Tag Archive | "Bridgehampton"

For the Love of Roses

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By Emily J. Weitz

“She cast her fragrance and her radiance over me. I ought never to have run away from her… Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her…” 

~Antoine de St. Exupery, The Little Prince

As the little prince knew too well, to love a rose takes effort, patience, and thought. Even when they have a wild look about them, with their thorns and brambles all tangled across a gate, roses require a great deal of care.

Rick Bogusch, who manages the grounds at Bridge Gardens, has nurtured the rose garden since he started there six years ago. Every winter, he tucks them in to beds of mulch 12 to 18 inches deep, and every spring, he prunes them delicately and watches them come back to life.

The Southampton Rose Society will present a lecture by Mr. Bogusch at Bridge Gardens on Saturday, September 13, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Many of the most striking specimens in the garden, Mr. Bogusch said, will still be in bloom.

The rose garden was installed by the property’s previous owners, Jim and Harry Kilpatrick, and Mr. Bogusch spent his first year at Bridge Gardens learning about the unique demands of these flowers. They were selected for the hardiness and their ability to endure the long winters, but still they need to be attended to. Last winter, which was particularly cold and long, Mr. Bogusch brought one of the rose plants inside and nursed it through the roughest patches, and now it has sprung back.

“Roses are very demanding,” said Mr. Bogusch. “They demand a lot of attention and resources and consistency of care. Time, energy, man hours, money: You really have to be willing to put that into them.”

Along with mulching and pruning, roses need to receive about 2 inches of water every week. Mr. Bogusch also fertilizes them regularly throughout the season to keep them vigorous.

Perhaps it is the effort that they require that makes roses so precious. Throughout history, they have been used in ceremonies and by royalty to mark special occasions. They are prized for their aesthetic value and their pungent fragrance. Mr. Bogusch says the rose garden, even though it is just one of several impressive gardens at Bridge Gardens, is a major draw for people.

“It’s a big attraction,” said Mr. Bogusch, “because everybody loves roses. When people find out there’s a rose garden here, they want to see it.”

The garden itself is round, with brick pathways throughout that separate the beds. The beds are organized by color, so that the rose garden resembles a giant color wheel. One bed spills with red roses. A path separates it from a pink bed, a yellow bed, and so on. There are eight beds in all.

Walking through the rose garden, one is taken not only by the aesthetic beauty, but the pungency of the air.

“Some of the roses in our garden are very fragrant,” said Mr. Bogusch. For example, there’s a white hybrid rose that blooms in the classic form called Pope John Paul II.

“That’s one of the most fragrant roses of all time,” he said.

Mr. Bogusch just planted Pope John Paul II this past spring, and already it is growing vigorously. Another plant, which is original to the garden, is called About Face.

“It’s large and strong and old,” said Mr. Bogusch. “And it’s so beautiful that you do an about-face when you walk by it.”

“You start to see blooms in late May, and June is the first peak,” said Mr. Bogusch. “Then there’s another peak in September.”

This year the roses have bloomed continually, which Mr. Bogusch attributes a temperate summer when the thermometer didn’t climb into the 90s.

“Our garden,” he explained, “has brick, and can get very hot and humid, which roses don’t like.”

Because of the relatively cool summer, this year’s stroll through the rose garden should be particularly rewarding.

To register for the lecture and tour, go to the Rose Society web site at southamptonrose.org or call (631) 740-4732. Bridge Gardens is located at 36 Mitchell Lane in Bridgehampton.

Firefighters Battle House Fire in Bridgehampton

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Fire Department believe the house fire on Bridge Hill Lane on Sunday morning may have been caused by lightning. Photo by Stephen J. Kotz.

By Mara Certic

Members of the Bridgehampton Fire Department and neighboring departments spent several hours battling a house fire on Bridge Lane in Bridgehampton early Sunday morning, according to Chief Gary Horsburgh.

The chief said the department responded from an automatic fire alarm at the house on 10 Bridge Hill Lane at 1:52 a.m. Responders smelled smoke when they arrived and immediately requested assistance, he said.

The fire began in the basement and burned through the first floor, causing serious damage to the kitchen and the western side of the house, Chief Horsburgh said on Sunday morning. He added that heat and humidity made firefighting particularly taxing and tiring, and fire departments from Sag Harbor, East Hampton, Springs, North Sea, Hampton Bays and Southampton Village were all called in for mutual aid.

