Tag Archive | "sag harbor village"

Sag Harbor Trustees Push Forward Plans for Outside Police Services

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Any question about whether or not the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees was bluffing as a means of strong-arming the Sag Harbor Police Benevolent Association (PBA) into a contract agreement when it talked about looking elsewhere for police services was answered on Friday morning.

After a two-hour executive session on Friday, the trustees voted 3-1 to authorize Sag Harbor Village attorney Fred W. Thiele, Jr. and the village’s labor attorney Vincent Twomey to draft an early retirement incentive package for eligible village police officers. In addition, they were instructed to draft an inter-municipal agreement between the Village of Sag Harbor and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office for police service.

Trustee Kevin Duchemin voted against the resolution.

In an exploratory fashion, Thiele will now begin to look at what other municipalities have done in terms of shared police services.

“To say there are a lot of details and issues out there would be an understatement,” said Thiele on Wednesday. “Really, this is the village doing its due diligence and examining the legal issues involved.”

Thiele acknowledged that if the village board tells him to strike a deal with the Suffolk County Sheriffs’ office he is authorized to do so, but that “we have not proceeded far enough for that to happen yet.”

What has happened, however, is it does appear that the sheriff’s have edged out East Hampton and Southampton Town Police Departments as the favored candidate for sharing police services.

This summer, facing a stalled contract negotiation with the PBA, the village board asked all three agencies to submit proposals to provide police services in the village.

Village police officers have been working without a new contract for more than a year.

On Monday, Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride said the village has received proposals from the sheriffs as well as East Hampton Town, but not from Southampton Town. He said the Suffolk County Sheriffs have currently offered the most competitive proposal.

The contents of the proposal have not been made public.

According to Mayor Gilbride, the Sheriffs have stated — in writing — that they could provide two police officers and cars for all shifts in Sag Harbor at a cost of $923,000, far below the over $2 million budget of the Sag Harbor Village Police Department.

However, according to Gilbride, he would like to see the village maintain its police department, but cut the number of officers from 12 to six, having another agency provide police services during the shifts not covered by members of the local department. Gilbride said the sheriff’s office has estimated the village could save between $400,000 and $600,000 annually if it took this route.

The mayor added that negotiations with the PBA, which are in arbitration, have continued to be “unproductive.” Gilbride and trustee Ed Gregory met with PBA President Patrick Milazzo last week, but failed to come to any agreement on a new contract.

“They do a great job and we love these guys, but when looking at these costs it is just a question if such a small village can afford this,” said Gilbride.

For Duchemin, who voted against the resolution, this is not what he believes the residents of Sag Harbor want.

“I can understand where the mayor is coming from,” said Duchemin on Wednesday. “His whole mindset is to save the taxpayers money; but I hear nothing but positive things from the taxpayers about the department and a lot of them are wondering why we would get rid of them.”

Duchemin said one resident even showed him his tax bill and remarked on how little he is paying for comprehensive police services.

The PBA, he added, would never be able to pare down its contract to provide the village with the kind of savings it is looking at if it contracts with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office.

“But until this is approved by the Suffolk County Legislature this isn’t going anywhere,” added Duchemin, adding he wonders if the legislature or even Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone knows what is being proposed behind closed doors.

 

Sag Harbor Planning Board Moves Baron’s Cove Inn Restaurant Forward Despite Neighbor Protest

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Despite protests by neighbors, some of whom had to battle for the right to speak, on Tuesday night the Sag Harbor Village Planning Board issued a negative declaration under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) for a proposal to create a restaurant space at Baron’s Cove Inn on West Water Street

That means the planning board believes the proposal does not carry the potential to cause a significant adverse environmental impact on the community.

Cape Advisors, which is developing the property, will still need to gain site plan approval from the Sag Harbor Planning Board for the 79 seat restaurant. Cape Advisors has asked to demolish an existing one-story lobby/office at Baron’s Cove Inn, which the firm is in contract to purchase, and replace it with a two-story restaurant.

