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Letters to the Editor for June 13, 2024

Thu, 06/13/2024 - 11:08

America's History
    East Hampton
    June 10, 2024
To the Editor,
    On Wednesday we will be hosting a Juneteenth celebration in Herrick Park in East Hampton Village from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Race, age, and nationality blend this future together. Our goal is to bring this community together as one big family. Different people, different beliefs, with different dreams and hopes and a deep longing to ignite the atmosphere with love, this is what we want to experience on Juneteenth and every day.
    We've become a wonderful mosaic of cultures here in our beautiful East Hampton, and we want ail of us to join together to celebrate and honor our ancestry.
    Black history is America's history, and we want to bring truth, facts and awareness to everyone, especially our youth. Black pride stands on the Juneteenth reflection on freedom.
    Black pride is part of our being that we cannot change. James Brown sang, "I'm Black and I'm proud."
    So am I. 
    Believing in ourselves, embracing Black pride, is not about trying to convince; it' s about trying to educate. Education leads to liberation. We invite everyone in the community to honor African American history and enjoy a family-friendly celebration on Wednesday.

For All
    June 9, 2024
Dear David, 
    Seventy-five years ago, President Harry S. Truman signed a law designating June 14 Flag Day in the United States. As it seems so many people have forgotten, our flag is 13 red and white stripes representing the original 13 colonies, with a blue field with 50 white stars representing the 50 states, in the upper inside quadrant. It is of and for all America. It is meant to be flown, proudly, by all Americans. Our flag is not a blue or black-and-white-striped flag, nor is it an upside-down flag, or a flag with a snake on it; it is not a partisan, Republican, or Trump. It is a flag for all Americans. 
    I propose that since Flag Day is a bit of a short notice, what if we aim for July 4 as a day when we all feel proud and free to fly the flag. It is after all, our flag, our country. 

Honor and Remember
    East Hampton Village
    June 4, 2024
Dear David,
    Thank you for your recent coverage, in text and photos, of the visits by the veterans in the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, with a color guard, to all the cemeteries in the Town of East Hampton on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend.
    The ceremony to honor and remember the veterans includes a prayer, a three-shot salute, and taps. All the graves of those who served are marked by American flags in advance and remain in place afterward.
    The veterans who devote their Sunday to these ceremonies greatly appreciate all efforts to make them much better known, and they welcome the presence of everyone who comes to support them.
    Sincerely yours,

Ink-Stained Great
    Los Angeles
    June 9, 2024
Dear Mr. Rattray,
    Sometime back in the mid-1980s I wrote a pissy letter to the editor of The Star about a photo Jack Graves had taken of me during a softball game I was pitching at the Terry King Ball Field on Abraham's Path. I found the photo unflattering and questioned Mr. Graves's judgment. As if it were his fault that Montauk Improvement (or were they Ecker Insurance by then?) had scorched me for about a dozen home runs. 
    I was a few months into my own reporting career, working for a little weekly paper in Bridgehampton. I thought I knew something about journalism. I didn't. 
    An apology is decades overdue. In recognition of Mr. Graves's august achievement of being inducted into the Press Club of Long Island's Journalism Hall of Fame, I would like to offer it.
    Jack, I am very sorry for the unfair and snotbally criticism. You were doing then what you continue to do now -- working in service to the public. Your Hall of Fame selection is as incredibly well deserved as it is overdue as you take your place alongside Alicia Patterson, Les Payne, Bob Greene, and other Long Island ink-stained greats.
    Mike Lupica wrote a novel once, I think it was "Dead Air," with a reporter character who quipped: Journalism is hard. It might not seem hard to unknowing readers when it is pulled off with grace, aplomb, and wit, as you do every week in your reportage and column, Jack, but it is. Deadlines, technology failures, quirky schedules (especially for sportswriters), difficult people, critics, the overall decline of the business. It is so damn difficult to make it look as easy as you make it look. It is also an amazing testament to you that you have served The Star since for approaching 60 years. (It was stunning to realize you were interviewing the Beales at Grey Gardens when I was in Ms. McGowan's fifth grade class at the middle school -- teacher regaled us with a story about her and a friend attempting a late-night rescue of some of the Beales' cats, only to be run off by a screeching Little Edie. 
    Newspapers -- those indispensable public institutions -- wane. Some want to replace reporters with A.I. Others, well, him, anyway, call reporters enemies of the people. Hedge fund managers buy papers and treat employees like garbage. Too many people don't even know what news is. You do, Jack. Please stay at it. There are too few reporters with your abilities and dedication serving too few communities. 
    Mr. Rattray, you employ a local treasure. Treat him well. Give the hall-of-famer a raise. 

