Tag Archive | "Bridgehampton"

East End Services on Memorial Day Celebrate Those Who Served, Those Who Fell

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The color guard makes its way down Main Street during the 2013 Sag Harbor Memorial Day parade. Michael Heller photo.

The color guard makes its way down Main Street during the 2013 Sag Harbor Memorial Day parade. Michael Heller photo.

By Kathryn G. Menu

Residents across the East End will honor those men and women who died while serving in the military during this country’s wars at Memorial Day services beginning Sunday and continuing on Monday.

In Sag Harbor, remembrance will begin this Sunday, May 25, said Martin Knab, commander of the Sag Harbor American Legion Chelberg & Battle Post, as members of the Legion and the Sag Harbor VFW are joined by Sag Harbor Boy Scouts in replacing the flags on the gravestones of veterans in cemeteries throughout the village. Flags and wreaths will also be laid at the veterans memorial at North Haven Village Hall, and on the South Ferry Lt. Joseph Theinert, named for the Shelter Island resident who perished in Afghanistan in June 2010. A flag will also be placed at the 1812 memorial on High Street in Sag Harbor, said Mr. Knab.

On Memorial Day—Monday, May 26— veterans, government officials and scouts will begin the Memorial Day Parade at the World War I monument at Otter Pond at 9 a.m. to lay a wreath, and march down Main Street to the Civil War monument to do the same before stopping in front of the Municipal Building and the Lance Corporal Jordan C. Haerter Veterans Memorial Bridge. The parade will continue to Bay Street and to Marine Park, stopping at the village’s memorials to those who fought and died in World War II, the Vietnam War and the Korean War. Both Mr. Knab and Sag Harbor VFW Commander Roger King will speak, as will James Larocca, a Sag Harbor resident and veteran who has dedicated much of his life to public service.

Residents will be invited back to the Legion for refreshments and hot dogs, said Mr. Knab.

Sag Harbor will not be alone in celebrating and honoring fallen soldiers.

On Sunday, May 25, the Montauk Veterans and Service Club will host its annual Montauk Memorial Day parade at noon, beginning at Kirk Park and moving east through Montauk to the village green. On Monday, May 26, beginning at 9 a.m. the annual Bridgehampton Memorial Day service will be held at the war monument at the corner of Ocean Road and Montauk Highway, hosting by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion, Nathaniel Howell Topping Post 580. Members of the Bridgehampton Fire Department and the Bridgehampton School band will also be on hand for the ceremonies. The Village of Southampton Commission on Veterans Patriotic Events will host its Memorial Day service on Monday starting at 11 a.m. at Agawam Park, after a brief parade at 10:45 a.m. starting at the First Presbyterian Church and heading down Jobs Lane to the park.

 

 

 

CMEE Unveils Bridgehampton’s First Miniature Golf Course

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An aerial view of the new miniature golf course at CMEE in Bridgehampton, which will open this Saturday, May 24. Photo courtesy CMEE.

An aerial view of the new miniature golf course at CMEE in Bridgehampton, which will open this Saturday, May 24. Photo courtesy CMEE.

By Tessa Raebeck

Children must be accompanied by adults—and adults must be accompanied by children.

This is the principle at the new miniature golf course at the Children’s Museum of the East End in Bridgehampton, where a collection of nine bright and colorful holes opens Saturday in the museum’s backyard on the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike.

Bridgehampton’s first miniature golf course is a far, but welcome, cry from the traditional theme park courses of pirates, dinosaurs and waterfalls. The holes are laid out in designs that are best described as wacky, with blue, orange and red adornments complementing the putting greens.

Players move through the nine holes in a clockwise motion, starting with an optional practice green. One hole has a loop de loop, another dots that chime with music when struck. Each has a distinct look—and a distinct lesson.

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Photo courtesy CMEE.

“Each hole teaches something different about math and physics,” said Paul Johnson, marketing assistant at the museum.

