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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor


The deer or us
To the Editor:
Michael Coles’ recent letter (“Time to turn pro,” June 25) was an excellent summary of our tick problem on the Island. Although a Bambi lover, I agree that the situation has not been solved chemically and now calls for an immediate culling of the herd by professional sharpshooters/hunters.

With advance notice of those culling areas, as well as police protection, it should run quickly and smoothly.
Almost every Islander knows someone who has been infected by a tick bite, some with lingering problems. Let’s finally get this done and then determine its success. Our choice: the deer or us! Why wait any longer?
Shelter Island

Silencing disagreements
To the Editor:
One thing that resonates from watching the June 3 Deer and Tick Committee meeting on Channel 22: Nothing has changed since this committee was formed in 2007.

If you agree with Mike Scheibel and his pro-4-poster position, then just nod your head and you will get along fine with him. But if you ask investigative questions about this ill-conceived 4-poster project, or cross examine Dan Gilrein, the entomologist from Cornell (who, by the way, is not beyond reproach), then Mike Scheibel will either gavel you or silence you.

This is exactly what happened to committee member Marc Wein during the June 3 committee meeting. Dan Gilrein spoke for one hour. When he was done, Mr. Wein asked for 10 minutes — he got three; when he asked for three minutes, he got one. This is how business has been conducted with the 4-posters since 2008. Anyone who disagrees — shut them down.

Bill Smith and I both asked to be on the committee when an opening became available two years ago after Patricia Shillingburg resigned. Predictably, we were rejected.

Another opening on the committee became available two months ago and I interviewed for the open seat. I guess we will have to see if the Town Board will continue the policy of silencing people and committee member Marc Wein, who don’t believe the 4-posters work. Or will they wake up and realize that there is an election in November and transparency might be the better way to go. So let’s put somebody on the committee who will not be a rubber stamp for Mike Scheibel.

Stay tuned. We will have our answer soon.
Shelter Island

The show goes on
To the Editor:
We invite all of you to celebrate Independence Day with us Saturday, July 11 at the 58th annual Fireworks Show by Grucci, sponsored by Shelter Island Environmental, on Crescent Beach. There will be a few small changes this year, including more garbage cans and restrooms and a designated family zone closest to the restrooms at the north end of the beach.

There will also be shirts for sale as well as glow necklaces.

As many of you already know, this year’s fireworks were unfortunately canceled back in March. Since then, a small group of us were able to raise the funds needed to present our beloved fireworks celebration, thanks to the generous support of many of you! For those who heard our rally cry early on and have already donated, we can’t thank you enough. It is your support that reminds us of what a special place we live in.

For those of you who have yet to donate, we urge you to do so soon. The annual fireworks show is a long-loved Island tradition. Shelter Island Fireworks, Inc. is the newly formed entity whose sole purpose is to carry on this annual event for many years to come. We are all volunteers and all money raised goes exclusively towards the operating costs. Any overage will be put towards future shows and the preservation of our beloved tradition. To donate or volunteer please contact us at:
Shelter Island Fireworks
P.O. Box 452
Shelter Island, NY 11964
gofundme.com/sifireworks 749-5050
Brett Surerus, Carla Cadzin, James Richardson, Kelly Surerus, and Mary Dubitsky
The Shelter Island Fireworks Board

Amazing adventure
To the Editor:
I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the Shelter Island Educational Foundation for the wonderful experience of the annual 7th grade schooner trip.

I cannot even describe the fantastic feelings I have towards the trip. Without your commitment, some of the students in the class would not have been able to afford to go on such an amazing adventure. I would personally like to thank you all for the most fabulous experience of my 13 years on this earth.

I’m positive I’m speaking for the entire class when I say that it was so very generous of you to underwrite the trip for us. To have such an incredible association on the Island is a true gift, and let me tell you, it was the best “field trip” of my entire life. I cannot thank you enough!

