Letters to the Editor: 02.14.13

Our readers' comments

Above and Beyond
    February 11, 2013
To the Editor,
    On behalf of myself, family, and friends of John Judge, I would like to express our gratitude and thank everyone for their support, condolences, and continued faith that we would one day learn who had taken away John’s life.
    As most by now know, we learned on Friday who was responsible for this. It now helps to bring closure for our family to know, although we still and always will miss John.
    Above all we want to thank the entire East Hampton Town Police Department, Chief Ecker, and the amazing detectives Jacques Guillois, Chris Anderson, Rob Gurney, and Wayne Mata for their tireless efforts and months of work. Without these fine men we may have never found peace. Words can not express our gratitude, above and beyond the call of duty.
    We live in an amazing community, and I am proud to call it my home.
With sincere gratitude,
    For the Lupo family

Montauk: Class Size
    Port St. Lucie, Fla.
    February 7, 2013
To the Editor:
    My name is Mary Judge and this letter is directed to the Montauk School Board. Maybe you remember me. I wrote a letter to The Star quite a few years ago when the Montauk School Board’s president, a Mr. Jerry Cutillo, was quoted in The Star that teachers who work at the Montauk School should expect to earn less than other school districts because “they already know that teachers here make less.”
     Actually I’m paraphrasing, but in essence that is what he said. This statement was made during contract negotiations, which weren’t going so well. Teachers picketed and, well, I guess things worked out. I wrote the letter because I wanted Mr. Cutillo to know how valuable his words were in convincing my naive daughter to think of another career other than teaching. I was a teacher for many years, and I tried to discourage my daughter from pursuing a teaching degree. Why? During my years as teacher, I was overworked, underpaid, and not treated like the professional I was. I never went into teaching thinking I would be rich, but I never thought that earning a salary commensurate with my education, dedication, and skills would be seen as greedy or undeserved. Mr. Cutillo helped my daughter understand what it was I was trying to tell her.
    Well, it seems that the complexion of the Montauk School Board hasn’t changed much since that time. I understand that the teachers are again working without a contract, but I bet most Montauk parents would never know. But luckily parents do know that this board cares little about education or the concerns of the parents who entrust this board to make educationally sound decisions. I hope they don’t get discouraged. I hope that they keep pressing on and insist that they should be listened to.
    I read last week’s Star. From what I could surmise from the article, parents told the board at two meetings that they do not want to increase class size, and even collected several signatures stating so. What was the response from the board? They unanimously voted for a no number class size? Just wantonly increase class sizes. Did I really read that?
    It’s hard to imagine a more arrogant response. Montauk is a small community and it’s a wealthy community and apparently the board members as of late believe that the wealth shouldn’t leave the businesses that many parents work in or own. Parents are telling the board to surpass the punishing 2 percent tax cap. Instead of recognizing the amazing efforts of these parents, the board made no comment. No mention of a possibility of doing what they are being asked to do. Incredible!
    Shame on that school board!
    By the way, my daughter became a police officer and is now a sergeant, still proud to serve the public, but with far more respect.

