Tag Archive | "Bridgehampton"

Second Budget Vote for the Bridgehampton School District is Tuesday, June 17

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By Tessa Raebeck

After its first budget vote failed to garner the 60 percent supermajority needed to pierce the state-mandated cap on property tax levy, the Bridgehampton School District has decided to bring an identical budget back to the public for a second vote on Tuesday, June 17, this time hoping to earn the support needed to keep the school’s programs and personnel in staff.

The Bridgehampton School Board has proposed a $12.3 million budget.

Administrators say the budget, which pierces the cap with a levy increase of $1.1 million, is necessary to keep the school strong and special. It fell short of a supermajority by 36 votes in the first vote May 20.

The vote is from 2 to 8 p.m. in the school gymnasium. If the budget fails to pass a second time, the district will have to draft a new budget with a 0-percent tax levy increase, requiring an additional $800,500 in spending cuts.

Those cuts, school board member Lillian Tyree-Johnson said, would be “devastating” to the district.

Emergency Services District

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Ed Downes of the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Mary Ellen McGuire of the East Hampton Ambulance Association, representing the East End Responder Project, asked the board to support the creation of a special taxing district, encompassing all fire districts from Bridgehampton to Montauk, to allow the hiring of paid EMT workers to provide backup to the regular volunteer crews.

The board agreed to back the concept of the idea but held off on a formal approval until more information was available.

The plan has been in the works for the past couple of years and has been spurred by both the increase in calls local ambulance companies have been providing as well as their inability to attract a large pool of volunteers who are available at all hours.

The Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton, East Hampton, Springs, Amagansett, and Montauk fire districts have been discussing the creation of the special taxing district. The Southampton Fire District has already hired paid EMTs.

Bridgehampton School Ranked as One of the Country’s Best High Schools by U.S. News & World Report

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Bridgehampton School students Aries Cooks and Tyler Stephens worked with teachers Jessica Rodgers and Joyce Raimondo to complete a mural in the school's cafeteria last June. Photo by Michael Heller.

Bridgehampton School students Aries Cooks and Tyler Stephens worked with teachers Jessica Rodgers and Joyce Raimondo to complete a mural in the school’s cafeteria last June. Photo by Michael Heller.

By Tessa Raebeck

The Bridgehampton School has earned a spot on the annual ranking of the Best High Schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Out of 19,411 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia, Bridgehampton was awarded a bronze medal, securing its spot on the list. Schools were eligible for the rankings if they had sufficient data and enrollment, which resulted in about two-thirds of the nation’s schools being judged.

They were assessed in a three-step process that took into account: performance on state tests compared to state averages and factoring in economically disadvantaged students; whether the school’s least-advantaged students—black, Hispanic and low-income—were performing better than average than similar students across the state; and college-readiness performance using data from Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) tests (not available for Bridgehampton).

The total minority enrollment at Bridgehampton School is 67 percent.

The school scored a math proficiency of 3.2 and an English proficiency of 3.6. By comparison, the number one high school in the country, the School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas, Texas, scored 3.8 in geometry proficiency and 3.6 in reading proficiency.

With 31 teachers and 159 students in pre-K through 12th grade, Bridgehampton has one of the lowest student/teacher ratios, 5:1. The ratio at Pierson Middle-High School in Sag Harbor is 9:1, East Hampton and Southampton both have a 10:1 ratio and Hampton Bays’ ratio is 14:1.

The only other East End school district to be awarded a medal and spot on the list is Greenport, which earned Silver. The district’s numbered ranking, available for Gold and Silver award-winners but not Bronze, is 121 in New York State and 1,525 in the country.

The complete list of the 2014 Best High Schools is at usnews.com/education/best-high-schools.

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.