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Letters to the Editor for March 24, 2022

Thu, 03/24/2022 - 12:01

Honor and Privilege
East Hampton Village
March 21, 2022

To the Editor,

After much contemplation, I have decided I will not seek another term as village trustee. It has been a great honor and privilege to serve the Village of East Hampton over the last 22 years as a member of the planning board, design review board, and, ultimately, as a village trustee. This village is an extraordinary place and it gives me great satisfaction to have been able to make a contribution.

I am pleased to have brought forth many improvements to our infrastructure, fleet and equipment, supported renewable energy and water-quality initiatives, and the acquisition of many acres of open space.

I also initiated many beautification and refurbishment projects in the downtown area, including the flower boxes in the village and the Herrick Park improvement plan (which we are starting soon with a renovation to the “privy” and reconstruction of the athletic fields and courts). Each and every decision was made with the best interests of village residents and our East Hampton community at large.

I hope the future stewards of the village will also be mindful of the most important tenets of local governance, while protecting public safety, safeguarding the quality of life for our residents, preserving the character of our residential neighborhoods, maintaining a fiscally responsible budget, and following municipal law.

I will continue to work with a number of local civic groups that serve our community, and, of course, I look forward to spending more long overdue time with my family, to whom I am especially grateful for their support over the years.

I would also like to thank all of the village employees and volunteers with whom I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working during my time as trustee. Their commitment and dedication to the village is unparalleled. And, of course, I thank the residents of the village for their confidence in me.

ROSE BROWN

 

Finish the Job
East Hampton Village
March 21, 2022

To the Editor:

Several years ago the Village of East Hampton curbed Newtown Lane from the railroad station up to Race Lane. Both sides of the street are clean and neat because of the curb. But there is no curb after that for a short distance; those sides are messy, dirty, muddy, dug up by parked cars, etc.

Towards the curve to the high school, an old curb is in existence. The village should finish the job it started and curb those remaining sides in between so that the whole street from the railroad station to the high school is curbed and clean and neat.

JANE ADELMAN

 

Sloppy Management
East Hampton Village
March 20, 2022

Dear David,

The incompetence of the village’s mayor, board, and administrator was on full display at the Friday trustees meeting. One item on the agenda was a $15,000 expenditure for plantings around the Lamb parking lot, a.k.a. Telsa Stadium. To quote the mayor, the planting will be covering up “those ugly Tesla pumps.”

Jerry had no idea what the village was getting when he signed the contract? Not only did he acknowledge the aesthetics, but he also announced the village planned to reconfigure the lot, eliminating a curb-cut. If this was only decided earlier and incorporated within the Tesla site plan, oh my.

Don’t forget the village paid almost $1 million four years ago but then signed it over to Tesla at no cost. Why isn’t Tesla paying for the landscaping? Sloppy, fool heartedly, fiscal mismanagement? A resounding “Yes!”

DAVID GANZ

 

Keep Up the Buzz
East Hampton Village
March 17, 20222

Dear Editor,

Well, here we go again. First it’s a beer scrub on Toilsome, now a liquor license at Main Beach. Our mayor loves alcohol.

The distillery on Toilsome was a terrible idea, which is probably still alive and well, though out of the limelight for now. But fear not, you lovers of the hops! If the Village of East Hampton has its way, we will be able to keep up the nice buzz we started at home when we go to Main Beach.

Pretty soon we can look forward to calling over a guy at Wiborg’s with a cart full of cold beer.

C’mon folks, We have gotten along for 100 years with sneaking our drinks on the beach in coolers with the iced tea and lemonade.

Respectfully submitted.

East Hampton’s own curmudgeon,

TOM FRIEDMAN

 

Essential Source
East Hampton Village
March 21, 2022

Dear David,

It was shocking to hear the mayor at a broadcast village board meeting so brazenly criticize a longstanding, local news institution, The East Hampton Star. He then went on to personally insult its editor, Mr. Rattray. Does he remember the First Amendment?

