Crimes Against Humanity
To the editor,
Hundred of thousands of victims of P.T.S.D have preceded Staff Sgt. Bales, a 38-year-old father of two children, injured twice in combat, sent back to Iraq three times and then deployed to Afghanistan. How would you like to walk in his boots? These are crimes against humanity on both sides.
While in Afghanistan he snapped according to other soldiers and killed 16 innocent civilians, 9 of who were children. Tens of thousands of our soldiers with P.T.S.D. have committed suicide. Their souls have been damaged too. Notice the military never refers to the term souls relating to these crimes against humanity. That would raise the question of conscience. The soul of our nation needs to be awakened.
In perpetual ware where we have been taken is also a ware perpetrated upon the American people peripheral victims of P.T.S.D. In every war humanity loses. These are crimes against humanity.
In peace, not war,
Soup Cans and Giant Gams
The fact that the Larry Rivers “Legs” is a “structure” as defined in the village code is not the end of the story. The village can, if it wishes, define a snail as a “structure”. However, if snails are a protected specie, they will remain protected even after having this honor conferred upon them. The same is true of The Legs. They clearly are an artistic expression that their owners wish to propagate, and artistic expression clearly is protected from governmental censorship by the free speech clause of the First Amendment.
Of course, the protection is not absolute. If The Legs posed a serious threat to safety or welfare, that would trump the constitutional protection and would permit the zoning board to require their removal. However, I have heard no allegations to that effect and the reasons for removal under the zoning rules seem to me to be flimsy. To require a 35 foot setback when the building that they are alongside of is about two feet from the property line defies all logic, and the other two variances such as being 1.1 feet too high seem miniscule and purposeless as applied here.
As a result, if the zoning board orders their removal, I think it clearly will be on aesthetic grounds and that is censorship which is constitutionally prohibited. If it happens, it is likely that the result will be litigation, perhaps with the intervention of the ACLU, which will be expensive and which the village will lose.
The case would be different if it were being considered by the Board of Historic Preservation & Architectural Review, which probably is where it should have gone in the first place. That board is responsible to preserve the appearance of the historic village. Were it to hold that the display of a mid-twentieth century pop art sculpture detracted from that appearance, their determination might be upheld by the courts. However, I do not think so. Many historic villages allow the display of modern artifacts as reflecting their natural evolution, and The Legs do nothing to change the historic appearance of the building behind them. Moreover, sidewalks, electric street lights, automobiles and other modern appurtenances have long been permitted in the historical area.
I think that it is time to calm the waters. To drop some of the silly statements such as that the village cannot be put in the position of determining what is “art”, or that the members of the zoning board are tired of being accused of being “anti art”. Like every level of government in our country, the village will at times need to decide whether an object is, or is not, constitutionally-protected art. Making that determination obviously will be difficult in some cases, but not in this case. The Legs, like them or not (and I do like them), are a striking example of a fascinating, New York based, chapter in modern art, featuring paintings of Campbell Soup cans, of comic book pages written large, and, yes, a 16.1 foot sculpture of feminine legs.
Philip T Kaplan
Save the Launch
March 20, 2012
Mayor Brian Gilbride
Sag Harbor Municipal Building
PO Box 660
Sag Harbor, NY 11963
RE: SAVE THE SAG HARBOR LAUNCH SERVICE
Honorable Mayor Brian Gilbride and the Board of Trustees:
First, I want to thank you and the Board of Trustees for keeping Sag Harbor Village and harbor services inviting and service oriented for the fair-weather sailors who frequent your beautiful harbor.
However, I have become sadden by the news that the Board of Trustee has ordered the discontinuous of the launch service. I cannot beg of you and the trustees to reconsider this action. Like me and many baby boomers that frequently use the transient moorings inside the wall and the launch service; would not have an option in getting guest aboard, purchasing provisions, using the various services of the village without the use of the launch service.
I don’t know if you are aware, but many sailors from around the country and the world make their destinations based on harbors supplying launch services to transient like myself. I am a regular transient to Sag harbor. I have come there so long until many of the business owners in the village are on first name bases. A launch service is that peace of mind that makes your home away from home safer and convenient for land services. It also adds a peace of mind when local information is required, particularly when your tender or dinghy’s engine is down. More importantly, the staff who ran the launch service made us feel welcome and part of the community. Of all of the villages and harbors I frequent, it is Sag Harbor that has become my special place on Long Island.
A launch service is the decision making for transient sailor coming into a harbor. When we are seeking information about a sailing destination in the Water Guides, we look for those harbors that supply a Launch service. It is the life-line between you, the transient and safe harbors.
I beg of you and your Board of Trustee to reconsider reinstating the Sag Harbor launch service. If there is anything I can do in helping you to keep the services, please feel free to contact me.
Dear Bryan Boyhan and Claire Walla,
In this day and age of extreme divisiveness, Republicans vs. Democrats, liberals vs. conservaties, a group of 100 plus people from all walks of life, young and old, men and women came together to express some solid ideas. There was no fighting, no arguing.
For the past couple of months, the Sag Harbor Express has been reporting about the town’s plan for changing Noyac Road at Cromer’s Market/Whalebone General Store. On March 28, a special meeting was held by Southampton Town and the Noyac Civic Council at the Bridgehampton Nutrition Center.
Most of the people who spoke at this special meeting about Noyac Road at Cromer’s Market/Whalebone General Store came up with entirely different ideas from the town’s plan. What was interesting was that it was a common sense approach. All the residents wanted a start small approach, unlike Southampton Town’s highway superintendent Alex Gregor’s grand plan. None of the residents liked all the concrete barriers or the plans to redirect traffic into residential streets. The residents’ suggestions included rumble strips, speed bumps, stop signs and a turn lane.
If the Town of Southampton’s plan is enacted against the wishes of the local residents, it will forever change the look and character of the Noyac Hamlet. It will never go away, whereas a simple speed bump or rumble strips can be upgraded. The cost of the study was in excess of $90,000 which means that this project will be $1,000,000 or more. This figure is just my guestimate.
I would like to applaud Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst for calling this one last meeting before a decision is made. Ms. Throne-Holst said that she heard us at this meeting. I hope her promise to review the residents’ suggestions to start small is kept and enacted.
Say “No” to Ferry
I am opposed to the ferry going in on our village waterfront. I don’t believe there is any benefit for the village and it can do nothing but add to the town congestion, whether it is located at the wharf or in the yacht club/sanitation system area.
We have a perfectly good way to get to the North Fork right now without adding one car or busses going to and fro every hour or so until midnight. How are busses green? And how is a ferry vs. no ferry a green solution….and solution to what?
There would certainly be people who decide not to take the busses and therefore would drive and park in town to take a ferry.
We now have two parking lots, condos, and a sanitation center on our waterfront. Our traffic in the route #114 is lined up back almost to Jermain St in the summer on the East Hampton side and the line coming in to Sag Harbor from North Haven backs up frequently to Fresh Pond Road. Add to this the construction activity at the watch factory and after that the many cars of new condo owners and the existing jitneys and tour buses.
Our wonderful village is at huge risk of becoming a transportation center and pass- through disaster.
The important question is…why are our trustees voting for this? And why is this moving forward without citizen review?
Lions Club Thanks
The Sag Harbor Food Pantry would like express its’ appreciation to The Sag Harbor Lions Club for hosting a Corned Beef Dinner at Old Whalers’ Church. A portion of the proceeds were donated to the pantry. Thank you so much; we are always grateful for your support of us!
Barbara Wolfram, Vice President & Communications/Volunteer Administrator
Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry