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Letters to the Editor for October 12, 2023

Wed, 10/11/2023 - 18:04

A Life Worth Living
East Hampton
October 8, 2023

Dear David:

Joe DeCristofaro passed away peacefully last week at the age of 98. He was a good man. A very good man.

Joe was a World War II Navy veteran who was at Omaha Beach for the D-Day invasion in June of 1944. I would meet Joe on Veterans Day 70 years later, in 2014, when I first became involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars here in East Hampton. Joe was a young 89 when I met him that day; he was a young 98 when he passed. To the end, his mind remained sharp, his memory intact, his spirit life affirming. A member of the Greatest Generation, Joe embodied the many virtues we hold dear: duty and honor and sacrifice and patriotism. In many ways, Joe was the heart and soul of our V.F.W. Post.

I know we will miss Joe; we already do. But we’ll also celebrate his life, a life worth living; and for that and for the time he spent with us, we are truly grateful. May you rest in peace, Joe DeCristofaro, may you rest in peace.



Everit Albert Herter V.F.W. Post 550


Best Show Ever
October 9, 2023

Dear David,

Applause to all who came to support the Tyler Project on Sunday at the Amagansett Firehouse. Classic cars, 10-wheel trucks, and most of all the our community as spectators to gawk at the vehicles. But more important, to donate to the Every penny raised goes to the education and counseling for families and children in crisis. To prevent even one tragedy makes everything worthwhile The Valcich family (Mickey’s Carting of Montauk) sponsors this every year.

Valinda Valcich and her staff work tirelessly to make this happen. The Amagansett Fire Department provides the wonderful space for the best car show anyone has ever attended. Our community steps up big time, as usual. How great are they, and we all are proud to be a part. The smiles told the story!




October 9, 2023

Dear David,

It is tragic that we continue to undervalue those who perform the most important jobs for the future of our civilization: Those who teach and those who nurse.

How does any civil society hope to hold up its head if it operates with such brazen ignorance? How? Because advantage is taken of those who do their job selflessly believing that what they do is an absolute necessity. Can many of us say the work for which we get paid handsomely is absolutely necessary?



Grave Transformations
October 6, 2023

To the Editor:

Out my window, I am watching the spectacle of a mini-mansion rising to replace a smaller middle class house next door.

When I bought my own modest house on Napeague in 1997, my neighbors were almost all middle class retirees, insurance executives, middle managers, partners in garment businesses, and the former owner of a photography studio. Some have since died, and others have moved as they reached their 70s and 80s. One constant for many years has been that when any of our houses are sold, the new owner tears it down and builds a mini-mansion.

Very soon after I moved into my new house, I met 40 or 50 of my neighbors, who came together as a neighborhood group and as a community. Those who remain are still good friends today. There has been a lot of pontificating in recent decades in The New York Times and elsewhere about the shrinking middle class and its implications for the American dream. We provide a case study: As we get old, we leave, to be closer to our children, who can’t afford to live here, or because there is no smaller, more-convenient housing available to us.

But wait, there’s more: What is replacing us is, for the greatest part not a new, wealthier community of people who socialize with each other, if not with us. The first group of rebuilt houses near mine have all become rental houses, share houses, and party houses.

Community character gets a lot of lip service around here (and everywhere) but in the end requires zoning laws and code enforcement to back it up. As long as anyone can, eventually (it usually seems to take three tries) get approval from our zoning board of appeals to level a dune, tear up dune grass, and build a house two or three times the size of its predecessor, grave social transformations will continue to take place here that cannot imaginably be addressed by a handful of affordable housing projects.

Recently, an op-ed column from the SF Gate newspaper turned up in my news feed, titled “Tahoe’s abusive relationship with tourism must be reformed,” by a South Lake Tahoe City Councilperson, Scott Robbins: “Tahoe received 17 million visitor-days in 2022, an influx that fuels a $11.3 billion tourism economy that has left locals being priced out, an almost complete absence of affordable housing, and beaches covered in record amounts of tourist trash.” I can’t even say this offers a vision of the future; for the people of Montauk it began to arrive years ago. However, my own firsthand lesson in social transformation makes me feel like the protagonist running down the highway at the end of the original “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” shouting, “You’re next!”

