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Letters to the Editor for June 29, 2023

Wed, 06/28/2023 - 18:14

A Part of Montauk
June 22, 2023

To the Editor,

For 50 years, Jack Perna has been a part of the Montauk School and its community and has been tasked with assisting our students to reach their full potential. Last Thursday, we were thrilled to honor our long-term superintendent, principal, and teacher at Gurney’s Resort.

We would like to take a moment to thank Gurney’s Resort, Montauk Brewing Company, the Montauket, the Point Bar and Grill, Shagwong Tavern, the Harvest, East End Lines, along with the Montauk PTA for their generosity and assistance in putting together this celebration for a truly great man. The party would not have been possible if not for the numerous hours put in by the party-planning committee — everyone who helped, thank you.

The celebration was continued on Friday, as the lower parking lot was dedicated, appropriately, “Mr. Perna’s Way.” To East End Lines, James Katsipis Photography, along with the entire staff of the Montauk School and the PTA, these events don’t happen without your diligence and hard work — thank you. As Mr. Perna always says, “It takes a village, a village like Montauk.”

J. Philip Perna has influenced the lives of so many students, staff, and community members along the way of his unbelievable career. The celebration and dedication were just a small thank-you and can never equate to the gratitude we have for Mr. Perna and all he has done.

Enjoy the next chapter of your life, Jack. You have more than earned it!

With the utmost praise and sincerest gratitude on behalf of the Montauk board of Education,



Extreme Shortage
East Hampton Village
June 21, 2023


As a village resident for over 40 years, I have been consistently made aware of the shortage of housing in the area for the many workers who must travel many miles and hours to get to work each day at the multiple kinds of jobs needed to be filled in the area. One need only travel west on a weekday on Route 27 and see the long line of cars sometimes stretching for miles coming into the town headed east. This all relates to the extreme shortage of available housing in our area.

There is now a proposal to make the old site where Stern’s Department store once operated and which has lain fallow for over 20 years into affordable housing, which I strangely applaud. Next door to the property is a former bank site that also has been closed for many years.There could be no more ideal location for an affordable housing site, which could be designed and built tastefully and with minimal impact on the surrounding area. Of course, we have the usual hue and cry from neighbors in the vicinity crying nimby but these are cries without any substance, as the scale of buildings on the site and the people they would attract would make great neighbors and make at least a small step to mitigating an increasing problem.

I have heard multiple times in the past year how stores and restaurants have had to curtail hours because of the inability to find workers. This a far more serious problem for the village than a few neighbors who, for fear of the unknown, are just against change in principle without any real substance for concern. In this connection I refer these neighbors to the wind cable construction in Wainscott which was delayed for months, if not years, because of nimby, and to quote a person who lives on Beach Lane, now that construction is completed there, “It’s like they never were there, it is so much like the area it was before construction” — and after all those wasted years of lethal delays!

It’s time to stop those delaying positive development in the village vicinity and support constructive growth and an increase in the affordable housing stock by supporting construction on the Stern’s site is one positive move in the right direction

Respectfully submitted,



Thank You All
Sag Harbor
June 26, 2023

Dear Mr. Rattray,

I am writing to say thank you to all the people who supported my campaign for Sag Harbor Village justice. I am truly touched to have found such encouraging support from people whom I have known all my life, people whom I met for a few minutes on Main Street and all the people in between. I appreciate all of them. I also appreciate The Star; thanks to you and your staff for covering this race and for the design department, which helped with my ads.

Thank you, Sag Harbor, I look forward to serving as your next village justice.

Yours very truly,



Distinctive Style
June 23, 2023

To the Editor:

I always admire Durell Godfrey’s photographs; she has such a distinctive style that I can pick hers out without even looking at the credit line. Last week’s shot of the little boy playing in his “duck pond” at the Ladies Village Improvement Society fair was so charming, it inspired me to write this letter. Beautiful work, Durell!



Visual Pollution
East Hampton
June 26, 2023

To the Editor,

The Ladies Village Improvement Society is all about the beautification of the village but I guess they do not care about visual pollution, as their large L.V.I.S. June 17 fair sign has remained standing on the western border of the village by Georgica Pond at least 10 days after the fair.



Small Little Box
East Hampton
June 21, 2023


While East Hampton politicians have their heads in the sand, technology continues to advance. In October 2022, Samsung released its Ultra Small Strand 5G CBRS device. This small little box snaps onto the aerial cable wires that run up and down most streets in Springs to provide wireless 5G cellular service. No massive towers with massive antennas, just a small box on existing cable system aerial wires. Of course the cable companies have to be willing to install the boxes on their wires and offer the 5G service.

We should see them in East Hampton when cows fly over the moon.




