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Aug 26, 2015 1:33 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Will No Longer Fight Establishment Of Religious Boundary

Aug 26, 2015 1:33 PM

The Southampton Town Board announced Tuesday evening that it will no longer fight the establishment of a religious boundary in two western hamlets.

The decision, which was presented as a walk-on resolution, will almost certainly allow for the expansion of the Orthodox Jewish zone, known as an eruv, so that it can extend beyond the limits of Westhampton Beach Village to also include the hamlets of Quiogue and Westhampton.

On June 30, State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Farneti overturned an August 2013 decision by the Southampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals stating that the establishment of an eruv would violate the town’s sign ordinance. An eruv is a religious safe haven that effectively turns the outdoor space within its boundaries into indoor space under Orthodox law. Within the eruv, adherent Jews can push and carry objects that would otherwise be forbidden on Saturday, the Sabbath, including wheelchairs, strollers and keys.

The East End Eruv Association, or EEEA, was seeking to install lechis—thin, translucent PVC strips that designate the borders of the eruv—on utility poles in the two hamlets, but the ZBA ruled that the markers constituted signs and were thus forbidden.

Last month, Southampton Town Attorney Tiffany Scarlato said she planned on filing a notice of appeal, which would buy the Town Board time to decide if it wanted to formally challenge Justice Farneti’s ruling. However, Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said the Town Board felt it was time to cut its losses, a decision that will enable the EEEA to expand the eruv that was established in Westhampton Beach last summer.

“Well, we felt that we had made our point, which was solely based on the interpretation by our Building Department that it represented a violation to our sign code, and that is really the only reason we opposed it,” Ms. Throne-Holst wrote in an email. “But the court struck that down, so we made the decision not to appeal and to bring to an end what has been a very long and costly piece of litigation that was, again, solely geared toward the interpretation of our sign laws.”

Ms. Scarlato declined to get into the specifics of the settlement on Wednesday morning, noting that it is not yet finalized. She did note that once all of the other cases are dropped, the town will no longer be at risk of having to pay restitution to the EEEA for attorney and court fees—as had been previously threatened by the plaintiff.

“I think it’s a good end to this litigation for all sides,” she said.

Southampton Town and the villages of Quogue and Westhampton Beach have been embroiled in lawsuits with the EEEA since 2011. In addition to not appealing Justice Farneti’s ruling, the town also will drop its ongoing lawsuit in U.S. District Court. In that case, the town argued that the establishment of an eruv would violate the First Amendment’s establishment clause, which forbids municipalities from endorsing one religion over another.

Robert Sugarman, one of the attorneys who has represented the EEEA pro bono in its effort to establish an eruv in western Southampton Town, said he had not seen the Town Board’s resolution as of Wednesday morning. He declined to comment, saying he would wait until the town and the EEEA have a signed agreement and file it with the courts.

The Quogue Village Board is still embroiled in litigation with the EEEA over that board’s decision not to allow the lechis, citing a similar argument made by the town’s zoning board, that the lechis are equivalent to signs and not permitted.

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Will this open up a can of worms for others to place signage wherever they want? I hope not.
By Resident tax (186), Hampton bays ny on Aug 26, 15 3:17 PM
You mean like the signs advertising the St. Patrick's day parade and the Feast of San Gennaro? Or just the Lion's Club 5k signs all over the place?
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Aug 26, 15 5:13 PM
2 members liked this comment
Lest we forget the Real Estate signs , or the roofing contractor signs, or the ArtSouthampton signs, the Bay Street Theater signs, the Greek festival signs, probably have some Hampton Classic signs too, and of course we will have the political candidates signs soon enough...But I guess they are not on Telephone poles...
By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Aug 26, 15 5:43 PM
Let's not forget about the billions of yard sale signs, carnival signs, and random "art work" that rarely gets removed. Or the arrow signs to tell you that the road curves in case you didn't want to actually look at the rod or don't realize that you're in the country-not the city.
By S'hamptonNative (84), Southampton on Aug 26, 15 5:44 PM
The entire debate was a waste of time and money
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Aug 27, 15 12:02 AM
1 member liked this comment
This is hardly a surprise. The real surprise is that the Town Board held out for so long in the face of the ever-increasing extortion by court procedural costs imposed by the Orthodox Jews' legal action.

