Tag Archive | "Bridgehampton"

Bridgehampton Test Scores Fall in Wake of Common Core

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By Tessa Raebeck

Following the implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards last year and the immediate alignment of student assessments to the new curriculum, Bridgehampton School saw its scores on standardized tests drop across the board.

The Common Core, which according to its philosophy, aims to enhance learning essentially by teaching students to be thinkers rather than memorizers, was largely criticized last year for its implementation, which many educators, parents and students said was haphazard and too fast.

“There’s a difference between pre-Common Core and post-Common Core,” Bridgehampton Superintendent/Principal Dr. Lois Favre told the school board at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, September 24.

“By all measures that we have here our kids are growing,” she said, adding that 96 percent of Bridgehampton students met local growth targets, which are measured by where students are in September “to where we expect they will be at the end of the year.”

For English Language Arts (ELA) tests in grades 3 to 5, less than half of students scored the higher scores of a 3 or a 4 on the new state assessments. Dr. Favre said what needs to happen now is for the district “to understand better what the state tests are asking,” adding “that’s the training that the teachers are going through now.”

“This year is the first year that the state is actually releasing some questions, so we finally have an idea of what the test looks like,” Dr. Favre said.

Dr. Favre said Bridgehampton’s numbers tend to appear worse than they actually are, because the school’s small class sizes make for more extreme percentages. If two students fail in a class of eight, for example, the pass rate goes from 100 percent to 75 percent, whereas those same two students failing in a larger class would have a much less significant effect.

The superintendent said in moving forward, a primary goal of the district is to look at vocabulary development and to “change strategies we use to teach so that kids start to think in a different way.”

“I couldn’t understand why they would change standards and the test at the same time,” Dr. Favre said of the New York State Department of Education, saying she would have preferred to “watch our kids grow on the tests we’re familiar with.”

Students performed better on the math assessments, which the district had made an “area of focus,” the superintendent said.

Dr. Favre announced her intention to team up with other small schools, such as the Amagansett School District in East Hampton, so that teachers have colleagues to strategize with. Many Bridgehampton teachers are the only instructors in their subjects at their grade level and she believes they would benefit from a relationship with others experiencing the same challenges. Dr. Favre is in talks with Amagansett Superintendent Eleanor Tritt to make such an alliance happen.

Despite the poor showing on many primary tests, Bridgehampton did “beautifully” on high school exams, she said.

“That’s why I have every faith we have a great curriculum. We have great teachers, it’s just a matter of getting to know this test,” Dr. Favre said of the Common Core assessments.

In an effort to address weaknesses, the district has established data teams, groups of teachers that will meet for two hours every month to “really talk about these things” and plan curriculum alignment across the board.

Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton Voters Approve Library Budgets, Elect New Members

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By Stephen J. Kotz

Sag Harbor voters overwhelming approved the John Jermain Memorial Library’s $2.4 million budget by a 198-32 margin on Monday.

Two incumbent library board members were also re-elected to three-year terms on the board. Ann Lieber received 154 votes, and Jacqueline Brody received 129 votes. Newcomer Ann Sutphen, who received 144 votes, was also elected to a three-year-term.

Also running were Susan Sabin, who received 127 votes; Robert Hooke, who received 84 votes; and Caleb Kercheval, who received 71 votes. Trustee Toby Spitz did not seek another term.

“The staff and board are just so grateful for the community support of the library,” said library director Catherine Creedon on Tuesday.

The budget pierces the state-mandated 2-percent spending cap. It carries a 5.8-percent spending increase of $111,367, which Ms. Creedon said was largely tied to the library’s eventual move back to its building at the corner of Main and Union streets.

She said the budget covered increases for things like utilities, the need for more custodial hours, given that the building is four times larger than the library’s temporary quarters on Long Island Avenue, as well as the need to bring back two part-time positions that were eliminated through attrition at the start of the renovation project.

“This place has been a real gift,” Ms. Creedon said of the library’s temporary home. “Our door count, the number of patrons who have come in, has actually increased in the temporary space.” She said she thought that might because the temporary space is now closer to the business district.

Ms. Creedon said she still did not have a firm answer for when the library would be able to move back to its permanent home, saying it would be late winter at the earliest.

Hampton Library Results

Bridgehampton and Sagaponack voters on Saturday approved the Hampton Library’s proposed operating budget for 2015 and elected five trustees to the library board.

Dr. Louise Collins, Tom House and Jackie Poole, all of whom ran unopposed, were reelected to three-year terms on the board of trustees. John Vendetti ran unopposed for his first term and was voted in by 42 Bridgehampton votes. Sagaponack voters elected Matthew Rojano for his first term as library trustee.

