Letters to the Editor - 06.23.11


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
Dear David,
    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
Dear Editor,
    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.
    Sincerely yours,
    East Hampton Independence Party


Junk Mail
    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
    Sag Harbor
    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!

The Word If
    Ridgefield, Conn.
    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.

    The letter writer, age 12, is a frequent visitor to a family house in Amagansett. Ed.

Pacifists Hiding?
    East Hampton
    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?

Is Murder
    East Hampton
    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.