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Letters to the Editor for June 30, 2022

Thu, 06/30/2022 - 12:10

Way of Inspiring
East Hampton
June 27, 2022

Dear Mr. Rattray,

On June 4 East Hampton celebrated its first Pride Parade. And on Sunday, another first occurred with the L.G.B.T.Q. Pride Sunday celebration at LongHouse. Both events were organized by Hampton Pride, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headed by the indefatigable Tom House.

In early 2022, Mayor Jerry Larsen asked Tom to organize and produce the village’s first Pride parade. Tom, who was an iconic bartender at the old Swamp disco, now an English teacher at Bridgehampton High School and an accomplished author, created Hampton Pride last year to remember the cultural impact of the Swamp disco at new Wainscott Green on the site of the Swamp.

Tom is the go-to guy to get things done. With only three months of preparation, he organized a parade of over 60 units and 700 participants, along with crowds the East Hampton Village police estimated as over 4,000. It was a human, exciting, and joyous event bringing out many L.G.B.T.Q. locals and their friends and allies on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. At a security briefing with village officials and Police Chief Michael Tracy at which I was in attendance, the village officials could not have been more supportive or helpful in making sure the parade went off as planned and was safe for all. Kudos to all of the town officials and police who made this so successful and safe.

At the celebration after the parade in Herrick Park, Mayor Larsen proclaimed the fist Saturday of June as Pride Saturday and declared this year’s parade as the village’s first annual Pride Parade.

Later in the spring, Tom accepted an invitation from Carrie Barratt, the executive director of LongHouse, to organize a Pride celebration, which occurred Sunday at LongHouse that was attended by more than 200 people featuring the beautiful gardens of LongHouse, a jazz quartet, and a live art performance. Another great tradition starting — hopefully.

Neither of these two events could have happened without the leadership, energy, and perseverance of Tom House. I had the pleasure of helping him transport and carry cases of donated wine and beer in my truck and doing other miscellaneous assigned duties and tasks. I had a firsthand look at how committed he was to the success of these events. He also worked very hard to make sure that the parade units represented the wide diversity of the East Hampton community and that all walkers and bystanders felt welcome and included. He has a way of inspiring local businesses to support these projects and getting volunteers eager to make these events successful.

We are very lucky to have such supportive village officials and community pillars like LongHouse to invite Tom and his crew to produce these two historic events in East Hampton. Thanks to all of you and to the incredible Tom House.

LOUIS BRADBURY

 

Unraveling Systems
East Hampton
June 30, 2022

Dear Editor,

When I was a boy, I often lay half awake in our little house in Azurest listening to whip-poor-wills. For me, it was the sound of summer on the East End. Before bed, my younger brother and I would chase fireflies around the sandy yard until called in for the evening.

All of that’s gone: the house in Sag Harbor, my brother, the fireflies, and the whip-poor-wills we listened to while falling into the sleep only exhausted children know.

We all grow old. Things change. But where are the whip-poor-wills today? And why are there so few fireflies?

Simply put, there are fewer large bugs around now compared with a century ago, leaving an impoverished food supply for whip-poor-wills and other insectivorous birds — “The Insect Crisis: The Fall of the Tiny Empires That Run the World” by Oliver Milman. And as for the fireflies, “we know that some of the habitats that fireflies depend on are disappearing, and several other threats have been identified, including light pollution, pesticides, poor water quality, drought, overcollection for the medical trade, and invasive species” — Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

When we talk about saving habitat, we talk about saving the vital places that support the complex webs of life that we are part of. When we unravel those webs because of carelessness or indifference, we are unraveling the very systems that support our lives. And when we talk about habitat, we are not just talking about faraway places or national parks; we are talking about our yards, the places where we live and work, all carved out of what was once living habitat for insects and other cornerstones of our ecology.

Today, we have deprived native flora and fauna of their natural food and habitat. We have replaced native plants with exotic ornamentals and massive turf lawns alien to the needs of native insects. “Ninety percent of our insects can feed only on native species” — Uri Lorimer, “The Northeast Native Plant Primer.” Without the insects, the birds cannot feed their young. The effect moves up and down the food chain. If you want blueberries or tomatoes this summer, you’ll need pollinating insects.

So plant some native plants in your gardens and leave some leaves this fall. The fireflies need them. They spend 95 percent of their lives in leaf litter, the very leaf litter we assiduously remove from our lawns and haul to dumps.

Take care of the planet, starting with our yards, and maybe our grandchildren will be able to chase fireflies or hear whip-poor-wills calling in the dark.

