Letters to the Editor 10/24/13


Find Creative Parking Solutions


Dear Bryan,

The Sag Harbor School District bond being put forward for a vote on November 13, includes work on parking lots at the elementary and high school. It is described as repair and reconfiguration. The work also expands both lots.

Readers should understand that the proposed plans on view are essentially the same ones included in the bond 4 years ago that was defeated.

I am not writing to advocate that the bond be defeated again, but to ask members of the public to ask the board, as I have done, to modify those designs before the vote. Or at least to commit, before the vote, to a redesign that addresses the following issues:


  •  The proposed design for the Jermain Avenue lot at the high school requires cars to cross Jermain to access a new parking lot entrance at a position close to a crossroads and school crossing. This entry position needs to be vetted and modified with regard to traffic safety,  especially pedestrian traffic.
  • The  same design which moves parking closer to the central slope of Pierson Hill visually erodes a green space used for ceremonial and recreational activities by the whole community, also by the school for pre-K, physical education and more.
  • Both elementary and high school designs call for the removal of trees, and threatens the roots of some important mature trees. This needs to be considered by certified arborists before grading and resurfacing. If, as it now seems, the  Centennial tree has to be removed, it should be moved elsewhere on school property.
  • Permeable surfacing is now available for parking lots. Perhaps it should be used here.


There are safety reasons for the proposed repair and reconfiguration. Fire truck access needs to be improved. Five parking spaces at the current Pierson lot require cars to back onto Jermain. With a little more effort, imagination, and good will it should be possible to find solutions to those problems without creating others.

I have written to the board asking that all these issues be discussed at the forthcoming Bond Fairs on the October 23 and 26. Also that the boundaries showing the proposed areas of expansion of the school parking lots be clearly flagged at both sites so voters can see where they are. I hope this will happen.

Now, even more than four years ago, the community is concerned with safety for pedestrians and cylists as well as cars, and with preserving the village’s green spaces. I hope very much that Sag Harbor’s schools and village government can work together in harmony and mutual benefit toward creative solutions for all.

Carol Williams

Sag Harbor


It Was One for the Books


Dear Bryan—and Neighbors and Friends,

John Jermain’s eighth annual “One For The Books!” celebration really was one for the books. A record $46,000 was raised for the library’s Capital Campaign, with additional donations designated for our collections and programs. This year, as the publicity promised, it was an event “with a twist” with a Sag Harbor author as the honored guest at each party.

My thanks to the authors, who not only read from their work, but also spoke passionately about the role of libraries, John Jermain in particular, in their lives, reminding us that the mission of a public library encompasses the collection of books and other materials, as well as the provision of a safe place to savor them. Thanks to the lovely hosts who opened their homes to the community with the warmth and generosity accorded to a favored friend. Thanks to the awesome and hardworking volunteer committee, especially chair Gail Slevin, who coordinated all the details and logistics with grace, and competence, and a whole lot of laughter.

Thanks as well to all of you who have made this event such a success. Ticket by ticket, “One For The Books!” has raised nearly $250,000,000 for the library. Dollars aside (please don’t let the board know I have said that) people have come to these evenings and discovered shared interests, become lasting friends, and been inspired to host their own events.

I am already looking forward to next year!


Catherine Creedon


John Jermain Memorial Library


Strange Bedfellows


Dear Bryan,

Last week, in a walk-on resolution, Councilman Dominick Stanzione sponsored a resolution putting forward airport improvements purportedly to be paid for by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) monies, an act that will surrender the Town’s proprietary rights for another 20 years, putting meaningful aircraft noise mitigation out of reach.

It is unclear why Councilman Stanzione would propose this project at this time. One might surmise that at this point during his re-election campaign he needs to generate funding and what better way than to promise the well-heeled members of the East Hampton Aviation Association unhindered access to the airport, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, 365-days a year for the next 20 years?

Mr. Stanzione’s backers also appear to include former environmental champions Tom Twomey, Judith Hope and John Shea. Politics makes strange bedfellows.

I remind your readers that the impact of unrestricted aircraft noise eliminates the peaceful enjoyment of our homes and properties, diminishes our property values and creates a negative impact on community character that will last for decades to come.

In this election year, it is imperative that voters support candidates whose policies enhance our quality of life and property values.

Mr. Stanzione’s last-minute dealing will prove disastrous for residents of the East End suffering from aircraft noise by surrendering the Town’s rights as proprietor for another 20 years.

Voters must register their concerns by reaching out to the Town Board to urge a business plan for the airport be formulated before taking any further FAA funding. And, certainly not before the new Town Board, whose responsibility it will be to deal with these reckless actions, is seated in January.

This election will determine airport policy for the next 20 years. Be sure to get out and vote.


Kathleen Cunningham

East Hampton


Thanksgiving Aid


Dear Bryan,

The Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry is gearing up for Thanksgiving.

We are in need of roasting chickens, personal hygiene items and jelly. We would also very much welcome King Kullen gift cards for our clients to purchase their own turkeys since storage space at the pantry is limited.

The pantry is located in the Old Whaler’s Church, 44 Union Street. We are open every Tuesday from 9 a.m.  to 1 p.m.

(Proof of Sag Harbor residency is required in order to obtain food from the pantry.)

Please visit our website at sagharborfoodpantry.org. Donations are always appreciated and may be mailed to us at P.O. Box 1241, Sag Harbor NY 11963.  Our phone number is 631-725-0894.

As always, we thank the community for their support. We couldn’t continue this important work without it!


Barbara Wolfram


Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry