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Letters to the Editor for July 4, 2024

Wed, 07/03/2024 - 08:36

Log Complaints
East Hampton
June 30, 2024

Dear David,

I write as an individual and not in any of my official or professional capacities.

Last weekend, we celebrated my 7-year-old grandson’s birthday with some younger families, one of which is based in Wainscott. As we sat on the beach, a number of aircraft of all sorts flew above us and the topic of aircraft noise came up.

As a longtime aircraft-noise-abatement advocate myself, I was interested to learn that this family reported aircraft noise disturbances to the Town of East Hampton. And, they asked me some questions about why this is still a problem.

I hesitated to barrage them with the long list of acronyms which have crowded my brain regarding aircraft noise, options for the town to implement noise abatement policies, the legal challenges that local, national, and international aviation interests have thrown their way, and what constrains them, etc.

But I was happy to be able to say with confidence that the town board is endeavoring to satisfy whatever criteria the Federal Aviation Administration sets in order to begin to govern its publicly owned airport in the best interests of the community. In spite of the long, frustrating legal battles aviation interests continue to volley their way.

We did, however, remark on what felt like a marked increase in helicopter and jet air traffic over the last several weeks. The season, of course, is upon us, so that is not a surprise. But we all felt that there was a definite uptick in the numbers and concentrations of flights. Seaplanes, too, seem to have increased, and they are indeed loud.

My sympathies go out to the air-traffic controllers who must govern the comings and goings of both fixed-wing and rotary aircraft, surely a nightmare as they all seem to come at once. I cannot imagine how stressful that job must be, particularly in poor weather.

I encourage my fellow aircraft-noise sufferers to continue to log their complaints at the town’s website Things are headed in the right direction and it could be that some relief is in sight. In the meantime, it helps the town to have the data supporting their efforts to solve the problem.

Thank you and happy Independence Day. Hopefully, soon, East End residents will be free of most of this aircraft noise and air pollution.




Looking Atrocious
June 21, 2024

Dear Editor,

Louse Point on Accabonac Harbor is one of the most beautiful sites in our town. Many artists have been inspired to paint or photograph its waters, marshes, and beaches. However, for at least the past month, this beautiful site has been sullied by the presence of a barge and dredge, labeled “Coastal Seawalls.” It does not seem to be working on the one seawall (bulkhead) in the south part of Accabonac Harbor (a house called “the Barge”). It is just sitting there looking atrocious, spoiling the view, and interfering with navigation. If it is indeed working somewhere else, let it be stored there and give us back our beautiful Accabonac Harbor.




American Songbook
East Hampton
June 30, 2024

Dear David,

Last night I attended the second in a series of performances of “Summer Songbook by the Sea” presented at the LTV Studios in East Hampton. Both programs were delightful. The performers were great, as was the audience. Everyone there seemed to be a lover of the music of the Great American Songbook and were given the opportunity to sing along, which was a great treat in itself!

Kudos to Josh Gladstone and Donna Rubin for putting together such a wonderful evening. They are extraordinarily hard-working and provide the audience with a great show. Aside from that, they are responsive to the audience, providing help with disability issues, and being available to answer questions, phone calls, and texts!

Thanks, too, to Eleanor and Howard Morgan for their sponsorship of these programs. Bravo!

If there are any Great American Songbook fans who are interested in attending shows like these, there are six more shows available between now and the end of August.

I suggest you waste no time and buy tickets. I am sure you’ll thank me.




Working Hard
East Hampton
June 30, 2024

Dear David,

The Anchor Society’s Summer Social at Hoie Hall on June 15 was a huge success! We’d like to thank the supporters, community members, elected officials, and our Anchor leadership for providing a lovely, delicious, and informative venue to bring the community up to date on programs to “Foster Commerce That Serves Community.”

What a wonderful evening we had! Many thanks to Suffolk County Legislator Ann Welker, East Hampton Town Justice David Filer, and more than 200 engaged community members for attending. Our wonderful Summer Social committee, led by Anne Thomas, Bonnie Devendorf, and Valerie Smith, transformed Hoie Hall into a gorgeous garden party. Our junior committee of local teens were a great help, as well, and we thank all our wonderful volunteers for making the event so special.

Many thanks also to Dr. Setha Lowe, a renowned anthropologist who has designed and implemented an important data-gathering program with Scott Benaglio, another board member, to interview consumers about what they feel is needed in the Village.Anchor is working hard to launch our Winter Shops program, where we match up local businesses to winter landlords whose shops are empty off-season. We have a number of excellent tenants and a couple of properties have emerged as a good fit. We expect to launch this fall and will keep everyone up to date on our progress.

We are very excited about a number of initiatives that we feel will help to bring back a sense of community to the village center, offer necessary shopping opportunities, and help to bring vitality back to East Hampton Village after Labor Day.

Thanks again to all who participated on June 15.




