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Letters to the Editor for February 1, 2024

Thu, 02/01/2024 - 09:45

Hidden Waters
East Hampton
January 29, 2024

Dear David,

Thank you and Christopher Gangemi for your informative article “The Hidden Waters Under the Bridge” on The Star’s Jan. 25 front page. The article details the important awareness of these “hidden” waters and their challenges to our seashore and pond natural resources. It becomes the community’s responsibility to participate in supporting solutions for the safety of our local natural resources. This is who we must be and who we are. Thank you to those public servants and local residents striving to be part of the solutions for robust local natural resources. We could not do this without The Star’s sense of local reporting in raising its community’s awareness.



Look at Our Plan!
January 29, 2024

To the Editor,

In your excellent editorial last week on sea level rise, you spoke of projects which give “the impression something is being done, but” are “not much more than a photo-op.”

I am highly concerned that our otherwise solid CARP plan is a similar sort of signaling. Nothing in it is being actively implemented. The message is, “Of course we are prepared for sea level rise! Look at our plan!” The Zoning Board of Appeals, as it routinely allows applicants to raze oceanfront dunes and build new mini-mansions with swimming pools, doesn’t ever seem to have heard of CARP. The town board would actually have to implement the plan in zoning ordinances for the Z.B.A. to change direction. It hasn’t.

I remember attending a town board meeting at which the representative of the committee nobly working on CARP was invited to speak -– in mid-afternoon, after the well-attended morning hearings and the public portion, when most of the audience had left. This seemed clearly to symbolize the board’s level of respect for CARP.

The choice of a four-letter acronym is amusing. It resolves to Coastal Assessment Resiliency Plan. The correct word order would be Coastal Resiliency Assessment Plan, which would have produced a different acronym.

For democracy in East Hampton,



Threat to Democracy
January 27, 2024

Dear Editor,

I am a lifelong Republican. I served as East Hampton Town Republican chairman for nine years. When my father ran for New York State governor as a Republican in 1978, I worked extensively on his campaign. When Ronald Reagan was elected president, I was moved to tears during his inauguration. My father was an excellent judge of character, and while he served as speaker of the New York State Assembly, he was visited by Donald Trump — a person who Dad quickly characterized as a “lightweight.” Well, that lightweight has now become a menacing heavyweight, and if his path to the Republican nomination for president is not sidetracked, I fear for the future of our country.

A presidential aspirant does not spout retribution and yell at judges in courtrooms. Donald Trump with his right arm raised and fist clenched is eerily reminiscent of a figure from another time who tried to eradicate an entire race. America right now is too fragile and too divided to allow the seeds of polarization to flourish. If demeaning individuals and ignoring indictments as Trump has done is deemed acceptable, then the very institutions upon which our society was founded are eroded. If he can do it as our president we can do it, too, and collective morality and civil conduct are out the window. The current unrest and discord across our land provide fertile ground for a rogue personality like Trump. Unfortunately, his character mirrors the very elements that threaten democracy.




Investigate J6
East Hampton
January 29, 2024

Dear Mr. Rattray,

Excellent. Eye-opening. Distressing. Those were my reactions to watching the documentaries “J6: A True Timeline” and “The Real Story of January 6” last Saturday at the American Legion in Amagansett. Reggie Cornelia, former chair of the Republican Party, had sent out an e-blast invitation to attend a private showing of these documentaries.

At several points in the first video, created and produced by A.J. Fischer of Investigate J6, I could hear a police officer saying not to shoot into the crowd because to do so would hurt innocent people and another officer saying that they were not controlling the crowd, but inciting the crowd. Toward the end of the video you hear distraught police officers saying to each other: “They set us up to fail! They set us up to fail!”

In the second video, published by The Epoch Times, an attorney specializing in lawsuits about crowd control/riots was interviewed. He said there were many protocols that were not followed by the police. For example, you don’t shove a U.S. citizen carrying a flag and trying to climb onto a balcony that is 25 feet above the ground and purposefully cause him to fall and suffer grievous injury. No, you pull him onto the balcony, cuff him, and arrest him. Period.

And, provided in context, never once did President Trump request anything but a “peaceful and patriotic” assembly/protest.

Watch “J6: A True Timeline” and “The Real Story of January 6.”

Don’t watch if you don’t want to know.



