Court rules where LI Sound begns and harbor ends

george

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Baymen called on Oyster Bay officials to move jurisdiction markers for shellfishing beds at the boundary of the Long Island Sound as decided recently by a state appellate court.

“I want the markers to come down,” North Oyster Bay Baymen’s Association president William Painter said Tuesday. “I want new markers to be placed, showing an accurate line.”

Last month, the New York State Appellate Court, Second Department, upheld a 2016 lower court decision in a lawsuit against the town that ruled the boundary of the Sound runs along a line from Rocky Point in Oyster Bay east to Whitewood Point on Lloyd Neck.

Oyster Bay had argued that the town’s boundary extended farther north, from Oak Neck Point east to Lloyd Point.

“The record in this case demonstrates that the state’s proposed boundary line is the only fair interpretation of the Andros Patent,” the court wrote in its April 17 decision, referring to a Colonial-era patent that defined the town’s northern maritime border. The evidence presented by the parties did not support the town's proposed boundary, the ruling stated.

Oyster Bay officials did not respond to requests for comment.

At issue was who could shellfish in those waters.

As state land, the clam beds are open to holders of state-issued licenses. Oyster Bay granted exclusive rights to shellfishing company Frank M. Flower & Sons Inc. on underwater lands that overlapped with the disputed area in a lease that expires in 2024.


The case arose after Nassau County police ticketed independent fisherman Bryan C. Murphy in 2010 for shellfishing in those waters.

Murphy sued the town, arguing he was shellfishing legally in state-owned waters. The state Attorney General’s office argued for the boundary that the courts later ruled was correct.

Town records show that Oyster Bay retained California-based Wendel, Rosen, Black and Dean, LLP, in 2014 to assist with the case and subsequently paid the firm more than $250,000. In 2016, a lower court ruled in favor of Murphy and the state. Oyster Bay appealed that decision and last month the appellate court upheld the earlier ruling.

Murphy’s attorney, Darrin Berger of Huntington, said Tuesday the appellate court’s ruling means fishermen with state licenses “can now shellfish in those waters with impunity, without having fear of being given any type of citation or violation.”

Murphy said the town’s boundary markers should be moved “immediately” to reflect the state boundary line.

James Cammarata, attorney for Frank M. Flower, said Tuesday that the ruling was a “disappointment,” but “we have to respect the decision of the court.”

Cammarata said the company will lose about 450 acres out of 1,800 it leases from the town because of the ruling.

“We’ve lost some harvesting ground,” he said. “It’s not going to harm our business terribly, but it’s certainly an impact.”

Oyster Bay Town Clerk James Altadonna Jr., who is challenging Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino in November, said the town should return the waters to the public and the baymen.

“The time for exclusivity is over,” Altadonna said Wednesday. “The town should move the boundaries and vacate the lease in that portion of land.”
 

Scupper

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Dec 21, 2018
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Baymen called on Oyster Bay officials to move jurisdiction markers for shellfishing beds at the boundary of the Long Island Sound as decided recently by a state appellate court.

“I want the markers to come down,” North Oyster Bay Baymen’s Association president William Painter said Tuesday. “I want new markers to be placed, showing an accurate line.”

Last month, the New York State Appellate Court, Second Department, upheld a 2016 lower court decision in a lawsuit against the town that ruled the boundary of the Sound runs along a line from Rocky Point in Oyster Bay east to Whitewood Point on Lloyd Neck.

Oyster Bay had argued that the town’s boundary extended farther north, from Oak Neck Point east to Lloyd Point.

“The record in this case demonstrates that the state’s proposed boundary line is the only fair interpretation of the Andros Patent,” the court wrote in its April 17 decision, referring to a Colonial-era patent that defined the town’s northern maritime border. The evidence presented by the parties did not support the town's proposed boundary, the ruling stated.

Oyster Bay officials did not respond to requests for comment.

At issue was who could shellfish in those waters.

As state land, the clam beds are open to holders of state-issued licenses. Oyster Bay granted exclusive rights to shellfishing company Frank M. Flower & Sons Inc. on underwater lands that overlapped with the disputed area in a lease that expires in 2024.


The case arose after Nassau County police ticketed independent fisherman Bryan C. Murphy in 2010 for shellfishing in those waters.

