On The Beach Blog | June 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008

A STAR Rises in East Quogue

And it's shining some troubling light on Mickey Chih, who has for the past three years execut­ed an affidavit, swearing under penalty of perjury that he is a bona-fide resident of 85 Montauk Highway, Westhampton Beach, in the 500 square foot apartment above his family's restaurant. More...

What a Knucklehead!

Dep'ty Mayor James Kametler, that's who!

In reporting on the recent... and still unde­cided... Village election in the June 27th Long Island Jewish World, David Gertler notes: More...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

June Planning Board Work Session

Updated 08/19/2008 - 12:45 pm

Thursday's Planning Board meeting, Ralph Neubauer Chairman, was of interest on several counts, not the least of which was that, al­though the item has been on the calender for the past four years by this count, the Hampton Synagogue, Kelly and Hulme, PC, James N. Hulme appearing for the applicant, was there.

Yes, the temple is finally ready to move for­ward with its proposal to convert their single family Rabbi's dwelling... More...

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Press Conference That Wasn't

Updated 06/28/2008 - 1:51 pm

The dreaded Eye-Con

What if someone called a Press Conference... and no one showed up?

Or, what if someone called a Press Con­fer­ence... and then had to call everyone back and tell them the Press Conference was off? More...

Me 'n' Jean meet again

...and that's "Jean" as in Schweibish, as op­posed to "Jeanne," my wife.

Nearly 14 months after she last wrote The Southampton Press Western Edition to heap opprobrium on me, Ms. Schweibish did it again in yes­ter­day's edition in a Letter to the Editor captioned "Cheap shot." More...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Imagine my surprise!

Updated 06/26/2008 - 7:08 pm

Yesterday, in pursuing a copy of the Police Report filed by restaurateur Johnny Chih on his visitation by Joanna (Mrs. John) Roland, I came across two filed on me.

One I knew about... #08-1003 was filed April 28th by one Carol S. Meyer, wife of Dep'ty Mayor Jim Kametler, and was a complaint about the photo which appeared in the OtBB entry of April 23. More...

This just in from the Beltway

The Supreme Court of the United States, in D.C. v. Heller, has just affirmed that the Second Amendment does protect an individual right to possess a firearm.

This decision will be met with gnashing of teeth by the Tim Bishop Liberals, and hyster­ical allusions to "the Wild West" by the main stream media.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Updates II

Item: Tension builds as USPS again fails to deliver any delayed Absentee Ballots.

Item: On the important but nearly forgotten matter of the status of the now-former West­hampton Beach Alliance for the Separation of Church and State as an unregistered Political Action Committee, attorney David Falkner is in the process of (belatedly) handling the paper­work for the ad hoc group of anti-eruv activ­ists who are taking credit, through their most vocal member Irene Barrett, for the First Hampton Party's success at the polls last week. More...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Updates

The back-fence rumor-mongers are hard at it, so let's put paid to one of the more egregious.

Item: No, Lucyna Pawlak has as of this hour, not expired, and while police have yet to close their investigation, only those wearing tinfoil beanies actually think that the events of last Saturday morning on Seafield were staged to look like an "Attempted Murder/Sui­cide," and that's there's still a maniac lurking about the area, looking to burn us in our beds. More...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Someone's mad as hell!

And he's letting everyone at the West end of Dune Road know just how upset he is.

His name is Richard Agins, the attorney who was running unopposed for Village Justice of West Hampton Dunes last week... and lost!

There is precedent for this type of thing, even locally. A lady in Quogue lost her school board seat this way back in the '90s, and father of the current Village Justice, the late Bob Kelly ousted long-time Justice Tom Beasley in a similar manner almost 30 years ago. More...

And the re-canvas sez:

Updated 06/23/2008 - 01:25 pm

Westhampton Beach Village Board challenger John Roland is only down by one, with unde­livered absentee ballots anticipated between now and the Friday (June 27) cut-off date.

