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Letters to the Editor for July 14, 2022

Wed, 07/13/2022 - 12:00
Durell Godfrey

Justice Walker
Amagansett
July 11, 2022

Dear David,

I had the privilege of working for Roger Walker. Dedicated to justice, the town, the people, former town Justice Roger Walker clearly was one of Bonac’s finest kind

LONA RUBENSTEIN

 

Little Treasures
North Haven
July 10, 2022

Dear David:

Summer is well underway, and many private gardens have had their glorious spring flowering moments. The garden tours are over, and now most settle into the heat of the social season.

Several public-access gardens remain available to the community and to their members. These special places are always full of surprises and information, and occasionally offer very interesting entertainment as well.

The Madoo Conservancy in Sagaponack is a modest-sized, carefully designed garden with a famous art studio that continues to fascinate well after the 2013 passing of its poet-artist founder Robert Dash.

Alejandro Saralegui, the executive director, had the good fortune to work with Robert Dash for about four years and has accomplished a wonderful transition of Dash’s vision to current requirements and updated maintenance, without loosing any of its founder’s spirit.

This week Madoo presented a performance piece by Martha Clarke, with music and dance by a very talented troupe. It was a very enjoyable summer event staged in the Madoo garden that offered perfect open-lawn and landscape features for the presentation.

We are so fortunate to have these little treasures, once private gardens, available to us. They were carefully groomed over decades by generous and creative artists for the ultimate gift to the community.

ANTHONY CORON

 

Larsen’s Legacy
East Hampton
July 10, 2022

To the Editor:

This responds to Katherine Henderson’s letter of July 2, rhapsodizing over the current season at LongHouse and fantasizing about how the late Jack Larsen would be thrilled. Ms. Henderson’s letter made me think that she is blissfully unaware of the dark clouds hanging over that institution and the jeopardy in which Larsen’s legacy has been placed by the current trustees.

Is Ms. Henderson aware that the trustees of LongHouse are being investigated by the New York State attorney general on a complaint filed by major donors accusing one trustee of violating his duty by making a dying Jack Larsen change his will and turn over millions of dollars to that trustee rather than to LongHouse? Other trustees are accused of actively aiding this violation or knowingly ignoring it.

Is Ms. Henderson aware that the most senior staff of LongHouse have resigned and prominent artists have protested and withdrawn their work in response to a wide range of trustee misconduct including the unjustified firing of Matko Tomicic? Also, many members who have supported LongHouse for decades, myself included, are letting their membership lapse and will not attend the summer benefit.

This is a time for housecleaning, not partying. It is certainly not a time for bailing out trustees who are under suspicion of having deprived LongHouse of millions of dollars.

In effect, those who attend the upcoming benefit will be subsidizing the legal fees of these LongHouse trustees as they struggle to defend what are alleged to be egregious violations of their duties. After the present trustees are removed, trustworthy replacements will be faced with the task of undoing the damage they have done, retrieving their unjustified legal expenses, and bringing back the millions of dollars they have diverted.

Is it any wonder that many people who love LongHouse and what it stands for are staying away and sitting out the benefit? For them, the beneficial events they await are the appointment of a new board of trustees, the recovery of millions of dollars, and the return of Matko Tomicic as executive director.

DANIEL YOUNG

 

Restore, Preserve
Springs
July 10, 2022

Dear David,

This past Sunday, my neighbors and I joined the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society for a hike at the Crandall-Norfolk woodlands in Springs. A mix of nearly two dozen veteran Trails Preservation Society members and local Springs residents gathered outside the seven acres of woodlands to learn about the history of the woodlands and ongoing efforts to protect them. Local residents spoke about their nomination pending before the town board seeking to include the seven acres of green open space among the town’s nature preserves.

One neighbor shared with the crowd the story of a family of hawks nesting in the woodlands. Others shared stories of box turtles and wild turkey families living in the woods. These facts alone qualify the woodlands as a nature preserve, according to the town code.

Local families have used the woods for sledding, hiking, cycling, and playing for generations — exactly the type of “passive,” “multi-recreational use” the town’s nature preserve code was intended for. Rumor has it even Jackson Pollock had slept in the woodlands after long nights at what is now the Springs Tavern.

The Crandall-Norfolk woodlands are truly all that’s left to keep the natural landscape beautiful and provide essential habitat for large amounts of wildlife in this highly developed pocket of Springs. These woodlands are a Springs institution. Let’s restore and preserve them.

