Hamptons Police Blotter: Sag Harbor Airport, Shuffleboard Ban, Volcano

Gardiner's Island Volcano, Lion's Mouth, is threatening to erupt
Gardiner’s Island Volcano, Lion’s Mouth, is threatening to erupt, Photo: iStock/Thinkstock, Island: Uploaded by W.marsh (Wikimedia Commons)

Sag Harbor Protests Airport Plan
Police were deployed to control crowds as Sag Harbor erupted in protests over the weekend. The protests were a response to a working plan that was released by officials with proposed changes to address the ongoing noise complaints stemming from low-flying planes and helicopters in the area. The plan calls for the construction of a 5,000-foot-long runway on reclaimed land to be created by filling in the bay off of Havens Beach in Sag Harbor. The idea is to have planes land at this new facility before taxiing along local roads to arrive at existing hangars in East Hampton. In addition, several dedicated helipads are proposed. Angry protests against the proposal resulted in area streets being blocked, and police were only able to control the crowds by bringing in Commando armored cars and lobbing tear gas. In a statement, local officials defended the working plan as “the only reasonable solution to low-flying aircraft noise that has yet been put forward. It should be pointed out that nobody has come up with a better recommendation.”

Shuffleboard Ban
Old Man McGumbus, Shelter Island’s 104-year-old WWII veteran and professional shuffleboard player, was in new legal trouble after a surveillance video surfaced that appeared to show him filmming the practice of another local shuffleboard team inside its private training facility in Shelter Island Heights. McGumbus, for his part, did not deny that he committed the acts allegedly shown on the tape but pointed out that the video in question could merely have been him using his smartphone to photograph the cheerleaders who were practicing alongside the shuffleboarders. McGumbus was cited for trespassing by police, and the American Shuffleboard Federation (ASF) announced that they would be suspending McGumbus from professional competition indefinitely, pending an investigation.

Active Volcano on Gardiner’s Island
Officials are warning boaters and pilots to steer clear of Gardiner’s Island, as the long inactive Lion’s Roar volcano has been emitting sulfurous fumes. According to Dr. Hans Vöbel, the volcano has not erupted since the Middle Ages. Dr. Vöbel, a German geologist from Hensingraff University who has been studying the volcano since 1953, alerted authorities on Thursday that, while poking around on Lion’s Roar, he had smelled something “like rotten eggs” and that “all of a sudden, my beard caught on fire.” While the incineration of Dr. Vöbel’s beard may have been caused by the fact that it was quite saturated with schnapps, officials are taking his warnings seriously and are advising residents to take precautions.

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Gardiner’s Island photo: Uploaded by W.marsh for Wikimedia Commons, 2006.

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