Lee Davis, Director
August 19, 2013
To the Editor,
Lee Davis, whose obituary appeared in last week’s Star, was an important part of our community, as he was the director of choice at LTV for nearly all the independent producers at LTV, including myself.
After retiring from a distinguished career in television and advertising, as noted in his obituary, Lee became an active and major director at LTV, our town’s public access television station. When I first became active at LTV I apprenticed as a cameraman on 14 shows, all directed by Lee. He taught me how to frame the shot, how and when to move the cameras from the host to the guests, and when to have the camera on the host and the guests.
He made it possible for me to direct shows, and due to all shows I worked on with Lee, I was able to watch a great variety of shows, so when the time came for me to produce my own show, I knew the possibilities and subjects one could use to produce a show. Until his illness prevented him from directing, I always tried to have him direct my show if he was available.
Lee’s death has created a void at LTV in the number of trained and experienced directors for independent producers. As the producer of “Sullivan’s Travels,” I can say that no program is better than its director. It is more than a skill, it is an art.
Lee Davis was a master of that art.
Great Chicken Dinners
August 18, 2013
Once again the volunteers from the Amagansett Fire Department prepared great chicken dinners Sunday and set some aside for Meals on Wheels patrons. Prepared and delivered.
Lord, what a wonderful town we live in.
On Behalf of Lifeguards
August 13, 2013
To the Editor:
From Aug. 7 to Aug. 10, East Hampton Town lifeguards, junior lifeguards, and members of Ocean Rescue went to Manhattan Beach, Calif., to participate in the national lifeguarding competition. This would not have been possible without the help of our local businesses as well as a few individuals. On behalf of the lifeguards who traveled to Nationals, we would like to thank all the local businesses that helped send us to Nationals.
In addition we would like to thank both the Sloppy Tuna and The Harvest/East by Northeast for not only their generous contributions but for letting us use their facilities to have both fund-raisers and dinners. We would also like to thank the Montauk Community Church for letting us have a car wash on their premises.
Without the help, dedication, and devotion that Hampton Lifeguard Association put forward none of this would have been possible. With that said, thank you to all the contributors and founders of H.L.A.! Thank you Mrs. Calabrese and Mrs. McGeehan for giving your time and support. At the end of the tournament we walked away with three top finishes in the junior lifeguard division: Sophia Kohlhoff winning beach flags and Amanda Calabrese taking the gold in the Paddle as well as Iron Woman and a second-place finish in beach flags.
In the United States Lifeguard Association tournament Lucy Kohlhoff took first in beach flags and Paige Duca took first in the 2k beach run. With many other top finishes, we came in ninth place over all, out of 35 teams in the country. This would not have been attainable without the help of our community.
Thank you from the East Hampton Town Lifeguard Competition Team!
Tradition Lives On
August 18, 2013
The weather was perfect for the Fisherman’s Fair held on the grounds of Ashawagh Hall. I’ve had the good fortune to attend about 50 fairs, and always look forward to it, having grown up around the corner from Ashawagh Hall. One of the things that really struck me this year was that, although it’s grown bigger, the tradition of the community preparing for days to make and bake and serve food to the fairgoers hasn’t changed, and it’s still the best place to go in August to get local corn and clam pies for lunch, knowing that you’re helping out the Springs Improvement Society and its scholarship fund, and the community as a whole.
The fair was meant to be an event for families to meet up, catch up, have fun, and sample recipes, a tradition that has lived on. I remember my grandfather used to contribute fish, clams, and ice back in the ’50s, and the big contest was trying to guess exactly how much a 300-pound block of ice would weigh at a certain time of day. It was a community event to look forward to, and it still is.
This year, I want to thank Joe Bloecker and Paul Graboski for helping shuck about 1,600 clams, and Dominick Stanzione for helping serve them. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves and the S.I.S. was able to raise some needed funds. The S.I.S. should be proud of its efforts. It was a beautiful day.
Republican, Independent, and
Conservative Candidate for
East Hampton Town Board
Starred and Cameoed
August 14, 2013
Hope this finds you well. Just wanted to thank you for your attention to my book “The Kingdom of the Kid: Growing Up in the Long-Lost Hamptons.” A circle closed and opened last Thursday when I starred in Baylis Greene’s feature and cameoed in Jack Graves’ column.
Really enjoyed the one-two punch in the paper that made me want to be a journalist way back in 1968, when I read Jack’s very entertaining story about a robbery at Truman Capote’s place on Daniel’s Lane.
I’ll be back on the East End for a reading/talk/signing at 2 p.m. on Sept. 7 at the East Hampton Library. Hope to see you there.
Move the Caravan
August 19, 2013
To the Editor,
One word comes to mind when I see the artists’ encampment on the town green: Hooverville.
How people with supposed artistic sensibilities can think that unsightly hideous mess is anything but ugly is beyond me.
As I said before, move the gypsy caravan 100 yards down the road, to the soccer field where it belongs.
The Police State
August 15, 2013
Dear David Rattray,
Please inform your loyal readers of what has happened to East Hampton:
1. Traffic beyond control.
2. Aggressive young police went swooping down Main Street. “No, lady, you can’t park here, you’re double-parking on Main Street. I saw you pull up.”
Lady: “Sir, I signaled. The car with driver is just pulling out.”
Policeman: “Well, you cannot. Next time, you’ll get a ticket.”
Lady: “I am sorry. I don’t drive into the village that much in the summer. I will know the new rules in the future.”
3. Vigilant school kids in black uniforms — $90 a ticket in parking areas — slapping tickets on cars. Two minutes late, $90! More, maybe?
4. Dog laws, beach poop violations — $250 for each one left! Leash law, 200 feet in each direction from in front of beach entrance. (Note: poop bags provided are genuine black plastic. Nothing biodegradable for this town!)
5. Main Beach is now finally designated number one in the world! Bow wow. Get the trucks out. Clean the beach. Sweep it by 9 a.m. at the latest, every day.
6. Beach garbage containers overflowing, day and night.
7. Permits for fires (good, long-standing law) — nah! bring your own container for your fire or risk another fine.
Conclusion: What fun it is to summer here! The police state has arrived to the East End of beautiful Suffolk County, Long Island!