Walk to Temple
    East Rockaway
    February 6, 2013
Dear Editor:
    The New York Times of Feb. 5 had a very upsetting article. It described the turmoil and anger being stirred in Westhampton Beach by the insistence of the Orthodox Jewish community on their right to establish what is called an eruv. An eruv is an artificial community boundary which Orthodox rabbis have said makes the community, its streets, roads, etc., part of their home. Consequently, since Orthodox Jews are not allowed to “work” or carry anything on the Sabbath, when they are within the boundaries of the eruv, they are, in effect, in their homes.
    And how do they define an eruv? In Westhampton it is defined (by the rabbis) as 10-to-15-foot pieces of plastic nailed to telephone poles. I never realized that the rabbis could define pieces of plastic as being holy, since they are not mentioned in the Old Testament.
    In Westhampton, the result has been lawsuits, non-Orthodox Jews suing and being sued by Orthodox Jews. The village non-Jews are not too pleased with the whole silly mess. We’re talking about 20 families in the off-season. Talk about much ado about nothing. Either walk to temple or build your homes closer to the synagogue.
    As an East Hampton homeowner since 1969, who happens to be Jewish, let me be clear that I value and treasure my ability to own my home here. I value the lifestyle, my neighbors, and my East End friends.
    I know families in East Hampton who used to live in the Five Towns area and were basically driven out by their Orthodox neighbors. Another friend lived in Brooklyn for 40 years until they were forced to move to Manhattan because the next-door neighbors, Orthodox, would not permit their daughter to talk to our friends’ daughter. The reason they do this is that the Orthodox want to assure that their neighbors practice the same “brand” of Judaism as theirs.
    I will fight for anyone’s right to practice their religious faith, just don’t try to push your beliefs on me or my family. I, for one, will fight tooth and nail to assure that there is no eruv ever established in East Hampton.

Sonnet to New York City
Driving westward from my home out east,
New York’s skyline rises up in foggy mist,

crouched on the horizon like a beast,
an egotist, shouting loudly, “I exist!”

New York’s a tarnished jewel not to pity.
Sure streets are home to bums strung out on dope

and everywhere you look colored graffiti.
But the city’s one great kaleidoscope:

the people, music, ballet, Broadway, art
restaurants galore, two zoos and Central Park,

and immigrants who’ve come to be a part
of this teeming scene — to make their mark

in our Big Apple. Oh, I love New York!
city angry, dirty, crazy, wild — New York!!

A Little Good Will
    February 11, 2013
Dear David,
    The incivility of Bill Wilkinson and Theresa Quigley to fellow East Hampton Town Board members and the public has made people disgusted with our town government.
    I thought of that the other day reading The New York Times columnist David Brooks’s reflections inspired by a course on political strategy at Yale. He contrasted the times Machiavelli described with our own and claimed that we are lucky because manners, respect for law, and social trust tend to soften government behavior.
    I wish East Hampton’s Republican administration would see itself in the mirror Mr. Brooks has raised. With a little good will, they could enhance progress on the big issues facing our town and demonstrate the value of democratic government to future voters.
    Sincerely yours,

   Ms. Frankl is the chairwoman of the East Hampton Democratic Committee. Ed.

Small Minority
    February 11, 2013
Dear David,
    Am I missing something? The uproar over the airport is deafening. It is obvious that there is a substantial problem that has grown, along with all the machination voiced by Peter Kirsch and Dominick Stanzione, who are trying to pretend that what they have done has alleviated the problem. All they have done is helped the airport to grow.
    It seems to me that a small minority of rich people feel they are so privileged that it gives them the right to destroy the lives of a multitude of innocent people who live here, people they don’t even know, and all because they don’t want to drive. Boo hoo!
    This airport serves the needs of only a few, while the lives of many on both the North and South Forks have been forfeited. I question the word need and submit it has to be their selfish wants. Why would you want to make so many people unhappy?
    How much money has been wasted on this airport in lawyers’ fees, etc.? And now they are looking for a huge amount of money for this Part 161 study fiasco.
    I live in Springs in Clearwater Beach, and the noise in the last four years in the late evening and early morning has multiplied exponentially. In the meantime, there isn’t a dime to be found for the restoration of the leaf pickup program for the middle-class citizens who live and work here.
    I often travel the route from New York City to East Hampton, but wisely I wait to leave New York late at night and have few problems. Listen to audio of your choice and munch on healthy snacks to keep you awake; it works! Of course, I am always allowed to travel in the high-occupancy vehicle lanes because I wisely drive a Prius. Is driving so terrible that it is worth sacrificing people from both Forks having their senses and peace, and, perhaps, even their safety invaded?
    Let’s face it, the quality of life since the horrible trinity took power has deteriorated. Their views are unbalanced. This rude bunch cares little for anything that is for the town and people who live here, except their special-interests friends, i.e., the Ronjo-Beach House debacle.
    As they would say in the old country, time to throw ’dem bums out.