Murphy sued the town, arguing he was shellfishing legally in state-owned waters. The state Attorney General’s office argued for the boundary that the courts later ruled was correct.

Town records show that Oyster Bay retained California-based Wendel, Rosen, Black and Dean, LLP, in 2014 to assist with the case and subsequently paid the firm more than $250,000. In 2016, a lower court ruled in favor of Murphy and the state. Oyster Bay appealed that decision and last month the appellate court upheld the earlier ruling.

Murphy’s attorney, Darrin Berger of Huntington, said Tuesday the appellate court’s ruling means fishermen with state licenses “can now shellfish in those waters with impunity, without having fear of being given any type of citation or violation.”

Murphy said the town’s boundary markers should be moved “immediately” to reflect the state boundary line.

James Cammarata, attorney for Frank M. Flower, said Tuesday that the ruling was a “disappointment,” but “we have to respect the decision of the court.”

Cammarata said the company will lose about 450 acres out of 1,800 it leases from the town because of the ruling.

“We’ve lost some harvesting ground,” he said. “It’s not going to harm our business terribly, but it’s certainly an impact.”

Oyster Bay Town Clerk James Altadonna Jr., who is challenging Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino in November, said the town should return the waters to the public and the baymen.

“The time for exclusivity is over,” Altadonna said Wednesday. “The town should move the boundaries and vacate the lease in that portion of land.”
The Town supports Flowers Oyster Corp to the disappointment of the Baymen ... The Corp lease of 1700 acres of underwater land expires in 2024 , the Baymen have spent a few hundred thousand $$$$ in Lawyers fees fighting the Corp during the last few years .............
The Corp also currently leases 6 acres of Bulkheaded WATERFRONT property from the Town for a MEASLY $2,400 a year ... This criminal lease [ my opinion] was signed by former Supervisor Vendetto many years ago ..................
The Baymen will eventually win this battle .......
 
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Old Mud

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Dec 31, 2018
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On this side of the lawn
The Town supports Flowers Oyster Corp to the disappointment of the Baymen ... The Corp lease of 1700 acres of underwater land expires in 2024 , the Baymen have spent a few hundred thousand $$$$ in Lawyers fees fighting the Corp during the last few years .............
The Corp also currently leases 6 acres of Bulkheaded WATERFRONT property from the Town for a MEASLY $2,400 a year ... This criminal lease [ my opinion] was signed by former Supervisor Vendetto many years ago ..................
The Baymen will eventually win this battle .......

Funny how things like this still go on right in the open when most folks know it's a shady deal right from the start. Money and bad politics can hurt the general public's ability to access into what should be for All.
 
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Jack_Daniels

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Dec 21, 2018
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It's ironic that the baymen have. "spent a few hundred thousand $$$$ in Lawyers fees fighting the Corp during the last few years." which is money they earned harvesting shellfish which Flower's (the Corp) is probably responsible for propagating there. . .

The baymen should stop looking a gift horse in the mouth. Oyster Bay is one of the most productive shellfish areas on Long Island now, if not the most productive area. Most likely directly due to Flower's farming activities there. The baymen allege that Flower's is destroying the bottom with their dredging practices, but if that were actually the case, Flower's would not have been successfully harvesting the shellfish they've been growing there for DECADES. While those shellfish they seed in their lease area grow to legal size in unnatural abundance, they spawn and that spat disperses with the tides to all the adjacent areas, outside Flower's lease, where the baymen get the benefit of harvesting them. . .

I understand that the Baymen want more. They see Flower's lease as a holy grail they want to harvest in too. You know what will happen when that lease runs out, and if the bottom was to return to public access. There will be a boom for sure. Then shortly after, Oyster Bay will become like the rest of the Island.

I've seen it first hand in the Peconics. There was a fella that had a Suffolk County lease site for scallops in Flanders Bay. While he was farming there, all of Flanders Bay had pretty good scalloping, I got in on it for a few years. Then one (or more) the local baymen challenged his lease site, as the County allows for. They claimed his area was a natural propagation area, and they wanted to fish in his small amount of acreage in the bay. Rather than fight it, the guy just moved to another lease site, outside of the bay, and the scalloping has sucked since. It used to be really nice fishing in 3' of water. Now I have to go further East and fish in 12' or deeper.

