Letters to the Editor: 06.12.14

Our readers' comments

Summer of Lyme
    Amagansett
    June 3, 2014

To the Editor,
    This is basically a letter of thanks to Dr. Blake Kerr, who not only wrote an understandable article on the wickedness of Lyme disease, but whom I believe saved my life last summer.
    I was a victim of all the terrifying symptoms Dr. Kerr described concerning his long and painful summer — a summer that seemed just endless agony — and I’m sure I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for his wise counsel. Dr. Kerr never abandoned me — not once. And he called a misdiagnosis exactly that, and changed all my medications. We were a working team and I was not abandoned.
    I have cut his “Tick-Borne Triple Whammy” out and I am as hopeful as Dr. Kerr is that some day there may be a Lyme vaccine.
    I nearly died from my summer of
Lyme and wonder how to avoid a repeat in 2014. The hope is that neither Dr. Kerr nor I will ever have a summer like 2013 again!

    Sincerely,
    EMILY COBB

Some Days I Get a Gift
    Quogue
    June 7, 2014

Dear Editor,
    Today I thought would end like most of my workdays in a cab, with long hours, little pay, and many medical passengers right out of “The Walking Dead.” But the good thing about this job is that it keeps me real busy, which is important for me now, and some days I get a gift.
    At 4 p.m. today I was sent to the Division of Social Services building in Riverhead to pick up four passengers. I was met by a mother named Candy, who had in her arms her 1-year-old baby with bottle in mouth, and her two bouncing-off-the-walls boys, both under 3. We loaded four suitcases with what appeared to be all of her possessions. I was to drive her to a designated address in Amagansett, one hour away, east.
    The two boys fell asleep after 10 minutes. As we approached the gates to her new, perhaps temporary, housing, she said to me, “This is so beautiful. I came from the city. This is so beautiful.”
    Three smiling women came to the cab and welcomed Candy and her children. One took the baby in her arms and the other woke the two boys up and led them out of the cab. A man came out and took all of the luggage out of the trunk. Candy began to cry as she was gently embraced by the smiling faces and led into the beautiful stone building. I drove away not fully understanding what had happened.
    I got on the cab radio and told my dispatcher that I had made my drop. He said, “Joe, did you know that that is a retreat for battered mothers?”

JOSEPH A. CHIARELLO

A Beautiful Soul
    East Hampton
    June 9, 2014 

Dear David,
    A few weeks ago I told my neighbor Frank Denaro about some fruit I had eaten more than 80 years ago as a 4-year-old boy in the Santa Clara Valley in California. My parents, sister, and I were picnicking in Los Altos when I noticed an apricot, rosy pink and orange, hanging from a tree above us. I climbed on the table and stroked it gently, as if it were a kitten, until it dropped into my hand.
    I told Frank about this apricot — how to this day I had never eaten anything of such flavor and beauty, and how I secretly kept the pit for months. But I’d given up on apricots. That tree was probably chopped down to make space for Steve Jobs’s garage, I told him. The ones you find nowadays look like they have jaundice and taste like plastic.
    Frank smiled, went off, and returned the next afternoon with two apricots that looked and tasted as if they came from that tree.
    Frank died before I could ask him about it. Wherever they were, Frank was sure to find them.
    A week never passed without Frank showing up with some delicious and healthy dish he’d cooked — stuffed clams, meat loaf and mashed potatoes, tilefish in wonderful sauce, and broccoli from his garden. Not long ago he told me I needed more fresh air, and, together with Ray Saar, appeared on my deck with a table, umbrella, and two chairs that are perfect for my testy back.
    Frank was like that — a beautiful soul who spent his all-too-short life making the lives of people near him happier and easier.

RICHARD ROSENTHAL

Alliance Archive
    East Hampton
    June 9, 2014

To the Editor,
    The East End Women’s Alliance, first known as Women Talk to Women when it was founded in East Hampton in 1969, is seeking former members for the purpose of completing an archive of the organization’s history, to be donated to a library for feminist studies.
    If you or someone you know or know who has such materials, please contact me at Drawer 1070, Amagansett 11930. There will be a local meeting in June for those who were involved with EEWA. Details will be provided by contacting the same address and providing an email address or phone number.
    The Star played a pivotal role in publicizing the activities and programs of our group back when, and we appreciate your assistance in this matter.

    Sincerely,
    PAULA TRACHTMAN

Montauk Icon
    Amagansett
    June 6, 2014

Dear David,
    Dr. Tony Knott sure got it right calling Chip Duryea a “Montauk Icon” for courage and integrity and a heart of gold. To my mind it cannot be said (or written) too often.

