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  • In an attempt to keep the sands cleaner East Hampton Town mandated this year that all beach fires be made within metal containers. In several locations early this summer, the rule appears to have improved conditions a great deal. But compliance is not complete, and in some places, Atlantic Drive on Napeague for one and parts of downtown Montauk’s shoreline and Ditch Plain for others, problems with messy charred wood and blackened sand remain.
  • Too late to be included in an editorial in our print edition last week was the number of undeveloped parcels of land within the boundaries of East Hampton Town. Including vacant commercial and residential land in the two incorporated villages (Sag Harbor and East Hampton), there are approximately 2,580 lots classified as open.
  • Elected officials on the East End, as well as many environmental advocates, are barreling ahead with a plan to seek voter approval to draw as much as 20 percent of future community preservation fund revenue for water quality improvement. However, in presenting the initiative as a good thing, they have failed to study its potential impacts in a meaningful way.
  • When East Hampton Village Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. abruptly demoted Barbara Borsack on July 5 from the position of deputy mayor in favor of a relative newcomer to the board, Village Hall’s normally decorous atmosphere was rattled. Calling the move a cabinet shuffle, the mayor declined to elaborate on his decision.
  • Everything looks great on the downtown Montauk ocean beach at the moment, but behind the scenes a massive economic disaster looms and what could be a major political embarrassment is unfolding. Meanwhile, objections are being heard to a United States Army Corps of Engineers plan to expand the stone bulwark at Montauk Point.
  • In the good news department, we are thinking, although a little belatedly, about an expanded effort by the Food Pantry Farm to get quality produce into the kitchens of East Hampton’s less well-off residents. Until now, membership in one of the area’s community-supported agriculture programs had been more or less limited by cost to those in the upper strata of household income. Now, in a first-year effort, the Food Pantry Farm, which is on Long Lane, has 25 members receiving ample portions of vegetables, flowers, and herbs for a fraction of the cost per week of the better-known and established C.S.A.s.
  • A number of changes at Amagansett’s Indian Wells Beach have corrected what had seemed a permanently bad situation, and East Hampton Town officials deserve a great deal of credit.
  • “Welcome to New York,” two billboards set up overnight by state workers read, along with six others with similar messages. And Montauk went nuts. To understand why the easternmost hamlet was alarmed, you need to know a little of its history and why the idea of a port of entry there is not all that far-fetched.
  • On Monday, the South Fork’s only Fourth of July parade will take place in Southampton Village. It is a tradition-filled, small-town affair, with marching groups, veterans and elected officials riding in open cars, and spectators dressed in red, white, and blue waving flags. As lovely as the Southampton parade may be, it raises, at least for us, the question why none is organized in East Hampton Town. One should be.
  • As Fourth of July weekend and the peak of the summer season approach, complaints already have been heard about the plethora of taxis operating in East Hampton Town. Some residents object to places where drivers park to rest. Others find their sometimes littered and noisy congregation points sore points, which may interfere with the public’s access to shopping.