Skip to main content

Letters to the Editor for March 7, 2024

Wed, 03/06/2024 - 18:17

Slash Utility Bills
February 28, 2024

Dear David,

Our utility bills are too damn high. One in four (25 percent) of Suffolk County residents suffer under a high energy burden, forking over more than 6 percent of their annual income on electricity, methane gas, and other fossil fuels. That’s according to a new report by the data-crunching think tank Win Climate.

That’s why we need to swiftly pass the New York Home Energy Affordable Transition Act, A4592a/S2016a. If N.Y. HEAT were law, Suffolk County ratepayers with high energy burdens could see their bills slashed in half, saving an average of $156 per month out of an average monthly energy bill of $398. That’s a nice chunk of change.

As our state leaders prepare to finalize the budget next month, we need to ask Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to prioritize the passage of the N.Y. HEAT Act. It’s time our leaders prioritize healthier and more affordable clean energy instead of polluting, expensive fossil energy.




Black and White
March 1, 2024

“Pictures From a Vanished World” — serendipitously, the captivating and nostalgic pictures at Clinton Academy capturing East Hampton’s fishing history — are in black and white, representing Billy Joel’s and Peter Matthiessen’s steadfast belief that net fishing is all good, and that local men who harvested striped bass by divine right, were all good too: They were stronger, hardier, and more resourceful than men now — stoic and religious family men, all of which I’m inclined to agree with. They worked hard all winter in brutal conditions to put food on the table — better men than me for sure, but I’m not entirely sure Matthiessen gave a completely unbiased account of the times. There was no domestic violence back then? If there was, it was certainly omitted from the book.

And as for the nets. Well, let us not forget, undiscriminating nets wiped out an entire cod fishery that helped build America. (Salted cod made fur trade possible and sustained settlers. To this day, the cod population has never recovered as a sustainable fishery. Reference: the book “Cod.”) Yes, local licensed generational fishermen should be able to take striped bass off the beach in nets to subsidize their income. At least their hauls would not be wasted. On commercial draggers, up to 70 percent of the catch is discarded dead by law.

The photos are black and white, but the subject isn’t.



Served the Town
East Hampton
March 4, 2024

Dear David,

Project Most’s plan is to put up a new building on land that’s been the Neighborhood House for over 100 years — where pre-K classes and a summer camp were offered to children in the community.

The Neighborhood House was the center for a ladies’ sewing group years ago, and a Women’s Association, and before that, it served as a hospital where my grandfather removed children’s tonsils — just prior to the creation of Southampton Hospital. More recently, there were bingo nights.

In other words, it was a community center for good works, education, and fun, that served the town.

Children have been learning and playing on this property for a very long time.

The need is there, and Project Most plans to continue that service. I for one can’t wait to see it on completion and in action.

Thanks for your policy to print all letters. While I am writing, I’d like to add what a great show of offshore fishing photographs we finally saw at Clinton Academy this morning, with the added benefit of having Doug Kuntz there to add notes and memories. Big treat.



Focused Disagreement
East Hampton
March 4, 2024

To the Editor:

We are the residents of Neighborhood House Drive, an enclave of homes directly behind the freestanding Neighborhood House at 92 Three Mile Harbor Road. This letter is submitted to bring attention to Project Most’s proposal for an after-school child care/camp/community center, on the existing 2.4-acre Neighborhood House property.

We are a group of families who represent diversified ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Our original resident families have lived here in Freetown for nearly 100 years. Our newer neighbors built or purchased newer homes since 2000-01, and are still building or expanding on our road. We are teachers, doctors, lawyers, husbands and wives with children and grandchildren, who aspire to live harmoniously with all our neighbors and friends. There should be no question that our intent for writing this letter has anything to do with a disagreement about providing care and protection for all our children — that is, families who would benefit from an after-school, day care, or summer camp are entitled to decide what is best for their families. Our children are our future, and it is made clear here that we do not harbor any disagreement with providing the care families need.

Our focused disagreement with Project Most’s submissions to the East Hampton Planning Board, however, have not been made clear to the community. This letter will present to readers how Project Most’s submissions to the board itself and to residents of the Freetown area have not been presented with full disclosure to the satisfaction of both the board and us.

