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504 Comments by goldenrod

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Homeowners association disgruntled over charity foot race

It is a pity that one of the residents of Pheasant Pond decided to take his displeasure out on a group of fifth graders who were tending a water station set up on the public road near the entrance to his association. They will certainly remember him for a long time to come, as will those who heard him scolding the race organizer just as runners were crossing the finish line. His timing and behavior couldn't have been worse.

Couldn't he have gone to the organizer in a civil manner, when the race was over, to let her know that the roads in Pheasant Pond were private? Was having 175 people jogging past his house to raise money for a charity that upsetting? Considering that it was the fourth year they had done so?

Clearly, by going to the village for permission, the race organizer had done her best to get permission for the race. She had done nothing wrong. Any fault lies with the village, but honestly, it's not a big fault. Races for charities are run all over the Village and usually no one objects. Southampton is generally a warm hearted community. It would be nice if the Pheasant Pond Association offered to partner with the race next year, and not only allow the race to be run through their roads, but cheered on the participants.

Autism touches so many families. With one out of 165 children having some form of it, there may well be families in the association who have members suffering from it.
" Sep 24, 09 11:39 AM

East Hampton couple returns woman's missing wallet ... and $2,400

I found a lot of money in big bills, a brand new Hampton Jitney book of ten tickets, someone's corporate ID, social security card, a checkbook, their address book and their day book with their whole business life in it, etc. blowing around my driveway entrance and across the road some years ago. Both books had been taken out of the covers they had been in, but otherwise were intact. A tiny gold inscription on the pages identified each of them as being from Hermes, so the books must have been very costly. It actually took me twenty minutes to find everything scattered along the roadsides as it had been blown around a good deal.

I contacted the person through their place of work in NYC to arrange to give everything back to him. It turned out that he had put everything into a zippered case, which I had found and was also returning, and put it on top of his car as he was getting ready to go back to the city, then driven off. Instead of being happy about the return of his things, he insinuated that I had gone through his pouch and deliberately kept the leather covers from his books, though he didn't come right out and say it. I was astonished. I wasn't looking for a reward, and in fact would not have accepted one, I just wanted to give someone back the things they had lost. Sometimes, good deeds are not appreciated." Sep 28, 09 3:56 PM

Town housing officials walk out of civics meeting in East Quogue

We have a huge need for affordable rental housing all over this town. If it is possible to build a few fresh, new and well insulated apartments in Flanders - go for it! Ignore the NIMBY's.

Decent, hardworking people are having a rough time finding safe housing they can afford on their paychecks. They are forced to jump from house to house each year as the affordable ones always seem to have problems such as poor insulation and leaky windows that cause sky high heating bills.

I know of single parent households which have cut every expense to the bone and gone into debt because of those killer heating bills. People with full time jobs they have held for years are being forced to downsize the places they rent because they can not afford the ever rising cost of a modest sized 2 or 3 bedrooms plus utilities. They are moving into small cottages and studios that have been converted from garages, rental units are not even legal and possibly not safe, for there is no other choice. I see it all the time.

If the town can provide some affordable rental housing for honest, employed folks earning between $20,000 and $50,000 I am all for it. However, it should not, in good conscience, charge $1500 a month for a one bedroom apartment which is the price for the town's "affordable" apartments in Atrium in Water Mill. Even with utilities included, that adds up to $18,000 a year - which frankly, is not affordable for people on moderate incomes. Rent should be no more than 30% of a person's income, so $18,000 would be fine for a household making $90,000 ... which is not moderate in my books. " Sep 30, 09 5:15 PM

Judge issues injunction, blocks fishing license enforcement

This is such a sleezy way for the DEC to raise money. The fish in the oceans and bays should be free to all. Nobody owns them. What's next? A fee to put a boat in the water?" Oct 2, 09 10:55 AM

Town housing officials walk out of civics meeting in East Quogue

The people I know who need affordable housing are the office workers, salespeople, receptionists and tradespeople who each of us encounter numerous times every day. They go to work each day looking neat and professional, so to look at them, no one would guess how close to the line some of them are living. Many are single parents after a marriage went sour and need decent housing for the kids they are responsible for, or to be able to pay child support as well as rent.

Saving to buy something is out of the question as most get by paycheck to paycheck, plus the price to buy even the cheapest house is beyond the average person out here nowadays. They do need places they can afford that are decent, safe and warm. Not like the cute looking from the outside, but awful, 2 bedroom cottage I helped one move out of recently. It had obvious mold issues, thermopane windows that were so cheap and poorly installed that snow would blow inside along the edges of some of them, soot marks around the hot air vents and painfully high gas bills because it was not well insulated. It had no carbon monoxide detector and the smoke alarm wired high on the wall would go off randomly. I doubt it met code, but no one ever inspected it in all the years the family lived there. Plus, the kitchen cabinets were literally falling apart.

