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257 Comments by Rickenbacker

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Bridgehampton School Board Indicates It Will Pierce State Tax Cap

Bridgehampton should be focusing on doing a feasiblity study, in association with Sag Harbor School District, on the benefits of merging. Put Sagaponack SD in there as well. There is a base minimum cost for operating a school, and pretty soon every district out here (there are 10 just east of the canal) will be swamped in costs. The piercing of the tax cap is just a symptom, not the cure. Just as Sag Harbor SD should not be looking to purchase Stella Maris buildings, BH SD needs to look at that fact that it doesn't really have an enrollment to much longer justify its independent existence. But it will take frank talk, and that included tax talk, to get this rectified. Why does't the Press ever ask those questions?" Mar 31, 16 2:20 PM

If Blinking Light Program Is Successful, County Road 39 Could Get A New Underpass Instead Of Light

Very interesting. While the town/county planners are trying to figure out the mess that is CR 39, the Shinnecock club's long awaited push to close off Tuckahoe road (one of the most scenic public vistas we can enjoy) is now conveniently part of the solution. Nice try, but we've been watching the quiet clearing of an alternate route over the past few years, designed solely to get that beautiful ambling stretch closed off from the public for good. Just my opinion, but I'm not sure closing off this incredible view is in the public's interest, though it is clearly in the golf club's interest. " Apr 21, 16 9:30 AM

Who really cares about what traffic is like during a one-week, once in a decade or so event? Whatever happens that week traffic-wise, is particular to that unique event and not particularly relevant to long-term planning. " Apr 25, 16 1:46 PM

Tuckahoe School District Plans To Pierce The Cap

Time to put the merger plan back on the table. Maybe we can get it passed this time around before Southampton finds itself in a similar situation down the road. " Apr 27, 16 9:19 AM

As Rental Registry Begins In East Hampton, A Rush Of Applications

I have no quarrel with EH Town having a rental law. I do believe that the town's requirement to force homeowners, newspaper publishers, online services, and real estate agencies to post a government-issued number inside a real estate listing advertisement is wholly unconstitutional. Advertising is an expression of free speech, and a governmental body forcing all of those entities to attach a government-approved stamp (the registry number) to the ad or face monetary penalties ($1,500 per day?), is completely contrary to an understanding of free speech. In fact, the ONLY realistic reason why the Town wants it this way is that is gives it a cheap method of enforcement. I don't think trampling on free expression rights is the right way to go about it. I hope someone challenges EH Town in court sooner than later on this aspect of the law, something none of the other municipalities who have rental laws have adopted, nor one they should consider. It's a significant overreach of a local municipality." May 4, 16 12:15 PM

Suffolk County Planning Commission Approves Southampton Town's Proposed PDD Moratorium

This is such a political stunt. Since the town board is not compelled to even review a PDD application, and cannot freeze the in-process application reviews with this moratorium, what is the point of the moratorium? If all you think will happen is that the board will now debate eliminating the PDD law, can't anyone go back in time to see why it was the PDD law was enacted in the first place? If we modify the PDD, or clarify some of the things that seem to make people very upset, that doesn't require a moratorium. I'd love to see someone give a level-headed reasoning on why this moratorium is necessary when the board already has the right to ignore all new applications for a year if it sees fit. " May 8, 16 1:18 PM

Turkey Bridge, I simply requested a level-headed explanation on the real need for this moratorium knowing full well the board does not legally or ethically have to consider any if it doesn't want to. Instead, you attack me, not the issue. That's sort of telling to me that you don't really have a good foundation on which to defend this moratorium idea. It's just a political smoke and mirrors ploy, to fulfill some campaign pledges, which were no vetted during the election process. The other canard is the idea of repealing the PDD law without anyone, including this newspaper, of researching their own coverage back when the PDD was first put in place to put into context exactly WHY the PDD was needed in the first place. The idea that the PDD law has been gamed, or rigged by developers is certainly an appropriate thing to debate, but throwing out the law entirely rather than tightening its language is short-sighted and just playing into the Amper-esque worldview, which while honorable, may not be the overall worldview to the town's general population. " May 10, 16 10:19 AM

Southampton Town Board Votes To Enact PDD Moratorium

That's not a very convincing viewpoint. There were a number of very good reasons that the PDD law was put in place in the first place. It would be far better to review those reasons to see if they are still relevant, compare that to what has transpired since, and then make changes to the law to both address those previous concerns as well as current concerns. Repealing the law is probably not in the community as a whole's interest, and I think from the article it's pretty clear Jay is on that page." May 26, 16 3:22 PM

UPDATE: Schneiderman Unveils More Details About Proposal To Reroute Tuckahoe Road