After serving four three-year terms, board president Elizabeth Whelan Kotz stepped down because of term limits, and Trustee Sarah Jaffe Turnbull did not seek re-election.

The five trustees were sworn in on Wednesday, October 1.

The budget, which was proposed at $1,551,700 passed easily. In Bridgehampton, voters approved the budget 38 to 6. In Sagaponack, all nine voters passed the budget unanimously.

“We really appreciate the support of our patrons and voters,” said library director Kelly Harris. “And we thank the people who took time out from a very busy weekend to come out and vote.”

Arrest in Bridgehampton Home Invasion

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Southampton Town Police on Tuesday said they had arrested a man last week they said was responsible for a Bridgehampton home invasion in August.

Keriam Beauford, 27, of Amityville was charged on Thursday, September 25, with four felonies: burglary in the first degree, assault in the first degree, robbery in the first degree, and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree.

He was held overnight in Southampton Town Police headquarters and arraigned in Southampton Town Justice Court on Friday and taken to Suffolk County jail in Riverside.

Police said Mr. Beauford was located in Nassau County by town detectives with the assistance of U.S. marshals.

On August 12, town police were called to a house on the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike at about 11:30 a.m. Residences told them an armed man had forced his way into the house, pistol whipped one of the residents, demanded drugs and money, and made off with a Playstation 4. X-Box One, iPad, and a small amount of marijuana.

Town officers and detective responded to the scene along with Sag Harbor Village Police, and the Suffolk County K-9 unit.

The victim who was pistol whipped during the attack was hospitalized at Stony Brook Hospital.

Burgers and Football at Fresh Hamptons

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Fresh Hamptons at 203 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike in Bridgehampton is offering Manly Mondays each week at its bar.

A flat screen television will show the Monday night NFL game and a dinner special featuring a grass-fed beef burger or grilled veggie burger with a draft beer or glass of house wine will be available for $14 plus tax and gratuity.

For more information about Fresh Hamptons, call (631) 537-4700 or visit it on Facebook.

Almond Announces New Prix Fixe Menu

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Almond restaurant at 1 Ocean Road in Bridgehampton has announced a new prix-fixe menu available from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday. The three-course menu, which will be rotated daily, will be available for $29.

Among the items on the menu will be warm Amagansett beet salad or herbed goat cheese ravioli for appetizers; steak frites or roast chicken entrees; and buttermilk panna cotta peach and ginger compote pop tarts for dessert.

Almond debuted in the spring of 2001. The affordable French bistro quickly became one of the top spots on the East End for locals and tourists alike.

“Almond has brought French bistro to the Hamptons,” said Joanne Starkey of The New York Times.

Chef Jason Weiner quickly established himself and has established a strong commitment to using locally farmed products and local produce in order to support the local community.

For reservations call Almond at (631) 537-5665.

Judiann Carmack-Fayyaz

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By Mara Certic

Judiann Carmack-Fayyaz is the chair of Slow Food East End, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. She discusses some of the group’s successes over the years, future projects and an upcoming fundraiser in Westhampton Beach.

Slow Food East End just celebrated its 10th anniversary. How has the organization evolved and expanded over the past 10 years?

Our quest for universal access is manifested in our novel programming, which is centered around education and the concept of Farm to Table. Master Farmers Program, Chefs to Schools, school garden mini-grants, educational outreach and curriculum development are our most important initiatives of the past few years.  We have had the good fortune to develop powerful partnerships with some incredible like-minded groups such as Edible School Gardens, Josh Levine Memorial Foundation, Cornell Cooperative, Peconic Land Trust, Project Most and Sylvester Manor.  That expression “Many hands make light work,” comes to mind. We have become much more effective by sharing resources and goals.

What do you consider some of the greatest accomplishments?

Our greatest accomplishment in my mind is the formation of a very dedicated group of Slow Food leaders and community supporters that is very focused on changing the way people eat and the way food is produced. Through team effort and hard work, we have accomplished some pretty incredible things. The school garden movement—and soon the school cooking movement—on the East End of Long Island would not be the same without the amazing financial and programmatic support of Slow Food East End. We owe all of this to the network of chefs, farmers, fisherman, educators, producers, concerned citizens, journalists, nutritionists and foodies that have donated so much of their time, energy and resources to our common goals. It takes a community!

Slow Food East End has been advertising the need for a master farmer. What does that position entail?