LEONARD GREEN

 

Get Serious
Springs
June 27, 2022

Dear Editor,

Like many other residents of Springs, I was shocked and saddened by the deliberate destruction of protection around the nesting area on Maidstone Park last week. The vandals tore out posts that were there; the area was clearly marked. I’m angry at the lawless idiots who did the deed.

But I am also upset that the town has failed to take measures that would have lowered the risks of just this kind of vandalism. Is it just coincidence that it came on the heels of newspaper coverage about the ire of some ignorant beach users that they have to temporarily cede a little bit of beach so that this critically endangered species doesn’t vanish on our watch? At the least, the town should have been warned after that coverage that protection of piping plover nests needs to be strengthened.

Why hasn’t the town installed surveillance cameras at the nesting site? Why didn’t it put up prominent signs listing the legal consequences, including jail time, for violators? And, most important, why haven’t real barriers, not flimsy netting, been installed to protect the plovers, like large logs or fencing that can be easily installed to stop trucks? I call on all those who, like me, care about preserving the wildlife we share our home with to tell the town board to get serious about protecting it.

Yours,

FRANCESCA RHEANNON

 

Focus on Crisis
East Hampton
June 21, 2022

Dear David,

The board and staff of Share the Harvest Farm wish to thank you for your June 16 editorial “Hunger in the Season of Plenty.” Your focus on the crisis of food insecurity in our community is timely and important, and we hope that residents and visitors alike will heed your call to support the many organizations providing food to our neighbors in need.

We very much appreciate the suggestion that folks shop at our farm stand, profits from which support our charitable farm. Due to the increases in our own costs for seeds, fuel, staff salaries, and other farm necessities, Share the Harvest Farm is also conducting an unusual summer fund drive seeking direct tax- deductible donations. Interested persons should consult our website at SharetheHarvest.org.

IRA BEZOZA

Co-founder and board member

Share the Harvest Farm

 

That Freak Giant
Montauk
June 24, 2022

Editor:

Dear person . . . scratch that, you’re not dear at all.

Attention person . . . scratch that, too.

This is addressed to the imbecile who is building the monstrosity of an airline terminal at Ditch Plain Beach: What in the world were you thinking?

I don’t know who you are and maybe you’re not an imbecile, but this act of yours to build what looks like an alien spaceship that has parked itself in an Elysian field abutting an iconic surf beach is without a doubt a truly mindless and preposterous dunderheaded move. Let me see if I can guess what kind of person you are and what inspired you to build this hideous beast:

I bet you love Montauk. You are drawn to the beach, the surf culture of Ditch. You’ve also been enraptured by the idyllic, laid-back vibe that Montauk evokes. You’re probably a good family man and are proud to provide them the pleasures of the bucolic Montauk living and its unspoilt scenic vistas.

Obviously, you have a lot of money and that precipitated the screw-up that led you to become the antithesis of everything that you find endearing about Montauk. That freak giant of a house you built is a blight, a stain on everything that we all love about Montauk and, particularly, in one of our most-cherished spots. You’ve ruined Ditch Plain Beach. It’s like you took a can of black paint and splashed it on the Mona Lisa. It is spoiled forever. Yes, you did that.

When I walk through the parking lot that leads to the beach, everyone I encounter — acquaintances and strangers — point to the behemoth shadowing over us and exclaim their rage. I don’t know if you plan to occupy the leviathan or sell it but know this: It will be as though Louis XVI built Versailles in the middle of the commoners’ humble surroundings. It’s an anomaly that belongs behind the tall hedges of Further Lane or Sagaponack, not on the public beach frequented by a diversity of people who go there to be part of nature unblemished.

The occupants of the megalith, in addition to enjoying the spectacular ocean view, will also be square in the midst of the frequent mini-Burning Man festivals that are exuberantly attended only a few hundred feet from their back door. Additionally, their west-side windows will provide a close mezzanine-like view of the parking lot where tailgate barbecuing is one of the many events enjoyed by beachgoers. There are surf contests, where they blow those loud horns for each meet, and charity events, like Walk on Water and Rell Sunn, that draw hundreds of people to the beach. And of course, there will be, assuredly, the early morning gatherings of surfers looking for waves. You get the picture.

I mention all that not to be spiteful, but to make you understand that you’ve built a profane mega-mansion in a hallowed location where human beings have been enticed by nature to commune with it in its untarnished beauty. A barbarian has now breached the gate to that blessed place.

I hope and pray that a miracle will prevent your mistake from reoccurring in the three lots next to yours. If three more bastardizations go up, if other barbarians defile our beach sanctuary, paradise will be lost, completely and forever. I implore you, if it’s in your power, to go from villain to miracle worker. Montauk will be grateful and so will your children.

