Letters to the Editor: 10.04.12

Our readers' comments

Toxic Environment
    Washington, D.C.
    October 1, 2012
Dear Editor,
    My name is Andrew Bennett, and I am a graduate of East Hampton High School, class of 2012. I have been very proud to live in the community that I do, and I thoroughly enjoyed my last two years at East Hampton High School, but on Sunday night, I was reminded of its harsh reality. On Sunday night, I found out that a student tragically took his own life. My first reaction was one of shock, the second, of deja vu.
    Three years ago, when I was a sophomore, another student had committed suicide. I was shocked because I had been so happy the past two years that I spent in high school. I had interfered when I saw bullying; I sat with one of my classmates when he was alone at lunch. And I was not the only one. Many people in my grade also treated everyone else in the school with the respect and dignity that they deserve, and I thought that, because of our efforts, things in our community were starting to change for the better. But these past few days have revealed that nothing has changed.
    Numerous current and former students told me how this student had been bullied because of the way he talked, walked, dressed, and acted, which were all perceived as feminine or “gay.” I heard of one instance in particular where this student tried to stand up for himself, telling his bully to stop it, only to have the bully laugh at his face and walk away.
    My only experience with this student was the first few Gay-Straight Alliance meetings of last year. After the first two, he never showed up again. But his struggle is similar to the ones many of us face growing up in this community.
    East Hampton Town prides itself on being a tolerant community of people who identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. I know this is mostly true, when someone publicly acknowledges that they are one of these things, but when you don’t publicly acknowledge your identity and you match a stereotype of being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, your life is made a living hell by your fellow students. I know this because I experienced this for myself, albeit on a different scale.
    Throughout middle school and high school I was surrounded by anti-gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender language. “That’s so gay,” “You’re a fag,” and other slurs were thrown around like they were nothing. When I didn’t publicly acknowledge who I was, it was torturous. Because of this language, I thought I was wrong. I thought that I wasn’t born right, and I wished with all my might not to be attracted to men.
    This self-hatred became so powerful that I seriously considered committing suicide, and I’m not the only G.L.B.T. individual in my grade to do so. For many of us, we felt that the only way to fix what was wrong with us was to end our lives. For most of us, we found the strength to love ourselves enough to keep living, but this is something that is so incredibly difficult that some of us can’t do. Luckily, I had not been bullied as mercilessly as the student was.
    The student, unfortunately, was constantly harassed by his fellow students while bystanders, both students and faculty, did nothing. In fact, I’ve been talking with many of my peers both inside and outside the high school about how they have been bullied numerous times and reported it, but nothing had been done about it.
    I asked the students on Monday how the administration handled the tragedy. They said that there was a fund-raiser planned and a morning announcement, talking about how there are a lot of resources available to help those in need and how Adam Fine, the high school principal, said, “Let’s stop bullying.” When Mr. Fine said this, according to four students, some people laughed and made a joke out of it.
    On Facebook, I’ve seen numerous statuses already using the words “fag,” and people have already started making jokes about suicide. Saying “Let’s stop bullying” is not enough. Having two suicides in three years is unacceptable. This is a pattern — something has to change. The way that the administration is handling this student’s death is similar to how they handled the student’s death three years ago. And how much good did that do? I remember that many people cared for a solid three days, then continued bullying as normal. I have been a student at East Hampton High School; I know that we have the attention span of a goldfish. This issue of teen bullying and suicide has to be addressed now, before it is too late. I am writing this letter because I know the reality of East Hampton High School.
    There are some students at the high school who are absolute monsters, but this is not the majority of students. The majority of students are bystanders who have seen bullying every day in middle and high school and are too scared to say anything. Each student knows that the bullying is wrong but he or she doesn’t want to be “that kid.” It’s time to remind the students that they are not alone. There are numerous initiatives being planned by the Gay-Straight Alliance and the Justice League Club that will help deal with the issue of teen bullying. But these clubs, and the students, need more support from the administration. When one club wanted to plan an assembly this week with an anti-bullying theme, the administration suggested waiting till next week because the students are “shocked.” What’s shocking is that his death is being treated as if it is rare.
    Twice in three years is not rare, it’s a pattern. It does not take a genius to realize that more steps need to be taken in order to help stop the toxic environment that East Hampton High School and Middle School have become to many students.
    When I was in eighth grade, I participated in Challenge Day. Challenge Day was an incredible program where we all realized that each person is fighting his or her own battles. It founded a new level of respect and tolerance that hadn’t existed before and is the reason why, I believe, my graduating class was, for the most part, so respectful of our fellow classmates. We all realized that our words can mean something totally different to someone else and our bullying can have a bigger impact on those who are facing their own battles.
    Challenge Day, or a program like it, needs to be brought back. Something has to be done. I refuse to let this student’s death have no impact on the high school community. I refuse to just wait three years — or less — until another student ends his or her life. And I refuse to stand by and watch while my community allows this to happen. More needs to be done if change is expected in our community.
    Although I am over 300 miles away from home, I still love my community. My last two years of high school, after I came out as gay, I learned that East Hampton High School can be a place that builds your confidence, a place where you meet friends that will last you a lifetime, and a place where you will gain unforgettable memories. I just want the community I believe in to exist for everyone. I’m ready to see a change, are you?
ANDREW R. BENNETT


