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  •    It is ironic that in a place that boasts New York State’s biggest-dollar commercial fishing port and is surrounded by a natural abundance of fish in inshore waters it can be oddly difficult for consumers and restaurants to buy local, fresh-caught fish and shellfish. Most of what is landed here is taken by trucks to the Hunts Point reincarnation of the Fulton Fish Market, where it can be put back on trucks and brought back to the South Fork.

  •    An article in these pages this week about local enforcement of regulations governing access to businesses and public accommodations for people with disabilities points to a looming problem: East Hampton Town departments have been left unable to provide needed services as a result of three years of budget-cutting. Seeking compliance with disabilities laws, both local and federal, would take a considerable investment of time and staff, something the departments involved lack.

  •    On Tuesday, the Associated Press announced that it would no longer sanction the use of the words “illegal immigrant” in its news reports. This comes after rights groups pointed out that the common label is offensive to workers and others in this country whose guilt can be determined only by the courts — not by reporters and editors. It is an interesting shift wherever one stands on the issue of immigration, and it could herald a change in public opinion.

  •    If the Sag Harbor Village Board approves its tentative 2013-14 budget, the village’s police force will drop below the level necessary to maintain patrols. At least that was the message delivered by Sag Harbor Police Chief Tom Fabiano to the board in a letter last week. On the other side of the debate, Mayor Brian Gilbride and Trustee Ed Gregory appear to be using the budget process as a cudgel to win concessions from the police during contract negotiations. It is risky brinksmanship, a game that Sag Harbor residents and taxpayers should take seriously.

  •    The East Hampton Town Trustees’ recent review of a disruptive form of shellfish harvesting was overdue. There have long been quiet concerns among some observers that powering, or churning, for soft-shelled clams, or steamers, did more harm than good.

  •    A milestone on the Congressional scene came to our attention recently: Loosely speaking, you can say the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives is majority minority. Of the 200 House Democrats, 147 were either African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, women, or gay. A Latino man, Rep. Xavier Becerra of California, heads the House Democratic Caucus.

  •    Whether it is a petition in Montauk, pleading with the school board to increase the tax levy to keep class sizes small, or a parent uprising in East Hampton over the ouster of the elementary school principal, democracy in the districts is in good evidence this season, at least in the sense that the aggrieved have exercised their right to speak their minds. Not so among some school board members, who apparently think the position gives them the right, if not the obligation, to conduct important business in secret.

  •    After several weeks of deliberation, East Hampton Village officials are poised to further limit dogs on the ocean beaches between Georgica and Two Mile Hollow. At a recent meeting, the village board scheduled an April 19 hearing on a code amendment that would require people who bring dogs to the beach to keep them on leashes until they are at least 500 feet from the road-ends and parking lots during the hours when pets are allowed on the sand.

  •    It has been easy to get swept up in the excitement surrounding the selection of a new leader for the Catholic Church. Though Argentina, where the new pope, Pope Francis, comes from, is far away, he seems one of our own, a man of the Americas, the son of immigrants to this hemisphere, as well as an important, if perhaps indirect, voice and role model for a growing number of Spanish-speaking Catholic residents in the United States as a whole, as well as here on the East End.

  •    Just over 10 years ago this week, we wrote on this page that the Bush administration’s push toward an invasion of Iraq might do more to harm the cause of world peace than advance it. History has borne out the fears of many (if far too few in national positions of authority or in control of major media) that the war was unjustified, unwise, and a waste of untold lives.