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Letters to the Editor for June 9, 2022

Wed, 06/08/2022 - 15:25

Speeding in Springs
May 23, 2022

Dear Editor,

I am concerned with speeding in Springs, particularly on Springs-Fireplace Road. This is a country road with no shoulders (or bike lanes) and many walkers, bikers, and animals. In the last week I have found two box turtles flattened, plus numerous animals dead on the roadside. The 30-miles-per-hour speed limit is ignored. Will it take a fatality to call attention to this dangerous situation?

To add to the hazards, some residents on the northern end of the road have placed tree stumps and rocks to line the road, adding to the danger for a biker trying to avoid a collision with the speeding vehicles careening up and down this narrow road. I am asking for help: law enforcement? Raising awareness of the problem? The Highway Department?

Please step in now before there is more carnage on this road.

Thank you,



No Need
May 19, 2022

Dear Editor:

Laura Donnelly’s review of “Serving the Hamptons” is pitch perfect, no need to even watch the trailer of this show after reading her piece. In fact, I hope no one watches the show since the last thing “the Hamptons” needs is more people flocking out here to try and live this farce. I believe what the Hamptons needs is less of this branding and more affordable housing so that the people who truly call the East End home can continue to do so. Now back to watching spring bloom!




Balance With Respect
June 5, 2022

Dear David,

I sincerely appreciate the decision to rethink Guild Hall’s proposed interior renovations. I trust that the process will be sensitive to the unique character of the theater and galleries and will balance the necessary technical and environmental improvements with respect for the building’s integrity. Historic properties present many challenges but also offer great opportunities for innovative solutions.

All best,


Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Director, Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center


Taking Time
East Hampton
June 6, 2022

Dear David,

I write as a private individual and not in any of my professional capacities.

I wish to applaud the Guild Hall Board of Directors for taking time to re-evaluate their plans for renovation work at our beloved local, historic institution.

I, along with many in the public, am grateful that our voices were heard and that full consideration of preserving the interior spaces, while making any necessary improvements for the sound system, will inform their future decisions.

Many thanks to the decision makers for putting the brakes on this present plan and taking the time to make improvements with sensitivity toward the history of the place.

Well done.




Was So Kind
East Hampton
November 2, 2021

To the Editor,

I have been a volunteer and docent at LongHouse Reserve for 11 years. It was during this time that I knew and loved Matko. He was so kind to me when I was in the process of knee replacement that he insisted on taking me around in a wheelchair on one of our trips that he planned (this was to Philip Johnson’s Glass House in Connecticut).

Jack Larsen was a teacher at the Philadelphia College of Art when my husband was one of his students. Our children and grandchildren grew up knowing and loving Jack and LongHouse, It is painful to see the way this board has seen fit to pay no attention to Jack’s plan for his faithful friend and associate, Matko.



This letter was to appear in the Nov. 11 Star but did not make it onto the page. Ed.


Give It a Try
East Hampton
June 5, 2022

To the Editor,

Having read last week’s front-page news article titled “Padel Pilot in the Park,” I was surprised to see such a reactive editorial about something that to me (and apparently to the mayor and the village trustees) sounds like a fun and inexpensive way to get a new and increasingly popular recreational opportunity into East Hampton. The reimagining of Herrick Park should include racket sports like tennis, pickleball, and yes, Padel. My understanding is that all three are part of the plan.

As the article states, this is a pilot and the women involved apparently made a persuasive argument about seeing Padel as a great addition for both physical and social activity. Yes, there are a few issues still to be worked out (as the article thoughtfully points out), but all those who have been privy to the presentations seem to want to make it work.

My vote is to give it a try and evaluate the results!



Wall of Shame
East Hampton Village
June 6, 2022


I fully support The Star’s editorial opposition to the Padel court. Moreover, I’m suspicious of Ms. Kerman’s offer to pay the $70,000 installation cost of the Padel court. I view Ms. Kerman’s offer as an investment, not necessarily an outright payment. There’s an excellent chance the advertising sponsorships and the three hours a day set aside for paid lessons may help offset Ms. Kerman’s investment — and there may be other back-room current and future incentives as well.

Given the village administration’s consistent lack of due diligence on so many issues, I’m not surprised if Jerry pounced on this shiny object. If history is any indication, I would not be surprised if a new item suddenly appeared on the June 17 board meeting agenda labeled, “Approval of Padel court.”