Severe Consequences
January 17, 2024

To the Editor,

I am writing this to show my support for the nonprofit organization Project Most. My two children were involved in the enrichment programs offered. I cannot speak highly enough of what this organization offers to the Town of East Hampton, working parents, and, most important, the children.

My children attend Springs School and have enjoyed the activities offered, including physical education activities, sewing, art, gardening, culinary arts, skateboarding, and photography. Tutoring is also available, which is perfect for us parents who will never master seventh-grade math!

The economics of living on the East End have often made it necessary for both parents to work to make ends meet. Additionally, not every child goes home to a safe and happy home. Some children go home to an empty house, which does not have to be the case because Project Most provides parents with the peace of mind that their children are in an affordable, interactive, and adult-supervised environment.

Any delay in reconstructing Project Most puts our youth at risk. As a former law enforcement officer for over 20 years, I have seen a direct correlation between children who have nothing to do after school and end up getting into trouble by engaging in inappropriate and often risky behaviors. There isn’t much for our young people to do in this community, and to delay Project Most any further is tragic.

Logistically, there is no more perfect location. The residential neighborhood is safe and comfortable. The building size proposed is appropriate for the property, and there is plenty of room for the children to enjoy playing outdoors and planting a garden with their own hands and enjoying the fruits of their labors when they harvest their crops. The driveway (with a turnaround) off Three Mile Harbor Road makes it safe for caregivers to pick up their children, and there is ample parking.

In the wake of so many things in this town being halted or denied, I urge the architectural review board to propel the construction to have the new and improved Project Most completed. It will be a safe haven for our youth and a godsend to caregivers. The Town of East Hampton needs to look at the severe consequences if this construction is rejected. Project Most and the amazing staff are making our children’s futures brighter. They are shaping the very people who will one day be the decision makers for our town. It is clear that Project Most is indispensable to East Hampton.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Very truly yours,



Unwanted Tavern
East Hampton Village
January 23, 2024

To the Editor:

The “beer war” on Toilsome Lane has gotten hot again, as reported by The East Hampton Star last Thursday (“Brewery’s Next Round”). After over a year’s delay, Mill Hill Realty submitted new plans for an unwanted beer tavern to the village design review board on a Friday (Jan. 16), and it looks as if the good old brewery boys are up to their old tricks once again.

In 2021, without any notice, the beer boys submitted plans to build a large tavern and brewery (unknown to the neighbors) on a Friday afternoon to be the only topic to go on the agenda of the design review board meeting the following Tuesday.

Two years and five months later, near the end of the day and without any notice on another Friday, Jan. 12, 2024, a holiday weekend, they submitted slightly revised plans for the same beer tavern to be on the design review board’s agenda the following Tuesday.

I feel that’s kind of sneaky of Mill Hill Realty. And let’s not forget that the people who want to build this illegal tavern — “illegal” because the property is zoned for a restaurant, not a tavern, and there is a big difference between a restaurant and a tavern since a tavern can create unwanted noise and have a negative impact on its neighbors’ quality of life — have never even bothered to approach any of the neighbors to see if their tavern would be welcomed on Toilsome lane.

This time I am hoping that the design review board realizes that village zoning boards are used as a permitting system to prevent new development from harming existing residents or businesses. Since I live next to the site, it will be harmful to me and my neighbors, as well as to the village. If the D.R.B. skirts its obligation to our village then I will once again bring legal action against Mill Hill Realty, the Village of East Hampton, and the design review board and, if needed, will take it as far as the New York State Court of Appeals. Déjà vu!



Plight of Landlords
East Hampton
January 29, 2024

Dear Mr. Rattray,

I am writing you on behalf of landlords on the East End who have to evict tenants for nonpayment of rent. I had a stroke, can no longer work as an executive, so was forced to rent my weekend home for the rental income. My tenants suddenly stopped paying rent in October 2022.

The laws in New York State favor tenants. I have had to hire an attorney at $400 an hour. I’ve been told by other landlords that it took six months to get their tenants evicted. I need to get the house ready again to be rented again.

I am writing you in the hopes that those officials in charge of writing the landlord/tenant law expedite the court process by which a landlord can evict tenants.