Legal Theories
    East Hampton
    February 11, 2013
Dear Mr. Rattray,
    I read with fascination Mr. Jeffrey Bragman’s rather bizarre assertion that in the year 2014 the town will regain complete control of the airport provided it rejects further Federal Aviation Administration repair funds.
    He rests his case on a single isolated case involving a sightseeing airport on a small patch of asphalt in the East River of New York City many years ago.
    I have been advised by several aviation attorneys who say Mr. Bragman is hanging by his legal fingernails. He ignores that the F.A.A. built the airport, has maintained it for almost 80 years, and it is a public airport and part of the National Transportation System. For decades, federal regulations control the operation of all such airports even if they receive no F.A.A. repair funds.
    Mr. Bragman’s legal theory is reminiscent of his earlier assertions that the town had illegally adopted its new airport master plan. The New York State Supreme Court and six appellate justices so far have concluded that Mr. Bragman’s legal theories in that case are without merit. Mr. Bragman is still appealing.
    We believe his novel legal theory about F.A.A. funding will receive similar harsh treatment by the courts.
    East Hampton Aviation Association

Noise Study Is Key
    East Hampton
    February 11, 2013
Dear David,
    Last Tuesday the East Hampton Town Board heard from aviation attorney Peter Kirsch on development plans for the airport. Mr. Kirsch and his colleagues are meant to be advising the town on its efforts to control helicopter noise by conducting a Part 161 study, a provision within Federal Aviation Regulations for municipally owned airports to control noise at their facilities. To the surprise of many, including each town board member except Councilman Stanzione, Mr. Kirsch’s presentation included development plans not previously discussed or approved by the town board. 
    The town board, and only the town board, as elected representatives of the voters of East Hampton, is responsible for this town asset. For one misguided councilman to be the architect of an entire development and management strategy is not just inappropriate, it is irresponsible.
    As reported in last week’s Star, the meeting had its fair share of drama. Supervisor Wilkinson admonished airport liaison Councilman Stanzione for making executive decisions regarding the airport without town board input, particularly the helicopter route change last summer. The supervisor acknowledged airport manager Jim Brundige’s sacrificial act, “falling on his sword‚” a consequence of Mr. Brundige’s claim that it was he who rerouted helicopter traffic from the Northwest Creek route back over the Jessups Neck route, effectively doubling air traffic over residents beneath it. Both Supervisor Wilkinson and Councilwoman Quigley declared that, in spite of his protestations to the contrary, Jim Brundige had nothing to do with the helicopter route change. It was Councilman Stanzione and, purportedly, Jeff Smith, president of the Eastern Region Helicopter Council, who stepped up to the podium to assert as much.
    Additionally, Supervisor Wilkinson exerted his privilege to appoint a liaison to the airport by stripping Mr. Stanzione of his position and making the entire town board airport liaison. This is a welcome change and should provide proper oversight, particularly with the many development projects proposed.
    First on the project list, presumably acting on behalf of the F.A.A. rather than the Town of East Hampton, Mr. Kirsch et al requested another resolution from the town board for a grant to erect a security fence around the airport. This grant will, of course, come with the attendant grant assurances forcing the town to surrender, yet again, its rights as proprietor, with only 20 short months to go before those rights will be restored by a court settlement with the F.A.A. 
    Councilwoman Quigley again questioned Mr. Kirsch and was able to bring to light the fact that these plans were made absent town board input and approval. Ms. Quigley, to her credit, stated that she would reconsider her position on taking F.A.A funding, should the Part 161 study not adequately address noise problems plaguing East End communities.
    This is key. The board must have appropriate input from the Part 161 study before taking any further F.A.A. funding and turning back control of our airport to the F.A.A. It is essential that any development plans requiring F.A.A. funding are suspended until this critical piece of information has been fully fleshed out and understood.
    One thing Mr. Kirsch got right — East Hampton and surrounding communities are the poster children for unwanted aircraft noise, especially as our neighborhoods, farm fields, woodlands, and bays are defined by peace and quiet. As real estate agents in and around our area are coming to realize, aircraft noise, especially that of helicopters, jets, and seaplanes, is ruining the critical quality-of-life component that makes our real estate so valuable. Developing and expanding one asset for the benefit of a privileged and tiny segment of the population cannot overshadow the far greater benefit of preserving the quality of life upon which so many residents and businesses depend.
    To ensure a vital local economy, the board must weigh the impacts of unwanted aircraft noise against our right to the peaceful enjoyment of our homes, properties, recreational areas, and fragile ecosystems — which is to say: the character of our community.

