Letters to the Editor: 11.01.18

Our readers' comments

Hoard or Starve

East Hampton
October 28, 2018

The chipmunk stuffs his cheeks
as I have stuffed my bank account.
A sole mourning dove pecks seeds
on this sunless day in October.
A jay squawks.

Not cold, not hot, temperate to a fault.
Summer’s mold persists on most things,
particularly on the edge of memories.
Against acorn torrents, a hat will do.
But not the past.

I have moved deep-rooted trees in burlap balls,
replanted to suit the shifting sun,
ripped away invasive growth,
decided annually on color schemes,
perennially on forms.
All, clipped and shaped at my whim.
But the past, poured like concrete,
will not budge for me.

These moldy thoughts are bullets
from which I cannot duck:
hard pellets void of nutrients.

The crickets commence their symphony.
The chipmunk does not stop to eat,
stores more and more.
I admire this persuasive hoarder.
He will not starve this winter.
Nor will I.

DEE SLAVUTIN

 

Special Shout Out

East Hampton

October 29, 2018

Dear David,

In this world we live in today, two words seem to have disappeared from our vocabulary: “collaboration” and “cooperation.” On Saturday, Oct. 22, the Village of East Hampton hosted an event exemplifying both those words.

 “The Second Annual Fall Festival” in Herrick Park brought together forces and resources from the East Hampton Chamber of Commerce and East Hampton Y.M.C.A. as well as the Village of East Hampton police and the East Hampton Fire Department. 

A special shout-out to Steven Ringel, who was organizer of this amazing gathering of vendors of food, crafts, jewelry, and not-for-profit organizations from the village. And then there were the musical talents from the East Hampton High School jazz band and Camerata, as well as a constant musical background performed by numerous local musicians and bands.

From 10 a.m. to 5 o’clock, Herrick Park was alive and well with local East Hampton folk enjoying themselves and one another in a “collaborative and cooperative event.”

An extra special shout-out to the Village of East Hampton for opening Herrick Park for this demonstration of who we all are and want to be! 

Bravo to all involved.

H. MICHAEL HOWELL

Crucial Institution

New York City

October 23, 2018

To the Editor:

Re: “Big Crowd Rallies for Springs Library” by Irene Silverman.

Libraries sometimes feel like a dying facet of society. Last month Eric Klinenberg wrote an article in The New York Times lamenting “this crucial institution is being neglected just when we need it the most.” Kudos to the Springs community for perpetuating such an important part of any neighborhood. 

Best,

JOANNA HOOTNICK

The Meat Industry

East Hampton

October 26, 2018

Dear Editor,

I have no fear of zombies, witches, or evil clowns lurking on Halloween. What really scares me is the meat industry. This is the industry that deprives, mutilates, cages, then butchers billions of cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens — animals who feel joy, affection, sadness, and pain, as we do — that exposes undocumented workers to chronic workplace injuries at slave wages and exploits farmers and ranchers by dictating market prices. 

This industry contributes more to our epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer than any other, then bullies health authorities to remove health warnings from dietary guidelines; sanctions world hunger by feeding nutritious corn and soybeans to animals, instead of people. This industry generates more water pollution than all other human activities, spews more greenhouse gases than all transportation, and destroys more wildlife habitats than all other industries.

Fortunately, my local supermarket offers a rich selection of plant-based meats, milks, cheeses, and ice creams, as well as a colorful display of fresh fruits and veggies. Even the meat industry publication Feedstuffs reports that sales of plant-based foods doubled last year. That’s what gives me both courage and hope. 

Sincerely,

EDWIN HORATH

Impossible Choice

East Hampton

October 29, 2018

Dear David,

On behalf of OLA of Eastern Long Island, I want to thank you for focusing on the plight of many East Hampton community members in “OLA Hires a Human Rights Attorney” (Oct. 25, East Hampton Star). I’m writing to make two additional points in response to your article. 

First, I want to thank all town board members for their openness to hearing and responding to the problems and fears facing undocumented community members and residents of our town. 

On Oct. 4th, in an emotionally charged town board meeting, scores of speakers addressed the board with personal and compelling stories detailing the fear they or their neighbors and friends experience every day as a result of the increasingly hostile rhetoric and policy coming out of Washington D.C. The board heard their testimony and committed itself to continue its work in our community and with OLA to address their fear. 

Second, I want to credit our local police force for the concrete steps they have already taken to respond to this situation. As of the writing of this article, East Hampton Town police do not inquire about an individual’s immigration status during a traffic stop (or ever, unless that individual’s status is relevant to an active criminal investigation). They do not share information from a traffic stop with federal immigration authorities. They never share information about victims or witnesses of a crime. And they do not honor administrative “warrants” issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents rather than by a judge as a basis for detaining individuals. 

These policies place East Hampton Town police at the forefront of efforts made across the country to address the growing climate of fear among a significant segment of our community who live here peacefully. They are precisely the type of concrete efforts that can be made on a local level to address the fear and trepidation many Latino residents feel during every encounter with law enforcement. 

In practice, this means that East Hampton police are not taking individuals to jail or holding them for ICE for traffic infractions or civil violations. All residents should take heart from this fact; it’s a signal that the East Hampton police are actively working and alive to specific issues faced by our community members and moving to help meet the needs of all East Hampton residents. 

At the same time, the problem for many undocumented residents of this town is more complex than a police policy can solve. The complexity of the problem and the danger to our fellow residents lies in the interaction of federal, state, and county laws and the manner in which someone moves through the justice system. 

Here is one example: Unlike neighboring states, New York State law prohibits undocumented individuals from obtaining a driver’s license. As a result, being stopped for any traffic violation can quickly progress from a simple traffic infraction to a ticket for driving without a license or aggravated driving without a license, and a mandatory court appearance. 

Driving without a license and aggravated driving without a license (an unclassified misdemeanor) carry potential sentences of up to 15 and 30 days, respectively, in the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Riverside. If an individual receives a sentence of imprisonment, county officials, unlike local police, do work closely with ICE: Suffolk County provides ICE with bed space in the jail, it honors administrative warrants, and it operates in collaboration with ICE. Once an individual is processed at the county jail — even for a number of days — the likelihood of deportation is high.

The chain of events is devastating. It is nearly impossible to live and work on the East End without access to a car due to the geography of this town and limited public transportation. With no way to obtain a license and no way to adjust immigration status, people are forced into an impossible choice. Either they navigate getting to work, getting to the doctor, getting kids to school, buying groceries, and other necessities of life without a car on the East End, or they choose to drive and risk being swept up in a snowball of escalating consequences that can very quickly lead to ICE custody, months in detention, separation from families, and, ultimately, deportation.  

No animus against Latinos is needed for this to occur. Police do not take people from traffic stops to jail; they understandably write tickets for laws that they are duty-bound to uphold. From there, a person’s fate is determined by a judge. As a result, no matter how professionally and sensitively the police approach a traffic stop, the specter of being swept up in a chain of events leading to deportation looms ever present. 

This is unfair to the police force attempting to assuage the fear within the Latino community, and it makes their job much more difficult. It’s counterproductive to commendable police policies which aim to accomplish the same. It means that every traffic stop — no matter how minor — carries a potentially life-shattering consequence for a segment of our community and engenders an understandable fear of dealing with police. 

While it is in everyone’s interest to try to solve this problem, solutions are not easy on a local level. Legislation allowing undocumented individuals to obtain driving permits must be passed in Albany at the state level. Policy decisions preventing county officials from handing over nonviolent traffic offenders to ICE must be accomplished by Suffolk County. 

Still the problem remains; the fear is palpable. I believe the town is genuinely committed to working to solve the problem. Despite the obstacles that make this such a complex issue, finding a solution will dramatically improve the quality of life for a significant segment of our community. It will provide residents with a modicum of security as they collect children from after-school activities, drive to the doctor, and drive home from the grocery store. 

It will also dramatically improve the relationship and trust between all community members and our police force. Increased trust will make our town safer and our community stronger. The answers here are not obvious. We need thoughtful perseverance and commitment from our elected officials, our police force, and community members. OLA stands ready to work with all toward this common goal. Finding a solution is imperative; East Hampton’s newest generation is desperate for it.

