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Letters to the Editor for July 28, 2022

Wed, 07/27/2022 - 18:45

Miraculous Save
Greenwich, Conn.
July 22, 2022

Dear Editor,

I wanted to publicly thank Ely Dickson, a town lifeguard, for saving my stepdaughter, Vivienne, from the town beach in Montauk on Tuesday. We had just arrived in Montauk for our first vacation of the summer and my 12-year-old daughter was so excited she ran straight into the waves.

Ely made a miraculous save jumping over a rope and diving into the eight-foot-high swells. No words or sum of donation can express our gratitude for his heroic actions. We made a donation in his name for $500 to the Hampton Lifeguard Association to support his venture in competing in the national lifeguard tournament in California. We wish him the best of luck and have no doubt he will excel.




Brave Lifesaving Effort
East Hampton
July 22, 2022

Dear David,

We were saddened to learn of 31-year-old Benjamin Kitburi’s drowning in the rough surf off Montauk this week. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends.

The loss of Mr. Kitburi reminds us of how dangerous swimming in the ocean can be. We, as fellow Hamptonites, stewards of water safety, and local lifeguards, are heartbroken for his family and our beach-going community.

Our prayers and gratitude go out to all emergency personnel who attempted to save Mr. Kitburi’s life. We especially recognize the bravery of our off-duty good Samaritan lifeguard brethren in their lifesaving efforts.





Directors of East End Ocean Rescue and Hamptons Emergency Lifeguard Partnership


Local History
Studio City, Calif.
July 21, 2022

To the Editor:

I enjoyed Christine Sampson’s July story in East on the proliferation of collector cars in the Hamptons. I know some of the subjects: Susan Harder, Charlie Schwendler (mechanic extraordinaire), Aventura Motors, and, until I moved to California in 2017, I was also a member of the Old Stone Car Club, a loose Sunday-morning gathering at the Springs General Store.

The story’s short length could only scratch the surface of the many enthusiasts and important cars in the area, compared to any similar community in the country. The Bridgehampton Museum commemorates the races held there, from 1915, then 1949-53 on the streets and at Bridgehampton Race Circuit (that was its name, not “raceway”), from 1956 to 1970, when it was as well known as Indianapolis or Monaco to race fans. (I ran it from 1971 to 1984.) The golf course gives lip service to the racing heritage, but is also the tombstone to it. Ralph Lauren and Jerry Seinfeld are among many who keep their collections in the neighborhood, where the roads are perfect for fun drives.

The man with the boater in the old car was Henry Austin Clark, the founder and owner of the Southampton Museum, which was on the highway for many years after its closing. He was a collector of international note, and one of the founders of the Bridgehampton Race Circuit.

Thanks again for the story on a movement that is a very important part of local history.



Been Our Pleasure
July 16, 2022

Dear David,

We write today to express our gratitude to you and our Grain family on the East End — and all who have shared the stoke of paddling out to experience the beauty and wonder of it all. How truly blessed we are!

This fall the Grain NY shop is moving up to HQ in York, Maine, as we will be closing our Amagansett shop at the end of September.

Together we built something we are proud of on the East End, and we can honestly say it has been a labor of love. Providing an opportunity for people to build their own wooden surfboard, skateboard — to slow down and be a part of the process and experience the joy of creating something with your hands — it’s completely been our pleasure to share this undertaking with all of you.

Of course, it has always been about more than surfing and surfboards: It’s the connection, collaboration, and celebration of community. The human exchanges in each workshop live on in us as part of our collective evolution. Equally so, the artists and makers who have shared their work in our space have filled our souls. We are firm believers that art is good for you — the act of creating and appreciating others creations keeps us connected to this shared experience of life. We are grateful to all of the East End artists and makers who have graced our space and shared their work alongside ours.

Join us this summer as we revel in the beauty of what we have all built together. Workshop opportunities continue through September for surfboards and skateboards. On Friday, we held our opening reception for our final gallery exhibition, featuring the legendary Peter Spacek, “Water & Power.”

Thank you to everyone who walked through our doors and became part of our Grain family. We hope to see you at Surf Re-Evolution in York, Me., Sept. 9 and 10.

Our parting thoughts: Be kind, give a wave to a stranger, live consciously, support local artists, and take care of the precious ecosystem on the East End.




