Tag Archive | "North Haven"

ARF of the Hamptons Announces New Series of Dog Training Classes

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ARF dog trainer Matthew Posnick. 

The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons has announced the launch of three new series of dog training classes.

Puppy Kindergarten resumes on Friday, June 6, from 4 to 5 p.m. Classes will focus on socialization, interactive skills and simple obedience.

The course will run for four straight Fridays and the fee is $100. A reduced fee of $75 is available to those who adopted their puppy from ARF within the past month.

Dog Obedience 101 and Intermediate Classes will start on Saturday and Sunday, June 14 and 15.

Dogs and their handlers will learn basic obedience using positive reinforcement techniques. The curriculum includes Leash Handling, Let’s Go, Turning Techniques, Stay/Stand, Sit/Stay, Down/Stay, Leave It, Come, No Jumping and Leash Pulling Prevention exercises.

Participants can choose an introductory course on Saturday or Sunday mornings from 9 to 10 a.m. for five straight weeks. The intermediate class is held on Saturday and Sunday mornings, from 10 to 11 a.m., also for five straight weeks.

The fee is $150 for all five classes; or $125 for those who have adopted their dog from ARF within the last year.

Recreational Dog Agility classes return on Saturday, June 14. Participants will be the bond of trust between themselves and their pet as they get great exercise working their ways through a variety of obstacles. A class for beginners will be held on Saturdays from 4 to 5 p.m. for five straight weeks. An intermediate class will be announced at later date.

The fee is $175 for all five classes.

All the classes are taught by Matthew Posnick and held at ARF’s Adoption Center at 90 Daniels Hole Road in Wainscott.

Advocates Discuss Lack of East End Youth Services

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By Stephen J. Kotz

East End youth advocates gathered on Thursday, May 29, at the David Crohan Community Center in Flanders to solicit ideas about how Suffolk County could both maintain and improve the services to young people.

The impetus for the forum was the completion of a draft report by an East End subcommittee of the Suffolk County Youth Board Coordinating Council that focused specifically on the East End. The subcommittee was one of four convened by the county, the others being tasked with studying behavioral health issues, teen pregnancy and unemployment.

“There is a lot of agreement that this is an under served community,” said Nancy Lynott, the director of the Southampton Town Youth Bureau in an interview on Monday. She added that while it was reassuring that the county recognized the East End’s special needs, the region must still fight for its fair share of funding.

That will be particularly true in years to come, she said, because of a change in how funding for youth services is doled out at the county level by New York State. “There have been changes that give the county some flexibility in how state funding is used,” she said. “It used to be designated for each municipality, but starting in 2014, it all goes to county” to allocate as it sees fit.

The report, which is due to be completed next month, will be an important tool if East End providers of youth services want to maintain their share of the county pie. “We want to be able to show why East End communities should be getting priority,” she said. “They are aware of our situation, but they wanted not just stories and anecdotes, but hard information.”

What the report found was that it is difficult to get everything from mental health services to employment counseling on the East End because it is so far east of the county’s population centers, there is a lack of public transportation, and services are available on a spotty basis.

“Service delivery is fragmented,” Ms. Lynott added, “with some provided by towns, villages and even the county. We also have 30-some school districts on the East End. So what we have to do is get everybody on the same page.”

Last week’s event was co-sponsored by youth bureaus in Southampton, Riverhead and Southold towns as well as by Suffolk County Legislators Jay Schneiderman, who represents the South Fork, and Al Krupski, who represents the North Fork.

Although the image of the East End is one of wealth and glamor, Ms. Lynott said there is a darkly different reality behind the façade. “We have some terrific wealth out here, but we also have some terrific poverty,” she said.

During her presentation, she said that East End communities routinely turn up in lists of the most underprivileged in the county. Six of the most economically distressed communities in the county found on the East End, with 76 percent of teens between the ages of 16 to 19 unemployed. Seven of the 15 communities with the highest number of uninsured families are also here. East End children also qualify at higher averages for free or reduced-fee school lunches, and young people on the East End “are well above the national average in their use and abuse of alcohol and drugs.”