Sincerely,

ANDREW STRONG

General Counsel 

OLA for Eastern Long Island

Safety Checks

East Hampton

October 27, 2018

To the Editor:

It’s a bit late to be reading the Oct. 11 issue of The Star, but I noticed letter [from Jonathan Wallace] and wanted to respond:

Perhaps you are new in town or don’t read the papers. You would have noticed that 50 percent of Driving Under the Influence, unlicensed drivers, uninsured drivers, drug busts, are Hispanic. My mother was hit by an unlicensed, uninsured Hispanic. A safety check does not mean only drivers having proper paperwork, it means ascertaining if people are driving an auto, which is a lethal weapon, under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Since it is well known there is a monumental opioid crisis, I welcome the police conducting safety checks. As an anthropology major, I have no problem discussing cultural patterns or understanding why the two people were pulled over. They happened to be Hispanic, and I do not for one moment believe there was racial profiling involved.

I applaud the police for conducting safety checks. I encourage them. Safety is the number-one requirement for a civilized society. 

We require more oversight than ever to balance for the large increase in population and those who have no respect for the law, from the president on down. Let the police do their job, which is to protect residents from the lawless before our children or grandchildren are tempted, then hooked on drugs, or hit by a car driven by someone drunk or drugged, regardless of nationality.

Regards,

CHAR TAYLOR

Electrical Substation

Montauk

October 27, 2018 

Dear Editor, 

There was undoubtedly a need to stabilize Montauk’s electrical grid, as the site that historically housed the hamlet’s electrical substation on Industrial Road was located in the flood plain. Superstorm Sandy was a painful reminder that a more suitable long-term location was needed, and as a result, PSEG/LIPA invested a significant amount of time and resources to begin relocating Montauk’s electrical substation to a new site on the commercially zoned North Shore Road. PSEG/LIPA engineers analyzed the North Shore Road site and determined this location was an adequate solution for at least the next 40 years, taking into careful consideration projections for critical risks such as flooding and rising sea level. 

Construction of the new electrical substation on the North Shore Road site began some time ago and the Town of East Hampton Planning Board recently approved the adjacent property to store the Montauk grid battery facility. With construction on the North Shore Road electrical substation well underway, PSEG/LIPA and the Town of East Hampton quietly began to consider an alternative location in a residentially zoned area that was much larger, consisting of four parcels of land that are approximately 6.7 acres (66 and 68 Fairmont Avenue, 20 and 22 Fenwick Place). 

The 6.7-acre plot of land, which is privately owned, is located directly between the Montauk Playhouse and Montauk’s water recharge overlay, and on one of the hamlet’s most prominent throughways, highly visible to residents and visitors alike. The land that PSEG/LIPA is now considering to purchase is the size of more than four football fields combined and was previously deemed environmentally sensitive by the Town of East Hampton Planning Board, due to its proximity to critical water wells, archaeological significance, and visual prominence. 

Neither PSEG/LIPA nor the Town of East Hampton has directly provided any information to the people of Montauk about the possibility of constructing a massive electrical substation on Fairmont Avenue and Fenwick Place. Many questions remain unanswered. What has prompted PSEG/LIPA to consider an alternative and significantly larger plot of land for an electrical substation when the North Shore Road site that is currently being constructed will already have capacity that exceeds Montauk’s needs? Is PSEG/LIPA’s consideration of this alternative site to benefit and protect the people of Montauk, or is it driven by some other motive? Is it possible that PSEG/LIPA intend to turn Montauk into an electrical distribution center for its offshore wind power? 

Why is the Town of East Hampton offering no support, assistance, or protection to the Montauk community? PSEG/LIPA have not yet purchased the 6.7- acre plot of land. If PSEG/LIPA proceed with the purchase, there will be no way to stop the construction of a massive electrical substation. Now is the time for the citizens of Montauk to take action and demand a better solution. 

SHAUN and IZABELLA DE JESUS

Stuck in the Past

Montauk

October 28, 2018?

Dear David:

It is unfortunate to have to belabor the point, but everything we read about Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael could so easily apply to East Hampton. So why are we still mired in talk about a sand tax district and a sewage tax district for beachfront and downtown Montauk? Because human nature is usually 10, 20, or more years behind reality. But we do not have time to be stuck in the past.

It is way beyond the point where we should be taking action, much less starting to talk seriously about where the central business district for Montauk should be, what resilient emergency services we need, what kind of dunes we should construct. Serious impacts from global temperature rise are being experienced all over the world. It is imperative that we begin migrating away from the coastline now. We need to coalesce around a plan in months, not years. We delay at our peril. It is time to cease throwing money into the ocean and start doing things that are meaningful.

Painful? Oh, yeah. But not as painful as watching helplessly and having no idea where to go from here. The next hurricane could be ours. Of course, we could be philosophical, accept our fate, and save ourselves the bother and dollars of installing obsolete-before-they-are-finished, wishful thinking, stop-gap Band-Aids. But if we choose to act, let’s skip the steps that are realistic but that we know will waste time and money and ultimately fail, and start acting on real solutions.

Sincerely, 

JANET VAN SICKLE

Inadequate 

East Hampton

October 29,2018

Dear Mr. Rattray:

Thank you for The Star’s coverage of the town board’s review of the draft hamlet study concerning the Springs-Fireplace Road commercial corridor. I am a member of Citizens to Preserve the East End, a local neighborhood organization focused on preserving our community character and our environment. The organization and I feel that the study of the commercial corridor, as currently proposed, is inadequate to use as a basis for planning decisions especially since the hamlet study has eliminated the east side of Springs-Fireplace Road where major development is being proposed.

In addition to the comments that we provided at the recent town board meeting, we feel that the town needs to go a little further to protect community character and reduce the possibility of future environmental harm in this area. This is a time of opportunity.

The comprehensive plan of 2005 called for “environmentally friendly” development along this road, but we have fallen short as a town on this point. We think that there is an obvious opportunity to take advantage of right now: purchase of the two lots in front of the recycling center and Highway Department.

This very congested portion of Springs-Fireplace Road is about to get more congested with the construction of the East Hampton vocational tech center and school bus depot. Additional burdens are coming from contractor parking areas and additional commercial projects currently under development.

The current proposed major car wash and retail center (in an area not zoned for retail) for 238 Springs-Fireplace Road will be an additional burden on traffic as well as an additional major environmental risk to the area (chemicals used in the car wash as well as being stored at the location). 

Once all the planned developments are completed there will be no open space from the recycle center south to the senior center and Spinner Lane.

This parcel and the vacant one to the south are a necessary screen for the heavily industrialized town recycle center 

and highway maintenance yards behind them.

Further, with the student and faculty population of the vo-tech center, and service employees of a large school bus fleet, having some open space/passive recreational area will be constructive for community preservation.

I request you support these properties for potential purchase with community preservation funds, and if not suitable, consider purchasing by the town as recreational open space.

Yours very truly,

ROBERT PINE

Citizens to Preserve the East End

Noteworthy

Montauk

October 26, 2018

Dear Editor,

It is not commonplace for a former town Republican chairman to endorse a member of another party, but in this case I feel the acknowledgement is justified. David Lys has done a noteworthy job during his tenure on the town board, and he deserves the consideration of East Hampton Town voters.

I feel that David is both open-minded and favors bringing consensus from divergent opinions, two qualities that serve him well on a board interwoven with similar political interests. The fact that David has demonstrated a high level of cross-party appeal is a testimony to his independence and flexibility. We need more people like him in local government.

Sincerely, 

PERRY DURYEA III

Continued Leadership

East Hampton

October 26, 2018

To the Editor:

Determination, resolve, inquisitiveness, enthusiasm, intelligence, and family values are all characteristics that we would like to see in the people we elect to leadership positions in our community. David Lys, who is running to continue to work on the town board, certainly fits these criteria.

Most of the community knows the work David has done for East Hampton over the years. From fighting for beach access to his commitment to the history of the Amagansett Life-Saving Station to representing the town on the zoning board of appeals, David’s sense of community is well documented.

From a personal perspective, my wife, Debbie, and I have known the Lys family for many years. As a Little League coach in the 1980s, I watched David grow from a wide-eyed 9-year-old to an accomplished and respectful player in four short years.

Debbie, who taught math in the middle school for 35 years, watched David’s development in her class through hard work and determination.