Grain Surfboards

Stick + Stone


Nothing but Ballet
East Hampton
July 22, 2022

To the Editor,

I read with great admiration the article about Miss Mayfield Myers. Having taken ballet classes with Ms. Strickland myself, and having seen several performances of her “Nutcracker,” I am sure that our paths have crossed. What touched me the most was her discussion regarding body image. I would like to thank her for bringing it to the attention of your readers. Let me tell you why.

As a child of 7 years old, living in Belgium, my mother took me and my older sister to a Russian ballet school to see if we could take classes. I remember that day as if it were yesterday.

After waiting patiently, the ballet mistress told my sister and me to “Stand up!” She looked at my sister then at me and said, “You,” looking at my sister, “Come,” then pointed her finger at me and looked at my mother and said, “Her, No! Legs too short.” I was devastated and cried all the way home.

Fortunately, I found acceptance in gymnastics and other sports.

Later, at the age of 40, while working at the United Nations, I was able to take modern dance classes there during my lunch hour. My teacher, after having heard my story, informed me that they offered ballet classes as well and that I should take those classes instead. After a few classes, the ballet master told me that it was time for me to move on and take classes at his ballet school. I did, and the rest is history.

The teachers there encouraged me to dance my heart out. After a few years, when I became stronger, the ballet master said, “Patricia, you can call yourself a ballet dancer!” (Thank you, Francis, for that gift.)

At 71, I still take classes several times a week. I call myself a “ballet dancer” with pride despite my short legs. The best of all is that during class I think of nothing else but ballet. It’s just me and my Prince.



July 19, 2022

To the Editor,

Seems odd to have an in-depth article about lone star ticks that doesn’t mention alpha-gal meat allergy. From how many people I’ve encountered who developed it, it seems fairly common.



Still Flying
Wading River
July 25, 2022

To the Editor,

On a recent “27 Speaks” podcast, the chief executive officer of Blade, Rob Wiesenthal, stated, not once, but twice, that despite the fact that helicopters are no longer flying over the North Fork, residents are still filing complaints. Wow. The problem is that this statement is false. Helicopter flights continue over the Wading River area. They are not figments of my imagination. They are very visible and very noisy. It is extremely disappointing that a major helicopter figure would make such a bizarre statement.



Wading River Civic Association


Avoid Making Worse
July 21, 2022

To the Editor:

I write with great concern about the recent proposals to add beach parking lots on Napeague at the end of Dolphin Drive and Marlin Drive. This area, known as the Napeague Stretch, is the narrowest portion of the South Fork, between Napeague Harbor and the ocean.

As The Star reported in its July 7 edition, the Napeague Stretch already has a dangerous section of Route 27, where many fatal accidents have occurred. This is unsurprising, as vehicles often traveling at 55 miles per hour or more speed past the Lobster Roll and Clam Bar restaurants, and the unsafe conditions are heightened by the many cars and trucks leaving and entering the highway to park in the restaurants’ lots and along the side of the road.

While it seems unlikely that we can do much to reduce the flow of traffic along the Napeague Stretch, we should at least try to avoid making the situation worse. The new proposed beach parking lots will unfortunately have this negative impact. Besides bringing more traffic to the area, the new parking lots are also each proposed to be at the end of a narrow drive with an obstructed view of Route 27. If the parking lots are constructed, they will increase the number of drivers having to contend with these blind corners onto Route 27 — which would be a most unwelcome change, making the Napeague Stretch even more dangerous than it already is.



A Huge Issue
East Hampton Village
July 25, 2022

Dear Editor,

We would like to correct and add clarifications to the unsubstantiated statements in your recent editorial titled “A Developer’s Dream.” We recognize that you have added a salacious header in order to entice people to read about a proposed sewer system, but it does a disservice to our community to insinuate that there is a nefarious motivation for trying to improve our water quality.

The boundaries of the sewer service area were established by the previous village administration led by then-Mayor Rickenbach in 2019, who awarded a contract to Nelson & Pope to evaluate sewers, parking, and work-force housing. In their effort to address commercial revitalization, that study specified and defined the service area, which was the commercial district. The recent recommended plan adheres to their proposed commercial district boundaries. (If you could please clarify when you state, “if Village Hall were even remotely concerned with protecting groundwater it would be the other way around,” were you referring to the previous administration at Village Hall, which commissioned the study in 2019?)

It is important to note that the proposed sewer system, which will cost roughly $24 million, not the $30 million stated in your article, will be funded predominantly by grants.

