Letters to the Editor: 1/5/17


Thanks From the Department

Dear Kathryn:

The chiefs, officers and membership of the Sag Harbor Fire Department would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us and the community of Sag Harbor during and after the Main Street fire that took place on Friday, December 16th.

First, thank you to the Sag Harbor Ambulance Corps, Sag Harbor Village Police Department, Sag Harbor Village Public Works, Sag Harbor Village Mayor Sandra Schroeder, the Sag Harbor Village Trustees, Sag Harbor Village Building Inspector, and the Sag Harbor Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary.

We would also like to extend a special thank you to the following departments who came to our aid that day: Montauk, Amagansett, Springs, East Hampton, Bridgehampton, North Sea, Southampton, Hampton Bays, Quogue, East Quogue, Flanders, Riverhead, Shelter Island, and Eastport Fire Departments. Southampton Village and East Hampton Village Ambulance Corps. Also the 9th and 7th Division Suffolk County Coordinators, Suffolk County FRES, NYS OEM, NYS 106th Air National Guard as well as the East Hampton Town Fire Marshal’s Office.

To the local businesses and community members who opened their doors, donated food, beverages, clothing, hand warmers and other goods and services, the Sag Harbor Fire Department would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you.

The outpouring of support from our local community and surrounding communities made it possible to get the job done as efficiently and as safely as possible during the tough conditions. Once again, the Sag Harbor Fire Department would like to say Thank You to each and every one that helped out during this difficult time. It was and is greatly appreciated.

Bruce Schiavoni

1st Assistant Chief

Sag Harbor Fire Department


No Mr. Grinch, You Won’t Succeed Here

To the Editor:

After the fire ripped through our town’s iconic Main Street on December 16th, I spent a lot of time thinking about the Grinch. You know, the Grinch who stole Christmas, that green, beady-eyed, Dr. Seuss character and Christmas story of the same name. I couldn’t help but compare the fire in Sag Harbor to the Grinch, sneaking in right before Christmas to steal our joy. In the story, the Grinch, a reclusive malcontent, is determined to wipe out Christmas in Whoville. In that famous scene he slithers around the homes of idyllic Whoville and takes all the ornaments off the trees, all the decorations, all the presents. In essence he takes all the sparkle and lights and the visible representation of Christmas out of the town.

In this way the Grinch is sure he will stop Christmas from coming. He sneers and congratulates himself after the task as he waits on his snow-covered mountain to hear the wailing of the town’s people on Christmas morning. To his utter surprise and disbelief, he hears the Whos singing and gathering on Christmas morning. They all hold hands in a circle and celebrate who they are, their love and their bonds and the great holiday season. They do this without the trappings of Christmas, without one present to give or one light to admire. The Grinch has even taken all the food. But the Whos still stand there, celebrating and keeping love for each other and for their community in their lives.

This fire, like the Grinch, has not taken the soul out of Sag Harbor, or the spirit out of the town, for that is impossible. We are more than our streets and our visible signs of community. Yes, the stores, coffee shop, beautiful art gallery and the much loved Sag Harbor Cinema were part of who we are, they represented who we are in a visible way. A small town, artsy place with long roots in history and an appreciation for tradition and culture, while still being hip enough to be called the “un-Hampton.” We are also a community filled with spirited and strong people.

I went to St. Andrews to hear the Harbor Bells play the Tuesday night after the fire. The church was packed; the bell choir was extraordinary and beautiful. Their unique sound resonated with everyone there as I looked around and saw people wrapped up in the still peace and tranquility of the moment. We were all gathered together like Whos in Whoville. Being together in a testimony for all to see. No Mr. Grinch, you cannot take Christmas from Sag Harbor. We are all standing together. What we have — our love, passion and faith in each other and in this season — could never be taken away. And a new year full of promise and renewal awaits us all.

Laure Marsden, LCSW

Sag Harbor


Job Well Done

Dear Kathryn and staff,

If I may speak for the entire community, I think there was one segment of our beloved village who didn’t get proper credit and gratitude for a job well done after the shared horror of the Cinema fire.

You and The Express put out a tremendous paper under great pressure on December 22 — just a few days later. The general text, moving interviews, and historic perspective were all first class. Riveting photos — largely by Michael Heller — but also by regular citizens, drones and passers-by were all spectacular. All taken by folks who had yet to fully recover.

So, for your last journalistic effort of 2016, you earned last week off. We look forward to the first issue of 2017 and hope its content will be more uplifting and optimistic.

Happy New Year to this great place we call home.

