Tag Archive | "East Hampton"

Bagging Plastic

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PIC DAVID CRUMP.TESCO PLASTIC BAGS

The Southampton Town Board will schedule a public hearing on a proposed plastic bag ban during the first week of December, Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst announced at a Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee meeting on Monday.

Dieter von Lehsten, the co-chair of the Southampton Town Sustainability Committee, gave a presentation to the CAC about the proposed ban. Southampton Town uses 23 million plastic bags every year, he said, and he estimates the town only recycles about 3 million of them.

“That still leaves 20 million bags that are somewhere,” he said. Plastic bags never disintegrate entirely, he explained, but instead break down into smaller and smaller pieces. Research has shown that fish eat the tiny plastic particles, which are now a part of the food chain.

Mr. von Lehsten also said the latest research has shown there is now more plastic in the ocean than plankton.

“It is a movement which is better to do from the bottom up,” he said, adding “the politicians depend on us because we are the electorate.” In California, 78 municipalities banned the bags, he said, which has resulted in a state-wide ban.

“We want to force the issue,” he said. Mr. von Lehsten and the sustainability committee have started a letter campaign to the town board to tell it to ban the bags.

Ms. Throne-Holst said the East End Supervisors and Mayors Association are on board with a regional ban. “I think it has a lot of value if it’s done regionally,” she said of the ban.

The East Hampton Town Board has not yet set a date for an informational meeting on a potential plastic bag ban but it will be in the next few months, Supervisor Larry Cantwell said on Tuesday.

According to Ms. Throne-Holst, the plan is to have the implementation date be Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

Thiele, LaValle Go After PCP on Utility Poles

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Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. and State Senator Kenneth LaValle have introduced legislation that would prohibit the future use of utility poles treated with pentachlorophenol (PCP) and calls for the posting of warnings to inform people about the dangers of contact with PCP on existing poles.

PCP was once commonly used, but it is now a restricted use pesticide and no longer available to the general public because of a number of health-related issues.

“The federal government has made it clear that PCP is a dangerous chemical and has outlawed its use by the general public,” Mr. Thiele said in a release. “It is to be used only for industrial use away from the general population.  Yet, this chemical has been used to treat utility poles for transmission lines in places like East Hampton that are only a few feet from residential dwellings, exposing children and families to this dangerous substance. Further, at a time when we are all focused on the degradation of our water, it is inconceivable that wood treated with this substance would be permitted to leach into the groundwater on Long Island. There are better options and those options should be implemented now.”

“This is a critical public health and safety matter.  People need to be made aware of the presence of PCP, so they can protect themselves, their children and their pets from the potential dangers posed by this chemical,” added Mr. LaValle. “This type of coating to preserve utility poles needs to be discontinued for public health reasons as soon as possible.”

Solar Developer Chosen

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The East Hampton Town Board on Thursday, September 18, authorized options for the lease of three town properties for solar array development to a California-based company. SunEdison, which has offices all over the world, responded to the town’s request for proposals to lease town-owned land for renewable energy facilities.

SunEdison have proposed to lease sites on Accabonac Highway, Bull Path and Northwest Road and Springs-Fireplace Road. The company will be required to pay rent to the town and sell electricity it produces to PSEG Long Island.

After a 90-day period, SunEdison will begin paying the town lease option payments based on the proposed mega-wattage that will be produced by each of the sites. The company is expected to pay the town up to $80,900 per year.

SunEdison will now proceed to site-plan review with the planning board and “other approvals as may be necessary for each specific project.”

During the approval process and while the company “otherwise determines the feasibility of proceeding with each project,” SunEdison will pay lease option payments to the town for up to three years. After that point, the leases will be for 20-year periods.

In other sunny news, a sales person from Green Logic addressed the town board on Thursday about a new East Hampton Building Department policy the solar company worries will deter potential panel-installers.

Lifelong East Hampton resident Sara Topping, who works for Green Logic, said the Building Department recently informed the company it must obtain new surveys upon the completion of solar panel installations. The new surveys, she said, are designed to prevent over-clearing, which “is obviously a goal and environmental issue we support,” she said.

“It really just transfers into an additional fee for the homeowner,” she said. Supervisor Larry Cantwell said he would discuss the issue with the building inspector and have an answer for Ms. Topping next week.

Taking Aim at Airport Noise

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The East Hampton Town Board unanimously adopted a resolution on Thursday, September 18, to put in regulations at East Hampton Airport in order to curtail an ongoing and increasing noise problem.

