Recent Stories: Editorials

Editorial
December 6, 2017
Although voters approved a referendum last year that allowed up to 20 percent of the East Hampton Town Community Preservation Fund’s annual income to be used for water quality projects, there have been few indications of how that might work in real life. Now, as the managers of the Whalebone Village affordable housing development in East Hampton have asked the town for up to $376,000 to upgrade its septic system, the lack of guidelines is apparent.

Although voters approved a referendum last year that allowed up to 20 percent of the East Hampton Town Community Preservation Fund’s annual income to be used for water quality projects, there have been few indications of how that might work in real life. Now, as the managers of the Whalebone Village affordable housing development in East Hampton have asked the town for up to $376,000 to upgrade its septic system, the lack of guidelines is apparent.

Editorial
December 6, 2017
President Trump again made it plain this week, in moving to drastically cut the size of two protected areas of public land in the West, that he favors exploitation over historical and environmental protection, and over the survival of Native American cultural sites and artifacts. In Utah, he announced Monday that the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments would be reduced to a fraction of their former selves. This is a sad day for those who care about open spaces and America’s wild lands.

President Trump again made it plain this week, in moving to drastically cut the size of two protected areas of public land in the West, that he favors exploitation over historical and environmental protection, and over the survival of Native American cultural sites and artifacts. In Utah, he announced Monday that the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments would be reduced to a fraction of their former selves. This is a sad day for those who care about open spaces and America’s wild lands.

Editorial
November 29, 2017
Giving Tuesday came and went here this week with myriad pitches floating in electronically and a few coming to the old-fashioned mailbox. Guild Hall went a step further, trying a live event streamed on Facebook from noon to midnight. During the day, Guild Hall staff went before the camera to talk about what they do. East Hampton Village Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. stopped by. Music and readings came later on. With the help of a video feed made possible by the LTV technical staff, viewers were able to join in on and off during the day, and a dozen or two were hovering when we watched.

Giving Tuesday came and went here this week with myriad pitches floating in electronically and a few coming to the old-fashioned mailbox. Guild Hall went a step further, trying a live event streamed on Facebook from noon to midnight. During the day, Guild Hall staff went before the camera to talk about what they do. East Hampton Village Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. stopped by. Music and readings came later on. With the help of a video feed made possible by the LTV technical staff, viewers were able to join in on and off during the day, and a dozen or two were hovering when we watched.

Editorial
November 29, 2017
We hope that the several people who spoke in opposition to a proposed affordable apartment complex in Amagansett were outliers rather than representative of a majority of hamlet residents. If they were an indication of wide sentiment, this town is in more trouble than we had supposed.

We hope that the several people who spoke in opposition to a proposed affordable apartment complex in Amagansett were outliers rather than representative of a majority of hamlet residents. If they were an indication of wide sentiment, this town is in more trouble than we had supposed.

At an East Hampton Town Planning Board meeting earlier this month, preliminary plans for a 38-unit development were presented by the East Hampton Housing Authority. The apartments would be arrayed among 10 low buildings. Rents would be low, starting at $1,425 for a one-bedroom and topping out at $2,400 for a three-bedroom unit, the latter about $1,000 less than a rock-bottom year-round rental of a house in East Hampton Town.

Editorial
November 22, 2017
If for self-interest alone, homeowners and businesses should jump on a new energy efficiency program sponsored by PSEG Long Island. In an effort to meet peak demand, while at the same time reducing everyone’s utility bills, free power audits are being made available. It is as simple as phoning 800-567-2850, making an appointment, then setting aside a couple of hours while your house or business is evaluated by a certified energy inspector.

If for self-interest alone, homeowners and businesses should jump on a new energy efficiency program sponsored by PSEG Long Island. In an effort to meet peak demand, while at the same time reducing everyone’s utility bills, free power audits are being made available. It is as simple as phoning 800-567-2850, making an appointment, then setting aside a couple of hours while your house or business is evaluated by a certified energy inspector. 

Editorial
November 22, 2017
It has been an exciting couple of weeks for South Fork history buffs. A rare copy of the Declaration of Independence with a strong East Hampton connection sold at auction upstate on Saturday for $1.5 million plus fees. Southampton Town officials are considering a historical designation for part of the hamlet of Bridgehampton. And in East Hampton Town, there is movement on new rules that would protect landmark houses from demolition.

