Letters to the Editor: 10.25.18

Our readers' comments

Astonishing Change

East Hampton

October 22, 2018

Dear David,

Although I hesitate to address this letter to you for fear of appearing on the same page as the “shit show” rants that have been taking up space lately, I write this as what one might call a public service.

Because the old Southampton Hospital had such a shaky reputation, it seemed worthwhile to let our community know that one no longer needs to live in fear of needing it. 

My appendix burst less than 24 hours after we arrived home after three weeks in Italy, and I was swiftly ambulanced (thanks, volunteers) on a Sunday night, more terrified of the hospital itself than of the writhing pain. 

My partner, Lys Marigold, was admitted to this hospital under similar conditions three years ago, and I’ll not repeat the horror story that ensued, but believe me, there was one and it was horrible. However, I am thrilled to report that every single detail under the roof of what is now Stony Brook Southampton Hospital has changed. The pendulum has swung from lack of attention to overwhelming care with a totally encouraging and confidence-building atmosphere. 

I had three teams of doctors, and by teams, I mean six at a time, of inquisitive physicians plus a phalanx of clearly well-intentioned students, particularly a charming, tall, erudite one named Eric who is bound to go far.

Hooray for teaching hospitals! What a difference.

Not sure how they are paying their people or what they’ve done to raise the morale, but it is an astonishing change. The icing on the cake, was the not one, but several visits from an Urban Zen integrative therapist, Stephanie Livacarri. I understand now that this has been a program at the hospital for years, but it was new to me and incredibly appreciated.

Hooray for Donna Karan! 

Hooray for good work!

Hooray for a little bit of good news.

DIANNE BENSON

New Members

Springs

October 19, 2018

David:

Thank you so much for your very positive editorial piece on the Springs Historical Society and Library in Thursday’s edition.

We have had more new members enroll since Sunday. We are busy working on priorities, and are having our first new board meeting at the end of the month.

Regards,

JACKIE WILSON

Pink Fund-Raiser

East Hampton

October 22, 2018

Dear Editor,

On behalf of the Real Men Wear Pink fund-raiser, we’d like to extend our heartfelt and sincere gratitude to Scott and Holly Rubenstein and the staff of the Clubhouse. We’re sincerely thankful to all of the donors and sponsors who so generously gave us raffle and auction items. All the proceeds from this endeavor stay local, from Southampton to Montauk, to support women dealing with cancer.

We’d like to also thank all friends and family who came and enjoyed the evening with us. Special thanks to Judge Tekulsky, our raffle M.C., and Brad Beyer for always lending a joyful note wherever he plugs in.

From beginning to end the evening was a smashing success. Looking forward to seeing you next year.

Thankfully,

KAREN McKEE 

Real Men Wear Pink Committee

Rob Barnes

East Hampton

October 16, 2018

Dear Editor:

We were saddened to read that the architect Rob Barnes passed away. Rob and his partner, Chris Coy, designed an amazing house for us here in East Hampton. We asked them for a little jewel of a house. With an oh-my-god entry experience. And blurring the lines between inside and outside.

They delivered with a design that they referred to as: “two cubes crashing together.” Both The New York Times and The Star published articles on the house when it was completed 17 years ago.

I still marvel at the joy the house brings us.

STUART SILVERMAN

Arnold Bayley

Sebastian, Fla.

October 19, 2018

Dear David:

There are probably a few around who still remember the Sea Spray Inn and Arnold Bayley. I met him when I was at the Montauk Air Force station and taking flying lessons from Del Lamb at East Hampton Airport. Del Lamb put me in touch with him so I could make some extra money for lessons. The inn was at the end of Ocean Avenue and was run as an American plan hotel. Several cottages, which still remain, were included, and all guests had their meals in the inn.

Meals were served by mostly college students who spent their summers here, some for multiple years, and the housekeeping was handled by local employees.

There was a bar open to all, and a big draw was a Sunday outdoor buffet featuring a banquet table piled high with steamed lobsters.

The flying connection was Arnold’s plane, a Navion he kept in a hangar at the airport. It was used for pleasure and some needs of the inn. He flew to Vermont for maple syrup for the dining room. One wall in his office was papered with aerial charts, and he had pencils on strings hanging from the ceiling, which passed through tubes with weights on the other end so you could use the pencil at writing level and let it rise out of the way when you were finished. No time wasted looking for a pencil.

His conservative principles were also evident as he had the waitresses and other dining room staff separate the three-ply paper doilies into three for use on the dinnerware. He also brought in piglets when the dining room was operating and fed them scraps from the tables in a pen bordering Hook Pond. I sometimes had the job of taking a wheelbarrow full to the pen and unloading it among the pigs. One day, I lost my balance and ended up in a pile of table scraps, mud, and biting pigs. I escaped and made it to Hook Pond and submerged myself. Couldn’t imagine doing that today.

Several locals butchered the mature pigs in the fall when the hotel closed, and produced pork roasts, bacon, and scrapple for use in the dining room. It all ceased when officials realized that the operation was without meat or facility inspections. There had never been any problems reported. Some of the staff harvested beach plums in season and produced jars of jelly, which were available for sale in the hotel gift shop and served in the dining room.

My association with Arnold included several flights in the Navion, and since I had my pilot’s license, culminated with a co-pilot’s seat on a trip he took to Mexico with two of his lady friends. Those who remember Arnold for the character he was will appreciate this: He had his entire wardrobe made of nylon, and on our Mexico trip, he would take his shower fully clothed, hang up his clothes to dry, sleep in his birthday suit, and get up in the morning to his laundered and dried outfit.

The Navion came to an inauspicious end one night attempting a landing in marginal conditions and met with some trees out near the airport. A local riding group on a night ride heard the crash and rescued Arnold and his passenger.

Judy and I also remember coming out of Guild Hall one evening and seeing our shadows on the sidewalk. The source of the illumination was the flames from a huge fire that devoured the once glorious inn and put an end to the once famous landmark.

WARD FREESE

Our Gift

East Hampton

October 20, 2018

To the Star:

Simply stated, what we are is God’s gift to us. What we make of ourselves is our gift to God.

The Father’s will is not one soul shall be lost. In truth, we are our brother’s keeper.

ANTHONY J. COLLETTI

Roundabouts

Wainscott

October 17, 2018

To the Editor:

I commend the East Hampton Village Board, Highway Department, engineering, and all responsible for converting the five corners intersection at Buell Lane into a roundabout. (Please note that I wrote commend, not condemn.)

According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, roundabouts reduced injury crashes by 75 percent at intersections where stop signs or signals were previously used for traffic control. How many times have you approached an intersection and the light turned yellow, and to make the light you gunned it? At a roundabout, that does not happen.

Roundabouts are also environmentally friendly. In a lighted intersection you come to a complete stop and then accelerate when the light turns green. This burns more gasoline than moving slowly through a roundabout. While some will scoff at the environmental advantages of a roundabout, I hope they won’t scoff at the cost savings.  A lighted intersection requires electricity and someone to change the bulbs. Also, roundabouts highlight the importance of design in improving traffic flow, rather than using police enforcement, so another cost savings.

Finally, a brief anecdote. A friend from Germany visited me several years ago. I was driving him around to show off East Hampton, and we came upon the five corners. Large trucks barreled across 114 as we attempted to cross; autos to our left and ahead. Finally, we made it across and breathed a sigh of relief. He turned to me and said in his dry German accent, “We don’t have these in Germany.”

