Tag Archive | "East Hampton"

Mass Casualty Drill Held in East Hampton

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Photography by Michael Heller.

An East Hampton Town-wide Multi-Casualty Drill was held at 555 Montauk Highway in Amagansett on Sunday, November 23. The drill was organized by Chief David King of the Springs Fire Department, and the incident was commanded by Assistant Chief Alan Bennett of the Amagansett Fire Department using standard National Incident Management (NIMS) protocol, involving Sag Harbor, Springs, East Hampton, Amagansett and Montauk fire and ambulance crews, as well as Suffolk County Emergency Services, East Hampton Town Police Department and Suffolk County Aviation Unit personnel. The drill involved three different scenarios which began at 9:00 a.m., and all units were debriefed and back in service by approximately 11:30 a.m.

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Alumni Artists on Display at the Ross School

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"Head in Hand" by Bronwyn Roe, Ross School Class of 2006.

“Head in Hand” by Bronwyn Roe, Ross School Class of 2006.

By Tessa Raebeck

Their artistic pursuits have taken them to coveted galleries, television studios and the country’s best art schools, but, working across mediums and the world, the 19 artists in this month’s Alumni Art Exhibition have one thing in common: they cultivated their creativity at the Ross School.

The exhibition highlights alumni artists working in cinematography, design, photography and more, who have graduated from the high school in the last 13 years. Keith Skretch, who designs video for live performance and installation in New York and Los Angeles, graduated in 2001, while Zac Wan of the class of 2014 is currently studying as a freshman at the School of Visual Arts.

The show features the work of 19 former Ross students at different points in their careers. New York University film major Noah Engel, ’11, and Sara Salaway, ’11, who studies photography at Bennington College, are still in the midst of their studies, while Andrina Smith, ’03, works as an actor, playwright and singer.

Despite being just over a year out of high school, the class of 2013 is well represented in the show; Aiyana Jaffe, a photographer studying at the Rhode Island School of Design, Riko Kawahara, who is studying graphic design at the Pratt Institute, and Alia Knowlan, a Savannah College of Art and Design student, are all participating.

While many of the artists returned to the East End for the show, others have forged their careers in the local community. An MFA candidate at Carnegie Mellon, Tucker Marder also works locally as an artist, curator and director. Most recently, he presented an adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s “Galápagos” at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, a sold-out performance he co-directed with fellow Ross alum Christian Scheider.

John Messinger, ’02, has also managed to build his career in his hometown. The photographer and artist has shown locally at Guild Hall, the Romany Kramoris Gallery and the Watermill Center, as well as nationally, and will have his first one-man show in New York City this fall.

Filmmaker and cartoonist Dan Roe, ’04, is a media studies teacher at Ross. His latest film, “Weenie,” premiered at the Hamptons International Film Festival in October and will be playing at Cinema Club next month.

“At Ross, you are always given the chance to pursue what interests you,” said Mr. Roe, who will show his cartoons in the exhibit. “For me, I was able to work on countless video projects and draw cartoons all the time…. This kind of project-based learning allows students to integrate what they love and what they’re good at into their learning and not only is that fun and empowering, it also fosters a stronger engagement with the material of a given class.”

Aiyana Jaffe, Ross School Class of 2013, with her untitled piece.

Aiyana Jaffe, Ross School Class of 2013, with her untitled piece.

“It’s not simply art-infused, but fully integrated,” he added of the Ross curriculum. “This means, in a nutshell, that all domains… all fold in on one another and there is no clear division between them. What you get, when all is said and done, is an ingrained understanding of human activity as a complex, with every idea, invention, change, work of art inextricably linked to everything that goes on around it. On the most basic level, this has helped me in applying the approaches I used in filmmaking to making cartoons and vice versa.”

Photographer Alexandra Strada, ’06, Molly Weiss, ’06, MFA candidate at Columbia, independent artist and curator and cinematographer Hunter Herrick, ’03, Skidmore College senior Julian Mardoyan-Smyth, ’08, photographer Kate Petrone, ’05, SUNY Purchase graduate and Ross School house parent Ryan Duff, ’04, painter and visual artist Bronwyn Roe, ’06, and portrait artist Clarisa Skretch, ’04, will also display their work in the show, which is on display through December 18, at the Ross School Gallery, located at 18 Goodfriend Drive in East Hampton.

