11/01/18 12:24pm

A panel discussion on the meaning of the First Amendment was held October 25 at the library. From left, Town Councilman Paul Shepherd, Professor of Law Thomas Schweitzer, Reporter Editor Ambrose Clancy, educator Barbara Barnes and journalist Gary Paul Gates.

The Shelter Island Library hosted a lively discussion on press freedoms on Thursday, October 25. 


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09/07/18 8:00am
EMILY LINDEN PHOTO Daybreak over West Neck Creek.

EMILY LINDEN PHOTO Daybreak over West Neck Creek.

The Gary Gerth administration, which has made transparency with the public a priority, got tripped up Tuesday, taking advice from a project manager handling an application for a dock installation in West Neck Creek. (more…)

07/13/17 8:00am
BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO The public meeting room of Town Hall.

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO The public meeting room of Town Hall.

Have you ever had the experience of attending a public meeting only to be baffled because officials are referring to documents only they have access to?

So have we, and it’s high time boards and committees on Shelter Island recognized their responsibility to adhere to the state law on disclosure of public records. (more…)

04/02/17 8:00am

COURTESY PHOTO A Long Island journalism society has rated agencies and municipalities on open government compliance.

The Press Club of Long Island (PCLI) has conducted an unprecedented investigation into compliance by 195 governments and government agencies on Long Island with the New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). (more…)

08/27/16 3:00pm


I tell my journalism students the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was the best thing to come along for journalists since the typewriter. For nearly 40 years in my investigative reporting course at SUNY Old Westbury, I teach the history and use of FOIA.

In fact, not just journalists, but anybody can utilize FOIA. It opens a window on what government does — what these days is called “transparency” — and is a treasure for democracy. (more…)