Letters to the Editor: 01.16.14

Our readers' comments

Taken Care Of
    East Hampton
    January 13, 2014

To the Editor,
    On Saturday I was out on my walk, which I do every morning with my dog, Lexie. While on my walk I started to feel funny. I am a diabetic and it seems that my blood sugars were dropping very fast and I was experiencing low blood sugar.
    During this time I met Barbara, another dog-walker. This lovely person seemed to notice that I was having a problem and walked me home and made sure that I was all right. Thank you, Barbara, you are a blessing.
    It makes me feel so good knowing that there are people out there in our neighborhood caring for others. It is very comforting to know that I am taken care of.

    Thank you,
    JOYCE FLOHR

The Lamp Hospital
    East Hampton
    January 12, 2014

Dear Editors:
    A visit to the Lamp Hospital in Springs turned a dreary, fogbound winter day into a great one. Dr. Russ (who emerged from his hospital-garage looking like an off-season St. Nick taking a workshop break) bantered from the get-go, fixed my lamp instantaneously, and refused payment or donation.
    Either Dr. Russ himself, or a member of his household, is a first responder, which left me thinking — some people have it in them to give, and give, and give.
    Thanks, Dr. Russ, you’re a great guy!

BILL HARRINGTON

The F Word
    Southold
    January 7, 2014

To the Editor,
    I no longer live in East Hampton, but still look forward to catching up on the local news every week. I was very disappointed and surprised to pick up the Jan. 2 edition to read an obscenity on the front page. In the article titled “Anger on a Dark Road” I couldn’t believe that “the F word” was printed!
    Maybe some will see me as old-fashioned, but as a parent and staff member in one of our public schools, I am amazed that there are no standards anymore. I know you are a parent too, and doubt that the use of that word is acceptable in your children’s vocabularies. How can we try to uphold standards and limits for acceptable behavior in our homes and schools when a respected publication such as yours stoops to such low levels?

    Sincerely,
    SHARYN LAWALL

On the Other Hand
    East Hampton
    January 13, 2014

Dear Editor,
    The poem you published by June Kaplan last week, “Winter Flurry,” was lovely. A great read in bed on a cold winter morning. More of these, please!
    On the other hand, Feral Cat Poem # 67, with its reference to playing in 3 to 5 inches of cocaine, was not exactly a suitable read for a newspaper read by families. (Did these cats just come from seeing “The Wolf of Wall Street”?) Less of these, please! I think it’s time to put these deranged Feral Cat poems to sleep.

    Sincerely,
    DEVIN MAC

Hampton Dunes
    Amagansett
    January 13, 2014

Dear David,
    Hampton Dunes is no longer with us. The 118 contracts signed 45 years ago agreeing not to change the topography no longer apply.
    All building and planting has broken loose. A cranberry bog or a dune is rarely sighted, and it’s all chalked up to “improvement.”

    Sincerely,
    GEROME GURNEY

Truly an Outrage
    Milwaukee
    January 8, 2014

Dear Editor:
    I read The Star to, in a way, understand Eastern rural life with an aquatic theme.
    My mother lived in Montauk for some 25 years, and even though I am now a
confirmed Wisconsinite, I have great love and appreciation for Montauk and its environs.
    Be that as it may, the complete lawlessness of a shellfisherman to lay waste to the scallop preserve, which had engendered great hope for a rejuvenated scallop industry, is both shocking in its brazenness and demonstrative of an apparent omerta by fellow shellfishermen, in there being no possible culprits for this unbelievable crime. To call it “vandalism” makes eggs thrown at cars or houses simple acts of brotherly love.
    There is also, in the comments mentioned in the recent story in your paper, the unseemly view that a single shellfisherman is viewed as the same-scale violator as the boater who raped the preserve, apparently in its entirety. Given the great hope that the preserve would result in a revitalized scallop industry to mainly assist the shellfishermen who live off this resource and are locals, this crime is truly an outrage and deserving of public ostracism in addition to the less than adequate civil remedies noted in the story in the paper.
    I am just a citizen who loves the craziness of trustees versus town council (I will certainly miss Wilkinson/Quigley and airport Stanzione zaniness). Even Len Bernard abandoned ship, but kept his job. The educational setup with the high school ripping off the elementary feeder schools is also a mind-blower.
    However, looking from the Midwest, the failure to apprehend the violators of the preserve serves notice that a shellfisherman can act with impunity when such a harvest must have been known at some shellfish wholesaler who made the money from the catch and did not care about the long-term consequences of this criminal act. More significantly, it destroys the social agreement that we are all in this effort to conserve and enhance resources together, and that acts to despoil such resources are selfish, short-sighted, despicable, and intolerable.
    I hope I will read in The Star that the police have solved the “crime” and made public the perpetrator of this truly terrible destruction of our singular efforts to enhance our sea resources.