The resolution, sponsored by Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, was read aloud and discussed at a work session on Tuesday, September 16.

Without naming any specific regulations, the town board resolved to identify and adopt regulations that would address noise disturbances from the airport. Henk Houtenbos, a local pilot, spoke during the public portion of Thursday’s meeting.  He brought up a resolution passed by the previous town board on August 2012, which “announced its intent to pursue use restrictions on operations at the airport.”

“What I noticed as well is that there were two members of this council who actually voted against that resolution. It was Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc and Councilwoman Sylvia Overby,” Mr. Houtenbos said.

He asked how those two members of the board planned on voting on Thursday, and what, if anything has changed.

Mr. Van Scoyoc told him to “stay tuned.” All four of the board members present voted for the resolution. Councilwoman Burke-Gonzalez, who was absent from Thursday’s meeting, said last week the board hopes to have proposed aircraft regulations drafted by Christmas.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, the board unanimously voted to send Peter Boody, senior airport attendant, to a free workshop in Washington, D.C., this month sponsored by Whereas Exelis, Inc. The company provides aircraft tracking services at the town airport.

Meet the Candidates Night Becomes One-Man Show

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U.S. Representative Tim Bishop listened to Sag Harbor resident Bob Malafronte at an evening sponsored by the Noyac Civic Council. Photo by Stephen J. Kotz.

By Stephen J. Kotz

What was supposed to be a meet the candidates night with U.S. Representative Tim Bishop and his Republican challenger, Lee Zeldin, sponsored by the Noyac Civic Council Tuesday night, instead turned out to be a one-man show featuring Mr. Bishop.

Citing a scheduling conflict, Mr. Zeldin first tried to cancel his appearance Tuesday afternoon, before agreeing to arrive at 9 p.m., two hours after his scheduled slot, to informally meet voters.

The Republicans sent Southampton Town Trustee Ed Warner as a stand-in, who deferred most questions of national issues to Mr. Zeldin.

Noyac Civic Council president Elena Loreto on Tuesday said that Mr. Zeldin’s camp had informed her its candidate would not be able to attend the event at 2 p.m. that day, citing another scheduled appearance upisland and despite confirming on Friday that he would appear.

Mr. Bishop said at his previous appearances before the council, helicopter noise was the chief concern. This time none of the two dozen people attending asked about that, instead peppering him with questions about everything from budgets to energy policy.

In his opening statement, Mr. Bishop said he was proud of his record of constituent service and cited his role as one of four sponsors of federal waterways legislation, which he described as one of only 26 pieces of “substantive legislation” passed by the current Congress. The bill successful, he said, because its sponsors engaged in the lost art of compromise, which, he said, has become a “four-letter word” in Washington.

Mr. Bishop said he was particularly proud of his role in helping reform the federal student loan program, which he said, ended $61 billion in bank subsidies and resulted in an additional $26 billion being funneled to Pell Grants to aid the neediest students.

“I ran for Congress because I wanted to be a voice for the middle class,” Mr. Bishop said, recounting how his father used to work an average of  80 hours a week for the phone company to put five children through college. “I used to hate the phone company because I couldn’t understand how they could make this guy who had five kids work every Christmas.” It was only when he was in college, he said, that he learned that his father had put in for the overtime.

Audience members had some tough questions. Reg Cornelia of Springs, said Democrats had prevented inquiries into many scandals.

“What bugs me the most is this IRS scandal,” Mr. Cornelia said. “You and your colleagues have done everything to thwart this investigation.”

“Your characterization is simply not accurate,” Mr. Bishop responded, pointing out that the Internal Revenue Service’s inspector general, a nonpartisan investigator, had determined that the IRS had simply not targeted Tea Party organizations in its efforts to determine whether political groups qualified for tax exempt status, but had also investigated liberal organizations.

Carole Campolo, another East Hampton resident, said the country has been brought to the precipice of financial calamity annually and asked why the federal government has failed to pass a budget since 2009.

Mr. Bishop said that while the budget itself may be an “overrated document” in that Congress achieves the same ends by passing appropriations bills, he said it was a “bipartisan failure,” said that both President Bush and President Obama had sent annual budget proposals to Congress.

Stu Jones, another East Hampton resident, said it was his understanding that no more soldiers were being sent to Afghanistan, but said his son had just received his third posting there. Mr. Bishop thanked Mr. Jones for his son’s service, but explained his being sent back to Afghanistan had to do with troop rotations, not a clandestine increase in force levels.

