Sunday, November 22, 2009

Farewell to a Friend

Last week we said goodbye to Councilman Keith Romaine, who passed away suddenly, 0nly two weeks after being re-elected to a second term. Councilman Romaine, who was instrumental in helping us with several issues here including Smith Landing Park at Shirley Beach and the buoys at the Smith Point Marina, was always responsive to our organization and will be missed. Its always nice when an elected official takes the time to understand the problems facing their constituents and utilizes the various departments at their fingertips to help the community they represent. In the short time he represented us, Keith Romaine and his staff did their best to address whatever concerns we brought their way. We were looking forward to his second term to see what other projects we would be able to implement to improve our neighborhood. Councilman Romaine was certainly a friend to the Smith Point Homeowners and his successor will have some big shoes to fill. Sadly, we bid our friend Keith Romaine - "Farewell."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hurricane Season 2009

Well, Hurricane season is in full swing now. We've already had one near miss with "Bill" and now it appears that "Danny" may be brushing by us this weekend. Forecasters have been saying that our area is DUE for a hurricane hit. Are you prepared if our lovely below sea level community is socked with a storm surge? It would likely be Katrina revisited. Although there are coastal evacuation signs along the William Floyd Parkway, they will not help if everyone is trying to make their way north at the same time and at the last minute. Plan ahead. Now is a good time to think about what you and your family will do in case of just such an emergency. Make your own hurricane preparedness plan. Give yourself plenty of time to get to higher ground. Try to secure valuables and important paperwork ahead of time. Set up a meeting place for your family members to gather. Make arrangements to place family pets. Don't wait until the hurricane hits to think about these things. Remember, fail to plan = plan to fail!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

SPPHOA Swings into Action!

Smith Point Peninsula Homeowners Association, stewards of Shirley Beach at Smith Landing, have been successfully lobbying Brookhaven Town Parks department to help improve the park there. In addition to having new BBQ's and picnic tables, we now have brand new playground equipment for the local children (and parents) to enjoy. Commissioner Ed Morris and Deputy Commissioner Carol Bissonette attended our last meeting to talk about the successes we have shared and what we can expect moving forward. As many of you know, SPPHOA has been working in concert with the Parks Department to keep the park clean, planting flowers and identifying additional improvements that would benefit the neighborhood. The upcoming project, which should begin in another week or so, is preparing the platform for the bronze sculpture that was donated, thanks to the William Floyd Community Summit's Beautification Committee. These are all part of the wonderful things we can accomplish when we work together with other solid organizations and with our government officials. We look forward to continuing this work for our community.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Smith Point Buoys Afloat Again thanks to SPPHOA!

After almost two years of lobbying on behalf of all boaters utilizing the Smith Point Marina, we are proud to announce that the efforts of the Smith Point Peninsula Homeowner's Association have been fruitful and an agreement has been reached between Suffolk County and Brookhaven Town to replace the buoys in the channel leading out to the bay. Many a boat was damaged since the buoys were removed and not replaced.
Special thanks to SPPHOA President Vinny Albino and member Richard Hagan for staying on top of this issue and bringing it to the attention of government officials. Suffolk County Legislator Kate Browning and Councilman Keith Romaine have been able to work out the details necessary to use intergovernmental resources to acheive this result.
Once again, the Smith Point Peninsula Homeowner's Association shows that it is possible to accomplish our goals, taking care of our own backyard!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Many people in the community gripe about the lack of sit-down dining in our area. We are all aware of the over abundance of fast food restaurants but we also have two successful restaurants, Manor House and Mike's Place Too. Still, if you want to go to a family style restaurant, or a more upscale or ambiant restaurant, you would have to travel outside our community. Over the past few years, we have heard the rumblings of some potential new restaurants coming to our community - and no, we aren't referring to another fast-food-drive-thru....
The William Floyd Community Summit hosted the owners and/or representatives of Applebee's, Friendly's and Mama Lisa's to discuss their upcoming community projects. Applebee's will be opening a beautiful 180 seat restaurant in the shopping center at the corner of William Floyd Pky and Montauk Highway approximately October 6, 2009. Friendly's will be opening one of their family-friendly restaurants sometime in November 2009 at the former Firestone Deli location. Mama Lisa's will be opening an elegant Italian restaurant where the old Bel Aire Tavern once stood. These three projects have been in the works for awhile now but were having difficulty getting approvals from Suffolk County Health Department. That has now been taken care of and we can finally look forward to some new sit-down dining in our community. Thanks go out to Beth Wahl and the Summit for bringing these representatives, as well as Brookhaven Town's Planning department, to the meeting to keep the community informed.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Parks and Recreation