PETER DONOHUE

Airport Resolutions
    Wainscott
    January 12, 2014

Dear David,
    I propose the following New Year’s resolutions for our town.
    1. Let’s limit the airport to noncommercial operations, as originally intended and only recently abandoned.
    2. Let’s hire an airport manager who is a member of the local community and understands the environmental legacy that has long been predominant here.
     However, if we cannot adopt those two, I propose a third: Close the airport and instantly solve all the problems it produces.

BARRY RAEBECK

Brutal Slaughter
    Hampton Bays
    January 13, 2014

Dear Editor,
    As a 44-year resident of Southampton who has done business and spent considerable time within the Town of East Hampton, I am appalled at the lack of sensitivity to public opinion and basic human decency displayed by local officials, who support the brutal slaughter of 3,000 deer, due to start in February.
    I understand what is going on here. Several years ago at a town board meeting, East Hampton Supervisor Wilkinson allowed me to be harassed and abused while exercising my right to free speech during a public hearing on controlling the deer population. I was continually interrupted and shouted down by several “gentlemen” who oozed rage and hatred for both the deer and those who spoke for them. It was more like a kangaroo hearing than a democratic process.
    Local officials have continued to align themselves with the special interests which support and engage in such disgraceful behavior to advance their flawed agendas. As public servants held to a higher standard, why do they fail to consider many relevant factors, such as a valid deer population count, a respect for our frail ecosystems and natural wildlife resources which drive our economy, the proven success of established birth control programs, the dangers of providing tainted venison permeated with lead, bacteria, and chemical toxins to our most vulnerable citizens via the food pantry route?
    Why are they aligned with an irresponsible outside agency which has no interest in our integrity or lifestyle and no relevant history with such an undertaking? Why do they ignore the majority and act with malice? These are serious questions and must be answered by those in charge.
    We must follow the money to find the truth and bring this slaughter to a halt. Until then, citizens must pay and pay and pay some more for this fiasco.

MARY JEAN GREEN

Parks for Deer
    East Quogue
    January 13, 2014

To the Editor:
    Opponents of the proposed deer cull should reflect on the fact that deer overpopulation is due to two main factors, the longstanding and ill-advised policy of the state Department of Environmental Conservation to increase deer habitat so as to maintain high populations for deer hunters, and the equally ill-advised practice of homeowners on the East End of creating more deer habitat by clearing their properties of undergrowth and unwanted plants, creating lawns with a few decorative shrubs where natural unruly woods previously existed.
    Deer like open areas with scattered trees, and they love low shrubbery the best. That’s why they love the pine barrens. But they especially love suburban development, with open lawns and artificial shrub planting, backed up by some trees so they can escape from people and hunters. Large-lot homes on the East End are just beautiful enticing parks for deer, so local residents shouldn’t be surprised when their plantings and gardens attract deer.
    Culling deer is no different from regulated deer hunting. If cull opponents were informed and serious about protecting wildlife, they would press for the restoration of natural habitat, i.e., woods, which would end the munching of planted gardens and shrubs and reduce the risk of Lyme disease by forcing deer out of their property and restoring their normal feeding habits.
    For cull opponents to support non-hunting population reduction indicates that they do not oppose ethical hunting per se. In the end, culling is the same thing but by other means. If you oppose culling you should oppose all hunting, period.

