Tag Archive | "Southampton"

Ordering Out To Eat In

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South Fork & Spoon food concierge service has partnered with farm-to-fork caterer Ango to deliver complete (and organic) Thanksgiving dinners to your door.

South Fork & Spoon will set the table place flowers, and select the wine before dropping off a dinner in casserole dishes, not flimsy aluminum serving trays, prepared by Ango.

The menu, which features products from a variety of local vendors, includes roasted turkey and stuffing, sweet potato gnocchi, cauliflower gratin, sour cream and scallion scones and much more, including hors d’oeuvre platters.

Ango and South Fork & Spoon can even provide a Feast and Football platter, which has an assortment of classics including pigs-in-a-blanket, mini-shepherd pies, deviled eggs and house-made soft pretzels with a cheese dipping sauce perfect for the young ones and those who are glued to the television watching football

Pricing starts at $130 for the turkey and $55 up for the sides. Deliveries can be made November 25, 26 or 27, from Southampton to East Hampton. There is an additional delivery fee for Montauk.

Visit southforkandspoon.com for more information.

Seasonal Food Shines at Long Island Restaurant Week

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The Living Room Chef Mathias Brogie. Eric Striffler photo.

The Living Room Chef Mathias Brogie. Eric Striffler photo.

By Gianna Volpe

November is upon us, meaning time again to taste three courses of some of the South Fork’s finest for less than $30.

Long Island Restaurant Week now comes but twice a year—the pre-fixe promotion designed as a culinary stimulus for those who stay in the edible business off-season—saw it’s dates double in 2011 due to popular demand. The week is now featured in April, in addition to November. It was founded, and continues to be run by executives at the East Hampton-based Wordhampton Public Relations.

Nine South Fork restaurants are listed as participating in Long Island Restaurant Week between November 2 through November 9, including The Cuddy and Page at 63 Main in Sag Harbor, Almond and The Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton, Cowfish and Rhumba in Hampton Bays, The Living Room at c/o Maidstone The 1770 House in East Hampton, and The Patio in Westhampton Beach.

Reservations are encouraged for restaurants that allow such as the dates tend to fill up quickly.

“Just last night I had a little anxiety dream of like, ‘Oh my god, Restaurant Week’s tomorrow, we have 150 on the books and I don’t have staff,” joked Jason Weiner, the executive chef/owner of the participating Almond Restaurant in Bridgehampton, “It’s all good though—we get to see a lot of new faces, make some new friends and see some old friends, so it’s great.”

Regular menu items are often available as part of the price-fixe plated dinners and though many participating restaurants create dedicated menus for all of Long Island Restaurant Week, Chef Weiner said he likes to change things up at Almond.

“We’ll basically do a different miniaturized version of the regular menu every night,” he said. “A lot of places do low cost items that they can produce en masse, which is a fine way to do things as long as it tastes good, but the thing about Restaurant Week is you often get folks who don’t often come to your restaurant for the rest of the year…so I figure the best way to get them to understand who we are is to give them a taste of what our regular menu is about; that’s our approach to the week.”

Chef Weiner said he focuses on using local ingredients for his menu – “slightly whimsical” spins on classic dishes—counting Pike’s Farm and Marilee Foster in Sagaponack; Tom Falkowski’s Bridgehampton potato farm and Amber Waves in Amagansett among those local purveyors to provide him with produce.

“It’s all about ingredients,” said Mr. Weiner. “I’m lucky enough to be on the East End of Long Island, where even now my cauliflower, my celery, my cabbage, my Brussels sprouts; the greens and potatoes, are all coming locally.”

Almond’s restaurant week menus will feature such dishes as its Lamb braciole with bitter greens and polenta raviolini and a variety of steaks, including marinated hangar steak, a grass-fed flat iron steak and a 13-ounce New York strip, which may be chosen for a slight upcharge.

“We’ll also do one of our two soups, one of which is a smoked oyster and cauliflower soup,” he said. “We get our oysters from our friends over at Montauk Shellfish Company and our cauliflower comes from Pike’s Farm.”

Almond isn’t the only restaurant that will rely heavily on its regular menu to outline its restaurant week offerings. East Hampton’s The Living Room, restaurant of luxury hotel c/o The Maidstone, will derive its menu entirely from its regular fare.

