Not Woodstock: Fishstock

April 2, 1998

Southampton has its "All for the Sea" benefit concert, Montauk had its "Back at the Ranch," and if Gene Hamilton has his way, Amagansett will soon have "Fishstock," a fund-raising concert for the East Hampton Town shellfish hatchery.

Mr. Hamilton, a local songwriter who organizes the Stephen Talkhouse's "Acoustic Mondays" and produced a C.D. by the same name, hopes to stage an outdoor afternoon concert this summer in an open field north of Amagansett.

"This isn't Woodstock, it's just 'Fishstock,'" Mr. Hamilton explained to the East Hampton Town Board this week. His concert will be on a much smaller scale than other benefit shows on the South Fork. He plans to sell a maximum of just 300 tickets, all advance sales.

As a recreational fisherman and water lover, he wanted the proceeds to go to a fishing-related organization. Rather than picking one group over the other, he decided to give the money to the hatchery for growing oysters, scallops, and clams.

The concert would feature mostly local bands and musicians, all playing acoustic instruments, and would be held in the field north of Gansett Green. If the Town Board approves his request, the concert will be held on July 1, just before the summer crowds arrive for Independence Day weekend.

The atmosphere Mr. Hamilton is shooting for is that of "an afternoon barbecue with friends and family."

His proposal got mixed reactions from the Town Board. Councilmen Job Potter and Peter Hammerle worried that Amagansett residents who have frequently defended their hamlet's right to remain the "quiet gem" it is would object.

Councilwoman Pat Mansir and Councilman Len Bernard didn't think residents would have a problem with a daytime concert before the real start of the season.

"I've gone out of my way to make it the least abrasive as I possibly could," he said.

Buy Noise Meters

Mr. Hamilton will visit the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee with his proposal.

When the warm weather arrives, noise is one of the most frequent complaints Town Board members hear, whether the source of that noise is an outdoor concert or a bar. With the season fast approaching, the board discussed plans to purchase additional noise meters for the Town Police Department.

"There was concern that if you depended too much on noise meters. . . you might not get the convictions you're looking for," Mr. Hammerle said.

A noise law proposed last year, which would have shifted the measurement of noise from decibel meters to the subjective judgment of police officers, was quickly shouted down at a public hearing. The law called for more than one police officer to assess the noise level from inside a complainant's bedroom.

Back To Meters

"We decided now, after a lot of talk, to go back to using noise meters," Mr. Hammerle said. The town will purchase more sophisticated meters, make them available all over town, and train officers to keep them properly calibrated.

The Town Board also tackled odor control for the sewage plant at the Springs-Fireplace Road Recycling Center on Tuesday. The board agreed to purchase flat aluminum covers for the pits at the sewage plant, at a cost of approximately $125,000.