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Long, Strange Summer It’s Been
By Nicole Pressly Wolf

The summer that the ferry was cheaper than driving.

The summer when primetime plugged into central island residents’ lives as the reality show “One Ocean View” premiered. However, by episode two, reality sunk in and the ABC executives pulled the plug.

The summer when McMansions seemed to have been built over night and people claimed their sunset was being stolen. In response, development in OB became the hot topic for the town’s new mayor. And no sooner had the board passed the controversial permit for a bayfront house to make way for fancy condos, then, just as quickly, the building's owner reneged on the deal.

It was the summer that the Village of Saltaire found its entire government in court, on charges of voter and residency fraud, addressing difficult federal laws that question all second-home voters nationwide.

The summer the Federal Seashore was asking for community input on the direction FINS should take for the next quarter century. And despite much anticipation, hardly anyone came.

The summer women, for the first time in decades, were welcomed for three hours only into the exclusive and fantastical Belvedere Hotel in the Grove. And that fundraiser helped bring all parts of the Grove together for live theater.

It’s also the summer when the News hit volume 50—not feeling quite so old but taking on the task of logging and digitalizing over 50 years of archival material. It was also the season we published a series of historical articles that proved this year is not any stranger than those past—when Marilyn Monroe asked a young Hy Muchnik not to photograph her; when Fire Island was used as a cholera quarantine, and when the usually elegant Humphrey Bogart was caught in his underwear.

So as we prepare for our golden anniversary in 2007—with a show in the OB Historical Society as well as a special summer of celebration, look on www.finews.biz for “all the stranger and stranger news that matters” year round.