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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Readers weigh in on the ongoing fireworks issue.
REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Readers weigh in on the ongoing fireworks issue.

Full support
To the Editor:
The Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce applauds the efforts of Kelly and Brett Surerus, James Richardson and Carla Cadzin to promote and raise funds to ensure that the annual fireworks display continues.

Indeed, the fireworks show is an important event and tradition here and across the country, bringing together families and friends to celebrate and honor our heritage.

Moving forward, the Chamber fully supports the Shelter Island Fireworks Committee, and will help them transition this year as they formalize a structure, fundraise, and assume stewardship of this annual tradition. We believe that the town will continue to lend its personnel and resources to this collective effort, as they have done so generously in the past.

Nevertheless, the event truly requires broad public financial sponsorship, and we urge everyone to join this rally to “save the fireworks.” Donations may be made to them at gofundme.com/pawlig.
President, Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce

The show goes on
To the Editor:
We would like to thank the Shelter Island community for their astounding support in our efforts to help ensure the future of the Shelter Island fireworks. We are thrilled to announce that, thanks to your support, the show will go on!

This year’s fireworks are scheduled to take place July 11, 2015 on Crescent Beach as they have in previous years. This year the Chamber of Commerce has graciously handed over the event to the Shelter Island Fireworks Committee. While the Chamber of Commerce will be on hand to shepherd this transition, this will allow them the time and resources to focus on other matters related to the businesses on the island.

The Shelter Island Fireworks Committee will be exclusively dedicated to preserving our Island’s nearly six decade history of celebrating our nation’s independence. While the transition will feel seamless in many ways, we hope to make some small changes that reflect feedback from local businesses and families.

With this exciting news we also ask for the continued financial support from the community. As this committee is in its infancy, we do not have an auxiliary budget to draw funds from and therefore we must reach our fundraising goals as early as possible. Your support is pivotal in making this special night a success!

Please feel free to contact us with questions or for more information on donating or sponsorships. Donations can easily be made online via the link below.

Call 749-5050, write P.O. Box 452, Shelter Island, NY 11964 or visit gofundme.com/pawlig.
Kelly & Brett Surerus, Carla Cadzin, James Richardson
The Shelter Island Fireworks Committee

Stepping up
To the Editor:
I was sad to read Art Williams’ recent letter (“Fireworks given a pass,” March 19) to the editor regarding the cancellation of the 2015 fireworks. This wonderful tradition has been enjoyed by generations of residents and visitors.

I think it’s time that the businesses on Crescent Beach that enjoy a significant benefit from this event should step up and fund the event.

In fact, Sunset Beach could easily fund the whole thing. The $11,000 shortfall is probably only an insignificant investment easily offset by the huge business that they reap from this windfall weekend.

It is time to step up.
Shelter Island

20 percent solution
To the Editor:
I strongly and respectfully disagree with your editorial that supports mandating 20 percent of the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund for “clean water efforts,” whatever that phrase turns out to mean in the long run. I also disagree with Assemblyman Thiele and Senator LaValle in their support of such a measure.

When the CPF was proposed and strongly supported as a referendum, its purpose was clear — preserve East End land from development. It has been a huge success. The purpose and results have been wonderful.

Now, in order to find money for water projects, politicians and editors jump on the 20 percent CPF solution. Politicians see this as a way to solve an issue without being blamed for raising taxes.

We should not be stealing from the CPF for a purpose not in the original law or proposal. Suppose these same people suggested that 20 percent of the school tax, or 20 percent of the town tax, or 20 percent of our county tax be redirected for water improvement projects. Would that be satisfactory? Would people not vociferously complain that money was being taken from dedicated purposes to purposes not included in these taxes?

I am not saying that water quality is not an important issue. But if it is, then we should come up with a straightforward revenue source for this purpose without stealing it from a dedicated fund like the CPF that is doing such good for the East End.
Shelter Island

To the Editor:
Saturday, March 21, I was struck almost instantaneously by a worsening case of chills, weakness and deteriorating mental functions.

Within an hour we called 911. Within a half hour, I was being treated at Eastern Long Island Hospital. My ultimate diagnosis was aggressive but highly treatable pneumonia.

