Recent Stories: Editorials

Editorial
November 19, 2014

As the East Hampton Town Board tries to figure out what to do in the face of vocal complaints about a proposed registration requirement for rental properties, its members would do well to consider a recent report by the New York State attorney general about one fast-growing aspect: short-term accommodations booked online.

Eric Schneiderman, who was just re-elected, made news last month when he released the results of a study that found nearly three-quarters of all New York City

Editorial
November 12, 2014

A plan by the Village of East Hampton and New York State to spend $1.4 million on traffic changes at the intersection of Route 114 and Toilsome Lane is puzzling, but even more puzzling are the reasons behind it. A call to the engineer who came up with the series of roadway “islands” and a roundabout referred our request for an explanation to a village official, who was only able to produce a few words of meaningless boilerplate.

Editorial
November 12, 2014

Facebook woke up this week to the yawning monstrosity in Wainscott that is the new commercial building on the former Plitt Ford site on Montauk Highway. One commenter quipped that the town was “one step closer to looking like Centereach.” Another person summed it up this way: “It makes me sad every time I drive by. It looks terrible and is so big it blocks the sky.”

Editorial
November 12, 2014

Two recent news reports about New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo are worth noting, especially in light of his easy trot to re-election on Nov. 6. A detailed account in The New York Times that should be of special interest to those angered by the ongoing electric pole debacle in East Hampton explained how Mr. Cuomo manipulated a report from a commission looking at utility performance during and after Hurricane Sandy.

Editorial
November 5, 2014

East Hampton officials are reported to be thinking about seeking state authorization to tap the community preservation fund for wastewater projects. This potential funding source should be a last resort.

Editorial
November 5, 2014

A homeowner sees her house threatened by erosion, and public officials do what they can to help. Not the newest story, but the most recent example of this narrative comes with an interesting twist.

As it turns out, a rapidly shrinking lot on Shore Road at Lazy Point belongs to the East Hampton Town Trustees, while the house on it belongs to someone who leases the site for a modest fee. This arrangement, while unusual elsewhere in town, is the norm at Lazy Point, where an occasional near-million-dollar purchase takes place on what is actually leased public land.

Editorial
October 29, 2014

One is predisposed to like State Senator Lee Zeldin, an affable Army veteran who is seeking for the second time to take Representative Tim Bishop’s seat in Congress. However, even though he ran for the First District post in 2008, won a seat in the New York Legislature in 2010, and then beat back a Republican primary challenge this year, Mr. Zeldin has very little to say for himself, which is perplexing. Instead of presenting his own ideas he repeats party positions on school vouchers, weak gun laws, and the eventual privatization of Social Security.

Editorial
October 29, 2014

Voters will decide on Tuesday whether Suffolk will continue to have both a county treasurer and a county comptroller. Both are elected positions. This should settle a lengthy dispute between Angie Carpenter, the longtime treasurer, and County Executive Steve Bellone. Mr. Bellone has sought to eliminate the treasurer’s post to streamline government and reduce the cost to taxpayers by as much as $800,000 a year in departmental salaries and related expenses. If approved, the comptroller would assume the duties of the treasurer, which for the most part are paying the bills.

Editorial
October 29, 2014

Suffolk voters will be asked on Tuesday to consider a law intended to tighten financial aspects of the county’s Drinking Water Protection Program, which is funded by a quarter-percent sales tax. It should be approved.

Editorial
October 29, 2014

A yes vote would appear assured on Proposal Two, which would allow the New York State Legislature to forgo printing materials that cost some $325,000 a year by distributing them in electronic form. This averages out to about 9 million pages every year and tons of waste. Lawmakers barely read most bills anyway; getting them into a format that they can access via their tablets or smartphones while on the move might actually improve the legislative process. Saving money and reducing waste makes this worthy of the public’s support. Vote yes.

Editorial
October 29, 2014

Proposal One on Tuesday’s ballot is a redistricting proposition that could actually make things worse in Albany. It would establish a commission on Assembly, Senate, and Congressional districts to be appointed entirely by the State Legislature’s leadership or their proxies. It should be rejected.

