Letters to the Editor: 07.31.14

Our readers' comments

Of Dorothy King
    Shutesbury, Mass.
    July 26, 2014

To the Editor:
    Carol and I will always have fond memories of Dorothy King, as she helped us so much with our research on Carol’s great-uncle and former village mayor, Jud Banister.
    We still have her first email from Nov. 15, 2008, where she says she pulled our letter to the editor from the previous May that had migrated to the bottom of the pile next to her computer. She not only related some personal stories about Jud, but, importantly, told us how to obtain Star archive microfilm through interlibrary loan from the New York State Library.
    That tip led to hundreds of hours in front of a microfilm reader at Amherst College’s Robert Frost Library and a treasure trove of articles about Jud and his contemporaries.
    Though our visits with Dorothy were brief, they were always special, and we, like so many others, will miss her dearly.


Elaine Was a Delight
    July 28, 2014

Dear David,
    Reading the excellent article in The New York Times last week about the life of Elaine Stritch reminded me of an East End-associated story.
    Several years ago Chuck Hitchcock and I produced 10 cabaret events, here in East Hampton at Guild Hall and at Bay Street in Sag Harbor, as fund-raisers for AIDS, East Hampton Day Care Center, and the Springs School. For my 60th, I actually wrote a show about “Commitment‚” starring K.T. Sullivan and Mark Nadler. Lionel Larner from Wainscott was the M.C. for the event and we invited 250 friends to help us celebrate the one-evening performance as a fund-raiser for the East Hampton Day Care Center. Since Noel Coward and I share the same birthday we scheduled the event for Dec. 16 and used several of his songs.
    Through a friend, I was able to contact Elaine, who agreed to donate her talents if I would bring her hairdresser out from the city to do her hair for the event. I readily agreed and made arrangements for her transportation and a fee of $300.
    They arrived in the afternoon and I left them to it in the Bay Street Theater dressing room. Elaine was a delight. During the dress rehearsal she made a suggestion or two about her performance, and when I outlined what I had envisaged for her entrance she commented, “If that is what you would like me to do, of course.” Since Elaine was to be a surprise, none of our guests knew of her participation.
    The show went beautifully and as we neared the end Lionel announced to the audience, “Ladies and gentlemen, since every proper birthday celebration should have a gift presentation, our gift to you all this evening — Miss Elaine Stritch!” After the first moment of stunned silence the audience applauded wildly as Elaine took center stage. She was a sensation of storytelling and songs. And through it all she looked stunning, with a pillbox hat hiding her newly coiffed hair.


My Really Bad Week
    July 25, 2014

To the Editor:
    Day 1: The dog I am walking while her family is out of the country manages to slip out of my grasp, triggering my journey into hell.
    I live in Clearwater, where I know a handful of neighbors. I start to meet a wider net of neighbors, asking everyone if they have seen this sweet dog that still has her red collar and leash attached. I contact Animal Control and leave a message, as it is long past closing. I hand out my number and am on the streets looking for Stella (yes, Stella). Stella is a bolter who will prove in the next five days that she can avoid anyone for as long as she chooses. A friend puts an alert on Facebook and a Bonac site that is amazing at connecting the universe out here.
    Day 2: At 5:30 a.m. I start my search and see her, follow her, but cannot catch her. Neighbors are starting to call with Stella spottings. Friends help me blanket the area with posters; strangers are becoming daily lifelines, seeming to care as much for her return as I. Heather Miller and Max Luetters from Animal Control enter the search and give me hope. Warden Betsy, please know that these two young people are amazing. Truly. They both went above and beyond in trying to retrieve Stella.
    Days 3 through 5 blur together. Search starts at 5:30 a.m. daily. Neighbors are already looking for her. I am going bald with anxiety, but Nanette, who I don’t know but lives five blocks away, is determined, and that gives me hope. Some strangers on the street ask me if I have seen a dog trailing a red leash and others castigate me for my irresponsibility. But the thing is, they are all concerned about this little dog that is clearly staying within this five-block radius, eating the food I set out daily, and eluding us all with her speed and determination.
    Stella’s family returned from holiday, knowing that she was loose, not lost. Her mother, obviously upset, rose above all that to assure me it could have happened to anyone. It could have, but it didn’t. It happened to me and my community.
    I want my neighbors to know about her return.
    On the sixth night, Max had set up a humane trap, but Stella was too smart for that. I looked outside at 8:54 p.m. and thought I saw her but wasn’t sure.  I opened the door, knowing that could be a huge mistake, but Stella came racing to the front door like a bullet. Until she realized I wasn’t Mom. I called her mom (who lives in Sag Harbor) and kept the pup entertained with hot dog bites until her arrival a short while later, when Mom pulled up next door without her lights on and, standing in the front yard, said, “Stella?”
    Stella, who had avoided capture by this wonderful loving community, turned and bolted again, but this time into her mom’s arms. 
    I want to thank Animal Control and the whole community of Clearwater for their concern and support throughout my really bad week.


