Letters to the Editor: 02.27.14

Our readers' comments

A Happy Occasion
    Amagansett
    February 22, 2014

Dear David,
    Bravo, Brava, to the handsome Dell Cullum, the beauteous Deb Klughers, the estimable Larry Cantwell, the trustees, the litter committee, and all those saintly volunteers who cleaned the shoreline today.
    What a happy occasion: Sea gulls puffed with pride, my dog’s tail looked like a helicopter blade. I doubt heaven will provide a nicer sight. Thank you!
    In my volunteer capacity as common whipper (an enforcement position of the trustees a few centuries back), I will happily thrash any miscreant who defiles what these glorious people have accomplished. Got that?

    All good things,
    DIANA WALKER

Lighthouse of Security
    San Francisco
    February 20, 2014

Dear David,
    I like words. Numbers scare me.
    How fortunate I was to have Mr. Barnett as my first math teacher in high school. He took the mystery out of math and distilled it down to logic. When I felt confused and anxious in freshman year geometry class, he reassured me in his calm voice with, “Look, it’s pure definition.”
    Countless times I walked up to his desk, lost at sea. He had an uncanny ability to point instantly to the one erroneous calculation in the midst of my messy scribble-scrabbled paper. I would never have been brave enough to continue math all the way through Honors Calculus (I forget what they actually called it way back then) without Mr. Barnett as my lighthouse of illumination and security.
    Now, when I sit down with my son for math homework and he’s panicked by the volume of a cylinder, I say, “Look, it’s pure definition.” And hope that my voice conveys the same reassurance and faith in his ability to master the subject as Mr. Barnett’s.
    I wish I hadn’t waited this long to voice my appreciation.

    Sincerely,
    LYNN HOLLENBECK
    E.H.H.S. ’79

Eleanor (Chip) Leaver
    East Hampton
    February 21, 2014

Dear David and East End Community,
    It was 35 years ago in the early fall at about 6 a.m. that I first met Eleanor (Chip) Leaver. There was a fog as thick as the mists arising from Avalon, and I could barely see two feet in front of myself. I was so transfixed by the wonder of the air that I had taken my cup of coffee out of the house and begun to wander through the oak trees of Deep Six Drive in my long, striped caftan (those were the late ’70s and I still had some style left over from the ’60s). In the middle of the street I encountered an apparition in a full-length cotton crimson robe, with coffee cup in hand. It was love at first sight, and from then on Chip and I were practically joined at the hip.
    I fell head over heels with her love for life, her exuberance, and her tremendous talent as an artist for capturing scenes of the East End in pen and ink. From a duo we became a trio, then a quartet, a quintet, and finally a sextet as other residents from Deep Six threw their talents into the mix. We stuck in there as she founded the East End Artists Alliance, as we planned and decorated for the Red and Black balls held for several years at Guild Hall in the winters, and put together art exhibitions and sales throughout the town through the years.
    Particularly of note were her biweekly “prayer meetings,” held at her home in Springs with many glasses of wine enjoyed as we discussed our lives, families, and friends. Heady stuff in those years, as we all loved this town and its mystique, and did our best to add to its rich history.
    Though a part of Chip left us on Feb. 16, her life and spirit are with us now in our much enriched lives. Her exquisite works are owned and cherished by many in this community. Wherever she has gone, we are sure she is still planning events and sharing her spirit with any who will join in the merriment.

     Much love and many thanks,
    DAVID WILT and
    Meg Gage, Pam Focarino,
    Pat Schrage, and Cyndi Loewen
    
Something Special
    East Hampton
    February 22, 2014

Dear David,
    I just wanted to tell you how much pleasure I get from Durell Godfrey’s photographs. She has the extraordinary ability to see something special in whatever her subject might be. I always do a double take and have a second look whenever I see her photographs, and spend extra time looking at them. In my opinion, she is a tremendous asset to The Star.

