Letters to the Editor: 04.12.12

Readers' comments

Fine Example
    East Hampton
    April 7, 2012
Dear Editor,
    This is a note of congratulations to our elected officials in the Town of East Hampton, the County of Suffolk, and the State of New York.
    Saturday I attended the grand opening of the Amsterdam Beach Loop (two miles) in the Amsterdam Beach State Park in Montauk. This 200-acre preserve provides a wonderful experience in nature with woodland, wetlands, and moorland, ending in a spectacular view of the bluffs and the beach. For some of us, we walked down to the beach and Lily Pond. There was even talk of the ship (Amsterdam) wreck under water off the coast from which this beach gets its name.
    It was great to experience this walk along with about 40 other hikers. One of the hikers was Andrew Gates, senior environmental analyst of the Town of East Hampton, who was involved in this project. Today he was our leader. It was reported to us that this trail required 4,000 man-hours of work to clear — which was done by volunteers.
    This park is a fine example of different levels of government working together so that all of us can enjoy this splendid area that surrounds us. The East Hampton Trails Preservation Society, which sponsored the walk, is also included in this citizen’s thank-you.

Community Effort
    East Hampton
    April 4, 2012
Dear David,
    A huge thanks to the East Hampton community for supporting Boy Scout Troop 298’s annual spaghetti dinner at the American Legion hall last month. The turnout was incredible! On a soggy, foggy day, our scouts served over 400 meals to a steady stream of smiling faces that the boys recognized — teachers, firemen, cops, business owners, moms, dads, neighbors, clergy, visitors, friends, and all. It was a wonderful tribute to our boys and a real show of support for the great program that is Boy Scout Troop 298.
    We owe a debt of gratitude to our chartering organization, the Sons of the American Legion Post 419, for providing a beautiful space for our fund-raiser, to the local businesses that sponsored our dinner, to the local press for promoting the day, and a big thanks to our own Jason Ganga, the chef and Eagle Scout, who led two days’ worth of cooking and serving in the kitchen. It was a real community effort and we are so proud of the outcome.
    Our scouts will spend a week at summer camp in the Pennsylvania Mountains enjoying hiking, orienteering, archery, rowing, climbing, woodworking, tent camping, first aid, bird study, lifesaving, wilderness survival, and many, many other outdoor adventures.
    Scouting gives our boys back a childhood that is so rare these days, that many crave, and that provides a foundation of self-reliance, civic duty, patriotism, and community service. We are all grateful to Troop 298 for its incredible commitment to our scouts and to our East Hampton community for supporting our boys so generously. Thanks again and see you all next year!

She Showed Love
    April 2, 2012
To the Editor,
    While we could have sent a private thank-you, we felt the need to let others know how kind and caring Dr. Molly, the Montauk veterinarian, was to us and our Max.
    Dr. Molly showed so much compassion. She laid Max on his favorite spot on our lawn, gave us alone-time to say goodbye, and came back, gently took away Max’s pain, and brought us extra hands to lay him in the ground.
    She showed love and kindness to Max all through his life and even through his death. Thank you, Dr. Molly and friend.

Injured Raccoon
    Hampton Bays
    April 5, 2012
To the Editor,
    I would like to clarify a situation that appeared in the police blotter in the March 22 issue about the Wildlife Rescue Center’s not being able to respond to an injured raccoon.
    At this time, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, which issues our license to rehabilitate wild animals, forbids us from accepting raccoons, bats, or skunks for treatment as they are considered rabies-vector species. As such, we are also not permitted to send volunteers on raccoon calls. We usually try and talk the caller into gently pushing the raccoon into a side-opening carrier with a broom or shovel. Then they may be taken to one of the animal hospitals for humane euthanasia.
    We have been corresponding with state and county officials regarding this matter, and are attempting to get this protocol changed. As a nonprofit organization, we try our best to respond to each and every call regarding injured wildlife.
    Executive director
    Evelyn Alexander Wildlife
    Rescue Center

Must Be Stopped
    April 2, 2012
Dear David,
    At 5:30 Monday afternoon, Daniel Rogers and Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. held a news conference at the Lesters’ yard on Abraham’s Path.
    The meeting was for the presentation of Assemblymen Thiele’s proposed legislation to rein in the abuses and outright violations of fishermen’s constitutional rights by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
    I have been a victim of said abuses for many years and have the paperwork to prove it.
    New York State government, et al., must begin to pay heed to a statement President Abraham Lincoln made to Congress in 1861:
    “It is as much the duty of government to render prompt justice against itself, in favor of citizens as it is to administer the same between private individuals.”
    New York State’s program of political genocide against the fishermen of Long Island must be stopped before there are no fishermen left.

