Tag Archive | "Southampton"

Bishop, Zeldin Offer Divergent Views at Debate

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Congressman Tim Bishop addresses the Concerned Citizens of Montauk on Sunday, as his challenger, Lee Zeldin, listens. Michael Heller photo,

Congressman Tim Bishop addresses the Concerned Citizens of Montauk on Sunday, as his challenger, Lee Zeldin, listens. Michael Heller photo.

By Stephen J. Kotz

In what has become an almost daily occurrence in this year’s campaign, the two candidates for Congress in the 1st District, incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop and Republican challenger Lee Zeldin, offered up sharply differing views in a debate last Thursday, October 16.

Mr. Bishop touted his track record of providing excellent constituent service and his ability to bring the federal government “to the table to solve individual problems,” calling it “life-altering work.” He said he was recently told he had “a laser-like focus on my constituents. I took that as very high praise because that is exactly what I have done.”

Mr. Zeldin, who repeatedly attacked the size of government, wasteful spending as well as the domestic and foreign policies of President Barack Obama and said he supported term limits, said Mr. Bishop was part of the problem. “If you elected enough people like my opponent,” he said, “Nancy Pelosi would be the Speaker of the House.”

With the spread of the Ebola virus into the United States a top news story in recent weeks, both candidates said they agreed on at least one thing: that President Obama has not done enough.

“I think the president is making a mistake in not putting into place a travel ban to west Africa,” where the virus is spreading unchecked, said Mr. Bishop. He said he would support reconvening Congress before its scheduled November 12 session to deal with the problem.

Mr. Zeldin described the president’s handling of the health crisis as “terrible” and said it was time to “have maximum security procedures at our airports.”

Last week’s debate, one of some 75 joint appearances by the candidates scheduled between Labor Day and Election Day, was sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons and held at Westhampton Beach High School. The pair also faced off at a candidates’ forum sponsored by the Concerned Citizens of Montauk on Sunday.

Both candidates spent a considerable amount of time complaining about the negative tone the campaign has taken, with political action committees on both sides filling mailboxes with literature and radio and television with ads targeting the opponent.

Mr. Zeldin said “Nancy Pelosi’s super PAC is spending seven figures targeting us, trying to scare women” into believing that if he were elected women would wind up paying more for health care coverage and lose the right to have abortions. Other campaign literature wrongly suggested he would require taxpayers to foot the bill for corporate polluters, Mr. Zeldin complained.

“You can repeat a lie over and over and over again and eventually people will be believe it,” he said.

That brought a chuckle from Mr. Bishop. “It’s pretty cheeky on the part of my opponent to talk about our end, given the scurrilous nature of the ads his side is running against us,” he said.

The incumbent Congressman said Supreme Court rulings opening campaigns to unlimited corporate and special interest financing were “fundamentally imperiling our democracy. We are now in the realm where elections are bought and sold as opposed to won or lost,” he said.

Mr. Zeldin complained that a Bishop ad campaign was trying to scare senior citizens into believing he wanted to cut Social Security payments. “I would never vote for any piece of legislation that would take one dime away from anyone who is a senior or close to retirement,” Mr. Zeldin said.

But Mr. Bishop said Mr. Zeldin has in the past supported the idea of allowing those 40 and younger to put their Social Security withholding into personal investment accounts. “That’s privatization, folks,” he said. And the result would be dramatic shortfall in funding for the Social Security trust fund, which would require a reduction in benefits paid to current retirees.

“We either tell seniors we were only kidding or we borrow,” said Mr. Bishop, adding, “My opponent obviously does not understand how the trust fund works.”

The $17.8 billion national debt is growing beyond control, according to Mr. Zeldin, who said both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations had spent too much money. “We need to pick a number…. $18 trillion? $20 trillion? $22 trillion? When is enough in regards to our nation’s debt,” he said.

“The easiest thing in the world is to say cut spending,” responded Mr. Bishop. “The hardest thing in the world is to actually do it.”

To illustrate his point, he said 48 cents of every federal dollar is earmarked for retirees, 18 cents for defense and 9 cents for interest on the national debt. That leaves only 25 cents of every federal dollar eligible for cuts, he said, adding that he was not going to be the one to cut Social Security payments, veterans’ healthcare or federal law enforcement.”