A Bumper Scallop Season is Celebrated

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George Merritt, Wayne Fenelon and Jim Bennett shuck scallops at  Dan Lester’s facility in Amagansett on Monday. Photo by Michael Heller.

By Stephen J. Kotz

East End baymen and diners alike have grown accustomed to scallop seasons that begin with a bang but end with whimper in a matter of days. But this year has been different, with an abundance of the tasty shellfish being harvested from the bays and finding their way to local tables.

“So far, they have been pretty plentiful,” said Charlotte Sasso, an owner of Stuart’s Seafood Shop in Amagansett. “They are reasonably priced for the customer and the fishermen are getting rewarded for their hard work.”

The scallop season opened November 3 in New York State waters and on November 10 in town waters.

“A week after town waters opened, we’re still receiving 200 to 300 pounds a day,” Ms. Sasso said this week, adding that she was optimistic there would still be scallops available well into winter this year.

Danny Lester, 41, an Amagansett bayman who has spent a lifetime on the water, concurred. Even with increased competition from part-time commercial baymen and recreational scallopers, “who have come out of the woodwork because it’s a good season, there is stuff all over the place,” he said. “You can still go out, put your time in and get your limit.”

Mr. Lester said he was confident that he and his brother, Paul Lester, with whom he works most days, would be scalloping well into January. “You might not get your limit, but if you get six or seven bags, it’s still a good day’s pay,” he said. The season closes on March 31, although in practice it has not lasted that long in decades.

Commercial license holders can take five bushels a day, while recreational permit holders are limited to a single bushel.

Make no mistake about it, even when they are plentiful, scallops are not cheap. They have been selling for $20 to $23 per pound in East End seafood shops early in the season, but as the supply begins to decline, Mr. Lester said he expects prices to rise.

“The price is less than they started out at last year when they were about $30 a pound and averaged $25 to $30 during the course of their availability,” added Ms. Sasso.

A year ago, early prospects for a successful scallop season were dashed when rust tide spread through East End waters in the summer, killing all manner of shellfish. Mr. Lester said believed “the cold winter last year helped, but we did not have the rust tide like they had the last couple of years.”

He said there were a large number of bug scallops, which, barring a return of harmful tides next year, bode well for another successful season.

Since 2008, East Hampton Town’s Shellfish Hatchery has been growing scallops and seeding them into sanctuaries in Napeague and Three Mile harbors, according to  John “Barley” Dunne, the hatchery’s director, who said “some credit has to be given to restoring the shellfish beds” for the successful season in East Hampton. “Next year, we are hoping to expand into other harbors in town and that this bounty will occur in those harbors as well.”

But he added the revival may be more cyclical in nature.  “There’s been a good scallop harvest on other parts of the island,” he said, adding baymen were having good luck in Southampton Town and even as far north as Martha’s Vineyard.

Like Mr. Lester, he agreed the lack of harmful algae blooms also helped this year’s set thrive. “The one we worry about is the rust tide,” he said. Although the rust tide affected waters in parts of Southampton last summer, East Hampton was largely been sparred.

Kevin McAllister, the director of Defend H2O, an environmental organization dedicated to protecting water quality, said he was skeptical that this season’s rebound will last.

“We haven’t remotely turned the corner. We’ve got big challenges ahead of us,” he said of water quality issues. “As far as a modestly good scallop season, let’s hold the applause here and see if five or six years follow or if this is just a blip.”

If the East End wants to restore its fisheries, it will have to do much to reverse long-term trends in water quality degradation, according to Mr. McAllister.

Mr. Lester sounded a note of caution of another sort. He pointed out that commercial baymen are required to obtain separate permits for their shucking sheds that must have running water, refrigeration and be inspected by the state Department of Environmental Conservation to make sure the shellfish are not tainted.

“There are some people who are selling scallops for cheap,” he said. “But if you are buying them you might be getting them from someone who is opening them on the tailgate of his truck.”

East Hampton, Southampton Town Budgets Due

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The weeks of discussions and negotiations over annual budgets are coming to an end on Thursday, November 20, when the town boards of East Hampton and Southampton will be required by state late to adopt their 2015 operating budgets.

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell has proposed a $71.5 million budget, which will require a 3.2-percent tax rate increase for those who live within East Hampton Village and a 2-percent tax rate increase for those residing outside of it.

