September 18, 2018 - 70 years with the Shelter Island Fire Department
JULIE LANE PHOTO Bill Dickerson, with his certificate from the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York honoring him for his decades of service to Shelter Island.
At 95, Bill Dickerson remembers the good times and the hard times.
He persevered through the latter, and for his dedication to his fellow Isalnders, has been honored by the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York for 70 years of service as a volunteer firefighter.
At the urging of an uncle, Mr. Dickerson joined the Fire Department in 1938. In those days, he remembered, firefighters learned their skills on the job with none of the formal training that’s required of department members today.
“The alarm went off and you just ran,” he said. “We just did what we had to do.”
Mr. Dickerson is the last living firefighter to have responded to the Prospect Hotel fire that occurred in the early morning of June 26, 1942. “That thing was really starting to blaze,” Mr. Dickerson said remembering when he and other volunteers arrived at the scene. The flames were so hot firefighters ripped doors off the building to use as protection from the heat as they worked to douse the blaze.
What people don’t realize, Mr. Dickerson said, is how dangerous a large fire can be to property miles from the site, Parts of the hotel roof were found in his father’s boat off the southern part of the Island, miles from the fire’s site.
He also remembers later in his firefighting career battling a blaze at Mashomack Preserve’s Manor House where the fire started in the kitchen. All the wiring in the building had to be replaced, and since Mr. Dickerson by then was an electrical contractor, the job fell to him to install new wiring since the original wires had been ruined by fire and water.
His father had started Dickerson Electric in the 1930s. It was a natural career path for Bill Jr. when he returned from World War II. He’s a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, the last major German offensive on the Western Front. Fought in freezing temperatures and, at times, blinding snow in the Ardennes Forest, the battle resulted in 75,000 casualties for American forces.
With pride, he showed certificates of commendation issued by the French and United States governments.
He might have sought a disability pension and not worked, but it wasn’t his style, the veteran said. “I never asked anybody to give me anything,” he added.
Mr. Dickerson studied electrical contracting in New York City when he got home, a difficult time because he had returned from the war wounded and with an almost total hearing loss.
What got him through his classes, he said, was the firm grounding in math he received from Shelter Island School.
In the occasional times he had away from work and firefighting, Mr. Dickerson turned to golf. He and Sid Beckwith, friends to this day, were fierce rivals on the golf course.
Mr. Beckwith, who turned 100 this year, and known as “The Ironman” for his longevity, won a lot of golf games against others, but he couldn’t beat his friend Bill, according to Bob DeStefano, Reporter columnist and former golf professional at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club.
“He couldn’t beat Billy,” Mr. DeStefano said about Mr. Beckwith. “He was his nemesis.”
When his father died in the 1960s, he took over the business that is now run by his son Steven Dickerson and stepson, David McGayhey.
He stopped active firefighting when the hoses were getting too big to handle, he said. But he was still a presence at department meetings until the last few years.
He recalled that if a customer called with an electrical problem in the middle of the night, he would respond just as he did with fire calls. On more than one occasion, he never billed a customer who was having trouble making ends meet.
“I walked out and felt so good because I was helping people,” Mr. Dickerson said.
September 18, 2018 - The road to an upgraded septic system: First recipient of grant recounts the process
Susan Cincotta (right) receives the first check from the town’s grant program for upgrading her septic system from Judy Meringer, personal secretary to Supervisor Gary Gerth.
The first Islander to receive a check from the town for a nitrogen-reducing septic system is real estate professional Susan Cincotta for her Midway Road residence.
Ms. Cincotta has a town check for $9,663. Suffolk County approved the payment earlier, and will pay her contractor directly for installation.
Ms. Cincotta was an early applicant for both county and town grants, starting the process almost a year ago in November 2017. Total costs for the state-of-the art systems have been estimated as high as $20,000.
Although she’s has owned her house since 1989, she acknowledged she never thought about its septic system until the nitrogen-reducing systems received attention here in the past year.
“I wanted to do the responsible thing,” Ms. Cincotta said about moving forward with the paper work involved in applying for the two grants and looking into costs and selection of a designer and contractor for her project.