To the Lifeguard
    July 28, 2014

Dear Editor:
    “Chapeau,” as the French say! To the lifeguard at Indian Wells Beach who saved the Dolphin Float! I am witnessing what we already know: These are the best-trained and most dedicated lifeguards in the world!
    God bless them all!

    P.S. The lifeguard’s name: Charles Bourie.

Noise Bombards Us
    July 27, 2014

Dear Editor,
    When my husband, two daughters, and I moved to Montauk 19 years ago, we thought it was perfect. So it seemed. We took a long time, three years, to find the right property to buy, to build our house. We found a quiet street, not many neighbors. We live a quiet life, keep to ourselves. We like quiet.
    After a long winter it was so enjoyable to finally be able to open our windows in late spring and summer to the fresh night air, a gentle breeze of honeysuckle, to hear crickets chirping in the grass and even a loon on the lake. I love the sounds of nature, songbirds at my birdfeeder, bees in the tree blossoms.
    But I’m disgusted with a rude and inconsiderate neighbor who has ruined that pleasure for years now. Loud parties of people in the backyard pool till late at night, little dog yapping incessantly, loud music from speakers aimed at the backyard. This summer the Montauk Mustangs baseball team is housed there and it is loud yelling, screaming, and music almost every night, often till after midnight. When they practice in the backyard, the foul language flies at high volume. Nice! Attempts to speak to her are fruitless, as she quickly makes it very clear that she couldn’t care less that her noise bombards us. And it’s not a rental house but a resident of Montauk who has lived her life here.
    My husband and I work hard, we go to bed at a reasonable hour, 10 p.m., and we can no longer enjoy our windows open for the noise that pours into our house. During the day, the volume of raucous behavior and crude music is often so loud we have to retreat inside and close windows.
    We have called the police many times over the past years. But this year has been the worst yet. The police have come seven times in the last two months, since the ballplayers moved in. The noise stops for the night, only to crank back up again the next day. We know there are noise ordinances, we have a copy of them. Where is the enforcement? Why isn’t there a penalty, a fine, for repeated offenders who continually rob us of our peaceful life we seek?
    It is exceedingly disappointing that our legal right to quiet enjoyment of our life is continuously stomped on, yet our police force has not issued anything more serious than a slap on the hand, which regularly goes ignored!


Fly Over Open Water
    Shelter Island
    July 28, 2014

To the Editor:
    Despite the continued and strongly voiced opposition to helicopter and aircraft traffic over residential areas on the East End, there seems to be very little will to effect any significant change.
    In a July 27 article, The New York Times makes a point of disclosing how comparatively easy it is to charter a helicopter for $3,150 and split the cost six ways between passengers. Hiring a helicopter on Friday through an Uber or Blade app is easier than hailing a taxi in Midtown.
    The reason for routing air traffic over residential neighborhoods as opposed to open water is simple. It’s the faster, less expensive way. As though the extra $50 it would cost to reroute the aircraft over water is going to burn a hole in the pocket of the passengers.
    In choosing the route the pilot, in hand with the Eastern Regional Helicopter Association over which there is no F.A.A. jurisdiction, will satisfy the most cost and time-effective way on behalf of the client passenger.
    It is unacceptable that the routing of inbound and outbound aircraft over residential neighborhoods and wildlife sanctuaries be determined through the cost benefit to a demographic for whom cost is no object. It is furthermore outrageous that there are no regulations to govern safe air traffic; on multiple occasions two helicopters within close proximity in both altitude and distance have flown directly over my home.
    If helicopters, Gulf Stream jets, and propeller planes are not redirected to fly directly over open water only, the Town of East Hampton should be prevailed upon to shut down the airport.
    As far as the celebrity, hedge fund founder, glamour girl, and boyfriend crowd goes, let them be driven.