NATALIE HAHN

Had Been Hacked
    East Hampton
    February 23, 2014

Dear David,
    I am grateful and you were extremely thoughtful to take the time to call me to advise me (early in the day) that my computer — all mailing addresses and emails both sent and received — had been hacked. (Noted by you in a communication received by The Star over my name.)
    Elaine Jones and Melanie Ross contacted me that day as well as to the fraudulent email that asked for money because I was allegedly stuck in the Philippines.
    I am here, not there, and hope no one was a victim of that fraudulent communication.
    Moreover, should this happen to any of your readers, I was told by the town police that people who receive fraudulent communications had to report them, not the sender. Both Elaine and Melanie said they would do so.
    So thank you, David. Thank you, Elaine, and thank you, Melanie. Like everything else in life, computers do have their downside.

    Sincerely,
    LONA RUBENSTEIN

People With Brooms
    East Hampton
    February 24, 2014

To the Editor,
    I was watching the Olympics and curling came on. More boring than reruns of Lawrence Welk and do the people with brooms really get a gold medal? If so, I think I’m going to curl, or do I mean hurl.

FRANK ACKLEY

Caring Community
    Montauk
    February 24, 2014

To the Editor,
    I have found Montauk a helping, caring community with many unsung heroes. Art Lucas is one of them. You need him, he comes — especially if you’re old and alone.

JOHN WINSTON

A Horrible Shock
    East Hampton
    February 24, 2014

Dear Editor,
    By now, most East Hampton residents have seen the devastating six-mile line of massive transmission poles rapidly being installed by PSEG in our beautiful town.
    If you’ve somehow missed it, take the six-mile drive and be prepared for a horrible shock.
    Two hundred sixty-four 60-foot poles have been installed on small town lanes, along open farmlands, and on our village streets. No one section of our town has been spared! The poles are as close as 25 feet to our children’s bedroom and are also blighting our scenic open vistas.
    The tiny group SAVE EH: Safe Responsible Energy, has managed to draw attention to this travesty on both a local and statewide level. Our East Hampton Town Supervisor Cantwell, Senator LaValle, Fred Thiele, and Governor Cuomo have begun to listen. We need all town support to stop the poles and bury the transmission lines! This is 2014, not the 1950s. This is the most responsible way to protect our families, our health, provide reliable power, and preserve our town’s future.
    Please write to these politicians and tell them stop the poles and bury the transmission lines!
    Go to facebook.com/saveeh to sign our petition, and email the governor now!

    Sincerely,
    TERRI RAUCH

A Livable Community
    East Hampton
    February 23, 2014

Dear Editor,
    When village residents woke up to the installation of PSEG high-voltage electric lines running right through their neighborhood, they became the latest residents to experience the relentless suburbanization of East Hampton. Where, they asked, were their public officials when all of this happened? How did the horse get out of the barn?
    The answer: No public official in East Hampton has a solution to the relentless destructive pressure of suburbanization on the quality of life here.
    Is there a solution? Yes.
    Both the village board and the town board cannot just react to the destruction after it happens or throw up their hands and claim to be powerless when it happens without their consent. They need a new strategy.
    The old strategy was articulated by Debbie Foster. Addressing the town board, she said these power lines are not in keeping with our traditional values. She overlooked the fact that the process of relentless suburbanization doesn’t care about our traditional values. It has its own rules.
    There was an opportunity last year when federal funds were being allocated to Hurricane Sandy-impacted communities to raise the issue of burying the power lines, but there wasn’t a strategy or even a political willingness to raise the issue to public attention. I believe the Democrats, with the support of this newspaper, were running on the civility platform. Nary a word to the lambs concerning the PSEG lion.
    When I recently met with the supervisor, I tried to convince him that when you face a superior enemy you have to try to maneuver him onto a more advantageous field of combat. Look at what Google did to Microsoft! I suggested to him that we could attack the problem of relentless suburbanization by reining in the dominance of the automobile.
    And yes, there is a way to do that, it’s called using alternative modes of transportation to create livable communities. Give people another option to getting in their automobiles to do things. It is being done successfully to preserve communities throughout the United States. Small ones like Jackson Hole, Wyo., and big ones like (duh) New York City.
    Once people in a small town see how much happier they are with a livable community, a power company has no chance of running a high-voltage power line through that community without having to address public concern, because people are more aware and will unite to protect their livable community. Look what LILCO had to do with Shoreham.
    The supervisor thought my coming to see him was all about advocacy for a low-priority group that wants to ride their bicycles around East Hampton. “You want some kind of crazy bicycle plan and you want me to commit to pay for that in next year’s budget?” I reminded him of that crazy plan to buy land with a 2-percent tax on property transfers.
    Yes, I want East Hampton to rein in relentless suburbanization. I want to be able to walk to the supermarket, ride a bicycle to the library, live in a community where people come before power lines, where it is safe to cross 27 to the post office, and where the public is inspired by public officials to move forward. I do not want to live in a community where public officials think it is “crazy” to spend money on a plan to make East Hampton more livable.
    My challenge to Mr. Cantwell is just this: Should we be cynical about the future or should we be inspired? What’s your plan for making East Hampton a livable community?

