Tag Archive | "North Haven"

Wanted: Portrait of a Lady

Tags: , , ,


mother portrait

John Limpert is searching for this portrait of his mother, which was last seen on Thistle Patch Lane in North Haven in the 1990s.

By Mara Certic

For the most part, ads in local newspapers offer business services, sales or other specials. But at the end of August, an ad appeared in the pages of The Sag Harbor Express that was looking for something a little more obscure.

The ad, placed by John Limpert,  was searching for a missing portrait of a lady, a portrait Mr. Limpert said he always loved. It was a painting of his mother, done by an artist whose name is long forgotten. According to Mr. Limpert, the portrait was painted toward the end of World War II, by a woman who lived next door to his family.

“We lived in Prospect Park South in Brooklyn, [the artist] wanted to do a portrait of my mother,” he said. After finishing the painting, “she brought it over and hung it in our living room and turned to me and said ‘What do you think, Jack?’” Mr. Limpert recalled.

“I said, ‘Well, that’s Mother,’” Mr. Limpert said. And he loved the picture from that moment on.

But when his father returned home from work that evening, he hated the portrait.

“My mother suffered from manic depression,” Mr. Limpert explained. “She had some severe episodes, some of them required hospitalization. But when she was up, she was fabulous,” he said. “We always urged her to have parties, because she was at her best when she was entertaining,” Mr. Limpert added.

The portrait shows a despondent woman, looking off into what seems to be nothingness. It was a part of her that her husband rarely saw; according to Mr. Limpert, his mother always made an effort to be her bubbly, vibrant self when her husband came home from work.

“The portrait is very wistful, that’s the expression she wore all day. He didn’t see the other side,” Mr. Limpert said. “But I loved it right from the beginning,” he added.

Much to his father’s dismay, the painting remained in the living room until his mother’s death in 1984. Mr. Limpert said he “dimly remembers” that his sister, Elaine Limpert Horak, brought the portrait to the funeral service.

After the funeral, the painting ended up going back with Ms. Limpert Horak to her home on North Haven’s Thistle Patch Lane. No one remembers the exact address of the house, merely that it had a fenced-in swimming pool and “it was only two or maybe three houses in on Thistle Patch Lane,” Mr. Limpert wrote in an e-mail.

Ms. Limpert Horak had worked at Time magazine as a researcher and was, according to her brother, the first American woman accepted to study and work in the Comédie Française when she lived in Paris.

“She was interested in theater,” Mr. Limpert said of his sister. She founded the Professional Theater Wing in New York City, and even “put on something at Lincoln Center,” her brother said. She was also a very accomplished pianist, he said.

“She had more brains than her three brothers combined,” Mr. Limpert added.

Ms. Limpert Horak lost her battle with leukemia in 1995 and with her death, the painting disappeared. Mr. Limpert said he didn’t know when the portrait of his mother was lost, but speculated “it probably disappeared at some point in the early 1990s.”

“I also dimly remember that at one point she said to me, ‘I have a friend who’s crazy about this portrait.’ She may have sold this portrait. I’m sure she felt the portrait is as much hers as anyone’s,” Mr. Limpert said.

For years, the Limpert family accepted they would never see the portrait of their matriarch again. “About two years ago my sister’s son called me up and said you’re not going to believe what I’m going to tell you,” Mr. Limpert recounted.

His nephew, Philip A. Amara, had found a Polaroid photograph taken of the portrait years before, when they had been conducting a full inventory of the house. “Only today’s computer technology enabled us to have a decent facsimile,” Mr. Limpert said, adding he was able to get the Polaroid enlarged.

And once he had made decent copies, he decided to put in an ad looking for the portrait of a missing lady. He knows it’s a very outside chance; Mr. Limpert remembers very little from his sister’s life here, other than the road she lived on and her house’s fence and pool. He doesn’t remember what she did here, how she spent her time, or whom she might have given that painting to, but Mr. Limpert’s trying nonetheless.

“Finding the portrait was always a long shot,” he said. “but it has been gratifying to make the effort.”

