Tag Archive | "Mashashimuet Park"

Fit4Mom is Fit for Sag Harbor

Tags: , , , ,


By Kathryn Menu

Like many first-time mothers, Brooke Cracco fell instantly in love with her newborn twin sons, William and Dean. But her pregnancy and her sons’ premature entry into the world, had not been without their challenges.

While her children were healthy, Ms. Cracco found that motherhood was an isolating experience.

That was until one day, less than a year ago, when she bundled up the twins for a daily walk on a boardwalk in Sunken Meadow Park near her home in Northport.

“There was a mom instructing a group of 20 women, each with a stroller,” said Ms. Cracco. “And these girls were sweating and crunching and singing to their babies. I needed that. And so I took my first class.”

What Ms. Cracco didn’t know was in taking that first Stroller Strides and Fit4Mom class she was about to embark on a journey that would change the shape of not only her body, but also her professional career.

Ms. Cracco earned her national certification from Fit4Mom last September to teach classes in Nassau County. But the Sagaponack native kept hearing from friends on the South Fork about how they were looking for a similar experience—a place where they could engage in a full-body workout with like-minded moms without the burden of having to figure out childcare arrangements.

“I wanted to bring it home and then this opportunity came up in December,” said Ms. Cracco.

Ms. Cracco now owns the Hamptons Fit4Mom franchise and began by teaching a series of indoor classes at Evolution Fitness in Southampton. After meeting with the Mashashimuet Park Board, Hamptons Fit4Mom will launch its outdoor Stroller Strides classes in Sag Harbor, starting Wednesday, April 30, at 10:30 a.m. If Wednesday weather calls for rain, the event will be held on Tuesday, April 29.

Photographer Diana Lee will be on hand to shoot portraits of everyone who signs up for the grand opening class, the first 25 participants will receive goodie bags, and raffle prizes from both local and national sponsors will also be offered. A free stroller strides class will begin at 11 a.m.

Following the grand opening, the class will be held at Mashashimuet Park every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11 a.m., with classes moving inside at Evolution Fitness on rainy or cold days.

Fit4Mom is the country’s largest fitness program for expectant and new mothers, with more than 250 franchises offering classes for every stage of motherhood.

Ms. Cracco will also launch a stroller barre class on Thursdays at 10 a.m. at the YMCA East Hampton Rec Center on Gingerbread Lane.

“The stroller barre class mixes stroller strides, the barre method, L.A. Pilates and yoga,” she said. “It’s a great, killer transform-your-body kind of class.”

While all of the Hamptons Fit4Mom classes are designed to give clients a full body, strenuous workout, Ms. Cracco noted it is about more than just getting your body in shape. It’s also about connecting with other mothers.

“It’s a community of moms that develops through these classes,” she said. “It is a full-body workout, but it is also about getting your mind refocused and your spirits recharged. It really becomes a culture, a community.”

“It’s just nice to have an outlet for yourself, and to be able to find that connection with other people,” she added.

And don’t forget those helpful endorphins.

The class is ultimately designed to give mothers an invigorating workout, starting with a warm up that leads into stretching, power lunges, and cardio and muscle exercises.

“You are constantly on the go,” said Ms. Cracco.

And your child? They are entertained.

“The kids really stay engaged in this class,” she said. “There have been so many moms who tell me, ‘My kid will never stay in the stroller’, but they do. They are listening to goofy songs, and it becomes something the children look forward to because it is interactive. This is fitness for the mom, fun for the baby.”

For more information on Hamptons Fit4Moms, visit hamptons.fit4moms.com or call 516-480-4341. 

Tennis Semifinal Play Starts

Tags: ,

By Michael Pintauro


Last weekend, Sag Harbor Park Tennis began the 2012 Sag Tennis Championships, played under the sun at Mashashimuet Park. The tournament, which has been organized by owners Kiril & Jessica Tcherveniachka, featured several different brackets of Men’s Singles and Doubles, Women’s Singles and Doubles, and Mixed Doubles. As the summer winds down to Labor Day, the Sag Tennis Championships enjoyed bright days, and warm weather under which to play, in a year that Mrs. Tcherveniachka considers to be one of the best turnouts to date.

“We have more people than usual participating this year,” said Tcherveniachka, “There’s an abundance of men’s singles. Ladies singles and doubles were slower this year than last, but the men have definitely stepped up to the plate.”

