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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor


Perceived problem
To the Editor:
The recent article on affordable housing (“What Shelter Island’s future can afford,” March 3) was well written and timely.

However, it was rife with speculation and opinion and did not belong on the front page. The article provided little or no data to substantiate the long list of perceived social problems facing our community.

Moreover, to assert that the Town Board should consider affordable housing issues because Councilwoman Chris Lewis has constituents demanding action is quite misleading. I am sure Ms. Lewis has as many constituents who feel that the board has no business involving itself in the housing issue and that it is quite incapable of addressing the complex social problems listed in the article. (Look no further than the ongoing 4-poster fiasco.)

Ms. Lewis and this newspaper are very respected members of our community and their opinions are very important but they do not deserve more prominence than the opinions of those who write on this page.

Perhaps it is the folks who feel the board can actually solve the perceived problem of affordable housing who are “tilting at windmills,” rather than those who like things as they are and feel there is ample affordable housing just a short, pleasant ferry ride away.
DAVID OLSEN, Shelter Island

Those who scoff
To the Editor:
If you have ever had a mosquito bite during the day, then you have met the Asian tiger mosquito. This mosquito was first introduced to Long Island in 2004 and has since swarmed through the East End. It can carry the Zika virus and other diseases.

Combine this mosquito with the fact that we have a large number of people migrating back from Zika-infected areas of Latin America and we could have a perfect storm of a Zika epidemic. Per capita, I estimate that East End towns will have more people arriving from Zika-infected countries than most other communities.

When I suggested that our Town Board demand that the Suffolk County Department of Health Services identify those who might spread the diseases here, some folks ridiculed me.

We have a limited window of opportunity to reduce the potential transmission of the Zika virus here. It can be done.

Just because we are a small town doesn’t mean we must think small. I understand that thinking out of the box or suggesting something new is verboten here. This is especially true when it comes to public health issues, since the mere mention of them may somehow affect tourism. If Zika does spread locally, how will that affect tourism?

I hope those who scoff at my suggestions are right. But if a baby is born with a possibly preventable Zika birth defect, or if someone suffers paralysis from the Zika virus, then those who decided that being proactive about prevention is a joke must explain it to the victims.

Politics are what they are here. I am obviously not in lock-step with Supervisor Dougherty.

The days of keeping Lyme disease and other public health issues secret and off the radar is over. The Internet and social media have seen to that. Our best option is to show we take these concerns seriously and are protecting the public with all resources.

I know I hit a nerve when I get mentioned in Bob Lipsyte’s “Codger” column (“All’s fair,” March 10). I wasn’t being sarcastic when I wrote about “our friends from Latin America.” Many come here legally, work hard and do their best to provide for their families. I respect that. Let’s not build walls here.

Making the effort to identify those with a transmissible disease is not to “trumpet against” anyone, as Lipsyte accuses me of.

How out of context is that?
VINCENT NOVAK, Shelter Island

Wishful thoughts
To the Editor:
Kudos and plaudits to our wonderful Highway Department Superintendent Jay Card Jr. and his intrepid staff who keep our roadways safe, passable and clear of overhanging canopy, clearing the way for bikers and joggers to see and be seen by drivers.

Our Island is looking more and more pristine.

Kudos and plaudits also to Ian Weslek, Harry Brigham and their partners who have refurbished a worn-out old lady [VUE Restaurant] and brought her into the light. It is so wonderful that these young people have taken the task at hand and worked so hard to accomplish so much. Government should not hobble entrepreneurs, it should encourage free enterprise and benefit from the success.

The Shelter Island Country Club’s staff, food and ambiance were delightful and the prices were reasonable. Can’t they continue to give a small percentage of their revenue profits to the town? Or else get Maria and her cooks to sprint up her goodies and have Pepe send coffee from STARS. Bring back Sunday a.m. brunch. It’s the most exquisite spot on Shelter Island to visit or to read the paper after church and linger over a mimosa or an espresso.

Please allow the Highway Department to bring topsoil from the Recycling Center to prevent erosion and encourage grass growth on the fairways at Goat Hill. The town should float a bond to acquire the land north of Goat Hill down to the bay so golfers could access by boat