    Sincerely and kind regards,
    LONA RUBENSTEIN

All Star Awards
    Sag Harbor
    June 4, 2014

Dear David,
    Thank you again for hosting us, and our daughter Molly, for the East Hampton Star All Star Awards. We felt so honored to be there for Molly and the other amazing students! It is such a wonderful tradition The East Hampton Star has continued by honoring local students who are not only talented super students, but also continue to give back to our local community in so many ways.
    Also, thank you again for the delicious meal at Bay Kitchen.

    Warm regards,
    CANDACE and
    ROBBIE VORHAUS

Gem of a Museum
    Sag Harbor
    June 5, 2014

To the Editor,
    A heartfelt thank-you to Judith and Gerson Leiber for sharing wonderful treasures, as well as their lifelong commitment to each other. The resulting amalgamation enhanced their geniuses, and they are generous to continue to share their lovely grounds and gem of a museum with us.

    Not to be missed!
    Sincerely,
    CLAIRE and JOHN KIRKWOOD

South Lake Beach
    Montauk
    June 6, 2014

To the Editor:
    It was very disturbing to read the article in The Star concerning the condition of Lake Montauk, especially near South Lake Beach. Over the years this area has been important in serving the needs of different groups of Montauk residents and visitors.
    South Lake Beach is a safe haven for families with young children, the only beach where they can enjoy one of the great pleasures of Montauk without being concerned about strong waves. It is also a safe haven for seniors or anyone with physical limitations who enjoys swimming without being pelted by waves. It is a wonderful beach for older children to practice their skills of swimming, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, and exploring marine life in calm waters.
    It is appalling that our elected and appointed officials of East Hampton have allowed this contamination to happen. Their answer to this problem seems to be, put up a sign. This is unacceptable. It is time for them to do their job! Stop boats from dumping waste in the lake, inspect all commercial establishments’ septic systems, ensure that all private systems are up to code, prohibit or limit the use of pesticides and fertilizers on land surrounding the lake. It can be done.
    It is vital that South Lake Beach and the marine life that inhabits the water there be saved for our children and grandchildren, today and for generations to come. Don’t merely put up a sign.

JOSEPHINE DeSTEFANO

Inconsiderate Slobs
    East Hampton
    June 7, 2014

To the Editor:
    Who are these inconsiderate slobs who leave their bags of household trash in or near public garbage cans, especially at the parks and beaches? Bring that junk to the dump!
    If you can afford to live out here, rent, or visit, you can pay the fee to get rid of your stuff properly. Don’t you realize the raccoons, fox, crows, squirrels, and who knows what else, rip open the bags and your detritus ends up strewn all over the place, attracting vermin and spawning flies and ants and other communities of creepy-crawlers? Eewwwwww!
    You come out to the Hamptons to enjoy its beauty, have a good time, and then you have the nerve to defile it? Stop it! You’re messing up my home, and I don’t like it!

TRINA SULLIVAN

A Pig on His Lap
    Amagansett
    June 7, 2014

Dear David,
    My cousin Rob Roy was very concerned about the proposed ban on alcohol during lifeguard hours on family beaches (Indian Wells and Atlantic) in Amagansett. Now he embraces it. My cousin Rob Roy embraces an alcohol ban, because after he was arrested, for driving with a pig on his lap and five girls on the flatbed, the judge told him he must.
    The proposed alcohol ban at family beaches will be discussed on June 19, 6:30 p.m., at East Hampton Town Hall. “Flotsam,” Rob Roy’s girlfriend, will be there to confess that there is no way she can traverse 3,000 feet on platform wedgies carrying nice barware. Flotsam will shop instead.
    The East Hampton Town Trustees have concerns about people trampling on the dunes in an effort to elude the no-booze barrier. Do not worry. I will be there with my paintballs and Rob Roy’s pig, which, after what it’s been through, squeals at the idea of a cocktail.

