Letters to the Editor: 10.11.18
October 4, 2018
I very much enjoyed Jamie Bufalino’s story this week on Nick and Toni’s. It was mentioned that the previous restaurant tenant at that location was Ma Bergman’s Pizza and Meatballs. As I recall the restaurant that was there just prior to Nick and Toni’s was an Italian restaurant called L’Orsa Minore. I remember it well not only because I enjoyed its offerings but because of how disappointed I was to learn that it was closing and a new place called Nick and Toni’s was opening in its place. I remember thinking at the time that my wonderful Italian restaurant was being replaced by what I imagined to be some nondescript joint serving bland American cuisine. I was very much pleasantly surprised when I tried the new restaurant and saw that it was even better than the old L’Orsa Minore, and upscale Italian to boot.
October 7, 2018
I respectfully disagree with the view expressed in last week’s editorial that the purchase of easements from the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center is not an appropriate use of monies from the community preservation fund. As you rightfully point out, it is intended for “buying environmentally significant land, recreational sites, farmland, and for historic preservation.” The cinema project meets two of these four criteria, in contrast to the examples of “routine town expenses” and “water quality” issues cited in comparison.
The easements will protect the iconic facade, a significant asset of Sag Harbor’s historic district, and the property itself, as a not-for-profit contributor to the vitality of Main Street, will be protected from any future threats of development. Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman noted that commercial rights to develop the property are well above the negotiated price of $4 million.
The Cinema Arts Center also will be a cultural asset serving East End communities from Montauk to Hampton Bays. In addition to its renascence as an “art house theater,” it will provide opportunities for film experimentation and learning, as well as a flexible complex of assembly spaces.
It is my understanding that Sag Harbor, over the years since the C.P.F. was established, has contributed considerably more to it than it might now receive. As longtime residents of the village, in East Hampton Town, my husband, Paul, and I are grateful that rebuilding the cinema is underway and eligible for this protective funding. We hope you will reconsider your opposition and find the proposal, as we do, excellent and worthy of support.
Waved Me Through
October 6, 2018
On Friday, Sept. 28, at about 12:15 in the afternoon, I was driving up Abraham’s Path from Montauk Highway towards the East Hampton dump, when, on the stretch between Town Lane and Accabonac Road, I encountered a checkpoint operated by the East Hampton Town Police.
Police vehicles were parked on both sides of the road, and an officer stood on the center line. There were two other officers present. As cars slowed down to pass the officer in the center, he looked into the faces of the drivers, not at their inspection stickers, registrations, or seatbelts. As I went through, he looked at my face, then waved me through.
On my return from the dump, I stopped six or eight car lengths before the checkpoint and observed for 20 minutes or so, taking some pictures with my smartphone. I observed the officers pull over two vehicles, which sat on the road’s grassy margin. I did not observe the officers write or issue any tickets, nor use any Breathalyzer equipment. When I then proceeded through the checkpoint, the officer again looked at my face and nowhere else. I asked, “What is this?” and the answer was, “It’s a safety check.” I looked at the two vehicles, which were still sitting there, and observed both drivers were Latino. I will not soon forget the despair in their eyes.
A Lexis search on “safety check” discloses that the phrase is commonly used as an excuse by police conducting a warrantless, and frequently illegal, search of a vehicle or apartment.
What I saw appeared to be a racial profiling checkpoint, illegal under the 4th and 14th Amendments. A friend of mine encountered the checkpoint in the same place the following Monday, Oct. 1. At a town board meeting on Oct. 4, during the public portion, I asked Supervisor Van Scoyoc to investigate and issue a public statement. He promised to do so.
I plan to continue taking an interest. Readers who have personally witnessed similar activity anywhere in East Hampton Town are invited to email me at email@example.com.
October 1, 2018
It is with open arms we welcome the new superintendent. Mr. Turner, to the Amagansett School. We look forward to working with him to build and strengthen a healthy atmosphere at a school that is dedicated to working in the best interest of our students. We also look forward to seeing everyone at our fall fund-raiser at Amber Waves Farm on Oct. 14 from 4 to 7 p.m.
