Tag Archive | "Sag Harbor"

Masters of the Telecaster Come to Bay Street Theater

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GE Smith

GE Smith

By Emily J. Weitz

Jim Weidner

Jim Weidner

To understand the jam that is set to unfold at Bay Street Theater this weekend, you must first understand the Telecaster guitar as an instrument. Introduced to popular culture in 1950 by Fender, this solid-body electric guitar broadcasted its sound in a way that no other instrument had. The Telecaster has been a choice instrument of Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen, and George Harrison, and has contributed greatly to the sound and history of rock and roll.

Jim Weider, former member of The Band, will be one of the three Telecaster virtuosos playing on Saturday. He first heard the instrument in the 1950s.

“I saw it with guys like Jim Burton, who played with Elvis,” recalled Mr. Weider, “and Steve Cropper, who played with Otis Redding.”

He was drawn to the sound, which had a distinctive ring to it.

“It’s harder than a Gibson, though,” he said, “because it has a longer scale length. You have to work harder to get notes to ring out of it.”

He committed himself to the instrument, and has become one of only a select group of musicians to be endorsed by Fender. He explores the range of sounds a telecaster can produce.

“There’s the clean twang,” he said, “to the distorted feedback through classic Fender amps. What made these classic tunes is the sounds and tones of these instruments.”

Mr. Weider, who played with The Band for 15 years and has since played with a variety of groups including the Midnight Ramble Band with the late Levon Helm and Larry Campbell, first decided to put together a show devoted to the telecaster guitar just for fun.

“It was Roy Buchanan’s birthday,” he said, “and he really inspired me on the telecaster.”

Larry Campbell with wife and fellow musician Teresa Williams.

Larry Campbell with wife and fellow musician Teresa Williams.

Mr. Weider first heard Buchanan, who’s considered a pioneer on the instrument, doing psychedelic feed on the telecaster in 1971, and was blown away by it. So for Buchanan’s birthday one year, he thought he’d bring together a few great telecaster players.

“I called up GE Smith to see if he wanted to do it,” he said, “and being a total tele player and great musicologist, he jumped aboard, and it was fantastic. It started growing.”

GE Smith led the Saturday Night Live Band for ten years, and has also toured with Bob Dylan. Together, Jim Weider and GE Smith have done many shows together over the decades since that birthday party, and they’ve experimented with the third player. At Bay Street, they’ll bring in Mr. Campbell, a band mate of Weider’s from the Midnight Ramble Band and a master telecaster player himself.

Larry Campbell is a three-time Grammy Award winning producer who plays many instruments, including the Telecaster. He also toured with Bob Dylan and has played with other artists like Judy Collings, Levon Helm, Sheryl Crow, BB King, and Willie Nelson.

“GE is one of the best I’ve heard on the planet,” said Mr. Weider, “and Larry too. The Telecaster is great for country, blues, rock and roll, and R and B. so each of us pick four or five songs and we go from one to the next with some solos.”

The backup band, which was Levon Helm’s backup band, consists of drums, bass, and keyboards. Together, they play classic songs that really allow the telecaster to shine.

“It’s no pressure, not all on one guy,” said Mr. Weider. “There are enough players that we can really throw it around and jam. We always try something we haven’t tried.”

The Telecaster, Mr. Weider says, is an expressive instrument, and that’s what comes across in these shows.

“More than just playing the tunes and rocking it up,” he said, “it’s about getting the real tones. Telecasters cut through the sound. You can really hear them… You have to experience it.”

The Masters of the Telecaster will give Sag Harbor precisely that experience on Saturday night 8pm at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. Taylor Barton, a singer/songwriter who learned to play among the likes of Bob Dylan and Jerry Garcia, will open for them. Tickets are $35 and are available online at baystreet.org or at the box office – 725-9500.

 

Two Artists Share Common Themes in Temple Adas Israel Show

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Catherine Silver. Toil and Trouble. Jewish Mystic 2012.

Catherine Silver. Toil and Trouble. Jewish Mystic 2012.

By Annette Hinkle

Catherine Silver. Erruptions in the night Encaustic on wood copy.

Catherine Silver. Erruptions in the night Encaustic on wood copy.

Religious art isn’t something that most galleries specialize in — but at Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor, religious themed art is not only encouraged… it’s required.

