Suffolk County’s visionary farmland preservation program has just achieved a triumph. The state’s Appellate Division last month rejected a ruling by a state Supreme Court justice in 2016 that hamstrung the program. Conceived by County Executive John Klein, the program, begun in 1974, is based on the brilliant and then novel idea of purchasing development rights. Farmers are paid the difference between the value of their land in agriculture and what they could get for it if they sold it to a developer. In return, the land is kept in agriculture in perpetuity. READ
Good for democracy.
That’s the significance of the legislation authored by State Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) and Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) signed into law last week by Governor Andrew Cuomo providing that if any future East Hampton Town Board wants a Federal Aviation Administration grant running 10 years or more, it would have to be approved by the voters.
Want some good news?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced last month a plan to expedite the approval process for a vaccine to ward off Lyme disease. READ
It was quite unlikely for me, a vegetarian for 50 years, to be out shopping the other day for a gun to shoot squirrels.
But squirrels have been stripping our fruit trees. I’ve planted nearly 40 apple, pear, peach and plum trees, and last summer squirrels stripped all of them of their fruit. Squirrels scampered across the property with fruit in their mouths all day long.
Long Island, with a centuries-long history of farming, has undergone an agricultural revolution in just a few decades, sparked in 1973 by a pair of pioneers in planting grapes for fine wine, Louisa and Alex Hargrave. READ
What’s going on at Stony Brook University?
The university has just suspended student admissions into its theater arts, comparative literature and cinema arts departments, part of a series of cuts in liberal arts. READ
This could be a bad year for Suffolk County for Lyme disease — the malady that residents of the Island and the county were numbered among the earliest victims. READ
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal last week for free tuition at SUNY and CUNY schools has roots going back nearly two centuries in this region, to 1847 and the founding of the Free Academy of the City of New York, which became City College.
It was later dubbed “the poor man’s Harvard.”
A local environmental organization has brought a lawsuit challenging the implementation of the Suffolk County Farmland Preservation Program, a visionary concept that has been the key to saving an important and historical activity here and keeping Suffolk a top agricultural county in the state.
A world expert on horseshoe crabs is worried about their extinction after 455 million years of life on Earth — largely because the crab has become a delicacy in some Asian nations.