That Time Again

Can you feel it? No, not summer; not with rain and raw March temperatures for 26 of the last 30 days as of Monday of this week. What you might be able to feel, though—with more and more traffic at all hours on Montauk Highway and even side streets; the diminishing number of parking places in nearby villages and hamlets; and the increasingly crowded calendar—is the onset of what is semi-sardonically referred to by locals as “the season.”

After all, Memorial Day weekend is only one week away, with the Mayor’s State of the Village address sponsored by the Quogue Association slated on Saturday, May 25, at 10 a.m. in Village Hall, and Memorial Day services scheduled at the Firehouse on Jessup Avenue on Monday, May 27, at 10 a.m.

The Hampton Theatre Company will be opening its fourth and final show of its 34th season, Noël Coward’s “Private Lives,” on Thursday, May 23 (see below). But first, and most importantly for the week ahead, the Quogue School budget vote and School Board elections are coming up on Tuesday, May 21, from 2 to 8 p.m. at the school on Edgewood Road.

Mallards hi res
Morning meeting on the marsh. —A. Botsford Photo

Quogue School Ranks High among the Best in the Nation, State and County
Before looking at the proposed budget and School Board candidates, At Quaquanantuck considers it important to take a look at the 2019 Niche rankings of public elementary schools. For those who are unfamiliar with Niche, it is widely considered the leading platform for researching U.S. schools, neighborhoods, and companies.

The website’s 2019 Best Schools rankings were obtained after analysis of 83,542 public schools, 3,903 private schools, and 10,758 school districts nationwide, based on the most comprehensive data available on U.S. public and private K-12 schools and districts.

To cut to the chase, Quogue School received an overall grade of A+. At the national level, Quogue teachers were ranked number 8 of the 49,485 Best Public Elementary School Teachers in America; the Quogue School was ranked at number 85 of the 50,486 Best Public Elementary Schools in the country.

Results were similarly impressive at the state level: Quogue teachers were ranked number 2 of the 2,461 Best Public Elementary School Teachers in New York State; the school was ranked at number 18 of the 2,467 best public elementary schools in the state. For Suffolk County, the Quogue School and its teachers were ranked at number 1 in both categories: the 184 best public elementary schools and 184 best teachers in the county.

This is truly a remarkable achievement, deserving, in At Quaquanantuck’s view, of all of our congratulations and support.osprey-roof.jpg
How gratifying when humans can, occasionally, live in harmony with nature. An alert and observant reader caught this photo of an osprey about to alight in a summer rental on top of a chimney in Quogue, happily after the season when a chimney might be needed for other functions. Here’s hoping the new family has a great summer raising the little ones in our village. All those who would like a glimpse of osprey family life can click on (or visit) cams.allaboutbirds.org/channel/54/Savannah_Ospreys/during daylight hours. Be sure to click on View 2nd camera angle, too. Fascinating. 


2019-20 Proposed Budget and School Board Candidates
According to the School District budget brochure, the proposal for 2019-20 totals $8,757,968, which represents a 4.11 percent increase over the 2018-19 budget, staying within the tax levy cap for Quogue residents.

The proposed increase, according to the brochure, would translate for taxpayers into, for a home assessed at $1 million, approximately $80 per year, which breaks down to $6.67 per month, or 22 cents a day.

There are four candidates running for three slots on the five-member Quogue School Board of Education: incumbents Lauren Battista, Steve Failla, and Barbara Sartorius and challenger Paul Bass.

At Quaquanantuck encourages all eligible voters to get over to the school from 2 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, and cast their ballots. All the women and men that make up the Quogue School faculty and staff and School Board have worked tirelessly to make our school the very best in Suffolk County, and one of the best in the country. At the very least, they deserve a vote of confidence, and our gratitude.

Full Moon Night Hike at Quogue Wildlife Refuge May 17
The next Full Moon Night Hike at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge will be offered on Friday, May 17, stepping off at 8 p.m.