Moreover, the circuitous and disingenuous use of the phrase “a service to the community” is seen as being used as an emotional plea by Project Most to, in effect, mask or otherwise overlook their efforts to construct an oversized, environmentally hazardous area, rife with precarious statistics that do not accurately portray their building intentions. To allow for ease in clarifying specific details, a bullet-point list is used to emphasize our concerns that should be made public knowledge for our neighbors as well.

A proposed two-story, 12,000-plus-square-foot facility is not sustainable on a 2.4-acre parcel. Incomplete diagnostics of traffic issues on Three Mile Harbor, i.e., no compliance with state law and other traffic-safety issues such as yellow-flashing lights and school bus queues. Buffer zones, signage, crosswalks are not presented to the town planning board. Traffic presently travels at 50 miles per hour on Three Mile Harbor Road. Planning board members did not accept repeated invitations to visit the planned site with homeowners. Mr. Cortese was gracious about accepting our invitation. The invitation has always remained open.

Wastewater study not submitted to town board. The landscaper, Marders, is offering an elaborate scenic design that requires protection against wastewater and fertilizer runoff problems that will exacerbate the already problematic flooding issues in front of Neighborhood House. Some residents use well water, and there is a threat of contamination. The number of students is not clearly accounted for, i.e., day-care, after-school, camp, and social events, as well as other future activities in Project Most’s future 10-year expansion plan.

Noise: Neighborhood House Drive families should not have to accept permanent, environmentally unsafe, elevated levels of noise. The nearest home is located 20 feet from the back fence of the site property. Project Most refuses to address this issue as they feel it is unnecessary, and their view is corroborated by the planning board member Michael Hansen. His comment is not only inappropriate, but it should also alert the community that issues presented to the board may not be fairly judged.

Project Most now resides at Most Holy Trinity Church at 44 Meadow Way in East Hampton. Also, the Child Development Center of the Hamptons, owned by the Town of East Hampton at 110 Stephen Hand’s Path, is a sprawling 10-acre parcel with an existing building that can comfortably accommodate all of Project Most’s plans that extend 10 years into the future. Both locations are easily accessible. These are alternative sites that have not been seriously considered.










Alternate Facts
March 3, 2024

To the Editor:

Most weeks, to study my topic, democracy in our town, I need only look at the letters column (all my gratitude again for the work that goes into it). Of course, reading the rest of the paper is always highly instructive too. This week, the letters column was especially full of — what to call them? Clues.

“Tainted. Your sister. The truth! Your ‘opinion’.” “(S)ecret meetings.” “Coup.” “[G]oose-stepping gas-bags. Thuggery. Antifa infiltrators.”

The third selection is from the unique and inimitable Reg Cornelia, who I nostalgically remember calling me a Stalinist some years ago in this letters column. (Reg is not boring.) But the first two selections are from — wait for it — Mayor Larsen and Mary Ellen McGuire of what’s left of the village ambulance. Larsen’s letter invites numerous rereadings for all the little tells (Rewrite The Star’s editorial! Invoke the truth! Insist all is fine when everyone knows it isn’t!), but by far the most astonishing element is the mention of the editor’s sister. Seriously, Mr. Larsen?

Like a faithful bureaucrat and party member, McGuire’s backing up Larsen’s outlandish narrative is sad. A coup, really? But the worst part of all this — and the two things all three letter writers share:

1. They are punching downward. Yes, the adversary in Reg’s case is the Capitol police, but the rest of us watched them being overrun and beaten on Jan. 6 on live television. Reg, like shingles in the commercial, doesn’t care.

Larsen and McGuire, however, are beating on private citizens of their own town, who gave decades of volunteer service and never expected to get on the wrong side of the mayor. That is even more shameful than Reg Cornelia’s demonizing and marginalizing the police. Reg is a private citizen, but Larsen wields actual political power, some of which he (putatively) delegates to McGuire. Their accusing the discouraged E.M.T.s of a “coup” of manipulation and chaos, like Reg accusing the police of starting a fight, are both nice examples of what I call the “they had it coming” defense. (“Don’t mess with me. You know how I get.”)

2. They are yelling out a dishonest alternative narrative at the top of their lungs, using a brutalist vocabulary, over and over. It works to silence those who know what really happened but are afraid of them. Eventually, as memory fades and new generations succeed the old, they will have captured the narrative.