Don't do it! This is one of the last open vistas that the general public has access to when walking, driving, or biking across that road. The golf club has lived with this local road in peace for decades, let's not lose sight that the US Open only come around once a decade (if that) and is only a one week show (where the road would be appropriately closed to the public). Closing the road permanently will eliminate a precious local view which solely benefits the Shinnecock members and provides no public benefit. Let the golf club build a parking lot on the clubhouse side of the road and let the public travel freely. This is a land grab short and sweet, and if the community is asleep on this we will lose it. " Jun 15, 16 10:57 AM

Second Tuckahoe School Budget Proposal Fails To Muster Enough Voter Support

Can it just be said that this situation was pretty much anticipated when the Southampton-Tuckahoe "merger" was debated. The fact is, no matter who is on the board, no matter how much you cut programs, personnel or equipment, the school as a going concern's days are numbered. The merger (I know it wasn't technically a merger) was the only concrete way to assure both Tuckahoe's, and I'll go out on a limb and say Southampton's, future. The cost of running a school district in Suffolk County, at its most basic and efficient, is still too expensive for the Tuckahoe residents at the given size of this district. This district is not going to change state-wide tax laws on golf courses, it is not getting oceanfront property anytime soon, and it can't levy its residents any higher. It is also incredibly obnoxious that Southampton school district residents (and I'm only addressing those who voted down the merger) can sit along smugly while their neighboring community (which also supports the Southampton district) pays twice their school tax rate, one of the highest on the East End.

You can run that budget vote, if you could, over and over, and see no change in the result. I agree with residents who say, "enough", but I don't think further cutting is going to amount to anything substantive or long term that's good for the district. Tuckahoe frankly needs to completely rethink its very existence. Either merge with a larger, neighboring school district (I'm assuming the effort a year ago to create a central district among the South Fork districts is DOA), or find a way to gracefully cede the ground. The only other alternative is more cost, more pain, and more of this same back and forth which doesn't accomplish much. You can argue for changes in the board, changes in the budget, but none of that will give you a better result. It is a simple fact, and as a previous Superintendent said it best, "Tuckahoe will go academically insolvent before it goes financially insolvent." And as some of the commenters seem to be saying here, that process has already begun.

This day was coming.

What to do now? This a classic case of not seeing the forest for the trees. All East End school districts are going to eventually have to contend with this same situation at one time in the future. My opinion is the little ones need to go big (merge with another district), or go home (let another another district take over). I think Tuckahoe has historically been a great district, but the time has come to do something very different. " Jun 22, 16 2:58 PM

I’d like to correct the $50k per student number that’s been posted here as fact. It’s not fact, and doesn’t take into consideration the number of high school students attending Southampton from Tuckahoe. The number today is closer to $37,000 per student. Put this into perspective. It costs Southampton at least that much per student, maybe more. Tuckahoe also looks pretty efficient when compared to other small districts' budget per student ratio - $40,000 for Sagaponack students, over $76k per student in Amagansett, $60,000 in Montauk, $62,000 per student in Bridgehampton, Wainscott...wait for it...over $112,000 per student! Shocking, no? How about if you were to realize that Wainscott has one of the lowest school tax rates on the South Fork, or that Bridgehampton, with probably the second lowest also runs an entire K-12 school district with all mandates in place for just over 100 real students (not counting the non-tuition paying students that some say quietly come from outside the area, but we won’t go there now).

This gets back to my point earlier. It’s not the board, it’s not even the budget, which is likely pretty efficient (when compared to schools in the area of similar size). The average for the country is somewhere north of $12k per student, the NY average is $17k per student, the bigger districts in the county run between $17k-$25k per student.

Our nonsensical, in today’s terms, approach to continue to tolerate 10 school districts east of the canal with a combined student body of under 6,000 students is not workable for today’s education requirements. If you look at price per student for our local districts, we are paying a big premium for allowing a now centuries-old construct of tiny common and union free school districts. The average well run Suffolk County school district with budgets that work out to under $25k per student have individual student bodies of at least 6,000 students, and they have all the programs and services that a modern competitive education system requires. Tuckahoe cannot scale to these requirements anymore. These little fiefdoms of tax boundaries are not sustainable.

Those in Southampton who claim that people who bought in Tuckahoe knew what they were getting into when they moved there misses the point entirely. It’s not about location, it’s about the cost of basic education and the best way to efficiently deliver it to the most people. It is practically an elitist, racist, and unsavory enterprise that millions of dollars are levied by both the Sagaponack and Wainscott districts for less than 15 students per district, money that could be better utilized by a larger and better equipped East Hampton and Southampton district.

