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  • You hear from time to time how tight East Hampton Town is when it comes to handing out construction permits. “You can’t get anything approved around here,” the complaint goes. Well, that is not really the case. Although the paperwork may mound up and the review process be painfully slow, you can generally get what you want.

    During a late-August getaway, I visited a California community that was really restrictive and puts East Hampton’s supposedly hard-nosed preservationism into sharp perspective.

  • An erupting fight over the former East Deck Motel property in Montauk has pitted a wealthy new property owner against scores of residents and visitors who would like to see Ditch Plain Beach remain the way it was for so long. More than 2,000 people have signed an online petition opposing J. Darius Bikoff’s plan to convert the iconic motel into a private surf club, of sorts.

  • We pulled the car into the driveway the other night, Lisa, two of the children, and I, coming back from picking up a takeout dinner in Montauk. It was a dark night, no moon, no haze to catch the reflected light from the ground. Lisa hustled the youngest one inside to get him ready for bed. But, looking up, I told the other child to stop. “There’s the Milky Way,” I said.

    “Where? Oh, yeah,” she said.

    A clear band of dusty white hung from above the horizon to the south, all the way to straight overhead.

  • On my way home from the office a couple of weeks ago, I passed an elaborate lemonade stand set up at the Dunemere and Egypt Lane intersection. A classic Volkswagen bus sat on the side of the road with its doors wide open. There was a low table and a tall, impressive, hand-lettered sign. I didn’t stop.

  • Admission is by donation, with a suggested amount of $10 per person. The first pitch is at 2 p.m. Proceeds go to the Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center, Phoenix House, the Retreat, and East End Hospice.
  • Sunday night I was out in my boat on Gardiner’s Bay as the moon appeared over the Hither Hills highlands. It was a still evening, no wind to speak of, and only a little ripple under the hull as I passed the bluffs at the old Bell Estate, where the Clintons are staying for a couple of weeks.

  • Some time in the next couple of days, former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton, herself perhaps soon to be a candidate for president, will arrive in Amagansett for an August vacation. Their visit is interesting to think about from where I sit in a second-floor office that has a bit of a view of East Hampton’s Main Street.

  • Brock, or Brick, or something like that, I think he said his name was, but it was difficult to pay attention the other day because I was on the beach chasing friends’ children in a runaway kayak as they drifted down the bay in the direction of Promised Land. He seemed a nice enough guy, probably in his late 20s or early 30s. He introduced me to his companion, a woman about his age, and said he was renting the house next door.

  • Leo the pig has been in hog heaven these weeks as the bushes, grasses, and shrubs around our yard come into full, high-summer lushness. My wife, Lisa, has been reveling in produce too, although, unlike Leo, she does not waddle down to the edge of the lawn to munch grape leaves right off the vine.

  • A truism about cooking is that if you lay a breaded coating onto just about anything and fry it up in a bit of oil, kids will eat it without objection. Still, it was with no minor degree of amazement that I was able to get a mess of fritters made from a notably pungent shellfish down our brood’s craws the other night.

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