Gradients of Lucidity
May 12, 2023
To the Editor:
Having written regularly to you for some months, I have figured out the design of your letters page, for which a decent metaphor is a Great Lake, with gradients of temperature, lucidity, flow, etc.
The top gradient is letters of thanks and praise. Then come letters on local issues which lack anger or sarcasm. The third gradient, where I usually float, is rants about local affairs. Then comes the Bea Derrico level, then responses to Bea. Finally, there is a bottom gradient of rants about national matters.
On a more serious note, thank you for staying committed to publishing all the letters you receive. Many years ago, when the American Civil Liberties Union was first suing to establish applicability of the First Amendment to the internet, I had a very memorable conversation with the responsible attorney, who mentioned that A.C.L.U. regarded letters columns in local papers as a cornerstone of community and freedom of speech. Yours is exemplary.
I am curious whether the foregoing compliment (very sincerely intended, however) gets me promoted to a higher gradient.
For democracy in East Hampton,
Hamlet to Suburb
May 8, 2023
To the Editor,
As I sit here, one of the remaining older people in the East Hampton hamlet of Montauk that in years past was a friendly and fairly close-knit town (population approximately 1,200), thinking about what has happened in almost one generation, I thought I’d write it down.
In my youth here in a remote hamlet with limited services, there were five gas stations, all with mechanics, year-round restaurants with bars (open till 2 a.m.) that were owned by local residents and families, even a movie theater for a short time. There was ample work for local residents and high school children, especially in the summer with the influx of tourists from Memorial Day to Labor Day; The Village of East Hampton even had three new-car dealerships with one in Amagansett.
About 30 years ago, real estate developed the word “Unhampton” for the area. The impact was slow to begin but recently has caused a crescendo of overbuilding with maxed-out houses all with pools on new or existing normal home lots with lack of caring for local service conditions and infrastructure by the it’s-all-about-me crowd. Environmental problems this has created are now affecting residents and, for the most part, older residents. These concerns have caused many of the older people to sell and leave due to quality-of-life issues, high cost of living, and constant litigation with business owners and developers by the town with higher legal fees and resulting tax increases.
How did this happen in about 53 years (current population is around 4,300), that has taken an isolated town and turned it into a warm weather “suburb” for both businesses and people at the expense of locals? Currently, there is even talk of taking protected parkland and creating a sewage treatment plant with sewers to appease and possibly further stimulate overbuilding in the downtown area. Where is the researcher or author who has a book contract waiting if he or she would tell this story. Hello? Are you out there??
Someone please tell me something I can feel good about, other than the unimaginable sales prices residents have and are still receiving.
Hamlet to suburb, all predicted in the 1960s by a man named Philip Lenhart (God rest his soul), a rental-cottage property owner himself, who said this would happen when the Ronjo Motel asked for and received a variance for parking and to the building code. His complaint was discounted by most in the town. Guess what, people? Phil was right.
Not the Same
East Hampton Village
May 13, 2023
Dear East Hampton Star,
I’ve recently noticed a huge jump in prices at many East Hampton eateries. I hate to single out the Golden Pear, but that’s the one I’ve had the most experience with over the years. I love the Golden Pear and have been a loyal customer since day one. However, after spending most of the past two years either in the city or in the hospital, I have returned to find that the prices of everything have gone up shockingly high. The sandwiches were expensive when they averaged $16. Now they cost, on average, $20.
My beloved salmon platter went from $16 two years ago to $25 the last time I bought one. Lobster salad was exorbitant at $85 a pound but it’s now up to $120 a pound, and a lobster roll is $30.
A note about the salmon platter: It’s not the same as the one I paid $16 for. Though it has all the same components, a key ingredient has changed: the bagel. This happened because their original bagel bakery went out of business and the new supplier is nowhere near as good. So I’m being asked to pay more for a salmon platter which is of lower quality.