Something Missing
    April 2, 2012
Dear David Rattray,
    Many, many thanks to you, David, and your staff for including the Montauk St. Patrick’s Day Parade and related articles in last week’s East Hampton Star. There surely was something missing in Montauk during the Friends of Erin’s weeklong events without The Montauk Pioneer onboard. Traditionally, the first issue of each new season begins with The Montauk Pioneer’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and when Dan Rattiner persuaded me last February to accept the position of The Montauk Pioneer community editor, who would have imagined that The Pioneer would not continue, especially after an extraordinary season with compliments abounding and new writers enthusiastically contributing without pay?
    For us it is like losing a longtime, dear friend and hard to accept the rumor that Manhattan Media, owners of The Pioneer, felt the ads did not generate enough money, and so they decided to discontinue publishing it. We believed the ads increased, which allowed for the extra page count for many issues.
    As Montauk is rapidly changing and soaring, so are the dynamics. The old guard, still in place, reminds me of how a rough sea can upturn the most solid sandy shore, and yet, with attention and the understanding of its ebb and flow, another kind of application could very well sustain a new direction. Meeting the four criteria of a newspaper: publicity, periodicity, currenticity, and universality (in a much smaller way), The Pioneer, although not providing for breaking news, did give clear context to the meaning of the news.
    Far more social and personal relations were developed in our newspaper with the addition of personal profiles, school news written by the students, charter boat activities, bookshop highlights, beach adventures, fitness programs, and glimpses into the world of our so-admired village doctor. To have accomplished such a unique, first-time presentation in addition to the arts, entertainment, fund-raisers, fishing tournaments, galas, reviews, and outstanding photography, this little jewel of a newspaper was stuffed to the gills!
    It is no wonder some shops, restaurants, offices, marinas, motels, stores, salons, and even the library ran out of copies. And when you heard conversations that started like this: “Hey, where can I get The Pioneer?” “My photo is in the paper, gotta have it!” “Charlie and Jerry are in The Pioneer. Get a ton of copies!” “The results are always in Paulie’s fishing column — get the paper!” “Whadda ya mean, you have none? I need it. Now!” “Grab me a Pioneer, would ya?” “We’re in luck, I got three!” you knew there was something very special about The Montauk Pioneer.

Spend Every Penny
    April 9, 2012
To the Editor,
    The Springs School District has decided not to try to pierce the state-imposed 2-percent tax cap — a wise choice since they did not have the support of 60 percent of the voters last year in a record turnout.
    They did choose to spend every penny up to the cap. The board, consisting of parents and educator-parents is, in addition to their concern for the children,  also very sensitive to the desires of the parents, not so much to the needs of the larger community.
    As someone with a master’s degree from one of the best teacher training colleges in the country and teaching experience at varied levels of education, I not only attended several board meetings, but also the community budget workshop and several key communicator meetings. I believe I did  my due diligence when I conclude that more cuts could have been made to this budget without harming education. 
    The district still gives away free busing inside the state mandated two-mile-out limit. The nonmandated pre-K program has not been cut and will be paid for by taxpayers, not parents. The concerns of retirees, the unemployed, or underemployed during a time of economic hardship were ignored. Apparently, the only way to hold the board accountable to a tighter budget is to reject this budget. They must receive 50 percent of the vote to pass this budget or else they will have to go back and reconsider. 
    They estimate our taxes will still increase by 3.19 percent. Is this necessary? A tough salary negotiation with the teachers which caps the highest earners while protecting younger teachers and class sizes and the elimination of nonmandated programs like taxpayer-funded pre-K and free busing would certainly be a start. 

