Tag Archive | "Sag Harbor"

Lighthouse Lantern Finds a New Home

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The Cedar Island Lighthouse lantern arrives at the Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Society on Friday. Photo by Stephen J. Kotz.

By Stephen J. Kotz

Following a short procession with a police escort, the lantern, which once graced the top of the Cedar Island Lighthouse, made its way from the Sag Harbor Yacht Yard to a temporary home on the grounds of the Sag Harbor Historic and Whaling Museum on Friday morning.

Michael Leahy, who is spearheading the effort to raise about $2 million to renovate the lighthouse and convert it into a bed-and-breakfast, hopes placing the lantern in a very public place will spur donations to the cause.

The lantern was removed from the old lighthouse in November 2013 by Chesterfield Associates and Bob Coco Construction and moved to the yacht yard where it was cleaned, sandblasted, painted its original black.

Mr. Leahy, the president of the Long Island chapter of the United States Lighthouse Society and chairman of the restoration committee, said if all goes according to plan, the lantern will be ready to be placed back on the lighthouse as early as fall of 2015.

“First, we have to replace the roof,” he said. “I need to raise the money for that. If all goes well I can raise the money this winter and maybe next fall we can do it.”

Mr. Leahy, who pegged the cost of the roof project at “several hundred thousand dollars,” said the lighthouse restoration committee is looking for grant money and large donors with deep pockets to help with the fundraising effort.

Although Mr. Leahy had originally estimated that it would cost about $50,000 to totally restore the lantern, he now thinks the job will come in at about half that cost, thanks to all the volunteer help he has received.

The lighthouse was constructed on what was then Cedar Island in 1868, its beacon powered first by whale oil and later kerosene. The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1934.

“It was in the middle of the Depression,” Mr. Leahy said. “Things were no different then than they are today. The biggest cost of anything is people. They could have little flashers doing the job instead of having a person there.”

Mr. Leahy said preservationists would like to have a replica made of the fresnel lens, which was removed when the light was decommissioned, although it would not be operational.

Cedar Island was joined to the mainland by sand deposited during the Hurricane of 1938, and eventually the abandoned lighthouse became a target for vandals. A fire in 1974 caused major damage. Although East Hampton Town replaced the roof, the building was boarded up and left alone.

Mr. Leahy said two similar lighthouses on the Hudson River were demolished. The Saugerties Light on the Hudson, about 40 miles south of Albany, was turned into a bed-and-breakfast.

Last summer, Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman announced a deal in which the county would allow the lighthouse society to transform the Cedar Island Lighthouse into a two-bedroom bed-and-breakfast as well, although those plans remain years from fruition.

Mr. Leahy said the Sag Harbor Historical Society had offered to place the lantern on the lawn of its headquarters at the Annie Cooper Boyd House on Main Street, but he later approached the whaling museum as it had more space and because of obvious ties of whaling to the lighthouse.

The museum’s board was receptive to the idea and a deal was quickly struck to allow the move. Barbara Lobosco, the board’s president, said it was “a perfect fit” to place the lantern on the lawn of the former home of whaling ship owner Benjamin Huntting III.

Mr. Leahy praised the museum’s board, Greg Therriault, the museum’s manager, and his staff for their cooperation. He also praised Lou Grignon, the owner of the yacht yard, and his staff, for their help in storing and refurbishing the lantern.

In the meantime Mr. Leahy said he would like to revisit a plan to place a set of binoculars, similar to those on landmarks such as the Empire State Building, so visitors can take a peek at the lighthouse, which is visible from the end of Long Wharf and a major piece of local history.

 

No Longer a Man’s World: Women Painting Women Opens at RJD Gallery

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It's A Man's World, 16" x 20” by Terry Strickland / Oil.

It’s A Man’s World, 16″ x 20” by Terry Strickland / Oil.

By Annette Hinkle

Catching Dreams, 32" x 15" by Candice Bohannon / Oil on Panel.

Catching Dreams, 32″ x 15″ by Candice Bohannon / Oil on Panel.

It’s probably not something that most art lovers think about or even notice. But in fact, in galleries around the country, male artists are typically represented in far greater numbers than their female counterparts.

It’s certainly something that painter Terry Strickland has been aware of for quite some time, which is why she became involved in Women Painting Women, a movement which began with a blog by artists Alia El-Bermani, Diane Feissel, and Sadie Jernigan Valeri.

“One of the reasons they started the blog was that Sadie had seen an art show where the subject was women,” says Ms. Strickland, “but all the artists were men.”

The goal of Women Painting Women was to highlight underrepresented female figurative artists who feature women subjects in their work. In 2009, Women Painting Women hosted an exhibition of 50 female artists from the United States and Europe at Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, S.C. In conjunction with the show, a one-week residency was offered for 14 female artists — Ms. Strickland, who lives in Birmingham, Ala., was one of them.