PAUL FIONDELLA

PSEG: Stop and Talk
    Amagansett
    February 24, 2014

To the Editor:
     If you are as ancient as I am, you might remember a headline in Newsday in the ’60s: “LILCO, the Highest Paid and Worst Managed Utility in the U.S.A.!” A little later, after the Shoreham nuclear fiasco, we go on to LIPA, which we all know maintained the mantle of incompetence, as recently shown during Sandy.
    It was clear to Albany and us 1.1 million customers that LIPA could not plan, execute, and deal with day-to-day management. Therefore, after an unsuccessful run of National Grid management with LIPA oversight, it was decided to essentially cut LIPA, a part of the state bureaucracy, out of the decision process and give it over, lock, stock, and barrel, to PSEG Long Island, a unit of a for-profit utility management company in New Jersey. With strong support from Governor Cuomo, we are being serviced by a privatized utility with little oversight. And that is the problem.
    Therefore when we woke up a few weeks ago to see ugly 60-foot poles  being erected in East Hampton and Amagansett with no consideration for what the impact of this action would be on small residential neighborhoods, various historic homes, and other assaults on our lovely environment, we were in a state of disbelief. It seems that during the previous administration, a permit was issued by the highway superintendent and was never brought to the town board for discussion.
    Despite this gloomy picture, there may be some reason for hope. Last Friday’s Newsday headline: “Feds Increase Funding to Upgrade Electric Grid,”  reported that the government has added $730 million to the Sandy funds, to, among other items, “elevate damaged substations, bury power lines. “This money is to be allocated to PSEG, and as the article states, “Cuomo’s office is reviewing the prospect that some of the funding could be used to address a controversial PSEG project in East Hampton, where residents and the town supervisor have requested that new transmission wires on taller poles be stopped and buried underground.”
    It is clear that Larry Cantwell’s letter has had its impact, but we can all add momentum to his request to the governor to direct PSEG to stop and talk with the town officials and come to a more equitable solution. A similar situation regarding above ground-underground installation occurred last year in South­ampton, and after discussion between the town and PSEG’s predecessor a satisfactory compromise was reached.
    That is what we want from PSEG. You are urged to contact the governor and voice your concern and displeasure at governor.ny.gov.

