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3734 Comments by highhatsize

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Suspended Westhampton Beach Village Police officers return to work

I don't agree with those posters who prefer "outsourcing" Westhampton Beach policing to the Town of Southampton. The STPD is enormously expensive due to patronage hiring. Additionally, its record of unprofessional behavior is abysmal. In 2008, the Southampton Town Council was cowed by the en masse in uniform appearance of the STPD rank and file at a Town Council meeting. The Supervisor at the time, Linda Kabot, had proposed for discussion the topic of not rehiring six officers whom the Chief of Police thought superfluous. It never was discussed. The PBA vice president took advantage of the public discussion format to insult the Supervisor. He was never censured.

The incoming Supervisor of the Town of Southampton is, effectively, an STPD spokesperson. With absolutely no brakes on STPD spending, adding Westhampton Beach to its patrol area would be an opportunity to pad salaries that the STPD would not pass up. The cost to Westhampton Beach would make the old WBPD seem a bargain.

Patrol coverage would be worse, as well. Geenport is accepting the help of the volunteer "Guardian Angels" because crime has increased following that hamlet's dissolution of its police department and a decrease in patrols by the Town of Southold. Complaints to the Town have been met with the response that you get what you pay for.

What is needed, in Westhampton Beach as well as in Southampton Town, is a board of elected officials that has the will to take on its respective p.d.s, get rid of the freeloaders, and make the remainder respect elected authority.

The Southampton Town Board is simply afraid of the STPD; the Westhampton Beach Board of Trustees is in cahoots with criminally misbehaving officers. There is a solution. Dump them all as soon as electively possible." Dec 7, 09 1:37 AM

Bishop asks Paterson for disaster area designation

To Hambone:

FEMA Flood insurance IS capped at $250,000/residence, $100,000/contents." Dec 7, 09 11:33 AM

Moran Studio open to the public

Studio(n)?" Dec 7, 09 3:02 PM

Bishop asks Paterson for disaster area designation

To INS:

If there was nothing obscene or profane in your post, the reason for its removal may be that your link was to material that is under copyright. if you can show the editor that the material is in the public domain, he will put your post back." Dec 9, 09 3:12 PM

Southampton Town to sign contract with new animal shelter management

It is gratifying to see compassionate Town residents step in to save the shelter after it was deleted from the budget.

Notwithstanding this generosity, is shameful that the spineless Town Council, one and all, abandoned the Shelter rather than confront the STPD and terminate the millions of dollars in patronage that it receives annually. The shelter could and should remain in Town hands.

Those Town employees for whom this month's paycheck will be their last owe their unemployment to Council pusillanimity. Not one Council member is willing to step up to the plate. Linda Kabot's humiliation at the 2008 Town Council meeting and her subsequent arrest for DUI is at the front of their minds.

It is embarrassing to have these malleable balls of dough at our head." Dec 10, 09 4:02 PM

Governor seeks disaster declaration for South Shore at Bishop's request

One fact that all parties of interest in barrier beach arguments is that the barrier beaches are a dynamic geographical feature. They move seaward or landward according to atmospheric and oceanic forces. Inlets are formed and closed at the whim of the weather.

The homeowners and contractors advocate stabilization to protect their investments in beach construction. The natural preservationists argue that barrier beach stabilization is akin to King Canute trying to hold back the sea.

Further, no parties argue that a serious hurricane will have anything less than an annihilating effect on any barrier beach structures, (like houses). Simply, a
Category 5 hurricane that hits the South Shore including the East End will leave nothing behind by a chaotic mass of pilings where previously homes have stood. Many of the surviving pilings will be underwater since the barrier breach will have migrated four or five hundred feet landward following the storm.

Mortgage brokers and building contractors argue that the barrier beach should be "stabilized" with hard and soft breakwaters and rock groins to protect the expensive real estate that an oceanfront lot provides. But it simply cannot be done. The various pseudo-scientific solutions to barrier beach migration have all been shown to be chimeras. Eventually, no matter what the man-made protections, the sea and weather destroy the works of man on the beach. Winter storms continually reveal the remains of failed past attempts at stabilization that are uncovered when the overlying sand is stripped away.