Poster Child for Noise
    February 11, 2013
Dear Editor,
    Jim Brundige, airport manager at East Hampton’s noise-problem airport, admitted during a (Feb. 5) work session of the town board that East Hampton now has the dubious distinction of likely being the nation’s “poster child” for helicopter noise problems at a municipally operated airport (East Hampton Star, Feb. 7).
    An acoustical consultant, Mr. Ted Baldwin, also present at the meeting, stated that there are around 500 public use airports in the country, of which approximately three quarters are — like East Hampton’s airport — municipally owned, and the vast majority of those have helicopter operations. But of all of them, it is East Hampton Airport that has become notorious nationwide for noise problems; that is indeed very troubling news.
    Counsel for the town on aviation matters, Mr. Peter Kirsch (Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell), then suggested that East Hampton’s noise problem is largely because of the area’s uniqueness and proximity to New York City, which would appear to imply that traffic will continue to worsen as the economy recovers and Wall Street exuberance continues. For years, East Hampton Town has paid very high costs for legal counsel on noise issues to Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell, but their advice is surely flawed; the noise has gotten worse while they have advocated their noise abatement solutions, and East Hampton’s airport has earned the reputation as the noise-problem poster child of municipally operated airports in the nation!
    Surely being dubbed the poster child for noise should have alerted the board to what are now nationally recognized air pollution issues at the airport, of which noise is only one, and to the likely negative impact on the entire area’s property tax base, as well as tourism, once these acknowledged noise problems become widely known. That should register on the Richter scale for real estate professionals and tour operators.
    Yet days later, at the East Hampton Town Board meeting last Thursday evening, the board passed a resolution to again retain the legal counsel of Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell, for the 2013 season. Repeating the same action and expecting a different outcome is often defined as a seriously “unsound” condition. Or is the town simply not seeking a resolution to the growing impact of air pollution in our area and on its neighbors?