Sincerely yours,



Send It Back
January 29, 2024

Dear Mr. Rattray,

I’ve been following closely the various comments on the proposed new senior center and the general trend to simply ignore rules on our way to ever more suburbanization and overbuilding. It is stunning that the project has grown to the point it has over more than the last decade with no real idea of how many people will actually use the proposed center, nor how [it will be used], with the possible exception for an upgraded kitchen facility that will serve our town’s well-run and effective Meals on Wheels program.

The aging population of our town, my 76-year-old self included, certainly deserves a better place to gather than its current one, enjoy each other’s company, and have upgraded facilities, but the evident determination of the supervisor and elected/appointed board members to exempt themselves from review by their own professional boards is simply another step toward destroying the scaffolding under which we must all operate if we truly are to remain at all the place we’ve chosen to live in. It’s no wonder that any developer or homeowner simply seeks an Article 78 ruling to get away with whatever they feel like doing.

The increasing trend to overrule or ignore the judgements and requirements of our appointed experts in planning, zoning, architectural review, etc., is being encouraged and ratified by the town itself. It is obvious that the robust review process that is supposed to be protecting our neighborhoods is now shown to be so much smoke and mirrors when vanity and false urgency overrule common sense and real deliberation.

Further, aging in place is obviously changing. Many of my contemporaries, and persons considerably older, fortunately remain active and vibrant throughout their lives, participating individually in sports, travel, exercise, etc. I’d be surprised if nearly every person reading this of any age did not have some exercise equipment at home, a gym membership, favorite sports regularly to participate in, etc.

From what I’ve read, this project is overblown, outrageously over budget, and lacks a real review and community-needs assessment, “demographics and destiny” notwithstanding. I urge the supervisor and town board to send it back to the already extremely overpriced drawing board, and find out what’s truly necessary to meet our future needs. We have the experts and the rules at hand. Why not use them?



Bigger Not Better
January 29, 2024

Dear David,

It is with deep disappointment that I write this letter. In her first few weeks as town supervisor, Kathee Burke-Gonzalez has done our taxpayers and seniors a grave disservice. As the chief fiscal officer of our town, she has pushed for a much-needed senior center that does not follow our critically important comprehensive plan and zoning code. Worse, she is insisting that the town board leapfrog any planning board and zoning board decisions. When the last town board who tried this abolished the Planning Department during a tsunami of overdevelopment, their party was never elected to a majority for years.

Please do not make the same mistake. This proposed senior center is too big, does not follow our town’s goals to preserve our historic character and small-town character and scale. Just as important, Supervisor Burke-Gonzalez knows this submission is too expensive: She publicly announced to the town board when they were going to see a rendition of the proposed senior center, “Get ready for sticker shock!” It is the supervisor’s responsibility to protect our taxpayers from having to pay for a monster senior center that went from $10 million to $32,000,000 in just months. Our taxpayers need to know why.

I looked up the firm that was chosen to present this space ship configuration. They advertise that they concentrate on big projects — not what our beautiful town wants or needs.

Keep in mind that East Hampton has only 5 percent of vacant residential lots left to build on. I do not see an avalanche of seniors stampeding east down Montauk Highway with a deed in their hands. Sadly, our local seniors are instead headed south, leaving a town that looks to build bigger and not better. There is already a smaller version for a senior center. Let’s see it, Kathee.



Ms. Foster is a former member of the town board and former chairwoman of the planning board. Ed.


Damn the Torpedoes
January 24, 2024

Dear David,

Granted that the present senior citizens center needs to be replaced. The proposed $32-million cost is astronomical, to say the least. I am sure that a functional design that will accommodate the seniors who built this town can be constructed without the use of stainless-steel shingles. Why not a more fitting design — other than the wild ambitions of an architectural design of a futuristic windmill, much of which, [it] was reported, can only be seen from the sky?

The cost of the land and the impact on the taxes of those it will serve needs to be explained completely. Not so the designer firm can have their name on an expensive sign.

The yearly estimate of maintenance needs to include inflation, as well. Do we need a design that is out of character? This resembles “Full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes!” Take a deep breath.




Mick Jagger Warned
January 26, 2024

Dear David,

At the recent town board work session regarding the new senior center, nobody denied that a new one was needed. The consternation was about the $32-million price tag when all public discussion until very recently referred to a $10-million project. Might as well call it $40 million as few projects come in at the estimate once the bidding and building are underway.

