Tag Archive | "Springs"

Fire Destroys East Hampton House of Hard Rock Cafe Co-Founder

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Heller_EHFD Structure Fire 57 West End Road 3-18-15_7940_7x

Firefighters spent almost eight hours extinguishing a fire that destroyed the house at 57 West End Road. Photography by Michael Heller.

By Mara Certic

Seven fire departments spent most of the afternoon and evening of March 18  battling a fire that destroyed the East Hampton house of Hard Rock Café co-founder Peter Morton.

Strong winds fueled the fire, which otherwise “could have been manageable,” according to East Hampton Fire Department Chief Richard Osterberg. The oceanfront house at 57 West End Road caught fire apparently when construction workers used a torch on the roof. Pockets of fire continued to burn late that night. There were no injuries.

“The house is a total loss,” Chief Osterberg said over the phone on Friday. According to the chief, the 911 call came in at approximately 2:35 p.m.; nearly 100 firefighters responded to the call and the last tanker did not leave the scene until 10:30 p.m., almost eight hours later, he said.

Chief Osterberg said that the fire appeared to be accidental and that there was no reason to believe it was suspicious.

“The wind really didn’t do us any favors,” the chief said, noting that the house has wide open fields on one side and Georgica Pond on the other.

By the time the first firefighters were on the scene, it had become apparent that it would be too dangerous to allow firefighters into the building and instead they decided to attack the flames from the exterior, dousing the burning house with huge quantities of water.

Winter winds were blowing hot embers around and firefighters worried that the flames would spread. “The house to the east was our main concern,” the chief said. West End Road is long and narrow, Chief  Osterberg explained, making it difficult for firefighters to get water from their tankers to the pumpers.

Not long after the call came through, other nearby departments were called in to provide mutual aid, the chief said. The Amagansett Fire Department sent a tanker as well as an engine and helped to lay hose, Mr. Osterberg said.

Springs, Montauk, Sag Harbor,  and Southampton fire departments all responded to requests for mutual aid and provided more manpower and firefighting equipment.hellerfire

Members of the North Sea Fire Department were sent in to serve as standby at the Emergency Services Building on Cedar Street in case another emergency call came in.

At approximately 5 p.m., the North Sea firefighters responded to an alarm at East Hampton Airport, when a plane skidded off the runway. With North Sea responding to that call, volunteers from Hampton Bays were brought in to stand by at the East Hampton headquartes on Cedar Street.

According to East Hampton Town Police, David Bulgin, 62, of Sag Harbor was the pilot and the sole occupant of the Beechcraft Baron BE 58 that skidded off the runway after experiencing a landing gear malfunction after landing on the main runway.

The plane was damaged and had to be removed from the runway. Mr. Bulgin walked away from the scene unscathed. The Federal Aviation Administration will conduct a full investigation on the incident, according to a release issued by the East Hampton Town Police.

“Out here we’re so lucky—everyone works so well together,” Chief Osterberg said. In addition to all the help from various fire departments, Amagansett and East Hampton Village sent ambulances to the fire near Georgica and the village police were “a tremendous help.”

By the mid-evening, an excavation crew from Keith Grimes, Inc. was working on removing debris from the property, and by the next morning, thanks to village police keeping an eye on the house, there was nothing left burning on the land.

“I feel I have a good department, to know you have friends that are willing to do whatever” is great, Chief Osterberg added.

i-Tri Girls Find Self-Empowerment Through Triathlons

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Guadalupe Rojas mentally prepares for the race in i-tri. Photo courtesy Theresa Roden.

Guadalupe Rojas mentally prepares for the race in i-tri. Photo courtesy Theresa Roden.

By Tessa Raebeck 

Theresa Roden’s motivation to run a triathlon came from a somewhat surprising source of inspiration: sitting on the beach. While visiting Block Island, Ms. Roden, who lives in Springs, saw a group of jubilant runners dart by, turned to her family and said, quite simply, “I’m going to do this next year.”

