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Apr 5, 2011 6:42 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Beachgoers Rail Against Napeague Lawsuit

Apr 5, 2011 6:42 PM

A group of regular visitors to a stretch of beach in Napeague is trying to resist what they see as an effort to strip away the public’s right to access the 4,000-foot oceanfront haven.

Those fighting for continued access to the beach describe it as the last refuge for locals in the summer, where they can park trucks laden with families, surfboards, coolers and grills and enjoy a half-day off from work.

In 2009, a group of beachfront homeowners filed suit in State Supreme Court claiming they own the beach, and not the East Hampton Town Trustees, who have historically claimed ownership. Among the homeowners’ complaints were that beachgoers, who have been parking there in greater numbers over the years, lit bonfires, set off fireworks, left behind broken glass and endangered environmentally sensitive dunes with their vehicles.

In an affidavit, Kenneth Silverman, the president of the Dunes at Napeague Property Owners Association, said vehicle traffic on the beach has increased dramatically over the last 20 years, with as many as 150 to 200 parked there in recent summers, and as many as 300 to 600 passing near his house on summer days to 
access the beach.

It is one of the last ocean beaches where vehicles are allowed on the sand during the daytime hours in the summer. In fact, beachgoers say it is difficult to access otherwise, which makes it attractive to locals seeking an out-of-the-way spot when other beaches are crowded.

About 30 of the beachgoers have been meeting at Ashawagh Hall for the past few weeks under the banner of Citizens for Access Rights, looking to find ways to resist what they see as the privatization of a beloved public beach. According to one of their leaders, Tim Taylor, they represent a larger group of about 300 beachgoers who signed a petition last summer.

“Any settlement or any ruling that keeps the locals off that beach during the summer when everybody wants to enjoy it is really unacceptable to our group, and will not have the support and the backing of our group,” said Mr. Taylor, an East Hampton land surveyor whose family history stretches back 13 generations in East Hampton.

The group’s efforts became more urgent in mid-March, when the plaintiffs asked a judge to decide the case in a summary judgment and issue an injunction that would make the beach off-limits this summer.

At the center of the plaintiffs’ case is an 1882 deed that they say transferred ownership of the beach from the Trustees to a man named Arthur W. Benson. While the Trustees retained beach access rights on other pieces of land they sold, this agreement allowed them only to land fishing boats at the spot, the plaintiffs argue.

The plaintiffs have questioned why the town allows driving on the Napeague beach while it is more strictly regulated on nearly all other beaches and limited to the hours before 9 a.m. and after 6 p.m. during the summer. Mr. Silverman said he and his neighbors would never have raised the issue of ownership if the beach had been “treated the same as other Trustee or town-owned beaches.”

“This is not an issue of private property owners trying to privatize something,” he said. “The beaches were privatized 129 years ago when the Trustees sold them.”

Mr. Silverman said the Trustees sold the beach to Mr. Benson to raise money after losing a series of land-related lawsuits between 1850 and 1880. He said that, 20 or 30 years ago, the nearby beach at Napeague State Park was a haven for locals, but that changed after the state stopped accepting town vehicle permits there.

Citizens for Access Rights has been focused so far on getting the word out about the lawsuit, Mr. Taylor said. He said he and his fellow members want East Hampton Town to preserve public access to the beach by any means possible, including using condemnation powers to claim it in the name of the public in the event a judge rules in favor of the plaintiffs.

Citizens for Access Rights member Todd Brunn, who brings his two children to the Napeague beach, which is also known as Truck Beach, said the lawsuit came at a time when the town is facing large deficits and budget cuts, and is ill-equipped to defend itself.

“Unfortunately, it just boils down to the homeowners have the money to push for this and they got the town at a time when we don’t have a lot of money in the town to fight this lawsuit,” said Mr. Brunn, who lives in East Hampton and teaches at the Montauk School.

Members of the group say that even disallowing beach driving at the site would effectively block it off to locals, because driving is the only feasible way to get there.

Most people drive trucks onto the beach from Marine Boulevard. The nearest legal parking area is at the end of Napeague Lane, which Mr. Taylor said is about a quarter-mile from the beach. Homeowners, members said, have hired security guards to prevent beachgoers from accessing the beach by walking over the dunes.

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Editor, any chance of posting a PDF of the 1882 Benson deed, which one assumes is an exhibit in the lawsuit?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 5, 11 4:34 PM
Why don't you go to Riverhead and search it out yourself?
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Apr 7, 11 11:55 AM
Is there actually anything that that Amagansett residents don't moan about. if it's not the concert, its a rumored 7/11. If it's not the 7/11, then it's beach driving. if it's not beach driving it's the square. if it's not the square then its something else. Seems like they need some REAL problems to whine about. (Hands down the snobbiest hamlet on the East End), and that's a tough title to hold in this neck of the woods.Lets juts call a spade a spade here and admit that many Amagansett residents ...more
By reality 101 (137), East Hampton on Apr 5, 11 5:24 PM
"Is there actually anything that that Amagansett residents don't moan about. Seems like they need some REAL problems to whine about."

