Skip to main content

Letters to the Editor: 07.25.19

Wed, 07/24/2019 - 18:25

Joined Charities
Springs
July 21, 2019

Dear East Hampton Star,

A little known but wonderful charity, East End 4 Ecuador, is finally closing because it has finished making its financial contributions and because many of its founders have now joined charities that concentrate their work in East Hampton.

East End 4 Ecuador began in 2016 to repair severe earthquake damage in Ecuador. While many of the leaders were young Ecuadorians who legally live here, the charity leaders also included other important East Hampton Latino residents, including professionals born in Colombia, and three of us who were Americans living in East Hampton.

Our first work donated a large sum of money to Ecuador that led to the construction of many houses for people whose residences had been permanently destroyed.

We also became one of the dominant and successful charities that promoted discussion on educational television. LTV provided our presentation of “Tu Voto, Tu Voz” (“Your Vote Is Your Voice”). Minerva Perez, the leader of OLA, also kindly worked with us on one of the television presentations.

This year East End 4 Ecuador finally gave away its remaining money. A big donation provided at least a year of education to more than 100 orphans in Ecuador. One of the most interesting donations was to a scientific group in Ecuador that works with the University of Vermont. We helped promote good land use designs near a river that both helps farmers and the environment.

The East End 4 Ecuador leaders who were officially board members included Maritza Guichay, Angela Quintero, Carlos Perez, Paul Munoz, Diana Walker, Alexandra McCourt, and I.

I am happy to announce that more than half of these charity workers are now doing important work with other charities. Many of us now help manage the charity, East End for Opportunity, along with its founders, Mark Butler and Margaret Turner. Our charity work covers all East Hampton Americans, as well as foreigners, for many needs.

Recently we were honored by the Town of East Hampton for our public education on the new New York State law that will improve driver’s license laws and drivers’ opportunities. We will also be one of the most prominent donors of scholarships to East Hampton High School students.

I honor both those who did the work of East End 4 Ecuador and those who have now moved forward as leaders of East End for Opportunity.

ZACHARY COHEN

Chairman

East End for Opportunity


Most Made
Montauk
July 18, 2019

Dear David,

On July 6 and 7 of this year, the Friends of the Montauk Library ran our 40th book fair. For the first 35 years on the green and for the last 5 at the library. This year we made the most money that we have ever made at the library. We made almost $9,500, which is quite an increase over previous years.

We have many people to thank. We thank our many volunteers who did everything from baking before the book fair to cleaning up after. We thank the Coast Guard, which has been providing us for the last few years with the strong young people we so badly need to move books.

We must also thank the many people in town who donated quality books, yard-sale items, and jewelry for us to sell. Also the businesses that donated supplies for us to use and sell, and items to be part of our bucket raffle.

We cannot fail to mention Denise DiPaolo and the staff of the Montauk Library, without whom none of this could happen.

I personally would like to thank the executive board of the Friends of the Montauk Library, who prepare for this and Bob-E Metzger who, as our book fair chairperson, leads us every year.

Sincerely,

SALLY KRUSCH


Unholy Racket
Amagansett
July 20, 2019

Sir/Madam:

Really enjoyed David Schiff’s satirical “Guestwords” this week.

On a more serious — but not unrelated note — I was staying with friends last week, in their lovely apartment on West End Avenue, in the city. I told them how much I enjoyed the quiet of their location. “Hang on,” they said —like me, they’re Brits — “you live in Amagansett!”

I said, “Exactly! You try having some quiet there with the leaf blowers and the builders with their drills and staple guns; an unholy racket from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.”

Manhattan in an A.-C.’d apartment in mid summer? Thoreau would be happy.

BRIAN CLEWLY JOHNSON


Delightful
East Hampton
July 19, 2019

Editor,

The review of Paola’s restaurant in last week’s Star was one of the poorest I have ever read.

My family and I had a delightful evening there last Sunday evening. We enjoyed excellent food and drink, especially professional service, and reasonable prices.

FRED BUTTI


Disservice
Amagansett
July 20, 2019

To The Star:

I think Ms. Donnelly’s review of Paola’s restaurant was disgraceful. Not only do we think the food is wonderful but the space is fantastic. The service was up to any standard set by the best restaurants and restaurateurs in the world. The review she wrote causes me to suspect her credibility and question her ethics. Your editor and Ms. Donnelly did a disservice to the community and both should be held accountable.

Respectfully,

JEROLD L. FISHER


Unchecked Nets
Sagaponack
July 18, 2019

To the Editor:

As one of the two men who cut the whale free so it wouldn’t drown, I am appalled that the gill net was allowed to be in the water with whales present for the last number of weeks. I also do not understand the long time frame for the “professionals” to show up to free the juvenile humpback whale.

From the time we realized it was severely tangled and rushed to free it, two and a half hours had passed in the water before harbor patrol came on the scene to wave off. Luckily we had freed its tail section to its front third so it could move and keep breathing. We were told to leave as the patrol motored back and forth doing nothing. I sat on the beach for another two and a half hours waiting for the professional team to show up. If this were a human child caught in this net there would have been swift action, but not for this young whale. Q.: How many professionals does it take to save a baby whale trapped in a gill net? A.: Zero, since it takes five-plus hours to show up and it would be dead.

