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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor


Matter of proportion
To the Editor:
Each Memorial Day, I visit my father’s grave and the graves of three uncles at the Long Island National Cemetery. They all served in World War II. They told me how the Nazis would control our lives and how our ability to think and speak freely would be curtailed. Being an American was all about the freedom and liberty that every individual citizen is granted by our Bill of Rights and the Constitution — concepts worth defending.

A few yards from my dad’s grave are rows of grave stones marked with “Iraq” and “Afghanistan.” Each Memorial Day politicians talk about the freedoms and ideals of our democracy that these troops also sacrificed and died for.

The next day, these principles were put to a test in Town Hall. In a discussion about “proportionality,” a citizen said that the Town Board was trying to control peoples’ lives. Councilman Jim Colligan replied that he has his, (pro proportionality), point of view and “If you want to run for office, then you run for office.” An intimidating statement that might keep those pesky citizens out of Town Hall. The democratic process, Shelter Island style.

Imagine if Shelter Island passed a “proportionality” law a century or two ago. We might all be living in one room cabins or shantys now. Newer house designs require more roof area to accommodate solar cell panels for a “green,” energy-efficient home. It might not be “proportional” to nearby houses, but it is the future. Or should we be relegated to the past for the sake of community aesthetics?

We already have several town codes that preclude how we live on our own property because community aesthetics dominate the Town Board’s thinking. When a government decides that the community is more important than the liberty of the individual, then that is called communism.

Our Town Board should restate their oath of office. They must include the words “…of the United States” that were omitted last January when they stated that they would support the “constitution.”

Those few words are significant and are required by law.

Perhaps it was just an oversight. Just like the oversight when the board met on two separate September 11ths but made no mention of the significance of that day. Let’s not forget that Shelter Islanders are first and foremost citizens of the United States of America that so many have sacrificed for.
Shelter Island

Post office blues
To the Editor:
The new woman assigned to the Center Post Office is wonderful (“Postal service insists help is on the way,” June 2). I haven’t seen a line since she came, she’s always ready to jump in to help when people are waiting and you can always see or hear her working.

However, I have to say this parcel locker idea concerns me. The last time I got my mail there were 10 pieces of mail in my box, three were mine, three were for a different box and four were for a different post office altogether. How exactly are you going to insure that the packages are going to go to the right person? Even under the best of circumstances mistakes happen, and what exactly is going to happen when something important doesn’t get to the intended person?

For example: A mail order pharmacy medication is shipped to me and the key for the delivery is put in the wrong box. The person who actually gets the key takes the medicine, instead. Now I have no medicine, you say I received it, and there’s no way of telling who actually got it because you still think you put the key in the right box.

Even if you install cameras so that we can finally find out who our hypothetical thief is and prove I didn’t get it, the bottom line is that I don’t have my medicine. With the time it would take to straighten out the missing delivery with the insurance company and the online pharmacy, I might not have another shipment for quite some time.

I want to find an effective solution for everyone. There is no getting around the fact that with the increasing popularity of online shopping, mandatory drug deliveries and increased population, the volume of mail has increased dramatically and the parcel boxes, while well intended, are going to just add more work to the people who are already having a hard time keeping up.

That statement is not meant as a criticism of the current or even past postal employees, just a recognition that we have the same number of employees we’ve had for years even though the volume of mail has increased tremendously. There is just too much mail for any three people to handle effectively.
Shelter Island

The legacy of Shelter Island
To the Editor:
The Shelter Island Presbyterian Church would like to acknowledge the Shelter Island Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution volunteers who have been overseeing the preservation of the historic monuments and stones for the past several years in the North and South burial grounds of the forefathers of this community.

The cemeteries contain 18th and 19th century stones, markers and tabletops which have been restored. The founding fathers of our community, their families and several Revolutionary War patriots are among those buried there, along with many, many families that we are all familiar with.

The conservation efforts have been under the training and direction of Conservator Jonathan Appell along with Conservator Joel C. Snodgrass, who restored two historic tabletops.

When you drive by and see the hard working volunteers, know that their work is preserving an important part of our heritage and the legacy of Shelter Island.

Many thanks to the DAR for your great work!
Clerk of Session, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church

Just like Montauk?
To the Editor:
It’s just the beginning, but it is here — the party house, and its coming to the house right next door to you.

