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Letters to the Editor for March 14, 2024

Wed, 03/13/2024 - 17:49

Another Miracle

March 5, 2024

To the Editor,

In 1974, when I was 6 years old, playing sports, games, and doing arts and crafts at the summer camp based at the Neighborhood House, I had no idea it would be the start of a very long and positive journey there. It was East Hampton Boys Club where local and summer kids alike came together, led by local teachers, to create so many lasting friendships and memories! Ultimately this experience at camp led me on a path to re-create these valuable childhood opportunities for many more, here in East Hampton and abroad.

When the Boys Club closed after 40 years, my childhood best friend and I decided to restart the camp at this exact location on Three Mile Harbor Road, to continue the same special experiences for new generations. Starting that first day in 1992 with only five kids, but ending up with a camp of a 100 girls and boys, we prided ourselves on providing an affordable and fun place for kids to be kids — not about winning or losing — led by aspiring young leaders.

Because of our commitment, I was invited to join the board of directors at the Neighborhood House, with other long-serving, caring individuals: doctors, lawyers, and business owners keeping alive one of the oldest nonprofits in East Hampton, and upholding our mission of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.” Every month for the last 30 years we have met there for our board meetings, helping oversee and maintain the facility and support the many important activities, like our early learning program for 3 and 4-year-olds, thus serving the working-class families with day care at an extremely affordable cost and employing gifted teachers and aides in this wonderful historical space. Together we rallied our friends in the community to help build a new playground, buy a new A.C. and heating system, and put a new roof on the aging building. We also made it possible for groups to meet there that were vital to this community, like English-as-a-second-language classes, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, plays and dances, as well as a place for voting. In a community with very few places for everyone to utilize, our nonprofit that first started as a nursing hospital in the early 1900s, has been able to continued being an integral part of the fabric of the East Hampton community for over a hundred years.

However, maintaining this nonprofit’s mission and this century-old building has been anything but easy. Even as most local people have been there and know it, they think it is a funded town property, which it is not. As our small endowment shrank over the years, and the real costs for upkeep and repairs have risen, we hosted trivia nights, golf tournaments, spaghetti dinners, and pancake fund-raisers to keep it going. Our board of directors initiated a long-term-strategy committee, and for over a decade we discussed an uncertain future, and found no easy solutions for how we would continue to fund and serve this community in the same capacity.

Then, during the Covid-19 epidemic, the answer became much clearer. Project Most was locked out of its classrooms at the Springs School, which created a dire need for a kid-friendly space to continue their amazing programs, and the Neighborhood House was the solution. This relationship with Project Most was one of the most powerful and serendipitous collaborations we could have ever imagined, happening during this desperate time for us all. The Neighborhood House, with Project Most’s caring staff and teachers, was bustling with activity, able to serve the kids of essential workers who desperately needed a place to learn when their parents risked their lives and went to work, while most other children stayed at home and went to school online.

As Covid came to an end, it was obvious that this relationship between our two like-minded organizations must continue, and we became the new home of Project Most, with gardening, cooking, art, computer, dance, and many other kid and family-friendly programs at an affordable cost for the community’s most hard-working year-round residents.

From the beginning, I couldn’t believe what an incredible opportunity this was for our organizations to join forces, something that is very rare in the nonprofit world, to create such an obvious win-win solution. Then another miracle happened! A supporter and benefactor of Project Most offered to donate and move a beautifully designed barn-style building from 1995 that didn’t suit their style, as well as chip in $5 million to upgrade the property to make it a reality. Only in a community as empathetic and diverse economically as East Hampton could this type of gift even be possible! Can you only imagine our trying to make this happen through years of selling raffle tickets, cocktail parties, or pancake breakfasts?

This project is truly unbelievable, supported by so many local businesses and families who know how important an opportunity this is for the community as a whole. The public needs to know that this has by no means been a land grab, nor does it have any other motives except to continue the amazing programs of Project Most and the mission of the East Hampton Neighborhood House. Yes, one individual will receive a tax deduction for their creative generosity, but this is a real collaboration and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A social investment for those who deserve a special place to learn and grow safely. The design and improvements to the property are first class, donated by the best local companies, down to the outdoor educational arboretum by Marders that will enhance the value and future of all living here. With a new affordable-housing complex just down the road, I so look forward to seeing the kids and their families biking and walking to their new youth-friendly community center, a beautiful project we can be all be proud of, paving the way for the next generation of chefs, business owners, doctors, and lawyers in our special community.