Funny, I was going to say the exact same thing about you! Are you sure you don't live in Amagansett?
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Apr 5, 11 8:11 PM
2 members liked this comment
Amagansett people like peace and quiet and perhaps seem snobby, but we do have fun, we love music, AND driving on the beach, but at the end of the day we are one of the most beautiful towns in the country. Someone did something aright over the years.
By housewife (79), east hampton on Apr 8, 11 11:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
its not just Amagansett people - Ive live in Sag Harbor all my life and my family and many other locals from Sag, East Hampton and Amagansett can call Napeague their Haven on the one or two days of summer we aren't working. It feels like the only escape from everything the summer brings. If you arent a local, you wouldnt understand so its not fair to judge "Amagansett People"
By Shanrock78 (1), sag harbor on Apr 9, 11 8:45 PM
2 members liked this comment
do not live there
By reality 101 (137), East Hampton on Apr 5, 11 9:02 PM
Beach driving is a local tradition. Tail-gating and beach bbq is Americana at it's best. Surf, sand, family, freinds and fun. Local people work hard here, and truck beach access is already very limited.
By snapper (17), springs on Apr 5, 11 9:13 PM
4 members liked this comment
I remember when Bud topping and his friends used their beach buggy to tow kids on surf boards (or something like that) on the beach, Every weekend we'd be down there having fun.
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Apr 7, 11 1:22 PM
1 member liked this comment
lets all remember that this is a public access issue. if the beaches become private the access to them will be illegal for anyone whom wants to walk, drive, cart, or crawl on the beaches in question. The underlying issue is ownership and we would all be in this same position 3 years from now when a new wealthy homeowner moves onto the beach and would like to display their litigious ways and deep pockets if we dont do something now. lets rise up to the stage NOW and protect these beaches from privatization ...more
By tito (56), e hampton on Apr 5, 11 9:23 PM
2 members liked this comment
Doesn't the Dongan Patent (circa 1686) protect free access to Town water in East Hampton also? It does in Southampton Town. Of course the town has to designate the areas and it has taken some doing what with people selling and buying waterfront.
It is really tough on the residents who can trace their ancestry back to the 1600's in this part of Eastern Long Island. It is love of this part of the world in which one was born that keeps us here.
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Apr 7, 11 1:34 PM

Reality 101 - am thinking that you are referring to the wealthy handful of Amagansett homeowners who brought the suite and claim to "own the beach" when you say that "Amagansett residents don't appear to like the idea of regular people having a good time" in your post. ..? If you are not from there you should look and read carefully . . .it is the same group of self-proclaimed "ACAC" members (and Elaine Jones, of course) who consistently whine and moan about what happens in "their" hamlet ...more
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Apr 6, 11 1:28 AM
2 members liked this comment
This is about some oceanfront homeowners who currently own land that includes some of the beach in front of their homes. This is not about the possibility of waterfront owners buying up all of the Town's beaches.

True, this lawsuit could have implications that effect beach access. However, the suit itself is about a strip of beach that the Trustees sold in a deed years ago. That deed has restrictions on public access. Only a Town-wide title search will uncover what beaches were sold ...more
By NWHarbor (7), Northwest on Apr 6, 11 4:28 AM
The public trust doctrine allows any resident to use any beach below the high tide line.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Apr 6, 11 6:39 AM
1 member liked this comment
The alleged 1882 Benson deed might be controlling here, if the Trustees did in fact modify the public's beach access rights under the Dongan Patent and other common laws. Could we see a PDF of the deed please?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 6, 11 8:22 AM
Sorry PBR, we don't have a copy of the deed. Perhaps you could get a copy from the courts.
By Bill Sutton, Managing Editor (117), Westhampton Beach on Apr 6, 11 10:12 AM
One had hoped that the organization in charge of reporting the news might take the time to have Mr. James obtain this VITAL piece of the puzzle. Without the 1882 deed available for discussion, most of the debate will be hot air IMO.

Did the EH Trustees actually let go of the citizens' rights to beach access in 1882?

