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Reporter Letters To the Editor:

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Supervisor Jim Dougherty writes to comment on the town's financial situation.
REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Supervisor Jim Dougherty writes to comment on the town’s financial situation.

Wine and roses

To the Editor:
The Reporter, in its blistering editorial last week, naming a Town Board member to support its assertion, puts to rest once and for all my preposterous statement that our financial situation is grave.

We’ll take up the 2015 budget in October.  I’m only one of five Town Board members, but apparently it’ll be nothing but wine and roses.  We need to pause re: requests for more machinery and head count.  Our outside financial adviser advised last week that our surpluses of 2010 and 2011 are history.  Kicking off 2012, we had a General Fund A (our largest reserve fund) balance of about $1.7 million and they roughly estimate this fund balance was well below $1 million as of 2013 year end (the audit of 2013 is just getting underway) and is continuing to fall in 2014.  Recent years of increased spending — buying new machinery and equipment, assuming the expense of our EMS, accelerating unfunded mandates from Albany, etc. — are taking their toll.

And we must keep a responsible fund balance for unexpected contingencies such as hurricanes, etc.

Ignoring the Reporter’s claims Thursday that all is well, I have been continuing my efforts (I believe in line-by-line, dime-by-dime budgeting and management).  I’ve continued assisting in discrete talks to lease some or all of the 4.1 acre old highway barn parcel — two live parties at this point.  I’ve had preliminary conversations with the mayor of North Haven, exploring a lease to them of 4-poster units we’re not using.  (Here are examples of two town assets doing nothing for us financially currently.)

Our tax cap next year is about 1.6 percent. The governor has included in the state’s budget a property tax credit for taxpayers, provided their town has met the cap.  We clearly have work to do.
Supervisor, Town of Shelter Island

Nuclear debate

To the Editor:
Karl Grossman’s opinion piece, “Nuclear cover-up” published in the March 13 Reporter, should remind readers of the importance to check the source of one’s information.

While the nuclear accident at Fukushima was a terrible industrial event and resulted in local residents near that plant having their lives disrupted, it does not come close to the devastating loss of life caused by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan. Some 18,000 souls were lost from those two natural events, while not a single individual was taken as a result of radiation from the stricken plants. This is according to some of the most renowned and respected scientific researchers in the world, and is also the conclusion reached by the World Health Organization. In fact, a two-year study by the WHO concluded that there would be no observable increase in cancer rates in the wider Japanese population as a result of the event at the plant.

Mr. Grossman uses words like “giant lie,” “massive cover-up,” and similar rhetoric to describe these conclusions reached by the WHO and other respected public health and science organizations on the effects of radiation. To believe what Mr. Grossman is selling means to believe that there is a massive and unprecedented cover-up among hundreds, if not thousands, of scientists, researchers and public health officials on the real effects of radiation.

It is unfortunate that to advance an anti-nuclear agenda some are willing to frighten people using unsubstantiated claims and character attacks. I encourage people who might be concerned about what to believe to read reports by the WHO and others on the effects of Fukushima and then draw your own conclusions.
Vice President of Operations at Entergy Nuclear, one of the largest nuclear power plant operators in the U.S.

Karl Grossman responds: Details from Alison Katz, long with WHO, on how it “is subservient” to the International Atomic Energy Agency, set up by the UN to promote nuclear power, are in my CounterPunch article “The Giant Lie About Fukushima” at counterpunch.org/2014/03/03/the-giant-lie-about-fukushima/.

A family’s thanks

To the Editor:
My name is Latricia Lawrence, I am the mother of MeMe Lawrence. An article was written a few weeks ago by Julie Lane (see March 6, “Student athlete seeks funding to finance her dream,”) to promote and help with donations for my daughter for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

We just wanted to put out a “thank you” to all who have donated or intend to donate so she can go and compete at the Down Under International Games. We are very grateful to all supporters.

Many may not know I am a mother of eight and not as financially stable as one wishes to be to give my children some of the many things they are offered and deserve. They are all well behaved, respectful, talented and smart children.

MeMe really deserves this opportunity, as I’ve said. You can reach us by writing to Latricia Lawrence, P.O. Box 1813, Shelter Island 11964.

