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Reporter Letters to the Editor

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Shelter Island gears up for its annual fireworks show tonight.
REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Shelter Island gears up for its annual fireworks show tonight, July 12.

A time to give

To the Editor
As we all look forward to the fireworks this Saturday, it has become apparent that many Shelter Island residents are not fully aware of the arrangements that the Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce has made to ensure that its annual fireworks show is going to be better than ever.

The Chamber has partnered with The Clamshell Foundation, based in East Hampton, to produce this year’s annual fireworks show.  Clamshell has produced the Great Bonac Fireworks Show for the past six years and the East Hampton Sand Castle contest for 23 years. Also, as a result of this partnership, all gifts from the public are now tax deductible. Clamshell has agreed that any excess profits, after paying for all show expenses, will come back to Shelter Island in the form of charitable grants.  The added benefit is that this year’s show will be performed by the world-class Grucci organization at no additional cost over previous years.

We still expect the show to cost about $35,000 and need a very strong showing of public financial support to meet this budget.  In prior years, we have fallen short on contributions, and that is why we sought to make contributions tax deductible.

This will be the 57th year that the Chamber has presented the annual July 4th fireworks, and we look forward to many more, but we need everyone’s generous support.  Look in this issue for our advertisement for donations and don’t forget to make your checks payable to The Clamshell Foundation.
President, The Shelter Island Chamber  of Commerce
Director, The Clamshell Foundation

Elegant, dry, cool

To the Editor:
Much though I would love to take credit for heading the Art Barnett Poetry Roundtable for six years (see “Island Calendar,” July 3 Reporter), I am afraid I must demur. My old poetry confrere, the late Art Barnett, created the Roundtable; these days it is ably chaired by Roger McKeon, and I am but one of many enthusiastic attendees.

I am, however, the founder and curator of the Shelter Island Poetry Project, which — yes — is in its sixth year of bringing great poetry to our Island, read by Shelter Islanders. In fact, we have a wonderful reading coming up on Friday, July 18 at the library, “Friends of Frank…Frank O’Hara and the poets of the New York School.”

“Friends of Frank” features classic poems from Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, James Schuyler and many others from this legendary, early 50’s era. It is as elegant as a dry martini and as cool as the breezes from Southampton and Springs. I, along with my Poetry Project readers, hope that everyone who loves poetry, art or even “Mad Men” will show up for an evening of poetry that has been hailed as “the last avant-garde.”

See you at the Library at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 18.
Founder and Curator,  the Shelter Island Poetry Project

A job well done

To the Editor:
This letter is long overdue but it is never too late to say “thank you.” Once again, the Shelter Island Highway Department has performed admirably. These hardworking men have managed to maintain Oak Tree Lane, as well as protect the beauty of Shell Beach.

Their efforts are ongoing as Mother Nature deals new challenges. The Silver Beach Association had purchased 75 boulders that the department strategically placed on the sound side of the beach. Highway Superintendent Jay Card Jr. and his department have continued to gather additional boulders that continue to protect the integrity of Oak Tree Lane. The Highway Department has continued to bring dozens and dozens of truckloads of sand from the dredged sand stockpiled on the east end of the beach, to the southwest part of the beach. In addition, it has brought in crushed stone to help reinforce the roadway itself.

People enjoy visiting Shell Beach throughout the year. It has always been a wonderful place to view wildlife, fish and enjoy water activities. None of this could be possible without the work of our Highway Department. On behalf of the residents of Silver Beach and for all Shelter Islanders, I want to thank you for a job well done.
President, Silver Beach Association

Attention, please

To the Editor:
It’s summer time on Shelter Island and the living is easy. Everyone is here for the summer and vacations are in full swing. Tourists everywhere. People enjoying the great weather. Bicycles riding down the middle of our roads, joggers wearing ear buds running along with the bicycles in the middle of the road. People driving without a care in the world.

People! Please pay attention. If you see a vehicle like an ambulance, or a car with a green, blue or red light flashing at you, please move over. The ambulance could be on its way to your home to help your family, the Fire Department could be on their way to your home, the police could be on their way to your home.

The life we save may be your mother or your child.

Pay to play

To the Editor:
Last week’s Reporter, as always, has set Islanders to thinking. Indeed, our fresh water supply is precious And at all costs must be protected. Since there is a fresh water pond, and a fresh water wet lands directly connected to the Route 114 site [of a proposed PSEG electrical substation], no power station should be considered at this site without total environmental reviews and impact statements!

Having said the above, may I propose a whole different concept? Forget a lease agreement with money going into Town Hall, since the rate payers here already pay the highest electric rates in the nation! And since the people of Shelter Island already own that property, how about a 20 percent rate reduction for all Shelter islanders for as long as they use our property?

