Recent Stories: Editorials

Editorial
April 16, 2014

    An Amagansett development scheme that was met with vehement and nearly unanimous opposition appears headed toward a more than satisfactory solution. A hearing is to be held in Town Hall this evening about whether to use just over $10 million from the community preservation fund to buy the so-called 555 property on Montauk Highway, where a luxury village of some 79 apartments and houses had been planned for those 55 and older.

Editorial
April 9, 2014

    An effort to respond to coastal erosion and flooding in low-lying areas here took a step forward recently when East Hampton Town made exploratory buyout offers to property owners. This is an important development that responds to the increasing threat to the waterfront and the concomitant certainty of losing public beaches if seawalls and other permanent structures are allowed.

Editorial
April 9, 2014

    One of the sacrosanct principles of East Hampton Town zoning is that no one gets more than one house per property. That is unless one happens to have a large parcel of land and an even larger bank account.

Editorial
April 2, 2014

    The East Hampton School Board announced last week that it is likely to seek voter approval to exceed the state cap on tax increases for 2014-15. The move is not entirely unexpected, and appears justified, at least for the coming year. But this should not be the end of the discussion about taxpayer support of public education.

Editorial
April 2, 2014

    That East Hampton is divided into two camps these days — those who want to live here and those who simply want to make a buck — is worthy of particular concern as summer approaches. Finding a balance between them is what makes the job of those in Town Hall and the village’s Beecher House so tough. It is up to them to make decisions about the direction of the community and to keep in check those of a more, shall we say, extractive mind-set.

Editorial
March 26, 2014

    With a wink and a nod, East Hampton Town officials went out of their way to lavish praise and give quick approval for a project that radically altered a portion of the Montauk oceanfront landscape. Now, the suspiciously anonymous owner of the former East Deck Motel at Ditch Plain is dangling an expensive thank-you in the form of tons of fill that would be used at his or her cost to build a protective berm at a public parking lot nearby. Officials should think twice.

Editorial
March 26, 2014

    Perhaps the single most important story in any recent Star was the one that appeared on the front page of last Thursday’s edition about the desperate need for adequate mental health services for school-age children.

    Think about what that means for a moment. What pediatricians, teachers, school nurses, administrators, and others are saying is that there are more kids at risk here than there are practitioners able to help them. This must change — and fast.

Editorial
March 26, 2014

    The East Hampton Town Trustees’ concern about a possible alcohol ban at some ocean beaches should not be allowed to derail it. They own most of the beaches and should have been included in the discussions so far, but there is still time to join the conversation.

Editorial
March 19, 2014

    New York’s swans may have been unaware that their goose was nearly cooked when the state announced a plan to eliminate them in a decade. But abandoning the swan population’s reduction raises a basic question about public pressure and legislative interference in science-based policy.

Editorial
March 19, 2014

    A Manhattan man’s nightmare that began after the apartment he rented out using an online service has implications for would-be landlords and policymakers on the South Fork. Ari Teman is now faced with eviction and living in a hotel room after someone who rented his Seventh Avenue pad via Airbnb used it to host a for-profit orgy.

Editorial
March 12, 2014

    A pending public purchase of a roughly 16-acre parcel in Springs and allowing the site to be subdivided and developed, with an eight-acre, private reserved area, are not the same thing at all. Yet that is what some in the hamlet and a committee that advises the East Hampton Town Board appear to believe.

Editorial
March 12, 2014

    Following House passage earlier this month of a bill that would repeal some of the sharpest rate hikes in the federal flood insurance program, pressure is building in the Senate to rapidly approve the measure without amendment.

Editorial
March 5, 2014

    It is quite the wonder why two members of the last East Hampton Town Board were so vehemently opposed to an independent study of the unused Springs-Fireplace Road wastewater treatment plant now that a report on what should happen there has been released. As it turns out, their pet project to privatize the site would not only have cost the town a great deal of money, but would have contributed to groundwater contamination rather than alleviated it.

Editorial
March 5, 2014

    By now local school boards are deep into the annual budget-writing season, and once again we hear that tax increases must be kept below the 2-percent cap. We believe the time has come, however, for boards to deal head-on with the state-imposed curb by bringing spending plans that would result in exceeding the cap to voters, if necessary, or by taking serious steps toward reducing costs by consolidating districts.

Editorial
February 26, 2014

    The truth about the debacle that emerged recently concerning the East Hampton Town tax receiver’s office is that the buck, apparently, stops with no one. This responsibility gulf presents a most compelling argument for creating the new post of town manager with strong oversight capability.

Editorial
February 26, 2014

    America’s top-grossing 7-Eleven is in Montauk, and, according to the franchisee, the location served as many as 4,000 customers a day last summer. Now, a property owner and a different operator would like to bring at least some of that wild success to Amagansett — and there is really nothing in the East Hampton Town Code to stop it.

Editorial
February 19, 2014

    East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell expressed the feelings of many residents this week when he sent a strongly worded letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo objecting to PSEG Long Island’s ongoing project to run new, high-voltage power lines between East Hampton and Amagansett. We applaud his effort and hope that he is joined by others, such as State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle and Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., in calling for a different approach.

Editorial
February 19, 2014

    A recent East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals decision to allow the former East Deck Motel in Montauk to be buffered from the Atlantic by a 20-foot-high man-made dune appeared to sidestep several key questions — notably whether the project had adequate scrutiny and whether it might jeopardize the public use of the beach. The work was pitched as a restoration, but on closer look, it is far more than that and points to inadequacies in the law, which would affect how the town deals with such requests in the future.

Editorial
February 12, 2014

    East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell has begun working with a number of other officials on revising the town’s gatherings law, with an eye toward controlling the burgeoning nightlife scene in Montauk. Meanwhile, a committee asked to study taxicab operations, including rabid price-gouging, has been revitalized. The work is long overdue, and but part of what it will take to make the easternmost hamlet a little less of a no-holds-barred party destination for summer 2014.

Editorial
February 12, 2014

    Forget about the ice, the snow, the wind, and all that this winter. No: The real problem with winter 2014 is the potholes.
           
    Montauk Highway, which bears the bulk of this area’s traffic, is the worst of it. Deep pits lie in wait for tires and rims. Many offer a telltale clue: striped lines a layer down suggesting that the last time the road was paved something wasn’t done quite right.

Editorial
February 12, 2014

    There is some good news on the environment for eastern Long Island and some that’s not so good. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said recently that water quality was now his administration’s top priority. In East Hampton, Democrats listed groundwater and the areas’s bays and harbors among their key platform planks last year. Yet the State of New York, despite a projected budget surplus in the coming fiscal year, appears poised to cut environmental funding.

Editorial
February 5, 2014

    The nice old house and outbuildings at 208 Montauk Highway in Amagansett had been for sale for quite a while with no buyer emerging when the owner approached East Hampton Town Hall for help. The result is a hearing at East Hampton Town Hall tonight on a zone change that just might hasten a closing. But the request, to go from a residential designation with a limited-business overlay within the Amagansett Historic District to full-on commercial, should be rejected.

Editorial
February 5, 2014

    The apparent collapse here of planned participation in a deer reduction plan backed by the Long Island Farm Bureau should not go unremarked.

Editorial
February 5, 2014

    If there is one piece of advice that is more routinely ignored than any other, it is this: When public officials say residents should stay off the roads because of snow and ice, far too many figure that applies to someone else and head out anyway.