The Sky Will Fall
    July 25, 2014

Dear David:
    The helicopter operators are feeling threatened. Their website, Friends of the East Hampton Airport, is a marvel of duplicity. Unsurprisingly, no person is listed on the site as a representative, yet one “contact” phone number is traceable to a “Jeffrey P. Smith” of Rahway, N.J. Might we assume that this is the Jeffrey Smith who acts as a spokesperson for the Eastern Regional Helicopter Council, and is also a helicopter pilot?
    His site makes several outlandish claims: “Tens of thousands per year use the airport to visit their vacation homes.” Well, not if you count multiple flights, Mr. Smith. There are perhaps 60 to 70 fancy vehicles parked (for free) during the week at the airport. But I suspect that tens of thousands of helicopter flights per summer is your goal.
    “Since it first opened (in 1937), the airport has been an indispensable source of commerce for local businesses in the Hamptons and surrounding areas.” Until five years ago, helicopter service to East Hampton was a fraction of what it is today. Was East Hampton in the grips of a depression until then? Is an increase in the number of wealthy people the great priority here? Aren’t thousands of airport opponents perfectly well off too?
    “Noise complaints have fallen each year for the past three years.” On Memorial Day weekend alone, there were over 1,000 documented complaints — and from virtually every region of both forks of the East End and Shelter Island. If there is such widespread love for our airport, why the need for such propaganda?
    “The reality is with no airport, fewer people will buy homes, visit, and spend money in the Hamptons. Eventually real estate values will decrease, restaurants will suffer and costs for everyone else will increase.” Yes, and then the finally quiet sky will fall, and Armageddon ensue. Ban helicopters — and run for your lives!


The Speed Limit
    East Hampton
    July 26, 2014

To the Editor:
    Surely anyone who lives in East Hampton must be aware that people are driving over the speed limit. The speed limit on Main Street in East Hampton is 30 miles per hour. Well, folks, not many drivers are aware of this or they just don’t give a damn.
    Crosswalks, even though lighted with flashing lights on the ground, do not deter speeders to slow down or even stop.
    What is the solution? Lower the speed limit or erect more traffic lights so people can cross the street safely.


Plan Disappointing
    East Hampton
    July 26, 2014

Dear David:
    PSEG Long Island’s takeover of the Long Island Power Authority included a requirement that the investor-owned utility submit a plan detailing how it envisions the “utility of the future,” a k a Utility 2.0. PSEG leadership presented their vision of a 21st-century utility for Long Island last Thursday at a public hearing at Stony Brook University.
    Unfortunately, PSEG’s plan does not live up to its ambitious Utility 2.0 title. It is at best a 1.1 version of utility business as usual, with some more integration of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.
    While the Town of East Hampton has formulated a sustainable energy vision and established goals of meeting communitywide energy consumption 100 percent from renewable energy sources, PSEG’s plan fails to offer a vision of how the utility will enable Long Island to transition from a carbon-intensive fossil-powered economy to a low-carbon economy running on renewable energy sources.
    Our new utility company’s plan for the future ignores the threat of climate change for Long Island and urgent need for action. Its plan does not even mention New York State’s and Governor Cuomo’s goal to reduce economywide greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by the year 2030 and 80 percent by 2050.
    Each year we dump 35 million tons of climate-altering greenhouse gasses, most of it carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere here on Long Island, and the majority of emissions are from electric power consumption. But despite the fact that PSEG is the sole distributor of power and the electricity sector is the largest contributor to Long Island’s greenhouse gas emissions, the utility’s leadership does not seem to accept responsibility, nor does it describe its envisioned role and responsibilities in working to reach our state emission reduction goals.
    As of Jan. 1 of next year, PSEG will be in charge of deciding how our electricity is produced. Yet its plan is mum on whether we should go ahead with the construction of Caithness II, another fossil-fueled power plant in Yaphank, and a number of proposals for conventional power plants in East Hampton, or whether it would be preferable to make the switch to clean power sources such as solar and offshore wind power.
    PSEG does not offer a vision or roadmap to renewables but is proposing to burden customers who are willing to invest their own money in net-metered solar energy systems with additional cost. PSEG’s plan to charge these visionary customers more money fails to take into account the systemwide benefits these rooftop energy systems provide to the entire electric system.
    Despite an overall disappointing plan, PSEG is proposing to invest an additional $200 million in a load-shifting with remote-controlled A/C thermostats as well as some energy efficiency and commercial solar programs. PSEG proposes to recover its $200 million investment and earn an expected $122 million in profit for its shareholders through “modest” rate increases starting in 2016.
    I think it is time for communities to take charge of our energy future. The East Hampton Town Board is to be commended for demonstrating its commitment to a sustainable energy future and adopting visionary goals for a future powered entirely by renewable energy sources. Now it is time for all of us to get involved and turn that vision into a reality.