Mr. Zeldin said that more needs to be done to reduce welfare fraud and provide private sector jobs to entice people to leave the unemployment rolls.

“The incumbent is not giving you a single thing that is going to make this bloated federal government operate more efficiently,” Mr Zeldin said.

“What the incumbent Congressman has done was vote for a piece of legislation that capped the growth of domestic spending and saved $2 trillion,” Mr. Bishop shot back.

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was also a topic of contention, with Mr. Zeldin saying there were portions of the sweeping healthcare legislation that should be preserved, such as allowing children to remain on their parents’ policies until the age of 26 and the requirement that prevents insurers from refusing coverage to those with preexisting conditions. But most of the program needs to be scrapped because it has resulted in higher premiums, fewer choices for consumers and other problems,” he said.

“There should be a productive dialog between Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives” to fix the healthcare system, he said.

“I suppose that conversation should begin with repeal rather than fixing,” said Mr. Bishop, pointing out that “there is no commitment on the part of the majority party to fix it,” noting that the House has voted more than 50 times, along party lines, to repeal the legislation. He described it as “a work in progress” that needs to be improved. “There are many good things that we should keep and build on and elements that we should fix,” he said.

On immigration, Mr. Zeldin said the first order of business was to tighten border security. “When you a leak, the first thing you do is shut off the faucet,” he said. “You don’t grab a mop.”

Mr. Bishop said that the Republican-controlled House has refused to recognize the need to deal with the millions of illegal immigrants who are already here. A bipartisan Senate bill offered increased border security as well as a path to citizenship, he said, but the House would not act on it. “Is it perfect?” he said. “No. But it is a way that is dealing with a problem that has no easy solutions.”

Mr. Zeldin also criticized President Obama’s leadership against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, saying the president’s strategy would never be successful in defeating the militants. For his part, Mr. Bishop cited the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff who told a Senate committee there was no easy way to militarily defeat ISIS. Mr. Bishop said he would not support a return of American troops to Iraq.

The candidates parted along predictable party lines on a number of other issues, with Mr. Bishop supporting an increase in the minimum wage, a woman’s right to have an abortion, and same sex marriage, while Mr. Zeldin said a minimum wage hike would backfire, that he was pro-life and that he believed marriage should be considered between a man and a woman.

Mr., Bishop said he would work for federal money to help solve some of the growing problems with Long Island’s groundwater, while Mr. Zeldin said he thought such solutions were better left at the state and local level.

Although it is a state initiative, Mr. Zeldin said he opposed Common Core, which he said was setting school children up to fail, while Mr. Bishop said he supported higher educational standards and recognized that the “rollout of Common Core was the only thing that could make the rollout of Obamacare look good.”

Calendar, October 25 Through October 31

Tags: , , , ,


Halloween Happenings

FRI OCT 24

CMEE Halloween Bash, 4 to 6 p.m., Children’s Museum of the East End, 376 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton, $10 for non-members; free for members. (631) 537-8250 or cmee.org.

Teen Pumpkin Carving, 4 to 5 p.m., Rogers Memorial Library, 91 Coopers Farm Road, Southampton, for grades six through 12. (631) 283-0774 or myrml.org.

Haunted Path/Sports & Rec Night, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Southampton Youth Services (SYS), 1370A Majors Path, Southampton, fifth grade and up, $5, $2 round-trip transportation available. (631) 702-2425 or sysinc.org.

Groundworks Trail of Terror, 7 to 10 p.m., also on Saturday October 25, Thursday, October 30 and Friday, October 31, Groundworks Landscaping, 530 Montauk Highway, Amagansett, not recommended for children under 13, free. (631) 324-7373 or groundworkslandscaping.com.

Stages: Frankenstein Follies, 7:30 p.m., also Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., Bay Street Theater, 1 Bay Street, Sag Harbor, $15. (631) 725-9500 or stagesworkshop.org.

SAT OCT 25

Halloween Parade, 10 a.m., Hampton Library, 2478 Montauk Highway, Bridgehampton, all ages, free. (631) 537-0015 or hamptonlibrary.org.

Halloween Party, 10:30 to 11:15 a.m., John Jermain Memorial Library, 34 West Water Street, Sag Harbor, all ages, free, no registration required. (631) 725-0049 or johnjermain.org.

Pumpkin Decorating Workshop, 11 a.m., Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton, ages four to 11. (631) 324-0806 or guildhall.org.