Susan Dusenberry

North Haven


Pies A-Plenty

Dear Kathryn,

On behalf of the Board of Directors and volunteers of the Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to the Sag Harbor Youth Group who made Thanksgiving pies for the Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry and The Living Water Church Pantry in Wainscott. These pies are a very popular part of our Thanksgiving distribution.

This is something that the Youth Group has been doing for many years. The ladies spearheading this event are Fran Nill, Cheryl Rozzi, Emily Bennett, Cindy Warne, Rose Lopinto, Jill Kelsey, and Peggy Smith.

I had the opportunity to view this production and it was amazing to see how organized they are. The pie making is done at the St. Andrew Parish House where many tables were set up to hold all the pies, of which there were 300 apple and pumpkin. The apples are donated by Tim Krasewski of Water Mill and the students pick, peel and slice bushels of them. The ingredients for the pies are donated by St. Andrew R.C. Church. After the prepping and pies made, they are then taken to different locations in the village to be baked: the Sag Harbor Fire Department, Il Cappucino, Conca D’Oro, and The Sag Harbor Bakery.

The students participating were: Ashley, Micaley, Emily, Hailey and John Nill, Sinead Murray, Phoebe and Wilson Bennett, Haley Ferraris, Reed Kelsey, Grace Gawronski, Patrick Lucyk, Natanlie Sepp, Stephanie Ilagorre, Lillian McGuire, Ava Croccito, Leigh Hatfield, Ava DiLorenzo, Noelle Caufield, Grace Perello, Payton and Truman Yardley, Charlie Culver, Francesca Vitale, Ryan Brown, and Eve Marsden.

This is truly community spirit: Neighbors Helping Neighbors.

Thanks to all who helped make our Thanksgiving donation a hug success! We wish you all a Happy, Healthy, and Peaceful Holiday Season.


Evelyn Ramunno


Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry


Schiavonis and Santacroces

Dear Editor:

I receive the Sag Harbor Express in the farthest northwest corner of New York, one week after it is published. I anxiously await the news from my so loved hometown! The front page of the Nov. 24 edition grabbed my attention immediately: Schiavoni’s at 75.

The Diamonds article highlighted the continuity of the Schiavoni family and how the market has become a cornerstone of our community. Four generations, Angelo, Joseph, John, Michael, Josiah, and Stephen! So many families have at least one person that has been employed by the Schiavoni’s.” Our Santacroce family had Cathy who worked there in high school!

I then went on to read the Schiavoni’s at 75 timeline. I had known from our parents’ stories that the Schiavoni’s Market used to be housed in another building on Main St. I also recalled Dad telling us the sad story of Vincent’s passing in the early forties. When I read the post of the date Oct. 27, 1955 stating “a grand opening is held as Ang moved his business three doors down to its current location” I stopped in my reading tracks when I continued to read “His mother, Lettizia, owns the building, which holds three store fronts and six upstairs apartments.” This is incorrect!  In 1955, our grandma, Mary Santacroce, owned that building and rented space to Angelo Schiavoni, Stanley and Rosalie Jacobs, and Marty Trunzo!

Let me give you a little background! Our grandparents (Mary DiBenedetto and Joseph Santacroce) came to America from Italy as teenagers. They did not know each other in the old country but their families settled across the street from one another in Greenport. After they married, they moved to Sag Harbor and purchased the building that houses the Schiavoni’s Market. They raised four children there, one of which is our dad, Frank Santacroce.

Our grandparents ran an ice cream parlor and taxi service. They rented space to businesses and rooms, at times. In 1952, grandpa passed away. By this time, all their children were grown and living elsewhere in the village. I was born in 1953 and one of my earliest memories is standing on my tip toes looking out grandma’s second floor kitchen window. There were still chickens roaming, fruit trees, and grape arbors. This would be where the back entrance to Schiavon’is Market is now!

Grandma sold the building to Concetta and Angelo Schiavoni on Nov. 12, 1964 with the agreement she could live in a three-room apartment until she passed away. I am sure some of you reading this will remember grandma sitting on her black chair in front of her door watching people walking on Main Street. Grandma died on Nov. 9, 1973.

The Schiavonis and the Santacroces go way back! When my siblings and I were children, our backyard on Jefferson Street was butt up against “Aunt Connie and Uncle Ang’s” backyard. Mom and Aunt Connie would talk while hanging clothes on their lines. Aunt Connie made great cookies! Joe and John gave us piggy back rides! Young Connie babysat for us!

Now you know why there is a picture of Frank Santacroce hanging above the back cash register in Schiavoni’s Market!  Our families are forever entwined! Congratulations Schiavoni Family for four generations of success!

Respectfully Submitted,

Susan Santacroce Mandaville