This translates to a $14.32 increase for a house valued at $550,000 outside the village and $23.08 for one within the village boundaries.

Still, East Hampton’s preliminary budget is more than $300,000 below the state-mandated tax levy cap. Although some have criticized the high revenue estimates in the budget, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli reviewed the preliminary budget earlier this month and deemed the revenue and expenditure projections in the tentative budget as reasonable.

In Southampton Town, Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst has presented yet another budget with a zero percent tax levy increase. Her $88.5 million budget includes money to hire six new police officers over two years.

The board has been under pressure from the Southampton Town Trustees and the Highway Department to include more money in their budget lines.

Each town included $100,000 in their budgets for their wastewater management plans and $25,000 each for the South Fork Behavioral Health Care Initiative.

The Southampton Town Board will adopt its budget when it meets at 11 a.m. today, Thursday, November 20. The East Hampton Town Board is scheduled to adopt its budget at its regular meeting tonight at 6:30.

East End Funding in County Budget

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Suffolk County’s proposed $2.89 billion operating budget will including funding for a number of East End initiatives, according to County Legislator Jay Schneiderman.

Among other things, the budget includes additional money for East End police departments, funding for an East End teen suicide prevention program, and new positions to improve water quality and respond to the Lyme disease epidemic.

An additional $3 million from county sales tax revenue will be earmarked over the next three years for East End municipalities that have their own police departments. A disproportionate amount of sales tax has always gone to the Suffolk County Police Department, which only serves western towns, according to Mr. Schneiderman, who has lobbied for a greater contribution to East End departments since joining the legislature.

Legislator Schneiderman said he was able to secure $50,000 for a South Fork teen suicide prevention program that will also receive funding from Southampton and East Hampton towns as well as several local school districts. The program will be administered by a new mental health consortium formed by the Family Service League in conjunction with Southampton and Stony Brook hospitals.

The county budget also includes $500,000 to expand Sunday bus service to additional routes and for longer hours into the evening. Previously, only about 20 percent of bus routes had Sunday service.

Mr. Schneiderman said in a press release that he was also able to secure additional funding to add positions, so the county can take more water samples and investigate ground water contamination. He also said he secured funding for an entomologist to develop a comprehensive plan to reduce Lyme and other tick-borne illness in the county.

The adopted budget will now go back to County Executive Bellone who will have the opportunity to veto any amendments made to his originally proposed $2.89 billion budget.

Noyac Hosts Last Tick Talk of the Season

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Jerry Simons discussed tick-borne disease diagnosis and prevention during a symposium at the November meeting of the Noyac Civic Council. 

By Mara Certic

As the days get shorter and temperatures drop, East Enders sometimes fall into a false sense of security, believing tick season is over for another cold winter. But with the ever-increasing number of tick-borne diseases and infections, medical professionals emphasize the importance of remaining vigilant against the virulent arachnids all year long.

In response to the growing number of infections, State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle convened a tick-borne disease task force last year to search for solutions to the problem, which is particularly prevalent on the East End. An advisory panel for Southampton Hospital’s Tick-Borne Disease Resource Center has come up with a multi-pronged mission to help reduce the number of tick-borne diseases and infections on Long Island and around the world.

In addition to facilitating treatment and educating medical professions about the various diseases carried by ticks, the panel has been charged with educating the public at several informative medical symposiums.

Jerry Simons, a physician’s assistant at East Hampton Urgent Care, gave the last such presentation of the year, on November 12 at the monthly meeting of the Noyac Civic Council.

Mr. Simons has been treating Lyme disease for almost 20 years.

“I saw my first Lyme disease patient in 1995,” he said at the meeting. Although the disease is named after a town in Connecticut, a lot of progress and discoveries made on Lyme disease happened out here on the East End, he said. “So it makes sense for the tick center to re-blossom here,” he added.

One of the difficulties of treating Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, Mr. Simons said, is figuring out what the exact strain of the disease is. Whereas people in the past have been told to look out for bull’s eye rashes, Mr. Simons noted that 30 to 50 percent of people with Lyme disease do not develop one.

“In 2014, like there are different types of flu germs or Epstein Barr, there are also different kinds of Lyme disease,” Mr. Simons said. Some of the literature says there are four different strains, whereas some claim there are as many as 12. According to Mr. Simons, those strains can then have up to four different subtypes of their own.

