Tag Archive | "Southampton"

East End Women’s Network Celebrates Women’s History Month

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March Panel 4
The East End Women’s Network celebrated women’s history month last Wednesday, hosting a panel discussion with local women leaders. The event entitled “Women Making Policy: A Women & Politics Panel Discussion” featured Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne Holst, Southold Town Board Member Jill Doherty and Former Suffolk County Legislator and Deputy Presiding Officer Vivian Viloria Fisher as panelists. Award winning journalist and Islip town Councilwoman Trish Bergin-Weichbrodt served as moderator for the discussion.
Discussion focused around the challanges women face in pursuing leadership positions. Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne Holst pointed to the headway Southampton Town has made with women in Leadership positions in the Town government. However all the panelist acknowledge the challenges women still face in politics and government. The panelists agreed that more women are needed in the political pipeline. Vivian Viloria Fisher stated that “women need to be asked to run” and encouraged the audience to ask more women to run for office.
The East End Women’s Network was founded in 1981. The purpose of this organization is to bring together women of diverse accomplishment and experience, directing women into policy-making positions through the dissemination and sharing of career opportunities; to educate members and the public on issues affecting women on the East End; and to promote the interests, conditions and positions of women in science, business, industry, labor, government, the arts, education and public service.

Poxabogue Celebrates 50th Anniversary

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Poxabogue Golf Center in Sagaponack.

Poxabogue Golf Center in Sagaponack. Photo courtesy of Poxabogue.

By Tessa Raebeck

On “Poxy days,” Alfred and Robyn Poto would wake up their young children, Jennifer and Eric, get out the family bikes and head down Town Line Road to the Poxabogue Golf Center on Montauk Highway. After breakfast at the Fairway Restaurant, the family would spend their morning hitting golf balls on the range.

“When I think of Poxabogue, I smile,” recalled Jennifer, now a grown woman. “It has a warming sense of tradition and milestones for so many people.”

Opened in 1964, Poxabogue is celebrating 50 years of tradition this year. Originally a small potato farm, the Sagaponack course and driving range was started to give local residents an affordable alternative to the region’s standard of elite, members-only clubs.

Over a half a century, Poxabogue has become the range of choice for locals, tourists and summer residents alike.

“When I was a kid, I loved going to the range, it was a nice little family activity,” said Jennifer Poto, whose family had a summer home in Sagaponack. “It became a family tradition for us. Poxy golf and breakfast both just instantly remind me of my childhood.”

“It was a place where we could interact with our young kids, while surrounded by the beautiful landscape,” her mother, Robyn Poto, said. “No better way to start off a weekend morning, only to end the visit with a great breakfast with Dan [Murray],” who has been operating the Fairway Restaurant, the independently owned diner next to the course, since 1988.

An ad celebrating the opening of Poxabogue Golf Course in 1964. Photo courtesy of the Bridgehampton Historical Society.

An ad celebrating the opening of Poxabogue Golf Course in 1964. Photo courtesy of the Bridgehampton Historical Society.

While the Poto family enjoyed their “Poxy days” on sunny summer mornings, others honed their golf skills at Poxabogue bundled up on winter weekends and after school.

“I’ve always loved hitting golf balls there since I was young,” said Brendon Spooner, who grew up in Wainscott around the corner from the range. “It’s good for learning the game, having the nine-hole course out here.”

When developers threatened to turn the property into a housing development or a miniature golf attraction in the early 2000s, residents—billionaires and longtime locals alike—quickly spoke out to save Southampton’s only public course. In March 2004, the towns of East Hampton and Southampton recognized the public pressure and stepped up to the plate, splitting the cost to purchase Poxabogue.

Southampton bought out East Hampton’s share of the course in 2012 and is now the sole owner. PGA Director of Golf Steven Lee took over the day-to-day operations last June.

Mr. Lee manages the course and runs it as if it’s his own, paying the town in an agreement similar to a lease. He has a relationship with the town, he said, “to provide the people of Southampton and East Hampton with a public golf course in an area that has mostly private clubs.”

“What makes it special is that there’s not a lot of public golf out in the Hamptons,” said Mr. Lee. “And it’s really ironic, because at a time when all of the golf courses started becoming bigger and bigger and more expensive and more challenging—and that’s really one of the things that’s driven people away from the game—now they have Poxabogue, where people are coming out to. They love coming out, they love hitting balls.”

