Featured Story
08/05/16 4:30pm
COURTESY PHOTO Joe Denny moments after he completed the 125-mile Paumanok Path stretching from Rocky Point to Montauk in late July.

Joe Denny moments after he completed the 125-mile Paumanok Path stretching from Rocky Point to Montauk in late July.

Late last month, on one of the hottest days this summer, Shelter Islander Joe Denny decided to take a 125-mile hike.

Discussing the idea with his wife, Julie, Mr. Denny said she was supportive. “She married a guy who does crazy things,” he said. (more…)

Featured Story
07/26/16 2:00pm
JULIE LANE PHOTO Dan Fokine (left) and Joe Denny would like to bring Islanders back to the woods. The pair are among leaders of a new effort to create hiking trails that would link about seven miles of open space and preserved lands.

JULIE LANE PHOTO Dan Fokine (left) and Joe Denny would like to bring Islanders back to the woods. The pair are among leaders of a new effort to create hiking trails that would link about seven miles of open space and preserved lands.

They were eight strong earlier this month setting out on the process of linking Island trails.

Armed with hedge clippers, saws, rakes, gloves, goggles and tick spray, the crew set about to begin opening a pathway that will initially wind from Sachem’s Woods to the entrance to the Quaker Cemetery off Route 114. Volunteers will be progressing over the approximately one-mile trail during the next few months to remove debris and establish blaze markers for future hikers to follow. (more…)

09/27/15 3:00pm
COURTESY PHOTO The entrance to the Gardiner’s Creek Preserve.

COURTESY PHOTO The entrance to the Gardiner’s Creek Preserve.

It was nearly 35 years ago when I worked at this newspaper learning from Bob Dunne how to be a reporter.

He assigned a feature on town landings.

There are 50 of these access points to the water for members of the public to use. They are marked by an anchor on the Chamber of Commerce’s map.

I’ve just learned of another map that delineates walkable open space and preserved lands for “the benefit of our community and Island visitors.” (more…)

05/22/13 9:30am

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Shelter Island Town Hall

On the first truly muggy day of the year and no air-conditioning at Town Hall, it’s appropriate the discussion got heated.

Two members chose Tuesday’s Town Board work session to accuse each other of rudeness, incivility, personal attacks and lying.

Tension between Councilman Paul Shepherd and Supervisor Jim Dougherty simmered throughout the long meeting, boiling over near the end during the “around the table” section where each member can bring up items not on the agenda.

Councilman Shepherd began a report on a meeting Monday of the Conservation Advisory Council, where he’s the Town Board liaison. There had been some confusion on the location of a collection of photographs of Sachem’s Woods, a parcel the town has purchased to preserve. Mr. Shepherd said he was trying to track it down, when Town Clerk Dorothy Ogar said she had it.

Mr. Dougherty said that Mr. Shepherd had been trying to “pin” the misplacement of the photographs on him. “You’ve been sending emails for two days, saying ‘I gave it to Jim,’” Mr. Dougherty said.

Mr. Shepherd noted that Mr. Dougherty was “the oddest creature.”

“That’s rude, too,” Mr. Dougherty said, repeating a characterization he’d made of Mr. Shepherd earlier in the meeting. “You’re a rude person.”

Turning to face to face his colleague, visibly angry, Mr. Shepherd said, “Jim, you better stop with the personal attacks, the ad hominem business.”

“I learned it from you,” Mr. Dougherty responded. “You’ve been doing ad hominem attacks since you got here.”

“That’s a lie,” Mr. Shepherd countered, his voice rising. “You really be careful, all right?”

“I’m a pale shadow of you,” Mr. Dougherty said.

When Mr. Shepherd started to give a report on the CAC meeting, he was interrupted by the supervisor, who said. “We’ve got to be civil here and we no longer are. I’ve gotten so many complaints.”

Mr. Shepherd said, “Interesting, I get the same about you.”

“Well, the Dory,” Mr. Dougherty said.

