Letters to the Editor: 02.13.14

Our readers' comments

Class of ’74 Reunion
    East Hampton
    February 10, 2014

Dear David,
    Did you ever spend “Midnight at the Oasis” with Maria Muldaur, or go for a ride on “The Loco-Motion” with Grand Funk Railroad? Was your senior play “My Sister Eileen,” starring Miriam Markowitz and Nancy MacGarva? If the answer is yes, get ready for the East Hampton High School Class of 1974 40th Class Reunion on Sept. 20, 2014, at the South Fork Country Club in Amagansett.

    The reunion committee is encouraging all members of the class of 1974 to send their contact information to ehhs­classof1974@gmail.com and to visit our group on Facebook: East Hampton High School Class of 1974. The committee is encouraging all members of the Class of 1974 to spread the word and help to make our reunion a success.

    For those who prefer snail mail‚ please contact Dai Dayton, P.O. Box 1263, Bridgehampton 11932. We look forward to seeing all of you at the reunion.

    Very truly yours,
    For the E.H.H.S. Class of 1974
    Reunion Committee

Great Snow Removal
    East Hampton
    February 10, 2014

To the Editor,
    I would like to thank Stephen Lynch and the highway department for the great work they have been doing in road snow removal.


CVS: It’s Not Enough
    East Hampton
    February 9, 2014

To the Editor:
    Patrons should of course seek out management at the East Hampton CVS and say how pleased they are with the new national policy decision to ban cigarettes and tobacco products from all stores, but they should also take a look at how sweets have taken over aisles, even those designated for other items. An area dedicated to baby needs has now turned over shelves to Valentine candies, and chocolate Easter bunnies have already begun to appear.

    There is no need to get competitive and wonder which is worse: addiction to smoking or to sweets. But surely in a nation where studies show the increasing growth of obesity among schoolchildren, it’s not enough to praise a company that says it will ban tobacco (in October!) if at the same time that company continues to offer high-calorie candy as part of a growing trend to offer food to low-income customers.


High-Tension Wires
    East Hampton
    February 9, 2014

Dear Editor,
    My name is Sarah Forst and I am 11 years old. I am concerned that I could get cancer, leukemia, or brain tumors, and I would die a tortuous death because our elected officials have allowed PSEG to install high-tension wires through our neighborhoods.

    The residents of East Hampton Village and East Hampton Town want our representatives to help us stop PSEG from installing these high-tension wires until a safer plan is made.

    One of my friend’s bedroom is less than 25 feet from the proposed wire. Can you honestly say to her face that she doesn’t need to worry about getting sick once the wires go live?


Very Precious Water
    East Hampton
    February 10, 2014

Dear Editor,
    Sixteen million gallons more!

    The beautiful greens of the Maidstone Club golf course already demand
nine million gallons of water a year from our aquifer. If the East Hampton Village Zoning Board grants them the right to build the irrigation system of their dreams, it will require 25 million gallons!

    That’s a lot of very precious water.

    As a devotee of all the natural wonders that make East Hampton singular and the next-door-neighbor to the Nature Trail, I am worried that this will one day threaten our groundwater, including of course, the delightful duck pond.

    Not to mention clearing two acres of scrub brush that took 70 to 80 years to mature, for a new reservoir. What will happen to the wildlife and birds that take refuge there?

    Thank you,

A Possible 7-Eleven
    February 9, 2014

Dear David,
    For a second time, Amagansett is possibly going to get a 7-Eleven store where the Villa Prince restaurant used to be. The store was left to Yvonne Principi Velasquez when her uncle died. In February 2011, I brought the same issue of chain stores to that town board, which consisted of Dominick Stanzione, Bill Wilkinson, Theresa Quigley, Julia Prince, and Pete Hammerle. Evidently, nothing was done legally to stop franchise stores from coming to Amagansett nor was there any discussion of site plan review triggers requested by Julia Prince. That board had an opportunity to regulate what legally happens in our town and they did nothing.

    Last week Tom Prieato, chief building inspector, issued a building permit enabling the conversion of the old Villa Prince restaurant into a 7-Eleven. Mr. Prieato discussed this with the town attorney’s office (according to The Independent newspaper, John Jilnicki) and came up with the decision that this was a permitted use. Mr. Jilnicki should have recused himself from that discussion as he did the 555 discussion before the town board in 2013, because Principi had been a client of his in the past.

    Mr. Prieato’s comment that the main thing he looks at is the code certainly doesn’t take into consideration all the legal aspects of allowing a chain store franchise to open here. He is not checking out the impact on other local businesses in the area, the rural character of Amagansett, the diverseness of the community, traffic studies that should be done, and adhering to the comprehensive plan of 2005. Even our state assemblyman, Fred Thiele, has tried to put forth legislation for limiting formula stores on the East End.

