Little Stories: Anna Throne-Holst, Evelyn Konrad, Sagaponack Police

Evelyn Konrad is an attorney who lives in Rosko Place, a neighborhood in Southampton that used to be filled with modest homes, where kids on bicycles went off on adventures with their friends, where people washed their cars in their driveways on weekends and everybody knew everybody. Today, Konrad still lives in her modest home, but the neighborhood has been swollen with McMansions of 4,500 square feet or more behind hedgerows, nobody knows anybody and bicycles are only for adults in Spandex before breakfast—all this made possible by changes in the zoning laws in 2005.

Konrad has filed 17 lawsuits related to development and these changes, including claiming that the loosening of these laws back then went again the ethics code, that the margin of one vote by the Board of Trustees that made it so was only possible because, she said, one board member should have recused himself from that vote but didn’t. He owned multiple properties in the village at that time, which, she argued, was a conflict of interest. Her lawsuits have challenged the Mayor, the Village, the supposedly errant Trustee, the neighbors and so forth and so on. Several of her lawsuits have been thrown out, others are pending.

Last month, a judge ruled that if Konrad, who was admitted to the bar in 2007, continues to file lawsuits about this, he may issue an order prohibiting her from filing future lawsuits unless she shows them to the court beforehand and the court gives her permission to do so. Would this make her the only person in Southampton, possibly the state or the country, who was an American citizen not allowed to file a lawsuit?

My brother-in-law is a lawyer and I asked him if a judge could do this. He said a judge could do anything, he supposed, but this was new to him. As for me, I know that in dictatorships you can be shot for filing one errant lawsuit. In benevolent dictatorships, the number is probably three and they wouldn’t shoot you, but they’d threaten jail if you did it again. Now we know Southampton’s limit. It’s 17 and there’s no jail, but you may have to put a cork in it if you try an 18th. Evelyn Konrad is appealing the judge’s decision to bar her. Her appeal is nearly 40 pages long.

RICHARD HENDRICKSON
Richard Hendrickson, our local weatherman, the man who reports the temperature, wind, rainfall, barometric pressure and humidity every day in Bridgehampton at his farm, celebrated a birthday in August. He’s 101. He started with the weather service when he was 18 years old. The stock market had crashed the year before. Herbert Hoover was President. People were selling apples on the street and here in Bridgehampton, Richard’s girlfriend—he got married when he was 17—was driving produce around from the farm to neighbors every few days for those who were having trouble finding enough to eat.

Richard Hendrickson has held this same job now for 83 years. This is a shame. I have been writing Dan’s Papers for 53 years and I’ll never catch him.

TORNADO
Every few years now, we have a tornado. We never used to have them. The last one we had was four years ago, which blew down the Connecticut Valley, crossed Long Island Sound and cut a great swath across Northwest Woods and Springs. A few roofs were damaged. Trees and telephone poles were downed.

There was a tornado that tried that again about three weeks ago. It was seen on Great Peconic Bay but then petered out. There’s pictures of it online. They don’t call it a tornado, though, but that’s only a technicality. Over dry land, this nasty thing spinning around at high speed is a tornado. Over water it’s a “waterspout.”

We should start naming tornadoes like we name hurricanes, if that’s this new thing that’s happening in these parts. I’d call this one “The Little Tornado that Couldn’t.”

NO SAGAPONACK POLICE FORCE
The Village of Sagaponack, which was just founded in 2007, discussed this past month whether or not they wanted to form their own police force. From 2007 to now, they’ve paid to have the adjacent Southampton Town Police patrol their village. I know that last week, when Sagaponack decided to continue along with Southampton Town, that they all thought it was a win-win situation, with Sagaponack getting a promise of a full-time cop patrolling the village 24 hours a day during the summer months and 8 a.m. to midnight out of season, while Southampton Town gets $2 million a year for the whole service.

Nevertheless, my mind cannot help but imagine the five Trustees of the Village of Sagaponack about to take their vote in the converted house they’ve made into their village hall, while outside, surrounding the village hall, stands the entire Southampton Town police force, shielded behind their police cars with their red and white lights flashing on top, bull horns up, and guns at the ready, await the outcome.

KABOT – THRONE-HOLST
Probably the most famous three go rounds in boxing were Ali-Frazier. Frazier won the first, Ali the second, and Ali, in the “Thrilla in Manila,” the third. It made headlines around the world.

Not of such great significance, but interesting nevertheless, are the three head-to-head go rounds between our current sitting Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and her challenger, Linda Kabot.

Four years ago, Kabot had the title, and Throne-Holst challenged Kabot and beat her. Two years ago, they met again and Throne-Holst won again, but now Kabot is back still again, and this time she is a slight favorite to win in November, according to The Independent.

A really interesting part of this is that while Throne-Holst is running on both the Democratic and Independence tickets, Kabot, a Republican with the GOP nomination, won the Conservative ballot line by one vote cast in the primary, 73 to 72, defeating Phil Keith.

Conservative Party leadership asked that some of Kabot’s votes be discounted. Certain voters spelled her name Cabot or Cabbot or something. If the Board of Elections would discount just two of those votes, the decision would be reversed.

The election commissioners refused to do so. It was pointed out that Keith’s name was also misspelled on certain write-in votes.

The question is, what are we coming to? When America was founded, only those Americans who could spell rite were allowed to vote. People who didn’t own property couldn’t vote. Women couldn’t vote. Of course the slaves couldn’t vote.

Today, though the slaves are freed and the women have the vote, half the population now can’t spell rite even with Spellcheck. Education is down in the dumps. So now we have to put up with Thrown Horse versus Cavett and the devil take the hindmost. Or something.

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