Letters to the Editor: 04.06.17

Our readers' comments

Very Much Appreciated

Montauk

March 30, 2017

Dear David,

I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the Montauk Friends of Erin for giving me the honor of being the grand marshal in this year’s Montauk Saint Patrick’s Day parade.

Their kindness and generosity to me and to my family have been overwhelming and very much appreciated. 

I would also like to thank Joan Lycke, Jenny Balcuns, and Diane Hausman for hosting the grand marshal luncheon at Gurney’s Inn. It was a fabulous event that really kicked off the parade weekend.

Once again, thank you very much. It was an honor and an experience I will never forget.

All the best,

ED ECKER JR.

Exemplary Librarian

East Hampton

April 2, 2017

To the Editor:

I would like to thank Ms. Suzanne Setter, reference librarian at the East Hampton Library, for her exemplary help. 

When I called the library to get help in finding an esoteric piece of financial information, I certainly did not expect the enthusiastic assistance that I received. I thought I would be told to come in and check back issues of The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal.

Instead, Ms. Setter and her staff took my question as a challenge and found the information I needed by checking several online databases. She also called me a couple of times to give me an update on her search. 

She really is a reference librarian par excellence.

NAOMI COOPER

Magnificent Review

East Hampton

April 2, 2017

Dear David:

A big bravo shout-out to David Doug­las for his magnificent review of last week’s magnificent concert by the Choral Society of the Hamptons. As a once-upon-a-time music critic for The Star, I truly appreciated Mr. Douglas hitting all the right notes in his elegantly written, entertaining, and enthusiastic review. The precision of his writing, the depth of his analysis, the diffidence with which he offered his judgments of the performers and the conductor, and the care with which he simultaneously addressed the needs of the lay listener and the interests of the sophisticated musician all made this review a triumph. 

Certainly, Mr. Douglas’s experience as a teacher and conductor of vocal music enriched his observations on the considerable power and nuance Walter Klass brings to his conducting and on the fine singing of the chorus. Mr. Douglas succeeded in making anyone who had missed the concert wish that he or she had been there. That is always a sure sign the reviewer has done his job well. 

I eagerly await Mr. Douglas’s next review; I trust he will be able to bring his thoughtful expertise to cover the choral society’s next outing and Mr. Klass’s continuing concert series at the Sag Harbor Presbyterian Church. 

And last but not least, thanks again to the members of the choral society, who have volunteered their time, talents, and energy to enrich our community for so many years!

DAVID SWICKARD

Bluebird Boxes

Bridgehampton

March 29, 2017

Dear Editor:

A big thank-you to the East Hampton Airport manager, Jim Brundige, for allowing the South Fork Natural History Museum’s bluebird trails team access to the airport grounds to reposition our bluebird boxes. 

In recent years SoFo’s bluebird trails project manager, Joe Giunta, has witnessed Southern flying squirrels invade the nest boxes and prey upon bluebird eggs, nestlings, and even adult birds. By repositioning the existing boxes farther away from the adjacent woodlands, it will prevent flying squirrels’ access to the boxes. This in turn will result in a more successful breeding season for our New York State bird, the Eastern bluebird. 

Thanks to Joe Giunta and our volunteers, Ed Oakes and Terence McGuire, for helping out with this most important project.

FRANK QUEVEDO

Executive Director

South Fork Natural History Museum 

Stronger, Better LTV

Wainscott

April 3, 2017

Dear David,

Thank you for your excellent article covering our annual report to the town board and the final external audit report. We are grateful that The Star recognizes LTV’s continued commitment to excellence as we move forward.

For 36 years, LTV has allowed East Hampton Town residents to enjoy local governmental meetings, lectures, events, history, and quality local and educational programming from their living rooms — and has given industrious citizen-producers the opportunity to voice their opinions and celebrate our collective creativity for virtually no cost to them.

Since its birth in 1981, LTV has also gone from a garage on the edge of the dump on Springs-Fireplace Road to a state-of-the-art broadcasting facility with studios and a black-box performance space in Wainscott; from cameras the size of 12-year-old children to cameras roughly the size of small house cats or kittens; from broadcasting a single channel, only spottily populated with programs, to broadcasting two channels with programming 24 hours per day, severn days a week, that are simultaneously streamed and housed for future view on our website, from filming the East Hampton Town Board meetings if possible to filming 25 separate meetings per month, covering 11 different village, town, and school boards. 