Mr. Shepherd didn’t respond, and Councilwoman Chris Lewis asked to “just go to the meeting, can we please?”

The video technician for Channel 22 said he had to change tapes.

“Send the tape to Don King,” Councilman Ed Brown suggested, referencing the notorious boxing promoter.

Later Mr. Shepherd told the Reporter he regretted the incident, which should be taken in the context of a heated discussion.

03/22/13 5:00pm


To the Editor:
There are close to 300 acres of land on a recent list of prospective open space purchases/easements/development rights candidates prepared by the Community Preservation Fund Advisory Board. They are in addition to the substantial acreage already protected as open space in various ways all over the Island.

In a recent letter I pointed out the unkempt nature of public spaces here and there. The Conservation Advisory Council at its meeting Monday, March 18, discussed a management plan for one of them, Sachems Woods. It lies roughly east-southeast of the IGA, and at present one would never know who owns it. There’s no visible evidence of the stewardship one would expect of a conscientious landowner so exposed to travelers on North Ferry Road and North Midway.

I hope the CAC’s management plan is adopted, enacted, implemented, or at least seriously considered by the Town Board. It involves clearing refuse, removing downed trees and establishing a program to clear and maintain paths for walkers, among other things.

Perhaps the town can paint itself into a corner by posting notices on North Ferry and North Midway declaring that it has “adopted” the property for maintenance and upkeep.

Shelter Island

Preserving St. Gabe’s

To the Editor:
Jim Dougherty is correct to assert what a priceless jewel the St. Gabriel’s property is to Shelter Island and it should be protected from development.

The pristine views of Coecles Harbor would be preserved along with this vanishing parcel of waterfront land. It could be used for town events and become a beautiful undeveloped park for visitors to the Island. I believe that church groups such as dioceses from Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island would be interested in renting facilities.

My family has owned property on Shelter Island since 1990 and are part-time residents of the Island. One of the things, of many, that attracted us to the Island were the outdoor services in the summer at St. Gabriel’s. Sunday services in the summer often drew more than 200 worshippers to “Mass on the grass” as my children called it. As some prominent Islanders will tell you, all were welcomed, visitors and residents, Catholics and non-Catholics, believers and those searching.

We still lament the Passionists leaving the Island. Several times each summer, we will drive onto the property and stroll around. Knowing that it could eventually be carved up and developed into multi-million dollar homes is distressing. Once developed it will be gone forever. In a real way, it is like hallowed ground.

Of course, while its former use is not a primary reason to preserve the property from development, the pristine unmatched vistas from the meadow overlooking the harbor are reason enough.

Preserving this parcel forever would be one of the best acquisitions made by our town, for us, our children and succeeding generations. It is  for parcels such as these that the preservation program was established in the first place.

Let’s get it done!

Shelter Island

Above and beyond

To the Editor:
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to a few “new” staff members at Shelter Island School. These individuals have embraced our kids and school with notable care and devotion above and beyond expectations.

As a nurse, I have seen many employees clocking in and out of their shifts to the exact minute. I have also seen many of us who showed up at work 30 minutes early (not clocking in) and staying late (after clocking out) to prepare for our shifts as well as assisting the next shift to prepare or keeping a patient company until family members arrive.
Any job that one truly loves requires this level of commitment and you really never think about the unpaid hours.

The individuals I highlight are: Mr. Doelger, Mr. Bocca, Mr. Cox and Dr. Hynes. They all seem to have embraced our unfamiliar community (to them) with determination to connect and thereby show our kids how important it is to have a great work ethic.

There are many other Shelter Island teachers who are equally committed and my son has and is reaping the benefits of their excellence, but it is nice to see these new faces put so much heart into their profession.

Currently, there is a great deal of coverage in the news about the abuses of excess overtime at tax payer expense and I certainly agree with the need to examine and quell this problem, but we must also thank those individuals who bring that extra layer of honor and commitment to their jobs.

Shelter Island