Featured Story
08/07/17 10:00am
REPORTER FILE PHOTO|

REPORTER FILE PHOTO|

Friends of Fresh Pond
To the Editor:
Recent news reports on Fresh Pond partly misrepresent my positions. (more…)

Featured Story
08/05/16 2:00pm
REPORTER FILE PHOTO The Center Post Office.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO The Center Post Office.

Center P.O.  comes through
To the Editor:
Given recent reports about abysmal service at the Center Post Office, I am pleased to report that my own experience was exactly the opposite. (more…)

Featured Story
10/07/14 2:00pm
JULIE LANE PHOTO | Linda McCarthy and Hap Bowditch told the WMAC Monday night dredging of Menantic Creek is a matter of safety.

JULIE LANE PHOTO |
Linda McCarthy and Hap Bowditch told the WMAC Monday night dredging of Menantic Creek is a matter of safety.

More than 70 property owners with direct access to Menantic Creek area are seeking advice about how to get Suffolk County to dredge an area they say is almost always impassable. (more…)

05/21/13 2:59pm

FILE PHOTO

A fast acting crew aboard a South Ferry boat Sunday afternoon averted a crisis when a vehicle belonging to Josh Horton of Horton Dredge & Dock of Greenport caught fire about 2:30 p.m.

The ferry was loading in North Haven when Eric Curko, who is a new South Ferry captain just completing his training, smelled smoke. He called Captain Scott Overstreet, who was directing traffic onto the ferry and the two men quickly began backing vehicles off the ferry. They then grabbed fire extinguishers and put out the fire, according to South Ferry CEO Cliff Clark. Captain Mike Scheibel was in charge of the boat at the time, Mr. Clark said.

The Sag Harbor Fire Department arrived on site, but by the time they got there, they just needed to check out the truck to confirm that the fire was out, Mr. Clark said.

Because of the quick response by the crew members, there were no injuries and no damage to the boat, Mr. Clark said.

He noted that crews on both South and North ferries are well trained in how to respond to such emergencies.

While the boats are certified by the United States Coast Guard, the ferry services have no control over the condition of the vehicles they take aboard, Mr. Clark said. He said his brother, Bill Clark, who was with the United States Coast Guard for 30 years, oversees the training function for his crew members while Captain Mike Mundy, a former member of the Shelter Island Fire Department, is South Ferry’s training officer.

“It was a textbook operation by the crew,” Mr. Clark said.

Since he got involved with the family company back in 1976, he said there have been a handful of fires, all contained quickly.

Mr. Horton wasn’t available for comment.

03/22/12 10:00am

GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | A North Ferry vessel makes a run from Shelter Island to Greenport Monday morning. North Ferry GM Bridge Hunt said he'd welcome a water taxi proposal connecting Greenport with Sag Harbor.

Two Shelter Island-based ferry companies aren’t too worried that a proposed Greenport-Sag Harbor water taxi will hurt their business. In fact, they welcome a new route linking the North and South forks.

North Ferry general manager Bridge Hunt, whose ferry connects Shelter Island with Greenport Village, said he believes the new water taxi will create another destination for his passengers.

“If we can connect people to another transportation connection, then that’s a plus for us,” Mr. Hunt said. “We’ll do our thing. They are going to do their thing … One more transportation connection is a win-win.”

The plan, proposed by Jim Ryan of Response Marine and Hampton Jitney president Geoffrey Lynch, would include shuttle bus service to and from the water taxis. The 35-minute boat ride between the two forks would hug the western shoreline of Shelter Island. During bad weather, an alternative route would move along the island’s eastern side.

One-way tickets would cost $11 and round-trips $20.

South Ferry owner Cliff Clark, whose boats run between Shelter Island and North Haven, said he first proposed linking Greenport Village and Sag Harbor Village about 12 years ago.

At the time, Mr. Clark said, he had support from former Greenport mayor Dave Kapell and even received federal funding to help pay for the project. But Sag Harbor Village, which bars ferries, shot down his idea.

“We didn’t want to be a bad neighbor, so we backed down,” Mr. Clark said.

Although Mr. Clark said he doesn’t know how a Greenport-Sag Harbor water taxi will affect his business, he described the plan as positive for the East End.

“It may cause people that would never go to Sag Harbor to discover a new community,” he said. “I know Jeff and Jim will do a good job.”

While Mr. Ryan and Mr. Lynch are facing the same legal hurdle Mr. Clark did, Sag Harbor Village is showing more interest in the plan this time around.

Sag Harbor Village Clerk Beth Kamper said the Village Board agreed last week to schedule a public hearing in April to discuss amending its code in order to allow a water taxi pilot program to start this summer.

Now that its South Fork neighbor appears to be on board, the Greenport Village Board has warmed up to the water taxi proposal. But some details still need to be ironed out before the village signs off on the plan.

During a March 16 public hearing Village Board  members expressed the concern that water taxi passengers could fill up municipal parking lots. Mr. Lynch said at the meeting that he’s working on a parking agreement with the Greenport School District. If approved, Hampton Jitney would provide shuttle service between the school and the dock.

After Mr. Ryan and Mr. Lynch presented their case during the hearing, David Berson, owner of the electric boat Glory, was the lone speaker during the public comment portion. Mr. Berson said he’s concerned about the ferry’s potential negative effect on the bay and asked that an environmental study be completed before the plan moves forward.

After the hearing, Mr. Nyce reminded the public that anyone who could not attend the hearing can still submit written comments on the plan.

The village does not anticipate taking any additional action on the water taxi unless Sag Harbor makes the code change required for the vessel to land there.

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