JACKI ESPOSITO

 

Price of Gas?
East Hampton
July 8, 2022

Dear David,

Could someone — anyone — explain why the price of gas at the Sunoco in Southampton is $4.79 and in East Hampton it is $5.69? The gas prices are starting to go down, but in East Hampton the price is going up.

Thank you,

DEB SHERMAN

 

Cost the Taxpayers
Amagansett
July 7, 2022

To the Editor:

It is hard to imagine anything more irresponsible than the actions of East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc, as described by New York State Supreme Court Justice Paul Baisely Jr. in his recent ruling, which you described, regarding East Hampton’s fight against its own residents over beach driving.

Perhaps nowhere else in the country do residents have free access to more ocean and bay beaches — at least eight — than in East Hampton. No resident lives more than two miles from one, where they are welcome to park for free, fish, and swim. Residents can also drive on many of these beaches, at any time of day, nine months of the year, and in the mornings and evenings during the summer.

Mr. Van Scoyoc’s reckless actions to enable beach driving on an additional strip of beach have likely cost the taxpayers of East Hampton enormous legal fees and those costs are mounting with the recent fine on the town of $239,000 for being in contempt of court and being ordered to reimburse the legal fees and expenses of residents forced to fight the town.

Surely, a good town supervisor could find better ways than this to allocate a town’s resources and tax dollars, as well as foster harmony rather than sow division in a community.

TOD COOPERMAN

 

Big Lie in the Sky
Wainscott
July 9, 2022

Dear David:

Good morning and happy July. I just wanted to make you and your readers aware of the latest totally false and misleading tactic currently being used by those who oppose our town board’s efforts to gain local control of East Hampton Airport. Let’s call it the Big Lie in the Sky.

The Big Lie in the Sky goes like this: The Town of East Hampton will go broke and your taxes will rise because of all the lawsuits brought by outsiders (and a few misinformed “victims” in Montauk). One local fellow with more money than integrity even took out full-page newspaper ads to promote this lie.

In actual fact here is the truth, directly from the town’s website. It states all of the airport’s capital and operating costs are paid for with airport funds; no general funds are used. Capital and operating costs include all consultant fees and litigation costs. The airport funds are derived from landing fees, “fuel flowage,” and leases.

So, the actual truth of the matter is that helicopter and seaplane companies, charter jet operators, and others who use and do business at the airport are paying for both sides of these lawsuits. That’s right: The attorneys and consultants hired by the town are actually being paid for by the same folks who are suing the town. Such a delicious irony!

Of course, if the town board wishes to save even more money, I’d like to offer the following suggestion: Dynamite costs far less than lawyers and consultants. Let’s just blow up the runways and call it a day.

Best wishes,

TOM MACNIVEN

 

Fireworks
Montauk
June 28, 2022

Dear Editor,

I suppose if they were legal, I’d have no right to complain about the use of fireworks. However, I have been told they are not legal, and I must strongly complain.

Fireworks being shot off in June is really unfair. If, instead of watching your show, you could watch my Lab panting and shaking, you’d stop! Even giving her calm pills, there is no comforting her. This isn’t right on my part, but I hope you could lose a finger or an eye or get hurt really bad.

While I repeat this every year, it seems the police can’t locate or can’t do anything? We used sparklers at July 4th — pretty and quiet.

I beg you to stop torturing my dog. Take your firecrackers and go home. Leave us alone.

(Hi, out there. Does this upset your pet, too?)

ROBERTA WICKLEIN

 

Overrun With Humans
Montauk
July 11, 2022

Dear David,

Although no official census has been conducted, it does appear that this summer the township of East Hampton has been overrun with humans, their dogs, and their vehicles.

This has led to long waits for restaurant tables and takeout, long lines at the grocery stores and traffic court, traffic gridlock, and even fisticuffs over prized parking spaces in municipal lots. According to the recent traffic control officers reports, 27 fights have occurred in the East Hampton Village lots since June 1. Owners of Range Rovers and Audis are known to be particularly aggressive — some have even equipped their car fobs with miniature stun guns that incapacitate rival drivers for five minutes, just long enough to park their cars. On the other hand, drivers of the Mini Coopers have acquired a reputation for good manners and courtly demeanors. Some have even acquired British accents and have posted Monty Python and Corgi-dog bumper stickers on their cars.