IRVING HIRSCHBERG

Get the Lines Buried
    East Hampton
    February 24, 2014

Dear David,
    Thank you for your coverage of the six-mile long project currently being undertaken by PSEG Long Island. It is important for our community members to know exactly what this project entails.
    This project includes an upgrade to the transmission line that runs from East Hampton to Amagansett. PSEG Long Island has begun erecting huge, unsightly utility poles throughout our town in order to bring new transmission lines from substation to substation.
    It is mind-boggling that they have chosen to bring this new transmission line through small neighborhoods and along narrow side streets instead of down major corridors that already exist. But the biggest frustration is that PSEG is using very old technology to carry out a project that was designed to upgrade service to our area. It is widely known that putting utility lines underground is a safer and more reliable means of providing power to communities.
    When asked why the utility poles would not be buried during a meeting back in September of 2013, I was told that it would be too cost-prohibitive to do it that way. Unfortunately, we weren’t given any exact figures and weren’t allowed any opportunity to offer feedback regarding the project. The utility company already had their plans well laid out and didn’t seem to want any input.
    It is encouraging to see that our elected town officials, especially Larry Cantwell, have stated that they support our efforts to stop this project from going further and agree with our concerns. I urge all residents of East Hampton to speak up against this project and help get the transmission lines buried. We need everyone to write letters to our government officials asking for their help. Please visit our Facebook page, SaveEastHampton: Safe, Responsible Energy, for information regarding petitions you can sign and contact information for officials.
    Stop the Poles! Bury the Lines!

    Sincerely,
    NANCY MILLER McMULLAN

Halt, Remove, Bury
    East Hampton
    February 24, 2014

To the Editor:
    I am writing about the latest assault against our comprehensive plan, not to mention the safety of our residents, posed by the PSEG poles currently being erected next to our houses and along our scenic farm lands. They mar our scenic vistas, those clearly intended to be protected by the comprehensive plan. They pose risks to the safety of the children and other residents of the houses situated so close to these gargantuan objects — they could topple in a major hurricane, taking lives and property, and they will be carrying significant excess voltage which could pose health issues.
    Questions need to be answered regarding how and why this happened without a proper and thorough analysis of their impact on the comprehensive plan and the safety of our residents. And why aren’t Sandy funds being used to bury them as in other parts of Long Island?
    These questions must be and will be answered in order to prevent this from happening again. In the meantime, immediate action needs to be taken. We, as a community, need to support all efforts to halt the work being done, remove the poles, and bury them.
    Halt, remove, bury. Write Governor Cuomo and voice your concern. Support community efforts. Save East Hampton — Safe, Responsible Energy is doing great work, along with others in the community.
    I believe working together and loudly voicing our concerns, we can stop and reverse this assault by PSEG.

SUSAN BRATTON

Six-Mile Poles
    East Hampton
    February 20, 2014

Dear David,
    I am upset and disturbed by what is happening to our beautiful village and town in regards to the six-mile-long PSEG utility pole transmission line project taking place between East Hampton and Amagansett. This was sold as an additional source of power for the East End of Long Island. Yet, now we have two routes of above-ground poles transmitting power between East Hampton and Amagansett. By doing this, the PSEG utility company has created double the work to repair damaged poles and wires after a storm and we will still lose power? It just doesn’t make sense!
    This new transmission line extends six miles through residential neighborhoods, historical areas, and scenic vistas. Why not route four miles down the Long Island Rail Road? Or what about along Route 27? These routes are major corridors that are more direct, shorter in length, and would reduce the need for two additional miles of poles and wires. It just doesn’t make sense!
    Lastly, PSEG states these newly installed utility poles are storm-resistant and can withstand 130-mile-an-hour winds. Yet, when asked why they didn’t install them down the L.I.R.R., they state that if the poles fall down, they will hit the existing poles and we will lose power. Wow! So PSEG would rather place these 50 or 60-foot utility poles in an area where they will fall into our homes versus fall onto other utility poles? It just doesn’t make sense!
    Taking out the poles and burying the lines underground along either of the two major corridors, the L.I.R.R. or Route 27, for this additional source of power for the East End, does make sense. It is the safest, least invasive, most direct route for the East Hampton community. East Hampton residents; I urge you to go to our newly formed citizens group, Save East Hampton’s Facebook page, facebook.com/saveeh, and email our governor and sign our petition to express your concerns regarding this antiquated, ill-advised, wasteful, ongoing project because we need to show some common sense!

