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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor


Clarifying the position
To the Editor:
I would like to clarify my position regarding nonresident commercial harvesting inside town waters and a few other things in the Reporter article last week (“Shell fisherman seeks nonresident restrictions,” July 13).

I don’t think a person who is deemed a nonresident by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation should be allowed to harvest shellfish commercially inside town waters at all. And I know many other resident commercial guys also think the same way.

As for putting people out of business, I am the only resident commercial guy who relies on soft shell clams for most of my income. When it comes to someone getting their limit every day, I couldn’t be sure.

The article stated I was afraid the entire supply of shellfish could be depleted as happened years ago.

The die-off of soft clams several years ago was not because of over-harvesting, but I believe was because of extremely warm water that year in our creeks. They basically cooked. Harvest limits are not the issue, residency is!

While the shellfish population isn’t what it used to be, I don’t think it’s as bad as stated in the article. I find seed everywhere I go. Changing harvest limits for residents is a bad thing. And shouldn’t be done.

I’m not sure what happened between the Waterways Management Advisory Council meeting and the printing of the article, but I don’t think my opinions, concerns and information were conveyed correctly. Perhaps some follow-up next time would alleviate this problem.
Shelter Island

Protecting the public
To the Editor:
Several months ago, Laury Dowd, the town attorney and MS4 Committee chairperson, proclaimed that there are no “impaired” (polluted), water bodies on Shelter Island. I contacted the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to find out how this came about.

I was told that Fresh Pond is still on the impaired water bodies list and is scheduled for a new evaluation next fall.

When I asked Ms. Dowd about this, she stated that Fresh Pond was both impaired and not impaired at the same time — an “alternative fact” that only a lawyer could contrive. Perhaps there is a political solution in the works and the fix is in to downgrade the current water quality standards.

Last week, the DEC confirmed that Fresh Pond had a potential “HAB,” or Harmful Algae Bloom. The town quickly posted signs warning swimmers and will conduct a water quality analysis.

Last year we had a drought and there was no noticeable algae bloom until October. It’s seems that the combination of hot weather and heavy rain storms trigger these blue green algae blooms. The intensity and duration of the bloom will depend on the weather and other factors.

By acknowledging that Fresh Pond is officially “impaired,” the town might seek additional funding to improve the water quality of Fresh Pond. There could be accelerated assistance in replacing older septic system on properties surrounding the pond. There are techniques to oxygenate and reduce nitrates in ponds, as other towns are utilizing.

Our town government’s primary function is to protect public health and safety. Whether the public health issue is Fresh Pond or the deer tick, there is no need to survey the citizens for a course of action.

The Town Board must make a hard and fast decision based on facts and science.

We know that by eliminating the deer, we eliminate the main source of hosting massive quantities of ticks. This is a proven fact. If mice also host ticks, then let’s get some mouse traps. We can go from a public health crisis mode to a rare occurrence with tick-borne illnesses.

The conclusion of a survey will be tainted with emotion, tradition, fear and ignorance of the science supporting the facts. Our Town Board members are shirking their responsibilities and passing the buck back to the citizens. Their duty is to protect the health of the public, not to mollify their constituents.
Shelter Island

Saving lives
To the Editor:
Due to the emergency blood shortage in the New York Blood Center, the Town of Shelter Island is hosting the second annual summer blood drive on Tuesday, July 25 from 2 to 8 p.m. at the EMS Building — 12 Manwaring Road.

Blood donations typically decline in the summer when schools go on break and people take vacations, plus tougher screening rules have left the New York Blood Center with just a two-to-three-day supply of some blood types.

In past years, no blood drives were held east of the Shinnecock Canal from Memorial Day until after November 1 due to babesiosis on the East End. Long Island Blood Services will test every pint of blood donated for Babesia.

The entire donation process takes less than an hour and a single donation can be used to save multiple lives. Donors with O-negative blood type, or “universal donors,” are especially encouraged to donate, since their blood can be used in emergencies.

If you are between the ages of 16 and 75 and weigh at least 110 pounds, are in good health and have had no tattoos in the past 12 months, please consider donating blood during this time of extreme shortage. Your vital gift is greatly appreciated.

If you have any questions about the blood drive or would like to make an appointment to donate, please call Judy Meringer at (631)749-0291. If you have questions about your eligibility to donate, please call Long Island Blood Services at (800) 688-0900.
Shelter Island

Missing the boat
To the Editor
I want to start by thanking the great people and businesses of Shelter Island. They say it’s the journey, not the destination. Those who say that didn’t end up on Shelter Island.

It’s a rarity that I feel slighted or neglected. However, Sunday, July 2, I was not feeling the love from the North Ferry Company. If not for the heroic efforts of Captain Jaime Cogan and his crew, 10 of my guests and eight of the staff at 18 Bay would have been stranded on the Island. It was a holiday weekend, and there is usually a late ferry on such Sunday nights. The powers that be at North Ferry Company did not think so, however.

There was no consideration for the business or the people that pay whatever fee is charged to ride that ferry. It is my understanding that the ferry company makes some real good money off the varying trucks that deliver to the Island’s restaurants and bars. That cost is transferred to the restaurants and bars that require such deliveries.

We received a phone call at 11:25 p.m. to let us know there would not be a late ferry, and that the last ferry of the evening would be at 11:45 p.m. I had to wrap up desserts for 10 guests and rush them out the door so they could catch the ferry. We had to comp some items due to the inconvenience and hastily finish what we otherwise believe should have been a lovely dining experience. I do not think that we were the only business affected.

I want to thank Captain Jaime and Manny for calling all restaurants and giving us a warning. Furthermore, I would like to thank them for staying late and running boats back and forth until everyone was back in Greenport. At one point, the ferry line went past the tennis courts; what a disaster that would have been for the North Ferry Company, and for Shelter Island as a whole.

Typically I roll with the punches and take what is thrown at me as it comes, but to the powers that be at the North Ferry Company, please support the business community that supports your company unconditionally.
Shelter Island

Thanks for Tent Week
To the Editor:
Tent Week is a long-running summer tradition at the Shelter Island Public Library. This year we had magic, music, authors, cooking and even a doggie social!

We wish to thank the many people and organizations who made Tent Week possible. The Friends of the Library, including Mary Ellen McGayhey and Marian Brownlie, put on two great fundraisers and underwrote our programming. The Friends are always very supportive of and enthusiastic about our work.

Great thanks also to Bridgehampton National Bank for the generous grant they awarded the library.
We’re also grateful to the performers and the authors who appeared (too many to list here). You were all wonderful.

Finally, thanks to the community members who took part in our programs — we’re grateful for your support and we look forward to Tent Week 2018.
Director, Librarian,  Shelter Island Public Library