Letters to the Editor: 10.18.18

Our readers' comments

Patently False

East Hampton

October 15, 2018

Dear David, 

In regards to the public comments at the Oct. 4 town board meeting and subsequent letter to the editor regarding East Hampton Town Police Department safety checks, I am inclined to offer an official response.

As always, the community has a right to question and hold its Police Department accountable for our actions. However, some of the recent rhetoric surrounding our officers’ ability to question or detain people regarding their immigration status, what information they can gather or share from a routine traffic interaction, and what information is shared with federal authorities is patently false and does far more harm than good to the relationship we work so hard to sustain and already find challenging given the current climate.

The use of traffic safety checkpoints has been a longstanding practice by the E.H.T.P.D. and most police departments across the country. There are standard, basic, and official rules and regulations in place regarding the actions of department personnel at any such safety checkpoint. 

The E.H.T.P.D. Rules and Procedures, Section 5, Article 45, specifically delineates the guidelines by which these are operated. Quoting directly from our policy manual regarding vehicles checked, “a non-discriminatory system shall be established so that every vehicle (or every second, third, fourth, etc.) shall be checked or directed to the checkpoint area.”

The officers shall check/inquire into the following: “1.Vehicle registration, 2. Inspection sticker, 3. Driver’s License, 4. Insurance card, 5. Other observable violations,” and “Violations will be appropriately cited. If there are no violations and no probable cause to believe other violations exist, the vehicle will be courteously directed to continue without delay.”

These guidelines, among many others, are adhered to by officers conducting a traffic safety checkpoint. Additionally, our officers out in the road are well versed in the observation of the vehicle inspection and registration stickers as a vehicle is approaching them. The officers also regularly take a quick look inside the vehicle to see if the operator is wearing a seatbelt and typically try to make eye contact with the operator.

If you were waved through the checkpoint, either you were not one of the vehicles in the established check pattern, or your vehicle had no obvious registration or inspection violations observed by the officers.

Additionally, the E.H.T.P.D. Rules and Procedures manual, Section 6, Article 12, specifically addresses the “Arrest and Detention of Non-U.S. Citizens” and clearly lays out the circumstances and policies for our officers in their interactions with non-U.S. citizens. We do not and cannot inquire about a person’s status during a routine traffic stop. Ever. If any member of the community has information to the contrary, I request they come forward with that immediately.

The E.H.T.P.D. takes great pride and puts a tremendous amount of effort into training our officers to be impartial and equitable in their treatment of all members of the community. In fact, our agency was the only East End police department to mandate that all patrol officers attend a certified “bias-free” policing course at the Suffolk County Police Academy back in 2013, and we continue to frequently host training sessions and speakers from the minority communities to foster understanding and cooperation between our officers and the public we are sworn to serve.

Personally, as chief of police, I am a member of the Anti-Bias Task Force and have had numerous meetings with OLA, the Latino clergy group, leaders of the local A.C.L.U., the former town Latino advisory committee, the Group for Good Government, and many, many other concerned activist groups seeking to improve relationships and communication between local law enforcement and all members of our community. I have never left one of these meetings with anything but positive feedback and a sense of relief and encouragement from those concerned citizens. 

I am heavily invested in the safety and security of this community. Should anyone wish to question the actions or policies of the East Hampton Town Police Department, myself and Supervisor Van Scoyoc would be more than willing to meet and discuss these issues. If any member of the community has a complaint about our officers’ actions, there is a formal procedure in place for handling those, as well as an anonymous tips phone line: 631-537-7226.

In the meantime, we will continue to take appropriate actions as a law enforcement agency to enforce the laws of the State of New York and the Town of East Hampton in our effort to promote the safety and welfare of the community, and serve the Town of East Hampton to the best of our abilities.

Sincerely,

MICHAEL D. SARLO

Chief of Police

Smoking On Beach

East Hampton

October 15, 2018

To the editor of The East Hampton Star and through them to the Village Board of East Hampton:

SMOKING BAN AT VILLAGE BEACHES

Aside from the fact that no one was aware that this item would even be undertaken at a Village Board meeting so that there would be not be any dissenters, I would like to, even after the fact, tell you that: 

I wouldn’t swear to this, but pretty close: Is it not the United States government and through it the Corps of Engineers that has the right to say what goes on below the high water line of all beaches and land abutting the coastline? In that, I mean it is not in the purview of the Village Board to dictate if one can or canot smoke below the high water line at any of the village beaches. The village and town only own the rights to usage above the high water mark/line. Only the U.S. government can give such directives. Although many of us have stopped or never smoked and may not like the smell, it is still the right as U.S. free citizens to be able to smoke below the high water mark at all beaches in the United States. 

