Paul Sapienza, the father of soccer here, whose Springs School teams went undefeated in 13 of the 15 years he was here, used to wonder whatever happened to all the talent he was sending East Hampton High School’s way. One answer was that the kids, while they possessed fine individual skills, had not yet figured out how to play as a team, nor had they, in some cases, learned that being a team player meant you also had to keep your grades up.
Some of the most enduring images of the days following Hurricane Sandy have been of citizen volunteers helping victims in the Rockaways, along the Jersey Shore, and elsewhere. On the other hand, the picture has been one of failure by the institutions in which many trusted. The Long Island Power Authority, for example, and nearly every level of authority were unprepared for the scale of devastation and disruption of normal, day-to-day life.
An increasingly popular idea among the owners of oceanfront properties on Long Island has been to organize into tax districts to fund erosion-protection measures, such as pumping millions of tons of sand onto narrowed beaches. For these property owners, the districts may seem attractive, but they may well delay the day of reckoning along the coasts at a time when a more flexible response to rising sea level is needed — one that would not almost guarantee that United States taxpayers would be asked to pony up to protect coastal vacation properties.
In a crucially important cover story on Friday about the Long Island Power Authority’s performance before and after Hurricane Sandy plowed into the region on Oct. 29, Newsday reported that the utility failed to prepare for a big storm despite having made repeated commitments to the state that it would do just that.
A debate about how to respond to storm damage like that seen in Hurricane Sandy’s glancing blow on the South Fork is sure to go on for some time. A more immediate concern for East Hampton is whether Town Hall officials follow the rule of law when properties are left at risk by the inevitable natural onslaughts. The record in the last few years is not good.
Sunday is Veteran’s Day, traditionally a time when organizations that aid those who have served in the United States armed forces are beneficiaries of increased charitable giving. This year, as the region’s attention is centered on communities reeling from Hurricane Sandy’s flood waters and prolonged power outages, there is a fear that veterans groups might see a dip in what they receive.
Pity the poor New York voter confronted with Tuesday’s ballot and a top of the ticket that really was not in play here. New York has been a reliably “blue” state, going for the Democratic presidential candidate most of the time since the Great Depression, and in an unbroken streak since 1988.
Representative Tim Bishop’s victory over Randy Altschuler Tuesday despite the astounding amount of super PAC money — $3.4 million — that fell upon the First Congressional District, gives testimony to the voters’ ability to think for themselves. Everywhere you turned in the last few weeks, you saw or heard the attack ads paid for by a seemingly bottomless pool of dollars — radio, television, the Internet.
What difference a hundred miles makes. Hurricane Sandy made its landfall on the New Jersey shore, wiping away whole beachside communities. Damage was massive in the New York Bight, on Staten Island, in Manhattan, the Rockaways, Long Beach, and Fire Island, lessening to the east and north, farther from the storm’s highest winds.
Our sympathies first are for those who lost family or friends. Locally, we mourn Edith Wright, a Montauk woman whose body was found at Georgica Beach.