Volume 50, 2006

Issue 10
Lekakis Makes Another Bedroom Hit
Paul Lekakis is probably best remembered for his mid-’80s dance hit, “Boom Boom (Let’s Go Back to My Room)” and his accompanying high energy dance moves. The song is almost always the first subject to come up in interviews. Lekakis understands why. He said, “I think everyone will always mention it, until I top it.” Right now, he’s hard at work trying to do just that.

Hotel and Owner, FI Icons
When asked in the interview how he promoted the hotel, Eberhardt responded,” we never did much advertising for the Belvedere,” and if one has ever seen it, they understand the reason why. There is not much need to stir up publicity for such a visible monument. Upon arrival, one must pass through a set of iron gates, and up to the heavy wooden doors which were taken from a demolished mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.

How to Avoid Income Tax on Home Rental
The term "vacation home" means a dwelling unit, including a house, apartment, condominium, house trailer, boat, or similar property. If the property is rented for less than 15 days during the year, no rental income is taxable. Several taxpayers have received a windfall in income without the tax bite especially during the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 and various sports tournaments when you can command a higher price.

Weird Fire Island
Everyone on the Island is familiar with deer, erosion and other such recurring topics. But there is another side to Fire Island. A mysterious side, filled with oddities, myths, things forgotten and other tidbits which are, from an archival standpoint, curious, to say the least. What follows is essentially a list of things you might not have been aware of—or maybe you just forgot—or maybe you know, and I'm just being silly, or maybe they're best left forgotten.

A Look at the Candidates for Pines Prez
Tony Roncalli considers his run for the presidency of the Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association against longtime board member Ron Martin as a generational change. Roncalli, along with his partner, Eric von Kuersteiner, represents for many the new wind that is blowing in the Pines. By setting up this contest as a generational one, Roncalli seems to be challenging the 750 homeowners to look at the September election as a referendum on those changes.

Cleaner Beaches, Record Closings
Due to the record number of beach closings nationwide from bacterial contamination this year, New York officials and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) created a four-part plan to protect Long Island beaches. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy and Babylon Town Supervisor Steve Bellone, together with the NRDC created “Save Our Shores,” a $2.45 billion program designed to protect LI beaches, reduce pollution and clean up the Long Island Sound.

Turbines Proposed for Local Waters
A 40-turbine wind farm is being proposed for the region, on a small outcropping of rock 5.1 miles off shore from Robert Moses State Park. The public commentary period, led by the Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) for what is unfolding as a controversial move, ended August 21.

FH’s Ron Stevens—From Underdog to Playwright
“Hey, I’m flying the patch, Mr. Cherry!” Ron Scott Stevens bellowed. His voice filled a small beach house in Fair Harbor, which today has been transformed into a fire station. As Stevens morphed into the characters of his play, “Cherry’s Patch,” I am whisked away from the real world and sucked into the one he has created. When the one man show is over and Stevens becomes himself again, it became evident that this 59-year-old is a man with many talents.

OB Board Says No to Condos, Yes to Vet
Condominiums and apartment houses will never be built in Ocean Beach, thanks to a resolution passed Saturday, August 12, by the Board of Trustees changing just a few words to village law. Multiple-family dwellings “are detrimental to the character of the neighborhood, prevent the most appropriate development and utilization of land” and lower property values, according to a unanimously passed resolution.

Issue 9
Locals: Have No Fear From ‘Flaccid’ Reality Show
In May, the Ocean Beach village board held its second-most-contentious, second-most well-attended meeting of the summer. People turned out by the handful—big numbers for these parts—to protest the filming of a reality show on the walks of the village. The cast members would live weekends in Corneille Estates, which would presumptively bear the brunt of the chagrin when the show went on air.

Fire Island Politicos
We all know that Robert Moses was here—a lot. In the 1960s, he spent a great deal of time slugging it out with Interior Secretary Stuart Udall, Representative John V. Lindsay, Congressman Otis Pike and Senators Jacob Javits and Kenneth Keating over the future of our beloved beach. Besides these gentlemen however, there were many politicians who visited us from time to time, and for various reasons.

