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Oct 7, 2011 3:53 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Vincent J. Cannuscio Trail Is Dedicated In Hampton Bays

Oct 11, 2011 5:05 PM

Family, friends and community officials were all present on Friday morning at the dedication ceremony for the new Vincent J. Cannuscio Trail.

An estimated 100 people were present as local politicians and members of the Cannuscio family gave speeches and remembered the former Southampton Town supervisor, in whose memory the trail was dedicated.

“Today, we are here to remember a great man and his gifts of love and friendship, his generosity of spirit and his legacy,” former Southampton Town Supervisor Linda A. Kabot said in a speech at the dedication.

The trail, which is located behind the gazebo next to the Community Preservation offices on Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays, is the first step to opening the proposed Good Ground Park. The 38-acre park is planned on land purchased by the Southampton Town Board in 2003, using $3.5 million from the Community Preservation Fund, or CPF. The pocket park and gazebo along Montauk Highway, which opened in 2006, is designed to link up with the larger park once it’s created, via the trail.

Former president of the Hampton Bays Beautification Association and a close friend to Mr. Cannuscio, Maud Kramer, said she hopes that with proper funding the park can be opened to the public in 2016.

Also present at the ceremony were Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele and, representing Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, Carolyn Fahey.

The trail was sponsored by the Hampton Bays Beautification Association in conjunction with the Hampton Bays Chamber of Commerce, the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Program and the Town of Southampton.

The lighted trail also features benches, a reflective garden and a sugar maple tree planted in honor of Mr. Cannuscio.

The property where the trail and potential park sits, formerly known as the Rosko property, has, in the past, been a controversial piece of land, and was initially slated for at least partial development by the town at a time when Mr. Cannuscio was Southampton Town supervisor.

After a series of debates between the town and the Hampton Bays Civic Association that lasted about three years, it was later decided that the 34-acre plot of land would be purchased by the town using CPF revenue, which would preserve the land and prevent development. The land was officially purchased in August 2003.

“I am happy, and the civic association is thrilled,” Marion Boden, former president of the Hampton Bays Civic Association said in a phone interview. “Once the deal was signed and the town had the 34-acres, we were so happy; now it will be there for all of eternity, which is great.”

The trail is being seen as a gateway to Good Ground Park. At the entrance to the trail sits a commemorative stone with a quote from Mr. Cannuscio, “When the sun goes down, we can’t necessarily see the beauty of our farm fields and the open waters of the Atlantic and the bays. But that beauty endures in the great character of the people of Southampton Town.”

According to Hampton Bays Civic Association President Susan von Freddi, Mr. Cannuscio will be remembered in Hampton Bays as a major part of the revitalization of the hamlet.

“He helped the HBBA accomplish many things,” Ms. von Freddi said in a speech at the dedication. “He was a true friend.”

While the rest of the Cannuscio family stood in front of the large crowd at the dedication, Mr. Cannuscio’s son, Michael Cannuscio, moved his family and several members of the audience to tears with his speech honoring his father’s legacy.

“My children, nieces and nephews will come to this trail and have fond memories of their papa,” Michael Cannuscio said. “Old friends will come to recollect about my dad and the specialness of the relationship they had with him.”

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A very moving and fitting ceremony! Rest in Peace, Vince.
By Robert I Ross (250), Hampton Bays on Oct 7, 11 7:56 PM
Vince was a very good man . R.I.P.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Oct 8, 11 9:03 PM