Helicopters, Boats and Automobiles

The concept of Fire Island being connected to Long Island by road is confusing to some, with Robert Moses State Park seemingly worlds away from our beach communities. Yet for decades, trucks and buses have been making treks across the bay along with boats and ferries.

When cars and boats are insufficient, the Suffolk County Police Aviation Section is sometimes called into action, as they were on Sunday, May 29. A woman experiencing breathing difficulties was transported from the ball field at Surf and Midway to Stony Brook University Hospital, where she recovered. Our own Ocean Beach fire and police departments assist in these lifesaving calls.

A new beach cleanup station has been built at Cottage Walk. (Photo Courtesy of Emily Wicks)

David Lieber of the Village of Ocean Beach Environmental Committee recently spearheaded a beach cleanup program in conjunction with Chief Lifeguard Jillian Weinstein. Six large buckets are now available in a structure at the Cottage Walk stairs for beachgoers to collect debris. Lifeguards will empty the buckets throughout the day. Kudos to David and Jill for giving this issue priority.

Also worthy of praise are the Ocean Beach Youth Group (OBYG) and Ocean Beach Community Fund, which launched a new community-wide recreation program for youth and adults on May 10. The Village of Ocean Beach committed $30,000 to cover the costs of staffing and insurance, with the Community Fund purchasing equipment including pickleball courts and basketball hoops.

“We hope the OBYG-Village partnership will strengthen the community and fill the gaps left by the disappearance of movies at the Community House, the game room and the basketball courts in town,” said OBYG Board President Patty Brahe.

The Free Union Church announced a continuation of its family movie night program as well, which was started after the closure of the movie theater. Dates and film titles are to be announced.

Our vibrant downtown has sprung back to life. Beacheria Pizza & Pasta on Bay Walk at Evergreen is back again this season with new and improved coffee offerings. Owner Thomas Sexton, Jr., and his staff are now offering customized cappuccinos, lattes, and espressos in addition to their usual mix of Italian and American fare.

Island Mermaid on Bay Walk at Ocean Breeze is bringing burlesque to Ocean Beach this summer every Thursday night starting June 30 at 9 p.m. The show will star the restaurant’s Miss Isle of Fire pageant winner Lil Miss Lixx.

Palms Hotel owner Chris Mercogliano celebrated his birthday on June 4 with a well-attended party hosted by his family on the hotel’s bayside beach. An art show with over a dozen vendors will be held at the same spot from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 11.

Congratulations to Dawn Hargraves and Marco Ament on their village trustee election wins, with votes of 177 and 116 respectively. Byron Chenault ran a strong campaign and garnered 100 votes. Mayor James Mallott and Justice William Wexler ran unopposed and were reelected.

However you arrive here, I hope to see you this week on the beach. Wishing you sunny days and lots of smiles.