Reflections of a Trustee

Dear Editor:

Another summer season is fast coming to an end and I for one have good feelings about the future of Ocean Beach.  Our Board of Trustees, under the Leadership of our new Mayor, Joe Loeffler, seem to be in agreement about the issues that need our attention.

As in the past the most complaints were about the late night noise and rowdiness of the bar patrons and certain group houses, the lack of respect for our rules, especially eating and littering on our beaches and streets and bicycle riding in an unsafe manner.  These are the quality of life issues that most of the homeowners are affected by daily and the Board should act to remedy immediately.

Mayor Loeffler, who has a significant background in law enforcement has stated that as the Police Commissioner he will take responsibility for seeking to improve on these quality of life issues.  The Trustees stand behind the Mayor and the acting Police Chief, George Hess, in seeing that our laws are respected so that the residents of the community are provided the reasonably safe, clean and peaceful environment that they are entitled to. 

The board has also begun to more fairly allocate the cost of doing business in the village and we will continue to do so until items such as police, refuse removal and water/sewer charges are more fairly distributed between the residential and commercial property owners.  As I have always said, businesses are entitled to make a profit, just not at the expense of the homeowners.

Another major complaint this year was that many homeowners did not obtain the proper rental permits and/or ran their houses like cheap motels.  Because of the large number of complaints, the board is looking to rewrite the Village Code to insure stricter compliance and a better atmosphere in the residential community.

The most well attended board meeting this summer involved the issue of a proposed condominium project in the residential district.  Many residents voiced their opposition to the project.  While the opponents of the condominium had no valid legal grounds to challenge the development, the project did not go through for other reasons.  However, in response to the public sentiment in opposition to the condominium, the Village Code was changed, after the project was terminated, to prohibit similar projects in the future.  It was indeed unfortunate that too many residents did not understand or care about the existing laws when they protested the project. However, because the Village Board did listen to and respect the voice of those same residents, the Code was changed. 

While change and progress seem to be inevitable, many of us would like to try and keep that progress in check, especially in our beautiful village.

As a trustee who just completed a four year term and was re-elected to another term, I want to thank all of those who help to run our Village and to the residents and others who take the time to attend our meetings and offer your advice, ideas and constructive criticisms.  We could not do our jobs effectively without your input.

Thank you


An Unsettling Ride

Dear Editors,

I have been visiting the community of Fair Harbor since I was a small child in the late 1970s. Since moving to Boston, I have found it difficult to make it back to the island until recently, when my wife and I returned to Fair Harbor. Everything about the island that I loved as a child was seemingly unchanged by the passing years, except, that is, for the water taxis.

Since Fair Harbor was and still is a quiet residential community, it was always a fun getaway to spend an evening in Ocean Beach followed by a quick but always exhilarating taxi ride back. I thought that since this past weekend was my wife’s first venture to Fire Island, she should see all the island had to offer. This clearly had to include an evening in Ocean Beach followed by the taxi ride home.

However, to my dismay, we were forced to wait a whopping 45 minutes for one to arrive. For $8 a person we were forced to wait and instead of enjoying the ride, we were concerned for our safety. In addition, it had been so long since a boat had arrived that one very courteous young man who had been waiting with us the entire time and had politely offered to help several women onto the boat was kicked off by the police for being the 32nd passenger. Those same crewmen did nothing to assist him even though they had just observed the entire event take place.

Maybe the taxi companies should follow a classic American capitalist economic maxim and allow competition to better serve the paying public yet again!

Evan Diamond
Cambridge, MA

Online Issues

Dear Editor:

I have been unable to get to FI often this summer secondary to personal issues. However, I always look forward to your online updates. I was wondering what happened to Issue 9 for “On the Deck” FI Pines? Thanks for your input and assistance. Be well and enjoy the remainder of the season.

Via email

Dear Janet

Thanks for your interest in FI's community paper. The issues are put online after the newspaper is on the stands one weekend. That way it does not compete with the newsstand sales.