According to Chief Horsburgh the house is “still standing” but the western side is “pretty much gone.” No one was in the house when the fire began, Chief Horsburgh said, and there were no injuries.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Southampton Town Fire Marshal, but Chief Horsburgh said he thought it could have been caused by lightning, as thunderstorms swept through the area that night.

Southampton Town Fire Marshal Brian Williams said on Wednesday that the investigation is ongoing.

 

Proposal to Teach Spanish in Early Grades in Bridgehampton

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By Tessa Raebeck

In its last meeting before the school year begins, the Bridgehampton Board of Education on August 27 floated ideas of how to align Bridgehampton School programs, curriculum and policies with the requirements of 2014.

Citing the large Spanish speaking population in both the Bridgehampton community and the country as a whole, new board member Jeffrey Mansfield floated the concept of an elementary-level Spanish class, saying a parent had come to him with the idea.

He suggested that, if there was enough interest among the school’s youngest students and a teacher available, the class could meet “maybe once a week” and students who attended “would pay a stipend and would pay for the instruction.”

Mr. Mansfield offered to, “with the board’s blessing,” move forward with Superintendent/Principal Dr. Lois Favre’s help to look into whether it is a viable option.

“I guess all parents feel that way,” said board member Douglas DeGroot, adding the school had tried a Spanish class for younger students in the past. “It’s like, we know you learn languages easier when you’re younger, why are we waiting till seventh grade to teach languages when it’s harder? You should do it when you’re younger.”

He said when the issue was brought up by parents several years ago, a handful of foreign language teachers volunteered to teach during their off periods. The school currently has one French teacher and one Spanish teacher.

Dr. Favre suggested using an enrichment period for the class, so that students would have six straight weeks of Spanish during the school year before moving onto a different subject.

“We have that period in the schedule…and I have teachers,” said Dr. Favre. “We could make it happen, absolutely.”

Also at last week’s meeting, School Business Administrator Robert Hauser told the board, “Today, we actually had to borrow $3.9 million.”

In a typical move for a school district this time of year, the school took out a Tax Anticipation Note, or TAN. The district borrowed funds with the intent of returning them after residents pay their tax bills. Typically, residents pay half of their tax bill in December or January and the second half in May or June.

“When they make that second half payment in May and June, that’s when we pay back the TAN,” Mr. Hauser said. “We actually were pretty successful; because of our good credit rating, we were able to borrow this money at .36, so less than a percent.”

The Bridgehampton School District’s Moody’s rating is AA.

The school also announced new software that allows parents to see the last 30 days of their child’s in-school purchasing activity, “the dollars and the last items they purchased” on the district website, Mr. Hauser said.

The board granted Mary Anne Jules, the district’s recently retired athletic director and physical education teacher, $62,330.80 from the reserve fund for compensated absences due to unused sick days as required by her contract.

“We don’t spend big money lightly, she was due that money and we’re paying it to her,” explained Mr. DeGroot.

The Art of Seaweed

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Samples of seaweed from Lake Montauk pressed and preserved by Dr. Larry Liddle. 

By Mara Certic

Dr. Larry Liddle initially didn’t intend for it to be art; it was science, another method for him to learn more about and document his findings. But some 50 years later, Dr. Liddle has found the beauty in seaweed by pressing the plants onto paper and turning them into works of art.

Dr. Liddle, who has studied algae for the better part of the last few decades, will give a demonstration of seaweed mounting at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the South Fork Natural History Museum in Bridgehampton.

In 1963, when Dr. Liddle was not quite a doctor yet, but a young man working on his master’s degree at the University of Chicago, he took a summer course in marine botany at Woods Hole in Massachusetts. The course involved field trips where students waded and snorkeled to collect various specimens. There, he learned how to press algae to document his trips.

The organisms had not been highly studied at that point, Dr. Liddle said in a phone interview on Friday. ascophyllumnodosum

“It was that summer; that was the reason that I got very interested in algae, and specifically seaweed, and also learned to press algae in the best way, and I’ve been doing it ever since,” he said. “So I enquired about going to graduate school for a Ph.D. to look into marine botany,” he explained.

And the rest is history. Dr. Liddle moved to Santa Barbara to continue his studies and eventually became a professor of phycology, the study of algae, at Southampton College, where he is now professor emeritus.

Dr. Liddle has collected seaweed from the Mediterranean, Japan and Thailand, to name a few of the places he has visited, and has pressed hundreds of different seaweeds from all over the world. Pressing seaweed, rather than preserving it chemically, allows scientists to test its DNA and perform species-level taxonomy. But it also creates a unique work of art.