MICHAEL HANSEN

Flow Over Safety

East Hampton

October 21, 2018

Dear Star,

I met someone while getting breakfast at the Golden Pear a few days ago who seemed to have some idea about our local traffic patterns. This person was discussing the new traffic circle where Gingerbread Lane meets 114. I asked about something that I have found disturbing for some time: the lack of any kind of traffic signage or road markings where eastbound 27 allows traffic to cross westbound 27 in order to get to North Main Street.

For those who have not lived here for more than 30 years, in the days before there was a concrete island-divider in the road, there was a yield sign and a warning to stop for oncoming traffic. There was even a line painted on the road. As traffic increased in the early 1980s, and people began exceeding the speed limits more excessively, this signage became a constant casualty in accidents. 

This and several other factors induced the construction of the island. But after the island was constructed, neither the signage nor the safety line on the road was ever replaced. My question was why this was the case.

The answer was vague and mainly consisted of the fact that decisions about that particular intersection were not handled locally but in Albany. Which explains a lot. What I did not like was that local decisions seemed to be more concerned with traffic flow than with safety. Isn’t there an old proverb “Safety first”? I guess this has fallen by the wayside. 

As I see it, and I’ve said this before, the problem is fundamentally that too many people want to come here at the same time. Our community is very old, going back at least 400 years. Most of the major roads were laid out long before there were automobiles and were designed for horse-and-wagon traffic. Once you cross the canal, this becomes apparent as the highway narrows from three lanes to two in either direction. By the time you leave Southampton, going east, there is only a single lane in either direction, and this, as we all know well, causes bottlenecks. 

There have been proposals that we just widen the highway. However, this would mean a huge exercise of the power of eminent domain and thousands of people would be forced to give up significant amounts of property. It would also mean the mandatory closing of stretches of highway that cannot otherwise be bypassed. And then there are the commercial centers in the villages, which are right on the highway. These businesses cannot be moved without significant loss of revenue to the businesses and to the community. 

There is another problem we face as well. In the last 30 years, speed limits have been reduced along most of Montauk Highway between the traffic light in Southampton and Montauk Point. Stretches of road, which used to have a speed limit of 55 miles per hour, have been reduced to 40 or in some cases, 35. In part, this was an effort to accommodate the growing popularity of bicycles, which seemed like a good idea at the time. 

I have made my feelings about the interaction between bicycles and cars on the same roads clear in previous letters. For those who may not have read these previous letters, I can put it very plainly: Cars and bicycles can only mix safely if everyone obeys the rules. You don’t need to look far to find both cars and bicycles violating both traffic regulations and basic rules of etiquette. Unless both groups are taken to task for their transgressions and show that they can share the road peacefully and above all safely, I have to come down on the side that says bicycles have no place on our roads because they cannot be shared safely. No amount of reworking of traffic patterns is going to make that possible. 

Finally, I have to come back to the basic truth that in all aspects the East End of the South Fork is not able to equitably support the vast population change that takes place every year and now lasts from late April through December. I side with the Bonackers, the true locals, whose families have lived here year round for generations, in the complaint that there are too many visitors allowed to come to our area and overuse our resources, especially our beaches. 

One major problem that the overabundance of traffic has created is in deliveries. Specifically, most companies are now restricting deliveries to our stores to just one trip a week. They can’t find drivers who are able to make the trip and stay within federal regulations. With most of our provisions being trucked in from New Jersey or Connecticut, this can be a very long trip only made longer by the influx of too many other vehicles. 

The problem is not one of traffic flow management — that has been done to death out here — but population management. In order to alleviate the traffic pressure on our roads, we need to reduce the number of vehicles coming into the community. To a certain extent, this means restricting building, especially of new homes, even on the sites of pre-existing homes. Development should be restricted to those who are local residents. Workers should also be taken from the local community and be bused to the job site rather than drive their own vehicles. This would help alleviate the problem of parking on narrow back-road sites. Also, the size of equipment needs regulation. Large landscapers need certain large-scale machines. But people doing lawns should not be allowed to bring gigantic cattle trucks and trailers to jobs of an acre or less. All too often they wind up making the traffic problem worse and creating a traffic hazard for bicycles and joggers who are then forced into oncoming traffic. 

To get back to where I started, with the concern for flow over safety, my point is that this is not a piecemeal problem that can be handled one piece at a time. The only real answer is one that will cost money and disrupt a lot of what the casual observer believes is the very lifeblood of our community. 

What concerns me most is that due to the traffic situation this past summer, I spent most of June, July, and August mostly confined to my own property: I did not got to restaurants, attend any parties or fund-raising functions, try to visit the beach, or any of the other reasons I have chosen to spend my life here. Even in the aftermath, the problem of people speeding and tailgating and generally being extremely self-centered on the roads has not really diminished.

Our community is like the bottom bulb of an hourglass. The pinch only allows a certain speed of flow of the sand from the top to the bottom. The pinch cannot be changed, so no matter how much sand there is on either side, the flow rate will always be the same. This is why hourglass timers remain a staple in kitchens. They may not be accurate to the nanosecond like an atomic clock, but they can measure three minutes very accurately. To be clear, unless we can find a way to reduce the number of vehicles (including bicycles, motorcycles, skateboards, elliptocycles, and other wheeled conveyances) over all, we won’t be able to overcome the problem. This means fewer actual people coming into our communities including those associated with developers and builders from beyond the canal. 

Back in 1987, I think it was, I wrote one of my earliest letters to The East Hampton Star advocating for a certain amount of planning to have a population cap in order to keep our community viable into the future. At the time, I was thinking specifically of water problems (I remember getting a headful of rusty mud at a friend’s outdoor shower the year Montauk’s aquifer ran dry, circa 1976). 

But it might as well have been all kinds of resources. And traffic problems. Because the area has been allowed to develop in a relatively uncontrolled manner — money can still get around any regulation as long as there’s enough of it — the simple fact is that the only permanent and viable solution is one that will cost money, not in building infrastructure but in lost revenue to certain businesses. As with many problems that were foreseen in the 1980s, this one could have been avoided with only a fraction of the revenue loss that would accompany the only viable current solution. 

In other words, this won’t be fixed any time soon. I don’t think it will ever be fixed as long as people remain enthralled to the mighty dollar. 

Thanks for reading. Sorry for being a wet blanket. 

Sincerely,

MATT HARNICK

Way Past Time

Montauk

October 22, 2018

David, 

I am writing to encourage all Montauk residents to contact the East Hampton Town Board regarding the proposed amendment to the current business parking regulations.

Our town board is making an effort to control what these new hotel owners can and cannot do once there is any sort of change of use to existing properties. Once a bar or restaurant is added, potentially adding an endless number of people and cars to these hotels, the parking regulations grandfathered to them will no longer be deemed adequate. A common-sense change that is long overdue. 

Those of us who grew up, live, work, raise our families in Montauk, have to get involved. They need our support. They need to hear from all of us. 

 When families who have vacationed here for generations no longer want to come back, when families who have been here for generations want to leave, it is way past time to change the direction Montauk has taken in recent years. 

The new owners of Hero Beach are opposing this amendment and are fighting hard to avoid this change. Atlantic Terrace will be fighting these changes, as will others. 

Our beloved chamber of commerce 

is against this change. You can be sure that many letters have been written by them and their members opposing this amendment. 