“They all looked at me like I had 25 heads,” said Ms. Roden, who not only ran, swam and biked across Block Island the following year, but also encouraged a group of some 20 East Enders to do the same. In 2010, she founded i-tri, a six-month program that uses training for a triathlon to teach local girls about health and nutrition, self-empowerment, and camaraderie.

“For me, it was the first time in my entire life that I cut myself some slack,” Ms. Roden said of her training. “I changed that inner dialogue. We all have that negative self-talk that we do to ourselves and I, for the first time, discovered I didn’t have to be so critical and if I was just a little kinder to myself, things were a lot easier. I just totally changed the way that I felt about myself and I talked about myself and to myself—and everything started to change.”

(L to R) Marissa Harry, Kaya Mulligan, Alicia Benis  finish the i-tri race. Photo courtesy Theresa Roden.

(L to R) Marissa Harry, Kaya Mulligan, Alicia Benis finish the i-tri race. Photo courtesy Theresa Roden.

Lamenting that she hadn’t changed her self-talk 20 years earlier, when her daughter Abby entered the sixth grade, Ms. Roden created i-tri for Abby and seven other girls in her class at Springs School. I-tri expanded to the Montauk School in 2012 and to Southampton last year, and on Monday, January 26, the Sag Harbor Board of Education will vote on whether to adopt the program at Pierson Middle School.

Offered free of charge to every participant, i-tri consists of triathlon-specific training of swimming, biking or running on Saturdays, weekly group lessons focused on self-esteem building and leadership skills, after-school fitness classes such as yoga and spinning, and hands-on nutrition classes, which families are welcome to attend.

The school district is asked to provide a space for i-tri to hold the in-school sessions and possibly the nighttime nutrition sessions, for support from relevant personnel such as guidance counselors, and possibly also for transportation to certain meetings. Training and classes start in March, culminating with the race in mid-July.

While training is limited to sixth, seventh and eighth grade girls, i-tri graduates often remain involved through mentorship. The eight girls who took part the first year are now juniors at East Hampton High School, and several of them started an i-tri-inspired empowerment club that meets periodically and invites successful, local women to come speak to students.

Although crossing the finish line is the most tangible reward, i-tri is at its core about empowering the girls in all aspects of their lives.

“It’s not all about training for the race,” said Maria Chavez, a freshman at East Hampton High School who started the program as a sixth grader in Springs and plans to race again this year, adding that i-tri encouraged the girls and “made us feel confident about ourselves…and we weren’t afraid to tell each other anything; we had so much support.”

“It’s all about feeling good,” said Ms. Roden. “There’s nothing more important than that I feel good, because when I feel good I have more to give the world and when I give to the world, I get back.”

Food Pantry Fundraiser

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Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartararo, in conjunction with Suffolk County National Bank, will hold their annual Charitable Giving Fundraiser at Martha Clara Vineyards on Thursday, December 11.

The evening will include live music from Robert Bruey, Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks, and Who Are Those Guys, as well as refreshments from Christopher Michael Catering and one complimentary glass of award-winning Martha Clara wine. Tickets for drawing prizes will also be sold during the evening.

Tickets cost $30 in advance and $40 at the door, proceeds will benefit five East End food pantries. The beneficiaries are the Human Resources of the Hamptons Food Pantry in Southampton; the Springs Food Pantry; the Long Island Council of Churches Food Pantry and Open Arms Care Center Food Pantry, both in Riverhead; and Community Action Southold Town Food Pantry in Greenport.

To make a donation or buy a ticket visit tlskdq-holiday-fundraiser.ticketleap.com. For more information call Charlene Cheshire at (631) 727-2180 ext. 317.

Mass Casualty Drill Held in East Hampton

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Photography by Michael Heller.

