Skip to main content

Letters to the Editor for June 22, 2023

Wed, 06/21/2023 - 18:31

Juneteenth
North Haven
June 19, 2023

Dear David:

Juneteenth may seem a silly-sounding name for a federal holiday, but it represents a serious event that should speak to all of us, considering current events and politics.

The Civil War ended more than 150 years ago, but it took over two years for Union troops to reach Galveston, Texas, with the Emancipation Proclamation, the official announcement of the end of slavery. It seems that the news had to filter through time, distance, lies, ignorance, and deliberate obfuscation before it finally reached the State of Texas for ratification.

Today, similar forces of tyranny, sexism, and racism are very much at work, with politicians fiddling with voting rights, basic established law, critical social services, and showing no human decency or respect for others. These politicians think they have strong approval from their constituents. Do they?

If we are still an honest and strong democracy, we need to realize that today is not just a celebration for people of color and for the descendants of slavery. June 19 should represent the end of legal discrimination of every kind and between all citizens of this country. We all have reason to celebrate Juneteenth because it reminds us of one of the most meaningful positive events that strengthened our fragile democracy.

Back then, the Civil War was over, and the country was beginning to repair. Today, we can recall a similar Civil War-style insurrection on Jan. 6, 2020. Are we capable of mending ourselves and returning to a healthy democracy now? Today is a good time to think about that.

With hope for our peaceful future,

ANTHONY CORON

 

Speedy Recovery
East Hampton
June 12, 2023

Dear David,

I have not been fishing since I did as a kid in Huntington with my father, but I enjoy reading the fishing articles in The Star by Jon Diat. Fishing is an important part of the heritage out here, and these articles are informative and well written.

I’m writing this to call your attention to the article Jon wrote in the June 8 edition of The Star on page C8. The article discusses fishing, but is mainly about hospitals and his own experience there.

Jon has been going through a long ordeal of heart surgery and it has fortunately gone well. This article is worth reading because it is not only amusing, but also gives an interesting perspective of a hospital patient, to which many of us can relate.

I hope you will all join me in wishing Jon a speedy recovery, and I’m looking forward to getting back on the tennis court with him. He is not only a strong player, but his good sportsmanship is a pleasure.

JON HOWARD

 

My Heart Is Full
East Hampton
June 14, 2023

Dear Mr. Rattray,

In January, I informed the school board of the East Hampton School District of my intention to resign my position as bilingual school social worker on June 30 for purposes of retirement after 23 years of service. This caps a career of over 40 years in education, ministry, and social service that has taken me from schools in Brooklyn to East Hampton, and opportunities for service in the Dominican Republic, with migrants on the southern United States-Mexico border and in the town of Matias Romero, Mexico.

Deseo agradecer a todos en la comunidad por su generosa amistad y apoyo al tratar de servir a sus hijos en las escuelas de East Hampton. Servirles a ustedes y sus familias ha sido el honor de mi vida y ustedes me han devuelto el amor y el servicio que les he ofrecido muchas veces.

During these days, I feel some trepidation, nostalgia, joy, weariness, but mostly my heart is full of gratitude.

Since my philosophical and religious studies, I have often contemplated on the statement: “The things you hold onto, you lose. But, what you give away, lives forever.” I formerly thought this to be a kind of directive or command. But I have come to realize that the statement is simply a description of how things are: What I clutch, I lose; what I give away, lasts forever. And, giving oneself away is ultimately the highest form of love, not only in relationships but in all endeavors.

This has been my experience in East Hampton schools. I have been afforded a platform to give away what I have in my service and teaching. And, I have been more than rewarded in wonderful relationships with so many.

So, to all colleagues, community partners, families, and especially my students: From the bottom of my heart, I say thank you for allowing me to teach, serve, and love you as I was best able. I can only wish that you, too, find opportunities to give yourselves away in your relationships, families, professions, projects, and communities. And, I hope you too will see that the love you give away returns to you in bundles.

