Tag Archive | "Bridgehampton"

Mary Elizabeth Winstead Stars as Alex of Venice at TFF

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Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Mary Elizabeth Winstead

By Danny Peary

Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Chris Messina

Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Chris Messina

You can catch the final screening of Alex of Venice at the Tribeca Film Festival this Saturday at 6:30 at the SVA theater on 23rd Street between 8th and 9th Avenues.  The impressive directorial debut of actor Chris Messina, a native of Newport, is a character piece about a workaholic environmental attorney in L.A., Alex who lives in Venice, California.  When Alex’s husband George (Messina) suddenly leaves her, she is forced to pay more attention to their shy son Dakota (Skylar Gaertner) and her aging actor father Roger (Don Johnson). Still neglecting her son, she enlists the help of her irresponsible, free-spirited sister Lily (Katie Nehra) around the house while she deals with the biggest case of her career and has an affair with the man she is fighting in court, Frank (Derek Luke)  Alex is played by one of my favorite actresses, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who made a splash as an alcoholic teacher in Smashed. On Saturday I spoke to Winstead about the film and her character.

Danny Peary: I thought you deserved a lot of awards for your performance in Smashed. That might have been the best performance of 2012.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Wow, thank you.

DP: Your characters in Smashed and Alex of Venice have no self-awareness. Did you recognize that similarity?

MEW: It’s funny, but I don’t think I actually compared them in that way.  But it’s true. They’re both in denial about their own lives and not really looking at themselves.

DP: They can’t fix themselves, or make no attempt to do it.

MEW: That’s right.  Certainly Alex through most of the movie is just in complete denial about who she is and all the problems she has.

DP: In the press notes, Chris Messina says this is a slice-of-life drama.  That means characters don’t have to change.  But the movie is about change. Everyone changes for the better.

MEW: It’s one of the major themes of the movie.

DP: When does Alex have her pivotal moment of change?.

MEW: There are several little moments.  Her relationship with Frank (Derek Luke) is a huge change for her, because she married when she was young.  But her internal change doesn’t happen until the end of the movie, when she kind of comes in and talks to her son, Dakota (Skylar Gaertner).  That to me is the moment when she says, “I’ve been so much in denial of my life.” During the early midlife crisis that she is going through, she becomes focused on everything other what she should really be focusing on. Ultimately, she should focus on her relationship with her son and her estranged husband George (Chris Messina), whatever that relationship is going to turn into.

DP: That’s interesting that you say that, because how they are now is not set in stone.

MEW: Even if they don’t get back together, they recognize that they have a son and must look after him together.  Ultimately her relationship with Dakota is going to be the most important thing to her. After George leaves, she has to be a parent alone and at first she’s flailing about and hitting the wall and not being attentive to him.

DP: Well, you know the last line of the movie.

MEW (smiling): “I should have listened.” Yeah. That is a great encompassing line for who she’s been.

DP: About a third of the way through the movie I was liking your performance, but I was asking myself, “Do I like her character?” When you read the script for the first time, did you like Alex?

MEW: I really liked her in the script and as I played her, But there were a few moments when I was thinking, “I hope people stick with her through some of this stuff, because she’s really high-strung and nervous for a good majority of the movie.” She’s not connected, not really present, and making bad choices as well.

DP: Really bad choices.

MEW: There were a couple of really bad choices she makes but I’m not sure Chris and I realized they could potentially turn the audience against her until the movie was over.

DP: Actors are usually protective of their characters, so were you seeing good stuff in her?

MEW: Absolutely. She’s so relatable, in terms of people that I know and love. I have a really big family, so there’s all sorts of types of people in my family. So there are Alexes in my family. Especially when you’re a mother and you’re very busy and  just trying to keep your life together, you don’t want to look at or think about or address things that aren’t going well.  Because there’s too much going on. I think that’s easy to relate to, particularly for women today who are trying to balance so many things in their lives. Alex, in some cases, would rather things just go on in their own broken ways because it’s easier than addressing the real problems.

DP: Something she must do to move forward in her life is to realize that she’s no longer in love with her husband, and vice versa.

MEW: Oh, absolutely. That’s a hard thing to learn. I think Alex and George haven’t really been in love in a long time, even if she never admitted that to herself.

DP: In the scene when George breaks up with Alex as she sits on the porch in front of him, you had tears in your eyes. Was that a powerful scene to shoot?