Tuckahoe is just one symbol of what is wrong with the district makeup on the East End. It’s time we stop whining about the boards, about whether you live in the Tuckahoe part of Southampton or the Water Mill part of Southampton, and do something concrete and meaningful that will make the educational system out here work both for students and for the taxpayers who work hard to pay those educational expenses." Jun 23, 16 9:34 AM

That concerns me as well. Will it take a grass roots group to raise awareness? Who would the group be raising awareness for? I agree with you the school boards and administers won't likely vote themselves off the island, and it is very clear that any negative tax impacts will be resisted by whoever is impacted. How can local politicians, residents, and educators get involved. What would be the overriding goal, larger districts made up of, let's say Southampton, East Hampton and Sag Harbor, or a universal central district to which all current districts sit under that umbrella? What is the best alternative to what we have now, which isn't working?" Jun 23, 16 1:29 PM

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club President Says Tuckahoe Road Proposal Is A Matter Of Safety

Don't do it! Agree with foodwhiner, if members areok with footing the bill for a proposed entire roadway (and all the engineering, grading, drainage, paving, signage, that comes along with that, then save the club members some money and put in a simple underpass or two so that members and carts can cross. Think about putting the "children's" course (that's a new one) and the parking lot on the clubhouse side of the road. There is no "public" benefit here, only a membership wish that seeks to cut off one of the most scenic vistas in Southampton. This is really one of those things we ought to preserve. " Jul 6, 16 2:55 PM

Popularity Of Wolffer Sunset Gatherings Rankles Sagaponack Neighbors, But State Blocks Limits

Don't stop the music or the activity. It's one of those rare little gathering places that helps make the Hamptons "seem" a bit more friendly. This is not in any way related to the situation that happened in Montauk, It's also sort of refreshing that this little rich-kid village can't lock down something apparently many people enjoy simply because of a few complaints. The greater good at work? " Jul 8, 16 12:41 PM

First of all, the cesspool overflow is nonsense (and the article points to portable toilets in any case). Second, the cars aren't "blocking" your roads, they may be parked alongside the road, but not blocking traffic. Second, I've lived in Water Mill and heard live music, for years now, from Duck Walk and the Parrish, which comes across the fields and is perfectly audible. So what? Sounds like life to me. So, how do I feel? I feel like people should enjoy all aspects of life out here, in moderation. So, Montauk you might hold up as having been a little excessive, but this little wine stand, no way. " Jul 10, 16 8:43 PM

Revised Tuckahoe Center Proposal Submitted To Southampton Town

However, it was never "overwhelmingly rejected" by the community. If you simply measured town board public hearings and actually counted, you would have figured there were significantly more supporters than opponents. There was no overwhelming rejection in the letters sent to the Town either. Our public representatives have also not voted on this, so there is no rejection whatsoever. So, those facts are just wrong. I guess we are going to get back into this debate again, but there is a very big need here that this center addresses and ignoring it by using the old "traffic armageddon" tactic I don't think is sufficient enough to prevent some needed services for this area of the town. Stop & Shop clearly did not solve the problem which has been voiced by many local year round residents. " Aug 10, 16 11:34 AM

Yes, it is long past time that a modern grocery store was built in this area, and the 1970 master plan even anticipated it. At that time, population in the Tuckahoe and surrounding areas were not sufficient to support that, but today, it is a crystal clear need, considering that Stop & Shop is the only reasonable alternative. Both the BH and HB grocery stores are far enough away that the cars local cars that need to travel there and back are only adding to the traffic situation. As population and rampant residential development continue (single family homes, condos, townhouses, etc), especially in and around Tuckahoe, the subtending services for that increased population would be a natural outgrowth. Otherwise, those residents will continue to use the main and subsidiary road arteries to get to alternative, adding to traffic along CR 39, the Village, etc. You cannot have such increased residential density and hope that the status quo infrastructure will simply support it for basic services such as a general services supermarket. To deny it and wish everyone would just go home and we could go back to the bucolic 1970's is not a strategy in my opinion. " Aug 10, 16 12:00 PM

To answer this one specifically Dave H, I am TOTALLY AGAINST the closure of Tuckahoe Rd for the benefit of the golf club. If you had actually read any of my 107 comments you would have seen in my most recent comments that I have been very clear in my opinion that the proposed re-routing is not in the public’s interest whatsoever (please acknowledge that, if you please). So, just because Phanex or you can’t actually address the facts but again need to stoop to personal attacks and unqualified assertions about me, doesn’t mean my opinion and the actual facts related to the proposed shopping center has lost any of its veracity. I have been consistent on this point since the beginning along with my comments, and will keep that opinion going forward because, as an infrastructure support project for the community, I still believe 100% that this shopping center is necessary given rapidly growing residential density in the immediate and surrounding area. If you believe I have an emotional attachment to it, sure, I suppose I could say the same about you, and both of us are commenting again now on this issue because this is the first article written about it since the earlier in the spring.