With deep gratitude and best wishes,

DANIEL HARTNETT

 

Custom Plates
Montauk
June 14, 2023

Dave,

Have you seen the new Long Island-area custom license plates? The image is of the Montauk Lighthouse. Online and yesterday’s Newsday had the image. Only problem is the image is reversed.

Another example of our government in Albany.

Yours,

ED ORR

 

Intriguing Mystery
Amagansett
June 16, 2023

To the Editor:

I had previously written about the shadowy antecedents of the rather tacky full-page ads trashing our town board appearing weekly in The Star, and was pleased to see these vanish for a good while. Now they are back, in a mildly classier design: The headline in last week’s (in huge caps) was, “The Town of East Hampton Held in Contempt Again.”

From a moral standpoint, this headline is both despicable and rather amusing. As I and two other letter writers pointed out a couple of weeks back, the optics of the same judge awarding startling amounts of money against the town in two unrelated cases at the request of the same influential attorney, failed the “appearance of justice” test. Making a headline about this which blames the town is morally equivalent to indignantly trumpeting “Town Slapped Around Again!”

I was intrigued to notice that the identical ad in another weekly paper contained one sentence the version in yours did not, in tiny print at the bottom: “Paid for by East End Forward board member, Scott Karson.” A Google search reveals that is the name of a well-connected attorney in a New York firm, the president-elect of the New York State Bar Association. Of course, if this is the same Mr. Karson and he happens to live out here, nothing prevents him from taking an interest as an individual in local affairs. If, on the other hand, he purchased the ad on behalf of a client he is representing out here, that would be useful for your readers to know, in evaluating the veracity of this and future ads from the same source.

A search on “East End Forward” also had interesting results: a web page for a political organization co-signed at the bottom with the logos of all the local Democratic parties (ours, Shelter Island’s, Southampton’s and Southold’s). Since there is no chance that an organization created by official Democrats is attacking our Democratic town board, there is an intriguing mystery behind Mr. Karson’s use of the “East End Forward” name. Did he choose it unaware it was already in use by another group? Is he, in fact, a board member of the Democratic organization gone rogue?

The New York State secretary of state’s website, from which one can look up all New York corporations and L.L.C.s, reveals no entity named East End Forward, by the way.

This all seems like a fit topic for further investigation and reporting by a reporter for The Star, or some other newspaper or website interested in local affairs.

For democracy in East Hampton,

JONATHAN WALLACE

 

Cutting Methane
Springs
June 19, 2023

To the Editor,

I enjoyed your timely editorial “Power Supply Trend Is Positive” from a few weeks ago. You brought up an important point for our area that doesn’t get enough attention, namely that temperatures at the poles — affecting ice melt and sea level rise — are increasing roughly four times the average 2-degree Fahrenheit increase in global warming so far.

While we have made some small strides in renewable energy production as you point out, I’m not as sanguine about the future and believe the ability to meet the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change goals of limiting warming to just 1.5 degrees Celsius has probably already passed. Some studies show that even if we could magically stop adding greenhouse emissions to the atmosphere today, the lag effect of just the emissions that currently exist would bring us to that limit in the next decade.

Another reality check is that partly due to an El Nino weather pattern, the world has averaged 1.5 degrees Celsius higher temperatures for the first part of June so far. Sadly, some studies project that given how slow we have been to take needed action that we are likely on the path to a 2.4-to-2.7-Celsius increase eventually.

One thing that seems to be clear is that climate change is happening faster than most models project. Part of the reason for this may be that warmer temperatures are creating negative feedback loops. Increasing global forest fires are turning forests into a source of carbon dioxide, not a sink. Melting ice caps, drying peat bogs and wetlands, and thawing permafrost are all releasing CO2 and methane into the atmosphere at rates we still don’t understand.

The other major reason for some climate models’ inaccuracy is that there is too much focus on carbon and not enough on methane. The later has increased 150 percent since the Industrial Revolution, while the amount of carbon is up 50 percent. While there is 200 times the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, methane’s impact is unfortunately grossly underestimated — most studies by the I.P.C.C. and the Environmental Protection Agency use a factor of 25 to 30 times as impactful, as opposed to the short-term and more realistic 84 times.