LOU CORTESE

 

All Work the Sea
East Hampton
June 24, 2022

To the Editor,

I recently completed a search for a long-lost brother of the sea, Capt. William (the Baron) Leonardo. I had the privilege of commercial fishing with this man, quite literally a titan of the commercial fishermen in the late 1970s and early 1980s out of Port of Montauk, N.Y. While working for him on the deck of his downeaster Valhalla, we fished pots for lobster, gill-netted for striped bass and weakfish on the beach, tub-trawled for codfish in bitter winter, and finally, at the apex of our commercial fishing days, we trolled the deep offshore canyons in search of bigeye tuna, yellowfin tuna, and swordfish. We always caught fish. Lots of them.

Billy had heard from some of the notable net and dragger fishermen, like the late Dick Stem, and offshore lobstermen that they frequently saw huge schools of large tuna breaking behind their boats as they hauled back their gear. So off we went to the deep.

At that time, no one had even heard of a bigeye tuna, and a prized table fish, yellowfin tuna, was regarded as a purely tropical fish. But we found them. We never got skunked, and, while some trips were more successful than others, we always “mugged up,” in the parlance of commercial men.

There were times when we were the only tuna boat out there, typically over 100 miles from shore, with our only company being deep-water lobster fishing boats and back then, Russian trawlers. And we didn’t use wimpy rods and reels; we caught them on handlines, on rope! We were hard-core — and we still are.

It was an exciting time. Before long, the wannabes, the charter boats, followed us out there to copy us. That was fine by us, though. So we headed east along the canyon walls to far-reaching grounds like Veatch Canyon, Hydrographer’s, Munson, and all the way to the Canadian Fence, to the fabled Lydonia Canyon, the Valley of Monsters. We lost the charter boys in our wake. They didn’t dare follow us. They didn’t have the guts.

But over the years I lost track of my friend. After my wife begged me not to go to sea commercial fishing anymore, after a few close calls as a winter tilefisherman and Perfect Storm-style swordfish longliner, often being at sea for up to 45 days at a time in unforgiving and brutal conditions, I made the mistake of going to law school. Don’t ask me why, but I did, and in point of fact, I turned out to be a really good attorney. But I digress, as I still kept my hand in the fishing business, something that, once in your blood, never gets out of it. I trolled the docks asking about my friend and fishing companion. No one had anything good to say and they repeatedly said that they thought he was dead. They had written their fellow fisherman off. This saddened me, but I was resolved to find him, one way or the other. Recently I did.

The Baron was languishing in an adult care center in Medford, diagnosed with lung and bladder cancer, and had been pronounced terminal. Expecting a sad reunion, I visited him, but it was not a sad reunion. The Baron was tough as ever, being the Viking warrior that he has always been. Small wonder that his boat was called Valhalla. In all the three years that he was at the care center, not one single Montauk boatman ever visited him! But I was there, and our reunion was joyous indeed.

I have, in my capacity as an attorney, undertaken to see to his needs and care. As a proud commercial fisherman, I undertake that happy task. I am bringing him out to Montauk a few times a month to stay with me and my wife and to care for him. I will take The Baron fishing again!

I recently joined the Montauk Boatmen’s and Captains Association as a fisherman and hoping that as a fisherman and attorney, I might be able to lobby for them in Albany and Washington, D.C. A week ago, I contacted Capt. Richard Eztel, president of the association and owner of the charter boat Breakaway. I asked if it would be possible for the M.B.C.A. to hold a fund-raiser for Captain Leonardo so that his ancillary health care and other needs could be provided for. I was purely astonished at his response.

Captain Etzel shrilly stated that insofar as Captain Leonardo was never a member of the M.B.C.A., and was a commercial fisherman, that nothing could or would be done for him. I was thunderstruck! This is so typical of the view that is held by so many charter-boat fishermen, that commercial men are the enemy. They are not. We all work the sea for a living.

Charter boat captains, also given the well-deserved and derogatory title of “sporties,” feed their families, that’s fine. But commercial fishermen feed the world! The next time you eat fresh swordfish, tuna, lobster, oysters, clams, codfish, striped bass, or any other type of seafood that is so abundant in our northeast waters, as the popular bumper sticker goes: “Thank a Commercial Fisherman!”

Captain Etzel’s insult was further exacerbated by the former president of this dubious association, when he defended Captain Etzel’s position, but tried to assuage me, stating, “Maybe we can do something.” Sorry, Joe, too little. too late.

