Hampton Jitney, Hamptons, Bus Ride, Transportation
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109 Comments by CoweeDewey

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Obama's speech to students will be shown at EH Middle School after uproar

Let's get our facts straight, Hamptons Surfer.

First, the George HW Bush speech came in October 1991 - at the beginning of the 1992 election cycle, and shortly before HW announced he would run for re-election. The Democrat-controlled congress ordered the GAO to investigate whether HW intended the speech as a re-election campaign piece, which would have constituted an inappropriate use of public funds (the decision to investigate was triggered by HW's campaign manager at the time, Marlin Fitzwater, saying that he'd use the footage in campaign commercials). Partisan or not, that's a legitimate basis for an investigation.

Also, the investigation occurred well after the speech and after Fitzwater's comments, unlike the Obama speech protesters, whose knee-jerk reaction came before they even saw what he was going to say. Once reasonable, intelligent people read the speech, they wholeheartedly supported it (for ex, Gingrich). See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32737733/ns/politics-white_house/.

Hamptons Surfer - you're not necessarily ignorant, fearful, etc. Instead, you are one of the many people out there who, for whatever reason, oppose anything and everything Obama does and says - even when it is to their benefit. Healthcare reform is a case in point - it is sad watching the town hall healthcare reform opposition, screaming about socialism and death panels, when you know that (1) most of the screamers are themselves underinsured or uninsured, and (2) healthcare reform - whether a public option or co-operative approach - would benefit them the most. Meanwhile, a lot of people like me - people who are employed and whose families enjoy excellent employer-provided health insurance - support reform, even though we will continue to enjoy our level of healthcare whether or not reform passes.

Go figure." Sep 9, 09 11:16 AM

East Quogue parents are upset that longtime gym teacher was never offered full-time position

Hmmm... I smell a sexual discrimination suit, and would support her if she filed one. This sounds like a boneheaded decision made in an attempt to save a few dollars. She's been there more than 10 years - can they seriously say with a straight face that, after keeping her on that long, they really hired the best-qualified person?

As for pmofo's comment about what's wrong with saving a little money: Paying for public schools is like paying for any other public service. I'm one of the people who have (thankfully) never had to call the police or ambulance to my home, yet I'm still "footing the bill" for those services, and for good reason - the common good. A strong public school system is essential to this country's continued success and strength internationally.

Also, I graduated from EQ elementary in '82, and I find it sad that some folks in EQ still complain about this. Having a strong school was always a source of pride and is one of the things that made (and makes) EQ such a great place to live." Sep 9, 09 12:08 PM

Residents outraged over proposed windmill plan

This story is missing critical facts regarding LI Green's opposition.

First, Charles Schwartz (head of LI Green) lives directly next to Mr. Seddio's home (where the windmill is planned). So It's not really LI Green that opposes the windmill, it's Charles Schwartz pulling a NIMBY (not in my backyard).

Second, this is exactly the kind of project LI Green should support. The article says LI Green's mission is to "reduce the release of greenhouse gases and other pollution" - this is misleading. According to LI Green's web site:

"The mission of LI Green is to enhance economic development and jobs growth by facilitating the expansion of Long Island’s “Green Economy.” (See http://www.ligreen.com/whatis.htm)

LI Green is concerned with economic development of LI's green economy, NOT preserving the wetlands in Shinnecock Hills (I'm not saying they're in favor of polluting - I'm just saying that wetland preservation is not LI Green's mission). This is further reinforced by the web site's statement that "LI Green was formed by two Long Island entrepreneurs each with decades of experience building businesses in this region." It's about business development, pure and simple. And, I'm 100% supportive of their mission. BUT...

Here's the question: If LI Green supports ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT and JOBS GROWTH, and if Mr. Seddio owns a windmill company in Flanders that is developing this project, then isn't this EXACTLY the kind of project LI Green supports? Obviously, yes. So, how can Charles Schwartz seriously claim that his opposition is consistent with LI Green's mission???

Bottom line is that Mr. Schwartz apparently doesn't walk the LI Green walk, presumably because this particular instance of "enhancing Long Island's "Green Economy" is located in his (waterfront) backyard. In my opinion, that's hypocritical (to put it mildly).

I invite anyone to review the LI Green web site and show how opposition to this project is consistent with LI Green's stated mission or goals." Sep 28, 09 7:29 PM

Town housing officials walk out of civics meeting in East Quogue

You asked for it, so here's a point-by-point rebuttal:

Demand for Public Services (Police, Fire, Schools): These services are paid for by property taxes, and the Town receives property taxes for the properties on which the rental units sit. So these renters are just as entitled to these services as you or anyone else.

