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On and Off The Deck
By Jon Wilner

Unbelievably this is the last column of the season, however the beautiful and conscientious publisher and editor, Nicole Pressly, invited me to write the column on line over the Autumn and Winter.  Just in case I don’t, I’m going to cram it all in this issue. 

First and foremost, Congratulations to Eric Von Kuersteiner, Sean Patrick Ryan, Stephen D’Ascoli, Vinnie Petrarca, Joey Mendoza, David Ledu, Jeffrey McGovern and the entire staff of the Pavilion, Bay Bar, Blue Whale, Hotel Ciel, Bamboo and Index and Bobby Palermo for all working together to make ASCENSION the success that it was. Also thank you to Ron McKenna, The Fire Island Pines Police Dept, Ron Quinto and the Fire Island Pines Volunteer Fire Dept., all who worked tirelessly this past week not only producing an incredible celebration, but at the same time raising money for the Gay and Lesbian Task Force.  It had the best qualities of the original GMHC morning party combined with the best qualities of the yearly Pines Party.  The bungalows overlooking the dance floor were a huge hit.  Tony Roncalli, Richard Winger, Ken Ranftle, Brandon Fradd, were just a few of the bungalow sponsers.  As we entered the party on the most beautiful beach in the world, we walked through towering Ascension Blue flags onto the party site that was adorned by a 100 foot long reflecting pool.  Not only was practically every homeowner and renter dancing away the afternoon hours, but it was so exciting to see Pines royalty back in style as the real Calvin Klein stepped onto the dance floor.  The Pines is once again a destination resort, Hallelujah!  Also thank you to Jon Biondo and Tim Horman for hosting the ASCENSION VIP cocktail party last Friday evening at their Bayfront home.  Do I see a second annual New Year’s Eve party invite coming from Jon and Tim?  Last year there were 85 New Year’s revelers on Bay and Beach Hill Walks.  Certainly, everyone on the island on New Year’s Eve will once again be invited to Scott Bromley and Tony Impavido’s house on Porgie Walk. 

PUTTING IT TOGETHER by Stephen Sondheim, will be the big show at the home of Ed Schulhafer and Crayton Robey over Labor Day weekend.  Pines stars Ryan Bell, Jack, Rita and Betsy Lichtenstein are starring in this wondrous Pines musical revue.  It’s not too late to join the cooking classes on September 2nd and 9th, Andre Almeida is the chef du jour on the 2nd at the home of Albert Lepage and Rebecca of 242 Bay is the chef on the 9th.  Glen Wielgus wowed them in the aisles all Summer as he PUT IT ALL TOGETHER , even without our community house, to bring Arts to the Pines as his first full year as President of FIPAP.  The Arts and Crafts show alone brought in nearly $10,000 two weeks ago.  

Tickets are still available for this coming Sunday, August 27th, to welcome Governor Howard Dean back to the Pines for his 5th visit.  Join us at the home of Brandon Fradd, 72 Bay Walk, from 1:30 to 3 PM, catering by Lula, benefiting the Democratic National Committee.  Oceanfront homeowner Andy Tobias is our host.  And let’s not forget our youngest Democratic shining star, Corey Johnson, who gives so much of his Pines time to the future of the Democratic party in the Pines.  He is what the joy of youth is all about!  Speaking of politics, make sure you pop by Richard and Elisa Rosen’s oceanfront home on Saturday September 2nd, from 2 to 4 PM, as we welcome Congressman Tim Bishop.  It is imperative that you show your support, for our voice from the Pines in Congress is something that is vital to our beach. 

All FIPPOA members will be receiving this week in the mail the ballots for our Fall election.  If you do not vote by mail, make sure you are at our Fall membership meeting on Saturday, September 16th.  As we bid a loving farewell to our President of 24 years, Alan Brockman, our roster of candidates are: Tony Roncalli vs. Ron Martin for President. Stephen Hayes vs. Jay Pagano for Vice President. Hal Rubenstein vs. Brett Baccus for Secretary and Jon Gilbert vs. William Hayden for Treasurer. For seats on the FIPPOA board, there are seven candidates for five open positions: Tony Roncalli, Ron Martin, Gary Clinton, Brett Baccus, William Hayden, Philip Monaghan and yours truly, Jon Wilner.  Alan will of course remain on the Board, for his contributions will continue enormously to the community that he has spent the last quarter of a century dedicated to. 

As President of Congregation B’Nai Olam, I am pleased to say that the Pines Fire House will be the home of our High Holiday Services.  Rosh Hashana services will be Friday evening September 22nd and Saturday morning, September 23rd.  Kol Nidre will be on Sunday Evening, October 1st and Yom Kippur on Monday, October 2nd.  Ed Schulhafer and Crayton Robey have donated their bayfront home for a Rosh Hashana dinner on Friday, September 22nd, $75.00 person, benefiting our congregation.  Once again, our Rosh Hashana luncheon will be at the Blue Whale immediately following services on Saturday, September 23rd.  Brunch is complimentary to all our congregation.  For information please call 631 597 9363. 

That was adorable Toby Donoghue selling shells on Picketty Ruff to benefit Cancer Research. Thank you Ed Karlin and Ken Pollard for all that they do for FIPPOA, on a daily basis all year round!  Happy Birthday to Bill Moore, Ron Martin, Brett Baccus and Tony Impavido.   

Before I bid a fond farewell to Summer 2006, I want to thank all those who helped make this season so wonderful.  A personal thank you to Ray Starr and Michael Hyman who keep me in tow, who are at my side, and who are invaluable to my life in the Pines.

Doug Teague, Walter Boss, Ed Isaacson, Bobby Palermo, Vinny Pepe, Tommy Esposito, Ron LeBow, Walter Reich, Mike Jaggi, Matt Sullivan, you are just a few of the great people who make this island tick day to day, year to year!  Esther, Annette, Karen, thank you too!  Thank you to Golfe at Bamboo for creating so much beauty.  And thank you Chris Pfoh for being the most incredible liason between the co ops and the community. Once again, Larry and his boys at the Pines Liquor Shop for always being there to give a hand.  Congrats to Stephen and his wife on the birth of their daughter Freda. Thank you the boys of the Bay Bar who smile at everyone before they serve you your morning coffee.  And of course thank you Sal and Sara and Cora and Debbie and Annie and Eddie and thank you Mark, Maureen, Eric and Laurie Shrader, and thank you Clayton and Kim. 

Happy Fall, 2006, Happy New Year 2007, Thank you Nicole for giving me the opportunity to write in your glorious newspaper, And forever, thank you John Whyte, for memories worth a lifetime!