Rookie Head Coach
November 14, 2013
I would like to say congratulations to Steve Redlus, the varsity “rookie” head coach of the E.H.H.S. football team. He took our high school football team to the playoffs this year. I have never heard of a rookie head coach doing this before. Our team did very well in spite of our record. The team and coaches helped each other to get ready for the games each week. My husband and I went to the games each week and were impressed by the respect and honor with which our team played.
To the high school football team, the coaches, and the staff, I say congratulations for a job well done. You all have done the East Hampton community proud.
Good luck to all the seniors!
Crisis About a Crisis
November 14, 2013
While it is quite generous of Alec Baldwin to donate “a cool mil” to the East Hampton Library, I wonder where is the generosity of the ones who can afford such altruism for the Retreat, the town’s domestic violence agency and shelter?
A generator is needed immediately, before the next big storm hits, and the shelter house is without power and filled with women and children and staff. Protection is what these women and children come to shelter seeking. In order to protect them, there must be power for electronic gates, for stoves, for heat, etc. This is a crisis about a crisis center.
Yes, a new children’s wing at the East Hampton Library would be lovely. And a generator at the Retreat is necessary. Won’t the town advocate for this the way it does for other issues and concerns? This shelter saves lives. I have witnessed such as a shelter employee. And to do so, support in the form of community donations, i.e., money, for a generator is needed now.
I cannot help feeling like this issue of domestic violence, which unfortunately is alive and well in many lives today, gets not enough attention and support.
The shelter is no gorgeous house. It is bare-bones decor and could use a renovation no doubt. A decent playground, for one. But this is not the major concern right now. A generator is needed.
Won’t someone in the position to donate a large sum, I believe the cost was $35,000, do so? Not a million dollars. I wish I had that for them.
I hope to read about a donation to the Retreat on the front page soon!
I am no longer employed at the Retreat, by the way, so this is purely a concerned citizen making a plea on behalf of women who are in the process of surviving abuse. Please, someone, get them a generator.
NANCI E. LaGARENNE
Warmth and Cheer
November 16, 2013
One of the neatest volunteer activities available to the community is participation at our own LTV Studios. I have met and worked with some very interesting and charming people I would never have met elsewhere. I urge anyone interested in producing, directing, hosting, or working cameras to join up. The number there is 537-2777. Producer’s classes are available free and provide a good basic introduction to equipment and policies. There are some truly amazing perks to becoming a producer — create a quality documentary or just have fun introducing the community to your humor and intellect.
I just finished a show for two lovely young women who created a vegan Thanksgiving for the home audience. Not only was the soy turkey a taste delight, but the health benefits to their diet philosophy were presented in a simple-to-implement manner. Look for “The Sublime Kitchen” with the simple Google search, LTV East Hampton. Juliette and Alison are becoming part of the regular LTV line-up. Working to create a show for them brought new, sincere friendship to my life.
These ladies are gracious enough to provide a great service to their neighbors by sponsoring a coat drive for the winter and holidays. This announcement came during the show. They are offering their food specialty store at the beginning of Springs-Fireplace Road in East Hampton as a site to collect, inspect, and disperse well cared-for coats (and other warm garments) to organizations servicing families of the community. You will ultimately find these coats at the local food pantry, churches, or schools. I bet you might get a heartfelt cup of warmth as thanks for the warmth and cheer your used garments will provide someone in need. Call for info 604-1566 or hit Fireplace Road. Immediately on the left look for their sign in lime and pink letters: Simply Sublime!
Thanks to LTV for providing opportunities like this. Thank you, Juliette and Alison. Thanks to The East Hampton Star for its service to the community.
All the best,
Word of Warning
November 18, 2013
A word of warning about East Hampton Urgent Care walk-in. The website said it was open until 3 p.m. on Sunday, and their phone message said open until 6 p.m., so I called the office directly. I was told they would be open until 3, but I should get there by 2:30.
I drove from Southampton and arrived at 2. It was closed shut. This could be dangerous to someone’s health.
Is an Honor
November 11, 2013
I want to thank the voters of East Hampton for electing me to be their next town justice. I enjoyed meeting so many of them during the campaign and look forward to serving the entire town over the next four years.
It is an honor to be taking the seat that has been held for the past 20 years by Justice Cathy Cahill. Justice Cahill has set a standard of excellence and professionalism that she can be very proud of. It will also be a privilege to serve on the bench along side incumbent town Justice Lisa Rana, who has served with distinction for the past 10 years.
I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to serve the public in this way.
Kudo for Buffalo
November 16, 2013
Re: Helen Rattray’s “Connections” column Nov. 14. It is rare to see a kudo for Buffalo in the press. As a businessman I traveled there monthly for over 20 years and, sure, there were areas that were dangerous and depressing, like parts of New York City at the time, but the city also had a charm and open friendliness that were enchanting, as well as a rich cultural heritage that extended beyond having the greatest number of private homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Though she failed to mention them, I do hope Ms. Rattray spent some time at the world-famous Albright Knox Gallery or the lesser known but superb Burchfield Penny Center.
