Tag Archive | "Bridgehampton"

Sag Harbor Artists Featured at Plein Air Peconic: “Bridgehampton Past and Present”

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"Hendrickson Farm" by Kathryn Szoka. Image courtesy Bridgehampton Museum.

“Hendrickson Farm” by Kathryn Szoka. Image courtesy Bridgehampton Museum.

By Tessa Raebeck

Driving through the backroads of Bridgehampton, it’s hard to keep your eyes on the road, rather than glued to the beautiful farmland, ponds and wildflowers of Sagaponack, Hayground and Mecox. The natural vistas of the hamlet are featured in Plein Air Peconic: “Bridgehampton Past and Present” at the Bridgehampton Museum May 22 through September 18.

The exhibition and sale, featuring photographs and paintings of landscapes, will have an opening reception Saturday, June 15 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Three of the artists, Casey Anderson, Kathryn Szoka and Anita Kusick, live in Sag Harbor.

“The show includes beautiful landscapes, many conserved with the help of the Peconic Land Trust, and will provide an opportunity to gain perspective on how our precious landscape has changed over time,” said Plein Air Peconic in a press release.

A percentage of all sales benefit the Peconic Land Trust and the Bridgehampton Museum. The exhibition is at the Bridgehampton Museum Archive Building, located at 2539-A Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton. For information, hours and directions, call (631) 537-1088.

Bridgehampton Student Harriet DeGroot Receives Chemistry Award

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Bridgehampton School tenth grader Harriet DeGroot was nominated by teacher Helen Wolfe for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement in High School Chemistry and received the award from the New York Chemical Society’s Long Island Subsection. Photo courtesy Bridgehampton School.

Bridgehampton School tenth grader Harriet DeGroot was nominated by teacher Helen Wolfe for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement in High School Chemistry and received the award from the New York Chemical Society’s Long Island Subsection. Photo courtesy Bridgehampton School.

By Tessa Raebeck

Harriet DeGroot, a tenth grader at the Bridgehampton School, received the New York American Chemical Society award for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement in High School Chemistry for 2014. Nominated by Helen Wolfe, her science teacher at Bridgehampton,  Ms. DeGroot was chosen for the award, which recognizes the best high school chemistry students at each high school in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens Counties. She received the award from the New York Chemical Society’s Long Island Subsection.

 

Hoping to Save Programs, Bridgehampton School Will Bring Budget to Voters a Second Time June 17

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Bridgehampton school personnel say extracurricular activities (like the community garden, pictured above) are what makes Bridgehampton School special and are worth piercing the tax cap. Photo by Michael Heller.

Bridgehampton school personnel say extracurricular activities (like the community garden, pictured above) are what makes Bridgehampton School special and are worth piercing the tax cap. Photo by Michael Heller.

By Tessa Raebeck

After its budget fell short of approval by just 36 votes, the Bridgehampton Board of Education agreed last Wednesday, May 28, to present the same $12.3 million budget to the community for a second vote on June 17.

The 2014-15 budget, a 9.93-percent or $1.1 million increase over last year’s due largely to contractual obligations, required a supermajority of 60 percent because it pierced the state-mandated tax levy cap. With just 247 residents casting ballots, it came in short at just above 54 percent with 134 yes votes and 113 no votes.

“Certainly, while the support of the budget was positive, it wasn’t quite positive enough to get us to be able to pierce the levy limits,” said Superintendent Dr. Lois Favre. “In planning the budget, the board considered all possible scenarios. With community support, it decided the only way to move forward successfully was to pierce the cap.”
Members of the school board were optimistic they will see a larger, more supportive turnout June 17.

“I think it’s a learning experience,” BOE president Ronnie White said. “Maybe we should go back to the drawing board and try to get some of the folks, the naysayers, and really educate them on the actual numbers.”

Lillian Tyree-Johnson, a school board member since 2009, sent out an email May 21, the morning after the budget’s defeat, to her personal contacts with an attachment of Bridgehampton’s registered voters, whether they had voted in 2008 and 2009 (when Ms. Tyree-Johnson ran for the board and began keeping a tally of voters in an effort to mobilize them) and whether she thought they would vote yes or no.

Two days later on May 23, Ms. Tyree-Johnson sent a follow-up email with another spreadsheet, this time not including her thoughts on how people would vote.

