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  • Here’s hoping that the free shuttle bus set to begin in Montauk next week with $100,000 in state funding finds enough riders to justify its operation. Acting on concerns about traffic and complaints about fare gouging by some taxi drivers, East Hampton officials have announced that the Hampton Hopper will operate a route that includes stops at the Montauk railroad station, the docks, Hither Hills State Park, and the downtown business area.
  • Early morning. The sun just up. The heat warming the pavement. A box turtle, drawn by the warmth or going from one place to another, creeps forward and settles on the center line as a hurtling truck approaches.
  • East Hampton Village residents will be asked Tuesday to select either Philip O’Connell or Arthur Graham as a trustee or member of the village board. The winner will face re-election in 2018. In recent interviews, the candidates differed little about how the village should be run, so making an endorsement is tricky, as it comes down to intangibles more than any one thing.
  • Lost amid all the attention to Russia’s election meddling is the fact that the Trump administration is considering reducing the number and scale of the national monuments across the country as well as 55 million acres of Atlantic seabed off the East Coast. Separately, a suit by a coalition of fishing organizations challenging the Obama decision to create the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument is making its way toward trial. If the Trump administration eliminates the seamount monument, their suit would become moot.
  • With the assistance of hired consultants, East Hampton officials are taking one of their periodic looks at aspects of how the town is regulated and how they might balance growth and residents’ needs in the future. Changes certainly are necessary, but whether the process embodied in the current set of so-called hamlet studies will be adequate remains to be seen.
  • The funny thing about Memorial Day’s being considered the beginning of summer is that it is not really the beginning of anything, at least not as far as the weather goes. The calendar tells us almost a month of spring is yet to come by the time the big weekend crowds arrive and the season plays along, frustrating those who would want the weather to behave otherwise.
  • A Montauker of our acquaintance told us this week about a low point in her Memorial Day weekend. “I made the mistake of going into town at 1 on Saturday,” she said. “How was it?” we asked. “Hell,” she said.
  • The East Hampton Chamber of Commerce’s first street fair, held on May 20 on Newtown Lane, was, by most accounts, a great success.
  • A story in The Star last week about the Montauk Observatory got us thinking about the number of opportunities here for getting in touch with nature. The observatory, now about to be operational at the Ross School in East Hampton, offers the farthest reach: a powerful telescope that can be booked remotely to view distant celestial objects over the internet.
  • Truer words about global warming and sea level rise have rarely, if ever, been uttered in connection with what East Hampton Town government is facing: “Literally, the shape of our town is going to change. We’re better off having a plan.” The speaker was Jeremy Samuelson, who is leading a new effort to come to grips with what lies ahead. What lies ahead looks bad. According to New York State’s most conservative estimate, the bays and oceans will rise by 1.3 feet by 2050. This is enough for Napeague Harbor to expand to Route 27, for example, potentially cutting off Montauk and leading to significant questions about how to replace inundated infrastructure. What will remain of high land along Gerard Drive at Accabonac Harbor would be a pair of islands. Erosion nearly everywhere along the beaches will only further exacerbate the tension between protecting private properties with bulkheads and the inevitable loss of public beaches that would result. So far, the coastal policies of governm