Pants-wetting in Garden City

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pants-wetting in Garden City

It took longer than one might have expected, but the anti-eruv bund sounded the alarums and scarums this past weekend, and now that the scheduled event has passed, OtBB can reveal what happened this evening.

Under the caption...

"Extreme Risk to the Future of WHB and Surrounding Area"

...the following E-mail, and others similar in content and tone, were circulated Sunday afternoon:

"The future of Westhampton Beach, Qui­ogue, and adjoining portions of Quogue and Westhampton is severely threatened. The Westhampton Synagogue was unsuc­cessful in getting an eruv approved for WHB in 2008.

Now the Synagogue people have reduced some of the requirements and are using hardball tactics to establish an eruv for a larger area, including WHB. They are very well organized and have been intimidating Verizon and localities to go forward and allow ERUV markers on the poles where required. Verizon plans to make their decision perhaps as soon as a week from tomorrow. The establishment of an eruv would be a disaster for all the area inside the perimeter of the eruv."

In an effort to marshal the anti-eruv forces, a meeting at the Garden City Casino was set for 7:00 pm this evening, the big drawing card being one "Arnie Sheiffer, head of the Jewish People Opposed to the eruv," adding:

"He will explain how serious the situation is and how quickly we must take action."

We eagerly await word of just "how serious the situation is," and precisely what "action" must be taken.

(In previous forums at Starr Boggs and before the Village Board, Mr. Sheiffer was invariably soft on facts and vague on what was to be done. The only definite was that J.P.O.E. needed money to fight the good fight.)

What's odd about this evening's meeting is that it took so long to be organized, since the only "new" information on this issue to have emerged during the past fortnight is that last week the Village of Quogue hired Marci Hamil­ton to represent that municipality's interests in respect to the proposed plan by the East End Eruv Association.

(It may be recalled that Ms. Hamilton, a constitutional scholar, had previously been retained by the Alliance for Separ­ation of Church and State for the Greater Westhampton Area, Inc., and delivered a brief which seems to have kept the initial application for the strictly Westhampton Beach eruv bottled up for the past 26 months.)

Ms. Hamilton has already sent a letter to both Long Island Power Authority and Verizon delin­eating Quogue's position that E³A cannot do an end run around the municipal process.

(Receipt of this letter will doubtless be met with a gnashing of teeth in the utility companies' legal offices... they'd be delighted if the whole thing just went away 'cause right now they're in the middle!)

So anyone who made a special trip to the Garden City this evening, wasted their time and gasoline... the Villages of Quogue and Westhampton Beach have the situation covered at this point, and even if they didn't, J.P.O.E. isn't going to do anything other than ask for money and exhort others to...

"Write your displeasure to Verizon and LIPA reagarding{sic} their pending agreement to install an eruv on the utility poles."

OtBB will have an after-action report later, but the safe bet is that little happened beyond a lot of fear being mongered, and pants being wet by those susceptible to such tactics.


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