Keeping with the mission of CMEE, an organization at the forefront of combining play with learning on the East End, the mini golf course incorporates interactive play with the basic principles of physics.

Rather than studying a flash card, kids can learn Newton’s Law of Inertia (an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force) by hitting a ball. Newton’s Second Law (force equals mass times acceleration) can be understood by catapulting that ball through the loop de loop.

In planning the course, CMEE surveyed 7-to-10-year-olds to find out what their favorite mini golf holes were. Once the most popular designs were established, they worked with science teachers at the Ross School’s Innovation Lab and other local schools to figure out how to incorporate learning.

At every hole, a descriptive panel explains how to make the shot and what to learn while doing it.

The first hole, “What’s Your Angle?” teaches players how various degrees will affect their putt.  In the corner of the L-shaped hole, a blue fan attached to a pole directs, “Move Me!” It can be positioned at different angles to reflect a player’s putt toward the hole—or away from it as the case may be.

The sign marking the hole asks several questions, such as whether the angle is acute, right or obtuse, for children to figure out as they play.

Rather than your standard score card, each player gets a folder complete with both the scoring reports and further explanation of the respective lessons and challenges of each obstacle.

After the first hole, players wrap their way around the “whimsical” course, playing through a green with ridged hills, another with parallel loops of different sizes, and various slopes, angles, rocks and other obstacles, learning as they go.

The miniature golf course is the first exhibit realized by the museum’s capital campaign, now in its second year. CMEE is more than halfway toward a fundraising goal of $2 million, which it hopes to reach by the end of the summer.

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Photo courtesy CMEE.

“This is kind of the first fruit of that labor,” Mr. Johnson said.

In addition to paying down the existing mortgage, establishing an endowment and helping to cover costs of the museum’s day-to-day operations, the campaign will also fund the expansion of museum exhibits and several new additions, including a room dedicated to energy and electricity, a redesigned ship exhibit and a new pizza oven for the play kitchen.

“Energy: Wind, Water & Solar” will allow children to experiment with the forces of nature while learning about conservation and the environment.

In the four-level pirate ship, children will be able to navigate the seas with climbing tubes and ladders, hoist the sales and clamber up ropes to a 25-foot-high crow’s nest. Six simple machines at the ship will teach the foundations of engineering.

All the projects, like the miniature golf course, will include bilingual signs for Spanish and English-speaking visitors. The mini golf course is entirely wheelchair accessible.

CMEE’s course will be unveiled in an invite-only ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 24. Executive Director Stephen Long and Board President Amy Tarr, as well as elected officials and museum supporters, will be on hand to give remarks. Coffee from Java Nation and SweetTauk lemonade will be served. In addition to playing the course, guests can take golf clinics led by Kate Tempesta of Urban Golf Academy.

Following the event at noon, the course will officially open to the public, with games at just $5 a head for groups of up to five players.

In the future, CMEE hopes to use the course after hours for mixers and other private events.

Visitors will find the ninth and final hole is the most challenging, but also the most rewarding.

“It works almost like a pinball machine,” Mr. Johnson said, adding that although the course incorporates learning, it is designed, above all else, to be fun.

Struck into a corridor on the green’s right side, the ball hit the top of the green and ricocheted back towards the hole, knocking green, silver, blue, red and orange pin balls with a satisfying chime after every hit.

“Isn’t that fun?” asked Mr. Johnson. It was.

Bridgehampton School District Voters Say No to Piercing Tax Cap; Mansfield, McCleland Elected to School Board

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Bridgehampton Superintendent Dr. Lois Favre congratulates Kathleen McCleland on winning a seat on the Board of Education as board member Larry LaPointe looks on, after polls close in the school gymnasium Tuesday, May 20. Photo by Michael Heller.

Bridgehampton Superintendent Dr. Lois Favre congratulates Kathleen McCleland on winning a seat on the Board of Education as board member Larry LaPointe looks on, after polls close in the school gymnasium Tuesday, May 20. Photo by Michael Heller.