Now the only holdout is Quogue, which, I am lead to believe, is proceeding entirely on the basis of the entirely peripheral issue of signage laws. It may win because IT'S ordinances forbid ALL private postings on village property. Entirely ignored will be the constitutional question.

The ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Aug 27, 15 9:47 AM
3 members liked this comment
"Entirely ignored will be the constitutional question." Once again.
By loading... (601), quiogue on Aug 27, 15 10:24 AM
"The East End Eruv Association, or EEEA, was seeking to install lechis—thin, translucent PVC strips" come on people... we are talking reflective strips...not SIGNS! If you are a practicing Jewish person, don't you know what the Jewish laws are to begin with, and where the "boundaries" are? Not quite sure why the lechis are needed, do the Jewish police arrest you if you go outside the boundaries? But if they're only thin strips on telephone poles is it really hurting anyone?
By ShelleyB (28), East Hampton on Aug 27, 15 2:47 PM
to ShelleyB:

The Supreme Court has decided, unequivocally, that no permanent religious symbols may be posted on public property. Surely the test of whether or not an object is a “religious” symbol is whether or not it has a religious significance (and, particularly, if it ONLY has such a significance) to members of a particular religion. To permit the Orthodox Jews, and the Orthodox Jews ALONE, to post their particular religious symbols thusly confers supra-constitutional ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Aug 27, 15 5:28 PM
1 member liked this comment
You are a anti-semitic bigot highhat and your erroneous citations of "Supreme Court" rulings and polysyllabic blather cannot disguise it. Why are so you vigilantly opposed to this? It's because you dislike Jewish people who want to appear Jewish and not hide their religion from your hateful eyes.

And by the way, it's the government, whether local, state, or Federal, that has the ability to litigate folks to the end of their economic ability, not the other way around. If someone wants ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Aug 28, 15 1:19 PM
2 members liked this comment
Let Quogue go it alone. They have a long & storied history of racism and anti- semetic behavior in Quogue Village. Anyone else remember the payout when then Mayor Decker Orr wrote a nasty comment about Jews on a residents building application? He was the head of the Village political party till he died a couple years ago...... Is that Quogue Village cop off probation for breaking into a Woman's house yet?
By G (342), Southampton on Aug 28, 15 5:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
to davidf:

Once again, bereft of (nonexistent) facts with which you might construct an actually rational, objective argument on the topic, you don the mantle of victimhood and spew prejudicial, defamatory, ad hominem bile in an attempt to conceal your intellectual and moral bankruptcy.

The FACTS are that the Orthodox Jews of Westhampton Beach (and of Tenafly, N.J., and elsewhere) have been granted exceptional supra-constitutional privileges denied to all other religious sects. ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Aug 29, 15 6:48 AM
1 member liked this comment
Hey HHat. The incident with then Mayor Orr is well documented, resulted in a huge payout to the homeowner and actually happened. What Orr wrote was "deny these Jews everything" on the front page of their building application.

Sorry you never heard about it. But just because YOU never heard about it (maybe it was well before your time out here?) that does not mean it didn't happen. Are you aware of Quogue's long history of KKK activity? Are you aware a Trustee was the local KKK leader for ...more
By G (342), Southampton on Aug 29, 15 7:48 AM
to G:

I have probably been "out here" longer than you and I never heard of the incident to which you refer nor of "Quogue's long history of KKK activity", nor am I able to locate any reports of either. If they are as well-documented as you claim, perhaps you could supply appropriate references to support your assertions.

As for the son-of-the-KKK-trustee, the current consensus, both secular and sectarian, is that children are not guilty of the sins of their forebears.

You ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Aug 29, 15 8:10 PM
HHS. You are a pompous know it all who is insensitive and demeaning. David and G have stated the facts. How many Jews do you know that live in the Village of Quogue?
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Aug 30, 15 7:53 AM
to infoseeker:

No, infoseeker, "David and G have [NOT] stated ... [ANY] facts [AT ALL]", nor have you, since none exist to support your case, and, like them, you have chosen ad hominem disparagement in the alternative because it's all you have. This is the S.O.P. of eruv defenders and Jewish victimhood promoters alike.