Cowards’ Ads
June 25, 2023

To the Editor,

As a reader, subscriber, and advertiser in The East Hampton Star I’m shocked that once again you have allowed another in a long line of scurrilous attacks on the town board to be published unsigned and anonymous, as if it were an editorial.

Besides the question of publishing ethics, allowing an ad written and funded by airport and political partisans to be published unsigned, the so-called “facts” contained in the ad are, as usual, Trumpian in their flagrant disregard for the truth.

The truth is that the East Hampton Town Board is making an honest and sober attempt to arrive at a sane conclusion to what has become a toxic battle for the benefit of all of the residents of East Hampton and its neighbors — rather than just for the benefit of a tiny group of overprivileged, self-centered few who want the unbridled right to fly their jets, their helicopters, and their seaplanes into East Hampton at all hours of the day and night and the rest of us be damned.

Please do not let the cowards who place these ads continue to hide behind anonymity.



No Evidence
June 24, 2023

To the Editor,

It seems the town’s approach to addressing issues that affect the public is not to debate the merits of proposed solutions or follow rules and procedures required to accomplish them but to attack the integrity of those charged with the responsibility for doing so. The Star’s editorial that insinuates an improper relationship between James M. Catterson and Justice Paul Baisley is utterly wrong on every alleged fact. There is absolutely no evidence that Justice Baisley’s decisions are not well-founded in the face of the East Hampton Town Board’s contemptuous disregard for its responsibilities and the legal restraints to which its dictatorial impulses are subject. In reality, The Star’s editorial board, much like the town itself, has ignored the fact that the town has lost three separate motions in the Appellate Division seeking to overturn Justice Baisley’s rulings. Seven separate judges have rejected the town’s position, not just one in Riverhead.

In particular with respect to the East Hampton Airport, Instead of following well-established legal procedures to address legitimate concerns of a segment of its constituency pertaining to the airport, such as employing a federal Part 161 procedure to tailor reasonable noise abatement procedures for it as exceptions to national F.A.A. regulatory rules, the town has wasted millions of dollars of the airport’s revenues, much of which illegally, litigating to close the airport without having studied the impacts on the community and surrounding communities, as required by both federal and state laws. Just as no person is above the law, no municipality is either. The town could, and should, have conducted an environmental review of its proposed actions in advance to receive permission as required by law rather than arrogating to itself the decision to act first and ask forgiveness afterward, an action for which Justice Baisley appropriately excoriated it.

Some time ago, alleging that the airport was a public facility of such significance to the town, the board sought legislation requiring it to obtain approval by public referendum prior to accepting any more federal funds that would have required it to continue to maintain it as a public use airport, but to this day, despite repeated requests, it has refused to agree to conduct or even permit airport advocates to conduct a public referendum to determine whether a majority of the public want the airport to be closed, undoubtedly because it already knows the answer, which it would then have to contemptuously ignore as it apparently does with court orders it doesn’t like.



Flood of Letters
June 23, 2023

To the Editor:

I had really wanted to respond to Gretta Leon’s misleading “big tent” letter on behalf of the local G.O.P., but something else in your latest issue made me even more indignant: the flood of letters from members of the Maidstone Gun Club playing at being oh-so-innocent, some of whom even could not resist trashing the neighbors who have the temerity to complain about bullets hitting their houses.

I suggest a variation on the advice in Matthew 7:16 that “Ye shall know them by their fruits”: “Ye shall know them by their attorneys.” The person a litigant hires does tell you a great deal about them.

The Maidstone Gun Club has retained Martha Dean, a Connecticut lawyer who caused a flap in 2013 by posting a link on Facebook to a video claiming that the mass shooting of children at Sandy Hook was a hoax.

Ms. Dean, though not the sole attorney, likely had a significant role, in drafting some really scurrilous counterclaims filed by Maidstone, which, in effect, call the neighbors’ lawsuit a hoax: “Upon information and belief, Plaintiffs are acting as shills to a developer seeking to shut down the Club and build homes near the Club. Plaintiffs, on information and belief, have a financial arrangement with a third party in an effort to shut down the entire Club.”

One fact that none of the citizens defending the club mention is that it has no adult supervision — seriously. It’s right there in the neighbors’ complaint initiating the lawsuit: “The Gun Club does not employ any permanent staff to supervise the facilities. The electronic gates at the entrance of the Gun Club are often left open, allowing anyone to easily access and use the facilities.” What could possibly go wrong with that?

It is another rule of the universe that people tend to get the attorneys they deserve. It may be that Martha Dean and the Maidstone Gun Club are made for each other.

For democracy in East Hampton,



In 1991
June 25, 2023

To the Editor,

In 1991, the Town of East Hampton had multiple meetings and formed a plan for public access to the waterfront. This can also be found in federal documents and the New York State Department of Coastal Zone Management Program.

