Debt of Gratitude
January 5, 2013
To the Editor:
Congratulations, Dr. Turetsky.
Now everyone knows what we have always known: You and your staff are the best!!
All creatures large and small owe you and your staff a debt of gratitude. We will always keep you in high esteem and as a role model for those who love life in all its forms.
Patricia, Joseph, Sebastian, and Katherine Habr, on behalf of Ms. Lili, Ms. Lucy, and Bodhi.
PATRICIA ANHOLT HABR
Night to Remember
January 7, 2013
I would like to thank all of the talented performers who participated in the second annual “Young at Heart” music show at St. Luke’s Church on Dec. 29. The concert was a blast for all who came due to the amazing singers and instrumentalists. The 100-person audience in our Parish Hall, as well as myself, was enchanted for the entire show. It was a great display of some very gifted young people from our community.
It certainly was a night to remember and one that made me proud to be a member of St. Luke’s parish and the East Hampton community. I convey my deepest thanks and praise to all of the people who were involved and helped to make the night such a hit, especially the rector, the fellowship committee, and my friend John Gibson. Much appreciation also goes to the friends, parents, and community members who joined us for the event. In all, it was a sensational way to welcome the New Year!
December 31, 2012
Dear Mr. Rattray:
We, the clients, volunteers, staff, and board of directors of East Hampton Meals on Wheels do heartily thank American Legion Post 419 in Amagansett for the wonderful holiday dinners which they created and prepared for our community on Christmas Day. We also thank them for the beautiful holiday gifts which they sent with every meal.
The Legion’s generosity has added joy to the season for our homebound neighbors who otherwise would not have been able to enjoy a delicious, hot, holiday meal. Since many of these folks live alone, the dinner and gift were especially meaningful. Indeed, we have received several calls, expressing delight and gratitude, from the recipients.
Once again, we praise the Legion members for their diligence in time and effort necessary to expedite such a magnificent expression of love and fellowship within our community. We wish all who live in East Hampton Town to recognize the Legion’s service to their neighbors.
Very truly yours,
EDWARD D. McLAUGHLIN
Meals on Wheels
December 10, 2012
We would like to extend our gratitude to everyone who helped us make our Thanksgiving basket raffle another great success. We would especially like to thank the Amagansett I.G.A. for their generous donation.
The Legion members joined together to make this a successful fund-raiser to help our local veterans.
This year’s winners of the Thanksgiving baskets are Jill Baker and Gail Lester.
The winners of the remaining prizes are George Payne, Sharon Lester, and Tony Garga Sr.
Again, we would like to thank all of those who helped and supported us with our efforts.
CAROL L. BENNETT
Post 419 Auxiliary
Pool Water Treatment
January 7, 2013
And happy new year. I am writing in response to last week’s Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter article you ran.
I would like to make sure that I express that I am extremely happy with all that the Y is doing for our community and my children, and I am not in any way diminishing the efforts and kindness of many of the people that help them, people such as Tom Cohill and Norma Bushman, as they both have been super helpful to my kids and I can’t thank them enough. However, Juan Castro’s facts are not all correct and sound extremely political and misleading.
Many that know me will agree that I care more about healthy and safe water for my kids and the public than I do money; I am not an opportunist. I have provided the Y in 2003, 2008, and 2012 with estimates from my vendors for ozone and UV [ultraviolet] at my cost, to help get this much-needed system installed, contrary to Mr. Castro’s comments in this article regarding my desire to sell them something.
I am not and have never been interested in profiting from this transaction and find that this is a political attempt once again to avoid responsibility. I have a lot of experience and training in this field and spend a lot of my time protecting my clients from parasites and germs such as cryptosporidium, giardia, shigella, norovirus, and e. coli that have become immune to the traditional chlorine treatment. I find it extremely frustrating that I can’t even protect my own children from this harm when I know exactly what to do.
This is the first time in the past 10 years that I have allowed my own children to take swim lessons and swim on the swim team and I have seen first-hand what happens when they use the RECenter pools; this has become extremely personal.
My facts are extremely accurate and are based on the recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization regarding the treatment of chloramines and pathogens. All municipal pools need to take this to the next level, as the common complaint for the past 10 years in our country is that indoor pools have a strong chlorine smell that people usually associate with chlorine, when in fact it is the by-product chloramines creating red, burning eyes, burning sensation in the nose, throat, and lungs, dry, itchy skin, dry hair, and breathing difficulties leading to “swimmer’s asthma,” particularly in young children.