Sherrill Farm
    Shutesbury, Mass.
    April 2, 2012
Dear David,
    I strongly support the efforts of the committee trying to save the Sherrill Farm by seeking funding from the town’s community preservation funds.
    Although not a resident of East Hampton, I have become very familiar with its history, particularly during the early 20th century. I have researched extensively the period when Jud Banister and his older sister, Ede, arrived between 1901 and 1904 and when he died in 1967, and especially the years he was village mayor from 1936 to 1954. Ede was my wife, Carol’s, grandmother and gave birth to her only daughter, Beryle Huntting, at a house still standing on Cedar Street.
    During our efforts to locate this house we were helped immensely by the late Sherrill Foster and were fortunate to attend the memorial service for her on the farm grounds. One can only imagine the great passion that Sherrill would project to see the farm saved as proposed.
    In researching Jud’s history, we well remember the records of his effort to have the village and town purchase the old Dominy property. Charles Hummel documents his failed attempt just as World War II was breaking out, in the preface to “With Hammer in Hand.” Were Jud still around, I have no doubt how strongly he would support the committee’s hopes for the Sherrill Farm.
    For a family who made available at least part of the land that is now Cedar Lawn Cemetery, it seems only right that the town would make every effort to preserve the farm and buildings. One can surely imagine that the souls of so many who rest in Cedar Lawn with timeless links to the town and farm’s heritage are, in their own way, saying, “Save the Sherrill Farm.”

Arena of Derision
    April 9, 2012
Dear David:
     Before last year’s town election, I predicted “confrontational chaos” if Sylvia Overby and Peter Van Scoyoc were elected. But I still sat with my mouth agape as I watched my prediction come true during a televised town board work session on March 6 and a subsequent town board meeting in March.
    To their credit, Peter Van Scoyoc and Sylvia Overby, though clearly politically partisan in their intent, are not the main problem. The town board has devolved into an arena of derision, dysfunction, and disarray. To me it seems more akin to tag-team mud wrestling than doing the necessary business of governing. One thing about mud wrestling is that all the participants end up with mud on their faces.
    I will be blunt. This nonsense has to stop right now! My opinions may not have any influence on the certain Republican town board members and their Democrat adversaries. These Republicans appear to have adopted a “my way or the highway” attitude that has led them to be dead wrong on a number of issues. The Democrats smell blood in the water and are circling. Stephen Spielberg would not have needed a mechanical shark in “Jaws” had he had these two in the water.
    On the issues, the Democrats seem to be more right than wrong. Sylvia Overby’s attempt to stop further disasters like the 7-Eleven in Montauk should be encouraged, not resisted. One only needs walk around Fort Pond a few times to see the rapidly accumulating Big Gulp garbage being produced. And “Coming Soon, McDonald’s” might be an April Fool’s joke for some, but its reality would mean that everything we have fought to preserve will be trashed.
    On the Surf Lodge situation, we all want new and different businesses to succeed, but 600-plus violations, a total disregard for the character and culture of the community, as well as a lack of plain common sense in pursuit of extraordinary profits, is not acceptable. It makes my skin crawl to hear Republicans spending their time bending over backward to help this business destroy Montauk.
    And the last issue I will address is the Ronjo alley issue. Again, most people want to see that, and other, properties in Montauk improved and upgraded. What seemed almost benign has turned into one big mess with a lot of questions to be resolved. I have not seen a map of the alleyway and it would be a good first step for The Star to publish one. But I am firm in my belief that no supervisor after Bill McGintee should ever say: “I pulled the figure out of the air.” Zach Cohen says there are other deed issues as well, and, on top of it all, the owner made some statement about Section 8 housing that will not be helpful to his cause.
    The last election was similar to a near-death experience for Bill Wilkinson and the Republican majority. There are two ways that people usually respond to that kind of experience. The first is to go crazy and taste all the fruits of life without understanding or really enjoying them, and the second is to reform your ways and deeply savor and enjoy the fruits that come from your earnest efforts. No sign of the latter here.
    A postscript: A good example of town board dysfunction is the “One Way” sign on the road that fronts the Montauk I.G.A. Many people, as well as school buses, postal trucks, and other vehicles, are ignoring it. The sign that indicated no left turn has also been removed. This is now an unregulated, unenforced traffic intersection that in season (coming very soon) may result in fatality. Enforcement would require an officer there full time. Common sense would dictate that the 7-Eleven be one way in and one way out. But who has common sense?

