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35 Comments by watermill_mike

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East Hampton teenager wants to walk with high school class

I'm unclear: The young man is of high school age. He has friends in the EH High School. His alternative education path was approved by the EH school principal and Superintendent. All he wants to do is WALK for his graduation and enjoy the pride that results in accomplishing one of the major milestones of early life.

Regardless of whether he is enrolled in EH scools or not-and without recognizing that his learning plan was approved by EH district-even if he just received a GED, what harm does allowing him to WALK for his graduation do to the other students enrolled in EH, those that are graduating this year, those parents of those students, the school or the district? Absolutely none.

As far as the adults taking a GED - why can't they walk as well? Perhaps being invited to a senior prom or banquet for them is not appropriate, but in my opinion, success is success at any level and any age. Contrary to what Dr. Gualtieri believes, I think it sets a great precedent that no matter your age or where on the learning curve you perform, if you complete the course or equivalency requirements in a calendar year and you live in the district, you should walk for graduation with those that did the same.

I'm surprised these two educators have such an obtuse view of their district and what the definition of a "graduate" is." Apr 21, 10 5:37 PM

Four rescued after seaplane accident in Little Peconic Bay

Newsday is reporting it was a seaplane that hit a rock in the water upon landing and that the pilot and passengers are safe. Seatow was called to help remove the plane.
http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/cops-seaplane-crashes-into-peconic-bay-1.2031226" Jun 17, 10 4:49 PM

McGintee to sue Town of East Hampton

Not knowing how insurance on the government level works, would the Town of EH's liability policy premium in the coming year or years be increased as a result of a higher dollar amount of claims and payouts? If so, then this claim could ultimately cost taxpayers more in the future, no?" Aug 5, 10 10:53 AM

Altschuler balks; debate with Bishop canceled

Regardless of your political bent, we can likely all agree that an electorate that is familiar with the candidates and the issues that they support is better than an ignorant electorate, unsure of the issues that each candiate supports. I've sifted through the various political ads of Bishop and Altschuler, both of which are ridiculously slanted in each's favor (as is the expected nature of political ads). As part of our democracy, it is imperative for all candidates for office to debate the issues of the day and express their positions on the issues without the filter of a publicist and marketing firm and over-spun radio and TV ads... to be continued on November 2nd." Oct 12, 10 10:18 PM

LIPA Scrambles To Repair Massive Power Outages

Underground lines are susceptible to water, ground movement and it can lead to electricity arcing and melting cable. Seeping water is a huge problem and can causes outtages with heavy rains, not just the occasional wind or downed pole. We might have more outtages, not less. And it might take longer to find and repair the outtage, not less. The lines are also susceptible to corrosion. They are easily cut when work is done i.e. by a backhoe. Overhead lines are easier to fix, but more affected by a tree or a car hitting a pole. Underground lines are harder to fix but easier to maintain. The maintenance savings would lead to layoffs and cutting jobs for tens of thousands of workers. The initial investment is very large as well. However, it's also harder to install these lines because you'd have to dig up streets, sidewalks and that house you want to build would run you $100k to connect power to instead of just tapping into an overhead line. Underground lines do not transmit electricity as efficiently as overhead cables and would result in higher costs for most all of us because the power company cannot allocate that lost electric to a single household. Upgrades in technology, i.e. cable, fiber, etc., are easily deployed on poles rather than through digging trenches. Think how much Cable and Telco would cost if Verizon and Cable had to dig into trenches along streets instead of just hanging wire over rented pole from the electric companies. Finally, the major cities had lines buried a long time ago for significant investment and they were able to build UP as skyscrapers which made the value proposition worth it and made delivery in an urban setting easier. You don't want that same value proposition here becuase you don't want skyscrapers along the entire highway! On a personal note, I lost power from Sunday 9:30 AM until about 3 hours ago. We hung out, talked, used a small generator for some lights, lost all our fridge contents (and realized that we ALL probably have too much food in our homes) and we cooked on a gas stove or got take-out from local restaurants. We enjoyed some board games and I left work at work and managed to get my news from the newspaper in the AM. (Yes, it's bad for those that lost a weekend of Hamptons retail and I'm sorry about that.) However, if you cannot bear to live like I described once every 15 years for a few days, perhaps buried cables are not really the issue :)" Aug 30, 11 9:21 PM