LTV also houses more than 26,000 programs filmed by or donated to LTV specifically about East Hampton. This archive captures not only 36 years (and then some), but a critical 36 years in the lifeline of East Hampton itself, which experienced an exponential growth, mirrored in the unbelievably fast technological growth of the same period.

So it is only fitting that LTV should have experienced some growing pains, and only fitting that we should have emerged on the other end stronger, wiser, and better than ever.

Since I began as executive director in 2015, it has been my privilege to contribute to the work of the many people who believe wholeheartedly in public access television and free speech for all citizens. I have been overwhelmingly encouraged by those fighting for good and right in this world, who want to share their stories, be creative, encourage others, teach, help, and include.

I encourage all East Hampton residents to tune in to Channels 20 and 22 on Optimum, or visit www.ltveh.org, where you can watch the live streams, find out about our history, our programming, and explore our videos-on-demand, as well as discover how to become a producer (in both English and Spanish).

MORGAN VAUGHAN

Legion 9/11 Memorial

East Hampton

April 3, 2017

Dear David,

It is time to let everyone in town know what we have been up to. We are ready to start the fund-raising for the 9/11 memorial to be erected on the East Hampton American Legion grounds. 

You will remember a story your paper ran, “Legion to Erect 9/11 Memorial,” on Aug. 21, 2014. After many delays, not the least of which was the tragic loss of our friend Rossetti (Ross) Perchik and the numerous details that needed to be seen to. 

The plans have been submitted to the various East Hampton Town boards. While the application works its way through these boards we are confident in the outcome, so we have decided to start the fund-raising in earnest. 

Last year we started a buy-a-paver drive. These engraved pavers will make up the walkway around the memorial. We initially kept the sale of these pavers to the legion members. While this has been moving along, it is now open to the public. The pavers sell for $100 each and measure 4 by 8 inches. They can support three lines of 18 characters each, including spaces. 

To buy a paver, you can pick up a application at the legion between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. throughout the week, or go online at thatsmybrick.com/ehsons911. It’s a fairly easy process, but should you need assistance, my brother Bob or I would be happy to help you with the layout of your paver. 

You can see the memorial on our Facebook page, “East Hampton Sons of the Legion 9/11 Memorial.” A mouthful to be sure, but it will take you to the Facebook page. There you can look over the memorial and like and share the page with your friends if you wish, and there is a link to the paver site. 

Lastly, while I have budgets on all aspects of the construction, I welcome our local contractors who have an interest in being part of this wonderful project. We intend to keep the construction to our local companies and will make every attempt to do so. 

This memorial has become a labor of love for my brother and me, and we will see it completed. It will stand as a reminder of the strength of the people of the United States of America. 

Sincerely,

ANTHONY J. GANGA

Commander

Sons of the American Legion

Squadron 419

The Dog Picks You

East Hampton

March 31, 2017

To the Editor:

I read Helen Rattray’s column in this week’s East Hampton Star about a hunt for the dog that will fit everybody’s liking.

I am writing to tell her not to ever give up on the Animal Rescue Fund. I tell everyone the same thing: I was always a cat girl, and when one of my two ARFan kitties passed away after a serious surgery, I cried and cried. My husband said let’s volunteer to walk dogs at the shelter, and for the last four years I’ve been hooked, helping out five or six times a week with the team of volunteers to walk the newbies when they first come in from the shelters, foster homes, and puppy mills. It’s a primary retirement activity of mine — good for the heart, good for my health, and most of all, good for the doggies. And I’ve met all kinds of wonderful new friends there, volunteers and staff alike!

And of course, I fell in love more than once with these furbabies, and ended up with two terriers; each was a year old when we adopted them, already housebroken, and they are the joy of our lives. They are my constant companions as we walk around town, the beaches, the pretty streets in the Hamptons, and visit all the storekeepers and banks and other places that know us. And they love chasing the 20-pound cat around the house — who barely tolerates their presence and competes with them for lap and cuddle time.

