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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor

To be commended

To the Editor:

The town’s Highway Department, Police Department and PSEG need to be commended for their prompt actions during the storm of Aug. 4.

We were on our porch when a tree came down on the wires by our driveway and blocked part of the road and took out the power. We called the police right away because of the danger.

Within a short time Highway Department Superintendent Brian Sherman and his crew and the police were here to assess the situation. 

Brian himself came up the driveway to check on us.

PSEG worked at night to cut the tree, and power was restored by 10:30 p.m.

Good work by all and a positive shout out from us, who are lucky to live on Shelter Island.


Shelter Island

Access for all

To the Editor:

It’s sad that in the middle of a nationwide protest movement that is seeking to raise awareness of the racial imbalance of law enforcement on Black people, Latinos and the poor, that we have people on this island calling for new laws to punish people for using public beaches and fishing.

Shelter Island is not a private club. Our town landings have historically been places for all people to access the water. They should stay that way.

No one likes to see dead fish, burnt garbage and litter on the beaches. Those are problems that need to be addressed. Accessible public bathrooms would help with the issue of people using the bushes to relieve themselves.

As historian Andrew W. Kharl wrote earlier this spring: “Throughout American history, in times of heightened racial tension and rising inequality, the socially advantaged tend to retreat into private spaces, withdraw taxpayer support for public recreation, and work to restrict access to public space within their communities, often using concerns about public health and safety as justification.”

Is that the Shelter Island we want, one where visitors get ticketed by our police department for parking at South Silver Beach Road, at Kissing Rock, at Orient Lane to take a walk on the beach, look at the sunset or walk a dog? Is that the kind of place we’d like to visit?

There’s another word for groups of “anonymous non-resident day-trippers.” They’re also called tourists.


Shelter Island


To the Editor:

Twenty five years ago a guy wrote a great book called, “All I Needed to Know About Life I Learned in Kindergarten.”

I think I shall write a book titled, “Everything I Learned About Life I Have Observed Watching My Osprey Family;” since the middle of April until this very day they have kept me occupied, observing their daily habits. They of course live in the “McMansion” of osprey nests, with a view that has to be magnificent.

I have named them Tom and Tilly, but haven’t named the three kids, since I don’t know if there are three boys or three girls, or a combo.

As soon as Tom and Tilly arrive, they start getting the nest ready for the season — old sticks out, new sticks in. Then we start the nesting business. Tilly hardly leaves, but Tom brings some pretty good looking fish, some so big I can’t imagine how he makes it back to the nest they share. By the middle of June there are three little heads popping up. Tom brings the fish, tears it apart, then leaves for his man pine tree to eat his share.

Within a month three little guys are standing on the edge of the nest. Tom and Tilly both stand on a limb or at the edge of the nest, basically saying, see kids, “This is the way it is done,” flapping their wings and flying all about. Magic! As soon as I find an illustrator, I will write the dialogue between this family.

The moral of this story is that, just like the people of Shelter Island, they return mid-April and do their thing. Most with kids already in tow, some waiting for a new arrival. It was always standard routine, until this year, when many arrived for shelter from the cities and trying to escape the pandemic, which is impossible to do. This is a beautiful place to be, sailboats, sunsets and seagulls and just like Tom and Tilly, a tradition.

Leave the Indian be. It feels like a divide and conquer scenario, not a Shelter Island tradition.


Shelter Island