“We want to give a representation of what we do year-round, not just something done specifically for that week,” said The Living Room’s restaurant manager Adam Lancashire. “We want people to have a three-course meal that will be available to them both the week after and the week before…We will be telling everyone that comes, ‘These dishes haven’t been watered down and we haven’t gotten a cheaper product to put it together; we stuck with our philosophy.”

The Living Room’s entrees will include its popular new poached cod and a beef Bourguignon Mr. Lancashire suggested enjoying with a glass of pinot noir.

“We’re very excited to be part of restaurant week,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity to show people what you offer year-round.”

If you’re searching for short ribs, try the participating Page at 63 Main in Sag Harbor as director of operations Eric Peele counted the dish among its planned restaurant week menu.

“We may rotate in and out a hangar steak, but we’ll always have fish on the menu,” Mr. Peele added. “Our standard far is what popular, like our rigatoni Bolognese and salmon.”

Long Island Restaurant Week begins November 2 and runs through November 9. For more information, visit longislandrestaurantweek.com. 

“The World Goes ‘Round” Brings Kander & Ebb to Southampton Cultural Center

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The cast of “The World Goes ‘Round, the Songs of Kander and Ebb.” Photo by Tom Kochie.

The cast of “The World Goes ‘Round, the Songs of Kander and Ebb.” Photo by Tom Kochie.

By Annette Hinkle

The legendary songwriting duo of Kander and Ebb have been responsible for some of the biggest hits on Broadway in the past half century. Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb first began their collaboration back in 1962, and in the years that followed, the pair wrote a prolific number of songs and scores including “Cabaret,” which is currently enjoying a revival on Broadway in the old Studio 54 space, “Funny Lady,” and, perhaps their most memorable (and biggest) hit, “Chicago.”

And because he has been denied the rights to produce “Chicago” time and time again (it’s been 17 consecutive years, but who’s counting) this fall, Michael Disher, director of Center Stage at Southampton Cultural Center, decided to approach the challenge from a totally unique angle by bringing the music of Kander and Ebb to the stage in an entirely different form.

“The World Goes ‘Round, The Songs of Kander & Ebb” kicks off Center Stage’s new season and the production is playing at the Southampton Cultural Center now through November 9. The show takes its title from a tune the songwriting team wrote for Liza Minnelli in the 1977 film “New York, New York.” That film’s title song, also included in the show, was, of course, a standard by Frank Sinatra.

Those expecting a night of musical theater filled with plot structure, intriguing narratives and a boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl again kind of experience may be disappointed. In fact, this production is not a structured play, but rather, a musical revue. Which means that audience members who can’t get enough of wall to wall song and dance numbers will get their fill and then some.

In this show, there are no sets, precious few props and the costumes consist of a simple selection of basic black wardrobe pieces. The songs of Kander and Ebb are the stars here, and to pull it off, Mr. Disher has assembled a varied cast of 10 singers and dancers, some of whom are admittedly more comfortable in the song and dance role than others. They include Richard Adler, Isabel Alvarez, Holly Marie Dunn, Sharon Mulvaney, Jaclyn Randazzo, Mary Sabo, Jack Seabury, Kyle Sherlock, Josephine Wallace and Edna Winston.

And though you won’t get the whole play, the music of “Chicago” is well-represented in this production with “All That Jazz,” “Class,” “Mr. Cellophane” and “Me and My Baby” all in the line up. Also expect songs from “Funny Lady,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and yes, Sinatra’s signature song, “New York, New York.”

Also expect to hear some long forgotten numbers that only true Kander and Ebb fans are likely to know, including a lovely rendition of “Colored Lights” offered by Ms. Dunn from “The Rink,” one of their less successful Broadway plays, and “My Coloring Book,” a song that comes not from a musical, but rather Barbra Streisand’s second album recorded in 1963. In this production, the number is performed sweetly by Ms. Randazzo.

Despite the fact that Kander and Ebb wrote their material in the last half of the 20th century, some of their numbers feel oddly dated today in an “aw, shucks” kind of way. Younger audience members may not always appreciate the sappy nature of some of the duo’s more sentimental pieces, but in some cases, that dated quality works well here. Particularly impressive in the first act is “There Goes the Ball Game” from “New York, New York.” Performed in this production by a trio consisting of Ms. Randazzo, Ms. Dunn and Ms. Alvarez, the singers’ Andrew’s Sisters-esque treatment of the song, with harmonies that are stellar, is evocative of another era in the best of ways.