Basically, it was a dump for $1000 a month and not unlike others in its price range. But, when someone's only earning $20 - $30, or even $40,000 a year, $12,000 a year is all they can afford, if they are also to pay for basic utilities, food and clothing for a family - forget frills like doctors bills, car payments, car repairs, etc. Actually that amount is far more than is advised to spend on rent for such incomes. Accepted guidelines advise that housing costs should be no more than 30% of a person's income, which means that $1000 a month would be affordable for someone earning $48,000 a year. Which is well beyond most local businesses ability to pay all of their workers.

As a community, we can not afford to let working people like these move away due to lack of affordable housing. Aside from tearing up extended families and losing potential volunteers, if they are forced out, who will do their jobs? Do we really want local businesses to have to bus in workers just as some of the supermarkets have had to do?

Since the town already has suitable land in Flanders, it should be used to put up apartments. If and when the town gets land east of the canal, apartments should go there as well. If the town owns a property, it will maintain it, unlike many landlords. Arguments against town owned affordable housing units are shortsighted and always made by those who already have housing themselves. Chances are, most of them could not afford to buy what they own now, if the tables were turned and they needed housing. They were lucky when they were able to buy. Now, it's time to help a few others get lucky, even if is only with a clean, energy efficient new rental at an affordable rate.

" Oct 2, 09 12:15 PM

Southampton Town officials ready proposed budget for next year

I hope that when the Press starts its assessment of the candidates running for office this year - all of them, not just the town board, it does more than simply interview each person running for office. I hope it will also take the time to have a reporter look into how much time that person actually puts into their job at Town Hall. Some people come across well in interviews, but show up to do little real work, and that's a problem. I'm tired of the taxpayer paying for people skating by until they can move up politically. I want people committed to our town, not themselves." Oct 2, 09 12:37 PM

Proposed change to Southampton Village code would allow archers to shoot deer on their property

I have six that live on my lawn." Oct 10, 09 7:25 PM

The main problem will be with homeowners allowing outsiders on their properties to shoot the deer, because I doubt that many village homeowners know how to use a bow, much less hit something.

I have had problems with injured deer coming on to my property to die after being shot poorly by hunters given permission to shoot under my neighbor's nuisance permit. Fortunately for me, I was able to get the permit holder to remove the dead and stinking deer, but by the time he did, they were crawling with maggots and we were having to keep all of our windows closed to keep out the stench." Oct 21, 09 10:17 AM

Southampton Town had difficulty with head count of workers

When times are good people don't notice, but when times get tough people forget who was at the helm. Heaney was in charge, but for years he had three democrats on the board who did little to stop the mess he created.

Linda has been uncovering some of the hidden problems and tackling them valiantly. I agree we need people who know how to run big organizations successfully. We need people with extensive management and administrative experience, not to folks who speak appealingly, but who have worked for others most of their lives or who's experience is limited to running a small business or non profit.

The town is a big business and it needs people qualified to run it as one. I'm voting for those with the most experience whether it be for supervisor, town council, highway supervisor or trustee." Oct 21, 09 10:46 AM

Throne-Holst missed campaign finance filing deadline

Running the BH childcare center with its few employees and small budget is a far cry from running Town Hall with over 500 employees and huge budget.

The problems that have been uncovered were brought about by Skip Heaney's machinations, and allowed to go without questioning by Denis Suskind and Steve Kenny who also ought to bear some blame as they were on the board with him. Steve taught economics at a community college and Denis had worked for Goldman Sachs, yet neither noticed anything amiss.

Linda, to her credit, did. She challenged Skip over his running of the town's finances, and for her pains has had him fighting her both from his supervisor seat and from behind the scenes right up to this day. She ran a primary and unseated him because of it.

Or, have most of you forgotten that?" Oct 29, 09 12:07 AM

Southampton Town candidates debate town finances, services

I've watched Linda during town hall work sessions and she has an extraordinary grasp of the facts and figures. The mess was created before her watch as supervisor. She's grappling with it by choice as she battled Heaney about his running of the town before actually stepping up to challenge him in a party primary. That took guts.

What is amazing to me is that neither Steve Kenny nor Denis Suskind who served with her back then, and who both have economic backgrounds noticed anything - or, if they did, neither chose to say anything.

Nancy Grabowski is another truly independent soul. When she got on the town board, she openly dared to refuse to reappoint developer Jim Zizzi to the planning board, much to Skip Heaney's and her own party insiders anger. Doing so cost her dearly - they really beat her up in party meetings - and is still costing her, but she stuck to her principles.

Neither Anna Throne-Hulse nor Sally Pope has shown any such courage. Leadership demands making hard decisions and sticking with them, not just juvenile finger pointing." Oct 29, 09 12:30 AM

Kabot's court date is pushed back to December

Take into account that Linda is proposing to cut eight police jobs - that's a fact. And that many of our police earn in excess of $100,000 a year. And, that four minutes of tape is inexplicably missing from the arresting officers camera, according to the Southampton Press.

