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Letters to the Editor


Water solutions
To the Editor:
As someone who grew up on the Island and who is looking to move back, the fresh water situation is a huge concern.

My father, who has owned his Island home for over 40 years, has never watered his lawn. He chose heat-tolerant zoysia grass as well as a common grass to cover his one-acre parcel. Does it brown up? Of course. Any grass will in drought conditions. But these grasses and others like them go dormant in overly hot conditions and come back green and lush when the rains set in again.

Sadly, not everyone can tolerate the brown look, preferring their verdant lawns, but with precarious water sources, having a green lawn during drought conditions reflects ignorance and an uncaring attitude towards the fragile environment. This has nothing to do with an owner’s “right” to water; this is about preserving the precious supply and using it wisely. It doesn’t matter where you live on “the Rock,” you need to be cognizant that the source is not unlimited and that everyone needs to conserve.

Finding the resources to manage such restrictions is a dilemma. As it happens, a recent article in the New York Times discusses the ongoing problem in California, where neighbors are pitted against neighbors and “shame on you” signs are used to combat water overuse/misuse. In addition to anonymous notes left on neighbors’ doors, open dialogue about negligent use also occurs. If this isn’t a practical solution for Islanders, then maybe a 311-type phone number could be used as in New York City. I’m not tech-savvy, but perhaps something can be provided on the town website for people to text in, or better yet, set up a Twitter account linked directly to the Police Department for immediate responses.

The bottom line seems to be that there are people who have spent a considerable amount of money on irrigation systems and there are those whose business depends on those systems. As with most things in life, it seems to come down to money and no one wants to lose. Sadly, everyone eventually will lose if some people don’t grow up and look at the hard facts. The idea of having cisterns in place for those with inground irrigation systems is a great idea. Like pools, you’ll have to truck the water in or use a rain catching system to supplement the truck loads to maintain that nice green lawn. Then, no one will have to put a sign on anyone’s door, text or twitter.

In your backyard?
To the Editor:
The question for the supervisor and Town Board members regarding the proposed PSEG substation is: Would you allow this to be built in your backyard? Would each of you welcome light and noise intrusion at your property line? What about any possible health risks? Would you be willing to risk your families’ health to put a substation within feet of your home? Other East End towns have said no, but for some unknown reason our town leaders seem quick to sell out Center residents and flush our peace and health (not to mention property values) down the toilet.

We protect our piping plovers, enact strict noise ordinances, as well as “save” our beloved night skies, yet we entertain allowing an electrical substation with noise, light and health risks to be built literally next to families, not to mention one of the most historic and beautiful houses on Long Island. It makes no sense, and it’s outrageous.

Already there is 24/7 security in the form of a person (I’m assuming a PSEG employee), sitting in an unmarked car, lights running, guarding the property. Is there any other facility on this Island that requires such high security? Would you welcome that in your neighborhood? Of course not. How does this fit into the fabric of this Island? It doesn’t.

Fifty years ago, LILCO installed cables running across the bay. The technology was available then, and it’s available now. Finish the job that was started and let’s move on.

If this substation is a fait accompli (and by watching the last Town Board meeting, it seems like it is), then shame on the Town Board. If it’s not a done deal, then the board should scrap this idea totally or at least research finding a “suitable” location for this monstrosity. A residential neighborhood in the center of town? I don’t think so. You don’t need a field trip to a PSEG substation to know that.

Seriously, if you wouldn’t want this in your backyard, what makes you think I want it in mine?
Shelter Island

Noises off
To the Editor:
Each year East Hampton Airport Manager James Brundige issues an instruction to helicopter pilots, telling them how to approach and leave East Hampton Airport. This year westbound (outgoing) helicopters have been told to take the “ECHO” route, which goes over the South Ferry. This year’s instructions to pilots can be found here: town.east-hampton.ny.us/DocumentsPDF/Airport/HelicopterRoutes/HelicopterNoiseAbatementLetter.pdf.

The noise footprint of a helicopter is at least two miles on either side. It doesn’t much matter if the helicopter is flying at 1,000 feet or 3,000 feet. It doesn’t matter if the helicopter itself is over a narrow body of water like the South Ferry Channel, since two miles on either side will include a lot of people on land. So this year a good portion of the south part of Shelter Island will be subjected to helicopter noise.
The East End’s geography presents an obvious solution to East Hampton airport’s noise problem. There are large bodies of water — the Atlantic and Long Island Sound — that helicopters can fly over without bothering anyone. So a helicopter leaving the airport for the city would exit over East Hampton and go out over the Atlantic far enough so its noise footprint did not make landfall. Then it would go around Montauk and Orient Point and head back westbound. A helicopter coming east from the city would reverse the route, offset enough so that opposite direction helicopters were separated. That way the only overland flying would be over East Hampton: The noise that happens in East Hampton would stay in East Hampton.