“I like art and design quite a bit, informally,” Dr. Liddle said, “I had taken a lot of art courses in college, and so the idea of aesthetics was important to me.” He explained that in the field of biology, “how you present things is often aesthetically pleasing, in concert with being scientifically useful.”

Dr. Liddle has gone wading, snorkeling and even scuba diving to find seaweed to press, he said, but now he usually sticks to wading through water for his algal extractions. The process of pressing seaweed is lengthy but if done well, the finished product can last for decades, Dr. Liddle said.

It is important, he explained, to keep the seaweed hydrated and to give it oxygen. Dr. Liddle often brings seaweed back from the beach damp, rather than immersed but he brings fresh seawater along with him too. If the water is changed every few hours the specimens will last two or three days, but “the best thing is to start pressing them right away,” he said.

“It’s good to clean them off in the field, get rid of all the silt, and so on,” he explained. “Float them out in clean water, work them as much as you have to.” The real beauty in seaweed pressing is looking at the branching and the shapes of the plants—what in water looks like a slimy green blob can look just like a tree when pressed.

Dr. Liddle spreads seaweed out onto paper with his fingers, as much as possible, before he uses tools, which are more likely to damage delicate pieces of algae. Sometimes, he said, he doesn’t know what he has until he floats it in water, when he gets home. At a seaweed demonstration in Montauk last month, Dr. Liddle had a “green glob” that he was floating in water. “As I floated it out, it turned out it was attached to another seaweed,” he said.Dasyapedicellata

In 2010, Dr. Liddle helped create a seaweed collection for East Hampton Town’s Natural Resources Department. He retrieved all of the types of seaweed he could find in Lake Montauk and pressed them for the department; scanned versions are available on the town’s website.

More recently, Dr. Liddle took samples from Georgica Cove. “There’s an enormous floating mass of seaweed there,” he said, “it’s 25 to 40 meters wide.” Dr. Liddle said that it is green algae and “it is undoubtedly due to the run off of lawns, of nitrates and phosphates.” Dr. Liddle pressed those samples and gave one to the town for its archives. Another has been sent off for DNA testing.

Dr. Liddle has traveled the world, collected some unbelievably rare samples and preserved them for science. But, he said, “some of the most ordinary ones are just as beautiful.”

 Dr. Liddle will demonstrate seaweed mounting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 6, at the South Fork Natural History located at 377 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike in Bridgehampton. For more information visit sofo.org.

YA Author Comes to Hampton Library to Share Malala’s Story

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Author Patricia McCormick collaborated with Malala Yosafzai to write the young reader’s edition of “I am Malala.”

By Gianna Volpe

Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai first began to receive books written by young adult author Patricia McCormick while the Pakistani teenager was recovering after she’d been shot in the head in October 2012 by a member of the Taliban, who boarded her school bus and tried to assassinate her for championing girls’ rights to education.

Following the release of her internationally best-selling memoir, “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban,” Ms. Yousafzai ultimately collaborated with Ms. McCormick—the critically-acclaimed author of such novels as “Never Fall Down,” “Purple Heart,” “Sold,” “My Brother’s Keeper” and “Cut”—to create a young reader’s edition that would make her memoir more accessible to her peers.

“Because of the types of books Patricia writes, it was a natural fit,” said Kim Zettwoch, young adult librarian at the Hampton Library in Bridgehampton. “She has this finesse for writing young adult books and can deal with this type of subject matter in a way that teens can get into it and get something out of it.”

This Saturday at 2 p.m., Ms. McCormick will speak at the library and sign copies of “I Am Malala,” which will be sold at the event.

Ms. McCormick “was so humble, saying, ‘I’m not Malala. I don’t know who will really be interested,” Ms. Zettwoch said of the response when she asked Ms. McCormick to appear at the library. “We had another young adult author here in the spring, so we’re going to continue to try to have young adult authors come here to speak.”Yousafzai_IAmMalala

For Ms. McCormick, these type of events offer her the most rewarding experiences as a writer. “Whenever I give a speech, there’s always one girl who comes up and says, ‘You told my story’ and it’s so gratifying—I cry every time,” the author said. “When you’re writing, you’re lonely; you’re all by yourself, so you have no idea how your work is going to affect somebody…. you touch people you’ll never know.”

