Letters to the Editor - 06.23.11

David Hartstein
    East Hampton
    June 20, 2011
To the Editor,
    David Hartstein came into our community and with goodness and devotion to his skill made many lives better. I do not fathom a lesson from his passing. I just know I will miss him very much.

Good Fathers
    Gyongyos, Hungary
    June 19, 2011
Dear David,
    I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed Bridget LeRoy’s piece about her father. I think good fathers always seem larger than life to their children. I know mine certainly seemed that way to me. Still does, even if it’s only in my memories.
    Ms. LeRoy mentioned that her father died in 2001, and that she was surprised that she still chokes up when thinking about him in certain situations. My father died 24 years ago, and there are times I still cry over his loss. It happened today, as a matter of fact, while reading Ms. LeRoy’s column.
    All the best,

He Was Everywhere
    June 12, 2011
Dear David,
    I was an usher at Richard Hoyt’s funeral at the Amagansett Presbyterian Church on Saturday afternoon.
    When asked to speak, for some reason I started to go to the pulpit but then stopped and spoke from the back of the church. It came to me early this morning that the reason for this oddity could not have been because I am shy about speaking before a large audience but it was because I got a strange feeling, as there was no casket, that Dick was not up front, but that he was everywhere.
    He was helping me with the “Bonac tech” rig we made together to take down all the wall-mounted radiators in Scoville Hall, caulking those storm windows on a very cold day several years ago, crawling underneath the church to insulate the heating pipes, up behind the organ sound boxes installing insulation, as it was his observation that the snow was melting quickly off the Yule Room roof because of no insulation, helping Bill Lusty install four new furnaces in the three church buildings, climbing up into the bell tower to check out the repair work Ed Localio and I did on the bell’s wooden drive wheel.
    What was also strange was that while I was speaking I kept glancing at the tops of the stained-glass windows. My only explanation for this oddity was that I was looking for the house wren.
    Thank you,

Jokey Idiots
    June 18, 2011
Dear David,
    Your correction in last week’s Star must have been met with relief and maybe even celebration. To learn that your front-page photo of 12 show-off, face-making goons are not this summer’s lifeguards makes it possible to think about swimming in the ocean again.
    Why don’t you publish a photo of our real, sensible, well-trained lifeguards? I don’t think any of us want to be rescued by the jokey idiots you displayed on page one. Also, your correction should have been large and un-missable. We rely on capable, strong, and well-trained lifeguards.

Eggs Are Gone
    East Hampton
    June 20, 2011
To the Editor,
    Someone has killed all of the swallow chicks by breaking all of their eggs.
    They nested in the rafters of the Main Beach Pavillion, have done so for years, and by design or as an act of vandalism the eggs are gone.

Will Soon Reopen
    East Hampton
    June 19, 2011
To the Editor,
    Sign of the times: A  former chic, high-end, ladies couture boutique on  Route 27 in Wainscott will soon reopen as a Sleepy’s discount mattress store.

Nice Guy
    June 20, 2011
To the Editor,
    Alec Baldwin is a nice guy. Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend in East Hampton, I lost my bag with everything in it. I came back to the city to cancel my credit cards but I found a message in my service from the East Hampton police saying that Alec found it in the middle of the road and brought it in himself with everything in it. How lucky for me. 
    I wanted to do something to show Alec my gratitude so I named my cats after him. Thank you Alec, you’re the greatest.

People Who Care
    June 15, 2011
Editor, The Star,
    Two local environmental organizations, the Eastern Long Island Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and the Concerned Citizens of Montauk, collaborated on our first annual ’Taukfest, a very successful, well-attended “friend-raising” and fund-raising event held at Stephen Talkhouse on June 10. The crowd in attendance was treated to three rocking local acts: Joe Delia and Thieves, spittinkittin, and the Montauk Project.
    We want to express our gratitude to all those who volunteered to support ’Taukfest — including Peter Honerkamp and the staff of Stephen Talkhouse, the rocking musicians, and the over 20 local businesses that supported the event through generous raffle prizes and those who attended.
    People who care about the protection and preservation of our East End environment know how to work and know how to play!
    Concerned Citizens of Montauk