Lastly, the idea for a memorial here to commemorate Freetown is a brilliant idea! A place for us all to honor and never forgot the people and history of those who have contributed to our ever-changing town. But this should never just be a museum. This property must continue to be a valued asset for those who truly make this community function, a child-friendly, family-friendly, inclusive, educational, and meeting space for all, as it has been continuously for over a hundred years!

Please support this incredible project. I invite you to also share your stories of how our nonprofit efforts have positively changed your lives over the many decades!




Odd Fellows Grad
East Hampton
March 11, 2024

Dear Mr. Editor,

Hope all is well after the smoke scare.

I have been following the Neighborhood House project and the positive and negative comments. At the end of the day, the negative comments, I believe, are not about the Neighborhood House itself and its use but the consequences it will produce. Let me explain.

These issues are all about poor government and planning. There is nothing wrong with an expanded Project Most; there is nothing wrong with the beer barn; there is nothing wrong with the Section 8 housing. What is wrong is plunking them down smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

You would have thought that the bigwigs on the 13th floor would have done better with growth planning. The Montauk Highway would have been/would be the right place for all these never-ending expanding enterprises. You see, my beef with all this expansion is the people on the 13th floor have zero vision.

Remember Cyril’s on the Napeague stretch? Cars up and down the road. Was there a lesson learned? No. We have the same condition at Coche restaurant just west of Amagansett. In the high season, cars packed on the shoulder of the Montauk Highway in prime time. Now, while that’s the right place for the venue, there’s not enough parking on site. Just like the current Neighborhood House which on a packed event has cars up and down Three Mile Harbor Road now. What will expanded use bring to this neighborhood?

Another quagmire is the new proposed senior center. First and foremost, above the cost is the clear-cutting of five acres of trees. I remember an article a few years ago in the Southampton Press about how Peter Van Scoyoc, then supervisor, hated to cut down trees. Well, he didn’t mind cutting down seven acres of trees in my neighborhood off Three Mile Harbor Road for the Section 8 housing. And now the senior center, another seven acres. I wonder why we don’t hear from the naturalists, environmentalists, and the tree huggers in general? Because they’re all Democrats and as soon as they urbanize the East End they’ll move on.

Glad to see the planning board is fighting back on the senior center. You mentioned in your article about the town board “taking on questions” and “they owe it to their constituents to do so.” Well, then, why would they want to circumvent the planning process? You are correct in your premises that the project might not go ahead as planned. Don’t forget, they are Democrats. They do as they please on a national level, some of that has to trickle down to the local level.

Ran into some folks in the I.G.A. and they asked me what my qualifications were for my letter writing. I told them I graduated from Odd Fellows Hall. They had no clue.

Best regards.

America and Americans First,


Here’s a Thought
March 8, 2024

To the Editor,

First, thank you so much for focusing on the growing opposition to the proposed super-expensive, supersized, environmentally unsound senior center in your March 7 editorial. As a 72-year-old resident taxpayer, I expressed my own senior dismay in a letter to The Star a few weeks ago. I am a writer, not a mathematician, but I thought it might be interesting to look at some numbers. According to the East Hampton Town website, there are 7,394 residents aged 60 and over in East Hampton Town. If the new senior center is projected to cost $32,000,000, that’s $4,327 per senior.

But wait: How many seniors actually use the senior center that’s already there? Again, according to the town’s own website, there were 240 seniors who actively participated in programs offered at the center. So, $32,000,000 divided by 240 means that we’re thinking of spending $133,333 apiece on a place for these seniors to do their chair yoga and mindful meditation. Here’s a thought. Why not ask those 240 seniors if they’d rather have the new center — or the money it’s going to cost. For $133,333 a senior could pay rent or pay for an aide or maybe hire a car and driver to get to the store. You know: pay for things they really need.



Let’s Stay Together
East Hampton
March 11, 2024

To the Editor,

I write regarding the controversial senior center and I know I am late to the game but I spent 38 years in a town outside of Chicago and one like East Hampton that has financial resources. I am in my 70s.