Domestic Violence
    East Hampton
    October 1, 2012
To the Editor,
    As we enter national Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we on eastern Long Island need to come together as a community.
    Marilyn Fitterman’s op-ed piece “Rethink Domestic Violence” (Sept. 26) brings up many valid points that as a community we need to address. We all can agree abusive men should be held accountable for their actions, period. The Retreat has a 25-year history of ensuring that women and children are safe and that our criminal justice system prosecutes abusive men to the fullest extent of the law.
    Ms. Fitterman rightly suggests granting due attention to the role of men in both the problems and solutions associated with domestic violence. We at the Retreat, eastern Long Island’s only domestic violence emergency shelter and comprehensive domestic violence services provider, concur with this thought 100 percent.
     In fact, in 2012, we added extra muscle behind it. The Suffolk County Fatherhood Initiative, the result of our community’s collaborative, innovative proposal to the U.S. Administration of Families and Children, led to a multi-year, evidence-based project that engages men who are at risk of committing domestic violence in a program that redefines masculine strength and inspires and enables struggling men to identify their real strengths and to use these strengths in catalytic, positive ways.
    Before domestic violence can strike, such forward-thinking programming teaches troubled Suffolk County men parenting skills, healthy relationship skills for couples, and concrete ways to find and secure educational and employment opportunities even during tough times on Long Island. The approach, which flows from a rich collaboration with Stony Brook University and the Suffolk County Department of Probation, is the first of its kind on Long Island, and many outsiders are watching its groundbreaking success. Fathers across Suffolk County have been phoning The Retreat and partners to receive the support that changes the lives of local men, women, and families‚ all for the better.
    Some schools of thought incorrectly suggest a need for communities to choose between protecting/sheltering women on the one hand and engaging men in the effort to end domestic violence on the other hand. From direct experience, our pioneering community has learned that we can do both. In fact, we must. Abused women and their children need emergency shelter, food, and counseling. There is no shame or endorsement of violence in providing it. Providing help to survivors is simply the right thing to do. Doing so flows from looking into the eyes of frightened women and children who courageously left a violent home in hopes of a better life.
    Protecting such women is not inconsistent with taking other innovative approaches to stopping domestic violence at the same time. As a community, we clearly need to do both: serve victims and hold men accountable. The Retreat remains steadfastly committed to both.
    Over the last two years, we’ve seen a 96-percent increase in calls to our local domestic violence hotline. The Retreat has been there to answer every one of those 3,162 calls. Without an organization like the Retreat in our community, those calls would go unanswered.
    During this first week of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we thank Ms. Fitterman and others for shining the light with us on domestic violence. Also, we thank all of the generous supporters in our community who have supported the Retreat and its commitment to East End families for 25 years.
    JEFFREY FRIEDMAN
    Executive director
    The Retreat


Hardly Sum Up
    Springs
    October 1, 2012
Dear David,
    What an incredible fall season for East Hampton athletes. A great homecoming victory for Bonac football, a wonderful inaugural East Hampton High School Hall of Fame induction, and the very generous donations from our community to the Springs Athletics Booster Club, which allowed us to restore funding to provide junior high students with the opportunity to play their favorite sports this year.
    On behalf of everyone involved with the Springs Booster Club, a heartfelt thanks to the many, many generous supporters, donors, and friends. In the span of a mind-boggling short three weeks, our community came together to raise well over $39,000 to restore consolidated sports teams to the Springs School. With the shoe-leather of Kristy and Pat Brabant, Mark and Jenn Lappin, Janice Vaziri, and a whole bunch of Springs kids, we got the word out, and wow, did our neighbors rise to the occasion.
    Thanks to Joe Vasile, East Hampton’s athletic director, and the coaches for jumping in on day one to help us pave the way for success. Very, very special thanks to Scott and Holly Rubenstein at East Hampton Indoor Tennis, who made the first generous donation that got the ball rolling. To Henrika Connor and the Old Montauk Athletic Club, who blew down the doors for us, many, many thanks. To our new Springs superintendent, Dominic Mucci, Eric Casale, our principal, members of the Springs and East Hampton School Boards, Pat Hand and the East Hampton Coaches Association, who offered dollars, ideas, and encouragement, we are so grateful.
     To Arthur Malman, Bob Pucci, John Ryan, Alec Baldwin, Betsy Smith, Kevin Boles, Taylor Vescey, and countless others, for spreading the word, donating raffle items, writing checks, and providing reams of moral support, we can’t thank you enough.
    To all the business owners, chefs, restaurants, salons, and shops who donated a crazy-great array of raffle prizes: Wow, just wow! Thanks can hardly sum up our gratitude. We could not have done any of this without our wonderful neighbors, friends, and community. Our kids will remember the sports season of 2012-13 for a very long time.
    Sincerely,
    MARY McPARTLAND


Safe and Secure
    East Hampton
    September 28, 2012
Dear David:
    Everyone at the high school, on the school board, and I personally, want to offer our sincere thanks and appreciation to the East Hampton Village and Town emergency services — the Police and Fire Departments — for helping to keep our students and visitors safe and secure over homecoming weekend.
    They did a marvelous job making sure that this significant day for the community — from t in extend my thanks and the thanks of the entire school community. We couldn’t have done it without their help.
    Sincerely,
    RICHARD J. BURNS
    Superintendent of Schools


Total Surprise
    East Hampton
    September 27. 2012
To the Editor,
    There really are some nice people in this world!
    On Sept. 21, my 89th birthday, a young man paid for my hairdo, after the staff at Special Effects sang to me! It was a total surprise, and I thank him most sincerely for renewing my faith in mankind. Thank you, David Miles, and thank you, Star, for printing this.
FRAN GAINES