Please amend the Village Code according to government codes before next summer so as not to totally infringe on one of the remaining human rights in this village.

Respectfully, 

SUSAN STERN 

Dead Fish

Amagansett

October 14, 2018

Dear David:

On my daily walk with my dog today on Indian Wells Beach I was appalled to come across hundreds of seagulls feasting on small fish, probably bluefish, about 8 to 10 inches long. Total carnage.

According to my friend who was on the beach this morning very early there was a lineup of trucks. Men were on the beach with huge nets bringing in fish of all kinds. They said they were looking for striped bass. What they left behind was a beach full of dead fish.

I thought this type of fishing was no longer allowed in East Hampton. If it is still allowed it shouldn’t be. These fishermen are helping to deplete the ocean of future generations of all kinds of fish. Their own livelihood. 

Sincerely,

JANE RIVKIN

Issues of Concern

East Hampton

October 15, 2018

Dear David,

I am in complete agreement with your editorial in last week’s paper titled “Hands Off Camp Hero.” 

Having heard from constituents in Montauk, including the Ditch Plains Association and the Montauk Citizens Advisory Committee, I made the following argument in a letter to Rose Harvey, commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, late last month.

Our town residents treasure the beauty and recreational opportunities that the six New York State parks — Hither Hills State Park, Shadmoor State Park, Montauk Downs State Park, Amsterdam Beach State Park, Camp Hero State Park, and Montauk Point State Park — located right here in Montauk provide. I expressed our community’s strong opposition to a request for proposals that called for a new camping concession within designated areas in Camp Hero State Park.

While our community supports the mission of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation to provide safe and enjoyable recreational and interpretive opportunities for all New York State residents and visitors and to be responsible stewards of our valuable natural, historical, and cultural resources, it is our belief that the proposed camping concession at Camp Hero State Park would tax an already overburdened infrastructure here in Montauk, as we have a summer population that is more than the town is equipped to service.

Issues of concern include, but are not limited to, emergency response demands on our police, volunteer Fire Department and emergency medical ser­vices; environmental impacts in regard to the cliffs, water quality, clearing, etc.; municipal infrastructure that is already grossly strained, including our roads, parking, electrical grid, cellphone infrastructure, water, sewage disposal, trash disposal, and potential serious health impacts, given the prevalence of tick infestation and Lyme disease.

These are serious concerns, which I hope the state takes into consideration as it analyzes the viability of this proposal.

Sincerely,

KATHEE BURKE-GONZALEZ

Councilwoman

Town of East Hampton 

In Jeopardy

East Hampton

October 12, 2018

Dear David:

The sand pit on Middle Highway in East Hampton could change all our lives forever if the present owners are allowed to dig deeper and remove the sand that filters our drinking water. 

I urge all that read this and that are aware of the issue to speak up and not allow the additional digging in the sand pit to continue. 

It is to my understanding that the allowable limits of sand have almost all been removed here and the next phase is to reclaim this area. Yes, plant trees, fill in the huge hole, and allow natural vegetation to be restored. 

This area sits directly over the path of the town’s main water supply, and clean sand is vital for filtration. Further removal of the natural clean sand past the allowable point, which had almost been reached, will jeopardize your drinking water.

Let’s not put our groundwater in jeopardy by allowing further excavation. We are talking about our drinking water; clean drinking water is a vital necessity to us all. 

Our town officials to my understanding have said no! I hope they take and keep this stand and are not swayed. Hold fast!

Speak up East Hampton!

STEVE COHEN

Plant-Based Eating

East Hampton

October 13, 2018

Dear Editor,

Right on the heels of utter devastation wrought by Hurricanes Florence and Michael comes an alarming report in the prestigious journal Nature that mitigation of global climate change will require a massive switch to plant-based eating.

The report concludes that global warming threatens the world’s very food supply, in addition to generating scorching heat, raging wildfires, devastating hurricanes, massive flooding, and rising sea levels. It was compiled by an international panel of 23 climate experts and follows the latest warning about rising temperatures by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

A 2010 United Nations report blamed animal agriculture for 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, 70 percent of freshwater use, and 38 percent of land use. Carbon dioxide is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by operating factory farms. The more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.

In an environmentally sustainable world, just as we replace fossil fuels by wind, solar, and other pollution-free energy sources, we must also replace meat and dairy products in our diet by vegetables, fruits, and grains.

Our next supermarket visit offers a superb opportunity to get started.

