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DAN'S PAPERS, April 9, 2010 Page 4 www.danshamptons.com
OPEN HOUSES : Sat. April 10 th through Sun. April 11 h AMAGANSETT
6DWÇ§30 6XQÇ§$030 5LYHUGDOH'ULYHÇ§
6DW 6XQ Ç§ $030 0RQWDXN+LJKZD\XQLWÇ§ Smell the ocean and see it from the comfort of your own bed in this lovely one bedroom. Property offers private tennis courts, heated pool and sandy dunes, each with chaise/towel/umbrella service. Great picnic, BBQ area plus daily housekeeping. Low maintenance and taxes. Co-Excl. F#69789 | Web#H29423.
Contemporary offering beautiful mature estate landscaping w/ koi pond, stone ďŹ re magic grill, har-tru tennis, dimension one spa, outdoor shower, speakers & custom lighting, a gourmet kitchen. All baths have been redone with beautiful tile work & ďŹ xtures. Dir: Old Country Road, East Quogue to Fox Hollow. F#71992 | Web#H54868.
Fully renovated with luxury features and high end materials throughout. Brazilian Cherry ďŹ‚oor, marble bath, Jacuzzi, granite kitchen, and much more. Lovely landscaped shy half acre property with gunite pool. Conveniently located, moments from bay and ocean beaches. F#68840 | Web#H27369. Dir: Montauk Hwy, turn south onto Canoe Place Road, left on Lynn.
6DWÇ§$030 2DN/DQHÇ§ Appealing 4 bedroom, 2 bath colonial with in-ground pool and beach rights. Fireplace, hardwood ďŹ‚oors off of living area and a deck for your outdoor entertainng. Wonderful location. Dir: Springville Rd to Old Harbor Colony. F#65311 | Web#H31643.
OLDFIELD &DOOIRUDSULYDWHVKRZLQJÇ§3ULFH8SRQ5HTXHVW A ďŹ ve acre waterfront estate that exempliďŹ es better living through design. Gracing white sand beaches & offering ever changing water views from each room, this 6000+ sq ft beach house is complete with a pool, sauna, wine room, walkout basement, 5 ďŹ replaces, 5 car garage, room for all athletic courts & horses. 60 miles from NYC. Web# 2251458.
$OH[LD 3RXORV &DURO $FNHU
6DW Ç§ 30 5HG&UHHN5GÇ§ Beautiful nature views from every window in this spectacular 4 bedroom expanded Cape nestled on over 1 acre of beautiful country landscape. This lovely home offers a spacious mud room, formal dining room, eat-in kitchen, stunning living room with woodburning ďŹ replace, ofďŹ ce with a view of the sloping valley, bedroom with couch and projection/media room interrelated, bedroom with sliders onto the wood deck, guest bath and more. Web#2271237.
6DW 6XQ Ç§ 30 %XWWHU/DQHÇ§ Look no further! Modern one-level with every amenity possible. Double master bedrooms with glorious bath and French doors out to gunite pool with spa. Two additional bedrooms and 4 baths in total. Season rental $85,000. Excl. F#64586 | Web#H10170.
Located on the point of Rampasture Point and features 5 bedrooms and 4 baths. A boardwalk through lush vegetation that leads to your own private sandy beach where you can relax or enjoy all the watersports of a waterfront home. Waterviews are enjoyed throughout the home. Excl. F#71102 | Web#H45702.
The views will mesmerize you! This 5 bedroom, 4 bath custom contemporary is set on 2.2 riverfront acres with amazing views. Amenities include an open living area with ďŹ replace and walls of glass, 12ft. ceilings, sauna, heated waterfront pool and dock. F#66829 | Web#H15287.
6DWÇ§$030 6XQÇ§30 5RPDQD'ULYHÇ§
6DWÇ§30 0LOLQD'ULYHÇ§ Turn Key home with fabulous views. Watch the water from your pool and steps down to the sandy beach. A rare opportunity to purchase a home that is waterfront, private and move in ready. Sammyâ€™s Beach open and light and airy. Co-Exclusive. F#70222 | Web#H35625.
Lovely contemporary with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths right on the bay with stunning open bay view. Bright and airy, open ďŹ‚oor plan with soaring cathedral ceiling. Close to all. F#71627 | Web#H50633. Dir: Montauk Hwy to West Tiana Road, to Romana Drive.
6DW 6XQ Ç§$030 &DQRH3ODFH5RDGÇ§ Just count the extras in this new 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath commanding a bay view. Includes exercise rooms, basement ďŹ replace, central air & community pool. F#70384 | Web#H44425.
6DWÇ§30 /\QQ$YHQXHÇ§ Lots of light in this great ranch featuring an open living room with sky lights, ďŹ replace and sliding doors that lead to the backyard and patio. Formal dining room, eat-in kitchen, hardwood ďŹ‚oors and master with bath. 2 additional bedrooms, bath and ďŹ nished basement. F#70666 | Web#H40722. Dir: Montauk Hwy to Ponquogue Ave. Left on Argonne East, right on Lynn.
