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Up on the Board: Mosque surveillance zilch, East End land sale, firefighter academy

A protected 14 acre corn farm on Highland

A protected 14 acre corn farm on Highland Terrace in Bridgehampton. (Aug. 27, 2013) Credit: Randee Daddona

The editorial board is interested in a story about the New York City Police Department’s surveillance of mosques. The NYPD has labeled entire mosques as terrorist organizations, allowing the police to use informants, record sermons and other strong measures. We note that no prosecutions have come from the dozen or so investigations, and we wonder if the effort is worth the intrusion on Muslim worship.

The board is concerned about a potential land sale by a prominent East End conservation group. The Peconic Land Trust wants the Town of Southampton to buy 14 acres in Bridgehampton, or it could be sold for development. In a strange twist, the Land Trust is the landowner. However, the group needs cash to preserve 60 to 100 acres of active farmland elsewhere on the East End.

And we’re looking at a proposal by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone to have the county take over the volunteer firefighter training academy in Yaphank. Bellone says he wants to increase training by removing the facility from the control of the Vocational Education and Extension Board, which runs the facility under a county contract. Bellone’s plan would place the heads of five countywide fire and emergency organizations in charge, instead.

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Up on the Board is the editorial board's blog about what we just discussed at our weekday morning meeting. These meetings are where we talk about the news of the day and hash out our positions for the opinion sections of Newsday and amNew York.