It appears that the mayhem is not limited to parking lots. The East Hampton Town Police report that acts of violence have occurred at some beach hotels. Apparently, most of the fights have occurred over allocation of beach chairs, cabanas, and proximity to the fire pits where seating is limited to trust fund children.

It is entirely possible that the overcrowding issue could be solved by building a big, beautiful wall at the Southampton-East Hampton border from the Atlantic Ocean to Noyac Bay. Five entry gates could be manned by East Hampton Special Forces to check residency proof of people traveling east. Only East Hampton full-time residents, second-home owners, and trades and service people would be permitted to enter. For day-tripper people and hotel users, special lotteries could be created.

Although I digress, I have to mention that the Stony Brook-Southampton Hospital S.P.U. (special patient unit) is up and running for the summer. Word has it that Madonna has already been treated for a bum bruise after falling off her donkey. According to my sources, Dick Wolf is planning a TV series based on the S.P.U. It will feature Beyonce as a hard-charging doctor who sings on the side to provide college tuition for her triplets and Jay-Z as a hard-charging nurse-practitioner who is madly in love with Beyonce.

Cheers,

BRIAN POPE

 

Balloon Debris
East Hampton
July 11, 2022

Dear David,

In recent weeks I have had the opportunity to meet with the managers of Stop & Shop on Newtown Lane and the two CVS Pharmacy stores located on Pantigo Road and Montauk Highway — all are within the Village of East Hampton.

The elimination of both latex and Mylar helium or gas-filled balloons for sale is a huge step forward in creating a balloon-free community. I am personally grateful and thankful to Kamishka O’Connor and Kevin Stanton, managers of the CVS pharmacies, and Michelle Lynch of Stop & Shop for their environmental concern and cooperation in contributing to the efforts made by the East Hampton Town Trustees and the East Hampton Town Board members to help keep our waterways and landscapes clean from balloon debris and marine and wildlife species safe from balloon harm.

More great news: The Ladies Village Improvement Society is a balloon-free zone since 2019, and East Hampton High School no longer uses balloons for graduation!

Background history: The Town of East Hampton’s law to ban the intentional release of balloons passed in 2019. Subsequently the same legislation was passed unanimously by the Suffolk Legislature and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signed it into law in September 2019. The latest ban of the sale and distribution of helium and/or gas-filled latex or Mylar (stretched plastic/fossil fuel/petroleum) balloons in East Hampton went into effect on Jan. 1. In Southampton, similar legislation passed and went into effect on June 1.

We live in one of the most beautiful coastal communities in the world. Again, my sincere gratitude to the CVS pharmacies and Stop & Shop for their support by eliminating balloons for sale in our village!

Warmest regards,

SUSAN MCGRAW KEBER

 

East Hampton Town Trustee
Gladly Advocate
Springs

July 10, 2022

To the Editor,

“Push for All-Electric Could Be Big Jolt for New Construction” by Christopher Walsh last Thursday confirmed the benefits of my decision to install a new energy-efficient system in my home.

I listened to the Zoom presentation a few months ago that was provided by the Town of East Hampton. GreenTeam LI did a superb job installing a state-of-the-art heating and cooling system, as well as a hybrid hot water heater. The installers were very professional and eager to make the change as painless as possible. They removed the older system components and worked within my schedule.

The finished product looks better on the outside — and inside. The cooling system is outstanding, and I assume the heating will be equally as effective.

I thanked the department in the Town of East Hampton for providing the education about this alternative. Change can be difficult, but this energy efficient system has not only provided a major improvement but is relatively stress free. I told the town I would gladly be an advocate for the transition when other homeowners are considering this possibility.

STEVEN A. LUDSIN

 

Taking the Lead
Sag Harbor
July 10, 2022

To the Editor:

Regarding, “Push for All-Electric Could be Big Jolt for New Construction,” I was delighted to read that the Town of East Hampton’s Energy and Sustainability Advisory Committee recommends requiring new construction to be all-electric beginning in 2023. No gas, oil, or propane hookups would be permitted. Hopefully, the town board will adopt this and related code revisions.

Buildings contribute 32 percent of New York’s carbon emissions. Reducing these emissions is imperative in order to meet our climate goals. Ground-source or air-source heat pumps powered by electricity are efficient and cost-effective ways to quietly heat and cool our homes, heat our water and dry our clothes. Electric stoves, whether conventional or induction, do not emit the nitrous oxides and other harmful indoor pollutants that gas stoves do. And the electricity for powering these appliances will increasingly be provided by wind and solar sources.

