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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor

REPORTER FILE PHOTO A resident weighs in on the longstanding controversy surrounding Fresh Pond.
AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO A resident weighs in on the longstanding controversy surrounding Fresh Pond.

Fresh Pond
To the Editor:
In an attempt to change the current impaired (polluted), non-contact classification of Fresh Pond, Shelter Island Town Attorney, Laury Dowd stated at a January 2016 public meeting that Fresh Pond is similar to Marratooka Lake in Mattituck.

On August 8, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services advised against swimming or wading in Marratooka Lake and nine other nearby water bodies due to high levels of Cyanobacteria or blue-green algae. They note that children and pets especially should be kept away from those areas.

Those new to the Island should understand that Fresh Pond is not monitored or tested for swimming water quality. The ambiguous “Not A Bathing Beach” sign was a political compromise to the original “Swimming Prohibited” sign. Folks that choose to swim in Fresh Pond should also know that e.coli and fecal coliform levels spike after rain storms. The state Department of Environmental Conservation recommends that these waters should be avoided for 24 to 48 hours after the rain and should never be ingested.

Fresh Pond is starting to show a murky greenish tint in the water. This is usually a precursor to a toxic blue-green algae bloom. How this bloom might progress will depend on the weather.

Whatever the bacteria levels actually are in Fresh Pond remain unknown. I have asked the Town Board to post a sign to inform the public that the pond is not tested in accordance with county health department protocols for swimming water quality. They have refused, stating that people can swim at their own risk, without knowing what those risks are.

I am especially concerned when parents bring their babies and toddlers to play in Fresh Pond. They are the most vulnerable to contracting serious waterborne illnesses. These parents falsely believe that our town government is there to safeguard them. Tourists think that swimming is allowed and healthy by virtue of the required parking permits. Wrong.

Just like the tick-borne disease problem, this town is reluctant to employ any new environmental and public health advances that might contradict the image of Shelter Island. Keeping Fresh Pond as a tourist attraction is more important than protecting public health.

Fresh Pond is still a great place to boat and fish. I caught and released a 4-pound bass in the northeast corner of the pond last week. It just might not be a healthy place to swim, especially for kids, seniors, pets and those with compromised immune systems.

Shelter Island

Consider the  ecosystem
To the Editor:
I read with concern the article on the Island’s water problem and the growing drought conditions (“Committee developing drought plan,” August 11). Despite the Sumatran rain storm of last Wednesday, I understand that the Island wells are way below the median rate for July and in some cases even lower.

However, I also see a “thirst” for more development and the building boom as all too alive and well here.

What will be the impact of all those new homes on the water supply? The editorial about the St. Gabe’s development (“A meeting of minds,” August 11), urged the town to move forward, but those projected high-end houses will require a lot of water for their inevitable private pools and extensive landscaping. More homes translates into more wells and water usage.

I understand the allure of selling off property to builders, but at some point, when will the Island become unsustainable from a water supply point? It seems to me that we need to step back and consider the ecosystem that is Shelter Island and plan for the future carefully to preserve the Island that so many of you grew up on and that we all have come to love (except those deer — you can get rid of those as far as I am concerned).

Shelter Island

It is what it is
To the Editor:
Let’s call them “illegal rentals,” because that’s what they are. When homeowners rent out their property on a weekly basis, they are illegally running a commercial business out of residentially- zoned premises.

Stop blurring the lines and call it what it is. Especially when these so-called “residents” don’t even reside on the property. Give me a break! I understand if my neighbors need to sometimes rent their primary homes to meet expenses. The key word here is “primary.”

My question is: What are our Town Board members going to do about it? Go soft, because they don’t want to be the bad guy? Be the most favored board member so they are re-elected? Maybe. But remember, they are in office to uphold and protect our town zoning laws.

If they can’t do that, then it’s time for them to step down.

Shelter Island

A huge success
To the Editor:
The Shelter Island Country Club would like to extend a sincere thank you to all who worked so hard at making the “Betty Konjte Memorial Cocktail Party” a huge success.

A special thanks to all the Island merchants and the public who contributed so generously. South Ferry , SALT, Bella Vita Pizza, Piccozzi, Inc., Sunset Beach, Shelter Island Heights Pharmacy, the Islander, the Tavern, the Ram’s Head Inn, Cornucopia, Klenawicus and O’Hagen, Scott Lechmanski, Shelter Island Wines and Liquors, Cathy Kenny, Endless Summer Grille and Belle Lareau.

Also a thank you to the committee of: Belle Lareau who kept everyone up to date with her constant emails, and Pat and Steve Lenox for their contribution of a fishing trip prize, as well as arranging and working at the Raw Bar. To Frank and Joan Caputo for a generous donation and great suggestions and ideas along the way. A big thank you to Liz Melichar-Lechmanski, who co-chaired the event. Without all these people, it would not have been so successful.

Thanks again,

Shelter Island Country Club

For Don McCarthy
To the Editor:
The loving sympathy and the outpouring of support that the Shelter Island community, American Legion Mitchell Post 281, Ladies Auxiliary, and the Shelter Island Ambulance Foundation have shown during this tremendously difficult time is greatly appreciated.

The countless number of meals, flowers and words of kindness did not go unnoticed. A special thank you to all who opened their homes to allow our families to stay together.

Our Lady of the Isle Church and Father Peter gave us the spiritual guidance we needed. Father Peter, thank you for the constant support. Your daily phone calls and immediate attention when called were beyond comforting. The entire church community shared in the grief and love of Don.

There are simply no words to express our heartfelt thanks that you have all extended toward our family during this time of loss. We are deeply grateful to each and every one of you. As we move forward with each day, we are assured by the fact that this community will forever be a part of our family after the passing of our husband, father, grand “Da” and friend.

We know that Don treasured your friendship. Your presence and willingness to help with anything needed was a great comfort. We are deeply grateful for your kind devotion.

Shelter Island

To the Editor:
A heartfelt thank you to all the people, police, strangers,and EMS workers who stopped and helped my husband and I when our vehicle turned over on Sunday at 3 p.m. on Route 114.

And to our best friends, Kyle and Cenzo, who came to our rescue and sat and cried with us at the hospital.
A miracle happened that day, and we are alive thanks to all those unknown people. It will never be forgotten.

Shelter Island