The Bigger Picture - 27 East

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Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1714903

The Bigger Picture

Re: “Put It On Hold” [Letters, July 16]: While I appreciated Frances Genovese’s expressive writing style, I was dumbfounded by her own “canopy of ignorance,” as well as her disrespectful and vulgar verbiage; e.g. “brain dead,” “buggered.” Her panicked position reveals a pessimistic, fear-filled vision for the future. It is not a position to be embraced by the Southampton Town Council, and certainly not in town planning!

What disturbed me most in her letter was the equating of the basic amenities of a public pool/recreation facility to a “spa.” In the 1960s and 1970s, I spent part of my summers taking Red Cross swimming lessons at the rocky end of Peconic Beach, Hampton Bays. It was no beach club. During the winter, I swam with my Boy Scout troop in the local Boys Club pool. It was not a spa.

Are recreational opportunities like these available for the general public — residents and non-residents, youth and adults — in the Town of Southampton now?

While many of our more affluent neighbors might be able to afford spas, year-round private gym/health club memberships, or maybe even indoor pools, what about the less affluent, taxpaying residents of the Town of Southampton who might be scraping by and unable to afford such extravagances? As a community, have we no responsibility toward them?

Or, does the position of Ms. Genovese unconsciously expose Southampton’s soft underbelly of bigotry, i.e. classism, racism, for which it is notorious? Ms. Genovese’s position should be rejected for what it is: thinly disguised NIMBY-ism couched in disdain for the town supervisor and Town Council.

A proactive commitment by the town to the building of a public pool, aquatic center, recreation facility — call it what you may — shows an abiding and truly enlightened concern for the well-being and personal development of all who live, and will live, in the Town of Southampton. In the bigger picture, like it or not, this really is a social justice issue.

Abraham “A.J.” Miller

Hampton Bays

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