FINS Crafts New Vision for Seashore
From mosquitoes to zoning to nude beaches, the Fire Island National Seashore has its work cut out as it begins to revamp the General Management Plan (GMP) for Fire Island, the all-encompassing outline for stewardship the National Park Service uses to maintain and guide the future of the island. FINS launched the GMP process last Saturday in Ocean Beach, at an open gathering in the community house.

Mardi Gras in July at Grove Casino
Mardi Gras was in the air in Cherry Grove during the last week in July. Isaac Steven Vaughan and Wendy Lewis decreed that Wednesday night’s” Bring Your Own Meat,” the community dinner at the Grove Hotel, open with shrimp gumbo; close with a King Cake, the traditional, gold, green and purple-iced Mardi Gras pastry, from Lafayette, Louisiana; and be accompanied by Mardi Gras music.

Heroes and Villains Leap into the Pines
Aquamen, Batmen and Supermen galore spread out over the beach on the eastern edge of the Pines all night, Saturday, 30. It wasn’t a casting call for a new action movie, but the latest incarnation of the most fantastic annual event on Fire Island. In the past, Pines Party has taken a magic carpet to an Arabian castle, has gone into a TV set and retrieved its favorite characters, has done a reverse “Purple Rose of Cairo,” magically walked into a film screen and played cowboys and Indians.

New FINS Deputy Supt., Emergency Expert
Sean McGuinness has come home, sort of. Hired last summer by Fire Island National Seashore Superintendent Mike Reynolds as Deputy Superintendent, McGuinness entered as the natural fit for a complicated mission. A mission he feels uniquely qualified to fulfill. From General Management Planning (GMP) to emergency response systems to involvement with local people, McGuinness has seen it all in his 23 years as a National Park service employee.

Issue 8
Trends in the FI Real Estate Market
Buyers and tenants in every market want the same things. They want value. Finding the best house in the best location for the least amount of money—that is the aim in the real estate game. The frenzy among Fire Island buyers seems to have slowed, especially on the high end. Although list prices are still high, selling prices have brought the market in line with reality.

Avoiding Capital Gains Tax
Practicing as a CPA in the Fire Island Professionals Office in Ocean Beach, several people have asked me about capital gains tax on the sale of their house. On May 7, 1997 the rules changed. A single person can exclude $250,000 of capital gains and a married couple can exclude $500,000. The gain is computed by taking the initial purchase price, closing costs and improvements made to the house.

Solar Energy: The Why & How-To
Would you like to open up your LIPA electric bill and see a credit instead of a charge? Well, it’s not a dream. That’s what Janet LaViolette will do this month, when she receives the first statement after installing her new solar energy system. Solar energy technology has been around for 50 years. And because of technological advances it has recently gotten to a new level.

Saltaire Homes: From Coffey to Contemporary
Saltaire is “the summer home of sensible people,” or so it was called by the early boosters of the small community. In 1910, real estate operators O.C. Loucks and L.E. Bliss, who were active in the early development of Miami Beach, bought property on the island from the Von Glahn family and started the Fire Island Beach Development Company. The piece of land they purchased went from bay to ocean and had a frontage of 3,360 feet on either end.

The Price of Paradise
According to Suffolk County sales reports among the west-end communities, the average sale price in 2003 was $422,750. That price rose in 2004 to $498,230 and last year in a leap of almost $150,000 in 2005 to $624,000. It is a fact: prices are high for “shining palaces” and have been climbing the last few years in leaps and bounds.

Katrina Plays Key Role in Monies For Beach
The tragic aftermath of last year’s Hurricane Katrina had ripple effects that extended into local waters, highlighting the necessity for beach replenishment and storm preparedness on Fire Island that Washington is only starting to see, said officials who spoke at the annual Fire Island Association meeting Saturday, July 22.

Labors of Love, Historic F.I. Homes
When you stand upon the boardwalks that lead over the dunes, you can turn, face north, and look down upon the houses. Each has a life all its own. A dwelling’s personality arises from the emotional attachment the owner or architect has for it. In a place like Fire Island, which conjures different but deep feelings for everyone who lives here, it makes for an interesting mix of houses.