 

 

 

North Haven Village Explores Future of 4-Poster Program to Fight Ticks

Tags: , , , , ,


By Gianna Volpe

A week into the open of deer season for bow hunters, the North Haven Village Board passed a resolution at Tuesday afternoon’s meeting adopting a local law that would require that those bow hunting in North Haven to acquire a special village-issued permit.

This permit would be in addition to the permit required by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The village law also requires bow hunters stay at least 150 feet from residences, as per state regulations, in addition to detailing specific geographic areas for hunters to use.

“The homeowners are aware of that as well,” Mayor Jeffrey Sander said of geographic restrictions. “We’re in contact with them so if there’s periods when they don’t want [hunters] to be present, they’ll notify us and we can contact that hunter and we’ll know no one will be there during that period.”

When resident Ken Sandbank asked the village board for criteria that will be used for issuing such permits, Mr. Sander said it would be based on village building inspector Al Daniels’ knowledge of the hunter’s known track record – effectiveness, activity, safety issues or problems with homeowners – over the years.

“Even though [Al Daniels] is leaving as building inspector in a couple of weeks, we’ve asked him to stay on to manage the deer hunting and he will continue to do that, on a part-time basis, obviously,” Mr. Sander said Tuesday when Mr. Sandbank asked if Mr. Daniels would continue to serve in this role in the future. “He will issue the permit and keep the list of approved hunters.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, the village board also discussed the future of a 4-Poster tick abatement program in North Haven. The 4-Poster is a deer feeding station armed with a insecticide, permethrin, which is rubbed onto the deer that feed at the station, effectively killing the ticks on that animal. Locally, Shelter Island Town has deployed 4-Poster devices and for a year and a half North Haven Trustees have contemplated trying out the tick abatement program after residents called on the board to develop strategies to deal with the growing tick population.

On Tuesday, Mr. Sander said the village belatedly received a state grant to help fund the 4-Poster program. With the grant only approved in late summer,

Mr. Sander said “it was too late to deploy anything this year because we had to obviously go through the grant process and go through the permitting process with the state.”

However, Mr. Sander said he is “optimistic” the village will be able to participate in the 4-poster program by April of next year, adding time limitation issues imposed on when the village may spend the state grant money may raise additional complications.

“The state has informed us that we need to spend the money by the end of March, so we’re in a bit of a dilemma,” he said. “We can spend some of it – the corn feed for the stations we can buy in advance. We can purchase the tickicide – the permethrin – in advance. We can buy the units, which we plan to do from Shelter Island, in advance. We can do the permitting – set-up labor – before the end of March, but most of the labor is maintaining these devices throughout summer and that we can’t do in advance, so we’re trying to see if there’s a way with the state where we can at least get the funds under a contractual document as opposed to an actual expenditure, but we’re not sure we’ll be able to do that.”

Mr. Sander said the village may be able to find money in the village budget to supplement project costs, while using as much of the state money as they can.

About 10 suitable sites in North Haven have been identified on village-owned property with some private property owners also interesting in hosting the 4-Poster devices on their land, said Mr. Sander.

 

 

North Haven Hunting Injunction Lifted

Tags: , , , , , ,


By Mara Certic

A temporary restraining order to prevent the issuance of new deer nuisance permits in North Haven has been lifted by Suffolk County Supreme Court Judge W. Gerard Asher in a ruling on Friday, September 12.

The Wildlife Preservation Coalition of Eastern Long Island (WPCELI) filed suit against the Village of North Haven last spring for a preliminary injunction to prevent  the DEC from issuing nuisance permits on the East End, after hearing word of a proposed mass deer cull.

In March 2014, the Supreme Court issued a six-month temporary restraining order that prevented new permits from being issued. According to a press release issued by Wendy Chamberlin, president of WPCELI, the temporary restraining order “effectively, halted the Long Island Farm Bureau and United States Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services’ planned 2013-2014 cull of, potentially, thousands of deer, which concluded this past spring.”

The WPCELI argued the planned 2013-2014 cull of 3,000 to 5,000 deer “was a substantial increase from previous years and that a cull of this size has not been properly evaluated or studied by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation,” according the release.