As rough as it is to lose power, the organization is also called LIPA - as in Long Island. It's not called Hamptons Power Authority. So while there are about 20,000 customers from Riverhead to Montauk and Riverhead to Orient without power, that's about 10% of the 189,000 without power over ALL of Long Island. There's many without power out there. There are crews working and LIPA certainly wants you back up and running ASAP... after all, they can't bill you for anything if you aren't using their power. You are more valuable with a running meter pumping up that AC, keeping that fridge cool and filtering your pool than sitting there in the dark. (source: http://lipower.org/outages.html And no, I don't work for LIPA) I've lived through Gloria and Bob and each power loss is an inconvenience so I know if you are without power you are frustrated and annoyed." Aug 31, 11 1:01 PM

If the meter is not spinning, your actual KWH usage decreases. Essentially, it will be zero usage on the days you had no power. Charges tied to the KWH are thus reduced. Your bill has Basic Service at around 30 cents per day as a fixed cost for connection to the grid. The PILOTS, Sales Taxes, and Assessments are all factors of the KWH they billed you for. The more KWH you use, the more those fees will be. Therefore, when the power goes out and you do not use power, your KWH will decrease and so will your overall bill. As far as service goes, I never said we deserve LESS service, but to demand and complain about power being out as if the Hamptons are the only place where the power is out is obtuse. There are now 16,615 people without power from Riverhead out to the two forks. For the rest of the island, there are 148,725 people without power. My point was we are not an island and if we do pay the same price as Nassau, we probably are getting the same service as they are because there is power outtages there as well. Nassau and Suffolk counties also have the 12th and 25th highest per capita income of counties nationwide." Sep 1, 11 8:26 AM

If you would like to take the median household income (wage earners 15 and up) $82,984 and divide by every man, woman and child, regardless of their ability to work, you get $35,062.

"Per capita income is the mean income computed for every man, woman, and child in a geographic area. It is derived by dividing the total income of all people 15 years old and over in a geographic area by the total population in that area. Note -- income is not collected for people under 15 years old even though those people are included in the denominator of per capita income." http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/meta/long_IPE010209.htm

Instead of "median income" I should have inserted "household" in the middle so it wasn't assumed I was including the non-working toddler and tween population. Sorry about that Z." Sep 3, 11 7:35 AM

One Injured In Water Mill Fourth Of July Rollover

No alcohol was involved, especially on route to the parade at 10AM. Sometimes accidents really do happen without any chemical influences. Albeit, I totally understand your comment with all the crazy drunks on the road and with the news' endless coverage of DWI and drugs in our community!! It's sad, but when I see crashes, I think DWI/drugs too, almost automatically. I just happen to know this case is not that." Jul 4, 12 5:53 PM

UPDATE: Services Set For Keith Greene; Funeral On Monday Morning

I had art class with him at SH High. He was a wild guy in his teens, some would say pretty out there, but he was always in a great mood, nice, fun loving and none of his actions had any hint of affectation. His spirit of kindness was always genuine and he was a real talent. I remember him wearing bowling shoes in class as well, just an example of his individuality. We all got a kick out of his antics, listening to Beastie Boys while drawing, and driving Ms. Altomare (art teacher) nuts! But you couldn't deny the talent. I'm sure the message board will blow up with memories - What a great guy who never forgot to enjoy life with a smile and a laugh and a kind, easy-going manner, and always said "Hi" even after not seeing him for 10 years. RIP Keith. My thoughts are with you and your family." Aug 15, 12 6:16 PM

One Injured When Car Crashes Through Dinosaurs In Southampton

And all this time I thought it was that asteroid that took out the dinosaurs." Jun 18, 13 6:19 PM