She said these type of experiences are common for someone who writes for developing minds.

“Young adult readers are terrific,” said Ms. McCormick. “They don’t put up with phonies, and they don’t put up with long, unnecessary passages, but if they connect with you, they read very deeply into the books.”

Ms. McCormick’s collaboration with Ms. Yousafzai is the author’s latest endeavor in telling stories of teenagers’ lives amid unspeakable tragedies. Her work has taken her as far as India, where she visited bordellos involved in child trafficking for her novel, “Sold,” which was recently adapted into a film that is being shown at national and international film festivals. ?“I had a sense that it was not an issue that was well or widely understood,” Ms. McCormick said. “There had been some journalism about it, but nobody had written about it from the girl’s point of view. So I did that and then I met this young man from Cambodia and I think that’s kinda what led to the Malala project.”

The young Cambodian man, Arn Chorn-Pond, a survivor of imprisonment by the Khmer Rouge, is the central figure in Ms. McCormick’s “Never Fall Down,” which tells the story of Cambodian genocide from the perspective of a child forced into slavery and military service after the invasion of his village.

Though he and Ms. Yousafzai are vastly different from one another, Ms. McCormick said she was struck by the commonality of their experiences.

Take Malala Yousafzai, for example. “She is exactly what she appears to be. She’s really bright, she’s very principled, she’s really fearless, and she’s also a regular 17-year-old girl,” said Ms. McCormick. “She cares if she’s in a fight with her best friend, she worries about how did she do on her physics test, she wonders if her glasses look funny; she’s this amazing combination of extraordinary and regular.”

“I Am Malala” is perhaps the ultimate embodiment of a message threaded throughout Ms. McCormick’s books: To persevere in the face of adversity.

According to Ms. McCormick, though Ms. Yousafzai has been shot in the head for what she believes in, the Pakistani youth forgives her aggressors, whose actions have only strengthened her dedication to the struggle to obtain educational rights for girls in Pakistan.

“She really does forgive them and only wants them to have the benefit of the education that she had,” said Ms. McCormick. “She thinks that will change everything. There’s a line in the book that says that if she met one of the Taliban—she had gotten a death threat—and she said, ‘What will I do if I see one? Oh, I’ll hit him with my shoe,’ and then she said, ‘No, no, that would make me aggressive. I’ll just tell him that all I want is the right to go to school and for your sister or your daughter to go to school.’ She said she thought [the Taliban] would silence her but they actually gave her the biggest megaphone imaginable.”

Ms. Zettwoch said she hopes Ms. McCormick’s visit to the Hampton Library this Saturday will open the eyes of young, local readers to issues other teenagers face that they needn’t, but added Saturday’s free event is not age-restricted.

“Anyone who is interested can come,” said Ms. Zettwoch. “All are welcome and can get something out of it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Babington Dries Off to Win Hampton Classic Grand Prix

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

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

By Gavin Menu; photography by Michael Heller

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

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

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

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

Babington said Sunday was the first grand prix for Shorapur with fences set at 1.6 meters (5.25 feet), and that he decided to enter her instead of another horse only after an impressive ride in a $10,000 class in the same ring on Friday.

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

Moloney, another Irishman who is now based on Long Island, rode first in the jump-off and led his gelding Freestyle De Muze through the course with one rail down and four faults. Quintana, who began his U.S. riding career nearly 20 years ago at Sag Pond Farm in Sagaponack, rode second aboard his Dutch warmblood mare Whitney, but finished with two rails down and eight faults. Babington and Goutal, aboard her stallion Nice De Prissey, both rode clean with the win going to Babington based on time.

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

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

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

In the previous 38 years only twice has a rider representing a country other than the United States won the Classic Grand Prix, with Tim Grubb of Great Britain winning in 1996 and Darragh Kerins of Ireland in 2004. Goutal was hoping for another American win on Sunday, but was just over a second short of Babington’s finishing time.

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

Babington, who rides out of Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, became the Classic Grand Prix’s third foreign-born champion aboard an unproven young mare and just hours after drying himself after his early morning spill on Grand Prix Sunday.

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

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

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

Howard University Gospel Choir in Bridgehampton

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

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

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

Over 300 Show Up to Discuss Aircraft Noise in East Hampton

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

By Mara Certic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Tessa Raebeck

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

 

Bridgehampton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sag Harbor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Habitat for Humanity Dedicates Most Recent Project in Bridgehampton

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

By Mara Certic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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