Tag Archive | "Southampton"

Southampton School Closed as Precaution After Enterovirus Case Confirmed

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By Tessa Raebeck

Southampton Elementary School closed its doors Wednesday to be disinfected after a student was found to have an enterovirus infection, Superintendent Scott Farina said in an alert issued Tuesday.

The district said the strain found in the student, who is out of school and seeking treatment, is not the EV-D68 strain of the virus that has had a nationwide outbreak, resulting in cases of severe respiratory illness in both children and adults throughout the country.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, non-polio enteroviruses are “very common viruses,” which cause about 10 million to 15 million infections in the United States each year, with tens of thousands of hospitalizations for illnesses caused by enteroviruses. EV-D68 is one of more than 100 non-polio enteroviruses. Although small numbers of D68 have been reported regularly to the CDC since 1987, the number of people with confirmed EV-D68 infection has been “much greater” in 2014, the CDC said on its website.

It is unclear which strand of enterovirus the Southampton student is infected with, although the district confirmed it is not EV-D68. A mix of enteroviruses generally circulates throughout the United States each year, with different strands causing more illnesses in different years.

“Most people who get infected with non-polio enteroviruses do not get sick. Or, they may have mild illness, like the common cold. But some people can get very sick and have infection of their heart or brain or even become paralyzed,” the CDC website states.

Infections can spread through close contact with an infected person or by touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them before touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

Mr. Farina said the Southampton Elementary School, as well as the entire bus fleet, would undergo a “thorough cleaning” by an outside company on Wednesday and reopen today, Thursday, October 16.

“The company will disinfect the entire building and apply an antibacterial product to further prevent the spread of germs,” he said.

Although local schools always step up their health-minded measures going into flu season, which is also the most common time for enterovirus infections, on Wednesday the Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton school districts said they are taking extra precautions in response to the infection in Southampton.

“We disinfected classrooms last night and will do so regularly as a precautionary measure, and have reminded students and staff to wash hands, avoid close contact, cover coughs and sneezes and to stay home when sick,” said Bridgehampton Superintendent/Principal Dr. Lois Favre.

Sag Harbor Superintendent Katy Graves said the district applies a virucide to surfaces every night year-round during after-school cleaning, “but we’ve expanded that more to virtually every surface to make sure that it kills all viruses. So we’re vigilant, but we’ve become even more vigilant,” she said.

The virucide, which the state has approved for use around children, is now being used on more surfaces and throughout the day, rather than just at night. The district is also continuing its regular instruction on healthy habits.

“It’s a good wake-up call for us to always be heightened and aware,” said Ms. Graves. “We have a pretty fragile population—our little ones—so we take care of them and make sure it’s safe.”

Masters of the Telecaster Come to Bay Street Theater

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GE Smith

GE Smith

By Emily J. Weitz

Jim Weidner

Jim Weidner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Larry Campbell with wife and fellow musician Teresa Williams.

Larry Campbell with wife and fellow musician Teresa Williams.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Deconstructing the Sayre Barn

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By Annette Hinkle

Looking at the Sayre Barn today, you wouldn’t guess that a year or so ago the barn, which dates back to 1825, was in serious danger of completely collapsing in on itself.

But that, in fact, was the case.

The old barn had originally been built on the corner of Main Street and Hampton Road in Southampton and in the 1950s, was moved to its current location on Meeting House Lane, site of the Southampton Historical Museum.

It is one of several historic buildings on view at the museum, but the barn had become so unstable in recent years it had not been open to the public for quite some time. Recognizing that something had to be done with the dilapidated structure, the museum brought in Strada Baxter Design/Build, an Amagansett-based firm which first deconstructed the barn by taking it down to it’s skeletal supports, and then completely rebuilt it using the original wood when possible and new wood when not.

Work was completed this past spring and today, the barn is solid, bright and fragrant with the smell of pine. There’s still ample evidence of the old Sayre Barn, however, not only in the form of some of the original beams that were repurposed in the restoration, but by way of a series of giant photographs that currently adorn the walls.

“Deconstructing The Sayre Barn: Ulf Skogsbergh” is an exhibition featuring photographs by Mr. Skogsbergh highlighting the farm tools and implements which were removed from the barn in advance of its reconstruction.