East Hampton’s proposal follows that of New York City, which passed a similar law taking effect in 2024. The All-Electric Building Act introduced in Albany this year would prohibit fossil fuel hookups statewide in new construction. But the legislative leaders, Carl Heastie and Andrea Stewart-Cousins, kept this important bill from coming to a vote this year. They need to support the bill and make sure it passes in the 2023 session.

Meanwhile, localities are increasingly taking the lead in climate action. Where is the Town of Southampton when it comes to requiring new construction to be all electric?

KATHLEEN BOZIWICK

 

Emerging Technologies
Wainscott
July 11, 2022

Dear David,

As one of the founding members and past chair of the East Hampton Town Energy Sustainability Advisory Committee, who led the town board as chairman to unanimously adopt the Comprehensive Energy Vision and the 100 percent renewable energy goal, I was shocked and appalled at the blatant misinformation, false and misleading statements, emanating out of this current committee as reported in this week’s East Hampton Star article titled “Push for All-Electric Could Be Big Jolt for New Construction.”

I resigned from the committee to write a book titled, “Decarbonize The World,” a market-based solution to reduce greenhouse gases that was published last November and to finish a fossil fuel-free project at my home.

The recommendation from this committee is ill advised and fraught with problems that won’t reduce the overall carbon footprint in a home while Long Island’s electric grid produces electric from fossil fuels. In a peer-reviewed paper I wrote that was published in the American Institute of Physics Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, an energy analysis showed that heating a home with electric from Long Island’s fossil fuel grid emits three times the amount of carbon dioxide British thermal unit than number-two fuel oil and propane.

It may seem counterintuitive, because the burning of fossil fuels to produce electric is done off site; however, producing electric from fossil fuels is only 33 percent efficient, whereas propane boilers are 98 percent to 99 percent efficient. The delta of energy efficiency is far too large to overcome, and off-site electric production must be accounted for in any carbon emission calculations according to the worldwide accepted standard, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol developed by the World Resources Institute.

To say, “Electrical appliances such as hot water heaters, induction stoves, and cold climate heat pumps produce no on-site greenhouse gas emissions,” is false and misleading, off-site must also be accounted for.

It will be foolish for the town board to adopt such a code in light of emerging technologies such as hydrogen. To produce hydrogen from renewable energy, the only emission is oxygen. When burning hydrogen, the only emission is pure water. The issue of storing hydrogen under high pressure has been resolved with new technology.

I’m heating my house with a carbon-neutral renewable energy source. (Hint: It’s not electric.) There are many more emerging technologies coming to market that won’t be able to be used if a code such as this is adopted.

This committee shouldn’t use fear tactics, let’s turn the table. Here is data from a report by the National Fire Protection Association: “Fire departments responded to an estimated average of 46,700 home fires involving electrical failure or malfunction each year in 2015-2019. These fires caused an estimated average of 390 civilian deaths and 1,330 civilian injuries each year in 2015 to 2019, as well as an estimated $1.5 billion in direct property damage a year. Electrical failures or malfunctions were the second leading cause of electrical home fires in 2015 to 2019, accounting for 13 percent of home structure fires.”

We can do better than this in East Hampton; we have. All-electric homes only benefits PSEG-Long Island, it doesn’t solve the climate change crisis, anyone who thinks otherwise is ill-informed to put it mildly, let’s follow the science.

Sincerely,

FRANK DALENE

 

Safe Place to Ride
East Hampton
July 9, 2022

Dear David,

I’m going off the country topic for a moment, though I haven’t forgotten or given up yet. We are in a dire time, where we have high gas prices at the pump and a ridiculous damaging Supreme Court decision. I’m going local. I am speaking to the lack of bike lanes everywhere from this side of Shinnecock to The End. You either put them in or ban summer bike riding altogether and cycle at the spin studios. Sorry, but how many pedestrians and cyclists are going to die before we get a clue?

When I moved out here, I wondered, “Where are the sidewalks? Where’s a safe place to ride a bike?” Yes, there are sidewalks in town and footpaths on some roads, like Three Mile Harbor Road and Springs-Fireplace Road, but often they end, then what? You walk on the side of the road at your own risk and learn to move very fast.