“If it was up to me I would have been out of Afghanistan a long time ago, and if was up to me I have never gone into Iraq,” Mr. Bishop said. “I think that was the single greatest foreign policy mistake this nation has ever made.’

James Sanford of Sag Harbor wanted to know why New Yorkers pay more for natural gas, a problem he said was caused by a shortage of pipelines and storage capability. He also wanted to know Mr. Bishop’s position on fracking.

The congressman responded that most pipelines are privately owned said he saw no “federal impediment” to more lines being built. As to fracking, Mr. Bishop said he supported Governor Andrew Cuomo’s cautious approach, saying a national policy has to be formulated for dealing with wastewater.

Gene  Polito of Noyac pressed Mr. Bishop on his support of natural gas as a source of energy, saying “global warming is for real” and carbon dioxide levels had to be reduced. “We ignore its implications at its own peril,” he said.

Janet Verneuille of Sag Harbor wanted to know what Mr. Bishop’s stance on the practice of corporations moving their headquarters offshore to save on taxes and asked if he favored lowering the American corporate tax rate.

“I think it is an obscenity that corporations are more interested in the bottom line than in the country that has allowed them to be successful,” Mr. Bishop said, pointing out that they had benefited from a publicly educated workforce and publicly provided infrastructure.

He added, though, that while the American corporate tax rate is one of the highest in the world the actual amount collected as a percentage of gross domestic product is the lowest. He said he favored reforming the corporate tax structure.

Nada Barry of Sag Harbor asked about the prospects for meaningful immigration reform. Mr. Bishop said he was not optimistic and said when the Senate passed a decent bill, House Speaker John Boehner announced it “dead on arrival.”

 

Hyperlocal Plans for Harbor Market in Sag Harbor

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Proprietors Paul and Susana Del Favero in front of the soon-to-be Harbor Market and Kitchen. Michael Heller photo.

Proprietors Paul and Susana Del Favero in front of the soon-to-be Harbor Market and Kitchen. Michael Heller photo.

By Emily J. Weitz

Everybody wants to know what’s to become of the iconic little market on the corner of Division and Henry streets in Sag Harbor. Since the 1930s, this building has provided the community with an easy, casual spot to grab meals or linger over the paper. Chef Paul Del Favero and his wife Susana Plaza Del Favero want to keep that heritage alive with Harbor Market, offering a revitalized menu that takes into account the local, seasonal, and health-conscious demands of the community.

Mr. Del Favero is no stranger to the East End. After training at La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris and working in both France and New York City, he landed a job as the head chef at Nick and Toni’s in East Hampton in the early 1990s and worked  at the South Fork culinary institution for seven years. He then went on to several other endeavors out here—including serving as the executive chef at The Maidstone Arms—before his friend Bobby Flay offered him a position in his new restaurant in Las Vegas. The couple, with their two young sons in tow, moved to Las Vegas, where Mr. Del Favero settled into a whole different pace of life and business.

“It was a whole new world for me,” said Mr. Del Favero. “We had a staff of 45 in kitchen and 70 in the dining room. We got rave reviews, I got a Michelin star there, and learned a lot.”

The Del Favero family originally thought their stay in Las Vegas would be three to five years, and they ended up there for nine. But as their children got older, the family realized they missed the small town life.

“We missed that local, small town feeling,” said Ms. Plaza Del Favero. “This will literally be a mom and pop market. We are excited to make it small and make it ours, and to be a part of the neighborhood and community.”

The Del Faveros know that Espresso was a treasured part of the Sag Harbor community, and they hope to maintain the clientele who have loved it, while also casting a wider net. The menu will change, of course, but the idea of offering food that you can take home to your family will not. They still plan to serve the breakfast crowd, with coffee and egg sandwiches starting at 7 a.m. They still plan to reach the after-school crowd, and the moms and dads picking up dinner for later.

But there will be some changes. They’re installing a wood-burning oven, in which they plan to do a lot of roasted vegetables and proteins.

“We want to serve healthy food,” said Mr. Del Favero, “and to keep vegetarians in mind. We want to sell fresh produce and dairy, and as much local produce as we can when it’s in season.”

In that sense, Harbor Market really intends to be a market, with lots of sundries on its shelves. They are growing their list of local farmers, and hope to offer not just local produce, but products like farm fresh eggs.

“We want to fill our shelves with local products,” said Mr. Del Favero. “And we want to offer food that is not processed. No GMOs, healthy meats, organic vegetables – we want to offer better quality that is eco-friendly.”

Of course, healthier foods come with a higher price tag, and the Del Faveros want to be mindful of keeping prices reasonable.

