Source: The Independent

December 11, 2013

An Ideal Location

Dear Editor,

I would like to comment on the proposed senior housing development planned for Amagansett.

Before retiring, I worked closely with the Orange County (NY) Planning Department and several nationally recognized planners. They all stressed that good planning involved placing housing close together so that open space could be preserved on appropriate parcels of land. They also stressed that housing for the elderly should be placed in areas where there was easy access to public transportation and to various businesses. Senior housing should not be located in isolated areas but placed in or near town centers.

The Town of East Hampton has a Master Plan and I am confident it speaks to the need of higher density in areas for specific situations, like senior housing. Good planning calls for such developments to be close to needed businesses in order to be readily available to the residents. The IGA, post office and health facilities are very near this proposed development. I believe this is an ideal location. It has worked well with the Lutheran church’s housing. As a senior citizen of this town, who wants to stay here, it’s time to stop talking and start implementing the plan for seniors.

I respectfully request that the town board approve this much needed project and make whatever zone changes may be required.


Better Angels

Dear Mr. Murphy,

After a landslide win in New Jersey by moderate Republican Chris Christie, conservative columnist for The New York Times, Ross Douthat, recommended that Mr. Christie reach out to the Republican conservative base if he intends to pursue higher office (“Dear Governor Christie,” 11/10). However conservative columnist for the New York Post, Peggy Noonan, pointed out that Republican moderates have always reached out to conservatives often to be deterred (“Change is Gonna Come,” 11/10).

In the last Southampton election, Linda Kabot reached out to conservative voters, however, instead of acting as an advisor, conservative candidate Phil Keith referred to Kabot’s campaign as shrill and questioned her political signs. More troubling was the decision by Conservatives to endorse a Democratic majority implying that Southampton Democrats are more capable of running the Town than Republicans, a self-critique that cannot have helped the Republican slate.

Many issues weren’t addressed in the last election. Residents are worried about property rights; the zoning system is still being gamed by both parties; and business district improvements are still needed. My favorite gripe, of course, is the failure of Conservatives to demand an investigation into an expensive drainage project that functions as effectively as the Obamacare website.

After a landslide win in New York against a conservative from Buffalo, Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “The people of the state listened to their better angels.” Yet Cuomo endorsed Southampton Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst who aligned with Conservatives. With respect to Southampton voters who always listen to their better angels, a Democratic/Conservative alliance can be said to represent a government lacking in checks and balances. I have only to step outside my door to see that a need still exists for true opposition.


Like Royalty

Dear Jessica,

To these two incredible, show stopping animals, thank you so much for highlighting my good, long time friend, Victor Joseph and his new book, “Danes are Great! The Adventures of Brando & Kruger.”

I had the unique pleasure of meeting Victor while these two magnificent animals were under his charge - Victor, the most loving, kindest person on the planet, has taken two of his passions, his love of writing and his complete adoration and dedication and put it all in this book. Hats off to you Victor! And, thank you, Jessica for putting the word out for Victor and his two, now deceased, true pals, Brando and Kruguer. He treated them not only with great love and dignity, but like royalty! Best always,


Editor’s Note: Jessica Mackin is The Independent’s Arts Editor and Associate Publisher.