Tag Archive | "Bridgehampton"

Babington Dries Off to Win Hampton Classic Grand Prix

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Kevin Babington, atop his mount Shorapur, won the $250,000 Grand Prix at the 2014 Hampton Classic in Bridgehampton on Sunday.

Kevin Babington, atop his mount Shorapur, won the $250,000 Grand Prix at the 2014 Hampton Classic in Bridgehampton on Sunday.

By Gavin Menu; photography by Michael Heller

Kevin Babington went from blue water to a blue ribbon in Bridgehampton on Sunday at the 39th Annual Hampton Classic, recovering from a wet and wild morning to claim victory in the $250,000 Grand Prix, the horse show’s signature event.

Babington, an Irishman, rode his nine year-old mare Shorapur to the fastest fault-free jump-off with a time of 39.16 seconds to win his first-ever Classic Grand Prix over three other riders. His triumph came just hours after falling from his horse and landing in the water jump in the 7/8-Year-Old Jumper Championships on Sunday morning.

Brianne Goutal, 25, the lone American rider in the jump-off, also rode fault-free but finished in 40.34 seconds to finish second.

An estimated 15,000 fans packed the grandstands, VIP Tent and luxury challets Sunday to watch 32 riders compete for the Classic’s grand prize. In the end, four riders, including Babington, Goutal, Richie Maloney and Ramiro Quintana, an Argentinian with roots in Sagaponack, qualified for the jump-off by finishing clean on designer Guilherme Jorge’s course, which proved to be considerably challenging over the course of the afternoon.

Babington said Sunday was the first 1.6-meter grand prix for Shorapur, and that he only decided to enter her, instead of another horse, after she rode in a $10,000 class in the same ring on Friday.

“I thought she felt a little too brave,” Babington said about Shorapur’s performance on Friday. “So I though, okay, you’re ready to step up to the plate now. She won a grand prix recently in Silver Oak and coming off a grand prix I thought she would be confident. I underestimated how confident she would be. She felt fantastic today.”

Babington’s share of the Grand Prix purse was $82,500, while Goutal earned $50,000, Maloney $37,500 and Quintana $25,000. Michael Hughes, Todd Minikus, Devin Ryan, Karen Polle, Cara Raether, Charles Jacobs, Callan Solem and Liubov Kochetova rounded out the top 12 to earn a portion of the winnings as well.

Moloney’s third-placed finish was more than enough to put him on top in the $30,000 Longines Leading Rider Challenge for the second consecutive year, earning 300 points from the week’s 10 open jumper classes. Fellow Irishman Darragh Kenny held on to the runner-up spot with 283 points, even though he left on Saturday night for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in France. Quintana, who began his U.S. riding career nearly 20 years ago at Sag Pond Farm in Sagaponack, finished third with 195 points and Shane Sweetnam of Ireland finished fourth with 177.5.

“It was a week that seemed every single day what we were hearing was Ireland, Ireland, Ireland,” said Marty Bauman, the classic’s longtime press chief.

In the previous 38 years only twice has a rider representing a country other than the United States won the Grand Prix, Tim Grubb of Great Britain in 1996 and Darragh Kerins of Ireland in 2004. Goutal was hoping to keep that streak alive on Sunday, but came up just over one second short of Babington.

“I wanted to play it safe, but I played it a little too safe,” Goutal said afterwards when asked about her approach to the jump-off. “For me this is one of our best shows in the summer, if not the best, and it’s always an honor and a privilege to be on that field.”

Babington, who rides out of Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, became the Classic’s third foreign-born grand prix champion after deciding to go with his unproven young mare and just hours after drying himself off following the early morning spill on Sunday.

“That’s the sport of show jumping,” Babington said late Sunday. “It’s a very humbling sport. You can be on top of the world one minute and be in the water the next.”

Ramiro Quintana, who spent years riding at Sag Pond in Sagaponack, atop his mount Whitney at the 2014 Hampton Classic on Sunday.