The temple’s gallery space consists of three walls in the large meeting room just inside the building’s main entrance. Ann Chwatsky, a member of the temple’s art committee, curates the space and she explains that in order to exhibit at the temple, an artist’s work must relate to Judaism in some apparent way.

“This is a gallery space, but it’s not one people come to visit off the street,” explains Ms. Chwatsky. “Rather people come in when they’re here for services.”

“My goal is to communicate in an artistic way some Jewishness to add to the experience,” she says. “So far, it’s been really interesting and there’s always something on view.”

The work of two temple members, Barbara Freedman and Catherine Silver, is currently on view “Two Artists — Common Themes” at the temple. The show officially opens with a wine and cheese artist reception on Sunday, October 26 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Both artists divide their time between New York City and the East End, and took part in art workshops focused on Jewish text at the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El in New York where Leon Morris, Temple Adas Israel’s former rabbi, was once director. Though their artistic styles are strikingly different, Ms. Freedman and Ms. Silver both use Hebrew text in their work as well as imagery reflective of Jewish tradition, mysticism and history.

“Both of them are looking to explore their own relationship to their religion artistically,” says Ms. Chwatsky. “The art helps you to understand more about not just your past but your religion.”

Barbara Freedman. Horizontal Texts 8 x 11

Barbara Freedman. Horizontal Texts 8 x 11

That is certainly true of Ms. Freedman whose work is dominated by collages comprised of various historical, traditional and religious imagery.

“In many of these images, I take photographs and then I bring them together in Photoshop which is everyone’s favorite device,” explains Ms. Freedman. “I paint a background that I photograph then add and subtract images and color and anything that appeals to me — a flower, or piece of text — and collage them.”

To find historic text for her work, Ms. Freedman visited the library at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York where she was permitted to photograph Hebrew on papyrus sheets.

“They had been rolled up for years and never put in a book,” says Ms. Freedman who notes it wasn’t the meaning of the words that inspired her, but rather the visual nature of the texts themselves.

“They have a kind of curl to them. These were just art objects on beautiful paper,” she says. “They were found 100 years ago and very ancient and I was just fascinated.”

Other works by Ms. Freedman’s in this show reference a different kind of history — her own.

A box of old family photographs and mementos were the inspiration behind collages that share a very personal view of the past. One features a photograph of Ms. Freedman’s father along with his personal worship items — his prayer book, tallit, and his tefillin (leather straps inscribed with Torah verses worn by observant Jews during morning prayers).

“The teffilin is made of animal skin and through the years, it had all dried up,” explains Ms. Freedman. “I put the teffilin on the scanner and it picked up the edges of the leather bindings. It had shredded over time and I thought it was just so artistic.”

“I associated it with my dad because it must have been something he used when he was young and didn’t use later,” explains Ms. Freedman who was brought up in a decidedly less conservative religious tradition. “My parents loved the old traditions but they didn’t necessarily practice them in the way they had learned as children.”

Jewish identity is also an important aspect in the work of Catherine Silver. Like Ms. Freedman, Ms. Silver also works in collage, but her medium includes oils, pastels and an intriguing amount of encaustic — beeswax built up in layers. The result is extremely textural work that is chock-full of historical references and dense with imagery.

Ms. Silver notes some of her art was inspired by the text workshops at Temple Emanu-El, but she also draws inspiration from Israel, which she visits often.

“I also define myself as a feminist and some of the themes in my work are feminist,” she says. “It’s a different aspect of women’s identity, religiously speaking, and about finding one’s space.”

When asked about her own religious identity, Ms. Silver responds by saying, “I enjoy different kinds of Judaism. I enjoy Hassidim and go to their services from time to time, I also enjoy the orthodox and the reform service. They are all different in different ways.”

And while Hassidim practice separates the genders during services — hardly a model most modern feminists would embrace — Ms. Silver notes she finds the practice compelling in that is so deeply rooted in historical tradition.

And tradition is ultimately what it’s all about — whether that means preserving it or discovering it.

“My family was in Mexico during the war. My father was a French diplomat there in 1939 and when war broke out he decided to stay in Mexico,” explains Ms. Silver who grew up there and in France.