The fact that The East Hampton Star only told the story that it posted online from the professionals’ point of view leaves out most of the true issues surrounding this event, and the extremely long response time that should never happen in the future. To say that we who saved the whale from most likely drowning “are in violation of the 150-foot law” is so infuriating without the true elapsed time frame and context of what needed to happen by the professionals, and did not. I would do it again without any reservations as I would for any animal or human in trouble, and not think twice for the legality or my own safety. This legality issue was posted by your paper with no question as to circumstances that may supersede its validity. We help dying people on the sidewalk and are legally protected because we are trying to help, so the same should go for baby whales in my book.

When there are no more gill nets killing turtles, whales, dolphins, and, yes, some sharks too, I will be relieved of my worry for surfers and bathers who will be in the area of these unchecked nets, all full of dead sea life luring larger predatory sharks into swimming waters. This is an unconscionable action during high season out here to begin with, and terrible for the ecosystem of certain fish that are not doing well, as you pointed out.

But until the time these nets are made illegal, I will have my diver’s knife and surfboard with me at the beach if another dolphin, turtle, or whale is ensnared, or god forbid a child or adult! (They lose these nets sometimes in storms and they can wash up or be moved into the shallows where we all swim.) I will act to save them with everything I have, and I won’t read the rulebook while they drown. Any true waterman or water woman who loves the ocean would do what we did — this is our unwritten code. If you have checked most beaches out here you will see there are no lifeguards to save you when surfing or swimming, so we save each other, or possibly you, if you get swept out in a rip current.

Don’t demonize the men and women who live to be in the ocean, and who can assess the risks involved with their own actions.

AARON WARKOV


Misinformed
Springs
July 19, 2019

Dear David,

The editorial “Gill Nets Threaten Troubled Species” (July 18, 2019) is grievously misinformed.

Gill nets have little to do with the overfishing of female striped bass that has caused the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to call for a reduction in catch. That is because the overfishing is caused entirely by the recreational fishery. In fact, the number of striped bass killed when sportfishermen release catches that are not of legal size is actually greater than the number of striped bass which the fishermen land legally and take home.

Fish that fight for their lives, that suffer gill injuries from hooks, and in the case of those caught by surfcasting, are dragged through the sandy swash of beaches, have a hard time surviving. Thus, in 2017 (latest year of compiled data), recreational fishermen legally kept 2,934,292 striped bass, whereas the number that died after being released by recreational fishermen was 3,423,544. (Summary of the 2019 benchmark stock assessment for Atlantic striped bass.)

The Star’s editorial also states that “boat-based” gill nets do more “indiscriminate killing” than “nets from shore.” Uh, a gill net is a gill net is a gill net, no? This point makes no sense.

And it is worth noting that oversize  fish (greater than 38 inches in length) do not readily get caught by gill nets because their heads are too big to fit into the mesh of the net and become “gilled.”

It is true that when whales are in an area during their feeding cycles, it would be desirable to temporarily curtail netting operations. This, unfortunately, would be quite difficult to accomplish since whales don’t announce their feeding itineraries. There is, even so, an effort ongoing with the Marine Fisheries Commission to reduce the encounters of whales (especially right whales) with fishing gear (American lobster board draft addendum XXVIII). Action on this addendum should be taken by the end of this year.

ARNOLD LEO


Third World
Amagansett
July 21, 2019

To the Editor:

In response to your recent editorial I have the following comments:

In my 35 years of cycling almost all the roads from Montauk to Water Mill I have never seen the roads in worse condition

Further Lane is and has been a mess of potholes and broken pavement for years and is an accident waiting to happen. One of my fellow riders hit a pothole and broke two ribs.

Bluff Road is so bad that cyclists have to veer out to the middle of the road.

Route 114 leaving Sag is dangerous too.

We are now choosing routes that are safe to cycle not because of traffic but safe pavement. I feel sometimes that I am riding in a third-world country.

It is outrageous that a town of such resources cannot protect its cyclists, who bring so much revenue to our town.

On a positive note, I have never experienced so much courtesy from drivers in all my years. This is despite so many cyclists exhibiting unsafe behavior, i.e., not riding single file, not riding with traffic, using cellphones.

Thank you,

JERRY SLOANE


Chalking
East Hampton
July 18, 2019

Dear David,

Just as Bob Dylan sang “you don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows,” you don’t need a lawyer to know that the simple and effective practice of chalking tires is likely going to have to come to an end. Protest as you might, sooner or later (and apparently sooner because someone plans to litigate in Bridgehampton), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which covers, among other places, the Village of East Hampton, is likely to rule the same way as the Sixth Circuit did.

Although Sixth Circuit cases are not binding on the Second Circuit, they are persuasive. And Supreme Court cases are binding on the Second Circuit. In reaching its conclusion that chalking tires violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, the Sixth Circuit cited cases from the Supreme Court. In one of those cases, United States v. Jones, the Supreme Court found that the government’s surreptitious attachment of a GPS device to a car to track the car’s movements constituted trespass upon the vehicle and was an illegal search. While chalking might seem like a relatively benign practice, and dissimilar to the Jones case, when the government physically involves itself with its citizens property with no emergent circumstances, it may violate rights. It’s that “may,” as a lawyer would make me counsel a client to at least think about alternatives as a prudent move.

