June 20, 2011
To the Editor,
David Hartstein came into our community and with goodness and devotion to his skill made many lives better. I do not fathom a lesson from his passing. I just know I will miss him very much.
June 19, 2011
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed Bridget LeRoy’s piece about her father. I think good fathers always seem larger than life to their children. I know mine certainly seemed that way to me. Still does, even if it’s only in my memories.
Ms. LeRoy mentioned that her father died in 2001, and that she was surprised that she still chokes up when thinking about him in certain situations. My father died 24 years ago, and there are times I still cry over his loss. It happened today, as a matter of fact, while reading Ms. LeRoy’s column.
All the best,
He Was Everywhere
June 12, 2011
I was an usher at Richard Hoyt’s funeral at the Amagansett Presbyterian Church on Saturday afternoon.
When asked to speak, for some reason I started to go to the pulpit but then stopped and spoke from the back of the church. It came to me early this morning that the reason for this oddity could not have been because I am shy about speaking before a large audience but it was because I got a strange feeling, as there was no casket, that Dick was not up front, but that he was everywhere.
He was helping me with the “Bonac tech” rig we made together to take down all the wall-mounted radiators in Scoville Hall, caulking those storm windows on a very cold day several years ago, crawling underneath the church to insulate the heating pipes, up behind the organ sound boxes installing insulation, as it was his observation that the snow was melting quickly off the Yule Room roof because of no insulation, helping Bill Lusty install four new furnaces in the three church buildings, climbing up into the bell tower to check out the repair work Ed Localio and I did on the bell’s wooden drive wheel.
What was also strange was that while I was speaking I kept glancing at the tops of the stained-glass windows. My only explanation for this oddity was that I was looking for the house wren.
STUART B. VORPAHL
June 18, 2011
Your correction in last week’s Star must have been met with relief and maybe even celebration. To learn that your front-page photo of 12 show-off, face-making goons are not this summer’s lifeguards makes it possible to think about swimming in the ocean again.
Why don’t you publish a photo of our real, sensible, well-trained lifeguards? I don’t think any of us want to be rescued by the jokey idiots you displayed on page one. Also, your correction should have been large and un-missable. We rely on capable, strong, and well-trained lifeguards.
Eggs Are Gone
June 20, 2011
To the Editor,
Someone has killed all of the swallow chicks by breaking all of their eggs.
They nested in the rafters of the Main Beach Pavillion, have done so for years, and by design or as an act of vandalism the eggs are gone.
Will Soon Reopen
June 19, 2011
To the Editor,
Sign of the times: A former chic, high-end, ladies couture boutique on Route 27 in Wainscott will soon reopen as a Sleepy’s discount mattress store.
JOSEPH D. POLICANO
June 20, 2011
To the Editor,
Alec Baldwin is a nice guy. Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend in East Hampton, I lost my bag with everything in it. I came back to the city to cancel my credit cards but I found a message in my service from the East Hampton police saying that Alec found it in the middle of the road and brought it in himself with everything in it. How lucky for me.
I wanted to do something to show Alec my gratitude so I named my cats after him. Thank you Alec, you’re the greatest.
People Who Care
June 15, 2011
Editor, The Star,
Two local environmental organizations, the Eastern Long Island Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and the Concerned Citizens of Montauk, collaborated on our first annual ’Taukfest, a very successful, well-attended “friend-raising” and fund-raising event held at Stephen Talkhouse on June 10. The crowd in attendance was treated to three rocking local acts: Joe Delia and Thieves, spittinkittin, and the Montauk Project.
We want to express our gratitude to all those who volunteered to support ’Taukfest — including Peter Honerkamp and the staff of Stephen Talkhouse, the rocking musicians, and the over 20 local businesses that supported the event through generous raffle prizes and those who attended.
People who care about the protection and preservation of our East End environment know how to work and know how to play!
Concerned Citizens of Montauk
June 14, 2011
On behalf of the membership of South Fork Country Club, we would like to congratulate the East Hampton High School golf team on its tremendous achievements this year. To win the Long Island championship against a perennial powerhouse at such a renowned golf course, Bethpage Black, is truly a remarkable feat.