By Tessa Raebeck

Bridgehampton residents turned down the Bridgehampton School District’s attempt to pierce the New York State mandated tax levy cap with its 2014-15 budget on Tuesday.

Although the budget passed by a margin of 134 to 113, it failed to gain the 60-percent supermajority required to pierce the cap, coming in short at just above 54 percent. A total of 247 residents cast ballots.

Since the spending plan did not gain the necessary support, the Board of Education will go back to the drawing board, asking voters to return to the polls a second time with either a reduced budget or an identical one. If the second vote fails, the district must adopt a 0-percent tax levy increase, which would force it to adopt last year’s budget and craft a new plan that cuts $1 million from the one proposed.

“It’s disappointing because just to run a vote kicks us in the budget,” Dr. Lois Favre, who is both superintendent and principal for the district, said following the vote.

The $12.3 million budget would have increased spending by $1.4 million, or 9.9 percent. It would have required a $10.6 million tax levy, an 8.8-percent increase that district officials said would amount to an increase of about $56 for the year on the tax bill of a house valued at $500,000.

“We’ll meet as a board and we have to bring the budget back up to the public and hope for a better result next time,” Dr. Favre said.

“It’s disappointing,” agreed Lillian Tyree-Johnson, vice president of the school board.

A proposition on the ballot to provide $160,000 in funding for the Bridgehampton Childcare and Recreation Center was approved by a 157-to-89 vote margin.

 

School Board Elections

Also on Tuesday, Bridgehampton voters elected newcomers Kathleen McCleland and Jeffrey Mansfield to two seats on the school board. Mr. Mansfield received 187 votes, Ms. McCleland received172 and Michael Gomberg came in third with 72 votes.

The positions were left vacant when incumbents Gabriela Braia and Elizabeth Kotz both decided not to run again.

Mr. Mansfield, 49, has been visiting Bridgehampton since he was a child and moved to the district full-time in 2008 after a 17-year career on Wall Street. He now works as a stay-at-home dad to his three children, ages 4, 6 and 7, who all attend Bridgehampton School. He is also active in the community, serving as a member of the Southampton Town Audit Advisory Committee, vice chairman of the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee and active in the Bridgehampton School Foundation and the Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Little League.

With a mother who worked as a public school teacher for over 30 years, Mr. Mansfield considers himself a “champion of education.”

“I think education is the tool that breaks the cycle of poverty and ignorance,” Mr. Mansfield said during a Meet the Candidates forum in May. “It behooves all of us to have a wonderful school district.”

A Bridgehampton native, Ms. McCleland moved back home in 2004 to start a family. Before that, she spent some time in Manhattan working as a personal chef and in corporate event planning at Goldman Sachs.

Ms. McCleland’s two children now attend the school. She works as the pastry chef for the Beacon and the Bell of Anchor restaurants, of which her husband Sam is chef and co-owner.

“I’m very excited at the prospect of taking on the challenges of the school board,” Ms. McCleland said Tuesday night after the results were announced.

The newcomers’ three-year terms on the school board will start July 1 and run through June 30, 2017.

Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike Closed After Two Car Accidents

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A three vehicle accident took place Tuesday morning near the intersection of the Bridgehampton Turnpike and Scuttlehole Road. Photo by Stephen J. Kotz.

A three vehicle accident took place Tuesday morning near the intersection of the Bridgehampton Turnpike and Scuttlehole Road. Photo by Stephen J. Kotz.

By Tessa Raebeck

The Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike is shut down, with the road blocked off from Huntington Crossway to Scuttle Hole Road, after two accidents occurred during the morning of Tuesday, May 20.

A single car accident on the turnpike sent the driver to the hospital with a broken leg. Photo by Steven Kotz.

A single car accident on the turnpike sent the driver to the hospital with a broken leg. Photo by Stephen J. Kotz.