Finally, as chairman of the town zoning board of appeals, I welcomed David to the board in 2012. During his tenure, I watched him enthusiastically represent the town with a steady hand, making intelligent decisions based on zoning laws and respect for natural resources.

Based on my personal experience with David and his well-documented community involvement, I urge everyone to please vote on Nov. 6 for the continued leadership of David Lys.

Sincerely,

ALEX WALTER

The Right Person

East Hampton

October 26, 2018

David:

Let’s get this one right. The upcoming town board election has a candidate that is perfect for the job. However, I urge the good people of East Hampton to look beyond supporting a particular political party. We should all be supporting and coming together as a community of people that all love this town and are willing to elect the right person for the job. We as a united group of fantastic individuals make up the threads of this beloved town, and we need a dedicated individual that has the best intensions for us all and is willing to do the right thing all the time. 

This community is about the people that live here. We have the greatest collection of people all combined together that make East Hampton one of the most sought-after ZIP codes in the entire United States. I’ve known David Lys my entire life. He was born and raised right here in East Hampton (something that is getting less and less common). Since I can remember, David has always been the best friend and the most outstanding individual anyone could ask to know. He has time and time again fought for all he believed in, and supported anyone that deserved to be heard. David’s recent devotion to the Town of East Hampton is unmatched, and should be recognized by all. 

Recently, I overheard someone ask him, “Why do you do this?” He answered, “I do this for my children and for your children as I know I can make a difference for their future. It’s been a while since an outstanding candidate has come from our homegrown soil, and I think we all have a responsibility to support a person that supports us. A person that is one of us. 

If you don’t know David, you should introduce yourself to him, I have never met anyone that doesn’t like him, doesn’t love him. To be 100 percent honest, until very recently (primary and this election) I have never even heard anyone say one negative thing about David — ever, not once. This Election Day let’s all pick the best person and take advantage of a great opportunity to keep such a valuable local asset right where he belongs. We all should vote for David Lys. 

CHRISTOPHER MINARDI 

Vote For David

Amagansett

October 29, 2018

Dear David,

I am writing in support of the candidacy of David Lys for East Hampton Town Board.

David Lys is one of the most qualified and hardest-working candidates that I have seen run for a town council seat in many years. He is a local businessman and a family man with deep roots in the community. As a member of the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals, David was fair, knowledgeable, and extremely well prepared. As a member of the town nature preserve committee, on which I serve, he has proven to be involved and energetic.

I know that David will work hard and not cut corners. He’ll be open to the ideas and opinions of others. That’s who he is. I’m confident that the people of East Hampton will never be disappointed to have David Lys as one of their representatives.

Please vote for David for town board on Nov. 6.

Sincerely,

RICK WHALEN

Direct Impact

East Hampton

October 29, 2018 

Dear David, 

Election season is upon us, and nowhere does your vote count more and have more of a direct impact on your life than in local elections. This year more than ever I urge voters to choose people over politics. David Lys is that person. David is the candidate that provides the energy, insight, and knowledge that East Hampton government needs.

 David was born at Southampton Hospital and raised in East Hampton. He is a young father of four girls, a small-business owner, and a proud Bonacker who wants to see an East Hampton that works for everyone, an East Hampton in which his young family will have an opportunity to make a living and can afford to live. David has already shown his desire and ability to help keep East Hampton the special place we know and love. Whether it has been protecting public beach access with his founding role in Citizens for Access Rights (CfAR), his desire to protect our history with his leading role in restoring the Amagansett Life-Saving Station, or his five-year tenure on the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals, David Lys has proven he is the leader East Hampton needs. So on Nov. 6, I ask you to vote people over politics and vote for David Lys for East Hampton Town Board. 

Sincerely, 

TIM TAYLOR

Loss of Livelihood

East Hampton

October 29, 2018

Dear David:

The several justifications offered by the town board majority of Van Scoyoc, Overby, and Burke-Gonzalez for grant­ing, or agreeing to grant, beach-crossing easements to Deepwater Wind before the environmental analysis of the Public Service Commission is complete have all collapsed. 

As Jeff Bragman learned by talking to the general counsel for the P.S.C., this is not legally required, would be unusual. The timeline of the P.S.C. process says that easements are normally secured after the P.S.C. gives its authorization for the project. 

 Grants would not enhance the town’s ability to participate as a party in the P.S.C. Article VII process. The town can participate as a party as of right because some part of the transmission line is proposed to go through the town. And we now know that Deepwater does not require easements in advance of the Article VII process as a business judgment because it has filed its application to the P.S.C. without having the easements.

Not waiting until the environmental facts and financial facts are known before agreeing to anything would be, to use the proper term of art, incompetent. No one negotiates when the other side has all the facts unless there is no alternative. Clearly, we have an alternative. Plus, even if the town’s sole objective were to maximize the monetary payoff, known in polite circles as “commun­ity benefits,” the town’s bargaining strength will be at its maximum once Deepwater has received P.S.C. approval and then needs the town’s permission to go forward or face huge additional costs for coming in through state lands on Napeague.

But forget incompetence (always hard to do, I know). The more fundamental question is why the town has put a higher priority on a payoff from Deepwater of $8 million (worth $25 per year per East Hampton household) than protecting property near the beach and our fishing community. 

Oh yes, they have an excuse. Van Scoyoc and Overby blithely maintain that the fishing industry will suffer no harm. They base this on their own vast knowledge of marine biology. Wait, I meant to say that although they personally know nothing relevant they have had an expert review the scientific literature. Except that they have not undertaken any review whatsoever. There has been no environmental review of any kind. 

As to that, Van Scoyoc and Overby also blithely claim, as do some other proponents of the project, that it will not be possible ever to attribute any decline in catch to the wind farm. Needless to say, none of them knows the first little thing about that either. But they expect the fishing industry to bear all the risk just because, well, just because they consider themselves so virtuous that nothing could go wrong.

The State of Rhode Island does not agree. It has actually embodied in law the requirement that before the state can approve a wind farm, there has to be a “mitigation plan” to protect the fishing industry in place. Mitigation is defined to include, without limitation, all or any “compensation, effort reduction, habitat preservation, restoration and construction, marketing, and infrastructure improvements.” 

Contrary to the ignorant, yet confident, assumptions of our town board majority, Rhode Island law says, “Where there are potential impacts associated with proposed projects, the need for mitigation shall be presumed.” While our town board majority is unconcerned, Rhode Island in contrast designates underwater glacial moraines as “areas of particular concern” as marine habitat. 

Most important, as a condition to the approval of an offshore wind project by the State of Rhode Island, mitigation must first be negotiated by the state, a fisheries advisory board representing the industry, and the project developer, and then approved by the state. 

The State of New York does nothing similar to protect our fishing industry and marine environment. We don’t know why. Perhaps compared to the banks and investment banks fishing is simply beneath the notice of our governor and Legislature, whereas it is much more important to the State of Rhode Island as a whole.

That should make no difference at all as far as East Hampton is concerned. The fishing community is part of our community. A large swath of our local economy, particularly in Montauk, depends on the fishing industry. It is the livelihood of our neighbors that is at stake. You can be sure that fishing is at least as important to East Hampton as it is to Rhode Island even if the behemoth State of New York, besotted with Wall Street, doesn’t give a damn.

What’s to stop the East Hampton Town Board from making protection for our fishing community its first priority in its negotiations with Deepwater Wind? Nothing. Instead of demanding trinkets, our town board should be telling Deepwater exactly what Rhode Island does: Negotiate a mitigation agreement with our fishing industry first. When that is done, come and talk to us. Not before.

Instead, Van Scoyoc, Overby, and Burke-Gonzalez look to sell the fishing community out. Councilman David Lys has expressed concern about loss of fishing gear. Not good enough. The issue is loss of catch and livelihood. 

We are on the eve of a town board election. Both candidates, Mr. Lys on the Democratic line and Manny Vilar on the Republican line, should be expected to tell us all exactly what they will do on this subject if elected. 

Is Councilman Lys prepared to stand up to Van Scoyoc, Overby, and Burke-Gonzalez? Is he in any sense independent of them? Now is the time to find out, before we go into the voting booth on Election Day.