You'll see, the baymen are gonna shoot themselves in the foot if they ever win any of these lawsuits, or Flowers doesn't get to renew the lease. Then they'll claim some "natural disaster" impacted the area, or that Flower's practices degraded the site which they harvested generations of shellfish from and now the natural shellfish don't thrive the same way. However, the only one's they'll really honestly have to blame, is themselves.
 
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Scupper

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Dec 21, 2018
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It's ironic that the baymen have. "spent a few hundred thousand $$$$ in Lawyers fees fighting the Corp during the last few years." which is money they earned harvesting shellfish which Flower's (the Corp) is probably responsible for propagating there. . .

The baymen should stop looking a gift horse in the mouth. Oyster Bay is one of the most productive shellfish areas on Long Island now, if not the most productive area. Most likely directly due to Flower's farming activities there. The baymen allege that Flower's is destroying the bottom with their dredging practices, but if that were actually the case, Flower's would not have been successfully harvesting the shellfish they've been growing there for DECADES. While those shellfish they seed in their lease area grow to legal size in unnatural abundance, they spawn and that spat disperses with the tides to all the adjacent areas, outside Flower's lease, where the baymen get the benefit of harvesting them. . .

I understand that the Baymen want more. They see Flower's lease as a holy grail they want to harvest in too. You know what will happen when that lease runs out, and if the bottom was to return to public access. There will be a boom for sure. Then shortly after, Oyster Bay will become like the rest of the Island.

I've seen it first hand in the Peconics. There was a fella that had a Suffolk County lease site for scallops in Flanders Bay. While he was farming there, all of Flanders Bay had pretty good scalloping, I got in on it for a few years. Then one (or more) the local baymen challenged his lease site, as the County allows for. They claimed his area was a natural propagation area, and they wanted to fish in his small amount of acreage in the bay. Rather than fight it, the guy just moved to another lease site, outside of the bay, and the scalloping has sucked since. It used to be really nice fishing in 3' of water. Now I have to go further East and fish in 12' or deeper.

You'll see, the baymen are gonna shoot themselves in the foot if they ever win any of these lawsuits, or Flowers doesn't get to renew the lease. Then they'll claim some "natural disaster" impacted the area, or that Flower's practices degraded the site which they harvested generations of shellfish from and now the natural shellfish don't thrive the same way. However, the only one's they'll really honestly have to blame, is themselves.
Where do I even start ????
Flowers Oysters NEVER spawn in Oyster Bay , some believe they use STERILE Oysters in their hatchery , to limit any potential competition ... Why does Huntington some parts of Long Island Sound and most of CT seem to get a set nearly every year ???
Flowers Clams drift on Public / Baymen lands ?? Why are the fellas bustin their tails to do a bag of neck a day ??? Why are the number of Baymen way down even with a high dock price ???
Why are three owners of the Corp allowed to use mechanical dredges while Hundreds of thousands of residents of Oyster Bay MUST use hand rakes ????? Ever pull your heart out trying to feed your family with 60 feet of pipe and an iron rake hoping to catch 25 neck every ten minutes while the Flower Dredge boat just a few feet away is capable of catching several bushels a tow ?
The days of Large Corp Clam outfits dominating Town waters have gone the way of the horse and buggy ...
Flowers is the ONLY large outfit left ... Blue Points Gone , the Islip Dredgers are gone , Long Island Oyster Farm gone and by 2024 many believe / hope Flowers will be history ...... The hand writing is on the wall , many believe the Town [ former Politicians ]and Flower were in cahoots ... Some Town Muckity Mucks are already in Jail , some have been let go , as the Bob Dylan song says ' The Times they are a Changing " .........
The baymen have become very militant and it is doubtful they will back down ... Who are the Baymen ? Husbands , Sons , Fathers who bust their butts to try and make a living for themselves and the ones they love ..........
 

