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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor


Willful act?
To the Editor:
I regret writing a third letter regarding the Village of Dering Harbor’s scorched-earth quest to ban property maintenance including lawn mowing Saturdays and Sundays May 1 through Columbus Day, including holidays, hidden behind a “Construction Law” amendment.

As many of us work Monday through Friday, complying is impossible. Granting a window of two hours between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. non-holiday Saturdays for a homeowner to perform this work exposes extraordinary ignorance of practical knowledge, decency and common sense that should give us pause.

The village just had to exempt homeowners — or at least homeowners in the village’s A-district (large-lot properties including the golf club). Real simple. Instead, the board’s willful act could devastate the village.

I continue to reserve my rights as a homeowner under the New York State Constitution.
John T. Colby Jr.
Shelter Island

That was then …
To the Editor:
I can’t get over the fact that there are now more than 1,000 signers on the STR Petition. And yet the Town Board doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to shred or amend this ludicrous law. Why?

For centuries — I mean centuries — Shelter Island has been a destination vacation place. There are families struggling to stay on the Island, and need to do STR’s to subsidize their income, just as their families did for years. And those people keep the Island afloat.

Are our town leaders really thinking about what is happening?

Now there is the water issue. Do we really need to install new, innovative septic systems — for a tidy little sum — that could bankrupt some families? I appreciate the letters from Peter Reich (February 14) and Ed Brown (February 21) on the issue. The Center has tainted water.

The school and the cemeteries surrounding the Presbyterian Church may have something to do with this problem. And the issue of the shoreline homes — saltwater intrusion seems to be the issue with peninsula wells.

I need to find out exactly where the test wells are.

A parting comment about STRs: “That was then, this is now, the past is not happening anymore!”

I stole that quote from a book I happened to read and it applies to our STR business. Having been in the business of doing rentals for 40 years, I can say that once upon a time we did seasonal rentals and monthly rentals. Now we do STRs. Why?

Because families now have both parents working, and unless you are a school teacher, with three months off, or have the use of a family home, the working parents only get vacation time.

Figure it out, folks. Call me if you want me to explain it to you.

A thousand signers to the petition in opposition to this STR Law: Do you hear us now?
Georgiana Ketcham
Shelter Island