Top of the Ninth
    June 10, 2024
    On June 2, Citi Field hosted multiple Little League chapters from around the tristate area. The East Hampton chapter showed up in full force, with over 600 hundred athletes, coaches, parents, siblings, grandparents, and volunteers descending on Queens (for at least one afternoon) to cheer on the Metropolitans. 
    Events like these form clear and meaningful memories for our children. They are not possible without the hard work of the East Hampton Little League board. Jeff Tupper led this charge, but I wanted to commend the entire group for their efforts. 
    East Hampton led the outfield parade that day before heading to find their seats, where cheers for the players, familiar faces on the Jumbotron, and countless smiles filled the day. 
    The Mets blew a one-run lead in the top of the ninth that day, securing the Bronx as a better destination for our fanaticism, but never dampening what was truly a great day. East Hampton Little League, I thank you.

Glossy Ibis!
    June 10, 2024
Dear David,
    I've lived out here for 40 years but have never seen a glossy ibis -- until this Sunday, when I spotted a pair in Accabonac Harbor just off Gerard Drive.
    Did anybody else see these visitors from the South? They look like egrets but black.

Regarding Kelp
    June 6, 2024
Dear David,
    I did my random and admittedly weak, quarterly complete and thorough read-through of The Star (June 6) and, of course, was nourished, entertained, and enlightened, as anyone would be. Begging the question, why not read every week? Congrats to Jack Graves for service accomplishments, and honors.
    For me, the most moving article in the paper was by Jon M. Diat, the "On the Water" columnist, regarding kelp, its importance in water's ecosystem, lack of, and a devoted group of student "kelp heads"  trying to foster kelp's return. This all could be reduced to, "As a frequent boat fisherman, I agree with article 'Help for Kelp.' " I used to see -- and snag with my trolling lures -- far more kelp than I do now. In fact, I don't recall grabbing any in the last five years.

Letter of Thanks
    East Hampton
    June 10, 2024
To the Editor,
    We are writing this letter of thanks to the person or persons who crashed into our car causing significant damage on Friday in East Hampton Village. We were parked in the far corner of the Reutershan parking lot, directly across from the John Papas Cafe. 
    To refresh your memory, our car is a moss-brown Kia Telluride, a very well-cared-for car owned by a retired couple. If you have a change of mind about leaving the scene and you want to do the right thing and take responsibility for the damage you caused, you can contact The East Hampton Star for our information. I promise to leave the sarcasm at home when we connect!

Stress of Speeders
    East Hampton Village
    June 7, 2024
Dear David,
    Summer is again upon us, which brings with it the stress of dangerous drivers. I've noticed a number of new speed monitors cropping up in the past few months. While I have no objection to speed monitors in general, what I don't like is that many of them have a blinding LED that flashes like a strobe light to get a driver's attention. This LED is so bright that it takes attention away from other cues in the environment such as pedestrians, animals crossing, or poor road conditions. The same kind of technology is used on e-bikes and though it makes sure the rider can be seen, it can be so distracting and blinding that it can cause complete distraction to a driver in a car. 
    The lights on the speed monitors have the added negative that they come on suddenly like a jump-scare, which is never good when driving. It's bad enough if the driver is maintaining the speed limit but if he or she is speeding -- and I saw a lot of people this morning going 45 or more in a 25 zone -- the flashing light could cause a catastrophic accident. 
    Again, I like the idea of speed monitors, even though I don't think they actually help much. At least it tells those few of us who like to drive the speed limit or under that we're not the rude ones. 
    Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Four-Way Stop
    East Hampton
    June 10, 2024
Dear Editor,
    The intersection of Stephen Hand's Path and Long Lane makes every driver sweat. It is scary judging the gaps between speeding vehicles from two directions. Creating a four-way stop would immediately end the bumper-car challenge. It would also slow traffic at little cost. 
    Yes, traffic jams may occur, especially in peak times. But if we can effectively fix the safety issue for a couple hundred bucks, do we really need to spend $1.5 million to handle that inconvenience on a stretch of road less than one mile long that is most troublesome in summer? 
    Stop signs can cause traffic backups, but so can roundabouts. There were traffic jams at the Scuttlehole roundabout over the Memorial Day weekend. Stephen Hand's Path has a much shorter distance from stoplight to stop signs to absorb traffic. Facing traffic snarls, drivers will likely find other routes. A roundabout comes at a high price for a small benefit. 
    Inexplicably, the town board never obtained a traffic analysis before it commissioned an engineered roundabout plan. Talk about "ready, fire, aim," no data of traffic counts, hourly flows, or seasonal use support its decision. Neither did the board obtain or evaluate accident statistics. When this proposal was discussed and tabled by a prior town board, 10 years' worth of accident reports showed surprisingly low accident rates for this intersection. Another board member shared my concern about impacts to rural character. 
    Nor has the town board ever conducted a public hearing. Instead, all discussions were conducted in work sessions with restricted public comment. Unanimous board support at the June 4 work session was hardly a surprise. Approval resolutions were already calendared for the next meeting two days later. What kind of research and planning does that process show? 
    This intersection frames some of the most spectacular and expansive agricultural views in East Hampton. They are formally protected as a scenic area of local significance. From every angle, in every month, with or without traffic, the views are a signature of our town. It took vision and the investment of public funds far in excess of $100 million to make it so. 
    Building roads to smooth the curves and quirks of local streets to make traffic hum efficiently will only encourage more traffic. Meanwhile, the concrete, curbing, granite block, pseudo-natural islands, and attendant signs, lights, and crosswalks erode our rural landscape. 
    Structures that are car-focused thwart our renewable energy goals. Roundabouts are unworkable for pedestrians and cyclists. Did the board even glance at the public comments in the East Hampton Hamlet Study? Residents were outspoken in favor of improved bike and pedestrian routes, not ending traffic jams. Crosswalks will now be required to accommodate walkers and bikes, adding further clutter and structures. Roundabouts and crosswalks require flocks of signs and lighting, further suburbanizing a serene rural setting. 
    We have ample resources to construct a future focused on bike and pedestrian access. Especially in a time of urgent climate crisis, missing that opportunity is a mistake we can ill afford. 

