Letters to the Editor: 10.19.17

Our readers' comments

Huge Success

Montauk

October 16, 2017

To the Editor,

On behalf of everyone at the Montauk Library, I’d like to thank Sheila Rogers, Blanca Bishop, the East Hampton Healthcare Foundation, Southampton Hospital, and Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church for making the library’s free health fair on Friday a huge success. The representatives and agencies provided essential services, ranging from cholesterol screening, blood pressure screening, and flu shots to information about mammography appointments, Medicare, nutrition, reiki, and more. 

Over 220 Montauk community members attended this event and expressed their gratitude to the volunteers for their generosity, time, and commitment to healthy living. 

DENISE DiPAOLO

Director

Montauk Library

Fire Prevention

East Hampton

October 2, 2017

Dear Mr. Rattray, 

This year National Fire Prevention Week was Oct. 8 to 14. The theme was “Every Second Counts, Plan 2 Ways Out.” The first tools required for fire protection are smoke detectors. There should be a minimum of one on every level of the home, one inside each sleeping area, and one outside of sleeping areas.

• Test alarms monthly.

• Replace alarm batteries at least once a year.

• Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust from smoke alarms.

• Replace your smoke alarms every 7 to 10 years.

The second tool is an escape plan. Make sure the entire family knows and practices your plan each year.

• Make a map of your home showing two ways out of every room.

• Always test doors for heat.

• Crawl low under smoke.

• Don’t take anything with you when escaping.

• Get out to a family meeting place and never go back into a burning building.

The third item on our list is maintenance. You must maintain your home free of hazards and make fire prevention a part of daily life.

• Don’t overload electrical outlets.

• Don’t plug appliances such as refrigerators, microwaves, toasters, or coffee makers into surge protectors. 

• Extension cords should be for temporary use only.

• Have heating equipment serviced regularly.

• Never leave cooking unattended.

• Please refrain from using candles in bedrooms, the danger being if you fall asleep.

• Keep combustibles away from sources of ignition.

Now that I have given some basics on fire prevention, please reach out to learn more. We have brochures and handouts at the fire marshal’s office. Another great source of information is the United States Fire Administration website at usfa.fema.gov. Remember, your volunteer fire departments had open houses during Fire Prevention Week. So let’s all “Plan 2 Ways Out.”

Sincerely yours, 

DAVID BROWNE

Stink Bugs

East Hampton

October 12, 2017

Dear David:

For the past 10 days, our house on David’s Lane has been under siege by a new plague: stink bugs. Last year, in midwinter, about 20 or 30 of these little monsters crawled out of our nooks and crannies, causing confusion about what they were and where they came from — but written off as a general nuisance.

Then, on Sept. 22 of this year, these prehistoric-looking stink bugs blanketed every screen window and door, as well as the shingles around the house, trying to slip inside for a long winter’s nap. After extensive research, where I discovered that even if one wanted to use that poisonous Raid, a direct hit only cause the gray-brown armor-covered bugs to slow down momentarily, before they resume their attempts to wiggle their way in. The best method to get rid of stink bugs is to go around and around with a jar of soapy water and a chopstick if you need to give them an extra nudge (I used empty Talenti ice cream containers with dishwashing liquid).

Stink bugs are not too bright; in fact, most often they dive-bomb in a back flip right into their watery grave. A few clever creatures slipped into the doorjambs and made their way inside, but I think that I caught them. 

My question: is anyone else suffering under this home invasion? Is it because I live next to an orchard, and they adore apples? Marmorated stink bugs first came from Asia about 20 years ago and are slowly spreading over this country. Picking them off, one by one, is amazingly time consuming. 

Besides everything else, the bugs have a smelly defense mechanism, but believe me, I’d rather step on one than have it enter our home. Of course, inevitably, some of them have crawled up into those attic space vents and come springtime, as they start their exodus, are bound to fall onto your dinner plate or buzz your bedside lamp. Is this just the start of a new problem in our idyllic Hamptons?

LYS MARIGOLD

Positional Vertigo

There’s nothing benign about

falling on your head.

Bending down

    to tie your shoelaces

    pull a few weeds

    pick up dropped keys

sets the world spinning.

 

Merck’s Manual advises

“There is no effective treatment.

The patient learns to avoid

provocative positions.”

At my age I don’t remember

how to be provocative

but I do know how to 

fall on my head.

CAROL SHERMAN

Real Estate Saga

East Hampton

October 5, 2017

Dear David, 

My personal real estate saga continues. “I wouldn’t know what to do with the room, rooms are supposed to be boxes!” “But you don’t have a __ (fill in the blank).” So I got out there to see what my place was up against:

The open kitchen: I personally do not want anyone to witness what it takes to get from groceries to a plated dinner of some worth.

The pool: If I could claim it as a tax deduction or find a pool cover that wasn’t ugly.

The lawn: Not my thing.

The fancy bathtub: A thin-edged, translucent bowl suitable for large floral arrangements or ducks?

The landscaping: Privet pompoms, beach grass gone amok. Not very pretty.

I return to my riotous garden, no pool, lawn, or fancy tub contained kitchen house and think: Not bad at all!

DIANA WALKER

Up in a Tree

Sag Harbor 

October 16, 2017

To the Editor,

Last Sunday morning I received a phone call from a woman whose cat was trapped high up inside a tall oak tree on Gerard Drive in Springs. I was familiar with this location since I had an acting friend who lived on this magical strip of land surrounded by picturesque Accabonac Harbor. 

I first met Terence Stamp in Provisions, when it was originally located on Main Street in Sag Harbor. He was acting in the movie “Wall Street.” He told me he was looking to buy a waterfront house, which afforded him privacy. He told me he would pay me a handsome finder’s fee if I found him something suitable. I had just found him a house, which was perfect, except the day before finding this house, someone had put a down payment on it. He finally found a place on Gerard Drive with the help of a realtor.

When I arrived at the lady’s house, I noticed that her car was the same model and color as my girlfriend’s. It was an orange-colored Cross Trek Subaru. The unique similarity in cars made me feel a little bit closer to the cat’s owner. 

A small crowd of neighbors and friends had gathered at the scene of the cat’s stranding. Although I suffer from a hearing loss caused by a mortar attack in Vietnam, I could hear the kitten crying. The poor thing was scared to death. In other words, it was a “scaredy-cat.”

 I have been sitting cats and dogs, rescuing cats ever since I had been in the Army. In 1976 I started climbing trees as a tree surgeon. I was an arborist for over 40 years, so I have an abundance of experience climbing trees to save stranded cats. Sensing the urgency of the situation I drove from Sag Harbor to Springs to rescue the cat, where a friendly neighbor loaned me a ladder, which I climbed to help rescue the cat.

The branches of the cedar tree I was climbing started to bend under my weight. I decided to tie myself into the oak tree with a safety rope. Once I was secured to the tree, I continued to climb up toward the cat. Just before I reached for the cat, two things happened to me. First, my left arm brushed against an electric wire, giving me quite a shock. Then I had an epiphany. The words “scaredy-cat,” defined as an unduly fearful person, may have originated from a cat being scared high up in a tree.