More troublesome, agencies like the E.P.A. grossly underestimate how much of this gas is leaking from our infrastructure. It relies on older studies, some more than 25 years old, suggesting the leakage rate is just 2.5 percent, when more modern studies imply that rate is three to four times as great. New satellite data, along with better sensors available in the coming years, should make this more obvious and hopefully the E.P.A. will finally adjust its estimates in this area.

While the United States and other countries began to make pledges to finally start to limit methane at the end of 2021, much more attention for practical rules and penalties need to be put in place to reduce this powerful greenhouse gas. At least the topic is finally getting more attention. As one climate report stated, “Cutting methane emissions is the single fastest, most effective way there is to slow the rate of warming right now.”

BRAD BROOKS

 

Overheard
Wainscott
June 18, 2023

To the Editor,

What did Global Warming say to Covid?

“Hold my beer.”

Best,

TOM MACNIVEN

 

Heat Wave
Amagansett
June 18, 2023

To the Editor,

On June 16 the National Oceanographic and Administrative Marine Heatwave Watch noticed the water around Ireland and England had just risen to 5-plus degrees Celsius above normal. Interesting occurrences around North Atlantic into the North Sea, Baltic Sea, and Mediterranean. Seems like nothing new for three spots with wind farms, doesn’t it?

Still here,

JOE KARPINSKI

 

Teeter on a Brink
East Hampton
June 17, 2023

David,

In a decision that defies all rhyme and reason and identifies the United States Supreme Court as a bag of useless trash, the court has eviscerated the Clean Water Act of 1972 and 1977.

Taking into consideration the melting of glaciers, the collapse of the Arctic, the insane weather patterns permeating the entire world, the collapse of the Colorado River ecosystem and the awareness that water — drinkable, usable water — has become a major problem all over the globe, the court felt little discomfort in completely destabilizing the national protocol on wetlands. This jeopardizes millions of acres of waterways throughout the country because someone didn’t want to go through the application process to get a permit to construct a house near wetlands.

This is essentially saying that this wealthy, overstuffed cretin’s needs take precedence over the entire country’s well-being, raising the question of whether or not the five members of the court who voted to overturn the law should be imprisoned as a danger to our national security.

No one wants to be regulated but everyone needs to be — that’s a basic law of bloody life. Without regulations, our water would be poison, our air would be unbreathable, our bodies would all suffer from asbestos poisoning, our banks would rip us off, etc. — all of which is happening with all our rules and regulations.

The world changes. It’s no longer 1789. What our founders thought possible then is no longer real. We are regulated because we need to be and we have a tendency to be scheming trash. If left to our own devices, we would eventually suffocate ourselves in an orgy of self-indulgence. Piggery for all. (See Donald Trump.)

The water deal is huge; we teeter on a brink of something we’ve never experienced and rarely imagined. Poland Spring can’t save the world. What we are doing is abominable. What we aren’t doing is worse.

So we ask our highest court for a little sanity, an iota of real-world consciousness. But they are incapable of reason, addicted to their biases, dumb as dumb can be.

NEIL HAUSIG

 

Sitting in the Same
Plainview
June 17, 2023

To the Editor,

God forbid that Donald Trump ever ran out of toilet paper while sitting in the same Mar-a-Lago bathroom where he stored some of the United States government’s top-secret and other classified documents!

RICHARD SIEGELMAN

 

Enjoyable Activities
East Hampton
June 17, 2023

Dear Editor,

As a volunteer first responder for this community, I am writing to support the Maidstone Gun Club’s reopening. We need to keep first responders in district — with safe and enjoyable activities — to have our first responders local to respond to our communities’ emergencies. Please support the reopening of this local treasure.

MICHAEL FORST

 

A Dramatic Loss
Montauk
June 17, 2023

Dear Editor,

I hope you consider publishing my thoughts in support of the Maidstone Gun Club. I am an avid sportsperson and enjoy the outdoors, nature, being with other sports enthusiasts, and fully support the Maidstone Gun Club. As a new member, I have been invited in the past as a guest and was also fortunate to attend the hunter safety course several years ago hosted by the club. After taking the course, I fell in love with the property and had to apply with the help of several prominent members who sponsored me.