    Sincerely,
    LORNA SALZMAN

Atrocity Against Nature
    East Hampton
    January 13, 2014

Dear David,
    There is so much to say about this deer-culling issue that no one person could cover it all. I, however, am stymied from the very beginning. Do we have a deer population issue? I say no, the hunters say no, the only published numbers say no, in fact they show a large decline.
    Okay, let’s argue the fact that the numbers are from two separate methods of counting and the numbers the public has seen are relatively inconclusive. Then shouldn’t someone do a proper and conclusive count?
    A town or village that is concerned about the deer population and the community’s safety should do a count each year, which would not only show a proper decline or increase in population but dictate where crossing volume should be marked along roadways, for the safety of both the people and the wildlife. There is only one deer-crossing sign in the entire village, and it is as you exit the village just west of Green Hollow Road on 27. In fact, from Wainscott to Sandcastle Lane on Napeague (east of Amagansett) there is not one deer-crossing sign on 27 going east, and the same to the west except for the only one mentioned above.
    Now, that either means we do not have a deer-population issue, or someone is not being honest about being concerned for your safety, to the point that they are willing to mass-kill a species to cover their lie.
    Taking my photos down from the East Hampton Nature Trail kiosk was a no-brainer. How can the village possibly promote in good faith, a nature trail whose very wildlife you are destroying, whether you allow the cull to proceed inside or outside the nature trail itself. Hunting in the nature trail? Is this reality? The mayor won’t comment directly on the possibility, and that alone is despicable.
    I released two rescued fawns into the nature trail over the past summer. Two different does took them in and continue to frolic about the nature trail area. It’s their home, 100 years of sanctuary for wildlife, and the final jewel of East Hampton Village, so close to being tarnished forever.
    Anyone who grew up visiting the nature trail can understand the crime against the children’s future being committed with the village and town’s choice. That’s a lot of education destroyed, a very bad message, a waste of so many lives, and an atrocity against nature and man. Those who claim to have the right to make these decisions are as disillusioned as the idea itself.
    A village employee argued with me on the Internet, stating, “I’ve been here my whole life, you haven’t,” which was his way of justifying he was right and I was wrong. “The mayor does a great job for the village,” he concluded. I responded, “Besides the trash and dog shit-covered beaches and parks, complete lack of traffic enforcement, and now the mass killing of a living species for reasons not based on anything factual . . . you’re right, not a bad job at all.”
    Hope to see everyone against the kill at the rally this weekend.

    Thank you,
    DELL CULLUM

Are Thus Blocked
    East Hampton
    January 13, 2014

Dear Reader:
    I would like to join the discussion about culling our herds of deer. Yes, their natural predators are no longer here, and yes they like to use as fodder the plants that we put into the ground, and yes they sometimes jump in front of our autos when we are hurrying about. Also, deer are no more carriers of tick-borne diseases than are dogs or children; dogs and children and deer are all hosts of the ticks. The ticks are the carriers of the disease-causing spirochete.
    My contribution to the discussion will deal with the biology of chemical control of conception. The usual methods of chemical birth control used on mammals rely on hormones, particularly sex steroids, introduced into the females. One important problem with these hormone-delivery methods is the contamination of other species — plant and animal, terrestrial, and marine — by the hormone molecules themselves, which are highly conserved evolutionally and therefore affect virtually all living things. Hormones alter embryonic development across the bio-board, and are thought to cause the deformation recently seen in amphibians and the estrogenization of organisms up and down the food chain.
    The National Institute of Standards and Technology has partnered with the Humane Society of the United States for the past decade to develop an innovative method of birth control for wildlife. It is an immuno-contraceptive called porcine zona pellucida, or P.Z.P., which is a protein taken from pig eggs. Injected into female deer with darts, P.Z.P. elicits antibodies against sperm-recognition protein; sperm are thus blocked from entering the egg, thereby preventing conception.
    During trials, administration of one dose in the spring and another in the fall using the correct carrier solution resulted in a 72-percent reduction in deer births. In addition, females which were taken off the vaccine after four years successfully gave birth to healthy fawns.
    Two-shot vaccination programs, sponsored by the Humane Society, have been successful at blocking pregnancies in white-tailed deer and wild horses in many areas of the country. The P.Z.P. vaccine can be delivered easily by darts, cannot pass into the food chain, does not affect normal mating behavior, shows no side effects, and allows a return to fertility when no longer administered.
    It is to be hoped that cool heads and competent research will help us to solve the issue in a way that will satisfy both the humans and the deer.