I finally reached the cat and gently cradled it under my left arm. I slowly descended the oak tree and handed it off to a young lady who was standing on the ladder. Everyone in the small gathering started clapping and cheering. I had just saved the cat, for which I was richly rewarded by the owner. I thanked her for her generosity and was about to talk to her when she politely explained that she had already lost a day because of the cat and had to be going back to Westchester. Seeing that she was in a hurry I did not have the heart to tell her that, although she had lost a day, she had gained a cat!

Yours treely, 

RICHARD SAWYER

Use a Leash

Amagansett

October 11, 2017

To the Editor,

My dog was attacked and bitten by two dogs on the beach at Albert’s Landing last week. I urgently took him to the East End Emergency Veterinary Center in Riverhead. They did a wonderful job cleaning and repairing the bite wound. Five hours later and $600 poorer we were back home. 

The two dogs that ran at my dog and bit him were off their leashes. Their owner was walking with them on the beach. He could not control them and when asked if he thought his dogs would attack, mentioned that they might have if it was a puppy. My dog is only 18 pounds in weight and 2 years old but should not expect to be bitten so aggressively in any circumstance.

There is general acceptance that owners can allow their dogs to run and play on the beach in the time periods allowed, but that is with an understanding and obligation that the dogs are under the control of their owners. If they cannot control their dogs and bring them to heel, then they should use a leash. If they have any indication that their dogs might attack and bite another dog, which could then be a precursor for something even worse, they should take every necessary step to train and prevent that occurring in any circumstance.

Sincerely,

NIGEL BURTON

Journey in Life

East Hampton

October 13, 2017

Dear David,

Life has many different chapters for us! One bad chapter doesn’t mean the end of the book.

Always remember, life is like a book, some chapters sad, some happy, others exciting. But if you don’t turn the page you will never know what the next chapter holds.

Let your dreams be bigger than your fears, your actions louder than your words, and your faith stronger than your feelings.

You can only fail if you quit. Everyone’s journey in life is different. Things always get better with time. The past cannot be changed. Believe in your mind, receive in your heart, achieve in your life. Difficult roads at times lead to great destinations.

Life is a journey; it’s not a race, so walk through it. Adversity introduces a man to himself. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. (Act or accept.)

For one minute, walk outside each day, stand there in silence, look at the sky, and contemplate how amazing life is.

TOM BYRNE

Community Questions

Amagansett

October 16, 2017

Dear David,

The Amagansett School Board meeting was canceled on Tuesday, Sept. 26, with no explanation given on the posted notice on the school front doors, or at last week’s meeting.

I went to the Amagansett School Board meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 10, to hear the end financial balance for the school year 2016-2017, along with the dollar amount in the “excess money accounts” that the school district has.

Also, why did Mrs. Tritt request and get approval by the board in June to transfer funds for up to $300,000 to a general fund when the budget just passed on May 16 included an increase in our taxes? What was the money needed and used for?

A representative from the accounting firm was present to give the financial summary but the exact dollar amount in the excess accounts was not given. The accountant stated that Amagansett School was now in compliance with the 4 percent state cap. I asked how much was in the excess accounts, how many excess accounts does the district have, and what was the money spent on to get the money down to the state-required 4 percent limit?

The board said if I wanted the answers to those questions, I could make an appointment to meet with Mrs. Tritt privately. I responded I was told at the June and July school board meetings that the information would be at the October meeting. It’s October, and I was there, now at the 7:30 a.m. meeting, to get the answers. Mrs. Tritt said the amounts would be given on the school district’s website (aufsd.org), with the accountant’s findings. I asked again if I make an appointment would I get the numbers, and Mrs. Tritt said I would. I made the appointment for Oct. 17.

My questions are: Why am I being inconvenienced to go to a private meeting with Mrs. Tritt when the school board and superintendent, Mrs. Tritt, know the answers? Isn’t that what the board meetings are for?

Why aren’t they prepared at the board meetings to answer questions they made decisions on?

Why does the Amagansett School have excess funds? What is the money earmarked for? How many years have we had excess funds, and the taxpayers being asked for an increase in taxes? 

Why was the cap pierced over the 4 percent to start with? Did the public vote to have excess funds available to the school district? Are we paying the two additional administrators with this excess money?

Why don’t we have a Spanish teacher hired yet?

I am not sure why the school board and Mrs. Tritt are uncomfortable answering community questions, since they are required to be transparent and fiscally responsible to the community. At the annual budget review in May 2018, the public deserves to have line-by- line accountability of the budget for the next school year. Also, there should be a zero increase in our taxes and a decrease of school administrators for the 2018-2019 school year.

The Amagansett School Board meetings I attend are being posted on YouTube for those of you who are unable to drive at night for the 6:30 p.m. meetings, or have to work for the 7:30 a.m. meetings. If you would like to attend any of the meetings, please go on the aufsd.org website to get the school board meeting schedule. I hope you will join me at some of the meetings.

Sincerely,

MARY A. EAMES

Day of Reckoning

Springs 

October 13, 2017

To the Editor,

The connections between the Las Vegas massacre, the depravity of Harvey Weinstein, and life in the Hamptons are not so far-fetched. 

An open-air country music concert in Las Vegas was murderously assaulted by a man whose name I would prefer not to commemorate. At the end of the gruesome massacre more than 50 people lay dead and more than 500 suffered injuries.

To explain the tragedy and to prevent a repetition — justifiably to some, nonsensically to others — the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms stood accused. Alternative ideas about what caused the massacre, including the role played by the culture of violence spawned by Hollywood, got drowned out in the noise of contention. 

Since the 1980s, filmed bloodbaths and gruesome scenes of mass death have eroded people’s ability to be shocked by horrific killings. The pornography of violence has simultaneously desensitized and beguiled moviegoers. No one is more closely associated with this trend than Harvey Weinstein. In films, often made in association with director Quentin Tarantino, from “Pulp Fiction” to “Django Unchained,” his opus is notable for its way of turning hell into an art form.

Many moviegoers found these films unwatchable and, in retaliation, were made to feel like retrograde troglodytes. After all, Weinstein managed to associate himself with the most beautiful actresses and actors, glamorous clothing designers, cultural progressivism, and the leading edge of the Democratic Party. He spent lavishly on his favorite causes and politicians. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama headed a list of beneficiaries that was quite deep.

Basking in the glow of Hollywood’s charisma helped Democrats project and dramatize both power and righteousness. Nowhere was this better enacted than at award ceremonies where the latest of tribal shibboleths, virtue signals, and self-congratulatory artistic claims were put on display.

Now that Hollywood’s glow has turned ashen, claims of the moral high ground correspondingly have been neutered. Those who benefited from Harvey Weinstein’s largess stand accused of hypocrisy and opportunism. His retinue included both victims and enablers, who stood by in silence. Complicity and collusion became the price for remaining a collector of Harvey’s cash — both in the dramatic arts and in politics.