Blaring music, lights and all the disgusting, drunken entertainment your heart desires. If you’re a night owl, you will love all the action going on at 2 a.m. right next door to you. The public urination, the loud foul-mouthed screaming and fighting and, of course, the constant flow of transient traffic.

You see folks, our beautiful Shelter Island is soon going to have big problems, just like Montauk, because your neighbors, like our brand new neighbors, are going on internet sites, such as Homeaway.com, VRBO, and AirB&B and renting their homes out on a nightly basis.

There are already approximately 20 of these on the Island. But unlike a true B&B, where there are zoning ordinances, requiring the owner be on the premises, etc., there are very few regulations set up yet for these types of internet rentals.

These homes are in lovely, residentially-zoned neighborhoods, like yours and mine, but are being run as commercial businesses. I’m not saying a homeowner shouldn’t have the right to rent out his home, but there must be restrictions, such as not less than a month at a time.

Unless we put a stop to these commercial enterprises that are being run in our backyards, they may soon be your neighbor. Please reach out and speak to our town officials regarding this matter. Keep Shelter Island the beautiful, peaceful Shelter Island that we all love.
Shelter Island

Blame game
To the Editor:
With regard to the Reporter’s editorials, which are pretty good, who is to blame for all the nonsense pending? St. Gabe’s, floating zones, de-watering projects are all political as far as I can see.

St. Gabe’s Chapel needs to be taken care of by the Passionist Fathers, who sold the property without a thought of what would happen to “our” chapel. It belongs to the people of Shelter Island, especially the people who supported St. Gabe’s for so many years. What happens to the room my husband and I bought several years ago? We need some answers here.

David Klenawicus should not be giving up part of his legacy because the Passionists were negligent.

They have $15 million to make sure this chapel is placed in a proper place for all to enjoy as part of Shelter Island’s history — history that seems to be waning. The town should have bought the property as soon as the Passionists applied for their subdivision. Do not blame the new owner; he is the last person to be held responsible for this mess.

A few weeks ago someone posted on Facebook that the perfect place for the chapel is next to the Historical Society on the Town of Shelter Island’s former Highway Department property, and why not?

No more space for floating zones and de-watering projects. St. Gabe’s is top-priority in our house, since time is of the essence here.
Shelter Island

Preserve history
To the Editor:
We heard a wise comment this week regarding saving the St. Gabe’s Chapel — what will happen if we do not raise the funds necessary to move the chapel? Every penny donated will be refunded, immediately. Honesty is the best policy. With that said, we are nearing our goal. Please help us save this Shelter Island treasure for generations to come to use and enjoy.

The Chapel is 78-years-old and once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. For your 100 percent tax deductible contribution, please mail a check  to O’Hagan/Klen, Post Office Box 244, Shelter Island Heights, NY, 11965 with “Save the St. Gabe’s Chapel” in the subject line.  Also,  contribute at gofundme.com/savestgabeschapel.

Does your organization match donations dollar for dollar? We’ll walk you through the easy process. Please call us at (917) 647-7518

Know anyone who could donate 46 cubic yards of foundation concrete?

Let’s preserve history together,
Shelter Island

Peaceful and serene
To the Editor:
East End Hospice is on our Island every week, sometimes every day, taking care of our families and friends. Every two years, the East End Hospice Shelter Island Committee asks you to support us so that this valuable service can continue.

I knew, as we all do, that someday I would have to make that first phone call to hospice. I thought it would be difficult, an act of giving up, as I’ve heard some people say. It was none of that. Rather, with the help of East End Hospice, we felt that the next part of our journey had begun. It was peaceful and serene. Hospice made the difference.

Please come support us on June 11 at the Shelter Island Yacht Club, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m..
Shelter Island

To the Editor:
American Legion Mitchell Post #281 would like to thank everyone who participated in our annual Memorial Day parade and the public that came out and braved the elements to show support.

I would also like to thank all who donated to our grave markers that we put out before Memorial Day. If by chance, we missed a loved one who passed away and you want a marker, please call the American Legion at 749-1180 and we will be happy to honor your wishes.

Thank you again for supporting the American Legion Mitchell Post #281.
Commander, Mitchell Post #281