Tag Archive | "East Hampton"

Southampton, East Hampton Towns Get Organized

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Larry Cantwell photo for web

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell announced some of the town’s goals for the coming year. 

By Mara Certic 

The year 2014 was a busy one for the East Hampton Town Board. It closed the scavenger waste facility, voted for a townwide ban on plastic bags, and accrued more Community Preservation Fund money than ever before. But according to Supervisor Larry Cantwell,  2015 has just as much in store.

The East Hampton Town Board held its 2015 organizational meeting immediately before its first work session of the year on Tuesday, January 6. Supervisor Cantwell discussed the many triumphs of the previous year and some of the goals for the next 12 months.

“I wanted to reflect for a moment on the past year and look forward to 2015, and first I want to express my appreciation to each of the board members,” Mr. Cantwell said in his opening remarks on Tuesday morning.

“Listening to the public, allowing for disagreement and maintaining courtesy and respect, we established civil discourse at town board meetings. Civility is the glue that holds us together as a democracy and as a community and it allows all of us to participate in a reasonable dialogue,” he said, adding that the board has done more to improve its transparency than previous administrations, and to improve the cooperation between departments.

Mr. Cantwell also announced some of the new initiatives the town hopes to fulfill in in the coming year.

The town plans to move toward adopting restrictions to tackle the noise problem at East Hampton Airport. Grant obligations from the Federal Aviation Administration expired on December 31, allowing the town to exert more control over the airport, officials say.  The third and final stage of a noise analysis is currently under way, and the board plan to adopt restrictions in time for the summer season.

Plans for a new community center will also be discussed in the coming year, Mr. Cantwell said, noting the town plans to replace the Senior Center on Springs- Fireplace Road.

The town is planning to adopt amendments to increase penalties and fines for zoning and code violations, and will also look to restrict the creation of new nightclubs.

East Hampton will adopt a water quality protection program this year, in order to replace failing septic systems in harbor protection districts.

Although plans for a rental registration law fell flat in 2014, Mr. Cantwell said the town will strengthen the existing code in order to combat illegally occupied housing.

The board will work on several studies, including a comprehensive review of hamlet studies of Amagansett, Montauk, Wainscott and Springs as well as a townwide business needs study and a coastal resiliency plan.

The town board will continue to encourage elected officials to call for PSEG power lines to be buried. The town has plans to adopt improved setback requirements on highways, in order to prevent what the supervisor has a called a planning mistake, the Wainscott Home Goods store, which is still under construction.

Finally, the town will also consider the creation of the office of town manager, in order to improve the efficiency of the town government.

Supervisor Cantwell also announced new members for the various appointed boards within the town. Kathy Cunningham will be the only new face on the planning board, which Reed Jones will continue to chair, with Nancy Keeshan as his vice chairperson.

There will be no changes to the Zoning Board of Appeals this year, with John Whelen and Cathy Rogers both re-appointed in their roles as chair and vice chair of the board, respectively.

Edward Krug and Peter Michael Gumpel will join the Architectural Review Board. Mr. Krug will fill the unexpired term of Rossetti Perchick. Richard Myers was named the chairperson of the ARB and Patti Lieber the vice chair.


It was business as usual at Southampton’s organizational meeting later that day.

“This is the town board’s organization meeting for 2015, which is really our housekeeping meeting as we start off the year, and most of these are rather pro forma,” Supervisor Throne-Holst said before the board launched into a series of resolutions.

The real work, she added, will begin at next week’s work session on Tuesday, January 13.

The town board moved speedily, and passed 56 resolutions in 20 minutes, with just one inciting ample discussion.

The majority of the resolutions involved reappointing committees, setting fees and making other authorizations.

The membership of the Sustainable Southampton Green Advisory Committee remained much the same, with Dieter von Lehsten and Scott Carlin remaining co-chairs. Jenn Halsey Dupree, a 12th-generation Southampton resident, fruit farmer and co-owner of the Milk Pail, is the only new appointment to the board, replacing Dee Russell.