Ramiro Quintana, who spent years riding at Sag Pond in Sagaponack, atop his mount Whitney at the 2014 Hampton Classic on Sunday.

Howard University Gospel Choir in Bridgehampton

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The pews of the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church will be alive with music on Saturday, September 6, when the Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University visits Bridgehampton.

The concert  is sponsored by the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center. The choir is known for inspiring through song and dance—and it’s pretty much guaranteed the crowd will be on its feet, rocking and swaying to the gospel music with the performers.

The concert begins at 4:30 p.m. The Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church is located at 2429 Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton. Advanced reserved seats are $50 and donations of $25 in advance and $30 at the door are requested. For more information, call (631) 537-0616 or visit bhccrc.com.

Over 300 Show Up to Discuss Aircraft Noise in East Hampton

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Helicopters at the East Hampton Airport on Wednesday evening, just down the road from where over 300 residents gathered to discuss the aircraft noise problem. Photo by Mara Certic.

By Mara Certic

More than 325 people from all over the East End turned up to a special meeting on Wednesday evening to discuss the East Hampton Airport.

For almost three hours, residents from East Hampton, Southampton, Noyac, North Haven, Shelter Island and the North Fork told the board their concerns, their stories, and their solutions. Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, who acts as the board’s airport liaison made a statement before the public hearing began. She assured the public the town board was committed to do everything they can legally do to address the problem.

She also asked those who had signed up to speak to stay respectful of each other, and the board, and said “I request everyone observe basic rules of civility.”

Ms. Burke-Gonzalez’s wish came true. There was a sense of support and unity among the residents and elected officials who gathered to speak at Wednesday night’s meeting.

Southold, Southampton, Shelter Island, North Haven and Noyac passed memorializing resolutions in the past few weeks, all calling for the East Hampton Town Board to refuse any future grant money from the FAA and then impose regulations on the airport.

Currently, the board is receiving grant assurances from the FAA, which will expire on December 31, 2014. “We implore you to not accept the funding from the FAA,” said Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst at Wednesday’s meeting.

“I can just tell you that from a North Haven standpoint, we’ll do everything to try and support you,” said Jeff Sander, Mayor of North Haven Village. This feeling was repeated throughout the evening, by residents as well as elected officials.

“We’re behind you 100%,” said Shelter Island resident Jim Colligan.  ”Don’t be in fear of those helicopter companies, if we need to rally behind you, we will definitely rally behind you.”

Speakers expressed concern about non-stop noise, which many say goes from as early as 5 a.m. to as late as 2:45 a.m. Frank Dalene, who sits on two of East Hampton’s Airport subcommittees, likened the endless noise to torture. “Will there be satisfaction if you just stop the torture?” he asked. “The only relief is to stop torture. We will not be satisfied until helicopters stop.”

As well as noise, many brought up issues of health and safety. A specialist in animal behaviorism and a Northwest resident explained that the “looming” sound of the helicopters has damaged wild life on the East End, and could be damaging people, too.

Solutions were put forward by the public, as well. Many called for banning helicopters, some called for shutting down all commercial operations in and out of the airport.  Certain residents suggested closing the East Hampton Airport and moving operations to Montauk Airport. This may prove slightly difficult as the 40 acres of the Montauk Airport is less than a tenth of the size of the East Hampton Airport.

“It’s truly a pleasure to listen to th voices on the East End and the conduct at this meeting was exemplary,” Supervisor Cantwell said on Wednesday.

Petitions Due for Library Elections; Five Openings in Bridgehampton, Three in Sag Harbor

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Hampton Library Director Kelly Harris uses the library's new 3D printer on February 24. Photo by Michael Heller.

Hampton Library Director Kelly Harris uses the library’s new 3D printer on February 24. Photo by Michael Heller.

By Tessa Raebeck

The deadlines to submit petitions for positions on the board of trustees of both the Hampton Library in Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor’s John Jermain Memorial Library are this week.

