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16 Comments by JackO'Dwyer

Hampton Synagogue Blesses, Celebrates Eruv In Westhampton Beach

This battle has cost SH, WHB and Quogue $884,837 in fees to outside law firms so far, based on Freedom of Information forms filled out by the three towns. They are being accused of "animus towards observant Jews" in lawsuits that seek damages and legal fees and demand that the towns pay the cost of constructing the eruvim. Tenafly, N.J., had to pay more than $300,000 to the Tenafly Eruv Assn. after it lost legal actions against the TEA. I wonder if SH residents know of the immense current and possible future costs of this battle. They are also being accused of discriminating against Orthodox Jews." Jan 16, 15 2:04 PM

Westhampton Beach Village Board Could Withdraw Police Commissioner Idea

The hubub over a possible police commissioner is a diversionary tactic meant to draw attention away from the real issue facing WHB--the ferocious legal attack by the East End Eruv Assn. that has already cost WHB $125,118 in charges from its law firm and a total of $884,837 in legal fees for the three towns involved. WHB and the towns also face possible hundreds of thousands for the legal fees and "damages" being claimed by EEEA. There ought to be a public meeting on the eruv and put the phony police commissioner post to bed. The alleged eruv that went up in WHB last summer is also a phony because no "lechis" can be found on any telephone poles." Feb 6, 15 8:56 AM

They claim that lechis are "almost invisible" in legal papers. There is no such thing as "almost invisible" any more than a woman can be "almost pregnant."" Feb 6, 15 9:13 AM

Westhampton Beach Village Board Kills Commissioner Proposal

I hope Mayor Moore and the trustees will turn their attention to litigation involving the eruv proposed for WHB. Legal costs of WHB, Southampton, Quogue and Jewish People Opposed to the Eruv have already passed the $1 million mark. I say "proposed" because no one can find any of the needed "lechis" on utility poles in WHB for the eruv that supposedly was erected last summer." Feb 14, 15 11:42 AM

Search Continues For Elusive Eruv Markers In Westhampton Beach

Minimizing or making light of this is not the answer. Much of the carnage in the Middle East can be traced to religious fanaticism that trumps reason. The U.S. was founded by people who rejected belief in the supernatural since they had seen the tragic consequences of that in Europe. Promoters of eruvim want governments to validate their irrational and often dangerous beliefs. I hope they have finally met their match in the Hamptons." Mar 23, 15 10:04 AM

Westhampton Beach Village Could Eliminate Lifetime Benefits For Former Elected Officials

Rob Rubio and Brian Tymann have told me they are against WHB signing promises never to oppose an eruv in WHB as is being sought by Verizon and the East End Eruv Assn. and are also against medical plans for trustees. That is enough to win my vote. Hank Tucker would get free medical for life if elected since he would meet the ten-year requirement," Jun 18, 15 5:52 PM

Eruv Opponents Criticize Westhampton Beach Board For Lack Of Communication

I agree with realistic 285 that the WHB library appears to be under the thumb of the Moore Administration. Moore herself should not be on the library board since it compromises its independence and its commitment to learning and education. Mayor Moore on Aug. 6 said, "Perhaps it would be more helpful to the community t hear it at a meeting to have an update to the extent possible."

That is devoutly to be desired. There is a need for paid speakers such as Prof. Marci Hamilton of Yeshiva University who wrote an 18-page paper in 2008 for WHB declaring eruvim unconstitutional. Prof. Alexandra Susman of UCLA has done the same in a 34-page paper. The meeting should be in the high school auditorium and not the tiny room where the Trustees meet." Aug 15, 15 9:53 AM

Westhamptonboy: WHB should invite Robert Sugarman of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, law firm for the East End Eruv Assn., and Rabbi Schneier of the Hampton Synagogue and anyone else they want to send." Aug 15, 15 10:49 AM

Mayor Moore has resigned from the library board according a report by Kyle Campbell Wednesday, Aug. 19. She said she only stayed on the board to provide guidance for new member Marth-Ann Betjemann." Aug 19, 15 5:56 PM

Westhampton Library Board Continues To Weigh Options Over Selection Process

This is an excellent story and I hope that the Library board will agree to being replaced by an elected board that is diversified--having men, members of minority groups and people under 30 years of age." Oct 7, 15 10:16 AM

Westhampton Library Board Reschedules Meeting With Almost No Notice

The library board meetings should be at 7 p.m. just like the meetings of the Westhampton Beach Trustees. They should also be videotaped like the WHB meetings. The library has $4.1 million in cash/savings and yearly expenses of only
$2.58 million so it could well afford it. Canceling the Oct. 14 meeting at the last minute hurts the image of libraries, something that Mr. Verbesey should be concerned with. Maybe he is." Oct 14, 15 6:38 PM

Westhampton Library Board Schedules Special Meeting For Monday, November 16

As a reporter in Westhampton for the O'Dwyer Co., I am disappointed that Ms. Waskiewicz did not also "alert" me about the special meeting Nov. 16 and provide me with the information that Mr. Zuckerman could not be at the Nov. 18 meeting. What possible excuse could he have for missing such an important meeting, the first nighttime session of the board apparently since 1897?" Nov 14, 15 10:43 AM

Westhampton Free Library Seeks Applicants To Serve On Board Of Directors

I hope the library board will accept the fairness of being an elected board. Also, the library board should consider hosting a film on cellphone dangers that is available. The devices and other transmitters of radiation are dangerous. The Ashland, Mass., library had a showing of the one-hour and 24-minute film Jan. 26. Link to the story is http://tinyurl.com/zd53mae" Jan 27, 16 1:52 PM

Westhampton Beach Board Appoints Gonce As Permanent Police Chief

Erin: Where is coverage of the board's passage of an agreement with the East End Eruv Assn.? The board refuses to reveal the agreement until it has been signed. Residents are being denied this vital information that cedes control of 46 utility poles to EEEA, LIPA and Verizon.

Illogically, a paragraphs on the deal says the agreement "does not create or recognize a religious boundary" when that is exactly what it does.

Permanent religious markers on public property were forbidden by the 2005 Supreme Court in McCreary County vs. ACLU of Kentucky. Temporary markers are o.k.

I gave a five-minute speech on that to the trustees who forced me from the mike when I had a lot more to say. Free speech was throttled June 2. The SH Press has editorialized in favor of eruvim, saying they are "invisible."" Jun 4, 16 10:38 AM

Eruv Settlement Approved In Westhampton Beach

This is reporter Jack O’Dwyer who finds some flaws in Erin McKinley’s article.

For one, I am not a “local blogger” but the owner and editor of the 48-year-old O’Dwyer Co. whose website is picked up throughout the U.S. and in as many as 170 foreign countries in a month. Unique visitors average 50,000 to 60,000 monthly.

Our monthly magazine published 692 pages last year and our May 2016 issue had 96 pages. We publish the only printed directory in all of public relations, the 328-page O’Dwyer’s Directory of PR Firms. Both the New York Times and Washington Post have referred to the company as the “bible of PR.”

So treating us dismissively is not accurate. We have covered the eruv dispute in detail since 2008 partly because we have owned a home in WHB since 1987 and are a registered voter. Our website, searchable to 2001, lists more than 1,600 stories and documents under “eruv.”

We have hundreds of pages of legal and other documents on eruvim but no SH Press editor will go over these with us. Normally, reporters are all eyes and ears on anything to do with a story they are covering.

Erin’s story says Mayor Maria Moore would sign the agreement but it was only signed by outside attorney Brian Sokoloff.

The WHB agreement carries the false statement that it is “not a recognition or endorsement of any religious boundary” when that is exactly what it does.

The WHB agreement, unlike the SH agreement, does not say that the eruv “is not an unconstitutional establishment of religion under the First Amendment because that would be false. McCreary County vs. ACLU of Kentucky in 2005 barred permanent religious symbols on public property, in an opinion written by Justice David Souter.

It is a brazen trampling on the U.S. Constitution and its commitment to separation of church and state. I do not believe it is a valid agreement.

As for the oft-cited threat of “millions” of fines and fees that “might” be dumped on WHB, I say “Baloney” with a capital B. Nothing from the other side is to be believed.
" Jun 9, 16 11:52 AM

Westhampton Beach Main Street Overhaul Requires Removal Of Dozens Of Trees

I'd like to know if new sewers will result in more restaurants opening on Main st. or whether current restaurants are in violation because of inadequate sewers? I have not noticed any problems with Main st. sidewalks. This seems like a giant make-work scheme to me that will total the "village" look of WHB for years." Mar 2, 17 1:05 PM