While the restaurant seating will be located on the second floor, the proposed bar space for the restaurant is on the first floor next to the lobby. It is that aspect of the plan that has drawn the ire and concern of neighbors, as well as the not-for-profit Save Sag Harbor. The fear is because the bar is located on a different floor than the restaurant that it will become a destination bar space. Years ago, neighbors had to deal with Rocco’s, a nearby nightclub that many say ruined their quality of life.

In addition to the restaurant, the planning board is also reviewing a concession stand near the swimming pool.

On Tuesday night, Cape Advisors partner David Kronman reiterated a list of deed restrictions his firm has agreed to place on the property — restrictions that would run with the property even if it sold to another company.

Under the restrictions, Cape Advisors has agreed to have last call for any alcohol in the outdoor dining area on a proposed patio no later than 10 p.m., all outdoor background music will end at 9 p.m. nightly, last call at the restaurant’s bar will be no later than midnight and the hours of the restaurant bar, said Kronman, will be tied to the hours of the dining room. However, he added, room service will still be permitted to sell alcohol.

Cape Advisors has also agreed to prohibit bottle service of liquor and will not allow cover charges or entry fees, which are common calling cards of nightclubs.

The pool will also be restricted to hotel guests and their guests, said Kronman and will be closed at 9 p.m. as will the outdoor concession area.

“There is nothing more we can offer short of diluting our brand and the guest experience at the hotel,” said Kronman. “Cape Advisors believes we have a sensible project that is consistent with the village code. We are vested in Sag Harbor, here for the long run and have always tried to do the right thing.”

Planning board chairman Neil Slevin said he had heard the company was also considering valet parking on busy summer nights to protect the neighborhood from a parking problem, but Cape Advisors’ attorney Tiffany Scarlato said the 81 parking spaces in the inn’s parking lot fulfill the parking requirements in the village code.

In light of neighbor concerns, village attorney Denise Schoen said the board is limited in the way it assesses this project. First, she said, the board cannot assume Cape Advisors intends to break the law and convert the bar into a nightclub, for example. Second, a bar is only permitted under the village code in the hotel/motel district as an accessory to a restaurant, and only building inspector Tim Platt can make that determination.

Slevin said despite moving forward with the negative declaration, he would ask Platt to review the full application and ensure it does meet the village code.

He also asked Kronman for details on what the concession stand will offer.

Slevin said he believed protections in the code coupled with enforcement, deed restrictions and the scope of the project would ultimately be protective of neighbors. Many issues will also be hammered out in site plan review, said Slevin.

Before the board could act, neighbors began protesting, arguing their right to speak. Zelda Wirtschafter said she was concerned about parking, particularly now that parking is limited on Long Island Avenue, which could send cars onto neighborhood side streets.

“It seems there is more likely a potential use of that bar as a destination place for people in Sag Harbor to go there for a drink rather than go there just for the restaurant,” said Wirtschafter who added that she believed parking was a SEQRA issue.

“They meet the parking standards in the code,” said Schoen. “There is not much more you can do beyond that.”

At that point, Slevin tried to cut the conversation short, much to the ire of the crowd.

Neighbor Angela Scott said she believes the square footage of the downstairs bar area will allow for 265 people, 142 in the lobby lounge, 70 on the side covered porch and 53 on the front porch.

“It’s not just that it is on the ground floor,” said Scott. “The problem is the potential size of the bar area.”

Susan Mead, representing Save Sag Harbor, said her board was also concerned about calling this bar an accessory use, as they see it as a second primary use because of the bar’s location and potential size. For a second primary use a property owner would need zoning board of appeals (ZBA) approval.

“This is a very scary prospect,” said Mead. “It is an expansion of the code that could be done over and over and over again. It is a horrible precedent.”

A Sukka, Sag Style

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By Emily J. Weitz; Image by Erling Hope

Sukkot, which runs September 30 to October 7,  is considered the happiest holiday on the Jewish calendar, and for this year’s festivities, Temple Adas Israel has decided to throw its doors open to the whole community. The Sukka, an outdoor structure where all meals are meant to take place during the festivities, is the most distinctive part of the holiday, says Rabbi Leon Morris. And this year, Temple Adas Israel will unveil its beautiful new Sukka, designed by local architect Nilay Oza and local designer Erling Hope.