    Executive Director
    Renewable Energy Long Island

PSEG Rated Last
    Sag Harbor
    July 28, 2014

Dear Editor:
    J.D Power recently released its “2014 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study.” Again, Long Island, now served by PSEG-LI, rated last out of 146 utility companies across America.
    PSEG has been the electric company for Long Island for seven months. Nothing has changed for the better. Rates are higher, debt is higher, and PSEG has gotten itself embroiled in a number of local controversies across Long Island, including East Hampton, Shelter Island, and North Hempstead. PSEG has arbitrarily bulldozed over the local concerns of residents and elected officials. In fairness, it remains to be seen how PSEG will respond to a hurricane. However, it is not encouraging that they were forced to forfeit $1 million for failing to get their new storm outage management system online by July 1.
    LIPA may be all but gone, but it appears that LILCO has returned with a new name, PSEG-LI, only worse. This time there is no real oversight over our utility company. That is why I continue to call for a State Utility Consumer Advocate to protect us from a utility company that has no real ties to Long Island or motivation other than its stockholders.
    Baseball Hall of Famer and Met broadcaster Ralph Kiner always told the story of his days with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He led the National League in home runs for seven straight years, but, sadly, the Pirates always finished last. He went to the general manager, Branch Rickey, to ask for a raise. Rickey’s response: “I can finish last without you.”
    We could have finished 146th out of 146th without PSEG. Sadly, there is no one to protect us the next time they want a raise.

    State Assemblyman
    First District

Boots on the Tires
    East Hampton
    July 28, 2014

To the Editor:
      This past Sunday, I took a 9:30 a.m. spin class at Soul Cycle and parked my car in the lot in front of the studio. After the 45-minute class, I walked out feeling great, as I always do. My husband and I changed and walked around the corner, met the rest of our family and friends at Babette’s, which is the usual plan.
    On this day, we were a big group and had to wait for a table. We ate and walked to our cars and found a sticker on the windows and yellow boots on the tires. The stickers said to call a cellphone, and a uniformed man with the initials E.C. appeared. He told us that to get the boot removed we had to pay $200 per boot, and if we didn’t get him the money immediately, he would have us towed for an additional $400 per vehicle.
    Thankfully, we had our A.T.M. card in the car and were able to withdraw the $400 for both vehicles. We then handed him the $400 and had to sign a paper which read, “The vehicle I was operating was immobilized (booted), (in accordance with all state and local laws).” Below where we were forced to sign, another sentence read, “Disputes: must be put in writing.” So here I am now writing: I dispute! Vehemently dispute!
    Nowhere on the receipt does it have an address or working phone number. The security officer known simply as #10 wouldn’t give me his name or the owner of his company, E.C. Services. It simply lists P.O. Box 1325 in Center Moriches. When you call the number, it sounds like a fax machine with some man telling you the only way to release your car is by calling the cell number on the sticker on your car. I was done with #10, as he took our $400 and said there was nothing else he can do. 
    Who owns E.C. Services? A phantom? And why would the owner of this lot, Peconic Bay Realty, use a private security company that enlists a boot company unless someone is profiting greatly? The Town of East Hampton uses the East Hampton police to enforce expired cars by marking tires, a ticket costs the vehicle owner $75. My extra 30 minutes cost me $200 and the other vehicle $200. Why is this fair and in accordance with the law?
    I plan on disputing further to E.C. Services and in small claims court, as I do not accept that this is a reasonable or lawful justification for a private firm to profit this much money off of patrons of the stores the lot serves. 
    Just a note further about any warnings to vehicles entering the lot. There is only one sign when you enter this lot about two-hour parking, which an unsuspecting person may never see. Unlike the Town of East Hampton, which places signs that are clearly marked, I found only one sign at the entrance, which says it’s for customers, which I am! How does the town allow booting?


