Tag Archive | "Thiele"

Obituaries January 29, 2009

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Laura Thiele

Laura Thiele died on January 26 at the Westhampton Care Center in Westhampton after a long illness. She was 80 years old.

Mrs. Thiele was born on March 11, 1928 in Sag Harbor to John and Josephine Mysliborski. She was a lifelong resident of Sag Harbor. Mrs. Thiele graduated from Pierson High School in 1944. On October 1, 1950, she married Fred W. Thiele, Sr., also of Sag Harbor. She is survived by her two children, Fred Jr., the area state assemblyman, and Laurie Ann Garlock, of Lockport, N.Y.

Mrs. Thiele was devoted to her family and home community of Sag Harbor. She worked at the Bulova Watch Case Factory in Sag Harbor for more than two decades and later as the deli manager at Schiavoni’s Market. She was involved in many community activities.

Mrs. Thiele loved to spoil her grandchildren, and they were the focus of her attention in her later years. She was always interested in hearing of their latest exploits. She had four grandchildren, Eric Garlock of Albany, NY; Michael Thiele of Derry, NH; Jeffrey Thiele of Brooklyn, NY; and Josephine Thiele of Sag Harbor, currently a student at Colby College in Waterville, Me.

She often enjoyed playing Bingo at the local Catholic Church with her good friend Helen Labrozzi and, after retiring, liked to travel with her friends, many of whom she had known all her life. She enjoyed the beach, especially Long Beach. She loved music and dancing; Frank Sinatra was always her favorite.

Rooting for her sports teams was a passion for Mrs. Thiele. She was an avid Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Steelers fan. She tried to never miss their games when they were on TV, sticking by the Pirates despite 15 consecutive losing seasons. The Steelers current run to the Super Bowl still brought a smile to her face as she fought her recent illness. A Terrible Towel was always at her bedside.

Mrs. Thiele was pre-deceased by her husband Fred, Sr. in 1982. She was also predeceased by her only sister, Alyce.

Visiting was held on Wednesday at Yardley and Pino Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held today, Thursday, January 29, at St. Andrews R.C. Church at 10:30 a.m.  Burial will follow at St. Andrews Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Sag Harbor Ambulance Corps, PO Box 2725, Sag Harbor, NY 11963.


Cortland Hoach Edwards II

Cortland Hoach Edwards II died at home in Tallahassee, Fla., on Friday, January 23, at age 76.

Born in Southampton, he was the son of Elizabeth Sands Edwards and Olin Miller Edwards of Sag Harbor. Mr. Edwards attended Pierson High School in Sag Harbor graduating in 1949. He then attended the University of North Carolina for one year before spending four years with the United States Air Force, He returned to the university and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1957. He continued his education during his working career, earning a Masters and Doctorate in Public Administration from Nova University in 1976 and 1977.

Mr. Edwards worked for the City of New York for over ten years and completed his career in public service working for the State of Florida, Department of Health and Human Resources. He retired in 1994.

Surviving are his wife CheChe Edwards and children from his first marriage to Peggy Ramsey, Clark and Erin, as well as two grandchildren. All are residents of Tallahassee, Fla. A sister, Almira Holland of Edenton, N.C., and two brothers, Olin Miller Edwards and Dale Aldrich Edwards of Sag Harbor, also survive.

Mr. Edwards was an avid reader and writer. For over 15 years he wrote, edited, printed and distributed a monthly family newsletter called the Edwards Gazette. In addition he published cook books and short stories. He spent hundreds of hours on family genealogy, researching and adding dates, times and places to the human stories of his relatives.

His greatest joy came from travels around the United States and Canada in his Ford recreational vehicle. He had purchased the used vehicle in 1994 and over the next ten years had traveled over 35,000 miles, gaining many new life experiences.

Beginning in 1995, he was a Red Cross Emergency Response Volunteer and through 2003 he participated in the many hurricanes, floods, forest fires and the 9/11 World Trade Center crisis. He traveled to over 50 locations to provide assistance and support to those in need.