In fact, the Department of State should have been a stopgap to what happened here on Bay View Avenue with an obstruction being placed across the roadway. The Department of State has the town’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, and at the time it was the 44th program in 2007. Currently, New York has 89 such programs.

Why have access for all when no one can use it? This was a great plan but, like law and the town code, just another suggestion.

Still here,



At What Cost?
June 26, 2023

Dear David:

The recent budget defeat is significant, to say the least. The term “devastated” is misplaced, considering the impact on the taxpayers. An unexpected increase of 20 some-odd students raises a question?

Does anyone know if they actually live in the district? There is no verification in place where that question can even be asked? There is apparently no concern about the devastating effect on hard-working families and seniors struggling on fixed comes. Where is this money to come from to pay this? Pensions are fixed, and Social Security raises of a few dollars have no purchase value. Not everyone lives on oceanfront properties, where this increase is pocket change. We live here also and our remaining years are as important for us to avoid worry.

A boutique school is charming but at what cost? I was told that just utilities for the two buildings are somewhere near $50,000 a year. An in-depth study has to commence to determine if it is economically less expensive to eliminate the district.

The proposed subsidized housing off Route 114 will be devastating to the taxpayer. Neighbors have indicated they cannot afford to live out the remaining years of their lives, wondering how they suddenly became expendable after decades of living in their homes. Their support system is here, and the ramifications are unsettling. We are all aware of the inflation that affects all of us, but “Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead” is devastating.




Is an Asset
June 26, 2023

Dear Editor,

I am writing in support of the Maidstone Gun Club, which I have been a member of for over 30 years. The club is an asset to the community; we provide a place for village police, town police, and the Coast Guard to do their firearms training. Safety is a prime concern at the club. No alcohol is allowed, no horseplay; all members participate in a safe manner. Our ranges are set up to provide maximum safety for the shooter and the surrounding properties. We are not a bunch of “gun nuts”; many of our members have gone on to national and international competitions.

I do not believe that the bullets that hit the house were from the club. Shooting along the power line has been a problem for years that needs to be addressed. The club is affordable and, therefore, can be used by many members of the community. We have over 1,000 members. We provide hunter-safety courses, sponsor an Easter egg hunt, and work hard at being a good neighbor.

I do question the motives (and the financial backing) of the people bringing the lawsuit against the club. Are they being backed by a developer who wants to develop the land to build more mini-mansions? Why does the judge seem to be more responsive to their motions than those of the club? Why is the whole club fully closed? The shotgun ranges and the pistol ranges do not threaten the houses in question.



Explicit Aim
East Hampton
June 26, 2023

To the Editor:

East Hampton’s 50-year-old Maidstone Gun Club, with membership open to all, is an active community of 1,200 local sportsmen and women, with safety, supervision, East End tradition and conservation at its center. I value it highly, not just for its safe and well-maintained shooting sports facilities, but also as a way to get to know people in town via potluck dinners, Easter egg hunts, barbecues, kids’ educational programs, and biannual workdays to maintain the property.

A nonprofit (dues are $150 a year) run by volunteers, with the slogan, “A low cost shooting facility for the common man,” it is facing a very well-funded campaign with the explicit aim to permanently shut it down. In defending against overwhelming legal and financial resources, the club needs help from the public in voicing support for lifting a judge’s blanket restraining order that shuts down the club entirely and renewal of its lease with the town of East Hampton.

In my experience, the club’s safety measures meet or exceed those of any other range, and include license-plate readers, a coded-access mechanical gate that is locked at all times, security cameras throughout, mandatory time-stamped sign-in/out, stringent safety rules and protocols, name badges, training and sign-off of each member for each shooting venue, immediate expulsion for any rule breaker, a no-alcohol policy, and a large group of high-visibility directors, officers, and senior members providing oversight. I am not aware of any injuries there, ever.

Expert-designed concrete shooting tubes and two sets of overhead wooden baffles on the club’s rifle range are extraordinary and expensive safety measures that speak to the club’s safety-first mandate and make the unfortunate stray bullet incident baffling. Nonetheless it must be taken seriously, as the club has. It immediately took proactive steps when it was reported, including shutting down that range indefinitely, full cooperation with the investigation, and will reportedly be adding live range officers during all club hours of shooting operation.

Knowing the club was coming up on its lease renewal and that it was weakened by the stray bullet investigation, the owners of several nearby estates that are impacted by noise from the club and the airport, hired top New York City law firms with evident connections to sitting judges. At the center is James Catterson of the New York firm Pillsbury Winthrop, a former Suffolk County Supreme Court judge, who is two for two so far in fulfilling the agenda of wealthy individuals at the expense of average residents here recently: East Hampton Airport and Truck Beach. In addition to the adverse outcomes, he got the same judge on both cases, Paul Baisley, to order East Hampton Town to pay about $600,000 of your tax dollars in legal costs and fines, much of it to Pillsbury.