Needless to say, I immediately resigned as a member of this flaccid organization. At the last meeting I attended at the Montauk Lake Club, the usual array of part-time fishermen were there actually putting to a vote the issues of whether or not to impose a surcharge on charters given the exorbitant price of fuel, duh. No kidding, Sherlocks. The whining went on until it was decided by this learned council that each boat would be free to impose a surcharge or not. So, let the price cutting commence, you idiots!

When I asked Captain Etzel whether or not he would even put the matter of a fund-raiser for Captain Leonardo to a vote of the M.B.C.A. members, in his arrogant and authoritarian style, he simply said no. I hope any member of this lackluster organization reading this letter will put his feet to the fire and demand to know why it wasn’t put to a vote. This is an outrage, and all the members of the M.B.C.A. should be ashamed of themselves, individually and collectively, for this indifferent treatment of a brother of the sea.

Commercial fishermen feed you. We work the sea in often hostile and dangerous conditions, not to be seen as heroes, but because we love it. I still practice law, but I also commercial-fish. I am, and always will be, a proud commercial man. I call upon all of the members of the Montauk commercial fishing industry to reach out to me in my efforts to assist our friend and brother Capt. William (the Baron) Leonardo. You all know where to find me.

So, to you cowardly sporties, let the hate mail begin! And, remember what Captain Leonardo lives by and says: Never surrender!

JOHN (CHOPPER) EBEL

 

Exciting Things
East Hampton Village
June 27, 2022

Dear Editor,

We would like to thank all of the East Hampton Village residents who supported The NewTown Party and elected Sarah Amaden and Carrie Doyle village trustees by an overwhelming majority. We are delighted that villagers have once again confirmed that we are leading the village in the right direction.

Additionally, thank you to Tiger Graham for his five years of service as a trustee and all of his contributions to the Village of East Hampton. He is a valued member of our community and a gentleman.

When we launched this recent campaign, we adopted the slogan “Moving Forward, together.” Since our conception, the NewTown party has advocated for inclusion of all kinds. We believe that every village resident has the right to have their voice heard, and their ideas represented. It has been gratifying to engage with the people of this village whether they be locals, part-timers, second-home owners, or lifers, many of whom felt muted for decades. No voice should be left unheard. We have such amazing talent in this village. It only benefits East Hampton if we extend our arms across fences and hedges to create a real community.

And it has been a success. The residents who voted for Sarah and Carrie comprised a large cross-section of our village. Although many locals who live here year round chose to vote absentee, they came out in droves to support our NewTown candidates. We were not alone in identifying that this village was ready to stand together and move forward as one.

We have exciting things planned for East Hampton Village. We encourage residents to reach out to us with ideas and to let us know how we are doing. And we are thrilled to welcome Sarah and Carrie as trustees this July.

Sincerely,

JERRY LARSEN

CHRIS MINARDI

SANDRA MELENDEZ

 

Look Forward
East Hampton Village
June 27, 2022

Dear Editor,

We are exceptionally honored and humbled to have been elected East Hampton Village trustees, and we want to thank every village resident who voted in this election. The large turnout from such a small pool of voters once again demonstrates the passion that our neighbors feel for East Hampton and that despite our differences, we all profoundly care about our village.

Thank you to Tiger Graham, who is also our friend and neighbor, for your candidacy. You are a formidable political foe because you are in politics for all the right reasons, most of all an unbounded love for East Hampton.

We are very grateful to Mayor Larsen, Deputy Mayor Minardi, Trustee Melendez, and all the members of the NewTown Party. They have been tireless advocates for us and worked so hard to help us get elected. The groundswell of voters who supported us were undoubtedly inspired by all of the successful initiatives that the mayor has undertaken during his two years in office. We look forward to working with them at Village Hall.

Obviously politics is divisive, complicated, and emotional. We plan to listen to and work with our critics and set a harmonious tone in the village. There is no reason why the manner in which we express our differences has to be rancorous.

The job we will be sworn into demands honor and responsibility and accountability. We are prepared to uphold those values.

And now, Mr. Rattray, we ask of you, as the editor of this newspaper, to also be accountable. We request that your suppositions, insinuations, and assumptions are not attributed to us as fact. When you make broad and unsubstantiated statements in your editorial such as “both have make [sic] public statements that could be seen as favoring private interests and commercial endeavors” and “They both appear to conflate economic expansion with the interest of actual residents . . .” you mislead your readers. Your readers should be aware that you have never picked up the phone to call us, never spoken to us, never interviewed us, and never verified any beliefs you have ascribed to us. Responsible journalism is essential to the community and to creating unity. We hope you will remain mindful of that. It will allow us to move forward productively.