While some now focus on the issue of ineligible voters being allowed to cast their ballots, More...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Save the gas, spare the road

Especially the newly resurfaced Seafield Lane. You can stop driving down to "see the place where it happened," 'cause unless you trespass, this is all there is to look at:

The scene of the suspected arson. Click for more images.

The is the caretaker's cottage from which the unconscious and burned Mrs. Pawlak More...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tomorrow's NY Times today

Sunday's headline on the front page of The New York Times Long Island section reads:

Orthodox Jews' Request Divides Resort Village

The story leads with a recitation of the full page advertisement in the The Southampton Press Western Edition of June 12 taken by The Westhampton Beach Al­liance for the Separa­tion of Church and State. More...

Sad Event on Seafield

Updated 06/22/2008 - 6:45 am

Tragedy struck Westhampton Beach for the second time in less than 12 hours Saturday morning when firematic apparatus, then ambulances, then the Suffolk County Arson Investigation Squad, the Homicide unit and finally two Crime Scene vans responded to the O'Brien Estate on Seafield Lane just above Sunswyck. More...

Friday, June 20, 2008

And the winners are:

Updated 06/21/2008 - 9:32 am

At least the preliminary ones at this point:

Unofficial results of the 2008
Westhampton Beach Village Election
Office Candidate Votes
Mayor Conrad Teller 386 
Mayor Tim Laube 265 
Trustee James Kametler 323 
Trustee Toni-Jo Birk 424 
Trustee John Roland 321 
Trustee Elyse Richman 74 

Mayor Conrad Teller managed to pull his old patrolman James Kametler through by the skin of his Village-insured teeth, with two votes separating the Deputy Mayor and challenger John Roland.

But wait! More...

The Clampetts

It's become something of an election day tra­di­tion, the Angelo dela Fuente motor home in the front yard of Bike'n'Kite. More...

The Case against Jim Kametler

I mean, does any more of a case really need to be made?!? More...

Sighting

If anyone wondered what that strange pinkish slick was on the waters of Aspatuck Creek yesterday... on the East side half way between Turkey Bridge and Cranberry Marsh... it was the contents if Irene Barrett's skull More...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Indecision at the top

For someone who decided rather late in the process to formally run for Mayor of West­hampton Beach against popular incumbent Conrad Teller, Tim Laube has, with Mr. Teller's help, made his case fairly well. More...

The Case Against Toni-Jo Birk

It's a simple one.

First term Trustee Toni-Jo Birk was played by the two former law enforcement members of the Village Board, got in over her head with the Police Department, and is now being played by the rank'n'file. More...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Case Against Tim Laube

Updated 06/19/2008 - 9:58 am

Not that there's not one to be made, because there is.

But it's not in the mailing piece hitting Village mailboxes today in an envelope identified only as coming from "First Hampton Party" with no return address or other markings. A 42¢ First Class stamp is affixed, so no mailing permit is utilized. More...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Meanwhile, down on Dune Road:

Updated 06/18/2008 - 12:25 PM

…the conflicted little Incorporated Village of West Hampton Dunes held their municipal elections today, and surprise!   More...

Just askin'

What were four members of the Westhampton Beach Police Department doing behind closed doors with Mayor Conrad Teller late this after­noon when the PBA contract with the Village doesn't expire for another year?

Does it have anything to do with the fact that the Village election is three days away? What will this ultimately cost the taxpayers?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Why is the Alliance Lying?

Updated 06/17/2008 - 9:56 am

It is not hard to understand the distrust many have of anything promulgated by the Hamp­tons Synagogue as the distaste for Rabbi Marc Schneier's ego-centric style and self-serving pronouncements have been grating on the Westhampton Beach community for the past two decades. More...

The eruv after the politics

Once Trustees Joan Levan and Toni-Jo Birk decided to vie for "leadership status" on the Hampton Synagogue's request for the Village Board's "blessing" for an eruv chatzerot, that the application would become an issue of con­troversy was preordained. More...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

So, Jim…

...which is it?

The story you told in today's Newsday?

"Kametler admits his wife tried to run such a (bed-and-breakfast) establishment a year ago, but is no longer in the business."

