Tag Archive | "Noyac Civic Council"

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.

 

 

Elected Officials To Pressure East Hampton Town on Ending Helicopter Crisis

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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.

Bishop, Thiele To Meet with Noyac Civic Council

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The Noyac Civic Council has chosen a slightly larger venue than the Old Noyac Schoolhouse for its monthly meeting on Tuesday, August 12, when it welcomes U.S. Representative Tim Bishop and New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. to discuss helicopter noise.

Tuesday’s meeting will take place at the Bridgehampton Senior Nutrition Center on the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike at 7:30 p.m.

The elected officials, along with a representative from Senator Charles Schumer’s office, will talk about the status of the changes to the northern route, which directs helicopters north over Long Island Sound, as well as discuss what additional restrictions the East Hampton Town Board can impose on the airport.

The civic council also invited Federal Aviation Administration administrator Michael Huerta to answer questions, but he did not respond to the organization’s invitation.

Senator LaValle and Assemblyman Thiele Address Concerns in Noyac

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President of the Noyac Civic Council Elena Loreta, left, and New York State Senator Ken LaValle in a meeting on Tuesday, July 8. Photo by Mara Certic

By Mara Certic

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle and Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. were special guests at the monthly meeting of the Noyac Civic Council on Tuesday, July 8, where they spoke to their East End constituents about local concerns.

“I have a slogan,” began the senator, who arrived wearing his trademark baseball cap. “First district first,” he said. “If you look at the legislation that Fred and I have introduced, easily 50 percent of it deals with local issues and local problems.”

Both the senator and the assemblyman said they were pleased to see so many other elected officials at the Old Noyac Schoolhouse that night; Southampton Town Board members Bridget Fleming, Christine Scalera and Brad Bender were present, as well as newly elected North Haven Village Trustee Thomas J. Schiavoni.

“We spend a lot of time talking to people and listening to people,” the senator said as he mentioned one of his mother’s favorite sayings: God gave you two ears and one mouth and he did that for a reason: so listen!”

Senator LaValle and Assemblyman Thiele answered questions about topics ranging from gas prices to speed cameras, but most of the meeting was spent discussing taxes, education and water quality.

“One of the things I felt is that taxes are too high, property taxes in particular,” said Senator LaValle. “So we passed a multi-year plan,” he said in reference to the state-mandated two-percent tax levy cap that went into effect three years ago.

“You’re all familiar with the property tax cap and quite frankly it’s not perfect,” Assemblyman Thiele said. “But I think it’s worked very well.”

The tax cap was coupled with a tax freeze for the next two years, he explained, and residents of Sag Harbor will receive a tax rebate check this year. In future years, he explained, a tax credit will be given to those who live in a school district that does not pierce the tax cap.

Next year not only will the town, the school district and the county all have to meet the cap, but they will also have to submit a government efficiency plan to reduce the tax levy by 1 percent over the following two years. These plans will have to be approved by the state, the assemblyman said.

“Southampton and Tuckahoe are exploring the idea of consolidation,” he said of the neighboring school districts. “That might qualify for a government efficiency plan.”

“All of us agree that our schools should seek to have higher standards, we have to compete in a global economy now,” he said. That being said, Mr. Thiele quoted a colleague of his in the Assembly who said that “the Titanic had a better roll-out than Common Core.”

Mr. Thiele went on to say that he believed that the implementation of the Common Core this year was “a failure.”

“It was implemented from an ivory tower in a top-down fashion that didn’t take into account parents or teachers,” he said, adding that it should have been put in place “from the ground up.”

“The last thing that both Fred and I were very, very busy with,” Mr. LaValle said, “is the protection of our groundwater and surface water.”

The two men have spent the past year working on legislation called the “Long Island Water Quality Control Act.”

“In spite of all our best efforts we’re still seeing a decline in water quality,” said the assemblyman, who is in part responsible for the creation of the Peconic Estuary Program.

Previous legislation, he said, had focused on regulations for “future land use” when town land was split evenly in three: vacant, occupied and protected.

