Letters to the Editor: 6/20/19


Ghosts of Artificial Wetlands

Dear Kathryn,

It’s too early for Halloween but the ghosts of the 1990’s “make believe wetlands” are back again to haunt us.

That plan cooked up by Cashin Engineering (cash in, garbage out) went from $9,000 to $350,000 to $877,000

from 1994 to 1999 and was defeated by scientific evidence, not “neighbors fearful of the unknown” as Kevin stated.

In your June 13 issue he has his failed projects mixed up when he dates the Cashin to 2007, it was defeated in 1999 when the voters voted against it and changed mayors from Pierce Hance to Bill Young.

I’ll refer you to Larry Penny, then natural resources director for the Town of East Hampton: he quoted an international expert who had done dozens of wetlands experiments around the world.

He advised us this type of topography was not viable for reclaiming. Science, not “fear of the unknown,” defeated that plan.

Mr. McAllister also backed the Richard Warren dreen plan March 8, 2011, that flooded many basements on Bay and Hempstead streets. As I licensed plumber I should have thanked him for all the work he made for me.

The “meandering stream” he mentions as part of reclaiming the wetland is not on the east side where the proposed plan is. As 100-year-old photos show, that stream was on the west side, meandering in a north-west direction through “Tighe’s Beach” to the north-west corner from the current entrance.

There’s a new stand of phragmites there now, part of the failed dumping of dredge spoils, leaving shards of glass and metal as big as your fist. The mayor ignored concerned citizens for a year-and-a-half and then told us to “talk to Suffolk County,” even though she signed a resolution dated October 24, 2017, that states the village “agrees that it shall protect, indemnify, and hold harmless the County of Suffolk.”

They still haven’t cleaned up the beach, maybe we’ll have an exorcism on June 18th.

All the best,

Terry Sullivan

Sag Harbor


Thanks for Your Support

Dear Kathryn;

I want to thank you and the editorial board of The Express for the endorsement for both myself and Aidan Corish and Bob Plumb.

I am writing this the day before the village election, and sending it as a way to say thank you to the entire village for being so supportive of my run, win or lose.

I don’t know what will happen on Tuesday but whatever happens this has been the experience of a lifetime. I have met so many wonderful new friends and had terrific experiences and felt such great support and love from our community that I will always treasure these past six weeks. If I’m successful I look forward to a long healthy relationship with The Express and the entire East End press in general.

All the best,

Kathleen Mulcahy

Sag Harbor


Changing Times

Dear Editor,

Myself, an accomplished building professional, knocked on the front door of an interested second homeowner from New York City, about my services. It was a Saturday morn, in the summertime, Hamptons, 1997. He had said to come by at 10. I rapped on his door at 9:59. Within a minute this door opened, revealing a fist/hand holding a ring full of keys. This homeowner smiled, and said, “here are the house keys; would you like coffee, or tea?” Giving him my answer, he ushered me to a large couch in the living room, and then started a conversation, the purpose of which was to get better acquainted. He had called me at the suggestion of one of my past customers, who apparently thought well of my work.

No mention was made of the work he wanted done, for a half hour. He simply wanted us to get to know each other better. He even offered me a second cup of coffee, which I took, along with an apple turnover, napkin and plate. We exchanged pleasantries, boasts, and jokes, and once in synch, he showed me what he wanted done. I went through the measurements, trips to the lumber yard and hardware store, home to type up a detailed estimate and then over to the library to make copies. After a trip to the post office to mail his estimate, I returned home.

After three days, later, to retrieve his signed estimate, at the post office, I put his “advance check” into a local bank. I then entered his mansion and for four weeks completed our project, stealing nothing from his drawers, or food from his fridge. I did not sleep there or have parties there either, using hours 3 to 5 on Friday afternoon to leave his domicile very much cleaner and neater than it was on the Monday I arrived on day one. Halfway through a project like this, no matter its size, I would be invited over for a sit-down dinner on a Saturday night, to enjoy supremely made food, and the company of two other friends of this customer, who had their own houses nearby. The purpose of their presence was to get to know me, which they did and of course within a few days to several months, these people would contact me, and have me come over to do work on their site.

This was the late ‘90s, through 2008, a period bereft of doubt, fear, suspicion and self-entitlement. Mutual trust, respect and awareness that our services were not just a result of physical energy, but of cerebral energy of course needed, since this service was in fact a “science” …not just a “craft.”

Then came a more recent time, along with its curious character. Since 2008 there has been a growth of three things, exuded by the average second homeowner from the city 1) Impatience, 2)Self-entitlement and 3) Increased naivete concerning the three-dimentional construct.

Here is just one, of many examples: I had been asked over to estimate on a job, by, yes, one of those second homeowners from NYC. I knocked on his front door exactly at his requested time at 10 a.m., on a Saturday morn. He opened the door, standing erect and controlling, looking down at me, and almost yelling, “Where did you park your truck!?”

“Have you got contractor’s insurance?” “Show me your card!” “How much do you charge per hour?”

I got up close to his face and, since I needed business, was willing to give him a little more time to relax, so instead of walking away, put up with his attitude as we chatted about what he needed done. Even before I had a chance to assemble my figures, he demanded to know what it would cost and how long it would take. I got up into his face, not inches away, and told him, quietly and slowly, “I’m sorry, but you cannot stuff 10 pounds into a 9-pound bag.”

He winced as I walked out the front door, yelling behind my back. “Just where do you think you’re going?!”

I answered with a smile, “As far away from you as I can get,” got in my car and drove away.

I later heard from the person who had given my name to him, that he called her, complaining of what a jerk I was.

These kinds of experiences were never had up until 2008, for me, and other professional builders I’ve come to know well over the years. If anybody reading this story thinks you have the answers to why/how there has been such a change in the common culture over the previous several decades, feel free to inform me of such. My name and phone number is in most yellow phone books, showing my location as East Hampton. My own theory is how the mass media (Hollywood films, radio programs, TV programs, arcade games, etc.,) have over time seduced the common brain, mostly younger and evolving sectors, into thinking life is just a game, and it is all right to cheat/lie/steal, as long as you do not get caught, because then you are not guilty, and you can relax.

Ron Lewis

East Hampton