Tag Archive | "Shelter Island"

Boat Party Banished

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Citing environmental concerns, as well as complaints made by Sag Harbor residents, this week the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees passed legislation expanding its mass gathering law in an effort to prevent the annual Sag Harbor Boat Party from continuing to host its August event in Sag Harbor Cove.

On Tuesday night, the village board adopted a law that requires anyone hosting an event anticipating more than 75 people — whether on land or water under Sag Harbor jurisdiction — to first obtain a permit from the village.

The boat party has been a fixture on the South Fork for two decades, anchoring off Barcelona Neck in East Hampton as well as Shelter Island before finding its current home in Sag Harbor Cove three years ago. The event has drawn anywhere from 100 to 300 vessels whose owners and passengers spend the day listening to live music on a barge supplied by organizers. Donations are collected to pay for the bands and occasionally to provide charitable support to a worthy cause.

Both East Hampton and Shelter Island passed legislation to regulate the event through permitting, pushing it into Sag Harbor — a municipality without permit requirements for parties on the water.

Until now, that is.

According to Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride, the legislation was conceived specifically due to concerns that have arisen since the Sag Harbor Boat Party moved its event into Sag Harbor Cove. That prompted complaints from waterfront residents in the neighborhood and drew the ire of officials concerned about the environmental impact the party could have on an ecologically sensitive body of water.

On Tuesday night, Southampton Town Trustee Jon Semlear, a commercial fisherman, applauded the village board for the action and said it had the support of a majority of the trustees in Southampton.

“The feeling is it is too small an area to accommodate such a large event,” said Semlear, noting the cove has already been plagued with red and brown tides. Most recently, the area was closed to shellfishing by the state to protect residents from paralytic shellfish poisoning which can manifest itself during specific algae blooms. That ban has been lifted, but Semlear said it was a testament to how sensitive the coves in Sag Harbor are.

“To have 300 or 500 or 200 boats anchored in areas we have been working on with the Department of State and the Cornell Cooperative Extension to get eel grass to grow is contradictory to what we are trying to accomplish,” said Semlear.

“It may not seem like a lot, but a one day event is just another stresser on a tenuous body of water,” he added.

Semlear added the fact there is not one individual willing to take responsibility for the Sag Harbor Boat Party — an event so covert it generally announces its location the day it is occurring on boating and sailing weblogs — is even more concerning.

“My suggestion is it happen somewhere outside the cove where there is better flushing,” said Semlear.

David Beard, the president of the Bay Point Property Owners Association said the group is unanimously opposed to the event happening in Sag Harbor Cove.

The board of trustee’s decision was unanimous. In order for the party to move forward in Sag Harbor jurisdiction, a principal must come forward and pursue a permit from the village, which will be considered by the village board.

On Monday night, the party was also the subject of heated debate at the village’s Harbor Committee meeting. Without a quorum and only two of the board’s current four members present, the Harbor Committee could take no action to support the village’s legislation. However, Harbor Committee Chairman Bruce Tait made it clear he did not support the party continuing in Sag Harbor Cove.

During that meeting, Bay Point resident Charlie Canavan — who said on Wednesday he was not the party’s organizer but simply fact finding for the event — argued it would not pose an environmental hazard. He added that while the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) does close to the cove to shellfishing after the event it is merely a precautionary measure.

Tait countered that the DEC closes the area because there is the potential the party has had an impact on the cove’s water quality, just as they do after a heavy rainstorm when stormwater runoff is swept into the bays.

Peconic BayKeeper Kevin MacAllister approached the board not to support the event or decry its existence. Rather, MacAllister took Tait to task for suggesting at last month’s meeting that he could have a conflict of interest in weighing in on the impact of the party after Canavan suggested the BayKeeper could benefit from a donation from proceeds of the party.

MacAllister said he was not offered funding, but an opportunity to speak at the party about water quality issues.

“I seize every opportunity I can to advocate for clean water,” he said.

MacAllister added he was offended at the suggestion that his decades long work on the water would be compromised by a donation. He stressed the party could not be a fundraiser for the BayKeeper.

“With respect to the event itself and the question as to whether there is water quality monitoring, I don’t believe there is, but there needs to be,” said MacAllister, adding he would perform the service himself.

Tait said when he spoke of the conflict of interest it was after Canavan had offered that the BayKeeper may receive a donation from the event.

“Your integrity could be the best, but it doesn’t matter,” said Tait. “It is the appearance of a conflict of interest that matters.”