For democracy in East Hampton,



Three Cheers
East Hampton
October 7, 2023

Dear David,

Three cheers to the East Hampton Town Architectural Review Board for protecting us from black paint. In the Middle Ages, black was considered the color of evil. I hope the town spends as much time as possible fighting evil and even paying lawyers lots of taxpayer money for their crusades (which were also popular in the Middle Ages).




A Beloved Institution
October 9, 2023

Dear David:

As a former resident of East Hampton for over 50 years and a proud member of a family that owned a local business, White’s Pharmacy, I am writing to express my heartfelt plea to allow Rowdy Hall to maintain its iconic black-and-gold facade in Amagansett.

Having witnessed the positive impact of Rowdy Hall’s presence in East Hampton for many years, I firmly believe that altering their exterior by painting it gray would be a grave mistake. The black-and-gold color scheme has become synonymous with Rowdy Hall’s identity, exuding elegance and charm that have resonated with locals and visitors alike.

Throughout its history, Rowdy Hall has been a beloved establishment, deeply rooted in the community. Its black facade has not only become a recognizable symbol but also a testament to the establishment’s rich heritage. It is a visual representation of the legacy that Rowdy Hall has built over the years, and tampering with it would be a disservice to the establishment and the community it serves.

I implore you to reconsider the decision to paint Rowdy Hall’s exterior gray and instead allow this cherished local business to continue its legacy in Amagansett. By preserving the black-and-gold facade, you would not only honor the establishment’s history but also maintain the unique character that has made Rowdy Hall a beloved institution.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my heartfelt request. I trust that you will make a decision that upholds the spirit of Rowdy Hall and ensures its continued success in Amagansett.

Warm regards,



Angry Hall?
East Hampton
October 9, 2023

Dear David,

Last Thursday you published an article by Christopher Gangemi: “Angry Hall” was the lead, “Rowdy Hall Wants to Paint it Black” the title. In the fourth paragraph I was relieved to read that East Hampton’s architectural review board chairperson said, “We look forward to the day you open your doors.” To me, that’s a sign of respect and neighborly good will. The quote, “I would like to recommend we approve this,” sounded like progress.

As I continued reading, it seemed that the board had decided to show support for the establishment but decided to hard-line what sounds like an ambiguous code. I’ll reference the neighbor I had for 17 years while Estia occupied the space at 177 Main Street in Amagansett. The place was what many might refer to as a gin mill. It had a black sign — it might have been the darkest green but it looked black to me. For years the owners of that establishment operated a bar that did no local charity work, it didn’t maintain a clean outward appearance, and the owner would turn away when beer bottles were thrown through my window and worse atrocities took place behind my back door late at night. The architecture review board and other local authorities left that bar alone, never standing up against the crazy activities that took place behind the doors, front and back.

I point this out because Mark Smith, Joseph Realmuto, and Toni Ross, the owners of Rowdy Hall, operate differently. They are standout examples of good neighborly leadership. As a 30-year member of the Quail Hill farm, an Amagansett institution, I can’t think of another local restaurant group that has supported the farm on a yearly basis at my side. They care about the community’s good will.

I was asked years ago to provide soup for local charities by Joe and Mark. Every winter, they rally the industry to feed our lonely, hungry, underprivileged neighbors. It’s hard for me to believe that the A.R.B. hasn’t seen past an ambiguous code to allow them a pass on the storefront design that’s been in place for so long at Rowdy’s East Hampton Village location.

When I arrived at 177 Main Street, I was winging it. I opened with maybe $57 in my bank account on Feb. 1, 1991. About a week later, a health inspector came in and introduced himself. He was a tall, handsome man with a badge, and he could have shut me down, stepped in the way of the little progress I’d made with the Estia staff that I’d inherited from Eva and John Papas since I hadn’t properly established a permit. Instead, he said, “I need you to go to Patchogue right now and apply for the proper permit to run this establishment.” He gave me respect, a break, a way to maintain my business and succeed. I’ll never forget that; it’s how one neighbor helps another. Respect and kindness build community.

I’m not sure that East Hampton’s A.R.B. is showing Rowdy Hall the respect it deserves. Is the question of black or gray really the issue here? Is a little contrast on Main Street in Amagansett such a bad thing? I’m wondering how and why this is even an issue.

Is Mark Smith really running Angry Hall? No, sir, he’s just trying to maintain a brand that’s been supporting our community for more than 20 years. If he says he “has yet to find where that is written in the code,” I believe him.

The idea that Benjamin Moore historical colors are recognized suggests to me that this code isn’t well defined. I hope the town will refine that code and, in the meantime, let Rowdy Hall continue to feed the people.