South Fork Country Club has long been the home of the Bonackers and we are very proud of our relationship with them. There have been many thrilling matches over the years against traditional rivals, such as Southampton and Westhampton, and a string of many league championships celebrated on our course. However, it has been more impressive to watch how these young men and women have handled themselves during matches and practices. They have learned what golf aspires to teach its players: honesty, sportsmanship, and respect, not only for their opponent but also for the course and the game itself.
The community should be proud of the job that coach Claude Beudert and the athletic department has done with these scholar-athletes. We at South Fork Country Club certainly are.
South Fork Country Club
Right to Complain
June 17, 2011
Dear East Hampton Star,
This is a response to the article of June 2 by Bridget LeRoy concerning the fears of noise and inconvenience about a construction project on Egypt Lane. I read this article with some amusement but mostly with great sympathy. The people of Egypt Lane have every right to complain and should do so at every opportunity. The thing is, what I have experienced living very close by on Egypt Close for the last 20 years or so make their problems pale by comparison. Let me explain.
To begin with, my family bought our house in 1968, when it was one of the first built on Egypt Close. We watched as the street was slowly developed and it didn’t bother us, mostly because we were weekenders and summer people.
When I turned 18, I moved into the house permanently and have been here ever since. I take care of the house for my parents, who spend as much time here as possible.
As far as noise is concerned, our house is located at the far end of Egypt Close proper and, as such, we had to endure the noise coming from the development of Amy’s Lane and Amy’s Court. We were also in earshot of the pile-driver which would be going ceaselessly from dawn until dusk on Fithian Lane a few years ago that could be heard all the way over at the Maidstone golf course along Further Lane. That was just noise and not really terrible noise.
The problems really began about 10 years ago, when a lot behind ours was developed and 3,000 square feet of our property, which consisted of a natural hedgerow which we wanted as a privacy barrier, was bulldozed. Not only did we have to take our new neighbor to court, but we had to put up with the loud noise and intrusion that go along with construction, which went on year round.
This project was not quite finished when new owners of the house across the circle decided to do some major renovations. These lasted, it seemed, for almost two years and the work was, again year round. In addition to noise there was a lot of loose trash and more construction vehicles than seemed absolutely necessary. Several times I had to complain to the workers about our driveway being blocked.
No sooner was this renovation completed when another house down by the main circle was renovated and expanded. This added a new dimension of actual danger to the nuisance of all the extra vehicles. These vehicles were parked such that the road was either blocked or too narrow for emergency vehicles to get in or out. Since this was also the only entrance to or exit from Egypt Close, which is a cul-de-sac, it also caused problems for me getting to and from work and just carrying on life in general. That went on for more than a long time and is only now being finished.
Next, a house three driveways down from ours was demolished and replaced. This caused another problem. The owners of a flag-lot property on the northwest corner of ours rented it out for July and August 2009. Neither they nor the tenants knew that the house next door was to be demolished. The demolition began the day after the renters moved in — and they sued. They also decided to remain in the house for the duration of their lease. They added to the problem of the extra vehicles because the children would leave their bikes in the road, necessitating Good Samaritans to move them onto the grass. We’ll come back to these people in a bit.
This demolition and rebuild exacerbated another already existing problem which is that there is a dip in the road which floods when it rains and can be deep enough to trap any of us who live east of it. The wholesale uprooting of trees and ruining of the lawn caused more runoff. Despite installation of plenty of drywells and fairly extensive replanting, the flooding remains worse than it was before the rebuild.
While this house was still being worked on, the house directly across the street was demolished and reconstruction began. More vehicles, more flooding, more trash, more noise. This project is just in its finishing stages (we hope) as we speak.
Now back to the rented property I mentioned earlier. That rental was in summer 2009. The renters eventually left early. Actually, they abandoned the house after a toilet backed up. They simply packed up their things (except those pesky bicycles which were, again, left in the road) and let the contents of the toilet seep throughout the house. The owners then sold the house, which changed hands sometime in 2010 and in August of that year, with two other building projects going on, partial demolition and rebuilding of that house began. More noise, garbage, dust, vehicles, flooding, etc.