MEW: It was incredible. We did it so many ways.   I didn’t really start out intending to be as emotional as it was. It was one of my audition scenes, and it was less emotional in the audition.  At first she is so in denial as he breaks up with her that it wasn’t really hitting her. Doing the scene with Chris and having him acting with me and directing me at the same time, was very interesting because he started going completely off-script and had George say things to Alex that were heartbreaking.  What he said was really sad and mean, but it was really truthful. That immediately set off the waterworks, There were emotional takes, where I was sobbing at the end of it, but we knew Alex couldn’t have that moment so early in the movie. So I think we found something that is poignant, but not devastating because she is not realizing the weight of what is really happening to her. She has denial.

DP: Reading the script, did you think Alex would end with Frank, the most self-aware character in the film?

MEW: In the scene with the Ouija board, Alex tells Lily that since George has left, she wonders if she will ever have sex again. I think it’s a nice moment because Alex shows her insecurity, which she never really revealed up to that point because she’s really trying to keep it all together. She shows that she is insecure about who she is and where she’s going and will end up. Frank is an exciting person who comes to her life.  He is the most self-aware character in the film.  I don’t think Alex is thinking about messing up her work life, I think she’s just allowing herself to feel something she hasn’t felt in a long time.  With Frank, she tries to be kind to herself.  She wants to give herself a little bit of freedom to explore something new romantically. That’s how I feel, but I think there’s several different interpretations.  When I watch the scenes between Alex and Frank, I realize that’s my favorite stuff in the movie. Doing those scenes with Derek Luke just felt so different from the scenes I did with anybody else.

DP: You have many two-character scenes in this movie. Alex is with George, Roger, Dakota, Frank, and her sister Lily (Katie Nehra).

MEW: Yeah, it was like ten different mini-movies for me.

DP: With different styles of acting.

MEW: Yeah, absolutely. Which was so much fun to do.  I got to show so many sides of Alex through these different relationships.  I love the scene with Lily and Alex and the Ouija board because the mood we created felt so real to me, like when I’m with my real sisters and we have wine after our parents have gone to sleep. My sisters don’t talk about double penetration necessarily, but the feeling and mood in that scene was spot on. It was fake wine but we felt drunk and giddy.

DP: I thought it was brilliant to cast Don Johnson as Alex’s dad Roger, an aging actor who is the early stages of Alzheimer’s but is trying out for a part in The Cherry Orchard.

MEW: Chris was asking us, “What do you think about Don Johnson for the dad, and we said, “That’s brilliant.” I think he really rose to the occasion and gave a really heart-breaking performance. You never know what to expect from someone who’s an icon, and he was just really great to work with. There’s nothing PC about Roger, and I love that.  We have a similar sense of humor, let’s put it that way. It was one of my favorite days on the set.  He was so giving to everyone and really taught me a lot.

DP: I wasn’t surprised by how good and natural you are in this film because I’d seen Smashed. But I was surprised by how good you were in that film.  Do you have different fans from your early horror movies, Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and the types of films your making lately, Smashed and now Alex of Venice? Or do fans not realize you’re the same person in all of those films?

MEW: I really don’t know, to be honest. I did several horror movies, so they started to connect the dots. I think one of the reasons why I get to be so anonymous is that no one knows that I’ve been in more than one movie. They always think it’s somebody new. It’s kind of nice.

DP: I saw most of your early movies without realizing they all starred the same actress, you. It wasn’t until The Thing that I knew who you were.  Was that a pivotal movie for you, in terms of audience?

MEW: I’ll always really love that role.  It was not a movie that did well necessarily, but I was attracted to the idea of playing a smart action heroine at the time. I still am.  I loved the character, and the project, and the director [Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.] and it’s still something that I look back on fondly.

DP: You had the scream queen designation, and all the sudden you’re playing your roles in a low-keyed manner, like a female Steve McQueen almost.  You hold back and give caring, nonshowy performances. Were you always capable of that, or did you all the sudden become a really good actress?