    Most sincerely,
    PATRICIA HOPE

This Rush to Kill
    East Hampton
    January 12, 2014

To the Editor:
    The petition to stop the slaughter of thousands of East End deer has now garnered over 10,000 signatures in about four weeks. Citizens everywhere are up in arms, protesting this wild-west knee-jerk reaction of town supervisors, mayors, and their boards, after having been sold a bill of goods by Joe Gergela and the Long Island Farm Bureau, along with the United States Department of Agriculture, which employs professional killers to “manage” wildlife.
    They have gone around making outrageous and disputable claims concerning Lyme disease, deer-vehicle incidents, crop damage, without a shred of evidence to prove any of these fear-mongering demands for a cull. When evidence is presented by informed citizens and experts, who talk about the futility of such a cull because of the rebound effect, the scientific-based studies that refute the deer tick claims, the police records that show fewer vehicle-deer incidents, the aerial survey that shows fewer rather than more deer in East Hampton — that is all ignored and dismissed and the cry to kill, kill, kill grows even louder and more determined by ignorant, arrogant, elected officials who are not interested in facts. Remember the mushroom cloud?
    I have lived in East Hampton for 35 years. Never hit a deer, have a beautiful deer-proof unfenced garden, never bitten by a deer tick, and enjoy the presence of wildlife. These unfortunate creatures seem to have become a scape-goat for everything that ails East Enders. Statistical studies and hard evidence plus simple precautions, a bit of thought and awareness, a scientifically based long-term plan, and a major infusion of common sense and compassion are what is totally lacking here.
    Apropos of this rush to kill, an exciting item is just making news on the Internet: “The hot seat just got hotter for the rogue agency (the U.S.D.A.) that’s responsible for the cruel and indiscriminate killing of millions of animals every year in the U.S., following a request for an investigation and Congressional review made by two senators . . . .”
    The Department of Agriculture has a program to kill wild animals, around 1.5 million of them every year. Over the years it has killed 22 million animals, spanning 476 species. U.S. taxpayers fund the slaughter, but we aren’t allowed to know just what they’re paying for.
    Formerly known as Animal Damage Control, the program, now called Wildlife Services, exists to subsidize private businesses like farms and ranches. An example: a rancher who thinks wolves are attacking his herd can call in the government, and it will trap, poison, shoot from helicopters, or otherwise wipe out whatever wolves its personnel find nearby, just as though it were a private company working for a customer.
    It goes without saying that deer are frequent targets of their sharpshooters, and in our case part of a proposed multiyear killing spree targeting as many as 9,000 East End deer. So, in defiance of the will of the people, these are the killers that Mayor Rickenbach and Supervisor Cantwell want to invite into our community? Be careful of what you wish for.
    If you are as appalled and outraged as I am, be sure to come out for the Rally Against the Largest Deer Cull in New York State History, Saturday, Jan. 18, at 1 p.m. at the Hook Mill, across from Citarella. And be ready for a surprise announcement.

