|Dear Pines Resident,
It has been a good year for the Pines and FIPPOA. We recovered from the hurricane, had a wonderful summer and most importantly, Congress authorized the Fire Island to Montauk Point (FIMP) project and provided funding. I am pleased at the end of the year to be able to report some progress on FIMP. The project has been held up for the last couple of months by wrangling between state and federal agencies over the dune line. The New York State DEC had argued for a fifteen foot buffer on the landward side of the crest of the dune. It was their contention that such a buffer would give greater protection to the dune line and comport with environmental regulations. The buffer would have significantly increased the number of impacted houses in the Pines as well as in the other Fire Island communities. It appears that this matter has now been resolved and that the state has accepted the dune line proposed by the Army Corps and abandoned the requirement of a buffer.
Senator Schumer and Congressman Bishop have made a concerted effort to get the project back on its time frame and are pressing for it to begin in the wilderness areas at the east and west ends of the island in January. Their efforts included a news conference on our beach last week to bring pressure on the various agencies to get things moving. A number of FIMP related articles in News Day in the last couple of weeks have highlighted the disagreements over the dune line and the two month delay. The end result of this is that on Friday the Army Corps circulated to the State and the County a draft of the necessary Project Participation Agreement (PPA) that must be signed by the State, County and the Army Corps to initiate the project. This is a huge development as the execution of the agreement assures the project will finally move to the beach.
The FIPPOA strategy, as well as that of the Fire Island Association (FIA), is to support the consensus that has developed over the Army Corps dune line and to emphasize the importance of keeping the project on track and moving. Once it begins, FIMP will not stop and we will have a line of dunes protecting the communities all along Fire Island, with the Army Corps committed to maintaining these dunes. The new President of the FIA, Suzie Goldhirsch, has provided terrific leadership on the FIMP. She has injected new life into the Association. She spoke at our fall meeting and was very well received by our residents and again I urge our residents to join the FIA
I know that homeowners on the ocean are concerned about the impact of the dune line on their properties and I share their concern and sympathize, particularly with the owners of houses that may have to be moved or have their decks/pools altered. We feel that the best course is to support the consensus dune line and press the Army Corps for relief for impacted homeowners during the land survey phase which will begin after the PPA is executed and through field adjustments during construction of the dune in the Pines. The Army Corps has indicated to us that they are willing to be flexible during construction to further minimize impact. FIPPOA will make every effort to minimize impact on houses in the Pines, but it is critical to get the project moving and have the necessary equipment on the beach to begin construction.
On other matters, I am pleased to report a significant contribution to our Seashore Defense Fund
(SDF). In the last few years FIPPOA has put increased resources into building the SDF, both to raise money for grass plaiting, signage and snow fencing to protect the dunes, but also to increase awareness of how important the dune line is to the community and how all of us must make every effort to protect it. Last week we received a $10,000 gift from Albert Lepage. Many thanks to Albert.
FIPPOA's health and finances are in good shape at the end of the year. We were concerned at the beginning of the year that we would not balance our budget but the 60 Anniversary Party and Journal raised over $100,000 which puts us in excellent shape going into the new year. Thanks to the many volunteers led by Henry Robin, Laura Hartstein and Bob Howard who contributed to this success.
I want to express my pride in the community and the many residents and organizations who contribute so much in time and money to make the Pines the PINES. I am privileged by my many years, perhaps too many, in the community and also being President of the Association these years to see the enormous amounts of affection, dedication and loyalty from so many to our Pines. In this regard I particularly salute the Fire Island Pines Fire Department (FIPFD). The firefighters put their lives on the line to protect us and our community. Yesterday a long time member of the FIPFD Fire Corps and a fixture in our community, Kristine Pfoh, passed away. Kris was a lovely lady and always manned or "womanned" the ticket sales booth at the front of the Pines Parties. Our sympathies go out to the men and women of the Fire Corps for the loss of their friend and member.
I also salute my own board at year's end and the staff of FIPPOA. All are dedicated to the Pines and give countless hours of their time to enhance and defend our community. I wish everyone Happy Holidays!
NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program
The New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program has been established to provide additional rebuilding and revitalization assistance to communities severly damaged by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
The Fire Island Online Public Meeting is focused on gathering knowledge, experience and recommendations that are essential in the development of your community's reconstruction plan. Unfortunately the deadline for input is tomorrow December 17, so we urge you to provide your input as soon as possible. You can use this link to provide your information
. (Please note that the survey does not display correctly if you are using Firefox as your web browser.)
Ferron Bell came to Fire Island Pines in 1961. He brought his artistic talent, humor and unique wit with him and a half century later, there is not one walk in Fire Island Pines where at least one house does not display a painting by "Ferron". Fire Island Pines remained Ferron's home for over thirty five years, and that is where his inspiration for his humorous and colorful paintings was born. Winters were spent in Key West, Florida. Painting was Ferron's whole life and so were his ties in the Pines. He won major awards throughout the country for his art and his feeling was always to keep his art popularly priced so that it was available to everyone. In later years, Ferron retired to Key West permanently, and many Pines residents became sponsors of Ferron, specifically Joe and Karen Plescia, who were his major benefactors throughout the years. Ferron was scheduled to return to the Pines this past year for Pines Party week,where he was going to be an artist in residence at The Pines Gallery, but his health prevented that homecoming. Ferron's love will always be the Pines and in turn, The Pines will always remember Ferron with the art and humor that he left behind. Ferron passed away peacefully in Miami this past Autumn.
Anette Katzin died on December 3, 2013. She and her husband, Dr. Herb Katzin, were early homeowners who never missed long weekends with their children then grandchildren - often extending the season from early spring into November. Anette sat on the board of the Pines Conservation Society and was an early and active member of the Fire Island Pines Arts Project. She opened her home to the arts show and many other community benefits. A 1990 article in the New York Times described Annette's role in organizing the car raffles that used to be held in the harbor.
_________________________ Kristine Pfoh
Kristine Pfoh passed away on Saturday, December 14th after a long illness. As manager of the Fire Island Pines co-ops for 14 years, she became involved in almost every charity program and event in the Pines. She gave of herself with passion, loyalty and sincerity to our community. She was in charge of the door at the Pines Party and greeted every party goer for may summers. She was one of the founding members of the Greater Fire Island Pines Chamber of Commerce where she served as Secretary. Kris was also a founding member of the Fire Island Pines Fire Corps. Kris worked tirelessly with Frank Corradino to make sure that BINGO in the PINES raised money all season long for the Fire Island Pines Volunteer Fire Department. Kris is survived by her three children, Cory, Christopher and Kathryn, and all of her devoted Pines friends, who were so important to her. Arrangements are being made at Overton Funeral Home in Islip.
Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association
Jay Pagano, President
Ed Schulhafer, Vice President
Alan Brodherson, Secretary
Mike Hartstein, Treasurer
Alan Brockman, Emeritus
Save The Dates
Spring Membership Meeting
Annual Meeting And