Letters to the Editor: 5/9/16


Exclude Anchoring

Dear Kathryn,

The latest issue of the Express has the public notice for a Local Law amending Sections of Chapter 278 of the Village code. In view of the recent extension of the Village’s jurisdiction some amendment is certainly appropriate. However, one proposed change should not be made.

In my opinion, the proposal to allow anchoring in the water between the 200’ line and the 1,500’ line is not consistent with the objectives of the HMP/LWRP.

Anchoring and mooring in this area should not be allowed as it will infringe on several activities:

  • Access to and from the moorings allowed within 200’,
  • Access to the Havens launching area for small craft, the majority of which are small sailboats,
  • Access to the Inner Harbor through the east entrance through the breakwater,
  • Access to a safe instructional area for individuals participating in training programs.

Making anchoring at the discretion of the harbor master does not assure that this access will not be impeded.

Concern for conflict with the activities outlined above was the reason for excluding anchoring in 1996. Nothing has changed to make the exclusion un-necessary. In fact, it may be even more important today. There is abundant area for transients and others to anchor, even those under 80’, without creating this potential congestion.

Sincerely yours,

Pierce W. Hance

Sag Harbor


Harbor Changes Are Inconsistent

To the editor:

As I have been asked many questions about this over the last week I believe a brief explanation is in order. Going back for at least 20 years, the Village code as provided that anchoring in Village waters has been limited to 12 hours and mooring has been limited to designated mooring areas with permits required. The proposed change to the area to the east of the breakwater, from 500 ft. to 1500 ft. from shore, to allow unlimited anchoring of vessels under 80 ft., regardless of type of vessel or length of stay, with no permit or other requirements, is inconsistent with all prior public discussions and agreements, the recommendations of the Harbor Committee, and, along with other recently proposed changes, the purpose of requesting from NYS expanded jurisdiction “so that  a well-organized and regulated mooring field may be created to ensure the future safety and enjoyment of Sag Harbor’s waters.”

John Parker

Sag Harbor


Changes Would be Detrimental to Beachfront

Letter to the Editor:

At the last Village Board meeting, changes were introduced listed below regarding mooring and anchoring of boats. At that meeting, the Board announced that there would be a public hearing at the next Village Board meeting – Tuesday, May 14, at 6 p.m. to discuss the proposed changes. Legal notice will be provided in the “Sag Harbor Express”. (Legal notice was in the May 2 Express )

The leadership of Ninevah, Azurest and Sag Harbor Hills have discussed the proposed changes and are unanimous in our opinion that the proposed changes detrimentally impact the respective enjoyment of our beachfront communities.  Implementation would present environmental, safety and liability concerns affecting all community residents who use the beaches.,

As background, since at least 2004, while the Village was given jurisdiction out to 1500 ft. from shore, mooring and overnight anchoring have not been allowed in the area 500 ft. to 1500 ft. from shore east of the breakwater. This area is presently reserved for recreation and boat traffic.

The proposed changes will allow vessels under 80 ft. to anchor in this area without time limits or restrictions or even a requirement that they register with the Village or get a permit.

The amendments to the Waterways Law for the expanded jurisdiction area introduced earlier this year included provisions that commercial vessels and vessels larger than 55 ft would be required to get a permit before anchoring or mooring in the area beyond 1500 ft.  With the new proposed changes this would no longer be required, and vessels would be able to anchor as close as 500 ft. to shore. The reasons for these changes are unclear.

Accordingly, we collectively register our objection to the proposed changes.

Thank you,

Stephen Roache

President, NBPOA

Ninevah Beach Property Owners Association


Steve Willams




No Big Boats Off Havens Beach

Dear Kathryn,

Friends of Havens Beach is a group of local residents who support the ecological health and safety of Havens Beach, the only public swimming beach in the Village.

We are shocked to see that the Sag Harbor Village Trustees are now proposing an amendment to existing law that would permit boats up to 80 feet in size to anchor within 500 feet of Havens Beach.

These boats would be able to stay for up to fourteen days without registration or inspection. Our concern is that boats anchored so close to shore would impact water quality and pose a hazard to swimmers, paddlers, rowers, and beach boat sailors at Havens Beach. (The beaches that adjoin the neighboring SANS community would similarly be jeopardized).

Two years ago the Sag Harbor Trustees requested and received jurisdiction over our local waters from the Town of East Hampton. This was to increase oversight of our waters to ensure safety and water quality for our residents. This proposed amendment goes against this objective. It reduces oversight of our most valuable asset : our public waterfront.

Why would the Village Trustees go against the recommendations of its own advisory groups – The Harbor Committee?

We wish to go on record as opposed to the adoption of this new law.

Yours truly,

Joan Butler, Jean Held, Kate Plumb, Carol Williams

For Friends of Havens Beach


Expect to Be Respected

Dear Editor,

Elaborating on last week’s article titled “Making way for new houses, Denial of Demolition Discussion on Division Street,” I attended the Village ARB meeting last week as a listing agent to ask about the demolition of 268 Division Street. The Board offered to visit the property to determine the age of the house, but this was vetoed by attorney Elizabeth Vail. It goes without saying that I did not expect a “solid” or “official opinion” but why shut down an informal discussion about the future of a village property? Their insight is valuable to buyers, sellers, the village and the community. I am a 13thgeneration Sag Harbor resident and have been in the real estate brokerage business here for 16 years. When I participate in a public forum I expect to be recognized and respected appropriately. I find that the derogatory tone expressed by Ms. Vail at this meeting to be extremely rude and counterproductive.