Halloween Happenings Trunk or Treat, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Southampton Youth Services (SYS), 1370A Majors Path, Southampton, free. (631) 283-1511 or sysinc.org.

Little Lucy’s Halloween Pet Parade, 1 p.m., Little Lucy’s, 91 Jobs Lane, Southampton, $10 registration to benefit the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation. (631) 287-2352.

Halloween Ghost Walking Tour with Annette Hinkle and Tony Garro, 5 to 7 p.m., Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Mueseum, 200 Main Street, Sag Harbor. (631) 725-0770, sagharborwhalingmuseum.org.

Family Fun: Nature’s Halloween Trail, 5 to 6:30 p.m., Mashomack Preserve, 79 South Ferry Road, Shelter Island, allow 30 minutes to complete the trail. (631) 749-1001.

Sag Harbor Wailing Museum Halloween Costume Party, 7 to 9 p.m., Sag Harbor Whaling Museum, 200 Main Street Sag Harbor, children must be accompanied by an adult. (631) 725-0770 or sagharborwhalingmuseum.org.

Southampton Arts Center Halloween Party & Spooktacular Haunted House, 7 p.m., Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton, $70. (631) 283-0967 or southamptonartscenter.org.

SUN OCT 26

Sag Harbor Rag a Muffin Parade, 1 p.m., beginning at Nassau Street next to the Sag Harbor Laundromat on Main Street and ending at The Custom House. For more information, visit sagharborchamber.org.

23 Annual Southampton Rag a Muffin Parade & Pumpkin Trail, 1 p.m., beginning at Agawam Park in Southampton Village. (631) 283-0402 or southamptonchamber.com.

Great Pumpkin Blaze Family Pumpkin Carving Event, 4 to 7:30 p.m., Mulford Farm, 10 James Lane, East Hampton, free, children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. (631) 324-6850.

AJB Grunge Pop Zombie Party, 5 to 7 p.m., Hampton Ballet Theatre School, 213 Butter Lane, Unit J, Bridgehampton, all ages, $5. (631) 921-6406.

MON OCT 27

Bridgehampton Lions Club Carving Contest, 5 p.m., cash awards between $20 and $250, Bridgehampton Community House, 843 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton. Bridgehamptonlions.org.

THURS OCT 30

Shadows of the Paranormal, with paranormal investigators from Long Island, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Hampton Library, 2478 Montauk Highway, Bridgehampton. (631) 537-0015 or hamptonlibrary.org.

FRI OCT 31

Halloween at the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center, all day, anyone dressed in costume receives 50-percent off regular admission prices, Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center, 431 East Main Street, Riverhead. (631) 208-9200 or longislandaquarium.com.

Rocky Horror Picture Show Screening & Halloween After-Party, 8 p.m. The Suffolk Theater, 118 East Main Street, Riverhead, $20 bar/restaurant minimum. (631) 727-4343 or SuffolkTheater.com.

SAT NOV 1

Family Pumpkin Carving Workshop, sponsored by East End Arts, The Town of Riverhead and the Riverhead Business Improvement District, 1 to 3 p.m., East End Arts, 133 East Main Street, Riverhead, $5 per family. (631) 369-2171 or eastendarts.org.

                                                                                                     Outdoors

FRI OCT 24

After School Nature: Fall Flurry, 3 to 4:30 p.m., Mashomack Preserve, 79 South Ferry Road, Shelter Island, free, requires registration. (631) 749-1001.

SAT OCT 25

The History & Ecology of The Walking Dunes of Napeague, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., two day course continues Sunday with instructor Mike Bottini, $190, meet at Hither Hills State Park, Montauk. (631) 267- 5228 or mikebottini.com.

Foster & Paumanock Paths, 10 a.m. East Hampton Trails Preservation Society as a part of South Fork Trails Day, featuring East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell, former planning chair Debra Foster and former planning board attorney Rick Whalen who will speak about the creation and preservation of more than 200 miles of trails in East Hampton, includes two mile hike and five mile loop, meet at Two Holes of Water Road at Chatfield’s Hole, East Hampton. Leader: Lee Dion, (631) 375-2339 and Jim Zajac, (212) 769-4311.

