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Letters to the Editor for February 9, 2023

Thu, 02/09/2023 - 09:58

Given a Discount
East Hampton
February 6, 2023

Dear David,

I found Christopher Gangemi’s “A Beach Pass Frenzy in the Cool of Winter” well-penned, with multiple informative on-the-ground interviews. Terry Kidder, for example, voicing his dismay that East Hampton Town residents were not always given a discount.

For the past 37 years as a town resident, while in the Village Hall purchasing a beach sticker, I would remark again and again, “Why aren’t town residents given a discount?” The answer was always, “Because you don’t pay village taxes.” Thank you, Mayor Larson, for not only offering town residents a first shot at beach permits but also giving us a substantial $250 discount.

Pat Wilson added a nod to senior citizens: “They do nothing for seniors . . . they should give a discount to seniors.”

As the lines diminished, Mayor Larsen was quoted, “We had a couple of complainers, but for the most part it was compliments and thank-yous. Obviously we’re going to tweak it for next year.”

My suggestions for 2024: Please reserve the first hour or two for seniors and continue giving town residents a substantial discount.

Best regards,



Pulling Together
February 6, 2023

To the Editor,

Let me start off by saying the men and women of the East Hampton Village Ambulance Association are devoted, caring, and helpful people. They are your neighbors and friends, who, when the call comes in, day or night, good or bad weather, they answer the call without any hesitation. Many of the residents of the community are working two or three jobs just to put a roof over their heads and food on the table.

Just think if there is a charge for an ambulance call. How many in a time of crisis would call for an ambulance? This could cause a disaster.

Our country is in a crisis. The weather is crazy, the useless gun shootings of innocent people. Now is the time to stand up as Americans and pull together, not apart.

Please, Mr. Mayor, let our volunteers do the job they were trained to do for the people of this town and village in harmony. This town is noted for pulling together in a crisis, so let’s keep it that way.

Thank you,



Life and Death
East Hampton Village
February 6, 2023

Dear David,

Regarding the current East Hampton Village Ambulance Association debacle, Dan Reichl recently submitted what I thought was one of the most articulate and methodically presented letters I’ve read in these pages. Knowing not only how much this means to the members of the ambulance association, but also what a life and death matter their service is to our community, I feel compelled to offer what I know of a viable solution. If you glean only one point from my submission, let it be this: There is a completely viable solution whereby the ambulance association can maintain full independence, maintain a volunteer corps of emergency medical technicians and fund its entire operation without any interference from the village government. Furthermore, with the concentration of wealth in this community today and the potential for a donation-funded emergency medical service, it would be absolutely disgraceful to begin charging patients for ambulance service.

I have a fair degree of experience in the field of emergency medicine having been a paramedic myself. In my training with Stony Brook University’s paramedic program and later employment I worked in a wide variety of emergency medical situations. I did several hundred hours of rotations with emergency medical systems: E.R.s, O.R.s, I.C.U.s, etc., in Suffolk, Nassau, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and, unlike those larger systems, Greenwich, Conn. I then worked for some time in a hospital emergency room in rural New Mexico. An amazing and gratifying chapter of my life.

Some of the best ambulance corps in the United States are independent. Greenwich E.M.S. is just one outstanding example. They operate one of the most efficient and effective operations out there and they do it with a hybrid of paid and volunteer technicians.

The situation in Greenwich is remarkably similar to East Hampton in many ways. The size and rural character of the area, the blend of locals and second-home owners, and, perhaps most important, the affluence of the community and capability of many residents to make quite sizable donations to the local E.M.S. that will one day, one way or another, save their lives or that of a loved one.

Greenwich E.M.S. (referred to as GEMS) is a completely independent operation that receives all its funding from donations of residents and corporate sponsors, even to the extent of a couple or family purchasing a new ambulance and having their name on a plaque on the side of that vehicle. GEMS operates in 12-hour shifts and in uniform, so that when someone dials 911 there is an ambulance idling and a team ready and waiting to respond immediately. This results in response times of under five minutes. That saves lives.

The bottom line is, I believe a fully paid E.M.S. operation is unnecessary and any sensible village administration should be working hand in hand with the ambulance association to help them evolve to meet the changing needs of the increase in population and calls, staffing, training, etc. In my mind, that would be supporting them in an effort to maintain independence and raise money to have the best-possible E.M.S. system to serve our community. With the demographics of this community of East Hampton today, with the right community awareness and funding, there’s no reason why we can’t have an E.M.S. facility (or two) with equipment so cutting edge and staff so well trained and motivated that they serve as an example to other hybrid volunteer/paid systems throughout the United States.

The East Hampton Village Ambulance Association should remain independent. Any reasonable local government should not try to reinvent the wheel or throw out the baby with the bathwater, but should reach out to similarly situated communities who have had success in the concerned field and help their volunteer ambulance association thrive and continue to save lives.

