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January 23, 2013


Ruthless Behavior

Dear Rick,

Your call for appointing "the best and brightest" to do the work of our town's planning and zoning boards should galvanize the interest and concern of every East Hamptonite as well as the Town Board. Most residents of our town, no matter how long they or their families have lived here, share a passionate love for our landscape of bays, ponds and beaches. Most of us yearn as well for the almost bygone look of broad farming fields and traditional architecture. Even as we acknowledge the personal demands of our changed tastes and economic expectations, we want to maintain the town's traditional streetscapes as much as possible.

As you point out, "a planning and zoning process carefully honed over four decades" has protected this unique landscape to an unparalleled degree. Now, as you say, it is threatened by "a determined effort of the current town administration to limit the authority" of professional planners and stack the boards with "malleable appointees who favor the administration's pro-development mentality."

You are right, and the ruthless behavior is potentially detrimental to all of us. It has no long-term benefits for the community. Its only purpose is garnering votes and campaign contributions from libertarian ideologues and developers, whether local or outsiders, willing to sacrifice the goose for the golden egg.

We have some thoughtful, well-informed people of all parties on our boards that are dedicated to preserving our environment while honoring the legitimate concerns of individual property owners. We have highly professional, expert personnel in our planning department who use their very best judgment in recommendations that inform the appointed officials. These appointments set a standard for the future, which all partisans should follow. The Administration can help preserve our future and hone its legacy by adopting that practice now.

JEANNE FRANKL

Unneeded And Rejected

To The Independent,

It would always be sad to waste the funds of the Town of Southampton but in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, prudent expenditure is ever more required. The town needs all available funding for environmental protection and upgrading of storm systems. The more than $500,000 scheduled to be spent by the Town Highway Department on a useless, environmentally disruptive and counterproductive road "reconfiguration" in the Cromer's Market area of Noyac Road must not proceed.

The project takes precious vacant land to "widen" the road yet blocks the stores and then, for no reason, pours the blocked traffic into Pine Neck -- a small residential area that has no outlets. The plan has been summarily rejected by hundreds of people who have testified both at town board meetings and at the Noyac Civic Association, yet the highway superintendent has indicated that he intends to proceed.

The question is, how can one person "decide" to undertake a project that is so unneeded and so rejected? Perfectly reasonable alternate ways to make traffic safer in this area have been presented over and over, including by engineers who live in the area.

What is especially disturbing is that this "plan" is being presented in the name of safety. Yet, it creates an unique and unprecedented danger -- pushing hundreds of cars that would otherwise not be there into a residential area with many children and no sidewalks, so that all, adults, and children alike, walk in streets.

The "plan" requires that shoppers trying to leave the Cromer's area drive a minimum of three blocks through the narrow streets of Pine Neck before they can exit to Noyac Road! These streets, in fact, are so narrow that when two cars pass, one will usually politely stop for the other to assure no inadvertent accident occurs. How will these streets take hundreds of cars?

The highway department, it turns out, is not directly supervised by the town board. Therefore, the board members must take the clear action available to them to stop this depredation; they must take back the funding -- which was allocated on the basis of a previous, quite different, plan. Moreover the current "plan" does not appear to have an environmental impact statement.

The Town of Southampton now has already been made the center of the ugliest roads in the area during the administration of the current highway superintendent. The hundreds of huge signs, which now mar these roads, are not only dismaying but also dangerous. The lineups where there are several of these ugly signs in a row distract people's eyes from the road. The way these rows of "reverse" signs "shine" at night, from the WRONG side of the road, make it constantly possible to mistake what side of the road you are actually on. Now, on top of that, the next plan is to send hundreds of cars that don't even wish to go there through a residential area where children walk to the beach.

The town board must use its available power to stop funding for this.

CHRIS NORWOOD

I'll Never Forget

Dear Editor,

I've been thinking about the day Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. I was on my way to a sociology class at Nassau Community College when I overheard my professor, Dr. Kirwood, talking to one of my Afro-American classmates. He asked him what he was carrying in his briefcase. The student opened it, and it was filled with martial arts weapons. The student said he was carrying them to protect himself after hearing about Dr. King's assassination. The student said they just killed his leader and he was afraid he would be next.