Happily, the day of reckoning has arrived. Assuredly, the next steps will include more lawsuits and further exposure of sexual predators in addition to Harvey. Many Democratic politicians will be shamed into relinquishing the campaign cash that bought their silence and acquiescence to the culture of sexual predation. Many politicians returning money received from Weinstein, including Senators Patrick Leahy and Chuck Schumer, are refunding just a portion of their total donations and transmitting the funds selectively to preferred Democratic causes.

It would be much more fair and just for those returning Weinstein-tainted money, reputed to total in the millions, to deliver all of it to the general account of the United States Treasury, where it could serve the needs of our active military, veterans, low-income citizens, and seniors.

We should also start a serious reconsideration of the role entertainment violence plays in triggering the insanity that ends up horribly, with shattered lives scattered in our streets.

And, here comes the local story: Apparently, Harvey Weinstein was a regular visitor to our town, on one occasion staying in a property adjacent to one being occupied by Bill and Hillary Clinton. It’s no secret that the Hamptons become a branch office of Hollywood during the summer. It raises the question of to what extent the Hamptons also provide a satellite “casting couch?” 

Consequently, it’s time for a local reckoning as well. How much have East End Democratic politicians and cultural institutions received from Harvey Weinstein and who should benefit from the refunds? Will any of our neighbors stand up now to confess about victimization and/or the sin of silence?

HY MARIAMPOLSKI

Twisted Equation

Montauk

October 9, 2017

To the Editor,

Reading last week’s “Point of View” (Jack Graves, “All Kneel,” East Hampton Star, Oct. 5) got me thinking. Hearing that Vice President Pence left the Indiana Colts-San Francisco 49ers game yesterday per President Trump’s instructions got me thinking again. The vice president tweeted that he “would not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our flag, or our national anthem.” The pathos in his statement sickened me.

With regard to disrespecting our flag and our national anthem, these are two inanimate objects (fabric and lyrics) that are used to represent the essence of our republic. Can we therefore get past the symbols and ask the question: When one chooses at any particular moment to politically speak out (in this case by not standing), is it an act of disrespect or is it a protected political method of expressing concern for a perceived injustice?

Our soldiers are frequently used in this twisted equation. The manipulative use of our troops by politicians for emotional reactions may very well be the true disrespect at hand. To conclude that athletes who do not stand for the national anthem disrespect our troops is simply a logical fallacy. This suggests that a soldier is fighting for protocol related to banners and songs rather than the fundamental properties of our nation, which include the responsibility to add to the political discourse.

In West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943), the Supreme Court protected students from being forced to salute the American flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. The following is an excerpt from the decision:

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.

Perhaps whether a player kneels or stands may be the concern of a contractual agreement between the employer and employee. I don’t know. I only pray that the cheap political rhetoric coming from two men who were never soldiers ends soon.

Sincerely,

JOHN R. McGEEHAN     

 

Already Polluted

Wainscott

October 12, 2017

Dear David:

The discovery of tainted wells near the East Hampton Airport has nothing to do with helicopters. It has nothing to do with jets or noise. It is not the fault of our current town board. 

It takes many years for contaminants to leach through earth and into an aquifer. It doesn’t happen overnight.

The current contamination is the fault of bad planning and lack of careful land stewardship by past town boards. It is the fault of our environmental watchdog organizations’ choosing to look the other way when it comes to the airport and the land surrounding it.

So what happens now? Does the Suffolk County Water Authority come to the rescue? Well, no. Their wells off Town Line road behind the airport are already polluted. I won’t hazard a guess as to how lead got into their well, but anyone with a basic knowledge of geography and how water moves in an aquifer ought to be able to figure that out.

We are killing ourselves here, folks, which leads me back to our current-day situation: our future planning, our now and future town board members and candidates. I’ll also include our environmental organizations: the Nature Conservancy and the Group for the East End, who have had their heads in the sand while taking donations from airport users. That sand? Polluted!

The East Hampton Airport sits on our sole source aquifer. Our water source has been disrespected for years. Currently the legions of helicopters, seaplanes, and jets owned by outsiders and delivering short-timers are assuring that our sole source aquifer will be just as bad, or worse, maybe shot completely in the not-too-distant future. It may not happen in our in lifetimes but most likely will in our kids’ lifetimes.

Who is going to address this in an honest and meaningful way? Nah. Let’s all talk about who lives near the airport, who complains the most, economic “benefit,” and what the Federal Aviation Administration thinks.

We’ll all just sit out here eating our popcorn, and washing it down with bad water.

Sincerely,

TOM MacNIVEN

Most Significant Hit

East Hampton

October 15, 2017

Dear David:

“Contaminants Found in Well Near Airport” reads a headline in your last edition. Now East Hampton has been added to the list of communities in New York State, including Hoosick Falls, Stephentown, Westhampton, and Newburgh, that have encountered the poisoning of their groundwater by perfluorinated chemicals. In the business of groundwater protection, it is bad manners to say, “I told you so.” 

I have been advocating groundwater protection through the exclusive use of the community preservation fund for the purchase of land over aquifers. It is too late for the residents of Wainscott and probably wouldn’t have done much good if it is proven that the contamination is the liability of the town’s airport or one of the town’s airport tenants, as would seem apparent from the data so far.

Having dealt with the poisoning of groundwater in the 1990s at Brookhaven National Lab, I can give some insight on what to expect. 

While I sincerely hope that this is just an isolated, bad well test, experience tells me that more than likely this is the tip of the iceberg. Some significant subset of the Wainscott residents not already on Suffolk Water Authority water will need to be connected as soon as possible. That will take care of the health risk. What will be the price tag and what entity is liable? 

Then there is the matter of reversing the flow of chemicals through pumping, another stiff price tag. Then there is actually treatment of the contaminated water — a real checkbook buster. It is too early to tell what the price tag will be for fixing this problem but the chance of it being a seven-figure cost is likely, if not optimistic. I’ll bet it is closer to eight figures!

If, in fact, the town owns this liability because of its “local control” over the airport, then this could be the most significant hit to the town’s budget ever. 

It seems to some of us that the $2.5 million that the town board piddled away on frivolous lawsuits with the Federal Aviation Administration is coming back to bite. That sum buys a lot of clean water. Too bad elected officials who make uninformed financial decisions don’t get to share in the liability, other than at the ballot box.

PAUL A. GIARDINA


Mr. Giardina is a candidate for East Hampton Town Board. Ed.

 

Slanted Wind Study

Wainscott

October 16, 2017

Dear David,

Local pilots (most of them do not even live in our town) are hell-bent to try to reopen an abandoned runway that will cost millions. However, here is the verbatim quote from the Federal Aviation Administration. I wonder what part of the following they don’t understand.

“We recommend the elimination of Runway 4/22 from use as a runway and that the plan specifically designate 16/34 as the secondary runway. 4/22 does not provide significant additional coverage based upon historical wind conditions.” Its intersection with other runways is dangerous. 

Elsewhere in this enormous document the F.A.A. concluded that 16/34 actually was marginally better in the crosswind. At that time the F.A.A.-would not share the cost of a tertiary runway, considering it unnecessary. A North American AT6 took off, turned, and flew at 50 feet over the trees. A close friend that had a house on Debra’s Way moved away because the planes were less than 35 feet above the trees and his family was fearful.