Revenue Needed?
    Barnes Landing
    June 3, 2024
Dear David,
    Regarding the AT&T cell tower installation on property of St. Peter's Chapel near Chapel Lane and Old Stone Highway in Springs, litigation by AT&T coerced the town into permitting the project. Neighborhood opposition and litigation failed to halt it, and St. Luke's Episcopal Church, which owns the chapel, refused to nullify the contract, insisting revenue was needed to sustain religious services. Religious exemption from zoning?

Focus Disturbing
    June 7, 2024
To the Editor:
    Last week's front-page article "Access Now Restored" by Christine Sampson, described how former Justice James Catterson, as attorney for the homeowners in the Truck Beach dispute, obtained an order freezing the East Hampton Town Trustees' operating account, blocking them from paying their bills for "pump-out boat fuel, legal notices, internet access, and even taxes."
    It seems extraordinary that private litigants were able to obtain an order preventing a government unit from paying bills. The trustees were created pursuant to the Dongan Patent granted in 1686 during the reign of James II. They predate the United States of America. Elected to their posts, the trustees today have jurisdiction over certain East Hampton beaches, waterways, and aquaculture. 
    Preventing the trustees from doing their elected job, however, seems to be a mainstream aspect of Mr. Catterson's law practice. He is also attorney for Q, the Montauk fish hobbyist billionaire, who for years on end has rendered the town's zoning board of appeals an empty shell (in fact, the entire zoning scheme). And he is the lawyer who has succeeded, so far, in preventing the town from making decisions concerning its own airport. Mr. Catterson is therefore the go-to attorney for people who can afford him and have an interest in deflating town democracy. 
    He might consider taking a media class (though perhaps he feels he doesn't need to, because he is not accountable to public opinion like the people he sues); perhaps he wouldn't have been so quick to give The Star a quote beginning, "Forget about the rights or wrongs of it. . . ." You can't make this stuff up. 
    I would find this ethic, and focus, disturbing in any lawyer, but of course it is particularly so in someone who spent so much of his career as a judge. Has he undergone a radical transformation in private practice -- or was this the way he saw the world when he was on the bench? 
    For democracy in East Hampton, 

    June 9, 2024 
To the Editor, 
    What interesting events of late. After reading last week, I was compelled to check Fan Duel out though no over/under has been set for Cranberry Hole Bridge and the senior center. Straight-money line would most likely favor the M.T.A., as the town is prone to drag its feet a bit more. But why stop with those? Don't forget Bay View Avenue, Napeague Harbor, heck, town code being enforced can be the equivalent of picking an obscure prop bet like a fumble recovery. 
    Now if we are going to be playing with units on a monetary level. We may need to look at the bookies on other boards, like in Amagansett. In this case, it just might be gift cards in envelopes with funds that exceed an individual's maximum bet. As if mysterious recognitions weren't enough, the diametric opposite would be simplistic. This is no more than the equivalent of being quoted at a $60,000 opening and unmistakably asking for $200,000. Bettors seem to favor cupola over coffee and conversations. 
    Still here, 