In addition, in February or March, the first house on the right as you come in began renovations that seem to be nearing completion. Is this the end? No. A project yet to begin is the installation of a second story on the house next to the second full rebuild.
It seems a very long time since we were able to really enjoy our property to the fullest. Other problems we’ve faced include marauding deer (I can only garden on our deck or in our pool area) and the vicious dogs belonging to our neighbor to the north. The dogs were constantly allowed to roam the neighborhood and threatened us in our garage and on our deck. We spent most of last summer afraid of getting trapped inside our pool fence by snarling, snapping jaws. This problem is at least solved.
We stopped complaining about the building to the village board long ago since it didn’t seem to do any good. Through a friend, I sent a complaint to the planning office but haven’t heard back and I don’t expect to.
The point of this letter has not really been to complain (okay, yes, it has), but mostly to point out to those who are experiencing just a single construction project that some of us have had to put up with constant noise, trash, mud, neighborhood invasion, and major inconvenience for more than a decade (actually, if I tried, I could probably push it to two decades), year round with no end in sight.
To my new and old neighbors, I want to assure you that I do not begrudge your fulfilling what you wish to accomplish. The problem is that I would really like to have a year or two of real peace and quiet — the sounds of children playing, dogs barking, birds chirping, and the occasional party — instead of constant hammering, sawing, and grinding from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Personally, I think we (my parents and I) have been more than patient with all this disturbance. My mother also wants me to mention the many flat tires we’ve experienced from dropped nails and screws in the road.
If anyone from the village is reading this letter, please bring this state of affairs to the attention of the proper authorities. Does this really have to go on and on and on?
As always, thanks for reading.
June 20, 2011
To the Editor:
Hell must have frozen over! Finally you have penned an editorial with which I can agree (“Replacing Gualtieri,” June 16). However, there may be one small crack in the ice: I cannot agree with an implication in your statement that it will be difficult to fill the superintendent’s job “despite the position’s hefty salary.” You cannot actually be saying that the school board should use Mr. Gualtieri’s current compensation as the benchmark for negotiations.
Surely neither the community nor the media can condone or accept the proposition that any negotiation with a new superintendent must begin where the salary, pension, and benefits package of Mr. Gualtieri left off. He has been here for eight years, raking in an ever-growing high salary and pension, along with increased benefits. Mr. Gualtieri’s total package from this community was a constant source of outrage to the taxpaying public. In my opinion, despite the problems you itemized in your editorial, your list doesn’t even begin to detail the shafting we got in return for our money.
Hopefully our current school board has learned from this experience. Mr. Gualtieri seems to have set a value on this job by the salary he accepted in his new position. He is going to a Pennsylvania school district with a student body at least twice the size of ours and a much larger staff — for $190,000 a year. What fools we were.
One hopes that the current school board, with its new blood, will not be snookered a second time. Contrary to the suggestion in the editorial, Mr. Gualtieri’s current compensation should be neither the starting nor the ending place for negotiations with applicants for the superintendent’s position — regardless of what some high-priced headhunter may tell the board!
June 17, 2011
I was very disturbed to read in The East Hampton Star that at a recent meeting regarding distributing charitable funds from the MTK concert, Julia Prince suggested eliminating funding for the Children’s Museum of the East End. While physically located in Bridgehampton, CMEE serves all of the children of East Hampton and their families. It’s the only facility of its kind on the East End. In addition to hosting a Head Start program, CMEE provides literacy programs and much needed hands-on learning experiences for East Hampton’s young children.
Julia’s opposition to funding CMEE feels like a kick in the stomach to me and many other East Hampton moms who have worked hard for many years to raise money to build and operate CMEE. If Julia’s young baby could speak, I’m sure he would join me in urging her and the other East Hampton Town Board members to fund CMEE and support East Hampton’s families.
Would Work Hard
June 20, 2011
To the Editor,
I have been involved in politics supporting my husband, John, through his 30 years of political service to our community. During that time I had the opportunity to interact with some of our most effective political figures from presidents, governors, congressmen, senators, assemblymen, right down the line to our environmentally sensitive trustees. When the opportunity arose to step into the political arena I decided to seize the moment. I feel that I have a lot to offer this wonderful town, where I raised my children, where I watched them leave to find a future for themselves and their families.