“The fact is we have had closures in this cove for shellfishing for a dangerous bacteria that causes death has us concerned,” said Tait.

“I don’t disagree but let’s put this in perspective,” said MacAllister. “Your concerns are well founded, but in fact the cove has bigger issues than the assembly of boats on a given Sunday.”

“I am not going to question your integrity on these things and that is not what I am doing,” added Tait. “What I was questioning was the appearance of a conflict of interest.”

“You need to know not in a million years will I sell my integrity for a crab net of dollar bills,” replied MacAllister.

Redwood resident Cam Gleason said another reason not to allow the party in the cove was the presence of the diamondback terrapin, a turtle which makes its home in Sag Harbor Cove and has been named a designated species of special recognition by the DEC.

“The party does not belong there,” she said. “Have it somewhere else.”

North Haven Residents Call for Tick Abatement

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Josephine DeVincenzi used to be an avid birder, but now she avoids the woods in North Haven, fearful of contracting Lyme Disease for the fourth time.

She is by no means alone.

Virtually all of DeVincenzi’s neighbors have contracted Lyme Disease or another tick borne illness at least once, if not multiple times. Even worse, her partner Jan Scanlon developed a life-threatening allergy to meat and dairy after being bitten by a Lone Star tick. In the last eight years, Scanlon has been rushed to the hospital almost a dozen times as a result of the affliction, twice in anaphylactic shock.

Calling the impact tick borne illnesses are having on residents in North Haven — a known hot spot for ticks — a “public health crisis,” on Monday night DeVincenzi urged the North Haven Village Board to explore implementing a “4-Poster” program in the village.

“As you know, North Haven Village served as the control for the 4-Poster Study on Shelter Island that studied tick infestation,” said DeVincenzi. “After three years of study, they found a significant decline in the tick population — a 95-percent decline.”

“While there is no perfect solution to the problem,” she added, “I am here on behalf of myself and the North Haven Manor’s Home Owners Association to demand the village find the means to implement the 4-Poster Program and abate our tick infestation.”

PA210031According to Dan Gilrein of Cornell Cooperative Extension, which completed the 4-Poster study in Shelter Island in 2011, DeVincenzi is correct. The study did show tick populations could be controlled over time and significantly reduced using 4-Poster devices. The duel feeding stations are designed to apply the insecticide permethrin to the necks, head, ears and shoulders of deer which are forced to rub up against applicator rollers as they feed at the stations. The permethrin is then transferred to other parts of the body as the deer grooms itself.

According to Gilrein, Cornell Cooperative Extension completed the study to help the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) make an informed decision on whether the state should allow communities to use 4-Poster devices for tick abatement and to what extent.

Gilrein said earlier this year, the DEC did decide to allow permits for 4-Poster devices, but only in Nassau and Suffolk counties and not in upstate New York. The DEC does require a four-year study of deer ecology as well as the tick population in order to gain a permit.

Gilrein added that while 4-Poster systems can be erected on private properties they must be monitored by someone with training.

“It’s a new technology that people have to learn how to use successfully,” he said.

“We know this helps to control ticks and perhaps it is also raising awareness about the role of the deer population in relation to tick borne illnesses,” added Gilrein. “It has also highlighted the need for more information and the importance of personal protection.”

On Monday night, DeVincenzi said she believes the time for study has passed and that because of Cornell’s work there is proof that the 4-Poster program could have a real impact on the lives of people in North Haven.

“How many more people need to be impacted,” she asked. “How many more health care dollars will be spent treating the illness instead of eradicating or reducing the major source of the problem?”

“You are the officials we elected to safeguard our community and the people living in it,” DeVincenzi later added. “Myself and others believe you have fallen short of the objective. We have a Lyme Disease epidemic here and we need action now.”

Nodding his head as DeVincenzi spoke, North Haven Village Board Member George Butts said he has had Lyme Disease about seven times and it is a widespread problem.

“My husband has had it, my daughter had it,” added board member Diane Skilbred.

However, Skilbred noted she had read implementing a 4-Poster program would cost about $1 million.

“How much is it costing us now,” asked DeVincenzi. “We are spending millions on tests, treatments, on trying to protect ourselves, but it is haphazard. We have to have a comprehensive plan.”

DeVincenzi added that she believed residents in North Haven Village would happily pay a little more each year in taxes in order to be protected.

“Tell me what you need, how many petitions you need to get signed and I will do it,” she said.

Board member Jeff Sander said he believed this was a valid concern and something the board should research, immediately, with DeVincenzi’s help.

