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Saturday, April 16, 2011

"Sound Off" Corner ...

I would like to share my thoughts and ideas with you.  Please see my comment ,,,

131 comments:

  1. Anonymous 10:37 AM

    Your statement regarding Jane and Pete being watchdogs for the town is unadulterated bull. They are puppets for a constituency that includes Albers, Cannon, King, and Wall, all of whom believe they know what's best for our community. Exclusionary politics will not win out in the long term. But the carnage and expense from it may damage LB beyond repair.

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  2. Jane and Pete have proven over and over that they stand for good government. Why do you think these fine leaders of the community, that you listed, wouldn't like and support the same thing. These fine people, Albers, Cannon, King and
    Wall have all proven their love of this community. They all have shown nothing but selfless service to Long Beach.

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    1. Not in all instances but often controlling personalities often wear the cape of "selfless service"

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    2. Give it a rest. Either put your name on your droning posts or stop wining using the anonymity of the internet as your sword.

      do you actually think that anyone gives much credence to any posts on here that are not signed (including this one)?

      To sit behind a keyboard and bash individuals by name says more about your character, or lack thereof, than anything you could possibly write.

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    3. The Alliance was founded by and is led by selfless individuals who are thinking not of themselves but others as they expend energy, emotions and OPM ("Other People's Money") on an issue that has popped up in isolated cases over this life of Long Beach. As Dave Albers said here sometime ago. It used to be that if someone objected to you being on the beach adjacent to their property, you moved your towel down 60 feet and everyone was happy again. Now vis a vis the founders and leaders of the Alliance, we are led into believing that these isolated situations define the entire beachfront when in fact the majority of Long Beach has and continues to harmoniously enjoyed the beachfront.

      Also, I have a question. Is it indeed the case that The Alliance was named in the same lawsuit with Jane and Pete? I don't know if this is rumor or truth.

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  3. Voice of Reason says re-read Judge Alevizos' order. The LSD lakeside homes abut Lake Michigan and not the OHWM. Please do not confuse the facts as stated in the Order with what the Alliance leaders would like to believe what was in the Order. Perhaps the better reading assignment would be to read what the Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin Supreme Courts had to say about private property rights. They made their decision based on what is in the deeds. Voice of Reason believes our Supreme Court will do the right thing.

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    1. Voice of Reason, please note that the statement by the judge that the lots abut Lake Michigan was not a judgment that the lots extend to the water's edge. It was a generic statement of their location. In item 8 the court adduced numerous prior decisions that strongly indicate a consensus by those courts that the OHWM delinates public from private ownership. In item 9 the judge says that he does not reach the question of ownership, saying that it is better dealt with by the Indiana Legislature or an appellate court where the State is named as a party. This is now happening. In sum, Judge Alevizos did not say that the lots abut Lake Michigan and not the OHWM; he said that they abut Lake Michigan, but that the question of where Lake Michigan is defined is not reached. The appellate court will have to perform some interesting gymnastics to come away with a decision contrary to Carstens, which in turn has precedent going back to Garner and Lake Sand.

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    2. Voice of Reason says: Thank you for reading and paying attention to what Judge Alevizos actually wrote and did not write. You do admit Judge Alevizos did not declare the OHWM is the dividing line for the Indiana Public Trust. There was no VICTORY for the LB Community Alliance. That is a good start.

      Take the next step. The exact quote from Judge Alevizos stated it is the "bed" that belongs in the public trust and that "bed" means land covered by water. The Judge wrote "In Lake Sand Co v. State, the Court ruled that the bed of the lake, that is, the land covered by the water of Lake Michigan is held in trust by the state for the citizens of the State, Lake Sand Co., v. State 68 Ind. App. 439, 446(1918)." Judge Alevizos, Conclusion #8, December 26, 2013 (bold added). This means that the BED which belongs to the state is land covered by the water of Lake Michigan and not any land not covered by water.

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    3. Voice of Reason, feel free to cherry pick your way through that decision, but if you are so inclined, read the Garner and Carstens decisions. Garner: "By virtue of 43 U.S.C., Section 1301(a), the State of Indiana acquired title up to the ordinary high water mark." Carstens: "...the beach area between the ordinary high water mark, and the edge of Lake Michigan is public land not owned by any person, entity, or municipality." The bed of Lake Michigan extends to the OHWM. And you can characterize the judge's order however you want, but when the plaintiffs get their rear ends handed to them in summary judgement and have to go to Plan 2, that is good for the defendants in the original case. I hope the plaintiffs have fun throwing more of their money away to pay their clearly underqualified counsel.

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    4. Voice of Reason says: Thank you for referring to the CONTROLLING FEDERAL LAW regarding this issue. 43 USC 1301(a) plainly provides two conditions regarding the public trust. 1) UP TO the OHWM if 2) covered by nontidal water. Garner properly stated up to the OHWM but left out the condition covered by non-tidal water. You quoted only part of the law—let everyone ask you why? Read it yourself: 43USC 1301(a) plainly states, “When used in this subchapter and subchapter II of this chapter—

      (a)The term “lands beneath navigable waters” means—

      (1)all lands within the boundaries of each of the respective States which are covered by nontidal waters that were navigable under the laws of the United States at the time such State became a member of the Union, or acquired sovereignty over such lands and waters thereafter, up to the ordinary high water mark as heretofore or hereafter modified by accretion, erosion, and reliction.”



      No cherry picking here, just asking you and the Courts to accurately state the law. Look it up!

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    5. Voice of Reason, that is a valiant effort--very interesting. Unfortunately for the plaintiffs' position, it looks like the Great Lakes are pretty much considered nontidal waters. Look up the term with respect to riparian issues: oceans are regularly characterized as tidal waters, but the Great Lakes are usually characterized as nontidal, subject instead to other long-term fluctuations. Now, one could say that ALL water is subject to tidal forces; but if you look at how courts, legislatures, and coastal engineers have used the terminology, tidal means oceans, with their bays and parts of their estuarial waters; non-tidal pretty much means the rest. I have found the term "non-tidal" applied to the Great Lakes over and over again in publications going back to 1888. The Michigan Supreme Court used the term to apply to Lake Michigan. I think I've accurately characterized the law, though I'm still open to rebuttal.

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  4. Voice of reason is correctly stating the law in this area. It is so often misinterpreted by those so quick to "cherry pick" what they want from a statute or ordinance and disregard the entire meaning.

