From the supervisor
To the Editor:
A few clarifications for your readers of last week’s Reporter:
4-posters: Page 21 states that the town was able to increase the number of units deployed this year to 38 compared with last year’s 19 “ … through the help of funds from Mashomack Preserve and individual contributors.”
Clarification: While we gratefully received contributions from three generous individuals and Mashomack is servicing its six units, I want to acknowledge the biggest reason for the increase in 4-poster deployment: My Town Board colleagues’ courage and resolve last November in increasing this year’s 4-poster budget 30 percent, despite the 1.6 percent Albany tax cap, from $75,000 in 2013 to $97,250 this year.
I have been working hard to secure significant New York State financial support for our tick eradication efforts and am very optimistic that Senator Ken LaValle and Assemblyman Fred Thiele will be able to secure up to $100,000 in state aid for use in Shelter Island’s 4-poster program.
Medical Center: Page 31 states I reported “an agreement has been reached with Dr. Anthonette Desire on a long term lease at the Town’s Medical Center.”
Clarification: I reported a lease draft has been sent out to Dr. Desire, with the stipulation that I was reserving all rights for my colleagues (as well as Dr. Desire) to comment, correct and revise the draft, particularly on such critical matters as adequate staffing of the office. Dr. Desire is coming to the August 12 work session to discuss this and all other issues regarding the proposed lease.
Helicopters: Page 18 cites me as quoting a neighborhood association president as saying Peter Boody, former editor of the Reporter and now the noise abatement officer of East Hampton Airport, was “a propaganda officer” for the airport. The Reporter states the association president said he did not say this, but rather he said that Mr. Boody was “disingenuous.” I will leave to others to work out the distinction.
Supervisor, Town of Shelter Island
To the Editor:
I read that the town is going to monitor the chloride levels from their existing wells, which is fine, but if you want to see what really happens you should take chloride samples from wells that are being used.
I believe John Hallman suggested this and if memory serves me right we may have done this some years back. I will suggest some sites for perusal. The West Neck Water District, Dering Harbor, Shelter Island Heights and Gardiner’s Bay Country Club. These are sites that pump higher volumes than the home owner. I would then suggest other locations on the Island, including Hay Beach, Ram Island, South Ferry, Shorewood, Silver Beach and some Center locations. It’s important that the wells sampled are properly located and it would also be a benefit to get some samples from wells that are using sprinklers.
Permission, of course, must be sought from the owners.
Former Shelter Island Town Supervisor
To the Editor:
An old adage in journalism is: “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.” Last week’s Reporter’s online headline “New test for Fresh Pond comes up clean,” and the paper copy headline, “It’s safe to go into the water” were irresponsible, deceptive and dangerous. The water quality test report from May that was referred to shows that Fresh Pond remains extremely polluted.
Such misleading headlines will give the public a false sense of security and could lead to a health risk for a child, those with compromised immune systems, pets and others.
The town engineer and town attorney qualified their statements with it “appears” to not represent a problem for a “particular use.” Neither was quoted as saying that it is safe or healthy for the public to swim in Fresh Pond. The town had an agreement with the Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDHS) to not promote swimming in non-certified waters.
Only Water Advisory Committee member Peter Grand used the words “safe” and “healthy” in describing Fresh Pond for swimming. He based his conclusion on water tests that are not designed to determine swimming water quality, and on his ability to see his toes “wriggle in the water.”
As I read the test report, the “LOQ,” or acceptable limit of “Specific Conductance,” which is phosphorus, is two units. Fresh Pond tested at 376 units. Phosphorus pollution is responsible for harmful blue-green algae that bloom in the pond each year. The LOQ limit for enterococci bacteria is two; Fresh Pond is more than eight times too high. Fecal coliforms are more than three times the limit.
It seems that the town is trying to reinvent the wheel so they can spin it in the direction they want. There is an established method and protocol for testing fresh water to allow swimming. The SCDHS requires fresh water pond and lake testing once or twice a week and at least five times a month. The town cannot circumvent this.