The East Hampton Star, a privately owned newspaper held by one family since 1935, has been an essential source of information for the East Hampton Village and town residents. The paper reports on development issues, historic preservation, civic activities and engagement, entertainment, and the arts.

People who hold public office should conduct themselves civilly with respect and with some comportment — or seek another profession.

MAUREEN BUEDORN

 

Show Me the Portal
East Hampton Village
March 21, 2022

To the Editor,

The putative leader of our village, in another of his kangaroo court-style village board meetings, lashed out at the press this week. Intimidation in the name of inhibiting freedom of speech? Wow! Specifically, he attacked the editor of The East Hampton Star, David Rattray, saying, among other slurs, something to the effect of “David Rattray is living in another time!”

Well, if Mr. Rattray is living in another time, show me to the portal of that time machine, because that’s the Village of East Hampton I want to live in! I share Mr. Rattray's vision and will stand shoulder to shoulder with him any day. I support a free press and its tireless search for the truth.

Respectfully,

RALPH DAYTON

 

Gates Not the Cure
East Hampton Village
March 18,2022

To the Editor:

Keep the “riff-raff” off of our property!” — that’s what a few of the Village Towne House owners (where Mayor Jerry Larsen has a unit) would like to do if or when the unwanted 17 Toilsome Lane beer hall is built across the street.

A rumor has been confirmed that some owners have suggested that their homeowners association consider the possibility of putting in electric driveway gates to protect themselves from the future patrons of the proposed brewery, (beer hall, bar, tavern) taking shortcuts through their complex to avoid inevitable traffic problems, or for access to additional parking.

Personally I think it is a bad idea to put in gates, since the Village Towne House’s driveways will most likely be needed for rapid access by ambulances and fire trucks and other emergency vehicles, and since it is almost a given that there will be numerous future accidents on Toilsome and Gingerbread Lanes after the beer hall is open for business. The fastest way to get to the scene would most likely be the use of the Village Towne House’s driveways.

There will be accidents, since the entrance to the unlawful tavern is next to a very dangerous blind curve, and late at night the darkened streets, without sidewalks, will be filled with inebriated patrons walking on the road to retrieve their cars.

Since Jerry Larsen is mayor of our village and an owner of a townhouse, I am urging him to gently suggest to his fellow homeowners not to put in those gates but instead to use their energy in fighting Mill Hill Reality, the property owner of 17 Toilsome Lane. Driveway gates are not the cure, defeating Mill Hill Reality is.

The beer hall is an accident waiting to happen and must be stopped by the responsible citizens of the Village and the Town of East Hampton, as well as it’s elected officials!

MICHAEL AARON

 

What Precise Problems?
East Hampton Village
March 18, 2022

To the Editor:

Having once designed scenery and lighting for a production in the John Drew Theater in Guild Hall and having heard solo singers, seen other plays and dance events, and a stirring and unforgettable Springs School sixth grade opera (I believe their last in that venue), can I just ask what precise problems the planned renovation is supposed to address? It is a marvelous theater with fine acoustics, perfectly adequate technical resources, excellent sightlines, comfortable audience seating, and has a wonderful sense of community and its own and the community’s history — and, furthermore, it is beautiful and charming.

The entire facility has served the village and town superbly for many, many decades, and it has been well kept up. I read of its proposed renovations with nothing but dismay. If they go ahead as planned, I’m certain I will never enter the building again, especially having seen a few renderings of what is proposed.

As for the various contretemps concerning the LongHouse Reserve, I recall in your pages some time ago either a member of the board or a trustee referred to the gardens there as “product” Product? Really?

Cordially,

FRED KOLO

 

Tangible Connection
East Hampton
March 14, 2022

To the Editor,

The Brooks-Park property, located in a beautiful wooded setting in Springs, was landmarked as historic when it was disclosed to be the site of the home and studios of two artists, James Brooks and Charlotte Park. Together with the historic designation, the town board also committed $850,000 for preservation.