Perhaps some of the other news organizations will dig more deeply on this.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 6, 11 1:39 PM
You will have to pry the beaches from our cold, dead hands before Bonackers give up the rights to trucks, dogs & BBQ's on the ocean! Screw these self-absorbed, self-entitled whinesters who want to spoil what little pleasure we have left on the weekends, in what little space there is left to do it in!
By SisBoomBonacker (106), Hamptons on Apr 6, 11 3:05 PM
FINE. The Whinesters want to block our truck access to our beaches, which have been our right for generations? Then how about we block THEM from coming to our stores, bars, restaurants, fairs, fish shacks and farmstands? How about we don't answer the calls when they need plumbing, electrical work, painting and landscaping? It goes both ways, mateys.
By AARGHHH (12), Hamptons on Apr 6, 11 4:11 PM
Don't forget ambulance and fire and other first responders and town employees providing services.
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Apr 7, 11 1:39 AM
Boycott Village Hardware aqnd Kiembock
By housewife (79), east hampton on Apr 8, 11 11:37 PM
There is truth to what they bring to the economy has been a good thing. However, tourism would most likely still exist, mounuments to excess, or not. Too much of any "good" thing, can be an unhealthy thing. It's NOT their home. It's their second, or third house in come cases. They've made it next to impossible for the next generation of locals to afford a home, and raise children here. I wonder why the locals feel encroached upon, eh?

Though it "goes both ways", there are simply some ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 6, 11 4:20 PM
Yeah, Matey. They don't want to see the big 'ol Bonackers in trucks on "their" pristine white beaches. But when the same 'ol Bonackers are called to respond when there is a fire, or when an ambulance is needed, or if someone is drowning in Napeague - then all of a sudden, they are happy to see Bubs in their trucks come to the rescue.
By SisBoomBonacker (106), Hamptons on Apr 6, 11 4:40 PM
I don't even really need to comment, everyone took the words right out of my mouth. That's the last ocean beach locals even have a chance at enjoying, and how dare these people try to take that away and ruin the little bit of Summer we get. The only person involved in the suit who's a real resident is Bernie Kiembock, who owns True Value Hardware in EH Village. As word is spreading he is losing the patronage and overall respect of many, many year round customers because of this, and he deserves ...more
By YesYesBub (58), East Hampton on Apr 6, 11 4:49 PM
2 members liked this comment
The Deed! The Deed! We need to see it ASAP.

If the EH Town Trustees gave beach access away in 1882, then we can all be reading from the same page.

Without referencing the same legal document (if it really exists and purports to show such a transaction), it will be difficult to have a productive discussion here.

A dastardly deed, indeed?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 6, 11 5:46 PM
2 members liked this comment
Arthur W. Benson (c.1798–1889) was a president of Brooklyn Gas Light who developed the New York City suburbs of Bensonhurst and Montauk.

Benson founded the Brooklyn Gas Light company in 1823, when Brooklyn had 9,000 people.[citation needed]

He began buying farmland that was formerly owned by the Polhemuses family in 1835. Between 1830 and 1850 Benson divided the farmland into lots that were sold in the newly created suburb of Bensonhurst.

In 1869 Benson was one ...more
Apr 6, 11 6:17 PM appended by Mr. Z
Maria Pharaoh’s “Diary,” the only such document about 19th century Native lifestyles, describes their self-sufficient, happy homesteading lifestyle – gathering, hunting, fishing, guiding sportsmen and selling crafts. After David Pharaoh died of TB, Maria and her children could not maintain the homesteading lifestyle. They were lured to move to Freetown, north of Easthampton village, by promises by Frank Benson that they could return in summer, would get a yearly annuity, and education for the children. The Benson family, who had bought Montauk peninsula from the Town Trustees, used it as a hunting preserve and planned to develop it. The promises were empty, the Montaukett homes at Indian Field containing their deeds and records were burned, and they were driven away from their ancestral home.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 6, 11 6:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
Thanks Mr. Z for the detailed information. Sounds as if the deed in question is by no means a "done deal," and that further complicated and expensive litigation will continue.

Hopefully the Press, or another news organization, will post a PDF of the 1882 deed.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 6, 11 6:32 PM
Mr. Z,

Per your 6:17 addendum, it sounds as if this entire transaction stunk from the get go, and that any current claims of private property rights to the beach would be invalid on their face.

Alternatively, the current litigants (who claim rights under the 1882 deed) would be barred by the Rules of Equity Courts (which survive within the Common Law) by the doctrine of "Dirty Hands?"

Thanks again for the information.

PS -- Not to mention the atrocities done ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 6, 11 6:48 PM
I can also add that the Montaukett's fought Benson, and Corbin (LIRR) with all that they had. Benson and Corbin also involved an East Hampton "resident", Nathaniel Dominy VII to negotiate with the Montauketts. He defrauded them with verbal conditions, which were not in the Bill of Sale the Montauketts signed. He even told them they could return anytime they wanted, which was blatantly untrue. In the end, the Montauketts fought Benson until he died, his plans for developing Montauk died with ...more
Apr 6, 11 6:56 PM appended by Mr. Z
Now, I have to re-read "The end of the Hamptons:scenes from the class struggle in America's paradise".
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 6, 11 6:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
Thanks again Mr. Z for your detailed factual information. Very helpful.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 6, 11 7:08 PM
You're quite welcome.

