Letters to the Editor: 09.20.18

Our readers' comments

Blessed Relief

New York City

September 11, 2018

To the editor:

Well, after 48 years as a second-home owner in Springs it finally happened to me. I am 79 years of age and started to suffer excruciating pain in my right lower kidney area on Sunday, Sept. 9. Wow, did it hurt. Called 911 at 1 p.m. Within 10 minutes a police officer and ambulance arrived to transport me to the emergency room at Southampton Hospital with sirens blaring and comforting voices from the paramedics in the ambulance, while my wife rode with the driver.

I arrived at the emergency room within a half-hour and was immediately taken into a cubicle, while my alarmed wife registered me. (They already had me in the system because of an unrelated prior visit to East Hampton Urgent Care.) I was promptly visited by any number of calm professional nurses and staff, hooked up to an IV, vitals taken, asked innumerable questions, had blood drawn while withering in 10-plus pain. Ah! 

But then Dr. Daniel Crough appeared, who calmly, patiently answered my questions and ordered pain medication. Blessed relief until moments later I was taken for a CAT scan, which indicated, you guessed it, as the good doctor predicted, I was passing a kidney stone. More pain medicine and another calm conference with Dr. Crough and I was discharged, pain pills in hand with a reminder that I was welcome back if I had more pain. 

Total time from call to 911 until discharge three hours. I’m fine and take this opportunity to thank all of the fine people at the E.R. for wonderful treatment. So for all you doubters about the E.R. at Southampton Hospital, take the above to heart.

STANLEY M. NAGLER

Old Photos

Springs

September 14, 2018

To the Editor,

I am Bill Hall, past master and current secretary of Star of the East Lodge #843. Free and Accepted Masons, East Hampton. Our lodge has a long history in East Hampton, dating back to its origin of 1903. As many of your readers may know, we have suffered through two fires. First, at the building now occupied by London Jewelers and second at Scoville Hall. 

After the last fire, we lost all furniture, and most of our records and photos. For the past two years I have been working with others to create a book of photos of our past masters, or anything relating to our long history.

I would like to reach out to the community of East Hampton to see if anyone has old photos that might be of interest. We have the ability to scan your photos, so that they will be returned to you as quickly as possible. Please help if you can. I can be reached at my home phone, 631-324-6336, or on my cellphone, 516-443-5744. 

Thank you,

BILL HALL 

Miss You

East Hampton

September 17, 2018

Dear Editor,

Love the beach.

Love the seagulls.

Love the ocean.

Most of all we love Ed, Bob, and Jim.

We were always greeted with kind words and friendship. We miss you very much.

Sincerely,

LINDA and GENE KAYE

Red Thunder Cloud

Springs

September 17, 2018

Dear Mr. Rattray,

I was glad to read Andrea Meyer’s article in The Star about Red Thunder Cloud and his extraordinary gift donation of American Indian photographs to the East Hampton Library’s archive. 

Red Thunder Cloud, a.k.a. Carlos Westez, was known as Tez to his friends. He was a singer, dancer, storyteller, and field researcher. Although he was not born of Native American descent, he was known as the last fluent speaker of the Native American Catawba language. When Red Thunder Cloud died in 1996 of a stroke at age 76, Peter Popham, a former foreign correspondent for The Independent in London, wrote “this week another language has died.” 

Tez was an intelligent outspoken man, he was also a spirited, kind, and giving person who loved and embraced the Native American way of life and was eager to share his knowledge with others. 

A friend of mine remembers him as a bridge between the Native Americans and other cultures. She recalled walking with Tez through the woods with her father and brother; throughout the walk Tez picked up indigenous plants and explained their herbal properties and what they could be used for. It made her realize that Native Americans were about nature, the love and respect of Mother Earth. 

Another friend has fond memories of his tepee in the backyard of his home near Three Mile Harbor Road, and Tez serving up steaming cups of home-brewed sassafras tea. In local school assemblies and summer camps he taught many children about Indian culture through song, dance, and music. He was an outgoing, unique individual who exemplified the Native American spirit and was accepted by Native Americans as a brother, and was once married to an Indian woman named Pretty Pony. 

Tez was involved in American Indian organizations and spent his life documenting and being a voice for all Native Americans.

He worked with anthropologist Frank Speck, collecting ethnographic data and folklore from Native American groups, and collaborated with several other academic experts on Native American cultures and languages. 

Linguist and ethnologist Ives Goddard of the Smithsonian Institution validated suspicions of Red Thunder Cloud’s identity by way of public documents, letters, and publications. He has stated that in spite of the negative is­sues surrounding Red Thunder Cloud’s identity, he has made valuable contributions to the study of ethnography. He contributed extensively to a greater understanding and protection of the Catawba and other native cultures.

The Smithsonian Museum has a re­corded collection of Red Thunder Cloud’s hunting songs and religious chants of the Catawba. He recorded a series of them in the 1940s for future generations. 

Wes Taukchiray, a historian specializing in the Catawba, said, “What I’m interested in is that he learned how to speak the Catawba language conversationally. I’m not really concerned about his ethnic origin.”

Those who knew Tez have fond memories of him and his enduring energetic bigger than life spirit.

Tez babysat for me one afternoon; he was also a man of his word. A child waiting more than two weeks for a postcard to arrive seems like forever. 

He did send a postcard: Tez is dancing with various tribal members performing a ceremonial dance during a powwow at the Shinnecock Indian Reservation. Red Thunder Cloud is the man on the far right wearing a striped headband with two feathers. How the spirit of a man can capture a young girl’s heart and the hearts of those who knew him. 

