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Oct 22, 2014 10:06 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Shinnecock Tribe Member Angered Over Beach Parking Fees

Oct 22, 2014 10:54 AM

A Southampton Village parking ticket has left one member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation angry that members of the tribe are not granted cheaper rates for parking at beaches neighboring the reservation.

Last month, Dyani Brown petitioned members of the Southampton Village Board and Town Board, requesting that anyone with a federally issued Shinnecock Tribal ID card be allowed to visit and park at all Southampton beaches without any fees. Since sending the letter to officials on September 8, Ms. Brown said she has received little to no feedback, and added that it is a shame that Shinnecock tribe members “do not get more respect” on the East End.

“It is not fair that we have to pay to go to the beach and that our tribal ID card is not enough,” Ms. Brown said. “When I go to local, non-paying beaches and it is filled up, it is frustrating. I want to come to the beach for two or three hours and enjoy the ambiance. It was my last day to enjoy that for a while.”

Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said that members of the Shinnecock Nation have always been eligible for the resident rate of $30 to visit town-owned beaches, and that this has not been an issue in the past.

Ms. Brown was inspired to write to the local politicians after she was given a parking ticket on August 9 for parking at Coopers Beach in the village without a permit, and for not heeding the instructions of the parking attendant. According to Ms. Brown’s account, she had tried to go to a local beach that does not require a parking pass, but it was filled with tourists, so she went to the village beach and presented her tribal ID card, at which point she was told it would cost $40 to park for the day.

“With my tribal ID card, we should not have to pay,” Ms. Brown said. “We are as local as local gets.”

After being advised by the manager that she would be parking at her own risk and would have to bring her argument to Village Hall, Ms. Brown proceeded to park at Coopers Beach, and when she returned to her car several hours later, she found a ticket, which she has not yet paid. She has a court date scheduled in November and said she intends to fight the ticket.

“I respect the manager for upholding the law and informing me of my risk in parking, although a little particularism would have been nice,” Ms. Brown wrote in her letter. “However, whether the manager went out of her way to report me or not, I cannot help but feel that I am being made an example, an example that the rights of Shinnecock people are still irrelevant and inferior.”

This month, Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley said that to his knowledge there have not been any discussions with members of the tribe about their being eligible for resident permit fees. He declined to speak about the letter any further.

Ms. Brown said she hopes things will change in the future at both village and town beaches.

“I am hoping they will change their policies so that the Native Americans who have been here since before they got here can use the beaches they have always used like a normal person,” she said. “There is no reason to pay $230 to go to the beach. That is not cool.”

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Dear Dyani - Respect is earned, not granted.
By bird (829), Southampton on Oct 25, 14 9:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
Considering that this was their land first, and it was taken from them, they should be given free permits.
By oystercatcher (126), southampton on Oct 25, 14 12:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
Based on that incredibly dumb piece of reasoning every country in the world should be given back to some indigenous tribe.
By bird (829), Southampton on Oct 25, 14 12:29 PM
2 members liked this comment
"Considering that this was their land first, and it was taken from them, they should be given free permits."