I just wanted to say thank you so very much from our family to any and all supporters.
Shelter Island

Empty to full

To the Editor:

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped to make Sunday’s “Empty Bowls” fundraiser such a tremendous success. Thank you to all of the restaurants that provided the soups, bread and butter for the event. Everything was delicious and people left very satisfied. Thank you to the other businesses that provided prizes for our Chinese auction. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped make the day run very smoothly while smiling the whole time. Thank you to the Shelter Island Reporter for running an advertisement and for covering the event extensively, giving us invaluable exposure to the community. Thank you to the school custodial staff for helping us clean up after everyone cleared out. Thank you to Stephanie Sareyani and her students for making the fantastic bowls. They truly were what made the event so special. And lastly, thank you to everyone who came out to eat soup on a rainy Sunday afternoon. It marked the beginning of what we hope will be an annual tradition here on Shelter Island.
Co-coordinator, Shelter Island  Edible School Garden

Stop the 4-posters

To the Editor:

The Deer and Tick Committee would have you believe that more 4-posters will cut down on the tick population. The committee should be reminded that well-fed animals of any species multiply proportionately to the abundance of the food supply. More well-fed deer means more deer; so if one believes only deer propagate and support the tick population, why assist in increasing the population?

Jim Colligan (see “Your Letters,” March 27) writes that attending committee meetings has “taught” him a great deal. A great deal of what? That the committee is a sounding board for the few who are in favor of spending an ungodly amount of our dwindling funds on an unproven premise of hocus-pocus?

Both Richard Kelly and I have provided facts based on scientific evidence proving that this insanity is the product of a few with questionable goals. In Mr. Colligan’s letter, not one fact was presented to substantiate anything he stated. If this committee has any facts, let’s hear them and not foolish proposals leading nowhere.

It should be noted that both Mr. Kelly and I volunteered to become members of the Deer and Tick Committee but were shunned because we do not subscribe to the erroneous belief of poisoning deer and ground water with a 10 percent solution of permethrin. The United States Department of Agriculture uses a 1 percent solution for the same purpose on cattle, then quarantines them for two weeks after application.

Nor do we approve the selling of donated town land to help support this ill-conceived endeavor. Let’s not fool ourselves, this selling of property idea was conceived in an attempt to keep taxes from skyrocketing from the cost of the attempted increase to over 60 4-posters at an approximate cost of $5,000 per unit per year.

Because we would not have been a rubber stamp, we were not even considered. I was awestruck by the notion that the committee undertake, as Mr. Colligan wrote, “the regeneration of our forest understory and trees.” If only the committee could climb a mountain and come down with the answers written in stone.

As to the several key “success indicators,” mentioned by Mr. Colligan, I see only one. Disband this boondoggle and nonsensical community waste of time.

As to facts: The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has reported: “Deer with higher nutrition levels have larger litter sizes and breed earlier. Does dependent solely upon natural food sources generally breed at 1.5 years of age and give birth to a single fawn. Does with supplemental food breed at 6 months of age and give birth to one fawn; 1.5 year olds generally have twins, and triplets are not uncommon in older does.”

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland fisheries has reported:“Problems with feeding deer include: Unnaturally increasing population numbers that damage natural habitats; increasing the likelihood for disease transmission; and increasing human-deer conflicts such as deer/vehicle collisions …”

Still want more 4-posters?
Shelter Island

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner

To the Editor:
What a wonderful dinner! It was prepared by Fred Ogar and his great crew, starting early in the morning with the prep workers and then the cooking. Reservtions kept coming in and Stephanie Tybaert and Pam Jackson organized the seating arrangements and then greeted people as they came in and were seated. The servers were the young people from Our Lady of the Isle confirmation class with the help of Ginnie Gibbs, Annmarie Seddio and Debbie Speeches.

There were two seatings: one at 5 p.m. and the other at 7 p.m. and approximately 160 dinners were served. Thanks goes to Joan Bishop and Ron Lucas for their help with the 50/50 raffle. We have to thank the clean-up crew and all the dish and pot washers, too.

This year the dinner was sponsored by the American Legion, Our Lady of the Isle, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. It was well attended and all seemed to enjoy their  meal and were happy to help the Food Pantry.

The Pantry is for Shelter Islanders who are in need. It is supported by donations of food and monetary gifts: the students from the school and their parents who donate food, as well as the contributions from the Girl Scouts, the churches, organizations, the Library’s “Food for Fines” and memorial gifts.

We want to thank the community for its help over the years, our helpers on the day after our big food shopping trips, the sorters and the packers. Without them, we would be lost.

Most importantly, we thank the Presbyterian Church for providing the space for storage as well as the Shelter Island Food Pantry.
Food Pantry Managers