These Memories Too are Bound to Die, 32" x 48” by Mary Chiaramonte / Acrylic on Panel.

These Memories Too are Bound to Die, 32″ x 48” by Mary Chiaramonte / Acrylic on Panel.

“The residency was really surprising on so many levels,” recalls Ms. Strickland. “We were all talking about the business of art and our craft and our experiences being a woman in the art world. That was something you don’t usually get when you’re around a lot of women. But because we were driven and had a passion for painting, that was the subject.”

“It was very refreshing to be around so many women painters,” she adds.

Since 2009, the Women Painting Women movement has been growing with an ever increasing number of galleries taking part by hosting annual exhibitions of their own. Among them is the Richard J. Demato Gallery in Sag Harbor which opens its second annual Women Painting Women exhibition on October 11. Nearly 300 women artists from around the globe submitted pieces for consideration with gallery own Richard J. Demato and his staff choosing 38 works by 30 of them — including Ms. Strickland — for the juried show. Six other galleries in Virginia, Tennessee, New Jersey and Scotland will also host Women Painting Women exhibits this fall.

Anyone familiar with the Demato Gallery knows that Mr. Demato is not someone who needs to be persuaded to feature women artists. His gallery is dominated by the figurative work of females, though for the record, he also represents four or five male artists in the gallery as well.

Bluebird in the Bush, 16" x 20" by Pamela Wilson / Oil on Panel.

Bluebird in the Bush, 16″ x 20″ by Pamela Wilson / Oil on Panel.

“It’s what your comfortable with and drawn to,” says Mr. Demato in explaining how he chooses artists for his gallery. “I’ve got five sisters and I’ve always been more comfortable with women. It just works.”

Mr. Demato finds that women artists tend to capture the female form differently than many of their male counterparts. His women artists, he notes, hint at deep emotion in their work or some may express their insecurities by painting themselves as being less attractive than they actually are.

“I think it’s a sensitivity thing, not a male/female thing,” explains Mr. Demato. “Being human we all have underlying subconscious inclinations and comfort levels. The men in our gallery are also very sensitive people. Other galleries have a totally different focus and perspective. I think you have to do what you love and the rest will follow.”

“Now we have 5,000 email addresses and people are very appreciative that we exist – both collectors and artists,” says Mr. Demato. “They recognize our interest in finding art that is more than just a pretty picture — art that will touch you and motivate you to be happy or to think.”

 Vice Versa No 35, 70" x 92" by Nora Venturelli / Acrylic & Oil on Canvas


Vice Versa No 35, 70″ x 92″ by Nora Venturelli / Acrylic & Oil on Canvas

“It becomes a living thing,” he adds.

Ms. Strickland, whose painting “It’s a Man’s World” in the Demato Gallery show offers a humorous take on the notion of masculinity by depicting a woman using the end of her hair to form a mustache, feels that women artists can’t help but identify with their female subjects on a deeper level.

“It’s funny and whimsical, but there’s a deeper threat of poignancy in there,” says Ms. Strickland of her painting. “How is my life different because I’m not a man?”

“I think it’s a wider experience we’re touching on — things like motherhood, being a friend — and less about a straight depiction of female classical beauty as an ideal,” adds Ms. Strickland. “Especially the people who end up being in these shows, often it’s a narrative about their relationship with someone and deeper than the classical ideal of a beautiful form.”

“I’m not saying that men don’t paint those deeper thoughts,” she clarifies, “but when you have a whole show of Women Painting Women, there’s a higher sensitivity, sympathy and questioning about a women’s place that comes out in these works.”

It’s a movement that seems to have struck a chord and through Women Painting Women, Ms. Strickland has come to know many more female artists than she could have ever found on her own. Beyond the camaraderie that has developed and the ever growing number of Women Painting Women shows offered each year, Ms. Strickland finds that the movement has also increased her own awareness of female artists and the need to promote them whenever possible.

“If somebody mentions to me they’d like to bring in an artist to teach a workshop, before, I’d think of people who have more exposure — and lot of them are men,” says Ms. Strickland. “I now try to put forth a woman’s name.”

“Women Painting Women” opens with a reception from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.at the Richard J. Demato Gallery (90 Main Street, Sag Harbor) on Saturday, October 11. The show runs through November 11. For more information, call 725-1161 or visit rjdgallery.com. 

 

“Judy Gold: 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother” Comes to Bay Street Theater

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Judy Gold; Leslie E. Bohm photo.

Judy Gold; Leslie E. Bohm photo.

By Annette Hinkle

As a stand-up comedian, Judy Gold has gotten a lot of mileage out of Jewish mothers — particularly her own.

