Tag Archive | "community"

Sag Harbor’s John Jermain Memorial Library Presents 2015 Budget Draft

Tags: , , , , , ,


John Jermain Memorial Library Director Catherine Creedon at the library during its renovation in October 2013. Photo by Michael Heller.

John Jermain Memorial Library Director Catherine Creedon at the library during its renovation in October 2013. Photo by Michael Heller.

By Tessa Raebeck

With the much-anticipated move back to its renovated and expanded home at 201 Main Street on the horizon, the board of Sag Harbor’s John Jermain Memorial Library (JJML) is presenting a budget draft that aims to cover the expenses of the building without exactly knowing what they will be.

“This budget was by far the most interesting budget for the board and I to put together in the years that I’ve worked at the library,” director Cathy Creedon said Monday, July 21, “because we’re almost back into the old, fresh, new building and we don’t have a real clear sense—because we’re not there yet—of what any of our operating expenses would be.”

The total of the 2015 draft budget, proposed at a library board meeting Wednesday, July 16, is $2,399,812. It includes operating expenses and debt service but is excluding capital expenses.

The budget represents an increase of $111,367 over the 2014 total budget, which was $2,288,445.

It would result in a 5.8-percent increase in the tax collected on the library’s behalf by the Sag Harbor School District, increasing that by $128,723 to $2,348,088. Those figures include funds for the library’s operating expenditures and the $905,000 in annual debt service approved at the time of the library’s 2009 renovation referendum.

Income designated for operating expenses (exclusive of funds raised through the capital campaign to improve the building) that the library generates itself through fundraisers, fines and other means is projected at $51,724 for 2015.

Ms. Creedon said the budget increase is due to moving into a bigger and better building, a move that has been stalled several times but should occur over the winter.

“At a minimum, we expect to see increases in electricity,” the director said. “We’ve been seeing our electric bills go up month after month even here in our temporary space, as we have people use our facility as a resource to support information searching of a digital nature. People are charging their laptops here or their iPad—they’re interfacing those devices with our collection to try to bring their research into the 21st century, which has been a great thing.”

Ms. Creedon said she has met with PSEG Island representatives to try to determine how much electricity the new building will need. In the proposed budget, electric expenses would increase by $8,439 for a total projected cost of $36,439.

The other major anticipated increase in expenses is due to staffing.

The building is four times larger than the library’s temporary space at 34 West Water Street, so custodial hours will need to be added.

The library moved into its temporary space around the same time as Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted the 2-percent tax cap on school districts. As a result of being in a smaller building and under a smaller budget, three employees left without being replaced. A desk clerk will not be replaced, but Ms. Creedon hopes to reinstate the adult programming coordinator and local history library positions.

“I really want to bring that building to light, be able to celebrate our local history holdings and the programming that we have,” Ms. Creedon said, adding that the number of people visiting the library for programs is increasing monthly.

“I think that kind of face-to-face instruction is something the community is really hungry for in terms of how they gather their information,” she added.

Ms. Creedon is hopeful the proposed budget for 2015 will enable the library to stay below the tax cap next year—and that JJML and the community will be enjoying the new library before the spring.

“I can see the staff, I can see the public computers, I can see the reading room full of people and it’s really wonderful,” the director said.

The terms of three current board members—Jackie Brody, Ann Lieber and Toby Spitz—will expire on December 31, 2014. They are all eligible for re-election.

A budget hearing and trustee forum will be held at 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, September 19, preceding the regular monthly meeting. The library trustee election and budget vote is Monday, September 29, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

East End Weekend June 6 -8

Tags: , , , ,


 

"Morning Meditation" by Christopher Engel is on view at the Kramoris Gallery in Sag Harbor.

“Morning Meditation” by Christopher Engel is on view at the Kramoris Gallery in Sag Harbor.

By Tessa Raebeck

Looking for something to do this weekend? Have some options on us:

 

Ross School Sunshine Gala

The Eleventh Annual Live @Club Starlight Gala at the Ross School is Saturday, June 7. The event, which raises funds for Ross School programs and scholarships, will begin with a cocktail reception, followed by a silent and live auction, dinner at 8 p.m., dancing and a live musical performance by the renowned musical group, KC and the Sunshine Band. Music mogul Russell Simmons, will be honored for his dedication to educating young people in the arts, transforming lives on the East End and elsewhere. The evening starts at 6 p.m. at the Ross School, 18 Goodfriend Drive in East Hampton.

 

Christopher Engel at the Romany Kramoris Gallery

East End artist Christopher Engel returns to Sag Harbor’s Romany Kramoris Gallery this week with “Open Paths,” a selection of abstract work.

“It is as if the viewer is peering through a microcope and capturing a dance of molecules, vibrating and evolving,” said the gallery of Mr. Engel on its website. “The lines flow into the light as well as the dark, illuminating paths open to both the literal adn the symbolic. The viewer is encouraged to ponder and then allow the journey to unfurl.”