Object of Ridicule
    East Hampton
    July 25, 2014

To the Editor,
    I see that Amagansett has its own Madame Defarge, who writes under the nom de guerre Paula Diamond. (“Park­ed at the Beach,” July 24.) What would prompt anyone to write a letter to the editor mocking a crime victim? And then proudly sign it?
    Diamond-Defarge prays the woman whose purse and wallet containing $1,500 were stolen has learned her lesson and will stay locked indoors until her lease is up. What lesson is that? If you’re rich and someone breaks into your parked car and steals your stuff, you’re not the victim of a crime, just an object of ridicule? What an ugly, ugly letter.


Water Protection
    Hampton Bays
    July 28, 2014

Dear David,
    Although water has been the foundation of East Hampton’s identity, I’m pleased to see the collective acknowledgement that the town’s waters are vulnerable to the same pollution threats that are present in the western communities. The coves in Sag Harbor turn rust color now, while swimming at Havens Beach after it rains remains a public health concern. A health advisory has been released by the trustees because of a toxic algal bloom in Georgica Pond. Georgica, Lake Montauk, Fort Pond, Accabonac, and Sag Harbor are all classified by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as “impaired waters.”
    The root causes of our water pollution problems, the nitrogen loadings from the thousands of homes on conventional wastewater systems, looms large. Wastewater regulatory reforms at all levels of government are long overdue and critically important toward sustaining the biological integrity of our waters. 
    The recently failed Water Quality Control Act sponsored by State Senator Ken LaValle and Assemblyman Robert Sweeney fell short in enacting meaningful sewage reforms. The agricultural and building industries wouldn’t support more progressive management actions, while the D.E.C. didn’t want the burden of greater regulatory responsibility and accountability. The silver lining in the bill coming up short, there’s an opportunity to get it right by strengthening its weaknesses and by incorporating water protection strategies necessary to achieve meaningful results. 
    Going forward, we must define the level of nitrogen removal necessary to protect our waters on a watershed-by-watershed basis. This management action should be in conjunction with New York State enacting water body-specific numeric nutrient standards. These standards are necessary to facilitate corrective actions such as nitrogen discharge limits for degraded waters.
    As far back as 1996, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been pushing the states to adopt numeric nutrient criteria for surface waters. Numeric standards provide an important benchmark for water body health. I was informed that New York State’s fulfillment of the E.P.A. mandate has beencompleted for certain water body types. However, because of political sensitivities (objections from the development and agricultural interests), the numeric criteria that have been developed is being kept under wraps.
    Our elected officials and their enablers (government bureaucrats) need to move beyond an economic development agenda and demonstrate their commitment to clean water. Numeric standards is the best management tool to help define the state of our waters and where we need to be with regard to their biological health. It’s time to direct the D.E.C. to publish the nutrient standards they prescribe so public debate can commence without further delay.

    Defend H2O

End Aerial Spraying
    East Hampton
    July 30, 2014

Dear David,
    In the summer months mosquitoes are most active and we know that these insects can carry West Nile virus, which can be very serious. Mosquitoes breed in pools of standing water and in containers that hold standing water, such as tires and buckets. As homeowners we can remove this problem, but how safe is the aerial spraying taking place in our town?
    The Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control will tell us no unreasonable risk comes from the chemicals being used by Suffolk County government. Many scientists and health organizations dispute this claim.
    I am very concerned that the pesticides being used in our wetlands are toxic to birds, fish, crabs, and other marine life. Many feel that this kind of spraying is the cause for lobster deaths.
    One chemical that was being used was methoprene, which sinks to the ocean floor where lobsters live and feed. I feel the time has come to end aerial spraying in our wetlands.

    East Hampton Town Trustee

Food From Farmers
    July 28, 2014

To the Editor:
    To support our local sustainable agriculture, please spend the first $100 of your weekly grocery bill buying food from East Hampton farmers. They deserve a fair living wage. They are protecting our soil and growing healthy food for us to eat.
    Please go to the Springs Farmers Market or the farmers markets in Montauk, East Hampton, and Sag Harbor, or buy community-supported agriculture food from Amber Waves, Quail Hill, or Balsam Farms in Amagansett.

