Letters to the Editor: 07.19.18

Our readers comments

Our Thoreau

Springs

July 11, 2018

Dear David,

Marge Winski is one of those people whose presence and ability to communicate eloquently makes the world a better place. Her tenure as light keeper is unmatched in the history of the Montauk Point Light. Her contributions to The Beacon, the annual publication of the Montauk Historical Society, whether photographic or literary, have been sensitively poetic, capturing mood and instilling thought. She has gracefully contributed with creativity and style.

She is our Thoreau. She is our loss and now, at long last, Maine’s gain. You will be missed.

Sincerely,

STEPHANIE BALOGHY

Thanks

Montauk

July 3, 2017

To The Editor:

It has been 39 years that the Friends of the Montauk Library has run our annual book fair, first on the green and now at the library. We are pleased to report that this year we raised almost $9,000 to support the programs of the Montauk Library.

We want to thank the many people who made this possible. We must thank our volunteers who did anything and everything, from baking for our bake sale to spending the whole weekend at the library. 

We again asked the help of the Coast Guard Station here in Montauk. They came through for us, big time. They sent strong, polite, young people who made our lives so much easier.

We must thank the many people who donate quality books, yard-sale items, and jewelry all year for us to sell and recycle, and the businesses that donate supplies for us to use and sell, and items to be part of our bucket raffle.

Thanks also to Denise DiPaolo and the staff of the Montauk Library for all of their help, and we cannot forget to thank the crowds that come to shop and buy raffle tickets.

I would personally like to thank the executive board of the Friends of the Montauk Library who, under the leadership of Bob-E Metzger, our book fair chairperson, work hard to prepare for this all year.

Sincerely,

SALLY KRUSCH

President 

Friends of the Montauk Library

The Camel’s Back

East Hampton

July 11, 2018

Dear East Hampton Star,

If you are an old reader of my letters, you will know that I have tried for years to suggest ways that visitors and locals, both in East Hampton and on the East End in general, could learn to share our community. Sadly, after many years of trying to be as neutral as I could, the straw has appeared that has broken the camel’s back. After 50 years of living out here with only one fender-bender, and a minor one at that in my entire family, we just had two in just over one week, neither of which was our fault. 

The first happened at Bridgehampton’s Citarella. We were turning into the back entrance to the parking lot and the driver found her way blocked, so she stopped. We had been stopped for at least 30 seconds when an S.U.V. slammed into us. According to the body shop, the S.U.V. had been going more than 40 m.p.h. and the speed limit was only 20. How do I know that this nudnik was a tourist? He told me: “You can’t blame me! I’m not from around here and I don’t know these roads. And besides, you had right of way and didn’t take it, so this is all your fault!” That’s what he said. In fact, the whole thing was his fault, and his insurance is paying for our damages. 

The second happened just over a week (well, nine days) later. I was stopped at a red light on Sagg Main while waiting to turn right onto 27. I had been at the light for a minute or so when some stupid lady rear-ended me. There was no damage and we let the whole thing go, but I gave her a real chewing out before leaving. All she could say was “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” which doesn’t cut the mustard in cases like this. 

Since both of these incidents happened in the middle of the day, and because the roads have become so unsafe at this time of day, for the remainder of the summer I feel I can’t be out on the road, or in public at all for that matter, after 9 a.m. Thus I will get up at 5 a.m., do my shopping and errands before 9, and spend the rest of the day at home. If I don’t, I feel that there will be a very unfortunate encounter.

Other problems which have brought me to this decision: being cursed at by bicyclists who are running red lights and stop signs, nearly being run over by bicycles on sidewalks, being told by tourists that I don’t belong in the Golden Pear because I’m not “Hamptons” enough (Hello? I live here and have been a customer at the Pear since the day it opened), being told to find another beach to fly kites; not being able to fish at Louse Point or Gerard Drive because people’s dogs run loose and break into my tackle box or there are people swimming in the channel (which is illegal, or was the last time I checked), there is no beach that is free of people with cellphones or devices (even if there were, they are so crowded that visiting them is unpleasant), people with beach-driving permits abuse the privilege, people actually go to the Nature Trail in order to make phone calls or do work, they take dogs — large ones — into restaurants and expect them to be welcome, they place small children on counters where food is prepared or served, they leave garbage everywhere, if they do take their garbage to the dump, they throw their nonrecyclables in with the recyclables — the dump often smells like a diaper pail crossed with a frat-house bathroom the night after a huge party, tourists and visitors cross dangerous streets without using designated crosswalks; in doing so, they often jump out from between large vehicles, surprising any oncoming driver.

The real problem is, as was written in an editorial in this paper a few weeks ago, that there are too many people allowed into our community at this time of year, and we simply can’t accommodate them all safely or comfortably. Our infrastructure isn’t built for it. What’s left of our natural environment can’t take the abuse. And they show no respect or consideration for those of us who live here year round. 

And another aspect of the problem is that as locals we don’t get to enjoy our beaches during warm weather without suffering an invasion of locust-like, seasonally fickle people. After living through winters with heavy snow and frigid temperatures, it would be nice to go to the beach on a warm spring day and put a kite in the air without being told that you’re taking up too much of the beach. Or having someone’s dog pee on my beach duffel (which seems to happen a lot). 

