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Letters to the Editor


Questions of balance
To the Editor:
Can someone explain the sudden late summer installation of “No Parking” signs at Menhaden Lane? Also what is the definition of “the high water mark” when it comes to police enforcement?

Where is the balance, legal and practical, between the common good and individual privilege? If access to public property is allowed to be reduced without a tough challenge, is it a collective loss?
Shelter Island

Note for Mr. Hog
To the Editor:
Mr. Road Hog, you startled me when you honked the horn of your gold sedan with Florida license plates as you pulled out of the driveway on Ram Island Drive. For some reason you felt my two wheels were a threat to your passage.

I was so startled by your loud honking I nearly ran off the road. “What’s the matter with you?” I asked. “You have the entire road!” You mumbled something about there being a hill and you couldn’t see. I repeated my question, to which your response was, “Screw you!”

Mr. Hog, here are excerpts of New York State traffic laws and recommendations for vehicles re: bicycles and in line skaters from the state’s pamphlet, “Sharing the Road Safely”:
• “Bicycles must obey and are protected by the same laws that apply to drivers.
• Don’t blast your vehicle’s horn when approaching another highway user that you share the road with.
• Bicycles may ride two abreast on roadways, but must ride single file when being overtaken by other vehicles.
• Vehicles must allow a minimum of 3 feet when passing a bicycle.

Bicyclists often ride several feet from the far right edge of the road to avoid hazards such as sand, gravel and other debris. It is our right.

We are not trying to impede your passage, Mr. Hog. You are bigger, faster and meaner than any bicycle on the road. Your vehicle can cause grave harm to any bicyclist, skater or pedestrian. Give us a break. Slow down and wait until you can safely pass. Let’s share the road and do so with courtesy and respect. Why not get on a bike yourself? It does wonders for your health and well being. It will surely make you more courteous to bikers when you are back in your car.
Shelter Island

Pledging allegiance
To the Editor:
Each anniversary of 9/11 seems as vivid as the day of the attack. We remember the thousands of innocent people who were killed that day. And we remember the thousands who lost their lives in the ensuing wars.
I also will never forget why we were attacked. Our freedom to live as individuals and the ideal that we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness offended Islamic extremists.

We now have a thousand troops back in Iraq, trying to rid it of a new army of radical terrorists. ISIS came into existence because of a government in Baghdad that favored one class of citizens. By default, they alienated the rest of the disenfranchised population.

In our country, our elected officials, at all levels of government, swear that they will support our Constitution. And, at each public meeting they pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

This is the ideal that so many have died defending.

We continue to send young men and women to war to defend the freedoms and ideals that our town government has little respect for. On Shelter Island, the oath of office and the Pledge of Allegiance are just semantics in Town Hall. There seems to be a lack of real supervision and integrity within the Town Board. They need to reread the Constitution.

Councilman Shepherd recently declared that “there is the public … and then there is the other public.” And the Town Board seemed to agree with him. They want to deny access to public lands for a certain class of citizens. These second-rate citizens will include veterans and their families. It will include the surviving family members of those who died on 9/11 and any American citizen that our Town Board disapproves of.

It is a slippery slope when we allow our basic freedoms to erode away. Which law abiding citizen will the Town Board prohibit from walking on public lands? Which citizen will they threaten and who’s next?
Perhaps, next to the public drinking water fountain in Town Hall, we should have another fountain marked “other public.”
Shelter Island

Editor’s note: Councilman Shepherd and his colleagues never said they would deny public access to town owned-property.

Heatfelt thanks
To the Editor:
I would like to express huge appreciation to our fine police and EMT service and especially to Eastern Long Island Hospital for the wonderful assistance given to me last week. I can’t give enough praise to the nursing staff and techs for taking such good care of me (and the food was good, too!).

Thanks for marvelous friends and neighbors who care and pray.
Shelter Island