But ultimately this revue show is at its best (and most dynamic) with numbers like “All That Jazz” when the whole cast gets into the act with more compelling staging and dance moves (thanks to choreography by Mr. Disher and Bethany Dellapolla).

Act Two begins on a particular high note with the versatile Ms. Sabo offering a very fun rendition of “Ring Them Bells” (from “Liza with a Z”). This narrative song tells the story of a young woman from Riverside Drive who travels the world in search of Mr. Right, only to meet the boy next door, literally, on a beach in Dubrovnik. The whole cast gets in on the act on this one as well, and the addition of ankle and wrist bells, along with the cleverly written lyrics and expressive singing by Ms. Sabo, add great charm to the piece.

There are fine moments too where multiple songs are offered at once to great effect. This technique is particularly effective when Mr. Seabury, Ms. Dunn and Ms. Sabo perform as a trio by offering up “We Can Make It” (from “The Rink”), “Maybe This Time” (from “Cabaret”) and “Isn’t This Better” (from Funny Lady”) simultaneously.

Mr. Seabury continues to shine in the final numbers of the revue, which ends on a high note with music from “Cabaret” in which he assumes the role of the Master of Ceremonies, first with “Money Money,” followed by the show’s title song. Finally there comes, “New York, New York” itself with a Sinatra-inspired imitation that is spot on.

What else could you possibly imagine ending the evening with? And when it comes to revisiting the music of Kander and Ebb, what more could you possibly want?

Center Stage at SCC presents The World Goes ‘Round, the Songs of Kander and Ebb through Sunday November 9, at SCC’s Levitas Center for the Arts. Karen Hochstedler is musical director. Other Kander and Ebb shows represented in the revue include “Woman of the Year,” “The Happy Time,” “Flora, The Red Menace,” “The Act” and “70, Girls, 70.” Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. on the stage of The Levitas Center for the Arts, 25 Pond Lane, across from Agawam Park in Southampton Village. General admission is $25 (students $12). Group rates are available and reservations are encouraged by calling (631) 287-4377 or visiting scc-arts.org.

Do the Time Warp at The Suffolk Theater

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RockyHorror

Do a bit of a mind flip, and enter a time slip, with The Suffolk Theater’s presentation of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” followed by a Halloween After-Party, on Friday, October 31 at 8 p.m. The Suffolk Theatre is located at 118 East Main Street in Riverhead. There is a $20 bar/restaurant minimum to join in the madcap mayhem. For reservations or more information, call (631) 727-4343 or SuffolkTheater.com.

Wandering Through Alan’s Maze at the Parrish

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Maze, 1981 – 1982 Acrylic and thread on canvas, cotton belting, Velcro and aluminum pipe 87 x 219 x 219 inches, Estate of the artist, courtesy Van Doren Waxter, New York.

Maze, 1981 – 1982
Acrylic and thread on canvas, cotton belting, Velcro and aluminum pipe
87 x 219 x 219 inches, Estate of the artist, courtesy Van Doren Waxter, New York.

By Annette Hinkle

As an artist, Alan Shields came of age at a time when the art world was questioning the relevance of painting. The declaration that “painting is dead” is one that has surfaced periodically throughout history, which is why in the early 1970s when the future of the medium looked murky, Mr. Shields wasn’t afraid to take painting off the wall and define it by a whole new set of parameters.

His response? To totally reimagine the way in which audiences experience painting.

Maze, 1981 – 1982 Acrylic and thread on canvas, cotton belting, Velcro and aluminum pipe 87 x 219 x 219 inches, Estate of the artist, courtesy Van Doren Waxter, New York.

Maze, 1981 – 1982
Acrylic and thread on canvas, cotton belting, Velcro and aluminum pipe
87 x 219 x 219 inches, Estate of the artist, courtesy Van Doren Waxter, New York.

Mr. Shields, a long-time resident of Shelter Island, died at his home in 2005 at the age of 61. This weekend, the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill opens “In Motion,” a touring exhibition featuring several works by Mr. Shields, many of which could best be described as sculptural paintings. The exhibit is curated by Jill Brienza, a longtime friend of Mr. Shields who also curated “Alan Shields: A Survey,” a traveling museum exhibition of the artist’s work. For this show, she has assembled a select group of Mr. Shields’ three-dimensional paintings, as well as a video of a dance piece and on-screen animation that speak to the concept of movement in his art.