UPDATE: Jay Sears Pleads Guilty In Federal Court On Monday

Legislatures make laws. In this case, child porn is also defined as taking children's faces and placing them on adult bodies to fashion pseudo-child porn, whether you agree with it or not. We agree to those laws by electing the legislators and living in this society. If you don't agree with the law, you can change it. While in your home you might have privacy, by our modern-day standards, we still generally feel that behavior is sick. We might say things like, "the guy clearly needs help." Saying things like that are our way of saying, "that's not acceptable behavior at all." If that behavior had stayed in the home, despite it being disgusting to most of us, probably no one would have known about it. But based upon our modern-day standards and behaviorial tolerances, we as a society believe that behavior is not acceptable by our fellow citizens and must be dealt with when brought to light. That's why we have the law. So, I'm unsure how Amendment 1 which allows for free expression of speech applies - this "speech" is illegal and not protected. You can't be free to yell "fire" in a crowded theater, but you can yell what you want inside the 4 walls of your home as long as others are not endangered/injured. Amendment 4 allows persons to be free from illegal searches and seizures. These non-protected and illegal images were disposed of in a public trash where they could be found by anyone (and were). No one entered Sears' home, car, or opened an investigation prior to these images being found. But they were found and images of his face were also included among the offending images. Had the images been of 20-something females and males, this might just be public lewdness or indecency, i.e. an offense "against public sensibilities". But it was not. An investigation was done, determined the images were Sears' and he was arrested and charged. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. But he likely believed these images were neither harmful nor illegal. Nontheless, if you were a parent of one of those girls whose 10 year old face was taped onto an adult female body, I'm sure you would want this guy to never see the light of day again. Unfortunately (or fortunately) for Sears, he broke a law our legislature enacted and then the federal judge appointed by another elected official (the President) will use mitigating versus aggravating factors to determine how much of the 10 year sentence he will get." Sep 10, 13 7:54 AM

Success Of Traffic Calming on Noyac Road Remains To Be Seen, Business Owners Say

It's kind of fun. Drivers now get to drive against wrong way arrows into Cromer's, cross over double yellows at the Bay Ave turn to quickly sprint into the Whalebone, fly through the parking lot at 40mph after missing the turn off and stop sign, and in winter, they'll be able to skid into an oncoming lane whilst driving East attempting to navigate the tight turn and slipping on ice or snow. The next thing that will happen is that plane will land there instead of on 27 because it just looked enough like a runway to justify the attempt. Is there an annual award for most confusing combination of traffic patterns in the smallest possible area? I nominate this! Really, they should've put two rows of parking surrounded by curbing in the cleared area where the poles were, left the Cromer's lot alone and put speed bumps and large cross-walks in the area to slow the speed demons and jake breakers from barreling through that area. Probably would've cost $30k and been done in a week." Aug 15, 14 8:35 AM

One Killed, Three Injured In Head-On Crash Thursday Afternoon In Flanders

It seems in most these dwi/dwai cases - far, far too many - they upgrade the charges at a later hearing. Condolences to the families involved. So sad." Jul 10, 15 11:35 AM

Two Workers At Day Care Center Charged Friday With Child Endangerment

Reading this just makes you want to get home early from work to hug your kids a few more times." Sep 1, 15 5:25 PM

Southampton School District To Hold Community Forums On Purchase Of New District Office

I previously read this property kicks out $300k in annual rent revenue and they felt that would "adjust" the property down to 6.5 million - but it doesn't really work like that. CAP rates are rates of return on commercial property. You take lease PROFIT (not revenue) and divide by the purchase price. Buyers want to buy a high cap rate (10%) and sellers want to sell a low cap rate (3%). Even if $300k is pure NOI, the CAP rate would be about 4%. Think of a CAP rate like your rate of return on investment. And you never reduce the property's "perceived cost" by the revenue on the building. So if the real profit is $100k from that $300k revenue, that CAP rate would be 1.32%!! It's atrocious. Would you buy any other real property that gave you a 1-2% return on investment? You could add the costs saved by not using the old district office trailers and determine a new CAP rate, but it likely would not be more than a 2% bump. Just because you have the money doesn't mean you need to spend the money! You already own a building down the road. So for a minimal build-out investment (probably $150,000), you can pull up shop and move to another building. You save $7.6 million for another time and purpose. The real problem is when you don't actually have to work to earn that $7.6 million and it comes from all the tax payers through votes and bonds, you have zero accountability. It's the "lottery winner" syndrome. You have a bunch of idiots who know nothing about commercial real estate (and really just don't want to drive 15 minutes back and forth to the school because they need to be closer) basically agreeing to pay an inflated price for that real estate. And YES, I do pay taxes in Southampton." Mar 10, 16 9:10 AM

