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Letters to the Editor: Supervisor defends his remarks at League luncheon


Warming up
To the Editor:
The Reporter’s editorial is not the half of it (“What was the point?” May 4).

At an earlier Shelter Island League of Women Voters (SILWV) State of the Town luncheon, I led off with one of Governor Mario Cuomo’s favorite stories that he told many times. Boss Murphy stopping in a Catholic Church on the way to Tammany Hall, praying for “wisdom,” “compassion” and “kindness,” concluding, “We’ll steal the rest.”

In front of students and constituents, this display of bigotry against the Irish and condoning of theft and bribery was scandalous — perhaps there should be an independent investigation of the supervisor?

Then another year, I warmed up the State of the Town audience with one of Ted Kennedy’s favorites when coping with a heated Senate hearing — “I have friends on both sides of this issue. And I stand with my friends!” — endorsing hypocrisy and opportunism over independence and integrity among our public officials.

At another State of the Town luncheon I confided that my Irish grandmother from County Cork told me she asked to be buried in Chicago because she wanted to remain active in politics. I’m told this was a favorite of an unlikely pair, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Patrick Buchanan. Again, blatant bigotry against the Irish, all the more heinous since I was born an Irish-American and endorsed voter fraud —an independent investigation of the supervisor’s most recent landslide victory?

And notice I said my Irish grandmother not my Irish grandfather.

Re: These prior warm ups. I received no complaints from the SILWV nor from attendees after the events, but kudos.

I am a fervent supporter of women’s rights, as my long career demonstrates, but also of free speech, which, by the way, many of our most powerful leaders in Washington are working hard to eliminate as an unnecessary impediment to effective government.
Supervisor, Town of Shelter Island

League responds
To the Editor:
Regarding the supervisor’s remarks at the State of the Town luncheon April 23rd, and Vincent Novak’s letter to the editor as well as the Reporter’s editorial response in the May 4 edition: The League of Women Voters of Shelter Island has a long history of presenting this annual public forum in which the supervisor provides his own views on issues and accomplishments.

It is our civic responsibility, as part of a nationwide organization that is soon to celebrate its 100th anniversary, to provide information to voters so they can make their own informed decisions about their government.

In this regard, we do not preview or censor, nor do we condone comments — or inappropriate “jokes” — made at these events. We do hope that everyone uses the ballot box to give weight to his or her opinion.

As I have mentioned in each of my opening remarks at these annual events, the League of Women Voters is a political organization but it is non-partisan, and we will always hold to that mission.
President, League of Women Voters of Shelter Island

No landing fee
To the Editor;
The following is a letter I’ve sent to Legislator Al Krupski and copied to Legislator Bridget Fleming:

Dear Al, I understand that Greenport Village will be sending a letter to you urging that a “landing fee” be added to any subsequent North Ferry fare increase.

I strongly object. The North Ferry — and the South Ferry, for that matter — have been operating magnificently for many decades as a continuation of State Road 114, benefitting not only Shelter Islanders, but neighboring communities (including Greenport) as well as thousands of visitors annually, many of whom regard the ferry rides as part of their holiday experience.

The North Ferry obviously brings many customers and benefits to Greenport businesses, resulting in higher property values and correspondingly higher taxes for the village, which has the responsibility to use a portion of these revenues for the basic government function of maintaining their roads.

North Ferry cannot be singled out for a landing fee. Such an action would set a terrible precedent for the many other Suffolk County ferries, including the Cross Sound Ferry, Port Jefferson Ferry, South Ferry and those ferries serving Fire Island. Countless communities (even Shelter Island, where an increasing chunk of our ferry traffic uses our two ferries to shuttle from one fork to the other) could ask for help maintaining their roads.

I understand the Greenport Village attorney is researching the legality of such a “landing fee,” and if he renders a written opinion, I would appreciate a copy.

I appreciate all the wonderful things you do for Shelter Island, even though not technically our legislator, and I assume you share my position. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with me to discuss this if you wish. Thanks for your understanding as always.
Supervisor, Town of Shelter Island

Just the facts
To the Editor:
Greenport officials claim that the roads nearest the ferry are heavily travelled.

A check of the 2015 New York State Department of Transportation average daily traffic counts reported the following: Front Street, 7,262; Main Street, 7,280; and Wiggins Street, 2,583. Not even close!

Perhaps the merchants along the main thoroughfares wouldn’t mind helping to defray the added wear and tear. Maybe a small surcharge as a local sales tax for roads. With pay stations and paper slips, metered parking for the shoppers and diners can be easily implemented.
Shelter Island

Hats off to the chefs
To the Editor:
The congregation of the Shelter Island Presbyterian Church would like to express its appreciation and thanks to the chefs who so kindly donated their talents to our “Celebrity Chefs” events this season: Chef Gayle of Red Maple, Chef Aria of Maria’s Kitchen, Chefs Susan Binder and BJ Ianfolla, Chef Tom Hashagen and Chef Marie Eiffel.

Special thanks goes to Reverend Stephen Fearing who proved he could be an excellent dishwasher, as well as musician and pastor. Special thanks to our Shelter Island High School students — Lindsay Gallagher, Emma Gallagher, Kal Lewis, Taylor McNemar, Jack Lang, Henry Binder and Luke Gilpin.

We look forward to our fall 2017 season.
Shelter Island

Armenian heroine
To the Editor:
We would like to thank all who participated in the discussion of the book “The Resurrection of an Armenian Girl,” by Stephen Tarpinian at Our Lady of the Isle Church on Monday, May 8.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the Shelter Island Library’s presentation of this book as part of the Friday Night Dialogues series on Friday, August 4 at 7 p.m.
Shelter Island