Categorized | Letters To The Editor

Letters to the Editor

Posted on 25 May 2011

Arriving by Ferry

Dear Bryan,

According to Sag Harbor Express reporter Kathryn Menu (“Passenger Ferry Plan Drawing Questions” May 12, 2011), local resident Margia Kramer believes a passenger ferry to and from Sag Harbor would “create traffic and parking problems and take away from a sense of tranquility” in the Village. Sag Harbor already has horrendous traffic and parking problems, especially during the summer, that seem to be getting worse every year. That’s the present reality and it’s not my idea of tranquility.

Whether we like it or not, Sag Harbor is a major destination for all types of visitors far more than it is a point of departure for local area residents. The long list of daily visitors includes workers, shoppers, sightseers, restaurant patrons and theatergoers, to name just a few. The reason why we already have traffic and parking problems is that the only way to get here is by car or infrequent bus service. If a reliable passenger ferry service existed that enabled visitors to get here via the water, it would reduce our traffic and parking problems, not increase them. Yes, some people would leave from Sag Harbor to go elsewhere, but many more would come to Sag Harbor without a car.

The wonderful feeling that most people experience when spending time in Sag Harbor would be enhanced if some, hopefully many, of them could come here on a ferry and leave their car someplace else. Local residents would benefit the most if that happened, even if they never even used the ferry themselves!

Finally, Sag Harbor’s rich maritime history and former vibrant commercial waterfront has largely devolved to a place where wealthy people dock their floating estates. What’s so environmentally wonderful about that? The activity of regular visitors walking on and off a ferry boat would be much more appropriate.

Hank de Cillia


Cell Tower Facts

Dear Editor:

We would like to take this opportunity to clarify some misinformation circulating in the North Haven community, regarding the possible construction of a cell tower. Our decision to pursue this was spurred by,

1; the many complaints of poor cell phone reception, at best, in most of the village,

2; the obvious acceptance of this technology, almost everyone uses a cell phone,

3; the revenue opportunity that clearly benefits the taxpayer and the budgeting process at a time of diminishing revenues (which could even reduce taxes),

4; the benefit of communication in the event of an emergency.

On January 4th, we had a comprehensive presentation addressing the visual impacts, the health concerns and the financial benefits. This was advertised and covered in The Express. In March, there was an article that also made the front page of The Express. Earlier this month, we adopted legislation to regulate all aspects of the location and construction of wireless communication facilities within the village, should we decide to do so. We are considering erecting the temporary crane again, so the residents may see what a 140 ft. tower looks like, at the proposed location. We are trying to schedule another presentation, so the community has another chance to hear the information and ask questions. We have invited residents to come to village hall and review this information. We are researching new technologies as well as Distributed Antennae Systems (DAS). When a formal application comes before the board, there will be ample time for public participation and an opportunity to review the facts.

This is an ongoing process. Recently, some residents have expressed opposition to a cell tower. We would like to hear from every resident to keep some balance on this issue. If, clearly, the majority of the residents don’t what this, or they want a different solution, we are an open board and the process will be inclusive of that input.


Laura Nolan, Mayor

On behalf of the

North Haven Village Board of Trustees

No Joke

Dear Editor:

“Everyone should keep in mind that above the tree line we would paint the pole a blue-grey to match the sky”, said Laura Nolan. “The bottom half of the structure would be painted brown.”

Very funny.

That was tongue-in-cheek right?

They don’t really want to do this do they?

Not in North Haven surely?

At a recent meeting Village Trustee Jim Smyth again added that the pole will be painted light brown on bottom, and blue-grey above the tree-line so as to blend in with the surrounding area as best as possible.

Are these people for real??!!!

Can I put up a higher fence to deter deer from coming on to my property? No.

Can I clear some of the dead trees from my property? No.

Can I change the lining on our pool from vinyl to gunite without having the village inspect it at every turn? No.

Can I erect a 140’ cell tower in my back yard? Sure, go ahead – but just make sure you paint the pole a blue-grey to match the sky.

Andrew Lothian

North Haven

Success of AP

Dear Editor,

Upon my return to Sag Harbor for the summer after completing my first year at the University of Georgia, I am appalled to find some community members, as well the Sag Harbor School District, placing such strong emphasis on the importance of implementing the International Baccalaureate (IB) program in our school. Rather than benefit the students, the IB program will hinder their progress and prevent them from reaching their full academic potential, especially once they reach college. And, of course, the huge financial burden that the IB program will place on the school district is obscene.