October 3, 2018
Over the past several years I have written a few letters re my hometown. Most were prompted by the experience of Montauk “LANDMAR_S” [sic] that have appeared on the scene.
Like many, I have become so dispirited. Repeatedly I have found myself asking: What ever happened to the building regulations that were applied in the past? Thirty years ago, my lovely next door neighbors were disallowed from adding a second story to their home as it “would have been out of character” with the neighboring houses. Twenty years ago, two sets of nearby neighbors were obliged to use the original footprint of the houses they were replacing, thereby maintaining some form of neighborhood “character.”
The mega erections, constructions that are now beginning to proliferate throughout the town are indeed altering its character. Each bespeaks a wealth that never existed among us, and an architectural monument to an emptiness that they house for a good part of the year. Some crowd building lots with their size or the multiplicity of structures. The excess flaunts the original simplicity of the erstwhile “fishing village.”
As one drives into town now there’s the landmarks: the wonderfully tall flag that tells us about ourselves and the winds, the Carl Fisher building that houses his dreams of the past, the string of Tudor buildings that helped maintain the local color, the waves beyond the motels that often break away from the shore now on the sands that they have dragged away over the years. (A “sea mark,” if you will.)
And now a giant residence poking its massive rooftop over the green that slopes up the highway going toward the Point. Its size sort of parallels that of the landmarks across the highway, the churches. There’s “landmar_s” all over the place, now.
October 8, 2018
David Gruber’s Oct. 2, 2018, letter, “Common Sense‚” states the energy sustainability committee has joined the town board claiming in 2013 the town board appointed an energy sustainability committee “to review and to advise on policies, programs, and issues promoting energy efficiency and environmental sustainability (Town Board Resolution 2013-271).”
I wonder if the balance of Mr. Gruber’s assertions are as misinformed as his references to the town’s energy sustainability committee?
LINDA B. JAMES
Energy Sustainability Committee
October 3, 2018
I have worried about the lack of institutional memory on the town boards, year after year. I was very happy to watch Councilman Jeff Bragman persevere in being able to take the time to review part of the history of the urban renewal process at Tuesday’s town board meeting.
That does a couple of things. It prevents the rewriting of codes, and recognizes that the situation was, indeed, taken care of by some well-meaning and knowledgeable boards in the past, works well, and is codified. And, in fact, has been used many, many times.
Mr. Bragman, having been attorney to the planning board, has followed these codes time and again. Mr. Bragman’s review will not only offer the planning board a review and recognition of the intricacies of their valuable job in that regard, but assure that the process will be respected by the town boards, lawyers, and engineer, each having their individual parts to play.
Lost Its Way
October 8, 2018
As the leader of New York State’s fifth biggest police union, there are times I have to take positions that are counter to the desires of state government, state agency policies, agency commissioners, and even Gov. Andrew Cuomo. In last week’s edition of The East Hampton Star much to the dissatisfaction of both the commissioner of New York State parks Rose Harvey and Governor Cuomo, I voiced the position of our P.B.A. in opposition to the development of cabins at Camp Hero State Park.
Having the gumption to stand up to Governor Cuomo and being the most unpopular person in a room by not going with the pack, asking the hard questions to bring light to deficiencies is never an easy thing to do. It requires independence, dedication to those that I represent, and at times old-fashioned chutzpah.
Public safety, which as a police union, you can imagine is of great importance to our membership. New York State parks has failed in its obligation to provide sufficient police coverage throughout the state and here in East Hampton. This, in turn, has placed additional burden on our local police force and is the equivalent of an unfunded mandate. As a union leader, I have been very vocal on numerous media outlets and through press releases highlighting public safety concerns. As a solution, I drafted legislation Assembly Bill No. A06968 and Senate Bill No. S05267 to merge the New York State Park Police into the state troopers. The legislation, as you can imagine, is complex, dealing with numerous changes to numerous state laws.