Now the pilots, despite the F.A.A. being the premier authority, have their own slanted wind study, which contradicts the F.A.A. in-depth report. This would allow seaplanes to use this F.A.A.-deemed abandoned runway, fly in dangerous, low altitudes, as low as 50 feet above the trees, putting families at risk. A while back, a low-flying small plane nicked a tree and deposited a branch into my pool. The then-airport manager did nothing. This all for a mere convenience. Maybe they should improve their skills. 

All the efforts of our town board to limit the decrease in quality of life for residents were slapped aside due to the lawsuit filed against the town. Why this disaster is even being discussed is mind-bending. If I am correct, the pilots are not even required to have liability insurance as car owners do. If so, we are left holding the bag. So it is important for residents to attend the open meeting on Oct. 27, 9 a.m., at town hall.

Yours truly,

ARTHUR J. FRENCH

About the Airport

Springs

October 16, 2017

To the Editor,

As chairman of the East Hampton Republican Committee, I was astounded to read in the Quiet Skies Coalition attack ad in last week’s Star that we had $500,000 in our coffers. I immediately called our treasurer and demanded to know why he had hidden this from me. He was equally nonplused.

If you want to know the real state of our finances, just go online and look at our filings. Currently in this election season we will have somewhere between $20,000 and $40,000, but we usually have very little on hand and in fact for most of my first year as chair we were slightly in arrears.

Rather than refute each of the many falsehoods and misrepresentations in the Q.S.C. ad, let me just restate our position on the airport. First, like most people in East Hampton, we want the airport to remain open. We seek a safe, viable, profitable enterprise that provides a high level of service to its customers, creates good jobs for our citizens, opportunities for ancillary vendors, and a safety measure in cases of traumatic injury or illness, all while doing everything technology and intelligent scheduling will allow to mitigate the noise and other factors of concern to the airport’s neighbors.

Two years ago we were not sure what the Democrats really wanted to do about the airport. But now we know. Their hiring of a second law firm whose forte is apparently closing airports shows that they consider closing a serious option, the Federal Aviation Administration and safety concerns be damned. It also shows their willingness to spend millions of taxpayer funds on probably futile lawsuits.

The airport serves a vital function. Our candidates will tackle the hard work of negotiating reasonable solutions, not cave in to intensive lobbying from well-heeled pressure groups that seek to shut down this valuable resource.

Sincerely,

REG CORNELIA


Reg Cornelia is the chairman of the East Hampton Town Republican Committee. Ed.

No Platform?

East Hampton

October 16, 2017

Dear David:

Why is it that the Republican candidates keep writing and talking about keeping the airport open? With Kathee Burke-Gonzalez as the point person, the Democrats have been working diligently on a solution to the problem of . . . noise! Have you heard about it? It is one of the biggest problems facing East Hampton. We have a Democratic Town Board that actually listens to the real community members about this issue! 

Keep in mind that the East Hampton Airport was never meant to be a commercial airport. Perhaps the Republican candidates are still accepting large donations from the helicopter industry, or is it just that they have no platform and nothing else to say?

LENI SALZ

On the Sidelines

East Hampton

October 16, 2017

Dear David:

So now we discover that the water near East Hampton Airport is as polluted as the air. Is the pollution caused by airport activities? We don’t know, do we? Town officials continue ignoring this toxic waste dump (er, “ever expanding regional airport”) within our midst. While our environment gets destroyed, airport users choose convenience, wealthy operators choose needless profits — and the “environmentalists” sit on the sidelines, waiting for the next patron, courted by jet or helicopter.

BARRY RAEBECK

Town Manager

East Hampton

October 16, 2017

Dear David 

The East Hampton Group for Good Government has previously supported the creation of the position of a town manager similar to the position that Larry Cantwell held during his many years working for the village. 

When Larry became town supervisor, he soon realized that there was a vital missing link in the town’s organization. At his request, the board created the position of executive assistant — but without real room in the budget. Luckily for the town, Alex Walter, a retired executive and good friend of Larry’s, took the position at a nominal salary, effectively donating his time to the town. Alex’s work was exemplary, and we expect all found the additional position added to the effectiveness of Larry’s tenure as supervisor.

Now, with Larry and Alex retiring from government service, the 2018 tentative town budget has officially created a line item for the appointment of an executive assistant with an annual salary of $75,000.

Whether the person is called the executive assistant or the chief administrator or the town manager is irrelevant. The position, as we see it, is one which relieves the board of many of the day-to-day administrative functions of running what is now a $77 million enterprise and lets them concentrate more on their legislative functions and implement policies. It makes town governance and the delivery of services to town residents more effective. 

The position calls for someone with deep experience in, among other things, management, accounting, human relations, negotiations, and governmental affairs. If the proper person is in the position, the savings from efficiencies alone should be many times the salary of the individual.

Similar positions in New York State often carry salaries in the range of double that amount. It is of course possible that the new town board could find someone who already lives in the area with all of the qualifications for the position. But the budget should contain somewhere in a contingency line sufficient additional funds to give the new board the flexibility to find the best person for what should become a critical role in the more effective administration of town government.

For a discussion of Alex’s job responsibilities and experience over the past four years, please look at the two “GGG Insights” shows with Alex and Larry on LTV at ehgggvideo.com or at the LTV library.

ARTHUR MALMAN

Chairman

East Hampton Group for 

Good Government.

A Real Mess

Springs

October 16, 2017

Dear David,

Lawn signs this year are a real mess and it keeps getting worse. It’s like an arms race, with everyone trying to out-sign their opponent. Lawn signs, that’s what they are called, should be on lawns, not every place. 

I remember some years ago, when Richard Maddan and I were co-chairs of the Democratic Party, we unilaterally decided not to place any political signs on the roadsides and challenged the Republicans to do the same. It was a much less messy election that year.

The signs are all plastic, mostly unattractive and garish, and they keep getting larger all the time. Let’s try to tone it down a little, guys. Remember we all live in East Hampton, not Brookhaven.

No signs for me,

BILL TAYLOR 

 


Mr. Taylor is a candidate for East Hampton Town trustee.

The Blame Game

Amagansett

October 16, 2017

To David:

Busy. Busy. Busy. That’s what many of us feel while we are living a life, trying to keep a roof over our heads, raising kids, and possibly having fun. Local elections come and go, often without us taking the time to really study the candidates. The time requirements and the frustration can lead to voting down a straight party line or even worse — not voting at all!

I have read the letters from the candidates in the papers. I have gone to some debates. I see how things are going now and understand where they could be going in the future. So far I think our town board is doing a good job on some issues, a great job on others, but I am very opposed to several of their policies. Too much to hash through here. On the other hand, I see progress being made on important matters. I see candidates who understand how politics works. They know which steps to take and what the legal ramifications of those steps would be. They have become very efficient in solving problems and have made relationships with both state and federal agencies when needed. 

The new guys on the conservative line or the Republicans who are running for town board heavily support Donald Trump and that scares me. I could clearly see at one debate that they did not even understand governmental procedure. Usually when a candidate has no plan and no understanding of the job at hand they sink down a few levels and play the blame game on the current administration even when they were following protocol.

