Tag Archive | "spokespeople"

Meeting to Discuss Traffic Calming By Cromer’s

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Noyac Road

By Claire Walla


Business owners have protested, residents have called for action and grass-roots organizations have entered the fray.

The small curve of Noyac Road that runs by Cromer’s Market has divided both the community and the Southampton Town board for more than six years, as plans to implement traffic-calming measures have continually been re-shaped and redefined in an attempt to satisfy all needs.

And while not all parties can seem to come up with a viable plan to suit everyone’s desires, those involved can at least agree on one thing: something needs to be done.

This overarching goal is the impetus behind a meeting next Wednesday, March 28, where all parties will get one last chance to come to the same table to be heard.

Hosted jointly by Southampton Town and the Noyac Civic Council, the meeting will bring together town personnel — like Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor — as well as residents and local groups with a vested interest in the reconstruction project.

To prepare for the discussion, Noyac Civic Council President Elena Loreto said she sent a survey to 359 Noyackers in an effort to solicit their thoughts on the matter. The survey included five questions related to the most recent construction plan, which was proposed by Gregor in 2011. In a nutshell, that plan includes installing two concrete medians in Noyac Road, as well as creating a concrete barrier between the road and the parking area in front of Cromer’s Market and the Whalebone gift shop.

The survey questions are as follows:

Do you feel the 2011 plan accomplishes its mission?

Do you feel this plan will change the rural character on Noyac?

Do you feel this plan will adversely affect the businesses in terms of traffic flow, accessibility for patrons and accessibility for delivery trucks?

Do you feel this plan will adversely affect home owners bordering the construction area [in Pine Neck]?

Are you in favor of this plan?

The questions are all yes/no, however Loreto said there is a section at the end of the survey where people were invited to offer any additional comments on the plan. As of last week, she said she had received 44 completed surveys back, though she expects to receive more before the meeting.

“It looks like everyone wants something done, but most people do not think this plan will succeed for various reasons,” Loreto said of the survey results thus far, which will be kept anonymous. “People seem to favor trying something in increments.”

Rather than constructing concrete medians, she said some residents are more in favor of using striping to calm traffic. And, she added, many residents are concerned with the proposed “loading zone” created in the 2011 plan. According to the design, the concrete barrier separating the commercial parking area from Noyac Road would essentially extend over Bay Avenue where it meets up with Elm Street, thereby cutting-off access to Bay Avenue from Noyac Road.

“People are fearful that that might funnel traffic into Pine Neck,” Loreto continued. “They don’t want anything that’s too severe.”

At a town board meeting last month, Alex Gregor pushed the need for more permanent traffic-calming measures, saying concrete barriers are necessary for safety. He noted how dangerous that stretch of Noyac Road is, particularly because cars back out of parking spaces into on-coming traffic, and the union of Bay and Elm streets at that Noyac curve essentially creates 20 potential “conflict points.”

Also voicing some concern with the construction project is the local organization SpokesPeople, which sees this as an opportunity to increase bike safety in the area.

According to group member Mike Bottini, SpokesPeople’s main concern is making sure the construction plan allows for bike lanes on either side of the highway. With the current plan only allowing for 11-foot-wide traffic lanes on either side of the road — in addition to a left-hand turn lane — Bottini said SpokesPeople will push to get at least eight more feet added to the road for bike safety, creating two four-foot bike lanes going in each direction.

Of course, he added, implementing bike lanes at this section of Noyac Road begs the question: What’s it going to connect to?

That’s yet to be determined.

“But, you’ve gotta start somewhere,” he said.

With the town recently having adopted a Complete Streets policy, Bottini said this will be the start of more comprehensive bike and pedestrian accessibility in Southampton Town.

“Hopefully, one day we can make the connection from Cromer’s to Long Beach.”

The Noyac Civic Council meeting about Noyac Road will take place Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. at the Bridgehampton Nutrition Center on the Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike.

Cyclists Push For a Calmer Noyac Road

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Noyac Road has become a dangerous place, members of the bicycle advocacy group Spokespeople said on Tuesday evening. For members of the Noyac Civic Council, it was stating the obvious.

The groups came together during the civic council’s regular monthly meeting held at the Bridgehampton National Bank community room, and together they bemoaned the state of the road, and even debated who owned it: Suffolk County or Southampton Town. Chief among their complaints, however, was the liability it poses to pedestrians and bicyclists.

Spokespeople’s Dennis Loebs read a letter telling a harrowing tale of a cyclist who was severely injured after being struck by a car on Noyac Road earlier this year. The man, said Loebs, remembered being sprawled across the hood the car after being hit but then didn’t remember anything until he was airlifted out in a helicopter. He broke his clavicle, several ribs, a shoulder and other bones.

