Tag Archive | "Noyac"

County Officials Say Guardrail’s Here to Stay

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Engineers from the DPW informed residents on Tuesday evening the new guardrail along Short Beach Road won’t be removed any time soon. Photo by Michael Heller.

By Mara Certic

Tension and frustration soared during a meeting on Tuesday night, when critics of a newly installed guardrail along Short Beach Road were told the galvanized steel structures wouldn’t be removed any time soon.

There was quite the outcry from Bay Point, Noyac, North Haven and Sag Harbor Village residents one morning in June when they awoke to find the Suffolk County Department of Public Works installing guardrails along the previously open road that runs between Long Beach and Sag Harbor Cove.

After a change.org petition started by local artist and North Haven resident April Gornik reached over 600 signatures, a public meeting was set up for residents to air their concerns about the guardrail—which they criticized both for being dangerous and unattractive—with members of the DPW and County Legislator Jay Schneiderman.

The meeting, which took place at the North Haven Village Hall on Tuesday evening attracted a large crowd. Ten minutes before it was slated to begin, the parking lot was full and several residents had to stand in the back of the room throughout the 90-minute meeting.

Bill Hillman and Bill Colavito, both of the DPW, answered questions from the public and attempted to explain why the guardrails were installed.

Mr. Hillman, chief engineer for DPW, said he received a letter from a member of the Noyac Citizens Advisory Committee, alerting the county to a safety issue along Short Beach Road—the lack of guardrails.

“There’s criteria that needs to be met to install guiderail,” Mr. Hillman said. “We don’t install guiderail lightly.” He added it’s his job to removed fixed objects from highways. “In most times we’re denying requests for guiderail,” he added.

Mr. Colavito, the DPW’s director of highway design, explained some of the guardrail guidelines.

“It was really a no-brainer of a situation,” he said. Mr. Colavito explained the county inputs information into a chart—the speed limit is, any hazardous slopes, the average number of cars that use the road, any potential danger and enough of a “clear zone” to allow a driver to recuperate if they need to swerve for any reason.

Guardrail skeptics said Short Beach Road has heavy pedestrian traffic and accused the DPW of not considering the issue of pedestrian and cyclist safety. Many said they believe the new guardrails could be much more dangerous to those traveling by foot or on two wheels, who now would have nowhere to turn if a vehicle swerved off the road.

“About 8,000 vehicles use that roadway every day, clearly there are not 8,000 pedestrians or cyclists using it every day,” Mr. Hillman said. “We have 8,000 opportunities for [cars] to veer into the water. What’s the likelihood of that compared to having a cyclist or pedestrian being at that same spot at that exact time?” he said.

David Beard, president of the Bay Point Property Owners Association expressed particular concern about one stretch of the road. When drivers traveling west try to turn left onto Bay Point, he explained, the cars behind zip quickly around them, potentially forcing walkers or joggers into the guardrail. Mr. Beard asked what could be done to alleviate the traffic situation before next summer.

“There’s no silver bullet, there’s no one thing we can do,” said Mr. Hillman. “We’re just not going to remove the guiderail. You guys are entitled to your opinion, but I’m the one who makes this decision.”

Mr. Hillman and Mr. Schneiderman explained the county is hesitant to remove the guardrails because of liability. Mr. Hillman added that the county would probably be willing to sell or give the road to the Town of Southampton, which could then choose to do with the road what it wishes.

Mr. Schneiderman said he would be in touch with Supervisor Throne-Holst and added it might not be out of the realm of possibility, considering Noyac Road was county-owned until Southampton Town took over responsibility for it a few years ago.  But he added “the town might not want it.”

Conversation then turned to a complete redesign of the road, in an effort to make it as safe and pleasant as possible for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists alike.

North Haven Mayor Jeff Sander, Deputy Mayor Dianne Skilbred and Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. brought up past traffic calming studies and suggested a similar study might be the answer for this particular stretch of road.

“Sometimes these things provide an opportunity to do something greater,” Mr. Thiele said, “in my opinion we should be looking at traffic calming for the entire quarter.”

Mr. Thiele said he and Senator Kenneth P. LaValle would look into funding for a large traffic calming study and redesign. “I hope this moves forward and we can come up with something we could all be proud of at the end of the day,” he said.

Mr. Hillman said he would see if any funds were available in the DPW’s capital program in order to conduct an initial study right away. Still, he said, this process would be very costly and would likely take three to four years.

“We’re willing to take a look at everything,” Mr. Hillman said. “There’s a legitimate safety concern.”