The majority of the discussion took place after Councilwoman Christine Scalera requested to amend a resolution adopting the annual salaries for elected officials. Ms. Scalera and Councilman Stan Glinka both asked that their salaries be reduced from $62,000 to $60,000, and that the remaining $4,000 be put back into the town’s general fund.

Councilwoman Bridget Fleming requested the resolution be tabled in order to give her more time to “understand the implications” of their decision. Ms. Scalera said it was a matter of principle, rather than a political decision.

After much deliberation, discussion and some confusion, the board voted 3-2 to table the resolution until it meets next Tuesday, in order to give Councilwoman Fleming the time she requested.




Bay Street Theater Celebrates The King with Tribute Concert

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Gene Casey

Gene Casey

By Gianna Volpe

If Elvis Presley lives, he’ll be in Sag Harbor this Saturday for a celebration of his 80th birthday that will surely blow any fan of Rock and Roll – “King” or not –  right out of the water.

Two of the East End’s most beloved musical acts will take the stage at Bay Street Theater to pay tribute to a 20th century cultural giant who musician Gene Casey – who tops the bill alongside his Lone Sharks – claims to “think about everyday” in the leading song to his 2012 rockabilly record, “Untrained.”

“It’s not that I’m obsessed – or maybe just a little,” Mr. Casey sings in “I think about Elvis Everyday,” a song he said was borne from “one of those very absurd, funny things you find yourself saying in conversation” but one that is “very true” for the well-known local musician who keeps his Christmas lights lit through January 8 out of reverence for “The King.”

“Elvis is such a cultural icon because of what he did,” said the baritone vocalist. “He wasn’t conscious of it, but there’s something very pure about his original music because of a natural melding of influences that still resonates to today when people are mixing genres and being influenced by world music. Elvis was doing all of that quite naturally back in the ’50s without any kind of grand design. That’s just what he was.”

For Mr. Casey, this weekend’s show is not about paying tribute to a “King of Rock and Roll,” a misnomer the guitarist said is part of  “the ridiculousness and absurdity about Elvis that people latch onto,” distorting the soulful superstar’s grandeur into a caricature of gyrations, glitter and misguided claims that the handsome young Hound Dog himself invented Rock and Roll.

“Elvis never claimed to be the ‘King of Rock and Roll’,” Mr. Casey explained. “He wasn’t trying to be that. He was trying to be an all-around entertainer; that was his ideal. He wasn’t hung up on Rock and Roll. He wanted to be a movie star; he wanted to sing all types of songs. What I actually think, my own personal take on what he actually brought to Pop music, was the notion that a white singer could be sensitive and sensual because before Elvis all the white entertainers just stood there staring straight into the camera holding the microphone. It was forbidden to move your body and the irony was that Elvis really got all that stuff – all those outrageous moves, all those gyrations and the expressiveness in his voice – he got that from Gospel music, which in the South was very, very fiery and very emotional. That’s really what Elvis loved; that’s who his models were as far as Rock and Roll. He wasn’t so much a Blues man, but he listened to Black Gospel very heavily and I think that’s what was really new about him. He was a white singer who was singing with this churchy feel.”
Unlike some of his contemporaries, who misappropriated works by black musicians – Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys was initially credited as the sole composer of his group’s first hit single “Surfin’ USA,” though the tune is actually Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen” with different lyrics – Mr. Casey said Mr. Presley always gave credit where it was due.

“A lot of artists don’t have control over what name is put on a record label, but Elvis never had a problem with giving credit to anyone whether the artist was black or white,” Gene Casey said of this weekend’s rock idol of honor. “For a guy born in the Deep South in the ’30s he was pretty progressive. He had a great respect for black musicians. He was never derogatory…he was a sensitive, respectful person and his upbringing was very much about that. His mom really made him a well-mannered young man.”

For Jay Janoski, whose band The Vendettas will also perform at Bay Street’s Saturday night tribute show, it isn’t just Elvis’s “great voice and matchless stage presence” that made an impression on Mr. Janoski as a developing musician.
“His guitar player, Scotty Moore was hugely influential on every guitar player that I and many people my age listened to growing up, whether they are aware of it or not” said Mr. Janoski. “Clapton, Beck and Page – and later Mark Knopfler and countless others – were all fans and students of Scotty Moore’s guitar playing.”