Over all, what drew me in was the gorgeous property, clubhouse, and friendly embrace from so many of the members. As a Montauk resident, it’s a privilege to have such an establishment that’s accessible for someone who wishes to aspire to shoot trap and skeet access a top-quality pistol range, and a relax in a country-style clubhouse.

Many memorable celebrations and events have taken place at the club and without it, it’s a dramatic loss to the members and their guests. We hope to regain access to this rare establishment which has become an institution and tradition to so many families and their generations past, present, and future.

Kind regards,

JERRIER M. ATASSI

 

A Lot Less Noise
East Hampton
June 16, 2023

Dear Editor,

AK-47s and their despicable ilk should not be available to anyone, certainly not the weird, loner teen with a chip on his shoulder, not the local East Hampton traffic policeman, not the city cop patrolling Grand Central Station or Central Park after dark. You can’t aim those awful, murderous inventions. You can’t send their bullets accurately anywhere. Those devil’s toys should never have been brought to market.

Okay, most sensible people will agree to that basic concept. And anyone who stands against background checks should automatically be denied the option of owning any kind of firearm. But skeet shooting is a safe and harmless sport (unless your shooting partner is Dick Cheney or you plan to make a meal out of your shattered skeet).

I’ve been a member of the Maidstone Gun Club for over 30 years. I’ve never witnessed or even heard about an accident on the range. I’ve often had a shooter’s stand all to myself, and have enjoyed peace, quiet, and solitude on the range as I attempt to improve my accuracy.

I don’t buy the theory that “stray” bullets wing their way to the roofs and sides of neighboring homes. Most of the shooters at the Maidstone Club are already too accurate to miss like that. The safety regulations at the club are never flouted. There’s no drinking or horseplay. Shooters take the club seriously. They mind their manners and they’re damn careful about emptying their chambers and locking their triggers.

Shooting is a sport and a skill. I’m not a hunter. I’ve never joined the National Rifle Association because I believe it’s tainted by corruption and big business. But the Maidstone Club is special. Good people, good management, and we make a lot less noise than the airport.

HOWARD SHERMAN

 

Should Be Reopened
East Hampton
June 16, 2023

Dear Editor,

My name is Richard Valcich. My family and I have lived in Montauk since 1939. I am a recent member of the club in the last few years. I finally got to a point in my life when I had the time to utilize this facility. And, once again, it is being shut down for questionable reasons.

I believe the Maidstone Gun club should be reopened to members. We need a place to practice gun safety for people who want to enter the sport and for the recreational target-shooting enthusiast.

RICHARD VALCICH

 

Mistake Was Made
Southampton
June 18, 2023

Dear David,

A mistake was made by a single individual in firing his gun in an unapproved location. It would be a mistake for the Town of East Hampton to close the Maidstone Gun Club because of this incident. Gun ranges promote safe shooting. Without a safe range you are unleashing more possible accidents when there is no proper place to shoot and pursue this sport.

I am a licensed pistol owner, and a National Rifle Association-certified instructor. I owned a range in the bowels of New York City and trained hundreds of people to use guns safely. Closing this range is the wrong thing to do. This remedy is wrong for the community and for the many local law-abiding members of the Maidstone Gun Club.

Sincerely,

HOWARD ROTH

 

Beyond Egregious
Dix Hills
June 19, 2023

Dear Editor,

I write to you today to express my outrage over the temporary restraining order that has been placed on my club. The courts are acting in an arbitrary and capricious manner in shutting down the entire club, even though it is only alleged that one part of it (the rifle range) is a threat to our neighbors.

We are 1,000-plus members strong. We all believe that something as simple as gathering in our clubhouse or using the other facilities that are not the subject of a lawsuit is beyond egregious!

