May 6, 2011
To the Editor,
I thank you for publishing my comments about leaf blowing in this week’s paper. This note today is not being written for publication unless you think it might be worthwhile. It is simply polite observation.
I notice that you have published some letters containing rather inflammatory language, some of which I think, and hope others would as well, borders on an affront and insult to others. For instance, the letter regarding “Citiots” last week to which I responded and which you chose not to publish (I realize that being published twice the same week is too much to ask) and one where Donald Trump is referred to as a “son of a bitch,” amongst other things.
I am neither a prude nor am I against free speech but I question the purpose of lowering the newspaper to such a level. After all, would it not be better to promote a culture of civility in spite of our differences than to encourage such behavior? Wouldn’t the public and the newspaper be better served if this were fostered?
May 8, 2011
I was present for the League of Women Voters’ presentation to the Montauk Citizens Advisory Committee regarding a proposed change in the structure of East Hampton Town government. Simply stated, the suggested town manager form of government separates the responsibility to govern from the day-to-day management of town operations. This is a common-sense approach to government that is in use throughout the country. It creates stability in the operation of the town while
allowing greater transparency and accountability.
I realize this idea has been discussed before, but in light of the overspending and mismanagement that occurred during the previous town administration I believe the time is right to revisit the discussion.
There are many details to explore, research, and discuss, but public discussion of these seems very worthwhile.
Tons of Debris
May 6, 2011
Old Fireplace Road and Gerard Drive is my beat. I live on the former and exercise on the whole of it. I have lived here and monitored its development since the early 1930s in the summer and as a retiree, full time since ’96. I truly care about its condition and how it looks to the many, many folk from all over town and well beyond who come to experience the beauty of this peninsula.
The day-after-Christmas storm left the drive with literally tons of debris. Finally, after looking at this with disgust for several months, I decided to seek help in cleaning it up. I addressed the issue at the recent Springs Citizens Advisory Committee meeting, which accepted the challenge and immediately wrote a letter to Scott King. The next day I called the Highway Department and left a message on its answering machine. Two days later, I had a return call with an acknowledgment that the matter would be scoped out on Friday and looked after the following rainy day.
Yesterday, Wednesday, a rainy day and a week after I made my first call, I found a sign in the middle of the beginning of Old Fireplace Road stating “Caution, Men at Work.” When I returned that afternoon, I drove to the end to discover to my delight that all of the many piles of debris had been completely picked up. A call to Scott King informed me that it took six truckloads to complete the job.
I want to offer my congratulations to Scott King and the Highway Department for bringing the walk down Gerard Drive back to its pleasurable experience of enjoying the vast beauty of the area and eliminating the distraction of piles of lumber, logs, and other offerings left by one of the worse storms that has hit the area in years. It is my opinion that Scott and his team are the most responsive the Highway Department has had in years. Thank you, Scott, for doing an outstanding job.
RAYMOND H. HARTJEN
May 5, 2011
As of Sunday, it is illegal to have crazy, dog-fearing jerks on the village beaches from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Police are asking for your help apprehending violators. If you see a crazy, dog-fearing jerk on the beach, call dispatch at 324-0777. Calls can be made anonymously. It may be helpful to give a description or license plate number.
If you are confronted, threatened, attacked, or urinated on (yes, it happens) by a crazy jerk any time of day or night, call police.
There is still no intention to address the problem of crazy, dog-fearing-jerk urine and feces on our beaches, but we can all help police fulfill their promise of strict enforcement of crazy, anti-animal jerk control by reporting violators.
May 9, 2011
At last Tuesday’s town board work session Pete Hammerle introduced an interesting idea designed to encourage residents and visitors to keep our beaches cleaner. He called it the “carry in, carry out” program, and according to Councilman Hammerle, it’s being used in other beach communities with great success. Rather than having trash receptacles at or near beaches, the public is asked to carry their garbage home and dispose of it there.
During the summer we frequently see overflowing garbage cans because beaches are heavily used and trash pick-up does not occur with sufficient frequency. This leads to trash being left on the beach, which is an eyesore and a health hazard.
The proposed new program would target 28 small bay beaches, where signs would be placed explaining that users must remove their own trash. (A more appropriate name for the program might be Carry In, Carry Home.) This would allow town resources to focus on ocean beaches, which require more time and energy.
Mr. Hammerle proposed this as a pilot program that could be abandoned if it doesn’t work. I think it is well worth trying if it encourages people to show greater respect for our extraordinary landscape.
