Tag Archive | "Hamptons"

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. 

Hampton Library Budget Vote & Trustee Election Saturday

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The Hampton Library will host its budget vote and trustee election on Saturday, September 27 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the library at 2478 Main Street in Bridgehampton. Four seats will be voted on and filled by Bridgehampton residents; Sagaponack residents will determine the remaining seat.

Incumbents Jackie Poole, Tom House and Louise Collins and newcomer John Vendetti are running for the Bridgehampton seats. Matthew Rojano, another newcomer, is vying for the Sagaponack representation. After serving four three-year terms, Board President Elizabeth Whelan Kotz is stepping down due to term limits, and Trustee Sarah Jaffe Turnbull is not seeking re-election.

Residents in Bridgehampton and Sagaponack will also weigh in on the 2015 budget, which is proposed at $1,551,700.

Banned Books Week is Celebrated at the John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor

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Banned Books Week, the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read, is September 21 through 27. Children and young adults ages 0 to 18 are invited to read a banned book and get their mug shot posted on the “Sag Harbor’s Most Wanted” wall of infamy at the John Jermain Memorial Library. Each participant will be entered into a raffle for a tote bag full of banned books. Stop by the library and see Susann to report what you’ve read or to get recommendations. For more information, call (631) 725-0049.


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.

Deadline for Florence Writers Conference Looms

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View on Florence Duomo and city from Campanile tower.

Always wanted to live the life of a writer in Florence, sipping wine at the Café Giubbe Rosse or walking in the footsteps of Dante Alighieri? The Stony Brook Southampton MFA Program in Creative Writing offers just that kind of experience, January 13 through January 24, during its Florence Writers Workshop featuring a fiction workshop with Sag Harbor resident Susan Scarf Merrell, author of “Shirley: A Novel” and fiction editor of “TSR: The Southampton Review.”

The program also includes an evening at the opera, a walking tour of Florence, a faculty-guided trip to the Bargello museum and an excursion to the Italian countryside, as well as an elective in contemporary Italian fiction, Michelangelo and the Medici family, Italian style and design or Italian cooking.

The deadline to apply for the workshop is October 2. For more information, visit stonybrook.edu/mfa/winter.

The Southampton Review has also announced The Robert Reeves $1,000 Prize in Comic Fiction, judged by distinguished author and editor Daniel Menaker. The entry fee is $15 per submission (no more than 5,000 words), and entries are due by October 31, Winners will be notified on January 15 and honored at the Manhattan launch of TSR: The Southampton Review’s Spring 2015 issue. Finalists will be considered for publication in TSR Online. For more information, visit thesouthamptonreview.com.


Dan Stevens Moves From Downton Abbey to Downtown New York

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Dan Stevens.

Dan Stevens.

By Danny Peary

It’s a big week in the makeover of Dan Stevens, who memorably played Matthew Crawley until the kind, moral and handsome aristocrat was, surprisingly, killed off on Downton Abbey in 2012.  On Wednesday there was the theatrical release of the The Guest, in which Stevens plays a creepy, dangerous villain who terrorizes a military family, and beginning Friday, viewers can see the British actor play a Brooklyn drug dealer in the brutal thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones.  This time he’s in support of Liam Neeson as Lawrence Block’s troubled unlicensed private detective Matthew Scudder.  For the Australian magazine FilmInk, I visited the set last summer when director-writer Scott Frank was filming in the city and did the following interview with Stevens.

Danny Peary: Did you have sympathetic feedback after leaving Downton Abbey?

Dan Stevens: Generally, I did. I think that there were a lot of fans who were upset, but I guess that speaks well for the character.

DP: How long before you left did you tell people you were leaving?

DS: Well, I couldn’t really tell anybody.

DP: I mean on set.

DS: Oh, they knew eight months in advance. They had plenty of time to adjust.

DP: Was it a big decision?

DS: Of course, yeah. It was a huge decision.

DP: Did it have to do with wanting to go to America?

DS: No, not specifically. I felt it was time to be going and I think it’s healthy to follow your instinct.

DP: Who do you play Walk Among the Tombstones?

DS: I play Kenny Kristo. He’s a Brooklyn drug trafficker.  I think he’s Lebanese in the book, but they changed that for the movie. He’s also a lot older. His wife is kidnapped. Because he’s a drug trafficker, he can’t pursue the kidnappers via the usual avenues. He has a brother, Peter, who is an addict and through AA knows Liam’s character, Matt Scudder, a retired cop who is a private detective and recovering alcoholic. So it’s a complex web.

DP: Does your character hire Scudder to solve the case and disappear or does he continue through the film?