Flanders Meander to Camp Tekawitha, Southampton Trails Preservation Society as a part of South Fork Trails Day, 10 a.m., meet at the parking lot of Red Creek Path on Old Riverhead Road, Hampton Bays, 4.5 miles. Leader: Jim Crawford, (631) 369-2341.

TUE OCT 28

Walk Your Talk! 10 a.m., met at the John Jermain Memorial Library, 34 West Water Street, Sag Harbor, 1 or 2-mile route, free, no advanced registration required. (631) 725-0049.

WED OCT 29

Big Reed Harvest Hike, East Hampton Trails Preservation Society, meet at the Nature Trails site off East Lake Drive, Montauk. Leader: Eva Moore, (631) 238-5134.

SAT NOV 1

Downs Farm Preserve, Southampton Trails Preservation Society, 10 a.m. to noon, meet at 23800 Main Road in Cutchogue on the south side of the road after Elijah’s Lane, 4-mile hike. Leader: Liz Karpin, (631) 728-6492.

 

For the Kids

 

THU OCT 23

Tot Art, Goat on a Boat Puppet Theatre, 4 Hampton Street, Sag Harbor. (631) 725-4193.

Stories, Songs & Playtime, 10:30 to 11:15 a.m., John Jermain Memorial Library, 34 West Water Street, Sag Harbor, free. (631) 725-0049.

SAT OCT 25

Backpack Adventures: Exploring Vineyard Field, 10 a.m., South Fork Natural History Museum (SoFo), 377 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, for children ages 8 to 12. (631) 537-9735 or sofo.org.

Mixed Media with Artist Lori Colavito, 2 to 4 p.m., The Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, $120 for members for the four-week class; $150 for non-members. (631) 283-2118.

SUN OCT 26

Finger Knitting, 1:30 p.m., John Jermain Memorial Library, 34 West Water Street, Sag Harbor, ages 7 to 12, free, please register in advance. (631) 725-0049.

WED OCT 29

Mommy & Me Yoga (or Daddy or Nanny), 9:15 to 10 a.m., Goat on a Boat Puppet Theatre, 4 Hampton Street, Sag Harbor, ages 1 to 3. (631) 725-4193.

ADHD Parent Support Group, 9:30 a.m., John Jermain Memorial Library, 34 West Water Street, Sag Harbor, free, no registration required. (631) 725-0049.

THU OCT 30

Tot Art, Goat on a Boat Puppet Theatre, 4 Hampton Street, Sag Harbor. (631) 725-4193.

Stories, Songs & Playtime, 10:30 to 11:15 a.m., John Jermain Memorial Library, 34 West Water Street, Sag Harbor, free. (631) 725-0049.

SAT NOV 1

Mixed Media with Artist Lori Colavito, 2 to 4 p.m., The Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, $120 for members for the four-week class; $150 for non-members. (631) 283-2118.

 

Stage and Screen

THURS OCT 23

The Hampton Theatre Company Presents: Harvey, 7 p.m., also Friday, 7 p.m., Saturday, 8 p.m., and Sunday, 2:30 p.m., Quogue Community Hall, 125 Jessup Avenue, Quogue, $25, $23 for seniors, $10 students under 21. hamptontheatre.org or (631) 653-8955.

The World Goes ‘Round’, a musical revue, 7:30 p.m., also Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m., Sunday, 2:30 p.m. Southampton Cultural Center, 25 Pond Lane, Southampton, $25, $12 students under 12. scc-arts.org. (631) 287-4377.

FRI OCT 24

National Theatre Live presents “Skylight”, 8 p.m., Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton, $18, $16 members. (631) 324-4050.

SAT OCT 25

The Met: Live in HD – Verdi’s  Encore, 1 p.m., Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton, $22, $20 members, $15 students. (631) 324-4050.

Stages 20th Anniversary Alumni Performance and Benefit Reception, 7:30 p.m., Bay Street Theater, 1 Bay Street, Sag Harbor, $35; $25 for students. (631) 725-9500 or stagesworkshop.org.

TUE OCT 28

John Drew Theater Lab: Orphans by Lyle Kessler, 7:30 p.m., Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton, free. (631) 324-4050.

THURS OCT 30

The Hampton Theatre Company Presents: Harvey, 7 p.m., also Friday, 7 p.m., Saturday, 8 p.m., and Sunday, 2:30 p.m., Quogue Community Hall, 125 Jessup Avenue, Quogue, $25, $23 for seniors, $10 students under 21. hamptontheatre.org or (631) 653-8955.

