Thank You, Kristi
August 1, 2022
To the Editor,
Thank you, Kristi Hood, for serving the Springs community generously for 17 years!
Thank you for making the Springs General Store a friendly meeting place. Thank you for years of great fresh food (especially baked goods, sandwiches, soups, chilis, and coffees). Thank you for making the porch and the picnic tables a place for good conversation. Thank you for your welcoming greetings and long hours. Thank you for persevering during cold days, hot days, and pandemic days. Thank you for your reliability and consistency. Thank you for always being helpful — and cheerful. Thank you for all your many contributions, big and small, toward creating and maintaining a sense of neighborhood and well-being. And thank you, Aida and Jenny, for all your contributions to the neighborhood.
It has been comforting to know we could count on you and the General Store to provide services with an honest vibe every week, every month and every year for these past 17 years.
Kristi, you and your team will be greatly missed.
We wish you the very best of happiness and success in your next adventure,
Model A Ford
July 30, 2022
To the Editor,
First of all, I want to thank Christine Sampson for including my 1930 Model A Ford in East magazine. Second, I want to thank Earl Gandel for his letter to The East Hampton Star.
In 1958, when I was 15 years old, I bought five shares of stock in the Bridgehampton Race Circuit for $25, or $5 dollars a share. The stock certificates were being sold off a folding table on a race day.
August 1, 2022
The Drew Bennett engineering report on the Brooks-Park Property was being presented to the town board on Tuesday, after this letter was written. Chances are, it’s told us that the restoration of the structures on the Brooks-Park Property are a heavy lift; we know this. But here is what else we know:
Preservation Long Island named Brooks-Park on the Endangered Historic Places list. The Preservation League of New York State named Brooks-Park one of the “Seven to Save.” The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Brooks-Park one of the 11 most-endangered historic places — three independent, nonpartisan organizations, trained professionals in the field of historic preservation, one regional, one statewide, one national. Against numerous applications from other very worthwhile properties, Brooks-Park’s cultural and historical importance continues to be recognized, and championed.
We realize there are challenges. There were challenges when Mulford Farm was preserved, and Hook Green, and the Gardiner homestead, and the Thomas Moran House. Would we want to live in an East Hampton without the beauty and sense of place this living history provides?
I cannot help but think how future generations will be eternally grateful if the historic Brooks-Park property is restored and reimagined. The big takeaway of historic preservation remains the same: Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.
IRWIN T. LEVY
System Is Stressed
July 21, 2022
I was a lifeguard at Jones Beach for 16 years. That was many years ago. We were always on the lookout for sharks but rarely did we ever see any. They were still out there but we could not see them unless they were cruising near the surface. I never knew of any coming close to shore among the bathers.
I remember fishing with my dad for my birthday when I was very young and catching a 60-pound tuna and a 125-pound hammerhead shark. The tuna gave us the real fight. What impressed me about the hammerheads is that I saw a dozen or more over the course of the day, just a few miles offshore.
With global warming and new fish migration patterns in response bringing baitfish and predators north from overheating waters, all of this creating an ocean environment in stress, we are going to experience shark bites to a degree we’re not familiar with.
My suggestion: Each and every lifeguard crew at each and every field must train several, if not all the guards, in the skill of employing a drone to survey the water from above. My father always amazed me with his farsightedness spotting fish yards away below the surface. You want to be amazed? Glance down with that drone and you will be amazed at what’s cruising just below the surface among the patrons.
The sharks aren’t really interested in us, and most bites are accidental tastings of the offerings. This is not true for whites if you are on a surfboard that looks like a seal from below — the whites’ favorite morsel. They will not eat you like in the movie “Jaws”; they’ll spit you out. Bleeding out is the leading cause of death from shark bites. In other words, it’s best not to be alone.
Some say the attacks are proof the oceans are getting healthier. Fifty years ago, 100 years ago, the oceans were cleaner and very few bathers were bitten by sharks. On the contrary, the water is warming, getting acidified, the currents are shifting, and the reefs are dying. The entire system is stressed. Once the oceans collapse and are no longer able to sustain life, our time here is over. Senator Joe Manchin will not have to worry about his grandchildren paying off the national debt — they won’t be alive to do that; neither will you (but that’s another story).
One more tidbit of advice for ocean swimmers. If caught in a rip, what my generation used to call a sea-puss, an undertow, or a suck, It is not enough to swim parallel to the beach to get out of it. You must also swim with the sweep, which is going right or left as perceived from the shore. Go with it.
If the pull is strong enough to be called a rip, the rip changes the color of the water traveling out to sea because of churning up of the sand while also simultaneously breaking the symmetry of the waves coming in. Watch from the shore long enough and you’ll learn to see them. The little ones are okay; the big ones you better stay away.