Of the 31 players who signed up for the members-only tournament, eleven players participated this year in the men’s singles, compared to just two in the women’s singles. The winner of that bracket was Chloe Noto, who also took a victory for the older age group in the Third Annual Junior Tennis Tournament that Park Tennis hosted on August 4-5.

In the opening round of men’s singles, Evan Lieberman defeated George Schelz in three sets, with games of 3-6, 7-6, and 7-4. Keese ven Liempet defeated Scott Adelman comfortably in two sets, with games of 6-3, and 6-2. Dwight Singleton made easy work of Manny Villar, advancing in the bracket, winning two sets with games of 6-1, and 6-0. Brin McCagg defeated Tony Noto, father of Chloe Noto, in two sets, 6-2, and 6-0. McCagg, however, would go on to lose against Adam Miller in three sets, 3-6, 7-5 and 7-4.

With the first round of matchups out of the way, the championship has reached its semi-finals. The first game of the semis was Singleton vs. ven Liempet, which was played on Wednesday, August 28, at Mashashimuet.

After defeating Villar with ease in the main bracket, Singleton was on pace to make quick work of van Liempt, and played as such, taking the first set of the evening six games to van Liempt’s two. In the second set, with the sun setting on the shoulders of both players, Singleton’s tenacious returns brought frustration to ven Liempet, and all of his fans in the stands. After a solid spike on Singleton, ven Liempet looked poised to turn the tide of the match, but Singleton’s speed and precision proved too much, and Singleton would go on to win the match with a second set score of six games to one.

“He didn’t make the points,” said van Liempt after the game. “I made the mistakes.”

The second game, between Mike Ramos, who had a bye in the first round, and Adam Miller, is to be played at the park on Friday, August 31, at 2 p.m. The victor of that game will face Dwight Singleton in the finals game, scheduled for Saturday, September 1, at 4 p.m. at the Mashashimuet courts, followed by the mixed doubles finals.

The prize is a tennis lesson package, a membership discount for next year, and a credit pass for adult clinics.



Locals to Take on Wounded Warriors in Exhibition Softball Game

Tags: ,

By David McCabe


They’re a softball team whose players have played at PETCO Park in San Diego, Calif., and Nationals Park in Washington, DC. They’ve been honored at home plate at Yankee Stadium and played in an all-star game. And while the major-league baseball draft might be tough, the members of the Wounded Warrior Softball Team have been through much, much more than your average softball players.

That’s because every man on the team is a veteran who has lost at least one limb and plays wearing a prosthesis. This Saturday, at 2 p.m., the team will play an exhibition game at Mashashimuet Park — only one more stop on a journey that has taken them to a winning 34-20 record and seen the team raise awareness of the issues facing veterans around the country. Also, along the way, team members say the organization has helped them transition back into civilian life and connect with other amputees around the country.

The team’s founder and coach, David Van Sleet, was working for the Department of Veterans Affairs as an administrator, helping manage the department’s programs for amputees using prosthetics. At the time, he was in charge of all the VA hospitals in the Southwest, and noticed something about many of the amputees he worked with.

“I saw what was coming back from these recent wars — Iraq and Afghanistan — a lot of these guys, they were younger and in pretty good shape,” he said. “And they were going through their rehab pretty quickly and seemed anxious to get back to their normal lives which often included playing sports.”

If these veterans had been competitive athletes before their injuries, he figured, there was no reason why they couldn’t return to the field.

Working with Arizona State University, Van Sleet planned a softball camp that would serve 20 veterans and culminate in a game on the university’s baseball field. He reached out through the VA and the veteran’s services organization Wounded Warrior to amputees, asking for anyone who might be interested in a week long softball camp to get in touch.

In total, 400 veterans either applied or expressed interest in attending the camp and joining the team.

When the 20 were selected, they traveled  to the university and spent a week in “spring training,” as Van Sleet calls it. Then, on a Friday night, after Arizona’s softball team had played a game, the 20 men took the field for a ten-on-ten inter-squad game under the lights. They had a pretty decent crowd left over from the previous game.

“The crowd was flabbergasted,” Van Sleet said. He added, “Being all amputees and all from the war, they all bought into that one pretty quickly.”

Saul Bosquez, who wears a prosthesis below his left knee — the result of an injury he suffered while serving in Iraq’s Karada Peninsula — played in that game. He’s played baseball almost his entire life, but going into the camp he says he was nervous that it would be too difficult to adjust to the game.