Get the Facts Right
    February 11, 2013
Dear David,
    Again, thank you Joanne Pilgrim, for another excellent report in last week’s East Hampton Star of the ongoing saga of discussions about East Hampton Airport at the town board meetings. It seems like silly season continues at the East Hampton Town Board.
    The airport manager, Mr. Brundige, will say anything. He will lie to the public to protect the airport. On two occasions I reported this to the town board. As the supervisor so eloquently stated, “Jim, it’s admirable of you to fall on your sword.” The problem at the airport is not helicopters. It is NOISE! Intolerable noise resulting from operations at the airport negatively impacting residential property owners in East Hampton, Southampton, the North Fork, and thousands of folks on Long Island.
    This is not unique to East Hampton or Long Island. This problem exists at hundreds if not thousands of airports around the world. Councilwoman Theresa Quigley should never assume anything. We all know the acronym of “assume.” It is the duty and responsibility of the entire town board to get the facts right. Study the same problem at other airports in this country. I gave two excellent examples in my letter published in this newspaper May 24, 2012. All my letters, solutions, and data are recorded at ehhelicopternoise. com.
    Supervisor Bill Wilkinson is asking the wrong questions. The supervisor lives in Montauk; I am sure he goes fishing. The $500,000 is the teaser bait, the $2 million is the big hunk of meat on the large hook. Once East Hampton takes the bait, Mr. Kirsch will set the hook, and there is no turning back. Mr. Kirsch represents Naples Airport. They spent over $6.6 million and there is still no end in sight to noise abatement. Noise abatement is a failed policy all over the world.
    East Hampton will never be able to satisfy the F.A.A. Like Naples, East Hampton will find itself defending against a lawsuit filed by the F.A.A., no matter how carefully it proceeds. Mr. Kirsch will be praised again by his law firm as the number-one rainmaker. The first rule of critical thinking, examine the bias. The second, follow the money.
    The supervisor had two consultants present at the meeting to whom he is paying good taxpayer money to study the noise problem. The supervisor should ask both consultants to provide a spreadsheet with two main columns, “Under Grant Assurances” and “After Grant Assurances Expire in 2014.” The consultants should answer these questions: What are the estimated costs to eliminate helicopters or Stage 2 aircraft? What are the estimated costs to put in place curfews from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m., for example? What are the estimated costs to limit helicopters to only weekday, daytime operations? What are the costs to mandate helicopter altitude heights and routes around the airport? There are similar questions regarding jet planes, touch-and-gos, and a host of other noise complaints of airport operations already expressed by our community.
    Mr. Jeff Smith needs to study the Aviation Act of 1956. Only navigable airspace is owned (controlled) by the F.A.A., airspace beginning at minimum altitude and above. Otherwise one wouldn’t be able to sell air rights in New York City.
    Everything I will say about the height of navigable airspace is prefaced by “except what is necessary for takeoff and landing.” The floor of Class E airspace over the East End is 700 feet. Navigable airspace starting at 700 feet and above is controlled by the F.A.A. Seven hundred feet and below is controlled by the municipality below it. My residential property is defined by its metes and bounds horizontally, everything below it and everything above, up to minimum altitude, being 700 feet on the East End of Long Island. In the Town of East Hampton, the town and its police department has jurisdiction on the ground, below the ground, and from the ground up to 700 feet.
    Residential property owners should place large No Trespassing signs on their roofs, videodocument helicopters flying lower than 700 feet, and report trespassers to their local police department. Trespassing occurs in three dimensions. Helicopters are designed to fly straight up and straight down. It is never necessary for a helicopter to fly less than 700 feet above any residential home around East Hampton Airport.
    It is so silly we have to waste everyone’s time, taxpayer money, and never get a straight answer. If it wasn’t so silly, it would be crazy.