Capt13

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Dec 28, 2018
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Where do I even start ????
Flowers Oysters NEVER spawn in Oyster Bay , some believe they use STERILE Oysters in their hatchery , to limit any potential competition ... Why does Huntington some parts of Long Island Sound and most of CT seem to get a set nearly every year ???
Flowers Clams drift on Public / Baymen lands ?? Why are the fellas bustin their tails to do a bag of neck a day ??? Why are the number of Baymen way down even with a high dock price ???
Why are three owners of the Corp allowed to use mechanical dredges while Hundreds of thousands of residents of Oyster Bay MUST use hand rakes ????? Ever pull your heart out trying to feed your family with 60 feet of pipe and an iron rake hoping to catch 25 neck every ten minutes while the Flower Dredge boat just a few feet away is capable of catching several bushels a tow ?
The days of Large Corp Clam outfits dominating Town waters have gone the way of the horse and buggy ...
Flowers is the ONLY large outfit left ... Blue Points Gone , the Islip Dredgers are gone , Long Island Oyster Farm gone and by 2024 many believe / hope Flowers will be history ...... The hand writing is on the wall , many believe the Town [ former Politicians ]and Flower were in cahoots ... Some Town Muckity Mucks are already in Jail , some have been let go , as the Bob Dylan song says ' The Times they are a Changing " .........
The baymen have become very militant and it is doubtful they will back down ... Who are the Baymen ? Husbands , Sons , Fathers who bust their butts to try and make a living for themselves and the ones they love ..........
I understand your frustration ...... but, Huntington hasn't had a good set since the mid 70's. The leases fell by the wayside in Huntington in the early eighties as far as I know. I have to agree with Jack ...... they (Flowers) seeded clams as well on those leased grounds. Oyster Bay and Cold spring has had far better clamming for the past ten years, again as far as I know. I believe he is correct that it was a result of Flowers beds spawning. Flowers spent the money to seed and maintain ( mop ) their leases and harvested what they nurtured.

Virginia is pro leased bottom and aquaculture. The motivation is partly attributed to the hopes that disease resistant oysters will once again propagate oysters in other areas of the bay. Large natural sets are cyclical and rely on temperature, salinity, and bottom conditions all coming together at the same time. Unless the clammers of oysterbay and cold spring come together and start massive seeding programs on their own, I have to again, agree with Jack They are shooting themselves in the foot by working towards giving Flowers the boot.

Why do you believe all the major leased land/dredging outfits are gone? I would say water quality/environmental conditions made it economically a poor business endeavor.
 

Scupper

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Dec 21, 2018
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I understand your frustration ...... but, Huntington hasn't had a good set since the mid 70's. The leases fell by the wayside in Huntington in the early eighties as far as I know. I have to agree with Jack ...... they (Flowers) seeded clams as well on those leased grounds. Oyster Bay and Cold spring has had far better clamming for the past ten years, again as far as I know. I believe he is correct that it was a result of Flowers beds spawning. Flowers spent the money to seed and maintain ( mop ) their leases and harvested what they nurtured.

Virginia is pro leased bottom and aquaculture. The motivation is partly attributed to the hopes that disease resistant oysters will once again propagate oysters in other areas of the bay. Large natural sets are cyclical and rely on temperature, salinity, and bottom conditions all coming together at the same time. Unless the clammers of oysterbay and cold spring come together and start massive seeding programs on their own, I have to again, agree with Jack They are shooting themselves in the foot by working towards giving Flowers the boot.

Why do you believe all the major leased land/dredging outfits are gone? I would say water quality/environmental conditions made it economically a poor business endeavor.
Why are the Dredge operations gone ? Great South Bay has turned into a cesspool . Oyster Farms got thrown out of Huntington when their lease expired ...
Beg to differ .. Huntington is suffering from a lack of set for Clams , BUT it has enjoyed Oysters for MANY , MANY years , even the Mayor of Northport has been a regular Oysterman over the years .....
The Baymen WANT individual leases available to ALL citizens in Oyster Bay and have been working behind the scenes to achieve this ... These leases are visioned to be 2 to say 10 acres , for Oyster and Clams ........
Flowers Clams on Public Beds ???? Really ??? Ask the guys today how many Clams they are catching ????
Oyster Bay Harbor is SUFFERING GREATLY , its Clam production is relying on old Chowder Clams from ancient Beds that will not last long .. The Industry in Oyster Bay is in CRISIS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What about all the NATURAL PUBLIC clams that Flowers Harvested , the natural sets did not only settle on public lands but knew no boundaries and were harvested by dredge while the baymen were forced to pull like cavemen on those iron rakes ............... Flowers was rewarded GREATLY by harvesting clams that belonged to all and was set in the Bay by NATURE ......
I respectfully say that those who say that Flowers is suppling Oyster Bay public lands with clams have NO IDEA of what they talk about ... Flowers plants Notada's [ red clams , aka Indian Clams } the bayman want NO part of those LOW QUALITY brittle clams ........... Many Buyers refuse to purchase those red clams as they break easily and are hard to market ...........
Easy for those who never walked in Baymans shoes to publish their opinions .. Opinions come and go , FACTS will linger forever ..........
 