East End youth are priced out of the housing market and have limited social outlets, the report found. And those who finish school find “they don’t know what they are going to do next and we have we have very little to offer them,” Ms. Lynott said.

“Government doesn’t understand that if you spend $2,000 on prevention, you might save $30,000 to $40,000 down the road” in treatment or jail costs, said Riverhead Councilman Jon Dunleavy, one of several public officials to attend Thursday’s roundtable.

Rachel Toy, a Sag Harbor resident and a recent college graduate, said providing good jobs for local youth is a must.

Southampton Town Councilman Brad Bender suggested that local building contractors could be enlisted to launch an apprentice program to help in that effort.

Kerry Laube, a Westhampton Beach Police Department sergeant, said teaching kids about the dangers of substance abuse should be a priority.

Helen Atkinson-Barnes, who runs educational programs at The Retreat, a non-profit that provides shelter and counseling for domestic abuse victims in East Hampton, called on educating young people about the importance of developing healthy relationships. “Underlying a lot of those issues” contained in the report “are unhealthy relationships,” she said.

“First, I want to address transportation,” said Laura Smith of the North Fork Alliance, who said better bus service is needed to help young people get to jobs and appointments.

Improving mental health services was the concern of Andrea Nydegger, who works with the Eastern Suffolk BOCEs on the North Fork. “I have kids who get referred to me constantly,” she said, adding that she tells parents counseling is cheaper than paying for a tutor.

Kim Jones of the East Hampton Anti-Bias Task Force agreed there was a “dire need” for better mental health services, and said that the community had recently learned of the second suicide this year of a young person.

“Our high school students are not asking ‘where are you going to college?’” she said. ‘They are asking, ‘who do you think is gong to commit suicide next?’”

“We realize this is just the beginning,” Ms. Lynott told the gathering. “I hope we can continue these discussions. Maybe we can get some real changes started.”

Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees Closing the Books

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By Stephen J. Kotz

The Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees will meet at 9 a.m. next Thursday, May 29, for its annual end of the fiscal year meeting. The board will also consider any other items that must be addressed in a timely fashion at the meeting, which takes place on the second floor of the Municipal Building on Main Street.

The North Haven Village Board of Trustees will hold its own meeting to close the books on the 2013-14 year at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28, at North Haven Village Hall on Ferry Road.

Discover Old Whalers’ Day This Weekend in Sag Harbor

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The Historical Committee of the Old Whalers’ First Presbyterian Church on Union Street in Sag Harbor will sponsor a free “Discover Old Whalers’ Day” on Sunday, May 18. The tour will begin at 11:45 a.m. in the church narthex, just inside the main front doors.

A member of the committee will give a brief, informal talk about the building, built in 1844, and the sanctuary, including the trompe l’oeil mural that covers the wall behind the pulpit. The mural will soon be restored to its original design and colors by International Fine Arts Conservation Studios, with work beginning on May 26. The tour will afford one of the last opportunities to view the “before” state of the mural.

Pastor Mark Phillips will give a short talk about the historic organ built by Henry Erben in 1845. The pipes and bellows inside the organ case can be viewed, as well as the manual pumping system, which permits the organ to be played without electricity, if necessary. The tour will culminate with a climb into the tower to see the huge wooden trusses which support the sanctuary ceiling, with initials carved into beams by some of those who constructed the church.

The Old Whalers’ Church, designed by Minard Lefever, is a National Historic Landmark. This event is part of the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s annual Sacred Sites Open House weekend. The tour will conclude by 1 p.m., but the building will remain open to the public until 2 p.m.

 

Schiavoni Will Run in North Haven

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By Stephen J. Kotz

Although the North Haven Party will not see any challengers in this June’s election—barring an unforeseen write-in campaign—the party, which holds a monopoly on the board, will see a new face among its candidates for trustee.

