The tidal wave of money from the Shinnecock Indian casino will overwhelm democracy in Southampton Town just as has the tidal wave of income from housing contractors. If you think that no one in town hall cares about you now, wait until billions of dollars in Indian/casino manager/casino investor loot is available to these pragmatically corruptible folks. There will be only three categories of residents in the Town: Predator, Prey, and In The Way.
The Casino will be located further west on the island only over the battered, bloodied bodies of the Supervisors. They are already calculating how their unique advisory position would make them invaluable to casino and ancillary development." May 28, 09 10:54 PM
The Southampton Board of Supervisors has ALWAYS been the creature of the town building contractors. A majority of the board and, frequently, ALL of the board has profited immensely from new home development. I remember years ago when a nascent Southampton Party ran a candidate for supervisor whom many believed to be a shoe-in. She lost by a substantial margin. The building contractors had conducted a quiet word of mouth campaign to convince voters that her election would threaten their prosperity. Naturally, the elected official was in the building trades. Before that, I attended a homeowners meeting and sat next to Martin Lang, who was than President of the Board of Supervisors, in the audience. The meeting was called to protest a tax reassessment widely believed to have been caused by the housing boom. As one speaker after another arose to complain about the congestion and rising public expense, Mr. Lang said under his voice, "They don't understand. If construction goes down, everything goes down." Mr. Lang was in the building trades.
It is foolish to expect supervisors to vote against their bread-and-butter. Most genuinely believe that a robust construction industry is vital to the health of the
East End, and it shows iin their votes. (They ARE able to posture by voting against proposals in which they have no interest.) Rather than create an entirely new public entity, why not require that those officials who decide building permits must not be in the home building/selling industry themselves, nor have any family members whose income is derived from that industry.
" Jul 17, 09 11:39 PM
So, there is no reason to expand the E.Quogue elementary school other than that some students must go to a classroom during recess? Moreover, the elementary school population will decline over the next few years.
Under these circumstances, would the parent who wants to increase the size of the school still advocate it if she were payng more than a nickle on the dollar for it." Jul 18, 09 2:14 AM
There are more lawyers per square foot in Westhampton Beach than any other place in the country besides lower Manhattan. The Chief was insane to work without a contract for five years for these people. He should have expected them to try to screw him out of some money due him in the contract he did sign. That's just s.o.p." Jul 19, 09 8:08 PM
Questions: What is a, "liquid petroleum tank"? Is that different from a gas can?
If the gas was stored outside the cottage, why was the explosion inside?
Is the description of the force of the explosion meant to imply an
explosive vapor more potent than gasoline, perhaps, "ether"?
Was this a meth lab?" Jul 21, 09 1:59 PM
Commonly called, "propane", and NOT liquid petroleum. LPG is the gas that is found along with petroleum and that is pressurized to liquefaction. It was the reporter's description that led me to ask those questions. Last time I checked, I was no more retarted (sic) than usual." Jul 21, 09 5:52 PM
While the article is silent, I think that the cause of Empire's refusal is that the outcomes of procedures in the East End Health Alliance is substantially worse than those is larger hospitals further west on the island. Inefficient care adds cost to a procedure. I assume that Blue Cross has analyzed the cost per diagnostic related group of the East End Health Alliance and determined that the lower reimbursement rate that they offer them equals the higher rate they offer more efficient hospitals whose results are swifter and cheaper.
It wouldn't be a bad idea at all for the East End Health Alliance to offer nothing but Emergency Care. Patients who arrive is peril of their lives could be stabilized and flown west to major hospitals such as SUNY Stony Brook that have the physical resources and medical talent to treat them properly. Only in the mot critical cases in which the patient might not survive the flight would actual surgery be performed on the East End.
In any case, it would certainly be interesting if the reporter would have provided us with Blue Cross's justification for paying lower reimbursement rate to validate or disprove my theory." Jul 22, 09 3:06 AM
Is Blue Cross offering the Alliance the same reimbursement rate that it offers other hospitals further west on the island? If so, and if the Alliance cannot make a profit at that rate, it is probably due to the smallness of the three hospitals in the Alliance and the consequent higher overhead.