The exhibit opened Thursday, June 5, and runs through Thursday, June 26. An opening reception is Saturday, June 14 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Romany Kramoris Gallery, 41 Main Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call 725-2499.

 

Landscape Pleasures at the Parrish

The Parrish Art Museum is giving an insider’s view of some of the East End’s most impressive gardens again this year, in a production of Landscape Pleasures that event organizer Kendra Korczak calls bigger and better than ever. In honor of artist, writer and gardener Robert Dash of the Madoo Conservancy, the weekend includes a day of lectures from expert landscape architects and gardeners Saturday, July 7, followed by a self-guided tour across the stately and innovative gardens of Southampton on Sunday, July 8. To read the full article on Landscape Pleasures by the Express, click here. For more information, visit parrishart.org.

 

Robert Boris Riskin at Canio’s

Sag Harbor’s novelist-in-residence Robert Boris Riskin will read from his latest mystery thriller, “Deadly Secrets,” on Saturday, June 7 at 5 p.m. at Canio’s Books, 290 Main Street in Sag Harbor. The novel follows the story of detective Jake Wanderman, who is pursuing the “Hamptons murderer.” For more on Mr. Riskin, see the Express’ coverage by clicking here.

 

The Gods are Coming to Sag Harbor This Weekend

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Zima character (photo by Tom Kochie).

Zima character (photo by Tom Kochie).

By Tessa Raebeck

It was the dead of winter—snowstorms followed by extreme cold followed by icy roads—and Kate Mueth was sick of hearing people complain.

“I was getting annoyed with it,” said Mueth, founder of the Neo-Political Cowgirls, a local dance theater company that explores the female voice. Mueth, who lives in Springs, started looking for a way to help people see the cold months differently.

Determined to help the local community find the “magic” in winter, Mueth came up with the idea for ZIMA!, based on the Polish word, zima, for “winter.” ZIMA! is a fantasy scavenger hunt in which participants, guided by mythical creatures played by the troupe, solve riddles that lead them through an over-arching story to arrive at an answer.

The creatures will again gather in Sag Harbor this weekend for ZIMA’s third appearance at HarborFrost. On Saturday at noon and again at 12:30 p.m., groups can gather at the Civil War Monument, at the point of Main Street near the Corcoran building, where Madison and Main streets split. Groups will receive the overall riddle and a map, then listen to a storyteller who will set the tale for their forthcoming adventure.

Following the introduction, the guests will venture out in search of six vignettes, short scenes performed by characters that give hints to the riddle. The theme for the treasure hunt changes with each performance. This year, gods and goddesses will fill the stores and sidewalks of Sag Harbor, sharing their mythical stories in elaborate costume and full character. Athena could be hidden in a shop window or Zeus could be entertaining in an alleyway; the actors will be split about half and half between indoor and outdoor locations.

By the time the guests have gone through all six vignettes, not only have they seen performances and met a variety of characters, they also will, with some luck, have an answer to the overall riddle. The route leads guests from the tip of Main Street toward the harbor.

Zima character (photo by Tom Kochie).

Zima character (photo by Tom Kochie).

Neither too challenging nor too easy, according to Mueth, ZIMA is fun for all ages and families are encouraged to attend. Patrons usually work through the riddle in groups.

After the first ZIMA, Mueth was delighted to see how the hunt brought people together who didn’t otherwise know each other in a common quest for a solution to the riddle.

“That just thrilled me,” she said, “because I really believe in theater as a way to bring people together—the humanity.”

“And I thought,” she added, “this is a really pure way of that happening without it being $150 seat or $350 seat on Broadway. It’s people interacting—and hopefully getting a magical experience.”

That dedication to magical experiences is helping the Neo-Political Cowgirls grow from a small, local troupe to a recognized theater company. The company is entering its sixth year producing and creating new work and is looking to expand.

In “Eve,” another of the troupe’s productions, the performers move through 13 different rooms and involve the audience in the performance.

Just as she doesn’t like to hear complaints about winter, Mueth isn’t a big fan of the fourth wall—she prefers to challenge traditional notions of theater and the roles of performers versus audience members.

Having performed primarily on the East End for the past six years, the Neo-Political Cowgirls are in the process of taking “Eve” to New York City.

“We have to expand,” said Meuth. “I’m so committed to this community and where we live, but at the same time, financially we have to keep moving, we have to keep expanding because it’s costly.”

Manhattan is the first step, but Mueth has her sights on bringing the show to Berlin, Boston and around the world.

“Our audiences aren’t necessarily just in the Hamptons,” she said. “We’re grateful to our audiences in the Hamptons and we’re so happy we’ve reached a really wide group of people, a lot of different ages, and we will continue to do that. We’re not fleeing the Hamptons.”