According to court records, the wildlife coalition asserted “the DEC’s recent issuance of DDPs involves significant departures from their established and accepted practices of doing so and asserts that a new evaluation of the need and scale of any deer cull program must be done.” They also said, according to the records, “the DEC does not follow its own guidelines.” The DEC countered that it does indeed follow its own guidelines and that there was not a significant departure from past years, noting there are only 12 applications currently pending before the DEC, and that those are for mostly farmland.

“WPCELI is confident that the court will find that DEC has not justified this unprecedented cull and will direct DEC to comply with the law before issuing more permits for the LIFB program,” Ms. Chamberlin said in the release.

According to North Haven Village Mayor Jeff Sander, the lifting of the temporary restraining order will not have much of an immediate impact on North Haven.

“It won’t affect the state-wide hunting season that starts on October 1,” Mr. Sander said on Wednesday morning. “The normal hunting season starts October 1 and goes through the end of the year. The nuisance deer hunting starts on January 1, so it will allow us to continue as we have for many years.”

The North Haven Village Board presented an update of its deer management plan at its regular meeting earlier this month. It discussed the possibility of adding a deer sterilization program as well as plans to plans to deploy in the spring 10 four-poster feeding systems, which apply insecticide to a feeding deer’s neck and shoulders.

The board also discussed a proposed law that would require all hunters in North Haven to apply for special hunting permits from the village, as well as a permit from the DEC. “We just want to be able to control what hunters are in North Haven, what areas they’re hunting in. And they’ll need that permit whether they’re hunting in the normal season starting next month or during January to March for the nuisance deer hunting,” Mr. Sander said.

Mr. Sander said during the village board meeting the primary focus is to reduce the herd. North Haven, however, has no plans to bring in professional firm White Buffalo for a deer cull this year, he added.

East Hampton Management Plan

Andrew Gaites of the Deer Management Committee gave a report at the East Hampton Town Board’s Tuesday morning work session this week and offered options and recommendations to the board.

According to Mr. Gaites, changes in bow-hunting setback laws created an additional 300 acres of town land that can be opened for bow-hunting this year. The law, signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier this year, reduced mandatory setbacks from residences from 500 feet to 150 feet. There is also an additional 174 acres of town land now available for gun hunting as well, he said.

Mr. Gaites said he believes the New York State Parks Department is working to open up more land in Napeague and Montauk for hunting.

The committee did not recommend planning for a professional deer cull this winter, “mostly due to a lawsuit against the DEC and the USDA,” Mr. Gaites said. The committee did suggest the town consider allowing local hunters onto private land during certain hours, “possibly at other times of year using nuisance permits,” as well as the regular hunting season, Mr. Gaites said.

He also suggested the possibility of opening up two landfill sites to hunting on Wednesdays, when they are closed. Mr. Gaites said if this was possible, the properties would only be open on a limited basis and only to a select number of lottery winners. It was also recommended that deer accidents be better documented and that the board consider extending the gun season to include weekends.

Tommy John Schiavoni

Tags: , , , ,


DSC_1048

Tommy John Schiavoni, a social studies teacher at Center Moriches High School, who was elected North Haven Village Trustee in June and appointed to the Sag Harbor Board of Education last month, talks about his reasons for entering public service and the goals he hopes to achieve.

By Stephen J. Kotz

You were elected to the North Haven Village Board and then appointed to the Sag Harbor School Board in the space of two months. Why this surge in civic involvement?

With the retirement of [Trustee] George Butts I saw an opportunity to step into local government and try to effect some changes, but I do see them separately.

I had been considering the school board for some time. I liked the fact that there was an educator [Dan Hartnett, who resigned after selling his house in the district] on the board, and I was hoping an educator should step up. Then it became clear to me that maybe I should be the one to step, after being an educator myself for 25 years.

What are your chief goals as a member of the North Haven Village Board?

I am very concerned about tick-borne diseases. One of the first things I did was try to see what the numbers are. I wanted to have kind of baseline information in the village so we’d have what we need to move forward, so I went door to door. I surveyed 10 percent of the households, and I found that in 43 percent of those households someone had contracted some kind of tick-borne illness.

