Letters to the Editor: 5/2/19


Creating Affordability

Dear Editor,

I wish to offer my deeply felt thanks to TheExpress and reporter Christine Sampson for the excellent article in the The Express Magazine of April/May2019 titled “Living Affordably.”

As readers of the TheExpress well know, the astronomical real estate prices have made it nearly impossible for residents who do not earn six or seven figures to survive in the area. As investors have reaped windfall profits from real estate in recent decades, the local communities on the East End have been decimated. The result is that our villages, whose streets once teemed with life, have become ghost towns of empty houses with signs for brokers outside.

Catherine Casey, East Hampton Town’s executive director of the East Hampton Housing Authority, was quoted in the article as saying that the current mood is that “we need to provide housing for the people who keep this place going.”

I hope Casey is correct. I also hope that our elected officials have the creativity, courage and energy to find solutions to the challenge of creating affordable housing in Sag Harbor and throughout the East End, such as a transfer tax in real estate sales for affordable housing.

Our community depends on it.


Jonas Hagen

Sag Harbor


Government Shouldn’t Be in Real Estate Business

To the Editor,

On Tuesday, April 9, 2019, Supervisor [Jay] Schneiderman and his three Democratic cohorts spent $1.06 million to purchase the Bel-Aire Cove motel in Hampton Bays. Despite numerous warnings from the Suffolk County Planning Department and the Southampton Town Planning Board regarding the overdevelopment of this small parcel, the supervisor seemed pleased with his “out-of-the-box” approach. Several Hampton Bays residents addressed the town board with their detailed concerns, but even their fellow Hampton Bays resident, Councilwoman Julie Lofstad, appeared to take her marching orders from the supervisor.

If the supervisor wants to roll the dice, perhaps he and his Democratic board should play Monopoly, rather than secure a loan of $1.2 million from the town’s general fund. Motels seem to be a favorite of the supervisor, but Hampton Bays is not Montauk. If and when 12 condos or a 22-room hotel are built, in place of a small park, the supervisor has forced all our taxpayers into the real estate business. In my opinion, this is poor public policy, and it was done using the Urban Renewal law, a strange label for a Hampton Bays project. Real estate development belongs to the private sector. Our town should focus on enforcement of our existing laws, before a place becomes a blighted eyesore in our midst. Once again, Supervisor Schneiderman has found another way to throw money at a problem.

Greg Robins

North Sea

Republican candidate for

Southampton Town Supervisor


The Rarest Find

Dear Editor:

To know our mom, Jill, is to love her. For every one who met my mom, she left an impression wherever she went. Whether it was at a yard sale or at Provisions, people remembered her. A staple of Sag Harbor, our mom spent 30 years of her life making Sag Harbor her home. From Conca D’Oro, to the 5 and Dime, (where she took her grandchildren on the mechanical horse) to the beaches looking for shells, she loved everything about Sag Harbor.

Our mom was a very private and proud person, and never wanted anyone to know about her ailing health, even until the end. Our mom died of throat cancer on March 25, 2019 after being diagnosed in 2016.

Our mom didn’t want a big funeral, and just wanted to be surrounded by her close family. We promised her it wouldn’t be anything more than that. But after speaking to my mom’s good friend, Carla, she made us realize that people wanted to know what happened to their beloved Jill and asked if we could write a little about the incredible woman underneath her signature baseball cap.

Our mom loved a yard sale, plain and simple. She was always convinced she either found a Picasso or a relic from the Chinese dynasty. You could find our mom on the weekends to be the first person on line at a local yard sale sizing up who was on line and what was going to be snagged. She would run through people’s homes or yards not letting on that she liked a painting or a piece of jewelry, as she never wanted anyone to know that she might have found something of value. She always had a strategy.

Oh, and there were stories after stories after the yard sales, as she was always upset that she didn’t either buy the right thing or someone else bought the “Hope Diamond” out from right under her. She tortured herself (and us) wondering if she had just shown up a few minutes earlier, that she would have found the treasure of all treasures. Truth be told, she loved the hunt, she loved to bargain and she loved to research her rare finds. Funny enough, In the end, it was our mom who was the rarest find of all.

Our mom was generous like no other and had a heart of gold. She loved us, her husband, David, all the animals (the deer and the cats she used to feed) and mostly her four grandchildren Emma, Matthew, Julia and Caroline. They were the light of her life.

For us Sag Harbor feels very empty and we can’t imagine being there without her. To those who knew her, I’m sure you feel an emptiness too. As her dear friend Vincent said, “I miss my good friend Jill.” We all do. We love you so much mom.

The Kanas Center at East End Hospice provided our mother with incredible comfort, dignity and compassion during her final days. If you would like to make a donation on our mothers behalf please visit their website at www.eeh.org or mail a check to PO Box 1048 Westhampton Beach, NY 11978.

Thank you so much,

Jennifer Brown and Danielle Wayne

New York, N.Y. and Charlottesville, Virg.