Pillsbury promotes being recognized as one of the “ten most feared law firms for litigation,” and Catterson’s bio touts his “long history of successes representing high net-worth individuals.” Greenberg Traurig, the 12th-largest law firm in the country, which has a gleaming new Bridgehampton office, has also been hired to litigate against Maidstone, doubtless prioritizing real estate work associated with future building on the Maidstone acreage over the interests of year-round residents. Remember that the next time you need legal work.

Mr. Catterson’s judge in the Maidstone case, Christopher Modelewski, is just as compliant. He has not budged from a December restraining order that bars access to the entire property, rather than the rifle range alone — the only facility that has been called into question. He apparently maintains that there is a public safety risk to allowing access for social events, board meetings, mowing the lawn, and, yes, shooting skeet and trap.

The plaintiffs added the specter of environmental concerns, based on nothing, to their list. This is expected as a legal strategy, but Justice Modelewski has fallen into line as if he is a loyal member of the plaintiff’s legal team. Further, he has repeatedly disallowed the club from even hiring the attorney of their choice, a subject-matter expert, further weakening their ability to defend themselves. Just wait until the judicial orders to pay fines and others’ legal costs come in; it’s part of the playbook.  

The power of the legal resources arrayed against the Maidstone Gun Club, our town board, and other local interests, is so massive as to warrant an investigation. Let’s not let the Maidstone Gun Club be the next piece of local culture to be bullied out of existence by outside money and influence.



Quality Time
June 18, 2023

Dear David,

My name is Ronald Nassar, and I have been a member of Maidstone Gun Cub for over 20 years. I started my two boys into clay-target shooting and we spend quality time at Maidstone Gun Club as a family activity. I am also a member of the International Trap Shooting Association and travel through the United States for competitions in Olympic trap discipline. The Maidstone Gun Club is the closest facility for me to train for trap and it gives me flexibility to train any time I want. If it were not for Maidstone, I’d have to travel three to four hours to Pennsylvania to train. I spent most of my summers in the Hamptons area because of the club.

Maidstone does a lot of fund-raisers and supports local businesses and charity events.

I support Maidstone Gun Club and its reopening as soon as possible. I want my children to continue in a family tradition at Maidstone Gun Club.




Abuse of Power
East Hampton
June 17, 2023

Dear Editor,

I am a resident of East Hampton for 20 years and a member of the Maidstone Gun club.

The club has been closed by legal action by a couple of homeowners who claim that a bullet from the club hit one of their houses. We are now well into six months of discovery, and nothing has been resolved.

The club has an indoor pistol range and sporting-clay fields for shotguns, which pose no harm to the general public outside the club property.

The judge overseeing this case apparently has an agenda other than being neutral and fair toward the club and its members. This is a blatant abuse of power that the people of East Hampton should be aware of and know — if not the gun club, than what and who is next?



Top of My List
June 19, 2023

Dear David,

I am a sportsman who has been around firearms since a very early age, an experience which has involved considerable training to ensure my handling of a firearm was conducted in a safe manner. Initially, I was taught by my father, who took care to explain how a firearm functioned and ensure I was familiar with how to safely operate it.

Over the years, I have taken numerous firearm-safety training classes along with hands-on instruction to ensure proficiency and competence. I have been subject to firearms licensing background checks, personal interviews by licensing authorities, and observation of my handling of firearms to ensure safe handling and use practices were understood. I have always been a lawful licensed owner and user of firearms, holding a high degree of respect for proper handling and use. I have been licensed in multiple states and a resident in two of the most restrictive states in the country when it comes to firearms regulations. I have never had an issue with compliance with the requirements for being a lawful owner of firearms.

Over the years, I have been a member of several sporting clubs that provide facilities to engage in the safe use of firearms, mostly in highly populated urban areas of the country. All these facilities have employed extraordinary measures to ensure the use of firearms will be conducted safely beginning with the design of target practice ranges, training of new members on range rules, and self-monitoring either via CCTV or range safety officers to ensure compliance with range rules. For example, the design of a range to use a tunnel at the firing station that is fired through to ensure a round cannot have a trajectory that would allow it to hit anything outside of the backstop or hit an object that would allow for a ricochet to occur outside of the tunnel besides the backstop.

My introduction to Maidstone Gun Club involved a new-member orientation that included a hands-on orientation session at each of the ranges where firearms are used. The ranges were well-designed using state-of-the-art safety measures like tunnels and backstops to ensure a round fired will not escape the range.

The club leadership takes very seriously the responsibility for its members being properly vetted, well trained on safe handling of firearms, and proper use of the range. Those new members I met shared the mind-set of being a lawful, properly trained, and proficient user of firearms. Maidstone Gun Club ranks at the top of my list when it comes to safe use of firearms.