    Chain stores would change the visual and economic landscape of the town. The East Hampton Town Code has triggers for fast-food establishments that prohibit drive-up windows, which many fast-food chains find essential. Now with the arrival of a possible second 7-Eleven store in town, our town board needs to address the issue and adopt code changes dealing with formula businesses. Even Port Jefferson, in 2000, changed its code, and so can our East Hampton Town.


The Next Hot Site
    New York City
    February 10, 2014

Dear Editor:
    Not content with despoiling our beaches, shattering the quiet of our neighborhoods, and cramming once-spacious tree-laden lots with gigantic, clunky, cookie-cutter houses, the greedy entrepreneurs from everywhere have seized on Amagansett East as the next hot site for a 7-Eleven.

    One might almost be tempted to say good riddance: let their whole house of cards tumble down around them when this last of the once cherished getaway hamlets on New York’s piece of the Atlantic Ocean becomes just another ho-hum suburb, and the tourists and second-home owners who have fueled the economy seek getaways that have retained their charm. Happily, local residents, both full timers and second-home owners, with equal parts of love for this place and determination to save it, refuse to let it go peacefully.

    With renewed hope, given the new administration, that our struggles can prevail, we implore our town leaders to do everything possible to send this ungraceful, unneeded, and inappropriate private franchiser packing. If that is not legally possible, we must make sure that in architecture, landscaping, lighting, and signage this private money-making project is compatible with preservation of our community’s rural flavor as set forth in our comprehensive plan.

    Communities all over the country have pursued such efforts successfully with franchise stores, and some specifically with 7-Eleven; East Hampton, famous and rewarded for its foresighted preservation efforts, can not afford to do less.

    Sincerely yours,

Providing the Details
    East Hampton
    February 10, 2014

To the Editor,
    Perhaps there is a price to pay for a return to complacence at East Hampton Town Hall. Delegation of the town board’s responsibilities will be the new method. If practiced sufficiently we may not even know if and when a town manager is implemented.

    An example is the increase in the unexamined cost of appraisals for the purchase of land from the community preservation fund budget. It has almost doubled, from $40,000 in 2013 to $75,000 this year. When asked about it at a public meeting, Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc blithely offered “We intend to buy more land.” While that answer may or may not be accurate, it does not answer the question of why the town board, guardian of the taxpayer dollar, would want a department head to make the vastly increased expenditures, instead of itself doing a review and voting on them. In tough fiscal times a careful town board would want to examine discretionary spending, not sweep it out of sight.

    Another example is the appointment this year of the harbormaster Ed Michels as head of an amalgamation called public safety. Since the appointment creates another level of bureaucracy within town government, and buffers the town board from direct interaction with issues, it raises the question of why. We don’t know, because the appointment was made as part of a resolution establishing town department heads’ remuneration for 2014 without any other explanation.

    The people of East Hampton should expect hands-on government from their elected officials. Providing the details of why things are done is part of the job. The time for a new administration to set a standard for open efficiency is at the start.


Save Our Swans
    East Hampton
    January 30, 2014

Dear Sir,
    I understand from The Star that there is a move afoot to eradicate the mute swans. I think this is a dumb idea.

    The swans are said to be proliferating. To my eye, exercised over 64 years, they are not. Perhaps it is time for a swan-upping. It is argued that they are nonnative. So are most of us. They are said to be overaggressive. Maybe so, in matters of real estate, but then so are we. They are said to pollute the waters. There are, however, many more ducks. The real polluters are you and me. Perhaps it is time for a human culling. I am sure that the Maidstone Gun Club would be able to organize something.

    Before proceeding further, we might bring to mind the words of the timeless Orlando Gibbons madrigal:

The silver swan, who living had no note,
When death approached unlocked her silent throat,
Leaning her breast against the reedy shore
Thus sung her first and last, and sung no more:
“Farewell all joys, O death come close mine eyes,
More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise.”

    Save Our Swans.

    Yours sincerely,

Mute Swan Contract
    February 1, 2014

Dear David,
    It appears that one of your readers would like to put out a mute swan contract on me. He thinks I do not love Italians. Ridiculous. I married two.

    Your reader doesn’t know that my late grandmother, who I compared to a recently retired local politician, lived in Todt Hill on Staten Island. She was adored by her neighbors: John Gotti sent flowers to the funeral. She had tried to make him gnocchi. He forgave.

    If you choose to serve the people, the people have the right to weigh in. Right? Right.