In addition to the two rear-endings, in that same period, I had other very nasty encounters with tourists. For example, a man had brought his kid to the Golden Pear and had him in a huge stroller, which took up way too much room. After taking an exorbitant amount of time to place his order, he then proceeded to leave the carriage blocking the self-serve coffee area. When I explained to him that he couldn’t block that area because other people might want to use it (I didn’t remind him that people who haven’t had their coffee can be very cranky), he said, “I’m sorry a 1-year-old ruined your day!” to which I replied, “The 1-year-old isn’t the one who parked the stroller — you did, Mr. Tourist!” The next day, driving down Long Lane, I was driving below the speed limit to avoid any unfortunate encounters with deer. A car started tailgating me, honking his horn and flashing his lights. At the intersection at Stephen Hand’s Path at the stop sign, he paused to scream obscenities at me and berate me for trying to be a safe driver. I really do hope he hit a deer on his way to whatever accident he was late for. 

Later that same morning I watched as some guy walked his dog in the crop fields, allowing the dog to pee and poop. This is how crops get contaminated with E. coli and other bacterial pathogens. In addition, I have heard all too many stories of rudeness, abuse, and entitled behavior among those who choose to visit our community. And in part we can blame Hollywood and television for glamorizing our area and telling people that it’s many things that it isn’t.

This is not a good place for a biking vacation — the roads are simply too unsafe and most drivers, even if they can, won’t share the road. This is not a good place for jogging — most of our back roads have no sidewalks or margins and unless you are willing to run on the grass, running on the road puts you at risk (see biking above).

The Hamptons are not a place to internet-shop. Most people who live here year round don’t appreciate extremely loud parties, which last all night. 

Maybe someone can explain to me why people have to light up their yards as if it were daylight regardless of whether they are using the house or not — between overbright public and private lighting, we can only observe a fraction of the stars we could back in the 1970s and ’80s. 

To sum up, I believe that it should be a privilege to visit our area, not an inalienable right. People visiting us should learn how to behave themselves. We are happy to share our beaches and other resources so long as visitors remember that they don’t live here and we do! We expect them to be thoughtful. Don’t leave garbage around. Don’t curse at locals. Don’t overbuy at our grocery stores — you can shop for groceries from home when you get home. Most important, please don’t race out here on the first nice day and crowd our community. 

Chances are, visitors spent their winter months someplace warm with a nice beach. Most of us did not, and we would like to have the beaches to ourselves for a month or two out of the year without having to fight for towel and umbrella space. In other words, many of us are fed up with the behavior of non-locals and would prefer they went elsewhere. [Note: I would use much stronger language if it were allowed.]

Sorry the tone of this letter is so angry but I really am fed up with these people. Thanks for reading.

Sincerely, 

MATT HARNICK

P.S. Who has also recently been called “a very mean man” for trying to prevent a kid from sitting in a pool of dog pee. 

Behavior

East Hampton

June 14, 2018

Dear David

Those who know Rose Brown know she comes to her new position on the East Hampton Village Board with a full tool box and ready to get to work. The comment referenced by Adrienne Kitaeff last week, and quoted here in this paper, during Rose’s swearing-in by the mayor is not only so behind the times but also shows a lack of good, clear judgment, respect, and sensitivity. I think it is a mistake to continue to overlook this type of behavior.

BETSY PETROSKI

Timely Issues

Springs

July 16, 2018

Dear David,

Your editorials from last week addressed two timely and significant issues: Driving safety and the Springs School septic. 

First, as to our dangerous roads. By the skin of my teeth, I am not dead. There are two entrances onto Accabonac Road from Town Lane. One provides a view of the traffic in both directions. The other is very, very dangerous. The dangerous entrance needs to be blocked off. Safer drivers take that safer entrance. The dangerous entrance does not provide an adequate view of traffic on Accabonac Road.

A driver came down Town Lane at 40-50 miles per hour and did not even slow down and plowed directly onto Accabonac, missing me only because I swerved. This has happened to me twice, so I imagine it’s happened to others. I’ll notify the police and the town board, and until the time that this is changed, please be aware that those coming down Town Lane cannot see you well enough if you are on Accabonac. 

Second, the Springs School has known for over a decade when their broken septic system caused them to go on public water that it needed to be fixed. I’m glad “something” is going to be done, but I share your concerns about the type being proposed. 

As a neighbor, I share the water table with the school, as do many of us, and the health of Accabonac Harbor is suffering as well. The Springs School, in the size it has grown into, should never have been built in that location. They should have looked to other sites on which to place new facilities and cleared fields. 

Sincerely,

SUSAN HARDER

No Overall Plan

Amagansett

July 15, 2018

Dear David,

Your editorial about the proposed nitrogen-reducing septic system at the Springs School is spot on. The real point is not the specifics of that project, but that the town has no overall plan as to what must be done to ensure clean, healthy surface and groundwater.

The hit-or-miss approach, however well meaning, is quite likely to waste the money we have for this purpose without in the end achieving the goal. 

Can’t the town board do better than this?

Sincerely,

JILL DANIS

Restore Our Waters

Springs

July 15, 2018

Dear David,

The overflow crowd that came to the Accabonac Protection Committee health of Accabonac Harbor forum last Thursday was evidence of the keen interest so many of our residents take in the environmental health of our waters. The forum got rave reviews from the audience — no wonder, as the panelists all gave terrific presentations on topics ranging from salt-marsh ecosystems to sea level rise, to pesticide-free landscaping, to oyster gardening, to the myriad projects the town has accomplished or is in the process of accomplishing to restore our waters to greater health.

When Kim Shaw and Melissa Winslow of the East Hampton Natural Resources Department reported on these projects, I think it came as a surprise to many (including myself) just how much the town is doing to prevent and remediate pollution of our waters, with projects past, current, and planned for Pussy’s Pond, Landing Lane, and Shipyard Lane, as well as ongoing testing of Accabonac Harbor. 

Sources of pollution are multiple. They include groundwater runoff (pesticides and nitrogen-loading lawn fertilizers, as well as animal waste), nitrogen from inefficient septic systems and cesspools, and fecal coliform bacteria.

