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Sag Harbor Express / Opinion / Editorials

Gold Stars and Dunce Caps

GOLD STAR To Carolyn Munaco and a group of volunteers who went out early in the morning on a cold, rainy, blustery day to save horseshoe crabs that had been trapped while spawning at a beach in Hampton Bays. High water allowed the crabs safely...

Talk Is Cheap

Last week was the final Express Sessions event of the season; a dozen live events brought together panelists and community members to discuss a variety of topics of importance to the community. As the break for a busy summer arrives, the question arises: Does it...

Skip the Stuff

When it comes to changing the world, some things are easier to do than others. The region has done some sweeping things with an eye toward the environment. After a few false starts, Southampton Town and East Hampton Town helped lead the way with a...

We’re Waiting

The eight stations on the Montauk Branch between Speonk and Montauk generally, on a weekday, will see 10 trains stop throughout a 24-hour period. The problem: Only half are between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., presumably when most people might actually use...

Time To Talk

Let’s start with a clear message: The Eastville Community Historical Society is an incredibly valuable commodity for Sag Harbor, and its new request to the school district to begin levying a community tax to provide about $75,000 a year for “general use, maintenance and capital...

Positive Path Forward

State lawmakers and Governor Kathy Hochul delivered for residents of the South Fork and Stony Brook University in the state budget formulated last week. As part of the massive spending plan, the governor agreed to a measure that would allow the state and the Town...

Investing in News

The 2025 New York State budget approved on Saturday includes elements of the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, providing a payroll tax credit for local news outlets — a lifeline for a vital but struggling industry that benefits every state resident. Over the past quarter century,...

The Parking Dilemma

On May 14, the Sag Harbor Village Board will begin an important and long-overdue conversation with its residents about a subject that affects everyone, resident and visitor alike: parking in the village. It’s an essential conversation that requires some structure before it begins in order...

No Farmers, No Character

The bumper stickers used to be ubiquitous on the roads: “No Farms No Food.” The slogan is a registered trademark of the American Farmland Trust, which mails out those bumper stickers for free to anyone in the United States who requests one. It’s a simple,...

Everyone Poops

It’s the title of Tarō Gomi’s beloved children’s book, which has, for nearly 50 years, been delivering a simple but universal reminder: “Since we all eat, we all must poop. All of us! Everyone!” It doesn’t seem like fodder for this space — but, increasingly,...

At the Helm

1994. It’s hard to imagine, but despite being a matriarchal society, that was the first year Shinnecock Nation women were permitted to vote on tribal matters. And it wasn’t until 2013 that the nation had its first female on the Council of Trustees. So it...

The Future Is Wet

Montauk was closest to mind at last week’s Express Sessions event focusing on beach nourishment: The results of a recent federal effort to bolster the sandy beaches and protect the hamlet’s business district were visible through the windows of oceanfront Gurney’s, which is safely up...

Crunch Time

Monday’s eclipse was stunning, but it also reminded us how perfectly in sync the universe can be: The local peak of the event could be predicted to the minute, and the moon arrived right on time. The New York State budget, on the other hand...

Going Down

There are 14 school districts spread along the 40-mile stretch from Montauk to Westhampton Beach. There may have been a time when enrollment data, and the finances of operating a school district, made that number inconsequential, or at least appropriate. But that time assuredly has...

Charged Up

Thomas Falcone announced last week that he would be leaving his post as chief executive officer of the Long Island Power Authority in May. It was “unexpected,” said State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., who has been working hard in Albany to move LIPA away...

A Lifeline

All eyes are on Albany this week, as state government is hammering out the budget for fiscal year 2025, a monumental task that is arguably the most important activity of the year for lawmakers in every corner of New York, with impacts for communities big...

Part of the Solution

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says its Central Business District Tolling Program, known as congestion pricing, “will improve quality of life for millions of people by reducing traffic in Manhattan’s most congested areas and funding improvements to New York’s transit system. Fewer cars means cleaner air,...

Righting Wrongs

Dating back to when they began in Sag Harbor, and continuing and expanding when the Express News Group was formed in 2019, a mission statement for Express Sessions might have read, simply, “To get people in a room for a respectful, frank conversation, and find...

Buying Time

Twenty days and $11 million later, the dredger Ellis Island has departed the easternmost point of Long Island, leaving Montauk’s downtown with a wide new beach and a new temporary lease on life in its continuing battle with time, tides and global warming. It leaves...

Recognizing Violence

It’s a staggering number: According to the Love Is Respect Action Guide, published by the National Domestic Violence Hotline, one in 10 U.S. high school students experienced physical violence from a dating partner in the last year. That would mean more than 1.5 million victims....

Change the Subject

If a community wants to truly lead, wants to set an example for the nation and show that embracing innovation is a noble, American thing to do, it has to accept the complications that come with the territory. A healthy community stays on top of...

Get in the Game

At last week’s Express Sessions conversation in Sag Harbor, “Taking the Pulse of the Hamptons Real Estate Market,” real estate broker Enzo Morabito said he is trying not to take high-end property listings anymore, because they typically take more than two years to sell and...

A True Innovation

Is it possible to turn back the clock, to a time before technology forever changed the world we live in? It turns out that it is possible, at least in schools, and at least for the hours of a school day. The Sag Harbor School...

By the Numbers

Tax season is underway, turning all of us, to some degree or another, into accountants for at least a day or two, maybe more. The truth is, being an American adult means having some degree of financial literacy, just to manage bank accounts and bills,...

Small Price To Pay

This November, voters in Suffolk County will have the opportunity to vote on perhaps the most consequential referendum ever put on the ballot here. The measure, if approved by voters, will increase sales tax in the county from 8.625 percent to 8.75 percent, and the...

Remember the Faces

The year 2024 was always going to be a challenging one, with a high-stakes presidential election seemingly destined to feature the same two candidates as 2020, with the political banquet this time being warmed-up leftovers spiced with recriminations and contempt. We can’t even look forward...

Too Much Too Fast

The awkward dance between Albany and local school districts over funding led to a major tumble on the dance floor last week, as Governor Kathy Hochul threw in a clumsy two-step that nobody expected. The governor is trying to close a state budget gap. In...

Money Well Spent

A first step is important, signaling, as it does, a sense of direction, and of priority. So the Southampton Town Board’s initial proposal to spend significant revenue from the newly minted Community Housing Fund shows how this money will best be used. Town officials will...

Living History

The work that Dr. Georgette Grier-Key and Brenda Simmons do to keep a strong spotlight on the region’s African American community, past and present, is valuable beyond measure. A new project they’ve undertaken, as powerful as it is, should not be left to do its...

No Bargaining Chip

As tempting as it is — as beneficial as it would be to protect a cluster of public parking spaces in crammed-up Sag Harbor — village officials have to resist the temptation to view the tussle over a piece of ground known colloquially as the...

Too Big To Bully

The backlash against beach nourishment has begun, it being a particularly opportune time to note that dumping sand is a costly and seemingly futile endeavor — since tons and tons of sand have been swept away from local beaches in storms this winter. At the...

Community Building

The deep dive by The Express News Group into the history, status and future of the Stony Brook Southampton campus over the past several weeks, culminating with a standing room only Express Sessions panel discussion on January 11, resulted in a lot of takeaways. Most...

Status Symbol

The historic windmill on the campus of Southampton College, and then Stony Brook Southampton, in Shinnecock Hills has long been the symbol of the plucky institution, a college campus that, in the constant face of adversity, somehow managed to stay afloat. The windmill — constructed...

The Conversation Begins

Everyone agrees that more affordable housing is needed, in Sag Harbor and elsewhere, to benefit both residents and businesses in need of staff. But it’s the nagging details of how, and where, and to whom it goes that always end up befuddling, and often lead...