“My own Jewishness was only made clear and discovered when I was 12,” she adds. “So it has been a search for my roots and the art is part of my search.”

“Two Artists — Common Themes” opening reception is Sunday, October 26 from 4 to 6 p.m. Temple Adas Israel is at 30 Atlantic Avenue, Sag Harbor. Call (631) 725-0904 for details.

“Gabriel” a Local Highlight at the Hamptons International Film Festival

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Rory Culkin on the Shelter Island ferry in "Gabriel."

Rory Culkin on the Shelter Island ferry in “Gabriel.”

By Annette Hinkle

Director Lou Howe in Riverhead.

Director Lou Howe in Riverhead.

This weekend, the 22nd Annual Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) offers a full slate of documentary, narrative and short films at theaters in East Hampton, Southampton, Montauk, Westhampton Beach and right here in Sag Harbor.

The festival runs from Thursday to Monday and films featured in the HIFF represent perspectives by filmmakers from around the globe. But also in the mix are movies made closer to home and among the offerings in this year’s Views From Long Island section is “Gabriel,” an indie film from writer/director Lou Howe which will screen at the Sag Harbor Cinema this Friday evening.

The film is Mr. Howe’s first feature-length project. It garnered some favorable buzz at the Tribeca Film Festival when it premiered there in April — and much of the film was shot right here on the East End, including in Sag Harbor.

“Gabriel,” stars Rory Culkin as a young man suffering through a mental breakdown while his concerned mother and older brother struggle to cope with his delusions and get him the help he needs. When the film opens, Gabriel has just been released from a psychiatric facility, but rather than heading straight home to his family, he boards a bus to Connecticut with intentions to track down a high school girlfriend. Gabriel plans to propose to her — despite the fact the two have had no contact for five years.

This is just one the many delusional fantasies Gabriel (or Gabe as he insists on being called) explores after he goes off his meds. As he sinks deeper into a world of his own making, Gabe evades his family by chasing unrealistic dreams and vague childhood memories in New York City and on Long Island. At times, Gabriel’s frightening irrationality and poor judgment make him a threatening on-screen presence. Yet as an actor, Mr. Culkin never turns his character into stereotype and instead manages to keep Gabriel intense, but extremely sympathetic at the same time.

It’s a fine line to walk in a portrait of mental illness and given the astute handling of the material in the script, one might suspect that Mr. Howe has had first-hand experience with it in his own life.

“I have a close childhood friend who was diagnosed with a mental illness when he was a freshman in college,” explains Mr. Howe. “We grew up together and that experience affected me deeply. It felt like something that could be an effective story.”

“Once I started to write it, it became totally fictional,” he adds. “It sprung out of the experience with my friend and his family dealing with him.”

Mr. Howe also credits Mr. Culkin for having the skill to effectively pull-off the subtleties of Gabriel’s complicated on-screen persona.

“I think getting to the human side came naturally and was not at all a challenge for me or Rory – that was the original connection we made,” explains Mr. Howe. “It wasn’t about the illness or the way he doesn’t fit in the world. It was Gabe, a person, and on some level understanding him and his basic wants and needs.”

“The way Rory works is very similar to what I was hoping to do with the movie,” adds Mr. Howe. “We were able to open up to each other and talk through our childhoods and things that are inside to build Gabe’s internal life and figure out what’s going on in his head as specifically as possible. We had trust that creating an inner world that felt authentic would come out the way it should.”

Mr. Howe, a graduate of the American Film Institute’s (AFI) filmmaking program, lives in Los Angeles, but he’s a native New Yorker who has spent a good deal of time on the East End, which is why he decided to come here in the winter of 2013 to shoot much of the film. Sag Harbor doubles as Connecticut in one of the film’s first scenes, a farmhouse on the East End serves as Gabe’s mother’s upstate New York home and the script’s climactic action takes place on Shelter Island.

It’s all familiar territory for Mr. Howe.

“My aunt, uncle and cousins grew up in East Hampton year round and are still there,” says Mr. Howe. “I grew up going to East Hampton in summers and I got married there.”

“It’s a big part of my life. I have a lot of happy memories there and it’s a place that made sense for the ending,” he adds. “Once we thought about it, there were so many locations that would work for other parts of the script. It was so nice for me to be in a familiar place the whole time.”