    All good things,
    DIANA WALKER

Accabonac Shoreline
    Brunswick, Me.
    May 31, 2014

Dear David,
    This letter is in response to the May 29 front-page article “Debate Hard Solutions for Louse Point.”
    I have walked the Accabonac Cliff shorefront between Louse Point and Barnes Hole every year since 1960, when there was a beach there, and then on top of the bulkheads where the beach disappeared. Actually, where the beach disappeared, the sand didn’t go far. It is just off shore, having created a shallow waterfront. Today, one has to walk quite far into the water at medium to low tide to reach deep enough water to swim. Didn’t have to do that in the 1960s and 1970s.
    I am not a scientist nor engineer. I am a layman who has observed over 50 years the erosion activity of the Accabonac Cliff shorefront during hurricanes, nor’easters, and in calmer times.
    Hard structures by themselves, parallel to the shoreline, bulkhead, or rock, have the effect of causing sand to be lost from the beach. Soft solutions are just that, soft and temporary. Hard solutions benefit the waterfront homeowner from the potential or real risk of losing their home, but at the potential or real risk of loss of beach to the homeowner and the public.
    There is a solution that works that includes hard and soft: groins. Properly placed and spaced in a series, being perpendicular to the shoreline, groins have the effect of catching sand moved by both water and wind. For years, I always thought water did more of the movement of sand. It does during a storm. But during the long, quiet interludes between storms, I believe wind is the more prevalent force. Ever notice how quickly sand can pile up next to a fence or overturned boat?
    There are two local examples of groins successfully holding sand and maintaining a beach. And they are along the same shoreline of Gardiner’s Bay as the area addressed in the May 29 article. Walking the waterfront from Louse Point toward Barnes Hole, one first encounters wood groins successfully holding sand. Walking farther along, one finds deteriorated wood groins that can no longer hold sand. And there is no beach. Even farther, as one walks along the top of the bulkhead, there are no groins to speak of, just hard structures parallel to the shoreline (bulkhead and/or rock revetment). And there is no beach.
    The second local example of groins holding sand and maintaining a beach is between Bell’s dock and Fresh Pond in Amagansett, just a mile and a half southeast along the same shoreline of the subject area in the article. Bell’s dock began life as a dock and has ended up as possibly the largest groin-like structure in the Town of East Hampton, in spite of its extreme deteriorating condition. The raised wooden walkway between the dock and the foot of the bluff likely spanned more water than beach when originally constructed in the early 1900s. Over time, the dock and the posts supporting the walkway slowly began to catch sand like a groin. This effect caused a loss of sand to the shoreline southeast of the dock to Fresh Pond, a distance of approximately one-half mile that includes Albert’s Landing.
    Groins properly placed and spaced years ago in this one-half-mile area saved the shoreline and the beach. There are seven groins, including two on either side of the inlet where water flows between Fresh Pond and Gardiner’s Bay.
    This beach with the groins is stable and largely unchanged from my first observations in the 1960s, even as the groin wood-forms holding rock have begun to deteriorate in recent years. And the groins support a beach popular with families in the summertime, Albert’s Landing.
    In fact, the bluff between Barnes Hole and Bell’s dock was subject to erosion in the early 1900s. A short walk along the foot of the bluff from Barnes Hole Road (toward Bell’s dock) will show in some areas the top of an old bulkhead that was exposed by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012. Today, the bulkhead looks out of place, given how very wide the beach is at that point, thanks to the second life of Bell’s dock acting as a groin. Looking at this shoreline from an aerial viewpoint with Google maps clearly shows how Bell’s dock has effectively become one of the largest groin-like structures in the Town of East Hampton, as mentioned above, with sand built up on its northwest side, from the bluff to the bay, and the sand on the southeast side (Albert’s Landing) being held by groins properly placed and spaced.
    A more distant and more dramatic example of groins holding sand and maintaining a beach is the oceanfront at Long Beach in western Long Island. A Google map search of Long Beach illustrates a wide sandy beach. As you zoom in closer, you see a series of groins along the entire beach. Note how the groins are exposed only in the water and covered with sand landward. And this is oceanfront, subject to greater wave force than bay front. Which brings up another benefit of groins. By maintaining a more natural shorefront with a sandy beach, the sand can take and disperse the force of storm waves better than hard structures (bulkhead and/or rock revetment) that are parallel to the shore. When the water in a storm wave hits a hard structure, that force has to go somewhere. The force of the water has the effect of pulling the sand away from the shoreline as it retreats.
    Shoreline does not erode everywhere. A view of the Gardiner’s Bay shoreline is testament to that. In areas where the shoreline does erode, affecting the land and homes of people who live on the waterfront, groins properly placed and spaced through the entire zone of erosion would protect the beach for the waterfront homeowners and the public.
    The Accabonac Cliff shoreline has had different undertakings at protection since the mid-1960s. A walk today along the top of the bulkhead demonstrates the results of over 50 years of uncoordinated attempts at erosion protection. The shoreline is a mess. Before the first bulkheads and groins began going in during the mid-’60s to protect new homes built on top of the bluff, there was a beach between Louse Point and Barnes Hole that one could walk or drive a vehicle on. Today, there is no beach. There is a jumble of rock revetment, bulkheads, and intermittent (not a series) groins. All of this is in varying stages of deterioration since their construction from the mid-’60s through the early ’80s. Some has been reconstructed in recent years.
    Groins properly placed and spaced will act to hold sand and maintain a beach, as cited in the above examples. The sand that collects between groins to form a beach is a more natural solution in an erosion-prone area of a shoreline. The resulting beach will absorb the force of waves in storms and serve the public and waterfront property owners during quieter times. Groins and the sand they capture is both a hard and soft solution.
    The argument against groins is that while they build up sand on one side, they take away from the downside. That is true with a few groins. If enough groins are properly placed and spaced in an erosion zone, like the examples cited above at Albert’s Landing and Long Beach, you have a sandy beach in good times and a built-in erosion protector in stormy times.

