Recent Stories: Editorials

Editorial
April 19, 2018
A massive water cistern planned for the Amagansett woods has the potential neighbors upset. This is understandable, as the 900,000-gallon reservoir would be built above ground on a Suffolk County Water Authority well site only a short distance from the road.

A massive water cistern planned for the Amagansett woods has the potential neighbors upset. This is understandable, as the 900,000-gallon reservoir would be built above ground on a Suffolk County Water Authority well site only a short distance from the road. The water authority said it would paint the 30-foot-tall tank a pleasing shade of green in the hope that it would blend in with its surroundings. But the woods are a leafless gray half the year and deer have eaten away what would have been a cloaking understory. 

Editorial
April 19, 2018
Luis Marin-Castro’s arrest by federal agents while he was working in Wainscott on April 9 highlights the need for a rational immigration policy. Mr. Marin, 31, came to East Hampton from Ecuador as a child, attended high school here, graduated from Suffolk Community College, and was a valued employee, working his way up from bus boy to sommelier at Nick and Toni’s restaurant in East Hampton.

Luis Marin-Castro’s arrest by federal agents while he was working in Wainscott on April 9 highlights the need for a rational immigration policy. Mr. Marin, 31, came to East Hampton from Ecuador as a child, attended high school here, graduated from Suffolk Community College, and was a valued employee, working his way up from bus boy to sommelier at Nick and Toni’s restaurant in East Hampton. Like many others who were not born here, however, he did not have legal status in this country, and, after pleading guilty to drunken driving about three years ago, ended up in the sights of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Editorial
April 11, 2018
The Earth is getting warmer and fossil fuel-burning power plants have a lot to do with it. That is why those who study climate and government policies say alternative energy sources are essential in order to avoid massive upheavals. Given present technology, wind power, either from land-based or offshore windmills, is considered the best, fastest way to make a difference.

The Earth is getting warmer and fossil fuel-burning power plants have a lot to do with it. That is why those who study climate and government policies say alternative energy sources are essential in order to avoid massive upheavals. Given present technology, wind power, either from land-based or offshore windmills, is considered the best, fastest way to make a difference. 

Editorial
April 11, 2018
At a time when young people have taken leadership roles in the fight for sensible gun control, led the Black Lives Matter movement, and generally found new political activism, allowing them to have a voice at the local level is a logical next step. Guild Hall, for example, recently created a teen council, in which high school students receive a stipend for attending meetings to help shape cultural programs and build audiences of the future. That would be most obviously valuable in some form on school boards and perhaps in Town Hall.

At a time when young people have taken leadership roles in the fight for sensible gun control, led the Black Lives Matter movement, and generally found new political activism, allowing them to have a voice at the local level is a logical next step. Guild Hall, for example, recently created a teen council, in which high school students receive a stipend for attending meetings to help shape cultural programs and build audiences of the future. That would be most obviously valuable in some form on school boards and perhaps in Town Hall.

Editorial
April 4, 2018
Public access and amenities at Boys and Girls Harbor in East Hampton could be improved soon. This is a good thing, but a word of caution is necessary first.

Access and amenities at Boys and Girls Harbor could be improved soon. This is a good thing, but a word of caution is necessary first. East Hampton Town officials are studying the preservation fund-purchased former summer camp properties on Three Mile Harbor, about 83 acres in all, and talking about how the site could be made more inviting for the public. Among the ideas are a covered picnic pavilion and a paved bike trail. 

Editorial
April 4, 2018
It is forgivable that Americans might be distracted by all the scandals and dramatic missteps of the Trump presidency and miss the less-noticed efforts to dismantle existing policy, in particular, clean air and water protections.

It is forgivable that Americans might be distracted by all the scandals and dramatic missteps of the Trump presidency and miss the less-noticed efforts to dismantle existing policy, in particular, clean air and water protections. This week, Scott Pruitt, the embattled head of the Environmental Protection Agency, announced the rollback of vehicle emissions standards, which will increase the use of fossil fuels, helping industry but harming the environment. Also under the gun is the Clean Power Plan, an Obama administration attempt to limit greenhouse-effect carbon coming from electricity plants.

Editorial
March 28, 2018
East Hampton Town needs a summer plan. Relatively recently, officials presented a set of hamlet-specific vision documents intended to guide redevelopment and new projects in the commercial centers with an eye toward a mix of business and residential needs and an emphasis on affordable living for workers. These studies were quite nice and contained some exciting ideas. What the hamlet plan authors did not do was look at the reality of East Hampton’s resort, day-trip, and short-term rental economy in a coherent way.

