Hardy Plumbing
February 16, 2011

Being Self-Sufficient

Dear Editor;

This whole issue of "illegal housing" masks the underlying problem: the failure to do something about the illegal immigration problem. Let's face it - years ago, it was American citizens just starting out who rented the loft spaces above someone's garage. They lived in such places until they could save enough money to upgrade to a better place. It was how older people paid off their mortgages to prepare for retirement. What has changed?

The influx of illegals, exacerbated by absentee landlords who fill up a house with too many people.

Because politicians do not want to be painted as racist or wish to alienate a potential future voting demographic, everyone in local government today is into criminalizing what people do with their property: like adding an apartment.

If single people just starting out or trapped in low-paying jobs can't afford to rent houses, where are they supposed to go? There are mobile home parks, but the majority of them are for people 55 or over. There is absolutely NOTHING for people between the ages of 20 and 55 who have no children and can provide proof of income.

The current laws might take care of the overcrowding of too many non-related persons in a single dwelling, but they also penalize American citizens who can't afford to spend $1600 to $2900 per month for a decent place.

There are still quite a few of us who do not want to go knocking on the door of social services. The welfare mentality is not how we were brought up. Besides, once you're in that system, you have to be careful about how much money you show in a bank account, etc. Any appearance that your situation is improving and you're kicked out of the system. We all know the welfare system forces people to remain at a certain level. Frankly, I'm sick of liberals whose only concept of helping people is to get them hooked on yet another government program. People should be able to function and be self-sufficient in the private sector.

Look, this problem goes way beyond the ridiculous zoning laws. The people of Long Island are going to have to take a stand to bring about substantial changes in housing prices. It's time to radically change the tax code so that homeowners who do not have kids in the local school system are exempt from the school portion of the property tax. That would be a step in the right direction. And why haven't developers built town house/condo complexes strictly for single people with no kids?

This is everybody's problem, and I'll tell you why. You have an aging baby-boomer population out there who will someday need to go into nursing homes or assisted living facilities. There won't be any younger workforce to service those places because they will have moved out of state.

Stop telling people what they can do with their property. Attack the illegal immigration problem honestly and straight forward. Only put limits on how many non-related persons can live in a single family home. If there are three bedrooms and one of them is not being used, I see no reason why people should be upset if somebody is renting the spare room and sharing the kitchen and bath.

These socialist approaches do not work and never will. Government jobs are why the country is going broke. The only money government has is the money it takes from people in taxes --- the same people who have to leave because they can't find good-paying private sector jobs or places to live.

And don't even get me started on all the far left environmental laws and other regulations that drive businesses out of New York State.

It's time for the far left, who pretend to be so concerned about the poor and minorities, to get on board with free market ideas that work to everyone's benefit.


Level Of Complexity

Dear Editor;

In Michael Lewis' The Big Short, he offers an anecdote about a hedge fund manager who asks an analyst to explain a recent Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) because he couldn't understand it. The analyst reports back and says, he doesn't understand it either.

Understanding municipal finance isn't quite the same as understanding Wall Street inscrutability, but it requires understanding a certain level of complexity. To explain it to others requires knowledge, an organized thought process and good writing skills.

My way of saying thanks to reporter Kitty Merrill for taking the time to understand municipal finance and explaining it so well to her readers. Her latest effort provides a clear summary of NYS's audit of Southampton Town finances.


Unfair Competition

Dear Rick:

The Obama Administration is spending our money at unprecedented levels and it is projected to continue for years into the future. Our annual federal deficit is approaching $1.5 trillion and will probably hit $2 trillion before long. Our national debt is projected to go from $14 trillion now to $25 trillion in five to eight years.

As of November 30, 2010 the following are the top 10 entities holding U.S. Treasury Securities in billions of dollars: China($896), Japan ($877) United Kingdom ($512), Oil Exporters, including Venezuela ($210) Middle East countries, Brazil ($184) Caribbean Countries ($146), Hong Kong ($139), Canada ($135), Taiwan ($131), Russia ($123).

We are indebted to some countries who are potential adversaries and might be unfriendly to us in the future. They could decrease their purchases of U.S. Treasury Securities, which would increase interest rates; or they could sell their U.S. Securities, which would hurt the dollar and significantly increase inflation.

The U.S. Administration and Congress have to rein in our current spending spree and reduce our deficits and the money we owe to foreign countries.

Harold Myerson, editor-at-large of American Prospect and the L.A. Weekly in his article "Think bigger, Mr. President" has it right. He stated "We need to either raise tariffs on unfair foreign competition or reduce taxes on companies that keep, bring or create jobs at home."


Sold Her Soul

Dear Rick;

As a contributor to The Huffington Post since 2008, I have posted 25 original articles that I value at more than $25,000, for free.

So eager to have a platform for my stories about U. S. soldiers returning from Iraq with cancer, I didn't ask for payment; I merely handed over the 20 to 30 hours of reporting on each piece gratis.

