Recent Stories: Editorials

Editorial
July 23, 2014

It is difficult to imagine a more convincing argument for the immediate consolidation of school districts than the president of the Wainscott School Board’s plea that a modest affordable housing development be kept out of that school district. That this was not roundly rejected from the start is disappointing, to say the least.

Editorial
July 16, 2014

The chief executive officer of the Starbucks corporation and the East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals together have a world-class stall job under way, though the Z.B.A. appears to be inching toward putting a stop to it. This display of backbone, however cartilaginous, is overdue — though we will believe it when we see it.

Editorial
July 16, 2014

It is astonishing, particularly for those like Josephine DiSunno who were around when the Amagansett Fire Department was simply middle-aged, that it has now passed the century mark. Mrs. DiSunno, who was a charter member of the department’s ladies auxiliary, was among the many who took part in a celebratory parade on Saturday, which included delegations from departments from as far afield as Eastport and Ronkonkoma.

Editorial
July 9, 2014

In a landmark decision, the United States National Marine Fisheries Service has listed the scalloped hammerhead shark as an endangered species, making it the first shark protected under the Endangered Species Act. This is only one of the top ocean predators left vulnerable because of fishing and other human activities. Many additional species of shark are considered at risk of extinction, thanks largely to a continuing demand for their fins for soup.

Editorial
July 9, 2014

Pressure is mounting for meetings of the East Hampton Town Trustees to be aired on LTV, the town’s public access cable channel. This is a reasonable suggestion and should be explored.

Editorial
July 2, 2014

For residents concerned about the speed and ability of emergency medical care, the news that the East End Ambulance Coalition has proposed a significant improvement should be welcome. Some resistance has emerged, however, to its idea for a regional first-responder program, something that appears necessary and overdue.

Editorial
July 2, 2014

For residents concerned about the speed and ability of emergency medical care, the news that the East End Ambulance Coalition has proposed a significant improvement should be welcome. Some resistance has emerged, however, to its idea for a regional first-responder program, something that appears necessary and overdue.

Editorial
July 2, 2014

A lot has been heard at East Hampton Town Hall meetings lately about adding to local laws to meet a new, more complicated reality, but not enough attention has been given to the lapses among those who are supposed to see that existing rules are enforced. That appears to be changing. In a hearing this evening, the town board will take public opinion on expanding the roster of those who can, in some cases, issue summonses for violations and stop-work orders.

Editorial
June 25, 2014

As if the proceedings of East Hampton Town’s citizens advisory committees weren’t strange enough much of the time, in recent weeks there has been a fuss over who was to be elected head of the Amagansett committee and, a few days later, a member of one committee asked to be appointed to contemporaneously serve on another one.

Editorial
June 25, 2014

The East Hampton Village Police Department has dipped a nightstick, so to speak, into social media, joining Twitter a while back and posting alerts about incoming weather and the like. One recent tweet, as the 140-maximum-character messages are known, got our attention. In its entirely, it read: “Traffic Hint: Mid day or afternoon heading toward Main Street? Avoid Newtown Lane = Gridlock.”

Editorial
June 25, 2014

Some 120 acres of undeveloped land across multiple parcels in Montauk are coming up for possible purchase by the Town of East Hampton and there are some deals in the pipeline or already inked, using money from the community preservation fund transfer tax. The properties are most, if not all, part of the Lake Montauk watershed, which is the focus of an important environmental-protection effort.

Editorial
June 18, 2014

It may be a minor matter in the scheme of things, but the continued apparent refusal of the East Hampton Town Ordinance Enforcement Department — and by extension, the town board — to address even simple code violations sends a message, intentionally or not, that as long as what you do is in the interest of making money, the powers-that-be will look the other way.

Editorial
June 18, 2014

Responding to several years of complaints about spring break-style crowds at Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett, the East Hampton Town Board has floated a prohibition on alcohol use there and at Atlantic Avenue during the hours that lifeguards are present. This is a reasonable response to the informal, if densely packed, gatherings that have left some longtime beachgoers disgusted and no longer comfortable at Indian Wells.