“We just didn’t realize that it was going to be controversial,” she said in a phone conversation Tuesday about her decision to mark how she believed people would vote. “Some of our people that do really support us just get a little complacent and we don’t push so hard.”

Ms. Tyree-Johnson said her intention was not to target people, but merely to rally supporters to encourage people they knew who were on the list and did not vote to come out June 17.

“I did not send a list of parents trying to shame anybody, because for sure I don’t think you get anywhere with shaming everybody,” she said. “I’ve just been trying to encourage people who love it, who love this school.”

Mr. White said Wednesday the board never discussed the email collectively, adding that the list of registered voters is public information available under the Freedom of Information Law.

“Above and beyond being on the board, she’s a patron of the community,” Mr. White said of Ms. Tyree-Johnson. “So, whatever it is that she wishes to do to help our district out—I think she’s communicated with counsel to make sure the things she was doing were legit and legal, and it appears that there was no breach of any kind of confidential information.”

Ms. Tyree-Johnson wrote in the email that should the budget fail a second time, “The cuts that will have to be made are devastating.”

If the budget fails again, the district will be required to draft a new budget with a 0-percent tax levy increase, which would require an additional $800,500 in spending to be cut.

Dr. Favre sent out a letter to members of the Bridgehampton School community outlining some of those losses.

“The list is horrifying,” said board member Jennifer Vinski. “It would be devastating to our school and most importantly our children.”

Those cuts would include disbanding the pre-kindergarten classes for 3- and 4-year-olds.

“That’s a huge loss to me, because I think that’s what makes our school so special,” Ms. Tyree-Johnson said Tuesday, “especially for a school district where there’s a lot of lower income [families], because they can’t afford to send their kids to a private nursery or a pre-K program.”

A defeat would also require the district to cut its after-school programs, driver’s education, extracurricular clubs, drama program, field trips, swimming program, all summer programming (Young Farmers Initiative, Jump Start, drama program), Arts in Education and Character Education Programming, any increases in technology and updates to music equipment, the Virtual Enterprise program and internships, vocational education opportunities for students through BOCES, newsletters and printed communication and several teacher/aide/staff positions, among others.

Staff development programs mandated by many new state educational initiatives, summer guidance and library materials would also need to be reduced.

The proposed budget would enact a $10.6 million tax levy, an 8.8-percent increase from the current school year’s. For a homeowner of a $500,000 house, the annual tax bill would be increased by approximately $56 a year.

The second budget vote is June 17 from 2 to 8 p.m. in the Bridgehampton School gymnasium.

Grand Opening for Bridgehampton Inn

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The Bridgehampton Inn & Restaurant held its grand opening on Wednesday, June 4.

Located at 2266 Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton, the restaurant will serve dinner Wednesday through Sunday, from 5:30 pm to 10 pm.

This will be the first time the historic inn, which was built in 1795, will have an on-site restaurant. It will be operated by the by the Loaves & Fishes cook shop in Bridgehampton.

Cozy and intimate, the restaurant seats 50 and has outside patio tables for the warmer weather. The primary and private dining rooms are located in the old main floor gathering spaces, with a handcrafted walnut bar in the original 1795 tavern room.

The chef de cuisine, Arie Pavlou, will offer a menu featuring local ingredients and regular updates, according to the inn’s website.

To check the menu, visit bridgehamptoninn.com. To make a reservation, call 631-537-3660.

Fruit and Vegetable-Inspired Paintings at the Bridgehampton Museum

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A watercolor that will be shown as part of "Claus Hoie's Greengrocer Series: Bountiful Harvest" at The Bridgehampton Museum. Photo by Gary J. Mamay.

By Tessa Raebeck

An exhibition of bold and colorful paintings by Claus Hoie will be on display at The Bridgehampton Museum from June 6 through October 15, with an opening reception Friday, June 6.

Inspired by fruits and vegetables, “Claus Hoie’s Greengrocer Series: Bountiful Harvest” includes watercolors that span the last three decades of the life of the Norwegian-born artist, who died in East Hampton in 2007. Many of the works in the exhibition will be on view for the first time, while others have been shown in museums and galleries across the world.

