12/31/13 12:00pm
12/31/2013 12:00 PM
CYNDI MURRAY FILE PHOTO  |  A group of politicians are protesting the sale of Plum Island Animal Disease Research Center.

CYNDI MURRAY FILE PHOTO | Town leaders eliminated any chance of overdevelopment on Plum Island this year, earning a thumbs up from this paper.

A focus on deer

What has four legs, a white tail and is considered a “public health crisis”?

At this point, it’s probably clear the answer is deer.

With frustrations coming to a boiling point over the damage the animals cause to crops, health and cars, local officials took more action this year than in recent memory to get the deer population in check.

An ad hoc group was formed to bring numbers down, legislators lobbied a state assemblyman from Lindenhurst to move on a bill he’s kept in a key committee and, before long, the federal government is expected to bring in a team of sharpshooters to cull the herd and reduce the crisis.

Rotten to the Common Core

New York State has agreed to adopt high-stakes testing and controversial teacher evaluation systems tied to Common Core State Standards for a one-time installment of $700 millions in federal Race to the Top grant money. That’s less than 3 percent of what the state spends in a single year on education, experts say. Hardly seems worth the money to tie ourselves to a system that, at best, may help already college-bound kids attend marginally better colleges but will likely cause at-risk youths, English language learners and students with disabilities to fail in school in even greater numbers. Since the overhaul wasn’t created by legislation, lawmakers can, and do, deflect blame.

Protecting Plum Island’s future

It’s not often these days that a town can zone more than 800 acres without writing over existing zoning. But that happens to be the case with Plum Island, the home of a federal animal disease research center that has been in headlines for years since the federal government decided in 2008 to close the lab, sell the land and use the proceeds to pay for the cost of a new $1.1 billion facility in Kansas.

While visions of golf courses, casinos and high-end resorts have danced in the heads of some at the thought of such a large space, town leaders eliminated any possibility of overdevelopment on Plum Island with the zoning it enacted this year.

No clam chowder for you

It’s hard to imagine a Greenport Maritime Festival without a chowder contest. But that’s what we got this year.

In what organizers called an effort to better reflect Greenport’s legacy as an oystering community, this year’s Maritime Festival instead featured hundreds of oysters paired with local wine and beer.

The move didn’t sit well with locals who questioned why the committee felt oysters are so much more important to our heritage than clams.

We agree the move was short-sighted and only stood to rob people of an event they look forward to each year. Apparently the committee has come around on the issue and the chowder contest will be back for 2014.

A good first step for Dems

The Southold Town Democratic Committee deserves some credit for producing a nearly full slate of candidates this year.

While they caught some grief from this newspaper for not putting together the most qualified bunch, we’d be remiss not to at least acknowledge that the committee worked hard to give Southold residents a choice this year.

It was a good step forward for the party and, we hope a sign of even better things to come in a town where voters too often haven’t had any choice at all in many races.

09/24/13 6:05pm
09/24/2013 6:05 PM
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Contestants in the Little Merfolk Contest participate in the parade at the Greenport Maritime Festival Saturday.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Contestants in the Little Merfolk Contest participate in the parade at the Greenport Maritime Festival Saturday.

For the first time this year, the Greenport Maritime Festival hosted a “Little Merfolk” contest featuring several dozen children between the ages of 5 and 12 dressed as mermaids.

Seven-year-old Kaitlyn Heath of Southold won Best in Show for her seashell encrusted creation. Other winners included Claire McKenzie, 5, for Most Creative costume, Olivia Kennedy, 11, for Best Use of Seashells and Arielle Rothman, 11, for Best Organic/Handmade costume.

Area youth also competed in a snapper derby fishing contest during the festival. The winners were:

Ages 8 and under

1st place — Chase Horne  —  6.7 oz.

2nd place — Ben Amadio  — 3.9 oz.

3rd place — Andrew Larson —  3.4 oz.

Ages 9 to 16

1st place — Ally Boyle — 5.8 oz.

2nd place — Anthony Pennachio — 5.2 oz.

3rd place — Aniah Thompson — 4.5 oz.

WEGO Fishing in Southold provided great prizes for the kids, including spinning snapper poles, a variety of snapper lures and poppers, and t-shirts.

09/23/13 9:04am
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Local kids had a chance to enjoy some maritime crafts at the festival this weekend.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Local kids had a chance to enjoy some maritime crafts at the festival this weekend.

East End Seaport Museum and the Village of Greenport hosted the 24th annual Maritime Festival this weekend.

The festival featured ship tours, artisan craft vendors, live music, pirate shows, boat races, children’s storytelling, contests, demonstrations and exhibits. Lighthouse tours to ‘Bug’ Light will take place at 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

New events this year, both in Mitchell Park, included the children’s Little Merfolk contest and an oyster shucking demonstration and exhibit.

09/21/13 4:55pm
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Face painting at the 2013 Greenport Maritime Festival.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Face painting at the 2013 Greenport Maritime Festival.

The East End Seaport & Maritime Foundation and the Village of Greenport hosted the 24th annual Maritime Festival Saturday under sometimes cloudy, sometimes sunny skies.

Thousands flocked to the Village to enjoy antique boat displays, craft vendors and the traditional parade. Local restaurants offered up food and drink, and pirates roamed the streets.

Over two dozen mermaids and mermen took part in a Little Merfolk costume contest which was won by seven-year-old Kaitlyn Heath of Southold.

The festival continues with fireworks at 9 p.m. tonight and a full day of activities on Sunday.

SEE MORE PHOTOS AT NORTHFORKER.COM

09/20/13 5:00pm
09/20/2013 5:00 PM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | A young pirate at the 2012 Greenport Maritime Festival. This year’s event begins today and continues through the weekend.

