Letters to the Editor: 08.11.16

Our readers comments

Next Generation

Amagansett

August 6, 2016

David:

With the dog days of August upon us (and tempers at full boil), I thought it was an opportune time to highlight one of the Town of East Hampton’s crown jewels, its Junior Lifeguard Program and this year’s inaugural Nipper Guard program for ages 6 to 8. Run by Vanessa Edwardes, Haley Ryan, and John Ryan’s (Jr. and Sr.) team of professionals, it was a huge success. 

As witnessed at the Nipper lifeguard competition this week, our next generation of lifeguards competed with as much grit and skill as the older participants. While the program focused on lifeguard training and water safety, there was time devoted to teaching the kids respect for our marine life and our environment. 

The level of teaching and dedication to developing these young nippers is something we should all be proud of. Thank you to the Town of East Hampton and all of the dedicated professionals for making this inaugural program so successful.

CHRISTOPHER S. GOODMAN

Symbol of Our Country

East Hampton

August 4, 2016

Dear David,

I would like to answer Mr. Kevin Miller’s letter to the editor in last week’s paper. Kevin, while I know you, I do not know you well, so I hope this reply doesn’t come as a slight. I agree with you, the American flag could be and at most times should be raised at first light and lowered at dusk. However, flag etiquette as defined by legion.org/flag/code states:

(6.) Time and occasions for display: It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.

The American Legion National has been promoting flag etiquette since its forming in 1919. I mention this paragraph to you because in a world where our flag is burned and dropped to the ground and stood on, not only by our enemies but its citizens, it’s important for those of us likeminded to hold our ground and show our country’s flag its proper respect. To the men and women of our military who not only fought and died but to those who came back from protecting our way of life and fought under this flag. To many, they choose to stand and fight in order to protect this flag and what it stands for, many died doing just that. There are many other times when our flag stands tall. I am reminded of the firemen at Ground Zero who found a flag and attached it to a makeshift flagpole. I couldn’t have been more proud of these total strangers that day.

As a member of the Sons of the American Legion, I am disturbed by this utter lack of respect to the symbol of our country. I find it to be deeply disturbing and disrespectful, and while I cannot legally do anything about someone’s rights I can hold true to my father’s teachings in this matter. 

I’m not trying to change your mind in this or say that you are wrong. You can say what you will and I will stand next to you if need be in order for you to say it. I can only hope you can see how important it is, at this time in particular, that we show our patriotism in the face of so much discord. 

TONY GANGA

Commander

East Hampton Sons of the 

American Legion, Sq. 419

Ruining Its Curb Appeal

Amagansett

August 6, 2016

Editor Dear,

As always, we have much to thank you for. The top spot on this week’s list goes to Laura Donnelly, whose restaurant review made me laugh out loud. I don’t suppose we’ll be seeing ads for Jue Lan Club in your pages anytime soon.

I was troubled, though, by the “Also on the Logs” item about the Sag Harbor woman who summoned the police to her house because the truck parked in front was ruining its curb appeal to potential renters. Sadly, she received no relief from her plight, but I’m sure that if Donald Trump becomes president we’ll all be allowed to blow the whistle on the unsightly and undesirable.

A devoted reader,

PAULA DIAMOND

Lighted Crosswalks

East Hampton

August 2, 2016

To the Editor:

I sincerely hope the new lighted crosswalks in Amagansett and Montauk are better than the ones in East Hampton Village. I think no one can argue their effectiveness in making the drivers take notice of the pedestrians, but the East Hampton ones are more frequently completely out of service, or only a few of the lights actually work. Either it is a failure in maintenance or a fault in construction or the technology used, but if the East Hampton experience is any indication, the other town installations will be out of order more frequently than not.

JEFFREY LAUTIN

Gracious, Giving Woman

Springs

August 7, 2016

Dear David, 

We read Michael Light’s beautiful ode to his mother, Deborah Ann Light, in The Star last week and we would like to add to that ode.

Did you know that Deborah was also an actress? Richard LaFrance of the Maidstone Regional Theater produced Paul Osborn’s “Morning’s at Seven” at the Bridgehampton Community House in 1982, directed by Kelly Patton. Deborah Light and Vaughan Allentuck were cast as two of four sisters and shared the same dressing room. Deborah was always early when Vaughan arrived. There she sat, in full makeup and costume, quietly reading or knitting, waiting for the curtain. In those quiet moments they would talk about their children, two boys, and about private schools. Deborah highly recommended her son’s school. Just two mothers talking about their sons’ futures.