BRUCE WICHARD

 

A Long History
Springs
June 19, 2023

Dear Editor,

The Maidstone Gun Club has and should continue to serve the eastern Long Island community. It has a long history of providing a safe sporting environment in our community.

Respectfully,

ALEXANDER ZEDLOVICH

 

Closure Detrimental
East Hampton
June 18, 2023

Dear Editor,

I hope this letter finds you well. We are writing to express deep concern regarding the current closure of Maidstone Gun Club and to advocate for its prompt reopening to its loyal members.

As dedicated members of the club, we firmly believe that its closure is detrimental to our local community and the sport of shooting itself. Maidstone Gun Club has long been a cherished institution for enthusiasts, like us, and those who protect our community, who appreciate the art and skill involved in shooting sports. It has provided us with a safe environment to engage in our passion for marksmanship, foster camaraderie, and develop valuable skills, some of which are used in our lines of work. However, the unfortunate closure of the club has left a void in our lives and deprived us of a place where we can gather, practice, and learn from each other. Many members who are armed guards have met the strict requirements set by New York State to be able to carry a firearm, and having the club open provides a safe place to practice safe shooting and ongoing gun safety education.

We understand the importance of safety and responsibility in handling firearms and fully support any measures taken by the club to ensure the well-being of its members and the community. We believe that with proper safety protocols, regular maintenance, and appropriate staff training, the club can operate efficiently and securely, allowing members to enjoy their sport and train for work while adhering to the highest safety standards.

Reopening Maidstone Gun Club would not only benefit its dedicated members but also contribute positively to the local community. The club has served as a platform for education and training, teaching responsible gun ownership and safe shooting practices to its members. By fostering an environment of responsible gun usage, the club has consistently played a pivotal role in promoting a culture of safety within the shooting community.

In conclusion, reopening Maidstone Gun Club benefits the local community as a whole by being the only place on the East End where sportsmen, police, and security guards can learn and practice proper gun safety, which, in turn, ensures the safety of the community.

Sincerely,

HOWARD SMITH and FAMILY

TIM SMITH

RICHARD POLANCO

 

Should Be Reviewed
Water Mill
June 17, 2023

Dear Editor,

The disingenuous lawsuit against the Maidstone Gun Club should be stopped immediately. The closing of the club would be the most dangerous and irresponsible acts yet seen in this community.

The club provides a safe environment for sportsmen and the police. The closing of the club would only send hundreds of local sportsmen back to the beaches to shoot clay targets, as was done before the club.

The police and Coast Guard also use the club regularly for training and events.

Obviously, anyone with common sense can see this makes no sense at all. Court documents show a biased judge, who was not elected but is filling a vacant seat, in charge of this case.

The entire situation, including the judge, should be reviewed by the courts and actions taken accordingly.

AUSTIN COHN

 

Preach Safety
Montauk
June 19, 2023

Dear Editor,

As members of the Maidstone Gun Club, my wife and I are both disappointed and appalled by the allegations of the neighbors who made a complaint and their accusations of an alleged bullet that struck a house over a mile away from the club.

The neighbors that are taking part in the complaint bought their cheap land near the airport and the club, tried to get the airport closed, failed at that, and now they want to close the club. The allegations from these people about safety and protocol at Maidstone are false and absurd! There has never been anything but safety and responsible handling of firearms at our club.

When we have orientation for new members, I teach the skeet field, and the first words out of my mouth are, “Safety is a top priority here at Maidstone.” The other members that also donate their time teaching other venues at orientation also preach safety.

Keeping the club closed by not ruling on the complaint is stonewalling. There is no ballistic proof that the alleged bullet came from the club. And if a house was actually hit, then it is more likely that it came from shooting at the power lines, which is a section of land not far from the neighbors where illegal shooting goes on all the time. There is even a sign in our clubhouse that says if you hear shooting that is not coming from the club, notify the East Hampton police. This whole process is unjust and needs to be corrected.

