Hardy Plumbing
January 19, 2011


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Stop Fighting

Last week's cover drew a lot of attention and for good reason -- folks in Southampton fear the partisan bickering going on at town hall negatively effects the town board's ability to govern effectively.

On one hand, Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Councilwoman Bridget Fleming are in the minority, and they feel they are getting muscled – and they are. But they need to come to grips with that reality. Yes, the Southampton majority gave a party operative a cushy job, and it was a disgraceful display of putting politics over the people. It's done, and it's time to move on. The people will ultimately decide how egregious the error was.

The Republicans, by virtue of their elections, owe a debt to the voters of this community. The way to repay it is to govern for the good of the people, not the party. Throne-Holst is a dedicated leader – there is no reason why she shouldn't have bipartisan approval for the bulk of her initiatives. The griping, sniping, and snipping going on needs to stop, and stop now. All concerned should realize this is an election year – and voters across the country have shown little patience for incumbent politicians who don't hear their voices.

Let's Rock

It's hard to believe after hearing all the brouhaha coming out of Amagansett, but staging rock concerts is hardly unique to this part of the world. Just three years ago five of the biggest acts in the world played on five of the busiest Saturdays of the summer at The Ross School. The town granted permits in the quiet of the off-season under then-Supervisor Bill McGintee, and nary a word of protest was heard except from a few charities that were concerned the draw of the concert would hurt fund raising events.

Social, the name of the promoter, turned out to be the creation of Joe Meli and his Bulldog Entertainment.

Prince, Dave Mathews, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the others came and went without a ripple, thank you. No one urinated in public, no one was arrested for sleeping on the beach, and the town wasn't overrun by teenagers or hippies.

A proposed two day concert in Amagansett this August is much smaller in scope, but the feeling lingers the two Sag Harbor promoters don't have the money or experience to pull it off.

As it turns out Warner Music Group quietly financed the whole enchilada, paying the acts a million dollars apiece and maybe more. Ross School officials said they were merely leasing space to the promoters and were not involved in the actual production, though the founder of Ross School is the widow of former of a former CEO of Time Warner. As it turned out WMG reportedly took a $30 million hit on the project.

Perhaps there is a deep-pocket sponsor or promoter waiting in the wings with the big bucks needed to make the Amagansett concerts happen as well. It really doesn't matter, though, as long as the $100,000 earmarked for local charities is put up before the music starts playing.

Neighbors have a right to be heard. Their voices are being drowned out by those who oppose the concerts for political reasons. Baseless rumors are now being repeated as fact, by the same people who insisted Bill McGintee did nothing wrong, by the same people who oppose everything the current town board does. Their concerns would carry more weight if they stuck to the facts. Comparing this concert to Woodstock, for example, is silly, as is the business of people urinating all over. As for the hordes of young people who would descend on the town, we envision a sea of Ralph Lauren clad older folk with tangerine and puce cashmere sweaters draped across their shoulders. We don't envision any public tinkling – it might splash on their Italian loafers.

As for traffic, between the train, private busses, and car pooling it should be bearable. It is not true Montauk Highway is the only exit way – cars can head north, eventually to Abrahams Path and points west, including Sag Harbor, Scuttlehole, and Noyac. We also suspect most of the attendees will already be here and not coming from points west.

Anyway if Billy Joel, the promoters' first choice, is the headliner, we'd be more worried about him driving to and fro than anyone else.

We hope the promoters have been candid and upfront about their plans and goals – and where all this money is really coming from. That said, Count us in. We're hoping it will be a fun event. It's the summer, and we're an international vacation resort – we should have world class entertainment we can all enjoy.

  1. print email
    Makes Sense
    January 20, 2011 | 06:45 PM

    This makes some sense --a lot of the attendees will be locals and yes we can drive out via Abraham's Path. It will also really help all the stores in Amagansett from Brents right to the IGA. But it will still be an intrusion on those of us who live here. Why not have it in Sag Harbor?

    Becky in Amagansett
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    Amagansett Concert
    January 21, 2011 | 07:24 AM

    I agree with the editorial. I live within a stones throw of where the concert will take place, and see this as a win all the way around on a few conditions (I think the promoter has agreed to these conditions, but am not entirely certain about that)
    1. The money must be be bonded up front (This guarantees the $100,000 promised to be set aside for various charities)
    2. The promoters pay all fees incurred for town assistance (police etc....)

    So you may ask, how is that a win all the way around?

    Local business would see a substantial rise in sales for that two day period, anyone who thinks otherwise is not being honest with themselves.
    The charitable organizations would see much needed additional funds to support their efforts in our community
    The taxpayer are not paying the fees for town assistance for the event

    I believe the misinformation being spread is designed to incite fear, rage, and is a negative campaign to crush something that will benefit many in this community. It is about time we got rid of the "Not in my back yard" mentality, and begin to embrace ways in which we can better meet the needs of those in our community. I live in the back yard this time around and I welcome the concert event!

    One last thought - I haven't seen or heard about the disbursement of of the $100,000 to the various charities. I would like to see the promoters provide a detailed listing of the charities that will receive donations, and those charities that declined to receive donations.

    Bob in Amagansett
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    Let's Rock
    January 21, 2011 | 07:51 PM

    If I owned a store around town I'd love this event. These old biddies who oppose it are like witches , their gnarly faces twisted in permanent sneers. Go away you harbingers of doom! Let the music play!

    Alice Conroy Amag. resident
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    Say No
    January 24, 2011 | 07:52 PM

    As a summer resident of Amagansett I oppose this invasive intrusion. I enjoy the relative peace of walking on Main Street window shopping. I don't want to get in a traffic jam going to the Farmers market. I don't want to hear rock and roll while I'm sitting peacefully in my backyard on Saturday night. There is no benefit for me or my family or my neighbors. This may seem selfish, sorry. You pay this kind of rental price to pamper yourself, reward yourself for work done well. I don't care about two guys from Sag Harbor. Let them have a concert there.

    Jane Forester
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