Even now, five days later, when I stand quietly, I can still feel the crash of the waves hitting the bow of the Alabama. Since I got home, when I try to go to sleep, I can still hear the relentless scraping and banging of the boom for the jumbo sail. Also, when I look up to the sky, I can picture the enormous sails towering above me and the swaying of the rigging. Once again, I would like to thank you for your support and commitment towards this trip and I hope that all of the classes after me get to enjoy the experience of sailing on the Alabama.
Shelter Island, Class of 2020

A grateful Garden Club
To the Editor:
On behalf of the Garden Club of Shelter Island, we would like to thank all the generous donors that made our “Gaggle of Games” a big success.

The Adipietro family donated dinner at VUE; the American Hotel luncheon for two; Anna’s Salon gift certificate for $50; Bliss’ Department Store gift certificate for $50; Bob’s Fish Market gift certificate for $30; Clarke’s Gardens gift certificate for $50; Corner Bar gift certificate for $50; Cornucopia gift certificate for $25; Dandy’s Liquor Store, three bottles of wine; the Dory gift certificate for $25; Inket Seafood gift certificate for $100; Jack’s Marine, a game; Jewelry by Rita; Hair Beautiful by Rita; Kyle’s gift certificate; Pridwin Hotel, luncheon for two; Ram’s Head Inn, brunch for two; SALT gift certificate for $50; Sarah Shepherd, lavender plant; Schmidt’s Market gift certificate for $25; Sea Breeze Nursery, hanging plant.

Shelter Island Historical Society, gifts; Shelter Island Pharmacy gift basket; Shelter Island Wines & Liquors, three bottles of wine; South Ferry, book of one way tickets and book of round trip tickets; the Wharf Shop, napkins; VUE gift certificate for $50; Shelter Island Florist, orchid plant; and Sweet Tomato’s $50 gift certificate.

Proceeds from this fundraiser will go to the Gift of Life Foundation, East End Hospice and the veterans’ memorial wreaths. The club could not have done it without the help of the donors above and we thank them for their support and wish them a successful season.
Garden Club of Shelter Island

Released from the vow
To the Editor:
After 15 years of serving on the Zoning Board of Appeals, a position I no longer hold, I now feel released from a vow of silence on many public issues.

The issue this week is house sizes in the proposed “fragile zone.” Are these folks crazy?

They are suggesting “restricting” house sizes to 20,000 square feet or 10 percent of the lot, whichever is smaller.

It’s hard to imagine a footprint of 20,000 square feet, so think of it as 10 tennis courts (27 feet by 78 feet each) laid side by side (five across, two deep) or one third of a football field (160 feet by 360 feet). That is 20,000 square feet.

But, assume they are not talking about footprints but actual livable space. Houses on Shelter Island are restricted to two stories, plus a basement that is never counted as livable space; this would restrict a two-story, 20,000-square-foot house to a footprint of 10,000. That is five tennis courts laid side by side, or two end zones (30 feet by 160 feet) also laid side by side.

These are really, really large houses. I mean really large.

To give these guys credit, for such big houses, we are talking big acres. The house size for a two-acre lot would be 8,800 square feet. For a four-acre lot, the restriction is a 17,600-square-foot house, and for five or more acres, the restriction is 20,000 square feet. It makes a mockery of the word “restriction.”

Back to reality, folks.

Most of us live on decent-sized one-acre lots. Some are a bit smaller, some as great as two acres. Our houses are from 1,500 square feet for a modest house to 4,000 for a large house. On average our houses have a footprint of seven percent or less.

What does this “restriction” mean for a one-acre lot? A 4,400-square-foot house, with a possible 4,400-square-foot basement, or 8,800 square feet of usable space. Or, if it is a footprint restriction, then an 8,800-square-foot house with a 4,400-square-foot basement, or a 13,200-square-foot house. Nobody on Shelter Island presently lives in that much space.

So, let’s not talk about “restrictions” when we actually mean “license.” And, don’t take us all for fools!
Shelter Island