When educators, parents and community members wanted to teach children about food: where it came from, how to grow it and how to eat it, school gardens seemed the best place to accomplish that task. Today, the Edible School Garden Group counts about 25 school districts with school garden programs on the East End. It became apparent that many of us did not have the technical growing or gardening skills to run successful programs. Farming requires special knowledge! Monthly meetings did not translate into help on the ground, where questions from “Where should I put my garden?” to “How do you harvest sweet potatoes?” perplexed many.  The Master Farmer program was born. Master farmers bring different levels of gardening/farming experience to the table.  Our four master farmers have truly been inspirational as well incredibly helpful in getting programs off the ground and into sustainability.

On Sunday, September 28, the American Culinary Federation Eastern Long Island Chefs Chapter is co-hosting the first annual S.E.E.D. fundraiser with Slow Food East End. What will the fundraiser benefit?

The chefs of the Eastern Long Island chapter of the American Culinary Federation very much want to give back to the community and make an impact on changing the way people eat too.  S.E.E.D. aims to celebrate the chefs, wineries, breweries, farmers and fishermen who produce the delicious bounty that we enjoy so much out here. Proceeds from S.E.E.D. will help fund Slow Food East End’s Chefs to Schools Program, which aims to bring chefs into schools.  Chefs will receive a small stipend covering time and supplies to visit schools with the aim of teaching children of all ages how to prepare, cook and enjoy food. The program is still in development and will be officially launched sometime very soon. This new initiative completes the circle of farm to table.

For more information about Slow Food East End or Sunday’s fundraiser, visit slowfoodeastend.org.

Fight to Stop CVS Rages on in Bridgehampton

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By Mara Certic

Although contractors began clearing the proposed site for a CVS Pharmacy in Bridgehampton last week, Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee members donning anti-CVS pins on Monday seemed encouraged by the possibility an alternate site could be found for the store.

Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst asked to attend the CAC’s monthly meeting on Monday, September 22, in order to discuss some ideas around with residents of the hamlet, she said.

“There are a couple of facts I wanted to make sure to clarify,” Ms. Throne-Holst began on Monday. “We have gotten all of your emails, petitioning us to hold a public hearing,” she said. “We’ve done our best to explain, there is no legal vehicle for us to do that.”

Members of the CAC and the offshoot organization Save Bridgehampton Main Street have been writing to local officials asking them to hold public hearings about a proposed CVS on Bridgehampton’s busiest intersection.

Ms. Throne-Holst explained there is a “separation between church and state” when it comes to the town and its various appointed boards. “That doesn’t mean we don’t take this very seriously,” she added.

The decision to allow or deny CVS to open a store on a busy intersection in Bridgehampton, she repeated, lies solely in the hands of the planning board. “They have to be able to show by the letter of the law why they made the decision,” she said on Monday.

Former town planning director Jeff Murphree reiterated this and reminded the CAC members “the planning board has to focus its decision on facts.” Ms. Throne-Holst explained the appointed boards operate within certain classifications and parameters set by the state.

But what the town can do, she added, is tighten, add and subtract the parameters within that code. The town board held a hearing on Tuesday, September 23, about adding specific special exception permit standards for uses in excess of 5,000 square feet and less than 15,000 square feet.

Quite conveniently, at 9,030 square feet, the proposed CVS would be subject to the additional standards. “This is one that has been in the works for some time,” she said of the legislation.

Lawyers representing BNB Ventures IV and CVS Caremark spoke at the Tuesday’s public hearing opposing the legislation as written. John Bennett, who represents CVS, said this was “an illegal exercise of your powers as town board.”

He mentioned a court ruling from another, similar case, and said, “this administrative procrastination calculated to deny a property owner his right to use his land is supportable neither by law or by ethical practice.”

“I’ll ask you to have more character, more backbone and obey the law,” he told the board on Tuesday.

Wayne Bruyn, who represents BNB Ventures IV said, ““When I looked at this law I was in shock.”

Ms. Throne-Holst reiterated the amendment is a “part of that string of looking and relooking and improving on some of our land use codes.” The supervisor said the town was going to make amendments to the law and would keep the hearing open until the October 14 meeting.

On Monday Ms. Throne-Holst also discussed another planning opportunity she wanted to float by the most concerned Bridgehamptonites. The Konner Development, a 13-acre piece of land across the street from the Bridgehampton Commons, is currently zoned as a highway business, she explained, which restricts possible land uses.

There has, she said, been a lot of work already to have the property designated a Planned Development District or PDD. Ms. Throne-Holst explained the town board oversees PDDs, unlike other matters of planning. The PDD designation would allow the town to require the lots have certain buffering, vegetation, appropriate aesthetics and so on and added there is “A lot of community input to this process.”