A Matter of Safety

In an age when a growing percentage of the motor vehicles on the road have safety features that were once only in the realm of science fiction, including automatic braking systems and lane assist, it is shocking that pedestrian traffic deaths in the United States...

In the New Year

Beyond the ball drop, the celebratory kisses and the Champagne toasts, January 1 is a clear line of demarcation that allows something of a fresh start every 12 months. As 2024 arrives on the South Fork, it brings change: Both Southampton and East Hampton towns...

Candy Canes and Lumps of Coal

CANDY CANE: To the East Hampton Town Police Department, investigators from the Suffolk County Police and District Attorney Ray Tierney’s office, and to the Montauk home and business owners who shared the footage from their security cameras that proved crucial to the capture of the...

Silent No More

Life as teenager can be stressful and difficult, filled with angst, uncertainty and anxiety. For many teens today on the East End, those fears and concerns can be amplified. Most teens stress about grades, romantic relationships, disagreements with their parents. But some also worry about...

Go Public

Surprising no one, at the conclusion of its review of the Long Island Power Authority, the state legislative commission on the future of LIPA last month recommended that LIPA be transformed into a public power utility. LIPA owns Long Island’s electrical grid. But instead of...

The Last Word

In context, it doesn’t seem all that surprising that the Montaukett Nation, earlier this month, was once again disappointed when its bid for state recognition as a Native American nation was scuttled by a veto by Governor Kathy Hochul. After all, it was the fifth...

Giving Thanks

Some of the many, many things we are thankful for as this Thanksgiving arrives: We are thankful for a community that, in the face of hate — swastikas painted by vandals in public places, along with violent antisemitic messages — responds with interfaith rallies, conversations...

Save Spring Farm

Land preservation in 2023 is a tricky game: Even land where millions was spent to “preserve” it from development is attractive to some buyers, with deep pockets and creative attorneys. So though Southampton Town purchased the development rights on the 107.6 acres that make up...

Winds of Change

The economics of green energy are in flux, both in the United States and globally, and proposed wind farms have suddenly become more expensive, which has prompted some industry leaders, including the Danish energy company Ørsted, to rethink aggressive strategies. But, viewed in context, it’s...

Save the Trees

What began more than six years ago as an effort to tighten clearing restrictions in Sag Harbor to prevent the clear-cutting of building lots has evolved into a more modest attempt to protect more village trees from the chainsaw. Trees are important for many reasons,...

We Mark Our Ballot: Southampton Town

Term limits will end Jay Schneiderman’s eight-year tenure as Southampton Town supervisor. The transition to a new administration is always a stressful moment for the town, but this year offers one soothing thought: The race for the town’s top post features two exceptional women who...

We Mark Our Ballot: Suffolk County Legislature

The 2021 elections gave the Republican Party a majority on the Suffolk County Legislature for the first time in 16 years. Eleven of the county’s 18 districts are held by a Republican or Conservative legislator; only six have a Democrat. (Another, District 5, was represented...

We Mark Our Ballot: Suffolk County Executive

In the race for Suffolk County executive, voters this year are given a choice between ineradicable experience and calls for new ideas. Seeking to replace Democrat Steve Bellone, who was prevented from running for reelection due to term limits, are Republican Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed...

All Hands on Deck

If there was one lesson learned from the most recent Express Sessions panel discussion on affordable housing last week, it’s that there are no easy solutions to the crisis plaguing the East End. However, if there was one positive note coming from the conversation, it...

Get Out of the Hole

There is vigorously fighting government regulation and oversight and then there is complete lawlessness. Sand Land Corporation’s behavior tipped the scales toward lawlessness some time ago, and the mine operator’s continued refusal to comply with court orders should alarm everyone on the South Fork. It’s...

Building Community

This September presented a busy few weeks in Sag Harbor with Labor Day giving way to HarborFest and, more recently, the Sag Harbor American Music Festival. A village that has seen its fair share of divisive issues in the last few years, and following one...

A Grim Reality

It’s the kind of thing that many people just can’t imagine happening. Especially on the East End. But the horrific practice of human trafficking is a crime that knows no geographic boundaries — and the trendy Hamptons, with its transient summer population, plethora of Airbnbs...

Read Banned Books

Welcome to Banned Books Week, which runs October 1 to 7. You’ll forgive us if we don’t feel like celebrating — but this is a concept that should have been relegated to the trash heap of history decades ago. Yet book banning (and, in some...

Raise the Curtain

Even before the pandemic, movie theaters on the South Fork were having a rough go of it, but there have been bright spots. As things stand, the Hampton Bays movie theater site is still being considered for a CVS, but the cinema is operating in...

In Their Footsteps

“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born,” the Roman philosopher and statesman Cicero said, “is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of...

Ship to Shore

Sag Harbor is a great American small town, so it’s no surprise that tourists flock to the village in the summer — or that American Cruise Lines, a Connecticut-based small ship travel provider, has identified it as a great stop for a “Yankee Seaports” cruise...

Take a Shot

While it may feel to a majority of the population that the long nightmare that was the COVID-19 pandemic is over, the disease continued to rear its head this summer with a spike in infection rates and increased hospitalization numbers that could worsen this fall....

Too Many Questions

It has been a long three years in the Village of Sag Harbor. As residents and their elected officials tried to balance a growing interest in the village as a world class summer tourist destination and the need to preserve its nationally recognized historic character,...

Gold Stars and Dunce Caps

GOLD STAR To the Southampton School District, for recognizing its demographic make-up and creating a world language program that helps mirror it. Students who are not native English speakers are typically treated as a problem to be dealt with in many school districts. In Southampton,...

A Postcard for Hochul

Governor Kathy Hochul recently spent some quality time on the South Fork. She was in Montauk on August 16 to celebrate the completion of a three-year renovation of the historic Montauk Point Lighthouse, built in 1797, and an extensive effort to bolster the threatened bluff...

Arts Abound This Summer

When it comes to the East End arts scene, by all appearances it would seem that we are largely out of the woods and over the hump in terms of the COVID-19 shutdowns that wreaked havoc among our local nonprofit organizations beginning in 2020. Honestly,...

A Small World

“It’s a small world after all” — any person who has visited Disney and its eponymous ride (apologies for the “earworm”) knows the phrase well. But sometimes the week’s headlines drive the point home. Almost 5,000 miles away from the East End, terrible wildfires are...

It Takes a Village

Sag Harbor Village Mayor Tom Gardella and the Village Board will hold a hearing next month on a plan to eliminate the trustees’ role in reviewing site plan applications for larger projects within the Waterfront Overlay District. If approved, as expected, the board will reverse...

Behind the Curtain

Citizens have a right to know who they’re dealing with, whether it be in government or private enterprise. But that’s not the case when it comes to limited liability companies, or LLCs. LLCs, for example, can own property, apply for grants, operate as landlords and...

Fair Play

Suffolk County scholastic sports officials are at odds with their governing body, Section XI, over stalled contract negotiations, which could have a ripple effect felt through the fall season and across the county’s student-athletes. The President’s Council of Suffolk County Officials voted down a potential...

Politics First

Partisanship is an infectious disease, and it can be difficult to keep the noxious elements of national politics from spreading like a virus into local legislatures. But they’re not immune, and the Suffolk County Legislature has all the symptoms of putting politics before policy —...

Supply and Demand

Last week, in our Residence section, The Express News Group continued a decade-long summer tradition, identifying the “water hogs” on the South Fork over the past 12 months — the individual properties that draw the most treated water from the Suffolk County Water Authority’s system....

Stop the Flow

Suffolk County prides itself on being an environmentally progressive place, with a strong emphasis on water quality. But it must take ownership of a pretty sizable environmental mess it is being forced to clean up after a federal lawsuit by the Environmental Protection Agency —...