August 19, 2013
A recent advertisement in The Star was off base in its false characterization of the Humane Society of the United States.
The AARP does not operate retirement homes. The National Rifle Association does not manage local shooting ranges. In the same vein, helping local animal shelters is only one of many H.S.U.S. programs to protect animals. To suggest something is awry falsely frames our mission.
Who would do such a thing? That ad was the work of a corporate front group that has been exposed again and again for its misleading tactics by independent investigations. This front group was the recent focus of a Boston Globe exposé that took a look inside Washington’s “industry of distortion, where unnamed corporations pay richly to bend the debate their way.” Behind it are the likes of factory farms and others who resist providing better treatment of animals. For the full story: humanesociety.org/issues/opposition/opposition.html.
Readers should know that the Humane Society of the United States is rated a four-star charity (the highest possible) by Charity Navigator, approved by the Better Business Bureau for all 20 standards for charity accountability, voted by Guidestar’s Philanthropedia experts as the number-one high-impact animal protection group, and named by Worth Magazine as one of the 10 most fiscally responsible charities. Find out more and get involved with our work at humanesociety.org.
New York State Director
The Humane Society of the
Feral Cat Poem #58
mark fore & strike
cangiolosi’s tackle and gas
cobbler (shoe repair)
old post office theatre
cheerful summer visitors
safe, sane drivers
This Dreaded Disease
August 9, 2013
Local government is typically responsible for elections, utilities, roads, education, parks and recreation, and public safety. It’s the public safety that I am most concerned about. East Hampton is supposed to protect its citizens and our town government is at its all-time worst, if not liable.
Ask, what has our government done other than empty words regarding our tick and deer problem? I have had chronic Lyme disease and now post-Lyme syndrome, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and all that is related just short of death. It has affected my life and family in many ways beyond belief in knowing that others are subject to this nightmare of absolute pain for the mind and body and ramifications of financial burden, not to mention long-term physical and psychological effects, and not just you, but family, friends, and others. The horrors of this dreaded disease can only reflect on those who have had it, from humans to animals, and I am sure your readers know of someone who’s been there.
New strains on the way, and according to the Lyme Disease Association, East Hampton is in big trouble if they don’t address this issue and implement immediate action. So I ask again, what is our town government doing about it? I can tell you in my opinion, nothing but pure political B.S.
How do I know? Myself along with several others, as an appointed subcommittee for the East Hampton Nature Preserve, have been working on a deer management plan for over one year, starting in early February 2010 with many meetings into the night, many phone calls, letters and e-mails to professionals, attending other communities with deer management problems, many hours of volunteered time and dedication knowing our responsibility for helping our town in a most serious dilemma. This subcommittee had completed and compiled information and documents relative to a plan that we are sure will work. In early December, under the leadership of Len Czajka and the chairman, Zach Cohen of the Nature Preserve Committee, and again many hours to make it absolutely worthy, and checking all facts for our town to adopt this solid program, we worked endlessly to get this resolution introduced and passed.
During that time Zach Cohen was running for town supervisor. Mmmm, coincidence? You guessed it, another zero. After a year of the introduction and warming someone’s seat and playing political football, it somehow got passed with town-only addendums and under lots of pressure from our citizens.
Next? Now Dominick Stanzione dismissed the nature preserve recommendations and set out to conduct more possible solutions to our deer problem. From state, county, local politicians, professionals, and the D.E.C., so-called deer people and many clubs and associations gathered at Town Hall compiling information and know-how to solve the deer issue. Sure, it was interesting, but you guessed it, zero. Let’s do this, let’s do that, let’s spend this, let’s check that out, I’ll get back to you — on and on with lots of words and notes, ending in zeros. Many more forums of hundreds of wasted hours that produced nothing but smoke and mirrors and a puppet show, with the same people over and over desperately trying to get our town to do something.
Again, sound familiar? Somebody had the idea of shooting deer out of a helicopter. Corral them and inoculate the females, ($1,000 a pop). Some suggestions were so ridiculous they were worse than funny, or it could be a people problem. So here we are again, counting deer from the sky, and we only have (this has to be a joke, right?) 800, according to our town leaders — spending your money and still nowhere a solution to protect its citizens.
By the way, deer also have another issue other than toting ticks around. They are the most destructive wild animal in East Hampton. Most houses that can afford it put up Dachau-type fences and live inside like prisoners to protect life and property, of which the town will figure a way to make money off of that. I am subject to the liberal deer-huggers and political ear-kissers who say I should plant this and that so the wood rats with horns or deer won’t eat those type of plants. Well, guess what? Neither can I. These people and our government won’t allow me to have a vegetable garden or the passion of house farming, yet Michelle Obama says different.
So what’s next, Mr. and Mrs. Government? Most of you are done, so what do you say? Can you protect us as your last cause of what you believed in before you decided to get into government for the people and do your job when you were sworn in? You know that public-safety thing? Or are you just going to be full of yourselves and other —— matters that might give judgment to your political legacy.
Finally: I just completed four frightening days at Southampton Hospital with my fourth bout with Lyme. Diazepam (Valium), morphine, stomach injections, drip tubes, and drugs everywhere pumped into veins that are now flat and exhausted with a long-term army of pills — big ones — but once again I live for another day. What words can I use or deeds to help you, Mr. and Mrs. Government, to seriously officiate by action for you to protect us all today?
Jerry’s Lyme Tonic
August 18, 2013
With the spike in tick bites, it seems that everyone we talk to just pulled a tick off of them, is feeling flu-like or fatigued, or is on doxycycline.
Many around town have enjoyed “Jerry’s Lyme Tonic,” which is designed to be healthy, delicious, and address many of the stubborn symptoms brought on by tick bites.
Many have inquired about the recipe. Here it is:
1. Fill an 8 or 12-ounce glass half full with ice.
2. Fill glass with sugar-free tonic water (amazing for muscle aches and stiffness).
3. Squeeze in a quarter of a lemon (alkalinizes the body).
4. Stir in a quarter-teaspoon of the herb teasel root (powder or liquid form). Teasel is famous for its antibiotic properties. An alternative is the herb cat’s claw (a University of New Haven study published in 2000 showed cat’s claw had antimicrobial properties similar to doxycycline).