Among the pieces on views is “Dance Bag,” a cone-like sculptural work comprised of colorfully painted strips of canvas suspended from a single point which attach to circular tubing, and “Ajax,” a similarly constructed piece that takes the form of a giant cylinder.

But perhaps no piece addresses the concept of movement more literally than “Maze,” Mr. Shield’s monumental 1981 work which takes painting off the walls and literally turns it into the walls themselves through a series of painted panels suspended from a grid-work of aluminum piping. In “Maze,” visitors are not only permitted, but encouraged to wander through the spaces defined by the canvas walls.

“When you walk through it’s an incredible experience,” says Ms. Brienza. “You’re seeing so many of Alan’s paintings and are surrounded on all sides — including in front and back of you. It’s a different kind of painting, a real painting – then you go back and find your way out.”

“It’s magical,” she adds.

Through her friendship with Mr. Shields, Ms. Brienza came to understand his desire to see his work travel. Despite its seemingly complex form, “Maze,” she notes, is designed to do just that.

“Alan studied engineering and you can tell. He left instructions, a very simple drawing of how to put it together,” explains Ms. Brienza. “There are no stretcher bars. It was a decision he made to put in a duffle bag. It’s rolled canvas, metal poles that connect and Velcro.”

Because the maze is interactive, it stands to reason that other artists have found ways to incorporate movement into the piece itself. Among the imagery on view at The Parrish is “Into the Maze,” a 2012 video of an original dance choreographed by Stephen Petronio using eight dancers from his company. In the piece, dancers explore “Maze” while wearing body pieces that were also created by Shields — though they were not specifically created for the dance. In conjunction with the exhibit, on Friday, November 7, the Stephen Petronio Company will be on hand to offer a live 20-minute performance of “Into the Maze” at The Parrish with a Q&A with Petronio to follow. Five more dance performances by the company follow throughout the day on Saturday, November 8.

Viewers of Mr. Shields’ work will find that it defies the notion of traditional painting not only through form, but through his use of non-traditional materials as well — things such as cotton belting, glass beads and wire. A native of rural Harrington, Kansas, Ms. Brienza explains that in his formative years Mr. Shields was exposed to what traditionally would be labeled women’s work — skills like sewing and quilt making. But the domestic arts served him well in his professional life and became an important part of his artistic vision.

“With Alan, his life and art practice weren’t separate. They were totally intertwined,” explains Ms. Brienza. “Quilting was a big part of family tradition… farming was a big part as well and he meshed that into his work. He had a sewing room, a bead room, a separate green house.”

“You would see this big tall guy working at a sewing machine,” adds Ms. Brienza. “Alan didn’t care about what others around him did – he did his own thing.”

This philosophy may help explain why Mr. Shields wasn’t particularly interested in being an active player in the New York art world. Instead, his most productive years were spent on Shelter Island where he settled into a quiet life that allowed him to make art and become an integral part of the local community. Mr. Shields was actively involved on Shelter Island. Ms. Brienza notes he was an elder in the Presbyterian Church, served on a number of committees and helped out at the Shelter Island School by teaching art. He even worked as a ferry captain on the North Ferry, plying the waters between Shelter Island and Greenport.

“People were clamoring for his work, but he wasn’t interested in being in a scene,” says Ms. Brienza. “He moved to Shelter Island when he was quite young – and that surprised people. He didn’t have an interest in hanging out all night networking. He would fish, grow his own vegetables and make art the way he wanted to make it.”

“He cared about the environment and cared about community,” adds Ms. Brienza. “He was very true to he is, and never changed his work to fit into what people might want.”

“Alan Shields: In Motion,” October 26 to January 19, Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill. Special members-only opening reception on Saturday, November 1 at 5:30 p.m. (reserve at 283-2118 ext. 181). New members welcome to join that evening.

On Sunday, November 2 at 11 a.m. curator Jill Brienza will talk about Alan Shields’ work in The Curator’s View ($10, free for members, students and children).

“Into the Maze” by the Stephen Petronio Dance Company will be performed live on Friday, November 7 at 6 p.m. (followed by a Q&A with Stephen Petronio and interactive “tours” guided by the dancers) and on Saturday, November 8, the 20-minute dance will sbe performed on the hour from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information visit parrishart.org. 