I know I am not alone in wondering how have we allowed Montauk’s chamber of commerce to seemingly be our collective voice. When did this happen? 

Who has allowed our town to become the Key West of Long Island? Could that be our fault? Maybe some of that is on us.

Many of us feel Montauk does not have enough representation, enough input, on the permitting of these many changed uses that have been allowed. Now is the time to change that. This is where we should start fighting, as a community, against what has been allowed to happen to our town before it’s too late. Our town board needs to hear from each of us. We have until the end of the month for comments to be accepted and considered on this amendment. 

Make a call, write an email, take just a few minutes and make sure they hear from all of us before we end up with another Surf Lodge-type venue at the entrance to our town.

Our town board is trying to be proactive in helping stop the chaos that downtown Montauk has become. Tell them we support this change and any other that will help stop the decay, not only of our town, but of our values. 

We all need to get involved. They need and deserve our support. Many in Montauk have had no problem telling me what they think. Now tell the people who need to hear your opinion. 

For the love of Montauk,  

B.J. WILSON 

Critical Juncture

East Hampton

October 15, 2018

Dear David,

We are at a critical juncture here in our community regarding the safety of our drinking water. The aquifer is being compromised, and we cannot let this continue. 

I am speaking about a sand pit and sand mining interfering and digging down, way too deep into the groundwater, which is in essence our aquifer, where the drinking water comes from. I cannot stress the importance of this fact. I cannot believe people do not know this. They believe among other fantasies or magical thinking that our drinking water comes from an upstate New York spring. It does not. The aquifer is the sole source. 

Suffolk County Water Authority wells are right down the road, here in the woods of East Hampton, and that is the way the water gets to your sink and into your filtration system in your fridge and into your glass. The Suffolk Health Department knows the importance of protecting the aquifer and groundwater. So does our Suffolk Legislator, Bridget Fleming. Does Fred Thiele? I don’t know. He didn’t return my letter last year. Neither did Governor Cuomo.

Our East Hampton supervisor and town board care, and are with the community that works spreading awareness about this so passionately and sensibly and tirelessly because it’s important. 

Where the disconnect is, is the State Department of Environmental Conservation. Let’s get that fixed as soon as possible or suffer the consequences and travesty of the contamination and pollution of the aquifer and our drinking water. 

Got it? 

Sincerely, 

NANCI LAGARENNE

Science-Based Forum

Springs

October 21, 2018

Dear David,

Got drinking water? As the state of emergency declared this spring in Wainscott made abundantly clear, our drinking water in East Hampton is vulnerable. In the case of Wainscott, the problem is chemical contamination that likely leaked into the groundwater from the firefighting training site next to the East Hampton airport. The two contaminants in question, PFOA and PFOS, are easily dispersed into the environment, where they stay for a long time. They are also readily absorbed into the body, where suspected health effects include risks of developmental damage to fetuses and breast-fed infants, cancer, liver damage, immune disorders, and thyroid and cardiovascular problems.

 The problems in Wainscott have gotten some East Hampton residents asking, “What else could be in our drinking water? Are our private wells at risk from chemicals in agricultural runoff? What is the impact of development on or near our precious aquifers? We know inadequate septic systems are causing problems in our bays and harbors; could they also threaten our wells?”

In a report in The East Hampton Star earlier this year, Chris Walsh reported on a letter from Assemblyman Steve Englebright that pointed out potential threats to the limited freshwater reserves in the town, including residential development, more year-round residents, and sea level rise.

To address these questions and others related to our drinking water, the Accabonac Protection Committee is holding a science-based forum on our drinking water. Panelists include hydrologists Christopher Schubert of the United States Geological Survey and Ty Fuller of the Suffolk County Water Authority, toxicologist Amy Juchatz of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, and environmental advocate Bob DeLuca of the Group for the East End. The free public forum will be held on Tuesday at Ashawagh Hall in Springs, with wine and cheese at 5:30 and the panel discussion at 6 p.m. Come one, come all!

FRANCESCA RHEANNON

President

Accabonac Protection Committee

Methoprene

Amagansett

October 22, 2018

Dear David,

Congratulations to the Accabonac Protection Committee for featuring environmental education as the cornerstone of its mission. The A.P.C. programs are a great vehicle for raising community awareness about issues of concern. Methoprene spraying in the Accabonac marsh, in addition to 20,000 acres of tidal marshland throughout Suffolk County, is a critically important issue that warrants a robust scientific discussion. 

While Legislator Fleming’s media announcement attempts to paint a rosy picture of methoprene spraying in Accabonac marshland as a result of monitoring activities, the fact remains less poison is still poison. Moreover, the stated reduction is misleading when you consider methoprene spraying in Suffolk’s tidal marshland as a whole. The overall acreage of pesticide-treated marshland actually increased by 25 percent from 2017 to 2018 (15,000 areas to 20,000 acres). 

Another concerning aspect of the Accabonac monitoring project is the Department of Public Works end game, mechanically altering the physical marsh to achieve mosquito-breeding reduction under the guise of “marsh restoration.” Considering the implications to coastal resiliency from sea level rise, the plans loom large.

Toward this end, I urge the committee to host a program on mosquito-control activities. Let’s move beyond the politics and delve into the technical aspects of methoprene applications and so-called marsh restoration. I propose a discussion exclusively between myself and Dr. Nicole Maher of the Nature Conservancy, who heads up the monitoring project. We’re both credentialed marine scientists with an understanding of vector-control operations and can effectively sort out the scientific facts from misinformation and conjecture. 

For the sake of our wetlands and coastal waters, science-based reality needs to be brought to the fore.

KEVIN McALLISTER

Defend H2O

Ban EPS Foam

East Hampton

October 22, 2018

Dear David, 

I want to sincerely thank the East Hampton Town Board for taking the progressive stance of introducing legislation to ban expanded polystyrene foam, or EPS, containers in the town, as the Village of East Hampton has done. 

EPS foam, or Styrofoam, is one of the worst pollutants out there for many reasons, including the fact that it really does not decompose or biodegrade ever, leaches harmful chemicals, and is consumed by wildlife with terrible consequences. 

We need to behave much better as a society, and this is a bold step in the right direction. 

Even though this ban does not take into account other sources of EPS foam such as non-takeout containers, packaging, and other uses, it will serve to disrupt the waste stream that badly needs a massive overhaul if civilization on this planet is to continue in a sustainable way. 

I continue to urge people to reject “single-use culture” by refusing to use plastic cups, plates, utensils, bags, etc., and embrace a paradigm shift in consciousness of the planet’s dwindling resources and increasing climate dilemma. 

Here is also my plea to those unconvinced readers — eat less or no meat. This one change could have one of the biggest impacts of all in terms of carbon emissions (currently about 20 percent of total emissions), as well as minimizing the ecological destruction and pollution of factory farming, immense water use, land use, easing animal torture and suffering, and increasing public health. There are no downsides to eating less meat. Really. 

The debates are over. Our world is in serious trouble. It’s time to turn the car around. 

SCOTT BLUEDORN 

Growing and Vibrant

Amagansett

October 22, 2018

Dear Editor:

I would like to applaud the editorial from The East Hampton Star in support of the offshore wind farm proposed by Deepwater Wind. 

