Letters to the Editor: 08.03.17

Our readers' comments

Tradition Continued


July 29, 2017

Dear David,

On behalf of the East Hampton Veterans of Foreign Wars, Everit Albert Herter Post 550, let me add a footnote to The Star’s excellent article this past week (“V.F.W. Transfers Flag Duty; Chamber of Commerce and Y.M.C.A. to carry on”).

As you wrote, our post has been aging out. With great regret and a genuine level of sadness, we had to acknowledge that we no longer would be able to continue placing and removing American flags in the village on various occasions throughout the year as we had in the past. This was not an easy decision. It was painful. It was difficult.

Thus we were especially pleased when we learned that this meaningful tradition will be continued. For that, we — and the community — will be forever grateful to the Chamber of Commerce and its director, Steven Ringel, and to the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter and its executive director, Glenn Vickers. Those groups deserve a huge pat on the back.

Most important, we want to acknowledge the Ladies Village Improvement Society and its president, Anne Thomas, for their understanding in this matter. L.V.I.S. has been our cherished partner for these many years. We can’t thank them enough for the extraordinary support they always have given to our post and to all veterans. They have been marvelous. We couldn’t have had a better partner.

Thank you again, Steven and Glenn and Anne. Your help is indicative of what a terrific community we live in.

Most sincerely,



Barnes Landing

July 27, 2017

Dear David,

Once again, as the summer heats up, the pace of our cable, internet, and phone connections becomes more and more glacial.

For several years now, I have complained to Cablevision, to no avail. Since my last collision with their customer disservice, and a helpful conversation with one of their maintenance foremen, I stopped trying.

I was informed that the reason for their abysmal performance is that every time the infrastructure is brought up to par with demand, “corporate” mandates an initiative for a number of new sales precisely engineered to overload the system at a specific level of stress.

Optimum it’s not! Just a textbook example of Orwellian branding.

This is a diabolical business model of “Peter Principle as Optimum growth strategy.” It is deliberately designed to build revenues by maintaining infrastructure permanently inferior to demand. This corporate con leaves our community — homes and businesses — overpaying and underserved.

You would think our pro-business town government could offer some help, through regulation, or incentives to other providers, to bring in healthy competition and economic growth to this abundant East End market.

Are there any ambitious Democrat candidates out there who can see an opportunity here? Throw in restoration of our leaf-pickup services to limit burgeoning tick infestations, for a surefire winning platform. Our seriously underserved community would stand behind you.

Happy August, everyone!


A Change in Venue

Lincolnshire, Ill.

July 25, 2017

Dear Editor,

I and my family have vacationed at the home of my Uncle Henry (H.L.) Haney, a longtime resident of East Hampton, business owner, cable TV host, and former East Hampton committeeman for many years. This year was remarkably different because we stayed at the East Hampton Hotel and Marina on Three Mile Harbor Road, a resort owned by Ben Krupinski.

The property has a quintessentially New England vibe. Our two-bedroom, two-bath cottage was quite comfortable for our family of four and furnished in a beach coastal theme. The hotel manager and staff and restaurant staff were welcoming, and the property is beautifully maintained. My children played tennis on the courts and the marina offered gorgeous water views and docks for large and small boats. The food at the restaurant was delicious, and the reggae band played music on Sunday night that kept a standing-room-only crowd dancing for hours!

The resort has shuttle service to downtown for those without a car, so shopping at local stores is enjoyable. My youngest son enjoyed his group tennis lesson at the East Hampton Indoor Tennis Club, owned by Scott Rubinstein, for the second year in a row. He looks forward to an activity that he is familiar with, and the instructors and staff are very encouraging for children.

Of course no vacation would be complete without a day at the beach and feeding bread to the swans and ducks at the pond. Lastly, I am pleased to add a new tradition of sailing to our Long Island vacations. This is the second year of sailing lessons at the Montauk Yacht Club for my oldest son, and the first for my youngest. The instructor was knowledgeable and a skilled sailor.

The next generation is our future, and I’m honored to have them experience longstanding New England activities in preparation for the future. I am happy to continue the tradition of an East Hampton summer vacation for the third generation of our family. It was a change in venue from our usual vacation, but one which I would encourage anyone to experience.

Sincerely yours,


How To Dispose


July 26, 2017

To the Editor,

As responsible adult children to an aging parent, several years ago we announced to our mother that we were taking her off the road and that her car was being moved from her garage to my brother’s house. Having a parent who is slightly in dementia is sometimes more difficult than having one with full-blown dementia, as our mother had enough cognition to take steps to try to rescue her kidnapped car.

Calling her local police station, mother announced that her son, a New York City attorney, had stolen her car and insisted that they travel to his office to arrest him. The car was an ancient Volvo and worthless, except that, as a summer resident of Wainscott, it was registered in my mother’s name and had both a beach sticker and recycling permit on it. Once we got rid of the car, we also lost those town stickers.

She and I spent last summer in her Wainscott home, where I served as both her daughter and caregiver. Realizing that I would need to dispose of disposables, I contacted the town offices inquiring about getting a recycling permit for my car. It was then that I learned how impossible it is to obtain such a treasure. A recycling permit would only be granted to a car registered to the homeowner.

Alternatives such as seasonal trash pickup and paying at the dump for each disposal are prohibitively expensive for those of us in the dwindling population of middle-class summer residents. I was reduced to stealing off to the beach at midnight, under a blanket of darkness and shrouded in shame and humiliation, to throw out our trash in town containers.

Another method of garbage disposal at my disposal was to send our weekend guests back to the city with our household trash. I would begin the process by generously offering leftover shish kebab and corn packed in Tupperware to our unsuspecting guests, then at the last minute sheepishly add a bag of trash. Of course bottles and cans were less humiliating to get rid of, as I simply took those to the recycling machines. I began with legitimate empty soda cans and plastic beverage containers, then feigned shock and surprise when I learned that the machine wouldn’t take empty Wolffer Rosé bottles. After a short sigh, I would announce to anyone around, “Oh, well, I guess I will just have to throw this one out here in the trash bin,” whereupon I would then proceed to dump a case of empty wine bottles.

At the end of a maddening summer as the waste management supervisor of our house, I decided to launch a systematic effort to obtain a legitimate recycling permit. This plan was a year in the making and started with my decision that my 95-year-old mother, clearly declining in both physical and mental health, must own a car.