Similar to Gene Casey’s appreciation of Elvis Presley is Mr. Janoski’s appreciation of Scotty Moore as musicians who both eclectically melded established genres while also bringing something entirely new to the table.

“Jazz, country and blues were all elements of his style,” Mr. Janoski said of Mr. Moore. “A record like ‘Hound Dog’ is a really early example of overdriven power chords, well before The Kinks. He also played with a lot of finesse. If the Punk DIY ethos stated, “Anyone can do this,” Maybe Elvis and Scotty Moore said, “You gotta work to get this good.”

Though Elvis himself may not actually be in the building this Saturday – conspiracy theorists will need to wait until 2027 for the unsealing of Mr. Presley’s autopsy report, which was ordered by and sealed by Elvis’s father for 50 years after his son’s death – both Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks and Jay Janoski & The Vendettas will absolutely be at Bay Street Theater this Saturday, Jan. 10, to perform at “Elvis 80: A Tribute to the King,” which begins at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $25 by calling the box office at 725-9500 or visiting www.baystreet.org

Fred W. Thiele Jr.

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2. 2010 Headshot Thiele 300dpi

2015 will mark New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.’s 20th year in office. A native of Sag Harbor, who represents the 2nd District, Mr. Thiele spoke about legislative accomplishments in 2014 and his hopes for 2015 and beyond.

By Mara Certic

Would you say were the three biggest accomplishments of the past year?

I think the three issues that really dominated life here on the East End in 2014 were one: the increased focus on the need to reverse the degradation of our water quality; two: the resurgence of the East End economy; and three: the need to reform and improve our educational system and our schools. Clearly, the most welcome was the economy. The major indicators of the East End economy saw their biggest rebound since the Great Recession in 2008. For example, the Community Preservation Fund, a major indicator of real estate activity, hit the highest levels since 2007. As for education, issues such as Common Core, teacher evaluations, student testing, and school district reorganization were a focus of discussion on the state and local levels.

Of those, do you think that there is one that stands out as the most important of the year?

 I believe the need focus on water quality is the biggest issue of the year. The decline in water quality is the greatest threat to our quality of life and our economic bases of tourism and the second home industry, as well as our water-dependent industries. I think public awareness and citizen activism has placed this issue squarely on the agenda of every level of government. For the first time, we are seeing a coordinated response that hopefully will yield real results.

In your opinion, what are the top priorities for the East End in the coming year?

My top priorities for the East End for the coming years are several. One: the completion of the hospital agreement between Southampton Hospital and Stony Brook University Hospital; two: giving residents the option to add water quality improvement projects to those eligible under the Community Preservation Fund, the completion of needed infrastructure improvements on the East End such as the repaving of Routes 27 and 24, important erosion-control projects like downtown Montauk, and dredging projects such as at South Ferry. And finally…. twice I have passed legislation in the State Assembly to outlaw gasoline zone pricing, which is nothing more than price fixing. This bill needs to pass the State Senate and be signed by the governor.

What are some national, or even global, issues that you think are particularly important here on the East End?

As for national and global issues… the ones that affect the East End every day but are unresolved are one: the need for the federal government to institute real immigration reform that secures our borders and provides a real path for citizenship and two: global warming and climate change. My Assembly district has more coastline than any other district in New York. We need to address coastal resiliency now, before it becomes a crisis.

Last week, LIPA rejected a plan for a 35-turbine offshore wind project off the coast of Montauk, which could have supplied the five East End towns with 200 megawatts of energy. What do you think of the decision?

LIPA’s decision to reject the Deepwater Wind project and to reduce, in general, its focus on renewable sources of energy like solar power, is misguided and shortsighted. The LIPA Reform Bill, which I opposed, has only given us higher rates, higher debt, and less renewable energy. There needs to be greater oversight of LIPA and PSEG—Long Island to insure that public needs and not private agendas are being served by our utilities.