JOSEPH D. POLICANO
For Decades to Come
November 18, 2013
Montauk’s beaches are a critical natural and economic resource. The Army Corps of Engineers will soon return with detailed proposals for an “engineered beach” in downtown. The Concerned Citizens of Montauk believes strongly that East Hampton Town and the Army Corps must:
1. Adopt an open and transparent public process;
2. Avoid stone seawalls, revetments, or groins;
3. Hire an independent coastal engineering firm to guide the community in understanding and selecting the options and to work with the corps throughout the design and construction process;
4. Select from the “soft” options (a wide sand beach backed by either a dune made of sand only or a geo-tube dune covered in sand);
5. Select an option that is environmentally sound and economically feasible;
6. Include Ditch Plain as a critical part of the sand transport system;
7. Understand the project does not protect Montauk against sea level rise and that our community must immediately start developing a coastal resiliency and adaptation plan.
For 43 years, the Concerned Citizens of Montauk has worked to protect the environment and ecology of Montauk. Whatever is built through the Army Corps process will define Montauk’s ocean beach for decades to come. It is critical our community and elected leaders get it right.
Concerned Citizens of Montauk
November 18, 2013
I would like to correct misinformation in a letter to the editor last week by Steve Kalimnios (duplicating a full page ad in the East Hampton Press). Mr. Kalimnios, a motel manager, describes “the use of geo-textile materials as a dune core which is compliant with our local waterfront revitalization plan and has been installed throughout our town.”
Textile-covered “geo-tubes” and “sand-cubes” are not L.W.R.P. policy but an addition to the emergency provision of the Local Erosion Protection law, which allows for their temporary installation for up to six months to protect a structure that is in imminent danger of failure. The law would have to be changed to allow their use as a permanent “dune core.” The town attorney should weigh in on these legal aspects.
Mr. Kalimnios is also in error that geo-tubes have been “installed throughout our town.” The only use I am aware of was at an oceanfront house on Jobs Lane in Sagaponack (Southampton), where a steel coffer dam was set up in the ocean surf for the installation. The geo-tubes bought time for the house, which was ultimately moved back.
To be clear, I am not opposed to the use of geo-tubes as part of a dune reconstruction and a substantial beach nourishment (soft-solution) to protect downtown Montauk, especially if it includes Ditch Plain as an updrift “feeder beach.” But the town should follow its own laws.
Sea Wall on Georgica
November 17, 2013
I was pleased to read that the East Hampton Town Trustees are filing a lawsuit to prevent the construction of a sea wall on Georgica Beach. I can understand that individual homeowners are anxious to protect their waterfront properties. What I fail to understand is that a permit to do so was issued by the village zoning board of appeals. It has been well documented that hard structures contribute significantly to beach erosion, a problem that has become increasingly worse in this era of climate change and severe weather events.
I agree with your observation in last week’s editorial that taxpayer money is being wasted on lawsuits between different branches of government. Inclusion of the trustees in the initial approval process would likely avoid these bitter battles.
I suspect that these branches have failed to work together cooperatively because of issues related to power and jurisdiction. This I believe is the elephant in the room that needs to be recognized and addressed. To do so would go a long way toward avoiding costly and unnecessary lawsuits.
Amagansett Main Street
November 18, 2013
The charm of Amagansett Main Street is that it has retained its quaintness because of the historic district designation. One of these historic building owners who wants a zoning change, is the Balasses House at 208 Main. Local historic district designation offers, by far, the most legal protection for historic properties because most land use decisions are made at the local level.
That designation is about to be changed by a vote of the Republican majority of this town board after a walk-on resolution set the public hearing for Dec. 19. The proposal is to change the parcel from B residence/limited business overlay to commercial use. This could allow a large parking lot in the back of the building and change the residential character of the neighborhood forever.
The 2005 comprehensive plan recommended that this property be eliminated from becoming commercial. Main Street, Amagansett, could become one long commercial strip if this zone change is allowed. This property is the first in a line of six parcels, starting with the corner of Hedges Lane and going east along Montauk Highway, that are zoned limited business. If this parcel falls to a commercial zoning, it will set a precedent for the rezoning of the other five parcels.
The possibilities of businesses in a commercial zone are a restaurant, deli, taxi company, dry cleaning, etc. Anything goes! All these commercial uses demand parking. Amagansett has a large parking problem in the summer months. The Amagansett Square parking lot is always filled, as is the town parking area behind the library.
It’s time to stop this lame-duck town board from destroying our town. Come to any town board meeting and speak up! The time has come to tell this Republican majority that they show nothing but contempt for the voters.
Killers on My Property
November 13, 2013
To the Editor,
My name is Amelina, I am a local artist living at Quail Hill in Amagansett. The reason I chose to live here was to be immersed in nature. Watching the deer prance through my property fills me with peace and inspiration. Quail Hill is an artist haven filled with all wildlife carrying ticks. If people take proper precautions as they do for mosquitoes there is no problem. I walk through the grass as well as picnic in the grass each and every day. I have never had a problem with Lyme. We certainly cannot start shooting every animal carrying ticks. Studies have proven there is no correlation between the deer population and Lyme disease.
