Letters to the Editor 11.10.11

Posted on 11 November 2011

Seek Contributions for Sailing Club

Dear Editor,

Great news!

The Southampton Town Board has passed a resolution to enter into a licensing agreement with the Mecox Sailing Association (MSA) to run a not-for-profit general boating and sailing school facility at the end of Bay Lane in Water Mill.

The vision the MSA seeks to implement is to recapture the simplicity and timeless quality of the former Mecox Yacht Club that has existed in this exact location for the better part of the last century. The MSA would not be a private club. We envision that any resident or lease-holder could be an associate. We would operate a limited number of small sailboats, and one motorized craft for rescue and sailing instruction. As a not-for-profit organization, we would make the fees for being an associate, and for taking sailing lessons, as affordable as possible. We plan to do this in cooperation with the Town of Southampton, in an environmentally friendly way, and with respect for all neighboring residents.

Unfortunately, a small group of homeowners, calling themselves the Mecox Civic Association, has sued the Town, the Town Conservation Board, and our fledgling charitable organization in an attempt to stop our goal of getting the kids back out sailing on the bay. This is just the latest in a series of attempts by individual home owners to restrict the public’s access to local beaches and waterways. We have been forced to hire lawyers to respond and fight this unwarranted attack. To date, only a handful of individuals have funded this legal response. Please help us stand up and say no to the homeowners attempting to restrict the accessibility of our public waterfront.

In short, our interest is in reviving the tradition of community sailing on Mecox Bay. To make this vision a reality, the MSA needs your immediate financial contribution. We have applied to the Internal Revenue Service for a 501(c)(3) charitable designation. This designation will allow donors to receive the maximum income tax deduction allowable by law.

Community support will be a vital component of our success. Accordingly, we humbly ask you to please give in a generous manner to our worthy cause. However, any donation, no matter how small, would be greatly appreciated.

Donations may be made payable to the “Mecox Sailing Association, Inc.” and mailed to: The Mecox Sailing Association, Inc., PO Box 7332, Bridgehampton, NY 11932

Thank you in advance for you support and contribution.

Don’t Give Up The Ship!

Jeff Mansfield

Self Serving Sailing Club

Dear Editor:

There has been an onslaught of self-serving publicity since the approval of a resolution authorizing the Southampton Supervisor to contract with the Mecox Sailing Association to establish a private, members-only yacht club at Mecox Bay Park and a lawsuit filed by the Mecox  Bay Civic Association seeking to stop the clearing of sensitive vegetation in the delicate wetlands at Mecox Bay Park.

It is time to move past the emotional and nostalgic pleas and replace them with a clear and reasoned discussion of the true facts, so that the public can understand what is actually going on.

The Mecox Bay Civic Association is a not-for-profit group of neighbors that has organized to foster the best stewardship of its community and natural resources. For years Mecox Bay Park has been an undisturbed public, Town-owned park. It is the MCBA’s belief that the park should remain exactly as it is today –  free and open to all.

The Mecox Sailing Association wants the Town to transfer Mecox Bay Park to a private membership association and restrict public access to the park for a sailing school.

The MCBA has always advocated that this area of Mecox Bay continue to be used by everyone  – baymen, kayakers, canoeists, paddle boarders, sailors and swimmers – with no restrictions that will benefit one group above all others.

The assertion that the MBCA is “tying up” development with red tape to preserve “our” part of Water Mill, is blatantly untrue. The characterization of the MBCA as an elitist group is disrespectful of each and every neighborhood group in our community who organize for the well being of their neighborhoods.

There are already two other underutilized sailing schools for children in our area. The MSA, whose members have significant financial means in their own right, have no hesitation to disrupt a favorite Bay access spot for locals in order to create their own private access to Mecox Bay.

The MBCA has approached the Town on three separate occasions with alternative ideas on how to further enhance and improve the current access to Mecox Bay Park, including those wishing to sail, while keeping the park open and free to the public as it is today. Statements to the contrary, whether asserted by Jeff Mansfield, members of the Town Board, the Town Supervisor or newspaper articles and editorials are false, misinformed and misleading.

Despite a year of Town Board hearings, the MSA proposal leaves many questions unanswered. Despite many MBCA requests, there has been no publicly disclosed information on how much membership in the Mecox Yacht Club will cost, what special privileges its members – and Commodore Mansfield – will enjoy and what provisions MSA is making for parking, sanitary collection, refuse handling, and protection of the sensitive vegetation of Mecox Bay Park.

Most importantly, what will be the environmental impact that the proposed summer-long Sunday regattas will have on the public’s access to Mecox Bay at the height of the summer season?