East Hampton needs now more than ever a reformer on the East Hampton Town Board, an independent voice that is free of the political tentacles of a one-party rule. We need a town board that is open and transparent, one that listens to the community rather then dictates.
The town board has lost its way! The beaches in Montauk are a mess and will now cost taxpayers millions of dollars. The ever-growing swindle and scam of Deepwater, LIPA, and New York State is now being perpetrated upon not only Montauk but Wainscott as well. The town emergency communications system imploding, leaving not only our first responders but every citizen in jeopardy. The cost of living is spiraling out of control, and there is no long-term economic policy and strategy in place. Our groundwater is becoming increasingly polluted, yet there is no viable long-term townwide plan in place. Pollution from failing septic systems are in place yet no viable long-term remediation plan is available, and the list of problems serious problems goes on and on.
The East Hampton Reform Democrats were correct in their criticism, and in fact, we agree “the board members do not have the answers or the expertise to solve these problems. The board needs to call upon the community members, some of whom have talents and knowledge that the board members lack, to work together and work on solutions to the many complex issues facing the town.”
We have been fortunate to have to elect good people that care about East Hampton and genuinely do believe that. Unfortunately many have only had limited managerial and governmental experience. Their lack of knowledge combined with a Tammany Hall political style party apparatus inevitably makes governing hard even for good people.
One-party rule is never good. A town board controlled by a small group of political party insiders is even worse. Please on Election Day vote for an open and transparent government that will represent all of East Hampton. I will bring the 34 years of state level independent, governmental, regulatory, and administrative expertise. Thank you for your support.
A Shit Show
October 7, 2018
Well after a bruising few weeks we have a new justice seated on our Supreme Court. President Trump stuck by Judge Kavanaugh after an unprecedented assault by Senate Democrats and the liberal media on both his personal and professional life. This was nothing less than a seek and destroy mission for the Democrats, and it did not matter who they hurt in the process. In the wake of what can only be called disgraceful acts by the Democrats, our country is more divided than ever and our institutions terribly harmed, perhaps irrevocably.
The roots of this debacle lay with the Democrats themselves, with the now disgraced former majority leader, the despicable Harry Reid of Nevada. It was Senator Reid who in 2013 invoked the so-called nuclear option while leader of the Senate. Reid can only be described in the most honest of terms: a wholly evil man who destroyed over 200 years of precedent on a whim. He was warned not to do this, even by some of his fellow Democrats, but arrogance and hubris heed no counsel. And now Democrats’ chickens have come home to roost.
Add to the mix the rogues gallery of liberal losers and you can see why this procedure turned into a theater of the absurd. Senator Cory Booker thought he was Spartacus when he was really Retardacus, going on about how brave he was for releasing documents he was authorized to release anyway. Chairman Grassley at one point had to ask Booker if he was going to ask a question after he told the committee how brave he was four times. Booker also admits to sexually assaulting a drunk 15-year-old; the only thing he didn’t do was drive her off a bridge.
Another gem is the not-so-honorable Dick Blumenthal of Connecticut; for years, this man pretended to be a Vietnam vet stealing valor from those who really did serve. When he was called out for it he claimed he just “identified” as a veteran and again another pass for a Democrat was issued. It’s sad that the likes of Jane Fonda spent more time in Vietnam than this loser who cashed in on the sacrifice of real heroes. This alone has to make you wonder just how depraved Democrats are when this piece of liberal filth is lecturing people about lying.
And that leads us to the architect of this misery: Senator Dianne Feinstein. Be it due to incompetence, old age, or more likely pure spite and malice, this withered old crone sat on the knowledge of what Dr. Ford believed for six weeks, time that could have been spent investigating what happened 36 years ago in a compassionate, anonymous, thorough, and nonpartisan fashion. But that didn’t happen. No. Instead we got what amounted to a shit show, brought to you courtesy of the Democrat Party and its infantile members.