    Regards,
    LYNNE BROWN

Is a Crime
    East Hampton
    February 24, 2014

Dear Editor,
    I would like to thank Supervisor Larry Cantwell and Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. for taking the right stance with regards to the high voltage transmission lines and poles that are running through our scenic vistas and our residential neighborhoods 20 feet away from children’s bedrooms.
    This project should have never gotten permits to begin with, in my opinion. The proper notification to all residents who should have been listed as an involved party never took place, that is, to all the residents affected along the six miles of zigzag through our town and the others who live within the hazardous zone that this kind of high voltage line produces.
    The town’s comprehensive plan was not followed by the prior town board. This town spent a lot of time and money to adopt laws for this town in order to preserve what we all love about this place. It is a crime, in my opinion, that the rules were not followed, and now we the people get stuck with the cleanup of this mess. Our local, state, and federal governments are supposed to protect us. 
    I urge all residents of East Hampton to get involved. My street now — your street may be next.
    Please write the governor and our local and state officials and let them know that you want safe, reliable power for all. Stop PSEG now and bury the lines down major corridors, not our residential neighborhoods or our scenic vistas, which is why this is the number-one vacation destination in New York State. You can also sign a petition at facebook.com/saveeh. 
    This is a townwide issue that needs your immediate attention, as we were not properly notified and now need to play catch up . . . conveniently.

    Regards,
    Michael Forst

Share the Expense
    East Hampton
    February 24, 2014

To the Editor,
    The East Hampton Town Board and the village officials should have a meeting with PSEG over the installation of 60-foot-high poles.
    PSEG says it cannot pay the cost of underground installation of electric lines. They have installed such lines by sharing the cost with users. We now have so many surcharges on our bills that do not provide any additional service, maybe this would be a way to share the expense. The charge would be removed once the installation is paid for.
    How would 60-foot poles survive a hurricane such as Sandy? Think of the damage to homes and fires from downed trees. We must not let PSEG go forward with this.

JULIA KAYSER

Assaulted by Noise
    New York City
    February 19, 2014

Dear David,
    Would it be possible to restrict any commercial use of leaf-blowers and hedge-trimmers by landscapers on Saturdays in June, July, and August? It would be easy enough to ticket the landscapers’ trucks, which also clog village traffic. Neighbors would be quick to alert the police to offenders. Private use of leaf-blowers and hedge-trimmers could be permitted, although not advised if you like your neighbors.
    After an exhausting Friday trip to the quiet of the country, it is an outrage to be assaulted by the noise of those machines every Saturday.

    Best regards,
    JOAN and BRIAN WASHBURN
    P.S. Low-flying planes Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are another assault.

Plan for the Beaches
    Springs
    February 23, 2014

To the Editor,
    Where is the protective plan for East Hampton’s beaches that was considered such an important topic at the end of 2013?
    Federal money was allocated to pay for the project and there was, and is, a dramatic need for the work. In 2013 those advocating holding off on any commitment to beach protection insisted that the details must be worked out. There is no apparent process going on to achieve these details.
    There is no open discussion or public comment requested by the town. We have no clear concept of what the federal government is doing. We can only suppose that work might happen in the fall. Then again, it might not.
    The existence of the hamlet of Montauk is at stake with enormous repercussions if it is badly damaged. What can the East Hampton Town Board consider a more time-critical priority than safeguarding this threatened area?
    By not moving with the urgency, the situation mandates we have uncertainty instead of a plan.
    If hurricanes or coastal storms strike this year there will be additional jeopardy. Most importantly, there is no assurance of what will be done. Simply put, protection delayed will be protection denied.