Sincerely,

BOB LAPIANA

 

Bought on the Cheap
Mattituck
June 17, 2023

Dear Editor,

I have been a member of the Maidstone club for about five years. I feel somewhat skeptical about the length of time this matter has been dragged along in local courts. Land speculators bought land on the cheap and tried to shut the airport down. When that plan went nowhere, Maidstone was the next target. The allegations are simply outrageous, and the lack of movement in the local courts doesn’t pass the proverbial “smell test” about who may be profiting from these proceedings.

Sincerely,

ROBERT HARTZ

 

Long Past Due
East Hampton
June 16, 2023

To the Editor,

I’m Robert MacBarb. I have been a resident of the Town of East Hampton since the early 1980s. I have also been a longtime member of the Maidstone Gun Club and a responsible member of our community, so I’m shocked and saddened by the blanket order shutting down our club.

We, the members of the club, are being denied use of our club and stopped from enjoying our sport, as well as the community events like our Easter egg hunt and hunter safety courses given to the community. It’s long past due that the Maidstone Club is reopened.

ROBERT S. MACBARB

 

Their Real Issue
Southampton
June 16, 2023

Sir,

As a 20-year member of the Maidstone Gun Club, I add my voice to the many who believe an injustice is taking place.

Rather than repeat the contribution to the social fabric of our year-round resident community, which the club has always represented, I would like to bring two quick points into the discussion:

The tyranny of the minority sociological phenomenon has the grievance victims’ whining amplified to appear on par with the majority, a majority who are uninterested in their particular sad story until and unless they force us to pay attention. And when we do, the “us” in this case are the 1,000-plus club members, many of whom have spouses, other social clubs and networks, local businesses, and don’t drive home to the Upper West Side to vote. We will be heard.

Here, I part ways with the Maidstone Gun Club policies set by our board of directors. In a reflexive, deeply rooted, multigenerational, local resident sense of community fair play, the club has accommodated the malcontents. Since the last similar allegations, members may practice to only 200 yards, and, at that, through cement tunnels and horizontal I-beams making a round impossible to have reached the alleged spot. And, yes, we have video of the two marksmen on the day in question only shooting through the tubes.

Forensic ballistics put the likely source of the rounds as firing from the power lines right of way. Unfortunately for the complainants, having the East Hampton police patrol the power lines would do nothing to assuage what I suspect is their real issue; I’m sure noise from the range is annoying; however, it is also reflected in the cheap prices they paid for the affected houses, reminiscent of the hypocrites who bought cheap land and houses in Bridgehampton and then realized there was a race track on the next hill.

A. NIOSI

 

Wrongly Accused
Southampton Village
June 19, 2023

Dear Editor,

I have been a member of the Maidstone Gun Club for the better part of 20 years. As such, I can tell you that this is a group of enthusiastic conservationists who have preserved 100 acres of land on the East End in a manner that no other sport has done. They regularly host events for outside members and East Hampton residents, such as the annual Easter egg hunt, Boy Scout firearm safety courses, police force training, Coast Guard training, and a fall turkey shoot. (No turkeys are hunted; frozen turkeys are awarded to supervised target-shoot winners.)

As a policy, there is no hunting, drinking, or gambling of any kind allowed on the property. It is simply a place where an eclectic group of men and women come to appreciate the outdoor life and shooting sports. While there is an outdoor rifle range, it is the least-used facility on the property by a factor of at least 10. I mention this because it is the source of most of the controversy surrounding the club.

The club has been wrongly accused of firing errant rounds into a home, over a 50-foot-high berm, that is more than a mile away. The Maidstone Club has tried to tell the group of homeowners that the shots are not coming from the club. Rather, they are coming from a tract of land between the club and the houses that is owned and occupied by the power company. The club has reported to local police many incidences of shooting on this land that is much closer to the houses and totally unmanaged and dangerous.

I would encourage this group of homeowners (who are trying to shut the gun club down) to focus on the real danger. I know I speak for members of this club when I say to the homeowners that we firmly support your right to safety in your homes. You are, however, distracted by a natural bias against a club simply because it has the word “gun” in the title. The real problem is coming from the unsafe use of firearms on the unsupervised property between the gun club and the five houses.

