There’s just one day left of winter break for kids on the East End, and it’s going to be a good one for taking stock in the year we’ve just left behind.
• Final real estate sales figures for last year aren’t in yet, but Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund revenues through October put the state of the market in a far better place than in 2012. The CPF is a 2 percent real estate transfer tax devoted to land preservation by the five East End towns. According to State Assemblyman Fred Thiele, who compiles the numbers, the fund took in $75.73 million in the first ten months of 2013, up 50.9 percent from the $50.19 million collected in the first 10 months of 2012. Shelter Island led the East End towns in CPF revenue growth, with a 74 percent increase. Southampton followed with a 54.5 percent increase, followed by Riverhead’s 47.9 percent increase and East Hampton’s 43.3 percent increase. Southold’s revenue increase was a paltry 17.2 percent. The money raised through the CPF will be used by individual towns to preserve farmland, open space, recreational areas and historic properties.
• The National Weather Service wants YOU to watch out for freezing rain and ice this morning. Later today there will be rain and then tomorrow it will be so bone-chillingly cold that the rain will make things nice and icy. But the National Weather Service didn’t use the word “nice.” Please be careful out there!
• Westhampton Beach set the lowest temperature on the East End Saturday night, with a recorded low of -13 degrees Fahrenheit. Woot woot for WHB!
• Yes, it’s true. You heard right. Our esteemed governor seems poised this morning to legalize medical marijuana, bypassing the lack of support for marijuana reform in the State Senate by signing an executive order allowing just 20 hospitals statewide to prescribe cannabis for a narrowly defined set of ailments, including cancer. If he signs the order, New York will join 20 other states that allow the medical use of marijuana.
* If you’re a wordsmith, head down to Greenport this afternoon, where Congregation Tifereth Israel is holding its eighth annual Scrabble Family Tournament beginning at 1 p.m. Attendees will get a chance to face off against Scrabble master John Williams all afternoon.
• Poet Billy Hands, composer George Cork Maul and cellist Jeannie Woelker are busy this morning putting the final touches on an afternoon of innovative improvisation, performance art and poetry beginning at 2 p.m. at the Cutchogue-New Suffolk Library.
• The folks over at the South Fork Natural History Museum in Bridgehampton saw an adult bald eagle fly over their property yesterday afternoon!