 

Bridgehampton

The deadline at the Hampton Library, where five seats are open, is Tuesday, September 2, by 5 p.m. Four seats will be voted on and filled by Bridgehampton residents; the remaining seat is in Sagaponack and will be voted on by residents of that school district.

Incumbents Jackie Poole, Tom House and Dr. Louise Collins are all seeking re-election.

Elizabeth Whelan Kotz, the board’s president, who has served four three-year terms, will be stepping down after reaching her term limit.

Sarah Jaffe Turnbull chose not to run for re-election due to other commitments.

In order to make sure term limits line up with the library’s annual reorganizational meeting, the terms for the trustees who will join the board this year will run from October 1 to December 31, 2017. Terms previously ran from October 1 to September 30, but will now run for a year and three months for as long as it takes to get all trustees serving three-year, January to December terms.

“The other thing we did this year,” said Library Director Kelly Harris “is in order to make sure that Sagaponack is represented.”

The library’s nine-person board formerly had seven seats reserved for Bridgehampton residents and two for Sagaponack residents, but starting this year, one of the Bridgehampton seats has been switched over to Sagaponack, “so that there’s just a little bit more representation of Sagaponack on the library board,” she said.

Starting in October, three of the trustees will be from Sagaponack, with the remaining six from Bridgehampton.

“Board members are really advocates for the library, but they also represent the community,” Ms. Harris said. “One of the things I’m very proud of at the Hampton Library is we really are a community center and a community library.”

“And we want the library board to not only reflect the community and be a representative of the community,” she added.

The budget vote and trustee election will be held Saturday, September 27, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hampton Library located at 2478 Main Street in Bridgehampton.

 

Sag Harbor

In Sag Harbor, three seats are opening on the board of the John Jermain Memorial Library. The deadline to submit petitions is Friday, August 29, at 4 p.m.

The terms of three board members have expired. Ann Lieber and Jackie Brody are both seeking re-election for their second term, while Toby Spitz has decided not to run for a second term.

Those who win the three-year terms will be in office from January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2017. Candidates can run for two consecutive three-year terms.

The library board meets every third Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. and members usually also serve on committees that may meet monthly depending on the need, but oftentimes do not.

“Formally,” said library director Catherine Creedon, “being a board member entails attendance at the meetings, supervision and hiring of the director, long-range planning and the setting of policy. So, there’s a formal, very narrow charge, but in fact—particularly in a community like Sag Harbor—board members are really the ambassadors for the library.”

“I always think they are the best people to go out and understand our mission, to talk about it, to look at the community and see ways we might be able to better serve the community and bring that information back to the library,” she added.

“Right now, I think is the most exciting time to be a board member at John Jermain,” the director continued, “because we have this gorgeous new building about to open and at the same time, there are all these amazing changes in technology.”

The budget vote and trustee election for the John Jermain Memorial Library will be held Monday, September 29, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Pierson auditorium, located at 200 Jermain Avenue in Sag Harbor.

Habitat for Humanity Dedicates Most Recent Project in Bridgehampton

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Kelly Davis wipes away tears of joy after she, her husband Randy and children Alex and Alexis were presented with a photo album of their house being built during a dedication ceremony for their new Habitat for Humanity property on Sunday, August 24. Photo by Michael Heller.

By Mara Certic

After months of anticipation, sweat and hard work, a Bridgehampton family finally has a real place to call home, thanks in no small part to Habitat for Humanity of Peconic.

Randy and Kelly Davis met in 2001; she was from Sag Harbor, and he grew up in Bridgehampton.

“We just kind of ran into each other. In small towns you just know everyone,” Ms. Davis said.

They fell in love, got married and started a family. They rented a two-bedroom-house on Old Sag Harbor Road, where their children Alexis, now 8, and Alex, 6, shared a room. But the rental prices were steep and Mr. and Mrs. Davis struggled to afford their two-bedroom home—not for lack of trying, Mr. Davis works as a custodian in the Sag Harbor School District, and his wife is a nursing assistant at Southampton Hospital.