MEW: I was always suited to play these roles but when you start out you get boxed into a certain type of role.  People thought, “Oh, that’s what she is suited for.” They thought I was meant to be an action heroine or a horror scream queen, but I always approached those roles in the same way I approached Alex in Venice and Smashed.  So even when I look back on those films, I’m proud of the work that I did in them. But maybe I just didn’t have the freedom to explore as broad a range of emotions as I do in the films I’ve done of late. As I’ve gotten older and gone further in my career I make the effort to just bring myself into the part as much as I can and know that’s a good thing. I think when I was young I thought that wasn’t really acting. I thought I had to create this mysterious person who’s totally different from me and that was the only way I was going to be a real actor.  As I got older I realized that what people want to see is the actress they want to see their personality and their heart and their soul.  That’s actually what makes people relate to my characters. I’m just really thankful that people like Chris Messina watch me closely and appreciate all those weird things I do in front of the camera.  Because when I watch my performance I see all these faces I was making without realizing it!

Katy Graves Named Sag Harbor School District Superintendent

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The new Sag Harbor School District Superintendent Katy Graves will begin her term July 1.

By Tessa Raebeck & Kathryn G. Menu

Katy Graves was named the new superintendent of the Sag Harbor School District by a unanimous vote of the school board Wednesday night.

Ms. Graves, who will begin work on July 1, received a three-year contract and will be paid an annual salary of $215,000.  Ms. Graves is currently the superintendent of the Stamford Central School District near Albany.

“We were able to come up with an overwhelming decision that the candidate we’re presenting tonight is the perfect superintendent for the Sag Harbor School District,” said board president Theresa Samot while introducing Ms. Graves at Wednesday night’s meeting.

According to Ms. Samot, School Leadership—the firm hired to conduct the search for the new superintendent—brought together 150 people in focus groups, and collected 50 completed online surveys to help it define criteria in its nationwide search.

A total of 55 applications from across the country were filed with School Leadership during the search. Those candidates were screened and the field was narrowed to six finalists. Following interviews with all six candidates, Ms. Samot said the selection of Ms. Graves was unanimous by the board.

“Selecting a superintendent is one of the most important responsibilities of any board of education,” said Ms. Samot in a press release issued after Ms. Graves’s appointment. “After an extensive and thorough search, Ms. Graves was selected from among a pool of more than 55 highly competent candidates. We are extremely confident that she possesses the professional vision, administrative experience, character and interpersonal communication skills to successfully lead our school district to the next level of success.”

“During our interview process, it quickly became apparent that Katy was the clear choice as our next superintendent,” continued Ms. Samot. “Her professionalism, experience, engaging personality and enthusiasm to work with our administrators, staff, parents and community residents to ensure that all of our students reach their highest potential were important qualifications identified by our stakeholders.”

“I would like to thank the board of education for their vote of confidence,” said Ms. Graves. “I look forward to working with the administrators, staff, students and their families and community residents. Together, I am confident we can achieve an even greater level of excellence for all students. I’m also anxious to meet with students and hear about their goals for the future.”

“Thank you to Dr. [Carl] Bonuso for creating a learning environment where everyone works together for the common good of all students,” she added.

Prior to serving in her current position in Stamford, Ms. Graves was the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction at the Windham-Ashland-Jewett Central School District. She possesses a certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in school leadership from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, a master of science degree in health education from Sage Graduate School, and a bachelor of science in home economics/clinical dietetics from the State University of New York at Oneonta.

Ms. Graves will replace interim superintendent Dr. Bonuso, who has served the district for the past two years, beginning in the summer of 2012. Dr. Bonuso replaced Superintendent Dr. John Gratto, who resigned in July 2012.

According to Ms. Samot, Ms. Graves has already rented a home in Sag Harbor to become better acquainted with the community.

Ciencia@CMEE Celebrates Science

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George and Mia Castiblanco attend a fiesta in celebration of Ciencia@CMEE (Science at CMEE), an afterschool program designed for families whose first language is Spanish, on April 12. Developed and taught by educators Leah Oppenheimer and Barbara Blaisdell, the program, which grew out of suggestions made to CMEE’s Latino Parents Advisory Council, is underwritten by the Long Island Community Foundation.

Sagg Bridge Stalemate Continues

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Sagg Bridge


By Stephen J. Kotz

The Village of Sagaponack and Southampton Town remain at a stalemate over Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor’s plan to forge ahead with a controversial plan to replace the Sagg Bridge.

The village has objected to a plan to install modified guardrails offered by Mr. Gregor, and he says he has no intention of allowing the village to annex the bridge, which village officials have raised as a possible solution.

The dispute over the tiny span, from which Bridgehampton derives its name, erupted in December when Mr. Gregor unveiled plans for a new bridge that included larger guardrails that meet the state highway safety code, but which Sagaponack residents say would cut off the view of the pond.