In addition to the many strains of Lyme, there are also diseases such as babesiosis, IA, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis and, most recently, the Alpha-gal allergy to meat.

“Sometimes it’s a matter of checking for the right germ,” Mr. Simons said, suggesting that anyone with a worrisome tick bite should ask for the Tick-Borne Disease Panel 3 work up, which tests for many different strains and diseases.

“But what I need you to remember is it’s not just Lyme disease,” he added.

Several medical publications have recently suggested that the ticks with the highest rate of infection in the world are those within a 50-mile-radius of Shelter Island.

“If you were in North Dakota and got a tick bite it would be a different story,” he said. Mr. Simons advocates getting treated with antibiotics right away, adding that they can prevent further, more serious problems four, eight or 12 weeks down the line. Also, spending $20 or $30 on early antibiotics could save thousands of dollars on blood work.

One of his pet peeves, he said, is when patients find a tick on themselves and wait to have it removed by a professional.  “You need to remove it immediately,” Mr. Simons said. Once removed, the ticks themselves should be taken to a doctor’s office, where they can determine the type of tick, its sex and whether or not it’s swollen, he added.

Inspecting the offending tick is one of the ways doctors can quickly and more efficiently diagnose patients, he said.

The bite of the Lone Star tick larvae, for example, can cause the Alpha-gal meat allergy and also other diseases in some cases. When bitten by an infected Lone Star tick, the alpha gal polysugar gets into the body. Once the enzyme is in your body, eating fatty red meats can cause a delayed inflammatory reaction, similar to a bee sting, Mr. Simons explained.

Whereas for some, the Alpha-gal allergy affects them only when they consume red meat, others can have reactions to dryer sheets, cosmetics, even lanoline strips on razors.

Recent research has shown people with Alpha-gal have very low glutamine levels, Mr. Simons said. Glutamine is one of the most abundant naturally occurring nonessential amino acids.

“You’re hearing it here first,” Mr. Simons said, “the advice is to run—not walk—to the store and get a big thing of glutamine.”

High doses of glutamine combined with six months to a year without any sort of meat contact could perhaps reverse the effect of the allergy, he said.

“It’s like in the ’80s when we were trying to figure out AIDS and HIV—you’re living in history,” Mr. Simons said.

For more information about tick-borne diseases call 726-TICK, or visit tickencounter.org.

Home Prevention

While ticks are most active from May through July, they will remain active until the temperature drops below 32 degrees. While the pests can be hard to avoid, here are some ways to keep ticks away:

  • Mice carry the most infectious ticks, so removing leaf piles and brush and other rodent retreats will help keep dangerous ticks away from the house.
  • Damminix tick tubes can be used to kill ticks on rodents. The product is available online, but DIY-ers can create the products themselves by putting cotton balls soaked in permethrin into cardboard tubes in mouse-infested areas. The mice, in turn, collect the cotton balls for their nests and the permethrin kills the ticks on contact.
  • Ticks are very unlikely to cross a 3-foot-wide wood chip boundary, so putting one around a house can help keep them away.
  • Ticks of all species apparently hate the smell of lavender; so dryer sheets and sprays imbued with the scent can also repel them.
  • Diluted DEET should be sprayed on shoes once a month, to keep ticks away.
  • Natural repellents, such as Buzz-Away can be applied directly to the skin.
  • Experts suggest spraying yards or lawns once a month from April to November, as well. Organic sprays are available from East End Tick and Mosquito Control.
  • Applying permethrin to clothes will kill all ticks on contact. Clothes pre-treated with permethrin are also available.

Thomas Twomey, Law Firm Founder, Dies at 68

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By Mara Certic

Thomas A. Twomey Jr., an attorney and civic leader, died of an apparent heart attack at his home on Two Holes of Water Road in East Hampton on Sunday morning. He was 68 years old.

Mr. Twomey was the senior partner and founder of the largest law firm on the East End of Long Island, Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartararo, which he founded in 1973. He was also the longtime chairman of the East Hampton Library board—leading two major expansion projects—as well as a leader in numerous other community projects.

Mr. Twomey was born in Manhattan on December 8, 1945, to Thomas Twomey., a New York City police detective and Mary Twomey. His love for the East End began when he spent summers with his family in Mattituck.

A graduate of Manhattan College, Mr. Twomey put himself through both the University of Virginia and Columbia Law Schools by selling kitchen knives.

