So Many Questions - 27 East

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So Many Questions

Editorial Board on Jan 17, 2023
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... more

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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 on the bluff. But the content of the discussion was of great importance to the entire South Fork: Beach nourishment is either part of the past, present or future for the length of the oceanfront, and even parts of the bay side. Beach nourishment is expensive, but it’s also largely effective both as a way ... 9 Apr 2024 by Editorial Board

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 … It was due April 1, but the wrangling continues in Albany — and even the eclipse itself contributed to the delay, since no session was held on Monday to allow State Senate and Assembly members the chance to see the show in the sky. They quickly got back to work on Tuesday. In the ... 8 Apr 2024 by Editorial Board

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 passed — and with each budget season it becomes more and more apparent how absurd and irresponsible it is to have this many school districts in such a small geographic area. It’s a waste of money, and it’s a recipe for chaos. Most East End school districts are forecasting a decline in student enrollment over ... 3 Apr 2024 by Editorial Board

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 from its current model to a true public utility. Falcone’s departure is a curveball that “brings into question the future direction of LIPA,” Thiele has said. But a few days before his announcement clouded the larger picture, Falcone provided a much clearer view of the near- and long-term future of electricity on Long Island, and ... 27 Mar 2024 by Editorial Board

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 and small. But one newspaper is not covering the financial horse trading: the Scarsdale Inquirer. Established in 1901, the award-winning newspaper that covered the successful Westchester County community abruptly ceased operations on January 15 after 123 years. The company’s demise took out two other sister newspapers, the Record-Review and the Rivertowns Enterprise. Two months later, ... 20 Mar 2024 by Editorial Board

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, less traffic, safer streets, and better transit throughout the region.” Makes sense. What doesn’t is forcing the Hampton Jitney — a private entity, serving as a quasi-public transportation company, delivering hundreds of people to Manhattan on a daily basis who might otherwise choose to drive there — to pay the tolls. It’s not typical to ... 13 Mar 2024 by Editorial Board

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 solutions.” Last week’s event in Southampton Village, which focused on the Shinnecock Nation and its economic development proposals — especially the most recent: a proposed travel plaza offering tax-free gasoline on part of the Westwoods property off Sunrise Highway — seemed to go a step further. It continued a thawing of the chilly relationship between ... by Editorial Board

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 behind a looming question: Is that really money well-spent? Building a bulwark against Mother Nature built with a material that is the very definition of ephemeral and transitory? A “wall” that is designed to be breached, just a little more slowly? But those aren’t the salient questions. The fact is, beach nourishment is, at the ... 6 Mar 2024 by Editorial Board

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. Teen dating violence can include physical and sexual violence, psychological aggression, and stalking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in three experienced emotional abuse. Equally as troubling, East Hampton High School student Salome Galindo, a 16-year-old member of The Retreat’s Teen Leadership Council, said, anecdotally, that more than half of her ... 28 Feb 2024 by Editorial Board

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 the details and gets in front of the controversies. Both Southampton and East Hampton towns are front-runners when it comes to green energy. With South Fork Wind, the region is actively demonstrating a workable future that includes offshore wind energy. It was a long debate, but the turbines are now making electricity and sending it ... by Editorial Board