“I’m pretty sure I’m a comedian because of her contribution,” admits Ms. Gold. “I didn’t get a lot of affection, but she’s really funny, my mother, and says things that are so outrageous I’d be a fetal position if I didn’t laugh about it.”

Yes, the image of the neurotic, overprotective, self-sacrificing Jewish mother may be fertile ground for good humor, but Ms. Gold — A Jewish mother herself to sons Henry, 18, and Ben, 13 — wondered if there might be more to the matter beyond the punch line.

That part of the story is told in “Judy Gold: 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother,” Ms. Gold’s one woman show which she brings to the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor on Saturday, October 11.

“It’s the story of me becoming a mother,” explains Ms. Gold, an actress and writer who took home two Emmy Awards for writing and producing “The Rosie O’Donnell Show.” “Initially, I wanted to see how I fit into that stereotypical Jewish mother role. I was always criticized by the Jewish press for promoting a stereotype. But it’s not exactly a stereotype if it’s coming out of my mother’s mouth.”

So Ms. Gold and playwright Kate Moira Ryan hit the road in an effort to meet with a cross-section of Jewish mothers to see if their philosophies, motivations and relationships were similar to her own. Over the course of five years, they traversed the country talking to 50 Jewish women about their lives and experiences as spouses and mothers.

“We interviewed women all over and they were so not like each other,” says Ms. Gold. “It was an incredible journey, I can’t even tell you.”

Ms. Gold and Ms. Ryan turned those interviews into a book titled “25 Questions for a Jewish Mother.” Ms. Gold’s monologue, based on the book, premiered Off-Broadway in 2006 at the Ars Nova Theater in New York City. In it, Ms. Gold assumes the identity of many of the women she interviewed. The show won the 2007 GLAAD award for Outstanding New York Theater and while she is well-known for her comedic abilities, Ms. Gold notes there are some seriously poignant moments in this piece.

“It’s funny, but it’s also intense,” she explains.

Among the Jewish mothers Ms. Gold and Ms. Ryan met in their travels was a group of ultra Orthodox women living in Queens. Ms. Gold recalls that the husband of one of the women stood by the stairwell all evening listening to their discussion.

“When we were leaving, he said ‘I’ve known most of these women for over 40 years, and I feel like I now know them for the first time,’” says Ms. Gold.

The reason for that was simply because no one had thought to ask them the questions before.

“I feel it wasn’t like an interview to psychoan1alyze them, but an opportunity for them to tell their side of the story,” says Ms. Gold. “I felt like for the first time in a long time, if ever, these women were being asked about their lives instead of their kids or their husbands’ lives.”

One Orthodox woman shared a story about her daughter who was dating a man she didn’t approve of.

“She was so mean to the guy they broke up,” says Ms. Gold. “From the mother’s point of view this was the best thing she could do for the daughter.”

But when Ms. Gold interviewed the daughter, she told her that she never forgave her mother for driving the man away.

Mothers insinuating themselves in their children’s relationships came up more than once in her travels, and Ms. Gold tells another story of a mother who virtually disowned her son after he married and had children with a non-Jewish woman.

“She cut it off and sat Shiva as if they were dead,” says Ms. Gold. “A few years later, the mother was waiting in a doctor’s office with another woman who had little kids with her. She commented on how well behaved the kids were. The doctor came out and yelled for Mrs. Hoffman, and they both got up.”

“She realized those were here grandkids and that woman was her daughter-in-law,” adds Ms. Gold. “She never went to that doctor again.”

And she never talked to her son and daughter-in-law or saw her grandchildren again.

While the women all had very unique and personal stories to share, Ms. Gold found there was one common denominator among them all.

“When we did the interview at a home, they always had food,” says Ms. Gold who adds that the show also includes extremely moving stories shared by Holocaust survivors and their children.

It’s hardly the sort of material one would expect from a stand-up comedian, but Ms. Gold stresses that this monologue offers audiences a much different experience.

“I love doing standup, but I have more dimensions than just telling jokes,” says Ms. Gold. “In a comedy club you have to keep them laughing every 30 seconds. But when you go in a theater, people are sitting and ready to listen.”

And with “25 Questions For A Jewish Mother,” audiences will get an earful. While the show offers an in-depth look at one very specific demographic, Ms. Gold is pleased to report that it has universal appeal.

“So many people come up to me and say ‘I’m not Jewish, but I have the same mother,” says Ms. Gold. “It doesn’t matter where you come from, it’s a story many people can relate to.”

“Judy Gold: 25 Questions For A Jewish Mother” is Saturday, October 11 at 8 p.m. at Bay Street Theater, Long Wharf, Sag Harbor. Tickets are $59 to $89. Call 724-9500 to reserve or visit baystreet.org.