After a year of adventures around the world—one of which involved an elephant chasing his rented Volkswagen Beetle—Mr. Twomey returned to Long Island, where he founded his law firm. Mr. Twomey decided to establish his law firm in Riverhead, to be able to serve the entire East End. The firm now also has offices East Hampton, Southampton, Southold and Hauppauge.

During the early days of his career, Mr. Twomey split his time between his private practice and acting as counsel to local municipal boards in both East Hampton and Southampton towns at various times.

“I’ve known Tom for 40 years. He’s been a close friend. I’ve worked with him on a number of the most important issues over that time,” East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said this week.

“Tom had a profound impact on some of the major issues of our time including stopping the construction of Jamesport nuclear power stations and chairing the economic and environmental taskforce that resulted in millions of dollars coming to the East End to promote farming, fishing, tourism and the environment,” Mr. Cantwell continued.

Mr. Twomey was instrumental in the creation of both Suffolk County and New York State’s Farmland Preservation Programs. He formed the group “Halt the Highway,” and led the fight to prevent the extension of Sunrise Highway from Shinnecock Hills to Amagansett.

As chairman of the board at the East Hampton Public Library, Mr. Twomey led the capital campaign to raise an estimated $4 million to construct a 6,800-square-foot children’s wing for the library. Mr. Twomey cut the official ribbon opening the new addition in June of this year.  He also chaired the capital campaign that raised $3.5 million for a major addition to the library that was completed in 1997.

Mr. Twomey served on the executive committee of the Guild Hall Cultural Center and was an active fund-raiser for the center’s annual budget.

A pilot himself, Mr. Twomey was an advocate for the East Hampton Airport and recently served on the aviation subcommittee of the Airport Planning group.

Mr. Twomey was passionate about the history of East Hampton, and took a leading role in the town’s 350th Anniversary Celebration in 1998. Afterward, Mr. Twomey was named town historian and edited five volumes on the history of East Hampton while in that capacity. A sixth volume will be published soon.

“When he took on an issue, he gave everything he had to it. He had an incredible passion and a commitment to see things through, regardless of how difficult it must have been to be successful,” Supervisor Cantwell said, “His loss will be felt for many years to come.”

Mr. Twomey is survived by his wife, Judith Hope, who served three terms as East Hampton Town Supervisor from 1973-75 and again from 1983-87.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two stepchildren, Nisse and Erling Hope; three grandchildren, Soren Hope, Asaiah Aqui and Henry Luka Hope; and by his sisters, Mary Claire Vrtodusic of Oakdale and Florence Cope of East Marion.

Visiting hours will be on Friday, November 21, at Yardley and Pino Funeral Home at 94 Pantigo Road in East Hampton from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. Funeral services will be on Saturday, November 22, at 1 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 18 James Lane in East Hampton. A reception will follow at East Hampton Point, 295 Three Mile Harbor Road.

Memorial donations can be made to the East Hampton Public Library, 159 Main Street, East Hampton.

Get a Charge of This

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The East Hampton Town Board has invited the public to join in a celebration of the town’s new electric vehicle charging station, the latest addition to the Town Hall complex, on Friday, November 14, at 9 a.m. The event will take place in front of the police department annex behind the main buildings at 159 Pantigo Road in East Hampton.

Members of the town board and representatives of the Natural Resources Department will showcase the station with electric vehicles provided by Buzz Chew Chevrolet and Tesla Motors. Company representatives will be available to answer any technical questions.

The town was recently awarded funds by the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to install the station to encourage its workforce and members of the public to embrace electric vehicles, which provide the opportunity to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

NYSERDA is providing approximately $10,500, or roughly 85 percent, of the full cost of equipment and installation, while NYPA is providing an additional $2,000, or the remaining 15 percent.

“I am proud that East Hampton has joined many other communities in supporting electric vehicles by providing a charging station at Town Hall,” said Councilwoman Sylvia Overby, the board’s liaison to the Energy Sustainability Committee. “This is part of our commitment to environmental sustainability.”

“I thank the Natural Resources Department for applying for the funds for this electric vehicle charging station, which moves the Town one step closer to energy efficiency,” said Supervisor Larry Cantwell.

East Hampton Town Budget Stays Below Tax Cap

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By Mara Certic

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell’s $71.5 million budget has seen some changes to both its revenue and expenditure sides since it was first presented in September, but will remain well below the state-mandated 2-percent tax cap.