BILL GOOD Jr.

Extreme Weather Events
    East Hampton
    June 9, 2014

Dear David,
    Your article “Think Sandy Was Bad? Think Again” adds another element to the climate change science paradigm for consideration in our coastal community.  We have already witnessed the ravages of extreme weather events driven by a warmer ocean temperature in the western North Atlantic. Now with the data collected through Dr. Donnelly’s coastal samplings, we have a historic context for horrific coastal storms on Long Island’s East End. Consider the destruction these extreme weather events would have today.
    As sea levels continue to rise with the melting ice recorded in the Arctic and Antarctic, our community needs to be aware of the challenges we face in the future. Every bit of information we have in raising our awareness of a changing climate and the frequency of future extreme weather events will help us plan, and plan we must.

LINDA JAMES

Geological Past
    East Hampton
    June 6, 2014

Dear David,
    Your article on researching East Hampton’s recent geological past: Thank you for that, it was a good read. It is a good idea to learn more about pre-colonial conditions here.
    In Montauk, between the village and the point there are quite a few kettle ponds. These are perched water and are oxygen-depleted. There is a very great possibility that taking cores from a number of these could give us a view of conditions, flora and fauna, back 18,000 years forward to the present.
    It is possible those kettles may date to a still-older period, and the information gathered from the pollen grains alone should be of great interest to any geologist or climatologist. The cores which could be pulled from these kettles might go back further and help date the age of the Montauk marl.
    Possibly students from East Hampton High School could be engaged to help out. A great way to learn about the earth sciences from the practical end.

    Yours,
    PETER C. OSBORNE

Feral Cat Poem #73
A
cat’s
pupils
are slit-shaped
instead of round
the better to see
you in the
dark.

ED HANNIBAL

The C.P.F. Exemption
    Amagansett
    June 9, 2014

Dear David,
    The other day I heard Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont and presidential candidate, make a hopeful, data-based projection on the future of our political system. At a birthday party for Represented Tim Bishop, he predicted that today’s young people, less interested in polarizing issues and political combat than the present generation, will ultimately move our country back to the collaborative democratic process that is our genuine claim to exceptionality.
    I thought of that in reading the Brutus-like letter this week from Tom Knobel, chairman of the East Hampton Town Republican Committee, asking to “adjust the community preservation fund” to “make the C.P.F. effective for its stated purpose.” The C.P.F. has preserved thousands of acres of land, securing the joys of our exquisite landscape and fine water supply for residents and visitors who maintain the economy. Why is the spokesman for our Republican party quibbling with success? His arguments advance no useful purpose.
    I agree with Mr. Knobel and your editorial that the current exemption from the C.P.F. tax is too low. No one can buy a $250,000 house here any more (LOL!).  If the goal is to really help first-time home buyers and people of limited capital, the $500,000 exemption is hardly enough. However, calling the raise to $500,000 a “Republican proposal“ is a stretch, as is the implication that it provides help in proportion to the need.
    Our state assemblyman, Fred Thiele, has been working on raising the exemption for many months. Mr. Thiele recognizes its limited potential. He would combine it with legislation to use a portion of C.P.F. tax revenues for affordable housing. I wonder if we have to wait for the next generation for local Republicans to support that!
    Mr. Knobel’s further proposal, a petition-based public referendum before the town could go forward with “questionable” C.P.F. purchases, is absurd. Allowing referenda to delay C.P.F. purchases of marketable properties is a surefire way to see that they never happen at all. This proposal can’t be squared with a claim that Republicans support land preservation.
    I have to wonder if Mr. Knobel’s proposals have any real purpose at all other than to stake out a partisan position. Oh, Governor Dean, how I am counting on your prophecy!