I graduated from Pierson in 2010 having taken seven Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and arrived at the University of Georgia to study pharmacy with 43 credit-hours, and a sophomore classification. This allowed me to skip many time-(and dollar-) consuming introductory classes and dive right into the true educational experience of college. Because of my AP credits, it would have been possible for me to obtain an undergraduate degree after just 3 semesters of study, which is a valuable option for those who have difficulty financing a four year undergraduate education. Further, the AP classes that I took at Pierson irrefutably prepared me for college. Mr. Sean Kelly’s AP World History class taught me how to analyze events from a global perspective and write research papers at a college level. Dr. Robert Schumacher’s AP Chemistry class was identical to the General Chemistry class that I took my first semester at UGA, and greatly helped me get through the first “weed-out” class for science students. Mr. Jim Kinnier’s AP Statistics class and Mrs. Linda Sendlenski’s, AP Calculus-AB class helped me develop the critical thinking skills that have been necessary in college. I credit these AP classes, as well as the others that I took with my success this past year, and my smooth transition into college-level academia.

Another huge benefit of the AP program within Pierson is that it allows the students to have flexibility in their scheduling. While the IB diploma would lock students into a rigid schedule, the AP program allows students the time to explore their interests and excel in areas of personal interest. For example, choosing which, as well as how many, AP classes I was going to take each year allowed me to have the enormous amount of time necessary (often 20+ hours a week) to focus on my research in Dr. Schumacher’s Methods of Research Class, which is what I was really interested in learning. The time that I was able to dedicate to that class has certainly benefited me in more than one way, and I realize that had I been in the IB program I would not have been able to have that experience.

Several of my peers in the UGA Honors Program are products of the IB program. I asked them their opinions on the program, and every single one of them regretted their IB education. They felt that they had wasted time writing those final papers and learning things that they felt were irrelevant and unnecessary. Further, they were deeply annoyed that they did not receive college credit for their IB courses, as they had to take almost four semesters worth of burdensome introductory courses as a result. Finally, they emphasized that they felt ill-prepared for the demands of their college courses, as they found that the rigor and style of the courses was entirely different from their IB classes.

It is also important to discuss the high cost of implementing and maintaining the IB program at Pierson. It is ludicrous that the Sag Harbor School District is considering spending such a large sum of money after they could barely pass the budget just last year. I remember being involved in a showcase along with my peers in an attempt to save the district from going into austerity last spring. It is unbelievable that we can jump from the threat of austerity to thinking of wasting so much money on the IB program in a single year.

As President Jimmy Carter’s advisor, and University of Georgia alumnus, Bert Lance once said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The AP program works at Pierson, and it works well. It should not be eradicated. The AP program allows the school district to meet the educational needs of its vastly academically diverse students by allowing them to tailor their educational experience to fit their needs. Further, it prepares Pierson alumni to be successful in college. It seems that many people in this school district have been seduced by the marketing tactics of the IB program. Admittedly, its claims to turn students into individuals with strong critical thinking skills and a global perspective are enticing. However, many people are overlooking the fact that the AP program in place at Pierson already does these things and more. Further, IB program proponents ask why those against IB in the Sag Harbor School District are “scared” of change. They are “scared” that this particular change will have a negative impact on their children’s education. A fear that is valid, especially when at times it seems that this change is being made simply for the sake of change.

Thank you,

Amanda Holder

University of Georgia 2014


Just Say No

Dear Bryan,

It was upsetting to read about the proposal to tear down the 18tth century wooden building at 125 Main St. last week. It is perhaps the oldest wooden structure to have survived numerous fires which destroyed the business district over the years. It served as the residence of Dr. and Mrs. Kelman until quite recently.

A commercial developer and business owner will always have a good reason to get rid of the old and put up the new. An 18th century structure is certainly not designed to serve the needs of modern retailing. However, Sag Harbor has chosen to enact a strict preservation law in order that our historic structures are preserved and maintained for the benefit of the community as a whole, and not just the individual. A new building will never “look just like the old one” and once these structures are gone they are permanently lost and the Village permanently changed.

It is the job of the Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review to ensure that our historic structures and historic character of the village are preserved and maintained, and no matter how inconvenient to the individual owner sometimes the board must just say no.


Christopher Leonard

Sag Harbor

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