A homeowner can receive grants from both the county and the town with the county picking up as much as $11,000 of qualified expenses and the town paying the balance of qualified expenses that would top off the combination of grants at $20,000. The check from the town reimbursed Ms. Cincotta for the money she had paid Matt Sherman of Sherman Engineering, who determined what system would meet her needs and where it would be placed.
Peder Larsen, the contractor on the installation worked with Mr. Sherman on choosing and siting the system and then his crew installed it. He will receive a check directly from Suffolk County for his services.
“Location is everything,” Ms. Cincotta said about where the nitrogen-reducing system would be installed. In her case, installers were able to work near — but avoid harming — a magnolia tree on her property.
Flowers grow along side the nitrogen-reducing septic system recently completed on Susan Cincotta’s Midway Road property.
Once Ms. Cincotta had selected Mr. Larsen and Mr. Sherman she learned there were many questions to be answered, forms to be filled and information to file. That included a deed for her property, proof of homeowners’ insurance, her most recent property tax bill, her certificate of occupancy and proof that there were no liens against her property.
The Community Development Corporation of Long Island — with funds from Bridgehampton National Bank, the Long Island Community Foundation and the Rauch Foundation — also will consider applications for low cost loans with no application fees or closing costs to encourage people to upgrade their septic systems.
The loans are to provide “gap” funds to finance the difference between the Suffolk County grant and the amount needed to install the replacement septic system and are limited to $10,000.
For Islanders able to use both the county and town grant programs, it’s possible they won’t need the loan program.
Among the questions for the grant programs is what kind of septic system has been in place on a property. Ms. Cincotta learned that her existing system was almost filled to capacity and had to be cleaned out before work could proceed.
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services had queries about her water supply. When was her water last tested? Did she have a filtration system, and if so, what kind? Was there any problem with salt water backwash and if so, how was it being dealt with?
In some cases, those putting in a new system may learn they need a new well to ensure it’s sufficiently distant from the septic system, in line with Suffolk County Department of Health Services requirements. It’s why the Water Quality Board has been looking at installations that could involve one system serving several houses in an area.
Another factor to consider is the town requires registrations for new systems, which may seem like a nuisance, but makes sense, Ms. Cincotta said. Registration not only ensures the town knows where the nitrogen-reducing systems are and that they are being properly maintained, but provides records of who to call in the absence of the owner when problems occur.
A year later, with check in hand and the new system installed and functioning, Ms. Cincotta said if the process seemed involved, it has all been worth it.
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September 17, 2018 - Cross Country is back for fifth year: Program has great expectations
BRYAN GALLAGHER PHOTO
The Shelter Island School boys cross country team attacking ‘Hernia Hill’ at Sunken Meadow State Park September 15. From left, sophomores Jalill Carter, Nick Mamisashvili, Theo Olinkiewicz and Jason Green.
The Shelter Island varsity boys and girls cross country teams begin their fifth season this year.
The roster for the boys’ team is similar to 2017. The boys’ team lost two seniors to graduation and one to relocation, but many veteran athletes have returned and we’ve added a couple new faces.
Seasoned runners on the boys roster include senior Michael Payano; juniors Jonas Kinsey, Alberto Morales and Kal Lewis; sophomores Domingo Gil Jr., Tyler Gulluscio, Jason Green, Nicholas Mamisashvili, Theo Olinkiewicz and Matthew Strauss; and freshman Pacey Cronin. New additions on the boys team include sophomores Jalill Carter and Daniel Schulteis.
The girls’ team, however, has changed dramatically, with essentially a whole new lineup. The team lost four seniors to graduation and one to relocation. Junior Emma Gallagher is the only veteran runner for the Lady Indians backed up by the new faces of freshmen Ariana Carter and Olivia Overstreet, and 7th graders Sophie Clark, Kaitlyn Gulluscio and Madison Springer.
Payano, Lewis and Gallagher will be guiding their respective teams as captains.
For the boys it will be business as usual as they try to repeat as league and Class D County champions for the fourth year in a row. For the girls, with five of six girls being new to the team, our goals this season are to build the team and have fun while learning the sport.