Taking Up Yoga
July 25, 2022
Hello, East Hampton Star,
“I’m gonna take up yoga,” I said to my daughter.
“The baseball, basketball, football guy is taking up yoga? Since when?” she asked.
“I see these goofy yoga videos on Instagram. Anyone can do it, it’s easy. All you do is stretch, and it’s a great way to meet exciting people.”
A few weeks ago, a strikingly beautiful, an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10, local yoga instructor sat a few feet from me in church, with her two, blond sons by her side. Of course, I smiled her way.
Since then, she posted this breathtaking, Venus-swimsuit style yoga video on Instagram, and that’s when I decided to trade my gi for yoga tights and convert to yoga from Shotokan Karate.
I then told my daughter, “If she ever leaves her husband, I’ll strike up a conversation with her during the Lord’s Prayer, when everyone is praying, and see where it goes, ya never know, somethin’ might develop. I’m athletic, have a great personality and I’d keep her laughing, but especially . . . “
“Especially what?” she asked.
“Me and her husband share the same birthday, April 3rd. That should do it.”
“Let’s see,” my daughter responded, “you have four kids. She has seven kids. How are 13 people gonna fit in our three-bedroom bungalow?”
Thanks for bursting my bubble.
July 30, 2022
Our Amagansett association is having its annual meeting on Aug. 14. I would like the problem of bamboo plantings to be brought up, as I see that it’s moving around, from one house, in particular, to others close to it.
I can’t seem to find any prohibition of the plant in any East Hampton records, and was hoping you could help get the word out about this serious problem. I have written to the association and they have shut me down by not responding to my email.
I will go to the meeting but would like to know if prohibiting its planting is possible? I’d like info, to at least make them cognizant of its danger to the environment. It has already affected our indigenous plants.
I need help.
New York State prohibits planting or cultivating two species of running bamboo: yellow grove and golden. Several New York villages and towns have their own laws intended to stop bamboo’s spread. Ed.
Ripping You Off
July 15, 2022
To the Editor:
Blaming inflation on the supply chain blockages is a plausible excuse when it comes to large imports of appliances, cars, and basic materials needed for industry. Cargo companies are now ripping off importers regularly, some charging hundreds of percentages more than they did a year ago. But looking at smaller domestic and local products, this excuse doesn’t hold water. Here are my observations of local price hikes out here on eastern Long Island; I am sure they apply to New York City and elsewhere. Your friendly local merchant isn’t exempt from ripping you off.
Jam at Briermere farms: Pints of jam that for years were about $7 jumped to $13 last fall. I stopped buying there. That’s almost a 100 percent price hike.
Pilsner Urquell beer: The only beer that has reduced its 12-ounce bottle to 11.2 ounces. This is about $1 more a bottle. That’s a lot. It’s a great beer. but I don’t like being cheated. I’ll go back to Dos Equis.
Scotto’s Pork Store, Hampton Bays: They have a lot of frozen pasta dinners, such as lasagna, typically layers of pasta, ricotta cheese, and meat with some tomatoes. I bought one this year and had to get out a microscope to find the meat. Success: four tiny, almost invisible crumbs of something that they hoped we would believe is meat — something gray and white, maybe a speck of meat and lots of filler. Ripoff supremo.
Tate’s Cookies: Formerly delicious Kathleen’s Cookies; sold to a big retailer years ago that cheated her; a big seller out in the Hamptons because it was delicious and made with pure butter. Last year, I bought a pack of them and the flavor was dilute, weak, not that good taste that Kathleen managed to sustain. I read the label: not butter but cocoa butter! This is a plant product, not a dairy product. It saves the exploitive company lots of money, and most people think it is the same as real butter. I wrote to them and asked them why they changed their recipe. They denied it. Not worth the money today.
Buoy One, long a very nice moderately priced seafood restaurant in Riverhead and Westhampton Beach, where I had a delicious lobster dinner last year for $32 including potato and veggie; this year it is $41. Supply chain problems? Over a 25 percent price increase, for no discernible reason.
Out of the Blue seafood restaurant, Hampton Bays: somewhat overpriced lobster roll contained only claw meat — a clever way to cheat people. And they still serve on paper plates and cups and plastic forks and knives. Cheezy. Aimed mostly at families returning from the beach with whining hungry kids who need food fast.
Check any local restaurant you haunt regularly and you will see that main dish/platter prices have increased by 25 percent to 50 percent. Same at Matsulin, long a very good Asian restaurant in Hampton Bays that didn’t require a bank loan to eat at. Supply chain problem? Not likely.