Sincerely,

ELIJAH HANNESBURG

Parking

Montauk

October 15, 2018

Dear Editor:

The last thing Montauk needs is a Cyril’s at the entrance to town, or another Surf Lodge in a residential neighborhood. Let the litigious gold-diggers looking to exploit loopholes in the law, or profit, go ruin some other town. The parking regulations would be a huge win for Montauk. 

GEORGE WATSON

Legal Impossibility

East Hampton

October 15, 2018

Dear David,

The town board persists in trying to give away a town road to Michael Novogratz, a former billionaire now, alas, reduced according to press accounts to a mere multi-centi-millionaire. For those who just tuned in, a short reprise:

Mr. Novogratz purchased an undeveloped residential building lot in Amagansett that fronts the Cross Highway that runs from Cranberry Hole Road to Abram’s Landing Road and then continues northward as Cross Highway to Devon. He then applied to have the unimproved northern piece of the road “abandoned” to him by the town. This would expand his building envelope and make his land significantly more valuable. Plus, a road abandonment is without compensation to the public because the theory is that the public has no interest. If there were a public interest, then there could not be an abandonment. 

This type of abandonment applies only to so-called “paper roads,” roads on subdivision maps that have never been accepted into the town highway system, have never been opened for public use, and are in fact unused by the public. 

 In this case, the piece of road in question was accepted into the town highway system and opened to the public in 1914, as documented in the East Hampton Town Highway Book. It presently contains for its full length a portion of the Paumanok Path, a hiking trail. It is used by the public. Judicial cases are absolutely clear that pedestrian use is sufficient to preserve the public interest in a road. No vehicular use is necessary

 For that reason, the town chairman of assessors refused to sign off on the abandonment, as required by law, and asked for the advice of the planning board. The planning board in turn consulted Rick Whalen, a former town attorney and owner of a planning firm, who opined that this portion of Cross Highway cannot be abandoned because it is a town highway.

You would think that would be the end of the matter. But the lawyer for Mr. Novogratz, Steve Latham, of the firm of Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin and Quartararo, came up with a scheme whereby Mr. Novogratz would give the town a trail easement to “protect” the pedestrian path and the town would then abandon the road.

This is a legal impossibility. If the road is in use by the public, it cannot be abandoned even though the public use is simultaneously allowed to continue by other means. Plus, the rights of the public under the proposed easement would be less than the rights it now enjoys. Worse for the applicant, he cannot grant an easement in something he does not own, and he does not own it because it has not been abandoned.

  Feigning innocence of the illegal scheme, the town board some weeks ago considered whether to “accept” the grant of the easement, as if it were a gift from Mr. Novogratz. In reality, the transaction, if it went through, would be a gift from the town to him. The board was only pulled up short because David Buda showed up armed with maps, documents, facts, and law to explain why the board cannot do this. 

  The board then adjourned the matter for further consideration. Having had the opportunity to review the facts and the law, you would think that would finally put an end to the matter. But no. The board is seemingly determined to give away town land to Mr. Novogratz and has twice put the matter back on its agenda. The only reason that it has not acted is that each time so far David Buda has shown up and explained to them again. Perhaps they are hoping that at some point Mr. Buda will be out of town when it is on the agenda and they can sneak it through.

One oddity is that Michael Sendlenski, the town attorney, seems to do no legal work, as such work is traditionally understood, reviewing the statutes and judicial cases and writing out a reasoned opinion as to what the town board can and cannot do. Why is it left to Mr. Buda to do Mr. Sendlenski’s work? 

Perhaps Mr. Sendlenski doesn’t know how. My opinion, however, having observed that town board and Mr. Sendlenski for some time now, is that the supervisor, the town board majority, and Mr. Sendlenski all think that his job is to tell the town board majority whatever it wants to hear and not to tell them anything they do not want to hear. If Mr. Sendlenski ventured to do any sort of actual legal analysis, it could only interfere with the town board doing just what it wants without regard to law.

The deeper question, however, is why the town board majority is so intent on making a gift of town land to a 

demi-billionaire. Is it out of sympathy for his somewhat reduced circumstances? Affordable housing for the uber-rich? After all, when a client of Jeff Bragman’s, before he became a councilman, sought something similar, the town required him to pay a hefty half million dollars. Isn’t the job of the town board to protect the public interest, as it did in the case of Mr. Bragman’s client, rather than to give away public assets to temporarily embarrassed billionaires?

The all too obvious answer is that Mr. Novagratz’s lawyer is part of the same firm as Chris Kelley, the Democratic party boss upon whom our elected officials depend for their renominations. 

