Much is being written and discussed these days about threats to our democracy. For concerned citizens, the best way to fend off any such threats, it would seem, would be for more people to take an active part in the democratic process: stay abreast of the issues, always check the facts, stake out clear positions, and communicate those positions to those elected to represent us.
With so many crises on a global scale—the unspeakable horror of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its ripple effects; alarm bells sounding on the pressing need for action on climate change; ongoing and seemingly endless Covid related disruptions; soaring inflation and stock market volatility, to name only a few—reaching their tentacles into our daily lives, urging more participation in the democratic process could seem like a mighty big ask.
And yet, what could be more important?
Next week, Quogue residents are fortunate to have before them an opportunity to engage in the one essential act that is the underpinning of all democracies, which is to cast a vote. On Tuesday, May 17, the polls will be open at the Quogue School for voting on the proposed Quogue Union Free School District budget for 2022-’23 and, in a separate proposition, on the proposed operating budget for the Quogue Library. Residents may also cast ballots for the three candidates seeking election for three-year terms on the Quogue USFD Board of Education: Gabriel Kochmer, Paul Bass, and Steve Failla.
Staying within the tax levy cap for Quogue residents, the proposed $9,739,180 school budget for next year represents a 2.99 percent increase over the 2021-’22 budget, which translates to a 3.33 percent tax levy increase. According to estimates on the budget flier published by the School Board, the proposed budget, if approved, would result in a tax increase on a home assessed at $1 million of $62.60 per year, or $5.18 per month, or $0.17 per day.
The flier also points out that, in addition to remaining within the tax cap, the proposed budget: maintains all existing academic programs; provides for the diverse needs of students while being mindful of the impact on taxpayers; protects the community’s investment by maintaining infrastructure, facilities and grounds; improves the district’s financial condition by funding reserves and maintaining a low fiscal stress rating; provides funding for unanticipated expenditures and mandates related to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis; and provides funding to address a portion of the capital improvements required to maintain existing infrastructure.
At Quaquanantuck urges all qualified voters to get over to the school next Tuesday and vote to approve the school and library budget propositions and show your support in the ballot box for the three candidates for the school board. These two institutions and the stewards who look after them and guide them play an outsize role in making our village the very special place that it is, and they deserve our support in every way we can manage to provide it.
With Quogue Village elections right around the corner and the midterms coming up in the fall, conscientious attention to opportunities to cast a vote is a very healthy habit to develop.
Here Comes Summer
Speaking of institutions and people who help to give Quogue its very special character, At Quaquanantuck is all about identifying and celebrating all of these and all their many contributions to our community.
Consider the Quogue Volunteer Fire Department, for one. Just two weeks from now, on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, at 10 a.m., the Quogue Fire Department will once again be hosting a Memorial Service by the monument in front of the Quogue fire house. All are invited to attend and honor the men and women who gave up their lives in the service of our country.
At the Quogue Fire Department installation dinner at the Riverhead Hyatt on April 22, the Quogue Fire Department honored Edward “Tom” Otis III for his 50 years of dedicated service in the Quogue Fire Department. Mr. Otis shares the distinction of 50 years of service with another volunteer, Kimberly Payne.
Firefighter Charles Karpovek hit the 55-year mark in 2019. Other milestones achieved by volunteers include: 45 years, Thomas Mullen; 40 years, Joseph Jahelka and David Warner; 35 years, Ed McGrath; 30 years, David Turinsky; 25 years, Bruce Davidson and Richard Schermeyer; 20 years, Ted Necarsulmer, Christopher Osborne, Timothy Shea, John Sipala, and Thomas Snodgrass; 15 years, Michael McMahon, Bruce Moore, and Matthew Morgan; and 10 years, Todd Bandrowski, Steven Failla, Derek Herzing, Ben Hubbard, Phil Irving, Timothy Norton, and Bradley Warner.
At the QFD dinner, the department also honored former chief Chris Osborne (known to some At Quaquanantuck readers as the Big Chill) as the Firefighter of the Year for 2021.
“To Catch a Thief” at Film Feast Saturday
The next in-person Film Feast coming up at the Quogue Library on Saturday, May 14, at 6 p.m. will be “To Catch a Thief,” Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 glamour crime caper starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.
The plot is simple: A retired jewel thief sets out to prove his innocence after being suspected of returning to his former occupation. Critical acclaim for the film was practically universal.
Writing for The Observer, Phillip French called the film “An engaging comedy thriller, one of the Master’s rare straightforward whodunnits, producing real cinematic chemistry between Grace Kelly (her third and last Hitchcock film) and Cary Grant (his third and penultimate Hitchcock picture).”