Helen will find the perfect puppy or grown-up dog at ARF. New ones are coming in all the time, and you don’t pick the dog, it picks you. I’ll never know how I went through my life up till the age of 60 without a pooch. But now I know better, and I love it!

Best wishes,

TRINA and BILL SULLIVAN

A Burgeoning Group

Noyac

March 13, 2017

Dear David Rattray,

Thank you for positioning the article by Richard Rosenthal (March 9) at the center of your first editorial page. Progressive East End Reformers is our local community response to the many upsetting trends in today’s national government. We are a burgeoning group that began at Canio’s — not a large bookstore, especially with 60 concerned citizens crowded in at our first meeting.

Our next meeting attracted over 80 attendees. Last meeting, we had around 100, and we expect the number to have gone up at our April 4 meeting. We are proud of the effort of Kathryn Szoka, who already was quite active in racial justice concerns on the East End as well as founding our local Bernie Sanders organization, from which PEER morphed, BEES (Bernie’s East End Supporters). 

In response to the suggestions made by Mr. Rosenthal, participation by black and Latino locals is of course greatly desired and encouraged, but we understand the fear engendered by our political atmosphere, and we are a young organization. Several members of PEER have gone to other meetings and demonstrations in support of Black Lives Matter as well as gatherings of those threatened by today’s terrorizing immigration situation, and we are acquainting ourselves with the concerns of our local indigenous neighbors at a meeting at the Shinnecock Community Center. 

The subcommittees of PEER are devoted to racial justice, immigrant issues, D.N.C. reform, women’s issues, environmental concerns, education, health care, housing, and advocating for the Shinnecock tribe, as well as crossing the aisle to talk with Trump supporters. We actually did employ a device to assist a hearing-impaired member who sat in the front row at our February meeting, and we would appreciate Mr. Rosenthal’s good help in working with us to resolve our own disability and other issues related to inclusiveness.

We welcome anyone interested in participating in this national RESIST movement (PEER is a local branch of the Indivisible movement and belongs also to NYPAN, the New York Progressive Activist Network), “guiding disparate East End groups in a common, progressive direction.”

Please come join us at next month’s meeting, which will be announced on the PEER/NYPAN Facebook page.

Peace and justice,

TOM and HEIDI OLESZCZUK

A Very Sensitive Issue

Springs

March 29, 2017

Dear David:

What should we expect from our local government?

Let’s start with social responsibility, which I consider to be an attempt to recognize issues important to our community and, if an issue poses concerns, to undertake to educate us and even prompt solutions. Our local government best serves its community by being responsive to its needs.

A perfect example of such responsiveness occurred on Monday night. Our town government sponsored, indeed initiated, a program involving several South Fork human services and law enforcement agencies, which included the screening of the high school edition of “The Hunting Ground.” The film is a critically acclaimed documentary that shines a light on sexual assault on college campuses. Monday’s program was geared toward high school students 15 years and older, their parents and parents of middle school students, and educators. 

As Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez explained: “Sexual assault is a national issue that seriously threatens our young people’s safety and well-being.” Spearheading this program for the second year, her goal (and that of the town) is to educate our community about the scope of, and to understand issues surrounding, sexual assault, its impact on our young people, and to help empower them to make smart choices and stay safe. 

The class of 2017 will be headed off to college in a few short months, and our local government has helped these young people understand a very sensitive issue. Last year, more than 100 young people and their parents attended the program. One can only hope it happens every year.

Bravo to all who participated and helped sponsor this undertaking!

BRUCE COLBATH

S.Y.S. Championship

East Hampton

April 3, 2017

Dear David,

Regarding the letter from Dan Sullivan in last week’s paper in reference to East Hampton Youth basketball and the fifth and sixth-grade team that won this year’s Southampton Youth Services Championship: I think your readers should know that Dan Sullivan was not the coach of the Southampton team that the East Hampton fifth and sixth-grade team beat to win the S.Y.S. finals.

However, some of your readers may recall him as the coach who was escorted by the police from East Hampton High School during a tournament last year. He threatened one of the referees and has been banned from East Hampton High School for several years. He is also the coach who routinely gets technical fouls during games at S.Y.S., and he is the coach who heckles the players on the opposing teams from the bench during games.

Talk about poor sportsmanship.

Congratulations again to the East Hampton fifth and sixth-grade boys team for winning its fifth straight championship. I can’t wait to see these boys play in high school. 