6DW 6XQ Ç§30 0RQWDXN+LJKZD\Ç§ This c.1930â€™s Scandinavian-style house was built by Norwegian craftsmen and restored by European artisans with attention to detail. This Nordic house has unique features and incorporates carved wood & stone together. The 3.5 acre parcel on Shinnecock Hills affords both privacy and spectacular views of Shinnecock Bay. F#69960 | Web#H32686. Dir: South side of Montauk Highway between Peconic Road and Hawthorne.
6DWÇ§30 $UJRQQH5RDG(DVWÇ§ 6XQÇ§30 7LDQD&LUFOHÇ§
6DWÇ§$030 3DQWLJR5RDGÇ§ 2-story home on half acre featuring with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths. gourmet kitchen, study, hardwood ďŹ‚oors, basement and ďŹ replace. Excl. F#250831 | Web#H44347.
Rampasture Point Beachfront. Raised Ranch on cul-de-sac with private beach. 4 bedroom, 2 bath beauty with amazing views. Open ďŹ‚oor plan for the living room, dining room and kitchen with breakfast bar. New Ironwood deck. Walk-out basement. F#64177 | Web#H14452.
6DWÇ§30 *DUGLQHUV/DQHÇ§ Luxurious 4 bedroom, 3 bath home featuring a gourmet kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, a master suite with his/hers walk-in closets and a giant Jacuzzi tub. All on a quiet street. Co-Excl. F#69902 | Web#H31363.
Living room with vaulted ceiling and ďŹ replace, spacious kitchen with breakfast bar, dining area with sliders out to the patio. Wood ďŹ‚oors throughout. Bonus room above garage accessible from master bedroom and 2.5-car garage. F#71673 | Web#H51094.
6DW 6XQ Ç§$030 2OG0RQWDXN+LJKZD\Ç§0WR0
Winning 4 bedroom, 4 bath traditional-style ideally set on .70 of an acre. Separate suite and guest house, pool, guest quarters, hardwood & tile ďŹ‚ooring, ďŹ replace, formal dining room, central air, ďŹ nished basement and 2-car garage. F#251140 | Web#H16336
FOR ALL THINGS REAL ESTATE
Panoramic View offers 68 residences, ranging in size from 1,200 to 6,500sf., set on 10 oceanfront acres with 1,000ft. of beachfront, concierge service, porters, beach and pool attendants, on-site housekeeping. Co-Excl. F#67395 | Web#H20840. .
6DW 6XQ Ç§30 /RZHU6HYHQ3RQGVÇ§ Water Mill near-north farm country. This elegant renovated house includes marble entry foyer, living room with cathedral ceiling and marble ďŹ replace, European custom moldings, formal dining room with French doors; stunning chefâ€™s kitchen with professional appliances, four bedrooms and three and onehalf marble baths. Central air conditioning, deck and heated 50 foot pool complement the stunning farm views from this beautifully landscaped property. F#50225 | Web#H0150225.
P RU D E N T I A L E L L I M A N C O M 1318693
ÂŠ2010. An independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. is a service mark of Prudential Insurance Company of America. Equal Housing Opportunity. All material presented herein is intended for information purposes only. While, this information is believed to be correct, it is represented subject to errors, omissions, changes or withdrawal without notice. All property outlines and square footage in property listings are approximate.
