On The Beach Blog | September 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Russo's Write-Ins Prevail

A visit to the Southampton Town GOP Website shows that the top three slots on the ballot this November will be filled by Supervisor Candidate and present Council member Linda Kabot, while incumbent Nancy Graboski and newcomer Dan Russo are on the Republican Council lines. More...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Views of 'the News'

Golly! On what area newspaper is a resident to rely for accurate information?

Consider this past week's lead stories in Wed­nesday's "Hampton West" edition of Suffolk Life, Wednesday's The Independent, and Thursday's The Southampton Press Western Edition. Respectively they declaimed:

  • Kabot Beats Heaney In GOP Super Primary (page 7 HT)
  • WILL SKIP RUN? (Front Cover) Heaney To Stand Down? (Page 3)
  • Heaney Pledges To Plow Ahead (page 1)

Yikes! Which is it, and which publication has the greatest amount of credibility? More...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Is the 'ol fixeroo' being applied?

OtBB had previously noted that for the Westhampton Free Library Trustees to not have a contingency plan in place should the Bond vote fail next week, they must be awfully confident of its successful passage.

A friend who will be indisposed early next week, followed the directions on the WFL Website:

  1. Can I vote by absentee ballot?

    Yes. Applications for absentee voting in the October 2nd election are available through school District Clerk Judy McCarthy at (288-3800).
"Problem was, when I applied in person to the District Clerk's office this afternoon between 2:45 and 2:50pm, Ms. McCarthy was not in, was not scheduled to return 'til 9:30 am Monday, and no one who was there was authorized to provide me with the requested absentee ballot.

Pardon me if I am suspicious!"

I understand perfectly... on something this important to the community, it would behoove everyone to make sure that it not appear that anyone is trying to rig the outcome.

Chain of command?

The dreaded Eye-Con

Or, more accurately, what chain of command?!?

On Thursday, September 27th, there were two members of the Westhampton Beach Police Department assigned to day tour to provide a law enforcement presence within the Village. More...

Dirty Work, continued...

Back to the Valero station on a brief fact-finding mission... which is what it would be termed if the United Nations had sent me. Well, they didn't, but the Health Department might've. More...

The countdown continues...

...'til the big bond approval/disapproval vote on the $7.8 million Westhampton Free Library razing and reconstruction project, this Tues­day, October 2nd, from 1:30 pm to 9:00 pm at the Library Annex (née Grimshaw & Palmer Hardware Store). More...

Toddler Park Redux

Site of the downtown Toddler Park

O, my! Wait'll the many mommies see just where the Toddler Park site has been situated!

At least the dilapidated sofa is gone from in front of the little blue cottage at the left of the photo, thanks to an unannounced inspection by Village Code Enforcement Officer Bridget Napoli.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dirty Work at the Crossroads...

Deputy Mayor James Kametler The dreaded Eye-Con

You can put the man on the Village Board, but it's much harder to get his head out of the cement bucket.

Once again Village residents have to be wondering about the "common sense" quotient of Deputy Mayor and second term Trustee Jim Kametler. More...

Enduring Quotations…

  • "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche," the orig­inal of "Let them eat cake," popu­larly attributed to Marie-Antoinette (1755-1793), Queen consort to Louis XVI, but actually uttered a century earlier by the wife of Louis XIV, Marie-Thérèse of Austria (1638-1683), when informed that the people had no bread and were starving.
  • "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes." – Leona Helmsley (1920-2007).

    Problem was, when the authorities got wind of this, she was tried, convicted and sent to the hoosegow by Federal Prosecutor Rudy Giuliani, the Leroy Lockhorn-looking man who would be President. Mrs. Helmsley actually serv­ed 18 months of her 16 year sentence for tax evasion. Suffice to say that she was not exactly beloved by those "little people." 
  • "You're just quibbling about pennies." – Westhampton Beach Village Trustee Joan Levan, at the May 3, 2007 Village Board meeting, when put on the spot by former Deputy Mayor Tim Laube about the unprecedented taxpayer-funded dental benefits program she voted to adopt for the Village Board after being appointed to her position by Mayor Conrad Teller.

The Queen of France, "Queen of Mean," and Empress of Oneck. What a parlay! Ah!, the decadence of those who would be aristocratic.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A thinly-attended WFL Open House

Well, either no one cares because they've al­ready made up their minds, or everyone has already gone back to the City or wherever they "Winter."

I think I was one of two residents in atten­dance Tuesday evening... along with The Press' reporter Caroline Simson. More...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

WFL Open House

The Westhampton Free Library is holding a third Open House this evening (Tuesday) from 7:00 to 9:00 pm in another attempt to persuade district voters that they should approve a $7.8 million bond for their razing and rebuilding project.

Having missed the previous such "Open House" the Saturday before last because of a scheduling conflict, I intend to attend and see if it can be sold any better in person than in their mailing pieces, now numbering three at last count.