The road was underserved by traffic control measures, observed the cyclist in his letter, and he warned things could get worse if authorities didn’t take action. Loebs added his organization would like to work with the civic council to initiate traffic calming efforts along Noyac Road.

“Traffic becomes slower and safer and everybody benefits,” Loebs predicted.

Fellow Spokespeople member Spencer Wright agreed, and observed earlier in the meeting that “Noyac Road was never intended to be used the way it is today,” which has had great implications for the cycling community and the community at large.

“Noyac is really held back by the way Noyac Road is used,” Wright opined.

One council member observed that trying to get onto Noyac Road from Pine Neck Road is “nearly impossible,” and suggested putting a stop sign near Cromer’s Market to slow traffic.

Spokespeople member Sinead FitzGibbon said traffic calming efforts don’t have to be extravagant to be effective, and she suggested construction might not always be necessary: “It can be very simple, maybe just painting.” She added that making Noyac Road more attractive to cyclists will also have an impact on vehicular traffic.

“When drivers see and become conscious of non-motorized vehicles, drivers will acknowledge them and slow down,” observed FitzGibbon.

Council member Walter Tice cautioned the group, however, wondering what the impact on the larger community would be.

“If you restrict the use of heavy traffic, where does it go,” asked Tice. “That has to be considered.”

Loebs proposed having an independent traffic engineer study the road and make suggestions for improvements, and suggested the town take the road over from Suffolk County, which would enhance local control of the roadway, and possibly limit the size of vehicles allowed on the road.

“Some plans have been suggested but have met opposition out of the gate,” he said. “But we’d like to bring the Noyac Civic Council on board and maybe have better success with the town.

“How can the civic council help,” asked member Elena Loreto.

“We’d like to hear your thoughts on this,” said Wright.


Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Southampton Town Councilwoman, and supervisor candidate, Anna Throne-Holst filled the council in on the economic affairs at town hall. For the better part of this year, the town has been investigating a colossal accounting problem that is expected to reveal millions in deficits. And responding to the hopes of the previous speakers to construct a bike lane along Noyac Road, was not terribly optimistic.

“Your biggest competitor for attention is Scuttlehole Road, and one of our biggest hopes was to put a bike lane there,” said Throne-Holst, who told the council she was a cyclist herself. But added LIPA “left a wretched job behind” when it buried a series of power lines, and intimated the cost of fixing the road will be the town’s burden.

Beside, she said, “the bike fund was pretty much emptied by the time we got into the financial debacle at town hall.”

That debacle, said Throne-Holst, has cost the town over $120,000 in outside auditors already, a sum she said was “expensive, but money well spent.” The total amount of the deficit has yet to be calculated, but Throne-Holst said residents can expect it to be between $7-$10 million in the capital fund, and about $3 million in the general operating fund.

Throne-Holst also said the board has been deliberating how it will make up the deficit.

“How do we pay that? Do we tax you in one fell swoop, or finance it over a period of time,” asked the councilwoman. She said until the economy has turned around, she is not prepared to lift the five-percent tax cap the town must operate under.


Safer Bike Routes Through Village

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Sinead Fitzgibbon, a member of the cyclist advocacy group Spokes People, presented the Sag Harbor village board on Tuesday evening with a map developed by village police chief Tom Fabiano outlining bike routes connecting cycling lanes in Southampton and East Hampton to new lanes in the Village of Sag Harbor.

Conceptually, the new lanes will be outlined with a shared marking lane, or sharrow, which would identify bike paths for cyclists. The new lanes would connect with Route 114 in East Hampton, bring cyclists down Hempstead Street to Bay Street, reconnecting with Route 114 outside of the village business district. On the Southampton side, cyclists would come down off the L/Cpl Jordan Haerter Veterans Memorial Bridge turning right on Long Island Avenue. From there cyclists could either connect with Glover Street meeting the Sag Harbor-Bridgehampton Turnpike — where Fitzgibbon said another bike path was imminent — or take Long Island Avenue to Bridge Street connecting to Madison and Main streets just past the center of the village.

Chief Fabiano, who helped Fitzgibbon design the safe biking routes, joined the board of trustees in opposing any bike routes down Main Street in the center of the village business district.

According to Fitzgibbon, the New York State Department of Transportation has yet to approve sharrows as appropriate markings for roadways, but she has been assured by Congressman Tim Bishop that the federal government will do so shortly and the state will likely follow.

Chief Fabiano will seek the opinion of traffic consultants Dunn Engineering on the sharrows and said additional signage will be necessary to educate cyclists on the proper bike paths.


