Based on Opinions
March 13, 2023
I am writing to express my deep concern regarding misinformation and inaccuracies contained in your recent editorial "Gun Club Has Important Safety Role." As a loyal reader and admirer of your publication, I am truly puzzled by an editorial that ignores and misstates so many facts.
There are many different and justifiable points of view regarding the value or safety of gun clubs in general, but the inaccuracies in your editorial about the safety of the Maidstone Gun Club in particular must be corrected. Your editorial, as well as a previous article about the Maidstone Gun Club in your preceding week's issue, is based on opinions expressed by club members. However, there is an East Hampton Town police report on public record citing clear safety lapses at the Maidstone Gun Club and pointing to the "great probability that errant bullets left the facility in a down range direction." An East Hampton Star article of Jan. 12 about the release of that Police Report, "Gun Club Safety Was Found Lacking," correctly summarized the safety problems documented in the police report and noted that safety management at the club's rifle range was "degraded, inadequate, and poorly maintained." The police report on public record describes the safety problems and details the evidence pointing to the likelihood that the bullet which struck the house on Merchants Path came from the poorly managed and defectively constructed Maidstone rifle range. Your editorial neglects to make mention of the police report.
While your editorial staff may believe that gun clubs add value to gun safety, it is inexplicable that your editorial would characterize the Maidstone Gun club as a place unfairly closed. It is difficult to understand how a respected newspaper like The East Hampton Star would simply take at face value opinions of club members that the dangers to homeowners on Merchants Path are from "rogue shooters in the woods" when these unsubstantiated opinions are contrary to police evidence.
This is simply irresponsible journalism, not the thoughtful editorial opinion your readers expect from The East Hampton Star.
March 13, 2023
To the Editor:
A petition organized by the East Hampton Sportsmen's Alliance, signed and commented on by 313 local sportsmen, was recently submitted to the East Hampton Town Board, urging them not to deny participation in the long-anticipated spring turkey season on East Hampton Town land in May.
In addition, a full house from the hunting community turned up for the board's March 7 work session to emphasize the importance they place on the hunt. The voters who came in person, signers of the petition, and others in favor represent the traditional values and unique culture of this place. Many signers are familiar from local street names, farms, small businesses, commercial fishing, public service, and town history. Thankfully, this local character is still strong enough to try to fight the extinction that a resort economy and imported cosmopolitan worldviews threaten to bring.
This room full of people who felt overlooked on a matter of fundamental relevance to them was more than orderly, respectful, and genuine in addressing the board in good faith, even as they had to take time off from work. These same local sportsmen will continue the safe, courteous, and conscientious practices in the field during spring turkey season that have resulted in zero injury incidents related to any hunting in East Hampton over at least the past five years per the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Objections raised by activists in recent years have held surprising sway, so to briefly address those, safety: Besides zero incidents to date, which should be enough, it is not at all established that town lands will be especially crowded during May, the rainiest period of the year and when the kids are still in school. Memorial Day weekend will not be open for hunting.
Turkey population: According to D.E.C. population and harvest approximations, a spring turkey season would result in an indistinguishable reduction of 3 percent of the local population and zero reduction in breeding hens, who, by design, are not hunted and will already be fertilized by that time. Therefore, objections around tick reduction and a desire to see wildlife should not be entertained as a pretext for depriving others of legal, regulated hunting privileges because those things would effectively be unchanged.
Animal rights activism: Ascribing human qualities to animals, wild and otherwise, by some people, is a philosophical question that also should not be entertained as a pretext for depriving others of legal, regulated hunting privileges. Hunters are some of the greatest advocates for wildlife conservation, and hunting rights are firmly established in the New York State Constitution and environmental conservation laws.
Since the hunting population in town is in the minority (only 3 percent of the New York State population are hunters, based on licenses issued), we very much appreciated Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc calling for tolerance, reasonable accommodation, and respect for tradition from all sides in supporting the hunt. This position was supported by the majority of the board, and we look forward to ratification at the town board meeting today.
Vice president, board of directors
East Hampton Sportsmen's Alliance
Level of Commitment
March 10, 2023
To the Editor:
As a town resident who was an emergency medical technician in the New York City 911 system a long time ago, I have been watching the spectacle of village Mayor Jerry Larsen beating up his volunteer ambulance service with horrified fascination. This is so wrongheaded on multiple levels, it looks as if Mayor Larsen is aspiring to comic-book supervillain status.