I shall report back.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Joseph Howell (1971-2007)

Sad news Saturday afternoon from my old Moniebogue Press co-founder Van Howell. He called to tell me that he had lost his eldest son Joe in NYC this past week, and suspended his "Cartoonist-in-Exile" role in London to return for the services.

I was there when Joey was born, in the middle of a frantic... all those Moniebogue Press ('71-'73) days were frantic... publishing deadline, and once we had the issue to bed (actually, all we did was deliver the layout boards to Garson Wilitsky at the Suffolk Life plant on Montauk Highway in Westhampton), the proud father and I walked over to Cranberry Marsh to listen to the waterfowl gossiping about the toropes in the brackish headwaters of Aspatuck Creek.

No parent should outlive their child. We are diminished.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

LaRouche Wonks Work WHB...

Westhampton Beach Post Office, Friday, 21 September

There was a weirdness around the 11978 post office most of Friday in the form of a petition-signing table and a number of crude sandwich signs sloganizing against Vice-President Dick Cheney, urging that he either be impeached or put in jail... or both. More...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Dueling Back Pats

Received two mailing pieces within the past fortnight, both posted at taxpayer expense, patting the sender on the back for "Property Tax Relief," an issue which now more than e'er before commands my rapt attention. More...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Return to the ZBA…

It was like old homeweek at tonight's Zoning Board of Appeals meeting... aside from Chair­man Chris Bean who served with me for more than nine years, there were former Board Attorneys Gair Betts and Dick Haefeli both appearing for applicants, and attorney Jim Hulme, still appearing for applicants.

I went to look in on what was happening with the Muchnicks pere et fils More...

After the Primary...

Disquietude and uncertainty seem to be the orders of the day within the Southampton Town Republican Party after Tuesday's blood-letting on the Primary battleground where upstart Linda Kabot took the measure of incumbent Skip Heaney and back-from-the-discard-pile Nancy Graboski defiantly got herself onto the GOP ticket at the expense of political newcomer Dan Russo. More...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

September Work Session

Short Trustees Work Session this evening....

Before I can even sit down, Mayor Teller approaches and presents me with a single page, not down-loaded from the 'Net but copied from the Fish and Wildlife section of the NYS Code Book, with high-lighted sections explaining how it is illegal to discharge a firearm (which includes in this instance a bow'n'arrow) within 500 feet of a building, not just within New York City as a separate section of the law I'd found suggested, but anywhere in the State... again leading me to ponder why Deputy Mayor and second term Trustee Jim Kametler wasn't arrested for his Oak Street lunacy with the 'possum last February. At the very least he should have been prosecuted for Stupidity in the First Degree, but then he's been guilty of varying degrees of that for his whole life. More...

Working the polling place...

At the nudging of my dear and only sister, I finally signed onto the Suffolk County Board of Elections as a polling place worker last year, and because Tom Betjemann was touring the bistros of Paris and not available for Primary Day duty, I wound up working the District 10 table at the Westhampton Beach Firehouse. More...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Primary Day Update…

Prepare to say "Sayonara," Skip!

Trustee Linda Kabot bumped incumbent Sup­ervisor "Skip" Heaney from the top of the 2007 Southampton Town GOP ticket by 172 votes, 53% to 47%, in today's primary. More...

Primary Day...

...at the Westhampton Beach Firehouse, per­haps, rumor hath it, for the final time before moving up to a new facility on Mill Road.

Hot head-to-head race for the Southampton Town Republican Supervisor's position, the top Town slot, and it's the once-likable Patrick "Skip" ("Don't call me 'Junior!'") Heaney versus upstart Linda Kabot, who is actually risking nothing since she's a sitting mid-term Trustee and, no matter tonight's outcome, will continue to be able to raise her own brand of hell on the Town Board for at least another two years. More...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Toddler Park

A reader writes:

"Did you notice that the kiddy park is right where the planner's long-term plans included a road that would connect that parking lot by the Beach Methodist Church to Glover's Lane and continue past the Chamber of Commerce and through the empty Bossung lot to connect with Sunset Avenue?"

No, in point of fact, I had not taken note of that, and I'm not exactly sure what that means... or more importantly what OtBB's correspondent thinks it means. More...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturday Night at Starr's

Went out to reconnoiter the parking situation around the Westhampton Free Library this evening, and wound up having a delightful dinner at Starr Boggs. (Tried the Calf's Liver with Hog Jowls... bacon bacon bacon!... and it was superb!) More...

September Meeting, Redux

It's been pointed out to me that I neglected to report on one particular aspect of this month's Village Board meeting, the part where it ap­pears that the Trustees' intention is to make the parking requirements for commercial development more liberal by upping the square footage for each parking space to be provided, or "purchased" through the appeals process. More...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Library, Part II

I've heard from a number of v-e-r-y concerned residents about "The Library Vote Must Go Down!," and it's clear that the Trustees of WFL have a considerably greater uphill climb than was initially apparent.

One District voter said: More...

Village Views or Levan News?