The Accabonac Protection Committee co-funded testing of nitrogen levels in groundwater that flows into Accabonac Harbor. The resulting groundwater nitrogen studies conducted by Cornell Cooperative Extension in Pussy’s Pond and Accabonac Harbor over the past few years have shown consistently elevated groundwater nitrogen levels draining into Pussy’s Pond, both on the School Street side and the Gardiner’s Avenue side. Ammonia, which is the form of nitrogen present in urine, has been found in the groundwater tested in the area of Accabonac Harbor closest to the Springs School. 

The  bio-retention areas and permeable reactive barriers being installed (or in the case of Pussy’s Pond, already installed) by the town at the various sites named above will help prevent groundwater runoff. Nitrogen studies are ongoing with other mitigation. 

But point source pollution is very important, too. There is, as yet, no point source mitigation from the Springs School. That is what the $1.3 million state grant to the school will provide. The Accabonac Protection Committee is fully in support of this effort, as well as of all the work the town is doing to clean up the harbor. Those interested in finding out more can visit the Accabonac Protection Committee Facebook page to watch a video of the forum at which these projects are described.

Sincerely,

FRANCESCA RHEANNON

President

Accabonac Protection Committee

Gathering the Data

East Hampton

July 15, 2018

Dear Mr. Rattray:

Let’s begin by recognizing and applauding the continuing efforts of Fred Thiele, Ken LaValle, Bridget Fleming, our town board, and Department of Natural Resources that resulted in an award of $1.33 million from Gov. Cuomo’s Clean Water Infrastructure Funds to the Springs School to install a low nitrogen septic system. 

Your editorial correctly noted that we do not really know the exact amount of Accabonac Harbor water quality amelioration that might result from this system, but we do know that it will most certainly greatly reduce the greatest source of nitrogen point pollution in our hamlet, the effluent from the Springs School. Nitrogen madness? Really? 

Studies conducted by the Cornell Cooperative Extension in conjunction with our own Department of Natural Resources have been reported in The Star and elsewhere and document excessive amounts of nitrogen, entering through groundwater. This excess nitrogen is a disaster waiting to happen, and could trigger a harmful algal bloom at any moment from the confluence of summer heat and excessive nitrogen such as what triggered blue-green algae contamination that has resulted in human illness and at least one pet’s death in Georgica Pond, as you have also reported. 

The permeable reactive barrier and the macroalgae pilot projects currently being conducted under the auspices of the town’s Department of Natural Resources in Springs and elsewhere in town are gathering the data necessary better to address these problems with continuing analysis. Sadly, permeable reactive barriers alone do not mitigate fecal contamination, but do help remove nitrogen. One step at a time is still a step in the right direction.

You have also reported that the Town of East Hampton has correctly mandated that substantial additions to existing homes, new construction, or replacement of septic systems are to be required to have innovative nonpolluting septic installations now that the Suffolk County Health Department has at long last approved these devices for individual residential, multi-home community use, and large-scale installations such as that at the Springs School.

Innovative septic system recommendations for water quality improvement, and the change in the county’s rules, as well as having informed residents, particularly in areas of harbor overlay and groundwater recharge, of the availability of the Suffolk County grant and East Hampton Town’s reimbursement programs for such installations were in The Star. The well-covered Montauk sewer district plan also includes a proposal for a community-size installation. None of these systems were approved by the Suffolk County Health Department when the 2013 management plan you reference was published.

Be that as it may, the 2013 management plan did identify fecal contamination as the prime risk, and stormwater runoff, a source of animal and human waste, and also failing septic systems in groundwater and overflowing after rainfall. 

These, although currently being mitigated through the use of spillways and diversionary projects like storm drains throughout the town, and in watershed areas on Three Mile and Accabonac Harbors, are critical and ongoing problems, exacerbated by climate perturbations and carbon in the atmosphere. But picking up pet waste rather than leaving it will directly mitigate coliform contamination in our waters.

Additionally, there are a number of projects underway in the town to reduce identified sources of water contamination, and the Department of Natural Resources has a presentation on these that can be accessed online through the Facebook page and website of the Accabonac Protection Committee. 

These data will inform the design of the system at the Springs School and, going forward, further mitigation efforts of the town and county at large. The Accabonac Protection Committee, in its new organization as a duly chartered not-for-profit, also looks forward to partnering with the Department of Natural Resources to co-fund microbial source tracking in Accabonac, which will identify the species, including us, contributing to the fecal contamination you correctly referenced.

The same is true of current studies underway by a variety of institutions as you have reported, from Stony Brook University and the Cornell Cooperative Extension and others, and concerned and dedicated volunteers like Surfrider, Peconic Baykeeper, and Concerned Citizens of Montauk, Defend H2O, Friends of Georgica Pond, and the East Hampton Town Trustees, all of whom have identified nitrogen as a pernicious threat in our waters. The sources for the contamination include animal and human waste, the overuse of fertilizers, etc.

You may not like that the grant to the Springs School will go for this type of system, regardless of the taxpayers of the hamlet welcoming even the modicum of relief this represents, but every bit of effort in this complex area of water pollution and contamination is to be commended. No magic wands available, just science.

No doubt a wider palette of information and response will be most welcome as it develops, but in the meantime, the waste and documented presence of urinary ammonia of about a thousand flushes daily for over nine months of the year will be treated before migration into our ground and navigable waters, a substantial drop in the bucket in my opinion.

I would prefer very frankly if you would delve more deeply into why the Springs School had so long delayed 

responding to its obviously failing 

and overloaded septic system, instead dawdling in its response as it plodded.