Increased Traffic: The REAL overcrowding issue is not year-round residents like the low-income renters; instead, it's the summer residents who overwhelm the area in the summer by their presence, and who indirectly lead to traffic issues year-round thanks to the army of servicepeople required to construct and maintain their properties. Don't blame year-round low-income renters for traffic issues - after all, if these properties were owner-occupied instead of rented, you'd still have the same increase in traffic.

Increased Population Density: This is a zoning issue. Density has nothing whatsoever to do with whether a property is a rental or is owner-occupied. If zoning in this area allows a residential property to be build on a half-acre, then regardless of whether the residence is rented or owner-occupied, you've got the same density issue. Density issues are zoning issues, and have nothing to do with whether a property is owner-occupied or rented - complain to the ZBA.

As for why rental units may have gone to renters from outside of Bridgehampton, I have no idea how that decision was made, but I have no problem with it. You do, and you should investigate to find out why the decision was made, who made it, and how you can prevent it from being made again. Also, did you oppose it when it happened? Were you involved in the process? It's like voting - if you didn't get involved at the time, it's too late to complain now." Oct 2, 09 11:36 AM

Southampton Town deputy supervisor confronts, shoves PBA president over comments about budget

I don't know if Brian Finlayson saw the incident or not. I do know that he missed important details in an earlier article.

That earlier article was on a separate subject (See Residents Outraged Over Proposed Windmill Plan at http://www.27east.com/story_detail.cfm?id=236461) regarding neighbors' opposition to construction of a wind turbine in Shinnecock Hills by a resident there who also owns a wind turbine company in Flanders. Interestingly, the neighborhood opposition is led by Charles Schwartz, head of a non-profit called LI Green. Finlayson's article states that Schwartz's opposition is based on a supposed threat to wetlands, and goes on to state that it's consistent with LI Green's mission.

Problem is, it's not consistent with LI Green's mission, which is clearly stated on its web site. In a nutshell, LI Green's mission is to promote Long Island's green businesses - like the wind turbine business in Flanders. Schwartz's opposition to the turbine is totally INCONSISTENT with LI Green's mission.

The point of all this is to say that Finlayson apparently didn't bother to simply go to LI Green's web site to check out what its mission is. If he had, he could have confronted Schwartz about the inconsistency (in my opinion, hypocracy) in his positions. Instead, the article was misleading due to a lack of fact-checking.

I wonder if he relied on Schwartz to tell him what LI Green's mission is, and if the same thing happened here - taking someone's word for what's fact. If so, it's a bad practice, particularly when you're relying on someone with an interest in the outcome." Oct 5, 09 7:36 PM

Kabot DWI case moved to Riverhead Town Justice Court

There is only one reason to refuse a breathalyzer - you've had too much to drink and are over the legal limit. As any attorney will tell you, if you have even the slightest doubt whether you'll pass the breathalyzer, DON'T take it.

Here's why: A DUI jury must decide if you were driving while impaired. If you take the breathalyzer and blow over the legal limit, the jury is instructed to basically assume that you were impaired. Breathalyzers (and blood tests) provide objective evidence on which a jury can convict, regardless of whether they believe the cop.

But, if you refuse the breathalyzer and blood test, then the jury has to decide whether to believe the cop, whose testimony is typically along the lines of "she had glassy eyes, slurred speech, breath smelled of alcohol." If the defendant testifies, it's a he said/she said. If not, the jury still has to decide whether to convict based solely on the cop's testimony. Regardless, avoiding breathalyzer and blood test results gives the defendant an immeasurably better chance of beating the case. (That the main reason that refusing the breathalyzer results in an automatic suspension of your drivers license.)

Alternatively, if you haven't been drinking, the breathalyzer AND blood test are the two best ways to beat the case. Even if you get a false positive on the breathalyzer, the blood test will exonerate you.

Highhatsize - I've never heard of a cop falsifying breathalyzer test results - they're stored in the breathalyzer machine. Regardless, if she were innocent and blown over the limit but then taken the blood test, she would have been home free. I'm not sure I buy the overzealous/conspiracy theory.

I suspect the defense strategy is to argue overzealousness (as highhatsize does), try to taint the cops' testimony, and hope that the video is not incriminating. If they can create even the slightest doubt over the officers' objectivity, they just might win." Oct 6, 09 7:28 PM

I have never seen nor heard that the video was edited. If so, she'll likely win because it will destroy the cops' credibility.

But how do you know it was edited? What is the source of your statement? I have not seen that anywhere (except in a post above). Do you have some sort of inside information? Or are you just repeating as fact what someone posted? Sounds like that would be front page news but it hasn't been reported anywhere - what's your source?" Oct 7, 09 9:32 AM

Empire and Alliance resume attacks as hospitals remain without contract

Personal story - happened over the past 3 weeks with Empire:

My young son has surgery scheduled for tomorrow. The procedure is covered under the plain language of my Empire PPO. 3 weeks ago I asked them to confirm coverage, citing the coverage language in the policy. Over the past 3 weeks they stalled, then claimed that there was a question over what the "policy intent" was. Despite the lack of any ambiguity in the plan language and my repeated demands, they continued to refuse to confirm coverage.

This morning, the surgeon called me to ask if we were going forward with the surgery or were cancelling. Because I am fortunate enough to be able to afford to pay for the procedure without coverage, I told him we'd go forward with it regardless of the insurance company's determination. If I didn't have the money, however, I would have had to cancel.

Finally, after spending the morning threatening Empire with a bad faith lawsuit and other horribles, at 2:40pm Empire finally confirmed coverage. Bear in mind that their determination could have been made three weeks ago when first requested. So why did they delay?

As part of my job I've got some experience handling insurance coverage disputes. In my experience, this is the typical insurer M.O. - deny (or refuse to confirm) coverage until the last minute. Why? For one thing, if (like the vast majority of people) you don't have the money to cover the procedure, chances are you're going to cancel the procedure and, the insurer hopes, give up. Sadly, that seems to be the health insurance business model - bogus denials and needless delays, all in the hopes that the insured will give up and go away. Bottom line - their coverage decisions are profit-driven.

It's astonishing to me that people believe the health insurance industry should be 'protected' from a gov't option. Why do we even allow private companies to operate in such a vital area - we don't give police or firefighting contracts to the lowest bidder, or allow private corporations to run our public water supply. These are all health/safety issues and thus not trusted to private companies that make profit-driven decisions. Healthcare is no different, and unlike Walt and others on this board, I believe every human has a fundamental right to healthcare. Even Walt." Oct 27, 09 3:13 PM

Razza - Responding to your comments re: the story about my son:

First off, my family and I definitely have "Cadillac" PPO coverage through my employer, and the surgeon and hospital were both in network. The surgeon attempted to get pre-cert for the procedure but Empire refused to confirm coverage, and the surgeon said that my son needed the procedure asap - that's why were in the position we were in.

Regarding the coverage dispute - this was a textbook case of an insurer refusing to confirm coverage until the last second in the hopes the insured gives up (and the insurer doesn't have to pay). The language of the PPO policy expressly and w/o qualification stated that the specific procedure my son needed was covered. Empire nevertheless refused to confirm coverage, claiming that there was somehow an ambiguity in "policy intent" despite the clear policy language. Their position was absurd, since (as you likely know) even if there was some ambiguity in the policy, ambiguities are always resolved in favor of the insured (i.e., in favor of coverage), so they'd still lose. Yet they maintained for the 3 weeks leading up to the surgery date that there was an ambiguity, yet they refused to put anything in writing, repeatedly telling me that they were working on it. Finally, less than 11 hrs before the surgery (and after my threat of suing for bad faith), they relented and confirmed coverage.

Important note - they never formally denied coverage. This is legally significant, since an outright denial would expose them to a bad faith claim. But really, a refusal to deny coverage is tantamount to a denial, since both leave the insured thinking the procedure won't be covered and that they'll have to come out of pocket. If 5 of 10 insureds in that situation give up and decide to cancel the procedure, then the insurer avoids paying for their procedure while also avoiding bad faith liability - an appalling but profitable practice. (I suspect it's more like 8 or 9 out of 10 that give up, but we'll likely never know.)

Also, I do not think it's "ridiculous" that I would want to either opt into the gov't plan or pay a tax on my Cadillac PPO. As I said before, I am fortunate that I could have paid for this surgery myself - I'm making a decent living. If getting more people insured means that I pay more in taxes, then so be it. I (and many others, but not all) am absolutely willing to sacrifice my own self-interest, if it means that we can at least try to get universal coverage.