“Fielding and throwing came back pretty naturally, but the swing is an entirely different thing,” he said.

When the first pitch came, Bosquez hit a homerun, and his fears were dispelled.

Since then, the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team has played more than 50 games and traveled around the country. For the players, the team has provided them with a community of like-minded amputees.

“It’s a reminder of what I’ve done and that there are other guys like me, who don’t make excuses,” said Matias Ferreira, who lost both legs below the knee while serving in Halmand Province in Afghanistan.

Even though the team usually only plays on the weekends, the players keep in touch through the week.

“We’re really close, it really helps to have guys like that with you who know how you’re feeling,” said Bosquez.

For Bosquez, a memorable moment came when he was asked to play in the Taco Bell All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game along with his teammate Matt Kinsey at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO. Kinsey was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

But being a part of the team isn’t just about getting to play at some of America’s greatest major league ballparks. It has also allowed the veterans to meet other people — not just service members — who have lost a limb. Everywhere they travel, the team tries to find a local child who has lost a limb who can serve as their bat boy or girl.

At one game, in Binghamton, NY, their bat boy was named Scotty. He had lost his arm up to his shoulder in an accident. During the game, Ferreira recalls, Scotty was amazed to see an amputee just like him out on the field.

By the end of the game, he was running bases with the team.

Moments like that act as reminders that the team’s players are role models, to amputees and anyone trying to return to their lives after a setback.

“They just want the general public to know for the most part they’re doing OK and life’s going on,” Van Sleet said.

The team will bring that message to Long Island this weekend, first on Saturday in Sag Harbor and then on Sunday in Center Moriches. In both locations, they’ll play against a team of local celebrities.

The trip was organized by Joseph Bartumioli, who saw a story about the team on the HBO show Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. He got in touch with Van Sleet after the program aired, and spent the last year putting this weekend’s trip together.

The team, for their part, is excited about the chance to visit the much-vaunted Hamptons.

“All of us have seen the Hamptons in People magazine,” Van Sleet said, “but we haven’t seen it in person.”

Saturday’s game starts at 2 p.m. at Mashashimuet Park. On Friday, members of the team will be at a cocktail party reception, open to the public, at LT Burger, on Main Street in Sag Harbor, from 3 to 6 p.m. A $55 admission fee goes to help raise funds for the Wounded Warriors.

Playing Doubles on Vacation

Tags: , , ,

Melissa Errico will sing at Guild Hall next month.

By David McCabe

Patrick McEnroe, the former professional tennis player and the brother of John, and his wife Melissa Errico have long been connected to Sag Harbor. In the 1990s they spent a summer in a rental house where, they both say, they fell in love.

And they have continued to return to Sag Harbor for years since, with Errico, a professional singer, performing frequently in East Hampton. This summer, though, is special, as Errico is performing in her first solo concert at Guild Hall on August 5. McEnroe, too, will be making an appearance this weekend at a tennis clinic at Sag Harbor Park Tennis at Mashashimuet Park that is open to both children and adults.

“We’re going to have some fun, we’re going to work on every part of their game,” said McEnroe who will be assisted by several pros from the club.

Patrick McEnroe will lead a tennis clinic this Saturday at Mashashimuet Park.

McEnroe is currently the General Manager of Player Development for the United States Tennis Association, where he oversees the organization’s various training programs. He is credited with bringing to the fore several notable American tennis players, including Andy Roddick, James Blake and doubles phenoms the Bryan brothers.

“I always have my eye open for potential high level players, so hopefully we’ll find some out there,” he said of Saturday’s event.

Mashashimuet Park is also significant in McEnroe and Errico’s relationship, they both said. They used to spend time there when McEnroe was still playing, with Errico acting as a training partner, and now they use the courts to introduce their three children to tennis.

Errico first came out to Sag Harbor shortly after she starred in a revival of “My Fair Lady” on Broadway, when she stayed with Broadway set designer Tony Walton.

“I’ve been singing [here] almost every summer my entire life,” she said.

It is perhaps fitting that this is the first time Errico is performing on her own at Guild Hall.

“I have a lot of little kids, and I’m at that stage in my life when I’m getting back in the saddle with my career,” Errico said. “It’s like I’m starting a new chapter in my life. I’m also at that point where I’m sort of looking for a new voice for that chapter in my life.”