During the 90-minute walk through the forest up to North Pond and back, adults and families with children age 11 and up will look and listen for nocturnal creatures and undertake some night vision activities under the light of the moon.

This program is $5 for Wildlife Refuge members; $10 for non-members. Reservations (631-653-4771) are required at least 24 hours in advance, along with payment of the appropriate fee.

Celebrate World Turtle Day at Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, May 18
Aspiring herpetologists and the merely curious are invited to the Quogue Wildlife Refuge celebration of World Turtle Day on Saturday, May 18, from 2 to 3 p.m. At this program for adults and families, there will be opportunities to meet a variety of live turtles and tortoises and participants will learn all about Long Island’s turtles through a short PowerPoint presentation in the Nature Center.turtles

Participants will also learn about ways to help local species. The fee is $5 per person, and reservations are required as there is limited seating. The QWR is no longer accepting online reservations for this program; call 631-653-4771 to reserve or for more information.

Illustrated Talk on May 19 on the Female Founders of the Quogue Library
On Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. at the Quogue Firehouse on Jessup Avenue, Quogue Historical Society Curator and Southampton Town Historian Julie Greene will offer an illustrated talk, “History and Herstory: The Beginning of the Quogue Library.”Quogue Library est. 1897

As reported in the Sag Harbor Express in 1897, “Some two years ago, a few ladies began to agitate on the subject of establishing [in Quogue] a circulating library. They found ready listeners and helpers among their neighbors. Many readable books were given for the purpose and many others were bought with the proceeds of an entertainment at the Field Club, and temporary quarters for the library were secured at Mr. Jessup’s general store [now Beth’s café].”

Ms. Greene’s illustrated talk will delve into the library’s beginnings and the women who made it happen. Reservations are required; call the library at 631-653-4224.  

Quogue Fire Department Dinner Dance and Awards
The annual Quogue Fire Department Dinner Dance and presentation of awards was held on Saturday, May 11, at a new venue: the Quogue Field Club. The event went off beautifully, and Chief Chris Osborne offered sincere thanks to: Field Club General Manager Heidi van der Meulen for her guidance and planning; the Field Club for allowing the QFD to hold the event in the Clubhouse; A Small Affair catering; and Chris Kepner.

MCMAHON
The “Officer of the Year 2018” award went to Captain Mike McMahon, right, shown with, left to right, Assistant Chief Mike Nelson, Assistant Chief Dave Schaffauer, and Chief Chris Osborne. —Photo by Chief Tim Lopez, Flanders FD

At the dinner, the following awards were presented: “Officer of the Year 2018” went to Captain Mike McMahon; “Rookie of the Year 2018” went to firefighter James Miller; the “Joe Caldara Award” for 2018 went to firefighter Gerry Volz; and “Firefighter of the Year 2018” went to firefighter Tommy Otis.

OTIS
Assistant Chief Mike Nelson, “Firefighter of the Year 2018” Tommy Otis, Assistant Chief Dave Schaffauer, and Chief Chris Osborne. —Photo by Chief Tim Lopez, Flanders FD

Years of service awards were presented to: Daniel Johnson, 15 years; former Chief David Celi, 20 years; former Chief Clifford McKennett, 40 years; and firefighter Edward Otis III, 45 years.  

Congratulations to the award winners, and thanks from all in the village for the service of all the dedicated volunteers of the Quogue Fire Department.

Update on Library Renovation and Expansion Project
As passersby will have noticed by now, the second stage of construction in the Quogue Library renovation and expansion—laying foundations and framing—is now underway. Here is a preview of the library as a center for learning, creativity, collaboration and community.

library foundation
The foundation for the north wing of the Quogue Library.

Foundations have been laid for a north wing housing the Innovation Lab; the new Children’s Room, including the separate Children’s Activity Room; and a new home for the Art Gallery. Support beams and flooring to support the framing for these spaces have also been built. The new Art Gallery will have a row of clerestory windows at ceiling height to let in natural light, and the north windows of the adjacent children’s wing will face the children’s garden.

