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Susan Galardi

Dan’s Papers November 26, 2010 danspapers.com Page 23

Catastrophe You Went About Your Day–100 Billion Tons Went Out to Sea By David Lion Rattiner One of the greatest natural disasters to hit the Hamptons happened one day last week, but nobody seemed to have noticed. 300 billion tons of sand, an amount the size of Shelter Island, simply crumbled away from the ocean beaches along the 60-mile stretch from Eastport to Montauk. Erosion comes and goes on the beaches of the East End. I’ve been paying attention to these beaches for the last 20 years and have seen erosion. Usually, it’s a slow process, with the sand beaches naturally slipping away every autumn, then, in the Spring, all come charging back during a three or four week period until

once again we have the broad beaches in the summer. But this year, the erosion was dazzlingly swift. Thanks to a very mild fall, the sands of summer in the Hamptons remained very much intact, hugging the coastline well into November. And then, suddenly, in one day, it all came loose and got washed away. Beaches such as Indian Wells in Amagansett and Main Beach in East Hampton were among the hardest hit. There were great cliffs of dunes leading down to the bedrock. Most of us who saw this felt a sense of relief, as it can be rather alarming for a beach visitor,

week after week as has happened in other years, to go down there to find the beach getting smaller and smaller. Could it last? Could we have magnificent wide beaches all winter? Then, on November 10, we had a vicious winter storm offshore. You couldn’t see it. But if you were stranded in the middle of the Atlantic, you would have experienced the strong winds, rain, thunder and lightning. You also would have been able to look up into the sky and view the biggest new moon you’ve ever seen in your life, as the earth and the gravitational forces of the moon became so close that (continued on page 26)

WILL EAST END GET FAIR SHARE OF HOTEL TAX? By T.J. Clemente County Executive Steve Levy needs to make a decision about either signing or vetoing County Resolution 924, passed unanimously by the Suffolk County Legislature. This legislation would create a fund to promote tourism that each town would have more individual power to control. Resolution 924 (A Local Law Improving Local Tourism in Suffolk County), sponsored by County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, is aimed at bringing more bang for the bucks that the East End sends to the county through the Hotel/Motel Tax, which was raised from 3/4% to 3% last year by the

legislature. Schneiderman told me he has no idea what Levy may do. This isn’t the first time Schneiderman and Levy have gone head to head on a revenue sharing issue. A few years ago, there was a similar inequity over county aid to local police forces in towns that were not under the jurisdiction of the Suffolk County Police. In that situation, Levy not only decreased financial help to the local town police forces, but, in this year’s County budget, actually eliminated any aid at all. All of the County money is now going to help fund police activity in towns that do not have their own police forces, but rely solely on

County police. Schneiderman acknowledged that his effort to shine a light on this inequity backfired, but on the Hotel/Motel Tax, there is huge support in the Legislature—as shown by its vote. “The revenue sharing bill for the police tried to guarantee a fair share of sales tax revenues to the areas outside of the county’s police district,” said Schneiderman. “In a way, the Hotel/Motel Tax bill does the same thing. The difference is that, with the police departments, only the five East End towns were being treated unfairly. In the case of the hotel tax, the (continued on page 26)

Dan's Papers Nov. 26, 2010  

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