12/01/17 4:30pm


Shelter Island takes care of its own. These Island groups represent all age groups and address a range of community programs and services, supported largely by volunteer efforts and donations. In addition, each of the Island’s churches provides outreach programs. During this season, please consider helping out or lending a hand — and let us know if we have inadvertently omitted any group.

Featured Story
03/28/14 10:00am
REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Supervisor Jim Dougherty wrote to say articles in the Reporter had scared away people interested in town real estate transactions.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Supervisor Jim Dougherty wrote to say articles in the Reporter had scared away people interested in town real estate transactions.

Curious publicity

To the Editor:
As the letter in last week’s Reporter from a former supervisor states, “Shelter Island has been the leader in preserving open space.”  I was chairman of the 2 percent Open Space Committee from its inception in 1999 until I became supervisor in 2008 and can tell you discretion has always been critically important for success with open space preservation. Sellers and buyers don’t want their stories in the papers on a weekly basis regarding discussions. Recently a conservation buyer button-holed me to explore a possible conservation purchase of the 1.23-acre parcel on Manwaring Road described in the first paragraph of the front page story in last week’s Reporter — these approaches happen all the time. (The other 1.23-acre parcel on Manwaring Road donated to the town by Peconic Land Trust became the site of two businesses some years ago, and I will do anything to prevent this from happening with this parcel.) But it’s academic — with the curious publicity, he’s gone. (more…)

Featured Story
03/19/14 3:45pm
BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | The Shelter Island bench during the historic playoff run, Coach Mike Mundy, center.

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | The Shelter Island bench during their historic playoff run, with  Coach Mike Mundy standing at  center.

To the Editor:

After being extended by a month and five playoff games, this year’s basketball season has come to an end.  It’s been a great year and a wonderful journey. A big part of what has made this season so special is our Island community, school, students and alumni. (more…)

12/06/13 8:00am

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Decorating the Center Firehouse was under way in early December 1978 and it’s a sight that is repeated annually as it was this week in preparation for the tree lighting and caroling on Wednesday night. Santa Claus greeted children at the Legion Hall after the outdoor festivities.

Plea from postmaster

It was 10 years ago that Kirk Jablonsky replaced Estelle Simes as Center postmaster and with his new assignment came advice to locals to assure those with whom they were corresponding had their correct box numbers and zip codes — 11964 for the Center or 11965 for the Heights. It was the end of an era in which Islanders could count on getting their mail even if it was simply addressed to them by name or by street address, Mr. Jablonsky said. Islanders had already made the transition when it came to telephone calls in the days when Rosemary Griffing could simply connect them with anyone here or even tell them to make the call later because the person they were trying to reach was out shopping right now. Mr. Jablonsky said then that there were 200 to 400 letters a day insufficiently addressed and that was consuming staff time to try to get the mail to the recipient. Government agencies were the worst offenders in insufficiently addressing mail, he said.

Mr. Jablonsky did his best to inform residents and business owners about how their mail needed to be addressed and bulk mailers of the proper zip code for the Center. But he found little cooperation, despite his warnings that his charge to control costs of operation was being hindered by so many letters that had to be readdressed.

POSTSCRIPT: This year, many residents and business owners have stepped forward to tell postal officials they are unhappy about mail they’re not receiving because, despite their best efforts, so many databases misdirect mail. Despite efforts at both Post Offices to redirect mail between them and intervention by Congressman Tim Bishop’s staff to improve the situation, many Islanders continue to complain about important letters — bills, insurance forms, vehicle registrations and so many others — aren’t reaching them.

Road runoff a problem

Then councilman Kenneth Lewis called on his colleagues to approve two catch basins to control rainwater runoff that was flowing form Terry Drive into West Neck Harbor. Heavy rains 25 years ago were exacerbating the problem, Mr. Lewis said. Supervisor Jeffrey Simes said there was money available in Community Development Funds to tackle the project.

POSTSCRIPT: In 1990, the federal government began its push that has developed in the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems program regulated in New York State by the Department of Environmental Conservation. Today, all municipalities are participating in mitigating stormwater runoff that has been identified as a major source of pollution to waterways. Shelter Island maintains a committee to deal with the program locally.

No town Santa Claus!

A town-sponsored Christmas party that had become a tradition in 1973 was cancelled in 1978 when then supervisor Leonard Bliss said “in view of conflicts with other affairs being held,” he was calling off the annual event that had been held at the school gymnasium. But within a week, complaints led to reinstituting the party that attracted hundreds to the school to join in caroling and children receiving gifts from Santa, provided by the Lions Club. The Parent Teachers Association provided refreshments and the Police Benevolent Association and various merchants provided raffle prizes. When then supervisor Thomas Jernick instituted the parties five years earlier, it was with an eye to energy conservation. Instead of putting up Christmas lights all over town, he suggested the one large community party. In reinstituting the party just a week after Mr. Bliss said it was to be cancelled in 1978, then councilman George Walsh said the cancellation had occurred because of a misunderstanding with the PTA.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, individual organizations sponsor parties, but the major community function is the annual Christmas tree lighting and caroling in the Center.

Name the library for Kennedy
Just weeks after President John Kennedy was felled by an assassin’s bullet, there was a suggestion that the new Shelter Island Library be named for the slain leader. The argument was that it would be a fitting tribute to a president who loved reading and writing books.

POSTSCRIPT: The sentiment was sweet, but the library wasn’t renamed and remains the Shelter Island Public Library.