They were also paying out-of-district fees so that their daughter could attend prekindergarten in Bridgehampton, as there wasn’t one available to her in Sag Harbor at that time.

About four years ago, Mrs. Davis’s aunt learned from Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Bridgehampton that Habitat for Humanity of Peconic had put out the word to various local parishes that it was seeking a family for whom to build a new house.

“I just had a feeling that it was right at the perfect moment,” Mrs. Davis said at the dedication of her new house on Scuttlehole Road in Bridgehampton on Sunday. Her husband was not so confident, however, and really couldn’t believe the news when they found out that they had been chosen to receive this “blessing,” he said.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization, founded by Millard and Linda Fuller in 1976. Its mission is plain: to build simple, decent, affordable housing for those who need it most. Although a self-described “Christian housing ministry,” Habitat for Humanity helps people of all races and religions and has a strict non-proselytizing policy.

According to Deirdre Herzog, treasurer for Habitat for Humanity of Peconic, Suffolk County gave the land for the house to the Town of Southampton which, in turn, passed it along to Habitat for Humanity.

Ms. Herzog, who has been involved with Habitat for the past 16 years, said that there were delays in getting the process rolling. “When it was time to start building on the property there were issues with the neighbor having encroached on the property, so it took a long time to get those types of things cleared up,” she said.

Work finally started in April 2013 when lot clearing began. Farrell Builders of Bridgehampton gave their time and expertise to the project, and one of their employees, Chris Perrier, worked as the crew leader. Mr. Perrier described himself more as “an educator” on the process. “I pretty much got the shell together for them, pointed them in directions they had to go in,” he said.

Habitat for Humanity requires its future homeowners to contribute at least 500 hours of “sweat equity.” According to Ms. Davis, she and her family and friends contributed more than 800 hours of labor to the building of their new home. “It was awesome,” she said. “We put a lot of work into it.”

Certain local construction companies donated materials; others sold them at discounted prices. Bridgehampton National Bank provided some funding for the project and became a sponsor. A group of bank employees even volunteered some of their time to help with painting and other odd jobs.

The typical Habitat house can take up to a year, Ms. Herzog said. But the conflicting schedules of the skilled construction workers and volunteers further delayed the project’s completion. “It was a rough winter,” Mr. Perrier explained. “And what happens is, out here, this season’s just been extremely busy for all trades,” he said, adding that it proved hard to get volunteers.

But on Sunday, August 24, a formal dedication at the house at 2245 Scuttlehole Road marked the end of a long chapter for the Davis family, and the beginning of a new one. “She’s totally psyched that they have their own rooms now,” Ms. Davis said of her daughter who was showing off her new, very pink bedroom. Her brother aimed a ball at the miniature basketball hoop hanging from the door of his first very own bedroom.

Friends, volunteers, family and clergy gathered at the new house for Sunday’s dedication, a celebration Habitat for Humanity chapters throughout the nation observe. The Davises were given a Bible, an album filled with pictures of the construction process and a hammer that was used in the construction of their house. “Do good,” said Mark Mott, president of Habitat for Humanity of Peconic. Reverend Dr. H.G. McGhee, of the First Baptist Church of Bridgehampton offered a few words while those gathered held hands in prayer.

“We pray in the name of Jesus that this house becomes a blessing for those who reside here,” he said. And then everyone repeated after the minister, “Dedicated in the name of the father, son and Holy Spirit. God bless you.”

For more information about Habitat on the East End, visit hfhpeconic.org.

Bridgehampton CAC Briefed on CVS, Landmarks Law and Takes Aim at Leaf Blowers

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By Mara Certic

Members of the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee seemed somewhat encouraged by a Southampton Town Planning Board meeting when plans for the much maligned, proposed CVS pharmacy were discussed for the first time.