Red Thunder Cloud was a Native American Indian in intellect, heart, and soul, and true to his spiritual beliefs. At the end of his greeting he signed his name Red Thunder Cloud, underneath his signature in parentheses he wrote (Catawba). 

DONNA BROWN

Massive Hole

Amagansett

September 16, 2018

Dear Sirs:

I may be mistaken, but I always thought that active construction sites needed to have a secure fence in order to prevent accidents. The pictures included show a site on Miankoma Lane, down the road from the Amagansett School. There’s a rather massive hole where an inquisitive child could easily fall in. 

One wonders why the builder doesn’t seem aware of the potential danger and liability involved.

Sincerely,

GERALD PANE


The writer included two photographs of a Farrell Building Company project. Ed.

Behemoth Operating

East Hampton

September 17, 2018

Dear David,

“What the heck is going on there on Middle Highway? It’s huge. How did that happen?” People have asked me and other neighbors who live nearby and some right next to, behind, and across from the old pit. How did a full-scale sand-mining operation on Middle Highway off Oakview Highway in East Hampton in a noncommercial residential neighborhood, happen? Good question. 

This sandpit has drastically expanded in the last year or so, despite an entire neighborhood community up in arms about it opening again in the first place. It had been dormant for years. That alone was reason enough to close it for good. But somehow it slipped through. Gee, I wonder how? This is the “other” sandpit, if you will. You might be more familiar with Sand Land in Noyac or the Wainscott sandpit. 

Both of these pits exhausted their sand excavating use. One dumped other than organic materials. One hit groundwater. Both bad for the aquifer. Yet no one mining them was willing to say uncle. The sandpit in our neck of the woods has also hit groundwater. It lies above the aquifer, which I can’t stress enough and don’t mind repeating. It is the sole source of water on this fragile end of Long Island. The Suffolk County Water Authority wells, right down the road on Oakview Highway, draw their supply from the aquifer, then to the town. We don’t have private wells, that was never the issue. My water is your water, if you live in this town. No magic unicorn pulled carriage delivers us fresh water from elsewhere. The aquifers flow into the dreen and into the harbors and bays and ocean. Look it up, the pictures are simple and interesting. Maybe a good science project this year.

Eight years later, our group, Freetown Neighborhood Advisory Committee, is still here, after winning some battles for clean water, environmental common sense, and quality of life here in the beautiful woods of East Hampton. No one has gone to sleep about the behemoth operating in our midst. 

As if we could sleep in. We hear its machinery all week and on Saturday. Huge trucks come and go constantly, barreling down the small roads, and leaving their mess behind. What the heck are they doing is right. How much farther can this crater in the ground over the aquifer go down? I told you, it hit water. We told two town boards, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Legislature, the state, the governor. Why are everyone’s hands tied or eyes closed? You tell me. Why is the rudest man ever still working at the D.E.C. rubber-stamping permits, year after year? Bureaucracy and old boys club at its worst.

Look, get this straight: We are not opposing anyone making a living. This is not that. This is greed. This is hurting the water supply and disturbing the ecological balance that we are here to protect. You can’t throw money at that. You cannot in good conscience look the other way anymore. As I read Larry Penny’s “Nature Notes” this past week, aptly titled “The Pits,” I felt validation for our neighborhood’s plight. I felt hopeful something might be finally addressed and implemented. Someone understands the urgency of ending these sandpits once and for all.

They took all of the sand. They made oodles of money. And now it’s time to reclaim the land back to nature. Or as Larry Penny put it in his notes about the other two sandpits, we can only anticipate more serious pollution problems with respect to groundwater. This applies to this sandpit here too. There is a distinction for that land where the sand mining is taking place — special groundwater protection area. It is right there in the town plan, drawn up and voted on, specifically to protect the groundwater and hence our drinking water. You don’t ignore that.

What needs to happen is someone has to step up and make the decision to end this sand-mining travesty, before it is too late. It is not as if you don’t have templates to go by. Look to the damage and contamination the other two sandpits have caused. Look at the data on all the sand-mining pits on Long Island. Every single one has polluted the groundwater. This is an all of us problem. All of our drinking water. All of our town. All of our future generations.

Someone once commented to me, “Boy, we can’t do anything on our property in your town without permits and the laws are so strict.” I smiled. That may be true. And that’s why it looks like this out here. You want strip malls and industry and chaos with no regard for the environment and community and our water? Move somewhere else. We are not just residents here. We are stewards of the land. Don’t mess with us. “Wow, you’re very passionate.” Yeah, wow, indeed. If you think that is a bit much, stop and take a good hard look when you turn from 27 at Town Pond (a calm comes over you). No matter life’s curveballs, you remember why you live here. Or when you pass by Three Mile Harbor at sunset. Or go sit or swim at Gardiner’s Bay. Or peek at the ocean coming into view at the top of the hill toward Montauk. Takes your breath away, doesn’t it? Be grateful somebody cared enough before you to protect it. Be willing to see that while we all gain from such beauty, we all lose from its destruction. Let us be the archetype for good. 

Sincerely,

NANCI LAGARENNE

Sexual Predator

East Hampton

September 14, 2018

Editor:

The idea of granting a young man 18 years of age youthful offender status, permitting his record to be sealed after raping a young woman in front of a terrified child, is offensive at best and horrifying to anyone who has been the victim of a sexual assault. He was not involved in mere youthful mischief like swiping a pack of gum from the supermarket or painting graffiti on a wall, or getting sloppily drunk in the park. 