Thanks for all of the support and good will that this community has shared with me over the years and thanks to the Honest Man Group and all of those who have been a part of that fine organization — in my eyes all are heroes. I hope the A.R.B. will shift perspective. “Paint it black?” I don’t think so. Mark, Joe, and Toni paint it in gold and that’s a fact.




Part of the History
October 9, 2023

Dear Editor:

The architectural review board prevents the opening of Rowdy Hall because its longstanding, classy black-and-gold color scheme, which has never raised any objection in 27 years, would somehow, they say, destroy the character of Amagansett. Seriously?

Here’s a proposal: Let’s dissolve the A.R.B. and welcome Rowdy Hall with open arms. The latter is a beloved local business, which will be a great addition to Amagansett, a village sorely in need of a great eatery of that caliber. The former are a bunch of snobby, interfering busybodies that not only waste everyone’s time and money, but actively thwart the public good.

Rowdy Hall has an economic interest in keeping the people of Amagansett happy. They have a track record of not causing any trouble and pleasing their patrons. They and their handsome black-and-gold decor are part of the history of East Hampton. As a citizen of Amagansett, I am delighted we can help preserve that history and give it a home here on Main Street.

As for the A.R.B., I’m against it. It’s a newfangled metastasis of local government gone amok. The historical small-town character of Amagansett, and the simplicity of village life, is better preserved without it.




A Nature Preserve
October 9, 2023

Dear David,

As we navigate an uncertain climate, we look to our local leaders to rise to this moment of urgency. We need our elected officials to preserve the natural environment and prevent overdevelopment at every opportunity. One such opportunity lies in the Crandall-Norfolk woodlands, nearly seven acres of land acquired by the Town of East Hampton decades ago to create open, green space. Since that time, the land has been largely forgotten by town officials.

Nearly two years ago, residents of the densely populated neighborhood nominated the woodlands to be included in the town’s nature preserve system to protect against any future development and create an urgently needed land management plan. The woodlands unquestionably satisfy the town code’s requirements for inclusion in the nature preserve system.

The nature preserve committee and the Springs citizens advisory committee both voted in favor of the nomination. A team of experts hired by local residents recently provided the town board with a report recommending the land be included in the town’s nature preserve system. Because the town already owns the land, there is no need to spend millions in taxpayer money on land acquisition.

Despite all this, the town board has yet to move the nomination forward. Preserving woodlands in the Springs is critical and must be a priority for the town board. The Crandall-Norfolk woodlands can be preserved for free. Town board members must do so without further delay.



What You Stand For
October 3, 2023

To the Editor:

Congratulations to Montauk United for organizing the voters forum for the six town council candidates, attended by an audience of several hundred people at the Montauk firehouse on Oct. 1. It was well organized and well attended, but it had a major flaw: Incumbents running for re-election refused to answer any questions on the subject of the airport! I don’t understand how they can do that and still run for office.

The airport is a contentious political issue. How can a candidate run for office and then refuse to answer questions on a subject important to the voters’ decisions? The incumbents’ response was they were not answering airport questions because their lawyer told them not to! Huh? It seems to me that if you are running for political office, you tell the voter what you stand for. If your lawyer tells you not to do so, you either get a new lawyer or don’t run for office. I respectfully suggest that refusing to answer a question or even discuss the facts about a contentious political issue leads to a very negative inference about what you have done and what you will do if re-elected.

So on Sunday, we had several incumbent refusals to discuss the airport. As a result, questions to which Montaukers and others wanted answers were not even on the table: Did the current town board commit contempt of court? Has the town been fined? If so, how much? Do the incumbents intend to pay the fine out of the bank account of the town-owned airport? Do they intend to pay the fine out of town accounts supported by the town taxpayers? Is there a risk of continuing contempt fines? Shouldn’t we have been able to get that information and a lot more?

I submit the incumbent council members disrespected the 2,400 members of Montauk United and others who have a great interest in the airport question. I thought it insulting to be told that I should cast my ballot without relevant information about the candidate I’m asked to vote for.



Chance for a Change
East Hampton
October 8, 2023

Dear David:

In last week’s Star, Jonathan Yellen’s (East Hampton Democrats Election District Six leader) letter talks about many things concerning the candidates’ debate held on October first at the Montauk Firehouse. I was there for the entirety of the debate, and I would like to point out some of his contradictions, misinformation and misleading viewpoints expressed in Mr. Yellen’s letter to you.