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Oops House is Bulldozed, in Error, with Disastrous Zoning Results By Dan Rattiner Five years ago, a couple from New York bought a small old bungalow right on the ocean in the Village of Quogue. It was a dream come true for them, and though it cost a pretty penny and was on a small piece of land, they figured that they’d just tear it down and build their dream house where the old bungalow was. They had no idea about the uphill battle they would have to wage to get such an approval for oceanfront property with a pre-existing, non-conforming bungalow in a village in the Hamptons. Months and years passed. This was all new to them, but they would persevere. They went to meeting after meeting, made one set of plans after another, and finally, after overcoming all sorts of objections, particularly from a family that lived to the north and whose view would be blocked if they did this, they got a piece of paper from the Village saying they had won. They could build. There would be restrictions on their victory of course. The final house could not be quite as big as the one they initially proposed in 2005. And the building permit was just for an “addition” attached to the bungalow and a “renovation” of that bungalow. This meant that at least one wall of that bungalow would have to remain standing at all times during the work. Otherwise, it would not be a renovation, it would be a complete tear down. They were not given approval for a tear down, which would require a gazillion permits and variances and might take forever. Just be sure to not tear the whole thing down. The couple, Joe MacLean and Marjorie Dyer
celebrated their victory. The old bungalow was one story high and stood 30 by 40 feet, or 1,200 square feet. They would now wind up with a new home that was a total of 2,387 square feet. The bungalow at the beach would be one part of it. And then, attached at the back, a two-story building of 1,187 square feet. One dream house, coming up! Last November, a local builder was recommended to them. They hired the builder to do
dozer into first gear and about 40 minutes later it was all down. No more bungalow. He went off to find his boss to show him how he had just made the whole job easier. At this point, nobody in Quogue Village Hall is saying who the guy was who did this, or who the company he worked for was either. I put in a call to Building Inspector Ed Wolfersdorf. He was in a meeting. He did not call me back. A lawyer for the couple, Robert Kelly of Westhampton Beach, couldn’t recall who the builder was either. My theory is that this builder must be the son of somebody well known in the community. He’s just starting out. Why drag his name through the mud? He didn’t realize what he had done. To get an idea of what he had just done and what the consequences of this are, it might be a good idea to review in numbing detail what had gone on before. But before we even do that, I want to tell you about a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting I once went to regarding a matter for Dan’s Papers. I sat in the meeting room and watched and listened to the case directly before mine. It involved a man who two years earlier had put a bay window on his house by the side of the road without a permit. His house was too few feet from the road for that bay window under zoning. It had been grandfathered in, of course. But now the trouble was that the new bay window stuck out two and a half feet even closer to the road. This was indeed a serious violation. But it was a trifle when compared to what the
The workmen thought it would be easier, neater and faster to tear the whole thing down. the addition and handed him the plans, showing where the walls of the old house had to remain standing at all times. Then they went back to the city. The builder, who was working on other jobs as well at that moment, handed the plans to one of his workers, put him in a bulldozer and pointed him at the bungalow, told him to leave the walls standing, then went away. The workman surveyed the job. It would take a lot of time if he had to carefully take down the old bungalow but leave the outer walls standing. It would be easier, neater and faster to tear the whole thing down. They could start afresh. He thought his boss would be pleased. And so he put the bull-
(continued on page 14)
DAN'S PAPERS, April 9, 2010 Page 12 www.danshamptons.com
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In the upcoming Behind the Burly Q, Hamptons resident Alan Alda talks about growing up with dad Robert Alda, a burlesque singer. The documentary, directed by Leslie Zemeckis, opens April 23. * * * According to the Long Island Real Estate Report, Madonna paid $2.2 million for the agricultural rights to 24 acres of Bridgehampton farmland she bought last January. The property that she bought for $5 million sits next to Wild Ocean Farm. * * * Nightlife guru Michael Satsky, who’s run East Hampton hotspot Lily Pond the past two summers, is being kicked out by landlord Frank Cilione months before his lease ends. The reason? Satsky claims Cilione got a better offer. But Satsky is fightig back. * * * Retired tennis pro Guillermo Vilas has put his historic Sag Harbor home on the market. The house on Union Street, built in 1693, is listed for $995,000. * * * Georgina Bloomberg, daughter of Hamptons regular Mayor Bloomberg, recently signed with Wilhelmina Models. The professional equestrienne and Hampton Classic participant will work in the agency’s sports division. * * * OK! magazine bought Hamptons regular Bethenny Frankel’s wedding pictures. The photos reportedly sold for somewhere in the range of $10,000-$25,000. * * * J. Mendel president Susan Sokol and her husband are selling their six-bedroom, Peter Cook-built Bridgehampton home. Said Sokol, “We are ready to begin the creative process again.” * * * Amagansett’s Alec Baldwin will speak at New York University’s commencement on May 12. He will also receive an honorary fine-arts degree. * * * East Hampton’s Martha Stewart is in talks with Crown Media, parent of the Hallmark Channel, about launching her own cable network. * * * In more Martha news, the Barnard College alumnus is offering herself as an auction item at the school’s annual Scholarship Dinner on April 20 at the Plaza Hotel. The winner gets lunch with Martha in the Green Room of her new show and four VIP tickets to a taping. Amagansett’s Sarah Jessica Parker was
(continued on page 32)
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DAN'S PAPERS, April 9, 2010 Page 14 www.danshamptons.com
(continued from page 11)
real trouble was. At the meeting I went to, the owner of this home was before that board with several older members of the community who remembered life before zoning. Turned out that when the Board realized they had a bay window zoning violation here, they sent in inspectors and found still another zoning violation. There was a barn in the back of the property, also from before zoning. Now, though continuing as a barn on one side, it was being used as a guest bedroom on the other side. The perp was now before the board claiming that this barn had this sleeping place in it also before zoning and also was entitled to be grandfathered in. “So you say you’d be at the house as a teenager,” asked a board member of this older man, “and sometimes you slept in the barn?” “Yes, there was a cot set up there. On that side. We’d play records late into the night. If you’d had too much to drink, they’d tell you to go sleep in the barn.” “And this cot, did it have a mattress on it?” “Yes.” “And it was made up as a bed with sheets and blankets like it was a sort of guest room?” “Yes.” “Did it have a night table? A clock?” “A wind up clock.” “So there was no electricity back there?” “Electricity was a big deal back then. We had lanterns. And we had extension cords.” “So how many times, would you say, as a teenager, did you sleep out there instead of going home?”
