Reporter Editorials: A generation to be proud of

JIM COLLIGAN PHOTO | The 2014  Shelter Island varsity boys basketball team.

JIM COLLIGAN PHOTO | The 2014 Shelter Island varsity boys basketball team.

A reporter covering the Shelter Island-Greenport boys varsity basketball matchup for the Suffolk County Class D Championship last Saturday was impressed by the crowd at Longwood High School in Middle Island. He asked someone, half-jokingly, if the entire Shelter Island population was in the stands.

It only seemed that way.

The boys won a championship for the Island — the first Suffolk County Class D winning squad in a long list of notable achievements by Shelter Island High School athletes — before a crowd of parents, brothers, sisters, classmates, friends and just residents of the Island who support our young people. Varsity Assistant Coach Jim Colligan, an unpaid volunteer, took two Carle Place teams to the state finals in 1999 and 2005. But Mr. Colligan ranks the victory over Greenport as one of the highlights of his coaching career, and “I’ve been involved in hundreds of games,” he told the Reporter.

Mr. Colligan said it wasn’t just the quality of play, but the Island spirit that resounded through the gym, and the pride every Islander felt at not just the victory, but the unfailing effort the boys put on the court.

We’re proud of the coaches and supporters of the team, but most proud of the young people, the players, cheerleaders and students of Shelter Island High School, who continue to represent us all so well.

Open for business
The Town Board heard a plea from representatives of the Chamber of Commerce Tuesday to change the town code to allow single day beach parking passes. Currently only weekly, monthly and seasonal passes are sold by the Town Clerk, all requiring proof of residency on the Island.

The chamber reps made a good case that many people come to the Island during the summer on day trips, spend money in our restaurants and shops and even explore the real estate market. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to purchase a day pass to take a dip at one of our beaches?

There was some talk, as there always is, of tradition, and mention of how things have always been done here. This attitude is both good and bad. Tradition should not be easily disposable for the sake of commerce or convenience. But clinging to tradition for the sake of, in Councilman Paul Shepherd’s apt expression, “orneriness,” is stupid.

The chamber reps made a good case and the board promised to revisit the idea. It’s a welcome trend.