During my tenure as executive director of the Montauk Chamber of Commerce I became involved with the business community, learning their needs and fears, not only in Montauk but throughout the town. I have lobbied the Suffolk County Legislature on taxes implemented on our hotel industry as well as a varied array of issues affecting the East End, worked with the Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau on the promotion of our East End and with the I Love NY Campaign to increase the awareness of our area as a tourist destination. I believe that we must market ourselves in ways that we can control the influx of people responsibly, yet guard our precious resources. I have participated in many festivals from their inception, all wonderfully successful and still in place today, i.e., the fall festival in Montauk and the East Hampton film festival.
The passions that brought me to the decision to screen for a seat on the town board are my love for this community, my desire to make a difference, and the need we have to elect hard-working, committed individuals who understand the members of the community.
I presented myself to all three parties — Republicans, Democrats, and Independence. Only the Independence Party saw and understood that I would work hard for the people of this town and not a particular party.
We are in a period of time where we must be diligent about our community, our environment, and our quality of life. We are in control of our destiny. Be an independent thinker, participate, and help create a better community.
I am proud to be running on the Independence ticket. I look forward to the support of the voters in East Hampton so that I may work hard to make a difference.
Thank you for your time.
Save a Few
June 18, 2011
Politics can be fraught. I know. I was accused of padding my bird-watching count in my quest to become the New York City preschool representative to the National Audubon Society.
Our current local Republican leaders and the Democratic contenders are quibbling over the amount of the East Hampton town debt. It is about $20 million. Houses out here can cost $20 million. Supervisor Willy Wilkinson’s Ralph Lauren sweaters cost $20 million.
The Republican rearranged the debt by hiring a new accountant, firing people, and by getting Republicans in Albany to float new loans.
I would suggest finding the owner of a little-used $20 million house, encouraging them to donate it to the town in exchange for naming Town Hall after whomever they wish.
I would also suggest that, as much as it was nice to save a few dollars on my town taxes, my school tax is staggering.
I have no solution to the latter except possibly only offering local residency to the barren.
All good things,
There Were Concerns
June 20, 2011
I read with great amusement the letter (“Simple Extortion”) sent by Edward Nash to the letters page in last week’s Star. The letter was filled with misinformation and political rhetoric. Seems as if the Republicans are trying to find excuses as to why Bill Wilkinson wasn’t endorsed by the Independence Party.
As far as Marilyn Behan and Bill Mott are concerned, they were both asked from the beginning if they would run on the Independence Party line without the endorsement of any other party. They both said yes.
Mr. Nash’s statement that the Independence Party was on course to endorse Bill Wilkinson until Mr. Behan’s wife screened for a town board nomination for both the Republican and Independence Parties, is simply untrue. Never at any time did any of the committee members discuss with John Behan the endorsement of his wife. Marilyn Behan is a registered Democrat, and also screened with the Democrats.
I was told in early March that the Republican committee was going to endorse only Republicans, and that was long before I even knew Marilyn Behan wanted to run.
I had a call from Richard Haeg, vice-chairman of the Republican Party, in early March telling me that he would be a candidate for the East Hampton Town Board, and would like to screen with the Independence Party.
I told Mr. Haeg to bring his resume by and that of course he could screen with the committee. I asked Mr. Haeg at that time if the Republican committee was considering Bill Mott for a town board seat, and he told me no, that Bill Mott was not a Republican. He said, “We are only endorsing Republicans.”
I was quite surprised, because although Bill Mott is a member of the Independence Party, he was asked to run again for trustee this year on the Republican line, and he declined because he wanted to be considered for town board. I was told by another Republican operative that Bill Wilkinson had requested both Richard Haeg and Steven Gaines to be his running mates.
I also told Mr. Haeg that day that the Independence Party was going to screen Pete Hammerle for town board or supervisor and that we had endorsed Pete in every election he ran in. Mr. Haeg dropped off his resume the very next day. There were actually at that time three candidates to be screened for supervisor.
