Ocean Beach Beat

“The Summer Club Girls,” winners of the Scavenger Scramble.

The only thing missing was BRAD PITT when the cops busted a real-life Fight Club right here in Ocean Beach! Chief George Hesse reports that multiple combatants engaged in several bouts of pugilism at the gazebo by the Post Office last week. The melee was caught on Village video and involved an estimated 40 young spectators and participants. The seemingly well-organized event also involved “lookouts” to warn of approaching law enforcement. One person was arrested and the investigation is ongoing. The most shocking revelation was that several adults could be seen in the video passing by with no more than casual concern and there were no 911 calls. OBPD asks anyone who observes any sort of disturbance occurring or altercation brewing to notify them forth with. Chief Hesse also announced that his department will be making referrals to the Suffolk County Child Protective Services in certain cases of underage law violators.

On a lighter note, the first annual Scavenger Scramble was a tremendous success. Thirty-four teams and about 171 hunters and puzzle solvers of all ages joined in the fun scouring town for clues and objectives. First prize went to “The Summer Club Girls” Bridget Cunningham, Reilly and Maddy Herron, Charlotte and Julia Winkler and Alexis Herron. All participants enjoyed free pizza, T-shirts and tote bags. A special thanks to Vannoni Construction, the sponsor of the event.

Have you spoken to Bob Stern lately? He got the surprise of his life this month. Ask him about it when you see him. On the municipal scene, DPW installed solar lights on the basketball courts at the marina and the mayor announced that the water meters will be fully functional for billing by this time next year. The Village is currently monitoring and evaluating usage data to determine billing rates. If done properly, homeowners should enjoy significant savings going forward. Currently, we share the cost of water and sewer usage bills with the bars and businesses. Installation compliance is close to 100%.

A large crowd turned out in the oppressive humidity last Saturday, July 15, to honor the late John Schaffner. John was a pillar of the Ocean Beach community and a friend to all who knew him. He will be remembered by generations to come with the naming of the playground, the John C. Schaffner Playground by the Bay. The dedication ceremony was brief and tasteful. Short speeches were made by Susan Cafuoco, Rita Silver and Roberta Noeldechen as the commemorative sign and bench were unveiled by Kevin Schelling. Chris Mercogliano shared a touching story with us on the side. Chris and Laura last year were in the process of creating the Mercogliano Family Foundation and they promised John that the very first donation would go to him in honor of his fund-raising efforts throughout the years. Unfortunately, John passed before the fund was established but the check was delivered to the Community Fund in John’s honor. Lunch was served on the deck afterwards.

Sadly, we also mourn the passing of Ted Minsky. Ted was another positive force here in town for many years as building inspector and fire chief.