With many headlines and rumors talking about malice and fear and protesting, perhaps we could consider this instead: offshore wind is a growing and vibrant industry, that reliably provides low or no emissions power to thousands of communities and businesses. The transition among major European energy companies to renewable sources portends great changes and opportunities on this side of the Atlantic also. The intended purchase of Deepwater Wind by Orsted proves as much. There will be thousands of new jobs created, and a tested power source can help us on the East End maintain our standard of living. We all agree that we need to get off of fossil fuels, and wind power will inevitably be one of the sources of energy that replace those fuels. 

ELIZABETH HALLIDAY

Escalating Risk

East Hampton

October 22, 2018

Dear David,

Thank you for your bold editorial statement: “Impending Disaster Demands Action.” Your Oct. 18 editorial brings home news from the latest United Nations scientific study on climate change. For our coastal community, as you write, the implications are dire. For those who continue to ignore the escalation of extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and a warming ocean challenging its own marine habitat while eroding our shorelines, the wake-up call is now even louder. 

The escalating risk from denying any link to climate change threatens our own next generation. It denies this community the opportunity to contribute toward a more sustainable future for our kids. It denies the impact these events will have on the economic viability of our community’s future. It challenges the community’s leadership opportunity in planning for a more sustainable and resilient future for all of us. 

LINDA JAMES

Chairwoman

Energy Sustainability Committee

Climate Solution

East Hampton

October 17, 2018

Dear David,

A couple weeks ago the International Panel on Climate Change, a convocation of the 500 top climate scientists from around the world, intensified their warning that manmade climate change poses a dire threat to civilization. If we fail to drastically decrease the burning of fossil fuels (among other changes, such as drastic reduction in meat consumption) in the next decade, we will activate cascading tipping points that will render it unstoppable. This, the scientists tell us, will, much faster than previously predicted, lead to a world too hot for human habitation, with millions and millions of deaths worldwide.

It is already happening in plain sight. Houston has seen three floods exceeding the 500-year flood plain in the last decade. The financial losses in 2017 from weather-related disasters exceeded any previous year. The world’s largest reinsurer, Munich Re, predicts and sets insurance rates based on this getting worse as climate change progresses. It’s their money at stake, so they ignore the disinformation from those who make money selling fossil fuel.

Unfortunately, the businesses that desperately want to continue selling 19th-century energy technology control the Republican Party. So you get Larry Kudlow, White House economic adviser, questioning whether burning fossil fuel contributes to global warming. You get Marco Rubio questioning the scientific assertion that humans are responsible. And most pertinent for Long Islanders, you get our congressman, Lee Zeldin, voting with the Republican block to ignore climate change, despite the crumbling shore surrounding his district. It is the whole party. Voting to fight climate change is a third rail in Republican politics.

Republicans in office say addressing climate will ruin the economy and kill jobs. But a blue-ribbon group of Reagan Republicans, including two former heads of Goldman Sachs and the top economic adviser to Bush and Romney, Greg Mankiw, is publicizing a plan they call the Conservative Climate Solution (Google it) that would increase jobs and stimulate the economy, even as it rapidly stimulates the transition to clean energy. Why the disparity? Because if you get out of line in a campaign, the Koch brothers et al. will destroy you.

In its current configuration, the Republican Party will never address climate change. Local efforts are important, but without a national initiative, the task is too big and the time is too short to be accomplished in time. It is that simple. Even if you have voted Republican your entire life, even if you hate Hillary Clinton and think Barack Obama was a fool, if you have children or grandchildren who you hope will enjoy a prosperous life, you should vote Lee Zeldin out in November, and demand that your party shrug off its addiction to fossil fuel and face the facts of science.

DON MATHESON

Transition Routes

Southold

October 22, 2018

To the Editor,

Excuse, excuses, excuses. For years, the Eastern Regional Helicopter Council was asked to fairly disperse for-hire commercial, charter, taxi, and share serviced flights by multiple noise-affected groups in an effort to provide some relief to those living under the council’s three North fork transition routes. 

These three limited routes, or funnels, were designed by the council, which split off the Federal Aviation Administration “mandatory” Long Island North Shore route, which became mandatory in 2012, without any public comment period. 

Pilots begin their transition routes over the North Fork and areas of Southampton Township to get to East Hampton Airport, Gabreski, and the Southampton Village helipad. Some, returning via the same route they came, which clearly points out that pilots are not doing a 50-50 (North Shore and Atlantic shore) split of their trip. They aren’t even flying up the middle of the Island, which they used to do and are still capable of doing! 

Take, for example, the Southampton helipad, which is located on Dune Road, which has easy access right off the Atlantic Ocean to fly into and out of the helipad with minimal exposure to residents. It’s a true all-water access route. Yet pilots are being directed to fly via the North Fork. 

Nowhere in the F.A.A.’s “mandatory” Long Island North Shore route does it state that pilots must fly the same exact route to and from these airports or helipad. Nowhere. As a matter of fact, it states to “omit populated areas” wherever possible.

For the last two years or so, the helicopter council stated in various public forums and to local, state, and federally elected officials that pilots are pretty much already doing a 50-50 split of routes with no publicized evidence to support this statement. Now the truth has come out in yet another local newspaper interview that three out of the four peak travel months, commercial helicopters are flying exclusively via the northern route. How is this fair?

Profit over people seems to be the priority here.

Stop with the excuses, E.R.H.C. Enough is enough!

TERESA MCCASKIE

Communications System

East Hampton

October 22, 2018

Dear David:

Running the Town of East Hampton is not just a bigger version of rebuilding the Amagansett Life-Saving Station. It’s a bit more complicated than that.

Months ago, the town board purchased a new, supposed to be state-of-the-art, 700 mega-Hertz emergency communications system to replace an aging and failing system. The equipment still sits in the boxes it came in because, after buying it, the town board discovered that it could not be installed on our existing communications towers in their current condition. Some are too short, some are in poor physical condition, some are already at capacity.

A couple of months ago, I called to public attention that this meant the town board had never engineered the system as a whole before buying it. That is a pretty obvious step to anyone with experience with systems more complicated than a two-story building. 

A few days after I made that point, the town board hired an engineer for the communications system. Better late than never. Last week we learned that in order for the system to function correctly, there needs to be a new communications tower, 300 feet tall, in Montauk, about twice the height of the existing tower there. 

Eric Schantz, a senior planner, and Eddie Schnell, communications technician, were invited to the board work session that I attended last week to explain that the geography of the town demands a 300-foot tower and that locating the tower with others near the old Montauk dump would minimize the impacts. That’s a pretty amazing discovery this late in the game, as the geography has not changed for a few thousand years. Nobody talked about the cost of a 300-foot steel lattice tower.

Maybe they have it right this time. Or maybe not. A five-minute oral presentation is not the basis on which such decisions are normally made. So I asked Councilman Bragman about the engineering report that explains why and how the system as a whole should be built as now proposed. He said that as far as he knows there is no such report. There are plans for the individual towers, but no engineering/design report for the system as a whole.

As well, after preventing use of the tower built by the Springs Fire Department three years ago, the town board still has made no provision or proposal for covering Springs and eliminating dead spots there. Thus, the new system is being designed with a big hole in it.  

Is the new Montauk tower the right tower in the right spot so that the whole system will function properly, including Springs when they finally get around to it? How would anyone know if the system still has not been engineered? And if it has been, where is the engineering report?

In the words of the immortal Casey Stengel in 1962, while managing an inept Mets team to a 40-120 season, “Can’t anybody here play this game?” 

