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Barefoot and Wagons
Volume 49, Issue 1
By Sandy Drawers

Welcome back everyone! It’s been a bit chilly and rainy so far this May, and here I am standing in the center of the village, with water flowing all around me, wondering where the spring is? But with Memorial Day sounding off our season, I am determined to have a sunny outlook. And how can you not with how fantastic our village looks? (as the water quickly reaches my ankles)
Our grand old community house, the heart of the village, has gotten a facelift (so have most of my Palm Beach pals, and they also look fantastic)! I’m so proud of our village. We pulled together, with the help of the incredible devotion of the Community Fund members (we love you!) and the village administration’s keen eye for matching funds, as well as the money squirreled away, we were able to save her before it was too late for any magic scalpel.
Fire Island Rotary member George Rehn hosted a group study exchange team from Naples, Italy earlier this month. Apparently they were able to enjoy a real American brunch and see how Ocean Beachers live. (looking a bit like Venice here today…). The group study exchange is one of the Rotary’s most popular programs, providing a world-wide cultural and vocational experience and furthers the Rotary’s goal of peace and understanding. Three of the four Italian Rotarians were young lawyers.
Jerry Cohen of the Athletic Turtle is celebrating 20 years in business this summer. Wow! How time flies. Did you know Jerry was a principal in various Brooklyn high schools before retiring to FI? As part of his celebration, he’s offering incredible sales all summer long. Look for his weekly ad in this paper for specials, and go by to check out the newest in footwear—Crocs. I know, strange name, but go. You’ll love them!
Our town is looking friendlier. With the public bathrooms standing at the ready, now the hotels are spiffing up. Each year, Housers has been renovating more and more of their rooms. Now Cleggs has a small sign posted to excuse their appearance, as they undergo renovations. But by far the largest undertaking has got to be the former Jerry’s Rooms. I do believe the last of the flop houses have gone. Whew. Have you noticed how great “The Palms” looks? New owners Robert Dosch and Chris Liano own a real estate business in East Islip and have taken this on as a labor of love. The apartments feature stainless steel appliances, new wood floors, gorgeous tiles, jacuzzi baths … well you get the idea. Its enough to make you want to rent out your home and stay there. (I’ll do it once room service is offered.)
On a different note, do you think a year can go by where someone does not get sued for residency? This winter someone apparently sued about 50 Fire Islanders who claimed residency in Suffolk County for fraud. I heard only two were found to be in violation. It just seems that every time someone or something controversial is up for vote (Mayor Pugliese anyone?) people are trying to disenfranchise folks. Sounds very Republican. Since the residency law is purposefully open and vague, and its so hard to ever win these cases (Irving Like represented Pines residents in a successful fight for their right to vote here a couple years back) can’t we just let people decide for themselves where they consider “home?”
When its beach building, seems everyone feels the more voting the better. Until they disagree with the issue. Now people here are so hush-hush about it you’d think they were embarrassed…
After months of a recycling moratorium to allow the Long Island Power Authority to replace transformers and update electrical infrastructure in the area, it has returned to Ocean Beach. In case you were wondering what to do with your bottles, cans, paper and plastic—clean them and separate them, said Mark Stang of Stang Carting, Ocean Beach’s garbage removal service. Then, every Sunday night, bring your recycled refuse out for pick up. “It’s good for the world,” said Stang.
Here’s to that.