The World Goes ‘Round’, a musical revue, 7:30 p.m., also Saturday and Sunday, 8 p.m., Sunday, 2:30 p.m., Southampton Cultural Center, 25 Pond Lane, Southampton, $25, $12 students under 12. scc-arts.org. (631) 287-4377.

SAT NOV 1

The Met: Live in HD – Bizet’s Carmen, 1 p.m., Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton, $22, $20 members, $15 students. (631) 324-4050.

WHBPAC Finest in World Cinema: Tracks, 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., also on Sunday, 4 p.m., Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach. (631) 288-1500 or whbpac.org.

Comedy Show Featuring Mark Lundhom, to benefit “Dr. Bob’s House,” 7 to 9 p.m., Southampton High School Auditorium, 141 Narrow Lane, Southampton, $25. (631) 566-6397.

 

Art & Museums

FRI OCT 24

Front & Back: Glass Paintings by Gabriele Raacke, opening reception 5 to 8 p.m., on view through Sunday, Ashawagh Hall, 780 Springs Fireplace Road, East Hampton. (631) 605-1190 or raacke.us.

SAT OCT 25

Mary Ellen Bartley, Guild Hall Museum Permanent Collection New Works: 2010-2014 Opening Reception, 4 to 6 p.m., Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton, $7. (631) 324-4050.

SUN OCT 26

Steven and William Ladd: Mary Queen of the Universe Exhibit Opening, 11 a.m., on view through January 19, 2015, Parrish Art Musem, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill. (631) 283-2118.

Temple Adas Israel Fall/Holiday Exhibit: Common Themes, opening wine and cheese reception 4 to 6 p.m., Temple Adas Israel, 30 Atlantic Avenue, Sag Harbor. (631) 725-0904 or templeadasisrael.org.

Alan Shields: In Motion Exhibit Opening, on view through January 19, 2015, Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill. (631) 283-2118 or parrishart.org.

SAT NOV 1

Poetics of Space: Michael Chiarello and Jonathan Beer, opening reception 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tripoli Gallery, 30A Jobs Lane, Southampton. (631) 377-3715 or tripoligallery.com.

Life in the Abstract, opening reception 5 to 8 p.m., on view through November 10, Ille Arts, 216e Main Street, Amagansett. (631) 905-9894.

Alan Shields: In Motion, reception 5:30 p.m., on view through January 19, 2015, Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill. (631) 283-2118 or parrishart.org.

 

 

Music & Night Life

 

THURS OCT 23

Glenn Tilbrook, 8 p.m. The Suffolk Theater, 118 East Main Street, Riverhead, $40. (631) 727-4343 or SuffolkTheater.com.

FRI OCT 24

Candlelight Fridays at Wölffer Estate Vineyards: Lily-Anne Merat, 5 to 8 p.m., Wölffer Estate Vineyards, 139 Sagg Road, Sagaponack. (631) 537-5106.

Salon Series: Andrew Staupe, 6 p.m. The Parrish Art Museum Lichtenstein Theater, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, $20, $10 for Parrish members. (631) 283-2118.

Jettykoon, a benefit for the Surfrider Foundation, 7:30 to 10 p.m., The Stephen Talkhouse, 161 Main Street, Amagansett. (631) 921-1842 or jettykoon.com.

Hamptons Music Festival: Duncan Sheik, 8 p.m., Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach, $55 to $65. (631) 288-2350.

Bad Girls … A Disco Tribute to Donna Summer, 8 p.m., The Suffolk Theater, 118 East Main Street, Riverhead, $35. (631) 727-4343 or SuffolkTheater.com.

SAT OCT 25

Salon Series: Andrew Staupe 2 p.m. The Parrish Art Museum Lichtenstein Theater, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, $20, $10 for Parrish members. (631) 283-2118.

Hamptons Music Festival: Natalie Merchant, 8 p.m., Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach, $95 to $150. (631) 288-2350.

SUN OCT 26

East Meets West – The Best Music from Montauk to Patchogue, 12:30 to 8 p.m., Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach, $39 all-access pass. (631) 288-2350.

FRI OCT 31

Candlelight Fridays at Wölffer Estate Vineyards: Iris Ornig, 5 to 8 p.m., Wölffer Estate Vineyards, 139 Sagg Road, Sagaponack. (631) 537-5106.