She will perform a variety of Broadway classics, as well as some songs from her most recent album, entitled “Legrand Affair: The Songs of Michel Legrand.” The concert will be directed by Richard Jay-Alexander, who helps to put together the touring production of “Le Miserables” in which Errico got her start.

According to Errico, Jay-Alexander discovered her in a hallway while she was waiting to audition for a summer gig with Rhode Island’s Theatre By the Sea. At the time, she had just finished her first year at Yale University. Jay-Alexander saw her and, noting her long curly hair that was reminiscent of the heroine of “Le Mis,” asked her to audition. She got the part.

“Where you choose to vacation is special, and I’m so excited for this concert because I’ve always had such a love for this area,” she said.

Errico and McEnroe grew up on Long Island — in Manhasset — and have known each other since childhood. However, it was not until they reconnected later in life that they considered a relationship together. It was while staying in Sag Harbor during the run of a Bay Street Theatre production starring Errico that they really connected.

“We basically fell in love beyond belief in our summer in Sag Harbor,” she said, “and we never stopped coming back.”

While their lives have changed since then — McEnroe just won the French Open’s doubles title with his brother, but in the senior division — their affection for Sag Harbor has remained constant.

“There’s nothing I like better than walking into Sag Harbor during the week and going to the coffee place and reading the paper and going to the water,” McEnroe said.

Sag Harbor Resident Faces Possible DEC Fines for Alleged Clear Cutting of Phragmites

Tags: , , , ,

A Sag Harbor resident is potentially facing thousands of dollars in fines from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). This comes after she allegedly cleared a swath of phragmites and marsh shrubs on the edge of her Oakland Avenue property that faces Otter Pong in Sag Harbor.

According to NYSDEC spokesman Bill Fonda, in early August his department received a complaint through New York Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr.’s office about a resident who cleared vegetation to the border of Otter Pond.

The agency investigated the site on August 10, according to Fonda, and observed that a 50-foot-by-90-foot section of the property, containing primarily phragmites and some high marsh shrubs had been cut to grade.

As of last week, a notice of violation was being drafted to the owner of the property, Claudette Romano. The violation carries the potential of a $10,000 a day fine plus the cost of tidal marsh restoration said Fonda.

He added that the homeowner has 30 days to respond to the NYSDEC, which will ask that she come in for a conference to discuss the situation.

Attempts to reach Romano were unsuccessful.

According to Fonda, the potential fine is not uncommon. He said the tidal wetlands unit of the NYSDEC “probably issues the most permits of any DEC unit.”

“There are certainly over a thousand permits issued a year,” added Fonda, noting the unit also leads the agency “in the amount of violations issued.”

“It comes as a consequence of being on an island surrounded by wetlands,” said Fonda. “From our viewpoint, this is an ongoing investigation.”

The Mashashimuet Park Board, which owns the property directly surrounding Otter Pond, has worked for the better part of a decade to obtain a NYSDEC permit to prune phragmites around Otter Pond.

Last week, park board president Jean Irvine said the park board has abided by its permit and in no way had anything to do with the cutting at the 36 Oakland Avenue parcel.

“We are investigating the situation,” said Irvine, affirming it appears that some of the cutting occurred on park property.

“The park didn’t cut it and we are taking every step possible to ensure things are corrected,” she said.

According to the Sag Harbor Village code, approval would not just be required from the NYSDEC, but also from the village, for any cutting of this nature. It states that no clearing, digging or dredging can occur within 150-feet of wetlands without a permit, and any clearing, or use of herbicides requires a setback requirement to the wetlands of 50-feet.

According to Sag Harbor Village environmental planning consultant Rich Warren, that 50-foot setback requirement is actually less than what you see required in most communities, including Southampton Town. East Hampton Town, like Sag Harbor, only requires the 50-foot setback.

A violation of this village code carries a fine of no more than $1,000, although once cited by the village a homeowner can be charged for each consecutive day the clearing stands without re-vegetation.

Sag Harbor Village Building Inspector Tim Platt did not return calls for comment.

Conversation With: Paul Annacone

Tags: , , , ,


The man who coached Pete Sampras to the top and will help bring Roger Federer to the U.S. Open is taking a brief break from the world of competitive tennis, and getting back to his roots. This Saturday, East End native Paul Annacone will host a tennis clinic for all levels at Mashashimuet Park where brother Steve runs Sag Harbor Park Tennis. The Express recently caught up with him at his home in East Hampton.