Sincerely,

DAVID GRUBER

Something Is Amiss

East Hampton

October 20, 2018

Dear David:

I read with great interest David Gruber’s letter titled “Legal Impossibility” in the Oct. 18 edition of The East Hampton Star. It certainly appears that something is amiss with the town board. 

How can the board attempt to cavalierly give away town-owned land? If not for David Buda, a nonattorney resident of East Hampton, presenting to the town board the legal impossibility of doing so, this travesty would have certainly occurred and the taxpaying residents would have never known what happened. 

I would assume that the office of the town attorney would have advised the board of the legal impossibility of granting the applicant’s request that town-owned land be deeded to him without any payment to the town. Is this incompetence, desire to make a gift to the semi-billionaire applicant, or some kind of quid pro quo?

David Gruber’s letter raises some very pointed and interesting questions and concerns. The taxpaying residents of East Hampton deserve some forthright answers 

Sincerely,

LARAINE BELLINI HAYES

Lockdown Drills

Amagansett

October 15, 2018

Dear David:

My grandson began public school kindergarten a few weeks ago. He is so excited, and he comes home to tell “the best thing that happened today.” The other night at dinner he began: “Today in school we had a drill. It’s called lockdown. I thought it was called lockup but it’s called lockdown drill.”

 None of us moved and he continued. “We’re getting ready for a bad person who can come in and want to hurt us. The drill is you have to listen. That’s the drill. Listen. Don’t talk. Go into the closet. You have to go into the closet. If you don’t fit in the closet you have to go into your cubby. And you can’t say anything. And there can be a lot of noise. Close your eyes. Don’t say anything. Even if you have to pee-pee. Even if you get wet. That’s okay. The drill is you don’t move, you don’t talk. Until someone comes to say you’re safe.”

My grandson turned 5 yesterday. He is the most beautiful, wondrous gift on earth, as are all of our children, precious to us beyond words. And as he told us about the lockup, lockdown drill, my daughter pressed her fingers into my hand: Don’t speak, don’t cry. And my daughter-in-law said, “Angel baby, you are such a good listener, I am so proud of the way you know how to listen. Did you go into the closet?” My grandson  nodded. And then he said, “Ahma, did you ever have a drill like that? The kind where you had to be ready for someone bad to come in? Talk about it.”  

Talk about it? Talk about what it means that we have created a gun-loaded society where sociopaths can be armed and murder children in school? Talk about what it means that children in kindergarten are being prepared for murder? Talk about the teachers who are teaching how to hide from bad people with guns, preparing children to be assaulted by people who have guns. Murderers with murderous intent who have guns. 

I want to ask every single person I know, is this what you want for our children? Do you want our children having lockdown drills? Why didn’t we have lockdown drills? Because gun money was not controlling our country and our politics. Our childhood was not awash in the nightmare of gun-holding murderers. And yes, it is political. And yes, we have been sold and played, and our children’s lives have been put at risk. 

We cannot afford to be silent for one more minute. I sat silent as my grandson told me the truth: This is what we have allowed our country to become, a freak show of random violence. 

Talk about it? I wanted to say please forgive me. Forgive us.

The cash-and-carry politics of this country corrupted our moral intelligence. Our communities of silence have failed our children. We are facing a midterm election, and one of the remaining opportunities to speak up. Lee Zeldin co-sponsored a bill that permits concealed weapons to be carried in New York. When Zeldin sold out to the gun lobbies, he kicked open the door to the assault of our children. 

Who the hell is responsible for my small grandchild being drilled for the day that an armed killer opens his kindergarten door? It’s political. I am voting against Lee Zeldin. I am voting for Perry Gershon. 

Courage. Vote for our children. 

CHARLINE SPEKTOR

Politics of Scorn

Springs

October 20, 2018

To the Editor:

 “Times Poll Gives Zeldin An 8-Point Lead” by Christopher Walsh, Oct. 18, provided valuable insights. I have watched Perry Gershon mount a credible campaign to defeat Representative Lee M. Zeldin. I think the answer was contained in the comment by the veteran recently quoted in a New York Times article who said that Perry Gershon has heart. The conservative agenda espoused by Congressman Zeldin certainly creates concern. Trump’s support multiplies my alienation. The politics of scorn must end. Empathy and heart will help us address common problems. I hope centrists on the East End of Long Island search their souls and cast their vote in a way that unifies. The alternative creates ugliness that is inconsistent with the natural beauty of eastern Long Island. A poll of 502 respondents out of 27,178 calls may not reflect the actual results. 

STEVEN A. LUDSIN

Man of Thought

East Hampton

October 21, 2018

Editor:

The fight to the finish is the one characteristic we must possess if we are to face the future. One step at a time, one thought at a time, one day at a time. The most important item in a man’s life is his mental attitude. Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows but it does empty today of its strength. Every step in this journey called life is a challenge. Life is the hyphen between spirit and matter. We cannot allow others to hold the key to our peace of mind. Judge your success by what you have already accomplished. Leadership is not a position or a title; it is action by example. The more we take responsibility for our past, the more we are able to secure the future we seek. 

It is not where we stand but in what direction we are moving. Don’t ever be pushed by your problems; be led by your dreams. What we see depends on what we are looking for. At times we get depressed. Actually if you think about depression it’s just anger without enthusiasm. Freedom is always protected by those who are prepared. Remember prolonged idleness paralyzes initiative. The man of thought knows his abilities. Our current safe boundaries were once unknown frontiers. Our future lies before us; like snow on the ground, we must be careful how we tread it, for every step we take will show. Lee Zeldin is the only one qualified to lead us in that walk.

As for Perry Gershon, the measure of a man’s ignorance is not measured by what he does know but in what he refuses to learn. It’s the fool who thinks he knows everything. The greatest of all faults is to imagine you have none. Sometimes people are good, sometimes they are fake, and sometimes they are real good at being a fake. A broad mind lacks focus. Perry does not have enough experience to achieve the things he says he will do. He might have attained wisdom had he not assumed he already had it. The brain that bubbles with phrases has hard work in collecting thoughts. In order to be a good talker in public, you have to be a good thinker in private. 

The ad in which Perry has a mouthful when asked a question says it all. “I can’t talk right now.” When can you talk Perry? The mind starts working the minute you are born and never stops working until you speak in public. In [his] flier, which I received on Oct. 16, 2018 [he] states that [his] mother was a doctor who had never been paid the same as her less successful peers. Times have changed now and women are speaking up themselves over what position and pay they are going to accept. I’m sure when Perry’s mother worked as a pediatric researcher, salary was discussed, and she had the right to decline or except their offer.

Perry has also never said what he would do for veterans. But they have given him the right to run for one of the most important offices in the country. There are 136 national cemeteries in 40 states and Puerto Rico not counting the cemeteries overseas for veterans and for those veterans buried under the waves. I think they would all roll over in their graves if Perry were elected to the Congress of the United States. We have problems in the leadership in our Congress, both Democrat and Republican. It will take time to clean it up. Perry Gershon does not belong in the Congress of the United States!

TOM BYRNE 

Lying Lee

East Hampton

October 21, 2018

Dear David,

When we were kids one of my friends lied all the time and another one swore it was true. Just like Trump and Lee: the pathological liar and the pathological witness. Lee’s supporters talk about his trust in God. His leadership qualities. His belief in family and fatherhood. Kavanaugh, the mob. Evil Democrats. Yet, no one talks about what he’s done for the community. 