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  5. Finally... a civil discussion of the issue at hand by two people who know the law. It is a pleasant change and one I look forward to following.

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  6. Voice of Reason says: Now that we all know there are two conditions to the public trust— land UP TO the OHWM IF covered by nontidal water and that Judge Alevizos has defined the “bed” of Lake Michigan held in trust means land covered by the water….. we can all see the error from the line quoted in the Carstens’ opinion. Before I show you the error, note that the construction/interpretation of laws is governed by the “plain meaning rule”. Judge Alevizos wrote, “That is, an ordinance [applies to any law] must be interpreted as a whole, giving all words their plain, ordinary and usual meaning.” Judge Alevizos, Analysis #2, December 26, 2013.



    The Carstens line quoted in this stream (the dicta Judge Alevizos warns us about) "...the beach area between the ordinary high water mark, and the edge of Lake Michigan is public land not owned by any person, entity, or municipality" plainly omitted the two acknowledged conditions from the Submerged Land Act 43 USC 1301(a). It chopped up the Submerged Land Act. It cut out the condition covered by nontidal water and it cut out the simple word “up”. Note that this line from Carstens comes without a cite to any law (there is none in support). It failed to include ALL the words from the law. Once our Court of Appeals puts back in the words in the Submerged Land Act, it will conclude that the public trust is the land covered by nontidal water up to the OHWM. This is the same exact “bed” as determined by Judge Alevizos.



    Judge Alevizos knew that Indiana’s public trust was merely in the bed, the land covered by the nontidal water of Lake Michigan, nothing more. Now you know this as well. Please ask permission from the owner of the land not covered by nontidal water—those beachfront owners whose lots abut Lake Michigan, before going on this land. It is private property.





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    1. Voice of Reason, I believe you are emphasizing an antecedent (nontidal water), when we want to get to the consequent (the OHWM, which defines the landward extent--the punch line, if you will). 43 USC 1301(a), once again, with feeling: "The term 'lands beneath navigable waters' means (1) all lands within the boundaries of each of the respective States which are covered by nontidal waters that were navigable under the laws of the United States at the time such State became a member of the Union, or acquired sovereignty over such lands and waters thereafter, up to the ordinary high water mark as heretofore or hereafter modified by accretion, erosion, and reliction..."

      Thus, the bed of Lake Michigan = land beneath nontidal waters up to the ordinary high water mark as modified. Well, in 1985 the OHWM was defined, pure and simple. We don't have to guess at the landward extent of the area that 43 USC 1301(a) is concerned with. It doesn't say, it's just where there is "wet water" (as my little brother used to call it); it defines it with reference to a distinct benchmark, the OHWM. Until they change it, and who knows when that will be, it is 581.5 IGLD 1985.

      That is the delineation that courts in Indiana have recognized, that the DNR recognized, and for that matter that the US Army Corps of Engineers uses as a jurisdictional benchmark for administering its regulatory program.

      I agree that anyone seeking to go on the land area not defined by 1301(a), that is, the area not defined as being subject to nontidal water and described as going to the OHWM, should ask the private property owner of that land for permission to pass. OHWM to right-of-way line of LSD--private in ownership and use. OHWM towards the lake--public in ownership (I believe) and in use (certainly).

      (I will try not to get too long-winded on the issue of where the right-of-way of LSD begins and ends...most of those signs on the roadside parking areas that say "Private Property" are wrong, but since I can walk to the beach, I am content to just smile at those warnings as I pass.)

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    2. Why I certainly will...I'l tell them that I read it on a blog post by an anonymous keyboard lawyer, chief cook and bottle washer that told me I should!

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  7. Voice of Reason says: Regarding the admin set OHWM at 312 IAC 1-1-26, the consequent has a condition precedent from the Submerged Land Act and Lake Sand: the state holds in trust the bed UP TO the OHWM IF covered by the nontidal waters of Lake Michigan. The consequent OHWM is not the ownership line when the water is below it; however the consequent OHWM is the terminus of the lake (and public right) even when the water is above it.

    The OHWM does not change the riparian owner. The Submerged Land Act ("SLA") anticipated this moving line; the Michigan Supreme Court refers to it as a movable freehold; the SLA stated "up to the ordinary high water mark as heretofore or hereafter modified by accretion, erosion, and reliction." The moveable freehold is consistent w Judge Alevizos' statement that bed of Lake Michigan is the land covered by the nontidal water of Lake Michigan.

    Again the public trust is only in the bed covered by water; does not reach the OHWM (581.5) unless or until the water reaches the OHWM (admin set or otherwise).

    Still consistent; still private land abutting Lake Michigan. All may access the lake via the public stops, however the land east or west of the stops is private while the lake bed, land covered by the water is held in the public trust.

    Remember that all words in the law must be included-see the SLA; must be covered by water and then the line of the public trust could be as far as the OHWM.

    I believe the SLA gets us right to the consequent and will be what the Indiana Supreme Court will include in their ruling.

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    1. I guess the question for Hoosiers is: are we Michigan, or Ohio? Thanks for laying out plaintiff's thinking in such detail.

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    2. Ohio's Attorney General wanted the private beach property available to the public. He lost. The Ohio Supreme Court decided that riparian property owners' property extended to the water.

      In Michigan their Supreme Court found that riparian property owners owned to the water but that anyone could walk by down near the water. The public right was just to walk by, not sit down, not bring in chairs and umbrellas, not start a fire....just walk by.

      In Long Beach the beach property owners offered the Michigan solution, that is to allow people to just walk by.

      The Alliance and the Town of Long Beach would not accept the "Michigan solution". They have even got the Republican Indiana Attorney General to defend their position in the Gunderson lawsuit.

      I wonder if there's some legal way to place bets on the outcome?

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    3. The problem with the solution offered to the Town and Alliance is that such an agreement would not control anyone not an employee of the Town or member of the Alliance. For example, if such an agreement had been made, and then I walked in front of your house and stopped to comb the beach for an hour looking for a Petoskey stone, and assuming I was not affiliated with the Town or Alliance, how would that agreement affect me? I don't think it would. For that matter, in the first case, if the LBLHA didn't include all the lakefront homeowners, they wouldn't have been bound by such an agreement, either. The only way to keep people from "trespassing" by stopping in front of a lakefront lot is to claim ownership; and if the ownership claim is not recognized, then you have to claim it against the other presumptive owner, which in this instance could only be the State. So now the second case is at least lined up with the correct party.