“Let’s look at some data,” he said.

DeVincenzi said she would also seek to bring an expert on 4-Poster devices to the board’s August 7 meeting.

“I have given up going into the woods and enjoying nature,” she said. “I have just given it up.”

Photos courtesy of the Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Ferry Rates Bumped

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Those taking the ferry from North Haven to Shelter Island will have to dig a little deeper into their pockets this summer, as the Suffolk County Legislature approved an increase in rates on June 19, with most fares going up by between 13 and 16 percent.

The roundtrip fare for a car and driver, for example, will go from $15 to $17.

Passengers in non-resident vehicles will be charged $1.00 for the first time.

In its application to the Legislature, South Ferry, Inc., the company that has run the service since 1906, said that it was struggling with rising gas prices and declining passenger counts — and needed to raise fares to reverse losses.

Jay Schneiderman, the county legislator for the East End and an advocate of public transportation, said he regretted that the ferry rates needed to be increased and expressed concern that if fares were too high, those traveling between the North and South forks would chose to drive around through Riverhead, rather than taking the ferry from Greenport, through North Haven and to Shelter Island. However, he said that he couldn’t put a local business in a position of losing money.

“Increased rates are never a good thing, in my mind,” he said. “They’re saying that they have to lose rates — they’re losing money. I don’t want to ask them to lose money.

Hurricane Preparedness Seminar Announced for July

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East Hampton, Shelter Island and Southampton towns have joined New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. and the Long Island Power Authority in hosting an East End Hurricane Preparedness seminar on Thursday, July 26 at 6 p.m. at the Hampton Library in Bridgehampton.

“Preparation is essential to our ability to manage the impacts of storm events,” said Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst. “As we were reminded by  Tropical Storm Irene last fall, our area is prone to power outages during high wind events. LIPA has worked hard to improve its ability to respond to outages and to better communicate with residents and municipal emergency managers during these stressful times. We are pleased to offer this forum as an opportunity to keep residents informed about the progress LIPA has made, the communication tools that will be available to them and to review how best to prepare for the possibility of future outages.”

LIPA Chief Operating Officer Michael Hervey added that anyone dependent on electricity for emergency medical and life-support equipment should register with LIPA’s Critical Care Program, so they can receive regular updates on scheduled outages or severe weather allowing them to make advanced preparations. To enroll or obtain more information on Critical Care call 1-800-490-0025 or visit

http://www.lipower.org/residential/custserv/services-care.html.

For more information or to register for the July 26th Hurricane Preparedness Seminar, please contact Assemblyman Fred Thiele’s District Office at 537-2583.


A Seasoning for Sailors

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Keith Bavaro and Ali Bevilacqua of Salt Bar and Grill in Shelter Island, photographed on Monday, 5/28/12

Keith Bavaro and Ali Bevilacqua of Salt Bar and Grill in Shelter Island, photographed on Monday, 5/28/12



By Emily J. Weitz

Island Boat Yard on Shelter Island was, for the past few years, just a boat yard. Sailors and seafarers would tie up at the dock to refuel, and if they were feeling adventurous, they might catch a shuttle to the Heights to find out what exactly Shelter Island had to offer. But with Keith Bavaro and Alison Beviliaqua taking on a lease of several buildings on the premises, the Island Boat Yard is becoming the first and last stop for boaters, and a destination for others as well.

The hope for this young couple, who met in the restaurant business on the Island, is that this property can become a resort destination.

“For a while this place was strictly for boaters,” says Bavaro. “Now we’re hoping people will say, ‘Let’s spend the weekend here.’ There’s a full-service marina with showers, laundry, and pool. But then there’s great food at Salt, there’s a bar, a wine tasting room, and shuttle service to other spots on the Island.”

Salt is an upscale restaurant with mid-range prices. Creative cocktails like strawberry basil mojitos and jalapeno margaritas kick off any evening at the marina. The menu is comprised of small main courses and large appetizers ideal for sharing. Fish tacos, grilled calamari, and shrimp skewers are all right in line with the vibe of the outside decks literally on the water.

“Our executive chef, Carrie Mitchum, put together a phenomenal menu,” says Bavaro. “We are going for fresh, not fancy. This is a place for social gathering. It’s about being on Shelter Island and enjoying this magical place.”

Salt, with its views out over the marina with West Neck Harbor beyond, highlights both the heritage and the beauty of Shelter Island. There are 80 boat slips at the marina, including 50 seasonals, 25 transients, and five slips just for people coming to Salt. To reserve a slip, you can call the Dockmaster at 749-3333.

