November 26, 2011
To the Editor:
My family and I would like to thank the many friends who came to our support after tragedy struck. I would also like to thank all who donated food to us and those who purchased meals for us at Herb’s Market. The whole staff at Herb’s was absolutely amazing, and we are extremely grateful for them preparing the meals for us.
I would also like to extend great thanks to the Montauk Fire Department Ambulance Company and those members who came to Kathy’s aid that day to help. You are truly great people, and I can’t thank you enough. And to the doctors and nurses at Southampton Hospital: You went above and beyond what you had to do to make Kathy comfortable in her stay there. Your kindness and professionalism will never be forgotten. And to all others who kept us in your prayers, thank you. It really does mean a lot to us, and enough thanks could not be said.
For the Kronuch family
November 28, 2011
To the Editor,
We would like to extend a huge thank-you to the many volunteers that made the annual community Thanksgiving dinner a success. We served over 100 people, over half of whom enjoyed their meal in our handicapped-accessible, remodeled dining hall.
It was a pleasure to see people enjoying each other’s company while celebrating our blessings. We are thankful to be part of the East Hampton community.
For the Deacons of the
First Presbyterian Church
November 28, 2011
Dear Mr. Rattray:
On Thanksgiving Day the First Presbyterian Church of East Hampton once again made available delicious Thanksgiving dinners for clients of East Hampton Meals on Wheels and their family members and caregivers who were unable to attend the dinner at the church itself.
This service, which has been diligently performed by this church for many years, filled a tremendous need in our community, because the clients who received these meals were homebound and unable to cook a Thanksgiving meal for themselves or for their guests.
We heartily thank the Rev. Thomas L. Schacher and the faithful church members who gave enormously of their time and energy to make Thanksgiving Day pleasurable for many lonely individuals.
We do indeed have much for which to be thankful during this season.
Very truly yours,
CYNTHIA P. KABACK
Meals on Wheels
November 26, 2011
To the Editor:
I want to express my sincere gratitude to the wonderful police and ambulance corps who came to my rescue early Thanksgiving morning when I took ill and took me to Southampton Hospital. This was not my planned activity for the holiday, and it is amazing that so many people give up their time or have their workday scheduled to be first responders and professional caregivers for the public on such an important family-centered day. They were all warmhearted, caring, efficient, and thorough, and they helped me through a frightening and difficult experience.
In addition, I must thank the staff of Southampton Hospital, from every single person in the emergency room to the round-the-clock staff — they were incredible. They were efficient, caring — and wonderfully comforting. The doctors and nurses and other staff explained every test and answered all my questions and took care of my every need — they were all terrific.
We are lucky to live in a community that has such great people and this hospital to care for us in our time of need.
CHRISTINE A. SULLIVAN
Have Only Begun
November 21, 2011
A huge thank-you for all who made the Music For Morale benefit concert a tremendous success! Our initial goal was surpassed, giving us the opportunity to provide the items we are sending to a Marine unit serving in Afghanistan, and we are now on our way to phase two, providing musical instruments to our veterans in various Veterans Administration facilities.
Our musical community provided wonderful entertainment that can be viewed on YouTube by looking up “Music for Morale.” Our local merchants provided raffle prizes and restaurants provided food that was greatly appreciated by those who came to the concert. Our thanks to the Stephen Talkhouse, the perennial supporter of good, those who were witnesses to a great show, and to our own East Hampton Star, for giving us front-page recognition, all without whom we could never have achieved what we set out to do.
We have only begun our efforts, however. We will continue to provide the gift of music to our veterans and their caregivers both on Long Island and through our counterpart in New England. Donations are still being accepted, be they monetary or good, used instruments and special purchases at Crossroads Music designed for this effort.
Again, our sincere and humble thanks to all who gave and to those who still wish to show appreciation to our wounded veterans by giving the gift of music.
Committee for Music for Morale
November 17, 2011
Thank you for your continued coverage of the East Hampton High School golf team. All of us want you to know that it is sincerely appreciated. Special thanks go to Jack Graves. He has always done a great job telling our story, and his support is felt by all of the guys on the team. We hope to continue to make East Hampton proud.
