If you’ve been away from the Hamptons for the winter, I thought I might catch you up with a few things you might have missed.
During the winter, the Montauk Manor website got hacked. Nobody’s taken credit for this, but for a few days it had on it a photo of the black ISIS flag with the message under it “There is no God but God.” That may be true, but maybe this doesn’t need to be mentioned on a website for a fine hotel. I think I heard there was a smiley face on it. So maybe it was just teenagers.
A University of Arizona study has been published which says that the sea levels in the Northeast rose 4-inches between 2009 and 2010. This was one year before Sandy. So Sandy did not cause this. It is believed that the cause was a change in the ocean circulation as well as a change to the climate system known as the North Atlantic Oscillation. There was no published information in the report about the tides in the three years that follow, but it is certainly clear that homes and businesses along the ocean are having many more difficulties than ever before.
Along those lines, downtown Montauk’s sand dune defenses were breached two years ago, and it was only because the town brought in emergency bulldozers and backhoes to plug the holes that the downtown was saved from flooding. This happened on two occasions. The Army Corps of Engineers has moved in with a $9 million under-the-beach sandbag solution plan, but it is being held up by a lawsuit from surfers who think it will alter wave patterns and another delay by motel owners who don’t want the work done during the summer season. It will probably start in the fall.
Southampton Hospital, for the last 10 years, has had a special relationship with Stony Brook University Hospital, which is more special than the special relationships other local hospitals—Brookhaven, Peconic Bay, Eastern Suffolk—have enjoyed. Stony Brook serves as the main hospital for everything while these other hospitals serve as “satellites,” each with a specialty. Southampton’s specialties include heart problems, breast cancer and geriatrics. But Southampton, in addition, has moved along a project where its entire facility will be moved to the campus of Stony Brook Southampton, occupying about 13 acres and becoming a facility for the main hospital, leaving the remaining 70 acres for the college. Now Peconic Bay is announcing it intends to break away from being a satellite and hook up with Long Island Jewish-North Shore, a much larger facility, but based in Nassau County. This would seriously change the dynamic of healthcare here, but whether for the good or for the bad depends on who you ask. For certain afflictions it might be better, but for others worse, I suppose.
East Hampton Airport may enforce strict controls of helicopters and planes this summer, particularly ones that make loud noises. The town will monitor noise with decibel meters—if it’s over a certain level there will be serious fines. The pending restrictions are that the airport will be closed except for emergency landings from 11 p.m.–7 a.m. Overly loud aircraft and helicopter landings and takeoffs will not be permitted after 8 p.m. or before 9 a.m., and loud aircraft will be permitted just one arrival and departure a week. The town board will vote on the new regulations later this month. No sense stranding anyone here, after all.