By Claire Walla

Q: When you were a little kid, would you ever have imagined that you’d be where you are now, having played tennis professionally and coached two of the top players in the world?

No, I never thought of it. I mean, I’ve been pretty lucky. Sometimes I have to wake up and shake myself a little bit! [laughs] Tennis has afforded me a great life journey. Having been born and raised out here, and now thinking of all the places I’ve been — playing on the center court of Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open — it’s pretty incredible.

But it’s been a great ride so far and hopefully it’s not going to end anytime soon.

Q: With the kind of coaching you do — working with people on a year-to-year basis, analyzing games, focusing on the finer details of someone’s performance — what does a two-hour clinic look like? That’s seems like a very short amount of time.

Basically what we’re going to do is spend some time going over as many of the key areas of the game technically and tactically — and try to do it so that everyone can have a lot of fun. One of the things I think is a key component at any level is figuring out the right way to play.

A lot of people at the club level get really wrapped up in very technically oriented components. But whether you’re a 4.0 club player or Roger Federer trying to win the French Open, you want to know how to play strategically, you want to know where to hit balls and why, and you want to know the consequences and repercussions of what you do on the court.

Q: What’s one thing specifically that you notice a lot of players overlooking about their own game?

It’s funny, you can be playing at the U.S. Open, or you could be playing the club championships down at the park, but I always hear people revert to technique-oriented malfunctions during their play, without even understanding what the mental part of their own game is doing.

In other words, if my dad is playing for the club championship at Mashashimuet Park, he’s going to feel pressure. And if Roger Federer’s playing the finals at Wimbledon, he’s going to feel pressure.

The really skilled coaches will take the whole comprehensive picture into play [and consider the] consequence of what competition does to you before giving out technique-oriented advice.

Q: That almost sounds like in order to be a good tennis player and bring your A-game you have to do a lot of confidence building beforehand. What advice to you have for people to get that mental component in gear before they go out and compete?

First of all, you have to have realistic expectations. If I’m going to play golf, I can’t expect to play Jack Nicklaus, or Tiger Woods, or Rory McIlroy.

Unfortunately, human nature is to turn on the finals of Wimbledon and to see Nadal and Djokovic playing and say ‘I want to go do that!’ I mean, that’s normal, and that’s why we all get excited and want to play tennis and other sports. But, we have to be realistic before we get onto the court.

Knowing your own game is really a key component of it. If you know your own game and you’re aware of how you’re trying to play, then you tend to be a little more objective as to how you evaluate yourself as you go along.

Q: It seems like in the past few years the sport of tennis has been dominated by Europeans like Federer of Switzerland, Nadal of Spain and Djokovic of Serbia. Is part of your goal with the clinic and with some of the other educational programs you do to instill a love of the game in younger people to try to grow this generation into the sport?

It’s an interesting time in sports in general. And the bottom line is: You want to get more racquets in hands.

But, I also believe things are cyclical.

Now, we’re coming to the end of an era in men’s tennis, where Andy Roddick’s slowing down a bit and James Blake’s winding down.

I came along at a time when John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors were winding down; so everyone was kind of screaming, ‘Where are McEnroe and Connors and what’s wrong with American tennis?’ There was a little bit of a lull right at the top, and then all of a sudden you have Michael Chang, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and Andre Aggassi.

So you go through some peaks and valleys, but the idea is to get as many people playing and enjoying the game, whether it’s at the club level or the professional level, because the more racquets you have in hands, the easier it is to get that talent to high levels.

I think Steve’s got a great comprehension of how to do that. He’s done a really good job with his Smokey Mountain Tennis Academy in Knoxville, Tennessee. And hopefully we can start to do something like that in Sag Harbor.

Q: Are there any young tennis players you have your eye on now that you think are going to become the Roddicks, Aggassis and Sampras’ of the next great American tennis era?

It’s always a bit of a guessing game. One of the easiest things is to see how they hit a tennis ball. The more difficult thing is to see their emotional makeup. That to me makes it easier to figure out how good the complete package can be, and that takes a little bit of time. Right now there’s a young American names Ryan Harrison who’s done extremely well. He’s in the top 100 in the world [ranked no. 100] and he’s only 19-years-old. He’s going to be a very good player.