Now that Mr. Howe, named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 2013 New Faces of Independent Film, has his first feature-length effort under his belt, he feels his vision as a filmmaker is set.

“AFI is really production heavy,” explains Mr. Howe. “I made six or seven shorts in two years. It was great practice in the actual process of making a movie. It took coming through that process to figure out what kind of movies I want to make.”

“This film is different than what I’ve made before — and is much more in tune with what I want to do in the future,” he adds.

“Gabriel” screens at Sag Harbor Cinema on Friday, October 10 at 6:30 p.m. Rory Culkin and Lou Howe are scheduled to attend. For a schedule of all HIFF screenings and events (including “A Conversation With…” discussions at Bay Street Theater with filmmakers and actors Patricia Clarkson, Joel Schumacher, Laura Dern, Hilary Swank and Mark Ruffalo) visit http://hamptonsfilmfest.org. 

North Haven Village Explores Future of 4-Poster Program to Fight Ticks

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By Gianna Volpe

A week into the open of deer season for bow hunters, the North Haven Village Board passed a resolution at Tuesday afternoon’s meeting adopting a local law that would require that those bow hunting in North Haven to acquire a special village-issued permit.

This permit would be in addition to the permit required by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The village law also requires bow hunters stay at least 150 feet from residences, as per state regulations, in addition to detailing specific geographic areas for hunters to use.

“The homeowners are aware of that as well,” Mayor Jeffrey Sander said of geographic restrictions. “We’re in contact with them so if there’s periods when they don’t want [hunters] to be present, they’ll notify us and we can contact that hunter and we’ll know no one will be there during that period.”

When resident Ken Sandbank asked the village board for criteria that will be used for issuing such permits, Mr. Sander said it would be based on village building inspector Al Daniels’ knowledge of the hunter’s known track record – effectiveness, activity, safety issues or problems with homeowners – over the years.

“Even though [Al Daniels] is leaving as building inspector in a couple of weeks, we’ve asked him to stay on to manage the deer hunting and he will continue to do that, on a part-time basis, obviously,” Mr. Sander said Tuesday when Mr. Sandbank asked if Mr. Daniels would continue to serve in this role in the future. “He will issue the permit and keep the list of approved hunters.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, the village board also discussed the future of a 4-Poster tick abatement program in North Haven. The 4-Poster is a deer feeding station armed with a insecticide, permethrin, which is rubbed onto the deer that feed at the station, effectively killing the ticks on that animal. Locally, Shelter Island Town has deployed 4-Poster devices and for a year and a half North Haven Trustees have contemplated trying out the tick abatement program after residents called on the board to develop strategies to deal with the growing tick population.

On Tuesday, Mr. Sander said the village belatedly received a state grant to help fund the 4-Poster program. With the grant only approved in late summer,

Mr. Sander said “it was too late to deploy anything this year because we had to obviously go through the grant process and go through the permitting process with the state.”

However, Mr. Sander said he is “optimistic” the village will be able to participate in the 4-poster program by April of next year, adding time limitation issues imposed on when the village may spend the state grant money may raise additional complications.

“The state has informed us that we need to spend the money by the end of March, so we’re in a bit of a dilemma,” he said. “We can spend some of it – the corn feed for the stations we can buy in advance. We can purchase the tickicide – the permethrin – in advance. We can buy the units, which we plan to do from Shelter Island, in advance. We can do the permitting – set-up labor – before the end of March, but most of the labor is maintaining these devices throughout summer and that we can’t do in advance, so we’re trying to see if there’s a way with the state where we can at least get the funds under a contractual document as opposed to an actual expenditure, but we’re not sure we’ll be able to do that.”

Mr. Sander said the village may be able to find money in the village budget to supplement project costs, while using as much of the state money as they can.

About 10 suitable sites in North Haven have been identified on village-owned property with some private property owners also interesting in hosting the 4-Poster devices on their land, said Mr. Sander.

 

 

Springs Man Released on $25,000 Bail After Shooting Incident

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By Mara Certic and Stephen J. Kotz

Springs resident Valon Shoshi was arrested on four charges following a manhunt by East Hampton Town Police on Friday, October 3, and was released on $25,000 bail after appearing in East Hampton Town Justice Court on Saturday.