If East Hampton’s neighbors had a vote, they might approve of this solution, if they didn’t opt to shut down East Hampton Airport altogether. It would be great if there were a way to hold a referendum for East Hampton’s neighbors allowing them to vote on solutions to the East Hampton airport problem. As things now stand, they have noise taxation without representation.
Shelter Island

Open letter to East Hampton Airport
To the Editor:
We, the Board of Directors of the South Ferry Hills Association — which includes homes on Shelter Island east of Route 114 bounded by Smith Cove and Mashomack Preserve — call upon the East Hampton Airport to take whatever steps are necessary to re-route helicopter flight patterns over our neighborhood; they are causing an unacceptable level of noise and diminishing our quality of life. Due to our proximity to the South Ferry Channel between North Haven and Shelter Island, the current flight plan, designated “ECHO” on the Helicopter Noise Abatement Map, is not acceptable. It has generated numerous flights directly over our community. We further call upon the airport to cease routing all helicopter traffic over any residential neighborhood on the East End.
President, South Ferry Hills Association

Life savers
To the Editor:
Summer is the time to roll out the barbecue and light that fire. Barbecue accidents do happen and the danger point is in the starting of them. The following simple rules can save serious injury.

Liquid starters are dangerous and if at all possible, use a UL-approved electric starter. If you must use liquid starter, once you spray the charcoal and light it, never continue to spray the liquid on the fire. The fire can, and often does, follow the spray back to the can and may explode.

Never use gasoline to start the fire.

Gel-type starters may be used but be sure, once the charcoal is ignited, not to add more gel. Both the liquid and gel-type starters are very flammable and must be handled with care.

If you have a gas-type barbecue, check all hose connections, have a correct size wrench attached to the grill, check leaks with soapy water before you light it. Never overfill the gas tank. If it is exposed to the sun or heat, the safety valve will open, gas will leak out and will ignite if it comes in contact with the flame.
Stay away from barbecue fires with flimsy and flammable clothing. Keep children away from the fire.

Never barbecue indoors and avoid cooking on balconies and porches that are covered.

When camping, keep a bucket of water nearby, and when barbecuing at home, keep a garden hose connected to extinguish a fire if it gets out of hand.

Summer is the time for fun,/barbecuing, swimming and sitting in the sun./Remember when you light that fire with gas,/If you’re not careful, it will be your last./ Yes, summer cookouts can be fun,/but watch that liquid starter, it makes you run./Be smart from the start/and use the UL electric starter. Keep the children from the fire,/They like to see it go higher and higher./If you have a little tot,/Watch him carefully, that barbecue is hot. Now it’s time to enjoy the sun,/Set the table and have your fun.
Fire Commissioner,
Shelter Island Fire Department

Cruise for Joey
To the Editor:
On behalf of the Joseph J. Theinert Memorial Fund, I would like to thank the East End for an amazing show of support for our annual benefit that took place this past Monday, July 14, aboard the M/V Lt. Joe Theinert and at Claudio’s Clam Bar.

To Cliff Clark, Nick Morehead, Chris Stone and everyone at South Ferry, we are forever grateful for all you do for us 365 days a year. To Steve Pisacano, who conceptualized the “Cruise to Claudio’s” event, we cannot say how much we appreciate your and the Claudio family’s help.

Our guests enjoyed delectable bites and specialty cocktails thanks to the support of Linda Eklund and the Chequit, Keith Bavaro and SALT, Anthony and Jimi Rando at Sweet Tomato’s, Towny Montant and Billy Schmidt at Shelter Island Wine and Spirits, Amanda Ellioff at Elli’s Country Store and Jenna Fagnan at Tequila Avión.

Mike Mundy, Stephen Bartomioli of Hope for the Warriors, Christopher Doyle and Justin Reilly provided muscle to cruise set-up. Completely unprompted, Milli McCarthy arranged for Shelter Island

Environmental to lend us garbage and recycling totes. Donna Kilb staged loaned flowers and plants from White Oak Farms. Professional party organizer Debbie Speeches tirelessly coordinated all hospitality.
Our registration gurus, Janine Mahoney and Rebecca Mundy, kept pristine records of head counts and funds collected. Margaret Doyle promoted the Foundation by heading the “We Remember Joey” merchandise table. Nan Shipley — who secured most of our auction items — also manned the auction table all night. Carla Cadzin, Traci Kannwischer and Sharon Power “worked the room” selling raffle ticket after raffle ticket. Emily Larsen photographed the entire event.

Post-cruise, every one of our already water-logged attendees carted tables, chairs and leftovers from the ferry and loaded them into cars, all in the pouring rain. I wish I could name you all here, but unfortunately there’s a max word count for letters.

I also have a few personal thank yous. To Billy and Jimbo Theinert and Mary Larsen, who did all of the work of a professional event staff but will never get a paycheck, and to Chrys and Frank “Doc” Kestler, who underwrote all event expenses so that every ticket purchased, donation made, T-shirt sale and winning auction bid can go directly to supporting the Foundation’s local scholarships and providing crucial support to veterans. I am honored to be doing this important work with you all.
Shelter Island

French flair
To the Editor:
Making a viable business in the seasonal commercial environment of Shelter Island is a risk. The landscape is littered with well meaning but poorly thought out endeavors. It’s a good time to call out a welcome to Redding’s Market across from Piccozzi’s Gas Station. It has created a wonderful addition to the Island culinary and community vibe that the previous owners of that market never achieved. The owner, Marie Eiffel, has created a menu with unique offerings in organic foods, pastries, breakfasts, sandwiches, pizzas, ice cream, all with a French flair. Even the website is exceptional. Marie redesigned the interior and exterior seating to create a charming interaction with other customers and a lovely view of the harbor. It’s all overseen with a hands-on owner who makes all her customers feel they just came over to her home for lunch. That may be her best secret. Kudos are due for creating a special, innovative, high quality addition to this Island’s life.
Shelter Island