Often I am violently woken at 4 a.m. by gun shots one after another till sunrise.
I am then subject to watching the babies left behind frantically searching for their mothers only to suffer from starvation, from the lack of survival skills. I become emotionally disturbed watching the deer suffer.
Killing wildlife is unacceptable and inhumane. I do not want killers on my property or in my neighborhood day or night with weapons. I fear to let my dog out for a run on our property for he is the same color as the deer. Why must I live in fear in such a beautiful area?
Feral Cat Poem #63
the more leaves leave
the more sky shows through
and we see how scrawny the unclad
forest is, caught out in the cold
but even naked, trees have bark and roots
that warm their tootsies and keep the juices running
unlike homeless people
or outdoor cats.
My Friend Dom
November 17, 2013
Dear Mr. Rattray,
I want to express my complete dismay at your blatant far left liberal and unfair positions taken in your respected publication and in particular your treatment of my friend Dom Stanzione who recently lost his bid for re-election to the town board. And I actually thought you were a journalist, not a tabloid publisher.
While it is uniquely American that we are able to go to the polls and elect our representatives without fear of retribution or intimidation, I was shocked to see that you chose to publish my address while disclosing a completely legal and fully disclosed contribution to his campaign for re-election. I note that I was the only person whom you chose to identify in this way, particularly because the information was provided to you confidentially as part of your requirements in determining the veracity of a letter to the editor. How dare you breach this trust? No other contributor of a letter received such a disregard for privacy.
Since that disclosure, I have had garbage thrown on my lawn, insults shouted at my family from passing cars, and had campaign signs removed from my private property. Public service is something I care deeply about and have personally devoted countless hours and years without compensation in this regard. So has Dominick. There would not be a food pantry in Amagansett without him. Or a renovated Life-Saving Station. Or a comprehensive wastewater management plan. Or a nonpartisan Group for Good Government. Or the words open vista, among his other countless contributions to this town during his term of service.
I don’t agree with all of his positions, but all of the people, including yourself, who relentlessly insult him should spend some time serving the public to realize it is a thankless but necessary job that some citizens choose selflessly to undertake.
As for the 555 project and all of the one-sided reporting your publication has done, you should as a journalist present facts in totality. Therein proves the fact that you are publishing a tabloid not a true newspaper. 555 will provide over $2 million per year in additional taxes to this town, enough to restore (and then some) all of the discontinued after-school programs keeping kids off the street. It will inject millions into the local economy by way of construction and permanent jobs. It will provide a retirement community for many who will otherwise abandon this town for Florida or Arizona and all of their tax and spending dollars.
As for rare farm soils, it is well known that all of the fertile topsoil was stripped from this land and sold long ago. It is barren, and everyone in the know knows it.
It is a net-zero carbon project, has no impact whatsoever on the water aquifers, and will actually sell energy back to the electrical grid. Its wastewater system is the most advanced ever seen on Long Island and will have no detrimental impact on the environment. To the contrary.
Retirement communities put no pressure on schools because retirees do not have gaggles of children. Duh! And if you or any detractor had taken the time to look at Jack Robertson’s plans, you would realize that the awful, ugly St. Michael’s project needed a lot more thought before it was approved compared to the well-thought-out plans for 555.
David, get off your liberal bully pit, stop telling us the Affordable Care Act is going great, and report the facts. Keep your opinions to the editorial page where they presumably belong, and provide a balanced view to your readers. That is your job. The present administration, flaws and all, saved the finances of this town from the bizarrely corrupt Democrats from the McGintee era. How short are all of your memories? Be civilized and give a nod of thanks as they depart, despite your differences in politics.
Very truly Yours,
JOHN B. MANNIX
P.S.: Address withheld because you will publish it and put my family in further danger. Many thanks.
November 18, 2013
To the Editor:
It doesn’t surprise me that The Star opposes any attempt to add new homes or businesses — such as 79 residences for seniors — to their dream of returning East Hampton to a pastoral village for rich birdwatchers and, now, stargazers.
But it does surprise me to see your underlying anti-progress philosophy spelled out as in your “Rabbit Hole” editorial.
If “benefiting the local economy” is a “half-baked ideology” then just what is the ideology of The Star’s editors? Does it consider transportation deadlock (killing our part of the CR 39 highway), lack of work for local builders, and such a poor job market that college grads presume that they cannot make a living here, a preferable “fully-baked” ideology?
November 18, 2013
To the Editor,
With the possibility that Republican lame duck Supervisor Wilkinson, and Councilpersons Dominick Stanzione and Theresa Quigley will try to ram through the down-zoning of 23 acres of prime agricultural property in the small hamlet of Amagansett — without listening to the outraged cries of residents — these three Republicans have not only disgraced themselves, but also embarrassed and shamed local members of their party. The sole benefit from such a project would be the enrichment of the developers, and their enablers, certainly not the residents of our hamlet!
Aside from the crowded debasement of this land, with 80 condo units, I personally find it difficult to believe that multimillionaires would purchase these condos, bordered by busy Route 27, the I.G.A. supermarket, a gas station, a community of affordable housing, and even a possible 7-Eleven, which this group has tried to foist on the community.