An East Hampton Town-wide Multi-Casualty Drill was held at 555 Montauk Highway in Amagansett on Sunday, November 23. The drill was organized by Chief David King of the Springs Fire Department, and the incident was commanded by Assistant Chief Alan Bennett of the Amagansett Fire Department using standard National Incident Management (NIMS) protocol, involving Sag Harbor, Springs, East Hampton, Amagansett and Montauk fire and ambulance crews, as well as Suffolk County Emergency Services, East Hampton Town Police Department and Suffolk County Aviation Unit personnel. The drill involved three different scenarios which began at 9:00 a.m., and all units were debriefed and back in service by approximately 11:30 a.m.

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East Hampton Town Budget Stays Below Tax Cap

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By Mara Certic

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell’s $71.5 million budget has seen some changes to both its revenue and expenditure sides since it was first presented in September, but will remain well below the state-mandated 2-percent tax cap.

East Hampton Town Budget Officer Len Bernard presented some of those changes at a board meeting on Thursday, November 6.

Mr. Bernard explained certain adjustments had been made since the tentative budget was released in September. In the budget, the town had anticipated $50,000 in  revenue from a proposed rental registry law, Mr. Bernard said, which was removed after residents came out in opposition to the law at a public hearing last month.

In its place, Mr. Bernard added $80,900 for lease options the town is entering into with a solar company, he said. “This revenue source may become a recurring revenue source depending on what is discovered during that lease option period, in terms of whether or not the solar energy production is feasible on the sites they’re going to be testing,” Mr. Bernard said.

Mr. Bernard added he had $104,900 for additional public safety into the revenue side of the budget. Mr. Bernard said Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman told him he was “99 percent sure” the town would end up receiving a greater share of sales tax revenue to be used for public safety. This agreement, Mr. Bernard explained, was established as a way to reimburse East End communities that have their own police forces and do not use the Suffolk County Police.

On the expense side, approximately $70,000 was added for police funding, $10,000 for the fisheries committee, $2,500 for the cemeteries fund and $20,000 for a part-time youth coordinator, he  said.

The town has budgeted to close its scavenger waste facility, which will save the town $450,000 between 2014 and 2015.

“It really doesn’t affect revenues, other than the fact that there will be no revenue other than tax revenue for that district. There are going to be no fees because the place is going to be closed,” Mr. Bernard said.

“We’re not realizing any kind of increase in fees, we’re actually realizing a substantial drop is costs that will be going down over time until eventually the place is fully shut down and all of the old debt is paid off,” he said. Mr. Bernard added that the current budget will be $315,000 below the state tax cap, which can be applied to next year’s budget.

Tom Knobel, chairman of the East Hampton Town Republican Committee, spoke up during Thursday’s public hearing and said he found some flaws on the revenue side of the budget.

“I believe there are a couple of flaws. I believe you are aiming to a more fee-based budgeting for the town and fees can be punitive,” he said.

Mr. Knobel also expressed concern that the town had anticipated a revenue increase of 18.3 percent, when there has been talk in the town of possibly limiting flights in and out of East Hampton Airport. Mr. Knobel said reducing the number of flights would “would limit the profitability of the airport.”

Other than a $10,000 line item for fisheries, Mr. Knobel said there was nothing in the budget to suggest the town was trying to attract new jobs or strive toward economic development.

Amos Goodman, of Springs, also commented about the town relying on future revenues with “where we are year to date in 2014, really being significantly less than what the previous year’s budget indicated,” he said.

“At $71.5 million, the budget’s less than it was six years ago,” Mr. Cantwell said on Thursday.

Mr. Cantwell added that the New York State comptroller announced on November 4 that after significant review, he had found East Hampton Town’s budget to have both reasonable revenue and expenditure projections.

“The state comptroller’s findings reflect the town’s goal of conservatively projecting non-tax revenue and restraining spending in order to produce a balanced budget,” Supervisor Cantwell said in a release.