First, it wasn't broken, so there was nothing to fix. Exemplary volunteer services serve towns and villages across America. These are people who, if the pager goes off in the middle of a restaurant meal, get up without a second thought to drive their personal vehicle to the scene to treat the patient. That involves a completely different level of commitment than working as a paid E.M.T. (of which I was one). If Mayor Larsen alienates enough volunteers and must shift to a mostly paid service, he will have the same severe problem finding workers who can afford to live here as other sectors are experiencing. Basic E.M.T. (as opposed to paramedic) is not a highly compensated job. Even medics may not make enough money to live comfortably in the Hamptons.
The volunteers manage themselves and have done so successfully for decades. Mayor Larsen has no idea what is involved -- in expense, time, and liability -- in managing a full-time, paid ambulance service. That's another reason why these are so rare at the town and village level in this country.
Larsen denies that this is about being able to invoice the patients, to which the volunteers are unalterably opposed -- but that seems to be where this controversy started. For most of us, an ambulance ride is something we had no control over. We did not choose to faint or experience chest pain. An ambulance bill can cost hundreds of dollars (I suspect a ride to Stony Brook costs much more). Not everyone has insurance which will cover it. For those who don't, it becomes one more debt forcing them down the economic ladder, impacting credit, going into collections, being levied against bank accounts. The optics of the Village of East Hampton billing workers who are barely hanging on here for ambulance rides would be truly grotesque.
Oh, and by the way, if Mayor Larsen guts the village ambulance service, it will be the volunteer departments in various town hamlets that will have to pick up the slack.
Count Talleyrand once told Napoleon that something he had done was not only a crime, but a mistake. Mayor Larsen is the Napoleon of this situation.
March 13, 2023
To the Editor,
My name is William Cap, and I have been a resident of East Hampton Town for about 40 years, and I would like to speak about the East Hampton Town Police Department and hope this will help the police officers get the proper schedule they need.
I have always admired the police department but have noticed and heard the police officers are on an eight-hour schedule and because of this officers are being either burnt out or we only are having four cops patrolling the township. To me this is a huge safety concern.
Also, with four police officers working this really upsets me in the event something happens. What is the response time? I heard the police department has had the 12-hour tours, but from what I have gathered it was stripped "due to productivity." This seems unfair due to the fact that with 12-hour tours they had a good number of police officers on the road.
There are several potential reasons why the East Hampton Town Police department may consider switching to a 12-hour schedule with an eight-hour rotation. Some possible justifications include increased coverage: By working longer shifts, officers may be able to provide more consistent coverage throughout the day and night. This could be particularly beneficial for areas that have high levels of activity or crime during certain times of day.
Cost savings: With longer shifts, there may be fewer officers needed to cover the same amount of time, which could potentially save the department money on staffing costs. Additionally, having a rotating schedule could help to reduce the need for overtime pay.
Improved work-life balance: While 12-hour shifts may be longer, having more days off in between shifts could provide officers with more time to rest and recharge, which could lead to better job satisfaction and mental health.
Reduced administrative burden: With a simpler schedule that repeats every eight hours, there may be less administrative work involved in managing scheduling and payroll. This could potentially free up time and resources for other tasks.
Consistency with other departments: If other law enforcement agencies in the region or state are already using a 12 hour-8 hour rotation schedule, adopting a similar system could help to facilitate coordination and communication among agencies.
It's worth noting that implementing a new schedule can be a complex process with potential drawbacks, as well as benefits.
The department would need to carefully consider factors such as the impact on officer safety, the availability of resources to support the new schedule, and the potential for increased fatigue or burnout among officers. Ultimately, any decision to switch to a new schedule should be made based on careful consideration of all relevant factors and with input from officers and other stakeholders.
I hope that this will help maybe make a decision to go to 12 hours, like they used to do. Thank you for your time.
Bring Trust Back
March 13, 2023
I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to run for East Hampton Town council for the East Hampton Republican Party. This opportunity combines the goals that I have been seeking professionally and personally for the past 30 years: service that benefits the local community with solutions honed from both my life experiences and my professional work in global markets.
Even though I may be a newcomer to local politics, I have been an active member of our community since I moved to Wainscott over 25 years ago, where I now reside with my two college-bound children and my longtime girlfriend, a teacher from Southampton.
