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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor: June 27, 2024


To the Editor:

The Reporter’s future is in question? That rumble behind St. Mary’s was likely my dad rolling in his grave.

His time with the Reporter was among his favorite years. I used to kid with him when he became editor, I even bought him a license plate frame, which he chose not to mount, which read, “SHELTER ISLAND REPORTER, All the fits that’s news to print.” He was likely right to keep it on a shelf.

I hope the long legacy of the Reporter will continue in good hands and the people of this jewel of a rock continue to engage in the opinion sharing and bitterless (yes I made a new word) debate of the direction this Island takes.

ART BARNETT III, Shelter Island


To the Editor:

Islanders were surprised and disappointed to learn last week that the Reporter may be shuttered by year’s end if it cannot be sold by then.

It’s not about subscribership, which the publisher admits is robust and trending well. Rather, he says, ad sales are suffering, because of the “decline of small, locally-owned businesses” in favor of “off-Island ownership groups.”

I do not buy that premise. What makes the Reporter different from other local newspapers, facing the same issues, yet which remain sustainable?

First, many local business owners believe the Reporter has been decidedly anti-business. While the editors may believe they are giving local businesses a fair shake, that’s not how local businesses feel, and they’re the ones writing the checks.

Second, the paper regularly angers half its subscriber base, including local business owners, with the editor’s penchant for unnecessary and annoying political advocacy at the national level. Notably, the worst offender is the paper’s talented, but anti-Republican cartoonist, who is probably responsible for hundreds of canceled subscriptions and a significant amount of lost ad revenue.

Finally, no one who works for the Reporter — not even its sole ad salesperson — lives or works on Shelter Island.

The publisher’s response to these criticisms was, literally, “Write a letter to the editor.”

As the publisher explained, editorial decisions are left entirely to his editors. But isn’t that the problem? Ambrose Clancy and Julie Lane are excellent journalists. But without a publisher at the wheel to keep the ship aright, the ship is bound to founder.

The bottom line, not to mix metaphors, is the need for a new founder. Let’s hope someone with the financial means, a commitment to supporting local business, and a steadfast devotion to political neutrality, will recognize the opportunity, pick up the gauntlet, and save our local newspaper.

BOB KOHN, Shelter Island


To the Editor:

Our “Leap into Learning” summer school program is set to start this coming Monday, July 1. If you have not already signed your child up for this free program, there is still some availability. 

You can register your child on Monday at drop off. Due to some anticipated construction that will be happening, we have been asked to avoid using the lobby entrance this year. We respectfully ask that at 9 a.m. you escort your child to the exterior door near the pre-K room, off of the playground. There will be someone inside starting at 8:50 to watch your child until classes begin. 

Similarly, at dismissal, you can pick your child up at this door as well. If your child has signed up for programs with the town, we will escort them from our building to the Community Center when summer school is over. Thank you!

JENNIFER GULLUSCIO, Summer School Coordinator


To the Editor:

Please add me to the many fans of the Town Recycling Center and the many services it provides to us Islanders.

I am grateful for the composed topsoil and mulches available, and have added the crushed concrete to my driveway several times now — what a great resource. The other great resource is the Goodie Pile and the construction and metal waste areas. I am a confirmed “picker” and still have my “pickers vest” from the last time restrictions were attempted for these resources.

Besides money, jewelry, and handblown vintage glassware (construction debris), vintage saws, hand tools, and cast iron skillets (metals), there is the constant inflow of useable lumber and hardwoods in the construction waste area. Shelf boards are my current hunt. Have you priced these off-Island?

Every item I pull from this waste stream has already had fees accessed to be dumped there. The Town gets revenue without having to truck it off-Island, why isn’t this a win-win for everyone? There are obviously some people who do ignore the signage about where to dispose of what, with stuff in the wrong place all the time, but could more and clearer signage be part of this solution?

On another note did you know the Town now accesses a $5 an hour fee on top of any kW hours when using the Town charger at the Police Station — no notice posted of a new policy or of fees involved. Tip: Don’t leave your car there overnight!

STEPHEN FAY, Shelter Island


To the Editor:

For years I received almost all Amazon orders via UPS.

That changed last fall, and since then almost all of my Amazon orders have been sent via USPS. After months of frustration, often picking up multiple and sometimes large Amazon packages at the Post Office, and watching the staff there struggle with the huge volume of packages they receive, I contacted Amazon and got a response.

I emailed [email protected], and explained that we do not get home delivery, and the problems it was causing for me and the Post Office to route Amazon packages through there. I got a response the next day, and the person I spoke to hopefully solved my problem. 

It has to do with a setting in the account that lists possible delivery methods by priority. He moved USPS to the bottom of my list, so I should not receive anything through the Post Office unless there is no other option. 

This has to be done on an account-by-account basis, so if you have the same problem you can email that address.



To the Editor:

Every year thousands of people flock to our small island for the annual fireworks display on Crescent Beach. This year the fireworks show is on July 13. What many of those people don’t know is the fireworks are paid for exclusively from fundraised donations. This event is literally paid for by you and your generosity.

While the Town Board, Police Department and EMS are all extremely generous with their time and support, the actual show is paid for because of volunteers who fundraise all year long to try and come up with the tens of thousands of dollars needed to hire Grucci Fireworks, rent the barge the fireworks are shot from, permits, and a myriad of other administrative charges involved with this massive show.

The Shelter Island Fireworks, a 501c(3) organization, humbly asks our fellow Islanders to dig deep and donate what you can spare to make sure we can put the show on again this year. Donations are tax deductible!

Every dollar helps! To donate go to ShelterIslandFireworks.com and click “Donate,” or you can mail a check to Shelter Island Fireworks, Inc. PO Box 452, Shelter Island NY 11964

On behalf of the board we thank you for helping make this summer’s show possible.