Recent Stories: Editorials

Editorial
June 22, 2017
What may have seemed impossible following the fiery destruction of much of the Sag Harbor Cinema in December now appears, if not a sure thing, then increasingly likely. The prospect is exciting.

What may have seemed impossible following the fiery destruction of much of the Sag Harbor Cinema in December now appears, if not a sure thing, then increasingly likely. The prospect is exciting.

Editorial
June 22, 2017
Here’s hoping that the free shuttle bus set to begin in Montauk next week with $100,000 in state funding finds enough riders to justify its operation. Acting on concerns about traffic and complaints about fare gouging by some taxi drivers, East Hampton officials have announced that the Hampton Hopper will operate a route that includes stops at the Montauk railroad station, the docks, Hither Hills State Park, and the downtown business area.

Here’s hoping that the free shuttle bus set to begin in Montauk next week with $100,000 in state funding finds enough riders to justify its operation. Acting on concerns about traffic and complaints about fare gouging by some taxi drivers, East Hampton officials have announced that the Hampton Hopper will operate a route that includes stops at the Montauk railroad station, the docks, Hither Hills State Park, and the downtown business area.

Editorial
June 15, 2017
East Hampton Village residents will be asked Tuesday to select either Philip O’Connell or Arthur Graham as a trustee or member of the village board. The winner will face re-election in 2018. In recent interviews, the candidates differed little about how the village should be run, so making an endorsement is tricky, as it comes down to intangibles more than any one thing.

East Hampton Village residents will be asked Tuesday to select either Philip O’Connell or Arthur Graham as a trustee or member of the village board. The winner will face re-election in 2018. In recent interviews, the candidates differed little about how the village should be run, so making an endorsement is tricky, as it comes down to intangibles more than any one thing.

Editorial
June 15, 2017
Lost amid all the attention to Russia’s election meddling is the fact that the Trump administration is considering reducing the number and scale of the national monuments across the country as well as 55 million acres of Atlantic seabed off the East Coast. Separately, a suit by a coalition of fishing organizations challenging the Obama decision to create the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument is making its way toward trial. If the Trump administration eliminates the seamount monument, their suit would become moot.

Lost amid all the attention to Russia’s election meddling is the fact that the Trump administration is considering reducing the number and scale of the national monuments across the country as well as 55 million acres of Atlantic seabed off the East Coast. Separately, a suit by a coalition of fishing organizations challenging the Obama decision to create the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument is making its way toward trial. If the Trump administration eliminates the seamount monument, their suit would become moot. For those concerned about the long-term health of the marine environment this is a very bad prospect indeed. 

Editorial
June 8, 2017
The funny thing about Memorial Day’s being considered the beginning of summer is that it is not really the beginning of anything, at least not as far as the weather goes. The calendar tells us almost a month of spring is yet to come by the time the big weekend crowds arrive and the season plays along, frustrating those who would want the weather to behave otherwise.

The funny thing about Memorial Day’s being considered the beginning of summer is that it is not really the beginning of anything, at least not as far as the weather goes. The calendar tells us almost a month of spring is yet to come by the time the big weekend crowds arrive and the season plays along, frustrating those who would want the weather to behave otherwise.

Because of rain, spring has been notably strong. Grass seems in need of perpetual cutting. Trees and roadsides became almost jungle-like overnight. Pollen covered everything, and then we were thankful that it washed away. Birds seemed to rejoice in the abundance of it all. The ponds are brimming. 

Editorial
June 8, 2017
With the assistance of hired consultants, East Hampton officials are taking one of their periodic looks at aspects of how the town is regulated and how they might balance growth and residents’ needs in the future. Changes certainly are necessary, but whether the process embodied in the current set of so-called hamlet studies will be adequate remains to be seen.

With the assistance of hired consultants, East Hampton officials are taking one of their periodic looks at aspects of how the town is regulated and how they might balance growth and residents’ needs in the future. Changes certainly are necessary, but whether the process embodied in the current set of so-called hamlet studies will be adequate remains to be seen. 

In a nutshell, the problem is that though East Hampton Town occupies a narrow, environmentally and infrastructurally challenged isthmus capable of being home to a limited number of people, the actual peak population reaches well beyond the capacity. How land-use regulations are crafted — and in whose interest — has been a largely unsolved riddle since at least the 1960s and the birth of zoning.