I am not for a senior center in the same way I would not be for a senior library, a senior Guild Hall, or a senior church.

We desperately need a community center for all with a state-of-the-art fitness center, meeting rooms, and educational facilities. Such places are standard in towns half the size of East Hampton in the suburbs of Chicago. Separating people by age group is detrimental and leads to the acrimony we now see regarding the proposed center. Let’s stay together.



Minimized Tree Removal
East Hampton
March 11, 2024

Dear Reader,

East Hampton’s resident northern long-eared bat was declared “endangered” by the United States Fish and Wildlife Services on Nov. 30, 2022, effective Jan. 30, 2023. According to statements written by our town board in the latest Environmental Assessment Form submitted by the supervisor on Jan. 4, to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the endangered northern long-eared bat occupies the forested Abraham’s Path site of their proposed new senior center; on page eight of the E.A.F.: “Proposed site clearing associated with the development of the new senior center building will remove 5.672 acres of existing woods. The rest of the site will remain undisturbed.”

On Oct. 17, 2023, the town board published a “Project Site Plan Design Update” which included this statement on the page entitled “Sustainability Features”: “Minimized Tree Removal — Allows the site to be mostly untouched by construction and saves as many large growth trees as possible.”

Here’s the thing: The 5.672 acres of proposed clearing, on seven acres of existing forest, comes to 92 percent.

Ninety-two percent.

Ninety-two percent of anything isn’t minimal. Yet the town board’s design update calls 92 percent minimized? Perhaps this is the reason: The federal Endangered Species Act lists activities “unlikely to result in a violation, including ‘minimal tree removal.’ “ Could it be that the board’s wording in its October 2023 “Project Site Plan Design Update” is a product of efforts to forestall being nailed by the feds for flouting U.S.F.W.S. regulations?

Also, about specific trees: Those conifers being threatened by the eastern pine beetle are pitch pines. The beetles invade the tree through the corridors between the large bark scales. (White pine bark is too dense to permit invasion; hence, they’re healthy.) Many pitch pines die and fall; if they are located along a right-of-way, they can pose a danger to those on the road. The New York State Department of Parks and Recreation cut down some 5,000 infested trees in the Napeague area in 2022.

Since the site behind Abraham’s Path is not on a road, the fall of any pitch pine in the acreage cannot endanger traffic.

Bats are insectivores — they eat beetles. And ticks.




Noticeable Improvements
March 10, 2024

Dear David,

Under Supervisor Kathee Burke-Gonzalez and Deputy Supervisor Cate Rogers’s leadership, we have seen noticeable improvements around town. From the compost pilot in Springs last summer to the “No More Litter” campaign to appointing Jaine Mehring to the zoning board, the new town board has demonstrated vision and leadership.

Ms. Mehring, as an active member of the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee and several other town committees including the town’s energy and sustainability committee and litter action committee, is a wise choice by the town board. I can think of no one better suited for our town’s zoning board. Now more than ever our town needs strong leadership that understands the increasingly urgent challenges we face. Ms. Burke-Gonzalez, Ms. Rogers, and Ms. Mehring are poised to deliver.



Sterile Yards
East Hampton
March 11, 2024

Dear David,

There’s nothing like a sunny, breezy spring day to feel alive. Monday, March 11 is one of those days in East Hampton. It’s 40 degrees and gusting over 36; a great day for my inland walk, past The Star’s picture window rather than on the beach. The tree branches will be swaying with the wind. We are so fortunate to live here, to be a part of this beauty.

Then there are times that I hate spring. March 11 is one of those days. A neighbor has their lawn crew out with multiple gas-powered leaf blowers, “cleaning up.” They’ve been blowing for more than 2.5 hours, at full blast most of the time, and they’re still at it.

More painful than the noise and window-rattling vibration (and the inefficiency of fighting the wind) is the knowledge that it’s too early to start moving leaves from your garden. The beneficial insects that pollinate our blooming plants and vegetables are still overwintering in the leaves and in the soil beneath. They don’t emerge until the temperatures are solidly in the 50s for at least seven or eight days. The water in the birdbath was frozen this morning.

Rather than hearing the birds welcoming spring, I hear the sound of death with each rev of the engines.

Once we kill all the insects, the birds will be gone, too.

It will be silent, except for the wind blowing through our sterile yards.

