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11/08/16 7:00am

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Today is Election Day. All registered voters can cast their ballots at the Shelter Island School gym from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

There is only one local, contested race today, a seat on the Town Board between incumbent Democrat Mary Dudley and Republican challenger Amber Brach-Williams. (more…)

Featured Story
11/04/16 8:00am
COURTESY PHOTO Polls are open Tuesday, November 8 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Shelter Island School.

COURTESY PHOTO Polls are open Tuesday, November 8 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Shelter Island School.

Just a few months ago it seemed the local election season on Shelter Island would be a quiet one. There is only one contested race, a seat on the Town Board between incumbent Democrat Mary Dudley and Republican challenger Amber Brach-Williams.

Both candidates, in their campaigns and at two public forums where they met face-to-face, were respectful and courteous to each other and engaged in a serious discussion of the issues.

But then the hyper-partisanship, personal attacks and vitriol of the presidential campaign seemed to seep into the Island’s quiet political life. (more…)

07/14/13 11:46am

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A federal court has rejected a challenge by helicopter pilots that would have overturned Federal Aviation Administration rules requiring they fly a mile off Long Island’s North Shore during their trips back and forth to the Hamptons.

The pilots, represented by Helicopter Association International Inc., have been fighting FAA rules enacted last year after the agency found “residents emphatically agreed that helicopter overflights during the summer months are unbearable and negatively impact their quality of life,’ according to a decision issued Friday by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C.

The helicopter association had argued, among other points, that the FAA lacked the authority to change air traffic patterns solely for reducing the impact of aircraft noise on residents and had exceeded its congressional limits on authority.

The court disagreed.

“Although the noise-related provisions [the helicopter association] cites refer to discrete areas, for example, to noise reduction in or near airports, neither their substance nor their structure suggest that Congress intended to narrow its broad authorization to the FAA to regulate the use of navigable airspace, much less to restrict the FAA’s capacity to manage aircraft noise to these limited contexts,” reads the three-judge panel’s decision, written by Circuit Court Judge Judith Rogers.

The judges also agreed the FAA had the authority to act out of concern for safety on the ground, below the flight paths.

The 2012 rules came after years of complaints along the North North and Shelter Island about the noise from helicopters taking well-heeled passengers back and forth to the South Shore over homes, sometimes at low altitudes.

The concern caught the attention of Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other lawmakers who lobbied on behalf of residents for the changes.

Helicopter pilots had typically taken three routes over Long Island, either along the South Shore, North Shore, or over the Long Island Expressway. However, the North Shore route was preferred because it was faster and less likely to encounter weather delays than the southern route, according to the court case.

Under the FAA’s new rules, helicopter pilots are permitted to fly inland on the North Shore only in the case of inclement weather or other emergencies. Offenders could face fines or license revocations.

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11/04/12 3:59pm

JOHN DUNN FILE PHOTO | Senator Charles Schumer announced Sunday federal aid is coming to local municipalities.

Local federal elected officials announced Sunday FEMA aid is now available to fund repairs for public infrastructures and facilities damaged this week by Hurricane Sandy.

According to a press released issued by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer’s office, FEMA administrator Craig Fugate agreed to expand President Barack Obama’s major disaster declaration to include all categories of public assistance for the counties affected by the storm, including: roads, bridges, water control facilities, public buildings and equipment, utilities, parks, recreational facilities, beaches and more.

Initially, municipalities on Long Island and in New York City and the Hudson Valley were only eligible to receive federal aid for some public services like debris removal and emergency protective measures.

Residents in those areas have been eligible for individual assistance from FEMA.

Mr. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand applauded FEMA’s recent decision.

“It is critical that FEMA has heeded our call and expanded the major disaster declaration to include full public assistance for communities throughout storm-ravaged New York City, Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley,” Mr. Schumer said.

“Providing this full range of federal disaster assistance is essential for repairs to everything from sewages facilities, to parklands, to the hundreds of roads and bridges that were destroyed in the storm, and I am pleased that our communities can know that the federal government will be there to help as they continue their response and recovery efforts.”

Ms. Gillibrand agreed and described the damage she has seen as “devastating.”

“The federal government has a responsibility to stand with these families every step of the way to help them recover and rebuild better than ever before,” she said. “The Obama administration promised no red-tape, and this is another example of the president backing up that commitment.”

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