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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor

AMBROSE CLANCY A resident weighs in on the continuing controversy surrounding Fresh Pond.

AMBROSE CLANCY A resident weighed in this week  on the continuing controversy surrounding Fresh Pond.

To be clear
To the Editor:
The quality of our drinking water is one of the highest concerns for Shelter Islanders. In response to several letters that appeared in the Shelter Island Reporter last week, I should clarify a few points. While Islanders don’t actually drink pond water, Fresh Pond is part of the same aquifer that we do get our drinking water from.

As our Town Engineer John Cronin states: “…the town could ultimately decide that the aquifer (and Fresh Pond is actually an opening into the aquifer) is part of town infrastructure as it supplies drinking water …”

Yes, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation classification that Fresh Pond “shall be suitable for primary and secondary contact” is a legal advisory and warning, not a guarantee.

Indeed, Fresh Pond has been listed by the DEC as “impacted by high-phosphorous levels” and we have seen periodic algae blooms, which are a further warning and caution. If and when blooms occur, swimmers should indeed be warned.

This summer, to date, Fresh Pond has remained clear and beautiful. Two highly detailed studies analyzed by Long Island Analytical Laboratories in May and September of 2014, measuring chemical, biological and bacteriological contamination have shown, in the engineer’s words, no particular cause for concern and no basis for declaring the pond polluted or dangerous.

Monitoring and limiting sources of phosphates in and around Fresh Pond can help to keep our aquifer clear.
Shelter Island

Answering questions
To the Editor:
Mr. Dougherty seems to be easily offended when his and/or the Town Board’s actions are questioned (“Police review questioned by resident,” August 6). Why so prickly about a serious question? When I questioned his (the town’s) judgment about granting a photo shoot permit, he accused me of calling him a liar and declared the conversation over. I did question his judgment, not his honesty or integrity.

If he can’t put up with questions, perhaps he should find another job.

By the way, Jim, I will communicate with whom I choose. You obviously have the right to ignore me.
Shelter Island

Beach Club back then
To the Editor:
I read with pleasure Caitlin Panarella’s Shelter Island Heights Beach Club story (“A view from the Heights front porch”) in the July 9 Reporter. When I was a teenager, a very long time ago, the Beach Club was a hang-out for teenagers. We lived on Winthrop Road then and I spent every day walking from our house down through the Heights to the Beach Club.

There was a large float (or perhaps it was permanent) off the end of the dock. It held a high diving platform, a low diving platform, a spring board and a long, tall slide. We would swim out to the float and practice our diving, slide down the slide and sun ourselves! It was great fun, kept us in shape and prepared us for the diving competition. There were swimming races, too.

Friday or Saturday nights there were movies at the Beach Club on a huge screeen at the end of the dock. They were current movies and very well attended. This was a real treat!

The upstairs at the Beach Club was pretty much reserved for the grown-ups. I think they had dances up there and other parties. Before the New Prospect Hotel burned down on June 26, 1942, luncheon was sent down from the hotel to the second floor of the Beach Club.

On a recent visit to the Beach Club, I noticed that the big stone is still there near the entrance but very  low. If you read the inscriptions backwards, they say “soakitup” and “firewater.” This is still a mystery to me.

I guess that Hurricane Carol in 1954 took away the big float as well as the second story of the Beach Club. I still have wonderful memories of fun times at the Beach Club as a teenager. I wonder if they still have sting-bats, which used to get inside our woolen bathing suits!
Shelter Island