Sometime around 8 a.m. a southbound construction truck towing a small cement mixer struck a northbound SUV in its driver side door. Another northbound car was pushed off the road to be parallel to the SUV on its passenger side. An ambulance was called, but an EMT at the scene said injuries did not appear to be serious.

Sergeant Howard Kalb with the Southampton Town Police Department said a tow truck was called for “some kind of trouble” with the cement  mixer, but confirmed there were no serious injuries.

A second accident also occurred on the turnpike earlier Tuesday at 5:52 a.m. when a northbound vehicle struck a pole just north of Hampton Court. The collision caused the telephone wires to become low hanging wires, but they were not knocked into the street. The driver, who had to be removed from the vehicle, suffered a broken leg, Sergeant Kalb said Tuesday.

For more information, call the Southampton Town Police Department at 631-728-3400.

 

 

Finney Comes Forward as $20 Million Lotto Winner

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Southampton Hospital orderly Cameron Finney, 48, of Mastic, came forward last Thursday, May 16 at the New York Lottery’s Plainview Center as the winner of a $20 million Mega Millions jackpot.

Mr. Finney, who won the jackpot in a March 25 drawing, claimed his winnings Thursday, which amounts to $7.4 million after state and tax withholdings.

According to a release issued by the New York Lottery, Mr. Finney had been out for a chicken dinner at Popeye’s the evening of the drawing when he made a last-minute decision to go next door for a lottery ticket, spending just $4. The next day, while buying breakfast, Mr. Finney swiped his ticket and saw the “Big Winner” message. The ticket was sold at a gas station in Coram.

Mr. Finney collected his winnings with his wife, Donna, and daughter, Christina.

Bridgehampton Fire Department Hosts Open House

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The Bridgehampton Fire Department’s ambulance company will host an EMS Open House at its 64 School Street, Bridgehampton, headquarters on Sunday, May 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Volunteers will be on hand to offer demonstrations and teach “hands-only CPR.” Emergency Medical Technicians will offer blood pressure testing and first aid information. For the kids, balloons, hats, and gift bags will be offered and hot dogs and beverages will be served.

The department will also host a blood drive on Monday, May 19, from 2 to 8 p.m. The New York Blood Center will be taking blood donations. Donors must be at least 17 years old—or 16 years old with written consent from a parent or legal guardian—weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in good health to donate.

Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreation Center Gifted $105,000

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John Catsimatidis, the chairman of the Red Apple Company who recently ran for mayor of New York City, has donated $105,000 to the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreation Center on the Bridgehampton Turnpike in Bridgehampton.

The money will be used to restore and refurbish one of the four buildings on the 12-acre property where the staff provides care, courses, sports, a summer program and enrichment programs for local children.

The board of the nonprofit organization reached out to Mr. Catsimatidis, who has homes in Quogue and Manhattan, a month ago to ask for his support. The building, on the northwest corner of the property, has been in disrepair for several years. Restoring it will give the center a third building on the property to conduct its programs.

After the renovation is completed, two more buildings on the campus will need major repairs, the “team building” and the administration building, which has not been renovated since it was a farmhouse in the 1940s.

The fourth building, known as the “McCall Building,” named for the late benefactors of the center, Penny and David McCall, was renovated with funds raised at an annual jazz benefit hosted by Peter Jennings at his Bridgehampton home until his death in 2005. That building currently houses LI Head Start.

The board, in accepting Mr. Catsimatidis’s donation, voted to rename the building “Margo’s Cottage” in honor of his wife.

For more information about the child care center, visit bccrc.com.

Rededication Celebrates Family Committed to Conservation

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Family members David Mulvihill IV, his son Liam and Mary Ann Mulvihill-Decker plant a Prunus Virginiana native cherry tree in memory of Dolores Zebrowski during the re-dedication ceremony for the Anna and Daniel Mulvihill Preserve on the grounds of the preserve on Friday, May 9. Photo by Michael Heller.