For more photos and updates on progress, go to www.quoguelibrary.org and scroll down on the home page to Renovation and Expansion Project.

cat loose
Recognize this cat, spotted on two occasions near Ocean Avenue? Contact AtQuaq@gmail.com.

Noël Coward’s “Private Lives” Opens May 23 in Quogue
Playwright Noël Coward’s effervescent 1930s comedy “Private Lives” will be the fourth and final play of the Hampton Theatre Company’s 2018-2019 season, opening on May 23 at the Quogue Community Hall and running through June 9.

Long considered one of Coward’s masterpieces, “Private Lives” takes a sidesplitting look at the volatile chemistry that can draw couples together, or split them apart. Sparkling with wit and wisdom, the play opens with once-married Elyot and Amanda now honeymooning at the same hotel with their new spouses. When their paths cross, the old spark is reignited and the two impulsively run away to Paris, only to wonder a few days later whether love, jealousy or anger is the hotter passion.

GL RE AB RC MC by CS
Director George Loizides, left, with “Private Lives” cast members Rebecca Edana, Andrew Botsford, Rosemary Cline, and Matthew Conlon. —Carlene DeScalo Photo

The cast of “Private Lives” features five HTC veterans: Andrew Botsford as Elyot; Rosemary Cline as Amanda; Matthew Conlon (fresh from his role as Cervantes/Quixote in HTC’s “Man of La Mancha”) as Victor; Rebecca Edana as Elyot’s new wife, Sybil; and Diana Marbury as  Louise, the maid in Amanda’s Paris flat. The play is a reunion of sorts for Botsford, Cline, Conlon, and Edana, as all four worked together in last season’s “Don’t Dress for Dinner.”

George Loizides directs. Set design is by Sean Marbury; lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski; sound by Seamus Naughton; and costumes by Teresa Lebrun.

“Private Lives” runs at the Quogue Community Hall from May 23 to June 9,  with shows on Thursdays and Fridays at 7, Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 2:30. An additional matinee performance will be offered during the final weekend of the production, on Saturday, June 8, prior to the regular 8 p.m. performance that evening.

The Hampton Theatre Company will again be offering special dinner and theater packages in collaboration with the Westhampton, Southampton, Hampton Bays and Quogue libraries. Offered in association with the Quogue Club at the Hallock House, a special lunch and theater package is also available for the Saturday matinee on June 8. For information about all packages and available discounts, visit  www.hamptontheatre.org or email info@hamptontheatre.org. Additional information about library dinner and theater packages is also available through the libraries.

To reserve tickets, visit www.hamptontheatre.org, or call OvationTix at 1-866-811-4111.

Sign Up Now for QWR Summer Field Ecology Program 2019
A reminder to parents to sign up the young folks for one of the nine one-week sessions of the children’s Summer Field Ecology program at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, which will be marking its 50th anniversary this summer.  

Early signups are encouraged; for more information and signup forms, visit quoguewildliferefuge.org/summer-camps/.

Wildlife Refuge Seeking Summer Help
With the Summer Field Ecology program on the horizon, the Quogue Wildlife Refuge is now hiring for summer positions and internships. Job openings include: part-time temporary receptionist; summer camp educator for Summer Ecology program; and summer camp educator for Little Naturalists program.

Summer internship positions include: Summer Ecology program educator; Little Naturalists educator; and Nature Center animal care intern. For more information, call the Refuge at 631-653-4771, click here, or visit the QWR website, www.quoguewildliferefuge.org.

Your Comments Welcome
At Quaquanantuck is happy to provide a forum for civil discussion of village issues and initiatives and welcomes all comments. All are encouraged to share ideas and opinions by writing to AtQuaq@gmail.com.

At Quaquanantuck encourages readers to send in news and notes and photos of interest to Quogue residents, even if the items are being sent from winter addresses or other parts of the country. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email AtQuaq@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list.

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