Or what you told the attorney who purportedly drafted your Cease and Desist letter?

"Ms. Meyer and Mr. Kametler have never operated, nor do they currently operate, a bed & breakfast at 27{sic} Oak Street."

I mean, c'mon, Mr. Deputy Mayor... which is it?

Mixed messages on the eruv

Even though the Hampton Synagogue's application to estab­lish an eruv chatzerot en­compassing a sizable chunk of "mainland" Westhampton Beach South of the Highway, has been on-hold for the past month, thanks to a full page advertisement in the current South­ampton Press Western Edition, it is again on full roil. More...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Scooped!

...O, the shame!

The Southampton Press Western Edition's Jessica DiNapoli has beaten OtBB on a story about itself.

What are we to make of this?

Friday, June 13, 2008

The eruv before the politics

Another frequent OtBB reader has posed a fairly good inquiry, certainly good enough to take some time to explore.

"It is not within the purview of the Village Board to deny the eruv, is it? The first newspaper articles about the eruv stated words to the effect that it was Jewish tradition to ask the municipality for More...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Who's Duping Whom?

Alerted last evening by an OtBB regular to the full page adv. (page A6) in this morning's Southampton Press Western Edition placed by the "Westhampton Beach Alliance for the Separation of Church and State," it was this morning's first order of business. More...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Overheard...

...at the Southampton Cultural Center following Sunday's debate between candidates for the Southampton Village Board:

"Damn, I never realized that all this was going on in our little Village."
"Well, at least we're not Westhampton Beach!"
"Right! 'Crookhampton.'"

Nice! Thanks, Jim.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Campaign Letter

Updated 06/11/2008 - 7:23 pm

We knew it was coming so it was simply a matter of when… the 2008 Election campaign mailing(s).

First sighting was a "joint letter" from incumbent Trustees Toni-Jo Birk and Deputy Mayor James Kametler. More...

O, my!

"Local Blogger Busts A Local Politico." Imagine that!

Can Newsday and The New York Times... and the inevitable Grand Jury investigation... be far behind?

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Back Fence

It is said that in life there are only two certain­ties... More...

Stonewalling…

Mayor Conrad Teller recently told The Press' Jessica DiNapoli that the allegations raised against his running mate "have no basis of fact at the current time," adding:

"…law is law, and someone has to prove [that] someone stayed at the house, that they did pay, and that they did get breakfast¹…"

…in order to establish that Mr. Kametler had violated Westhampton Beach code. More...

Friday, June 06, 2008

That Potato Farmer Quote

The story made the rounds at the speed of Eckart's-to-Bun'n'Burger-and-across-the-back-fence right after the Village Election two year ago, but of course whoever bothered to actually read the Cindy Adams column on page 14 edition of the June 21, 2006 NY Post, either move their lips when they read "Garfield," or didn't want to spoil a good fable.

The fence whisperers were agog: More...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

June Village Board Meeting

Yes, Deputy Mayor James Kametler did show up for this evening's well-attended Trustees meet­ing... no "blue flu" for the candidate, al­though, from his haggard appearance, had he pleaded illness, few would have disagreed.

Trustee Joan Levan listens in incredulous alarm as Deputy Mayor Jim Kametler stumbles for answers

And no, More...

'I see by the paper...'

Time to put on my Gabriel Heatter cap again, and comment on several items in this week's Southampton Press Western Edition. More...

Will he or won't he...

...show up tonight?

"He," of course, is beleaguered (by his own cupidity) Deputy Mayor James Kametler, he of the illegal bed and breakfast at his residence at 24 Oak Street... and other transgressions reported on here and in The Southampton Press Western Edition. More...

All Hail…

Detroit Red Wings

...the Detroit Red Wings, 2007-2008 Stanley Cup champions for the 11th time.

This is my time of the (sports) year, and the Detroits have been my hockey team since the '51-'52 season!

To hell with the Deputy Mayor and Village politics this night!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

An on-going enterprise…

Deputy Mayor James Kametler's wife, Carol S. Meyer, as recently as January of this year, was operating, without benefit of Village permit or Suffolk County license, their premises at 24 Oak Street as a commercial inn or lodging.

