Tag Archive | "sag harbor windmill"

Kelly Connaughton

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Why is the Chamber moving its music night to Wednesdays at the Windmill?

The main reason is that, as you know, the Windmill is in need of restoration. The Chamber of Commerce wanted to do something to shift attention over to the Windmill and add value to our efforts there and focus our resources. Not only would it drive more donations, we also thought it might be fun. Wednesday is kind of an off night and this way people could also watch the yacht races. The reason we changed the time was to bring more people into the village during off hours. During 4 to 6 p.m. would capture people coming from the beach late afternoon who would hopefully want to stick around later for dinner or to see a show.


What has also changed about the music series?

The bands are a little smaller; we have been trying to reduce. We do quite a few events and we want to do anything we can to help drive business and give people a reason to stick around. The smaller area works really well; people can bring a blanket or a chair to sit out on the lawn. The Windmill is an iconic part of Sag Harbor. Sitting out and looking at the bridge and the water is a beautiful view.  There is an eclectic mix with local roots from all over the East End. We have blues, jazz, soul, Americana, R&B, reggae, a little rock, world-music, pop and original music. These are names people will recognize and with five concerts gives us the ability to be somewhat flexible. The Sag Harbor Community Band plays on Tuesdays and it will be celebrating 55 years of free concerts. Now there is also something on Wednesday, in the middle of the week that will benefit the village.


How does the Chamber hope this will gain financial support for the Windmill?

Mostly by holding them at the Windmill and raising awareness. Those who don’t know about this effort are going to. We will have a table set up asking for donations as well as a little merchandise. Local artists donated these notecards of beautiful images of musicians playing in front of the Windmill. With a five-dollar donation they will get a free notecard. It is a nice memento to help support a great local effort. It’s something they can walk away with from the community and feel good about.


How will the money raised be used to help restore the Windmill?

As [chamber of commerce president] Robert Evjen said we aren’t losing our music series, we’re just reframing it. First thing is to get each of the blades restored. It costs about $10,000 to $15,000 a blade. We already raised over $20,000 with the help of the community. It’s really a positive thing. We hope this series will help close the gap. The summer is when we have the most traffic. Everyone who is going to Sag Harbor has to go past the Windmill and with all the signs it can’t help but raise awareness.


The Chamber of Commerce will present its five free performances at the Sag Harbor Windmill on Long Wharf from 4 to 6 p.m. every Wednesday (August 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29)

Saving the Windmill

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by Michael Heller

Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce president Robert Evjen, Save Sag Harbor members Jayne Young and Hillary Loomis and benefit committee volunteer Ginny Hubert met at the windmill on Long Wharf on Monday to announce the donation of $5,703 by Save Sag Harbor toward a new sail for the windmill. One of the four sails was damaged by Hurricane Irene last year, and, for safety reasons, the remaining three were also removed.

It is estimated to cost $60 – $70,000 to fully restore the windmill. To date, roughly $18,000 has been raised, including a recent $9,000 anonymous donation to rebuild the remaining three sails. A “Mambo at Muse” fundraising party will be held at the Muse Restaurant this Wednesday, May 16, 4:30-6:30 p.m. for anyone who wishes to help the cause, and any donations of time and materials by local contractors will also be welcomed.

Student Writers Have a Reading of Their Own

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By Claire Walla

Eighth grader Casey Grubb first came to the Jeanette Sarkisian Wagner Teen Writing Workshop because her school counselor suggested it might be something she would enjoy.

She didn’t expect to like it this much.

“I’ve always written, but I’ve never shared it with anyone,” she said. “I was an ‘in the closet writer!’” she added with a laugh.

Though Grubb’s always been prone to drafting short stories and creating her own narratives, she continued, “I’ve never been able to share something so raw.”

This Sunday, after eight months of weekly writing classes, Grubb will be reading an original work aloud along with nearly a dozen other students at the John Jermain Memorial Library, located on West Water Street in Sag Harbor.

“This year, I was trying to give the students the confidence to start sharing their work, to have them believe that their voice has value,” said Emily Weitz, a writer who works part-time for The Express and leads the teen writing workshop each week.

“My role in their lives is somewhere in between teacher and friend,” Weitz explained. “I’m more like their artistic peer, because they’re writers and I’m a writer. We’re all on the same path, and I really look at them like that.”

The class is structured very loosely, often with a prompt or a question at the beginning, inviting all students to enter into discussions before putting pen to paper. While her goal is to get students’ creative juices flowing, Weitz said the bottom line is more simplistic than that: “I just want them to write.”

Weitz said she learned early on that structure is not necessarily conducive to this class.

“I gave them notebooks on the very first day… they were all gone by the second week,” she said with a laugh. In the end, while Weitz helps students edit their pieces, diligent documentation and structured technique are not the point.

“The main goal of this class is to give kids the time and the space to write, to define their own voices without trying to be something that someone else expects them to be,” she explained. “They’re constantly trying to fit into these expectations that their parents or peers have for them, so it’s important for them to have a space where they can write whatever they want, whether it’s a diary entry or a story about a magical world.”

