04/23/11 4:02am

Reporter file photo

Plans are well underway for the 32nd Shelter Island 10K Run and 5K Walk, scheduled for Saturday, June 18 with a 5:30 p.m. start.

Along with a strong field of world-class elite runners, this year the Shelter Island 10K welcomes two legendary marathoners: Joan Benoit Samuelson and Bill Rodgers. Samuelson is an Olympic Gold Medal winner and Rodgers has won both the New York Marathon and the Boston Marathon four times.

Racing power couple Kim Jones and Jon Sinclair will also return for their fifth Shelter Island 10K.

During its 32-year history, the Island 10K has hosted dozens of Olympians and world-class racers along with thousands of recreational runners. The event has raised more than $500,000 for local charities. Proceeds from the 2011 Shelter Island 10K will go to support East End Hospice, Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch and Shelter Island community charities.

This year, the 10K welcomes Minds Over Matter runners who will be racing in support of the Gwen L. Kosinski Foundation for brain tumor research.

Register online and learn more about the race at shelterislandrun.com.

04/22/11 5:00pm

CARA LORIZ PHOTO | Library Director Denise DiPaolo joined volunteers working Tuesday in the book sale room, which will be completely redesigned in an effort to increase the efficiency of the library’s existing space.

Construction will begin this fall on significant renovations to the Shelter Island Library, Jo-Ann Robotti, president of the library’s Board of Trustees, announced last week.

Funded entirely through private donations — $500,000 has already been raised toward a goal of $700,000 — the library’s 2,700-square-foot lower level will be completely redesigned. Both the meeting room and the library book sale space will be remodeled with new features and increased efficiency allowing for programming to double, said Library Director Denise DiPaolo.

By relying on fundraising, the library can “address immediate and growing needs without increasing a tax burden in a harsh economy,” Ms. Robotti said, characterizing the donation campaign as a response to issues raised by taxpayers who turned down an expansion and more extensive renovation plan in 2008. The library’s structural footprint has not changed since it was built in 1965.

“The Shelter Island Public Library is the center of this community,” said Ms. Robotti, and it is a community center that is busting at the seams.

In just three years, between 2007 and 2010, 511 new library cards were issued, an increase of 14 percent, according to Ms. DiPaolo. In the same period, the library’s collection increased 56 percent, its circulation went up 54 percent and patron visits almost tripled from 24,128 to 74,848.

Library programming, most of which is held in the lower level, is up 141 percent since 2007, with nearly double the attendance. Demand for computer use has spiraled 285 percent and “continues its upward trajectory,” noted Ms. DiPaolo.

According to Ms. DiPaolo, patrons often are unable to access materials and services in the lower level because the area is shared with community groups and organizations meeting there. Non-fiction, biography, reference, oversized books, local history, literacy and nautical collections as well as visual magnification devices and quiet reading room space all share the 1,000-square-foot lower level programming room.

Dedicated space is also needed for young adults, whose attendance at programs tripled between 2007 and 2009, Ms. Robotti noted.

The renovation will address these issues, as well as structural, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and ADA accessibility compliance concerns. Reconfiguring the lower level will improve the efficiency of the 1,500-square-foot book sale space and will allow for a dedicated programming venue, room for a functional collection reading/study areas and storage space.

The library has commissioned Luchessi Engineering, P.C., a Hicksville-based architectural firm, to plan the renovations; preliminary design work is underway. A new exit in the book sale room and new windows, walls and lighting are all part of the plan.

During renovations, library programming will continue but will be relocated.

To fund the improvements, the “125th Anniversary Lower Level Renovation Campaign” was launched last year in concert with a celebration to mark the library’s founding donation of 280 volumes by Eben Norton Horsford in 1885. Spearheaded by the library’s Development Committee and its restructured Friends of the Shelter Island Library, the campaign invites donors to give at any of  six levels ranging from from $500 gifts to those over $50,000. (See shelterislandpubliclibrary.org for details).