I live in a neighborhood and when they built it in the woods in the 1980s, they put in no sidewalks or a shoulder or a footpath. Bad idea. People walk strollers and have to duck over quickly to grass or berm or people’s driveways to not get run over by speeding cars. Yes, they’re still speeding down Middle Highway, bub.

The other night a drunken fool blew the stop sign and swerved into the woods to avoid the car that did stop at a stop sign, and the guy took out some scrub oaks and flipped his car. He walked out of it. An ambulance and cops were called. How many times is a dog going to get run down or, God forbid, a child, before something is done about speeding out here? Where in the blazing biscuits is everyone going in such a hurry? You gotta slow down, people.

The villages are chock-a-block with people who are not crossing in the crosswalks. There are cars on your bumper, even beeping, imagine, as they cannot fathom you’re slowing down to let pedestrians cross in the actual crosswalks. And then the cyclists. God bless that poor man’s family who lost his life on the stretch last weekend. Bike lanes, powers that be — or no bikes. It’s beyond dangerous. And that’s just 27.

On the back roads, forget it. It’s insane. Country roads be damned, they cannot ride lollygagging, two abreast, or a whole family following one another like ducks, even with helmets. It’s just crazy. There’s no room, and on curves you’re asking for trouble.

How about when the airport closes, we build a big cycling park? One can go there and ride and stay off the roads. Some do it for exercise or belong to a cycling club. Not good here. Sorry, dudes. Stop renting or giving your hotel guests beach cruisers to ride through town to beach. Danger, Will Robinson. There are no bike lanes, you hear?

It’s hard enough just trying to walk around here. It’s dicey even crossing the street in the crosswalk; some don’t stop. We don’t have enough traffic officers in the towns either. They’re doing their best, and it’s beyond them. Someone recently said to me, “This is the most pedestrian-unfriendly place.” I was upset to hear it, yet couldn’t really disagree with her. Other places have bike lanes and people actually cross at crosswalks. Not in the middle of the damn village, across from the cinema. If I stop for you, the guy or gal behind me slams into me. I’m not stopping, so walk yourself and your dear ones to the crosswalk and press the button.

Please build bike lanes or ban summer cycling. A boy died last Thursday on Town Line Road in Sagaponack riding his bike. There’s no shoulder, no bike lane, and too many people driving and the “trade parade,” too, using back roads and going awfully fast. I know, time is money. Tell that to the dead boy’s parents and the dead man’s grandchildren. I’m sickened by these tragedies.

Is this the Long Island Expressway? Cedar Street is a flipping speedway. My daughter-in-law from Cali was going to take a walk home from the village with the baby. My son told her, “Absolutely not.”

I mean, once this was a sleepy town with a few pickups and dirt roads; I bet you wish it still was, and I can’t blame you. But you built and built and opened the door good and wide and now look what we have — insanity every summer. We complain and cry in our beer, but what is actually going to change? I’m thinking we can do better. In fact, I know we can. But please, don’t sweep it under the rug this fall and not do anything, okay? I beseech you. This is a beautiful, sacred place; let’s all enjoy it and stop the infernal speeding and be safe.

And by the way, no one owns the beach. Imagine if we, living on the bay every summer as we used to (lucky us), demanded people not windsurf or paddleboard or boat, respecting the wake zone. We didn’t complain, and we all shared the water quite nicely. Have some respect for people who have lived here their whole lives. “You didn’t discover it,” my late mother-in-law used to say. “People have done so for years before you.” Show some respect. Be courteous to your servers; they work darn hard. Don’t litter. No texting while crossing and driving, and, for goodness’ sake, read the room.

Stay safe,

NANCI LAGARENNE

 

Rights of Way
Amagansett
July 8, 2022

To the Editor:

I like and admire David Buda, who plays a needed gadfly role in town board proceedings. For years, David has spoken in almost every hearing and frequently in the public portion as well. David’s specialty is crunching the details of town real estate transactions including community preservation fund purchases, looking for everything from violations of law to typographical errors. He monitors other town legislation as well.

Recently, David took a flier, as he does at long intervals, on a more abstract political and policy issue, urging the town board to monitor the “right of way” adjoining town roads for possible public uses. This in my opinion was a misstep on David’s part, so I am pleased to play the meta-David Buda, offering him the kind of comments I imagine he would make to the town if it were planning, for example, to place picnic areas on town residents’ front lawns.

