Categorized | Letters To The Editor

Letters to the Editor 11/8/12

Posted on 09 November 2012


Show a Leg


To the Editor,

I am a big fan of Lehr and Vered’s “Legs” masterpiece and they (the “Legs”) should be allowed to stand right where they are. The Hamptons are known worldwide for the eclectic mix of avant-garde art, history and the sea, and the Legs sculpture combines all three.

With regards to referring to the Legs sculpture as avant-garde, this is self evident, and shouldn’t require any explanation to the readership of your fine paper. With respect to historic, and related to the sea, I wish to remind your readers that Sag Harbor was once home to salty sailors and whalers. The expression, “show a leg” is an old Navy expression which came about from the ship’s Bos’n rousting the crew from thier bunks.  He would shout out, “show a leg!” and if the leg was fine and covered in silk — it was obviously a woman’s, and if the leg was hairy and tattoed, it was a man’s and he needed to get up and “turn to” (Navy speak for “get to work”). Yes, some of the privileged sailors would bring a wife or girlfriend onboard during long voyages and showing a leg would prevent the Bos’n from dragging the wrong “mate” out of the rack.

Also, as a former Navy man myself, I would imagine that the sailors and whalers of old time Sagaponack Harbor would rejoice at seeing a huge sculpture of beautiful Legs as they returned to home port after a lengthy time on the high seas.  So…, there’s how the history portion fits in — maybe some revisionist history, but let’s be a little creative here! After all, we’re mixing in some art with history!

To conclude this letter to the editor, you should know that I’m writing this from my living quarters (I’m being generous) in a base in Afghanistan, doing my part for Operation Enduring Freedom. The Taliban most certainly would vote against “Legs” and might even demand that Lehr and Vered wear burqas…or worse. But, not only is Sag Harbor not in Afghanistan, it’s in America — land of the free(!!), and furthermore, it’s in the Hamptons — home of the eclectic! So, Sag Harbor, get in touch with your inner sailor and show a leg and let the “Legs” stand free — or the Taliban has won.

Be Free,

Brett Rossignol



Stop Tick Spraying—Use Four Poster Devices


Dear Editor,

After reading the recent letter to the editor from Peter Boody, I took the time to read through the compilation of all the meetings and debates on Shelter Island from 2004-2011. I am even more convinced that North Haven Village Board needs to take action this coming March to put Four Poster Devices in place to decrease our tick population.

Much of the North Haven Village Board’s stated reluctance comes from its concerns over the toxicity of the pesticide used in the Four Poster Device. This issue was addressed by USDA scientists at the Tick Forum held on Shelter Island on May 7, 2006 stating that permethrin is “no more toxic than fabric softener” and it is used directly on children’s scalp when they get head lice! The amount of permethrin applied to yards that are sprayed is 1,500 times as much as the one milliliter solution that the 4-Poster applies to the hair of a feeding deer, stated Dr. Miller.

Dr. Dan Gilrein, the Cornell Extension entomologist that has been involved with the Shelter Island study, believes that North Haven could cover its 2.7 square miles with as few as 27 to 42 Four-Poster devices. This means that we could purchase the devices for approximately $13,500 to $21,000 (and they may be even cheaper if we get them in a used condition from Shelter Island). The maintenance costs would be somewhere between $135,000-$210,000 per year for at least three years, depending on the number of devices that are needed. So, we are not talking about millions of dollars to begin the important work of dramatically decreasing our tick population. The average cost to the 750 homeowners should be a maximum of $300. Hundreds of homeowners could actually see a decrease in costs in what they are currently spending for spraying in an ineffective and environmentally more dangerous way than utilizing the Four Poster Devices.

Hopefully, the board will read all of the materials from the thorough and very lengthy examination that Shelter Island residents undertook in making their decision to go forward with the Four Poster Program to resolve their tick infestation. The village board should then be able to move confidently to their own decision to budget for and act in a timely fashion to deploy the devices by the start of the new tick cycle in March.


Josephine DeVincenzi, Ed.D.

North Haven


Courage in the Storm



As the storm unfolds, we will all be sharing stories of our community members banding together to help each other and our town. I’d quickly like to add a voice to this chorus on behalf of our non-speaking furry friends…

This morning, while water crested the wharf and flooding began, Dr. Barry Browning kept his vet practice open to attend to emergencies — and he saw several cases. I witnessed this first hand because my family pet required surgery that Dr. Browning deemed could not wait until Wednesday (she lacerated her throat).

Winds howled and water crashed as Dr. Browning and his team operated on my dog. It was messy business.

But Dr. Browning achieved success after some anxious moments — and he was able to stitch her neck up and then get the animals, their owners and his team all out of the office to safety.

His courage and skill and friendship under extreme circumstances are an inspiration to me and my family.

Most sincerely,

Bill Collage

North Haven


Storm Warnings


To the Editor,

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy is still being assessed as communities all over the East Coast, particularly New York and New Jersey, continue to dig out from under, even as we brace for a nor’easter midweek.

Autumnal storms seem to be the norm for us here in the northeast. They make us recognize forces greater than our own, no matter how determined, or technologically advanced we are in the face of them. Mother Nature will have her way.

Elected officials are doing what they can to mitigate storm impacts event by event, but the potential for dramatic impacts on an ever-growing year-round community suggests the need for broader policy. East Hampton is especially vulnerable to extreme weather events, particularly Montauk and Napeague, as well as other low-lying coastal areas, which traditionally suffer flooding events, even in full moon high tides.

Proof that weather events are increasing in strength and severity exists in the scientific community. Global warming and related sea rise, already several inches higher on the East Coast, compounds the problem for coastal communities such as ours. Hurricanes and nor’easters draw our attention specifically to weather events that demonstrate easy cause and effect. But, there is a greater underlying problem that needs to be addressed. How will our community deal with sea rise effects related to global warming?

We need a more global conversation about the climate crisis, sea level rise and how local policy can protect the community from or mitigate these serious impacts. As Hurricane Sandy and now this nor’easter will sadly demonstrate in many ways, urgent action is necessary to properly address and develop appropriate solutions.

Your readers can find more information during a global webcast on November 14th called 24 Hours of Reality: the Dirty Weather Report, hosted by Al Gore and the Climate Reality Project. This special online event presents an opportunity to broaden understanding of this issue that affects each and every one of us, so we can begin the crucial work of bolstering and preserving our shorelines and the life those extraordinary assets have provided for future generations.

Anyone can RSVP at

Time is of the essence.


Kathleen Cunningham

East Hampton


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