 

 

Sag Harbor Schools Defended at Noyac Civic Council Meeting

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By Tessa Raebeck

Members of the Noyac Civic Council expressed a grim outlook for the future Tuesday evening when they gathered in the Old Schoolhouse in Noyac to hear a presentation from Sag Harbor School District administrators.

Some 15 people, including Southampton Town Councilwoman Bridget Fleming and Sandi Kruel, a member of the school board, heard presentations by Superintendent Katy Graves and School Business Administrator Jennifer Buscemi on testing results, the Common Core, the district’s financial status and other topics chosen by the council, such as “plans to improve student achievement.”

Ms. Graves and Ms. Buscemi, who are both in their first year with the district, introduced themselves to the group and stressed the strength of Sag Harbor’s students and schools. Those gathered in the room were predominately retired members of the community who do not have children who attend schools in the district.

“My guiding principle is, I do what’s best for children, what’s fair for adults and what the community can sustain,” Ms. Graves told the group, adding that she always has time to speak with all community members. She expressed the need for school administrators to communicate with the many families who are not connected to the district because they do not send their children there, but who pay taxes to the schools and “want to know what the value is.”

Ms. Graves shared figures and charts on Sag Harbor’s performance on mandated state, federal and local tests for students. “Assessment is only one piece, but we have a really shiny piece,” she said.

Despite data, information and personal anecdotes from Ms. Graves and Ms. Buscemi about the district’s financial health, “extraordinary” programs, staff and students, the room appeared unconvinced.

“Katy,” John Arendt, a Noyac resident, said to Ms. Graves, “we love our results here, but let’s fact it, we’re inundated every day with the failure of our education system, so we want to see results.”

“They don’t even teach penmanship anymore,” said Noyac resident Vincent Starace.

Although students still learn how to write, New York State no longer requires cursive instruction.

Other members of the council said teenagers no longer have summer jobs, “can’t write a sentence” by the time they get to college, and raised concerns over drug use, as well as teacher benefits and salaries.

Guardrails To Be Discussed

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When the Suffolk County Department of Public Works installed new guardrails along a stretch of Long Beach Road between North Haven and Noyac, there was a groundswell of criticism from residents who said the new rails both spoiled the view and could pose a safety hazard for bicyclists and pedestrians.

A petition seeking their removal has gained 572 signatures, and Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman has agreed to meet  with foes of the project as well as North Haven Mayor Jeff Sander and county highway officials to discuss the issue.

The meeting, open to the public, will take place at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 21, at North Haven Village Hall on Ferry Road.

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

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

Voter Registration Drive

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The League of Women Voters of the Hamptons will register voters at 12 sites across the East End on Tuesday, September 23, which is the third annual National Voter Registration Day.

Now in its third year, National Voter Registration Day was established in 2012 on the fourth Tuesday in September and boasts more than 1,000 partnering organizations across the United States. Its purpose is to bring attention to the importance of registering to vote on time.

The New York State deadline is October 10 for the general election on November 4.

“Anyone who was not registered previously, or who has moved, or changed his or her name needs to fill out a voter registration form,” said the Hamptons League’s voter services co-chair Anne Marshall. “We hope you will stop by one of our tables, where we will also be glad to answer any of your questions.”

League volunteers will be at Schiavoni’s Market in Sag Harbor from 10 a.m. to noon; at the Bridgehampton Post Office from 10 a.m. to noon; at Cromer’s Market on Noyac Road from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; at Waldbaums Supermarket on Jagger Lane in Southampton from 4 to 6 p.m.; at the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton, also from 4 to 6 p.m.; at Chancellors Hall at the Stony Brook Southampton campus from 5 to 7 p.m.; at the East Hampton Post Office from 10 a.m. to noon; at One Stop Market in East Hampton on Springs-Fireplace Road from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Montauk Post Office from 10 a.m. to noon; at King Kullen in Hampton Bays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; at Stop & Shop in Hampton Bays, also from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and at Simon’s Beach Bakery in Westhampton Beach from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Those with questions can contact the league at (631) 324-4637 or visit lwvhamptons.org or call the Suffolk County Board of Elections at (631) 852-4500.

Over 300 Show Up to Discuss Aircraft Noise in East Hampton

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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.

Bret Parker Raises Money By Conquering His Fears

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Bret Parker, right, and his trainer Lyon Marcus, left, after an intense training session at Long Beach on Monday. Photo by Mara Certic. 