Tommy John Schiavoni, a lifetime resident of the village and a member of the village Zoning Board of Appeals, has announced that he will seek a two-year term on the board. He will replace Trustee George Butts who has chosen not to seek another term.

Also running will be incumbent Mayor Jeff Sander and incumbent Trustees Diane Skilbred and James Davis. All terms are for two years, except that of Mr. Davis, who was appointed a year ago to complete Mr. Sander’s term as trustee after Mr. Sander, in turn, replaced Mayor Laura Nolan who stepped down.

In Sag Harbor, incumbent Trustee Keith Duchemin has also announced he is stepping down after a single two-year term. But incumbent Trustee Robby Stein will be joined on the ballot by Sandra Schroeder, a former village administrator, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor a year ago; John Shaka, a board member of the advocacy group, Save Sag Harbor; and Bruce Stafford, who served as trustee from 2009 to 2011.

Mr. Schiavoni, 50, who teaches middle school and high school social studies in the Center Moriches School District, said on Tuesday that it was appropriate that he recently taught a course on participation in government.

“It’s a beautiful village, and I’d like to help maintain its character,” he said of his decision to seek elected office. Mr. Schiavoni listed stormwater runoff and controlling tick-borne illnesses has two issues he would like to concentrate on.

“I don’t think we are a major source point of pollution,” Mr. Schiavoni said, “but all runoff matters, considering we are right in the Peconic Bay estuary.”

Mr. Schiavoni said a growing deer population has led to a rise in tick-borne diseases.

“I believe we have a human health issue with ticks, not only in North Haven but the East End in general,” he said.

Mr. Schiavoni said he had seen plenty of changes over the years. “When I grew up, we were kind of a suburb of Sag Harbor,” he said. “There were a lot of places to roam and camp.”

Deer, he said, were few and far between. “They were bigger too,” he said, “and they didn’t let you get close to them. It really is different now.”

Mr. Schiavoni is past president and treasurer of the Bay Haven Association and is a member of the Sag Harbor Fire Department.

He is married to Andrea Schiavoni, a justice in both Southampton Town and Sag Harbor Village. They have two children, Anna and Thomas.

Also on the ballot will be Mayor Sander, who will be seeking his first two-year term as an elected mayor after replacing Ms. Nolan last year and serving as a board member for six years before that. Mr. Sander, a retired computer executive, pointed to his management skills as his chief asset.

Ms. Skilbred, who has lived in North Haven for 30 years, is seeking her third two-year term on the board. Before being elected trustee, she served on the village Architectural Review Board for 15 years, including six years as chairwoman. On the ARB she played a major role in crafting the village’s floor area ratio law and served on the Citizens Traffic Calming Committee that contributed to safer bike lanes and the village traffic circle.

Mr. Davis, a village resident for 14 years, was appointed last year to complete Mr. Sander’s term as trustee when Mr. Sander became mayor. Mr. Davis served for seven years on the ARB, including a year as chairman, in 2011. He is a member of the Sag Harbor Fire Department.

Mr. Sander said that no matter how many votes any given candidate receives, Mr. Davis would only be eligible to serve a one-year term.

 

North Haven ZBA Gives Official Blessing to Point House Move

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By Stephen J. Kotz

The Point House, which until last month occupied a prominent perch overlooking Sag Harbor from the end of Fahys Road in North Haven, is a bit closer to arriving at what will likely be its final destination.

On Tuesday, the North Haven Village Zoning Board of Appeals issued a formal decision, approving the application of Stuart Hersch to move the 1804 colonial landmark to a new location on his 2.6-acre property for use as a guesthouse.

Under an agreement reached with village officials to save the house, which was constructed by John Payne Jr. and lived in by members of the Fahys family of watchcase factory fame for many years, Mr. Hersch agreed to save the Point House so he could build a new, modern home in its place.

Mr. Hersch, the president and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, first tried to give the Point House away, and when he found he had no takers, have it disassembled, with its components sold off to raise money for charity.