He is a vindictive, vicious, violent sexual predator, and should be marked as such. Instead of protecting him, his victims should be protected from anything like this happening, and the community should know he is a predator. The horrific memories, nightmares, and fight or flight lasting reactions of his victims will not go away easily, or maybe not at all. You cannot seal off the horror they felt and how traumatized the 7-year-old witness was and is. Why would you protect him in any way? From one who was a victim, and for all women and girls who are treated in this way and their families, he should be judged and confined somewhere where he can live with his memories of the event. 

SUSAN CASPER 

ROBERT CASPER

Able to Restrain

Montauk

September 17, 2018

Dear David:

The Ditch Plains Association wishes to provide its complete support to the town board’s proposal to amend the current motel and resort accessory use law pertaining to the introduction of new restaurant and bar uses in resorts or transient motels. This amendment will make changes and clarifications to the initial law to correspond to the intent of the town board when this law was enacted in 2015.

The backdrop for the enactment of the initial law was an out of control Montauk party scene. The intent was to restrict a motel establishment that was already deficient in motel parking from introducing a restaurant and/or bar that in many cases could become a more intensive use than their primary motel use. It was meant to prevent a substandard situation from becoming far worse.

However, the ambiguous drafting of the law allows some to argue that a new restaurant or bar use may be introduced irrespective of how deficient the current motel parking may be. In other words a motel that only has 10 parking spaces but, under current standards would be required to have 40 spaces, attempts to argue that it is still able to introduce a bar or restaurant use because this deficiency should be disregarded because it was “grandfathered.” 

The point that is missed is that the grandfathered argument for parking is only valid so long as no additional uses are sought. That is consistent with the town code that permits the continuance of use for pre-existing nonconforming businesses so long as no expansion occurs. 

In fact, the law as currently interpreted by some would actually make it easier to introduce a restaurant or bar by disregarding any existing parking deficiency and only require 50 percent of the required additional parking for the new restaurant or bar use. 

The rationale for providing a 50 percent parking discount for the added use was under the guise that the primary use-parking requirement was being met. To make matters worse, the hotel could go on to use what is advertised as a modest restaurant or bar to solicit outside customers that pile into outdoor spaces and conceivably drawing even larger crowds and making a woefully inadequate parking condition much worse.

It is important to note that this law has no effect on any existing motel that is deficient in parking. Instead, the law only restricts a nonconforming motel from introducing a new restaurant or bar use unless certain conditions are met.

The proposed modification to the current law permits the planning board to apply a rational parking formula but also provides latitude to the planning board to relax this requirement should the applicant provide mitigation to prevent the parking deficiency from becoming a more significant problem for the community at large. 

In a nod to the motels, the amendment also provides for the introduction of ancillary uses such as retail shops without the need for a special permit, so long as such uses require no more than 100 square feet, even when motel parking is deficient since such use is likely to be utilized primarily by motel guests.

The planning board will now be better able to restrain harmful intensifications of use through the incorporation of offsetting mitigation and safeguards. It enables the planning board to evaluate each application on its merits rather than a one size fits all. Importantly, it clearly provides the planning board with the ability to outright reject poor applications that would result in harm to the community.

We commend the town board for recognizing the deficiency in the current law and seeking to address it with a modification that is both fair and reasonable. The timing is critical as we are seeing more and more motel properties being sold with an eye toward expanding and intensifying their use.

We hope the community will come out on Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. for the town board public hearing at Town Hall and support this important modification. You can also send an e-mail to the town board to show your support for this law at SOverby@EHamptonNY.Gov.

Thank you,

LAURA MICHAELS

Vice-president

Ditch Plains Association

Certain Principles

Springs

September 15, 2018 

To the Editor:

Have you ever visited a place that was once charming and inviting that is now overcommercialized, too developed, and ruined? Fortunately, we will have an opportunity to make important decisions before that happens here at the upcoming hamlet study public hearings. 

People from around the world all know of East Hampton as a tourist hot spot. For us, it is home. We are a town with distinctive parts, pieces of a puzzle that reveals its depth only when put together: the village, Springs, Amagansett, Montauk, Wainscott, and part of Sag Harbor. 

As the saying goes: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Most of us do not live in Montauk, but it is great having it as part of our extended community. During the hamlet study public hearings there will be lots of suggestions and many projects will be proposed, as was the case with the discussions leading up to it. 

For me, certain principles will help guide me as it unfolds: “protect, preserve, and restore” are more important to me than “develop.” The hamlet study is more about economic development than anything else. I will advocate for the town I want rather than defer to an economic opportunity someone else wants. Quality of life and environmental impact studies should precede plans to develop. 

No hamlet (village) should approve a plan that is detrimental to another section of the town. We are one town, connected by groundwater, roads, commerce, recreational areas, tourism, airport noise, real estate values.

One last thing: I love this town with its farm stands off to the side of the road, the open space that allows me to see the big blue sky, the connection we have with the men and women who work the surrounding waters, the ospreys who occupy their nest raising their young each spring, the rocky coast that starts at the Point that eventually evolves into expansive sandy beaches farther west. 

All of this and much more, just 100 some miles from New York City. No wonder I get freaked out when someone mentions “develop.” We live in paradise. Let’s not lose it. 

FRANK RIINA 

Open for Debate

Springs

September 14, 2018

Dear David,

Congratulations to David Lys in his Democratic primary victory over David Gruber. Government works best when the community participates in bringing issues to the forefront and for that Mr. Gruber and his Reform Democrats also deserve our thanks. 