Mr. Shoshi, 28, was charged with felony reckless endangerment as well as illegal discharge of a weapon, assault and possession of a loaded gun in a motor vehicle, three misdemeanors.

On Friday morning, Mr. Shoshi reportedly fired a shotgun several times in his bedroom at 85 Gardiner Avenue in the Springs section of East Hampton. According to the police, his mother suffered minor injuries as a result and was sent to Southampton Hospital for treatment. Mr. Shoshi then allegedly fled the house with the gun in tow in a new Cadillac sedan.

According to Captain Chris Anderson of the East Hampton Town Police, a family member contacted the police following the incident.

The police initially had information that indicated Mr. Shoshi had fled the scene and gone to a secondary residence. After police determined he was not at that location, they managed to establish communication with Mr. Shoshi and he was stopped in his vehicle on Springs Fireplace Road near One Stop Market and put into custody without incident.

During the manhunt, nearby schools and some facilities in the immediate area were asked to go into lock-down as a precaution. Sag Harbor, Springs, East Hampton and Wainscott school districts all were in what the police call “locked-in status” on Friday morning.

Capt. Anderson said it was of “paramount importance” to the police department to protect the schools until they determined what the threat was.

“It’s a big sigh of relief,” said Sag Harbor Superintendent Katy Graves in describing how she felt when police called to say the lockdown could be lifted.

She said that school officials were still in the middle of implementing the lockdown when they were informed they could go back to normal business. Ms. Graces said the district immediately sent an automated telephone and text message to the school community informing it of what had occurred.

“I’m very proud of my staff,” she said. “They were all so child-centered and proactive.”

Capt. Anderson added “the school districts as a whole did a tremendous job.”

Mr. Shoshi, moved to East Hampton from Kosovo with his family in 1999. He attended East Hampton High School and is an accomplished boxer. He volunteered in the Springs Fire Department, was assistant chief of the East Hampton Village Ambulance Association, and also worked as an aide in the East Hampton School District.

According to Edward Burke Jr., Mr. Shoshi’s attorney, his client’s family and many other community members were at court on Saturday in his support.

“His entire family, including his mom, fully support Valon,” Mr. Burke said. “They are entirely behind him in this journey through the criminal justice system.”

Justice Lisa R. Rana, who heard Mr. Shoshi’s case on Saturday, released him on $25,000 bail under the condition that Mr. Shoshi undergoes an immediate psychological evaluation.

Mr. Burke said on Wednesday that his client is cooperating fully and has been in counseling. He and his client will report to the court today, October 9 to inform the court he has been seeking counseling, as ordered by Justice Rana.

Mr. Shoshi will appear before court on Thursday, October 30.

 

Technology Expands in Sag Harbor Classrooms

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An aerial photograph of Sag Harbor taken with the Pierson art department's drone. Courtesy of Peter Solow.

An aerial photograph of Sag Harbor taken with the Pierson art department’s drone. Courtesy of Peter Solow.

By Tessa Raebeck 

With iPads for eight-year-olds and a Chromebook for every middle school student, Sag Harbor teachers and administrators told the Board of Education Monday that technology is on target in the school district.

Director of Technology Scott Fisher and Sag Harbor Elementary School and Pierson Middle/High School teachers presented on “Technology to Support Student Learning,” updating the school board on what the budget buys.

“I prefer that the instruction drive the technology rather than the technology driving the instruction,” said Mr. Fisher, who admitted that although he loves his gadgets, he aims to present technology department budgets that are both cost-effective and in-line with instructional needs, not industry trends.

Technology is constantly changing and thus flexibility and regular reevaluation is required in determining which tools are used, how they are used, and in which classrooms they will work best, Mr. Fisher said.

While iPads “work very well” for young children in grades Kindergarten through second, Mr. Fisher said “as the students are getting older, we’re finding that the iPads may not be best suited for them…as we get into the older grades in the elementary school, we’ve started doing things like adding Chromebook computers to the mix.”

For the first time this school year, there is a Google Chromebook available for each Sag Harbor student in every fourth and fifth grade classroom. Chromebooks, a cheaper alternative to traditional laptops, are designed for use primarily in conjunction with the Internet.

“When we introduce new technology,” Mr. Fisher said, “we don’t simply discard the technology and toss it to the side.”