As a testament to just how low of a life form Feinstein is, she leaked Dr. Ford’s name and letter when it became politically expedient. Then when questioned about it by chairman Grassley, and it became necessary to shield her sorry ass, insinuated that Dr. Ford herself leaked her own letter to the press. Who is waging a war on women again? Oh, and don’t forget Feinstein had a Chinese spy on her staff for 20 years. That is just awesome squared!
This is why we need people like Lee Zeldin in Congress. We need people who give a damn about right and wrong. We need people with integrity, who believe in our legislative processes and institutions, not frauds who spit on our Constitution and regular order. It’s why President Trump stuck with Judge Kavanaugh, because our laws form the backbone of our country, it’s why we still honor the practice of “innocent until proven guilty,” something that was not afforded to the Honorable Justice Kavanaugh.
“Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” was the line butchered by Dick Blumenthal when he tried to show up the judge. It is a Latin phrase which means “false in one thing, false in everything,” and I can’t think of anything that better describes the modern Democrat Party.
MICHAEL D. BOUKER
October 7, 2018
We now have four justices on the Supreme Court appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote. I’m sure the founding fathers meant well when they created the Electoral College, but it is a failed experiment.
October 7, 2018
To The Editor:
Given the tone and mood in the U.S.A. relative to men, if I were a young woman growing up in this society, I would give serious thought to choosing to become a lesbian even if I were disposed to being heterosexual. The message that I see many people (including Democrats) sending out to all women is this: You cannot trust men. Period. They are all potential sexual harassers and sexual assaulters. They have “lust in their hearts” at all times. You cannot trust any man. You cannot believe in any man. You cannot have faith in any man. If you marry one of these male sex monsters and sex beasts, he will commit serial adultery on you. Men are always priming women for sex. If a man is nice to a woman, it is only because he is priming her for sexual relations one day.
Well, I don’t believe that it is necessary or desirable or just to overreach and overreact like this and constantly male-bash.
I must be naive and just plain stupid and dumb to believe this, but none of the men who I am close to or acquainted with would ever think of sexually harassing or assaulting a woman. Maybe they all have me fooled. The only thing about any of them that bothers me is that one tries to prove that he is the ultimate hero and savior of women and believes he is a far better role model for how men should view women than I am. He overreaches and overdoes it.
But that’s a minor irritant to me. This all saddens me because a lot of women and men are going to miss out on getting to know a lot of good women and men out there who do have a lot to offer to them as good human beings. I know that I am now going to carefully watch and edit and censor every word that I say to a woman because I am supposedly such a dangerous guy who cannot control his urges. It is ridiculous that it has come to this.
But it has. I call it overreach and an overreaction on the part of self-righteous, sanctimonious, holier-than-thou people. I am amazed that some of these political women actually married one of us male sex monsters.
I don’t know how my wife can stand being in the same room as me.
STEWART B. EPSTEIN
The Special ‘They’
October 7, 2018
To the Editor:
There are a few in this world such as Lee Zeldin who we refer to as the special “they.” They trust God while others ask for answers. They step forward while others ask for volunteers. They see beyond the obstacles, the hardships, dangers, and risks. They are called leaders. Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy. Criticism builds character and strength. The recipe for success is through failures and hardship. There are two kinds of pain in the world. Pain that hurts you and the pain that changes you, which at times brings you to the right place. Whenever you try to do something there will always be those who will try to bring you down. It’s amazing the lies that people will believe about others, when truth is more interesting. Some have so little going on in their lives they would prefer to discuss your life. If you think about it, they rain on your parade because they are envious of your sun and tired of their shade. Don’t hate what you can’t imitate. Remember that at times silence is the best answer. No one can make you anything other than what you let inside you. You must deal with the present; everything else is one of three things, a memory, a hope, or a fear.