Soon after that conversation with Mr. Haeg, I received a message on my answering machine from Trace Duryea, the Republican chairwoman, telling me that we should announce our candidates together. I returned her call to tell her that I didn’t think we were on the same page, and that it was possible that the Independence Party would run a member, Bill Mott, on his own, without the endorsement of either the Republican or Democratic Parties.
I also told Ms. Duryea that there were concerns that members of the Independence Party and the community had with Supervisor Wilkinson and some of the actions of the present board.
In talking to members of the community these are some of those complaints: Hasty decisions made without investigation, the leaf program, layoffs of town employees on LTV without notifying the employees, the Baker House fiasco, the Amagansett concert, Dan Adams, Fort Pond House in Montauk (again without discussion with the people), the thought of selling the fishing docks, lawsuits filed as a result of hasty decisions, Lazy Point, closing the dump on Wednesdays, contempt shown for the employees and the public, contempt shown at the town board meetings to the public by Mr. Wilkinson and Councilwoman Theresa Quigley, the thought of making illegal apartments legal, favoritism to certain people, thoughts of bringing the movie industry to East Hampton Town for millions of dollars, revetments, Ms. Quigley herself, the vendor law, talk of re-writing parts of the comprehensive plan, obvious political appointments, and all the cuts for lower taxes have affected those people who can least afford it. The children of East Hampton and the senior citizens do not seem to matter. This letter could go on and on and on.
After our decisions had been made for our slate it was Trace Duryea who called our county chairman, Frank MacKay, and tried to influence him to change our minds. Frank would not interfere. There were other calls by Republicans to try to influence our decision. If anyone was trying to serve their own political objectives it was members of the Republican Party.
The Independence Party is proud of its slate this year because our candidates will support the people, not the political parties. Marilyn Behan was chosen by the Independence Party because she is a breath of fresh air and we believe she will make decisions based on what is right for East Hampton.
Bill Mott was endorsed by the Independence Party because he will support what is right for the people, not the parties, and Zach Cohen was endorsed for supervisor because he is professional, independent, and will do what is right for both the people and the taxpayers of East Hampton . It is not only about the money.
Mr. Nash may try to insult the intelligence of the voters with his rhetoric, but to insult John Behan and Marilyn Behan with his wild theories is appalling. The Independence Party is not a rubber stamp for the Republican party and it is unacceptable for anyone to assume so.
Perhaps Mr. Wilkinson should accept responsibility for his own actions and not blame everyone else. I’m not sure anymore if Mr. Wilkinson really knows East Hampton Town and its people.
East Hampton Independence Party
June 20, 2011
To the Editor,
I just received the annual report from the Suffolk County Water Authority. It consists of 16 pages of charts and facts, as the chairman, James F. Gaughran, proudly proclaims on the first page of this waste of taxpayer money.
This information should be put on the water authority Web page for anyone to look up if they so desire, instead of spending lord only knows how much to publish and mail paper. I guess someone’s brother-in law needed a job or perhaps owns a printing company.
Between this and all the other self-promoting junk mail I receive from my representatives it’s no wonder the country is bankrupt.
Form an Opinion
June 13, 2011
To the Editor,
The term prejudice comes from the prefix “pre,” meaning before and the verb “judge” which means to form an opinion. To form an opinion before meeting a fellow human being is to be prejudiced. And therein lies the rub! The number-one reason for the chaos our world finds itself in (okay, maybe it’s number two after religion, but lets not split hairs.)
Earlier today I drove to the South Fork Country Club in Amagansett to drop off my resume for an open position they offered as head bartender. Having to close my mom-and-pop video store in late 2009 has left me in dire straits. For over one year I have failed to find permanent employment, so when this plum became available I drove there early but learned from a random employee that Chris, a woman whose title is controller, and Tom, whose title is general manager, would not be in until 11 a.m.
I slid a copy of my resume under each of their office doors and returned at 1:30 p.m. I first entered Chris’s office and introduced myself as the person who slid the resume under her door. She scowled and scolded me for my e-mail address, which is nubiangoddess6969. Then she pointed to the office next door as my intended destination.
Stunned, I went to Tom’s office. He was talking with someone sitting at his desk but stopped, invited me in and invited me in with a smile. Then I introduced myself and watched as his countenance changed faster than someone with bipolar disorder.