So, what happens when the developers can’t sell the million-dollar units? Of course, the hamlet will end up with repossessed disheveled condos to be sold as crowded rental units, requiring a new school, and increased fire and police protection, etc.
I am embarrassed to acknowledge that I am a registered Republican here in Amagansett. I used to be proud of the late Perry Duryea’s active environmentalism and land preservation. What a change! This group seeks only to enrich its friends. It shows total disregard for the community and for our orderly legal procedures. They must be stopped!
November 18, 2013
When, with a lot of hoopla, the 555 proposal, an upscale, childless Levittown clump of condos on the eastern edge of Amagansett, was proposed to the town board, I, naively, was amused. I reasoned that independent of the preposterous look of this mini-village, the many serious needs to rezone the property in total disregard of the comprehensive plan before the arrival of a new town board in January made this problem a nonissue. Maybe, I mused, when the plan was conceived years ago, the Putnam team had counted on a sympathetic majority in this year. Well, it sure did not turn out that way.
I was wrong to be lulled into the assumption that the lame-duck administration, after an overwhelming rejection of their business uber alles policy on Nov. 5, would exit gracefully. It is clear now that the plan, right from the start, was to completely reject due process, disregard the need to get approvals from the various groups, e.g., the planning board, and schedule a public hearing and possible approval at their last meeting on Dec. 19.
We cannot let this happen. I am going to do my best to block this immoral action and ask that you protest this sneak attack on our town’s future and make your voices heard at the Dec. 19 town board meeting.
November 18, 2013
To the Editor:
Everyone knows the details by now of the outrageous maneuver by the Republican majority on the town board to effect a disastrous rezoning of the Talmage, Balasses, and Putnam Farms property (555). This attempt to sneak a fast one past the citizens of East Hampton should be met by opposition from all, Republican or Democrat, who have respect for the legitimacy of government.
Looks like a spiteful attempt by a trio of sore losers. Should we ignore them, or send them to bed without supper?
JANET Van SICKLE
November 18, 2013
Dear Mr. Rattray,
As a senior citizen (796 months, if you’ll recall), I resent the idea that our lame-duck Supervisor Bill Wilkinson, lame-duck Councilwoman Theresa Quigley, and lame-duck Councilman Dominick Stanzione want to create a high-density, high-cost senior compound, packing seniors into what would amount to an old folks’ “reservation.”
And they have taken this step to relocate us by slipping through a “walk-on” resolution at a recent town board meeting, a resolution drafted largely by a developer, which would change existing town zoning to allow a multiplex of housing units on a beautiful farm site in Amagansett (the former Principi farm on Route 27). The current zoning as related to this beautiful property would require any allowable development to retain 70 percent open space‚ consistent with the East Hampton master plan and with the historic character and will of the citizens of our community. The new zoning proposal virtually eliminates all of the open space, as the new tribe of seniors will be warehoused shoulder-to-shoulder in the proposed “luxury” barracks. The wastewater management alone from hundreds of incontinent seniors will literally destroy our aquifer. And don’t even think what it would be like at the I.G.A. or the post office, with the onslaught of walkers. God help us.
At a time when Wilkinson, Quigley, and Stanzione should be designing their Big Lame Duck Museum to take its proud place beside the Big Duck in Flanders, they instead are trying to slip a fast one past the voting residents of East Hampton‚ who just voted them out of here!
While it pains me to quote your newspaper, Mr. Rattray, I do so now in the interest of all, that we may understand the duplicity inherent in this board action: “I don’t really give a flying F,” Ms. Quigley said of her own involvement (in the Dark Skies initiative). “I have no interest in lighting. . . .” She said her biggest gripe about the 11th-hour amendments offered by Ms. Overby was that it violated the spirit of the political process.
Violated the spirit of the political process?! Exactly what the mighty lame ducks have done in attempting to hasten through a dubious zoning measure that is undoubtedly opposed by a vast majority of residents of East Hampton, from Wainscott to Montauk (and, yes, of Amagansett).
Mr. Rattray, I encourage all East Hampton seniors to raise their walking sticks in outrage over this blatant violation of public trust. And I encourage all East Hampton “juniors” to open your eyes and think about what is happening to the extraordinary environment you call home. It is vitally important that you too give a flying F about our shared community. As Jack Johnson famously sang, “We’re better together.”
I’ve got a walk-off resolution for these board members: Go silently into the night.
Needs to Change
November 18, 2013
In researching the proposed zoning changes that will be discussed at public hearings of the town board on Dec. 19, I uncovered deficiencies in our town’s procedures.
To my surprise, I discovered that when the town board sets a public hearing to change the zoning of properties, there is no requirement to individually give notice to the adjacent neighbors. This lack of protection for the nearby neighbors is substandard to requirements in similar situations.
If a homeowner asks for a variance from zoning, say to place a deck two feet closer to his neighbor than is normally allowed, there is a requirement to individually notify the neighbors. This makes sense since the changed circumstance of a variance will affect the neighbors. But if the homeowner asks the town board to change the zoning of the property to permit a six-unit bed and breakfast, there is no individual notification requirement of the neighbors, at least not for the town board rezoning portion of the process.