Mr. Hammerle, who has decided not to run for office again, has always supported environmental efforts. If this program achieves its goal of cleaner, more pristine beaches, it will serve as a legacy to his many years of public service to East Hampton.
May 9, 2011
To the Editor,
A new edict for East Hamptoners has been issued as a pilot program from on high — Commandment Number 3.
In their dedicated zeal to slash town expenses, our elected leaders have decided to eliminate trash pickup at 28 or so town locations (beaches, parks, etc.) throughout East Hampton. Residents and visitors alike will be asked — and expected — to personally carry out whatever trash they brought in, without exception. Whatever was part of town amenities, in this case sanitation control, is no longer being offered to one and all.
The previous two commandments were abolishing the fall leaf pickup and lopping off one day of dump availability. On this latter concern, The New York Times recently lamented the loss of a chance to troll the dump for discards on Shelter Island. Well, we were there first, it seems, though we’re happy to cede credit to another community for this.
Such niggardly cuts to our quality of life hurt the little people most of all. The better-off residents of our fair town, whom we will dub the Barons of Business and the Arts, joyfully ensconced in their lofty McMegamansions, will scarcely give it a thought.
What next, outhouses lining our backyards?
Yours in distress,
Can Kill People
May 9, 2011
To the Editor,
A recent visitor to eastern Long Island waters is out of control. A marine dinoflagellate in the genus Alexandrium that produces a neurotoxin that can kill people has been detected in the western Shinnecock Bay.
The identification of paralytic shellfish poison has caused all points west of the Ponquogue Bridge in Shinnecock Bay to be closed to shellfishing. The toxins accumulate in filter-feeding shellfish, but can move through the food web and affect zooplankton, fish larvae, adult fish, birds, marine mammals, and even humans.
Alexandrium was first identified in Shinnecock Bay two years ago and is now at the highest levels ever detected. This is the first known shellfish closure in the Shinnecock Bay due to a marine biotoxin. Shinnecock Bay is only 20 or so miles from East Hampton waters. Is East Hampton testing its waters for this harmful algae? If not, I think we should.
Let me repeat: This neurotoxin can kill people. It is a threat to public health. This alga is unlike the “brown tide” that has caused problems since the mid 1980s. Brown tide has not harmed humans, even though it has wreaked havoc on ecosystems and the organisms that dwell in them.
This is just another example of the downward spiral our coastal ecosystems are taking. We must become proactive in order to protect our environment to save what is left for the future.
Have Been Bought
May 2, 2011
To the Editor:
So it seems that the three Republicans on the East Hampton Town Board have been bought by Kenneth Silverman for a few thousand dollars in campaign contributions. Apparently, that’s all it takes to make them sit back while his suit to eliminate public access to East Hampton beaches moves through the courts. Why aren’t they fighting back? Where is their outrage over this shocking attempt to steal our historical right to use and enjoy our beaches? Where is their determination to vigorously pursue a legal strategy that will crush Mr. Silverman’s shameless suit and others like it?
Some claim the three Republicans are absolutely on the case, acting in secrecy, as they must. Bullkaka!
But their malfeasance in this instance has a silver lining. When you add to it the string of anti-East Hampton blunders that the Gang of Three has committed over the past 16 months — make your own list — it’s clear that Bill Wilkinson will be looking for a new job in November and that Dominick Stanzione and Theresa Quigley will be joined on the town board by three non-Republicans.
People are smarter than these bozos think they are.
MICHAEL Di CAPUA
May 1, 2011
The truck beach lawsuit, wherein certain beachfront property owners don’t want trucks parked within their sightlines, smacks of elitism.
But then there are rules of civilized behavior that an awful lot of beachgoers transgress. Dogs and people relieve themselves where they should not, oblivious beachgoers assume that someone else will pick up the trash, and that their caterwauling children are adorable.
“Good manners is being considerate of others,” Eleanor Roosevelt said to her granddaughter, Nina, as she and I were dragged screaming from Mrs. Roosevelt’s magical elevator in her New York City townhouse.
May the ghost of Eleanor Roosevelt haunt the miscreants who practice inconsiderate beach behavior on our shores.
Very rich, just rich, not so rich, whoever. Manners up, please!
All good things,
May 9, 2011
When I was 6 years old, I got really mad at my mother for disagreeing with me one evening and shouted, “You are just like Adolf Hitler!” I was sent away from the table in disgrace. Psychologists might differ as to whether this was the right or wrong approach to a child’s angry dissent.