East Hampton Town needs a summer plan. Relatively recently, officials presented a set of hamlet-specific vision documents intended to guide redevelopment and new projects in the commercial centers with an eye toward a mix of business and residential needs and an emphasis on affordable living for workers. These studies were quite nice and contained some exciting ideas. What the hamlet plan authors did not do was look at the reality of East Hampton’s resort, day-trip, and short-term rental economy in a coherent way. As good as the study was, without acknowledging the transformations the town has undergone and offering some direction for the future, the work was only half done. Time is of the essence.

Editorial
March 28, 2018
Remember those giant “Welcome to New York” signs that appeared in Montauk two summers ago — only to be taken down after the public pointed out that they were not just ugly but totally pointless? They were part of a campaign funded by the state that was supposed to boost tourism by informing tourists who’d already arrived that, yes, you could eat and drink in New York, and visit unspecified “attractions,” and fill your days with delight by accessing an I ♥ NY app.

Remember those giant “Welcome to New York” signs that appeared in Montauk two summers ago — only to be taken down after the public pointed out that they were not just ugly but totally pointless? They were part of a campaign funded by the state that was supposed to boost tourism by informing tourists who’d already arrived that, yes, you could eat and drink in New York, and visit unspecified “attractions,” and fill your days with delight by accessing an I ♥ NY app.

Editorial
March 21, 2018
A proposal to pave the eastern parking area at Ditch Plain in Montauk brought an outpouring of emotion to East Hampton’s Town Hall on Tuesday. Surfers and others who enjoy the ambience of the rutted, gravel-and-sand patch known as Dirt Lot were vigorous in opposition. But officials are in a bind: Conditions there at peak times are unacceptable.

A proposal to pave the eastern parking area at Ditch Plain in Montauk brought an outpouring of emotion to East Hampton’s Town Hall on Tuesday. Surfers and others who enjoy the ambience of the rutted, gravel-and-sand patch known as Dirt Lot were vigorous in opposition. But officials are in a bind: Conditions there at peak times are unacceptable. 

Editorial
March 21, 2018
Enthusiasm among many on the left on eastern Long Island about taking the congressional seat now held by Representative Lee Zeldin notwithstanding, Democrats in the First Congressional District remain underdogs. Both CNN and the Cook Political Report recently rated his seat likely to remain Republican, considering the candidates’ fund-raising, election history, and registration data. This means the Democratic opposition must take swift action if it hopes to oust an incumbent whose position appears secure.

Enthusiasm among many on the left on eastern Long Island about taking the congressional seat now held by Representative Lee Zeldin notwithstanding, Democrats in the First Congressional District remain underdogs. Both CNN and the Cook Political Report recently rated his seat likely to remain Republican, considering the candidates’ fund-raising, election history, and registration data. This means the Democratic opposition must take swift action if it hopes to oust an incumbent whose position appears secure.

Editorial
March 14, 2018
A new, recently released study of Georgica Pond’s water quality contains a big surprise. Bacteria tests conducted by the Surfrider Foundation and Chris Gobler’s Stony Brook Southampton laboratory, paid for by the Friends of Georgica Pond, have for some time shown elevated fecal bacteria levels, especially after heavy rain. Now, thanks to further work by Dr. Gobler and several colleagues, a culprit, if not the source, has been identified: dogs.

A new, recently released study of Georgica Pond’s water quality contains a big surprise. Bacteria tests conducted by the Surfrider Foundation and Chris Gobler’s Stony Brook Southampton laboratory, paid for by the Friends of Georgica Pond, have for some time shown elevated fecal bacteria levels, especially after heavy rain. Now, thanks to further work by Dr. Gobler and several colleagues, a culprit, if not the source, has been identified: dogs.

Bacteria DNA in water samples taken between May and November were analyzed and the results were a shocker. Human waste accounted for less than 5 percent of the total, while dogs were responsible for about 67 percent. The rest came from birds and deer. 

Editorial
March 14, 2018
The National Aeronautic and Space Administration reports that all but one of the 16 hottest years in its 134-year-long record have occurred since 2000. The data underscore the truth about global warming, and that some of the world’s most vulnerable populations already are suffering.

The National Aeronautic and Space Administration reports that all but one of the 16 hottest years in its 134-year-long record have occurred since 2000. The data underscore the truth about global warming, and that some of the world’s most vulnerable populations already are suffering.