What emerged in listening to the architects was a classic case of what we in the building trade call a runaway. It’s been said that there are three pillars of architecture: firmness, function, and delight. Architects are artists, so their focus is on delight. An unwary or untrained client can be mesmerized by gorgeous computer-generated pictures and professional jargon before learning that building those pictures is going to cost three times the budget.

This is how we’ve ended up with a cavernous space 20 feet high that the architects described as having the feel of a gracious hotel lobby. Did somebody request a gracious hotel lobby? When a board member asked the challenging question about the cost of heating such a space, the architect assured her that they would only heat the bottom six feet of that space. She did not explain how they intend to defeat the law of physics that says heat rises. Nobody mentioned this space also has skylights that are impossible to shade in summer, so it is a triple-threat space: expensive to build, expensive to heat, and expensive to cool.

It seems these architects missed the town’s goal of sustainable building. The first rule of net-zero building is a design that needs minimal mechanical energy. Ideally, this requires compact shape to minimize exterior walls that must be heavily insulated inside and weatherproofed outside. Modifying the proposed serpentine shape of the current design into a rectangle of the same square footage would reduce the exterior walls by 35 to 40 percent, saving not only construction costs but also the energy needs for heating and cooling. The obvious place for solar panels is the roof, but the architects have presented a building that renders roof panels impossible, so they want shades over the parking spaces where the panels can go. Not cheap. The wingspan of this sprawling building is at least 256 feet in three directions, so it consumes far more of the lot than necessary. If all or part of it were two-story instead of one, substantial reduction in lot coverage would be achieved, as well as cost reductions on roof and foundation.

The proposed building is almost three times the size of the existing center. An aging populace is the justification for this huge increase in desired space, but how that translates into demand for senior center services is in dispute. New Yorkers moving here to retire was mentioned as a factor, and the fact that we are living longer. Less clear is how many of the affluent moving here are going to be patrons of the senior center. Longer life spans mean we stay healthy longer, so the gross number of senior citizens does not mean more people needing the services of a senior center. The other side of older people moving in is young people moving out. Profligate spending will accelerate that process.

As it happens, this architect designed the Levi Senior Center for Evanston, Ill. It is 25,500 square feet. Evanston is a town of 78,000 people. Why do we need a building with more than twice as many square feet per capita? What economies of space were used there that we can incorporate here?

As Mick Jagger has warned us, “You can’t always get what you want.” If we can get the senior center we need for $15 million, maybe we can also get the affordable housing we want to keep our children in town. With right sizing and appropriate design we can do this.



Ill-Informed Board
East Hampton
January 28, 2024

Dear David,

As reported in both of our local newspapers, a meeting was “hastily” called this past week for the public to be browbeaten into letting the town board be judge and jury on the new senior center. Unfortunately, it was not robustly advertised weeks in advance so that residents could arrange to attend. Only eight residents out of a reported 28,385 (from the town website) attended, which is odd given the uproar about taxpayers’ liability for its outlandish cost and size. That was extremely bad planning which seems to fit this board’s pattern of project management.

Interestingly, Newsday assumed that this misguided project was a foregone conclusion, apparently from a town issued press release, even as all the criticism arose throughout the community in recent weeks. Newsday wrote: “Construction on East Hampton Town’s new 22,000-square foot senior center in Amagansett is expected to begin in July. Construction of the $31.6 million facility — the most expensive project undertaken by the town — should take 18 months.”

I can’t visualize 22,000 square feet, so I checked out comparisons: Madison Square Garden has 20,000 square feet on its ground level. Nassau Coliseum has only 13,500 square feet for basketball and 13,000 square feet for hockey. The latter two numbers do not take into account the square footage for seating. Are you starting to get the picture? The proposed East Hampton Town senior center is gargantuan. Even billionaire-owned homes in the Hamptons aren’t that garish. Now, keep in mind that 2RArchtecture has an abiding motto that I wrote about last week: “Think Big! We Do!” Now apply that to their fees, the proposed cost of $31.6 million, cost overruns of the project, and its size.

The board has been assured by their town-employed staff that the number of older East Hampton Town residents is aging. The joke is on the board. As the largest American generation in history find themselves reaching 70-plus, this is inevitable. What is not inevitable among all older adults is their lifestyle necessities, their desires, and what they need to support them to remain healthy and active as they age. After all, our longstanding senior center has two centenarians as well as a high percentage of men and women in their 90s.