“Harvey” Watches Over The Hampton Theatre Company

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John Kern and Matthew Conlon.  TOM KOCHIE photo.

John Kern and Matthew Conlon. TOM KOCHIE photo.

By Annette Hinkle

This weekend, the Hamptons Theatre Company kicks off its 30th anniversary season with a production of “Harvey,” Mary Chase’s 1945 Pulitzer Prize winning comedy.

Which may help explain why last week, director Diana Marbury was running around like crazy hunting down a seemingly random list of unrelated items.

“I’m looking for Zippo lighters and a 1940s chair — it can be older than the 1940s, just not newer,” explained Ms. Marbury who, after nearly 30 years of association with HTC, freely admits to having several “starring sofas” in her home of various styles.

“My house is very eclectic,” she confides.

Chalk it up to another day in the life of a small town community theater company —one in which all involved jump in to do what it takes to get the job done — including the play’s director, for whom it isn’t unusual to be scouring the area for props.

“We all wear so many hats in the theater, it’s such a small group of people who make this happen,” says Ms. Marbury, who is also HTC’s artistic director. “It’s a miracle really.”

When HTC began, it was a community theater without a real home. Instead, productions were presented wherever space could be found. These days, the HTC is the resident theater at the Quogue Community Hall and the company now produces five shows between October and June. Because of its commitment to the community, the company has developed a loyal following and audiences appreciates the fact that HTC sticks around long after the summer folks flee for the winter.

“When we’re coming to the end of one show, we’re auditioning for the next,” says Ms. Marbury. “With the instant gratification people get these days through channel surfing, theater has fallen a bit by the wayside for many people. We’ve been very fortunate because the theater, as it stands today, has a great group of supporters who come to see every show.”

If live theater is the antithesis to on-demand entertainment, then as a play, in many respects “Harvey” is similarly a throwback to simpler times.

Amanda Griemsmann, Pamela Kern and John J. Steele, Jr.  TOM KOCHIE photo.

Amanda Griemsmann, Pamela Kern and John J. Steele, Jr. TOM KOCHIE photo.

“We thought this play was appropriate for the 30th season because it’s a wonderful classic,” says Ms. Marbury. “People are familiar mainly with the movie version, but plays are just so more intimate than film. People feel more of a connection in theater than film.”

“This is a very appealing play because it has such wonderful characters in it,” explains Ms. Marbury. “The basic story is very endearing and touching.”

The play tells the story of Elwood P. Dowd (played in this production by Matthew Conlon) a good natured, but somewhat eccentric man whose constant companion is an invisible six-foot rabbit named “Harvey” which, in Celtic mythology, is what would be referred to as pooka, something like a spirit animal.

“The idea is that you have this being watching over you and letting you know what’s happening next and how it affects the various people around you,” explains Ms. Marbury. “Elwood is kind of an everyman character. He’s very simplistic. He can never have too many friends and is very open to people. This spirit of Harvey has opened people up to him in terms of acceptance and makes people curious and open to discovery.”

As a result, Harvey becomes a devise used by Elwood to test the character of the people he encounters. Those willing to indulge Elwood’s fantasy by accepting the existence of Harvey prove themselves as empathetic and compassion beings. But one individual definitely not amused by the presence of Harvey is Elwood’s own sister Veta (played by Pamela Kern). She worries that Elwood’s over-active imagination will scare away potential suitors for her daughter Myrtle Mae (played by Amanda Griemsmann). As a result, Veta seeks to have her brother committed.

“‘Harvey’ is a test of sorts,” notes Ms. Marbury. “Watching the effects of Harvey on all the various people Elwood encounters is fascinating. There’s this wonderful spirit of being able to be free and not so be so based in reality all the time.”

The play comes to a head at the sanitarium where Elwood is taken to be “cured” of his rabbit delusions. When the medical professionals assure Veta they can make Elwood “normal” with a simple injection, Veta realizes that Elwood, even with his delusional flaws, is at heart a far better human being than most of those whom society would label normal. It’s an endearing message of love and acceptance that Ms. Marbury thinks the audience will appreciate.

“It’s a very warm human story and very simple,” she says. “It’s not a big body farce, it’s a kind of feel good play that warms the heart and brings a big smile to your face. Hopefully there will also be a lot of good laughs.”