Shot on stark white backgrounds that highlight the object’s form and printed extremely large — in many cases, larger than life — the photographs speak of the barn’s long history. The images are a visual documentation of bygone rural life, and offer an intriguing exploration of what went before. This past is defined not by words, but rather the quiet, elegant and often simple objects that once were vitally important to the work at hand — work that is no longer part of most of our daily lives.

For Mr. Skogsbergh, the objects have long been a source of artistic interest. Years before there were plans (and funds) to restore Sayre Barn, museum director Tom Edmonds invited Skogsbergh to stop by and have a peek inside.

Mr. Skogsbergh was intrigued by what he saw.

“Tom had just started working here and he said, ‘Come see the barn,’” recalls Mr. Skogsbergh. “It was in shambles and he said he didn’t know what to do with it.”

“I said, ‘I’d like to make photographs of the objects,’” he adds. “Then years went by.”

But last year, when the time came to clear out the barn in preparation for reconstruction, Mr. Skogsbergh was invited to borrow the objects and take them back to his Hampton Bays studio to photograph them.

“I work in a garage that is painted all white,” says Mr. Skogsbergh. “When you put something down, things like rust and grime fall off. Rust is oxidation – once something rusts, it doesn’t go any further and it almost protects it. It gives objects that patina. Time has to be an element, you can’t fake that.”

Which is why those flecks of rust and grime were intentionally included and evident in the background of many of Mr. Skogsbergh’s photographs now hanging in the barn. At one point he even noticed the presence of a couple small spiders that had taken up residence on the edge of a wooden wagon wheel he photographed. Those little spiders are part of the image and now the story behind it.

Many other iconic tools of the farming and fishing trade are also represented in the work — horseshoes, a rusted saw, a giant anchor. But there are other objects on view that that have little or no relevance to those of us living in the modern age. Among these are machines that look as if they might have been used to grind something, clean something or shred something. Because of our lack of understanding of their original purpose, even something like a scythe, which we may recognize but likely have never held and certainly have never swung, takes on a beauty based more on form than function. It’s a beauty defined not only by the sort of history found in the flaking of rust, but by the very shape of the objects themselves.

“I saw them mostly as sculpture and approached it as minimalist photography,” explains Mr. Skogsbergh. “They’re not intended to totally be documentation. I’ve exaggerated textures and colors …so it’s interpretive.”

One of the most intriguing images in the show is a view of the structure’s skeletal trusses overhead which is suspended from the ceiling of the barn. The photograph was taken on a clear October night in the midst of the reconstruction process and the sky is studded with the same stars that have been looking down on that old barn for hundreds of years and will continue to look down on the new Sayre Barn for years to come.

“When they took the shingles and the lathe off, I liked seeing the bones so I photographed it,” says Mr. Skogsbergh. “This is a panoramic view, from one end of the barn to the other. I used wide angle views and took a lot of frames that I stitched together on the computer.”

“I think I’ve taken it to extremes, but that’s not unusual,” he says.

The largest photograph in the show measures four by 12 feet and is a life size image of a piece of Sayre Barn itself — a massive support beam.

“I’m interested in the iconography of objects,” says Mr. Skogsbergh in explaining why he photographed the beam. “That’s also why I have the horseshoes — it’s about transportation. And the big saw… that’s what they used to build this damn thing.”

“Deconstructing The Sayre Barn: Ulf Skogsbergh” is on view at the Southampton Historical Museum, 17 Meeting House Lane, Southampton, through October 18. For more information call (631) 283-2494.

Two Artists Share Common Themes in Temple Adas Israel Show

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Catherine Silver. Toil and Trouble. Jewish Mystic 2012.

Catherine Silver. Toil and Trouble. Jewish Mystic 2012.

By Annette Hinkle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barbara Freedman. Horizontal Texts 8 x 11

Barbara Freedman. Horizontal Texts 8 x 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preserving the Past for the Future

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Architectural Conservationist Joel Snodgrass, at left, looks on as Volunteer Bill Single and Southampton Town Historian Zach Studenroth work on Nancy Rose's headstone as part of the restoration of the headstones at the Old Burial Ground on Little Plains Road.

Architectural Conservationist Joel Snodgrass, at left, looks on as Volunteer Bill Single and Southampton Town Historian Zach Studenroth work on Nancy Rose’s headstone as part of the restoration of the headstones at the Old Burial Ground on Little Plains Road.