Thank you.



Vital Role
East Hampton
June 18, 2023

Dear David,

I am writing this letter in full support of the Maidstone Gun Club and its continued operation in East Hampton. As a community member and advocate for responsible gun ownership, I believe that the gun club provides a valuable service to the community by promoting safety, education, and responsible gun use.

Shooting sports have a rich tradition in our country and are enjoyed by millions of Americans. The Maidstone Gun Club provides a safe and controlled environment for individuals to practice and improve their shooting skills, compete in shooting events, and learn about responsible gun ownership. The club also plays an important role in supporting law enforcement and military personnel in their training. I believe that the club’s safety protocols and responsible practices should be commended, not criticized, and that it has a vital role to play in promoting responsible gun ownership in our community. I urge the town authorities to recognize the importance of the gun club and allow it to continue its important work for years to come.




Safe Operation
Hampton Bays
June 16, 2023

Dear David,

Some members of our community view the Maidstone Gun Club as nothing more than a safety concern to the community and a noise nuisance. This is an unfortunate view because neither concern exists. Those individuals who only see Maidstone as a nuisance fail to see what Maidstone represents to its members and the community.

As for being considered a safety concern, well, a large portion of Maidstone’s members are active and retired law enforcement officers from the various law enforcement agencies and police departments from across the East End and military veterans. These officers and veterans have extensive safety training, which they pass on to other members, which contributes to Maidstone’s safe operation.

Maidstone serves the community by affording active and retired law enforcement officers a location where they can maintain their firearm proficiency, which aids in their safety and the safety of their communities. Additionally, for military veterans like me, Maidstone is not just a place for us to engage in trap and skeet; it also serves as a place for us veterans to socialize. The reality is Maidstone is an extremely safe range for its members, their guests, and the community.

As for being a nuisance: Long Island’s population and housing community has grown over the years and Maidstone is preventing that change from continuing if only in a small part of the East End. I grew up in Oakdale, and, back then, the Long Island Expressway did not extend to Riverhead, and Sunrise Highway was only one lane in each direction. When I grew up, Nassau County was still a rural county that included many farms, but now the farms are gone, and Nassau County has been transformed into Queens County, and Suffolk County is facing the same transformation.

Maidstone is just the first domino in a series, and if the property it sits on falls, it will open the door for the entire area to become just another housing community or filled with condos. If the ground that Maidstone sits on is developed, what some consider a noise nuisance will be replaced with an even larger and more annoying nuisance in the form of additional traffic congestion, an increase in population, school taxes, etc.

Long Island has undergone a tremendous change since I was young and not for the better. In my lifetime an entire way of life has been erased and Maidstone is the last remnant of what life on Long Island once was. Don’t be fooled: Maidstone’s predicament is not about safety or noise, it is about land development and greed.

Sincerely yours,



Maximum Safety
Shelter Island
June 20, 2023

To the Editor,

I wish to add my voice to the many who wish to see the Maidstone Gun Club reopened.

I’m a Maidstone member from Shelter Island, since 1994; a lifetime member of the Amateur Trapshooting Association, and a many-times attendee of regional club, zone, state, and national trap shoots (including the annual Amateur Trapshooting Grand American tournament).

Maidstone is a remarkably well-organized and safe place to shoot American trap, skeet, five-stand, and international Olympic trap (one of only six such ranges in the United States), as well as archery, pistol, and rifle. All of the facilities have been constructed under the plans provided by the National Rifle Association, which assures maximum safety, such as a 40-foot-high berm for the rifle range and suitable berms beyond the distance shotgun pellets can fly.

 During my many years as a Maidstone member, I have seen and participated in the many practice sessions available to club members and occasional guests and in registered shoots conducted under the auspices of the Amateur Trapshooting Associations. These registered shoots regularly attract attendees from near and far. In all these years, every one of these events has been accomplished with attention to safety and not a single instance of a hazard. The club offers hunter safety courses and requires training for new members to demonstrate their competence before they are allowed to shoot.

Well known nationally, Maidstone is a credit to the community, to Suffolk County, Long Island, and the State of New York.

J.P. Mohr


A Way of Life
East Hampton
June 19, 2023

Dear Editor,

Maidstone Gun Club has been a fixture on the East End for over 80 years: 40 years at the current location on Wainscott-Northwest Road. It is a facility designed for the safe usage of firearms, in addition to hosting a training facility for local law enforcement. It is a private club with a rigorous membership process designed to select experienced, responsible, licensed firearm owners.

East Hampton is a community founded on the utilization of its natural resources; farming, fishing, and hunting have been a way of life for generations. As development of the East End continues to push further into nature, the Maidstone Gun Club remains a logical outpost for elements of our local culture to continue in a safe, regulated manner.