A Trailblazing Moment

Parents of children and teens with access to cellphones are well-versed in the battle for attention and the well-documented mental health pitfalls that come with unfettered access to social media. According to the U.S. surgeon general, social media use among youth is high — up...

Our Own Mess

Over the years, Suffolk County residents have been wise enough to understand the economics of levying taxes designed to raise revenue for worthwhile causes. When given the chance, voters have approved a variety of measures like the Community Preservation Fund, which preserves land, and now...

Their World

Every once in a while, Mother Nature reminds us that the majesty surrounding us is not completely benign. A day at the beach isn’t just, you know, a day at the beach — dangers abound, and a wise beachgoer approaches the beautiful stretch of sea...

A Big Red ‘X’

For years, the historic windmill on what is now the Southampton campus of Stony Brook University has been its iconic image. It has graced promotional materials, and the piece of history on its hilltop perch is an indelible image of the entire campus itself. Today,...

The Crossroads

It was only a few years ago when we had the luxury of debating whether or not global warming was reality. There were conversations about whether the Earth’s warming temperatures were just a localized trend or a sign of something worse. Today, the picture is...

A Memorial With Heart

As memorials go, the Edith Windsor Heart Project at Southampton Town Hall is imbued with emotion, and it will forever be a locus where love is celebrated both passively, in its lovely design, and actively, as the spot where couples will pledge their devotion in...

Noise, Noise, Noise

It was hard to miss the utter frustration in East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc’s response to recent prodding letters from the supervisors of Southampton and Southold towns, urging the town to “take action” to address the new onslaught of noisy air traffic headed...

Work To Do

Tom Gardella will be sworn in as Sag Harbor’s next mayor on July 3, giving the village an opportunity for a fresh start under established leadership, with someone who has proven in his years of service to be a builder of community and consensus, while...

Out in Front

For a quarter century, the two hospitals providing care to South Fork residents, in Southampton and Riverhead, have been on parallel paths that sometimes, in their winding, briefly intersected, though more often raced each other to get to higher ground. That race is far from...

Carefully Forward

There is an enormous difference between caution and hysteria. Locally, the conversation about battery energy storage systems, also known as BESS, is rapidly moving in the wrong direction. Southampton Town is absolutely correct to consider a moratorium on approving such projects to allow town officials...

Fighting Fires

A rash of fires over the past couple of weeks should serve as a profound reminder to those preparing both residential and commercial spaces for the upcoming summer season to take precautions while gearing up for the busy months ahead. There’s no indication of any...

The Greats

“A good coach can change a game. Great coaches can change a life.” Juni Wingfield is nothing if not quotable, and this typical pearl of wisdom from him last week speaks volumes about the impact a special group of coaches, Wingfield among them, has had...

The Easy Stuff

The two biggest obstacles to providing affordable housing on the South Fork are cost and public opposition. But there are some affordable housing opportunities that don’t require taxpayer money and meet only mild resistance. The Village of North Haven has identified one such opportunity and...

Rooted in the Soil

Four decades ago, as John v.H. Halsey noted in an article last week, the idea of preserving land on the East End wasn’t new: Suffolk County and the towns had started to look at doing piecemeal projects where the municipalities would ask voters to borrow...

Air Pressure

While a massive air cargo facility being proposed in Calverton may seem too many miles away for concern for most residents of the South Fork, the mammoth size of the project and its potential impact should send shock waves across the entire East End. The...

Gold Stars and Dunce Caps

Gold Star: Several of them, in fact, after an agreement in Albany finally will put in place long-overdue protection for historic burial sites. It’s hard to imagine that unmarked graves — whether they hold the remains of early settlers, war casualties or Native Americans —...

Just Right

On Thursday, May 25 — just in time for Memorial Day weekend, and thus the start of “the season” — the ribbon will be cut on John Steinbeck Waterfront Park, the newest green space in Sag Harbor Village. The park’s steady transformation, at the direction...

A Big Investment

Money won’t fix everything. But when you’re looking at a multigenerational problem — decades of leaky septic systems and other polluting sources flooding our groundwater and threatening our drinking water supply — the more money put to the task, the more effective the solutions. So...

Room To Grow

Sag Harbor School District is in fine financial shape. On Tuesday, district residents will vote on a $48.06 million budget for the 2023-24 school year — a spending plan that has one of the lowest tax levy increases in the district in over a decade....

Essential Employees

While there are many things to argue about on the op-ed pages of this newspaper these days, it is easy to forget that we have much to celebrate on the South Fork — in particular, the number of residents who have dedicated their time and...

A Familiar Refrain

This editorial may sound familiar. It seems like every spring, these pages contain a dire warning about the harmful effects that synthetic fertilizers and toxic pesticides sprayed on lawns in an effort to achieve the greenest lawn on the block pose to groundwater, surface water,...

Turn Down The Heat

There are salient arguments to be made both for and against the proposed Marsden Street land acquisition by the Sag Harbor School District. But that debate is turning quarrelsome — and nobody benefits. It has to stop. Focus on the facts. Numbers, especially, can be...

On the Cusp

It appears that Governor Kathy Hochul’s ambitious New York Housing Compact is being sent back to the sidelines while state budget negotiations try to wrap up several weeks late. Her plan, to create hundreds of thousands of new homes statewide by setting local development goals...

What’s Going On?

It’s time to ask the question directly: What is going on with the State Department of Environmental Conservation and its steadfast refusal to get out of bed with sand mines on the South Fork? It’s gone from confusing to baffling to aggravating, watching the DEC...

Museum Deserves Support

Sag Harbor has long prided itself on its commitment to maintaining its historic character, which has helped the village hold on to its small-town feel despite intense development pressure. While preserving architectural aesthetics has been an important tool, preserving and celebrating the village’s history is...

Do Your Part

This weekend, April 22 and 23, many firehouses in New York State will open their doors for an event, “RecruitNY,” sponsored by the Firefighters Association of New York. For the 14th year, the two-day open house will encourage more men and women to join the...

A Warm Place

South Fork winters blend gently into spring, so much so that it can be hard to tell the two seasons apart as they transition. Despite the sunny days and moderate afternoon temperatures in the early days of April, on four days this month, the lows...

Our Mortal Peril

Living in a time when the ongoing effect of humankind on the Planet Earth is part of the international conversation, nearly on a daily basis, it’s hard to imagine a time when it seemed necessary to set aside an entire day for Americans to make...

A Broken System

It was, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. readily acknowledges, mostly a symbolic gesture — his trio of bills seeking to update New York State’s school funding formula and to boost the amount of foundation aid for some school districts face a nearly impossible path forward...

Not for Us

Over lunch in Southampton Village, a cordial but pointed conversation took place last week — and there is reason to be optimistic that an important message was delivered straight to Governor Kathy Hochul in Albany. To the governor’s credit, her office sent not one but...

Money Well Spent

It’s a long shot at this point, but there’s a proposal stuck in the gears of state government that offers a glimmer of hope for an industry facing enormous, and in some cases existential, pressures — journalism. New York’s Local Journalism Sustainability Act would provide...

Let in Some Sun

Sunshine Week, an initiative sponsored by the News Leaders Association and the Society of Professional Journalists, took place last week. Created in 2005, it promotes government transparency and educates the public about the tools and methods they can use to shine a light in the...

A Smart Move

Last week, the Sag Harbor School District announced that it would move forward with plans to purchase five parcels on Marsden Street on its own, without the financial support — and ensuing complications — of Southampton Town’s Community Preservation Fund. It’s a smart move and,...

A Calm Hand

He’s not really going anywhere — in fact, in his new role, leading the effort to conjure up the necessary donations to fund a new state-of-the-art hospital on the Stony Brook Southampton campus, Robert Chaloner is arguably going to be working even harder to cement...