Sincerely,

DAVID GRUBER

For Fishermen

East Hampton

October 29, 2018

Dear David,

I am writing to recommend to all East Hampton voters that they vote for Manny Vilar for the East Hampton Town Board. 

I am a Vorpahl and come from a family that made its living on the water. My grandfather Stuart was devoted to making life for fishermen better. He stood up to state and local government forces, often all by himself, defending the rights of fishermen to be able to continue their way of life. Were he alive today, he would be voting for Manny Vilar. 

Manny has lived in East Hampton his whole life. He understands the environment here and very much connects with our fishermen. He worked as a commercial fisherman in his youth. He will be an independent, forceful voice on the town board when he is elected. He will be independent of the special interests that are pushing this horrible Deepwater project down our throats. He will not vote in lockstep against East Hampton.

On Election Day, Nov. 6, I urge all East Hampton residents, especially fishermen, to vote for Manny Vilar for East Hampton Town Board.

Sincerely,

KYLE BALLOU

Political Balance

East Hampton

October 28, 2018

Dear Editor:

We need to stop fooling ourselves that it is perfectly okay to be complacent about living in a town with local government controlled by just one party — in East Hampton’s case, the Democratic Party. A one political-party town board cannot and will not represent all the disparate interests of residents in all our hamlets. (The ratio in our town is 2:1 Democrats to Republicans.)

 I don’t doubt there are high expectations and tremendous pressures on 

the East Hampton Town Board from Democrats 24/7 to further their political agendas. Let’s help the good people of the East Hampton Town Board resist undue influence and regain political balance by adding Manny Vilar’s voice to the board. 

Whether you are a member of the Republican, Conservative, Green, Working Families, Independence Party, or have opted to be among the large group of unaffiliated voters (or are a disenchanted Democrat), get up, get out, and vote for Manny Vilar on Nov. 6 for East Hampton Town Board. Let’s loosen the 

Democrats’ chokehold.

LYNNE W. SCANLON

Shift in Power

Montauk

October 29, 2018

To the Editor,

We, as Republicans, have seen the shift in power to our side since the 2008 election of Barack Obama. Over 1,000 Democrats, from the local level to the federal level, have been unseated since Barack Obama became president.

More and more Americans are seeing what this destructive ideology of liberal progressivism, which is more pervasive in the Democratic Party, is doing to our country as a whole.

The political elites in our country were shocked when Donald Trump was elected by a margin of 31 states to 19 states as president.

I say it is time to give the East Hampton Town Democrats a little shock of their own and vote for Manny Vilar for our town board on Tuesday.

For God and country,

VINCENT BIONDO

Skills and Expertise

Springs

October 29, 2018

Dear Editor,

My name is Manny Vilar. I reside in Springs with my wife, Christine Stark, who is the owner of East End Apparel Company on Springs-Fireplace Road. I am the father of six incredible kids, Matt who lives in Wilmington, N.C., with his wife, Lauren Moser; Brendan who lives in Baltimore with his girlfriend, Blair King; Catherine who works for Cook Maran Insurance; Jack, James, and Tommy, all East Hampton High School students. I currently reside in a home I built in 1997 next door my mom, Amelia, 85, and my dad, Manny, also known as the fish commander, 95, on the street I grew up on as a kid. As a young adult, I resided in Montauk for seven years with my former wife, Karin Gosman.

From 1978 to 1984, I coached Little League, junior football, was volunteer firefighter for 22 years in the Springs and Montauk Fire Departments. In the 1980s I served as one of East Hampton’s last elected bay constables before taking a permanent appointment with the New York State Park Police. Over the past 34 years as a public servant, I have worked throughout New York State, including eight years in the Washington Heights section of Harlem and South Bronx. 

As chance would have it, in 1995 I was injured during an exchange of gunfire between rival drug-dealing gang members on 137th Street and Riverside Drive in Harlem, which almost ended my police career. Fortunately, after 17 months of extensive physical therapy I was able to return to the profession I loved. I have risen to the rank of first sergeant and became the founding president of New York State’s fifth biggest police union, the Police Benevolent Association, representing the New York State university police, environmental conservation police, park police, and forest rangers. 

East Hampton has given my family and me so much we will be eternally grateful, which is why I am running for East Hampton Town Board. The beaches in Montauk are a mess and will now cost taxpayers millions of dollars. The ever-growing swindle and scam of Deepwater, LIPA, and New York State is now being perpetrated upon not only Montauk but Wainscott as well. 

The town emergency communications system is imploding, leaving not only our first responders but every citizen in jeopardy. The cost of living is spiraling out of control, and there is no long-term economic policy and strategy in place. Our groundwater is becoming increasingly polluted, yet there is no viable long-term townwide plan in place. Pollution from failing septic systems are in place yet no viable long-term remediation plan is available and the list of problems, serious problems, goes on and on.

David Gruber and the East Hampton Reform Democrats were correct in their criticism, and in fact we agree that “the board members do not have the answers or the expertise to solve these problems. The board needs to call upon the community members, some of whom have talents and knowledge that the board members lack, to work together and work on solutions to the many complex issues facing the town.”

I have risen to the rank of first sergeant and became the founding president of the state’s fifth biggest police union, the Police Benevolent Association, representing the university police, environmental conservation police, park police, and forest rangers. Criminal 

law prosecution, investigations, environmental protection, emergency management, executive level management, human resources, labor relations, public sector collective bargaining, governmental affairs, government finance, lobbying state agencies, municipal governments, and the State Legislature extensively on a vast host of issues and legislation are all skills and expertise I will bring to the town board. 

As a dedicated public servant to our community over the years, I have worked with both local and statewide organizations to secure state funding to support various organizations, which most recently included the Clam Shell Foundation, Boys Harbor fireworks, and the purchase of the new rescue vehicle for the East Hampton Ocean Rescue Squad. Legislatively, I have worked closely with environmental, labor, social justice, and victims-rights groups, to name a few, on the passage of legislation that impacts the lives of every New Yorker. I have a track record of proven ability to be bipartisan, working seamlessly with members of both political parties. 

Some of the legislation I have worked extensively on has been: The “Enough Is Enough” Act, which aims to increase protections against sexual assault on college campuses statewide. The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, which adds gender identity and expression as a protected class in the state’s human rights and hate crimes laws, prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and other areas, and providing enhanced penalties for bias-motivated crimes. The “Illegal Ivory” Act, which prevents the trade and sale of illegal ivory articles by strengthening criminal and civil penalties for buyers and sellers whose actions are endangering elephant populations worldwide. “Child Victims” Act to make it easier for victims of child molestation to bring charges or sue their abusers. “School Safe” Act amendments to allow better police and security protections at public schools and college campuses.

I was a 9/11 World Trade Center first responder, spending the initial six weeks involved in rescue and recovery effort and like so many first responders I too have been diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness which remains in check and there but for the grace of God go I.

As a career public servant and law enforcement officer, I am deeply troubled by the increased intolerance and violence in our nation over the last 10 years. President Teddy Roosevelt, a staunch defender of religious freedom and tolerance, once said: “In a republic, to be successful, we must learn to combine the intensity of conviction with a broad tolerance of difference of conviction. Wide differences of opinion in matters of religious, political, and social belief must exist if conscience and intellect alike are not to be stunted if there is to be room for healthy growth. Bitter internecine hatreds, based on such differences, are signs, not of the earnestness of belief, but of that fanaticism which, whether religious or anti-religious, democratic or anti-democratic, is itself but a manifestation of the gloomy bigotry which has been the chief factor in the downfall of so many, many nations.”

Over the past several weeks racist and anti-Semitic hate crime graffiti has appeared in Montauk. In scenic Gwinnett County, Georgia Police Officer Antwan Toney was shot and killed during the performance of his duty. Deputy Farrah B. Turner was the second officer that died after being hit by gunfire in the shooting that injured or killed seven South Carolina police officers. Then this past weekend a gunman who frequently posted anti-Semitic threats online burst inside a Pittsburgh synagogue opening fire, killing 11 people and injuring six others.

Over my career, I have had the great misfortune to come face to face with individuals consumed by pure evil. 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. 

My point in bringing this, these incidents, up although vastly different is that intolerance, hate, and evil can occur anywhere and are not confined to big cities and densely populated areas. 

A poem written by the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller and quoted at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum goes like this:

First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.