Once approved, add it immediately to the Jerry Larsen Wall of Shame reserved for other shiny objects with no taxpayer benefits, such as Saunders’s “free” Wi-Fi, Telsa Stadium, and the Beach Hut’s alcohol license.

Jerry, please prove me wrong. Fix the tennis court.

Thank you,



Play to Win
East Hampton
June 5, 2022

To the Editor,

I am thrilled that we are learning from The East Hampton Star of the strong possibility of building a Padel court at Herrick Park. The Padel game has 40,000 courts all over the world, but we have yet to have a court in East Hampton.

From what I have read and heard, the game is easier than tennis, harder than pickleball, and lots of fun. It is amazing that two young ladies, Shirin Kerman and Kim Ruhe would come up with this idea and want nothing for it but to help our beautiful town have a place for exercise and fun. In East Hampton we have public art shows, city tennis courts, city beaches,, and city bicycle lanes, But alas, no Padel courts yet! I look forward to when we will have a Padel court or two. I will take Padel lessons and will play in the tournament to win the Padel Championship Cup.



Large Glass Box
East Hampton
June 6, 2022

Hi David,

Recently I was reading an article about the millions of birds that were killed each year in this most-recent decade because of the plethora of oversize modern homes built mostly of large glass panels. Birds are flying into them at an alarming rate and not surviving.

The article was generally about the decline of our bird population since the 1970s, and at this moment I can’t remember the stats, but it was a pretty alarming rate — something like half of the United States’ bird population since that time, for various reasons, has been reduced and now compounded by these monolithic, modern glass structures, both commercial and residential.

Therefore, putting a large glass box around a Padel court in a park seems to be the most insensitive thing to do considering the above statistics and the fact that parks are our go-to for nature, as well as for our feathered friends.



Where Credit Is Due
East Hampton Village
June 6, 2022

Dear David,

Upon further reflection on the “Atta boy, Jerry” letter mailed to the village and also printed in The Star at village expense, I think the inconsistencies and the political slant demand that the NewTown Party reimburse the village for this expense. I know that the board did not pass a resolution approving the expense, and frankly I would not have voted for it had it come to a vote.

Let’s look at the mayor’s comments about “our beloved village beaches.” The mayor claims that our beaches were number one in the “Dr. Beach” ranking in 2003, and “over the next 20 years and our beaches and buildings were neglected to the point of disrepair.” A Google search for “Dr. Beach Best Beaches” shows that in 2003 we were number six, and ranging from fifth in 2004 to number one in 2013, having been top-10 in the period 2001-2010. At that time, once a beach became number one, I understand that it was off the list and ineligible to be ranked for 10 years. Let’s hope that Main Beach can be back on the list next year.

Drew Smith is a very hard-working and detail-oriented chief lifeguard, but beach employees, both past and present, have indicated to me that Chris Minardi started lifeguarding at the beach as a part-timer in 2017, and they said that it is insulting to claim that Chris “in one year has transformed the beach program into the envy it once was.”

Nobody doubts that Chris played a role, but there are many others who played a role as well. Let’s give credit where credit is due, but laying it all at the feet of the deputy mayor is not fair to all the other hard workers at our beaches.

I reiterate the call for the NewTown Party to reimburse the village for the cost of these communications, and for the mayor to publicly acknowledge the other beach staff who should share in the congratulations for the improvements at the beaches.



Mr. Graham is an incumbent East Hampton Village trustee seeking re-election on June 21.


Waiting Period
East Hampton Village
June 5, 2022

Dear Readers,

Two weeks ago, I wrote a letter titled “State of the Village,” which was mailed to all village residents and was published as a full-page ad in this publication. It was brought to my attention by a very dear friend, Ed McDonald, that the letter contained some incorrect information.

In my letter, I stated that Main Beach had not been in the top-10 beaches (rated by Dr. Beach, since 2003; however, that is incorrect. Main Beach had been in the top-10 from 2003 to 2013; 2013 was the last time Main Beach had been in the top-10 beaches in America. Ed further explained that Main Beach is not eligible for consideration from Dr. Beach until 2023 because once a beach is on the list for 10 consecutive years, there is a 10-year waiting period for reconsideration.