Three Years Later

Three years is an arbitrary marker, for sure, but it seems important to note just how long COVID-19 has been part of our everyday lives — for an alarming time, the dominant feature. It’s also important to remember that marking the third year since the...

The Obvious Answer

Being near the water and among nature has long been a huge draw for living on the East End, whether full-time or seasonally. But, all too often, homeowners here push back wildlife and apply chemicals that pollute the bays and estuaries. Thirsty, fertilizer-addicted and pesticide-laden...

Hit the Reset Button

What a mess the Marsden Street proposal has become. It’s the result of a toxic stew: school district officials hellbent on a project, with only passing interest in actually addressing opponents’ concerns, and an aggrieved community that was more interested in talking than listening. Add...

A New Perspective

Last week, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said something that is not controversial. Speaking about the fact that town zoning, like most of the zoning on the South Fork, is rooted in a desire to protect the environment, he pointed out that all that land...

The View East

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. doesn’t mince words when he has a message to deliver that he feels isn’t landing as it should. Stony Brook University officials might have gotten their first taste of that last week, when Thiele blasted the university as “the biggest...

Worth the Fight

The ongoing, baffling and seemingly eternal legal fight over Sand Land Corporation’s bid to continue mining sand at a 50-acre site in Noyac is about a lot of things. But, with the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s inexplicable decisions along the way, it’s really about...

The Green Catch

Governor Kathy Hochul is pitching ambitious but necessary proposals to phase out fossil fuel-powered heating and cooking appliances in new homes, and to eventually prohibit the replacement of oil and natural gas furnaces and boilers with anything but “green” heating equipment. These are ideas that...

A New Era

Don’t look now, but all five East End towns are poised to have new leadership in their top posts next year. Jay Schneiderman will be term-limited out in Southampton Town in 2023, and the town supervisors in the four other towns — Yvette Aguiar in...

Broad Support

It’s rare to see a large group of people in Sag Harbor agree on most anything, but last Tuesday, at Southampton Town Hall, more than two dozen speakers came out to support the town’s involvement in preserving the Sag Harbor home of author John Steinbeck,...

No Small Victory

Remember the hole in the ozone layer? Some smug anti-environmentalists have been known to cite the concern in the 1980s as an example of how science creates terrifying scenarios from time to time that get lots of media attention, only to forget about them when...

So Many Questions

As with so much happening in Sag Harbor these days, last week’s abrupt news — that the Water Street Shops property, once envisioned as a permanent new home, wrapped in soaring architecture, for Bay Street Theater, is going back on the market — is a...

Saving Steinbeck’s Idyll by the Sea

There are very few places in America that can boast of having been home to a Nobel Prize winner — but here on the East End, we have just such a place. Sag Harbor was where author John Steinbeck opted to live out his final...

Kelp Us Kelp You

Kelp farming has exponential benefits, both environmental and economic — which is why so many heads were shaking in disbelief last month when Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed legislation that would have permitted seaweed growers to lease state-owned underwater lands. Cultivating seaweed removes carbon dioxide and...

Breaking the Silence

Silence is powerful. In some instances, it can be more pointed, more evocative, than the most eloquent verse, or the loudest shouts. But there’s one instance when silence is devastating for one side, necessary for the other: instances of sexual abuse of children. Breaking that...

Our 2023 Wish List

The new year is typically seen as a time of renewal. A time when we, individually or collectively, take stock of where we are and look to the coming months as an opportunity to commit — or recommit — to change, to making things, or...

Candy Canes and Lumps of Coal

LUMP OF COAL To the Southampton Village Board, for rushing an important decision and leaving a lot of questions in the air. The hiring on Monday of Anthony Carter as the next chief of police is provisional — he still has to pass the necessary...

The Right Call

Bureaucracy isn’t typically so responsive, and it usually takes a bit longer to correct a mistake. So it’s notable that the Internal Revenue Service late last week resolved, finally, an ongoing dispute that has hamstrung efforts to protect groundwater on the East End — and...

Eye of the Beholder

“Stargazer” will head into winter with a new lease on life, thanks to a six-figure reconstruction that will keep the iconic roadside sculpture by Linda Scott a bit safer from the elements. In the years since its installation along Route 111 in Eastport in 1991,...

Season of Giving

In 2012, a pair of Manhattan-based nonprofit organizations, the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, decided to try out a new idea: With “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” already in place on the post-Thanksgiving calendar, they snagged the next day and dubbed it...

Gold Stars and Dunce Caps

GOLD STAR To Stony Brook Southampton Hospital’s Phillips Family Cancer Center and Ellen Hermanson Breast Center, for partnering with Cancer Hope Network, which helps current cancer patients feel less alone by matching them with survivors, who also heal through the process of supporting others. Nobody...

A Bright Future

In the last of three virtual conversations sponsored by The Express News Group, on Thursday, November 10, the top officials from the three East End hospitals were among the panelists looking into the future of health care in the region — and seeing bright skies....

Lessons Learned

On Election Night last week, hours after incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul declared victory in her reelection bid, her challenger, 1st District Congressman Lee Zeldin, took to a Manhattan stage and refused to concede, making a number of statements that were highly ironic coming from an...

Don’t Give Up

To say that this year’s collapse and die-off of the Peconic bay scallop population is a disappointment is an understatement. Though this outcome was anticipated, it’s also devastating. So much progress has been made in the past decade on improving water quality and restocking filter-feeding...

The Push

The Sag Harbor School Board should thank its lucky stars for the outcome of the November 3 vote, which paves the way for the purchase of five lots on Marsden Street, across from Pierson Middle-High School, considering how the district badly mishandled what could have...

We Mark Our Ballot: For Congress

For Congress Both of the candidates for the 1st Congressional District seat, seeking to succeed Republican U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin, who is not seeking reelection due to his gubernatorial bid, are seasoned public servants with years of experience under their belts. Republican Nick LaLota, a...

We Mark Our Ballot: The Propositions

November 8 is a red-letter day for the South Fork in particular, a day that will help decide the future. It’s a rare “before and after” moment where the simple act of casting a ballot can bring real change in the world around us, not...

We Mark Our Ballot: For State Assembly

There is perhaps no sitting lawmaker who has done more to safeguard the traditional way of life and community character of the East End while making every effort to improve the lives of its residents than incumbent New York State 1st District Assemblyman Fred W....

We Mark Our Ballot: For Senate

The race for New York State’s 1st Senate District, which includes the five East End towns plus parts of Brookhaven, is between an Republican incumbent seeking his second term in Albany and a young Democrat who hopes to be elected for the first time. The...

We Mark Our Ballot: For Governor

Since he took over the 1st District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives at the beginning of 2015, we have gotten to know Lee Zeldin very well indeed — and it makes an endorsement for Kathy Hochul for governor that much easier. Hochul was...

With a Little Help From Its Friends

Neighbors joining forces to try to block a planned development in their neighborhood has been a fairly common occurrence on the South Fork for years. Once the development is abandoned — or approved, in an unfortunately high number of cases — the members of those...

Alarming Numbers

It’s sobering to hear the results of the inaugural LGBTQ+ Health Needs Assessment Survey conducted by Stony Brook Medicine: More than 60 percent of respondents who identify as LGBTQ+ show signs of chronic depression, nearly half have anxiety or mental health issues, and a third...

Don’t Wait

Tackling the South Fork’s housing crisis calls for bold, immediate action before the problem spirals out of control. Unfortunately, government response is, more often than not, lackluster. When building projects come along to provide affordable housing, governing bodies and land use boards demand fewer units...

Strength in Numbers

In 20 years, the health care infrastructure on the East End has moved beyond a potential crisis point, with individual hospitals struggling to survive, to finding strength in both numbers and relationships with larger systems. The latest evolution, though, is the most exciting: Technology is...