Right now many of us are still very busy ocupado, occupé, beschäftigt, zajety. Just plain darn busy! If we want a town that will continue to make progress while trying to be all inclusive of its residents, then I will refer back to the old American saying, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” Although not perfect, I think the Democrats are the best choice.

Sincerely,

JAMES MacMILLAN

Lobbyist Must File

Springs

October 15, 2017

Dear David,

Over the past several months I have heard from so many in our community who feel that East Hampton Town government is out of touch with the local community and that there is a lack of confidence and trust. Town Hall, in their opinion, goes the extra mile to make the simple complicated, proposes laws that benefit special interests, does not listen to the community, but, rather, is interested only in the politically connected. 

The sentiment told to me over and over again is if you are politically connected, hire the right lawyers or people, the process appears to move along and if you do not then expect the road to approval to be a long, bumpy ride.

We need to bring public trust back to East Hampton Town government. Town Hall should be open, transparent, and fair for everyone, regardless of political connections or who you hire as your representative.

As supervisor, I challenge every candidate to agree that they will support the approval of a 2018 East Hampton good government act that requires that all for-hire individuals, law firms, or companies that come to lobby before East Hampton Town government comply with New York State Legislative Law Article 1-A (the New York State “lobbying act”).

Thus, if the law firm or representative company incurs, expends, or receives, or anticipates incurring, expending, or receiving in excess of $5,000 annually in compensation and expenses for lobbying activities (cumulatively across all clients) of any elected official, town board, or appointed board, the lobbyist and the client of the lobbyist must file disclosure reports with the Joint Commission on Public Ethics. All disclosures made to JCOPE are publicly available on its website.

• All appointed East Hampton Town boards to be reconstituted to maintain a fair and independent neutrality by two members appointed by the majority party, two members appointed by the minority party, a chairman agreed to by both majority and minority members of the East Hampton Town Board, and the creation of internal committees that vet all proposed resolutions before submission to the town board for approval.

• Establish, once a legislation has been proposed before any town board action, that there be a procedural timeline that every interested citizen can easily follow, aggressive public notification of the proposed legislation, the establishment of open and transparent mandatory committee reviews with public participation, establish a compulsory aging and schedule of all proposed legislation submitted for approval to the East Hampton Town Board.

I ask for your vote on Nov. 7 to bring good, open, transparent government to town hall.

MANNY VILAR

People First

Amagansett

October 16, 2017

To the Editor,

When I met Manny Vilar, I was pleasantly surprised that this soft-spoken, intelligent man with years of practical experience wanted to run for East Hampton Town supervisor. What a fresh approach to government, putting people first and politics last. He spoke of environmental concerns and transparent government. I knew that he was someone that I could support! 

Manny Vilar is not afraid to speak out when others do not; he understands that being silent leaves one voiceless. Manny has a long history of standing up to the opposition and corporate entities whose initiatives are suspect. He has no hidden agenda.

Manny’s work as the president of the Police Benevolent Association of New York State, whose university officers train for the unexpected situation and the possible encounter of a potential campus assailant, and whose park police, environmental conservation police, and forest rangers protect our most important fragile environments and ecosystems; he makes sure that these officers have the resources and support to get the job done. 

Manny Vilar does not shy away from asking questions that may rattle those who just want a nicely packaged solution. Manny understands that tough problems require community input, even opposing points of view. He understands that government decisions can impact members of our community in ways that are not intended to. He looks to protect our community’s business and industries, whether it is a fishing boat out in the Atlantic or a small boutique retail shop. His experience with fragile environmental ecosystems that will affect our quality of water is paramount. He is up to the task.

There are many challenges that face our community. The health of our environment — water, land use, including the town’s fiscal health, and more, lie in the balance. I believe that Manny Vilar will have a fresh approach to government and prioritize the looming challenges that affect us. Please join me in supporting Manny Vilar.

Sincerely Yours

DAWN RANA BROPHY

Top 13 Issues

East Hampton

October 16, 2017

Dear Editor:

Jeanne Frankl, co-chair of the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee, did a disservice to her party by misrepresenting the methodology of the independent survey commissioned by Paul Giardina, Republican candidate for East Hampton Town Board. Mr. Giardina went to the trouble and expense to canvass Democrats, Independents, and the unaffiliated, as well as Republicans. Not just Republicans as Ms. Frankl misstated. 

It was Mr. Giardina’s intention to hear the voices and concerns of regular citizens who could not be heard over the din of powerful, well-funded groups with their own agendas and a “let-them-eat-cake” attitude toward the less confrontational and more self-effacing residents of East Hampton.

Ms. Frankl wrote the following in last week’s East Hampton Star: “On the airport, Mr. Giardina exposes a fundamental divergence between his and our candidates’ commitments. He stresses that only a little over a quarter of Republican poll respondents found airport noise a serious concern. What about the rest? Our people believe that they are responsible to the whole community. That’s why Jeff Bragman fought as a lawyer for reasonable airport rules and Kathee Burke-Gonzalez is negotiating for them with the Federal Aviation Administration.”

Here are the facts from the independent study: On a list of the top 13 issues concerning East Hampton residents, the airport came in last at number 13. (Surprise!) Forty-eight percent were not concerned about the issue. Twenty-six percent (like me) were slightly concerned. Twenty-seven percent were seriously concerned. That’s 74 percent who wanted more, much more, of the town board’s concentration to be spent on the top 12 issues and not on tamping down airport noise or closing the airport.

We know the town board was besieged and harangued by anti-airport groups whose voices were louder than the sound of helicopters landing at the airport. Under unrelenting pressure, at least $2.5 million was spent on failed litigation. The airport won a reprieve and the town board lined the pockets of attorneys with money that would have been better spent to improve maintenance and safety at the airport. Maybe that is why the survey showed that 74 percent of voters representing all political parties in this town don’t care at all or only halfheartedly about the efforts of the current town board on the airport issue.

It is misrepresenting and fact twisting and fake-news making that embarrass honorable voters and turn them into stealth voters who give lip service to voting along party lines, but who in the privacy of the voting booth vote for the other candidate. It’s not being able to trust the chairman of a national or local political party to present the facts straight that turns off the ticket splitters (like me) who might have helped push a candidate over the top.

Instead of trying to undermine the credibility of Paul Giardina’s community survey, how about thanking him for going to the trouble to reach out to voters, including the underrepresented silent majority? 

Mr. Giardina is a candidate for East Hampton Town Board. With his Environmental Protection Agency background I am optimistic that his suggested approach to lessening airport noise will actually work and that our neighbors in the flight paths of the airport traffic will get the noise relief they need so desperately. 

LYNNE W. SCANLON

Septic Projects

Springs

October 16, 2017

Dear David:

Sixty dollars a month for 30 years: That adds up to $21,600!

That’s what it will cost those of us who have houses with traditional septic systems (such as septic tanks or cesspools) if the East Hampton G.O.P. candidates for town board get to enact their septic upgrade plan! Mr. Giardina, one of the G.O.P. candidates and the architect of the G.O.P. plan, finally ’fessed up to the cost homeowners would bear on Thursday night. 

