Letters to the Editor: 9/8/16


An Historic Meeting

To the Editor,

I was fortunate to attend the SANS (Sag Harbor Hills, Azurest, Ninevah & Subdivisions) meeting at St Andrews last Friday evening. It was a case of history-in-the-making as well as history being preserved. Georgette Grier-Key, head of the Eastville Community Historical Society, made a persuasive argument for a reconsideration of the value of place. I personally have long thought of historical place in terms of the built environment. But she beautifully pointed out that there is as much value in the cultural history of a place as there is in one with architectural evidence. SANS and Eastville represent two unique historic situations: the former a largely black but integrated neighborhood which became the first black “resort” community in America, and the latter a neighborhood that, in the mid 1800s, was an example of early integration, its inhabitants being Native Americans, African Americans, and European (largely Irish) immigrants, who represented diasporas and yet, as a working culture, were integral to the establishment of wealth in Sag Harbor. Recognizing the cultural significance of these areas will be a critical first step in righting the uneven drawing of the historic districting lines that define importance in our village.

April Gornik

North Haven, NY

Get Priorities Straight

Dear Editor:

At a recent town work session no data was presented to support the premise that the vehicles traveling on Tuckahoe Road through the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club have injured golfers, caddies and golf course workers. At the same work session, there was no evidence that motorists have been hit by golf balls while traveling on this same stretch of Tuckahoe Road. Yet our Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman is still listening to the proposal that the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club should be allowed to privatize this public road. The golf club offered to pay for the construction of a bypass onto St. Andrews Road where traffic will create a major hazard for children at the Montesorri School, parishioners at a heavily used Greek Church and residents who walk along St. Andrews Road.

At the work session held to discuss this proposal, members of the public offered various alternatives: add marked crosswalks, add additional signage (as on Riverside Rd. near the Indian Island Golf Course) to warn golfers when crossing the road, and construct underpasses for golfers, caddies and workers to avoid crossing Tuckahoe Road.  Our Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor clearly stated that he is against the golf club’s proposal to privatize this road for public safety, drainage, environmental and may other reasons. He does not see the public benefit in the golf club’s proposal.

So why is our town supervisor expending so much effort to “hear” the proposal and entertain the golf club’s response to the public’s suggestions? To my knowledge, no one else on the town council voiced any support for taking away public property and giving it to a private entity. Why is Mr. Schneiderman wasting the town money, time and resources on a proposal that does not protect the public benefit? If Mr. Schneiderman were truly interested in safety, he would be working on the safety of Noyac Road, a road that affects thousands of town residents, not a few members of a private golf course.


Elena Loreto, President

Noyac Civic Council

Relief From Ticks

To the Editor:

Are the East End ticks keeping you off our wooded trails or out of your garden? If these creepy blood gluttons are cramping your style, here is good news.

Now you can put away the greasy sprays and stinky insect repellent. Science has lifted the siege. Entomologists have long known that a chemical identical to Chrysanthemum extract kills ticks in seconds and as a bonus repels mosquitoes, black flies and every other biting insect. In 2004 a team of textile chemists discovered and patented a way to infuse it into our clothing.

Here’s how it works. The chemical is called permethrin. Although odorless and clear as water, you never apply it to your skin or hair. It works dried, imbedded in your clothing.

At a minimum for ticks you need a pair of treated socks. In the warm months this writer also uses permethrin infused pants. And when you are walking with mosquitoes or other blood loving insects you can use a treated shirt and hat as well.

There are three ways to get your clothing treated. An easy way is to go on-line to Insect Shield (insectshield.com) and follow their prompts to send them the articles of clothing you want protected. A pair of pants is only $10, less than the cost of new pants even at discount.

An easier way is to purchase new pants and socks on-line directly from Insect Shield, at discount from Sierra Trading Post, or from outdoor retailers like LL Bean, Exofficio, Orvis and REI. Whether you have Insect Shield protect your clothing or you buy it new, you can count on two years of use before you need to renew the treatment. Their claim is 70 washings.

You can also protect your clothing the do it yourself way: purchase a bottle of permethrin on line and spray or soak your clothing in it. Let it dry, and you’re prepared. With a spray bottle of permethrin you can treat your shoes as well for added protection. This home application probably won’t last as long as the clothing Insect Shield prepares themselves. You can’t duplicate their patent for infusing nylon, polyester and cotton polyester blends with permethrin at home.

Why are we only hearing about this now? The answer is simple. The spray insect repellents had a head start. They have been around for at least 100 years. We are accustomed to them even though they are greasy, stinky and strong enough to melt plastics like the steering wheel of your car. And please don’t spill any on the furniture.