Remarkable Feat
    East Hampton
    June 14, 2011
Dear Editor,
    On behalf of the membership of South Fork Country Club, we would like to congratulate the East Hampton High School golf team on its tremendous achievements this year. To win the Long Island championship against a perennial powerhouse at such a renowned golf course, Bethpage Black, is truly a remarkable feat.
    South Fork Country Club has long been the home of the Bonackers and we are very proud of our relationship with them. There have been many thrilling matches over the years against traditional rivals, such as Southampton and Westhampton, and a string of many league championships celebrated on our course. However, it has been more impressive to watch how these young men and women have handled themselves during matches and practices. They have learned what golf aspires to teach its players: honesty, sportsmanship, and respect, not only for their opponent but also for the course and the game itself.
    The community should be proud of the job that coach Claude Beudert and the athletic department has done with these scholar-athletes. We at South Fork Country Club certainly are.
    South Fork Country Club

Right to Complain
    East Hampton
    June 17, 2011
Dear East Hampton Star,
    This is a response to the article of June 2 by Bridget LeRoy concerning the fears of noise and inconvenience about a construction project on Egypt Lane. I read this article with some amusement but mostly with great sympathy. The people of Egypt Lane have every right to complain and should do so at every opportunity. The thing is, what I have experienced living very close by on Egypt Close for the last 20 years or so make their problems pale by comparison. Let me explain.
    To begin with, my family bought our house in 1968, when it was one of the first built on Egypt Close. We watched as the street was slowly developed and it didn’t bother us, mostly because we were weekenders and summer people.
    When I turned 18, I moved into the house permanently and have been here ever since. I take care of the house for my parents, who spend as much time here as possible.
    As far as noise is concerned, our house is located at the far end of Egypt Close proper and, as such, we had to endure the noise coming from the development of Amy’s Lane and Amy’s Court. We were also in earshot of the pile-driver which would be going ceaselessly from dawn until dusk on Fithian Lane a few years ago that could be heard all the way over at the Maidstone golf course along Further Lane. That was just noise and not really terrible noise.
    The problems really began about 10 years ago, when a lot behind ours was developed and 3,000 square feet of our property, which consisted of a natural hedgerow which we wanted as a privacy barrier, was bulldozed. Not only did we have to take our new neighbor to court, but we had to put up with the loud noise and intrusion that go along with construction, which went on year round.
    This project was not quite finished when new owners of the house across the circle decided to do some major renovations. These lasted, it seemed, for almost two years and the work was, again year round. In addition to noise there was a lot of loose trash and more construction vehicles than seemed absolutely necessary. Several times I had to complain to the workers about our driveway being blocked.
    No sooner was this renovation completed when another house down by the main circle was renovated and expanded. This added a new dimension of actual danger to the nuisance of all the extra vehicles. These vehicles were parked such that the road was either blocked or too narrow for emergency vehicles to get in or out. Since this was also the only entrance to or exit from Egypt Close, which is a cul-de-sac, it also caused problems for me getting to and from work and just carrying on life in general. That went on for more than a long time and is only now being finished.
    Next, a house three driveways down from ours was demolished and replaced. This caused another problem. The owners of a flag-lot property on the northwest corner of ours rented it out for July and August 2009. Neither they nor the tenants knew that the house next door was to be demolished. The demolition began the day after the renters moved in — and they sued. They also decided to remain in the house for the duration of their lease. They added to the problem of the extra vehicles because the children would leave their bikes in the road, necessitating Good Samaritans to move them onto the grass. We’ll come back to these people in a bit.
    This demolition and rebuild exacerbated another already existing problem which is that there is a dip in the road which floods when it rains and can be deep enough to trap any of us who live east of it. The wholesale uprooting of trees and ruining of the lawn caused more runoff. Despite installation of plenty of drywells and fairly extensive replanting, the flooding remains worse than it was before the rebuild.
    While this house was still being worked on, the house directly across the street was demolished and reconstruction began. More vehicles, more flooding, more trash, more noise. This project is just in its finishing stages (we hope) as we speak.
    Now back to the rented property I mentioned earlier. That rental was in summer 2009. The renters eventually left early. Actually, they abandoned the house after a toilet backed up. They simply packed up their things (except those pesky bicycles which were, again, left in the road) and let the contents of the toilet seep throughout the house. The owners then sold the house, which changed hands sometime in 2010 and in August of that year, with two other building projects going on, partial demolition and rebuilding of that house began. More noise, garbage, dust, vehicles, flooding, etc.
    In addition, in February or March, the first house on the right as you come in began renovations that seem to be nearing completion. Is this the end? No. A project yet to begin is the installation of a second story on the house next to the second full rebuild.
    It seems a very long tim­e since we were able to really enjoy our property to the fullest. Other problems we’ve faced include marauding deer (I can only garden on our deck or in our pool area) and the vicious dogs belonging to our neighbor to the north. The dogs were constantly allowed to roam the neighborhood and threatened us in our garage and on our deck. We spent most of last summer afraid of getting trapped inside our pool fence by snarling, snapping jaws. This problem is at least solved.
    We stopped complaining about the building to the village board long ago since it didn’t seem to do any good. Through a friend, I sent a complaint to the planning office but haven’t heard back and I don’t expect to.
    The point of this letter has not really been to complain (okay, yes, it has), but mostly to point out to those who are experiencing just a single construction project that some of us have had to put up with constant noise, trash, mud, neighborhood invasion, and major inconvenience for more than a decade (actually, if I tried, I could probably push it to two decades), year round with no end in sight.
    To my new and old neighbors, I want to assure you that I do not begrudge your fulfilling what you wish to accomplish. The problem is that I would really like to have a year or two of real peace and quiet — the sounds of children playing, dogs barking, birds chirping, and the occasional party — instead of constant hammering, sawing, and grinding from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Personally, I think we (my parents and I) have been more than patient with all this disturbance. My mother also wants me to mention the many flat tires we’ve experienced from dropped nails and screws in the road.
    If anyone from the village is reading this letter, please bring this state of affairs to the attention of the proper authorities. Does this really have to go on and on and on?
    As always, thanks for reading.