Then in the next year, five women got together and formed the Community Theater Company of the Hamptons, known as C.T.C. Needing start-up funds, we went to Deborah and asked if she would help. She graciously gave a donation, stipulating that her rule was “one time only.”

Many years later, during a performance of our 49th production of “Bells Are Ringing,” our male lead injured his back. Since C.T.C. never had understudies and the injury was so severe, we were forced to cancel all remaining performances. Having paid all the expenses of mounting the production, we were out of money. We went to Deborah again. She broke her own rule of “only once” and provided sufficient funds to allow us to open the following season.

No, Michael, your mother was not a snob. We knew her to be a gracious, giving woman, whom it was our pleasure to know.

Most sincerely, 

VAUGHAN ALLENTUCK

MEG GAGE

 

Common-Sense Solution

August 8, 2016

Springs

Dear David,

Who would have thought that common sense could be so dismally absent in the brief discussions held by the Springs School Board regarding use of the vacant C.D.C.H. school building in Wainscott?

The school board, dealing with an overcrowded school and a tax-burdened district, is seeking to expand the size of its facility at a cost of $20 million to $30 million. In Wainscott, the now-vacant C.D.C.H. would solve the overcrowding in Springs. The lease or purchase of this property would save taxpayers the burden of huge debt and solve the overcrowding problem quickly.

However, New York State education law declares that it is illegal for a school district to lease or purchase space outside its own district. This law may be important for certain reasons, and yet in the case of Springs and the C.D.C.H. building, an application of common sense should justify a compelling exception to this rule. The common-sense response of the school board would be to approach our elected representatives in Albany and ask them to pass a law granting an exemption.

However, the Springs School Board appeared relieved when they could quickly pass the buck to their attorney, who said that current state law would not permit Springs students to occupy the C.D.C.H. building. As far as the school board is concerned, the discussion is over. They are not taking issue with the status quo and they are not going to Albany to advocate for a well-reasoned exception. They are not working with Senator LaValle and Assemblyman Thiele to apply pressure. They are apparently fixated upon an expansion of the existing school, a proposal that is unlikely to receive voter support in the upcoming year. By then, the common-sense solution may no longer be available. 

PAMELA BICKET

Orgies for the Colonies

Amagansett

July 28, 2016

Dear David, 

I was unaware of an East Hampton Town recreation option, produced by a mate of the British Royals — an orgy! According to your reporting, the orgy was a dud. In part, perhaps, because the orgy registration fee was $250 a pop and please, a British orgy?

I did retrieve an orgy application form from a public bin:

From Billing Lattens (producers of orgies for the colonies):

East Hampton Town is cordially invited to register ($250 single, $400 couples) for a summer orgy. Please provide the following information:

• How would you answer “Excuse me, whose foot is this?”

• Will you be attending the pre-orgy brunch or the post-orgy debrief, or will you nap?

• Please arrive via bike or horse (we are a green orgy).

• Please have lawyer’s contact details.

• Please no perfume or garlic! 

• Two-legged participants only.

• Marmite for all!

So, I missed it. Well, you can’t be everywhere.

All good things, 

DIANA WALKER

Who Made Us God?

East Hampton

August 4, 2016

To the Editor:

At a recent meeting, when the discussion turned to our deer population, one of the participants suggested that we find a way to begin sterilizing all the does. It set me thinking.

 Before we Europeans began populating this country, native American Indians were here, and I’m sure they killed deer for food. Since then, the deer population has flourished, it’s true. Cull the deer and help feed the hungry. Could use more of that. We also have too many hungry people.

But it’s also true that we’ve taken over the land, cut down the forests, and in too many places replaced them with huge lawns, on which we then pour pesticides, to the detriment of the living earth.

Which species is being more destructive? Drive at a speed proper for a country road, not the Long Island Expressway, and we’ll have fewer collisions with crossing deer.

To promote sterilization to the point of extinction would certainly suggest that we consider ourselves the arbiters of what species has the right to live.

Who made us God?

ARLENE COULTER

On the Beach

East Hampton

August 8, 2016

To the Editor,

Having a home here for 70 years and ancestors since the town was founded, I, and all my family, have loved being here, even with all the changes. But there comes a time when I must speak out. 

We have seen many come and go, and it always has amazed us that so many move here because they like it and then they want to change it. If you come here to be at the beach, fine, then take the way it is, and if you now have a problem with what has been going on, way before you showed up, leave. Go someplace else. We don’t need or want you here.