The couple were part of the groundbreaking group of Abstract Expressionists who escaped city life, finding inspiration on the East End. Brooks and Park lived simply and created their work in a rustic setting. The most significant building is the Brooks studio. It is a tiny, 1,300-square-foot structure, constructed from the most basic materials. Its unique saw-tooth roof was designed to best capture the light.

Despite neglect, the studio is intact and its shape and silhouette provide a tangible connection to our historic past. It is eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. Officials from the National Trust are keenly interested in its preservation.

Other sources of private funding have appeared at the town board and spoken publicly in support of preservation. In August 2020, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. advised that demolition would violate the stated policies for the community preservation fund-funded purchase. He quoted our own town code mandate to “protect, enhance, and preserve landmarks.” For years the site languished under town board control. Now, the supervisor is setting the stage for demolition, warning that things “don’t look good” for preservation, despite numerous repeated statements in favor of preservation by all town board members.

Restoration of the tiny, historic Brooks studio can be readily accomplished. Its basic materials are still available. Even if every part of the structure were replaced, its unique shape and site would breathe life and meaning into the landscape. A simple management plan would suffice; the restored studio could be filled with information about the couple’s art and their life together in Springs.

The cost of opening the building on summer weekends would be negligible. Projected costs in the millions are misleading. Only the studio requires historic restoration. The other buildings on site can be renovated over time. A group stands ready now to act as stewards of the property. The town board needs to remedy its own record of neglect and honor its commitment for historic preservation. The continued presence of these renowned artists’ studio will stand for generations as a symbol and reminder of our historic past. That is a priceless gift and well worth the investment.

JEFF BRAGMAN

 

Has Not Been Enough
Amagansett
March 17, 2022

Dear David,

As a resident of Amagansett for almost 40 years, I have watched the development of this hamlet and the rest of East Hampton with a combination of admiration and dismay: admiration for the way in which we have managed to hold back the disaster of unlimited development and preserve at least some of the spirit of this town in the face of extraordinary economic pressures, and dismay at the fact that this has not been enough, and that with each passing year we become less a rural town by the sea and more a sprawling, upscale suburb. East Hampton is not a museum and should not be frozen in time, but neither is it Levittown-by-the-Sea, which is what it is increasingly coming to resemble.

Despite the tools that we have at our disposal, such as the magnificent asset of the community preservation fund and generally rigorous zoning, we are still approving more and more subdivisions, including the one now rising on Handy Lane in Amagansett, where eight large houses, each with a pool and pool house, are being erected on roughly half-acre lots (some are even smaller). Most of these houses are banal knockoffs of the Shingle Style, the sort of tired designs that developers have been churning out for a couple of decades now. But subdivisions usually offer at least a little breathing space between houses. In this case the town’s building department seems to have approved a plan in which the lots are so small that these McMansion wannabees are set one beside the other, jostling so tightly that in some cases the only place a driveway can fit is across the front lawn.

These tiny lots are a holdover from a subdivision made long ago, intended for a different era in which houses were small, not large. It remained an undeveloped wood until recently, and its small lots would not be permitted today. What, then, is the justification for allowing this land, envisioned for tiny cottages, to be filled with the oversize houses of today? If this development is completed as planned, along its western flank there will be five swimming pools, one tightly beside the other, all in a row, with five little pool houses shoehorned in beside them. Three more swimming pools are across the street, which is a tight cul-de-sac. By what environmental standard does it make sense to allow eight swimming pools on a little more than four acres? And aerial drone photography has shown that the developer, Salty Development, has cleared beyond allowable clearing limits; one hopes that the town’s eagerness for additional tax revenue will not prevent it from enforcing clearing rules and insisting on full revegetation and proper landscaping.