These are all problems that are associated with the old ways and techniques of pool water treatment. If you purify the water, you also purify the air. With increased bather load put on this facility, they will need to accept the facts recommended by the Model Aquatic Health Code by the C.D.C. and the World Health Organization, and install secondary disinfectants, units such as ozone or UV, to help destroy the chloramines and at the same time provide treatment and protection against chlorine-resistant pathogens such as cryptosporidium. Bad water equals bad air; the more you use the pool the more ammonia is excreted from the body, bonding with the chlorine, causing the chloramines — and that is what smells, not the chlorine.
If the RECenter is not designed for what we are currently using it for, then maybe it is time for us as a community to build a real aquatic facility that could handle the turnover rates, provide spectator seating, a concession stand for events, larger locker rooms, dive platforms for the sport of diving, and, best of all, up-to-date water-treatment technology.
Pool is Pristine
Chapel Hill, N.C.
December 29, 2012
At our swim practice this morning, my friends and I had a good laugh about the article “Air and Water Qualms at RECenter” (Dec. 27, 2012). In particular, it appears that the last half was written as a press release by Steve Kenny, the owner of SRK Pools. As someone who swims 300,000 yards annually, a good chunk in that pool, I find that the RECenter pool is unusually pristine, clear, and clean. The air quality is much better than most pools. I am fully supportive of an objective review of the issue if the staff at the RECenter feel there is a problem.
As an infectious diseases physician, I don’t think it is wise for your reporter to scare RECenter users about the pathogen cryptosporidium. Although there have been cases of cryptosporidiosis in the United States associated with swimming pools, in recent years (2005 to 2010) the rates have remained stable. In particular, there have not been outbreaks in New York (cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6105a1.htm).
Usually, the most common location for outbreaks of this pathogen are among young children at day care centers who then spread it to their families. The best way for Mr. Kenny to protect the public from cryptosporidiosis is not by installing his company’s product at taxpayer expense at the Y, but rather for him to keep his children out of the pool when they have diarrhea and forget to wash their hands.
CHARLES Van Der HORST
Advice of Experts
January 7, 2012
Your editorial in the Dec. 27 edition of The Star criticizing the use of citizens advisory committees to conduct hamlet studies is right on. We need a town board composed of members who will be wise enough to rely on experts to present their professional opinions with regard to matters that the board members cannot and should not be expected to make decisions on without the advice of the experts that the town employs — and we taxpayers pay for — to determine what is in our best interests.
Taking governmental action that has both short and long-term implications for the well-being of our community without taking into account studies carried out by experts is irresponsible. This principle is applicable to the town board’s determination of how to proceed with the scavenger waste plant which has implications for the disposal of sewage from pump-outs of cesspools and septic tanks, as well as the quality of our drinking water, which is derived from the underground aquifer, and the quality of the water in our bays.
The complex phenomena of the seepage of contaminated water from household sewage into our drinking water which is compounded by antiquated cesspools that, at the least, need frequent pumping, if not replacement, as well as the regular removal of sewage from septic tanks, has implications that will affect our health and the value of our properties. Likewise, seepage of sewage from cesspools and septic tanks into our bays can raise nitrogen levels and retard, or even kill off, young fish and shellfish. The latter would be a severe economic blow to our fishermen. Additionally it would spoil the beauty and recreational value of our waters which are already murky.
Recently the zoning board of appeals ignored the town’s expert, who had disapproved of an oceanfront property owner’s application to put boulders in place to protect his property because it would cause overall beach erosion, and granted a variance allowing the property owner to do what the expert disapproved of. This has necessitated a court proceeding by the East Hampton Town Trustees to reverse this wrongheaded decision. The zoning board of appeals should have gone along with the expert rather than superimposing its own judgment.
Another issue facing the town is the use of the sand pits in Wainscott. Some Wainscott residents have voiced objection to the idea of creating affordable housing there. The Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee, representing the community, would weigh in on this issue and might well voice opposition to that land use. On the other hand, the town planner taking into consideration the overall needs of Town of East Hampton residents for housing that can accommodate people whose services we need, i.e., police, teachers, tradespeople, and others, might make a finding that such use is in the best interests of the entire town. We all have to pay more for the services of these people when they are forced to travel from distant locations in order to reach East Hampton for work. If the town board is to act responsibly, it should seek the advice of experts as well as the input of hamlet residents before making decisions.
Those members of the town board and the zoning board of appeals who seek to rely solely on their own judgments and/or the advice of the residents of the hamlets and do not seek the advice of experts on issues that require scientific expertise and other formal training should not be re-elected or appointed.