So, I began the process of “gifting” my car to her. This caused two trips to her local D.M.V. at her winter residence in New Jersey. The process included multiple steps: I had to first see if she could be insured. Now, you may think that no reputable car insurance company would be willing to insure the car of a 95-year-old woman with dementia and a permanently suspended license, but think again. Getting the insurance was actually a snap. The stickier wicket came when I tried to register the car in her name. This ordeal took two trips to the D.M.V. office with six points of identification, obtained by the concerted efforts of all her offspring.

I arrived armed with power-of-attorney documents, a 70-year-old marriage certificate, passport, credit card, tax bill with owner occupancy address firmly and prominently placed, a checkbook, and my mother, who presented two demeanors that I was immensely grateful for: clueless and obliging. Supported by her cane and her aide, Mother, her aide, and I arrived to our morning of bureaucratic red tape.

Naturally we were met with a sea of people already on line. Every other minute, I needed to explain to her what we were doing there. “Right, Mom, we’ll just stand here on this mile-long line for about two hours now.” Mercifully, an officer saw us and after we passed through a gauntlet of sneers and silent daggers in something of an H.O.V.-at-D.M.V. lane, we found ourselves at the first of three checkpoints. Mother, in her perpetual 30-second loop, kept asking, “What is this place, a hospital?”

As she and I locked ourselves in the cycle of repeated question and repeated answer, the clerk serves me a curve ball. “Social Security number?” I wasn’t ready for that one, for some reason. I look at her and ask if there’s any chance she can remember her Social Security number, and she flashes a clueless and obliging smile back. I text my efficient and responsive siblings, who reply with the number instantaneously. Now we’re cooking with gas, until they tell me that she needs to sign a couple of documents.

At this point, I am wondering if anyone will notice me forge her signature, but the ever-vigilant state employees are observing us like sentries. In addition, Mother is drawing attention. Apparently she is coming across as a sweet little old lady and is gaining something of an impromptu fan club there at Motor Vehicles, dashing any further hope that I could sign her name without notice. I think to myself, if these people only knew that she wanted her only and well-meaning son thrown in jail for allegedly stealing her car three years earlier, they would have less adoration for her.

Okay. I hoist her out of her seat and stand her at the counter. “Mom, can you write your name?” I can see she wants to but is pleasantly confused, a condition that described her upon her last hospital discharge. The aide and I both coach her through the exercise and she scratches something that doesn’t resemble her name or even a name of any kind, but somehow it is accepted. Next, we’re off to get the state ID card, a necessary precursor to obtaining a car registration for those without an actual driver’s license. It looks as if we must stand on another line, but the Gods of Motor Vehicle are with us because there is seating, so she can sit and wait until her name is called for her ID picture. Mercifully, I am told that we are in the expedited line, which I mistakenly took for meaning this will be quick; it took 50 minutes.

Mother needs a photo and is given strict instructions not to smile at the camera. The aide and I walk her over and prop her up against the wall, and for obvious reasons I am reminded of the film “Weekend at Bernie’s.” She insists she understand all instructions, then proceeds to smile for each of two out of the three times the camera goes off. As they say, the third time is a charm, and after two hours in the D.M.V. and a year of plotting, my mother is the proud owner of a car at the tender age of 95.

Today, I triumphantly arrived to the East Hampton Town Clerk’s office with what I believed to be all I needed to get the recycling permit, and was extremely grateful that one of those items was not my old mom. Equipped with her car registration and the property tax bill, I expected smooth sailing, and began making mental notes about broken furniture, old books and papers, and another weekend supply of empties that I would be taking on my maiden voyage to the dump, when I learned that the house is still in my (deceased) father’s name and my mother’s name is not on the deed. I was crestfallen and demoralized. How could this happen after such careful plotting and planning?

There is a happy ending to this odyssey, however, as the compassionate angel at the town clerk’s office did give me a temporary recycling permit, with explicit instructions on how to have the deed transferred to Mom’s name.


Fire on the Beach


July 27, 2017

Dear David,

A couple of weeks ago, my friend set up a tent on the beach to protect his infant from the sun. We were on the Amagansett beach on Marine Boulevard 9A. Then he discovered still-warm cinders and wood nearby. Before his 4-year-old could step on it, he removed the burnt wood with the help of friends. Harm avoided, this time.

There are clear regulations for safely enjoying a fire on the beach. But they are ignored by selfish visitors, who are breaking the law. Can we change behavior, or do we need to police the beaches night after night? Doesn’t seem like the best use of time for our hard-working police departments.

A few years ago a youngster burned her feet walking on the beach because of leftover, uncovered embers.

Maybe people just don’t know better. Let’s educate them and hope it makes a difference.


Development Rights

Rochester, Vt.

July 31, 2017

Dear David:

Just watched the town board meeting of July 20, which devoted a nice bit of time to C.P.F. purchase of enhanced development rights of the Dankowski farm. Bravo to Averill, Billy Babinski, and others.

The woman (sorry, didn’t catch name) who described horse farming as a hobby, nailed it. To use good agricultural land to raise horses doesn’t make sense. Of course, you could eat horses, but veg is better for you.

People who think farmers are exploiting public funds by selling enhanced rights must believe food comes from Dow Chemical or Monsanto (might be true all too soon), already plastic-wrap­ped and/or frozen. They should try farming for a while.

And why would a purported farmer and member of the East Hampton Town Agricultural Advisory Committee consistently rant against the committee and do everything possible to snarl its meetings, insult the farmers who sit on it, and try to block efforts to build necessary amenities and retain land for the purpose of growing food? This has puzzled me for years.

Vermont remains cool and tranquil.

Best regards,


Too Much Too Soon


July 31, 2017

To the Editor:

First and foremost, I agree with your editorial about “pod housing” for seasonal employees, wherein we do need housing for year-round residents — affordable housing for year-round residents who work here and send their children to school here. I can’t understand why we can’t come up with some viable solution to this. That’s the priority here, not seasonal housing. There are actually some businesses (restaurants) that shut their doors the day after Labor Day — what’s that all about? And there is even a restaurant now that is only open four days a week! What? Unheard of.

Now to the subject at hand: entitlement, with reference to a “destination resort.” (Is that politically correct?) One buys a motel for millions of dollars, does some renovation (extensive, I am sure), and now wants the town to give approval for beverage and food service. What’s that all about? It’s just another case of “let’s buy it and sue the town when we don’t get what we want.” How many times have we seen that happen out here? It boggles the mind that one can literally invest millions and think that the town laws/rules don’t apply to them or that they can circumvent them through litigation. Let’s see — hmmm, we’ll put a restaurant and bar in and then we can use the public beach for our chaises and umbrellas for our guests! So the town has to spend money for litigation because someone didn’t do their due diligence, or, worse, just disregards the town laws.