What is really extraordinary about this is that, for my entire life, there were only alternative interpretations of the facts, not alternate facts. We were winning in Vietnam/We were losing in Vietnam. Nobody was saying that there was no such country, or that the N.L.F. was a false-flag operation. Nobody. Today that’s no longer true — and that is where we are going to lose democracy if the kids don’t do a better job.

There is a price to pay even for the shouting liars as they declare victory: There are some things you can’t spin. For example, a hurricane (it spins you). Sea level rise. And an ambulance. I was an E.M.T. in the New York City 911 service for four years after 9/11. If you forget to check your oxygen tanks and discover they are empty just as you begin treating a stroke victim, you can’t deliver bombast into the patient’s lungs instead. Doesn’t work. If McGuire can’t tell a hawk from a handsaw, she really should not be in command of an ambulance service. (I don’t want them coming to my house, anymore.)

Oh, and one more thing: No professional ambulance ever has a driver who’s not an E.M.T. You need two to treat a patient. One stops blood loss while the other gives oxygen. Or, one “bags” the patient while the other does chest compressions. We always knew that the volunteer services might have a non-E.M.T. driving because they couldn’t get enough certified people. It is both amusing and infuriating that Larsen is trying to spin this as an advantage.

It is possible that Reg believes himself (not certain though). Larsen and McGuire? No way.

For democracy in the Hamptons,



Yes, We Had Words
March 3, 2024

To the Editor:

Twenty-five-year, 66-year-old resident of Montauk. I pay my taxes. Those taxes pay our police department.

Never have I encountered such an experience in my 50 years of driving. This is when I had the privilege of meeting “Officer of the Year,” Badge 249, a.k.a. Officer Putin.

Thursday, Feb. 22, 10:30 a.m., I’m heading south on Flamingo from the Playhouse, just obtained my fourth residential parking permit for an additional vehicle. Then, traveling south on Edgemere, I’ve reached the traffic circle. Every street parking space from Chase Bank heading west past John’s Pancake House is filled, except the handicapped.

Absolutely zero cars parked on the south side heading east. Absolutely zero eastbound traffic. Go figure. I did! My mistake. I’m about to meet Officer Putin.

I had pulled into an eastbound parking slot, ran into M and R Deli for my prepared breakfast, 90 seconds maybe.

As I’m pulling away, an East Hampton police S.U.V. pulls toward me, no cherries flashing, no lamps flickering. The advancing officer was pointing to the eastbound parking spots, once, twice, third finger-point. I figured he wanted my parking space. Wrong! The officer then jumped out of his vehicle and says in a rather offensive tone, “Back it up and turn it off.” This was my first meet-and-greet with Putin.

Now reinforcement arrives — Putin’s enforcer approaches me (Badge 230, I think). I’m sitting in my vehicle. Dark-blue shades cover his eyes. It was this domineering and provoking officer who last year followed me for miles, from Brent’s Deli in Amagansett to Industrial Road and Flamingo in Montauk (next to Surf Lodge). Subjective officer 230 pulls me over, lights flashing. Why? I’m told I was endangering traffic. Have you ever driven by the Surf Lodge in season? It is not an easy endeavor. Try making a left there to head home!

Now this same official progeny stands glaring, tauntingly, not 10 feet away from me — I was fearful, shocked — standing there establishing absolute jurisdiction of his turf. Yes, I’m excitable. Yes, we had words: We discussed his condescending, smug mannerisms.

Regarding these young police officers, they seem to be indulged with power. In my 25 years in Montauk, I’ve never seen our police force as overbearing, dictatorial, and contemptible as these two officers. All this for an egg sandwich on an off-season Thursday morning in February.

Have I lost respect for the East Hampton Town police? Not at all, just these two.



Bat Endangered
East Hampton
March 4, 2024

Dear Reader:

The East Hampton Town Board submitted two Environmental Assessment forms to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the first submitted on Nov. 17, 2023, and the second on Jan. 4, 2024. Some changes were made from the first entry to the second — changed “Project Contact,” wrote in various anticipated dates, added “ZBA inclusion,” dropped “federal inclusion” — an interesting set of changes that will be spelled out anon.