    Thank you,

Formula Store Proposal
    July 25, 2014

Dear David,
    This letter concerns my feeling that even though the original “formula store” proposal was substantially reduced in scope, indicating a sense of respect for the nonstop attack of the store and property owners, I am worried that the whole concept is in jeopardy.
    I am a Democrat and a letter writer at times. I recall clearly several times last year complaining that the moneyed minority — Montauk Beach Club, 555, and, on many other issues, the Wilkinson board — was not listening to the citizens; it was business first. I strongly hope that this board thinks of the public first and foremost.
    With the formula store issue, as seen at the public hearing last week, the property owners and their representatives made no positive suggestions. They wanted either no law, more study, and if approved they predicted threats of lawsuits. There was no mention of the fact that the proposed law simply puts a vital step in the approval cycle by the group comprised of professionals, prior to approval, namely the town planning board.
    The criteria for approval are consistent with the long-established desire of the people who live and vacation here, i.e., we go to Riverhead for big-box stores if necessary, but we don’t want East Hampton Town to slowly make that trip unnecessary.
    I discussed this issue with a friend the other day and he looked down and asked where I bought my loafers, noting that they were just like his. The Bass outlet in Amagansett Square, I said, and he said, “You see? That’s why we need formula stores.” I smiled at his clever ploy but I described the design of that mini-mall, its large center grass picnic area with entertainment during the summer, its large wraparound parking lot out of sight from the highway.
    I am sure that proposal would have received a unanimous approval of the planning board, Bass store and all. It is the nature and look of the project that are vital.


Reasonable Standards
    East Hampton
    July 28, 2014

Dear David,
    Our East Hampton Town Board has an important action to take soon, that is, to enact the revised “formula store” legislation.
    Regretfully, some of those who spoke in organized opposition to the proposed law at the recent public hearing presented an inaccurate picture and predicted a sweeping doomsday scenario for all business — large and small — in town.
    It should be noted that those objectors represent mostly owners of buildings, landlords, and real estate agents. And, contrary to some assertions, there are no arbitrary prohibitions imposed on businesses by this legislation. Rather, it requires that those who want to open a “formula store” anywhere in town where retail stores are currently allowed, to apply to the planning board for a special permit that spells out specific and reasonable standards. The planning board would then rule on the permit after a noticed public hearing.
    Standards are not new to East Hampton. Indeed, it is these standards that have maintained our local character, beauty, and unique sense of place, these same standards that have made our town such a powerful magnet for homeowners, renters, businesses, and tourists. Never before has the often-quoted adage been so appropriate or so timely. Do not kill the golden goose that lays the golden eggs!

    Most sincerely,

Truck Legislation
    July 27, 2014

Dear Editor,
    I sat and listened to all the comments at the recent public hearing on legislation to regulate and restrict truck parking at single-family residences. I heard the emotional and teary comments by one of the opponents of the proposal. However, what you should know is that this gentleman’s neighbors have been crying for a long time. His property has been a poster child for the need for East Hampton to better enforce its residential zoning code. He has kept two large box trucks parked haphazardly in his front yard for years.
    The sentiment stated by several opponents of the proposed legislation is that if they were born or raised in East Hampton, then the law doesn’t apply to them and they are somehow exempt from a zoning law that has been on the books since before some of them were born, a law that allows only light trucks at a single-family residence. It became apparent that the majority of tradesmen understand this law and many abide by it by placing their medium and heavy-duty trucks in commercially zoned parts of town.
    Surely laws must be applied fairly and equally to all. Otherwise, should we have a sliding scale where one’s adherence to the law is based on length of residency or birthplace? What other laws would local tradesmen be exempt from? And what of the tradesmen who are new arrivals to our area. What laws must they abide by?
    The Springs community has recently worked on a Safe Routes to School project. I believe that the large number of unlawful medium and heavy-duty trucks parked in our residential community has given rise to an enormous flow of truck traffic every morning and evening and that this truck traffic poses an increased risk to pedestrians and cyclists, particularly children.
    The town board should pass the proposed truck legislation and work quickly to ensure that there is an affordable parking solution in several commercial areas of town to accommodate those whose trucks will be displaced. Further, any town parking facility should be available only to licensed businesses. Taxpayers should not have to subsidize unlawful behavior or those who improperly and unfairly compete with local businesses.