Our Money
    East Hampton
    June 20, 2011
To the Editor:
    Hell must have frozen over! Finally you have penned an editorial with which I can agree (“Replacing Gualtieri,” June 16). However, there may be one small crack in the ice: I cannot agree with an implication in your statement that it will be difficult to fill the superintendent’s job “despite the position’s hefty salary.” You cannot actually be saying that the school board should use Mr. Gualtieri’s current compensation as the benchmark for negotiations.
    Surely neither the community nor the media can condone or accept the proposition that any negotiation with a new superintendent must begin where the salary, pension, and benefits package of Mr. Gualtieri left off. He has been here for eight years, raking in an ever-growing high salary and pension, along with increased benefits. Mr. Gualtieri’s total package from this community was a constant source of outrage to the taxpaying public. In my opinion, despite the problems you itemized in your editorial, your list doesn’t even begin to detail the shafting we got in return for our money.
    Hopefully our current school board has learned from this experience. Mr. Gualtieri seems to have set a value on this job by the salary he accepted in his new position. He is going to a Pennsylvania school district with a student body at least twice the size of ours and a much larger staff — for $190,000 a year. What fools we were.
    One hopes that the current school board, with its new blood, will not be snookered a second time. Contrary to the suggestion in the editorial, Mr. Gual­tieri’s current compensation should be neither the starting nor the ending place for negotiations with applicants for the superintendent’s position — regardless of what some high-priced headhunter may tell the board!

Only Facility
    East Hampton
    June 17, 2011
Dear David:
    I was very disturbed to read in The East Hampton Star that at a recent meeting regarding distributing charitable funds from the MTK concert, Julia Prince suggested eliminating funding for the Children’s Museum of the East End. While physically located in Bridgehampton, CMEE serves all of the children of East Hampton and their families. It’s the only facility of its kind on the East End. In addition to hosting a Head Start program, CMEE provides literacy programs and much needed hands-on learning experiences for East Hampton’s young children.
    Julia’s opposition to funding CMEE feels like a kick in the stomach to me and many other East Hampton moms who have worked hard for many years to raise money to build and operate CMEE. If Julia’s young baby could speak, I’m sure he would join me in urging her and the other East Hampton Town Board members to fund CMEE and support East Hampton’s families.