You see, public corruption does not require cash in envelopes. Hypothetically, of course, if the law firm of a party official is able to secure a windfall of town assets for a law client, the party official or his firm will be handsomely compensated. The public officials who do the improper favor thereby advertise to the party official their usefulness to him and so are assured of his support when they have to run for office again. It doesn’t require any explicit deal. A wink and a nod will do. 

If caught, they plead the “stupidity defense.” “The town attorney did not tell us this was improper [because his job is to keep his mouth shut] and so we thought it was entirely proper.” 

To foreclose the stupidity defense, David Buda, Jonathan Wallace, and I have prepared and sent today to the town board and the town attorney a detailed memorandum of law explaining exactly why the proposed road abandonment is legally impossible.

I will post the memorandum of law on the facebook page of the East Hampton Reform Democrats for interested members of the public to see and comment upon. Lawyers in particular are invited to comment. Perhaps we have made an error. If the public’s business were similarly done in public, rather than behind closed doors, we would all know by now whether the town attorney is able to think up a plausible justification for this transaction.

In my opinion, the actual doings of the town board already bear sufficient resemblance to my hypothetical example that this matter deserves the attention of the district attorney and the attorney general.

Sincerely,

DAVID GRUBER

Sworn Duty

East Hampton

October 15, 2018

To the Editor:

Thankfully it is the right of the people, whether as an individual or an organization, to lobby the elected officials of our town board. And, the board owes it to them to listen carefully to all such appeals. 

It is also the board’s sworn duty to consider and follow the rules and laws that govern us as residents of East Hampton, and as citizens of the United States. In fact, this sacred duty of the members of the board is codified in the oath they took before taking his or her seat on the board: “I [Peter Von Scoyoc, Sylvia Overby, Jeffrey L. Bragman, Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, David Lys] do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of New York, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office [of town board member], according to the best of my ability.” 

People lobby for a variety of reasons. However, when granting relief, the board has a sworn duty to make sure that such relief is not premised on emotion, but instead falls within the four corners of existing laws and the Constitution. If not, the door is opened to rule by chaos, leading to cherry-picking the laws to be followed. Or even to parsing laws, so that everyone must follow them, except a select group who may or may not be affected negatively. That is not the system of laws upon which this country was founded, nor is it the system of governance under which we live. 

When an individual or organization asks the town board to codify disobedience of a law, then the board must deny that request. It makes no difference if it is the V.F.W., the chamber of commerce, or any other organization or aggrieved individual, the board cannot condone or excuse the aiding and abetting of unlawful behavior. It would be a violation by our elected officials of their sworn oath to the residents and voters of the Town of East Hampton. The board cannot ignore that we are governed by the rule of law.

BEVERLY BOND

Contribution Limits

East Hampton

October 15, 2018

Dear Mr. Rattray,

The Friends of David Lys campaign committee has accepted illegal campaign contributions of $31,500 in violation of New York State law. The contribution limit for candidates running for East Hampton Town Board is $1,000 per election for individuals, corporations, and partnerships. Of the 11 illegal contributions, nine ($27,000) were collected before the Democratic primary election contest between Mr. Lys and Mr. Gruber. As provided by the New York State Board of Elections the illegal contributions are listed below. 

Bistrian Gravel Corporation, $5,000, illegal contribution of $4,000; Anthony Ingrao, $3,000, illegal contribution of $2,000; David N. Kelley, $2,500, illegal contribution of $1,500; Kenneth Silverman, $1,500, illegal contribution of $500; Thomas J. Duffy, $2,500, illegal contribution of $1,500; E. Scott Gilbert, $5,000, illegal contribution of $4,000; Katherine J. Raynor, $10,000, illegal contribution of $9,000; Anne Gilchrist, $4,000, illegal contribution of $3,000; Fred Doss, $2,500, illegal contribution of $1,500; Kevin Abernathy, $3,250, illegal contribution of $2,250, and Andre Nassar, $3,250, illegal contribution of $2,250.

Contribution limits were enacted to curb the influence of big money donors who might use their contributions to try to influence elected officials as they do the “people’s” work. A $10,000 or $5,000 campaign contribution is not just a clerical error either given or received. Looking at these illegal contributions, all East Hampton residents should ask the question just what kind of influence are these donors looking to exert on Mr. Lys? 

Contribution limits also were enacted to try to level the playing field for candidates running for office. 

Mr. Lys defeated Mr. Gruber in the primary election using $27,000 in il­legal contributions. It appears Mr. Gruber and his reformers unwittingly were playing on a very unlevel field. These illegal contributions certainly played a role in Mr. Gruber’s defeat. How much of a role we will never know. But $27,000 buys a lot of print ads, radio commercials, and get-out-the-vote activities. 