Because enforcing the time limit for parking in the village is very important and local governments should not incur unnecessary lawyers’ fees to defend it when there are other effective and simple ways to enforce the rule (ticket dispensers like the ones used in the parking lots or smartphone cameras), it might make sense for the village to look into those alternatives (adopted in other towns directly affected by the Saginaw case) before the wind blows in the Second Circuit.

Let me now note that I personally like chalking because I think the sight of T.C.O.s monitoring cars’ time limits deters violations and increases my odds of getting a spot, and our businesses getting more patrons.

Sincerely,

SPENCER SCHNEIDER


Oyster Hatchery
Springs
July 21, 2019

Dear Mr. Rattray:

Upon raising the idea of consolidating the oyster hatcheries in Montauk and Springs into one facility, Councilman Lys assured me personally that residents’ concerns would be considered, and that the town would go through the same process that any property owner would contemplating such a development; i.e., dropping a +/-7,500 sq. ft. commercial facility onto a 1.1 acre lot in a residential neighborhood already stressed for summer parking, dock access, etc.

Not only did that not happen so far, but magically, that proposal, replete with a misspelled 40 minute PowerPoint appeared with virtually no community input, save from one part-time town employee who served with now-Councilman Lys on the Zoning board of Appeals, a neighbor who lives on Gann Road across from the proposed expansion.

The rest of us only learned of the so-called “Plan” when the estimable town board watcher, David Buda, informed me the day before that a late addition to the last town board work session agenda, in Montauk, would include presentation of the plan for the new whizbang, Oyster Hatchery Expansion and Consolidation at Gann Road in Springs. Montauk meeting, no live TV, surely unintentional.

Upon my request the prior Monday night, Councilman Lys sent me the proposal, and I went to the work session the next morning. In my role as president of the Duck Creek Farm Association, extant and active in community preservation over 50 years, I read a statement into the record largely in support of the project, but expressed concerns about equitable dock and water access for all, impacts on the neighborhood from traffic, etc. Concerns stated elicited a lot of “this is just a proposal; we’ll figure that out later.” I was not encouraged.

Growing like Topsy over the last couple of years, the Gann Road facility has already begun co-opting the great majority of town residents’ traditional beach access from our beloved Babes Lane by setting up an expanded recreational oyster grow-out facility, and extending their floating dock an additional 50 feet. These activities appear to be scouring away the Babes Lane Nature Preserve’s northern beach front, and impeding water access for everyone except the favored few who are now able to grow their own oysters in the cleanest part of Three Mile Harbor given proximity to the inlet and the swiftly running tides. How fun for them.

The south side access of the preserve has over the years become home to piles of oyster hatchery gear on the beach grass, covering and disturbing about 1,400 square feet. My late neighbor was forced to move a Sunfish off the beach grass near there. I was told that “hopefully” the gear will be moved as the project goes forward. The beach grass is already dead a few years, but we live in hope, and nature may regenerate it over time, if stuff is ever actually moved.

A conversation to point out the apparent ill effects to Supervisor Van Scoyoc as he was harvesting his own oysters at the Gann Road hatchery ensued amicably, and I was told that “I guess we should get a coastal geologist to take a look at this.” At that moment I had no reason to doubt that will eventually happen, but to my mind, it should have been done before. Now, given what else has gone on, I’m not as confident about any of it.

Questions about the plan for the Montauk facility result in shrugs, though well-detailed reasons why it can’t be there anymore, as it has been for years, but maybe it can, we’ll see, seem to be about spat mortality in transit from there, and the poor quality of the product because of water quality issues, and of course, staff convenience and traffic since the 3-5 people involved have to drive back and forth sometimes. Clearly, their compensated travel time is enough of a burden so that giving local boaters less access to the public ramp on Gann is less of a concern than accommodating recreational oysterers.

Memorial Day featured a tent on the commercial dock for their party, but they only really use the facility from time to time, like every other Saturday or so in the season. What’s the problem? And the board seems now inclined to declare the commercial fishing gear on the Gann Road dock “abandoned.” As a member of the Commonalty, as are all town property owners, one wonders where our trustees are in this process? They’ll figure that out later too, I hope, busy as they’ve been giving away Lazy Point.

Additionally, to truly check the box of community involvement, I guess, prior to a rushed trio of Resolutions last Thursday night, our town board liaison, Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, handed our Springs Citizens’ Advisory Council the agenda we were to discuss at last week’s meeting: on it the oyster hatchery PowerPoint.

The agenda did not include a months-overdue visit from our head of code enforcement, or an update on the three-year-old lack of a plan to improve emergency communications in the Springs as pointed out by Reg Cornelia, another long-term member of the C.A.C. The latter much needed communication tower is still in the quagmire of a lawsuit for which Springs residents are paying on both sides: the Fire District and the town.