In March, the troupe will host “a backward audition” for “Eve” in the city, for which it will invite influential theater players and producers and anyone else who may want to support the show.

Although Mueth has her core set of actors (many of whom will be in Sag Harbor Saturday) she is always looking for more talent.

“I often go to the same people,” she said, “but I’m also casting a wide net as well, because you never know what you need or what you’re looking for … I’m always looking for really good actors, really good movers.”

As part of Harbor Frost, ZIMA! will start at the Civil War Monument at the intersection of Main Street and Madison streets at noon and again at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, February 8. The walk lasts approximately 35 minutes. A donation of $5 is suggested.

Ring in the New Year Right – and at a Discount – During Hamptons Wellness Week

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Wellnessweek2

The organizers of Hamptons Wellness Week enjoy a healthy sunset. (Jenna Raynell photo).

By Tessa Raebeck

While many fitness regimes focus on getting a toned butt, a flat stomach or losing an inordinate amount of pounds in an impossible amount of weeks, Kiley Sabatino and Anastasia Gavalas don’t want to help you simply ‘get thin,’ they want to empower you to change your life.

With New Year’s resolutions still ripe in our minds, many East End residents are striving to be healthier. This Sunday, Hamptons Wellness Week, organized by Sabatino and Gavalas, is offering dozens of heavily discounted fitness classes, lectures and other events to kick start a year of good health.

“It’s touching upon all the important aspects that we want,” said Gavalas of the event. “It’s not just a get-on-a-diet plan, not just a crash course on getting thin. It’s not about that, it’s really a holistic approach to mind, body and soul.”

Gavalas, who lives in Bridgehampton, is a family life teacher and the founder of the Wing It Project, a social arts project that benefits children’s organizations worldwide. After meeting Sabatino, the founder of OneHealthyHamptons.com, they came up with the idea for a full week devoted to the local wellness community.

“We basically looked at each other and said, ‘What can we do?’” said Gavalas.

Anastasia Gavalas with a pupil and the wing she made through the Wing It Project. (Photo provided by Gavalas).

Anastasia Gavalas with a pupil and the wing she made through the Wing It Project. (Photo provided by Gavalas).

“I just think it’s so unique out here,” said Sabatino. “The health and wellness community out here is so amazing, so I wanted to empower it.”

Dozens of local businesses are participating in the event, which kicks off with a sign-up Sunday at Hampton Coffee Company’s Experience Store in Southampton. People who sign up will receive a gift bag (for the first 50) and a program outlining the variety of things they can do during the week.

Participants can pay $25 for three vouchers or $35 for seven. The vouchers are good for classes throughout the East End at a variety of studios, gyms and fitness centers.

From Pilates to CrossFit, there is something for everyone. Men and women, children and seniors, fitness experts or beginners can all find a suitable class, attend a relevant lecture or at the very least, enjoy the pizza party at the week’s end.

“It’s for people that want to try new classes but are hesitant to go in there,” said Sabatino. “They can go with friends, feel more comfortable. People don’t want to spend $40 [on a fitness class]…this allows them to try it for $5.”

Eighteen local fitness centers from Montauk to Hampton Bays are participating, including five yoga studios, Studio 89 in Sag Harbor, Exceed in East Hampton, BodyTech and the Ed & Phyllis Davis Wellness Institute at Southampton Hospital, to name a few.

Hamptons Wellness Week takes ‘health’ a few steps further than working out; it incorporates lectures from life coaches and other wellness experts, as well as fun promotions like facials from White’s Pharmacy in East Hampton and consultations with local nutritionist Tapp Francke.

“By healthy,” said Sabatino, “I really mean balanced. So a good life, not very strict, having fun and taking advantage of the awesome activities and events and parties and everything going on in the community and kind of intertwining it into a balanced, good life.”

Each night, a different local expert will lecture on a topic of their choice, ranging from stress management to life coaching.

“Basically,” said Sabatino, “it’s what experts would like to communicate to the community. They’re all doing it for free and they’re all really excited about it.”

Hamptons Wellness Week co-founder Kiley Sabatino.

Hamptons Wellness Week co-founder Kiley Sabatino. (Jenna Raynell photo).

Gavalas, who has five children ranging in age from seven to 15, will present “Rebalance your Family in 2014” on Tuesday.

The wrap-up party Friday is at Fresh Hamptons, where kids and families can make pizzas with chef Todd Jacobs and cloth wings with Gavalas, as part of the Wing It Project. Cocktails and food tastings follow.

In addition to empowering locals to get healthy, Hamptons Wellness Week aims to give energy to local businesses that are slower this time of year.

“The whole point,” said Sabatino, “is to celebrate health and wellness in this community, to make it available to people who are here all year round.”

“It’s about making really good change — and realistic change — that will guide them throughout the year,” added Gavalas.

Hamptons Wellness Week is January 12 to 17. For more information and a full schedule of offerings, visit hamptonswellnessweek.com.