Featured Story

This week in Shelter Island history


The Beatles recorded a video for “Long & Winding Road.”

Gloria O Smith of New York was crowned Miss Black America.

The first Gap store was opened on Ocean Avenue in San Francisco by Donald and Doris Fisher.

Long John Silver’s restaurant chain opened its first store in Lexington, Kentucky.

“The Andromeda Strain” by Michael Crichton was among the best selling books.

And on Shelter Island . . .


Winthrop residents voice water supply concerns

When the Dering Harbor Inn applied for a permit to install three new wells on the property, residents along Winthrop Road came out in force with objections.

An East Coast Well Drilling & Supply Company spokesman said the three new wells would each be capped at pumping 20 gallons per minute and only two of the wells would be operated at any one time. The single existing well was capped at pumping 60 gallons per minute. But because the spokesman was on staff at the Dering Harbor Inn, residents asked for an independent expert to assess the situation.

POSTSCRIPT: Today’s concerns are focused on the Center, where a dangerous concentration of nitrates has been found in the water. For many years, the town had tracked water quantity levels, but only in recent years has there been a major effort to deal with the quality of that water.


Shelter Island School officials proclaimed the building asbestos free after extensive work and testing.  But through the years, it’s been discovered that  asbestos was found in the building.

POSTSCRIPT: This year, a plan for renovating two bathrooms revealed there was additional asbestos removal needed during this summer. Most of the renovation work in those two bathrooms has been completed.


Full house backs 4-posters

Ten years ago at a forum to discuss ways to fight Lyme disease, a packed room of residents favored deployment of 4-poster units treated with permethrin to kill ticks.

Vincent Palmer, who was then head of the New York State Department of Conservation’s  Pesticide Bureau, said he encouraged the discussion, but would step in and comment if unproven information or information was stated. He noted that he had heard no opposition to the use of 4-posters at that time.

POSTSCRIPT: Ten years later, many Islanders who once contributed money to help pay for the deployment and maintenance of the units now see them as too expensive and question their effectiveness in the fight against tick-borne diseases and the safety of long-term use of permethrin.

Most Deer & Tick Committee members now look to a day when they can recommend doing away with the units.

[email protected]