A Fresh Start

One of the greatest pleasures of living on the East End is access to the abundance of fresh produce and locally sourced food available to the masses in the summer months and harvest season. But the season always feels short, and as the days get...

Save It First

Couples experience it all the time: You agree on the big picture but can’t stop arguing about the details. It can take a wonderful thing — a Hawaiian vacation, a kitchen remodel — and turn it into sheer agony. Sag Harbor Village has a terrific...

Out of Sight

The First Presbyterian (Old Whalers’) Church in Sag Harbor has served as a center for the community in many ways — it is home to the Sag Harbor Food Pantry, has been home to the Hamptons LGBT Center and offers space for Alcoholics Anonymous. Its...

Open Your Browser and Say, ‘Ahhh!’

And Say, ‘Ahhh!’ Geography, it seems, makes the East End grand, but it also makes it isolated. In an interconnected world, that means heading more and more in the direction of virtual contact for services. That includes health care. Instead of being a pure negative,...

Gold Stars and Dunce Caps

Dunce Cap -- To Southampton Town officials for their on again/off again cone and flashing light program in Hampton Bays and other areas. The so-called traffic calming measures can’t possibly calm motorists who make good time one day, only to find the blinking lights programs...

A Matter of Faith

For 50 years, Roe v. Wade was the law of the land and it assured women in the United States the right to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term. But that precedent was overturned in June with Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s...

Disrespectful Act

HarborFest kicked off in Sag Harbor last weekend, drawing scores to the village to enjoy a summer festival rooted in tradition — from whaleboat races to chowder contests and Scouts selling hot dogs next to nonprofits and food vendors. HarborFest has always been about community....

A Model for Success

Once environmental damage is done, it is exceedingly difficult to undo — but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try, or that our efforts won’t succeed beyond expectations. Case in point, the rebound of the hard clam population in Shinnecock Bay. It is amazing what’s...

A Will To Play

There’s more at play than a simple change in demographics when it comes to the latest struggling East End football program, this time at Hampton Bays High School, which, for the first time in 47 years, will not field a varsity football team this fall....

Have It In Writing

It was a longtime South Fork resident, the late Joseph Heller, who said it best in his novel “Catch-22”: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” In Hampton Bays, as red-faced town officials scrambled to stamp out the brush fire, a lot...

A Time For Community

As has been the case across the nation, with an already politically charged climate growing more intense over the last few years, causing deep divisions in American society, the Village of Sag Harbor has had its fair share of “us versus them” moments, with huge...

A Delicate Balance

A story from East Hampton Village last week highlighted an issue that could well be percolating beneath the service in many communities, as local volunteer ambulance corps seek a delicate balance of morale and necessary moves to provide reliable emergency care. A member of the...

Road Rules

Electronic bicycles, or e-bikes, seem to be everywhere all of a sudden. The bikes, with electric motors that can propel them at speeds up to 30 mph, have taken off, so to speak, this summer on the East End, with adults hoping to avoid the...

Brown Is Beautiful

At least for the moment, we’re not going to run out of water in the aquifers below our feet: According to the Suffolk County Water Authority, there is an estimated 65 trillion to 120 trillion gallons of water in Long Island’s natural underground reservoirs. In...

From Small Beginnings

Often, great things come from modest beginnings. What started out 20 years ago as a small advisory board to the East Hampton Town Board blossomed over the decades to become the preeminent voice for the East End’s Latino community. The Organización Latino Americana, or OLA,...

Expanding Deserts

There are, of course, so many things to be concerned about these days — a pair of viruses, war in Ukraine, an uneven U.S. economy, democracy under threat, climate change — but a steadily burning brush fire is quietly wiping out community journalism, and attention...

A Safe Place

In early July, it was revealed that the after-school enrichment program Project MOST, an East Hampton-based nonprofit that primarily serves students from the Springs and East Hampton school districts, is about to grow. It will not only take ownership of its longtime home at the...

Play It Safe

Sharks have been all over the news lately, and for good reason: “Shark Bites Human” stories grab attention, and the headlines make for good summer fodder on the evening news. But let’s stop to reflect and remember that sharks aren’t out to get us. In...

Bountiful Harvest

The rural nature of life on the South Fork is under siege, and has been for a long time, but there is one place where you can still see the benefit of living atop some of the best agricultural soils on the planet: in local...

Talk Is Cheap

Residents, lawmakers, business owners and the leaders of a multitude of nonprofits on the South Fork have been talking for years about ways to solve the housing crisis. While it’s been on the forefront of everyone’s minds and agendas, sadly, it seems, very little has...

Leave It Alone

Like the proverbial tree falling in a forest and the question of whether it makes a sound if nothing is around to hear it, a philosophical question arises regarding the Long Pond Greenbelt: Is a hearing still a hearing if nobody is listening? PSEG Long...

Gold Stars And Dunce Caps

DUNCE CAP: To Sag Harbor Mayor Jim Larocca, for reshuffling the regulatory boards in the village — and leaving out two key voices in the mix. Larocca may have had the best intentions, ensuring that board seat vacancies are staggered and bringing some veterans, like...

Pay Attention

South Fork communities have a tendency toward parochialism, worrying mostly about matters within their own borders, but this is a moment for every town and village official, and even every hamlet resident, to pay close attention to a proposal in Sag Harbor Village. It should...

The Way Back

The overturning of Roe v. Wade, which has established federal protection of basic abortion rights for women for a half century, was no less a bombshell even though everyone saw it coming. For anti-abortion activists, it’s a moment many of them prayed and protested for,...

Freedom Has Arrived

On June 19, 1865, federal troops arrived in the port city of Galveston, Texas, to share news of the Emancipation Proclamation, announcing that all enslaved people were free. While the news was welcomed by many, it arrived a bit late — a full two and...

Give It A Chance

Within moments of the news breaking that a developer had filed plans with the Village of Sag Harbor for a 79-unit affordable housing development, with retail on the ground floor, spread over a cluster of residential and commercial properties behind Main Street, social media was...

Less Than Nothing

Making progress is better than getting nothing done, and it’s important to keep that in mind, but the conclusion is inescapable: Our lawmakers’ response to gun violence — massacres — is woefully inadequate. The National Rifle Association learned after the 1999 Columbine High School shooting...

For the East Hampton Village Board

The election of two out of five trustee seats in East Hampton Village does not carry with it the power to overturn the majority, which is led by Mayor Jerry Larsen, but is important nonetheless as village government continues to evolve under the current leadership,...

For North Haven Mayor

Elections bring surprises, and perhaps this season’s biggest shocker was that the most hotly contested race among the South Fork’s villages would be in tiny North Haven Village, with fewer than 900 residents and less than 3 square miles. Mayor Jeff Sander decided not to...

Under The Big Top, There’s Room For All

Back to the drawing board is probably not a bad move for Guild Hall. After unveiling ambitious renovation plans for the 91-year-old arts and cultural institution in February, Guild Hall’s administration and board chair recently announced they would take a step back from a portion...

Land, Air And Water

Sag Harbor Village has found itself at a literal crossroads — in three dimensions. As Blade, and other seaplane services, eye the village as an alternative to East Hampton Airport should the town succeed in restricting helicopter flights from Manhattan, and with the Hampton Jitney...

Bringing Them Home

The Shinnecock Graves Protection Warrior Society has made tremendous strides in the past few years in protecting ancient burial sites in Shinnecock Hills and repatriating the remains of Shinnecock ancestors from museums, universities and the private collections of archaeologists. But the group’s work is far...

In Our Corner

Just as proving a negative is a philosophical challenge, it’s very hard to say what the world would be like had a key player never made an entrance. George Bailey got a taste of it in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” thanks to angels, but the...