DS: He comes back into it and gets involved. From my character’s perspective, it’s a pretty classic revenge trajectory.  His wife is killed early on and he really wants to get these guys. He’s really upset about what happened to her. She was killed because he won’t pay the ransom. You get the sense that they were going to kill her anyway, but they tried to get some money from him first and he tried to haggle with them a bit. He feels a huge amount of remorse about that.  We discover they’re serial killers. It’s not just a one-off that they’ve done, they’ll do this again.  I think his wife was their first but they are specifically targeting drug traffickers because they know they have money and can’t go to the cops. Which is pretty smart. But they’ve got Scudder on their tail! There’s a huge, pretty dark confrontation over a lot of things.

DP: Does your character have any thematic relevance?

DS: With my character, it’s about the choices one makes in life. Had he not decided to be a drug trafficker, his wife would have been safe. I think Matt Scudder is also faced with such quandaries, about the choices one makes in life.

DP: How much does your character interact with Scudder?

DS: Quite a lot. That’s been fun, Liam’s great. Kenny speaks to Scudder a lot on the phone through the movie but toward the end, he’s like Scudder’s sidekick.  He comes along with him. It’s this real motley crew tracking down these killers. It’s a very unconventional bunch, which is fun to see.

DP: Why did you choose to play such a character? I don’t think anybody would say, “There’s a drug dealer in this script, so let’s cast Dan Stevens.” [Similarly, it's surprising anyone would think to cast Stevens as the killer in The Guest.]

DS: No, but that’s what’s exciting. The exciting thing for an actor is to have someone like Scott Frank say, “I think you can do this!”

DP: When you read the script, what were your reactions?

DS: It was a real page-turner, like the book. There are some scripts you read and they resist you in some way, and that can be good sometimes–a challenging read can be good, because you’re part of it. Some scripts, don’t quite hold together. With this script, I wanted to get there, I wanted to see what happened next. It really kept me reading, and my character is so interesting. He’s not clear-cut. Like you say, no one’s expecting to see me play this, so I think, “So why does Scott want me to play this? What is it that he sees in the character, that he sees in me?”

DP: Did you ever come up with an answer?

DS: I guess he thought of me because he needed to find some sympathy for a character who you may not ordinarily fell sympathy for in a movie like this. Initially, it’s easy to resist feeling anything for him.  But then you suddenly see it from his perspective and you think that whatever he does for a living, what happened to his wife is pretty nasty.

DP: Did you audition?

DS: No, we just had a chat about it. I was interested because I’m a huge fan of similar kinds of movies.  We had a huge conversation about Dog Day Afternoon, Dirty Harry,  the ‘70s genre, very character-heavy.  I grew up watching those films. Scott’s very smart writer and when this genre is done well, when it’s really nailed, it’s great! For me, it was a very exciting opportunity.

DP: Before the film started, did you all sit around the table and read the script?

DS: There wasn’t a cast read-through, but I sat with Scott a lot, and we talked again a lot.

I didn’t know him before, but I’d seen The Lookout, and I’d seen Out of It and I loved that. He did a similar thing in that movie, no one’s expecting to see. We have these conversations which honestly consist of talking about other movies. So you have a shared vocabulary and we definitely had that from the beginning.

DP: And did that continue while making the film?

DS: Definitely. Our dialogue was very on-going, and I trust it’s going to shape the narrative very, very much. We don’t have to put what we’re thinking into full sentences.  He can just say, “That bit in Dirty Harry,” and I can say, “I know what you mean” and we’ll do the scene again, and it’ll be better. That’s a great relationship to have.

DP: So making this, is it an “I’m-making-a-movie”adrenaline rush!

DS: Not really, but I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to be doing. It’s very much the same as working on other sets. I’ve done a lot of TV back home in addition to Downton Abbey. There are good sets, bad sets.  This happens to be a good one. The adrenaline, it’s always there.

DP: Where does this film fit into what you want to be doing as an actor? Is it an oddity?

DS: I hope it’s not an oddity, and with all the work I do, I hope it’s part of a progression. It’s an exciting new category.  I’d love to do more movies like this.


Accident on Scuttlehole Road in Bridgehampton Causes Traffic Delays

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Southampton Town police officers and Bridgehampton Fire Department EMTs attend to the wounded driver of a semi tractor-trailer carrying a load of dirt that overturned at the intersection of Scuttlehole Road and Brick Kiln Road on Friday morning

Southampton Town police officers and Bridgehampton Fire Department EMTs attend to the wounded driver of a semi tractor-trailer carrying a load of dirt that overturned at the intersection of Scuttlehole Road and Brick Kiln Road on Friday morning

By Michael Heller

Southampton Town police officers and Bridgehampton Fire Department EMTs attend to the wounded driver of a semi tractor-trailer carrying a load of dirt that overturned at the intersection of Scuttlehole Road and Brick Kiln Road on Friday morning. The driver was subsequently transported to the hospital via helicopter for further treatment.