Baby Moon Italian place in Westhampton Beach that used to be good and tasty and that sold lots of pizzas too: We bought a large one recently, asking for crisp crust. Got soggy cardboard crust, no visible tomatoes, runny cheese, no discernible taste of any kind, and on average had no more than one thin slice of sausage per slice, my worst pizza experience ever.
Solution: stop buying overpriced stuff and stop eating at these restaurants. Period. Get yourself a 12-ounce bottle of beer, a bag of organic yellow corn chips, mash up a couple of avocados with lime juice, onions, and hot sauce, fry up an organic beef hamburger yourself, plus a box of well-heated French fries. And get some ice cream that still sells a 16-ounce carton. Fight back.
August 1, 2022
To the Editor,
The Springs is being “upscaled” faster than a Blade helicopter on a Friday afternoon, and development is jeopardizing what’s left of our open space and wildlife habitat. A bright spot is the growing number of year-round residents in Springs fighting to preserve about seven acres of allegedly town-owned deciduous woodlands known by locals as “the pit” and commonly referred to as the Crandall-Norfolk woodlands. (Town records for some of the property are missing, leaving it unclear if the town holds clean title to all of the property.) The woodlands have been neglected by the town for decades.
This past Earth Day, local residents hauled away a literal ton of garbage from the woodlands and have been calling on town officials for months to include the land — some of which was purchased with open space funds — in the town’s nature preserves, an easy preservation win for our town, and its leadership, at a time when it’s sorely needed. The nature preserve committee seems to agree; it voted last month in favor of adding the Crandall-Norfolk Woodlands to the town’s nature preserves.
A brief history of town officials’ approach to preservation shows that our town has an equity problem when it comes to open green space. Last year, town officials spent $4.2 million of taxpayer money in the form of community preservation funds on less than two acres of land adjacent to multimillion dollar homes. They could add the Crandall-Norfolk Woodlands to the town’s nature preserves for free.
August 1, 2022
I’m very concerned about the LED streetlight conversion proposed for the town if they don’t follow best practices. Best practices dictate using streetlights only where they provide a public benefit. Many were installed with no rhyme or reason by the defunct LILCO to recoup the money spent to extend electric service, and paid for through our municipal taxes. The lower the Kelvin (percentage of blue light), the better for night vision, less sky glow, and less impact on flora and fauna. The consultants hired by the town will produce a report and we will need to review it carefully to assure compliance with best practices.
A recent report estimated that 90 percent of our outdoor lighting that is left on all night long is either excessive or not performing a useful purpose. When we leave a room, we shut off the lights — we should do the same for exterior lighting. Lighting by itself does not provide “security.” In fact, the opposite is true.
The firefly population is being decimated by wasted night lighting, since they cannot communicate with each other. The majority of creatures are nocturnal and night lighting disrupts their foraging, mating, and habitat. Birds won’t nest in lighted trees. The stars are obscured by upward-directed and excessive night lighting.
July 31, 2022
To the Editor,
On May 4, 2021, Kevin Cooper was appointed to lead our Ordinance Enforcement Department. That same day I had called into a town board meeting asking Peter Van Scoyoc to enforce the law. Why? Bay View Avenue is blocked by Geocubes, still remains blocked today for the start of our fifth year, since the supervisor said at this meeting, “The director of code enforcement holds a key position in enforcing our community codes and upholding our residents’ quality of life.”
So here we are in year five with the town board allowing a road and emergency access to be blocked. It could have only been allowed with a town board resolution under the town code for an urban renewal modification. It wasn’t. We’ve established code not followed, code violated, willfully, knowingly, daily. It continues all the same.
Sylvia Overby finally decided to make remarks on this on Aug. 4, 2021, while asking Brian Frank at a town board meeting, “It’s my understanding a road is blocked by these cubes?” You’d think the town board’s open acknowledgment would result in opening the road.
East Hampton Village
August 1, 2022
Dear East Hampton Star,
This letter concerns an act of vandalism that took place within the past week, which has been underreported but which is a heinous act against those of us who think rationally. Someone planted a bomb that destroyed one of the Georgia Guidestones and necessitated the demolition of the rest of the monument. Sadly, most people have never heard of the Georgia Guidestones. Those who have are introduced to them as being Satanic or as advocating eugenics or genocide. In fact, they were no such thing.
There isn’t room to explain the monument in detail here. Its most prominent feature was a set of 10 guidelines for living in harmony with Planet Earth, and they appeared in the eight most commonly spoken languages in the world. The guideline that caused the most trouble was one suggesting that the human population should be maintained below 500 million. With the planet having recently topped 8 billion people, this would mean, if it were a commandment instead of a guideline, that the people behind the guidestones were advocating that we eradicate 7.5 billion people.