The “right of way” is a term of art for the difference between the actual paved width of the street you live on and the width shown on a tax map. Most residential town roads that are 20 feet wide as paved are illustrated on the town’s maps as 60 feet wide. On these streets, the homeowners on both sides do not actually own part of their front lawns or driveways. In the past in New York state, this ownership was sometimes created merely by a local government filing a map showing the dimensions, was a surprise to the homeowner, and did not involve the payment of any compensation.

New York State law and case law creates a special legal status for these rights of way. Towns use them for utility lines, traffic and parking signage, and, much more rarely, when a road is expanded. Adjoining homeowners have protected legal rights, including running driveways across them. It is customary in many places, including our town, that these residents landscape, mow, and plant the rights of way consistent with the rest of their property, and also maintain them. Homeowners cannot, of course, fence or block the rights of way, but neither are they public land freely available for use in the same sense as a park or town green. Inconsistent uses of the right of way may infringe legal rights of homeowners by creating a nuisance or interfering with rights which run with their land.

Talking about public uses of most rights of way is therefore an error and, beyond that, flares up in East Hampton from time to time as an aggressive political trope. For example, I recently heard someone at a citizens advisory committee meeting advocate that public beach parking be permitted in the parking lot of a particular hotel. Two things are subtexts in this kind of proposal.

The first is, to call this clearly what it is, in an era where unused land suitable for large public uses is scarce and expensive, right-of-way advocates are often dishonorably looking for other land which can be appropriated, like ranchers running herds across the plots of small farmers in the 19th-century West. Second, these proposals are often also weapons, deployed against individuals and groups regarded as political enemies. No one ever seems to advocate for public use of the right of way on the property of people they like.

Ironically, chances are that most right-of-way advocates in East Hampton themselves have a driveway on the right of way. Like other tropes I could name which get bandied freely in polarized public discourse, right-of-way proposals should be examined with extreme caution, and with compassionate consideration of the rights and quality of life of homeowners. Arguing for this kind of legality and care would be a perfect role for David Buda, and I hope he will take it on when the time comes.

Sincerely,

JONATHAN WALLACE

 

Zeldin Now?
Carlsbad, Calif.
July 11, 2022

To the Editor,

West (California) asking the East: “Why Mr. Zeldin for your representative and governor nominee?”  

Zeldin is now running for governor on the G.O.P. ticket and is expected to lose. How is this possible with the endorsement of Donald Trump? (Sarcasm) It will all be an exercise in futility, but it gets Zeldin’s name in good graces with Donald, just in case POTUS 45 is reinstated or re-elected. 

Congressional District 1 is in the heart of Long Island elites, and so I partially understand why Zeldin represents N.Y. District 1. But District 1, thankfully, doesn’t represent New York, and so I predict that Kathy Hochul will mop up the floor with Lee Zeldin. 

I note once again that Paul Manafort, pardoned for high crimes, is likely being represented by Lee Zeldin. Good company.

GERALD LANCE JOHANNSEN

 

No Place in Albany
East Hampton
July 4, 2022

Dear David:

Recently there was a report out of Indianapolis that a 10-year-old Ohio victim of child abuse was denied an abortion in Ohio because she was diagnosed as pregnant for six weeks and three days — three days over the Ohio ban. Fortunately for her, she was able to obtain an abortion in neighboring Indiana.

And fortunately for us New Yorkers, we live in a more enlightened state, one that since 1970 broadly recognized the right to obtain an abortion. And then, in 2019 the New York Legislature codified the rights offered under Roe v. Wade.

Nothing in the New York law forces women to have an abortion; it merely recognizes that the state has no place in intruding into a woman’s most personal decision, at least until 24 weeks, after which abortions are allowed only if the mother’s health is a risk.

New York’s stance on abortion rights reflects the general view of the state’s populace. Prior to the Supreme Court’s evisceration of Roe, some 63 percent of adult New Yorkers believed abortion should be legal. And, just last week the State legislature passed New York’s version of the Equal Rights Amendment, which, if accepted by voters, would constitutionally protect broad swaths of the populace from discrimination.

Governor Hochul is broadly supportive of the social freedom granted under New York’s governance and promises to uphold, if not broaden, state protections. Her challenger, our lame-duck congressman, Lee Zeldin, is her polar opposite. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s reversal of 50 years of women’s reproductive freedom afforded by Roe, Mr. Zeldin celebrated the decision as a victory for life and family. An arch-conservative, Mr. Zeldin advocates a ban on abortion without exception.