If Mr. Yellen’s invective against the Republican candidates aims to keep the current status quo, then this letter of mine is written for all the people in East Hampton who would rather have a chance for a change, since I believe our town board is desperately in need of such, instead of getting the same old thing over and over again!

First off, he mentioned the “experience paradox” and he stated the obvious — that the Republican candidates themselves admitted — which is that they are new to local politics. His letter goes on to attack, ad personam, these three candidates, whom I happen to know personally. For instance, the candidate that he defines as: “Smart, but tone deaf. A know-it-all. Except, not really. This candidate has no clothes.” Well, it just so happens this candidate is a friend of mine and he is an ocean rescue, first responder in two townships: East Hampton and Southampton. He trains all year in our ocean and bays for the safety of our community. He has also joined groups of concerned citizens on the DeepWater Wind project.

Mike Wootton is an active participant in the Wainscott citizens advisory committee and fundraised for pancreatic cancer research and also raised funds to support local families of children with autism. He has volunteered his time with All Hands and Hearts, an organization that brought disaster relief following the battering of multiple tropical storms and hurricanes in Southeastern Texas. In addition, this candidate “who has no clothes” has been an elder of the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church for over 10 years and currently serves as the church’s treasurer. I assure he does that full-dressed.

Then this disgraceful missive of Mr. Yellen’s goes on to list the experience of the Democratic candidates who, in his vaulted opinion, have “East Hampton in their bones” — basically from having held their jobs on the town board for quite a while. I guess nothing spells success and gets you “experienced” like getting re-elected in a one-party town.

The one Democratic newcomer (Tom Flight) does seem to have extensive international business experience, however, he was born in India and raised in London — not exactly a Bonacker. While the incumbent (David Lys) was mainly a personal trainer prior to being appointed to the zoning board by a Democratic-majority board that also appointed him after a few years to the town board. In short, all the current Democratic candidates are “experienced” by virtue of being Democrats.

These same three Democratic candidates declined an invitation to attend a debate hosted by the East Hampton Sportsmens Alliance, on Sept. 27. Now why did they decline to attend? One would think if they had “East Hampton in their bones” (as Mr. Yellin claims) then they would participate and desire a vibrant, nonpartisan debate for all residents to see and judge, especially as East Hampton is about to celebrate its 375th anniversary — a history that celebrates hunting and fishing and enjoying the outdoors. But no! They all begged off and were no-shows.

This is the real “experience paradox”: how do any Republican potential candidates get more local political experience when it’s impossible that a Democratic controlled town board would appoint anyone other than a fellow Democrat to the architectural review, zoning, or planning boards? In fact, this current town board has even been cannibalistic to its own members, as Jeff Bragman was jettisoned when he dared to dissent from the approved party orthodoxy.

The Democratic majority even cherry-picks who gets to serve on the various hamlet citizens advisory committees. This group of current leaders is so thin-skinned that everyone must toe the party line or you’re out, as they react with Band-Aid solutions to the problem du jour.

So, if only the Democratic candidates have all the experience (18 years and 6 for the incumbents but none for the new candidate) then how come they failed so miserably when we consider it has been 10-plus years, and Springs yet has to get an operational cell phone tower up and running. It has been over 10 years and yet the current, decrepit, senior citizen center remains. In the past three years the town board has been in contempt of court: Truck Beach fiasco as well as the attempted closure of East Hampton Airport, a permanent restraining order filed against the town in the airport matter. New York States Supreme Court Judge Baisley described the town board’s actions as “arbitrary and capricious”.

No one knows the total amount of money spent (which includes their own legal fees) for the three legal imbroglios (Truck beach, the Maidstone Gun Club, and East Hampton Airport — in addition to paying their opponents’ fees in two cases, which may be in excess of $8 million.

They also spent $4.4 million of taxpayer money for a convoluted land swap in Hither Woods with Suffolk County Parks, which, thankfully, was rejected by Suffolk County Parks trustees — unanimously — no environmental review, no public support, and no real supporting evidence the septic plan will even help the sewage problems in Montauk. Now what are they going to do with the land they bought on East Lake drive?

The town board granted easements to Deepwater Wind (now called Orsted) and we are supposed to receive $29 million over the next 25 years — which interestingly enough is the expected life of the wind farm. Orsted, a corporation based in the Netherlands, has lost over 50 percent of its market capitalization over last few months. I hope the town has performance bonds in place!

