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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO A 'bike route' but no 'bike lanes.'
AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO A ‘bike route’ but no ‘bike lanes.’

Sharing the road
To the Editor:
I read with interest the story “Safer biking?” in the July 5 Reporter.

It contained a thorough discussion of a number of options, and not ones I was entirely aware were pending. Some years ago I participated as Town Engineer in a survey at the county/state level in which thoughts were solicited concerning bicycling strategies here, but I was unaware that options had progressed this far.

Pedestrian and cycling-based transport options have many benefits including individual health enhancements, better connection to one’s surroundings and lower environmental impact. It is the work of traffic/transportation and highway engineers to help create infrastructure to support such use. Integrating such means of travel into roadways with motor vehicle traffic is always challenging because the paramount objective is the safe and efficient transit of people and goods.

One of the simplest and least costly options to begin integrating various means of transport into existing infrastructure is to ensure that all users are familiar with New York State Vehicle and Traffic Laws. Sharing road infrastructure safely is dependent on every user understanding their individual responsibilities, including pedestrians walking so as to face oncoming traffic (as opposed to with traffic) and bicyclists riding in single file where needed.

Constructing extensive and costly infrastructure will still require users to obey applicable vehicle and traffic laws. Ensuring that knowledgeable users transit existing infrastructure with careful awareness goes a long way to boosting the safety of all those sharing our roadways.
Shelter Island Town Engineer

Fix it
To the Editor:
The July 5 Reporter had an article and an editorial addressing the separation of children from their parents, increased deportations and the travel ban.

They indicate that these “seemingly unconscionable acts” were instigated by President Trump.

They further state that “many [children] are sent thousands of miles away to be lost …”

While I am dismayed regarding the separation of kids from their families,  I am disappointed in the continuing, one-sided reporting by the news media either by omission, half truths or just plain lies.

An article by Jeremy Schwartz in My Statesman tells the story of Ana Mendoza, a prior deportee, who “arrived in Hidalgo on January 19, 2017, the day before President Trump was to be inaugurated. She was moved to a detention center in South Texas and her son was taken away.

Her case and those of other Central American mothers demonstrate an informal practice of separating mothers and children that has quietly gone on since at least 2014, when the Obama administration sought to stem the tide of Central American asylum seekers.”

Many of these children from those years have still not been reunited with their parents. Obviously this process, although heightened by Trump via “zero tolerance,” was not instigated by him and subsequently, he sent an order to Congress for approval to “detain alien families together …”

Unfortunately, children are often the victims of adult actions. I question where the protests are against the human trafficking of these kids, or against the parents who let their children travel alone or with unknown attendees. Where was the outrage against Obama’s “Catch and Release” and open borders and where was it against “Sanctuary Cities” that protect criminals over and above our citizens?

To become a citizen of the U.S., the naturalization process requires, among other things, that a person have good moral character, believe in the principles of the U.S. Constitution and have no criminal record. Illegal entry to our country precludes verification of these requirements and is against the law.

In addition to separating families, it affects our economy, education, taxes, values and safety. It’s time for the obstructionist Democrats to join with the Republicans and solve the immigration problem. Fix it, and with the help of a factual and balanced media many of our problems may well be resolved.
Shelter Island

Who is responsible?
To the Editor:
There was a snow storm in January here and on my walk with our dogs through the Suffolk County Park off Menhaden Lane I noticed that trees had been damaged.

On further investigation I saw the damage was extensive, at least two acres of selected cedar, locust, ailanthus and Russian olive had been cut to the ground or topped. The area covered was directly to the east of two houses on Gardiner’s Bay Drive.

The area had the appearance of tornado damage but clearly a chain saw had been at work, guided by someone who was expert at climbing trees and needed no cherry picker or other tools. Forty-five-year-old cedars lay on the ground — it was easy to count the rings to determine the age.

The destruction went as far to the east as you could go and south toward the town access road. Standing on the western edge of the county property with my back to the two houses, I could see glimpses of Gardiners Bay. The houses now had water views as they probably did when first built.