TOM KNOBEL

Mute Swan Proposal
    New York City
    February 13, 2014

To the Editor:
    I was flabbergasted to learn that the New York State Department of Environmental Control was proposing a “complete eradication of Long Island’s mute swans by 2025.”
    This is an outrageous idea of wanton destruction which should be opposed on all fronts‚ starting with the National Audubon Society and its four million members and friends, who act on behalf of birds and places. Moreover, Larry Penny, a former director of natural resources for East Hampton Town, notes that “the mute swan population is far from on the rise in this area. If anything, it’s lower than it was in 1974.” The Southampton Village mayor, Mark Epley, notes that the mute swan population, at least in Southampton Village, is very small: “I’m not a supporter of the proposal and I don’t think the village or the board will be either. . . . This feels very behind the times‚ we should be treating wildlife better than this. It is just barbaric.”
    “Barbaric” is the right word, and all citizens who support wildlife should move actively in stopping this absurdity. This means that we need to band together against this proposal. I thank the two newspapers for covering this fundamental issue so clearly and I urge every nature-loving citizen to rise up against this unthinking, unnecessary, and wantonly cruel proposition.

    Sincerely,
    JAQUELIN T. ROBERTSON
    P.S. I have only just seen Senator Avella’s timely bill, for which he is to be thanked. But a two-year moratorium is inadequate when dealing with such a misguided group as the D.E.C.

Illegal Deer Fences
    Springs
    February 20, 2014

Dear David,
    As a fence contractor over the years in our beautiful town, I felt the need to speak out about the law concerning deer fencing.
    First, one needs a permit to do such work, as it is higher than six feet.
    Second, within the spirit of the review process in the same application for a permit, property owners are violating a section of the law by not maintaining the deer fence 15 feet from the actual property line.
    When adjacent properties fail to abide by the law, it eliminates the 30-foot wildlife corridor meant to allow movement of wildlife through the areas where construction of these illegal installations now forces the deer into the roadway areas to move about.
    That would explain the deer being more obvious along roadway areas.
    There are reasons for laws. Educated people devise them to protect our natural resources and us.
    The arrogance of the homeowners who do the work without proper review and permits are to blame for this obvious reason to me.
    Code enforcement now has a new mission — enforce the law and have these illegal deer fence installations come into compliance.
    Instead of a mass cull, how about insuring them the space they are entitled to by law?
    A simple reason now put forward in common sense that explains the increase in deer on the roadways. A no-brainer when one takes time to realize that every action has a reaction. Put down the sniper rifles. Take down the illegal fences, and put them back up within the confines of the law.
    We all need our space. Even the deer deserve this acceptance, tolerance, and respect. Assimilate to the laws of our town as responsible property owners. It’s up to them to do their part to protect our natural environments.

    Best,
    MARTIN DREW

The Greenhouse Effect
    East Hampton
    February 20, 2014

Dear David,
    Second comment first: Venus is considerably closer to the sun than Earth. The sun is a huge (compared to Earth) continuous hydrogen fusion explosion. Venus is 67 million miles, we are 93 million miles away. Venus likely started out more like Earth when the sun was cooler, but all that ended and we have Venus as it is. Carbon dioxide is a minor greenhouse gas on Earth but the only atmospheric gas on Venus.
    I have read the Koran, every hadith, and it constantly mentions believers and nonbelievers (deniers) in almost every hadith of any length. You can read the Koran by searching Marmaduke Pickthall translation of the Koran. Easy enough, but if you are going to read it through in one sitting, bring plenty of coffee. It is a short book, but, well, you’ll see.
    Some are only a few lines, toward the end, and are arranged by length, more or less, second hadith to last. I have read the Bible as well, twice.
    As a matter of fact, climate is in constant very slow change. We are lucky to be living in a warm period between periods of glaciation. The scientific fact is that water vapor accounts for 95 percent of the earth’s retained surface warmth. Carbon dioxide accounts for, actually, under 4 percent of the greenhouse effect, and humanity accounts for .28 percent of the effect, included in the CO2 total. It is scientific fact that can be found on any number of websites, the best and most easily understood is at geocraft.com. (Dr. S. Fred Singer, “CO2: A Closer Look.”)
    Point being that if all humanity accounts for so little of the effect, why the hysteria as the amount, when considering the amount that the U.S.A. is less than one-third the world’s total? Listening to Secretary of State Kerry, you’d think the sky was about to fall.
    The Antarctic ice cores from the Lake Vostok site span about 500,000 years. The tiny bubbles of trapped atmosphere, when analyzed, show that there has been an increase in atmospheric CO2 lagging the warming by 800 years. That the current CO2 levels, about 400 parts per million, are not exceptional.
    There is no consensus in science, only correct or incorrect. As a matter of fact, there are a considerable number of climatologists, paleoclimatologists, and others in the associated fields who do not accept anthropogenic climate change. As the research becomes stronger, except in politically motivated areas, recognition is growing that climate models not including the effect of water vapor are so flawed as to be useless for prediction. Witness this winter.
    Lastly, Earth is locked in an unusual time, in an ice age that has lasted 3 million years. It will remain so for millions more years as well. Prior to Antarctica, propelled by plate tectonics, reaching the South Pole, Earth was much warmer, CO2 levels were 1,000 parts per million and higher. It was 4,400 p.p.m. at the beginning of the Carboniferous, for instance. Even higher in more distant epochs. Life was not negatively affected; in fact, it thrived. Ask any commercial hothouse operator about keeping CO2 at 1,000 p.p.m. and its effect on plant growth.