East Hampton and Southampton Towns Adopt Plastic Bag Ban

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By Mara Certic

The days of choosing between paper and plastic are officially numbered here on the East End, as the town boards in both East Hampton and Southampton this week voted on Thursday, December 18, to ban single-use plastic bags by Earth Day of 2015.

For the past few months, mayors and supervisors and other elected officials have discussed the possibility of a regional ban on the bags, which are the largest consumer item in the world.

The ban will target the types of plastic bags that are commonly used in grocery and other retail stores. Bags larger than 28 by 36 inches would be exempt from the ban, as would the thin, clear plastic bags used for produce or baked goods.

Recent studies estimate that 105 billion single-use plastic bags are given out in the United States every year, with 23 million of those being distributed in Southampton Town, where very few of them are recycled.

Shopkeepers will be required to offer customers either recyclable paper bags or reusable cloth or plastic bags for their purchases. Those found guilty of continuing to hand out one-use plastic bags after the law takes effect could face a fine of up to $1,000.

The ban will be implemented on Earth Day—April 22, 2015—in order to give business owners an opportunity to use up their current stock of single-use plastic bags, which are much less expensive than their reusable counterparts.

In Southampton, Councilwoman Christine Scalera who spearheaded the town’s education and outreach program on recycling plastic bags, is of the opinion that continuing her efforts would be more effective than a ban.

“With a prohibition you can’t have it both ways, with incentives and education you can,” she said.

“This ban, this prohibition, fails to recognize that environmental responsibility does not have to be dictated to the residents of the Town of Southampton because our residents and businesses have proven to be environmentally responsible without threat of punishment,” she said.

“This prohibition fails to provide greater environmental integrity to this region as we are surrounded by two of the largest towns to our west and north and are a destination stop from all parts of the world, most of which are not under such a prohibition,” Ms. Scalera added.

Councilman Brad Bender, who voted in favor of the ban, said “it really isn’t a bag ban, it’s a bring your own bag.”

“I’ve travelled outside the country,” he added, “and they look at you with three heads if you don’t have your own bag.”

“The fact of the matter is in the United States of America we’re woefully behind on this issue and other similar issues,” said Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, who was born in Sweden.

California and Hawaii both implemented statewide bans on plastic bags this year and countries all over the world have either put bans in place, enacted a bag tax or now charge those who continue to use the light plastic bags.

Eritrea, Rwanda and Tanzania are just three African countries that have had similar bans in place for more than five years.

Councilwoman Scalera also expressed concern that the increased use of paper bags will have an equally negative effect on the environment, and that the figures presented to the board pegging the recycling rate for plastic bags at 4 percent was incorrect and unfair.

“I’ve never seen a paper bag stuck in a tree,” Councilman Bender said, adding, “If this gets the plastic bags out of the trees and off the side of the roadways in the community, it keeps them out of the stomachs of our wildlife, of our fish.”

Mr. Bender added he’d love to see the town go even further by one day banning single-use drink containers, too.

“None of us liked it when we were told we had to wear seatbelts,” said Supervisor Throne-Holst, moments before she gave each of her fellow board members small, compact, strong reusable bags.

The measure passed by a 3-2 vote, with Councilman Stan Glinka joining Ms. Scalera in opposition.

In East Hampton, the town board held another public hearing on the proposed ban on Thursday evening. Jay Peltz of the Food Industry Alliance of New York spoke up both at the public hearing on November 20, and when it was reopened last Thursday, December 18.

Like Ms. Scalera, Mr. Peltz suggested that reducing, reusing and recycling and continued outreach would do more to solve the problem.

Following the public hearing, Councilwoman Sylvia Overby introduced a resolution to adopt the law. Councilman Fred Overton said he was not ready to vote due to the new information the board had just got from Mr. Peltz.

Councilwoman Overby said the information was the same the board had previously been given and the board passed the ban 4-to-1, with Mr. Overton offering up the only “no” vote.

