East End Digest – July 17


Sag Harbor: A Legal Education

Twenty East End lawyers and 10 Suffolk County District Attorneys gathered at The American Hotel on Friday for a seminar on “Evidence at the Drunk Driving Trial,” taught by Albany lawyer Peter Gerstenzang. The seminar was co-hosted by Patricia Weiss and Edward Burke, Jr. — both Sag Harbor attorneys. Sag Harbor Village Police Chief Tom Fabiano joined the attorneys who were instructed on the topic of police officer testimony at trials.

Above: Sag Harbor attorney Brian De Sesa, lecturer and attorney Peter Gerstenzang and Sag Harbor lawyer Edward Burke, Jr. at a Continuing Legal Education Seminar on Friday. (patricia weiss photo)

Amagansett Farmers Market: Purchase Complete

John v.H. Halsey, President of the Peconic Land Trust announced on Monday, July 14 the formal closing of the transaction that conserves the Amagansett Farmers Market. The Trust will lease the property from Margaret de Cuevas, a long-time supporter of its conservation work. Ms. de Cuevas purchased the property from Pat Struk for $5.5 million; simultaneously, the Town of East Hampton purchased the development rights on 7.56 acres of the 9.33-acre property.

The conservation of the Amagansett Farmers Market and attendant farmland has been under discussion for many years.

“Conservation transactions are complex, and it is not unusual for these transactions to take years before they reach fruition. We are very grateful to Pat Struk for working with us to conserve the market and cannot express fully our gratitude to Maggie de Cuevas for her on-going support of the trust’s conservation work as exemplified by this important acquisition,” said Halsey.

In addition to de Cuevas and Struk, Halsey noted the critical role that the Town of East Hampton played through the purchase of the development rights on the 7.56 acres of farmland included in the market property.

“This transaction shows the power of public and private partnerships. It is a wonderful day for the Trust, the town, and the Amagansett community. We look forward to a vibrant market in Amagansett that highlights the importance of our regional agricultural economy,” Halsey added.

At the closing, the trust announced that it will be signing an operator’s agreement with Eli Zabar, the Manhattan Upper West Side food purveyor, through November 30, 2011. Zabar plans to maintain the community orientation of the market. He, and his wife Devon Fredericks, a long-time East Hampton resident who started Loaves and Fishes, vow to work with the Trust to highlight the importance of regional produce and provide an opportunity for local farmers, fishermen, artisans, and others to sell their products at the market.

Citizens For Fred Thiele: Four Endorsements

New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. of Sag Harbor has received the nomination of four statewide political parties for re-election to the New York State Assembly from the second Assembly district, which includes East Hampton, Southampton and southeastern Brookhaven town. Thiele, an independent Republican, has served in the state assembly since 1995. For the 2008 election, Thiele has been endorsed by the Republican, Independence, Working Families and Conservative parties.

“First, let me thank the rank and file members of all four political parties who signed petitions on my behalf,” said Thiele. “I also want to thank the hard working political activists of these parties that made the effort to go door to door during these hot summer days to insure that I would be on the ballot this fall.”

“I am proud to be the nominee of four different political parties which span the spectrum of political ideology in New York State,” he continued. “It demonstrates that my approach of working with people of all political stripes for the common good of eastern Long Island is what people want from their government officials. Excessive partisanship and attack politics may serve the interests of short-sighted political leaders, but it doesn’t solve the problems faced by every day people. Voters want proven leaders who can get things done.”

The seven-term incumbent emphasized that he will campaign on his record of accomplishment during the coming campaign.

“I have worked tirelessly on issues such as education, the environment, health care, and tax reform,” said Thiele. “My district has benefited from record increases in school aid, the new SUNY college campus at Southampton, the Community Preservation Fund to protect open space, state funding for our local hospitals, state funding to protect our bays and waterways like the Peconic Bay and the Forge River the defeat of Broadwater, and new and innovative transportation projects like the South Fork Commuter Shuttle.”