The only thing really clear about Fresh Pond is that it is clearly polluted. The town must begin to mitigate the pollution, not testing procedures.
The Reporter needs to convey the truth of the matter and avoid reporting unsupported and deceptive bravado as fact.
A simple cell solution
To the Editor:
I am a Hay Beach resident and am writing to point out that there is an easy way to get perfectly acceptable cell phone service in Hay Beach — or anywhere else — without the necessity of constructing another cell phone tower on Shelter Island.
T-Mobile will provide customers who have phones that support 3G or 4G with a free signal booster consisting of an antenna unit that you place inside the house near a window and a coverage unit that rebroadcasts the cell signal inside the house. The units are small and attractively packaged. The window unit looks like a small bookshelf speaker and the coverage unit looks like an answering machine. They do not require wiring or complicated installation. You just plug them in. You must have at least one bar of signal in order for them to work, which I had in Hay Beach and I suspect most other residents will have as well.
I don’t know whether AT&T or Verizon offer comparable boosters for free but if you live in an area that gets coverage according to their published coverage maps and your service is lacking, they might.
I understand that the decision as to whether to construct a new cell tower is a complicated one and that there are a number of issues and considerations. However, suboptimal personal cell phone service shouldn’t be a reason to build a new tower given the available alternatives.
ERIC S. SHUBE
Fireworks and finances
To the Editor:
Each year the Chamber of Commerce struggles to fund our unique and wonderful fireworks. It completely depends upon donations from the community for this funding.
I suggest that the cost be divided into four parts with one quarter coming from the community and our local small businesses and organizations. The other three quarters should come from the two businesses and one organization that profit directly from the event: Sunset Beach, The Pridwin Hotel and the Perlman Music Program.
Each of them could raise either significant donations or have hugely profitable dinner packages targeted to the date of the fireworks display.
The Chamber should also set up levels of contributions like many non-profit organizations do. There could be levels such as:
Block Busters — $10,000
Super Rockets — $5,000
Roman Candles —$1,000
Cherry Booms — $500
Firecrackers — $100
Sparklers — $50
The list of names of the businesses and individuals should then be printed in the Reporter. The donations would be tax deductible and would reward supporters with the proper recognition. It would also inspire “the Big Three” (Sunset Beach, Pridwin and Perlman) to step up and respond responsibly by giving back financially to the community that provides them with this unique event.
Thanks, Shelter Island
To the Editor:
We would like to extend our thanks to the many Islanders and visitors who came to the cricket match at the Island Boatyard on July 26 to witness history in the making, as “The Rest of The World” team beat the Shelter Island Cricket Club’s team for the first time in the club’s illustrious three-year history.
Particular thanks goes out to those who helped before and during the event and to those who gave so generously to the ambulance foundation. We are very close to our target for donations, so if anyone still wishes to contribute (even if you did not make it to the game), you can still do so (securely) at sicricket.com.
A big thank you to those who made the day possible: The Island Boatyard (the home of SICC), SALT (food, beer, Pimms, wine, roast pig etc.), the Shelter Island Fire Department (tents), the Shelter Island Highway Department (no roller, no game), the Shelter Island 10K Community Fund (tents), Shelter Island Party Rentals (big tent and chairs), TrialGraphix (design and printing of ads and posters), Shelter Island Sanitation (clean up), DC Tree services and Cut and Trim (grass) and to John Yang for another hit with the new SICC caps.
To our sponsors: Ace Hardware, Indus Capital, Chaloners of the Hamptons, Star Magazine, Binder Pools, M. Wein Realty and BC Partners. Thanks to Shelter Island Wines & Spirits, La Maison Blanche, Moussa Dramé Tennis and Katana at La Maison Blanche for the auction prizes.
DAVID SHILLINGFORD & Gareth Jones
Walking the walk
To the Editor:
Driving around the Island I see a lot of people walking. Some keep to the right and walk in the same direction as automobiles. Others walk facing oncoming traffic. Are there any laws governing how pedestrians walk ? It seems to me that it is safer for pedestrians to walk facing car traffic. They can more quickly respond if they are in any danger.