The Anchor Society of East Hampton


Don’t Know the Guy
June 30, 2024

Dear Mr. Rattray,

It seems I’ve irritated Jonathan Wallace, at least based on his letter in the last issue of The Star. I don’t even know the guy, but we had and may still have a difference of opinion about two Democrats who sought to run for Congress in November. I only know of our disagreement because we both sent The Star letters that you printed serially a few weeks ago.

When writing my letter (yes, Mr. Wallace, I did write my letter), my only purpose was to point out that we had a choice between two potential candidates – one who can prevail in November and one who is unlikely to do so – and my rationale for preferring one to the other. Democrats voted last week and overwhelmingly agreed with me.

As Mr. Wallace reminds us, I am a member of the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee. I believe in the broad aims of the Democratic Party, anchored in an abiding faith in American representative democracy. I’m probably insufficiently progressive for Mr. Wallace. That’s one of the great things about the Democratic Party: We generally eschew orthodoxy in favor of working together for the betterment of our community and our country. In this instance, I happen to prefer a candidate, John Avlon, who’s exceptionally well-informed and dynamic, but who may not embrace the entirety of Mr. Wallace’s agenda. I won’t apologize to anyone for that, nor need they apologize for preferring someone else.

Mr. Wallace may have a point or two on policy worth considering, but I can’t say for sure, as I don’t know him. I’d be very happy to visit with him over a cup of coffee (maybe at The Star’s office?) to learn more about his cares and concerns. We both live here and care about our community, and that’s certainly reason enough to seek common ground.



Small-D Democratic
June 27, 2024

To the Editor,

Last week, I wrote that John Avlon, who flacked for Rudy Giuliani for years, was a disturbing and inappropriate choice for the Democratic nomination for Congress. A further meditation on Avlon, post his “landslide” victory:

One. Once upon a time, the Democrats did not endorse primary candidates. Letting the voters choose, then backing their choice, was small-d democratic. Picking a candidate and crushing the opposition under lies and rhetoric is the whirring of a machine.

Two. Why hold primaries at all?

Three. Note how the Democrats turn on and savage the very people they endorsed in past elections. How can you build a party with a visible and attractive message where there is no loyalty or consistency?

Four. If Avlon wins in November, the Democrats will at least have proved that in endorsing him, they got something right, in an amoral, Machiavellian kind of way. If he is body-slammed like everyone else they endorsed since Timothy Bishop was defeated 10 years ago, then their acts will bear a double stigma, of being dishonorable and incompetent.

As I have highlighted in many other letters, the party’s local governance has been radioactive in both senses since the Larry Cantwell years.

For Democracy in East Hampton,



That’s Inflation
East Hampton
June 25, 2024

Dear David,

The Trump campaign relies on the good faith of people who are too busy or distracted to look up things like crime statistics. Let’s face it: That includes almost all of us. Hence, the importance of writers like Heather Cox Richardson, a historian who writes a blog called “Letters from an American.”

This week she told us about Trump telling a crowd in Philadelphia that violent crime in their city had reached its highest level in six decades. In fact, violent crime in that city is the lowest it has been in a decade.

A staple of Trump’s rallies is that crime is skyrocketing all over the U.S. In fact, Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics show that crime rose at the end of Trump’s term but has fallen precipitously since then. Murders down 13.2 percent, rape by 12.5 percent, from 2022 to 2023, and in the first quarter of 2024, murder is down another 26.4 and rape down another 25.7 percent versus even 2023’s numbers.

Perhaps more alarming than Trump’s willingness to lie about anything is his utter ignorance about the ramifications of policy. The most glaring example is that while claiming he will stop inflation and fix the deficit, his promised policies are guaranteed to exacerbate both problems. He is promising to assess a 10-percent tariff on all imported goods, and 60 percent on anything from China. So that would be added to the cost of things we buy before they get to our stores. That’s called inflation.

He is promising a dragnet to corral and deport millions of low-paid workers. That means households and businesses will pay more for labor, and productivity will go down as prices rise. That’s called inflation. (And, it should be mentioned, half the restaurants here would close, paint would be peeling off our mansions and falling into uncut lawns up to our knees, and grocery stores would be selling chickens with the feathers still on them.)

Homeowners insurance went up 19 percent last year. This is due to cascading disasters from climate change. Trump promises to roll back the Biden policies to slow the acceleration of climate disasters. That is guaranteed to embed escalating inflation for decades into the future.

He is promising another huge tax cut for the rich, who were doing fine last time I drove down Further Lane. Boom: more trillions added to the deficit. And I don’t doubt he would actually implement these strategies, as he just doesn’t care about policy. His objective is getting elected, no matter who is harmed. Nothing exposed that priority better than his killing of the very conservative border bill Biden was prepared to sign, as Trump wanted to keep it as a campaign issue.