IRA BAROCAS

The Only Power

East Hampton

July 15, 2018

To the Editor,

With all the press coverage and hand wringing over the “Deepwater Wind question,” no one seems to be focused on the real question that will soon be before the East Hampton Town Board.

The real question is not about a referendum on the Deepwater Wind project. The real question is whether to grant landing rights in Wainscott and accept the benefits package or not.

Unfortunately, some people think that it is a referendum. But, it isn’t. The reality is — despite all the tumult — the East Hampton Town Board does not have the ability to stop the project. That ship has sailed. A fixed price contract was already granted, and approved by the New York State attorney general, months ago.

Let’s talk about what power — the only power — the board does have. The board has the power to say yes to landing in Wainscott and in so doing, choose to represent its constituents now and in the future. Or, by saying No, allow the cable to land in New York State-owned Hither Hills. If the town board says no, it would be shirking its duty to represent East Hampton and its constituents.

Why? For three reasons:

First, there is the issue of being able to participate with some 30 federal and New York State entities and two other states, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, which will be reviewing the siting plan for Deepwater Wind, including doing environmental impact reviews. (The reviews are listed in Appendix B to Deepwater Wind’s environmental and permitting assessment at dwwind.com.)

Why is being able to participate in the review process relevant? Because technically East Hampton Town’s laws are pre-empted by federal and state statutes. Moreover, if the cable lands in Hither Hills, the town has no jurisdiction over that land and thus, the town’s standing to participate in the reviews at all is subject to challenge. However, if the town grants landing rights in Wainscott, Deepwater Wind has agreed under the benefits package it will grant in exchange that it will not object to the town’s participation in the siting review process. (See Sec. 2.11 of the benefits package.) In other words, the town will have the reassurance that it can represent its constituents in the review process.

If the cable lands in Hither Hills, there is no such reassurance that it can participate and further, PSEG Long Island can conduct itself as it always has under its state law power, which pre-empts the town’s. What does that mean, you ask? It means that as a PSEG Long Island contractor, Deepwater Wind could act like PSEG Long Island. And we know from recent history, PSEG is not required to consult the community when it operates in its area of public utility easement or on state land, whether it’s installing overheight poles or poles with contaminants or placing substations. 

However, and second, if the town grants landing rights in Wainscott, Deepwater Wind has agreed, under the benefits package, to abide by our local laws when installing the cable, and specifically to perform its work within certain defined dates, times, and other criteria which the town can dictate. (See Secs. 2.10 and 3.) In short, the town will be able to retain control over the landing of the cable and the manner in which the work is carried out.

Third, and finally, granting landing rights in Wainscott means Deepwater Wind, under the benefits package, will endeavor to fill jobs locally (rather than using Rhode Island or nearby Connecticut as a hub), appoint a fisheries liaison, and grant to the town some $8.5 million in funding for an ocean industries sustainability program, an inshore fisheries resource assistance fund, a Wainscott water infrastructure fund, an energy and sustainability resiliency fund, and a marine infrastructure management and improvement fund, as well as covering costs for burying storm-vulnerable overhead lines in Wainscott and other badly needed Wainscott infrastructure improvements.  

All these benefits will allow the town to have a continuing role in representing its constituents now and in the future. Landing the cable in Hither Hills provides none of these benefits.

Thus, the question really is whether the town wants to cede control now over the siting review process, stand by while PSEG Long Island’s state power pre-empts the town’s laws and have no funding to voice its constituents’ concerns now and in the future. Saying Yes to landing in Wainscott and receiving the benefits package means being able to retain control for now, enforce local laws, participate in the siting review process, and have a role in the future representation of matters of ongoing interest to its constituents by receiving funding to do so. 

When framed this way, the town would be foolish to cede control of this magnitude. Rather it should grant the landing rights in Wainscott and accept the benefits package in order to continue to represent East Hampton’s constituents, meaningfully, now and in the future.

Sincerely,

JOAN MORGAN MCGIVERN, ESQ.

Wainscott Beach

Wainscott

July 16, 2018

Dear Editors of The East Hampton Star: 

This letter may be too late to sway any government leader’s opinions, but nevertheless I wanted to voice my strong opposition to the Deepwater Wind project. In addition to writing this letter, I also wrote to the Town of East Hampton officials, and I urge all concerned voters and citizens to write to them as well.

The majority of East Hampton and Wainscott residents are unaware of the Deepwater Wind project and its consequences for probable large rate hikes for electrical power and the destruction of Beach Lane beach in Wainscott.   

I attended several public hearings on the project, including the LTV meeting on May 17. The public, the residents of the East End, were in my opinion strongly against the plan for various reasons, but not for the obvious nimby (not-in-my-backyard) reason.

 Carl Safina, who holds a Rutgers University doctorate and is a prolific author, speaker, ecologist, and native Long Islander, spoke eloquently about what a terrible project this is from the economics to our fragile environment, and with scant benefits other than perhaps to the limited partners of Deepwater. 

Perhaps you don’t know Carl Safina’s work and reputation. The New York Times Book Review wrote the following about his book “A Sea in Flames.”:“The blowout was awful, but look at the bigger picture, writes Safina in this illuminating study: ‘The real catastrophe is the oil we don’t spill, the oil we burn, the coal we burn, the gas we burn.’ ”

Carl Safina has committed his life and career to protect our environment, wildlife, and fight climate change. And he is dead set against the plan.

Si Kinsella spoke of all the deception and lack of information coming from Deepwater Wind; e.g., what we will pay for the power? The big question mark. No answer. How can the merits of any project be evaluated if you don’t know the final cost?