Hampton Theatre Company’s production of “Harvey” runs October 23 to November 9 at the Quogue Community Hall, 125 Jessup Avenue. Shows are Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. The Hampton Theatre Company offers special dinner and theater packages in collaboration with the Southampton, Westhampton Beach, Hampton Bays and Quogue libraries. Tickets are $25 ($10 students). Visit hamptontheatre.org for tickets or more information or call OvationTix at 1-866-811-4111.

The cast also includes John Kern, Sebastian Marbury, Krista Kurtzberg, Russell Weisenbacher, John J. Steele, Jr., Doug O’Connor, Catherine Maloney and Martha Kelly. Set design is by Sean Marbury with lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski and costumes by Teresa Lebrun.

 

 

Fourth Annual Sustainability Forum

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Southampton Town’s Sustainable Advisory Committee will host a public forum on green power on Thursday, October 30.

The event, entitled “Green Power: Renewable Energy for Southampton’s Future” is intended to educate the public on regional energy issues.

Co-chairs of the Sustainability Committee, Dieter von Lehsten and Scott Carlin will moderate the event. Three speakers have been invited to make presentations during Thursday’s forum. The first of the three is Clint Plummer, vice president of development for Deepwater Wind. Deepwater Wind is an offshore wind developer which is working on a proposed wind farm 30 miles off the coast of Montauk, called Deepwater ONE. John Franceschina, PSEG-LI’s manager of  Residential Efficiency Programs will discuss energy efficiency and renewable programs available for Long Islanders. Then Gordian Raacke, executive director of Renewable Energy Long Island and a member of the committee’s East Hampton counterpart, will discuss East Hampton’s energy plan and its relevance to Southampton.

Following their presentations, speakers will answer questions from the public. The committee will also seek public input for recommendations for 2015 committee activities and suggestions for the town.

The public forum will run from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Hampton Bays Community Center, located at 25 Ponquogue Avenue, just south of Montauk Highway. For more information visit southamptontownny.gov/sustainable

Thiele Finds Funds for Farmers

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New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. announced last week he had launched several new programs to assist new and early-stage farmers in order to encourage agribusiness throughout the state.

The New York State New Farmers Grant Fund kicked off last week and is seeking out applications from eligible farmers. The $614,000 fund will provide grants of up to $50,000 for farmers who “will substantially participate in the production

of an agriculture product, and employ the use of innovative agricultural techniques at commercial farm operations,” according to a release from Mr. Thiele’s office. The application is available at esd.ny.gov/BusinessPrograms/NewFarmersGrantFund.html. The deadline for those applications is January 28, 2015.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Bell will convene a working group in order to identify the barriers associated with initiating an agricultural operation.  The first meeting will take place at the Department of Agriculture and Markets in Albany on Thursday, October 30.

Also currently seeking applications is the New York State Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program, which offers breaks on student loan repayments for those who obtain an undergraduate degree from an approved New York State college or university and agree to operate a farm in New York full-time for five years. Applications are available at hesc.ny.gov and the deadline is December 15, 2014.

East End Towns and Villages Pursue Regional Ban on Bags

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PIC DAVID CRUMP.TESCO PLASTIC BAGS

After much discussion and gentle encouragement from local sustainability committees, the mayors and supervisors of several East End municipalities announced today they would pursue a coordinated effort to implement a regional ban on single-use plastic bags by Earth Day, April 22, 2015.

Elected officials from Southampton, East Hampton, Riverhead, Sag Harbor, Sagaponack, North Haven, West Hampton Dunes and Quogue agreed to either hold work sessions on the subject or to introduce the legislation within the month, in order to seek out public comment.

“Environmental protection is always a priority for the Village of Sag Harbor, and the proposed ban would be yet another measure to help ensure our beaches, woods and waterways are protected from one of the most common and detrimental forms of litter.  If we can implement the initiative on a larger, regional scale, it will only be more beneficial,” said Sag Harbor Village Mayor Brian Gilbride.

“Worldwide, the accumulation of plastic pollutes miles upon miles of shoreline and extends to all depths of the sea, harming our environment and ourselves, as well as marine and other wildlife.  Without this regional effort among local towns and villages, the plastic bags targeted by this initiative would only continue the detrimental build-up of litter across the East End and beyond,” said East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell.

North Haven Village Mayor Jeff Sanders added, “The Village of North Haven lends its full support to the plastic bag ban effort and urges other municipalities to do the same.”