It has been an exciting couple of weeks for South Fork history buffs. A rare copy of the Declaration of Independence with a strong East Hampton connection sold at auction upstate on Saturday for $1.5 million plus fees. Southampton Town officials are considering a historical designation for part of the hamlet of Bridgehampton. And in East Hampton Town, there is movement on new rules that would protect landmark houses from demolition.

Editorial
November 22, 2017
East Hampton Town’s decision to remove a horse barn on land it bought in Amagansett in 2014 has raised a bit of skepticism. Though some might consider tearing down a barn wasteful, it is the right decision.

East Hampton Town’s decision to remove a horse barn on land it bought in Amagansett in 2014 has raised a bit of skepticism. Though some might consider tearing down a barn wasteful, it is the right decision.

Editorial
November 16, 2017
The East Hampton Village Board has moved closer in recent weeks to allowing highly managed hunting as a means of reducing the number of deer. This is a brave position. Opponents of deer hunts, while perhaps few in number, are vocal and unyielding.

The East Hampton Village Board has moved closer in recent weeks to allowing highly managed hunting as a means of reducing the number of deer. This is a brave position. Opponents of deer hunts, while perhaps few in number, are vocal and unyielding. 

Hunting is the only population-control method consistently shown to work, however, and it has been used as an environmental management tool for decades. Once skittish and rarely seen, over recent years deer have come out of the woods to live among us. Their proximity to populated areas has put them into harm's way, most notably the unknown but very high number killed and injured while crossing roads. 

Editorial
November 16, 2017
East Hampton Town officials have a real problem on their hands as a deadly pine tree infestation rages in Northwest Woods. Officials hope to get private property owners’ permission for crews to take down trees under attack by the southern pine beetle at the town’s expense. But, as residents of the affected area learn that they will be responsible themselves for the hefty cost of disposing of the downed trees, some may balk at allowing the town access.

East Hampton Town officials have a real problem on their hands as a deadly pine tree infestation rages in Northwest Woods. Officials hope to get private property owners’ permission for crews to take down trees under attack by the southern pine beetle at the town’s expense. But, as residents of the affected area learn that they will be responsible themselves for the hefty cost of disposing of the downed trees, some may balk at allowing the town access.

Editorial
November 9, 2017
Voters expressed themselves loud and clear on Election Day, as Democratic candidates enjoyed huge wins, including governorship in Virginia and New Jersey and in many other contests. In East Hampton, it was the same, with Peter Van Scoyoc and nearly the entire Democratic slate winning strongly. In Southampton, forgetting for a moment the politically mercurial Jay Schneiderman’s re-election as supervisor, voters rejected a Republican incumbent, instead awarding seats on the town board to two Democrats.

Voters expressed themselves loud and clear on Election Day, as Democratic candidates enjoyed huge wins, including governorship in Virginia and New Jersey and in many other contests. In East Hampton, it was the same, with Peter Van Scoyoc and nearly the entire Democratic slate winning strongly. In Southampton, forgetting for a moment the politically mercurial Jay Schneiderman’s re-election as supervisor, voters rejected a Republican incumbent, instead awarding seats on the town board to two Democrats.

Editorial
November 9, 2017
We took a break on Tuesday afternoon to rake the office lawn. About half of the leaves from the maple out front had fallen by then, and, with rain and wind in the forecast, the rest would soon follow. But the curled yellow leaves were dry that day and easy enough to move into a pile at the curb. Here in the village, crews still go around in the fall with a big truck to vacuum them up.

We took a break on Tuesday afternoon to rake the office lawn. About half of the leaves from the maple out front had fallen by then, and, with rain and wind in the forecast, the rest would soon follow. But the curled yellow leaves were dry that day and easy enough to move into a pile at the curb. Here in the village, crews still go around in the fall with a big truck to vacuum them up.

Editorial
November 9, 2017
It is unfortunate that the Deepwater Wind plan to put power-generating turbines in the Atlantic has become politicized. But perhaps more alarming is that a substantial portion of the opposition comes not from commercial fishing interests legitimately concerned about the turbines’ proposed location at Cox’s Ledge, but from climate deniers.

It is unfortunate that the Deepwater Wind plan to put power-generating turbines in the Atlantic has become politicized. But perhaps more alarming is that a substantial portion of the opposition comes not from commercial fishing interests legitimately concerned about the turbines’ proposed location at Cox’s Ledge, but from climate deniers.