You would think this would be optional, right? Wrong. Using a provision of the town code that calls for septic inspections every three years, Mr. Giardina proposes to establish a “septic squad” responsible for identifying every offending septic system, which would then be enrolled in a mandatory upgrade program. If a homeowner can’t pony up the money, too bad: The town can do the upgrade at your expense or your certificate of occupancy would be invalidated, which means you couldn’t sell your home unless the upgrade is done.

Heavy-handed? You bet!

What’s even worse is that his plan demonstrates his lack of experience. In his Thursday remarks, Mr. Giardina promised that the money for your upgrade would come from the state’s $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act, and he chided the town board for looking a gift horse in the mouth. But it is Mr. Giardina who has not done his homework. The C.W.I.A. allocates only $75 million statewide for residential septic upgrades (and any one loan is capped at $10,000). It’s a pipe dream to think East Hampton would get more than a tiny fraction of that.

Similarly wrongheaded, his original plan (on the East Hampton G.O.P. website) proposes that homeowners would be eligible for low-cost loans from either the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation or the Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water Act State Revolving Fund. However, it appears that private residential septic projects are not eligible for funding under either of these programs. Funding is reserved for municipal programs. 

So, either Mr. Giardina doesn’t know what he is talking about or he is just trying to deceive us voters. He proudly touts that he was with the E.P.A. for 30 years, so you make the call. Even if he were right, the full cost of an upgrade would be foisted on homeowners. Either way, the G.O.P.’s naiveté or its disregard for homeowners’ finances is a disqualifier.

Our town board has already instituted a revolutionary septic upgrade program using the portion of community preservation funds approved last November for improving water quality to fund homeowners’ upgrades. Their approach promises much more money for the project than the G.O.P.’s plan. 

Now for the best news — unlike the G.O.P. plan, the anticipated cost to eligible residential homeowners for the upgrade will be: nothing, subject to a $16,000 cap.

Peter Van Scoyoc and Kathee Burke-Gonzalez have thus demonstrated a true concern for both the environment and the economics of town homeowners. Mr. Bragman also has voiced his support for the town’s plan. Not only does this mean they deserve your vote, but it will not cost you $21,600.

Sincerely,

BRUCE COLBATH

Mom and Caregiver

Amagansett

October 16, 2017

Dear David, 

I had an opportunity to speak with Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez last week about the town’s budget. I must say that I completely concur with her premise that the town’s budget is an accounting of our community’s priorities. Or as Kathee so movingly states, a reflection of what we, as a community, value. 

In the last year our tax dollars have funded Meals on Wheels to ensure needy seniors would have a hot meal, expanded mental health services for our youth struggling with anxiety and depression, supported the Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center, and Project Most — quality child care and after-school programs that serve as a lifeline for our families — sponsored suicide awareness training, expanded transportation services for our veterans, and begun planning for and designing a new senior community center on Springs-Fireplace Road. 

As a working mom and a caregiver to her 95-year-old mother, Kathee brings a perspective to her position on the town board that is relevant to working families throughout our community. We need her perspective and her voice on the town board. 

So I hope you’ll join me on Nov. 7 and vote to re-elect Kathee Burke-Gonzalez. You will find her on the Democratic, Independence, and Working Families Party lines. 

Sincerely,

KAMMY WOLF

He Fought Back

Amagansett

October 16, 2017

Dear Editor:

I have watched Jeff Bragman prepare and argue a case involving my own neighborhood. Plans for an oversize house threatened to destroy the last tall dune, which protected our block against storm surge in Super Storm Sandy. Jeff was able to show that the application violated permit standards, and it was denied. When the applicants came back with another oversize house, he fought back again and it was denied. 

Jeff cares about protecting our dunes, beaches, and water. He is careful and well prepared, and he really knows the law. He presents a case based on the facts, and is professional and effective. I strongly support him for town Board. 

NICK GREGORY

Time and Effort

Springs

October 12, 2017

Dear Mr. Rattray:

I support Jeff Bragman for town board. In the local legal community, many attorneys call Jeff “the hardest working attorney in town.” I have worked with Jeff, and can say that it’s true. Jeff is always hustling to board meetings, or closing real estate transactions. He is always putting in extra time and effort on his cases, and will clearly serve the people of East Hampton in the same way.

Jeff will bring this enthusiasm and effort to the town board. In my opinion, this is exactly what we need.

Yours very truly,

CARL IRACE

Resilient Future

East Hampton

October 14, 2017

Dear David,

While many people in town associate Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez with her solid body of work addressing the needs of our children, our seniors, and our hard-working families, Kathee also has a very strong record on the environment. That was brought to light when I heard her radio spot on WLNG, where she talks about the critical environmental issues the town board is actively addressing, issues regarding water quality, coastal erosion, and energy sustainability.

Kathee and her colleagues on the town board have made protecting our pure drinking water, surface waters, and harbors and bays their number-one priority. It is imperative that we ensure the health and vitality of our aquifer and coastal waters, which are being threatened by nitrogen, phosphorus, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, pesticides, and household and industrial chemicals.

 That’s why Kathee supported the acquisition of wetland parcels around Lake Montauk, the installation of a permeable resistant barrier around Pussy’s Pond in Springs, and a septic rebate program of up to $16,000 to encourage our friends and neighbors to replace their failing septic systems with low-nitrogen sanitary systems. Kathee knows that protecting water quality is paramount.

Through the coastal assessment and resiliency plan, the town board is also actively addressing climate change and sea-level rise head-on — identifying ways we as a town can build resiliency. It is critical that we begin planning now for rising sealevel, coastal erosion, a warmer ocean, and more extreme and frequent weather events so we can thoughtfully plan for a more sustainable and resilient future for our children and our grandchildren.

Our town board has also been progressive in promoting clean, renewable energy rather than dirty, polluting fossil fuels, as it is imperative that we substantially reduce our energy consumption while significantly increasing the use of renewable energy technologies like wind and solar power. 

Water quality, coastal erosion, and energy sustainability are serious issues. Fortunately we have a thoughtful and caring person willing to lead the critical discussions we need to have as a community. So if clean water and clean energy are important to you, please join me and cast your vote for Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Sincerely,

JOYCE McFADDEN

Ready to Listen

Springs

October 9, 2017

Dear Editor: 

For many years I have followed the planning and zoning issues of our town, and have noted how Jeff Bragman has represented our long-term best interests. He has prevented overdevelopment throughout the East End, worked with all the town boards, and helped environmental organizations such as Group for the East End and Save Sag Harbor.

I intend to vote for Jeff Bragman to be on the East Hampton Town Board as he has a proven record that demonstrates dedication and commitment. He has shown that he is ready to listen and lead.

Sincerely,

NANCY KARLEBACH

Jeff Gets It

East Hampton

October 16, 2017

Dear Editor:

Jeff Bragman is a strong new voice for our town board. He has a proven record of working to protect our water quality. For more than a year, he has been warning about the vulnerability of aquifer surrounding Daniel’s Hole Road. He was right to be concerned. We now have reports of serious contamination there. 