Salon Series: Sandro Russo, 6 p.m. The Parrish Art Museum Lichtenstein Theater, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, $20, $10 for Parrish members. (631) 283-2118.

SAT NOV 1

Salon Series: Sandro Russo, 2:30 p.m. The Parrish Art Museum Lichtenstein Theater, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, $20, $10 for Parrish members. (631) 283-2118.

Perlman Music Program Alumni Recital: Michelle Ross, violin, 5 p.m. Clarks Art Center, 73 Shore Road, Shelter Island, $25. (212) 721-8769 or perlmanmusicprogram.org.

Suzanne Vega, 8 p.m., Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach, $30 to $50. (631) 288-2350.

 

Readings, Lectures & Classes

FRI OCT 24

Materials & Methods with Abstract Artist Eric Dever, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., The Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, $120 for members for month long class, $150 for non-members. (631) 283-2118.

Making the Most of Your iPhone, 10:30 a.m., John Jermain Memorial Library, 34 West Water Street, Sag Harbor, free, advanced registration required, limit 16. (631) 725-0049.

SAT OCT 25

Camellia Group, moderated by Bridget DeCandido, Horticultural Library in the ground floor of the Bridgehampton Community House, 843 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton, free. (631) 537-2223.

The Year-Round Garden, 10:30 a.m., John Jermain Memorial Library, 34 West Water Street, Sag Harbor, free, advanced registration required, limit 12. (631) 725-0049.

Readings from “Italoamericana: The Literature of the Great Migration, 1880-1943, with Robert Viscusi and others, 4 p.m. Canio’s Books, 290 Main Street, Sag Harbor. (631) 725-4926.

MON OCT 27

Come Knit with Us, 1 p.m., John Jermain Memorial Library, 34 West Water Street, Sag Harbor, no registration necessary. (631) 725-0049.

TUE OCT 28

Long Island On-Farm Compost Workshop and Compost Facility Tour, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, First Floor Meeting Room, 423 Griffing Avenue, Riverhead, $30 for the workshop. (631) 852-3289.

English Conversation Classes/Clases de Conversación en Inglés, 5 p.m., John Jermain Memorial Library, 34 West Water Street, Sag Harbor, free, no advanced registration required. (631) 725-0049.

American Heart Association Community Heartsaver CPR-AED Course, 6:30 to 9 p.m., Pierson High School, 200 Jermain Avenue, Sag Harbor, $35 includes manual and certification card. sdenis@sagharborschools.org.

WED OCT 29

East Hampton Cemetery Tour, 6:30 p.m., East Hampton Historical Society, meet at 14 James Lane, East Hampton, $15, reservations required. (631) 324-6850.

Writers Speak Wednesdays: Julia Fierro, 7 p.m., Radio Lounge, Chancellors Hall, Stony Brook-Southampton, 239 Montauk Highway, Southampton. (631) 632-5030.

FRI OCT 31

Materials & Methods with Abstract Artist Eric Dever, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., The Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, $120 for members for month long class, $150 for non-members. (631) 283-2118.

Apps for Your iPad, 10:30 a.m., John Jermain Memorial Library, 34 West Water Street, Sag Harbor, free, advanced registration required, limit 12. (631) 725-0049.

SAT NOV 1

Radical Descent: The Cultivation of American Revolutionary, a reading by author Linda Coleman, 5 p.m., Canio’s Books, 290 Main Street, Sag Harbor. (631) 725-4926.

 

Events, Workshops & Meetings

 

FRI OCT 24

The Night Sky – Celestial Viewing with the Custer Institute, 7 p.m., co-sponsored by the South Fork Natural History Museum (SoFo) and the Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt, SoFo, 377 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton. (631) 537-9735 or sofo.org.

SAT OCT 25

Sag Harbor Farmers’ Market, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays through October 25, corner of Bay and Burke Streets, Sag Harbor.

Groundworks Fall Festival Weekend, 9 a.m. featuring Sue Wee Flying Pig Races at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., also on Sunday, Groundworks Landscaping, 530 Montauk Highway, Amagansett, free. (631) 324-7373.

Farming’s Future on the East End, with Scott Chaskey, of Quail Hill Farm, David Falkowski of Open Minded Organics, Mary Woltz of Bees Needs & others, 2 p.m., Bridgehampton Museum Archives, 2539A Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton. (631) 537-1088 or bhmuseum.org.