I know sometimes I may seem a little off kilter, but I believe in this country, and I know there's really no comparison, but it's kind of a segue what is being/has been done to the middle class here, and in the rest of America. That book I mentioned, even Howard Zinn stated:

“Takes us beyond the much-romanticized beaches of Long Island to the rich entrepreneurs and their McMansions, the Latino workers, and the stubborn indigenous residents refusing ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 6, 11 7:17 PM
Yes, "off kilter" is not a good place for either of us.

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 6, 11 7:23 PM
BTW, I REALLY hope you have something there when it comes to the "clean hands doctrine".

Benson was not the most ethical businessman in history.
Apr 6, 11 7:33 PM appended by Mr. Z
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 6, 11 7:33 PM
1 member liked this comment
The original sale also included what's now Napeague State park, but that area was condemned by the state later on for public use. The snafoo of the deed is that it states the land owned goes up to the "common highwater", which can be interpreted in multiple ways. If it is translated to be the Mean High Water Mark that will still be just the beginning of determining exactly where that boundary will be, especially due to the fact that the beach is always changing. One week it can be a very short ...more
By YesYesBub (58), East Hampton on Apr 6, 11 7:00 PM
Thank you YesYesBub for the feedback. IMO in the spirit of the Dongan Patent, the exclusion of beach driving is not acceptable, if I understood you correctly.

In my personal opinion (as detailed above) this lawsuit to exclude locals from the beach does not have a legal leg upon which to stand!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 6, 11 7:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
I am not following you. Are you supporting the right for us to walk on the beach or do you consider driving essential? The two issues are not the same for everyone. And as far as I can tell, every beach is not treated equally. What are you asking our trustees to do and on whose behalf?
By beaches for all (3), NY - Amagansett on Apr 6, 11 7:49 PM
Public access is public access. This has historically included driving on the beach (within safety limits set by EH Town for the summer period).

The Trustees have a DUTY to protect this public access to the beach under the Dongan Patent (and other possible common law protections) for the public.

Both walking and driving motorized vehicles below the base of the dunes should be included IMO.

Someday, hopefully this RIGHT will include haul seining for striped bass again, ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 6, 11 8:06 PM
2 members liked this comment
Well, not to get off topic, But haul seining saves a lot more fish than gillnetting. The bycatch with haul seining is larger, but it was live, unlike the bycatch with gillnetting, which is forced by the government to be left dead on the sand.

And to think four (Yes, four.. you can count them on one hand) teams of fishermen are wiping out the bass population, compared to the hundreds of thousands of sporties, is quite frankly laughable.
By YesYesBub (58), East Hampton on Apr 8, 11 10:17 PM
to all please know that a comunity action group named CITIZENS FOR ACCESS RIGHTS has formed and are meeting to take this on. please visit our webpage for information on how you can help and please LIKE the page tab to show your support. this is a BEACH ACCESS issue. walking, "carting", driving has been and should always be allowed on our beachs. this lawsuit by few can affect many. also it would allow for the futher litigous ways of the landowner. there ARE other lawsuits ready to go forward ...more
By tito (56), e hampton on Apr 6, 11 8:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
to mr z and pbr, we welcome your great information on our facebook page if you would like to post it. ..................to also add one more insight to the lawsuit. the plantiffs in the case are also sueing their beach neighbors whom didn't want to sign onto the lawsuit.

By tito (56), e hampton on Apr 6, 11 8:52 PM
Don't have a Facebook page, but your are entirely welcome to the information posted. That is what it is there for. Public Domain. Then again, this just might be a good reason to break down, and create one.

In regard to the latter, my first reaction was "You have got to be $h!tt!ng me!", but, then I recalled exactly who we're dealing with...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 6, 11 9:28 PM
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 6, 11 9:39 PM
So what?! that makes him different from you and me?
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Apr 7, 11 4:36 PM
Check out who the lawyer is thats fighting for the towns rights. Its the former partner of the lawyer who is fighting the town. the same guy that was fighting the southampton trustees on beach issues. So is there a bigger picture to this issue? Poster vs strough. look it up on google scholar. The whole case is there. Southampton sold their beaches also but they can still use them because of this case and others
By clammer (23), hampton bays on Apr 7, 11 10:09 AM
If he does filch in his duties, that's more ammo for the locals.

Attorneys are bound to work vigorously, in favor of their client.

Otherwise, their hands are "dirtied".
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 8, 11 9:32 PM
300-600 really ??? Boy the rich do love to embellish
By lo-cal (78), southampton on Apr 7, 11 11:34 AM
While it may be unpopular, if the deed is in fact read as is claimed the public may be SOL. There is a great deal of misunderstanding of just what the Dongan Patent did and didn't say by people who've never seen it let alone read it. It doesn't specifically provide for beach access. I suggest all those who love to site it, when purporting to know of what they speak, read it first least you continue to spread the ignorance of your lack of knowledge.
Condemnation of the beach after a ruling ...more
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Apr 7, 11 12:08 PM
Well why don't you enlighten us all knowing one!!