Lastly, I still do not understand why people are concerned over what happens to the for-profit healthcare insurers. Health insurance makes healthcare available to people who could otherwise not afford it - it is a life safety issue, pure and simple. We do not contract out other life safety services (fire, policy, water and sewer for example) to private industry. Why? Take drinking water - if the company contracted to purify and supply our drinking water had a bad year financially, then the result would be cutting back on expenses - water purification and delivery, leaving everyone w/o a reliable and safe supply of water - clearly an unacceptable result. (Imagine calling the fire department and being told they would not be reponding to your housefire because of cost-cutting - same for police.) As in those other areas, profit-driven decisions have no place in healthcare and health insurance." Oct 29, 09 12:13 PM

Razza - regarding the seemingly low rate of denials, I'm personally convinced that, instead of denying coverage, the general practice is instead to refuse to confirm coverage without giving an outright denial. Although the net result is the same (the insured is left thinking there won't be coverage), the insurer gets to avoid bad faith claims and also keeps its denial stats low.

Unfortunately we'll likely never know what percentage of insureds who can't get a confirmation of coverage for a covered procedure either (1) give up and abandon the covered procedure or (2) give up on the claim and pay for it themselves out-of-pocket. That might be more illuminating than the rate of denials." Oct 30, 09 6:04 PM

Shinnecock Indian Nation wins preliminary federal recognition

As I understand it, the gaming land can be anywhere - it doesn't have to be on the reservation or even in SH Town (or NY).

East End traffic is already a nightmare, even in winter. Why would the Shinnecock want to put their casino in a place that's difficult to get to and where the locals are intensely opposed to it? Spite might be one reason, and access to casino jobs might be another. But I suspect that (1) spite takes a back seat to wanting to put the casino where it will be most profitable, and (2) the tribe will earn so much from the casino operations that no one will need or want to work there.

To me, Eastern LI is different from Ledyard/Uncasville CT (which are both sparsely populated and have major interstate (and ferry) access). And I know they've recently talked about locating it at the site on the west side of the canal. But now that a casino is actually becoming a reality, I really don't see the sense in locating the casino out here. Why does everyone seem to think a casino in SH Town is a foregone conclusion?" Dec 15, 09 6:32 PM

Southampton Town analyst says proposed wind turbine would harm environment

Here's something I posted in an earlier article on this issue - it deals with the sincerity of some of the neighborhood opposition:

>>

I see that Mr. Schwartz is not mentioned in this article - maybe the opposition recognized their spokesman's hypocracy?

Also, LI Green has a redesigned web site, but you can still find the old mission statement at the link listed above.

Finally, what's up with Marty Shea citing the "scenic quality of the wetlands" to neighbors and passersby as a basis for not approving the application? What about the homes that the Town approved and that were built in the immediate proximity of the wetlands - didn't these destroy the wetlands' "scenic quality" forever?

Every action we take in or near an environmentally-sensitive area has consequences, whether cutting a path, building a road, constructing a home or setting up a wind turbine. The question is whether the benefits outweigh the consequences. So when they've already allowed roads/homes/lawns/fertilizers/cars/trucks/noise to be introduced into these sensitive areas, it's hard to take them seriously when they say that a wind turbine shouldn't be allowed because of its impact on the environment.
" Jan 4, 10 3:23 PM

Sorry - it didn't show my previous post. It's here: http://www.27east.com/story_detail.cfm?id=236461, posted 9/28 at 7:48pm.

I'll try again to reproduce it below:

This story is missing critical facts regarding LI Green's opposition.

First, Charles Schwartz (head of LI Green) lives directly next to Mr. Seddio's home (where the windmill is planned). So It's not really LI Green that opposes the windmill, it's Charles Schwartz pulling a NIMBY (not in my backyard).

Second, this is exactly the kind of project LI Green should support. The article says LI Green's mission is to "reduce the release of greenhouse gases and other pollution" - this is misleading. According to LI Green's web site:

"The mission of LI Green is to enhance economic development and jobs growth by facilitating the expansion of Long Island’s “Green Economy.” (See http://www.ligreen.com/whatis.htm)

LI Green is concerned with economic development of LI's green economy, NOT preserving the wetlands in Shinnecock Hills (I'm not saying they're in favor of polluting - I'm just saying that wetland preservation is not LI Green's mission). This is further reinforced by the web site's statement that "LI Green was formed by two Long Island entrepreneurs each with decades of experience building businesses in this region." It's about business development, pure and simple. And, I'm 100% supportive of their mission. BUT...

Here's the question: If LI Green supports ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT and JOBS GROWTH, and if Mr. Seddio owns a windmill company in Flanders that is developing this project, then isn't this EXACTLY the kind of project LI Green supports? Obviously, yes. So, how can Charles Schwartz seriously claim that his opposition is consistent with LI Green's mission???

Bottom line is that Mr. Schwartz apparently doesn't walk the LI Green walk, presumably because this particular instance of "enhancing Long Island's "Green Economy" is located in his (waterfront) backyard. In my opinion, that's hypocritical (to put it mildly).