The Rhode Island fisherman who traveled all the way from Block Island to attend the meeting spoke passionately about how Rhode Island fishermen were promised the world and lied to by Deepwater Wind. They were paid next to nothing for their losses and to add insult to injury asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement. So much for working together with the fishermen in harmony.

I share their arguments, but in addition I have other concerns as well. What happens when the first northeaster clobbers us and exposes the cable as the ocean dumps the sand offshore and to the west? Do we have assurances that such an event will never happen? Just like the assurances the Town of East Hampton received from the Army Corps of Engineers in Montauk? Assurances are just words and mean nothing. Human hubris vs. Mother Nature. Mother Nature wins.

The Deepwater Wind argument is that there are over 4,000 wind farms in Europe. The cables for wind farms in Europe do not come ashore onto barrier beaches akin to Long Island’s that are exposed to multiple northeasters every fall and winter, or to the occasional hurricane. Hurricanes in Europe are extremely rare. Please Google it for yourself.

Would the buried 48-inch-diameter cable, which would be carrying 90 megawatts of power, be exposed after the first storm or the second? No one can know for sure. And when that happened, who would pay for the damage? That you can be sure of, Town of East Hampton taxpayers, just like Montauk sand bags.

But more important than money is the destruction of the beach, wherever the cable makes landfall. Wainscott beach is one of the more special places in the Hamptons and arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and it would be forever ruined by this cable.

Would anybody ever swim on a beach knowing 90 megwatts of power is surging just beneath its sandy bottom? Do you want to build sandcastles with your children or grandchildren while listening to the low hum of power surging through the cable?

The additional power supplied by Deepwater Wind is supposedly needed to fulfill this unbridled demand for power on the East End. Really? Can it get any more crowded than this past July Fourth? The real plan is to export the power to the west, and the total cost will be borne by PSEG ratepayers, our beach, local fishermen, and our marine habitat.

And who will benefit? D.E. Shaw, the private equity firm funding the deal, will. To borrow the phrase from Matt Taibbi: D.E. Shaw is the “great vampire squid” wrapped around the face of us taxpayers sucking us dry under the veil of helping the environment, all the while destroying ours (the Beach Lane environment) and has hoodwinked LIPA/PSEG and New York State, in my humble opinion.

Finally, if we really care about the environment, fossil fuels, and our carbon footprint, let’s shift the focus from the supply side. How about working on the demand side? Do we really need to air-condition unoccupied McMansions? Much can be done on the demand side.

Respectfully, 

MICHAEL WOOTTON

Two Neighbors

Wainscott

July 11, 2018

Dear Editor,

The Town of East Hampton works to maintain quality of life and balance individual property rights with the interests of a uniquely beautiful community. So our family is deeply perplexed by the town’s actions in paving the way for a wooded lot in Wainscott to be developed in direct violation of an agreement between the two neighbors whose homes border the lot. One neighbor is our family. 

Back in 1969, an original Wainscott developer, Wesley Miller, suggested that our neighbor and we split the lot for the express purpose of keeping it undeveloped. We did exactly that. But after our neighbor passed away, his estate’s law firm sought to sell the lot for development. 

We immediately sought help from the Town of East Hampton, local elected officials, legal counsel, and have done everything we can to stop this greedy breach. Nothing seems to have worked. So far, the town seems to have ignored our opposition, even our attorneys, and acquiesced. 

Can integrity and peace be preserved in Wainscott? It can’t be too late.

AMY BACH

With Blinders On

Amagansett

July 15, 2018

To the Editor:

The town board recently authorized, without a State Environmental Quality Review Act review, issuance of a bond to add to the height of communications towers. 

Contrary to the advice of town counsel, a SEQRA review of environmental impacts should have been ordered. State law clearly mandates that in the event of a funding action, the entire project must be evaluated under SEQRA; the act of funding itself cannot be examined with blinders on, as an abstraction without environmental effects. The actual result, the heightening of the towers, will have impacts in the real world that are not exempt from SEQRA review. 

It is not too late for the town board to fix this omission and order an environmental assessment on this project. 

JONATHAN WALLACE

To Give Back

Springs

July 16, 2018

Dear David,

Each and every day as I look out over Gardiner’s Bay I’m reminded of how lucky I am to have been raised in this incredible community with so many wonderful people. 

I am very fortunate to have two wonderful parents my dad (a.k.a. the fish commander), who is 94, and my mom, who is 85. There were also the wonderful parents and families of my childhood friends. As kids you always have friends that you spend a great deal of time with and their families. For me it was the 

Andersons, Bocks, Fenchels, Lesters, Millers, and Schaffers. 

Then as I got older there was that extended family of the volunteer Fire Department and its many incredible members, a who’s who of local generational East Hampton families and newcomers alike. From all these wonderful people we kids and later as young adults learned a love of nature and the importance of conservation, community pride and respect, compassion for those less fortunate, resilience, dedication, and volunteerism.

Throughout my life I’ve taken those life lessons, applying them not only to my six children but also to those I have been fortunate to serve and help along the way as a Little League coach, a football coach, a volunteer in the Springs and Montauk Fire Departments, a career choice of public service as a state police officer, police supervisor, and as the founding Police Benevolent Association president of New York State’s fifth biggest police union. I have been and continue to be a lucky person, thank God every day, but still nowhere near enough, for everyone in my life and the opportunity to give back.

After a lengthy 34-year career in law enforcement as a police administrator and union C.E.O. and P.B.A. president, I am in a good spot in life. I, with your support, would like to continue my dedication to public service by bringing home to East Hampton my extensive experience in government operations, public safety, public sector employee labor relations, government finance and budgeting, government policy administration, government relations, and legislative affairs administration to help and improve town government so to better serve our beloved community.