There are arguments for the continued provision of flood insurance to riparian comunities. Those communities exist because of the utility of locating close to rivers since they are the main avenues of transport to commodities that are essential to our industrial health.

However, the same is not true of barrier beach homes which, if anythng, are a physical statement of the arrivista noveau riche without commercial purpose.

I appreciate Mr. Bishop bringing pork home for his district, but I suggest that, in this case, he should have refrained from requesting it as the first signal to barrier beach homeowners that govrnment policy has changed from a desire to protect the financial interests of barrier beach homeowners at all cost, to a policy of removing barrier beach constructions and peritting the beaches to retain their eons-long function essential habitat for wild species, as has successfully been carried through on Fire Island..

Beach communities, at least those that have a physical interest other then on a barrier beach, will be abe to offset thre loss of property taxes from (no longer existing) barrier beach homes by expaded and increased admissions prices for holiday visitors who want to exploit the beach when the sun shinesm, but are absent ortherwise.

Without a change in policy, the next true hurricane will cause the influx of tens of thousands of inept home contractors who will do shoddy worki that will only last until their unstable buildings collapswre during the next storm - when
the entire daisy chain of loss, insurance payout, rebuilding, destruction, loss, insurance etc. wil perpetuate itself''

Since geogogists, costal litoral drift consultantsm, and mererologists agree that residences should not be built on the barrier beaches, should be not accept their word instead of the tendentious propganda of groupa who want an inspiring, invigortion, regenertring ocan front parcel view
regardless of the consequences?

My ultimate observation is not scienctific, but people who are able to enjoy s calm sojourne next to the ocean experience a significant mood of relaxation and peace. We should not allow this experience to be limited to the wealhy. For the sake of their mental and physical heLTH, citizens should have access tl the enire length of the East End baches. Tlo do less is to prejudice their heal ad to hand over what my be our most precious natuar reasource" Dec 14, 09 1:20 AM

Shinnecock Indian Nation wins preliminary federal recognition

As soon as recognition is official, the Shinnecocks will have a huge economic chip to play with. Expect Shinnecock leaders to be driving around in luxury SUVs courtesy of the "friends of the Shinnecocks".

It may be that recognition is more important to the Shinnecocks than the mere establishment of their right to open casinos but for the neighbors of the Shinnecocks, that establishment will be life altering.

There may be Shinnecocks who are opposed to opening casinos but they will be overwhelmed by the huge majority who are awed by the prospect of making tens of millions of dollars annually simply by contracting with a gaming corporation to erect and run reservation casinos.

Since gaming is inevitable, our state representatives should propose a law that allows local governments within which reservation casinos are operating to license similar casinos. At least that would spread locus of gaming and lessen its impact on the unlucky abutting neighborhoods. Moreover, it would bring tax revenue to the Town.

" Dec 15, 09 6:10 PM

New movie highlights the importance of drug intervention courts

At least this program avoids putting non-violent recreational drug users in prison but it is still part of the dumber-than-paste, invidious criminal laws that are financing organized crime.

Were recreational drug use made legal, again, poor people trying to quit drug use would be able to ask for help just like rich people without the intermediary step of being convicted of a felony. Big Pharma's interest would be peaked by the prospect of revenue from detoxifying drugs to make quitting an untraumatic experience.

But it is probably too late for this. The centibillion dollar vested interest of the police/judicial/correctional complex makes any change in our suicidal drug laws improbable.

" Dec 15, 09 6:23 PM

Shinnecock Indian Nation wins preliminary federal recognition

To CoweeDewey:

I remember a previous Southampton Press article where the possibility of the Shinnecock casinos being located further west on the island was mentioned, but I assumed that that was other tribal lands. I believe that there is some, for example, in Moriches where a tax-free tribal cigarette store is located.

