Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association
Volume 8 Number 1     
 February 2014

Weekly meetings continue between the affected Fire Island communities and the Army Corps of Engineers and the Town and County to move the beach replenishment project - FIMP - along, and there are further important developments.  The Army Corps of Engineers has given us a time schedule for the issuance of the necessary regulatory report that must precede the project.  The timeline is for the report to be delivered to the North Atlantic Headquarters of the Army Corps headquarters by February 15 and to go out for public comment by March 15. The Environmental Assessment (EA) of the project will be contained in this report.  The EA portion of the report will include a biological assessment. 
The critical question will be whether the mitigation proposed in the EA is sufficient.  We already have an indication that Fish and Wildlife has concerns about the proposed mitigation.  The time period for the public comment period is normally 60 to 90 days.  This is all good news as the affected governmental agencies appear to have accepted that a lengthy Environmental Impact Statement is not required.  The resolution of this issue has been an impediment to the project moving ahead.  Following the public comment period and any necessary revisions to the capital report, the necessary agreements with the state and county governments can be executed and the project can begin in the wilderness areas.  It would appear that we are looking at these agreements to be executed by this summer.  Senator Schumer, Congressman Bishop, and their staffs have been very active getting us to this point. 
The real estate process is separate from this regulatory process.  It includes the final surveys of all of the ocean front properties, execution of the necessary easements, property transfers, and home and deck relocations.  All of this work will be conducted by Suffolk County.  Even though the County is restricted from spending money on the project at this time, our contact with the County has indicated that they hope to begin preliminary real estate work before execution of the agreement.  This co-operation from the County is helpful as it will allow us to push the Project along which is essential. 
We have posed the question of whether homeowners on the ocean should update their property surveys.  We have been told that yes, it would be desirable to update any surveys which are not recent before negotiations with the County begin. 
The major Sandy appropriations bill included $3 million for community grants on Fire Island for hurricane related projects.  This is known as The New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program (NYRCR)  As per the flyer below, there will be an opportunity to comment on February 25 and we urge interested residents to attend and comment.  FIPPOA is applying for a grant for the Pines ferry dock which is nearing the end of its useful life. 
Our annual membership drive is underway.  It is critical that all residents of the Pines be members.  100% membership is always vital to the community, but particularly now that we are involved with these extensive negotiations with governmental agencies to make FIMP happen.  Please join if you have not already done so.
I note that last month our long time Secretary, Brett Baccus passed away.  Brett made many contributions to the community including to FIPPOA. We extend our deepest sympathy to Diane Friedman, Brett's beloved long time spouse.  The FIPPOA board has authorized an expense of $2,000 for a bench in honor of Brett outside of the Pines Care Center.
Last month we reported that, as part of a very generous donation, a gift of $10,000 was made to the Seashore Defense Fund by Albert Lepage.  Recently, Alan Brockman, our Past President and Director Emeritus, donated $5,400 for air conditioning the Brockman Lobby of Whyte Hall.  And this month we have received a $10,000 unrestricted gift from Bob Alfandre.  As many of you know, Bob has had a very bad year.  I visited him last week at New York Presbyterian Hospital.  He is in stable condition and determined to outlive us all.  All three gifts are greatly appreciated. 
We continue to monitor the beach and community throughout the winter months.  As you know the harbor is frozen, but appears to be in good shape.  Our beach is wide and the Trap Bag Project from last year is holding up well.
Happy Valentines Day!
Jay Pagano, President
Jay Pagano


The Mobility Access Cart

Kent Dillon is the Lead Cart Driver and he works closely with Jim Vandernoth, the Chairman of the Mobility Access Cart Committee. Mike Hartstein, Jon Wilner and Dave Anderson also serve on the committee. Dillon drives and manages scheduling with the other drivers and acts as a Liaison between the FIPPOA Board, the volunteer drivers and our passengers. Chris Furchert (our Master Mechanic), Anderson and Dillon are responsible for the maintenance and improvements of both carts.
The Mobility Access Cart (MAC), began circa 2000 as the SAGE Cart.  One of the first drivers was a woman named Bambi.  Tom Rabig took over from Bambi and drove the cart for seven years, along with some part-time drivers, including Rick Stein.  Dillon has been providing MAC service for seven years starting in May of 2008 with the original white Sage/Rabig Cart. 
Since that time, the service has expanded with transportation to the Pines Care Center for any passenger with mobility issues.  We help the Suffolk County Marine Police transport injured and ill people when requested.  And during the fire in September, the MAC transported firemen, paramedics and fire/medical equipment from 11pm to 5am. 
As the service expanded, the need arose for a second cart.  In 2010, Jack Lichtenstein and Dillon were the primary fundraisers for a new cart.  We raised $16,000 from our community in three weeks!  The new yellow Margie Cart, named for its major donor, Margie Guardella, was delivered on July 20, 2011 .
In the winter of 2011, the original white cart was completely rebuilt. Safety roll bars and seat belts were added to both carts.  We also added a removable roof and side covers to the Margie cart, protecting our passengers during inclement and cold weather.
Many Pines residents still call both carts the SAGE carts. As the service moves into its 14th year, we are very pleased to thank SAGE for their generous donation over this winter as well as our other donors. 
MAC service begins in mid-April and operates through the end of October.  We operate from 7am to 7pm, as long as a driver is available. In the past two years, we have averaged about 1,500 trips per year.  The community is thankful for the devoted team of volunteer drivers, including Mark Basta, Steve Golembiewski, HR Nicholson, Larry Tallamy, Anthony Tonani, Robert Weber and Kent Dillon.  
In Memoriam

Brett Baccus

Brett died peacefully on December 29, 2013 in New York City, at age 79 after a brief illness. She is survived by her partner Diane Friedman, her sister Marcia Johnson, her brother-in-law Jay Johnson, her nephew Bret Johnson, and her brother Barry Baccus. Brett's interests and successes were many and varied. An entrepreneur and connoisseur, she was also a lover of the arts, often mentoring young artists. She was passionate about animals, always advocating on their behalf. She enjoyed a good martini followed by fine food and wine.  Brett enjoyed and shared the good life with her beloved partner of 34 years, Diane. Brett & Diane were married on December 23, 2013.

Brett served on the FIPPOA Board from the early 1980s until 2010 and from the early 1990s she was Secretary of the Association.  Brett was always a sales person at the FIPAP Biennial Art Show and challenged the sales team in contests to bring in the most sales.  Brett was also a founding director of the Pines Care Center.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Pines Care Center, PO Box 5333,  Fire Island Pines NY, 11782.

Mauricio Leyton

Mauricio Leyton has been a Pines homeowner for the past ten years, since he purchased 32 Lone Hill Walk.

Mauricio spent many years in the travel business with Virtuoso Travel, prior to changing his career to be a serious actor.   In the past five years, Mauricio starred off Broadway, toured in several plays and won several roles in recent films.
He passed away suddenly in his native Chile in December while visiting family.

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Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association
& Directors
Jay Pagano, President
Ed Schulhafer, Vice President
Alan Brodherson, Secretary
Mike Hartstein, Treasurer
Alan Brockman, Emeritus 

Allan Baum
John Cassese
Hal Hayes
Greg Henniger 
Garry Korr
Nicole LaFountaine 
Chris Lovito
Tad Paul
Anthony Pietrangolare
Henry Robin
Russell Saray
Eric Sawyer
Paul Teixeira
Jim Vandernoth
Jon Wilner
Randy Wilson 
Fippoa New Logo Color


In Memoriam
 In Memorium

Brett Baccus

Maurico Leyton 

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