I think that the real reason for wanting to ban us from using our beach, as we have for many years, is that you want to increase the value of your property. It has nothing to do with vehicles on the beach. It is just greed, plain and simple.

Enough is enough: Love it or leave it.

URBAN S. REININGER III

Constant Seasickness

East Hampton

August 3, 2016

Dear East Hampton Star,

In light of recent experience in New York, I thought I should bring a rather important but delicate problem to everyone’s attention if I can. 

Most people experience seasickness or vertigo at least once in their lives. Imagine having vertigo or seasickness that is chronic and rarely goes away. Imagine that none of the classic remedies — Dramamine or fresh ginger, for example — are completely ineffective. Imagine you actually know what’s causing the problem but it turns out to be an anomaly in a vital organ (which cannot be repaired or replaced) that is triggered by objects that are so ubiquitous that you have no chance of ever getting rid of them. This is what people like me who suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity go through every day of our lives. 

There are plenty of devices that give off electromagnetic fields: computers, light- bulbs, radios, stereos, and televisions. But the really insidious cause of most E.M.F. hypersensitivity discomfort for most who suffer from it can be linked to a single source: cellular technology. 

Speaking of my own experience of this malady, before the cellphone revolution I experienced symptoms, but only when near high-voltage wires, electrical substations, and high-powered broadcasting antennas for radio or television stations. In the case of antennas, I had to be within 50 feet to feel any discomfort, and then it was so mild that I would barely notice after a minute or two. I would also experience a strange reaction going into jewelry stores or banks, the best description of which is that I would seem to experience a momentary reversal in gravity when stepping inside. It never caused me to fall, but I learned to expect it. 

It was after the 9/11 attacks that I began to really notice two new problems. First, during the cleanup of the destruction I couldn’t go anywhere near that neighbor hood without experiencing severe vertigo and even pain, similar to icepicks being shoved into my ears. I also began to notice the same icepick pain whenever people’s cellphones rang. It’s not that the effect was new, but cellphones really proliferated starting in 2002. By 2003, cellphone ringers were so painful that many would cause me to cry out in pain and beg people to either answer their phones quickly or shut them off before my head exploded. I also noticed that if I was in a room with someone who was talking on their phone for more than 15 minutes, I would begin to feel sick. 

My G.P. doctor at the time was puzzled but said it sounded as if I had sensitivity in my inner ear. I consulted my ear doctor, who said that he and his colleagues had begun to get rare but persistent reports of similar problems, which, as far as they could figure, were rooted in the hairs of the semicircular canals in the inner ear. This is the organ that tells the brain which way is up and which is down, and any surgical tampering with it would potentially render the patient unable to walk or even function. His only suggestion was to treat the “seasickness” as just that, but it had never worked in any of the other cases. 

Today, I live in a constant state of seasickness. Cellular devices have proliferated, as has Wi-Fi, and both have gotten stronger and, to me, more insipid. I have never owned a cellphone, and with or without my malady, I would not want one. Those who remember me from my days managing Wild Bird Crossing in Bridgehampton will remember I left that job not only because I couldn’t stop people using their devices in the store but because K-Mart had installed a Wi-Fi system that was causing me to go home each day with many symptoms of migraine headache. 

Other symptoms I experience since 2001 are uncontrollable irritability, paranoia, agoraphobia, and claustrophobia. I can no longer travel to or from the city by bus or train, since both now have Wi-Fi and people are still allowed to text (which is just as bad as talking). When in the city, all my symptoms are magnified tenfold. People wonder why I’ve become a hermit of sorts. Well, wonder no longer. 

As I say, I’m not the only person who suffers from this problem. My cousin sent me an article earlier this year from Reader’s Digest that mentioned a woman who had to move to a town in North Carolina where the presence of a radio telescope has caused the region in a 10-mile radius to have bans on most cellular technology. All cables are buried in the ground and there are no cell towers or Wi-Fi of any kind. I consider myself lucky compared to this woman, since she actually experienced severe headaches instead of nausea or vertigo. 

If you need more evidence that those of us who suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity are not mistaking it for some other malady, I think I can say with great confidence that the only relief any of us have had since 2001 was during the Northeast blackout that lasted for three days about 10 years ago. It was the first and last time that I did not feel even remotely ill. 

