Featured Story

Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor: June 15, 2024

Gem in jeopardy

To the Editor:

Recently, James Eklund wrote regarding the listing of 82 South Midway Road for sale, 5.6 acres of waterfront property (between Dickerson Creek and South Midway Road) and identifying a viable goal for the Town to preserve it.

This is one of few remaining undeveloped waterfront plots on the south side of the Island, one of natural beauty that offers a special vista and habitat. Saving our diminishing daily year-round Island water views beyond public beaches and landings is to the Town’s advantage. Ideally, from our perspective, this “gem” of a property deserves to be preserved, and there are ways to do it.

The Town needs to perform an assessment as to how any of its development will impact Dickerson Creek, area wildlife, the immediate community, and our precious Island — before these 5-plus acres become destined for development rather than preservation.

MADELINE BERGER, Shelter Island

Continuing the work

To the Editor:

For generations, the Shelter Island Democratic Committee has acted on behalf of and stood for all Democrats on our Island. We, the following candidates for the SIDC, are asking Democrats to vote for us in the upcoming Primary: ED #1: John C. Cronin, Jr. (retired Town Engineer, ferry captain, past SIDC committee) and Glenn Waddington (former Town Board member, retired ferry captain, past SIDC committee); ED #2: Susan L. Jones (retired from Cornell University, current SIDC committee); ED #3: Heather Reylek (retired Postmaster, current SIDC Chair) and Robert Reylek (General Contractor, current SIDC committee); ED #4: Katherine A. Doroski (retired Shelter Island school teacher).

As committee candidates we offer decades of local community experience with diverse and deep connections to our Island. We don’t receive support from any other group – no vested interests are pushing to secure us a place on the SIDC.

By contrast, the opposing candidates for the SIDC are endorsed and supported by A Better Island for All (ABIFA), a well-funded group that has received significant donations, primarily from one segment of the Island with their own agenda. They have denied receiving funding from ABIFA yet their most recent ad and flyer state that they were paid for by ABIFA. Because those candidates accept ABIFA support, it’s not unreasonable to assume that they would align with ABIFA on issues that confront our community.

Shelter Island is at a crossroads, facing affordability, community stability, and representation for everyone. The SIDC has always focused on Democratic leadership and commitment to public service. That’s what a duly elected committee is supposed to do, and we ask for your support to continue that work.

HEATHER REYLEK, SIDC CHAIR JOHN C. CRONIN JR., GLENN WADDINGTON, SUSAN L. JONES, ROBERT F. REYLEK, KATHERINE A. DOROSKI, Shelter Island

Rules of order

To the Editor:

This letter is for Shelter Island registered Democrats who will vote in the June 25 primary. Everyone else please stop reading here.

Brothers and sisters! I am asking for your vote to represent you on the Town Board.  I’d like to dive a little deeper into the language the other side is using right now to describe the current food fight.

They are conflating political process and our party as a “democracy.” That’s the same crazy as the Republicans use when they say “The War on Terrorism.” Terrorism is a tactic, right? 

The group letter in the last edition of this paper is signed by them all, but they claim to not all be associated with the Party of All. Now they have a website sidemocrats.org, with another claim to being democratic but they never mention my name as running in the upcoming primary. 

Political parties as such are organized using Rules of Order, and here on Shelter Island the County is the higher authority. But the Party For All says we should be adults, code for we don’t need the County to tell us how to run our affairs here. 

Water! Clean water and affordable housing. Keep the school. Keep and provide more access for commercial baymen to the water. Use innovative techniques to stabilize the shoreline to combat climate change.

Democrats of Shelter Island unite! Unite behind an electable candidate for the general election this fall.

BERT WAIFE, Mr. Waife is running in the Democratic primary on June 25 to represent the party in November’s election for a seat on the Town Board.

Bound by memories

To the Editor:

A beautiful story and memory, collective and personal (“The baby of the family,” May 30.) The fighting generation, their families and children were often bound by the unspoken memories.

I have a clear recollection of being on a Rockaway beach in 1945, (though only 5 years old), when the bells of St. Francis de Sales began ringing on Aug. 15 and joyful people made their way up to the church.

Chances were everyone there had family or friend in the war.

CONRAD POWER, Shelter Island

Emotional chord

To the Editor:

I read your story about your uncle and wanted to reach out to you because of the emotional chord it struck in me.

I was raised in Ridgewood, living in a house within walking distance of Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Church/School. One of my cousins attended the school.

My dad and his three brothers served during WW II, two in the Army, two in the Navy. My father was a SeaBee in the Pacific, his older brother in the Army in India, a second brother in the Army in France and the youngest in the Navy assigned to the aircraft carrier, Franklin.

All were young Ridgewood boys. We commemorate them and four vets from my wife’s family annually at the Rotary flag ceremonies five times a year in Mitchell Park, as we now live in Greenport.

My wife’s dad was in the Army Corps of Engineers in North Africa, Italy and France. Her sister’s father-in-law participated in the D-Day landing. Her brother-in-law served in Vietnam and her nephew in the Marines. Luckily, for them and us, they all returned home.

None of them ever talked much about what they saw or did during their service, not an uncommon trait among those who served.

All of us need to take time to remember all our vets and their service to our country.

Thank you for your story.

JIM BAUMANN, Greenport

What was missed

To the Editor:

You know you’re doing things right when people complain — I’m not complaining (hah, maybe a little).

Just reminding you about ARTSI (Artists of Shelter Island) when the Reporter talks about “An Island summer” in your June 6 editorial.

We are now in our 14th year here as a very significant creative presence on Shelter Island with our annual ARTSI Open Studio Tour every third weekend in August — this year Saturday Aug. 17 and Sunday, Aug. 18 from noon to  5 p.m. — open free to the public. ARTSI is also a contributing member of The Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce and we support other civic events.

Music’s important, sports are important, theater’s important, the Snapper Derby’s important, but our island would be missing a lot without art.

ROZ DIMON, Shelter Island