As to PSEG, they already have the elected officials here in their pockets! They are using that property as I write this. And as to these elected officials, they have no fear whatever, since they have totally ignored the local residential neighbors and the law regarding dark skies and installed spotlights.

What can you expect from PSEG, which has the highest rates here in America and also taken over from a former company that spent $9 million of ratepayers money and still could not get electric cables all the way to Southold?

A thought to consider: 100 years ago, they got electric cables all the way to Europe.
Shelter Island

Hynes’ sight

To the Editor:
Many Islanders with whom I have spoken during the past weeks are saddened by the news of the resignation of Dr. Michael Hynes, Shelter Island School Superintendent. Instead of dwelling on what we are losing, I have chosen to look at the other side of the picture. What has Dr. Hynes given us?

Maya Angelou is credited with the following quotation: I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,/People will forget what you did,/ But people will never forget how you made them feel.

Mike Hynes exemplifies this quotation in many ways.  As an educator for almost 40 years and a visitor to Shelter Island for more than 65 years, I believe the Shelter Island School has been infused by Mike with an enthusiasm, creativity, sense of humor and educational vision seldom seen in any other district. He is capable of seeing the big picture of where our educational system should be heading, and he has the talent and determination to carry out his vision. I have seen many positive changes occur during the three short years that he has been with us, and the excitement and dedication in his students is palpable.

Dr. Hynes has brought Shelter Island into the limelight in a positive manner. For example, he was part of a team that brought together a forum of prominent educators from here and abroad to improve ways of implementing and using results of standardized testing among students. He recently received the prestigious Phi Delta Kappa International Friends of Education Award for demonstrating leadership, research and service in his field. I hope the Board of Education and search committee will use him as a role model in establishing a list of qualities they will seek in a new educational leader for Shelter Island.

Dr. Hynes has given us his gifts of expertise, foresight and passion. I am optimistic that we will use the practices and goals he has set forth in order to be an educational leader in the 21st century.

I wish you all the best, Mike, as you and your family begin the next exciting chapter of your life. Your influence on Shelter Island will continue to be felt for a long time. Thank you!
Bluffton, South Caronlina


To the Editor:
Last week’s front page article (“The 411 on Island’s H20,” July 3) was misleading in one significant respect. Regarding the history of one of  the Island’s water districts, the West Neck Water District, it is true that its creation was, in large part, motivated by the desire to keep the Suffolk County Water Authority off the Island, both to maintain “home rule” and to discourage development.

The decision was put to a town referendum, which gave approval to the customers of the district to form a board of directors and to operate the water system under the aegis of the town. That was necessary because only the town could secure bonds to fund the needed major repairs. But that approval was contingent on only the customers assuming full financial responsibility so that no town money would be used, not then, not ever.

So, in fact, the town did not, as the story stated, “take over” the district. The district operates independently, with John Hallman as its paid operations manager and with the Town Supervisor serving as liaison to the Town Board, which oversees district operations.
For the West Neck Water District Board of Directors

Thanks to all

To the Editor:
On behalf of the Garden Club of Shelter Island we would like to thank all those generous donors who helped make our “Gaggle of Games” a big success with their fabulous raffle prizes.

Adipietro Family: $100 gift certificate at the Chequit Inn; Bliss’ Department Store: gift certificate for $50; SALT: gift certificate for $50; Dory: gift certificate for $25; the Chequit Inn: luncheon for two; the Ram’s Head Inn: brunch for two; Bob’s Fish Market: gift certificate for $30; Sweet Tomato’s: two gift certificates for $50; Shelter Island Wine & Spirits: white, red and rose wine; Jack’s Marine: a game; Shelter Island Historical Society: $50 gift certificate and a full tote bag; Shelter Island Pharmacy: a gift basket; Islander Restaurant: gift certificate for $50; Clark’s Fish House: gift certificate for $25; Inlet Seafood: gift certificate for $75; Cornucopia: gift certificate for $25; The American Hotel: luncheon for two; Sarah Shepherd: lavender plant; Sea Breeze Nursery: hanging basket; The Fairway Restaurant at Goat Hill: luncheon for two; Clarke’s Gardens of Greenport: gift certificate for $50; Gosman’s Dock: gift certificate for $75; The Corner Bar in Sag Harbor: gift certificate for $50, The Wharf Shop: napkins and candles; Dandy Liquors: three bottles of wine; Eleanor Labrozzi: photo note cards; South Ferry: one way ticket book and a round trip ticket book; Pridwin Hotel: luncheon for two; Shelter Island Florist: orchid plant; and Anna’s Salon: gift certificate for $50.

Due to their generosity the money raised will benefit several Island charities including the Gift of Life Foundation, East End Hospice and the Veteran’s Day wreaths.

We couldn’t have done it without their help and are sincerely grateful. We wish them all a successful summer season.
Garden Club of Shelter Island chair, co-chair, donations chair