One aspect of the proposed Westhampton Free Library bond expenditure some, myself includ­ed, are finding annoying is the way it is being "sold," and the prime mover in that endeavor is Joan Levan, who serves as Trustee of both WFL and the Incorporated Village of West­hampton Beach... and therein lies the rub. More...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

In satire some find truth...

One regular attendee of the monthly Village Board meetings found something which resonated at a regular Internet surfing stop and wonders if someone at The Onion had been watching the cable public access channel (22) when they penned "Town Hall Meeting Gives Townspeople Chance To Say Stupid Things In Public." More...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Library Vote Must Go Down!

Westhampton Free Library

I've always liked the Westhampton Free Library... my "Aunt Charlotte" Winters was a librarian there in my youth, and I liked to visit her at work because she always seemed to know which books a lad of nine or ten years would enjoy. More...

Monday, September 10, 2007

September Monthly Meeting

Missed the August Trustees Work Session, so I'm behind the curve... don't know what happened or didn't happen 'cause little makes The Press, #1, and, #2, no one with whom I often compare notes was in attendance, either.

"Landslide Joan"

Enter the lower lobby at exactly 7:00 pm and head for the stairs... need the exercise, and the elevator is slower. Holding the door to the stairwell even after she sees it's me, is a trim and casually stylish Trustee Joan Levan. I thank her, and we tromp up the steps in silence. At the top, she tries to take the first door to the right which would have put her out on the roof of the Building Department. I tell her en passant that I don't think that one's go­ing to work for her, and get to return the door-holding courtesy in kind. More...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Why "WHBQT.INFO?"

Although I created the Website for the In­cor­porated Village of Westhampton Beach back in mid-1999, and have built a number of others and administered and redesigned many more, this is my first foray into the "Blogosphere."

The first thing I discovered is that everything I think I've learned about Webmastering, is going to be of little use in my bloggery. (Hey!, on my side of 60, none of this stuff is intuitive!)

Why the name?

Mostly it was based on what Web addresses were available… all the obvious ones were already spoken for, so given the nature of what I intend this blog to be, two came to mind: whbconfidential.info and whbqt.info. While I registered both, I selected the latter since it is much easier to remember, shorter to key into one's browser window, and appeals to my cinematic sense of humor… think the Danny DeVito character, "Sid Hudgens," in the won­derful 1997 neo-noir, LA Confidential.

Then, in order to tie-in with my own sense of personal local history, On The Beach Blog was the logical title for this effort as I authored (under the sobriquet of "Waldo Lydecker") for 7½ years a column of that name in The Hamp­ton Chronicle-News during the disheveled '80s… remember Club Marakesh, the late night ice cream-eating throngs on the downtown sidewalks, and "Hizzoner Robert W. Morgan, Jr., 15th and Almost Final Mayor of Westhamp­ton Beach?" It was an interesting time for the Village, and the column's title was not only name-appropriate, but was a not-so-subtle reference to the 1959 film based on Nevil Shute's bleak post-nuclear novel.

That said, the rest of what is intended is a regular Blog about what's really happening "under the hood" in Westhampton Beach… stuff The Southampton Press Western Edition (gee, but The Hampton Chronicle was a grand old name!) doesn't, or for reasons best known to themselves won't, tell ya.

One of the prime motivations for my run for Village office earlier this year was that the local paper wasn't doing a very good job covering local Government. I reasoned that if I became a legitimate candidate, my critical views would be afforded a voice in the press. Then the week I had to file my nominating petition, The Press all of a sudden reverted to some of its earlier Chronicle glory days of Doug Love, Ann Nowak, Jim Nolan and Joe Louchheim (when he was a "cub reporter"), and began to call the Village Board out on their more egregious actions and misrepresentations.

I was delighted, but as I had already spent four days racing around collecting the required number of signatures to get on the ballot, I wasn't about to take the chance that The Press' suddenly rediscovered journalistic testicularity was a one-time event! Happily, it wasn't, and extended right through much of July when just as quickly they seemed to revert into their earlier "snooze mode." (More on some of the important stuff they "missed" as we go along.)

The Blog entries will be open for monitored comment, but my Blog, my rules. While I am not selective in my reading of the Constitution and am as supportive of the First Amendment as I am of the Second and the rest, critical comments are okay but I'm not going to allow profanity-laced tirades or spam to intrude.

And I also like to know who is actually con­tributing commentary… if there's anything I've learned from my seven decades in Westhamp­ton Beach, people will say anything about anyone "over the backfence" or across the morning tables of Eckart's or Bun'n'Burger, but they resolutely decline to be publicly identified as the speaker. While I don't think that way, I've come to accept it as the "local custom" of many of my neighbors and fellow long-time residents.

So here's the deal, wanna contribute some­thing to On The Beach Blog, fine. It can be published "anonymously" as long as I know you're a real person! I've done this on a much larger scale for many years writing an "insider" column for a national newspaper and also on my own 750+ page Website, and my first rule has been "Give no one up, ever!"

And if you don't like those conditions… as many won't… that's okay as well. Just don't expect me to have the courage of your con­victions if I don't know who you really are!

And that's all I have to say about that!

Dean Speir