08/28/14 5:00pm
08/28/2014 5:00 PM
Fireboat Fire Fighter is mooring at the railroad dock. (Katherine Schroeder file photo)

Fireboat Fire Fighter is mooring at the railroad dock. (Katherine Schroeder file photo)

The fireboat Fire Fighter museum is joining the East End Seaport Museum’s Maritime Festival for the first time this September. And the museum will be serving beer, wine, cigars and food to help raise money for maintenance of the historic vessel. (more…)

07/31/14 8:00am
07/31/2014 8:00 AM
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Suffolk County officials have given up control of the Railroad Dock.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Suffolk County officials have given up control of the Railroad Dock.

The Railroad Dock on Third Street in Greenport is no longer under county control.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Suffolk County Legislature ended its lease with property owner Metropolitan Transit Authority. Greenport Village will now hold the lease directly with the MTA. (more…)

01/29/14 12:01pm
01/29/2014 12:01 PM
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Suffolk County officials have asked the fireboat Fire Fighter museum Greenport.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | Village officials voted Monday to prevent fireboat Fire Fighter museum from docking in Greenport Village.

The Greenport Village Board is officially looking to bid farewell to the controversial Fire Fighter fireboat museum. (more…)

09/26/13 8:00am
09/26/2013 8:00 AM
COURTESY PHOTO | Michael Lourine in an undated photo.

COURTESY PHOTO | Michael Lourine in an undated photo.

Michael Lourine’s first day on the job as a New York City firefighter was one he never forgot: Sept. 11, 2001.

“He was called to serve after both towers fell and was stationed at Ground Zero for over 30 days,” his older sister, Deborah Shane, 37, said. “The tragedy of 9/11 only fueled the fire of Mike’s passion to help save people’s lives even more.”

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | A makeshift memorial has been placed at the scene of the crash.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | A makeshift memorial has been placed at the scene of the crash.

Mr. Lourine’s own life was tragically cut short this Sept. 8 when he lost control of his motorcycle while making a turn on Main Road in Mattituck and hit his head on a utility pole. He was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center but died soon after. He was 33.

“Thirty-three years is a life story,” Mr. Lourine’s mother, Anne Byrnes, said. “He was everything to me. My greatest gifts in life are my two children, and my greatest accomplishments have been my two children.”

Mr. Lourine always had his eye on becoming a firefighter, Ms. Shane said — in large part because their father, Charles Lourine, was a New York City firefighter for more than 30 years. In fact, Ms. Shane said, their dad’s retirement from the FDNY coincided with Michael Lourine’s 2001 entry into it, and he gave his son his badge number.

“Mike looked up to and admired our father for his accomplishments as a fireman and was never shy about confessing his desire to emulate that level of heroism someday,” Ms. Shane said.

Close friend Joe Goodman, who met Mr. Lourine when they were both kids in Farmingville and he “came banging on my door to trade baseball cards,” said Mr. Lourine’s dedication to his work “could not begin to be explained in words.

“The day I knew Mike was going to make [the FDNY] was the day I looked at him after he got off the treadmill for a three-mile run and went right to the StairMaster with 50-pound dumbbells in each hand and did that for another 20 minutes,” he said. “I asked him why he worked so hard for the test and he said, ‘Joe, all I want to do is be a firefighter.’ And that is what he did.”

On June 7, 2007, Mr. Lourine was one of five Ladder Co. 105 firefighters honored by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on FDNY Medal Day 2007 for their outstanding teamwork in responding to a December 2006 blaze at a home for mentally disabled adults in Brooklyn. Several people, some of them seriously injured, were rescued.

“It’s an honor for the company,” Mr. Lourine told the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York in an article published the day after the medals were presented. “That’s the best part: it’s not an individual honor. When you’re a team, you’re a team.”

Mr. Lourine’s other lifelong passions, Ms. Shane said, were going to the gym, playing golf with his mother, rebuilding performance cars and riding his 2006 Kawasaki motorcycle, which he bought several years ago.

His favorite ride was driving along Route 25 from Farmingville to Greenport and back.

“He said he loved the experience of the ride,” Ms. Shane said. “His commitment to the FDNY and his love for riding defined the person he was.”

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09/18/13 8:00am
09/18/2013 8:00 AM

Greenport Mayor David Nyce said Monday he wants the village to end its lease agreement with Suffolk County for the railroad dock near the seaport museum.

