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2963 Comments by Nature

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Officials want to use Southampton Town's Community Preservation Fund to save Stony Brook Southampton

It's impossible to get hold of the development rights with objectives consistant with CPF because the only situation in which the purchase of development rights is applicable is when the property is actively farmed, or has the potential for active farming/agriculture (prime soils, flat topography, etc.) which is not the case for Southampton which is already developed and has the allowable density of 2000 people as per suffolk county.

The unmowed grass meadow was the idea of the students who thought it wise to nite waste time/energy/fuel mowing grass to have a pretty lawn that no one uses. To say Stony Brook failed and imply SUNY won't is foolish, SUNY runs Stony Brook." Apr 28, 10 9:14 AM

A model home for green living

I commend the property owner for creating a platinum LEED certified building, but have to question how "green" a 4,700 square foot house is, even for a family of 5 or 6. If they were really totally 100% commited to being green, they would construct the smallest house possible for them to function in so as to use less heat, less electricty and less building materials (oh, and less land). But then again that's a tall order in the Hamptons.

Please give us an update once the landscaping is in - I'd like to see if they do a raingarden or if they go the conventional hamptons sod route. Furthermore, was the enitre parcel wooded? Seems to me the "green" thing to do would be to leave the parcel wooded except for the area needed for the house. These are not critisicms of the property owners because they certainly went above and beyond what is required and what 99% of people do, but it's far from total green living.

Also, the photos indicate a windmill to be constructed ontop of the house. Is that something that's in the works or was scrapped? And photo captions would be helpful." Apr 28, 10 2:31 PM

Officials want to use Southampton Town's Community Preservation Fund to save Stony Brook Southampton

I'm all for saving the school and think Stony Brook is being foolish with its actions. But using CPF funds is illegal and I'm completely against the Town bailing out the State to float the college for 2 years with no guarentee that the college will ever be successful. It's a waste of public $$$ and incredibly irresponsible - it goes against everything SBS stands for it. i.e. it's wasteful.

I have not taken a business course, but I do have a general grasp of how business works. I know it takes $$$ and time to create a successful business, and I know/understand SBS was in that stage, but Stony Brook had to cut $30 million + so it had to come from somewhere. It's not like they are axing SBS and nothing else - Manhatten was hit hard and Stony Brook main campus will be hit hard.

Please explain to me how SUNY Southampton will be able to bring in more money than it costs to operate, with $0 endowment? As prevously mentioned, Harvard's endowment is in the hundreds of *billions* of dollars, and they still charge a premium for their tuition and housing. " Apr 28, 10 3:17 PM

Julia:

I count 33 individual posters against using CPF dollars (not including myself). I've spoken to others (yeah I know, that's not a reliable source) who are against it. If you took the time to read all the comments, you will see many people are against using CPF $$ for this, and it appears the majority of those FOR it are students.

To be clear (because you haven't taken the time to read my posts). I am FOR the college. I'm for SAVING the college. I was for SAVING the college the first time it closed. But, I'm not for thiele and the town board treating their consituents money as a slush fund to prop up fiscally mismanaged colleges which are already owned by the public.

How can you support an illegal wasteful tax payer funded idea like this? Honestly, tell me how in any way shape or form, purchasing the underlying development rights of SBS qualifies as an appropriate expenditure of CPF. But please, before you do that, call the CPF office and read the town code to get a true understanding of what CPF and PDRs are for.
" Apr 28, 10 3:26 PM

Freesaiy:

I like the multi-pronged approach at tackling this problem, however there are some issues. You want professors to work for $1/year because other CEO's can work for $1/year... those CEOs are able to do that because they have made their millions, and are still getting heavily compensated in stock options. The better their companies do, the more they make in stock sales. The former chancellor of LIU Southampton (a billionaire) took only $1/year AND gave millions to the college for buildings and it still went belly up.

The alumni idea would normally be a good one, but there is no alumni for Stony Brook Southampton, so SBU alumni would probably not want their $$$ going to a campus they never visited.

It's easy as a resident of Mattituck to say that Southampton CPF funds should be used for the development rights, since it's not your money. But hey, since it's on the "east end" maybe CPF monies from Riverhead and Southold should be used too, you wouldn't mind that right? Who cares that it's illegal and that the property is already developed.

