Seasonal Summery: 2022

Every Fire Island News contributor did us proud in 2022, so choosing which articles to include in our year-end overview was difficult. However, as a beach town news publication, it only made sense that we follow the currents. Certain stories demanded attention, leaving both our readership and editorial department alike riveted and waiting for the next installment. Indeed, it’s really been quite a year for Fire Island.

WINTER: Frozen Ferries

Contract negotiations between Fire Island Ferries, Inc. and the Incorporated Village of Ocean Beach reaching a stalemate and temporary service suspension last winter captured Tri-State region media attention. However, Fire Island News took the deep-dive into the issues of how this came about like no other news outlet could, because not only were the cast of players our friends and neighbors, but the suspension hit home for us as well.

·      “Dead in the Water: Contract Negotiations Breakdown Between Fire Island Ferries and Ocean Beach Village,” by Shoshanna McCollum, February 14, 2022

·      “County Legislature Listens to Ridership Discuss Fire Island Ferry Contract Fallout,” by Lorna Luniewski, March 1, 2022

·      “Service Restored: Ferries Running Again in Ocean Beach with Agreement Pending,” by Shoshanna McCollum, March 21, 2022

Photo by Shoshanna McCollum.

SPRING: FINS Driving Regs Revisited

While not the serial soap opera that some of our other most important stories of the year were, proposed changes to Fire Island National Seashore’s barrier beach driving regulations could have impact for generations to come. This sleeping giant is definitely a story in development, and we will be keeping an eye on it.

·      “Fire Islanders Process Proposed FINS Driving Regs,” by Shoshanna McCollum

SUMMER: Year of the Shark

Photo by Andrew Becher, Ocean Beach Police Department.

Sharknado 2022 kept us all on our toes in the virtual newsroom this summer, as it seemed every news cycle when we were about to put the paper to bed, we had to carve our space for the latest shark bite incident on the beach. No part of the island was spared – with Kismet, Seaview and Smith Point beaches being among the locations that had incidents.

Reporter Isabella Cavallo became our official shark chaser over the summer, following those apex predators wherever they went, but did so with science and humanity over sensationalism. Environment columnist Karl Grossman also lent worthwhile insights.

·      “Ghost Nets and Disease Harm Fire Island’s Marine Life,” by Isabella Cavallo, July 8, 2022

·      “The Rise of Sharks,” by Isabella Cavallo, July 22, 2022

·      “The Sharks Among Us,” by Karl Grossman, August 19, 2022

·      “New Shark Surveillance Program at Ocean Beach,” by Isabella Cavallo, August 19, 2022

FALL:  An Audacious Audit

Photo by Lauren Chenault.

New York State Department of Audit and Control’s audit of the Incorporated Village of Ocean Beach is a story that predated 2022 by at least a year, and Eye on FI columnist Timothy Bolger was already on it. Still the blistering report issued by the State Comptroller’s office in late October still left considerable fallout in its wake.

·      “NY Comptroller Auditing Ocean Beach,” by Timothy Bolger, August 14, 2021

·      “NY Audit Slams OB Over Clerk-Treasurer Pay,” by Timothy Bolger, October 21, 2022

·       “After the Audit New Gatekeepers Take Charge in Ocean Beach,” by Shoshanna McCollum, November 3, 2022.

We look forward to another year of reporting Fire Island’s news to all of you in 2023 – Happy New Year everyone!