President’s Message – Winter 2016

Greetings to new and returning Singer Island friends and residents! How blessed we are to enjoy this lovely slice of land, cushioned by the ocean and the Intracoastal. The Singer Island Civic Association has worked since 1967 to support, inform, connect, and advocate for our community and to maintain and improve the quality of life we enjoy on the island. Much has been done and much remains to be done on key issues such as protecting our waterfronts, making sure our neighborhoods are safe and secure, encouraging responsible governance and economic development, and connecting our local community.

In our busy lives, it’s also good to take time every now and then to ponder some of the very things we most appreciate about the island. For me, that includes the beauty and wonder of our natural surroundings, our talented and interesting neighbors, and the myriad activities at our doorstep—sailing, kite surfing, kayaking, fishing—the list goes on and on. Walking along the Intracoastal sidewalk and seeing huge prehistoric-looking crabs scuttle under the mangroves always makes me smile. Each morning during turtle nesting season I look forward to seeing new yellow taped areas on the beach, and walking along the ocean it’s fascinating to watch tiny fish glide along the transparent tops of cresting waves. In that spirit, I wanted to share with you lasting memories and impressions of our island from several other SICA board members. We’d love to hear what yours are too—please tell us at info@SingerIslandCivic.org | visit us at www.SingerIslandCivic.org.

On a personal note, I also wanted to share my deep gratitude for the honor of serving on this board for the last several years and, most recently, as President. It has been an enriching experience and one I’ll never forget—I got to work with exceptional people and have fun doing it! I’m taking a hiatus from board activities this year but look forward to continuing as a SICA member and avid supporter.

Board Treasurer Jonathan Knaus is involved in many Island activities and is an entrepreneur and business owner in our community. But it’s not all business for him on the island…

Singer Island is…
taking a relaxing walk on the beach
seeing incredible sunrises and sunsets
swimming in the ocean virtually year-round
watching the sea turtles swim ashore to lay their precious eggs
sharing a peaceful community with other ocean and water lovers

An island visitor, resident and community leader for many years, Vice President Susan Bennett shares cherished memories and an ongoing concern.

Forty years coming to the island—23 visiting family and 18 as a resident—have brought many lasting memories. The off-the-main-street, almost country road atmosphere of the 70s and 80s has turned into a boulevard of luxury homes and condos.

I love our round the clock, ever changing ocean views—a kaleidoscope of clouds and colorful water with a distinct personality and changing moods. The morphing of the Sailfish Marina from a little old grey cottage to the establishment it is today took time to accept but is now enjoyed by all. My biggest concern and disappointment is the stagnant Ocean Mall …

Bob Gonstead is a long-time island leader, having been president of SICA and the Protect our Beaches Coalition among many other civic activities.

Besides the obvious attractions of Sun, Sand, and water, Singer Island provides one with a feeling of serenity, safety, and security. Singer Island reminds me of a very small community like the one I grew up in as a child. Lots of nice neighbors where people get to interact and know each other. My thoughts can best be exemplified by driving east over the Blue Heron Bridge. There is a special feeling when you’re at the top of the bridge gazing at the ocean in your car. It’s a perfect time to exhale!

Secretary and “Administrator Extraordinaire” Shirley Wells has a wealth of knowledge and memories, having been a part of our community for over 50 years.

I have so many memories of Singer Island, going back into the 1950’s and my husband and I enjoying dinner dates at Steen’s Seafood Restaurant at the Ocean Mall.   Most of all, I think the people I have known and worked with over the years who lived on Singer Island have been the best! So many really cared about the Island and gave so much to help make it what it is!

Vice President Andy Romero has a unique perspective on Singer Island, comparing it to his experiences in villages and cities in South America and the U.S.

Some people think growing up in Singer Island isn’t as advanced as living in a city. Although I have not lived on Singer Island all my life, I have collectively lived there for twelve years. I have also lived in other small rural South American communities and large cities in America. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to compare and contrast village and city lifestyles.

Out of these I would have to say Singer Island is one of my many favorite places. I don’t think cities are worse than villages, and comparing between each other, it really just depends on your own opinion. I will share with you several reasons to support my opinion that village life can be very satisfying.

The pollution in larger cities is more concentrated so your lung health is impacted. In villages, there is less air pollution because there are less cars resulting in more people walking around and enjoying a more active lifestyle. In contrast, city people are often too busy for each other, too rushed to cook and there is less time for entertaining and sharing as days are full of lining up and commuting from here to there.

It’s not every day in a suburban lifestyle that you can walk down to the beaches and see a fur-seal rookery teaming with fur seals; hike up a bluff and watch 80% of the world’s kittiwake seabird population spiral and glide around you; or just take a hike to see endangered sea lions play in the surf. These are things I’ve enjoyed while living in other villages. Although every place has flaws, to me the experience of living in a village is something to treasure and remember.

Here on Singer Island, with nature all around you, the freedom of a bird, and plentiful resources, there are few limits to the active lifestyle one can enjoy.

Won’t you join us as we work together to support, inform, connect, and advocate for our beautiful island paradise? We ask you to please encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same.

Ann Rettie,


One Response to “President’s Message – Winter 2016”
  1. David says:

    Does the possibility exist that Riviera Beach would have a different zip code than 33404? A recent comment I received was “will you ever clean up all the murders where you live?” I can imagine what the resales would look like if that association was severed. “Mayor” Masters has certainly had enough years to clean up that image…

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