Congress: Hurricane Supplies

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Congressman Peter King welcomed news from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will begin to pre-deploy hurricane supplies to Long Island as early as the end of next week. Because of Long Island’s unique geography, Clinton and King have been pushing FEMA to provide hurricane supplies to the area as was previously done in 2006. In the event that a hurricane does hit Long Island, having supplies already positioned will ensure that residents will be able to receive the assistance and goods that they need in the immediate aftermath.

“it has taken some prodding, but today’s announcement is a clear signal that FEMA intends to take the necessary steps to ensure that Long Islanders get the supplies they need if a hurricane were to hit,” said Clinton on Friday. “While this is a step in the right direction, we are already deep into the hurricane season and cannot afford any delays. I will continue to work to ensure that this process moves forward so that Suffolk and Nassau have the supplies they need.”

“I am pleased to see that FEMA has recognized the urgency in ensuring that Long Island’s prepared to respond in the event of a hurricane,” said King. “I urge them to move as expeditiously as possible to fully stock the facilities.”

According to FEMA, the agency will be moving four pre-positioned disaster supplies containers to Suffolk County by the end of the week. The four 48-foot containers with non perishable item including tents, tarps, generators and first aid kits are scheduled to arrive at the Yaphank office of the county’s fire, rescue and emergency services commission.

State Legislature: Gas Bill Accepted

New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. announced this week that the New York State Legislature has given final passage to state legislation that would promote competition and lower retail gas prices by permitting gasoline retailers to sell unbranded gasoline in addition to their branded product.

The bill amends the General Business Law to invalidate any provision of a franchise with a refiner that would prohibit a dealer or distributor from selling or purchasing unbranded motor fuel. This bill would permit service station dealers who own their own retail locations and distributors who supply such locations to sell unbranded motor fuel.

Motor fuel franchise agreements typically include provisions which permit a service station dealer or distributor to use a particular identifying symbol or trade name owned or controlled by a refiner. In exchange for that right the dealer or distributor must purchase and sell motor fuel supplied solely by the refiner. Distributors are likewise prohibited from supplying unbranded motor fuel to franchised dealers. This situation limits the availability of unbranded motor fuel to New York’s drivers at a time when motor fuel prices are escalating.

“By permitting retailers to sell unbranded fuel, each retailer can go to the wholesale marketplace and find the least expensive product and provide those saving to their customers,” said Thiele. “This legislation breaks the unfair monopolistic practices that Big Oil attempts to impose on retailers. The result will be more competition, more choice, and lower prices for consumers.

The bill now goes before the Governor for approval.

In addition, Thiele has also sponsored and supported the elimination of zone pricing, which has passed the Assembly and the institution of windfall profits on major oil companies with the proceeds to be used for home heating fuel grants and energy conservation, which has also passed the Assembly. Thiele has also sponsored legislation to suspend state taxes on motor fuels, which the senate has passed.

Long Island Farm Bureau: Annual Awards

The Long Island Farm Bureau will honor Dr. Dan Damianos of Pindar Vineyards and Mr. Patrick Voges of NSLGA, both prominent figures in the agricultural community, at Long Island Farm Bureau’s 91st Annual Awards Dinner. The event will take place on Saturday, July 26 at Martha Clara Vineyard.

Dr. Dan Damianos founded Pindar Vineyard in 1979, starting off with just 30 acres of uncultivated land and a vision of grand possibilities for his fledgling vineyard. Now he runs 600 acres in Mattituck, Cutchogue, Peconic and Southold with his three sons Alex, Jason and Pindar Damianos. New vineyards today “have the template” developed by Dr. Dan, one of the industry’s leading pioneers

Mr. Patrick Voges has been involved in the Long Island Horticultural Industry for over 40 years and worked hands-on with the NSLGA. The Farm Bureau commends Mr. Voges for connecting Farm Bureau with NSLGA and realizing the potential behind two strong organizations joining together to speak on behalf of Long Island’s agricultural industry.

In addition, the dinner will boast a cornucopia of “Grown on Long Island” foods and wines provided by local farmers and producers. Ticket sales are open to the public and will include a wide variety of door prizes. Also, the drawing for LIFB’s Annual Raffle will be held at the close of the awards dinner. Prizes include a grand prize of $10,000 cash, a Caribbean vacation and a 42-inch flat panel TV.