We have more issues in this town than Life magazine. Restaurants opening that have been defunct or nonexistent for more than 20 years — how does that happen?

And then we have a 7-Eleven (forget about that debacle). Didn’t we all assume that the town could not have chain stores? Well, we all know how that turned out. So then we enact legislation to not have chain stores, but it is like closing the barn door after the horses have gone out.

How about purchasing an established landmark motel (at a famous surfer beach) and then proceeding to advertise it as a “private club with restaurant and pool,” etc. That went over big, didn’t it? What were they thinking?

We have businesses increasing their occupancy by putting tables outside. It doesn’t matter, as code enforcement has too much to do to deal with this. So another 30 guests outside, using the same sanitation facilities, is not an issue? Yeah, right?

We have businesses operating in residential areas with total disregard to the noise level or the quality of life of their neighbors. There’s a motel/bar that decreased its parking lot by putting a fence up. Where do their patrons park? On someone else’s property, I guess.

We have the forever ongoing issue of taxis parking at a place on Edgemere, not just dropping off — a dangerous issue for sure — and increasing its occupancy. Sanitation facilities increased? I don’t think so.

I am saddened by what has happened out here. Too much too soon. We weren’t ready for the influx. Who knows? All I know is that we ought to put the brakes on, and soon.

It’s becoming a Wild West show, but in a bad way. How to do that is anyone’s guess, but rules and laws are made for a reason and we must adhere to them, otherwise chaos, or ongoing litigation at huge expense. But of course our president is setting an example for most to follow: Don’t follow any rules, do whatever you want for your own personal gain, and if you don’t get what you want, sue. (What does he have, over 1,000 lawsuits?)


Seasonal Housing


July 29, 2017

Dear Editor:

I take issue with the editorial “Wrong Solution for the Housing Crisis.” We have two housing crises in the Hamptons, and the author seems preoccupied with the problem of housing year round for those in the construction and service industries. In doing so they have lost sight of the other crisis of housing for those who come in the summer.

The idea of temporary seasonal housing is a great solution for the second crisis. The proposal seems to take little public space and have a minimal impact on the environment. While there are other ideas to solve the problem, none of them are so easily and readily implemented.

The Hamptons are busier in the summer season than the rest of the year. For many, there is not the opportunity for full-time employment here. Consequently, there is no need for full-time housing for them, either.

Many of the people in the year-round construction and service would not have jobs were it not for the summer people. If we were not busier in the summer, many of those jobs would go away. Then the author would not have to worry about local housing.

As it is, we do have a crisis in housing for those who are here all year. However, we should not lose sight of the other problem, nor should be scoffing at what seems to be a very viable solution.

I am proud that our town leaders are taking this proposal seriously.


Work-Force Housing

July 31, 2017


Dear David,

I agree with your editorial of July 20 “Wrong Solution for Housing Crisis.” The town should focus more on providing year-round housing opportunities versus seasonal ones. However, the town will always need summer workforce housing in addition. Here is one idea that connects the need for seasonal work-force housing with enhancement of our year-round community needs:

Whenever the town is involved in helping to create work-force housing, it should require that the housing be prioritized, as much as is legally possible, for businesses that operate year round (or nearly so). Most successful year-round businesses also need to hire additional employees for the summer, and housing is always a problem.

Our year-round business owners provide jobs that allow people to live in or near town — and most all people who work in East Hampton would live in town if they could find housing which they could afford. These employees, and owners, join the volunteer fire departments that save our lives and homes. They become our volunteers for youth activities, are the parishioners of our houses of worship, join the fraternal service organizations, and, in general, become valued members of the community.

Also, when a local year-round business buys local services and pays its year-round employees, the money tends to stay in the community. This makes for a more robust local economy, and one that is less susceptible to whether some East Hampton hamlet is the fashionable destination of the moment.

Prioritizing seasonal work-force housing for businesses that operate throughout the year would reward business owners who are most involved in serving and helping our community.


Mr. Cohen has filed a petition to force a primary for a place on the November ballot as a Democratic Party candidate for the East Hampton Town Board. Ed.

School Bus Depot


July 28, 2017

Dear Mr. Rattray,

I read your article on the negotiations between Larry Cantwell and the East Hampton School District regarding a new school bus depot to be located on Springs-Fireplace Road next to the recycling center. This matter came up as well at a recent Springs Citizens Advisory Committee meeting (July 24). I understand this issue has been simmering for a while and is a subject of earlier letters to you.

The list of questions on this issue seems to be expanding, and I would hope will merit additional coverage by your fine newspaper:

• The logic of moving buses away from school and existing property. Long Lane access to and from the depot is the most logical. Why can t obstacles to that option be overcome?

• Is Nimby (not in my backyard) behind the motivation of the Cedar Street group? And does their offer to contribute $2 million toward the land purchase imply rich neighbors are getting preference in our town?

• Added congestion to heavily traveled Springs-Fireplace Road: Is there a traffic impact study? Does this fly in the face of the hamlet study that identified the congestion on Springs-Fireplace Road as a problem that needs to be addressed?

• Sale of town land: The sale of one of the few remaining commercial parcels of town land not at the airport should be carefully considered. Its location, which provides the road frontage to the recycling center, may be quite valuable for expanded recycle, waste-to-energy, or related waste-reduction programs. What do our town’s long-term planning documents say?

• Ground pollution issues: Given the prior use of the site, which contained a malfunctioning scavenger waste plant cited by the D.E.C. for polluting the ground, who bears the pollution cleanup risk?

• The Springs School District is being approached about sharing the facility. What would be done at the Springs-Fireplace Road location that can’t be done adjacent to the high school? Won’t the vocational training mentioned be better supplied adjacent to the other educational facilities at the school, rather than adjacent to the recycling center?

I am sympathetic to the concerns of the Cedar Street Committee and the desire to keep traffic down on their street, but school-related traffic is still going to pass on Cedar Street and Long Lane as the buses move four miles to and from the Springs-Fireplace Road location twice a day.

At the Springs C.A.C. meeting last week, Fred Overton agreed to carry the concerns raised there to the town board. I hope The Star will investigate and report on these issues as well, for the community at large.