Sag Harbor’s Wharf Shop Gears Up for the Holiday Season

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Wharf Shop proprietors Nada Barry and Gwen Waddington with some of their unique Christmas items. Michael Heller photo

Wharf Shop proprietors Nada Barry and Gwen Waddington with some of their unique Christmas items. Michael Heller photo

By Emily Weitz

Nada Barry and Gwen Waddington, the mother and daughter team behind The Wharf Shop in Sag Harbor, have a holiday tradition of their own: manning their toy store until the last gift of Christmas is purchased on Christmas Eve. But these ladies start gearing up for the holiday months in advance. While people are still strolling through the store in flip-flops and cover-ups, the staff of The Wharf Shop is at the trade show in New York City, picking out their selection of gift ideas for the holiday season. And while it’s always a bit of a gamble what’s going to be the next “it” gift, The Wharf Shop rests on a foundation of the tried-and-true toys that have brightened children’s eyes for generations.

They were confident that the Frozen storm that swept the world would still be going strong into the holidays, so The Wharf Shop is stocked with specialty items inspired by the Disney movie. But they also thought the new Paddington movie, which was slotted for a November release, would be a big influence on holiday shoppers. When the release was postponed until January, The Wharf Shop found their shelves a little more crowded with Paddington items than they might have otherwise.

But whatever the trends, Ms. Barry and Ms. Waddington, as well as the store’s longtime staff members, want to ensure they provide shoppers with exactly what they want while at the same time, inspiring parents and shoppers by offering toys that have an educational or creative value.

“We curate our inventory,” said Ms. Waddington. “We try to have inventory that is positively educational, that has value for play.”

Some of the most reliable, inspiring toys are some of the simplest. Christmas crackers, which are foil wrapped cylinders with a toy inside, were a tradition when Ms. Barry was growing up in England.

“I don’t think there’s been a Christmas in my life that I didn’t have Christmas crackers,” she said, “and I bring that tradition with me and pass it down.”

They put together a gift basket that includes only toys that have been inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame. It includes old favorites like the Slinky, the Yo-Yo, and the Frisbee, among other things. Along with the items is a document, written up by Ms. Waddington, that tells the history of each toy.

“The Frisbee,” she explained, “was originally a pie tin from the Frisbee baking company, and college students started throwing them around. That’s how they became a toy, in 1908.”

Tying all of these toys together is a stick, which was inducted into the Hall of Fame as perhaps the most basic and beloved toy of all time.

“The other day,” said Ms. Waddington, “after we put our baskets together, we had kids come in with sticks they had picked up off the street.”

But they are not solely about nostalgia. For all the arguments against plastic and technology in toys, there are also great educational strides that have been taken in the toy industry.

“There are lots of new, innovative toys that have come out,” said Ms. Barry. “A perfect example is this game.”

She brings out “Robot Turtles”, a game that teaches young people how to code. Computer coding is now being taught in school, and this game makes it accessible to even very young children.

The ladies of the Wharf Shop love the holiday season, and not only because it brings a boost to business at the darkest time of year.

“Main Street is so gorgeous and inviting with all the lights and decorations,” said Ms. Waddington with a smile. “And customers are genuinely in a good mood.”

Each year, they pay attention to who the last customer is on Christmas Eve.

“Mom and I close the shop each Christmas Eve around 6 p.m.,” said Ms. Waddington, “and every year we notice who comes in.”

Christmas Eve day feels like a party: they have a buffet for the staff in the back, and even staff members who aren’t working will often stop in to celebrate.

“It’s such a celebration,” said Ms. Barry, “and the atmosphere in the shop is so special.”

What they love about running a small shop in a small village is that they become part of people’s Christmas traditions, and they get to know their customers.

“Every year one customer needs to buy a Christmas mouse,” said Ms. Waddington, “and another always needs a German Christmas ornament. Another woman always picks out ornaments for all her nieces and nephews, and we inscribe them with the names and date. We never want to be an Internet business, because we enjoy interacting with our customers.”

The Wharf Shop is located at 69 Main Street in Sag Harbor and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (631) 725-0420 or visit wharfshop.com.