To my knowledge, no C.A.C. liaison throughout our town has ever simply given the residents their monthly agenda without at least consulting with the C.A.C. chair. Not anymore. Why have a citizens’ advisory process if the concerns of the committee are ignored so that a half-baked funding deadline-driven dog and pony show allows the board to claim that the community was informed of its oyster hatchery expansion plans, replete with an architectural concept model?

Regardless, by the time Councilman Lys got to the podium, the room was virtually empty since the agenda first included a fine report by Scott Wilson from land management on its preservation achievements in the Springs. Copies of the voluminous hatchery proposal, long on rhetoric but short on details except about features of the additional building, were later sent to the committee members, most of whom had left. And the feedback I’ve received has been generally negative about the process, though we all favor cleaner water.

If a PowerPoint falls in the forest, and there’s nobody there, is that public notice? Subsequent questions to Councilman Lys about parking, local beach and shoreline impact and access, summer traffic, local boaters and commercial fishers, etc., were consistently met with “This is just a proposal; we can change it as we go along,” or words to that effect. Watch the video on LTV.

And while you’re at it, watch last Thursday’s town board meeting, particularly the last 40 minutes, when the questions of the legality of the process, a bogus environmental declaration on an ephemeral plan yet to be truly considered because who has time to figure it out up front with all that money available?

We all know there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Grant money is our tax money whether from the state, county, or federal coffers. We should have learned that from our dirt bag beach fiasco, but dollar signs are potent, and our board has been salivating mightily. Rushing to meet a funding deadline, artificial urgency thrumming, singing “we’ll figure that out later” without real community engagement makes me and my community worry. It should you, too. They’re talking about a 30-plus-year life span for a facility that they’re putting together on the fly? Why not wait a year to go about it the right way? Oh, the jingle of those coins is so compelling. If it’s truly worthwhile, we’d all agree to fund it, as would our county and state representatives advocating for a real plan.

Representatives are elected to represent, not replace, the residents, certainly not to tell us they’ll get around to figuring it all out while they’re doing it, what we should do, and when, especially when they don’t know themselves. And they should follow the same rules we all do about planning, environmental impacts, density, setbacks, etc., etc.

Much as we as an association of homeowners applaud and support the town’s efforts to improve water quality — as we know shellfish husbandry can do — the quality of life issues at ground zero, Babes Lane and Gann Road, that can potentially affect not only our neighborhood, but Springs and the town at large given dock usage, recreational boating, etc., are by necessity to be seriously considered first, before producing an architectural model, however cool and green.

Local families use the town facilities at Gann Road for recreational boating and fishing, as do commercial fishers. Recreational oyster gardeners aren’t taking their lives in their hands getting here on bicycles. We have no bike paths.

Thus, where to park and increased traffic is a critical issue. There needs to be a real summer traffic study done, as well as a real environmental assessment process, not a pro forma checklist about a plan that hasn’t been through site review, the Planning Department, Natural Resources, all the myriad protections that any concerned citizen would have to consult were it a private project.

Ironically, I, and the majority of the Duck Creek Farm Association, vociferously supported preservation throughout the neighborhood so long as I’ve lived here, long before I succeeded Bob Olson as president, whose name is now notable for the Squaw Road Nature Preserve thanks to the Nature Conservancy, and this, and the prior town board’s preservation efforts.

We as an association and as a group of neighbors strongly supported the C.P.F.-funded purchase of 36 Gann Road, and were assured that its use to enhance the town’s efforts to improve water quality would not negatively impact our residents, nor the quality of life, water access, and enjoyment of our town resources, specifically the Gann Road dock and launching ramp, but that has proven untrue.

We certainly understand that public access means just that, but that means all segments of the public, not just recreational oyster growers or neighborhood residents, nothwithstanding our private road open to all, or permitted boat owners must enjoy equal privileges, especially on busy summer days. I’m sure we all agree about that: shared resources need to be shared equitably for all stakeholders.

Nifty acronym aside, the so-called Green Center is looking like an ill-considered public fiasco. All of the plans as outlined seem great, but our issues concern the traffic, parking, and neighborhood access. We specifically request that a summer traffic and density study be done to ensure equitable access for the whole town, and in consideration of the successful return of Bostwick’s on the Harbor, marina users and their guests, Springs resident boaters who depend on the Gann Road launching ramp, and the marina’s facilities for ship’s stores, fuel, etc. And that there be a real assessment of environmental impacts, not a pocket sign-off, full SEQRA,

So far the board’s stated intention to scrupulously adhere to the same process that any resident seeking to improve their property would have to in order to further develop the hatchery, has been a rushed sham. Right now site review and required (for the rest of us) planning and environmental reviews are after- thoughts and that is troubling.

The town board, save Councilman Bragman, who has expressed concerns similar to my own, is in too much of a hurry to grab the golden ring while the merry go round is playing “we’ll deal with that later.” In SCUBA training we teach, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. How come the majority of the electeds seem not to know that?