I invite anyone to review the LI Green web site and show how opposition to this project is consistent with LI Green's stated mission or goals" Jan 4, 10 3:42 PM

East Hampton Town harbormaster arrested for marijuana possession

I agree with the many good arguments in favor of legalization (and yes, I am a parent, and no, favoring legalization does not make me a pothead any more than favoring legal alcohol makes me a drunk) - but until it's legalized in NY, possession remains illegal. And I may be naive, but a half pound is some serious weight for one person's personal consumption. Unless the weed was put in his car without his knowledge, you have to wonder what he was thinking.

This is especially so when you look at the penalties. In NY, it's a non-criminal $100 fine for possession of up to 25oz (i.e., 1/4 oz) for both first and second offenses - in other words, possession of a reasonable amount for personal consumption has been decriminalized.

But once you move up in weight, you're looking at very serious consequences:

- Possession of 1oz-8oz is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in prison and/or a $1K fine.
- Possession of 8oz-16oz is a Class E Felony, punishable by 1-4 years in prison and/or a $5K fine.

And if you intend to sell:
- Possession of 4oz-16oz with intent to sell is a Class D Felony, punishable by 1-7 years and/or a $5K fine.

If he's not charged with intent to sell, it's not clear whether he'll be charged with the Class A Misdemeanor (for 2-8oz) or the Class E felony (for 8-16oz) - will depend on the exact weight. And although the Chief Harbormaster refers to a possible 4-year sentence (implying he falls under the Class E felony), I'd wait to see what the exact weight is and what the formal charges are.

Bottom line is that anyone who's carrying around a half pound of marijuana -as opposed to the decriminalized amount for personal consumption - opens themselves up to serious jail time (and also shows very poor judgment)." Jan 5, 10 7:11 PM

fyi - I believe that under 25 grams (around 1/4 oz) has been decriminalized in NY for the first and second offense - it's a $100 fine, similar to a parking ticket." Jan 6, 10 6:10 PM

Here's the penalties:

- Possession of 1oz-8oz is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in prison and/or a $1K fine.
- Possession of 8oz-16oz is a Class E Felony, punishable ... more by 1-4 years in prison and/or a $5K fine.

And if you intend to sell:
- Possession of 4oz-16oz with intent to sell is a Class D Felony, punishable by 1-7 years and/or a $5K fine.

But possession for personal use - under 25 grams (around 1/4 oz) - has been decriminalized and is a $100 ticket for the first and second offense." Jan 6, 10 6:18 PM

Residents outraged over proposed windmill plan

Chuck Schwartz is one of those homeowners, right?" Jan 8, 10 8:38 AM

Southampton Town analyst says proposed wind turbine would harm environment

Re: my previous posts:

Sometime since this past Monday, LI Green removed from its web site the page I quoted (previously available at http://www.ligreen.com/whatis.htm), which stated that LI Green's mission is "to enhance economic development and jobs growth by facilitating the expansion of Long Island’s “Green Economy.”" The site did not state that its mission was liminted to making buildings and homes more efficient (a laudable and essential goal, and one I wholeheartedly support). If I misstated LI Green's mission, it was because its own web site misstated it.

Also, the original Chronicle article (see http://www.27east.com/story_detail.cfm?id=236461&message=posted) stated that Mr. Schwartz had "drummed up opposition to the windmill in the community," and that Mr. Schwartz said that his opposition to the windmill was not contrary to LI Green's mission "because the windmill would be a detriment to the local wetlands environment." But, (1) LI Green's stated mission said nothing about wetland preservation, and (2) as the article noted, LI Green's stated mission also included ""reduc[ing] the release of greenhouse gases and other pollution” by promoting renewable energy." The reporter apparently did not bother to look at LI Green's web site, or only partially quoted its mission, thus leaving out the critical economic development component.

So at the time of the original article, Mr. Schwartz indicated that LI Green's mission included wetlands preservation, but as I said then (and as Mr. Schwartz says above), it is not - instead, it is to promote growth of LI's green ecomony through creating more energy-efficient buildings and homes. It's mission is not wetland preservation (and as I said before, its mission is not wetland destruction either - LI Green's mission has nothing whatsoever to do with wetlands).

The article did not state these facts, and I thought they were important, so I posted them.

I still do not understand how opposition to the turbine is consistent with LI Green's mission.

As for the Sierra Club statement: Does the Sierra Club favor homes being built in these areas? Roads, cars, trucks, exhaust? Lawns, chemical fertilizers? The noise and disruption to the environment caused by human development?