Surprise Result at Sag Harbor’s Mighty Hamptons Triathlon

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Danielle Sullivan of West Islip receiving her medal as the top female finisher in Sunday's Mighty Hamptons Triathlon at Long Beach in Sag Harbor.

Danielle Sullivan of West Islip receiving her medal as the top female finisher in Sunday’s Mighty Hamptons Triathlon at Long Beach in Sag Harbor.

By Gavin Menu

Julian Acevedo was the first to cross the finish line at the Mighty Hamptons Triathlon, held at Long Beach in Sag Harbor on Sunday,  raising his hands in triumph as he broke the tape with an impressive time of 2:05:03. What the second-year triathlete didn’t realize at the time, however, was that a seasoned veteran, 49 year-old Adrian Mackay of New York, would finish later with a time of 2:03:06 to win the event, which is broken into separate waves to prevent congestion during the swim portion of the event. Most of the younger and elite competitors were in the first wave, which made Mackay’s win somewhat of a surprise.

It was during the swim and bike portions of the event, which features an Olympic-distance course that includes a 1.5K (0.93-mile) swim, a 40K (24.8-mile) bike and 10K (6.2-mile) run, where Mackay ultimately won the race. His times of  19:08 in the water and 1:02:07 on the bike were both more than a minute faster than Acevedo’s time.

David Powers, 47, of East Hampton posted a total time of 2:05:46 to finish third overall.

“The water was a little choppy, but other than that, the conditions were great,” said Acevedo, 27, whose time in the run was 38:40, the second best among the nearly 500 racers in attendance. “It’s one of the best courses I do all year. It’s well supported and the crowd is great.”

Danielle Sullivan, 38, of West Islip was the top female finisher with a time of 2:16:43, followed by Lisa Donnelly, 26, of New York (2:21:46) and Sarah Knox, 40, of New York (2:21:46). Sullivan said the last time she raced the Mighty Hamptons Triathlon was in 2006, when she was also the female winner.

“It’s a really great course,” she said.

Complete results are available at eventpowerli.com.

Julian Acevedo crossed the finish line first on Sunday, but found out later that his time was the second best.

Julian Acevedo crossed the finish line first on Sunday, but found out later that his time was second best.

Homeless in the Hamptons: An Invisible Community Struggles to Survive

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Bill watches as two women kayak by at Lazy Point in Amagansett on Tuesday, August 12. He recently lost his six-figure job, wife and home due largely to his struggle with bipolar disorder, and now lives and works where he can across the East End. Photo by Tessa Raebeck.

Bill, 56, watches as two women kayak by at Lazy Point in Amagansett on Tuesday, August 12. He recently lost his six-figure job, wife and home due largely to his struggle with bipolar disorder, and now lives and works where he can across the East End. Photo by Tessa Raebeck.

By Tessa Raebeck

To Bill, the two most important things are his feet and his socks, followed closely by matches and plastic bags. The matches keep him warm, the plastic bags keep his things dry, and the feet and socks keep him going.

Bill, 56, has a college degree in economics and a minor in business administration from SUNY Oswego. He is kind, articulate and witty. Like thousands of people across the East End, he is also homeless.

Ten years ago, the Suffolk County Department of Social Services counted 435 homeless families and 222 homeless singles countywide. Those figures—which increased drastically in the economic downturn since—only account for those who meet the official criteria and choose to apply for help. In reality, the numbers are much higher.

It is no secret to locals that the image much of the world conjures up of “The Hamptons” is far from the realities of daily life on the East End, but for the countless homeless residents of these hamlets, that image is a blatant farce.

“How can you miss us?” Bill asked, staring out at the sailboats docked at Lazy Point in Amagansett as two women in a kayak paddled by. Scores of homeless people live here, but, in part due to their own security concerns, they remain largely invisible.

If you look closely, however, you can see the faint paths used by homeless people off wooded trails, under bridges and sometimes right in town. A man who lives behind a popular business in Montauk leaves before dawn each morning, but his footprints have worn down a path to his campsite. Born and raised in Sag Harbor, Andy, a friend of Bill’s, lives hidden in the center of the village. An expert on Southampton history, a man called Mahoney holds fort at a park in the village, regularly entertaining tourists who have no idea he lives where they stand.