The News is online year round covering the beach. Again, thanks for your interest. We appreciate it.


Art Show Errors

Dear Editor:

First I would like to thank the FI News for the well-written article on the Kismet Art Show (Issue 8, Vol. 50). And for the photo of my favorite of Peter Lynch's works – “Litoralis” (named after me, by the way). I would just like to clarify a few errors in the article.

First of all, I am not the owner of Miss Alice’s. Alice Trottier was a Kismet resident in the 1930’s who survived the ’38 hurricane and owned a store at the approximate location of the current Miss Alice's Sweets and Treats. The owner of Miss Alice’s is Greg Pecoraro, who owns the adjoining Margarita Villas - and who named the store in honor of the real Miss Alice. He was kind enough to provide space for me to exhibit Peter's work.

Additionally, Peter’s work was done in gouache and watercolor and although there were a few photographs that I did, most were done by Peter.

Thank you,
Alice Shultz

Compassionate Call

To the Editor:

I would like to thank all the O.B. EMS people and the Suffolk County Police Dept., all of whom came Monday evening in response to my call for unbearable pain, for their compassion and promptness in removing me from the island.

Joseph F. Aschner
Corneille Estates

Polite Police

Dear Editor:

We are so fortunate to have such wonderful people on duty in the Ocean Beach Police Dept. They are concerned, considerate, helpful and pleasant. Thank you and best wishes to all.

Annette Rosenbaum

A Special Thanks

I have been very fortunate to not only have been a resident of Ocean Beach for almost 50 years (including my “grouper” days) but to have had the privilege of being a member of the Community Fund and working with people totally committed to having Ocean Beach be the special place that it is.

However, at the time, I would personally like to give thanks to the following establishments, who have worked with me for so many years, in providing the food for our annual fundraiser. Each and every year, I have requested for them to donate a dish to serve to at least 400 people. And they have, even though our fundraiser is on a Saturday night in the height of season.

So I say to: JT of CJ'S, you are a gem-your generosity abounds; Mermaid Market-all the best in your new venture; Michael’s-thanks so much for putting up with Steven’s mother; Bocce Beach-Peter you are awesome; Rachel’s-overwhelming, each year you out-do yourself; Eddie-thanks for the heroes; Town Pizza, the best garlic sticks around; The Breeze—newcomers who immediately joined in; Albatross—Jim always there, always ready; MaGuires—Jim and Drew—each year reaching above the mark; Matthews—the most delectable fish dishes; The Hideaway—Pat always coming up with something different and in abundance.

And to you Scott Hirsch of the Island Mermaid, I am so very grateful for your generosity above and beyond. John and Chrissy, a job well done, you did it and did it well.

Thanks again, from the bottom of my heart, and to all a great last holiday weekend, and a happy, healthy and peaceful winter.

Arlene Jaffe


Wagon Park Sign, MIA

An Open Letter to Mayor Loeffler:

Something of Ocean Beach history is missing, but it's easy to restore.

In the spring of 1976—just 30 years ago—my brother and I asked Mayor Silsdorf to allow us to use a piece of land near the ferry terminal—just a sandy strip—to build a series of racks on a concrete floor to give residents a place to store their wagons when they go off the island. Our only request was that it be named “The George Crohn, Sr. Wagon Park” and that it had an appropriate sign to celebrate our father’s 80th birthday. We were happy to pay all the costs as four generations of our family have enjoyed this magical place.

Some years ago, the sign disappeared. We are asking that the sign be restored and, again, are willing to pay all the costs involved plus any further beautification of the park that the Village deems appropriate. For further support of this matter, I refer you to page 3 of the Fire Island News, June 26, 1976 and Page 6 of the Fire Island News, August 12, 2005.

We salute again former Village Superintendent Ed Dattner and former Mayor Arthur Silsdorf for their foresight in supporting this project and thank you for your consideration in the current matter.

Frank Crohn