By Gianna Volpe; photo by Michael Heller

Community volunteers learned about restoring historic burying sites this weekend at the area’s oldest graveyard – the Old Southampton Cemetery – during workshops led by preservation expert Joel Snodgrass.

Funded by the historic division of the Southampton Town Clerk’s Office, Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer said the weekend was invaluable to ensuring her records are as comprehensive as they can be.

“That’s exactly what these stones are,” Ms. Schermeyer said at Friday’s workshop. “They’re records, so it’s great that people are doing their part to help see that things like this are being preserved.”

Mr. Snodgrass, who received his Master’s Degree from Columbia University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, said preventing such sites from falling into ruin is gaining importance among those working in historic communities.

“We take for granted that historic, colonial burying sites sometimes contain the only record that remains of the existence of a person,” he said. “There’s no written records, there’s no church records, there’s no burial records – there’s no records; no nothing – so they’ve become very, very important from a genealogical and town record standpoint.”

Southampton Town historian Zachary Studenroth, who spent time Friday afternoon gently scraping sea foam green lichens from the nooks and crannies of the centuries-old tablets, said he’d witnessed this potential loss of history firsthand. ?“Years ago I was contacted by someone who said they’d moved to town and found a headstone in their carport and, not knowing where it belonged, had erected it in the woods behind their house,” said Mr. Studenroth. “Modern surveys showed no record of the stone, which belonged to a child we called ‘Little Danny,’ though it was included in an earlier cemetery survey done in the 1930s…It was very creepy because the stone was about the size and weight of a child, so it really was like we were carrying ‘Little Danny’ out of the woods to be reunited with his parents.”

Stories like that of  ‘Little Danny’ is exactly what made the workshop significant for volunteers like Karen Kiaer.

“It’s less about the stone preservation, although that’s important; it’s about the stories of the people under the stones,” said Ms. Kiaer, cemetery preservation project chairperson for the Shelter Island chapter of the Daughters of Revolution. “Stone by stone – as you’re digging up monuments to reset them  –– you’re also uncovering the monument of a person, and in Southampton, Southold and Shelter Island, you’re going back to the 1600s, to patriots, to the American Revolution.”

Southampton Town Videographer Charlie Styler took footage at this weekend’s workshop for a special he said will soon air on the Southampton Town Area Educational and Governmental Cable Channel 22.

Those interested in learning ways to bring sites like The Old Cemetery back to life can watch Mr. Styler’s footage to better understand preservation techniques like probing and pinning.

The first technique requires the use of thin, metal poles to “probe” the cemetery dirt for the buried bottom of a broken head or footstone, which Mr. Snodgrass said generically represents one-third the length of the entire stone.

Workshop volunteers like Bill Single and Chris Robinson used probing to find the bases of both head and footstones lying in the grass of The Old Southampton Cemetery grass, helping Mr. Snodgrass in “pinning” the broken pieces together after an epoxy was applied.

Mr. Snodgrass said extreme care should be taken when executing these techniques, as the historic objects are extremely delicate.

“You wouldn’t just pull it up because sometimes even suction on the back case of the fragile stone can cause damage,” he said of the need to excavate in order to make a match. “An inscription of a name – or typically initials – is usually an indication that they belong to each other.”

Maintenance to those stones still standing was also done this weekend, including the application of a microbial wash to remove lichens and other biological growth from the surfaces of porous marble and brownstone tablets.

“The porous stones, particularly ones with a granular quality to them, suffer from lichen growth,” Mr. Snodgrass said, adding gravestones offer the perfect environment for such clinging plants.

“[Gravestones] act as a perfect substrate,” he added. “They’ve got sort of a rough surface that can retain moisture and allows them to cling on easily, but more so, if you get normal rain the ground is damp, [gravestones] act as wicks, so the moisture will come up through the stone and evaporate out the surface of the stone.”

To mitigate biological growth at Old Southampton Cemetery, workshop volunteers used small pump sprayers to apply a non-toxic product called d2, which is used on the White House.

“It’s not meant to be put on and then it’s squeaky clean in 15 minutes,” Mr. Snodgrass said of the non-toxic liquid. “It’s designed to work over a period of time, so a month later you’ll see a change, even six months later. We treated the right one of two stones side by side – a husband and wife in a historic burying ground on the north shore – with d2 and the one on the right is entirely white now.”