I would ask that for our community’s sake, regardless of whom you vote for and what your political leanings are, please end this partisan discourse. Give evil and hate no quarter, love your neighbor as if they were 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.

With your support on Election Day, these are the values that I will bring to the town board. 

Thank you and God bless.

MANNY VILAR

Local Leader

East Hampton

October 17, 2018

Dear David,

Just a quick note to express my thorough support for David Lys in next week’s election. David is the type of young leader that our community needs and deserves. He’s always prepared, hard working, and passionate. He’s always willing to take initiative and is very solution-oriented. He has the ability to listen and compromise. David Lys gets things done.

He’s the type of young local leader that will benefit the next generation of families here in East Hampton.

Please join me on Tuesday at the polls and vote for David Lys for town board.

Best,

TIM GARNEAU

Moral Emergency

East Hampton

October 29, 2018

Dear David,

I support David Lys for East Hampton Town Board and Perry Gershon for Congress for many reasons, but one clear reason rises above all others.

Historians may very well describe this past week, the week of hate, as the lowest point in the Trump presidency. It should be close to impossible for anyone, with their eyes open, not to see how the president’s hateful rhetoric has been a match to the fire of racism, bigotry, intolerance, and violence.

Two innocent black shoppers were senselessly murdered in Kentucky. Bombs were delivered to the most vocal of Trump’s critics. Eleven Jewish worshippers were gunned down in a holy place. Trump read aloud words of consolation, evidently written for him by someone else, and then resumed his rallies, business as usual. He did not declare a time of mourning for our nation. He had tweeted his displeasure with the “bomb stuff.” For all we know, he is now inconvenienced by the “Jewish stuff.”

All of this, just a week before the midterms, should shine a very bright light on the state of moral emergency that’s been created by the disruptor-in-chief. He has opened up the floodgates of deceit, indifference, perversity, fraud, and corruption, throwing out any semblance of decency and morality. He has tacitly given his party members permission to lie and cheat their way through their political campaigns and incited his loyal supporters to unspeakable acts.

Thinking back to Trump’s Access Hollywood boasting, aside from the shock value of its sexual content, what I find the most frightening part and a precursor to all that’s happened since is this: “. . . when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.” It seems he feels the same way about the presidency; no one is stopping him from doing anything. The Republicans who control both houses of Congress have not acted to check or balance the president’s power. And now politicians as well as misguided citizens are following his lead to “do anything.” He’s given permission to lie, harass, suppress voters, even murder. Not on Fifth Avenue, but in a grocery store and a Jewish synagogue. Trump has thrown out the rules by which many generations of Americans have lived their lives and taught their children. Today, anything goes, especially when you’re rich or “a star.”

If the Senate and House of Representatives would honor their duty to check and balance the president, the state of our union might be in better shape. We in Congressional District 1 are partly to blame; our congressional district has contributed to the problem, not the solution, by sending Lee Zeldin to Congress. Sadly Zeldin has been blinded by Trump’s star power. He was one of the first to run to Trump’s side and has remained there for these last two-plus years. He is the last person we can count on to check the president’s hunger for and misuse of power. For that reason alone, anyone and everyone who finds fault with Trump and his administration, who feels that it is important to protect Medicare, Social Security, affordable health care, public education, international alliances, planet Earth and the environment, etc., needs to vote against the Republican ticket in the midterms.

There is no electoral college in the midterms, every vote counts, so we need to turn out every possible vote in East Hampton for the Democratic candidates in order to combat the heavy Republican majority UpIsland. We need Perry Gershon to represent us so he can push the House of Representatives toward a Democratic majority.

Locally, we must support lifelong East Hampton resident, family man, and local entrepreneur David Lys for town board so he may continue the good work he is doing saving our beaches and protecting access, protecting pure drinking water, promoting clean, renewable energy, and more. As the youngest member of the board, he adds a fresh, unique viewpoint and supporter base that benefits the town.

Please, if you are registered to vote, don’t let anything keep you from the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6. And if you care about preserving the heart and soul of our nation, regardless of your registered party, please vote for Democratic candidates: David Lys, Perry Gershon, Andrew Cuomo, and the rest of the Democratic ticket. If voters don’t see what’s going on and vote to change the balance of power now, God help us.

VICKI LURIA BLATT

We Are Lucky

Amagansett

October 28, 2018

Dear David,

With Election Day just a little over a week away, most readers are probably already familiar with our town Councilman David Lys. David’s roots within our community run deep. He is a lifelong resident of East Hampton, the father of four young girls attending Springs School and the Montauk Child Care Center, a local business owner with his wife, Rachel, and someone who has given much to our community as a volunteer. 

I feel that we are lucky to have David as our town councilman, and I hope that everyone will get out and vote on Nov. 6 to keep him on the town board. A vote for David Lys is a vote to protect our drinking water, preserve East Hampton’s historic buildings, save our beaches and protect public access, fight for local control over the airport, create new affordable housing for our community, provide more recreational activities for our kids, and a vote for a new senior center. A vote for David is a vote for the betterment of our town. 

Please get out and vote on Nov. 6 for David Lys! 

Sincerely,

AFTON DISUNNO

A Conundrum

Amagansett

October 28, 2018

Dear David,

The East Hampton election for town councilman offers residents an important choice to make when voting. We have the choice to vote for one of two Republicans. After all, David Lys after 42 years of being a Republican will not become a Democrat until after the November election. He will appear on the Democratic line due to a special elective process called the Wilson Pakula. Technically, he is still a Republican. This creates quite a conundrum for this long-time Democrat, and my vote is very important to me, especially since President Trump has created lying and divisiveness as a norm in politics.

So I set about deciding what to look for in a candidate, gathering materials about the candidates, evaluating their stand on issues, learning about their leadership abilities, and learning how others view the candidates. Sorting it out has not been an easy task.

One of the crucial issues for me is how well prepared for the job both Manny Vilar and David Lys are. After watching this town board for over 10 years and without any hesitation I strongly endorse Manny Vilar for town government. He has been a leader of New York State’s fifth biggest police union, he’s independent in his thinking, and will ask hard questions of the town government, he has drafted Assembly bills, and most important of all he will be free of one-party rule. We do need someone on this town board to help this board find their way back to caring and questioning about what should really matter in East Hampton. Transparency needs to be restored, and Manny Vilar will do that.

When you go to the polls to vote on Nov. 6 vote for Manny Vilar for town board. I’m also supporting Democrat Perry Gershon for Congressional District 1 election. 

Sincerely,

RONA KLOPMAN

Claim to Fame

Springs

October 29, 2018

Dear David,

The choice to fill the vacant seat on the town board is between two registered Republicans. Manny Vilar honestly states his experienced positions as someone who has a lot of state government dealings as head of a union. The other Republican, David Lys, who became an “almost” Democrat when he was chosen for a job that paid pretty good money, but remains on the rolls until after the election as a Republican. His claim to fame is refurbishing a building with support of his benefactors, the wealthy Bistrians, who horribly lost their lives in a plane crash. 

Lys also has some zoning board of appeals experience, children, a wife, and his never-ending professing of his love of East Hampton. Vilar has all that though his political experience is broader and more enticing, plus, here’s the really important part: Manny is what he says he is and has never been bought.

Sincerely,

PHYLLIS ITALIANO

Hard-Working

Springs

October 28, 2018

Dear Mr. Rattray,

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, I will be voting for Manny Vilar for East Hampton Town Board. Manny Vilar has nearly 35 years of experience as a police officer. As the founding president of the Police Benevolent Association of New York State, the fifth largest union in the state, Manny also has honed his management, budgetary, and political skills at the highest levels of state government. Manny is independent and not beholden to any East Hampton special interests. He will be a much-needed powerful and independent voice on the East Hampton Town Board. 

On Election Day I also will be voting for Congressman Lee Zeldin, who has been an extraordinary and effective representative for the East End. A soldier, lawyer (Lee was the youngest person at the time ever to pass the New York State bar), and lifelong Long Islander, Lee will continue to represent us all with an incomparable knowledge of our region and people.

I also will be voting for Patrick O’Connor, running for the Second Assembly District. The New York State Legislature, mired in corruption scandals over the decade, needs much-needed change. Patrick will be a fresh voice, with a new perspective on the problems plaguing the state.

