I read the “Remembering the Story to Save Fire Island” By Emma Boskovski article in the July 30, 2021, edition and felt it was quite incomplete. As you certainly know, my father was an avid reader of your newspaper and was written about often concerning Fire Island issues. He contributed important information to your newspaper and the articles were very well received by my father.
In fact, you wrote a wonderful obituary of him. But, the article written by Emma Boskvoski, in her review of Chris Verga’s book, “Saving Fire Island from Robert Moses,”did not include his role as the chief or perhaps only attorney in crafting the legislation or bill for the Fire Island National Seashore. In an interesting anecdote he one day said to me, his idea of making Fire Island a National Seashore came up on a napkin he wrote on in a restaurant with his now deceased law partner and the late Maurice Barbash, my uncle through my father’s sister Lillian Barbash.
My father was the chief legal strategist as I said earlier, and his Babylon office served as a meeting place or headquarters for the Fire Island Citizens Committee which was proposed by him and which my uncle contributed a great deal to because of their local connections on the mainland. Also, there were many other important people besides Murray Barbash, both in the various other Fire Island communities and on the Long Island mainland who worked to stop the highway that Moses proposed cutting through Fire Island.
I have the book, and Chris Verga’s book mentions some of these people. The part in the article mentioning my father’s championing the idea of Fire Island being designated as a World Heritage Site is very accurate and true. He was working on the aforementioned until the day he passed away almost three years ago. In conclusion, the review should have been more thorough. Thanks for the excellent job you have done and continue to do on your reporting in Fire Island News.
I appreciate your sentiments about your father and his role in Fire Island National Seashore history. However, in turn, I must ask you to respect the fact that Emma Boskovski was not writing a book review, but covering an hour and a half online presentation author Chris Verga delivered on July 15 for the Fire Island School Adult Education Program. Based on these parameters, to describe her efforts as less than thorough is not fair to Emma or the integrity of this publication.
My hope is that her article will inspire others to read Mr. Verga’s book so that the history of Fire Island National Seashore continues to endure.
Thank You and Be Well,
Editor, Fire Island News
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