I would like the state health department to make North Haven a tick testing area, where they would do random sample surveys and tick drags in the spring and fall and test the ticks for disease. Whatever we do, hopefully we have a way of measuring the good or the bad.

 Have you had Lyme disease?

I had Rocky Mountain spotted fever when I was a kid and ehrlichiosis last summer, but never Lyme. My mom had babeciosis. I don’t think my family is different than any other family

What are some of the other issues affecting the village?

We just passed a resolution on helicopter noise, and I’m proud of that particularly. We have been showing up at the meetings, and Mayor [Jeff] Sander did a great job last week [at a public forum in East Hampton.] We’ve seen how the FAA works and we believe the airport would be best controlled by the East Hampton Town Board. We know there are a significant number of people in East Hampton who are not happy about the noise.

What are your plans for the school board?

I want to approach it from a teacher’s point of view. I don’t have an agenda. We have some real challenges with the tax cap and how to maintain and improve our programs when other things—fuel, insurance—aren’t capped.

I think it is a great school district, academically speaking. It’s on an upward trajectory. We’ve had a number of people who pay tuition to send their children to our schools. There have also been a number of people who move into the district to send their kids to Sag Harbor schools.

Will your new role in government help you in the classroom?

I teach participation in government and economics. There are going to be so many different ways that I can bring my experience to the classroom. I can help my students learn how to navigate the bureaucracies and become aware of the government that affects them most, which is their local government.

Your family runs G.F. Schiavoni Plumbing and Heating? How is it that you didn’t join your brothers in the family business?

Gettysburg. My parents took us to Gettysburg when I was about 10 years old. I was just enamored of it. It sparked something in me. My dad got one of the U.S. Parks Service guides to show us around. That experience with the Civil War was my first love of history—which by the way was a conflict over government—and that’s why I went into history.

New Hunting Permits Proposed for North Haven

Tags: , , , , ,


By Mara Certic

Although reportedly overrun by deer and ticks, the North Haven Village Board is proposing a local law that would require all hunters in the village to acquire special permits.

The proposal comes several months after the New York State reduced the mandatory setbacks from residences for bow hunters from 500 feet to 150 feet.

“We wanted to exercise some control over that,” Mayor Jeff Sander said at the board’s monthly meeting on Tuesday, September 2.  “We wanted to make sure they had a track record with us,” he said.

Hunters must get a homeowner’s approval to hunt on their property. Apparently North Haven homeowners have already started receiving requests from hunters to take aim at deer on their land. “It’s also a cruelty issue—you want someone who’s really competent,” said Mr. Sander.

The proposed law states, “In all events any person authorized by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation shall also be authorized by the village and no person shall discharge any bow and arrow or similar weapon except while carrying a permit issued by the Village of North Haven.”

“To hunt in North Haven, you have to be approved by North Haven,” Mr. Sander said. A public hearing on the new law will take place at next month’s meeting on Tuesday, October 7, at 5 p.m. at the North Haven Village Hall.

Mayor Sander also gave a deer management update during Tuesday’s meeting. “We are primarily focused on reducing the herd,” he said.

He added that the village has a challenge “to continue to aggressively hunt in the season.”

The village is also still considering surgical sterilization of deer, which East Hampton Village will take part in this winter. Sterilization is an expensive process, Mr. Sander said, and costs approximately $1,000 per deer. He intends to invite White Buffalo Inc., the organization which perform the sterilizations, to North Haven and said that local volunteers could help keep the cost down.

The village is working on determining the best sites for four-poster stations, which apply insecticide to deer as they feed. The village will deploy 10 of them in early April, he said.

Trustee Thomas J. Schiavoni has been looking into Lyme disease throughout the village and will begin to do “tick drags” in the Autumn in order to measure the tick-density. Mr. Schiavoni said he has been in touch with Senator Kenneth P. LaValle’s office, to see if the state might be able to measure how many of the ticks are infected with diseases.

Mr. Schiavoni also announced the Southampton Hospital Tick Resource Center will hold an informational presentation at Bay Street Theater at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 20.