East End Digest March 15

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Hoops Celebs Jump in for Shinnecock Museum Fundraiser

David Martine, Director and Curator of the Shinnecock Museum in Southampton, along with the Harlem Magic Masters basketball celebrity group and Shinnecock tribal member Jay “Master J” Bryant have announced the museum’s first fundraising event. The event, dubbed “Museum Magic: Hoops for History,” will be a family oriented evening of basketball and entertainment, on Saturday, March 21, at 7 p.m., and will be held at the Southampton High School gym.

The “Shinnecock All Stars” team, comprised of students, teachers, community leaders and tribal members from the East End, will challenge the Harlem Magic Masters, some of the country’s most accomplished basketball players. In addition to being gifted athletes, these players also act as goodwill ambassadors of the sport and are active role models for young children.

The game will kick off with a surprise local celebrity guest tossing out the first jump ball. Half-time activities include Shinnecock pow-wow style dancing and music, a preview of the museum’s maritime exhibit and an indigenous arts, crafts and traditional food market.

“We hope this event brings our culture and communities closer in an atmosphere of fun, while helping to raise essential funds for the Shinnecock Museum,” said Martine. “Tribal member Jay Bryant brought us this idea because he wants our museum and his culture to thrive and we wholeheartedly took on the project.”

Proceeds from the event will go toward enhancing and promoting the museum’s educational programs which are designed to engage visitors in unique cultural learning experiences.

The Harlem Magic Masters will perform basketball skills tricks and small dunks in an athletic spectacular appropriate for all ages. The players interact with fans by giving away prizes and autographs before and after the show. Traditional refreshments will be offered throughout the evening, include homemade samp, succotash, blueberry slump and fry bread, as well as popcorn and candy. Two separate raffles will also take place towards the end of the evening.

The event will also feature a preview of the “People of the Shore” exhibit at the museum which presents artifacts and historical as well as present day photographs about the enduring connection of the Indians of Eastern long Island with the sea. The entire exhibit is on view at the museum now through April 17.

Advanced tickets are $10 ($8 for children ages 5 to 12). Tickets at the door are $12/$10. Children under 5 are admitted free. Southampton High School gymnasium is located at 7 Leland Lane, Southampton.

The Shinnecock Museum is the only museum on Long Island owned and operated solely by Native Americans. The museum is located on Montauk Highway and West Gate Road, Southampton. For more information call 287-4923.

Sag Harbor

Music Students

Eight students from the Sag Harbor Union Free School District were selected to perform in the prestigious 2009 SCMEA Music Festival. The SCMEA Festival includes the top student musicians from across Suffolk County and allows students to demonstrate the skills they are developing in the schools with other musicians and to explore those same skills on a professional level.

The Sag Harbor students performing in the festival are Christopher Ritter, grade 5 in Division I Band, Rose Bishop, grade 8 in Division II Band, Gabrielle Gardner, grade 8 Division in II Chorus, Timothy Megna, grade 8 in Division II Orchestra, Holly Goldstein, grade 10 in Division III Chorus, Elizabeth Oldak, grade 10 in Division III Chorus, Xylia Serafy, grade 10 in Division Band, and Emily Verneuille, grade 9 in Division III band.

The students will perform this weekend with Division I playing Sunday, March 15, at 1 p.m. at Southampton High School. Division II students will also play on Sunday at Southampton High School, but at 5 p.m. Lastly, the Division III students will hold a performance on Saturday, March 14, at 8 p.m., also at Southampton High School.

Sag Harbor School

Registration

The Sag Harbor Elementary School will present an orientation program for the parents of children entering kindergarten in September of 2009. The program will be held on Wednesday evening, March 18, at 7 p.m.

Parents may register their child by picking up forms in the elementary school offices prior to the program on Wednesday.

In order to register, parents must bring a birth certificate and record of immunizations. Kindergarten entrants must have MMR inoculation, or measles, mumps, rubella before the start of the school year.

All children entering kindergarten also are required to have three doses of hepatitis B vaccine.

Prospective kindergarten students must be five years of age on/or before December 1, 2009.

For more information call 725-5301.

LVIS

Boogie Night

The Ladies Village Improvement Society of Sag Harbor presents “You Should Be Dancing” on Saturday, March 21, at Ziggy’s on the Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike. The music begins at 8 p.m. and continues through the evening. Admission is a $25 donation at the door. Happy hour prices will be in place throughout the event. Call Susan at 725-9803 for more information.

Bus Trip to NYC

Youth Advocacy & Resource Development (YARD) is organizing a spring break coach trip to Manhattan on Wednesday April 8 leaving Sag Harbor at 7:30 a.m. and leaving Manhattan at 5:30 p.m.

