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  • Intuition could have told us what East Hampton Town's comprehensive open space plan finally put into words last year: We have entered what may well be the "final chapter" in the town's long history of land preservation.

    At the rate vacant property is being subdivided and, as it is called, "improved" in East Hampton, "it is reasonable to expect that all major tracts of land will be committed to one particular land use or another within the decade," the plan states.

  •    During a meeting of the East Hampton Village Board last week, two members of the public spoke of the dangers that the continuing increase in automobile and truck traffic poses to pedestrians and bicyclists. Among other things, they suggested that bike lanes were needed. Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. told them to take their ideas to Village Police Chief Gerard Larsen. This is something that should be explored, but it will take more than a knowledgeable law enforcement officer to figure out how to solve Main Street’s problems.

  •    A proposal unveiled last week for an 89-unit housing complex in Amagansett for the well-off 55-and-older set is — there’s no other word for it — audacious. And, once you get past the shock factor, it has to rank among the just plain most-unwelcome and ill-conceived notions to come down the pike in a long time.

  •    The take-away from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposal to toughen the state’s public-official corruption law, announced yesterday, is that things must be really bad in the Albany halls of power these days.
        If the legislation outlined this week eventually passes the Legislature as the governor envisions, it would expand the definition of bribery to make the “intent” to influence an official or, conversely, an official’s willingness to be influenced, a felony, provided the value of the bribe was in excess of $5,000. Under

  •    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.