Many of the issues that I brought to light last year and championed this year by the Reform Democrats remain and none more urgent than the town’s emergency communications system. This rings especially true in Springs, which has significant difficulties in coverage. Professionally speaking, and I am more than qualified to make this claim, deficiencies are so substantial that lives are put at risk. 

The current system is over 20 years old, has a user capacity of a few hundred, and is currently serving hundreds more than the system was designed for, and there are no replacement parts. A single system failure could imperil the town’s entire emergency management communications system. 

The federal government in 2011 advised state and local governments that a frequency system needed to be completed by 2018. The town board has had seven years to switch out what was in 2011 an aging, outdated system. The town board’s inability to get accomplished what every other municipality in the country has speaks volumes. With a crumbling system and hard deadline, the town has willy-nilly spent $8 million for an incomplete, uninstalled system, and that deliberately does not include a fix to critical lack of coverage in Springs that our first responders so desperately need. 

Why the town board has shrugged over the past seven years its moral and ethical obligations of public safety is open for debate. It does appear that politic favors and cronyism are in part to blame for putting lives at risk. The town boards, including that of Mr. Lys when he was on the zoning board of appeals, supported a group of politically connected individuals, including the brother of East Hampton Town Democratic Committee boss Chris Kelley, who lives next to the Springs Firehouse, to prevent the completed Springs Fire Department communications tower from going online. This was wrong on so many levels and has put all East Hampton and in particular, Springs residents lives at risk. 

Elected governments do many things but the one undisputed most basic of obligations is providing for public safety, and the East Hampton Town Board has failed you by playing politics with your safety. It is only by the grace of God that we have not experienced a catastrophic, life-threatening event, and if one should happen, you and our first responders will be left hung out to dry. 

The town board’s inability to get this completed is nothing more than an epic failure and an exercise in politics over your public safety. I am a 34 state park police administrator, having served throughout New York State from Montauk to Niagara Falls, including eight years in Harlem and six weeks as part of the Sept. 11 rescue and recovery effort, in addition to being the president of New York State’s sixth biggest police union. I have served as volunteer firefighter in both the Springs and Montauk Fire Departments. My experience in emergency management administration and preparations far exceeds that of any member of the town board, including Mr. Lys. 

This is why I ask that you vote for me on Election Day Nov. 6. I have the political independence, professional, and governmental experience to get things done and will not play politics with your safety. 

MANNY VILAR

Engaged Voters

Springs

September 17, 2018

Dear David,

I have been humbled by the support and encouragement by the residents of our great Town of East Hampton over the past few months. There is a desire by the voters of our town to have a councilperson that has the energy and desire to work for the betterment of the town as a whole and also each and every resident. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to work for you.

The voice of democracy was at a fever pitch this past Thursday during state primary day.  I want to thank the astonishing number of almost 33 percent of the eligible Democratic voters in the town of East Hampton for participating. The number of engaged voters was a proclamation that the residents of East Hampton care about the leadership of their town, and that is a notion that we should all be proud of.

I now call on the members of the Democratic Party to unite and move forward as one. With time any rivalry will melt away and we need to unify for the party and for the success of our Town of East Hampton.

I am proud to be chosen to move forward to the general election on Nov. 6 by the Democratic voters. I now hope that as the Democratic majority did this past Thursday, the majority of the town voters will support my desire to continue the hard work that I have started on the town council this year for another calendar year.

Sincerely

DAVID LYS

Please Join Us

Springs

September 17, 2018

Dear David,

The East Hampton Democratic Committee slate and our nominee, Councilman David Lys, had the overwhelming support of our Democratic community in the Sept. 13 primary election. It is with gratitude and humility that I thank those who supported us. We will not let you down.

I extend a heartfelt thanks to all Democrats who voted in the primary. Participation in elections is crucial for the continuation of democracy. Thank you for leading by example and voting. 

Councilman David Lys understands the working families in our town. The East Hampton Democrats welcome working families and all members of our community, especially those who are underrepresented. You have a voice here. Please join us.

Now that the committee roster is settled, the East Hampton Democratic Committee will immediately coordinate with Democratic congressional candidate Perry Gershon to help him to victory in any way we can. I call on every Democrat to unite and work side by side for Perry Gershon. I ask all members of the East Hampton community to work for Perry Gershon. He will fight for us, and the issues we face, unequivocally. We need Perry in Washington.

Democrats represent many backgrounds and ideals and will have differing opinions. In fact, I believe this is crucial to represent a diverse electorate, but at the end of the day, despite our differences, we stand united to serve for the benefit of East Hampton. We have worked hard together and there is no reason to stop now, for in unity there is success.

Sincerely,

CATE ROGERS

Chairwoman

East Hampton

Democratic Committee

New Colleagues

Springs

September 17, 2018

Dear David:

I write to thank and congratulate all the candidates who ran for seats on the Democratic Committee. In particular, I want to thank my new colleagues on the Democratic Committee for their hard work and effort in getting elected and thank the Democrats of East Hampton for recognizing who is really committed to the best interests of our town and the Democratic Party. 

We very much appreciate the voters reaffirming the designation of David Lys as our town board candidate. 

Sincerely,

CHRISTOPHER KELLEY 

Remarkable Jump

East Hampton

September 17, 2018

Dear David,

Thank you to every East Hampton Democrat who came out to vote in last week’s primary, and thanks to the Election District 11 voters who supported my candidacy for the Democratic Town Committee. 

If you meant to vote, but didn’t, please make your plan now to vote in the Tuesday, Nov. 6, general election, in person or by absentee ballot. Every single vote will matter in the upcoming congressional race between Perry Gershon and Lee Zeldin.