Shannon North
Sag Harbor


Stony Brook Hospital Is Not the Only Game in Town

Dear Editor:

Thank you for the article describing Stony Brook Hospital’s new cancer care facility in Southampton. I would like to correct an assumption that underlies much of your article. Out here on the east end and for many years we have had an excellent choice for cancer care with the professionals, doctors and nurses, at New York Cancer and Blood.

My wife and I arrived here, each with our own cancers, 12 years ago. We receive periodic checkups, blood tests and infusions in Southampton from Doctor Alexander Zuhoski, his nursing team and other professionals at the New York Cancer and Blood offices.

Because we have found that no cancer is generic my wife consults with blood specialists at Dana Farber in Boston once a year and I meet with kidney specialists at Sloan Kettering in New York every four months or so. But we receive all our treatments right here, comfortably near our home, thanks to our fine local cancer center.

Mark & Martha Potter

Sag Harbor


Thanks for Cleaning Noyac

Dear Editor,

Many thanks to the Noyac Civic Council members who tirelessly picked up trash along Noyac Road and around Trout Pond for the Great East End Clean Up on Saturday, May 4. Ella Knibb, Hannah Tuma, Isabella Hosey, Emelia Hosey, Hope Marxe, Sue Denis, Janet Grossman, Chuck Neuman, Tom McErlearn, Matt Burns, Maggie Jeager, Sharon Bakes, Emily Bakes and John Arendt spent several hours beautifying our hamlet.  Many thanks to Phil of the Town of Southampton Highway Dept. who gave up his time off to help us in this yearly endeavor.   Among the “treasurers” we found with the usual food wrappers and beverage receptacles was a skeleton hanging from a tree  (No, it was not Jimmy Hoffa).   One of the discarded Lottery Scratch Off tickets found along Noyac Road paid $50.  Someone else found a Tiffany diamond and emerald ring near the intersection of Noyac Road and Millstone Rd.  It pays to volunteer.    Heineken and Corona seem to be the most popular beers this year.

Noyac is the understated jewel in the Town of Southampton.  Our residents are not afraid to make an impression quietly as the clean-up volunteers did Saturday.   At other times we are more vociferous if we are protecting our water supply from contamination or residential neighborhoods from unhealthy projects like constructing a cell tower.  We are concerned with the safety and sanitary conditions at Long Beach and Trout Pond.  We advocate for quality education while being mindful and attentive to our government’s spending and levying taxes. We will continue to register noise complaints from low-flying aircraft.   I am proud of my civic-minded Noyac neighbors who work together to get the job done for all of us.


Elena Loreto, President

Noyac Civic Council


Wealth of Culture

Dear Sag Harbor Community,

When Bobbie and I picked Sag Harbor as the place where we wanted to live and bring up our family 40 years ago, we knew it was a special place. We were not wrong. And, although it has changed dramatically over that time, it still has the power to enchant, enlighten, and enthrall.

This past weekend I had the privilege of working with twelve of Sag Harbor’s amazing cultural institutions, one charity, six restaurants and a few businesses in putting together the Sag Harbor Cultural District’s fourth annual Cultural Heritage Festival. It would be hard to find a finer group of people, or a more worthy group of institutions anywhere. Thank you to everyone who participated.

But more importantly — and this is the real reason I’m writing — I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend many of the festival events. To say I was deeply moved by both the sheer number of events as well as by the quality of the experiences offered, would be a serious understatement. Sag Harbor is a wonderland of culture and history, and not just during the festival. We Sag Harborites have a wealth of cultural experiences available to us all without ever leaving town. Music, art, theater, film, literature, talks by authors, scholars, historians and other people of varied interests and backgrounds, museum exhibits, preserved homes, famous neighbors both living and dead, great food—it’s all here. What other village of this size can boast all that?

It was an amazing eye- and ear-opening weekend. I hope some of you reading this got to enjoy at least some of the cultural feast in spite of the bad weather. But, if you missed it, don’t’ worry, the opportunities to enjoy culture and history in Sag Harbor abound and continue throughout the year. I hope you will take advantage of the bounty that is available to you by patronizing and supporting our many home-grown cultural institutions.

Your neighbor,

Eric C. Cohen

P.S. If you want to ask me about any of this, you can find me at the John Jermain Library most weekdays.


A Time to Honor Those Fallen in Service to Their Nation

Dear Editor,

Memorial Day is much more than a three-day weekend that marks the beginning of summer.  Too many people, especially the nation’s thousands of combat veterans, this day, which has a history stretching back all the way to the Civil War, is an important reminder of those who died in the service of their country.

There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War.  It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.  It is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nations’ service.

Decoration Day (Memorial Day) was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.  On may 5, 1868, Logan declared in General “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and those bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.”