East Hampton Town Budget Officer Len Bernard presented some of those changes at a board meeting on Thursday, November 6.

Mr. Bernard explained certain adjustments had been made since the tentative budget was released in September. In the budget, the town had anticipated $50,000 in  revenue from a proposed rental registry law, Mr. Bernard said, which was removed after residents came out in opposition to the law at a public hearing last month.

In its place, Mr. Bernard added $80,900 for lease options the town is entering into with a solar company, he said. “This revenue source may become a recurring revenue source depending on what is discovered during that lease option period, in terms of whether or not the solar energy production is feasible on the sites they’re going to be testing,” Mr. Bernard said.

Mr. Bernard added he had $104,900 for additional public safety into the revenue side of the budget. Mr. Bernard said Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman told him he was “99 percent sure” the town would end up receiving a greater share of sales tax revenue to be used for public safety. This agreement, Mr. Bernard explained, was established as a way to reimburse East End communities that have their own police forces and do not use the Suffolk County Police.

On the expense side, approximately $70,000 was added for police funding, $10,000 for the fisheries committee, $2,500 for the cemeteries fund and $20,000 for a part-time youth coordinator, he  said.

The town has budgeted to close its scavenger waste facility, which will save the town $450,000 between 2014 and 2015.

“It really doesn’t affect revenues, other than the fact that there will be no revenue other than tax revenue for that district. There are going to be no fees because the place is going to be closed,” Mr. Bernard said.

“We’re not realizing any kind of increase in fees, we’re actually realizing a substantial drop is costs that will be going down over time until eventually the place is fully shut down and all of the old debt is paid off,” he said. Mr. Bernard added that the current budget will be $315,000 below the state tax cap, which can be applied to next year’s budget.

Tom Knobel, chairman of the East Hampton Town Republican Committee, spoke up during Thursday’s public hearing and said he found some flaws on the revenue side of the budget.

“I believe there are a couple of flaws. I believe you are aiming to a more fee-based budgeting for the town and fees can be punitive,” he said.

Mr. Knobel also expressed concern that the town had anticipated a revenue increase of 18.3 percent, when there has been talk in the town of possibly limiting flights in and out of East Hampton Airport. Mr. Knobel said reducing the number of flights would “would limit the profitability of the airport.”

Other than a $10,000 line item for fisheries, Mr. Knobel said there was nothing in the budget to suggest the town was trying to attract new jobs or strive toward economic development.

Amos Goodman, of Springs, also commented about the town relying on future revenues with “where we are year to date in 2014, really being significantly less than what the previous year’s budget indicated,” he said.

“At $71.5 million, the budget’s less than it was six years ago,” Mr. Cantwell said on Thursday.

Mr. Cantwell added that the New York State comptroller announced on November 4 that after significant review, he had found East Hampton Town’s budget to have both reasonable revenue and expenditure projections.

“The state comptroller’s findings reflect the town’s goal of conservatively projecting non-tax revenue and restraining spending in order to produce a balanced budget,” Supervisor Cantwell said in a release.

 

 

 

Round Table Brings the Prince of Danes to Guild Hall

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A rehearsal of Shakespeare's Hamlet at the John Drew Theater on Sunday, 11/2/14

By Annette Hinkle

“Hamlet,” Shakespeare’s most famous play, is a tragedy that has it all…even by today’s standards. There are ghosts, murders, lust, revenge, a probable suicide and, at its core a family feud within the Danish royal family that rivals anything reality TV has to offer — all set against the backdrop of Denmark’s Elsinore Castle.

That’s a lot of angst to digest…. so just imagine the conversations that are taking place these days around the dinner table at Morgan and Tristan Vaughan’s house in East Hampton.

The Vaughans are not only married, they are also classically trained Shakespearean actors. Both studied at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, but they didn’t meet until later, while they both were pursuing MFA degrees from The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University.

The Vaughans are also co-founders of the Round Table Theatre Company & Academy, an East End based non-profit dedicated to the education, promotion and presentation of works by classic playwrights (like the Bard). Offering classes to actors and non-actors alike is part of their mission, but so is producing plays, and tonight, the company’s production of “Hamlet” opens at the John Drew Theater at Guild Hall for a three-week run with Ms. Vaughan directing.

And who will be playing Hamlet, himself? Mr. Vaughan, of course.

Aye, there’s the rub.