Today, he said, less than 10 percent of the land in Southampton and East Hampton is unspoken for. “If we’re going to change the issue, we need to change how we treat existing land uses. That’s how we’re going to make a difference and that’s what this legislation seeks to do.”

The two men lauded Southampton Town for the leadership role it has taken regarding research into new technology and alternative septic systems. The two state officials had a meeting organized for the following day at Stony Brook University about creating such new technology.

“We all want to see clean drinking water, but if you tell people they’re going to have to pay $25,000 to $30,000, people can’t afford that expenditure. The technology has to be evolved,” Mr. Thiele said. “Clean water is not just an issue on Long Island, it’s an issue globally.” He said he hopes that Suffolk County can become an incubator for water-quality technology, which would also create high-paying jobs, he said.

Mr. Thiele heard from the DEC, he said, that Governor Cuomo plans to release his own report on water quality in the next two to three weeks. “When he wants to do something, he’s going to take center stage. Nobody preempts the governor.”

Mr. Thiele encouraged Noyackers to write to the DEC about wells that monitor water quality near sand mines, such as Sand Land off Millstone Road in Noyac. In light of a recent ruling that instilled home-rule powers in upstate New York over hydrofracking, Mr. Thiele suggested that local officials might have an existing authority to mandate the monitoring by local law.

The Noyac Civic Council meets next on Tuesday, August 12, at the Bridgehampton Nutrition Center when Congressman Tim Bishop will attend to answer questions about the Federal Aviation Administration. Elena Loreto, president of the council, reminded residents to report disruptive aircraft noise and to send letters to the FAA in the next week to ensure that helicopters continue to follow the North Shore over-the-water route. Senator LaValle and Assemblyman Thiele said that they, too, would contact the FAA.

“We wrote to them before and we’ll be happy to do it again,” said Mr. Thiele. “We have supported this for quite a while.”

 

 

Noyac Civic Council Grants Scholarships, Talks Traffic

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May Evjen, left, and Sara Bucking, this year’s recipients of Noyac Civic Council scholarships. Photo by Mara Certic.

By Mara Certic

Southampton Town Police Lieutenant Michael Zarro was met with traffic questions, requests and complaints from concerned citizens at a Noyac Civic Council meeting on Tuesday, June 10.

Lt. Zarro, who will celebrate his 26th year as a member of the force next month, attended the meeting, he said, to find out “what you as a community think is the problem.”

Trucks and speeding, it turns out, are the two main concerns among the residents who attended, and there is no simple solution in sight.

Several Noyackers complained about loud construction and concrete trucks barreling down the hamlet’s quiet, predominantly residential streets starting at 6 a.m. every weekday. Residents insisted that the trucks drive so much faster than the 30 mile-per-hour speed limit, that it is becoming increasingly dangerous for them to drive around their neighborhood. “You can’t get out of your driveway!” one woman said.

Lt. Zarro said that knowing what specific time to target will help with traffic calming in the area.

One resident suggested that the Southampton Town Police Department station three officers at various spots along Noyac Road at 6 a.m. every day for a month. Lt. Zarro did not think that that would be a possibility but did inform the room that Lieutenant James Kiernan, also of the town police department, will provide more traffic enforcement for the road.

Due to the closure of several bars in Hampton Bays that required police patrols, police officers who previously worked on the busy weekend night during the summer season will now have more time to enforce Noyac speed limits, said Lt. Zarro.

One resident asked if adding traffic lights would help to alleviate the situation, but Lt. Zarro said that he didn’t believe so, “I don’t think they’ll slow traffic down, either,” he said. The stopping and starting of trucks creates also more noise than their passing by, it was explained.

Ralph DiSpigna expressed concern over conflicting figures he was given about the number of traffic accidents on Noyac Road. When he asked the Southampton Town Police, he was told that there had been five accidents in five years. He was told by the Southampton Town Highway Department, however, that there had been 21 in the same time frame. Lt. Zarro said he would investigate this further and get back to him.

The lieutenant emphasized the importance of reporting accidents and instances of speeding to the police department at the time that they occur. He added that a report must be filed for the specific case to go on record.