Read the Report
    East Hampton
    June 10, 2024
Dear David,
    As I reflect on the somewhat insane events of last week, I am struck by how they mirror the broader state of our national political system. One side seems willing to spread lies without consequence and unfortunately our local political landscape is not immune to this behavior. I thought your article accurately reported the situation, so thanks.
    Last week's town meeting highlighted the need for civil discourse. While I appreciate the passion of those who attended and voiced their opinions, I urge everyone to read the full report available on the town website before forming conclusions. In my preparation for the meeting, I reviewed past sessions and noticed a consistent group of individuals who call in regularly to express their generally negative views.
    One issue that resonates with many residents is the creation of a "safe" dog area. Surprisingly, despite numerous requests, only a handful of people actively supported this idea. Let's set the record straight on our proposal: We are not planning to remove 60 percent of the park's plants or significantly reduce shade. The safe dog area would occupy only four-tenths of an acre out of 22 near one of the gates, not the park's center.
    Our request aligns with the approved management plan, which requires a town beach permit to park. It does not ask for a permit to use the park. As Ian Calder-Piedmonte wisely stated, this discussion is just beginning. Let's engage in respectful dialogue and find common ground for the benefit of our community.
    Thank you,

Walk Comfortably
    June 5, 2024
Dear David,
    Just an hour before the East Hampton Town Board met on Tuesday, I learned that they were going to discuss a place very dear to my heart and so I tuned in via YouTube. 
    The proposal under discussion was to eliminate invasives from my beloved dog park, a place I have visited with my big yellow Lab every day, rain or shine, for the past four years. Many more of us dog owners would have been on hand to discuss this issue had the board posted notice of the meeting at the place we visit regularly: The entrance gate to the park itself.
    I waited patiently on my phone to make my thoughts heard, but my call was never taken. But, as I speak for an important population in East Hampton, I believe my views should be made part of the public discussion of this issue.
    The board and most others in East Hampton know that the largest and fastest growing population group in our town is seniors. For a senior (and I am 81), a dog is not simply a fun family pet. For most of us, a dog is a vital companion, not simply a love object but a much-needed comfort that stands between us and dreaded loneliness. 
    My daily walks with Yomi provide me with daily exercise and daily social engagement, both of which are vital to my well-being as I age. I know that the many other seniors who use the park do so for similar reasons. It is therefore imperative that the board consider the needs of our growing aging population as they develop a plan to deal with the invasive species taking over the Springs Park.
    When I walk in the park in hot weather, I never choose the unprotected center path because I cannot manage the heat. I rely on the shade of the side paths where I can walk more comfortably and safely. The board suggests that the loss of shade that would result from implementing their plan can be handled with the use of sunscreen and wide-brimmed hats. But I do not worry about my complexion; I choose the side paths because the very thick shrubbery and tall trees there create a cooler microclimate. The plantings the board wants to eliminate serve to reduce the temperature all along the side paths. Their absence along the center path makes it far too hot for a senior like me to safely walk there.
    In the winter, too, the center, treeless path is a poor choice for me because the wind comes rushing up that path toward the rear, making that path unsafe for those of us less steady on our feet. The side paths' thick bushes and vines serve as an excellent buffer against the powerful winds.
    As a certified landscape designer, I would not be heard to object to removing invasive plants. But, for the reasons just stated, I would have to insist that the culling of invasives be done with extreme care. Many Russian olive trees are heavily intertwined with white roses, grape vines, blackberry vines, and branches of other trees. The removal of the invasives will have to be done by specialists who are trained to know one species from another and who are patient enough to surgically disentangle the invasives from the non-invasives. My fear is that the town will not hire plant experts and that the job will be done recklessly with an eye on the time involved. I cannot consent to such a plan.
    More important, black locusts, also invasive, are tall trees that provide much needed shade, especially at the open space at the rear of the park. The town requires residents who remove more than an allotted number of trees from their properties to replace them. I could not possibly consent to the removal of shade-providing trees unless they are immediately replaced by the town. Surely, what the board requires of its residents is a rule they should apply to themselves.