5. Optional: Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.
Jewel in the Town
August 16, 2013
A week ago Saturday evening I greeted visitors inside a giant pine barn built in the 1800s as part of the Parrish Art Museum’s Road Show. The Springs artist Sydney Albertini created “sets” and sculptures as a “quasi” theater experience. Happy people of every age pulled on her fabric masks and then entered the scene: a bed, a living room-fort, and a dining room. What fun! There were giggles and smiles and a good time was had by all as iPhones clicked away.
I stepped outside later to view maybe 100 people mingling in the twilight. It seemed like a “History Alive” lesson. The six-plus acre property, called Duck Creek Farm, was bought by the late artist John Little back in 1948; the original house was built in 1795 by the Edwards family and they grew salt hay as feed for the grazing animals. Thanks to the leadership of Job Potter (who was there at the opening) and the town board almost a decade ago, the barn and house are now preserved for the people of East Hampton using the Community Preservation Fund. The barn is restored and, hopefully, the house interior will be next.
Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc helped the Parrish’s Andrea Grover and Sydney to ready the studio exhibit for its “coming-out” party. The show is open for the next few weekends, Friday through Sunday afternoons, for folks who missed the opening.
The Road Show — an alliance between art and local history — is located right off Squaw Road, and it’s free. I spoke to Councilman Van Scoyoc about ideas for future projects while behind us a group of kids and adults were running races in the field. The sun was setting and a pink sky peeked through the treetops. This house and barn and land will always remain as a treasure for the folks living in and visiting East Hampton. It was a great day and evening to be in Springs that day: first the Fisherman’s Fair and then the Parrish Road Show. I urge readers to check it out and to thank the town officials for saving, and now sharing, this jewel in the town.
Enjoy the rest of summer.
Duck Creek Event
August 16, 2013
I couldn’t agree more with your editorial expressing pleasure at seeing the first event happen at Duck Creek Farm. I worked on that purchase as liaison for the Community Preservation Fund program, and the 2004 town board envisioned just such a use, an additional public space in the Springs, to complement Ashawagh Hall. Yes, it took a long time, but it was deeply satisfying to see 100 or more people on the site, and art in John Little’s old studio.
Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc deserves a thank-you for facilitating, and the Town Parks Department for a great job. The key to effective use of the town’s C.P.F. properties is to get the public involved, as the Trails Preservation Society has done for decades, and as the Duck Creek Association did last week.
Well done, everyone!
Democratic and Working Families
Candidate for Town Board
Fort Pond Park
August 19, 2013
The headline of the recent Concerned Citizens of Montauk’s press release says it all: “Four-Acre Park Spared Bulldozer and McMansion.” But does it?
It doesn’t tell their three-year nonpartisan battle to reverse the decision taken by the Republican town board majority in early 2010 to blatantly disregard the fervent pleas by constituencies ranging from the Boy Scouts, the Montauk Public School, the Third House Nature Center. It doesn’t tell the nearly $30,000 C.C.O.M. paid in legal fees sadly needed, to stop an unlawful act.
The 2002 bipartisan town board decision to purchase “land fronting on Fort Pond, Montauk, the acquisition of which would provide public access and could be used for a variety of municipal purposes‚” delivers a perfectly clear message —Not For Sale!
So how could the Republican majority of the board justify this action? No problem, blame everything on the McGintee legacy: we are in dire financial trouble. Looking at this excuse more closely, this claim, if true, does not justify violating the law. And secondly, the issuing of a multimillion-dollar bond prior to the start of Mr. Wilkinson’s term removed the need for immediate action and could allow a more reasoned approach to achieve potential cost reductions.
The bond’s millions arrived, and was it used, as intended, for debt relief? No, it went, in my opinion, to tax reduction instead. However, this purely political-driven allocation resulted in their ability to justify draconian across-the-board cuts in personnel and services. An example of this action was a 75-percent reduction of the human resources staff (social workers, etc.), despite an increasing number of senior and junior citizens. It might look good on a ledger, but not too good to your ailing mother.
In full support of the strong C.C.O.M. action, the two Democratic members of the board, Sylvia Overby and Peter Van Scoyoc, repeatedly proposed that the decision on the sale be canceled, to no avail. Finally, when it was clear to the abstaining board member, Dominick Stanzione, that the plan he initially approved was unwise, illegal, and — probably more important — unpopular, he joined Van Scoyoc and Overby last week to cancel the sale.
It should not take three years, it should not take $30,000 of our citizens’ hard-earned money, it should not be difficult to respect the pleas of many clearly apolitical groups, to protect our precious resources. When one considers the initial decision and all the weird tactics later used to justify that move, it becomes apparent that a new view of priorities and ethics is long overdue.
Montauk’s Special Place
August 19, 2013
Good news for the residents of Montauk and those of us who love Montauk’s special places!
One of these, Fort Pond House with its four acres on the water, won a “welcome back” from the senseless exile to which it had been banished by the Republican majority on the town board when, three years ago, they put this town-owned gem up for sale and barred it from its public use.
Many, many thanks for the determination of Democratic councilpeople Peter Van Scoyoc and Sylvia Overby, who refused to give up the fight to get this land back to the people. And many thanks to the Concerned Citizens of Montauk, who organized their protests and their money for this cause, and to the Third House Nature Center, who were an integral part of the legal battles. The struggle was finally ended at a work session last week when Councilman Van Scoyoc — for the fourth time and seconded by Ms. Overby — pushed the resolution to take the property off the market.
This time they won the necessary third vote from Councilman Dominick Stanzione. Appropriately, the park will be named after a hero for Montauk and East Hampton, the late Carol Morrison.
As a longtime friend, colleague, and admirer of Carol Morrison, I am so very happy that her years of outstanding service on behalf of responsible government, the environment, and the youth of her community are now officially recognized and honored. It is too bad that the supervisor and his deputy feel that they have to continue their Scrooge-like carping and complaining. But never mind, this dismal story of how the town majority deprived Montauk of three years of educational and recreational use and lots of taxpayer money has a most happy ending.