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  8. As of 2007 the Army Corps no longer uses 581.5 alone for jurisdictional purposes.

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  9. Maybe I am just being "nosey" but I cannot help but wonder if the deeds to the properties that have been sold since this ruckus began contain the transfer of the littoral rights that have been owned by the seller? Is there a public information right to this knowledge or is it private?

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  10. This is ridiculous. Lots of rumors from Long Beach Alliance. Folks I can guarantee you that if the leaders of the Alliance would write a sincere apology to plaintiffs and acknowledge that their actions provoked the lawsuit, that this thing would help resolve things. But I think this matter is about control by the Alliance. It's definitely not about what is right and best for the community although that is its cover. If you don't agree with the Alliance then you will be bullied. Well now one of the bullied kids is fighting back. This case is not about beach rights/ownership. It's about not allowing yourself to be bullied by the Long Beach "protectors".

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    1. Guarantee? Who are you? How can you guarantee anything when you won't even sign your name?

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    2. I totally agree with you and it is time for us to stand up to these people. They did not become populists until after their elitist status was taken away by the sale of the Stop 23 property. To that point they had that beach all to themselves as most people thought they owned it. Well they didn't, and as a result went on a rant to try to stop the person, who legally purchased that property, to use it as he was fully entitled to. Now we have this mess with the Alliance trying to portray themselves as guardians of the beach, not so, they don't give a darn about the rest of the residents in Long Beach, They just want to continue raising money to continue to make sure that they won't have to pay the legal costs themselves of a lawsuit that should never have been brought in the first place. If you don't purchase a property, pay taxes on it, well you don't own it, and trying to claim it is ridiculous.

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  11. Voice of Reason says: Happy Fourth of July to all. Hope all have a safe holiday with family and friends.

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  12. Unofficial July 4th AwardsJuly 6, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Most Drunks (Adults not kids!) Stop 23/24
    Most Crowded Stop 28

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    1. Who made you LB alcohol cop? Get a Life!!!!

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    2. I would be very afraid to say anything about a hoard of drunk adults on my beach lest I end up having my house targeted. What has happened to our town?

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  13. There are a couple hundred photos from the 4th of July Parade available to see here on LaPorteCountyLife.com:
    http://photos.ideasinmotionmedia.com/Festivals-Parades/Long-Beach-4th-of-July-Parade-/

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  14. Do the police hand out tickets for glass bottles on the beach or is it selective?

    I see nothing but beer bottles (not cans) that people are drinking. Why no tickets?

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  15. The Town Council should demand that the 30 day rental law be enforced by police.

    Weekly rentals would be a diaster. Ask someone who lives near one of these homes where the law is being broken and weekly rentals are done. Better yet, ask the police for the number of calls to these weekly rentals!

    Finally, multi-family units are not allowed. If someone is renting space in their home and also living there the law is being broken.

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  16. The proliferation of weekly rental activity is a significant contributor to overcrowding of the beaches. Unless it is a trafficviolation, dog on the beach or a bonfire violation the police don't enforce the town's ordinances.

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  17. We need everyone one to fight the weekly rentals. The police and Town do not even enforce the 30 day rental. We have a person on the building commission that is/was renting weekly. These people are not even paying the LaPorte County Inn's Keeper Tax. I spoke with the county and only a few houses are in compliance. These homes are not. How is the Town going to enforce the Weekly? I see people renting daily. I saw the Fire Department show up at a house that had a Natural Gas leak two weeks ago and the house was evacuated. We tried to find the homeowner but he was not around because the house was being rented illegally to weekly renters. This is a dangerous mess the town is getting into. I wonder if the board members that are in favor of this have a stake in the weekly rentals? The last time I read the law, they could not vote on this because of a conflict of interest. Here we go again with the lawsuits...... ugh!!!!!

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    1. I hope no one who rents property in town voted on the issue. Even a young and inexperienced lawyer would know that such a vote would constitute a conflict of interest.

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  18. The reason the council passed the 30 day rental law was because the rental situation, weekly, was a problem and regular attendees of council meetings years ago were complaining.

    We need to fight and enforce the less than 30 day rental. ENFORCE, ENFORCE, EBFORCE!!!

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    1. The 30 day rental ordinance is a fine example of rule by the seat of your pants. A few people complain at a council meeting and before you know it an ordinance is passed. Lets face it, this is a beach community folks, and to change things midstream is and was quite unfair. Taxes need to be paid, mortgages need to be paid, and unless a bunch of foreclosures is what you are looking for there is a need and a place for weekly rentals. The same rules apply to rentals as they do to full time and seasonal residents. The Police need to respond to complaints of loud noise, excess drinking, whatever may be disturbing the peace, and enforce, enforce, enforce.

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    2. You couldn't be more delusional. This community from day one was laid out and designed as a single family residential community. The original design and subsequent zoning laws are designed to keep it so. There was no change midstream.

      If you cant afford to buy and maintain a home here, then you shouldn't be here. Plain and simple.

      Is you can't afford to pay the freight then sell instead of ruining our community.

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  19. But once again it comes down to who is going to enforce it? I think complaints on specific properties should be made which would then force the town council to direct enforcement. If members of the council choose not direct enforcement then these officials should be placed under arrest for violating Indiana law which requires them to abide and direct enforcement of ordinances whether they agree with ordinances or not! To encourage or foster transients is not in any resident's well being.

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  20. What's the difference between Bob Schaefer and Barack Obama? Neither is okay with enforcing laws.

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    1. It goes beyond the council president. The entire council should demand that our police department should enforcing the laws that have been overlooked. If they will not then changes need to be made in that area also.

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  21. Voice of Reason understands that a copy of the First Amended Complaint filed on June 26, 2014 by Oakley Home Builders, Inc. was sent to Mr. Lukmann (Long Beach Attorney) on July 1, 2014. Paragraph 13 of the Complaint clearly resolves the question of the capacity in which Jane Neulieb and Peter Byvoets have been sued by Oakley Home Builders, Inc. I would hope that the Long Beach Town Council will take another vote on whether or not to expend our already strained resources defending Jane Neulieb and Peter Byvoets for personal allegations. It will be interesting to see whether or not Mr. de Funiak gets to vote this time.

