Recent Stories: Editorials

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.

Editorial
January 31, 2018
The most important work in the recent push to improve water quality on the South Fork has been done not by local government, but by a private organization, Concerned Citizens of Montauk, which has taken a science-first approach for more than four years.

The most important work in the recent push to improve water quality on the South Fork has been done not by local government, but by a private organization, Concerned Citizens of Montauk, which has taken a science-first approach for more than four years. This is in sharp contrast to the elected officials in East Hampton and Southampton Towns, who have required expensive nitrogen-reducing septic systems for new houses without knowing for sure if they will result in measurable improvement for the environment.

Editorial
January 31, 2018
A week or so after the second act of the women’s marches in cities and communities large and small across the country, questions remain: Do they matter, and where does the moment go from here?

A week or so after the second act of the women’s marches in cities and communities large and small across the country, questions remain: Do they matter, and where does the moment go from here?

The total number of participants in the rallies held on Jan. 20 from Maine to Alaska is guesswork, but two academic researchers estimated that, at minimum, 1.6 million or up to 2.5 million people took part. This is about half the estimated turnout for the inaugural marches in 2017, but still. On the South Fork, a march held in Sag Harbor on Jan. 20 drew a crowd in excess of 500, so large that many of those at the edges of the assembly near the foot of Long Wharf could scarcely make out what Suffolk Legislator Bridget Fleming and other speakers were saying.

Editorial
January 24, 2018
It is still a good time to get your flu shot.Speaking in Montauk on Monday at a business conference at Gurney’s Resort, Dr. Thomas McGinn, who oversees physician operations for the giant hospital network Northwell Health, said that influenza cases on Long Island were spiking and that the vaccine offers a needed degree of protection. Although it has been reported that this year’s flu shot is only partially effective, Dr. McGinn said some defense is better than none.

It is still a good time to get your flu shot. Speaking in Montauk on Monday at a business conference at Gurney’s Resort, Dr. Thomas McGinn, who oversees physician operations for the giant hospital network Northwell Health, said that influenza cases on Long Island were spiking and that the vaccine offers a needed degree of protection. Although it has been reported that this year’s flu shot is only partially effective, Dr. McGinn said some defense is better than none.

Editorial
January 24, 2018
The Trump administration’s announcement this week of high trade tariffs on imported solar panels and components continues his war on sensible energy policy and threatens a United States industry that employs as many as 260,000 Americans. The move was anticipated and is consistent with the Interior Department’s recent decision to open many of the country’s coastal waters to oil exploitation.

The Trump administration’s announcement this week of high trade tariffs on imported solar panels and components continues his war on sensible energy policy and threatens a United States industry that employs as many as 260,000 Americans. The move was anticipated and is consistent with the Interior Department’s recent decision to open many of the country’s coastal waters to oil exploitation.

On Monday, the Trump administration said it would impose a 30-percent tax on solar panels from China in response to what it said was the dumping of below-market-value solar equipment. The White House move also helps prop up the faltering coal industry, which has had a difficult time competing with cheaper fuels, like natural gas, wind, and, yes, solar.

Editorial
January 24, 2018
The East Hampton Town Board’s 3-to-1 vote last week to appoint David Lys to fill the slot vacated when Peter Van Scoyoc moved on to supervisor gets our qualified support. Mr. Lys, a Springs resident who is 41, will serve as a town councilman until the end of the year; beyond that it will be up to him and East Hampton voters if he chooses to run in the November election for the final year of the term.

The East Hampton Town Board’s 3-to-1 vote last week to appoint David Lys to fill the slot vacated when Peter Van Scoyoc moved on to supervisor gets our qualified support. Mr. Lys, a Springs resident who is 41, will serve as a town councilman until the end of the year; beyond that it will be up to him and East Hampton voters if he chooses to run in the November election for the final year of the term.

Editorial
January 17, 2018
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo chose to make a new, tough proposal on domestic violence and guns the very first initiative in his 2018 State of the State Message this year. Under current law, judges issue orders of protection for alleged victims to protect them from harm after an arrest but before the case goes to court. Once an order is issued, defendants must turn in any licensed guns, that is, handguns, but they can continue to possess rifles and shotguns. Therefore, under the law, domestic abusers might not be able to shoot spouses at short range but could pick them off from a distance. That discrepancy makes no sense.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo chose to make a new, tough proposal on domestic violence and guns the very first initiative in his 2018 State of the State Message this year. Under current law, judges issue orders of protection for alleged victims to protect them from harm after an arrest but before the case goes to court. Once an order is issued, defendants must turn in any licensed guns, that is, handguns, but they can continue to possess rifles and shotguns. Therefore, under the law, domestic abusers might not be able to shoot spouses at short range but could pick them off from a distance. That discrepancy makes no sense. 