False Belief
    February 11, 2013
Dear David,
    I’d like to start by correcting a misconception of my position as regards East Hampton Airport.
    I am not a member of the East Hampton Aviation Association and have certainly never been its president, as claimed by Stephen Levine.
    What I am is a pilot, hangar owner, and East Hampton taxpayer with ties to the airport for over 35 years, but I do, however, applaud the considerable efforts over many years of the East Hampton Aviation Association to represent the local aviation community’s interests against a well-organized, well-funded, and determined opposition.
    As a former member of the noise abatement committee during Jay Schneiderman’s administration when Harris, Miller, Miller, and Hanson were hired at a cost to the airport budget of $186,000 to study and prepare a report and make recommendations to the town on possible noise mitigation measures, I have vivid recollections of what transpired.
    The noise abatement committee was comprised of an equal number of airport users and neighbors in the hope that there would be a balance of opinions.
    Almost from the beginning, airport opponents both within the committee and without attempted to influence both the collection and interpretation of data.
    Part of the H.M.M.H. study was to place noise monitors around the airport, situated in especially noise-sensitive areas. There was considerable interference as to the placing of these monitors from airport opponents.
    Of note was the refusal by several of the most vocal complainants to allow monitors to be placed on their property at all, so they were placed on adjacent properties.
    One unexpected result of the data collected by H.M.M.H. showed that monitors indicated considerably more noise generated for longer duration by ambient sources such as leaf blowers, lawn maintenance equipment, and ground traffic.
    I recall that the results and recommendations of the subsequent report by H.M.M.H. were consistently and almost completely rejected by the various watchdog committees of “concerned citizens” from the start.
    I have previously stated that the results of the H.M.M.H. study did not support the claims of either the level or duration of noise events, and I stand by that statement.
    I honestly believe there are serious noise issues that need to be addressed and I think most airport users understand there has to be a long-term solution, not a temporary, short-term “Band-Aid” fix.
    If there is to be any workable solution to reducing noise, there needs to be a believable and supportable basis to work from.
    Wild claims of “branches tipping into swimming pools, pictures falling off walls, ice cubes rattling in cocktail glasses, and aviation fuel getting dumped into pools” from low-flying aircraft do little to promote credible scenarios usable in formulating a workable solution to reducing noise impact.
    It appears that no matter what expert the town hires, or what study is undertaken, or how much money is spent out of the airport budget to collect information, it will be challenged and dismissed by airport opposition.
    There have been consistent claims by airport opponents that “we can get our airport back.” All we have to do is reject F.A.A. money.
    As many times and in as many ways it has been explained, the false belief exists that once grant assurances expire, restrictions to airport access can be put in place.
    The reality is that as long as the airport is a public access facility, whether the town accepts federal funds or not, the F.A.A. considers it part of the airway system, subject to its authority.
    Mr. Levine’s statement that “at the end of 2014 East Hampton will have the right to establish reasonable noise limits on noisy aircraft” is patently false and has been clearly explained by Peter Kirsch, the aviation attorney hired by the town at the insistence of airport opponents to advise the town on noise abatement issues.
    As I previously stated, the town had a perfect opportunity to seriously address noise-mitigation initiatives at a public hearing in December 2011 instead of waiting for grant assurances to run out, when it voted to request F.A.A. funding, and pursue a Part 161 noise study to enable application to the F.A.A. for permission to impose some restrictions as long as they meet F.A.A. criteria. Over a year later, the town board is still vacillating on how to proceed.
    I think everyone involved on both sides would like to see a lasting noise mitigation program in place, where we differ is how to accomplish it.
    My “hidden agenda” is that the airport is long overdue for repairs and maintenance and as long as airport revenue is diverted to endless studies and the town spends millions of dollars to defend against frivolous lawsuits, nothing is going to be accomplished and in the end nobody wins.

That Short Runway
    February 11, 2013
Dear Editor,
    Arthur French wants it both ways. First, he says the town board should have complete control of the airport. Then, he wants to ignore the unanimous town board decision (three Republicans and two Democrats) to repair the short runway, adopted after 10 years of environmental review and a dozen public hearings at which hundreds of East Hampton residents attended.
    Mr. French says that, since his house is near the end of that short runway, the town board decision should be ignored and the runway should be closed for safety reasons. Well, the runway has been used for 80 years by small airplanes without incident. And jets and noisy helicopters do not use it.
    If he is so concerned about his safety, why did he buy his house at the end of the runway to begin with? Besides, he always has the option of moving to what he believes is a safer location.
    The repair of this runway is now included in the new airport master plan recently upheld by the New York State Supreme Court. It is in full force and effect. The town should commence repairs immediately.
    Vice President
    East Hampton Aviation Association