For the golf team
November 20, 2011
Beware the parking lot dispenser! If you are too close to the car in front of you, the ticket dispatcher won’t give a ticket.
Veterans Day, parking lot packed, I thought I was the first not to get a ticket, thinking the dispatcher was empty. Ten minutes, a drop-off later, I had a ticket: $80 and the time spent in court to plead. With cars pushing behind me, I didn’t even see the notice until going back after the attendant explained the dispenser.
Help! Eighty years for $80?
November 24, 2011
To the Editor,
It is Thanksgiving! Can we not have one day of rest?
November 21, 2011
Phyllis Mallah began her letter to the editor last week with “The election is over,” and then wrote some of the most meanspirited comments about a newly elected official and his mother as to why her candidate didn’t win. It kind of reminded me of when Scott King “won” the 2009 election against Tom Talmage and then ran over Tom’s election signs on Tom’s front lawn and left his truck parked overnight. I never did quite understand why he did that, but, oh well, it seems to show Mr. King’s intelligence. Tom Talmage congratulated Mr. King and life went on.
I do not know, and never met, Phyllis Mallah and don’t care to, but I can understand why she was disappointed her candidate lost the election. After all, she worked for Scott King during the campaign and wrote some of his material, it seems, and she also seems to have (as many people did) drunk the Kool-Aid.
I would like her to know that it was in June 2010 that I called the Human Rights Commission to get the papers for the men at the Highway Department, long before Stephen Lynch even decided to run for election, or Scott King for that matter, because the allegations against Mr. King started when Chris Russo was superintendent of highways and Mr. King allegedly hurt someone. Other allegations in 2009 needed to be addressed.
I also spoke with members of the Democratic committee before they endorsed Mr. King for the 2011 elections and told them of the allegations. There were already articles in the newspapers concerning some of these allegations, but the Democratic committee chose to endorse him anyway. As soon as he was endorsed everything became political. It seemed to be a good plan for them or so they thought.
I thought perhaps they had learned with Bill McGintee, but I never read any letters from Phyllis Mallah against what Mr. McGintee had done, and I understand that, too. She is a good Democrat.
She wrote in her letter that, “As a retired teacher and school administrator, I know what is decent and honest and fair.” She asks how Loretta Lynch would know of her reputation if “she resides in Florida.” Perhaps Phyllis Mallah should know of Loretta Lynch’s reputation even though Loretta lives in Florida now.
Loretta Lynch worked in the East Hampton Schools for 30 years. Many of the kids loved her as their second mom. Those who needed help would go to Loretta. Those who didn’t have a place to go, Loretta would take them home and find a place for them. Loretta was a community activist who fought for the Apple program, worked with the community council, and she raised Stephen to be active in his community in church, Little League, Cub Scouts, Lions Club, fire department, etc. Regina Lynch is my niece, who is also active in the community, and I am proud of them both.
I think perhaps Scott King should have learned a lesson from this election. Abraham Lincoln is supposed to have said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”
Seal of the Town
’Twas three days before T-Day and all through the court
no one was moving, as indeed someone ought,
to put back the seal of the town’s jurisdiction
delayed lo these months, you would think it was fiction,
a formidable plot to keep it well grounded,
a rumor, for sure, that, for sure, is unfounded.
But why the delay, the inaction, the stall
to hoist it back up to its perch on the wall?
The void is a circle, big, bare to the eye,
suggesting indifference, neglect and, oh my,
aesthetic imbalance. The other seal’s there,
homage to trustees — freeholders who’d care
that the seal of the town’s been long on the floor —
a sign of an issue that’s more than decor.
Ms. Baum phoned Monday to say that the town’s seal had been put back in place. Ed.
Increase in Traffic
November 28, 2011
As the former chairwoman of the now-defunct town board-appointed airport noise abatement advisory committee, I feel it my unhappy duty to challenge nearly everything written by former Town Supervisor Judith Hope in last week’s Star. I am unhappy because Ms. Hope’s administration established East Hampton as an environmental leader on the East End by protecting community assets threatened by development. These are the very underpinnings of East Hampton’s identity as a preservation leader, even as we now face serious environmental challenges created by airport noise and air pollution.