You equate “sensitivity” with the supine acceptance of the Orthodox Jews' presumptuous arrogation of unconstitutional privilege and find it “demeaning” ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Aug 30, 15 9:24 AM
HHS...come put of your glass tower and wake up to reality.
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Aug 30, 15 9:50 AM
Sadly that will never happen , because the absolute HATRED HHS feels is deeply imbedded in his/her soul
Just like the hatred the Arabs / Muslims have had toward Jewish people for thousands of years
By Biba (566), East Hampton on Aug 30, 15 10:28 AM
Has anybody seen the Flying Spaghetti Monster's colander?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 30, 15 11:42 AM
Z, you would dare mock The FSM?! Such a display of chutzpah!
May you be blessed by the touch of His noodle-y appendage.
By loading... (601), quiogue on Aug 30, 15 5:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
Highhat's continuous caterwauling is actually quite comic in its cantankerous character.

Hh: you are a bigot because you espouse bigotry, therefore it is not an ad hominem attack, it is merely identifying you for what you are.

And the eruv is invisible, therefore does not establish the priority of one religion over another by the government and is therefore Constitutional. Don't ask me: ask the Supreme Court of the State of New York and U.S. Court for Appeals in the Third District ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Aug 30, 15 5:04 PM
to davidf:

More ad homines. Someday, some eruv supporter will post a substantive argument - - - but not today.

Otherwise, every sentence of your reply is false.

As you admit, the Supreme Court has NOT ruled on the matter, as it declines to do on 99% of the cases submitted to it. That does NOT mean that it agrees with the lower court ruling.

Temporary religious uses of public land are permitted everyone, including Orthodox Jews. If Orthodox Jews want to have ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Aug 30, 15 8:11 PM
You are obviously a bigot.

I welcome the St. Patrick's Day parade, the Feast of San Gennaro and all other glorious exhibitions of the diversity that makes the United States a beacon among all nations. I would love to have the eruv extended around Hampton Bays so that we could benefit from the tax paying, legal citizens that Westhampton Beach enjoys, citizens that uphold the rule of law, respect the rights of others, and value education.

You, however, cannot admit that the Supreme ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Aug 30, 15 11:24 PM
to davidf:


"You are obviously a bigot."

One of us certainly is. I will leave it to readers to decide which (and which is intellectually slothful and ignorant.)
- - -
You are mistaken, again. "While a decision to deny cert. lets the lower court's ruling stand, it does not constitute a decision by the Supreme Court on any of the legal issues raised ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Aug 31, 15 4:32 AM
Is a nativity scene considered religous ?
By Biba (566), East Hampton on Aug 31, 15 5:45 AM
HHS...where are you not allowed to post an ichthuses? But a cross/ the holy mother, Christmas tree lightings on public/ town properties are ok? Sorry, but your argument is prejudicially motivated. It's such a minor request that harms no one and helps a group that you feel isn't worthy for their ideals to be met.
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Aug 31, 15 8:08 AM
to Biba:


"Is a nativity scene considered religous ?"

Usually, so is a menorah, usually. BOTH are currently permitted to be placed on public property, TEMPORARILY, during the Christmas/Chanukah season.

to infoseeker:


"[W]here are you not allowed to post an ichthuses?"
On public property.

- - -

" ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Aug 31, 15 9:11 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By G (342), Southampton on Aug 31, 15 11:11 AM

"I'm rubber, you're glue" -- that's your argument against my argument?

Your bounteous blathering of blatant bigotry is bemusing.

However, you have hoisted your own petard, logically speaking that is.