School families and faculty are invited to take advantage of the transportation to the city and spend the day as they wish. Tickets are $25 which includes gratuity, $20 for families of three or more and $30 for adults not accompanied by a student. Enjoy the day with family and friends, take in a show, visit a museum or go shopping. Reserve seats now by calling call Debbie Skinner at 725-5302 ext. 750.

The Pierson Experience

On Wednesday, March 18, Pierson Middle/High School will host its 3rd annual campus tour, The Pierson Experience. Parents and members of the Sag Harbor community are invited to attend this event which is sponsored by the students, teachers, and administrators of Pierson Middle/High School.

Interested parents and community members can make advanced reservations to attend one of three scheduled tours. Tours are scheduled at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. Reservations may be made via email: piersonex@yahoo.com, or by phone: 725-5302 extension 714. Please include first and last names, preferred tour time, a daytime phone number, and the number of people who will attend. Make reservations early as tour times are expected to fill quickly.

North Haven

Water Bill

At the March 5 North Haven Board of Trustees meeting, the board talked about investigating a suspiciously high water bill for the round-about at the intersection of Route 114 and Long Beach Road. The water bill, according to village clerk Georgia Welch, shows that the village used 178,323 gallons of water from March to October of last year.

“Something was messed up there, we’ve called landscapers and irrigation people and they said that it is impossible for us to use that much water,” Welch said.

She added that landscapers told her new plantings would “rot in the ground” if they were to get that amount of water.

The bill was paid in the amount of $278, but the trustees want to sort out the discrepancy with the Suffolk County Water Authority before turning on the irrigation system again in spring.

At the meeting North Haven Village trustees also proposed legislation to extend the implementation date of a new Energy Star requirements law. The proposed law would push back from April 1, 2009 to April 1, 2010 the required implementation of Energy Star Ratings for construction in the village. A public hearing will be held on April 7, 2009 at North Haven Village Hall for consideration of adoption of the law.

Southampton

Parrish and WLIU

The Parrish Art Museum and WLIU/Long Island University Public Radio have launched a series of “Teen Tours” that provide an opportunity for high school students to explore the visual arts in their own words and to be heard both online and on the air. The next “Teen Tour,” scheduled for Friday, March 13 on “In the Morning with Bonnie Grice” will focus on the work of the painter Fairfield Porter, who lived in the village of Southampton from 1949 until his death in 1975.

The participating students are Avery Reisig and Abigail Bonilla, who will discuss Porter’s 1952 painting “Laurence Typing,” a portrait of the artist’s son.

“Teen Tours” was established to encourage students to examine works of art in-depth and to share their impressions with a larger audience. Initially, students will focus on the Parrish Art Museum’s recently launched website, East End Stories. Created with the assistance of a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services Museums for America initiative, the site enables users to discover the contribution artists of the East End have made to the history of American art, experience the area’s unique geography and its attraction to artists, and explore the connections among the more than 650 artists who have visited, lived, and worked in this region since the early nineteenth century.

Bonnie Grice, host of “In the Morning,” notes, “On a recent trip to MoMA I picked up one of the audio tour guides, and it happened to be a series designed, produced and narrated by teens. It was an incredible new way to experience these works. Standing in front of a Rauschenburg or Lichtenstein or Johns, and guided by these young voices, was a transforming experience – one I wanted to recapture for radio. We’re thrilled to be able to collaborate with such a talented and imaginative group of students. It’s a chance to view art through new ears.”

For the “Teen Tours” program, students consider a single work of art from the online collection, and compose a short response piece. The student then works with WLUI 88.3 FM’s production department to record a piece that will be broadcast on the station. In addition to running on “In the Morning,“ the tours will be simulcast on WLIU.org’s website and will be available as podcasts on the Parrish’s website.

The Parrish Art Museum is located at 25 Job’s Lane, Southampton.

East End

Spokespeople

Spokespeople of Eastern Long Island, a newly established organization whose mission is to enhance the quality of life locally by promoting and facilitating road and trail cycling for both recreation and transportation, invites the general public to an open meeting on Sunday, March 22 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Rogers Memorial Library, 91 Coopers Farm Lane, Southampton Village.

The group’s agenda and organization will be discussed at the meeting. Topics will include making roads more bike friendly, creating more bike lanes, maintaining mountain bike trails and summer cycling events.

The group also recently announced the appointment of the following officers and members of the board of directors: President Spencer Wright, Vice President Jennifer Keller, Treasurer Dennis Loebs, Secretary Hank De Cillia, Mike Bottini and Jen Gatz