Should Be Tabled
    East Hampton
    July 24, 2014

Dear Editor,
    The proposed town law that would ban modified pickup trucks, including trucks with a bed wider than the cab or with increased sidewall height, should be tabled.
    Such a law would have a disproportionate adverse economic impact on the tradesmen-owners of modified pickups living in Springs, a community already overburdened by taxes.
    In other areas of town where there are large residential lots, the parking of modified pickup trucks is not noticeable. (Query: How many complaints have there been regarding the parking of modified pickup trucks from residents of Northwest Woods?)
    If the existing laws prohibiting businesses in residential areas are being violated, then the solution is not to make new stricter laws, but to enforce the existing laws.


Overkill Regulations
    East Hampton
    July 28, 2014

Dear Editor,
    The East Hampton Town Board wields a sledgehammer to squash a mosquito.
    The new truck-trailer proposal is too broad sweeping, inconsiderate of many local businesses equipped with only one to three small to midsize trucks-trailers, whether carpenters, landscapers, masons, painters, electricians, and so on.
    As co-owners of a small construction company in East Hampton Town, we are opposed to this proposed town board regulation. 
    Enforcing noise regulations, screening of trucks and trailers, and/or parking them in the back and side yards of homes would be a better way to go rather then pushing these added regulations as presented by the town board.
    Here it should be noted that members of the board voted to keep this matter open until the next public meeting, and are only accepting written comments with no further public verbal comments allowed. Why? Is it because they want to vote in these overkill regulations to rein in those few neighbors not practicing good old-fashioned “good neighboring”?   


Money Is the Problem
    July 18, 2014

To the Editor,
    Last night I attended the East Hampton town board meeting. The room was filled to the walls with interested parties for almost three hours. The subject was heavy-duty trucks.
    The trucks are not the problem — money is. If the law is passed, people who own and use heavy trucks will have to rent in areas to park these vehicles overnight, costing a minimum of $250 a month.
    I live in the residentially zoned Springs. Some people own their own homes here. Landlords also rent property here — to make money. The owners and renters use these residences to operate businesses to make money.
    The people who object to the crowded houses, traffic, and appearances of the neighborhood say it reduces property values. Again, money.
    I suggested that the town board create town-owned property where heavy-duty trucks could park overnight for free. Again — money. Emotions were running high last night. Disagreement could be lowered and also save money.


Huntington Crossway
    Water Mill
    July 28, 2014

Dear Editor:
    I have a friend who used to live in what some people refer to as “the hood.”
    I spent a lot of time there. There was always music playing at full blast from vying boom boxes, unkempt lawns with junk strewn on them, and cars parked awry. Everyone knew there was stuff going on that wasn’t necessarily legal.
    It was called Huntington Crossway.
    Debra Scott is a good reporter. She got it right. 
    I am shocked at her suspension. She was just doing her job reporting the facts.


Inalienable Rights
    East Hampton
    July 28, 2014

Dear Mr. Rattray,
    I am writing in support of Debra Scott and her column “Portrait of a Neighborhood.”
    Frankly, there is not one word or idea expressing “racism” in this article. Her recent suspension from The East Hampton Star unequivocally denies her inalienable rights in the United States Constitution. The First Amendment grants every citizen the right to freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Debra Scott should be reinstated immediately.
    May I please suggest that you read what will be published in your newspaper before it goes to press? You also may want to return to school to take a course in American government,
    As an alternative, you may consider relocating to Syria. I am sure that your editorial and management skills would be welcome in Monsieur Al-Assad’s government-controlled media empire.