Illegal contributions were used against Mr. Gruber and are now being used against Manny Vilar, Mr. Lys’s opponent in the general election. The contributions should be returned immediately. But rather than correct the illegality, it is reported that Chris Kelley, counsel to the committee and power broker in the Democratic Party, will seek a change in the state’s long-standing campaign finance law, rules, and regulations after the fact. Well, isn’t that special. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “rule of law.” Mr. Kelley’s sleazy maneuver is akin to letting a caught bank robber keep his stolen loot and freedom as he seeks to change the statutes governing bank robbing. This allows the criminal to increase his loot by playing a robust stock market or buying a business, whatever. Of course, I am being sarcastic, but unchecked power results in this kind of arrogance.

At the candidates’ forum last week sponsored by the East Hampton Clericus and Vote Hampton New York, David Lys spoke movingly about how his moral compass guides so much of what he does in his life and as a town board member. Mr. Lys is new to politics, but is ultimately responsible for his campaign committee and these illegal contributions. I urge him to do the right thing, to follow his moral compass and return the illegal contributions immediately before he gets trapped in the web of an arrogant political machine. Returning these contributions also would prove, as he contends he is, that Mr. Lys is independent of that machine. I also ask Mr. Gruber and his reformers, are you comfortable being part of a political machine that so flagrantly violates election law? 

An independent voice is desperately needed on the town board. I would ask my friends, the reform Democrats, blanks, Independents, to vote for Manny Vilar on Election Day, Nov. 6. One voice on that board (not just an echo) can and will make a difference. Rather than be a rubber stamp with little or no public debate, Manny will be able to inject into the public discussion other points of view, thus allowing East Hampton citizens the opportunity of getting the full story on issues. 

If you are a Democrat, Independent, blank, and you cannot bring yourself to vote for someone on the Republican line (I know, because when I was a registered Democrat there was no way I could ever pull the lever on the Republican line) then please just write in Manny Vilar for East Hampton Town Board. 

Sincerely,

CAROLE CAMPOLO

Vote For Manny

Sag Harbor

October 14, 2018

Dear Mr. Rattray,

On Nov. 6, 2018, my family and I will be voting for Manny Vilar for East Hampton Town Council. Let me tell you why. 

Manny Vilar has grit. As one of the first female commercial fishermen in Montauk in the 1970s, I am a good judge of grit, strength, and substance. Mr. Vilar himself worked commercial fishing boats as a young man. It takes hard work under pressure often in dangerous situations to make a living on the water. Most important, Manny is a friend to fishermen. His no position on the unwise Deepwater project is well known. Deepwater is harmful to our local fishing industry and the environment. Yet the current town board is rushing headlong into making this boondoggle a reality. Manny would be a vital dissenting voice on Deepwater as well as other ill-considered town board projects. 

In addition, because of his extraordinary experience in New York State government as president of the 1,200 member Police Benevolent Association, Manny knows the players and personalities from the governor to the Assembly and Senate members, and the inner workings of exactly what is happening with this Deepwater debacle. His opinions on this project are solid and built on practical experience. 

Manny Vilar’s independent and knowledgeable voice is needed on the East Hampton Town Board. I urge all of my friends and neighbors to vote for Manny Vilar for Town Council on Tuesday, Nov. 6, Election Day.

Sincerely,

ANDREA BOUREL-MORA 

Evil Does Exist

Springs

October 12, 2018

Dear Editor,

I have had a very diverse career in Law Enforcement with the New York State Park Police. In the law enforcement profession, the State Park Police would be described as a utility police force — securing the safety of mass- gathering events of over 200,000 people at a single venue, enforcing recreational boating, snowmobiling, and all-terrain vehicle laws to environmental protection law enforcement with a healthy mix of everything in between. Whenever you hear of a rescue from the brink of Niagara Falls, a high angle rope rescue from the depths of the gorge at Letchworth, to Jones Beach air shows and fireworks it is all the New York State Park Police on duty securing public safety.

In my own 34-year career, I have professional experience, great diversity. My first assignment, which lasted eight years from 1992 to 2000 as newly minted sergeant, was split between the South Bronx and the Little Santo Domingo area of the Washington Heights section known as Spanish Harlem. During those eight years, I had the opportunity to serve a diverse, hard-working, very immigrant community that desired nothing more than to partake in the American dream just as so many immigrants in that community had prior.

