Straight facts on ticks
To the Editor:
It saddens me to see letters in the Reporter that attack the actions and deliberations of the Deer & Tick Committee.
This is a committee that has labored to produce a solution to ticks and tick-borne disease on Shelter Island. Mike Scheibel, its chairman, a trained biologist and deer expert, along with those who serve with him, is doing a fine and difficult job — no one is better suited for this position. Mr. Scheibel and the committee are making good progress in community education on tick avoidance and are working hard on the problem of deer herd reduction.
Some people have expressed different ideas with regard to our tick problems and made comments on the plan currently being followed. When done with thought and good faith, this is good. New ideas, constructively submitted, are always welcome. Unsubstantiated criticism contributes nothing.
A ground-breaking study here on Shelter Island proved the efficacy of the 4-poster system, which has the approval of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the NYS Department of Health and the Suffolk County Department of Health. There are several publications that validate the findings of this host-targeted method of reducing ticks without broadcast spraying of insecticide.
Despite the recommendations of the Deer & Tick Committee, it appears that the town is taking half measures. When the number of 4-posters presently deployed is half of that recommended to make the system effective, we essentially doom it to failure — and then say, “Well, see that, it did not work.” Here, half a loaf is not better than none.
The expense of deploying the proper number of 4-posters is little compared to the severe health consequences of tick-borne disease. In an attempt to please everyone we opt to deploy too few 4-posters to do the job of killing the ticks on the deer and we espouse a less than satisfactory method of reducing the deer herd.
We should: 1. Deploy and adequately maintain the 4-posters as recommended — 60 were used during our study. These reduced the ticks by at least 86 percent over the three-year study.
2. Use them at least until the deer herd is reduced to numbers that will no longer support the burgeoning tick population. Remember, each deer provides enough biological mass to support the growth of up to 450,000 larval ticks each season
3. Make an earnest attempt to introduce constructive, accurate information when entering the discussion.
WILLIAM E. ZITEK, DVM
To the Editor:
The decision of Federal District Court Judge Joanna Seybert to grant a preliminary injunction restraining the Town of East Hampton from imposing a limit on noisy aircraft to one trip a week came as no surprise.
Both the strategy and the drafting of this restriction are flawed. A more acceptable approach would have been to limit a per diem volume of traffic that fluctuates during the course of the week with steep seasonal reductions during the weekends. Recently, as many as three aircraft have been sighted on the same flight path during the same 60 seconds.
Uber helicopter flights to and from East Hampton Airport are scheduled on demand with no regard to frequency, so the manner in which the town arrives at a reasonable amount of traffic may prove challenging. However, it must take public safety as well as deterioration of quality of life and environment into account.
The website for submitting noise complaints has been logging 1,000 complaints per week since Memorial Day weekend with a total number of complaints nearing 60,000, up from 24,000 in October 2014. Clearly air traffic noise pollution is a year-round affliction and the reduction in volume should reflect the corresponding increase of complaints.
East Hampton has yet to publicly explore the option of over-water-only flight paths. This would entirely eliminate a disruption to residential areas. After having accepted FAA grants for the last 15 years, closing down the East Hampton airport to re-locate it to Montauk would seem ironic but it would entirely solve the problem.
Even with the current curfews in place, I noted one defiant seaplane Sunday morning at 6:44 a.m. returning at 7:13 a.m. There will be no respite this summer. Now more than ever, it is incumbent on us to register our displeasure.
To the Editor:
I have written stories that I need people’s opinions about. Are these stories other people would find worth their time and energy to read? Are there fatal flaws that would turn people off?
These are the stories of real people told through the letters they wrote and information found through research.
These are the stories of six decent people who lived through turbulent times — the American Revolution. Some fared better than others. Some “lived happily ever after.” Some did not. Did they do the best they could, considering the daunting circumstances?
The longest of the six stories is 28,290 words; the shortest is 9,760. Most can be read in one sitting.
I can guarantee that you will learn lots about people from an earlier time. What they thought about God. How they valued education for their daughters as well as their sons. The dangers and hardships of travel. The energy and ingenuity it took to survive. How death was just around the corner. What really mattered.
You can do this work here at my climate-controlled house where we can discuss the work as you do it. Or, at your own home in your own time with a pencil. Whatever, I want to finish this job before August 1.
Are you willing to take the plunge? If so, call me at 749-3028, or email me at [email protected]
To the Editor:
I would like to thank the young couple who stopped on Jaspa Road on Tuesday night, June 30, to help my friend round up my dog.
He is a service dog and not used to being loose. I am sorry my friend did not get your names.
Thank you for caring enough to stop and help.