If there were no development whatsoever in this area, and they were proposing a wind turbine, then you've got a point. But when we've already allowed all of this development in this once-pristine area, it's hard to take opposition to an energy-saving, greenhouse gas reducing wind turbine seriously." Jan 11, 10 9:21 AM

East Hampton harbormaster resigns after marijuana arrest

Although I don't fault the Press for running it, you'd think the PD could have at least done him the favor of taking a second mug shot." Jan 13, 10 2:00 PM

The Chief is being inconsistent.

On the one hand, he says that an anonymous telephone tip was somehow "so detailed" that the PD accepted it as fact, and that it justified the stop and search. But on the other hand, the same (presumably) anonymous, but also highly detailed, "tip" that there was a setup is not accepted as fact and instead is dismissed by the PD as "rumor."

In fact, there have been a number of posters on these boards that have provided details and motive for a possible setup. I'm sure that many of these people would also be willing to go on the record with their allegations, taking the anonymity out of the equation. Unless there something we don't know - like maybe Mr. Bousson admitted the marijuana was his - then it seems the PD should not only investigate Mr. Bousson but also the possible setup.

Unfortunately, once someone is arrested, police and prosecutors are, generally speaking, hardwired to only look for evidence that corroborates their theory and supports the arrest/prosecution, and they rarely bother to look for, or give any credence to, evidence that may exonerate the accused." Jan 14, 10 1:46 PM

Poxabogue restaurant faces ouster

Why was my comment removed? The content was both appropriate and directly relevant to the subject of the article.

I would like an explanation." Jan 27, 10 7:32 PM

East Hampton Town councilwoman could face charges for interfering in arrest

This is bizarre: if you're not going to arrest her on the spot or the following day, don't refer the case to the DA. Why does the PD want the DA to do what they weren't willing to do?

And why does the chief make a point of giving the impression that he's doing things on the "up-and-up" and not making "arbitrary decisions"? It all gives the impression that the PD perhaps wanted to arrest her, but did not for fear of having some improper motive attributed to the arrest, and instead referred the case to the DA so that, if she is arrested, the PD won't be responsible." Mar 10, 10 7:18 PM

Board silences Westhampton Beach Village attorney

FIrst, a technical question - is "striking" the resolutions (which Bishop said is impermissible) the same as "quashing" them (which is apparently what the Board did)?

Second, what's the point in silencing him if you've got a 3-2 majority and plan to ignore his advice and quash the resolutions anyway? If these three truly think he's giving the Board "bad" advice, it makes no sense to silence him at the hearings but allow him to continue as Village Attorney - put your money where you mouth is and fire him. But there may be a reason they won't do that...

By silencing him, they avoid the public knowing when these three are acting contrary to the Village Attorney's opinion/advice. By not firing him, they avoid a possible lawsuit for wrongful termination.

If that's the case, then it's shameful that they would smear Mr. Bishop's reputation to serve their own ends. " Mar 12, 10 6:09 PM

Lawyer for Westhampton Beach Police Chief Ray Dean says his client won't follow board's orders

How can the WHB Three claim with a straight face that they need the information "before" they decide whether to hold diciplinary hearings for the officers? Just last week, after "silencing" the Village Attorney and ignoring his advice to the contrary, they quashed resolutions requiring that the diciplinary hearings proceed. So if their minds are already made up, what's the real purpose of their request to the Chief?" Mar 17, 10 5:56 PM

Sorry, meant disciplinary." Mar 17, 10 5:58 PM

Local Tea Party movement holds two rallies on Tax Day

The photos to this story are interesting - do the grayhairs standing out there complaining about taxes realize that taxes fund their medicare and social security? As well as the roads they drove on to get to the protest, the police that protect their right to protest, the fire department that protects their properties from fire, the water and sewer treatment facilities that give them potable water and indoor plumbing, the government agencies that work to keep their food and drugs safe? How do they propose addressing these and other service and infrastructure costs without taxes? And, are they returning their social security checks and refusing medicare payments because these apparently represent an impermissible government intrusion into their lives? Put your money where your mouth is.

I'd love to pay no taxes and get services and benefits too, but I'm unfortunately bound to the stark reality that those services and benefits aren't free. Yet all the Tea Party seems capable of is criticizing government without offering any solution on how we can lower or eliminate taxes and still deliver the services and infrastructure that our country depends on. And stop whining about the bailout, which not only prevented a longer and deeper recession, but also avoided sending the country into a depression.