Retrospective: James Del Grosso & Dennis Ramsay at The Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor

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James Del Grosso Maplight 18 x 24 oil painting

James Del Grosso Maplight 18 x 24 oil painting

The Greening Gallery, on Washington Street in Sag Harbor, will host an opening reception for Retrospective: James Del Grosso and Dennis Ramsay on Saturday October 4 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The show will hang through November 2.

This retrospective highlights the work of two pioneers in the Poetic Realist movement, who have recently passed on. James Del Grosso (1941- 2013) and Dennis Ramsay (1925 – 2009) were swimming way against the stream of their time. Born in the early part of the 20th century, the artists hit their prime just as abstract painting was peaking in the mid century. Both chose to look to nature for inspiration and researched the old masters and any living painter for classical training at a time in art history that was anything, if not hostile to classical painters.

Mr. Del Grosso lived and worked on the East End for five decades, living as a full time resident of Springs since 1986 with his wife, Eve Eliot. Painting at home since the age of 9, Mr. Del Grosso attended Cooper Union in the 1960s, and as a result was a center of the New York Abstract Expressionist movement, and painted as such. He worked as an art therapist in a psychiatric facility as a volunteer earlier in his career. According to his widow, Mr. Del Grosso always believed that painting was a healing force in a century that seemed to be dedicated to ego and all its pitfalls.

Dennis Ramsay was another hero of the poetic realist movement and the Grenning Gallery will showcase six of his still lifes in this show. Mr. Ramsay’s stepson, Graham Leader—a filmmaker in New York and on the East End—contacted Laura Grenning about the showcase in an effort to honor the artist.

“Interestingly, he brought these tempera grassa (pigment and oil) paintings into the gallery, without the uncanny coincidental knowledge that my own painting instructor and now gallery artist, Nelson H. White, also studied with the famous Italian painter Pietro Annigoni,” said Ms. Grenning. “Dennis Ramsay’s work and underlying motivations to observe and capture the truth in nature make him a Grenning Gallery artist in spirit, and kudos to Mr. Leader for spotting this.”

Mr. Ramsay studied under Mr. Annigoni in Florence before the London born artist returned home to teach painting, ending his career Australia where he moved in 1986. Throughout his life Ramsay had gallery shows in England and Australia and has work in many private collections as well as the National Gallery in London and in Scotland.

Glackens & Barnes at The Parrish Art Museum

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William Glackens (American, 1870–1938) The Little Pier, 1914 Oil on canvas 25 x 30 inches The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia and Merion, PA; BF497

William Glackens (American, 1870–1938) The Little Pier, 1914 Oil on canvas 25 x 30 inches The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia and Merion, PA; BF497

The Parrish Art Museum’s “Curator’s View” series will present an illustrated lecture about the lifelong friendship between artist William Glackens and the collector Albert C. Barnes by Judith Dolkart, The Mary Stripp and R. Crosby Kemper Director of the Addison Gallery of American Art at the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, on Saturday, October 4 at 11 a.m.

Ms. Dolkart served at The Barnes Foundation as Gund Family Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Art and Archival Collections prior to her appointment at the Addison. In the talk, presented in conjunction with the Museum’s current special exhibition, “William Glackens,” Dolkart will share her unique perspective on the relationship between the American artist and Mr. Barnes.

Born in 1870 in Philadelphia, Mr. Glackens met Mr. Barnes when the two attended Philadelphia’s Central High School. Years later, Mr. Barnes, who amassed great wealth in chemical ventures, would send Mr. Glackens to Paris with $20,000 to purchase art by Pierre Auguste Renior and Alfred Sisley. Mr. Glackens returned with 33 paintings, prints and watercolors including work by Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Maurice Denis, Pablo Picasso, and Camille Pissarro. This began the alliance that would create one of the most important collections of modern art in America.

The lecture compliments The Parrish Art Museums exhibition of Mr. Glacken’s own artwork, the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s work since 1966. That exhibition will be on view through October 13.

For more information, visit parrishart.org.

“Still Alice” Will Close Hamptons International Film Festival

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Kristen Stewart and Julianne Moore in "Still Alice."

Kristen Stewart and Julianne Moore in “Still Alice.”

The Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF), October 9 through October 13, announced this week the festival will close with the U.S. premiere of “Still Alice,” on Monday, October 13 at Guild Hall in East Hampton. The film stars Julianne Moore as Alice Howard, a happily married linguistics professor who is idsgnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. The film also stars Kristen Stewart and Alec Baldwin.

“St. Vincent” will open the festival at Guild Hall on Thursday, October 9. Starring Melissa McCarthy as Maggie, the film centers on a single moves into a new home in Brooklyn, leaving her 12 year-old son in the care of a new neighbor, Vincent, played by Bill Murray. The film is directed by Theodore Melfi and also stars Naomi Watts.