Dangerous Chemicals
    East Hampton
    September 29, 2012
Dear David:
    The spraying of dangerous chemicals over local bodies of water is extremely troubling. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has confirmed the link between methoprene (a mosquito larvicide) and resmethrin (an adulticide) to the massive lobster die-off in Long Island Sound. Ten states have banned the use of methoprene in bodies of water containing fish.
    The rationale for the spraying of the salt marshes is the prevention of West Nile virus. However, according to researchers and scientists in this field, the virus that causes West Nile is typically found in freshwater wetlands, rather than saltwater. So, marine life is being endangered for no good reason. Strong critics of the use of these pesticides include Kevin McAllister, the Peconic Baykeeper, and Suffolk County Legislators Edward P. Romaine and Fred W. Thiele Jr.
    The fact is that there are nontoxic alternatives that can be used for mosquito control such as BTi, a product that kills mosquito larvae without harming fish, and common-sense measures, such as eliminating standing water (such as birdbaths) around one’s home.
    Deborah Klughers, an East Hampton trustee, has proposed that methoprene be banned in East Hampton and a resolution to that effect was recently passed by the trustees. Whether this resolution will have any teeth remains to be seen. One would hope that the town board would support this resolution and use whatever influence it has with the Suffolk County Department of Health. Turning a blind eye to a problem of this magnitude is simply unacceptable.
SUE AVEDON


Unfounded Fears
    Amagansett
    September 27, 2012
To the Editor:
    So far this year greater than 3,500 cases of West Nile virus have been reported in the United States. More than half of these have had a neurotoxic component (think encephalitis, meningitis). The youngest and the oldest are most vulnerable.
    When people either well-meaning or with their own agenda speak out against the county or state health departments’ attempts to keep us safe it is important to keep in mind where the best knowledge about public safety lies. When our local politicians pander to unfounded fears about spraying, they do us a great disservice.
    Sincerely,
    GERALD LUTZER


Political Rot
    East Hampton
    September 25, 2012
To the Editor:
    The rules are clear and simple regarding where you can catch an entry clam for East Hampton Town’s annual biggest clam contest. The rules are clear about when you can catch the one clam that you are going to submit. The rules are clear about when the clam must be submitted to one of the receiving fish markets: They must be at one of the officially designated fish markets no later than the Saturday before the contest. The rules are clear that you must have a valid East Hampton shellfish permit. There are age limit rules to distinguish adult entries from adolescent entries. And, there are rules against purposely marking, etching, or disfiguring a clam in any way in order to distinguish it from the other clams entered.
    These rules were established by the East Hampton Town Trustees whom we elect and “trust” to be knowledgable of our waters and the life therein; they are responsible to conduct themselves in accordance with state and federal law, specifically the open public meetings act. And they are responsible not to change the law, a k a rules, mid-stream and out of session by people who are neither elected to office nor qualified to arbitrarily make a judgment call without prior public approval by East Hampton Town residents as mandated by both the state and federal laws protecting natural resources.
    Yet, both last year and this year, clams were accepted on the day of the contest. Blatant violations of both the contest’s rules and a violation of state and federal laws. What difference does a “little” rule-breaking make, you may ask? In this case, when clams are kept out of their natural habitat they “spit” out the juice inside of them, thereby lowering their “true” weight. Clearly a basic, published rule was allowed to be broken by whatever trustee permitted this gross violation. Either play by the rules or resign your office!
    Nonetheless, the new, nonelected judges, who were supposed to abide by the established rules, took it upon themselves to change the rules of the game while the contest was in progress. Revealing their gross ignorance, the ad hoc judges determined that clams with natural growths on them must be altered thereby violating the rules of the contest. After the initial weigh-in, two clams with barnacles were summarily scraped clean by these judges and reweighed. The barnacles were removed without precedent or consensus.
    Moreover, it’s impossible to remove the barnacles without damaging part of the clam’s exodermic organic shell, which makes them highly susceptible to die from parasites once thrown back into the water. Since there are many species and functions of barnacles, removing the barnacles of each of these clams may have also damaged the clam’s reproductive system. Wontonly removing the barnacles and violating the rules of the majority of the trustees is precisely why we have trustees to protect our aquatic natural resources.
    Trust was broken today, contest day, between the community and the town’s trustees. The fun of the annual celebration was poisoned as word got out at the event; now the known incidences of breaking the rules are being spread around town. Longtime baymen around the East End are shaking their heads at the trustees’ thoughtless recklessness.
    The combined experience of working the bays and oceans of Suffolk County by Milton Miller, Fred Havens, Stu Vorpahl, and my father exceeds 250 years. As true baymen they could have advised the “new” judges (who must be from the dust bowl of Oklahoma) that clams in the contest are not to be altered in any way, especially when what is altered is natural to all shellfish from lobsters, oysters, and mussels to whales and tortoises. The rule is that the clams are weighed and measured exactly how they came out of the water. Period!
    In the end you may ask, “All of this because of a barnacle?” No. Barnacles aren’t the point. Principle, trust, and civic duty are at stake. Abiding by the law, no matter how seemingly insignificant, goes a long way to educating the next generation. Civics hasn’t been taught in our schools for decades and Sunday’s default actions are living proof why civics are so important in a demo­cracy. Anyone with an ounce of common sense and knowledge of Shakespeare’s Hamlet knows the line: “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” and that political rot extends from our town court to our town trustees. It’s a sad commentary on our morals and the community at large.
NANCY R. PEPPARD