A staff writer for TV Guide Magazine wrote that “Cary Grant is at his most suave and Grace Kelly is stunningly beautiful in ‘To Catch a Thief,’ a bubbly and effervescent Alfred Hitchcock romantic-suspenser that finds the Master in a relaxed and purely entertaining mood.”
The “price” of admission for the May 14 Film Feast will be a potluck dish to serve at least six people and a beverage to share. Masks required. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 631-653-4224, ext. 101, to register or for more information.
Historical Society Offers Exhibition Talk at Library
The Quogue Historical Society is coming to the Quogue Library on Wednesday, May 18, when QHS Curator and Southampton Town Historian Julie B. Greene will lead an exhibition tour and offer a talk from 6 to 7 p.m. on “‘Queen of the Hamptons’: Quogue on the Cusp, ca. 1875—Photographs by George Bradford Brainerd from the Brooklyn Museum,” on view at the library Art Gallery through May 29.
To register for this program, email email@example.com or call the library at 631-653-4224, ext. 101.
On Saturday, May 21, the Historical Society’s 1822 One-Room Schoolhouse on the library grounds will open for the season. Open this summer during library hours, the Schoolhouse is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. Other dates to keep in mind include June 11, when the QHS Pond House on Jessup Avenue will open for the summer; and June 24, when the Historical Society will offer Trolley Tours of Quogue’s Historic Homes at noon and 2 p.m. with your conductor, Bob Murray. More details in the next At Quaquanantuck.
Wildlife Refuge Seeking Sponsors for 2022 “Wild Night”
Gearing up for the 14th annual Wild Night for Wildlife benefit on Saturday, July 16, the fine folks at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge have announced that this year’s honorees are Charles and Anne Mott, who are being recognized for their many years of dedicated support of Quogue Wildlife Refuge’s work and mission.
This year’s Conservator Award will be presented to Ine Wijtvliet for her sponsorship of the beautification of the entrance to the Refuge.
The Gala will feature substantial hors d’oeuvres by East End Events Catering, cocktails, wine from Pellegrini Vineyards, beer from Long Island Farm Brewery, live music by Noiz, live and silent auctions, and a chance to meet QWR resident animals up close. The party starts at 7 p.m.; a private VIP reception will be held at 6 p.m. for those contributing $750 or more per person.
Individuals and businesses are invited to become sponsors for this event, which is the most important fundraiser of the year for the Refuge and provides a major portion of the operating budget.
All those interested in becoming sponsors who contact the Refuge by Saturday, May 14, at 5 p.m. will have their names featured on the Benefit Invitation, which will be mailed in May and will include ticket options starting at $200. All sponsors—including those who sign up after May 14— will be officially recognized at the Gala and on the event website. To find out more and to sign up as a sponsor, visit quoguewildliferefuge.org/wild-night-for-wildlife-2022.
Business Sponsorship opportunities start at the $1,000 Guardian level. Auction prizes are also being accepted; contact the QWR office at 631-653-4771.
Contributions are tax deductible. Tickets will be held at the door. For further information, please call: (631) 653-4771 or e-mail: info@QuogueWildlifeRefuge.org.
“A Doll’s House, Part 2” Opens May 26 at Community Hall
“A Doll’s House, Part 2,” Lucas Hnath’s “smart, funny and utterly engrossing” (New York Times) play revisiting the central characters of Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 original, will be the final production of the Hampton Theatre Company’s 2021-2022 season, opening on May 26 at the Quogue Community Hall and running through June 12.
When the door slammed in 1879 Norway in Henrik Ibsen’s revolutionary play, a young wife and mother left behind her family, freeing herself from the shackles of traditional societal constraints. Now, 15 years later, that same door opens to reveal Nora, a changed woman with an incredibly awkward favor to ask the people she abandoned. Lucas Hnath’s bitingly funny sequel unfolds in a series of bristling standoffs revealing that behind every opinion there is a person, and a slamming door isn’t just an end, but also the chance for a new beginning.
A Newcity.com review of the Steppenwolf Theater production in Chicago answered a common question on many theatergoers’ minds: “First things first: No, you do not have to have seen or read Henrik Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’ to understand or appreciate the theatrical mastery of ‘A Doll’s House, Part 2.’”
In a review for DCTheatreScene.com, Jayne Blanchard wrote: “The exuberant imagination of ‘A Doll’s House, Part 2’ is smart on two levels. It is perceptive, funny and intelligent, but smarts like a slap in its portrayal of gender roles and the expectations of what it is to be a woman.”
The review also noted that “Hnath’s crisp, often laugh-out-loud dialogue contains modern language” that makes “deft, devastating connections between the past and present and how little has changed in the arena of women’s rights. And even, in light of recent events, how we seem to be going backwards in our thinking of women’s identities, ownership of their bodies, and narrowing definitions of motherhood and wifely roles.”