That solution set off alarms when the village Architectural Review Board met with Mr. Hersch’s architect, Bruce Nagel, to informally discuss his plans for the property.

Although all agreed the house, believed to be the oldest in the village, was worthy of saving, it had never been designated a landmark and a village effort to create an inventory of historic structures had fallen by the wayside.

Village Mayor Jeff Sander considered having the house moved to village- owned property for safekeeping but shied away from that idea after considering the costs involved, including the need to move power lines the length of Ferry Road.

Once an agreement was reached to preserve the house, it was necessary to choose a location. Mr. Hersch first proposed placing it at the southwest corner of the property, fronting on South Ferry Road, but the ARB convinced him to instead place it at the northwest corner of the property, 20 feet from both South Ferry and Fahys roads, and to keep it visible from the rod.

Last month, ARB chairman David Sherwood said placing the house at that corner would provide both the best views for passersby and be typical of how houses would have been constructed—typically closer to the road than they are today—in the early 19th century.

The ZBA, at an April 8 hearing, granted a pair of variances, reducing the front-yard setback requirements on both Fahys and South Ferry Road from the 90 feet that is required by the code. A third variance will allow a total gross floor area on the property of 12,042 square feet, where the code allows 9,400 square feet. A stipulation of that variance requires that the extra allowed floor area can only be used for the Point House.

In a unanimous decision Tuesday night, the ZBA ruled that allowing Mr. Hersch to have two houses on his property would not have adverse effects because of the public interest in seeing the old house protected.

The house has been a silent witness to the many changes that have transformed the East End over the past two centuries. The original owner, Mr. Payne, was a prosperous merchant, but the family was touched by tragedy when his son, Charles W. Payne, who later lived in the house, was lost at sea during a whaling trip in 1838. His name is listed on the Broken Mast Monument in Oakland Cemetery.

In 1886, the Payne family sold the house to Joseph Fahys, who helped transform Sag Harbor from a port village to an industrial center, building the Fahys Watchcase factory, which today is being converted into high-end condominiums. In recent years, the house was owned by Carol Philips, the founder of Clinique skin care products. At her death, it was sold to the model Christie Brinkley, who, in turn, sold it to Mr. Hersch, late last year.

Sag Harbor Village Board Race Coming into Focus

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By Stephen J. Kotz

With village elections a little more than five weeks away, at least four candidates have announced they will run for two openings on the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees, while one incumbent has said he will step down from the board. But the picture remains cloudy in North Haven, where no candidates have yet to file nominating petitions, although the mayor’s seat and four trustee positions are open.

The deadline for candidates who want to run for village board in either Sag Harbor or North Haven to turn in petitions to the village clerk of either municipality is by the close of business on Tuesday. Elections take place in both villages on June 17.

Sag Harbor Village Trustee Kevin Duchemin said on Tuesday that he would not seek another term. “I’ve discussed it with my wife and family and I’ve chosen not to run again,” said Mr. Duchemin, who is an East Hampton Village police officer. He would not provide specific reasons for his decision, but said he wanted to remain open to a future run for village office.

Mr. Duchemin said he would endorse incumbent Trustee Robby Stein, who is seeking another term, and former Village Clerk/Administrator Sandra Schroeder, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor  year ago, and has announced she will run for trustee.

They will be joined at this point by newcomer John Shaka, a board member of the Save Sag Harbor advocacy group and former Trustee Bruce Stafford, who served from 2009 to 2011.

In North Haven, Mayor Jeff Sander, who was appointed to his position to fill the unfinished term of Laura Nolan, who resigned, is up for re-election for a two-year term.

The seats of trustees George Butts and Diane Skilbred are also up for two-year terms. The seat of James Davis, who was appointed to complete Mr. Sander’s term as trustee, is up for a one-year term. The two highest vote-getters will win two-year terms.

All are members of the North Haven Party.

