by Michael dEstries
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New information has surfaced regarding Laurie David’s “Oops I Did It Again” wetlands violation at her Martha’s Vineyard manse. As we previously wrote, the environmental activist was cited again for violating the state Wetlands Protection Act while building a tennis court. Our theory that David probably wasn’t aware of the violation turned out to be correct — as the contractor in charge of the construction took the blame. “She’s obviously a very busy person and she trusted the contractor,” said David’s contractor Bart Thorpe told the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette. “And I inadvertently made a mistake. It’s something she had no knowledge of and had nothing to do with, and it’s a minor thing.”

That “minor thing” ended up costing David $900 in fines — $300/day until a restoration plan was submitted. In the latest incident, boards and rocks were laid over wetlands to create a road enabling heavy equipment to get to the site of the tennis court.

Said Jacqueline Mendez-Diez, a neighbor of David’s, “This latest infraction came to light when a former David employee reported the violations to the town’s Conservation Officer. Otherwise, because it is such a secluded area, no one would know about it. Historically, Laurie David’s violations of the WPA have come to light in precisely this manner of a former employee finally coming forward to report illegal wetlands abuses.”

Photos courtesy of Mendez-Diaz

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • tehdude

    Its like Erin Brokovitch in opposite land.

  • Jackie Mendez-Diez

    To Ecorazzi:

    Bart Thorpe has given false information to the press. He is a dishonest person. Not only do his excuses for David and his own “minor” illegal activity not make sense, David herself was here with Thorpe during the height of this latest infraction. It’s not possible that she did not see this water-filled roadway on her WETlands area of her property. The Enforcement Order and fine were issued because Thorpe is a repeat violator. He tore out environmentally protected trees for David in exactly the same wetlands on David’s property two years ago. At that time, when he was caught, there was no punishment from the conservation commission, but Thorpe promised the commission there would be no further damage. He broke that promise in spades. As to Thorpe’s claim of it being a “minor” incident, the commission is loathe to impose fines, and does so only rarely and only if the violation is particularly grievous and a repeat offense– which this was. At the May 20th con comm meeting, the commission said the fine imposed was the highest allowable by the town. Thorpe’s lack of honesty in his statements displays he has more of a concern for getting caught, finding out who blew the whistle on him, and clearly shows a grandiose sense of entitlement to disregard the rules the rest of us adhere to.

    As to Thorpe’s attempts to excuse Laurie David’s reckless and irresponsible “lack of knowledge”, the woman has, for 8 long years, paid hundreds of employees to tear out and construct on a trophy-scale of such immense carbon-belching to rival no one. Did someone twist Ms. David’s arm, forcing her to build on this grand scale on over 75 acres, many of them previously pristine? The construction has been virtually ceaseless, and for all these years I have been forced to see, hear, smell, and even taste exactly what it entails for this kind of self-aggrandizing building to go on–I have spoken out against the hypocrisy of David’s supposed concern for the environment many times, and been attacked by her camp for it just as often. Worse, there have been repeated environmental violations of the Wetlands Protection Act on her properties, 5 that I know about, but only two were publicized– this one pictured above, (photos by Russell Walton, conservation officer), and the 26-foot long barbecue/bonfire pit fiasco in 2005. It’s as if the protected areas of David’s land have simply been in the way of her getting her heated swimming pool, tennis court, guest houses, barns, theater, barbecue center, bonfire pit, architect-designed treehouse and chicken coop, stone walls, roads, etc. This kind of carbon-spewing and virtually ceaseless construction is the antithesis of environmental responsibility that Laurie David preaches to everyone else.

    As I recently wrote to the Vineyard Gazette, the only common denominator, in all the 8 years of trophy building and accompanying eco-abuses, is Laurie David herself, despite the different employees who take the fall for the Wetlands Protection Act violations on her property– whenever someone bothers to report them to the conservation commission. The 5 violations against David that I know about are a matter of public record at our town hall. I suppose that when you pour tens of millions of dollars into building a trophy property to outdo all other trophy properties in this area, what does it matter when there are persistent wetlands abuses… especially to a phony environmentalist?

    David blamed and fired the man in charge of the last publicized wetlands abuse– the 26-foot BBQ center and other must-have accouterments she built illegally. She has not fired Thorpe, even though the above-pictured mess is the 2nd time he has been cited for damaging the wetlands in exactly this area. Why is he still in charge of David’s building if David is supposed to care about environmental responsibility?

    Most important, what kind of environmental activist is too “busy” to take care of her own backyard, especially after several violations? What is she so busy doing? Telling everyone else how to be environmentally responsible and how to reduce their carbon footprint? Laurie David is an eco-hypocrite of the highest order. Instead of doing good, she provides fodder for ridicule to those who believe the entire environmentalist movement is made up of idiotic gulf-stream liberals who know nothing. The damage she has done to the neighborhood where I live is indeed local, but it sickens me nonetheless. A property owner is ultimately responsible, and after the first violation, there is no such thing as being too busy to make sure these violations on HER properties stop. Self-importance and self-promotion are not excuses for persistent, repeat violations from a “global warming warrior”.

    Thorpe has been telling untruths since he first came on the job for Larry and Laurie David in 2006. The discrepancies between his word and his actual work are a matter of public record at our town hall, where permit applications are on file.

