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Letters to the Editor


Not so fast
To the Editor:

PSEG presented a proposal to build a substation costing $12 million (see story “PSEG calls for Island substation,” May 29), choosing the town-owned parcel at the old highway barn site located on South Ferry Road. If the Town Board approves this substation, a favorable deal needs to be negotiated for Shelter Island because PSEG would make millions of  dollars of profit from this substation. Please don’t give away our pot of gold.

I don’t understand why PSEG didn’t bring pictures of the substation or a map detailing the exact route of the 69 kV transmission line, which the Town Board asked to see.

PSEG invited the Town Board to visit the Jamesport substation, referred to as an overhead substation like the one in Southold, but the substation here would be an underground substation. Why would they visit an overhead substation?

PSEG said this substation would be fairly benign regarding health issues and noise. They couldn’t be more wrong. This parcel borders many homes and is in close proximity to others. Many cancer survivors occupy these homes. Has anyone bothered to correlate the number of cancer survivors residing nearby to this 69 kV transmission line? Pacemaker recipients also may be affected living nearby.

The wetlands on this parcel have recently been tagged.

After Tuesday’s presentation, a second lawsuit was filed against PSEG and LIPA in New York State Supreme Court by 20 East Hampton residents and a business group charging that a new power line through their neighborhood lowered property values, threatened groundwater and their health. This suit seeks class-action status. It charges PSEG and LIPA with negligence, fraud, violation of environmental law and trespass. It seeks at least $50 million in damages — including costs of removing toxins — and for emotional distress, as well as an injunction requiring the utilities to remove the poles and bury the transmission lines at their expense. PSEG is already contesting a lawsuit in State Supreme Court for a stop-work order issued by the Town of East Hampton regarding the LIPA Amagansett substation.

Thank you Councilman Ed Brown, Town Attorney Laurie Dowd and the rest of the Town Board for asking excellent questions concerning health and safety issues, property values, environmental concerns, including wetlands, etc. Too bad PSEG didn’t answer the majority of them, but I trust the Town Board will ultimately get all the answers needed to make a fair and balanced decision.
Shelter Island

Straw man substation?
To the Editor:

Your recent front page article (“PSEG calls for Island substation,” May 29 ) raises more questions than it answers.

I have difficulty understanding how a proposed substation on Shelter Island is, as you quote Mr. Marron, New Jersey’s PSEG representative, “a long-term solution for potential failures of the remaining cables,” when those cables would be required to transmit power at a higher voltage than what they transmit today. Have you questioned the underlying incentives for PSEG’s presentation? Have you asked whether Mr. Marron made the same claim that “expenses ($12 million cost of building the substation) will be paid by all Long Island ratepayers” to other Long Island communities? Is the potential sale or lease of the required property by the town a short-term gain or a long-term liability? Do you really believe an out-of-state utility has the interests of Shelter Island at heart?

Unless the “substation” generates its own power — it does not — or an insured, performance-bonded, reputable contractor installs an additional cable, at a cost of $9 million, the proposed $12 million expense serves no purpose whatsoever.

Your article serves to convince the reader that a substation is good for Shelter Island by drawing conclusions using less than rigorous logic. Perhaps you designed your article to present “a straw man” approach to suggest an expense of $9 million is more favorable to an expense of $12 million, leading readers to embrace a new cable? It is disingenuous to make the readers believe these costs are the burden of others when they are really our own.

While your position would be more tenable if you made the case to reestablish Shelter Island Power & Light, your article demonstrates more bias than worthy news reporting from an otherwise award-winning newspaper.
Shelter Island

Dire consequences
To the Editor:

Chief Justice John Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court recently wrote “there is no right in our democracy more basic, than the right to participate in electing our political leaders.”

If your vote is not your right, or worse, is hampered by race, education or financial ability, then history has shown dire consequences ensue.

We should all be deeply troubled by what appears to be an act of discrimination against one individual in the Village of Dering Harbor (see “Questions of voting denial in DH election,” May 29). Why was Ms. Rodriguez not allowed to cast a ballot? Who instructed the clerk to block this vote? The mayor? The trustees? The attorney?

This is a very small village and every single vote has meaningful weight.

State law requires accountability and a full explanation.

The electorate of Dering Harbor deserve nothing less.
Dering Harbor

Goody bad
To the Editor:

What a disgusting sight the “Goody Pile” at the Recycling Center has become!

Last week I went to drop off a few pairs of gloves and was greeted with a dumped pile of very used clothing and shoes, which should have gone to the adjacent St. Vincent de Paul bins. But absent anyone to direct the dumper, there the pile sat, on the ground. It was still there this past Monday, along with other assorted junk strewn all about, and scattered toys everywhere.

I’m afraid Commissioner of Public Works Jay Card Jr. will need to assign one of his staff to monitor that area. Apparently, people are ignoring the posted signs and just dumping whatever they wish at the Goody Pile. The posted sign says that a highway department employee “will have the final say” about what gets placed at the site, but if no one is there to do the monitoring, the result is most dismaying.

A member of the Highway Department staff tells me it’s the “relative newcomers” who are ignoring the signs — but whoever it is, the accumulated mess has got to stop. Please, Jay, do something!
Shelter Island

The extra mile
To the Editor:

So another summer season is upon us once again, bringing its chaos, large beach crowds and infinite ferry lines. It’s a wonder to me how anyone who enjoys the isolation of the off season deals with the transition this small Island endures every year about this time. Even the authorities that help maintain order and safety must feel the pressure.

Last week my wife came down with pneumonia, and being that I was working far off-Island, she drove to Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport on her own. She had a difficult time driving back, but when she arrived home, Police Officer Anthony Rando telephoned to see if she had made the trip without incident. She was puzzled how he knew she was ill, but he explained that someone on the ferry, possibly the captain, had called 911 to report a sick passenger. But when Officer Rando arrived on the scene at the ferry terminal, my wife had already departed. His phone call after they crossed paths was comforting, but then he called again while we were having dinner, just to make sure she was fine.

Now, I’m not sure if this is standard police protocol to make follow up calls when these situations or similar situations occur, but I’m hearing through the local grapevine that Officer Rando took the initiative to make the calls on his own. That’s impressive and we should all feel lucky to have him on our police force.
Shelter Island