IRA BAROCAS,

President

Duck Creek Farm Association


Get Desperate
Springs
July 22, 2019

Dear David,

When people are up for election, some folks can get desperate — none more desperate than David Lys. Mr. Lys, a Republican when he was appointed to the town board filling the seat left vacant when Peter Van Scoyoc was elected supervisor, has been transformed into a Democrat. Just like that, with a wave of the wand by Chris Kelley. Why? He was blessed by the powerful in the East Hampton Democratic group, like Chris Kelley, because he was a favored “son” of the Bistrian family, but, alas, Chris Kelley never got to realize his dream of having a chance to get in with that group when another more powerful and tragic force closed that door forever.

Mr. Lys, a Republican, could not vote for himself in the Democratic primary. Now suddenly after the miraculous transformation into a Democrat, he’s chosen to present an absurd plan for a quiet residential neighborhood in Springs. (The town board’s motto, with the exception of Jeff Bragman, is when in doubt dump it in Springs.)

I swim daily at the preserve in Maidstone Park, the jewel of Springs, a quiet pristine place, when a few years ago Barley Dunne choose to locate one of his aquaculture devices there. This year he has installed three such devices. The old give them an inch, they will take a mile prevails. Hard to trust this group whose goals appear to be quite ambitious.

Mr. Lys’s proposal to relocate the aquaculture farm from Montauk in an open deserted area to Gann Road in Springs is brainless. We know that sea level rise will occur faster on the bay side of the land and what will happen to the 5,000-square-foot building Mr. Lys wants to erect? Typical of a desperate politician to present a bizarre plan. But why not, after all, Mr. Lys doesn’t want to go back to working at a gym.

Sincerely,

PHYLLIS ITALIANO


Plane Fun
East Hampton
July 21, 2019

Dear David:

Any reasonable person would agree that there are benefits to air transport. In promoting their “Just Plane Fun Day,” East Hampton Airport operators note a host of wonderful benefits. And if that were the whole story we should rename the facility “Mother Theresa Airport”! However, several “benefits” listed on the site as “vital” are overstated, available by other means, or erroneous. These include “providing critical emergency services,” “serving as a staging area after natural disasters,” “rescue flights relocating shelter animals,” taking cancer patients “to summer camp on Shelter Island,” “providing important STEM training for our youth,” bringing in “approximately 100,000 visitors and second-home residents” each summer, and providing “significant relief for an overcrowded road system.” And they claim the airport “creates a positive economic impact of at least $15 million to $20 million.” Well, an entire airport is not necessary to medevac people, as everyone knows, and several pets can easily be transported in a single Range Rover.

Youth today are rightfully concerned about climate change and sea level rise, and are generally more interested in green technologies than careers in outmoded ones. Although the horrific number of 100,000 visitors is real, it is an aggregate, thus the same people are being counted as they commute daily or weekly by helicopter, jet, and seaplane. And how would bringing in 100,000 people (even if that number were remotely accurate), who then get into motor vehicles, alleviate road congestion? Finally, there is no way to calculate the “economic impact” of the airport for anyone but business owners there. Even the estimate provided varies by 30 percent. And, really, is $15 million to $20 million a lot of money in a regional economy of billions of dollars?

So, the “Just Plane Fun” folks conveniently don’t mention the negatives, such as just plain air pollution (40 million pounds of carbon emissions per annum). Or just plain dangerous chaos —as all manner of aircraft fly every which way at all times and in all kinds of weather. Or just plain helicopters, the summer scourge of this entire region, from New York City to East Hampton, both forks, and hundreds of thousands of afflicted citizens begging for relief. Or just plain giant private jets screaming over East Hampton Village. Or just plain climate instability, which is directly linked to carbon emissions of the type generated by aircraft. Why are we foolishly sacrificing our current health and well-being, as well as our children’s future, so that affluent shortsighted folks can have “just plane fun”?

BARRY RAEBECK


Unwarranted Fear
Springs
July 20, 2019

Dear David:

The wind farm proposed to be sited out of sight 35 miles off our shores can make a significant contribution to slowing the climate change that so threatens our beautiful seaside community and all life on our precious, unique planet. It is crucial to our town commitment to be powered 100 percent by renewables by 2030.

To my consternation, opposition is being skillfully fomented by a few individuals who, for various self-interested reasons, loudly promote misinformation and even disinformation about the project and the company behind it, sowing unwarranted fear and distrust.

The brouhaha is over the onshore route of the transmission line carrying the wind-generated electricity from the turbines to the East Hampton substation. The entire line will be underground. I have seen the equivalent on Block Island, and it is hardly noticeable. All you can see are occasional manhole covers.

Yes, there would be a few months of wintertime construction for installation, but the route from Wainscott is only four miles long and half of it is in the railroad corridor. So this disruption is in no way a big deal. Just a few months ago, 10 miles of water main were installed in Wainscott, and not a peep was heard to challenge it. All that will be visible at the landing site is a manhole cover in the parking lot. I have seen the equivalent on Block Island, and it is hardly noticeable.

What about Orsted? Orsted is a renewable energy company and a global leader in offshore wind. Its new partner, Eversource, is a premier transmission builder with 100 years of experience providing energy in the Northeast. This Danish company in 2018 won an award for the most socially responsible companies in the world. Orsted supplies over 25 percent of the world’s wind energy capacity. It has experience successfully building thousands of offshore turbines in Europe. Fishermen in England, the Netherlands, and France report positively; they say that the fish love these artificial reefs. If these were oil rigs, there would be not only climate damage but also occasional spills killing thousands of marine animals. What harm can we even imagine from a wind spill?