Decision Was Sensible

Sag Harbor

July 31, 2017

Dear Editor,

The Springs Citizens Advisory Committee recently criticized the East Hampton School District’s prudent decision to consider moving a proposed school bus maintenance/fueling facility, away from Cedar Street to a town-owned commercial site on Springs-Fireplace Road. The facts clearly support the change.

The environmental review of the Cedar Street location disclosed a serious threat of groundwater contamination. The Suffolk County Water Authority warned that the location was dangerously close to the Oakview Highway public water well field. Those wells draw water from an area that includes the site itself. From there, groundwater flows directly toward the well field, supplying drinking water to thousands of residents.

Any accidental fuel or chemical spillage would pose an extremely grave threat. The county was so concerned that it recommended the installation of a monitoring system to provide an early warning. Indeed, the Oakview Highway wells have already reported serious contamination.

The Cedar Street location also violated town zoning. The site is zoned residential, and prohibits the use. There is serious traffic congestion, and Cedar Street may soon be “bookended” with a second emergency services building.

The Springs-Fireplace location is correctly zoned commercial/industrial, and the use is permitted there. The prior scavenger waste site generated truck traffic to haul septic waste, which the road accommodated. It is designed with shoulders, to better handle the load. Also, East Hampton District school buses are already traveling there, and will continue to do so.

Finally, the use of the Springs-Fireplace site will allow both Springs and East Hampton School Districts to share the facility. Its proximity to an existing town-owned fueling station will eliminate the need to construct another potential source of contamination.

The East Hampton School District’s decision was sensible. The new site is conforming to zoning and provides better environmental protection. It offers an opportunity to economize by sharing services. The district’s willingness to listen to neighbors and adjust its plans should be welcomed. On balance, it is a win for the town.


Montauk Shores Septic


July 25, 2017

To the Editor:

The inaccuracy of your July 6 editorial is highly disturbing. I have lived in the community for over 16 years and been a Montauk Shores Condominium board member for 12 years. Contrary to your reporting, the septic system has been professionally maintained by Quackenbush Cesspools Inc.

The system is pumped out twice a year (June and September). In addition, the system is aerated each year, using organic bacteria to assist with the flow. The septic system has never had an overflow, due to the ongoing and consistent maintenance. Based on actual facts, I can confirm that during the summer months the system runs at about 90 percent of capacity, while during the winter months it is under 10 percent.

In regards to your statement about owners replacing existing units with larger units, the board has taken steps to limit unit sizes. Similar to the community in the town, families continue to grow and require more space. Montauk Shores Condominium continues to consider community growth while managing the septic system treatment.

In your opinion-based editorial, you insinuated that the septic system is making people sick. This statement is completely ridiculous and highly unprofessional. The lack of facts included with your editorial is extremely disappointing. Your opinion-based comments reflect laziness for researching the actual truth. Your audience and this community deserve much better.



Montauk Shores Condominium


East Hampton Town officials have said that the septic system at the Montauk Shores Condominium is inadequate for the property’s wastewater flow. In December, the Suffolk Department of Health Services rejected the park’s proposal to add two bathrooms to its recreation center because of a peak capacity shortfall of about 16,900 gallons per day. A stormwater overflow pipe at Montauk Shores Condominium was also shown to be contaminated with fecal enterococcus bacteria in 39 percent of the tests conducted by the Concerned Citizens of Montauk and Surfrider Foundation Eastern Long Island Chapter Blue Water Task Force between 2013 and 2016. Ed.

Program Is in Use


July 30, 2017

Dear David,

I write to correct misstatements by Paul Giardina regarding the town’s coastal plan, the local waterfront revitalization program, in last week’s letters.

Readers should know the history of the L.W.R.P. It was prepared and supported over a 10-year period from 1989-99 by Democratic administrations, and approved by the town board under Supervisor Cathy Lester, a Democrat. When Jay Schneiderman, then a Republican, took over as supervisor he put the L.W.R.P. on the shelf, and it did not see daylight again until implementing legislation was passed by a Democratic administration in 2006.

The completed L.W.R.P. was approved by New York State and adopted as the coastal component of the town’s comprehensive plan. The Wilkinson administration did nothing to implement the L.W.R.P., except when it inconveniently prevented them from selling the town’s municipal docks in Montauk. Mr. Giardina’s statement that “the town’s neglect of its own L.W.R.P. spans three administrations” is inaccurate. It was sidelined by the Schneiderman and Wilkinson administrations, both Republican.

The downtown Montauk beach erosion plan was initiated by the Wilkinson administration, which originally wanted to “drop rock” with hard structures along the downtown shore, which would have been inconsistent with the L.W.R.P.  The present installation was promoted by the Army Corps as a stopgap measure, pending a beach nourishment project under the Fire Island-Montauk Point plan. New York State sent a letter of consistency with the L.W.R.P. When the Army Corps issued FIMP (Fire Island to Montauk plan), it did not include Montauk beach nourishment.

The LIPA/PSEG substation and battery facility in Montauk are undergoing review by the planning and zoning boards, although, with respect to the new substation to replace one that is literally in Fort Pond, LIPA maintains the town does not have review power. The town is exploring whether New York State can intervene to review it for L.W.R.P. consistency.

Deepwater Wind has not yet submitted a concrete proposal for review. The East Hampton Town Planning Department is drafting the coastal assessment form for use in local consistency review. It is doing so in consultation with the State Department of State, which oversees L.W.R.P.s and consistency review statewide.

The L.W.R.P. is not being neglected; it is in use. Thanks for the opportunity to respond.



Town Waterfront Advisory


Economic Development


July 30, 2017

Dear David,

East Hampton has an issue with cost of living, and affordable housing is but one part of the broader problem.

There has been much talk about the lack of affordable housing, going as far back as the 1980s. Over the years the one thing I have never heard anyone address is the root cause of our cost of living and the affordable housing crisis — and it is a crisis.

Every aspect of the cost of living in East Hampton is driven by a second-home ownership, tourist-based economy, and their ability to pay.

Sadly, past town governments have been unable to put forth a solution that has produced any true long-term, townwide, significant results. Yes, there have been several positive moves in the affordable housing areas, and they are to be commended. Unfortunately it does not solve our cost-of-living issues.

The current Democratic town board, rather than address this unique challenge, has chosen to create a climate that is oppressive to businesses and economic development. Outside of the second-home/tourist industry there has been no economic development, and our current economy has become more dependent on tourism dollars.

