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  •     A recent East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals decision to allow the former East Deck Motel in Montauk to be buffered from the Atlantic by a 20-foot-high man-made dune appeared to sidestep several key questions — notably whether the project had adequate scrutiny and whether it might jeopardize the public use of the beach. The work was pitched as a restoration, but on closer look, it is far more than that and points to inadequacies in the law, which would affect how the town deals with such requests in the future.

  •     East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell expressed the feelings of many residents this week when he sent a strongly worded letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo objecting to PSEG Long Island’s ongoing project to run new, high-voltage power lines between East Hampton and Amagansett. We applaud his effort and hope that he is joined by others, such as State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle and Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., in calling for a different approach.

  •     East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell has begun working with a number of other officials on revising the town’s gatherings law, with an eye toward controlling the burgeoning nightlife scene in Montauk. Meanwhile, a committee asked to study taxicab operations, including rabid price-gouging, has been revitalized. The work is long overdue, and but part of what it will take to make the easternmost hamlet a little less of a no-holds-barred party destination for summer 2014.

  •     There is some good news on the environment for eastern Long Island and some that’s not so good. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said recently that water quality was now his administration’s top priority. In East Hampton, Democrats listed groundwater and the areas’s bays and harbors among their key platform planks last year. Yet the State of New York, despite a projected budget surplus in the coming fiscal year, appears poised to cut environmental funding.

  •     Forget about the ice, the snow, the wind, and all that this winter. No: The real problem with winter 2014 is the potholes.
               
        Montauk Highway, which bears the bulk of this area’s traffic, is the worst of it. Deep pits lie in wait for tires and rims. Many offer a telltale clue: striped lines a layer down suggesting that the last time the road was paved something wasn’t done quite right.

  •     The nice old house and outbuildings at 208 Montauk Highway in Amagansett had been for sale for quite a while with no buyer emerging when the owner approached East Hampton Town Hall for help. The result is a hearing at East Hampton Town Hall tonight on a zone change that just might hasten a closing. But the request, to go from a residential designation with a limited-business overlay within the Amagansett Historic District to full-on commercial, should be rejected.

  •     The apparent collapse here of planned participation in a deer reduction plan backed by the Long Island Farm Bureau should not go unremarked.

  •     If there is one piece of advice that is more routinely ignored than any other, it is this: When public officials say residents should stay off the roads because of snow and ice, far too many figure that applies to someone else and head out anyway.

  •     For those concerned about sustainable energy, the news recently out of East Hampton Town Hall is a nice surprise. Officials and three private companies are racing to put together a proposal to be presented to the state Public Service Electric and Gas Company, PSEG Long Island, for large-scale solar installations at town-owned sites. Taken together, the project could produce on the order of 40 megawatts of electricity, enough to power as many as 8,000 houses.

  •     It may be difficult for the powers-that-be in East Hampton Town Hall to recall in the depths of freezing winter the taxi mayhem of the past several high seasons. But time is a-wasting if something is to be done to bring the situation under control by summer. Complicating matters is the fact that meaningful regulation will require inter-government cooperation, including that of Suffolk County.