What a shame.
For the record, the airport noise committee recommended the installation of a seasonal control tower over five years ago! While some members were wary that a control tower might encourage more air traffic, the committee recommended this equipment on a trial basis to see whether it would help. But only if it could be paid for without taking F.A.A. funding and further obligation to F.A.A. grant assurances. All this was done well before Dominick Stanzione even considered running for town board, possibly even before he moved to this community full time.
Whether a seasonal control tower will help mitigate noise remains unclear. Several variables exist that are hard to reckon. We cannot know how the F.A.A.-certified air traffic controller will direct traffic. Also, will rerouted helicopters, including over Northwest and Georgica Pond, really make our neighborhoods quieter? This is highly doubtful. Will controlled airspace attract even more traffic to East Hampton airport? It seems likely, but it’s unclear.
Aircraft now operate under visual flight rules, which discourages landings on bad weather days when visibility is poor. A seasonal control tower will allow flights to land on days when, historically, landings were not possible — rainy, foggy days that local residents could count on for quiet. That brief respite disappears with a control tower. Bringing more aircraft in bad weather translates to an increase in traffic.
The F.A.A. was established to govern and promote aviation. That is its sole mission and, like industry organizations, it is anathema to its mission to inhibit flight — in any capacity. The F.A.A. is completely uninterested in regulating helicopter traffic or it would have by now after repeated requests by both local and federal officials to do so. Helicopter companies, like the East Hampton Aviation Association, have lots of money available to lobby and block any regulation that might govern their behavior.
The F.A.A. governs all airspace. To imply that East Hampton’s airspace is not under F.A.A. control is misleading and false. The F.A.A. actually does control East Hampton airport, which is why the town cannot now impose a curfew or hours of operation. F.A.A. funding creates a key part of that control. Without the conditions imposed with that funding — the grant assurances — East Hampton, as municipal proprietor, will be able to impose a curfew and limits on hours of operation.
Is it just too hard for local airport users, like Ms. Hope’s husband, Tom Twomey, to concede to a curfew, reasonable hours of operation, and possible landing fees concurrent with noise emissions of the noisiest offenders? Why do they fight so passionately to protect the rights of the extremely affluent who frequent this town asset? Why do they consistently claim that folks trying to control the noise want to close the airport? How many times must we say, “We’re not trying to close the airport; we just want airport users to be considerate, thoughtful neighbors?” Please don’t fly in the middle of night. Please don’t fly so close to our homes. Please don’t fly so early in the morning on weekends. Is that really too much to ask?
Ms. Hope’s assertion that airport noise diminished considerably under previous administrations is simply false. There has been a significant increase in airport noise over the last five years. And, with that percentage of growth in a poor economy, one can only guess what sort of increase can be expected in the next 5 to 10 years.
The problem with East Hampton Airport is simple: The powers that be have business interests at the airport — and they lean on the politicians to protect their investments.
Funding for airport improvements should come from airport users, not from F.A.A. monies with a huge quality-of-life price tag for everyone else. F.A.A. funds are not “free” and to say so is an attempt to manipulate public perception.
Many have devoted years to helping this airport assimilate into the community with the fewest impacts possible, but the available tools have failed and will continue to fail until we once more have local control of our airport. Accepting new F.A.A. funding will have the worst possible influence on noise abatement for our community. To assert that it’s the best way to mitigate noise is just plain wrong.
I urge your readers to insist the town board not shackle our community to another 20 years of F.A.A. dictatorship. Keep the F.A.A. out of funding airport projects so we can regain local control before it’s too late.
November 27, 2011
To the Editor,
Prior to Nov. 8, Election Day, the Republican Party placed several full-page ads in all of our local papers stating that the airport budget has a surplus of $1.5 million. However, they were still in favor of obtaining a Federal Aviation Administration grant to be utilized in dealing with the airport noise and deer fencing.
If there is such a surplus in the airport budget, what is the need to apply for a grant from the F.A.A.? To my knowledge there has never been any public accounting of how this money is raised, or, more important, since this money can only be utilized by the airport, how it is disbursed.