We look forward to representing the villagers of East Hampton and thank them again for this outstanding opportunity.

Sincerely,

SARAH AMADEN

CARRIE DOYLE

 

Not Party Planners
East Hampton Village
June 27, 2022

Dear David,

After reading your opinion piece in this week’s Star, and weekly letters to the editor for over a year, one would think, “What more could be said about Jerry Larsen and his disregard for the citizens of this village?” Therefore, much of this letter is directed to the newly elected trustees, Carrie Doyle and Sarah Amaden, but, with a few quick comments for Jerry:

You stated in The Star last week that you were elected because you must be doing a good job, yet there is negative press about you and the board almost weekly since you were elected. At what point do you realize that you are a pawn for the rich doing their bidding and getting them what they want, while bullying and having complete disregard for the year-round residents?

I would like to congratulate Arthur Graham on his “legitimate” win for village board. I would then like to congratulate newly elected Trustees Doyle and Amaden. To coin a cliche, they have your work cut out for them.

To Trustees Doyle and Amaden: You both clearly stated that you want transparency and that you both have minds of your own. Then let’s hope that you insist on work sessions being brought back, in-person meetings instead of Zoom, public hearings, code enforcement (parking, signs), and transparency regarding all village expenditures, to name a few.

You stated that you wanted a more “vibrant” downtown. What does that mean? More events? More fairs? More movies? More is not always better. Your job on this board is not to be party planners and event planners. Your job is to set policies and enforce them.

You do not work for Jerry, or Marcos, or the beach and the concession, which, by the way, has now become a place where taxpaying village residents cannot sit at designated tables. You work for the residents of this village, not only for the wealthy second-home owners, but for the local, year-round residents. This might mean challenging and questioning Jerry as to some of his decisions at public meetings and encouraging conversation, rather than authoritarian ruling and intimidation, as it has been since his election. Consider training that is also offered for most boards where you will learn what, in fact, is your responsibility.

Keep in mind there are those who might want to go to the beach or the park for quiet time, to sit and enjoy the view and the peacefulness of what was once this beautiful village, without having to think about what event is being held and where.

Sincerely,

STEPHEN DEMPSEY

 

Public Right
East Hampton Village
June 26, 2022

David,

I congratulate Ms. Amaden and Ms. Doyle for their victory last week. I welcome their commitment to reinstate monthly work sessions. While many of their campaign positions are counter to my own, I look forward to a discourse giving the public the right to participate in decisions that go into public policymaking.

Once sworn into their elected positions, I’ll be sending the newly elected trustees a copy of the New York State open government laws enacted in 1974. I can’t think of a better North Star to follow. Somehow, I don’t think it will be in their orientation kit.

Does Tiger know he doesn’t need to obtain Jerry’s permission “to stay involved”?

Lastly, I did find it amusing to characterize Vincent Messina as having “watchful eyes.” Oxymoron?

DAVID GANZ

 

Only a Select Few
East Hampton
June 24, 2022

Dear Mr. Editor,

Hope all is well. Thanks for the ping in the last issue concerning your varnish dilemma, but I, too, have fallen into varnish problems. No fall coat, and the damp fall weather, along with my cover being installed late has put me behind the eight ball. Peeling varnish!

Anyway, I was amused and bewildered by the article “Our Community Is Unraveling.” The current housing problem should be nothing new to the democrats. Especially on the East End. It’s the result of a misguided plan. Let me explain.

Long before we were invaded, and we lived in a real community, is when it all began. Back in the mid-1970s my family sold the property where the Ford store was, at 38 Pantigo Road, where the current CVS is now. By the late 1970s, early 1980s, we were looking to relocate and had several properties in mind. We had many meetings with what I believe was the Planning Department located at the Bluff Road office complex.

After a year or two it became evident, through rejection and conversation, that the overall plan of the Democrats was to turn East Hampton into the Palm Springs of the East! If you take a close look, the plan is bearing fruit.

Your article mentions the trade parade. There is a trade parade that heads west in the morning, also. I know, as I’m in it. Certain days can have a 30-to-40-minute travel time just to get to Bridgehampton. So I would think that makes us a bedroom community like Palm Springs. Job well done.

The article also has a few mistruths. The nation in general is short 5.8 million homes, not just the East End of Long Island. It’s expensive to live everywhere. Rent increase nationally has risen 17 percent, which will make it harder to save up a down payment! So, imagine East Hampton. Plus a bigger issue is a result of millennials not having the down-payment savings. The national rule of thumb is that your mortgage or rent payment should not be more than 30 percent of gross income. Do the math: $60,000 times 30 percent is $18,000 for housing. Divide by 12, and you have $1,500 a month for rent or mortgage. If a mortgage, then a $400,000 down payment would be needed.