JENNIFER FOWKES

‘H’ for Historic

East Hampton

April 3, 2017

Dear David, 

You as moderator, Biddle Duke, East magazine, The East Hampton Star, Jolie Parcher, and the Mandala Yoga Center for Healing Arts are to be applauded for the March 30 discussion “Environmental Health and Eco-Mindedness on the South Fork.” 

Opening with an assignment to the six panelists (full disclosure: I was included) to score, from A to F, the South Fork on the community’s commitment to the environment and local efforts of awareness was the perfect exercise for both the panelists and the overflow (out the door) audience. 

I opened the panel grading with an ‘H,’ for Historic. This score was easy for me to justify. As the acting chair of the East Hampton Town Energy Sustainability Committee, the town board’s (unanimous) mandate in 2014 to meet 100 percent of our community’s electricity needs with renewable energy sources by 2020 was “historic” — the first in New York State. 

The South Fork Wind Farm return of wind power to its 350-year East Hampton history, in addition to the other renewable initiatives in the committee’s portfolio, brings this local coastal community goal within reach.

Audience participation, the questions and personal observations, evidence a momentum in this community’s environmental awareness in conservation and preservation of our awesome natural resources. Let’s hope there will be more opportunities like this evening’s coming together to encourage our “pristine paradise” community members to speak out.

LINDA JAMES

Dwindling Sea Birds

Idaho

March 27, 2017

Dear Editor,

In traveling around the country I’ve seen many wind farms on hillsides. At the base of the turbines you will find many species of birds and bats dead. Anyone near a wind turbine will hear and feel the vibration. 

How much research has gone into the number of sea birds that will be killed? When they fall into the water there will be no evidence. How much of the vibration and noise will filter down into the water, disrupting the fish species? The fishing industry is already hurting from overregulation; will this seriously impact their right to make a living and feed the citizens of this country? 

How long will it take to pay off the cost of building these behemoths? Where are the environmentalists who say they want to protect our dwindling, even endangered, birds and fish?

Just a few thoughts.

LYNDA A.W. EDWARDS

‘Straw on Request’

New York City

April 1, 2017

To the Editor:

Congratulations to the Montauk students for their work on plastic straws! Straws are used once, then thrown out, seldom recycled, and make up a significant percentage of the plastic debris found on beaches and in waterways. They break up into small pieces of plastic, which can be swallowed by plankton and other small animals and do damage to marine life. 

Restaurant owners and other people in East End towns should pay attention to these students. One common situation that is unnecessary and easily corrected is when you go to a restaurant, order a cold drink, and it comes with a straw already in it — whether you want it or not. If restaurants didn’t do this, but had a “straw on request” policy, then people who want a straw could ask for one and the rest of us wouldn’t. The restaurant would use fewer straws and save money, and the environment would benefit. 

This would be very easy to implement at restaurants, food trucks, bars, and anywhere.

JUDITH S. WEIS

Exciting Excursions

East Hampton

March 29, 2017

Dear David,

Remember the excitement of a road trip when you were young? Seeing a new part of the world, spending time with friends who believed as you did in many things?

Two such opportunities for exciting excursions are happening in April. On April 22, there is a Scientists’ March on Washington to protest this administration’s attack on science wherever it encroaches on short-term profit. The following week, April 29, is the People’s Climate March on Washington. Hundreds of thousands of people who care about the future of the planet will be there, and I look forward to being just one of them. There will be sister marches in New York City, and maybe even here, if sympathizers care to organize.

After seeing the attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act stuffed down the throat of Paul Ryan, I grow hopeful that the outrage of Trump, ironically, may have awakened a sleeping giant — thinking Americans who suddenly realize, “Hey, if enough of us get involved, we are the boss in America.” The money rules only if the voters remain docile.

Take a selfie in the crowd so you can show your children and grandchildren that you cared enough to spend a weekend saving their world. Better yet, take the kids. Do wild face paint and make funny signs to carry. Teach them that this is how America is supposed to work.

DON MATHESON

Excellent Service

East Hampton

March 29, 2017

Dear Sir:

When I moved to the Hamptons in the late 1960s, I had a five-acre property with a lot of trees that needed extensive work. I started the American Tree Care Company with Rob Kerwin, to whom I sold the company some years later. Rob continued to develop the then very successful business, and sold it to a large corporation before his untimely passing. 