Bavaro and Beviliaqua are clearly driven by their appreciation of Shelter Island.

“I spent nine years in Hawaii,” says Bavaro, “which is beautiful. But the reality is that this island is as beautiful, and this is home. Ali and I were summer kids, and we’ve chosen to make it a full-time home. This place is about being at peace with myself, and finding Ali and settling in.”

Salt is just the beginning of their plans. In addition to the restaurant, there’s a separate building: a schooner from Greenport called the Shipwreck, which now serves as a bar.

“The Shipwreck is open weekends from 3pm on,” says Beviliaqua. “We want people to come and feel comfortable, whatever their budget. So we have this bar with cans of beer and live music.”

On the other end of the spectrum, they have transformed another building into Shelter Island’s first satellite tasting room. Jamesport Vineyards is on board for these tastings, but they won’t be limited to Jamesport.

“We have a bar and wine shelves all set up,” says Bavaro, “and we’ll be featuring all East End and New York state vineyards. We’ll also have vodkas and bourbons. We can pour by the glass but sell by the bottle or case.”

Between the restaurant, the bar, the tasting room and the pool, it might be hard to find the time or motivation to leave the Island Boat Yard. But they have set up various ways to do so, in addition to the shuttle that was already in place.

“We’ve partnered with Venture Sports,” says Bavaro, “for scooter rentals for boaters. And there will also be SUP rentals and tours with Claudia Patino Tarlow. We’ll have racks on the premises where people can rent boards and then lock them up.”

The idea is that people can feel comfortable coming from one activity to the next, with a real feel of being at a resort.

“We think of this place as fresh, not fancy,” says Beviliaqua. “It’s good food you can eat in your board shorts and flip-flops.”

“We have the built-in clientele of the boaters to start,” says Bavaro.

“And we love the boating crowd,” chimes in Beviliaqua. “The boating community is close – if your friends on the boat next to you say this place is great, you’re gonna go check it out. We’re counting on word of mouth, and we want to reach out to both the North and South Forks as a destination.”

Haerter & Theinert Honored by New York State As Community Prepares for Memorial Day

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JoAnn Lyles and Chrystyna Kestler spent Tuesday morning driving together from the East End to Albany where their sons were posthumously honored as veterans. It was a bittersweet reminder that this holiday weekend is about more than the beginning of summer and is, in fact, a time to remember those who have given their lives, however young, for the freedoms enjoyed by those of us still living.

“It was a good opportunity for us to talk and talk and talk, share stories and tears,” said Lyles on Wednesday morning.

Lyles’ son, Marine Lance Corporal Jordan C. Haerter, and Kestler’s son, Army First Lieutenant Joseph J. Theinert, were inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame on Tuesday afternoon in Albany. New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, who nominated L.Cpl. Haerter and Lt. Theinert for the honor, and New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr., were on hand to share the moment with their families.

Of the over 60 individuals named to the Veterans’ Hall of Fame, L.Cpl. Haerter and Lt. Theinert were two of four veterans named posthumously.

“It was certainly a very special moment,” said Senator LaValle on Wednesday morning. “You could feel in the room that not only was this a special occasion, but with their mothers there, being Gold Star Mothers, people were teary eyed. Both of those young men gave the ultimate sacrifice at a very young age.”

A lifelong Sag Harbor resident, L.Cpl. Haerter, was the only child of Lyles and Christian Haerter, both of whom have since dedicated their lives to championing their son’s memory, as well as military and veterans’ causes through separate organizations — In Jordan’s Honor and Jordan’s Initiative.

A 2006 graduate of Pierson High School, L.Cpl. Haerter immediately enlisted with the Marines after graduation and became a member of the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines known as the “Walking Dead.”

Just one month into his first tour of duty in Iraq on April 22, 2008, L.Cpl. Haerter and Marine Corporal Jonathan T. Yale were killed in Ramadhi defending a checkpoint from a suicide bomber driving a large truck. Their actions saved the lives of over 33 Marines, Iraqi policemen and Iraqi civilians.

L.Cpl. Haerter was 19 years old.

L.Cpl. Haerter was honored with the Navy Cross Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Iraqi Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon for his service.

Lt. Theinert, a 2006 graduate of Shelter Island High School, was the son of Kestler, a Shelter Island resident, and James Theinert, a Sag Harbor resident.

Lt. Theinert accepted an ROTC commission at Valley Forge Military Academy and College and after graduation enrolled in SUNY Albany, where he was accepted into Siena College’s ROTC Mohawk Battalion and earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in history.