Safe firearm use is first and foremost at the Maidstone Club. Every precaution has been taken to ensure the safety of our neighbors, our members, and our environment. I understand the impulse of the East End nonmember to be frightened by the idea of a gun club. I can tell you that this impulse is totally unfounded.

I would also take this opportunity to encourage East Hampton residents to attend one of the many open club events that it hosts. Nothing demystifies an issue better than seeing it for yourself. This club is a hidden jewel on the East End of Long Island that I’m proud to be a member of.

JIM CURCIO

 

A Safe Space
Commack
June 19, 2023

Dear Editor,

I would like to all your attention to the litigation against Maidstone Gun Club. I have been a member of this club for approximately three years, and this club’s first order of business upon joining has always been safety. As a gun owner in Suffolk County, this club has always provided a safe space for members to come and shoot. This club has also provided camaraderie and friendship for myself and other members.

It would be a shame if no alternative was left for members due to litigation that is becoming unwarranted. Maidstone Gun Club has always been committed, not only to the safety of its members, but also to the safety surrounding community.

VICKI LISA

 

Learn and Train
Huntington
June 18, 2023

Dear David,

I am taking the time to share my opinion in support of the reopening of Maidstone Gun Club as soon as possible. I am a relatively new member and believe strongly in the benefits of the access and use of this facility for many reasons.

From my personal experiences, it is crucial to learn and train the proper skills, techniques, and confidence to protect myself, my family, and my property. These are fundamental reasons for my active support.

I strongly believe this facility is a benefit to its members and the community as a whole. All members whom I have met, both new and long-standing, are committed to competent gun handling and safety for their own protection, as well as the protection of others.

Although it is truly unfortunate the facility finds itself in this situation, there are fundamental and constitutional reasons and benefits to keeping this unique community cornerstone running. Maidstone Gun Club provides an environment where newer gun handlers can be taught and can practice proper and safe gun handling in an unintimidating environment unlike any other gun club or range on Long Island. Maidstone Gun Club also provides the necessary facilities that experienced handlers, security, and law enforcement personnel can utilize to further hone their tactical skills they use every day to protect us all.

Whether it’s your first time, or you have been shooting for many years, it makes a world of difference when you can learn and practice in an environment that supports and is committed to these principles.

I hope this letter of support helps shed additional light on the benefits of the Maidstone Gun Club, and I ask for your support as well to help us all have access again as soon as possible.

Respectfully,

MICHAEL GIANCHETTA

 

Part of My Life
Montauk
June 18, 2023

Dear David,

I have been a resident of Montauk since 1985. A close friend of mine took me to the Maidstone Gun Club as a guest. I saw how friendly and safe the gun club was and asked how I could join.

After going through the safety procedures and learning the rules and regulations, I became a member. Since then, my son has become a member, and my daughter has practiced firearm safety with us as a guest. She will eventually become a member.

The Maidstone Gun Club became a very big part of my life, and now my family. We have all made many friends and we look forward to it reopening.

RANDALL RIZZATTI

 

Been a Fixture
East Hampton
June 18, 2023

Dear David,

I am writing to express my deep concern about the recent threats to close the gun club in East Hampton. As a lifelong gun advocate with over 50 years of experience, I believe that the gun club is not only a cherished tradition, but also an essential institution for promoting safe and responsible gun ownership.

The Maidstone Gun Club has been a fixture in our community for decades, providing a safe and controlled environment for shooters to practice their skills and compete in shooting events. The club also offers valuable educational programs to teach people about firearm safety and responsible gun ownership. These programs are critical for those who want to learn how to handle firearms responsibly, whether for sport, self-defense, or hunting.

Sadly, there are those who seek to vilify gun owners and gun clubs, painting us all with the same broad brush of negativity. But the truth is that the vast majority of gun owners are responsible and law-abiding citizens who take their rights and responsibilities seriously. The Maidstone Gun Club is a shining example of this, with its strict safety protocols, responsible practices, and commitment to educating its members and the wider community.