Editorial
June 1, 2017
A Montauker of our acquaintance told us this week about a low point in her Memorial Day weekend. “I made the mistake of going into town at 1 on Saturday,” she said. “How was it?” we asked. “Hell,” she said.

A Montauker of our acquaintance told us this week about a low point in her Memorial Day weekend. “I made the mistake of going into town at 1 on Saturday,” she said. “How was it?” we asked. “Hell,” she said.

Think about that for a minute. A long-term taxpaying resident views a trip to the business district as a descent into the abyss. Okay, well, for sure there are worse things, but looked at in the abstract, the fact that Montauk’s downtown is an overcrowded mess represents a profound failure of town government to manage growth. 

Editorial
June 1, 2017
A story in The Star last week about the Montauk Observatory got us thinking about the number of opportunities here for getting in touch with nature. The observatory, now about to be operational at the Ross School in East Hampton, offers the farthest reach: a powerful telescope that can be booked remotely to view distant celestial objects over the internet.

A story in The Star last week about the Montauk Observatory got us thinking about the number of opportunities here for getting in touch with nature. The observatory, now about to be operational at the Ross School in East Hampton, offers the farthest reach: a powerful telescope that can be booked remotely to view distant celestial objects over the internet. Organizations like the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society have free woodland hikes every weekend. The South Fork Natural History Museum has programs that help adults and children get close to some of the region’s smallest and most mysterious inhabitants, such as salamanders and elusive shoreline creatures.

Editorial
June 1, 2017
The East Hampton Chamber of Commerce’s first street fair, held on May 20 on Newtown Lane, was, by most accounts, a great success.

The East Hampton Chamber of Commerce’s first street fair, held on May 20 on Newtown Lane, was, by most accounts, a great success. Hundreds of year-round residents and visitors alike strolled the street to stop at booths set up by artists, nonprofits, artisans, and others in an event that ran from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Based on the warm reception the fair received, the chamber can be expected to seek to organize it again in the future. 

Editorial
May 25, 2017
A proposal being worked on by East Hampton Town officials to clarify the law on outdoor seating at restaurants has caused confusion. The misunderstanding seems to have come from those who are unfamiliar with how the process of revising the town code works and who misread a draft described at a May 2 town board meeting by NancyLynn Thiele, a town attorney, which had been circulated to stimulate discussion. Steve Haweeli, the president of the East Hampton Chamber of Commerce, has been sounding the alarm and has urged restaurant owners and their staffs to attend a June 1 hearing.

A proposal being worked on by East Hampton Town officials to clarify the law on outdoor seating at restaurants has caused confusion.

Editorial
May 25, 2017
By the time this edition of The Star is in your hands, the South Fork will have undergone its annual transformation from slow-moving suburb by the beach to frenetic resort. As if from nowhere, the overnight population of East Hampton will jump from the low 20,000s to, by some estimates, 100,000.

By the time this edition of The Star is in your hands, the South Fork will have undergone its annual transformation from slow-moving suburb by the beach to frenetic resort. As if from nowhere, the overnight population of East Hampton will jump from the low 20,000s to, by some estimates, 100,000. Roads and restaurants will fill up. The line for bagels will be long and tense.

Editorial
May 25, 2017
Truer words about global warming and sea level rise have rarely, if ever, been uttered in connection with what East Hampton Town government is facing: “Literally, the shape of our town is going to change. We’re better off having a plan.” The speaker was Jeremy Samuelson, who is leading a new effort to come to grips with what lies ahead. What lies ahead looks bad. According to New York State’s most conservative estimate, the bays and oceans will rise by 1.3 feet by 2050. This is enough for Napeague Harbor to expand to Route 27, for example, potentially cutting off Montauk and leading to significant questions about how to replace inundated infrastructure. What will remain of high land along Gerard Drive at Accabonac Harbor would be a pair of islands. Erosion nearly everywhere along the beaches will only further exacerbate the tension between protecting private properties with bulkheads and the inevitable loss of public beaches that would result. So far, the coastal policies of governm

Truer words about global warming and sea level rise have rarely, if ever, been uttered in connection with what East Hampton Town government is facing: “Literally, the shape of our town is going to change. We’re better off having a plan.” The speaker was Jeremy Samuelson, who is leading a new effort to come to grips with what lies ahead. 

Editorial
May 18, 2017
For many business owners here, spring means worry.