The law needs to change. There must be a requirement to notify neighbors of proposed zoning changes which is in harmony with other requirements of zoning variance, site plan, and environmental quality review processes.
Town law section 265 of the New York State Code offers another protection for neighbors of properties that are being considered for a zoning change. This code specifies that if 20 percent of the neighbors who are within 100 feet of the property protest the change, then it takes a super-majority vote of the town board (four votes) to enact the change. But, in 1996, our town board passed a local law that superseded state law in this matter, which eliminated protest petitions. So, only three votes are ever needed.
The 1996 resolution included the passage: “The supermajority vote provisions of section 265 of the town law have in the past proven to be detrimental to the town by impairing the town board’s ability to speedily enact needed changes in the town’s zoning and land use regulations. . . .” These words are simply a rationalization for the disenfranchisement of neighbors, and possibly of the minority political party on the town board. If the state law were still in force in our town, the aggressive demands of the 555 Montauk Highway project would be checked.
Whether a zone change is proposed as an upzoning or downzoning, zoning is an important issue that affects a neighborhood. I advocate that we return to following the state code that allows protest petitions, because those petitions have the potential to blunt either form of irresponsible or overzealous zoning changes.
Zoning changes are rare and important occurrences. They should never be adopted speedily, without proper notification and empowerment of adjacent neighbors, or without strong support of the town’s elected board.
November 19, 2013
Our East Hampton Town Board lame-duck members, Grumpy, Snarly, and Flighty, are trying to stick it to us in the remaining days of their tenure: They would like us to absorb an upscale residential geriatric droolery in Amagansett. The Droolery would replace 23 acres of three-acre-zoned open space. The Droolery would pack in the affluent aged with their Ralph Lauren walkers, accessorized with a nice fake windmill, and a few poor but attractive people, living in the back.
We do not need a droolery for the rich (we have enough). We need clean water, to protect beach rights for the public, a fairer tax base, real jobs, real affordable housing, code enforcement, and more.
The East Hampton Town Board lame-duck proposal 555 Montauk Highway is a violation of the public will.
East Hampton Star, we must fight it.
All good things,
Build, Baby, Build
November 17, 2013
The present town board is coming to a close. In its final days it is in the position to damn our precious town and forever change it by allowing the prime agricultural land in two places to be raped through development.
The Principi property on 27 and Talmage Farm in Springs are in the hands of those who are the scum of the earth, known as developers. We have seen these greedy people before, rubbing their hands and licking their lips as the saliva of avarice spills from their mouths. They care for nothing but lining their own pockets. They would have East Hampton go the way of other beach areas, be it Jersey, Maryland, the Carolinas, and poor Florida. Even Southampton is showing signs of the decay of development. Our rural character means nothing to them. They only know build, baby, build, ’cause that’s what they are — builders. So when we no longer have open vistas, pure water, and pristine beaches‚ the East Hampton we know will be gone forever, but they will be richer.
Let’s hope the town board members who will be serving their last days will not be cursed forever by all who love our town, because they will have cared more for East Hampton and less for granting payback to their friends. Will we be damning the names of Wilkinson, Quigley, and Stanzione forever, or will we remember some of their triumphs and smile?
November 18, 2013
To the Editor:
An election has just concluded and the Republicans of East Hampton continued a loss that began in the election two years ago when Supervisor Wilkinson won by only 15 votes and two Democrats gained seats on the board. Most people attribute the loss to insensitivity to complaints about aviation noise disrupting tranquility in our community as well as favoritism for vested interests elsewhere in town. Councilman Stanzione, favorite of the aviation community, lost badly, last in the field.
The Republicans are now a lame-duck majority and there are intimations that they are contemplating achieving their goals through last-minute legislative manipulations that will frustrate the will of the people, subverting the results of the democratic process. Of immediate importance is the issue of accepting Federal Aviation Administration funding for any project at the airport. Acceptance of F.A.A. funding condemns the East End to 20 more years of F.A.A. regulations that make it practically impossible to limit any activity at the airport.
Aircraft activity is the source of noise complaints that have vexed the community for more than two decades, which the aviation community has acknowledged but has done nothing about. Their argument that working with the F.A.A. will enable “noise control” (and getting us to pay their expenses!) belies their single-minded pursuit of F.A.A. funding and by 25 years of non-success.
The price of democracy is eternal vigilance. The present town board might try an end run around the election results. Go to the town board meetings and remind Wilkinson, Quigley, and Stanzione that they have a moral obligation to follow the will of the people, not vested interests whose activities degrade the quiet enjoyment of our homes and otherwise pollute the environment.
November 17, 2013
Dear Mr. Rattray,
The spokesperson for the airport opponents wrote last week that the recent election was a referendum on the airport and since Councilman Stanzione lost his re-election, the issue was now settled.
Well, simple arithmetic indicates otherwise.
Larry Cantwell stated during the campaign that he would not rule out Federal Aviation Administration funding and he needed to study the economics of the issue before he took a position. Fred Overton stated that to keep the airport open, F.A.A. funding was a necessity. They won.