On Wednesday, North Haven Village Clerk Georgia Welch said representatives of the party had picked up petition packets but that none had been returned yet.

“I won’t know until I see [completed petitions] who will be running,” she said. “I don’t do ‘Rumor has it…’ I don’t sing that song well. Adele does it better.”

None of the North Haven candidates could not immediately be reached for comment by this edition’s deadline, but the four candidates in Sag Harbor were eager to share their goals for the village.

“I always have a list that I’m pecking away at,” said Mr. Stein, who is seeking his third term. Mr. Stein, who said he tries to be a voice for environmental concerns,   listed the need to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff and improve the health of the harbor and Sag Harbor Cove as priorities that need to be addressed on a continuing basis. He also said improving village information technology services, alleviating the village’s cramped parking situation, and completing the waterfront park as priorities that he would focus on if elected.

Mr. Shaka said traffic calming, improving water quality, and maintaining the village’s infrastructure were among the concerns he would work on if elected. He also said the village had to remain vigilant against inappropriate development.

“Everyone is in Sag Harbor because they love it. They love its quality of life,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean we don’t do anything.”

Ms. Schroeder, who worked for the village for more than 20 years in various capacities, echoed the calls for improving water quality by through reducing road runoff and controlling development, while adding that maintaining infrastructure along the waterfront was also key.

“I’m very concerned about our water quality,” she said. “We are a waterfront village. And we have to take care of our docks. They are our second largest source of income behind taxes.”

Mr. Stafford said he saw “a lot of unfinished things in the village that I’d like to help out on. I enjoyed being on the board. I enjoyed helping the people.”

Mr. Stafford said he has always been community-oriented and has served on the fire department for 36 years as well as chairman of he Sag Harbor United Methodist Church board, among other things.

“I’d like to address affordability,” he said of the high cost of living in Sag Harbor. Although Mr. Stafford said he no easy answers to provide more housing, he said on his first term he had worked to keep taxes low, which, he said, was the first step toward making the village affordable.

North Haven Landmark Takes a Step Back

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Workers move the Point House in North Haven. Michael Heller photo

By Stephen J. Kotz

“That’s my favorite house,” said a woman to North Haven Mayor Jeff Sander after she pulled over to watch as workers with Dawn House Movers slowly rolled the Point House, an 1804 colonial landmark, off its foundation overlooking Sag Harbor and across the lawn and closer to Ferry Road on Monday morning.

Mayor Sander, who was at the scene overlooking the operation, was in a cheery mood and happy to report that the house, built by John Payne Jr., and later lived in by generations of the Fahys family of watchcase factory fame, had been saved from probable demolition, thanks to a deal brokered by village officials and the property’s new owner, Stuart Hersch, the president of Cantor Fitzgerald.

That agreement, pending final approval, will allow Mr. Hersch, who recently bought the 2.6-acre property from the model Christie Brinkley, to build the modern house he wants along the waterfront while maintaining the Point House as a second residence on the property.

Mayor Sander said the alarm was sounded when Mr. Hersch’s architect, Bruce Nagel, went to the village Architectural Review Board in February, to discuss Mr. Hersch’s plans and broached the topic of demolition.

“The whole ARB went crazy and said, ‘This is a historic house. Could we protect it?’” said Mayor Sander.

Although North Haven many years ago began working on a list of historic properties, Carol Phillips, the then owner of the Point House, never completed the necessary paperwork to put her house on that list and the village never established a historic district, the mayor said.

“We really had no legal reason to tell them they had to save the house,” Mr. Sander said.

David Sherwood, the ARB’s chairman, said on Tuesday that Mr. Nagel told his board that Mr. Hersch had tried to give the house away but had found no takers and had been exploring a deal to donate the house to an organization that would disassemble it and sell off the pieces, such as beams and floorboards, and donate the proceeds to charity.

“They were going to take the building apart, and we thought it was important to not have it dissembled and scattered across the country,” Mr. Sherwood said.