My point is all this housing dialogue will be only for a select few. The town can only do so much and its efforts are now only a Band-Aid. One misguided factor is the available housing selection process. If Mr. Samuelson is really concerned with young local families, then the selection process should include criteria like a local high school diploma. But that would be too harsh. The Democrat solution to the housing shortage is more dense housing (two or three homes on one lot) along with increased public transportation. And there goes East Hampton as we know it.

The village election should be of no surprise. Tiger was ahead by walk-in votes, and boom, the absentee ballots roll in and he’s out. That should be a very clear sign as to who runs the village. As always, best regards.

Yours to command,

JEFFREY PLITT

 

Rentals
Amagansett
June 27, 2022

To the Editor,

Illegal rentals run rampant, goes hand-in-hand with our town board not enforcing the law. Why should any other government agency?

Still Here,

JOE KARPINSKI

 

Protect the Safety
Amagansett
June 26, 2022

Hello,

My name is Jennifer Giaimo and I am the owner of a house on Dolphin Drive in Amagansett. I am writing about the proposal for five parking spaces to be put on Dolphin Drive for public beach access. Dolphin Drive on Napeague is a tiny, 20-foot-wide paved road running south a few hundred feet from Montauk Highway at what is likely the narrowest point on Long Island. This area of the Napeague stretch is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the south and Napeague Harbor on the north, with Montauk Highway cutting straight through, almost in the middle.

My house has been in my family for 30 years. The neighborhood has only always been small-to-medium-size beach homes, where families would gather for the summers and then leave for the winters. The character of the neighborhood has always been very family oriented, close knit, peaceful, and very low-key.

The proposed five parking spaces for Dolphin Drive should never be approved. Safety is the biggest concern. There is a blind corner coming out of Dolphin Drive, which is a hazard when parking on Montauk Highway builds up. Adding five spaces on Dolphin Drive would only add to the safety issue because it would invite even more traffic when the five spots are taken. More traffic correlates with more danger and more accidents. Currently, there is non-community parking on Atlantic Drive, which is just a short walk from Dolphin Drive. Atlantic Drive has always provided adequate non-community parking for beach access.

Additionally, the South Flora Nature Preserve borders the length of Dolphin Drive on the east. South Flora is a habitat for rare or endangered species. In such instances, it is generally advised to keep all disturbances to a minimum of 600 feet from the potentially affected species.

For all of the reasons above, I clearly hope the Town of East Hampton will protect the safety of our community and not allow the five proposed parking spaces on Dolphin Drive.

Thank you,

JENNIFER GIAIMO

 

Obvious to All
Westhampton
June 16, 2022

Dear Dave,

Parallels in history can be bizarre and uncanny. People of destiny seem to come along that are beyond reining-in and denying the role ascribed to them from beyond, perhaps from Heaven, perhaps not. Exactly 100 years ago, Adolf Hitler and his “proud boys” were preparing their putsches to overthrow the Bavarian state government in Munich to be followed with a march on Berlin similar to Mussolini’s march on Rome that established his fascist government.

Hitler and his “oath keepers” were going to save Germany from the communists, the socialists, the leftists, the democrats, and all the various “foreign elements” infecting the body politic. Sounds familiar, very familiar, doesn’t it? They were the Freikorps, unemployed veterans of the First World War, filled with anger and a desire to take their frustrations out on those they were told were destroying their nation. Those who did the blaming, Gen. Erich Ludendorff and fellow Gen. Paul von Hindenburg, the actual people responsible for the German Army’s sudden surrender and insistence on an immediate cessation of hostilities in November 1918, the two of them put the finger on the democratic Weimar government and the Jews, claiming they were the “November criminals” who betrayed Germany by “stabbing it in the back.”

Hitler found willing listeners when he claimed he knew who was responsible and what needed to be done. The Bolshevik leadership in revolutionary Russia were largely Jewish and, thus, were attempting the same in Germany under the guise of democracy. If the workers would not join him, he would break them and destroy them. The Ehrhardt Brigade, the Bavarian Patriotic League, Ernst Rohm’s Brownshirt Storm Troopers — the S.A., the Sturmabteilung, were all more than willing to use unlimited force to achieve their ends to cleanse their fatherland of the perceived filth.