It is time for the state and federal governments to take charge and plan a single, regional hospital to take the place of the three current ones. As a long time resident of the East End, my opinion based on experience with Central Suffolk and Southampton is that the former is third rate and the latter second rate. I have never been in Eastern Long Island hospital in Greenport.
A new, state-of-the-art hospital would provide locals with hospital services they can only get now if they go to Stony Brook. Most locals are wise enough to limit their treatment at the hands of the Alliance to trivial matters. Anything of importance requires a road trip to Stony Brook, (at least), or further, Manhattan.
Riverhead would be the obvious choice for the new regional medical center." Jul 28, 09 7:25 PM
What we will get, nationally, is universal health INSURANCE, since treating health care like a claim on a policy insures that all the piggies keep both front trotters in the trough. Insurance is a synonym for OVERHEAD. If the national government is paying everyone's medical bills, we don't need insurance. When the National Highway Defense Act was passed in the Eisenhower Administration creating our system of interstate highways, it wasn't styled the National Highway Defense INSURANCE Act.
What is required is private, competing regional group managers who will be paid by the government according to how they perform on the basis of various indicators of public health. The overhead will be the profit that they make from the payment but, since they will be competing with other managers, it will have to be reasonable.
Health INSURANCE will generate Amazon Forests of paperwork as every niggling widget, wiggle, and dance step is accounted for and allocated a fee. However, everyone in the INSURANCE industry will keep his job and doctors will still be guaranteed enormous incomes.
And why worry? Taxes will pay for everything. We may need a few more though." Jul 30, 09 9:25 PM
Parisienes were aghast when the Eiffel Tower was first erected. But, in time, it became the beloved symbol of their city internationally. I suggest that the people of Water Mill and Omnipotent Communications collaborate to erect a tower that will be a cynosure for the entire East End. One pictures an enormous seventy-seven foot tall sunflower with verdant green foliage and a twelve foot diameter yellow flower that follows the sun from dawn to dusk. But this is only one idea. I am sure that creative Water Mill residents can think of others equally captivating." Jul 30, 09 10:09 PM
Good Old Harold. I can't think of another resident who better exemplifies all of the best qualities of East Enders." Jul 30, 09 10:17 PM
This is a phenomenon upon which to construct a new paradigm of health care for the East End. The Alliance will, according to the article, continue to provide care for Empire BC insureds in emergency cases. Thereafter, one assumes, they will be transported to a hospital further west for continued, non-emergency care.
Why not make this system permanent? Downscale the three Alliance hospitals so that they are just emergency trauma centers and build a modern regional medical center for the East End to handle all the non-emergency cases, and to receive stabilized patients from the three East End emergency clinics.
Thus, East End residents could receive quality care for serious illnesses without traveling to destinations that are hours away from their homes." Aug 1, 09 11:06 PM
For our elucidation, Alliance could publish the reimbursement rate that it is requesting for certain well-known procedures and the rate that Empire is willing to pay, together with the rate it pays Brookhaven. That would give us an idea of how far apart and how reasonable both sides are." Aug 4, 09 7:29 PM
A heartwarming story, especially when one considers that Clarissa has been planning this for six years. You could have provided more photographs of the girl. though." Aug 5, 09 3:33 PM
Well, after reading the previous comment I am in doubt as to whether Gardiner will, or will not, be in a primary.
In any case, the legal challenge misses the point to be verified, that is, did Gardiner gather enough signatures for a primary challenge, legally or illegally? Did the minimum required number of East Hampton residents, honest and true, sign the petition?
The amount of time and money spent to determine legality could have been spent going to each signatories home address and asking if he had signed.
This happens constantly in law, the public will is silenced by legal procedure. However, in election questions the courts frequently go beyond the letter of the law to determine the actual intent of the voter, (or signatory). I guess it thought that this matter was too insignificant to bother with." Aug 18, 09 3:35 PM
[Previous post, "testing - - testing", made to ascertain that this site is working since that last time I pressed, "Submit", the post simply vanished.]