Independent of East Hampton’s decisions, there will be two-dozen government reviews before construction can begin. These will provide detailed environmental and other reviews at a technical level above and beyond what one might reasonably expect at the local level. Numerous top environmental groups are participating in the process. In addition, East Hampton has the right to submit all our questions and concerns in these processes. The town board has already begun with its first submission.

The South Fork Wind Farm will be able to generate enough power for 70,000 South fork homes. Our region has the fastest growth rate for electricity use on Long Island. Forecasts indicate that that all the electricity generated by the South Fork Wind Farm will be utilized, required, in our local region. But even if that proves not to be the case, what portion serves homes and businesses in East Hampton and what portion serves homes elsewhere matters not a bit to its lessening of global warming and the acidification of our waters. Acidification from burning fossil fuels has already been a factor in driving the lobsters north and harms all life in the ocean.

We as citizens have a duty not only to our local community but also to the nation. Let’s think globally and act locally: Let our trustees and board members know that you want to be counted and will welcome the wind farm.

ALICE TEPPER MARLIN


Fearmongers
Wainscott
July 15, 2019

Dear David:

When reading the letters section in The East Hampton Star, I was shocked to see that some candidates in this year’s political elections stooped so low by name-calling, making false accusations, making demeaning statements, and personally attacking every incumbent and whole groups of people. In such a small, tight-knit community, we’ve known each other for many years; we know the statements aren’t true and it amazes me someone believes such a dirty, negative campaign will win them an election. It will only earn them the disdain of the entire community.

The same thing is occurring with opposition to offshore wind. All of a sudden folks with no background became experts. As I said in my comments at the Public Service Commission hearings, there rose up in our community charlatans, purveyors of false information, and fearmongers. The opposition to offshore wind makes it appear they know what they are talking about while accusing others of making false statements at the same time. It is clear they don’t have the slightest knowledge of physics or electrical engineering. No one is in the bag for Deepwater Wind, no one is a shill for them either.

We are in a climate crisis — that is a scientific fact — ocean temperatures are increasing, from thermal expansion alone the sea level is rising. We are seeing real evidence, such as “dirt-bag” beach, roads under water, ferry platforms being raised due to higher tides and unusual weather patterns such as superstorms. The use of fossil fuels is causing acidification of the ocean, biodiversity degradation, and increasing ocean temperatures are causing fish migrations farther north, more than ever before. The impacts of the climate crisis are already impacting the fishing industry. We don’t need to speculate what might happen in the future. The crisis is already upon us and we fiddle while we are paying for past use of fossil fuels.

I’ve advocated for the “Fierce Urgency of Now” to end our addiction to fossil fuels for over 10 years. In 2010, I coined the phrase “The East End is ground zero for sea level rise” while co-writing “Climate Resilience and Recovery — Built and Natural Systems,” which became the flagship program of the Peconic Institute. This was prior to Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy.

There are many people in our community who are acting appropriately to such a crisis. This is not because they have any other nefarious relationship with Deepwater Wind. It has nothing to do with Deepwater Wind. There is sufficient technology to meet all the world’s energy needs from renewable energy. As with any addiction, withdrawals are painful, and that is exactly what we are seeing with uninformed people screaming in opposition to offshore wind.

Sincerely,

FRANK DALENE


False ‘Fact’
Springs
July 20, 2019

David:

Opponents of wind energy for East Hampton are again putting out false “facts” and omitting important information about the South Fork Wind Farm project 35 miles off Montauk. (Note: Wind turbines will not be seen from shore.) As the misinformation is corrected, please note that the asterisk next to the corrected fact has come from written supporting material.

First, let’s start with the name of the project. Deepwater has been bought up by Orsted. Orsted has partnered 50-50 with Eversource in Connecticut. However, the actual project we are dealing with in East Hampton is called South Fork Wind Farm. All their written material is labeled South Fork Wind Farm.

A false “fact” that was published recently by an opponent of wind power stated that wind in the summer when East Hampton needs the extra power is “lighter and more variable.” False.

A recent study from Rutgers University concluded that wind over the ocean in the Northeast “during the summer and fall has the greatest possibility for potential wind energy.” It has also been noted in the literature that the Northeast has the most consistent wind in America.

There has been discussion concerning the need and distribution of electricity on the South Fork. I will quote from the fact sheet provided by the South Fork Wind Farm.

“Here on the South Fork, unlike other parts of Long Island, power usage has been growing steadily and East Hampton needs more energy supply. Our year- round population is about 23,000 residents, but in the peak season we quadruple in size. Also, the South Fork is the fastest growing location on Long Island. Just note the traffic on Route 27.

Imagine a motel guest or renter screaming at you that there is no A.-C. power on one of the hottest days of the year in July, that the family is never renting here again, and they want their money back. (This is a true story.)

It is good to remember that cross-examination of information is healthy when a project comes to town. However, if you chose to publically cross-examine, stating your observation would be more respected and mature without sarcastic language directed at an individual.

