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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor


A welcome edition
To the Editor:
It was indeed a welcome edition of the Reporter on March 2.

Thank you, Chief Read, for your support of hard working, good people who may be lacking the right papers and live under the threat of deportation (“ICE sweeps frighten even documented immigrants”).

And a hearty welcome to Jules Feiffer (“New chapter in a life filling volumes”). Those of us who came of age in Greenwich Village in the 1950s-1960s loved his cartoons and portrayals of life. Thank you, Bob Lipsyte for your statement about Mr. Feiffer.

There are good things happening, we just have to be more open and dig deeper.

And three cheers for the work being done on affordable housing and the possibility of people being freer to rent out an extra house on their property. Local people are in desperate need and I fully support Janalyn Travis-Messer wanting to build a duplex on Route 114. The idea that there would be nine cars seems an exaggeration.

Now if only Congressman Zeldin (“Time to show up, Mr. Zeldin”) would change his shortsighted ways … ah, dream on

And last, but surely not least, thank you to members of the Town Board who work very hard on doing the right thing.
Shelter Island

Reconsider restrictions
To the Editor:
Three years ago, my husband and I chose to buy a home on Shelter Island so we could enjoy this beautiful island with our two young daughters.

We chose to forgo family vacations elsewhere so we could enjoy weekends and vacation time away from New York City and become part of this quiet and caring community. We realized we loved spending time here after renting other people’s homes, one week at a time for three summers. My husband and I work hard to be able to continue to afford our home. For a couple of weeks each summer, we rent our home to help offset the cost of keeping a second home. Most families looking to rent our house are looking for one-week rentals. We vet each request that we get and often turn down bachelorette parties and prom parties. Our renters are couples like us with young children or grandparents with their families looking for a place to relax. When we have rented our home, we have never received a complaint from neighbors or the police.

In the February 15 issue of the Shelter Island Reporter, Paul Shepherd asks, “Who are these people who have a second home to rent out in its entirety? Why am I helping them?” To answer Mr. Shepherd’s question, let me tell you who we are and why you should help us. We are the family that comes to Shelter Island in the dead of winter and shops at the IGA, frequents the few restaurants that are open and hires residents to care for our home during the off-season.

In the spring, summer and fall, we are a family who spends weekends here, spending money at the local restaurants, supporting the annual fireworks, supporting the Shelter Island Cricket Match, going to events at Sylvester Manor, hiring local landscapers, fixing our deck with local carpenters and having Island painters paint our home.

Renting our home allows us to continue to live here and put money back into the Island. If you choose to put rental restrictions on homes, we may not be able to stay in the home we love and support the community we have become a part of. Our story is not unique and we urge you to reconsider these restrictions.
Shelter Island

Not a luxury
To the Editor:
Although it’s late in the game and I have been somewhat combative on the short-term rental issue, I have done some soul searching and recognize that my passion might be working against my position. So I thought I would try one more time — without any recrimination so as to keep the emotion out of it.

Hopefully, the Town Board is now beginning to see through some of the recent letters you have been getting that there are many families who are homeowners on the Island, each with their own story as to how they got here, loved the place and stretched financially to buy a home for their family to have a little piece of heaven. Is that really so bad? Is it really something to hold against people?

I would venture a guess that almost everyone who buys a home on the Island rented for periods of time before they “fell in love” and made the purchase; it’s the natural way of things. If that opportunity is gone, what do you think will happen? Who benefits? Will the Island be stronger and more prosperous?

I am pleading with the board on behalf of many, many people to reconsider your position. The vast majority of summer visitors don’t rent for two weeks — it’s that simple. Ask anyone, it rarely happens.

For many people, renting from time to time is not a luxury, it’s a necessity, and the reasons are as different and varied as you can imagine and people tend to be prideful and are hesitant talking about the situation they may be in. Why would you or anyone want to create regulations that will put so many people in untenable positions? I can’t for a minute believe that deep down the members don’t care. The fact that they all sought public office says they do.

Lastly, I think we all need to use a little common sense here. If the tourism population is conservatively cut by 50 percent (and I believe it will be higher) the board surely has to recognize the dramatic economic impact that will have across the board. In good conscience could the board really let that happen? You, the board members, are all custodians for the well being of all the people of Shelter Island, not just those that threaten you.

Please think about it — the future of Shelter Island is at stake.
Shelter Island

To the Editor:
I was able to watch the Town Board’s work session last Tuesday through the magic of cyberspace and was able to read the Reporter online with the full coverage of this meeting. Also in the Reporter were several other political issues, cartoons, and reports about our missing Congressman, Lee Zeldin.

Hard to believe in our community paper that there is such animosity reported. And the letters to the editor say it all about unnecessary legislation that should be tabled.

Some words jumped out at me. In a fabulous photo of three beautiful male cardinals, was the word “interloper.” Interesting! Then in the coverage of the missing congressman, was the phrase, “liberal obstructionists.” That seems to be accurate, since the marching and complaining people seems to be causing quite a bit of obstruction here and everywhere.

There was not word — and I cannot think of one — for our award- winning cartoonist. Perhaps, “amazing?”
Shelter Island

Please explain
To the Editor:
Congressman Zeldin, I can understand that you wanted to meet with your constituents in small groups as you did Friday in Patchogue.

I drove an hour and a half from Shelter Island to see you today. Then I waited there, questions in hand regarding EPA and healthcare, for over three hours, from 9:45 a.m. to 1:10 p.m. On my 90 minute drive back to Shelter Island, I wondered what this experience did to my attitude. I could find nothing positive about it, so I decided to ask you how you thought that it was the right thing to do.

Please explain to me why you didn’t even come out into the waiting room and say hello. Many of us  — perhaps hundreds — are very disappointed that we did not even get to see you after we put out the effort to meet you on your terms.
Shelter Island

Supper vs. dinner
To the Editor:
Depending on one’s age, class, country of origin and Downton Abbey fantasies, one may very well use “supper” and “dinner” to describe distinctly separate occasions. Or maybe not. One thing one cannot do is have wee Mary Jane throw a wicked tantrum at supper (“Lovely rice pudding for supper again,” March 2). Here is the final verse of the classic A. A. Milne poem “Rice Pudding”:

“What is the matter with Mary Jane?
She’s perfectly well and she hasn’t a pain,
And it’s lovely rice pudding for dinner again!
What is the matter with Mary Jane?”

Maybe she was hoping for risotto. Call me anything, but don’t call me late for dinner.