Over that period, I had asked Arianna Huffington several times for financial support. But after being referred to the D.C. based Huffington Post Investigative Fund as a candidate for payment, I was turned down by the fund, as well as by Executive Editor Roy Sekoff.

I become incensed to learn that in December The Huffington Post hired away two New York Times editors for well over $100,000 each.

Then to receive an E-mail from Arianna and Roy about their "exciting news" of the AOL take over, I was less than enthusiastic.

Do they really think 6,000 slave writers will continue to write for free for an international conglomerate like AOL, which pays their web writers, even if it is meager?

AOL made the deal while they courted her over the weekend at the Super Bowl. Not only did they buy out The Huffington Post for $315 million, but $300 million of that amount is in cash.

Essentially, the 6,000 writers Arianna lured with coveted bylines, then exploited while the site raked in ad revenue in the millions of dollars have now been sold without their permission, under the guise that we'll continue to write for AOL for free.

It is presumptuous and arrogant to say the least.

The only way to respond to this downward spiral for writers who are providing original content for not even a slap on the back, is to withdraw.

We have grumbled over the years that our craft has lost its value with technical advancement. Web writing will never compare to print—in respect nor payment—unless we change it.

Since the Internet is unregulated when it comes to rights for writers and photographers, then my fellow scribers, this should be a turning point where we no longer write for free.

How can one person sell another's work, without their permission, unless they are slave labor without laws protecting them?

We might have had no rights contributing to The Huffington Post. But it is OUR decision now whether to write for free for the new owners.

This may be an exciting payday for the masthead, but for the thousands of writers who have kept the site in business and lucrative for five years, it is another beast all together.

If AOL assumes it's business as usual without pay for Huffington Post writers, then the executives brokering the deal need to think again.

Arianna not only sold her soul as well as her ship of slaves, but in my opinion, she sowed the seeds of her own demise with this act of greed and exploitation.

And I may not be the only contributor who needs a glass of water to wash the bitter taste of this deal from my mouth.


Good Fortune

Dear Editor;

The Kendall Madison Foundation extends its thanks to all who made our Annual Kaoraoke Night a success this year! Thank you to the Stephen Talkhouse for letting us hold the event again this year, as well as to all of you who purchased tickets and/or made donations. We would also like to congratulate the winner of our 50/50 raffle, Alice Houseknecht, on her good fortune.


The Best Use

Dear Editor and Powers That Be;

We agree with many others, the EPCAL property in Calverton, all 2900 acres of it, would make, a wonderful air-transportation cargo hub.

It once was a large airport facility with two long runways and all the necessary support infrastructure, operated and owned by the Navy department and assisted in its management and operation by Grumman Corporation.

The facility is ideally situated, and makes no common sense to develop what is already available to the region and create a 365 day, 24/7 economic generator.

Put what we have to its best use! It's much too valuable to lose, and the potential is great.


Elimination Of Jobs

To The Editor;

Thank you for calling your readers' attention to a little-noticed social and economic problem right here in our little town, that is the elimination of jobs at CVS. This giant chain doesn't make enough money, apparently, so it has replaced human cashiers with machines which require no salaries. What a crying shame! And some in town don't seem to understand why the uproar about the march of chain stores into East Hampton. Well, this is one bitter example -- taking jobs away from local people.


(Editor's Note: The CVS has been here for 20 years.)

Churning Hunger?

Dear East Hampton Independent:

Here we go again; another "sportsman" hunter extolling the virtues of his noble killing of deer since by thinning the herd he is diminishing the number of starving deer. That's like cutting off a leg to remove by 50 percent the possibility of athlete's foot. Noble, my foot! Of course there is the never ending threat of standing deer and moving auto occupying the same place at the same time.

Some deer just insist on disobeying those "Deer Crossing" signs. Just one more justifiable reason to kill them.

When that threatening deer is in the crosshairs our "sportsman's" sight, it isn't altruistic motives for driver's safety nor noble concerns for the animal that pulls that trigger. It is the rush that seems to come for some; that ability to snuff out a life at will. It's certainly not a churning of hunger in the stomach that was the driving force as in the pioneering days of yore.

Also, they did not call it "sport." It was part of a day's work. In this day and age, it is cheaper to buy your meat rather than encumber the cost of weapons, license, time, and effort in the preparation of the kill. That's got to be one hell of a rush. Certainly not one duplicated by the "sportsman" merely shooting at an inert bull's eye target . . . not unless they can get it to breath.


How Sad

Dear Rick:

A federal judge has ruled that socialized medicine in America is unconstitutional. Bravo! So, the Supreme Court will now have the final say. How sad.

We, the people, have no confidence that the federal government can run a nationalized health care program. Why? Because the track record of the federal government to get anything right is abysmal. Maybe, just maybe if they (politicians, bureaucrats, etc.) could make us proud of their ability to perform, we would cut them some slack.