Art Lovers Fill the CG Show to Capacity
At noon last Saturday, Homecoming Queen Coco Love cut the red ribbon to open officially what Arts Project of Cherry Grove President Ceejay Rosen announced was the organization’s 57th annual Art Show at the Community House. Local and visiting artists, familiar faces and newcomers, exhibited work in many media—paintings, sketches, photographs, pottery, and so on—to a capacity crowd on this first day of the two day show.

Appraisals: The Changing Value of the Beach
Fire Island’s real estate sales have come a long way since the days flyers proclaimed “Auction!” Prices have reached record heights and some realtors suggest the prices may be due to a new wave of appraisers. In the past, many banks were unwilling to finance property on the island. Fire Island was seen as a risk and people had to self-finance their homes, with only a few banks willing to lend.

Issue 7
The First and Only Airmail Gets Through
A memorable historical event took place on Fire Island 76 years ago, when the first airmail delivery was made. The time was 10:25 a.m.; the date was Thursday, July 4, 1929; two mail sacks were dispatched, each containing 1,750 pieces; the drop-off was completed on the dock of Cherry Grove; and the whole affair was the climax of a race from the mainland between a hare and a tortoise.

Finding the Perfect Beach Body Treatment
Fire Island’s dress code is pretty simple: flip-flops, bathing suit and an easygoing attitude. Keeping it all together, however, sometimes requires a bit more attention. You need pedicures, waxing and some way of releasing stress. Luckily, the island offers a number of health and beauty treatments, from manicures to massage—just about everything you need to look and feel good on the beach.

Dance Fest Raises Million for AIDS
Celebrating a dozen years of the Fire Island Dance Festival was especially exciting this year, as the announcement was made at the last performance that the festival has raised over a million dollars for Dancers Responding to AIDS.The ten remarkable dance companies who unveiled world premieres of their performances gave the audience even more to cheer about.

Finding Peace in Award-Winning Doc
There is a moment late in the film “Zahira: La Que Florece” when your heart finally breaks. By then you’ve seen Zahira Obaya’s struggle to heal after surviving the terrorist attacks of Madrid on March 11, 2004. She is thanking her boyfriend for washing her wounds, taking care not to let water in her ears.

Film Fest Another Cinematastic Success
Fourteen films. Six filmmakers. Two days, two nights. And over 1,000 attendees, who, eager to escape Hollywood’s pervasive grip on contemporary cinematic art, flocked to Ocean Beach this weekend for the Golden Wagon Film Festival. Now in its fourth year, the festival has grown a bit while retaining the spirit and design its founders envisioned years ago.

Kismet’s Artistic Talent on Display
At a party some time ago, Bill Poindexter mentioned he summered in Kismet. The woman he was talking to replied, “Isn’t that some sort of art colony?” Poindexter was somewhat surprised—Kismet’s more often thought of as a “sex, booze, and rock n’ roll place,” he said. But it is home to many artists and three years ago, Poindexter decided it was time to showcase some of the local talent.

New OB Mayor Faces Old Challenges With New Eye
Joe Loeffler hit the ground running at his first board of trustees meeting as mayor last Saturday, confirming a round of new appointments—including a new trustee—and discussing efforts his administration will undertake to improve village life. Loeffler swore in Ken Klein, a civil engineer from New York City, to be the fifth trustee and occupy the seat left open when the mayor took up his new post earlier this month.

Dog Lover/Nudist Sues FI National Seashore
Cheekies is obedient, well-trained and trustworthy. He is nudist Mark DelCore’s best friend. But does that mean the canine should be allowed onto a local nude beach? That’s the question at the heart of a lawsuit DelCore filed July 12 against the Fire Island National Seashore.

‘Project Runway’—the Cherry Grove Way
Move over Donna Karan! For the 10th anniversary Doctor’s Fund Benefit show, produced by Meryl Facterman and Lois McIntosh, in association with the Arts Project of Cherry Grove, at the Community House came down the runway last Saturday. Brilliant director Donald Labohn and his company spoofed fashion and design in some ebullient high jinks billed as “High Fashion Follies.”