Bay Street Theater Announces “Grey Gardens, The Musical” Will Close 2015 MainStage Season

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A film still from the documentary “Grey Gardens” featuring Little Edie Bouvier Beale at her East Hampton home.

A film still from the documentary “Grey Gardens” featuring Little Edie Bouvier Beale at her East Hampton home.

Sag Harbor’s Bay Street Theater Announced last week it will stage “Grey Gardens,” a musical, as the third production of its 2015 Mainstage Season, which runs May 26 through August 30. “Grey Gardens” will open July 28 and run through August 30, with book by Doug Wright, music by Scott Frankel and lyrics by Michael Korie. According to a press release issued by the theater last week, casting and the creative team will be announced soon.

“Grey Gardens” tells the story of Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier Beale, the eccentric aunt and cousin of Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis. The play is based on the 1975 documentary by Albert and David Maysles, a cult classic which is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015 and inspired the HBO film of the same name starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore. Set at the Bouvier mansion in the Georgic section of East Hampton, the musical follows a mother and daughter on their hilarious and heartbreaking journey from glamorous aristocrats to notorious recluses in a crumbling house filled with memories and cats.

“I am very excited we will bring the daring musical ‘Grey Gardens’ to Bay Street this summer,” says Scott Schwartz, Artistic Director for Bay Street Theater. “This is a story set in the heart of the East End and that is woven into the social fabric of our community. What a thrill it will be to see the lives of the Beales unfold onstage just miles from their now infamous home. This musical is entertaining and complex, featuring a terrific score and delicious characters. With this production, Bay Street will continue to share innovative, contemporary musical theater with our audience.”

Tickets to “Grey Gardens” are currently only available through a full subscription to the 2015 Mainstage Season. For more information, visit baystreet.org.


East Hampton Wins $250,000 Grant for Coastal Planning

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Cantwell coastal erosion

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell visits the Napeague-Lazy Point neighborhood with a resident of Mulford Lane, Amagansett earlier this year. In August, the town was awarded a $9.9 million federal grant to purchase a number of properties in Amagansett in order to turn them into protective storm buffers.

The Town of East Hampton was awarded a $250,000 grant by the State on Tuesday to develop a Coastal Assessment and Resiliency Plan (CARP).

The money from the state will be matched with $250,000 from private and public sources and will develop CARP through a process of gathering and analyzing information and ample public interaction.

“The impacts of climate change and sea-level rise lend ever-greater urgency to coastal resiliency planning,” said Supervisor Larry Cantwell. “This grant will provide the funding to complete a Coastal Assessment and Resiliency Plan that examines erosion risks, storm vulnerability and natural recovery. I appreciate the cooperation of our Natural Resources and Planning departments, as well as citizens groups such as Concerned Citizens of Montauk for their leadership in helping secure this grant.”

Deputy Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said the plan “will strengthen the resiliency of existing communities in East Hampton, address the needs of future generations and involve broad-based public involvement to develop and implement a community plan.”

East Hampton recently participating in a “Climate Adaptation for Coastal Communities” training course at Stony Brook Southampton, hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). During the course, there were special sessions on climate science, vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning and implementation.

Kim Shaw, the town’s director of natural resources, said that following the training course “we fully expect to immediately integrate climate adaption strategies into our coastal policies, plans and programs.”

East Hampton Town Board Consider Law to Restrict January Bowhunting on Town Parkland

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By Mara Certic 

A possible amendment to East Hampton Town’s hunting regulations attracted comments from hunters, hikers and environmentalists at the town board’s meeting on Thursday, December 4.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has recently extended the bowhunting season, which currently runs from October 1 to December 31, into January. If the season were to be extended, bowhunters and shotgun hunters would be able to hunt side by side during the month of January.

In East Hampton, the town board has jurisdiction over only town-owned parkland, with all other land falling under the purview of the DEC, when it comes to hunting. The amendment to a local law being sponsored by Councilman Fred Overton would prohibit bowhunting on town-owned parkland during the month of January in an effort to prevent the overlap of bow- and shotgun-users while continuing to provide them both with the opportunity to hunt.