For reasons too complex to go into here, I have always believed that this number was actually a typo, and they meant to write 5 billion which is in keeping with a 1970s calculation of the carrying capacity of the Earth. The 500 million value was arrived at in 1798 by a thinker named Malthus who understood that Earth has a finite amount of each of the resources needed for life. His calculation was flawed due to underestimation of certain variables which were corrected in the newer calculation. In 1980, there were only 5.5 billion people in the world, which is well within the margin of error of the calculation.
The Guidestones were erected by a group of anonymous people referring to themselves as “loyal patriots” and using the name R.C. Christian, a pseudonym which led a lot of conspiracy theorists to a connection with the Rosicrucians (calling Dan Brown!). Brad Meltzer sent his “Decoded” team to look into the guidestones (which is how I found out about them) and that episode of “Decoded” is worth seeing. A statement by those responsible for erecting the stones this week revealed that the original intent was not for the present but for the future in case of nuclear war. These were guidelines for how to rebuild the world in the aftermath of World War III.
Another aspect to the loss of the monument is that it was actually quite a tourist attraction and brought a lot of business to the local economy. With the stones gone, the locals fear a catastrophic loss of revenue. And since the granite it was built from was quarried locally, it was seen as a monument to the local quarrying business.
I have done my best to keep this letter as succinct as possible and there is a lot more to say and know about these guidestones, which were often referred to as Georgia’s Stonehenge. I feel that the act of bombing this monument was an act of terrorism against those of us who are rational thinkers and have been appealing for reason in a world where insanity and stupidity seem to rule. We have buttered our beds and now we have to sleep in them.
As always, thanks for reading.
August 1, 2022
For years, Congress has with breathtaking speed and little deliberative thought sent our armed forces into harm’s way to protect the democratic values we hold dear. The problem is that this has often been a one-sided deal. The protection our veterans have provided the nation has rarely been met with an equally vigorous safety net when they returned home.
The Republican Party has always held itself out to be the conscience of the veteran community, always asking veterans to trust the G.O.P. to safeguard their well-being. But they have never taken that promise seriously. And the G.O.P.’s antics last week showed just how phony their concern for our veterans really is.
A bill called the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics, or PACT, Act came before the Senate last week. In brief, this bill would have guaranteed health care benefits to veterans exposed to toxic practices while in the service. The prime example touted were the “burn pits” used in Afghanistan. The Senate had passed this bill by a 70-vote margin back in June, but because the Senate G.O.P. felt dissed by the Democrats in an unrelated matter, they threw a hissy fit and scuttled these health care benefits for our veterans. In other words, the interests of our veterans became political fodder for the G.O.P.
Taking a step back in time to last March, the House took up this same bill. What happened? Dozens of G.O.P. representatives opposed the health care package for our veterans. Fortunately, it didn’t matter because Democratic control of the House ensured its passage.
Here’s where it gets local. In the past years, we’ve all seen the campaign yard signs by our lame duck congressman, Lee Zeldin, that urged voters to “vote for a vet” touting his service in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. “Vote for a vet” would imply that Mr. Zeldin would support initiatives aimed at bettering the lives of those who nobly served our country. Well, guess what? Mr. Zeldin voted against the PACT Act back in March, one of the dozens of other G.O.P. representatives who opposed it.
So, when Mr. Zeldin and other G.O.P. candidates stand before you and profess their dedication to improve the plight of the less fortunate or of those truly deserving of a helping hand, ignore them just as they have to date largely ignored those whose interests they professed to defend. The G.O.P. has no platform other than to prevent Democrats from helping those in need of it. And they don’t deserve your vote.
August 1, 2022
The president claims we are not in a recession. He’s redefined its definition: Recession is now transformation. There are 86,000 Internal Revenue Service agents coming after you for subsidized reasons, as taxes on everyone will be raised if the government gets its way.
A new version of Build Back Better with a totally new name is being pushed again, hours after the chips bill got passed. The chips bill spent too much money and focused on a specific industry from China. Schumer is doing everything to go very liberal.
A vote for Democrats is a vote for crushing inflation, chaos at the border, and crime in the cities — a reckless, radical agenda. We need to take and get back to building the economy, not the government. We need the cost of energy reduced, and get it done by drillings, with approval of permits.
Build Back Better means the government is going after everyone, with raising taxes on families regardless of your income, all in an effort to make the economy worse, deepen inflation.
Strange that we’re receiving lies again: Biden claims his talks with Prince in Saudi Arabia one thing and a spokesman denies it. Talks with China, Biden claims one thing; their spokesman denies Biden’s information.
In God and country,