The Town trustees made an official statement that they will fight this until the bitter end. The Town Board is not yet on 'board" but as soon as they see the overwhelming response from the community, they will have no choice but to fight it or be voted out. Period.
By YEAROUNDER (81), East Hampton on Apr 7, 11 1:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
Absolutly true - this issue is going to be THE big dealbreaker for Town officials and Trustees, and this could very well get them voted out of office if they don't fight this tooth and nail for the people, till the bitter end. People will remember this forever if any of our beaches are taken away from us in favor of the greedy and selfish homeowners in Napeague who simply don't want to see us and our trucks, dogs and BBQ's every weekend. We're supposed to be invisible, until they need us for services..........and ...more
By SisBoomBonacker (106), Hamptons on Apr 7, 11 1:52 PM
2 members liked this comment
What about adverse possession. The beach goers and the public have openly tresspassed on this beach for the past 129 years. Cant the Town of East Hampton lay claim to that?? As a private property owner I can do that. Why not municpal?? You have an unbroken chain of open and obvioous use.
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Apr 7, 11 5:53 PM
3 members liked this comment
Yes, there are numerous ways the Town can go about getting the land back should they lose the case. But from what I heard from folks who went to the Cfar meeting, the Town board all but said they would not pursue any of those avenues (condemnation, adverse possession, etc. )
By YEAROUNDER (81), East Hampton on Apr 7, 11 6:33 PM
In my personal opinion, if the EH Town Board does not back up the Trustees on defending the Dongan Patent (and other Common Law) beach access rights, they will simply confirm that they are not elected public servants, but instead petty bureaucratic tyrants who wish to be thrown out of office this Fall.

Unfettered public beach access is paramount.

The "line in the sand" starts at the base of the dunes.

Per earlier posts, the likelihood of losing this lawsuit base on a deed ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 7, 11 7:16 PM
2 members liked this comment
Well, apparently that's what we get when we elect a supervisor whose (virtually) entire career was based on keeping tourists happy. Many are very afraid that the board will roll over with their tails between their legs, but the trustees appear more than ready to put their gloves on.
By YesYesBub (58), East Hampton on Apr 7, 11 7:38 PM
You are being sucked in by the ACAC people -- the very people who last year posted guards to cut off beach access to locals, who have wanted to disban the trustees for 20 years, and who want total control over every thing. These are the ACAC people who have attacked the current supervisor on every front because they are Democrats and they want power back. They now will attempt to trick people into thinking ACAC and the local Democrats are all of a sudden pro open beach access to everyone, in support ...more
By acacexposed (2), amagansett on Apr 9, 11 9:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
OF NOT LOSING ACCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
By acacexposed (2), amagansett on Apr 9, 11 9:25 PM
The town board needs to grow a backbone. Is there a way to see if any of our political mavens have received political contributions from these wealthy beach front property owners? It is very telling that the town board has made very little noise about the RAPE of Napeague. In fact at the very least Wilkerson should have commented about this suit months ago! This truly sounds like a WHITEWASH. They have left our trustees...hanging in the wind.
By surf protector (12), East Hampton on Apr 8, 11 1:47 AM
The people who are trying to make political hay of this are the same people who have been denying access with private security people for years-- the Democrats. They have also been trying to undermine the trustees for decades. Do you think Klopman, Mazur and the Connservators support Wilkinson? They have been fighting him on everything. They are the ones who want to use this beach access issue to split the Republicans and locals so they can swoop in and to take control of town government again. ...more
By connwatcher (112), east hampton on Apr 9, 11 9:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
Exactly. Because the board hasn't commented on an issue that affects the very fabric of what makes this a great place to live (the beaches) for over a year should raise alot of eyebrows!!

They new campaign slogan: ITS THE BEACHES STUPID!!
By YEAROUNDER (81), East Hampton on Apr 8, 11 11:55 AM
1 member liked this comment
The campaign slogan should be