On the other had, Job Potter stated he was unequivocally against F.A.A. funding. He lost. Dominick Stanzione lost to Kathee Burke-Gonzalez in Montauk and Springs where the airport was a non-issue. So that race turned on other issues than the airport.
The East Hampton Aviation Association believes helicopter noise must be reduced. We welcome the opportunity to work with the new administration to bring that about at the least possible cost.
Thumb in the Eye
November 14, 2013
The hearing next Thursday, Nov. 21, is a sneak attack by the outgoing administration, whose sole purpose is to ensure we are kept as indentured servants to the Federal Aviation Administration. They are pandering to special-interest groups instead of the real interest group, who are the residents of this town.
One year away from taking control of our own facility to lessen the impact, yet the three on the board who will soon be out are hell-bent to stick a thumb in the eye of every resident of this town for the sake of 55 local pilots, Twomey et al., and the Aviation Association, who want an abandoned runway reconstructed that poses great danger to those on the ground. That was the promise, made to ensure the 15-vote landslide two years ago. So they can play the Red Baron.
It goes out over a nursery school, Phoenix House, and a fully developed residential area.
Here is the verbatim quote from the F.A.A.: “We recommend the elimination of Runway 4-22 from use as a runway and that 16-34 be designated as the secondary runway. 4-22 does not provide significant additional coverage, based upon historical wind conditions. Its intersection with other runways is dangerous.” In addition, the airport manager had mentioned that the dangerous intersection exists.
Quoted in the enormous document is that “The F.A.A. will not share the cost of a tertiary runway, considering it unnecessary.” What part of that is not clearly understood?
It was deemed abandoned in 1989, yet the “safety-concerned pilots” kept using it, until McGintee shut it down. The facility has been doing fine with two runways for the past several years.
The cost: $3.3 million, plus $300,000 for design. This for 55 pilots? We then shoulder the burden for another 20 years. Taxiway engineering: $839,000, plus the construction costs? Plus another $110,000 for a temporary fix?
To the three on the board who have demonstrated time and time again that we are not that important, why are your teeth on fire to keep us from taking control? To Dominick, a parting shot to all of us because he was thrown out of office. The other two had “declined to run.” I wonder why?
I urge all town residents to come to Town Hall next Thursday to prevent Twomey et al. from stacking the deck again.
ARTHUR J. FRENCH
With or Without F.A.A.
November 14, 2013
It never ceases to amaze me how certain individuals seem to think that if you repeat the same line long enough and loud enough, misinformation can be made into fact.
In regard to Kathleen Cunningham’s claim that the town can only implement noise mitigation initiatives if it refuses Federal Aviation Adminisrtration funding, it has been clearly stated previously by two expert aviation attorneys that the town’s ability to control noise at the airport remains the same, with or without F.A.A. grants.
Aviation attorney Peter Kirsch, hired by the town to advise it on aviation matters, and David Schaffer, hired by the East Hampton Aviation Association to provide legal advice concerning the town’s authority to impose restrictions to control noise, both agreed that the town already has the right to impose restrictions on helicopters to reduce noise.
This right does not change whether the town accepts federal funding or not, as long as the restrictions are reasonable, nonarbitrary, and nondiscriminatory.
Ms. Cunningham’s claim that Dominick Stanzione’s defeat in the election is a “referendum by the voters of the town of East Hampton on aircraft noise policy” is rather presumptuous, in that very little attention was paid to airport issues during the campaign except by her and a rather small group of supporters.
I attended the debate of the candidates held by the League of Women Voters and did not see Ms. Cunningham in attendance.
What I did see, however, was that the voters were much more concerned with issues that affect the overall town, such as water quality, repairing and maintaining infrastructure, and traffic problems, to name a few.
The only comments by the candidates on the airport were predictably guarded answers as to how to fund airport repairs without losing the right to control noise.
The only candidate to state their absolute opposition to accepting any federal funding for the airport was Job Potter, who of course lost his bid for re-election. So much for Ms. Cunninghams’s “referendum.”
Unfortunately for the town, Dominick Stanzione’s defeat means the four years that he spent working hard as airport liaison learning the job in order to produce real results will have to be repeated all over again by whoever replaces him.
His commitment to the job no doubt cost him votes in the election and may make his replacement more circumspect in getting too deeply involved in what has always been a politically risky assignment.
And to Mr. Raebeck, I have this to say: When you set out to vilify someone, as you have attempted to do with Benny Krupinski, I suggest you get your facts straight.
Mr. Krupinski does not own Sound Aviation; they are his competition and provide services not available at his location.
I would also be careful who you call an idiot, since studies have shown that East Hampton Airport is supported by more than three-quarters of town residents, which would put you in a rather small minority.
$6.3 Million of Padding
November 18, 2013
Next Thursday, Nov. 21, the outgoing town board will hold a hearing on a five-year capital budget for the airport. Why the outgoing board is doing this is a mystery. The president of the East Hampton Aviation Association wrote to Supervisor Wilkinson to ask that the hearing be put over to February and taken up by the new board. That only makes sense.