Tribal legal exceptions are granted, as I understand, because they are nations with which the US has made treaties, rather than common citizens. Ergo, they are entitled to ignore some state laws on their national territory, the reservations. I don't think that they are entitled to any privileges not accorded all other citizens on any land other than tribal.

Of course, the state legislature can make a deal with them granting them similar rights on non-tribal lands, if it wants, but that will take legislation. It is just another reason that people will want to be "Friends of the Shinnecocks".

[Let me take advantage of this opportunity to say how long I have been an admirer of our noble, Native America brethren. I would look forward to the opportunity of helping to execute the plans that will bring the fruits of casino gambling to our worthy friends. (Please provide me with an address to which I may send my resume.)]
" Dec 15, 09 7:57 PM

Oddone guilty of first-degree manslaughter, jury announces Monday

Thre judge and the jury performed admirably. I find no fault in the judge's ruling on motions. The Appellate Court will find the same, I am sure. The length of the deliberations, the constant requests for refreshment of the evidence, and the revelation that the intiial jury votes ranged from 2nd degree murder to not guilty manifest the struggle among the jurors to reach a just verdict. I am glad that I was not one of them." Dec 16, 09 1:51 AM

Thre judge and the jury performed admirably. I find no fault in the judge's ruling on motions. The Appellate Court will find the same, I am sure. The length of the deliberations, the constant requests for refreshment of the evidence, and the revelation that the intiial jury votes ranged from 2nd degree murder to not guilty manifest the struggle among the jurors to reach a just verdict. I am glad that I was not one of them." Dec 16, 09 1:52 AM

Shinnecock Indian Nation wins preliminary federal recognition

The casino IS coming, without a doubt. The only question is WHERE. If the Shinnecocks think that it would be a despoliation of their tribal lands it will be located other than in Southampton.

That being said, the Town Council members can be expected to prostrate themselves before the Shinnecocks in their effort to keep the casino here. As bears are to honey, the Town Council is to money.

However, there are much more puissant players in this game now than the Town, both political and criminal.

I'm betting, (appropriately), that the Shinnecocks will choose to locate their casino further west, where it will have a bigger draw, and locate a more modest facility on the res to provide high-paying administrative jobs for their tribe.

However, were the state legislatre to act with the interest of ALL state residents at heart, they would simply legalize gambling state-wide. This would spread both the wealth and the poison of the industry. Some of the poison could be drawn if a law were passed, as in the UK, that gambling debts have no lawful status. However, this would only make the pie bigger for the criminals." Dec 16, 09 3:44 PM

Oddone guilty of first-degree manslaughter, jury announces Monday

To THE EQUALIZER:

You attribute intent to the officers in question that is unsubstantiatable.

On the other hand, appearing in uniform at a hearing wherein they had no part is overt intimidation. If those cops were on duty, they should have been doing their jobs rather than sitting in the courtroom. If they were off-duty, they should not have appeared in uniform.

If their lieutenant tore a strip off them, they deserved it.

Most police jurisdictions have regs prohibiting officers from appearing in uniform in certain public circumstances specifically because of the intimidation factor. When those regs are not in place, shameful incidents like the STPD uniformed mobbing of the Town Council meeting occur." Dec 16, 09 4:07 PM

Periodically in the threads about the Oddone trial, posters have expressed glee at the prospect of his homosexual enslavement in prison. This reaction appears regularly in trial threads as if it were existential fate. Why is this? The Supreme Court has manipulated judicial procedure and other aspects of imprisonment but doesn't see a violation of civil rights in sodomitic rape. Corrections facilities hand over control to the criminal population in prison, to a greater or lesser degree, as a pragmatic means of ensuring order. With that ceding of power goes the tacit approval of rape.

This is an abomination. For the incarcerated victim, it is a punishment far worse than the term of years to which he is sentenced. Moreover, it is grievously shameful to our nation.