In March of 2010, Lieutenant Theinert was deployed to Afghanistan. Just six weeks into his deployment, on June 4, shortly after securing the rest of his platoon after undergoing hostile fire, Lieutenant Theinert was killed by an improvised explosive device in Dand District of Kandahar, Afghanistan.

He was 24 years old.

Lt. Theinert’s awards include the Army Service Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Afghan Campaign Medal, the Purple Heart and the Combat Action Badge.

The loss of L.Cpl. Haerter and Lt. Theinert was deeply felt throughout the East End community, solemn homecomings were followed by moments of remembrance.

“The East End becomes a very special place on occasions like this because it becomes that small community where everyone rallies around the families and made sure those young men got the respect they deserved,” remembered Senator LaValle. “Both were so young, and their mothers became so close. They both had suits on in Albany, the same color blue.”

In late 2008, New York State renamed the Sag Harbor-North Haven Bridge the Lance Corporal Haerter Veterans’ Memorial Bridge. The South Ferry’s “Southern Cross,” a ferry from North Haven to Shelter Island, was renamed after Lieutenant Theinert in 2010 shortly after a stretch of Route 114 was also designated the “Lt. Joseph J. Theinert Memorial Way.”

“We feel connected,” said Lyles of Kestler, with whom she spent the day in Albany. “Even here, we have Jordan’s bridge that leads to Joe’s ferry.”

Lyles said the ceremony was an opportunity for her and Kestler to meet other veterans and share stories, while honoring their children together.

“Chris and I were talking about how it is almost easier with the loss of a child if they were in the military because there are so many more chances for remembrance,” said Lyles. “It’s not easy at these events, but at least I know to expect emotion so I can steel myself. It’s the normal days, where something happens that it is harder, like if someone sees Jordan’s picture on my desk and doesn’t know and asks me if my son is in the Marines. Those are the harder days, but I never want people to stop talking or asking about Jordan.”

“My thoughts are with both families,” said Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride on Wednesday morning. “They were both courageous young men who supported this country and I am proud of Jordan and Joe for their efforts in making this country what it is today.”

“This was bittersweet,” said Assemblyman Thiele. “What they gave for this country has been well documented and it is great that the State of New York through the State Senate is recognizing their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their families. It is a great honor, but at the same time it is a reminder of their loss.”

Thiele will join Gilbride, as well as Lyles and Christian Haerter, countless veterans and government officials on Memorial Day to honor the veterans of Sag Harbor and beyond.

The parade will begin at 9 a.m. at the World War I monument at Otter Pond, continue down Main Street to Bay Street’s Marine Park and onto to the Chelberg and Battle American Legion Post 388.

“Something I have always been proud of is walking in many Memorial Day parades, either in uniform as a former Sag Harbor Fire Department chief or in a suit as mayor because I want to honor those who have come home,” said Mayor Gilbride. “It is a humbling day for someone like me because I can go to any one of the memorials and see my own family’s names and recognize the names of other residents from Sag Harbor that still have family here today. All I can say, is thank you.”

Above: New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle presents JoAnn Lyles with her son’s plaque inducting him posthumously into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame.

Town Considers Limiting Truck Size On Noyac Rd.

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By Claire Walla

When it comes down to it, 10,000 pounds isn’t really that much.

Sedans, SUVs and light-duty pick-up trucks would make the cut. But, according to Southampton Town Traffic Coordinator Tom Neely, heavy-duty pick-ups, larger vans, dump trucks and tractor-trailers would have to go.

That was cause for concern for many who came to Town Hall speak out on the issue of banning vehicles over 10,000 pounds at a Southampton Town Board meeting on Tuesday, April 24.

The proposed legislation, put forth by Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, would effectively prohibit vehicles over 10,000 pounds from driving along Noyac Road between County Road 39 and the Village of Sag Harbor. A few exemptions would include school buses and vehicles doing business on Noyac Road.

The legislation was put together in an effort to further address traffic-calming measures, which have been hotly debated for years with regard to Noyac Road, specifically the curve that runs along Cromer’s Market and the Whalebone Gift Store.

Discussions have mainly revolved around road repairs, like installing a concrete median or adding striping to get cars to slow down. But at a community meeting last month, which was attended by over 100 Noyac residents and every member of the Southampton Town Board, a couple of people brought up the ban.

