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Shelter Island Letters to the Editor

CHARITY ROBEY PHOTO Councilman Paul Shepherd responded to an article in the May 12 issue of the Reporter.
CHARITY ROBEY PHOTO Councilman Paul Shepherd responded to an article in the May 12 issue of the Reporter.

To the Editor:
In all the commotion that goes with front page headlines (“Councilman Shepherd fears future ‘indiscriminate slaughter,” May 12), it may have gotten lost that I told Deer and Tick Committee Chairman Mike Schiebel that they have done a good job, so I’ll repeat that here. The committee’s efforts, along with that of the hunting community, are making a positive difference, in my opinion.

The reason I spoke up the other day was to register my dislike of the term “cull” in this application. Of course, “indiscriminate slaughter” is a term still others may dislike equally. I submit that my phrase is less hyperbolic than theirs is euphemistic, unless you call “eenie, meanie, miney, moe, cull them all but mostly does” discrimination.

My primary concern was with what has become the unofficial official “target” number for the herd. I see 100 deer plus or minus for the Island as being much lower than necessary to positively impact their health or ours. A 90 percent or more reduction of the herd stretches the definition of “cull” to the breaking point.

If there was anything else negative in my remarks, it stems not from genuine disapproval but rather my regret that herd reduction is, in fact, necessary. Deer evolved in a predatory environment and without it their numbers increase quickly and disastrously for all concerned. We alone can fill that role.

Our goal should be a number that allows us to take the requisite percentage of deer to maintain a degree of numeric stability without any heroics on the part of the hunters, or undue incentives on the part of the taxpayers. I am thinking we’re getting close to that sustainable level. Not there, but close.

Of course, there are areas where you might not know any hunting had taken place at all. Some realignment of focus will be needed to change that and I expect it to be coming next year. Just remember, they are a natural resource to manage, not an enemy to destroy. Part of my job is watching out for them, too.
Councilman, Town of Shelter Island

Shape up
To the Editor:
This thing with the Shelter Island Country Club, Inc. has finally gone too far. Now the Town Board has voted to give the country club a cash infusion of $10,000 of taxpayer’s money, to spend as they want — by buying old, broken down equipment, then leasing it back to them for a dollar.

As a former SICC board member (head of grounds), I can say, yes, we have had help from the town in the form of parking lots, driving range, tees, etc., but never in the form of cash. The taxpayers should not have to fund a private corporation.

The club has always made it through hurricanes, droughts and other weather-related problems without cash from the town.

Maybe an audit of all the books should show where money should be spent and not spent or to change management.

It’s time to shape up or ship out! Shelter Island doesn’t need a Fannie Mae or a Freddie Mac.
Shelter Island

Mail mess continues
To the Editor:
This letter is about the Center Post Office, and nothing to do with mail that doesn’t have the P.O. Box and is sent back.

This is about the horribly long lines, missing or delayed packages and the complete lack of response from the Post Office officials.

When Postmaster Mary Payne went on medical leave, no replacement or extra help was sent while she was gone, and this was at Christmas, the busiest mail delivery time of the year. Even worse, what we were left with was effectively one man trying to do the work of three and taking the blame for what was an unacceptable situation to begin with.

Although dozens, if not hundreds, of people started complaining about the situation, it still took a congressman to step in to get the post office to send us an “Officer in Charge” to “resolve” the situation. The only reason I knew this was because I read an article in the Reporter, because from the time he started until just a few weeks ago, I had never laid eyes on the man, even though I’m in the post office almost daily.

I don’t know if anyone else has seen an improvement in the service since he came, but I can tell you for a fact that even up to this week I still have to track my packages online and then go in and tell them that they are there.

As for the post office official’s response, when I called our “Officer in Charge’s” boss to tell him that there was still a problem here he told me, “I just talked to Joe and he said there’s been no problems” and that I was the only person he knew of complaining.

Maybe you’re happy with the service at the Center Post Office, but if not, and you want to see any improvement I urge you to write to our congressman and tell him that we need his help again.
Congressman Lee Zeldin, 30 West Main Street, Suite 201, Riverhead, NY 11901.
Shelter Island

Bag ban a bad idea
To the Editor:
I’m fiscally conservative, but liberal on environmental and social issues. So I guess you could call me an independent who usually votes Democrat. That being said, I have to object to the Democratic proposal to ban all plastic bags in Suffolk County.

