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  •    For the Town of East Hampton, a request from a Napeague property owner to change the zoning of the land on which the summertime traffic nuisance called Cyril’s Fish House sits amounts to an existential challenge.

  •    If the East Hampton Town Board had set out to appoint a potentially unproductive committee to chart erosion policy for the future, it certainly succeeded at a meeting on Dec. 4.
        Among the group of 10 people, three run Montauk waterfront hotels, one sells real estate, and another operates an earth-moving business. Two are members of the town board: one a lawyer and property-rights stalwart, the other a builder. Two hail from local environmental groups. You get the picture.

  •    A story that appeared in this newspaper last week, detailing the frustrations two lawyers have had trying to pry public documents out of East Hampton Town Hall, tells only part of the story. Compliance locally with New York State’s Freedom of Information and Open Meetings Laws is spotty at best, and the town is hardly the only entity with trouble keeping up.

  •    The Town of East Hampton’s sewage treatment plant, even back when it was operational, is hardly the sole — or even most important — source of groundwater pollution here. That distinction falls on the town’s roughly 20,000 private cesspools or septic systems. The Springs-Fireplace Road plant, however, is highly visible and has become a pawn in an ongoing political battle over property taxes.

  •    Deer are changing East Hampton’s natural landscape, causing untold tens of thousands of dollars in property damage and endangering human health — and it is about to get a whole lot worse. Just think for a minute, if you will, about all the does and their young encountered here these days. If just half of those yearlings are female, and they begin to breed while their mothers are still in their reproductive prime, the local population is going to experience exponential growth.

  •    In an unfortunate reversal, the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals has given permission for Lazy Point property owners to build a sea wall in a zone where none are allowed under town law. What makes this bad decision all the worse is that the same board had denied an essentially identical request earlier this year.

  •    If you have not yet seen the new Parrish Art Museum from the inside, it should be high on your to-do list. The venerable institution has been reborn in a striking new home in Water Mill designed by a renowned Swiss firm. Long and deceptively low-slung in its farm field-like setting, the museum has been called “an unexpected monument” in New York magazine and “a triumph” in Architectural Record.

  •    Reports of a die-off elsewhere notwithstanding, this season’s East Hampton scallop harvest has been another for the record books. Not only are these succulent shellfish abundant here, some of the individuals are huge, with shucked meats exceeding an inch and a half in length. This is good news for local harvesters and gourmands, and a significant turnaround from the situation only a few years ago when scallops were so few and far between that the commercial harvest was essentially halted.

  •    Reading between the lines after taking a long, hard look, the East Hampton Town Budget and Finance Committee, an unpaid group of citizens with tons of business and accounting credibility, has concluded that the work of setting Town Hall to rights remains half done.

  •    The war on evidence-based policy-making being waged by some in the House of Representatives continued this week, with three members in the running to become chairman of the important Committee on Space, Science, and Technology. Each is deeply skeptical of the widely held belief that human activities are a cause of global warming. Barring an unexpected reversal, either Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, F. James Sensenbrenner Jr.