Now, almost fully-recovered, I can reflect with great gratitude on the speed and professionalism our emergency medical technicians contributed to my well-being.

As a semi-isolated Island community, I believe we should all be overflowing with gratitude that we have volunteers and a service that is so responsive.

The next time I have an opportunity to contribute to its continuation and support, be assured I will consider my contribution with a fresh perspective.

I hope you all will, too.
Shelter Island

The play’s the thing
To the Editor
I was one of the people in the packed house last Friday night enjoying the Shelter Island Drama Club’s performance of “Annie Warbucks.” To me, like the folks who live in the city, this is my night at the theater.

The difference was that my second row seat cost me $12 not $112 and I knew most of the people in the theater. I also knew most of the folks working to make the show happen along with most of the kids performing. That alone makes my night at the theater something special, and when I say that the performance was great, that just puts the cherry on top of the sundae.

Every year I always give John Kaasik the major credit for doing everything, but this year the vocal coach, Tom Milton, pulled me aside to tell me that his producer and wife Anu Kaasik does the lion’s share of the work. If so, thank you Anu, but whoever does the work — the program credits 27 people in the production crew, 12 band members and 20 performers —I would like to say thank you to all for a really entertaining evening.

Your talents amaze me every year and this year was as good as any. I must admit I did break out in laughter a few times during the performances. Owen Gibbs’ face when they handed him the gun, Henry Lang’s reaction when he found out the reward was $100,000, not $100, the beautiful Lynne Colligan looking like a frumpy, grumpy psychologist and, of course, Will Garrison’s dancing on stage all caused me to laugh out loud.

Ninth grader Daniel Boeklen playing a leading role as Daddy Warbucks and exploding out with song was more than I ever expected. The acting, singing, music and sets were all just about perfect. All I can say is thank you all for two hours of pleasure on a dreary March weeknight on Shelter Island.

I hope this event was successful for the Drama Club and they decide to continue to be willing to work hard to give our children this much-needed confidence and, for us, fun-filled evenings. If so, I will promise my support for as long as I can make it to the auditorium.
Shelter Island

March madness
To the Editor:
These Reporter columnists are just the best! Bob DeStefano’s and Dick Lomuscio’s last columns really were terrific, both spoke of growing older and there is no place like Shelter Island to do it. The editor’s March madness column wasn’t bad either.

I have to add to both Bob’s and Dick’s columns last week and this week that it is no longer out to dinner and a show, it is now matinée time and out to dinner. And Dick, yes, the train is the best way to travel, just sit there and watch the world go by — if we only had the time to do it. That northforker 50+ magazine had some really great info for the older folks. One of the articles has been copied and sent to several of my widowed friends. Not that they need any advice, they seem to be doing O.K. The latest was a neighbor’s wife who passed away. At the funeral he said, to a neighbor, “Terrible time. I have lost my square dancing partner.” Her reply: “I love to square dance.” This gentleman called her about a month later and asked her to be his partner. There will be more I am sure. Stay tuned!

Thanks guys, for the great columns.
Shelter Island

Island memories
To the Editor:
The picture on the Reporter’s website (“This week in Shelter Island history’) is my VW in my back yard in the Center when I lived there next to the cemetery. At that time my wife and I were on our way home from the Sag Harbor movies and the deer was badly injured but we weren’t! By the way that happened on the North Haven part of Route 114 just before you start down the hill to South Ferry. We drove to the ferry and called the state police to report the accident and then drove back to the deer strike to wait for the trooper. The ferry waited for us and we went home after the police arrived.

P.S. I was teaching school in Peconic at the time and selling VWs for Frank Brill of Brill Motors. The VW was totaled.
Sebastian, Florida

For Maria
To the Editor:
I so enjoyed reading about Maria Schultheis. My family, guests and I so enjoy biking to Maria’s Kitchen for delicious food and smoothies!

Maria is always so pleasant and helpful. I knew she was a special woman. Reading your profile made me realize how very special she is.

We wish Maria continued success and look forward to seeing her this summer and enjoying the delicious food.

P.S. We have enjoyed all of the profiles — for a small Island, there are so many interesting people.
Hewlett Harbor, New York