“We were thinking about fuel-delivery trucks, ones that seem to use [Noyac Road] as a thoroughfare rather than a delivery route,” Throne-Holst said. She added that the major threat comes from the large trucks that tend to use Noyac Road to bypass traffic on Montauk Highway, and proceed to speed through the bayside hamlet.

“There’s risk and danger for oncoming traffic,” she said. Let alone the noise factor.

“The noise is significant,” said Bill Reilly, who lives on Oak Drive near Noyac Road.  He explained that because road conditions have improved over the years, it’s effectively increased the amount of traffic caused by large trucks.  While banning all trucks over 10,000 pounds might not be the solution—Reilly admitted that vehicles prohibited from driving down Noyac Road would just travel elsewhere—he said, “we’ve got a significant problem.”

However, the legislation, as it now stands, may have some unintended consequences, as members of the Sag Harbor community pointed out on Tuesday.

“If you took the trucks off Noyac Road, my opinion is that you would also increase the speed on Noyac Road,” said Mickey Valcich of garbage-collection company Mickey’s Carting.

East Hampton Highway Supervisor Steve Lynch added that prohibiting certain vehicles from using Noyac Road would add time onto their routes, which would be costly in the long-run.

John Tintle, who owns and operates the Sand Land Corporation, which has a facility on Mill Stone Road, agreed.

“The unintended consequences passed on to the tax payers would be enormous,” she said. Tintle explained that he already charges higher prices for deliveries that are further away because of fuel costs. By averting Noyac Road, and thus adding extra time onto truck routes, he said costs would inevitably rise.

And they would not only rise for those living in Southampton Town.

Jay Card, superintendent of highways for Shelter Island, and Jim Dougherty, Shelter Island Town Supervisor, both spoke out on the issue, saying it would make commuting on and off the island for commercial trucks very difficult.

“It would essentially cause us to go all the way to East Hampton to get back to Montauk Highway,” Card said.

“We basically think that in a soft economy like this, this is no time to be burdening our residents with additional costs,” Dougherty said.

Neely explained that the town used the 10,000-pound benchmark only because it had used that measurement in the past. He further noted that this would prohibit F350 trucks and Ram 3500 trucks from taking Noyac Road.

“If this were to go forward, looking at heavier weights would be something we’d want to put out there,” he said.

The other big issue is enforcement, a topic many speakers brought up.

Neely explained that in order enforce the law, police officers would be responsible for pulling vehicles over and physically checking the inside of the passenger door, where the maximum weight is listed. Officers would also be responsible for checking any documentation the driver might have to prove he or she is making a local delivery or service call.

“You would have to put a number of vehicles on that road to do enforcement,” said Sag Harbor Village Police Chief Tom Fabiano. “And I guarantee that once you put this into effect, you’re going to get a lot of calls [from people saying], ‘there’s a truck on Noyac Road, do something about it.’”

Throne-Holst said she recognized there were many concerns, particularly for the business community. And while she said the town does not have accurate statistics on just how many of the vehicles that drive down Noyac Road are large trucks, she suggested the town put together a study in order to secure that information.

“In the end, we need some sort of understanding of what the actual traffic looks like there,” she said, adding that this is just one component of what she hopes will be a bigger plan. “What this town needs to do is a comprehensive truck route.”

The board closed the public hearing on Tuesday, but has opened up a 30-day comment period on the proposed legislation.

East Enders Past and Present Going for Olympic Gold

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By Claire Walla

You’re standing at the top of a three-tiered podium, wearing a tri-colored tracksuit, holding a bouquet of flowers with one arm and waving to a deafening crowd of ecstatic people with the other. Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for: you bend at the waist and a thick ribbon attached to a bright, shiny medallion is placed around your neck.

You’ve won the gold!

For most of us, this dream is confined to our inner-thoughts and the screens of our television sets. But for a select group of athletes, the hope of attaining Olympic gold is a dream that’s well within reach.

So, what separates the enthusiasts from the elites? We at The Express looked no further than our own backyard to find out.

“When I was qualifying, I thought about two words: London 2012,” explained sailor Amanda Clark, 29, a Shelter Island native who will be competing in this summer’s London Olympic Games for the second time as part of Team U.S.A.

Clark’s first Olympic appearance was at the 2008 games in Beijing, where she and teammate Sarah Mergenthaler Chin placed 12th overall.

“At that point it had been about eight years of Olympic campaigning,” Clark said. “So just qualifying [for the games] was special in itself.”

This year, after she and Mergenthaler Chin went their separate ways, Clark quickly teamed up with Floridian Sarah Lihan and went on to beat the favored U.S. team, once again finishing first in the U.S. Olympic trials—this time with a tie-breaking win.