Recently, the Town Board adopted a resolution, which expressly authorizes the Town Supervisor to enter directly into an agreement with the MSA. The Town Supervisor is under no obligation to disclose publicly the details or terms of these negotiations. It is unfair to the community at large and particularly unfair to those neighbors who live in the Mecox/Bay Lane area and who will have to bear the burden of these arrangements. Where is the trust and transparency in such a resolution?

The MBCA is simply and directly a group of neighbors who demand answers to these important questions. We have watched Jeff Mansfield and his private-club supporters be welcomed at Town Hall. Our community has organized to represent ourselves and defend against actions taken by the Town that will irreparably damage the environmental beauty of one of the few open, public parks on Mecox Bay that thousands have enjoyed for decades uninterrupted.

Best regards,

Mitchell Kreigman, Vice-President

Mecox Bay Civic Association

Tea Party Spokesman

Dear Editor: Bill Jones is clearly the perfect spokesman for the Tea Party.

  1. Invoking platitudes with no real substance.
  2. Using an 18th century smokescreen to avoid 21st century problems.
  3. Pretending to channel Washington and Jefferson to accuse anyone who disagrees as unpatriotic.
  4. Concealing a corporatist agenda in cute populist costumes.

Bill, who thinks he’s a staff writer for p. 6 in the Express, recently compared Sag Harbor to a Communist country. Bill, with your idiotic statements, have you ever been to Sag Harbor? Or are you just parroting the talking points your Wall Street Svengali gave you to say? A number of disgruntled people were initially taken in by the Tea Party, thinking it represented their grievances. Now they’re beginning to wake up and realize that its agenda is the end of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. It’s a movement organized and funded by ultra rich task masters like the Koch brothers, harnessing the naïve to carry out their agenda. I would ask everyone in Sag Harbor: Are you eager to increase your own taxes, so that the Owners of the oceanfront mansions from Montauk to Westhampton can lower theirs? That’s the Tea Party agenda and clearly what we’re hearing in every Presidential candidates’ debate too. That’s the definition of flat tax. Isn’t it nice we have Bill Jones to remind us every week that the Tea Party is a Trojan horse with Wall Street hiding inside? Yours,Marjorie WrightSag Harbor

Brave Souls

Dear Editor,

Those East Enders who were brave enough to stop by the Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum over the course of the last two weekends in October might have noticed that the old mansion had been transformed into the “Wailing Museum,” a fundraising house of horrors for the museum.

We hope you were rightfully scared. But remember, ghosts don’t “just happen,” so now that it’s November and the spiders have all been put away, we, as well as the staff and board of the museum, would like to acknowledge those whose efforts made the haunted house the success that it was this year.

So hats off to The Awning Company for donating the canvas that was used to creep out the whale boat shed, as well as Royal Fence & Deck Co. and the Peconic Bay Fencing Co. both of whom provided the aged stockade fencing that went toward creating the outdoor maze on the museum’s lawn. It truly made the whole experience a fright to remember. Another shout out goes to Eastern Effects of Brooklyn which donated a sizeable film lighting rental package that allowed us to truly set the mood.

We’d also like to say thanks to the Sag Harbor Village Police Department for providing cones for the crosswalks and patrolling the area throughout both weekends to make sure everyone came and went safely, and we send out a great big thank you to Luigi of Cappelletti’s Restaurant who always donates pizza to feed our actors.

Last but not least, though far too numerous to name individually, we also express much appreciation to our crew of actors who showed up every night without fail over the course of the six night run ready to scare the daylights out of the good citizens of Sag Harbor. Without you, it would’ve been just another creepy old house with cobwebs and good lighting effects. And a special nod goes to our loyal volunteers (you know who you are) who not only were willing to act deranged (in costume no less) when duty called, but also showed up in the days before and after to lend a hand with construction, lighting, propping and the dreaded striking of the set. Your efforts will not soon be forgotten (nor your phone numbers for next year). So, in addition to all the vendors and volunteers, we’d also like to thank the hundreds of people who supported our efforts by coming through the haunted house (even on the night of the nasty nor’easter) which made the Wailing Museum a (pumpkin) smashing success. We couldn’t have done it without you.


Annette Hinkle and Paula Brannon

“Wailing Museum” organizers

PS: And a special thanks to Tony Garro who gave up going to his granddaughter’s ragamuffin parade in Pennsylvania in order to help lead the haunted tour of Sag Harbor on October 28.

Eye on the Money

Dear Editor,

The Southampton Town Police Department spends $225,000 more in overtime than they were budgeted for and the town board is surprised? Who the heck was watching the henhouse?

We’re struggling to make ends meet and the board just now discovers nearly a quarter million dollars is spent without anyone knowing it.

I guess we should be happy there’s a change in leadership in the department, and hopefully a change on the town board.

Barbara Corrini


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