    All good things,

Viable Alternative
    East Hampton
    February 8, 2014

Dear David,
    In the Feb. 6 issue of The Star, you wrote an editorial titled ‘Reprieve for Deer Is Not an Answer.’ The reasons you gave for needing to reduce the deer population are consistent with what I wrote in my letter that was in the Jan. 23 issue. But I’m disappointed that when you wrote that there has been no viable alternative to the cull put forth so far, you didn’t suggest the PZP dart-delivered vaccine as a viable alternative to consider.

    In my letter, I referred to an article worth reading, and gave a link to it. Apparently the link was too long to be printed, so alternatively, go to www.humanesociety.org, type in the search box at the top “PZP deer control,” and click on the article “Controlling Deer Populations Humanely.” Aside from stating that only one treatment is now necessary, and giving a link to the scientific study done on Fire Island, it mentions that in a study done on Fripp Island, S.C., the deer population was decreased by almost 60 percent within five years.

    I’m not opposed to regulated private hunting, where the meat of the killed animal is used for food. But a mass slaughter by U.S.D.A. sharpshooters is something else. Very little if any of the meat would go to food pantries, but rather would be disposed of as garbage.

    I know that this humane alternative would take longer to accomplish the needed result, but with appropriate modifications to our actions, we could live with that. This is a more sustainable method with a much lower downside risk than periodic slaughters. That is besides the expense of fighting lawsuits, where already a state temporary restraining order has been issued against the cull. More attention and study should be given to this seemingly viable method of deer control.


God’s Creatures Too
    February 8, 2014

To the Editor:
    To be honest, I really do not like deer. Yes, I know they were here in Montauk long before I arrived. Yes, they are indeed cute creatures, and many do look just like Bambi. Unfortunately, they poop all over my lawn, eat my flowers, even those that are supposedly deer-proof, and they do their best to run into my pickup when I drive around town.

    I really don’t care too much about damaging my vehicle because I do have insurance, but I am worried about hitting a deer and having it come through the windshield and decapitate me. I usually worry about this issue when I am doing 55 miles an hour on the Napeague stretch in the evening.

    I have just read that East Hampton Town and East Hampton Village will not participate in the proposed deer cull, and it’s pretty obvious why this decision was made. One has to applaud the perseverance and organizational acumen of the anti-cull activists in stopping the slaughter of these innocent creatures. Their public protests, petitions, and lawsuit definitely played a major role in stopping the slaughter.

    Perhaps these activists could now channel their newly honed skills and great energy into stopping the torture and maiming of innocent men, women, and children in Syria or the ongoing genocide in the Congo. After all, human beings are God’s creatures too.


Two ‘Political’ Things
    East Hampton
    February 10, 2014

Dear David,
    Just read the long series of letters about the deer population. The cull is taking place, not with rifles, but with bitter cold and snow. There were five deer poaching the bird feed behind our house. This a.m., it was down to two. My wife, Carol, thought it was the rifle cull, but it clearly is not.

    Why is it humane to let deer die of starvation and exposure when the population reaches a point where they become nuisances? In the true natural order, the wolf population would kill and eat the infirm, sickly, and old deer. We cannot afford a wolfpack now, unless we want everyone to give up walks in the woods and jogging in more isolated areas. White-tailed deer were gone from Long Island by the end of colonial times and were reintroduced a little more than 100 years ago. Now there are too many for the available natural resources. What is the solution? Culling with rifles by professionals is an efficient way to do so.

     As you know, the anthropogenic global warming (or climate change, depending on the weather) people have been dividing the population into believers and deniers, something too close to the Koran’s writings to leave me comfortable with their use. Now, it depends on your time frame and what you are trying to describe. A long-term view shows over the last three million years, the global climate is pretty much the same. Periods of major glaciation dominating the earth for 100,000 years at a time, followed by 15,000 to 20,000 years warm. Right now, it is in the last 2,000 or so years of a typical warm period. If you are comparing the last 500 years, it is recent weather.

    Warmists think that CO2 is what drives warmth. No, CO2 is a trailing indicator, by 400 to 800 years. Earth warms, later the CO2 increases. The primary greenhouse gas in our atmosphere is water vapor. Water vapor accounts for 95 percent of the greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide, a little less than 4 percent, all other greenhouse gasses just over 1 percent. Carbon dioxide is primarily from natural sources, and all humanity produces .28 percent of the greenhouse effect with our CO2. Not very impressive, is it?

    Further, CO2 in the atmosphere has a logarithmic effect. That is, as the amount increases, the effect decreases until no matter how much you add, there is no more retained heat. The reason is that CO2 is effective in the infrared area of the spectrum. That is the low end of the energy scale, and is quite limited. Once all that energy is affected there can be no more change. The CO2 takes up energy in small amounts, the molecule vibrating more and more strongly, and when saturated it releases that energy all at once, and fully half that energy heads for deep space. It may take a couple of cycles, but it is radiated into space nonetheless.