I urge the town authorities to recognize the importance of the gun club and to work with its members to find a way to keep it open for generations to come. Let’s not allow fear and misinformation to dictate our policies and decisions. Instead, let’s come together as a community to promote safe and responsible gun ownership and protect our cherished traditions and institutions.

Sincerely,

STEVEN JONES

 

A Common Interest
Islip
June 18, 2023

Dear Editor,

I am a member of the Maidstone Gun Club. I have been a member for approximately three years. I have missed the opportunity to enjoy the benefits and opportunities that are granted to me by being a member of the club, due to the extensive closing over this ongoing litigation.

Additionally, I have missed the camaraderie that is afforded to me by being a member of this organization. I have made several good friends who share a common interest. Unfortunately, I have not been able to enjoy their company as much as I used to because we are not utilizing the club and its property to its fullest potential and, really, not using it at all.

Please, I do not know what more I can do to express to you how important this club has been for me and several of my very good friends. Whatever can be done to help the mechanism in place to ensure the club is opened in a safe and expedient manner must be fully implemented.

Thank you for your understanding and attention to this matter.

ROBERT KELLY

 

Affordable for All
East Hampton
June 17, 2023

Dear Editor,

As you know, the Maidstone Gun Club has been closed by an order of the court as a result of a complaint filed by a few of the gun club’s neighbors. There has been a lot of information and misinformation that has been passed around via word of mouth and the internet about this issue.

The gun club is working very diligently trying to find out if a bullet could have escaped from the rifle range in spite of the professionally designed baffle system that exists. The club has engaged experts in forensics and ballistics to help determine if a bullet could escape from the rifle range and how that could happen. In the meantime the gun club has been closed to all activity including archery, shotgun sports, and indoor and outdoor handgun ranges.

The Maidstone Gun Club is used by members from all walks of life and intended to be affordable for all.

LEE JOHNSON

 

Blaming the Club
Amagansett
June 18, 2023

Dear David,

I am a resident of Amagansett for the past 33 years. I am also a member of the Maidstone Gun Club. The club has been a source of camaraderie and enjoyment of the facility for many town residents.

Our membership of over 1,000 individuals has been denied the pleasures of the club for well over six months due to the accusation by a group of Merchants Path residents blaming the club for errant bullets hitting their homes.

A New York State Supreme Court judge closed the club in its entirety and blatantly refuses to pass judgment on the case. He could have just closed the rifle range from where the alleged bullet came from. But no, he has denied us access to our clubhouse, indoor pistol range, and shotgun sporting clay fields. Why?

This closure also denies our town police department access to training at the club.

The judge in question apparently is not being impartial here. He has an agenda and does not care about the people of the Town of East Hampton. What other liberties are going to be taken from us by out-of-town, one-sided state officials? Let’s be fair here and rally behind the reopening of the gun club.

Respectfully,

JOHN MAGNAN

 

Fun and Social
East Hampton
June 18, 2023

Dear David,

My name is Cynthia and I am a long-term member of the Maidstone Gun Club. My father and mother were both members, and my oldest daughter is currently a member. My family has owned a house in East Hampton for over 40 years.

The Maidstone Gun Club offers a fun and social location to meet friends and participate in a sport we all enjoy. It also offers a training ground for many in the community. Without this club, I would have to travel to Pennsylvania to be able to train. I shoot internationally for Canada and have competed at four Olympics, and the club allows me more flexibility in my shooting, as I am not tied to specific days to train.

I support the club and its reopening as soon as possible. Maidstone Gun Club has been part of the East Hampton community for years with Easter egg hunts, luncheons, women’s classes, archery, and so much more. I hope it will continue to be there for my children and for all the other families.

Sincerely,

CYNTHIA B. MEYER


Thank you for reading . . . 
...Your support for The East Hampton Star helps us deliver the news, arts, and community information you need. Whether you are an online subscriber, get the paper in the mail, delivered to your door in Manhattan, or are just passing through, every reader counts. We value you for being part of The Star family.

Your subscription to The Star does more than get you great arts, news, sports, and outdoors stories. It makes everything we do possible.