I learned much about other cultures, diversity, and had a great time doing it. Sadly though, there was a downside in 1995: I received what was almost a career-ending injury during a gun battle on 137th Street and Riverside Drive. I also had the great misfortune to come face to face with individuals consumed by pure evil and had committed horrific crimes too horrible to mention here. What I can tell you is that beyond a doubt evil does exist in our society and works in insidious ways. We must always be vigilant to guard against the voices of intolerance and hatred. As a society we must protect the weak, infirm, those that are victimized and downtrodden. We must work together to put our differences aside to not provide a meager existence for those struggling but rather a path to success. 

Our children are our greatest asset and legacy. President Teddy Roosevelt once said, “To educate a person in mind but not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” I cannot think of more exact words.

Over the past several weeks there has been racist and anti-Semitic hate crime graffiti in Montauk. This could be the writings of immature juveniles or thoughts of a hateful individual. The latter should be taken care of by our criminal justice system, but the first, if it is true, is, and as President Roosevelt implied, a failure of our generation.

I would ask that for our community’s sake regardless of who you vote for and what your political leanings are to please end this partisan discourse. Give evil and hate no quarter, love your neighbor as if they were your own family. Be respectful, compassionate, empathetic, and understanding, be vigilant at all times against intolerance, rebuke those that would divide us by ethnicity, religion, lifestyle choice, or political preferences.

This past week, on Thursday, Oct. 11 was the L.G.B.T. Network’s 17th annual National Coming Out Day awareness campaign. The L.G.B.T. Network’s NCOD campaign was a one-day campaign that engages communities to take a stand against the discrimination, violence, harassment, and bullying of L.G.B.T. people by coming out in support of safe spaces where they live, learn, work, play, and pray.

Let us all take a hint from our friends at the L.G.B.T. Network and take a stand against discrimination, violence, harassment, and bullying for all in our community.

Thank you for your continued support, and vote on Election Day.

MANNY VILAR

Deep Understanding

Springs

October 15, 2018

Dear David:

The town board’s appointment of David Lys to serve out the remainder of Peter van Scoyoc’s council term was an inspired decision (and Mr. Bragman’s dissent equally uninspired). Mr. Lys now deserves a full term.

David is a native of East Hampton and has extensive roots in our community, not only through raising a family here but also by a variety of business interests that have offered a deep understanding of the currents that make our community what it is.

David also has extensive experience in town government, through his prior service on the town zoning board of appeals. In his 10 months on the town board, Mr. Lys has demonstrated a dedicated and thoughtful work ethic and a levelheaded approach to the difficult issues the board has faced. He has dedicated countless hours to endeavors that have enriched our town’s heritage, most notably in spearheading the resurrection of the Coast Guard Life-Saving Station in Amagansett.

His opponent, Manny Vilar, offers none of these traits. He has no service experience in our town government, lacks the deep community nexus that Mr. Lys has enjoyed, and, to my knowledge, has contributed little, if anything, to enhance our community.

It doesn’t take much study to realize that Mr. Vilar falls far short of what we deserve from our town leaders. It is equally apparent that David Lys exemplifies the type of community citizen we all should welcome into town government.

Mr. Lys deserves a full term on our town board. I hope you will join me in trusting him with your vote on Nov. 6.

Sincerely,

BRUCE COLBATH

Merit And Fitness

Bayport

October 15, 2018

To the Editor:

I ask The East Hampton Star’s readers for their support in my race for New York State Supreme Court. Newsday’s editorial board asked recently for someone to come forward to challenge “the mockery of judicial selection by Suffolk County Democrats, aided and abetted by the ideologically bankrupt Conservative and Independence Parties, the latest rigging of the system, the latest three-card monte game, which plays voters as suckers.” 

In short, Rows A and C (and another lesser party ballot line) of the ballot will list seven names for the open State Supreme Court races. The final three are sitting Nassau County judges cross-endorsed by the Democrats and the Republicans. The first four are the target of Newsday’s editorial staff’s vitriol. As Newsday’s editorial stated, “Schaffer (Suffolk Democrat chair) turned over three of the four prized Supreme Court judgeships to Conservative Party insiders. Torres and Gajdos are tight with Edward Walsh, the former Conservative Party boss, who is in federal prison for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money by pretending to work at the Suffolk jail. A con is still conning, about judges no less, while sitting behind bars.”

There will be no “scarlet letter” in the ballot to outline the true party registration of the candidates on the Democrat line. 

When I read that editorial, I called John J. Lavalle, the Suffolk Republican leader, and indicated I would take on the orphaned Republican line and run a campaign on my record against this corruption. Most people in East Hampton Town who follow the courts know my private practice record. My latest trial was to contest the town’s criminal prosecution of tenants for the landlord’s failure to register a property with the rental registry. The East Hampton jury took 28 minutes to find my client not guilty.