Peter Wilson, a member of the CAC who was at the planning board meeting on Thursday, August 14, discussed the proceedings with his fellow CAC members at their monthly meeting on Monday, August 25.  “Essentially, it was totally process-oriented,” he said. The meeting was delayed by a full hour, he said, but he got the impression that the board “wanted to see this through properly and give it their due course,” he said.

CVS Caremark and BNB Ventures IV are seeking a special exception permit to build a pharmacy on a vacant lot at the corner of Montauk Highway and the Sag Harbor-Bridgehampton Turnpike. The plan has angered Bridgehampton residents who believe that the pharmacy would cause a traffic nightmare at an already dangerous intersection. “We’re hoping the next decision will go our way. This is somewhat of a win for us,” said CAC co-chairwoman Nancy Walter-Yvertes.

The Bridgehampton CAC announced that members of Save Bridgehampton Main Street will hold another protest at the proposed CVS site this Saturday, August 30, at 10 a.m.

Sally Spanburgh, chairperson of the Southampton Town Landmarks and Historic Districts Board, was invited to speak to the CAC about legislation that was recently passed in Southampton that provides an incentive for owners of historic houses to preserve them.

The new law allows homeowners who allow their houses to be designated landmarks to add a guest house or carriage house to their property. In exchange the town would extinguish one of its development credits. Ms. Spanburgh showed pictures of each of the 46 properties in Bridgehampton that would be “technically eligible” to build new structures under the new law, but explained that even some of those would pictured would not necessarily meet all of the requirements.

In other action, the CAC unanimously passed a resolution on Monday asking the  town to ban gas-powered leaf blowers during the summer season.

Bridgehampton resident Steve Jones has become somewhat obsessed by the excessive noise that the landscaping equipment creates without appropriate regulation, he said. “The landscape convoys that stream into our town every morning have turned our residential areas into industrial zones,” Mr. Jones said.

The town’s noise ordinance was adopted in 1983 and has not been amended in the past 20 years. The code states that during the day, airborne noises should be limited to 65 decibels, with some exceptions—none of which are for leaf blowers.

Many gas powered leaf blowers create noise of up to 100 decibels, creating winds of 200 miles per hour. Mr. Jones invited two doctors, and residents of Huntington, to address the Bridgehampton CAC on some of the other side effects of the gas-powered leaf blowers.

Doctors Lucy Weinstein and Bonnie Sager are members of Huntington CALM (Citizens Appeal for Leaf blower Moderation) who have been trying to restrict the use of the equipment in their town. According to Dr. Sager, 16 towns in Westchester County have restricted their use, the country Israel has banned them and the City of Toronto now hands out $5,000 fines to leaf blower operators.

Not only is the noise and air pollution harmful, but also according to the doctors, the leaf blowers throw up topsoil and nutrients, which results in the need for more fertilizers. Often, Dr. Sager said, lawns then become fertilizer-dependent, which, in turn, increases the nitrogen content in groundwater, potentially causing dangerous algal blooms.

The CAC members and the doctors discussed alternatives, mentioning electric and lithium-powered leaf blowers. Jeff Peters, who owns JCP Landscaping in Sag Harbor, uses gas-powered leaf blowers during the summer, he said. He has been using new, quieter leaf blowers in his business and added that a ban would result in higher bills for customers. A ban on leaf blowers would add 20 to 25 minutes of work per lawn, he estimated. Electric leaf blowers, he said, “have no power,” and require noisy generators themselves.

Mr. Jones said he had been in contact with Southampton Town Councilman Brad Bender about introducing some sort of legislation that would ban the gas-powered leaf blowers during the summer. Mr. Bender could not be reached for comment by the time of this paper’s publication.

Finding the Art in “The Selfie”

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One of the “selfies” that will show at the Chase Edwards Gallery, a collage by Nicole Franz.

One of the “selfies” that will show at the Chase Edwards Gallery, a collage by Nicole Franz.

By Tessa Raebeck

Reflecting on that new cultural phenomenon—and vain indulgence—the Chase Edwards Gallery in Bridgehampton presents “The Selfie,” a group exhibition that opens on Saturday, August 30.