But no one in authority seems to care. Overcrowding? Oh, yes, a big problem. Sodomitic rape? Oh, well. That's just the way things are." Dec 17, 09 2:04 PM

Zappone to be appointed deputy supervisor of Southampton Town

Is it customary for a new Supervisor to appoint a new Deputy Supervisor? My reason for asking is that Mr. Zappone's predecessor, Bill Jones, is the ONLY PUBLIC OFFICIAL IN SOUTHAMPTON TOWN to have had the temerity to confront the imperious STPD PBA since former Supervisor Linda Kabot was humiliated by the them in 2008.

We expect nothing from incoming Supervisor Linda Throne-Holst, since she is STPD's creature. However, if Mr Zappone emulates his patron, there will not be a single voice raised against Town police department patronage that costs taxpayers millions of dollars every year.

It is still hard to believe that any US citizens, even Town Council members, could be so shamelessly timorous that they would sign off on the firing of scores of blameless employees rather than end the sweet ride of cops whom the Chief of Police himself considers superfluous.

Mr. Jones, I hope that you intend to retire outside of Southampton Town because STPD PBA president Aubé will not forget your effrontery, nor will his boys.
" Dec 19, 09 3:26 AM

To diy_guy:

The only public data available is the salary chart which shows that new hires in the STPD earn 1/3 the salary of a twenty year plus officer who should no longer be on the job, according to his contract.

Bureaucracies do not advertise their administrative overhead, but the expense incurred in adding a new patrolman will occur no matter when he is hired. The sooner the hire, the sooner the salary saving in that year and in succeeding years.

Were I Bill Jones, I would be anxious driving in Southampton. Perhaps that is a misconception. Perhaps patrol officers will not retaliate against the man most closely identified with trying to cut their pay; the man who publicly confronted their president. These are, however, the same folks who mobbed the Town Meeting in uniform.

Reduction in force are the most usual cost-cutting measure. However, because of the unique police department contracts and the ongoing patronage practice of allowing cops to work beyond their retirement date, we have the opportunity to make enormous savings without cutting p.d. staffing at all.

It would be ideal to have a financial statement prepared by the Town Council showing the net savings if the patronage hires were ended but that will never happen. Nevertheless, the data that we do have shows the savings in salaries to be huge.

Ethically, it is intolerable that the Town Council keeps a corps of extraordinarily highly paid employees on the rolls beyond the date on which they agreed to depart while firing faultless employees who earn a fraction of their salaries." Dec 19, 09 2:28 PM

To Terry:

Actually, Linda Kabot DID put the proposal of retiring six cops who had served more than twenty years and whom the Chief of Police declared to be superfluous on the agenda for a Town Council meeting in 2008. The STPD PDA got wind of it and ordered the rank and file to mob the Town Council meeting, IN UNIFORM. Thusly intimidated, the Council tabled the proposal without discussion. The Town Council's, "pleasure", to which you refer, was coerced.

You are quite right, only the Town of Southampton and the Town of Westhampton Beach have mandatory retirement for cops after twenty years. Thank god for prescient Town Councils of prior years.

I don't like cops who use their uniforms to bully citizens and their elected representatives. It is but one aspect of the STPD's unprofessional behavior. The Town police who appeared in uniform in the infamous 2008 Town Council meeting should have been ordered to leave the meeting or face punitive sanctions. Officer Gwinn should have been terminated for insubordination.
The Town Council egregiously failed to show the STPD PBA members who their master is. (Vide Matthew 6:24.) The fact that so many STPD PBA members took part in that despicable demonstration is indicative of the pervasiveness of the moral rot in the department.


" Dec 19, 09 7:44 PM

To Terry,Bayman1, diy-guy:

Wearing one's uniform off-duty is NOT a constitutionally protected right, in part because of the intimidation factor. (A reprimand of a deputy sheriff for appearing on TV in uniform without the sheriff's approval did not violate the First Amendment. Belch v. Jefferson Co., 108 F.Supp.2d 143.) If the Town regs. do not presently state that a cop has to receive the approval of the Chief of Police to wear his uniform when off-duty, it should be incorporated into Town law a.s.a.p.