Now let’s talk about the issue, and not to denigrate the motives of the commenter, that’s not going to be productive for you. I assume you come from a position where you see this as a problem for the community. I see it as a big benefit. We can discuss the finer points of residential density in the area, the coming of the hospital, the preservation of the driving range, the loss of the last farm field in Tuckahoe, the blighted condition of CR 39, whatever you want. But I believe the reality of what is actually happening in the community related to density and services today, and tomorrow, tell us that the future will require something like this shopping center to fulfill those needs. That’s a valid opinion, also shared by many, I hope you can understand that." Aug 11, 16 12:05 AM

It’s good to see you are now on board about the need for a new grocery store. Let’s talk about location since the other complaint seems to be that this one is not appropriate. In fact, there are only so many places that can support the requirements set by the Shopping Center zone. If I remember correctly there were about 4-5 locations between the canal to the west and Bridgehampton to the east that would support it. One of those is the current proposed site, another was land near David White’s Ln, and another was the Elks property (keeping it west of Water Mill, which is where the need is). I don’t recall the other ones, but they were less suitable. All were located along CR39 or on 27 moving east, however.

The proposed site for the Tuckahoe Center is a part of CR 39 that is not currently utilized efficiently. It has more than enough land for screening, environmental concerns, etc, and is close to what is likely the densest residential housing in the Town of Southampton (consider Bishops Pond, the new condos, the future Sandy Hollow development, and other newer and older existing subdivisions). It comes with plans to expand the roadway there, and to create alternate ingress and egress. I would agree that no site is perfect in this patchwork developed area, but of the available sites, this one is certainly the most ideal. If it weren’t so necessary, I’d probably be against it, too, but it is necessary, and the need is demonstrated. This may well be the last opportunity to convert a commercial location for a better use to serve more of the community than just popping in another luxury car dealership, large chain furniture store, or another Applebee's." Aug 14, 16 9:18 AM

Bigfresh, I am a LOCAL resident, and a lot of other LOCAL residents want to see this project built. Based on the two traffic studies, one done by the developer and the other contracted independently by the town, both point to significant reductions in miles traveled across CR 39 and its surrounds. I drive that stretch often as well, and have discussed this many times with other reasonable LOCAL residents, who seem to agree that based on their experience, existing traffic isn’t likely to be negatively impacted. So, I am of the opinion, based on facts and personal experience, not hyperbole, and not by simply playing the “traffic card,” that the impact of the Tuckahoe Center will have little or no affect on traffic flow even at the very site of the stores. Your “mega” descriptor, which is a ludicrous appellation relative to the actual square footage of this project, is simply a discredited talking point which attempts to get people to believe that this is some sort of a “Yuge" development. In fact it is a fraction the size of both the BH and HB King Kullens, and the HB S&S. The S&S in Southampton, as you know, is undersized, and it cannot reasonably be expanded with appropriate parking unless you are willing to dig up the cemetery next door. This is an appropriately sized and located proposal in a place where the Town all along has considered that a center like this could go. Yes, are there some opponents, certainly, like anything proposed. But this project is worthy for the time, and scaled to meet the needs of actual demand." Aug 15, 16 9:09 AM

As I've said in the past to this tired, discredited "traffic armageddon" rant, when you say "Traffic, Traffic, Traffic!", all we hear is "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!" All of your questions were answered very specifically at public hearings and in the application documents. " Aug 15, 16 12:19 PM

Mssrs. Z and Turkey Bridge speak with all the exclusionary rhetoric that is typical of commenters who refuse to acknowledge that the immediate area has already been inundated with new residential buildings, whether that is new construction homes north of the highway, condos, and townhouses, and illustrative of only one small part of the overall effect of a continual growing population density in the Hamptons, significantly so since 1980. This exceptionalism is also mind-numbingly ignorant of the effect of that reality, one which you complain about all the time: the traffic. That traffic does mean something, that there are way more people and business out here than ever were before, and they are not all simply serving mansions and beachfront homes. Your point about farming/fishing/summer resort area is well taken, and I agree with you that we should preserve as much of that possible, but the area around which we are speaking has no more farm fields, is far from fishing, and the old time summer resort communities, while not along CR 39, you can still find (see Southampton Shores, Pineneck, the Peconic Beach Club, the Shinnecock Yacht Club, etc for examples). There is still that bucolic feeling in North Sea, in Noyac, in many parts of Water Mill, as well as many other areas that have that feeling or have already been preserved. Folks, this is commercial property on CR 39 we are talking about, not parkland that is going to be turned into commercial use. Wake up. Telling people who don’t agree with you to go to Nassau is divisive and is patently blind to the needs of a growing and diverse community." Aug 16, 16 9:06 AM