Any of us can say we would have handled the situation differently, but we weren't there to know what exactly was said or done. Let's let the courts decide. Personally, I don't have the guts to take on the police." Oct 29, 09 2:05 PM

Southampton Town employees protest board over planned layoffs

Go take a look at the budget for yourselves: www.town.southampton.ny.us/2010Budget/

Dry reading, but informative. It's easy to see how fast costs mount up. An administrative salary of $75,000 - which is a pretty nice one - also costs the town another 16,370 in medical benefits, 5,737 in FICA, 5,175 in retirement and 1,622 in unspecified other benefits, all of which add up to $28,905 in total benefits, making a $103, 905 the real cost to the taxpayer for that one employee.

A CSEA clerk typist at $40,048 costs $59,925 after benefits.

I'd like the town to do what many of us, and many companies nationwide, are doing, decide what can be done without and cut back accordingly until times get better." Oct 29, 09 2:36 PM

Sally Pope is a nice lady, but she's done little since getting in. " Oct 29, 09 2:40 PM

Kabot's court date is pushed back to December

Interestingly, it isn't the candidates on either side who arrange to remove the signs each year - and not much they can say or do would affect it, either. It's usually done by a few over zealous partisan supporters who seem to think their doing so will help their candidates. Sometimes it's done by people who don't like a particular person for some reason, and other times it seems to be done by those who just enjoy larking about at night yanking up signs.

A friend once followed a pair of sign stealers at a discrete distance after overhearing them telling someone at a local bar that they were about to go "sign sweeping". They worked their way from hamlet to hamlet, picking up every sign and putting them into their car's trunk, and even stopped at two more bars along the way. She was so fascinated that she stuck with them for hours. We were equally fascinated when she told us who they were...

Sometimes, it's simply the highway department that takes political signs. Check out their dumpsters during any campaign and you will find them chock full of every candidate's signs, along with lots of real estate and other signs that were also deemed to be in the way.

How do I know? Simple. I've seen them when I've gone to retrieve missing signs." Oct 29, 09 3:33 PM

She was driven home from a Hampton Bays meet the candidates night by Eric Shultz, a Town Trustee who was also there and who lives near her. " Oct 30, 09 1:00 PM

Southampton Town may see an end to 'anoint and appoint' policy

I would appreciate it if the Press, in the future, would write something about Ballot Proposals well before an election, especially when there are statewide Proposals affecting areas far from here. I haven't a clue about either of the first two issues.

How does the area affected by National Grid's proposal feel about it? Is there any controversy? And, is allowing prisoners to volunteer a good idea? It sounds good, but what kind of prisoners would be involved and for what sort of work and where? Could convicted rapists or pedophiles sign up to counsel abused women and children out in the community? Or is it a scared straight sort of program run within the jail to help teach at-risk teens to straighten themselves out. I have no idea, but I am going to have to find out before election day." Oct 30, 09 1:20 PM

For those interested in the first two Ballot Proposals, I found the following, which while it doesn't go into detail about what sort of prisoners would be involved, does explain why the proposal is on the ballot. It also explains the reason for the National Grid land swap proposal, as does the second piece. Neither proposal seems to have any naysayers that I could find on the net.

www.nylcv.org/evaluate/candidate/state_ballot_proposition_number_1_vote_yes" Oct 30, 09 1:34 PM

Kabot's court date is pushed back to December

"Lack of republican / conservative support could just as easily be Heaney's revenge.

Kabot put her own glory before the party by opportunistically taking down Skip. The lack of endorsements is most likely payback. "

This is exactly what is happening. Skip and a group of his supporters - read, business interests - know that by withholding both party's support, which they have been doing vigorously behind the scenes, Linda will have a tougher time getting re-elected. They believe that with Linda gone, Anna will be a one term pony and their players will be back in the cat bird seats in the next election two years from now.

A lot of folks in Town Hall owe their positions to them and do not dare speak up for fear of retaliation, especially as some were approached about the issue of supporting Linda early on. The message was clear..., and in this economic climate no one needed a second warning. Anna has been lucky to have Skip, Pete Collins of the CSEA and others of that ilk on her side behind the scenes, and in the case of Pete out in the open too. Had it not been for their intense dislike of Linda, that would never have occurred." Nov 1, 09 10:44 AM

Southampton Town Trustee incumbent Ed Warner Jr. (R)

You're right. Takes after his dad." Nov 2, 09 9:38 AM

Southampton Town Trustee incumbent Eric Shultz (R)

How little you know. He has a depth of experience and historical knowledge." Nov 2, 09 9:41 AM

Bias towards women? What are you talking about? " Nov 2, 09 9:45 AM

East End haunts are scarce but still there

The old Corwith Pharmacy building on the corner of main street and jobs lane in Southampton has a woman in an old fashioned long dress, according to someone who's worked there. She saw her in the basement." Nov 2, 09 9:49 AM

Southampton Town Trustee candidate Bill Pell (D)

Bill's a nice guy." Nov 2, 09 9:51 AM

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