Sag Harbor Demolishes Dock

Tags: ,


The Village of Sag Harbor hired a private contractor to demolish the old dock at the former Remkus Fishing Station at the foot of the Sag Harbor-North Haven Bridge last month.

David Whelan Marine Construction was hired to remove the dock, which Mayor Brian Gilbride said was dilapidated and in danger of collapsing.

Mr. Gilbride said the village removed the bridge after receiving numerous reports about it being dangerous and after investigating the matter to determine that the dock was on village-owned property.

“That corner there is village property,” Mr. Gilbride said. “The old Remkus Fishing Station was built right in the middle of the old Route 114 back in the day. Everybody thought Remkus owned that beach because they had boats down there you could rent.”

Over 300 Show Up to Discuss Aircraft Noise in East Hampton

Tags: , , , , , ,


helicopters

Helicopters at the East Hampton Airport on Wednesday evening, just down the road from where over 300 residents gathered to discuss the aircraft noise problem. Photo by Mara Certic.

By Mara Certic

More than 325 people from all over the East End turned up to a special meeting on Wednesday evening to discuss the East Hampton Airport.

For almost three hours, residents from East Hampton, Southampton, Noyac, North Haven, Shelter Island and the North Fork told the board their concerns, their stories, and their solutions. Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, who acts as the board’s airport liaison made a statement before the public hearing began. She assured the public the town board was committed to do everything they can legally do to address the problem.

She also asked those who had signed up to speak to stay respectful of each other, and the board, and said “I request everyone observe basic rules of civility.”

Ms. Burke-Gonzalez’s wish came true. There was a sense of support and unity among the residents and elected officials who gathered to speak at Wednesday night’s meeting.

Southold, Southampton, Shelter Island, North Haven and Noyac passed memorializing resolutions in the past few weeks, all calling for the East Hampton Town Board to refuse any future grant money from the FAA and then impose regulations on the airport.

Currently, the board is receiving grant assurances from the FAA, which will expire on December 31, 2014. “We implore you to not accept the funding from the FAA,” said Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst at Wednesday’s meeting.

“I can just tell you that from a North Haven standpoint, we’ll do everything to try and support you,” said Jeff Sander, Mayor of North Haven Village. This feeling was repeated throughout the evening, by residents as well as elected officials.

“We’re behind you 100%,” said Shelter Island resident Jim Colligan.  ”Don’t be in fear of those helicopter companies, if we need to rally behind you, we will definitely rally behind you.”

Speakers expressed concern about non-stop noise, which many say goes from as early as 5 a.m. to as late as 2:45 a.m. Frank Dalene, who sits on two of East Hampton’s Airport subcommittees, likened the endless noise to torture. “Will there be satisfaction if you just stop the torture?” he asked. “The only relief is to stop torture. We will not be satisfied until helicopters stop.”

As well as noise, many brought up issues of health and safety. A specialist in animal behaviorism and a Northwest resident explained that the “looming” sound of the helicopters has damaged wild life on the East End, and could be damaging people, too.

Solutions were put forward by the public, as well. Many called for banning helicopters, some called for shutting down all commercial operations in and out of the airport.  Certain residents suggested closing the East Hampton Airport and moving operations to Montauk Airport. This may prove slightly difficult as the 40 acres of the Montauk Airport is less than a tenth of the size of the East Hampton Airport.

“It’s truly a pleasure to listen to th voices on the East End and the conduct at this meeting was exemplary,” Supervisor Cantwell said on Wednesday.

North Haven Weighs in on Airport

Tags: , ,


In a brief meeting that took all of six minutes, the North Haven Village Board on Tuesday, August 26, added its voice to the growing chorus objecting to the noise of helicopters and jets using East Hampton Airport.

The last-minute meeting was held just a day before a scheduled special hearing before the East Hampton Town Board for residents of all five East End towns to air their grievances about the airport.

The resolution, approved by unanimously by the board members present, had a four-pronged request: That the airport decline further Federal Aviation Administration funding; that it adopt a comprehensive aircraft noise limitation policy to begin as soon as its obligations under FAA grants expire on December 31; that the town board provide the Village of North Haven 60 days notice of any future change in airport policy and that the board include members of the North Haven Village Board in work groups, discussions and meetings on the airport.