We claim to be a town that believes in sustainability, in controlled and managed growth, and in preserving our most precious resource, land. When we allow our land to be turned into one suburban subdivision after another, and we consider small, undeveloped lots from another era to be suitable parcels for today’s oversize houses selling in the mid-seven figures, something has gone awry. A project like Handy Lane does nothing to address East Hampton’s serious and genuine need for affordable housing. It is just a way for a developer to make a fast profit at the expense of the quality of our environment and the integrity of our planning process, damaging East Hampton’s heritage as a beautiful town in which nature and architecture are in balance.

Sincerely,

PAUL GOLDBERGER

 

Become the Norm
Amagansett
March 20, 2022

To the Editor:

In 1873 the trustees entered into an agreement with the Brick Yard Kiln. They agreed on areas that could be used as access here on Napeague. One of those areas was the two deer paths that went down an area that is in present day Bay View Avenue. One went straight to the water, the other zigzagged. The trustees erected a barricade at the top of the hill. It was called the 200-year barricade, meaning it should stand for 200 years and no one should be unwise enough to build where the water could rise.

This month is the 50th anniversary of when it was taken down, the paths went away, a quasi-road was formed, and people began to build in storm surge Zone 1. Present day, as everything has ramped up in building, it’s amazing as a society we continue to build where everyone needed to evacuate this past August, willfully deforest areas adjacent to Napeague State Park, displace the animal population, destroy wetlands, destroy the beach, block a road and emergency access, and look at no permits at properties within 300 feet of wetlands.

Those permits may have been obtained, but as per usual, we have never seen a permit at any property to date. I wonder if the town and Department of Environmental Conservation will ever collect the $250-a-day fine for not posting the properties? It’s been years for some now.

Workers bring an oversized load of modular home pieces over the Cranberry Hole five-ton bridge multiply times. For context, the semi-truck, itself, would weigh approximately eight tons, now add on the trailer and the home, potentially equaling 40 tons. Seemingly this lawlessness has become the norm as we just had a dump truck make a delivery at 2:15 Saturday morning. 

We’ve heard one local attorney say recently, “It’s not like they built the home stupidly.” On the contrary, if your client did any research at all they would know the area. New York is a buyer-beware state. Now you are aware, as it’s most unfortunate for all the second-home owners with the two-story houses and pools. The entirety of storm surge Zone 1 was under water during Sandy.

No need to worry, affordable housing isn’t the crisis, I suppose. The town board cares about Muff and Biff with the second homes more each and every day. You get what you vote for. Still watching, still here.

JOE KARPINSKI

 

Onslaught of Destruction
East Hampton
March 21, 2022

Dear Mr. Editor,

Hope all is well at The Star. I managed to get away in early March for a little rest. I was astonished to come home to the total destruction on the east side of Three Mile Harbor Road. I stared in awe at was once a beautiful forest before I left and now reduced to a barren wasteland. I pondered as to how, and then it came to me: It could only be the work of a army, Van Scoyoc’s Army.

I have to presume that during a Democratic Zoom meeting with people sitting around in their underwear, they passed the condemnation of the land for affordable housing. Have you seen the devastation? If not, you should take a look.

What happened to the do-gooders, tree huggers, animal rights people, and the environmentalists? How you can justify the future well-being of many over the current needs of a few is beyond me. But then again, I’m not a politician looking for votes; I’m just a regular guy who feeds the birds, likes to clam and paddle board in Three Mile Harbor. I was hoping for my grandkids to do the same, but that is now doubtful under the current policy of clear and build.

At some point in time the government, whether local or national, will have to realize you can’t house, feed, educate, and care for the world with the cost for that on the back of the working man.