“Some couples argue about money, we argue about Shakespeare,” laughs Mr. Vaughan.

Actually, while Hamlet’s family may be angst ridden and openly hostile to one another, the Vaughans, conversely, have largely figured out how to work well and happily in the theater together.

“This is the first time I’ve directed Tristan in a production,” says Ms. Vaughan. “We met at grad school, but did not start dating until the end of school. For that reason, I think we have a good understanding of each others’ failings and challenges and the good parts of our acting.”

“Hamlet” will be Round Table’s second production on the East End. Back in early 2013, the company performed “Macbeth” at LTV studios in Wainscott. That time, Mr. Vaughan was the director and Ms. Vaughan acted in the title role of Lady Macbeth.

“He directed me in ‘Macbeth’ so he knows my bad actor habits,” admits Ms. Vaughan. “That said, we live together. After rehearsal I want to get home and not think about it, and he’s like, ‘What do you think of this?’”

“It was the opposite in Macbeth,” smiles Mr. Vaughan.

Chalk it up to the stress of directing since ultimately, it’s the director’s job to make it all work seamlessly. One of the biggest challenges with Shakespeare is presenting the material in a way that makes it assessable to all, yet keeping it true to the original intent of the words.

At times, that can be a difficult line to walk and since accessibility is a key part of Round Table’s mission, it’s a task Ms. Vaughan takes seriously. There have been plenty of kitschy Hamlets over the years, set in times and places far removed from the original setting. For this production, Ms. Vaughan wanted a modern setting. While her husband felt that modern was fine, he pressed her to narrow it down to a somewhat specific time frame.

“I had to persuade him in certain ways — he’s the artistic director — so we met in the middle,” says Ms. Vaughan.

The result is a “Hamlet” that takes place in the early 20th century, sometime between WWI and WWII.

“I will say, I kept it in Denmark and Hamlet is the prince,” says Ms. Vaughan. “If you change the stakes and Hamlet is just some screwed up kid, it loses the impact. It has to be that he’s going to be the king and all the power that comes with it.”

“We have updated it in terms of dress but it’s timeless in terms of emotions and what we can identify with,” adds Ms. Vaughan who also decided to make quite a few cuts to the script, specifically removing those political references from Shakespeare’s day that are entirely irrelevant or incomprehensible to today’s audiences.

“We also cut out the stuff between Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and Hamlet about theater of the 1600s,” she adds. “Nobody knows what that means and I don’t want anyone to feel stupid. I don’t want people to leave saying, ‘I don’t get it.’”

“Being a teacher at heart, you have to reach across to bring people up,” adds Mr. Vaughan.

“If people don’t understand it when they leave, it’s our fault,” counters Ms. Vaughan. “As a director, I have to say, ‘Is this comprehensible?’ It’s not contemporary language, but it’s our job to make it understood.”

Teamwork is also vital. For Ms. Vaughan, directing is not about imposing her singular vision, but rather creating it collaboratively by calling on the talents and instincts of the actors around her.

“Actors need to feel comfortable with where they are in a space and how they’re progressing,” says Ms. Vaughan. “I’m not a director who says, ‘This is the way it should be.’ They’re the character. With all the actors, I’d say, ‘How was that?’”

“That’s how I direct,” agrees Mr. Vaughan. “Macbeth was hard — there was so much to do. This time, I’m really happy to have someone I trust so much directing. It takes a huge weight off me.”

And in the end, for the Vaughans it all comes down to Shakespeare’s words.

“Because we had the same training, ultimately it comes back to the text,” adds Ms. Vaughan. “If you can support it by the text, we know that it’s right and agree with that.”

Now that’s the way to make a marriage — and a theater company — work.

Round Table Theatre Company’s production of “Hamlet” is presented in partnership with Guild Hall. The play runs Friday, November 7 through Sunday, November 23 in the John Drew Theater at Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. The cast includes Jeff Keogh, Tristan Vaughan, Josh Gladstone, John Tramontana, Dianne Benson, Peter Connolly, Sawyer Avery, Evan Daves, Michael Bartoli and Fabrienne Bottero. Set design is by Brian Leaver with costumes by Yuka Silvera and lighting by Sebastian Paczynski. Tickets are $25/$23 for adults and $15 for students. For tickets, call (631) 324-0806, visit guildhall.org or theatermania.com, or call 1-866-811-4111.