“We are really looking forward to opening our 22nd edition with Theodore Melfi’s charming “St. Vincent” starring Bill Murray in a role he was born to play. Closing our festival with the US premiere of “Still Alice” featuring a mesmerizing performance from one of the great actors of our generation, Julianne Moore, is sure to be a moving end to five days of films from around the world,” said HIFF Artistic Director David Nugent.

For more information, visit hamptonsfilmfest.org.

 

Sag Harbor to Consider Later School Start Times for Sleep-Deprived Students

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Pierson teacher Eric Reynolds tries to wake up his student Shane Hennessy in class on Wednesday, September 24. Photo by Zoe Vatash.

Pierson teacher Eric Reynolds tries to wake up his student Shane Hennessy in class on Wednesday, September 24. Photo by Zoe Vatash.

By Tessa Raebeck

On weekday mornings, Grace Gawronski’s alarm goes off at 6:20 on the dot. The 12-year-old reserves about 10 to 20 minutes to drag herself out of bed, then spends another 20 to 30 minutes getting ready for school at Pierson. She gets on the bus at 7 a.m. and arrives at school between 7:10 and 7:15 to make it to class by the starting bell at 7:26.

Most days she doesn’t have time to eat breakfast or pack a lunch, and her stomach rumbles until she can buy some cafeteria food during her lunch period.

Grace, a seventh grader, is in school from 7:15 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon. After school, she has two hours of field hockey practice or a game, which can involve upward of an hour of travel time to and fro. She gets home at around 5 p.m. and starts her homework, which takes her 45 minutes to two hours.

“I am tired throughout the whole day,” Grace said Tuesday. “When I get to field hockey practice I’m very tired and I really don’t feel like playing sometimes because I’ve been in school all day. But it’s one of my favorite parts of the day.”

Her most favorite part of the day, Grace said, is after school, sports, homework and dinner, when she finally gets to return to her bed. Grace tries to get in bed before 10 p.m. so she can get eight hours of sleep, but said she needs “at least nine and a half hours of sleep to be wide awake the whole day.”

Schedules like Grace’s are prompting a discussion among parents and administrators about potentially moving Sag Harbor’s middle and high school starting times—which are some of the earliest in the country—about an hour later, to 8 or 8:30 a.m.

In addition to personal anecdotes from tired families, research into teen sleep cycles and the effects of sleep deprivation on mental and physical health, as well as on behavior, safety, and academic, athletic and extracurricular performance have prompted the Board of Education to look into ways to balance healthier starting times with already established schedules.

At its meeting on Monday, September 29, the board is expected to announce a district goal to come up with plans that would allow Sag Harbor students to sleep later.

Busing logistics, both in the morning and to after-school sports, are often cited as the key reason schools start their days around dawn and end mid-afternoon. Sag Harbor’s head bus driver Maude Stevens said in an email Wednesday that she hasn’t been “approached by anyone in the district about time changes.”

In addition to pointing to scheduling obstacles, some opponents of later times express fear that teenagers will start going to bed later and parents who need to be at work by 9 a.m. will be unable to get their kids on the bus or drop them off. Those were the concerns raised upstate last year after Glen Falls High School changed its start time from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m. The school board narrowly voted to stand by the changes and in the first year, students’ grades improved, teachers said they were more alert in class and the percentage of students who were late for school dropped by nearly 30 percent.

“It can be done, because there’s a ton of school districts throughout this country that are showing us it can be done,” said Susan Lamontagne, a Sag Harbor parent who has been at the forefront of the national push for later start times for over four years. Some schools, she said, have early morning hours for families who need students dropped off earlier so parents can get to work. Research shows students with later start times aren’t going to bed any later, they are simply getting more sleep.

“It’ll be challenging,” Superintendent Katy Graves said of the potential switch, adding the board will be forming an ad-hoc committee “to look at what are all the challenges involved with the later start time and what are the pieces that we have to put in place to make a later start time happen.”

Mr. Reynolds tries a little harder to wake up Shane Hennessy on Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Zoe Vatash.

Mr. Reynolds tries a little harder to wake up Shane Hennessy on Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Zoe Vatash.

At previous school board meetings, Vice President Chris Tice cited the research in support of later start times and encouraged the board to look into how it could be applied in Sag Harbor. Other board members appear to be supportive while acknowledging athletics as a major obstacle to a change.

“They’re listening to the community and they’re listening to the medical community and they’re saying, ‘Let’s see if we can make this work.’” Ms. Graves said of the board.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan acknowledged the scheduling difficulties in an NPR interview last September during which he voiced his support for later start times.

“But at the end of the day,” he said, “I think it’s incumbent upon education leaders to not run school systems that work good for buses but that don’t work for students.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics also weighed in on the issue in a publication released last month, in which doctors recommended all American middle and high schools start after 8:30 a.m.