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  22. Watch the last Long Beach Town Council meeting from July. www.alco.org Go to the end at public comment and watch Pat McDonald and Bob Angelo attempt to communicate their lies as their schills, the lakefront Uminski and Sylvester ask them leading questions. It is precious.

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  23. Voice of Reason says: Things will get darker before the dawn. Lawsuits, yes; Shrill and Sullen council members, yes; Roberts Rules out the window, yes; now name calling regarding public meeting comments. Priceless. No respect for private property; no respect for public debate; no respect for hardworking, honest, people—only name calling. This puts the “community” in the LB Community Alliance. Is this who you really are? Voice of Reason has grave concerns for the schism that is occurring in our beautiful beach community.

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  24. The Town needs to thank any individual who questions the actions of the Town Council - if the questions are deemed inappropriate by a certain alliance of individuals, the democratic process is to intimidate and repress any questions. It would be refreshing if Byvoets and Neulieb would answer direct questions and not wait to respond under council comments and make cheap shots at individuals attending the meeting. Democracy in action JN style!

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    1. Your animosity toward Pete and Jane are very revealing. You need to see someone about this obsessive diatribe against innocent people.

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  25. July 18 at 9:22 am sad for Long Beach to read a post like that. It is obvious if people don't agree with you - they must be lying. I hope by now the rest of Long Beach is sick of your intimidation and bullying in disguise. Questions will be asked and answers will be expected. This is an open government of the people and the Indiana constitution calls for it - so I've been told.

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    1. Writer, We know that you are part of the LBLHA who wanted us to pass a resolution in LB to say 99% of the residents could only walk on the beach in a "carrying place" (not stop, not sit, not disembark from a boat). That's where you went wrong. We know why you want to shut up Pete, Jane, the Long Beach Community Alliance. They are the ones that were most verbal to stop you. Your attacks result in more enemies and strengthens the 99% who want to enjoy the beach as always.

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  26. Congratulations to the Higdons and all the participants in the July 4 run. Biggest donation yet ($735.00) to the LB Comm Ctr. We'll try to make the contribution meaningful and not just offsetting maintenance costs.

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  27. To Harriet

    Please, Please, Please stop posting anonymous comments from people who call out individuals by name and don't have the conviction in their remarks or the self esteem to sign their posts. This is turning into a kindergarten playground match .

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  28. You've just named Harriet but not yourself. Go back to your playground.

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  29. Voice of Reason says: If you understood the “offer” then you should understand that the offer represented the most favorable court ruling for the non-owner. Ohio held that the owner owns in fee to the water’s edge and can prevent all trespassers; no one in Ohio can “stop, sit, disembark from a boat” on the land abutting the water. In Michigan, the Court held that the owner owns in fee to the water’s edge but that citizens could travel across, below the OHWM (definitional, not 581.5) but still no one may stop, sit, or disembark from a boat—in short may not occupy a space but for the time it takes to walk by. The offer was to agree to the most favorable court outcome to date for the non-owner and settle without continuing the litigation for years. The most favorable court outcome to date for the non-owners was rejected by the few who want to occupy the privately owned properties and bully the grandfatherly and grandmotherly owners who are too polite, too old and too non-confrontational to take on those bully occupiers. Shame on the bully occupiers.



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    1. VOR, this continued talk of an offer of settlement continues to mystify. Who would the parties to such a settlement have been, and upon whom would it have been binding? The LBCA, for example, has no power to bind any other property owners to any agreement they might reach.

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  30. After the events of this weekend, I think we can all agree that this has all gone to far. Some of our neighbors will not be enjoying their homes for a long time (if ever) and someone will be spending the next few years in prison instead of college. It is truly a shame that we as a community have let this situation devolve. Like any dispute, there are valid concerns/issues on all sides. The question is as a community, how we address the issues.

    It is time for real dialog. Not online sniping. If you agree, reply in the affirmative. I'd like to see if my hunch is right and there are many on the sidelines that don't understand how we have gotten here. When we have strength in numbers, we will start using our names. We need baby steps to rebuild the "community".

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    1. What happened this weekend?

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    2. I have no idea what happened this weekend - has my head been the sand? Neighbors not being able to use their homes for a long time? I know that we have had three homes broken into and one set on fire but obviously from your post something else went on. I agree wholeheartedly with your last paragraph. Our town has been turned into an ugly place, no matter the beauty of the scenery. I am no longer sure who my friends are and that is sad. I hope that this truly nasty situation can be brought to a reasonable conclusion but I have reached the point of doubt. The well of bitterness is turning into a sinkhole and we all lose. I agree that many of us just want to live our lives as we used to, however, I cannot see a starting point.

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    3. I am not an insider; I don't belong to the Alliance, the Country Club or have kids in Notre Dame. As a result, I do not understand many of the cryptic comments made on this forum.

      I received the State Police warning on the breakins, but I don't know how those breakins relate to the mini-war between the townies and the beachies. Can someone explain exactly what happened this weekend without dog whistle comments to either the beachies or the townies?

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  31. “After the events of this weekend, I think we can all agree that this has all gone to [sic] far… It is truly a shame that we as a community have let this situation devolve [sic].
    It sounds like this poster is blaming the people opposing the people who want to kick people off of the beach.

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  32. Would anyone care to share the details of this weekend's events?

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  33. “After the events of this weekend, I think we can all agree that this has all gone to [sic] far… It is truly a shame that we as a community have let this situation devolve [sic].
    It sounds like this poster is blaming the people opposing the people who want to kick people off of the beach.

    Ka dum. The house which was really trashed and burned was not on "on the beach." It was across the street from the beach. How does that fit into the theory that the "townies" were at fault.

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  34. From what I have heard the weekend events give those who have been commenting on rentals, specifically weekly rentals, a strong basis for their complaints. It seems that a large group of young people were partying in a rental and things got way out of hand. Three homes on the hillside were trashed and one may have been set on fire, (at the very least a fire started). Neither the T.C. nor the police dept. can continue to ignore this kind of behavior. Homes in this community have always been one family homes. Those people who are renting on a weekly basis are breaking our laws and should be held to account. This has nothing to do with beach ownership or other issues that will be settled in court. It is people running a business that violates OUR rights to peace, quiet, and safety in our homes and community.