At a clearing off Route 27 in Wainscott, local homeowners leave food for the homeless people who camp in the woods nearby. If neighbors buy a sandwich and only end up eating half of it, they’ll leave the rest on one of the lids of two garbage cans stationed at the clearing in an unspoken act of charity.

According to a 2013 report compiled by the federal government, New York State, with 13 percent of the nation’s documented homeless population, is one of only three states in which homeless people account for more than 6 percent of the population (the others being Florida and California). With over 77,000 reported cases in 2013, the number of documented instances of homelessness in New York jumped by nearly 8,000 people between 2012 and 2013. New York’s homeless population has increased by 24 percent since 2007, the largest increase by far in the country—and the numbers are far from the actual figures.

On a single night in January 2013, an estimated 610,042 people were homeless in the United States. Over one-third of those people, about 215,000 of them, live in unsheltered locations, such as under bridges, in cars or in abandoned buildings.

To Bill, living in a car does not make you homeless; there’s a roof over your head and a place you can count on.

Born in Jamaica, Queens, and a graduate of Hauppauge High School, Bill has suffered from bi-polar disorder his whole life, but was not diagnosed till he “was old.” He came to the East End when he was 17 because he was drawn to the service industry.

“I like the whole premise of restaurant business: Helping people, service, making people happy, learning to deal with difficult people,” he said. “I thought—and I still think—I’m good at it.”

The “extracurricular” affairs of the restaurant industry—namely, drugs and drinking—became too much for Bill, who, like many who suffer from bipolar disorder, also struggled with addiction. After years of drinking to excess, Bill is now a recovering alcoholic who said he hasn’t had a drink since the early 90’s when his son was three.

“I think in extremes, everything…you’re either super happy or ready to commit suicide,” he explained.

Struggling with his condition and unable to find balance between complete bliss and extreme grief, Bill lost his six-figure job and his wife left him. He briefly lived up-island with family, but returned to East Hampton, where he has spent the past year searching for shelter, food and friendly faces.

He takes “top half of body” showers in public restrooms and jumps in the ocean to stay clean, a feat that, like most conditions of homelessness, becomes much harder in the cold winter months.

Although Bill doesn’t like to ask for help, when he’s especially down on his luck he goes to Maureen’s Haven in Riverhead.

Funded solely through donations, grants and funding from all the eastern townships, Maureen’s Haven offers shelter, support and “compassionate services” to homeless adults on the East End. There is a crisis hotline and a day center that provides opportunities like AA meetings, ESL and GED classes to help people find work and permanent housing.

From November 1 to April 1, the center transports homeless people from the North and South Forks and takes them to one of 18 host houses of worship between Greenport and Montauk. They are given a hot dinner and a bed to sleep in and are taken back to where they were picked up, be it a bus stop or a side-of-the-road clearing, at 7 a.m.

Since its 2002 inception, Maureen’s Haven has sheltered over 2,500 individuals. In the 2013-14 winter season, the program served 337 adults and was able to secure employment for 40 percent and place 52 percent in permanent housing.

Although a lot of homelessness “has to do with disability, incarceration, drug use, alcohol abuse and job loss,” Program Development Director Tara Murphy said, there are “a number of different issues and each case is different.”

One woman, Mary, arrived at Maureen’s Haven “terrified and desperate,” the center said, after fleeing an abusive relationship. She began the healing process at the center and is now living independently with support from a local domestic violence agency.

A 77-year-old man suffering from dementia with no family nor support system, James had been living disoriented on the streets. The center secured supportive housing for him in a program specializing in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

“It’s not about homelessness, it’s not about tough times, it’s not about addictions,” Bill said of the stigmatization of the homeless. “We all wear the same clothes…what I’m saying is, if we have two different socks on, who cares?”

To volunteer at Maureen’s Haven, call (631) 727-6836, email info@maureenshaven.org or visit their website.

Wright To Head Hospital Board

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Ken Wright Board Chair 071614

Southampton Hospital’s board of directors on July 12 elected Kenneth B. Wright its chairman.  He succeeds Peter Larsen who was a member of the board for 15 years and served 10 years as chairman.

A hospital board member since 2004, Mr. Wright was previously co-vice chairman along with attorney Richard J. Hiegel. He serves on the board’s executive, facilities and properties, finance and budget, and public affairs committees.

Born at Southampton Hospital, Mr. Wright is the son of the late Dr. Kenneth B. Wright, who at one time served as the hospital’s chief of surgery.

Mr. Wright is a resident of Southampton and is the founder of Wright & Company Construction Inc. in Bridgehampton.