As an alternative, in February, the village offered to reimburse the town $500,000 for the federal grant money Mr. Gregor was planning to use for the project and help pay for future upkeep if the highway superintendent would cancel plans for installing the new guardrails.

But Mr. Gregor has refused. “I’m simply trying to make the bridge safe right now,” Mr. Gregor said on Tuesday.

As a compromise, Mr. Gregor said he offered to use a more historic-looking type of guardrail that he saw on numerous bridges on the Pacific Coast Highway during a recent vacation in California. The new railings would add about $22,000 to the coat of the project, but village officials have rejected his suggestion, he said.

Sagaponack Mayor Donald Louchheim said on Wednesday the village was stumped by the town’s refusal to accept its offer to pay for the bridge work or annex the structure.

“We thought we were giving the town a gift,” he said of the offer to pay for the work. That would free the town to use the grant money on another deserving road project, he added.

He suggested the board was unwilling to move forward with the village’s offer because it did not want to ruffle Mr. Gregor’s feathers.

On Tuesday, Mr. Gregor said he was growing tired of the delays. The highway superintendent said he had informed Sagaponack officials that was going to replace the bridge shortly after he took office in 2010 and delivered a complete set of plans for the new span last summer.

“I didn’t hear boo from them until I had my public information session late last year,” he said.

Mr. Gregor said he was hoping to go out to bid on the project this month, but he cannot do so until the town board votes on a resolution to accept the $500,000 construction grant that was procured by U.S. Representative Tim Bishop but is administered by the state Department of Transportation.

Mr. Gregor added that he had the authority to stop the village from annexing the bridge, which lies partly in the village and partly in town.

“According to the New York State Department of Transportation I own and am responsible to maintain the bridge and approaches to it,” Mr. Gregor said, referring to the town Highway Department.

But Mr. Louchheim rejected that notion. “Mr. Gregor has no authority over it,” he said. “The town owns the bridge. The town board can do it if it wants to do it.”

Even if the village were able to gain control of the bridge, Mr. Gregor said it was unlikely they would be able to get what they wanted.

“They must think they are going to be able to go to the DOT and have them tell them they can put in something that is less than standard,” he said.

Not true, again, said Mr. Louchheim who insisted the state could not force the village to bring the bridge up to code if it was not paying for the work.

Mental Evaluation Ordered for Sagaponack Resident in Arson Case

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David Osiecki is led from the Southampton Town Justice Court after having his arraignment adjourned pending his aquisition of legal counsel on Easter Sunday.

David Osiecki is led from the Southampton Town Justice Court after having his arraignment adjourned pending his aquisition of legal counsel on Easter Sunday.

By Kathryn G. Menu

A psychological evaluation has been ordered for former Sag Harbor resident David Osiecki, after the 54-year-old was charged with arson in connection with a fire that seven fire departments battled at an oceanfront residence in Bridgehampton last weekend.

Mr. Osiecki, who police said is a Sagaponack resident, was arrested on Saturday by Southampton Town Police and charged with arson in the third degree, a class C felony, after a fire caused heavy damage to a house on Dune Road in Bridgehampton. He was also charged with arson in the fifth degree, a class A misdemeanor, for his alleged involvement in a brush fire set Friday on Hayground Road.

At his arraignment on Monday morning, Southampton Town Justice Andrea Schiavoni ordered a psychological evaluation to determine whether Mr. Osiecki was fit to stand trial at the request of his attorney, Brian DeSesa of the Sag Harbor law firm Edward Burke Jr. & Associates.

“He does have a history of mental illness, which is well documented,” said Mr. DeSesa of his client in an interview on Wednesday morning. Mr. DeSesa noted that Mr. Osiecki had been hospitalized in a psychiatric facility. The evaluation should be completed in two weeks time, he said. If he were found to be competent, criminal proceedings would continue. Otherwise, Mr. Osiecki will be placed in a facility for treatment, said Mr. DeSesa.

On Monday, Mr. Oseicki was send to Suffolk County Jail in Riverside in lieu of $500,000 bail. His next court date is scheduled for May 15.

According to police, the house fire, at 187 Dune Road, was called into police at 5:49 a.m. Saturday. The Bridgehampton Fire Department called in help from the Amagansett, East Hampton, Sag Harbor, North Sea, Southampton and Hampton Bays fire departments.

The blaze was declared suspicious by Southampton Town Police Detectives, and the Suffolk County Arson Squad was brought to the scene to investigate the fire’s cause.