Sincerely,

DEBRA FOSTER


A Necessity
East Meadow
July 21, 2019

Dear Mr. Rattray,

Based on the experience with the South Fork Wind Farm, it would be naive to assume these two new wind farms won’t also run into turbulence (“State Awards Contracts for Two New Offshore Wind Farms,” July 18). This time, can we accept that offshore wind is a necessity?

New York is not alone in developing offshore wind. States from Virginia to Massachusetts are in on it, but we may stand to gain the most economically with three wind ports developed, one in Port Jefferson.

Nor are we alone among states in calling for a 100-percent carbon-free future. We’ve just got the most serious goals, which can serve as a road map for other states. That’s why we have to make sure the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, works, including the arrival of 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035.

Excessive heat, rain, and ice melt — the climate crisis — is already upon us, but if we act rapidly and boldly, we can still hold off the worst effects.

JAY BLACKMAN

Bullying
Rochester
July 19, 2019

To the Editor:

I hope that you and your readers will take an interest in a social problem that does not receive enough attention.That social problem is workplace bullying.

A good definition of workplace bullying is that it is repeated mistreatment of one or more workers (the “targets” and victims) by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that is threatening, humiliating, intimidating, demeaning, and/or verbally abusive. Research indicates that between 20 and 40 percent of Americans have been bullied at work. Research also finds that 45 percent of targets/victims suffer stress-related health problems. In addition, research is split between studies that find that 60 percent of workplace bullies are men and studies that find that 60 percent of workplace bullies are women. Research has also found that 70 percent of all women who are bullied at work are bullied by women.

My own take and theory about what is going on here is what you might call the abuse and misuse of having power and control over others with an element/component of psychological and emotional sadism to it.

Sincerely,

STEWART B. EPSTEIN


Trump’s Treason
Westhampton
July 21, 2019

Dear David,

Patriots don’t need to wrap themselves with the flag; they show it respect and dignity. Don the Con(fidence) man wraps himself in the flag, kisses it, and embraces it like it belongs solely to him. This traitor is attempting to convince all of us that he loves the U.S. On the contrary, tearing down America is what he is doing in line with Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy goals.

Putin has weaponized the Syrian refugees by bombing them to force their flight to flood Europe, thus destabilizing our allies while also financially supporting the right-wing, ultranationalist-populist parties rising all over Europe in response to the refugee crisis he has created. Sound familiar? The Brexit adherents are being financed by Putin. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Russian money and agents provocateurs were stoking the migrant crisis coming from Central America?

If Putin invades the Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia: Look them up on a map of Europe), will NATO defend its members or will it be frozen into inaction because Trump is completely unreliable as a NATO partner? Think it can’t happen while we are enmeshed in Trump-created chaos? Think again. Meanwhile, the G.O.P. is enabling Mr. Trump’s treason to such a degree that it is becoming the Gang of Putin; if they are not careful, they’ll also be known as the Gang Of Predators. (Emphasis is author’s.)

Fox (Fix) TV operates as a Russian propaganda outlet passing on Russia’s (Putin’s) spin on events in our country, like the Democratic National Committee hacking the Democratic National Committee — it wasn’t the Russians — while Fix also lavishes praise on this traitor who is forever claiming his innocence. If Trump is so innocent, why is his “transparent” administration attempting to prevent the public from learning the truth as to the depth of his conspiring with the Russians to steal the 2016 election and implement Putin’s goals here? Against all odds, look who won: The proof is in the pudding. Vlad has Trump by the shorthairs and McConnell by the wallet.

There’s an old tidbit of wisdom we would all do well to keep in mind: “He who doth protest too much . . . is guilty!”

My prediction: No 2020 election. Trump will find a reason to “indefinitely” postpone the election due to some kind of manufactured crisis. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait very long to see if my cynicism is warranted. Be prepared.

Truly,

LANCE COREY


Confounds Reality
Wainscott
July 20, 2019

Dear David.

Mr. Neil Hausig, our self-annointed historian, analyst, and professor, whose weekly missives occasionally border on the unhinged. He concludes that the four headless horsewomen of the Congress are the new leaders. A.O.C. and her crew are our future? “We have to protect their backs.” The future of a $93 trillion debt, open borders, deplete the military, and “free” everything for those who break our laws, and relegate citizens to second class? That is just on the surface. “They speak the truth?” Look up the definition of “debunked.” A nice word to define lying.

So we have Representative Tlaib, who appears in a videotaped speech, that the objective was not a mere change but to turn this country into an Islamist state. On her admission to Congress the very first day, proved how classless she is, by referring to the POTUS as a “M-Fer, “ and has doubled down and never offered an apology.

This week, in an interview broadcast on TV, she sat there and proudly defended her foul, classless mouth, “Yes,I curse and so do my constituents!” Her anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rants show exactly who she is. Of course, her recent arrest for disorderly conduct also defines her!