You need to walk in our footsteps to understand how silly that sounds given the present situation. " Aug 16, 16 11:36 AM

Good one. That was funny. " Aug 17, 16 12:23 PM

OK, so I've lived and worked here for over 36 years, was never a "summer visitor", am not being paid for my opinion (the grocery shopping situation here is NOT fine), my kids born in Southampton hospital and graduated from the school system, etc. That likely doesn't qualify me for "true" local status, but it does give me a fairly long perspective. It's also beside the point, since what you are espousing still smacks of an "us" vs "them" attitude and I wonder if you even have a good sense of who your neighbors today are as opposed to this gauzy memory of some bygone time when things were just perfect for you. " Aug 17, 16 12:35 PM

Press News Group Files Lawsuit Against Southampton School District Seeking Details Of Former Superintendent's Departure

OK, I know you might have a bridge to sell me.... but what if what Farina did was only enough, on one hand, for the board to convince him to resign (mainly because of the optics of the event), but on the other, did not rise to a level where he would be in breach of his employment contract? What if a critical aspect of his agreement to immediately leave the district, an agreement that would be legally binding on both sides, was a stipulation of no wrongdoing by one or both sides (a common end result in all sorts of contractual disagreements, see Goldman Sachs, Apple, etc)?

In this case, the board would probably be within its rights, as well as contractually obligated, to not disclose anything publicly AND still meet the terms of the superintendent's contract which ended up in a big payout. I'm not so sure the Press has really explored this possibility. It seems to me that the Press has only been taking an angle in protest of its denied FOIA request that there may be something more afoot, but it also isn't making a case that there actually is. It's only complaining that it didn't get the info it wanted, and panders to its readers that "taxpayers have a right to know." Maybe yes, maybe no. We don't know, though it might be nice for the school board to enlighten the public a little more regarding its non-disclosure on this situation, other than the lame "we don't discuss personnel issues". On this, I agree with the Press.

If the Farina behavior was so reprehensible, let's for argument's sake say even criminal, wouldn't the school board have fought the payout? I would imagine any decent legal employment contract has language that deals directly with the consequences of serious defaults between parties. If the issues that forced Farina out were not in that ball park, then what is the Press after, other than to take some stand on the way public agencies can deny legitimate FOIA filings? The Press at times does get a little prickly when shown that they might be overreaching, missed something, or, dare I say it, be wrong about something, and I wonder if this lawsuit is going to go anywhere. Should we assume the Press knows more detail on this school incident than it has reported, and that maybe this lawsuit will uncover something more unsavory? It doesn't seem like that to me. Seems at this point that the lawsuit is more a reaction to a bruised ego than a fact-finding mission of a potential contractual cover-up or financial malfeasance. But I guess I'm just gullible...." Aug 30, 16 4:53 PM

Not at all. Read the article. The seeds of what I commented on are reported in this article. I'm open to being convinced otherwise but for now I think this lawsuit is pretty weak." Aug 31, 16 7:13 AM

That's all very nice, and as I said, maybe there is something to gain from it. While your effort seems noble (I've had frustrating experiences with local government denying FOIL requests for something that should have been publicly available - looking at you, Sag Harbor), I have been more troubled by the Press' inability to analyze what might very well be a legitimate reason for denying you the FOIL information you requested. I also note your surprising emphasis on getting your attorney's fees back, as well as the Press's sidling up with the Southampton Association, the very same bad actor that was critical to derailing the Southampton-Tuckahoe school merger. It telegraphs to me that maybe this isn't all so noble. As a result, this lawsuit WILL cost additional taxpayer money (the district probably can mount a meritorious defense, even if it ultimately loses the suit, and probably will not be required to pay all your attorney fees - this was a voluntary action on your part, after all).

And yes, I did read the court filings, and was fascinated to see how big, bad and ugly the behavior of the district has been, but at the same time it states that the Press, a multi-million dollar, for-profit operation, and one of the larger employers in the area, claims to the court that you are but a "small media" company. Oh, poor Oliver! At the same time, in the court of public opinion, you have already made this self-generated action front page "news", and your editorial this week is all about your very-serious-person rationale, even before any proceedings have begun. Innocence before guilt, herr editor? So, since none of that matters in a real court, what is it you are trying to accomplish with all the publicity? Raising awareness to sell more newspapers, more online impressions, generating embarrassment within the district, all under the guise of some civic responsibility you've suddenly woken up to... oh wait, that's right, there's the tax-biased Southampton Association footing half the bill, your Fagin in this story.... maybe that's what's co-opting you.