In lieu of flowers, memorial remembrances may be made to the Elizabeth S. Edwards Scholarship Fund, Sag Harbor School District, Sag Harbor, NY 11963.


Joseph A. Franco

Joseph A. Franco, Sr., 84, of Panama City Beach, Florida passed peacefully in his home on January 23, 2009. He was born in Queens, New York on January 21, 1925, to Vincenza and Anthony Franco.

Mr. Franco graduated from Forest Hills High School and attended New York University. He was a retired industrial arts teacher having taught at Bryant High School in Queens, New York. He was a United States Army veteran who served in World War II, and was a member of the K of C Council 584 in Sag Harbor.

Mr. Franco was a long time resident of Sag Harbor, New York until October 2003 when he and his wife, Florence, relocated to Panama City Beach. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Florence C. Franco; son Joseph A. Franco, Jr. and granddaughter Alexis; daughter Mary E. Franco; and son Anthony P. Franco and his wife, Joanne; granddaughter Emma, all of Panama City, Florida, and grandson Robert Edwards and his wife, Harmony of Ft. Walton Beach, Florida; sister-in-law Rita Rando of Panama City Beach, Florida; niece Dr. Therese Rando and husband Anthony Viscione and their children Elizabeth-Ann and Thomas of Richmond, Rhode Island; niece Dr. Mary Elizabeth Mancini and husband David and daughters Laura and Carla of Dallas, Texas; nephew Thomas Rando and wife Susan and their children Thomas A. and Marielle of Powhatan, Virginia; and numerous cousins and relatives.

The family received friends on Monday at Wilson Funeral Home in Panama City. A funeral mass was held at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church on Tuesday, January 27, with Rev. Jerzy Zieba, CR, officiating. Entombment followed in the Forest Lawn Cemetery Mausoleum.

 The family requests, in lieu of flowers that contributions be made to Covenant Hospice,107 W. 19th Street, Panama City, Florida 32405 or St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, 1008 Fortune Avenue, Panama City, Florida 32401.


Patrick B. McCann

Patrick B. McCann a resident of Sag Harbor for 13 years, died at his home here on Friday, January 23. He was 84 years old.

Born in New York City on May 8, 1924, he was the son of Patrick and Ellen (Clarke) McCann.

Mr. McCann had a career as a New York City inspector of elevators. A member of the American Legion, he was a veteran of the US Navy, serving from December 1942 to February 1945. He attended Bishop McLoughlin High School and Columbia University.

Mr. McCann was predeceased by his wife, the former Ellen Ford. He is survived by his children, Patrick J. McCann of Paris, France; Deirdre McCann and Michael McCann, both of Sag Harbor, and Liam McCann of East Hampton.

Remains were cremated. Memorial donations may be made to East End Hospice, PO Box 1048, Westhampton , 11978.


James Bennett

James Bennett of East Hampton, formerly of Sag Harbor, died at Southampton Hospital on Tuesday, January 27. He was 74 years old.

Mr. Bennett was born in Sag Harbor on July 17, 1934, the son of Gordon and Pauline (Gray) Bennett. He served in the United States Navy from 1952 to 1976, and later worked for the East Hampton Town Police Department, overseeing traffic control officers, until his retirement.

A memorial service will be held at Yardley & Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton at a later date,as will funeral services at St. Andrew’s RC Church in Sag Harbor.




