Letters to the Editor: 6/25/20

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Show Of Support

On Tuesday, June 16, the Parrish Art Museum received a meaningful and heartening endorsement from our community, as voters approved the annual proposition for funding for the museum through a tax levy, continuing a four-decade show of support for the Parrish.

On behalf of the museum, I want to extend my deep appreciation to the residents of the Tuckahoe and Southampton school districts who participated in the vote.

The approved funds will enable us to continue to collaborate with local teachers to create on- and off-site programs for Tuckahoe and Southampton school students. The Parrish is a year-round resource for the community, providing tours, art classes and workshops, and is free every day for students and children.

Our Resident Members program provides residents and employees of the Tuckahoe and Southampton school districts free admission to the museum and many of its programs.

The Parrish has a long history of deep connections with partners that represent many aspects of our rich community. These relationships have informed and guided all that we do — from exhibitions to public programs to educational engagement — and we realize that our commitment to this work is more important now than ever. We will continue to develop existing and initiate new partnerships, listening to and learning from their voices, and remaining committed to their missions as well as to our own.

We are truly grateful for the community’s validation of the vital role the Parrish Art Museum plays on the East End of Long Island. We look forward to seeing you soon at the Parrish.

Chris Siefert

Interim Director

Parrish Art Museum

Water Mill

Shut It Down

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman is fooling himself — or, worse, trying to fool us — if he thinks encouraging more varied flight paths in and out of the East Hampton Airport is going to solve the noise problems that have developed in recent years [“New Flight Route, Intended To Ease Noise Impacts, Brings New Outrage From Sag Harbor Area,” 27east.com, June 16].

A switch to supposed “all water” routes have shown us that there simply isn’t enough land mass on the East End of Long Island to support what the airport has become. Any path into or out of KHTO is going to ruin the quality of life for people along that path.

There is only one solution — and that is to close the airport. Saving a few hours of driving time for a handful of people is not worth the costs to the rest of us.

Shut it down and find a better use for the land, one that benefits all of the area’s residents and visitors.

Jim Stone

North Sea

Share The Passion

I do not know Marie Eiffel [“Shelter Island Community Pulls Together To Support Local Shop Owner,” 27east.com, June 16]. I was once seated next to her partner, Jason Penney, at a dinner, I heard Marie’s compelling story, had a pleasant evening, and I would welcome sitting next to him at a dinner in the future.

Marie certainly overcame much to survive her car accident and must be very driven to have gained her “business mogul” status. She found a niche catering to experiential vacationers that in most years fits nicely into the Shelter Island experience. In many ways, the Shelter Island community has accepted her style among their own.

I am not a fan of her marketing campaigns — the continuous self-promotion over product promotion doesn’t attract me to her wares — so I don’t shop at her stores. I do not know who declared her “the Hamptons’ most beloved shopkeeper,” and I do not agree with the claim that her seasonal market is “a community center.” She can call herself whatever she wants; if I don’t like it, I won’t shop there.

It does concern me that our local newspapers and news magazines are legitimizing these monikers by writing articles as editorial staff, when these puff pieces read much more like advertising than news reporting — but this isn’t unique to Marie.

Marie’s latest marketing campaign has taken her into a new territory. With the introduction of her GoFundMe campaign, she should no longer be treated as a business by the news media and, instead, treated as a charity.

During this time of uncertainty, many Shelter Island charities are suffering and have lost their regular avenues to solicit contributions. A gift to Marie Eiffel is likely a gift that didn’t go to any one of the 20-plus beloved charities on our island. Many of these charities work all year to earn less than what Marie’s GoFundMe raised in 48 hours.

I am deeply saddened that her story is more compelling to donors than a retreat house for veterans suffering from PTSD, a bone marrow registry, an island preschool, or any one of our East End food pantries.

The donors who give to Marie have every right to give according to what they feel is right and good — it is their money. So my challenge is: How do we tell the story of our charities in a way that our local newspapers dedicate a page to each one of them? How do we get our causes to be written up in regional and national newspapers or lifestyle magazines? How do we get people to be as passionate about supporting education, saving lives and healing wounds as they are about a coffee shop?

Craig Wood

Shelter Island

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