The show features the work of seven Long Island artists, collage artist Nicole Franz, Jess Fox, Christine Benjamin, Elizabeth Cassidy, Lesley Cerniglia, Beth Costello and Roseann Nicotra.

“The Selfie is pop culture’s portraiture providing everyone with the opportunity to experiment with the physical and psychological constraints of representing oneself. Inclusive of many styles—expressive, realistic or abstracted, the Selfie is an unveiling of one of the many facets of ourselves affording the artist and viewer an intimate look into the human condition,” the gallery said in a press release.

An opening reception for “The Selfie” will be held on Saturday, August 30, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Chase Edwards Contemporary Fine Art, located at 2462 Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton. For more information, call (631) 604-2204 or visit chaseedwardsgallery.com.

East End Weekend: Highlights of August 22 to 24

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Dean Taylor Johnson, MARILYN. Courtesy Monika Olko Gallery.

Dean Taylor Johnson, MARILYN. Courtesy Monika Olko Gallery.

By Tessa Raebeck

Sick of the beach? That’s strange, but luckily there’s ample else to do around the East End this weekend. Here are our weekend highlights:

 

Introducing his latest body of work, Dean Johnson will show “Living Legends” at the Monika Olko Gallery, with an opening reception on Saturday, August 23, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The show, which features iconic figures in “living pieces,” of mixed media, always changing LED light panels composed of plexi-resin, pigmented inks, film and encaustic wax dyed with oil paints. The Sag Harbor gallery is sponsoring a fundraising event to benefit the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center‘s Southampton office as part of the opening reception.

The Monika Olko Gallery is located at 95 Main Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call Art Curator and Gallery Manager Wafa Faith Hallam at (631) 899-4740.

 

Dougenis, Abstract Rubber Plant (Blue), c. 1977, watercolor on Arches, 25 x 13 inches. Photo by Gary Mamay.

Dougenis, Abstract Rubber Plant (Blue), c. 1977, watercolor on Arches, 25 x 13 inches. Photo by Gary Mamay.

At the Peter Marcelle Project in Southampton, Miriam Dougenis will show her early selected watercolors, with an opening reception on Saturday, August 23, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Known primarily for her contemporary oil on canvas landscapes, characterized by her unique style and the use of familiar locations around the East End, the local artist is also an award-winning watercolor artist. The exhibition, on view from August 23 through September 9, showcases examples of her earliest watercolors from the 70′s and 80′s.

The Peter Marcelle Project is located at 4 North Main Street in Southampton. For more information, contact Catherine McCormick at (631) 613.6170.

 

Before you head to Sag Harbor Saturday, stop by Marder’s in Bridgehampton where there will be free, live music from 3 to 5 p.m. A string trio in the garden will play classical music featuring Vivaldi, Bach and select composers. The concert is free of charge and all are welcome.

Marder’s is located at 120 Snake Hollow Road in Bridgehampton. For more information, call (631) 537-3700.

 

Stages presents “The Wind in the Willows” at the Pierson High School auditorium this weekend, with performances on Friday, August 22, at 7 p.m., Saturday, August 23, at 4 p.m., and Sunday, August 24 at 4 p.m.

Based on the English children’s classic by Kenneth Grahame, “The Wind in the Willows” follows the comedic story of Mr. Toad and his friends, McBadger, Rat and Mole, as they go on the classic, hilarious adventures.

Mr. Toad in his infamous motor car.

Mr. Toad in his infamous motor car.

Helene Leonard will direct the full-length musical production, an original version of the script that was written for television by her late father, Jerry Leonard. Mr. Leonard wrote the music and lyrics along with John Petrone, and there is additional music by Larry Loeber.

All tickets are $15. For reservations, call (631) 329-1420.

 

 

At Duck Creek Farm in East Hampton, Amagansett artist Christine Sciulli will show “Quiet Riot,” an immersive site-specific projection installation presented by the John Little Society.