Over 50 families have donated so far, including the Brandenstein family who have offered to pay for an elevator for easier access to the lower level. “We are grateful that so many Shelter Islanders are stepping up to support their library at a time when state budgets for libraries are being cut to 1994 levels,” said Trustee Linda Kofmehl, head of the board’s Development Committee.

The Friends, under the leadership of Sue Hine, raised over $21,000 through successful events such as the annual “Book & Author” luncheon, the newly-created “Book & Author Festival” and popular “Turkey Plunge,” tag sales and art and photography auctions and book sales.

According to both Ms. Kofmehl and Mrs. Hine, fundraising will continue through 2111 and beyond, to allow for any future expansion of the building that might be needed for the library to meet community needs.

“We are grateful for the positive response and generosity of many Shelter Islanders in support of their library — and the efforts of the staff and trustees to meet them effectively and with efficiency,” said Ms. Robotti.

04/21/11 12:57am

Last week, the oldest man in America died at the age of 114. He had been asked many times to list the secrets to his long life, one of which was this: embrace change. Change is good.

The Shelter Island Reporter is going through some changes of its own. While the editorial staff prepares for new leadership, I’d like to celebrate some of the staff’s accomplishments, many of which came from changing how we look at our role in the community.

• Bringing thorough voter information to our readers at election time and developing endorsements based on specific criteria assessed by the entire editorial staff.

• Making our coverage of Shelter Island School sports a priority. We have no dedicated budget to produce a sports section. So what? We found a way to deliver the sports news our readers requested.

• Telling more Islanders’ stories on page 3. County Legislator Ed Romaine commented last year that he reads page 3 of the Reporter first. It represents what makes Shelter Island such a special place — its people.

• Putting a brighter spotlight on school news. Whether you are a parent of local students or not, the school is at the heart of the community and, for the fiscally minded, represents half of your local tax bill.

• Raising awareness of citizen rights to open government. Our elected officials often need a reminder of how transparent government is supposed to work. Here’s one for the road: the elimination of school or government positions, as opposed to specific individual employee issues, must be discussed openly.

• Delivering award-winning journalism that engages the community. Our editorial section (your letters included), Bev Walz’s photography, Peter Waldner’s cartoons (including the Halloween cartoon of a scary Carl Paladino that set off quite a letter-writing episode) and Ted Hills’ story of the final home basketball game of 2010 all won awards this year. New York Press Association judges also noted that the Reporter “served the community well” in its coverage of the Island’s response to the death of Lt. Joey Theinert.

• Above all else, bringing as many Island voices into this newspaper as possible — thanks to our numerous and colorful columnists in the Op-Ed, community and sports sections and our many letter writers, who fill this paper with genuinely local commentary.

The Reporter will change — it’s part of the secret to our success. I hope our readers will embrace this change and continue to engage this newspaper in community concerns.

In this space each week, I’ve tried to strike up a dialogue with our readers. I have truly enjoyed the conversation. Thank you.


04/21/11 12:45am

Shellfish habitat to 4-posters, rules for scavenging and for saltwater fishing — these topics and more were discussed at the past two Shelter Island Town Board work sessions.

• Recycling Center rules. Town Supervisor Jim Dougherty said that a small committee of scavengers and Recycling Center employees and town officials will meet to develop some flexibility in the ban on scavenging at the dump. Any official rule changes will be made by the Town Board and Superintendent Mark Ketcham, he added. “We’re not going to make a production out of this. This committee is going to die shortly after it’s born, and just get the job done.”

• The revival of a scaled-back 4-poster program. The board awarded a contract for servicing 4-poster stations with pesticides during a special meeting convened at the end of the April 19 work session. Premiere Pest Control of Southampton was the lowest of three bidders at $32,000 to service 15 stations twice each week for 32 weeks; every additional 5 stations will cost $250 more per week.

