Letters to the Editor - 06.09.11

Annual Event?
    June 3, 2011
Dear Editor:
    It is with great dismay that I find no commentary regarding the upcoming MTK concert at East Hampton Airport. Why is this so? Aren’t there any readers concerned about the two-day production? Have we all slipped into an apparent apathy at the idea of contesting its venue? Does making an effort seem futile?
    And what about the Animal Rescue Fund? Are there any provisions being made for the defenseless dogs and cats at the center, which is located too close to the airport, not to be disturbed by the noise, by the traffic, by the people?
    Can it be possible that we residents of Wainscott have accepted the probability of this MTK concert becoming an annual event at the airport?
    Oh, those fortunate plovers! They have inconvenienced our summer visitors every Fourth of July to the point of a possible end to the Main Beach fireworks since funding has declined over the annual postponement of the dec­ades-old event. What would it take, then, to bring this potential howling success of a music show to a screeching halt?

Match That Record
    June 3, 2011
Dear David,
    Recently Supervisor Bill Wilkinson complained that previous Democratic administrations only cared about open space protection and failed to provide affordable housing. That simply is not true.
    Yes, the Democrats have always understood the importance of protecting our natural resources. However, providing realistic affordable housing opportunities for local people has always been a priority. For example, from 2005 to 2009, the previous Democratic administration created 240 affordable housing options while adopting the 2005 comprehensive plan — including ready-to-move-in affordable houses and apartments! That is a potential average of 60 dwelling units per year.
    The list is long:
    • Green Hollow subdivision
    • Springs-Fireplace Road Apartments
    • Re-sold affordable houses in Whalebone Woods
    • Partnering with Habitat for Humanity
    • Public-private funding
    • Affordable apartments over all commercial buildings
    • Accessory apartments on residences
    In addition, a creative development rights transfer program for septic flow, which takes the development rights off of preserved land and transfers them to increase clustered affordable housing potential, was adopted and applied.
    In other words, every time the town purchases open space land, an equal number of affordable housing opportunities become available for our local people.
    The 2005 comprehensive plan was taken to court six times. Each time the judge ruled in the town’s favor because East Hampton has provided a broad range of affordable housing opportunities to our residents who cannot afford higher property values.
    In 2009, before the Wilkinson administration took office, 77 new dwelling units were built in East Hampton. With an average of 60 affordable opportunities per year under the Demo­crats, that is an outstanding ratio of about one affordable apartment or house for every 1.5 residential building permits.
    I challenge any other Long Island town to match that record. Yes, the town needs to continue to provide housing opportunities to our local people that do not overpower our neighborhoods, schools, and services. All the Wilkinson administration has done is propose an over-the-top disaster scenario with a potential of 10 people per lot in a multi-family house in residential, single-lot neighborhoods throughout town.

Health Needs
    June 6, 2011
Dear David:
    Hasn’t Steve Levy had his wings clipped in the recent accounts of his having awarded contracts to potential campaign donors? It seems he still feels empowered to sell county properties and services to the highest bidder. He was thwarted in his attempt recently to sell the only county-owned nursing facility, the John J. Foley in Yaphank.
    Undeterred, he has hired a consulting service to do a cost-benefit analysis of the value of the County Home Health Care Agency, which provides home health care to the county’s elderly and to others who are confined to their homes due to severe health conditions. They also have a teaching function, working with new mothers, insulin-dependent diabetics, and homebound patients who need instruction or supervision in self-care. Simultaneously he has prepared a request for proposals for publication setting a $50,000 price for the sale of said County Certified Home Health Care Agency.
    He always had a line in his budgets for the public health nurses, but year after year failed to hire a sufficient number of nurses to cover Suffolk’s needs. I read in the papers that he now has a plan to close two of the five county health clinics as well. They are the first line of defense for those who cannot afford health insurance.
    My question is why is he still in office? If you agree, contact County Legislator Jay Schneiderman and let him know how unacceptable the attitude of Mr. Levy is toward the health needs in our county.

Barefoot Season
    East Hampton
    June 6. 2011
To the Editor,
    Barefoot season is upon us, and the practice of “walking” dogs on the beach continues. If you go to the beach, you’ll be walking in urine — barefoot.
    In a couple of weeks, school will be out and children will be playing in urine. We’ve learned to step carefully to avoid the big piles of poop, but by now all the sand has been tainted.
    People who sit in pooped-on sand and track urine-soaked feet to their cars and plant fecal-fouled fannies in them will wonder why the car takes on a funky smell each summer.
    If they’ve had a particularly active day at the beach, they’ll go home to find sand in their hair and have to wonder: Is it sand of the dried, crusty remains of un-policed poop from a season ago?