    Basically, CO2 has almost no measureable effect on climate, but it is affected by climate. Further, it is vital to life on earth. The blue-green algae and photosynthetic plants need it to convert to their carbon-based cells and release the oxygen for us to breathe. At 200 parts per million photosynthesis stops, and we die. At 1,000 p.p.m., plants grow lush, crop yields go up, and desertification of marginal lands stops. We are at about 400 p.p.m. right now.

    There is no need to “do” anything about CO2, there will be no 12 inches of sea level rise by the end of the century, there is no chance that the Antarctic ice cap will melt. There will be a Greenland ice cap for longer than humanity has had writing. Even if that were not so, India and China are building hundreds of coal-fired electrical generating plants, ones that do pollute with photochemical smog and sulfur. It is already returning smog to California. And produce more CO2 than we could possibly sequester.

    I find it very strange that these two things should be political. One, we can resolve, that’s the deer overpopulation, and could do it more humanely that letting them starve, be hit by cars and trucks, and die of exposure. Then there is an imagined problem with climate that we cannot affect (except, to a limited degree, local climate), because we simply do not have the technology, and are divided completely on the right thing to do had we the capability.

    They should be apolitical, based on fact and reasonable decisions arrived at. Remember, deer are not people and are not emotional surrogates. Climate, recognize that we are in for the ride, best hang on and not pretend we can change weather, much less climate.


Mixed Genes
    East Hampton
    February 10, 2014

Dear David,
    Noted today that the Denmark zoo euthanized a “perfectly healthy” giraffe because of “too many mixed genes.”

    Oh, really!

    Here we go again?


Feral Cat Poem #69
In the igloo,
Trying to stay warm,
Telling scaredycat stories

Local lady
Used to put out two bowls
Of supper on her porch
Each night

One for a feral cat,
The other for a coon.

When she saw
The coon was eating
The cat’s food too
She quit putting out
The bowls.

Next night,
The coon ate the cat.


Football Concussions
    East Rockaway
    February 7, 2014

Dear Editor,
    Now that the Super Bowl is behind us perhaps we can get back to the reality of football. Football is a killer!

    The PBS program “Frontline” aired a series of documentaries titled “The League of Denial.” The league of denial is obviously the National Football League. There are currently about 50 professional players who have either committed suicide or died from a brain disease that directly resulted from repeated football-related concussions. The N.F.L. claims they have been studying this issue and be assured, they will continue to study this matter until all the owners have sold their teams and cashed in.

    This documentary should be required viewing by every young man and his parents before they are allowed to play football. It should be viewed by the entire high school athletic staff. Medically, it is also strongly recommended that no young boy play any kind of football until they reach the age of 14.

    Was anyone aware that the billions in profits that the N.F.L. racks up are tax-free? This reader didn’t know that — did you? Young men and women are doing just fine playing baseball, tennis, soccer, and lacrosse.

    Be really smart! Dump football!


Just Hot Air
    East Hampton
    February 2, 2014

Dear Editor,
    Did it ever occur to you anti-Obama people out there that you are ineffective and totally impotent with zero impact on the events and policies of the day?

    Do you really believe that picking out and ranting about the president’s golf vacations, his wife’s cost of flying home from Hawaii, supporting 40 House votes on the failure of the Affordable Health Care Act, dwelling on the mistakes of the past at Benghazi, to hurt Hillary, and other such useless, time-wasting and picayune subjects will change anything?

    Barack Obama is our president. He will be president until 2016. Calling him names and constantly complaining about his policies without offering others in their place is just hot air.

    The country is doing quite well, thank you: The recession has been blocked, the auto industry is thriving, the stock market has tripled, the unemployment rate has dropped, the deficit is halved, wars have ended, al Qaeda is less of a threat, Iran is not making a bomb, Benghazi is done and seen for the mistake it was, people have health care they never had before — not a great job, you say?

    Well, offer another way. Come out and vote in 2014 and 2016. Just don’t try to limit the voting rights of others.

    The country must now turn inward to address its many internal problems, hopefully most of which it will solve if we can get the jackasses in Congress and Republican legislatures around the country to leave the abortion issue and health care for awhile, stop trying to destroy Hillary (which will not happen), and concentrate on creating jobs and dealing with climate change, the drought, voting rights, etc. and repairing our infrastructure.

    If the sole and lingering problems of the country have now dwindled down to whether a governor is a bully and a liar we must be in good shape. So quit these abominably scripted, repetitive soundbites and yacking about dead issues and face up to who our president is and will be for three more years, and work to make him better with positive criticism because then your life and that of your family will be better.