And the leaf blowers.

Note: It takes 6,000 to 9,000 caterpillars to feed one nest of baby birds.

With a heavy heart,


ReWild Long Island / South Fork Co-Chair


Crazy Money
March 7, 2024

To the Editor,

Charles Darwin once wrote a private letter to a friend about the distress he felt at the existence of the Ichneumonidae, parasitic wasps which feed “within the living bodies of caterpillars.”

In my opinion, billionaire Marc Rowan is metaphorically an Ichneumon, feeding within the living body of the Town of East Hampton. Rowan’s multiple lawsuits against the town, pre-emptive strikes to provide cover for his unceasing expansion of the Duryea’s takeout window to an opulent venue with tables and waiter service, without obtaining any of the variances and permits required by zoning law, have hollowed out the town, draining away its authority and autonomy. Why should anyone else obey zoning laws, if Rowan doesn’t have to? (Full disclosure: I represent a party in a related case, and filed a friend of the court brief in one of these.)

A state judge assigned to these cases, which use a streamlined procedural form called an “Article 78,” designed to be decided in months, has inexplicably failed to decide them in five years. These lawsuits may be hollowing out the court system as well.

There are two kinds of people in the world, those who think they are a higher life form than everyone else, and those who don’t. I connect Rowan’s apparent belief that the zoning rules don’t apply to him to the possession of what we used to call in Brooklyn “crazy money.” Rowan can afford three law firms, large and small, fielding two ex-judges, to churn out all this litigation to protect his restaurant hobby. Complying with local zoning laws would probably have been much less expensive, but hey.

Thirteen years ago, I conceived a crush on Occupy Wall Street, and would visit Zuccotti Park regularly, standing on the corner of Liberty Street and Broadway with a homemade sign. It said “Billionaires or democracy? Your call.” It still sits on my kitchen counter. One day, a Wall Street trader sauntering past, groaned: “Why can’t we have both?” What I should have answered (the French call this “l’esprit de l’escalier,” the rejoinder you think of only as you are leaving the party): “Ask Mark Rowan.”

For democracy and equality in East Hampton,



Only Fishermen
Gardners, Pa.
March 7, 2024

Dear Editor:

Now that I’ve retired to Pennsylvania I’ve begun to travel a bit. I usually travel on the interstate or a four-lane U.S. highway through mountains and valleys and tunnels bored through ridges. For the most part it’s a pleasant and entertaining drive. And sometimes I see impressive things.

One of the things I’ve seen scattered across the landscape is wind farms, and I have to admit they’re impressive. They’re truly huge. As they stand row on row and regally rotate slowly they appear to dominate both the Earth they stand on and the sky they penetrate. What have we wrought? I’m not trying to wax poetic but — wow.

However, when I’ve driven by I’ve never seen them all working at the same time. I would estimate no more than 50 percent are turning. It’s safe to say if they don’t turn they’re not making electricity — green electricity. Perhaps they’re broken down or need repairs. But what company can afford to have so much of its inventory not producing its only product? I’m not writing you to complain about Pennsylvania’s power grid, but to remind you there’s a wind farm not far offshore that likely won’t do any better than those here.

I’m sure you know that the local farm is going to pass any extra costs to the consumer, so it’s going to cost you more. You may not know that many of the coastal states won’t allow the giant farms planned for the shores along their coasts to do the same. As a matter of fact, some wind farm developers have withdrawn completely. Screw the Earth, show me the money.

You might ask what does it matter to me? The answer is, a lot. I’ve lived and worked as a commercial fisherman in East Hampton my whole life and somehow I can’t put that aside, and wind farms are one of the reasons causing so much harm to the fishermen. Though we’ve complained bitterly to those who were supposed to hear us I’ve watched as the fisheries have all but disappeared. I’ve seen my neighbors condescend and say it’s a sacrifice the fishermen must make all the while they’re swimming in their heated pool. Politicians do the same while parroting the company propaganda. Scientists and experts tell us it’s the only way to save the ocean for everyone and we’ll thank them later as they’re building energy-gobbling aquaculture. And worst of all our town board, those who have the most reason to listen, put in jeopardy the only indigenous industry East Hampton has left, and have completely ignored us.