Temporary or permanent is not a part of the previous arguments you have made so clearly your straw grasping grows frantic. The "Orthodox Jews" certainly followed the same procedure you cite for St. Patrick's Day parades and San Gennaro feasts on public ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Aug 31, 15 11:31 AM
As a lawyer and litigant in this case, just settled, I make the following points in the one comment that I will make on the issues Highhat opines about
1) the telephone poles upon which lechis are unobtrusively placed are, PRIVATE not public property. They belong to LIPA and Verizon, not the public. Indeed, WHB has signed leases with them to use these poles in the past.
2) Government, as opposed to creches, etc. green road lines in the streets on ST Patrick day etc., will pay NOTHING to ...more
By Morris Tuchman (5), Westhampton Beach on Aug 31, 15 9:26 PM
2 members liked this comment
LIPA is a state owned, municipally owned public entity.
Sep 1, 15 10:46 PM appended by Mr. Z
In short it is a government owned corporation. The separation of church and state has gotten mighty fuzzy over the years...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 1, 15 10:46 PM
RE: highhatsize (aka fat head): Why do you people even entertain this self-important troll? What a pseudo intellectual Jew hater.
By Nukiepoo (123), Southampton on Aug 31, 15 10:03 PM
Confronting bigotry of any kind in a non-violent and measured way that exposes it for its ugliness is important. Most bigotry takes place in private so the ability to confront and defuse it publicly is welcome.

Personally, I welcome the St. Patrick's Day parade in Hampton Bays, the Feast of San Gennaro, and would like to see a Diwali Festival of Light parade, a Gay Pride Parade, and a Puerto Rican Day parade added to the calendar as well.

And PLEASE extend the eruv around Hampton ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Sep 1, 15 8:33 AM
to davidf:

With your latest post, you have descended from defamatory fatuity into defamatory infantilism.

As regards your statements therein:

1) Contrary to your assertion, I made the distinction between temporary and permanent use in my very first comment on this thread.

2) Parades are a temporary use, the lechai'in posting is a permanent use. The Supreme Court, not I, has decided that the former is constitutionally permissible and the latter is not. The ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 1, 15 8:55 AM
1 member liked this comment
The application was made and granted. The eruv exists. Parades, on an annual basis, continue. The earth twirls on its axis and no one has been harmed. The Supreme Court of the United States, in its collective wisdom, has decided not to waste its time on a case already decided by two different US Courts of Appeals and the highest court in New York State.

And you, sir, will remain a bigot. Such is life. I may not agree with what you say but I will defend unto death your right to say ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Sep 1, 15 12:49 PM
to davidf:

As I have already stated, I am happy to leave to the judgment of readers of our mutual posts the decision as to which of us is ignorantly prejudiced.

However, I do join with you in hoping that this thread is didactic, and reassures residents that they need not fear speaking the truth, as those who, in rejoinder, speak demonstrable falsehoods (even a mob of them) will always, in the end, be shown mere foolish, inconsequential hypocrites.

One needs but to keep ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 1, 15 5:11 PM
No worries HHS.

As I always say, when religion loses the favor of the people it becomes mythology. Mithraism, Minoanism, Phoenicians, Sumerians, Tengriism, Vedism, Mayan, Olmec, Aztec, Greek and Roman polytheism, all have become mythology and then some. So will this particular form someday as well...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 1, 15 11:03 PM
Everyone has his or her version of what "truth" is ....
By Biba (566), East Hampton on Sep 1, 15 6:19 PM
Interesting comment & proof that my comment is correct
By Biba (566), East Hampton on Sep 2, 15 10:38 AM
Yes, this does give permission for other religions to also post invisible religious symbols. Who cares. Opposing this was a ridiculous waste of taxpayer dollars, and nothing but anti semitism disgusted as protecting sign law legislation. Taxpayer $ to fight invisible signs...unbelievable. we are lucky we don't have to pay their legal fees.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 3, 15 9:02 AM
to lamm:


"Yes, this does give permission for other religions to also post invisible religious symbols."

Twice false.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 3, 15 1:18 PM
Call it what you want HHS...far too much money and time has been spent arguing this ridiculous topic. Nobody is affected by an eruv, other than the person who doesn't want more Jews in their neighborhood. As far as "twice false", when another religious group comes forward with a similar request to place something that nobody will even see on a utility pole and loses, only then can you call my comment false. Clearly the courts don't agree with your assessment of this situation or your interpretation ...more
By lamm (304), Southampton on Sep 3, 15 1:59 PM
As long as certain people really dislike /hate Jews , this will never end ....
By Biba (566), East Hampton on Sep 3, 15 6:24 PM
can you say "jew" and "jews"?

almost sounds derogatory now

similar to "mexican"
By llimretaw (118), watermill on Sep 3, 15 6:40 PM
to lamm:

The Supreme Court's prohibition of the permanent posting of religious symbols remains in effect, whatever the exception that has been carved out for the Orthodox Jews by inferior courts. No other religious sect is likely to attempt so to post, not only because it would be presumptuous and unneighborly to undertake such an imposition, but because, in some cases, it would violate the behavioral canons of their faith. If they DID so attempt, the answer would still be “No”.