The police officer also discussed the dangers of telephone scams warning the crowd how professional the scammers can be. A press release authorized by Detective Sergeant Lisa Costa on June 9 was handed out and described three scams to be particularly worried about: the relative in jail scam, where the caller claims to need money to bail the victim’s relative out of jail; the IRS tax warrant scam, in which the caller claims to be an agent from IRS about a past due balance; and the jury duty scam, where the caller pretends to be a police or warrant officer demanding payment of a fine.

Lt. Zarro warned everyone to stay vigilant and never to give out personal information over the phone or the Internet.

During the meeting, Bob Malafronte gave a progress report on East Hampton Airport’s Noise Abatement Committee. Mr. Malafronte is one of only two committee members from Southampton. “They are making incredible progress,” he said, despite the fact that both flights and noise complaints are up this year.

Mr. Malafronte added, “We’re going for a complete helicopter ban. Other things will come up later, but for now it’s just helicopters.” He suggested that residents call the airport every time that they are disrupted by helicopter or plane noise. “I know that your efforts have gotten us some recognition,” he told the room.

President Elena Loreto presented the 2014 scholarship winners, Sara Bucking and May Evjen, both of Pierson High School. Sara has volunteered at East End Hospice’s Camp Good Grief, the Southampton Historical Society and the Easter Bonnet Parade. She plans to attend Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, in the fall. May is a volunteers at the Southampton Presbyterian Church and the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce. She will attend American University in the fall where she will major in communications and media studies.

“She hopes to make films,” said Ms. Loreto. “I hope she makes one about the Noyac Civic Council. I’m sure it’ll be a horror film.”

Gregor Offers Noyac Road Update to Civic Council

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By Stephen J. Kotz

Southampton Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor on Tuesday said he was optimistic a long awaited construction project on Noyac Road at Cromer’s Market should be completed by the end of June.

Speaking to the Noyac Civic Council, Mr. Gregor said PSEG Long Island had finished moving electric lines serving the area to new poles and that he was waiting for Cablevision and Verizon to move their lines. Verizon crews will then be in charge of removing the old utility poles before DeLalio Construction begins to work on the road itself.

“Since we had such a hard winter, we had a hard time getting the utilities motivated,” said Mr. Gregor, who added that he hoped that the poles would be moved by the end of this month. “The contractor will need two months to complete the project.”

The project is expected to improve traffic at a busy and dangerous curve, improve traffic circulation to Cromer’s and other businesses and side streets, and reduce stormwater runoff.

Mr. Gregor was joined at Tuesday’s meeting by Supervisor Anna Throne Holst, Councilwomen Christine Scalera and Brigid Fleming and Tom Neely, the town’s director of public transportation and traffic safety.

The town officials also answered committee members’ questions on other topics, including deer and the East Hampton Airport, although Noyac Road took center stage.

Improving the short stretch of road has proven to be a controversial project. First proposed seven years ago, the project went through numerous changes before ground was finally broken this year.

Mr. Gregor said that it had already been decided that Noyac Road is too busy even during the offseason for any work to be done on the weekends. Crews will work five days a week, he said, and try to keep two lanes open at all times. He said he expected the project to be wrapped up by the end of June, but if weather, or some other situation slows work and traffic becomes “too horrendous,” crews will not work on Mondays and Fridays during the latter stages of the project, to reduce traffic tieups around busy weekends.

Despite the fact that the project has been discussed for years, some council members said they were concerned it would not do much to improve traffic on the curve.

Glenn Paul said the new layout, which would require vehicles entering and leaving Cromer’s to do so at either end of the store’s parking lot, would result in tie-ups and more congestion.

“Do you think that will alleviate accidents at that spot?” he asked.

“That’s what we’re working on,” replied Mr. Gregor. “There has been some skepticism, but we think this is an improvement.

The highway superintendent said he expected a newly designed drainage system would dramatically reduce the amount of stormwater that runs down Bay Avenue and Dogwood and Elm Streets to the bay.

Mr. Gregor said he was pleased to report that he road work would cost about $521,000, well below initial estimates of $780,000 or more.