Family members Daniel Mulvihill IV, his son Liam and Mary Ann Mulvihill-Decker plant a Prunus Virginiana native cherry tree in memory of Dolores Zebrowski during the re-dedication ceremony for the Anna and Daniel Mulvihill Preserve on the grounds of the preserve on Friday, May 9. Photo by Michael Heller.

By Kathryn G. Menu

Long before Anna and Daniel Mulvihill purchased what would become known in the Mulvihill family as “The Farm” off Brick Kiln Road in 1921, a native cherry tree had taken root in front of the home.

“By the time I played here in their front yard, the tree was huge, strong, solid and like one of the family,” said Anna and Daniel’s granddaughter, Mary Ann Mulvihill-Decker, last Friday. “My cousins, sisters and I all played up in its labyrinth of thick branches.”

Ms. Mulvihill-Decker spoke these words at a rededication of the Anna and Daniel Mulvihill Preserve on Friday, shortly before she joined three generations of family members in planting a new cherry tree in the same location the old tree once stood. The new tree was dedicated in memory of the late Dolores Zebrowski (the daughter of Anna and Daniel Mulvihill), and was nourished with water from a holy well in Ireland where her great grandfather, Patrick Mulvihill, was born.

Friday’s rededication ceremony celebrated Ms. Zebrowski’s efforts to preserve 85 acres of land off Brick Kiln Road—land that was home to generations of her family. Ms. Zebrowksi worked with Southampton Town and the Peconic Land Trust to establish the original 75-acre preserve and, according to family members, worked tirelessly until her death in October 2012 to preserve the remaining acreage as well as the Mulvihill farmhouse, which is now a historic landmark. In December 2013, the house and remaining 10 acres of land were purchased by the town through the Community Preservation Fund.

Ms. Zebrowski’s dedication to conservation was matched by her brother, William P. Mulvihill, who preserved 34 acres adjacent to the Anna and Daniel Mulvihill Preserve in the Great Swamp in 2006.

The 300-acre Great Swamp is bounded by Brick Kiln Road, the Bridgehampton Turnpike and Scuttlehole Road, linked to the Long Pond Greenbelt and a part of the Peconic Bioreserve. Centered on the Bridgehampton moraine, according to research gathered by William Mulvihill and fellow conservationists, the Great Swamp contains a host of vernal ponds and freshwater wetlands, untouched stretches of red maple-hardwood swamp and pitch pine oak and mixed mesophytic forests, providing a sanctuary for a number of animal and plant species, allowed to grow wild under the stewardship of the Mulvihill family.

On Friday, Southampton Town Councilwoman Bridget Fleming, the board’s liaison to Sag Harbor, said the board was unanimous in every effort to help preserve the acreage, but gave much of the credit to the Mulvihill family’s conservation ethos, and to New York State Senator Ken P. LaValle and Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., the architects of the Peconic Bay Regional CPF, which has enabled towns on the East End to preserve vast acreage over the last 15 years.

“This year alone we have expended over eight million CPF dollars to preserve more than 44 acres and there is much more to come,” said Councilwoman Fleming at the rededication. “With the addition of these 10 acres and the landmarking and preservation of the farmhouse, we have accomplished the vision of Bill Mulvihill, Dolores Zebrowski and the whole Mulvihill family to assemble all 110 acres, which is now preserved in perpetuity as wild lands for the benefit of the public and in support of the wildlife and natural resources of this beautiful place.”

According to Assemblyman Thiele, within the next two years over a billion dollars will have been collected through the CPF for preservation purposes during the program’s 15-year history.

“To put that in context, that is more money than the State of New York has spent on open space preservation across the entire state,” he said.

“That being said, CPF or private conservation, it doesn’t work without one thing—you have to have a family that has the conservation ethic and sees the bigger picture, a family that realizes the stewardship of the land is not just important for the family but critical for the future and that is something the Mulvihill family recognized.”