My question is why didn't you just quietly sue the district, with or without the Association's help, for your noble cause and wait and see if you could win it, then broadcast the result as "news."" Sep 1, 16 2:49 PM

The problem is, when you go to court, it's a 50-50 shot going in. No matter how right you may think you are, the court's job is to give equal weight and consider both sides' arguments. In the process, both sides will be knocked down a peg or two by the other, and the judge will have to decide on what legitimately remains. I suspect you won't be publishing any of the other side's defending arguments in your newspapers. So, I just hope you think you had at least an 85% chance of winning going in, which might mean you will ultimately prevail, but it seems on its face, and within your documents, that there is this air of self-righteousness indignation, and that when compared to potentially contrary facts, especially with regard to contracts and confidentiality agreements, may not rise to as high a level of confidence as you really need. In which case, you may very well lose. But I guess we will just have to see. As I said, it's not a purely altruistic effort on the publisher's part, and it's why I said bruised ego, cause that's what it feels like." Sep 1, 16 2:50 PM

"There is no such thing as a legitimate reason for a taxpayer supported institution to deny a FOIL request by a taxpayer"... a very naive and factually incorrect statement. Actually, there are a host of potential legitimate exemptions to disclosure, and one of which was ticked off in the denial paperwork. Whether their legitimate denials were actually legitimate reasons could be debated, but not the fact that public agencies have some leeway on this, narrow as it is. No fiction or lecturing, just my opinion that this lawsuit seems a little half-cocked. I might be wrong about that, but we will see if this ever gets to trial or it is settled somehow out of court. As I stated in a previous comment, I think that the district should have been more forthcoming, in some way, but contractually they may be been advised to restrict any communication. " Sep 2, 16 11:16 AM

Springs Man Sues Over Hamlet Signs

Don't forget Watermill. " Sep 3, 16 10:28 AM

Petition To Keep Tuckahoe Road Open Gains Traction

Disagree with Bob Schepps here. There is nothing "Yuge" to get here, other than a guarantee to the public that this road, and the vistas will remain publicly available. It's not about dollars. Find dollars elsewhere. This is about carving off a little bit of Southampton natural beauty for a weak safety claim that in any case can be mitigated many with many other effective alternatives. Yes, the supervisor should meet with all sides, but in the end, this should not be seriously considered, as it seems the idea is wrongheaded and misses the opportunity to preserve something very special about our home. " Sep 13, 16 12:43 PM

Suffolk County Planning Commission Deems Tuckahoe Center Application Incomplete

Once again, supporters make emotional and well-documented pleas to the commission, and once again, the same 4-5 angry "do-nothing" opponents pushed their agenda with hyperbole and non-facts. And once again, a village trustee tried to protect turf with cries of lower property values (no evidence at all), the RT58-ifying of CR 39 (not possible or even conceivable given the spaces and uses on CR39), and that most people buy online (um, nope, how many Fresh Direct trucks have you seen in your neighborhood? Exactly).

I've commented many times on this over a number of years, and the same things come out: there is a demonstrated need, density is higher outside the village, the village has not solved anything with regard to options, and the people outside the village want their supermarket because they viscerally understand that the alternatives are becoming more and more burdensome. This was a smart plan to begin with, and it is an even smarter plan now. The commission should bless this plan as it addresses every forward-looking criteria they and the town have set for new development in this corridor. " Oct 12, 16 1:33 PM

Funny, yet not true. Just keeping consistent with my long held opinion on this." Oct 13, 16 11:55 AM

Traffic, traffic, traffic....marsha, marsha, Marsha! Trying to link all supporters to the developer just shows that you may be in denial of the demonstrated need that exists. Many of the commenters, including me, are never going to make a dime on this project, nor care to, but we do believe that it should go forward in the interest of the greater community (not the 5 angry people) and is in the right place and at the right time, and will benefit those that can utilize a better shopping option in the area. Hopefully, a board member will read this as well. " Oct 13, 16 12:00 PM

Yes, that is my assertion, the traffic generated there will be non-impactful. Why? Because of new lanes cut into the property to off-ramp flow, the cross-access design through the property, and the lessening of trip generation going to HB or into the village for grocery shopping by those in the vicinity. I do actually live and work here. I see both the insanity and the hyperbole of commenters, but at the same time that doesn't mean good, smart, and well-planned ideas, with gads of good engineering research behind it, should be torpedoed by a few angry people who either believe they can turn back time or have their ire misdirected. That anger maybe should go to the county about the CR39 road conditions overall and decisions made to make them better. Pinning it on every new development isn't good planning or a a good idea for a better community. " Oct 14, 16 10:45 AM