The Dems strategy is to divide and conquer -- and if they accomplish that and take over then you will never again be allowed to ride on the beach. I will guarantee that a Democrat town board majority will mean a 24 hour ban on ALL beach riding everywhere-year round. Don't be sucked into the Democrat trap -- the majority on the town board right now is the best hope you have to preserve ...more
By connwatcher (112), east hampton on Apr 9, 11 9:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
ConnWATCHER... good point...IT's so true that the republicans control the BOARD and all they have to do is well, protect the generations of beach goers who have enjoyed the freedom of beach access...and they will remain in power! I'm a staunch republican...and I'm embarrassed by the BOARD's refusal to tell the elitists that the town will SIMPLY ENFORCE THE POLICING OF THE BEACHES BETTER...as long as they drop the suit. DON'T turn this into a politically motivated issue...LIAR...LIAR..PANTS ON ...more
By surf protector (12), East Hampton on Apr 10, 11 10:53 AM
Surf protector...you introduced politics into this issue along with your buddy Yearrounder. You accuse Wilkinson of a "whitewash" and Yearounder responds with a campaign slogan. Sounds political to me. The nuanced threat against Wilkinson is if he doesn't do it your way he will be out. That is exactly what those who have been wanting to ban beachriding 24/7 for decades want. They want Wilkinson and the Republicans out so they can get their people in to take away beach riding in total and take ...more
By mrmako61 (148), southampton on Apr 10, 11 7:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
I believe they tried that . . . it wasn't good enough for the homeowners. Also - what exactly are they "protecting and enforcing" there as opposed to every other inch of sand that is "the beach"? Too many people enjoying themselves on a Sunday? Boo Hoo
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Apr 10, 11 7:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
Mr. Mako- I could not have said it better. Being from Southampton you know what it takes to protect beach access. Based on your other posts it is obvious you are well versed in issues like this one that faces the east end. I have overserved the East Hampton Conservators since they formed and I know they want to eliminate beach riding forever. I also know they are a front for the local Democratic Committee, so when their members and supporters now say the current Republican Town Board is not ...more
By connwatcher (112), east hampton on Apr 10, 11 8:18 PM
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NOPE..this is not a republican,deomocrat,or independent issue...this is lay blame where it belongs..and that is the people who are presently in charge! I think the trustees are doing a good job and they are mostly republicans. But the BOARD is RUN BY R-e-p-u-b-l-i-c-a-n-s and they are not being responsive or even vocal about this issue. If the Supervisor was a democrat , WE'd all be asking him the same question. YOU guys are great spin artists.
By surf protector (12), East Hampton on Apr 11, 11 8:17 PM
Great mantra IT'S THE BEACHES STUPID! Are we the only people who realize the economic impact that PRIVATIZING OUR BEACHES WILL HAVE on everyone. The merchants in this town need a kick in the BASS....fishermen from here and away contribute millions to our economy ....buying gas, renting houses to fish here weeks at a time , bringing their families who spend like maniacs in local restaurants and shops. That WLIKINSON and his merry bunch of DO NOTHING TAKE NO ACTION BOARD....could not simply nudge ...more
By surf protector (12), East Hampton on Apr 8, 11 1:55 PM
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Surf Protector must be a Democrat Conservator because Surf Protector spends more time bashing Wilkinson and the Repuiblicans than addressing the issue. What would you do Surf Protector to enforce the laws better? Are there people speeding on the beach? Do the locals leave litter where they park on the beach? Do they not have permits? What exactly should be enforced more? If you truly are a local who drives, parks and relaxes on the beach, then are you saying you and you local friends need ...more
By connwatcher (112), east hampton on Apr 10, 11 8:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
Your screen name really seems to reflect your disposition...only you should change your spelling to CONWATCHER...obviously you are a republican put up job. And,trying to CON us into believing that laying the blame on the exact people who are presently in charge,is somehow politically motivated...is a C-o-n-j-o-b !!! You are either very gullible or deliberately putting a spin on the situation. Either way Con-job your agenda is transparent.
By surf protector (12), East Hampton on Apr 11, 11 8:30 PM
I am certainly not gullible. I can pick out a phoney like you in a heart beat. When confronted with a question that exposes your stupidity or political motivations you respond the way you did above. My question is... what improvements in enforcement are needed and/or what improvements in enforcement will result in the law suit being dropped? You criticize Wilkinson for not pushing for better enforcement on the beaches...tell me what that enforcement entails? Where do the locals, who ride and ...more
By connwatcher (112), east hampton on Apr 12, 11 10:00 PM
"CON-JOB"....this all started because your ELITIST friends claimed that the vehicle drivers were bringing dogs on the beach to close for comfort,making too many fires, unsafely,driving too fast, making too much noise,not watching their kids properly,etc....the only thing that they didn't bitch about was "OVER WEIGHT bathers!" A dedicated police force...glued to the spot would greatly reduce all of the alleged problems. And signage could be put up asking for orderly behavior and spelling out the ...more
By surf protector (12), East Hampton on Apr 15, 11 9:27 PM
What causes more harm to the environment? (a 3000-5000 square foot house in the "FRAGILE" dunes, or tire tracks in the sand?
By reality 101 (137), East Hampton on Apr 8, 11 6:52 PM

Plain, and simple.

