The Push - 27 East


The Push

Editorial Board on Nov 8, 2022
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... more

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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 three representatives to the Express Sessions event held on Thursday, March 23, to discuss Hochul’s New York Housing Compact, and to evaluate its effectiveness on the South Fork in particular. One of her representatives, Kate Van Tassel, who is director of special projects for New York State Homes and Community Renewal, ably presented details of ... 27 Mar 2023 by Editorial Board

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 tax credits to media companies that hire more local journalists, and a personal income tax credit of up to $250 annually to those who support local media companies as subscribers. For small news organizations, it could be the difference between a constant fight to keep the lights on and actually planning for a future that ... by Editorial Board

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 dark corners that lawmaking bodies and government agencies don’t want you to see. All 50 states have some kind of sunshine law, with varying degrees of efficacy. In New York, we have the Open Meetings Law and the Freedom of Information Law. The former mandates that public bodies, from school boards and land use boards ... 22 Mar 2023 by Staff Writer

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, frankly, the direction the school district probably should have headed from the beginning. Purchasing the Marsden Street properties will cost $9.3 million. The district would have to seek approval for borrowing $6 million in a bond referendum; the balance already was approved by district voters in November 2022 and is available in a reserve account. ... 21 Mar 2023 by Editorial Board

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 his legacy on the South Fork. But … what a legacy it is, even before that task is completed. As he steps down as the chief administrative officer of Stony Brook Southampton Hospital — having previously served as president and CEO of Southampton Hospital, a post he took in late 2006 — it’s worth voicing ... by Editorial Board

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 start of the pandemic in no way suggests it’s entirely over: Variants are still making people sick, Americans are dying every day, the virus is assuredly still in our midst. We now have a better understanding, and better tools, including vaccines that proved essential in turning the tide against a deadly disease. We also are ... 14 Mar 2023 by Editorial Board

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 rolling green lawns are dead zones for beneficial insects, birds, turtles, frogs, salamanders and other creatures, which just adds insult to injury after their habitat was cleared to accommodate the footprint of a house with a pool, driveway and more. The fact is, not all green spaces are equal. Turf lawns dotted with ornamental trees, ... by Editorial Board

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 in a Southampton Town Board that may pull the rug out from under Sag Harbor at the last minute, and it should be in a textbook for how not to manage a major community project. To try to restore some clarity, here are a series of statements that should be considered facts, though there’s certainly ... 7 Mar 2023 by Editorial Board

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 preservation has largely accomplished its mission — but has created a problem. “We did a great job protecting the environment,” he said, “but we can’t really function if there’s no one to pick you up in an ambulance when you have a heart attack.” That statement is plainly true, plainly accurate. The region’s historic land ... 28 Feb 2023 by Staff Writer

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 slumlord on the East End” because of the condition of the Stony Brook Southampton campus. A surprising number of buildings on the campus have ominous markings designating them as uninhabitable, including a cluster of student housing that seems like a stunning waste of resources in a market desperate for affordable places for people to live. ... 21 Feb 2023 by Editorial Board