I fidgeted in my seat. This was so, so painful. Five years later, I happened to run into the man with the bow window and the barn. I asked him about the outcome. We lost, he said. But let us return again to the oceanfront property in Quogue. MacLean and Dyer buy the bungalow in 2005. Not knowing the ins and outs of zoning, they hire an architect who draws up a 2,500 square foot brand new home on the ocean to replace it with. The Quogue ZBA turns it down. You can only renovate a pre-existing non-conforming home. MacLean and Dyer do not believe this. In 2006 they have a new application again showing the teardown and this time an even bigger three-story house on the site. It will have 3,042 square feet. Amazingly, this time, the ZBA approves it. Within weeks, John and Wendy Cooney, who own a house to the north of the bungalow, file a lawsuit. Essentially, their problem is they have come to enjoy the view of the ocean over the one story bungalow. A three-story house out their window? No way. Their lawsuit names MacLean and Dyer and also the Village of Quogue, and essentially states that the board erred, and to approve this project they needed to order an environmental impact statement and a thorough environmental review before giving them a variance. The ZBA meets with the Cooneys. The ZBA agrees to order the review. In exchange, the Cooneys agree to put their lawsuit on hold. In 2007, MacLean and Dyer filed still another
set of plans, this time agreeing to keep the existing house on the site, but adding an addition of two stories attached to the back of it. Total 2,387 square feet. And of course they would be renovating the interior of the bungalow while they were at it. The ZBA holds a public hearing, and one consequence is that the Cooneys write a letter continuing their objections to the application on the grounds that it was “detrimental to the community.” The ZBA would have to make a decision. And so, after many discussions, mullings and considerations, the ZBA approved the project in November of 2008, stating that in its current configuration the project qualified under State Coastal Erosion Hazard Law as a “non-major addition” to the existing house. To get this designation, it would have to increase the ground coverage by less than 25%, and it did. All that MacLean and Dyer would have to do is remember that while “renovating” the bungalow, at least one wall must remain standing at all times. Well, now this entire project goes back to square one. It’s a whole new ballgame. The children and the children’s children might be born before a decision is made. But there is one saving grace. Chief Building Inspector Ed Wolfersdorf has decided that the couple will not have to pay a fine for tearing down a house without a permit. It was an accident, he said. Anybody can have this happen. They did not know about it. They already had all their approvals. But that said, they still will have to start over.
DAN'S PAPERS, April 9, 2010 Page 15 www.danshamptons.com
RestoringtheBull’sHead Mini-Spa,Restaurant&SmallHotelMayBeComingtoBridgehampton By Dan Rattiner Within the next few months, if things go as planned, ground will be broken on a beautiful new project in the very center of downtown Bridgehampton. It will be on the northeast corner of Montauk Highway and Sag Harbor Turnpike facing the War Memorial monument. The project will involve the complete restoration of the Bull’s Head Inn, the historic 1843 building on that corner which has in recent years come very close, at various times, to being torn down. Also restored will be the 30 x 40 foot barn adjacent to it. The Bull’s Head will be restored to one of its earliest incarnations as a small inn with 10 rooms available for the night and hearty meals in a beautifully appointed dining room. The barn will become a small conference center. There will be a lap pool on the property, a boutique spa building, and, adjacent
to the east, behind some trees, four small buildings in a modern style each consisting of three luxurious rental units. For those that say why are you springing this on us now and how did this just happen, I can tell you that you have not been noticing what has been going on. During the last five years as this project has wended its way through the various boards and agencies involved in providing its approvals, there have been at least 15 well advertised opportunities for the public to attend meetings and comment upon the project and you could have gone to any one of them or all of them and said your piece. The developer of this project is a company headed up by Bill Campbell, a longtime summer resident of these parts, who has been meticulous in every detail from the beginning. It is, in my opinion, a wonderful project. If I
were to say to you— let’s restore the historic Bull’s Head Inn, make it into a gourmet restaurant on the ground floor, bring it to life with accommodations and dining as it was for more than a century, add a little pizzazz to it—a mini spa, conference center and a few accommodations in addition off to the side behind some trees you’d probably say, what kind of angel would do such a thing? Here is what Campbell wrote to me in an email when I inquired about what he was doing. “In the end, it is pretty simple; I would love to restore this fabulous building to its original beauty, to present the other half of the gateway to the Nathaniel Rogers House (currently being restored across the street—ed.), to fulfill the need for upscale accommodations, to supply (continued on page 20)