Although the John M. Marshall Elementary School is not included in the current plan, the allegation that schools are not being addressed is premature. The wastewater project will address the school’s wastewater connection during the map and plan phase, which occurs after receiving the Department of Environmental Conservation’s decision on project permitting. The project has creative and cost-efficient methods for addressing school wastewaters. Again, the study area boundaries were established by the previous study initiated by the previous administration and were maintained solely for comparison purposes — a stated objective of the engineering report.

The map and plan will also address growth management. It is noted that the preliminary sizing of the wastewater system is for existing development. Wastewater management and freshwater quality are a huge issue for East Hampton and that is why we need a cohesive plan. Unfortunately now in the absence of one, the nitrogen concentration in our groundwater flows into our ponds and waterways causing the degradation of Hook and Georgica Ponds. Our drinking water is compromised. Contaminated water has an environmental impact, causing harmful algae blooms and brown tides. Cesspools for commercial facilities have been banned by the United States Environmental Protection Agency since 2001. Improper wastewater management can result in diseases and infections, as well as nuisance odors.

“We are at crisis levels with our ponds,” says Sara Davison, the executive director of Friends of Georgica Pond Foundation, when reached by the phone. “There is definitely urgency to address it. Remember that this is the water we drink. I commend the village for pushing forward on it.”

The statement that the current proposed system is merely “a sop to developers’ dreams, nothing more” is inflammatory and erroneous. Improving our water quality is crucial to our health and the health of our community as it stands right now.

And as for your assertion that the absence of modern wastewater management has been one of the very few levers the towns and villages have had to control development, surely we can do better. Our administration does not believe that one has to live in one’s excrement to maintain community charm and character.

As always you can reach the mayor or any of the East Hampton Village trustees by phone for clarifications before you go to press. Our number once again is 631-324-4150.








Not a Restaurant
East Hampton Village
July 23, 2022

To the Editor:

Your excellent and thought-provoking July 21 editorial in The Star — “A Developer’s Dream” — had a minor but important error that should be addressed.

Referring to the unwanted and out of place Brewery on Toilsome Lane as a “restaurant” when, in fact, it is not a restaurant, needs to be corrected. By legal definition it is a “brew pub” or “tavern.”

A restaurant is permitted to be built at 17 Toilsome Lane under the village zoning regulations. A tavern or brew pub is not listed as what can be built at that location and, therefore, as stated by the laws of New York State, the beer garden is not permitted.

Definition of a restaurant: “its sole purpose the preparation and serving of food . . . and including as a possible accessory the serving of alcoholic beverages . . . but not including any form of live entertainment or dancing for guest” (East Hampton Village Code 278-1).

As I await a hearing date to be set with the State Supreme Court to prevent the construction of the beer pub (Aaron v. Zoning Board of Appeals of the Village of East Hampton) I would appreciate when you refer to the Toilsome Lane beer pub in future articles and editorials that the legally correct words tavern, brew pub, or beer garden be used instead of restaurant.

Living next to the proposed site, I would look forward to have as my neighbor an excellent upscale restaurant but not an invasive beer pub that would destroy the character of our wonderful neighborhood and village.

Thanking you for your consideration,



Beaches and Parks
July 24, 2022

To the Editor,

The town board will be putting forth a resolution to change Chapter 91, “Beaches and Parks.” Some very interesting changes are ahead. I see instances they can make three different decisions. Just like directions of the wind changing with the day. I hope everyone gives it a read.

How symbolic of our town board — a public meeting to be held in the afternoon when the working class is doing just that: working. I’ll, of course, be sending in my comments but can’t say with certainty they’ll reach the proper destination.

Still here,



Opportunism Takes Root
North Haven
July 25, 2022

Dear David:

A deterioration of respect for our own federal government has brought this nation to a critical crisis, giving opportunity for politicians who prefer a plutocracy, theocracy, or even autocracy, over true democracy.

Many years of self-serving politicians being allowed to enjoy special privilege and profit, and only helping their cronies, has led in part to this disrespect. That they spend most of their time worrying about re-election rather than working for the public interest doesn’t help either. This leaves a void into which corruption and political opportunism take root.

Our recent political obsession with states’ rights, claiming a validity greater than well-established federal laws, is dividing this nation as effectively as was the case during secession and the Civil War. Consider that there were just 13 states then, and now we have 50, plus the District of Columbia.