“Sukkot is the holiday of hospitality,” says Morris. “It’s part of the ‘It takes a village’ approach. We are sharing our tradition with the larger community, inviting people to participate on their own, and to share our joy.”

All activities throughout the week will take place in the new Sukka, which was designed sticking to Jewish legal requirements, with interesting aesthetic choices, like the unusual roofing.

“One of the rules,” says Oza, “is you can’t mechanically secure anything — so no screws. We took wide, thin pieces of wood and did a cross weave. We wanted the pieces of wood to be thin enough that you could see the light through them. Then, if you vault a ceiling it will have some strength, like an arch. This makes it self-supporting. It’s really simple.”

For a secular person like Oza, working on the Sukka was refreshingly spiritual.

“Whether you like it or not,” he says, “this is a spiritual construction. I understand that as an architect, a primary task, which borders on the spiritual, is to provide people shelter. I am emotionally tied to everything I do because I am providing people a home. That is very central. This was a way to connect with that. It was more than a job.”

But the construction of the Sukka is only the beginning. The structure will also be a work in progress, evolving as people from the community come and contribute to it. To that end, the temple has scheduled special community events daily throughout the week of Sukkot, including a screening of the award-winning Israeli film “Ushpizin,” a reading by local poets, a discussion with farmers from the East End, an evening of storytelling, jazz music and even a puppet show.

“Whenever someone comes,” explains Morris, “whether it’s for the poetry reading, the jazz concert, or the harvest discussion, they will create a panel that Erling Hope will then transform into the interior of the Sukka.’

“It will be a growing art project that the entire community will create,” he adds. “On the last day, we’ll have an open hut where people can come and see what was created over the course of the week.”

This communal aspect of building the Sukka and celebrating this holiday with the whole of the village is very much in line with the spirit of Sukkot.

“Even though this is a Jewish festival,” says Morris, “it’s always had a universal thrust to it. In the ancient temple in Jerusalem, over the course of the week, there were 70 bulls sacrificed, to represent the 70 nations of the world. The sacrifices were offered not just for Jewish people, but for all the world.”

So when Rabbi Morris and the members of the congregation started planning the weeklong celebration, it only made sense to draw on the abundance of the entire community.

“This holiday resonates with themes that speak to everyone who lives on the East End,” says Morris. “It’s about ecology, hospitality, universalism. It’s about getting in touch with how tied in to the earth we are and about getting in touch with our vulnerability.”

But he returns to the heart of the holiday, which is this element of joy.

“Some rabbis teach that what we accomplish on the High Holy days through tears,” explains Morris, “We accomplish on Sukkot through joy. Joy is no small aspect of religious life. It’s no small aspect of Jewish life, and I think it’s an aspect that some Jews on the periphery haven’t experienced how central the idea of joy is in Judaism. This holiday underscores that, and it’s something we can share with the larger community as well.”

This degree of inclusion, getting the whole community involved, is quite rare, said Morris. He said he does not feel there is a contradiction in being a devout Jew and being open to the whole community.

“They are not mutually exclusive principles,” he says. “The robust Jewish life that we experience personally and we share with our congregation is one that equally embraces and is non-judgmental. I think those are really complementary ideas, rather than contradictory. We’re so excited to share how relevant and meaningful Jewish life and traditions can be.”

Still, Morris attributes the plausibility of a collaborative project like this to the larger culture of Sag Harbor.

“This is a project that could only have come together as a result of our experience in living here,” says Morris. “This is a Sukkot with a Sag Harbor vibe.”

Celebrate Sukkot: The Jewish Harvest Festiva

Temple Adas Israel, 30 Atlantic Avenue, Sag Harbor. 725-0904.

Monday, October 1 -Screening of “Ushpizin” an Israeli film. 8 p.m.

