Author Information

Articles by this author:

  •     There is some good news on the environment for eastern Long Island and some that’s not so good. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said recently that water quality was now his administration’s top priority. In East Hampton, Democrats listed groundwater and the areas’s bays and harbors among their key platform planks last year. Yet the State of New York, despite a projected budget surplus in the coming fiscal year, appears poised to cut environmental funding.

  •     Forget about the ice, the snow, the wind, and all that this winter. No: The real problem with winter 2014 is the potholes.
        Montauk Highway, which bears the bulk of this area’s traffic, is the worst of it. Deep pits lie in wait for tires and rims. Many offer a telltale clue: striped lines a layer down suggesting that the last time the road was paved something wasn’t done quite right.

  •     The nice old house and outbuildings at 208 Montauk Highway in Amagansett had been for sale for quite a while with no buyer emerging when the owner approached East Hampton Town Hall for help. The result is a hearing at East Hampton Town Hall tonight on a zone change that just might hasten a closing. But the request, to go from a residential designation with a limited-business overlay within the Amagansett Historic District to full-on commercial, should be rejected.

  •     The apparent collapse here of planned participation in a deer reduction plan backed by the Long Island Farm Bureau should not go unremarked.

  •     If there is one piece of advice that is more routinely ignored than any other, it is this: When public officials say residents should stay off the roads because of snow and ice, far too many figure that applies to someone else and head out anyway.

  •     For those concerned about sustainable energy, the news recently out of East Hampton Town Hall is a nice surprise. Officials and three private companies are racing to put together a proposal to be presented to the state Public Service Electric and Gas Company, PSEG Long Island, for large-scale solar installations at town-owned sites. Taken together, the project could produce on the order of 40 megawatts of electricity, enough to power as many as 8,000 houses.

  •     It may be difficult for the powers-that-be in East Hampton Town Hall to recall in the depths of freezing winter the taxi mayhem of the past several high seasons. But time is a-wasting if something is to be done to bring the situation under control by summer. Complicating matters is the fact that meaningful regulation will require inter-government cooperation, including that of Suffolk County.

  •     Two numbers that may not seem related but have everything to do with each other are worth thinking about: $33 million and 2 percent. These are the sum now on hand in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election campaign war chest and the limit on tax-levy increases by local governments and school districts, which he steered into law. Both speak to his ambitions and likely attempt to be the Democratic presidential nominee at some point in the future.

  •     As opponents of a planned reduction in the local deer population rallied at Hook Mill in East Hampton Village on Saturday, a basic question hovered unasked: Just how their numbers were allowed to grow unchecked and why the government entity most responsible by law and tradition for wildlife management in New York State has been all but absent.

  •     What appear to be alarmingly optimistic projections and unfunded expenses are buried in the 2014 East Hampton Town budget. How the town deals with these stumbling blocks, which were left for the new town board by the previous administration, will be an early test. What is emerging is a picture of a budget that was fudged to make it appear balanced — hardly one that ex-Supervisor Bill Wilkinson would have left for himself had he expected to remain in office.