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    1. Did you ever think that the rentals may include permanent LB residents. Residents very familiar with the goings on in this town. Very suspicious considering the two homes lakeside that were targeted. Believe what you want, but the criminals will be caught and justice will prevail.

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  35. Thank you Jane and friends

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  36. Voice of Reasons says: No mystery. The offer was first presented at a Town Council meeting, again discussed prior to the court motion which resulted in the order dated December 26, 2013.

    At the time presented, it was an idea to make 90% of combatants stand down and to take the wind out of the remaining 10%. You correctly point out the offer’s non-binding nature—just like the non-binding effect of the Town’s Resolution at issue and the non-legal effect of any web posting or withdrawal by the IDNR. No one off the beach, Town or Alliance, was interested b/c the offer was first based on a recognition that the lakefront owners owned to the water’s edge. No one off the lakefront would agree—or at least their representatives did not agree. Behind the scene, someone at some time directed the Town PD NOT to enforce private property rights below the OHWM. If the offer was accepted, all assumed the Town PD would likewise be instructed to enforce private property rights to the water’s edge but to allow anyone to walk by (but not sit, etc…) consistent with the offer. Again no one is legally bound (a local resolution?) but anyone who did not agree COULD bring a lawsuit on their own dime (occupier v. lakefront owner; lakefront owner v. occupier; or occupier v. Town if occupier felt he/she was wrongly cited for trespass when sitting, sunning, disembarking their boat etc…) and get the law decided. Those who were satisfied with the offer could save their money and start rebuilding relationships/respecting one another. But there was no agreement between combatants.

    Then came the lakefront owner’s lawsuit, the failed SB 539 and the lakefront owner’s motion. When the Judge wrote that he failed to determine ownership, the new Gunderson matter was filed to bring in the State and to declare who owns the property down to the water’s edge.

    Someone will “win” and someone will “lose” based on the Court’s decision. Maybe the Court decides Ohio like (all private property), maybe Michigan like(private but w a right to cross). But the best decision to date for non-lakefront owners was already put on the table by the lakefront owners and rejected by the non-lakefront folks.

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    1. If I could offer another potential might-have-been alternative...the lakefront owners who had a problem with however they perceived the status quo could have continued to work on the Town for some accommodation regarding policing, without filing a lawsuit. After all, this cannot all be about an abstract concept. People have been walking the beach for decades upon decades without major kerfuffles. It must have been instigated by perceived abuses by crowds of young beachgoers--beachfront partiers, etc. Instead of phrasing it as enforcement of private property rights, perhaps it could have been phrased as enforcement of disturbing-the-peace laws, which apply everywhere, public or private.

      The problem with all this legal maneuvering is that even if the ultimate decision says that the lakefront owners own to the water's edge, that will not curtail teenagers, who are not going to be checking into property lines, etc. In the end, even with a Michigan decision, the old status quo will persist...beachwalkers plus occasion unruly partiers. I hope the plaintiffs will feel they got their money's worth. (As a believer in the public trust doctrine, I cannot anticipate that IN will be as obtuse as OH, though nothing would surprise me. actually, I would like to see this go to SCOTUS, where the public trust doctrine has its best chance.)

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    2. The Town of Long Beach Newsletter from a couple of years ago started the beach litigation. The newsletter had a graph showing deeded private beach areas as public beach. It also contained a paragraph claiming public ownership of deeded private areas. Someone on behalf of the Town declared beach property in front of homes public and the Town Council refused to back down or withdraw it. Then the Town passed an ordinance stopping police from enforcing private property rights along riparian areas. That didn’t go over too well with the people that had deeds to this property and were paying lots of taxes for it.

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  37. Voice of Reason says that from the security tape it appears a young, preppy -looking, man approached a door and walked around a home. Certainly that young man is a person of interest. His motivation is unknown at this point of time. His subsequent and prior actions are also unknown at this point in time. Contemporaneously a few lakeside homes were broken into and one set on fire on the LSD on the hillside. Crimes were committed. Someone likely knows this young man well, his family, friends, neighbors, etc... Those who know this young man have a choice: turn him into the authorities or just sit back and do nothing.

    We can then try to figure out his action, motivation and accomplices—those with him and those whose rhetoric convinced him to carry out his action and if his action amounted to crimes.

    It sounds as if some of you know this man, his actual actions and motivation. You should inform the police.

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  38. Anyone who knows anything about any of these crimes, or knows of anyone who has any knowledge of any of these crimes--some of which are felonies and carry stiff prison sentences--are obligated by law to convey such knowledge to authorities immediately. Failure to come forward during an open investigation can result in obstruction of justice charges toward those individuals.

    There is at least one very sick and dangerous individual at large, and the community--many families with children--is rightly extremely worried about becoming future targets.

    The longer any criminals and/or helpers, accomplices, advisors, and harborers choose to not come forward, the more serious the punishments will be. Aiding and abetting can be very serious and if not heeded, can lead to who knows what other crimes may be to come while this sick criminal is on the loose. Withholding information also tends to complicate and increase the possibility of any subsequesnt civil suits to be brought to the court seeking moniitary damages, and possibly pain and suffering.

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  39. When these awful crimes against our community shake out, more than a few individuals will be found to be connected. Given the widely broadcasted coverage on all the major TV networks showing quality night-video of one of the criminals in action, many who might recognize the individual on film will not be able to claim "no knowledge" of any before, during, or after-crime activities. There's a duty by law to come forward. More than a couple of people will likely be going to jail.

    Criminals don't act in vacuums, especially those from out of town "visiting" friends and family. There are people in our community that are involved. To think otherwise would be naive to the extreme. There is some form of "group purpose" in play here, not that of a singular, disconnected, clean-cut "visitor." There seem to be connections in these very similar crimes.

    For example, there are 83 homes on the beach between Stop 22 and the western border of Long Beach (Stop 13.) Why would a particular one out of 83, way down near Stop 15, be chosen to be completely demolished inside--rampaged in a very pointed, hateful, and vicious manner--on the only remaining night of the "visiting" criminal's rage (AND after having done unthinkable things towards other Beachers just the night prior?) Think about it. Why was this particular Stop 15 homeowner targeted? This person's home is far from the other crimes (which were grouped, thus possibly being crimes of opportunity solely.) The far west end of Long Beach is not an opportune location in comparison. It's a far "barefoot" walk. It takes deliberation to get there.