Editorial
January 17, 2018
The East Hampton Town Board is poised tonight to approve an up-to-99-year lease for a Southampton Hospital-run emergency facility on land it owns off Pantigo Road in East Hampton. Given a number of unanswered — and even unasked — questions, the anticipated board action appears overhasty.

The East Hampton Town Board is poised tonight to approve an up-to-99-year lease for a Southampton Hospital-run emergency facility on land it owns off Pantigo Road in East Hampton. Given a number of unanswered — and even unasked — questions, the anticipated board action appears overhasty.

According to a hospital spokeswoman, even the basics of what would be built on the property have not yet been worked out; there is not even so much as an artist’s rendering. This means that at the public hearing tonight, at 6:30, the town board will be asked to make a nearly century-long commitment based only on verbal descriptions of what might be built there. Such a commitment would be an irresponsible example of how to manage public properties.

Editorial
January 10, 2018
It is safe to say that few people like the sound of leaf blowers, unless, of course, they are in the property-care business, and then they sound like money. That conflict is at the core of a renewed call for limits, which are now under consideration by the East Hampton Village Board. Residents want less noise, especially on weekends when they are likely to be most irritated by the vexing on-and-off buzz; landscapers say that their work is all but impossible without them.

It is safe to say that few people like the sound of leaf blowers, unless, of course, they are in the property-care business, and then they sound like money. That conflict is at the core of a renewed call for limits, which are now under consideration by the East Hampton Village Board. Residents want less noise, especially on weekends when they are likely to be most irritated by the vexing on-and-off buzz; landscapers say that their work is all but impossible without them.

Editorial
January 10, 2018
Along the East Coast, we thought we already had this fight settled. Now, after the Trump administration opened almost all United States federal waters to oil exploration and drilling, the battle to protect the oceans, as well as to slow global warming, must be taken to another level.

Along the East Coast, we thought we already had this fight settled. Now, after the Trump administration opened almost all United States federal waters to oil exploration and drilling, the battle to protect the oceans, as well as to slow global warming, must be taken to another level. 

Editorial
January 3, 2018
Plenty of able candidates could be found in the local Democratic Party to fill an open East Hampton Town Board seat for a year. It might not be the best option.

The East Hampton Town Board got down to early 2018 business on Tuesday, doing routine housekeeping and appointing members of various boards and committees. Up soon on their agenda will be choosing someone to fill Peter Van Scoyoc’s councilman’s seat for a year, now that he is supervisor. A special election will be held in November, with the winner serving what would have been the last year of Mr. Van Scoyoc’s term.

Plenty of able candidates might be found among the local Democratic Party ranks to fill the vacancy. Mr. Van Scoyoc and the others on the board are all Democrats, and naming someone from within the family, so to speak, would be an obvious choice. It might not be the right one, however. 

Editorial
January 3, 2018
There is a numbing ubiquity to plastic water bottles, despite their general pointlessness and woeful environmental impact. We were reminded of this by a photograph taken at a recent Springs School Board meeting, which showed one Nestlé Pure Life 16.9-ounce water bottle placed in front of each member’s seat. The Springs School Board is hardly the only group at which water in plastic is seen; plastic bottles were deployed at a League of Women Voters candidates’ debate, as they are at many public and private events.

There is a numbing ubiquity to plastic water bottles, despite their general pointlessness and woeful environmental impact. We were reminded of this by a photograph taken at a recent Springs School Board meeting, which showed one Nestlé Pure Life 16.9-ounce water bottle placed in front of each member’s seat. The Springs School Board is hardly the only group at which water in plastic is seen; plastic bottles were deployed at a League of Women Voters candidates’ debate, as they are at many public and private events.

Editorial
January 3, 2018
Cognizant of changes to downtowns nationwide and locally, the East Hampton Village Board has signaled that it is willing to consider new rules that might bring more life to Main Street and Newtown Lane. This is welcome, though any policy shifts would have to be made very carefully in order to maintain or even improve the commercial district’s character.

Moving into the new year and cognizant of changes to downtowns nationwide and locally, the East Hampton Village Board has signaled that it is willing to consider new rules that might bring more life to Main Street and Newtown Lane. This is welcome, though any policy shifts would have to be made very carefully in order to maintain or even improve the commercial district’s character.

Editorial
December 27, 2017
The East Hampton Town Board acted properly last Thursday in agreeing to the possible sale of bonds to cover the cost of work on a taxiway at East Hampton Airport. However, another airport question is far stickier.

The East Hampton Town Board acted properly last Thursday in agreeing to the possible sale of bonds to cover the cost of work on a taxiway at East Hampton Airport. However, another airport question — whether to increase the height of its control tower and move it to another position — is far stickier.

Editorial
December 27, 2017
The East Hampton Town Board acted properly last Thursday in agreeing to the possible sale of bonds to cover the cost of work on a taxiway at East Hampton Airport. However, another airport question — whether to increase the height of its control tower and move it to another position — is far stickier.