I apologize to Ed McDonald and all the beach managers and staff who worked at the village beaches during the 10-year period 2003-2013. My intent was not to diminish any hard work of any of our employees. We look forward to being number-one in 2023!

Thank you,



East Hampton Village


The Next Storm
June 6, 2022

Dear David,

The 2022 hurricane season officially started last week, and, as a coastal community, we must continually ask ourselves if we are ready. Are we prepared? Have we done enough to protect our homes, businesses, beaches, and critical infrastructure?

The recently released draft Coastal Assessment Resiliency Plan for East Hampton Town seeks to advance our planning for, and resilience to, these potentially devastating coastal storms. It provides concrete recommendations for the most-vulnerable areas in Montauk: Fort Pond, downtown, Ditch Plain, the harbor, and Culloden.

Concerned Citizens of Montauk has been advocating for a coastal resilience plan like this for Montauk for nearly a decade. Now that we have a plan, we must support it. We must advance it. We must come together as a community and have those really difficult discussions before the next storm comes — it’s only a matter time.




Concerned Citizens of Montauk


Lack of Enforcement
June 6, 2022

To the Editor,

Saturday marked the anniversary when at a 2019 zoning board of appeals meeting, John Whelan, the chairman, stated, “We got to get this road open.” This was 11 months after the obstruction was built. In 2022, present day, we still have continued appeasement and lack of enforcement from our town board.

Still here.



Time to Stop
June 6, 2022

Dear David,

I wish the that the town board were here this weekend, especially Friday afternoon, to witness the results of the multiple litigations that were filed. This halted their reasonable attempt to stop the assault on the community emanating from the airport.

It seemed like a mini-”Apocalypse Now.” Some jackass idiot in a black helicopter made a dozen low-level flights over the Wainscott area on the north side of Route 27. Time after time, the same route, and a few over my home that rattled the dishes.

I called the airport to get the identification numbers and pilot’s information, and, of course, no one answered the phone. I left a message demanding that information to notify Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards. I even, out of frustration and annoyance, called the town supervisor’s office and spoke to the assistant. Just as another passed over my home, I stepped onto my deck so she could hear the noise.

This jackass needs to be brought to task, just as the Sag Harbor police chief initiated. New York State Penal Code defines mental culpable states — intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, and criminal negligence — all are applicable. 

So the summer of hell has raised its ugly head once again. The proverbial middle finger has been raised to the face of the town board and every resident.

It is far beyond the time to stop the defense litigation costs incurred, wasting millions on the multiple filings. Stop appeasing these arrogant elites and place the priority of the homeowners and taxpayers at the forefront. This utter disdain, so blatantly displayed, requires no more appeasement. It requires immediate action to stop all operations by closing the facility permanently.




Glare and Glow
June 6, 2022

Dear David,

The Town of East Hampton has embarked on an ill-fated and, frankly, idiotic, “test” of LED streetlights on Atlantic Avenue. The results are ill fated because the “survey” does not include any information about the implications of the choices offered.

Whenever you ask someone how bright they want a light, they will invariably say the “brightest” one. After you educate them about best practices, as specified by the Illuminating Engineering Society and the implications of wasted energy and how higher Kelvin results in more glare and sky glow, obliterating the view of the stars, they can adjust their preferences. They learn that “brighter” is not necessarily better.

The amount of blue light in the light source has environmental, health, and night-sky implications. Higher Kelvin appears brighter but that does not make it better. None of this is being explained to the people filling out this survey.

I am frankly angry and very disappointed in our elected officials and the employees. I gave them information about best practices for LED street lighting, per the I.E.S. and it’s simply being ignored without reason or explanation.


International Dark Sky Association


Spurious Charges
June 6, 2022

Dear Editor,

I was referred to a letter in last week’s paper that was quite inaccurate and fallacious. The letter writer, Jonathan Wallace, took several liberties and potshots at me over a potential initiative that I am investigating about adding safe and reasonable public access to our town’s lovely beaches.

First and foremost, I am a registered Democrat who has been endorsed by the local East Hampton Democratic Party in each of the three elections that I have run in. This is a fact that I am proud of and humbled by.

Second, just because some question the need or desire of mine to look at potential additions to the availability of public beach access for the town’s residents, doesn’t mean there should be such vitriol expressed as a difference of opinion. This type of behavior is what has been rebuffed by many and will continue to be rejected by me.