Perhaps the best way to understand Lee Zeldin is through the Khashoggi issue and the United States response. Jamal Khashoggi is a Saudi citizen who is a U.S. resident. He writes for The Washington Post and has been extremely critical of the Saudi government. He recently disappeared in the Saudi embassy in Turkey and is said to have been murdered by Saudi agents.

The president’s response was to cite a $150 billion arms deal that he struck with the Saudis last year and state that he wouldn’t want to jeopardize the deal and have the Saudis go elsewhere. Except that there is no arms deal. Just an informal arrangement of some future deals. Moreover, the Obama administration already had the same arrangement in place. So, in truth, if such a thing exists, the president’s rationale for his behavior was almost completely fabricated. Yet, he believed what he was saying.

Enter Lee Zeldin, or enter his shadow or a reasonable facsimile. He is M.I.A., as he is whenever the president fabricates something, on average three times a day, having a congressman on bended knee in front of a pathologically lying president is really scary. If the president inflames racial tension instead of calming them, what does Lee say? If the president says that Dr. Ford was a hoax, where is Lee? When the president hoaxes climate change, gun controls, and programs to increase wages and working conditions and vilifies the press, why does Lee have his fist in the air?

His TV piece criticizing Perry Gershon’s position on Medicare for all tells it all. “Seniors will lose their Medicare if Gershon is elected.” An inverted bizarre fabrication from someone who voted dozens of times to eliminate the Affordable Care Act and whose party is talking about cutting Medicare to pay for the recent tax cuts. Are you lying Lee or Lee the witness?

Lee voted against the tax cuts but was mute during the debate. Even though the tax cuts hurt his constituents, he didn’t open his mouth during the debates.

He was, however, vocal on school shooting and coauthored a conceal carry bill that would allow people from other states to enter New York with their guns hidden away. (In Missouri if you can spell your name right you can get a concealed carry permit.)

So Lee seems unclear on the concept of truth. Like the leader he supports 98 percent of the time, truth is only in the eyes of the speakers. A vote for Lee is a vote for Donald Trump, a pathological lying, misogynist racist.

NEIL HAUSIG 

Present Danger

Springs

October 20, 2018

To the Editor:

Our so-called president likes to say when out stumping for fellow Republicans that any vote for a Republican candidate is really a vote for him, Trump. I haven’t heard of any Republican candidate who has disavowed this president’s announcement to that effect so I will take him at his word and even self-consciously admit that I agree with him.

 This next election is all about Mr. Trump and his lock-stepping enablers. The Republican Party has never been as monolithic, fearful, and subservient to this autocratic, devious, and narcissistic demagogue, as I have experienced in my many years in local and national politics. The threat to virtually every democratic institution and social benefit that has been achieved, such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, health care, and public education, etc., is in real jeopardy now, as never before. The Republican Party at this moment in our history, with Mr. Trump as their unquestioned leader, uber alles, represents a clear and present danger to our country and its future, both domestically and internationally.

The Republican Party must be told by your vote that their support of Mr. Trump and his minions, that we will no longer tolerate the type of Trump leadership that they unilaterally and undemocratically burdened us with. 

A vote for progressive Democratic candidate Perry Gershon says no more to Mr. Zeldin and his mentor, Trump.

On the local front, David Lys, our current Democratic board member, has already demonstrated his energetic, intelligent, and responsive ability to do an outstanding job as town councilman. He deserves to continue in that job.

Manny Vilar? Sorry I don’t know the man, but I do know the party that endorses him. Time to change, Manny.

Vote Democrat Perry Gershon for Congress (District 1) and Democrat David Lys for East Hampton Town Board. 

LARRY SMITH

On the Ticket

Springs

October 22, 2018

Dear David,

Since Trump became president, with the help of Russian interference among other things, nothing he has done has been normal or acceptable. He is an affront to every value I hold dear with his demeaning talk, incessant lies, repudiation of the press, and his cozying up to autocrats around the world — and that does not even take into account the ongoing tearing apart of departments and programs by his cabinet picks.

He is not running in this election, but Congressman Lee Zeldin, who wholeheartedly supports President Trump and votes on national issues right in line with his policies, is on the ticket, and therefore, I write with a sense of urgency concerning the midterm elections. A check on this out-of-control bully president is needed as never before, and Perry Gershon is the Democratic candidate to elect to counter the harm being done by the Trump administration. 

Perry Gershon supports renewable energy to address climate change, supports health care for all, supports common-sense gun legislation (as opposed to Zeldin’s efforts to allow concealed guns to be carried in our state, truly a scary notion), and supports protecting our democracy. He will be an excellent congressman for our district. If you have a question about voting, call the Suffolk Board of Elections at 631-852-4500. I will be voting for Perry Gershon for Congress, and locally, David Lys for town board, on Tuesday, Nov. 6.  

Sincerely,

NANCY KARLEBACH

Fiscal Lunacy

Springs

October 22, 2018

Dear David:

Our Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits are at serious risk this November.

Just last week, the Treasury Department said the United States’ budget deficit grew to $779 billion this year, an increase of over $100 billion just in Donald Trump’s first full fiscal year as president. The biggest culprit causing the bulging deficit is the G.O.P.’s tax cut. 

Tellingly, those Republicans running for re-election have abandoned touting their tax-cut plan to their constituents. And for good reason: according to the Treasury, individuals pay eight times as much taxes as corporations. The promised “trickle down” of the corporate tax cuts has proven to be a ruse: workers’ wages have stagnated, consumer prices are rising, and jobs continue to leave the U.S. Meanwhile, the average family gets a tax cut of a measly few hundred dollars.

Remember the G.O.P. promise that the tax cuts would pay for themselves? The Treasury report throws cold water on that as well, projecting that the deficit will top $1 trillion by 2020.

Now, one would think that the Republican Congress would look for a fix. Not this Congress; Tax Cut 2.0 is the new plan, which would add a trillion dollars to the deficit! 

Recognizing the fiscal mess it has created, the Republican Congress has created a bogeyman — the deficit is not a Republican problem — the blame lies with the Democrats. It is their refusal to eviscerate Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security, and not the G.O.P.’s irresponsible fiscal lunacy, that is the driver of the deficit.

The Republicans would have you believe that these programs are “entitlements,” something we’re getting for free, and thus it is unreasonable for the Democrats’ refusal to a drastic cut. This rationale is a fiction. Check your paycheck; in each check are payroll-tax deductions designed to fund Medicare and Social Security. The deal we’ve all struck with our government is that we pay into these programs while we’re working and the government pays the benefits of this deal after we reach age 65 (for the most part). 

The Republican plan is to gut each of these entitlement programs to address a deficit of their own making, but those running for election won’t fess up to that strategy because it will cost them their jobs. Our congressman, Lee Zeldin, is among the most deceptive, refusing to come clean with voters on the G.O.P. plan to savage our benefits.

The good news is that Perry Gershon has promised to protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security from the irresponsible cuts Mr. Zeldin would back. We should all trust Mr. Gershon with our future and give him our vote. Please remember to vote on Nov. 6 and trust Perry.

Sincerely,

CAROL O’ROURKE

A Big Deal

Springs

October 22, 2018

Dear David,

The G.O.P has now become a ring of liars. Those Republican senators and representatives running to save their jobs have now joined hands and wrapped themselves in a banner proclaiming that they are the only guardians of the health-care protection against pre-existing conditions. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Recognizing that we all really care about our health care and are really mad about what they have done to deny it to us, these Republicans have concocted a big lie. 