WED OCT 29

College Fair at Pierson High School, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Pierson High School Gymnasium, 200 Jermain Avenue, Sag Harbor. Over 100 colleges will be in attendance. For students grades 8 through 12. For more information, visit sagharborschools.org.

Balancing Screen Time with Green Time, a special program for parents and educators, 7 p.m., South Fork Natural History Museum (SoFo), 377 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton. (631) 537-9735 or sofo.org.

Ladies Night Out, a benefit for The Retreat hosted by White’s Apothecary, 5 to 7 p.m., White’s Apothecary, 81 Main Street, East Hampton. $50 (includes a $25 giftcard to White’s Pharmacy). (631) 329-4398.

SAT NOV 1

Marine Meadows Workshop, 10 a.m. to noon, South Fork Natural History Museum (SoFo), 377 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton, (631) 537-9735.

 

If you would have a calendar item that you would like to see printed in the Sag Harbor Express or online at sagharboronline.com please email assistant@sagharboronline.com.

 

 

 

 

Calling All Rag-a-Muffins! Halloween Parades This Saturday in Sag Harbor & Southampton

Tags: , , ,


Serene Smith in masquerade at the 2013 Rag-a-muffin parade in Sag Harbor. K Menu photo.

Serene Smith in masquerade at the 2013 Rag-a-muffin parade in Sag Harbor. K Menu photo.

One of the centerpieces of pre-Halloween festivities in Sag Harbor is the Rag a Muffin Parade, organized by the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce, which will take place on Sunday, October 26 at 1 p.m. beginning at Nassau Street next to the Sag Harbor Laundromat on Main Street and ending at The Custom House. For more information, visit sagharborchamber.org. In Southampton, that chamber of commerce will also host its own Rag a Muffin parade, also at 1 p.m., beginning at Agawam Park in Southampton Village. For more information, visit southamptonchamber.org.

 

Stella Maris Regional School Property on the Block for $3.5 Million

Tags: , , , ,


 

The Stella Maris Regional School building on Division Street in Sag Harbor.

The Stella Maris Regional School building on Division Street in Sag Harbor.

By Kathryn G. Menu

In 2011, after 134 years, the Stella Maris Regional School, the oldest Catholic school on Long Island, closed at the end of the school year. Now the building is for sale with a listed price of $3.5 million.

At Tuesday night’s Sag Harbor Village Board meeting, resident and Harbor Committee member Jeffrey Peters approached the board, asking whether or not it had considered purchasing the former school property. Mr. Peters suggested it would be an ideal place for the village to hold meetings or it could even use it as a community center.

The board was largely quiet about the prospect, some members shaking their heads.

“I’m not touching this,” said board member Ed Deyermond.

On Wednesday, Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride said he was unaware if there was any movement by members of the board to purchase the Division Street property.

“I would say it is listed at $3.5 million, so it is not something I am interested in,” he said. “I think there are major parking issues—it being in the middle of a residential neighborhood—for us to consider moving the village center that way.”

Mayor Gilbride said he would prefer to see the village spend that money to restore the four-story Municipal Building on Main Street, and perhaps fulfill a longtime goal of his—to expand the use of that building into the now vacant third floor. To access the third floor, the village would need to install a new elevator in addition to making other building improvements.

The school property is .74 acre. The one-story building has a total of 32,234 square feet of space, and is a pre-existing, non-conforming commercial space in a residential zone. An open listing is available through all real estate brokerages.

The property is owned by the St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic Church, which is a parish of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. The diocesan communications director, Sean Dolan, was not immediately available for comment. The Reverend Peter Deveraj, the pastor of St. Andrew’s, was also not immediately available for comment.

The diocese closed the school in 2011 after it was revealed it had a $480,000 deficit. While parents initiated a fundraising effort to keep the school afloat, enrollment declined with the news of the school’s financial issues. Since then, there have been two unsuccessful efforts to open pre-schools in the building. It has been used for fundraisers, and also for village police training since it was closed.

Southampton School Closed as Precaution After Enterovirus Case Confirmed

Tags: , , , , , , ,


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

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


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

Tags: , , ,


IMG_2870

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

Tags: , , , , , ,


 

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

Tags: , ,


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

Tags: , , , , ,


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.