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  • This edition of The Star arrives during Sunshine Week, a once-a-year effort by the journalism profession to focus attention on the continual struggle for open government. Unfortunately, the last 12 months have not been good ones for the cause. Notable problems include the revelation that Hillary Clinton used a personal email server for official messages as secretary of state and may have destroyed important records.

  • The East Hampton Town Board has tested the waters, so to speak, on allowing the operators of personal watercraft to launch them in several harbors where until now they had been prohibited. The East Hampton Town Trustees, who have an interest in some of the water bodies covered under the existing ban, are sure to weigh in, but the view in favor of allowing Jet Skis, WaveRunners, and the like to use town launching ramps centers on the observation that they are entitled to the same access afforded other small craft.

  • As the starting date nears for a United States Army Corps of Engineers project to build a giant artificial dune reinforced at its core with thousands of massive sandbags, it is critical that the public and policymakers understand what is really at stake.

  • Close observers are seeing significant progress in New York State’s recent moves on alternative, nonpolluting energy. In late February the state’s Public Service Commission issued an outline for its Reforming the Energy Vision plan, with an aim of making New York’s electric grid cleaner, resilient in the face of natural disasters, and cheaper for consumers. This is extremely good news and dovetails nicely with a goal set by the Town of East Hampton to supply all of the community’s electric needs from renewable sources by 2020.

  • The East Hampton Town Board should look beyond an apparent impasse on the airport’s budget and finance advisory subcommittee, which has stymied a financial review of planned limits on the noisiest kinds of aircraft.

  • The latest in a string of shockers out of Albany came this week when it became known that the Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo administration had begun automatically purging the computers of state workers of email messages more than 90 days old.

  • Officials in the East End towns and villages are taking a new look at water pollution and suggesting that a regional approach might be the solution. They have proposed seeking as much as $100 million from the state for rebates on private septic systems or tax credits, acknowledging that environmental damage from failed or inadequate systems is a problem that spans municipal borders.

  • Of all the battles the East Hampton Town Trustees could be joining, the one in which a majority appears to be fighting for the right of bros to drink at Amagansett’s Indian Wells Beach is one on which they should have taken a pass.

  • In an interesting development, the Village of East Hampton’s code enforcement officer and fire inspector has suggested taking a hard look at basements. The issue Ken Collum identified and asked the village board to consider regulating is that a growing number of property owners are including vast underground warrens in building or reconstructing houses. They can do so because the village code does not require basement square-footage to be calculated in the size of a house.

  • The world may be undergoing a sixth great wave of extinctions, as recently examined in a book by Elizabeth Kolbert, and this phenomenon may well extend to the seas, including those off our own shores. Symptoms include coral reef degradation, finfish population crashes, toxic algae blooms, and the slow loss of once-familiar and economically vital species. New York State has responded by drafting a 10-year Ocean Action Plan, but the document, while extensive, offers no source for the money needed to address its ambitious goals.