It would be interesting to read the state law that prevents off-duty officers in uniform from being ordered to leave a Town meeting. I suspect that you are misconstruing a law that protects the rights of public employees generically to be one that specifically protects a cop's right to wear his uniform when and where he pleases. Perhaps you could provide a citation, Bayman1.

In an earlier post, I admitted that I was unable to provide a specific figure as to the $$ saved annually by substituting a new hire for a twenty-year-plus officer because the Town Council didn't provide that figure. All I have to go by is the published salary chart. On the other side of the coin, while the Town published the cop salaries that are budgeted for the upcoming year, it does not provide an account of the amount ACTUALLY SPENT on cop salaries in previous years, including overtime. I suspect that, were that figure available for comparison to the actual salaries, Town cops' annual take would be 10% to 50% higher than budgeted.

But I could be wrong. It is in the interest of the defenders of the status quo just as much as it is in my own to press the Town Council to publish the hidden data in order to clear up any misunderstanding. In fact, making the Town budget transparent to the citizenry both before and after the fiscal year could be a primary goal of incoming Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst." Dec 20, 09 2:26 PM

To Bayman1,

I do not normally request citations to authority from posters since everyone is equally able to do the research. However, in your case, you previously asked me for a citation to the Town reg. that required STPD officers to retire after twenty years. I complied. One should not ask others for diligence that one is not prepared to perform oneself.

Additionally, you seem to have misunderstood my post. I asked you for a citation to the state law to which you referred that would prevent uniformed officers from being expelled from a Town meeting. Your broad reference to "the Taylor Law" is inane. The issue is the UNIFORM and the mobbing of the Town Council meeting en masse by UNIFORMED off-duty officers. Officer Guinn had no right to speak at the Town Meeting, off-duty, in UNIFORM, whether he is a union rep. or not.

As to the the Blueshirts not being intimidating to the Town Council, you are right, no one can read their minds. They are presently, however, able to add the datum of Linds Kabot's DUI arrest to their analysis of the Blueshirts' intent
" Dec 20, 09 6:07 PM

To Bayman1,

I do not normally request citations to authority from posters since everyone is equally able to do the research. However, in your case, you previously asked me for a citation to the Town reg. that required STPD officers to retire after twenty years. I complied. One should not ask others for diligence that one is not prepared to perform oneself.

Additionally, you seem to have misunderstood my post. I asked you for a citation to the state law to which you referred that would prevent uniformed officers from being expelled from a Town meeting. Your broad reference to "the Taylor Law" is inane. The issue is the UNIFORM and the mobbing of the Town Council meeting en masse by UNIFORMED off-duty officers. Officer Guinn had no right to speak at the Town Meeting, off-duty, in UNIFORM, whether he is a union rep. or not.

As to the the Blueshirts intimidating to the Town Council, you are right, no one can read their minds. Current Council members, however, are able to add the datum of Linds Kabot's DUI arrest to their analysis of the Blueshirts' intent. An arrest by, as has been pointed out by Terry, a police officer from one of, " the ONLY two police departments throughout New York state that have this provision, [mandatory retirement after twenty years], in the portion of the retirement law that covers them." Of course, it could be mere coincidence.
" Dec 20, 09 6:15 PM

To Bayman1:

I cite federal case law that holds a police officers to have no Constitutional right to appear in uniform off-duty. You provide no opposite citation.

I cite the section of Town regulations that states that police officers must retire after twenty years. You respond with an objection to the word "contractual" as opposed to what(?), legal? Meaning?

Federal law supersedes contrary state law. (14th Amendment) Ergo, police officers have no right to appear in uniform when off -duty, regardless of what the Taylor law, (i.e. state law), says. (For those who may be confused, the Taylor law is silent about the Constitutional rights of uniformed police officers.)