A Cry For Action

In the face of another senseless, tragic act of gun violence in America, we’ll share the only words that truly matter, the words that speak volumes and cry for action. Nevaeh Bravo, 10 Jackie Cazares, 10 Makenna Lee Elrod, 10 Jose Flores Jr., 10 Eliahna...

Activist Judges

It’s almost quaint to remember, a decade ago, the standing complaint within the Republican Party that the Democrats were relying too much on “judicial activism” to enact policy. Complaints about so-called activist judges became part of the standard rhetoric, and it continues to this day:...

A Team Of Heroes

This week, May 15 to 21, is National Emergency Medical Services Week, and this year’s theme is “EMS: Rising to the Challenge.” It’s a moment to recognize the selfless contributions of so many men and women in our community, and to offer some well-earned thanks...

Lift The Limit

One of the biggest hang-ups homeowners have with the existing affordable accessory apartments law in Southampton Town is that only live-in homeowners can qualify for an accessory apartment. This disqualifies many homeowners — and explains why the program is so underused. As both Southampton and...

Time To Talk

It won’t be on the ballot next week, as the various school districts on the South Fork seek approval for 2022-23 budgets and to fill school board seats. Nevertheless, those budgets all speak volumes about the issue. School consolidation. It’s time — long past time,...

A Team Effort

Newspaper conventions are not for readers, by design, but they can do wonders for news organizations. Over the weekend, the New York Press Association, the nation’s largest such organization, representing more than 800 newspapers published in the state, held its annual gathering in person for...

A Hamlet In Crisis

There is a map included in the draft version of East Hampton Town’s recently unveiled Coastal Assessment and Resiliency Plan that should be placed on a banner and towed behind a plane flying over the South Fork’s beaches this summer — it’s that important. It...

A Lasting Legacy

A search of the archives of The Southampton Press doesn’t turn up many results for Rose Walton, a former Remsenburg resident and an LGBTQ pioneer who died earlier this month at her home in Sunset Beach, Florida, with her wife, Marjorie Sherwin, and niece Robin...

Sharing The Cost

An obstacle facing officials in the five East End towns as they begin a campaign to encourage support for a new Community Housing Fund, which would use a transfer tax to pay for affordable housing measures, is the perception that towns will try to simply...

The Human Toll

As Southampton and East Hampton towns, and Sag Harbor Village, embark on efforts to finally address the growing affordable housing crisis, it’s important to take note of the story of Steve Thorsen, told at a recent Express Sessions discussion of the topic in East Hampton,...

Ahead On Points

There are times when success can be harder to observe than failure. Think of your car. When something is wrong, alarm bells go off, sometimes literally, and there is plenty of drama to let you know there’s a problem, whether it’s billows of smoke or...

Routing The Future

A pilot program being run by Suffolk County Transit that provides on-demand bus service shows a promising future for the county bus system on the East End. It’s an innovative approach to meet the needs of area residents by recognizing that the eastern half of...

Pick Up The Phone

Two years ago, the world came to a literal and screeching halt with the arrival of COVID-19. In spring 2020, businesses and organizations both large and small shut down as people around the world rethought their strategies, adjusting to remote and online methods of working....

Heed The Warning

Climate change is devastating, and its worst impacts are looming, as this newspaper’s “Rising Tide” series of articles in the Residence section is dutifully documenting. But it’s not the only crisis on the horizon: There’s another, and, similarly, we’re creating it ourselves. Over the decades,...

A Park For Everyone

Last month, plans were unveiled for much needed improvements at Mashashimuet Park in Sag Harbor. Designed by landscape architect Ed Hollander and drafted by the school district’s architectural firm, H2M, the plans recently were unveiled at a meeting of the Sag Harbor School Board after...

Pros And Cons

Rumor became news last week when it was announced that the Town of Southampton has made an offer to buy a commercial building at 2 Main Street in Sag Harbor, using its Community Preservation Fund. The building, known locally as “Fort Apache,” is seen by...

Editorial: For State Assembly

Yet again this year, a “straw woman” candidate is on the Republican line on Tuesday’s ballot for the seat in the State Assembly from the 1st District, which includes the South Fork — there’s been no active campaign, no serious effort to mount a challenge....

Editorial: The Propositions

There are two questions on the November 3 ballot from Suffolk County. Our position is that “no” is the proper way to mark the ballot in both instances. Proposition 1 would change the term of office for Suffolk County legislators from two to four years,...

Editorial: For Congress

Nancy Goroff is our enthusiastic choice for the 1st District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Democratic newcomer is not just an acceptable alternative to the incumbent, Republican Lee Zeldin, she is, in nearly every way, the better choice to represent the region...

Editorial: For State Senate

For the first time since 1977, the 1st District will not be represented in the State Senate by Kenneth LaValle, who is retiring after a legendary career. That puts a lot of pressure on his successor, and on the voters who have to choose him...

EDITORIAL: For North Haven Village

A majority of the seats up for election in North Haven Village are uncontested. Much like Sag Harbor Village, where Trustees Jim Larocca and Thomas Gardella are running unopposed to retain their seats on the Village Board, in North Haven longtime Mayor Jeff Sander is...

Editorial: Make It Work

It’s a scary time. It’s even scarier for members of the workforce — currently employed or not. The pandemic has robbed scores of people on the East End of their jobs, leaving them scrambling to figure out how to pay for housing, utilities, transportation and...

Editorial: A Foundation Of Respect

At a time full of strife and conflict, it’s nice to look around in the near distance and see comforting signs that disagreement doesn’t necessarily require disrespect. Conversations are taking place all over America on the need for police reform. It’s a discussion that’s also...

Editorial: Finding A Balance

In abnormal times, it’s understandable to long for the normal. But it’s probably more sensible to recognize the immediate challenges and accept that they will take you into uncharted waters. Every school district — and, as we all know, there are a lot of them...

Editorial: Statues And Lives

There have been numerous Black Lives Matter protests held in Suffolk County in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis in May. Here in the five towns of the East End, there have been nearly a...

Editorial: A Time To Remember

There is no sugar-coating it: The Class of 2020 got ripped off. There was no prom, no senior skip day, none of the anticipation and celebration of a traditional graduation ceremony. But something splendid happened. In every school district, teachers, administrators and support staff came...

Editorial: An Uncertain Autumn

Over the course of the last week, families with children in prekindergarten, kindergarten, fifth, eighth and 12th grades all celebrated graduation, and students began preparing to embark on new journeys that remain largely out of focus, as most colleges and local school districts are not...

Editorial: Just A Face In The Crowd

For U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin, it had to be a big night: President Donald Trump invited him to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the first big political rally of his reelection campaign to be held after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Mr. Zeldin had the rare...

Editorial: Show Must Go On

The fluid nature of the state’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic and, in particular, to school districts being allowed to host graduation ceremonies for departing seniors has left many district officials reeling this week, as they try to determine whether they can change course quickly...

Editorial: A Shout In The Street

With elegant understatement, The Washington Post headlined its Monday afternoon email update: “This moment is not normal.” That truly does sum up the current state of the union: abnormal. On this — and perhaps only this — we all can agree. A confluence of crises...

Editorial: Second-Guessing Steinbeck Park

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen,” said celebrated author John Steinbeck — and it appears that the committee advising Sag Harbor Village on the future of its newest waterfront park...

Editorial: Who We Are

The Reverend Karen Campbell of Christ Episcopal Church in Sag Harbor is the latest East End resident to return from the southern border with eyewitness testimony of what’s happening there, despite the politically charged rhetoric that has made conversations about immigration so difficult. But they...

Editorial: An American Success Story

As Black History Month comes to a close, February delivered a devastating blow with the death of B. Smith, whose pioneering role as an African American entrepreneur cannot be overstated. Barbara Elaine Smith’s business empire came from modest roots, fed by a passion and commitment,...