 I have been an assistant district attorney, county attorney for federal litigation, and senior rule of law adviser for the Department of State in Iraq. I led the New York pro bono 9/11 effort, by taking the lead Cantor Fitzgerald case to hearing before special master Feinberg. My work in that effort, which included dozens of other F.D.N.Y., N.Y.P.D. and civilian claims, was profiled in a cover National Law Journal story entitled “Intensive Care.” I also created, with my nephew, a lump sum disability benefit program for seriously wounded service members in response to the poverty on the ward at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Before law school, I served as an undercover investigator for a state civil rights unit under Mario Cuomo. 

On the long road toward merit and fitness selection for Supreme Court judges in New York State, this election will provide voters in Nassau and Suffolk County an opportunity to, as Newsday’s editorial suggests, spot the deception by the political bosses of the voter. The Democrat Party has made their deal with the Conservatives. That does not mean you have to be taken in by, as Newsday has described it, “this cynical charade by party bosses will continue to stain the impartiality of judges and perpetuate a lackluster bench.” You can follow more of my campaign at facebook.com/larrykellyforsupremecourt. You can vote for me on Row B, the Republican line. I know that will be a difficult move for a lot of East Hampton voters. Think of it as a step toward recovery from being taken in by the conduct Newsday describes as “a shining example of how minor parties are corrupting our judicial system.” 

LARRY KELLY 

Political Advice

Sag Harbor

October 14, 2018

Dear David,

The best piece of political advice I ever had came from my father when I just a kid. He said: Vote against whoever is in power.

I was shocked. I was sure I would grow up and find some ideas to believe in that I would always vote for. I am 70 now and understand that vote against whoever is in power is an idea to believe in.

Power corrupts. Vote against it, especially this November. Keep democracy alive.

Yours truly,

CAROL WILLIAMS

Make Changes

East Hampton

October 15, 2018

David:

As a senior citizen who has voted in every election since 1948, I urge all young people to vote on Nov. 6, 2018. We are leaving our country in your hands. We need younger people in our government to get America back. Our young people have been fighting in war for 16 years. Now some of these fighters are running for public office. I think they will make our government better for the people. Our present Republicans and Democrats work against each other and nothing is getting done for our country. They are beholden to the people who give them the most money, not us. Both of them must make phone calls to raise money on our time. We must make changes to this system. Vote.

JULIA KAYSER

This Is the Mob

East Hampton

October 14, 2018

Dear Editor,

A truck with Trump stickers is fire- bombed in Washington. The Metropolitan Republican Club in New York City is attacked by vandals. The streets of Portland are besieged by Antifa thugs, and the police stand by idly by order of their left-wing mayor. G.O.P. offices in Illinois and Arizona have been attacked, and in California a man was arrested after trying to stab a Republican candidate. Welcome to mob rule, welcome to the chaos and anarchy being sewn by the unhinged American left.

This should be no surprise given the increasingly radical rhetoric coming from the Democratic Party. Their poster child for public relations, Maxine Waters, has been goading the left to go after Republicans for weeks. Even the sad Hillary Clinton has ordained that the Democrats cannot be civil toward Republicans, and perpetual loser Eric Holder has taken Michelle Obama’s line and corrupted it telling Democrats to kick Republicans.

I guess it wasn’t enough when a 

Democrat gunned down Steve Scalise on a ball field while he and others practiced for a charity game. Never mind the fact that the man had a list of other Republicans he was intent on assassinating. Here on Long Island one of Perry Gershon’s supporters was arrested after making threats against Representative Lee Zeldin and trying to run down his staff. Even with blood on their hands, the party of Pelosi, Schumer, and Gershon still gives approval to this dangerous behavior.

This is the mob and this is what the Democrats want? They want their brown shirts controlling the streets, they want their opponents intimidated, they want to sow fear and discord, they want what no real American could ever desire. This is what happens when you let the liberal fringe push the party of Jefferson and J.F.K. to the extremes not seen in this country since the Civil War.

How far will they go and how many will get hurt as the Democrats relentlessly pursue power for simply the sake of power. The Democrats are mad, they haven’t been this mad since Lincoln took away their slaves, and we know what they did then.

MICHAEL D. BOUKER

Leadership Is Action

East Hampton

October 13, 2018

Editor:

Lee Zeldin has approached every challenge with the decision to try. Every accomplishment has to start with that goal in mind. In life what you see depends on what you are looking for. Life is a continual process of remaking ourselves. Excellence is never an accident; it’s at all times intelligent direction, sincere effort, execution, and the ability to see obstacles as opportunities. But beware, opportunity may knock only once, but temptation always leans on the doorbell. 