If you can provide any citations that support your opinions, please post them." Dec 21, 09 2:48 AM

To Bayman1:

A police officer MAY wear his uniform off duty but he has no RIGHT to do so. The STPD cops appearance en masse in uniform was an abuse of that privilege. An authoritative Town Council would have expelled them and told them to dress in civvies if they wanted to attend. This would probably have resulted in a confrontation between the STPD PBA and the Town Board. It is long ovedue.

Moreover, you have once again, (actually, twice again), refused to provide any references to authority to support your opinions despite that courtesy having being extended to you previously at your request." Dec 21, 09 2:31 PM

To Terry:

No, you are wrong. It is a Town reg. I have posted the relevant language earlier. The Town reg states that an STPD officers employment terminates after twenty years." Dec 21, 09 2:34 PM

To Bayman1 & Terry:

The prime difference between the state law and the Town code is that the state law authorizes a police department employee to retire after twenty years but the Town code makes it mandatory." Dec 21, 09 4:17 PM

On another topic, who is paying Mr. Zappone's $30K salary? His predecessor was already on the town payroll and so received no salary as Deputy Supervisor.

Is his pay coming from the Town or from Ms. Throne-Holst?

" Dec 21, 09 4:52 PM

U.S. Representive Tim Bishop details new initiatives

Mr. Bishop should join with Senators Gilibrand and Schumer to plan the replacement of the three outmoded Alliance hospitals with a central, efficient, state-of-the-art facility. That is, a new medical center that will survive the transition to national health insurance and provide continuing employment to thousands of East Enders." Dec 22, 09 2:07 AM

Shinnecocks are looking at benefits that come with federal recognition

Is it "800" acres? A poster on the former thread about federal recognition peg it at "eighty" acres." Dec 22, 09 3:32 PM

Southampton Town analyst says proposed wind turbine would harm environment

I do not know if the proposed wind turbine would have any effect on animals. Nevertheless, it is an eyesore. If the Seddios are committed wind energy advocates, they should lower the height so that the turbine is lower than their roofline and place it right at their front door. That would make the people whose lives are impinged by this technology the same people who benefit from it." Dec 26, 09 1:02 AM

Southampton Town extends Hampton Bays moratorium

The economic downturn dictates that there will be vacant stores and buildings all over the East End. There is no desperate need to fill them immediately.

Hampton Bays has the crummiest looking main drag in the entire East End. Any future permits should specify appearance and landscaping. If a proposed use is ugly, noisy and smelly, it should be forbidden." Dec 27, 09 4:52 PM

Chefs prepare holiday meals for East End single moms in need

A wonderful, compassionate service." Dec 27, 09 4:57 PM

Shinnecock Indian Nation wins preliminary federal recognition

To Yasmine L. Williams:

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon said it best, "Property is Theft". It is the assertion of right of ownership without any persuasive justification. Just as Native Americans asserted their right to possession in the face of claims of other Native Americans before the arrival of the Europeans, so the USA asserted it's right in confrontation to Native American claims.

That's what homo sapiens does, repeatedly. Steals other folks' stuff and then makes rules that are supposed to prevent that from being done again. The only meaningful "right" to possession is the right that is supported by one's ability to prevent anyone from taking "it" away.

By that standard the White Eyes have been pretty nice to Native Americans, Shinnecocks and others. Instead of expunging them from the map to extinguish any competing claims, they allowed them to keep small scraps of land and gave them rights on those reservations that are superior to those of the neighboring non-Native Americans.

The privation of many Shinnecocks is not the result of "theft" or of the withholding of rights but rather of the special protection that reservation land has of being inalienable that makes it worthless as collateral." Dec 29, 09 9:16 PM

Tatiana Giraldo-Fajardo of Montauk dies at 17

A true tragedy. Major depressive disorder frequently appears or reaches it nadir in people just getting out of childhood. There are effective antidepressants available now that can mitigate or alleviate the despair but families have to be proactive with them rather than afraid or ashamed." Jan 2, 10 11:52 PM

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