Ample Room
    East Hampton
    June 10, 2024
To the Editor,
    I am responding to your article re: the proposal for changes to the Springs Park. The Star stated, "Originally it was intended as a place for sports and active recreation. 'Members of the community were not enamored with the idea of ball fields and lights so the town board heeded the people s wishes and allowed the space to evolve naturally. As the 'park' evolved, we have discovered that the primary use has become an area for dogs and their owners to roam in a protected and fenced environment,' reads the town s management plan."  
    I was a member of the original group of six people who advocated for a park that would be accessible to dog owners who had nowhere to take them. We pointed out that there were already many beaches and parks for uses such as ball fields and other sports, where dogs were not allowed, and that we, as taxpayers and residents, needed and deserved to have one place where we could walk our dogs off-leash safely. There were numerous public meetings that were well attended by the community. We felt that the Springs Nursery, which had closed, was ideal. When the land was purchased with the community preservation fund, we finally had an opportunity to have a park for people to take their dogs. And the town agreed.
    "It s not a dog park officially, by the way. It s a park for all people," Councilman Ian Calder-Piedmonte. Nobody disputes that. Everyone is welcome. We have joggers, birdwatchers, plant enthusiasts, photographers, and some people sit on the benches and socialize. 
    Regarding park clearing, as per Scott Wilson, "Only invasive species will be removed" and "perhaps 60 percent of the land has filled up with invasives." Since the admitted goal is to remove the "invasives," that means he would be clearing, by his own estimate, 60 percent of the park. The remaining 40 percent is already open fields. In my book, 60 plus 40 equals 100 percent, so it appears that essentially the entire park would, in fact, end up being cleared, leaving the park without shade trees or defined walking paths. According to Neil Kraft, "By getting rid of invasive species you encourage habitat diversity. We want to get rid of the plants that are choking off the native plants." Those "invasive species" are native plants. They are not choking off anything; there are many other flowering bushes and trees that are proliferating.         
    What they will be getting rid of is privacy for the neighbors on the streets that border the park and shaded areas that keep the trails cool and breezy. The committee's solution to the shade problem was to "use sunscreen." Sunscreen doesn t keep dogs cool. 
    They are nonspecific about how they plan to remove these plants. Would they be judiciously culling them or bulldozing the areas in which they are found? I shudder to think of the damage that would cause.  Replacing them with other species would be prohibitively expensive. It would take decades for them to grow enough to give us back what we already have. 
    Scott Wilson contends, "Without management, in time, the autumn olives would make the trails impassable." It s been more than 20 years without purging the park of any plants or trees and the trails are far from "impassable." There is ample room for multiple dogs and owners to walk on each one comfortably in both directions. And the paths help us contain our dogs; without them dogs will be able to cross the park when they see a dog they might want to play with. Is it not possible to manage those plants and keep the trails as they are by simply pruning them? 
    Your article further states the flier "alleged that the park would only be accessible to permit holders" and then claims "there wasn t a shred of truth to the unsigned fliers." This proposal states clearly ". . . consider instituting a resident-only parking permit system, with the existing sticker from beaches, to manage overcrowding during peak hours and deter non-local visitors." Sometimes the lot is full but there is always parking because people come and go at all times of the day. I've never seen one single altercation in that parking lot. Let's not create a problem where none exists. Mr. Kraft claims, "People kicked out of the Southampton dog park (I have no idea how this is done) with aggressive or unsupervised dogs go immediately to Springs park." I fail to understand on what basis he makes this claim. Where does he get his information? Why is he pointing the finger at owners he doesn t even know and labeling their dogs "aggressive and unsupervised"? Ironically, with all his finger-pointing at everyone else, it was his own unsupervised dog that attacked and seriously injured a little beagle about a year ago. 
    Your article states that "The field sparrow, which was nesting in the park when it was acquired by the town, is no longer present. Its populations nationwide are in steep decline, dropping 70 percent in the last 50 years." It s a nationwide problem, not an East Hampton problem, not a Springs problem, and not a park problem. Interestingly, an article in Biological Invasions states, "In a new study published in April 2024 researchers in Connecticut show that some of the most vilified invasive plants in northeastern U.S. forests may actually be of comparable value to native plants as foraging resources for insectivorous birds, and large-scale invasive plant removal on behalf of these birds may not have the intended benefits."         
    Another quote states, "They re [i.e., field sparrows] certainly not breeding there now. Maybe they were when there were more meadows."  And maybe they weren't. If a bird species hasn t been seen in more than 20 years, perhaps it is just not indigenous to the area. 
    A small-dog area: The front of the Springs Park is where people meet, sit, and enter and exit the trails. It's a beautiful space that sets the tone for the rest of the park. The existing park uses 23,000 out of the 40,000 acres, so there is quite a bit of available space for a small-dog area. There are two double-gated entrances that allow for entry and exit and both are busy. According to this plan, one of those double gates would be dedicated to a small-dog area that would usurp a significant portion of the front of the park and would force all the other dogs to enter and exit via one single gate. The congestion created by this plan would be dangerous. Many dogs would likely be crowding around the small-dog area, similar to what they do now at the gates. Some dogs bark furiously. I doubt those little dogs would enjoy that. 
    But there is a solution. On the trail to the left on the other side of the front fence is acreage that would be perfect. Enclosing that area would create a contiguous but separate area. Essentially, the smaller dogs would have a scaled-down version of the park in which to play with access in and out of the big park, as desired. The committee argues that there are two large oak trees there. Well good! Leave those trees. Little dogs need shade, too. 
    This committee consists of people who for the most part don't use the park on a regular basis. We feel they are taking it upon themselves to make unilateral decisions that will adversely affect the peace, beauty, and safety of the park. They seem uninterested in learning what the park users want and push back when we make our feelings known. 
    The article alleges, "there wasn't a shred of truth to the unsigned fliers." This is obviously not true. It was issued to alert park users that the town was planning to make changes that would adversely affect our ability to enjoy a place that most people describe as perfection. We love this park just as it is and as it has been for decades. Leave the park alone.

