Hardy Plumbing
April 20, 2011

Businessman Feels Targeted

Forgive Bernard Kiembock for being upset and confused. He's lived in East Hampton for 40 years and was a volunteer fireman for 25. He employs a significant number of locals, and served on the budget advisory committee during the town's financial crisis.

"I have never said no to anyone. I donate to everybody. I'm a good businessman in the community," he says.

But he has been caught, unfairly, he thinks, in a burgeoning controversy over a swath of beach in Napeague, where locals congregate during the summer – in their trucks. Although Kiembock is just one of about 400 litigants suing the town because they believe they own the beach, he has become the antichrist to the pro-beach driving group. He has been threatened and nearly beaten up on the beach, and now bloggers are posting frightful taunts, enough to make him, for the first time, leery of even being seen on the street.

"I am threatened. Do I need protection?" he asked in a recent interview. Kiembock's White Sands Motel isn't even near the spot where most beach drivers congregate – it's miles to the east. But unruly revelers have been a constant problem during the summer. "There's music blaring until midnight. Some nights the fires are so intense they set off my alarms. My staff goes out and cleans the beach. I go out there and come back with broken glass, 2 x 4s with nails sticking out."

One group, CFAR (Citizens For Access Rights) is calling for a boycott of another business Kiembock owns, The Village Hardware store. "I don't understand what the hardware store has to do with anything," he said.

The fact is, the survey of his White Sands property squarely indicates the property line extends out to the beach. "The survey says I own it. I pay taxes on it. I never said don't drive on the beach. All I say is keep it clean," Kiembock said. He noted that no other beach has the truck traffic this one does, and said there is clearly an enforcement problem.

"They are drinking, and no one does anything about it. That's supposed to be illegal." It is not unusual to see people up on private property going to the bathroom. And there is some sentiment that because the beach draws a local crowd – including some local police, retired and active, that there is a certain immunity attached to violators hanging out at the spot.

At night, Kiembock said, "They drive drunk like maniacs. They are destroying the beach."

Kiembock said the town "needs to patrol the beach." He laments the fact that somehow he is being singled out for a problem that has festered for years. "Twenty years ago people would come down and fish or picnic. These people park here 10,12, 14 hours a day. It's not beach driving, it's parking." Though Supervisor Bill Wilkinson said he didn't think enforcement was a problem, most regulars quizzed agree there is virtually no police presence on the beaches, especially at night. In the past, those who patrolled were part timers who were so ineffectual that according to justice court records, 90 percent of the summonses issued had to be dismissed because they were sent to the wrong address. In one laughable instance a ticket was issued to "Daffy Duck."

The authorities need to get the problem in check, Kiembock said, and that includes trespassing on private property to urinate or defecate. Kiembock is also tired of being threatened. "It is a crime," he pointed out.

  1. print email
    April 21, 2011 | 01:19 PM

    I'm aware of the boycott, and yes, people have the right to take their business elsewhere if they learn that the business owner isn't a nice person. There are local contractors who are unwilling to serve his homeowning neighbors as well.

    As for everything else.. are there police reports and documented quotes of the threats? Is the fire department able to verify the numerous times in which the fire alarms have gone off? Was he able to supply links and quotes of the "frightful taunts" other than the boycott? Where are the police reports when he catches unruly people partying on his land and he does something about it, rather than let them go and clean up the next day? Without proof of any of these allegations one can only assume most of them are not true, and he's trying to look like the victim to take the antention off of the hundreds of actual victims. I'm sorry people think he's a jerk, but that's the title a person is given when they act like one.

    Bonac Beach Bum
  2. print email
    April 21, 2011 | 09:20 PM

    You're kidding! Did The Independant even bother to look for any proof? This man looks crazy to me.

  3. print email
    April 24, 2011 | 09:56 AM

    this has nothing to do with mr kiembock so don't make him a scapegoat. I am a local and have lived here for many years. In that time, the beach driving has gotten out of control. I've seen people and dogs use the beach as a bathroom and leave behind piles of garbage. The beaches are here for all to enjoy equally and those who think they should be used as parking lots are about to spoil that access for all of us. So let's address the real issues- adequate parking and other services at the beaches - and leave the trucks on the road where they belong.

  4. print email
    April 28, 2011 | 01:48 PM

    LOL. This guy has to be out of his mind. Doesn't he realize the only way to access this beach is by driving and parking on it? He's the closest thing to a "local" listed on the lawsuit, so of course people are going to stop shopping at his hardware store if he obviously has no respect for his own year round customers. They guys reputation was never great to begin with, and now this article makes him look even more insane.

  5. print email
    wake up!
    May 17, 2011 | 06:24 PM

    Jerry owns a house on the dunes so we know where he is coming from. Has anybody thought about the fact that building structures on the dunes is the actual problem? All those house are going to fall into the ocean in matter of time. Now who is going to clean up that mess? Yeah, the beach has goten dirtier over the years as the population has grown and it sucks. What sucks worse is going to the beautiful beach at night and looking down the coast at a bunch of greedy oversized houses beaming spotlights onto the beach. As far as Keimbock goes... the story is total BS. Not a single bit of evidence to back up your claims about threats. Plus it would be his son who would be threatend at the beach not his father.... boycot the store and and anything owned by Delaamina

    wake up!
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