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Reporter Letters to the Editor for the week, Oct. 22-29

Don’t cut Historical Society’s funding

To the Editor:

The Shelter Island Historical Society is facing a needless financial crisis.

For over a decade it has received a $15,000 grant from the town which incorporates both the cost of community access and the curating of historical town maps and records — invaluable to property purchasers, contractors and architects.

Supervisor Siller made a recent visit to the new History Center. He was impressed with the new facilities and programs. But he indicated that he would recommend a cut of the annual support from $15,000 to $5,000, the amount paid during his prior administration over 12 years ago.

In the past, the town has supported us, and other important institutions. Examples are the library, which in addition to taxes, needs to raise private funds, and Sylvester Manor. The Historical Society budget is only $266,000 and we ask for equity.

The historical Havens House was in very grave need of repairs and lacked the capacity to serve the public’s full needs. Island residents joined together to finance a complete restoration of Havens House, which highlights the various centuries of construction and historic parts of our collection.

The Elizabeth Pedersen facility provides a modern climate controlled archive, community meetings and exhibitions of Shelter Island artists.

We have a very small staff, the equivalent of two and a half people. The pandemic has been very difficult for us. Our three major fund raisers, the Black and White cocktail party and dinner, the Antique Car Show, and the Oysters Event have all had to be canceled because of the virus.

To carry out our mission for the people of Shelter Island we ask for public support for the restoration of our $15,000 grant. The final public budget deliberation takes place next week.


Shelter Island

Thank you

To the Editor:

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the members of the Shelter Island Fire Department for escorting our family patriarch, William G. Dickerson, on his final journey across his beloved hometown.

We also want to thank the members of the Shelter Island American Legion Mitchell Post 281 for their tribute to this former warrior. They were able to assemble and perform a 21-gun salute that would have made this World War II veteran proud.

Thank you also to Father Peter and Bob DeStefano Sr. for their kindness, comfort and support and the many friends and neighbors for their condolences and for sharing their memories with us.


Shelter Island

Wrong priorities

To the Editor:

Mr. Shepherd’s letter of Oct. 22 on controlling garage sales could not have been said better, at least not by me.

We have a Town Board that can’t put through simple laws to stop or curb phosphate fertilizers, dangerous chemicals such as weed killers and tick sprays, and lawn watering which would cost nothing to implement but can spend tens of thousands of dollars to hire consultants, to study solutions, most of which we can’t afford, to the problems partially caused by the aforementioned items.

Instead, the board chooses to show its grit by getting tough on garage sales.

Way to go, Town Board


Shelter Island