    There is something dark being directed at our community, and until those who are involved in perpetuating such a thing on its residents are caught, many will continue to feel the fear of "who's next" on their list. Long Beach is rattled. Our quiet and mostly-safe beautiful gem of a town--where parents feel comfortable to give their children greater latitude of freedom to "just be kids" and ride their bikes here and there--is becoming increasingly UNsafe. And parents and grandparents are living in heightened fear of someone setting their homes afire while they sleep.

    I have confidence that our talented and dedicated LEOs and Firefighters will root out the darkness and I thank them. And we as a community need to do our part by being more vigilant, exchanging phone numbers, and checking more often on our more-vulnerable neighbors. I see it happening already in fact, and the silver lining is that we are now reconnecting with our fellow gentle Beachers. And THAT'S a good thing. Thank you to those who have checked on *my* family since last weekend. It's much appreciated.

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  40. Do you loan out your tin foil hat?

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  41. I don't think these crimes will ever be solved. I think it was an isolated incident, involving some short term renters. Any decent friends and family who know the young man who did this haven't seen the footage, haven't seen the news and haven't heard about the vandalism because they're from somewhere far away. Just like Mt. Baldy will NEVER reopen (mark my words), this case will never be solved.

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    1. As someone else said: cover up.

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  42. There are a couple of flies in your ointment. They're called evidence and interviews.

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  43. Don't miss Monday's meeting. It should be very interesting.

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  44. Today as I walked the beaches of Long Beach I witnessed so many people enjoying such a beautiful day on the beach. I also noticed a house at stop 24 and Gunderson's house at stop 22 where obstacles were set up along the beach to stop people from sitting at these spots. This is exactly why we have tension between lake front owners and non lake front owners. Majority of lake owners would never behave in this manner. It's a shame a few can cause such dissension in Long Beach.

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    1. Then sit somewhere else rather than making an issue

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    2. No issue! Have always sat at stop. Those who put out chairs, canoes etc.. to stop people from enjoying beach should be ashamed of themselves!!!

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    3. Those perpetual malcontents would much rather sit in their big circle every single day from morning till evening (literally,) and spend the whole time loudly bantering disgusting things about the homeowners--right in front of their porch deck and as close as they possibly can get (yes, sound travels in certain wind conditions.) There's no getting away from them and the vile things that are said, unless the homeowners retreat indoors. This same large group also likes to set up shop right in front of the homeowners' only path to the water, so even IF the homeowners wanted to sit on their own beach or venture to the water, they'd have to run the gauntlet which they are in no mood to do. What this group does (every day) is very purposeful and meant to be afronting and they're always right there, setting up their bully circle in the morning, even though a wide swath of open beach exists in BOTH directions at that time of day. This group which historically over the decades has happily gone to another beach knows EXACTLY what they're doing and it's disgusting.

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    4. and since LB has been here 2 out of 50 homes will do the same. Just move your towel to a spot at the other 48 or at beach access at stops!

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  45. If you sat on the beach in Long Beach and was not the owner of the property then you were trespassing. You disrespected the law. My personal opinion is that American's should respect the laws and not break them

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    1. The courts will decide!!!

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  46. Why does the town council and the police enforce the current ordinance for less than 30 days is illegal and subject to fines. Is it that the police choose not to? If that is the case then they need to be brought in line.

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  47. Aug 9, @6:45 PM, let’s do a reality check- you complained about obstacles placed on the Gunderson’s beach. They were beach chairs. Over the weekend the beach chairs were placed near the only path that extends from my parent's house to the beach. Nothing was blocked by the chairs-nothing. My dad was born in the 1920's and he shouldn't climb down the dune to get to his beach. He needs to use the pathway. Unfortunately "activists" routinely park themselves directly in front of his path, and his only safe way to the beach is often blocked by these self-appointed beach activists. My parents were not in the mood to step over this neighborly group, so when the throng was there my parents never made it to their chairs. The activists had ample open beach to use in both directions, yet they felt a need to sit smack dab in front of the path and spread out from there.
    Maybe the "activist" that is on the town council should propose a law prohibiting unoccupied beach chairs or towels. Hey, this will allow the Town to ticket any person that leaves their beach towel or chair for more than 10 minutes. If a beachgoer needs to heed the call of nature and walk out into the water, they will be required to leave a note on their chair or towel explaining what they are doing out there, and approximately how long it will take. Problem solved.

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    1. The Voice of Reason to Dave Gunderson:August 12, 2014 at 9:12 AM

      1. I haven't seen your father use the beach or swim in the lake in years - but I'm thrilled to hear he does as I love to see people enjoy it as much as we do!!!
      2. The chairs were all spaced about 15 feet apart parallel to the shore - not a problem at all, but hardly conducive to family gathering... And we'd be happy to see you all among us - and it would give you a better vantage point from which to listen to our conversations - and hear them accurately.
      3. If your father ever needs help getting to the shore, please do not hesitate to ask - anyone on the beach would be glad to help (assuming his family cannot).
      4. I've never heard a vile word from the "perpetual malcontents" - further, I've never heard "the activist who is on the town council" use profanity or any other vile or disgusting words. As a matter of fact, I'm trying to think if I've ever heard her completely spell one? Nor have I heard the same from her sisters - anyone who knows the girls in that family from their all their years in Long Beach simply understands that the use of vile or profane language is not their M.O.
      5. I'm thrilled to know that your elderly parents, who apparently cannot navigate their way to the water's edge through the other sunbathers due to their advanced age (though plenty of other elderly do - as well as some physically challenged) still have healthy enough hearing that allows them to listen to conversations 200 yards from their deck - even if they are apparently not hearing the conversation accurately. It must be that same agility that enables them to operate power tools while sheering bushes and mowing the lawn (I know we do this for our elderly parents or hire services when we are unable to get to town - it's fortunate that it has not come to that for your family). Yet, I understand that walking through beach chairs can be tricky.
      6. Anyone who has lived in Long Beach for any number of years has always known that the Gundersons have always complained about people on the beach and attempted to chase them away - that is indeed their M.O. However, thinking one owns the beach and wanting to own a beach - vs. actually owning a beach are quite different things. That said, this is no longer going to be tried and determined through the court of public opinion - it is now going to be decided in a court of law thanks to the Gundersons (and their supporters) in their suit against the State of Indiana.