Lastly, as the letter writer brought two of my fellow Democratic town council members into this discussion in his letter, I want to reiterate what is already publicly known: That the letter writer has unsuccessfully represented litigants against the local East Hampton Democratic Party multiple times on spurious charges that each time have been dismissed by the courts.

I thank you for your time and please enjoy the beach this summer.


An editor’s note last week was in error; Mr. Lys is a registered Democratic with the Suffolk County Board of Elections. Ed.


Thousands More
June 4, 2022

To the Editor:

Mr. Rattray added a rather huge correction to my letter in last week’s Star about David Lys’s plan to put parking on my street, Dolphin Drive in Amagansett, encouraging thousands more pedestrians to trample our wounded primary dune on their way to the beach. I wrote that Mr. Lys was a conservative Republican who had become a Democrat for reasons never made clear to the traditional Larry Cantwell base. Mr. Rattray added the following words under my letter: “Mr. Lys’s voter registration is ‘blank’ . . .”; however, nobody I spoke to who tracks Democratic Party affairs knew anything about this, and I heard later Mr. Lys denied it. By the time this letter appears, I assume Mr. Rattray will have clarified this issue, one way or another.

It almost doesn’t matter what Mr. Lys’s registration is today. The more important question is, does Mr. Lys share any values with the Cantwell base? The Sept. 6, 2018, issue of The Star, reporting a debate with his primary opponent, referred to “Mr. Lys’s recent change in party affiliation, from Republican to Democrat. Some, said Mr. Lys, “have tried to create a false narrative” that he is not “a true Democrat.” He even insisted that “his former Republican Party affiliation amounted to nothing more than following his father’s instruction when he registered to vote.” And Mr. Lys vaunted his own “strict environmental principles,” which are not evident in his contempt for the primary dune at the end of Dolphin Drive.

The thing that makes conservative and progressive Democrats all members of the same party is the overlap, the significant values they hold in common. One of the unusual things about Mr. Lys from the moment the Democrats first appointed him to the town board in 2018, is that there was very little information about what he really believes (or it hasn’t been disseminated).

There are a few clues, though. The Sept. 13, 2018, Star reported in response to a reader’s inquiry about whether Mr. Lys had voted for Donald Trump in 2016, that he had written in his father, Hakim Lys. The ensuing brouhaha about whether or not he was telling the truth (he was) missed the real story: Even presumably with his eye on the town board prize (he was appointed two months later) and in a year that was a stone emergency, not just for the Democrats but for the nation, David Lys could not bring himself to vote for Hillary Clinton. And he never claimed not to have voted for Lee Zeldin. I am not aware Mr. Lys has revealed whom he voted for in 2020.

By contrast, according to the Sept. 3, 2015, Star, Larry Cantwell, Mr. Van Scoyoc, and Councilwoman Overby met Mrs. Clinton in East Hampton. “Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Cantwell sat down together at one point to talk privately about changes affecting the East End, including water quality, quality of life, and population growth, agreeing on the need to resist pressure and to protect natural resources.”

But for the hype about being a “real” Democrat, Mr. Lys looks like a far-right Republican — and the attack on Dolphin Drive, a project last championed by Reg Cornelia, a former Republican chairman, looks like a right wing, pro-development, anti-environmental initiative. The town board members who are actually Democrats should not bet their own credibility and relationship with the Cantwell base by supporting it.



Very Safe Place
Bradenton, Fla.
June 6, 2022

Dear Mr. Rattray:

Until we are honest with ourselves and each other about what has changed, we will never successfully confront the spiraling violence seemingly all around us today.

I remember well one of the first days I drove to East Hampton High school as a 16-year-old junior in 1978, a resident of Montauk newly arrived from Rockland County. It was the beginning of duck or deer season; I don’t remember which, but what caught my attention was the line of six or seven pickups I passed as I traversed the parking lot toward the school’s main entrance. Each one driven there by a 16-to-18-year-old student, and each one having a rack in the back window with either a shotgun, a rifle, or both hanging from it — 150 feet from the nearest classroom. Take a deep breath and think about that for a while. East Hampton High School in 1978 was a very safe place to be. So how about we focus on what has changed for the worse in our culture and work on that. I doubt we ever will.