Last week I had been asked and had accepted the Republican and Conservative nominations to run for East Hampton Town Board this November. In my view, elected public service is not about party loyalty, whether there is an “R” or a “D” next to your name; nor is it about a salary, benefits, and pension. Elected public service is about service and dedication to a community comprised of all walks of life and beliefs regardless of political, ethnic, religious, gender, and choice of lifestyle. I believe this to my core.

In the New York State Legislature as a government affairs representative I have tirelessly advocated for legislation that would promote public safety, protect citizens from discrimination, preserve civil liberties, education reform, and environmental protection, to name a few. My ability to be successful required that I have a proven record of bipartisan ability, integrity, flexibility, empathy, and ability to work with all regardless of political ideology.

East Hampton, now more than ever, needs a town councilman who is free of political party pressure to toe the party line instead of what’s right for the community. That is why I want to serve our community on the East Hampton Town Board and humbly ask for your support this November. 

Sincerely

MANNY VILAR

How Odd

Amagansett

July 16, 2018

Dear David,

Poor Jeanne Frankl, until recently chairwoman of the East Hampton Democratic Committee. The more she struggles to defend the indefensible, the deeper she digs the hole she is in.

A letter two weeks ago reported correctly that after David Lys was appointed to the town board, Frankl appointed four members to the Democratic Committee to vote for him as candidate in this November’s election.

Frankl even went so far as to appoint two people to seats that were not vacant, pushing aside the legitimate committee members. Two of her last-minute appointments did not attend the candidate screening. Why bother? They already knew who they were supposed to vote for.

Frankl responded last week with a ringing defense of Mr. Lys’s fine qualities. How odd. While Mr. Lys may have been the intended beneficiary of the committee packing, stacking, and vote rigging, no one has ever suggested that Lys was the author of the scheme or bears any responsibility for it. It was the work of Frankl herself, aided and abetted by Democratic Committee fixer Chris Kelley.

Why then does Mr. Lys require a defense by Jeanne Frankl? By associating him with her own sordid behavior she does him no favor.

RONA KLOPMAN

Community Service

Amagansett

July 12, 2018

Dear David

I feel compelled to correct the narrative behind the restoration of the Amagansett Life-Saving Station, which seems to have become a significant point continually made in the David Lys affair. First to be clear, I have known David Lys for over a decade, like him personally, respect him professionally, will support his candidacy for the town board, and believe he is setting a great example for his generation about the importance of community service. 

That being said, I must clarify that former Councilman Dominick Stanzione was the sole driving force from our community in getting this project visibility, and most important, getting it funded. I know this as fact because I was there. With some initial seed money for Bob Hefner’s historical structure report that came from my family and the both funny and brilliant first re-enactment, this was Dominick’s show.

He shared with me the idea that with these two moves perhaps one of the town’s quiet philanthropists would come forward with a major grant.

Guess what? A few days after the first re-enactment, Ben Krupinski stepped in with a huge check, labor, and materials, with a promise along with mine to see it to completion. He had his arm twisted half off by Stanzione. (My elbow was a little sore as well.) The community rallied and inch by inch the complex restoration project was finished. 

David’s involvement, while very important in the later stages of the project and now in its operation, came long after the crucial part of the deal was done. 

Let’s be careful to give credit where credit is due. This was Dominick’s idea and his parting gift to our community. He deserves the accolade whether one agreed with his politics or took offense at his aggressive (and sometimes irritating) stances on matters before the board. It need not be said again but the community will miss the quiet generosity of Ben Krupinski more than we even know. 

Very truly yours

JOHN MANNIX

Unrelenting Grip

East Hampton

July 16, 2018

Dear David,

One has to laugh, or cry, or both. While noisily proclaiming the need for Democratic Party unity, Judith Hope, Chris Kelley, Cate Rogers, Peter Van Scoyoc, and Larry Cantwell issued a press release today, ostensibly to announce their slate of candidates for the Democratic Committee, that consisted almost entirely of smears against fellow Democrats who dare to stand for public office without their leave. (In the midst of all the venom, they did manage to muster one sentence in favor of their own candidates.)

Make no mistake, it is the unrelenting grip of the old guard of the Democratic Party at every level, its desperate efforts to exclude the grass roots and maintain its monopoly on power, that has cost the party hundreds upon hundreds of local offices in the past two decades, and ultimately set the table for Donald Trump in a presidential election it should have been impossible to lose. 

The “my way or the highway” attitude, their hostility to actual elections in which the grass roots has a say, their sense of complete entitlement to determine who shall represent the Democratic Party, is on display again, and they don’t even realize how ugly it is or the damage they do to the Democratic Party. In fact, they don’t care. They only care about maintaining their monopoly on power to the end of time. 

Well, we shall have competitive elections in the Democratic primary this September. And that’s a good thing. All who have faith in democracy should welcome the fact that people who aspire to public or party office will have to stand before the voters and explain themselves. Democracy without elections, or elections fixed by leadership, is no democracy at all.

Sincerely,

PAT TRUNZO III


Mr. Trunzo is a candidate for town councilman in the East Hampton Town Democratic primary. Ed.

Hush Money

East Hampton

July 16, 2018

Dear David,

A couple of weeks ago, one of your readers wrote that I nearly “made his head explode” when I wrote that the town board has done nothing, “not even commissioned a review of the scientific literature,” to evaluate the environmental impacts on East Hampton of the Deepwater Wind project. He then accused me of thereby slandering the town board and the work of the town’s professional staff, accompanied by a long explanation of the importance of ending dependence on fossil fuels.