Calling insufficient sleep in adolescents “an important public health issue,” the academy urged schools to aim for later times that allow students to get at least eight and a half hours of sleep a night, in order to improve physical health and reduce obesity risk, improve mental health and lower rates of depression, increase safety by limiting car crashes caused by “drowsy driving” and improve academic performance and quality of life.

Pierson senior Zoe Vatash said she usually wakes up between 6 and 6:30 a.m. “which is late compared to some of my friends.”

“Teenagers need more sleep. Telling us to ‘just go to bed earlier’ isn’t realistic and isn’t working,” she said.

During teenage years, the body’s circadian rhythm shifts some three hours backward, making it nearly biologically impossible for teenagers to go to bed earlier than 11 p.m. and awake before 8 a.m.

“Because of the shift in their circadian rhythm, asking a teenager to perform well in a classroom during the early morning is like asking him or her to fly across the country and instantly adjust to the new time zone—and then do the same thing every night, for four years,” said David K. Randall, author of “Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep.”

On Shelter Island, school starts for all students at 8 a.m. Everyone rides the same bus, with elementary students in the front and middle and high schoolers in the back.

“Shelter Island is even smaller than Sag Harbor and often travel time to games can be quite long” with added travel time on ferries, said Jean Cowen, a Sag Harbor parent who was the guidance director for the Shelter Island School District for 25 years.

The school day on Shelter Island ends at 2:30 p.m. and teachers are contractually obligated to stay in their rooms until 3 p.m. to provide extra help, which many also do voluntarily from 7:30 to 8 a.m.

Senior Liam Rothwell-Pessino, who travels to Pierson from his home in Springs, wakes up for school before 5:30 a.m. “At least in theory,” he said. “Most days I hit the snooze button a few too many times.”

If he had gone to the Springs School, which has students in kindergarten through eighth grade, instead of Sag Harbor, Liam would have started school at 8:20 a.m. and gotten out at 3:10 p.m. Instead, he aims to leave home by 6:40 and get to school by 7:10 at the latest, in order to have time to stop by his locker and be in class before the 7:26 bell.

Sag Harbor parent Andrea Grover said the current schedule “negatively impacts an entire family, and I know we are not alone.” Her 12-year-old Lola wakes up at 6 a.m. to get to Pierson Middle School in time for the morning bell.

“Last year her lunch was at 10:15 a.m.; this year it’s mercifully one period later,” Ms. Grover said. “I drive her to school because it buys her an extra 30 minutes of sleep and because I don’t want her waiting for the bus on Noyac Road in the dark.”

After dropping Lola off, Ms. Grover heads home to wake up Gigi, her 9-year-old who attends the elementary school, then returns to town to drop her off by 8:35 a.m. when morning program starts.

“So from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. I am in transit between my children’s schools and my home, and then I finally head to work. I’d say we are often all sleep deprived,” said Ms. Grover, who added that out of the schools her children have attended in Texas, Pennsylvania and other towns in New York, Pierson Middle School starts the earliest. Ms. Grover said Lola tells her she is tired at least once a day.

Liam, the senior at Pierson, confirmed the condition: “Ask any high school student how they’re feeling and nine times out of 10 the response is, ‘I’m tired,’ or something along those lines. On a daily basis, I will see four middle school kids out of five holding a coffee cup walking down the hallway. That’s not even an exaggeration.”

ARB Seeks Middle Ground on Eastville Project

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The house at 11 Eastville Avenue that has been the subject of a tug-of-war between the owners local preservationists. Photo by Stephen J. Kotz.

The Sag Harbor Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review on Monday okayed plans to demolish what is remaining of a house at 11 Eastville Avenue and replace it with a new one, over the objections of neighbors and preservationists who sought a full-scale archaeological survey of the site.

However, Anthony Vermandois, the architect overseeing the project for brothers Matt and Even Mulderrig, said they would agree to allow the Eastville Community Historical Society and other preservationists to designate an observer during the demolition process to make sure no historic artifacts are inadvertently left behind.

“If we do recover anything, we would like to have the ability to incorporate into the new structure,” he said.

Mr. Vermandois added, though, that time was of the essence and offered a timeframe of six to eight weeks, the time he estimated it would take his client to get a building permit.

ARB chairman Cee Scott Brown supported the idea of Mr. Vermandois meeting with representatives of the Eastville group as well as with Joan Tripp of the Sag Harbor Historical Society to see if an arrangement could be worked out.

This came over the objections of Hampton Street resident Terry Fraser who read a letter from the Reverend Karen Campbell of Christ Episcopal Church, again calling for the archaeological study.