DAVID J. WEINSTEIN
End the Service?
January 7, 2013
To the Editor,
If you read The Star recently you are aware that two bus drivers were suspended for alleged incompetence. Will wonders never cease?
Yet another has been added to the list. Carol Bennett, who has been a loyal presence in our senior citizens’ lives for years, is accused of not doing something that is forbidden in her job description.
Does this sound like a conspiracy to get rid of the present drivers? Maybe end the service altogether? What a crime that would be! Many elderly have no other means to get to doctors, stores, etc.
We can’t pay the drivers enough to compensate for all the extras they do. Their years of experience are invaluable.
Concern and care of our elderly is not a business and it needs to be a priority.
Money is not always the bottom line: Quality of life is more important.
Peace and Quiet
New Port Richey, Fla.
January 7, 2013
Growing up in Montauk and on Fort Pond from 1950 to about 1976 was a wonderful experience for me that I wouldn’t change for anything in the world. Being able to swim in front of Ruschmeyer’s, row my boat to town or to Sharon’s Beach, fish in front of Bill’s Inn over to Lakeside, and in front of the railroad turnaround was an incredible opportunity.
I wasn’t the only kid doing that. On any given day there were 25-30 kids on that pond in the summer; it was a safe, outdoor environment for us to enjoy. The beauty and peace and quiet are what the residents of Montauk live there for and why most people come to the East End.
Growing up, I became an avid outdoorsman. I hunted and fished all over North and South America, and hunted in various places around East Hampton and Montauk. Bob Fisher (principal of the Montauk School) taught me and other classmates how to shoot a gun in seventh and eighth-grade rifle club in the gym at school. However, never did I hunt or shoot near residential areas. One day I plan to bring my family and grandkids home to Montauk and I couldn’t imagine them not feeling as safe as I did.
This past year it has come to my attention that hunting is permitted on Fort Pond. That is absolutely unacceptable. The law needs to be changed! It’s extremely dangerous with so many houses and cars and kids on the roads around and near Fort Pond, let alone the noise at daybreak from people shooting shotguns.
Part of the Sport
January 7, 2013
To the Editor,
I didn’t realize that leaving a pile of 100 spent shells overlooking Gardiner’s Bay was perfectly legal. These were found Sunday morning at the Waterfence overlook in Hither Hills State Park.
Also did not know that polluting was part of the sport.
Cull and Not Cull
January 7, 2013
I am distressed to recognize that I live in a society where we will cull (mass murder) the gentlest and most loving of God’s creatures for eating our hydrangea, while we refuse to “cull” weapons utilized in the mass murder of children in our country’s heartland from the hands of the monsters who wield them.
January 7, 2013
Anybody living on Long Island should be concerned about climate change. “Concerned” is too weak. We should be in panic mode. There is overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that it is real, it is manmade, and without drastic and immediate reduction of carbon dioxide release into the atmosphere, Hurricane Sandy-type weather will be the norm, and worse will inevitably follow. Each year that we delay, the disaster ahead grows, and turning it around moves closer to impossible. And yet, our politicians at every level of government are either too ill-informed or too cowardly to declare that this emergency exists and take action.
They cannot, because we have not. The vested interests in the status quo, the richest industries in the history of the world, would bury them in the next election. The only way the politicians can lead in this battle is at the insistence of an aroused electorate. The polls point out that better than 50 percent now understand that climate change is real. And yet we do nothing to push.
On Feb. 17 in Washington, D.C., there will be a protest of the Keystone XL pipeline, a pipeline that is proposed to bring the dirtiest tar-sand oil from Canada to Texas. Stopping that pipeline is important. But even more important is finding a way to force the media and the government to focus on this issue. More than 3,000 people signed up for this protest the day it was announced by the people at 350.org. Three thousand people is a good start, but they can still be ignored. A hundred thousand would be harder to discount.
Is there anybody in this ocean-threatened town, other than me, who thinks it might be worth a weekend road trip to go on record as being in favor of trying to save a livable planet for children living today? Know this: Devastating effects of climate change are already happening. No matter what happens now, it is going to get much worse. We cannot change overnight, and much more carbon is already on its way into the atmosphere. Will you look back five years from now and say, I tried? Or will you say, I was too busy? Your children may ask you that question.
If so, please do this: Write to The Star and say you are going to D.C. on Feb 17, so your friends will know that. Invite them to go with you. Tell us how many of your friends will go. So far, two people are going with me. Is there a busload of people willing to be counted?