They stashed weapons to be used in their uprising, hoping the regular army would side with them, and found neither in the final event. They couldn’t access their weapons (like the Oath Keepers leaving theirs in a hotel room) and the military sided with the established government authorities (as was the case at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6).

While their initial putsches failed, and Hitler himself was sentenced to prison (thus affording him the opportunity to dictate his book “Mein Kampf,” “My Struggle,” something we need not fear Trump ever doing, literary genius that he is), we know of Hitler’s eventual accession to power, and the rest is history. Funny thing: It was inflation, conservative farmers, monopolistic corporate powers, bankers, and the misled and crushed middle class that gave Hitler power.

Why are we discussing another run at the presidency when Donald Trump should be barred from ever running again or holding office? To allow him and the other seditionists to run is a violation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Nowhere does it call for a conviction in a court of law. The act of insurrection it addressed, the Civil War, was obvious to all, and such is the case right now. As more and more comes out it will be clear what Trump’s intent was.

Those members of the G.O.P. who refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the 2020 election are still committing sedition, and that is insurrection and must have consequences.

The G.O.P. must be put on notice: The right to run in November will require a reaffirmation of their oath to the Constitution and their affirming the legitimacy of the Biden presidency. Failure to do so will disqualify any candidate, and, thus, they better prepare for that eventuality should they wish to field any candidates in the upcoming elections. This must apply to the candidates for state and local elections also, particularly those folks who will be counting ballots and certifying the results. Time is running out for the G.O.P. to do so.

Our institutions cannot afford to be weaker than the Weimar Republic or we’re doomed. The fate of our democratic republic is in our hands and in those of the mass media. Pay very close attention or say goodbye to our democracy!

Truly,

LANCE COREY

 

Over Roe v. Wade
Springs
June 27, 2022

Dear David,

Over the last several days, I’ve watched with amazement the meltdown people are having over the Roe v. Wade decision. The misinformation from politicians, media personalities, and the various talking heads is astonishing!

But what strikes me as even more concerning is the attempt to frame every Republican as pro-life or Democrat as pro-choice and the oversimplification of the entire abortion issue. One has only to look right here in New York. While nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers identify as “pro-choice,” they oppose the idea of late-term abortion.

Then there is A.O.C., who made a very public statement that “Not every Democrat is pro-choice. We really need to reassess if it’s appropriate for them to continue to serve.” implying that pro-life Democrats should be removed from office and expunged from the Democratic Party.

All of the above said, then there is simply a complete misunderstanding of the Supreme Court’s ruling and what its implications are.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg opined that Roe was a faulty decision that was too far-reaching and sweeping. It gave anti-abortion rights activists a tangible target to rally against in the four decades since.

So before everybody jumps off the bridge or into the deep end of the pool, I suggest they take a few minutes to become more knowledgeable on Roe v. Wade and stop the divisiveness. While casting an ideology as identifiable solely to one political party or another may make you feel good, it does little to help resolve the complex issues facing us moving forward.

Lastly, if you wonder what my position is, I am pro-life. I believe life starts at conception, and it is our obligation as a society to protect all life, to create a support system to protect and empower mothers and their children who are less fortunate.

If you want to make a difference to move East Hampton forward for all its residents instead of the chosen, we want you to come to join us to help make the town government responsible and responsive. If you are interested in a better East Hampton, regardless of your political party affiliation, contact me at 631-324-0528.

MANNY VILAR

Chairman

East Hampton Town Republican Committee

 

Needs Be Reminded
East Hampton
June 27, 2022

Dear David,

The Supreme Court has become totally politicized.

On gun regulation, Clarence Thomas needs to be reminded of the history of the Second Amendment: Militias were primarily responsible for “slave patrols,” whose job it was to provide protection from the omnipresent threat of slave insurrection — or vengeance. Without slavery, there would be no Second Amendment.

So much for Clarence Thomas’s requirement that any regulation must be consistent with the nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.

JEREMIAH T. MULLIGAN

 

Family Values
Montauk
June 26, 2022

To the Editor,

Readers, if you favor criminalizing abortions and eliminating handgun controls outside of the home, please vote Republican in November. We are the pro-life party of family values that believes that smaller government creates greater freedom.

Cheers,

BRIAN POPE

 

Religious Idiocy
East Hampton
June 26, 2022

David,

With Roe gone, and Clarence Thomas’s racist homophobic diatribe added to the mix, we descend into the religious idiocy of the sickly paranoia of Christianity. Do we need to abolish all religious practice or just Christianity to save our souls?

The founders knew that religion and democracy couldn’t work. They needed to be stronger. We need to step up.

