminatory hiring and nominating practices during his eight years as the governor of California. No women were chosen for key positions in the Reagan government, or to the higher courts, in California.
So, in the run-up to the 1980 election, Mr. Reagan made the commitment to nominate the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court. This promise ultimately gave us Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who distinguished herself in her career on the court. In the aftermath of Mr. Reagan’s promise, there was no outcry by Republicans criticizing his promise as being the product of partisanship or identity politics. From what I have seen in commentary at the time, his promise had widespread support among the G.O.P. — which actually had a platform plank supporting ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (this plank was exorcized after Mr. Reagan’s election as president).
Forty-plus years later, President Biden promised during his campaign that he would nominate the first Black woman to serve on the court, and reiterated that promise in his comments today recognizing the extraordinary career of Stephen Breyer. The G.O.P. response — instant and furious backlash. Accusations of divisiveness, partisan politics, and denouncing the promise as born from affirmative action met President Biden’s promise.
What is the difference between the regaled Reagan promise to nominate the first woman to the Supreme Court and the Biden promise to nominate the first Black woman to the Supreme Court? One simple word that curdles the blood of Republicans: Black. It’s not opposition to President Biden’s promise to nominate a woman; it’s his promise to nominate a Black woman that has rankled Republicans. It’s a reflex reaction for Republicans. Every time it is given the chance, the G.O.P. lashes out against inclusive actions by Democrats. And each time it has the chance, it decries efforts to recognize or to benefit non-white Americans. There’s a word for this too: racism.
January 30, 2022
The Wall Street Journal Article of Jan. 25 by Joseph Epstein is titled “What Are Republicans For?” It is a response to Biden’s earlier-in-the-week question. The article articulates conservative philosophy from de Tocqueville and Hayek and makes the case for small government, etc., and then changes course to embrace the conservative philosopher Roger Scruton, who died in 2020.
Scruton espouses all of the conservative positions on small government and free markets but talks about the need for government to maintain order in order to protect freedoms. Order also to protect the people from liberal abuse of government that leads to a welfare state and increasing dependence on government rather than on oneself to survive. Unfortunately, he proposes no solutions to the abuses of unfettered capitalism, which have rendered large pieces of the population dysfunctional and incapable of competing.
Scruton’s contribution to our current dilemma is the belief that conservatives (Republicans), should not be the enemy of government through relentless negativity but should “map out the limits of government” and define what role government should play in our society. Republicans should advocate for better government, one that is both necessary and protects the freedom of the citizens.
The problem for today’s Republican Party is that it is disconnected from the core beliefs of Scruton and co. It is focused on a power grab that protects no one’s freedoms. It believes that government that doesn’t support its beliefs needs to be obstructed and torn apart. It’s a philosophy of abuse and terror that creates disorder rather than its stated purpose which is the opposite. Scruton believed in achieving good government. Little wonder that he is rarely in the conversation.
Biden supported Clarence Thomas as a choice for the Supreme Court. Whatever his faults, and there have always been many, he believes in our form of government. Scruton’s response is about a party that no longer exists. It should be required reading for everyone, Democrats included.