What Happened?
    East Hampton
    April 9, 2012
Dear David,
    Our attention has been centered on the many local issues generated by the supervisor at the town board. But there have been some rather peculiar pronouncements by this supervisor concerning his knee-jerk endorsement of Randy Altschuler for Congress last month.
    Bill Wilkinson said that Tim Bishop “has never done what I think is necessary for the fishing community of this great town of ours, one of the indigenous businesses that are ever so important to us.” That was in late February, 2012.
    But it was in June of 2011 that the supervisor declared, “When asked, (Congressman) Tim Bishop did some real heavy lifting to get desperately needed funding reprogrammed for our harbor. It shows a true understanding of channel dredging and its positive impact on safety of ingress and egress, the economy of the port, the importance of Coast Guard Station Montauk and the overall viability of aquaculture in Lake Montauk. In this day of cutbacks at the federal, state, county, and local levels, we are grateful for the congressman’s intervention.”
    So what happened between June and February? Mr. Bishop, our home-grown representative who truly represents this district, who knows its people and their problems, has been doing his job, as usual. Why this abrupt about-face by Mr. Wilkinson? Is he feeling pressure from the national Republican Party to help them pave the way for their hand-picked outsider candidate?
    Is this honest?

In the Best Interest
    April 9, 2012
Dear David,
    I hope it is unnecessary to remind the members of the town board majority that even though it appears the community submitted more than enough valid signatures for a permissive referendum on the March 6 resolution to sell the alleyway next to the Ronjo motel, the law permits them to rescind the resolution. They may then do research on whether and how much of an interest in the alleyway can be sold consistent with the public welfare, what a fair price to the town would be, and if a sale is indicated, negotiate a new deal with the Ronjo owners.
    Rescinding the resolution and proceeding in the fashion suggested will be in the best interest of the would-be buyers, enabling them to get on with their plans. It will serve the entire community, avoiding the expense of the vote on whether or not the original sale should be approved.
    If on the other hand, the majority persist in their apparent determination not to rescind the resolution despite the two-time request of the minority council members and the 644 signatures on the referendum petition, they will have to schedule a community-wide vote on the original resolution. To use a favorite phrase of the supervisor, the costs of that vote, estimated from $35,000 to $75,000, will be “on them.”
    Sincerely yours,

    Ms. Frankl is the chairwoman of the East Hampton Democratic Committee. Ed.

Legal and Proper
    East Hampton
    April 9, 2012
Dear Mr. Rattray:
    Listening to Democratic town board members and party officials, at the April 5 town board meeting, use phrases like “fiduciary responsibility,” “taxpayers’ purse strings,” and “due diligence” provided much-needed comic relief.
    These are the same people whose fiduciary responsibility and due diligence led the taxpayers’ purse strings to be looted by their friends in the previous administration and resulted in a $27 million deficit that our children and grandchildren will be paying for many years to come. Where were these stewards of fiscal responsibility when $3.8 million in taxpayer money went to purchase Keyes Island under highly suspicious and controversial circumstances? Ms. Overby? Mr. Van Scoyoc? Ms. Frankl? Where was your outrage then? Where was your leadership warning taxpayers about these devastating fiscal irregularities?
    I guess all that energy was being stored up for their selective outrage over this so-called Ronjo motel issue. Then again, the owners of the Ronjo motel, renamed the Montauk Beach House, are businesspeople, and as Ms. Overby said in her campaign last September, these types of people are “bad” because they are narrowly focused only on making a profit. The Democrats’ war on small-business owners continues unabated in East Hampton and is very much a part of the Ronjo narrative.
    The “alleyway” in question is a strip of land that runs right down the middle of the property, with a swimming pool located on one side and motel rooms on the other side. It is totally surrounded by private property and is unusable to anyone except the current owners. I know, because I went to see the property. Have the Democratic town board members visited the property or are they so consumed with hyperpolitical brinksmanship that they don’t have time for due diligence, yet again?
    As I understand it, this property configuration has existed for well over 50 years under previous owners, without the Town of East Hampton ever exercising its jurisdiction. Under the law concerning the principle of adverse possession, the current owners may not have to enter into any purchase deal at all if the town abandoned its claim, which appears to be the case. Indeed, a recent title search did not reveal the town as an owner. However, when confronted with this problem, the current owners brought it to the town’s attention to seek a legal and proper resolution.
    A so-called appraisal (bought and paid for by the Democratic committee) for this spit of land (20 feet by 186 feet, and encapsulated by private property) came in at $184,000. Doing the math, that would translate into $49.46 per square foot. There are 43,560 square feet in an acre. That would put the cost of this acre at almost $2.2 million. A quick review of the East Hampton Star real estate section shows free and clear acres near the ocean are less expensive than that.
    The $35,000 figure approved by a majority vote of the town board was discussed with the town’s legal staff, followed town law and rules, and was based on the precedents of other, similar town purchase agreements. This sale price is over 10 times the amount the town has received for previous, similar transactions.
    The Montauk Beach House is smack in the middle of Montauk. Its owners are willing to invest millions of dollars in Montauk’s and East Hampton’s future, even in this terrible economic environment. The building renovation already has created jobs, is bringing income to Montauk’s surrounding businesses, and is raising tax revenue for state, county, and local coffers. This project is a win-win for Montauk and East Hampton taxpayers and supporting it should be a no-brainer.
    But not so in East Hampton. The same partisan political forces that brought us to the brink of fiscal collapse will happily sacrifice this project (and others like it) by using delay and destroy tactics. Under the guise of protecting taxpayers, this crew looks to subject taxpayers to a permissive referendum or, in their own words, “a costly election,” in order to advance their own crass, political ambitions. In the meantime, much-needed economic development in Montauk is in jeopardy. That’s community spirit for you. What a shame.