Point is that I am very familiar with the tree care business.

In the past 30 or so years, I have used the services of a number of tree care companies. This year for the first time, at the recommendation of a friend, I contacted Save a Tree to do some extensive work on a number of mature trees, including specimens, at my East Hampton home. 

They provided me with a detailed proposal of their services, and after my approval promptly did the work. Save a Tree’s service has been excellent, and I heartily recommend it to anyone in the area entertaining the retaining of a tree care company’s services.

The man from Save a Tree who handled my project is Greg Liffen, a member of the International Society of Arborists, and he can be reached at 631-283-1155.

HENRY W. MARKS

The Number-One Issue

East Hampton

April 3, 2017

Dear David:

Today the East Hampton Town Republican Committee candidates for supervisor and town board are announcing our plan to aggressively improve the water quality in the town’s eight watersheds. This plan begins with two premises. The first is that water quality issues are the number-one issue that must be faced by this town. The second is that the $4 million to $5 million that would be available from the 20 percent deduction from the community preservation fund would not be close to sufficient to make the improvements needed in a timely fashion.  Estimated costs for upgrading residential septic waste systems range between $30 million and $100 million. 

This plan would utilize the Environmental Protection Agency-New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation Revolving Fund, a fund that is projected to have an increase over last year’s federal budget and would make available $2 billion to New York State.  The plan has been developed with input not only from federal and state water quality stewards but also with input from local baymen, fishermen, and farmers.

The plan will utilize existing East Hampton Town Code authorities to identify failing residential septic systems within our watersheds, and target them for upgrading. According to our plan, residential property owners who have their septic system identified for upgrading will have several choices. They can go about the upgrade on their own, using an approved state-of-the-art nitrogen removal system, or they can upgrade using E.P.A.-state revolving funding, which the town will apply for and provide on a per-watershed basis. 

All systems that will be used for replacement will be competitively bid and will feature the use of local contractors. Repayment of the funds would occur over the 30-year life of the system, and in some cases may be eligible for a 25 percent grant. This would amount to a payback rate that would be far less than the projected rise in the homeowner’s real estate taxes over the same period. 

Should a homeowner be incapable of either of the aforementioned options, a third option would be available which would allow the upgrade to be foregone until such time as the property changes owners, at which time the upgrade must be effected. In short, those East Hampton citizens on the lower income spectrum will not be forced into a financially burdensome situation by this plan. 

To assure that this plan would be financially prudent, the C.P.F. money would be held in reserve to provide for any homeowner defaults and to assure the town can maintain its bond rating.

We are announcing our plan now and up front in our campaign. We want all of the voters in our town, and for that matter all those who have a stake in improving East Hampton’s water quality, to enter into a conversation about this plan. This issue is so important that the Republican candidates want our plan to be out there throughout the campaign. I believe this is an unprecedented step for an unprecedented issue.

On March 30, I attended, along with many of my colleagues, the event that you moderated with Biddle Duke, titled “Is the South Fork a Pristine Paradise Lost?” While the symbiosis of the timing of that event and our announcement is unintended, it is our hope that the water quality issue will be a campaign issue and that our plan will prove to be the most constructive and cost-effective way of turning the tide of deteriorating water quality in this town, where our waters are our life blood. 

I have invested 45 years of my life in environmental protection and environmental management. It is an opportunity such as this that drives me to be a candidate-designate for the East Hampton Town Board. Manny Vilar, our candidate-designate for supervisor, has similarly invested much of his career in nature conservancy and environmental protection with his management experience. Jerry Larsen, our candidate-designate for the other town board spot, has a similar body of management experience. This is what we do and this is what we have done. All three of us have learned in our collective 100 years of career experience that getting a conversation with the public is a precursor for success. As such, we encourage that dialogue.

I would close with a thought. Four years from now, when you moderate another panel discussion, may it be titled, “The South Fork: A Pristine Paradise — On the Way Back.”

