As we start a new year, it’s time to look back at all the big moments from 2016. Here we offer a rundown of the year’s five most popular stories on DansPapers.com.
5. Hamptons Moms Say Kids Can’t Play Poor in Les Misérables (illustrated at top)
Our first story on the list was a goof that may have gotten a bit out of control. We received calls for weeks from irate readers who believed this yarn about well-to-do parents who were up in arms about their children having to play poor people in an end-of-year production of Alain Boublil’s epic musical, Les Misérables. “These roles, playing dirty, unwashed, barefoot and pregnant bums—no matter how difficult their circumstances—plants seeds for failure and doubt in our kids,” Jeannie Knowles said, representing the views of her newly formed group, Hamptons Parents’ Voice (HPV), at a Hamptons School Board meeting. “Allowing my son Tucker to become such a person onstage opens the door for him to empathize with them in his real life, and that will certainly not do him any good in the grown-up world,” she continued. “Empathy for the poor won’t do him any favors if he needs to frack farmland or dump toxic waste near a school—and I won’t have weakness or doubt poison my legacy.”
4. Fourth of July 2016 Hamptons Fireworks Guide
The DansPapers.com editors pride ourselves on providing everything one needs to find out what to do, where to go, where to stay, and where to play in the Hamptons and on the North Fork. On the busiest weekend of the summer season, it was nice to see so many looked to us for info on all the best local fireworks shows to celebrate Independence Day.
3. Deep Trouble: Hamptons Police Submarine Scuttles Montauk Party Boat
Another absurdest piece of humor made the list with this story from our ongoing series about the Hamptons Police Department submarine—a Virginia Class nuclear sub given to the HPD as part of a federal program to outfit local police departments with decommissioned military equipment. This time, the Hamptons Police Department Submarine Unit (HPDSU) mistakenly torpedoed a party boat in the waters off Montauk. HPDSU Captain Finn Zorn said he observed a “glint of metal” on deck, leading him to believe the now-destroyed boat may have had weapons on board, so he advised its occupants, to “abandon ship if you want to live.” As the nude partiers dove into the ocean and swam in all directions, Zorn counted down from 10 and then launched a torpedo. Unfortunately for Zorn, the “glint” he describes was actually a cache of vodka bottles. Whoops.
2. Showtime Source Reveals ‘The Affair’ Season 3 Spoilers
We decided to have some fun on April Fool’s Day and make up some ridiculous spoilers for the then upcoming Season 3 of Showtime’s The Affair. Each spoiler included Noah’s poor daughter Whitney and some silly ideas, including a season finale “involving sausage links and Canadian bacon that’s so unsettling Showtime may not even air it.” Again, a lot of people believed it and we got a concerned phone call from Showtime. We set them at ease: No one in their offices actually gave us these completely wrong spoilers. Now we’re actually recapping each episode of The Affair Season 3. Check out the latest recap here.
1. Hamptons Police Make Arrest for Shinnecock Canal Fish Kill
In November, our biggest story of the year recounted the Hamptons Police Department arrest of noted menhaden slayer Reb Raymer in connection with a massive, international-news-worthy bunker fish kill in Shinnecock Canal. Raymer claimed responsibility for similar fish kills in the Peconic River back in June and July of 2015. At the time, Raymer said, “First I started picking them off with my 30 ought six, but those buggers kept comin’, so when I ran out of shells I went after ‘em with my fishing knife. And when the knife slipped and I dropped it into the river, I went to work with my bare hands.” It seems the suspect, who remained mum about this fish kill, blamed menhaden for the death of his father. Police believed his longstanding vendetta was the motive for this crime, though they struggled to find a law he’d actually broken for allegedly killing thousands of bait fish. More than a month after the crime, they’re still seeking justice for the families of the slain bunker.