Scupper

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Dec 21, 2018
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How many current owners are from the Flowers family ?
Answer = A BIG FAT ZERO ....
The last Flower family member to work their was CHASED out of the office and her Husband off the Boats years ago when the three current owners took over .......
One of the owners couldn't help himself and lives and rubs elbows in the same neighborhood as Charles Dolan and the late Charles Wang , his home in the pricey Center Island apparently wasn't cutting it living a few hundred feet from Billy Joel ........
With Wang and Dolan worth Billions , why be a neighbor to a pauper like Billy Joel ?
 

Jack_Daniels

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Dec 21, 2018
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the bayman want NO part of those LOW QUALITY brittle clams ........... Many Buyers refuse to purchase those red clams as they break easily and are hard to market ...........
Yeah. . . Of course no one would want any part of the low quality, unmarketable, brittle clams that has supported a multi-million dollar company all of these decades. :rolleyes:


I predict if the town implemented a lease program, it would fail miserably, for the same reason that scalloping in Flanders Bay has declined. . . The Baymen would hurt themselves, still wanting what the other has, instead of focusing on what they already have themselves.

In the county program, leases are only allowed on bottom that doesn't have much natural propagation. If a baymen believes a lease holder is over good naturally propagating bottom, he can challenge the location, and then the lease holder either has to pay to do a survey, or move to another site. If the Town of Oyster Bay implemented a similar program, it sounds like the baymen would all be challenging each other, and no one would ever get a lease.
 
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Scupper

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Yeah. . . Of course no one would want any part of the low quality, unmarketable, brittle clams that has supported a multi-million dollar company all of these decades. :rolleyes:


I predict if the town implemented a lease program, it would fail miserably, for the same reason that scalloping in Flanders Bay has declined. . . The Baymen would hurt themselves, still wanting what the other has, instead of focusing on what they already have themselves.

In the county program, leases are only allowed on bottom that doesn't have much natural propagation. If a baymen believes a lease holder is over good naturally propagating bottom, he can challenge the location, and then the lease holder either has to pay to do a survey, or move to another site. If the Town of Oyster Bay implemented a similar program, it sounds like the baymen would all be challenging each other, and no one would ever get a lease.
The Baymen grew their own 'reds' for years , HALF broke in the rake while washing out the mud and YES the buyers began to REFUSE to buy this junk product .......
The Baymen now grow NON reds ....... They would rather have a much slower growing product than a lousy animal that is REALLY tough to sell to the buyers ...........
The Oyster Bay guys were the first in the region to use upwellers designed by Cornell ... They spent the own $$$$ and had volunteers [ baymen] run the system for years ...
No more reds in their systems ...
If Flowers clams have populated and spawned clams in the public sections why is there a lack of clams today ? 50 million annual clams planted by the Corp would surely propagate the entire bay , it has not ...
Flowers Hatchery is in Bayville Creek were they spawn and grow approximately 100 million clams and oysters , yet when the creek opens for a winter fishery it is VOID of life , going by claims made on this discussion the creek should be bursting full of shellfish , yet it can't even provide a single days pay when opened ........
I do agree that getting a bunch of baymen to agree on anything is extremely difficult as they are an independent bunch of guys ......
Several years ago a Top Town Official stopped to chat , he informed me that the Town was going to ban future permits for those who had a criminal record . I asked why ? He said we 'didn't want those type of guys on the bay ....
I then responded with multiple stories of guys who in their early twenties made bad choices whether it be drugs or other legal issues and who found a place on the bay were they could figure out their lives and eventually raise a family and bust their butts , get a humble home and become good citizens , taxpayers ... These stories are multiple , we even have a guy who went to prison for Bank robbery and has become a steady 9 - 5 er for the last few years ......
The water has provided many a lost soul with a second chance and many if not most has found a way to fit into society thanks to their experiences and becoming self reliant ......Once they have a taste of 'success' their pride and their independence shines thru , its a great thing to watch evolve ............
PS . The Town Muckity Muck back off and let the issue drop .........
 