Now, as suggested in a not-atypical interchange last Thursday night, Supervisor Bill Wilkinson wants to send Arthur French away from the table for styling his town board, “Taliban.” On the wrongness of his approach there can be no debate.
Mr. Wilkinson is not a parent with a discipline problem. A supervisor who wants good government for the people should not personalize or put down even angry community dissent.
Ms. Frankl is the chairwoman of the East Hampton Democratic Committee. Ed.
May 8, 2011
Remember the radio show about “the rest of the story?” I wish someone would do that with our current town board.
At two meetings last week, the town board work session on May 3 and the town board meeting last Thursday, Councilwoman Theresa Quigley lamented, engaged in hand wringing, nearly cried for the Snyders, who had been in the planning process for 20 years. Twenty years? But there is more to the story.
Evidently, there was a lawsuit that lasted nearly a decade. The town was engaged in a land swap and a change in an urban renewal parcel that would allow for the entrance to the property through an industrial area. The planning board agreed on the plan for the property about five years ago with the condition that the town complete the necessary arrangements for the ingress that does not include West Drive, a residential neighborhood.
Ms. Quigley, who is the board’s liaison to the Planning Department, is manipulating this sad story that involves real families and their major investment. She is using their homes and a situation that she doesn’t really understand as a reason to defame our highly thought of East Hampton Planning Department.
In this instance, the planning process had very little to do with the problem at hand and Ms. Quigley knows it. Her attempt to distort the facts and exploit neighborhoods and property owners is just plain wrong. Her inability to get at the facts before she impulsively speaks is also at fault. Her immediate reaction is to not listen to both sides of the story, but jump to conclusions and blame someone. She continually attempts to manipulate the public into thinking the Planning Department is at fault. This is extremely troubling.
May 7, 2011
Jeremiah Baker was born in Amagansett in the 1830s. He was a founding member of the Amagansett Presbyterian Church, was involved in the fishing business, and in 1849 went to California in the Gold Rush.
On April 1, 1859, Jeremiah Baker started running his stage line daily from Amagansett to Sag Harbor, and it ran for over 40 years. He carried the mail until shortly before the railroad came through in 1895.
The arrival of his stage when he entered East Hampton from the Sag Harbor Turnpike was announced by the blowing of a bugle, as he entered Main Street from what is now Buell Lane.
Jeremiah Baker did more than carry the mail. Previous to the railroad, his stage route was important to the everyday business of the town. A great deal of commerce was carried on between East Hampton and Sag Harbor and Baker’s stage played an important part in transferring goods and passengers between the two villages. He also moved large sums of money which he carried in his pockets without the benefit of firearms. So you can tell that the stage driver was a very important person. He brought the news from town to town as well as carrying the mail. The stage driver was for a long time the principal daily contact with the outside world.
Jeremiah Baker’s historic house in the Amagansett Historic District should not be tinkered with because of his history, which played a vital part in the history of Amagansett and the village of Sag Harbor and the Town of East Hampton. Since Mr. Baker ran a business out of his home, the town should only allow the present owners to operate a business venture which mirrors the history of Jeremiah Baker — a small museum reflecting on the life of Jeremiah Baker or the creation of a replica of Jeremiah Baker’s stage enabling riders to travel to Sag Harbor, Promised Land, and Springs, where Mr. Baker delivered mail, transported goods, or brought the news. Otherwise, leave a historic house in a historic district that was once owned by an important figure in the history of Amagansett, East Hampton, and Sag Harbor alone.
HUGH R. KING
Mr. King is the director of the Home, Sweet Home Museum in East Hampton Village. Ed.
May 9, 2011
Dear Mr. Rattray,
For many years now, the Accabonac Protection Committee has been working hard to get the Barbara Hale Refuge restored to its traditional state, a meadow, to bring back the biological diversity of plants and animals that has been disappearing locally and nationwide with the loss of grasslands. We have had many conversations over the past 12 months with Larry Penny, director of natural resources, Scott Wilson of Land Acquisition and Management, Zach Cohen of the nature preserves committee, and every member of the town board, urging that the clearing be carried out as specified in a Department of Environmental Protection permit that was granted to Mr. Penny in 2010. Certainly, this is what should happen, and it is our fervent hope that the proper, permitted clearing will go forward, and soon!
Accabonac Protection Committee