During the Village Board’s work session Monday evening, Mr. Nyce said the dock has caused nothing but “headaches” and suggested giving it back to the county.

His suggestion comes days after the village moved the New York City fireboat Fire Fighter to the commercial dock, which had previously been used by commercial fishermen. Tension over the move has been mounting for months, mostly around the concerns of the fishermen, who say mooring the fireboat there conflicts with the village’s law obligating it to support and maintain a working waterfront.

Three commercial fisherman still use the railroad dock — Mark Phillips, Sid Smith and Benny Rose — according to Village Trustee Mary Bess Phillips, Mr. Phillips’ wife.

Regardless, board members voted in June to approve mooring the historic boat at the railroad dock. The vote was 3-2, with Ms. Phillips and fellow trustee David Murray voting in opposition.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | The fireboat Fire Fighter, when it was docked at Mitchell Park Marina in Greenport.

Last week the village finally moved Fire Fighter from its original spot at Mitchell Park Marina to the commercial railroad dock — reigniting the controversy, Mr. Nyce said.

“We’ve had nothing but headaches from that commercial dock,” he said.

Mr. Nyce said he has received several angry calls regarding the move, including calls from Suffolk County officials.

The county leases the railroad dock to the village for a token fee of $1 per year, Mr. Nyce said. In exchange, Greenport maintains the dock.

Board members expressed frustration with the lease agreement, which obligates Greenport to maintain day-to-day operations at the dock but doesn’t permit the village to decide which boats can moor there.

“If it’s their dock, they can take care of the day-to-day,” said Trustee George Hubbard, who also serves as deputy mayor.

The village began renting the dock in 1982 in hopes of luring additional fishing boats to tie up there. Instead, Mr, Nyce said, the dock has become a “liability” for the village and hasn’t produced a significant revenue stream.

Ms. Phillips said Wednesday morning that she disagrees with the mayor.

“I can understand the drama, but to say the rail road dock doesn’t have any benefit to village is misleading,” Trustee Mary Bess Phillips said. “It is because of that dock many [fisherman] chose to stay in Greenport. We pay taxes, support local businesses and hire as many local people as possible. It’s hard to put a dollar amount on. It’s more than just a yearly rent, it’s a trickle down effect to other areas of business.”

The village attorney is in the process of reviewing the lease agreement with the county.

Mr. Hubbard said Tuesday that it’s unclear what would happen to the fireboat should the village end its lease agreement with the county.

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02/12/13 11:32am
02/12/2013 11:32 AM

BETH YOUNG PHOTO | Firefighter tied up at Mitchell Park Marina in Greenport.

The retired New York City fireboat “Firefighter” tied up in Mitchell Park Marina Sunday afternoon, after a successful nine-hour trip under fair skies through the Long Island Sound from the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The 120-foot ship, now a non-profit floating museum, is expected to berth at Greenport’s commercial dock near the East End Seaport Museum for the summer season, where retired crew and volunteers will give tours explaining the ship’s history.

“Firefighter” was one of the first boats designed by famed naval architect William F. Gibbs.

It served the NYFD from 1938 to 2010, said Jeffrey Jonap, the museum’s director of operations, in a recent email.

01/25/13 2:30pm
01/25/2013 2:30 PM

Firefighter-floating-fire-museum

The retired New York City fireboat “Firefighter” will likely be making its way from the Brooklyn Navy Yard to Greenport in the upcoming weeks. The Greenport Village Board approved a contract Jan. 22 allowing the boat to stay in the Mitchell Park Marina through June 15.

The 120-foot ship is now a non-profit floating museum. It is expected to berth at Greenport’s commercial dock near the East End Seaport Museum in time for the summer season.

“Firefighter” was one of the first boats designed by famed naval architect William F. Gibbs. It served the NYFD from 1938 to 2010, said Jeffrey Jonap, the museum’s director of operations, in a recent email.

Mr. Jonap said she was retired due to the need to upgrade to newer, faster and more fuel efficient boats after Sept. 11, 2001.

The ship requires a professional crew to make the 10-hour trip from Brooklyn to Greenport. Volunteers for the museum were initially planning to make the trip Saturday, but have now postponed their trip until “next week or later,” according to their Facebook page.

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