Positing the existence of a legal procedure as ethical criterion for pursuing a legal remedy is silly. Yet Ms. Compolo actually states this as just cause for her legal challenge to Mr. Gardiner's petitions.
At no point has the authenticity of the signatures been challenged, nor has the status of the signatories as East Hampton residents.
So, the effect of Ms. Campolo's resort to law has been to disenfranchise, (literally, Ms. Campolo, not figuratively), 387 East Hampton residents and to deprive all Easthampton residents of a choice between Mr. Gardiner and the candidates of whom Ms. Campolo approves.
Inappropriate, unnecessary, elitist and unfriendly are the terms that first come to mind, legal or not.
" Aug 19, 09 7:48 PM
Westhampton Beach, with more lawyers per capita than any geographical area outside of Manhattan, desperately wants to eliminate the contract as the form of the Chief of Police's employment. The reasons are two-fold. The law of contract has two centuries of legal authority behind it in this country. The rights of the contracting parties have been so analyzed and explained by case law that the Chief of Police's ability to contest decisions taken by the Village Board is vastly expanded under a contract. A. "letter of agreement", is inane. Secondly, the lack of a contract greatly diminishes the Chief of Police's standing socially in the hierarchical power structure of the village. Under a contract, the Village Board can ask him to do things; under a letter of agreement, it can TELL him.
The Village Board should give him a contract. Given the nature of the Village Board, no person qualified for the job would take it without one." Aug 20, 09 3:42 PM
[Anonymity enables me to avoid personal contact with people who indulge in ad hominem attacks.]
This is farcical. Ms. Campolo couches her explanation of her legal maneuvering in universal ethical terms but the reality is that this parochial event could have gone forward without legal intervention and with no harm done to anyone’s enfranchisement, nor to the rule of law.
The indisputable fact is that, due to Ms. Campolo’s resort to law, the voters of East Hampton have one less democratic choice to make, leaving only those candidates that Ms. Campolo favors.
Contrary to Ms. Campolo's belief that, “. . . as long as there is a legal process, it should be carried out . . .”, the law should be a LAST resort, being by nature invidious. Moreover, I have never before encountered the phenomenon of someone citing the mere existence of a statute as evidence of the virtue of those who use it. (This is the notion that I earlier described as, “silly.” Ms. Campolo’s latest suggestion, [that the 387 petitioners should be grateful to her for voiding their signatures], would more aptly be described as ludicrous.)
The democratic, inclusive response to Mr. Gardiner’s petition would have been to do nothing and to let the voters of East Hampton decide his suitability.
(Parenthetically, I see that, today, in Southampton Town, another civic-minded individual has filed an objection to 925 signatures collected to put a candidate on the, “Integrity”, party line. Doubtless he is anxious to protect those signatories from the ignominy of being used illegally.)
" Aug 21, 09 6:46 PM
Dear Ms. Campolo and Ms(?). Board Watcher,
We are fortunate to have in our midst selfless citizens like yourselves who raise our consciousnesses to the evil inherent in behavior that we would otherwise view as simply partisan.
highhatsize" Aug 24, 09 10:54 PM
Line them all up in front of a wall and shoot them!
There, just wanted to get it in before somebody else responds to this silly story of bureaucratic ignorance with the solution of capital punishment." Sep 3, 09 10:55 PM
The solution to this perennial problem is to replace the three obsolete and inefficient hospitals on the East End with a regional medical center. The state and county governments should start planning for this now so that it can come to fruition within 20 years. A regional medical center that is a campus of the State University of New York would be perfect. It could tap into the well qualified pool of Residents that are attracted to first rate hospitals and ungrade the standard of care for everyone. A large, up-to-date facility serving the entire East End will be able to deliver medical services as cheaply as any other facility of the same description." Sep 8, 09 8:58 PM
ooooooooo" Sep 10, 09 8:59 PM
The cost of operations of the Southampton Town Police is exacerbated by an inefficient patroling strategy obssessed with booking DUIs. If patrons are leaving Club Neptune drunk, station a patrol car across from the parking lot exit. Few drunks will try to run the gauntlet. Most will call a cab.