Breaking the Law
August 19, 2013
To the Editor,
My husband and I watched in bewilderment as a young girl put a pair of sneakers on top of the mailbox and walked back into the house on Harbor Boulevard. After speaking to several neighbors, her actions made sense as we learned that this behavior was often used as a code regarding a home that was being investigated by a government agency and signified that the home was now safe to enter. Obviously, this code is used when activities are taking place in the house that the inhabitants want to keep secret. Although this might be an ordinary occurrence in the South Bronx, we were shocked to realize that Harbor Boulevard in Springs had deteriorated to the point where some property owners were flagrantly breaking the law and getting away with it.
In the five years since we bought our summer home in Springs we have witnessed the growing commercialization of Harbor Boulevard. For example, in the last few weeks, a property on Harbor Boulevard has turned into a commercial storage facility for trucks and other heavy industrial equipment. This situation is worlds apart from that of a person such as a plumber or electrician parking the van they use for work in their driveway.
Another property on Harbor Boulevard runs weekly volleyball games at which, purportedly, money is charged for admittance and beer. The resulting loud noise and litter, together with the dozens of cars parked on the property and street, have created an atmosphere better suited to an urban setting than Springs.
Both of these properties are engaging in commercial activities which are against the law in East Hampton and yet apparently the Springs community is not on the right side of town for it to be included in the enforcement of the town’s laws.
The town ordinance department has been notified about these violations repeatedly and complaints have been filed. Yet, when my husband and I attended the town board meeting on Aug. 15, the town board members acted surprised when residents commented on these activities in the public remarks segment of the meeting.
Springs is a community made up of residents of diverse ethnicities and socioeconomic status. All these residents deplore the glaring violations of law that are taking place in their community. The hard-working residents of Springs have been ignored long enough regarding their legitimate complaints and now insist that the East Hampton Town Board take the necessary steps to restore the quality of life that the residents deserve.
Springs was once a haven that artists like Pollock and de Kooning flocked to because of its tranquility and beauty — once our laws are enforced it can become this haven again.
Small Sliver of Beach
August 17, 2013
To the Editor:
I have been following the back-and-forth on baby beach and the one thing that seems to shine through is one group doesn’t like the local tradition, and since they live here now, they would like the way of life out here to change to suit them and their friends.
There are a lot of beaches to go to where trucks aren’t allowed, and as previously stated, one of them is just on the other side of the parking lot. Just because you choose to set up camp on a truck-permitted beach doesn’t mean the rules have changed to no trucks allowed. If this were the case, everyone who has a beef with beach driving could just plop down some chairs and state there is no beach driving because there are people already sitting there.
The safety issue is a sham. I know that kids have almost drowned at that beach because they go too close to the steep drop at the edge and their parents have to jump in to save them, so if it’s truly about safety, children shouldn’t be there at all.
I have yet to hear of one kid being run over at a truck-access beach. I have kids, and before they became able to swim in the ocean, we frequented several bay beaches for their swimming safety, so there are always other options if you want to avoid trucks on the beach.
It seems from your editorial that the locals, who have very few beaches to drive onto, you named four, should give up their rights to one small sliver of beach because that would work best for a small group of residents. Just like anything in this world, once you give up a small amount of rights, it is a domino effect, and next the people who oppose beach driving at Albert’s would use the baby beach issue to set precedence and there would be even fewer places for truck access.
As I’m sure you are aware, Napeague is under a constant assault from the people who want their own private beach, and if it weren’t for the trustees and CfAR, there would be no trucks allowed there either. It seems the editor has made up his mind that trucks should find another beach to drive on because, for some odd reason, the people who oppose the trucks can’t find another beach to enjoy. It seems that the locals, and I’m not one, are constantly being told to change their ways to accommodate the summer crowd. Maybe the summer people should enjoy this town the way it is instead of trying to change what makes this place a great place to live — all year long.
August 19, 2013
I’d like to add my voice to your readers who have expressed outrage at the misuse of Maidstone Park beach (also known as baby beach).
I’ve often gone there, partly because I prefer swimming in the bay rather than the ocean, and partly because I find that particular spot absolutely beautiful, only to discover that there are so many trucks and sport utility vehicles parked on the beach that there is hardly room to set down a blanket.
I simply don’t get it! There are plenty of parking spots on the road just off the beach, and people are either too inconsiderate or too lazy to walk a few feet to the beach. Not only do these vehicles hog the limited space, but they create an eyesore and damage the sand.
It’s time that our lawmakers take a close look at the realities of the impact on the environment and community of beach driving and enact sensible legislation.
New York City
August 16, 2013
On Friday, Aug. 16, I decided to keep a written record between 4 p.m. and 4:45 pm. During that time, 13 (noisy, intrusive) aircraft flew in the immediate vicinity of my house on Briar Patch Road, one every 3.46 minutes. This environmental intrusion by very few on the vast majority must be put under control.
In the event you would like to use them as a part of this letter to the editor or for a separate story, I am attaching the remarks I made last Thursday, Aug. 15, to the town board at the public comment session.
PETER M. WOLF
August 19, 2013
Dear Mr. Rattray,
In his letter to the editor published Aug. 15, 2013, and titled “Poisoned Cake,” Mister David Gruber cites my modest last name 13 times.
I must have hit a nerve.
Summer of Discontent
August 17, 2013
I religiously read all the letters to editor in The Star each week, and as the summer begins to ebb I am forced to label this summer 2013 as the Summer of our Discontent.
The howling, the anger, the distress, and utter disappointment in the way our town has degenerated into a low-class carnival town morphing into a cross between Coney Island and Fort Lauderdale. People are bitterly complaining about the burgeoning traffic, the lack of driving skills of so many of the drivers, bikers and walkers clogging the roads and their lack of how to do either safely, the lines, lines everywhere, the parking at what used to be literally a “baby” beach, Indian Wells, mass gatherings galore, drinking and urinating on beaches, and on and on.
And what this summer has done to Montauk — oh, my dear‚ that lovely town — the victim of the fast buck.
Do we all have to wish our summer away and pray for Labor Day to come quickly? Like any entity, it all starts from the top. What Town Hall wants, we have to live with. Maybe when the leadership changes we can return to the unspoiled East Hampton I chose to live in years ago.