Before Bill Wilkinson, Dominick Stanzione, and the other members of the town board decide to vote on the approval of this F.A.A. grant, this information should be made public for the townspeople to review. The acceptance of this F.A.A. grant is too important a decision to be made without allowing the public to have this opportunity.
Tower in Time
November 28, 2011
No one likes the helicopter noise in and around East Hampton Airport. I say that as a pilot who has kept an airplane at the airport since 1968. In that time I have seen many airport studies and master plans come and go. Now is the time for action rather than more studies.
The East Hampton Town Board needs to immediately request Federal Aviation Administration money to install the deer fencing and to repair runway 4-22 so that it is no longer a safety hazard. In doing so, the accumulated money in the airport fund can be used to implement the seasonal control tower in time for next summer, which we believe will considerably lessen the noise impact, especially from helicopters.
Time is of the essence, though, if there is to be a control tower operational by next summer. Let’s get it done. This seems to be the best hope for reducing the noise by requiring the helicopters to keep on designated routes and altitudes as they enter the controlled airspace as directed by the tower controllers.
Must Rise Up
November 28, 2011
To the Editor,
The price of preservation is eternal vigilance. For those who truly love it, this issue is simple on the East End: Some people consider the natural beauty and resultant lifestyle a blessing to be preserved, while others look upon those same resources as potentially lucrative capital projects.
The sole reason the East End is still beautiful and remarkably well preserved is because each and every major development initiative has been defeated. Without such resistance, without our eternal vigilance, there would be housing developments all through what is now preserved woodlands at Barcelona Neck, Hither Woods, Cedar Point, and Mashomack; no farmland at all, no Long Lane preserve, no Town Lane preserve in Amagansett, no Sagaponack or Wainscott potato fields; hotels on the bay at Three Mile Harbor and the ocean on Napeague; houses all through the dunes of East Hampton town; Amagansett would have lost its charm and heritage; there would be a highway through Scuttlehole, Sag Harbor, East Hampton, and Amagansett; car ferries from Connecticut would dock on Napeague and in Montauk, etc.
Every major environmental initiative out here was decried as “bad for business,” “anti-capitalist,” “bad for locals,” “will raise our taxes,” and so on. But in fact, it has been the environmental initiatives that maintained the quality of life, dramatically increased the value of land, and kept our taxes far lower than in developed areas up west.
The developers were wrong then and they are wrong now. Which brings us to East Hampton Airport.
Operators and profiteers maintain that we (really, they) “need” Federal Aviation Agency money in order to maintain a safe and necessary airport. But the airport, in full violation of our town’s master plan, is no longer a small, recreational airport only serving single-engine planes and amateur pilots — despite the anachronistic signs and deceitful ads showing propeller-driven planes floating through pristine skies. Those days are as gone in East Hampton as the Model T on Main Street. The airport, as it currently exists, is not necessary, it is merely convenient — to the hedge-fund moguls, Hollywood celebrities, and their entourages. In the summer, Wilkinson-Twomey-Krupinski Airport has become a major metropolitan jet and heliport. Those who love the natural beauty and serenity of the East End must rise up once more, like the minutemen of yore.
We are acting in force to stop expansion of the airport. We will be singing the patriotic song of preserving what is best for the generations to come. And we will be bringing eternal vigilance to bear.
Quiet Skies Coalition
Agenda to Beg
November 28, 2011
This majority on the town board is pushing its hidden agenda to beg for Federal Aviation Administration money to do a sneak attack on residents, not only in East Hampton but in surrounding communities as well — a certain majority who should take precedence. Yet their teeth are on fire to repair a fence that has been in existence for 15 years. All of a sudden it is a crisis that is manufactured by the misinformation by the aviation association. No mention of this for years, not even at the failed MTK concert; it wasn’t even a concern.
Yet the surplus of well over $1.5 million in the airport fund, which can only be spent at the airport, goes untouched. And several hundred thousand has since been taken out in a smoke-and-mirror accounting trick used for some questionable item called “airport services.” This is just like the raid on the highway budget money that fostered a phony tax cut.