The measure came after the Southampton Town Board unanimously adopted an almost identical resolution on Thursday, August 14. “I hope other village boards make this decision,” said the newest member of the North Haven Village Trustees, Thomas J. Schiavoni.

East Hampton Town Board to Hold Special Meeting on Aircraft Noise

Tags: , , , , , ,


DSC_0968

 

Due to overwhelming interest, the East Hampton Town Board has announced that it will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, August 27, where residents from both forks are invited to air their concerns. Photo by Stephen J. Kotz.

By Mara Certic

The East Hampton Town Board will hold a special meeting next week to give residents from the North and South forks the opportunity to express their concerns about aircraft noise.

The board’s decision followed a meeting of the Noyac Civic Council at the Bridgehampton Senior Nutrition Center last week that attracted a crowd of well over 100 residents, a large number of whom had to stand in the back of the room for the entirety of the two-and-a-half-hour meeting. Residents from as far away as Mattituck attended the meeting to air their concerns in front of Congressman Tim Bishop, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., other East End elected officials and several Federal Aviation Administration representatives.

All of the East Hampton residents at the Noyac meeting urged those who live in Southampton Town and elsewhere to attend the East Hampton Town Board meeting, scheduled for the evening of Thursday, August 21.

Charles Ehren, vice chairman of The Quiet Skies Coalition, urged all of those gathered to “make your case to the East Hampton Town Board.”

But with the prospect of a large crowd descending on Town Hall, the East Hampton Town Board scheduled the special meeting to discuss the airport for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 27, at LTV Studios, 75 Industrial Road in Wainscott.

Bob Malafronte, who with Barry Holden, represents Southampton residents on East Hampton Town’s helicopter noise abatement committee, made the same plea and said next week’s meeting “is going to be an important one.”

“We understand a large number of East End residents wish to address this issue and many planned to attend the August 21 regular meeting of the Town Board. Based on the turnout of citizens attending recent meetings on this issue in Southold and Southampton Towns, we would anticipate an overflow crowd on the night of August 21 when the Town Board already has 13 public hearings scheduled,” Supervisor Larry Cantwell said in a release issued on Monday.

“Such a turnout will leave many people without seating, standing in the entryway and outdoors. In order to adequately host the number of people who wish to address the Town Board, we are inviting residents of the North and South Fork to attend the special meeting on August 27 at LTV Studios,” he continued.

The Quiet Skies Coalition also issued a press release on Monday informing its members of the change. “Quiet Skies Coalition congratulates the supervisor for recognizing the importance of this issue and making a special effort for community input. QSC urges all noise-affected residents to attend this meeting to voice concerns regarding aircraft noise,” it read.

There has been little doubt, according to airport critics, that the current town board in East Hampton has been much more responsive than previous administrations.

“It’s a different board now,” said Barry Holden at last Tuesday’s meeting.

“The people on the board are looking in the right direction. But we’re up against a group of business people and owners of corporations.”

Residents, who say they are being tormented by the noise, and environmentalists hope that the town board will stop accepting money from the FAA when the current grant obligations expire on December 31, 2014.

At that point, the board would be able to impose stricter regulations on the airport and, some hope, ban helicopters.

 

Elected Officials To Pressure East Hampton Town on Ending Helicopter Crisis

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Heller_Noyac CC Aircraft Noise Meeting 8-12-14_0775_LR

Congressman Tim Bishop answered questions about helicopter noise at a very well-attended meeting of the Noyac Civic Council on Tuesday, August 12. Photo by Michael Heller.

By Mara Certic

It was a full house at the Noyac Civic Council’s August meeting on Tuesday, as residents from all over the East End perched on desks and hovered outside open doors to hear Congressman Tim Bishop and other elected officials address the ongoing issue of helicopter noise at the East Hampton Airport.

Residents from Sag Harbor, East Hampton, North Haven, Noyac and Mattituck gathered at the Bridgehampton Community House on Tuesday, August 12 and expressed their frustration with the seemingly endless helicopter traffic that continues to plague eastern Long Island.

