Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association
Volume 8 Number 3       
June 2014

I have further good news on the beach replenishment project FIMI. As I reported at the spring meeting, the impact of FIMI on the piping plover has been the subject of very intense discussions between USACE, Suffolk County, NY State DEC, FINS, and the Fish and Wildlife Service.  With very strong encouragement by our Congressional delegation a compromise was reached allowing the project to move ahead while also protecting the plover habitat.


The Army Corps has now officially received the U.S. FWS biological opinion (BO) of 'no significant impact', i.e. that while FIMI project activities will affect piping plovers, it will not jeopardize the continued existence of this species.   


This is indeed excellent news, as the Environmental Assessment can now be finalized, and the Project Participation Agreements between Federal, State and County partners can be signed.  At the same time the Suffolk county mechanism to finance the purchase of property and easements necessitated by the Project is moving through the county legislative process.  In short, the County is authorizing a bond, which will permit the County to carry out its responsibilities under the Project and ultimately obtain reimbursement from the Federal Government.  


These two developments mean that FIMI is on track to begin dune replenishment in the wilderness areas at the east and west ends of Fire Island by the end of the year.  Beach replenishment in front of the communities would take place in 2015 and 2016 following completion of the real estate issues. 


The dredging of the harbor has been completed.  Work is also moving forward to expand the Harbor Tax District to include the south side of the harbor and the ferry dock, leading to the reconstruction of the passenger ferry dock. 

Congressman Tim Bishop, will be visiting the ocean front home of Henry Robin & Bob McGarity, 395 Ocean Walk, from 6 to 7:30 PM on Saturday, June 14.  For many years, Tim has been a very strong advocate of the Pines community and has represented our concerns very effectively, including support for the FIMI Project.  If you cannot attend you can earmark a donation to Tim via the 

The Fire Island Pines Fire Department and Fire Corps are looking for volunteers.  Join a group of outstanding men and women for interesting and fulfilling tasks and great camaraderie.  For more information please contact Chief Bo Fridsberg at 631-597-4813.


On June 28, FIPPOA will be hosting a benefit for the Cherry Grove Community House from 7 to 11 pm at Whyte Hall.  There will be a screening of the new film, Coming of Age in Cherry Grove: The Invasion with a pre-screening reception.   I invite you to come out and support our friends from Cherry Grove with special guest hosts: Robyin Byrd, Craig & Julian from the Belevedere & others!  Contact Gil Neary for more information about joining the benefit committee.


If you would like to add events in the Pines to the community calendar maintained on, please send an email to with the title, date, time and venue and we will add your event.


Yesterday I traveled to Washington to visit with long time Pines resident Bob Alfandre.  As many of you know, Bob is quite ill.  He is very disappointed that he is not able to come to the Pines this summer.  I asked him if there was anything he wanted me to convey.  He wanted me to wish everyone a wonderful summer and sends his love.  


 Jay Pagano  



Coming of Age in Cherry Grove: 
The Invasion 
A new film by James Belzer

Synopsis: Founded in 1869, Cherry Grove (Fire Island, NY) is considered by most to be the first openly LGBTQ community in the United States. It has become known as one of the most accepting resort communities - a place where you can not only discover who you are, but also freely experiment with who or what (gender) you may want to become. Cherry Grove is also known for the famous "INVASION" - an annual ritual that takes place every July 4th as a celebration of gender acceptance that culminates with a grand reception in the harbor of Fire Island Pines. This film tells the stories of a variety of long-term residents and what they find so wonderful about life in Cherry Grove.

Featuring: Ariel Sinclair, Bella, Bob "Rose" Levine, Daniel Nardicio, Robin Byrd, Barbara Ann Levy, Carl Luss, Diane Romano, Lorraine Michaels, Denise Harbin, Michael Gurette, Joan Van Ness, Lady Gaga cameo, Liza Minelli cameo, Logan Hardcore, Gil Neary, Panzi, Porsche, Robin Kradles, Sal Piro, The Cherry Grove Guys, The Twins (Ruth & Susan), plus many more colorful characters & free spirits.


Tickets/Sponsor & VIP Packages Now Available

South Pacific comes to the shores of Fire Island Pines for a weekend of magical events from July 25-27.  The 16th annual Pines Party will take place on the beach from 10:00 pm to sunrise on Saturday, July 26th, and will  feature music by internationally acclaimed dj's CHUS + CEBALLOS (Stereo Productions) and Morabito (NYC).  

Please help us make this year's event the biggest and most successful ever by considering the purchase of  a Major Sponsor package (from $5000 and up)  or VIP package ($1000 for you and a guest) .  Major Sponsor and VIP packages will include tickets to all three official weekend events (the Saturday pool party, the Saturday night "South Pacific" main event, and the Sunday afternoon after party), as well as tickets to the Friday evening Major Sponsor cocktail party to be held  at the bay front home of Douglas Harris and Bill Van Parys.   Major Sponsor packages will include a private "South Pacific"-themed tent on the beach,  a bar set-up and, for sponsorship levels of $10,000 or more, your own private bartender, while VIP ticket holders will have access to the VIP lounge areas and restrooms adjacent to the dance floor.  

Net proceeds of Pines Party 2014 will benefit the FIPPOA Charitable Foundation and the Stonewall Community Foundation, and Major Sponsor and VIP  tickets will be tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.  Please visit for more information on Major Sponsor and VIP packages and to purchase tickets for Pines Party 2014.  Advance general admission tickets are available from now until July 5th for $140.  


In Memoriam

Harold Baer
Judge Baer passed away after a distinguished career which included his appointment by President Bill Clinton to the United States District Court for the Southern District Court of New York. He was a longtime prominent member of the Pines community residing at 559 Ocean Walk with his wife Suzanne.  On the day that New York State Legislature passed same sex marriage, Judge Baer notified FIPPOA that he would be happy to perform such marriages.  He went on to perform many weddings for Pines couples. 

George Oakley
The Cherry Grove Fire Department mourns the loss of ex-Chief George Oakley who passed away last week.  He is survived by his wife, Toni, his daughter, Laura, and siblings Clyde and Sue Wirick. A Memorial Service will be held on June 14th at 11am at the Cherry Grove Fire House with a reception to follow at Island Breeze from Noon to 2pm.

Michael Safdiah
Long time Pines resident, Michael Safdiah passed away recently.  He first visited the Pines in 1969.  He was the owner of The Black Sheep Restaurant in Greenwich Village and wrote for a number of publications including Body Positive.


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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 
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 In Memoriam
  In Memorium

Harold Baer

George Oakley

Michael Safdiah

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