Lost in Translation
    June 10, 2024
Dear David,
    While I appreciate the opportunity to comment regarding The Star's article on the Sunrise Wind offshore wind turbine project, I'm afraid the main thrust of what I told your reporter somehow got lost in translation. It is a very difficult subject to grasp fully, and I look forward to The Star covering it more in depth in future articles, but I do need to make some key corrections to what was attributed as my concerns, things that were barely coherent that I never said. Below was the copy regarding my "concerns."
    "She is concerned about the fiberglass used for the fans on the turbines themselves, the way turbines can affect local marine life, and particularly the converters that must be used to transfer the power being generated. She contended that the warm effluent water released from these converters might end up having a negative impact on the environment.
    "These converters could end up having a negligible effect on climate change," Ms. Brady said on Monday. "This is 'ready, shoot, aim' on every front you can imagine."
    So, for the record, the first part of the sentence I never said, have no idea where that even came from.
    The concern about fiberglass is that the wind turbine blades are made from non-recyclable fiberglass and the resin which holds them together is loaded with B.P.A. Offshore wind turbine blades move at approximately 170 miles per hour; rain hits them at 300 m.p.h. causing pitting (or dings for those of you who surf), or [it] can happen from bird strikes and overall wear. Pitting leads to something called leading edge erosion, which delaminates the blades. The point was that when the blades are dinged, there is a crack in the fiberglass, and B.P.A. then can be released into the ocean. That's a serious concern with the thousands of turbines, and thousands of blades each the size of a football field, that the feds want to place in the Atlantic alone. And pitting can begin in year one for a turbine blade.
    "[A]nd particularly the converters that must be used to transfer the power being generated. She contended that the warm effluent water released from these converters might end up having a negative impact on the environment."
    Again, short on details and I didn't actually say that. It looks like it was edited to make it more clear, and instead became mud. I was referring to Sunrise Wind using high-voltage direct current-converter stations utilizing open cooling water intake systems, the same kind of open water cooling system that sucks up seawater to cool internal systems and kills millions of fish larvae yearly, like any of the units at Millstone. Sunrise's system has been approved to suck up to 8.1 million gallons of seawater daily, and release it as 90 degree effluent, using the seawater to cool the electric transmission cable conversion process as it converts from alternating current to direct current before the DC transmission cable is sent 101 miles to shore at Smith Point. The same kind of systems that were made illegal for new builds on land of a certain size in New York State. The reason why Caithness is a closed-water system with air-conditioning. 
    The Environmental Protection Agency allowed for this these water-cooling systems to be approved under "best professional judgment," because they have never had a regulation written for this kind of system in the ocean before. That's 2.9 billion gallons per year of ocean seawater loaded with plankton, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and larvae cooked to 90 degrees and then released on Cox's Ledge (a cod spawning ground) every year within the water column. For those who aren't aware, the ocean water column doesn't always just dissipate heat evenly, it can sometimes hold on to it depending on thermoclines, layers of water that vary based on temperature to continue creating more havoc. And yes, that most definitely will be a negative impact on the ocean environment. Especially since for every DC transmission cable, they will require at least one and in some cases several of these converter stations. 
    "These converters could end up having a negligible effect on climate change." What I had said regarding "negligible effect" was not about these converter systems at all but was specific to offshore wind itself. I told the reporter that Bureau of Energy Management's own documents, such as Vineyard Wind's final environmental impact statement state on page A-66, state that offshore wind, that project and others, will have a negligible effect on climate change. My point was, why are we doing something that will have catastrophic effects on the ocean, when it will do nothing to ameliorate climate change and will in fact make things worse? You don't destroy the environment to save it. And yes, this is "ready, shoot, aim" on every front you can imagine.
    Thank you sincerely,