By Mara Certic

Bret Parker is a husband, father, skydiver and lawyer, and if all goes according to plan, by next month he will also be a triathlete. While this may not seem particularly newsworthy, it is important to mention that not only does Mr. Parker have Parkinson’s disease, he is deathly afraid of water. But he has resolved to conquer his  fear in order to raise money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

He still remembers it vividly: he was 3 years old, running around a pool when he tripped over a hose and fell in. Someone pulled him to safety quickly, but the damage was already done. Mr. Parker was traumatized and has been terrified of water for decades.

Mr. Parker grew up, became a lawyer, got married and lived with his wife and two children in the New York City. The family bought a house in Noyac in 2001, and Mr. Parker considers Long Beach his “backyard,” but still he didn’t want to swim. Then, in 2007 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

He had noticed a slight tremor in his right hand. He went to the doctor, who, after a series of basic motor tests, concluded that Mr. Parker, now 46, had Parkinson’s. “There’s no blood test,” he explained, so the diagnosis really took him aback. So much so that Mr. Parker and his wife Katharine kept it secret, didn’t really tell anyone and carried on business as usual.

Parkinson’s is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement, causing tremors, stiffness and the gradual slowing down of every-day motions. There is no known cure—as of yet—but medications can mitigate many of the side effects.

In 2012, when Mr. Parker began to take medication for his disease, he decided that it was time to “come out.” He wrote a blog on Forbes.com, telling his friends, family, colleagues and the rest of the internet world about his diagnosis. “For a long time, silence seemed logical.  As long as my Parkinson’s was not impacting my day-to-day functioning, no one had to know,” he wrote in his 2012 “outing.”

“When I was first diagnosed, my symptoms were almost impossible to detect and there wasn’t anything for my family or friends “to do” so I figured it wasn’t worth telling people,” he continued.

But then a close friend of his told him that he had plans to run 50 miles for 10 charities, and invited Mr. Parker to run a five-mile stint with him to raise funds for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. “I was so touched by his grand gesture — how could I refuse?” he wrote.

“The answer is finally clear.  This is the year to leave my secret behind — to literally run past my fears, my doubts and my hesitation,” he continued. Mr. Parker ran the five miles and raised $115,000 for the Fox Foundation. The next year, he decided to take a leap of faith, literally, and raised $50,000 for the organization by jumping out of a plane at Skydive Long Island.

“When you have an illness you realize you were living under the fiction of being in control,” said Mrs. Parker, a breast cancer survivor herself. When Mrs. Parker signed up for the Mighty Hamptons Triathlon on September 7, her husband resolved to conquer his fear of water once and for all and to do the same.

He hired Iron Man veteran Lyon Marcus as his trainer and began the slow process of really learning how to swim in May. In the first four weeks of his training, Mr. Parker didn’t go into the water once. In fact, when he told this to a triathlete friend of his, she told him to fire his trainer and get a new one. But Mr. Parker kept with it, learning exercises on land to strengthen his core and upper body.

“It was terrible,” Mrs. Parker said of her husband’s swimming, “I can’t even tell you what a transformation this is,” she said as she watched him swim laps in Noyac Bay on Tuesday morning.

One of the lesser-known facts about Parkinson’s disease is that stress and anxiety worsen the tremors and stiffness. Mr. Parker’s fear of the water exacerbated his symptoms. But soon his 10-minute swimming stints became 20 minutes and last week, Mr. Parker swam the full 1,500 meters he will have to swim during the triathlon. “He’s got a will you can’t even imagine,” Mr. Marcus said.

After over 40 years, Mr. Parker has conquered his fear. He is not planning on winning the triathlon, but he’s certainly planning on finishing it—even though he will have to take a day’s worth of medication in a period of about four hours.

Mr. Parker is the executive director of the New York City Bar Association and a member of the Fox Foundation’s Patient Council. “I have two big beefs with Parkinson’s,” he said on Tuesday. The first is something that he was guilty of for five years—keeping it a secret. The second is the extreme optimism shown by many sufferers of the disease. “Optimism masks the fact that they’ve been using the same drug for 40 years,” he said, adding that more research must be done.

Days after Robin Williams’s suicide shocked the world, his wife released a statement disclosing that her husband had been suffering from depression, anxiety and the early stages of Parkinson’s, “which he was not yet ready to share publicly.”

The diagnosis was hard, but Parkinson’s has taught Mr. Parker about the uncertainty of life and has provided him with a new mantra: “live life as large as you can, as long as you can.”

For more information about the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research visit michaeljfox.org. To donate to Mr. Parker’s fundraising efforts visit www2.michaeljfox.org/goto/parker. The Mighty Hamptons Triathlon will take place on Sunday, September 7. The event will begin at 6:40 a.m. with the 1.5-kilometer swim at Long Beach. For more information about the triathlon visit eventpowerli.com.