 

 

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

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

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

By Annette Hinkle

Director Lou Howe in Riverhead.

Director Lou Howe in Riverhead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s all familiar territory for Mr. Howe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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By Gianna Volpe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

East Hampton Plans to Ban Plastic Bags By Earth Day

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PIC DAVID CRUMP.TESCO PLASTIC BAGS

By Mara Certic

While banning plastic bags may not be the lynchpin in solving the world’s environmental crisis, according to East Hampton Town Councilwoman Sylvia Overby it is at least a step in the right direction.

East Hampton’s celebration of Recycling Awareness Month was in full swing at their first work session of the month on Tuesday, October 7, when Ms. Overby discussed a proposed ban on single-use plastic bags.

“It’s a small step, it’s not going to solve all the problems,” Ms. Overby said. “It will be something that I think is going to be important to start making those steps,” she said.

The towns of Southampton, Southold and Shelter Island have all put their support behind a regional ban on plastic bags, the world’s largest consumer item. Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said last month the town will hold a public hearing on the ban the first week in December, and the idea is to implement a regional ban by Earth Day, 2015.

John Botos of East Hampton’s Natural Resources Department has been working with Ms. Overby on the draft legislation. Using data from the EPA, Mr. Botos estimates the town – excluding the village, which banned the bags back in 2011 – uses approximately 10 million bags a year.

Frank Dalene, president of the East Hampton Energy Sustainability Committee gave a few statistics from the Citizens Campaign for the Environment: the plastic offenders are used for an average of 12 minutes, he said, but they never fully break down, just becoming smaller and smaller particles of petrochemicals.

According to Mr. Dalene, 2.2 billion pounds of fossil fuels and 3.9 billion gallons of fresh water are needed to make the 100 billion plastic bags that American consumers use each year. As it stands today, there are approximately 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of ocean, he said.

Ms. Overby has been working closely with business-owners, and added “We’re really delighted and happy because we really worked well with the business community.”

In fact Catherine Foley, who with her husband Stuart owns Air and Speed Surf Shop in Montauk, spoke up during Tuesday’s work session to lend her support to the ban. “The public is ready,” she said, “they just need continued encouragement, guidance and support.”

East Hampton Town Trustee and Chair of the Litter Committee Deborah Klughers did an online poll regarding the ban, she said, and found that 92-percent of her sample of the community were in favor of the ban. “It’s looking really good, it would be good for the planet,” she said.

Ms. Overby said she is still working on a draft of the public hearing for the ban, but welcomes anyone interested to take a look and give the board some feedback on it as written. In the meantime, the town is dedicated to helping to educate the public and business-owners about the ban and about the BYOB initiative – “bring your own bag.”

Ms. Klughers discussed some of the other activities going on in conjunction with recycling awareness month on Tuesday.  A “Kids Can Recycle” campaign has students in East Hampton Town competing to see who can collect and recycle the largest number of aluminum cans; the winning school will win an evergreen tree.

The last week of October will be dedicated to recycling cardboard, she said. Businesses, residents and even out-of-towners are invited to drop off their (flattened) cardboard at the town recycling centers during that week.

Ms. Klughers also announced the Trustees have begun a new, very different recycling campaign. “Don’t chuck it if you shuck it,” is the motto for the Trustees’ new seashell recycling initiative. Bivalve-enthusiasts are asked to drop off their clam, oyster and scallop shells for the town to reintroduce to the local waters in order to provide habitats for other sea creatures.

Mr. Botos announced the town has been awarded a $13,000 grant to install an electric car charging station outside town hall. Work on that, he said, may begin next month.

The town is working on different ways to educate the public about energy conservation and sustainability. Mr. Botos said their main priority now is to educate people about “phantom-load energy,” which is the energy used by appliances that are not running, but are plugged in.

Although a microwave might only be on for a couple of minutes a day, he explained, if it is plugged in, it is still drawing out energy and costing the homeowner. The Natural Resources Department is looking to use social media networks to spread this message and will be using the hashtags #unplugeasthampton and #unplugeh.

 

East End Towns Budget Money for South Fork Behavioral Health Initiative

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By Mara Certic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plein Air Peconic Celebrates Land, Sea, Sky

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Hendrickson Farm by Kathryn Szoka.

Hendrickson Farm by Kathryn Szoka.

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

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

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