Matt Nielsen started playing at Poxabogue when he was 16. Some of his friends from East Hampton High School worked on the range, driving the caged carts around picking up balls. Mr. Nielsen first came to Poxabogue to perfect his golf game by taking aim at the carts his friends were driving, but he quickly became a regular.

“It’s important because it gives us locals a place to play that we can actually afford,” he said. “Some of the private courses out here cost more money than I will make in my lifetime. It’s a course for real golfers, not the rich stockbroker that just plays to close a business deal.”

Like the regulars on the range, Mr. Lee is hopeful Poxabogue will enjoy another 50 years providing the community with a place to play golf. One of his goals, he said, is to get more of locals to come out and hit balls in the off-season.

“As long as I live here, that’s my course,” Mr. Nielsen said.

Looking for that Elusive Glass Slipper

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The Hampton Ballet Theatre School's 2012 presentation of the Nutcracker.

The Hampton Ballet Theatre School’s 2012 presentation of “The Nutcracker.” Photo courtesy of Sara Jo Strickland

By Tessa Raebeck

For its annual spring ballet, the Hampton Ballet Theatre School will present “Cinderella,” the classic story of love, hope and transformation, in four performances next weekend.

Rose Kelly as the Swan in the HBTS production of "Carnival of the Animals" last spring.

Rose Kelly as the Swan in the HBTS production of “Carnival of the Animals” last spring.

One of Sergei Prokofiev’s most popular compositions, “Cinderella” is a melodious ballet composed in the 1940’s based on the story from the classic fairy tale of unjust oppression. Choreographed by Sara Jo Strickland, director of Hampton Ballet Theatre School, the ballet features handmade costumes by Yuka Silvera and lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski. Local community members and guest artist Nick Peregrino of Ballet Fleming, who will play the Prince, will join the trained dancers of the ballet school, in the performance.

 

“Cinderella” will be performed Friday, April 11 at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 12 at 1 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 13 at 2 p.m. at the John Drew Theater at Guild Hall, 158 Main Street in East Hampton. General admission tickets purchased in advance are $20 for children 12 and under and $25 for adults and $25 for children 12 and under and $30 for adults on the day of the performances. Premium orchestra, box seats, balcony seating and group rates are also available. To reserve tickets, call 1-888-933-4287 or visit hamptonballettheatreschool.com. For more information, call 237-4810 or email hbtstickets@gmail.com.

Griswold Explores Good, Evil & Slavery on Long Island

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Mac Griswold

By Tessa Raebeck

Reminding readers of the existence of Northern slavery and exploring the close connection between good and evil, Mac Griswold will read from her cultural history, “The Manor, Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island,” at Rogers Memorial Library Monday, April 7 at 5:30 p.m.

Ms. Griswold’s book reflects on the 350-year history of Sylvester Manor, built in 1651 by the Sylvesters, one of the wealthiest families of the 17th century. The book tells the history of the slaves, Native Americans and Quaker landowners who worked and lived together on the Shelter Island plantation, using the backdrop of the estate to examine racial and religious relations across three centuries.

Ms. Griswold will present a lecture and sign copies of her book at the event, which will be held at the Rogers Memorial Library, 91 Coopers Farm Road in Southampton. To register, visit myrml.org or call 283-0774 ext. 523.

Thiele Proposes Larger Penalties for Code Violations

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New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. is co-sponsoring legislation with State Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski of Rockland County that would increase the penalties for building code violations when the condition is deemed an imminent threat to the safety and welfare of the building’s occupants by the local government.

The bill provides for graduated penalties for repeat offenders. A first-time violation would carry a fine of no less than $1,000 and no more than $5,000. A second violation would carry a fine of no less than $5,000 and no more than $10,000. A third violation would result in a fine not less than $10,000 per day of violation or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both.

“The current law allows for a wide range of discretion in handing down penalties for failure to correct building code violations,” said Assemblyman Thiele, a former Southampton Town supervisor and town attorney. “The penalty structure is often viewed by violators as nothing more than a cost of doing business. However, some violations create an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants and emergency responders. These violations must be taken more seriously in order to deter this conduct and protect the public safety. This bill will implement minimum fines for violations that put lives in danger and will make property owners more accountable.”