Editorial
June 11, 2014

That the Bridgehampton School District’s proposed budget for the next academic year was defeated last month even though 54 percent of voters approved piercing the state cap on increases in the tax levy doesn’t tell the whole story — the numbers do. The district supports a relatively small school, with only 166 students enrolled this year, from prekindergarten through high school, and would have a $12.3 million spending plan for next year if approved in Tuesday’s revote.

Editorial
June 11, 2014

As the summer season and all of its frustrations arrive in earnest, it is worth pausing to reflect that much of what residents might find offensive are the consequences of our own, collective decisions.

Behind all the traffic, aircraft noise, crowded beaches, environmental degradation, and even the offensive new PSEG utility poles, lies an inescapable reality: The South Fork in general and East Hampton in particular has grown beyond its infrastructure, government, and natural systems’ ability to cope with human demands.

Editorial
June 11, 2014

Historically, the New York State Department of Transportation has not been a model for managing construction projects in this region. When it comes to traffic and transportation, it has been assumed that South Fork municipalities best understand the unique ebb and flow of traffic that defines the area. In the case of recent roadwork by the Southampton Town, however, that assumption has proven wrong.

Editorial
June 4, 2014

A citizens group that advises the Southampton Town Board on matters concerning the hamlet of Bridgehampton has mobilized to fight a new CVS pharmacy at the intersection of Main Street and the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike. Southampton Town Planning Board review may delay what appears inevitable, but from our perspective the property is a perfect candidate for public acquisition using money from the  Community Preservation Fund.

Editorial
June 4, 2014

When the numbers are laid out, they are stark: This year, between Thursday, May 22, and Memorial Day, a four-day span, there were 475 complaints about noise coming from aircraft using East Hampton Airport. This was nearly double the number recorded during the same period the previous year and, just as significant, the calls came from more than twice the households as in 2013. East Hampton Town officials clearly have a noise crisis on their hands.

Editorial
June 4, 2014

East Hampton Town officials were on the right track last week when they denied a last-minute request for a permit from the operator of an annual for-profit bicycle ride to Montauk. Unfortunately, with as many as 1,500 participants already having paid up to $300 apiece, officials had little choice but to reach a settlement and allow the ride to go on.

Editorial
May 28, 2014

The East Hampton Town Republican Committee has come up with an idea worth considering about the Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund, the 2-percent tax on a portion of most real estate sales that is used by the East End towns to buy farmland, other open space, and historic properties. The committee has suggested adjusting upward the preservation fund thresholds to make it easier for homebuyers shopping at the lower end of the spectrum to close deals.

Editorial
May 28, 2014

Make no mistake, a significant change in East Hampton Airport policy appears in the offing. After years of confrontation, pilots groups and anti-noise activists are talking to one another at last, with a sense of purpose and optimism about the future.

Editorial
May 28, 2014

Not to sound ungrateful, but we are hardly alone in thinking that there are some 14 long weeks before we get our town back. An Amagansett innkeeper of our acquaintance said that the weekend just past was the strangest he had seen in more than three decades in business. In Montauk by Saturday noon, there were scores of people drinking on the upper deck at one of the more notorious bars. Traffic was terrible — and dangerous.

Editorial
May 21, 2014

    A sculptural work evoking the bombing of Pam Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 is without doubt a powerful and deeply moving memorial. But whether it should be installed on public parkland in Montauk is a difficult question to answer.

Editorial
May 21, 2014

    As the United States involvement in Afghanistan winds down, and in the aftermath of the protracted occupation of Iraq, it is as meaningful as ever for Americans to reflect on the contributions of those who wear this country’s uniforms. Monday’s East Hampton parade will stop traffic on Main Street for a brief time, the temporary silence a tribute in a small way to those who never made it home. This year, too, we will think of three men, two who were killed in combat and one who, though not veteran, touched the lives of many who were.