Featured Story
05/13/19 10:00am

Illegally cut trees off Menhaden Lane.

Shelter Island and Suffolk County police still want to know who is responsible for cutting down an estimated acre of trees valued at $66,000 off Menhaden Lane in January 2018.

Rumors abounded about who might be responsible for the damage to acres of trees, but Town Attorney Bob DeStefano Jr. said last December that the rumors were unfounded.

Monday morning, Shelter Island Police officers were at North and South ferries handing out flyers to drivers asking anyone with information to call Suffolk  County Crime Stoppers with any tips they may have.

A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered to anyone with information that leads to an arrest in the destruction that police from both departments have categorized as criminal mischief.

In January 2018,  it was reported that cedar, cherry, locust and other trees had been sliced in half with wood lying on the ground. Resident Jean Lawless, who brought the matter to the Reporter and town officials, found the site while walking her dog.

“It’s criminal,” said Tim Purtell, chairman of the town’s Green Options Advisory Committee.

Mr. Purtell, a Reporter nature columnist, is an activist with environmental groups .

“Those trees belong to all of us,” he said.

The flyers indicated that the destruction occurred between January 7 and January 8 of 2018.

Because the land on which the trees were destroyed is owned by Suffolk County, local police turned the case over to a division of Suffolk County Police who handle environmental crimes.

While town officials have asked about progress in the case from time to time, there have been no breaks in the case.

Anyone with information may submit an anonymous tip by calling 1-800-220-TIPS; texting SCPD and your message to CRIMES (274637); or emailing www.tipsubmit.com. All calls, text messages and emails will be kept confidential.

[email protected]

Featured Story
02/06/19 8:00am

Cut trees off Menhaden Lane.

Jean Lawless was walking her dogs on Menhaden Lane and took a path not far from the beach that winds through Suffolk County parkland.

Instead of a peaceful stroll through dunes and an undisturbed patch of cedar, cherry, locust and other trees, she came on a scene of environmental desecration. Dozens of the trees had been chain-sawed, leaving stumps and branches scattered everywhere on the protected, publicly owned land. (more…)

Featured Story
12/28/18 11:00am

Illegally cut trees off Menhaden Lane.

Over the next several days, leading to the New Year, the Reporter will be posting our annual Year In Review series of important stories from 2018.

In a brutal environmental crime, Suffolk County officials and the Shelter Island Police Department have remained mum about an ongoing investigation into several acres of trees off Menhaden Lane that were destroyed in January. (more…)

Featured Story
02/23/18 8:00am


A moment of focus
To the Editor:
Jean Lawless has brought us to attention like the sudden crack of artillery (“Our view: When nobody knows, nobody cares,” February 15).

No, not shot, as you check yourself for blood, but deeply wounded. Ms. Lawless has brought us to a moment of focus, as if through a sight. This sight, however, is the destruction of Suffolk County parkland and is the work to clear, in this writer’s opinion, a water view for two homes set upon a hill. (more…)

04/25/17 2:00pm
Cover of the fall 2016 edition of 2Rs4fun, which features young writers’ work.

Cover of the fall 2016 edition of 2Rs4fun, which features young writers’ work.

“Children need to be free, I think, or they won’t get to their soul as writers.”

Islander Mary Dwyer spoke those words that gave rise in 2008 inspired a program — 2Rs4fun — that she founded, affording young writers in the 3rd and 4th grades an opportunity to see their works in print.

A former teacher, Ms. Dwyer, has been successful in attracting adult mentors to work with the children one-on-one. The young writers have just issued their fall 2016 compilation of writings. (more…)