Finally, ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 3, 15 8:23 PM
Sorry , all your fancy posts still do not disguise the facts that you have a problem with Jewish people
Keep trying though....
It's very entertaining. In fact I imagine every time someone posts something you disagree with , smoke comes out of your ears !!!
By Biba (566), East Hampton on Sep 4, 15 10:12 AM

to Biba:


“I imagine every time someone posts something you disagree with , smoke comes out of your ears !!!”

Actually, the salient emotions that your group's posts evoke are, finally, ennui and a certain shamefaced embarrassment. Each new missive is such a softball of sophistry. Not only did repeatedly lifting the dialectical bat to obliterate them become tedious ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 4, 15 1:07 PM
The simple minded
And the uninformed
Can be easily led astray
And those that cannot connect the dots
Hey look the other way
People believe what they want to believe
When it makes no sense at all
So be careful of those killing in Jesus's name
He don't believe in killing at all

And I wish you a long sight line
And the strength to walk tall
Walk tall
Yeah walk on
Through this world
Walk tall

Somewhere out in the distance
Is the ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 4, 15 1:48 PM
Curiosity got the best of me so I looked up the meaning on a song meaning website. This response caught my eye.

General Comment
"The simple minded
And the uninformed
Can be easily led astray"

So those who don't agree with Mellencamp's world view are simple minded and uninformed. Gotcha. Pompous ass.
bertechoon August 17, 2010 Link
By Po Boy (5299), Water Mill on Sep 4, 15 3:39 PM
Sep 4, 15 10:52 PM appended by Mr. Z
Perhaps you should just watch the video which is the accompaniment to the song. It has a world of symbolism, metaphor, and imagery to convey the artist's meaning behind the lyrics. But I'm sure you thought of that already, since you're so gosh darn smart...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 4, 15 10:52 PM
I'll be sure to watch for it on MTV. Nothing would please me more than to be enlightened by John Mellencamp's preachy and judgmental view. If I'm really lucky, I'll catch a Bruce Springsteen video too. One can only dream.
Sep 5, 15 11:34 AM appended by Po Boy
He's a self proclaimed liberal isn't he? Who would have guessed.
By Po Boy (5299), Water Mill on Sep 5, 15 11:34 AM
This was where, much like a dog stuck in heat, you don't get it.

The song is a statement on bias, ignorance, intolerance and bigotry. It has nothing to do with Mellencamp personally, it's a discourse on the ills of society. However, much like the hubris described in the symbolism of the video, yours blinds you as well.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 5, 15 11:14 PM
Yeah, yeah, yeah, all the ills that plague America we've heard it all before. America is a rotten place – I get it just fine. Where would we be without John Mellencamp and those who quote him to sanctimoniously remind us.
Sep 6, 15 5:43 PM appended by Po Boy
I'll circle you back to my original referenced quote, "so those who don't agree with Mellencamp's world view are simple minded and uninformed?" Geez, talk about intolerance.
By Po Boy (5299), Water Mill on Sep 6, 15 5:43 PM
No, people can have a marked propensity to be rotten regardless of time or place.

Are you deliberately being obtuse to troll? Or is this the "real you"?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 7, 15 3:50 PM
No, the flip side is it is the all too typical divisive message we see from certain elements of society, right up to the cop rolling up behind. Some would believe it to be just the opposite where society is gracious and charitable, and those people are intolerantly labeled as simple minded, uninformed and even a jack*** for having a different interpretation. Understandably it's just a video but it IS open to interpretation. Tolerantly come to grips with that.

By Po Boy (5299), Water Mill on Sep 8, 15 9:46 PM
Nope , sorry . Can't stop !!!!!!
By Biba (566), East Hampton on Sep 4, 15 10:37 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Biba (566), East Hampton on Sep 7, 15 3:38 PM