Village Honors Vets, Roasts Bruce Siska

    The future of the Thomas Moran House, the Long Island Power Authority’s answer to Tropical Storm Irene, and plaques and proclamations were on the agenda at Friday’s East Hampton Village Board meeting.
    Marti Mayo, the executive director of the Thomas Moran Trust, gave an update on the house at 229 Main Street. It is deteriorating, she said, with some sections on the verge of collapse.
    The house, built in 1884 as the home of the artists Thomas Moran and his wife, Mary Nimmo Moran, was designated a National Historic Landmark very early on, in 1965, when the landmark program was only two years old. “Even the Statue of Liberty wasn’t designated until 1992,” Ms. Mayo said.
    The house was privately owned until 2004, when Elizabeth “Boots” Lamb died. A trust was formed in 2007 to bring the property back to its 1916 appearance, which the trust deems the apex of its heyday.
    The cost of the renovation, which includes structural work, landscaping,  ground and water studies, and experts to match paints, textiles, and more, will be in the $8 million range. The trust has raised almost half that amount, $3.5 million.
    “We’re anxious to be a good neighbor,” said Ms. Mayo. “And we take our responsibilities seriously. This will be a wonderful monument to this artist,” whose famous paintings of the Western landscape led directly to the creation of Yellowstone National Park.
    Having to negotiate the hurdles required at state and federal levels has  caused a time issue for the trust. Ms. Mayo, who has been on the job since April, was “hopeful, no promises” that renovations would begin within the next several months, but wanted to know whether the board might give it another year to get fully under way.
    “I think we’d be inclined to look favorably on it,” Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach said. “But we would have to draw a line in the sand after that.”
    Bruce Siska, the newest member of the board, got a roasting from Hugh King, who graduated from East Hampton High School with Mr. Siska in 1959. Mr. King brought his high school yearbook and searched through it, chuckling, for mention of Mr. Siska in the popularity polls. There was none. “He did marry Mary Talmage, who was voted ‘most sincere,’ ” Mr. King said. When the board asked which popularity contest Mr. King had won, he acknowledged, “best all-around.”
    Steven Tricario, a district manager for the Long Island Power Authority on eastern Long Island, introduced himself to the board as its government liaison. In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, the village had sent a strongly worded letter to LIPA chastising it for a breakdown in communications.
    “I don’t think it was the [fault of] the workers who came out here during Irene,” said the mayor. “They did a yeoman’s job. It was a problem of communication.”
    Mr. Tricario said that “moving forward, our goal is to provide safe and reliable service.”
    The mayor issued a proclamation to honor veterans during Veterans Appreciation Week, from Nov. 5 through Nov. 11.
    There to accept the plaque was August Bouker, who thanked everyone for their continued support of veterans. The Veterans Day parade, sponsored by V.F.W. Post 550 and American Legion Post 419, will start in front of London Jewelers at 10 a.m. on Nov. 11.