Aerial Assault
    February 11, 2013
Dear Editor:
    Regarding the continuing saga of East Hampton Airport: How many times will this town board allow the foxes back into the hen house before they realize our chickens are being stolen?
    How much taxpayer money will they spend to help create a major luxury commuter jet and heliport to replace what once was a pleasant and admired rural airfield?
    Is the town board really going to continue to pay absurd dollars to “aviation experts” who admit they can’t guarantee taxpayers and noise-abused homeowners any reasonable degree of success in limiting an already obnoxious and ever-increasing assault on the quiet enjoyment of East End homes?
    Has any other municipality actually benefited at all from the course of action proposed by these highly paid “aviation experts”?
    Did one of these carpetbaggers actually refer to East Hampton as “the poster child for airport noise?”
    Has the town board considered what this unregulated and continually increasing aerial assault will do to property values and our tax base 10 years from now?
    Have they visited the Federal Aviation Administration’s Web site and reviewed Item F-163, which outlines the F.A.A. specifications for wildlife deterrent fencing?
    Would the town board approve of the airport, one of our most scenic vistas, being wrapped in barbed wire and chain link fencing? Do you think constituents would?
    Does the board realize that allowing certain F.A.A. grant assurances to expire will actually give East Hampton an advantage in dealing with out-of-town, for-profit polluters who couldn’t care less about the residents just a few hundred feet below?
    Why are they not considering the solutions to this noise assault suggested by the Quiet Skies Coalition, local people and taxpayers, instead of continuing to take advice from paid beneficiaries of increasing air traffic who don’t live or pay taxes here?
    These questions deserve answers from our elected officials before another dime is spent on aviation advice.

Reasonable Restrictions
    February 11, 2013
Dear David,
    Many thanks to Jeffrey Bragman for his clear, concise letter which provides clarification of an issue that has been so muddied by long-winded diatribes on the subject of Federal Aviation Administration funding and control of East Hampton Airport.
    Mr. Bragman explains in straightforward English that if East Hampton were to accept further F.A.A. funding, the F.A.A. — which has never willingly accepted reasonable measures to limit year-round, all-day airport access — would control the airport. On the other hand, if East Hampton does not accept F.A.A. funding, the town retains the authority to impose reasonable restrictions over airport access to protect our quality of life.
    This letter also reminds us of some local history, arguing against the threats we’ve been hearing that if East Hampton should try to control airport access, the town would be defeated by a blizzard of litigation. We successfully weathered a legal challenge when the town imposed restrictions on a proposed Montauk ferry; that challenge failed and those restrictions stand today.

Obvious Solutions
    February 6, 2013
To the Editor,
    Dear East Hampton Town Board members: Please note that what (Peter) Kirsch is proposing will not alleviate what we citizens of East Hampton and the East End know to be the primary two problems at East Hampton Airport. These remain 1. the intolerable noise generated by helicopters at any time, and 2. the intolerable noise generated by all aircraft during inappropriate hours of operation.
    Mr. Kirsch is not offering anything of real value, because he ignores the obvious solutions to these two enduring and escalating problems.
    The obvious solutions: 1. ban helicopters from East Hampton Airport, and 2. impose an actual curfew of 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. Nowhere else in this town is random and extreme noise permitted at midnight, or 5 a.m., or whenever some inconsiderate operator decides he wants to generate ridiculous amounts of noise when flying over thousands of innocent citizens simply trying to sleep in what used to be our quiet homes.
    Forget Mr. Kirsch. Return the airport to its original purpose — or close it, and save the money and the bother.
    Best wishes,

Sandy Relief Bill
    February 5, 2013
To the Editor,
    Your editorial of Jan. 31 regarding the financial planning following the Sandy Relief bill is both misleading and based upon opinion and not fact. The facts are quite different.
    That the landward movement of shoreline is inevitable. This is opinion and not fact. From the Rockaways to East Hampton, facts show that sand accretion has taken place in hundreds of shorefront locations and is site-specific and not general. The fact is that some locations lose and some gain, again site-specific.
    Your assertion that the federal bill is lopsided is false and an unsubstantiated opinion. The fact is if we did not spend the $10 billion on structural mitigation measures to the New York and New Jersey transit system, the entire New York Metro area, including the Hamptons, would in fact suffer unthinkable economic harm. The economic base of the Hamptons would be totally undermined.
    This is not status quo. You talk about sand replenishment in Montauk. The fact is we all know sand replenishment without engineered structural considerations is a total waste of time and money. It is here today and gone tomorrow. Yes, Montauk village is in eminent danger of total eradication, as are many of the 4,000 businesses and homes built along the 1,000-foot wide, seven-mile, double dune formation.
    Supervisor Wilkinson and the board, as well as the Zoning Board of Appeals, are dealing with this dilemma in an informed, constructive, factual, and even-handed manner.
    Your editorial, in my view, is simplistic and deals with opinion as opposed to fact. It is misleading and could be harmful.