In his review for The New York Times, Ben Brantley wrote: “This unexpectedly rich sequel reminds us that houses tremble and sometimes fall when doors slam, and that there are living people within, who may be wounded or lost.”
In a cast of four, the HTC production of “A Doll’s House, Part 2” features two HTC veterans, Rosemary Cline as Nora and Andrew Botsford as Torvald. Making her debut on the HTC stage in the role of Nora’s daughter Emmy is Molly Brennan, who was directed by Ms. Cline in productions at Westhampton Beach High School and was awarded one of the HTC’s Peter Marbury scholarships in 2020. Newcomer Marianne Schmidt has the role of housekeeper and nanny Anne Marie.
George Loizides (“Private Lives,” “Native Gardens,” “Lost in Yonkers”) directs. Set design is by Mr. Loizides; lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski; sound by Seamus Naughton; and costumes by Teresa Lebrun.
“A Doll’s House, Part 2″ will be performed from May 26 through June 12 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 11, prior to the regular 8 p.m. performance that evening. Two bonus “talkbacks” with the cast will be offered, the first immediately following the June 3 Friday evening performance, and the second following the June 5 Sunday matinee.
PLEASE NOTE: For the safety of all, patrons are asked as a courtesy to please show proof of vaccination; masks are encouraged inside the theater. These protocols are subject to change. For more information and updates on safety protocols, visit hampton theatre.org. Tickets are $36, $31 for seniors, and $20 for students 25 and under. To purchase tickets, visit www.hamptontheatre.org. For information on Veteran or Native American discounts or to order tickets over the phone, please call 631-653-8955.
Go Native Promoting Perfect Earth Pamphlet
The Go Native gang headed up by Lulie Morrisey and Paula Prentis is working to disseminate the latest pamphlet from The Perfect Earth Project, the brainchild of the “2/3 for the Birds” folks in East Hampton. The feeling is that although the pamphlet is addressed to landscapers, it is also a perfect handbook for clients and landscapers alike that summarizes the basics of “nature-based land care.”
Ms. Morrisey addressed homeowners directly in an email this week: “Please read this yourself—most of the points will be familiar to readers of our Go Native newsletter—and, very importantly, share with your landscapers so that they might be educated in the practices necessary to ‘do no harm’ to the environment, reduce chemical dependency, encourage biodiversity and become good land stewards.”
Quogue Chamber Music Concert June 18
The first concert of the 2022 season for Quogue Chamber Music will be the Merz Trio, playing at the Quogue Community Hall on Saturday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m.
The musicians of the Merz Trio—Julia Yang, cello; Lee Dionne, piano; and Brigid Coleridge, violin—recently swept a number of U.S. chamber awards, taking top prizes at the 2021 Naumburg, the 2019 Concert Artists Guild, the 2019 Fischoff, and the 2018 Chesapeake competitions.
Praised for their “fresh and surprising interpretations,” the award-winning Merz Trio is known for passionate playing and uniquely artistic programming style, interspersing classic trio works with interdisciplinary elements and their own arrangements. Upcoming debut appearances include performances at NYC’s Merkin Hall, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Tickets are $50 adults; $110 includes post concert celebration; and $5 for students (concert only). Make checks payable to Quogue Chamber Music and mail to POB 1984, Quogue, NY 11959, or purchase on the Quogue Chamber Music website (www.quoguechambermusic.org).
Tickets will also be sold at the door on the night of the concert.
The June 18 program, “New Paths”, will include music by Beethoven, Brahms, Alban Berg and Alma Mahler. This combination of 19th and 20th century masterworks is quintessentially Austro-German in style and teeming with boundary-breaking energy. Beethoven’s middle period masterwork, Op. 70, #2, is paired with four later Viennese songs that draw attention to its lyrical and virtuosic elements, while Brahms’ glorious B Major Trio, composed when he was only 21, but revised in later years, showcases him as both a pioneering romantic and as a consummate master at the height of his powers.
Due to Covid restrictions, all ticket holders must show proof of vaccinations at the entrance and will be required to wear a mask throughout the concert.
Circle June 24 on the Calendar
By the time we get there, there may be more, but at this writing At Quaquanantuck is aware of two big events on June 24 this summer.
First up will be the Quogue Historical Society Trolley Tours of Quogue’s Historic Homes (noted above) at noon and 2 p.m.
Then, starting at 5:30 p.m., the Quogue Association will present a free concert on the Village Green by one of the most popular bands on the East End, Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks.
Look for more details on both programs in the next At Quaquanantuck.
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 observations, ideas and opinions by writing to AtQuaq@gmail.com.
News Items and Photos
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—or the world. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email AtQuaq@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list.