CERN COLLIDES, BROOKHAVEN LAB POUTS By Dan Rattiner It’s really amazing just how far America has sunk from the top of the pole in my lifetime. I read yesterday that at Brookhaven National Lab in Brookhaven there has been a special room set up where data can be received from the new giant atom smasher in Bern, Switzerland—the biggest in the world—that has just begun operations. When I was a boy in the 1950s, the biggest atom smasher in the world was at the Brookhaven National Lab. The data from this device got sent all over the world to places such as Switzerland. In the 1960s, we walked on the moon and the moon walker was designed and built at the Grumman Aerospace lab and airport in Riverhead. In the 1970s, Grumman began building the F-14 fighter jets that, for the next
25 years held the title as the fastest and best fighters of their kind in the world. Also, the country with the most patents for new inventions every year was America by a wide margin. Today, we have no further plans to be on the moon, our space shuttles will be retired next year and we won’t have men in space after that. Grumman is out of business (its former factory facility is expected to be the site of a big theme park) and there are no more Grumman fighter planes. I think we now rank #2 as far as patents go, behind Japan. When I was a boy, America had an economy that was bigger than practically the entire rest of the world put together. The dollar was king. The biggest skyscrapers in the world were in New York City—the Twin Towers as the largest, the Empire State Building number
two and the Chrysler Building number three. I felt very privileged to have been born in the biggest and most powerful place on this planet. Today the biggest skyscrapers in the world, taller than any of those in New York, are in Kuala Lumpur and Taiwan, with the very biggest now just open in Abu Dhabi this past month. It stands at 2,354 feet in height and you could put two Empire State Buildings one on top of the other and you’d still not have anything that tall. The dollar is down in the middle of the pack today, as far as its value goes, the American economy is just a sliver when compared to that of the rest of the world now and sometime in the next decade we will even lose our title as (continued on page 34)
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Best Stories from the First 50 Years
Love in Bloom, Part II Killer Ecuadorian Eel Lured out of Trout Pond in Noyack First published in Dan’s Papers March 21, 2003 By Dan Rattiner Greta, the female Ecuadorian Eel, was to lure the 37-foot male Ecuadorian eel out of Trout Pond. When we left off last week, Greta had just been emptied into Mill Creek, and hopes were that she would get the male to come through a sewer pipe and join her, at which time they could make their way into the Atlantic. And, eventually, that is exactly what happened. First, though, Greta slept. And as the sun was setting at Mill Creek, Mr. Gul had smiled and made that universal sign of sleep, which was putting both hands together, raising them to his cheek, cocking his head against them and closing his eyes. We all got the message. “I believe Greta will sleep through the night,” Chief Pasta said. “That’s what the people in Quito, Ecuador, said would happen in the fax they sent.” That evening, a grand buffet feast was held in Gul’s honor at the American Hotel, with about 50 people attending. At that time, it was learned that Gul spoke not only no English but no language that anybody knew. A long distance call was placed to Quito to our contacts there and Gul was urged to speak into the phone, which he did hesitantly, but in Quito they said they didn’t understand him either. Chief Pasta took the cell phone back and talked awhile. “Apparently,” he said, “there are people in the mountains of Ecuador who speak languages that have never been translated.” Gul raised his arms over his head, grasped his hands together and smiled. Everybody cheered. After dinner, he was taken down to Baron’s Cove Inn for the night where, apparently, he slept outdoors on the lawn. Musicians from the Perlman School of Music on Shelter Island were the first to arrive on the shores of Pine Creek on Friday morning, bearing instruments and folding chairs. By 8:00, they were playing the third of an expected six Brandenburg Concertos, when Gul, reporters, Chief Pasta and Mayor Farkas arrived.
Though they had not been expected, the Mayor expressed satisfaction that they were there, serenading Greta at that hour, but Gul seemed quite agitated. “Xwhwos Xlymooos,” he said waving his arms and pointing farther away from the shore. The musicians moved back, which turned out to be a good thing because a halfhour later Greta, with a great swipe of her tail, swept the lawn where they had just been. After that, the musicians packed up and left. No further interesting things happened for the rest of Friday, except that Greta, who now was very pink and apparently in the best of health, kept swishing back and forth underwater, occasionally letting out a sort of moaning sound. Some of the reporters, very taken with it, tried moaning back, but stopped when Gul put his fingers to his lips. Friday night came and, once again, Gul slept on the lawn of Baron’s Cove Inn. The big break in the situation came on Saturday morning about 11 a.m. Greta had been up and moaning for several hours. And now, in Trout Pond just across the road from Mill Creek, the killer male was making himself known by stirring the waters and occasionally rising up, peering outward, honking and then splashing back down. “He’s looking for the outfall pipe,” Mayor Pasta said. “He can’t see so good,” the police chief said.