None other than the United States government weighed in last week with a report pinning responsibility for our warming planet soundly on human activity. The National Climate Assessment was mandated by Congress and was the work of scientists from 13 federal agencies. They concluded, as have so many reports before this, that global warming is real, impacts are already being observed, and it’s our fault. 

Editorial
November 2, 2017
Voters will be asked on Tuesday to select two people to serve four-year terms on the East Hampton Town Board. The job involves setting the town’s spending priorities, overseeing land-use policy, protecting water and the environment, appointing members of the planning, zoning, and architectural review boards, and the hiring and firing of many town personnel. They will earn $68,000 next year, plus benefits. Board members sit in on advisory committees and each is assigned as a point person on a portfolio of town departments and issues.

Voters will be asked on Tuesday to select two people to serve four-year terms on the East Hampton Town Board. The job involves setting the town’s spending priorities, overseeing land-use policy, protecting water and the environment, appointing members of the planning, zoning, and architectural review boards, and the hiring and firing of many town personnel. They will earn $68,000 next year, plus benefits. Board members sit in on advisory committees and each is assigned as a point person on a portfolio of town departments and issues. 

Editorial
November 2, 2017
For South Fork voters there is really only one choice for Suffolk legislator: Bridget Fleming. Her opponent, Heather Collins, has hardly campaigned and her candidacy appears to be little more than a placeholder for the Republican and Conservative Parties, whose ballot lines she occupies. Ms. Collins is an assistant clerk in the Suffolk County Board of Elections, an office ripe with political patronage. She lost twice to New York Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. after he switched to the Independence Party. She also has declined invitations to appear at local debates, which all but confirms her as a wasted choice.

For South Fork voters there is really only one choice for Suffolk legislator: Bridget Fleming. Her opponent, Heather Collins, has hardly campaigned and her candidacy appears to be little more than a placeholder for the Republican and Conservative Parties, whose ballot lines she occupies. Ms. Collins is an assistant clerk in the Suffolk County Board of Elections, an office ripe with political patronage. She lost twice to New York Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. after he switched to the Independence Party. She also has declined invitations to appear at local debates, which all but confirms her as a wasted choice.

Editorial
October 26, 2017
So what do the East Hampton Town Trustees actually do? That might be among the legitimate questions voters here will ask themselves as they look at the intimidating section at the far end of the ballot on Nov. 7, the one with 18 names. Voters need to play close attention, since all nine of the trustee positions come up for election every two years.

So what do the East Hampton Town Trustees actually do? That might be among the legitimate questions voters here will ask themselves as they look at the intimidating section at the far end of the ballot on Nov. 7, the one with 18 names. Voters need to play close attention, since all nine of the trustee positions come up for election every two years.

Editorial
October 19, 2017
The role of supervisor is unique in East Hampton Town government. Nowhere else is there a town office in which the role of presiding officer, titular figurehead, and agenda-setter is so entwined. As such, the direction of town government has tended to reflect the personal style and outlook of the person who held that elected office, which has a two-year term.

The role of supervisor is unique in East Hampton Town government. Nowhere else is there a town office in which the role of presiding officer, titular figurehead, and agenda-setter is so entwined. As such, the direction of town government has tended to reflect the personal style and outlook of the person who held that elected office, which has a two-year term. The supervisor oversees the drafting of town budgets, is the public face for Town Hall, and, though he or she has just one vote along with the other members of the town board, has a greater role in establishing priorities for action.

Editorial
October 19, 2017
Anyone who has been on the roads lately will have noticed new, huge political signs here and there. That they are hard to miss is the point, but they are illegal.

Anyone who has been on the roads lately will have noticed new, huge political signs here and there. That they are hard to miss is the point, but they are illegal.

While the average reader might not know the rules on temporary signs like these, the candidates and their supporters surely should. Because some of the political rank and file evidently do not — or don’t care — here are the basics: Signs on public property in East Hampton Town, such as roadsides, must be less than six feet in area and be removed after seven days. They also are supposed to be placed perpendicular to property lines. The town code, which can be found online, makes these requirements plain. 

Editorial
October 12, 2017
No indication has been forthcoming about what caused the deaths of three, possibly four, dolphins found washed ashore along the ocean here and another discovered in distress in Three Mile Harbor. Whether or not a definitive cause of death is determined, the fact that several dolphins ended up separately over a relatively wide stretch of the East Hampton coastline in the space of a few days is cause for concern.