“We want to give people a bargain,” said Mr. Del Favero. “This is restaurant quality food that you can take home.”

Variety is a key part of the menu, with items influenced by Mr. Del Favero’s classical French training, his wife’s Spanish heritage, and the American, Italian, Mexican, and Southwest flavors he’s drawn on in his past restaurant endeavors.

The family is excited to be part of the community, hoping one day to live in the house attached to the restaurant, and maybe to send their kids to Sag Harbor schools.

“Sag Harbor is such a tight little community,” said Ms. Plaza Del Favero, “and we want to be a part of it. People were so concerned about us missing the last summer season, but that’s not what we’re about. We are not a pop-up summer business. We want to be a year round local neighborhood market.”

They’re looking at a few more months of renovations, so the couple is estimating a soft opening sometime in January or February.

“We’ll probably open on a Tuesday in February during a snowstorm,” said Ms. Plaza Del Favero.

Now that’s local.

 

Watershed Weekend with The Parrish Art Museum & The Nature Conservancy

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Accabonac Harbor. Image courtesy of The Nature Conservancy. 

The Parrish Art Museum has partnered with The Nature Conservancy in two events meant to highlight one of the most pressing environmental issues facing the East End of Long Island: water quality.

On Saturday, September 27 at 11 a.m., the museum will host “Watershed: Artists, Writers, Scientists and Advocates on Our Waters” in the Lichtenstein Theatre. The PechaKucha style talk will feature eight speakers including LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited architect Glynis Berry who serves on the Suffolk County Planning Commission and is with the U.S. Green Building Council; Dr. Chris Gobler, a professor at SUNY Stony Brook’s School of Atmospheric and Marine Sciences and an expert on the topic of harmful algal blooms; Nature Conservancy Long Island Executive Director Nancy Kelley, Hampton Bays bayman Ken Mades; Southampton resident and Executive Director of the Lloyd Magothy Water Trust, Thomas McAbee; Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst; Edwina von Gal, East Hampton-based landscape architect and President of the Azuero Earth Project whose mission is to preserve the earth’s ecosystems, protect biodiversity, and promote healthy communities; and artist and teacher at the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City, Allan Wexler, whose work in the fields of architecture, design, and fine art explores human activity and the built environment.

The museum will follow the discussion with a Sunday, September 28 Walking Tour of Accabonac Harbor, one of the regions most diverse tidal marsh systems. Both programs are being presented in conjunction with The Parrish Art Museum’s ongoing exhibition, “Platform: Maya Lin.”

For more information, visit parrishart.org. 

Noyac Civic Council Celebrates 60 Years With Gala to Benefit Ambulance Corps

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The Noyac Civic Council will celebrate 60 years of community services with a gala celebration on Saturday, September 27 from 6 to 10 a.m. at Harlow, 1 Long Wharf in Sag Harbor. The event, which is $90 per person with tickets available at The Whalebone General Stone, will feature cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, as well as a sit down dinner with all proceeds benefiting the Sag Harbor and Southampton Volunteer Ambulance Corps. The civic council is offering a group discount rate of $80 per person for purchases of six or more tickets at one time. For more information, email cnmn@optonline.net.

Clavin Earns Spot on NY Times Best Sellers List

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Author, journalist, professor and Sag Harbor resident Tom Clavin has earned a spot on The New York Times best sellers list for his book, “The Heart of Everything That Is,” co-written by Bob Drury. The biography of Red Cloud, the influential Sioux leader, the book examines his life and military prowess as well as the Plains Indians’ changing way of life in the 1850s and ’60s. The book appeared in the number 10 position on The New York Times Print Paperback Best Sellers, non-fiction, on September 21. It was the book’s first week on the list.

Surf Benefit for Disabled

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The crowd at the first annual ONCE surf benefit in memory of Sax Leader. Photo courtesy of Jacqui Leader.

The first annual ONCE surf benefit for the learning disabled was held at Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett on September 6 in memory of Sax Leader, who died nine months ago.

Mr. Leader loved the ocean and  cared very much for people who are mentally challenged, the saxleaderfoundation stated in a release. “We believe he would have loved seeing professional surfers donating their time to take a person with special needs out on a surf board ONCE in their lifetime.”

People donated $30 to sponsor a surfer, and friends and family cheered on the surfers and their students.

All proceeds from the event will go toward sending a person with drug, alcohol or depression issues to counseling at a reputable drug rehabilitation center.

For further information or to help support the effort, visit saxleaderfoundation.com or call (631) 678-7560.