Rep. Bishop to advise Merchant Marines
U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop has been appointed to a body that makes recommendations for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point.
Bishop (D-Southampton) will now serve on the Congressional Board of Visitors for the academy, filling a vacancy left when former Rep. Gary Ackerman, a Democrat, retired.
“The dedicated cadets of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy are tomorrow’s leaders in international commerce and maritime security, and I am honored to be among the few members of Congress chosen to serve this distinguished institution on its Board of Visitors,” Bishop said in a statement.
The eight-person board, made up of members of both houses of Congress, meets periodically with officials at the federal service academy and makes recommendations on the academy’s operations.
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) is also a member of the board.
— JENNIFER BARRIOS
Independence Party makes election gains
The Independence Party had a string of successful races during the Nov. 5 election, with members holding on to their seats in the county legislature, the Southampton supervisor and highway superintendent’s offices and taking a seat on the Southampton Town council.
Suffolk County Legis. Jay H. Schneiderman (I-Montauk) beat Republican Councilman Chris Nuzzi. Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, an Independence Party member, won re-election against Republican Linda Kabot. Highway Superintendent and Independence Party member Alex Gregor was also re-elected and Brad Bender, also an Independence Party member, is positioned to win one of two council seats, with some absentee ballots still to be counted.
“I’m not going to say we’ve become a major party, but we are a force in local politics,” said Assemb. Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor), chairman of the Southampton Independence Party.
Roughly one-third of the town is Democratic, one-third is Republican and one-third is listed as “blank” or registered with the Independence Party — a distinction Thiele acknowledges might be lost on some voters.
“There’s no question there may be confusion,” he said. “But I look at it like this — the important part to us is that they’re independent, and looking to elect the best candidates. We’re providing an opportunity to find that place.”
The Southampton party has no official platform, but the state Independence Party says that it promotes fiscal responsibility while taking no firm position on social issues, such as same-sex marriage or abortion.
Southampton Trustee Bill Pell, another Independence Party member, also won re-election.
Frank MacKay, chairman of the state party, said, "The Hamptons have always had an independent streak."
— DAVID M. SCHWARTZ
East End artists plan holiday sale
Artists from across the East End have been bringing a variety of holiday gifts — from paintings to gift cards to handmade jewelry and Christmas tree ornaments — to the East End Arts office in downtown Riverhead, which will be holding a holiday boutique from Nov. 15 through Dec. 22.
The annual event fills the three galleries in the building at 133 E. Main St., and every artist who has works on display is required to work two six-hour shifts helping to run the sale.
East End Arts will open its boutique with a reception on Nov. 16, from noon to 5 a.m. After that, it will be open Tuesdays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.
Painters have been limited to three works each, no larger than 10 inches square, and the group has banned painted rocks or shells. Other crafts, including knitting, are permitted.
While there is no charge to the artists who want to display their works, the not-for-profit arts group takes a 30 percent commission on all sales.
— MITCHELL FREEDMAN