A Major Disturbance
August 19, 2013
The article in the Aug. 15 edition of The Star titled “Dance Party Permit Called Flawed” reveals that the town code permit application form is itself flawed. Ironically, although there is a provision at the end of the application for a notary public to confirm the identity of the applicant, there is no sworn statement that the content of the application is in all respects true. Adding these few words: “The applicant swore to me under penalties of perjury that all of the statements contained in the application are true” could subject the applicant to a perjury charge, a felony. Generally, people take seriously swearing to the truth of the contents of an application to a government agency, or any other submission for that matter.
It probably would be wise to include at the very beginning of the application a statement to the effect that the applicant would be subject to penalties of perjury if any of the contents of the application are untrue. In addition, the town board could resolve to include in the code a substantial financial penalty for a false representation in the application, as well as for violation of the terms of the application. No such prohibitive language is contained.
It appears from a reading of the article about the party at Albert’s Landing Beach that there was a gross departure from the representations made in the application as opposed to what actually took place. This is no small matter, as the article in The Star makes clear. The result was a major disturbance to the peace and quiet of the residents of Amagansett resulting from the noise that was produced.
Furthermore, it also appears that the makers of the party took advantage of the good auspices of the town board in allowing the party to proceed by claiming that it was an event for family and friends. At $154 to $174 per person for admission, with a reported 200 people in attendance, it was clearly not a family party and a substantial profit was made. The same scenario unfolded at the Shark Attack party in Montauk on July 5, where 4,000 people attended for something like $49 per person and it appeared that the claim of a charitable event was not supported by the facts that unfolded.
Likewise, the abuse of rental home applications that occurs when the number of people that actually occupy the rental house could be prevented if the application included a sworn statement.
It is also true that the application will only be effective if there is a sufficient code enforcement staff and/or the potential for the police to be involved by informing them that an event is taking place and requiring them to observe the event and issue a summons if there is a violation of the terms of application.
I believe it is time for us to get tough with those who abuse the peaceful environment that is a hallmark of our town.
DAVID J. WEINSTEIN
About the Noise
August 16, 2013
To the Editor,
In an ocean filled with barracudas, I consider myself a dolphin, but when necessary I can morph into a deadly shark. This is why I have become litigious concerning the noise pollution and overcrowding in the share house across the street from my home-office. Two weeks ago the owner of the house’s daughter advised me to contact the couple who were on the rental agreement namely: Janet Joyce and William Artz. I am in possession of a copy of the lease, which the couple has signed.
I telephoned Ms. Joyce at her Barrow Street apartment in the city that morning and told her it would behoove her to read the lead article featured in The Star (July 29) and a letter to the editor that I had written. I also informed her that selling shares is illegal according to the East Hampton Town Code. Ms. Joyce shouted to me that she was calling the police and promptly hung up the phone.
Ms. Hantz Greenfield, who was acting on her mother’s behalf, has told me by phone that she has no control over the number of “guests” that Ms. Joyce and Mr. Artz invite to the house on the weekends. My legal adviser has told me this simply is not true.
On July 4, 2012, two of Ms. Joyce’s guests slept on the outdoor porch on lounge chairs directly opposite my bedroom window. These two males represented some overflow in this small cottage. My lawyer has told me there can be no more than four unrelated couples for this 1,200-square-foot house, which, incidentally, has only three small bedrooms.
Ms. Joyce has questioned me on a different occasion why I am the only person complaining about the noise. Simply stated, I am the person directly affected by the stereo speakers on the porch and the guest-sleepers on the lounge chairs despite the fact that I have central air-conditioning and I am a sound sleeper to boot.
But I cannot sleep through a car siren emanating from a Porsche for more than four hours. The police arrived on this occasion and made the young man move the car because he made the excuse that no mechanic would come to the house on a Sunday morning. This occurred last Labor Day weekend, when there were 20 young men in their 20s partying at the house.
I asked both the owner’s daughter and her brother not to renew a lease for 2013. Obviously, my request was ignored. The excuse at that time was that Mr. Artz’s brother and his friends were partying and Mr. Artz was not aware of his own brother’s bad behavior. Mr. Artz called me to apologize. I am sick of apologies. As I asymptotically approach 60 I need eight hours of sleep.
Many of your newspaper readers, who know me well, know I do not have a passion for politics. I am an ardent Francophile, distance runner, and devoted to being competent in my profession. My passion has always been to continue my education through courses in the new advances that have occurred in dentistry since I graduated from Columbia University 33 years ago.
I do not want to make this a political issue. Whether Republican or Democrat, I would like to see the East Hampton laws upheld concerning noise abatement and multiple occupancies. So far, both the police and the code enforcers have helped me immensely. The last two weekends the party atmosphere across the street is nonexistent, nor is the noise after 2 a.m. audible. This does not erase these summers’ problems.
I am continuing to investigate whether Ms. Joyce and Mr. Artz sold shares. Profit from such transactions typically are declared to the Internal Revenue Service. After all, Al Capone met his demise because he did not pay his taxes gained from his racketeering enterprises. If the renters are not familiar with his name, my advice is Google him and catch up on some American history.
August 16, 2013
In regard to your recent editorial which discussed the questionable construction project at the Panoramic Motel, I would like to propose three procedural and code changes that, taken together, would both better serve the public interest as well as businesses that apply for building permits.
First, I propose that any application for a building permit for a pre-existing, nonconforming property be reviewed simultaneously by both the building and planning departments. Each department head will judge whether the applicant needs a site plan review prior to granting the permit. If the two department heads disagree on the need for site plan review, then the town attorney would expeditiously make the determination. This procedure will reduce, and hopefully eliminate, improper construction such as the work that was done at the Panoramic Motel.
The time limit for the planning department to give its determination should be no longer than the average time of review by the building department, and should run concurrently while the building department processes the application. The time limit for the town attorney’s review should be a short period, perhaps five business days. In that way, the applicant does not suffer an extra burden of delay. The planning and building department heads should be encouraged to discuss the issues and form a consensus opinion so that the need for the town attorney’s determination is minimized.