    Sincerely,
    JEANNE FRANKL



    Ms. Frankl heads the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee. — Ed.

Contrived Questions
    East Hampton
    June 7, 2014

Editor,
    This past Friday evening I was excited to attend what I felt would be a new opportunity to meet with and address some very pressing issues of the day with a panel that might just allow for a relaxed and less formal exchange. I have long ago stopped attending town board meetings and rely heavily on ltveh.org for information. It is a great service!
    The evening had a polished and professional look indicating that a great deal of work had been done in preparation. Very smooth! I looked forward to an evening of exchanges.
    Oddly, the evening took a turn in a very predictable direction. I chose to remain despite my disappointment, just to show respect. After an hour and 15 minutes of a very obviously contrived set of questions leading to a long history lesson about LILCO, LIPA, and PSEG (topics of the day already done to death), I was really ready to walk out. I have listened and am allowing the processes to take place. I learned nothing new and the entire evening felt like a rehash of a yearlong series of LTV interview shows and newspaper campaigns.
    The one issue that was brought forth very clearly is that the PSEG issue had several points where it could have been stopped or mitigated. People knew this was coming, and some very basic blunders have led to this mess. It was enlightening to learn of these. The evening progressed with absolutely no input or exchange from the audience, which had shown respect to attend and respect not to walk.
    The questions and issues included a very slanted attempt to change the manner in which the community preservation fund is utilized. A contingent had apparently sent in a substantial number of “questions” pushing for more free space for the artists and writers who feel they need more venues to display and sell their works. This they feel should be done with those funds from a program very specifically designed and mandated to preserve open space. So that group was assertively represented. It felt like a special-interest group had control at this point.
    There was absolutely no discussion of saving wildlife habitat or preserving the water table, though the standard joke about Farrell did come up. Sadly, it is not a joke. Developers are completely decimating our woodlands and recharge basins, and the panel cracks a joke about Farrell. I was deeply offended. I wonder how many on the panel make it a practice to walk the woods, define the problem, and recognize we need to slap a moratorium on building and redefine the direction of our future clearing and development. I am shocked at the wall of silence that prevents the mainstream discussion of preservation of water table etc. This issue, along with other quality-of-life issues, did not receive a breath of interest or time.
    I was saddened by the lack of interest in the sufferings of the small-home owners in Springs whose home values are being destroyed by code enforcement issues, which pile up and worsen season after season. Those little guys were not represented.
    Village summer cops stand around impotent, too timid to demand people use crosswalks, pick up their garbage, or get off their bikes. The villages look neat and clean but are completely left out of control. The number of life-threatening situations that could be circumvented by some tiny action on the parts of these children went unspoken of.
    PSEG will be taken care of in its own manner and time. Using C.P.F. money to provide artists free space for their endeavors is outlandish. Preserving old houses is a lovely concept but seems secondary to saving the ecological balance of our community.
    The audience was small and comprised of the few well-versed who usually attend these things. I did speak with one woman who was saddened that her issue was not touched upon. We both had submitted our questions in advance and felt insulted that one hour and 15 minutes was spent on a history lesson, while a dozen other important issues of the real community function and order were conspicuously ignored. There must have been some agenda in play. It was all so contrived. I felt bamboozled and took it very personally. Sad, really!

MICHAEL DICKERSON

A Kelvin Primer
    East Hampton 
    June 6, 2014

Dear Editor,
    I applaud Supervisor Larry Cantwell and the town board for their continuing good works and functionality, in evidence at the June 5 public hearing, unanimously passing the amendment to East Hampton’s intelligent but not yet perfect lighting laws.
    In part, the objectives of the law are to promote public safety, preserve our rural character, save energy by reducing glare on our roadways, protect landowners from improper, intrusive lighting, and encourage the natural environment for nocturnal flora and fauna.
    However, the law now allows a dangerous increase in the amount and type of light, using a color-temperature measurement called Kelvin, from 3,000K to 3,500K, putting public safety at risk.
    The higher the Kelvin value, the more visible light bounces off an object and reflects back into a driver’s eyes. We’ve all experienced oncoming, high-Kelvin, halogen headlights; they are too bright, their wavelengths scatter, blur, white-out, and disperse wildly during rain, fog, and snow. 
    Lower Kelvin lights work best in fog, snow, and rain as they highlight an object, enhance contrast, and are easier to see by drivers. Fog lights and safety lights are low-Kelvin lights.
    A Kelvin primer:
    1. Stare at the sun on a clear day and the 5,250K light will blind you.
    2. The East Hampton Town Planning Board may approve an application for lighting as bright as 3,500K.
    3. Halogen lights produce 3,200K bright, white light.
    4. Standard incandescent bulbs produce a soothing 2,600K light.
    During our summer months, with roadways beyond capacity and the likelihood of rain and fog in our forecast, any light above 3,000K is dangerous to drivers and pedestrians because of the light-scattering effects. Perhaps that’s why no other town on the East End of Long Island allows it!

