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8 Comments by hdhouse

Westhampton Beach could decide on artificial turf by January

decide all you want based on the skimpy facts presented.

This artificial turf debate regarding the Westhampton Beach HS field is, unfortunately, long on passion and short on facts.

Most studies indicate that there are more frequent injuries on artificial turf as opposed to natural grass surfaces. The injuries are, of course, different in nature but the studied rate is reported as much as 60+% more per 100 playing hours.

Second, over time, due to weather conditions, normal wear, etc., artificial fields develop an uneven surface with some parts becoming harder (less giving) than other parts. Indoor artificial surfaces generally remain more uniform. Outdoor, highly exposed surfaces react quite differently.

The supporter's website (yestoturf.com) indicates use of a crumb rubber base. While there is a reasonable amount of concern regarding playing on surfaces comprised of materials that you can’t put legally in a landfill, the more pressing claim is that artificial turf is without maintenance costs. Just the opposite is true. The life of an artificial turf field is about 10 years with proper maintenance (disinfectants, surface maintenance, etc.) and the costs are not nominal and particularly are they NOT non-existent. $.50/$1.00 per square foot is reported to be industry norm. Please think 160 x360= 57,600 sq.ft minimum.

More to the point, the “text” on this supportive website appears to have been taken nearly verbatim from the Synthetic Turf Council (syntheticturfcouncil.org) website, a decidedly industry public relations website. They are, of course, entitled to be lobbyists for artificial turf and the local supporters are equally free to scrape copy from that site – with or without attribution. But lets look at the facts here and not industry hyperbole and in particular, let’s not hear one side of the story.

If this field, with very heavy use, lasts 10 years it will amortize at about $60,000 a year without maintenance. Does it cost $60,000 a year to keep the grass on the present field? Further, artificial turf maintenance is not just “cutting and fertilizing the lawn” which is in the realm of the school district’s grounds department, but is a fairly specialized bit of care for the investment made. This means either outsourcing maintenance or more training for the staff or both. On the far end, there is just a simple secondary cost found in playing shoes…two sets of shoes, one for artificial turf and one set for natural grass…just for instance and that goes for teams that come here to play too.

Coupled with the injury rate, wear rates and the outdoor, exposed environment, and the projected amount of “use” (comparing the demands on the field here versus a suburban Cincinnati location is apples and oranges at best), this might not be the great deal that is being portrayed. Certainly there is money for the project but don’t think for a moment that it is cost effective either long or short term.
" May 16, 10 8:54 AM

Resident challenges Westhampton Beach School Board on turf funding

The operative statement here is by Lynn Schwarz who said " Governor David Paterson has discussed reducing state aid to school districts who have too much money in their liability reserve funds". Has the governor done that? No.

As the subject is now moot, it is noted also that Board President Terchunian contradicts Lynn Schwarz "It is irresponsible for us to speculate what Albany may do".

The proper course of action was to WAIT AND SEE. But no. You got swept away with this turf nonsense and it is nonsense. The board swallowed the artificial turn mantra in a big gulp and now the tax payers who were led down this path will pay for it. Let's visit this fiasco in a year and get the accounting." May 20, 10 5:16 AM

Kabot DWI hearing kicks off, will resume Tuesday

If Kabot were drinking or not ..well that seems secondary to the other stuff surrounding this. Why the phone calls? Why would a WHB Lt. call the PBA fellow Aube to report an arrest? Is taht typical?" Jul 9, 10 1:33 PM

East Hampton School Board members split on hiring new administrator

So to be clear here, because seniors can't leave the building at lunch it means that you need a third $125,000+ administrator "on deck" in case of what? Couldn't the board simply hire a dozen $1,000/mo big nasty folks to come in and patrol the halls and lunch room for 90 or so minutes a day? You know. Keep order and stuff.

And a PS to the board: When the peasants carrying pitchforks and hoes chase you down the street will it help you out if you call one of the assistant principals to fend them off?" Sep 22, 10 7:35 AM

Remsenburg And Speonk Taxpayers Will Vote On $5.7 Million School Expansion Project Tuesday

There is an obvious concern for spending $5.7million on a project that nets out 1 classroom. So lets put that 600sq.ft. aside for a minute. The additon of a 1900 sq.ft. cafeteria/mtg room - well ok. It is about space utilization but it also notes the issue that you are planning on building a 1900 foot room that will be used 2 hours a day or so. There might be no way around it but that is a tough sell.

If you are building a new library, what is happening to the old library? Was there one? Are you going to have two? The same with the computer lab. It is far cheaper and more efficient to invest in laptops for the students but that is another story.

What is most troubling is that 2 years ago, the system brought forth a $14,9 million proposal that was, on face, kinda silly considering the enrollment. This space proposal, at just under $500/sq.ft., although vastly more cost conscious than the Westhampton Beach $1000/sq.ft. building cost, seems to me to be something of a Trojan Horse.

The rooms to be added (per the article) are a cafeteria at 1900 sq. ft., a class room - say 20x30 or even 30x30, a computer room, library and a kitchen. Do the math. 11,461 - 1900 - 900 = 8,461 sq. ft for the library, kitchen and computer room. Really?" Dec 2, 10 9:39 AM

I wasn't advocating a defeat at all. I have personal interests in keeping that school as good and functional as it can be. I suppose I'm just more or less continually astounded at $5mllion+ being referred to as anything other than serious money.

I am also taken aback that folks can look at the school and see over crowding and others see a country club and some cite stagnant population growth while others do not.

What that points to is the facts are not out there in any way, shape or form that people realize to be uniformly agreed upon. Either we can't read or others can't write." Dec 5, 10 10:40 AM

Construction Bond Rejected By Remsenburg-Speonk School District Voters

I can't vote in the district but have family and friend interests there and hoped it would pass but have opined in the past that the district could have done a much better job in being specific about the use of the money.

That said, one issue is the arcane voting eligibility issues. Persons who oen property and pay taxes but do their political voting elsewhere don't vote in the school budget elections. Remsenberg seems to be no different in this.

Good school(s) are an underpinning of property values and the board has played to the wrong audience. It isn't the persons who have purchased a median home of $1,000,000 who can't afford or oppose the 50 cents a day increase, it is the year around residents who perhaps aren't as fortunate - either retired or with "local" jobs that don't pay a hoot that are hurting and vote accordingly.

I'm sure there are laws about all this that prevent it but it is certainly time to discuss it." Dec 8, 10 10:10 AM

Tuckahoe Superintendent Would Rent District-Owned Home Following $95,000 Renovations

First Oysterponds and now Tuckahoe...is there something in the water?" Dec 8, 10 10:15 AM