Issue 6
Re-Envisioning for Bay Shore
During the summer the popular thing to do on Long Island is take a walk downtown with a cold drink in hand, maybe even shop a little. However, the cool places to go, like Port Jefferson and Sayville, create traffic as people drive out of their way to get there.

Walking the Bird Beat
Taryn Martinez and Theresa Watts say these words over the static of their handheld radio. The two college students are on their way to Smith Point Beach, driving a large, dusty Land Rover with the words “Endangered Species Protection Program” emblazoned across the side.

Blue Point, A Welcome Addition to Bay Shore
I don’t “do” seafood. I never was a fan. However, after eating at Blue Point in Bay Shore, my taste buds have had a change of heart. For the first time in my life I seriously considered eating Mako, just because it sounded so good.

Delivering the Comic Goods in CG
Panzi wore several figurative hats, as well as a couple of wigs, at the Arts Project of Cherry Grove’s annual comedy night, “Stand Up Cherry Grove,” last Saturday at the Community House.

E. Coli Scare Caused by Faulty Testing
The two-and-a-half-day water alert that had residents island wide boiling their water for fear of ingesting E. coli was a false alarm caused by contaminated testing equipment, Suffolk County officials said.

End Is Nigh for Saltaire Incinerator
When Noreen Adler moved to the east side of Saltaire from Surf Walk last summer, she was greeted by a most unwelcome neighbor—thick black smoke that made her eyes water and her throat scratchy.

Pine Walk’s Meteorologist
It’s a Saturday afternoon, and here at 40 degrees 38 minutes 18 seconds north and 73 degrees 11 minutes 12 seconds, barometric pressure is high. Translation: The weather is nice on Pine Walk.

Barefoot and Protesting
The first bottle hits the surf with an inaudible splash. Its landing is followed by the cheers of an unknown number of women standing on a narrow strip of sand in Dunewood. A shower of bottles follows the initial launch, and this volley’s splashdown is met with an even greater fanfare.

Tapping The Sun
This is the first of two articles on solar power that will run in The Fire Island News. We’ve come a long way since Carter installed solar panels on the White House roof (or since Reagan had them taken down). Solar energy has had a reputation as being very costly, almost a rich person’s nod to the environment, but it’s come a long way.

Issue 5
How Fire Island Was Saved From Being Paved
Many readers will be aware of some of the story about how Fire Island was saved from the paving of a highway, atop a sand dyke that had first been proposed by Robert Moses back in 1924, when he first became head of the Long Island State Park Commission.

Kickin’ in Kismet
The little town of Kismet was bursting with American pride last Sunday at its 42nd Annual Independence Day Parade. There were two marching bands, a cavalcade of costumed kiddies and enough grilled hamburger meat and Budweiser to slake a Marine expeditionary unit.

OB Parade: Oh Baby!
Whoever doesn’t love a parade steered clear of Ocean Beach on July 4 this week, when swarms of costumed kiddies carted through town for the Independence Day parade.

We’re Here!
Women who say men don’t understand what it’s like to walk a mile in their shoes have obviously never been to the Invasion. Any queen will tell you just how much those heels hurt. Just off the runway mumblings of “I can’t wait to get these things off,” could be heard at this year’s July Fourth gender-bending bash.

Reality Didn’t Bite on Fire Island
When Bunim-Murray—producers of such reality entertainment hits as “The Simple Life” and “The Real Cancun”—announced in May that they’d be giving Fire Island the reality TV treatment, many residents and officials were not pleased. But Ocean Beach, chagrined to find no law barring shooting in the village, accepted the incursion after Bunim-Murray agreed to a laundry list of no-nos and strictures.

Oscar Winner Holm to be Honored at Film Fest
Like most children, Celeste Holm enjoyed make-believe. At her family’s farm in New Jersey, Holm spent summers reading and performing plays on a makeshift stage her father and grandfather had built. Her mother, a portrait artist, taught her projection by making her stand on one hill while she stood on the other; Holm would shout until her words were clear across the valley.