As you may or may not know, I travel to Quogue during the week; I get to experience the traffic both ways. Its shameful how our local government, both East Hampton and Southampton encourage and endorse this onslaught of destruction. So, from this quagmire, I have come up with the following theory: The big wigs, Van Scoyoc, Schneiderman, Larsen, and warren have a conspiracy to bring on the demise of the East End as we know it through the collapse of the infrastructure. Van Scoyoc’s Army has the longest supply line in modern history. It stretches from Amagansett to Bayshore, that’s 63 miles of supply line. That would have to be the envy of any army.

So we lost the 14 acres of woods on the east side of Three Mile Harbor. Next battle will be the beer barn on Toilsome Lane. God bless us all.

Yours to command,

JEFFREY PLITT

 

Great Team
Amagansett
March 18, 2022

Dear David,

East Hampton code enforcement has improved drastically since Kevin Cooper came on board as its leader. As a resident of 34 years, I’ve had various experiences with the department. The most recent was a problem with an absent neighbor thinking her house was being protected because she left her lights on all night. The problem was her spotlight was shining right into my upstairs window. You can imagine how that affects your sleeping pattern in the middle of the night.

After months of this I finally sent an email to Kevin describing my problem and sending a photo. It was Thursday night at 8 p.m. Despite this late hour, I received a response email from him that a code enforcement inspector, Russell Young, was on duty and would check it out. He did and the neighbor, who controlled her lights remotely from her upIsland home, put out the lights immediately. She also was monitoring her security system and actually spoke with code enforcement right then and there. The code enforcement officer promised to visit her when she was physically present and explain the lighting code.

My thanks to Kevin Cooper, Inspector Young, and the great team of enforcement officers. The department truly has unsung heroes that work hard to resolve quality of life issues and keep the community safe.

RONA KLOPMAN

 

Another Abusive Summer
Noyac
March 21, 2022

Dear Editor,

Temperatures in parts of Antarctica recently reached above 70 degrees warmer than average and in the Arctic, more than 50 degrees warmer than average, as reported last week by The Associated Press. Perhaps that was an anomaly, or perhaps a sign of worse to come. But reports of a rapidly warming planet have not impacted the travel of billionaires who continue to fly their jets from Aspen to Florida to the Caymans, to East Hampton. And users of charter jets, helicopters, and seaplanes have not changed their travel choices. Our burning planet is still theirs to abuse at will, and they will again be welcomed at the town’s airport this season.

Prepare for another abusive summer in the sky above your home, since the minor restrictions proposed by the town board will bring little, if any, relief to besieged residents beneath the flight paths.

The town’s request this month for comments on proposed airport restrictions angered many residents who have — for years — filed noise complaints and conveyed at meetings, in emails, letters, and petitions, increasing concerns about KHTO operations on public health and safety, the environment, and lost quality of life on the East End. Given the meaningless restrictions proposed for the “new” private airport to re-open in May, this summer’s impacts are likely to be much like what the old public airport reliably delivered each year — an assault on our community’s well-being.

The town board apparently cast aside fears about the fragility of the aquifer and protection of our drinking water, or that their recent economic study found that airport closure would have only a negligible impact on the town’s economy. They appear to be comfortable simply “contemplating” the wisdom of trucking in to KHTO from New Jersey, on 200-mile journeys in gas-guzzling tankers, around a million gallons of fossil fuel to enable nonessential flights of convenience every year. And only to “contemplate” banning the sale of leaded fuel (removed from automobile fuel decades ago due to the toxicity of lead), or immediately banning use of the airport by aircraft using leaded fuel. “Well, it’s only a little lead.”, say airport proponents, while the Environmental Protection Agency states that that 70 percent of the lead in the air today is from aviation, and studies indicate that lead remains in the air far longer than previously acknowledged. Any level of lead is harmful to human health, yet for years the town has refused to test for lead at the airport.

There are many reasons to close KHTO on May 17 and all of them are to protect public health, safety, and the environment. The environmental review now underway does not appear to be the comprehensive State Environmental Quality Review Act process required to ensure that the many tormented for decades will not continue to bear the poisonous outputs of private aviation.