To our advantage, the president and his administration have energized rebellion among Democratic voters nationally, across New York State and countywide. In 2014, the last New York State Democratic midterm and gubernatorial primary, just over 6 percent of eligible Suffolk County Democratic voters came to the polls. That’s only 17,962 out of 296,315 possible voters. 

According to the Suffolk County Board of Elections unofficial tally for last week’s primary, we’ve had a remarkable jump in voter participation. Last Thursday, 64,658 Democrats voted — over 20 percent of 318,300 eligible voters. These Suffolk County 2014 and 2018 primary numbers include all of Congressional District 1 plus part of C.D. 2. For C.D. 1 alone, the June 2018 Democratic primary, where Perry Gershon defeated four other candidates, had a turnout of 22,240.

Adding to the general political fervor, East Hampton Democrats are especially motivated. Many were actively involved in the lead up to our local primary, and as most readers of The East Hampton Star know, there were some heated arguments and much dissension among party rivals. I’m certain that local campaigning, signage, mailings, and letters to the editor contributed to the unexpectedly high voter turnout in our 19 election districts. 

In hindsight, we can admit that the “lively” debate kept election season on the front burner and hopefully, the primary was a great trial run for November. Democrats are galvanized, but so are Republicans, so it’s imperative that 

Democrats of every persuasion move on and join together to support Perry Gershon in his race to defeat Zeldin.

Our current congressman is a Trump enabler. Any vote for Zeldin is a vote to support Trump’s policies and the ultra-conservative agenda to gut environmental and consumer protections and the social safety net that so many of us depend on. Any vote for Zeldin is an acceptance of fraud, corruption, racism, bigotry, misogyny, and congressional dereliction of duty to check and balance the power of the president.

If you are unfamiliar with Perry Gershon, there’s still time to get to know him and what he stands for. He’s prepared to fight for us, against Trump and his enablers, for high-paying jobs, affordable health care, high-quality education, and clean air and water for eastern Long Island. 

The best takeaway from last week’s Democratic primary: Voters are amazingly energized and we need to keep that energy going because “flipping the house” will come down to voter turnout on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Thanks for voting last week and thanks in advance for your November vote.

VICKI LURIA BLATT

No Time to Lose

Sag Harbor

September 15, 2018

To the Editor:

Thank you, Democrats who voted in the primary last Thursday, and a very special thanks to those who voted for me for a place on the East Hampton Democratic Committee. This will be my first time to serve, and I am looking forward to working and learning! 

Because I live in Sag Harbor I know I will have the chance to meet many East Hampton Democrats, and those Sag Harbor Democrats I did not meet when I was out knocking on doors or telephoning, and often calling on people with my dog, Gus, in tow. 

Campaigning was an education for me, a great chance to talk with neighbors I might never have met, to hear what people are worried about, wondering about. Always I was reminded of how much we need to do before the congressional race and our local general election. No time to lose, but the days are cooler, we’re not having hurricane weather, we will get on with our work. Once again, thank you for voting for me, for trusting me to do my best. 

SUZANNE MCNEAR

We All Care

East Hampton

September 17, 2018

Dear David,

We would like to thank everyone who voted for us in the primary last Thursday for Election District 16 Democratic Committee (Northwest Woods). We had a record amount of voters turn out which shows how much we all care about our community.

It was a pleasure meeting and speaking with so many of our neighbors during the campaign. We look forward to serving you now and in the future.

Best,

TIM GARNEAU

MARILYN VAN SCOYOC

Unite In Support

Amagansett

September 14, 2018

Dear David,

We want to thank all the people in East Hampton Election District 3 who voted for us on Sept. 13 and pledge to represent the Democrats in our district throughout the coming months.

It’s now time for all Democrats in East Hampton to unite in support of Perry Gershon for our seat in Congress on Nov. 6.

With gratitude.

DAVID HILLMAN 

ARTHUR SCHIFF

Open Dialogue

Wainscott

September 17, 2018

Dear David,

My deepest gratitude to the residents of Wainscott Election District 7 who cast their votes for me to continue to represent them as a member of the East Hampton Democratic Committee. Although the primary elections are now past us, a new and fresh beginning is calling all of us to work together by upholding our Democratic Party principles and long-term community goals. 

As an elected East Hampton Town Trustee and your Wainscott representative, I am humbly proud and eager to work with and for you. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are of great importance to me, and I look forward to sharing your suggestions with our Democratic Committee and the East Hampton Town Board members. 

I encourage you to attend our monthly public East Hampton Democratic Committee meetings to hear and participate in good government and leadership at work. You can also meet committee members who represent other districts of East Hampton. 

I firmly believe that open dialogue and communication are vital to achieving our productive efforts. As the elected Democratic Committee members organize over the coming weeks, I look forward to the opportunity to meet with district voters in the near future to listen and support our common our goals.  

Please know that I welcome your calls and correspondence. Let’s get to know each other better! Together, and with your help, I believe we will solve problems and issues for Wainscott that ultimately will serve to benefit the whole of East Hampton Town. 

Sincerely,

SUSAN MCGRAW KEBER

Heal the Breach

Amagansett

September 17, 2018

Dear David,

As your readers may appreciate, it was particularly gratifying to me that David Lys won the town board primary last week and I was elected to continue representing East Hampton’s Election District 1 on the Democratic Town Committee. Not only did the important win and the extraordinary turnout validate the Democratic Committee’s selection of David Lys and our campaign in his support, it raises our hope both for Lys to win the town board race and Perry Gershon, our remarkable congressional candidate, to win in November.