But, to quote Senator Leahy, we all might have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night. We are not going to forget the 60 votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act (which guaranteed coverage of pre-existing conditions). Nor will we forget the House G.O.P.’s passage of the Affordable Health Care Act (or the celebratory beer party at the White House), which would have robbed Americans of the Affordable Care Act’s protections against pre-existing conditions. Nor will we forget its efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, which resulted in skyrocketing premiums, forcing some to forgo health care coverage. And, we will not forget the health care plan House Republicans just proposed that would allow insurers to exclude coverage of pre-existing conditions or to radically increase premiums to cover such conditions. 

It is hard to believe that these Republicans believe that voters are naive enough to forget the savage attack the G.O.P. has waged on our health care and instead embrace them now as health care saviors. And our congressman, Lee Zeldin, is at the front of the pack. Until recently, he boasted that he “secured full congressional passage for the first time of legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare.” (This has since been scrubbed from his website.) Now, after air brushing his résumé, he expects us to believe he is our health care savior. 

Let us not be fooled: A vote for Lee Zeldin would do nothing more than guarantee that, on Nov. 7 (the day after the election), he will shed his savior robe and again attack our right to affordable health care.

You don’t need me to tell you that coverage of existing conditions is a big deal. Among the most common conditions are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, or chronic lung disease, and osteoarthritis and other joint disorders. If you or someone you love is in this group (or suffers from some other condition), Lee Zeldin is not your friend, nor should he be trusted with your health care coverage.

Fortunately, we have a choice. Perry Gershon has made a key promise to voters: not only to fight to protect our existing health care but to make it better for all of us. In fact, on every issue, it’s an easy choice. And Perry comes out the winner. I hope you will join me on Nov. 6 and trust your vote (and your health care) to Perry. 

Sincerely,

BRUCE COLBATH

Stand to Lose

East Hampton

October 22, 2018

To the Editor,

Lee Zeldin stood by while the Republican Party rammed through a tax bill that he admitted hurts his constituents. Homeowners in particular stand to lose big next year, since the bill caps the combined state, local and property tax deductions. Mr. Zeldin noted that the bill results in a “redistribution of wealth, taking money from New York to pay for a deeper tax cut elsewhere.” 

Although Mr. Zeldin voted against the bill, that was not nearly enough. Why didn’t he spearhead an effort to rally others in his party to vote down the measure? That would have been true leadership. Maybe he was too busy appearing on Fox news and tweeting about the Mueller investigation, complaining that the president was being investigated “just because he won.”

Let’s elect a representative who will truly stand up for the interests of the First Congressional District and fight back against the daily outrages of the Trump administration. Vote Democratic for Perry Gershon on Nov. 6.

Sincerely,

CAROL DEISTLER

Will Vote

Montauk

October 18, 2018

Dear Editor:

I picked up a copy of this week’s East Hampton Star and read the different columns and letters. With the elections only a couple of weeks away, I would like to express my opinions. As for the town board, I would like to see some transparency. I do not think it is healthy for a board to be comprised solely of people of the same mind. Therefore, I will vote for Manny Vilar. I have known Representative Lee Zeldin for many years and will vote for him also. I agree with their conservative values.

Sincerely,

PAT FLYNN

To Be a Voice

Springs

October 21, 2018

Dear Editor

My entire professional career has been in state government, and at my level, in law enforcement, emergency management, police union leadership, State Legislature, and state government affairs, it is imperative as a rule we never speculate or make rash statements. We must always be concerned with the protection of the rights of victims and the accused alike. As a rule, we drill down to hard facts and are very careful to not stereotype any one individual or incident as indicative of a broader group. Ultimately, in the end, it is our investigation that in a criminal complaint a district attorney will use to present to a jury, and we must be prepared to prove the facts are true beyond a reasonable doubt. In the New York State Legislature and lobbying state agencies, it is our job to provide accurate and critical information to support or oppose legislation that can impact every citizen of our state.

Good investigatory skills are learned behavior acquired through extensive training and years of experience. Many times hesitation to rush to judgment may give the appearance of evasiveness, but it is not. We have grown accustomed to typical smooth-talking politicos on the campaign trail. They quickly tell us what they think we want to hear, make promises they do not keep, then just as easily explain away why they were unable to fulfill their campaign promises. However, that is not me. I would much rather tell you the truth, and you will always know where I stand. If the stand is I am fact finding, you’ll know that too. If we don’t have the information to make an informed decision, then we shouldn’t.

I value people’s rights and due process; it is the core principle of our society. The town board must be fair and impartial doing due diligence in gathering facts and ensuring that all interested parties receive fair, equitable treatment in the presentation of their point of view and due process. 

East Hampton is a diverse community, and a homogenous, one-size-fits-all value is a disservice to everyone, and our elected leaders need to seek to understand that. Hence my insistence that we get input from all the stakeholders from all sides. There should never be town board meetings where issues are discussed yet specific stakeholders were never consulted. 

The professional experience and expertise I will bring to the East Hampton Town Board are unmatched by any current board member. I will bring independent, progressive reforms to town government that will help our public employees to serve our community better, make government open and transparent, conserve our environment, make government responsive and inclusive to all in our community.

As a member of the town board, I will push for the enactment of legislation that:

1. Mandates all lobbyists be registered with the New York State joint commission on public ethics.

2. Create a joint citizen and public employee commission to draft mission statements for each town department and economic, environmental, and open government policy statements.

3. Mandate a complete class and compensation review of all Civil Service positions in town government to stem costly constant attrition of employees.

4. Create a joint labor-management dispute resolution committee to help resolve expensive employee issues and expensive lawsuits.

5. Enact yearly department self-assessments to ensure efficient service that will save money and improve service to the community.

6. Create an office of economic development to seek economic opportunities for our year-round residents.

7. Create an office of immigrant affairs to aid new citizens to integrate into our community and assist with related issues.

8. Create an office of general services to streamline government purchase, eliminate duplication of services, and end wasteful spending.

9. Restore the town’s Animal Control Department.

Lastly, I am running for entirely altruistic reasons. Serving on the town board is not a career path — nor do I need the job or benefits. I recognize that one-party control by a 5-to-0 town board can quickly become complacent, lacks independence from party bosses, and is not representative of all in our community. 

I love this community that has given me so much. I became a cop, a public servant, volunteer firefighter, volunteer in our community because I desired to be a part of force to help and do good for society and those less fortunate. It is that same desire that drives me now, which is why I speak of the big picture solutions, a real understanding of the role of a minority member of a legislative body, and the need to be a voice outside of the ruling class. It is easy to push through legislation and accomplish the minor acts, which are the low-hanging fruit of politics. That solves little and over time exacerbates issues more often than not. However, to be a voice for those not represented and to force difficult discussion on the problematic topics, such as open government, economic, environmental, societal, government reforms, are all values that have long not been present in town politics.

That is my passion, my love for our community, and what as the minority member, the lone board member not supported by the ruling party, I will bring to the 2019 board.

MANNY VILAR 

Talking Point

Springs

October 21, 2018

Dear David,

As we all know by now, that famous saying that “all politics is local” holds true in many cases but it especially applies and makes sense here on the East End in our congressional race for the First District. 