Courage in politics needs maturity to walk away from people and situations that threaten your peace of mind, self-respect, values, and self-worth. Your actions always reflect who you are. Your power is how you respond to what’s happening. You must give all your energy to your dreams just as you give it to your fears. The wisest man is one who does not believe he is wise; we should speak less, say more. Nobody trips over a mountain, it’s the pebbles that cause you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your life and you will find you have crossed the mountain. Push means persistence, until something happens. Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth. Small minds can’t comprehend that to be great you have to be mocked, hated, and misunderstood. Your power is how you respond to what’s happening. Your mind is a powerful gift, fill it with positive thoughts. Persistence is the twin sister to excellence; one is quality, the other is time. Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach. The past four years of his leadership in Congress show that Lee Zeldin deserves to be re-elected.
As for his opponent, Perry Gershon: People with many opinions tend not to believe in anything. The first appearance fools many, the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden. Perry Gershon is trying to tell the future by looking at the past. This is like driving a car while looking out the rearview mirror. It is easier to criticize everything that is wrong than to come up with hard solutions to make everything right. A neophyte leader doesn’t just qualify for leadership because of the successfulness of his parents and genetics. There are those whom we refer to as the special “they.”
They can, they do, and they will. Perry Gershon is not one of the special “they.”
October 8, 2018
Yesterday in conversation with a friend, she said that she was concerned about the potential problems for her nephews and his male friends because of the craziness around the #MeToo movement. That she parroted Trump was not surprising. That she didn’t understand the sophistry and the false equivalence of the statement made me reconsider my opinion of her.
I explained that as many as 60 million women have experienced some form of sexual abuse and that the several dozen cases that have received notice in the media were less then one-hundredth of 1 percent of the problem. That the president (in what has been known forever in fascist mode) reversed the issue of white male privilege and sexual abuse and turned the abusers into the abused. The concern for young males is so spurious and counterfeit that it wouldn’t merit any comment except that the president put it out to the world. It also serves to denigrate and malign the Supreme Court selection process by turning it into a popularity contest.
The president’s mocking of Ms. Ford at a political rally and the reaction of the crowd was a psychotic bombshell that identified the participants as psychologically and morally unbalanced. Hillary Clinton’s observation now seem spot on and insightful rather than derogatory.
Trump chose Kavanaugh because he is an ardent supporter of executive privilege, white male privilege, and corporate hegemony. (All of which implies significant racist, misogynist, and anti-
Democratic beliefs.) Not because he is a fair-minded, intelligent jurist who will protect the Constitution. He is lacking much of the personal impeccable credentials of a Neil Gorsuch or a Merrick Garland. See the ease with which Gorsuch’s process went through.
The Merrick Garland issue, however, strips Kavanaugh of any protections for the slightest flaws in his character. McConnell’s refusal to give Garland a hearing has completely altered and diminished the court selection process. Due process and basic respect have been stripped away. McConnell and his Republican counterparts’ racist, undemocratic, and partisan actions regarding Garland and toward Obama have ruined the court.
After Garland, there is nothing to say. Lindsay Graham’s tirades and Trump’s tweets are all meaningless babble. The Senate has no credibility, honor, or fairness. Kavanaugh is irrelevant. Another conservative nominee without his baggage could have taken his place. But white, misogynist privilege would have taken a hit and the old white men who lead the Republican Party don’t take to being smacked around. So Collins comes to the rescue as simple-minded white women often do. A sense of betrayal, helplessness, and hopelessness is what many of us are left with.
The image of Trump mocking Dr. Ford and the crowd laughing and cheering is seared into our consciousness. Time to pack up and leave or go to war?
That Faux Pas
October 7, 2018
To the Editor:
When President Trump pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) who knew he’d soon be involved with his own TTP (Trump Toilet Paper) affair? I know it’s Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, who is currently touring countries in Africa — the continent of which PresidentTrump wrongly/disgustingly/inelegantly/unpresidentially/undiplomatically once called several of its countries “shit-hole countries;” but is there any connection between that faux pas of his to his being photographed with what appeared to be a piece of toilet paper stuck to his left shoe as he walked up the stairs into Air Force One? Sad!