In addition to the new legislation increasing penalties, Mr. Thiele also has sponsored a bill that would give local justice courts the power to issue injunctions to stop serious building and zoning violations. Currently, local governments must go to state Supreme Court to obtain such relief.

Aquaponic Farm Approved at Page Restaurant

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The Sag Harbor Planning Board approved improvements at 63 Main Street Tuesday night that will allow the building’s owner, Gerard Wawryk, to construct an aquaponic farm facility on the second floor that will grow fresh vegetables for the first floor restaurant, Page @ 63 Main.

Aquaponic farming combines hydroponics and aquaculture. Plants are cultivated in water rather than traditional soil and the water is fed with nutrients produced created by fish housed on-site. Mr. Wawryk applied to the planning board for approval to construct a second story atop an existing one-story portion of the 3,860-square-foot building. That addition will serve as a seeding, growing and aquaponics area. Mr. Wawryk also earned approval Tuesday night for a rooftop garden where vegetables will also be grown for the restaurant.

The fish raised on-site, according to Mr. Wawryk, will not be used for food in the restaurant.

The decision was approved by board members Nat Brown, Larry Perrine and Jack Tagliasacchi. Planning board chairman Neil Slevin was not present at Tuesday’s meeting and acting chairman Greg Ferraris abstained from voting due to a financial relationship with Mr. Wawryk’s partner at 63 Main Street, Joe Trainer.

In other news, at its April 22 meeting, the planning board will likely approve a change in the John Jermain Memorial Library’s plans for the restoration and expansion of its Main Street building. According to Mr. Ferraris, the library needs to move an electrical transformer, originally mounted on a pole, to the ground.

“I don’t have any issue with this,” he said, to the agreement of the rest of the board.

The April 22 meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Personnel Salaries Capped in 2014-15 Sag Harbor Village Budget

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By Kathryn G. Menu

The Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees unveiled a tentative budget on March 19, highlighted by $91,040 in cuts made from a previous draft of the 2014-15 spending plan, primarily through the reduction of full-time salary increases across several departments.

What was originally an $8.59 million budget was cut between March 5 and March 19. Personnel cuts were made in the justice court’s budget, which was reduced by $7,610; the village treasurer’s budget was cut by $1,680; the clerk’s full-time personnel costs were cut by $1,050; central garage personnel was cut by $2,747; custodial personnel was cut by $5,305; and highway department personnel was cut by $14,181.

A line item for a proposed administrator for the Sag Harbor Ambulance Corps, originally budgeted to cost $80,942 next year, was reduced by $17,442 to $63,500, which, according to Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride, accounts for salary and benefit expenses associated with the position.

During last Wednesday’s meeting, Trustee Ed Deyermond asked about dock repairs in the village. That line item under Harbors & Docks was cut by $10,000 to $50,000 for the next fiscal year. Mr. Deyermond said that repairs would be necessary, not just for Long Wharf, but for all of the village’s docks including those at Marine Park. The village board is currently awaiting an engineering report on what repairs are necessary on Long Wharf. It has debated whether or not to tackle those repairs piecemeal or to bond for what will likely be a project that costs several thousand dollars.

Trustee Deyermond also raised concerns about the fire department’s truck reserve not being adequately funded. The fire department’s $401,406 budget does not include any money for the reserve account, which the department uses to purchase vehicles.

“We always put something in that account,” said Trustee Deyermond, adding the reserve has about $174,000 remaining, but the department is on schedule to purchase a new pumper in 2017. Without adding to the reserve annually, it will not have the funding to pay for that new vehicle.

“We have been down this road for many, many years and I think we have to plan for the future,” Mr. Deyermond said.

Mayor Gilbride said he would like to see a full assessment of the fire department’s vehicles made by an outside agency.

Trustee Deyermond replied that he had no issue with a needs assessment, but did want to make sure the truck reserve had adequate funding.

“I don’t see, especially with the tax cap we are all trying to stay under, us coming up with a big chunk of money two or three years down the road,” he said.

Kelly Dodds, president of the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce, also approached the board, asking it to reinstate some of the chamber’s $4,000 in funding, cut completely out of the 2014-15 spending plan.

That funding, she noted, helps the chamber pay the $11,000 annually it spends to staff the windmill at Long Wharf, which had 9,000 visitors this year all looking for information on Sag Harbor and the East End.