Tuesday, October 2 -Poetry reading by Scott and Megan Chaskey, Pamela Kallimanis and Barbara Leff. 8 p.m.

Wednesday, October 3 - “A Day in the Life of Local Farmers” from Sunset Beach Farm and a sampling of squash soup. 8 p.m.

Thursday, October 4 - An evening of storytelling with local residents. 8 p.m.

Saturday, October 6 - Jazz concert with Bryan Campbell and friends. 8 p.m.

Sunday, October 7 - “Open Hut” viewing of the community Sukka. 3 p.m.

CfAR Presents $5,000 to East Hampton Town Trustees

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This past weekend offered prime September beach days and on Sunday, a not-for-profit dedicated to ensuring all residents in East Hampton Town have the right to continue enjoying the town’s beaches, handed an oversized check to the town trustees in an effort to fulfill their mission.

On Sunday, September 23 Citizens for Access Rights or “CfAR” presented a check for $5,000 to the East Hampton Town Trustees at their Bluff Point Road, Amagansett headquarters during the trustees’ annual largest clam contest. The funds are designated to be used to help in the defense of current lawsuits that have been filed by some waterfront homeowners in an effort to privatize a popular public bathing beach off the Napeague Stretch.

This is the second $5,000 check CfAR has presented to the town trustees. The not-for-profit’s first donation was made in October 2011.

“If we can keep doing this year after year we should be able to at least make a dent in the kind of funding the trustees need in this effort,” said CfAR board member Nicole Starr Castillo on Monday.

CfAR was founded by a group of East End residents who support open access to local beaches. In response to two lawsuits in which private individuals are claiming to own the ocean beach at Napeague, CfAR has come together to support the trustees, the East Hampton Town Board and any other governmental body willing to oppose the privatization of local beaches. CfAR is not affiliated with any political party and its objectives include the preservation of residents’ right to enjoy local beaches and donating funds to the town trustees for beach stewardship.

For more information on CfAR, visit www.citizensforaccessrights.com.

 

Red and Blue Unite: Presidential Debate Screening at Bay Street in Sag Harbor

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Photography by Michael Heller

It’s presidential election time! And while politics can make for strange bed-fellows — both donkeys and elephants are invited to head down to Bay Street Theatre in coming weeks to watch the presidential debates on the big screen.

“This is another opportunity for Bay Street to give back to the community by opening its doors for free,” says Tracy Mitchell, the theater’s executive director. “We welcome all to join us — no matter what your political inclination. Bay Street is a great place to enjoy gathering with your friends and neighbors for events that affect all of our lives.”

To that end, the theater will broadcast all three presidential debates between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney — October 3, 16 and 22 — as well as the vice-presidential face-off between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan — October 11. All four debates begin at 9 p.m.

Bay Street will also offer live election night coverage on November 6 (when doors open at 8 p.m.) Because “all politics is local,” the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons will join the October 16 debate with information available in the Bay Street lobby … and because politics can also be highly theatrical, refreshments will be available at the lobby bar.

Rivers “Legs” Will Remain in Sag Harbor as Court Case Continues

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By Kathryn G. Menu; Photography by Gavin Menu

You might call it a stay of artistic execution.

This week, Sag Harbor village attorney Fred W. Thiele, Jr. said the Village of Sag Harbor would not cite Janet Lehr and Ruth Vered for keeping the Larry Rivers’ “Legs,” planted in a thin strip of property next to their Madison Street home until a court decides the sculpture’s fate.

In June, Lehr and Vered filed an article 78 lawsuit against the Village of Sag Harbor’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) contesting that board’s April decision to not grant Lehr and Vered variances, relief needed to legalize the 16-foot sculpture, which was erected next to their home in 2008.

It was in 2008 that village officials ruled Lehr and Vered needed a building permit to display “Legs” alongside their home, the former Bethel Baptist Church on Madison Street in the historic district of Sag Harbor. For almost two years the “Legs” went unnoticed. Then a member of the village’s historic preservation and architectural review board (ARB) pursued the matter after Vered applied to that board for a certificate of occupancy to repaint the historic residence.