As supervisor I would seek to empower our local business community and attract businesses and employers that are consistent with our traditions and values. To do this, I will create an Office of Economic Development in town government. The office will be tasked with addressing the current town code to ensure that we are creating the climate for our business community to thrive, while being consistent with our community values values. The Office of Economic Development will also be tasked, among other duties, with seeking out ways to attract environmentally friendly businesses that currently are not in town that will bring well-paying jobs to our community that will provide a living wage.

For close to 40 years, successive town governments have tried and failed. We cannot continue the same failing policies of the current administration and administrations past. We cannot make the price of homes go down, nor would we want that to happen. We cannot make the cost of living decrease, either. The only thing available is to think outside the box and explore new options to create a climate of economic empowerment. Then and only then will we be able to tackle the high cost of living and lack of affordable housing in East Hampton, once and for all.

I am humbly asking for your vote for supervisor this November. It is time we end divisive politics in East Hampton and work for all the people, rather than investment bankers and a politically ambitious governor.

It is time we put people first and politics last!

I want to hear from you, my phone number is 631-324-0528, email victory@vote4vilar.com. On Facebook, Vote Manny Vilar East Hampton Town Supervisor.



East Hampton

July 31, 2017

Dear David,

Monday will marked my official retirement date from the East Hampton Village Police Department. When I started with the police department in 1983, the police station was located at 17 Newtown Lane. In 1990, we moved to our current location, where I have served as chief of police for the last 14 years.

I have enjoyed a great career that has spanned over three decades. I will never forget some of the high profile investigations I handled nor will I ever forget some of the horrible death investigations I had to handle, especially those cases that involved the loss of a young life. I consider my career as chief of police very successful. I owe that success in part to the men and women who worked for me that did and still do a great job at the police department and the emergency communications department (if you think being a police officer is difficult at times, it is not as difficult as answering some of those 911 calls and giving assistance).

For as long as I can remember, all I wanted to do was be a cop. My dream came through when Chief Glen Stonemetz hired me as a police officer. He also promoted me to detective, patrol sergeant, and, eventually, detective sergeant. He was a great man and a wonderful mentor. Chief Randall Sarris was the next chief I worked for. He taught me many things about police work as well. He then promoted me to lieutenant and his executive officer. It was an honor to work for him. When he retired I was promoted to chief of police, something I had wanted from the first day I was hired.

Besides Chief Stonemetz and Chief Sarris, there have been many people in my life who have inspired me to become the person I am today. I am not sure there is enough space in your paper to list them all but I will certainly list the people that stand out in my mind. My dad, who taught me many, many things, but what I remember him instilling in me the most was to always work hard and always be loyal. My mom, who was always there for me and would always make time to listen. My two sisters, Carol and Linda, we did not have much money or material things growing up but we had fun. Lt. Bruce Cotter, Lt. Ken Brown, Sgt. Robert Krempler, and Sgt. Wayne Rost were all great influences at work too.

Retirement was a decision that was difficult for me. I was not ready to leave the law enforcement world but opportunities don’t always present themselves in a timely fashion. I made the choice with a lot of support from my family, my wife, Lisa, and our children, Robert, Chelsea, Chris, Evan, Kathryn, and Tristan.

I thank the residents of the village and town for their many years of support. I have made so many friends during my career and now that I am embarking on a new career as a town board candidate, I hope you will support me here as well.

Thank you,


Experience and Vision

Sag Harbor

July 28, 2017

Dear Mr. Rattray,

I am writing this letter in support of the candidacy of Jeff Bragman for East Hampton Town Board.

I have known Jeff for more than 25 years and have been impressed by his devotion to the principles of visionary zoning and planning and his willingness to fight the good fight.

Jeff has been an active, responsible member of the East Hampton community, and a neighborhood organizer. His progressive views, experience, and vision will be an asset to future generations of the Town of East Hampton.

A vote for Jeff Bragman and Kathee Burke-Gonzalez for town board and Peter Van Scoyoc for supervisor is a vote for experienced and responsive government in the Town of East Hampton.



Severe Desperation


July 31, 2017

To the Editor:

A friend of mine recently shared a website that makes it easier to report aircraft noise here on the North Fork, airnoisereport.com. Here it is Monday morning, and I decided to start reporting. So far, 19 in an hour! Hold on a sec, there’s another one coming over the house now.

Two weeks ago on a Monday morning, I tracked 35 helicopters and seaplanes over our house from 7:02 a.m. to 8:37 a.m. Do these people have no conscience? I am writing out of desperation — severe desperation! I live on the once-bucolic North Fork of Long Island. Every weekend our world is turned upside down (most dramatically on Monday mornings at 7:30 a.m.). I wonder if these people and pilots have any idea of the effect of living beneath their flight path. I don’t live near the Westhampton or East Hampton airports, only beneath their way of getting celebs and C.E.O.s to their Hamptons homes as they cross over Laurel.

It’s a constant path, right over our houses. Never varies. Windows and china cabinets shake, conversations pause, nerves fray.

Here’s a tip: Try thinking of someone other than yourselves. Think karma. But for God’s sake, please think! Do you really mean to destroy other people’s lives in search of your own self-centered happiness?


No Easy Answers

East Hampton

July 30, 2017

To the Editor,

I am just as fed up about airplane and helicopter noise as anyone living within their flight paths. Taking note of the growing anti-East Hampton Airport sentiment, I want to add my own comments and observations to the fray. I might add that I am a frequent caller to the aircraft noise-complaint hotline.

What will the closing of the East Hampton Airport entail, and what would it mean to the community? Firstly, I believe devaluation of real estate properties to be a myth: If anything, surrounding areas may experience a boom. (Rumor even has it that some of the most fervent anti-airporters are landowners in the area.) Some of their arguments about fumes and water pollution sound quite specious.

Then there is the law of unintended consequences. One effect might be the disruption of emergency medevac helicopters which use the airport, such as was used on Saturday for a critical road accident. Imagine a helicopter landing on Route 27 on a summer weekend! For heart attack or stroke victims, this could be critical, too.

Then: I don’t believe road traffic and congestion would be affected or reduced by its closing, as most airport arrivals immediately get into their cars.

Are we willing to turn away the hobbyists and small-plane owners, some of whom have used the airport for many years, without any regrets?

For full disclosure, I have no interests, monetary or otherwise, or connection with East Hampton Airport. No easy answers anyhow. But trying to reduce airport noise by appealing to people’s better instincts will lose out to commercial interests in the long run.