I, for one, am sick of the incompetence of Washington. I do not want one sixth of our economy to be taken over by Washington nor do I want Washington to destroy the best health care system in the world. And I am sick of Washington's assault on our liberty.

Why, fair reader, do the Democrats and the RINO Republicans still believe that they know more than we, the citizens of our Republic?


Important Positions

Dear Rick;

The Wilkinson team has made great strides in their 14 months in office. Certainly, with all their accomplishments, they should feel proud but I would hazard a guess that they are far from satisfied. There is so much more to be done.

That brings up the November 2011 election. In order to continue all the good works and the ongoing move toward fiscal stability, the people of East Hampton will need to elect additional highly qualified, hard working and committed people to fill important positions. We are looking for candidates who will put the public's interest before their own. Therefore, The East Hampton Town Republican Committee will be screening interested potential candidates as follows:

March 8, 2011, between 7 and 9 PM for the offices of: Town Supervisor, Town Assessor, Town Justice, Town Highway Superintendent;

March 9, 2011, between 7 and 9 PM for the offices of Town Council, Town Trustee

March 10, 2011, between 7 and9 PM for the offices of Town Trustee.

All screenings will be held at the American Legion Hall in Amagansett. We are grateful to them for the use of that facility.

Interested parties may email their resumes to easthamptongop@gmail.com or mail it, to: EHTRC, attention: Trace Duryea, PO Box 616, East Hampton, NY, 11937.

We look forward to presenting the voting public with the very best candidates available to serve this community to the fullest.


Did He Lie?

Dear Rick:

"You can't handle the truth!" - A Few Good Men

"The town is finally moving in the right direction" if you can believe Riverhead Town Board members, referring to the Riverhead Animal Shelter and quoted in the local newspaper. Well, it sounds good. But I've been down this road before. Three years ago, the "right direction" was supposedly "privatization." And that "right direction" led across the bridge to nowhere. I asked Councilman Jim Wooten what is standing in the way now?

"It's complicated," he replied.

Really? Lets start with December 21st and take this one step at a time. That was the day Bruno, a dog at the shelter, was euthanized. Jim was going to conduct an investigation. Three people were involved: Animal Control Officer Lou Coronesi, Chief of Police David Hegermiller and Town Supervisor Sean Walter.

And the paperwork. How complicated could it be?

Jim never did share his findings. Bits and pieces of the story have appeared in the local papers, but key questions go unanswered. Why did Lou Coronesi write contradicting reports – a day apart? Did he in fact, lie to the Supervisor, claiming that the dog bit a child? Did he lie to the Chief of Police as well? Why did the Chief of Police refuse Councilman Wooten's request to delay the dog's death and claim that it was "urgent?" Why has no one been held accountable? But if you ask the Town Board about specifics, it's a "personnel matter" and this convenient veil of secrecy is used to conceal the truth.

Whatever happened to Bruno – a dog in a municipal shelter, funded by taxpayer dollars – is a matter of public concern. And everyone has a right to know what happened. Then, the Town can wrangle with the personnel fallout behind closed doors.

Telling the truth is simple – hiding it gets complicated. Maybe that is what Jim meant.

It's been nearly three months since Bruno died and with the exception of testing stool samples at the shelter, nothing has changed. So, Councilman Wooten and Supervisor Walter, please don't tell me about the "right direction."

Just tell me the truth.


  1. print email
    R. B. Stuart's Comments on Writing for Free
    February 18, 2011 | 03:19 PM

    Hello, R.B.,
    Have you checked with our local papers and magazines lately to see what they pay writers? Guess not. The answer is a pittance or nothing. Still, why blame the owners of the publications? Paying as little as possible is good business. There is always a writer who will do it for less or for free for the glory of the byline or, as one writer said to me, to freshen up her resume. Make writing an avocation and not a vocation. Good and bad writers are a dime a dozen these days.

    Lynne W. Scanlon
  2. print email
    Hi Lynn
    February 19, 2011 | 05:38 PM

    Just a note to clarify. First of all, R.B. wrote for The Independent as well as Hamptons Online and Dan's Papers locally. All of us agreed to pay her, but only The independent did, and on time, as Rb will readily attest. The others promised to pay her then stiffed her. Though you are right that artists and writers struggle these days, the fact that Huffington was sold for $315 million based on the loyalty of its readers -- and its hundreds of freelance writers. Greasing the skids for the writers would have been appropriate in this case. More to the point, RB is writing about a shocking practice -- the exposure of our soldiers overseas to cancer by our own armed forces. Huffington deemed it important enough to publish her, but not pay her. AOL should do the right thing and hire her so this important information gets out there. BTW, her sister was an officer in Iraq and a victim, and Rb has spend a lot of time at Walter Reed hospital with these cancer victims. Bottom line: if the Independent could find some money to pay her, Ms. Huffington --who is loaded -- certainly can as well.

    Rick Murphy, Editor
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