According to Sag Harbor Village Building Inspector Tim Platt, the “Legs” are viewed as a “structure” under the village code. There is no provision exempting art from village law and as a structure Lehr and Vered needed four variances, including one that would allow an accessory structure one foot from the property line where 35 feet is required.

The ZBA refused to entertain any arguments that the “Legs” should be exempt from the code as it is art, noting it did not believe art should be legislated. Their decision also noted allowing a structure a foot from the property line was not a precedent they wished to set and that neighbors “vehemently” opposed the application.

The decision also states the location of the proposed structure in the historic district is “contrary to the goals of the village to preserve and protect historic character” and that Lehr and Vered have other alternatives in how they display the sculpture.

The board did agree to allow Lehr and Vered to keep the “Legs” through the summer, until September 15. However, it stipulated Lehr and Vered must remove nighttime lighting as it was one of the issues neighbors have with the sculpture.

In June, Lehr and Vered sued the ZBA, calling their decision unreasonable and one made without taking into account the full record amassed during a two-year battle in front of the village boards.

Because the case is ongoing, said Thiele in an interview this week, the village will not pursue requiring Lehr and Vered meet that September 15 deadline to remove the “Legs.” However, Thiele said the women, who own and manage Vered Modern and Contemporary Art, have ceased lighting the sculpture.

“I think where we are is that they will be allowed to remain, pending the outcome of the litigation,” said Thiele noting the practice is fairly common.

Thiele said currently the Village of Sag Harbor is working on a legal brief for the court and hoped between now and the end of the year a judge in the New York Supreme Court will have ruled on the case.

Thiele added that in an article 78 lawsuit, the court only considers whether or not there was a rational basis for a determination by examining the court record.

If either side is unhappy with the court’s decision, said Thiele, they will have the opportunity to appeal that decision in the appellate court system.”

Update: Police Searching for Driver in Hit & Run that Killed Syosset Nun

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Southampton Town Police are seeking the help of residents in locating the driver of a car involved in a hit and run in Water Mill that claimed the life of a 60-year-old nun.

According to Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, police believe they know who the man is and are currently trying to locate him. As of Wednesday afternoon, police had yet to make an arrest.

According to reports, on Monday night around 8:30 p.m. Southampton Town Police received a 911 call about a female lying on the ground near 383 Rose Hill Road in Water Mill. Police said the caller described the woman as “bleeding and unresponsive.” Southampton Town Police Officers and detectives responded to the scene where they say they found a white female, 60 years old, laying dead on Rose Hill Road.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, The New York State Troopers, a Riverhead K-9 Unit, members of the Suffolk County Police Crime Lab, and the Southampton Fire Department responded to the scene to assist with the investigation.

Police identified the woman as Sister Jacqueline Walsh, of Syosset. Police said the Roman Catholic nun was on a retreat with her colleagues from the Sisters of Mercy.

In a press release issued Tuesday afternoon, police said they believe she was the victim of a hit-and-run accident involving someone who left the scene, and his vehicle, behind. Detectives located an unoccupied 2009 Volkswagen Touareg about a half-mile from the crime scene that was damaged on the front end of the vehicle.

On Tuesday, police continued their search for the driver asking residents for help in locating him. According to police, they are searching for a white, Hispanic male, approximately 5’7”, in his 20s or 30s with short spiked hair. Police believe he was wearing dark shorts and a white shirt at the time of the accident.

However, on Tuesday during a press conference about a separate incident, District Attorney Spota said police believe they know who the driver was and now are in the process of trying to find him.

“We know who the driver of the car is and there are police officers right now on the street trying to locate him,” said Spota when questioned by a reporter at the press conference.

“He lives in the community where the incident occurred,” he added. “They are looking for the individual, but we know who he is.”

According to Spota, a prosecutor from the vehicle crimes unit has already been assigned to the case.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the detective’s unit at 702-2230.