East End Elected Officials Agree on Local Issues at LTV’s Second Village Green Meeting

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By Mara Certic

East End elected officials offered a strong, united front, seemingly agreeing on each and every local and national issue that cropped up during a “village green” discussion hosted by LTV Studios in Wainscott on Friday, October 17.

LTV hosted its second village green meeting of the year in an effort to give the public an opportunity to ask the five major East End elected officials about issues of concern.

Representative Tim Bishop, New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell and Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst spent an hour and a half answering questions about various subjects including the potential of “Peconic County,” offshore wind farms, planning issues, heroin and Ebola. Robert Strada, the board president of LTV, moderated the discussion, and questions were submitted by the public through the website phlive.at.

The oft-examined notion of a new “Peconic County” was the first question to crop up during Friday’s forum, which Mr. Thiele and Mr. Schneiderman answered.

The discussion of Peconic County first began many years ago, when Suffolk County offices were moved from Riverhead to Hauppauge. Peconic County would be made up of the five East End towns, which officials have often complained that the county ignores their needs.

“We will never get our fair share from Suffolk County,” Mr. Thiele said, adding the East End represents 8 percent of the county’s population and yet pays in excess of 15 percent of the sales tax and over a third of the county’s property tax. He said Suffolk’s population of almost 1.5 million people is much larger than what a county’s should be.

“The East End is simply going to be the tail on the dog,” he said, “and it is only occasionally that the tail gets to wag the dog.”

Mr. Schneiderman said he had always been a supporter of local control but that starting a new county would be “an awful lot to take on,” and that now might not be the time. Mr. Thiele added there was currently a big push from the governor to consolidate and “we would be swimming against the tide.”

“The politics of creating new local governments is something that’s extremely hard to do,” he said. “The issue is whether or not you can get the political stars to line up to create the county.”

Supervisors Cantwell and Throne-Holst described some of the measures they have employed to protect local beaches, including the Army Corp of Engineers program in downtown Montauk and a $10 million grant East Hampton Town was awarded to protect the low-lying Lazy Point area of Napeague.

“Clearly we’re dealing with the issue of climate change,” Mr. Cantwell said. The elected officials all sprung at the opportunity to answer a question about Deepwater ONE, a proposed 200-megawatt offshore wind farm that would, if all goes according to plan, create enough electricity to power 120,000 homes.

“Wind has to be part of our energy portfolio going forward,” Mr. Bishop said, but emphasized the importance of siting the project appropriately so as not to disrupt aesthetics, fishing grounds or shipping lanes. “My own view is that it’s a pretty big ocean out there, and we should be able to figure this out,” he added. Legislator Schneiderman agreed it was important for the offshore wind developers to continue to work in conjunction with commercial fishermen but added, “This is too important for us to put up too many obstacles.” Mr. Schneiderman said the farm has “great potential to get our region off the grid”

“The reality is we’re woefully behind,” said Supervisor Throne-Holst about the use of renewable energy on the East End compared to the rest of the world.

Next week, the board of LIPA and Governor Cuomo are slated to have their last meeting about Deepwater ONE on Thursday, October 30. Environmental organizations have organized a “Rally for Renewables” to show the governor how much support an East End wind farm would have.

Governor Cuomo came under some fire when the assembled elected officials were asked how they allowed the 60-foot PSEG utility poles to be installed in East Hampton Village and Town. “That’s got a sorry tale, really,” said Mr. Cantwell.

“Public outreach and public notice isn’t opening up the window at the corporate headquarters at Hicksville at 3 o’clock in the morning and whispering ‘we’re going to build utility poles out in East Hampton,’” Mr. Thiele said. “They simply did not do what you would expect a public utility to do.” He went on to describe PSEG as “an unmitigated disaster.”

“The governor has been absent. I don’t know if he’s on his book tour, or what he’s doing but he’s not helping with this particular problem,” Mr. Thiele added.

At the end of the forum, each member of the panel was invited to make a closing comment. “We’re very, very fortunate to have this great and responsive group of people,” Ms. Throne-Holst said of her fellow elected officials. Representative Bishop said the good, professional relationships among the group of legislators “represents government at our best.”

“Really, I feel like we have an incredible team,” said Mr. Schneiderman, who is serving his last term as county legislator. Assemblyman Thiele said he knew he had said some “nasty” things about Governor Cuomo and added, “I just want to let you know, I’m not taking any of them back.”