PAUL A. GIARDINA

Void of Credible Facts

Wainscott

April 1, 2017

Dear Editor:

Reading the letters from the usual weekly Trump bashers, I found the one by Mr. Wick to be the most humorous and void of credible facts. Facts like the Obamas spent nearly $96 million on vacations. Facts like Obama flew to California to play golf. His wife flew to the same destination on the same day, two hours later, but took a separate plane. I guess Air Force One wasn’t big enough. That doesn’t include the fighter escort, Secret Service agents, and separate cars. 

 It appears that Mr. Wick forgot that Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s use of Air Force planes over a two-year period cost $2.1 million and over $1,000 per week for top-shelf booze and food on each trip. Why? Because the Gulfstream V that she was entitled to had to refuel, so she opted to use a 747 U.S. Air Force plane as a direct flight. Often canceled and rescheduled at will. The charge slip for food and booze is on record for viewing.

Malia Obama, a 13-year-old, 12 of her friends, and 25 Secret Service agents went to Mexico for spring break at a cost of $115,587, along with hotels, ground transportation, and unitemized vouchers in the thousands. The Obamas were sued over this shameful behavior of fleecing taxpayers. A 13-year-old needing a Mexico spring break?

The cost of foreign dignitaries to date at Mar-A-Largo have been assumed by the president, out of his own pocket, but he doesn’t boast about it or the tuition and mortgages he paid for to aid some needy and deserving people.

Mr. Wick adds the amount of the Endowment for the Arts and the costs and relates this to “paying for Trump’s weekend jaunts to Mar-A-Largo,” family vacations, and even the son’s school choice. Didn’t Obama’s daughters attend the most prestigious private school in the country? Did the girls run free and ot have the perk of a needed security detail?

The Trump children paid for their own ski vacations but are they not entitled to a security detail? Did not the daughter fly on a commercial flight, only to be accosted and verbally abused by some leftist moron who was escorted off the plane?

May I suggest that all the Trump bashers surrender their portfolios with the 16-percent profit earned since the election, and refuse to accept the money and redistribute their wealth to worthy causes, such as Meals on Wheels and the arts. And decline the tax write-off.

So stop the teeth-gnashing, hand-wringing, and sniveling. Face the fact that the election has been over for four months. Try supporting the country and use the system we have in place, known as the ballot box. Get a life and move on!

Yours truly,

ARTHUR J. FRENCH

Improve Existing Law

Amagansett

March 27, 2017

Dear David,

The American Health Care bill has been withdrawn by Paul Ryan. Now what? We, the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons, hope that members of both houses, in both parties, will work together to improve existing health care legislation — the Affordable Care Act.

The league believes that sequential improvements must be made to the A.C.A. to assure its financial stability and to provide insurance choices to all citizens. To ignore the opportunity to improve the existing law and wait for it to explode would be a dereliction of duty by our elected officials. We believe that their ultimate goal should be to craft an improved health care bill which will provide affordable and accessible health care to all Americans.

JUDITH W. SAMUELSON

Co-President

League of Women Voters

Of the Hamptons

Tales From the Bizarre

East Hampton

April 2, 2017

To the Editor:

Peter Hoeg is a Danish writer who is one of Europe’s most original and brilliant storytellers. In “Tales of the Night,” his stories center around exceptional people who create alternative realities that are perceived as normal, until they crash and burn around them and everyone connected to them.

Like a Peter Hoeg story, this past week reached a new level of tales from the bizarre. What was to be an elevated introduction to a much-awaited health care concept turned into a plan created with toothpicks and tissue paper, where it attained a level of abnormal normalcy. Set in the surreal drama of the president being under investigation for treason and high crimes, the Republicans attempted to craft and pass a health care bill that was mind boggling and utterly pointless.

Seven years in the making, the replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act was a slipshod, rambling bill that addressed few of the problems of the A.C.A. and worsened the current situation for millions of people. In all fairness to the bill’s authors, they never expected to have a majority with their own president, and their seven-year-old replacement project was only two months in the making. Another six months’ work might have produced a better product than the simplistic drivel that they tried to pass on, but nothing they produced would have been acceptable to a majority of the American people.

Obama had ended the debate about universal health care and had surreptitiously infused this idea into the American ethic. Everyone believes that they should have health care except for the Republican Congress. It is now a God-given entitlement. Unfortunately, Congress was still debating this idea that had already been decided, rendering the entire process an exercise in self-flagellation (or, “Let’s vote to repeal, because it won’t really happen”).