Speed Kills
    East Hampton
    October 1, 2012
To the Editor,
    Fall is upon us! This time of year brings with it good news and bad news (depending on your point of view) when summer folks migrate west. The bad news is the increased wildlife mortality on East Hampton roads. Speed kills!
    Studies have shown that vehicle speeds at 30 miles per hour or less results in minimal loss of animal life on our roads (except perhaps turtles and snakes). Traffic speeds above 30 m.p.h. result in exponentially higher mortality the higher the rate of vehicle travel. This is especially true on East Hampton’s windy, hilly country roads. Traffic-speed reduction on our major highways is impractical but that should not be the case on our secondary roads.
    I don’t understand the need to drive over 30 on our secondary roads. What is the loss — three or four minutes longer from your destination?
    Recently traveling from Northwest Landing to East Hampton Village, a BMW convertible pulled out of a driveway in front of me, and at speeds of 50 to 55, flew through a flock of turkeys that were on each side of the road without even touching his brake.
    Another thing, when you see a deer cross in front of you, slow down, it’s a good chance another deer is following. I know this is fairly common knowledge, but it bears repeating.
    So please slow down this fall, especially during evening, night, and early morning hours. The life you save may be your own.
    One more thing: Putting up those deer-excluding fences contributes to deer mortality by taking away habitat, forcing deer to expose themselves more and more to our roadways. Plant what deer won’t eat; there is a wide variety of landscape plants, very attractive, that fit that category.
DON LEHMAN


Oxymoron
    Springs
    September 27, 2012
To the Editor:
    I have always thought the phrase “graffiti artists” an oxymoron.
    It’s vandalism!
MARY BRAVERMAN


For the Letters
    Sag Harbor
    September 26, 2012
To the Editor,
    Can I make a suggestion to you? Would you consider making titles for the letters to the editor more on target as to the content? I have noticed repeatedly that the titles have nothing to do with the import of the letter. For example, I just wrote you regarding the horrific noise over my house from the new East Hampton Airport helicopter route; you titled it, “All Night, All Day,” which meant nothing. Similarly, my friend Joan Lesser gave a yard sale for President Obama and Tim Bishop, and I forgot what you called it, but it had nothing to do with the subject.
    I think it would be better to highlight what the letter is about so people can choose which ones to read. Thank you for considering this.
BEVERLY SCHANZER


    Titles for letters to the editor are drawn from the text of the letters themselves. They are necessarily short, to confine them to a single line of text. We regret any obfuscation that may be the result from time to time. Ed.


Katy’s Courage
    East Hampton
    September 18, 2012
Dear Editor,
    A few Sundays ago I spent the day on Long Wharf at Sag Harbor’s HarborFest. Over the past few years I had taken to stringing beads as therapy and hobby. As my collection of stone, pearl, and crystal grew so did my imagination.
    I never did take much pleasure in selling the jewelry I created; it sat in boxes at the bottom of a closet until I began donating pieces to local charities and organizations for their own auctions and raffles. This year I decided to divest myself of the backlog and choose one local organization as beneficiary. I bought a tent, some tables, and a spot on the Wharf. Katy’s Courage (katyscourage. org) struck me as a wonderful, small-town resource.
    Katy Stewart was well known and remembered in Sag Harbor as a loving, gregarious young girl who fought a valiant and noble battle with cancer. Sadly, she passed at age 12, leaving her parents and young brother to carry on the fight for rich, joyous quality of life for others on their own cancer journeys. While the money raised defined a successful day, the community support and the time they shared with me was the high point of my experience.
    Thanks so much to everyone. Special thanks to The Star for its consistent support of the community and its concerns and causes.
    All the best,
    MICHAEL DICKERSON


Had the Misfortune
    East Hampton
    September 30, 2012
To the Editor:
    Your Sept. 27 article “High Praise for the Water Jitney” recounts how those who took the Sag Harbor-Greenport water ferry enjoyed themselves. Sadly, I was not among them. My two attempts to take the Peconic Jitney were a bust.
    On two separate occasions, the recommended parking lot shuttle to the boat never showed. My calls to the office revealed that there were mechanical problems with the boat and the scheduled trip was not running. In neither case did anyone take the initiative to contact me, despite the detailed contact information that is required in the reservation process.
    In the first instance, the Peconic Ferry employee was courteous, very apologetic, and encouraged me to give them another try. However, on the second occasion, the following week, the Jitney representative told me if I didn’t like the bus-to-the-ferry alternative to take it up with the owner, and hung up.
    I suppose it is possible I had the misfortune to book the only two trips that were canceled all summer, but somehow I doubt it.
    Hampton Jitney usually offers efficient, customer-friendly bus service. It appears they have something to learn about boats.
VIRGINIA GIBBS


High Cost
    Wainscott
    September 29, 2012
To the Editor,
    Driving a shiny car is not worth the high cost of locating a car wash in Wainscott. A car wash would put added pressure on the water table upon which area residents depend. The noise and exhaust emanating from idling cars would push the cost even higher. Add to this the increased traffic on Montauk Highway and surrounding streets associated with a car wash capable of serving 150 vehicles per day and the cost of shiny cars simply becomes too high.
    Just down the street from the proposed car wash sits the Plitt Ford site, approved for a 17,500-square-foot retail store with 98 parking spaces. Before approving this development, the East Hampton Town Planning Board should have requested a thorough study of its impact on its surroundings under the State Environmental Quality Review Act. Instead, only a limited study of the new store’s impact on nearby residences and roadways was conducted, and the development was approved.
    If such a laissez-faire approach to planning continues, Wainscott will take another big step to becoming the next County Road 39: a congested commercial thoroughfare devoid of character and charm.
    It is not too late for Wainscott to create a commercial environment that better reflects the character and concerns of the community. But it does require leadership on the part of the East Hampton Town Planning Board, which should deny any application to establish a car wash and immediately begin to create a sensitive, practical vision for the Wainscott commercial area.
ROBERT GRILL