Stiffer Penalties For Drunken Boaters
Inspired in part by the accidental boating death of a girl last summer, New York legislators are close to passing a law that will make BWI offenders face the same penalties as drunk drivers. The new law, sponsored by state Sen. John Flanagan, R-East Northport, passed the state Senate and is now being considered by the state Assembly.

Jonée & Cabaret Kick Off the 4 th
To start the Fourth of July weekend with flair, Jacqueline Jonée and Uptown Express, the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus’ pop septet, mixed a bit of Bastille Day with their Independence Day and came up with a festive “Born on the Fourth of Jonée” for the Arts Project of Cherry Grove (APCG), at the Community House last Saturday.

Issue 4
Fire Island: The Celebrity Sandbox
There is certainly no lack of star power out here on the island. Our history is defined, in many ways, by celebrity. Some of our most famous residents, past and present, come here for the very same reasons we do: privacy, anonymity and, yes—loads of fun! I recently spent a quiet evening with some of these men and women in The Fire Island News archives.

Delayed, Contentious Condo OK’d
The Ocean Beach condominium—which has stirred up the most controversy that the village has seen in recent memory while prompting officials to take a hard look at the village’s future—has been given the seal of approval from village officials.

Cruise Nearly Flushed
Is this how the Titanic got started? After mistaking a stopped-up toilet for a leak, a passenger on the Southern Elegance casino boat phoned a relative who called 911 around 10:30 p.m. on Friday, June 16. Suffolk County cops called the Coast Guard, who were forced to board the boat, which was stopped in the ocean off Fire Island.

Estelle Rubinstein, Marketing Pioneer
“The key word today is collaboration. If you don’t have it in this community, if you don’t have that collaborative spirit, you don’t make it.” Estelle Ellis Rubinstein pronounces these words with a quiet decisiveness, bringing the tips of her fingers together.

Nothing New Then; Nothing New Now
In what some observers call “the most amazing development in the history of Fire Island,” nothing of any major consequence whatever occurred during the past week up and down the entire length of the barrier beach.

Rain No Match for Pride in Cherry Grove
Not rain, nor winds, nor dampness of clouds could keep the Grove’s Gay Pride festivities down on Saturday, June 24. ’Tis true that the skies opened and dumped torrential rains on Fire Island on what was to be a day of sun-filled rejoicing, but all was not lost.

Summer Reading for Island Scribes
For most people, summers on Fire Island are a chance to get away from their work. Even a daytrip can provide a well-needed respite from office life. And what better way to escape than a good book on a hot day, with the ocean just in front of you?

Seaview Boats Come To Port
In 1983, when local boating magnates the Ziegle family sold the ferries to Fire Island Ferries, Inc., they also put the Seaview marina, including the boat basin, up for sale. Enigmatic New York City millionaire Lee Pokoik bought it—just to keep Seaview residents out.

How I Survived Stonewall
It was 1969. I was in my twenties, gay, ignorant, insecure and very lonely. I moved into the West Village—a lifelong wish—trying to make sense out of life. I was terribly isolated as a gay man, hungry for the company of others like myself. The bars were an important part of my social life; in fact, all of it.

Issue 3
Reliving 1775 at FI National Seashore
Lines of men march across the great lawn at the William Floyd Estate. On command shots are heard and smoke is seen billowing in the wind. Thanks to “living history” the men of the 3rd New York Regiment of Long Island Companies of 1775 are alive to fight again.

OB Officials Delay Condo Approval
The Ocean Beach Village board decided this week to take a closer look at how a proposed bayfront condominium could affect the surrounding environment. It was a small victory for critics of the project, who had been pressuring the board to consider the damage they say the condo could cause to the quality of life on the eastern end of town.