It pains me to say this, but I don’t think I can be a regular customer, or even a loyal one, now that I am back. While I understand that the new economy has forced price hikes all over the place, I find such prices to be exorbitant. Just yesterday, I paid $30 for a large vegetable chili and a vegetable smoothie. This is a lot more than I would expect, and it was fine for a once-in-a-while purchase, but I can’t shell out that much on a daily, or even weekly, basis. The food is good but not that good.
Thanks for reading!
East Hampton Village
May 6, 2023
To the Editor,
As of today, there are no signs of construction of the unwanted brew pub that threatened the tranquillity of our neighborhood or any indication that the Diamond family or Mill Hill Realty will be submitting new plans to the village design review board for permission to build an illegal tavern next to a blind curve on Toilsome Lane.
Rather than squander time and money, my wife, Christine, and I decided it is not necessary to appeal to the Appellate Court to reverse last October’s lower court’s ruling against us (Michael and Christine Aaron against Zoning Board of Appeals, et al.) since our legal defense team is well prepared to prevent The Toilsome Lane beer tavern from winning in court if the Toilsome Lane brewery should make the unwise decision to approach the Village of East Hampton to reintroduce their scandalous proposal.
Currently, the beer war on Toilsome Lane appears to be over and we are looking forward to a never-ending peace in our beautiful village, but, in case it should raise its ugly head again, we will continue to remain diligent.
Meanwhile, we wish to thank our many caring neighbors and friends of our village who have supported us over this difficult two-year battle against the Toilsome Lane beer hall and the Village of East Hampton.
Like Every Other
East Hampton Village
May 15, 2023
I was sorry to learn our village board opted to replace charming brick sidewalks with cement. My understanding, the issue was budget considerations. Perhaps if the board of trustees, Marco, and Jerry did the necessary due diligence, our sidewalks wouldn’t look like every other mid-Island town. Speaking of aesthetics, did the village aesthetic committee weigh in with their perspective? If not, why not?
Down the Tube
May 15, 2023
Dear Mr. Editor,
Hope all is well at The Star. Sorry for the delay in writing. Unlike some of your writers, I have a job — just wanted to commend you on an article in the March 30 paper regarding the Maidstone Gun Club. Your article “Third Party Influence” should be an eye-opener to anyone concerned with local politics, our heritage, and our future. These East End carpetbaggers move in and push local people and values out.
I was going to write to you about the club, but you beat me to it. Your reporter Christine Sampson is a fine example of an investigative reporter. The article was well done.
My question is, how can a gun club that has operated for 30-plus years all of a sudden be a problem? There is only one answer: new people who want what they want and will stop at nothing to get it.
The article mentions a bullet caught on camera. Is it possible for a nickel-and-dime home security system to photograph a speeding bullet?
Have you ever been to the rifle range at the club? If not, I suggest you go and check the rifle range. The tubes you shoot through limit the movement of the rifle, left-right, up-down. When looking down the tube, all you see is the sand mound with no sky. And if the rifle range is the concern, what about the indoor pistol range and the skeet range? An indoor pistol range shouldn’t bother anyone. Trap and skeet have no range.
The plaintiffs just reek of Manhattan’s self-appointed elite. Trust of this and revocable trust of that. Really!
What local people need to understand and grip is this is how you lose your freedoms and heritage. At times, I feel like the American Indian. We have lost Truck Beach; how, I don’t understand. But mark my words, these carpetbaggers are after one thing: the land, and they will stop at nothing to get it. It would be very interesting to see who up in the woods and down by the beach is friends with our illustrious governor and/or the judges on these cases.
Yours to command,
May 14, 2023
To the Editor,
The dance floor at the Springs Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall was just energized last Saturday evening during the No-Fling Spring dance party. A big thank-you goes out to all for coming together to support this event. How wonderful to see the entire community — ages 3 to 80 — all dancing and singing together to great tunes supplied by D.J. GFunk. So much fun!
A collective thank-you to the local business community for its contributions for the raffle, to our dance leaders, as well as to the food vendors. Your generosity speaks volumes and your contributions to the success of this event were immeasurable. Meanwhile, not one piece of litter was seen on the property the morning after.