Again, why can't anyone have an opinion other than yours and Frances? And if they do you and your cohorts complain that something must be going on behind the scenes rathe than back up your own opinion with some facts? You are just proving my point that if you have nothing to say about the issue, you resort to go after the commenter. The reason that I post so much on this issue to mostly to counter the utter fiction and portents of doom that some opponents have on this project, very little of which has any basis in fact, but has everything to do with making as loud a noise as you can with nonsense (see: mega-mall, Rt58, property values. Man, I would love to not have to post these types of comments, but you keep serving the drivel up, and someone needs to bat it down. Signed, Robert Florio. Back at you, Ms. Witch Hazel. Wait, is that your real name? Hmmm..." Oct 15, 16 1:49 PM

I don't see this as UTI or oversized at all. It may have seemed that way a long time ago, but not now. In fact, the latest build-out proposal is less than the maximum as-of right sq footage which would be allowed under the current highway business zoning.

The design of the center is tasteful and takes into consideration all the modern planning guidelines that both the town and county envision for future commercial development. I'm not sure if you've actually looked at the traffic studies, which were done in July of last year, but they show less traffic overall due to this development, but do show a small bump in the flow right by the store, which is then mitigated by extra lanes and positioning of ingress/egress in order to peel off any increase right at that spot. The traffic light situation at Magee St is also being addressed, and it is something that has gained the approval of staff and head of Dept of Public Works for County and the town planners who believe their specific mitigation efforts will not burden the traffic situation.

So, between two reports from two different professional traffic study agencies, the town planners and the county staff, I think there has been plenty of good research. You may be having a reaction to what you experience now on CR 39, but it was the same in Hampton Bays before the KK development went in (shouts of traffic, traffic, traffic), but it ended up solving a lot of flow issues there (and that is a much, much larger development.

It is not true that opposition is larger than the supporters of this project. At EVERY town public hearing there were many more supporters than opponents, and most of the opponents there were many of the same half dozen or so people who have been against this even before any study was ever done.

Instead of addressing the issue and the reality of the need in these and other article comments on this subject, those very same opponents take potshots at the commenters in order to de-legitimize them. Just above you had examples of that, and even if you take out the personal attacks, if supporters of the project are not of some deviant species, then they are definitely must be out-of-towners. Not true. Most of the supporters here posting live in the area year round from what I can tell.

" Oct 16, 16 2:24 PM

The residential density is already here! No, this isn't Nassau, and this project isn't Nassau-sized either. And 8 miles to travel is approx 16 miles there and back, adding another vehicle twice on roads you don't want clogged. If someone living in the vicinity could get to a closer store, not counting the village S&S, that would remove that element of the traffic from the 10 or so miles that would remain (but note the critical difference, the other 1-6 miles of travel is ALREADY being traveled, so it is not an increase of traffic, but a re-routing of traffic to lessen the overall traffic impact). The call for moving to Nassau is just another way of saying you are not addressing that issue. " Oct 19, 16 12:04 PM

One thing is that there is a whole extra lane being added to the eastbound side for traffic going into the market, so traffic eastbound, while I would agree would be more concentrated right at that spot, will have that effect totally mitigated eastbound by the extra lane into the property.

As for the Magee St light, I don't know the exact remedy, but since the county and town are ok with whatever their mitigation solution is, including the head of the county dept of public works, I'm going to say that they should know what they are doing. It can't be rocket science, there are more complicated intersections in the world. Also remember, there is cross-access into and out of the property which will allow traffic to bypass that light as well in some instances.

The HB KK development, even though there were the same predictions of traffic snarl, never materialized. In fact, it has made cross access through that congested part of HB better than it was before it was built. " Oct 19, 16 6:10 PM

I'm not a traffic engineer. Suspect you aren't either. P.S In your comment above, you framed the discussion minus the S&S." Oct 20, 16 6:00 PM

Online grocery shopping is a drop in the bucket compared to physical food and basic needs shopping. How many of those trucks do you actually see on your street,... likely little to none. " Oct 20, 16 6:02 PM

Bridgehampton School District To Hold Vote In December On Almost $25-Million Expansion Proposal

How about you put the brakes on this idea and instead, at least, have a discussion with Sag Harbor, to find a way to merge first so you can use taxpayer money more efficiently? The idea that there are 10 school districts east of the canal (about 6,000 students total) and that a single K-12 district with only 200 students is looking to do a $25 MILLION expansion (and the ongoing maintenance) is absurd. The community and districts need to have a reality check with regard to these tiny, tiny districts (the most efficient in Suffolk are about 5-6K student body for just ONE district).