“We believe the fire started in a grill area under a pergola,” said Bridgehampton Fire Department Chief Gary Horsburgh, although the chief added the fire is still under investigation.

Chief Horsburgh said fighting the fire caused a significant amount of water damage on the east side of the residence, which, according to town records, is owned by a Helene Feldman. In 2011, the five-bedroom, five-bath oceanfront home was listed for sale for $34 million.

Chief Horsburgh added firefighters had to battle the blaze inside walls and in the ceiling.

“It was a hard fire to fight,” he said.

According to Chief Horsburgh one volunteer from East Hampton was overheated during the blaze, but that there were no other injuries.

Three Candidates Will Vie for Two Seats on the Bridgehampton School Board

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Bridgehampton School administrators and members of the 2013-2014 school board.

Bridgehampton School personnel and members of the 2013-2014 school board. Photo by Tessa Raebeck.

By Tessa Raebeck

With two seats up for grabs, three Bridgehampton parents have come forward to announce their candidacy for the Board of Education (BOE).

Michael Gomberg, Jeffrey Mansfield and Kathleen McCleland will be running for the three-year terms on the school board, which start July 1 and end June 30, 2017.

The seats are left vacant by the departure of BOE members Gabriela Braia and Elizabeth Whelan Kotz, who have decided not to run for reelection.

With his family’s home just two blocks from the Bridgehampton School and two young children in attendance, Michael Gomberg says he is running for the board because he has a vested interest in the school.

Michael Gomberg.

Michael Gomberg

The Gomberg family have had a house in Bridgehampton since 2003 and moved from New York City to reside on the East End full time almost two years ago. His two children attended the Child Development Center of the Hamptons (CDCH) last year, but are now in the second grade and Kindergarten classes at Bridgehampton.

“Part of the reason my wife [Anne Tschida Gomberg] and I both decided to move out here full time was the allure of a small nurturing community like Bridgehampton,” Mr. Gomberg said Wednesday morning.

With a background in finance and accounting, Mr. Gomberg, who said he is “very good with numbers,” feels he is prepared to tackle budgetary issues, which always pose a challenge for the small district.

Mr. Gomberg said he is in favor of the current board’s plan to attempt to pierce the state-mandated tax cap. The candidate said he also values increasing technology and foreign language offerings in the school, if afforded by the budget.

“I would like to build the school to attract more people into it,” said Mr. Gomberg. “It’s really dependent on how this [budget] vote goes…there are so many things the school can do. It’s a great facility and its teachers there—everybody is so nurturing and so hands-on. It’s really a terrific environment.”

“I really do believe I would be an ideal fit for the board, just from that background [in finance and accounting] and my kids are attending, so I do have a vested interest,” he added.

BH Jeffrey Mansfield

Jeff Mansfield

Active on the Bridgehampton CAC, the PTO [Parent-Teacher Organization] and the district’s long term strategic planning committee, Jeffrey Mansfield sees a position on the school board as “just another chance to get involved at a fuller level and try to make a difference” he said Tuesday. Mr. Mansfield is the president of the Bridgehampton School Foundation.

Mr. Mansfield, who has three young children in the district in Pre-Kindergarten, first and second grade, said Bridgehampton School is “a special place,” with its unique small size and racially and economically diverse student body.

“There’s a lot of love there,” he said. “My kids—they love going to school there, they feel safe and they’re learning a lot.”

“My mom was a school teacher for over 30 years, so education’s always been very important to me—and I have the time,” he added.

In addition to having the time necessary for a commitment to public service, Mr. Mansfield said he is running for the board because “I love the community and I want to give back and I want to serve.”

Mr. Mansfield is also in favor of the board’s decision to pursue piercing the tax cap for next year’s budget.

“I’m a conservative when it comes to fiscal policy, I believe in low taxes,” he said. “But, if there’s one place as a country—and certainly as a community—we can’t afford to skip, it’s on education.”

Through his involvement around Bridgehampton, Mr. Mansfield said he has observed great pride in local public institutions such as the library and fire department, but the same pride does not always extend to the school.

“I’d really like to try to make those inroads and get the community at large behind the school because it is our school, it’s our Bridgehampton School,” he said, adding he would like to see local professionals “get involved with the students” by coming into the school to demonstrate the possibilities outside of Bridgehampton.

