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  •    By asking Congress for its approval for a military response to the nerve-gas attack in Syria last month, President Obama may be setting a lasting precedent. Since the end of World War II, United States presidents have charged into conflicts by ignoring Constitutionally required prior approval from lawmakers or by expanding a narrow agreement beyond reasonable interpretations.

  •    Elected officials at almost all involved levels have been calling for expedited action along the threatened Montauk oceanfront in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. “We must act now,” Representative Tim Bishop and Senators Charles Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand said last month in a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers. Not so fast, we say.

  •    In terms of economic impact and value to residents, the proposed conversion of a 35,000-square-foot building in the East Hampton Town Industrial Park from a film and television studio to long-term storage should rank at the bottom of the list. Few jobs would be created, and they are likely to be low-paying. In community and cultural terms, storage is pretty much a black hole. We believe that the town could do a whole lot better.

  • "And what is so rare as a day in June?" famously inquired the poet James Russell Lowell. Answer: a Sunday in January when the thermometer soars above 60 and the Chinese witch hazel fairly shrieks, "Look at me! I'm budding! I'm budding!"

    The day was, said Richard B. Hendrickson, the Federal weather observer in Bridgehampton, one to remember, a day for the books. The high was 62, the hottest recorded for a January day, he said, since 1932, when the mercury hit 66.

  •    Sagaponack Village wants a police department of its own, or at least its village board and a number of residents do, though debate is ongoing. The arguments in favor of a force of the village’s own are compelling.

  •    Misplaced skepticism marred a meeting this week about an East Hampton Town effort to draft a wastewater management plan. Critics suggested, wrongly, that it was a clandestine effort to force scores of property owners to undertake expensive, unnecessary improvements to their septic systems, perhaps even one sold by a business with which a town consultant has a professional relationship.

  •    East Hampton Town officials find themselves in a bit of a self-created puzzle insofar as the increasing practice of construction and landscaping contractors storing work trucks and heavy equipment on residential lots. The law limits what can be done in some cases, but in others it is maddenly ineffective.

  •    South Fork gas station operators are at it again. In his latest survey of the region’s at-the-pump prices, State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. found that residents and visitors in the Hamptons pay 15 cents a gallon more than the Long Island average, and a stunning 20 cents more than the rest of the state. Making things worse, station owners have kept their prices artificially inflated this summer, even though on the rest of Long Island the average fell by 9 cents since the previous survey.

  •    As summer hits its August high notes, many readers have no doubt noticed the wild and recent proliferation of signs along roadsides in East Hampton Town. From Wainscott to Montauk, shoulders are littered with all sorts of commercial come-ons as well as businesses tarted up like a Nevada cathouse with sandwich-board festoonery, flags, and outdoor merchandise in the right of way. If you were thinking so far that this was yet another example of Town Hall ignoring its own regulations, you would be right.

  •    Sure, they may have been at the East Hampton Town-owned Duck Creek Farm near Three Mile Harbor to look at the art exhibited in a Parrish Art Museum Road Show on Saturday, but of equal and perhaps more long-lasting note was the reaction of many to the beautiful property itself.