    Sincerely,
    ALEX MILLER

Living a Nightmare
    Springs
    June 6, 2014

Dear Editor,
    I write to you today to tell you about a neighbor and a friend who is living a nightmare. He lives in Springs, as I do. A construction company, Hampton Dwell, has moved into the house next door. What goes on there is kind of unbelievable and needs to be examined and stopped.
    My neighbor has made a video of the chaos and violation of his residential property and posted it on YouTube. He has shown workers sawing lumber with the squeal of the saw sound effects, a large box truck backing in and out of the driveway with the beep beep beep sound effects, pickup trucks arriving and departing and parking and a multitude of cars parked during the daytime and p.m. hours. It seems the workers arrive around 8 a.m., the commercial work-related vehicles leave and go offsite, work on a job, and then return to this single-family residence and use the residence as a base of operation.
    This is clearly a construction company operating illegally in a residential zone. This video has been handed to the town board. This video has been shown to code enforcement. A lot of people have seen this video and it validates everything — and to date the cat-and-mouse, Tom-and-Jerry, bait-and-switch, three-blind-mice game continues.
    Dwell Hampton is gaming the system. It is still operating, and the nightmare continues. This should not happen to anyone.
    Why don’t we have laws that protect residents from this sort of thing?

BETSY RUTH

Find Another Place
    Montauk
    June 6, 2014

To the Editor,
    I would like to think that there is a place in Montauk for the “Dark Elegy” sculptures, but certainly not at the entrance to town in Kirk Park.
    The “Dark Elegy” sculptures, a display of 75 larger-than-life naked women portrayed in the various stages of grief and sadness, are not what I want to see every day at the entrance to town. Would East Hampton consider putting these sculptures on the green at Town Pond where people pass every day? I don’t think that this would ever happen.
    Montauk makes its living from tourism; our visitors do not come here to connect with feelings of grief and sadness. They come here for pleasure and relaxation. An unrelenting display of deep grief in such a public space should not be what defines us. The Montauk Indian Museum is appropriate in Kirk Park because it is part of our unique history. “Dark Elegy” is not.
    Some may find the sculptures offensive. Many people will object to seeing naked women in stages of grief portrayed publicly, particularly families with children. My stepson, who vacations in Montauk two weeks every year with his wife and two young children, would want to shield his children from these sculptures.
    The size and design of the sculpture brings into question their maintenance and future upkeep. Who will maintain them? In this public place they will also be open to vandalism.
    Find another place for these sculptures in Montauk that is not so public, where people who want to see and appreciate them can go. But not in a public park at the entrance to town.