Mayor Gilbride questioned the money the chamber raises in arts and crafts festivals and HarborFest, noting it charges people who have booths at both events.

The Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit entity, noted Ms. Dodds.

“Our events are meant to break even,” she said. “The money we make from those events goes into publicizing those events, paying for insurance. We have the lowest membership rates on the East End.”

Ms. Dodds asked the board to reconsider.

On Tuesday, Mayor Gilbride said he expected little would change before the budget is considered for adoption, on Wednesday, April 2, at 4 p.m.

Serve Sag Harbor Traffic Study Fundraiser This Week

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page-at-63-main

Serve Sag Harbor, a non-profit founded last year to help raise funds for projects and initiatives that improve the quality of life in the village, will host a fundraiser this Sunday, March 30, at 5 p.m. at Page restaurant on Main Street in Sag Harbor, celebrating the new book by local authors Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, “The Heart of Everything That Is.”

The proceeds of Sunday night’s event are earmarked to support Serve Sag Harbor’s Traffic Calming Fund, which is being used to support a study currently underway looking at traffic solutions for 19 intersections throughout the village. The results of the study will be presented to the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees for consideration.

The cost to attend the event will be $75, which includes a complimentary raffle ticket with prizes including a seven-day stay at a home in San Miguel de Allende, as well as books signed by Mr. Clavin.

Reservations can be made by sending an email to servesagharbor@gmail.com.

Hamptons GLBT Center Hires Program Manager

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The Long Island GLBT Network has expanded its presence on the East End by hiring two new staff members at its Hamptons GLBT Center at the Old Whalers’ Church on Union Street in Sag Harbor. Manny Velásquez-Paredes and Lilianne Ogeka have recently been named the center’s program manager and program assistant, respectively, and have been charged with increasing services and programs for the East End’s GLBT community.

With the new staff in place, the Hampton’s GLBT Center can remain open on a full-time basis, expand its youth and senior services, and continue its outreach and visibility within the local community.

“The network is extremely pleased to welcome Manny and Lili to its organization. In their new roles, Manny and Lili will help lead the strategic direction of our Hamptons center and expand the network’s many programs and services in health, advocacy, education and more, and strengthen even further our ties with the community and encourage overall growth on the East End,” said Dr. David Kilmnick, chief executive officer of the network.

As program director, Mr. Velásquez-Paredes, a Riverhead resident, will manage the center and create engaging programs for the East End’s GLBT community and its allies. With more than 18 years of management experience in customer relations, events planning and non-profits, Mr. Velásquez-Paredes is a marketing and communications professional focusing in multicultural/diversity marketing/branding of the Hispanic and GLBT communities.

As the program assistant, Ms. Ogeka, a Quogue resident, facilitates programs and events that serve the GLBT community, as well as coordinate activities for the Hamptons Youth Group. Ms. Ogeka is a recent graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she received her bachelor of science degree in physical education, health education and adapted physical education, as well as a minor in psychology.

For more information, visit liglbtnetwork.org.

Oddone Sentenced to Time Served

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Anthony Oddone, 32, was sentenced on March 19 to time served, or just over five years in prison, as well as five years probation, after pleading guilty to a manslaughter charge tied to the 2008 death of a Suffolk County corrections officer, Andrew Reister, a Southampton resident who was killed after an altercation with Mr. Oddone at the Southampton Publick House.

The sentence was a part of a plea deal worked out between the defense and prosecution at the request of Mr. Reister’s widow, Stacey.

Mr. Oddone was initially convicted of first-degree manslaughter in 2009 after he put Mr. Reister, 40, in a headlock in August 2008 during an altercation at the Publick House where Mr. Reister worked a second job as a bouncer. Mr. Reister was left unconscious and ultimately declared brain dead two days later.

That conviction was overturned by the state Court of Appeals in December after the court found Justice C. Randall Hinrichs had erred when he did not allow the defense to cross examine a witness about statements made regarding the length of time Mr. Reister was held in a headlock by Mr. Oddone. Mr. Oddone was released on $500,000 bail pending a new trail.

While the prosecution maintained that it believed it could gain another conviction against Mr. Oddone, it chose not to proceed and seek the plea deal at the request of the Reister family.