I'm glad then that they are spending 7.6 million in a non-speculative way then. The bottom line is it costs about $150/sq/ft to build a concrete and steel office building. 300 Hampton Rd is 12,000 sq. ft. A 12 sq/ft building would be about $1.8 million to build. There is land available elsewhere in the town (commercially available) that is $2-3 million to accommodate that size building. Personally, I don't see why they want to waste $2.8 million to "get in today". They also have their $700,000 building on Majors Path. Regardless of your feeling about my comment, something does not smell right. Why are they hankering to spend this money? If they can build custom in less than a year, is the $2.8 million they are over-paying worth it? And if they are not speculating on a return, then why bring up the "tenant revenue" in the first place as a rationalization on why they think the property is a good value. Someone is getting hosed here and the devil is probably in the details. One has to ask - build custom and save $2.8m, use Majors Path and save $7.4m, buy other commercial properties in the area and also save, or rent... seems strange that I haven't seen any detailed arguments FOR this purchase. Just a comment that the money was earmarked and that's what it's been for all along. Aside from proximity to the school, what are the reasons?
" Mar 10, 16 3:38 PM

UPDATE: Farina Denies Rumored Allegations Regarding Explicit Photo

He could have a career in commercial real estate after he and the board agree on the mutual separation as they usually do in these cases. Hopefully the parents of today's kids just entering school restore some sanity and teach their kids of the dangers of exposing everything and anything just to get a Like or a re-Tweet. In the past, people took Polaroids and they ended up in a shredder or burned after a break-up rather than texted all over the place. Privacy is one of the most sacred rights we have and people just give it no bother. I guess if you don't fight for something to earn it it's not as valued." Mar 18, 16 9:42 AM

UPDATE: Farina Will Receive Nearly $300,000 After Resigning From Superintendent Position

I assume that any lawyer who negotiated this separation agreement and payout between the district and Farina has a mutual NDA in place and none of this will see the light of day, FOIL or not." Apr 29, 16 9:47 AM

Pierson PTA And PTSA Make A Statement About Turf Field Proposal

We all played on grass as kids out here. Never got MSRA, twisted an ankle from the unforgiving ground, got skin burns from the turf, or was exposed to lead, zinc, other other chemicals. Did get a lot of grass stains, but those generally came out in the wash." Dec 2, 16 3:19 PM

Westhampton Beach Board Of Education Unanimously Votes To Get Rid Of Class Rank

I went to a school with no class rank. You still knew who the smartest kids in the school were." Oct 18, 17 11:00 AM

Foreign - I have no idea if having a class rank would've helped me or not. In my case, maybe knowing where I stood would have helped encourage me to work harder. If I worked harder on my studies, I might not have pursued other interests which grew into my profession. Or maybe being ranked might have exacerbated feelings of insecurity all teens get from time to time. Maybe a mix of all three. Rank or not, strong and compassionate parenting and teacher support and guidance is needed in all those cases, especially with a teenager, to help them navigate pre-adulthood." Oct 18, 17 4:30 PM

AT&T Sues East Hampton Town Over Denial Of Cellular Antenna On Iacono Farm Wind Turbine

"...town planners said that putting a new tower at the town-owned former brush dump on Bull Path would allow the antennas higher placement and fill the service gap better than the Iacono tower would..."

Seems the town just wants the money from the antenna lease instead of the private landowner." Feb 6, 18 4:22 PM

UPDATE: Police Offer No Leads In Thursday's County Road 39 Fatality

I'd love to see all the teachers, doctors, lawyers, retail clerks, restaurant staff, office workers, insurance brokers, plumbers, electricians, and trades (not responsible for carrying a ladder or other heavy equipment) all riding their road bikes on Sunrise Highway from points 50-80 miles West of the Hamptons on their way in. lol" Apr 5, 18 8:54 AM

UPDATE: East Hampton Boys Tennis Wins Protest, Second Doubles Match To Resume Monday

There wasn't this level of acrimony in the 1990s in local high school sports. Kids just played and had fun competing against each other without the interference of the "adults". Sad sign of the times." Apr 17, 18 1:29 PM

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