As you might expect, Clark said her love of sailing began at a young age. She learned how to sail at 5, joined the junior program at Shelter Island Yacht Club when she was 7, and by age 15 she became the youngest female sailor to qualify for the U.S. Olympic trials.

Ever since she was a “tween,” Clark said, sailing has been her life.

“It has really been intense for quite some time,” Clark said. “I spent long hours on the water as a kid. And now, we might spend less time on the water, but all the planning, traveling, training… it really has been a full-time job.”

This, according to Sag Harbor resident Lester Ware, is a big part of the equation.

“You’ve gotta have a fanatical work ethic,” explained Ware, who is also owns and operates Personal Best Fitness in Bridgehampton. “You gotta be able to just get up in the middle of the night sometimes and go for a run—because you’re worried, What’s that other guy doing?”

Ware knows from personal experience what it’s like to be in the thick of serious training. He won several international titles and, in 1984, he even qualified to be an alternate for the summer games in Los Angeles.

As a high school student in Southampton, Ware said once he got the wrestling bug he did whatever it took to make it to the top. When his father wasn’t able to drive him, Ware took the train or he hitched a ride to Nassau Community College for wrestling practice three times a week.

And when his college wrestling career came to a close, he took two years to train for the Olympic games, working out in the morning and then proceeding to lead three different practices before his day finally came to a close.

“To get to that level, you have to give yourself over to it,” Ware said of his training. “You have to completely surrender to it.”

It’s a concept 16-year-old Wainscott resident Brittni Svanberg knows well.

While she may not indulge in spontaneous nocturnal sprints (yet), Svanberg knows what it’s like to dedicate inordinate amounts of time to sport. The East Hampton High School sophomore and regional ice-skating champ is training to qualify for the U.S. Nationals competition this year, and has her sights set on the 2018 Olympic Games.

Her training includes waking up every Saturday morning at 4 a.m. for the one-hour drive to The Rinx skating rink in Happaugue, where she laces up and practices her triple jumps.

As an athlete whose sport is not accommodated here on the East End—the only local rink, at Buckskill in East Hampton, is only open seasonally—Svanberg said she makes this commute five times a week. And when she has access to the local rink, she doubles up on her practice time.

“It’s definitely hard to balance it with school,” she admitted. Svanberg also has does about six hours of training off-the-ice each week: “jumping, strengthening, stretching, plyometrics… a lot of core training!” she exclaimed. “I’m definitely willing to work for everything, but, yeah, when I started I didn’t know exactly all the commitment it would take.”

She said the road to gold is not easy, but that’s never stopped her. “I really like skating,” she continued. “So, it’s easy to keep going.”

Now that the 2012 Summer Olympic Games are only a few months away, Clark and her partner and completing their last round of training in Spain. At this point—with years of work-outs, fundraising and qualifying races under her belt—Clark said she and Lihan are focusing more on the mental aspects of competition.

This, according to Lester Ware, is exactly what separates athletes from Olympians.

“It’s much more in the mind than it is in the body,” he said. “It’s all about believing, or rather, not believing you have limits—I never had limits.”

Clark said she and her teammate work with a sports psychologist, and frequently run through meditation and visualization routines.

“As in every sport, everybody’s pushing to be the best they can be,” she continued. “For us right now, there are so many teams that are in this to win medals. And we’re actually a team that, if we start to sail closer to our full potential, we’re going to be the team that people look at and say, ‘Ahhh… How did they do that?!’”

2011 CPF Revenues Down for Most Towns

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This week, New York State Assembly Fred W. Thiele, Jr. announced that the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund (CPF) totals for 2011 were on par with revenues collected by the five towns in 2010.

According to Thiele, the CPF produced $58.85 million in 2011, a 0.1 percent increase over the 2010 total of $58.78 million. While total CPF revenues were slightly higher in 2011, the five East End towns with the exception of Southampton have actually seen a decline in the amount of revenues they have collected through the fund.

Southampton Town earned about 15-percent more in 2011, pulling in $38.88 million in CPF revenues over $33.79 million in 2010.

Shelter Island saw the largest decrease in CPF revenues, down 39.7 percent for 2011, collecting $820,000. East Hampton Town also saw a sharp decrease, taking in $13.86 million in 2011 compared to $17.72 million in 2010, a 21.8-percent decrease. Riverhead collected $1.93 million in 2011, a decrease of 15.7-percent over the $2.29 million the town earned in 2010. Southold also saw a decrease of 7.5-percent, taking $3.35 million in 2011 compared to $3.62 million in 2010.