He credited board member Susan Edwards for  “leading the charge” and pointing out that the house had historic value not only to North Haven but to Sag Harbor as well because of its long connection to the Fahys family.

John Payne Jr., who built the house for his family, was a prosperous merchant. His son, Charles W. Payne, who later lived in the house, was a whaler who was lost at sea in 1838 and whose name is listed on the Broken Mast Monument in Oakland Cemetery.

The Payne family sold the house to Joseph Fahys in 1886, and he had it moved about 300 feet north of its original location to the spot where it remained until Monday.

Mayor Sander said the village considered moving the house to village-owned property but came to the conclusion that would be both costly and impractical.

“I quickly came to the realization that the best place to put this house was on the existing property, next to road,” Mr. Sander said.

The mayor said he ran the idea past Anthony Tohill, the village’s attorney, who agreed that if Mr. Hersch were willing to apply for variances from the village Zoning Board of Appeals, the village, citing the house’s historic value, could allow Mr. Hersch to have two houses on the property.

Mr. Hersch was agreeable to that arrangement, the mayor said, and the only thing remaining is for the ZBA to issue its written determination.

“These are very unique circumstances,” said Mr. Sherwood. “We don’t want to set a precedent so every Tom, Dick and Harry comes in and says ‘I want a second house on my property.’”

Mr. Sander said some people had complained because they will no longer be able to look at the house from Long Wharf in Sag Harbor, but he said he alternative would have been far worse and now the house will be visible from Ferry Road.

“It’s a very happy ending,” said Mr. Sherwood. “There’s no reason why Mr. Hersch couldn’t have demolished it. If he weren’t willing to partner with the village and the village weren’t willing to allow him to have two houses on one lot, a very unique piece of the village’s architectural history could have been lost.”

Corcoran First Quarter Shows Significant Increase in Demand

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Corcoran Group Real Estate (corcoran.com) released its First Quarter report last Thursday, showing a significant increase in East End sales activity.

The number of closed sales increased 38-percent and sales volume rose by 27-percent,” reads the report. “While sales volume and number of sales increased, market-wide median price rose a minor 1-percent and average sales price decreased 8-percent. This reflects an increase in sales occurring at the lower end of the market as first-time homebuyers and investors were active in the Hamptons market this quarter, especially in communities west of Shinnecock Canal. Luxury properties traded at lower price points vs. a year ago, which contributed to market-wide sales being more diversified across all price categories this quarter.”

According to the report, in Sag Harbor/North Haven, the average sales price in the first quarter of 2014 was $1.65 million, a 30-percent increase over the same period in 2013. The median home price also increased by 59-percent, from $740,000 in 2013 to $1.180 million in the first quarter of 2014. Sales were up 81-percent, from 48 in 2013 to 87 in 2014 with a total volume of $143.118 million compared to $60.952 million in 2013.

Hampton Classic Unveils 2014 Poster Art

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The Hampton Classic Horse Show announced Monday that Julie Freund, a native of Westtown, New York, has been selected as its 2014 poster artist.

The Hampton Classic will return to Bridgehampton August 24 to 31 for its 39th year of equestrian competition.

“In many of my paintings I like to take the everyday images that equestrians see, and create a work of art that is recognizable and yet done in a way that emphasizes the beauty of the sport and of the animal,” said Ms. Freund of her inspiration for the poster, “Paseo.” “Equestrian sport requires training, precise technique and conditioning, just as the act of painting. Both require a knowledge of the materials and patience that when done right produce a wonderful connection to the human center.”

Equestrian sport has always been a big part of Mr. Freund’s life. She has shown in the hunter, jumper, and the equitation classes at many “A” rated competitions along the East Coast ranging from Lake Placid to Ocala, Florida. Ms. Freund attended Bridgewater College in central Virginia, where she majored in fine arts, before transferring to the Savannah College of Art and Design, from which she recently graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree in painting and double minor in equestrian studies and art history. The artist currently works and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she rides and trains sport horses at Vintage View Farm.