In the past decade of the Democrats’ monopolistic control of the town board exactly what measurable progress can be attributed to the experience of this current Democratic group?

Tell me — what has been done about traffic congestion, water quality, short-term rentals, over-development and zoning? The town comprehensive plan of 2005 lays out a roadmap for a vision for the town. So far, nearly 20 years later, the plan has been virtually ignored (they have held majority power for most of that time). Now that all the problems of overdevelopment have come home to roost — water quality, affordable housing, traffic congestion, etc. — we are almost at max build out and they finally call a meeting to discuss zoning changes. By the way, this meeting would have never taken place without the extraordinary grass roots efforts by Jane Mehring and her website

Do they really deserve another chance of more “experience” at the expenses of our community? How many chances does the Democratic Party need to do the right thing for the taxpayers?

Lastly, in Mr. Yellin’s snippy letter, he stated that the three Republicans painted an “unrecognizable picture of East Hampton, grim and dysfunctional”. Actually, I didn’t get that impression at all — but I did get the feeling of wanting a change which came from an undercurrent of frustration that everyone I talk to also seems to feel. These same frustrations and concerns were expressed by almost every person who spoke at the Town Hall meeting on Thursday.

Each person who spoke at the lectern (or who called in by phone) whether young and old, lifeguard and retired school teachers alike, all said the same thing: The East Hampton they knew and love is quickly disappearing and something must be done fast or it will be gone forever and nothing will bring it back. East Hampton is doomed to become like UpIsland, and we have just more of the same suburban sprawl, where housing is unaffordable, local mom-and-pop stores are gone, and we become just a summer destination for the most affluent.

Or just maybe Mr. Yellin doesn’t know or remember the old East Hampton because, as a newcomer himself, he doesn’t have East Hampton in his bones.




Repercussions on Suffolk
October 6, 2023

Dear Editor,

In a sobering report released in mid-July, New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli painted a bleak fiscal future for New York. The comptroller estimates a jaw-dropping budget gap of $36.4 billion by 2027.

I know Tom well from his years as a state assemblyman in Albany in my capacity as a state-level police benevolent association union president and current owner of Accabonac Strategies, a government relations advocacy firm. If Comptroller DiNapoli’s projections are accurate, and knowing Tom they are, New York State government will face a catastrophic budget reckoning. A state budget shortfall of this size does not happen in a vacuum and will have repercussions on the Suffolk County budget revenue sources, sales tax, and federal and state aid.

The current Suffolk County budget is $3.7 billion, a small amount compared to the state budget of $229 billion. The devil is in the details, though. As the economy sours and federal and state funding sources come under increased pressure, we should expect reductions in state aid of $325,403,852 (6 percent), federal aid of $461,545,886 (9 percent), and sales tax of $1,925,722,835 (38 percent), or 53 percent of the total county budget revenue source.

The Suffolk County Office of Budget and Management states: “State and federal aid: Over the past decades, mandates to provide numerous services, such as the enforcement of health and social services, have shifted from the federal and state governments to local governments. While the responsibilities have increased, the state and federal share of the cost of meeting these responsibilities has decreased, leaving local governments to raise taxes to cover the cost of their increased responsibilities.” This troubling trend will worsen as federal and state budgets come under increased pressure.

Next year, the Legislature and county executive will require experience managing and administering government. There will not be time for on-the-job training. Ed Romaine is eminently qualified, with over 40 years of experience, including many years as a Town of Brookhaven supervisor.

As your legislator, I will bring decades of governmental administration and legislative expertise to the Legislature. I spent over a decade as president and legislative chairman of the state’s fifth-biggest police union. I dealt with every New York governor, their administration, and agency bureaucrats over the past two decades. I have negotiated multimillion dollar collective bargaining agreements, drafted and successfully passed complex legislation, and have expertise in analyzing the state multibillion dollar budget.

I believe in you and your families. You are a top priority and deserve everything this great county offers. You deserve modern roads, state-of-the-art septic management, safe communities, educational opportunities for your children, secure and reliable infrastructure, and a voice that will put you first against federal, state, and city politicians attempting to pass their problems onto our county. If you have an issue or concern, please text my cellphone at 631-324-0528 or email [email protected]. I want to hear from you.