Elena Loreto, president of the Noyac Civic Council, played a recording of helicopter noise taken at her house to the FAA representatives who had come to answer questions and listen to grievances at Tuesday’s meeting. “This is what it’s like when you’re having company, or having a birthday party,” she said over the sound of whirring blades and engines.

Ms. Loreto complained about the “B-team” of FAA representatives who had been sent to the meeting, asked where FAA administrator Michael Huerta was, and accused them of being mute.

FAA representatives responded that Mr. Huerta was in Washington D.C. and that they would report back to him. “A lot of what we’re doing is listening to what your concerns are,” said Mark Guiod of NY TRACON. He was the only FAA official to express sympathy to the crowd and said, “what you’re experiencing just shouldn’t happen.”

“The issue we’re going to focus on is what’s in the best interest of the people that we represent,” Congressman Bishop said on Tuesday. He added that he has reached out to the senior leadership of the FAA inviting them to a meeting with Senator Charles Schumer and supervisors from the five East End towns. “We hope to have that meeting in the next week to 10 days,” he said.

Shelter Island Supervisor Jim Doherty announced loudly, “Shelter Island cannot take it anymore.” The island recently banned the taking off or landing of any helicopters other than emergency services. “What has been our reward?” he asked. “We’ve become a dustbin.”

“We’re fed up and we’re with you all the way,” he said to the crowd.

New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. encouraged the masses.  “Our goal is to get the federal government to act as soon as possible,” he said, adding that they need to identify exactly what changes need to be made. “It’s not good enough to rearrange the furniture on the Titanic,” he said to great applause.

There was much discussion and some confusion throughout the meeting of the various helicopter routes, but it became apparent that no new route could provide a satisfactory result. Wainscott resident Barry Raebeck said, “Shifting helicopter routes does not solve the problem of noise and pollution. It does not even lessen the problem. It simply shifts the problem to other people. There is no such thing as an all-water route to a land-locked airport.”

The way to solve the problem, he said, “is to eliminate commercial operations at East Hampton Airport.”

Kathy Cunningham of the Quiet Skies Coalition, and countless other speakers, implored the citizens of neighboring towns to attend the next East Hampton Town Board meeting on Thursday, August 21. “They need to see this support,” she said.

When asked what chance the East Hampton Town Board had of imposing regulations on the airport, Congressman Bishop directed that question to the amassed FAA representatives. Mary McCarthy from the FAA answered that until the grant assurances expire on December 31, 2014, the town board would not be able to restrict the use of the airport except for safety reasons.

After that point, however, if the town board decided not to take anymore FAA money, the airport would be able to impose flight restrictions. Frank Dalene, who serves on the airport subcommittee of the town’s finance advisory committee, said they have found that if helicopter traffic were eliminated from the airport, it would still be able to support itself without the help of FAA money.

“The decision maker on January 1, 2015 will be the town board,” he said. He added that East Hampton lawmakers needed to know there are people who would support new regulations.

All those who spoke about the East Hampton Town Board mentioned the encouraging changes that they have seen in the new administration, including North Haven Mayor Jeff Sander. The next step, he said, is to get the board to regain control of the airport from the FAA.

“But I think there’s a much larger problem here. I’ve seen letters from the other side, and I’ve seen the distribution of those other letters,” he said, adding that every billionaire on the East End is on that distribution list, and that an expensive lawsuit will ensue.

“This is a regional problem. We’ve got to make it a regional fight,” he said.

Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst at this point announced that the board was planning to have a special meeting on Thursday, July 14 to pass a memorializing resolution that would support East Hampton in a decision to refuse money from the FAA. She added they are encouraged by the change in town board, and addressed the representatives of the FAA, “We should not have to worry about getting sued for making decisions that should be happening on your level,” she said.

When asked if they would support the East Hampton Town Board if they were to make this decision, both Congressman Bishop and Assemblyman Thiele said that they would support whatever decision the town makes.

“When the people lead, the leaders will follow, and I think that’s what it’s about here tonight,” Mr. Thiele said.

Editor’s note: Barry Raebeck is the father of Sag Harbor Express reporter Tessa Raebeck.