Then we have Representative Omar, who sternly refuses to apologize for her omnipresent offensive remarks. Now it seems that a potential scandal is awakening, starting with the question concerning her last name and I.R.S. filings Her anti-American bias is evident in almost every statement. Her vicious anti-Israel and proposed boycott statements are repeated. Her so-called Muslim marriage that was performed by Christian clergy? The allegation she may have married her brother? Her comments are like a wayward torpedo that may just turn around.

Not to mention Representative Pressley, whose claims that almost everything is labeled racist. She should be like Elvis and should just leave the building.

Last but not least, we have A.O.C., who confounds reality. Did not her chief of staff remark during an interview that the New Green Deal and climate change are a cover and the real agenda is to take over the economy? Being that the world will end in 12 years, why bother?

So many so-called “A” listers have threatened to leave, but are still here? I assume the booming economy grabs them by the purse strings?

Mr. Hausig, have you ever thought about your old residence in Paris and why you chose to come here to the evil empire? You do at times express your displeasure about this wonderful country. Just think you could vacation there and join the “yellow vest brigade,” or relocate and open a Burkini swim shop on the French Riviera being that you seem to be unhappy here.

God bless America, and those heroes from our very beginning that made the ultimate sacrifice to insure our freedom and democracy. “Protect their backs.” The real truth shall set them free!

Yours truly

ARTHUR J. FRENCH


Business as Usual
East Hampton
July 19, 2019

Editor:

When Donald Trump tweeted about the multi-racial female congresswomen there was a moment of serious consternation among Republicans. Lindsey Graham called them communists, trying to rescue the moment, but it fell flat. But when 181 Republican House members voted against condemning Trump’s tweets as racist, the sun came out and all was well in Republican America. Amazing. Out of the closet at last. We are proud. We are patriotic. We are racist.

People never really understood the pain that having Barack Obama as president inflicted on the Republican Party. A black man (see “nigger”) in the White House was bloody insane. Eight years of making speeches and States of the Union. What was wrong with this country? Why isn’t he back in Kenya or working in the fields somewhere? Thank god for Donald Trump.

Forget Jesus and the Constitution, we are we, and they are other. The joy Republicans are experiencing with their new and exposed racism is reminiscent of the K Street boys in their most glorious moments. Crying, praying, playing hide-the-sausage. What a time to be white, young, and conservative in America.

There is no longer a need to have a conversation about racism. It’s no longer rocket science, nuanced thinking, unintended consequences, or economic fallout. It’s just straight out white — love-your-white-ass racism.

There is a universal sense of relief for anyone who had the slightest doubt about America’s racism; 320 years of uncertainty and confusion has been alleviated in one quick vote.

We shouldn’t forget that these guys are the cagers, the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, school shooting guys. They are like the British trying to starve the Irish in the 1840s and the Japanese in Nanking. Racism is simply business as usual.

Marlon Brando coined the term “Scum-Sucking Pigs” in the film “One- Eyed Jacks.” If Republicans are to be totally honest they should change the symbol of the Republican Party from the elephant to the pig with a condom on its head. Turn the G.O.P. into the S.S.P.

So when we ask ourselves who tanked the middle class, slept during 9/11, gave us Iraq and Afghanistan, crashed the economy, and blew up our health care system? S.S.P.

NEIL HAUSIG


Guessing
Plainview
July 16, 2019

David:

President Trump made a point of saying that he did not name the four congresswomen who were clearly his tweets’ targets; but he did brag that “many people agree with me.” He did not name those “agree-ers” either, but I’m guessing he may have been referring to Kim Jong Un, Putin, Erdogan, Mohammed bin Salman, Osama bin Laden, Hitler, Mussolini, Idi Amin, Stalin, Pol Pot, and Attila the Hun.

RICHARD SIEGELMAN


Considered a Crime
New York City
July 19, 2019

To the Star:

Don’t take it. Some people just can’t take criticism; they really really can’t take it. And when you are a world leader you do not have to take it. Defaming heads of state in many countries is considered a crime. The following is a brief international fact checker, consequences of criticisms of their leaders. 1. A. Poltikovskaya A. Baburova G. Kamalov D. Kholodov L. Yudina these are only five of approximately 25 Russian journalists assassinated, murdered, for criticizing you know who. 2. Poland. Publicly insulting the president is punishable up to three years in prison. 3. Thailand. Defaming, insulting, or threatening the king/queen or heir apparent shall be punished with imprisonment of 3 to 15 years. 4. Indonesia. Government drafting a code: insulting the president could get you up to five years in prison. 5. Lebanon. Undermining the dignity of the president punishable by a minimum of one month, maximum two years in prison and/or a fine of $66,400. 6. Turkey. A person defaming the president of the republic shall be imprisoned for one to four years, sentence increased if offense was committed in public. 7. Netherlands. Little liberal believe it or not has laws protecting its rulers’ honor. Intentionally insulting the monarch, spouse, heir apparent could earn you up to five years behind bars. And here are we. The U.S. is the most powerful country in the world, the most powerful head of state where a perpetual tirade of insults, demeanings of an elected leader, earn you a cordial,”If you don’t like it here please feel free to go back to where you came from and straighten out the mess that you escaped from. If not, then stay.” Are we fortunate? Are we blessed? Or are we missing something? Should we heed?

EDWARD A. WAGSCHAL