    Yours truly,
    PETER C. OSBORNE

A Nonlethal Plan
    East Hampton
    February 23, 2014

To the Editor:
    East Hampton Town has a new supervisor, a few new board members, and some new and old appointees with impressive titles for important jobs. But the big question is, will these folks bring a new vision and fresh ideas based on the latest, the best technology and information out there, or will they take the path of least resistance and attempt to repackage and regurgitate the old, rejected, and ill-conceived plans with the sound bites and clichés that made voters demand a change in the first place?
    Apropos, an East Hampton Town official in a new job, charged with implementing the deer management plan, among other duties, recently commented that he would be willing to “try out an immunocontraception plan after the town has reduced the population of deer.” What? Where has he been for the past several months? Much to no one’s surprise, and without even knowing by how many that would actually be, this nonstarter was put out there once again, while the town still does not have an accurate, scientifically based count that would be acceptable to concerned citizens and taxpayers. The last thing we need is more colorful stories of deer encounters, more guesstimates or pictures of deer on the lawn, to be the basis for any actions by officials in this town.
    Supervisor Larry Cantwell, responding to largely discredited and hysterical hyperbole filled with highly emotional, anecdotal accounts, recently agreed to go ahead with a totally reprehensible and dangerous plan that would have United States Department of Agriculture sharpshooters come in under cover of night to kill thousands of deer. Luckily this was stopped by legal action brought against the town, because they failed to adhere to New York State regulations concerning any such unsubstantiated culls.
    But we’re still getting the same old regurgitated excuses for killing and doing anything but taking action to implement a nonlethal plan. Over 12,000 people signed a petition saying that the proposed mass killing of deer was unacceptable, and hundreds of local citizens and homeowners came out for a rally on a cold, rainy day in January to demonstrate and protest against any attempt to kill deer without appropriate scientific evidence to justify such a slaughter, and, above all, to demand that nonlethal methods be used to reduce deer populations, if and where necessary.
    Let’s get with the facts, and then, if indicated, get with a nonlethal, sustainable, immunocontraception plan to reduce the numbers of deer. Such a scientifically based plan has already been proposed to town officials. It is the result of a joint effort of scientists, wildlife experts,  rescuers-rehabilitators, local hunters, and residents, and represents an intelligent and pragmatic deer management plan to reduce deer populations, where and if needed. The proposed “Long View Wildlife Management Plan” offers alternative, nonlethal, best management practices, including successful PZP immunocontraception measures, deer fencing, spraying, signage, Four Poster, etc. among other suggestions, to deal with deer-human conflicts. It will save lives (both human and animal), while saving taxpayers a small fortune that would otherwise be wasted on the short-term and unsustainable results that come from killing.
    Please let town officials know that you want your tax dollars spent wisely, on a nonlethal immunocontraceptive plan that will pay off over the long term. And no more costly, knee-jerk, quick fixes!

ZELDA PENZEL