In fact, the most critical age-related profession that we need on both Forks are geriatricians: doctors who are specifically trained in geriatric medicine. Instead, what we have are doctors who have age-in-place. They are not geriatricians.

If anything, when the town is building a new senior center, it should include a health care unit with a resident geriatrician. It should have two types of day care: a medical model for men and women with dementia and other cognitive impairments, and a social model for frail adults who need assistance eating, toileting, etc. The latter would benefit working caregivers and their families.

Census data is nothing more than a number count. It does not foretell individual or generational behaviors. That can only be projected by thoroughly understanding the generational “cohort effect,” a process that I developed over 45 years ago that continues to be used in America and Europe for planning.

This town board and Kathee, in particular, will not listen to proven methods of predicting generational behaviors and geriatric needs for projects such as a new senior center. She relies upon others to provide essentially meaningless information that has nothing to do with utilization of facilities by older adults. Unfortunately, for those of us who are disabled and aged, big spaces, long walks, echoing noise, sun glare, etc., are our enemy — not supportive of our sensory and physical impairments.

What we need now is a cooling-off period. In the interim, remodel the existing senior center, which has been so woefully and irresponsibly neglected under Kathee’s watch. It does not need to be expanded, based on actual, current daily census. The participant area does need to be thoroughly and professionally cleaned by a remediation company and inspected for areas indoors and on the grounds for potential falls. New furnishings, new flooring, and dinnerware (older adults cannot see white food on white dishes) would be inexpensive and welcomed. Finally, day care should be reopened now!

In the cooling-off period, shelve the pie-in-the-sky proposal from 2RArchitecture, meet with experienced architects in senior center planning, and put together two or three reasonable proposals for a functional new senior center based on need, not the proposed size. Once chosen, the new center should be either privately funded or put before the public for a vote. It should not be a proclamation by an ill-informed town board.

There is no rush to build a new senior center. Participants at the exiting site are happy socializing and having a nourishing, delicious daily meal. The latter does more for their mental and physical health than any inappropriate bricks and mortar project that’s the size of a lavish casino with proposed “mirrored stainless steel shingles for the roof.” Not even if 2RArchitecture signed an agreement to accept any and all responsibility for “whatever” may happen in their use should they be used so close to two area airports, as well as the regular pathway for commercial jets heading to Kennedy or La Guardia.



Ask the Seniors
January 29, 2024

Dear David,

It seems I believe in freedom of speech, but I resent being told –- by politicians, medical directives, and more -– what is best for me.

Spending millions of dollars to construct a building for seniors that’s probably not what us seniors are looking for? Take the time to research by asking the seniors truly, exactly what they want and need. As far as the medical profession, perhaps they should take the time to listen to the patient. The patient knows their body better than the book that was given to them in school. Information is so important and maybe the patient won’t have to go to another doctor or physician’s assistant for help with the situation they are in.

In God and country,



Everyone Is Rich
Gardners, Pa.
January 25, 2024

Dear Editor,

Now that I’ve paid my taxes on my house in East Hampton and on my retirement home in Pennsylvania and noted the taxes here are less then half than there, I began to wonder why. After all, the town I now live in provides all the services I get in East Hampton with a few exceptions, like we’re required to pay for our garbage pickup. This town is 21st century with all the regulations, requirements, and necessities as in East Hampton. I suspect the old excuse of the cost of living is very high and the population is, too, that means taxes have to be. But I wonder if that’s all.

The town I live in is small, 45 square miles, with a population of about 7,000. About 40 percent is protected mountain and woodland with a state park centered in it and the Appalachian Trail winding through. That and the nearness of historic sites nearby support a tourist industry. There’s a hardwood harvest that contributes to a forestry industry. Most of the town is zoned for agriculture with major crops of corn, soybeans, hay, and fruit -– all of which are sold to granaries and processors in other counties. There are industrial and residential zones. Most everyone works outside the town in education, health, civilian military activity, and various services. The road system is good, so within an hour’s drive there are nine colleges, four major hospitals, two huge military supply depots, and of course groceries, plumbers, lumber yards, and most everything needed. I believe the economy is diverse and broad based. I think people thought of what a community needs and it was built, and knew what to save for the future, and so helped to ensure their well-being. They seem to understand what’s possible. Like, the Y.M.C.A. supports itself. I don’t think East Hampton can say the same.