This obliviousness to consequences makes him easy prey for those who would pull his strings for their own agendas. Example: He put the vetting of Supreme Court nominees in the hands of the ultra-right Federalist Society, resulting in the end of women being able to control their own bodies. Does anybody think this serial adulterer would really want to end abortion and threaten the right to birth control? Not likely. He’s just a loose cannon, a pawn in the hands of dark forces he does not understand, not the kind of leader who should be anywhere near the nuclear football and randomly fooling around in an economy that proved his incompetence by sending him into numerous bankruptcies.



No Flubs
East Quogue
June 28, 2024

To the Editor,

Heather Cox Richardson has released her analysis of the Trump-Biden debate, and she has given a far more complete, accurate, and objective analysis than the mass media, which launched an attack on Biden and left Trump lies unaddressed.

I heartily agree with Richardson, though apparently not with the hit team that pounced afterward with what appeared to me was a pre-prepared, bared-tooth attack on Biden. In fact, I believe that the media, despite any past antipathy toward Trump, reached a decision to smack Biden long before the debate.

Conspiracy? I am far from a conspiracy theorist, but given the unanimity of all the media, and, more important, the truly small and trivial tics — few, unimportant, and in no way indicative of a shaky mind — were absolutely of no relevance, no more than any speaker charged with debating anyone, liar or not, would commit during a long and hostile debate. A few closed eyes as he silently prepared his response? A couple of slips, maybe four or five, in starting a sentence? These indicate a perfectly normal occurrence. When one debates without the protection of written notes, I challenge anyone to tell us about anyone who made no slips or errors. Of course, telling the truth isn’t valued.

Any normal person put on a debate platform and given hard questions would have similar reactions in an hour at the mike. How about you? So Biden has a soft, slightly husky voice? This means he is mentally incompetent? So Biden answers in full sentences and gives direct answers. Does he get no credit for that? No flubs allowed, Biden! Meanwhile, Trump’s lies and eventual boasts and attacks and word salad, which took over three-quarters of an hour and continued until the end, get overlooked?

Dems destroying their candidate — you don’t have to be paranoid to believe this. I was stunned and then unable to resist the cynicism and then mild paranoia that overtook me during the round table that followed. This group left their script behind because they had already rehearsed it.

Trump, meanwhile, barges ahead, confident that the actual content and lies and distortions and boasts were going to be overlooked. He was right. The media were the winners of this debate, not Trump.

Heather Cox Richardson is an intelligent, informed centrist. She is not an acolyte of Trump or Biden. She is honest. That a tribe of Democrats could unite to blast their candidate, who stuttered when young but still delivered articulate, grammatically correct facts, should disturb us more than Trump’s lies.



Spousal Abuse
June 28, 2024

To the Editor,

I guess Old Joe will use the excuse that losing fighters have used: “I overtrained.”

Everyone, repeat everyone, knew he was senile and yet the lib press set this slaughter up by ignoring the obvious and protected this poor old man.

Should not Jill be charged with spousal abuse?



The Day Before
June 27, 2024

To the Editor,

Here is this reader’s list of some wonderful (though not sufficiently appreciated at the time) dates in American history. I challenge other readers to recall what horrible event took place the day after each of these thankfully ordinary days, and submit their own lists of unappreciated-at-the-time “days before.”

Jan. 5, 2021

Jan. 19, 2017

Dec. 13, 2012

Sept. 10, 2001

April 3, 1968

Nov. 21, 1963

Dec. 6, 1941

April 13, 1865



Screaming Man
June 28, 2024

Dear David,

I’m not going to get deep into the disgraceful presidential debate held last night. However, I felt such sympathy for President Joe Biden for his failing health. Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating disease. It is a heartbreaking thing to watch human beings become a shell, with no memory, no signs of life within themselves.

Today, Joe Biden held a rally with a prompter and, wow, a screaming man he became, repeating pretty much his remarks from the night before, mostly rants and lies.

It seems all politicians just can’t get in front of an audience without telling lies.

Donald Trump didn’t answer every question. Seems he was only concerned with getting his point across.

Today on TV, it was repeat the lies and do your best to make John Q. Public believe all the nonsense. With all said and done, Joe Biden should not be running for a second term. Seems many Democrats and liberal stations have all [decided the] same: Joe, time to go.

In God and country,



A Fourth Term
Winter Park, Fla.
June 28, 2024


He did it with President Biden and Bernie Sanders.

Few remember that Barack Obama, a political unknown, never looked back after Oprah Winfrey climbed the stage stairs at Chicago’s Grant Park and anointed his candidacy with “I know him” or words to that effect. Heartfelt television and America surviving are two different things. Oprah and Barack are on the same page, politically. But Oprah would never run for president, due to the damage it would cause her $3-billion brand. Not so for Michelle.

Michelle Obama would hate running for president, but she would do it to give her husband a fourth presidential term. And she wouldn’t change a thing that President Biden has been doing because he has been doing exactly what President Obama wants him to do.

And you thought you knew what was really going on in America. Don’t be deceived by “Becoming Michelle,” the presidential candidate, who would govern as a leftist. Just like her husband, who would introduce her as the moderate choice in 2024.


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