Thursday, September 06, 2007


Although I created the Website for the In­cor­porated Village of Westhampton Beach back in mid-1999, and have built a number of others and administered and redesigned many more, this is my first foray into the "Blogosphere."

The first thing I discovered is that everything I think I've learned about Webmastering, is going to be of little use in my bloggery. (Hey!, on my side of 60, none of this stuff is intuitive!)

Why the name?

Mostly it was based on what Web addresses were available… all the obvious ones were already spoken for, so given the nature of what I intend this blog to be, two came to mind: whbconfidential.info and whbqt.info. While I registered both, I selected the latter since it is much easier to remember, shorter to key into one's browser window, and appeals to my cinematic sense of humor… think the Danny DeVito character, "Sid Hudgens," in the won­derful 1997 neo-noir, LA Confidential.

Then, in order to tie-in with my own sense of personal local history, On The Beach Blog was the logical title for this effort as I authored (under the sobriquet of "Waldo Lydecker") for 7½ years a column of that name in The Hamp­ton Chronicle-News during the disheveled '80s… remember Club Marakesh, the late night ice cream-eating throngs on the downtown sidewalks, and "Hizzoner Robert W. Morgan, Jr., 15th and Almost Final Mayor of Westhamp­ton Beach?" It was an interesting time for the Village, and the column's title was not only name-appropriate, but was a not-so-subtle reference to the 1959 film based on Nevil Shute's bleak post-nuclear novel.

That said, the rest of what is intended is a regular Blog about what's really happening "under the hood" in Westhampton Beach… stuff The Southampton Press Western Edition (gee, but The Hampton Chronicle was a grand old name!) doesn't, or for reasons best known to themselves won't, tell ya.

One of the prime motivations for my run for Village office earlier this year was that the local paper wasn't doing a very good job covering local Government. I reasoned that if I became a legitimate candidate, my critical views would be afforded a voice in the press. Then the week I had to file my nominating petition, The Press all of a sudden reverted to some of its earlier Chronicle glory days of Doug Love, Ann Nowak, Jim Nolan and Joe Louchheim (when he was a "cub reporter"), and began to call the Village Board out on their more egregious actions and misrepresentations.

I was delighted, but as I had already spent four days racing around collecting the required number of signatures to get on the ballot, I wasn't about to take the chance that The Press' suddenly rediscovered journalistic testicularity was a one-time event! Happily, it wasn't, and extended right through much of July when just as quickly they seemed to revert into their earlier "snooze mode." (More on some of the important stuff they "missed" as we go along.)

The Blog entries will be open for monitored comment, but my Blog, my rules. While I am not selective in my reading of the Constitution and am as supportive of the First Amendment as I am of the Second and the rest, critical comments are okay but I'm not going to allow profanity-laced tirades or spam to intrude.

And I also like to know who is actually con­tributing commentary… if there's anything I've learned from my seven decades in Westhamp­ton Beach, people will say anything about anyone "over the backfence" or across the morning tables of Eckart's or Bun'n'Burger, but they resolutely decline to be publicly identified as the speaker. While I don't think that way, I've come to accept it as the "local custom" of many of my neighbors and fellow long-time residents.

So here's the deal, wanna contribute some­thing to On The Beach Blog, fine. It can be published "anonymously" as long as I know you're a real person! I've done this on a much larger scale for many years writing an "insider" column for a national newspaper and also on my own 750+ page Website, and my first rule has been "Give no one up, ever!"

And if you don't like those conditions… as many won't… that's okay as well. Just don't expect me to have the courage of your con­victions if I don't know who you really are!

And that's all I have to say about that!

Dean Speir


1. Tugboat Bertha said...

We think destroying the library and building a new one is nuts too. Absolutely NUTS!

2. Mark S Jones said...

Especially without parking.

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