In that instance, Ms. Meyer charged a reduc­ed rate of $127, the maximum per diem allowable by the General Services Adminstra­tion for the U.S. Government contractors who were participating in a program sponsored by the Westhampton Beach Fire District. More...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Making the rounds…

…across the tables of Bun'n'Burger and Eck­art's, and over the back fences of Westhamp­ton Beach is an untimely whiff of impropriety within the Village Department of Public Works.

scene of the crime DPW employee Roni Mills

The Who, the What and the Where are known, and the Why can be readily surmised.

What is unclear is the When, only that it occurred on a Satur­day within the past month.

Department of Public Works Superintendent George Gordon

Both Mayor Conrad Teller and DPW Superintendent George Gordon are said to have been made aware of one of the offenses after the fact, but it is un­clear what action is being contemplated at present by the Village Board.

The "untimely" part is that the issue is surfac­ing in the midst of the re-election campaigns of Trustees James Kametler (whose political baggage is already bursting at the seams) and Toni-Jo Birk, and Mr. Teller.

Village gas pumps behind the old police station

While the Mayor's popularity makes him a pro­hibitive favorite in the June 20th election, Public Works is a Village department which not only seemed untainted by controversy, but is felt to be a personal favorite of Mr. Teller's.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Errors

One Corrected...

In the April Village Board Meeting OtBB entry, it was incorrectly reported that Village Trustee Joan Levan was one of two Board Members who had abstained from voting on the final tax assessment roll:

"The Empress of Oneck apparently learned her lesson from last year, and won't have to lie about whether or not she voted for her own assessment reduction this time around."

In point of fact, it was Deputy Mayor James Kametler who abstained from voting on the final assessment roll. Mrs. Levan, not having received a reduction this year, would have had no reason to abstain.

Which raises the question of why Trustee Jim Kametler would feel the need to abstain.

One To Be Corrected...

A comparison of the Tentative 2008 Village Roll with the Final (adopted) Tax Roll reveals not only the answer, but a disturbing in­con­sistency related to the property involved, a 0.45-acre parcel at 24 Oak Street owned by the Deputy Mayor's wife, Carol S. Meyer.

24 Oak street

Initially assessed at $691,400 in January of this year, Ms. Meyer, as is her absolute right as a citizen of the Village, grieved that amount and was successful in obtaining more than an 11½% reduction to $611,600... which is why her husband, quite properly, abstained from the vote.

The disturbing part is that while inspecting the Tentative and Final Assessment Rolls under a Freedom of Information Law request, it was noticed that Ms. Meyer's property code is listed as "210 - Residential," despite they fact that she and her husband have for at least seven years been advertising it as "24 Oak Street Bed & Breakfast."

That sort of even partial commercial use means that Ms. Meyer's classification code should be "418 - Inns, Lodges, Boarding and Rooming Houses..." and as an income-producing property, taxed at a higher rate.

(And before the Deputy Mayor starts blathering about how they aren't really operating a "Bed & Breakfast" because "we don't serve break­fast,") he should note that the full definition of 418 reads:

"Sleeping accommodations with or without meals or kitchen privileges."

Exactly how much money Trustee Kametler and his wife are saving with their unwarranted "210" classification is unknown since the Tax Assessor's Office states that their assessment would be based on the amount of income the property produces, or is capable of producing.

But it'll be a substantial sum or they probably wouldn't be expending such effort to hide the actual nature of 24 Oak Street from the authorities.

This is just something else the rest of the Village Board needs to address with their wayward colleague.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sexual jealousy did him in

Deputy Mayor James Kametler

The end of Deputy Mayor Jim Kam­etler's law enforcement career in Westhampton Beach is the stuff of Greek tragedy… he let his personal "baggage" override his professional responsibilities.

Not that the "final straw" was a new problem with the sworn officer, as the reports of the man, while in uniform and supposedly on a tour of duty, doing his private business were numerous over the years he was "on the job." More...