Respectfully submitted,



Keep the Club Open
June 19, 2023

Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my strong desire to keep the Maidstone Gun Club open. For generations, the club has provided a safe and controlled environment for members to practice, compete, gather, and teach the responsibilities of safe gun ownership.

The club offers a unique opportunity for sport shooting enthusiasts to unite, learn from each other, and develop their skills. As a member of the Maidstone Gun Club, I have always been proud to be a part of such a supportive and responsible organization.

The club has been a valuable part of the community for decades. It has provided hundreds of members with an affordable and organized place to share a passion for a sport. The directors and members have always taken the responsibility of gun ownership seriously, with the utmost scrutiny of safe practices. I urge the community to recognize the club’s value and support its continuation.




East Hampton
June 19, 2023

Dear David,

When I moved to East Hampton 35 years ago it was because of the cultural environment of the area; hunting, fishing, shooting, and other outdoor sports were part of the East Hampton attraction to me. Please stop the harassment of the Maidstone Club by a handful of affluent neighbors who make harassment claims every few years in order to close the club.

As a member of the Maidstone Club for approximately 35 years I know the emphasis on safety is always paramount. Please support the reopening of the club.

Respectfully submitted,



June 19, 2023

Dear David:

I write to support the continued existence of the Maidstone Gun Club as the vital component of our community as it has been for so many decades. The club has provided countless responsible gun owners with the proper training to safely and properly practice the sport of shooting, and that shared knowledge and experience should and must be not only allowed to continue but should be encouraged.

It goes without saying that any concerns regarding safety will be priority-one for the club’s directors and, as such, should not be allowed to extinguish yet another valued Bonac institution. I urge our town board to hear every voice, address every concern, and maintain this essential venue for those of us who have grown up shooting.




Community Loss
East Hampton
June 19, 2023

Dear David,

The Maidstone Gun Club has been part of our family for as long as I can remember. My dad had been an active member for over 50 years until his passing in the beginning of 2018. Growing up, we spent weekends at the club learning gun safety from all the senior members and admired their commitment to the club.

Through the years, going to the club and learning to shoot skeet and five-stand made me an avid gun sportsman and I have now given this same experience to my wife and son. It has become tradition. Not being able to be part of this club would be a great loss to us and the community.




Deep-Rooted Love
North Haven
June 19, 2023

Dear Dave,

I am writing to express my unwavering support for the Maidstone Gun Club and advocate for its continued operation. As a proud local business owner in Sag Harbor, I firmly believe that preserving the traditions and values of our community is of utmost importance.

Sag Harbor and the Hamptons have long been cherished for their unique heritage, steeped in a rich history of outdoor activities, such as hunting and fishing. These activities have not only provided livelihoods but have also fostered a deep connection with the natural beauty that surrounds us. It is a way of life that has shaped our community for generations.

Unfortunately, the rapid influx of new money and decrease in affordable housing for local generational families in recent years has begun to erode the essence of our town. The desires of the newcomers focused on extravagant displays of wealth threaten to discard the memories of children growing up in Sag Harbor and the Hamptons communities.

The Maidstone Gun Club stands as a bastion of our old way of life, preserving the cherished traditions that have shaped our community for so long. It serves as a vital institution where individuals can gather to practice marksmanship, share stories, and pass down knowledge to the next generation. By denying its existence, we risk losing an integral part of our cultural fabric, a bond that connects us to the area we call home.

In addition to preserving our cherished traditions, the Maidstone Gun Club provides an invaluable platform for the education of gun safety within our community. With the increasing debate surrounding gun control, it is essential to emphasize responsible gun ownership and proper handling. The gun club offers a structured environment where individuals can learn about firearm safety, emphasizing the importance of responsible gun use and storage.

Furthermore, the gun club serves as a crucial resource for retired police officers in our area. These experienced professionals, who have dedicated their lives to protecting our community, often rely on the gun club to maintain their marksmanship skills. By providing them with the opportunity to use this facility, we are ensuring that these individuals can continue to hone their abilities and remain proficient with firearms. Their continued training contributes to overall community safety, as their expertise can be lifesaving in times of need.

By recognizing the educational aspect of the Maidstone Gun Club and its role in maintaining community safety, we can further emphasize its importance within our society. Let us continue to value this institution, which not only safeguards our heritage but also promotes responsible gun ownership and provides a space for retired police officers to stay sharp.

Allow me to highlight that for more than four decades, I have personally been involved in numerous preservation efforts in Sag Harbor. From fund-raising for Steinbeck Park, to supporting the restoration of the Sag Harbor Cinema, to actively participating in waterfront preservation initiatives, I have consistently demonstrated my commitment to preserving the essence of our town. My efforts stem from a deep-rooted love for Sag Harbor and a desire to safeguard the traditions that have defined us.

