Shelter Island Reporter Editorials

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Mashomack Preserve Director Mike Laspia and his wife Susan, preserve operations manager, are retiring in September.

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO Mashomack Preserve Director Mike Laspia and his wife Susan, preserve operations manager, are retiring in September.

Working for us
It’s rare these days for people to remain in one job, in one place, for more than 30 years. But Mike and Susan Laspia have done just that, with Mike starting work as Mashomack Preserve’s director in 1980, and his wife Susan coming on board as preserve operations manager three years later.

News that they will be retiring this September means the Island will be losing two of its greatest assets.

The more than 2,000 acres of Mashomack is what Nancy Kelly, executive director of the Nature Conservancy of Long Island, has called “a jewel in the Conservancy’s land holdings, as well as an integral part of the community.”

Mashomack’s worth is the gift of unspoiled nature in our midst, not removed from our community, but a part of it. Mike and Susan were there at the beginning, when the Nature Conservancy took ownership, and are mainly responsible for the reason

Mashomack is seamlessly integrated into Island life.

They have been conscientious stewards of this Island treasure, always making sure it is accessible to the many and not just the few.

We wish them well, and were pleased to learn they are staying on the Island in their retirement.

It will be a difficult task to replace Mike and Susan, who have worked diligently to make Mashomack ours to enjoy.

COURTESY GRAPHIC Results of a poll taken by the town’s Green Options Advisory Committee asking Shelter Islanders about a Suffolk County-wide ban on single use, plastic bags

COURTESY GRAPHIC Results of a poll taken by the town’s Green Options Advisory Committee asking Shelter Islanders about a Suffolk County-wide ban on single use, plastic bags

Time for Suffolk to act
A poll taken by the town’s Green Options Advisory Committee suggests that Islanders are overwhelmingly in favor of a countywide ban on single-use, plastic bags given away free by retailers.

Some would say that a poll of only 250 people means nothing — some say any poll is worthless — but with a small population, the committee’s poll results are significant.

We’ve long been in favor of getting rid of the bags on any municipal level, but a countywide ban makes the most sense, bringing uniformity to a law that would cover all towns and villages in Suffolk.

County Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac), who represents the Island, told the Reporter that town and village bans on the South Fork have worked beyond expectations, with more than two million bags every year removed from circulation over the past several years.

That means multiple — and dangerous to the environment — eyesores are vanishing from streets, roads, storm drains, ponds, creeks and bays.

It’s time to act, and the Suffolk County Legislature is a good place to start.

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