    Laurie David surely has the biggest carbon footprint in all of Chilmark by now, and I hope to heavens that she finally feels it is now big enough for her. As to the new tennis court, I hope she enjoys it and that the damage she caused by getting it was worth it to her.
    For more background on Bart Thorpe’s role as Laurie David’s “building contractor”, here is the NEW YORK POST article written by jill Culora in July, 2007. I suppose Thorpe would like to blame me for this lovely piece of literature, too!

    NEW YORK POST, July 22, 2007:

    Here’s the pair that celeb-watchers have been buzzing about – a shirtless hunk and the greener-than-thou Hollywood wife of “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David.

    Bart Thorpe, 44, of Martha’s Vineyard, and environmental activist Laurie David, 49 – who filed for divorce from her husband on July 13 – appeared inseparable on the Massachusetts island last week, darting down to the dock together several times for trips on Thorpe’s 17-foot boat.

    Thorpe’s friends say he is behaving like he’s under her spell.

    Laurie David filed divorce papers citing “irreconcilable differences” with the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” TV comic. But there was speculation that her sudden rise to fame from producing the Oscar-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” had strained the 14-year marriage and caused the split.

    Spies have noticed activity at the Davids’ sprawling 76-acre compound in the island’s Chilmark neighborhood – which they call “Camp David.”

    “She creeps over at 11 p.m.” to her barn where Thorpe is living, said one resident. Thorpe arrived at Camp David in March after moving out of the home he kept with his wife, Julie Flanders-Thorpe, a Chilmark resident told The Post.

    Laurie David and Thorpe have been spotted holding hands, and last week were seen taking dawn boat cruises and on an afternoon water-skiing spin. Giggling and laughing, Laurie David slipped her feet into Thorpe’s shoes after climbing out of his boat.

    Meanwhile, friends say Larry is bunking in the guesthouse of close friends Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, who also summer in Chilmark. He’s regularly seen sulking with friends at the Chilmark General Store.

    Chilmark residents said it all started when Thorpe and his now-estranged wife began hanging around with the Davids last summer. Thorpe and his father-in-law David Flanders had leased an additional parcel of land to the Davids. At the time, Thorpe was on the Davids’ payroll to help develop the property.

    The foursome ceased to spend time together when Larry, 59, returned home to Los Angeles at the end of the summer and Laurie stayed on the Vineyard. Residents began noticing burgeoning closeness between Laurie and Thorpe.

    “I remember thinking that it was odd that they were together in their swimsuits in the middle of a work day,” one resident said.

    Throughout the winter, Laurie David made regular trips to the Vineyard to check on building projects, even as the Davids’ aggressive building and construction to rearrange their environment upset Chilmark residents, said neighbor Jackie Mendez-Diez.

    By March, Thorpe was out of his home and living in the Davids’ barn, said another resident who did not want to be named.

    “Thorpe’s father-in-law probably wants to take a fire ax to him,” said the neighbor. “If it was my daughter that he fooled around on in this tiny community and made a jackass of himself, I’d have him committed.”

    Meanwhile, Thorpe, a Republican, is lately driving a hybrid car.

    “Bart is so besotted he doesn’t know which end is up,” said a Chilmark resident, who did not want to be named. “He thinks Laurie David is the greatest person in the world. He says: ‘She’s single-handedly saving the planet.’ It’s like he’s another person. It’s sad. He had the greatest wife and a wonderful daughter.”

    Laurie David referred calls to her spokesman, who did not return messages seeking comment. The Thorpes could not be reached.

  • levendi

    It is rare when an activist becomes an activist without the need for recognition or some other narscissistic intention. Some of the greatest “activists” in the world (i.e. Gandhi, Martin Luther King) were motivated by their passion to correct social injustice and loathed to be referred to as leaders. These are the people that will lead our nation out of its funk and into greatness once more. Laurie David is not one of these leaders. She is condescending, hypocritical, and a total narscissist who is so self-absorbed that she is looking for something to replace the “fifteen minutes of fame” she enjoyed as Larry David’s significant other. Thank you Ms. Mendez-Diez for your comments. I’m truly sorry that you have to share space adjacent to such an individual. Here, in Los Angeles, she is typical of eco-elitists who spout off in all directions and yet fail to really address the severe environmental problems that exist here on the left coast. I wonder when she last visited Wilmington, Maywood, San Bernardino/Colton, the cities along the I-710 corridor so that she could have an understanding of how environmental issues such as diesel particulate matter really impact those of lesser means. The cancer rates of those who are forced to breathe air which is fouled from all of the diesel engine pollution are off the charts (3200 per million) as opposed to a more “normal” cancer rate of 300 per million in communities which do not suffer from these issues. It is sad to see people like Laurie David “talk the talk” and not “walk the walk” preferring rather to seek the limelight in an effort to feed their own egos. As for clowns like Mr. Thorpe, he is typical of contractors who routinely violate environmental development laws knowing that this is the cost of doing business and knowing that there will be nothing other than monetary punishment. I know enough to suggest that his violations probably carry, at a minimum, misdemeanor exposure under Massachusetts law. He should have been prosecuted and sentenced to 30 days in the cooler or, at the very least, a healthy slug of community service such as painting over graffitti or picking up trash. Therein lies the anomaly of what happens when the “haves” are able to use their significant influence while the “have nots” continue to suffer

  • JM

    Looks like just another homewrecking Hollywood phony using the environment to pad her wallet.