Therefore, I implore the community and local authorities to recognize the significance of the Maidstone Gun Club and its contribution to our cultural heritage. Instead of dismissing it as a nuisance or an inconvenience to land developers, we should embrace it as an opportunity to connect with our past and nurture the values that have made the Hamptons the unique place it is today.

Let us not allow the winds of change to sweep away the memories of our childhood and the teachings of our forefathers. I urge fellow residents, community leaders, and policymakers to stand alongside me in support of the Maidstone Gun Club, ensuring its preservation for future generations.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.




Needs to Reopen
East Quogue
June 26, 2023

To the Editor,

I’ve been taking part in the various trap-shooting events at the Maidstone Gun Club for seven years now. It has been a wonderful experience. The classes on gun safety for the beginner and safe handling of firearms are a number-one priority. This club needs to reopen.



All Made Up
St. Petersburg, Fla.
June 21, 2023

Dear Editor:

Not everyone graduates from high school, but for those who do and continue on the path of higher education, it’s an accomplishment everyone can agree is praiseworthy from an individual standpoint. It’s a personal achievement no one else can take credit for. Even with support and encouragement, high school can be a challenging time. It takes character and will to graduate. This year’s graduates were freshmen in 2020. They have much more to be proud of. They are heroes; some might say survivors.

Since 2021, evidence keeps piling up that children were the biggest casualties of the government’s response to Covid-19. Youth homicides and suicides hit a 20-year high following the lockdown. Arrested in development and isolation, the pandemic robbed those high school students of a traditional, classroom education because of Covid-19 government overreach and tyranny. The students who returned from remote learning and received a diploma despite losing placement status and athletic and academic scholarships, and were denied basic rites of passage, deserve to be commended. Hearts and souls were broken. Scores of school-age children require mental-health intervention. Hundreds of city school districts will never make up the lost time in terms of academic scores. Yet to this day there are no apologies. Not even from their educators, no less the heartless, cowardly, and unscientific public policy makers.

With great anticipation and gratitude, we attended the high school baccalaureate and graduation for our eldest grandchild from a private, selective college preparatory academy with high expectations. It had imposed some of the most stringent Covid-19 mitigation, stringing the students out for months, imposing serial Covid-19 testing and quarantine for the slightest sniffle, absurd social distancing protocols impossible to comply with, invasive contract tracing, and vaccine and mask mandates. Competitive sports, performing arts, and musical expression were canceled. Students lingered at home far longer than most, waiting for their state government public health agencies to allow them to re-enter society.

Healthy, young adolescents became depressed shut-ins, denied the right to live their lives for the sake of the vaccinated immune-compromised and for the “greater good,” a phrase that should be forever banned in terms of human rights and public health policies because of its weaponization, misuse, abuse, and manipulation for government control over the masses and political advantage. But I was ready to put it all aside, move forward, forgive, to bask in the achievement of this class of graduates.

The day was shining. Spring had sprung in the Northeast the way it miraculously always does, bursting with lush, new blooms overnight and tree limbs bent under the weight of fresh leafy foliage in infinite shades of green. The air still held crisp, but the sun shone strong enough that light jackets and sweaters could be shed in open meadows outside the canopies of massive groves and tents at the outdoor ceremony. The celebration began the night before with the senior awards and baccalaureate. Seated elbow to elbow in the amphitheater, there wasn’t a trace left of the tactical weapons used against a virus that killed no one under 50 years old with a healthy immune system. The well-dressed elderly mixed with the stylish young as if nothing had ever transpired over the last three years of media-promoted hysteria and fear, certainly not a virus so deadly only the vaccinated could survive.

I’ve been to many high school graduations in my lifetime, and this one, as bittersweet as they all are, was an emotional roller-coaster of feelings, namely the leap of independence by my eldest grandchild, leaving the protective bubble of her loving family and small hometown to embark on her next journey, attending a university far away in an inner-city metropolis.

My expectations were high. Beautifully embossed programs were handed out. Well-deserving students graciously made their way to the stage to accept their awards. Faculty spoke, introducing each new category of learned discipline before naming the student who excelled the most with nary a reference or compassionate mention of the sacrifice and hardship the students suffered through after nearly three years of interrupted growth and restrictions of freedom. Instead, there was a common thread so peculiar I began to count how many times the same two words were woven into every educator’s speech that evening and all the next day, wondering what the meaning was behind their words. A tone was set.