During the presentation of proposed restrictions on March 1, a legal counsel for the town stated that in closing temporarily, “the goal was to be as least disruptive as possible to aviation.” That statement says it all: The board appears to be protecting the commercial private aviation industry, and a few abusive owners and users of the airport — not the residents who they are elected to serve.

PATRICIA CURRIE

 

The Real Horrors
North Haven
March 21, 2022

Dear David,

We are watching the re-emergence of Nazi style aggression, similar to that which precluded World War II. It’s particularly worth noting that Putin claims his invasion of Ukraine and the wanton murder of peaceful civilians, children, and pregnant mothers is his plan to eliminate “Nazis.” This isn’t the first time some unprincipled tyrant swaps labels more appropriate to himself to someone else to deliberately confuse his gullible supporters. These outrageous lies are perpetrated upon his own countrymen through his absolute control of Russian media, as it was during the Cold War.

Over the past several years, we suffered similar assaults of misinformation from our deposed president and his party, but the free world still has honest effective journalism to inform us about the truth, and now the real horrors of Putin’s war.

We still see some deliberate misinformation from Fox and other biased media sources. Even our disgraced former president, along with many of his addicted supporters in Congress and elsewhere, say things that are lies, make no sense, or they blame the whole thing on Biden. Locally, we see bias and blatant misinformation in some opinion letters. Even our lame duck House representative, running for New York governor, promotes his own set of “alternate facts”.

This is no time to continue lies and attacking our own country for base political reasons. That only encourages Putin, and the other active world despots, who think the U.S.A. is a failing inept democracy.

Are we going to watch Ukrainians suffer criminal manslaughter and destruction of cultural heritage until it gets so bad we fear for ourselves? Let’s face it: We have seen this insane tyrannical behavior before. Then, as now, we avoided direct involvement because we didn’t want to risk becoming an enemy of the aggressor. Understandable, but that didn’t work then, and won’t now. It just allows the ravaging tyrant to destroy more lives and territory to a point we must take strong action.

We must reunite as a nation, cease fighting among ourselves, return to our original democratic procedures of discussion and negotiation, and must be well prepared to engage this tyrant, Putin. He must never be allowed to commit unprovoked genocide with impunity. We cannot risk playing by his rules. If his worst behavior becomes a direct attack upon us or our allies, it seems to me that he has already done that.

ANTHONY CORON

 

Pushing the Divide
East Hampton
March 20, 2022

Dear David,

We’ve all seen the old black-and-whites depicting propaganda before the movie even started forced on people waiting to see a film of their choice during wartime. Hitler did it. Stalin did it. And we did it, too, in this democracy when we black-listed people we assumed were communists. Lives were ruined on the basis of hearsay and turning a blind eye to how insidious snowballing rumors, hate speech, and suspicion can be. If that happens in a free society, what do you suppose happens in Russia? Do you think those people who filled a stadium recently to listen to a disturbed despot were there on their own free will? No. Do you believe they could decide not to support Putin in his attack and invasion and massacre of the Ukrainian people and live freely afterwards? Think again.

What about here? Just glimpse Facebook these days and watch the aggression mounting. The attacks have already begun, citizen against citizen, on the basis of what some watched on Fox (Not) News. Others are educating and re-educating themselves on world history. I took it in college as a retuning adult years later, so it is fresher in my mind. But that matters not, because anyone who can read, can learn the true history of the world and our United States. It’s not rocket science, though it may read like a fantastical voyage of insane rulers at times.

We’ve seen series like “The Borgias” and countless Russian-themed movies through the years. Do you think all were made up in a screenwriter’s study? The facts are often stranger than fiction. History is an eat-all-you-can feast for any person interested in how we got here or how Putin came to power. Why don’t we stop him? Who is willing to put their hand on that keg of dynamite? Sure, he must and will be stopped eventually. Maybe the Russian mob take him out like Tony Soprano. Screen fades to black. Cement boots into the Black Sea. No loss for anyone who believes in freedom and democracy. Do you? Or would you rather hitch your star to the conspiracy theorists? Ride shotgun with the know-nothings spewing all manner of misinformation and lies. Your choice, it’s a democracy, after all and a small world. Peace in the land and planet affects us all and the lack of it will be our undoing as a nation.