Feral Cat Poem #47
cat’s paws
deer’s hooves
rabbit’s feet
squirrel’s tails
my boots

paths crossing in the snow
lives passing in the night

a bird’s-eye view
of fear and flight:
feral, separate and yet
all in this together

when they go back in their hovel
I’m the one who has to shovel)

Permanent War
    East Hampton
    February 1, 2013
To the Editor:
    The debate about the use of drones to kill terrorists who might also happen to be Americans is, as usual, sidetracked by a bunch of issues that deflect the reality that drones represent. The concern about using drones to kill people outside the country, whom we identify as dangerous to our interests, is simply an extension of the old-time policies like assassination and economic destabilization. We have always found a way to get at our enemies. Killing Americans is also nothing new and F.B.I. records are full of dead people who the government identified as troublesome. The real issue here, is how do we prosecute our wars?
    The fear that we are giving the executive branch too much power with regard to the other branches or that other countries will someday target the U.S. the way we target them have little weight in the exercise of our war efforts. Having an oversight committee in place to approve drone attacks would do nothing to inhibit drone use and would only add to the tacit complicity that already exists. Hiroshima is a fair example of the latter argument.
    But drones have an extremely useful function. They are relatively inexpensive, don’t put American personnel at risk, and are very effective. Someone in Florida pushes a button and someone else in Yemen disappears. It’s magical.
    Yet the real hook in the drone deal is that drones, as advanced sophisticated killing machines, allow us to expand the war on terror, better known as perpetual war. If Al Qaeda didn’t exist someone, i.e., Rumsfeld or Cheney-like, would have made it up. The perfect enemy. Partially visible, without a country, ideologically malleable, and dangerous.
    When George Bush coined the phrase “They hate us for our values,” the U.S. public bit. Understanding that 60 percent of Americans couldn’t find Afghanistan on the map (almost 50 percent believe Obama is a socialist), this catchy hate-us riff was the perfect poison pill for a people who wanted simple answers.
    Drones are the perfect complement to sustaining a state of permanent war. No one really cares about the collateral damage they cause. We only know about them when they are successful or terribly unsuccessful. They are a major part of a stealth war that keeps us in a state of permanent war but doesn’t involve the public.
    The Constitution has provisions about declaring war that involve the entire government and usually the American people, but the undeclared terror war and the use of drones allows our government to bypass it. One of Obama’s first actions was to approve a 30,000 increase in troops for Afghanistan. Going beyond Bush. Believing that Afghanistan’s history of being untamable (last done in the 11th century) had no real relevance.
    So we will debate drones and the associated issues but never touch on the main one about our need for permanent war. Our internal war obsession is so powerful that Chuck Hagel is viewed as dangerous because he takes a rational, logical approach to our recent military engagements. Is it not surprising that Republican deficit queens won’t touch the military budget and Democrats make noise but stay on board?

Copper Wirers
    February 11, 2013
To the Editor:
    Re: Hemingway’s boat- Hendrickson
    This Time is Different- Reinhart- Roloff
    Confidence Men- Dartmouth resident
    Legend of Rin-tin-tin- Orleans
    Dear student of splurging in hard times, entrepreneurs and commuter yachts, signee — Merriam-Webster Dictionary clear signatures under “Live fortunes and sacred honor!” Rings not queens giving their power. 1915 Conant — A History of Modern Banks of issue.
    Yours, in God we trust,
    And the townline copper wirers prying both slow and fast FIOS will couple indebentures to the financial secure and legally firm.