Stop undercover sting operations at The Neptune Beach Club whose purpose is but to entrap people buying illegal drugs for their own use. Busting fry this small isn't worth the cost.
If there were more cops patrolling the whole of Southampton Town, rather than focusing on this club, perhaps the homicide that occurred at the Hampton Bays Diner last Memorial Day weekend might have been prevented. At least, the cops might have caught the perp before he left the scene.
(As a point of information, I have never been charged with DUI nor busted for illegal drugs.)" Sep 10, 09 10:43 PM
Dear Mr. Shaw,
Disallowing commentary on crime stories insulates police departments from criticism. Special guidelines for crime story commentary could be followed, in addition to the general ones, to avoid the problems that you mentioned above.
I come to 27east more for the commentary than the articles. The commentaries gives a richer picture of commnity weltanschuung than the simple news items. Excluding crime stories makes that picture unclear." Sep 11, 09 2:58 PM
Establishing a reading from a machine as a presumption of drunkenness is not only unfair and a violation of one’s civil rights, but, also, an invitation to police to fish motorists off the roads on the chance that they may be drunk. How often have you read in this very paper that a motorist was stopped for, “failing to maintain his lane”. That’s copspeak for, “We don’t have probable cause”. They can do this because they have a machine that will back them up in all the cases that actually result in a citation. You never hear of all the fish they have to throw back.
Drunk driving is terribly destructive but the destruction to civil liberties by police forces enabled to stop citizens on a whim is so much worse. Moreover, the obsession of the police on the East End to book DUI busts has gotten progressively worse each year since there is no restraint on their fishing. No one wants to criticize them because it would be read as approval of drunk driving.
However, the fact is that drunk driving is such an efficient bust procedurally, now that we have a machine and don’t actually have to present observed behavior as proof, that the police rely on it as an indication of their effectiveness. Almost everyone charged with DUI pleads out,(There is an attorney out here who does nothing BUT plead out DUI cases.), because of the inane, though damning, breathalyzer evidence. The cops never have to appear in court and the courts never have to try the cases. It’s a win- win for the cops and the civic treasury.
Breathalyzer readings of .08 or higher have been designated by statute as evidence of drunk driving when, in fact, they are not. Whatever it is that is measured, it isn’t one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. The ONLY proof of drunk driving that should be allowed is the observed behavior of impaired coordination on the part of the driver, however difficult that subjective perception may be to prove.
If the breathalyzer readings were removed as evidence of drunk driving, the cops would have to go back to the kind of policing that they did before they were able to shoot fish in a barrel and claim that that showed how well they were doing their jobs. The sum total of arrests would crash once the easey-peasey DUI busts were a thing of the past, but we might have fewer murders with the cops spread out over the county instead of lying in wait in packs near nightclubs.
I am glad that Ms. Kabot refused the breathalyzer. If, as one of the posters has maintained, there is video evidence of her drunk driving, that, and the cop’s testimony, should be enough. But she won’t be convicted because the display on a brainless machine read, “.08”.
Parenthetically, I have never been stopped for or tested for or arrested or convicted of drunk driving.
" Sep 12, 09 1:13 AM
Police forces ALWAYS react the same way when they are let off-leash. They push their arbitrary power to confront citizens to the limit.
That is what has happened in Southamnpton Town. (I can't say if Westhampton Beach is the same but there is usually conformity to the same code of ethics by neighboring jurisdiction.)
The cops are able to obscure their misbehavior by pointing to all the DUI busts that they have made. However, there are no statistics showing the number of citizens who have been stopped and released, as I said above. Were there, it would be obvious that the cops either stop citizens arbitrarily for drunk driving, or that they have no ability to perceive the signs of drunk driving. The latter should be a disqualification for employment; the former violates your first amendment rights.