Jackie Vaughn, president of the Eastville Community Historical Society, said her group was troubled by the sale of historic properties without anyone in the village taking note. “We please ask you to reconsider what your role is and what can happen to our historic buildings and make some effort to keep these buildings intact.”

“This board has nothing to do with the sale of real estate,” Mr. Brown responded.

Referring to a passage in Reverend Campbell’s letter, which stated if a site were improperly excavated, looted or left to the elements, “the site is destroyed forever,” Mr. Brown suggested that was already the case.

“It would have been nice to have this conversation about 50 years ago when it was still standing,” Mr. Brown said.

Meet the Candidates Night Becomes One-Man Show

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U.S. Representative Tim Bishop listened to Sag Harbor resident Bob Malafronte at an evening sponsored by the Noyac Civic Council. Photo by Stephen J. Kotz.

By Stephen J. Kotz

What was supposed to be a meet the candidates night with U.S. Representative Tim Bishop and his Republican challenger, Lee Zeldin, sponsored by the Noyac Civic Council Tuesday night, instead turned out to be a one-man show featuring Mr. Bishop.

Citing a scheduling conflict, Mr. Zeldin first tried to cancel his appearance Tuesday afternoon, before agreeing to arrive at 9 p.m., two hours after his scheduled slot, to informally meet voters.

The Republicans sent Southampton Town Trustee Ed Warner as a stand-in, who deferred most questions of national issues to Mr. Zeldin.

Noyac Civic Council president Elena Loreto on Tuesday said that Mr. Zeldin’s camp had informed her its candidate would not be able to attend the event at 2 p.m. that day, citing another scheduled appearance upisland and despite confirming on Friday that he would appear.

Mr. Bishop said at his previous appearances before the council, helicopter noise was the chief concern. This time none of the two dozen people attending asked about that, instead peppering him with questions about everything from budgets to energy policy.

In his opening statement, Mr. Bishop said he was proud of his record of constituent service and cited his role as one of four sponsors of federal waterways legislation, which he described as one of only 26 pieces of “substantive legislation” passed by the current Congress. The bill successful, he said, because its sponsors engaged in the lost art of compromise, which, he said, has become a “four-letter word” in Washington.

Mr. Bishop said he was particularly proud of his role in helping reform the federal student loan program, which he said, ended $61 billion in bank subsidies and resulted in an additional $26 billion being funneled to Pell Grants to aid the neediest students.

“I ran for Congress because I wanted to be a voice for the middle class,” Mr. Bishop said, recounting how his father used to work an average of  80 hours a week for the phone company to put five children through college. “I used to hate the phone company because I couldn’t understand how they could make this guy who had five kids work every Christmas.” It was only when he was in college, he said, that he learned that his father had put in for the overtime.

Audience members had some tough questions. Reg Cornelia of Springs, said Democrats had prevented inquiries into many scandals.

“What bugs me the most is this IRS scandal,” Mr. Cornelia said. “You and your colleagues have done everything to thwart this investigation.”

“Your characterization is simply not accurate,” Mr. Bishop responded, pointing out that the Internal Revenue Service’s inspector general, a nonpartisan investigator, had determined that the IRS had simply not targeted Tea Party organizations in its efforts to determine whether political groups qualified for tax exempt status, but had also investigated liberal organizations.

Carole Campolo, another East Hampton resident, said the country has been brought to the precipice of financial calamity annually and asked why the federal government has failed to pass a budget since 2009.

Mr. Bishop said that while the budget itself may be an “overrated document” in that Congress achieves the same ends by passing appropriations bills, he said it was a “bipartisan failure,” said that both President Bush and President Obama had sent annual budget proposals to Congress.

Stu Jones, another East Hampton resident, said it was his understanding that no more soldiers were being sent to Afghanistan, but said his son had just received his third posting there. Mr. Bishop thanked Mr. Jones for his son’s service, but explained his being sent back to Afghanistan had to do with troop rotations, not a clandestine increase in force levels.

“If it was up to me I would have been out of Afghanistan a long time ago, and if was up to me I have never gone into Iraq,” Mr. Bishop said. “I think that was the single greatest foreign policy mistake this nation has ever made.’

James Sanford of Sag Harbor wanted to know why New Yorkers pay more for natural gas, a problem he said was caused by a shortage of pipelines and storage capability. He also wanted to know Mr. Bishop’s position on fracking.

The congressman responded that most pipelines are privately owned said he saw no “federal impediment” to more lines being built. As to fracking, Mr. Bishop said he supported Governor Andrew Cuomo’s cautious approach, saying a national policy has to be formulated for dealing with wastewater.

Gene  Polito of Noyac pressed Mr. Bishop on his support of natural gas as a source of energy, saying “global warming is for real” and carbon dioxide levels had to be reduced. “We ignore its implications at its own peril,” he said.