Other council members asked if a major repaving project on Montauk Highway from Southampton to East Hampton might result in traffic being diverted to Noyac Road, but Mr. Neely said there were no such plans, and he added that he expected contraction crews to have made their way through Bridgehampton, moving eastward, within three weeks.

Dorothy Frankel said she was happy to see the Cromer’s corner being dealt with, but said the time had come to do something to reduce speeding along the rest of Noyac Road. She suggested reducing the speed limit, adding lane dividers at key places or even designating part of the shoulders as bicycle lanes.

The only solution, Mr. Gregor said, was for the town to either increase the number of police enforcing the speed limit, which he said would provide spotty coverage, or installing a speed limit camera that would record a vehicle’s speed, take a photo of its license plate automatically generate a ticket.

Ms. Throne Holst said the town has requested that such cameras be placed along Noyac Road, but said that they are only legal in New York State in school zones.

“Speed cameras, we think, would be the perfect solution for Noyac Road,” she said, “Once you get that picture of your license in the mail and a whopping ticket, you start to notice it.”

 

East Hampton Plans Airport Noise Study

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By Stephen J. Kotz

East Hampton Town Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez announced on Tuesday that the town would undertake a noise study this summer with an eye toward developing use restrictions at East Hampton Airport.

Ms. Burke-Gonzalez said the town would take a somewhat novel approach that would seek to use both “noise averaging” data, which is typically required by the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as try to determine whether aircraft operations violate town law, which limits noise to 65 decibels during the daytime and 50 at night.

The town wants to have a consultant hired by early June, Ms. Burke-Gonzalez said.

The dual-pronged approach represents a compromise between two separate noise subcommittees the town board established earlier this year to advise it on airport issues. One of those subcommittees is made up exclusively of members of the aviation community and the other is made up of people who want the town to reduce noise coming from the airport.

Noise subcommittee members did not want the traditional noise averaging study done, which was recommended by DY Consultants, the town’s aviation engineering consultants, because it would take too long, cost too much, and not provide completely accurate information, Ms. Burke-Gonzalez said.

The town has a number of software programs that track not only the number of flights but the type of aircraft, whether it be a Sikorsky helicopter, a Gulfstream corporate jet or a Cessna single-engine plane, Ms. Burke-Gonzalez said. In addition, Ms. Burke-Gonzalez said, whoever conducts the study will be able to obtain detailed operating decibel information from aircraft manufacturers to help them generate an accurate computer modeling to map noise as an aircraft leaves or approaches the airport.

Ms. Burke-Gonzalez cautioned that the study would be preliminary in nature but stressed that it could be used to help determine what types of restrictions the town could consider imposing once some F.A.A. grant restrictions expire at the end of the year.

Separately, Southampton Town Councilwoman Christine Scalera has been appointed to the noise subcommittee. Ms. Scalera announced her appointment at Tuesday night’s Noyac Civic Council meeting just as a helicopter passed overhead, drowning out her words.

Southampton Town to Host Great East End Clean-up

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Southampton Town will host its annual Great East End Clean-up, April 20 and 21, encouraging residents to volunteer their time to remove litter from public roadways, parks, beaches and trails. Volunteers can select the public property they wish to clean up when they register at www.southamptontownny.gov.

Southampton Town will provide garbage bags, pick sticks and a free pass to the town recycling centers to dispose of the refuse for all volunteers. Supplies can be picked up by April 19 at the North Sea Transfer Station office between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. or the Citizens’ Response Center between 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Southampton Town Hall.

The Noyac Civic Council is planning to participate with a clean up of Noyac Road on Saturday, April 20 from 9 a.m. to noon.

The NCC will meet at 9 a.m. at Trout Pond and volunteers will disperse from there. Small groups will work on sections of Noyac Road and Trout Pond from Whalebone Landing to the traffic circle at Long Beach. To sign up with the NCC, call 725-3304.

Airport Protests Continue in East Hampton

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Following a September 24 meeting of the multi-town helicopter noise committee, where representatives from the East End towns along with members of the Quiet Skies Coalition and the Federal Aviation Administration met to discuss airport noise and flight paths into the East Hampton Airport, this week a series of protests are planned. Next week, Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst will speak to one of the most affected communities — Noyac — about air traffic noise. That talk will take place at a meeting of the Noyac Civic Council on Tuesday, October 9 at the Bridgehampton Community Center at 7:30 p.m.

