Tag Archive | "southampton chamber of commerce"

Chambers Prepare for the Holiday Season

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With Thanksgiving fast approaching, local chambers of commerce are gearing up for what they hope will be a fun-filled, and lucrative, holiday season – usually the last boost for businesses before winter takes a hold of the East End.

“We are trying to make a big deal of it this year,” said Phil Bucking, the owner of the Sag Harbor Garden Center and corresponding secretary for the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce. “I think we are trying to stay close to home, support the local businesses, which are local families. We want to try and have activities in Sag Harbor so people don’t need to go elsewhere – they can do their shopping here and be entertained here.”

While not officially sponsored by the Sag Harbor Chamber, Bay Street Theatre – a chamber member – will kick off festivities in Sag Harbor with a holiday party on Friday, December 4 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The evening will feature raffles and silent auctions with a $40 ticket also buying you house beer and wine and appetizers provided by the Deli Counter.

Chamber events will commence the next evening, when jolly, old Saint Nick, otherwise known as Santa Claus, will make a special trip to Sag Harbor to meet children at Bay Street Theatre from 4 to 6 p.m., where holiday movies will also be shown. Following Santa’s visit will be the traditional Christmas Tree Lighting on Main Street from 6 to 7 p.m. The annual lighting of the menorah will also happen that evening.

Bucking said the chamber also planned on continuing a recent tradition of offering residents an Art Walk following the tree lighting. The walk will begin at the Windmill on Long Wharf at 6 p.m. and tour the galleries throughout Sag Harbor, which will stay open late and feature special exhibits.

The following week, the Sag Harbor Girl Scouts have planned to carol on Main Street in the late afternoon into the early evening on Friday, December 11.

Bucking said the chamber also has other holiday festivities and promotions in store for the Sag Harbor community, including some stores staying open late for holiday shopping and running specials centered around a 12 Days Before Christmas theme.

Tonight, Thursday, November 19, the chamber plans to finalize its holiday campaign at its monthly meeting, open to members and non members alike, at Paradise on Main Street, Sag Harbor at 6:30 p.m.

According to Chamber President Robert Evjen, the chamber will host a Holiday meeting at The American Hotel on December 14. Evjen said the chamber is in the midst of developing a new advertising campaign, “Celebrate Sag Harbor.”

“We will celebrate Sag Harbor – its stores, its people, its assets,” said Evjen. “This is a wonderful place, to shop, to dine, to visit great art galleries. We are open, we are fun and we are friendly.”

East Hampton’s Chamber of Commerce is also rolling out is holiday schedule, debuting its activities on December 5 as well, starting with the Santa Parade in East Hampton Village at 10 a.m. On December 12, the chamber will sponsor a holiday stroll through the village from noon to 5 p.m. with area stores decorating their windows for the season and offering up holiday treats. That same day, a holiday tour of the village’s inns, bed and breakfasts and other special places is planned. Lastly, the chamber will host a holiday luncheon for $40 at c/o Maidstone Hotel in East Hampton.

The Southampton Chamber of Commerce is planning a new event for the holiday season, called “It’s A Wonderful Village.” Starting November 27 through December 20, the village will be sparkling in holiday lights and cheer, with businesses offering promotions in celebration of the holiday season and each business will boast a “Peace Wreath” on its door, wreaths decorated solely with that merchant’s goods.

On Saturday, November 28, Southampton Village will host a “Holiday Tour of Roger’s Mansion,” as well as an outdoor movie presentation of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” at the corner of Main Street and Jobs Lane. Between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. that same day, the Sweet Adelines will bring holiday music to the streets of the village business district.

Festivities will continue on Saturday, December 5, where between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. carolers will be throughout the village as visitors enjoy the chamber’s annual Southampton Country Holiday with old fashioned horse and buggy rides by Carriage Experience, followed by the 13th Annual Parade of Lights featuring decorated vehicles from area fire departments, including Sag Harbor. This year, the chamber will bestow one company with a trophy for “The Best Decorated Fire Truck.”

Following the parade, at 5 p.m. visitors can enjoy Southampton Chamber’s annual tree lighting at Agwam Park which will feature holiday singing by the Voices of Southampton High School Chorus (VOSH). A reception will follow the lighting, complete with Santa Claus, at the Southampton Cultural Center.