Out on the Island: A Brief History of Gay FI
In 1882 Oscar Wilde spent a night at Robert Roosevelt’s home in Sayville, NY. He may not have been the first famous gay visitor to the area, but Wilde certainly was a pioneer. Sayville, on Long Island’s South Shore, has always had a large gay community, and from there, one can take a boat across the bay to Cherry Grove or the Fire Island Pines.

Timeless Themes From Grove’s Island Rep
Upon introduction to the LaFrance name I immediately wondered if that was his real name or something acquired along the way… Having scheduled to attend one of his directorial productions at the Gove’s Tides Theater, I had the perfect opportunity to ask the man himself.

Bacteria, Pesticide & More Blamed for Lobster Deaths
The mysterious case of the die-off of the once thriving lobsters in the Long Island Sound is solved. According to a complex three-year, multi-million dollar research investigation, stressful environmental conditions and disease were the culprits.

Island Gardening: A Myriad of Approaches
Seemingly like everything else on Fire Island, gardening takes a little bit of effort and a lot of creativity. Faced with high salinity levels, annual tidal surges and adorable but pesky deer populations, Fire Islanders have adopted many unique ways of planting and tending gardens in this often hostile environment.

No Trial Yet for Police Abuse Claimant
The California software executive who is suing Ocean Beach for police brutality still hasn’t had his day in court. Sam Gilberd, formerly of Commack, LI, faces disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges in connection with an incident last summer, when he says village cops beat him so badly he had to spend 10 days in the hospital.

Against Odds, Pines Gardeners Create Green Havens
A picturesque garden is the beauty that arises from continual hard work, comprised of years of toiling in the sand to create a sense of inner peace and tranquility. At times, it requires converting swamp and dry soil into an enriched, nurturing home for roses, daisies, petunias, hostas, marsh maragos, irises, ferns—which thrive with water—or blue atlas cedar, blue spruce and yellow finoke that are not indigenous to the island nor beach terrain.

The Transformation of the East End
For several years, people in the Pines and the Grove have been saying that their communities are in a state of transition. In the Pines, the death of John Whyte followed the sale of his properties to Eric von Kuersteiner two years ago. It was more than the sale of the most important harbor properties in the community; it represented a generational changing of the guard.

Issue 2
Storm Raging Over Proposed OB Condo
Controversy continues to swirl around a proposed bayfront condominium in Ocean Beach. Corneille Estates resident Rick Kushner wants to buy 932 Bay Walk, level the two-and-a-half story frame house and put up a larger building that will be sold piecemeal to owners who could then rent the spaces out.

Grove Stars Strut Their Stuff to Benefit PAWS
A stellar array of Cherry Grove performers proffered some of their finest numbers in a gala benefit, “Star Turns,” at the Grove Hotel’s Ice Palace last Saturday, raising thousands of dollars for the Pines Animal Welfare Society. PAWS, headed by the tireless Lee Frey in the Pines and Valerie Perez in the Grove, is dedicated to saving, caring for, and placing stray cats and dogs in our neighboring communities and in Sayville, Long Island.

Memorial Day in Ocean Beach
The summer season officially began in Ocean Beach on a solemn note last Sunday, May 28, with the village’s annual Memorial Day Parade. At just past 11 a.m., local veterans of foreign wars—who have served in Vietnam, Korea, Europe and elsewhere—lined up behind members of the Brentwood American Legion and the US Coast Guard.

The Summer the Black Panthers Roamed
In the cold, early morning hours of April 2, 1969, before the first streaks of gray crossed the sky, and before the Manhattan buildings basked in the orange haze of the shallow eastern sun, 14 Black Panther Party members were taken from their homes in simultaneous NYPD raids. The charges: conspiring to destroy “the power structure.”

FI Lighthouse Celebrates 20th Relighting
Thomas F. Roberts III does not call himself a “lighthouse junkie.” He does not traipse the seaside in search of these beacons of history. He’s not even a boater—but he has devoted over 20 years of his life to the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society (FILPS). Asked why, the founding president of the society simply says, “My involvement is volunteer… I like history and my wife dared me to do it.”