Very respectfully,



Turner’s Work
February 3, 2023

To the Editor,

No doubt given space limitations, The Star was unable to include Amy Turner’s work in founding, building, and serving as the chairwoman of the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee. We are grateful for her time with us.



Hook Mill
February 6, 2023

Hello David,

I had the wonderful pleasure of filming the East Hampton Historical Society’s presentation on the Hook Windmill last week, orated by Steve Long and Bob Hefner, in the Baldwin Family Room in the East Hampton Library and haven’t forgotten this amazing lecture. It was 1955 that the windmill last operated, making flour in its grinding mill, using local grain, and selling it to customers who traveled miles and miles to buy it.

East Hampton has no local product; however, if Hook Mill were put back into operation, retrofitted with modern-day insides, East Hampton could produce local flour, attracting visitors from all over, making it a fascinating tourist attraction, even with its sails turning once again.

I would happily propose the Village of East Hampton consider putting forth a petition to reactivate the Hook Windmill and sell its own East Hampton flour.

By the way, I just  bought it:




Hither Woods
February 3, 2023

To the Editor,

The Town of East Hampton plans to construct a sewage treatment plant on Suffolk County parkland in Hither Woods. As active users of South Fork trails, bays, and parkland, we oppose this plan.

The septic plan is a Band-Aid to partially fix a problem of overdevelopment. Unfortunately it encourages the same commercial and residential development that will add to the very problems Montauk is trying to fix. Worse, it raids public resources to do so.

Locating the sewage plant on 14 acres of county parkland sets a terrible precedent. When the town, the county, and the state purchased Hither Woods, they committed to taxpayers to protect it forever.

To the town board: Please set this septic plan aside and develop a long-term plan that protects the natural resources without encroaching on land we have already protected.



Southampton Trails Preservation Society


Serve No Purpose
February 6, 2023

To the Editor,

When you drive around at night, take note of the lights that are illuminated but serve no useful purpose. Ninety percent of outdoor lighting is pure waste, according to the United States Department of Energy. Lighting best serves pedestrians with professional light levels for safety.

There are now many automated systems (i.e., motion sensors) to illuminate areas that need them and shut them off when not. When they are not being employed, the result is environmental damage along with human health impacts and energy waste. All it takes is some thought. Shut off exterior lights when not needed for pedestrian safety.

We turn off interior lights when we leave a room; why not exterior? It’s been shown that illuminated exteriors facilitate crime, not prevent it, along with greater incidents of graffiti, loitering, and break-ins. Criminals need to see what they are doing. Your neighbor is more likely to alert you if they see someone with a flashlight and alert the police to investigate businesses if they are routinely dark after hours.

Think about all the lighting around town that is left on, serving no useful purpose. The South Fork Country Club parking lot is empty and the club is closed (no interior lights are on), yet all the parking lot lights are on. The bus lot lights are left on at the Springs School when the gates are locked. Many houses have tree and landscape lights left on all night and when the owners are back in the city. Many streetlights are on in the middle of the night when there is no traffic or pedestrians. Businesses leave interior as well as exterior lights on all night when they are closed.

It’s not just money that is being wasted, but most electricity is still generated by coal and oil, polluting the air, water, and land. Westerly winds bring that air pollution over us and into the waterways.

But even solar lights cause damage due to disruption in flora and fauna. Fireflies are being decimated since they are confused by artificial lights and cannot use their bioluminescence to find a mate.

Even worse are “day burners”: lights left on during the day. There is no excuse for this with all the technology available, including using cellphones to operate lights. You can see day burners throughout the village on Main Street on the post-top streetlights. The glare now extends below the shield due to a poor choice of LED retrofit.

Nothing in this town affects a greater percentage of residents than light pollution.



Null and Void
February 5, 2023

Dear David,

I reminded myself of an article in March of 2019 in this paper about Bay View Avenue. The major portion of the article focused on Rick Whalen’s office stating they had a deed from 1912. In fact, in 2022 Mr. Whalen himself ran around in multiple meetings stating they had a deed from 1910. Very cool. Are they valid? No way. Better fit as toilet paper.

His client’s family granted the Town of East Hampton a road-widening easement in 1977 to obtain a building permit, thus making all previous deeds and documents null and void.

Makes you wonder when Assemblyman Thiele received an answer from the Department of Environmental Conservation about the permits that were obtained. What deed did they use?

Either the applicant lied or the government is a complicit accomplice. Smells fishy.

Still here,



Destroying Far More
Idaho Falls, Idaho
February 2, 2023

Dear Editor,

After decades of protecting whales and finally seeing them restored to a healthy number, the sacred wind turbines offshore are destroying these majestic mammals. We tried to warn the powers-that-be of what would happen to the fisheries that congregate on these shoals, yet the green movement (and powerful energy industry) doesn’t seem to be aware or care about the ramifications of their actions. The vibrations and noise are destroying far more than the scenery.



