A Message from the President
The Verizon pole was discussed at the Board meeting last Saturday. Ed Schulhafer presented an excellent review of the available medical research on the subject of cell tower transmissions which tend to show no health risks. A number of residents appeared to present their concerns. These concerns related primarily to the health issues and the aesthetics of the pole. The Board is very aware of the aesthetic concern.
Negotiations with Verizon continue. They have explained that they need the pole in order to provide adequate "capacity" in the Pines. The existing equipment is not adequate to serve the needs of the community particularly with the amount of data being streamed over cell phones. They are proposing a pole approximately 70 feet tall with a diameter of 36 inches. We are pressing them for less height and diameter. Their preference is to have the pole at the community center. And indeed we have not been able to find any other place where it can go. They are not willing to put it on Town land. Their engineers have been here twice surveying the community both in terms of location and difficulty of erecting the pole.
Our research indicates that Cherry Grove gets better service from AT&T because of their proximity to the tower in Ocean Beach, but gets very poor service from Verizon Wireless. Davis Park gets poor cell service all around. Davis Park is keenly interested in Verizon locating the pole in their community. Verizon has indicated that a pole located there will be too great a distance to serve the Pines.
Our negotiations with AT&T continue. They will not make a final decision until August. They have indicated considerable interest in locating in the proposed Verizon pole. In the meantime they are attempting to adjust their existing equipment to better service the Pines.
We anticipate receiving a final proposal from Verizon in several weeks. The Board plans a public meeting on the matter to follow.
I am very pleased that a new pine tree has been planted on the harbor plaza. The project was undertaken by the Pines Conservation Society. It is a particularly beautiful specimen. Congratulations to Bob Howard, Scott Ahlborn, Jim Streaker and all involved for undertaking this complicated task.
FIPPOA is actively pursuing additional beach replenishment. A number of projects are in the works in the hope that we can get one through for next winter. The Army Corps' FIMP project has received a congressional authorization of $700 million. $200 million of which would be available to replenish Fire Island beaches. As often happens with large governmental projects, it is bogged down. The various governmental agencies involved are still trying to agree on a project. The goal of the Army Corps is to get out a draft of the project by the end of the year with final approval by the end of 2014. The plan would also address the needs of the mainland including raising houses, public buildings and roadways.
A particular issue to be resolved on Fire Island is the "dune line". There will be a need to move or acquire some houses that are too far forward on the beach. It does not appear that this would be a large number. Another issue is the source of the sand. The borrow sites used for previous projects are largely depleted, thus the need to go further out in the ocean. The state of New York is slow in making the necessary decisions.
Through the Fire Island Association, we have argued to the Army Corps that the communities cannot wait 2 years for beach replenishment. The Corps has recognized that waiting for a project until sometime after December of 2014 leaves the island vulnerable. An emergency project is being considered in the next dredging cycle which begins this fall. A lot of details need to be worked out. Congressmen King and Bishop have agreed that Tim Bishop will take the lead. This is to our advantage because Congressman Bishop indicated his committement to the project being done soon at the fundraiser here in the Pines last Saturday. We are working through Congressman Bishop to make the emergency project happen.
I have been asked by a number of residents whether we could pursue a Pines only project. For a number of reasons, I do not think this is feasible. A project for just the Pines would cost approximately $20 Million. Even if we were willing to tax ourselves to this extent; it is not at all certain that the Town would lend us this amount of money while the taxes came in. In addition getting the permits for a Pines only project and doing the necessary Environmental Impact Statement would be very complicated and take longer than a year. We are also pursuing a beach scraping project for August if conditions permit. We are lining up the necessary financing and permits.
Please do not dump debris on the boulevard. The contractors that we rely on to help remove debris from the boulevard are over whelmed. Dumping is illegal and subject to a fine. Please contact Mike Jaggi or Beachscapes if you need to have vegetation chipped. And I am having a lot of difficulty this year getting it removed.
On June 22 we will have the first of two celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of the Pines. We will all gather at the community center for a wine and food tasting event put on by Pines' caterers. A film capturing the history of the Pines will be shown. Our 60th is a special time especially after enduring Hurricane Sandy. We have a lot of reasons to come out and celebrate.
The Cherry Grove Community Center and Theater has officially been named a historic site by the national register for historic preservation. The theater was built in Sayville in 1945 and floated over to Fire Island on a barge. The Cherry Grove Association hopes the designation will assist the association in its efforts to raise $700,000 to renovate the building. Ann Hampton Caloway will be performing in the theater on Saturday June 15th.
Kudos to Cherry Grove on this designation and on their restoration work!
The Fire Island Pines Fire Department, celebrating its 54th Anniversary, held its 2013 Installation Dinner on June 8th. Service Awards were presented to William Haberman (45 years); Walter Boss (35 years); Walter Reich (35 years); Doug Teague (30 years); George Walsh (25 years) and Joyce Walsh (25 years). Service to the Department Awards were given to Mark Ski and William Rivera. Chief Matt Cashman presented Outstanding Service Awards for performance following Super Storm Sandy to Doug Teague, David Seeds and Bo Fridsberg. The Dennis Serrianne Award was inroduced with the first such award going to Frank Corradino. And the Service to District and Deparment Award was presented to Alison Leigh-Manuell for her years as treasurer
Bob Adams passed away at the age of 85 on March 29 in Manhattan. Bob and Fred Weil were companions for over sixty years. Bob worked as manager of the Pines Liquor Shop for about 25 years. When the sun faded, Bob would have his first Manhattan using Seagram's 7 as its base. The present owners of the Pines Liquor Shop said that since Bob's passing the sale of Seagram's 7 has dropped to zero! Bob was a beloved character who will be sorely missed. He loved the Pines with a passion.
J. Hyde Crawford
J. Hyde Crawford passed away on May 11 at age 82. A long time Pines resident, Jay had a distinguished career as a fashion illustrator. His complete New York Times obit is impressive. Jay is survived by his husband, Charles Andrews.
Paul McGregor, long time Pines resident on Coast Guard Walk, passed away this morning after a short illness.
Bill Munk owned his Wild Garden on Lone Hill Walk for 28 years. Bill passed away on June 3 at age of 80. He was professor emeritus of ornamental horticulture at Rutgers University. Bill is survived by his spouse of 13 years, Andre Besner.
Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association
Jay Pagano, President
Ed Schulhafer, Vice President
Alan Brodherson, Secretary
Mike Hartstein, Treasurer
J. Hyde Crawford
Save The Dates
July 5 to 7
Dancers Responding to AIDS
July 19 thru 21
July 26 thru 28
August 30 to September 1
Annual Meeting & Election
Every Other Sunday
at Whyte Hall
Erev Rosh Hashanah