Trust No One
    June 6, 2011
To the Editor,
    Beware of renters. Check their references. Ask for more than one reference. Don’t trust anyone, no matter how charming.
    My house was trashed, and my studio, shed, and property were trashed with five overflowing garbage cans on the road. Broken glass was all over the grounds, around my house and studio.
    I rented only my house, but my tenant broke into my studio. The floor was covered with papers and magazines, cigarette butts, cans of beer, and old dirty blankets. He went into my papers and threw them around; he took unknown papers. I’ve changed my bank account.
    The legal system is not equipped to deal with people like this. I tell everyone about his treatment of my house (I only rented my house), my studio, and my shed. It was a total disaster, like photos of a tornado. Trust no one renting.
    He took an English officer’s canvas chair, two wire cafe chairs, plus unknown household objects (glass, scissors, books, dictionaries, etc.), and broke the cane bottoms of four dining room chairs. A large plywood board from my shed is missing. He left a huge car seat and trash galore.
    I called the senior center and told a social worker to tell all there to beware of renters.

Seen Their Ad
    East Hampton
    March 27, 2011
Dear Editor,
    My husband, Tom, and I live in Landfall and frequently enjoy a jaunt to Montauk for a walk on the beach under the bluffs, a cocktail at the wonderful old Montauket, and often dine at Gosman’s, Dave’s Grill, or the Harvest on Fort Pond.
    Although Asian is not one of our usual choices, we had heard good things about East by Northeast on Fort Pond, and decided to try it with our handsome, smart grandson when he visited while on a break from his architectural studies at Cornell.
    We arrived at abut 6:35 and were not seated until near 7. On the way to our table, our waitress notified us that the prix fixe was only in effect until 6:30 p.m. and so we were not eligible.
    Since I had seen their ad in The Star week after week, I was reasonably sure that there was no such stipulation and said so to the waitress. We were told that as of this weekend, this was the policy.
    In The Star on May 26 the original ad was there, $15 prix fixe, Sunday to Thursday. Enough said. We will not dine at ENE again.

Die Young
    East Hampton
    June 2, 2011
To the Editor,
    If everyone in the United States died at 70 we would have no budget deficit and a great profitable health care system for those who can pay the freight. Die young, or if not young, sooner than later is the mantra of the health care industry and its Republican allies. There are two concepts that drive this thinking. One is the historical belief that no debt exists to previous generations that built the country. The other is the utilitarian value of non-working people in a capitalist system.
    What do the elderly do for America besides drain its resources? Imagine how rich we would be if we didn’t have to pay out Medicare and Social Security? Why is the country paying such a high price for the social and medical innovations that we initiated?
    Philosophically, we suck compared to the rest of the world. Something in our capitalist-Christian ethic has turned the country against its parents. It is a uniquely American phenomenon, a kind of Jesus on steroids or crack. Is it simply the money that drives us or some psychological disconnect that’s a function of too little breast-feeding and too much Coca-Cola?
    Take any European single-payer universal health care system and implement it in America and we would have better care for less money and not worry about the deficit. Take the philosophies of Europe, Asia, or the Middle East, where the elderly are revered and respected and the question of usefulness disappears. Families accept responsibility for their parents, but these governments also  understand the contributions of previous generations and celebrate their contributions rather than debating the debt.
    Perception of obligations and debts are a function of a less-evolved people who live only in the present with no sense of the past. Universal health care and taking care of our parents is no different than food, shelter, and education. It’s a natural instinct when not blocked by dollar signs. If we thought differently there would be no deficit debate. It would flow naturally in some genetic human channel that the cost of caring for our parents is non-negotiable.
    So the question posed is who are these cretins that hold such deep animosity for their parents that they would not implement a just, all-encompassing health care system, would propose a plan like Paul Ryan’s, which would seriously derange Medicare, to save a few bucks, would insist on someone making a few dollars (or many dollars) even if it puts our parents at risk?
    David Cay Johnson, a conservative economist emeritus, makes the case that Mr. Ryan and the Republicans are incompetent boobs whose program would substantially raise health care costs while it tears apart the system; a nastier vision harks back to 1930s Germany and its utilitarian purity obsession. A third perspective is that health care is a risk to the continued prosperity of America’s top 1 percent and every dollar for the cause helps.
    Greed, lack of humanity, or stupidity — do we really want any of them in our government?

Common Ground
    Sag Harbor
    June 2, 2011
To the Editor,
    We called it democracy and freedom after we destroyed the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan but it really meant brutal capitalism. Many Americans failed to truly understand, manipulated by the corporate-controlled media that also runs our wars. Now we ourselves are experiencing as similar kind of oppression, of course to a much lesser degree. Our economy has been destroyed, our government also destabilized. Soon we might have some empathy for even our so-called enemies.
    In contemporary wars using weapons of mass destruction, 90 percent of the victims are innocent civilians just like us. Have we found common ground with our enemies?
    In peace,