At exactly 12:07 p.m., the male appeared in Mill Creek for the first time. A lot of thrashing went on, then the male was seen going back into Trout Pond for a few minutes and then back through the outfall pipe for more. Around 2:00, the pair set out, with Gul jumping up and down clapping his hands on the shore in delight. The eels went out into Noyack Bay, side by side, then, with all the boats accompanying them and the choppers flying overhead, went around to the north side of Shelter Island, passing between the Island and Greenport where people, many with cameras, had assembled on the shore, finally swimming at about fourteen knots from Orient Point to Plum Island and out to sea. They were chattering away and, obviously, headed for Ecuador. The fishing boat they pulled down, it turned out, was the GULL DARN, registered to Frank Hanks, 58, of Bay Shore. Hanks was with two friends, Ace Goodstein of Patchogue, 61, and Frank Banana of Patchogue, 48. All apparently perished, though no trace of Banana has been found. As for the happy couple, a tag on the forward dorsal fin of Greta indicates that, as expected, they turned south once they got out past Plum Island and Montauk Point. Around 4:32, however, aircraft accompanying the pair say they saw a great thrashing in the ocean after which the two eels separated and went different ways. An American warship nearby, headed for the Persian Gulf, reported what sounded like loud arguing going on at very loud volume at the reported longitude and latitude where the aircraft were reporting the thrashing. The warship fired three cannonades toward the site from its six, forward 16-inch guns, then steamed on. At last report, filed on Wednesday, Greta was moving slowly, and apparently sadly, off the coast of Bermuda heading toward Ecuador. The killer male’s whereabouts are now unknown. At least he’s not coming back here.
DAN'S PAPERS, April 9, 2010 Page 17 www.danshamptons.com
Here ‘n’ There Piles of Sand, Pushed around at Great Expense, Get Stolen Away By Dan Rattiner As far as the sand on our beaches is concerned, this past winter was not normal. Normal is that sometime in December, the ocean reaches up and washes out most of the trillions of tons of sand that have made our beaches so beautiful and wide for the summer season. In January and February, this washout usually alarms some of the people who have built too close to the ocean, and they complain they are about to lose their homes but then the washout stops, just short. Then in early May, the sea, in all its benevolence and wisdom, returns the trillions of tons of sand it took away in December, and we once again have our beautiful, magnificent summer beach season. This past winter it was much different. In November, a vicious Nor’easter washed out all
the beaches a month early. The oceanfront homeowners were wildly alarmed. The Nor’easter was unusual. And if the sea did do a further washout in December all hell would break loose. Our local governments didn’t know what to do. On the one hand, a breach in the dunes could affect property inland. On the other hand, spending taxpayer money they didn’t have to help the rich oceanfront people save their homes was a conundrum. In the end, some money was allocated and highway departments sent their backhoes and payloaders out onto the beaches in late January to try to shore things up where they were particularly bad. On the other hand, it snowed a lot. This was of no great significance except that the snowstorms were sort of beautiful and gentle, the seas were calm and no further washouts took place.
The rich, however, seeing the backhoes and trucks out there, took out their wallets and ran outside to talk to the backhoe people. Soon, with town approval, alternate arrangements were made. The well-to-do oceanfront owners could, with their own money, hire these backhoes and trucks to bring them truckloads of sand from some of the ponds and bays where the sand was actually shoaling in great mounds—particularly in Georgica, Sagg and Mecox. The workers would haul it along the beach in giant trucks to patch up the dunes in front of the homes of the rich. There was a symmetry about this, other than the fact that the trucks and backhoes might be flattening endangered birds and sea turtles. The rich had the money. They were spending it. Some (continued on page 22)
QUESTIONS ABOUT HATE CRIME AT MURDER TRIAL By Dan Rattiner The south central part of Suffolk County has a reputation for many things—hard work, family and pride—but also a reputation for bigotry and hate crimes not found in other parts of Long Island. The area, about 10 by 20 miles, is bounded by Lake Ronkonkoma in the west, Coram in the north, Manorville in the east and the Great South Bay in the south and has, as its commercial heart, Patchogue. It is the last major shopping town before visitors from New York City hit the Hamptons and the North Fork. It is of some interest, therefore, to Hamptonites and other East Enders.
