Author Information

Articles by this author:

  •    Another oddball case reached the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals this week. (Ever notice how the most controversial ones tend to be scheduled for the depths of February?) The question put before the board Tuesday was whether the Dunes, a high-priced, inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in a residential neighborhood in Northwest Woods, can continue to operate legally as a semi-public facility without a town permit. The town’s top building inspector says it cannot; the Dunes’s lawyers say the question is irrelevant.

  •    At East Hampton Town Hall these days, when you think you have seen it all, someone down there on Pantigo Road goes and does something really unexpected. This time it involves a dead whale, heavy equipment, and who pays the bill.

  •    “Just hang in there, kiddo” was the parting shot from Supervisor Bill Wilkinson to wrap up a sharp-toned exchange with Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc at last Thursday’s East Hampton Town Board meeting. Unfortunately, this kind of puerile jab is all too frequent among the town’s elected leaders.

  •    East Hampton Village appears to be getting serious about new rules for dogs on its ocean beaches. This difficult undertaking is, unfortunately, overdue as previous efforts, both by officials and dog lovers, have proven inadequate. Strong feelings are likely to meet any plan to tighten regulations, but as the use of the beaches increases, how they are used and by what species must be reconsidered.

  •    Finally someone in authority, in this case, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, is talking sense about rebuilding storm-damaged properties in New York City and on Long Island. In a meeting in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Gov. Cuomo outlined his idea that as much as $400 million of Hurricane Sandy federal aid be set aside for buying flood-zone houses made unlivable, knocking them down, and leaving the properties vacant. The concept is a welcome antidote to the rebuild-at-any-cost approach, and, if carried through, would save money — and lives.

  •    Pretty much everyone who follows such things has noticed by now the starkly uneven way East Hampton Town’s building and zoning laws are applied, particularly when it comes to Montauk. How you are treated apparently depends on who you know — and how deep your pockets are. And right now there is probably no sharper contrast than that involving the Beach House hotel-slash-club and the Montauk Brewing Company.

  •    In years past, it was the Town of East Hampton that led the way among local governments in providing affordable, or so-called work-force, housing for its residents. Now East Hampton Village is finding a way to inch into this role. The first step, though it appears minor, could actually be significant over time and make a meaningful addition to the stock of reasonably priced rental apartments in the village.

  •    The South Fork’s “mutual aid” system, in which the various local ambulance services back one another up in the event that a squad cannot be mobilized, was called into question recently after a 97-year-old man injured in a fall waited for more than 20 minutes in the rain. This example is not the only time a victim has waited what seems like a long time for a ride to the hospital.

  •    The great scramble to spend will begin in earnest now, following Monday’s passage in the United States Senate of a $50.5 billion aid package for areas hit by late October’s Hurricane Sandy. The challenge is to make sure the money will be used in a sensible manner and with the long term in mind. In East Hampton and elsewhere along the coast, with pledges to rebuild houses, businesses, and infrastructure, the outlook is not good.  

  •    The Sag Harbor Zoning Board of Appeals has been asked to give approval to a controversial project at the Harbor Heights service station on Hampton Street, on the East Hampton side of the village. In a plan put forward by the property’s owner, John Leonard, the existing service station would be razed and a new, larger one — with a convenience store, roughly the functional size of the village’s 7-Eleven — would rise on the site.