He said, “Can I give you some advice?”
Always one to think on my feet, I responded, “You’re not going to chide me about my e-mail address too are you?”
As he righted himself from bending over to retrieve my resume from the wastepaper basket, I noticed it was torn in quarters! He then told me he would never hire someone with an e-mail address like that.
I was born and raised in East Hampton. My surname dates back to the 1930s when my grandfather immigrated here from Italy. He built the structure at 99 North Main Street. My father had a hardware store right across the street. There was a time when a family’s name was respected in a small town, everyone knew everyone else, and life was simple.
In reaching out to a local establishment in my community I was rebuffed by the powers that be. For me it was a heart-sinking sign of the times to be judged by my e-mail address, which is no more than my post office box number plus one digit — a number I can remember. Prejudice is ugly!
FRANK FEDI JR.
The Word If
June 17, 2011
To the Editor,
I dedicate this to my cousin Charlie, who is currently in Iraq.
The word if has many definitions depending on which person you ask. To me, the word if is a possibility or question where you can win it all or lose it all and the reward can be terrifying. In this passage I will tell you why.
My cousin Charlie is probably the bravest person I know. Believe it or not, though, I never met him. The reason why is having to do with the word if again. The question here is, “What if he never joined the Army, would I have more than a picture to know him by?”
To tell you the truth, it’s just me knowing what he does that makes me know him but I can already know he is very caring. The possibility if he leaves the war untouched will I ever meet him in real life or will we have only ever talked on the telephone for five minutes at practically the only time he was home?
As we speak he is fighting for our country as a medic. At any moment he could be shot. Or he’ll make it through the war and go home. Both of these possibilities come back to if.
“What if he were to be shot and never come home?”
“What if he came home and was fine?”
For each possibility both rewards come with their own punishments. If he were to accidentally get shot, he would never have experienced all the things that he is missing out on like being away from his family or even raising a family of his own, because he is fighting for you. That’s right, he’s fighting for you because he wants all of this country to be free and be gone with all talk of war.
The other being him experiencing deaths, maybe even one of his best friend in combat and seeing them suffer when he tried to help them live very hardly but realized it was too late.
Also, to the other soldiers Charlie is not with, they never experience life to the fullest when they die in the heat of battle. But Charlie is one of the people who tries to stop that from happening by keeping going and never leaving a fellow soldier behind. But what if it was too late?
My cousin is fighting for the new day to come for all of us, and I hope for all the soldiers out there, including Charlie, to defeat the word if and make what they want to happen.
Finally, Charlie is the best soldier anyone could have in both heart and bravery, and there will always be a part of my heart for his actions. I hope nobody in this world will make the mistake of getting into a war with the word if.
JEAN PHILIPPE BEAUMONT
The letter writer, age 12, is a frequent visitor to a family house in Amagansett. Ed.
June 17, 2011
To the Editor,
I’m not for peace at any price. That policy would have left Hitler ruling Europe and British soldiers still arresting East Hamptonites who wouldn’t bow to the king.
But I’m also not a hypocrite. The presidential choice of the local pacifists now has four wars in progress: Yemen, Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Two have never been authorized by Congress. In others the public has no idea if we’re helping the good guys or the bad ones — and I suspect neither does the White House.
So where are all the local pacifists hiding, the teachers who had their students displaying Iraqi flags while Saddam was still in charge, the activists who blocked Main Street one weekend, the pseudo-mourners who demeaned the memories of fallen soldiers by installing fake tombstones along Montauk Highway? And let’s not forget the six ladies in black who got incredible local press coverage almost every weekend! Or is war only a bad thing when it can be used as an election issue against a Republican?
June 13, 2011
To the Editor,
In the first year of his administration Barack Hussein Obama did an end run around a policy known as the Mexican policy, which prohibited the United States from financially supporting abortions in foreign countries by giving the money to the National Institutes of Health that took care of supporting abortion. I guess there is a lot of ways to skin a cat.
So, the United States taxpayer, my guess is that means you, is now supporting abortions in foreign countries. A simple logic theorem: Abortion is murder; President Obama supports abortion; Obama supports murder.