Editorial: Gold Stars and Dunce Caps

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To members of the clergy in Sag Harbor Village who continue to be particularly active in social justice causes, working across denominations as a community to offer a network of support for any group of people being marginalized—this month evidenced at gatherings in the village, including Sunday’s Interdependence Walk, which aimed to build support and show solidarity for families of immigrants separated at the southern border of the United States. As this portion of our community faces the future with fear and trepidation, it’s reassuring that they find many of their neighbors not only saying they care but showing it. The interdependence among so many organizations, including OLA and the Shinnecock Indian Nation, and so many different people was a moment of pride in diversity at a time when America’s immigrant soul is under assault.

To Kathleen Mulcahy, the new mayor of Sag Harbor Village, for moving public comment at the monthly Village Board meetings where it belongs—at the beginning of the meeting. The former mayor, Sandra Schroeder, had pushed it to the end of the meetings, which seemed to carry symbolic weight: It suggested that the board would listen, grudgingly, but often only after action had already been taken. A public meeting should be a two-way conversation, and the new mayor stepped off on the right foot by putting the collection of input right at the start of the meeting.

To Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, for a nice surprise. Earlier this week, he informed three Gold Star families—including the parents of Lance Corporal Jordan C. Haerter—that they have been picked to take part in the New York Jets’ “Salute to Service” game on November 10 at the Meadowlands, a game against the Giants. The event will give everyone a chance to remember Lance Cpl. Haerter’s story one more time, and to honor his mother and father for his sacrifice.

To Jimmy Buffett, for making a nice memory for some local kids and parents. It’s fun when a celebrity with South Fork roots lets them show, and when the musician showed up at North Haven Village Hall recently for the unveiling of a new playground there, and agreed to surprise those gathered with a few songs, it was a lovely moment, and a reminder that it’s not big names that make a small town great, it’s what they’re willing to do to be part of the community.

To Suffolk County, energized by Legislator Bridget Fleming, for pledging to dedicate money to restore the somewhat forlorn Cedar Point Lighthouse in East Hampton, which has sat deserted for decades but which is rich in history and architectural interest and could potentially someday become a key component of Cedar Point County Park.  As is typical with the wheels of government and construction projects in general, the restoration has been taking quite some time to pick up momentum. The good news, however, is that the county seems to be on verge of putting out a request for proposals to finally get the job started. It’s one worth undertaking and seeing through to completion.

To whoever deployed the rodenticide suspected of having poisoned a young eagle recently found in poor health on an Amagansett porch and subsequently transported for treatment to the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays. Perhaps one of these days we all will realize that a single link in the food chain—or, more correctly, the intricate and fragile ecosystem—cannot be targeted without unintended consequences to many other links. Perhaps, too, we’ll realize that we don’t really need to use poisons on the natural environment to the point that it is no longer natural at all.

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