Editorial: A Teachable Moment

Race remains a third rail topic in America, and Black History Month in February presents an opportunity to stride forward purposefully, or to misstep. Sometimes the line between the two isn’t very wide. Witness an exchange between two prominent local historians: Dr. Georgette L. Grier-Key, who...

Editorial: The Start of Something

Last week’s Press Sessions discussion focusing on the East Hampton Airport and its future was a start of a conversation that needs to dig much, much deeper. The fact that the debate wasn’t altogether acrimonious was a good start. The fact that it was a...

Editorial: Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

It was a quick shift — the moment when smartphones went from a device most commonly found in the hands of working adults, to one that some children expect to receive while still in elementary school. The impact of early access to smartphone technology and...

Editorial: Equal for All

There has been much clamoring recently about changes enacted last month to the state’s criminal justice system, most notably the elimination of cash bail for many defendants changed with nonviolent offenses. Those opposed to the reforms are quick to point to high-profile cases — Montauk...

Editorial: Oversight Long Overdue

It would be almost farcical if it was not so serious, but the latest news out of the saga that has become the reconstruction of the former Stella Maris Regional School building into the Sag Harbor Learning Center proves once more that it is incumbent...

Editorial: Celebrating Our History

As Sag Harbor Village continues to be a regional epicenter for redevelopment, perhaps now, more than ever, understanding the history of the village — a history that has defined its architectural aesthetic and helped preserve its quaint Main Street, as well as the traditions that...

Editorial: At Our Doorstep

It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to consider marine animal strandings, like that of a minke whale at Northwest Creek on November 21, as a form of communication. After all, whales and dolphins speak to one another in their own respective languages, and...

Editorial: A Safer Stretch

In October 2015, when 81-year-old Anna Pump of Sag Harbor, a well-known chef and cookbook author who co-owned the Loaves & Fishes Foodstore in Bridgehampton, was run down by a car in a crosswalk not far from the shop, it was a tragic wakeup call...

Editorial: Giving Thanks

It’s lovely that Americans set aside a holiday each fall for the simple purpose of taking time to reflect on the things we are thankful for. In this space, we often take the time to appreciate the abundance surrounding us on the South Fork —...

A Welcome Retreat

Organized religion has faced an uphill battle over the last two decades: As the United States has become an increasingly secular society, many houses of worship nationwide ultimately shuttered their doors in the face of dwindling numbers of congregants. As it likes to do, Sag...

A Coach’s Legacy

Carl Johnson is Bridgehampton basketball. It’s a bold statement, considering the school’s long, storied history, which includes nine state championships, second-most in New York history — all the more remarkable, considering the school’s tiny enrollment. But no single man has embodied that history in the...

Editorial: The Sum of Its Parts

There has been a lot of talk over the course of the last five years about how Sag Harbor Village has changed. And it has — from its demographics to some of the shops and restaurants that line its Rockwellian Main Street, and certainly the...

We Mark Our Ballot in Southampton

There’s an irony in the fact that the Southampton Town Board of Trustees used to pride itself in being “above politics,” something it stressed every campaign season. (It was a time, it must be said, when the Republican Party reliably held every board seat, which...

For East Hampton Supervisor And Town Council

This has been an odd and, sadly, uneven race for East Hampton Town supervisor and the two council seats now held by Peter Van Scoyoc, Sylvia Overby and David Lys, three Democrats on an entirely Democratic Town Board. For several reasons, there will be not...

Editorial: Come Together

For the first time in recent history, the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees will host a work session on a Saturday morning in its continued effort to reach as wide an audience of village residents and taxpayers as possible. Frankly, it is about time...

Editorial: In This Together

There is probably no subject talked about more on the East End — or one as divisive — as affordable housing. We all know the familiar refrain: Young people are moving south because they can’t afford to live here; the workforce moves further and further...

Editorial: It Takes a Village

After most busy summer seasons where Sag Harbor feels more like Times Square than a sleepy, historic whaling village, it’s always the week after Labor Day, on HarborFest, when locals come out to remember exactly why they live here year-round in the first place. While...

Editorial: Gold Stars and Dunce Caps

Gold Star - To Bridgehampton School officials, for letting the Bees buzz one last time in their hive. Look, it’s understandable that there was some concern about fielding a varsity basketball team made up largely of young, inexperienced players who just barely fill out a...

Editorial: Rally for Steinbeck Park

Hats off to former Mayor Sandra Schroeder and Trustee Jim Larocca for their efforts over at least four years to secure for the Village of Sag Harbor an open parcel of downtown waterfront land set to open next week as a public park. The preservation...

Turning Point

Even in the numbing parade of seemingly daily outrages since November 8, 2016, there is the occasional outlier—something so spectacularly outrageous, so mortifying, that it still has the capacity to stun. Charlottesville was one. The event was bad enough, but President Donald Trump’s remarks afterward,...

Clean Water At Any Price

The state has acted responsibly in adopting tougher new limits, set by the Drinking Water Quality Council, for PFOS and PFOA, chemical compounds identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as “emerging contaminants.” Linked to a number of serious health effects, PFOA and PFOS have been...

Editorial: Gold Stars and Dunce Caps

To members of the clergy in Sag Harbor Village who continue to be particularly active in social justice causes, working across denominations as a community to offer a network of support for any group of people being marginalized—this month evidenced at gatherings in the village,...

Editorial: At A Loss

It is impossible to fathom the pain surrounding the recent deaths of the 2-year-old twin girls, apparently at their own mother’s hand, on the terrible journey that ended in Montauk. To people in this area, the girls and their mother, who lived in Medford, were...

Editorial: A New Normal?

It’s a time when “normal” is in flux in so many ways. The old adage about the frog in the pot of water hardly noticing that the water is getting closer and closer to boiling — it’s never been more relevant. Among the many examples...

Editorial: Much Work To Do

It’s sitting on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk, just waiting to change life on the South Fork for the better. Legislation approved in June in Albany would create the Community Housing Fund, patterned on the unconditional success of the Community Preservation Fund. The CPF was created...

Editorial: Sensible — And Humane — Legislation

When the New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo ushered through a law this week that allows undocumented immigrants the ability to apply for driver’s licenses in New York State, they did so with the understanding that this is not only an economic benefit...

Editorial: A Village Has Spoken

The high turnout and the strikingly large margin of victory for mayor-elect Kathleen Mulcahy and two allied trustee candidates in Tuesday’s Sag Harbor Village election suggest that concern about village government has been running deep across all sectors of the electorate. Although “us-versus-them” is unfortunately...

Editorial: For Trustees

While there are four candidates on the ballot for a pair of two-year terms on the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees, only three are really running in this race. Silas Marder did not participate in the only candidate forum and has not returned multiple...

Editorial: For Mayor

It is impossible for local government leaders to please everyone and they should certainly not try. There always will be divergent and varied opinions on most issues and, in Sag Harbor — perhaps the least apathetic of South Fork communities — that is almost always...

Editorial: Support Our Ambulance Corps

Voters in Sag Harbor will also be asked next Tuesday to weigh in on a proposition that would allow the village to raise the “length of service award program” (LOSAP) benefit for members of the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps from $20 to $30 a...

Editorial: The Healthiest Choice

The Sag Harbor School Board of Education deserves credit for working with its transportation committee to come up with a reasonable way to cut down on transportation costs while also preserving the later start time at Pierson Middle-High School. Instituting the 15-minute later start time...

Editorial: Opening Lines of Communication

As the candidates running in Sag Harbor Village for mayor and the board of trustees talk about the need for better communications with the public, there are good examples all around us of public entities that do a pretty good job at it. One is...