The second suggestion is to review the zoning of pre-existing, nonconforming businesses in residential zones. The current expressed or implied attitude of the zoning code is for these businesses to go out of existence one day and be replaced by a conforming residential use. However, some of these businesses, such as small neighborhood groceries, are valued and supported by the surrounding residential neighborhood. These nonconforming businesses, even if seen as beneficial or benign to the neighborhood, currently face regulatory hurdles and expenses that make even simple building improvements quite burdensome. Ironically, often the applicant seeks approval for work that would make the business more code-compliant.
It will be difficult to revise the zoning and building codes so that some pre-existing, nonconforming businesses can function more easily while the operations of businesses that have proven to be nuisances will remain constrained. The code revision process will be contentious and also need precise legal guidance. However, the difficulty of the task does not eliminate the need for this review.
Lastly, there should be a precisely defined list of minor site and building improvements to any business property that could be handled by an administrative review done by the planning department. The review questions would need to be easily answered in a yes or no manner or by objective measurements. If the project qualifies, then the planning department review would replace a slower and more expensive planning board review that would otherwise be required. Council members Overby and Van Scoyoc and I proposed such an idea with regard to certain farm buildings during our 2011 campaign.
Taken together, businesses should, on average, benefit, and the public interest in having businesses which are code-compliant will be better served.
State of the Aquifer
August 18, 2013
To the Editor:
We have an absolute groundwater and surface water crisis right now. Our water is terribly polluted and Suffolk County and East Hampton Town officials know it, but they are withholding the truth from the public because they don’t want to alarm homeowners and tourists. Suffolk County has put out a report that shows our water is in a state of crisis right now.
The landings of clams and scallops have declined 99 percent since 1980. That’s because wastewater-derived nitrogen, which comes from development and more and more septic tanks, leads to harmful algae and disappearance of eelgrass, which is the critical habitat for shellfish. This harmful algae leads to a bacteria named Alexandrium in shellfish, which can kill people.
There are 117 pesticides found in Long Island aquifers, which are the source of our pure drinking water. The three most prevalent are Imidacloprid, Atrazine, and Metalaxyl. Organic chemicals, oven cleaners, degreasers, and personal care products such as shampoo, nail polish, and polish removers all go into our groundwater and then, in approximately 15 to 20 years, into our surface waters. Pharmaceutical drugs such as Vioxx and Viagra are also found in groundwater.
Land preservation is the best solution to the problem since it allows for groundwater recharge. Open land equals clean water. We can’t continue development and protect groundwater at the same time, especially in designated groundwater protection areas. The science is telling us we can’t. It is not true that we have to choose between jobs and clean water.
But the McGintee administration and the Wilkinson administration have completely abandoned their responsibility to the people of East Hampton to protect our groundwater and surface waters. Bill McGintee had the opportunity to protect all of the Warner LeRoy estate, which is vital to the high moraine of the Stony Hill aquifer, yet he allowed virtually all of it to be developed. Bill Wilkinson and his Republican henchmen have issued building permits all over the Stony Hill woods, despite the fact that the East Hampton Town Comprehensive Plan states that the town should buy every lot in the Stony Hill woods to protect the Stony Hill aquifer, which supplies every public and private well in Springs, Amagansett, and 85 percent of the public water that goes to Montauk in the busy months of the season.
So what can we do now? We need a State of the aquifer report from the town and county. We need to reduce household hazardous materials. We need public education and outreach to improve current understanding of the surface water and groundwater connection, because whatever pollution goes into the groundwater now will flow into our surface waters. Overdevelopment that poisons our groundwater now will poison the bays in just a few years.
We must renew our commitment to land preservation. If you own open land in the Stony Hill and Red Dirt woods, you should sell it to the Town of East Hampton to preserve the Stony Hill aquifer. Steve Engelbright, the esteemed professor of geology at SUNY Stony Brook and state assemblyman from Setauket, who wrote the Long Island aquifer Plan, says the Stony Hill aquifer is at the tipping point of being a viable aquifer. He says there can be no further development of the Stony Hill woods or our water will be polluted.
It is vital that we elect town councilpeople who understand that we must preserve every acre we can, find substitutes for pesticides, manage fertilizer, and educate the people. It is time to elect officeholders who care about drinking water and the future of East Hampton. We must act now to stop pollution because clean water is essential to East Hampton’s future.
August 19, 2013
Dear Mr. Rattray,
I have fantastic news and I couldn’t wait to share it with you. Three more residents of East Hampton have approached me in the past few days, complimenting me on my recent letter and saying, “Happy birthday!” One of these readers said, “I totally agree with what you said.” To which I replied, “What did I say?”
“About the price of Jack’s doughnuts — it’s crazy!”
Now I have nothing against Jack, in fact, I don’t know Jack. And I’m certainly not trying to wage a personal war against Jack’s doughnut pricing. Still, I’m happy that one of my readers felt vindicated by the doughnut exposé.
If not to serve, then why are we here? To be served and tip like a champion, stupid!
But what is the real news here, Mr. Rattray, other than your failure to send me good wishes and a bottle of wine on my special day? Do the math. I now have over 50 readers, which means, by definition, that The Star now has over 50 readers. And my readers — our readers — are in the coveted 18-to-81-year-old demographic. By my calculation this should make it possible for you to increase your weekly advertising rates by 3 to 7 percent. You’re welcome.
I recommend you alert your ad sales team immediately. Have them target the real estate companies, as many of my readers are looking to purchase large house south of the highway this fall, or small trailers in some cases. And they are flush with cash, Mr. Rattray, thanks to their success in the financial markets in the first two quarters of this year, or hurting big time due to their failure to invest wisely in the financial markets. Either way, I would reach out to them — as I’m doing right now. (Hello, readers! Remember to open your wallets!)
Most of these potential advertisers will expect, rightfully, that their ad be placed in close proximity to my letter. I would guarantee them priority placement, even if it means running the letter in several places in the paper. And if I fail to write a letter? Run one of the old ones! From back when I only had 13 readers — they’re always fresh as the day they were baked (unlike Jack’s doughnuts. Sorry.)
But none of this is the reason I’m writing, Mr. Rattray, so please sit up straight. Thank you. I’m writing to offer my wholehearted endorsement of the candidacy of Kathee Burke-Gonzalez for East Hampton Town Board. Now my fellow citizens could say, rightly, “Oh, she’s a friend of Lyle’s. No wonder he’s supporting her.”