Here on eastern Long Island we might take comfort that global warming has not changed the first day of spring, at least on the calendar, which old-timers knew as Fish Hawk Day. Let’s watch for the magnificent osprey’s return on Tuesday, if not sooner — and celebrate.

Editorial
March 14, 2018
Visitors to the East End often giggle when someone mentions the Ladies Village Improvement Society in casual conversation. Sounds like a flashback to prewar Britain: Do the ladies specialize in marmalade boiling, bootie knitting, and the singing of patriotic songs? Of course you, dear reader, know better: East Hampton’s L.V.I.S. is a mighty institution that has for 123 years and counting represented the best of what a volunteer civic organization can be.

Visitors to the East End often giggle when someone mentions the Ladies Village Improvement Society in casual conversation. Sounds like a flashback to prewar Britain: Do the ladies specialize in marmalade boiling, bootie knitting, and the singing of patriotic songs? Of course you, dear reader, know better: East Hampton’s L.V.I.S. is a mighty institution that has for 123 years and counting represented the best of what a volunteer civic organization can be.

Editorial
March 7, 2018
In the run-up to Tuesday’s vote on the Springs School expansion bond, one statement was repeated frequently that needs examination — the question of overcrowding, the sense that Springs has many more than its fair share of students. The numbers, it turns out, do not support this.

In the run-up to Tuesday’s vote on the Springs School expansion bond, one statement was repeated frequently that needs examination — the question of overcrowding, the sense that Springs has many more than its fair share of students. The numbers, it turns out, do not support this.

There is no question that the school building is being used far beyond capacity. There are just under 700 students in kindergarten through eighth grade in a facility suitable for only about 340 students, according to the district superintendent. The bond approved Tuesday will add seven classrooms and additional sports and support space, somewhat easing the crunch.

Editorial
March 7, 2018
Time was Montauk was only really crazy one day a year, as thousands of green-bedecked revelers descended looking to get loose. Now, and by comparison to just about any weekend night between June and September, the St. Patrick’s Day events are tame.

According to amNew York, it doesn’t have to be summer to be a good time for Montauk anymore. “The East End hamlet has been redefined as a summer party destination with the influx of bars like the Sloppy Tuna and the Surf Lodge,” it just explained in a preview of the Montauk Friends of Erin St. Patrick’s Day parade, which will be on March 25. 

Time was Montauk was only really crazy one day a year, as thousands of green-bedecked revelers descended looking to get loose. Now, and by comparison to just about any weekend night between June and September, the St. Patrick’s Day events are tame. 

Editorial
February 28, 2018
hose who have handled a semiautomatic rifle of the sort used in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shootings on Feb. 14 know that these are not ordinary weapons. Their power is unmistakable; an errant shot striking a small tree will go through that tree and the one behind that, and so on. A shot striking a human body will result in a cascading wave of force, crushing tissue and making recovery difficult for anyone who manages to survive the instant, massive bleeding or organ damage.

Those who have handled a semiautomatic rifle of the sort used in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shootings on Feb. 14 know that these are not ordinary weapons. Their power is unmistakable; an errant shot striking a small tree will go through that tree and the one behind that, and so on. A shot striking a human body will result in a cascading wave of force, crushing tissue and making recovery difficult for anyone who manages to survive the instant, massive bleeding or organ damage.

Editorial
February 28, 2018
Ethnic animosity has, unfortunately, turned up in an ugly way in advance of Tuesday’s vote on the proposed renovation of the overcrowded Springs School.

Ethnic animosity has, unfortunately, turned up in an ugly way in advance of Tuesday’s vote on the proposed renovation of the overcrowded Springs School. While hardly speaking for everyone in the district, a few opponents of the construction project have sought to bolster their arguments by dragging anti-immigrant sentiment into the debate. This cannot go unchallenged.

David E. Rattray
February 28, 2018
The red-winged blackbirds returned to Cranberry Hole Road this week, announcing themselves by their rusty, spring-sounding calls from hiding places among the scrub. It seems far too soon.

The red-winged blackbirds returned to Cranberry Hole Road this week, announcing themselves by their rusty, spring-sounding calls from hiding places among the scrub. It seems far too soon.

For years, I have taken note of the emergence of spring peeper frogs and the arrival of osprey, writing the date I first notice them each year on the wall next to the basement stairs. Over time, the older markings have become faded, so even with a bright light and my reading glasses, they are difficult to make out. One of these days I intend to copy the dates onto something more permanent before they whisp away completely.