CAROL NYE

‘It Is Inappropriate’
    Montauk
    June 3, 2014

Dear Editor,
    I am writing in response to the consideration of the Town of East Hampton to place Suse Lowenstein’s sculpture “Dark Elegy” at Kirk Park, Montauk.
    Everyone must grieve in their own way; each artist will create their own expression of pain and any other emotion they experience. I share the artist’s shock and sadness over the events that took her son and the other victims of that tragic flight. As an artist and mother who has suffered tragedy and loss, I recognize the psychological need to recapture and reimagine and feel again the suffering from that horrific event and immense loss. I understand her need to sit with it and see it and feel it for as long as it takes until that time that she is ready to move forward in her process. I suspect the attempt to move the sculpture is demonstration of that progress. If so, I am truly happy for Ms. Lowenstein.
    I am in agreement with some other readers that the size of the work and vandalism are issues. For me the nudity is not an issue. However, I respectfully submit another perspective: that its raw depiction of extraordinary suffering makes it inappropriate to place such a piece in Kirk Park or any other public park provided for relaxation and enjoyment. In my opinion, it is unfair to thrust such profound torment on those people, especially children, who may not be equipped or prepared, and maybe not willing, to encounter it.
    It does not mean that others don’t care. I remember it and am still saddened by it. But even after careful consideration, I still resent the idea that someone or some people would like to make me or anyone else suffer over and over, basically at their insistence, because maybe they fear they will suffer that loss alone or that others are so simple-minded and superficial that they forget, or, worse, that they need to be reminded, that there is a world outside of Montauk and that we haven’t all been touched by terrorism.
    Every one of us is touched too often by the terrorism, violence, and intolerance that takes place globally and sometimes more locally. Unfortunately, every day there is news of some horrifically sad or hateful incident somewhere, near or far, that stops us in our tracks and opens our eyes. For some, these incidents make it nearly impossible to see the beauty in the world and to maintain faith in the human race. Public parks are designed to provide a natural setting available for recreation. The natural beauty associated with a park area often inspires peaceful reflection and an appreciation for life. I venture to say that, for some, a park is a place sometimes used to recover from painful memories or daily stress or to soften a life full of grief.
    “Dark Elegy” demonstrates the incredible pain suffered by the surviving loved ones of those lost. It is a monument to that misery. If it is misery that the artist chooses to hold in her heart, that is her choice. And if that is the case, the best place for it is at her home. If not, perhaps those individuals who posed for the pieces would like those representations of themselves. Or perhaps there is a museum or private residence that would be interested in keeping it and making it available to the public. Then people can choose to go to it and immerse themselves in the raw emotion of it, just as they do at other “memorials.” Then it becomes a destination, a place of remembrance and acknowledgement. In a public park, it is inappropriate and will likely only serve to turn people away, from the sculpture and the park, as well as from a sense of emotional community in the face of terrorism.
    In closing, I’d like to offer Ms. Lowenstein my respect and wishes for solace.

KARIN PADDEN

David-Goliath Lawsuit
    East Hampton
    June 8, 2014

Dear David:
    Joanne Pilgrim’s June 5 article regarding the lawsuit by local residents (LIBFRE) against the utility giant PSEG/LIPA cites several independent experts and the United States Environmental Protection Agency who have confirmed the health and environmental threats of penta, the chemical with which the new utility poles have been treated.
    The fact that this chemical has been banned in 26 countries speaks volumes of its toxicity. The only supporter of these installations is (surprise, surprise) PSEG/LIPA, which in the face of all the evidence claims there is no threat to the health and safety of the community.
    LIBFRE is to be commended for bringing this David and Goliath lawsuit. Should they prevail, we will all benefit.

SUE AVEDON

Too Many Helicopters
    Wainscott
    June 7, 2014

Dear David:
    Airport noise season is upon us again. Both helicopters and complaints about helicopters at East Hampton’s airport are pouring in at a record pace.
    Despite the best efforts of well-meaning town officials, airport workers and the Eastern Regional Helicopter Council (a helicopter lobby paid for by helicopter owners), noise complaints are being recorded from almost every corner of the East End.
    The increase in complaints is particlarly astounding when you consider that many people have ceased calling the complaint line at all. How many times should you call before you expect results? Five? Ten? Fifty? One Thousand? Complaint fatigue is a documented fact. Isn’t a common definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over in expectation of a different result?
    And, if you think it can’t get any worse, when a plan endorsed by Senator Charles Schumer and Representative Tim Bishop becomes a reality and some flights are routed from Long Island Sound around Orient Point, previously unaffected homeowners and taxpayers in Springs and Amagansett will become new airport complaint line “frequent flyers.”
    In what has to be the ultimate irony, air traffic controllers, in the tower installed at great expense to insure safety and mitigate noise, now tell us they can do neither. There are just too many damn helicopters coming and going.
    When will our elected officials realize that most of us are here because we prefer a quieter existence than is possible in an urban environment? When will they put the quiet enjoyment of our homes above the almighty dollar? When will they admit that an unnecessary convenience for a few causes extreme misery for most?
    The safest and quietest way to land a helicopter at East Hampton? How about not at all?

    Ducking and covering yet again,
    TOM MacNIVEN

Sigh of Relief
    East Hampton
    June 6, 2014

Dear David,
    On behalf of The Independent I would like to thank you for running that glowing endorsement of our newspaper.
    It is not often one newspaper would allow such lavish praise of another to be printed but once again The Star has proven its class and validated its editorial policy of printing all letters it receives.
    A special thanks to David Gruber for devoting so many words to his tongue-in-cheek analysis of our recent editorial in his letter to you. God, he is a funny man, isn’t he?
    Lastly, I think we all breathe a healthy sigh of relief to know he is not a Gruberite, for they are a nasty bunch to be sure. I hear from other locals that they have their own selfish agenda and couldn’t care less about our wonderful community. I wouldn’t know for sure, though, because my mom taught me to stay clear of those types.