    Yours sincerely,

    East Hampton
    July 28, 2014

To the Editor,
    As of July 28, over 1,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s ground offensive. As much as one-third of them are children. Prime Minister Netanyahu regrets the death “of every innocent civilian.” Really? For as long as I can remember their policy has been to kill Palestinian fighters regardless of how many innocents die with them. In the twisted equivalency of a war that does not end, it seems every Israeli that is killed is worth 100 Palestinians.
    Netanyahu says Hamas is “cynically” hiding fighters and weapons in civilian populations. With so little real estate of their own (over 10,000 people per square mile), it is hard to do otherwise.
    The world holds its breath for a peace negotiation to occur, but when it does, Israel continues to deny the Palestinians their freedom. Palestinians can’t work because of Israel’s controls. They live in cramped poverty at home and in camps. Families are separated by barriers and checkpoints. And the children that make up over half the population have no life and no future. What is the point of slaughtering people who have already suffered enough? Do they think they can bomb them into acceptance of their miserable existence?
    Netanyahu asks: “What would you do?” For starters, I would not shoot rockets at buildings crammed with innocent people. I would go far toward giving the Palestinians what they want: land, a capital of east Jerusalem, territorial integrity, self-respect, an unfettered economy — pretty much the basics of life.
    Giving the Palestinians a fair deal after all that’s transpired might bring the peace that Israel and the world wants for it. The status quo is not working.
    The American Jewish community and the U.S. government should not be sending billions to Israel every year, as if to say, “You can do no wrong.”


World on Fire
    July 26, 2014

Dear David,
    If you listen to liberals, such as the White House press secretary Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Schumer, and any and all liberals that appear on the Sunday talk shows, they all have the same line, each one exactly the same. The name-calling in the paper from one particular letter writer may have a surprise when Trey Gowdy takes complete control over the upcoming investigations.
    To all the Bea Derricos, I thank you for your input, but trying to explain something even if you prove it by 100 percent to a narrow-minded liberal can be laughable. When George Bush was president, every week letter-writers chastised, bashed, and did their best to destroy his reputation, they were non-stop with their opinions. Now you are called racist, dummy, etc. I don’t have a right to voice my opinion about this administration, I must respect the office of the president. Where was your respect, please? People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
    It will be interesting to see the answers given as Mr. John Porta released my exact sentiments, thank you. I often wonder where the information that a liberal sends out, as the newspapers had President Obama as number one, yes, number one worst president, when liberals have him as top five.
    The world is on fire and we love to get on Air Force One at taxpayers’ expense to fly all over to campaign for the Democratic war chest, and then we play golf, while Russia does what Putin wants. Remember Romney warned us about Russia while Obama laughed.
    The border needs to be closed, money being sent to Central America needs to be stopped, and the children who traveled thousands of miles in their diapers need to be with their parents who spent how much to the coyote back in their own country. We need to take care of the Americans who are homeless and hungry, give them their rights first. We need to care for our vets and their families first and foremost.
    Giants fan while living in Brooklyn, it’s so laughable, chuckle ha ha.

    In God and country,

Campaign Slogan
    East Hampton
    July 28, 2014

Dear David,
    I want to congratulate the Congressional candidate Lee Zeldin on his campaign slogan, “New Leadership, a Strong­er Voice, a Fresh Perspective.” It’s truly an accomplishment — seldom have I seen so much delusion in so few words.
    New leadership? Zeldin has already declared that he would’ve supported the government shutdown orchestrated by the Tea Party in Congress that brought our country to the brink of default. Playing chicken with our economy and millions of American jobs isn’t leadership, it’s reckless insanity.
    A stronger voice? His campaign would barely be afloat without the special interests that give to his campaign in return for the promise of cushy tax cuts — cuts that shift the tax burden onto the backs of the middle class. I wonder who he’ll really represent in Congress: the voters of Suffolk County or the big-money special interests funding his campaign?
    A fresh perspective? This is from a man who believes women shouldn’t receive the same pay as their male co-workers, that women shouldn’t have the right to choose, and that gay couples don’t have the same rights as straight couples.
    Here’s a humble suggestion for Mr. Zeldin: Try being honest in your slogan. Replace “New Leadership, Strong Voice, Fresh Perspective,” with “Blind Follower, Boss Beholden, Out of Touch.”


I Am and Do
    July 27, 2014

To the Editor:
    Bravo, John Porta! I do hope you are a Dodgers fan and I know you deplore irrational, illogical, knee-jerk defenders of liars and the indefensible — as I am and do.


Getting It
    East Hampton
    July 24, 2014

Dear Editor,
    I read, with great amusement, the recent letter of one who says he lived in Brooklyn and, after reading here about 1951 and the New York Giants, he “gets it”!
    Imagine, decades without getting it?
    Whatever this hapless confessor now “gets,” mystery though it is, he still doesn’t seem to have a clue as to what succinct, rational, and logical renditions of the facts appearing here in letters to the editor can teach him!