Schools React to the Consolidation Pitch

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A new proposal coming from New York State has a number of school districts and administrators on the East End wondering what the future might hold for them.
While students and programs would be largely unaffected, administrations in school districts in the state with less than 1,000 students could face mandatory consolidation, according to a statement fram Governor David Paterson last week. Between Southampton and East Hampton Towns, plus Shelter Island, there are currently 12 school districts with fewer than 1,000 students.
The recommendation came in the final report by the New York State Commission on Property Tax Relief, which was presented to the governor’s office and suggests that schools with under 1,000 students — which would include local districts like Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton — should combine their resources to allow for greater tax relief for property owners.
In order for the state to be able to mandate the consolidation of schools, new legislation would have to be proposed. As of now, it is up to the local school boards and community members to vote on changes to any particular district. The report suggests a change to the current system, but does not say how it will be implemented, according to State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.
“It’s very general,” Thiele said on Friday of the report.
Currently, Sag Harbor School district has just under 1,000 students — if Sag Harbor students attending Stella Maris, Ross School and other private schools are included in the total, however, those numbers would likely exceed 1,000.
Thiele noted that the minimum number of students is not firmly set at 1,000 when talking consolidation, and he believes that number may be fluid and up for discussion, possibly with a minimum threshold that could be higher.
Thiele said on Friday he believes, however, consolidation will not cause any schools to close down, but rather combine their resources and administration to cut costs to property owners.
“I don’t think they are talking about consolidation in the classroom,” Thiele said and added, “but there are a lot of administrators in these school districts.”
Sag Harbor School District Superintendent Dr. John Gratto said that consolidation could be very feasible.
“That is not unheard of upstate,” Gratto said on Friday of the area where he once lived and worked. Gratto explained that in that part of the state, there are schools that are 15 miles apart that may be under the same superintendent.
“I am surprised about the small schools here,” Gratto, who came to the Sag Harbor district last June. By upstate standards, for example, Gratto noted that a single superintendent would likely oversee schools located within a range similar to that of Bridgehampton, Springs and Sag Harbor.
But he explained that there are social reasons this change might not work here.
“Some people like their neighborhood schools, they may like the fact that their kid can play on the soccer team,” said Gratto. He added that political reasons could trump the social. “By consolidating schools the districts could see savings in administration, teachers, supplies and other costs.”
“My position is if the state can play a greater role, I think we should provide incentives,” Thiele said.
But Gratto said there are already state incentives for consolidation in place that neighboring districts have not explored.
“Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor have been next to each other for years,” Gratto said “and have not taken advantage of the incentives so far.”
Gratto noted that the state would provide greater aid if the schools combined their resources. Thiele believes greater incentives could be given while still including the local community in the decision making process.
Dianne B. Youngblood, superintendent of the Bridgehampton School District said on Tuesday that there are currently 150 students in her district.
“We are certainly a small school and that’s what we pride ourselves on,” she said, “that is my immediate reaction.” She added that she can understand the interest in consolidation from a taxpayer’s standpoint; but added “Working from a school administration position, I can see the benefits of a small school.”
“I think it’s a decision that needs to be discussed in detail and weigh all sides very carefully,” she said.
Further, Youngblood added that it is a misnomer that by combining schools it will lower the tax rate.
“That doesn’t always happen,” she said. “I know in Bridgehampton they did a study a year-and-a-half ago and found that we have the lowest taxes in the entire metropolitan region.”
“It is a discussion worthy to be had but people have to come to the table with all of the facts,” she said.
As far as sharing administrators, Youngblood said that currently her district has similar practices such as sharing a treasurer and other administrators with the Sag Harbor School District.
When asked about having one superintendent for more than one current school district on the East End, Youngblood said that it would be a matter of looking at the entire structure of the school and require more than just looking at the position itself.
“We don’t have a lot of details,” Thiele said on Friday. “Perhaps when Governor Paterson issues his budget on the 16th [of December] it will have more specifics about school consolidation.”
The New York State Commission on Property Tax Relief was formed in January of 2008 and has held 14 public meetings to discuss alternative options for tax relief for members. Some of the other 30-plus recommendations in their final report included an implementation of a property tax cap, mandated relief and School Tax Relief (STAR) “circuit breakers”– a relief program offered to individuals based on income and ability to pay.
On Monday, Thiele released a statement saying that he was working on this issue independently. Thiele suggests that the State Department of Education would be directed to review every school district with 1,000 students or less as a potential candidate for consolidation. Thiele’s proposal suggests that a draft report of potential consolidators would be made public by the state and public hearings in the local communities would be heard on the matter, allowing for more public input. Then, Thiele suggests a public referendum to approve or disapprove.
“I don’t have a problem if it is initiated by the state, as long as the local community and voters in the local school district are involved,” Thiele said on Friday. “I don’t have a problem with the state being involved but ultimately I think it has to be made by the people in the district.”
Thiele said his plan is “direct, simple and better serves the public interest.”

