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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor

REPORTER FILE PHOTO| The United States Postal Service Long Island District Manager wrote to the Reporter this week..
REPORTER FILE PHOTO| The United States Postal Service Long Island District Manager wrote to the Reporter this week..

From the post office
To the Editor:
The Postal Service is proud to be part of the Shelter Island community, where records of postal operations date back to 1846.
As the Postal Service Long Island District Manager, my commitment to you is professional, reliable and courteous service.

Upon learning about recent mail issues on Shelter Island, I immediately visited both post offices here. I am glad I made the trip.

We re-established techniques to improve mail service to the Island, which clearly suffers from a volume of mail bearing only a street address in lieu of a much-needed post office box number. Those improvements should continue in the days ahead.

Sustaining these improvements will require our partnership, which local postal customers have heard before.

Until 1950, when mail volume was much lighter, the Postal Service looked up the address for each piece of insufficiently addressed mail. However, this was cumbersome, costly and incompatible with automated processing. Time spent correcting addresses caused a backup of other duties. Similarly, postal employees may have local knowledge, sort of a “he goes here, she goes there” familiarity in a community. But that is uneven, unpredictable and unreliable. Both practices expose consumers to the possibility of late or misdirected items. This is not an acceptable outcome.

That’s why we continue to ask that customers use both their post office box number and street address on their mail, with the post office box appearing on the line above city, state and ZIP Code. We will do our part by educating mailers on dual-address options and requiring updates to commercial mailing lists.

Should customers have mailing concerns, I encourage them to share those with us by calling the local post office, calling 1-800-275-8777 or by using the customer care options available on usps.com. These concerns will allow us to see trends unique to Shelter Island or issues of wider impact to Long Island’s postal operations to measure our improvements and to tell me we are on the right track.

Please accept my apologies. My best attention to Shelter Island is assured.
United States Postal Service  Long Island District Manager

Political will
To the Editor:
Robert Waife’s letter in last week’s Reporter (“Trade-offs on disease”) was interesting. I agree that we should not allow hunters within range of populated areas. There are ways to trap deer near homes. We could quickly sedate them and ship them off to some rich and famous PETA person’s ranch out West.

The USDA would, of course, not allow this as our deer are considered toxic to human life. The trapped deer could also be swiftly dispatched, which is a safer option compared to sharp shooters near homes.

Mr. Waife suggests that antibiotics are the solution for living with the risk of tick-borne diseases. Over your lifetime, the more antibiotics you take, the less effective they become. Because of such overuse of antibiotics, there are now more drug-resistant infections that include incurable tick-borne diseases.

Mr. Waife states that other animals might host the ticks. A recent independent study commissioned by Connecticut shows that no other animal can supply the blood meal to sustain the massive amount of ticks that only the deer can. When the deer population is zero, the majority of ticks die off within two life cycles and no longer pose a threat to humans.

Last October, a police call was made for an out-of-control 4-year-old child. The responding police officer did not comprehend why a mother would need a cop for her toddler. The dispatcher replied that the child has Lyme disease. The officer then understood. Behavioral problems due to neurological issues from tick-borne disease are not uncommon.

If our Town Board was to announce that we were going follow the 1996 Monhegan Island model to successfully eliminate Lyme disease, our home values would soar and properties would sell on speculation that Shelter Island would be a Lyme disease-free oasis.

This requires eliminating all of the deer from the Island and can take a few years. But it will never happen if we never start. It is a matter of political will.

Our government’s primary obligation is to protect the people, but they willfully compromise the public health to keep the deer that locals revere. The solution has been at hand for years. Many suffer from avoidable debilitating illnesses from tick-borne diseases.

For myself, that one 4-year-old child suffering neurological disorders from Lyme disease is worth all of the deer on Shelter Island, if not the world.
Shelter Island

Greed driven
To the Editor:
While I do not always agree with Karl Grossman’s opinions, his Suffolk Closeup column on January 7 (“Rigging the game against consumers”) is among the best reporting and opinion pieces I have seen in any publication.

As a graduate student in the Strategic Maritime Leadership program, run jointly by Louisiana State University and Workboat magazine, I have attended a number of lectures over the past four months given by well-respected economists attempting to explain the causes and impact of steeply declining oil prices on the American maritime industry.

Such pricing changes impact the maritime sector drastically because petroleum products are both widely shipped and used as fuel in this part of the U.S. economy. None of the lectures I attended did as good a job of explaining the root causation as Karl’s relatively short, succinct column.

Several centuries ago, Adam Smith’s writings caused him to be ultimately viewed as the father of free market classical economics. U.S. capitalism is often touted as a fine system because so much of it is rooted in the free market concepts that are said to offer the best distribution of products, services and wealth.

Whether poor or rich, what many forget is that Smith’s basic assumption was that a free market system would operate through reasonable and rational participants. It is the very absence of that rational approach that causes government intervention and regulation to become necessary.

Apparently Smith equated rational with absence of greed. Now more than ever we see that greed drives much of the economic returns sought by “free market” participants.

I hope, as Karl has reported, that Assemblyman Fred Thiele can gain some traction into investigating oil pricing on eastern Long Island. In the mean time, Karl’s column has done an excellent job in attempting to explain the remarkable drop in oil pricing.

It may still amount to simple economics and the supply and demand concept, but it does underscore that we really do not have entirely “free market” economics in many segments of the U.S. economy.
Shelter Island

Love fest
To the Editor:
This is why I love Shelter Island — the community-minded businesses here give so generously to the annual St. Mary’s Episcopal Church raffle, which is held on the occasion of the St. Nicholas Day Fair each year. To the businesses, I want to express my appreciation, especially Shelter Island Ace Hardware, Dandy Liquors, Gardiner’s Bay Country Club, North Fork Community Theatre, Bay Street Theater, 18 Bay, VUE, Shelter Island Country Club, South Ferry, Eagle Deli, King Kullen, J.W. Piccozzi, Becky’s Shelter Island Florist, Cicero’s Barber Shop and Bella Vita.

There are so few businesses here, but I can see how frequently they are asked to donate, and they do it over and over again. It is to be greatly respected.
Shelter Island
Ms. Babinski chairs the St. Nicholas Day Fair committee — Ed.

Finding Lilly
To the Editor:
This Christmas our family decided, in lieu of exchanging presents, to rescue a dog in need of a good home. We added Lilly, a sweet, five-year-old Cavimalt from Louisville, Kentucky to our family. We quickly became attached to Lilly. Her love of life and her deep sense of gratitude touched our hearts immediately.

On a rainy January morning, Lilly ran out the front door of our home on Dinah Rock Road with her red leash attached to her neck. A tragedy would have occurred had our neighborhood not responded to our pleas for help. Many individuals and families with dogs came out in a terrible rainstorm to try and find Lilly. Miraculously, after eight long hours, Lilly was found tethered to a deck by one selfless neighbor, who searched in the rain for quite some time to locate her.

We are thankful to be a part of the greater Shelter Island community and proud to be residents of Hay Beach. We are absolutely certain that Lilly is, too.
Shelter Island