For many business owners here, spring means worry. Shops have to be readied, inventory ordered, and machinery repaired. Topping it all is finding staff, and it seems that each year it gets more difficult to do so. A large part of the problem in securing good help comes from a lack of housing.

Editorial
May 18, 2017
A request from the Montauk Playhouse Foundation for $3 million from the Town of East Hampton to help realize a long-imagined dream of an aquatic exercise and cultural center is well worth pursuing.

A request from the Montauk Playhouse Foundation for $3 million from the Town of East Hampton to help realize a long-imagined dream of an aquatic exercise and cultural center is well worth pursuing. 

Editorial
May 18, 2017
It was no surprise that voters approved school budgets on the South Fork Tuesday. Thanks to the state’s tax-increase cap, budgets now grow modestly from year to year and antipathy toward school spending, once high here, has abated.

It was no surprise that voters approved school budgets on the South Fork Tuesday. Thanks to the state’s tax-increase cap, budgets now grow modestly from year to year and antipathy toward school spending, once high here, has abated.

Editorial
May 11, 2017
Here in East Hampton Town, because so many delis and other takeout joints around here have seating of one sort or another for patrons, one might be forgiven for believing it was legal. It is not, though officials are considering how to make it so.

Here in East Hampton Town, because so many delis and other takeout joints around here have seating of one sort or another for patrons, one might be forgiven for believing it was legal. It is not, though officials are considering how to make it so. 

Editorial
May 11, 2017
School board and budget votes are next week, but you would hardly know it. Meetings at which annual spending plans were discussed this spring have been lightly attended, and for the most part there are few competitive races for school board.

School board and budget votes are next week, but you would hardly know it. Meetings at which annual spending plans were discussed this spring have been lightly attended, and for the most part there are few competitive races for school board.

Editorial
May 3, 2017
They said it could not be done: A public restroom in Amagansett. Now, on Monday, if officials are to be believed, the ceremonial first flush will take place. It will have been a long time coming.

They said it could not be done: A public restroom in Amagansett. Now, on Monday, if officials are to be believed, the ceremonial first flush will take place. It will have been a long time coming.

Editorial
May 3, 2017
With the Republican and Democratic candidates for election in November in East Hampton Town announced, one thing stands out: Despite a considerable and growing presence here, there is not one Latino among them.

With the Republican and Democratic candidates for election in November in East Hampton Town announced, one thing stands out: Despite a considerable and growing presence here, there is not one Latino among them.

Editorial
May 3, 2017
The rescue off Montauk Point of two people from a small boat taking on water Saturday should serve as a reminder of the dangers of cold water.

The rescue off Montauk Point of two people from a small boat taking on water Saturday should serve as a reminder of the dangers of cold water. 

Editorial
April 27, 2017
A mailing from the Garden Club of East Hampton with pretty painted images of plants native to this area arrived this week and piqued our interest. There, arrayed on a folding card announcing the club’s upcoming annual sale, were milkweed and arrowwood, viburnum, columbine, eastern shadbush, cardinal flower, New England aster, and bearberry — which hungry deer avoid and are in their own ways important parts of the ecosystem, enjoyed by bird and bug alike.

A mailing from the Garden Club of East Hampton with pretty painted images of plants native to this area arrived this week and piqued our interest.

Editorial
April 27, 2017
School district budget planning has recently been without customary fireworks. In part, this is because a state cap on how much taxes can be increased has taken the heat out of the process, with a supermajority of voter approval necessary to pierce the cap. This is not to suggest that school spending is unimportant; rather, as the work educators do gets ever more complex, how money is allotted remains key.

School district budget planning has recently been without customary fireworks. In part, this is because a state cap on how much taxes can be increased has taken the heat out of the process, with a supermajority of voter approval necessary to pierce the cap.

Editorial
April 27, 2017
East Hampton Town Trustee Pat Mansir’s surprise resignation last week presents a good opportunity to make some general observations about the town’s oldest continuous government body and how it must now change to keep up with the times.

East Hampton Town Trustee Pat Mansir’s surprise resignation last week presents a good opportunity to make some general observations about the town’s oldest continuous government body and how it must now change to keep up with the times.

Editorial
April 20, 2017
As the United States enters a dark age for environmental protection by Washington, the job has come down both literally and figuratively to our own backyards.

As the United States enters a dark age for environmental protection by Washington, the job has come down both literally and figuratively to our own backyards.