Long before Trump became a figurehead for radical right-wing activists, and the criminal instigator of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol trying to overthrow an election, there have been numerous other less obvious attacks upon our inclusive democracy. The “moral majority” of the Reagan era, the “law and order” bunch from the Nixon era, the “originalist” thinkers like Scalia on the Supreme Court, and Mitch McConnell, as the enabler of the Senate’s ability to block all well-purposed legislation offering benefits to all citizens. These were all high-sounding political gimmicks that suggested anyone disagreeing would be amoral, unlawful, or tampering with a “perfect” (but seriously outdated) original Constitution. All of it was arrogant, insulting nonsense!

Aristocracy was excluded by the founders of our new nation, as was rule by a dominant religion. The excellent — but imperfect — Constitution allowed the tragedy of slavery, which took a very long time to defeat, and even longer in actual practice. One could reasonably suggest that traces of slavery remain today, but now in a mostly economic sense.

Throughout history, a ruling class was once the common situation. We seem to be subtly drifting back toward such a corruption of our democratic ideals today. The Supreme Court was deceptively packed with religious zealots and autocratic thinkers, leading to a dangerous and destructive imposition of revised decisions actually changing the “law of the land.”

The Senate remains obstinate by blocking anything beneficial for the population at large, while quickly endorsing costly benefits to corporations and the super wealthy.

We see racism flourishing and armed attacks upon well-established government institutions. The unbridled proliferation of guns, many considered weapons of war, is destroying civilian peace everywhere, including grade schools full of children. Even the pathetically incompetent civilian police are afraid to perform their duty, as shown in Uvalde recently.

Midterm elections are almost here, and we must take seriously our obligation to study the candidates as if our life depends upon it — then vote! We must clear out the politicians who remain in place who show little regard for truth, honesty, and hard work.

The midterm elections are a critical step in the right-wing’s long-term plan leading to the 2024 presidential election, and could have a most destructive outcome for our democracy if we allow it.

Recent years have shown how destructive many politicians remaining in office can be. The common good, the health, and well-being of everyone is still at risk. We are on the sharp edge of saving our civilization.

Please vote thoughtfully.



Moral Decisions
July 25, 2022


I have a little I would like to say about your front-page story from June 30: “After Roe Ruling Many Ask, What Now?”

In regard to the Dobbs case, the Supreme Court said that they are not for abortion or against abortion. What they said was they have no business getting involved in such an issue; it’s up to each state to decide what abortion laws they want. That sounds more democratic to me. That also sounds like separation of powers. I think the founders would be very happy with that decision. Thank God for the founders.

The Dobbs decision gives citizens a role again at the local level for important moral decisions. Now that the court has reversed the Roe ruling, it’s time to reverse some other decisions.

It’s time to defend our justices for what they did. Our justices showed great courage in standing up to the people who walked back and forth in front of their homes trying to intimidate them from striking down Roe. Thank God Brett Kavanaugh is still alive.

God Bless and protect these United States of America.



It Is Time
East Hampton
July 24, 2022

To the Editor,

The Jan. 6 Select Committee has shown clearly that former President Trump and his band of advisers planned for months the events of Jan. 6, 2021, including the violent attack on the Capitol that led to several deaths, many injuries, and significant property damage. Jan. 6, 2021, was no garden party. Secret Service members, protecting former Vice President Pence, fearing for their lives, were calling home to say goodbye to loved ones. Trump watched the rioters attack the Capitol for more than three hours and despite pleas from advisers, staff, senators, members of congress, family, friends, President-elect Biden, and others, Trump did nothing to stop it until it became clear that the coup would not succeed. Only then did he praise the rioters, tell them he loved them and ask them to go home peacefully.

This insurrection almost toppled our democracy. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution states that no person who has taken an oath to support the Constitution and engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States shall hold any office, federal or state.

It is time for the Department of Justice to bring formal charges against Trump and his band of co-conspirators, including members of Congress, e.g., Paul Gosar, Mo Brooks, Andy Biggs, Madison Cawthorn, Louie Gohmert, and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

It is also time for the House of Representatives to exercise its limited power to enforce the 14th Amendment by expressing its considered opinion that Trump and a specific list of others involved in the insurrection and coup attempt are no longer eligible to hold any public office. Such an affirmative statement could be useful in connection with various litigations against the rioters, Trump, and his co-conspirators. It could also be useful if Trump or others try to run for office, and litigation ensues.



