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Reporter Letters to the Editor


Now more than ever
To the Editor:
Congratulations to the members of the Town Board for recognizing that granting a variance for the building of the proposed structures at 6 Charlie’s Lane would be setting a dangerous precedent for future boards.

I have been a Shelter Islander as a visitor, renter and for the past 18 years, a homeowner. I understand and respect the Island’s philosophy of live and let live. It is part of the reason I enjoy being here.

That laissez-faire attitude is fine for most things we do on the Island. However, not when it comes to protecting our already fragile environment. For that, we are depending upon the Town Board to protect us. To keep saltwater out of our water supply. To keep the waterways free of sewage and fertilizers and medications. To prevent algae blooms. To prevent flooding during storms by protecting our wetlands.
Why now more than ever?

Clearly Superstorm Sandy’s saltwater intrusion in Silver Beach, where I live, is just one sign of a huge climate disruption problem. One that will take the whole community to make sacrifices in order to solve.

I happen to be a science teacher in an elementary school. We teach our fourth graders to think of future generations as they make decisions about using resources. Here is part of the Iroquois Constitution that we share with our fourth grade students: “… Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground — the unborn of the future Nation.”

I am grateful that the Town Board is willing to make tough decisions in order to protect this Island that we love.
Shelter Island

A tragedy in waiting
To the Editor:
My home overlooks Hay Beach Point. All summer long, I watch loud, fast cigarette boats speed through the channel that links Gardiners Bay to Greenport and Dering harbors. Many of these boats dock at Claudio’s before returning home, again very fast and very loud.

The recent accident near Greenport in which everyone in a cigarette boat was thrown overboard by an unexpected sharp turn would surely have ended in a fiery tragedy had the boat’s locked rudder not caused it to continue, pilotless, in a closed loop. Speed and deafening noise in a confined channel, especially when mixed with alcohol or bad judgment, are invitations to a boating tragedy.

Must we wait for a real maritime disaster before taking action? I hope the town boards of Shelter Island and Greenport will jointly agree on sensible speed and noise regulations and will use their marine police for enforcement. If they cannot do so because the Coast Guard has jurisdiction, I hope the two boards will jointly petition the USCG to establish reasonable speed limits, require underwater engine muffling and delegate enforcement to local police, who already patrol for safety equipment and alcohol abuse.

Thoughtless, reckless, noisy speedboats should not be allowed to ruin the marine recreation of others or endanger their lives.
Shelter Island

Hey, Town Hall
To the Editor:
Your recent coverage of septic systems should concern all taxpayers here. Not just because it’s a serious matter, but more, because it does not cover the matter from all directions.

As we are all too well aware, our population grows radically in the summer season. I’m not suggesting we need to stop that. Far too many people depend on that growth to get by every year. But the subject of our fragile environment is a concern that goes far beyond homeowners’ sanitary systems.

Both residential and business property zoning laws were put into place many years ago with these very thoughts in mind. A residential zone for single family homes needs to be for single family homes! Not multiple families or multiple people. Many boarders and an increasing amount of people in a single family zoned area stresses out all the natural resources of that area.

The freshwater table suffers, taxed to the point in shore-front areas where it can cause saltwater intrusion into wells. Not to mention the problem caused by too many people adding to the waste problem in that area. Residential zoning is for basically single family use only, and ignoring that by “the good old boy network” is indeed cause for alarm!

That brings us to another concern and that is looking the other way and granting business uses in a residential zoning. The recent subject of putting a power plant on Route 114 placed a spotlight on the way our local officials take such a casual attitude.

I would remind everyone that a so-called temporary power plant is now being used on that site, and still no study of the environment? The fresh water supply impact has never been studied here! Not to mention the so-called dark skies issue, which has been ignored at this site as well.

Hey, Town Hall, if you are indeed serious about the water table and our environment, etc., might I suggest you stop being so hypocritical and look in your own back yard before you make laws that never seem to apply to you?
Shelter Island

For the little ones
To the Editor:
We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of the “Grandparents and Friends Tot Lot Revitalization Cocktail Party” held on September 19.

To everyone present at the party and those not able to attend, your contributions totaled nearly $4,000. We are so fortunate to live in a community that cares about every member, especially the smallest ones.

A special thank you to Ali, Keith, Joe and Darrin of SALT, the Rando family of Sweet Tomato’s, the Eklund family of the Chequit and Ram’s Head Inn, the Petry family of the Pridwin and Donna Kilb and Debbie Speeches for all you contributed. You are truly “Island Angels.”

Thank you for your continued support. Grandparents and their friends can still contribute by sending their 100 percent tax-deductible donation to the Shelter Island Lions Foundation, P.O. Box 760, Shelter Island, NY 11964. Please indicate “playground” on the memo of the check.
Shelter Island