The proposed capital budget calls for $9.9 million of capital spending. This proposed budget is a comedy of errors, bearing no relationship to reality. Its purpose is to make it appear that the airport cannot serve local needs safely without subsidies from the Federal Aviation Administration. This is not at all the case. The airport can finance its own capital needs without F.A.A. grants that come with loss of local control over the airport.
Of the $ 9.9 million proposed budget, $6.3 million isn’t just padding, it is complete nonsense. That leaves only $3.6 million of plausible needs. The airport, were it not wasting $600,000 a year on an unnecessary seasonal tower and Councilman Stanzione’s unauthorized spending on airport consultants, would be able to bond for $9 million. That means, quite simply, that the airport can comfortably afford all its realistic capital needs without taking a dime from the F.A.A. or costing the taxpayers a penny.
First, as to the seasonal tower, costing the airport $400,000 a year: Those of us who were there when this seasonal tower was proposed know full well that it was the airport interests’ previous gambit to induce the town to take F.A.A. money. When the tower was approved in early 2012, they and Councilman Stanzione were loudly claiming that it was safe to take F.A.A. money, and give up the power to regulate noise for another 20 years, because a tower would solve the noise problem.
Of course, that was always impossible, because an F.A.A. control tower can only shuffle traffic around and has no authority to regulate air traffic to control noise. I was among those who spoke at the town’s hearing on the tower to say that it could not have more than a slight, incidental impact on noise. Needless to say, those who spoke against the tower were ignored, although we were quickly proven right in the summer of 2012. The noise problem is just as bad with a tower, only the people who are afflicted are slightly different.
When the tower failed to reduce noise as Stanzione and aviation interests had claimed, they conveniently forgot the reason they had put forward for the tower and began to claim it is for safety reasons. But there has never been any technical study supporting this purported need. Indeed, until the noise claim was made, there was never any demand for a tower at East Hampton. The possibility was barely mentioned in the so-called airport master plan.
Larger, busier airports in the State of New York do not have a tower. Airport traffic at East Hampton is well below its historical peak, and, if we do control noise, traffic will likely diminish further. In short, the tower is a complete waste of money. Yet not only are we wasting $400,000 a year on the pointless seasonal tower, the proposed capital budget calls for $1 million to build a permanent tower.
What is the other padding in the capital budget? Three-point-six million to close the existing secondary runway 16-34 and rebuild the old, closed secondary runway 4-22. This is a pipe dream, because even the F.A.A. would never pay for it. According to all studies, the existing secondary runway, along with the main runway, provides 97 percent crosswind coverage. This already exceeds the F.A.A. standard of 95 percent and is actually better than the coverage obtained with the old runway that they propose to reopen at prodigious expense. Ninety-seven percent means that, with existing runways, crosswinds are only too high for light-aircraft use 12 days a year. Even three runways together only raises coverage to 98 percent, an additional four days of use.
The aviation association claims that the old runway would afford better wind coverage in warm months. These claims are completely undocumented and are in fact inconsistent with all official wind studies. However, even if we take their claims to be true, we are talking about a potential gain of perhaps six days of use per year out of the 12 per year on which crosswinds are too high for light aircraft. Three-point-six million so that light aircraft can gain six days of use per year? That’s $40,000 of carrying cost per day of additional use, in perpetuity. Absurd. The only reason this is even on the agenda is that the town has relentlessly refused to undertake the cost-benefit analysis required by the town code for airport projects. If it did, this project would be laughed out of consideration in an instant.
Then there is $800,000 for a so-called security fence. We never needed that either until the F.A.A. declined to pay for the town’s proposed deer control fence, the previous gambit to get F.A.A. money. The deer fence then morphed into a proposed security fence to protect us from terrorism. There is a report about the proposed fence that the town refuses to release to the public. Top-secret. Security, you know. As if the report would make clear to a would-be terrorist how to throw a ladder over a fence.
Add to that $600,000 of improvements to facilities of commercial tenants, which should be financed by those tenants, not by the town, and $400,000 for studies that are already accounted for in the operating budget, and you have your $6.3 million of padding.
In their successful election campaigns, both Supervisor-elect Larry Cantwell and Councilwoman-elect Kathee Burke-Gonzalez promised the voters that they would address the problem of noise, with both a competent study of airport finances and of opportunities for noise regulation, before consideration is given to taking any more F.A.A. grants. Councilwoman Overby and Councilman Van Scoyoc are of like mind. That is at least four members of the five-person board, with Mr. Overton yet to be heard from.
The public has expressed its democratic will. The old board needs to accept the public’s decision and step back.
What Government Does
November 7, 2013
To the Editor:
After the Stonewall riots in June of 1969 a friend said to me that “homosexuality will remain vilified in this country until people come out of the closet.” Forty-four years later the progress has been staggering. Difficult to find another movement that moved so rapidly to attain its objectives. Lots of explanations as to why it happened so quickly by our standards of time, but at the root was the courage of men and women to stand up and be counted.
The lesson for the American people was about humanity with a touch of sexuality. Who you have sex with has little to do with who you are as a person. Not rocket science, not terribly complicated. Once the government or parts of the government entered the fray on the side of humanity it became a question of time. It didn’t create or manage the movement but it gave it a sense of credibility and security by its recognition.
