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  • By any measure, a report that at least two East Hampton Town employees may have been sickened after being exposed to fumes from spray-foam insulation barrels they were ordered to prepare for reuse as trash cans is bizarre. Both the worker who blew the whistle and the town safety official who shut it down deserve credit. But this risky, and probably illegal, practice has been going on for years, which suggests that far more oversight of some town departments is necessary.
  • We were surprised to read recently that New York City prohibits rentals of fewer than 30 days. This is in an effort to keep apartments from being turned into de facto hotels and to protect the interests of neighbors and neighborhoods. Contrast that with East Hampton Town’s confusing regulations, which allow four sub-two-week rentals a year, provided that only two are in the same six-month period and that they are registered with the town clerk’s office.
  • President Trump’s attack on the Obama-era Clean Power Plan should be taken very seriously on the East End. Long Island’s hundreds of miles of bay and ocean shoreline are highly vulnerable to the increased erosion and worsened storms associated with global warming. Walking away from efforts to protect future generations, as well as the natural environment, is shortsighted, to put it mildly.
  • New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced a new, $70 million rebate program this week aimed at getting more electric vehicles on the roads. This is an important step, especially in light of hostility from the Trump administration to rational efforts to protect the global environment and fight climate change, though dollars and cents play a role as well.
  • A fourth-grade initiative at the Montauk School to stop the use of plastic straws there and in the community is worth paying attention to — and bears a lesson for how we should think about our relationship to the environment.
  • East Hampton Village should have just said no to a smoke-and-mirrors request from representatives of Ronald Perelman, the owner of the Creeks estate on Georgica Pond, at the outset. Mr. Perelman seeks a new zoning classification created for him alone specifically to legalize illegally built structures there. Instead, though skeptical, board members are taking time to consider the proposal. They should not have been so polite.
  • What ever happened to wait-and-see? State, Suffolk, and local governments announced closings in advance of a winter storm that was supposed to cover the region on Tuesday.
  • For eastern Long Island, a White House budget item that would cut funding for the Coast Guard should be cause for alarm. Fortunately, opposition from members of Congress is bipartisan and loud.
  • President Trump, who owns a handgun and has a New York State permit to carry it hidden, has killed a rule that President Obama put in place before leaving office that would have limited access to guns by some of the more than 70,000 mentally ill who receive full disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. The Obama measure was opposed by both the National Rifle Association and the American Civil Liberties Union, an apparent anomaly that points to the possibility, however far-fetched, that strict gun control could become a nonpartisan effort, as it should.
  • Government does some things well and there are some things best left to private contractors. The East Hampton Town Trustees are thinking about buying and operating a dredge to keep East Hampton’s harbor entrances navigable. This is one job better left to the professionals.