Q: Now, to keep it current, what is the one thing Federer is working on to gear up for the U.S. Open in September?

Well, right now I hope he’s working on his tan. [laughs]

Basically we’ve been going strong since the beginning of April without any significant break. The Davis Cup just finished on Sunday, so he’s got a little bit of time off. I go back over in a week and a half and we spend basically two and a half weeks training before the U.S. hard court swing starts.

When you’re fortunate enough to be with someone like Roger, most of it is just game management: understanding what he wants to do and how he’s going to do it.

Obviously, in today’s men’s game it’s very difficult to compete. And you see Novak Djokovic having such a great year and Rafa’s always Rafa, so that makes it difficult. But, Roger got to the semis in the Australian Open, got to the finals of the French Open, and quarter finals of Wimbledon: he’s right there. And he’s already won 16 Grand Slam titles, so I don’t see any reason why he’s not going to be really geared up and ready to play in New York.

Q: I would imagine at this point, especially for a top athlete like Federer who’s trained so intensely over the years to perfect strokes and serves, that a lot of it just come down to that mental aspect of the game.

Yeah, a lot of it is your mental disposition and also the strategic way you’re approaching the match on the day. There’s such a fine line between winning and losing these days. And I think that generally the best players know how to manage their game the best, because when they play well, they’re going to beat everybody anyway. But, if they only play average but they manage their game well, they’re still going to beat a large majority of the guys.

That’s one thing that Roger, and Rafa and now Novak have really learned to do extremely well.

For me, a lot of the discussion is about those things. Obviously, we go on the court and do a lot of drills and we do a lot of things to work on good habits and engrain good technique in their shots and understand how they’re hitting the shots. But a lot of it is shot selection and an emphasis on strategy.

And hopefully we’ll be able to impart some of that on some of the park-goers this weekend.

Park Diamond to Shine

Tags: ,

Volunteers from Hamptons Collegiate Baseball (HCB), the East End division of the summer-time NCAA-sanctioned Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League, have begun a renovation of the baseball diamond in Mashashimuet Park.

Over the next few weeks the infield grass and the field dirt will be revamped, the work leaving the Pierson High School teams, community members and the HCB Sag Harbor Whalers and their opponents with a NCAA-caliber diamond to play on come spring.

Rusty Leaver, president and organizer of the HCB, estimates the value of the renovation at $25,000, proudly reporting, “The field improvements will be provided at no cost to the village or park boards. The operation began last Sunday with a targeted completion date of November 1.” The infield will be closed to play until next March.

The work is being overseen by Jeff Standish, general manager of HCB’s North Fork Ospreys and deputy director of public works in the Town of Southold. Leaver contacted the Sag Harbor Village Board and found support from people involved in other local projects, including Lenny Delalio of Delalio Sod, John Tintle of East Coast Mines and Harlin Foley of Foley’s Lawn Care.

“The field renovation is a true community effort,” added Leaver. “It’s people like these who donate their time, expertise and hard work that help make Hamptons Collegiate Baseball the organization it has become.”

Tom Gleeson and Sandi Kruel, the Whaler co-general managers, coordinated support for the project in Sag Harbor, coordinating communication between the volunteers, the park board, park maintenance director Joe Burns, Pierson athletic director Montgomery Granger and varsity baseball coach Jonathan Tortorella.

The Mashashimuet Park field renovation is the latest instance of HCB improving baseball facilities on the East End. The organization, which has found major sponsorship from Norsic & Son, Bridgehampton National Bank and the Hampton Jitney, has upgraded Westhampton’s Hite Field and the Mattituck High School field and also constructed a new ballfield at Stony Brook Southampton.

According to both Kruel and Leaver, HCB is awaiting a New York State grant to make further improvements to the fields in all five HCB communities: Mattituck, Riverhead, Southampton, Southold and Sag Harbor.

JJML Eyes Plan for Park Parcel

Tags: , ,

The John Jermain Memorial Library board of trustees purchased a triangle-shaped piece of land next to Mashashimuet Park in 2002 with the hope they might one day expand library services to a second Sag Harbor library at the park. With the board, and community, settled on an on-site expansion of services at JJML’s historic Main Street address, the board has begun discussions about the future of the residential lot and cottage, considering the possibility of seeking Community Preservation Funds to add parkland to the area, and even affordable housing.

