Tag Archive | "Bridgehampton"

Century-Old Raceabout To Highlight Bridgehampton Road Rally

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Cars lined up for the Bridgehampton Museum Road Rally. Photo Courtesy Brigehampton Historical Society.

Cars lined up at the Bridgehampton Museum. Photo courtesy Bridgehampton Historical Society.

By Tessa Raebeck 

After first racing in Bridgehampton 100 years ago, the 1913 Mercer Raceabout is returning to the hamlet.

At this year’s Vintage Automobile Poker Rally hosted by The Bridgehampton Museum, Silas Hiscock will bring his legendary speedster back to Bridgehampton for a leisurely tour around the roads it once raced.

An expected 60 to 75 cars will be on display on the grounds of The Bridgehampton Museum on Saturday for the vintage automobile show and poker rally, an annual event held in honor of the hamlet’s rich racing history.

The oldest car will be Mr. Hiscock’s 1913 Mercer, which “was actually raced on the streets of Bridgehampton in the early 1900’s,” according to Earl Gandel, a Bridgehampton resident well-versed in the hamlet’s automobile history.

“It was his father’s car,” Mr. Gandel said of Mr. Hiscock. The car was passed down to the family, but then sold in the 1950’s.

“I guess it made the rounds and it was in somebody’s collection and then it came back to auction [many years later until Silas Hiscock] heard about it and he went to California and bought it,” Mr. Gandel said of the Mercer, which recently returned to Bridgehampton.

The famed car is an icon of early films, in which drivers in bucket seats seem to be sitting atop the vehicle, bouncing along turns at almost alarming speeds. In 1911, the first year the Raceabouts were made, Mercer entered its new cars in six major events—and the Raceabout earned the top spot in five of them.

Bridgehampton’s car contests started when firemen began to sponsor street races on a three-mile course around the hamlet in 1915 as a way to liven up their summer carnival. Drivers, going up to 50 mph, began on Main Street and made a rectangular loop, turning left onto Halsey Lane, left onto Paul’s Lane, left onto Ocean Road and finally another left to return to Main Street.

The firemen’s circuit ended in 1921, but in 1949 Bruce Stevenson revived Bridgehampton’s road races, and mostly European cars dashed around a four-and-a-half-mile course at speeds of over 100 mph. From 1949 to 1953, the circuit ran directly to the east of the first course, starting on Ocean Road and going clockwise, cutting right down Sagaponack Road, turning right onto Sagg Main Street, and taking a right onto Bridge Lane to return to Ocean Road.

The 25-lap Bridgehampton circuit, one of the first permanent road racing venues in the United States, was considered an excellent high-speed road course, further enhanced by the natural beauty of Bridgehampton’s ponds, farms and sand dunes. The course joined the SCCA National Sports Car Championship in 1951, the year it was created, and hosted many major international events, such as Can-Am, NASCAR Grand National and the World Sportscar Championship.

The races ended tragically in May 1953 when a driver was killed during practice and an accident stopped a race on the ninth lap, when spectators flooded the course after one driver and three spectators were injured. The Mecox Trophy Race, Hamptons Cup and others were cut short and New York State banned racing on public roads shortly thereafter.

In 1957, the course was revived once again when the Bridgehampton Race Circuit opened on 500 acres just north of the village, where The Bridge Golf Club is now located.

“Racing on the streets was banned in New York State, so the track was built,” said Mr. Gandel, who once managed the track, which closed its doors in 1998 after over 35 years of car and motorcycle races.

Photo courtesy Bridgehampton Historical Society.

Photo courtesy Bridgehampton Historical Society.

In homage to the hamlet’s connection to cars, Jeffrey Vogel and the Bridgehampton Historical Society started the first Vintage Sports Car Road Rally in 1993.

“The rally started 21 years ago because Bridgehampton has a very rich racing history compared to a lot of places where rallies are run,” said Mr. Gandel. “We have a reason to do it and I think people appreciate that.”

All the cars participating in Saturday’s show and road rally, which includes Mustangs, Corvettes and Cabriolets, to name a few, were made before 1960. The tour still enjoys the natural beauty of Bridgehampton, but at much safer speeds.

Drivers start out with a parade around the “old course,” said Mr. Gandel, following the exact same four-mile route along public roads as their early 20th-century predecessors. Following the parade, cars start on the main course with a map and an instruction book, stopping at four checkpoints along the way to collect poker cards. After all of the drivers finish at the museum’s Main Street location, the car with the winning poker hand wins in a game of sheer luck. Other awards are given for going the exact mileage and taking the “ideal time,” Mr. Gandel said, adding that both of those winning amounts are unknown to drivers prior to the finish line.

“A lot of rallies are very technical and they take a lot of navigation and equipment, but we don’t do that,” Mr. Gandel said. ”It’s a fun rally.”

The Bridgehampton Museum’s 2014 Vintage Automobile Poker Rally is Saturday, October 11, at The Bridgehampton Museum, located at 2368 Main Street in Bridgehampton. Gates open to auto exhibitors at 9 a.m., with a $10 fee to show cars. At 10 a.m. gates are open to the public with free admission. The rally begins at noon and has a $100 entry fee for participants. For more information, call (631) 537-4225 or visit bridgehamptonrally.org.

Plein Air Peconic Celebrates Land, Sea, Sky

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Hendrickson Farm by Kathryn Szoka.

Hendrickson Farm by Kathryn Szoka.

“Land, Sea, Sky,” Plein Air Peconic’s Ninth Annual Show, will debut with an artists reception this Saturday, October 11 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Ashawagh Hall, 780 Springs Fireplace Road in East Hampton. The show will be on view throughout Columbus Day weekend.

“Land, Sea, Sky” celebrates art inspired by direct observation of the East End’s cherished local farmlands, wildflower fields, salt marshes, and beaches in an exhibition and sale by the artists of Plein Air Peconic.  Many landscapes that have been conserved by Peconic Land Trust will be included.  Plein Air Peconic includes painters Casey Chalem Anderson, Susan D’Alessio, Aubrey Grainger, Anita Kusick, Keith Mantell, Michele Margit, Joanne Rosko, and photographers Tom Steele, Kathryn Szoka.  Plein Air Peconic has announced that two guest painters, Ty Stroudsburg and Gail Kern, will be exhibiting as well.

The show will partially benefit the Peconic Land Trust. To learn more about the artists of Plein Air Peconic visit PleinAirPeconic.com.

 

BNB Announces Quarterly Dividend

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Bridge Bancorp, Inc., the holding company for The Bridgehampton National Bank, announced the declaration of a quarterly dividend of $0.23 per share. The dividend will be payable on October 31 to shareholders of record as of October 17.  The company continues its trend of uninterrupted dividends.

Bridge Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company engaged in commercial banking and financial services through its wholly owned subsidiary, The Bridgehampton National Bank (BNB).  Established in 1910, BNB, with assets of approximately $2.2 billion, and a primary market area of Suffolk and Southern Nassau Counties, Long Island, operates 27 retail branch locations.

For more information, visit bridgenb.com. 

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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Jermain-Library-5-10-13-701-2985-586x586

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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Judiann-Carmack-Fayazz

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.