Our congressman, Lee Zeldin, not only represents us (East Hampton) in the House of Representatives but he also looks out for the towns of Southampton, Riverhead, Southold, and Shelter Island. That’s all of the area on both the North and South Forks of Long Island and all of the hamlets they contain.

Now I understand that the national scene may be making some people a bit more crazed than is called for — but this is no time to cut off your nose just to spite your face!

Anyone who thinks about it for more than a minute understands that Congress runs on seniority, and the party with the most members controls the leadership. It’s been that way for well over 200 years. Why sacrifice a good representative — a member of the majority party — for someone from Manhattan who isn’t from the district, only recently moved here, and has absolutely no contacts in Congress or the White House? How does that benefit us?

Just ask around and you’ll find out that Lee Zeldin has helped local farmers, fishermen, and our vets. His opponent wouldn’t know a turnip from a radish, couldn’t explain the difference between a fluke and a flounder, and thinks vets take care of your pets. Why would anyone vote for that other guy? 

So, we should sacrifice all of our progress in Congress and lose a good man who is gaining seniority, responsibility, and power just to make some dopey talking point? I think not. Save sending your messages for Twitter and Facebook.

I call upon you, David, and The Star to endorse the re-election of our congressman, Lee Zeldin, and I ask all local voters to calm down and think about what we really need and want in our representative in Congress. The clear answer is Lee deserves to be re-elected.

On Nov. 6, vote for Lee Zeldin on the Independence Party line if that makes you feel better. 

Regards,

DON CIRILLO

Manny Knows How

Springs

October 21, 2018

Dear David:

My pick for town board is Manny Vilar, the alternative to the “same old, same old.” Manny will look out for us because he isn’t in the pocket of entrenched political interests and will not become part of the gang that thinks they get to run everything. 

Manny will listen to all sides and act fairly and not jump to the tune of the local clique we all know is out there. What more can we taxpayers ask for from a councilperson? Manny knows how to balance a budget, supervise staff, work with other leaders, and will make the tough decisions needed to maintain fiscal solvency. 

He will take the job of councilperson seriously and not just see it as self-aggrandizing. We need someone who will care about us and our ever-rising taxes, not just look out for his friends — while punishing his enemies — which is basically what we have now. 

Please join me on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 6) and vote for Manny Vilar on either the Republican or Conservative party lines.

Sincerely,

RICH GHERARDI

The Best Qualified

Amagansett

October 21, 2018

Dear David,

In just over two weeks the voters of the Town of East Hampton will go to the polls to vote for a candidate to fill the last year of the open position on the East Hampton Town Board. Of the two candidates, Manny Vilar and David Lys, Manny Vilar is by far the best qualified.  

As president of the Police Benevolent Association, Manny capably represented his membership dealing with the executive branch and the Legislature in Albany, which is no small matter in New York. Manny successfully reached out to both Democrats and Republicans in fulfilling his responsibilities as P.B.A. president.  

I don’t see where David Lys has the same depth of experience. I know David and he is a likable person and I am sure his intentions are good. However, his time on the town board has not been without controversy. He seemed to be the front person for the board defending the board’s decision earlier this year allowing the two-day event in August for the East Hampton Library Children’s Fair and Authors Night on the 555 property in Amagansett. These are worthy events, but the 555 property was purchased by the town with community preservation funds, and holding these two events at this location clearly violated New York law and town law. David’s defense that reading books was recreation fell flat.  

To add to the problem, it was later learned that the town board approved the two events in Amagansett in a closed meeting in violation of the state’s Open Meetings Law. This was confirmed by board member Jeffrey Bragman. Now we learn that the David Lys campaign committee has accepted illegal campaign contributions in excess of the legal limits.  

Because David is new to the Democratic Party, his position is precarious, and he is beholden to the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee. Don’t count on him for any original ideas. David Lys will simply act as a rubber stamp supporting whatever the other board members want. The voters in East Hampton deserve better. 

Realistically, Manny Vilar, as a lone Republican on the town board, will not be able to stop the other four members of the board from doing what they want. However, Manny will challenge the other board members when needed and bring transparency to the town board’s actions, which at present is sorely lacking.

MICHAEL JORDAN

For Our Fishermen

East Hampton

October 20, 2018

Dear David, 

I will be voting for Manny Vilar for East Hampton Town Council on Nov. 6, Election Day. The East Hampton Town Board needs at least one strong, independent voice who is unafraid to buck the other town board members, and the power brokers who got them elected, on issues that are important to East Hampton residents. 

My late husband, Stuart B. Vorpahl Jr., loved East Hampton and was unafraid to take on powerful government forces. He would not have been happy to watch as the East Hampton Town Board gave in to the power of New York State politicians and wealthy Wall Streeters whose Deepwater windmills will ruin our prime fishing waters and the livelihoods of our commercial fishermen. 

For over 30 years, Manny Vilar has battled government officials and other powerful forces to benefit his union members. He understands how bad this Deepwater project is for our fishermen and East Hampton community, and I know, unlike the current town board members, he will fight strongly for our fishermen and community. 

Manny will force the town board to openly talk about important issues that are being discussed behind closed doors. Just like Stuart would have done, Manny will look out for the little guy. 

Please join me on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, and vote for Manny Vilar on either the Republican or Conservative party lines. 

Sincerely,

MARY M. VORPAHL

So Fortunate

East Hampton

October 22, 2018

Dear David, 

Hope all is well at The Star. 

A few weeks ago I happened to be channel surfing and happened on a town board meeting. At this particular meeting, the discussion was about allegations that our police department was targeting Latinos. There were testimonials from the audience about unfair and biased treatment. 

I believe we are so fortunate to have the police department that we do. I know many of the officers personally, and there is not a bigoted bone in any of them. 

The testimonials from the audience teetered on the verge of ridiculous with a little drama thrown in, much like the national scene concerning the Demo­crats and their liberal friends. The ranting about windshield stickers not being looked at! They are color-coded so if something is expired it can be seen from 30 feet away. Any nitwit knows that. 

If anyone was detained they either didn’t have a license or the registration and/or insurance was expired. 

The people afraid to come out of their homes! The only reason to be afraid is if you have committed a crime. Driving without a license or insurance is a crime. Driving intoxicated is a crime. For the audience to think that they should be exempt from motor vehicle laws to pick up a child at school because they missed the bus is absurd. 

The lefty who stated that “the police just looked at my face.” Well, they may have been looking for someone specific. Isn’t that how we identify people: facial ID? Isn’t that why there is a picture on your license? What a spin. We are a land of laws. Imagine if we had none? 

The event seemed to be planned and rehearsed just like the nationwide nonsense. How sad. The Democratic Party should have its heads hung in shame. The cruel and vicious treatment given to Justice Brett Kavanaugh just because President Trump had nominated him is alarming. Is this how the Democratic Party is to behave — slashing a good man’s reputation, banging on closed doors, ranting threats, and accosting people in public places? 

I have always believed in voting for the person who is best suited for the job without considering party affiliation, an independent vote, but no more. The Democratic Party has gone too far with its endorsement of violence and destruction. 

This segues me into the local election. As you know, we currently have a Democratic majority on the board. Our shining light on a stormy night is Manny Vilar — a local Republican who should get a chance to prove his worth. I have known Manny for 30-plus years and have found him a stable and fair individual, always community-minded. 

If you don’t know Manny, vote for him anyway. Viva, Vilar! 

Yours to command,

JEFFREY PLITT