    ZELDA PENZEL
    Co-Founder
    Wildlife Preservation Coalition of
    Eastern Long Island

What a Rush!
    East Hampton
    January 13, 2014

To the Editor,
    My father, Mr. Link, recently wrote a letter for The East Hampton Star (in my opinion, the best periodical east of Speonk). Unfortunately, it was published, and I will never hear the end of it! At 89 years old, he is still busting my chops and bragging about his accomplishments. I apologize if his prose offended anyone. In reality, I don’t give a flying kite!
    All of his information was based on facts that I shared with him, just another computer glitch. Oh well, at least I was speaking to a human. Technology is ruining the world we live in, along with government sales of alcohol, promotion of lottery games, sales of cigarettes, and soon the legalization of illegal drugs. Tired? Have some coke! Hyper? Use some dope! Stressed? Puff some smoke! A female quote: Whatever. What a frocking racket! Lastly, they provide 1-800 numbers to ease one’s pain while the high and mighty profit handsomely. One day, a poor slob like me will be in charge. What a rush!
    I wonder if an incorporated hamlet could create a self-sustaining government, special bylaws and all. There would be no more megamillion summers. The heathen bridge to be built right before Pea Soup Pond in E. Ampton (not a misspelling) would provide peace and prosperity. Varying exits built along the way, each ending with a splash. All exit ramps east of the Big Beacon ending in, yes, that’s right, the big salty drink!
    I’ve been out here for 39 years and still cannot locate a beacon! What’s wrong with me? With deep ancestry in the Rough Riders, Teddy R. and Flagler too, my great-grandfather said, Head East. (It is on his tombstone, a rock, at the Stephen Talkhouse Cemetery). After crossing the Heathen Bridge, exit sign choices would be:
    • Drivers that should not be driving (leased or owned vehicles) — 1 South
    • Drivers who forgo using blinkers-directionals — 1 North
    • Double parkers delight — 2 South
    • Towns of: My elderly mother ran into, My companion ran into, My paraplegic dog had to use the sidewalk, or they’re just -— 2 North-truck route
    • Town of Ran into Starbucks — Route 14
    • Town of Ran into Gubbins — Route 13
    • Town of Ran into Fiero’s — Route 12
    • Town of We’re Special — Route WE/R
    • Double-spaced hounds-sideways parking — 3 North
    • Towns of Why does my truck door have multicolor paint on it — Scenic Overlook
    Just think, this would increase coral reef growth as well as deep water diving. I would be Jacques Cousteau, like explorers uncovering the past.
    Quickly, some non-car issues. For those who think that they can cross the street on your cellphone wherever and whenever they want, I have a solution. Installing conveyer walkways and building 18-foot wrought-iron fences, with spikes, too!
    F.Y.I. (true story), I once hit a well-built, short, stocky person, on Newtown Lane, of course, while he was on his cellphone. He said, “I wasn’t on my cell!” Now, with a busted headlight and a small dent, I halfway exited my truck to assist the poor soul. “Not to worry, I’m okay,” he said. Reassured, I wondered if I am okay.
    I hope, Dad, that this gets inked in the best periodical east of Speonk. I hate to promise you that I will take you to Shinnecock Hills also! You know, Dad, neither one of us will live forever. Labels, promises, and pharmaceutical companies. What a wonderful world.

    Just another Joe,
    Sincerely,
    WILLIAM LINK

Nothing to Do With It
    Springs
    January 9, 2014

Dear Editor,
    The whole world fell apart today as Chris Christie held a long response to the accusations that he purposely caused traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge for two days and nights because he was angry at the mayor for not backing him on his run for governor. His reply was he had nothing to do with it. He fired his campaign manager and took total responsibility, saying the buck stops here. Notice he took responsibility and fired someone, who was downright dumb for the fiasco she caused and even dumber leaving a paper trail.
    Now I am not a Christie backer, but the news TV liberals couldn’t wait to jump on this, taking all eyes off of Bob Gates’s book (“Duty”). President claimed anger over Benghazi, where four Americans were murdered. The N.S.A. spying on the American people. Fast and Furious, our border patrol officer killed with guns Obama and the D.O.J. idiot sold and couldn’t keep track of. The I.R.S. partying hardy on the taxpayers dime. Etc., etc., the list goes on and on and no one held responsible, no one fired and everyone promoted or on leave with pay. Transparent, never happened, the sneakiest and untruthful group of politicians that ever held office.
    While the country is falling apart, people and families not knowing where to turn, the first family goes on a 15-day vacation on us the real taxpayer and Mrs. Obama decides to stay. It will cost the taxpayer $400,000 to fly her home on a military plane. Couldn’t she hire Jet Blue or whatever airline takes that route for a lot less? Guess not, she enjoys rubbing it up the common people’s nose. She could have even received a ride from her rich buddies and their private planes.