I am afraid that, for all his zeal on behalf of renewable energy, your reader was uninformed. My statement was absolutely true. The town does not even claim to have done any environmental analysis. It says it is not required to because the environmental analysis will be done later by and for the State Public Service Commission. 

However, the town proposes now to grant beach-crossing easements, that Deepwater Wind wants in order to land its cable, before the Public Service Commission has done its analytical work and issued a “certificate of environmental compatibility and public need.” I think that is improper.

But let’s understand the real stakes. Whether this project is built does not depend on the action or inaction of the Town of East Hampton. If the Public Service Commission approves the project, it will be built. If not, it will not be built. So those such as your reader who feel that the decision of East Hampton will either save the planet from global warming or condemn it are a little bit overexcited. 

The real stakes here are much more mundane: money, cloaked in the virtue of renewable energy. Deepwater Wind wants East Hampton to grant easements across the beach to save Deepwater money, and it offers some of those savings, $8 million, to the town as “community benefits.” The town board’s fingers simply itch for that money, although it amounts to less than $25 per year per household. 

While the town board’s fingers itch and twitch, it has not done the work to determine either how much the pot is, that is, how much Deepwater Wind stands to gain if the town says yes, or the potential adverse impacts of the project on the people of East Hampton, particularly the fishing industry, which would be the most directly affected. 

If it should turn out that our fishing industry is damaged, the town board says, too bad, not our problem. We’re busy saving the planet. Well, if protecting our fishing industry and the livelihoods of local families that depend on it is not the problem of our town board, whose problem is it exactly?

By the time we know whether the fishing industry is hurt, or if there are other adverse effects on East Hampton, the town board will have long since taken the Deepwater Wind hush money and lost all ability to bargain for protection for East Hampton. That is dereliction of its responsibilities. Facts first, then action.

In the very same issue of your paper, Prudence Carabine, who writes that she is Councilman David Lys’s godmother, accused me of indifference to the fate of local families, “Bonackers, black families, and Montaukett families,” in contrast, she says, to Mr. Lys. I don’t know why she believes such a thing. 

I understand that Mr. Lys played a large role in raising the money to reconstruct the Amagansett Life-Saving Station, a bit of Bonac history. It is now a small museum. I led the effort to found a school, the Hayground School in Bridgehampton. It is not a museum, but a living organization that has served many local families and has a specific vocation of inclusivity for minority communities, including the local African-American community and the Shinnecock community, with which it has formed an enduring bond. 

You will find my name in the chain of title for the school’s land, because I acquired it for the school before there was a corporation to do so, and I made the founding and substantial contribution to its scholarship fund so that it could realize its dream of inclusivity. 

So, why does Prudence Carabine accuse me of indifference to local working families? Unlike Councilman Lys, her godson, I am in favor of prioritizing protection for East Hampton families whose livelihood may be adversely affected by Deepwater Wind over hush money worth no more than $25 per year per household.

Sincerely,

DAVID GRUBER

Old News

Amagansett

July 16, 2018

Dear David,

Today is a dark day for our country. Donald Trump stood alongside a murderous dictator and our longtime adversary and sided with him against the conclusions of our own intelligence committee and the Republican-led Senate intelligence committee. Earlier this morning he tweeted: “Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of US foolishness stupidity and now, the RIGGED WITCH HUNT.” This response just days after the hunters indicted a dozen more Russian witches.

It’s really old news. At other times Trump has stated, “He [Putin] said he didn’t meddle. I really believe it when he tells me he means it.” Or: “Don’t forget. All he [Putin] said is he never did that. I think he’s very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.”

Imagine if Hillary Clinton had been aided by the Russians through an attack on America’s electoral process in 2016. What would Trump’s supporters have said then? Impeachment proceedings would already be underway.

Dan Coats, Trump’s own director of national intelligence, said this week that the digital structure of America is under attack. He said the worst foreign nation attacking America was Russia. He said, “The intent of the Kremlin is to undermine our democracy.”

We’ve seen courage from some Fox News commentators like Smith and Cavuto, from some Republican senators like Sasse, Corker, Flake, Graham, and McCain, and from conservative commentators like Kristol, Will, Peters, and Krauthammar. But now the rest of those who have stood by this vile man must speak. Donald Trump has betrayed his office. He has betrayed our democracy. He has betrayed America.

Best,

PETER HONERKAMP

Outright Hatred

East Hampton

July 15, 2018

Dear Editor,

Alec Baldwin is quoted in The Star last week saying to his rich, liberal friends at a soirée, “We need to give them a reason to vote for a Democrat,” i.e., the regular men and women of the South Fork in the upcoming midterm elections. I thought I might take a moment and expand on the article to offer a few more reasons to vote for Perry Gershon, who just so recently registered to vote here in East Hampton. 

First off, as residents of New York we just don’t pay enough in taxes. Perry will be sure to take care of that for you; he’ll spend your money better than you ever could.

You also happen to think MS-13 is a cool, new Latino boy band and are not too sure why people hate their music. Additionally, you think borders, sovereignty, and laws are way overrated; as long as it doesn’t affect you or your family, anyone and everyone should be allowed into the country. You also think Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a terrorist organization and who needs pesky law-enforcement officer types stopping the flow of drugs into the country; Perry Gershon is your man.

Speaking of our men and women in blue you have another reason to vote for Perry Gershon — outright hatred of our law-enforcement officers is now a cornerstone of the Democratic Party. In the proud tradition of Barack Obama, Perry will be sure to figuratively spit in their face with every opportunity and blame them for everything that he can while he’s at it. And another thing, this damn economy is just going along too well, but fear not, electing people like Park Avenue Perry will ensure another brutal recession just like the one Bill Maher pines for. Oh how Perry misses the 1 percent GDP under Obama. Let’s go back to the good times.