Will Address All
    April 9, 2012
Dear David,
    We have an alternative to the Theresa Quigley replacement lighting law that will meet the legitimate concerns of commercial property owners, while preserving the intent of the smart lighting code, which was enacted with wide community support in 2006.
    Councilwoman Sylvia Overby, in consultation with people with experience in lighting codes, has drafted a set of comprehensive amendments to the 2006 code that will address all the legitimate concerns expressed by commercial property owners.
    Ms. Quigley’s code, on the other hand, is far-reaching and will result in increased light pollution (light trespass, glare, sky-glow, and energy waste) in East Hampton.
    I urge everyone to contact the board members and to speak in support of amendments, and not Ms. Quigley’s repeal of our 2006 lighting code.

Dollar Bill
    April 9, 2012
To the Editor,
    It’s time our elected leader stopped playing the big-city pol. His efforts at bypassing rules and regulations to bolster his agenda have come to a thankful halt in the recent case of the favored motel owners in Montauk. Good for all those who unhesitatingly signed the petition to enforce the law regarding this incident!
    It’s time Dollar Bill stopped favoring his claque of eager donors in other areas as well, mostly those in the category of business and the arts.
    There’s a bigger audience out there, Mr. Wilkinson, and we ain’t going to let you get away with your constant manipulation of your electorate. It’s time you started caring about East Hampton.

A Small Band
    East Hampton
    April 9, 2012
Dear Editor,
    My property taxes are being raised in spite of the fact that there is a recession in the housing market. Read that to mean middle-class housing market. The town needs money. Why? The answer is, because it is constantly being harassed and sued by groups like the anti-airport coalition. It has cost the town millions of dollars to address their concerns.
    This story has been rehashed to death. The board made a decision to accept Federal Aviation Administration funding to complete the deer fence, which is a safety issue. The federal government will pay for the fence through a trust fund into which every private and commercial aviation fuel sale is contributing. The town board studied and unanimously decided it was in the town’s best interest to accept the F.A.A. funds.
    In an effort to control noise, the board also decided to move ahead with a control tower; thereby giving control to the town over how high and in which direction aircraft can overfly the town. It’s evident that the town board is trying to respond to the anti-airport group. Unfortunately no matter what the board does it will not satisfy the anti-F.A.A. funding group because their ultimate goal is to close the airport through economic strangulation!
    Now here’s my take on all this: There is a small band that stands to make big money with real estate development. They are funding the opposition and are using a group of individuals (who have been adversely affected by low-flying helicopters) to put political pressure on the board to reverse their earlier decision. They don’t care if my taxes go up to support their real estate development, but I do, as should every taxpayer in this town!
    I urge the board to stand by its earlier decision. It would be nice to go through another election process with something other than the F.A.A. funding debate on the table.

