Around the Island

Richard’s Almanac: Focus on youth

I know that this column deals most of the time with items of interest to senior citizens and what they’re doing. But this week I can’t help but focus on the youth of this Island.

I sat on the steps of the library last Sunday afternoon and watched a crowd that the Police Department estimated was made up of about 800 people marching in a Black Lives Matter demonstration. This was well organized, peaceful and informative. The students led by senior class Valedictorian Emma Gallagher went through all the proper channels with town officials to make this event happen.

They were driven by their social consciences to make their feelings known about a tragic act of brutality that occurred in Minnesota last month — George Floyd’s death.

We’ve all read about demonstrations across the country, which have been marred by violence. I’m proud to say that violence did not happen here. Marchers both young and not so young walked carrying signs and chanting “Black Lives Matter,” “I Can’t Breathe” and “No Justice, No Peace.”

Police presence was obvious and everyone was courteous. The event ended back at the school with singing by Bianca Evangelista and Emma Martinez Majdisova.

One 40-something marcher told me she felt it was a very uplifting afternoon. The whole demonstration wrapped up by 3 p.m.

Meanwhile, I received a copy of the new Town of Shelter Island Open Space & Preserved Lands map. The map is provided by the town for the benefit of the community and visitors. It graphically shows all preserved land on the Island open to the public. It was produced by the Community Preservation Fund Advisory Committee and printed with funding from the Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce.

I look forward to exploring some of these preservation spots that I’ve never seen before. And some of these preserves are dog-friendly, as long as the animals are on leashes.

One thing to remember is that old tick problem. And they seem to be everywhere. I’ve had three on me during the past week. And I never know it until I have a spot on my skin that starts to itch. When I look closely, I see that I have one of these critters ready to drink my blood.

So be careful when doing yard work or hiking or even at the beach. They seem to be everywhere. Over the past half century, I guess that I have learned to live with them.