“It’s a small enough school where I think we can do those types of things whereas a big institution, a lot of times it’s like a battleship—it’s very hard to turn a battleship, but in a smaller, sleeker vessel it’s more maneuverable,” he said. “And maybe it’s naivety, but I can’t wait and I hope I have the opportunity to get in and get my feet wet and then to try to bring some energy and new ideas to the school.”


Kathleen McCleland

The third and final candidate, Kathleen McCleland, also has two young children in the district, in first grade and the Pre-K 3 program.

Having grown up in Bridgehampton, Ms. McCleland moved back home in 2004 to start a family. She is involved in the PTO and the Bridgehampton School Foundation, through which she said she has had the chance to learn more about the operations of the school board.

“I think it’s a really important and exciting time in education locally and nationally,” she said Wednesday. “There’s a lot of changes and because my children are young, I just think it’s important to be involved…most importantly, I’m just really passionate about providing the best education that we can for my own kids and other kids in the community.”

With a degree in international relations, Ms. McCleland spent most of her career working in Manhattan as a corporate event planner for Goldman Sachs. She currently works as a pastry chef for the Bell and Anchor, of which her husband Sam is co-owner and executive chef. Her professional life, she said, has prepared her for the board by fostering organization, time management and creativity.

“I believe in public education and I think that we have a really wonderful school in Bridgehampton,” she said. “I think we can provide a great education and I’d like to be a part of that.”

Like the other candidates, Ms. McCleland said she is in favor of piercing the tax cap.

“The things that we would have to give up if we do not try to pierce the cap are just invaluable,” she said. “It would be too much of a sacrifice for our children and I don’t think that we should have to do that as parents in the public education system…of course every penny counts, especially today, but the most important thing is really that our kids get the quality education.”

The school board elections and budget vote will be held Tuesday, May 20 from 2 to 8 p.m. in the gymnasium of the Bridgehampton School, 2685 Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton.

Hampton Classic Unveils 2014 Poster Art

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The Hampton Classic Horse Show announced Monday that Julie Freund, a native of Westtown, New York, has been selected as its 2014 poster artist.

The Hampton Classic will return to Bridgehampton August 24 to 31 for its 39th year of equestrian competition.

“In many of my paintings I like to take the everyday images that equestrians see, and create a work of art that is recognizable and yet done in a way that emphasizes the beauty of the sport and of the animal,” said Ms. Freund of her inspiration for the poster, “Paseo.” “Equestrian sport requires training, precise technique and conditioning, just as the act of painting. Both require a knowledge of the materials and patience that when done right produce a wonderful connection to the human center.”

Equestrian sport has always been a big part of Mr. Freund’s life. She has shown in the hunter, jumper, and the equitation classes at many “A” rated competitions along the East Coast ranging from Lake Placid to Ocala, Florida. Ms. Freund attended Bridgewater College in central Virginia, where she majored in fine arts, before transferring to the Savannah College of Art and Design, from which she recently graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree in painting and double minor in equestrian studies and art history. The artist currently works and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she rides and trains sport horses at Vintage View Farm.


Bridgehampton Students will Reunite the Peanuts Gang in “Snoopy! The Musical”

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By Tessa Raebeck

Focusing on the life of Snoopy—and the natural comedy found therein—the Bridgehampton School is presenting “Snoopy! The Musical” in three shows today, Thursday, April 24, Friday, April 25 and and Saturday, April 26.

The second musical ever produced at the school, “Snoopy! The Musical” is the sequel to “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” and also stars the characters of Charles Schulz’s iconic comic strip “Peanuts.” The book musical follows Snoopy and the gang through trials from trying to not be called on in class to trying to get a manuscript published, as Charlie Brown grows more and more insecure of Snoopy’s growing independence.

“It is hysterical,” said Lindsey Sanchez, the choral director at Bridgehampton School. “It’s all brand new for the students and they are loving it, the show is going to be great.”

“Snoopy! The Musical” will premiere today, April 24, at 1 p.m. in a show for Bridgehampton’s elementary students, and also run April 25 and 26 at 7 p.m. in the gymnasium at Bridgehampton School, 2685 Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton. Tickets are $5. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Lindsey Sanchez at 537-0271, ext. 127.

Fit4Mom is Fit for Sag Harbor

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By Kathryn Menu

Like many first-time mothers, Brooke Cracco fell instantly in love with her newborn twin sons, William and Dean. But her pregnancy and her sons’ premature entry into the world, had not been without their challenges.