How convenient that Dominick Stanzione was huddled with Tom Twomey, the husband of Judith Hope and the main lobbyist for the aviation association, at Cittanuova the day after the election and the day before this sham resolution was rammed through to make us once again indentured servants of the F.A.A. I am sure they were only discussing the menus. It is not an unreasonable request to demand an answer. The minority of a handful of pilots over the majority? Who picked up the tab?
This is more of the “I don’t give a crap” mentality — to do what they want and to disregard the wishes of a community.
I again state that all one has to do is look at the Board of Elections and you will understand why the leash is being pulled. So the public be damned once again by the arrogance of this town board to dance to the flute of a special interest group. Is that a “for sale” sign attached to the entrance to this town?
ARTHUR J FRENCH
November 26, 2011
If God had intended me to fly to East Hampton, he never would have created the L.I.R.R.!
Why should the noisy uber-rich pollute my atmosphere? I say change the mission of the East Hampton Airport property.
I say let us have glider flights, ballooning, real-people shopping opportunities. I say yea to an environmental think tank (No F.A.A., Yes E.P.A.).
I say let’s watch the flights in a permanent carnival. What about a race track? Horses, bikes, pogo sticks — betting revenue!
Oh, a nice rehab facility for selected local politicians and other questionable types? Much better than an unnecessary airport.
All good things,
Added to Erosion
November 25, 2011
I was struck by the article written by a man whose mother was responsible for the preserve in Montauk. He spoke poignantly about the idyllic life he and his friends experienced growing up in a Montauk. How lucky they were to have lived that life.
I am so jealous of people who can speak about growing up here in the Hamptons years ago. I spent a little time in Jamesport in the ’50s during the summer. It was an incredible time.
I support the traditions of the Bonackers, including driving on the beach. This place was theirs long before we, many of the townspeople, came. But I would like to appeal to your love for East Hampton and its breathtaking beaches. You might want to think about giving up driving on the beaches in light of the future global warming.
I began a 35-year love affair with a town called Lonelyville on Fire Island in 1961. Over time, we saw many changes. In the ’60s, cars drove freely on the beach. One took a Jeep taxi from one place to another. But gradually we became aware that driving on the beach added to erosion. Driving on the beach was eliminated. Even those who were full-time residents were not allowed to drive on the beach during the season. There were also deaths caused by careless drivers.
Later, in an earth science course I was taking, because I was teaching science at that time, I learned how a beach was created — each grain of sand a crystal, whose sides rest delicately upon the crystal of sand beneath it. Pounding caused by driving ruins the berm of the beach. Of course, Fire Island suffered in subsequent storms.
Until you have witnessed a beach littered with downed houses, as I have, perhaps you will not take my pleading seriously. It is something you want to consider.
PHYLLIS I. MALLAH
And the Sea
November 20, 2011
Dear East Hampton Star:
Old man and the sea. Cran in the cold weeds.
November 28, 2011
Dear Mr. Rattray:
As you know, I write these letters for my own selfish amusement and to bring joy and laughter to my 33 readers. Often, I do this at my own expense — or, preferably, at yours. I respect you for never throwing a rock through my window or stabbing me in the back while I’m eating my roast chicken at Rowdy Hall. So a big thank-you for that!
But now, sadly, I have upset the editor and “minority owner” of The Independent with a letter flippantly comparing that newspaper — unfavorably — with a K-Mart catalog. And so, Rick Murphy has characterized me as one of “the assholes we’ve exposed for being the schmucks they really are.”
This is particularly tough because Mr. Murphy is now my reader number 34, and I’m honored to have him. And yet, like all of my readers, I want him to be happy. Therefore I apologize for saying that thing about The Independent, and I would like to recommend to all of my small-business friends on the East End that they advertise in The Independent, especially during the holidays, and enjoy the paper’s unprecedented reach and influence in our community. (I heard that in a commercial on WLNG.) Furthermore, I have arranged for a small gift certificate in Mr. Murphy’s name at Mary’s Marvelous on Main Street in Amagansett. Please enjoy a large coffee and a tasty almond croissant with my compliments!