We were pleased to have Brookhaven Town Commissioner of Parks, Ed Morris as the guest speaker at our June meeting. Mr. Morris discussed some of the plans the Parks department has in the works for our community. Those of you who have been to Shirley Beach at Smith Landing saw the improvement to the facility and grounds last summer thanks to the partnership between the Brookhaven Parks Dept and the Smith Point Peninsula Homeowners. Additional improvements to landscaping and the BBQ area are expected for the 2009 season.
Mr. Morris also discussed some of the improvements made to other local parks, such as the Forge River Marina and the Washington Ave. Ball Fields, the planned improvements for Osprey Park and of course the construction of a new park at Bayview Avenue.
We are looking forward to another year of working closely with Mr. Morris on keeping Shirley Beach the family-friendly oasis we have come to know it as. Be sure to stop down and visit it this summer.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

LI2Day - What's Raised Here, Stays Here!

Smith Point community has hosted the LI2Day Walk to fight Breast Cancer since it began 6 years ago. The LI2Day organization has raised funds through this event to assist Long Islanders affected by breast cancer.

The 2-day event starts at Smith Point County Park, with hundreds of walkers crossing the Smith Point bridge, heading north along William Floyd Parkway, stopping along the way at Southaven County Park in Shirley for lunch and continuing on a 20 mile trek to Cathedral Pines County Park in Middle Island. Once there, the walkers are treated to hot showers, a hot meal, terrific entertainment, massage and chiropractic care and yes, even medical treatment if needed. The next morning, these courageous volunteers walk 15 miles back to Smith Point County Park where they are met by Breast Cancer Survivors from all over Long Island for a celebratory lunch and closing ceremonies which includes a parade of pink balloons and pink t-shirts marching back over the Smith Point bridge. It's quite a site to behold.

All of the money raised by this event stays here on Long Island and the organization has raised over $2 million to date. The volunteers along the 35 mile route are the best cheerleaders and support team that you could ask for. But the community members who come out of their homes to cheer the walkers on, offering water and encouragement show the very best of the Smith Point neighborhoods.

This year, whether you are home, or driving down the WF Parkway in your car, look for these dedicated walkers and show them some of that Smith Point support that has kept them coming back all these years. Your encouragement can make a world of difference especially during those last few miles. And if you are so inclined, make a donation to this very worthy cause because every dime is helping a fellow Long Islander.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

-------- With Heartfelt Appreciation -------- Celebrating Memorial Day

Yes, there will be picnics and BBQs, visits to the beaches and parks, but sometimes we forget the reason we have this three day weekend that marks the beginning of the summer season.

Memorial Day was originally celebrated on May 30th. It was known as a day of mourning for those members of the armed forces who paid the ultimate price to insure our freedom. Many businesses closed for the day and people would go to the cemetery and put fresh flowers and flags on the graves of fallen soldiers to honor their sacrifice. There were parades and prayer services. Back then, Memorial Day was celebrated with respect and reverance, honoring the memory of those who paid with their lives. It was not a three day weekend unless the date fell on a Friday or Monday. Then a bill was introduced changing Memorial Day to the last Monday in May-and lo and behold our three day welcome-to-summer began.
Today, Memorial Day has become more about picnics and BBQs and the rememberance part is all but forgotten. For the past two years, I had the honor of accompanying groups to Calverton cemetery to place flags at all of the graves of the veterans buried there. It is an amazing sight to see and a sobering reminder of that freedom is not free.
This year, this Memorial Day, please take some time out of your day and away from your celebration to remember and pray for those who fought and died for our freedom and for those who are currently out there protecting our freedom. May God Bless Them.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Ever-Expanding Village of Smith Point

There has been much excitement over the past few weeks and months regarding various people and committees working to create the Incorporated Village of Smith Point. Unfortunately, it seems there is conflict and confusion when it comes to defining: Smith Point.

Interestingly enough, the original Smith Point Beach Property Owners Association used to hand out a pamphlet from the Manor of St. George which outlined the boundaries that were used for their organization starting at the tip of the peninsula and heading north to Goldengate and Havenwood, west to Smith Rd. and east to Johns Neck Creek. This was considered the Smith Point boundary - the Smith Point community.

Of course things have changed over the past few years and as the new regime from Woodland Estates and North Shirley took over the SPBPOA and formed their village incorporation group, the boundaries of both the association (SPBPOA) and the potential village (Village committee) have moved considerably north and excluded parts of the southern peninsula. Some people who attended the village exploration meetings were disappointed when they discovered their neighborhoods were not included in the village boundaries. Ultimately, this led not only to some of the peninsula neighborhoods moved into the Mastic Beach village boundaries, but to the formation of a second village committee, the Smith Point Village Exploratory committee, interested in incorporating all of the 11967 area south of Sunrise Highway. The idea behind this is to include all south Shirley residents and businesses.

