Dan’s Papers November 25, 2011 danshamptons.com Page 27
East Hampton Airport
Future News Joe at the Airport Screws Up & Choppers are Turned Away By Dan Rattiner I was walking down Main Street this morning when this article clipped from a newspaper wafted down from the sky. It was from the future. July 9, 2016 to be exact. And to go by what it said, the people living around East Hampton Airport were still battling the problems that having been going on there all these years. JOE BREAKS ANKLE. CHAOS ENSUES the headline said. Here’s the story. Last Friday, dentist Joe “Mr. Airport” Bellitini slipped and fell in his bathroom breaking his ankle and had to be taken to Southampton Hospital by ambulance on Friday afternoon.
Due to a sort of comedy of errors, not so funny, actually, this created a real crisis out at the airport where dozens of helicopters had been hovering patiently in line waiting to get approval from him to land only to find that the phone connection went dead and there were no instructions to be followed. Although several helicopters remained up there waiting for the rest of the day, about 50 of them, by the end of the day, had given up trying to talk to him, turned around and flew back out to Brookhaven Airport to land there. Most of the billionaires who did that wound up calling car services to take them the rest of the way to East Hampton.
“Might as well have driven out,” said Fred Merkle, the C.E.O. of the Ford Motor Company. “Had to have my conference call from the car service with all the lack of privacy and everything.” The comedy of errors was this. Bellitini, who when not being a dentist is the President of Quiet Skies, the organization that decides who gets to land at the airport now that the town has taken over running it from the Federal Aviation Administration, takes his job very seriously. He had taken his cellphone to the bathroom to stay on top of developments, but when he fell, he hit his head on the towel rack (continued on page 32)
FIRE, FIRE, FIRE: MANY HAPPEN HERE By David Lion Rattiner Something that has been kind of spooky this month is how many fires have taken place in the Hamptons. Our volunteer firefighters have had to battle blazes that have resulted in hospitalizations for exhaustion and smoke inhalation. There have been three major fires in the Hamptons this month. Entire buildings were completely engulfed in flames causing a total loss. Firefighters in the Hamptons are a rare breed. They are always local, many with families established in their communities for decades, and the fire departments themselves feel like families. If you see any of these fine men and women in the street, stop them to shake their hand and to say thank you. They have been busy.
In East Hampton, the Hampton Market Place went up in flames on November 15. The grocery store and eatery is right by the East Hampton Y.M.C.A. RECenter and is known for their egg sandwiches. This was an especially dangerous fire because chlorofluorocarbon was present in the fumes due to the large refrigeration systems that were housed in the building to store food. You could smell the smoke by the movie theater on Main Street in East Hampton. Firefighters from East Hampton, Sag Harbor, Amagansett and Springs all responded. It remains unclear what started that fire. Even more crazy, on that same day at Southampton Hospital’s Emergency Room, a man tried to commit suicide by filling his car with poisonous chemicals right in front of the emergency room. So the five firefighters
that had to be rushed to the hospital from the Hampton Market Place fire encountered a hazmat unit dealing with that emergency there. On November 11, a Friday, a house fire in Amagansett believed to have been caused by two dogs who were left alone with a box of cupcakes inside of the house, completely destroyed the home. Both dogs died in the fire. An investigation revealed that most likely the dogs went after the cupcakes, which had been left on the stove in the kitchen, and accidentally turned on the stove. So far, there is nothing suspicious about these fires, or any indication they were set deliberately, but it has been on the minds (continued on page 34)
Dan's Papers November 25, 2011 Issue