Put Prayer Back
January 3, 2013
To the Editor,
For the 20 children who recently died in Connecticut and rest of the children in America’s schools, in 1962 the Supreme Court took prayer out of schools and along with it was God’s protection. Just think of it: When something goes terribly wrong in your life that you don’t think you can fix who, or what, do you turn to?
Me, I turn to a power that I know is greater than mine. Who or what will the children born after 1962 turn to? In most colleges today, just about one generation (40 years in the Bible) since that ruling, the most popular checkoff is “no religion” for incoming students. We reap what we sow.
Prayer came out of schools, and guns and violence went in. Is that what we want? Or do we want God’s love and protection for our children and ourselves?
If you think I’m a bit off the wall, try checking out the book “Harbinger.” It makes a good case for a country, us, presently being under judgment for straying too far (also known as living too far) from God’s principles. Its author, Jonathan Cahn, is giving the keynote speech at the president’s inaugural breakfast on Jan 21.
Even if our leaders know we are a country of the people, by the people, for the people, we must know and do something about it, things that affect and guide us. Put prayer back in schools and God back in our lives and we will have the holiness and protection we should have and be living in God’s love with one another.
Guns Over Butter
January 6, 2013
To the Editor,
In January 2000 the United States had 133,500,000 jobs as calculated by the Bureau of Labor statistics. In January 2012 the number grew to 134,500,000, the slowest rate of job growth since the Depression. The significance of this number lies in the reality that every month 150,000 jobs are necessary for the job market to break even. Consequently, 18 million new job seekers entered the market and 17 million didn’t find work. That the fiscal cliff and the government deficit have any gravitas in the face of our incredibly pathetic job market makes no sense. The question posed is, does our Congress make any sense?
The failure of Congress is incurably pathetic. Going over the cliff would have been a disaster and was never going to happen. So creating the illusion that it might happen, through political posturing, depressed and exhausted the public. Recognizing the fallout from ideological buffoonery screams for the suspension of ideology in favor of practicality.
There was a brief moment when the Tea Party exhibited a glimpse of rational logic about government and the working class before it was consumed by the ideological purity of retarded fanaticism. The remainder of the Republicans, cowed by their new over-excited associates, crawled under a rock and waved the white flag of emasculation. The Democrats, enamored by two years of self-flagellation, slowly rose into the ether and remained partially alive but mostly inert. Obama doesn’t understand the game of Congressional machinations and doesn’t seem to want to play.
Under their collective rocks, they viewed job creation as if it were a life-threatening venereal disease, while paying lip service to the plight of the unemployed. So we sit today, 17 million jobs short of breaking even, and not a single program on the collective horizons about solving the problem.
Should there be any discussions by our politicians about any subject except creating jobs? Is it not their primary priority? Their only priority? Are they not totally useless if they can’t find some solution to the jobs problem?
The real problem for 80 percent of the population is that their pain and discomfort and the bleak futures that they are facing are simply a product of the natural or unnatural ebb and flow of the world economy. No jobs, low-paying jobs, benefits gone, health care going through the roof, are business as usual for most of the modern world. There is no collective consciousness or shared responsibility. We will open our coffers for any disaster or tragedy anywhere in the world but we refuse to deal with the collapse of our middle class.
“Guns or butter” was the old analogy for government policy. We found a way to have both in a booming economy. But when our economy tanked, we took guns over butter. Congress is apoplectic over gun control and unconscious about the economy. What happens when we have nothing left to protect?
The hard reality of the need to remake our economy to include the rest of us weighs heavily on our lawmakers. So they distract themselves with fiscal cliffs, debt ceilings, sequestration that only affect the top 20 percent of the population. With corporate profits at all-time highs, the stock market over 13,000, and worker productivity at its highest level, why redo the economy? How can the stock market rise 12 percent in a year when 20 million people are out of work? How many of us are 12 percent better off than last year?
Most of the country is still in a major recession/depression. We need to make redoing the economy the top priority. The election proved the Republicans to be brain-dead buffoons and the Democrats slightly smarter. We can’t ask them to think or be creative. To construct brilliant programs to fix our problem. Just do the right thing or get out of town.
A Death Wish
January 3, 2013
First let me wish all the readers of this newspaper and all within reading distance of this letter, a happy and healthy new year and the three after that!
Second, let me say to my Republican friends that your Congressional representatives — you know, the ones who try to hold the country hostage in order to destroy the safety net of the New Deal in order to seek the holy grail of lowering the deficit (on the backs of the middle class) — remind me of stockbrokers and investors just after the crash of 1929.
They have a death wish. And I stand ready and more than happy to assist them!
RICHARD P. HIGER