 

 

 

Springs Man Released on $25,000 Bail After Shooting Incident

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By Mara Certic and Stephen J. Kotz

Springs resident Valon Shoshi was arrested on four charges following a manhunt by East Hampton Town Police on Friday, October 3, and was released on $25,000 bail after appearing in East Hampton Town Justice Court on Saturday.

Mr. Shoshi, 28, was charged with felony reckless endangerment as well as illegal discharge of a weapon, assault and possession of a loaded gun in a motor vehicle, three misdemeanors.

On Friday morning, Mr. Shoshi reportedly fired a shotgun several times in his bedroom at 85 Gardiner Avenue in the Springs section of East Hampton. According to the police, his mother suffered minor injuries as a result and was sent to Southampton Hospital for treatment. Mr. Shoshi then allegedly fled the house with the gun in tow in a new Cadillac sedan.

According to Captain Chris Anderson of the East Hampton Town Police, a family member contacted the police following the incident.

The police initially had information that indicated Mr. Shoshi had fled the scene and gone to a secondary residence. After police determined he was not at that location, they managed to establish communication with Mr. Shoshi and he was stopped in his vehicle on Springs Fireplace Road near One Stop Market and put into custody without incident.

During the manhunt, nearby schools and some facilities in the immediate area were asked to go into lock-down as a precaution. Sag Harbor, Springs, East Hampton and Wainscott school districts all were in what the police call “locked-in status” on Friday morning.

Capt. Anderson said it was of “paramount importance” to the police department to protect the schools until they determined what the threat was.

“It’s a big sigh of relief,” said Sag Harbor Superintendent Katy Graves in describing how she felt when police called to say the lockdown could be lifted.

She said that school officials were still in the middle of implementing the lockdown when they were informed they could go back to normal business. Ms. Graces said the district immediately sent an automated telephone and text message to the school community informing it of what had occurred.

“I’m very proud of my staff,” she said. “They were all so child-centered and proactive.”

Capt. Anderson added “the school districts as a whole did a tremendous job.”

Mr. Shoshi, moved to East Hampton from Kosovo with his family in 1999. He attended East Hampton High School and is an accomplished boxer. He volunteered in the Springs Fire Department, was assistant chief of the East Hampton Village Ambulance Association, and also worked as an aide in the East Hampton School District.

According to Edward Burke Jr., Mr. Shoshi’s attorney, his client’s family and many other community members were at court on Saturday in his support.

“His entire family, including his mom, fully support Valon,” Mr. Burke said. “They are entirely behind him in this journey through the criminal justice system.”

Justice Lisa R. Rana, who heard Mr. Shoshi’s case on Saturday, released him on $25,000 bail under the condition that Mr. Shoshi undergoes an immediate psychological evaluation.

Mr. Burke said on Wednesday that his client is cooperating fully and has been in counseling. He and his client will report to the court today, October 9 to inform the court he has been seeking counseling, as ordered by Justice Rana.

Mr. Shoshi will appear before court on Thursday, October 30.

 

Plein Air Peconic Celebrates Land, Sea, Sky

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Hendrickson Farm by Kathryn Szoka.

Hendrickson Farm by Kathryn Szoka.

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

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

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

 

Man Arrested After East Hampton Manhunt

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Sag Harbor Schools, like their counterparts in East Hampton, were briefly put on lockdown on Friday as East Hampton police sought a man, who was reportedly suicidal, and had left his Springs home after wounding shooting a family member with a shotgun.

Friday afternoon, East Hampton Police said they had taken Valon Shoshi, 28, of Springs into custody at approximately 12:40 p.m. and given local schools the all-clear.

East Hampton Town Police Captain Chris Anderson said the victim, who he would only identify as “a relative” of Mr. Shoshi, was taken to Southampton Hospital for treatment of minor injuries from a shotgun blast.

Capt. Anderson said “charges were pending” against Mr. Shoshi, who he, added, was taken into custody near One Stop Market on Springs-Fireplace Road in East Hampton.