Maritime Festival events schedule

Annual Greenport event runs all weekend long

FRIDAY, SEPT. 20 – SUNDAY, SEPT. 22

The East End Seaport Museum and the Village of Greenport will welcome maritime ships all weekend as a main attraction of Greenport’s annual Maritime Festival. The ships will be docked at Mitchell Park Marina’s fixed piers and will be open for viewing, tours and sailaways from approximately 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. An information booth will also be located in Mitchell Park. This year’s festival will celebrate Greenport Village and the East End’s “Land & Sea.”

FRIDAY, SEPT. 20

10 a.m. 

Ship Viewing, Tours and Sailaways • Maritime Museum • Railroad Museum • Blacksmith Shop  • Carousel • Camera Obscura

All open to the public

6–9 p.m.

Land and Sea Reception: A Taste of Greenport

East End Seaport Museum

SATURDAY, SEPT. 21

All day

Classic, Ice and Small Boats

Mitchell Park

10 a.m.

Blessing of the Oyster Fleet

Railroad Dock, foot of Third Street

11 a.m.–noon

Opening Day Parade and Blessing of Waters

Mitchell Park Marina and
Main and Front Streets

11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Captain Kidd’s Craft Alley • Treasure Chest • Roaming Pirates • Children’s Storytelling • Plein Air Art Show • North Fork First Responders Demo and Exhibit • Artisan Vendors and Demos • Maritime Museum • Railroad Museum • Blacksmith Shop • Carousel • Camera Obscura (all open to the public)

A Taste of the East End Food Court

Main Street and Central Avenue

Long Island Band Organ

Main Street and Central Avenue

Noon-6 p.m.

Oyster Shucking Demonstration and Exhibit

Front Street, in front of Mitchell Park

Noon

Little Merfolk Contest

Mitchell Park

1 p.m. 

Constant Wonder Children’s Program

Mitchell Park

Pie-Baking Contest

Main Street

2 p.m.

Lyrical Children’s Program

Mitchell Park

BBQ Bill’s Watermelon and Rib-Eating Contest

Front Street

3 p.m.

Tattoo Contest

Mitchell Park

Kayak Derby & Demos

Harborfront

A Mermaid’s Tale of Greenport by Gail Horton

Old School House

4 p.m.

Music

Foot of Main Street

4-6 p.m.

“Bug Light” Cruise

Seaport Museum – Railroad Dock

9 p.m.

Fireworks over Greenport Harbor

Mitchell Park Marina

SUNDAY, SEPT. 22

All Day

Classic, Ice and Small Boats

Mitchell Park

11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Captain Kidd’s Craft Alley • Treasure Chest • Roaming Pirates • Children’s Storytelling • Plein Air Art Show • North Fork First Responders Demo and Exhibit • Artisan Vendors and Demos • Maritime Museum • Railroad Museum • Blacksmith Shop • Carousel • Camera Obscura (all open to the public)

A Taste of the East End Food Court

Main Street and Central Avenue

Noon-6 p.m.

Oyster Shucking Demonstration and Exhibit

Front Street, in front of Mitchell Park

Noon

Lyrical Children’s Program.

Mitchell Park

Dory Race and Water Sports

Harborfront

1–2 p.m. 

Snapper Fishing Contest, ages 8 and under

Mitchell Park

1-4 p.m.

Music Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks, sponsored by WPKN

Mitchell Park

2–3 p.m.

Snapper Fishing Contest, ages 9–16

Mitchell Park

2–4 p.m.

Music

Foot of Main Street

4–6 p.m.

“Bug Light” Cruise

Seaport Museum – Railroad Dock

4 p.m.

Festival Raffle Drawing

Mitchell Park

4:30 p.m.

Eastern Long Island Hospital Raffle Drawing

Mitchell Park

5 p.m.  

Festival Closing

5-8 p.m.

“Flights of Fancy/Part 2” Art Exhibit and Wine Tasting

The Sirens’ Song Gallery, Main Street

09/19/13 12:00pm
09/19/2013 12:00 PM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | The crew from the Blue Canoe giving out samples of their chowder during last year’s festival.

Despite a valiant effort by the Greenport Farmers’ Market, the chowder contest won’t be making a return to this year’s Maritime Festival in Greenport.

With the blessing of festival organizers, manager KiKi Hurst rushed to confirm enough contestants after a grassroots effort to bring back the contest. But putting the pieces back together in just over a week before the festival proved unfeasible.

“Everyone was so interested it just came down to logistics,” Ms. Hurst said. “When the contest was called off restaurants picked up other things instead. They just didn’t have enough man power.”

Ms. Hurst said she and fellow residents were inspired to bring back the long-running competition after the East End Seaport Museum decided to replace it with an oyster shucking event for the first time this year.

Last month, Seaport Museum chairman Ron Breuer said the move was not only an effort to better reflect Greenport’s legacy as an oystering community, but also because of the burdensome preparations of organizing the contest. Participating restaurants were responsible for preparing up to 25 gallons of chowder each, not to mention delivering and properly heating it during the contest, Mr. Breuer said.

Establishing a space and covering the expense of renting tents to house the competition was also problematic.

Ms. Hurst said the Farmers’ Market already has lot of the necessary elements needed to host the contest, such as tables and tents. Time, however, was not on their side.

“The Farmer’s Market made a very strong effort,” Mr. Breuer said. “It looks like it will be an event next year.”

Both Ms. Hurst and Mr. Breuer said they fully intend to bring back the chowder competition for future festivals.

“It’s a good fundraiser for everyone and it’s a lot of fun,” Ms. Hurst said. “We’re excited for it to return next year.”

The 24th annual Maritime Festival is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday with the opening reception Friday night.

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