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  • It may be a minor matter in the scheme of things, but the continued apparent refusal of the East Hampton Town Ordinance Enforcement Department — and by extension, the town board — to address even simple code violations sends a message, intentionally or not, that as long as what you do is in the interest of making money, the powers-that-be will look the other way.

  • As the summer season and all of its frustrations arrive in earnest, it is worth pausing to reflect that much of what residents might find offensive are the consequences of our own, collective decisions.

    Behind all the traffic, aircraft noise, crowded beaches, environmental degradation, and even the offensive new PSEG utility poles, lies an inescapable reality: The South Fork in general and East Hampton in particular has grown beyond its infrastructure, government, and natural systems’ ability to cope with human demands.

  • That the Bridgehampton School District’s proposed budget for the next academic year was defeated last month even though 54 percent of voters approved piercing the state cap on increases in the tax levy doesn’t tell the whole story — the numbers do. The district supports a relatively small school, with only 166 students enrolled this year, from prekindergarten through high school, and would have a $12.3 million spending plan for next year if approved in Tuesday’s revote.

  • Historically, the New York State Department of Transportation has not been a model for managing construction projects in this region. When it comes to traffic and transportation, it has been assumed that South Fork municipalities best understand the unique ebb and flow of traffic that defines the area. In the case of recent roadwork by the Southampton Town, however, that assumption has proven wrong.

  • When the numbers are laid out, they are stark: This year, between Thursday, May 22, and Memorial Day, a four-day span, there were 475 complaints about noise coming from aircraft using East Hampton Airport. This was nearly double the number recorded during the same period the previous year and, just as significant, the calls came from more than twice the households as in 2013. East Hampton Town officials clearly have a noise crisis on their hands.

  • A citizens group that advises the Southampton Town Board on matters concerning the hamlet of Bridgehampton has mobilized to fight a new CVS pharmacy at the intersection of Main Street and the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike. Southampton Town Planning Board review may delay what appears inevitable, but from our perspective the property is a perfect candidate for public acquisition using money from the  Community Preservation Fund.

  • East Hampton Town officials were on the right track last week when they denied a last-minute request for a permit from the operator of an annual for-profit bicycle ride to Montauk. Unfortunately, with as many as 1,500 participants already having paid up to $300 apiece, officials had little choice but to reach a settlement and allow the ride to go on.

  • Not to sound ungrateful, but we are hardly alone in thinking that there are some 14 long weeks before we get our town back. An Amagansett innkeeper of our acquaintance said that the weekend just past was the strangest he had seen in more than three decades in business. In Montauk by Saturday noon, there were scores of people drinking on the upper deck at one of the more notorious bars. Traffic was terrible — and dangerous.

  • The East Hampton Town Republican Committee has come up with an idea worth considering about the Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund, the 2-percent tax on a portion of most real estate sales that is used by the East End towns to buy farmland, other open space, and historic properties. The committee has suggested adjusting upward the preservation fund thresholds to make it easier for homebuyers shopping at the lower end of the spectrum to close deals.

  • Make no mistake, a significant change in East Hampton Airport policy appears in the offing. After years of confrontation, pilots groups and anti-noise activists are talking to one another at last, with a sense of purpose and optimism about the future.