Citdiots, stomping, and crying like a "terrible two"...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 8, 11 9:27 PM
Its not all seasonal people, we also have many local snoobs who oppose 4x4 beach access as well.
By reality 101 (137), East Hampton on Apr 8, 11 9:42 PM
I would love to see how those homeowners would react if all of the people they are messing up decided to hand them a bit of Karma; and stopped doing their lawns, upkeeping the homes, fixing their cars, teaching their kids, or, God forbid, come to their rescue when they cal 911. They're spitting in the faces of their own workers, servers, carpenters, firemen, policemen, EMTs, the list goes on... not that they care. Building houses on our sensitive cranberry bogs and beach dunes did ten times more ...more
By YesYesBub (58), East Hampton on Apr 8, 11 9:53 PM

No body's going to take away what is rightfully ours without a hell of a fight ---It's been tried in the past, and defeted and it will be defeted again - - Come on BILL give us a little support - - Town Board "get ya heads out of the sand" and stand up for Your own town people's rights. -- "Support the Trustees"
By pride of bonac (42), easthampton on Apr 8, 11 10:18 PM
This is a a BEACH DRIVING lawsuit not a beach access lawsuit. If our town officials ditch the trucks the law suits go away. This is easy to prove: just offer a settlement that sacrifices the trucks, but don't tell Jay. He wants us to support his truck driving agenda over all else. So ask yourself: who is being greedy?
By beaches for all (3), NY - Amagansett on Apr 8, 11 11:28 PM
There is no way to access that beach without a truck. There is NOTHING wrong with driving a truck on the beach. This is done across all across America. Some beaches are designated for 4x4 access and some for foot traffic only. Most people who use that beach abide by the laws, and keep things clean. That beach, by the way, is virtually void of vehicles all week. The only day that the property owners really are complaining about is Sunday. So in other words, they are talking about something in the ...more
By reality 101 (137), East Hampton on Apr 9, 11 7:40 AM
The Dongan Patent gives us the right to "pass and repass" any beach in the Town with our "horse and cart" , which in these days means a truck. This RIGHT has been upheld in State Supreme Court on at least two occasions. The laast time was the Southampton lawsuit with the citidiots in the Village. Has anyone in Easthampton contacted SABA(SOUTHAMPTON ASSOCIATION FOR BEACH ACCESS?) Check their website for info.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Apr 9, 11 8:06 AM
We should call SABA..great idea. Now there is a rumor that Georgica beach in EH has been challenged....that's only miles away from SAG and MECOX in SH. We should be working together...a threat to our beach is a threat to theirs!And, we should ask Fred Thiele to help out....there's a masterful politician who knows how to get things done and believes in the rights of we common folk to have foot and vehicle access. If we don't ask...you know the squeaky Wheel. Time to put action behind our words!
By surf protector (12), East Hampton on Apr 9, 11 12:13 PM
Great posts! We always bring a 30 gallon garbage can with us, for ourselves and neighbors who are parked nearby. When that fills up I direct everyone in need of a place for trash to toss it in the bed of my truck. The worst I've seen when it comes to activity is the occassional speedster, and they don't get very far before people (my hubby included) flag their arms at them to slow down, and they comply. Getting more informed with SABA is also a great idea, since they have more experience in ...more
By YesYesBub (58), East Hampton on Apr 9, 11 3:32 PM
First,this is not about making trouble for any particular political party. This is a grass roots uprising sponsored by the general beach going public who are greatly alarmed that the TOWN BOARD has not commented once about this issue,nor have they informed their constituents by discussing this lawsuit in a formidable town hall meeting! CAN you spell W-H-I-T-E W-A-S-H ?
By surf protector (12), East Hampton on Apr 10, 11 10:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
To all posters above. Be patient like Southampton. It seems that the lawsuit hinges on whether the Trustees sold the beach in the 1880's. That issue will be fleshed out and what happened with Mr. Benson 130 years ago will be fully vetted. He was slick so I would not put a lot of stock in anything his name is on. It also seems the filers of the suit say they own the beach in front of their homes, not the Town.

OK so first of all the Town can't condemn the property now because as of now ...more
By mrmako61 (148), southampton on Apr 10, 11 10:43 AM
2 members liked this comment
I don't think we should be hanging our hats on eminent domain. Here's why: can Easthampton use condemnation to reclaim a property they previously sold? We better check the statute on that one. I think that has been tried in court before and the government lost. Otherwise, nice gimmick: the government sells something and then changes their mind 100 years later and uses their power to claim it back. Somehow I don't think that will hold up in court.
By beaches for all (3), NY - Amagansett on Apr 10, 11 7:24 PM
all those houses built on cranberry bogs and in the dunes were permitted by the town ZBA. the owners hired $lick lawyer$ many of which have deep local republican connections. the chairman of the zba been there way too long and ruled opposite ways on the same property over the years with different owners. owners may have changed over the years but how'd the land change? don't be so quick to dis the conservators and the democrats since they're the ones who have proven to protect the envirernment ...more
By Brown25 (38), Northwest on Apr 11, 11 10:00 AM
How did this turn into a political thread? And Brown, what you said makes no sense. What's your point?
By YEAROUNDER (81), East Hampton on Apr 11, 11 6:20 PM
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 11, 11 7:00 PM
"We always bring a 30 gallon garbage can with us, for ourselves and neighbors who are parked nearby. When that fills up I direct everyone in need of a place for trash to toss it in the bed of my truck."
By YesYesBub (20), East Hampton on Apr 9, 11 3:32 PM


