April 26, 2006
It's About Time!
There are so many illegal aliens knocking around the East End, one wonders if the whole county might just crack off and drift to South America. Our county government can't see them. They wear cloaks of invisibility as they loiter around our 7-Elevens and train stations. Like urchins in some Dickensian melodrama, they haven't been given a speaking part — except to murmur among themselves. They remain unseen as taxpayers who contribute to the services of which they silently partake, like education and healthcare. Which leads us to remember our government can't revive the Southampton Hospital. It has never recovered from the "you gotta spend money to make money" regime of the reprehensible John Ferry — whom I'm told is mismanaging another hospital up in New England as we speak. My ass would be sitting in jail if I "lost" any of my clients' dollars, let alone 50 million, but I guess those boyish good looks just lulled the already dim Hospital Board into a coma.
East Hampton Airport has a runway so decrepit it's officially been condemned, yet no one in county government can conceive of having it re-paved. I always thought small time politicians had links to shady brothers-in-law who paved roads and padded bills at a moment's notice. Not ours. Now that they've put up signs declaring the highway to be the Coastal Evacuation Route, we'll all have to make due with swimming lessons. (The county is contemplating whether or not to offer such lessons to our youngsters, but until further notice, that will remain an out-of-pocket expense to local citizenry.) While we're on the subject of County Road 39, there's a plan afoot to seize the property of those who own land on this mega-road to widen it so the gas guzzlers can whiz by at a greater rate of speed during the summer. Good thinking!
Most of Suffolk County is gone to over development. Lots of strip malls, fast food eateries, and gas stations dot our landscape. More are on the way. Prisons are big on the politico's wish list, and Riverhead may soon compete with Sing-Sing and Alcatraz as one of the country's most popular places to serve some hard time. I bet you thought second homes were the thing out here. Speaking of which, we have a local Architectural Review Board that thinks we can't have too many "mansionettes." Every once in a while, they think really b-i-g and allow an Ira Rennart to level the dunes, pave the sea grasses with a parking lot for 125 cars, and construct a 'private residence' large enough to house King Solomon, all of his wives, children, grandchildren, and servants. Ever wonder if some gypsy palms were crossed with silver during that deal? Property taxes have reached what the old timers remember as being their original mortgage payments. But I suppose you have to pay through the nose for all the top notch county services you receive as a resident of Suffolk Country. Yeah, right.
I could continue to snipe at our wise and compassionate Suffolk County Legislature — God knows they've provided plenty of material over the years. But why waste the ink? Besides, I have something positive to report: they've finally signed a Domestic Partnership Registry Law. Don't panic, Bible Beaters — this is not Gay Marriage. Not yet, anyway. But it is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, it doesn't confer the myriad of legal rights inherent to marriage in our society. (All those who've sneaked into this country as mentioned above, and the scofflaws who employ them off-the-books, will be able to enjoy those.) But upon registering with the county, same gender partners will be allowed some basics like hospital visitation and the right to inherit property. Whoopee! Let the party begin! During visiting hours, that is. GayView would like to take a moment to remember the late Maxine Postal who originally sponsored the bill years ago, and to remind all readers that such magnanimity is due to the fact that a Democratic majority regained control of our legislature.