Using Airport Land

East Hampton

July 31, 2017

Dear David,

Three items in your July 27 edition struck me. Specifically, your editorial “Nonsense in the Wind,” Larry Penny’s column “Paddling Up the Wrong Stream,” and Christopher Walsh’s “No to Deepwater Expansion.” All contain facts, but seem to go in different directions. I’d like to add 10 facts that may help Star readers formulate their own opinion and perhaps harmonize the discussion.

• On June 3, 2014, Mr. Raj Addepalli of the New York State Public Service Commission stated at a government-to-government meeting held in West­chester that before the 2000 megawatts of electricity (MWe) provided by Indian Point could be taken offline, replacement power would have to be found, amounting to approximately 25 percent of the New York City metropolitan areas.

• During the 2015 time frame New York State provided permit applications to the E.P.A. which were to allow for the repowering of two long-mothballed power plants, and guess with what fuel? Coal! The application was promptly rejected.

• In 2016, New York State secured support from the East Hampton Town Board for an offshore wind farm project through its Long Island Power Authority, as in “Sandy LIPA.” Fully funded, the project would provide about 1,000 MWe.

• About 43 percent of the United Kingdom wind farms do not produce, but use power in August.

• The peak electrical demand for the Town of East Hampton is on a hot August day.

• Earth’s climate has been changing for over four billion years, and if species such as stromatolites have radically changed the atmosphere it is extremely shortsighted to think man’s use of fossil fuels isn’t also similarly changing the atmosphere. Putting aside the argument of how much, reducing carbon-emitting electric generation is a good thing.

• Kansas and Texas are using land-based wind farms and producing significant amounts of electricity. Land-based windpower farms are a good source of renewable power, putting aside some of their ancillary environmental issues.

• If you carry Larry’s math one step further, using 300 acres of our airport land to do a solar farm you arrive at the fact that it would be enough electricity for well over 10,000 homes. Remember, the sun shines a whole lot in East Hampton in August.

• Christopher’s article indicates that LIPA is not continuing with the subsequent phases of the Deepwater Wind Farm project and that completion of the current proposed action would be no earlier than 2022. I note that you put this article on the same page as the obituaries.

• The governor has announced that he has a deal to close Indian Point, a source of non-carbon-emitting power, in the 2021-22 time frame, about 20 years earlier than its license expires.

Perhaps this ties together the facts as to why I am supporting a public-private partnership to do a solar farm at the East Hampton Airport and why I have begun working to that end. I hope this makes sense out of the nonsense.


Deepwater Challenge


July 29, 2017

Dear Editor:

A front-page story in the July 20 edition of The Star, reporting that officials at Deepwater Wind have agreed to explore alternatives to routing their power transmission lines through Gardiner’s Bay, was a welcome sign that compromise to avoid disruption to the local fishing community might well be possible.

The current East Hampton Town Board has an admirable record on energy sustainability, most importantly having adopted in 2014 a resolution for the town to become a 100-percent renewable electric energy community by 2020.

The town board and the town trustees both see wind power as an important part of the renewable-energy solution. At the same time, the board, the trustees, and a huge majority of East Hampton residents see the need to assure that wind turbines and transmission lines do not unnecessarily interfere with East Hampton’s economically critical fishing industry and the livelihoods of East Hampton’s fishermen.

Thus, the challenge for all involved in approving the Deepwater project in the days ahead must be to find solutions that protect the local fishing community while reaping the high energy benefits of wind power for East Hampton and its residents. I am confident that such solutions will be found.


Opposed to Deepwater


July 29, 2017

To the Editor:

Bonnie Brady is head of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association. She is also the most knowledgeable person out there on the Deepwater Wind project, and she is vehemently opposed to it on a number of substantive grounds. She is also, politically speaking, a seriously left-leaning individual.

So it must have been quite a shock to her to read in last week’s Star editorial that her opposition to Deepwater makes her a right-wing fossil-fuel fanatic. In truth, as the fishing association’s website abundantly catalogs, Ms. Brady is opposed to Deepwater for the same reasons we in the local Republican Party are opposed, none of them having anything to with left/right ideology.

Funded with taxpayer billions, run by hedge-hog investors, not engineers, this project is another Solyndra waiting to happen. Huge increases for both taxpayers and ratepayers and a cost-per-kilowatt hour four times more expensive than natural gas are only part of the problem. As Ms. Brady points out on her website, the disruption and degradation of our fisheries, both inshore and offshore, will be massive and ongoing, as 200 more windmills are added to the original 11.

Problems with storage battery efficiency and siting, a very high-voltage cable running through the Peconic Estuary, and a complicated and politicized financing regime also mitigate against the project. The Star does not disagree that windmill farms kill large numbers of birds, including migratory and endangered species, but says this is somehow justified because the Republicans in D.C. want to curb E.P.A. excesses. Huh?

Sorry, David, the fanatics in this case are the green-at-any-cost dreamers who get weak in the knees at the mere mention of windmills, facts be damned.



East Hampton Republican


Vote for Vorpahl

East Hampton

July 28, 2017

Dear David,

I am writing this letter in support of Susan Vorpahl, who is running as a candidate for a seat on the East Hampton Town Board of Trustees.

I first met Susan probably about 15 to 20 years ago when she was a little girl and attended Sunday School at the Amagansett Presbyterian Church, as it was affectionately known when the Rev. Robert Beecher Stuart, pastor emeritus, was our pastor.

Over the years I have watched Susan Vorpahl grow into a very civic-minded and very caring young woman. From time to time I read some letters Susan sent to the Letters to the Editor column in The East Hampton Star, always related to issues which the town trustees constantly deal with. She was and still is very concerned about local environmental issues pertaining to the various hamlets that make up the Town of East Hampton.

Susan is the daughter of Mary Vorpahl and the late and much esteemed Stuart Vorpahl. She is the loving mother of Kyle and Meghan, who are now young adults. In my opinion, Susan has done a wonderful job in raising her children.

Susan Vorpahl is employed by Riverhead Building Supply. She is a dispatcher for the East Hampton Town police, plus she serves as an E.M.T. for the East Hampton Village Ambulance Squad.

Stuart Vorpahl left behind a vast wealth of information pertaining to the many years he served as East Hampton Town Trustee, and his daughter Susan is taking time out of her busy schedule to research his files as to his papers, opinions, letters, and newspaper clippings. She wants to be well versed in town trustee matters.

Susan will voice her opinions and stand up for what she believes is best for our East End hamlets, especially in protecting our beaches, the ocean, ponds, bays, dunes, fisheries, the piping plovers, etc., from the use of harmful chemicals.