On Nov. 6, please vote for all of these hard-working candidates who will represent you with integrity, knowledge, and hard work. 

Thank you so much.

Sincerely,

CAROLE CAMPOLO

Good Ideas

Springs

October 29, 2018

Dear David,

The town board candidate forum run by the Clericus and VoteHamptonNY and the debate run by the Group for Good Government and the East Hampton Library showed that both candidates, David Lys and Manny Vilar, are good, thoughtful persons who are campaigning on the issues. While many of Mr. Vilar’s answers were thought provoking, especially the implications of town employee pay scales, in sum, these discussions have confirmed my choice to endorse David Lys.

Our household has been a staunch supporter of property tax reassessment, and we were happy to hear Mr. Lys say he was willing to fund a study of its effects. A new study can update those done in the 2007-2009 period, in which case it will not be expensive. 

Mr. Lys also properly said that we need to keep the option of closing the airport on the table. I support keeping the airport open with adequate noise reduction. But it is very unlikely that the current (and expensive) Part 161 study can accomplish that. The only way to get the helicopter industry to compromise may prove to be through a credible threat to close the airport, as Mr. Lys pointed out. If the airport were closed, the need for emergency helicopter 

service can be handled by a helipad dedicated just for emergency use and which would not be open for commercial use.

Mr. Lys also correctly identified the need for the town to add affordable housing overlay zoning to more properties. The East Hampton Housing Authority’s affordable apartment project in Amagansett has been able to move forward with only minor political bumps because the land they purchased was already zoned for what is being built there. 

Please join me in voting for David Lys so he may put into action his good ideas for the town.

ZACHARY COHEN

In Plain Sight

East Hampton

October 29, 2018

Dear Editor:

David Lys is running to maintain his position on the town board. He was appointed by the board when Peter Van Scoyoc became the town supervisor. 

David has been working both behind the scenes and in plain sight for many years prior to this taking place. The zoning board was a place David felt he was much needed, and he worked tirelessly to know all the facts and do as much as he could to protect our town.

CfAR (Citizens for Access Rights) is a wonderful group founded in order to keep beach access rights open to East Hampton Town residents. Another important right and freedom.

A number of residents say that the Amagansett Coast Guard Station renovation project has no significance in a person’s ability to start with nothing and make something so much a part of town history open to everyone. Good job, David.

David Lys is working for the Town of East Hampton to help preserve and protect its integrity, which is most important for the residents. David’s values fit this bill.

A vote For David Lys is a vote for our future and the future of East Hampton.

MAYDA IDONE

Join Me

East Hampton

October 28, 2018

Dear Mr. Rattray, 

I am writing to you with one mission in mind: to see that the right person is elected to the East Hampton Town Board on Nov. 6, 2018. That person is without question David Lys. When deciding on any political candidate, many factors play into the decision to cast one’s vote. While David has many fine qualifications, which make him more than deserving to be elected to the town board, I am writing specifically to his best quality: his strength of character. 

Having known David for most of my life, I am keenly aware of the kind of person David is. He is without a doubt a man of his word. He is ethical and loyal. His dedication to this town is beyond question. He is a hard worker and determined to do what it takes for those that he loves: his family, his friends, and this, his town. So on Election Day, I am hopeful that the voters in East Hampton will join me and cast their vote for David Lys because he is the right person for the job. 

Very truly uours, 

TREVOR M. DARRELL

Has Given Back

East Hampton

October 28, 2018

Dear David,

On Nov. 6, East Hampton voters will have the opportunity to vote for the candidate we believe will best represent the goals and vision for the future our hometown. I submit that Democratic candidate for East Hampton Town Board David Lys is that candidate. 

Raised in East Hampton, David has been a local small-business owner who has given back to our town in a variety of important measures — as a thoughtful member of the zoning board of appeals for several years and instrumental in the preservation and restoration of the historical Amagansett Life-Saving and Coast Guard Station, now a museum for all to visit. 

As a devoted husband and father to four daughters, three of whom attend local schools (the youngest is not yet of school age), my husband and I immediately liked David when we first met him. David is sincere, proactive not reactive, accessible to the public for discussion, and he’s knowledgeable. Best of all, he listens! David appreciates and respects the diversity of our community residents. His father emigrated from Indonesia and made East Hampton their home. 

Appointed to the town board to fill the vacant seat when Peter Van Scoyoc was elected supervisor last fall, David Lys has demonstrated that his decisions are carefully made. He is thorough in his research and seeks facts first before making a decision that will impact our community. As a real estate broker of many years, I know the value of performing due diligence, following procedure, and when necessary retaining expert advice. 

David Lys is committed to making our community the best it can be. As a lifelong resident, he truly understands and knows what we need as a growing and diverse community. During his 42 years he’s been witness to the numerous changes of our town’s landscape and he understands the environmental impacts of coastal erosion and the importance of planning for the future. 

We are one community with the same goal — to preserve and protect what we love, our uniquely beautiful hometown of East Hampton. David Lys has already proven his professionalism, hard work ethic, and dedication to our town. Let’s give him the opportunity to continue to support the common-sense, good goals of government in East Hampton. 

On Tuesday, please cast your vote for David Lys for town board. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

Sincerely,

SUSAN McGRAW KEBER 

In the Rear

Springs

October 29, 2018

David,

The front-page story in the current Star “Fraud Charges Fly In Congress Race” by Christopher Walsh is informative and important. Mr. Walsh’s story, in part, covers the two times the Zeldin campaign sent out mailers with the same wrong date for completing absentee ballots. Possible it was a mistake two times? Not likely at all. Not a good show for Lee Zeldin. 

This week’s lead East Hampton Star editorial, “Another Country,” is an indictment of the G.O.P. for its ongoing schemes on voter suppression — add to the indictment mass incarceration and denying released felons the right to vote. These result in millions losing the most important right we have. If we are denied the right to vote, we have the right of revolt.

Recently, I did some online research about Representative Lee Zeldin. Found an article in The New York Post co-written by Grace Meng and Lee Zeldin, “It’s time to give Israel the means to take out Iranian nukes,” dated May 17, 2015. Grace and Lee write that the United States should provide Israel with 30,000-pound bunker-busting bombs, also the planes to carry them, to destroy Iran’s deep nuclear sites. These massive bombs could be used in a first strike against the Iranians. Then what? Uncle Sam joins in? Another endless war? 

The United States provides Israel with many weapons. For example, the photo that goes with their article shows a mobile artillery piece firing a 155mm round into Gaza. That weapon system was provided by the United States. Grace and Lee mention that the United States has agreed to provide Israel with new FA-35 fighter jets. We also gave Israel the “Iron Dome” missile defense system used to destroy rockets fired at Israel by Hamas.

Grace and Lee write that Israel already has significant offensive capabilities and has “always used them responsibly.” Really? Follow this. Some years back I was watching the news about the 2004 battle for Fallujah in Iraq showing Marines fighting street to street, their artillery hitting the area ahead of their advance, using munitions I’d never seen before. The rounds were exploding in midair and raining down white phosphorus upon large swaths of the city. In ’Nam we did not have this type of artillery round. We were at no loss for weapons of mass destruction. A short list would include B-52 carpet-bombing, napalm, cluster bombs, and Agent Orange. Turns out those phosphorous artillery rounds were produced here in the late 1980s. 

Guess? Right. We provided them to Israel. There is indisputable evidence that in 2009 Israel used white phosphorus artillery rounds in Operation Cast Lead. Most of the rounds exploded over densely populated areas in Gaza, killing mostly innocent men, women, and children. Operation Cast Lead is also known as “Rain of Fire.” My Dad said to me many times, “Don’t believe anything you read and half of what you see.” Google, “Israel and phosphorus.” Bet you won’t be able to view all the ghastly carnage caused by use of white phosphorus on soft targets. 

White phosphorus and napalm are incendiary weapons. The Brits were the first to produce and use it in grenades in 1916. In 1920 they used white phosphorus bombs against the Kurds and Iraqis to put down the Great Iraqi Revolution. Napalm was secretly developed in 1942 at Harvard University. It was specifically made to destroy enemy cities, the purpose to break the enemy’s will to fight by burning hundreds of thousands. It was first used in March 1944 on Berlin by our then U.S. Army Air Force. It’s most notable for the gruesome destruction of 65 Japanese cities, burning to death over 900,000 innocent Japanese. These bombings were ramped-up terrorism and war crimes. The victorious wrote the history and get a pass. 

