Letters to the Editor: 3/2/17
Policy of Power
The recent flap about the pu…., whoops, cat hats should be instructive to all of us. The word “politics” comes from Greek and originally meant the affairs of the cities. More generally it refers to social interactions, governing, who shall have power and how it is exercised. To object to the sale of the hats at school as being too political is in fact an exercise of political power; in this case powerful groups, parents and administrators, determining how less powerful groups, students, shall conduct their affairs.
We can never be free of politics; it is all around us. We should hope that conflicts get resolved and elucidated through reasoned factual discourse and understanding, and not hasty emotional outbursts. Often the messages we transmit through social media are misconstrued. When we talk face to face we are more likely to understand one another.
Thanks From the Federicos
On behalf of the family of Jim Federico, we extend our deepest gratitude to all those who helped with the blood drive. Due do the blizzard and dig out, the New York Blood Center was short staffed for us. So many of you who were still able to make it out in those road conditions, waiting so patiently, and we sincerely thank you for that. Although we didn’t meet our goal of 93 pints, you collectively donated a total of 90 pints. Impressive!
We also need to thank many of our local businesses whose generosity helped make our blood drive possible. They provided the nourishment for after you gave, and also provided coupons for our “pint for a pint” campaign: Cove Deli, Cromers, Bagel Buoy, Espresso, World Pie, The Corner Bar, MJ Dowlings, Sing City, Page, Il Cappucinos, Schiavoni’s IGA, Cathy Cappazola, Lynn Politi, Cheryl Rozzi and Carvel. A huge thank you to Conca D’Oro, Hampton Motorsports, Scarlett Rose Salon, and The Sag Harbor Variety Store for donating door prizes for the blood donors.
We have a number of thanks to give out to those who helped us to advertise the event. First, to Gavin and Kathryn Menu and the Sag Harbor Express, we thank you for taking the time and space to promote our blood drive. Thank you to WLNG for running our public service announcement. Thank you to Dayton, Ritz and Osborne for sponsoring the online advertisement. Thank you to The Cardo Family, The Garypie Family, The O’Donnell Family, Jaime Kosinski, Amaden Gay Agencies and RJ Federico Inc. for sponsoring our billboard signs.
Our biggest round of applause goes to the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps. These volunteers serve the Sag Harbor community day and night, and in all sorts of weather, in addition to running three blood drives each year. We are so lucky to have them in our community, and further blessed to call them friends.
Until next year! In the meantime, remember you can give a single unit of blood every eight weeks, and a double unit every 16 weeks. Go to the NY Blood Center website to schedule your next (or first) donation.
The Federico Family
Kudos for Standing Up
Democracy is meant to be a discussion of ideas, a way to share your thoughts on the important issues to find meaningful solutions. Democracy is not yelling, screaming, and badgering others with your opinions until they agree with you. There are serious problems facing our nation right now; however, aggressive, confrontational, or even violent actions or gestures is never the way to address these issues.
When I heard about the way people protested Congressman Zeldin’s Man of the Year ceremony, I was speechless. This was a nonpolitical community event meant to honor the Congressman, and these protesters chose to disrupt traffic, bang on vehicles, and verbally assault the attendees. Frankly, this is despicable. It’s fine to have a different opinion than your Congressman, but these kinds of action are unacceptable, and the protesters in attendance should be ashamed of themselves.
Now, Congressman Zeldin is being attacked for choosing to cancel a future meeting, one that he has previously attended, because it was already being targeted by the very same protestors. They are even trying to call it a town hall, when that is not what the meeting actually was. You have to read some of the nasty comments being directed at Congressman Zeldin and the names he is being called; it’s absolutely ridiculous. I respect Zeldin’s decision here; when you know that you’re about to be targeted and harassed by the same people who had caused a violent disruption at a past event, it is in the best interest for everyone’s safety to call it off. He’s not running away from anyone, he’s choosing to not attend a meeting that was destined to turn ugly. It’s called foresight, people.
On top of this, Congressman Zeldin has constantly put himself out there during his first term to meet with people in the district of all political views. It’s fine to disagree with Congressman Zeldin’s policies and stances, but do so in a respectful and intelligent manner or you will not be taken seriously. It’s time to grow up; throwing a temper tantrum didn’t work when you were a kid, and it’s not going to work here. Kudos to Rep. Zeldin for standing up to these bullies and not giving in to their immature ploys. To everyone out there who has decided to obstruct, protest, and cause noise for the sake of causing noise, give it rest already.
Bad Decision on Bay Street
As our village continues to come to terms with the devastating fire on Main Street that resulted in the destruction of one of our most important and cherished cultural institutions, it would be expected that our elected representatives would be mindful not to damage another. Alas no. By denying the Bay Street Theater the permission they require to move the date of their annual fundraising event, a reasonable request and one supported by many of the village merchants, our board of trustees, or more accurately Mayor Shroeder, and trustees O’ Donnell and Deyermond, risk undermining the financial security and long term viability of what I believe to be our most cherished and generous cultural institution.
Let’s not forget that only a few years ago, there was general consternation at the possibility that the theater might lose their lease and were considering an offer to move to Southampton. Then mayor Greg Ferraris put it best when he said:
“Bay Street Theatre provides a social, cultural and economic anchor to the Village of Sag Harbor that is paramount to the success and popularity that the village currently embraces,” said Sag Harbor Mayor Ferraris, a longtime supporter of the theatre. “On behalf of the entire village and surrounding community, I thank the Board of Directors for their leadership and Patrick Malloy for his continued support of Bay Street Theatre.”
Local newspapers report that in addition to being denied, Ms. Tracy Mitchell, Bay Street’s executive director, who apologized for having to make the request in the first place, had to endure the rancor of Trustee O’Donnell. O’Donnell reportedly characterized the event as “a windfall for Bay Street” and in addition scoffed: “You’re asking to take eighty eight parking spots at the end of the equation so that Alec Baldwin can sit down there and drink his scotch.” How utterly unbecoming for a trustee of our village.
It is worth noting that Trustee O’Donnell, who introduced the motion to deny the Bay Street Theater request, is the proprietor of the La Superica restaurant. Given it’s location and dearth of parking, it is a fair assumption that some, if not many of the contentious 88 parking spots might well be occupied by La Superica patrons on a July evening.
When we present ourselves in front of any of our village boards it should not be as supplicants, but as equals deserving of a fair hearing, courtesy and respect. The full board of trustees should immediately reconsider the application and Trustee O’Donnell should recuse himself.
With Presidents Week behind us, we are reminded that the “season” is fast approaching. So it is not too early to remind ourselves about the need for civility on the road. Soon the trade parade will be marching across the South Fork, followed by the hordes of visitors who come to spend time in our communities. As off-putting as this can be, we must not let the aggravation defeat us and reduce us to hostile animals.
Kudos to Meals Helpers
We would like to thank two Sag Harbor businesses for their support of East Hampton Meals on Wheels. Each year Sag Harbor Florist donates a beautifully wrapped orchid to every one of our clients on their birthdays. Needless to say, these homebound folks, many of them without families, are thrilled with this birthday gift and look forward to it each year as their birthdays approach. This year another Sag Harbor business, Provisions, donated to us a portion of all of their January bag sales and gave our staff the opportunity to provide their customers with information about the mission of our organization and how they might help.
We wish the best to all of the folks involved in improving the quality of life for our home bound residents. If you would like to help, please call 631-329-1669 or visit ehmealsonwheels.org.
Very truly yours,
East Hampton Meals on Wheels