As she is the daughter of the late Stuart Vorpahl, a well-known and loved bayman and Bonacker who believed in total justice for all, I have a lot of confidence that Susan Vorpahl will accomplish her goals if she is given a chance to serve on the East Hampton Town Board of Trustees. I am very proud to endorse her candidacy. Please come out and vote for Susan Vorpahl.


Stomach-Turning Film

East Hampton

July 31, 2017

Dear David:

The SummerDocs program hosted by Alec Baldwin and David Nugent of the Hamptons International Film Festival amuses every time. This week it sizzled. This series offers a selected documentary film, generally four times per summer, and a talkback after the screening with principals from the film, either filmmakers, directors, or central characters, led by our own Alec Baldwin.

The most recent offering, “Trophy,” Shaul Schwarz’s and Christina Clusiau’s searing film, explores the conflict between animal-rights believers and “conservationist” hunters. The often heart­rending and stomach-turning film doesn’t flinch away from the grisly and glorious faces of African hunting as well as the international trade involving rhinoceros horn, elephant tusks, and the stuffed heads of all manner of creatures, and the farming of these rare and beautiful animals. I wholeheartedly recommend the film and hope it will be selected for the annual film festival, which occurs during the Columbus Day extended weekend.

The antihero of the piece, Phillip Glass, early on shown teaching his son to hunt in a fenced yard full of deer, is attractive, well-spoken, an evolution-denier (“people who believe in evolution are very, very stupid”), and an avid animal-killer. He raises exotic animals to be killed by “hunters” in his and other ranch locations. He insists, with numbers to back him up, that what he and other conservationist killers do for fun and money is benefiting the exotic species they raise.

Another major figure, David Hume, raises rhinos, periodically drugging them and cutting their horns off with a battery-powered saw in order to make them undesirable to poachers. We learn that this process is painless and that the horns grow back. Laws that have made trading in rhino horns illegal have severely hurt his business, but he is warehousing warehousing years of horns in hope that he will one day be able to take them to market. We are also shown the results of part of his herd being killed by poachers. Not for the faint of stomach.

Mr. Hume, being primarily a farmer and lover of his beasts, acknowledges his capitalist concerns and also provides numbers that are not challenged by the film but rather supported by it, that the global numbers of farmed animals are greatly improved. Mr. Glass bemoans any regulation limiting his right to dispatch these magnificent beings. The competing inclinations of the people in the film are so thought-provoking that when the filmmakers came onstage, followed by the Bible-belter who proclaimed in the film and onstage that God gave him dominion over beasts, there was an audible gasp from the seats.

Alec reminded everyone to be on good behavior toward his guests, but within 10 to 12 minutes his PETA proclivities were clearly battling with his host manners as he challenged his guest repeatedly. Mr. Glass was courageous, if misguided in my opinion, and stood up as Alec verbally stalked him. He stood proud like a fine trophy, head up and engaged, demonstrating better manners by not attempting to fire back as Mr. Baldwin attempted dominion by talking over him.

Going in, I was sure I would side one way, and I came out much closer to the middle ground in the key issues. I love when that happens.

See this movie: It is incredibly beautiful, briefly horrific, and wonderfully thought-provoking.

On a personal note: Mr. Baldwin brings so much to the community. His donations are legendary, his support for different causes is inspiring, and he is a famous local. But, Alec, please stop the gesticulating and signaling to people in the back of the theater. It insults whoever is speaking at that moment and makes you look like a sign-language interpreter. Please get back to the rapier wit, laser focus, and depth of understanding to which we have become so accustomed.


Kill Deer, Save Azaleas


July 28, 2017

Dear David,

I’m writing to you in a complete state of shock. After reading the Village of East Hampton’s deer “survey” I would normally be sending it along to my friends as a funny cartoon, but this is real. From those compassionate folks who brought you White Buffalo, the company that brutalized deer by sterilization in the most horrendous conditions with equally as horrendous results, comes a “survey” guaranteed to produce the outcome the village has been chasing for years. Their stand is not to do a scientific study, but to rig a survey so they can kill the deer and save the endangered azalea bushes.

The lack of compassion in the Village of East Hampton is startling. That anyone could have agreed that the butchering done by White Buffalo was a step in the right direction is beyond my comprehension. What’s next? Will the results of this rigged survey lead the village to the next horrifying killing of wildlife?

Sincerely sick to my stomach,


Frankenstein Moment

East Hampton

July 31, 2017

Dear David,

I attended the East Hampton Village Preservation Society’s deer forum last week. It was wonderful seeing so many folks who respect the deer, present. I thank the preservation society for allowing that. I thought having a police officer watching over the event was a bit too much, but that’s just my opinion.

The director, Kathy Cunningham, announced there would be three speakers and then a question-and-answer period. I immediately turned to the person to my left and whispered, “They won’t have a question-and-answer period — just watch.”

The event proceeded with a wonderful gentleman who talked about the various ticks in our area and the diseases associated with them. The information was both informative and interesting. The next speaker was a doctor from Southampton Hospital. She was equally informative, explaining the tick-borne illness aspect, along with signs, symptoms, and treatment. I was also given an awesome tick kit, compliments of Southampton Hospital.

At that point I had almost forgotten where I was. I felt like I was attending a more logical and needed gathering of folks focusing on the “tick issue,” as opposed to the deer. After all, any intelligent person knows that reducing the deer population isn’t going to get rid of the ticks. And that was the point, right? At least that was what the first two speakers spoke of, and did a wonderful job. It was refreshing that the word “deer” had only been mentioned two or three times by that point, and not in a disparaging way. No one had mentioned deer eating plants or destroying the understory, causing car accidents or reducing our quality of life. I was quite pleased. I felt that finally, folks were addressing the real problem.

Then the third speaker spoke, and the ball dropped. This comic show snapped me right back into the disgusting reality of what this gathering was really designed for, which was nothing more than an attempt to sucker in the weak with misinformation and bogus facts easily argued at the most basic level of common sense a child could relate to. This representative from the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service came out of the gate swinging, like the deer were Satan’s own creation. He paced back and forth, his voice shaking and nervous as he tried to pass off his opinion as holding any water. Somewhere between his referring to empathy for the deer as a bad thing, and his bizarre poetry reading about a coyote (I think?), it was very clear this unscrupulous opportunist was who the East Hampton V.P.S. really wanted the village ears to hear. It all made sense when he proceeded to a slide showing Andy Gates of the town’s Department of Natural Resources collecting data.

