Comments that Americans have all but forgotten about the great outdoors are every where these days, from children’s television to the White House Council on Fitness. An e-mail newsletter from the Renewable Energy Long Island group brought notice this week of a new effort to get people off their duffs and doing something to connect with nature.
I have read with interest articles about Matias Pulgar Alfaro cooling his heels at his cousin’s home in Springs while the Springs School District, which has denied his request to attend East Hampton High School, and his guardian’s attorney wrangle over whether he is, in fact, a resident of the district.
I recently read that Tiger Woods is selling his yacht, Privacy, for $25 million. He bought it as a wedding present for his wife, Elin Nordegren, for a mere $20 million. He offered it to her in their divorce settlement, but she declined. Perhaps there were too many sequins and boa feathers and sticks of Orbit gum and bikini bottoms left on it from the lady friends he was entertaining while still married? He has downsized to a $3 million yacht named Solitude.
After years of trying to pretend there was no problem, and letting potential solutions drop, Sag Harbor officials under a new mayor have gotten serious about potential health risks at the only bathing beach within village limits.
Down in Miami a couple of years ago, they banned the use of residential property for commercial purposes. This came as a surprise to a wealthy couple who had rented a house for a 40th-birthday party in February, and then faced the threat of a police blockade.
In all, nearly a mile of East Hampton’s oceanfront shoreline could become off limits to the public if parallel lawsuits brought by a group of property owners prevail. There is a great risk that stretches of beach in Amagansett and on Napeague would be, in effect, privatized after centuries of being open to all who wished to pass. The property owners are claiming that a 19th-century sale by the East Hampton Town Trustees reserved for them alone the use of the area above the high-tide line. If they win in court, everything from beach driving to birdwatching could be blocked when the tide is up.