Last year’s plan to hire sharpshooters from the United States Department of Agriculture’s wildlife services division to cull the deer population resulted in several “No Cull” rallies organized by Bill Crain, founder of the East Hampton Group for Wildlife.

Mr. Crain spoke up at Thursday’s public hearing, to support the recommendation at hand. “We strongly support this resolution. It will help a lot in avoiding chaos between the archers and those using firearms,” he said.

The East Hampton Group for Wildlife also supports the resolution because it thinks it is one way to limit bowhunting, which Mr. Crain described as “the cruelest form of hunting because the wound rate is so high.”

A bowhunting study compiled by Friends of Animals and Their Environments (FATE) reports the wounding rate for deer at 54 percent.

“Studies indicate that for every deer killed by bowhunters at least one or more is hit and not recovered, compared to deer shot by gun where only one out of 14 shots is not recovered,” the study reads.

Mr. Crain said this was one of the few recommendations made by the Deer Management Advisory Committee that his organization supported, and suggested the board consider involving more members who would be less prone to favor lethal methods.

The advisory committee is made up of members from the East Hampton Town Departments of Land Acquisition and Management, Natural Resources, Planning and the town Nature Preserve Committee. Committee members also include people from the Suffolk County Department of Parks, New York State Department of Parks and Recreation, the Peconic Land Trust, the Nature Conservancy, the Village of East Hampton, the Long Island Farm Bureau and the East Hampton Sportsmen’s Alliance.

“This committee is stacked in favor of those using lethal methods and hunting,” Mr. Crain said.  “It does not represent the full range of opinion of our community,” he added.

“I’ve contacted the board and even appeared personally to try to get the board to include someone from our group, which tries to promote respect for the deer and their wish to live,” he said.

According to Mr. Crain, he and his organization would also support the prohibition of shotgun and bowhunting on weekends.

Rick Whalen, a former town attorney and avid hiker, warned the board that if it extended hunting to include weekends in January, it could alienate the rest of the community who enjoy weekends exploring town parkland. He suggested the town restrict weekend hunting on town-owned parkland.

“If you’re going to allow weekend shotgun hunting, you’re basically going to tell most of the citizenry of the town to stay out of your parks for an entire month of the year. I don’t think you should do that,” he said.

Terry O’Riordan of the East Hampton Sportsmen’s Alliance said he and his organization’s primary concern is a townwide ecological and environmental balance, and that they support the use of “lethal, historically traditional methods” of maintaining equilibrium between plant and animal species.

He suggested the town revisit the proposal to perhaps allow shotgun hunters exclusivity in the first part of the month, and to then allow archers to join them for the second half of the month.

“Experts have confirmed the rampant damage our grossly overpopulated deer herd has done here to the woods and forests in our towns,” he said.

Robin Laton and Dell Cullum, both of East Hampton, both disagreed with Mr. O’Riordan’s comment, suggesting deer are in fact responsible for very little damage to wood and parkland.

According to Senior Environmental Analyst Andrew Gaites, the town has only just begun to monitor the situation, so it’s difficult to know the extent of the damage.

“A lot of environmentalists can see the damage,” he said, but added that no one has officially recorded such destruction until the town received a grant to begin vegetative monitoring this year.

Mr. Gaites said earlier this year, town workers put in a few fenced-in areas, inaccessible to deer. These “exclosures” will allow analysts to visibly see what impact deer have on vegetation. They have also begun doing counts and measurements of plant species, he said.

For any regulations to be in place for all of shotgun hunting season, the East Hampton Town Board would have to adopt a law in its last regular meeting of the year, on Thursday, December 18.

Analysts Present East Hampton Airport Phase II Noise Study, Discuss Possible Solutions

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Sag Harbor, Noyac and Shelter Island all had very high numbers of complaints about helicopter noise. This map shows where the “hotspots” of complaint density were. Image courtesy of  HMMH. 