The only way to save this school is to have a serious stream of continual income - not living fundraiser to fundraiser, constantly under the threat of closure. Maybe a corprorate sponsor can be brought in - certainly a first for a public university, but isn't SBS about being the first to do things? SUNY (and Stony Brook) has to go along with any and all proposals, and the $$$ has to be in the budget. When the economy turns around and SUNY/Stony Brook can begin to get a revenue stream from this campus again, things will improve. Fighting and suing SUNY won't accomplish anything if there is no $$. That's like suing Bernie Madoff to get your $$ back - yea you might win a lawsuit, but there is no money to get back.
" Apr 30, 10 9:42 AM

Publisher of Dan's Papers files for Chapter 11

Hey Dan! Maybe Southampton Town can use it's CPF funds to bail you out... that's a good use of CPF monies, right?" May 3, 10 8:03 PM

Stony Brook University officials to meet with lawmakers but offer no comment on initiative to save Southampton campus

"I think that SUNY's plans for the campus is to sell it to the highest bidder to cut their deficit or to use its buildings for storage."

Those are pretty big extremes highhat....

I believe the hoops the state would need to jump through to sell this place are many (as they just spent $78 million on it) and in this economy it would be questionable if a developer would pay more than $78 million to buy the property (no vacant lots are selling more $1,000,000/acre in this area of Southampton). The Town has many options once a for sale sign is erected, including up-zoning and moratoriums. Using CPF monies is not appropriate in any way shape or form. " May 5, 10 9:49 PM

Two faces of sustainable building: Traditional

Think about how environmentally sustainable and efficient this home would be if it only had 6 bathrooms instead of 8.5... and not 5,000 square feet.

I understand the need and desire to build LEED homes, and I'd rather have someone building a 5,000 square foot LEED home, than one that isn't, but let's not kid ourselves. These homes are far from efficient and the builders/developers are patting themselves on the back for meeting LEED certification, what a joke." May 6, 10 2:51 PM

Thiele: Stony Brook rejects idea of maintaining residential campus at Southampton

"Were they in charge of rescuing (murdering) the whale "Montauk" in East Hampton recently?"

Seriously PBR?

There was no long range planning because it was part of Shirley Strum Kenny's bid to take over the world via SBU" May 6, 10 10:23 PM

Dog poisoned; was it whale meat?

Yes, it ended up in a whale and/or shark, that washed up on the beach, that wasn't reported, that somehow got blown to pieces so small that the dog ate it without the owners noticing it.

I hope you're not actually a conspiracy theorist... and no, we won't even know the "truth" about what happened to the missing dart. That doesn't surprise you, does it?" May 7, 10 3:38 PM

More than $1.4 million coming to Southampton from gas companies in lawsuit settlement

As part of the settlement, it was probably required that they money go to offset costs and to protect groundwater from future contamination. " May 7, 10 8:53 PM

Thiele: Stony Brook rejects idea of maintaining residential campus at Southampton

There is nothing preventing SBU from having a college of sustainability at their main campus. At this point in time it's just not fiscally prudent to keep SBS open. " May 9, 10 8:47 PM

SBS's closing should not have any affect on your ability/intelligence/drive.

" could have been the person who has created the solution to the oil spill in the gulf, but now I don't have that opportunity for any future disasters. What good will my degree at the West Campus be if by the time I graduate my major will be phased out?"

If you honestly give up that quickly, you weren't going to solve any oil spill problems to begin with - the environmental world will throw much harder curveballs at you than this. As for the flooding of Long Island issue, if that's the problem you want to solve I suggest working for Malcolm Bowman and being a Oceanography major.

You state (as fact) that SBS is closing for reasons other than budgetary. That may be tree, but if you're basing that statement on the comments of 1 assemblyman than I'll tell you that your naivety is evident. Politicians are the least honest people out there.

Stony Brook has made their decision, fighting to keep it open is not a battle worth fighting - focus on winning the war and being the best student you can be. Those at LIU who faced the same problem persevered and it is my guess you can too.