I believe it was also a vote against the Gruber campaign’s ugly and untruthful campaign against fellow Democrats, deplored even by voters who thought Gruber had good ideas to share.

Our campaign afforded all who worked with us an opportunity to make the acquaintance and hear the thoughts of Democratic voters we had not known before. I want to thank all the people who worked on it. I also want to thank the voters. Our community has proudly claimed the highest percentage turnout of any town in Congressional District 1. It’s a product of democratic conscience on the voters’ part and hard work by those on our committee and other friends in getting out the vote. Good work, all!

It’s past time to heal the breach in the Democratic Party and start working together again. Primaries are one way we resolve differences. Respectful dialogue can lead to a better product than that imagined at the start of an argument by either side. I expect Cate Rogers’s leadership of the Democratic Party will encourage such dialogue, as well as a formidable campaign to get out the Democratic vote in November.

Sincerely,

JEANNE FRANKL

We Are Primed

Amagansett

September 17, 2018

Dear David,

We want to thank all the Democrats in Amagansett Election District 12 who voted in the Democratic primary last week. And our sincere thanks to our neighbors who read our messages, answered their phones, and opened their doors to us, taking time from their busy days to speak with us about the issues that are important to them here in East Hampton as well as in the state and in Washington. Our message of unity for our party was heard. 

Now, after an election in which a record-breaking number of Democrats voted in a primary, we are primed and ready to continue to work with all to address those issues. Now, together as members of a newly energized Democratic Committee, we can and will focus 100 percent of our energy, determination, and know-how on the critically important November elections.

Most sincerely,

BETTY MAZUR

ANNA SKRENTA

Failed Ideologies

East Hampton

September 17, 2018

Dear Editor,

Good news, the bill has come in for Perry Gershon’s plan to turn the country around; free everything for everyone will only cost a mere $40 trillion dollars (that is 40 followed by 12 zeroes or $40,000,000,000,000 for the conceptually disadvantaged) over the next 10 years. Yes, the socialist fantasies of Perry, Bernie, and Alexandria can be the stuff of reality, if you just raise taxes a smidge. How much you ask?

Why, if you simply double the taxes of every man, woman, and child along with every business, corporation, farm, mom-and-pop store, and everyone else you can think of under the sun, well, you still couldn’t pay for Park Avenue Perry’s socialist dreams. But don’t worry, that’s why we have people like Perry and Bernie in the first place; to invent new taxes, new fees, and new charges to rake in more dough for the government to “wisely” spend.

You see, Democrats believe Americans are simply too stupid to be trusted to spend their own money on what they want or need; people like Perry will relieve you of that chore. Why should you burden yourself worrying about what to do with the money you earn, especially now that income is going up and taxes are going down. However, things might get a little dicey once Perry and the liberal loco mob open up the borders. Millions of illegal aliens wanting free stuff too may drive up the price just a wee bit. Free college for everyone else’s kids isn’t cheap you know, and heaven knows we can’t have a shortage of kids majoring in “Therapeutic Interpretive Feminist Dance” or “Aboriginal Basket Weaving.”

I know, maybe Perry can contact a peer from a successful socialist country. I am sure any number of wise and sagely people from the likes of Venezuela or Cuba can offer some good ideas. I know Venezuela may have hit a rough patch, with people killing animals in the zoos for food, paying bills with toilet paper, and a 25,000 percent inflation rate, but I am sure they have something valuable to teach us.

Oh yeah, socialism sucks. Socialism is just a pit stop on the road to something worse: communism. The only thing that either of the failed ideologies can promise is pain, suffering, and death. Ask anyone who lived under the Communist boot behind the Iron Curtain and they will tell you just how crazy and stupid you are to toy with these ideas. Anyone who thinks that they can “get it right this time” is just another fool in a long line of fools walking a path lined with the graves of millions.

MICHAEL D. BOUKER

Enormous Loophole

Springs

September 15, 2018

David: 

The G.O.P. has revealed its next tactic to undermine our health care. Several G.O.P. senators have introduced a new piece of legislation they claim will protect access to health care insurance for those with pre-existing conditions. Billed as the “Ensuring Coverage for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act,” its effect would be to do exactly the opposite.

The G.O.P. brags that under its bill no insurer may reject an insurance applicant based upon her prior medical condition or history. But, close scrutiny of the language of the bill reveals an enormous loophole that threatens us all. While the bill offers a guarantee that people with pre-existing conditions may be able to buy coverage, insurers are not obligated to offer insurance that covers treatment associated with the patient’s pre-existing conditions. 

So the promise of coverage for pre-existing conditions is a mirage. Under the G.O.P. proposal, an insurer could not reject a cancer patient’s application for coverage, but it would be permitted to offer coverage for everything but cancer. Just as insidious, many other coverage and consumer protection features of the Affordable Care Act are not included in the G.O.P. proposal.

The continued assault by the G.O.P. on the health care protections afforded by the Affordable Care Act makes clear the need for voters to make election decisions on health care protection a priority this November. Lee Zeldin has already cast his vote to repeal the A.C.A. and strip us of our health care safety net. For all of us, the clear choice should be a vote for Perry Gershon, who promises to protect the care provided by the A.C.A. and work to improve health care for us all.

Sincerely,

BRUCE COLBATH

P.S. Bill Taylor and I would like to extend our sincere thanks to those who trusted us with your votes last Thursday. While we weren’t successful, your confidence has added encouragement to our voices going forward.