Will Not Change
    June 6, 2024
To the Editor,
    Yes, cease-fire -- but not now!
    I do not believe a cease-fire without the effective destruction of Hamas, et al., is wise or in any way a road to peace. The jihadists care much less about a Palestinian state and much more about eliminating Israel and the "infidels" living there. They have said so in unequivocal terms in various media, in their charter (original and revised) and we have heard the same agenda from Iran's leadership who are their financial, strategic, and theological sponsors.
    The killing of Israel civilians, their families, and guests will continue if they are allowed to regroup under the banner of a cease-fire. It will be only the Peace of Saladin. As much as we are mentally and morally hurt by continued fighting, to stop now will only encourage and ensure future events such as Oct 7.
    If Hamas cared about Palestinians, it would not have broken the cease-fire that existed on Oct. 6. It would not have taken hostages. It would have already released all hostages. It would have stopped using Gazans as human shields, etc. The gleeful joy with which Hamas live-streamed decapitating babies, burning families, mutilating women, and taking hostages is a tribute record of their barbarity.
    A cease-fire will not change this any more than an early end to World War II would have stopped Nazi Germany or imperial Japan. The lesson of World War I is that World War II will occur unless there is total defeat of our enemies and a prolonged re-education policy. Aren't we witnessing the effects of "measured response" in the continued state terrorism of Iran and Putin's Russia? Recent show trials by Xi's China in Hong Kong and war games around Taiwan offer further proof of how good intentions are met by bad actors whose agenda is not peaceful cooperation but, rather, conquest and victory.
    A cease-fire now will only reward Hamas and Iran while encouraging Russia, China, Syria, and North Korea. A cease-fire that allows Hamas to stand with a victory will only lead to an eventual genocide of the Jews in Israel and increased violent antisemitism in Western Europe and the United States. Jihadists who value death as a trip to paradise will not be appeased or reformed by a cease-fire that allows them to regroup and murder again.

Four Saved
    June 10, 2024
Dear Editor, 
    Four hostages saved -- 274 people dead.
    Four hostages saved -- 274 people dead.
    Four hostages saved -- 274 people dead.
    Four hostages saved -- 274 people dead.
    Four hostages saved -- 274 people dead.

John Will Fight
    June 10, 2024
To the Editor:
    We have a former president calling convicted Jan. 6 insurrectionists "patriots" and "warriors," and promising to pardon a "large portion" of the rioters should he be elected again. We have a former president who thinks climate change is a hoax and who offers to roll back pesky environmental protections in exchange for $1 billion from oil company execs "to return" him to the White House. And all this (and so much more) is just fine with our congressional representative, Republican Nick LaLota. 
    We need a representative in Congress who will fight against Trump and the radical Republican agenda. John Avlon is uniquely qualified to be that representative. After seeing him debate Nancy Goroff, there simply is no contest. His thoughtful answers, his common-sense approach to a variety of issues, his history of calling out Republican extremism (I recommend reading his book, "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America," published in 2004; clearly the man saw what was coming), was inspiring and gave many in the audience hope that the 2024 election is winnable.
    In John Avlon we have a candidate who will fight for us and the issues that are important to us, and who will stand up for democracy and the rule of law. Vote for John Avlon in the upcoming Democratic primary and we'll actually have a candidate who can beat Nick LaLota come November.

Election Critical
    June 9, 2024
Dear David, 
    I'm calling on all Democrats to get out and vote for John Avlon in the upcoming Democratic Primary. It is clear John is the candidate who will -- not might -- unseat Nick LaLota in November. 
    The November election will be critical, not only for our district, but also in re-establishing Democratic control of the House, which is essential if our democracy is to be preserved. The House has been paralyzed by a small group of extremists who take orders from Donald Trump. In so doing they have prevented action to be taken on vital legislation. Democrats must reestablish control. 
    It will be a feather in the caps of District One Democrats to send the Trump-minion Republican Nick LaLota packing and replace him with John Avlon, who is more than qualified for the job. John understands the needs of the people in our district. He will ably, vigorously, and thoughtfully represent us and also apply his intelligence and in-depth political knowledge to all issues which come before the House. 
    I believe John to be a moderate who views extremism as a "no-win" situation for both sides that impedes the democratic process and stands in the way of good governing, which aims to benefit the majority of the governed.
    When John Avlon takes the oath of office, he will honor it. He will get to work immediately and no doubt quickly be recognized by his fellow Democrats as a colleague to be respected. Perhaps even some from the other side of the aisle will see John's worth if they are smart enough to recognize someone who is willing to look for compromises when possible and reasonable.
    District One Democrats have a once in a lifetime opportunity to send a very special, very dedicated, highly intelligent and extremely well-informed representative to Congress. John Avlon will make us proud by representing not just our best interests but also those of all Americans who value a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. John Avlon embodies all of that and more. 
    Please make it a priority to vote for John Avlon in the upcoming Democratic primary. He is the candidate who will go on to beat Nick LaLota in November. Our primary votes will make that a certainty. 
    Thank you.