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    2. The Voice of Reason to Dave Gunderson:August 12, 2014 at 9:13 AM

      7. Speaking of vile, I was on the beach last summer when a guest of the Gundersons (by the heavy petting and other public displays of affection shared between them, I assume he was actually a guest of their granddaughter) verbally confronted "the activist who is on the town council" and her lady friends by blaring a boom box directly at their beach chairs on volume from a few feet away, positing his golden retriever upon exiting the water from a doggie swim to shake himself of excess water and sand all over these ladies as they sat in their chairs at the water's edge - one lady was actually holding an infant grandchild, and telling "the activist who is on the town council" that "next summer, you are going to have a sprinkler up her ***". Nice person - a real gentleman. And I thank the author of the previous post for starting a constructive dialogue on civil behavior - I've been meaning to address this.
      8. Speaking of the pending litigation between the Gundersons v. the State of Indiana, there is a hearing scheduled for this Thursday, August 14th, at 1PM at the Michigan City Courthouse on the Motions to Intervene filed by the LBCA, the Alliance for the Great Lakes, and Save the Dunes with respect to the second lawsuit filed by lakefront property owners claiming private ownership of the Lake Michigan beach. While this is expected to be a short hearing addressing only the limited issue of our right to intervene, all are welcome to attend. (Note - the Gundersons have already filed a petition to deny intervention by any party - claiming this is only a matter between them and the State of Indiana).
      9. And speaking of lawsuits in general, with respect to the first case against the town of Long Beach also filed by the Gundersons together with Margaret West and other unidentified lakefront homeowners through the Long Beach Lakefront Homeowners Association ("LBLHA"), which is on appeal from dismissal by the trial court, the LBCA, the Alliance for the Great Lakes, and Save the Dunes (together, "the Intervenors"), have achieved additional success. In late July, the Appellate Court sided with the Intervenors by denying the Plaintiffs'/Appellants' motion to stay their own appeal. That motion, if granted, would have left the Town and intervenors dangling in the Appellate Court incurring costs on a case that the trial court ruled never should have been brought against the Town in the first place. (See http://posttrib.suntimes.com/24620402-537/judge-rules-for-town-in-long-beach-property-rights-case.html#.U-oV9mPJ3QA)
      Have a safe and happy summer - see you on the beach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    3. You obviously are not The Voice of Reason, but merely borrowed the tag line. In any case, I'm so glad you have answers to all matters concerning Stop 22.. Did it feel good to get that off your chest? Hope so. Now please put the anger to rest and get on with your life.

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    4. I don't care if the Voice of Reason tag was borrowed. Very informative information and well said!!!!!!

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    5. The Voice of Reason to Dave GundersonAugust 13, 2014 at 1:16 PM

      Beyond reason, I'm also a Voice of Honesty... try it sometime - it's gratifying.

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  48. The Voice of ReasonAugust 12, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    In the words of Rodney Glen King III, "can't we all just get along?"

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  49. To Dave Gunderson, Your letter is a good example of the negativity and slander you spread. You sued the town of LB and are causing them to spend thousands of tax dollars to defend LB. You are suing the state of Indiana which will cost even more from the pockets of the taxpayers.

    The life long upset caused by your intolerance of humans using the beach, in your sight of vision, speaks volumes.

    Your ridiculous false information will not be judged as anything but horrible behavior due to the fact there are a multitude of witnesses that use Stop 23 beach everyday.

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  50. Great meeting last night.. if anyone doubted the lack of intelligence of two of the council members..no more doubts

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    1. Error, I meant three of the council members.

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    2. No, you were right the first time. Two empty seats on the council when it comes to elected officials who represent all residents in Long Beach not just their favored few.

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  51. why do you only have a website where you only publish comments you agree with

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  52. why are you 'activists" picking on old people wanting to go to their beach that they have a title to..are you that immature and insensitive..don't you have parents??

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    1. Who are you kidding? No one sits blocking their exit. No one usually sits anywhere near their home. The Gundersons have alienated those around them with their rude manners.

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    2. These old people have been picking on people for the last 40 years, harassing anyone who wanted to enjoy the beaches at stop 22.

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    3. Yes I have parents and they taught me to respect my neighbors and use good manners.

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  53. Since 1965, the residents in the house on the west side of the Stop 22 beach access have been known to be over the top in being nasty to beach goers.

    Their reputation over the years and how they dealt with the beachfront has only added fuel to the fire of what currently is going on.

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  54. Are you people serious? Please step back and listen to what you are saying - I go to the beach and can't find a place to sit, really? The beach is over 2 miles long, move down a bit and enjoy your day!

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  55. While you are all on the beach complaining about who is sitting where, is anyone looking for the criminals who committed the vandalism and arson ? Some without shoes on could not have acted alone! Too much broken glass, destruction, committed by a very angry mind.

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  56. Notice on the security cam video the criminal walks away from the front door, turns towards the stop and raises both arms in the air as if he is signaling someone. Take a look and you decide.

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  57. After watching the last council meeting I am dismayed and disappointed, as a log time resident and taxpayer, with our council regarding the vote on police protection. The vote went the usual 3-2 split. Are the 3 really looking out for the best interest of our town or is it for spite against the 2.
    The police commission recommended that the police protection cost for Duneland Beach and Michiana remain the same and increased 12% respectfully. To make matters worse, they gave these towns a 3 year contract with a small escalator increase. The budget committee person of the council provided some costs per household and felt the contract should be higher for these communities. Hearing the numbers presented and doing my own calculations, these communities are receiving a HUGE discount compared to LB residents pay for the same coverage.
    If the council cannot present to these towns a contract amount equivalent to what LB residents pay then something is wrong. Listening to the justification from the council president did not sway me one way or another. As a resident in LB I feel we should pay for police protection at the same rate as Duneland and Michiana. That can be done if $180,000 is cut from the current police budget. Simply put, Duneland and Michiana are getting a great deal compared to what LB folks have to fork out for the same coverage.

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  58. Perhaps you should have listened to the the discussion by the chairman, unlike the two who voted against the agreement. Getting $100,000 for doing what we would have to do for nothing is a pretty good deal. Perhaps some of our board members should take a a basic business course if you want them to run our town as it appears you want them to do. Their ignorance is frightening.