A litter-free East Hampton is easy: Don’t toss it. If you see litter, pick it up. Secure your truck load. It’s that simple.
Town of East Hampton Litter Action Committee
Lack of Leadership
May 15, 2023
I am writing to you in rebuttal to your editorial entitled “Important School Votes” in last week’s edition of the Star. I write to you as 30-year-plus resident of Wainscott and as the son of Gordon Wootton, who served as the Wainscott School Board chairman in the late 1990s until 2005, and who helped build the larger school building adjacent to the quaint one room schoolhouse, and as the son of Mary Lou Wootton, who served on East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals, and as a Republican candidate for East Hampton Town Council.
I found your perspective of the “broader community” overly simplistic. Issues such as affordable housing, development, and public schools are all intertwined and complex. These community-wide concerns do not match your harsh narrative of making the residents of Wainscott villains for all the problems befalling our town, especially affordable housing. The Route 114 Community Housing Apartment project is laudable and will help a small few (eligibility income requirements seem lofty, e.g., the one-person household income of $132,340, and two-person household of $151,190), but the larger problem of affordable housing is far more daunting and complex. Your statement that the tiny “school board of Wainscott battled back plans for workforce housing initiatives” is simply inaccurate and wrong.
I found your broad-brush statements about commuting lawn-mowers and house cleaners not only incorrect but mostly insulting and demagogic — how dare you? As far as I know, the trade parade does not start or end in Wainscott.
Also, do you know that the “outdated educational model of Wainscott school” mentioned, and other small districts like Springs, have brought up students who are now at the top of their class at East Hampton High School and will be attending Harvard, Yale, and Princeton in the fall? Wainscott early primary school was also the first alma mater of graduates who went on to other highly esteemed institutions such as Dartmouth, Harvey Mudd, Duke, New York University, and Villanova.
What is the real issue here? A “clinging school board,” “outdated educational model,” or a lack of leadership in a changed reality?
The problems of small, splintered school districts: Wainscott, Amagansett, Springs, and Montauk, (of which Wainscott is the smallest) feeding the East Hampton High School has existed for decades and has resulted in perhaps inequitable tax burdens across our villages. Yet, you have the audacity to blame the Wainscott School Board, which is made up of three public servants as the bogeyman. The idea of merging all of the school districts into one new centralized school district would take leadership, one that could have been possibly spearheaded by our one-party town board in concert with the school boards and stakeholders. That kind of leadership and foresight does not exist in our current town board who spends most of their time in frivolous and onerous lawsuits.
The most recent New York State Education Department enrollment figures for students from kindergarten to grade 12 are: Springs, 644; Montauk, 301; Amagansett, 110, and Wainscott, 25. Ed.
Remove the Cubes?
May 13, 2023
To the Editor,
Quoting an article by Christopher Walsh in The East Hampton Star, Aug. 26, 2021: “The existing code authorizes the town to enter a property and remove a geotextile bag array and/or perform restoration work.”
If the town told homeowners to remove the cubes from the middle of Bay View Avenue by letter on April 24, 2019, and to do this “immediately,” it should’ve been done. Then sent another letter directly to First Coastal (owner Aram Terchunian working for the town then and today) on July 7, 2020, return-receipt on July 9, 2020, with the caveat: “30 days or face legal action.” Why are the cubes still here? Not on someone’s property — after the town was even served letters of enforcement in November 2020!
Of course, our outstanding town has another modification for the illegal structure in front of them. Thanks, Joe Palermo, for not answering this when asked directly on March 20. We all found out anyway. We aren’t happy.
Does anyone in town get to put in an application to demo any town board member’s house? I wouldn’t do that. Seems like some people may want to do that. Not their property, but that’s the precedent set.