Sand Mine Expansion in Noyac Draws Critics

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“Sand Land” has submitted an application to the DEC to increase its 50-acre site by 4.9 acres and deepen it by an additional 40 feet. The floor of the mine is currently 65 feet below the original grade, at 175 feet elevation. Photography by Mara Certic.

By Mara Certic

Environmentalists and civic leaders are calling on the State Department of Environmental Conservation to deny an application to expand an existing sand mining operation in Noyac.

“It was almost 40 years ago that the State of New York said agencies cannot simply act on their own, the environment is too complex. And they passed the law called the State Environmental Quality Review Act,” said Bob DeLuca, president of the Group for the East End, at a press conference held by his organization on Monday at the Old Noyac School House to discuss the potential 20-percent expansion of Sand Land Corp., which is owned and operated by Wainscott Sand and Gravel.

“Going back to the 1980s, the area that we’re talking about was designated by the town as a critical environmental area because of water quality protection concerns,” he continued.

“The site is located within the Town of Southampton Aquifer Protection Overlay District, a zoning overlay with regulatory provisions for clearing, fertilization and housing density, intended to protect the quality of the ground water aquifer below the overlay district,” Kyle Collins, the town’s  planning and development director, wrote in a letter to the DEC dated Thursday, August 14. The area is also in a New York State designated Special Groundwater Protection Area. The aquifer is the sole source of drinking water for much of the East End.

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Bob DeLuca, executive director of the Group for the East End, discussed his concerns about the expansion of Sand Land at a press conference in Noyac on Monday.

Monday’s press conference came after the 60-day public comment period for the sand mine expansion ended on Friday. The DEC has already issued a “negative declaration” for the project, which means the agency has determined  it will not have a negative impact on the environment and will, thus, not require an environmental impact statement.

Letters from environmental organizations, Southampton Town and Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., have all asked the state to rescind the ruling and require that a full environmental impact statement be required before the application is approved.

Agencies have also asked that the DEC deny the application for expansion. The sand mine is a pre-existing, non-conforming land use in a residential zone. Mr. Collins wrote the mine “should be allowed to continue and operate under the parameters of the current mining permit with ongoing reclamation as mining is completed in mined areas.”

“To date, this parcel has been in use for sand mining and other industrial activities for more than 50 years,” said executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment Adrienne Esposito. She said the DEC reported in 2006 the site was coming to an end of its life as a sand mine. “And here we are, in the year 2014, and they’re requesting another 25 years,” she said on Monday.

“Allowing mining facilities to continue operating in perpetuity does not adequately fulfill DEC’s obligation to protect public health and the environment,” she wrote in a letter to the DEC.

Mr. Thiele has introduced legislation, which authorizes local agencies to require water quality testing at mining operations within counties with a population of 1 million or more where the primary source of drinking water is a designated sole source aquifer.

The Noyac Civic Council collected 150 signatures on a petition calling for the DEC to install test wells in order to monitor how the operations are affecting the groundwater quality.

When asked about the installation of groundwater monitoring wells, John Tintle, owner of Wainscott Sand & Gravel, said on Wednesday, “There’s no link between sand and gravel mining and groundwater contamination.”

One of the main concerns that the environmental advocates had about water quality, was the possibility that the facility’s composting and mulching operations could affect the drinking water. “We know for a fact, according to a New York State DEC Report that was released in 2013, that these types of facilities that have compost material on them and mulching materials cause ‘significant groundwater contamination in the form of heavy metals, manganese and thorium, as well as increased radiation including alpha and beta radiation levels,’” Ms. Esposito said at Monday’s press conference. “This area has never been tested despite our calls for doing so.”

Mr. Tintle said on Wednesday that he had personally conducted water quality testing at his facility and that he had passed along that data to both the DEC and the town. A town representative said on Wednesday evening that Southampton Town was not aware of any submission of groundwater monitoring by Sand Land in the past two-to-three years, but did say an independent third party should be responsible for conducting the water quality testing.

Groundwater monitoring wells test the water at various levels, as well, which some other techniques do not.  “The Town of Southampton requires this for new gold courses, whether over our aquifer or not, and the same should be expected for existing and expanded sand mines,” Mr. Collins wrote.

The Bridge golf course, which neighbors Sand Land, is one such course where water quality monitoring has proved to be successful. There have also been complaints, and even a lawsuit, from neighbors about increased traffic, dust, noise and a fowl odor emanating from Sand Land. Greg Stanley, the superintendent at the Bridge, said that on many days golfers are treated to a strong smell of manure from the neighboring mulching, mining and composting operation.