But there is one specific set of entries which is the same in both submissions: On page 12 of 13, the form reads “Identify the predominant wildlife species that occupy or use the project site,” and East Hampton Town responded “Northern Long-Eared Bats.” The next line in the form reads “Does the project site contain a designated significant natural community?” and East Hampton checked off “no.” (Bear in mind that the federal rating of the northern long-eared bat, a significant natural community, was initially moved from “threatened to “endangered” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in November 2022, two months before the second environmental assessment form was submitted.)

The next line on the form asks specifically if the project contains any species listed by the federal government or the state as endangered or threatened; our board responded “northern long-eared bat, endangered,” followed by the sentence “United States Fish & Wildlife has approved tree clearing activities within the window of December 1st — February 28th.”

OMG! The town says it’s going to clear-cut the habitat of an endangered species!

Again, OMG! That tree-clearing “approval” was the “Letter of Concurrence” given to the town board’s LKMA engineering company on July 27, 2023, by the Long Island branch of the Fish and Wildlife Service, based on the “Plants & Animals” page of East Hampton Town’s Architectural Site Plan for the project. That page offers this statement: “LKMA walked the site with a town Environmental Analyst in June, 2022.”

I realize that the foregoing is a dense forest of facts for a reader to parse. Basically, the takeaway is that the town’s leaders knew that the bat was endangered, and danced around the required protection of critical habitat in order to clear-cut over five acres of trees, thereby exposing themselves and their constituents to heavy federal and state repercussions.

They don’t have to love the bat. They just have to love the law.




Interests of Seniors
East Hampton
March 3, 2024

Dear Editor,

When the pejorative makes its way into a Star news article, you know the reporter has come under some political pressure. Apparently the public just won’t stop questioning Kathee Burke-Gonzalez’s 10-year love affair with her version of a senior center.

So it was when Christopher Walsh described Jeff Bragman as a “persistent critic of the town board’s senior center plan.”

Mr. Bragman isn’t a persistent critic, he is an attorney with over 40 years? experience in town planning, having held numerous appointed and elected positions over decades. He has consistently championed the role of planning in this community through legislation, litigation, and advice. He was endorsed for supervisor by this newspaper. He has always tried to take the high road in Democratic Party politics, often warning the public of the dangers of ill-conceived and self-interested policies before they turned into outright fiascos.

On the other hand, Supervisor Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, like her predecessor, had no background worth mentioning in this community before she was plucked from obscurity to help run the show. And it is a show.

For 10 years I have been amazed at how badly one can screw up a project and advance politically within the Democratic Party. Was there no one to put Kathee on the right track?

The embarrassment to this community has been immense.

As one letter writer put it, he tried for years to get on the senior housing list in East Hampton without success, and has now given up and is leaving town. I tried to get senior housing for a neighbor some six years ago. Recently I received a letter telling me that she could now be put on the waiting list! Sorry — she doesn’t live here anymore.

East Hampton doesn’t take care of its seniors. This isn’t because those involved in senior services don’t try, it is because the voters of this community allow Boss Tweed to create a pattern of behavior in Town Hall that puts the interests of seniors last and hands out contracts first.

While there is much being made of lot coverage, stainless steel shingles, and marathon distance parking in the proposed senior center, very little has been said about the actual senior services.

If this jurisdictional battle between town board and planning board ends up as a war of attorneys, what happens to the neglected seniors?

What are the services the new senior center will provide? Do they match our needs? If the planning board insists on answers, it will have done more than I dare say the supervisor has.

Years ago, when lobbying for an emergency room in East Hampton, I asked the head of emergency room services at Southampton Hospital what level of use would keep an emergency room in East Hampton viable. He said 18,000 visits a year. That amounts to over 50 visits a day. A local emergency room would undoubtedly save the lives of stroke victims and many other people. Will it fail for lack of patients?

What demographic group makes use of an emergency room frequently? Seniors. And what happens if they leave town?

East Hampton would be lucky to have had a supervisor like Jeff Bragman, just as it was lucky to have senior-committee members like the late Howard (Doc) Lebwith, who for years engaged in completely unselfish public service here, devoid of self-interest. Not a critic, Mr. Walsh — a mensch.