The bill couldn’t pass the House and never would have passed the Senate. It was dead on arrival. Persisting for political expediency seemed really dumb, especially when the president campaigned on a program of inexpensive universal care for everyone.

Yet, persist and insist they did, creating a soap operatic drama replete with threats, secret deals, deadlines, and insane press coverage. A grand duet of dueling idiots who brought almost no political skill and even less intellect to the table, ending with the president’s dramatic pronouncement that now the Demo­crats own health care and we will let the A.C.A. collapse and then get back to it.

In alternative universes, politicians don’t deal with problems they didn’t create? Obama didn’t have to deal with the financial crisis because Bush owned it (a profoundly stupid belief)? Sadly, once you are elected, you own the store (not literally, Donald). You have no choice.

So, as we descend into the abyss of abnormal normalcy, we are no longer surprised by the contagion of buffoonery that has enveloped the Republican Party. The weirdness of believing that because you say something is true, it is. That strange white robotic men in dark suits are roaming the halls of Congress, wearing sandwich-board signs telling us they’ve made America great again, in their own images.

NEIL HAUSIG

Assault on Obamacare

Springs

March 29, 2017

Dear David:

Mr. Trump has predicted that 2017 will be the worst year for the Affordable Care Act. He should know, because he is spearheading a program to sabotage the A.C.A.

Notwithstanding his embarrassing inability to pass Trumpcare and the overwhelming public support for preserving the A.C.A. (Obamacare), the Trump administration has already begun an all-out assault on it. The very day Mr. Trump took office, he issued an executive order announcing his intent to undermine the A.C.A. Ever since, his administration has worked to undermine the law. 

Let’s just look at the damage done to the enrollment process. In late January, the administration canceled advertising that would air during the final days of the sign-up period. Designed to decrease enrollment and premium revenue, it was spun as a spending cut.

Secretary Tom Price of the Department of Health and Human Services then announced a proposed rule designed to further decrease enrollment. Instead of a three-month enrollment period in 2016, Mr. Price proposes to cut that period in 2017-18 to 45 days. Shortening the time for enrollment will, of course, decrease enrollment and premium revenue. This threatens the financial viability of the A.C.A. — Mr. Trump’s objective.

During the Trumpcare debacle, we heard the repeated mantra about the lack of insurers offering A.C.A. coverage. Deceptively, the G.O.P. omitted that the real cause of this was Republican legislation that blocked reimbursement to insurers for losses caused by offering below-cost insurance plans.

Mr. Trump’s petulance to punish the American people for his legislative defeat not only violates the oath he took, it is the clearest evidence yet that he couldn’t care less about us.

CAROL O’ROURKE

Low-Information Voter

Hampton Bays

March 28, 2017

Dear Sir, 

What a shame that after seven years, the Republicans couldn’t come up with a health plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. Some Republicans should and will lose their re-election bid the next time.

The idea a politician should be re-elected time after time only leads to the corrupt system we have. I think the voter apathy we have, coupled with biased news media, only encourages this climate. On certain news stories reported on Fox News (channel 26), Fox details the time related to that story by CBS, NBC, ABC, and in most cases there is no mention, hence the term low-information voter.

President Trump and his great team are the only ones who are going to Make America Great Again! The liberals are bitching about the president appointing his son-in-law to help drain the swamp. How about when Kennedy was president. His brother was attorney general. His brother-in-law Shriver had an office there.

Mr. Kushner (who’s he? the lo-info might ask) is going to have his work cut out for him.

I think more than ever, our country needs God’s blessing, because the liberals have gotten more hateful and meaner than ever.

May God bless President Trump and his beautiful family.

JOHN PAGAC

Praise of God

East Hampton

March 30, 2017

To the Editor, 

My mother taught me when I was a little boy that humility and kindness are all things. Furthermore, she taught me that all doors open for a heart that is filled with gratitude. 

Praise of God and the praise of all things are heaven’s plain notion. Do our best and leave the rest to God. If God can’t make the past, then neither can we. 

Cultivate friendship as you will cultivate a beautiful plant.

Respectfully submitted, 

ANTHONY COLLETTI

P.S. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.