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01/14/15 12:00pm
AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO The Shelter Island Town Board in work session Tuesday. From left, Councilwoman Chris Lewis, Councilman Paul Shepherd, Supervisor Jim Dougherty and Councilman Ed Brown. Councilman Peter Reich was absent. Councilman

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO The Shelter Island Town Board in work session Tuesday. From left, Councilwoman Chris Lewis, Councilman Paul Shepherd, Supervisor Jim Dougherty and Councilman Ed Brown. Councilman Peter Reich was absent.

Supervisor Jim Dougherty said essential financial and environmental figures are favoring Shelter Island. (more…)

Featured Story
07/16/14 10:08am
JULIE LANE PHOTO | Irrigation Committee Chairman Thom Milton fielded questions from the Town Board Tuesday.

JULIE LANE PHOTO |
Irrigation Committee Chairman Thom Milton fielded questions from the Town Board Tuesday.

If you have one of the town-permitted 109 irrigation (sprinkler) systems, you should be allowed to continue to use it.

That’s’ provided you agree to upgrade it and you may have to certify it, at least annually.

Although still sketchy, that’s the major recommendation from the Irrigation Committee gave to the Town Board Tuesday. The committee has spent almost a year gathering data and debating its recommendations. (more…)

03/29/13 1:02pm

JIM COLLIGAN PHOTO | The ospreys — the majestic fish hawks like this one — returned to the Island last week from their winter quarters in Florida and the Caribbean, a sure marker of spring.

Two friends, bundled up against a cutting wind Monday afternoon, passed each other in the Center walking on either side of Route 114. “They say snow,” one called to the other, which caused the friend to put her hands over her ears and say, “Don’t say that word.”

The weatherman’s prediction was wrong, although it still felt that February, like a gloomy house guest, had moved in for good. But spring has sprung, at least according to the calendar, arriving the middle of last week. You could have fooled us.

How soon we forget that spring is, among other things, the season that requires patience to appreciate.

If summer is the season of freedom, autumn the time of reflection and winter a time to hunker down and count our blessings, then spring is the season of possibility. It’s a time when hope, the virtue Emily Dickinson described as “the thing with feathers that perches in the soul,” isn’t an abstract concept but something relayed to our senses from life.

The feathered things called ospreys have announced the season by returning to the Island and now are riding the winds above us, their long, silent flights reminders of long, effortless days to come.

The spring time moveable feasts of the two great western religions, Easter and Passover, have arrived close together this year. One commemorates resurrection and renewal; the other celebrates the principle of forging ahead into freedom through the powers of community, faith and justice. These concepts are so deep within most of us that we can’t give words to them, but are present in our appreciation of the changing seasonal light and trees in bud.

The summer game begins in spring, and Shelter Island School’s boys varsity baseball team is back in action. The Mets are in Florida for spring training and if there was ever a symbol of the power of hope, the Amazin’s are it. Fans look at the Met’s roster of green youths and graying veterans — just one blown-out rotator cuff from new careers as casino greeters — and see only a legendary march to a championship season.

No matter if we stop and linger at an afternoon pick-up game of kids banging a softball against a freshening sky or go to the cathedral-like setting of Yankee Stadium for a game under the lights, we receive an emotion that John Fogerty put into song: “Well, beat the drum and hold the phone, the sun came out today/We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field.”

At Sylvester Manor Friday night there was a screening of a film, “Growing Farmers,” about the movement on the East End of people — many of them young with no background in agriculture — farming the land on small plots. A lively discussion after the screening covered topics such as building a sustainable system of food in our community while walking lightly on the earth.

There was a sing-along to end the evening and the venerable Manor House swelled with many voices singing an old English farming hymn.

It’s just as easy to say the Manor swelled with hope.

03/28/13 5:00pm

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO | The United States Post Office has said a representative will attend an April meeting on Shelter Island.

Finally.

After continued efforts for nearly two months to get a commitment from United States Postal Service (USPS) to send a representative to Shelter Island to hear about serious service problems, word came Thursday that a meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, at Town Hall.

That’s according to Oliver Longwell, communications director for Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton).

Mr. Longwell had decded to go ahead with or without a representative when he finally got word that the USPS would send a representative to the meeting, he said.

Mr. Longwell will represent Mr. Bishop and Councilman Peter Reich will be on hand, representing the town.

Mr. Reich has previously reported a number of his own problems in getting mail and packages.

His most recent frustration occurred when he placed an Internet order with a sporting goods company, received confirmation of the order and even a follow-up shipping notice, only to receive an email informing him that his package was going to 3 Carousel Lane rather than 3 Charlies Lane. When he called the company, he learned its “self-correcting software” was responsible for the error.

Other Islanders have seen their mail go to Sag Harbor, Southampton and East Hampton and, more often, software programs are responsible for changing ZIP codes. While the Island has two separate ZIPS — 11964 in the Center and 11965 in Shelter Island Heights  — there’s no requirement that residents maintain a post office box in the area where they live. But don’t tell that to data bases that readdress mail to the wrong ZIP code.

Despite the best efforts of local postal workers to shuttle mail back and forth between the two post offices, it’s not always easy to ensure mail reaches intended recipients.

And that says nothing of companies that refuse to send mail to post office boxes, despite the fact there’s no home delivery on Shelter Island.

Between now and that April 10 meeting, those who want to make their complaints known to Mr. Bishop can email the congressman at [email protected] Complaints can also be sent to Mr. Bishop at his Southampton Office, 137 Hampton Road, Southampton, N.Y., 11968.