And for the record - Shirley Strum Kenny deserves some blame on this, she is the one that started SBS with $0 funding... not the brightest idea. " May 10, 10 10:10 PM

Court orders trial for fishing license challenge

The Dongan Patent only covers the bays and significant water bodies that the trustees had a significant interest in. Small ponds (especially ones that were on private property) were not included in the Trustees Jurisdiction which was reserved almost exclusively for shellfish/seaweed/saltwater fish" May 12, 10 8:25 AM

Thiele: Stony Brook rejects idea of maintaining residential campus at Southampton

I agree that it is a shame that the college has closed, and that the students dreams were shattered and promises were broken. I know people who were involved in the LIU closure and it was very hard for them at first - but they perservered.

My question to you, js, is why are you apt to believe anything a politician says anymore than what SUNY says? Politicians are notorious for their lies and mistruths, and Theile is lying to your face when he says CPF funding is a good and legal idea. He is the architect of CPF and know it's not a legal use. He has even stated it was used to "smoke out" the true intentions of SUNY. He knew that SBU/SUNY would say no and no one would call his bluff - he is after votes and what better way to secure them by "protecting" his college.

It's interesting that Bishop has stayed basically silent as he was a former provost at LIU Southampton and his wife is an employee (or at the very least, former employee) of the daycare center on campus. He knows the ins and outs of this situation and hasn't said anything - likely because he doesn't want to lie to the residents.

I understand your need and desire to fight this and your anger at SUNY/SBU. They ARE to blame, they DID screw the students and have handled this poorly. But don't pass on their kool-aid, only to drink that of a politician." May 13, 10 11:58 AM

I'll pose a few questions to help digest your massive post:

What is "PHEEIA"?

Why hasn't Bishop, who has deep ties to the college (as you pointed out) done/said anything?

Do you have a better idea for SUNY SBU saving $34 million/year?

Do you think that Shirley Strum Kenney is completley innocent in this? It's my understanding that she was virtually obsessed on spreading the Stony Brook name everywhere and weilding her power (SBS, SBU Manhatten, Flower Fields, the Hospital debacle). Isn't it possible that this was never a feasable plan, that it was more a pipedream with everyone keeping their fingers crossed that the $$$ would come in when they needed it to? I'm in no way defending Mr. Stanely and I'm sure he has ulterior motives and isn't being 100% transparent, but he didn't start this problem. LIU Southampton was a under funded poorly planned college that only survived as long as it did because it had no competition for many years and was floated by the other LIU campuses, it seems something similar was happening with SBS.

Why does it appear that everyone is against BNL having some involvement with SBS? If the school is "not feasable" or whatever guise you'd like to file it under, what's wrong with some of the smartest and brightest people in the WORLD working and studying in our community? I'd jump at that chance in a heartbeat. As I previously pointed out, BNL is the former workplace of the current Secretary of Energy and is home to MANY nobel peace prize winners. How is that a bad thing?" May 20, 10 9:37 AM

Bob Stevens Appliance closes

You're right... same goes for that pesky capitalism and free market system... we gotta do something about that!" May 23, 10 12:21 AM

Drive-in movies to screen at Coopers Beach this summer

$40?!? So, it costs $20 to park your car at Coopers for the beach all day, but it's $40 to watch a drive-in movie. Hmm.... " May 25, 10 10:10 PM

Dunkin' Donuts planned for County Road 39

Good Luck... Starbucks was bleeding money from that location from the first day it opened, and DD isn't nearly as "hamptons" as Starbucks was." May 27, 10 2:58 PM

Coopers Beach named best in United States; Main Beach ranked fifth

What the article doesn't say is once a beach is ranked #1, it's taken off the list... so technically, all the beaches that have been ranked #1 are "better" than this beach. Main Beach will be the top in a few years. " May 28, 10 5:39 PM

Vice President Biden visits Southampton over holiday weekend

So, by your logic, the President and VP shouldn't be allowed to go anywhere, ever, because it's a "waste of taxpayer dollars". And you honestly think there was a noticeable increase in traffic because of him? Get real. " May 31, 10 10:20 PM

New Westhampton Free Library to open June 26

nellie,

You must work for FEMA with all of your flood plain knowledge. Prey tell, what flood zone is it in? VE? AE 9? AE 10? I guess it doesn't matter as long as it's "in a flood plain". I know much of Sag Harbor and the surrounding area sits up on the moraine on the top of the Island, but fyi the entire South Shore (with the exclusion of Montauk) is in a flood plain. If a hurricane comes through, it doesn't matter where the Westhampton Free Library is - it's going to sustain serious damage. I guess while they are at it, they should move the police station and village hall since they are in flood plains as well. Or maybe they should just have built it on stilts.

