Featured Story

This week in Shelter Island history

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Former fire marshal Barry Ryder suspended open burning during a drought 10 years ago.
Former Fire Warden Barry Ryder suspended open burning during a drought 10 years ago.


President Lyndon Baines Johnson visited New Orleans residents who had taken refuge at George Washington School in the wake of Hurricane Betsy.Four Britons arrived at the Frankfurt, Germany, Motor Show after crossing the English Channel in the world’s only mass produced amphibious passenger car.

Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk who was jailed after defying a Supreme Court decision allowing marriage licenses to same sex couples, was born.

Actor Kyle Chandler, known to today’s television audiences for his portrayal of Coach Eric Taylor on “Friday Night Lights, was born.

Tennis star Billie Jean King married attorney Larry King, later divorcing him and becoming the first major sports figure to acknowledge that she is gay.

Huson Sherman joins regular Navy

It was 50 years ago that Huson “Hoot” Sherman received word that he would be transferred from the Reserve to the regular Navy forces. He indicated at the time a desire to accept the transfer and served in the Pacific.

In advising Lieutenant Sherman of the transfer, Vice Admiral B.J. Semmes told him, “In this age of revolutionary changes, the Navy, as never before, needs highly qualified young officers who are capable of providing outstanding service to their nation through careers in the regular Navy.”

POSTSCRIPT: Following his Navy service, Mr. Sherman returned to Shelter Island and in the 1990s, went on to serve as town supervisor. He currently chairs the Water Advisory Committee.

Heights Post Office celebrates landmark

In the fall of 1985, the Shelter Island Heights Post Office was operating out of temporary quarters while a new building was under construction. A story in the Reporter at the time recounted the history of various relocations the Post Office had in the Heights through the years and the Islanders who served as postmasters.

POSTSCRIPT: In the past year, there were discussions about closing some post offices throughout the country in a cost-cutting effort. Some locals worried that the United States Postal Service might close one of the Island’s two Post Offices, but to the delight of patrons, both the Heights and Center Post Offices survived the cuts.

One man’s entertainment is another’s noise

The Town Board 20 years ago was debating a noise ordinance and a Reporter editorial called on Supervisor Hoot Sherman to resolve the issue with new legislation. Mr. Sherman  was reported to be opposed to new legislation he said would pit neighbor against neighbor. The editorial pointed out that neighbors were already pitted against one another in terms of what one considered acceptable noise while another viewed as a disturbance to relaxation and sleep.

POSTSCRIPT: The town does have a noise ordinance on its books today with the potential to act if the noise exceeds 50 decibels. This summer, the  Police Department  had to respond to a number of complaints, particularly on weekends, and most recently, over the Labor Day weekend.

Fire warden cites drought in suspending open burn permits

Fire Warden Barry Ryder 10 years ago suspended the issuance of open burn permits because the town was experiencing drought conditions. The permits then were issued for a two-year cycle, but could be suspended in the event such dry conditions threatened to ignite other fires on the Island.

He also asked the Town Board to change the code to stop contractors from burning construction materials on building sites instead of bringing them to the Recycling Center.

POSTSCRIPT: Open burning is restricted to allowances made by state law, but a local permit from the fire warden is still required.

[email protected]