On Island Time – The Ocean Beach Report

On Island Time – The Ocean Beach ReportBy Samantha Sigelakis-MinskiHello all, and happy Summer Solstice! We brought in the new season and the longest day of the year with beautifully sunny skies and extra daylight on a Monday, everyone’s least favorite day of the week. Coincidentally, June’s Strawberry full moon occurred on the same night, an extremely rare occurrence. This last weekend was also Father’s Day, so of course, we wish all of the great dads out there a most happy day.Speaking of interesting times, the weeks after Memorial Day had camera crews from the Travel Channel reportedly in Ocean Beach to help out Clegg’s Hotel for their show “Hotel Impossible.” The crew was cordial and quiet, very unlike previous reality TV crews that have washed up on our shores. They stayed at The Palm’s Hotel* for the duration of filming and may return for more after Labor Day. Be sure to stay tuned for the Cleggs episode come fall.The summer Ocean Beach Association (OBA) meeting had a very healthy turnout on June 18. The mayor’s report included facts about the many capital projects still pending, most of which were a direct result of Hurricane Sandy. Windswept, Ocean Beach’s dearly loved old camp building, is finally in the process of being renovated and should be fully functional by this time next year. The bulkhead project at the ferry terminal will begin September 2016 and should be finished in September 2017, and the ferry terminal is projected to start in September 2017 and end same time the next year. The cement project is halfway completed, with the rest of the blocks to be finished at the end of the summer season. Long-term projects mentioned included the overhauling the sewer system and replacing the wells from their oceanfront locations to mid-island, and upgrades to the bay front one. In total, the various Village projects for village continuity will come to $35 million.Also during the assembly, OBA announced that they will provide the Ocean Beach lifeguards with funds for a new beach wheelchair. Thank you OBA for all of the contributions you have made to the village and its people. During the same report, Head Lifeguard Nick Stertz stated that the annual inter-beach lifeguard tournament is going to be held sometime during the first week in August. Stay tuned for more updates regarding date and time.One of the more controversial points that came up during the meeting is the (old) new hotel-motel tax that Suffolk County is implementing. The tax will require all homeowners and commercial properties intending to rent out their space to register with the county. If they rent out their space for less than 30 days, a 3% per diem rental fee will be applied to every room. Given Ocean Beach’s prolific rental economy, this could adversely affect many homeowners who subsidize their house taxes through week-long rentals. Only time will tell if this will increase longer rentals or decrease overall rental properties. For more information, you can go to the Suffolk County Comptroller’s office website at: suffolkcountyny.gov/comptroller/HotelMotelTax.aspx.Final meeting thoughts were shared by guest speaker Tamson Yeh of Cornell Cooperative, who was brought in to inform the public about post-Sandy plant damage and of Asian Tiger Mosquitoes. She reminded everyone that mosquitoes not only breed in standing water, but are also known to nest in bamboo. Just in case you needed yet another reason to chop down the invasive plants off of your property, here it is.On a happier note than last column’s ending, we are pleased to announce two weddings that happened in the past couple of weeks. Biggest congratulations to Gavin Farrell (Housers dock) and Justine Leggio, who tied the knot on June 4, and to David Lieber and Sue Panzer, married on June 11. Wishing all of the happiness and good vibes that Ocean Beach can bestow.SOME SUMMER HIGHLIGHTSCome Together to Come Together, Sunday, June 26 @ CJ’s*: After the success of last year’s gathering, the Come Together Get Together is coming together once again at CJ’s. “Last year there was so much divisiveness after the election, so with Chris and Laura Mercogliano, we organized this party as a chance to heal,” said local artist and sage Kenny Goodman. It proved to be a great way for friends to gather before the summer got really busy for all of us. Kenny says this year’s theme is “Kindness counts and courtesy goes a long way.” Let’s all try to keep these sentiments in our hearts throughout the summer.Independence Day, July 4: The Baby Parade will begin at 10 a.m., being judged this year by our new homeowners. The OBFD annual picnic at the ball field at 1 p.m.; complete with hot dogs, sodas, and kid’s games. Don’t miss out on the Community Fund’s house decorating contest; show your American pride with red, white, and blue flair!Photo 2OBFD’s Second-Annual Warrior Appreciation Day, Friday, July 22: The department hosts a wonderful dinner with residents and veterans coming together. Tickets go on sale next week; get them quick and support our soldiers.Ocean Beach Community Fund Gala, Saturday, August 6, at 8:00 p.m.: This year a concert featuring renowned New Orleans band Bourbon Street and Eric Lindell is a slight deviation from the standard dinner-and-a-dance style that the OBCF is known for, and should be a fun new development.Chill-Out Concert, Friday, August 12: Les Lieber’s 104th birthday at the annual OBA jazz night is definitely a can’t miss event.OB Arts Council Arts and Crafts Show, Weekend of August 13 and 14: Beautiful handcrafted goods for all of your gift giving needs can be found here. (And something for yourself too!) Think ahead, this is a good shopping opportunity for the cool weather holidays. The children’s art show will follow two weeks later and is also a lot of fun.Ocean Beach news you want included in this column? Email Samantha at [email protected].* Palms Hotel and CJ’s Restaurant & Bar are enterprises owned by the same parent company as Fire Island News.