I am also sorry to report, Mr. Rattray, that I was contacted personally by one of the store managers at the K-Mart in Bridgehampton. Because our conversation was in confidence, I will call her Ms. Bonswelda. She expressed her displeasure, and that of her co-workers at K-Mart, that I would compare their catalog with The Independent in a disparaging way, as if suggesting that the K-Mart catalog was a periodical without merit.
Ms. Bonswelda pointed out to me that the K-Mart catalog is actually a shopping guide that is distributed to store customers for free, not unlike The Independent, and contains information that may be valuable to those who take the time to examine its pages. Customers learn of special offers on store items that they need and use every day, the 24-pack of Bounty, for example, at a low, low price. Thus, while K-Mart isn’t publishing news about airport noise or details of striped bass movement, it is providing the community with useful, timely information. I thanked Ms. Bonswelda for making me think about the store in a way I had not before and promised to do between 30 and 40 percent of my holiday shopping at the Big K. “Happy Thanksgiving,” she wished me, “I don’t think you are an asshole!”
“I love you!” I replied.
Hey, let’s take a moment to congratulate Bill Wilkinson on his re-election as East Hampton Town supervisor. I didn’t vote for him, but I am rooting for him and will certainly stop by Town Hall to wish him well. Let’s go together, Mr. Rattray!
Speaking of the holiday spirit, I was listening to one of those Connecticut radio stations that plays all holiday (i.e., Christmas) music all the time this most wonderful time of the year. Once Karen Carpenter had finished singing about being home for Christmas, a Toyota commercial came on, and the announcer began shouting nonstop about $99 down, $99 a month for 36 months and you drive off the lot with a brand-new Camry, rated highest by J.D. Power and Associates three years in a row for whatever, plus air bags everywhere. And I was thinking, hmm, the music in the background seems familiar. I began singing along in my head, “Round yon virgin, mother and child, holy infant so tender and mild, sleep in heavenly peace. . . . ” Almost miraculous, don’t you think? Apologies to baby Jesus and his mother are in order, Toyota!
Dear readers, I bid you a wonderful holiday season. Let good will be your anchor. And always use your heart for flotation.
November 21, 2011
To the Editor,
Last week, after Alec Baldwin viciously attacked conservatives across the country and defended the extreme leftist organization Occupy Wall Street, we put out a statement denouncing his attacks. The response we received was overwhelming.
People certainly have an opinion. We received vitriol from the left, including words you can’t use in a family newspaper. And we raised money and cheers from those who know the damage Occupy Wall Street is doing to America.
Many of us have differing political views, but we should all agree that Alec Baldwin is a disgrace for defending and supporting this crowd of anti-American elites.
Those who want to argue in vitriolic phone calls or e-mails should know that I will not back away from my criticism of him or them.
Mr. Demos is seeking the Republican nomination for the 2012 Congressional election for New York’s First District. Ed.
November 24, 2011
There is a piece of folklore meant to relate to the age-old question of why some people spend an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom. When asked why he had spent so much time in the bathroom, one sage old man gave the answer: “Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.”
Now there is an answer that should be universal in its meaning and should teach most of us a lesson: Thinking before one speaks is a necessary prerequisite for all of us and would be especially useful for candidates for the highest office in the land. They might even read and study some of the more important issues that face a president before demonstrating on stage and TV that they don’t know any of them.
Their collective daily gaffes are an embarrassment. Their lack of knowledge of basic American history is mind-boggling, add that to their misunderstanding of basic economics, education, law, the humanities, and even politics, embarrasses all of us, even die-hard Republicans. They lie and repeat lies that are quickly quoted by the sheep who call themselves conservatives. Just one big lie: “The stimulus failed.” They repeat that over and over again. But did it really?
The Congressional Budget Office, a nonsectarian government agency, reports that the stimulus created 3.5 million jobs and saved many more, That, my friends, is success, not failure. I won’t get into the saving of the auto industry, but that is also a fact not discussed by these jokers.
So Democrats, in this season of turkeys, liken them to Romney and company, and let us look forward to the future debates of these gaffe- and gas-filled jokers, for they will surely guarantee Barack Obama’s re-election.