I told you all that so that what I say next will have some sort of context. As I have said, the newest threats are the proliferation of both Wi-Fi and (actually I have not mentioned this second one yet) LEDs. In New York City, both have been spreading like wildfire. Between the Jumbo-Trons, neon signs, and Wi-Fi towers, I can no longer spend any time in or even near Times Square. This made it difficult for me in the last year, because my father has had two shows revived and both were in theaters (the Broadway and Studio 54) that were within just a few blocks of Times Square. 

I should mention that if I do enter Times Square, I can barely stand and must have someone with me in order to guide me. Even in front of the Broadway Theater I can feel a tide of E.M. washing over me, making me feel ill. And the presence of hundreds of people, all texting, taking selfies, and generally adding to the E.M. noise inside doesn’t help. They also put up Wi-Fi kiosks along Broadway and in several other places. Before the kiosks went up in our neighborhood on the Upper West Side, I could walk down Broadway in relative comfort. Now I feel as if the buildings are leaning and about to fall on me, and it takes great willpower not to cringe. 

Even without my E.M. hypersensitivity, I still think people spend way too much time with their devices. Christian Slater said it best in his rant in the final episode of the first season of “Mr. Robot,” but I can’t repeat it here for reasons of decency. It’s my hope that our village won’t be adding any Wi-Fi to the streets, as it will make it impossible for people like me to enjoy our chosen home at all. It’s bad enough that I have Wi-Fi in the houses all around me (I can feel it up to 800 feet away) and that I’m within a tenth of a mile of two cell/radio towers. Speaking for myself, cell technology and LED lighting have made my life hellish and forced me into a seclusion I never wanted. It’s not that I never go out, but when I do I wind up feeling very ill.

And please remember that though electromagnetic hypersensitivity is rare, I have run into several other people who have it in varying degrees of severity. The one thing we all agree on is that all this technology has made our lives uncomfortable. And, yes, suicide has crossed my mind — but that’s the way of the lazy coward, and I’m neither. 

So the next time someone asks you to stop texting, end a phone call, or set your phone to silent, it might just be because your device is making them physically ill. And personally I would like to take a pie contract out on the people responsible for the new Pokemon game.

As always, thanks for reading. 

MATT HARNICK

There Are No Sidelines

Springs

August 3, 2016

To the Editor:

By appealing to that which is the best in others, you become that which is best in yourself. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Trump’s appeal to bigotry, divisiveness, and unabashed lies serves only to bring out those qualities in his followers. Beware, both Democrats and Republicans, this man represents a clear and present danger to all that this country stands for. Can we join hands and efforts to make sure that Trump does not speak for us? We can agree to disagree on issues, but we can still agree that Trump must not become the president of this country and the most powerful human on earth.

To my uninvolved Democrat friends, please join us in working to defeat this out-of-touch demagogue in his bid to be our commander in chief. For my Republican friends (yes, I have quite a few), look within yourselves and decide if you can do nothing during this mortal threat to our demo­cracy. To my independent and other friends, ask if this man is the guardian that you will entrust your children and grandchildren to. 

We do not have the luxury of the sidelines this time. There are no sidelines in this defining moment in the future of our country. If we are not part of this solution, we certainly become part of the problem. What a singular opportunity that we have, to work together, to serve our country when it is facing a real, existential threat by a charlatan and unscrupulous pretender.

We all deserve better.

LARRY S. SMITH

Reading the Checks

Springs

August 8, 2016

Dear David,

I can’t seem to judge who is a bigger liar, President Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Upon reading fact check after the Democratic Convention it seems Obama loves to pat himself on the back and raves about his accomplishments. Upon reading the checks he lies, as much as Hillary the short-circuit lady does. I will not judge the Iranian who was hanged in Iran for being a spy alleged to be on Hillary’s server, let’s get more info.

F.Y.I. go see the documentary “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party.” It’s an eye-opener.

In God and country,

BEA DERRICO

Delusions of Grandeur

Montauk

August 5, 2016

Dear David:

After closely monitoring the presidential race for the past three weeks, I would urge Mr. Trump to withdraw as the Republican nominee. It is pretty obvious to all Democrats and many Republicans that Mr. Trump should opt out and plead  “unfit to serve by reason of insanity.”

One would hope that Mr. Trump would then commit himself to a psychiatric hospital, where he could receive the care he so desperately needs. I am sure that with some deep therapy and careful administration of drugs to eliminate delusions of grandeur, Mr. Trump would eventually get a grip on reality and disavow his bigotry, misogyny, and bromance with Vladimir Putin.

BRIAN POPE