It's easy to complain. What I'd like to hear is the Tea Party's substantive solutions to these issues." Apr 28, 10 1:15 PM

Limited government and free markets resulted in the last depression and the present recession. " Apr 28, 10 1:43 PM

Respectfully, you've made my point. What you describe is the direct result of a free market, unregulated economy. You're even complaining that Democrats "blocked" the Bush administration's effort to "reign in" Fannie and Freddy! You can't say that, on the one hand market regulation is bad, but on the other, it could have prevented the housing crisis, right?

You also conveniently leave out what is clearly the biggest cause of the global recession - namely, investment banks (lightly regulated) and the derivatives market (unregulated), which took mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations (and then, to short those instruments, credit default swaps) and created a practically unregulated, insatiable, multi-trillion dollar market. It was that market (not Freddie, Fannie, the Dems or Obama) that in turn drove demand for more and more mortgages to create more and more MBS's and CDO's. Lenders responded to this demand by lowering their standards, leading to explosion in subprime mortgage lending.

Does the Tea Party applaud the Goldman Sachses of the world, that exploited this unregulated market, bundled toxic assets and sold them to the unsuspecting public, where even Goldman admits there was no way to value them? In a pure free market, there's nothing wrong with their behavior - is that what you're advocating?

Greed and selfishness are not admirable traits, but they tend to serve as the primary motivators for many people, particularly in the financial sector. And as long as those traits endure unregulated, a true free market economy will only lead to greater economic disparity between the haves and the have nots. " Apr 28, 10 4:23 PM

Those are talking points, not substantive solutions. I presume your flat and consumption taxes result in people paying less in taxes (otherwise you're advocating for raising taxes?). Sounds great - except you need to explain how we continue to pay for the infrastructure and services that our citizens rely on. That's why I was hoping for substantive solutions, not bumper sticker slogans, like the ones on the signs the TPs were carrying:

"Taxed Enough Already" - Great, let's start by cutting your medicare and social security, which I pay for but, because I'm young, get no benefit from.

"Liberty: All the Stimulus We Need" - Um, OK lady. Not sure what this means, but f you're complaining about the stimulus, it prevented a longer, deeper recession and avoided a depression.

"Give Us Liberty, Not Debt" - see above.

"Stop: Socialism, Arrogance, Taxes, Debt, Illegal Immigration" - Again, how?

"Gov't Control of Healthcare is Gov't Control of the People" - So you would prefer that private, profit-driven healthcare companies control healthcare (and, presumably, also control the people)???

"It's About Marxists in the WH, Stupid" - That's just plain stupid.

Again, all slogans and sound bites, but no substantive solutions.

As for your other slogans, I'm in favor of #4, not in favor of #3 (we'll see how that works in AZ and in the '12 elections), and completely in favor of #2.
" Apr 28, 10 4:46 PM

Not ranting (unlike John McCain, we should be able to address more than one issue at a time), and never said I'm against the TP. I share the frustrations over high taxes, self-interested politicians, taxpayer-funded bailouts. But I'm tired of TP whining and nonsensical talking points, with no substantive solutions being offered.

Taking your flat tax, I am not opposed to a flat tax, and I also strongly favor taxing corporate revenues (if they're "people" for First Amendment purposes, shouldn't they be "people" for tax purposes as well?). But, will the revenue generated by your flat tax cover government expenses for infrastructure and services? If not, what programs will be cut and how will you balance the budget? And, if what you're saying is that your flat tax will have the effect of actually raising taxes, do you really think the TP is going to go for it? I have yet to see a TP sign saying "Increase My Taxes Please" - instead, as reflected in the photos accompanying this article, these TPs believe in "Taxed Enough Already" and "Say NO To More Taxes." Your idea of a flat tax, while intelligent and insightful, will never fly with this crowd because of their fantastical belief that they can have lower taxes while continuing to receive the same level of government services they presently receive.

The reason I listed the various TP sign slogans in the earlier post is to point out that most of them are either ill-considered or flat out nonsense. How, for example, is gov't healthcare tantamount to gov't control over our lives, and why is that worse than for-profit corporations controlling healthcare (and, presumably, our lives)? What is the support for "Congress Spends Our Taxes But Doesn't Pay Theirs"? How someone can seriously believe that Obama is a Marxist (or a Socialist or a Nazi)? Or my personal favorite, the older gentleman holding a sign that says "Stop Taxes, Stop Debt." This is pure nonsense - I'm still waiting for someone to explain the substance behind these signs and prove me wrong.