It is what government does when it performs. It protects and enhances our lives. Provides a small security in a turbulent world. And when government fails to do its job racism runs amok, women don’t get to vote, workers are treated badly and abused, the Great Depression, the Vietnam and Iraq wars, the financial crises of 1990 and 2008.
Regulations are almost always a function of abuses that have passed the limits of acceptability or caused extensive damage. They are reality-based, designed to protect the majority of the population against the tyranny of the few. They are often less than perfect, but who isn’t.
So the antigovernment movement that shifts the blame for our economic and social dysfunction is not completely wrong. The government didn’t cause the dysfunction. It is owned by the financial sector, but it didn’t stop it when it had the chance. Remained inert when the economy started to slip and the middle class began to crash. Bailed out its buddies because bailing out the middle class meant transforming the economic plan. In truth it never even thought about the middle class. Who are they anyway.
So, we are back to 1969 for the American people. We are getting our butts kicked. Disrespected. Told to keep our self-inflicted unnatural problems to ourselves and stay in the closet. We are being told that the government won’t make our lives better. See the Affordable Care Act (designed to screw us all). Let’s end the deficit and we won’t need the government anymore. Even if it won’t make our lives any better.
Someone’s running a game. They appear to be white, fat, conservative, and sexually challenged. Would you let them baby-sit your children?
His Own Agenda
November 18, 2013
For four years I’ve been saying Barack Obama can’t tell the American people the truth because he has his own agenda and political theories. Transforming America into what he the ruler wants it to be. Obama thrives on the Islamic religion where there is rape and death to women, and he has done nothing to help the burning of Christians. There is a heightened level of hate filled with rhetoric, as Reid called the Tea Party’s Cruz and Mike Lee terrorists and on the floor of Congress statements such as they have committed jihad.
Idiot Pelosi made some harsh comments and the list goes on and on, but it’s Bush’s fault and the G.O.P. have done nothing right. My God in heaven, listen to the filth coming out of the mouths from the jerks that work at CNN and MSNBC, and Joe Scarborough, you are not a conservative.
As far as the Affordable Care Act is concerned, Obama knew from day one it would not work. It would not be affordable, but 30 times stated “If you like your plan you can keep your plan, like your doctor keep your doctor, period.” Their projection may be lower, but they’re not telling you that individually purchased would go up by $2,100 due to increased mandates. The mandates are delusional, and your cost and your deductibles are far from affordable. His concern was the 30 million that didn’t have health care, but look at what he has created, millions and millions more will have no affordable health care. All along he wanted single-payer health care.
He didn’t know about fast and furious, he read in the paper and heard on the news about the N.S.A., the I.R.A., and went somewhere while Benghazi was being attacked. Now President Obama was never told that the website would not work on time. So what is it that he knows besides playing golf and taking vacations? His apology means you are stupid that you didn’t understand my true plan. I guess he will come up with another subject so as to ward off any more questions on his lying affordable health care. One last question, what does he know and about what?
In God and Country,
These Lying Jackals
November 17, 2013
Sometimes, remembering the quotes of those who speak out in our political process can be very revealing about their view of the truth.
When our former vice president Dick Cheney is quoted, as he is so often these days in his quest to make himself relevant and to elect his dysfunctional daughter to the Senate, one can easily see his lying persona.
First he said that Saddam Hussein had agents meeting with Al Queda agents in Europe to plan a transfer of weapons of mass destruction to them. Then he said that Saddam Hussein was preparing nuclear weapons for use against his enemies. Then he said, over and over again, and got President Bush and Condoleeza Rice to also lie and say that we had to invade Iraq to prevent a “mushroom cloud” from developing.
Every quote was an outright lie. A deliberate attempt to get the country to go to war. They succeeded. Thousands died. Hundreds of thousands were wounded and crippled.
This man even got his doctors to lie when they were questioned about his fitness to serve as vice president. He got them to say he had normal heart function‚ then four months later he had his fourth heart attack and had surgery to implant stents. Enough “truth” in those quotes?
Well, here is a current one. In a recent interview on TV he responded to a question about what the Iraq war had accomplished with this unbelievable fabrication: “By invading Iraq we prevented Saddam Hussein from spreading weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.” This was said when it was well known then and more so now that Hussein never had such weapons.
So, in joining the negative chorus seeking to destroy President Barack Obama, we hear Cheney, this known liar and conjoined murderer, calling the president a liar. What a joke. The president fighting like mad to get the country insured, to save lives, to upgrade the fight against government deficits, is called a liar by this conspicuous, two-faced prevaricator Cheney, and by Limbaugh and Hannity and Levin, all of whom are the greatest liars of them all, while they seek to tear this government asunder and leave millions of Americans without health insurance while the world sits by and wonders.
And others, elected officials, despicably mouth off against this president who seeks to help his fellow countrymen, with words that in the old days would have been “fighting words.” But the president holds his temper and keeps doing the job he was elected to do.
But these lying jackals sure gall me.
RICHARD P. HIGER