Janet Verneuille of Sag Harbor wanted to know what Mr. Bishop’s stance on the practice of corporations moving their headquarters offshore to save on taxes and asked if he favored lowering the American corporate tax rate.

“I think it is an obscenity that corporations are more interested in the bottom line than in the country that has allowed them to be successful,” Mr. Bishop said, pointing out that they had benefited from a publicly educated workforce and publicly provided infrastructure.

He added, though, that while the American corporate tax rate is one of the highest in the world the actual amount collected as a percentage of gross domestic product is the lowest. He said he favored reforming the corporate tax structure.

Nada Barry of Sag Harbor asked about the prospects for meaningful immigration reform. Mr. Bishop said he was not optimistic and said when the Senate passed a decent bill, House Speaker John Boehner announced it “dead on arrival.”

 

High School Sailing Thriving at Breakwater

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Skipper Maxine DeHavenon from East Hampton High School and crewman Liam Kenny from East Hampton Middle School sailing off Sag Harbor on Monday

Skipper Maxine DeHavenon from East Hampton High School and crewman Liam Kenny from East Hampton Middle School sailing off Sag Harbor on Monday

By Gavin Menu

Far from any video game, smartphone, house chores or homework, students from the Ross School, Pierson and East Hampton High School gather on fall afternoons to rip across the water in Sag Harbor Bay. Just outside the breakwater and beyond Sag Harbor’s fleet of multi-million dollar yachts, the sport of high school sailing is alive and well.

“I practically live here,” said Wyatt Moyer, a student at Ross who is on both the fall and spring sailing teams and participates in the Breakwater Yacht Club Junior Sailing Program during the summer months.

While many of their friends play more traditional interscholastic sports like soccer or field hockey, members of the local sailing teams call Breakwater their home base and travel to competitive regattas across Long Island.

Moyer and four other Ross students, along with five sailors from East Hampton and two from Pierson, currently make up a collective team from the East End. They also compete, at times, as individual schools depending on whether a regatta is structured as a team event or designed for individual boats.

“More are welcome and recruiting is in process, possibly with sailors from Southampton, Bridgehampton, Sagaponack, even Riverhead,” said Sean Elliot, the sailing director at Breakwater. “High school sailing at Breakwater is open to anybody middle school and up who is interested in getting involved.”

Sailors on Monday took advantage of 18-knot wind gusts and jockeyed for position during a series of practice races, which take place daily from 4 to 5:30 p.m., rain or shine. Watching from the club’s usual race committee boat, Elliot spoke about a student who walked into the club cold a week ago, said he was tired of sitting around after school every day and hasn’t missed a day of practice since.

“A lot of the kids who come out stick with it, and that’s basically what the club is all about,” Elliot said about Breakwater, which charges junior sailors just $30 per year to become members, with no additional costs to be a part of the sailing team. “Rather than sitting around on the couch, they’re out here on the water learning to sail. It’s an amazing experience.”

Breakwater also serves as host for the high school spring season, which is much larger, according to Elliot, with about 25 sailors expected to compete starting in March of next year. The fall season runs until Thanksgiving, even as temperatures begin to plummet.

“You’d be surprised what some of these kids can endure,” Elliot said, adding that the club helps with equipment and foul-weather gear.

The team this fall will attend regattas at The Stony Brook School and The Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay, with Elliot and two other coaches— Martin Monteith and Dwight Curtis, who are both from Ross—hoping to compete with The East End Youth Sailing Foundation, which is based out of the Old Cove Yacht Club on the North Shore and is the home base of the Mattituck High School sailing team.

“High school sailing is booming nationwide and we are glad to help promote it to the fullest extent,” Elliot said. “Besides being a great sport for young sailors, building confidence and team unity, it is also great for the their college applications. College coaches are consistently checking on local high school events and we have some great connections at that level.”

Students interested in getting involved can call Breakwater at (631) 725-4604.

Skipper Cole Colby and crew Veronica Ko, both from the Ross School sailing on Monday.

Skipper Cole Colby and crew Veronica Ko, both from the Ross School sailing on Monday.

Adults on The Water Too

Breakwater’s Wednesday Night Fall Series will come to a conclusion next week as the club’s bigger boats continue to battle for local bragging rights. Fred Stelle sailed Witchli to a win in Division 1 last Wednesday, September 17, posting a corrected time of 47:28. David Betts and Charlene Kagel, aboard Instant Karma, finished second in 49:24 and Lee Oldak, aboard Purple Haze, finished third in 50:22.

In Division 2, it was Jim Smyth and Derrick Galen sailing White Lightning to victory with a corrected time of 50:07. Osprey, captained by George Martin, finished second in 51:28 while Wave Equation and captains Bruce Dinsmore and Joan Worthing finished third in 56:46.