I currently serve as the treasurer of the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church for the last 10 years, and I am an ocean lifeguard and first responder and rescue swimmer for both East Hampton Ocean Rescue and Southampton Village Ocean Rescue for the last three years. In 2012, I was recruited by my friends to compete in the Leukemia, Lymphoma Society fund-raising contest. I reached out to the community for the cause and was fortunate enough to raise over $10,000 earning the moniker "East End man of the year." Later on, with my fellow Y.M.C.A. master swimmers, we created a local annual swim fund-raiser event benefiting the Lustgarten Foundation for pancreatic cancer research. In 2020, I biked over 100 miles from New York City to the Hamptons for autism research to support a friend with her local effort (Flying Point) to create facilities and activities for special-needs children of the East End. Beside local fund-raising, I volunteered with All Hands and Hearts, an organization that brought disaster relief following the battering of multiple tropical storms and hurricanes in southeastern Texas.
During my professional career, I traded currency derivatives in the global foreign exchange market and advised Fortune 500 multinational corporations on how to best mitigate foreign exchange currency risk as a vice president for the Bank of New York. I believe the key to my success was my ability to establish credibility and trust, both with my clients and colleagues. I hope to bring both credibility and trust back to the town board of East Hampton.
I studied engineering at Georgia Tech and finance at Columbia Business School, and the most important thing I learned from both engineering and business is problem solving and finding practical solutions in the context of limited resources and constraints. In trying to solve our problems locally, I realize that the constraints will be many and resources few, but I will advocate for solutions that are mindful, sustainable, and common-sense based for the entire community and its needs.
As a lifelong independent, I find the intense polarization of national politics disheartening, and I strongly believe that the issues and struggles that we have locally should be viewed as just that -- local issues impacting our constituents and our local culture and not through the lens of party ideologies that dominate and create hostile environments at the national level.
I am a lifeguard, triathlete, and a lover of our ocean and our beautiful environs. As a result, I am passionate about local issues, such as open space, overdevelopment, and quality-of-life issues. I hope to bring perspective and grounded solutions to the many problems facing our diverse community, not solutions that fit the few, but solutions that benefit all.
I believe the one-party rule of the Democratic Party in East Hampton has created an echo chamber where critical thinking and new ideas are not heard or considered. I hope to change that.
I look forward to meeting many of you on the campaign. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments at the following email address: [email protected] Thank you for your consideration.
March, 12, 2023
To the Editor,
Do your elected officials actually believe in the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan? Some have even championed it. How about any of the individuals who seek office this election cycle? If the answer is a resounding "yes," as it should be, then why is Bay View Avenue still blocked 17 weeks from five years and the sixth summer?
To quote the L.W.R.P., "Although Bay View Avenue's sign says, 'Private Road,' it serves a town-owned waterfront parcel which could be used for public access, thereby allowing public use of the road."
Next to Q
March 10, 2023
To the Editor,
Marjorie, Marjorie, Marjorie! I may be wrong but I assume that Q was sitting next to you while you were writing your last letter to The Star. I can see the both of you getting your thoughts together as you sat on your deck with your AR-14s shooting down Chinese balloons, or was it the space lasers that were driving your mind-set. Your ranting is very uninformed and totally off the rails but not unexpected. Please give Q my best!
Cesspool of Lies
March 11, 2023
Just when we had thought that Fox (not) News superstar and Walter Cronkite wannabe Tucker Carlson had reached the nadir of his cesspool of lies, America now gets to see his shameful, disgusting, and morally repugnant cherry-picking clips of the events of Jan. 6, 2021.
Mr. Carlson's clips portray the seditious and treasonous rioters as peaceful tourists touring the Capitol. He omits the violence toward the Capitol Police and vandalism. He omits the scenes of the U.S. senators and House of Representatives members huddling down in the Capitol to try and protect their lives under their security details who had their guns drawn. He omits the deaths of the Capitol Police officers who gave their lives to protect freedom and democracy. He omits the advocacy of Donald Trump to storm the Capitol.
Trump was not an advocate for democracy on Jan. 6 but a Capitol Police officer was -- he gave his life to protect all of us. His name was Brian Sicknick. The video of the entire tape was provided by House co-Speaker (with Marjorie Taylor Greene) Kevin McCarthy.