Filmed in Montauk
    Springs
    September 26, 2012
Dear David,
    There is a very interesting and informative film being screened for free to the community during the film festival, “The City Dark,” at the Montauk movie theater at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6. With scenes filmed in Montauk, this feature documentary about light pollution includes interviews with astronomers, naturalists, biologists, and ornithologists, illustrating the effects of the loss of darkness on our health and well-being. 
    The filmmaker, Ian Cheney, will be here to answer questions, with a reception afterward at the (former Plaza) Bodega restaurant. That night (after the fireworks) there will be a stargazing party up at the Montauk County Park, sponsored by the Montauk Observatory.
    The screening of this movie coincides with an effort under way to undermine our current Dark Sky lighting code in the Town of East Hampton. Learning about the importance of protecting our view of a beautiful night sky will help inform the public about this important issue. 
    I hope everyone will come out to Montauk, and, pray for no rain. But the movie will be shown regardless. I’ve seen it and it’s very entertaining and enlightening.
    Thank you,
    SUSAN HARDER


Traffic Banning
    East Hampton
    September 28, 2012
Dear Editor,
    After reading about the East Hampton Town Board’s consideration on traffic bans on area streets (“At Crossroads on New Traffic Regs,” Sept. 27) I felt compelled to give my opinion on the matter. I am a resident of Gould Street and can sympathize with other people living on streets that are often used as a way to avoid traffic on the main roads. However, these are public roads paid for by all residents. I can understand limiting truck traffic (as the village has done) but to tell me I can’t drive on back roads to avoid the over-saturated area in the summer is just another way local people get the short end of the stick. I would wager that the people complaining about the use of their streets are the same people who use back roads to go to Southampton or Amagansett-Montauk.
    Cooper Lane was widened years ago and traffic lights added for the purpose of providing an adequate through street. Sidewalks are on many of the streets that were mentioned for traffic banning. I am amazed that Gould Street wasn’t even on the list. It is very narrow, without sidewalks, it gets all the school traffic (including all the buses), and is also used as a through street year round. Try walking down Gould Street without taking your life in your hands. Safety is always an issue and will change only when traffic laws are enforced. Drivers need to slow down and obey traffic signs.
    Note: Streets being considered for banning through traffic include Cooper Lane, Palma Terrace, Sherrill Road, Osborne Lane, Miller Lane, Indian Hill Lane, Miller Lane West, and Miller Lane East.
    The reality is that traffic will always be an issue in East Hampton, and is getting maddeningly worse, especially during the summer season, so let’s not restrict ourselves even further to appease those who cannot deal with this reality.
    Sincerely,
    MARY LASPIA


Noble Mission
    Wainscott
    September 25, 2012
Dear Editor:
    Today was National Voter Registration Day. I had the privilege of working with the League of Women Voters to supply information relating to the elections this Nov. 6.
    As the site was prearranged for approval by our local Kmart, we proceeded to set up on their property, laying out fliers containing directories of our officials, absentee ballots, versions in English and Spanish, and friendly faces ready to answer any questions.
    Imagine our chagrin at being told the Kmart manager on duty this day wanted us to dismantle our table and depart. This action certainly undermines our citizens’ right to a voice in government. After all, this being the first-ever National Voter Registration Day, it was launched this year after 6 million Americans claimed they missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register in the 2008 elections.
    How can our effort to address this important issue be squelched in our current climate of disenfranchised voters? How many other sites nationwide might have been thwarted today from fulfilling this noble mission of encouraging participatory citizenship?
    Yours truly,
    MARY LICATA


Already Congested
    Wainscott
    October 1, 2012
Dear David,
    It’s “dumpsville” as usual in Wainscott.
    The recent proposal of an application for a car wash at the Star Room property is so ill-conceived it is mind boggling, to say the least. Diana Weir mentions “eyesore” — what does she think this would be? Look at any car wash, they are all eyesores.
    Ms. Weir’s comment, “I don’t think there is a noise issue as long as the screening is good.” What in the world is she thinking? Screening may hide the building but does nothing about the noise. The drying fans roar like a jet plane every few minutes. Go stand in Southampton and listen from 100 feet away. Watch the numerous cars waiting to be attended to. Pay attention to the attempts to enter the roadway.
     Laurie Wilshire, who has an agenda, remarks that “all equipment is inside.” Brilliant! Well, I have never seen one with equipment outside. A second entrance is planned on East Gate Road, a residential neighborhood, adding a line of cars that will have no way of exiting onto the main road, so they will wander north and add traffic to a peaceful residential area where both streets deadend. Then we could eliminate the “no parking” signs that have been there for years.
    Well, we can always widen the road to several lanes to help. More dumping. What the hell, it is only Wainscott.
    Montauk Highway is already congested, and often it is impossible to exit from East Gate or West Gate Road, often one has to wait minutes to turn. The traffic is usually backed up from the Sagg Road light during the afternoons. The road is a single lane westbound with a miniscule, lined-off shoulder. Cars will obstruct traffic while waiting to enter.
    Reed Jones states, “Think of the alternative.” What? No car wash is the alternative. You could incorporate a tattoo parlor, fast-food joint, and strip mall in the plan, just like Brookhaven and Mastic. We can even rename the hamlet Wainsquatt, which would then be applicable.
    The Wainscott corridor is already hard on the eyes with not-so-attractive commercial venues — stop adding to it!
    Yours truly,
    ARTHUR J. FRENCH


Present Greed
    Springs
    October 1, 2012
Dear David,
    The summer is finally over, and we barely escaped intact. We saw our beaches assaulted, people killed by distracted (sometimes speeding) drivers, our quiet neighborhoods bombarded by the sounds of planes, or worse, helicopters and/or nightclubs with loud outdoor music. Poor Montauk teetered on the brink of a Coney Island aura, making it a place people wanted to avoid.
    The Town of East Hampton is in danger of losing its reputation as a unique place I used to refer to as paradise — this summer it was more like hell — all of this in the name of promoting business, but are we?
    Our supervisor says he is in favor of business.  But what he has never understood is that there is business, and then there is getting the business. He and his “deputy” have never been able to see around the corner (i.e., promoting a project on land belonging to the county).
    This summer we were used and abused, slipping down the road to degradation. Sometimes you have take off the blinders of present greed and realize that just as quickly as this town became the place to be, it can become the place to avoid. Tim Bishop has said it best‚ “The economy is the environment and the environment is the economy.” If we lose our pristine beaches and clear water, if people can no longer look out on a horizon where the sky meets the land unobstructed, no longer swim in clean bays, enjoy our bounty of farms and the sea, people will no longer want to come here. Oh for those 15 votes! Vote wisely!
    Sincerely,
    PHYLLIS I. MALLAH