Early voting starts Oct. 28, and Election Day is Nov. 7. I request your vote for a county legislator.



An Excellent Case
October 9, 2023

To the Editor:

On behalf of the board of directors of the Montauk Historical Society, I am writing to express our support of the Benson reserve project, which has attracted so much lively debate in the pages of this newspaper.

The problem facing today’s Benson reserve is that invasive species have taken over the upper zone of this beautiful swath of land. Environmental scientists who studied the area have recommended a thoughtful, detailed, and very convincing 10-year project to remediate that problem. And they have made an excellent case for what will happen if nothing is done: habitat degradation, leading to disruption of the ecosystem; site erosion, leading to destabilization of the dune, and the loss of the historic ocean vistas that have earned it a designation as a scenic area of statewide significance.

Opposition to the project seems to focus on two main areas: disbelief in the findings of the scientists and objections to the temporary fencing and shelter to protect the goats as they feast on the invasive plants.

I encourage all who remain unconvinced of the scientists’ recommendations to read the presentation for themselves, at As for the goats, I would like to offer a historical perspective.

For several centuries, when our land was used for grazing, sheep could be found all over the western part of Montauk. At that time, fencing was used to keep them safe and to confine them to certain areas. Hundreds of years of grazing sheep resulted in the treeless landscape that is so fondly missed by those who still remember what this place used to look like — the very landscape whose sweeping views of the ocean earned that section of the Old Montauk Highway its designation of statewide scenic significance.

Goats have become popular players in habitat restoration because they are at home on steep terrain, and because their natural preference for certain invasive plants (particularly the ones that have taken over so much of the Benson reserve) removes the need for herbicides and reduces soil disturbance. They are scheduled to be employed for a seven-month period, and all fencing and shelter will be taken down when they leave. None of this will interfere with the current trails on the property, which will remain open.

The Montauk Historical Society is proud to support the Benson reserve project for its environmental benefits, its zero cost to the taxpayer — and especially because we recognize and value our historic views and pastoral heritage.


Executive Director

Montauk Historical Society


Town’s Utter Failure
October 8, 2023

To the Editor:

Friday afternoon, a neighbor got a hold of me and asked if I “saw a vehicle going down the road?” I happened to be home. So, I went to investigate, and it was the company First Coastal. A man was running around taking pictures of the obstruction of geocubes they placed in the middle of Bay View Avenue, using the road as access to the properties that hired them years ago.

This is the same obstruction First Coastal wrote the zoning board of appeals that they should remove from the road and run back down the property lines in June of 2019 — the same company that was told by the Town of East Hampton to remove the obstruction from the 30-foot right of way in July of 2020. This is the first time since April 27, 2019, we’ve witnessed a First Coastal company vehicle here.

Since they have no permits currently (not that they post them) and the owners of the homes they allegedly still work for were not here, the man was using the middle of the road as his access point to the properties. We’ll consider this trespassing. If, as Kevin Cooper touts, departments of enforcement cooperation together is “at an all-time high” and enforcement for the summer 2023 was a “success,” the town’s utter failure to enforce is on display as of today, Sunday, for 1,916 days.

Still here,



Got Off Easy
Sag Harbor
October 5, 2023

To the Editor:

Our area got off relatively easy in last week’s pummeling rainstorm, but we know fossil fuel emissions are increasing rainfall dangerously by warming the atmosphere so it holds more water. More rain and rising sea levels spell pain for eastern Long Island.

Meanwhile, September was the world’s hottest ever by nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit globally. Gov. Kathy Hochul can’t get offshore wind and upstate solar and wind projects running soon enough to speed our transition from polluting gas to zero emissions wind and solar power.

It’s time to throw some bouquets to two unsung climate action heroes who weather a needless amount of criticism.

Doreen Harris of the New York Energy Research and Development Authority is doing a magnificent job of making sure New York meets its climate mandate, with its climate scoping plan rolling out as intended, through leading investment in clean energy that New Yorkers can afford.

Public Service Commissioner Rory Christian is fighting the good fight against business interests that want to derail the state’s climate law through spreading disinformation about reliability and cost, and to facilitate a smooth transition from climate-killing gas plants to truly clean power, and not fossil fuel industry bait and switch, like “renewable natural gas” and hydrogen blends.



Needed to Survive
October 1, 2023

Dear David,

Those who decided to protest against fossil fuel in Midtown Manhattan last week need to do a ton of research. They shouldn’t be listening to those that are getting rich on political actors who spew lies surrounding this subject. Hopefully they will not learn a lesson the hard way.

