Recent Stories: Editorials

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.

Editorial
January 7, 2015

News last month that the Springs School Board was beginning to work toward an overdue building project came as no surprise. Nor was the estimated cost of expansion of the district’s buildings, as much as $20 million depending on the options selected, surprising.

Editorial
January 7, 2015

The East Hampton Village Board should go forward with the revision of its 10-year-old outdoor lighting rules despite an 11th-plus-hour ruffle. Excessive nighttime illumination is both an annoyance and an affront to a community that is proud of its ambience. The aspect of the proposal that some would like eliminated is the regulation of wasteful and unnecessary landscape lighting.

Editorial
December 30, 2014

The end of the year brings a plea from charities and nonprofits for donations, and as people really think about giving, it is worth remembering the organizations that do good but may not always be at the top of the list.

Editorial
December 30, 2014

Without all that much fanfare and amid only perfunctory industry push-back the town boards in East Hampton and Southampton have just set in motion the rapid phase-out of thin plastic shopping bags of the sort used at supermarkets and convenience stores. Though some of these bags are made of compounds that can be readily recycled locally, many end up in the trash almost as soon as they are emptied of their contents.

Editorial
December 30, 2014

Looking back at the year just ended provides insight into what might be called the to-do list for local officials, as well as an indication of successes worth celebrating.

Editorial
December 30, 2014

Looking back at the year just ended provides insight into what might be called the to-do list for local officials, as well as an indication of successes worth celebrating.

Editorial
December 23, 2014

Week in, week out, State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.’s office labors on with a gasoline price survey. With the Long Island average price for regular unleaded of $2.88 a gallon now, Mr. Thiele’s most recent report noted that the average price on the South Fork on Friday west of Amagansett was 11 cents higher. In Amagansett and Montauk, however, gas was a mind-boggling $3.39, or 51 cents more. As if to rub salt in our wounds, North Fork stations were well below the regional average, at about $2.69. All of this was, Mr.

Editorial
December 23, 2014

A proposed revision to the East Hampton Town Code regarding large vehicles parked on house lots should be set aside to allow officials time to address the real issue: the entrenched and growing commercial use of residentially zoned property.

Editorial
December 23, 2014

It was disheartening last week to learn of the Sag Harbor School Board’s decision to end video recordings for local public television broadcast and on-demand viewing of the public comment portion of its meetings.