Applause for Those That Make an Impact
“SAGE as in wise. SAGE as in savory. SAGE as in honoring.” And so began the introduction of Gilbert Parker, though it applied to all four honorees last Saturday, June 3 at the 14th Annual Pines Celebration of SAGE, Seniors Active in a Gay Environment. Despite thundering skies, many Fire Island Pines residents met at the Pavilion to take part in the nonprofit SAGE event.

Amid Litigation, Salt. Elections Go Forward
The mayor of Saltaire and two trustees were reelected last Friday, May 26, despite the litigious efforts of a former trustee. A settlement was reached last Thursday in State Supreme Court in which Justice Edward Burke dismissed most of Noel Feustel’s case against the candidates. In compliance with the judge’s decision, Trustee Bruce Rich withdrew his name from the ballot, and 78 voters wrote him in.

Lawsuit Seeks to Unseat Saltaire Officials
Two longtime Saltaire residents want to see all of the village’s trustees and its administrator kicked out of office. Former trustee Noel Feustel and his wife Victoria Petersen insist their legal challenge has nothing to do with the village’s suit against them, which was dismissed last year. They seek to remove Saltaire trustees Bruce Rich, Hugh O’Brien, Pia Notaro and Robert Cox. Village Administrator Mario Posillico and Mayor Scott Rosenbloom were also named.

Issue 1
FIA Pres. Optimistic Despite Complexities
Gerard Stoddard is a public affairs/communications specialist active in coastal issues since 1981, and president of the Fire Island Association (FIA) since February 1987. FIA represents the interests of 3,850 property owners and businesses in the communities within the Fire Island National Seashore.

Local Nonprofit Has Global Impact
“You’re never too young and you’re never too old to make a difference,” says Lisa Alter, a longtime resident of Seaview and founder of Girls Learn International (GLI), a nonprofit that has recently made some exciting strides.

FINS Sees GMP as “Shared Stewardship”
With so many groups designated to benefit the wildlife, preserve the beaches and govern each community, acronyms flow on Fire Island like an episode of ER. This summer one more is going to be reintroduced to the masses.

OB, Saltaire: November in Summer
Fire Island’s two incorporated villages are heading to the polls in the coming week, with every candidate—four trustees and two mayors—running unopposed.But Saltaire, which holds its elections May 26, managed to find a way to liven things up, even without anyone challenging the mayor and two trustees who are seeking reelection.

“Reality” Comes to Fire Island
Take a close look at the throngs of vacationers and daytrippers that flood the island this Memorial Day Weekend. You may catch a glimpse of the next Puck, Kelly Clarkson or Richard Hatch. That’s because reality TV is coming to Fire Island. A show called “One Ocean View” will follow eight to nine New Yorkers as they spend the weekends in a Corneille Estates summer share.

Our Newspaper of Record Through the Years
A few months ago I was brought aboard as the archivist for The Fire Island News, and already it feels a little bit like home. Settling down at a small desk in the paper’s wood paneled offices on Evergreen Walk, and gazing into the past through their archives, got me to thinking about all the seasons gone by.

Increased School District Budget Passed
Voters overwhelmingly passed the Fire Island Union Free School District budget last Tuesday, approving a 6.3 percent increase. The new budget is $5,542,122, up from $5,256,567 last year. There were 122 votes for the 2006-07 budget, 62 against

Voter Reg Day—Illegal or Convenient?
An unusual voter registration practice is causing tensions to rise in Saltaire while giving two longtime critics of the town’s election practices more fuel for their detractions. Last week Saltaire held two personal registration days that let individuals who are already on the voter rolls in Suffolk County and who haven’t already voted elsewhere to sign up to vote in local voting districts ten and twelve days before election day.

Fire Island Winter Wrap Up
This winter on Fire Island was gratefully mild, following the extensive flooding caused by the eight-day storm aftermath of Katrina. In part due to insurance monies, FIers are rebuilding, restoring and expanding in response to the still robust beach real estate market. We scoured the sand to bring you an update of what’s been going on in our towns during the busy winter season.

More From 2005...


Ocean Beach
Ocean Bay Park

Cherry Grove
The Fire Island Pines