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    'Officials ban nude sunbathing on Fire Island'

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    Chris
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    News 'Officials ban nude sunbathing on Fire Island'

    Post by Chris on Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:58 am

    http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/officials-ban-nude-sunbathing-on-fire-island-1.4717776

    Officials ban nude sunbathing on Fire Island
    Originally published: February 26, 2013 9:00 PM
    Updated: February 26, 2013 10:23 PM
    By CANDICE RUUD candice.ruud@newsday.com





    A decades-long tradition of nude sunbathing on Fire Island beaches is coming to an end this summer: Fire Island National Seashore authorities have announced plans to enforce long-standing laws banning the practice.

    The surging popularity of Lighthouse Beach in particular has led to increased complaints and observations of assault, sex, masturbation and prostitution, said Fire Island chief ranger Lena Koschmann. On some summer days, as many as 4,000 people descend on the narrow strip of land east of Robert Moses State Park Field 5, in the shadow of famed Fire Island Lighthouse.

    "We've been struggling to make it work because Fire Island has a history of that type of use and people have been coming there for years," Koschmann said. "The more we talked about it and researched it, the more we realized that that use wasn't compatible with an area like Lighthouse Beach."

    The beach's proximity to the lighthouse generated complaints from tourists about public nudity, which now would be seen more frequently because the beach's dunes, decimated by superstorm Sandy, no longer obscure sightlines, she said.

    Since the beach has no lifeguards, bathrooms or trash cans, Koschmann said thousands of nude sunbathers pose a public health risk in an area that wasn't meant to be heavily used.

    "There has been a huge change in the demographic and the types of activities happening there in the last 10 or 15 years," she said. "Now when you go out there it's a party atmosphere. There's DJs and music, and people partying and drinking."

    Koschmann also said some social media sites carry invitations to meet for public sex on the beach.

    The fact that public nudity is illegal in New York was another compelling reason to change the policy, since FINS maintains joint jurisdiction with the state, she said. The ban also will be enforced at four other Fire Island beaches where nude sunbathing is known to take place -- including the tract of land in front of Sailors Haven, from Point O' Woods to Cherry Grove.

    Koschmann recommended the change in policy to National Seashore Superintendent Christopher Soller, who approved and announced it in an annual release outlining use restrictions at the national park. Rangers will begin by "educating" nude bathers, Koschmann said, and progress to giving tickets. But that is difficult, she said, since many nude sunbathers do not carry identification.

    Toplessness, she said, "is tricky. The law that's on the books still says a woman has to have her breasts covered. That being said, there is some case law that has led to a different type of enforcement in that area. . . . We're not going to be hammering on toplessness."

    Local and national nudist recreation groups decried the change in policy, which they say eliminates their only option for public nude bathing on Long Island.

    "I'm pretty disappointed," said Felicity Jones, co-founder of Young Naturists and Nudists America, a New York City-based group. "It was the best beach we had for New Yorkers, and it's not easy to be a nudist in New York."

    Jones, who asked to be identified only by her pen name, said her group now would probably spend most of the summer at New Jersey's Gunnison Beach.

    Long Island Travasuns, a nudist-naturist group started in 1978, is hoping it can meet FINS halfway.

    The group's president, who asked to be identified only as Dan, said he is "deeply saddened and extremely disappointed" by the change, but his members "hope to reach an understanding that is acceptable to everyone involved."

    Koschmann said the decision is final and will be enforced. Violators could face 6 months in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.

    "One of the key decision-makers for us is we've really tried. A lot of people say you should do a better job of enforcing laws down there," she said. "We only have six field rangers on staff, and they're responsible for 32 miles of beach. And they're spending between 75 and 100 percent of a summer day on that one stretch of beach."



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    News Re: 'Officials ban nude sunbathing on Fire Island'

    Post by Shale on Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:51 am

    End of an era. Before it was known for nudity Fire Island was a place for gay male cruising. This was in the '60s.

    If the nudist groups want to have a legitimate nude beach like ours in Haulover Park they will have to convince the local politicians that it can be maintained as a 'place set apart' which is probably already a part of their anti-nudity law. (Otherwise, gym and swimming pool locker rooms would be illegal because they are in fact places of public nudity). So we have turned an abandoned beach into the most popular beach in Miami-Dade County where the biggest problem is adequate parking for the thousands of ppl who come here.

    Also, there is no sexual activity allowed on our beach. The nudist club has enforcers who report such to the lifeguards and a county cop remove them immediately.




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    News Re: 'Officials ban nude sunbathing on Fire Island'

    Post by Bluesmama on Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:36 pm

    IF the problems are as bad as they claim they were then I can understand it. In that case you had the bunch that ruined it for the rest. Also makes me wonder if someone with clout (and other ideas) moved in nearby.

    Portland has a clothing-optional section of river-beach and some guy from another state had a hoity-toity house built there, then tried to have it abolished. Point is, the use of that section of beach had been established for decades. It reminds me of people who buy homes by an airport then complain about the noise.



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    News Re: 'Officials ban nude sunbathing on Fire Island'

    Post by Alan Smithee on Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:43 pm

    Bluesmama wrote:IF the problems are as bad as they claim they were then I can understand it. In that case you had the bunch that ruined it for the rest. Also makes me wonder if someone with clout (and other ideas) moved in nearby.

    Portland has a clothing-optional section of river-beach and some guy from another state had a hoity-toity house built there, then tried to have it abolished. Point is, the use of that section of beach had been established for decades. It reminds me of people who buy homes by an airport then complain about the noise.

    yeah that… basically



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    News Re: 'Officials ban nude sunbathing on Fire Island'

    Post by Tony Marino on Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:57 pm

    What a bunch of nonsense. First off Sandy destroyed much of Fire Island so whats left? Now they take away the rights of people that choose to sunbathe without clothes, give me a break. Fire Island has always been "divided" Cherry Grove for the Gays and The Pines for straight people. Shale Fire Island is still a very Cruisy area for gay people. Koschmann and Soller are bigots, lets see what happens this summer when the residents are back and the tourism drops because of this.




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