"Building houses ...more
By Brown25 (38), Northwest on Apr 12, 11 7:25 PM
OK Har...Bro...well you know who you are..... You want to blame the ZBA for those houses on the dunes? Wll most were built in the late 80's and 90's when the Democrats controlled the Town...You don't think the Democrats will ban beach riding? Well it was the Democrats who fought the Saskas-Miller case and LOST, THUS PRESERVING THE RIGHT TO BEACH DRIVE AND RECOGNIZING THE AUTHORITY OF THE TRUSTEES TO REGULATE THE BEACHES, THE DEMS WANTED TO END BEACH RIDING THEN AND THEY STILL DO AND MOST PEOPLE ...more
By connwatcher (112), east hampton on Apr 12, 11 10:18 PM
New article posted on 4/12 by Will James. No cross-links posted yet here or there.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 13, 11 1:23 PM
Details of Benson Deed posted by an "independent" East End weekly publication, but of course posting a link to this important bit of good reporting would be deleted here.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 13, 11 1:24 PM
PBR.. instead of whining about no link why not summarize the article?
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Apr 13, 11 3:20 PM
Just wondering why the White Sands Motel is part of the suit. Are trucks running back and forth behind the motel? Are they using the access on the east side of the motel and traveling west?
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Apr 13, 11 4:00 PM
white sand is on the suit because the owner, the same owner as eh hardware, need some other rich litigous individuals to jump onto the lawsuit to make it look better to a judge. i read there actually is two seperate suits but where presented at the same time.
By tito (56), e hampton on Apr 13, 11 9:40 PM
Well, over the course of a year, the high water mark can be right up to the dunes, if not encroaching on them.

I'd say THAT is the "high water mark". The deed doesn't mention the word "mean"...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 14, 11 5:44 PM
It seems that the unlimited amount of beach driving is what lead to this. Long before the availability of four-wheel drives, the tradition of fisherman to make a living was a normal thing but now the beach is barely usable by pedestrians in most of Amagansett due to the ruts from the waters edge and up into the dune grass. There are many over-weight people who plop the 4000 pound steel and oil machine right in the middle of the beach and have their festivities without any concern for others. Somehow ...more
By Sandman (6), amagansett, NY on Apr 15, 11 7:53 AM
Oh puullleease. If you can't walk to the waters edge b/c of tire tracks then may I suggest a personal trainer for you? I know many who be more than happy to help you walk one foot after the other.
Look, there has been little abuse of this "right" (not privilege). A police presence is welcome to see how well we do take care of our land. Plus, they can witness the screaming and complaining b/c a truck got with 50 feet of you. AND, the "availability of 4x4's? I've ALWAYS had one so they are ...more
By YEAROUNDER (81), East Hampton on Apr 15, 11 9:17 AM
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First the"WE CAN TAKE IT AWAY FROM YOU...because we have the TOWN BOARD IN OUR POCKETS BUNCH" said they brought this suit due to their request for better law enforcement at "THEIR" beach being IGNORED. THE town could easily hire or require a full time police presence at this beach ...and that's a solution that we could all live with! But this has never been about beach driving..."THEY" find our presence, in general to be AESTHETICALLY displeasing !!! TO THEM...we are the RIFFRAFF...not worthy ...more
By surf protector (12), East Hampton on Apr 15, 11 10:43 AM
1 member liked this comment
Surf protector----you just don't get it. No promise of better enforcement will get rid of the suit. You actually state that they"find our presence" dislpleasing. They just don't want anyone on the beach. The lawsuit I believe was filed before the current administration was even elected -- at least the notice of claim was filed. This has nothing to do with the current Town Board ---- it has to do with something that built up and exploded during the previous administartion. Why don't you buck ...more
By connwatcher (112), east hampton on Apr 17, 11 6:43 PM
Yes, they do lack intelligence CON-JOB....if they had any leadership skills they would have headed off this law suit by convincing the property owners to allow the town to ramp up the policing of the beach. Everyone would have been happy. This would never happen in South Hampton, our town board will be voted out in the next election,for not fighting hard enough to keep this horrible precedent from being set. But what do you expect, didn't the STAR report that 25% of the republican party's local ...more
By surf protector (12), East Hampton on Apr 18, 11 9:50 PM