Over the course of the two days, I lost count. The educators and faculty’s introductions and soliloquies weren’t sprinkled with the normal platitudes of aspiration, personal growth, and encouragement to seek one’s true purpose. There wasn’t a reference to follow one’s heart, to go forth and lead, to not settle for mediocrity, or to set a high bar for themselves. Absent was crediting the students for their own personal courage, resilience, perseverance, and achievement during endless quarantines and exclusions or for sticking it out, finally reaching their goals after an unprecedented painful beginning. No. What mattered, what counted most, and what would determine their future success and was key to a fulfilled life were just two things: inclusivity and kindness. The graduates sat respectfully quiet and reverent. Speaker after speaker drilled those two words into them as if they’d never heard them before, as if they didn’t know their true meaning, as if they and their accomplishments meant nothing compared to the virtue of inclusion and kindness. These children who had to sit out life for two years because experts and leaders wallowed in virtue-signaling hypocrisy and lies at their expense. What happened to the virtues of honesty, integrity, humility, and charity?

All the 2023 graduates I know are bright, ambitious people with naturally kind, compassionate hearts. I don’t know one who would exclude anyone based on race, religion, sex, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, even the non-vaxxers. But I have faith the 2023 graduates have wised up to the propaganda. They know better than any of us they are members of an exclusive club. The invisible children of a sinister social experiment. No one showed them any kindness. They were excluded from society as ‘A-symptomatic spreaders’ and ‘grandparent killers’ based on no clinical, scientific data. It was all made up. And not one person responsible for those unkind lies has ever said they made a mistake, and they are sorry. Even the people closest to them who knew better, save one sane soul.

The final faculty speaker on graduation day was one chosen by the graduates. He was beloved. He was trusted. Tears streamed down cheeks as the graduates grasped each other in sobbing embraces. He acknowledged that time. He praised them for their courage and bravery. He said how sorry he was that they had to go through it. He didn’t follow his colleagues’ lead, chastising the graduates for their imperfections, and not recognizing them as unique, individually gifted people. He was wiser and kinder. He was inclusive of their suffering. He left the graduates with these two words: Be skeptical.



George Santos
June 23, 2023

To the Editor,

If George Santos was telling the truth when he said that his bond-backing father is “an honest, hard-working man,” then it disproves two old adages: “Like father, like son” and “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”



Close to Extortion
June 20, 2023

Dear David,

Here’s some important information for us seniors having to make choices between heat, eating, and paying for our medication.

Merck filed a lawsuit last Tuesday challenging the government’s plan to negotiate Medicare drug prices, saying it is unconstitutional. The suit is the pharmaceutical industry’s opening salvo as it turns to the courts in a high-stakes battle with the feds over who controls the prices for cancer, arthritis, and other drugs. This is as close to extortion as you can get.

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra claims the agency plans to vigorously defend the drug-price negotiation plan. Let’s hope for the best, that we can win over big pharmaceutical.

With all this news, here’s an important statement from President Biden: He “plans to build a rail from the Pacific all the way to the Indian Ocean.” Imagine that.

In God and country,



Judges for Sale
East Hampton
June 26, 2023


The new sign hanging above the door to the Supreme Court is “Judges for Sale.” Acceptable payments are vacations, cash, and real estate. Finally, out of the closet and into the market place, SCOTUS has decided to take advantage of its life-long appointee policy and its paper-thin regulations regarding judicial influence and vote-pedaling. No wonder 60 percent of Americans don’t trust it.

According to Richard Painter, who was chief ethics lawyer for the Bush administration when Justice Alito and Chief Justice Roberts were confirmed for the court, neither Alito nor Roberts would have been chosen if their ethical conduct included their current transgressions. He also cited Justices Thomas and Gorsuch for similar ethics violations.

How many times does ProPublica have to publish a violation of judicial appropriate behavior before the court takes notice and rectifies the problem? Justices Alito and Thomas have long histories of taking bribes and gratuities from friends who come before them. Never recusing themselves because they have never reported the relationships. Errors of omission not. Crimes by any other standard. Absolutely.

When The Wall Street Journal defended Alito before the charges of bribe-taking were made public, his guilt was certified. The implication is that we are too stupid to know any better, to pay attention.

If the court is to retain any respect as the arbiter of our Constitution and the protector of our rights, it will be necessary to investigate all of its members. Since Alito and Thomas have been exposed on numerous occasions it seems logical that every decision on which their votes were the deciding factor be reviewed and expunged from the record.

Shredding our Constitution for a trip to an exotic island or an “inconsequential” real estate purchase not only violates their oaths of office but disrespects and trashes the American people.

As the third piece of our political system the courts’ integrity and honesty are paramount to keeping our system in balance. Violating the system is essentially an act of treason. That they remain on the court is part of our national sickness.

Chief Justice Roberts is the person responsible for initiating the ethics investigations. He has taken no action because he is equally guilty of similar transgressions. Republicans remain silent because the four judges are conservatives. Where’s Hunter Biden when we need him?

So much for self policing. No truth, no facts no justice.


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