One line from a recent story about a new restaurant being proposed at a Montauk hotel really jumped out at us. Speaking at an East Hampton Town Planning Board meeting on Dec. 13, Kathleen Cunningham observed that a 16-seat restaurant at the Hero Beach Club should not even have received any consideration until there was a better way to deal with the extra wastewater it would produce. Related, though not directly, is a town board proposal for a nearly $33 million Montauk sewage treatment system, into which the Hero Beach Club, among many other enterprises, could be tied.

Editorial
December 20, 2017
There is little argument that something should be done about wastewater in Montauk. The question is whether the $32.8 million initial project is the correct approach.

There is little argument that something should be done about wastewater in Montauk. The hamlet’s soaring popularity and overcrowding have been linked to water quality problems. The question is whether the $32.8 million initial project now being planned is the correct approach. 

Step one would be for the town to build a centralized sewage system in which waste would be held in a beachside site then pumped to a treatment station near the recycling center on Montauk Highway. About 200 properties would be served in this phase. Additional areas could be tied into the system later, roughly doubling the cost. 

Editorial
December 20, 2017
The East Hampton Village Board has been looking at some quality of life issues as the new year approaches and as another booming summer season appears likely. One issue overdue for attention is the matter of permits for large private gatherings and special events.

The East Hampton Village Board has been looking at some quality of life issues as the new year approaches and as another booming summer season appears likely. One issue overdue for attention is the matter of permits for large private gatherings and special events.

Under current rules, the village is much more lenient than East Hampton Town. Permits are required for parties in the village only when guest and staff vehicles will be parked on public property. Another permit trigger is whether an excess of garbage is expected to be produced, a factor too amorphous to be of much utility in protecting neighbors from too much festivity. 

Editorial
December 20, 2017
Two big — and very different — fund-raising efforts reach important junctures this month. In Sag Harbor, an $8 million goal that would enable a partnership to rebuild the burned movie house and turn it into a genuine arts hub is within reach.

Two big — and very different — fund-raising efforts reach important junctures this month. In Sag Harbor, an $8 million goal that would enable a partnership to rebuild the burned movie house and turn it into a genuine arts hub is within reach. In Montauk, the Playhouse Foundation is within striking distance of its target, also $8 million, to add two indoor swimming pools, meeting rooms, and a theater — all very much needed in a hamlet where off-season diversions are limited.

Editorial
December 13, 2017
Perhaps the most compelling observation in a discussion about a proposed school in East Hampton for special-needs children came recently from a parent of a 3-year-old with autism. The discussion concerned a town-owned site on Stephen Hand’s Path for which a private school offering specialized education had been suggested.

Perhaps the most compelling observation in a discussion about a proposed school in East Hampton for special-needs children came recently from a parent of a 3-year-old with autism. The discussion concerned a town-owned site on Stephen Hand’s Path for which a private school offering specialized education had been suggested. Back in November, a number of South Fork school district superintendents objected to the idea during a town board meeting, saying that Gersh Academy’s proposed takeover of the vacant Child Development Center of the Hamptons property was not needed. “Our children are being taken care of,” the Springs School superintendent declared.

Editorial
December 13, 2017
Attention surrounding Representative Lee Zeldin’s planned fund-raiser with Steve Bannon, late of the White House and now back at the Breitbart organization, overshadowed the fact that he was a co-sponsor of House legislation to allow holders of concealed-firearm permits the right to carry their guns anywhere in the United States. The act would force states to honor out-of-state concealed-carry permits even if they were opposed to doing so. The bill would allow private citizens to carry hidden firearms even in places like New York City, where they are not now permitted.The implications for a country already bleeding from gun violence are dire. Mr. Zeldin’s co-sponsorship of a measure that will lead to even more killing, suicide, and serious injury defies understanding.

Attention surrounding Representative Lee Zeldin’s planned fund-raiser with Steve Bannon, late of the White House and now back at the Breitbart organization, overshadowed the fact that he was a co-sponsor of House legislation to allow holders of concealed-firearm permits the right to carry their guns anywhere in the United States. The act would force states to honor out-of-state concealed-carry permits even if they were opposed to doing so. The bill would allow private citizens to carry hidden firearms even in places like New York City, where they are not now permitted.The implications for a country already bleeding from gun violence are dire. Mr.

Editorial
December 6, 2017
By now, we have all had our flu shots, right? Well, not exactly. According to federal government statistics, less than half the adults who should get the influenza vaccine each year actually do so. For children, the rate is better, but far from ideal.

By now, we have all had our flu shots, right? Well, not exactly. According to federal government statistics, less than half the adults who should get the influenza vaccine each year actually do so. For children, the rate is better, but far from ideal.

Flu shots help protect us from the highly contagious, debilitating illness that can have severe complications in some portions of the population. Children, pregnant women, and those 65 and older are at particular risk, as are those with chronic lung conditions. At best, flu can knock you down for a couple of days, at worst, it can kill.

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.