Deet was developed in 1944 for the U.S. Army in World War II and is still in use. But thanks to the special problems ticks present, Insect Off now treats all West Point military clothing with permethrin. Since the program began in 2002, new cases of Lyme disease at the Point have dropped to 0. In 2005 the EPA approved and registered permethrin infused clothing. In 2012 the army made all combat clothing available with Permethrin.

Although some hikers use Deet spray in combination with their permethrin infused clothing and I may use a dab of Deet on my cheeks during black fly season in the Adirondacks, my wife and I have found that when using permethrin clothing, Deet is completely unnecessary to protect ourselves against ticks. We walk tick free through thick woods every day of the year protected only with infused socks and pants.

If all this seems too good to be true, see what the entomologists say. Here is a web site for the University of Rhode Island Tick Resource Center. This is one from the Department of Defense: http://www.tickinfo.com/permethrin.htm. Here’s another website from our US Army: https://phc.amedd.army.mil/topics/envirohealth/epm/Pages/PermethrinFactory-TreatedArmyCombatUniforms(ACUPermethrin).aspx. If you don’t believe the Army look at this You Tube video and watch the ticks die: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_XvX9Hyrhw, or this video of a test with mosquitoes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaL5SLRMzHQ.

Mark Potter

North Haven

Managing Stress

To the Editor:

When I was walking point in the canine corps in Vietnam, I was assigned another dog handler whose nickname was “Chicken Shit”. He was given that name by the other dog handlers because he was so afraid of walking point that he would do anything to avoid walking in that point position.

When helicopter dropped the two dog teams off for a search and destroy mission, one of the other dogs started limping. I would ‘t be surprised if his handler had kicked his dog in the leg to make him limp. According to proper protocol, the senior dog handler should have radioed for another helicopter to pick both dog teams up and bring them back to their base camp where the dog could b given proper first aid, but he did not.

During the mission, I saved an entire platoon of soldiers from walking into an ambush by reading my dog’s alert on the enemy’s position. I saw my life go through my head on that mission and I’ll never be the same. I have b suffering from post-traumatic stress, eventhough my dog and I saved all those men. It is ironic, I saved all those men, but I couldn’t even save myself. Part of me died when I stuck my chest out to receive the final piece of Vietnamese lead. I felt it ricochet off my helmet and hit the dirt. I swore, after surviving Vietnam, I would never let the government use me in any way, shape or form again; especially supporting the government getting involved in senseless wars.

When I returned to the base camp, after the mission, I was on an emotional high because I had just saved an entire platoon from an online ambush. An online ambush is one in which the enemy is parallel to its target . I was also elated because I had just escaped from a near brush with death in that ambush.

Since I was not the senior dog handler and Chicken Shit was, he had me walk point for three days with my dog, while he and his dog, who was limping, walked in the rear of the patrol in a much safer position.

In the meantime, Chick Shit had put me on report for forgeting my dog’s food and water on the mission. I had started my food and water with my dog for three days. He was well and alert enough to detect that ambush.

I was livid when I found out that had reported me for maltreating my dog. I started yelling at the top of my voice, “Chicken Shit you have a big mouth!” He responded by saying “I am going to stick you with my bayonet, if you don’t shut up!” I picked up my M-16 and pointed it at him.

Thank God the safety was on, or I might have been writing this story from prison.

After I pulled the trigger on my weapon, I realized what men in uniform must be going through when confronted by a stressful situation which makes them do something that they ordinarily would not do.

After that incident, I started jogging around the base camp perimeter to lose some weight. Not only d I start shedding some pounds, I started feeling better. I was more relax and less stressed. There is nothing more stressful than walking point with a German shepherd in Vietnam. As a matter of fact, my job was the most dangerous job in Vietnam. I started feeling sharper and more alert on my missions and so did my dog. After all, he was jogging with me.

I feel, from my own personal experience in Vietnam, that exercise is one of the best ways to help reduce stress. If police departments throughout this country would initiate exercise programs, including walking, running, biking, weight training, yoga, tai-chi or meditation, there might be a noticeable reduction in stress among police.

Stress is the real enemy, not people, black or white, who are involved in police traffic stops or carrying a weapon with a concealed weapon permit. Stress can be heightened, improper rush to judgment and actions which may be extremely dangerous and regrettable. There is nothing more stressful than having the power of life or death over someone else.

According to Clint Eastwood’s movie, “The Unforgiven,” “When you take a man’s life, you take away all that he is, all that he was and all that he ever will be.”

Richard Sawyer