The only historical individuals that I could compare Mr. Carlson to as media-savvy liars would be Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's minister for propaganda and cultural enlightenment (an oxymoron for sure), and Joseph Stalin, the 30-year dictator of the Soviet Union. Goebbels spent most of his energies saying that Jews were an inferior race that deserved extermination and that Germany was actually winning World War II. A majority of Germans were convinced by his radio messages.
Stalin was just as efficient in rewriting history as he murdered 20 million of his people in his party purges, mass starvation of Ukrainians, and mass deportations of minorities to the gulag. His minions erased any references and photos of starving Ukrainians, Communist Party purge victims, and millions who were charged with treason against the Soviet regime.
Today, Stalin is widely admired in the Kremlin and in Russian society. The current president, Putin, was a top-level officer in the K.G.B., the Soviet secret police.
Mr. Carlson, to his everlasting shame and historical legacy, will never have the influence of Goebbels or Stalin. Our independent news channels like C.B.S., N.B.C., A.B.C., and P.B.S., actually report reality. I just wonder how Mr. Carlson can look himself in the face as he shaves in the morning and can call himself a man -- or a human being.
President in Space
March 12, 2023
I and half the world watched in total disgust as Joe Biden allowed a Chinese spy balloon to hover over our country for nearly a week. China continues to challenge our country, and Mr. Biden continues to back down. He let this balloon collect much data before it was taken down.
Biden continues to enrich and enable China at the expense of America for exactly two years. He has been weak and wrong about China for decades. Ever wonder why?
On Tuesday, Mr. Biden announced, to keep Medicare solvent, we must rely on more aggressive price negotiations with the very rich pharmaceutical industry and Congress already agreed to. The president claims it'll result in $200 billion in savings.
This president lives in outer space. In just a decade, $200 billion? That's quite a claim considering the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office claims such negotiations would have a negligible effect on federal spending.
The government needs to stop thinking they know what's best for me and stop spending.
In God and country,
Darkest of Ages
March 13, 2023
A 15-year-old kid walks into a bar in Orlando. He approaches the four people sitting there. The bartender asks him what he wants. He says that he has a question about sex and didn't know where else to go.
The bartender looks at the kid and asks him why he didn't talk to his parents? He said they would lock him in his room if he did. What about your pastor? He'd send him to hell, responded the kid. Your school counselor? Call the cops. The library? All the books on the subject are off the shelves.
The group at the bar looked at each other and finally asked the kid what the problem was. The kid said that he's confused about his sexuality and isn't sure what to do about it. The group conferred for a minute and then the bartender offered him a beer. The kid said he was too young to drink. The bartender said, "Then maybe you are too young to think about your sexuality."
In the United States many people don't believe in evolution, not just of the species but of ideas and systems and how life works. We cure amazing diseases. We explore the solar system. We replace knees with robots. Yet, when it comes to basic human interaction and physical and emotional development, we remain stuck in the darkest of ages. It would be defined as subhuman except that would be an insult to the nonhuman occupants of the planet.
Subhuman is not a comparative analysis between humans and animals. That would be way too easy and forgiving. Subhumanity is actually the capacity that humans have to be moral and not cruel compared with how they actually behave. Animals don't poison each other or drop bombs on defenseless people or imprison people for life. (When we killed Indigenous people by giving them smallpox-contaminated blankets, it wasn't subhuman, it was blah.)
So, when Florida pols and schools deal with L.G.B.T.Q. issues in a cruel, subhuman manner they are cool. So, when teenage kids have issues around sexuality (who doesn't?) and are treated with disdain and repulsion it's cool. We need to understand that the Nazis weren't deviant. But all the people they killed were.
Is it unfair to compare Ron DeSantis and his group to Nazis or do we need to wait for more kids to commit suicide or to be put in prison? Mr. DeSantis could do a George Bush and talk to Jesus.
It seems genuinely bizarre to treat the L.G.B.T.Q. population with anything besides love, compassion, and understanding. Yet, part of our religious ethic is to treat apparent differences between people with C.H.A.: cruelty, hatred, and abuse. It's one of the primary reasons why the founders insisted on separating church and state. Furthermore, religions don't do very well with issues related to sexuality. They need to be on the sidelines until they have evolved to a higher level.
We have always been a C.H.A. country. People's humanity doesn't come from the books they read or how many times a day they pray. It's not that our religions haven't evolved or that they don't have the capacity to do so. It's simply that they haven't reached that point and history tells us that they are not ready to sit at the table.