When one thinks back to that 10-year-old Ohio girl, one has to wonder what kind of victory a complete ban on abortion would provide her. That is, unless Mr. Zeldin thinks family values should embrace a mother and her daughter attending the same school.

There is no place in Albany for Mr. Zeldin’s extreme views. Remember that this November.

Sincerely,

CAROL O’ROURKE

 

News for You
Montauk
July 11, 2022

Dear David,

I heard this morning that while President Biden promised to do what he could to lower the gas prices, he removed oil from our reserve, in turn sold that oil to China. Repeat the line, “sold our oil to China.”

News for you, Joe, stop blaming everyone but yourself. Refineries no longer own gas stations. They are owned by individuals, some family-owned. You are to blame with your restrictions, no longer allowing permits, and closing pipelines. Absolutely no drilling on federal land, but perhaps if A.O.C. and Indian lady Elizabeth Warren have their way, abortions will be allowed on federal land.

On President Biden’s inauguration day, he promised to end the instability and heal the nation. Today 77 percent of Americans think we are on the wrong track, 94 percent of citizens under 30 said they will vote for someone else, and today Joe’s approval rate is 33 percent.

War with Bezos is heating up, and listen, Joe Biden using the expression MAGA is equal to deplorables: Lose the expression.

In God and country,

BEA DERRICO

 

Attack on Women
East Hampton
July 11, 2022

David,

So, in response to the Roe disaster, a Jewish group in Florida is making the case that their book states that life begins at birth and that abortion is part of the religious identity of the Jewish people. Prohibiting abortion is in conflict with the right of Jews to practice their religion, much as in the Bible, life begins at birth. The idea is to search for a solution inside the religious proclivities of Supreme Court members. It sounds reasonable and logical, so the justices will have to dig deeply into their catalog of religious obscure freakery to figure that one out.

The justices could reasonably say that Jesus never okayed abortion or that the Bible is an allegorical fantasy. They can’t say that America is a place which supports life without getting three Pinocchios. (Of course they could.)

Being Jewish and occasionally listening to my father talk about the difficulties of being Jewish in the world, I am certain that the Florida case is about seeing the handwriting on the wall. If you’ve lived through centuries of pogroms, inquisitions, and holocausts, you develop a sensitivity to dread. Dread that the same things are happening and that the same people who came after you before will be coming again — Trump told them it was okay.

With Jews being one-eighth of 1 percent of the world’s population, antisemitism seems ridiculous. Idiotic. Pointless. Is antisemitism really about Jews? Because everyone knows the Roe decision wasn’t about abortion. No one gives a rat about abortion or life or any of that crap. They care about money, wealth, and power.

Beating on women for abortion is small potatoes compared to returning women to their roles as subservient to men in our society. Women’s equality, despite the Constitution, is an expensive, disorienting process that essentially says that men are obligated by law, not God, to share everything equally with women — a massive transfer of wealth and power without too much bloody violence. (Suppressing women, in every form, is violent.)

Allowing half the population to join in the spoils of our development is a mind-boggling gesture. Yet when you look at our politicians and our justices and you understand that they are greedy and have avarice, it is not difficult to understand the attack on women, see the “pussy grabber” response. Smiles, sneers, a little self-flagellation.

So, the attack on women, coupled with the attack on Black Lives Matter, the statements on contraception and homosexuality, and the open gun-carry decision send up enough red flags to make Jews nervous.

Trump, Reagan, Nixon, and F.D.R. were all strongly antisemitic. Trump, however, was the only one that told his supporters that “Jews will not replace us”; wasn’t an anti-Semitic obscenity. Wink, wink. Presidents don’t publicly comment on Jewish accountants and lawyers as if they were a breed apart.

The awareness of Jewish people of impending troubles doesn’t make them special. Cautious, nervous, uptight, even scared, they know that abortion isn’t about lives or fetuses or morality, just a political power move to try and squeeze a little more wealth from a target that is pretty loaded.

They know that history repeats itself. They also know that false confidence and denial are a recipe for disaster. Americans deny their history because it sometimes conflicts with their heroic narrative. No one is perfect, but it is impossible to improve our society without understanding who and what we really are.

Is it time for a female president? We’ve done way worse with our men.

NEIL HAUSIG


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