To which I would reply, “I’m way too selfish for that.” Fortunately, for me and for all of us, Kathee is an exemplary and dedicated citizen of our town — a devoted family person, a working mom, and an active community member who has served for nine years on the Springs School Board, two years as its president. Kathee has given literally hundreds of hours of her time in an often-thankless endeavor to make sure that the kids’ quality of education was never sacrificed, even as cost-saving budgets were proposed and approved.
It seems like an all-too-rare occurrence to find a candidate who really does have the interests in the community at heart, and not just their ego and need for the limelight (like me). That’s Kathee. Let’s all go vote for her.
August 19, 2013
To the Editor:
East Hampton registered Republicans mark your calendar! On Tuesday, Sept. 10, there will be a Republican primary. On that day we can go to the polls and vote to put a supervisor candidate at the top of the currently blank Republican ticket.
How it will work: On Primary Day (Sept. 10), any East Hampton Town registered Republican can go to his or her assigned polling place and write in the name of a person the voter would like to see as the Republican candidate for supervisor in November. It’s that easy.
I make no secret of the fact that I intend to write in the name of Larry Cantwell. Larry would come ready to tackle the supervisor’s job on day one. He has just retired from 32 years as the East Hampton Village administrator. I like what he has to say. He actively decries the us-against-them mentality that has smothered this town and its board meetings for too many years. When Larry promises that anyone who comes before the board with a problem will be treated with respect and find a supervisor attentive to what he is hearing, I believe him. Until I see something to the contrary, I support Larry Cantwell as the candidate for supervisor with the experience, demeanor, and strength to be a uniting force in this town.
As grassroots ordinary citizens, who also happen to be registered Republicans, it is imperative that we speak with one voice on Sept. 10 and give Larry Cantwell an opportunity to prove himself as our town supervisor. Many of us may be affiliated with Republican organizations, but certainly there are many more of us who are not and they all need to be heard. Vote and be counted. Make your voice heard on Sept. 10 and show our so-called town political leaders that we believe in Larry’s message of conciliation and nonpartisan leadership.
Let’s tell Larry that: We Republicans the people — not Republicans the party — want him as our candidate for supervisor, at the head of the Republican ticket in November. To accomplish this, registered Republican voters, go to the polls Sept. 10, and write in Larry Cantwell for supervisor.
August 19, 2013
Many people want to know more about the mystery poll I wrote about last week and forwarded to The East Hampton Star and an investigative reporter at The East Hampton Independent. I believe this poll, which is rumored to have cost from $30,000 to $35,000, was used to successfully suppress our voting choices for East Hampton Town Supervisor.
The people who have spoken to me want to know just how it was used, who is involved, where such a huge sum of money could come from, and where it is recorded on campaign financial disclosure forms. I can only answer that before this mammoth poll was sent to me, it was sent to someone else and follow-up questions should be directed to that person.
On Monday, May 13, at 11:56 a.m., the poll, and its summary, were sent as an e-mail attachment to an associate of a political consultant with a carbon copy to a Deb Brodie, with a note that reads: “per your request for Job Potter.”
When you Google “Deb Brodie, East Hampton,” the result is Debra Brodie Foster, former councilwoman, Democratic activist, and one of Larry Cantwell’s closest allies for years, and years, and years. And, of course, Job Potter is a former town councilman seeking to return to office.
So two-thirds of the Democratic ticket for town board may be somehow associated with these mysterious goings-on. Perhaps it’s all easily explainable, or perhaps there is another Deb Brodie deeply involved in politics, or perhaps it requires investigation at some higher level.
The evidence for who Deb Brodie really is can surely be found in the e-mail address, which I will not fully disclose here, but is in the material sent to The East Hampton Star and The East Hampton Independent.
The Best Candidates
August 13, 2013
The upcoming election is of the utmost importance for the direction this town needs to take. It has slipped off the track and the current administration has been the worst ever, as far as the citizens of this town are concerned. We were subjected to sheer arrogance and a condescending attitude to anyone who voiced their concerns. Of course the special-interest groups benefited wildly.
Mr. Fred Overton is a fine candidate who deserves nonpartisan support. He has demonstrated his ability as a dedicated elected official over the years. His integrity is beyond reproach and will serve this town in this capacity, as he has as town clerk. His demeanor and how he interacts with citizens all these years has been steady as a rudder steering a ship. Mr. Overton should continue his service as an elected town board member. The entire town will benefit. I ask all to support his election.
Voters in the town who would like better choices, deserve the best candidates and are mounting a write-in campaign to elect Mr. Zachary Cohen.
Mr. Cohen’s election also would complement the supervisor. Mr. Cohen brings a thoughtful, deliberative, informed, and independent vote to the town board. He is well versed in issues that confront the town and works well with all. His concern is for the town and its people, not special-interest groups.
We saw the 15-vote mistake and suffered the consequences. We all know who facilitated this disaster by not even supporting their own candidate, falling under the “I promise you” mantra, for their own hidden agenda that could affect the safety of people. They should look in the mirror.
The voters deserve a wider selection of candidates, not just those hand-picked by party bosses so their voices alone decide who will serve their needs in the best manner.
This is a great place to live and ‘we’ are entitled to elect the best to serve us in the manner we need and deserve.
ARTHUR J. FRENCH
Then I Woke Up
August 10, 2013
I must have been dreaming.
Her: Do you know my boy, Dominick Stanzione, who is running for re-election to the East Hampton Town Board?
Me: In that I have almost run over him, twice.
Her: The East Hampton Airport will be renamed “The East Hampton Airport and temporary Dominick Stanzione control tower.”
Her: A huge sign with flashing lights will read “Fly From Dominick” on one side and “What noise?” on the other.
Her: Dominick loves to go rogue. I used to send him to the store for milk and he’d bring home a bicycle.
Me: Him bad. The money town board members authorize is the public’s money.
Her: They let Dominick spend the public’s money . . . ?
Me: He does do a perfectly serviceable historical W.W.II reenactment. . . .
And then I woke up.