Speaking of going back, why, I am sure Perry can help old Nancy Pelosi, that stunning pillar of intellect, return to the speakership in the House because she did such a stellar job when she was there before. And finally we should all be thankful that a guy like Perry Gershon took enough pity on the poor old people of the South Fork to give up his city roots and move on out here to the country and set us folk straight, a man who won’t be afraid to tell us what to think and what to do. 

It must be like suffering through a real life “Green Acres” for his family, but hey, if carpetbagging is good enough for Hillary then it’s good enough for Perry.

MICHAEL D. BOUKER

Energetically Supported

Springs

July 15, 2018

To the Editor, 

Wow. Lots of letters lately linking our congressman, Lee Zeldin, to President Trump. Thanks are in order to all those who have done so, because by linking Zeldin with the president, they associate him with all kinds of positive policies and the results of those policies. 

A booming economy, record financial markets, lower taxes, fewer stupid and unnecessary regulations, record-low unemployment (especially among African-Americans and Hispanics), rising wages, a revitalized military, and on and on. Not to mention a sitdown with the clown from North Korea and a wake-up call to our North Atlantic Treaty Organization and European Union “allies” that they have to start acting like adults and paying their bills. 

All these good things have been energetically supported by Congressman Zeldin, and he has done so in his usual quiet, disciplined, and soft-spoken manner, minus the gruff bluster we sometimes get from the president. We get the best of both worlds. 

Lee Zeldin is an honorable man, an officer and a gentleman, a devoted father and husband, a scholar and a warrior. He deserves to be re-elected.

Sincerely,

REG CORNELIA

All An Act

Rochester

July 13, 2018

To the Editor: 

Let me add my perspective to the Donald Trump debate: Trump is merely a skillful, manipulative, “gas-lighter” and con artist who intentionally appeals to our worst inner qualities because he believes that this is who and what 51 percent of us are. Namely angry, lonely, fearful, bitter, resentful, and spiteful, coldhearted haters, some of whom fear projections that one day over 50 percent of the U.S.A. population will be nonwhite. 

He plays all of us for fools and suckers because he does not believe most of the stupid things that he cleverly spoons out to us. Get it? It’s all an act. Some of us have fallen for his act. He must laugh at us every day, both his supporters as well as his critics — at least the ones who think he is sincere.

Sincerely.

STEWART B. EPSTEIN

Scary Story

East Hampton 

July 14, 2018

Lots of people don’t like children. Don’t want any. Don’t want them around. But hating kids, and often their mothers, is more complicated. Usually reserved for deviant ideologies and deranged humans or quasi-humans. How the president, Lee Zeldin, and their evangelical and Republican supporters manifest this hatred is at the root of our decaying democracy and our turn to fascism. All protests to the contrary aside, their policies tell an ugly scary story.

Clearly many of the Trump/Zeldin world have never been breastfed. Republicans and evangelicals have always been known for an aversion to breast-feeding. Republicans, because of a sexual predilection to bite and squeeze nipples, and evangelicals because in their patriarchal idiocy men are incapable of breast-feeding. Consequently they are big formula fans.

Hating women and kids, especially minority and poor ones, is a major piece of “Making America Great Again.” This weekend’s attack on Ecuador for the World Health Organization resolution regarding breast-feeding is the most recent. Everyone in the world who is not a brain-dead cretin or a Trump acolyte knows that breast-feeding is the best and least expensive way to take care of your babies. Not everyone may want to or is capable of breast-feeding but no one questions the ridiculous amount of medical and health data that supports this principle. 

Obviously, it’s not really about breast-feeding but about an intense hatred of children and their mothers (along with the formula industry living up the president’s butt). Formula requires large amounts of fresh water that is unavailable in large sections of this planet.

Less recently, the separation of mothers and kids at the border was another perfect example. Sending a lesson to people fleeing the insane violence in their countries, which the United States has played a major role in instigating. Following the Nazi internment camp model of no reunification plan for people you are destroying Trump and Company had no plan. Remarkably, several evangelical leaders were distressed by the issue even though the children weren’t white.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is the health care survival plan for millions of poor children in the country. Yet, the evil empire set out to rip it apart and get all those children to work. Trump suggested lowering the working age to 9 so the kids wouldn’t be wasting time in schools that no longer wanted them, under Dr. Devoss.

The school shootings are perhaps the best example of kid hatred. Trump thought it was a shame but followed the National Rifle Association’s lead and wants to arm teachers. Zeldin went one step further and introduced a bill that allows individuals with hidden gun permits to cross state lines even though some states have virtually no control process and anyone with $25 can get a concealed arms permit. Who are these Parkland kids and who gives a rat about them, said our racist, misogynist, kid-hating leader. 

Planned Parenthood is all about women and children 98 percent, about 2 percent abortion. But no funds from the bankrupt states in the South and Midwest. Yet, anti-abortion forces deny our history as a nation that kills and destroys habitually. We are exceptional because we pretend that we don’t do it and that we are pro life. We have never been pro life about anything. Phony religious piety doesn’t mask the intense hatred. The emperor’s new clothes is the first commandment.

So, who are these lunatics that hate women and children so powerfully and intensely? Should they be allowed to make policies for our country? Should they be allowed to vote? Would any of them survive a Nuremberg type situation?

We equivocate and discuss their perspective like there is one because we are cowards and the emperor’s new clothes is, in fact, our reality as well. These are not well-meaning but misguided good people. The evidence piles up weekly. The sheer volume of this behavior is staggering. The totality is fascism. By any name, at any time, in any place.

NEIL HAUSIG