Santa will be back to visit the children of Southampton on Saturday, December 12, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Rogers Memorial Library. Before Santa and his reindeer land in the village, Ceido from Ice Sculpture Designs will perform a demonstration on Main Street in front of village hall.

The Chamber will continue their holiday celebration on Saturday, December 19 with another performance by VOSH, who will carol throughout the village business district while residents and visitors enjoy another round on the horse and buggy. At the chamber office, from 1 to 3 p.m. Santa will be back for a village, with photos provided by Southampton Village Photo.

For more information on Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce holiday events, call 725-0011. For more information on East Hampton Chamber of Commerce events, call 324-0362. For more information on Southampton Chamber of Commerce events, call 283-0402.

Public Dissent on Dark Skies

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When the “Dark Skies” legislation was first proposed by Southampton Town Councilwoman Nancy Graboski, it appeared to be praised by members of the public. Local citizen advisory groups, including the Sag Harbor CAC, had long asked the town for laws impeding light pollution to be put on the books.
Oddly enough, at the first public hearing held on Tuesday, the “Dark Skies” law was met with both outrage and congratulations from local residents.
Richard Warren, the village’s planning consultant, spoke against the draft law on behalf of the Southampton Business Alliance.
“This will incur significant costs for [residents] personally. I know from my own experience an electrician can cost $250 just to come to your house,” said Warren, who is the president of the alliance. He added that the legislation should apply to only new construction or a homeowner building a new addition. Warren believes the town should create incentives for people with pre-existing outdoor lighting to adopt “Dark Skies” lighting. In the current version of the law, all pre-existing outdoor lighting must be brought into compliance within 10 years of the legislation becoming effective.
Some supporters of the law, including a representative from the Group for the East End, suggested town residents be given only five years to become compliant.
Bob Schepps, president of the Southampton Chamber of Commerce, said the legislation would essentially over regulate town residents.
Assistant town attorney Joe Burke said the intent of the law was to reduce light pollution, to cut down on electricity waste and to prevent the glare or “sky glow” which can infringe on the night sky vista.
“We don’t regulate lighting at all right now,” reported supervisor Linda Kabot. “What Nancy is trying to do is put a comprehensive lighting code on the books.”
Graboski adjourned the hearing and carried it over to the June 23 town board meeting at 6 p.m.

Young Vets Get Benefits of Affordable Housing
In a previous Southampton Town board meeting, the resolution giving military veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan first priority on certain affordable housing properties received criticism from the public. Some said it was unfair to single out one particular group of veterans to benefit from the program, though councilman Christopher Nuzzi, who sponsored the legislation, said all income-eligible veterans are included in the general lottery. During Tuesday’s board meeting, however, town residents came out in support of the legislation.
“This law was inspired by several non-profit housing organizations looking to do something good for returning veterans. These young people who go off to war often have to delay a career,” said former town supervisor Patrick “Skip” Heaney, the current county economic development and workforce housing commissioner. Heaney added that the law piggybacks a similar one passed by the county.
“This is aimed at first time home buyers,” continued Heaney.
Daniel Stebbins, a 43-year-old veteran, said housing prices in the town are prohibitively expensive for young residents, forcing them to move elsewhere.
“It would be a shame if in 50 years, there were no vets here,” noted Stebbins.
The board passed the legislation becoming the first town within the county to do so.
“It is great to have Southampton be the model. We hope other towns will meld this into their own code,” remarked Kabot.

Town to Buy Pike Farm, Waiting for County
In a partnership with the county, the town plans to buy the development rights to a 7.4 acre farm on Sagg Main Street in Sagaponack, where the Pike Farm Stand operates. The rights will be purchased from the Peconic Land Trust for around $6.4 million. Suffolk County has promised to pay 70 percent of the purchase price.
“This is a community treasure — that is why you see the county stepping up to the plate,” said Kabot, but added that the purchase was contingent on the county partnership.
Mary Wilson, the town’s community preservation fund manager, wasn’t sure if the county’s recent plan to use their main open space funding source to abate county property taxes would affect the purchase of the development rights. During a later interview, county legislator Jay Schneiderman said open space projects are now on hold until the county votes on this legislation, which is expected to be up for a vote in the coming weeks.