“Intellectual curiosity, imagination and daily walks observing natural phenomena all served as motivation for Hoie’s fruit and vegetable themes,” the Bridgehampton Historical Society said in a press release. “The exhibition calls attention to his use of humor and fantasy and to his inventive use of calligraphic qualities to emphasize traditional species’ names derived from 18th and 19th century scientific investigations. His skill at exploring various tonalities and degrees of transparency is evident throughout.”

The opening reception for Claus Hoie’s paintings is Friday, June 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Bridgehampton Museum, 2368 Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton. For more information, call (631) 537-1088 or visit bhmuseum.org.

Bridgehampton Local Jake Patterson Making a Name for Himself in the Art World—and the Rap World, too

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A still shot of Bridgehampton native and up-and-coming performance artist Yung Jake, from his latest music video, "Look."

A still shot of Bridgehampton native and up-and-coming performance artist Yung Jake, from his latest music video, “Look.”

By Genevieve Kotz

Yung Jake, an up-and-coming artist/rapper from Bridgehampton, having recently had an exhibition of his work at Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles, is quickly gaining recognition for his contributions to both the art and rap music worlds.

Yung Jake, also known as Jake Patterson from Bridgehampton High School’s class of 2008, received his BFA from CalArts in Los Angeles.

At the Steve Turner Gallery, Jake showed “Drawings,” a series of screen installations with a lone computer mouse moving on each screen.

Yung Jake also premiered his iPhone-filmed music video “Look” at the exhibition, which ran until May 31 and was featured in the Huffington Post.

In a similar theme to his visual art, Yung Jake’s music videos are internet-inspired, featuring HTML code, YouTube clips and colorful pixels.

“The young artist speaks and lives in the language of the net, telling stories as complex, multivalent, frivolous and raw as infinite material lurking in your browser,” said the Huffington Post. “Sometimes it feels like Yung Jake wasn’t born on the internet, he is the internet.”

To see more of Yung Jake’s work and videos, visit his website at yungjake.tumblr.com.

Marder’s Lecture Series

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Marders Garden Lecture series will continue on Sunday, June 1, with a discussion of what’s new for 2014.

Among the new arrivals this year are beesia and the digiplexis, a hybrid flower between an isoplexis and a digitalis that was the top flower at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in England last year, according to Paige Patterson, who leads the series.

Next week, the series will return to a tried and true topic: hydrangeas, which, according to Ms. Patterson is the nursery’s most popular lecture.

The Sunday lectures start at 10 a.m., unless otherwise noted, and last about an hour. They are free to the public.

“This is a great venue and we want to provide a way for people to ask a lot of questions and not be compelled to buy anything,” Ms. Patterson said. However, attendees are offered discounts for items related to the lecture’s topic.

For more information, visit Marders’ website, marders.com.

Fundraiser will Bring Antiques Roadshow to Bridgehampton

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Leonard Davenport of Leonard Davenport Fine Arts, Honorary Chair Pia Lindstrom, Kevin Tierney, Silver Specialist at Sotheby’s, and Terry Wallace of the Wallace Gallery East Hampton. Photo by Dawn Watson.

By Mara Certic

Since its creation 50 years ago, the outreach program at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Bridgehampton has raised over $1 million for local charities. A thrift shop was founded on Main Street in the summer of 1923 and although the location has changed, the store continues to operate three days a week. For 46 years, St Ann’s supplemented its charity fundraising work with a successful house tour, according to Elizabeth George.

“It was our primary fundraiser of the year, and we gave it all to charity,” said Ms. George.

In 2012, however, the parish decided to find a new fundraising benefit.

“There was just such a glut of house tours,” explained Ms. George, who is chairing the event. “So we decided to start our own Antiques Roadshow.”

On Saturday, June 14, six professional and expert appraisers will be on hand to evaluate antiques from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the church on Main Street in Bridgehampton.

For a fee of $30, collectors and amateurs alike can bring as many as three keepsakes, antiques, knick-knacks, pieces of jewelry or paintings to the church to be appraised by one of several experts on hand throughout the day.

Marsha Malinowski, known for her appearances on episodes of “Antiques Roadshow,” is the former senior vice president of Sotheby’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Department, a position that she held for over 25 years. Ms. Malinowski has been involved with several important manuscript auctions including the sale in 2008 of the Magna Carta for $21 million. She also supervised the multimillion dollar 1998 sale of Barry Halper’s historic baseball memorabilia collection.

