On The Beach Blog | February 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A B-a-a-a-d Sign!

And we thought prices at the gas pumps were spiraling out of control!

Stopped in at Firehouse Pizza, class of the area pizza purveyors this evening for a slice of Sicilian... $2.50 + NYS Sales tax, and was ruminating about when a good slice of pizza in pre-Snack Tax New York City was 15¢ out the door. Proprietor Michael Araujo proceeded to drop the news that his 50 pound bags of high gluten Gold Medal All Trumps flour which were $12.00 just last Summer, had cost him $29.95 earlier that day!

Araujo lamented:

"Then the supplier told me, 'Stock up now 'cause it's gonna be $35 a bag by next week.' And don't even get me started with the cost of cheese!"

By July we'll probably be thinking back fondly of the $1.75 slice of plain ol' cheese pizza!

Who do we need to invade about that?

Oscar… the aftermath

Academy Award Statue yclept "Oscar"

On the upside, Sunday evening's annual orgy of Hollywood's back-patting didn't drag on as many have of recent, and we timed the ABC telecast at a relatively mod­est 18 minutes over schedule.

On the darker side... which, un­fortunately greatly out-weighed any pluses... host Jon Stewart wasn't very funny (in the parlance of comedic entertainers, he didn't "kill"), and the 2008 Academy Awards Show is destined to be­come known as "The Year of Omissions."

Aside from inexplicably blowing off previous Oscar telecast hosts such as Whoopi Goldberg and Steve Martin from a highlight montage... Mr. Martin has not been heard from on the matter, but Ms. Goldberg is distressed in the extreme. More...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Omar Little (1974-2008)

All in the game, yo. All in the game.
Michael K. Williams as "Omar Little"

One of the most complex and fascinating characters to ever grace the small screen, Omar Little as portrayed by Michael K. Williams over the past six years on HBO's The Wire, died Sunday night from a single gunshot to the rear of his head, delivered by a runt of a ten-year-old "corner kid" named Kenard, a street-hardened hopper in the employ of rising Bal'mur drug kingpin, Marlo "Black" Stanfield. More...

Thursday, February 21, 2008


The dreaded Eye-Con

Deputy Mayor James Kametler is again making unwelcomed news this week, this time in today's Southampton Press West­ern Edition. Page 3 has a story by Editor Frank Costanza about charges by former Deputy Mayor Tim Laube that Trustee Kametler direct­ed Village WebMaster Brian McGinnis to down­load the contents of Laube2008.com Website.

This would be wrong, of course, v-e-r-y wrong, as it is illegal for a municipal employee to be directed by an elected official to engage in any political activity, never mind using municipal equipment and on the Village clock. More...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

February Work Session

Not much of note at the Village Board Work Session this evening... former Westhampton Beach Village Attorney Richard T. Haefeli, who lists on his C.V. both Providence College and Saint John's University, was there to make a pitch on behalf of Hampton Synagogue for a special "Orthodox zone" (known as an "eruv") encompassing virtually all of the Eastern por­tion of the Village South of Montauk Highway and North of the barrier beach. More...


The Widow Heather, 2008 Grand Marshal

...to Sheryl Heather, Grand Marshal of the 2008 Westhampton Beach Saint Patrick's Parade.

An honor richly deserved!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's Grievance Day in the Village...

...and the view here is that there are going to be a fairly large number of angry commercial property owners who will be marching on Six Corners between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m with forms, facts and figures, attempting to make the case that their assessment is way too high.

Two of them have already spoken to me, irate over what they consider insane and near ruin­ous increases if the tax bill Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Christine Owen mails then this June is based on the new assessment figure they received earlier this month. More...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A neighbor bears witness

The dreaded Eye-Con

I've never had an opportunity to do it this way before, but since Jim Kamet­ler's neighbor, Dave Reilly, arguably the "instigator" of The Great Oak Street 'Possum Shooting Spree has not only written OtBB, but has identified himself for the record, we'll attempt a dialogue about this infamous incident.

Mr. Reilly wrote, among other things:

"I fear that your judgment is clearly clouded by your opinion of Jim." More...

Friday, February 15, 2008


United States Postal Service? I don't think so!

Okay, so when I was growing up, Westhamp­ton Beach post office was likely still sporting its original WPA coat of paint. More...