Serious Rationing
    East Hampton
    September 29, 2012
Dear Mr. Rattray:
    I believe one of the worst things to hit this country in a long time is the Affordable Care Act (a k a Obamacare) and the average senior citizen just doesn’t realize how bad it is. Make no mistake about it: There will be less care to go around because doctors will be assigned to taking care of the 30 million previously uninsured and they will be less concerned with us seniors. Just look at the foreign countries where this idea of socialized medicine has been tried and you’ll see the worst health care is reserved for the elderly.
    The generosity of the government will not apply to those it sees as expendable, namely us senior citizens. And yes, like it or not, there will be serious rationing because there just aren’t enough hospital beds or doctors to go around now so you can imagine what it will be like with an extra 30 million patients. In fact, thousands of doctors have said they will be retiring rather than be overworked and paid very little.
    This outrageous new health care system has been foisted on us by the Demo­crats — and a proud supporter of this anti-senior plan is none other than our own congressman, Tim Bishop. Despite originally saying that he wouldn’t support Obamacare, Mr. Bishop promptly turned around and voted for it anyway. The only way to restore the $716 billion that is being stolen from Medicare is to vote out those who supported robbing it in the first place. It is time for Congressman Bishop to go — and for him to be replaced by someone who listens.
    I am supporting Randy Altschuler because he knows Obamacare is bad for his own mom and all seniors. He will vote to repeal Obamacare.
    Help keep Medicare safe and available. Support Randy for Congress on Nov. 6.
    Very truly yours,
    RHODA BATION


Lied and Dissembled
    East Hampton
    October 1, 2012
Dear Mr. Rattray:
    It is time for Tim Bishop to go.
    At the debate Thursday night at the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall in Riverhead, between Randy Altschuler and Tim Bishop, Mr. Bishop bombastically lied and dissembled before some 200 people.
    When asked why members of Congress were not subject to Obamacare, Mr. Bishop countered they were. Sev­eral times he emphatically cited Section 1302 of the act as proof. Well, I looked up Section 1302, which ranges from pages 59 to 62, and guess what? No such reference to Congress or its staff having to enroll in this hideous system. So, did Tim Bishop lie? Has Tim Bishop even read the 2,207 pages of the legislation that denies religious and individual freedom and will collapse the best health care system on the planet?
    When asked about his pay-to-play campaign finance scandal, Mr. Bishop would not commit to moving an investigation so that the voters could learn the truth. Funny, if most people knew they were innocent of such a devastating charge, wouldn’t they want the truth to get out as fast as possible to clear their name? I know I would and I suspect most of your readers would as well. If they were innocent.
    Is it any wonder, then, the nonpartisan Washington, D.C.-based ethics watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, named Mr. Bishop as one of the most corrupt members of Congress.
    In the near decade Mr. Bishop has been in office there is no legislation that bears his name, and much of the legislation he has sponsored has either no or few co-sponsors. Our fishing and farming industries are collapsing under the boot of federal regulations. Mr. Bishop should be chaining himself to the doors of the House to bring attention to our crushed East End businesses. Instead, he acts as Nancy Pelosi’s lapdog, doing her bidding no matter how detrimental to his own constituents.
    Residents of the First Congressional District deserve the very best representation in the House. It is time to vote out a mediocre, scandal-ridden Tim Bishop, for Randy Altschuler, a man of success and integrity. On Election Day, Nov. 6, vote for Randy Altschuler on the Independence, Republican, or Conservative party lines.
    Sincerely,
    CAROLE CAMPOLO


Has Outsourced
    Springs
    October 1, 2012
Dear Editor,
    The stimulus bill, a k a recovery and reinvestment act, has a bit of incompetence. The law itself failed to properly specify all those jobs produced were to be in the good old U.S. of A. The problem, Tim Bishop and fellow Democrat legislators and the great intelligent President Obama rushed the bill forward without including an airtight “buy American” provision.
    Therefore, Tim Bishop has outsourced billons of dollars and thousand of jobs using taxpayers’ money to China, Spain, etc. Six thousand jobs and $2 billon earmarked for green industries, and, guess what, Chuck Schumer is outraged and shocked this happened. Maybe someone should learn to read papers put in front of them.
    Tim Bishop is a bungling, clueless bureaucrat, voting for a badly written and poorly vetted law. Citizens of the East End, in private sector this man would have been fired on the spot. When someone is not doing their job, it’s time to let them go. Tim Bishop is unfit for his position, and, for that matter, let’s clean up Washington this November.
    Sincerely,
    BEA DERRICO