Another expert from the show, Kevin L. Tierney, will be available to answer questions about any and all silver items. Mr. Tierney has been considered an expert in the objects made with the precious metal since he joined Sotheby’s Silver Department in London 50 years ago. Mr. Tierney is responsible for Sotheby’s New York holding the auction record for European and American silver; he supervised sales of a Thomas Germain Parisian tureen for $10.3 million and an 18th century, New York-made bowl for $5.8 million.

The other appraisers are Robert Barker, Leonard Davenport, Terry Wallace and Gary Weinshank, whose expertise ranges from general antique collectibles to diamonds to Asian and Pacific Artwork and 19th and 20th Century American Art.

All of the money raised during the day will benefit three local charities. East End Hospice, whose mission is to bring hope and comfort to the dying and their families and friends, will receive a third of the money raised; so will Maureen’s Haven which provides shelter for the homeless, and the Dominican Sisters Family Health Service, a home visit nursing service.

Ms. George stressed that visitors should call ahead and book appointments with the appropriate specialist. She explained that, although tickets will be available on the day of the show, scheduling an appointment ahead of time will provide a confirmed consultation with one of the experts. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Antique Appraisal Day hotline at (631) 353-1489.

“This is our inaugural event; the first year we are doing it,” said Ms. George. “We hope it will become as popular as the house tour was.” She is excited for the event both in her role as president of the fundraiser and as an antiques owner. Ms. George herself will be asking the experts about two items: her father’s sled from the turn-of-the-century and an arithmetic book that dates back to 1848.

The Antiques Appraisal Day takes place at St. Ann’s Church on Main Street in Bridgehampton on Saturday, June 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information visit antiquetreasureday.com.

Bridgehampton School Board Will Bring Same Budget Back for Second Vote

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Monasia Street shows off her robot's skills to her classmates during a robotics demonstration at the Bridgehampton School in February. Photo by Michael Heller.

The Bridgehampton School District hopes voters will allow it to pierce the state-mandated tax cap levy so programs like robotics, pictured above, will be saved. Photo by Michael Heller.

By Tessa Raebeck

After the budget fell short of approval by just 36 votes last week, the Bridgehampton Board of Education on Wednesday, May 28,  agreed to present the same $12.3 million budget to voters for a  second vote, on June 17.

“Certainly, while the support of the budget was positive, it wasn’t quite positive enough to get us to be able to pierce the levy limits,” Superintendent Dr. Lois Favre said Wednesday. “In planning the budget, the board considered all possible scenarios. With community support, it decided the only way to move forward successfully was to pierce the cap.”

The 2014-15 budget, a 9.93-percent or $1.1 million increase over last year’s due largely to contractual obligations, required a supermajority of 60 percent because it pierced the state-mandated tax levy cap. With just 247 residents casting ballots, it came in short at just above 54 percent with 134 yes votes and 113 no votes.

Members of the school board were optimistic Wednesday that they could get more parents and other supportive community members out to vote June 17.

“I think it’s a learning experience,” said Ronnie White, president of the school board. “Maybe we should go back to the drawing board and try to get some of the folks, the naysayers, and really educate them on the actual numbers.”

For a homeowner of a $500,000 house, the annual tax bill would be increased by approximately $56 a year if the budget is passed on the second go around.

“We probably need to work harder to get our word out to the public,” Dr. Favre said.

Bridgehampton CVS Foes Take Their Fight to Town Board

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Bridgehampton residents descended on the Southampton Town Board in force to oppose a CVS Pharmacy at the hamlet’s busiest intersection. Photo by Stephen J. Kotz

 

By Stephen J. Kotz

The news that the pharmacy giant CVS wants to build a store on the busiest intersection in Bridgehampton has been the talk of the hamlet in recent months, with volunteers proffering petitions at the Bridgehampton Post Office and even starting a Facebook page, Save Bridgehampton Main Street, in opposition.

On Tuesday night, residents took their fight to the Southampton Town Board, where many of them had worked themselves into an ornery mood after they were forced to wait as part of a standing room audience through more than two hours of public hearings before they got their chance to speak.

Their frustration was only stoked when Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst repeatedly tried to explain to them that the town board had no jurisdiction over the matter and that they would be better off taking their gripes to the planning board when and if it entertains an application for the property on the northwest corner of the Montauk Highway and Bridgehampton Turnpike.