For crying out loud, are you happy we now live in a divided country? More than ever, hate overshadows reason. North against south, black against white, illegals against those who were born here, science against magical thinking. Where does this madness end? While you watch the horrendous videos of Ukraine being bombed and people blown to bits in their homeland, think about how we can foster peace in the world instead — by example. Or maybe that is Pollyanna looking through her crystal prisms.

There is no hope, you may insist. We’re doomed as a democracy and a nation. You may be right. We’re judgmental, case-heartened, and arrogantly entitled. We enable our youth like nobody’s business. Why? One day they’ll have to fend for themselves and they won’t know how. And one day we will have to look ourselves in the mirror as a country and wonder where our souls went. I, for one, won’t sit still and let the whole thing go to ruins if I can help it. We must vote like our lives depend on it. We must quit these conspiracy fantasies and see the light of day. Trump lost, even while cheating like a dog. He will never triumph again. Too much harm was wrought. His pushing the divide in this country is reprehensible still.

We survived after him, but we won’t forget the damage he did. We cannot. People died on his watch. They’re dying still because of his big mouth. The chance that a new one, a smart version, could imitate him, therein lies the danger. They’re already queuing up. We must defeat them, as the world must defeat Putin. No to oligarchies and despots, and destroyers of freedom. We must fight for our democracy. I aim to live in a free society where we work together and protect our rights as true patriots. What’s your jam? Pissing and moaning about a time past that never bears repeating? Good luck. I’m so over you. Time for a revolution of sanity.

NANCI LAGARENNE

 

Before the First Shots
Stony Brook
March 17, 2022

Dear David,

First, the Bideneers blamed Trump for our current malaise. Second, the Bideneers blamed the Wuhan virus for our current malaise. Currently, the Bideneers are blaming Putin’s war for everything but the price of celery.

Perusing through The Star’s letters of March 17, where one ostensible Bideneer parroted the baloney regarding the millions of jobs created under the current regime: No new jobs are being created, as people are simply returning to work as the great panic has subsided.

Another Bideneer, writing to The Star on March 17, espouses the patently false legend regarding Putin and skyrocketing gasoline prices. I work for B.P., and I can tell you, regardless of what CNN and their ilk have to say, that retail gas prices have been going into the stratosphere since day one of Biden and his handlers’ war on petroleum and the working class. The war in Ukraine is not yet a month old, but prices at the pump were past $4 a gallon before the first shots were fired. The war in Ukraine triggered an increase in pump prices by 20 to 25 cents per gallon max.

Place the blame where it belongs: Biden, his controllers, and the daily dose of blatant lies emanating from Minister of Information Psaki. And, yes, canceling the Keystone Pipeline was the first of an unending and deliberate parade of mistakes made by Biden, as gas prices jumped 10 cents per gallon the day after his inauguration, and the subsequent inflationary prices on everything we buy increase daily and exponentially. Biden is the president and he owns this by all metrics. November cannot come soon enough, if we even make it that far.

Sincerely,

MICHAEL MELTZER

 

Stop the Sting
Montauk
March 21, 2022

Dear David,

Joe Biden could stop the sting at the pump, but he doesn’t want to. Oil now is $134 per barrel, and Biden could be utilizing the energy here in America, instead he’s ruining it.

Alaska has plenty of energy, but not able to capitalize on it. Biden shut down the Willow Master Development plan, which would supply 160,000 barrels of oil a day and could be ready in a couple of years, if regulations were removed. Instead Biden would rather pass on the squeeze at the pump to Americans.

