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  • Looking back at the year just ended provides insight into what might be called the to-do list for local officials, as well as an indication of successes worth celebrating.

  • Without all that much fanfare and amid only perfunctory industry push-back the town boards in East Hampton and Southampton have just set in motion the rapid phase-out of thin plastic shopping bags of the sort used at supermarkets and convenience stores. Though some of these bags are made of compounds that can be readily recycled locally, many end up in the trash almost as soon as they are emptied of their contents.

  • The end of the year brings a plea from charities and nonprofits for donations, and as people really think about giving, it is worth remembering the organizations that do good but may not always be at the top of the list.

  • A proposed revision to the East Hampton Town Code regarding large vehicles parked on house lots should be set aside to allow officials time to address the real issue: the entrenched and growing commercial use of residentially zoned property.

  • Week in, week out, State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.’s office labors on with a gasoline price survey. With the Long Island average price for regular unleaded of $2.88 a gallon now, Mr. Thiele’s most recent report noted that the average price on the South Fork on Friday west of Amagansett was 11 cents higher. In Amagansett and Montauk, however, gas was a mind-boggling $3.39, or 51 cents more. As if to rub salt in our wounds, North Fork stations were well below the regional average, at about $2.69. All of this was, Mr.

  • It was disheartening last week to learn of the Sag Harbor School Board’s decision to end video recordings for local public television broadcast and on-demand viewing of the public comment portion of its meetings.

  • Of all the possible outcomes for the much-ballyhooed agreement between Sag Harbor Village and the developers of the Watchcase condominiums on mandatory affordable housing, the deal now about to be completed is about as poorly realized as we could imagine.

  • East Hampton Town will soon undertake an in-depth study of this region’s precarious Atlantic Coast and how it can better manage risk to property and environment protection. But the real question is whether, when the work is done, it will lead to meaningful change.

  • A battle in Sagaponack about what should and should not be allowed on reserved farmland has pitted a developer against village officials. Although on first look it appears a very localized matter, it points to a greater and evolving problem.

  • East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell and the Town Hall legal team are on the right track in looking at how to amend town law to head off further conversions of hotels and motels into hybrids that include nightclubs and accommodations. According to the town, there are some 70 hotels here whose owners might someday seek to expand into the lucrative bar trade, which could create traffic, crowds, noise, litter, and, in some cases, water pollution problems, which have already been the result.