Under the Guise
St. Petersburg, Fla.
February 4, 2023

To the Editor,

This letter is in response to a letter to the editor from misinformed Neil Hausig dated Jan. 28 and published in the Feb. 2 edition of The Star, titled “Analyze, Understand.” The following are the facts.

Governor DeSantis, governor of the free State of Florida, rejected an Advanced Placement course on African-American history because it had incorporated lessons of Black queer theory, prison abolition, and critical race theory ideology under the guise of history that he has argued is political indoctrination, not education. It has since been amended.

The State of Florida’s education system does not subscribe to any radical, political social, or pseudo-Marxist theories and has eliminated a public school curriculum that steers students toward critical race ideology that pits one race against another. African-American history is required to be taught in Florida public schools as a core curriculum, from slavery through abolition, segregation, the impact of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the contributions of Black Americans to our society and country. However, when the syllabus was reviewed for the Advanced Placement African-American course, the elements the State of Florida rejected were lessons in Black queer studies, reparations, the oppression of Black people in modern American society, and critics of capitalism contained in the syllabus as inappropriate, pushing a political agenda. It should be noted that the A.P. course under fire, since amended, is a separate course than the one for Advanced Placement credit taught at the high school level.

Governor DeSantis did not erase African-American history from the history books, nor does he think Black history is irrelevant. On the contrary, he covets the historical value of the facts without pushing radical ideology on kids. Some people might argue that there is a teaching moment to be had for children who’ve never learned about the injustice of African-American drag queens breaking into the historically white dominated industry. However, history is the study of past events. Radical left-wing ideology, while wildly entertaining, is superfluous to the goal of teaching young, developing minds to think on their own. Forcing ideology on children is indoctrination, pure and simple.

I covet the decision we made to leave Bridgehampton and move to sunny St. Petersburg, Fla., a truly diverse, progressive city, governed by a Democrat Black mayor, who believes in the preservation of accurate history as means of not repeating past mistakes and looks forward, not backward, celebrating and recognizing the cultural differences of its residents, improving relationships between civic leaders for the enhancement of all, and is committed to keeping St. Petersburg a safe, popular, culture-packed destination with clean, award-winning beaches, magnificent parks and waterfronts, first-rate hotels, seven museums, a multitude of performing arts venues, and affordable, family-friendly, professional sports stadiums. The free State of Florida is thriving post-pandemic, as opposed to New York, because its leaders recognized theories are not solutions.

As much as I miss the Candy Kitchen and my walks on the wild, breathtakingly beautiful Atlantic beaches, I couldn’t breathe, co-habitating in the oppressive, virtue-signaling, ideology of progressive leftists such as Mr. Hausig. Literally. When you free your mind and stop hiding behind a mask, the truth becomes clearer.



Perfect Example
East Hampton
February 6, 2023


Ted Cruz announced today that even though he supports term limits, he would not accept a limitation on his term in office, By doing so, Cruz introduces a new subphylum of the human species that adulates immorality, misinformation, and intellectual abasement. Cruz is the perfect example of millions of years of genetic evolution, creating humans devoid of all love, warmth, and spirit.

Cruz for president.



Diogenes Decided
February 2, 2023

To the Editor,

Act 1: In ancient Greece, a philosopher named Diogenes was said to walk the streets in broad daylight holding a brightly-lit lamp claiming that he was searching for an honest man.

Act 2: In 2008, this time-traveling, continent-hopping Diogenes was walking the streets of Brazil and he read a news report about George Santos having used a stolen checkbook and a false name to make a fraudulent $700 purchase at a clothing store. He tracked Mr. Santos down and pointedly told him (in both Greek and Portuguese) to his face, “You sure ain’t the honest man I’ve been searching for these past 2,000 years!”

Act 3: In the summer of 2021, while vacationing in New York City, Diogenes happened to spot Mr. Santos on Fifth Avenue and simultaneously noticed a large man with orange hair holding a gun aimed at him. Diogenes heard the man say to his bodyguard, “Watch this. And I bet I don’t lose any voters!”

As the gun fired, Diogenes knocked Mr. Santos down to save his life (He did not “mug” him), and the bullet passed harmlessly over Mr. Santos’s prone body.

The shooter ran off into Trump Tower, while Diogenes decided to reward himself for saving Mr. Santos’ life by taking Mr. Santos’ watch (because, having been to the future, Diogenes knew the watch would never help Mr. Santos know when it was time to resign), his shoes (because they were the same pair Mr. Santos had purchased in 2008 with his stolen money), and his briefcase (in hopes of finding documents to definitively prove Ms. Santos’s dishonesty).


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