Diversity of Sources
Ocean View, Del.
July 21, 2022


As a computer programmer and developer by education and an engineer and consultant as a profession, the most important aspect of my job is focused on system reliability and availability. Whether it was related to the navigation system in the Ohio-class submarine or the enterprise acquisition system deployed throughout the Department of Agriculture, the key to success was redundancy and continuity of operations. A single point of failure (including power sources) within the architecture of these systems was a nonstarter.

As I sit back and watch the current administration pursuing a push for renewable energy as never before, I am dismayed that they are simultaneously eliminating fossil fuels as a reliable energy source. While I applaud the diversity of different types of energy sources, we as a nation are dependent on multiple sources of energy for domestic and national security purposes. We should be striving for cleaner approaches to fossil fuels and implementing renewable energy sources in areas of the United States where they are most effective.

While no one will be 100-percent satisfied, our leaders at the federal and state levels should re-evaluate their approach to renewable energy and adopt a balanced approach to ensure we have energy where and when we need it.




‘What I Had to Do’
July 21, 2022

To the Editor,

Here’s what 18-year-old Vincent Calvagno just said about 97-year-old World War II veteran David Marshall at a July 17 Oceanside, Long Island, awards ceremony: “The bravery that he exhibited . . . is just unparalleled. Words are not sufficient to speak about how brave he was.”

But, more important, here is what David Marshall himself said in response: “I don’t know if I was brave. I did what I had to do. There’s not a single soul in this world that’s not afraid. But you overcome it. You overcome it because if you’re afraid and if you act afraid you will do things that are wrong.”

It’s a shame that there were not 376 David Marshalls outside that Robb Elementary School classroom on that terrible day when 376 armed law enforcement officers virtually “allowed” a mass murderer to slaughter 19 10-year-old fourth-grade boys and girls plus two of their teachers — or even 76 musicians playing “76 Trombones” on instruments they could have wielded as weapons.



Made-Up Stories
East Hampton
July 24, 2022

To the Editor,

I want to address a letter sent in last week with the heading “Scream, Destroy.” What the bleep are you talking about? “Dictator Biden,” as this person refers to President Biden, is being accused of causing pain to a baby and this baby cries out in excruciating pain. I’m assuming you think President Biden had something to do with a full-term abortion.

Second paragraph accuses President Biden of screaming, burning down, or whatever he must do to get his way. Third paragraph is where Merrick Garland enters the conversation as a puppet and someone who knows nothing about the language of the law. Seriously, you really think he doesn’t know the law?

I won’t go on to the next paragraph because as I read this, my distaste for made-up stories or inaccurate information is what led me to write this. Every week, it is something else about the president. I get it. You dislike President Biden an awful lot.

The vote has been counted many times, and Joe Biden did win the election. I’m sorry you are unhappy. I am asking that in your future letters to the editor, kindly fact-check your information. That means with an impartial news organization, not Fox News or Newsmax.

One last thing, on Jan. 6, 2021, the Republican far right stormed our nation’s capital. Neo-Nazis and white supremacists were there, causing destruction and death, etc. The so-called liberal progressives, as you say, were at home waiting for President Trump to call off his cronies and leave the Capitol, which was too late.

You want to talk about the worst president ever? Hands down, Donald Trump.



Green Movement
July 25, 2022

Dear David,

The climate-obsessed green movement is without a doubt so stupid, self-destructive force in the world today leaving a trail of irrationality and misery for all wherever it goes. Sri Lanka achieved one of the highest environmental, social, and governance scores in the world and destroyed its economy in the process. The country banned chemical fertilizers in 2021 becoming the first all-organic country, a giant leap backward for Sri Lankan farmers. Land went dormant, and production of rice, tea and other crops dropped. The result: All this led the government to collapse.

Even as inflation, with energy prices leading the way, destroys Biden’s presidency, he and supporters are determined to pursue a climate agenda that will drive up costs and create inefficiencies at home while doing next to nothing to affect global temperatures.

People are still suffering. Using the word “exciting” that gas is going down is obnoxious. Gas is lowering now because oil speculators see a recession coming. You think demand is going to drop? What you really want to see is a strong, robust demand and supplies going up. President Biden doesn’t want to see this and OPEC won’t help. When Biden took office gas was $2.39, today $4.38.

In God and country,


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