Recent Stories: Editorials

Editorial
March 25, 2015

A fire last week that consumed an oceanfront house in East Hampton Village is a reminder of the astonishing commitment of this area’s fire and emergency medical volunteers.

Editorial
March 25, 2015

The East Hampton Town Board should stay the course in seeking meaningful relief from the noise of flights headed to or leaving the town airport. Following a March 12 hearing on new, get-tough rules, one began to see signs of second-guessing among some observers. This reticence may have been amplified by the strong turnout at the hearing by the helicopter charter industry, which rightly sees East Hampton’s approach as a potentially risky precedent.

Editorial
March 18, 2015

This edition of The Star arrives during Sunshine Week, a once-a-year effort by the journalism profession to focus attention on the continual struggle for open government. Unfortunately, the last 12 months have not been good ones for the cause. Notable problems include the revelation that Hillary Clinton used a personal email server for official messages as secretary of state and may have destroyed important records.

Editorial
March 18, 2015

The East Hampton Town Board has tested the waters, so to speak, on allowing the operators of personal watercraft to launch them in several harbors where until now they had been prohibited. The East Hampton Town Trustees, who have an interest in some of the water bodies covered under the existing ban, are sure to weigh in, but the view in favor of allowing Jet Skis, WaveRunners, and the like to use town launching ramps centers on the observation that they are entitled to the same access afforded other small craft.

Editorial
March 11, 2015

Close observers are seeing significant progress in New York State’s recent moves on alternative, nonpolluting energy. In late February the state’s Public Service Commission issued an outline for its Reforming the Energy Vision plan, with an aim of making New York’s electric grid cleaner, resilient in the face of natural disasters, and cheaper for consumers. This is extremely good news and dovetails nicely with a goal set by the Town of East Hampton to supply all of the community’s electric needs from renewable sources by 2020.

Editorial
March 11, 2015

As the starting date nears for a United States Army Corps of Engineers project to build a giant artificial dune reinforced at its core with thousands of massive sandbags, it is critical that the public and policymakers understand what is really at stake.

Editorial
March 5, 2015

The East Hampton Town Board should look beyond an apparent impasse on the airport’s budget and finance advisory subcommittee, which has stymied a financial review of planned limits on the noisiest kinds of aircraft.

Editorial
March 5, 2015

The latest in a string of shockers out of Albany came this week when it became known that the Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo administration had begun automatically purging the computers of state workers of email messages more than 90 days old.

Editorial
February 25, 2015

Of all the battles the East Hampton Town Trustees could be joining, the one in which a majority appears to be fighting for the right of bros to drink at Amagansett’s Indian Wells Beach is one on which they should have taken a pass.

Editorial
February 25, 2015

Officials in the East End towns and villages are taking a new look at water pollution and suggesting that a regional approach might be the solution. They have proposed seeking as much as $100 million from the state for rebates on private septic systems or tax credits, acknowledging that environmental damage from failed or inadequate systems is a problem that spans municipal borders.

Editorial
February 18, 2015

The world may be undergoing a sixth great wave of extinctions, as recently examined in a book by Elizabeth Kolbert, and this phenomenon may well extend to the seas, including those off our own shores. Symptoms include coral reef degradation, finfish population crashes, toxic algae blooms, and the slow loss of once-familiar and economically vital species. New York State has responded by drafting a 10-year Ocean Action Plan, but the document, while extensive, offers no source for the money needed to address its ambitious goals.

Editorial
February 18, 2015

In an interesting development, the Village of East Hampton’s code enforcement officer and fire inspector has suggested taking a hard look at basements. The issue Ken Collum identified and asked the village board to consider regulating is that a growing number of property owners are including vast underground warrens in building or reconstructing houses. They can do so because the village code does not require basement square-footage to be calculated in the size of a house.

Editorial
February 12, 2015

Among the wild-eyed robins feeding in a holly bush outside our office window this week we spotted a cedar waxwing. A well-dressed fellow, he perched in sharp contrast to the tatty-looking, larger robins pulling greedily at the red berries. Below his buff-colored shoulders, two white lines, like pinstripes, ran down toward his tail. The pointed tuft atop his head stood crisp and proud.

Editorial
February 12, 2015

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has taken on the state’s public school teachers, and they are firing back — hard. It’s about time.      

Editorial
February 12, 2015

Town officials have struck the right balance in deciding in whose interest the East Hampton Airport and the skies for miles around it will be managed.

Editorial
February 4, 2015

A happy outcome appears assured for the Springs General Store, whose operator was faced with the prospect of shutting its doors due to a pending sale of the property. Now, as the last minute neared, an “angel” buyer apparently has emerged who will allow Kristi Hood to keep the store open. This welcome denouement may be the exception to the rule, where places and properties important to the community are threatened about as fast as real estate prices rise.

Editorial
February 4, 2015

More than a week after the snow from the blizzard that pounded East Hampton and the rest of Long Island began to be hauled away, one aspect of the official preparations and response should be examined.

Editorial
January 28, 2015

Attention in Albany may be focused on the apparent downfall of the Legislature’s top Democrat, Sheldon Silver, in a corruption scandal that cuts very close to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but the critically important work of settling a budget for the coming fiscal year goes on. Two recent reports from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation have raised valid questions about the agency’s capabilities where wildlife is concerned and painted a picture of it as a failed agency.

Editorial
January 28, 2015

What to do about large commercial vehicles left overnight on residential properties has plagued Town Hall going back to the Wilkinson administration. Now, after protracted discussions among town board members and various segments of the public, a more or less reasonable policy appears near. The process of working out some new limits on trucks has been conducted with respect for all sides and a minimum of personal distraction, and this speaks well of the tenor of the town board as now configured.

Editorial
January 21, 2015

Just when we thought the plan to bolster the Montauk oceanfront with thousands of sandbags could not get any worse, it got worse. Time and the desire of town officials not to have the work take place during the summer have conspired, prompting the United States Army Corps of Engineers to go ahead with only half the job.

Editorial
January 21, 2015

The role of the East Hampton Town citizens advisory committees appears to be up for re-evaluation. During a town board meeting last week the point was made that perhaps the time had come to look again at an order that has prevented the committees from communicating with other town-appointed boards and government agencies since 2012.

Editorial
January 21, 2015

When a number of East Hampton neighbors spoke up at a recent meeting about their objections to a request for a garage from the owners of a house being built on Mill Hill Lane, they may well have been speaking for many residents of the South Fork who are increasingly upset about oversized construction on small lots. As smaller lanes in the villages have become more and more desirable, investors and new part-timers have started tearing down serviceable, if modest, dwellings and putting up far larger ones.

Editorial
January 14, 2015

Offshore wind power, which until quite recently seemed to be coming to the Northeast, hit a stumbling block in the past few months. First, in mid-December, the Long Island Power Authority rejected a plan for turbines in the waters about 30 miles east of Montauk. Then, early this month, the utilities that would have bought power from a proposed $2.5 billion project being readied for Nantucket Sound by a firm called Cape Wind backed away, citing missed deadlines by the developer.

Editorial
January 14, 2015

Kathleen Cunningham’s appointment to the East Hampton Town Planning Board last week was notable in one respect that has drawn little notice. By replacing a male board member who moved away, she became the third woman on the seven-member panel. This makes the planning board the exception to the rule in East Hampton Town, where among the boards whose composition is determined by town board vote, men occupy more than three-quarters of the seats. And among all the boards, the vast majority are white and non-Latino.