In order to build a senior center that truly serves the needs of this community we need to stop thinking Town Hall has all the answers. The planning board needs to evaluate need for services against plans for construction.

Don’t let the politicians screw this up for another 10 years.




Move to Higher Ground
February 24, 2024

Dear Dave,

I threw away my harsh letter regarding the stupidity of humanity for a toned-down version:

The Native Americans for thousands of years had enough sense to move away from the Atlantic Ocean in winter. Ben Franklin wrote about severe erosion from Maine to Maryland. Does anyone — Mr. Lys, Mr. Flight, or anyone — know what the coastline looked like 100, 200, 1,000 years ago?

If you went to the doctor and he said, “Your heart is done, you have a massive brain tumor and a bullet wound in your chest; I’m giving you aspirin to help,” you would sue for malpractice. Pouring sand on the beach is basically the same thing. Scientists estimate seven cubic miles of water is released from the North and South Poles every year. These same scientists drilled down to take soil samples and found palm and coconut material. Vast deserts in this country were once oceans.

The people of Montauk need to face reality and stop asking politicians to buy them sand. Sell your home to an unsuspecting summer person from New Jersey and take that money and move — not from Montauk, just to higher ground.

New York State owns hundreds of acres at an elevation of up to 100 feet above sea level. That land is what the politicians and community should be focused on asking Governor Hochul and Senator Schumer for.

We are all rolling our collective eyes at y’all for the painfully obvious reasons. Trailer Park? Hello there, trailers.



March 3, 2024

To the Editor:

The thing about remediation is doing all things you are told to do will be “required.” Not “negotiable.” Fix the issues you created before making new issues.

Still Here.



March 4, 2024

Dear David,

It appears we cannot decide on the appropriate boundaries for the upcoming congressional races. I would like to make a simple suggestion. The First Congressional District, instead of encompassing the two Forks and then making a sharp right north through Calverton and then west to Huntington, is absurd, while cutting out the South Shore communities from Eastport and west to create the Second C.D.

Why not have the First C.D. start with the two forks and use the Patchogue-Stony Brook line, or thereabouts, as its western boundary? The Second C.D. could then consist of the territory between that boundary and west to the Amityville-Huntington line or thereabouts. The Third C.D. would then consist of Nassau County to the Queens line. These are approximate boundaries, given the population numbers contained therein.

I think the public would agree with me that we’re fed up with gerrymandering by anyone. Personally, I do not care what the numbers are for political registrations or relative party strength. Congressional races should be won by the competition of personalities and policies, not gerrymandered hopscotch. Keep it simple and let the races begin. With a miracle, it will be me who faces Nick LaLota at the starting line.

With best wishes,



Too Much Power
March 4, 2024

Dear David,

I personally don’t understand why does New York City have New York City Council? This group seems to have too much power. We have a mayor, a few deputy mayors. We also have a governor, plus people under this title.

Why is the city council permitted to override the mayor, so why do we need a mayor? De Blasio and his cohort Melissa put all this in place, destroying New York.

Everybody is in charge, correct? Power is number one.

In God and country,



Democratic Forum
March 4, 2024

Dear David,

In a recent interview with The Star, Congressman Nick LaLota, who voted twice to impeach Secretary of Homeland Security Mayorkas and supports the impeachment inquiry into President Biden, made the dubious claim that he holds lawmakers from both political parties equally accountable. He based this claim on his vote to expel the notorious second-rate charlatan George Santos from Congress, but LaLota’s political posturing rests on the shakiest of ground. LaLota isn’t fooling anyone, not when he raced to the front of the line of MAGA Republicans to publicly and enthusiastically endorse the unequivocal king of all charlatans, con men, and grifters, aspiring dictator and indicted criminal, Donald J. Trump, to be the 47th president of the United States.

We have the opportunity to make LaLota a one-term congressman this November and help flip the House back to blue in the process. The East Hampton Democratic Committee invites folks to join us for a Democratic congressional candidate forum at LTV Studios on Monday, March 11, at 7 p.m. with John Avlon and Nancy Goroff. Audience members will have an opportunity to submit questions. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required at, search for “Suffolk Democratic Committee.”