An application from Sand Land was going to be discussed at tonight’s meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals but has been postponed indefinitely, according to ZBA secretary Kandice Cowell.

 

 

East Hampton Town Board to Hold Special Meeting on Aircraft Noise

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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.

 

Noyac Farmstand Proves to be a Hit

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The Smith family, clockwise, from top left: John, Serene, Laura, Skye, and Aven, at the Serene Green Farmstand on Noyac Road. Photo by Stephen J. Kotz.

The Smith family, clockwise, from top left: John, Serene, Laura, Skye, and Aven, at the Serene Green Farmstand on Noyac Road. Photo by Stephen J. Kotz.

By Stephen J. Kotz

The Serene Green farmstand on Noyac Road was anything but serene and certainly not limited to green on Sunday afternoon. Like the showers that inundated the East End over the weekend, a steady stream of customers descended on the stand to pick through the produce in a rainbow of colors: red tomatoes, yellow squash, and a special variety of magenta colored eggplants.

There was freshly picked celery, string beans, peppers, basil and other herbs,  scallions, leeks and potatoes,  and, of course, mountains of sweet corn and melons. But there was also fluke and sea bass, clams and lobster, Mecox Bay Dairy cheeses, prepared sauces from the Vine Street Café on Shelter Island, North Fork potato chips, Tate’s Cookies, gourmet sorbets from Sorbabes of Sag Harbor, North Fork potato chips, and Java Nation coffee. Rounding it out were fresh-cut flowers and hanging baskets.

The farmstand, now in its fourth year, is owned by John and Laura Smith, who were the picture of perpetual motion: Mr. Smith hauling produce, Ms. Smith stocking shelves and taking orders over the phone.

The business is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week from the week before Memorial Day until it closes after selling Christmas trees and wreaths, made by Ms. Smith, for Christmas.

“It’s exhausting, but it is so rewarding because the community is so supportive,” said Ms. Smith.

Farming, she said, has always been in her husband’s blood. A descendant on his mother’s side to the Avens and Haines families, early settlers to the Hayground area, Mr. Smith grew up around his grandfather’s farm in Water Mill.

While in high school, he worked during the summer at the Other Stand, a popular farmstand closer to Sag Harbor along Noyac Road that has long since been closed. As a young man, he ran a farmstand on the south side of Montauk Highway between Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor.

For five years, the couple managed the farmstand at East Hampton’s East End Community Organic Farm. They found out about the opening when Ms. Smith, a graphic designer at the time, was consulted about the farm’s logo and informed that the farm needed a manager. At the time her husband was working as a contractor and eager to get back into agriculture.

In the meantime, they purchased their current location, and when the lease at EECO farm came up for renewal, they decided to focus on their own business.

Serene Green tries to provide local food to their customers, although Ms. Smith said she does keep things like lemon and limes on hand for the convenience of customers.

The couple grows as much food as they can in the garden behind the stand—“We grow lettuce, but we don’t have lettuce all the time,” Ms. Smith explained—but they also rely on a network of local suppliers and about a dozen farmers on both the North and South Fork to help keep their shelves stocked, she said.

“John has really great relationships with other farmers who are all specialized in what they do,” she said. “They are all generational farmers. The kids are farmers and their parents and grandparents were farmers.”

The Smiths also work with suppliers at both Shinneock and Montauk to provide a substantial amount of fresh seafood to their customers.

They are now expanding their horizons in yet another way. The couple is close to purchasing a 150-acre farm near Cooperstown, where they plan to raise grass-fed bison, following the standards of the Bison Association that requires the animals to be truly grass-fed and rotated from pasture to pasture on a regular basis.

They are also working with Southampton Town and the Peconic Land Trust to buy more local land to put into production. Like all farmers, though, they are facing the daunting task of competing with wealthy buyers, who might imagine the same land as a possible site of their private horse barn.

Fortunately, the Smiths said, the town and land trust are working on ways to ensure that farmland remains in production by working out contracts that pay a seller a higher price for development rights but extend the limitations that come with those rights, so property remains in agriculture.

The couple has three children, Serene, for whom the stand is named, Aven, and Skye. Ms. Smith said part of the reason they got into the business is to show our kids the kind of life her husband had while growing up and to teach them the value of hard work.

They are quick to point out the rewards. “We have been embraced by our community,” said Mr. Smith. “I worked at the Other Stand and I watched that go away. This is what this town needs.”

“Every day, and I’m not making this up, there is someone who comes in here and says ‘I drive by every day but I’ve never come in here before and I’m so happy I stopped,’” added Ms. Smith.