Featured Story
02/02/16 10:00am
REPORTER FILE PHOTO

REPORTER FILE PHOTO

Look for an upturn in the Shelter Island real estate market in the first quarter of 2016.

That’s the consensus from Island professionals who have weathered what most have termed a frustrating 2015.
Saunders’ Penelope Moore summed it up, saying she’s always looking at trends, and 2015 was “a very unusual year” compared to others. (more…)

Featured Story
01/20/16 8:16am
AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO | The Town Board work session Tuesday. From left, Town Clerk Dorothy Ogar, Councilwoman Mary Dudley, Councilman Jim Colligan, Supervisor Jim Dougherty, Councilman Paul Shepherd. Not shown, Councilwoman Chris Lewis.

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO | The Town Board work session Tuesday. From left, Town Clerk Dorothy Ogar, Councilwoman Mary Dudley, Councilman Jim Colligan, Supervisor Jim Dougherty, Councilman Paul Shepherd. Not shown, Councilwoman Chris Lewis.

If the town decides to put any money currently earmarked for land preservation into clean water initiatives, there have to be well-researched plans with specifically targeted projects.

That’s according to Councilman Jim Colligan, who brought up the topic at the Town Board work session Tuesday. Mr. Colligan said members of the Shelter Island Association (SIA) meeting Monday evening discussed a new law permitting East End municipalities to take a portion of the Community Preservation Fund (CPF) for use in clean water initiatives. (more…)

Featured Story
12/31/15 8:00am
BARBARA ELLEN KOCH PHOTO | New legislation could help preserve the East End's surface and ground waters.

BARBARA ELLEN KOCH PHOTO | New legislation could help preserve the East End’s surface and ground waters.

Water quality on the East End became a focus in Albany this year, when legislators and the governor agreed to allow some money once dedicated solely for open space preservation to be used for anti-pollution programs.

A new law, sponsored by Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) and Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), passed earlier this month, allowing each of the five East End towns permission to allocate up to 20 percent of Community Preservation Fund revenue to water quality protection. (more…)

04/30/13 8:00am

JULIE LANE PHOTO | Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) addressing the Town board Friday.

Although Shelter Island is usually on relatively good terms with the Long Island Power Authority, Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) described the company as “something Rube Goldberg might have designed” and said the company has “a real lack of transparency and accountability.”

On hand at Friday’s Town Board meeting, the assemblyman said there’s “a great deal of skepticism about going back to privatization” of the utility company, but the solution might lie in keeping LIPA as a holding company and having the Public Service Commission oversee its operations. In the past, decisions about the now defunct Long Island Lighting Company and LIPA were “rammed down our throats” and this time, the people on Long Island need to be part of the discussion,” Mr Thiele added.

Mr. Thiele’s words about LIPA brought attention to the new cable LIPA will be installing between the North Fork and Shelter Island to protect against power loss and rolling blackouts during the peak summer season .

Shelter Island has had two feeder cables running under the bay and one is out completely while the second is “very old, indeed,” Supervisor Jim Dougherty said. Work that originally was slated to be completed by early June is now slated to begin this week and run through the week of June 24, Mr. Dougherty said.

“The dates have already slipped a lot,” Mr. Dougherty said. “This is like undergoing serious surgery.”

Mr. Dougherty appealed to residents to “please, please bear with us during this period” of reconstruction.

Mr. Thiele noted that CHIPS money — state funding that comes to municipalities for road and bridge work — is to increase this year by 22 percent. It’s the first increase in many years, Mr. Thiele said.

He also noted that Albany is examining opportunities for land acquisition downstate and said he thinks with money drying up at the county level, there might be some opportunities for partnerships with the state. Suffolk County is talking about “dismantling” its open space acquisitions, Mr. Thiele said. But the need remains for both open space and shoreline improvement efforts.

“Right now, I wouldn’t count on too much help from the county,” Mr. Thiele said.

Board members approved the following applications:

• American Direct for installation of an 8,000 pound boat lift at an existing dock in Shelter Island Sound;

• Michael Coles of 42 Gardiners Bay Drive for reconstruction of stone revetment on the south end that was destroyed by Sandy; and

• Joseph Hakim of 8 Club Drive for construction of a new jetty and splash pad to replace a nonfunctional structure.

03/28/13 12:00pm

JULIE LANE PHOTO | Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) with Shelter Island School students on a visit to the school earlier this year.

Mr. Thiele has brought home the  bacon

Following Wednesday’s good news that the Shelter Island School District will get a boost in state aid for the 2013-14 school year, word came from Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) that he had secured an additional $50,000 outside of the various formula aids.

The  addtional funds brings the district’s total aid package from the announced $521,730 to $571,730, Mr. Thiele said. He had previously represented Shelter Island when he was a Suffolk County legislator, but only became the Island’s assemblyman this year as a result of redistricting.

In  February, Mr. Thiele spoke to Shelter Island students, predicting that the state legislature would restore at least $50,000 of the almost $84,000 that had been cut by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget. Instead, the legislators restored about $70,000 and with word of this additional $50,000 were able to bring a substantial hike to the district.

“I’m very happy that we were able not to just reverse the governor’s reduction, but gain a substantial increase for Shelter Island,” Mr. Thiele said.

Under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal, the district had expected to lose almost $84,000.

With school closed for a spring break this week, Superintendent Michael Hynes wasn’t available for comment.