“I think his legacy was really his children,” Daniel Mulvihill III, the grandson of Anna and Daniel Mulvihill and nephew of Ms. Zebrowski, said of his grandfather. “They inherited from him and my grandmother a love for this land and the desire to keep it this way for future generations.”

Daniel’s father, Daniel Mulvihill II, would introduce his own children to “woods walks,” days spent meandering the acreage around the farm.

“I think my grandfather imbued in his children a great sense of conservation and William and Dan were great disciples,” he said. “And then there was Dolores. I really think Dolores was the most remarkable woman I have ever met. When she died I think she was Sag Harbor’s most beloved person.”

“She wanted to complete this puzzle,” he added. “And she literally worked on this project until the day she died. I think in my mind, and for a lot of people in the family, this is a tribute to the dedication of Dolores.”

Bridgehampton School Board Candidates Debate District Issues

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Bridgehampton Board of Education candidates Michael Gomberg, Kathleen McCleland and Jeffrey Mansfield at the Meet the Candidates night Wednesday, May 7.

Bridgehampton Board of Education candidates Michael Gomberg, Kathleen McCleland and Jeffrey Mansfield at the Meet the Candidates night Wednesday, May 7. Photo by Tessa Raebeck.

By Tessa Raebeck

With three candidates vying for two seats on the Bridgehampton School Board, the district PTO hosted a Meet the Candidates forum on May 7 to give those running a chance to share their ideas on the future of the district.

During the debate, which was moderated by Michael Mackey of WPPB 88.3 FM. Candidates Michael Gomberg, Jeffrey Mansfield and Kathleen McCleland, all three of whom have young children in the district school, are running for three-year terms, which start July 1 and end June 30, 2017. None of the candidates are incumbents.

With a degree in finance and accounting, Mr. Gomberg, 41, lives two blocks from the school and works in Southampton.

Mr. Mansfield, 49, worked on Wall Street for 17 years and is now a stay-at-home dad, active in many groups in the Bridgehampton community and Southampton Town. Last year he ran an unsuccessful bid for Southampton Town Board. His mother was a teacher for over 30 years and Mr. Mansfield said he considers himself “a champion of education.”

A Bridgehampton native, Ms. McCleland, 43, has previously worked as a personal chef and as vice president of corporate event planning at Goldman Sachs. She now works as the pastry chef at the Beacon and the Bell and Anchor, of which her husband Sam is chef and co-owner.

The school board is presenting voters with a $12.3 million budget for 2014-15 that would pierce the state-mandated cap on property tax increases, making it one of four districts on Long Island to do so. Mr. Mackey opened the forum by asking the candidates whether they supported piercing the cap.

Mr. Gomberg said he is “all for it,” adding that not doing so would “send the school spiraling.”

“The sacrifices that we would have to make as a school and school district if we were to not pierce the cap would be too great,” Ms. McCleland agreed.

“I am in favor of piercing the cap, but I would also like to say I will work like heck over the next two years to come in under the cap,” said Mr. Mansfield, adding he is conservative fiscally but “education is one area that we cannot afford to skimp on.”

When asked how they would get members of the community who are not involved in the school to be involved, Mr. Gomberg said, “call them up, go door to door.”

“It’s a small enough community and we have fabulous resources and it’s a shame that they’re not being utilized,” he said, adding he would like to see opportunities for internships and mentoring set up with local businesses.

Ms. McCleland said, “The more we can publicize to the community through social media, the local newspapers, all the wonderful things we have … we can capitalize on those types of events to invite the community in.”

“The school unfairly suffers from a perception that it’s lackluster,” said Mr. Mansfield. “We need to get out and be an advocate for the school and it’s a two-way thing.”

Mr. Mackey asked the candidates how they would increase the population in the district, which is by far the smallest on the East End, and whether they believe getting more students is important.

Ms. McCleland said growing the school is important and pointed to the success of the pre-kindergarten programs and the larger sized classes in the lower grades.