The installation will be open to the public by appointment and Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 7 p.m. through September 20.

In her primary medium of projected light, Ms. Sciulli “asks us to consider the potential of simple geometry by projecting these forms onto a network of materials that fragment and expand on their structures.

The installation will be in the John Little Barn at Duck Creek Farm, located at 367 Three Mile Harbor to Hog Creek Road (enter and park at north access to Squaw Road) in East Hampton. For more information on the artist, visit sound and vision or vimeo.

 

BLACKOUT at Bay Street. Photo by Lenny Stucker.

BLACKOUT at Bay Street. Photo by Lenny Stucker.

In the second installment of the new BLACKOUT at Bay Street, Bay Street Theater will feature a cabaret evening of performers from its latest hit, “My Life is a Musical,” on Friday, August 22 and Saturday, August 23.

The cabaret performance is complimentary for those who attend the 8 p.m. Mainstage production of the musical and $15 for those only attending the cabaret at 11 p.m.

BLACKOUT, an evening of cabaret and comedy, will feature the performers singing both musical theater and rock songs. For more information on BLACKOUT at Bay Street, call the box office at (631) 725-9500.

Sand Mine Expansion in Noyac Draws Critics

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“Sand Land” has submitted an application to the DEC to increase its 50-acre site by 4.9 acres and deepen it by an additional 40 feet. The floor of the mine is currently 65 feet below the original grade, at 175 feet elevation. Photography by Mara Certic.

By Mara Certic

Environmentalists and civic leaders are calling on the State Department of Environmental Conservation to deny an application to expand an existing sand mining operation in Noyac.

“It was almost 40 years ago that the State of New York said agencies cannot simply act on their own, the environment is too complex. And they passed the law called the State Environmental Quality Review Act,” said Bob DeLuca, president of the Group for the East End, at a press conference held by his organization on Monday at the Old Noyac School House to discuss the potential 20-percent expansion of Sand Land Corp., which is owned and operated by Wainscott Sand and Gravel.

“Going back to the 1980s, the area that we’re talking about was designated by the town as a critical environmental area because of water quality protection concerns,” he continued.

“The site is located within the Town of Southampton Aquifer Protection Overlay District, a zoning overlay with regulatory provisions for clearing, fertilization and housing density, intended to protect the quality of the ground water aquifer below the overlay district,” Kyle Collins, the town’s  planning and development director, wrote in a letter to the DEC dated Thursday, August 14. The area is also in a New York State designated Special Groundwater Protection Area. The aquifer is the sole source of drinking water for much of the East End.

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Bob DeLuca, executive director of the Group for the East End, discussed his concerns about the expansion of Sand Land at a press conference in Noyac on Monday.

Monday’s press conference came after the 60-day public comment period for the sand mine expansion ended on Friday. The DEC has already issued a “negative declaration” for the project, which means the agency has determined  it will not have a negative impact on the environment and will, thus, not require an environmental impact statement.

Letters from environmental organizations, Southampton Town and Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., have all asked the state to rescind the ruling and require that a full environmental impact statement be required before the application is approved.

Agencies have also asked that the DEC deny the application for expansion. The sand mine is a pre-existing, non-conforming land use in a residential zone. Mr. Collins wrote the mine “should be allowed to continue and operate under the parameters of the current mining permit with ongoing reclamation as mining is completed in mined areas.”

“To date, this parcel has been in use for sand mining and other industrial activities for more than 50 years,” said executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment Adrienne Esposito. She said the DEC reported in 2006 the site was coming to an end of its life as a sand mine. “And here we are, in the year 2014, and they’re requesting another 25 years,” she said on Monday.

“Allowing mining facilities to continue operating in perpetuity does not adequately fulfill DEC’s obligation to protect public health and the environment,” she wrote in a letter to the DEC.

Mr. Thiele has introduced legislation, which authorizes local agencies to require water quality testing at mining operations within counties with a population of 1 million or more where the primary source of drinking water is a designated sole source aquifer.

