On and Off The Deck
By Jon Wilner

Politics in the Pines, we’re off and running! For the first time in 24 years we have two candidates each for the Presidency, Vice Presidency, Secretary and Treasurer of the Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association. I have written about our wonderful and dedicated Alan Brockman in every column and I must say there isn’t a person in our community who doesn’t appreciate and value the past 24 years of his unparalleled devotion and service to this community. Alan introduced all the candidates in the harbor last Saturday on the informal candidates’ day.

Tony Roncalli and Ron Martin are both running for President. Stephen Hayes and Jay Pagano are running for Vice President. Brett Baccus and Hal Rubenstein are running for Secretary. Jon Gilbert and William Hayden are running for Treasurer. There is no ticket so to speak, no political party, no one is running in conjunction with anyone else. Eight excellent candidates for four officer positions. You know who they are, they are all very visible and they are all eager to speak to you to answer any of your questions.

In addition, there are seven people running for five board positions on FIPPOA: Tony Roncalli, Ron Martin, Gary Clinton, William Hayden, Brett Baccus, Philip Monaghan and yours truly, Jon Wilner. All FIPPOA members will be getting ballots in the mail this month. The election is Saturday, September 16, during the fall membership meeting at the Fire House.

Speaking of politics in the Pines, on a national level, there will be a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the bayfront home of Brandon Fradd, 72 Bay Walk, on Saturday, August 26. Howard Dean will be making his fourth visit to the Pines, so please join Andy Tobias and Brandon as we welcome him back. On a local level, Congressman Tim Bishop will be visiting the Pines, hosted by Prez Alan Brockman and Tony Roncalli at the oceanfront home of Elisa and Richard Rosen on Saturday, September 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. This is most important, as the Congressman is in an excellent position to help our beach replenishment projects and he is OUR voice in Congress.

Sunday, August 20 is the day of Ascension. Yes, the Ascension Party on the beach, an afternoon of dancing to benefit the Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Tickets are on sale in the harbor or at the Hotel Ciel office. Bungalows on the beach are still available by calling Sean Patrick Ryan at (631) 597-6500. Steven D’Ascoli and Sean can answer any questions you may have about the bungalows and sponsorship. Eric Von Kuersteiner is host of this event, which promises to be a memorable and exciting fun-filled day!


Events Events

FIPAP events are busting out all over. This Saturday the cooking classes continue with Hal Rubenstein, at the home of Glen Wielgus and Ed Lewis, 606A Shore Walk at 11am.

The Arts and Design Show is this weekend from 1 PM to 4 PM, Saturday, August 12 at Sip N Twirl. “Putting it Together,” by Stephen Sondheim, will be performed by the FIPAP Repertory Company and directed Mike Wills on Labor Day weekend at the home of Ed Schulhafer, featuring Pines celebrities Roy Yaeger, Ryan Bell, Jack and Rita Lichtenstein, Tim Burke and others.

I had a wonderful experience last Saturday night. I was honored to be invited to the commitment celebration of Wanda Goldwag and Gemi Otitoju, the yearly loving guests of Richard Winger. These two beautiful ladies visit Richard every year and have become Pines celebrities on their own. They have the biggest smiles, the loudest laughter and biggest hearts. They are beautiful inside and out and have been the two women in Richard’s life long outlasting all the men in Richard’s life. It was a very loving evening to celebrate the fact that after 22 years together, they are now “legal.” Matthew Bank and Peter Hemmel, Bob Howard, Howard Grossman, Vinny Petrarca and John Krawchuk, Guy Christie and I were among the guests enjoying lobsters and champagne.

The same night on the bay, Linda Gottlieb hosted an assortment of beautiful women enjoying barbeque, Gone With The Wind style, at her house. Linda is and always will be a loving hostess providing humor and satire to all who know her.

Happy Birthday to our wonderful Mary Cole. Let’s give a special warm thank you to our Fire Chief, Ron Quinto, who made possible the new lifesaving equipment on our beach. We are all very grateful. Don’t miss the annual arts and crafts talents of our year-round resident Paul McGregor. His wonderful work will be on display and for sale at his home on Coast Guard Walk, under the Teepee, on August 19 and 20.

I hope I got it all in—there are a lot of activities in August. If only August was sixty days long! But then it still wouldn’t be enough for all the wonderful and exciting things to do in the Pines!