Categorized | Letters To The Editor

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Letters 9-22-11

Posted on 27 September 2011

Will Not Enhance Values

Dear Editor,

Please publish the following letter to Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride.

Dear Mayor Gilbride,

I’m writing to express my concern about the pending convenience store on Route 114 across the highway three houses away from my home.

Even though the present garage is grandfathered in, I understand that Eastville is an historical district based on the presence of St. David’s Church which was build in 1840 the back of which abuts this proposed store, and the fact that the earliest settlers in Sag Harbor were former European settlers, slaves and Indians in the early 1600’s. Descendents still reside in the area today and maintain the Eastville Historical Society directly across the highway from the site.

Would it be beneficial to build a convenience store in front of the Sag Harbor Museum located in the Historical District on Main Street, or behind the Whaler’s Church?

Please consider that Eastville is and has always been a residential area populated by the descendents of a proud people who do not feel that a convenience store and its ensuing problems i.e.: Late night truck deliveries, traffic, hangout for teens and others, not to mention lowering property value would enhance their neighborhood or their lives.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.


Velma Johnson

Sag Harbor

A Birthday Wish

Dear Bryan,

As my son’s 20th birthday is Wednesday the 21st, I wish to publish a poem for all the parents who have lost children. I would appreciate it if you could do this in your letter to the editor section. For all the support of the years since Alex died, Jim and I and our family still wish to thank everyone.

A Child of Mine

I will lend you, for a little time,

A child of mine, He said.

For you to love the while he lives,

And mourn for when he’s dead.

It may be six or seven years,

Or twenty-two or three.

But will you, till I call him back,

Take care of him for Me?

He’ll bring his charms to gladden you,

And should his stay be brief.

You’ll have his lovely memories,

As solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay,

Since all from earth return.

But there are lessons taught down there,

I want this child to learn.

I’ve looked the wide world over,

In search for teachers true.

And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes,

I have selected you.

Now will you give him all your love,

Nor think the labour vain.

Nor hate me when I come

To take him home again?

I fancied that I heard them say,

‘Dear Lord, Thy will be done!’

For all the joys Thy child shall bring,

The risk of grief we’ll run.

We’ll shelter him with tenderness,

We’ll love him while we may,

And for the happiness we’ve known,

Forever grateful stay.

But should the angels call for him,

Much sooner than we’ve planned.

We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes,

And try to understand.

By Edgar Allan Guest

Lisa Koehne

Sag Harbor

A More Culturally Rich Season

Dear Bryan,

Amidst this beautiful late summer-fall weather, two major festivals have taken place in Sag Harbor over the past two weekends, and another is about to unfold this coming weekend. We take it for granted that Labor Day Weekend is packed and business is booming, but it’s really been a shot in the arm to local businesses and to some residents like me, who love seeing the continuation of rich, cultural activities in this village.

Having grown up on the East End during a time when everything fell off after Labor Day, and there were only two distinct seasons — in-season and off-season — it’s really amazing to feel the pulse and life in Sag Harbor continuing each fall weekend with more going on all the time, including the addition of the outdoor Farmer’s Market.

This year’s Harbor Fest was, to many people’s feelings, bigger and better than last year’s — with Long Wharf packed all Saturday and Sunday in the bright sunshine. People couldn’t get enough of the food and wine from local restaurants and vineyards, hand-made crafts, jewelry and artwork, boat tours of the harbor, whaleboat races, and varied walking tours of the village. Bay Street Theatre’s screenings of John Steinbeck’s life in Sag Harbor, and also of “Flight 93” on 9/11, were poignant and powerful tributes to people in this village, including Doris Gronlund, whose daughter Linda Gronlund was on that plane.

Bay Street Theatre, such a pivotal part of Sag Harbor, came through once again last weekend, with a showing of brilliant films by filmmakers from Ireland to Africa and Brazil, during the 2nd annual Black International Film Festival. Kudos to festival founder Angelique Monet, a young, talented actress of New York City, who brought a truly educational selection of international films to Sag Harbor, from “Obama’s Irish Roots,” which traced the story of our president’s Irish mother’s heritage, to “Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans,” which looked at a segment of this population in the 1800’s. People had a chance to meet Prince Wendemi from Burkina Faso, Africa, who wore his tribal regalia, talked about women’s social issues in his country, and shared his fascinating documentary film about life in his country.

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to chat with Africans and African-American filmmakers at social gatherings from B. Smith’s Restaurant to Phao Restaurant — in an international setting, right in our back yard, here in this small village. To see people from many other countries roaming our streets, and getting a taste of our village.

I look forward to having this same opportunity this coming weekend when the 2nd Hamptons Wildlife Conservation Film Festival comes to Bay Street Theatre with important documentaries on global wildlife conservation, and the state of our oceans. We are lucky, in such a small village, to have the opportunity to meet people like Celine Cousteau, granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau, and to hear first-hand about her family’s ocean research and discoveries. To meet Bob Simon of “60 Minutes” and learn about his documentary on the vanishing lions of Africa due to a lethal pesticide. To see films on the issues of sharks, whales, and numerous animals worldwide.

Then in October, we welcome once again, the Hamptons International Film Festival to the East End and also to Bay Street Theatre, with a whole week’s worth of more rich, cultural films of all types.

I feel lucky to be living in a village where in a way, the whole world is coming to our doorstep, and I hope we can all take advantage of this cultural education to promote deeper global awareness and understanding, positive change, and peace.

Debbie Tuma

Sag Harbor

Successful Yard Sale

Dear Bryan,

On behalf of the congregation of the Old Whalers Church, and personally, I would like to publicly thank Lester Ware and the members of the Breakwater Men’s Group for their assistance with our recent yard sale on Saturday, September 17. They were a valued addition to all of the other volunteers who helped to make this sale such a great success for the Community House Fund at Old Whalers Church.

I would also like to thank The Express for their continued support of the events held at Old Whalers’ Church. The Express always helps us “get the word out” to the community and your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Finally, we would like to thank all in our community who donated items or purchased some of our treasures as part of the sale. The proceeds from the sale benefited the Community House Fund at Old Whalers Church. Our church officers established this fund last year, donations to which are used to maintain the particular areas of the building used by the community at large.

So again, to all who supported the yard sale at Old Whalers’ Church on September 17, 2011, our deepest thanks and appreciation.

Very sincerely yours.

Rev. Mark F. Phillips, Minister

Old Whalers’ Church

Sag Harbor

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