We will also continue to build upon the progress that each and every one of these girls has made to date and continue right on through to the end of the season. My expectations for the year are simple: support each other and bring your best to each practice and to each race.
On a hot and tropical Saturday, September 15, our race season officially began with the Jim Smith Invitational hosted by Port Jefferson High School at Sunken Meadow State Park.
The first race of the day was the 1.47 mile freshman girls race, which included all girls from 7th through 9th grades. Our crew had never seen the course, so we walked the course before racing it. The girls’ reactions were amusing as we walked up the long climb to Hernia Hill, a.k.a. Snake Hill, which is the halfway point in the race.
But come race time, among all the pre-race jitters in a field of over 160 athletes, the girls handled it well and did their best. Ariana Carter and Overstreet ran together posting times of 12:38.54 and 12:42.74, respectively. Kaitlyn Gulluscio and Clark posted times of 15:52.00 and 16:52.11. In their first cross country race, there were personal records (“PR”) all around.
The remaining Indians ran the 5K course, which is one of the most difficult courses in the state. On the 5K course, runners climb “Hernia Hill” just over a mile into the course and then descend all the way back down to sea level before climbing another beast of a hill called “Cardiac Hill.”
The boys posted 5K times as follows: Tyler Gulluscio 19:57.22, Kinsey 20:04.48, Gil 20:13.69, Payano 22:07.69, Mamisashvili 23:26.03, Olinkiewicz 24:08.44 (PR), Jalill Carter 24:35.20 (PR), Green 25:11.30, Strauss 27:25.80. For the girls, Gallagher ran 25:23.21.
Cronin, Lewis, Schulteis and Springer did not run.
Our first league meet is Tuesday, September 18 versus Mattituck at Indian Island County Park, followed by a league meet on Tuesday, September 25 versus Pierson on our home course at the Shelter Island Country Club’s Goat Hill.
We only have two home meets this year. Please come on down on September 25 to cheer us on!
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September 17, 2018 - Shelter Island Justice Court reports
REPORTER FILE PHOTO Shelter Island Justice Court
The following cases were adjudicated at Shelter Island Justice Court on August 20, 2018 as reported by the court. Judge Helen J. Rosenblum was on the bench.
The following defendants were also assessed a $93 state surcharge with each fine.
Gordon C. Cantley of Shelter Island pleaded guilty to speeding 45 in a 35 mph zone. He was fined $75.
Bryan A. Judge of Melville pleaded guilty to a stop sign violation and paid $100.
Cheryl S. Sokolow of New York City pleaded guilty to cellphone use while driving and paid $100.
Mark L. Sotiridy of New York City pleaded guilty to aggravated unlicensed operation with a $20 fine and speeding 45 mph in a 40 mph zone with a $45 fine.
Pericles G. Stavridis of Brooklyn pleaded guilty to a stop sign violation and paid $100.
Jeffrey C. Stevens of Ladys Island, South Carolina pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of criminal trespass in the 2nd degree. He was sentenced to time already served, with no fine plus a $205 state surcharge. The court ordered him to submit a DNA sample plus a $50 DNA data bank fee. Two 5-year stay-away orders of protection were issued for the victims. The charge of criminal possession of a weapon in the 4th degree was covered by his guilty plea.
Scott Feierstein of Shelter Island pleaded guilty to a parking violation and paid $25 (no surcharge).
Kyle J. Gutman of Lloyd Harbor pleaded guilty to mooring without approval and paid $50 (no surcharge).
Benjamin M. Palm of Miami, Florida pleaded guilty to a charge of unreasonable noise and paid a $100 fine (no surcharge).
Catherine Ricketson of Shelter Island pleaded guilty to a parking violation and was fined $25 (no surcharge).
Twenty-eight cases were adjourned to later dates in the court calendar, 18 at the request of defendants or their attorneys, and 10 at the request of the court.
Local News 9.18.18
70 years with the Shelter Island Fire Department
JULIE LANE PHOTO Bill Dickerson, with his certificate from the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York honoring him for his decades of service to Shelter Island. At 95, Bill Dickerson remembers the good times and the hard times. He perse...Read More