The Mac computers that were in the fourth and fifth grade classrooms are now being used by the second and third grades, and every third grade classroom now has its own full set of computers.

Seventy-five Chromebooks were also added to Pierson Middle/High School this year on three carts of 25 each that can be moved between classrooms. The library already has a set of 25.

Fourth grade teachers Jeff Reed and Liz Surozenski demonstrated how the new Chromebooks in their classrooms have helped students to collaborate with each other using Google apps and said students seem more excited and engaged with the content they’re learning.

Ms. Surozenski said in the past, her classes have only published one writing piece by this time of the school year. This year’s class is working on the third.

Mr. Reed shared a presentation on “women of war” shared on Google Drive by student Chiara Bedini. Although the fourth grader was only required to make one slide, she had instead made three: “women of the war,” “more women of the war” and “lots more women of the war.”

“You get an enthusiasm that leads to innovation where kids want to learn,” said Mr. Reed, adding that writing the content is not the end of the assignment. The end product “is the communication and collaboration of their discoveries.”

That collaboration extends far beyond the classroom. Using their new Chromebooks, Sag Harbor’s fourth graders are accessing worldwide databases such as the “World Water Monitoring Challenge,” a site that allows them to punch in data taken from Sag Harbor’s waters to be shared with scientists—and students—around the world.

Computer Lab teacher Jonathan Schwartz shared a sample lesson from Tynker, a computer programming course the district started this year. With different levels beginning in third grade, students can start by putting blocks together on a screen and grow to be typing code proficiently.

“It certainly challenges the students to create things on their own, rather than having everything told to them or handed to them,” said Mr. Schwartz. “Create something—show me what you did and tell me how you did it.”

Tynker, he said, aligns with the Common Core values of thinking, rather than reciting, and prepares students for modern jobs in growing fields.

“It’s absolutely their language and we know that that’s a huge career field,” Superintendent Katy Graves added.

Principal Matt Malone thanked the board, and especially Mr. Fisher and his team, for supporting the Sag Harbor Elementary School in implementing its new technology initiatives.

“I think we all have a sense of how lucky we are to get this technology in our hands and get to share that with the boys and girls, and it’s clear what it can do to enhance instruction and those 21st century skills,” he said.

Although some of the technological instruction are handed down to students by means of tools and software, other aspects come from directly their imaginations.

Pierson art teacher Peter Solow said although the “fundamental technology” used in the art department is still the pencil, the students and teachers are continually coming up with new ideas to integrate technology into creativity. Pierson students are using computers to convert sketches to picture books, taking aerial photographs with drones, and scanning, digitizing and archiving photographs and documents in collaboration with the Sag Harbor Historical Society and the John Jermain Memorial Library.

“The most important thing…is using technology as a tool that allows students to become self-directed in their own art making through guided, independent work,” said Mr. Solow.

Plans for Waterfront Park in Sag Harbor Move Forward

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Sag Harbor Cove Park

The latest draft of a proposal for a waterfront park in Sag Harbor. Courtesy of Edmund Hollander.

By Mara Certic

After the discussion was reopened last year, a plan to develop a waterfront park under the Lance Corporal Jordan C. Haerter Veterans Memorial Bridge is moving forward.

The original proposal for a waterfront park in the area dates back to 1996, but was resurrected around this time last year. This summer, landscape architects Edmund Hollander and Mary Anne Connelly have been working with an intern, Rachel Jawin, a student at Cornell University, on adapting Mr. Hollander’s original plans from the 90s into what could become the new Sag Harbor Cove Park.

Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride brought Mr. Hollander’s latest mock-ups to a special meeting of the Sag Harbor Village Trustees on Monday morning to show his colleagues the progress that has been made on the proposal, which he described as “absolutely beautiful.”

According to Mr. Hollander, there are three goals this project is attempting to meet. The first is to open up a piece of waterfront to the community. The property in question is currently derelict, or as Mr. Hollander described it, “an amalgamation of abandoned buildings and debris.”

The second aim is to build the park in an ecologically friendly way, Mr. Hollander said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “What we’re trying to do is build the park using as many recycled materials as we can from other construction sites,” he said. Mr. Hollander hopes to recycle local plants from nearby areas, which he said would create a natural buffer. Mr. Gilbride said this was also a way to “save the village some money.”