I have received two mailings from Lee Zeldin. Both emphasizing, with photos, his military service. One showing his beautiful family, and above and to the right, a photo of Lee armored up, smiling, dry, and clean. Even the tent is dry and clean. I’m a Marine Vietnam combat vet; his photo op doesn’t work. It displays the epitome of a REMF, a rear echelon motherfucker. I cannot find anywhere how long Zeldin was in Iraq, nor if he has a Combat Action Badge/Ribbon. Why?

The other mailer has three photos. The biggest shows an infantry fire team on patrol in a desert. What is Zeldin attempting to imply? This photo has nothing to do with his service; the other two do. The one to the left is Zeldin in a large mess hall. The photo to the right is Zeldin with a Marine in a large room that could be another mess hall. The last two photos show where he was in Iraq: in the rear with the gear.

Read somewhere that on Dec. 12, 2017, Lee Zeldin had a secret fund-raiser in Manhattan. What does New York City have to do with our First District? Could be the venue was determined by Steve Bannon, the headlining speaker. Bannon works at Breitbart News, known for zealously supporting the alt-right. Zeldin ignores Bannon’s bad company by citing Mr. Bannon’s strong support for Israel and its government’s policies — not good for the suffering Palestinians. The two-state solution has been destroyed by the unchecked power of Israel. Their present government believes might makes right.

Saw a recent photo of Lee Zeldin standing closely behind Netanyahu. Lee was attending the opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem. Nearby were the power couple, Jared and Ivanka. Trump’s ignorant, callous decision to move our embassy caused Palestinians to rise in protest. Scores of them were killed by Israeli snipers. Did we pay for this shameful photo op? 

Lee Zeldin is too close for comfort with Netanyahu and Steve Bannon. This shows he has poor judgment and moral blinders. His votes to repeal The Affordable Care Act reveal a lack of compassion. Lee’s attempts to portray himself as a soldier are off the mark. All of the above show something about his character. Nothing good.

Semper fi,

JOSEPH GIANNINI 

About Veterans

Springs

October 29, 2018

Dear David,

Back during primary season (which now feels like 100 years ago), I was canvassing Democrats for my preferred candidate. I was astonished when 

one voter, who acknowledged she is a Democrat, told me she would be voting for Lee Zeldin “because he cares about veterans.” I didn’t know then what I know now, so this is an open letter to all voters who plan to vote for Zeldin because they think he cares about veterans. He doesn’t, really. 

Like his touting that he cares about the environment, Zeldin’s record on vets shows that he’s willing to vote for small, easy pro-vet bills that he can use to claim he cares for vets — while making larger votes that actually hurt them. 

  First among them was his vote to take away health insurance from veterans (and many other Americans) by voting against the Affordable Care Act. “But vets are covered by the V.A.,” you may protest. Not all vets — plenty of them receive medical care through the Medicaid expansion, which would go away if Lee Zeldin and the Republicans retain their majority in the House. According to a Rand Corporation study, “Proposals to repeal or replace the federal Affordable Care Act would likely increase the demand for service in the Veterans Affairs medical system, while also increasing the number of veterans who have no insurance coverage at all.”

  Not even the V.A. is safe from Zeldin. He also voted to gut the funding for the V.A. by more than $1 billion (with a “b”). That would have harmed the health care of 70,000 veterans and denied money for medical research and veterans cemeteries. So Zeldin is neither a champion of wounded vets nor fallen heroes.

  Some of those vets who are or would have been hurt by Zeldin’s votes include vets with combat-related P.T.S.D. One of Zeldin’s votes that masquerades as pro-vet while actually hurting them was his vote for a bill (passed) that makes it easier for veterans diagnosed with mental illness to buy guns. So it’s easier for a mentally ill vet to buy a gun and possibly kill people than it is for them to get mental-health treatment through the V.A. — or the A.C.A., if Zeldin succeeds in destroying it. How does that help vets?

More than 34,000 vets live in Congressional District 1. But Zeldin wasn’t looking out for them when he voted to take away their right to sue if their mortgages violate anti-predatory lending laws. He also voted to take away their right to sue unscrupulous brokers for selling them mortgages they can’t afford.

Finally, veterans are members of a larger community. What hurts their community and their families hurts them, too. Zeldin’s record shows he doesn’t care about the environment, he doesn’t care about protecting people from predatory corporations, he doesn’t care about your and my health care. If the Republicans win the House, Zeldin will be coming after your Medicare and Social Security, too.

  This is the most important election in American history. Whatever your party, you owe it to yourself, your family, your community, and your nation to be fully informed about the reality of the candidates you vote for. If you are planning to vote for Zeldin — and you care about veterans — please rethink your vote. Because he doesn’t care about you or them.

FRANCESCA RHEANNON

Automatic Weapons
East Hampton
October 27, 2018
Hello David,
I just want to remind everybody to get out and vote.
I went to a Lee Zeldin community meeting a few months ago, and the discussion was guns. Someone asked him: does he support automatic weapons, and he attempted to duck the question and distract everybody by asking what exactly do you mean by automatic weapon?
I cut in and said, "Listen pal, do you support automatic weapons, yes or no? He said yes. I asked him, "Do you support AR15s, yes or no. He said yes. What he is basically doing is lending his support to the possibility of having a mass shooting on Long Island, maybe at a school, maybe one of our schools.
What many people don't know if there is a shooting with an AR15 and our police respond, their bulletproof vests will not save them anyway; AR15 ammunition will go right through the policeman's armored vest and then go right through the policeman.
He also cosponsored a reciprocal bill that would allow any yahoo from any state to come to New York with any weapon that they want. Is this the man that you want to serve us in as our representative in Congress? If not, get out and vote!
By the way, the Pittsburgh shooter was using an AR15 type rifle.
Best,
KEVIN REYNOLDS
 

Must Wake Up

East Hampton

October 28, 2108

Editor:

I guess the most meaningful way to start this letter is with a quote from Charlie Reese! The quote can be found in The Orlando Sentinel, April 17, 2013 (under general interest).

One-hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, nine Supreme Court justices, 545 human beings out of approximately 235 million are morally, legally, directly, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country. 

It is the United States that comes first. Not your state or your local district. The problem is too many Democratic congressmen, too many Republican congressmen. But never enough United States congressmen, in other words statesmen. This must change. Or you 545 will blow this country apart.

You all must wake up. We in this country write our own story. Each time we think we know the end we don’t. Mistakes are the lessons of wisdom. Respect is for those who deserve it, not for those who demand it. What feels like the end is often a beginning.

With some congressmen who are running for the first time it’s better to keep silent, it hurts so badly when you know they can hear you but cannot understand. Lies may take care of the present but they have no future. If you want to ruin the truth stretch it. In the past few weeks during the confirmation hearing for Justice Kavanaugh you heard many speeches and lies. The biggest being from Senator Dianne Feinstein. There are others, like Maxine Walters, who is a preacher of hate. Nancy Pelosi, preaching, also boasts that if we the 

Democrats take back the House she will be superior to Donald Trump. This just shows hate, not knowledge. Her way as one of the leaders of the Democratic Party, only seems to lead to communication failures, poor decision-making and other options overridden.

If all of Congress would make their first priority service not success, then a little tact and wise management may evade resistance and carry a point, Excellence is to do the right things right! Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly ever acquire the ability and skill to do difficult things easily. Being sincere to the values you believe in will also bring you the respect of critics. 

Lee Zeldin is the leader, the fighter, and our voice in the Congress. Lee is endorsed by 12 law enforcement agencies. Leading the fight to defeat MS-13 and co-sponsor the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act (H-R 3003). He deserves to be re-elected.

In contrast, Perry Gershon is pro sanctuary cities and antisafety. He has stated that local law enforcement should not cooperate with ICE. This would allow illegal aliens like MS-13 to remain in local communities. Truth fears no question so I ask him to respond to the recent allegations about his business practices in public. Judge people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words. Remember 97 percent of Americans will wake up and enjoy freedom. Only 3 percent will defend it. It’s easy to take liberty for granted when you never had to defend it. Isn’t that right, Perry?