They’re not ignorant, stupid, or malicious, just lazy, cowardly, and unwilling to protect the town against money and power. The good example of abuse is the board’s attempt to cram a senior citizen complex down your throat. So please think of the fishermen and help us, too. We’re the only fishermen you’ve got.



A Marvelous Woman
East Hampton
March 10, 2024

To the Editor,

The Star is doing a major service to the town with its obituary page letting its readers know who has left us.

I was recently struck by the obituary of Joan Dickson. She and I had become acquainted as we both tended to park on the west end of the parking lot at Amagansett’s Indian Wells Beach, where I often drove to enjoy a Happy Jack (add honey and cinnamon) I brought from Jack’s on Main Street. I think I noticed Joan first through her amusingly banged-up car. We became nodding acquaintances there, then introductions followed, and we discovered some connections. We both had traveled extensively over our extraordinary planet and we shared stories of many far-flung places. She commented one day on some verse I had written in memory of the late Bob Kalfin, which was published in The Star in a letter from me. I gave her a book of many more of them that I had assembled and self-published. She expressed genuine pleasure in them, which rather helps cement a new friendship. I did meet at least one of her sons but beyond that do not know her family.

I rarely saw her in the summer as she belonged to the beach club there, of which she spoke fondly. This past fall and into winter I rarely saw her, and her chronology being quite clear I was concerned. The Star obit confirmed my worry. She was a marvelous woman and my sympathy to the entire extended family. Indian Wells and Amagansett have lost a bit of their life and color and humor. I loved the way her neglect of her car made it just a way to get around, get to the beach, and not a precious possession as so many make them nowadays.

Joan, you are missed.



Enough, Man
North Haven
March 11, 2024

To the Editor,

Ken Dorph must be plotting his return. He writes (The East Hampton Star, Letters to the Editor, Feb. 22) to complain that he has been slandered and at the very least misunderstood. But rather than just licking his wounds, he ought to remind the readers of this paper that it was he who purged himself over the assembled congregants at Temple Adas Israel at an event held there to reflect on the horrors of the Hamas slaughter of October 7. While many of the attendees remained in shock over the worst and most violent acts of antisemitism and genocide since the Holocaust, Dorph had no difficulty being abusive and insolent during the event and made essentially what were unwanted political remarks. He was treated much too kindly by those in attendance; he should have been removed.

Nevertheless, he persists in promoting himself as pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian — an expert on the geopolitics of the Middle East. I understand that he has worked and lived in the past in the Middle East; that might be a useful background in producing a Baedeker. But on the serious political and historic issues that have embroiled this area of the world, I doubt that what he has to say warrants any special attention and apparently The Star feels similarly since it did not take up his generous offer to hear and presumably write about his “thoughts on the unfolding tragedy in the Middle East.” And worse, did not give him the dignity of a response. It might be worth pointing out that when I did a Google search to discover Mr. Dorph’s serious written work on this subject, I came up empty.

So, in conclusion, all I can say is, enough, man. You had your one day in the sun with your picture in The New York Times and a made-up story about how you lost the job of a lifetime — Sag Harbor’s Santa Claus. And by the way, presenting yourself as a friend of Israel is simply a canard. It’s time for you to fade away.



Dripping With Sarcasm
March 10, 2024

To the Editor,

When Christopher Gangemi wrote this past week about Bay View Avenue, I first wished to send my gratitude for the story. I was quoted about the brand-new home that is not built yet, and will already immediately be in imminent peril and thus needs a rock revetment. Instead of “observed” I wish it said “dripping with sarcasm.” This application is ludicrous. All prohibited actions, whether the existing cubes or rocks in an area [in which] the town already discourages development. We have endured this for far too long to continually see the town hire individuals who work for these homeowners. After the town sent letters in 2019 to remove this structure from the roadway “immediately,” the next stated “30 days or face legal action,” on July 7, 2020.

In a fair and just society we would have seen action. Here we see appeasement and more meetings. At this last meeting it was alluded to that the cubes will not move until this owner gets his way. This road leads to two town-owned parcels, one of which is a nature preserve, and the third is a town-owned community preservation fund lot to the west of this property before you get into Napeague State Park. This has always been a stand not just for the rights of the people of this road but the rights of everyone who resides and visits this town. The way this situation has unfolded over the years, it is disheartening to see the town continue to conduct itself in this manner.