Of course all of these ideas were designed to improve the area overall, but is it realistic to believe that two groups can simultaneously work at village incorporation for the same area with differing boundaries? Will it be a "race to the finish" situation? Or will it cause further dissention among the people of the community these villages hope to serve?

Smith Point Peninsula Homeowners Association has not taken a stand with either of these committees. We have strong concerns about this village endeavor and worry that it may end up thwarting rather than promoting an improved community. At this time we remain focused on our beautification and quality of life projects for the peninsula community and leave it up to each of you to decide where you stand on this issue.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

No Fireworks Show for Smith Point

As a child, I recall celebrating the Fourth of July with neighborhood barbeques, bicycle parades, swimming, music and of course fireworks. We used to decorate our bikes with red, white and blue streamers, wear red, white or blue clothes, buy 'punks' from the local candy store and light sparklers or firecrackers. Fireworks were always part of any Independence Day celebration. It was a tradition.

While my kids were growing up, fireworks were off limits in the backyard, but our friends and family would often camp at Smith Point County Park during the summer. We loved to reserve a campsite for Fourth of July because there is nothing better that sitting by your camper at Smith Point, looking north over the Great South Bay and watching the beautiful display of fireworks from the "mainland". It was a tradition.

In years past, when the Carnival and Fireworks shows were held at the Park, it was a treat to be able to walk to the show from the campground. When we didn't have a camping reservation, we'd simply walk out to the parkway and down to the bridge to see the fireworks or hear the music from the concerts. It was always a great way to celebrate Independence Day and although it brought some issues for the homeowners along the canal streets and along William Floyd Parkway, it also brought a sense of pride being the only community in Suffolk County to host the big Independence Day celebration. For several years, it was the tradition.

Unfortunately the controversy surrounding the Smith Point Park July 4th Carnival and Fireworks show outweighed the positive community pride - and so they were no more.

Last year, however, the Montauk Merchants Association and the Chamber of Commerce secured a grant and applied to once again to hold this great summer event at Smith Point County Park. Meetings were held, the pros and cons discussed, details worked out, but ultimately it could not be ironed out in time and again there was no show.

This year, the Carnival and Fireworks show was proposed for Smith Point but once again the details could not be ironed out. The approvals were received to hold a Carnival at Smith Point Park, but without the Fireworks show. While some might say a carnival is better than nothing, it short changes the community of an event as American as apple pie - Fourth of July fireworks. There is no better place to hold a fireworks show than the beach. If all of the County departments were willing to do their share in support of this once-a-year event, it could have brought some revenue to local businesses, gave families a fun holiday weekend destination during these hard economic times and helped to restore a more positive image of our community. It's a shame that the voices of those community advocates speaking in support of a Fireworks show fell on deaf ears or were drowned out by the few who opposed it.

As of this writing, the plans for the Fourth of July celebration at Smith Point are off the table. I guess the 'tradition' of a July 4th fireworks show will be left to some other community.

But hey, there's always next year!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Looking Ahead - 2009

Smith Point Peninsula Homeowners held their first meeting of 2009 this past week. The focus of the meeting was reviewing our 2008 accomplishments and setting the agenda for the coming year. As always, our primary goal is community beautification. Community clean-ups, plantings, stewardship of Shirley Beach and neighborhood watch will again be the priority. In addition, we will be scheduling Sunset Night and other social events bringing Smith Point residents together for some positive interaction. Special guest speakers for this year's meetings will be announced on our website, so tune in regularly for the updated information. As always, we welcome your input and suggestions so feel free to email or call.

Contact information: or 516-971-2073.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year

And so 2008 has come to an end and we face 2009 with the hope that our community can weather this economic storm, and with faith that our commitment to our neighborhood will inspire others to join with us and work to improve our quality of life.

2009 can be a turning point for the Smith Point community if we are diligent in being aware of what goes on in our own community. This year, make it a point to know what's going in your neighborhood. Pay attention to your street, your neighbors, the abandoned houses or wooded areas and report any problems to your homeowner's association.

Smith Point Peninsula Homeowners has been instrumental in addressing many of our litter and graffiti problems, boarding or cleaning up various properties, reporting neglect by absentee landlords, problem tenants or uncaring homeowners and much more. They have also participated in community clean-ups and beautification projects all around the Smith Point area.

Perhaps you would like to be a part of this movement to improve the community where you live. Why not make 2009 the year that YOU get involved!