    For God and this country,
    BEA DERRICO

Anti-American Doctrine
    East Hampton
    January 11, 2014

Dear Editor,
    There is something profoundly disturbing about the insanity surrounding birth control and abortion in this country. The logic of birth control is so simple it becomes incomprehensible. With 50 million people on food stamps we should be discussing population control theory. The fewer children we have, the more care we can give the others. The more care they get, the better they function. Less crime, less dysfunction, fewer starving children. It’s only rocket science if you are a blithering idiot or a conservative Republican.
    Abortion is less logical, more complicated, yet self-evident. Some people have a genuine belief that abortion is a form of killing. Where that belief comes from has no relevance. The validity of their position has no argument. They should in no way participate in the abortion process.
    Yet their view is not universally shared, nor is it imposed in Western cultures. The U.S. is unique in its opposition to abortion and contraception. It is the same kind of opaque uniqueness that categorizes the vast majority of our problems.
    Right to life is perhaps the most anti-American doctrine since communism. The dilemma surrounding our so-called Christian nation is that we are addicted to violence, killing, beating the crap out of each other. More wars, more deaths, more rapes than anyone else by miles.
    Think Indians, slaves, Iraqis, immigrants of all sizes and colors. Think Newtown, Columbine, and how we embraced and dealt with the problem. Why would anyone give a rat for the unborn when we never gave one about the living?
    From outside the plastic box, our anti-abortion mantra is a joke. A quasi-deranged excursion into the mindless fantasy of America as a moral force in the universe. One would think that the old days of women bleeding to death in crackpot abortion basements or having their insides destroyed would appeal to our natural instincts, however base they might be.
    Abortions will happen no matter who performs them. Who pays the freight has no relevance. So what is the deal with our conservative congressmen who press relentlessly to limit contraception and eliminate abortion? Are they really commies in disguise trying to undermine the American dream? Would they force us to be something we aren’t? We are a nation of soldiers. People with millions of guns that love to shoot each other. We love drones and A-bombs and the death penalty. What’s the big deal about a few hundred thousand abortions?
    It is difficult to find anything less relevant in the U.S. political spectrum than the “right-to-life” movement. That our politicians embrace and champion it brings into question if they might not have the same level of relevance, or is it irrelevance?

NEIL HAUSIG

Incentive to Work
    East Hampton
    January 8, 2014

Dear Editor,
    Unemployment insurance: an incentive not to work, or supplemental income to replace income from a lost job for which we were taxed and paid while we did work and to carry us while we look for another job??
    Conservative Republicans believe the former, progressive Democrats believe the latter.
    The Rush Limbaughs of the world believe that unemployment insurance is paying people not to work. The incentive to work is lost when people receive
unemployment insurance for a longer period than states allow — this from Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.
    I never met a person who was happier to receive an unemployment check than a paycheck, said President Obama.
    There are three people for every open job in the country. People who worked for years and years are suddenly thrown out of work during the worst economic downturn in decades. How do they pay their mortgage? How do they put food on the table, buy gas for their cars, pay the college tuition while they look for work?
    Should we help them, or let them wallow in their misery? Your choice!
    Oh, they can take a low-paying job at a fast-food joint, $7.25 an hour! So raise the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour. Noooo, say the same Repubs.
    So, folks, another year of Republicans hard at work (97 work days) passing bills to destroy the Health Care Act and overturn Roe vs. Wade, but nothing to help increase jobs or to help the poor and middle-class stagnant wage levels.
    Let’s just keep ranting about Ben­ghazi, presidential vacations, health care, and nonexistent voter fraud. That will solve all our problems.
RICHARD P. HIGER