Thursday, February 14, 2008


...to Bill Pell and Sally Fitzsimons on their surprise Saint Valentine's Day nuptials.

The surprise was actually on the part of the bride, who arrived in Westhampton to visit her father, unaware that she was about to walk down the aisle, and later complained that she might have been given a heads-up so she might have "gotten a little dress­i­er."

(OtBB thinks she looks jus' fine!)

Bill Pell and Sally Fitzsimons - Photo by John Hoch

Photo by John Hoch

Actually, the Tuckahoe couple were wed long ago on a beach in the Caribbean, but as a special boon to the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. William J. Fitzsimons of Westhampton, Bill and Sally re-did the ritual, this time with benefit of Jesuit clergy.

Best wishes to the more official couple.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pan Mail, Part Deux

It's great... the "hits just keep on comin'."

But this isn't a Top 40 radio station, just a modest li'l blog, and of all that's been ad­dressed here over the past five months, the "Comments" part didn't start getting nasty 'til this week More...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Must be doin' something right

One can never be quite sure which was the most telling shot, but the anonymous "pan mail" has amped up of late. More...

Lincoln's Birthday

In keeping with the updating of Americana, we have a National holiday this month termed "Presidents' Day." Celebrated on the third Monday of February, its official designation is "Washington's Birthday" even though that milestone is actually February 22nd.

Although now formally observed only in the state of Illinois, February 12th, Lincoln's Birth­day honoring our 16th President, used to be a fairly big deal when I was growing up More...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Why I can't go West again

I used to tremble when driving into Rich Rubio's Westhampton Coachworks.

It was the pre-crash '80s, I had a BMW 325e, and the second I hit the apron, it was $250 just for openers... I couldn't get out of there for less than $500, for the love of Bernie Pastor! More...

Friday, February 08, 2008

An anniversary

Jim Kametler

There are few living things thought to be slower in the world than Westhampton Beach Deputy Mayor and former Police Officer James Kametler, and it was always assumed that the species of omnivorous marsupial known as the opossum (Didelphis virginiana), was one of them. More...

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Spotted by my bride of two weeks in the January 31st Southampton Press, a quote from the Empress of Oneck herself, Westhampton Beach Trustee Joan Levan, commenting on the Westhampton Beach Historical Society's plan to move the Foster Homestead from East Main Street to Mill Road:

"It's nice to see something preserved instead of demolished.

The irony here is that Mrs. Levan also serves as a Director of the Westhampton Free Library, and, of course, it is about to be demolished."

This one doesn't rank with her infamous "You're just quibbling about pennies" sound bite, but it's still note-worthy.

For my part, as the former "Gussie" Meeker house passes by on its way to its new location, I shall stand in reverence and softly warble a little ditty from 60 years ago my father used to sing whenever the stately Miss Meeker, wear­ing her ever-present Victorian horsehair hat perched atop her maidenly bun, putted by in her 1931 Chevrolet coupe on her journey to the Library where she served as the Village's first Librarian.

A Sighting to the North

Wasn't that Chef Gordon Ramsay revisiting the site of one of his better Hell's Kitchen epi­sodes Wednesday afternoon?

I'm not sure what this might portend for Buddy Mazzio and his sons at Finn McCool's... perhaps a follow-up segment, or maybe the subject under discussion was the very attractive but non-permitted ground sign the Fox network's production team presented the Mazzios, and installed for them!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

'Bout damn'd time!

Congratulations to Dan Russo, the newest member of the Southampton Town Board, who was this afternoon appointed to the vacancy created when Linda Kabot was elected to the position of Supervisor in November's General Election, leaving two years remaining in her Council term. More...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Murphy screws the PC pooch…

First off, I'm glad it wasn't me that did it!

Not that I haven't been capable of gross errors in Editorial Judgement over the decades, but what Rick Murphy, the irreverent Editor of The East End Independent, did last month, was something I don't think I would have done even in my most undisciplined early Journalist experience... my mind just doesn't work that way. More...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

It probably wouldn't have happened…

...if Max and Tom were still guardians of our beach! More...

Saturday, February 02, 2008

A day on the beach

With appropriate apologies to James Russell Lowell, "What is so rare as a day in February when one can comfortable walk upon the beach?" More...