After World War I, observances also began to honor those who had died in all of America’s wars.  In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May. (Veteran’s Day, a day set aside to honor all veterans, living and dead, is celebrated each year on November 11th.)

The Memorial Day Poppy started with a poem by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.  A Canadian physician who enlisted to help the allies in the war.  On May 3, 1915 during a lull in the battle with the nub of a pencil, he scratched on a page from his dispatch book “In Flanders Fields.”  The poem expressed the colonel’s grief after he witnessed the death of his friend, Lieutenant  Alexis Helmer, 22 years old and over the many soldiers who he watched die on the Flanders battlefields which were located in an area between western Belgium and northern France.  In the poem the Colonel describes how poppies grow among the rows and rows of graves.

In 1918, Moina Michael, an American woman, wrote a poem of her own in tribute to the opening lines of McCrae’s poem called;


“We Shall Keep The Faith”

We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led,

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies


Ms. Michael then adopted the custom of wearing a red poppy in memory of the sacrifices of war and also as a symbol of keeping the faith. She was the first to wear one, and in November 1918, bought a bouquet of poppies and handed them to businessmen where she worked.  She asked them to wear the poppy as a tribute to the fallen.  Moina Michael thought the flowers should be used as a symbol in remembrance of the war.  Her efforts resulted in the poppy being adopted as the “United States” national emblem of Remembrance by the American Legion on September 29, 1920.  Although poppies are used to honor both Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day, it is traditionally done on the latter.  In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms. Michael known as the “Poppy Lady” for her humanitarian efforts and for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.

A French woman, Madam Guerin, visiting the United States, learned of the custom and took it one step further.  When she returned to France, she decided to hand make the red poppies and sell them to raise money for the benefit of the orphaned and destitute women and children in war torn areas of France.  She convinced veterans’ organizations in several countries to sell the poppy to help underprivileged children in France.  In 1922, the organization of the American and French Childrens’ League was disbanded so Madame Guerin brought her campaign to the United States.  Madame Guerin was still keen to raise funds for the French people who had suffered the destruction of their communities.  She asked the American organization called Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) to help her with the distribution of her French-made poppies throughout the United States.  That year the VFW assisted with the sale of the poppies in American to help keep up the much needed funds for the battle-scarred areas of France.

Two years later the VFW started their “Buddy” Poppy program and was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans for disabled veterans and their families in the United States.

For more than 80 years, both the American Legion and the VFW’s Poppy and Buddy Poppy programs, respectively, have raised millions of dollars in support of veterans’ welfare and the well being of their dependents. Those red poppies are still assembled by disabled and needy veterans in VA hospitals.

The Poppies Symbolism is both powerful and compelling.  The petals of red stand for the vast outpouring of blood; The yellow and black center, the mud and desolation of all battlefields; the green of the stem is symbolic of the forest, meadows and fields where generation of Americans have perished to make generations free.  The stem represents the courage and determination of our fallen warriors.  The assembled product, a flower, is a symbol of Resurrection, which is sure to follow.

Each year around Memorial Day, VFW members and American Legion Auxiliary members distribute millions of bright red poppies in exchange for contributions to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans.  The program provides multiple benefits to the veterans and to the community.  The hospitalized veterans who make the flowers are able to earn a small wage, which helps to supplement their incomes and makes them feel more self-sufficient. The physical and mental activity provides many therapeutic  benefits as well.  Donations are used exclusively to assist and support veterans and their families.  The poppy also reminds the community of the past sacrifices and continuing needs of our veterans.  The poppy has become a nationally known and recognized symbol of sacrifice and is worn to honor the men and women who served and died for their country in all wars.

The Chelberg & Battle American Legion Auxiliary of Sag Harbor is distributing poppies all this month and along the parade route in Sag Harbor on Memorial Day and at the Legion Hall on Bay Street.

Please support our veterans, and let us never forget our obligation to those who have given so much and served so gallantly to protect this great land of ours and those of us who live here.  It’s a small way to show our respect.  Remember and wear a poppy, for “Freedom is Not Free.”



Jeannie Notturno, Poppy Chairman

American Legion Ladies Auxiliary

Chelberg and Battle Post #388



Dear Editor,

To All Americans:

The Memorial Poppy is handmade by disabled veterans in hospitals and workshops.  The veteran is paid for each poppy he/she makes and many veteran patients derive considerable therapeutic and psychological benefits making poppies.  Each nine-piece poppy is painstakingly made and never sold but given in exchange for a contribution.

The poppy program has been part of Auxiliary programming for more than 69 years.  It has been estimated that approximately 25 million Americans wear the poppy to honor America’s war dead contributing nearly $2million for rehabilitating and welfare programs.

The Chelberg and Battle American Legion Auxiliary of Sag Harbor will be distributing poppies on Main Street all month and along the parade route in Sag Harbor on Memorial Day.

Please support our veterans, and let us never forget our obligation to those who have given so much and served so gallantly to protect this great land of ours and those of us who live. here.  It’s a small way to show our respect.



Jeannie Notturno, Poppy Chairman

American Legion Ladies Auxiliary

Chelberg and Battle Post #388