America’s Problems
June 6, 2022

Dear David,

Listening to President Biden speak the other day, I wondered what world he lives in. His speech stated how great everything is. The economy, the inflation, gas prices, and baby formula have been taken care of. This is all due to the fact my administration has worked so hard to handle all aspects of troubling times. His administration is doubling down that Putin’s war has caused most of America’s problems.

Joe Biden, it’s the economy, stupid. While you spend your weekends at Rehoboth Beach, the country is screaming for help especially at the pumps, gun control, and feeding our babies.

Take the blame, you fool, and do a turnaround and help.

In God and country,



Gun Madness
East Hampton
June 5, 2022


So, the new unwoken culture adds mystery where there isn’t any. Creates conflict where this is none. Creates confusion when there is clarity. But takes no responsibility or ownership for anything it says or does.

So, Uvalde will soon be done. The funerals over, the lives of everyone involved irreparably damaged. It may linger an extra week because the town is mostly Latino (some Spanish speaking origin) and the Latino vote in the United States seems to be shifting away from Dems. The desire to be like the people who hate them so they can have someone to hate. Human, or is it inhuman nature in America?

The political faux-outrage will die down after the knee-jerk calls for gun controls and the opposition’s mental health drivel. While 70 percent of the country wants these senseless killings to stop, the political universe refuses to do what’s necessary. On Jan. 1, the Republicans have an annual celebration where every politician takes a pill that will render him or her immune to any feelings of sympathy, remorse, or self-loathing. Some call it dehumanization. Keep the faith.

The narrative that minority groups are coming after the poor white oppressor class and this class requires protection, thus guns, is a brilliantly crafted message. It presumes that the white group as well as the minority groups are brain-dead or extremely ignorant. Partially true; one usually knows whose foot is on their throat.

There is a set of facts that exposes the basic premise as garbage. We are the most protected people in the world. We have 1.1 million state and local law enforcement officers. Add to that federal police, the F.B.I., and Homeland Security, another two million in private security, millions of backup administrative workers, the C.I.A., and the military. We spend around $350 billion annually on local, federal, and state policing, including prisons, not counting private security. We spend $1 trillion more on defense.

No country anywhere in the world has less need for guns for protection than the U.S. The primary reason we have guns is to kill each other. Paranoia.

The question raised is, why are people buying military-grade automatic weapons that are made for war? It is essentially the wrong question. What we need to ask ourselves is why is the arms industry pushing the sale of these weapons to the public? Why are they commercializing a product that is both dangerous and has no real value to the public? Profits, profits, profits.

The arms have no particular use outside the occasional attack on groups of people. Any argument that will increase arms sales is okay with the National Rifle Association. The issue has little to do with the Constitution and much to do with corporate profits.

The constitution doesn’t give us the right to buy a car, use alcohol, or take drugs, but we do. They are all potentially dangerous to the public, so they are substantially regulated. People don’t need the Constitution to guarantee their rights to buy guns (Chief Justice Warren Burger said it doesn’t, anyway). They can buy them within the rules and regulations established by the government: i.e., the Temperance Movement succeeded in banning the use of alcohol from 1920 to 1933 with the 18th Amendment. It had begun in 1784 and spent 130 years before it succeeded. So, we are capable, if not a bit slow, of enacting reforms.

So, when we look at the Citizens United decision stating that corporations had personhood for the sole purpose of spending huge sums of money to influence elections, even though corporations have no right to vote since they aren’t really people, we make the connection to the gun industry bringing into question the legitimacy of the gun lobby’s efforts to sell massive numbers of guns to the American people based on a similarly false narrative.

Is it the Judeo-Christian dictum that money and property are the essential elements for power and more important than human lives? Maybe the reason why our church leaders remain silent except for an occasional prayer?

So, maybe there is a better alternative to the madness around guns. Logically, if the constitutional and self-preservation narratives aren’t obvious bullshit, people could be buying hand grenades. Cheaper, less complicated, and more effective in protecting and killing than automatic weapons. Keep a grenade by the side of your bed, pull the pin, and throw. No background checks, training, or government interference. Gun manufacturers would segue into grenades, and people would still buy guns for hunting and collecting, which don’t require automatic weapons. Bright colors, Jesus saves, U.S.A. grenades for public apparel.

Essentially, the gun deal sends a message out to the world that America sucks. Or is it capitalism run amok?


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