Endorsement: Thiele for Assembly

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One of the arguments New York State Assembly candidate W. Michael Pitcher has made during his campaign is that as a Democrat he will be able to accomplish more in Albany than his opponent, simply for the fact that Democrats are likely to control all three branches of government.

Unfortunately for Pitcher, he is running against incumbent Republican Fred W. Thiele, Jr., who for almost 15 years has managed to reach across the aisle with relative ease, resulting in passage of scores of important legislation being passed on the state level that specifically aids the East End.

Pitcher, a former newsman who now works as a legislative aide, is certainly a candidate who knows what he is talking about. He also boasts a personal commitment to the environment and to social issues that should be commended.

Regardless, Thiele has shown time and time again that not only does he fight for the East End while he is in Albany, but that both Democrats and Republicans can be proud to have put him there. 

CPF Review Yields Greater Constraints

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The Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund (CPF), which has just celebrated its 10th anniversary, has continued to be a focus in Albany. As the New York State Comptroller continues to hammer away at its audit of the fund in the five East End towns, the state legislature has just received final legislative approval to tighten the reins with fiscal oversight reforms.

Last week, State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. and Assemblyman Marc Alessi announced the approval, which they say increases fiscal oversight, accountability, control and according to Thiele, most importantly, transparency over the CPF.

Ten years ago voters in the five East End towns – East Hampton, Southampton, Southold, Shelter Island and Riverhead – approved a two percent real estate transfer tax that provides the five municipalities with a fund to purchase and preserve open space, farmland, recreation and parkland sites as well as historic structures. The fund also allows for monies to be spent for stewardship and management of those parcels, and it is the language around that aspect of the law that is the focus of the new legislation.

“It really does a couple of things,” said Thiele on Tuesday. “First it increases transparency because it will require for stewardship and management that a plan be submitted that is subject to a public hearing. It also requires an annual audit of the fund, which must be available to the public, in each town, which leads to an increased transparency and accountability.”

Secondly, said Thiele, the reforms provide a clarification of what stewardship and management can entail.

“I think what was intended for stewardship and ordinary management was unclear,” said Thiele. “It is not cutting the grass at the park or painting the inside of a building.”

Thiele explained restoration and rehabilitation is allowed — in particular with historic structures — but routine maintenance is not.

“It was never intended to be used in that capacity,” he said.

Specifically, the legislation, which has been approved in all five towns and is awaiting the governor’s signature, requires each town to establish a management and stewardship plan for lands acquired through CPF which must be approved by a local law. CPF monies can only be spent for projects included in the plan, which can detail a three-year period of projects and must include project descriptions and estimated costs.

Eligible projects include those that “protect or enhance the natural, scenic, and open character of the land,” and accessory structures that “promote public access such as trails, boardwalks, bicycle paths, and parking areas.” The restoration of a property to its natural state, even it that includes the demolition of a structure, is also allowed. For buildings specifically purchased under the tenant of historic preservation, restoration and rehabilitation is allowed only, and expenses related to operation and maintenance of the building cannot be drawn from the CPF.

Towns do have the right, under the proposal, to enter into inter-municipal agreements to jointly acquire land or a structure through CPF, if it is a regional benefit, or to hire someone to perform independent audits for each town fund – an annual requirement under the fiscal measures. The audit must be performed by an independent certified public accountant and each year must be submitted to the New York State Comptroller.

While towns may still hire employees and independent contractors to handle CPF, according to the legislation, those salaries may only be taken care of by the fund if those employees are specifically working with CPF. Those costs are also subject to audit, said Thiele. Elected officials cannot draw any portion of their salary through CPF.

The State Comptroller’s Office is currently conducting its own audit of each of the five towns’ CPF, and according to Thiele, the findings should be available by the end of the year. Thiele said information on the five towns CPF will be released in one document.