Drugs and Guns
    East Hampton
    April 4, 2012
To the Editor,
    Civil society is often a strange and alien concept in the American vernacular. It implies levels of consciousness, respect, and inclusiveness that we don’t often agree with. So instead of embracing the qualities and programs that other societies have developed that are substantially superior to ours, we talk about our greatness and stick our heads in the sand.
    Take the Japanese after World War II. Instead of closing down and shutting out the West, they embraced western technology and ideas until they produced products and services that were as good or better than ours. (The Japanese always believed themselves to be superior to us.) Being stupid is the pigheadedness of thinking you’re better when you really aren’t.
    So our health care, transportation systems, and school systems are substantially worse than Europe’s and Japan’s, yet we refuse to borrow their ideas and incorporate them. So we deny our flaws on one hand, which is understandable because of the humility needed, but we also deny our inherent inadequacies, which is both psychologically damaging and often criminal.
    Drugs and guns are our two main issues. Like the effect of alcohol on Indians (genetic), Americans have the same genetic issues with guns and drugs. Give an American a gun and he wants to shoot someone. Mention a drug and he heads to the bathroom to imbibe. The evidence is staggering. More people are killed in the U.S. in one day by guns than in all of Europe in a year. Yet the French have more guns per person than Americans. We have two million drug offenders in prison; the rest of the world might have 100,000. We consume more legal and illegal drugs than the rest of the world. We are also directly and indirectly responsible for more deaths by guns.
    So, we have some problems. You don’t ask an alcoholic to be the bartender or a junkie to work in a pharmacy. It’s not rocket science. You don’t encourage the general population to carry guns because they are going to use them. In a civil society crime is dealt with by the police.
    We supposedly have evolved from the frontier days when everyone had to fend for themselves. We have local, town, city, state, and federal police departments. We have the F.B.I., C.I.A., D.E.A., et al., all being paid for by our tax dollars to protect us. We don’t need citizen protection groups and vigilantes walking the streets with guns. If we do, it signifies that our civil society needs to be repaired. The Florida law is an admission of failure. A recognition that civility is lost on some Floridians.
    The Sanford, Fla., case isn’t racist because the shooter was a racist but because racism is endemic to our culture. Check the prisons. That the shooter was a violent offender with a history of violence is also endemic to our culture. We go to war relentlessly.
    Any idea that tells Americans that they should not abide by the concept of civil societies and allow the police to do their jobs is detrimental to the sanity of the country. The problem, as most police departments will confirm, is that when you put a gun in someone’s hand who isn’t professionally trained they are likely to use it — good guys and bad guys alike.
    Compared to the rest of the industrial world, we are violence junkies who have a drug problem. Why the Europeans don’t kill each other as we do is the question we need to ask ourselves. There are certainly things that we could learn from them that would enhance the development of our civil society and keep our children safe from the lunatics who can’t resist shooting them.

Economic Mess
    East Hampton
    April 8, 2012
To the Editor,
When Barack Obama took office he said that if he didn’t straighten the economy out during his first term, he then didn’t deserve to be re-elected. So he spent the first year of his administration concentrating almost fully on pushing his medical plan through. With the next two years of his administration providing an economy resembling the Great Depression, he is now spending time courting the women’s vote.
    With gas closely approaching $5 per gallon, ever-mounting expenses squeezing small-business owners, and deceptive unemployment numbers (probably 13 percent) covering a dismal employment situation, it doesn’t seem that he’s ready to admit failure on fixing the economy. As a servant of the American citizens, should he not fulfill his campaign promise to step down? We need candidates from both parties that are capable of undoing Mr. Obama’s economic mess. If not, the future for our children and grandchildren will revert to that of the thoughts of parents in the 1930s.