I’ve lived and worked in East Hampton most of my life and I know [it] isn’t its own economy. Everything is dependent on stuff that comes into the town, especially money, and that has to be at a greater and greater amount. East Hampton is dependent on the whims of the environment, fashion, and government spending. What happens to Montauk as the beach continues to wash away no matter how much sand is pumped? And, worse, the feds decide to pay for a border wall rather than a sea wall? What happens to the pubs and clubs if the alphabet generations won’t spend $20 on cocktails because they have to pay student loans? How about farms, if money for $10 tomatoes and $30 pies dries up? How about if immigration policy changes and the trade parade stops and there’s no one to afford affordable housing? I don’t think the town board has a clue and couldn’t care less as long as everyone is rich.

The place I now live in I would call prosperous and everyone can share. Here there is still the chance to weather what may come and I would advise our leaders to pull their heads out of the beach sand and try to save the town. And I think they can start by paying attention to the only industry that can stand alone. It’s fisheries.



Biden’s Fault
East Hampton
January 29, 2024

To the Editor,

Congressman Nick LaLota has come out in support of the convicted (and self-admitted) sexual predator, Donald Trump. While Mr. LaLota’s Congress withholds aid for Ukraine as they fight Russia, Iran’s ally, LaLota blames Biden. While this same Republican Congress denies aid to Israel, Iran’s staunchest enemy, LaLota blames Biden. While this “appalling” (Mitt Romney’s word) Congress refuses to vote on a bipartisan border deal, it’s Biden’s fault.

Thanks to The East Hampton Star for their coverage of the soon-to-be-replaced Congressman LaLota. 



SEAL Team Six
East Hampton
January 29, 2024

Dear David,

I am writing to voters represented in the House of Representatives by Nick LaLota, who is seeking re-election.

Consider that Mr. LaLota is supporting the presumptive Republican nominee for president, who feels that anyone holding this office is above the law. Consequently, the president can order SEAL Team Six to assassinate a political opponent without any concern about facing legal consequences. Do you want to live in such a country? Perhaps Mr. LaLota has no qualms, but I certainly do.



Bipartisan Reform
East Hampton
January 29, 2024

Dear David:

Cynicism is not strong enough to describe the latest Republican tantrum.

Republicans have called the situation at the southern border, among other things, a “catastrophe,” a “disgrace,” and “criminal.” They have skewered

President Biden and his fellow Democrats for failing to do anything about the problem. They have even introduced a resolution to impeach Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas for failing to do his job.

For the past several weeks a bipartisan group of congressional members has negotiated a bipartisan agreement to resolve the stalemate over providing aid to Ukraine and Israel in the absence of border reform. This agreement, which has not yet been put to paper, has been described as the most conservative (read, restrictive) reform to the immigration system. Both sides are unhappy with parts of the agreement, which gives it the patina of a true compromise. Reportedly, President Biden is on board.

Now the cynicism. Despite fierce criticism [demanding that] the so-called “open borders” Biden administration do something, many hardline G.O.P. members of Congress are now balking and vowing to oppose any immigration reform now. Why? A border-reform law approved by President Biden would strip from G.O.P. candidates an election hammer to use against Democratic opponents. Of course, one can find Mr. Trump as the prime instigator of this purely political tantrum — without even knowing the contents of the nascent bill.

He has urged those critical of fomenting this lunacy to “blame him.” And we should take him at this word, but in addition we should also blame those in Congress who blindly pay fealty to Trump.




Good for Trump
East Hampton
January 29, 2024

To the Editor,

In our current dystopian reality we are often confused about what is real and what isn’t. There are thousands of people at the southern border clamoring to enter the country and seeking refuge from the chaos of their own countries. There is so much misinformation and confusion that we can’t be sure if the people are really there or just another journey into the fantasy of fake news.

Are there people at the border? Are they criminals and rapists and other untoward things? Are there families with lots of little kids who traveled on foot for weeks to get here? Is it true that 66 percent of Republicans think that this issue, real or fake, is the most important in the coming election?

The immigration/border issue needs a serious reckoning. Is it real or fake? Despite the photos, testimonies, and the political rhetoric, can we be absolutely certain that it’s real? Given the uncertainty surrounding the events of Jan. 6, do we need to take a more serious look at the border crisis claims and beliefs? Given the massive amount of evidence etc., etc.? Is something real just because we believe it is?

