We have now reached the mid-point into what is turning out to be a wonderful summer in the Pines. I feel that to a considerable extent we have put the hurricane behind us. Certainly, home owners are still dealing with repairs and reconstruction but the community has moved on psychologically. We will continue to be mindful of what the hurricane did as we move forward.
This weekend is the Fire Island Dance Festival sponsored by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BCEFA) - a bright spot in our summer. It is a terrific event and has put the Pines on the world cultural map. Everything seems to be coming together. Thank you to all involved who make this jewel in our summer possible. And I remind all that last fall a $5,000 grant was made to the Pines by the foundation to help with hurricane recovery.
The beach restoration project continues to be very active. The Army Corps of Engineers is pursuing the FIMP project to restore the dunes the length of Fire Island. The project is getting overwhelming support at all levels. Both of our senators and Congressman Tim Bishop are actively involved. Governor Cuomo has come out strongly in favor as well as Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine and the County Executive. Please remember this support when we ask you to attend political fundraisers in the community. This kind of support at the political level doesn't just happen.
There is a lot that has to happen for a project of this size to be implemented. The big issues are sand source and dune line. The sand source involves further scientific study as we must be careful to avoid taking sand from a source that naturally brings sand to the beach. We will get the project but as with any Federal Government project, it will take time. Such projects do not happen overnight. This project cannot happen this winter. There is the possibility of an interim project on a smaller scale. I spoke yesterday with Congressman Bishop's office. He is the ranking committee member on the House Committee that controls the Army Corps financing. He is actively pressing for this interim project.
We continue to also pursue beach scraping. We were hoping to do this project in August. Sand conditions on our beach did not appear to permit it. However, in the last few days there has been a significant nourishment of the beach. The beach east of Beach Hill Walk is now over 100 feet in depth in all areas. As a result we are now pursuing the necessary permits that will allow such a project.
I urge all ocean front home owners to avoid cutting through the trap bag project for beach access . It damages the project and undermines our work to rebuild the dunes. It also angers other residents who are paying for the project. Please don't do it!
We are attempting to further understand telecommunications in the Pines. We believe that Verizon Wireless customers are adequately served by the existing equipment. If residents feel the service is not adequate please let us know by email at email@example.com.
Last night was the 90th birthday party for Jack Lichtenstein. It was held at the SAGE headquarters in New York and attendees made a handsome contribution to SAGE on Jack's behalf. It was a wonderful event attended by many Pines residents and included a video of Jack and Rita's performances in productions at the old and new community centers. Hats off to Jack for reaching 90 and for standing in a white linen suit for four hours to receive his guests.
The Pines Pantry has reported that the large number of pea-pods transporting groceries to the community are undermining the goal of having a high-end, full service grocery store. I too share the desire for discount groceries. However, I always shop at the Pines Pantry. It is vitally important to the community and its existence supports our property values. Please patronize the Pines Pantry.
The weekend of July 26th is the 15th Pines Party. I urge everyone to attend. Communities are bound together by common traditions and the Pines Party is an important event. We need your support to ensure that this tradition continues.