By Mara Certic

Much like an earlier report did, the East Hampton Airport Phase II Noise Analysis report confirmed what many of the residents who are affected by noise on both forks have been saying for years: The problem is regional and it is extreme.

After over an hour of public comment from both airport critics and supporters on Tuesday, Ted Baldwin, of the environmental consulting firm Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH), presented the second stage of the independent noise analysis contracted by the East Hampton Town Board, as part of its effort to tackle to long-standing issue of noise pollution from the East Hampton Airport.

The Phase I analysis report, which was prepared by Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, Young Environmental Sciences and the volunteer work of Peter Wadsworth, attracted criticism from the Friends of the East Hampton Airport. One of the main complaints about the first phase of the analysis, which was presented to the board and the public on October 30, was the use of 2013 data, rather than information from this year, which they said was “intentionally misleading” and showed that the study’s results were “hopelessly flawed and unusable.”

Perhaps in order to dispel some of the criticism of the first study, the second phase of the analysis was done using data from November 1, 2013 through October 31, 2014. In that period of time, 23,954 aircraft complaints were received and recorded.

“That’s an extraordinary number of complaints,” said Mr. Baldwin, who began his career as a noise officer at Logan International Airport in Boston, he said.

“We never received that level of complaints,” he said, adding the number of complaints logged at Logan has increased, but still amounts to only 1,000 to 1,200 per month.

“So there’s a very good reason we’re meeting here,” he added.

Mr. Baldwin explained the analysis of complaint statistics, including how many times specific households filed complaints. The almost 24,000 complaints came from 633 different households, he said. The top 10 complainers submitted over 400 complaints each, with the highest logging 2,800 throughout the year.

Mr. Baldwin said this was representative of common human behavior, and added that 500 households submitted over 20 complaints over the year.

He also looked at where the complaints came from, and found that the problem “covers the whole East End of Long Island.” Using this information, Mr. Baldwin found that areas where the highest number of helicopter complaints come from are in Sag Harbor, Noyac, North Sea and Shelter Island.

Analyzing complaint data showed that helicopter noise seems to be the real culprit, particularly when there are frequent operations taking place early in the morning and late at night.

Using the program Vector, which records the number of flight operations, Mr. Baldwin found there to have been approximately 26,000 operations during the year. Interestingly, 25 percent of all operations were conducted by 25 specific aircraft—14 of which were helicopters, five of which were single turbopropeller seaplanes, five of which were propeller aircraft and one was a jet.

Vector data also showed the airport’s busy season lasts from May 1 through October 31, and Mr. Baldwin noted that it is not unusual for specific aircraft to conduct several round trips on any given day, particularly helicopters and turboprops on weekends in the high season.

Katie van Heuven, of Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell, the town’s aviation attorney, then explained some of the solutions the town is considering, and some of the ideas that have already been rejected.

“The charge that the town gave us as consultants coming out of the October 30 meeting was two-fold. One, help refine the data into a precise problem statement which Ted has done a terrific job of doing,” she said.

“And two, going back to that list of alternatives,” she said, “how do these eight categories of restrictions line up with the problem,” she added.

The analysts have already deemed certain options unreasonable alternatives. Doing nothing, using fee-based alternatives, residential acquisition, sound insulation and federal restrictions have all been rejected as possible solutions.

After Mr. Baldwin used data to precisely define the problem, legal analysts have found that time-based restrictions may well provide part of a reasonable solution to the growing noise problem on the East End.

They will continue to analyze other options before presenting a complete plan, including a slot system, which could limit flights by time or type, certain voluntary measures and by banning certain types of aircraft.

Many members of the public who spoke during Tuesday morning’s work session suggested that a ban on helicopters was the only way to stop the problem. A North Fork resident named Adam Irving said the newly formed North Fork Helicopter Committee supports a full ban on the aircraft.

Elena Loreto, president of the Noyac Civic Council, echoed that sentiment.

“I’m asking for a total ban on helicopters,” she said. “Please consider being a good neighbor.”

Both the first and second phases of the airport noise analysis are available on the town’s website.

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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