May 11, 2023
A friend recently sent me a piece on the dangers of Viagra and other drugs to alleviate male sexual dysfunction. Besides the medical issues, Viagra is 10 times more dangerous than the abortion pill that is in the process of being banned. Yet, it is Viagra and male sexual impotence that are at the root of the abortion issue in the United States of America.
If abortion is a problem that we desire to solve, then we need to see the problem from an alternative perspective. Problem solving in the U.S. is always complicated if the problems are long term. Refusal to analyze issues historically makes it virtually impossible to resolve them.
Racism can’t be solved if we don’t recognize our historical racist past — and present. Nonrecognition says there’s no desire to solve the problem.
Poverty is the same story. We absorb the cost of both poverty and racism because we are psychologically damaged.
Abortion is different. In a male-dominated society, beating on women is normative. Voting, pay levels, etc., like racism, are all protected (but not respected) by the Constitution. It’s simply misogyny as something normal.
Banning abortion is just another way to beat up on women and to remind them that they are not equal to men. All the other rationalizations are moronic idiocies based on some deranged fantasy that we are special and believe in “life.” Still. If abortion is a problem, banning is not the solution. Abortions will continue with the added danger to women who are forced to go outside the normal medical channels to obtain one. If we believe that abortion is a problem that we really want to solve, then we need to go directly to the source.
Women may be the receptacles and the victims but they are not the root cause of the problem. The root is obviously male sexual dysfunction. Simply put, no misguided unconscious sperm, no abortion problem.
Personal responsibility, a conservative commandment, is where it starts and ends. How and where you deposit your sperm is clearly your responsibility and no one else’s. What the sperm does or doesn’t affect — stains, babies, disease, etc. — remains connected to the producer. Consequently, if you produce a fetus, that fetus is tied to you. Whatever happens to that fetus is tied to you. If it is aborted for whatever reason, it is still tied to you.
Male sexuality, often described as dysfunctional sexuality, is a difficult topic to address. Why is it that pornography in the U.S. is most prolific in conservative Christian anti-abortion communities?
A short history: When we analyze male sexuality from the Pilgrims to Hooters, we have 400 years of dysfunction — the constraints of a fabricated propriety in the face of unchanneled lust. Imagine the poor Pilgrims, already sexually moribund, having to deal with scantily clothed, uninhibited Indigenous peoples, a healthier version of Hooters without the entry charge.
Was the burning of witches really compensation for uncontrollable male lust? (Protestants and Catholics warred over who Jesus loved more.) Is the anti-abortion movement any different?
What about homosexuality? Guaranteed abortion free? Should we not be promoting homosexuality as an alternative? Can we not detest everything associated with L.G.B.T.Q. people?
Realistically, we see women as inferior to men. We don’t really like them. Is abortion really about misogyny? Would we ever ask men to take responsibility for their seed? Should we begin sex education for boys in grammar school? Teach them about sexual pleasure and satisfaction and the rights and respect of their partners, instead of baby making? (Give the church a break in that area.)
Men can do it. Many have done it. Pornography isn’t sex for most of us. Sadly, too many are products of the Pilgrims-Hooters mentality. Unfortunately, they are attracted to government. Mirror, mirror on the wall. They would never risk it.
Living in the Street
May 15, 2023
Many years ago, there weren’t many illegal immigrants around, at least certainly not in comparison to today. When we say and do things, we should realize there are consequences; therefore, Mayor Adams, running his mouth, “we are a sanctuary state.” This is how progressives speak, dedicated to pack as many illegal border-crossers into confines it will fit.
Instead of placing blame where it belongs, our party-going mayor blames Governor Abbott for busing illegals to big cities “with Black mayors.”
Mayor Adams, a Democrat, can’t speak the truth because the Democratic White House is the cause of his problem and the two most powerful Dems in Congress, Schumer and Jeffries, both from Brooklyn, absolutely refuse to do anything about it.
We are now emptying places that hold homeless veterans for illegal immigrants. Those who fought for our country are now living in the street, so those who chose not to enter our country the proper way are being catered to. This is what we are all about?
In God and country,