Editorial: Let There Be Light

The Sag Harbor Cinema fire of December 16, 2016 left a deep wound in a village where generations of locals, summer people and visitors had fond memories of its old-fashioned décor, its rare single screen, its funky candy counter and its earthy smell, the result...

Editorial: More Than Just a Holiday

In resort communities like those found on the East End of Long Island, Memorial Day weekend is often a time for celebration. It is the beginning of warmer weather, with weekends on the beach no longer a fantasy but a reality soon to be enjoyed...

Editorial: Practical Realities

We do not reject the ideals laid out in the Declaration of Independence because Congress excised Jefferson’s condemnation of the slave trade. We do not throw out the Constitution because it tells the states to count each of their slaves as three-fifths of a person....

Editorial: For Sag Harbor School Board

Two years ago, this newspaper titled its endorsement editorial “A District Divided” in advance of the Sag Harbor School District Board of Education election and budget vote. When it comes to certain issues — and clashes in personality — it remains a district with divergent...

Editorial: Curious Proposal

Town of Southampton made the effort to reassess all its taxable properties 30 years ago to eliminate inequities caused by years of neglect and unfair assessing practices. The town protects the accuracy of the rolls by updating its figures every year, at full value, something...

Editorial: A House Deserving of Worship

There may be no other structure more unique and iconic to Sag Harbor Village than the Old Whalers’ (First Presbyterian) Church on Union Street, which on Sunday, at 11 a.m., will hold a special service celebrating the 175th anniversary of its dedication. The looming Egyptian...

Editorial: An Issue of Safety

Legislation is pending in Albany that would restore the ability for everyone, including undocumented immigrants, to obtain a standard driver’s license after passing comprehensive driver’s exams to ensure safety on our roadways. There are few — on either side of the immigration debate — that...

Editorial: ‘They Are Us

When it comes to complicated environmental issues, chatter from the masses often sounds something like “They need to do this…” or “They should be doing that…” But whether it’s replacing an aging septic system or reverting back to native landscapes, the ultimate path to saving...

Editorial: Contests are Best

This week, school board elections shaped up in Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor with a strong showing of candidates in both school districts, which will enjoy contested races on May 21. And that is a good thing. Contested races, whether for school board, town board or...

Editorial: Full Charge Ahead

The East Hampton Town Board is considering a second proposal by the Tesla company to install an electric vehicle charging station — at no cost to taxpayers — in a public parking lot in downtown Montauk. The proposal, less than a year since Tesla pitched...

Editorial: Many Hands

While blessed with a beautiful waterfront, the residents of Sag Harbor do not enjoy the same abundant amount of green space. So, we make do with what we have, which includes Mashashimuet Park, the largest area for recreational activity in the Sag Harbor area. The...

Editorial: It All Goes Back to Housing

Amagansett could be home to a new 37-unit affordable housing complex off Montauk Highway as soon as this fall, Catherine Casey, the executive director of the East Hampton Housing Authority, reported to the East Hampton Town Board on April 2 while requesting to stage the...

Editorial: Planning for the Park

The Sag Harbor Village Harbor Committee on Monday signed off on plans for Jay Bialsky’s West Water Street townhouse project, which is now waiting on approvals from New York State and the Army Corps of Engineers before construction will begin on what could be one...

Editorial: Sobering Statistics

While we all like to celebrate success, it’s important to also recognize that many children are struggling to cope with the challenges before them while avoiding high-risk, unhealthy and potentially fatal choices. East End school districts, for the most part, have embraced educating parents and...

Editorial: The Right Kind of Balance

Pressure on high school students today is greater than it was in past generations. Partially because of the internet and social media, but also because of higher expectations — for better and worse — that parents and society lay at the feet of children, juggling...

Editorial: No Longer an Afterthought

When Southampton resident Sara Topping joined a group of East End women in founding the East End Birth Network, it was a nonprofit founded with urgency and a realization that this is home to communities with some of the highest infant mortality rates in New...

Editorial: More Details, More Time

It may seem that everyone on the South Fork has oodles of money amid rising assessments on property values. But for those who have been here for 10, 20 or 30 years, some with families that have lived here for generations, the reality is clear:...

Editorial: Shared Services in Bridgehampton

Parents and even one member of its own board of education were understandably frustrated at a budget forum at the Bridgehampton School earlier this month when it was announced the district has proposed money to support the hiring of additional administrators, while parents report a...

Editorial: South Fork Connection

Even though turnout was low and there were a few small glitches for some riders when the South Fork Commuter Connection launched on March 4, it’s way too early to brand it a train to nowhere. Our bet is it will show the way to...

Editorial: Lawyerly Advice

Recent developments have supported Councilman Jeff Bragman’s argument that the Town of East Hampton should be doing nothing to assist, support or even cooperate with the developer of the South Fork Wind Farm while it is awaiting the completion of a review of the project’s...

A Letter from the Publishers: ‘Express Pass’ Membership and Subscription Changes

To Our Readers, Since its founding in 1859, The Sag Harbor Express has seen the Village of Sag Harbor through a series of changing times. Launched as the whaling industry was approaching its sunset, The Express was not the first newspaper in Sag Harbor. That...

Editorial: The Main Street Takeaway

Sag Harbor is not a village that can be narrowly defined. Just as it can no longer be referred to as an industrial or blue-collar community, it is not solely a high-end or luxury resort destination either. Much has changed in Sag Harbor, a diverse...

Editorial: Speak Up, SANS

Residents of the Sag Harbor Hills, Azurest and Ninevah subdivisions (SANS) have been working for three years to earn their neighborhoods landmark status on the New York State Register of Historic Places. A decision from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic...

Editorial: Saving the Bays

The Sag Harbor Village Board delayed a vote last week on its proposal to require innovative-alternative or “I/A” on-site septic systems that actively reduce nitrogen discharge for all new residential construction. The proposal also would require an I/A system whenever existing conventional septic systems must...

Editorial: Election Reform

What a difference an election makes. The anti-Trump Democratic tide that rattled Republicans all over the country in November and returned the House of Representatives to Democratic control also wrestled the New York State Assembly from Republican dominance. What has that meant? For one thing,...

Editorial: Take Your Time

It appears the Sag Harbor Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review may be poised to take a formal vote on the largest development application before all the village boards — developer Jay Bialsky’s plans to redevelop 2 West Water Street, currently a behemoth, white...

Editorial: Slow Down

The 24-hour news cycle, especially in the age of Donald Trump, is truly insatiable. It’s in this kind of environment that news outlets and opinion-makers can jump to conclusions. In the race to make a splash on social media, reporters, editors, columnists and bloggers are...

Editorial: Let’s Talk

For most small communities, the digital age has not provided the sort of face-to-face, constructive and civil debate that drives true innovation and accomplishment. Nuances get lost online and opinions and facts have a greater potential to blur together, with real and potentially destructive consequences...

Editorial: Of Critical Importance

When Trustee Aiden Corish reported at the Sag Harbor Village Board meeting on January 8 that the state had rejected the village’s application for a consolidated grant of $2.5 million to help fund the renovation of Long Wharf, it was one little detail at a...

Editorial: A Flawed Process

When the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees adopted a new policy earlier this year limiting public comment to the end of its monthly meeting — after board members have already decided on and voted on every single resolution — it was clear it was...

Editorial: Staying the Course

Landscape architect Edmund Hollander has been a boon to Sag Harbor, helping property owners find ways to enjoy beautiful grounds while using new technologies and native plants and trees to create wetland boundaries that prevent runoff and eliminate the need for herbicides and fertilizers. The...

Editorial: Facing Yard-Waste Reality

An explosion in residential landscaping in recent years, and a decline in the number of businesses accepting wood, brush and leaf material for disposal, has left the Town of Southampton handling a burgeoning volume of yard waste. At the town’s Hampton Bays disposal facility, it’s...

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