Despite the presence of the airport, this area shelters our most-important and deepest aquifer. It is a reserve of our purest drinking water, and so critical that the town and Suffolk County have spent millions preserving large tracts of land there.

Jeff gets it. This aquifer protects us today, and our children tomorrow. Let’s put him to work on the town board, before it is too late. 

SUE AVEDON

Complicated Agenda

Amagansett

October 16, 2017

Dear David, 

I think it’s high time we had a lawyer on our town board and I’m glad Jeff Bragman has stepped up.

You don’t have to be paying too much attention to realize that a very high proportion of the board’s work these days involves developing and passing laws that carry out the very complicated agenda of our homey neighborhood/luxury resort/coastal jewel/traditional fishing/socially responsible/growing small town and must be defensible and defended in court. It’s a large order, way more than enough for our legal staff. Everyone will benefit with a good legal head on the board.

Experience and reputation make Jeff the right man for the job. After 30 years trying and arguing cases in our courts and before our boards, he’s steeped in our law and our issues. He’s known for unflagging effort in support of his clients’ interests. He’s also known for thoroughness, originality, and civility in his presentations to courts and boards. His participation will enrich a town board that is already distinguished for civility, initiative, and hard work in getting things done.

Sincerely yours,

BETTY MAZUR


Ms. Mazur is vice chairwoman of the East Hampton Democratic Committee.

Extra Commitment

East Hampton

October 12, 2017

Dear Editor,

I would like to add my voice to support the candidacy of Susan Vorpahl for town trustee. I know Susan to be a hard-working person, committed to her community.

As a member of the East Hampton Village Ambulance Association since 2006, I have known Susan to be dedicated to anything she has committed herself to. She runs her calls with compassion and caring, she continues to educate herself by taking continuous education classes, and she is a person to be relied on if any extra commitment is requested.

I think all these qualities will carry over into her new position, and she will become a valued member of our town government.

Sincerely,

DIANE O’DONNELL

Assistant Chief

DEBRA FIELD 

Chief

Backslapping

Montauk

October 15, 2017

Dear David:

It’s been interesting listening to the Democratic trustees pat themselves on the back about all the things they claim to have accomplished. What I see is Georgica Pond, which has not been let (opened to the ocean) in almost a year. I see no excavation at Fresh Pond, which has become a stagnant puddle of pond scum.

I see no signage warning families of the danger posed by the waters the Democratic trustees allowed to become polluted.

I see no progress on the dangerous Lazy Point launching ramp. I see no progress on access to the ocean beach behind the South Flora property. I see nothing to protect the dunes at “Baby Beach” and no defined access. I also see few Democratic trustee candidates who really have any knowledge of trustee holdings and the significance of them to the public.

Maybe it’s time for those Democrats in office to stop using their hands for backslapping and start using them to do the public’s business.

Best regards,

JOE BLOECKER


 

Mr. Bloecker is a Republican candidate for town trustee.

Top Priorities

Springs

October 16, 2017

Dear David,

I am running for town trustee because I care about clean water, healthy fisheries, and preserving our beaches and coastline for the people of East Hampton, now and for future generations. 

I have been connected to East Hampton since I was young girl, first coming here as a summer resident with my parents, who built a house in Springs in the 1960s. I returned each summer and lived in that house full time from time to time over the years. Since 2009, it has been my home. The beauty of this area awakened a keen love of the natural environment that became a lifelong commitment to environmental stewardship. 

I worked for many years to limit pollution at the source: the workplace environment. I was part of the first community/labor coalition for workplace health and safety (in the 1970s) and helped build a movement around that issue that became national in scope. I directed a nonprofit advocacy organization for workplace health for 13 years, teaching workers about chemical and other hazards and promoting public policy for better conditions on the job. That work gave me skills I will use as trustee: to understand the science behind protecting our environment and broaden public knowledge about the issues.

Later I became a journalist, reporting on public health, sustainability, and socially-responsible business. I won a national award for my reporting on public health. Now, I co-produce and host the monthly radio show “Sustainable East End” on WPKN, 89.5 FM.

In all my work, I have learned to trust the wisdom of ordinary people. While it’s vital to rely on scientific expertise, it’s just as important to rely on people’s understanding of their own needs. The work of the trustees’ harbor management committee (under Democratic leadership) in bringing the concerns of the fishing community to Deepwater Wind is a great example of this. As trustee, I will be committed to open dialogue among all players.

Making sure our water is clean for drinking, swimming, and fishing will be at the top of my priority list. Ensuring access for all to public beaches and waters while protecting a healthy environment is also key. Other top priorities are protecting our beaches from erosion and our ecosystems from poisons and invasive species. I ask for your vote so I can work hard to preserve and protect our beautiful home.

FRANCESCA RHEANNON

Fully Involved

Sag Harbor

October 16, 2017 

To the Editor:

My name is Margaret Abelman Bromberg and, having been raised on the Southampton side of the Village of Sag Harbor, I have lived on the East Hampton side for 36 years. I am sup- porting Rona Klopman for trustee. I have known Rona for 12 years, since she joined Temple Adas Israel. Rona has not been merely a dues-paying member who makes an occasional cameo appearance. No! When Rona becomes part of an organization, she becomes fully involved, bringing enthusiasm and sharing generously of her time, energy, and skills. In the case of the temple she has made significant contributions as a teacher and as a member of the board of trustees. 

Of particular note, and relevant to the position for which she is a candidate, has been her role in the expansion of our historical cemetery on Route 114. The temple was able to purchase land for this purpose, but then had to deal with the complications of a private property owner’s encroachment on a trustee road and the various required trustee and board approvals to add to the cemetery. Her knowledge of planning and the town code was invaluable as she took on the responsibility of shepherding this project for the 18 months it took to achieve a satisfactory outcome. Talk about perseverance! Rona got the job done.

Rona has my vote on Nov. 7 because as an East Hampton Town trustee, I know she will get the job done! 

MARGARET ABELMAN

BROMBERG

Salient Experience

Springs

October 16, 2017

Dear Mr. Rattray,

I write to endorse Susan Vorpahl running as a Republican, for East Hampton Town trustee. Daughter of the late Stuart B. Vorpahl Jr., an East Hampton legend, and the incredibly awesome Mary Vorpahl, there can be no more qualified candidate for East Hampton trustee than Susan Vorpahl. 

Growing up a Vorpahl means having seawater and a profound love for this land we call East Hampton pulsing through your veins. As a kind of apprentice to her late father, Susan knows the waters, the winds, the tides, the very fabric of what it takes to feed, clothe, and educate your family while making a living on East Hampton’s dangerous seas. Watching her dad fight the government, often being ridiculed for his steadfast belief in his and our liberty, Susan has lived with the historical importance of the East Hampton trustees and reverence for the 1686 Dongan Patent.