Weitz often starts class by giving students a prompt to stir their creative juices. Such topics have invited students to consider what they carry around in their own bags (and why?) or asked the to wonder what it might be like to be a tourist in their own town.

Eighth grader Alika Esperson said she particularly enjoyed thinking about Sag Harbor from a new perspective.

“I do that more now because I see all the little stuff — the horse from the Five and Ten, or the school with the big clock — and it seems new,” she explained. “I think it’s important every once in a while to look at things differently.”

Throughout the year, students have been adding to an e-zine, called “Moss,” which can be found through the library’s homepage, or by simply going to moss.johnjermain.org. Their first (and only) public reading will take place on Sunday, May 6 at 5 p.m.

“I really appreciate the work that they’ve put in, and the trust and support they have for each other” Weitz added. “The reading is a nice opportunity for them to share their work, but what it’s really about is those many, many weeks when we just came together to write.”

“Occupy” Returns to the Mill

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web_Occupy Sag Harbor 3-25-12_6284

By Claire Walla

If you drove past the windmill in Sag Harbor last Sunday, you may have noticed a sign.

“F*** Obama, Occupy.” (Missing letters included.)

It produced at least one angry call to the Sag Harbor Village Police station, which reported the incident as an “offensive sign.” Whether you like it or not — and whether or not you agree with this sentiment — they’re back.

After a few-month hiatus, the group of activists associated with the national Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, known locally as Occupy East End (OEE), took to the Sag Harbor windmill last Sunday, March 25 to reinstate efforts to, well, occupy the Hamptons.

The group had been meeting in the Lutheran Church in Bridgehampton for much of the winter, due to the seasonal chill. But now they’re back here in Sag Harbor, where their efforts to gather support are much more visible.

This reemergence, which last week drew a crowd of about 10, follows in the wake of major Occupy rumblings in New York City, where OWS protestors effectively created another protest encampment in Union Square at 14th Street.

OEE members Shannone Ball and Matt Laspia were there last Friday night when police officers shut down Union Square from the hours of 1 to 6 a.m. While the two OEE members condemned the actions of the NYC police officers, who, dressed in riot gear, barricaded people out of the park, Ball and Laspia said the fight to change the U.S. banking system and instill more equality was still going strong.

And they want the East End to follow suit.

Ball, who largely facilitated last Sunday’s meeting, spoke on behalf of the Direct Action Working Group, of which she is a part.

“I’m trying to put together a map of the 1 percent, where they live, so we can protest them,” Ball said. “They vacation in our resort town and they deplete our resources.”

Protesting might include standing outside these locations with picket signs. The details aren’t really clear. Ball said she’s also in the process of making a list of people who dock their boats in Sag Harbor; the people who, as Ball described them, “continue to commit crimes and not be responsible for them.”

The thrust of the Occupy movement has focused on the U.S. banking industry, which protesters in large part blame for the economic collapse of 2008 and the continually growing divide between rich and poor in this country.

“We don’t want to occupy The American Hotel, we love The American Hotel,” Ball clarified during the meeting. “But, if Lloyd Blankfein [CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs] is eating there, we have to be there.”

Ball further articulated the group’s intentions by saying its efforts are not aimed at creating a “lynch mob” mentality. Rather, the goal is to foster “productive direct actions.”

In addition to picketing, this could include protest marches.

Southampton resident Bob Shainwald supported that notion when he explained he had attended a march in Port Jefferson the previous Saturday, which had attracted a crowd of about 80 people, “mainly my age, all white,” he added.

It was a silent march through the downtown section of the waterfront town, held primarily to mark the anniversary of the war in Iraq.

While last Sunday’s OEE meeting was not exactly well attended — according to group organizer Larry Darcey there are upwards of 25 active members the group — the meeting still followed procedures outlined by OWS.

The group went through committee reports, group members used hand signals to support comments or interrupt words that didn’t follow protocol, and the meeting ended with a portion called “soapbox,” during which all members were invited to share opinions.

Last week the group didn’t have much to report; members primarily focused on the name shifting from “Occupy the Hamptons” to “Occupy the East End,” a change that was voted in the week prior. The group will exist under both headings until April 18, when the name change will be official.

OEE member Michael Clarjen-Arconada, part of the East End Clean Water Working Group, said “We want to focus on clean water to find permanent solutions to the problem of water pollution.”

Because water and food and education, he concluded, should be “free for all!”

Picking up where Clarjen-Arconada left off, Matt Laspia — who is also part of a grassroots organization called Produce in the Projects — said that every Sunday he would make an effort to bring fresh vegetables to the meetings. They would be free to all in attendance. (His pick-up truck, parked at the curb beside the windmill, displayed a sign that read: “Free Kale.”)

Produce in the Projects is an organization that teams up with homeowners across Long Island and Queens to dig-up lawns and replant a variety of vegetables.

“They take half and we take half,” Laspia said.

All 10 members standing around Laspia raised their arms and wiggled their fingers to show their support.

The group will be meeting next Sunday, April 1 at 2 p.m. at the windmill.