The third goal is to connect some of Sag Harbor’s waterfront amenities together, creating a boardwalk under the bridge and theoretically around Long Wharf.

“It’s just a great project,” Mr. Gilbride said on Wednesday. “It certainly has the potential to tie the entire waterfront of the village in.”

“I cannot thank Mr. Hollander enough,” he added, several times. The plan is a “continual evolution,” Mr. Hollander said, and there are remain many questions that need to be answered before the proposal can move forward.

“There are questions about docks: should there be one? Two? Three? Should there be a fishing pier?” Mr. Hollander said.  Mr. Gilbride said he has been considering the dock project “phase two” of the park, as it could be quite expensive.

“Before that could be productive we need to get [the area] cleaned up,” he said.

According to Mr. Hollander, the organization Serve Sag Harbor has shown interest in hosting a fundraiser to help support the project, but, if the proposal continues to go forward, the village will also be very much involved in funding the new park.

“It has the makings of a great welcome as you’re coming in over the bridge,” he added. Mr. Hollander will present the current proposal to the Sag Harbor Village Board at their next meeting on Tuesday, October 14 at 6 p.m.

Also on Monday morning, the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees decided to raise the price of memorial benches from $575 to $1000. The price of benches, Mr. Gilbride said, had not gone up in some time, and the new price seemed to reasonably represent how much material and labor cost to install the seats.

Trustees Ed Deyermond said he would support this but only if it were to replace or repair existing benches. Mr. Deyermond believes there are already too many benches in the village, he said, and suggested memorial trees might be more appropriate and appreciated.

The trustees also voted to allow members of the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce to have their tri-annual sidewalk sale this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, October 11 and 12.

East End Towns Budget Money for South Fork Behavioral Health Initiative

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By Mara Certic

Supervisors in both East Hampton and Southampton kept to their words this week when they put $25,000 aside in their tentative budgets to go towards improving mental healthcare in South Fork school districts.

In April, New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. and State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle awarded $150,000 in state aid as seed money for the first step of the three-pronged South Fork Behavioral Health Initiative.

Senator LaValle secured an additional $5,000 each for the Sag Harbor, Southampton, East Hampton and Hampton Bays school districts. Each district, in turn, is expected to match that amount.

Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman managed to get his hands on $17,000 more from the county, bringing the anticipated total funding on the South Fork up to $257,000 for phase one.

This first phase, which Mr. Thiele had anticipated would require $320,000 in total funding, would establish a crisis service that would provide immediate mental and behavioral health needs specifically to South Fork area students. It is proposed one full-time psychiatrist be hired to work at the Family Service League’s East Hampton and Westhampton Mental Health Clinics. The first step is also slated to include the hiring of two full-time social workers.

“It also establishes Family Service League as the interim point of contact for crisis intervention,” Mr. Thiele’s proposal reads. “A permanent point of contact will be established in the second phase, which builds on and expands the crisis service through a mobile unit and community collaboration.”

The third phase would involve seeking out support from Stony Brook University’s psychiatric residency program.

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said the issue of seriously lacking mental healthcare on the South Fork was first brought to his attention by the East Hampton School District over a year ago.

As it stands now, there is no appropriate process set in place for a student who might be experiencing a crisis at school on the East End, be it threatening self-harm or contemplating suicide. According to Karen Boorshtein, president and CEO of the Family Service League, “When a school district encounters a crisis, they usually need to involve the police and have the youth transported over 60 miles to the psychiatric emergency room at Stony Brook.” Not only does this place strain on local police departments, but more often than not, these troubled children are handcuffed and placed into the back of a police vehicle for their trip up to their evaluation.

Once students return from their emergency evaluations, they then often face long waiting lists at local mental health clinics. There is not a large pool of mental health professionals on the East End, which many attribute to our remote location and rather sparse year-round population. Those who do operate on the South Fork often do not accept insurance and typically charge $200 to $300 an hour, according to Ms. Boorshtein.

“The last two years have seen the completed suicides of three youth and a significant increase in the number of mental health crises being experienced by youth and requiring school districts to respond,” Ms. Boorshtein wrote in a e-mail on Monday.