While her children were healthy, Ms. Cracco found that motherhood was an isolating experience.

That was until one day, less than a year ago, when she bundled up the twins for a daily walk on a boardwalk in Sunken Meadow Park near her home in Northport.

“There was a mom instructing a group of 20 women, each with a stroller,” said Ms. Cracco. “And these girls were sweating and crunching and singing to their babies. I needed that. And so I took my first class.”

What Ms. Cracco didn’t know was in taking that first Stroller Strides and Fit4Mom class she was about to embark on a journey that would change the shape of not only her body, but also her professional career.

Ms. Cracco earned her national certification from Fit4Mom last September to teach classes in Nassau County. But the Sagaponack native kept hearing from friends on the South Fork about how they were looking for a similar experience—a place where they could engage in a full-body workout with like-minded moms without the burden of having to figure out childcare arrangements.

“I wanted to bring it home and then this opportunity came up in December,” said Ms. Cracco.

Ms. Cracco now owns the Hamptons Fit4Mom franchise and began by teaching a series of indoor classes at Evolution Fitness in Southampton. After meeting with the Mashashimuet Park Board, Hamptons Fit4Mom will launch its outdoor Stroller Strides classes in Sag Harbor, starting Wednesday, April 30, at 10:30 a.m. If Wednesday weather calls for rain, the event will be held on Tuesday, April 29.

Photographer Diana Lee will be on hand to shoot portraits of everyone who signs up for the grand opening class, the first 25 participants will receive goodie bags, and raffle prizes from both local and national sponsors will also be offered. A free stroller strides class will begin at 11 a.m.

Following the grand opening, the class will be held at Mashashimuet Park every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11 a.m., with classes moving inside at Evolution Fitness on rainy or cold days.

Fit4Mom is the country’s largest fitness program for expectant and new mothers, with more than 250 franchises offering classes for every stage of motherhood.

Ms. Cracco will also launch a stroller barre class on Thursdays at 10 a.m. at the YMCA East Hampton Rec Center on Gingerbread Lane.

“The stroller barre class mixes stroller strides, the barre method, L.A. Pilates and yoga,” she said. “It’s a great, killer transform-your-body kind of class.”

While all of the Hamptons Fit4Mom classes are designed to give clients a full body, strenuous workout, Ms. Cracco noted it is about more than just getting your body in shape. It’s also about connecting with other mothers.

“It’s a community of moms that develops through these classes,” she said. “It is a full-body workout, but it is also about getting your mind refocused and your spirits recharged. It really becomes a culture, a community.”

“It’s just nice to have an outlet for yourself, and to be able to find that connection with other people,” she added.

And don’t forget those helpful endorphins.

The class is ultimately designed to give mothers an invigorating workout, starting with a warm up that leads into stretching, power lunges, and cardio and muscle exercises.

“You are constantly on the go,” said Ms. Cracco.

And your child? They are entertained.

“The kids really stay engaged in this class,” she said. “There have been so many moms who tell me, ‘My kid will never stay in the stroller’, but they do. They are listening to goofy songs, and it becomes something the children look forward to because it is interactive. This is fitness for the mom, fun for the baby.”

For more information on Hamptons Fit4Moms, visit hamptons.fit4moms.com or call 516-480-4341. 

Arson Charge Levied After Bridgehampton Fire

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Michael Heller photography; reporting by Kathryn G. Menu

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Update, Sunday, April 20:

Southampton Town Police Detectives arrested David Osiecki, 54, of Sagaponack and charged him with arson in the third degree, a class C felony, in connection with a house fire at a $34 million home on Dune Road in Bridgehampton Saturday.

According to police, Mr. Osiecki, formerly of Sag Harbor, was arrested at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. He was also charged with arson in the fifth degree, a class A misdemeanor, for his alleged involvement in a prior brush fire in the Bridgehampton-Hayground area. He was held overnight for arraignment and was expected to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Sunday.

On Saturday, several fire departments on the South Fork were called in by the Bridgehampton Fire Department to battle a blaze on Dune Road. The fire, which was dispatched to the Bridgehampton Fire Department at 5:53 a.m., was fought with additional firefighters from the Amagansett, East Hampton, Sag Harbor, North Sea, Southampton and Hampton Bays Fire Departments, was declared suspicious by the Southampton Town Police Department, whose detectives, along with the Suffolk County Arson Squad, were investigating the fire’s cause and origin.

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