NEIL HAUSIG

 

Two to Tango
East Hampton
June 26, 2022

Dear David:

It takes two to tango. That’s not only true with most dances, it’s also true in the context of raising a family. A woman cannot conceive a child alone.

In overturning Roe v. Wade, the conservative Supreme Court justices seem to have forgotten the responsibility of the other half of the team necessary to create a child. In dismantling the 50-year-old right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy the court does nothing to require her partner to participate in the rearing of the child-to-be; no mention is made of the need to impose upon the father an obligation to assist in the rearing of that child, either economically or socially.

The radical right’s excuse for allowing the father to escape his obligation is likely the view that to do otherwise would be akin to involuntary servitude — forcing the father into an unwanted parental relationship. But the radical right finds no obstacle whatsoever in forcing the woman or child into an unwanted parental relationship even if it means, in the case of parental incest, forcing her to carry to term her sibling. So, the radical right leaves the pregnant woman to fend for herself, as if the act of having sex was hers alone. Think back to the plight of Fantine in “Les Miserables”: Just this situation led her to the depths of an inhumane existence, and ultimately a sorrowful, lonely death.

Even worse, the court now allows a state to intrude into the most personal decision a woman may make and determine the permissibility of her even to make that decision. Yet, the court does nothing to impose upon the state, having the input to force a woman to bear a child, any obligation whatsoever to assist mothers, either socially or economically, to raise their children. Affordable day care: No. Guaranteed pre and post-maternal health care: No. Economic assistance to allow her to keep her job: No. In short, the court is perfectly content in dismantling Roe to have the mother and child become wards of the state. Although to be fair, Justice Alito is perfectly comfortable with the mother abandoning her newborn on the steps of her local fire department. After more than 30 years of practicing law, the notion that a Supreme Court would someday embrace such a barbaric thought is unconscionable.

The intellectual dishonesty being practiced by the conservative justices is evident when comparing Alito’s rationale for jettisoning Roe with Justice Thomas’s rationale for striking down New York’s concealed carry law.

What bothered Justice Thomas about the New York law that the conservative court invalidated was the requirement that a person who seeks a license to carry a concealed weapon in public demonstrate that they have an elevated need for a gun they might use in self-defense. Such a requirement, according to Justice Thomas, demotes the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms to second-class status. The same Supreme Court, worried so admirably about second-class entitlements in the context of the Second Amendment, nonetheless finds that women essentially have no interest in freeing their bodies from the substantial burdens of pregnancy, even when the only interest on the other side is the viewpoint that a single cell with human DNA is entitled to use the woman’s body to become what it is not: a child.

Self-defense is not simply a metaphor for what a woman does when she exercises her moral right (legal or not) to terminate her pregnancy. It is in fact exactly what women do, what women have always done, and what women will always do to stop the physiological and psychological assault on their bodies inflicted by an unwanted pregnancy. By essentially saying that women should “just have the baby,” Alito’s opinion refuses to acknowledge that pregnancy is one of the biggest deals a woman can face. To strip her of any capacity to decide whether to continue her pregnancy is the very definition of second-class citizenship and to that status the Supreme Court has now condemned half the nation’s population.

This denigration of women’s rights should come as no surprise. Time and again, the radical right has done everything it could to keep its knee on the neck of women with the goal of relegating them to second-class status. Now a corrupt Supreme Court has joined the battle. Everyone should remember this come November — elections have consequences, and they often are the only means by which to right injustices. This is one of those times.

Sincerely,

BRUCE COLBATH

 

Limiting Production
Montauk
June 27, 2022

Dear David,

From Joe Biden: “My Republican friends claim I’m limiting oil/gas production. That’s nonsense.” The truth, you are, Mr. President, limiting production. You suspended drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge, killed the Keystone Pipeline, halted oil-gas lease sales, discouraged investment. You’re keeping your promise to end fossil fuel, now leading to $5 a gallon. What did you expect?

President Biden wants you to think inflation, now the highest in 40 years, is all Putin’s fault. The Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell admits prices were surging well before the Putin invasion in February.

Now let’s talk some more about lies. Biden and Pelosi are devout Catholics. Both Biden and Pelosi have unequivocal support for abortion widely at odds with Catholic teaching. Pelosi has been told by the bishop in her state she’s not permitted Holy Communion due to her stance on abortion.

To all the protesters: Can you understand the ruling overturning Roe v. Wade does not make abortion law? It is giving the state a decision, no longer federal. Joe Biden 50 years ago claimed Roe v. Wade law was poorly done, now he’s all for it.

In God and country,

BEA DERRICO


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