“The more we get out there and can show the community all of the great things we have to offer, that in and of itself will allow them to consider us an option when they are deciding where their children should go to school,” she said.

“I definitely think we have to do something about getting the class sizes bigger. We have to get out there and we have to sell ourselves,” Mr. Gomberg agreed, saying offering more foreign languages and other programs would entice “outsourced kids back to our school.”

Although he was in favor of increasing size, Mr. Gomberg said the expansion should be to a limit because “part of what’s great about the school is the small, nurturing environment that these kids are able to excel in.”

“You have to be careful what you wish for,” agreed Mr. Mansfield, adding that many private schools are desirous because of their small class sizes and Bridgehampton is able to avoid many of the problems of larger districts. “I think it would be nice to increase the class size, but I don’t think it’s of the utmost importance.”

Citing studies that have indicated consolidating school districts “would be economically beneficial,” Mr. Mackey asked the candidates whether they feel Bridgehampton should continue as an independent school district or merge with another local district.

“I would be open to seeing a study certainly, because I want to make sure that we’re providing the best education we can in the biggest sense of the word,” replied Ms. McCleland. “I can’t say yes or no without having all the facts.”

“I’m definitely against consolidating at this point,” Mr. Gomberg said. “Right now, what’s great about the Bridgehampton community is that it’s small and nurturing.”

“Consolidation is tricky,” said Mr. Mansfield, citing a referendum in 2009 that would have given parents a choice on whether to send their children to Bridgehampton School’s high school or send them to another public school. Critics said the referendum, which was rejected by voters, was a move aimed at eventually shutting down the school.

“The people have spoken as far as I’m concerned and instead of trying to continually tear this school down, it’s time for the people in this community to build this school up,” Mr. Mansfield.”

The school board elections and budget vote are Tuesday, May 20, from 2 to 8 p.m. in the school gymnasium.

BNB Announces First Quarter Gains

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Bridge Bancorp, Inc., the parent company of Bridgehampton National Bank (BNB; bridgenb.com) announced last week its first quarter results for 2014, reporting core net income and core earnings per share of $4 million and $0.35 per share. The core net income excludes $3.6 million or $0.31 per share of charges and net tax associated with the February 2014 acquisition of FNBNY Bancorp and the First National Bank of New York, branch restructuring costs and net losses on sales of securities. Inclusive of these charges, Bridge Bancorp reported net income of $0.4 million in the first quarter of 2014 and $0.04 per share.

According to a press release issued late last week, before the cost of the acquisition, the net income of $4 million and $0.35 per share for the quarter represents a 39-percent increase compared to last year. Net interest income also increased $3.6 million to $15.5 million for March 2014, with a net interest margin of 3.46-percent. Total assets of $2.1 billion are also reported as of March 2014, 34-percent higher than 2013. Loan growth also grew in the first quarter, to $274 million or 32-percent higher than in March 2013, and deposits increased 22-percent in the first quarter over last year with $1.67 billion made.

“The first quarter of 2014 featured several noteworthy accomplishments for the company,” said Kevin M. O’Connor, President and CEO of Bridge Bancorp, Inc. “We completed the acquisition of FNBNY and converted their core systems in mid February 2014. This adds three branches in new markets: Melville, in Suffolk County and Massapequa and Merrick, our first two branches in Nassau County, along with a loan production office in Manhattan. Our 26 branch locations, along with two loan production offices, combined with our expanded network of nearly 600 surcharge-free ATMs in select Rite Aid pharmacies across Long Island, New York City, and throughout New York State, offer our customers more convenient access to our community banking services,”

“In addition to the FNBNY acquisition, we experienced strong organic growth in loans and deposits during the quarter,” added Mr. O’Connor. “This growth contributed to record core net interest income and core net income.  Our strong, well-capitalized balance sheet, funded by core branch deposits, positions us to successfully fulfill our mission to be the community bank of choice for the communities we serve.”