Still Waiting
    Montauk
    September 28, 2012
Dear David,
    This voter is still waiting for Congressman Tim Bishop to condemn President Obama for immediately announcing the killing of bin Laden within hours of the raid. This leak compromised and made useless intelligence our Seals might have seized during the raid. The leak identified the unit that carried out the raid, putting in danger the lives of the men who make up Seal Team 6. The leak spelled out the techniques used to carry out the raid and resulted in the Pakistani doctor who found bin Laden being given a 33-year jail sentence.
    Why are you silent, Congressman Bishop?
    Even worse, within days, the president briefed a select group from Hollywood. Members of Congress were demanding to be briefed on the raid while the president was briefing his Hollywood donors.
    Are you outraged, Congressman Bishop?
    Has our president lost all sense of his role as commander in chief of our armed forces, not to mention his sense of honor?
    Why have you been silent, Congressman Bishop?
    Permit me to ask you this, Congressman Bishop: Do you believe, as many Americans believe, that the assassination of our ambassador to Libya and the attack on our embassy in Egypt was payback for the killing of Bin Laden?
    Let me ask you this, Congressman Bishop: Is it right for the president to leak top-secret information for political gain?
    Congressman Bishop, we would appreciate your answer to these questions.
    Sincerely,
    PAT GILCHREST


No Results
    East Hampton
    October 1, 2012
To the Editor,
    Earlier in 2012 the Montauk Boatmen, formally known as the M.B.C.A., endorsed Randy Altschuler for Congress. We did so for the following reasons:
    1. In 2010, at a meeting in Montauk with Senator Kirstin Gillibrand, I was quoted as saying that New York State doesn’t get congressional support, as do our neighboring states, in fisheries matters. As far as I’m concerned, as the legislative representative for our captains’ association, this is a fact. We get a lot of activity at election time but no results.
    2. Congressman Tim Bishop called me the day after the press reported my concern for lack of congressional support for the fisheries in New York State. He stated that he had just introduced a bill to support our need for adjustments in the Congressional Striped Bass Act that would allow New York State recreational fishermen to fish in the transit zone. This anomaly affects only New York State and prevents our fishing community from using 60 percent of our traditional fishing grounds.
    3. We thank Congressman Bishop for his support and assistance in this matter. His bill went to the Natural Resource Committee in approximately late September 2010, prior to the election. All we asked was that he get the bill on the floor for a vote (win or lose). Congressman Bishop had a Democratic Congress, Democratic Senate, and a Democratic president. After much delay, the bill never got out of committee and died there. Our concern was that Congressman Bishop was using the proposed bill as a tool to get fishermen’s votes and that we were deceived.
    After the election of 2010, we didn’t hear from Congressman Bishop until 2012. (Would you believe another election year for the congressman?) His office called me and stated that he submitted a similar bill as a rider to the Congressional sportsmen’s bill. On the day the bill was to be voted on in Congress, Tim Bishop withdrew our bill and voted against the Congressional sportsmen’s bill. Our bill went back to the Natural Resources Committee, where it sits today.
    There is an old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” We are not allowing ourselves to be deceived twice. I have to assume that Tim Bishop thinks we don’t follow his political machinations or that the fishermen on the East End are stupid.
    Understand that over his terms of office, we have supported him financially and politically. I’ve been to more of his fund-raisers over the years than most of his supporters. The fishermen don’t care about the party. We need support and integrity.
    In a recent article in Newsday dated Sept. 4, New England Congressional delegates (Republican and Democratic) acquired funds for Northeast fishermen due to restrictions on catch limits. New York congressional delegates are asking for some of the money for New York fishermen. New York should have its own support. We should not have to request a share from the Northeast states.
    We are supporting Randy Altschuler because we need a change in our congressional district and we need the support of our congressman. We need a congressman who will support us just as congressmen do in our neighboring states.
    Respectfully submitted,
    CAPT. JOE McBRIDE


Same Old, Same Old
    East Hampton
    September 30, 2012
Dear David,
    Tim Bishop, our First District representative in Congress, took office Jan. 1, 2003. At that time the unemployment rate in his district was 5.4 percent. This year, in July 2012, the unemployment rate was 8.3 percent. Legislation Tim Bishop has voted on has outsourced millions of United States jobs. Since Bishop has been in office he has been a sponsor of 102 pieces of legislation that have not been enacted into law, due to no or few co-sponsors. You have to wonder what he has done since taking office in 2003. The only thing I see is when Tim Bishop took office 10 years ago he was clean-shaven and now he sports a full-face beard!
      You need to ask yourself do you want a do-nothing, same old, same old‚ or a fresh face, new ideas, and a proven job creator? The choice is yours. If you want the same old, same old‚ then by all means vote for Tim Bishop, but if you want a proven job creator with new ideas, then you need to vote for Randy Altschuler on Nov. 6. 
    Sincerely,
    MARY ELLA MOELLER