Disappointed in Goroff
    June 10, 2024
Dear David,
    This past week, I've heard from many Democrats in the Town of East Hampton who have been bombarded with mailings and TV ads with sinister photos and misleading or totally false "information" about the congressional candidate John Avlon. The negative messaging has come from both Nancy Goroff's campaign and the 314 Super PAC that supports her. 
    Most of the folks I've heard from are angry and disappointed in Goroff for running a dark and divisive smear campaign. Others are confused and don't know what to believe and I would urge those folks to remember that John Avlon is a very public figure. He's not hiding anything. There are no Republican or MAGA skeletons in his closet. Far from it. Please google him. You will literally find hundreds of videos, articles, interviews, and podcasts where he very clearly articulates his positions on any number of issues. He is a moderate Democrat who has warned against the dangers of extremism and hyper-partisanship to our democracy and our country for decades. This has been a consistent theme and the ideological foundation of his entire career as an author, editor, print and TV journalist, and presidential historian. I urge everyone to do their research. 
    Sadly, our politics have devolved into a fear and anger-fueled battle where truth, facts, and history no longer matter. But John is an antidote and a breath of fresh air in today's toxic climate. This is one of the main reasons why he is the best candidate in this particular moment in our particular swing district. It would be a terrible shame for Nancy Goroff to win this election on the back of a deceptive smear campaign funded in large part by her own personal wealth. 
    I want to end my letter with a quote from an article that John wrote in 2011 that summarizes the theme of my letter better than I could ever hope to: "There are real costs to this careless courtship of the lowest common denominator. Without fact-based debates, politics can quickly give way to paranoia and hate. Our democracy gets degraded. Americans deserve better, and we should demand better, especially from our elected representatives. Empowering ignorance for political gain is unacceptable."
    Early voting starts Saturday at Windmill Village. 
    East Hampton Democratic Committee

Case for Centrists
    East Hampton
    June 6, 2024
Dear David:
    I am writing in support of John Avlon, who is running against Nancy Goroff in the June 25 Democratic primary. Why do I support a man I don't personally know? Because he is the only Democratic candidate who can win in November. Because so many who I admire have endorsed him -- most importantly Fred W. Thiele Jr., Bridget Fleming, Perry Gershon, Ann Welker, Jay Schneiderman, not to overlook the teachers union and all six town Democratic committees. Because his book, "Wingnuts," published in 2010, already then took on extremists (from left but most specifically right) and made the case for centrists. Because he believes in democracy. Because he is smart, levelheaded, courageous, and a straight arrow. And, because he can win against Nick LaLota this fall and help the Democrats take back the House. But, first he has to beat Ms. Goroff on June 25. Please vote. 

Inflow of Thousands
    June 10, 2024
Dear David,
    It's a failure already. On Thursday we saw some 10,000 illegal migrants in Border Patrol custody. This was four times the limit that the president said he would stop processing the phony asylum claims that the illegals are using.
    Videos show hundreds of migrants, mainly from China and Turkey, are still crossing into California, then rounded up by Border Patrol. Other videos show the same scene in Texas on Wednesday, after Biden's crackdown supposedly took effect. What effect? There's none. Some 4,000, way over Biden's limit, were apprehended on Wednesday, and the inflow of thousands keep coming. The processing center in California is over 237 percent capacity. Joe Biden's brand-new policy is a big joke, as the wave-them-in policy still exists.
    Because of the open-border rule, New York is overwhelmed by gangs. Venezuela opened its jails and sent the worst here. Crime is overwhelming in our city, and I can't understand these gangs are living in our shelters scot-free, while at least 20 or more cycles are parked in front of the building. Crime via these cycles and illegals is being committed on our citizens, some being vicious. This comes on Biden's open-border rule.
    In God and country,

The Counterstory
    East Hampton
    June 9, 2024
    The arrival of Memorial Day weekend, D-Day, and the attendant stories are a major gift to the American people. The narrative of millions of Americans still caught in the Great Depression sacrificing their lives to join the war against Nazi Germany in order to protect our democracy and freedom is beyond extraordinary -- the counterstory to the repugnance of Trump and MAGA, the statement of just how great we were and the level of courage and commitment, the eviscerating response to MAGA and Trump. Because D-Day derives from courage and heroism -- and the essence of Trump MAGA is cowardice and repulsion. 
    Trump could never have experienced D-Day because his father had already bribed him out of military service. Cowardice, his truest nature, is why he is a convicted felon, a convicted rapist, and a convicted, pathological liar never having the courage to speak in court. 
    If "Profiles in Courage" was John F. Kennedy's story, Trump's is "Chickenshit." 

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