160,000 barrels of oil is almost the amount America was importing daily from Russia, bottom line Biden has a way to plug the hole in the international economy, he won’t do it.

The Biden administration used a policy environment that is hostile to domestic energy production, fueling price hikes at the gas pump long before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Joe Biden and his administration intentionally handicapped the domestic oil industry as part of it’s mission to transition the United States to a green economy.

Everyone should call their Congress/ Senator and demand Biden doesn’t go through with his deal with Iran on nuclear weapons. If this gets to be a done deal, say goodbye to the world.

In God and Country,

BEA DERRICO

 

Screaming ‘Freedom!’
East Hampton
March 16, 2022

To the Editor,

The passage of dozens of new laws limiting abortion, limiting conversations in schools relating to L.G.B.T.Q. kids, limiting teaching of the Black experience and racism, limiting the right to vote — limiting, endless limiting and screaming, “freedom!” There are no contradictions, just the twisted drumbeat of a culture off the skids.

The Constitution protects everyone against racism and sexism, yet everyone has the right to be racist and sexist. If we follow the law, there is plenty of leeway for free expression, but your personal opinions are governed by a higher body. If you need to practice your racist and anti-gay beliefs, you can go to Russia.

My college world religions professor explained that the biggest problem in Christianity was Jesus. His anti-institution, (the kingdom of Heaven is in all of us) anti-money and greed, and anti-violence posed a serious threat to establishing and maintaining the institutional church. So Jesus was shifted to the sidelines, and the churches did whatever they needed to do. Thank God.

Teaching about racism in school without referencing institutional racism is like teaching Christianity without Jesus. We have always been an extremely, violent, racist, misogynist society. Yet we are super-Christian and democratic etc., etc. Maybe we aren’t perfect?

In the context of our history, abortion is a no-brainer; violence against a defenseless body is what we have always done. Concern for a fetus is blatantly un-American, so completely out of character, that there has to be an insidious scheme behind the issue.

Institutional racism is even more of a no-brainer. Virtually every institution in the country has established and perpetuated a system of racism against Blacks and other people of color. One can’t pretend that it’s the behavior of individuals and that the country as a whole is innocent. More important, is that the denial of institutional racism guarantees that the problem will never get resolved — which is the essence of institutional problems. Real serious endemic racism is the prohibition of talking about the problem.

For L.G.B.T.Q. kids, the negativity is more complicated by our overall sexual mental health. How does one deal with sexual identity questions if you are far more confused than the kids (who may not be confused at all)? Certainly, the worst solution, if a solution is desired, is not to talk about it. Pretend it doesn’t exist and maybe it will go away, Move to Italy?

When culture wars were perfected in the 1960s there was an iota of truth that the civil rights movement, sexual awakening, and anti-capitalism were reshaping the country. More noise than substance: People weren’t screaming “freedom” while they beat the crap out of everyone they could. They were scared and nervous and overly excited. Today it’s about venom and stupidity.

“Woke” is introduced 50 years later in our information world. Please read the history and try and understand that the knee on William Floyd’s throat has been there for 400 years and it hurts. It wasn’t, “Wake up, you ignorant pigs.” But the media, especially right wing, went batshit and raised the banner of ‘proud to be ignorant” — ignorance, not tolerance or consideration and certainly not love. Jesus. Say three hail Marys and plow ahead, not a healthy mix for a society that has been raped and pillaged by corporate America but feels its necessary to bludgeon someone, anyone, to feel to a little bit of self-esteem.

So, how do we explain to our kids that Black soldiers coming back from World War II weren’t entitled to the benefits of the G.I. Bill? Were there a few bad apples in the military and in the government and in the Congress, or was it institutional? Not rocket science. Do we teach rocket science in school?

Or the Three-Fifths Clause in the Constitution, Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3. Do we teach only those parts of the Constitution that work for us? Or do we ban and burn?

NEIL HAUSIG


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