In class Dr. Kirwood talked about his reaction to Dr. King's assassination. He said not only was he mad Dr. King was dead, but he was mad the assassination had caused one of his students to fear so much for his own life that he armed himself with deadly weapons.

As I'm writing this letter, it occurs to me the reason I carried an M-16 rifle, 45 and 38 side arms, hand grenades and a M-79 grenade launcher when I was walking point in the K-9 corps in Vietnam was because I was afraid.

Fear is a terrible thing. It makes you do things you ordinarily wouldn't do.

RICHARD SAWYER

Sandy Hook

Dear Editor,

It's difficult to envision the moment of these children's executions by another evil abomination armed to the gills. The pain we feel when envisioning these terrified little faces is beyond excruciating. The unbearable ripping of our heart when thinking about these small precious beings brings us to beyond endurable pain.

And yet, here we are -- and we still don't get it! We still don't get it that in our violence laden society, our children who are our most precious possessions, are but sitting targets in the one place they should be most safe – their school. They are sitting targets now for the next aspiring evil abomination; aka "the formerly challenged young man," "the high functioning autistic young man," or "the bullied young man at school" or "the non-empathetic young man with Asperger Syndrome" or "just your average run-of-the- mill overmedicated/under medicated schizophrenic lunatic in dire need of institutionalization."

Some are presently sitting in their rooms, in front of their violent computerized video games planning and glorifying in their nightmarish hopes and dreams of becoming the next Lanza, Holmes, Harris, or Klebold.

And as the debates wear on, i.e. the NRA Gun Issue, the background checks, the loopholes; the Second Amendment Issue; the Right to Bear Arms, etc., etc., the next "walking evil" has already figured out how to retrieve his parents "safely locked up" guns in the next room, and salivates at the thought of going out in a blaze of glory!

Let us protect our cherished innocents now, without any hesitation. Let us secure their schools NOW with whatever it takes; i.e., armed security guards, high tech security systems; concealed weapons on trained school personnel; bullet proof windows, etc. whatever it takes!

If the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School had been armed, the shoe of famed New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz in Atlanta on December 16, 2012, would NOT have borne the words "R.I.P. Jack Pinto" . . . who was just six years old.

LINDA STROME

Lasting Freedom?

To the Editor of The Independent,

What is it about war that makes Mr. Moskowitz salivate so? Does he not realize that humans are more than just insect ants or animals who act instinctively to threats, real or imagined, and attack? We have a unique brain with which to analyze a situation and ascertain the best way to solve a problem while inflicting the least pain to mankind and destruction of our globe as a whole.

We were duped into invading Iraq to find their nonexistent nuclear arsenal. We literally toppled Saddam Hussein and began Nation Building, which had always been a "no-no" by both parties. Thus we built the largest American Embassy anywhere. When we leave, the religious factions will resume killing each other as they always had prior to our interruption after a decade and approaching 5,000 American lives, we are leaving.

We invaded Afghanistan to take down the organizer and perpetrator of our 9/11 apocalyptic disaster. Our President took down Osama and after 3,000 plus dead Americans and a dozen years of war and now our soldiers are being killed by the very forces they are training to further stabilize the "Enduring Freedom" we initiated, we are finally leaving. Likely this corrupt government will outlast our "lasting freedom."

I thought everyone knew that the term "Swift Boating" which was used to denigrate Kerry's heroism is now defined as, "a harsh attack by a political opponent that is dishonest, personal and unfair." Check it out.

Swift Boating has about as much credibility as his judgment that, "Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry call into question Obama's judgment and wisdom and his ability to lead this country."

Moskowitz laments the fact that they do not plan to invade Iran and initiate yet another war and also feels that any cuts to our over bloated military budget will weaken our national security stance. How many times over must we be able to blow up the globe? This bravado sounds more like fright than bravery.

I thought Moskowitz's letters were confined to the Hamptons where I constantly read them and assumed he lived. However, I see that the same letters appear in the outer borough local newspapers where he identifies his residence as Londonderry, New Hampshire a lovely town in a beautiful state. Pity to see it demeaned with such base, paranoid thinking.

ARLENE PHILOMENA

Frantic Absurdities

To Independent Editor,

The NRA is really desperate and indeed, it should be! The organization has certainly garnered the disdain or rather disgust, of so many who never even knew what that now infamous bloody NRA acronym stood for.