During a JJML board of trustees meeting on Wednesday, January 20 newly elected president Chris Leonard broached the subject, although the board tabled the matter for the timing being. According to JJML Director Catherine Creedon, the board has time to make decisions about the property as it is leaving the cottage space available to a Jefferson Street neighbor should she feel future construction at the library could become a nuisance.

However, the board has discussed possible options for the property. Through the Mashashimuet Park Board they could seek to have the Town of Southampton, with the aid of the Village of Sag Harbor, purchase the land through Community Preservation Funds (CPF), a two percent real estate transfer tax used for historic preservation, and the purchase of open space and parkland.

The library also has a patron, said Creedon, who brought up the possibility of creating workforce housing on the property, either with a municipality or an organization like Habitat for Humanity.

However, in deference to their Jefferson Street neighbor and out of respect for the current tenants of the cottage who have a lease through early fall, Creedon said nothing will be decided about the park parcel until that time.

Board member Carl Peterson, who was also elected vice president during Wednesday night’s meeting, is on the park board, said Creedon and that body has also had discussions about the future of 425 Main Street.

“The park board and the library have a nice, shared history,” said Creedon.

Moving towards review by the Sag Harbor Village boards for the restoration and expansion of JJML, Creedon announced on Wednesday that the project’s architects Herbert Newman Partners has won the bid to design the Slover Memorial Library in Norfolk Virginia. The cost of construction on that facility, which will serve as Norfolk, Virginia’s main library, is estimated at $40 million, dwarfing the price and size of the nearly $10 million expansion and restoration at JJML.

“It’s not only an affirmation,” said Creedon. “The Slover project is similar to ours, although in a larger community.”

Creedon added she believed Newman designing that project at the same time as JJML will create a positive exchange of ideas given their similarities.

In other library news, the board began talks about how, and if, to fill a vacancy on the board of trustees following Theresa “Tippy” Ameres’s decision to leave the board in December. According to Creedon, Ameres had wanted to leave the board over a year ago, but was urged to stay on through the successful building referendum.

“We felt she was so instrumental in the pre-referendum work that we asked her to stay on through 2009,” said Creedon. “She is a great consensus builder.”

The board has the ability to appoint someone to fill the remainder of her two-year term or can wait until the next round of trustee elections. It can also decide not to fill the seat at all.

According to Creedon, JJML’s charter calls for not more than 25 people on its board, no less than seven members.

Lastly, Creedon asked the board to establish a new committee as a part of the reorganizational meeting – a long range planning committee.

“I want to make sure all of us remember that as compelling as the building project is, we have a commitment to the community that extends well beyond that project and I want to make sure we do not lose sight of that,” said Creedon.

Creedon and Carol Williams will comprise that committee.

John Jermain Library To Host Forum on Future

Tags: , , ,

When the John Jermain Memorial Library Board of Trustees hired Newman Architects this past June, the firm was charged to work “with the library director, the board, the staff and the community to design a building program that will best serve the Sag Harbor community’s library needs.”

The wording was a departure from the board’s previously stated intention of looking towards a “one library, two building” plan with a second library building planned for a triangle shaped piece of property adjacent to Mashashimuet Park in Sag Harbor. On Tuesday, John Jermain Memorial Library Board Director Catherine Creedon noted the board was looking towards approaching the expansion with the goal of determining the needs of the community and what is truly the best way to move forward with expansion.

And on Saturday, the board and Newman Architects will attempt to begin to decipher just that at the first community forum regarding the library’s future.

From 9 a.m. to noon the board and architects will host the forum, open to the community, in the Pierson High School cafeteria. According to Creedon, Newman Architects will open the meeting with a presentation about the current state of the library, including statistics on circulation and services before the group will divide into smaller groups to discuss what they see for the future of John Jermain.

“What we are hoping is that this is an opportunity to share ideas about what people would like to see in the library – what they like, what they would like to see and maybe what is missing,” said Creedon, in terms of the collection and services available at the John Jermain.

From these discussions, Newman Architects will begin the process of shaping a solution based on the community’s idea of what future library needs will be.

On Saturday, December 6, said Creedon, the architects will return for a second forum to discuss ideas about space and location.

photo by r. odell-shapiro

“I do think one of the nice things about this format is it gives us the opportunity to celebrate library services without a discussion of space or location,” said Creedon. “I think we may find as a community we are in consensus on a number of levels.”