The 15 stations will be deployed at “hot spots” where deer are most common and housing is most dense, Supervisor Dougherty said. If outside funding is found, additional stations may be deployed. For the past three years, 60 stations were deployed across the Island in a state-monitored testing program for the devices.

• A new state requirement for registering marine anglers. Although the New York State legislature repealed a state saltwater fishing license as part of the 2011-2012 budget process, the legislators replaced the license with a registration program required by the federal government. That registration will be free for two years, but councilmen expressed concerns that the state would eventually charge for it. Glenn Waddington encouraged residents to petition state representatives to oppose a fishing fee of any kind.

• The new Shelter Island Farmer’s Market. The market will kick off at Havens House in June and will be discussed at a community briefing this Friday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m. “I think it’s exciting in that they’re doing their best to enlist every local island purveyor,” Mr. Dougherty said. “Eating local food is a rising movement in this whole country,” said Pat Mundus, executive director of the Historical Society. She was at the April 19 work session seeking continued town cooperation in allowing parking for this and other Historical Society events at the former town highway property.

• Congdon Creek dock subletting fees. Board members expressed support for Peter Reich’s suggestion that summer subletting of docks slips carry a $150 fee and off-season subletting a $100 fee. The fees are intended to cover the administrative costs of registering an additional boat and owner for a town slip permitted to another resident. Summer sublets will go only to eligible residents on the dock waiting list; anyone receiving a temporary sublet will retain their position on the waiting list for their own slip.

Kolina Reiter reiterated an objection she made last summer, that the law should allow her sons to inherit her husband’s dock slip permit; the law allows for slip permits to be passed on to surviving spouses only. Ed Brown suggested amending the law to include an exception for commercial fishing families.

• The Cornell shellfish seeding program. During the April12 work session, Greg Rivara of Cornell University updated the Town Board on efforts to seed scallops, oysters and hard clams in Island waters. He explained that because larger shellfish are being used, including scallops ranging from half dollar to a silver dollar in size (37 mm), the lack of eelgrass habitat is not crucial as it is for smaller bugs. Cornell is also trying to grow oysters and clams to larger sizes for the program at their shellfish hatchery at Cedar Beach in Southold.

• Upcoming events. The platoon of Lt. Joseph Theinert, who was killed serving his country in Afghanistan last June, will be visiting Shelter Island beginning on May 19. Supervisor Dougherty will be speaking on Dan Dupree’s WLNG talk show at 1 p.m. on Monday April 25. A tentative date of April 29 for closing the joint town and Suffolk County acquisition of over 34 acres of land at the Klenawicus farm on Burns and Cartwright roads. The next regular meeting of the board is April 29 at 4:30 p.m.

04/21/11 12:11am

Joe O’Brien

Joe O’Brien has been named the Shelter Island Lions Club Citizen of the Year.

“I was quite honored to say the least,” Mr. O’Brien said of the award, which will be presented to him at a dinner in his honor in May.

A past president and a member of the Lions Club for over 10 years, Mr. O’Brien has also served on the boards of the Island Gift of Life Foundation, the Shelter Island Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Eastern Long Island Hospital Auxiliary. He has volunteered at the ELIH pharmacy every Tuesday for 12 years  and is the chairman of the auxiliary’s annual geranium sale.

Mr. O’Brien has served the Town of Shelter Island as well on its Insurance Review and Recreation committees and a stint as deputy chairman of the Planning Board. He is also a member of Our Lady of the Isle Roman Catholic Church.

A full-time Shelter Island resident for 15 years, Mr. O’Brien and his wife Jane and their daughter Susan live in Silver Beach.

The Citizenship Award, first presented in 1977, honors local volunteers demonstrating consistent effort and service over an extended period of time on behalf of the Shelter Island community.

The citizenship dinner will be held on Sunday, May 22 at the Pridwin.  Call Lions Alan or Janice Krauss for tickets.