Nightspots In The Crosshairs

Residents ask town police to do more
Janis Hewitt

    Montaukers had their sights set for the Surf Lodge on Edgemere Drive last summer, but this year their ire has shifted to Second House and Navy Roads, which are used as an alternate route in and out of the hamlet and where residents are blaming three nightspots for noise and traffic. One Navy Road resident has even posted a private speed limit sign. In bright red letters, it says the speed limit is 5 miles per hour and will be enforced by pitchfork.
    Pointing to Navy Beach, Solé East, and Ruschmeyer’s as popular nightspots, residents have been meeting with East Hampton Town Police Lt. Chris Hatch, the Montauk precinct commander, to discuss a strategy.
    “Unless you live there you can have no idea what we’re going through. It’s horrendous,” Kimberly Esperian said at a meeting of the Montauk Citizens Advisory Committee on July 9. 

           She was one of several neighbors who complained about blaring horns, mostly from taxicabs picking up patrons at late hours, and speeding vehicles.
       One resident, Anne Magli, asked East Hampton Town Councilman Dominick Stanzione, the town board’s liaison to the committee, how many violations would have to be cited for such places to be shut down or have their music licenses pulled. Ms. Magli said she has called the police on several occasions about noise. Mr. Stanzione, who said he would be hesitant to consider lifting a  music license because of unresolved citations, noted that the town could take action after three.
    Another resident had a more dramatic complaint. Noting that every time the weekend approaches she virtually has a heart attack. She said that four young women wearing towering high heels had recently tried to get in her front door looking for Ruschmeyer’s. “They were stoned on something,” she said.
    East Hampton Town Police Chief Edward V. Ecker Jr. said this week that the Police Department had increased enforcement efforts in the area, with a focus on speeding vehicles, and that residents had reported some improvement.
On Saturday night, the department worked with code enforcement officers on Second House Road, ticketing about a dozen taxicabs for stopping in the roadway while picking up and dropping off fares.
    “Hopefully, this initiative will get the word out to cab drivers and their owners to become more vigilant in following the traffic law,” he said.