TOM BYRNE

Concealed Carry

Springs

October 27, 2018

Dear Editor:

I am the Perry Gershon supporter who came knocking on someone’s door yesterday. I confess that I was unprepared for a discussion of Perry’s position on guns, largely because you are the first person I’ve spoken to who has raised the issue, and because it is not at the top of my own concerns. But I appreciate your having patiently explained your position, and I was motivated to do a bit of research on the subject of concealed carry.

I learned that in New York City it’s extremely difficult for a civilian to obtain a pistol permit, unless it’s restricted to a residence or business. (In 2015 a retired corrections officer was not charged for shooting a young man who was harassing him on the subway. So it seems that off-duty and retired military and law enforcement folks can and do carry their guns.) Outside the city most rifles and shotguns used for hunting do not require permits. Pistols do, but require a background check and must be renewed every five years. All this makes sense to me.

However, it makes no sense to allow residents of Florida, Alabama, West Virginia, and other states with permissive “shall issue” permit laws to carry their firearms in New York, especially in the city. Why? Because I could receive a certificate of competency to own and carry in 28 states simply by watching a short instructional video online and answering 12 multiple choice questions from a website in Virginia. That bar is too low. Also, background checks don’t apply to private gun sales.

The Rand Corporation study on 

the effects of concealed carry (in 

states where permitted) is inconclusive. There’s no strong evidence that crime increases or decreases with more restrictive laws. I fear that would change if reciprocity invites rampant concealed guns in big cities.

My family in rural Nevada owns and uses guns, and taught me to shoot there. I don’t think anyone should take their guns away, but I also don’t think they should be allowed to carry those guns around Brooklyn.

I believe there are strong reasons to vote for Perry Gershon, including his positions on health care access and the environment. (Guns are less a threat to us here on Long Island than the sea level rise and storms that climate change is already bringing us.) But if you’re concerned that Perry’s position on guns is too soft, here it is, from his website. I think it’s reasonable, and I hope you will too.

“When it comes to gun violence prevention, I have a few basic priorities. Background checks should be required at a national level before guns may be purchased, and we must close the loopholes in the current system. Certain guns such as assault weapons should be registered, just as cars are today. Assault weapons should not be freely available, and I support a renewal of the provisions of the old 1994 law, as well as a ban on bump stocks.” 

And most of all, we should not impose “concealed carry” laws on our states. Representative Zeldin frequently advocates for a new federal gun law allowing a person to carry a legal concealed weapon into a state where it is otherwise illegal. So if a Texan visits New York, he or she would be immune to New York’s more restrictive gun laws and bound only by Texas law. We cannot let this happen. 

Priorities come with your profession, and also with mine. I’m a retired teacher, so I’m a fan of research and evidence and I’ve listed my sources below. They’re all pretty evenhanded. Thank you for your time, and for your dedication to our community. 

Best,

ANN DAVISON

Fascist Agenda

East Hampton

October 28, 2018

Editor:

The United States is facing an election that may mark us for the next 20 years. On a national and local level the stakes for the well-being of the country have never been higher. Trump, with the support of the Republican Party, has taken us to the brink of fascism and if we continue down that road for two more years, it will destroy the world order as we know it.

Since the end of World War II we and most of the world have worked to create a universe that will be free of insane wars and nuclear catastrophe and fascism. Nuclear disarmament was significantly achieved, the Cold War ended, and economic integration rather than dominance became the modus operandi. All of the world’s ills were not tamed, but there existed a court of world opinion and sometimes unified action that limited significantly the primitive animism that existed before 1945.

All 73 years of attempting to create a global awareness and interaction around war issues, environmental issues, poverty, and basic freedoms is being overturned by our current administration. If it is given two more years it will restructure the world into an economic and political jungle where only the strongest will survive.

Lee Zeldin represents this ideology. It’s less important that he lies and misrepresents almost everything. He supports the president’s racism and misogyny, that his MS-13 riff was mostly fabricated (see results); that his pledge to veterans was only a pledge; that he doesn’t have a clue about the nuclear proliferation treaty that Trump wants to opt out of, which is a recipe for nuclear disaster; that the explosive devices sent to leading Democrats and the murder of Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue are encouraged by the president’s rhetoric, which he supports.

What matters is that Zeldin is one more nail in the coffin of American democracy. His support for the fascist agenda of Trump clearly questions his commitment to our democracy and the Constitution. A “good Nazi” question rears its ugly head, and again the answer is that there are none and there never will be any. The U.S. included.

NEIL HAUSIG 

Seven Reasons

Springs

October 26, 2018

Dear David:

With the midterm elections upon us, here are seven reasons to vote Republican:

1. If you don’t mind contaminated water, polluted air, ever stronger hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, coastal erosion.

2. If you want to get rid of Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, unemployment insurance, paid vacations, and in general all government-mandated social institutions.

3. If you believe workers should be paid as little as possible so that corporations can get ever richer.

4. If you feel sorry for sexual molesters.

5. If you think school shootings are just a fact of life and strict gun controls would do nothing to reduce the incidence of domestic mass violence.

6. If you love murderous dictators like Putin or the Saudi crown prince.

7. If . . . (add your own reason).

Sincerely

REDJEB JORDANIA

Unwavering Support

Montauk

October 24, 2018

To the editor,

The Montauk Boatmen and Captains Association is supporting Congressman Lee Zeldin for re-election for the following reasons:

  1. His unwavering support for the opening of the transit zone to striped bass fishing for recreational anglers in New York State. He has sponsored and passed a number of bills over his two terms in office to support the anglers in New York State.

  2. His predecessor, over his 12 years in office, never got a bill out of committee.

  3. His support of the sportfishing industry is tremendous. On Long Island alone, this industry is valued at over $3 billion and employs, full or part time, approximately 10,000 people.

The M.B.C.A. requests that all fishermen support the re-election of Congressman Lee Zeldin.

Respectfully,

CAPT. JOE McBRIDE

Legislative Representative

Multiple Missteps

Springs

October 28, 2018

Dear David,

Newsday just published the reasons for endorsing Perry Gershon (editorial, Oct. 28). It is a complete summary of the multiple missteps committed by our current representative, Lee Zeldin. He embraced extremism (Gorka, Bannon, etc.), he discredited the F.B.I. and the Mueller probe, he wants to reinvestigate Hillary’s emails, he failed to protect our SALT real estate tax deductions (which will cost many homeowners many thousands in increased taxes), and he voted party line to repeal Obamacare, including protections against pre-existing conditions (which is part and parcel of the A.C.A.). 

Now he is trying to hide that fact, along with many other Republican politicians that face angry voters in the current November elections. He is a co-sponsor of legislation to permit out-of-state gun owners to carry concealed weapons, including semiautomatic guns right here in New York State. New York State has had very effective and strict restrictions on those given permits, but many other states hand out these permits pretty much to anyone who applies. Perhaps that is why we see one shooting after another committed by nutcases with legally obtained assault weapons, including the latest at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Perry Gershon has been criticized for being a carpetbagger, but as Newsday writes, “not being a native and wanting to stand up for residents of the 1st District is better than being from the 1st District and repeatedly letting them down.” (I love that quote.) 

Perry is a super-smart businessman. He is from the private sector, and has never been a politician. He drives a blue Chevy Volt, more than 38,000 miles since the campaign started. His positions on climate change (rising waters and hurricanes that threaten our district every year), on strengthening health-care protections including pre-existing conditions, lowering insurance rates and high prescription drug costs, on DACA and immigration, on infrastructure spending (very relevant to a burgeoning infrastructure economy on Long Island), are all welcome. These are very attainable goals and not extremist. 

He has my vote.

DAVID POSNETT

Despicable

Plainview, N.Y.

October 26, 2018

Dear David,

During my 52 years as a NYSUT member, I never dreamed that (Long Island’s!) New York State Senate majority leader, John Flanagan, would ever call my teachers union a “force of evil.” That is obviously a ridiculous and despicable assertion, especially coming from an elected leader whom I would never gratuitously associate with evil-doers such as Osama bin Laden, Adolf Hitler, or Parkland, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Sandy Hook mass murderers of men, women, and children. 

RICHARD SIEGELMAN