Gun Laws

East Hampton

September 17, 2018

To the Editor:

Lee Zeldin receives an A rating from the National Rifle Association, and to give him his due, he has certainly earned it. In December 2015, Zeldin was part of a G.O.P. effort to block debate about legislation that would prevent people on the “no fly list” for suspicion of terrorism from buying guns. In 2017 he voted for H.R. 1181, which would allow veterans deemed mentally incompetent to continue to own firearms, and in that same year he co-sponsored H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity bill.

The C.C.R. Act would override the sensible gun laws that New York legislators have worked hard to put in place and allow any person with a concealed-carry permit from another state (with weaker gun laws that don’t require a background check or safety training, for example) to carry their weapon in New York.

Law enforcement is overwhelmingly opposed to this bill for the simple reason that more guns on the streets means more danger for police officers, as well as for civilians. Even Zeldin’s fellow Long Island Republican, Peter King, voted against C.C.R. Why is Zeldin for it? Could it be because doing the N.R.A.’s bidding helps fill his campaign coffers? I would ask him, but since he no longer holds town hall meetings with his constituents, I can’t.

Perry Gershon, running against Lee Zeldin in November, supports requiring background checks at the national level when buying a gun, among other common-sense measures. A vote for Perry Gershon on Nov. 6 is a vote for responsible gun laws.

Sincerely,

CAROL DEISTLER

King of Scandal

Springs

September 17, 2018

Dear David, 

It seems President Obama has decided he is so important he has decided to go against all practicality and decided to campaign and speak out against President Trump. He should have taken President Bush and all other ex-presidents’ format and kept his mouth shut.

He is so important, Obama claims he has had no scandals. Let me tell you he is the king of scandal. His administration was defined by scandal and lies.

E.g., fast and furious guns smuggled into Mexico. The Justice Department lost track of the guns, and one gun was used to kill a member of the border patrol. Genius Eric Holder never explained this. A second gun was found in El Chapo’s gang member.

Benghazi: Scandal blamed it on a video, and Obama covered it up because he was running for re-election. He also sent Susan Rice on all TV shows to lie for him.

In God and country,

BEA DERRICO

Safety-Net Programs

Rochester

September 14, 2018

To the Editor:

Over the past 40 years, I have tried to become an expert on conservative political thought. I believe it is important to share with your readers the one important finding I have learned. There now appears to be a much larger number of conservatives who are essentially survival-of-the-fittest Social Darwinists than there were during the 1950s through 1970s.

This means, I believe, that they want to abolish and eliminate all federal government safety-net programs including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and college-student loans. You will find many of them in the United States Congress within the House Freedom Caucus, the old Tea Party, and the Movement-Conservatives.

You will find a heavy dose of such thinking in conservative think tanks, such as Americans For Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation, and the Cato Institute. While some of these groups are open and transparent about their beliefs, many use hidden stealth tactics to influence opinion and political decision-making. Others can do the same research I have done, and will likely come to the same conclusion.

I wrote this because I do not want to see any of the safety-net programs abolished/eliminated or cut/reduced. I am a retired college professor of sociology and social work who cared deeply about the well-being of my students.

I taught at West Virginia University and Slippery Rock University. I highly recommend the books “Dark Money” by Jane Mayer and “Democracy in Chains” by Nancy MacLean.

Sincerely,

STEWART B. EPSTEIN

Unfit to Serve

East Hampton

September 13, 2018

Dear David:

I have voted in every election since 1972. I’ve voted during the Cold War, oil shortages, a hostage crisis, terrorist attacks, bank failures, and recessions. I believe the upcoming election is the most important one ever. It is unquestionably the most important midterm election of any presidency in my 50-plus years of political awareness and involvement.

The misogynistic, racist, self-aggrandizing, lying, ill-mannered, bullying, linguistically-challenged, semiliterate, so-called “f-ing moron” we have as president of the greatest nation on earth is unfit to serve and must be stopped! And, hopefully, impeached! (Sadly, this would leave us to take our chances with Mike Pence, preferably with a Demo­crat-controlled Senate and House of Representatives to keep him in check.)

Nothing less than the future of the United States and the world, the environment, our international business relationships and culture, and America’s stature among the civilized nations of this planet is at stake.

I hope and pray the voter turnout for this midterm election will be epic and record-breaking. I encourage all sentient and concerned Americans to vote — stand up for decency, the environment, and our shared humanity.

If you are still a supporter of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, disregard this letter and please stay home on Nov. 6.

HARRY LAGARENNE

Increased Prices

Springs

September 17, 2018

Dear David:

In a recent self-congratulatory column, our congressman, Lee Zeldin, bragged that the G.O.P. should be cheered for the economic benefits it has brought to us on the East End.

I thought about this the other day as I gassed up my pickup truck (inherited from my father). Two years ago, I was able to fill my truck for around $60. On Saturday, I hit the $100 limit at the pump and my tank wasn’t even full. So, I did a bit of research. Two years ago, regular gas on the East End ranged from a touch over $2 a gallon on the North Fork to around $2.50 a gallon on the South Fork. Now, a gallon of regular gas will set you back between $3.50 and $4 on the South Fork.

If you commute to work, or have a landscaping business, or a pool service business, a house-cleaning business, or any other business that involves driving to service your customers, the price of fuel is likely to be one of your principal expenses. Indeed, many of the folks who work on the East End commute from UpIsland.

It’s hard for me to understand how Mr. Zeldin thinks he deserves congratulations for doubling the cost of gasoline for all of us. Nor should he be heard to evade blame for it; he is the champion of Mr. Trump’s administration, whose misguided “America Alone” worldview has much to do with the increased prices we are now seeing for many imports, including oil.

