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07/01/15 8:00am
JULIE LANE PHOTO Summer Building Department intern Kiera Nissen, working on implementation of the newly minted irrigation law, gave the Town Board a summary Tuesday of progress she’s made.

JULIE LANE PHOTO
Summer Building Department intern Kiera Nissen, working on implementation of the newly minted irrigation law, gave the Town Board a summary Tuesday of progress she’s made.

35-2.

No, it’s that’s not a Shelter Island Bucks baseball score blowout. Rather, it’s the number of permits that have been approved to use existing irrigation systems versus two that have been denied because of tests revealing excessive chloride levels. (more…)

05/04/12 8:00am
Shelter Island

PETER BOODY PHOTO | Jack Kiffer calls at Tuesday's Town Board work session for public toilet facilities on Bridge Street.

A portable toilet will be installed for the summer season in the small parking area on the town dock off Bridge Street by May 15, Councilwoman Chris Lewis reported at Tuesday’s Town Board work session.

Jack Kiffer, owner of the Dory, has been pushing for years to see a public toilet provided in the area. He and other businesspeople have said they’ve had to turn away many visitors in the summer looking to use their bathrooms.

Mr Kiffer is finally going to get his wish, according to Ms. Lewis’s announcement. She said the town will contract with a portable toilet provider to place one along the side of the small parking lot, which will mean one less parking space will be available there.

Highway Superintendent Jay Card will oversee the installation. The provider will pump out the toilet once or twice a week, as needed, Ms. Lewis said.

“The whole idea is a trial,” Ms. Lewis said. “This may not be the solution,” she later added. “I hope it works.”

Also at Tuesday’s work session, Town Attorney Laury Dowd presented highlights of her most recent annual report to the state DEC on the town’s compliance with so-called “MS4” regulations (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems). The rules require the town to take steps to reduce runoff into surface waters and to report its progress to the state. Her report, which is a filled-out state form, can be inspected on the town’s website and in print at the town clerk’s office, she said.

Town initiatives, Ms. Dowd reported, included sponsoring an environmental fair last June, adding construction site stormwater control rules to the town code, accepting “clean-up waste” at the town Recycling Center and holding a monthly STOP program at the center for residents to dispose of toxic pollutants. All contractors have been alerted to the new stormwater control rules for construction sites and building inspectors have been trained to interpret and enforce them.

The town is developing a storm sewer map, she reported, that will include all its storm drains, public and private drainage systems and eventually outfalls at bays and creeks. Also, a Dering Harbor Watershed Study is in the works in order to “retrofit current stormwater mechanisms.”

“Good housekeeping” goals listed for the Highway Department in 2012 include regularly raking the beach to keep it clean; regular maintenance of drainage filters at town parking lots; not using pesticides or fertilizers; pet waste collection bags and signs urging their use have been installed at the beaches; and dogs are prohibited on the beach from May to September.

Among other topics on Tuesday, the Town Board:

• Reviewed Rich Hogan’s American Direct LLC application to build a house with more than 6,000 square feet of habitable space at Wards Point in Shorewood (see page 1 story).

• Reviewed the stewardship plan for the town’s open space preserve at Dickerson Creek. It calls for keeping the southeast corner of the parcel cleared of brush.

• Considered locations where kayakers can enter the water and where five “Peconic Blueway Paddling Trail” signs can be posted by the Group for the East End working in conjunction with the Peconic Estuary Program.

• Heard Councilman Ed Brown explain a resolution adopted on Friday, at the board’s regular meeting, to appoint Jennifer Zacha, a part-time clerk at the Police Department, to an additional part-time clerk’s job at the Highway Department, making her a full-time town employee. He said there was no additional cost to the town above its budgeted salary totals because the highway department would not be hiring a part-time laborer as expected so the hours “were a wash.” The decision will cost the town another employee benefit package. He said it had become clear that the Highway Department needed additional support.

• Reviewed the Waterways Management Advisory Council’s plan to designate the limits of a town mooring field in the northwest corner of West Neck Bay.

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03/02/12 6:00pm

Shelter Island restaurateurs are hoping the relatively mild winter foretells an early return to in-season levels of business.

Several local restaurants reported an upswing in business during the three-day Presidents’ Day weekend and some said that even though this past weekend’s weather was cooler, they were still seeing a promise that seasonal business has begun building sooner this year.

But it’s not all due to visitors or an early return to the Island by summer residents.

“We had a mix of local, North Fork and South Fork diners over Presidents’ Day,” La Maison Blanche co-owner Alistair MacLean said. The hotel was also full and hotel guests ate at least one dinner on site. “The mild weather certainly contributed to this,” he said.

Mr. MacLean also saw “an unusually high” number of people visiting La Maison Blanche’s bakery. This past weekend, business wasn’t as good as it was over the holiday but it was “steady enough,” Mr. MacLean said.

“Presidents’ Day weekend was a great one” at Vine Street Cafe, owner Terry Harwood said. It was not as lively this past weekend but still “a good weekend.”

“I certainly hope the trend continues,” Mr. MacLean agreed.

“We had a surprisingly busy weekend” over Presidents’ Day, Adam Kopels at 18 Bay said. For him and his wife Elizabeth, it was a return of locals — “all familiar faces” that filled their restaurant. A lot of year-round Island residents who hibernated during the earlier part of the winter were lured out by the mild weather.

But over at the Dory, where owner Jack Kiffer is still serving drinks and bar food during the winter months, he pronounced the holiday weekend “better than most, but not spectacular.” Still, he said he hopes business will pick up earlier this year. “We’ll just keep our fingers crossed.”

Sweet Tomato’s owner Jimi Rando thought business was all right in February but nothing he hadn’t experienced in the past. A lot of his regular Island and North Fork customers were “away in Cancun,” he said. But to the extent that he was busy, he attributed to the mild weather. He’s closed now and vacationing until the end of March or early April.

“We are finding we get a lot of last-minute reservations based on what the weather is going to be for that particular weekend,” Mr. MacLean said about the inn.

A number of local restaurants and inns such as Chequit and Ram’s Head closed this winter and some others that remained open are taking a break now.

Pat and Steve’s Family Restaurant is sending its customers elsewhere in search of the perfect hamburger while owners Ashley Knight and Chris Chobor take a break to renovate and rename their restaurant. It is due to reopen March 10.