Behavior is what a person does not what they think or feel. Never regret the past it’s a waste of time. There is a reason for everything so grow from it. We should listen to our conscience not what activists shout. We must treasure the achievers of our land for they raise the sights of all others. Confidence comes from not fearing to be wrong. Rather than wasting time worrying, deal with whatever is causing the worry and move on. Life is about choice. You can choose to be a victim or anything that you want to be. A positive attitude is not a destination it’s a way of life. 

Average people have wishes and hopes. Confident people have goals and plans, whether the glass is half full or empty depends on the person looking at it. It’s your attitude at the beginning of a task that determines your success or failure. Lee Zeldin has the ability to look forward and take action, therefore he succeeds.

On the other hand, in this campaign by Perry Gershon the Democratic candidate has been filling the air with speeches and the usual promises. It seems that would-be politicians hear voices, see invisible people, and have no imagination whatsoever. Leadership is action not words. Many leaders in his party do not show much leadership or worry about a conscience in doing right or wrong. Case in point: Dianne Feinstein held a letter for six weeks trying to sabotage the Kavanaugh appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States. Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity. I ask them why? If they can’t prove something, why say anything. Fools definitely rush in where fools have been before. Such malice used toward others due to party lines can only be adequately explained as stupidity. Choosing a qualified leader should not be red against blue but who is best for you.

TOM BYRNE

Left-Wing Women

East Hampton

October 14, 2018

Editor:

I am part of the political left in the United States. And when I hear people talk about the democratic left, I’m initially elated and then quickly depressed. I know they must be out there if Fox and Trump say so but me and most of my leftist pals have no idea who or where they are. Could it be they are full of crap? Help.

When Trump, Fox, and Zeldin talk about the mob that attacked Kavanaugh and their left-wing agenda, my first thought of the mob is the Russian and the Colombian mobs, who fund the president’s businesses. Yet, I am  wrong again, because the mob is the left-wing women who are part of #MeToo. Which means that centrist and conservative women are okay about being sexually abused. So knowing that, I think we don’t have to worry about our sons because left-wing women are barely a handful. 

Calling the Kavanaugh protestors a mob certainly gives it credence. Since Trump, Zeldin, and McConnell lie pathologically, one had to assume they really aren’t a mob. They say #MeToo is a hoax so it must be open season for pussy grabbers, pedophiles, and sexual abusers. Maybe we should turn to God for guidance and trust our religious leaders? Oops, who can we turn to for guidance.

Socialism completely eludes me. Trump, Fox, and hordes of Republicans talk about the evils of socialism. So I turned on Brett Behr at Fox to get a primer on socialism. Brett might be a village idiot but he knows his socialism shit. Socialism exists when the government owns and controls everything or controls social stuff and regulates the rest. American socialists want single-payer health care and free colleges for everyone.

So I researched single-payer and found out that the 25 or so countries who use single-payer systems pay 50 percent of what we pay. Have equal, or better care, and almost no cases of bankruptcy due to medical expenses. (We average more than 300,000 bankruptcies a year.) So, if you are for single-payer you may be a pragmatist, not be a socialist, and you certainly aren’t stupid. But to the contrary, you may not be really dumb but simply a criminal because big pharma and the insurance companies are up your butt. Tough choice between socialist, pragmatist, cretin, or criminal? (For criminal reference see Zeldin ad on Medicare for all.)

Free college is only a metaphor in the United States, while it is a reality in much of the world. We are too obtuse to imagine free college without saying we are giving things away for free. Let them earn their way through college, said a friend who doesn’t get much. The socialist metaphor is about the use of our tax dollars: $1.4 trillion for security and defense (we’ve been attacked twice in 78 years) or more realistically $50 trillion in eight decades. Free lunch, dinner, and brunch for everyone. Everyone loves to eat?

But the real reason they are so offended by socialism is that it is all about the redistribution of wealth. When we were saner under Eisenhower, the top tax rate was above 90 percent. Dwight could never be called a socialist. We were also doing pretty well in the 1950s.

So enough with the mobs, the socialist B.S., and the denigration of everyone who doesn’t agree with you. We need facts, policies, and proposals. We also need to remember the Trump lies pathologically, and Zeldin is his main man. 

NEIL HAUSIG 

Really Needs It

Plainview

October 14, 2018

To the Editor:

When Pastor Andrew Brunson prayed for God to give Donald Trump “supreme wisdom,” I couldn’t help thinking how much he really needs it since Defense Secretary James Mattis supposedly has said (according to Bob Woodward) that the president only has the level of understanding of an average fifth or sixth grader.

RICHARD SIEGELMAN