Let me also endorse the other Republican trustee candidates, each one having salient experience and a connection to the land and water. Joe Bloecker, a former trustee, who holds a sea captain’s license, Gary Cobb, president of the Save Our Baymen’s Association, Julie Evans, former owner of a commercial fishing boat and current holder of a sea captain’s license, Jim Grimes, local businessman and incumbent trustee, Mike Havens, commercial fisherman, Lyndsey Hayes, daughter of a commercial fisherman who has done college coursework in marine life, Diane McNally, former clerk and incumbent trustee for over two decades, Willy Wolter, 40-year recreational fisherman and board member of East End Cooperative Farm.

I urge all voters, Democrat, Republican, Conservative, Independence Party, and blanks, to vote for Susan Vorpahl and all of the Republican trustee candidates so they together can uphold the extraordinary traditions of our beloved East Hampton. They will ensure generations to come will be able to enjoy these beautiful waters, and if they so choose, to raise their families, as Stuart Vorpahl raised his, from the bounty of the seas. 

If you care about East Hampton’s waterways and our vital fishing industry, please vote on Nov. 7, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. for this extraordinarily experienced slate of trustee candidates running on the Republican and Conservative lines.

Sincerely,

CAROLE CAMPOLO

Excellent Progress

Amagansett

October 16, 2017

Dear David,

The current trustee board, with the possible exception of two members, has done an outstanding job. They are hard- working and dedicated to protecting and bettering East Hampton’s natural resources for the benefit of the residents. Incumbents Francis Bock, Rick Drew, Bill Taylor, Brian Byrnes, and Jim Grimes have accomplished a great deal in the past two years, and they will continue to make important strides when they are re-elected. 

It is important to elect other candidates with similar goals, in order to keep the momentum going. One such candidate is Rona Klopman. Experience is important. For many years, Rona has been a community activist concerned with preserving our wetlands, harbors, and beaches. Rona served on, and chaired the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee. She served as vice chairwoman and secretary of the East Hampton Democratic Committee. She has been a member of other community groups as well. She regularly attends meetings of local governing bodies in order to keep herself informed of issues. 

Rona believes it is in the best interests of East Hampton that the trustees work together with other agencies and community groups in order to find the best solutions to problems that affect us all. We wholeheartedly agree. With that in mind, she has suggested a liaison be established between the trustees and other agencies in order to further cooperation and deal more effectively with issues.

We know Rona personally and find her to be intelligent, knowledgeable, reasonable, and outspoken. As a trustee she will be an asset to what we hope will be a trustee board that will continue the excellent progress it has made over the past two years. We urge East Hampton voters to cast their votes for Rona Klopman for trustee on Nov. 7 and also for the five incumbents, Francis Bock, Rick Drew, Bill Taylor, Brian Byrnes, and Jim Grimes. We do not know John Aldred personally but we feel he would also be an excellent addition to the board.

VINCENT and JOAN PRIORE

Sincerely Cares

East Hampton

October 6, 2017

Dear David,

Rona Klopman is nominated for the position of town trustee. She has been an active community member involved in many aspects of environmental, water, and trustee issues. She has attended almost every town board meeting and has tracked or attended most trustee meetings. Her concerns are some of the water problems at the many town ponds. As all of these ponds are vulnerable to blue-green algae, she believes that further study or testing should be expanded. She wants to clean up trustee trails, and keep State Department of Environmental Conservtion approval up to date. She is known to investigate important issues with the skill of a detective!

Her goal is to improve the profile of the trustees, work with governmental agencies, and educate the public. She will represent the community well. Her most outstanding quality is that she sincerely cares about trustee issues and will do her best to promote important issues. Rona is on three lines on the ballot — Democrat, Independence, and Working Families. She qualifies for these three lines because she is a concerned, intelligent, and active participant in our government. Don’t forget to vote on Nov. 7 and to vote for Rona Klopman.

Yours truly, 

NAOMI SALZ

 

Matter of Convenience

Springs

October 16, 2017

Dear Editor:

Our congressman, Lee Zeldin, is co-sponsoring a “gun rights expansion” bill, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill of 2017. This ill-conceived bill is, not surprisingly, strongly supported by the National Rifle Association. To summarize the bill and to trivialize its impact, its supporters ask, “Your driver’s license works in every state, why not your concealed carry permit?” Mr. Zeldin sees this bill as little more than a matter of convenience for gun owners. Blindly ignoring his constituency and the laws of the state he represents, Mr. Zeldin’s fealty to the N.R.A. endangers all New Yorkers. 

Rightfully, this bill has languished in the House since its introduction. But, after the Las Vegas massacre, the drumbeat for passage of this ludicrous law is getting louder. It was recently reported that 210 members of Congress now support the bill. Reportedly, Speaker Paul Ryan is holding up a vote on the bill because “the time is not right.” There is no right time for this law.

New York regulates concealed-carry permits, requiring training and rejecting applicants with impaired mental capacity or illness, certain criminal convictions, and other criteria. The law championed by Mr. Zeldin, if passed, would require New York (as well as every other state) to honor concealed weapon permits from every other state, as well as allow gun bearers from states not requiring permits to carry concealed weapons in New York. So, in Mr. Zeldin’s world, anyone allowed to carry a concealed weapon in his or her home state could bring that weapon into New York, regardless of whether that person could have obtained a concealed-carry permit under New York law. The bill would also allow concealed guns in New York schools, as carriers would not be subject to the Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1990. 

It should come as no surprise that numerous law enforcement agencies have denounced concealed-carry reciprocity, including the largest law enforcement organizations in the country. Mr. Zeldin’s legislative priorities included a promise to help keep our communities safer. In pushing H.R. 38, Mr. Zeldin thumbs his nose at that promise, our law enforcement agencies, and us.

Where do our G.O.P. candidates who tout their law enforcement experience stand on this issue? It’s time they let us know.

Sincerely,

CAROL O’ROURKE

Ancient and Venerable

Amagansett 

October 13, 2017

I will be voting for Rona Klopman for trustee on Election Day, Nov. 7. I have known Rona for five years or so, and worked with her on a number of local issues. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of local needs, problems, culture, and politics, and has excellent ethics and a common sense approach to problem-solving. She is also a warmhearted person and, over the years, has become a friend. 

I have owned a home in Amagansett since 1997I and I have voted here for about half that time. Today, East Hampton is not only my primary residence, but my only one. I am giving you this background as a segue to the following: In my initial years as a homeowner, I had no idea what the trustees did. The local political structure is indeed a complicated one; I remember asking people who had been here far longer to explain the apparent tripartite structure of town, village, and trustees, and most couldn’t. 

Over several years of attending local meetings and talking to people, however, I understood that the East Hampton trustees are an ancient and venerable organization, predating the Declaration of Independence, with jurisdiction over certain waterways and beaches, among other responsibilities. 

For some time, I think there was a tradition to leave the election of trustees to people whose families have lived here for generations, though all East Hampton residents can vote for the trustees, and they have jurisdiction over, and make decisions affecting all of us. As of the last election, when a lot of new faces were chosen, the trustees have started including people who listen to the rest of us as well. It is only fair that everyone who votes here be represented by a voice, and ear, among the trustees. I urge you to vote for Rona, who has the intelligence and experience needed to fulfill that role. 

JONATHAN WALLACE