Hard-Right Haywire
    Sag Harbor
    October 1, 2012
Dear David,
    If you think the trash allegations against Tim Bishop and his family coming out of the Altschuler campaign to unseat our wonderful congressman are unconscionable pillory, brace yourself for the coming onslaught from the Republican National Committee, Wall Street bundlers, Karl Rove’s Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, combined with Randy Altschuler’s own deep pockets.    The aggressive lies is their desperate effort to besmirch Tim in this final month, at long last, of the rolling calamity of this neo-Republican Party gone hard-right haywire. Their nonstop, rapid-fire ads now blasting from every site on the Internet, on TV, radio, newspapers, mailings, and seemingly out of every orifice, each day grows more irritating and intrusive. You can bet it will become uglier and even more attention grabbing, but thankfully Altschuler’s extremely bad decision to play a rancid “hardball” by manufacturing a charge of petty avarice against Tim, instead of discussing issues, will not work.
    It’s an old trick and not limited to wing-nuts. When Lyndon Johnson was running for the second time for Congress in rural Texas, he told his political operatives to spread charges against the incumbent who had previously defeated him, a livestock rancher, who was well known for his quality, prize-winning pigs: Just spread the word that my opponent screws pigs. One operative counseled against it, saying it could backfire on him, as the rancher could simply deny it. “That’s exactly what I want him to do,” replied the future congressman. His opponent, evidently, did go around the county denying he habitually took venereal pleasure from his livestock. Preposterous? Lyndon won.
    It’s no small matter Mr. Altschuler refuses to discuss issues: outlawing abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, denying choice or the right to a private decision between a woman and her doctor, or discuss his agreement with Republican plans to privatize Medicare and Social Security with government vouchers, which would open new opportunity for Wall Street to bundle up and monetize vast sums of vouchers — billions upon salivating billions. To the moon, Alice!
    If you look at his Web site’s “Issues” page, you can see for yourself the utter paucity of ideas, any, let alone elucidation of how he would implement the warmed-up policies of rote Republican, leftover talking points. He simply refuses to explain his positions. Throwing up mud is a lot easier than the detailing. Obfuscation, obviously, is meant to confuse, as people are mostly trustful.
    Mr. Altschuler eagerly sought out the approval of the Suffolk Tea Party and the 9/12 Project, a dismal Glenn Beck group to take over the Tea Party with his own look-alike, wing-nut vanguard. Mr. Altschuler is in lockstep with a Tea Party-radicalized Republican-majority House, whose stated and pursued goal really was to block anything from the president’s office, however much it was needed, even if it was good for the country, even if it had previously been proposed and put forth by Republicans.
    Mr. Altschuler’s biggest talking point seems to be his claim that he would reach across the aisle to his confreres on the other side, but, we might surmise, only after the flinging mud dries here in our congressional district.  
    I’m grateful so many of our wonderful neighbors are now fighting back against Mr. Altschuler, Mr. Rove, and the hard right. I’m glad so many are rallying around Tim, to support and protect him from the malice of Karl Rove, the self-anointed new boss of the neo-Republican Party, who, with his very rich buddies, will say and do anything (short of crawling through broken glass, as the penitential, hard-right Carole Campolo urges) to defeat Barack Obama in these last weeks of this campaign in order to try to snatch any House seat in the face of defeat.
    It won’t work here; all of their ill-gained, filthy lucre will not buy a congressional seat.
    Thanks,
    MICHAEL O’NEILL


Broken Record
    East Hampton
    September 29, 2012
To the Editor,
    With all turmoil in the Middle East, our president did not have time to talk with world leaders when he spoke at the United Nations.
    I would like to ask our congressman, Nepotism Tim, what he has to say about that. Nepotism Tim has become a broken record with his one-note ads about outsourcing.
    Hillary Clinton has said the United States would continue the $1 billion-plus aid to the Muslim Brotherhood-run Egyptian government.
    Tell the voters, Nepotism Tim, why this Islamist government should get any of our tax dollars outsourced to them.
    The Obama administration first said the riots in Libya and Egypt were due to the movie about Muhammad. Now the administration says the riots were planned.
    Can you, Nepotism Tim, clarify what happened for the voters in this congressional district?
    If the riots were planned, why was there no added protection for our diplomats in Egypt and our ambassador killed in Libya?
    Are you going to demand answers, Nepotism Tim?
    Respectfully,
    TIM SULLIVAN


Crap and Canard
    Springs
    October 1, 2012
Dear David,
    The most important value at stake in the upcoming Congressional election is how badly our electoral process will be affected by the unlimited flood of Karl Rove-created commercials, crammed with crap and canard. The commercials, paid for by unnamed special-interest Republican billionaires seeking additional tax cuts for themselves at the expense of the middle class, are crafted to distort reality and to buy the election for their handpicked candidate.
    Mr. Rove, who last gave us George W. Bush, in now foisting a Tea Party favorite and Republican office seeker, Randy Altschuler, on us. Randy, who made his money facilitating the outsourcing of good middle class American jobs overseas, is just what Mr. Rove and the right-wing Republicans want in Congress.
    Randy, a guy who just showed up in St. James a few years ago with his carpet bag stuffed full of cash, is looking for a place to buy a seat in Congress. Randy and Mr. Rove are spending millions and millions shamelessly distorting the truth and deceiving voters to get him the seat because he will support the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan budget. The Romney-Ryan budget will cut taxes for the rich by cutting Social Security and Medicare for all.
    Remember, if the Rove-Randy tactics of distortion and disinformation work, we all lose.
    Support Tim Bishop, a good man we all know and trust.
    Yours truly,
    BILL TAYLOR


Leaving the Game
    East Hampton
    September 25, 2012
Dear Editor,
    When I was a boy one of the tenets of play amongst us was that the game was over when either the losing side gave up or the contest was mutually ended because of darkness.
    Unfortunately, our new-found Ayn Rand advocate, Mr. Walter Donway, must have grown up in a different neighborhood, because he has unilaterally decided that he is leaving the “game” for his own purposes and would like to have the last word, before leaving.
    Okay, Mr. Donway, goodbye and good luck, and take your Jackie Gleason-like funmpfing ad hominem, hominem, hominem, hominem, with you when you leave.
    By the way, who cares what your Ayn Rand connections are? This is, as you say, Libertarian America, and you are entitled to make a fool of yourself anyway you wish, but I did feel that your support of her radical philosophy was apropos of our argument over the Koch contribution to Mitt Romney’s doomed presidential campaign.
    After all, Ayn Rand was a staunch advocate of the rich being the contributors and everyone else being a leech and looking for a handout. Gee, where have I heard that recently? Oh, I remember, the 47 percent moocher label affixed and put out there by Mr. Romney to a group attending a $50,000-a-plate fund-raiser last June in Boca Raton, Fla., just like those you say were so rudely welcomed to the fund-raiser here in the Hamptons.
    So goodbye, Mr. Donway, good luck, and as you abandon the ideological field to those of us in the lesser classes, you can keep your head up by telling those Fat Cat V.I.P. types you defended that our “game” was called because of darkness!
RICHARD P. HIGER