    RICK MURPHY
    Editor

Look in the Mirror
    Springs
    June 9, 2014

Dear David,
    Susan Rice must be stung by bees in her mouth or she wants some kind of big promotion, she therefore loves Sundays, as she can go on the news shows and run her mouth, probably talking points given to her by the present White House administration. The New York Times really has a ton of bull to write about on a subject they know nothing about, but could I be wrong — are they over in Afghanistan fighting for the United States, that they can actually call the platoon that called out Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for desertion liars, liars all of them? Harry Reid is even getting annoyed and calling everyone liars.
    They should all look in the mirror before the name-calling begins. The president has pissed a lot of people off with this one. No time to tell Congress what he’s doing, no time, and not even giving enough information to Congress, working with his pen and phone alone.
    He may be right in getting this soldier home, but he should have investigated this situation a little bit more carefully before making a final decision without Congress. He has both Democrats and Republicans raging over this — I guess he thought it would bring up his ratings.
    To let go five terrorists, the worst we had in Guantanamo, requested by the Taliban — imagine, the Taliban tells us what to do — leaving America vulnerable to another attack, and making the soldiers in Bergdahl’s platoon sign a release not to talk about this situation.
    There is a lot wrong with this entire situation and too many lies being spewed. God help the United States of America. John Kerry, you need to go, your remarks are so un-American.

    In God and country,
    BEA DERRICO

The Bergdahl Deal
    East Hampton
    June 6, 2014

Dear Editor,
    In 1985-86 the Reagan Administration involved itself in an illegal affair with our sworn enemy Iran, then involved in a war with Iraq, which we supported. The affair was called the Iran Contra affair.
    Contrary to U.S. legislation and law, certain high-level Reagan Administration officials conspired to sell weapons to Iran thru Israel, in return for which Iran would have Hezbollah, a known and listed terrorist group which it totally controlled, free American hostages it held captive. Hezbollah, of course, is a terrorist group of thugs.
    The money received from the illegal sale of arms was sent to the Contra rebels, in Nicaragua, to overthrow that government. All of this was done, of course, in the pursuit of American hostages and with patriotism.
    Wanna call it “negotiating with terrorists”? Join me. I do.
    Then there was Israel trading hundreds of Palestinian terrorists for one Israeli soldier. Negotiating with terrorists? You bet, to save one of their own. Regardless of his morals, criminality, etc., he was theirs.
    During his term in office, President George W. Bush released hundreds of prisoners of war and President Obama released hundreds more, from Guantanamo prison, many of whom returned to the war in Afghanistan. They will kill Americans there if they can, or kidnap more if they are able to, regardless of the Bergdahl deal.
    We are not talking Al Qaeda terrorists here. We are talking prisoners of the war in Afghanistan. The Taliban, while associated with Al Qaeda, have never done acts of terror in the U.S. or to U.S. territory except in the war in Af­ghan­istan, where they fight for control of their own country. The Taliban are an extremist religious sect. Fanatical, and fiercely national, but they are not listed as a terrorist organization.
    Our war in Afghanistan is declared over in less than one year and our troops withdrawn. Prisoners not held for murder or other major crimes must be released.
    They held one prisoner, a U.S. Army sergeant. We wanted him back and an exchange was arranged. Five Taliban high-level prisoners for one G.I. prisoner. It mattered not that the G.I. was suspect of desertion. He was not going to be left behind.
    All the rest of this hullabaloo is poppycock, political posturing, and false handwringing by those who seek to hurt this president any way they can. From either side, leave the kid there to be tortured or beheaded or whatever, or bring him home and get his version of the facts surrounding his capture.
    The credibility of those who now, Sunday-morning quarterbacking, decry the deal that brought this guy home, is so low that it begins to look like that of former Vice President Dick Cheney, the five-time deferred draftee!
    I like my stock brokerage account balance; I like that U.S. autos are doing well, I like seeing hundreds of thousands of new jobs each month. Go ahead, hate him all you want, dodos. History will place him appropriately near the top. Black or not!
RICHARD P. HIGER



Correction

An editorial last week incorrectly identified the owner of a Bridgehampton property where a CVS store has been proposed as Leonard Ackerman of East Hampton. Mr. Ackerman sold his interest in BNB Ventures, the partnership that controls the property, in 2012 to Paul Kanavos and Adam Raboy of Flag Luxury of New York City.