Fossil fuel is somewhat needed in order to survive, unless you choose to go back to horse and buggy, burn wood to keep your house warm, etc. Keep in mind, you can’t chop down all the trees. There are those that live in McMansions, burn lights in all 20 rooms, get in their guzzling auto to race to their jets and take off.

Keep in mind what happened in Texas last year when the turbines broke down, putting the state in a frozen-ice state. Don’t be surprised when your electric bill triples once turbines are completed.

If you really want to win this argument, chase after Russia, India, China, and all the countries that will not do anything to help this cause.

Perhaps you should protest all the bombings, all the rockets, and the testing of missiles. What do you think they’re doing to the world?

In God and country,



They Got Nothing
East Hampton
October 5, 2023

Dear David,

Here we go, as usual, with the Republican gaslight program: Swiftboating an honorable man; Benghazi, to blame a sleeping woman for tragedy on the opposite side of the world; Whitewater, a two-bit real estate deal that had no impact on American government. This year it is Hunter Biden. Note to voting populace: Hunter does not serve in government, and nothing you do to him will make your life better. The impeachment of his father, based solely on guilt by association, has turned out to be like going to a baseball game only to see a bunch of guys standing around and nobody has a baseball. They got nothing, nada, on Joe, a man so square that even Lindsey Graham said, “If you don’t like Joe Biden, there is something wrong with you.”

One wonders how they can muster the gall when they ignore that Trump’s son-in-law went to Saudi Arabia and came back with a billion dollars. No wonder the Pied Piper of the party still defies science and common sense to claim that climate change is a myth and we should continue the decadeslong funneling of wealth to the oil despots in Saudi Arabia rather than convert to clean domestic power.

None of those would-be scandals led to indictment, as there was nothing to find. Hillary Clinton threw back her head and belly-laughed in Jim Jordan’s face in response to ridiculous innuendo, and still he could find nothing while spending millions of taxpayer dollars on sham investigations. Trump is leading 91-indictments-to-nothing against Republican attempts to smear Democratic candidates for president. Most of the testimony against him is from lifelong Republicans; God bless them for awakening.

It is painful to admit when one has been conned, but make no mistake: Trump is a really good conman. “I’m rich. Work for me, and you will get rich!” Then he’d refuse to pay the bill. “Lend me money, and you’ll get rich!” Then he’d declare bankruptcy. In 2016, he did the same to a beleaguered populace. Are you better off? The country might be excused for 2016, but now we can see.

To Trump, cleaning out the deep state means firing anybody with enough backbone to resist his illegal schemes and replace them with stooges like Michael Clark. Cleaning up the military means reckless pronouncement of a death sentence on Mark Milley, a man with a spotless 40-year career in service to America. This from the draft dodger who told another general that Americans who died in World War II were suckers.

In his desperation to avoid jail, Trump’s not even hiding his intent if re-elected. He’s actually bragging that he’ll put a stooge in charge of the Justice Department and go after his enemies. Bye-bye rule of law, hello people falling out of windows in emulation of his hero, Vladimir Putin.

It is not enough for Republicans to admit Trump is a madman but still to vote Republican. It’s equally irresponsible to say they are all crooks and fail to vote. We’ve become so polarized that any Republican officeholder must swear allegiance. It is a slide into autocracy.

Republicans must suffer a landslide defeat, or Trump’s cultlike following will continue to do his bidding — it’s happening now in the House. Trump holds no office, but they are afraid of his base. They have no speaker. We’re careening toward a shutdown, both at the urging of the wizard behind the curtain who could care less about the damage to the country, the economy, or the middle class for whom he claims to be savior.



Extreme Religion
East Hampton
October 9, 2023


The horrific attack by Hamas on Israeli citizens is a prime example of religious terrorism. The belief by extreme religious groups that they have the right to kill and destroy in God’s name. Incapable of governing and unwilling to accept the existence of Israel, Hamas uses terror as its primary tool to support its existence.

Israel has certainly abused and battered the Palestinian people and its own ultra-Orthodox sect sees them as less than human.

Everywhere in the world Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, etc., brutalize and batter people in the name of God. Humans don’t need religion to justify their subhuman behavior, but religious fervor puts them over the top.

Separating church and state is the cautionary message to the world. Especially when God’s existence is hardly a certainty.


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