No indication has been forthcoming about what caused the deaths of three, possibly four, dolphins found washed ashore along the ocean here and another discovered in distress in Three Mile Harbor. Whether or not a definitive cause of death is determined, the fact that several dolphins ended up separately over a relatively wide stretch of the East Hampton coastline in the space of a few days is cause for concern. 

Editorial
October 12, 2017
The question on Election Day will be whether Albany could get any worse. New York voters will be asked on Nov. 7 to approve or reject a proposition that would trigger a constitutional convention, which could potentially revise state government completely.

The question on Election Day will be whether Albany could get any worse. New York voters will be asked on Nov. 7 to approve or reject a proposition that would trigger a constitutional convention, which could potentially revise state government completely. Support for the measure is divided along party lines, with conservatives generally urging against it and liberals saying yes. But thinking about the proposition in terms of ideological goals without considering the realities of how the process would work would be a mistake.

Editorial
October 5, 2017
On the eve of the Hamptons International Film Festival, a rumor that the East Hampton movie theater was going to be no more tore through town with notable speed. Facebook was alight with variations on a story that a developer had plans to remove the screens and turn the site over to retail. Calls to the theater, now owned by the Regal Entertainment Group, as well as to the corporate office, were answered by plausible denials.

On the eve of the Hamptons International Film Festival, a rumor that the East Hampton movie theater was going to be no more tore through town with notable speed. Facebook was alight with variations on a story that a developer had plans to remove the screens and turn the site over to retail. Calls to the theater, now owned by the Regal Entertainment Group, as well as to the corporate office, were answered by plausible denials

Editorial
October 5, 2017
A well-attended formal dedication of a pollinator garden at the East Hampton Historical Farm Museum on Sunday was a fitting tribute to the late Matthew Lester, the East Hampton High School student and Eagle Scout candidate who conceived it. But the event, which included lunch for 300 people, live music, speeches, and a brief ceremony, demonstrated that a new and important town square is available here.

A well-attended formal dedication of a pollinator garden at the East Hampton Historical Farm Museum on Sunday was a fitting tribute to the late Matthew Lester, the East Hampton High School student and Eagle Scout candidate who conceived it. But the event, which included lunch for 300 people, live music, speeches, and a brief ceremony, demonstrated that a new and important town square is available here.

Editorial
October 5, 2017
In the aftermath of the horrifying gun deaths and hundreds of injuries in an attack at a Nevada music festival on Sunday, one question for those of us in New York’s First Congressional District is what to make of the $9,900 Representative Lee Zeldin took from the National Rifle Association last year. In receiving that sum, just short of the $10,000 limit on aggregate contributions, Mr. Zeldin was tied with an upstate Republican as the member of the New York delegation receiving the most from the group.

In the aftermath of the horrifying gun deaths and hundreds of injuries in an attack at a Nevada music festival on Sunday, one question for those of us in New York’s First Congressional District is what to make of the $9,900 Representative Lee Zeldin took from the National Rifle Association last year. In receiving that sum, just short of the $10,000 limit on aggregate contributions, Mr. Zeldin was tied with an upstate Republican as the member of the New York delegation receiving the most from the group. 

Editorial
September 28, 2017
Two recent high-profile incidents involving Montauk party-fishing boats have drawn attention to a problem on the water in which paying customers take too many or too small fish, while the crews, captains, and vessel owners evade responsibility.

Two recent high-profile incidents involving Montauk party-fishing boats have drawn attention to a problem on the water in which paying customers take too many or too small fish, while the crews, captains, and vessel owners evade responsibility. 

The first of the busts happened aboard the Fin Chaser at the end of August at Star Island in Montauk Harbor. State Department of Environmental Conservation officers approached as the boat reached the dock, and customers were seen dumping hundreds of fish overboard despite orders to stop, then shuffling to their cars empty-handed. 

Editorial
September 28, 2017
Incredible devastation has been the story of the 2017 hurricane season. With two Category 5 storms making landfall in the Caribbean, the period has been improbable, at least in terms of the historical record. Yet researchers have been saying for some time that years like this were possible, if not likely, as the oceans rapidly warm thanks to climate change.

Incredible devastation has been the story of the 2017 hurricane season. With two Category 5 storms making landfall in the Caribbean, the period has been improbable, at least in terms of the historical record. Yet researchers have been saying for some time that years like this were possible, if not likely, as the oceans rapidly warm thanks to climate change.