The Ku Klux Klan was active in this community in the 1920s and 1930s. Also in the 1930s, a camp for Nazis was established in Yaphank. Members of this camp, in full Nazi dress, paraded through the village of Upton one year. Most of the people back then, as they are today, are law abiding and good citizens. But the sordid history of this area recently came home to roost when a white boy named Jeffrey Conroy, a student at Patchogue-Medford High School, went out with a group of six friends on a Saturday night in 2008 to “Get a Mexican.” This, incredibly, is something that is popular to do among a certain crowd of kids in that school. “Getting a Mexican” consists of going out late
at night and harassing random immigrant workers they find on the street in the community by cursing and threatening them and then laughing at them if they ran off, or beating them up if they didn’t. On this particular night, Conroy bragged he would not only do all of the above, but he would kill one with a knife. He did. He admitted to doing it. But now he is pleading not guilty of having done it at the trial currently underway in Riverhead County Courthouse. Four of his six compatriots on the other hand have pled guilty to Second Degree attempted assault and are cooperating with the prosecution. The remaining two are pleading not guilty to that. (continued on page next page)
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Conroy is not only being tried for pre-meditated murder, he is also being tried as having committed a hate crime. This, however, has led to some interesting testimony which in some way appears to contradict why Conroy did what he apparently did, but also seems to affirm in this community a particular attitude toward outsiders. The facts are pretty simple. Conroy and his six friends cornered two “Mexicans” in a parking lot in downtown Patchogue around 11 p.m. Neither were Mexican. Both were from Ecuador and had been living in this area since before these teenagers were born. One of the Ecuadorians, Angel Loja, worked in construction. The other, Marcelo Lucero, worked in a dry cleaning store. According to Loja, who survived the encounter, one of the seven teenagers made racial slurs at
them and then said “you come to this country to take our money from us.” Loja said he replied that if they wanted money they should get jobs as they had done. He then turned to one of the seven teenagers and said this: “I’m the same color as you.” The teenager he was referring to was Jose Pacheco, a young man whose mother is Hispanic and whose father is black. He was out “getting Mexicans” too. The group of seven then proceeded to advance on Loja and Marcelo Lucero. One of them grabbed Lucero. Loja struggled away. According to the confession and other testimony, Conroy pulled out his knife and stabbed Lucero in the stomach. “I’m bleeding,” Lucero said to Loja in Spanish. “Please get some help.” Those were his last words. Loja ran off to get
help. It gets a lot stranger. The defendant, Jeffrey Conroy, has the tattoo of a swastika on his leg. On the other hand, Conroy’s girlfriend, who appeared in the gallery in court, and has said she does not want to testify, is Pamela Suarez from Bolivia. She was Conroy’s girlfriend for several years in high school, and now is a freshman at Stony Brook University. She is still his girlfriend. “He doesn’t care what you were,” she said to a reporter for The New York Times last Friday. “They’re saying he’s a supremacist. It’s not true. It’s not him. He’s a very loving person.” As for the swastika tattoo, it was put on Conroy’s leg by another of Conroy’s high school friends, a kid named Keith Brunjes, who is in a class a year behind Conroy. When the prosecution asked Brunjes if he also had tattoos, Brunjes said he did. He showed the court the one he has. It reads “One Love.” The trial continues. It seems hard to make the case that this is a racially motivated crime. But it just seems, as I said before, that there is a hatred in the air against outsiders in this community that is acknowledged and silently approved of by the authorities. There are several things that have gone on in this community in recent years that speak to this. One is that the County Police say that there is practically no hate crime in that community. That is true if you consider that when a Latino immigrant goes to them with a complaint they fill out forms but then later throw them in the round file. Another is that members of the Patchogue Chamber of Commerce had been so concerned about these kinds of undocumented assaults, that, for five months before this incident, they had members of the merchant community acting as volunteers to patrol the downtown since the County Police were not doing their job. If they saw trouble, they’d call the Police. Finally, there has been the attitude of Steve Levy, the current County Supervisor who recently announced that he is switching parties from Democrat to Republican and will wage a primary campaign to become the Republican candidate for Governor of New York this November. (Vehemently FOR Health Care Reform, now Vehemently AGAINST it, I guess.) Levy has run a tight ship as County Supervisor. There is no evidence he is a racial bigot. Yet, having grown up in this particular part of Suffolk County, having gone to Sachem High School there, he retains various inflammatory phrases when referring to Hispanics in the community. He’s been called to task for doing so. He also, when confronted with the considerable media attention that ensued about the incredible murder of Lucero, said that if it happened in the neighboring county, Nassau, the fuss over it would be over in a day. The fact is that the people of this area—good people and bad people—need to understand the area has this extremely powerful and awful undercurrent. Most people deny it is there. But it needs to be acknowledged, confronted and dealt with. And only those from this community can change it. The trial continues. The defense will make its case this week.