It’s just another law we don’t need.

I’ve lived throughout the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area and have never seen a recycling center that functions as well as the one on Shelter Island. Shelter Islanders are exceptionally conscientious in conducting proper recycling. The rest of Suffolk County — and yes, the rest of the country — could take a lesson on how well Shelter Islanders recycle.

My wife and I use plastic bags for everything. We even place our plastic recyclables into supermarket bags and bring them to the dump. But we never put plastic bags in the garbage. A full plastic bag also keeps plastics from flying away if you use the blue recycling crates that you leave outside. Nevertheless, I’ve talked to many who don’t know that plastic bags can be recycled with other plastics.

Banning plastic bags also presents a health issue. Milk, raw pork and chicken and other items often have product residue on their packaging. For example, a gallon of milk usually has a milkish coating. Meats have raw juices. These coatings are absorbed by your reusable bag. This now requires a separate wash since most people are not going to clean their reusable bags with their clothes.

As mentioned, the Island already has the best recycling program I’ve ever seen. What we need instead is a simple education program that lets people know they can recycle plastic bags with their plastic recyclables. Not everyone knows this. If they knew, we wouldn’t be having a problem.

Supermarkets, of course, would love to stop providing free plastic bags and charge you for every single bag you use. That’s why they overwhelmingly support this bill. Again, it’s just another law on the books that we don’t need.

I encourage everyone to phone Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming at 852-8400. You can also send an email to the clerk of the Legislature at [email protected] Time is running out.

Banning plastic bags may seem like a good idea, but it’s not.
Shelter Island

To the Editor:
I understand that the  Community Preservation Fund Committee, aka “the 2 percent Committee,” has not met for the second consecutive month because it does not have a quorum. There are two vacancies, including the chair.

Open space is so important to the Island. Shouldn’t this issue be addressed in the Reporter?
Shelter Island

Step up for the Bucks
To the Editor:
Heads up, Islanders — the Bucks arrive in 12 short days and as of this morning, we’re still short four beds! So who are you, those families ready to step into the breach? Please get in touch soon, we need you.

It’s not as hard as you may think. You don’t have to drive anyone or feed anyone or do anyone’s laundry — all your Buck needs is a bed and a small space in the fridge. If you have young children, they’ll love being part of the whole scene and if you don’t, you might enjoy remembering when you did. And if you’re a woman living alone, as I am, it’s lovely having someone to climb the ladder and change the light bulb! And being a member of the “host families” is a trip in itself.

So please remember, everybody, we can’t have a team unless we can house a team. At least one town in the league almost lost their team and that’s not a place we want to go. So if you’ve ever enjoyed a game, think about helping out. We really need you, and if it sounds like we’re begging and pleading, that’s because we’re begging and pleading.

Call any member of the Bucks Executive Committee, even if you just want to talk about it or if you have questions. We’ll be there for you all eight weeks of the season, 24/7, and that’s a promise. Call Frank Emmett at 749-4251, Carol Galligan at 749-0802 or Dave Gurney at 749-0097.

Shelter Island

Hats (and toques) off
To the Editor:
For everyone who attended the fundraising dinner on May 7 at the Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, you will recall I was mentioned as the “celebrity” chef.

The only real celebrity here is Susan Binder. She deserves all the credit for the evening. Susan handled everything, including the menu, shopping and practically all of the preparation and cooking. And her professional brigade consisting of Darrin Binder, Dan Binder, Deb Binder and a slew of diligent volunteer servers helped the evening go off without a hitch. I’ve never felt so useless in a kitchen.

Susan, you made everything look easy when a dinner for almost 70 people is in reality very difficult! Hats (and toques) off to you.
Shelter Island

Above and beyond
To the Editor:
Three cheers for Shelter Island Police Officer Anthony Rando.

I look after and assist an old friend of mine who lives alone on Shelter Island, and on Wednesday, May 11, my friend needed assistance. But in this case, she needed help that I could not do alone.

I called the Shelter Island Police Department and luckily was directed to Officer Rando. It was quite extraordinary the help he provided, going so far as doing physical labor, which I was not able to do.

His caring, wise and concerned manner was unusual and deeply appreciated.

Thank you, Officer Rando for the assistance rendered to this dear friend of mine.
Shelter Island