Editorial
October 22, 2014

After nearly two decades of debate there is no resolution about whether long-term Lyme disease exists. What is clear is that some patients diagnosed with Lyme do not feel better after standard antibiotic treatment. This has led some physicians to prescribe exceedingly long courses of medication, which has led, in a few cases, to investigations for misconduct by the New York State Department of Health. A bill that would help protect doctors under these circumstances has been passed by the State Legislature and awaits Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s signature.

Editorial
October 22, 2014

The local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation sent around a photograph last week that made an inescapable point about Montauk’s downtown beach: There just isn’t that much of it any more, and the planned fix by the Army Corps of Engineers may well wipe away what little is left.

Editorial
October 15, 2014

While Montauk Highway, the main route through East Hampton Town, which we all love to hate, gets most of our attention, another state road, Route 114, is increasingly worthy of serious review.

Editorial
October 15, 2014

East Hampton Village banned the bags a while ago. Southampton Village did the same even before that. Now, East Hampton Town is poised to follow suit, ordering that those flimsy, thin bags commonly used in supermarkets no longer be welcome.

Editorial
October 15, 2014

More than $15,000 was raised on Sunday during a show of classic cars and lifted trucks organized by friends and family of the late Tyler Valcich of Montauk, who died in May of an apparent suicide. All of the money is to be set aside for mental health services for young people here through the Greater East Hampton Education Foundation. Those involved in what is planned as an annual event deserve a big round of applause for turning a personal tragedy into something good to the extent possible under the circumstances.

Editorial
October 8, 2014

At last there is an air of inevitability around the question of marriage equality now that the United States Supreme Court has, by declining to intervene in lower courts’ rulings, let stand same-sex marriage in five states. Right now 24 states allow gender-blind weddings; that number could reach 30 following Monday’s decision. It’s about time.

Editorial
October 8, 2014

The East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals appears poised to deal a precedential death blow to a fundamental portion of local land-use law. But before its members allow a landscaping company to take over a residentially zoned lot at 103 Montauk Highway, they should take a very close look at the village code and ask themselves whether what they are being asked to approve meets the letter and intent of the law with regard to when and under what circumstances a pre-existing, nonconforming use can be considered abandoned.

Editorial
October 1, 2014

As officials in the Town of East Hampton and the owners of private property along the ocean in Montauk puzzle over their relationship with the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the fate of a proposed beach protection project there, it is well worth reflecting on two unfortunate chapters in that federal agency’s relatively recent history.

Editorial
October 1, 2014

For the first time ever, East Hampton High School’s annual homecoming game, held on Sept. 20, was not played by the football team. The match featured varsity soccer, and the boys defeated Hampton Bays by a score of 3-0, therein making history and signaling a change that was coming for a long time, accelerated by local demographic changes.

Editorial
September 24, 2014

A sign boasting of East Hampton Town’s goal of meeting all of its electricity needs with renewable sources by 2020, which was carried by an activist during Sunday’s climate march in New York City, drew lots of attention. And well it should have; moving away from fossil fuels is essential if human-induced global warming is to be slowed within our lifetimes.

Editorial
September 24, 2014

With East Hampton Village having accepted more than $100,000 toward a test project to spay deer, it probably will go forward, but it may actually delay effective management and avoid comprehensive analysis of the role their growing numbers play in tick-borne illnesses as well as their effect on the environment.

Editorial
September 24, 2014

As we commented back when the matter was pending before the East Hampton Town Planning Board, the pitch made by the late Gregg Saunders for a commercial building on Montauk Highway in Wainscott was one for the textbooks. Now that work on the former Plitt Ford site is well under way, some residents are beginning to notice. They are right to wonder what the heck happened and why those who own the property now are getting away with it.

Editorial
September 18, 2014

One of the people who have been thinking a lot about a proposed surf club on the old East Deck Motel site at Ditch Plain in Montauk stopped in at The Star office the other day to point something out. Mike Bottini, an outdoorsman and member of the Surfrider Foundation’s local chapter, laid out a set of papers on our front desk, showing that a string of public and largely protected lands extend from Montauk Point nearly to the hamlet’s commercial downtown.