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August 28, 2013


Think Big

Dear Editor,

In the next 10 years or so, Plum Island will likely come under the jurisdiction of Southold Town. How this diamond in the rough will be zoned and used is of importance not only to Southold but to the entire Peconic Bay region.

It could become not only an economic generator and a job creator but a world-class tourist attraction. If planned correctly, it could also become a year-round destination for the public to enjoy for generations to come.

Now is the time to get involved so that the opportunity to create something of great value is not lost because of lack of interest, creativity, and/or imagination.

Let's think big. What we have is a potential crown jewel.

JACK MCGREEVY

Help Save Lives

Dear Rick,

The Montage of Ellen's Run 5k in your last issue was wonderful and caught the true essence of the event. We are grateful to you, the volunteers, participants and sponsors that created a funded betterment for our community and help save lives. The next Ellen's Run 5k will be on August 17, 2014 and I hope you will honor us again with another splendid rotogravureic display. Thank you.

HOWARD JOHN LEBWITH,

RACE DIRECTOR

Barrage Of Aircraft

Letter to the Editor,

Thursday at 2:32 AM a helicopter flew directly over our house, just above the treetops, into East Hampton Airport. At 2:43 AM we were awakened again by the helicopter departing.

When contacted this morning, an airport representative stated that it will take 24 hours to find out the identity of the helicopter. So, in these days of unrest and Homeland Security, East Hampton Airport personnel have no idea who is flying in and out of their airport in the middle of the night, awakening residents in the process.

In an earlier letter I stated that we were considering relocating, in part due to the constant barrage of aircraft over our home. However, we have lived and been a part of this community for over 35 years. Our friends, lives and volunteer commitments are here. We love Sag Harbor and have chosen to stay and support Quiet Skies Coalition and other organizations who have dedicated themselves to bringing back some of the peace that we all moved here for.

This morning the airport informed us that the offending helicopter was from Talon Air operating out of Farmingdale and flying at an altitude of 1,800 feet. It was also not flying any of the suggested routes. The airport is not able to fine Talon Air for its complete disregard as to curfew, route or altitude but hopefully, making their bad behavior public will help send them a clear message.

BARBARA AND BOB WOLFRAM

Dear Rick,

In the Independent News on May 8, Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst shrugged off her apparent campaign finance violations as "no big deal." In the Southampton Press on August 21, Throne-Holst claims her errors are "honest mistakes" and all discrepancies have been corrected by new treasurer, a professional accountant.

It remains my opinion that there is a pattern of dishonesty with Throne-Holst and skirting of the law. Her campaign fund has a history of errors, omissions and apparent violations of NYS Election Law dating back to when she first ran for office in 2007. She and her campaign treasurers repeatedly have been late with filing the required disclosure reports, routinely accepted donations in excess of the legal limits set forth for a Southampton Town candidate, and failed to disclose with specificity and clarity many campaign expenses and reimbursements paid.

Like the terrible scandals we hear so often about politics in Albany and in Washington, every elected official or candidate who believes that the laws don't apply to them weakens our system of government. Many people eligible to vote don't – opting instead to just sit at home because they feel disenfranchised and frustrated, painting all politicians with a broad brush as "corrupt."

The scandals and repeated acts in violation of law are disconcerting and in this case, especially so since the campaign finance disclosure law was enacted so that the public could see who contributes to any political candidate and specifically what that candidate is using those campaign monies for.

For over 18 months into her second term in office, Throne-Holst's campaign fund reported negative balances on disclosure reports over several reporting periods. The only way a campaign fund has a negative balance on a disclosure report is when reported expenses exceed more than that reported as contributions received. However, there was no inadvertent omission of contributions received over these reporting periods during 2011 and 2012.

In October 2011, Throne-Holst reported over $10,118.95 in refunds to donors due to acceptance in excess of legal limits from various contributors. This resulted in fund balances on subsequent disclosure reports to the NYS BOE during 2011-2012 to show as negative amounts, even though her actual checking account had a more positive balance since the refund checks were not yet redeemed by those contributors.

Throne-Holst continued to expend the ill-gotten monies while holding the office of Supervisor during 2011-2012 and to further her re-election efforts in 2013 since the refund checks have still not been redeemed by those contributors. Instead of "reserving" that money and insisting the donors take back the amounts that exceeded max. contribution limits in her prior races, Throne-Holst dipped into those proceeds until she held a 2013 Campaign Kick-Off fundraiser to seek a third term in office as Supervisor.

In May 2013, amendments were filed by Throne-Holst to prior disclosure reports from 2011 to remove the previously reported refunds altogether. By removing this 2011 refund schedule, the prior reported negative balances were changed on the public reports to make it seem as if all is on the up-and-up. In my opinion, it is an ongoing attempt to deceive.

It is a crime to furnish false information to the Board of Elections. Candidates and campaign treasurers should take seriously the requirements of Election Law. Unfortunately, many do not because enforcement is lax and the state does not have the resources to pursue investigations.

There is precious little trust in government and elected officials. Continued violation of the law and a cavalier attitude toward accountability tars honest representatives of the people.

The 2013 Campaign is about Trust, Truth, Courage, Dedication, and Teamwork. Voters: There are less than 70 days until Election Day, November 5. Choose wisely who you believe will best represent you in local government. Together, we can TAKE BACK THE TOWN.

LINDA KABOT

Former Southampton Town Supervisor and Councilwoman

Candidate for Southampton Town Supervisor, November 5 General Election

Real Journalists

Dear Editor,

Rick – Couldn't agree more with your editorial concerning the news blackout, or should we say propaganda control by the liberal media here on the East End.  

You note the lack of information given to the public, by all but The Independent concerning the ethics probe of our Congressman Tim Bishop. Last week's letter, by James Boyd, and your "editor's note" tell the sad story of censorship in the East End media.  

Interesting that this happens in "liberal land," a place where the Manhattanites and other liberals summer and yet they appear to condone this news blackout. To them it's only "News" if they say it's "News" and everything else is to be censored.

It used to be that self-respecting liberals could disagree with you but defend your right to express your position. I guess things have changed. I encourage the Independent to continue to be real journalists and keep reporting all the News.  

The people on the East End deserve all sides of the story, not only the filtered liberal interpretation

REV. DONALD HAVRILLA

Pastor Southampton Full Gospel Church

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