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.
As the United States involvement in Afghanistan winds down, and in the aftermath of the protracted occupation of Iraq, it is as meaningful as ever for Americans to reflect on the contributions of those who wear this country’s uniforms. Monday’s East Hampton parade will stop traffic on Main Street for a brief time, the temporary silence a tribute in a small way to those who never made it home. This year, too, we will think of three men, two who were killed in combat and one who, though not veteran, touched the lives of many who were.
There was not much the Town of East Hampton could do other than reluctantly say yes when a Showtime television production company recently sought a permit for a week or so of taping for episodes of “The Affair” at the end of the month. This is despite conditions that many residents described as intolerable when the series’ pilot was filmed in Beach Hampton in September. Back for more, the company is to tape scenes in five locations in Montauk and at the Lobster Roll restaurant on Napeague through June 4.
With annual school votes on Tuesday, the nearly complete lack of public controversy is striking, especially as two districts are seeking 60-percent support for budgets that will increase the amount brought in by taxes by more than a state-mandated cap. Notable as well is the absence of competitive races for school boards.
The juxtaposition between old East Hampton and new could not have been made more stark than the recent news, first reported in the New York Post, that a hedge fund manager had paid $147 million for a verdant 16-acre ocean-view property off Further Lane in East Hampton Village. While the supposed sum Barry Rosenstein agreed to pay for the three lots in the estate of the former owner was stunning in and of itself and a record for residential property, that two 18th-century Dominy family workshops remain there adds a significant twist.
Although it may seem coincidental that May is Mental Health Month and also the time when New York voters are asked to approve school budgets for the coming academic year, the link between mental illness and school safety is becoming increasingly clear. Unfortunately, school administrators and boards have been slow to catch up, opting for big-ticket expenditures on hardening buildings against the extremely rare chance of an armed attacker and failing to also expand counseling, on-campus therapy, and other programs.
The United States made it official this week in a report that linked global warming primarily to human activity. For every American, a heating planet is reason for concern. Here on the South Fork, where a rising sea level linked to the climate heating up is a real and present danger, concern should be heightened.