Dear Island Neighbors,
It’s hard to believe it’s already The Most Wonderful Time of The Year (good luck getting rid of that earworm!), but here it is. Better enjoy it before it slips away. It’s a great chance to share those moments with family and friends, and to enjoy the many treasures here in our special place, including neighbors, holiday decorations and our great natural resources. At the end of the column is some info on our much-anticipated traditional wet and cold New Year’s Day event, but before we get there, please read a bit of info on the holiday schedule for Town services and some tips to help you enjoy the season without any safety issues.
TOWN HOLIDAY SCHEDULE
As you know Christmas and New Year’s Days are on Mondays. Please go to bit.ly/2017SICHRISTMAS for more detail, but some Town schedule items you might want to know are: Town Hall will be closed for the Christmas break on Friday through Tuesday, (Dec. 22-26). We reopen at the usual 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 27. We will also be closed on Monday, New Year’s Day, reopening the next day. During the weeks headed by Christmas and New Year’s Day, the stuff you put out on the curb will be picked up a day later than usual: garbage on Wednesdays, yard/bulk debris on Thursdays, and recycling on Thursday, Jan. 4. BE SAFE TO BE HAPPY No one likes to think of crime and fires during a happy time, but you can up your odds of having a happy season if you follow some easy and important safety tips. Our Interim Police Chief Chris Griffin and Fire Chief Anthony Stith offer these perennially wise suggestions:
• Going out of town? Our Police Department offers a free house watch program while you’re away. Just call the Police Department at 843.883.9636 to be placed on the house watch list.
• This is responsible advice year-round, but during this time of year it’s especially important to lock the house and car doors,
whether at home or away.
• Try to keep packages from sitting outside any longer than they have to. If expecting deliveries while you are away or at work, consider asking a trusted neighbor who will be at home to get them for you.
• If planning to be out of town, don’t advertise it on social media or your outgoing message on your home voice mail. Some of the people receiving these messages may be on the naughty list and looking for holiday freebies.
• Keep your Christmas tree well-hydrated to lessen the chances of it catching fire. Water in the pan, but bottled water not necessary!
• Turn off the Christmas Lights on your tree while not home to avoid a fire.
• I hail from the land that invented deep-fried turkeys (South Louisiana) and can attest that however tasty the product, frying a turkey can be a hazard if not done carefully. Do not fry a turkey under any structure that you do not wish to burn down (e.g., carport, garage, house). Situate the frying operation a safe distance from your house and not under a low-hanging tree. Once you light the fire under the oil in the pot, NEVER leave it unattended. Do not put more oil in the pot than can accommodate the bird without bubbling over and igniting a conflagration. NEVER put a frozen or partially frozen bird in the oil.
FREEZIN’ FOR A REASON AT THE NEW YEAR’S DAY POLAR BEAR PLUNGE
For roughly 24 years, we’ve had a great tradition of supporting a fine charity, enjoying some good food and drink with our neighbors, and joining a few thousand of our closest friends in going off our medications to take a New Year’s Day dip in the ocean. I refer, of course, to the annual Polar Bear Plunge on Monday, Jan. 1. This year’s celebration will include participation by most of our Island restaurants. Joining the founding sponsor Dunleavy’s Pub will be 450 Pizza Joint, Home Team, Poe’s Tavern and Mex 1. Outside dining will be available from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The event is held in support of the Special Olympics. There will be numerous volunteers and athletes collecting donations, so please bring some cash (or checks!) for them and give generously. The ribbon-busting run to the water will be at 1 p.m., but the main time to remember is that you should head to the beach by 12:30 p.m. at the latest. It takes a surprisingly long time for the crowd to squeeze down the paths at Stations 22 and 22½. Please stay off of the dunes! The plunge will be at low tide on a day when the predicted low tide is very low, meaning you may have lots of hard sand to traverse to get to the water. You may want to wear some sandals or old running shoes to make it easier on your feet. Traffic-wise, Middle Street will remain open to vehicular traffic, but please drive it very carefully and slowly. Station 22½ between Middle St. and I’On Ave (end of causeway, alongside Dunleavy’s) will be closed to motor vehicles. The Town will have extra police staff on-hand for traffic and safety. Here’s to a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year, for you and yours! See you around the Island.
Pat O’Neil, Mayor