Editorial
February 21, 2018
The East Hampton Town senior citizens center on Springs-Fireplace Road is in need of an upgrade. However, a plan revealed last week may not be the solution.

The East Hampton Town senior citizens center on Springs-Fireplace Road is in need of an upgrade. However, a plan revealed last week may not be the solution.

Discussion for an improved senior citizens center has been perennial in Town Hall. Programs now are run in what was once a roadside bar and grill, with only modest improvements and a supposedly temporary trailer office outside for extra workspace. It is far from ideal. 

Editorial
February 21, 2018
The East Hampton Town Trustees have come dangerously close in recent months to becoming entirely co-opted by the anti-wind power crowd. This has led them to inappropriately take on a role on the South Fork Wind Farm project over which they have minimal say and which runs the risk of their otherwise looking past their specific responsibilities.

The East Hampton Town Trustees have come dangerously close in recent months to becoming entirely co-opted by the anti-wind power crowd. This has led them to inappropriately take on a role on the South Fork Wind Farm project over which they have minimal say and which runs the risk of their otherwise looking past their specific responsibilities.

The trustees’ intentions came from the right place; first and foremost they see themselves as upholders of traditional, mostly commercial fishing activities. This is, of course, a historical simplification, as their purview is to serve as caretakers of certain common lands and natural resources for all East Hampton residents. 

Editorial
February 14, 2018
There is no question that the Springs School needs more space. The question is whether voters will approve a nearly $17 million bond to pay for expansion. They should.

There is no question that the Springs School needs more space. The question is whether voters will approve a nearly $17 million bond to pay for expansion. They should. 

Central to the proposal is the addition of classroom and support space, improved play and sports fields, and a state-of-the-art septic upgrade. The last aspect of the work is not something to overlook; the school’s wastewater system has been on the verge of complete failure for some time and is thought to be a large contributor to pollution in nearby Accabonac Harbor.

Editorial
February 14, 2018
Central to the new East Hampton Town hamlet studies are recommendations about one of the greatest challenges: how to increase the supply of houses and apartments that the town’s working people and other residents can afford. Meanwhile, a proposal to pay for other answers to the housing shortage via an additional real-estate transfer tax has been put forward at the state level by Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.

Central to the new East Hampton Town hamlet studies are recommendations about one of the greatest challenges: how to increase the supply of houses and apartments that the town’s working people and other residents can afford. Meanwhile, a proposal to pay for other answers to the housing shortage via an additional real-estate transfer tax has been put forward at the state level by Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.

East Hampton Town has been a leader among local governments making an attempt to solve a decades-long housing imbalance. Now, as real-estate prices rise — and much of the lower-end housing rental market is sucked up by short-term visitors using online booking agencies — the shortage has become severe. 

Editorial
February 7, 2018
East Hampton Town Hall might well be built on a foundation of forgotten studies. But much of what was presented this week in a series of proposals has the makings of substantial change for the better.

East Hampton Town Hall might well be built on a foundation of forgotten studies. But much of what was presented this week in a series of hamlet study proposals has the makings of substantial change for the better. Ideas ranged from improving traffic patterns to providing more affordable housing, along with a blockbuster: relocating a considerable portion of commercial development in Montauk that is threatened by erosion.

Editorial
February 7, 2018
Last month, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority began the work of raising the railway tracks above the much-battered trestles at North Main Street and Accabonac Road in East Hampton Village. For neighbors Down Hook, it has become something of a sport to wager when the next overambitious driver will wedge a too-tall truck under the bridge. This has its humorous side, it’s true, but the potential damage to the tracks and trestles from repeated strikes by drivers who ignore warning signs isn’t really a laughing matter.

Last month, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority began the work of raising the railway tracks above the much-battered trestles at North Main Street and Accabonac Road in East Hampton Village. For neighbors Down Hook, it has become something of a sport to wager when the next overambitious driver will wedge a too-tall truck under the bridge. This has its humorous side, it’s true, but the potential damage to the tracks and trestles from repeated strikes by drivers who ignore warning signs isn’t really a laughing matter. Readers might recall one of the more dramatic truck-versus-trestle crashes, in 2014, when a driver who had begun work only the day before behind the wheel of a garbage truck hit the underpass so hard it shifted the Long Island Rail Road tracks.