Additionally, Southampton Town Cops use every pretext to compel innocent motorists to submit to the breathalyzer. If you have a flat tire out here and a cop comes across you, before he does anything else, he will ask, "Have you been drinking?" , rather than, "Do you need us to call a tow truck?", or, "Can we help you?"
Remember, "registration checkpoints", another subterfuge the cops use illegally to check on drivers' sobriety. (I haven't seen one of these lately, so it is possible that the court have ruled them unconstitutional, finally.)
As a result of this new power, the attitude of Southampton Town cops has changed in the decades since the enactment of the breathalyzer law. Whereas, previously, they were deferential and even friendly, they now have adopted as standard behavior the hard-nosed, domineering persona that they employ in DUI busts. If their every incident report were not a DUI, they would not habitually don the same unpleasant personality that they use in DUI busts when a citizen approaches them for help.
The goal of keeping drunk drivers off the road is laudable, but does anyone seriously believe that it is more important than maintaining your first amendment right to be free of molestation by the police?
" Sep 12, 09 5:26 PM
2) See previous post." Sep 13, 09 2:45 AM
In retrospect I should have cited the 4th Amendment rather than the 1st. I was thinking of the right to, “privacy”, which has been inferred by the Supreme Court to be guaranteed by both amendments. However, since the circumstances of drunk driving stops are so clearly covered by the language of the 4th that prohibits, “unreasonable searches and seizures”, that amendment should have been my authority.
My opinion on drunk driving stops and breathalyzer use is informed by Supreme Court Justice Brandeis’ famous dissent in, Olmstead v. U.S.:
“The protection guaranteed by the Amendments. . .conferred, as against the Government, THE RIGHT TO BE LET ALONE, (caps added), -- the most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by civilized men.”
My opposition to the use of the breathalyzer is not that the device may be inaccurate but that its measurement is irrelevant. The percentage of alcohol in one’s bloodstream is poor evidence of one’s ability to drive a car but it has been made determinative by statute for convenience. The only accurate evidence of drunk driving is the observation of a motorist while driving.
However, to speak of defects in the machine, the most glaring one is that it will show you to be drunk if you have consumed ANY alcohol near to your being tested, even if only a sip. The machine reads the alcoholic vapors still in your g.i. track. As a result, you will be subject to the indignity of being handcuffed and transported to the police station.
" Sep 13, 09 3:55 PM
Unbelievable. A little online research showed that I was wrong about the constitutionality of arbitrary sobriety checkpoints, (where cops erect a barrier on a highway and funnel all oncoming cars into a single lane to be eyeballed as they pass by slowly). The Supreme Court has found them to be constitutional. Additionally, the Court has even approved compulsory blood tests when there is probable cause!
What this means in Southampton Town is that after being pulled over for,"failing to maintain his lane", a motorist can be forced to allow the cops to draw his blood. The only reason that motorists have the privilege of refusing a breathalyzer test is that you can't MAKE somebody blow into a tube. However, you CAN take his blood against his will,, even if two or three cops have to pin him on the ground while another cop stabs him with a syringe. (I had always thought that motorists had the privilege of declining the breathalyzer because it was so intrusive.) Nevertheless, I object to blood test evidence for the same reason that I object to breathalyzer evidence.
Evidently I am out of touch with the current judicial interpretation of "unreasonable search and seizure"." Sep 13, 09 10:09 PM
Thank god. Our state legislators have not lost all sense of propriety. Here's a link to the A.P. story that ran yesterday:
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_POLICE_DUI_BLOOD?SITE=MAHYC&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT" Sep 14, 09 3:10 AM
Not much substantiation her for hate crimes being, "rampant". One murder, a beating, and a skinhead threat, since 2005. " Sep 15, 09 8:20 PM
It is hard to think of any evidence of guilt that could be more appropriate and more damning than a video recording of the erratic driving of the suspect. Were all East End police departments to equip their cars thusly, we could terminate the use of the breathalyzer and its enabling of DUI fishing." Sep 16, 09 8:09 PM
Carae, AlmPalacios, vza311