According to the CDC, the second leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 24 is suicide. In a 2011 nationally representative sample of high school students, 15.8 percent of youths reported they had seriously considered attempting suicide during the 12 months preceding the survey.

According to Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), an organization dedicated to suicide prevention, the strongest risk factor for suicide is depression. The organization also claims that 80 percent of those who seek treatment for depression are treated successfully.

“The grant will increase and improve coordination of community mental health services to avoid future mental health crisis and suicides,” Ms. Boorshtein said.

The initiative also calls for telepsychiatry, which will provide secure phone lines on which troubled students can talk to licensed psychiatrists. The American Psychiatric Association recently deemed telepsychiatry “one of the most effective ways to increase access to psychiatric care for individuals living in underserved areas.”

The Family Service League is gearing up to start making these changes, and soon enough, phase one will be implemented on the South Fork. But the battle ahead is long, and much more money will be needed to complete all three of the steps.

“The potential catastrophe here is around the corner if we can’t deal with this better than we have been in the past,” Mr. Cantwell said.

Thursday, October 9 is National Depression Screening Day on which individuals can take a free online mental health screening at helpyourselfhelpothers.org 

Plein Air Peconic Celebrates Land, Sea, Sky

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Hendrickson Farm by Kathryn Szoka.

Hendrickson Farm by Kathryn Szoka.

“Land, Sea, Sky,” Plein Air Peconic’s Ninth Annual Show, will debut with an artists reception this Saturday, October 11 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Ashawagh Hall, 780 Springs Fireplace Road in East Hampton. The show will be on view throughout Columbus Day weekend.

“Land, Sea, Sky” celebrates art inspired by direct observation of the East End’s cherished local farmlands, wildflower fields, salt marshes, and beaches in an exhibition and sale by the artists of Plein Air Peconic.  Many landscapes that have been conserved by Peconic Land Trust will be included.  Plein Air Peconic includes painters Casey Chalem Anderson, Susan D’Alessio, Aubrey Grainger, Anita Kusick, Keith Mantell, Michele Margit, Joanne Rosko, and photographers Tom Steele, Kathryn Szoka.  Plein Air Peconic has announced that two guest painters, Ty Stroudsburg and Gail Kern, will be exhibiting as well.

The show will partially benefit the Peconic Land Trust. To learn more about the artists of Plein Air Peconic visit PleinAirPeconic.com.

 

“Harvey” Opens Hampton Theatre Company’s 30th Anniversary Season

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harvey-patron

Elwood P. Dowd is coming to Quogue.

The role that helped shape the career of Jimmy Stewart will be featured as the Hampton Theatre Company’s opening production of its 30th anniversary season with “Harvey,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic comedy by Mary Chase about the hilarious havoc wrought by a 6-foot tall rabbit who is visible to only a few. The show will run October 23 to November 9 at Quogue Community Hall.

The play, which ran for 1,775 performances on Broadway from 1944 to 1949 before being adapted for a movie of the same name in 1950, is the story of Mr. Dowd, an affable if a bit eccentric fellow who is eager to introduce his invisible rabbit friend to everyone he sees.

The role of Elwood P. Dodd will be played in Quogue by Matthew Conlon, last seen on the HTC stage in the title role of “The Foreigner” in the spring. Pamela Kern, a veteran of four HTC productions, plays Elwood’s sister, Veta Louise Simmons, and a newcomer to the Quogue stage, Amanda Griemsmann, plays Veta’s daughter, Myrtle Mae. The staff at the local sanitarium, Chumley’s Rest, is headed up by John Kern in the role of Dr. Chumley and HTC veteran Sebastian Marbury as Dr. Lyman Sanderson. Krista Kurtzberg, who also appeared in “The Foreigner,” plays Nurse Kelly, and Russell Weisenbacher plays the orderly Duane Wilson.

The production will be directed by HTC artistic director Diana Marbury.

“Harvey” runs at the Quogue Community Hall from October 23 through November 9, with shows on Thursdays and Fridays at 7, Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 2:30. The Hampton Theatre Company will again be offering special dinner and theater packages in collaboration with the Southampton, Westhampton Beach, Hampton Bays and Quogue libraries. Information about the dinner and theater packages is available on the company website, hamptontheatre.org, or through the libraries.