Saltaire Summery

by Hugh O'Brien |

            First quote of the season goes to Frank Markus, chief justice of the Saltaire Supreme Court, who apologized that he’d tried to buy a copy of the News but the Market had sold out. It fell to me to tell him that the paper hadn’t been published yet. Feeling guilty about something that never happened. Now the judge knows what motivates the pleas submitted by his clientele.

Well, it may be the paper’s latest-ever start date, but against the backdrop of a reviving island, that seems somehow fitting. Yes, we’re back, kind of, more or less, quietly reopening and gradually freeing people from the mass of masks and bondage of bandages that marked and marred the past year. Hereabouts, however, word-rationing remains in effect, so, yesterday’s news tomorrow….

Village prosecutor Mark Geistfeld and Judge Frank Markus dispense, but do not dispense with, justice, as Saltaire’s Village Court reopens for its first session in a year. (Photo by Court Clerk Catherine O’Brien.)

The summer certainly got off to an unpromising start. Memorial Day was observed in memoriam, a three-day washout as non-stop rain reigned throughout a weakened weekend, virtually every activity canceled as it entered the rinse cycle. I thought we had a law around here that the rain can never fall ‘til after sundown, yet notwithstanding, it came a lot. Softball, tennis, basketball, the bay, the beach, everything drowned out but the moans of housebound homeowners. About the only thing not flooded was the voting booth, with a record-low turnout for a Village election amidst too much weather and too few candidates. This may have been the first election in history where they had to un-stuff the ballot box. Anyway, Nat Oppenheimer and I were reelected by those who braved the elements, serene in the scientifically-established fact (by the MyPillow guy, I believe) that when someone doesn’t vote it counts as unspoken approval. This electoral quietus came hard on the chads of the tumultuous contests last September, in which Mayor John Zaccaro, Trustee Frank Wolf and former Trustee Alex Chefetz won amid a record-high turnout that wound up serving as something of a precursor of things to come that November. Luckily no one stormed the Village Hall, and peace and harmony, if not quite prevailing, are in there trying. But no kidding, thanks for your support and for helping get the community through these difficult times.

Up-capping the status quo postea …. The Market: open and thriving (and masks still required for now). Post Office: June 11-Sept. 30 (Monday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Saturday 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.). Northwell Clinic: June 19- Sept. 8, 9-11 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. daily (except no hours Wednesday morning); dial 911 for emergencies (ambulance). Refuse: Mondays and Thursdays beginning June 7. Seven-day lifeguard protection: from June 18. Public Safety and the SVFC: 24 hours a day. Club: up and cruising toward a full-ish season. Take a gander (there are plenty of them along the parkways) at saltaire.org for a good old rundown of this rundown old village’s rebound.

 

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Hugh O'Brien

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