When I get sad enough and angry enough I am compelled to act.

I called the Reporter, Friends of Trees, the Shelter Island Police Department, Suffolk County, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the Hay Beach Association and the Town Board. Because the land that was torn apart belongs to Suffolk County they sent an environmental detective to oversee an investigation. People took drone videos. Channel 12 and 4 reported with live interviews of me and the president of Friends of Trees.

If you wish to get a glimpse of what took place off Menhaden Lane, you needn’t walk through the woods. Park your car on the border of the first house on Menhaden Lane east of their fence and look into the woods. That is just a small snapshot of the destruction that took place last January. Stand on the beach and look west into the parklands and you will see tops of trees hanging, gray and brittle now.

There were no witnesses. And no one is owning up to what is considered a crime by the county. Thank you for reading this and may acts like this never happen again on Shelter Island.
Shelter Island

Ram Island concerns
To the Editor:
I am writing this letter in support of others written by neighbors in opposition to the proposed expansion of the Ram’s Head Inn. These changes are truly frightening.

The issue I need to highlight is the proverbial elephant in the room — our fragile aquifer. The number of homes on both Rams that have had saltwater intrusion in their wells is not small. I fail to see how the addition of quite a few new wells, a pool (yes, initially filled by water trucked in, but then what?), a far greater number of large events, etc., can result in anything but greatly increased water use and stress on the aquifer.

I pray that the ZBA, Water Advisory Committee and any government agency having a say keep this firmly in mind when making any decision that could negatively impact an entire neighborhood.
Shelter Island

The way it should be
To the Editor:
I was escorted over to Eastern Long Island Hospital twice last week by the Shelter Island Emergency Medical Services crews — the name needs to be changed to “Professional Rescue Crew” with immediate assistance from the Island Police Department.

Not only was I dumbfounded by their expediency and efficiency but, it was who they were, as in second and third generation Shelter Islanders.

I did not know whether to laugh or cry. It was a simple case of Islanders taking care of Islanders, just the way it should be.

How fortunate we all are to have these devoted people at our beck and call. Thank you, thank you!
Georgiana Ketcham
Shelter Island

A grateful Garden Club
To the Editor:
On behalf of the Garden Club of Shelter Island, we would like to thank all the generous donors that made our “Gaggle of Games” a big success. Raffle prizes were: The American Hotel, luncheon for two; Bliss Department Store, gift certificate for $50; Anna’s Salon gift certificate for $50; Bob’s Fish Market, gift certificate for $25; Clarke’s Garden, gift certificate for $50; Corner Bar, gift certificate $50; Cornucopia, gift certificate $25; Dandy Liquors, three bottles of wine; Dory Restaurant, gift certificate $25; Elli’s, gift certificate $25; the Flying Goat, gift certificate $100; Inlet Seafood, gift certificate $100; Jack’s Marine, game ; Jewelry by Rita Gates; Kyle’s, brunch for two; Port, gift certificate $50; Pridwin, breakfast for four; Ram’s Head Inn, brunch for two; SALT, gift certificate $50; Sarah Shepherd, lavender plant; Sea Breeze, rosemary plant; Shelter Island Historical Society, bag of gifts and a Shelter Island Historical Society Garden Tour ticket; Shelter Island Heights Pharmacy, bag of gifts; Shelter Island Wines & Liquors, three bottles of wine; South Ferry tickets, round-trip and one way; and a Wharf Shoppe gift certificate $25.

Proceeds from this fundraiser will go to The Gift of Life Foundation, East End Hospice and the Veterans Memorial Wreaths.

The Club is very grateful for the support of all these donors. We thank them for their generosity and wish them a successful season.
The Garden Club of Shelter Island, Inc.

Congrats to the Grads and Alums
To the Editor:
Congratulations to the Shelter Island High School Class of 2018. Also to the SIHS Class of 1948. Happy 70th: Diane Chairmonte, Robin Collins, Charlotte Congdon, Betty Dickens, Barbara Disch, Frances Klenawicus and Osborn Wells.

Sandspit, B.C. Canada