"The irony is that this new building opening in June could be destroyed ... more by a flood from a weather event almost immediately...."

You're right, and if they built it somewhere outside of the flood plain, like oh by the Airport, it would be safe from natural disasters, because a forest fire could never come through that area and destroy it... oh wait. We had a forest fire more recently than a hurricane. " Jun 1, 10 3:51 PM

It's a FEMA compliant structure and didn't need stilts. And your argument for the airport doesn't make sense - the library is open to residents of many neighboring communities that lack their own libraries - it has to be located somewhere.

Yes, I would build a house/school/police station in those areas because you have to look at more than a flood map. You ignored my comment regarding the threat of forest fire, which is more pressing than flooding in my opinion.

I guess the Federal Government shouldn't have built the new Fire Island Ferry Terminal so close to the water since it's in a flood zone... same goes for the Coast Guard, they should move all of their buildings because if a hurricane comes through they will get flooded out. What an asanine arguement." Jun 1, 10 8:04 PM

** asinine argument" Jun 1, 10 8:04 PM

It doens't need to be approved by a person @ FEMA. It needs to be a FEMA compliant structure, which the Village Building Dept. is required to certify. I don't know which flood zone it is in, but based on elevation and the surrounding structures, it is likely @ AE 9 which would mean the base floor elevation must be at 9' above sea level + 2 feet so, 11 feet. The structure is still allowed to have a full basement/crawlspace, as long as the base floor meets the elevation requirement. Additionally, the structure can be built using standard construction methods and does not require pilings or breakaway walls.

In the picture at the top of this article you see a series of steps leading to the front door - these were likely necessary to meet the FEMA regulations as they represent at least 2 feet in height (with base elevation being 9').

Requirements can be found here: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_02/44cfr60_02.html

It doesn't need a "FEMA grant" (evidence you have no idea what you are talking about). Every property that is in a FEMA flood zone (numbering in the tens of thousands on the East End Town alone) has to meet FEMA requirements when they construct a new building (whether it be commercial or residential, government or otherwise) and every municipality has this in their building codes. There are no variances and no ways "around" it. For more information, call a surveyor or an architect or the building dept. in Sag Harbor Village, Southampton Town, Westhampton Beach etc.
" Jun 1, 10 11:10 PM

An insider's peek at Sandcastle

Look at the bright side - when he sells this for $50,000,000 the CPF fund will get a nice check for $1,000,000!" Jun 2, 10 9:16 AM

The fact that my comment was deleted makes me that more certain that my assumption is correct. But, without facts let me re-state:

You should not be surprised the Press ran this story, as Joe Farrell has a lot of money and a lot of friends. There is a great deal of back scratching with the movers and shakers on the East End and Mr. Farrell who magically gets these glowing articles written about his "work" in Newsday and this publication. Make the connections you want but there are reasons for everything.

As for his houses, a large number of them are illegal, occupied without C/Os or have major violations. If you question this, foil his building permits and the evidence is there. He is in bed with the right people and gets away with it all. " Jun 2, 10 10:31 PM

Southampton Town code enforcement slaps landlord with 50 violations at six houses

Your naivety is amazing. He is a slumlord based on these violations. What he is doing and has done is extremely dangerous and he is taking advantage of these people. They're not "happy customers". They are likely immigrants who need a roof over their head and have no other option (or at least don't know they have another option). Many of these illegal rentals are rented by a few people who then have their friends and relatives come in which results in the serious overcrowding.

Some of these violations aren't a huge deal, but others are. When 10 people get sick because of carbon dioxide poisoning or worse - die in a fire because the house wasn't built to code, maybe you can show up at their funerals and say "at least they were happy customers". I'm sorry you're upset your friend is a slum lord, but these are facts not allegations. Maybe he will see the err of his ways.

Oh, and aside from what he is doing to the people who live in these homes, he is cheating the town (i.e. asking tax payers to take a bigger burden) by not having CO's and getting permits for everything. Where's your defense for that?" Jun 3, 10 11:06 PM

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