“I’d like to think a little out of the box here,” she said. “What could we do that may serve this community in light of some of the activity that’s going on here at the moment?” she asked the group.

Within moments, one member of the group suggested it could be the new home for CVS. Ms. Throne-Holst, who wanted it to be known that the public had brought up this suggestion, told the CAC members she had spoken to Ms. Konner and referred to her as “a willing developer.”

“Because the decision lies with the town board it gives us opportunity for a lot of give and take,” she said.

If the site became a PDD, she said, it would have to have some sort of public benefit to the town. “We have an opportunity here to look at part of this town, part of this hamlet, that warrants a good hard look,” she said.

Leonard Davenport, member of the CAC, said he would draft a resolution that would throw the CAC’s “qualified support” behind the effort to create a PDD at the site. “This is good planning, this is what planning’s really about,” Peter Wilson told Ms. Throne-Holst.

“The PDD is a big potential development,” Mr. Davenport said after the meeting.

The CVS application will be discussed at the planning board meeting on Thursday, October 9.

 

Hampton Library Budget Vote & Trustee Election Saturday

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The Hampton Library will host its budget vote and trustee election on Saturday, September 27 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the library at 2478 Main Street in Bridgehampton. Four seats will be voted on and filled by Bridgehampton residents; Sagaponack residents will determine the remaining seat.

Incumbents Jackie Poole, Tom House and Louise Collins and newcomer John Vendetti are running for the Bridgehampton seats. Matthew Rojano, another newcomer, is vying for the Sagaponack representation. After serving four three-year terms, Board President Elizabeth Whelan Kotz is stepping down due to term limits, and Trustee Sarah Jaffe Turnbull is not seeking re-election.

Residents in Bridgehampton and Sagaponack will also weigh in on the 2015 budget, which is proposed at $1,551,700.

Voter Registration Drive

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The League of Women Voters of the Hamptons will register voters at 12 sites across the East End on Tuesday, September 23, which is the third annual National Voter Registration Day.

Now in its third year, National Voter Registration Day was established in 2012 on the fourth Tuesday in September and boasts more than 1,000 partnering organizations across the United States. Its purpose is to bring attention to the importance of registering to vote on time.

The New York State deadline is October 10 for the general election on November 4.

“Anyone who was not registered previously, or who has moved, or changed his or her name needs to fill out a voter registration form,” said the Hamptons League’s voter services co-chair Anne Marshall. “We hope you will stop by one of our tables, where we will also be glad to answer any of your questions.”

League volunteers will be at Schiavoni’s Market in Sag Harbor from 10 a.m. to noon; at the Bridgehampton Post Office from 10 a.m. to noon; at Cromer’s Market on Noyac Road from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; at Waldbaums Supermarket on Jagger Lane in Southampton from 4 to 6 p.m.; at the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton, also from 4 to 6 p.m.; at Chancellors Hall at the Stony Brook Southampton campus from 5 to 7 p.m.; at the East Hampton Post Office from 10 a.m. to noon; at One Stop Market in East Hampton on Springs-Fireplace Road from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Montauk Post Office from 10 a.m. to noon; at King Kullen in Hampton Bays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; at Stop & Shop in Hampton Bays, also from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and at Simon’s Beach Bakery in Westhampton Beach from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Those with questions can contact the league at (631) 324-4637 or visit lwvhamptons.org or call the Suffolk County Board of Elections at (631) 852-4500.

Bridgehampton CAC Strikes an Environmental Chord with Planned Discussions on Local Issues

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The Bridgehampton CAC will host environmental discussions on local issues relevant to all of the East End such as water quality. Photo by Tessa Raebeck.

The Bridgehampton CAC will host environmental discussions on local issues relevant to all of the East End such as water quality. Photo by Tessa Raebeck.

By Tessa Raebeck

The Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee has invited the East End community to presentations and discussions on local environmental issues with a series of guest speakers, kicking off this Monday, September 22.

On Monday, Dieter von Lehsten, the co-chairman of Southampton Town’s Sustainability Committee, will visit the CAC to discuss the environmental impact of plastic shopping bags. On Monday, October 27, Kevin McCallister, founder of defendh20.org, will discuss local surface waters and on Monday, November 25, Bob DeLucca, President of the Group for the East End, will discuss the historical evolution of groundwater protection, clearing restrictions and the effect on surface waters.

The Bridgehampton CAC will be inviting the CAC’s of Noyac and Water Mill to the meetings.

The CAC meets the fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Bridgehampton National Bank’s Community Service Room in Bridgehampton.