“CVS is a radical proposal, aggravating a saturated situation,” said Nancy Walter-Yvertes, who is also a co-chairwoman of the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee, which has been voicing its opposition to the project for months. She said the corner would be better suited to a building with small shops or offices, or even a public green, instead of the 9,000-square-foot CVS rumored to be on the way.

A recent poll of 24 Main Street merchants found them all opposed to the idea, and more than 90 percent of the people asked to sign a petition opposing the possible development did so, she added.

Norm Lowe, another CAC member, said he found the town board to be “disingenuous” and charged that town employees were willing to “trash” the comprehensive plan to grease the skids for a CVS. Mr. Lowe said he had been particularly rankled to learn that chief building inspector Michael Benincasa, had met with CVS representatives to discuss their options for the site with them.

“In the end, he was counseling CVS on the shenanigans they could pull to get around the limit,” he said.

Ms. Throne-Holst later stressed that town officials did not deny that Mr.  Benincasa may have spoken to CVS. “That’s part of our job here, that is part of the service we provide,” she said, whether it be a corporation or an individual asking questions about what needs to be done to get a building permit.

At one point, Ms. Throne-Holst called upon Kyle Collins, the town’s director of land management, to provide an overview of the situation. “I think we need to clarify something at this point. I don’t want all of you to waste your time and breath,” she said, as she looked out over the sea of faces filling the meeting room. “First of all, it is not a town board matter, it is a planning matter,” she said, “We have a separation of church and state, for lack of a better term.”

Mr. Collins told the audience that a building permit is in place for the shell of a 9,000-square-foot building, which can have several uses as allowed in the village business zone as long as none of them occupy any more than 5,000 square feet. If that were the case, it would trigger the need to apply for a special exception permit from the planning board, he said.

“We do not currently have an application, even for the buildout of the site,” he said, adding that if an application came in that called for a use of less than 5,000 square feet, it would qualify for a building permit with no further review.

“I find it interesting that a lease has already been signed off on with a company that is not interested in developing a property that is under 5,000 square feet,” said Paul Orenstein, the owner of the Main Street-based Hampton Briggs Antiques. “It’s putting the cart before the horse in that there is already a lease with the hope of getting the exception.”

Mr. Orenstein added that traffic is already a nightmare at the corner and that that there had been recent efforts to save historic buildings like the Rogers House, owned by the Bridgehampton Museum, and the Topping-Rose House, which has been converted into a high-end restaurant and inn.

“The thought of putting a franchise pharmacy and sundries store at the entrance to Bridgehampton, I think, is a travesty,” he said.

Eric Lemonides, the owner of Almond restaurant and a resident of Lumber Lane, echoed that theme, saying the store would bring in heavy traffic and not fit in with the character of Bridgehampton. He said would-be customers would be less likely to frequent his restaurant if it were “across the street from a place that is selling cigarettes, condoms and Red Bull.”

Gloria Berkoski, a Lumber Lane resident, limited her concerns to traffic, saying there was simply not enough space for cars to get in and out of the parking lot. “In my mind things like that shouldn’t be put there just for traffic reasons alone,” she said.  “And that’s not even taking into consideration the trade parade every day.”

Bonnie Lowe, a CAC member, said she had heard rumors that CVS had been “counseled to break up into two corporations, one to sell their junk food, one for their pharmacy.” Mr. Collins replied that even if it did that it would still require a special exception permit.

Fred Cammann, a longtime CAC member, said that people had come to the town board because “they are scared to death” the planning board will approve it.

“In the opinion of 90-percent of Bridgehampton if this exception is granted, it will be politics that dictated it,” he added.

“What I’m hearing is a real lack of confidence in our community,” said Julie Burmeister, another CAC member. “That’s our fear, that somehow we are going to get steamrolled. That’s why we are here.”

But Ms. Throne-Holst repeated that it was not a town board decision and that the BCAC had supported the design of the building, which replaced the old Bridgehampton Beverage store. “The Bridgehampton community actually supported that building. Let’s be clear on that,” she said, repeating that the community’s only line of defense was with the planning board.

“I think it works very well for you that there are two members of the planning board who live in Bridgehampton,” she added.