East Hampton Town Democratic Committee


Shame on SCOTUS
North Haven
March 4, 2024

Dear David:

Do American voters understand the terrible risk the Supreme Court and others are creating? Courts are rapidly drifting from their honest judicial purpose to right-wing political agendas. Democracy, as written, is in such great peril that the “originalist” justices like Antonin Scalia would roll over in their graves.

The United States Constitution’s Sixth Amendment is one of the original 10 Bill of Rights and guarantees that: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial. . . .”

It’s understood this protects defendants from extended incarceration, if the defendant is found to be not guilty. A speedy trial is also in the public interest, to avoid unnecessary delay prosecuting a defendant who may be found guilty, and deserving appropriate sanctions. Avoiding unnecessary delay seems especially important for the public interest when the defendant has his physical freedom, without bail or incarceration.

Many courts often tolerate defense attorneys claiming excessive and specious technical challenges, to the point of absurdity. Misguided efforts to be extremely fair usually result in just trial delays that weaken the case, with memories and witnesses ‘disappearing’.

Public order, safety, and well-being is the looser in many of these unwarranted delays. Justice delayed is justice denied, and all parties suffer damage.

Experienced defense lawyers, especially mafia types and other wise-guys, like Roy Cohn, taught the failed president that staying out of court is the best defense for the guilty.

We know that many of our courts have been stuffed with Trump judges. The Supreme Court was stuffed with a majority of radical right-wing justices by Trump accomplices, with the help of the now-disgraced Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Supreme Court has just played into Trump’s dangerous game plan by avoiding a speedy trial for his criminal deeds on January 6.

Trump’s deliberate attempts to illegally overturn the presidential election results must be tried in court in a timely manner to allow the voting public a fair and honest opportunity to know the truth about this man. His plan to be re-elected as president creates a grave situation requiring his trial be decided before November.

Today, SCOTUS decided Trump must remain on the Colorado primary ballot. No surprise here. They think he is a viable candidate for the presidency!

Voters have a fundamental right to know the honest and fair truth about any candidate running for office, and this is being deliberately denied.

We already know the Supreme Court is biased in favor of those people who put them there, by questionable means.

The lower court already carefully considered the absurd presidential absolute immunity claim, and found with strong evidence and a careful opinion that absolute immunity against all criminal activity by a president in office is clearly not available to a sitting president.

The absence of a need for the Supreme Court’s opinion on this matter is obvious, but they decided, after stalling several weeks, to hear the issue anyway. These justices of questionable ethics then deliberately scheduled this case two months out during this federal election year. This deliberate slow-walking of the legal process is biased and deliberate and makes it possible that the case will not be settled before the November Election Day.

Obviously this denies our fellow citizens a fair and honest opportunity to know if this ex-president and current candidate committed crimes while in office. This critical information is being denied for obvious political purpose.

If convicted, Trump could then challenge that verdict with his specious absolute immunity claim.

This better sequence for a SCOTUS review would benefit the voters on Election Day, and still leave open the opportunity for further review by the Supreme Court afterwards.

A trial in this country should be based on facts. To deny a speedy trial is to encourage media nonsense to prevail in place of an honest trial.

Shame again on SCOTUS.



Fake News
March 3, 2024

Dear Editor;

Once again Reggie Cornelia, in his letter last week, tried to convince us that the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection was peaceful and the trouble was everyone’s fault but the protesters’. Mr. Cornelia claims to have evidence, just as Donald Trump and his cohorts claimed, that the 2020 election was stolen and they had evidence. Only, when Donald Trump took all the evidence to court it was thrown out.

Mr. Cornelia also insults journalists who covered the protests from beginning to end when at the end Donald Trump told the protesters, “We love you.” Mr. Cornelia claims he has videos, but I would like to know who produced those videos.

Since Trump ran for president in 2016, he has called the press fake news. He has bashed the press and his supporters have done the same.

Hitler wrote and believed that if you repeated the same phrase over and over you could convince the people that it was true. In fact, it was Hitler and his supporters who used the term “lugenpresse” in their propaganda about the press. In English it means “lying press” — fake news.

Sincerely yours,



February 3, 2024

Dear Reg,

Please let Star readers know what it feels like living in the alternate universe of Planet Trump, or is it Planet Pluto. Your weekly Trumpicist rants appear to be becoming more radical woke in advocating the MAGAT (Make America Great Again Twits) agenda.