Still here,



Out-and-Out Communists
March 11, 2024

To the Editor,

Who knew that the place to go to find out who is a real Republican and who is not would be the editorial and letters pages of The Star? A Star editorial and several letters have recently deigned to grace us with such unsolicited analysis and advice. How kind of them. On the other hand, the daunting task they’ve undertaken is no doubt easier than trying to defend the Democratic Party crop of crooks, creeps, and criminals currently wreaking havoc on our beleaguered nation on behalf of the Biden crime family.

The Democratic Party is now in the clutches of a far-left, anti-American, anticapitalist cabal, starting with our befuddled, incoherent, corrupt wreck of a president. It embraces rabidly antisemitic, anti-American radicals like the Jihad Squad (Omar, Tlaib, A.O.C., Pressley, et al), out and out Communists like Ruskin and Bowman and swarms of liars and nincompoops like Schiff and Maxine Waters. F.B.I. SWAT teams roam the country, perpetrating midnight raids on the homes and families of those who speak out at school board meetings to protest drag shows for third graders, or dare to wave pro-life signs in front of abortion mills. Former high ranking Trump officials like 70-year-old Peter Navarro are placed in leg shackles and sentenced to preposterously long sentences while Soros-funded attorneys general and district attorneys release (without bail) murderers, rapists, looters, child molesters, and the like.

The invasion of our borders by millions of illegals continues apace, and the resulting chaos and costs inflicted on American communities are ignored, shrugged off, or condoned by our liberal/left countrymen. We have to cut them a little slack, though, because our craven media eagerly hides all the mayhem. By now the blinders should be off even the most fervid Democratic supporters and apparatchiks.

Real democracies can be quite messy and even chaotic, but Republicans will sort themselves out through the open and vigorous debate we are now witnessing. It would be healthy if some sincere Democrats would engage each other in such debates, rather than indulge themselves in their current practice of marching in lockstep with an administration that is taking us down the dangerous, fascist path they are currently pursuing.




MAGA Propaganda
East Hampton
March 11, 2024

Dear David:

Nick LaLota thinks his constituents are stupid.

For years, Republican lawmakers have blamed their Democratic counterparts for the so-called border crisis, demanding that Democrats do something to alleviate the influx of immigrants. In each of the recent election cycles, Republicans have used immigration as a political weapon against Democratic candidates. In his campaign, Mr. LaLota joined this bandwagon.

Then, earlier this year, in what can only be described as lawmakers doing their job, a bipartisan group of senators hammered out what was uniformly hailed as a very conservative border-reform bill. Indeed, both sides agreed that almost every demand by G.O.P. negotiators was satisfactorily addressed. But in just days, and before they even had a chance to read the bill (the language of the bill had not been released), House Republicans, led by Speaker Johnson, announced unyielding opposition to the bill.

What happened? Trump happened. Mr. Trump relentlessly pressured House Republicans to kill the border bill. Why? Not because it was a bad bill — rather, because passing a border-reform bill during the Biden administration would allow the president to take credit for achieving the most comprehensive reform legislation in decades. Mr. Trump assailed that possibility and demanded the bill be killed because it would be a gift to Democrats and hurt him politically in November.

In response, Mr. LaLota readily announced his opposition to the bill before reading it, proving yet again that he is all too willing to put the interests of Mr. Trump and the MAGA agenda ahead of the interests of the country and his constituents. In calling Mr. Trump’s relentless opposition “inconsequential,” Mr. LaLota is gaslighting us, plain and simple.

Now that he has yet again turned his back on the needs of his country for political gain, we voters should turn our backs on him this November.

Now, for Mr. Cornelia’s diatribe in response to my letter. It is a fool’s errand to be sucked into a tit-for-tat response to a propagandist who has no respect for the truth. Rather, let’s take a more expansive look at what MAGA propaganda has wrought. The more MAGA adherents get sucked into the toilet bowl swirl of MAGA propaganda, the more they feel empowered not to respond to legitimate criticism substantively. Instead, they are sucked deeper into a world in which criticism is met not with substance but personal attacks and cruelty. Indeed, as embodied by everything Mr. Trump stands for, cruelty is the modus operandi of the MAGA propagandists as they strive to destroy the American democracy.