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Jack_Daniels

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Dec 21, 2018
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Commercial fishermen historically are not the most wholesome demographic. I can't think of many better jobs for a man (or woman) with even the most vile criminal past, than alone on a boat working by him/herself, trying to become a lawful and productive member of society again. I'm glad to hear the town backed away from that.

I find it interesting that you are supporting baymen with unwholesome backgrounds on this side, but were just a few posts above, dragging Flower's management through the mud for personal family issues. Who owns Flower's is irrelevant. It's a business entity. The business has the lease and is authorized to operate.
 

Scupper

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Dec 21, 2018
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Commercial fishermen historically are not the most wholesome demographic. I can't think of many better jobs for a man (or woman) with even the most vile criminal past, than alone on a boat working by him/herself, trying to become a lawful and productive member of society again. I'm glad to hear the town backed away from that.

I find it interesting that you are supporting baymen with unwholesome backgrounds on this side, but were just a few posts above, dragging Flower's management through the mud for personal family issues. Who owns Flower's is irrelevant. It's a business entity. The business has the lease and is authorized to operate.
"Some' Baymen have ' unwholesome' backrounds and many have stellar backrounds .....
First and foremost was a Bayman JAMES HARRINGTON who was killed in action while serving in Vietnam , the pier in Oyster Bay was dedicated in honor of his service and sacrifice to our Country ... Two of his brothers still ply their trade as Baymen with honor and dignity ....
One of the Baymen is the Post Commander of the local American Legion .
One of the Baymen has been awarded TWO Purple Hearts for his service ....
Several others have served their Country in the Military
A local Chief of Police moonlights many a day as a Bayman ....
The Baymen run two food Booths at the Oyster Fest .. The Lobster Booth has DONATED over $250,000 over the years directly to families whose children are battling cancer and other horrible diseases and also have donated over $20,000 to the Nassau County Firefighters Wounded Warriors ... The County branch takes ZERO dollars for administration fees , ALL $$$ goes to those in need ....
Baymen also volunteer in their local Fire Dept's .
Run a Non for Profit Cancer Fund .
Volunteer their time for local youth sports programs and their local churches .....
Its a BIG stretch to label baymen as 'unwholesome " , almost everyone of them has contributed to betterment of society and their towns ............
 

Scupper

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Dec 21, 2018
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Commercial fishermen historically are not the most wholesome demographic. I can't think of many better jobs for a man (or woman) with even the most vile criminal past, than alone on a boat working by him/herself, trying to become a lawful and productive member of society again. I'm glad to hear the town backed away from that.

I find it interesting that you are supporting baymen with unwholesome backgrounds on this side, but were just a few posts above, dragging Flower's management through the mud for personal family issues. Who owns Flower's is irrelevant. It's a business entity. The business has the lease and is authorized to operate.
The lease expires soon enough , the Baymen will have their say ......
Flowers Leases 6 WATERFRONT acres for $2,400 per YEAR from the Town ???????? Some would say somebody belongs in JAIL !!!!!!!
 

Scupper

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Dec 21, 2018
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Children: If we can't play nice here, I'm going to lock this one up.
I disagree Roccus , I haven't sensed a tone of disrespect ... A difference of opinions yes but in my opinion the tone has been civil .......
I enjoyed getting part of the Baymens story out there , so much more to tell , too bad I am not a great story writer , their stories are compelling ........
 

Roccus7

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Dec 22, 2018
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I see your point. I should have been more specific, we've drifted way off topic. The topic was the borders and a specific case, but that has morphed into a sociological study of baymen vs corporations in Oyster Bay. I did some time "digging ditches in Moriches for my riches" when I was in graduate school to earn a few extra $$, so I understand the whole "gestalt" of the situation, but this is not germane to the original topic. You want to start a topic on Oyster Bay bottom lease management and its political implications, let it fly in the Political Opinions forum. It's sure not Fisheries Management. Now the discussion about seeding, different clam species, etc. are valid here, but not the socioeconomic, past history of baymen or questions about the dealings of a Town Council.
 
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