Saltaire Summery

Saltaire SummeryBy Hugh O’BrienWe’ve got a special issue of the News coming out next week (Issue 4 on the Fourth of July Weekend) so this’ll be our last chance to catch up on or anticipate news until Issue 5, by which point many of us will be buying Christmas presents. Fast season. So, here it goes….Well, the big news from last weekend was the Board of Trustees’ vote on what kind of replacement Lighthouse Prom to beg funding for from FEMA. Considering the touchiness of the issue for so many the gathering, at the firehouse meeting room, was happily civil and, as Mario Posillico notes at the end of every Board Minutes, all had a chance to be heard. Nat Oppenheimer presented his report on the relative merits of wood vs. concrete, and later Nick Petschek discussed possible “calming measures,” i.e. ways of slowing down the damn traffic; although these were not voted on at this meeting, remain seated, they will be. Rather, two votes were held: first, on the question of whether to put in for an eight- or nine-foot-wide walk, the result was 3-2 in favor of nine. Next, on the material question of, well, material, a reorganized line-up produced the same 3-2 split in favor of wood over concrete. On that basis, Mayor Zaccaro instructed Mario to use all his powers, and all his skills, to persuade FEMA to spring for costlier wood and a wider walk, which process Mario will duly set in motion, if not in stone, come the dawn Monday. Our fate is with the Feds.The next Board meeting is July 2, at 9 a.m., again, at the firehouse meeting room, at which every other issue but Lighthouse – repeat – NO Lighthouse! – may be discussed.Other coming civic events include the SCAA’a annual meeting, Saturday, June 25, at 11 a.m., at, you guessed it, the good old and increasingly well-worn firehouse meeting room. Reports and resident issues will be aired. Not sure if Chair Grace Corradino will entertain questions on Lighthouse Promenade.One week later, also on July 2 but well after the Board meeting, the Fire Company will hold its third annual Ice Cream Social, from 2 to 4 p.m., at…yes, yes, at the firehouse meeting room. Okay, now this is actually unavoidable due to the room’s proximity to the freezer and the sprinkle-scoop holder, since last year we discovered the hard way that storing ice cream in the back of the Chief’s car for a week was not conducive to the optimum enjoyment of one’s cone.Further afield, the Saltaire Volunteer Fire Company’s annual Fourth of July Parade will be held as ever with the utmost promptness, on Saturday, July 16, starting at 11 a.m., and, um, yeah, actually, the members assemble in the safety of the firehouse meeting room before venturing out onto the walks. This will be the first parade held on the recently completely completed Broadway and, for all we know, the next-to-last to tromp down a concrete Lighthouse Prom., so a bit of history is in the making. But the organizers promise a more innovative march after years of public defiling the defile as stale and old-hat, or more accurately, helmet. Specifically what’ll be on offer we have no idea, but given the organizers’ marching orders, at a minimum, good food and great music should be plentiful, or indeed, totally omnipresent.Incidentally, we often get asked why the Fourth of July parade always takes place two or three weeks after that actual date. The answer is we can’t get a band on the actual date because they’re all busy with their own departments. Hey, it’s either the parade or the ambulance arriving two weeks late – your pick.Speaking of which, seriously, please remember that in case of a fire or medical emergency call 911 and ask that the Saltaire Fire Department be called out. Give the street address (or if it’s on the bay or ocean, the nearest street). People may naturally be a bit anxious or even panicky in a crisis, but it’s vital that we get the accurate location of a call. In the past week we had four calls close together (one fire and three medical) and there was some confusion on a couple of them, which delayed response. Keep calm and carry on, or, well, actually, don’t carry on in the sense of, you know, carrying on, just be slow and succinct. We may lose a pancake or a quart of ice cream but never a patient.Now, back to events. Last Sunday marked the formal grand opening of the new Saltaire Market. (Like the Fire Department vis-à-vis the parade, the Market’s been open for four weeks, but then it’s all in keeping with the Village motto, A posse ad esse.) Since press time comes too early for the event to actually be covered, I’ll simply say, writing the day before, that it was a magnificent occasion at which a number of gracious speeches were made, a fine ribbon cut, and, that hallmark of every traditional Saltaire function, free food, was served (until, no doubt, it ran out before the first speech and people went over to the firehouse meeting room to raid the pretzels.) Thanks to manager Patrick Adams for getting the place off to such a good start. Originally the ribbon slashing was scheduled for June 25 but Mayor Zaccaro couldn’t be here then, but unfortunately moving it up a week meant that former Mayor Bob Cox, under whose aegis the market was reborn, would himself be unable to attend because of a Father’s Day obligation. But credit to Bob and all who worked so hard to bring it about.Which brings us to the ultimate community query: Where’s the Club? Fret not. It’s there. It’s coming. It has to – I have movies to run. If we’re delayed…well, I guess, there’s always the firehouse meeting room.All photos are courtesy of Catherine O’Brien.Hugh can be contacted at