All good things,
August 19, 2013
Incivility, which has been much criticized when it occurs at Town Hall, was alive and well among last week’s (Aug. 15) letters to the editor.
First, there was the continued bickering between so-called “airport opponents” and local pilots, which will do absolutely nothing to advance either group’s cause.
Then there were the deeply offensive attacks on Councilman Dominick Stanzione by Leni Salz and Barry Raebeck. Instead of attacking the opposition, they should tell us what and how they propose to do better.
And Mr. Raebeck’s attack on the airport manager, Jim Brundige, and Councilman Stanzione was both nasty and misdirected. The “share the pain” strategy for which Mr. Raebeck insults Mssrs. Stanzione and Brundige was actually the consensus of a large group of elected officials, including representatives of all five East End towns, State Senator Lavalle, Assemblyman Thiele, and Congressman Bishop, which was then approved by the East Hampton Town Board.
Mr. Raebeck and other “airport opponents” could add value to the airport discourse by proposing realistic noise solutions rather than railing against those who have worked hard to try to make a difference.
At this rate, the fall campaign could degenerate into name-calling and gotchas, with no meaningful discussion of the important issues. If so, the newly elected town board members will take office next January with no mandate whatsoever. The residents of East Hampton and the surrounding communities affected by the airport deserve better.
PETER A. WADSWORTH
August 19, 2013
Summertime and the campaigning is petty, with apologies to Ira Gershwin.
It’s only mid-August and campaign 2013 is so embarrassingly petty. Last week’s letters to the editor saw Leni Salz’s snark about Dominick Stanzione’s lack of donors, James Brooks and his pearl-clutching over a briefly borrowed truck, a family friend droning on about a rare day at work for a back-watered, semi-retired attorney she wishes her dog could vote for, and, finally, Barry Raebeck equating Monday morning air commuters to the Nazi invasion of Poland. (Good taste hint: Never compare a mundane modern nuisance to the Holocaust.) The right may have the Tea Party but the left sure has the White Whine Party.
August 19, 2013
This letter is in response to the letter (Aug. 15) from James W. Brooks. The truth is funnier than inappropriate speculation. Though not quite as funny as someone assuming that there could only be two possible reasons for driving a truck with Vermont plates.
I am driving my father’s Vermont business truck because the sunroof on my very old car got stuck in the “open” position. I have been a bit busy lately representing East Hampton residents in their legal matters, doing pro bono legal work for those in need, such as victims of domestic violence seeking safety at the Retreat, and campaigning for Town of East Hampton justice.
I am fortunate that I had a vehicle to borrow while my car is being repaired, so I didn’t have to rent a car, which would likely have out-of-state license plates, as well. Truth be told, I have always loved my father’s work truck.
My fondest wish for James W. Brooks is that his sunroof never gets stuck in the open position. And, if it does, please take my advice: Duct tape and Plexiglas does not work.
Chaos in Egypt
August 18, 2013
To the Editor:
The chaos in Egypt that is threatening to drive the country into a major civil war is all about unrealistic expectations and unintended consequences. The belief that democracy would change the economic and social condition of the country and bring prosperity had little basis in reality given the condition of the country.
The election of Morsi was hardly unexpected, given that the Muslim Brotherhood was the only well-organized party in the country. That Morsi would revert to the tactics of the Mubarak dictatorship is also not surprising. (Virtually every government following a dictatorship emulates its predecessor.)
Realistically, Morsi was a one-term-and-out and had little hope of changing the economic situation. So he opted to impose his religious imperative and offended half the country. Morsi clearly violated his electoral vows, but who doesn’t. Removing him from power undid all the work of getting rid of Mubarak.
The action taken by the military to clear the pro-Morsi demonstrations could put the country and the region in total chaos. The risks certainly overwhelm the possible gains.
Getting rid of Mubarak was a major achievement, but a tiny piece in the overall scheme of things. Setting up a functioning democracy takes decades and the potential benefits can take even longer. Every action has a consequence. Removing Morsi, by force or by election in three years, were the two options. By force meant returning the military to a controlling position and undoing the fragile year-old democracy. Waiting three years for the next election meant accepting the unintended consequences that are part of the democratic process and living with them.
Democracies move in slow, measured ways. They don’t provide instant gratification or respond rapidly to crisis. Some political systems may work better than others, but almost all politicians are the same. The paralysis in our system, in the face of our collapsing middle class, is a perfect example. We may take 20 years to resolve this issue, but conservatives are fine with that. Pain is only an issue when it’s related to campaign contributions.
For Egypt, the question is about vision. Who has a vision beyond the current chaos and what’s the path to getting there. Unfortunately, we live in a world where only today matters. History and future have minimal influence when they are most critically necessary. For the U.S., the reality of our impotence should make us more reflective and cautious and help us to understand that our size and power have great value in a collective process but virtually none when we act unilaterally.
Country in Trouble
August 12, 2013
Do the progressives know the government is in a sequester? Someone should remind the president, as we cannot visit the White House. Yes sir, absolutely no tours due to sequester. Some are losing a day’s work — reason, sequester — but the president flies on Air Force One for vacation, Michele Obama flies on something else for vacation, and their dog Bo flies on a M23 Osprey at $11,000 an hour just for Bo. Strange, they’re all going to Martha’s Vineyard. I guess it’s a big conflict of schedules to go together, and to beat all, the children will meet up with them at a different time. Cost of taxpayers’ money: $7 million.
President Obama continues daily to hurt the black entrepreneurship with entitlements and dependency. He only wants votes so he gives free phones and more and more food stamps. Times are hard for many Americans, and some deserve the help, but others just take advantage. We fought for our freedoms, many freedoms, it’s in our history books. Watch “The Tudors,” it’s all about Henry VIII, don’t like a law, well just change it, everything to suit oneself. Sound familiar? Just look at what Obama’s doing, he picks and chooses what he likes and doesn’t like, pretty arrogant.
This country is in trouble not only with Al Qaeda (who’s on the run) but from our own government. Time to pray.
In God and country,
A letter to the editor last week from Leni Salz was followed by an editor’s note incorrectly identifying her as a member of the East Hampton Democratic Committee. The letter was sent from the e-mail account of her sister, Naomi Salz, who is a member of the committee. Ed.