Anyway, I wish you and your local Trumpicists (not really Republicans) the same success that they have enjoyed in the past 20 years in the local town elections. I think this is due to the fact that most town residents live on Planet Reality.




American Autocracy
East Hampton
February 29, 2024

Dear David:

It’s up to us.

On Feb. 28, while the Supreme Court granted review of Trump’s presidential immunity defense, largely on the terms asked for by Special Counsel Jack Smith, it set oral argument for April 22, 2024. So, it is both doubtful that an opinion will be issued before June 2024, or that a trial would occur before the election. So, our last institutional hope has been dashed — the courts aren’t coming to save us.

Time and again, I’ve found it hard to comprehend that the Republican Party has refused to stand in the way of Donald Trump and his now confessed goal of an authoritarian America. Last weekend, I got my answer — the Republican Party is in sync with autocracy, because it sees a Republican autocracy as achieving the party’s goal of perpetual power, regardless of how it gets there. On the first day of the 2024 Conservative Political Action Committee, the radical Jack Posobiec hailed, to rabid applause, the “end of democracy” and announced MAGA’s goal to overthrow the American democracy as we know it. No one in the Republican Party shouted down his idea. Even East Hampton Republican leaders shamefully have embraced the idea of an American autocracy.

So it should come as no surprise that a Republican Supreme Court majority would duck the chance of standing in autocracy’s way — even though it would mean the court’s demise. Long ago, this court lost its way. It has breached its trust with the American people, and won’t recover from this self-inflicted wound regardless of how it rules on Trump’s claim of immunity.

Those of us on Earth need to realize that, as distasteful as this all seems, it’s okay. America is still a democracy; the Constitution is still the law of the land, and we on Earth are in charge of our destiny. Our remedy lies in defeating Trump and the Republican would-be autocrats at the ballot box. If we succeed, America will be the winner.

If we accept that premise, we can observe and analyze the various court proceedings with the appropriate level of interest and detachment they deserve. While we should be vitally interested in Trump’s criminal proceedings, our real focus should be on the MAGA faction’s continued assault on our rights, because combating this threat will motivate voters and determine the outcome of the election.

So, let’s stop wringing our hands over whether Judge Chutkan can squeeze in a trial between June and November 2024, and get back to the hard work of winning the 2024 elections and defeating the Republican assault on our country.




Completely Taken Aback
East Hampton
March 4, 2024


Reading the last letter of Reg Cornelia’s in The Star, I wasn’t quite sure that it was he who wrote the letter. I’ve known Reg for 25 or 30 years and have rarely been on the same side of any political argument. Economics, education, war, trade, etc. We talked about them all. I saw him as a die-hard Reaganite who refused to accept that R.R. destroyed the middle class and put the country into deep debt through his tax policies.

What was enjoyable about Reg, whom I considered a friend, was that he had facts and ideas that were generated from books and studies that he had read. He had a brain (misguided, I thought), and was a decent guy.

So when he quoted Mike Johnson as a source of information about Jan. 6, I was completely taken aback. Johnson can best be described as a fascist cretin with the intellect and spirit of a rabid ferret. Johnson is the new breed of Christian Nationalist who doesn’t believe in the Constitution and the separation of church and state. Never served the country. Rabidly homophobic and misogynist. A squeaky wastrel who lives at the feet of Donald Trump. (Remember: Trump, who called serving soldiers too dumb to beat the draft.)

Johnson has absolutely no policy agenda beyond saving Trump’s butt. He doesn’t understand foreign policy, budgets, immigration, drug policy, or education. He is a perfectly empty suit. And you, Reg, who was totally idea-and-policy driven, are now licking his boots and reading all this crap on the internet and screaming conspiracy.

It would be great if you could explain how you made the transition from a rational conservative to a card-carrying loonytoon. Do you believe, like Johnson, that the government needs to be torn down and rebuilt in God’s image, or do you believe in the constitutional democracy that we always argued about?

If you read Dexter Filkins’s New Yorker article on Matt Gaetz (the first proponent of the Antifa/Insurrection mantra), it is obvious that the story is fabricated. Seeing isn’t always believing, but it moderates fantasy. Be well.


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

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