They have earned it with their single minded, uncompromising goal of getting as many firearms as possible of every type, legally or otherwise, into the hands of anyone and everyone in our country. One letter writer accurately defined NRA as Not Responsible for Anything. However that profound effort by the NRA does not come without great monetary compensation from their benefactors, the gun manufacturers. Who would have imagined?

Of all the frantic absurdities emanating from them, the most ludicrous is the latest. It seems that the President has obtained special treatment for his kids and is having them protected by armed security guards while allowing all other children left at the wiles of mass murders and their guns, to destroy at will. It also seems, it comes as news to our NRA that the entire Obama family, including the President is also protected by special security, as have our past Presidents. NRA alert: It comes with the job.

KIMBERLY LEE

Lies and Distortions

Dear Editor,

The clueless who watch MSNBC simply don't know the political facts and don't care to know about them. What they care about and what MSNBC knows how to satisfy them with, is that they get their preconceived notions, mostly wrong, confirmed.

Actually, that is the reason they don't know ANY facts. It may be that the "other" station that is a craw in MSNBC's mouth is not Fair & Balanced, however one can make the case that MSNBC's scale only has one weight on its left side.

Does MSNBC and the politicians they pander to incubate a comatose audience really think we are facing a national emergency where Draconian laws had to be passed that end in the termination of thousands of New Yorker's jobs upstate (already a seriously depressed area) in a down economy with 1.3 percent GDP, whereas the unemployment rate for Obama's second inauguration will be exactly the same as for his first?

How's that for performance, MSNBC? It's Bush's fault, eh?

What about a million New Yorkers' civil rights having been scuttled for what Governor Cuomo said: "You don't need ten rounds to kill deer!" Indeed, you don't.

And then the NY State Legislature, along with local Republican State Senator LaValle, decided to outlaw defense rifles, for the ARs are emphatically not deer rifles. They are used to hunt varmint, rabbit, coyotes and raccoons. Varmints. And one does need more than ten rounds if several perps kicked in your back door intent on raping your wives and daughters. On the other hand, the governor and Mayor Bloomberg are both protected by a phalanx of bodyguards with no round limits in their magazines, proving to all that their lives are worth far more than yours, and they deserve to live and you don't.

Bushmaster and Remington are only two arms manufacturers in New York. There are others. Kimber, others in Brooklyn -- right in New York City of all places -- the Henry Rifle Company, in business almost 200 years! The next will come as a surprise for you.

A nut job can walk into a kindergarten classroom with a baseball bat and kitchen knives and murder 20 in two minutes - no problem.

Facts MSNBC didn't tell its viewers about New York crime statistics, 2011 the latest:

Death by handgun (mostly illegal) 394

Death by rifle: 5 (mostly hunting accidents)

Death by kitchen knives: 160

Death by fists: 28

The logical conclusion New York State's legislators took: they outlawed rifles that killed no children in 10 years (that's how far our records go back.)

MSNBC exists for one purpose only: To rally its comatose audience around the president, promote his agenda, and to diminish the other party.

That is not it's primary purpose.

It is its only purpose.

It doesn't matter how many lies, distortions and disinformation they parrot every moment. Watch it long enough and you'll believe the Democrats freed blacks from slavery; that Republicans started every war since the Civil War; that Democrats established the National Parks System and the Environmental Protection Agency; that the KKK were mostly Republicans; that there's a 100 percent consensus that global warming is man made - that nature and the sun has nothing to do with it; that Republicans want to destroy nature and the climate and are Spawns of the Devil; that President Bush got rich from Halliburton: and that Mitt Romney is richer than any Democrat, including Al Gore.

Keep watching MSNBC and get dumber. I mean, really, really, get yourself a dim wit.

C'mon, you can do it!

Remember. After you've reached an IQ level of 40, like I have after a whole week watching MSNBC, you will no longer experience any decrease in your intelligence or good judgment. You won't even feel pain if you just glanced at a photo of Obama. It's not possible to get your IQ to go lower because of a built-in safety valve God, er, I meant, Obama, created in your genes.

Hey, it's something to do with your empty mind as you fawn over The Empty Suit, is it not?

A. BENJAMIN

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