Outrageous Taxes
    April 4, 2012
To the Editor,
    Do you or your readers find it as interesting as I do that while Texas and Florida are doing quite well economically, California and New York are teetering on bankruptcy? Just since the turn of the millennium, the former two states have had their populations increase by 24 percent and 20 percent, respectively, while the two latter states have each gone up by only 11 percent and a mere 3 percent. An easy explanation for this phenomenon? There are no personal income taxes in either Texas or Florida and both states go out of their way to encourage businesses to open there. There are also right-to-work laws, a lower minimum wage for starters entering the job market, and a lot less red tape to get any needed permits. That is not the case, however, in either the Sunshine State or the Empire State.
    On the national level, now that Japan just lowered its own corporate tax rate, the United States has the highest rate in the world! Exactly how does that encourage companies to move here, or stay if they are already here? Thus, we have seen a huge outflow of jobs to overseas locations where it is more economically feasible to do business.
    President Obama and Congressman Tim Bishop could do much more to make job creation succeed in America by dropping some of the outrageous taxes that are killing workers’ opportunities. We are being inundated with regulations that keep corporations, small businesses, farmers, and fishermen from making a decent living. Insane zoning laws make it expensive and difficult to build on our properties or sell them (note the new tax on home sales coming in 2013), making it more expensive to live.
    It is time for Tim Bishop to stop being a yes man and a rubber stamp to President Obama’s anti-business agenda. It is time to stop the stimulus spending that benefits unsound investments and it is time for the government to get out of our personal lives and let us go back to the economic freedoms that led to over 50 years of prosperity. I do not want my children and grandchildren to live a life that is so much less than mine. The time to act is now.

Against the War
    Sag Harbor
    April 9, 2012
To the Editor,
    I address this letter to President Obama. There are a few things I know about our dysfunctional government. We are in the grasp of corporate power. I’m not certain of the restraints placed upon you. Imagine you have also become a victim of the powers that be. Many have asked where are the signs of leadership?
    My plea: You come armed with the Nobel Peace Prize. Now you have a nonpartisan issue facing you. Almost 70 percent of Americans are strongly against the war, perpetual war. Both Dem­ocrats and Republicans are with you. Now I believe you have to respond to the citizens you represent.
    Stop the use of drones seeking out terrorists around the world. In so doing you are creating even more terrorists that hate us. As you know, weapons of mass destruction kill mostly civilians, many of whom are women and children. My final question: Where is the reverence for life, anyone’s life?
    In peace, not war,

Activist Judges
    East Hampton
    April 3, 2012
Dear Editor,
    For years one heard the plaintive cry of the wounded right-wing conservatives about “activist courts” and how they failed to follow the laws and Constitution as they thought they were written. They cried and they wailed, but their packaged complaints never were specific, just general upset over this decision on school prayer or that one on abortion rights or gay rights or hetero vs. homosexual activities or lifestyles.
    Suddenly the subject died. It just faded away. Strange, eh?
    Not so, it seems. They got John Roberts. They got Samuel Alito added to Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. They were in the driver’s seat, and away went the whining! They fell silent.
    They got decision after decision overthrowing long precedent, turning the laws of campaign donations upside down, allowing strip searches of traffic violators or jaywalkers. They got a political court. They got a president, George Bush, by a twisted substitution of federal jurisprudence for the rights of state courts — just what they always complained about. In other words, they pulled a Romney: changed positions when it suited them; you know, an Etch-A-Sketch court.
    Now we await this court’s decision on the first successful attempt in history to curb insurance company power and to insure millions of Americans. We know at least two negative votes, Justice Thomas and Justice Alito, suck-along political midgets that they are, and we know the four liberal positive votes. I suppose Justice Scalia will again sublimate his alleged love of the Constitution and vote against, and Justice Roberts will await Anthony Kennedy’s choice and vote to keep the decision from being another 5-to-4 job.
    Well maybe the “activist judges” rant should be gone from the right and taken up by the left!

Of the Vanished
    March 26, 2012
Dear Editor,
    Re: Will the three pyramids of the valley of the vanished be there by year’s end?
    Dear student of the Suffolk/Dedham resolves and the landscaping of historical clusters in your neck of the woods.
    For example, Hancock Street-Aberjona, Good Year, Naomi Baldwin Apples, Patriot hiding from Indians hiding tunnels, Charleston (Wobern) to Charleston to Lowell, Middlesex Canal, Wilmington, and the Land of Nod, Count Rumford America’s pot belly.
    For example, Redline, Copley, Titanic, etc., 1912-1948 Balfour State, 2012-2014. Registering for bond holdings.