Southampton Town Police are seeking the help of residents in locating a man they believe hit a nun with his car in Water Mill and then fled the scene, leaving his vehicle, and the 60-year-old woman who would succumb to her injuries.
According to police, on Monday night around 8:30 p.m.  Southampton Town Police received a 911 call about a female lying on the ground near 383 Rose Hill Road in Water Mill. Police said the caller described the woman as “bleeding and unresponsive.” Southampton Town Police Officers and Detectives responded to the scene where they say they found a white female, 60 years old, laying dead on Rose Hill Road.
The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, The New York State Troopers, a Riverhead K-9 Unit, members of the Suffolk County Police Crime Lab, and the Southampton Fire Department responded to the scene to assist with the investigation.
Police identified the woman as Sister Jacqueline Walsh, of Syosett. Police said she was on a retreat with her colleagues from the Sisters of Mercy.
In a press release issued Tuesday afternoon, police said they believe she was the victim of a hit-and-run accident, possibly involving someone who left the scene, and his vehicle, behind. Detectives located an unoccupied 2009 Volkswagen Tourareg about a half-mile from the crime scene that was damaged on the front end of the vehicle.
As of Tuesday morning, police were still searching for the driver and asked area residents for their help in locating him. According to police, they are searching for a white, Hispanic male, approximately 5’7”, in his 20’s or 30’s with short spiked hair. Police believe he is wearing dark shorts and a white shirt at the time of the accident.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the detective’s unit at 702-2230.

 

Sag Harbor Adopts New Chicken Law

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After no protests, the Sag Harbor Board of Trustees passed the newest version of a law allowing residents to keep chickens on their properties Tuesday night.

“This has been a long time coming,” said Mayor Gilbride.

Last year, the village board passed its first law allowing people to keep chickens — no roosters — on residential properties. However, after what Sag Harbor Village Attorney Fred W. Thiele, Jr. called “a difference of opinion within the building department” over whether or not the law required a minimum lot size — something the village board did not intend — the board agreed to clarify the law.

The village chicken law now allows residents to keep one chicken per 3,500 square-feet of lot area. This paves the way for Grand Street resident Mare Dianora to re-apply to the village planning board to have three chickens on her property.

“So this application should move forward without anyone’s feathers getting ruffled,” joked Thiele.

The village board also adopted a law on Tuesday night that prohibits cars from crossing Jermain Avenue and entering Main Street while exiting Mashashimuet Park. According to Mayor Gilbride, it was an unwritten rule that now is codified for safety’s sake. The board also passed a law formally prohibiting residents from draining their pools into the roadway in any fashion, a practice that is already against state law.

Lastly, the village board is considering a new law to define the jurisdiction of the Sag Harbor Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board (ARB). According to Thiele, the law again came out of a disagreement within the building department about how far the ARB’s jurisdiction extends past the historic district.

Thiele and village attorney Denise Schoen drafted what they believe is a compromise — a law that gives the ARB jurisdiction over everything in the historic district, but only applications requiring site plan review outside of the historic district.

The board decided to sit on the law in the hopes of receiving public comment on the subject.

The next village board meeting will be held on August 14 at 6 p.m.

Squash: Making a Racquet in Southampton

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Heller_SYS Summer Squash Camp_7415

By Amy Patton

It’s a sport that has flown somewhat under the radar over the past seven years since five courts were installed at Southampton Youth Services’ (SYS) Elmaleh/Stanton Center. Squash — a fast-paced indoor racquet game that has traditionally been associated with the Ivy League — has been described as a hybrid of racquetball and handball. According to Walter “Wally” Glennon, the president of Southampton Squash, Inc. it is also a sport that has seen its share of enthusiastic participants expand over the years in this country.

“The sport is growing very rapidly here in the United States, especially in the amateur ranks,” said Glennon, a part-time coach at SYS and a board member with the organization.

And local kids are grabbing racquets and getting onto the court, too. A summer camp at SYS is in full swing this month and next with squash instruction and play offered as part of the overall sports learning environment for youth. Glennon, who compared the evolution of squash to “what tennis was 50 years ago,” noted the sport has become so popular, in fact, that a professional woman’s competition is making its way to the East End next week boasting a sizeable purse.