If we take a wild gamble and accept the border crisis as being real, then what?

We need to separate the attached funding for Ukraine and Israel from the border because the titular head of the Republican Party is against this funding.

 So, for the last seven years, virtually nothing has been done to resolve the border problem. Zero, nada. Months ago senators from both parties began crafting a bill to begin the process to bring the problem under control. (Given that perfection is a moronic fantasy, an okay bill would be amazing.) Last week the Senate announced that it was preparing to pass the bill. The House would sign it and we would begin the border-control solution process.

Until Trump, with the wisdom of all failed and failing demagogues, screamed, “Stop the fake bill.” Of course the bill wasn’t fake. Yet, Mitch McConnell echoes Trump and added that an immigration bill would not be good for Trump’s reelection chances. Speaker Mike Johnson (ass kisser-in-chief) jumped on board and said the deal was dead.

So, we moved from a fake to a real to a fake problem or a modernday edition of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” (While images of a naked Trump might titillate some of his more fervent evangelical supporters, the general population would be significantly repulsed.) What we do know is straightforward and simple. Republican pols have been instructed not to pass a border/immigration bill because it will damage Trump’s election possibility.

They will vote against the bill and the will and concern of the American people because solving this enormous problem is significantly less important than Trump’s re-election. They will violate

their oaths of office, the Constitution, and the well-being of the country for Trump. Fealty to a deranged cretin is more important than the state of the nation. America uber alles is unfettered garbage. Even the Nazis got that right.

The theory of incremental excrement is at the soul of these Republicans. How much can they get away with before the stench becomes unbearable? The eye of the beholder no longer works to parse the repugnance. It’s the smell that gives them away until we learn to wallow in it.



Survival at Stake
North Haven
January 29, 2024

To the Editor,

Jim Vrettos has the unique ability (Letters to the Editor, Jan. 25, “Disturbing Pattern”) to take up a lot of space and, at the same time, say very little. We respond to a few of his meandering observations.

First, he seems to think that there is some sort of conspiracy afoot to deprive him and his merry band of cease-fireniks of their First Amendment rights. That is absurd. A few individuals from our group, East End Jews for Israel, approached their group at one point a week or two ago in an effort to engage them in a discussion about the relevant issues that divide us. They refused to even engage in a discussion. We challenged any member of their group to a debate on local television; there were no takers.

Now to the substance. When has any member of the cease-fireniks read aloud the names of the Israeli babies who were kidnapped and burned to death by Hamas on Oct. 7, or of the Israel women who were raped and dismembered and the others who were brutally murdered by the Hamas terrorists? When have they read aloud the names of the Israeli hostages?

When has this group of cease-fireniks ever taken a public stand against Hamas and their acts of terrorism and barbarism? When has this group of cease-fireniks acknowledged the primary goal of Hamas is the annihilation of the State of Israel? And finally, why should the State of Israel be subject to a different standard for the conduct of a war thrust upon them by Hamas, than any other country in world history?

War begets casualties. Hamas could end the military operation by surrendering and releasing the hostages. Until then, the Israeli military operation should continue full tilt until Hamas is rooted out. Israel’s survival is at stake. Antisemitism has roared back.

For those of you who are Jews and who regularly rally on Sunday to their anti-Israel drumbeat, we think you are no better than the quislings of the past.




Selective enforcement
January 28, 2024

To the Editor,

On our block a resident was given a notice of violation for not having a dumpster covered. They said to me a question I’ve already asked with no answer yet: “How many notices of violations have been handed out for our road being blocked by those cubes?” Over 2,000 days none that we know of. Selective enforcement.

Still here,



Teachers Are Deserving
January 28, 2024

To the Editor,

Regarding Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman granting an official proclamation to the shock-jock Howard Stern, I would ask Mr. Blakeman if entertainment is more important than education. Has Howard Stern given more “dedication and service to the community,” or made more “significant contributions for the betterment of our residents,” than the thousands of Nassau County schoolteachers?

If not, then I propose that Mr. Blakeman follow up his already-scheduled 125th anniversary Eisenhower Park gala for celebrities from the entertainment and sports worlds with a separate luncheon honoring those people who educate rather than (merely) entertain.

If County Executive Blakeman wonders if teachers are deserving enough, I invite him to see what just one single teacher has done for 833 students over the course of 37 years — by simply scrolling down my Facebook page!


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