These small districts are only able to survive because of the byzantine school taxing districts, where one neighborhood has very low taxes (BH, Wainscott), and another has high taxes (Sag Harbor, Tuckahoe), which ultimately hurt the students in manyareas because the bulk of the schools are under some sort of financial stress, and can barely afford all of their programs. Look at Tuckahoe. It is obscene that Sag Harbor, with just under 1,000 students and BH, with approx 200, cannot see that tiny districts do not help students, but only prolong superintendent careers and protect little tax havens on the South Fork. " Oct 21, 16 11:28 AM

Brundige To Return As East Hampton Airport Manager

Since the Press believes that these "personnel" matters are actually public information, ie, Southampton School District, maybe the press can file a FOIL to find out what happened to Mr. Charlton, who seesm from the article to have been an effective manager. " Oct 21, 16 11:55 AM

Bridgehampton School District To Hold Vote In December On Almost $25-Million Expansion Proposal

That may be one problem, but a very, very minor one for the South Fork. Let's look at it this way. The NY State average cost per student is around $17,000 per student. The county average is around $25K. Southampton School District is approx $36K, Tuckahoe, $35K. Bridgehampton? Try over $60,000 per student, and that's not even close to the most expensive cost per student (looking at you Wainscott, at over $112K per student). The amount of BOE members is a detail that may have some impact at scale, but not under the idea of merging these tiny districts. " Oct 24, 16 1:46 PM

Southampton School District Continues To Fight Access To Records

I still think this lawsuit is weak on a number of counts, and while this case is in process the Press reports their filing and now this "update" as actual news. It isn't news until the judge renders the judgement one way or the other. And doing it for the taxpayers? Give me a break! You got into this shaky lawsuit on your own, and frankly, after reading this article, I feel even stronger now that it's going to blow back on you.

And stop being so worried about your darn legal fees. No one forced you into this lawsuit, so unless you really do prove a specific move by the district to act maliciously or contrary to some public trust, I think you have spent yours and your strange bedfellow, the Southampton Association, money in vain. PS, it was the Southampton Association that was the most forceful as killing the Southampton-Tuckahoe merger.

Look, I am willing to admit I'm wrong if you win, but I still don't see the winning proposition here. Can'y you just go along quietly until all the facts are laid out by the case and the judge makes a determination?" Oct 27, 16 11:43 AM

County Planning Commission Punts Tuckahoe Center Application Back To Southampton Town

Pass it. Do it. It is needed. The chairwoman of the commission knows very well the political subterfuge that was used on the first go-round, and they have no real, factual basis on which to deny it on the second. In fact, under the current leadership, they did punt, even after their own staff twice recommended approval. Let the town move forward with a vote then, and be done with letting this get any more convoluted. " Nov 2, 16 2:23 PM

There are no residential areas being converted to commercial. The land in question is commercial highway business now, with an as-of-right build-out of 60,000 sq ft. The center will be 52,500 sq ft, less than the maximum allowed, with structures grouped together rather than one-off buildings each with its own curb cuts off CR 39. The new development also comes with large landscaped visual setbacks off CR 39, parking in the rear, cross-access and extra lanes for shoppers to get off CR 39. The BH CAC, in my opinion, has no standing in this matter in any case.

June Bug, below, incorporates all the hysteria of debunked ideas. Trader Joe's? The nearest one is at the Smithhaven Mall, like 40 miles away. BJ's, Costco, they are more than 20 miles away. Yes, there are local fish stores and farmstands (thank god), that's great but they don't carry diapers, dog food, or many other basic needs. And this nonsense about online sources...folks, that's a drop in the bucket compared to the physical shoppers out there. Again, how many Fresh Direct and Peapod trucks do you see coming down your street? Right? Exactly my point.

This is and has always been a sane, sensible, well thought-out, well-planned, environmentally sensitive and targeted solution to an actual need, and fulfullment of an issue the Town of Southampton anticipated all the way back to 1972.

Don't let the few naysayers with their Molotov cocktails of traffic, online shopping, portents of doom, etc, distract from the basic and visceral point, which even flow stated above: after years and years of rampant building and sell-off of land (by locals), it is time we back that up with some smart builds of infrastructure for basic services.

This is the best idea I've seen, backed up by professional engineering consultants and municipal planners, and regardless of the "flak" that folks like June Bug, Phanix (or Phanex), etc. try to hurl to knock this great idea out of the sky. Let's Pass it.
" Nov 3, 16 11:33 AM

Sorry, the point you make in your ludicrous idea that we all have the luxury for a Trader Joe's day trip to Smithtown whenever it pleases us (and you also grouped Riverhead in with this fantasy), proves the point that there are not near enough options right where we live. And really... Really? Don't you make an very specific anti-environmentalist stand as you increase your carbon footprint on your trips to and fro, adding to traffic on all highways (not just CR 39, but Rt 27, Rt 24, Interstate 495 [L.I.E.], Rt 25, Nicholls Rd, and Rt 347? Has to be the dumbest rationale I ever heard. " Nov 3, 16 9:00 PM

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