Since its inception in 1999, the Peconic Bay Regional Community Preservation Fund has generated more than $722 million, which the five East End towns use for preservation of open space, farmland, recreational facilities and historic preservation.

MTA Hopes to Implement Some of SEEDS Study Before 2015

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By Claire Wall


Do you remember when you could see a flicker of light at the end of the Long Island Rail Road tunnel?

Well, according to those integrally linked to the future of transportation here on the East End, it may be faint, but it’s still there.

It’s been 10 years since local transportation experts banned together under the leadership of the New York Mass Transit Council (NYMTC) to create SEEDS: Sustainable East End Development Strategies. And while not much has been said of the plan since it came to a conclusion in 2005, those at the helm of the effort believe change is afoot.

“I’m optimistic,” said New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele, Jr. of the possibility of increasing rail service between Patchogue and Montauk. He noted that the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has already allotted $80 million in its capital plan for 2010 – 2015 for small diesel trains, called “scoot trains,” that would be added to rail lines to increase the frequency of train service in the east.

What’s more, as Southampton Town Director of Transportation Tom Neely pointed out, the MTA has also reserved $50 million in its five-year capital plan to create an electronic signal system on the South Fork. One of the biggest issues responsible for the infrequency of train travel between Patchogue and Montauk, Neely explained, is that train operators on this leg of the LIRR track are in “dark territory”: they’re not in communication with one another, so two trains headed for each other on the same track would have no way of knowing they’re aiming for collision.

“It’s the same way they did it 150 years ago,” he exclaimed.

While funding is only really targeted for this service at this point and is not a total guarantee, Thiele continued by saying, for him, seeing this support from the MTA “is a step in the right direction.”

It also helps, Thiele continued, that the newly elected Suffolk County Legislator Steve Bellone “has endorsed all of this,” having made transportation his number one East End issue on the campaign trail.

“We’ve had the most support we’ve ever had on this,” he added.

Comprising nearly five years of research, the SEEDS study lays out comprehensive plans for both sustainable growth in terms of population and infrastructure, and increasing the frequency and efficiency of public transportation on the East End. In the end, the two go hand-in-hand. In building up village and hamlet centers to be high-density and therefore low-impact, this would create opportunities on the East End for implementing transit centers.

Neely pointed to the new development plan at the Bulova building in Sag Harbor as a good example of sustainable growth. Because it aims to create high density residences in a downtown area, “it’s a very good example of a development that can make good use of public transportation,” he said.

Recognizing the problems with scant train service on the East End and the subsequent absence of a coordinated bus system, the SEEDS study ultimately resulted in two plans aimed at increasing train travel to and from the East End, Neely said.

The system would ideally function with inter-modal transportation hubs. After restoring train service to Calverton and Grabeski Airport, Neely said there would be at least five major inter-modal hubs (linking train and bus services) throughout the East End: East Hampton and Southampton Villages, Hampton Bays and downtown Riverhead. The SEEDS study also discussed the need for a water taxi between the North and South Forks, which would necessitate an inter-modal transportation hub in Greenport, as well.

“To move forward we would need strong political report,” said Neely, who played a significant role in overseeing the SEEDS process. The transportation projects alone are estimated to cost more than $1 million to fully implement.

While he did say Congressman Tim Bishop had once requested $1 million in earmarked funds to continue this project, the poor economic climate has impacted the state’s ability to move forward in support of this.

“Earmarks are pretty much dead in the water at this point in Congress, “Neely said.

And while Assemblyman Thiele has also drafted two bills, one to create a Peconic Bay Regional Transportation Council and the other to create a Peconic Bay Regional Transportation Authority, he said legislators have thus far failed to act on either measure.

Ideally, Neely said the five towns of the East End — Southampton, East Hampton, Shelter Island, Riverhead and Southold — should work together to create a Transportation Development District, as NYMTC recommended. However, at this moment, nothing seems to be moving forward on that front.

While he continues to hope the MTA will pull through and put its money where its mouth is, in the meantime Neely said efforts to rebuild and construct the towns of the East End in environmentally sustainable ways will have to be done on a local level. Southampton Town, for example, has adopted a Complete Streets policy that will encourage new developments to consider adding bike lanes and sidewalks, for example, when repaving town roads.

In the end, Neely hopes legislators will continue to work to get state funding to act on the SEEDS plan.

“Anything would be better than what we have right now,” he continued. “Which is nothing.”