I hope we all have grown tired of Mr. Zeldin’s penchant to polish his political portfolio with demonstrably false and superficial claims of conferred benefits. We should all expect our representative to be honest with us, and not shield dismal policies with a veneer of cheer.

Fortunately, this November we can hold Mr. Zeldin culpable for his continued deceit. I hope you will join me and trust your vote to Perry Gershon, who promises to return to our politics the decency we deserve.

Sincerely,

CAROL O’ROURKE

War Games

East Hampton

September 17, 2018

Editor:

After remembering Sept. 11 this week I was struck by a story about the Vietnam War and Henry Kissinger. How Kissinger with support of the military high command extended the war and was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. What we learned from Vietnam is that war is a business but that unlike all business in the world, failure is rarely punished and more likely to be rewarded.

Skip to the present and our current defense/intelligence budgets of almost $1.1 trillion. A remarkable outlay of resources for the least competent components of our government. It seems given the absolute failure and incompetence of our military leadership, that defense and intelligence should be more aptly called war games. Because in war games winning doesn’t really matter and no one ever gets hurt.

Everyone knows that we are still involved in Afghanistan, 17 years, and Iraq, 15 years, and half a dozen minor wars throughout Africa and the Middle East. We have either lost or are losing them all, yet the military leadership remains solidly in place and gets annual cash infusions to keep them going. The rationale being that if we are still there we haven’t really lost.

The common thread that runs through Vietnam to Syria is incompetence. Incompetence in the near-total lack of understanding of the people we were fighting. No evidence of a plan about how to win and what to do after we won. (No playbook. No philosophical, military, or political context.)

We remember Westmoreland, Powell, Petraeus, et al., all lying through their teeth about wars we couldn’t win, and we call them heroes and reward them with bigger budgets and more stars. We have idiot box presidents like Johnson, Nixon, Bush, and Trump buying the B.S. from the joint chiefs of staff who provide terrorist scenarios with the country facing enormous risk.

Somehow the Taliban, with no air force, navy, nuclear capacity, etc., poses a danger to our security. A country where $2 billion buys the entire economy. It’s like being afraid of the Girl Scouts because they have joined the #MeToo movement.

War, perpetual war, mindless war. Hardly anyone in government questions what we do or why we do it. We aren’t sure ourselves. Like a broken video game on a loop.

NEIL HAUSIG 

Human Cargo

East Hampton

September 14 2018

To the Editor,

What has been done is what will be and what has been done is what will be done and there is nothing new under the sun — Ecclesiastes 1:4-11, one of King Solomon’s pearls of wisdom. That being the case, triggering a challenge to uncover an event in history similar to the transpiring agonizing anguishing happening and, hopefully, a solution a solve to the dilemma of influx immigration versus our country’s security stability and permanence. 

Apprehending incarcerating families at the border, young and aged. Heart wrenching scenes of forcible separations of children from parents brothers from sisters separating human cargo from traffickers. Deportations of newly arrived and over-stayed dating back many years. Slamming the gates in the face of escapees from tyranny crime and persecution. Canceling commitments to unite legally residing families with waiting expecting relatives. Limiting restricting new entries practically sealing our borders trivializing mocking our beautiful Lady Liberty’s historical motto: “Give me your tired your poor your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these the homeless tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Weigh juxtapose this issue contention with the potential assured ramifications consequences to us, the United States of porous borders no borders unrestricted immigration overloading straining our health services schooling. It is no secret that certain immigrants’ diverse religions scowl prohibit integration and assimilation into the differing hosts’ cultures and abide by their norms. Some suspected in scheming inducing to recruit and convert. 

More than 100 American citizens would still be alive today if not for illegals. (Curious how many fewer killed by illegals than by Americans becomes a worthy issue. How many?) Append the results consequences of permissible lax immigration policies ongoing in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Scandinavia, and several more. Drastic powerful reactions backlashes outbursts of extreme ultra-nationalism dormant and fresh growing gaining power and metastasizing. 

Case in point on Sept. 10 the Swedish white supremacist and neo-Nazi fringe gained 5 percent to 18 percent up from 12 percent in only four years. A dilemma indeed. Practically an unlovable unadjudicable situation state for any conscientious passionate pragmatic person peoples. You are dammed if you do and you are dammed if you don’t. 

So where and when in history did a similar happening happen? An analogues event that may help in resolving this dilemma? A solve? Well, seek, search, and you shall find. The parallel event in the days of F.R. Stockton. 

In about 1800 in a land ruled by a semi-barbaric king, public trials by ordeals with guilt or innocence decided by result of chance. The accused is brought into an arena and must choose one of two doors behind one door is a lady who the king has deemed an appropriate match for the accused behind the other door is a fierce, hungry tiger. 

If the accused chooses the door with the lady behind he is innocent and must immediately marry her, but if he chooses the door with the fierce tiger he is deemed guilty and is immediately devoured by it. The king learns that his daughter has a lover handsome and brave youth but is of lower status than the princess and has him imprisoned to await trial. 

By the time that day comes the princess used her influence to learn the positions of the lady and the tiger behind the two doors. She also discovered that the lady is someone whom she hates thinking her to be rival for the affections of the accused. When he looks to the princes for help she discreetly indicates the door on his right, which he opens. Obviously history lets us down, departing the scene without any answers. No conclusions. Thanks a lot, history! Thanks a lot for nothing! 

Back to home, the latter part of 2018, lo and behold this issue is still a priority however diffused detraumatized and navigated unflustered apace several other crucial issues. Someone is doing a good job. Someone is doing good work. We are okay. 

EDWARD A. WAGSCHAL