“It’s a big sigh of relief,” said Sag Harbor Superintendent Katy Graves in describing how she felt when police called to say the lockdown could be lifted.

She said that school officials were still in the middle of implanting the lockdown when they were informed they could go back to normal business. She said the district immediately sent an automated telephone and text message to the school community informing it of what had occurred.

“I’m very proud of my staff,” she said. “They were all so child-centered and proactive.”

Friday afternoon, East Hampton Town Police issued a press release, stating they were called to 85 Gardiner Avenue in Springs at about 10:30 a.m. Friday after receiving a report of a shooting there. The suspect had fled the scene.

Officers from the East Hampton Village Police joined town officers and members of the East End Townwide Emergency Services Unit and a Suffolk County Police Department K-unit were called in.

Police said they secured a home on Jericho Lane in the village  and told local schools “as well as a few facilities in the immediate search areas” to go on lockdown.

Mr. Shoshi was taken into custody when he was spotted driving north on Abraham’s Path. Police said after a brief pursuit, he was pulled over on Springs-Fireplace Road near One Stop Market and taken into custody without incident at approximately 12:40 p.m.

In Sag Harbor Ms. Graves said the school district would use the incident to sharpen its own procedures. She added that the New York State Police and the state Department of Education are going to hold a joint webcast for school districts to discuss model safety plans on October 16.

 

Watershed Weekend with The Parrish Art Museum & The Nature Conservancy

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Accabonac Harbor. Image courtesy of The Nature Conservancy. 

The Parrish Art Museum has partnered with The Nature Conservancy in two events meant to highlight one of the most pressing environmental issues facing the East End of Long Island: water quality.

On Saturday, September 27 at 11 a.m., the museum will host “Watershed: Artists, Writers, Scientists and Advocates on Our Waters” in the Lichtenstein Theatre. The PechaKucha style talk will feature eight speakers including LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited architect Glynis Berry who serves on the Suffolk County Planning Commission and is with the U.S. Green Building Council; Dr. Chris Gobler, a professor at SUNY Stony Brook’s School of Atmospheric and Marine Sciences and an expert on the topic of harmful algal blooms; Nature Conservancy Long Island Executive Director Nancy Kelley, Hampton Bays bayman Ken Mades; Southampton resident and Executive Director of the Lloyd Magothy Water Trust, Thomas McAbee; Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst; Edwina von Gal, East Hampton-based landscape architect and President of the Azuero Earth Project whose mission is to preserve the earth’s ecosystems, protect biodiversity, and promote healthy communities; and artist and teacher at the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City, Allan Wexler, whose work in the fields of architecture, design, and fine art explores human activity and the built environment.

The museum will follow the discussion with a Sunday, September 28 Walking Tour of Accabonac Harbor, one of the regions most diverse tidal marsh systems. Both programs are being presented in conjunction with The Parrish Art Museum’s ongoing exhibition, “Platform: Maya Lin.”

For more information, visit parrishart.org. 

East Hampton Calls for Volunteers for Beach Cleanup

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The East Hampton Town Recycling and Litter Committee announced this week that it will participate in the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup Day this Saturday, September 20.

The program asks volunteers to come out and clean up any local beaches while recording the types of trash found on the beaches, according to a press release from Councilwoman Sylvia Overby on September 16.

“This information will help the Conservancy collect and analyze data that will raise awareness, identify debris hotspots of unusual trash events and can help communities adopt policies that will work towards cleaner oceans,” the release read.

Garbage bags and disposable gloves will be supplied by the town of East Hampton; anyone interested in participating can pick up free bags and gloves and a data collection form from Town Hall through Friday, September 19. Volunteers can leave full trash bags by town garbage cans on Saturday and they will be picked up by the parks department.

Volunteers who document their day of cleanup on Saturday are asked to e-mail them to soverby@ehamptonny.gov so they can put on the town’s website. For more information about the Ocean Conservancy’s Coastal Cleanup Day, visit oceanconservancy.org.