And the people whose signs say "Taxed Enough Al" Apr 29, 10 9:28 AM

Hey Captn - "If Goldman Sachs is found to be in violation of law or regulations, I'm certain the vast majority of Teabaggers and bagees ... more alike will conlude they should be prosecuted or fined." Sorry, but can't be both free market/anti-regulation on the one hand, and in favor of prosecution for violating "law or regulations." Free markets = no laws or regulations, right? Once again, the TP is all slogans, no substance.

" May 1, 10 4:30 PM

To answer your question on the problem with the new AZ immigration law, there are two. First, in order for an officer to decide whether "reasonable suspicion" exists that someone is in the US unlawfully, the officer - lacking any set, objective criteria - will be forced to use judgement based on racial profiling. If a dark-skinned latino and I (a white guy) are both pulled over for speeding, it's obvious the latino is more likely to arouse "reasonable suspicion" because of his nationality and skin color. Not even the AZ Gov., who passed the law, had an answer when asked what someone who's illegally in the US actually looks like. Bottom line is that our Constitution forbids racial profiling, and that Constitutional prohibition has worked well so far - interesting that the TP is in favor of trashing it.

Second, the AZ law allows the police to be sued for not enforcing the law, creating yet another untenable situation (even the police in AZ are against the law for this reason). The cops are stuck between a rock and a hard place - either they try to enforce the law and subject themselves to racial profiling lawsuits, or they refuse to engage in racial profiling and get sued for not enforcing the law.

As for Marco Rubio - the son of Cuban immigrants - he does NOT support the AZ law, especially the "reasonable suspicion" provision. Here's a report on comments he made on 4-27-10 in Miami:

But, Rubio added, "I think that the law has potential unintended consequences and it's one of the reasons why I think immigration needs to be a federal issue, not a state one."

More specifically, Rubio said, "Everyone is concerned with the prospect of the 'reasonable suspicion' provisions, where individuals can be pulled over because someone suspects that they may not be legal in this country. I think over time people will grow uncomfortable with that."

On the prospect of suspects showing documentation to police to prove they are legal, Rubio said, "That's not really something that Americans are comfortable with, the notion of a police state." " May 1, 10 4:52 PM

You've defeated your own argument. Plenty of people who are legally in the US cannot speak English - that's a criteria that you're illegal? And hanging out with day laborers without ID is now a crime? Most important, both of these criteria (and any others you can dream up) constitute impermissible racial profiling, prohibited by Federal law and the US Constitution (familiar with the Equal Protection Clause?). Are you anti-Constitution?

Educate yourself with this W-era DOJ memo on the ineffectiveness and "terrible cost" of racial profiling: http://www.justice.gov/crt/split/documents/guidance_on_race.php" May 1, 10 5:02 PM

I'm glad you're conceding that free markets is a bad idea. "Blah blah blah" is exactly what I expect from somone with nothing constructive to offer - not all Tea Partiers, but TPs like you.

As for the racial profiling, you've lost touch with reality - profiling is inevitable any time the police are left to make these kinds of decisions without objective criteria. But the obvious fact that you conveniently ignore is that I (the white guy) would never get asked your non-profiling questions - only people that don't look like me would get asked. And that's unconstituional racial profiling." May 1, 10 7:18 PM

I guess when you run out of message, you attack the messenger. But in doing so, you sidestep the main problem - what's important is not the questions they'll ask, but who they choose to ask the questions to. Why is this important? Because the true "bigger picture" is that our Constitution mandates equal protection under law and prohibits racial profiling. But you seem to be OK with trashing the Constitution, because to you, the ends somehow justify the means, regardless of constitutionality.

Your cheap reference to 9/11 is misguided - this law is aimed at Latinos, not Osama, and there were no Latino hijackers (can you even name a single Latino that's perpetrated a terrorist attack on American soil?).

But since you raise the issue of terrorism (which, like it or not, is separate from the issue of immigration), a central goal of terrorism is to get the US to curtail the freedoms and liberties that make us the greatest country in the history of the world. So when you hear that our government does things like illegal wiretapping, racial profiling, and indefinite detentions at Guantanamo, you can chalk one up for those who hate our liberties and freedoms.

As for the TP, I don't know where they're going. My problem with the TP is that they like to complain, but once you get beyond the simplistic signs, slogans and bumper sticker sound bites, they've got nothing substantive and realistic to offer in the way of solutions. And solutions are the only thing that matters." May 2, 10 4:01 PM

I couldn't disagree with you more, as I think it's naive to believe that profiling won't occur because the law forbids it (the Constitution has always forbid it, but hasn't prevented it). But I have enjoyed and appreciate the debate and will leave it at that." May 5, 10 8:58 AM

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