This gets my vote for least thought out post of the day.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Oct 25, 14 8:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
Not being a resident of Southampton Village, why does Ms. Brown think that she and her tribe should be offered a privilege denied to all other non-residents?
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 25, 14 12:04 PM
3 members liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By LovedHerTown (132), southampton on Oct 25, 14 12:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
I do not see how having to purchase a beach sticker as the rest of us who want to park at the village beaches, but live outside the village, makes Native Americans "inferior" as Ms. Brown claims. If she does not want to pay to go to a beach, why not visit one of the many water fronts that are Shinnecock property that the rest of the village, town and county are forbidden to visit regardless of any price paid.
By nsea93 (39), Southampton on Oct 25, 14 2:48 PM
I am hoping they will change their policies so that the Native Americans who have been here since before they got here can use the beaches they have always used like a normal person,”
If she wants to use the beaches like a normal person, pay the fee. That's what normal people have to do.
By bubby (236), southampton on Oct 25, 14 4:01 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By outofhere (3), Hampton Bays on Oct 25, 14 8:13 PM
"as local as local gets?" I thought Shinnecock were a sovereign nation that cleared two acres of precious woodland without permits because it was their "right."
By nazznazz (276), east hampton on Oct 25, 14 11:09 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By lirider (288), Westhampton Beach on Oct 26, 14 1:56 AM
I see 2 issues here. "Beach access". And "beach parking".
The article says nothing about her being denied access, at Coopers or elsewhere. She's being asked to follow the same guidelines as everyone else. It should be noted that the beachs parking lot is funded by property taxes of the residents that still pay a small fee for a parking sticker. NO ONE parks at the beach for free!
By sparkhampton (27), Hampton Bays on Oct 26, 14 11:28 AM
2 members liked this comment
When I no longer have to pay property taxes in this town- in addition to purchasing permits to do anything-then I will support them getting free permits. Until then pay your fair share like the rest of us and stop whining. Welcome to 2014
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Oct 26, 14 3:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
Let me see she feels he should get something for nothing while the rest of us have to pay. I'm tired of people whining about what their entitled to. I'm also tired of paying to support other people. If I have to pay so does everyone else. If the town wants to make it free for all then its free otherwise stop complaining about what you deserve.
By maxwell (169), speonk on Oct 26, 14 10:07 PM
i thought for a moment that you were whining about people whining..
..
you pay a beach fee so people in town can have a TOSH or VOSH government job and you will continue to pay a fee(s) so those people can have pensions
By david h (405), southampton on Oct 29, 14 8:42 AM
The Shinnecock Nation property has beautiful beaches with the most amazing sunsets. Free. No taxes. We all pay taxes AND pay the parking fees to go to the beaches. If we don't live in the Village, it costs us ALL a couple hundred dollars at Coopers. Sorry. It costs about $40(?) for Town beaches for THE YEAR. If you are not paying thousands of dollars in taxes, you really can't afford $40 a year? You are as "normal" and as "inferior" as the rest of us. No better, no worse. Equal rights. ...more
By Shinnecock Hills family (59), Southampton on Oct 26, 14 10:21 PM
1 member liked this comment
Can I open a store on the Res and sell tax free cigs? if so you can swim on my beach for free.
By nazznazz (276), east hampton on Oct 27, 14 8:48 AM
1 member liked this comment
good for her!
I respect her for standing up and fighting town haal ..but think its just a start:

..and if she researched all the 'lost' beach access points and recoverd them for the entire town that would earna ton of respect!!
..
stand up and fight for the road that shinnnnnnecock golf course is stealing

fight for the scallop pond access that national is trying to steal

fight for profit sharing of the trustees sand sales revenue!! they might have the control ...more
By david h (405), southampton on Oct 27, 14 9:14 AM
She isn't looking to earn respect. She's looking for another handout based on entitlement mentality.
By bird (829), Southampton on Oct 27, 14 12:42 PM
1 member liked this comment
that's a bit cold I think/hope. im not feeling that in this case.
..
hopefully she is a bright young mind and spirit and this is her seedling inspiration and she grows and develops and brings both her communities a lifetime of greater focus and thoughtful leadership.
..
maybe she becomes mayor one day!! can u imagine that. what an incredidble resource to one day have local mayor with origins that go so far back! maybe she will see the community as something not just for condos & ...more
By david h (405), southampton on Oct 30, 14 7:53 AM
Why does anyone pay for the beach? Isn't it a right to everyone? Or is it simply charge a big fee to keep the riff raff out?
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 27, 14 9:20 PM
The fee is for the parking lot. Anyone can walk on for free. If you don't want to pay the parking fee you can park in the village lot and take the Hamptons Free Ride to Coopers.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Oct 27, 14 9:56 PM
Or ride a bike...
By bird (829), Southampton on Oct 28, 14 2:29 PM
fees are necessary to maintain the parking lots, gargage (AND THERE IS A LOT OF IT) collection, maintenance of the sand that comes in with the wind and rough seas and clogs the parking lots and many more jobs. I admit I be4lieve the fees should be part of our annual taxes as well as garbage pickup other nearby towns have, however the beaches are one of our most valuable assets and to ignore same is a major violation of us, the taxpayers and residents, of these beautiful beaches. the parking lots ...more
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Oct 28, 14 6:14 PM
mean tgarbage sorry
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Oct 28, 14 6:15 PM
yes the hipsters in Montauk are in an uproar over this issue -that the garbage cans aren't big enough for the garbage they want to toss at the beach before they drive back to the city. for free.

they toss garbage everywhere in the city and let their dogs soak the city in dog urine everywhere they want. they come east and want their city life entitlements.

your tax dollars at work because the new dopes in town want these entitlements.
they want French fries and free napkins ...more
By david h (405), southampton on Oct 29, 14 8:36 AM