The Women’s Doubles Squash Association (WDSA), an eight-team professional event with a $20,000 prize, comes to SYS July 12 through July 15 and the youth squash program is set to receive an infusion of cash as a result. The proceeds of the event will go to a non-profit program to give kids at SYS, even those whose families cannot afford it, admittance to the squash courts as well as lessons.

“The biggest priority for us is to provide the opportunity of access to the squash courts, so that people in the community who want to play are able to,” explained Narelle Krizek, the head of the WDSA.

Krizek, an Australian native who currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and children, is obviously passionate about the sport. She began playing squash when she was a young girl growing up in the city of Brisbane. While she wants to bring the sport into the consciousness of all young athletes, she acknowledges there is a price tag attached to the game.

“It costs money to run these not-for-profit programs such as the one in Southampton [SYS],” she said. “We chose them as a beneficiary of our tour proceeds because they open their doors to allow anyone to play and that’s why we wanted to support the facility.”

She cited the availability of a doubles court — SYS has five singles courts and one doubles court — as another factor that spurred her team to choose SYS as a venue at which to hold the upcoming tourney, titled the First Annual Wilson Cup.

Sponsored financially by Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, Talmage LLC and Saratoga Partners, the competition will feature top WDSA players from the United States and other countries, including those who have earned their ranking playing throughout North America this past season. The women will also host a pro-am tournament in which players will team up with local amateurs who will pay for the privilege of competing with professional “squashies” as they are sometimes dubbed in Australia.

A recent visit to the SYS facility on Majors Path in Southampton found local youth hard at work on the courts, practicing drills and game strategy under the watchful eye of Egyptian-born coach Sayed Selim.

Fifteen year-old Alex Patricolo, a sophomore at Westhampton Beach High School, has been playing squash since the age of 11. Last year, he garnered a national junior ranking of 38.

“It’s a fast-paced game and you really have to be on your toes a lot to know what’s going on,” he said. “You need to have a good sense of anticipation too. You always have to be thinking about what type of shot the other player has planned next.”

While there’s no doubt that squash has millions of fans throughout the world, don’t expect to see it represented at the Olympics in London this summer. Although technically recognized as an Olympic sport by the International Olympic Committee, Krizek said squash hasn’t yet been approved for competition.

But there are hopes that, by 2016, as the sport grows in popularity the game will finally receive a nod from the IOC.

The Women’s Doubles Squash Association (WDSA) 1st Annual Wilson Cup presented by Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management will be played at SYS’s Elmaleh/Stanton Squash Center at 1370A Majors Path in Southampton July 12 through July 15. For more information, call 287-1511.

Above: Cameron Burton goes for a forehand against Cameron Munn during the squash summer camp at the Elmaleh-Stanton Squash Center at the SYS facility in Southampton on July 2. Photography by Michael Heller


State Tax Credits for Historic Preservation to be Expanded

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In a move New York State Assemblyman and Sag Harbor resident Fred W. Thiele, Jr. said was aimed at promoting preservation on the East End while also encouraging job growth, last week the Assembly passed legislation that will increase the maximum award available under the historic preservation tax code from $5 million to $12 million.

According to Thiele, the bill, which he sponsored, is expected to become law.

“Increasing the tax credit for builders and developers who want to do business on the East End may give them the added incentive they need to move forward on these projects and create jobs,” said Thiele in a press release issued last week. “The Assembly’s legislation opens up a bigger market for developers and investors and is another sign that New York is open for business. Additionally, the enhanced tax credit will preserve historic buildings, reduce blight and get more East End residents working.”
According to Thiele, prior to this legislation, the historic preservation tax credit was capped at $5 million per project and has been used by developers across the state to renovate and restore buildings that suffer from long-time neglect. Increasing the tax credit to $12 million creates a greater incentive for developers, said Thiele, and will make it more desirable to restore large, historic projects that may be financially cost prohibitive otherwise.