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small conference space, to build a facility that can sustain itself during shoulder seasons and to provide local jobs.” I have been a longtime advocate of Saving the Bull’s Head Inn. When I moved to Bridgehampton, first with the Dan’s Papers office in the late 1960s and after that with the purchase of a home on Lumber Lane in 1970, the Bull’s Head Inn was abandoned. Across the street, also in serious disrepair, was the Nathanial Rogers House, at that time owned by a man named Hopping who did no exterior building repairs, sold real estate on the side, and got a generous income from the gas station that he had allowed to be built on the front lawn of his property and for which he had provided a 30 year lease. What a mess. A historic building falling down with a gas station on its lawn, the War Memorial marking the center of town, and another historic building, abandoned, directly across the street. I soon learned upon moving to that town that the Bull’s Head Inn had, in fact, been briefly in operation a few years before as a restaurant and Inn by a woman named Carpenter. The cops arrested a cook selling drugs out the back door and had closed the place down. Now it was abandoned again. It had been abandoned before she had moved in, too. In 1972, I was greatly alarmed to discover that another gas station company, Sunoco, was angling to buy the Bull’s Head Inn and tear it down so it could be replaced by a gas station. I ran a front page story about that in Dan’s
Papers in August of that year. SAVE THE BULL’S HEAD INN was the headline. I urged the citizenry to fill out a form to join the Save the Bull’s Head Inn Society (there was a coupon) and cut their Sunoco Credit cards in half and mail them to the President of Sunoco in Philadelphia. Subsequently, I met with several Sunoco vice presidents in Manhattan who, having been told I was the “Chairman” of this committee, felt I was the point person to be negotiated with. Their new plan was NOT to tear down the Bull’s Head Inn, but to move it back on the property where it could be “safe” and put their very latest “Colonial Gas Station Type B” in front of it, so essentially you would have two historic Inns facing one another in the center of town each with a gas station on its front lawn. “We’ll pay to have the Inn moved,” he said. “We’ll even turn it 90 degrees clockwise so the entrance faces out onto the turnpike.” “No,” I said. And they left. (An account of this is a chapter in the book I wrote, In the Hamptons, published by Random House in hardcover in 2008 and this year coming out in May in paperback.) Shortly after that, a local farmer named Charlie Vanderveer bought the place — largely to keep it out of further danger. He then sold it to the person who really has kept this building safe all these years, Lynn St. John, who has kept it going, made necessary repairs, paid the taxes and sometimes leased the ground floor out as an antique shop to keep it in use. Five years ago, St. John sold it to a company headed up by
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Bill Campbell of Water Mill. This project has now made its way through the Planning Board, the Zoning Board, the County Health Department, the State Historical and every other Board, town, county, state and federal, you can imagine, all of whom have, in the end, given this project a thumbs up. The place is zoned as Residential, which means it can be torn down and replaced with another residence. On the other hand, the last zoning update for the property, called the 59-59 amendment also allows for it to become an inn, restaurant and spa (as well as a location for retail and, ahem, dry cleaning.) It conforms, almost line-byline, with the town’s long range Comprehensive Plan in its latest form, last updated in 1999, that reads “the town should also explore means of allowing the necessary intensity of development to sustain overnight accommodations larger than B and Bs.” In any case, in the end, saving the Bull’s Head will involve building coverage of less than half of what’s allowable on the property under the present zoning. Opponents to the project include Fred Cammann of the Bridgehampton Citizen’s Advisory Council. And in recent articles in other local weekly newspapers very inaccurate information has been given out. The main historic building, for example, is going to be expanded by 3,200 square feet, newspapers have reported. Turns out that about 400 square feet of this are the porticos which are not there today but which are seen on old photographs of the building when it was (continued on page 34)
DAN'S PAPERS, April 9, 2010 Page 21 www.danshamptons.com
Local Filmmaker Brings Senegal to Life By Susan M. Galardi African arts and culture to Itâ€™s hard to believe that, in lead the largely illiterate this day and age, as we Muslim population of wrack our brains to underSenegal toward an understand how our premiums standing of democracy and will change with the new human rights. In keeping Health Bill, or try to deterwith this approach, the mine the appropriate age screening of Mannâ€™s film when our child can have his will be preceeded by a live own iPhone, that in other performance of the Balafon parts of the world people are Band from Senegal. still grappling with basic Tostan has succeeded with issues like how to avoid human rights, education water-borne diseases and and health initiatives where whether an 11 is too young many before have failed for a girl to be forceably because of their approach, married. Our issues are which is brilliant. They first quickly seen as the luxury dissected the constitution of problems they are, while the this 95% muslim country, to others are considered to show the Sengalese that totally unbelievable. human rights are built into Yet they are true. In her their existing laws, meaning new documentary, Walking they can make demands of Human rights advocate Issa Saka, right, helped transform lives with Life, the Birth of a their government and community children. Human Rights Movement in Africa, which improve their own lives. Mann sees this Mann, the daughter of Jewish refugees will be screened at the Bay Street Theater organic approach as critical to the success of from Eastern Europe who was born and this Sunday, Sag Harbor filmmaker Kenny any program in Africa. raised in Kenya, has been traveling to Mann shows us a world (Senegal) where peoâ€œAfter Kenyaâ€™s independence in 1963, the Senegal since 2006 to document the work of ple are amazed to learn that separating country became flooded with Non-governthe organization, Tostan. Headquartered in human waste from well water can help avoid ment organizations (NGOs) from around the Dakar, Tostan was founded by its Executive many illnesses, and that ending the practice world starting up well-intentioned aid efforts Director Molly Melching, an American who of forced marriage of adolescents is not a in every field imaginableâ€”AIDS, hunger, has lived and worked in that country for over break with a deep rooted religious tradition, (continued on page 24) 30 years. The organization uses traditional but a logical step in protecting the health of
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