The Noyac Civic Council collected 150 signatures on a petition calling for the DEC to install test wells in order to monitor how the operations are affecting the groundwater quality.

When asked about the installation of groundwater monitoring wells, John Tintle, owner of Wainscott Sand & Gravel, said on Wednesday, “There’s no link between sand and gravel mining and groundwater contamination.”

One of the main concerns that the environmental advocates had about water quality, was the possibility that the facility’s composting and mulching operations could affect the drinking water. “We know for a fact, according to a New York State DEC Report that was released in 2013, that these types of facilities that have compost material on them and mulching materials cause ‘significant groundwater contamination in the form of heavy metals, manganese and thorium, as well as increased radiation including alpha and beta radiation levels,’” Ms. Esposito said at Monday’s press conference. “This area has never been tested despite our calls for doing so.”

Mr. Tintle said on Wednesday that he had personally conducted water quality testing at his facility and that he had passed along that data to both the DEC and the town. A town representative said on Wednesday evening that Southampton Town was not aware of any submission of groundwater monitoring by Sand Land in the past two-to-three years, but did say an independent third party should be responsible for conducting the water quality testing.

Groundwater monitoring wells test the water at various levels, as well, which some other techniques do not.  “The Town of Southampton requires this for new gold courses, whether over our aquifer or not, and the same should be expected for existing and expanded sand mines,” Mr. Collins wrote.

The Bridge golf course, which neighbors Sand Land, is one such course where water quality monitoring has proved to be successful. There have also been complaints, and even a lawsuit, from neighbors about increased traffic, dust, noise and a fowl odor emanating from Sand Land. Greg Stanley, the superintendent at the Bridge, said that on many days golfers are treated to a strong smell of manure from the neighboring mulching, mining and composting operation.

An application from Sand Land was going to be discussed at tonight’s meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals but has been postponed indefinitely, according to ZBA secretary Kandice Cowell.

 

 

Bridgehampton School District to Appoint New Athletic Director Wednesday

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Bridgehampton's Tylik Furman going up for two of his game-high 30 points against Knox in January. Photo by Michael Heller.

Bridgehampton’s Tylik Furman going up for two of his game-high 30 points against Knox in January. Photo by Michael Heller.

By Tessa Raebeck

Eric Bramoff will fill the position as Bridgehampton School's athletic director. Photo courtesy Lil' Kickers of Syracuse.

Eric Bramoff will fill the position as Bridgehampton School’s athletic director. Photo courtesy Lil’ Kickers of Syracuse.

The Bridgehampton School District was expected to appoint Eric Bramoff as its new athletic director when it met Wednesday, August 27.

A Sag Harbor native and graduate of Pierson High School, Mr. Bramoff will fill the position left open by longtime physical education teacher and athletics director Mary Anne Jules, who retired in June. Bridgehampton Superintendent/Principal Dr. Lois Favre confirmed the appointment on August 20.

The full-time position will be split up between two roles; Mr. Bramoff will be a physical education teacher for 80 percent of the school day and athletic director for the remaining 20 percent of his day, effective July 1.

While at Pierson, Mr. Bramoff was an all-county soccer and baseball player. He was a three-year starter on the football team at SUNY Cortland, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He also has a master’s degree in education and is currently working towards his degree in educational administration at Le Moyne College in Syracuse.

Mr. Bramoff, who has coached football, baseball, basketball and soccer at many levels, is leaving his post as a physical education teacher at the Syracuse City School District. He also coaches at Sport Center 481 in East Syracuse and is the chief ocean lifeguard for the Village of East Hampton, as well as a champion in national lifeguard competitions.

He and his wife Brooke have two young children, Ethan and Dylan.

As both physical education teacher and athletic director, Ms. Jules was a staple on the sidelines of Bridgehampton School’s athletic contests for 32 years. Like Mr. Bramoff, she too attended SUNY Cortland and taught briefly in Syracuse.