• The Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund smashed records in 2014, bringing in a total of $107.69 million, demolishing the previous record of $96.02 million set in 2007. Since the fund started in 1999, it has now brought in nearly one billion dollars. The Beacon’s full report is online here.
• Funeral arrangements have been set for Hampton Bays Volunteer Ambulance Corps lead paramedic Ralph Oswald, 64, who died Monday in the line of duty while tending to an unconscious patient. Visiting hours will be 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the Hampton Bays Volunteer Ambulance Corps headquarters,18C Ponquogue Avenue in Hampton Bays. A Mass celebrating his life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Rosalie’s Roman Catholic Church, followed by a private cremation.
• The state Department of Environmental Conservation has begun efforts to suppress the recently discovered Southern Pine Beetle infestation this week in Hampton Bays. Suppression efforts will include the felling of an estimated 1,000 infested pine trees in Henry’s Hollow woods. The DEC says the location and size of the infestation must be addressed now to reduce the chances of the beetle spreading quickly northward into vast areas of the Pine Barrens during warmer weather.
• The younger Hank Kraszewski, 22, son of Hank Kraszewski of Hank’s Pumpkintown fame in Water Mill, will be the first farmer to farm land preserved under Southampton Town’s new enhanced development rights purchase program. The Beacon’s full story is online here.
• The Concerned Citizens of Montauk and the Montauk School greenhouse project have been awarded a $500 mini-grant from Slow Food East End. Through the support of the Josh Levine Memorial Foundation, SFEE offers grants to help sustain school gardens on the East End. The grant will go towards the purchase of garden tools, supplies and materials for this school year. Slow Food also funds three master farmer interns who work with schools on the North and South Forks. The Montauk School is working with farmer Sylvia Channing to develop a garden-related curriculum and to use a newly donated composter, dubbed “Cranky,” as part of their science learning.
And that’s the way things look at dawn’s light here today.