Look, personally I like Andy and think he’s good at what he does, but when it comes to the deer issue we completely disagree. It didn’t surprise me to see Andy as part of both the village and town’s attempt to ultimately eradicate the deer, just as it didn’t surprise me that the tick was no longer the issue of discussion. That’s called a setup. Everything the government rep said was obviously and undeniably arguable, one-sided, and backed by clearly set-up photo evidence, mostly from other states, that only fit their silly agenda. It was just bull, and when the performance was just about over, I let him know just that. I was told to hold my comments until the following Q&A.

It was just about a minute later that the speaker finished. Kathy Cunningham approached the podium and announced they didn’t have time for a Q&A. Called it! Adding insult to injury, she further announced that the reason is because the hall was being used again at 8 p.m., although it was just about 7.

I remember Village Mayor Paul Rickenbach Jr. starting this deer conversation at the very first meeting regarding this issue by reading the definition of “epidemic.” I was shocked, because I couldn’t believe that a fenceless incorporated village, which ironically is home to the famous Nature Trail, was labeling deer an epidemic, and then begin proposing to control it. I called it the Frankenstein moment. Today, I understand it more clearly. There is without a doubt an epidemic that continues to grow — however, the deer have nothing to do with it.

Incidentally, here’s some town re­search I did while picking up trash along the entire Bluff Road and beaches this past Sunday in Amagansett. In two hours, I saw one deer, two overfilled and uncovered construction Dumpsters, and almost two dozen vehicles clearly driving well over the speed limit (most of them flying by the only police vehicle I saw all morning, and that was an unmanned decoy vehicle). To me, that’s “reality data,” and it speaks volumes.


Bulldozer Attempt

East Hampton

July 30, 2017

To the Editor:

The Village Preservation Society organized yet another deer forum, which I attended last Thursday.

It focused primarily on presentations by outside experts, on tick-borne diseases, and an additional clownish presentation, by someone outrageously misleading and comparing East Hampton to the Algerian city of Oran, afflicted by a plague, in Albert Camus’s 1947 novel, “La Peste.” The novel has been read as a metaphorical treatment of the French resistance to Nazi occupation during World War II. So much for that “expert.”

To add insult to injury, there was no time for comments or questions. Yet another bulldozer attempt by the Village Preservation Society to set the tone and agenda for the Village of East Hampton, with biased, one-dimensional presentations that offer little but scary scenarios for gullible, uninformed people, anxious for answers.

Along with a village deer survey that could not have been more slanted, more one-sided in the way the questions and pre-set choice answers were posed, I can only feel shame and embarrassment for those of us who are proud to live in this beautiful community and are thinking, feeling, concerned people, when it comes to issues surrounding the treatment of wildlife.

Isn’t it time to give serious consideration to how we can live in harmony with the beauty of wildlife that we are so blessed to have in our area? For starters, how about inviting in experts (e.g., from the Humane Society) who can offer informed solutions that do not involve killing and/or horrific sterilization options that are traumatic not only for the deer, but also for the community.



People for the End of Animal

Cruelty and Exploitation

Fight for Funding


July 30, 2017

Dear Editor,

To anyone living on the East End it is apparent that tick-borne diseases are a health crisis. We need the federal government to provide funding on both the local and national level for this public health emergency. And yet the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts funding to the National Institutes of Health by 20 percent (nearly $6 billion) and to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by 17 percent ($1.2 billion).

Lee Zeldin, we need you to stand up to your own party and demand that funding be increased to these entities. If we’ve seen anything over the past decades, it’s that diseases can be controlled, and in some cases eradicated, by the dedicated efforts of legislators who care enough to fight for funding so that researchers and physicians have the resources to tackle these problems.


Single-Payer Health Care


July 30, 2017

To the Editor:

As the American people reach a time of inept inaction in the halls of Congress concerning how to proceed with health care, we find ourselves trapped between congressional failure and a president hell-bent on revenge, like the way all bullies behave when they cannot have their way — revenge clearly stated by him on Friday: “Let Obamacare implode,” and threatening that “bailouts” to the insurance companies could “end very soon.”

At whom is this vengeful threat aimed? Us, including his supporters, who believed candidate Trump meant it when he promised health care for all: “I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Government’s going to pay for it.”

It seems to me now is a perfect time for the New York State Assembly to join with California and adopt the single-payer health care proposal that they have had under wraps for far too long. Call Senator Ken LaValle at 631-473-1461 or 518-455-3121, and insist he revive and restore it. Let us make New York State the leader in causing the United States to become great again.


‘I Collusioni’


July 26, 2017

Dear Editor:

Imagine a traditional theater genre called tragedia dell’arte, (forgetting that we already have one, called the western). The play for the evening is called “I Collusioni,” a bald-faced, bawdy, plagiarism of “Richard III.” The king is dressed as Pantalone, Buckingham as Scaramouche.

And who do we see so satisfyingly performing these roles? Well, bless me if that’s not our president, and — despite the aptly named communications director’s availability — damned if it isn’t the attorney general, dooming himself by recusing himself from killing the children.



Impervious to Criticism

East Hampton

July 29, 2017

To the Editor:

The new definition of useless is the Trump Republican health care reform group. To find anyone more inept and useless to the process of providing health care would take a miracle. When the vote on the Skinny Repeal failed it was a rejection of the worst piece of health care garbage ever put forth in our nation’s history, and only thanks to one Republican having too much shame to actually vote for it. Then the leader and chief, who promised us great inexpensive health care, remember him, said we will simply let Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act, to nonracists) fail.

Bravo to the chief for his profound leadership and never-ending stream of B.S.

The easiest solution for repeal and replacing was simply changing the name. Since they were incapable of creating something new, effective, and cheaper, why not keep the old one and call it the American Cares Act? Keep all the old stationery and the same lettering. Would anyone know the difference? There must be dozens of alternative names they can use to get a piece of legislation passed. They could get all 48 Dems on board as well.

Why aren’t they quitting? Prostrating themselves in front of pics of Ronald Reagan? Whipping each other with whips and chains like the K Street boys used to do? It’s because they are above the fray. Impervious to criticism. Blind to their inadequacies. Unconscious that they are a group of bumbling buffoons that are ridiculing our political process and taking it into the sewer.

The saddest part is that they have legitimized this behavior and believe that the American people don’t get it. If 83 percent of the country thought that their bill stank, it was an incredibly loud and clear message. Yet they plodded ahead, and only McCain saw them for what they were and was too embarrassed to sign on.

Our dilemma is, how do we squeeze something good out of this mass of useless white men?