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    1. Take the $100k, but reduce the PD budget so it equals what the other towns pay. A basic business course usually has a chapter on budgeting and controlling costs. Why does LB need a dispatcher when everyone else in the county uses the 911 center. Michigan City, Trail Creek and Westville are disptached from the 911 dispatch center. Big dollars could be saved.

      To the contrary, I see Mr Byvoets trying to look at all department costs and ask critical questions.

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  59. What was the justification for this sweet deal?

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  60. I watched it also, the town of Long Beach pays over $800,000.00 per year for LB Police Department costs. Michiana will pay $46,000.00 and DB will pay about $45,000.00. The town of LB pays $700,000.00+. Jane and Pete fought this and Bob Schaefer, Pat McDonald and Bob Angelo sat there unable to explain why they would vote yes on this. Some dubious transactions going on. Irresponsible at best.

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  61. Math on police contract with DB and MS doesn't add-up. Both Bob Ss have conflicts of interest in negotiating with these communities and should have recused themselves from negotiations and the vote. Note to Bob Schaeffer, police busget includes many more things than just patrol time. Folks remember that 25% of the geography of LB is owned by country club which pays zero tax/ If DB wants to look for other options because it doesn't want to pay its fair share, let them.. Do you really think DB residents would accept longer response times from county or MC??? The real cost to LB is having police in those communities at anytime resulting in delayed responses, reduced patrol for LB.

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  62. How much would the Michigan City Police Dept. charge Long Beach for police services? How much would LaPorte County charge? What alternative choices for police protection do Michiana and Duneland have-and the rough cost? Why aren’t these options being discussed?

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  63. I believe that we should provide equipment to properly take care of our officers on the street. However, the question should be asked are we too gold plated in some areas and can tax dollars be saved? The town council and the police commission should be asking that tough question if they have not done so..

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  64. Elected Officials Did a Good ThingAugust 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    It seems that this blog has frequent negative posts against our town officials. I would like to divert from that norm and complement them on hiring a building commissioner who is independent of the community and has the time to devote in overssing the numerous building things going on. There might be some contractors not thrilled with the additional oversight but they all need to be marching to the same tune. Smart move elected officials.

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    1. It's especially nice to see his independence from members of the town council.

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    2. Are you suggesting he has no communication with Pete?

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    3. AHHH the old conspiracy theory...Very interesting indeed!

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  65. Many have commented that beachfront owners want to have a law to stop anyone from walking across their beach..HOW RIDICULOUS...if that were the case, the beachfront owners could not walk on their neigbors beach..or walk to michigan city...how stupid rumors can be.

    Also, if the beaches became totally public..we would be attracting everyone from everywhere to our beautiful beaches..let's be careful what we wish for...we don't want to see the busses rolling in from other communities dropping off people at bus stops to make things even more crowded and dangerous for our families. Has anybody thought thru what the consequences might be? Obviously not.

    Please, please, Let's not let our wonderful community continue to be torn apart by a few people creating fear and hatred with some other agenda.

    Let's find a group of people who can work things out instead of fermenting hatred where there was none for many decades.

    For example, there are are many beachfront owners who would be willing to share their beach on busy days with good neighbors if they were asked.

    Let's hear some positive ideas


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  66. This beach access issue is isolated to a few individuals on both sides that has unfortunately been amplified across our community. As a community we need to quit being enablers of this type of behavior.

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    1. This may be the best post I've ever read on this site. It truly is a shame that because of the actions and vocal outbursts of a few on both sides we see such negativity.

      Anyone who has lived here for more than a few years knows who the crackpots are.

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    2. It is isolated on the side of some very rude and uncivil lakeside homeowners who have filed suit against the town and the state of Indiana. There would not be this problem if they had not filed suit, get the facts straight.

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    3. Voice of Reason you continue to project this as a community wide battle when it is not. You may want to paint it that way so everyone can be enlisted to foot the bill for a fight you wanted, but it is a great disservice to this community.

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    4. The dispute albeit very isolated was the direct result of the town council being unable to give direction to the police about where they could and could not enforce private property/trespass laws. Due to Stop 22 being at the intersection highly frequented by nonresidents, the occurrence of unacceptable and disruptive visitors was/is greater than that experienced at other locations on the beach. The Gundersons have had to deal directly with incidences and individuals that none of us would welcome at any location along the lakefront. The town council could have tailored policy for that location that would have been responsive to the requests of the Gundersons, police and would have served the interests of all LBers.

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    5. Is there some kind of audition you have to go through to determine if you are "acceptable" to use the beach? What is the criteria and who determines if one is acceptable?

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    6. So you are saying if the town of LB would have violated the constitutional rights of people sunbathing at Stop 22, then Long Beach would not have been sued by the Gundersons. That is illlegal. Please reconsider your demands. North of the Ordinary High Water is land owned by the people of Indiana not Long Beach. If you go to Duneland Beach or Michiana or Michigan City no one can be kicked off legally if they are North of the OHW mark.

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    7. What I'm saying is that there could have been a solution afforded by our town council to deal with an isolated yet egregious situation. As it relates to the constitution, I don't believe it protects the rights of individuals to pollute, little, defecate, fornicate nor smoke weed North of the High Water mark. Step into the other guys shoes for a moment, if you can.

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    8. The above post stating people as unacceptable is sad and outrageous. Whoever posted is not speaking for me!!!!!!!

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    9. Was the family that was thrown off the Stop 23 beach last summer "unacceptable"? All they were doing was enjoying a beautiful summer day.

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    10. I believe they were told to leave by the same man who spoke at the July town council meeting stating he had never thrown anyone off his beach.

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    11. The word "unacceptable" which was used in an earlier post is clearly in reference to behavior which drives the determination of acceptability by any beacher's standard. The contortion of it in a manner by one or two bloggers to infer that it is intended to exclude in a controversial manner is an example of how small minded some people are in this small town.

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  67. On TV our police chief said that even if we did not have a contract with these towns they still would have to respond because they are the nearest law agency. Using his logic, if LB dissolved its police department would Michigan City then have to respond to LB, DB and Michiana?

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  68. Unfortunatly, we have members of our council with some future agenda difficult to comprehend. If anyone understands..please let us know what it is.

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    1. Are you wearing your tin foil hat again?

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