In an email sent to its followers, the Quiet Skies Coalition — a not-for-profit made up of East Hampton and Southampton residents — announced two new demonstrations at the East Hampton Airport, located on Daniels Hole Road.

Quiet Skies Coalition chairwoman Kathy Cunningham urged those affected by air traffic to converge for a peaceful demonstration this Wednesday, October 3 and Thursday, October 4 from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

The coalition has also planned a march on East Hampton Village on Saturday, October 6 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. starting at the small park in front of the Ralph Lauren RRL store. The march will follow village sidewalks south along Main Street, looping around John Pappas Café and along the Reutershan lot and back to the park.

Photography by Michael Heller

Throne-Holst & Scalera Face “Hostile” Residents Fed Up With Airport Noise

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By Amy Patton

In a room packed with Noyac residents at the Bridgehampton Community Center Tuesday night, the mood at the Noyac Civic Council’s (NCC) monthly meeting was decidedly hostile. Citizens bombarded Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Councilwoman Christine Scalera with queries regarding official actions they hope will be taken to control airport noise in the area.

The source of the aggravation is air traffic — particularly low-flying helicopters —using East Hampton Airport on a flight path that takes them over Jessup’s Neck on their way to and from Long Island Sound. It’s been a continual annoyance, many residents say, since early summer and an unacceptable burden of noise pollution from the sky.

“It’s certainly more than we’ve had in previous years,” noted Randy Ackerman, who said that the disturbances from aircraft seemed to accelerate over the summer months.

Ackerman, a member of the Noyac Civic Council who has lived on Tredwell Lane with her husband, Gary, for 10 years, added that her street receives a hefty bulk of the daily air traffic burden.

“When they fly over, the windows vibrate and our dog jumps up,” said Ackerman. “We were out in the garden over the past weekend and we could barely hear our conversation.”

Ackerman said that she and her fellow civic council members hope to work on “sharing the burden” of air traffic with residents of East Hampton through a “south shore route” flight path.

“It’s a safety issue as well,” chimed in Elena Loreto, president of the NCC. “With the amount of air traffic traveling over the Noyac area alone, there have been several near-misses of helicopters in the air.”

East Hampton’s airport, she said, “was built originally to serve local recreational pilots. It wasn’t designed to take on this heavy burden of commercial traffic that is impacting local neighborhoods this way.”

Supervisor Throne-Holst spent much of the evening trying to soothe the concerns of the residents, who have had ongoing complaints about aircraft noise. She added that Southampton Town is working on solutions based on the deluge of reports that have been received in the past 10 months from homeowners.

To that end, she added that a meeting will take place Monday, September 17, at Southampton Town Hall to address noise concerns “and find solutions.“ In addition to Throne-Holst and Scalera, East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson, representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the airport management team of East Hampton and representatives from the pilot’s association will be in attendance at that meeting which, she said, is not open to the public.

Another hot-button issue raised at Tuesday’s NCC meeting was the town’s proposed “traffic-calming” plan which has been designed to slow vehicles on Noyac Road in front of two of the halmet’s commercially-zoned properties — Cromer’s Market and the Whalebone General Store.

A raised median separating the commercial lot from the roadway and complete re-construction of Noyac Road (including the addition of a center island) has been proposed by Southampton Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor. The plan comes with a reported price tag of $480,000 and it drew vocal ire from a majority of attendees at Tuesday’s meeting.

Most of those who spoke railed against the proposal and agreed that “small steps” are needed instead to slow down traffic in the area. These include devices such as rumble strips, pedestrian crosswalks where drivers are mandated by state law to stop, and even, as a partial solution for traffic calming, blinking yellow “slow” or red traffic lights.

Tom Gustin, who shares a home with his wife in the Pine Neck section of Noyac near Cromer’s and the Whalebone, said traffic and quality of life in that area would be negatively affected by the plan.

“We don’t want it,” he said, to the applause of others in attendance.