Posts tagged eastport

Andrea Spilka, Tireless Civic Advocate for the East End, Dies At 72

The Southampton Town Board meeting room was packed, buzzing with energy ahead of a particularly controversial Planning Board hearing. Everyone was watching everyone, surmising their stance by the company they kept, when Andrea Spilka walked through the door — and immediately locked eyes with Robin Long.

In front of the entire room, the two women threw their arms around each other, until Ms. Spilka pulled away from the Planning Board member.

“Oh my God, am I gonna get you in trouble?” she asked.

“You know something? I can handle it,” Ms. Long replied. “Let them talk — I’m taking my hug.”

Recalling the story years later, she is eternally grateful that she did.

“I would never have given up that hug,” Ms. Long said, “because that hug, I can remember it forever now.”

In an unexpected blow to the East End community, Ms. Spilka — a steadfast civic leader, role model and friend — died on December 28 after a short bout with metastatic lung cancer and was buried on January 3 at Mount Lebanon Cemetery in Queens.

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Stargazer’s Future Remains Uncertain Following Devastating Storm Damage

David Morris knew this day was coming. All it took was the right gust of wind.

When Tropical Storm Isaias cast a glancing blow on the South Fork in early August, it not only downed trees and power lines, wrecked cars, and knocked out power to thousands of homes, its hurricane-force gales also swept away half of the façade of “Stargazer,” its steel frame now exposed like a skeleton on County Road 111 in Eastport.

But this time, after a series of repairs that have kept “Stargazer” standing as the gateway to the Hamptons since 1991, the damage is just too much for a quick fix, explained Mr. Morris, who built the nearly 50-foot-tall sculpture with artist Linda Scott nearly 40 years ago. It will require a complete rebuild, from the ground up.

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25 Years Later: A Look Back At the Sunrise Wildfire

It came like a great storm.

The skies darkened, smoke filled the air, the noise almost deafening. When he saw the flames, Dean Culver dropped to the pavement, too far from his car to seek proper shelter.

And then, in an unexpected move, the flames jumped.

In an instant, the wall of fire leapt from treetop to treetop, skipping over the 400-foot-wide asphalt span that is Sunrise Highway — its 200-foot-tall flames unable to burn the road, or even lick the army of firefighters flattened up against it.

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