One can only hope that voters become increasingly savvy to the substantive bankruptcy of Mr. Trump and his gaggle of sycophants and look elsewhere for leadership this November.




Tourist Bureau
March 8, 2024

Dear David,

Here’s a simple solution to a complex problem: Make Mexico our 51st State. And “Remain in Mexico” would then mean “Remain in the U.S.A.” No need for passports, no need for border patrol, no need for sanctuary cities and no need for a wall. I will gleefully head up the Acapulco Tourist Bureau. (Sofia Vergara is Mexican. Si?)

Thanks, David.


Sofia Vergara is Colombian-American. Ed.


Nature Will Retaliate
East Hampton
March 11, 2024

To the Editor,

Twenty-thousand years ago things here on Earth were pure as the interior of a national park. As of yet there were no countries, politics, or religion. Imagine the Earth with lots of life-giving water on her surface, circling and spinning around a warming sun, with its fragile life-giving atmosphere, thin as the skin of an apple at such a scale, created by gravity and a churning hot molten core, an ecosystem bar none.

Back then the human population was about one million, and we were just getting started. We were part of the animal kingdom, living in caves, climbing trees, running through grasslands, foraging for food, and living in harmony with nature.

We have learned much since then, gradually at first, then exponentially. Knowledge was passed down through generations, improving as time went on — how to put a point on a stick, how to shape an arrowhead. Clothing and fire were other major advancements, and although many animals communicate to some degree, we began to articulate more precisely. We lived in families and learned how to cooperate. We befriended some nearby tribes and were enemies with others. We drew pictures on cave walls (art was born!) and as we sat by the fire on a clear, dark night, pointing at the stars, we began to wonder. Perhaps this was the first inkling of religion.

Ten thousand years ago we begin to farm and domesticate animals. Writing soon followed and with it a more precise means of learning, preserving accurate details for successive generations. (Math and science were born!) This is when we began to differentiate ourselves from animals.

Five thousand years ago the first few countries were established, the Bronze Age began. Human population was now at 50 million, still in balance with nature.

By year one, our population reached 200 million. Apparently our new lifestyle was working well. The pyramids had been established, different religions began cropping up all over the world. Christianity was just getting started. Most humans no longer saw themselves as animals. Technology made us all powerful. We selfishly began to think God created the Earth for us to do with as we please. We also began to govern ourselves, some countries governed by majority rule, others governed by dictatorship. Tax laws were set up, courts were established, rules were put in place. In most cases murdering someone would come with a hefty penalty. But killing slaves or animals was not considered murder; they were commodities put here by God for us to capitalize on. Perhaps this is where we lost our respect for nature. We became a selfish apex predator, and about this time began to fall out of balance with the ecosystem.

Now let’s move to present day, or thereabouts.

The 1700s was the start of the Industrial Revolution. Machines were invented, speeding up the process by which we made things. By the 1800s we reached our first billion people. Soon after that electricity was discovered. The gas-powered automobile was invented, train tracks crisscrossed the globe, paved roads began popping up everywhere, fences were being erected, and our planet was being carved up into smaller and smaller chunks. Everything we did we did for ourselves, never considering the consequences. We hunted animals to extinction and sent huge ships to sea with enormous nets that depleted fish population. We dammed up rivers so salmon could no longer get to their breeding grounds, then sent our raw sewage and toxic waste into them because that was the cheapest solution. On and on it goes, our blatant disrespect for nature and greed for money. Never considering the next generations. Perhaps that’s what will get us in the end.

The last 150 years have been absolutely devastating to this planet. From the 1850s to the present day, our population exploded from one billion to eight billion people, and we all just keep wanting more and more and more and more! If we don’t put a stop to this madness, Mother Nature will retaliate, perhaps by plagues and sickness, perhaps by nuclear war, perhaps by global warming, perhaps by starvation, perhaps by pollution. But most of all by our own greed and stupidity. Something’s gotta give! So please, people, come to your senses and stop having so many babies. If only our government would help by setting laws requiring people to be financially responsible for their own children — as the saying goes, “You’ve made your bed, now lie in it.” A one-child-per-couple rule would be very helpful in reducing our population until we get the ecosystem back in balance.

John Lennon once wrote a beautiful song called “Imagine.” If only there were a way we could implement his thoughts.


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