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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor

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Easily forgotten
To the Editor:
I am writing to remind your readers of the reason we had to pass a law restricting short-term rentals.

We easily forget that commercialism has endangered our neighborhoods. On Shelter Island we pride ourselves on how supportive and caring our neighbors are, especially in times of need.

I am talking about the rentals that are owned by corporations or individuals, not to live with us as neighbor and friend, but to be money-making enterprises. Isn’t that why we have zoning laws? What is supposed to be in our “business zones?”

When Airbnb and VRBO become our neighbors, we are no longer living in the same place I built my home 22 years ago.

Yes, there should be change, but not where private enterprise usurps our community. What would prevent these profiteers from building 10 B&B’s in your area?
Norma Sloane
Shelter Island

Early voting
To the Editor:
I’d like to thank editor Ambrose Clancy for correcting the misinformation about the Town Council race. Yes, incumbent Councilman Jim Colligan is our candidate for Town Council along with Mike Bebon (who has appeared in an Island Profile by Charity Robey). I also look forward to a fair and balanced coverage of the campaign.

It’s important to identify who is writing a letter to the editor when it involves the campaign. And, yes, I am the chair of the Shelter Island Democratic Committee. The committee works hard to find focused, dedicated and bright problem solvers for our local races. We don’t take it lightly. It’s critical to our futures.

This year we have vetted an extraordinary team of candidates with former Supervisor Gerry Siller at the top of the ticket. We encourage voters to meet them and attend the Forum on Oct. 6.

We believe in transparency in our financial filings. We believe in voter participation and the following is important. In the best interests of our voters, there are major changes to voting in New York State.

I have some of that information to share with you. Please note the new information about early voting that affects Shelter Island. This information is from the Suffolk County Board of Elections (BOE) website. Be informed. Voting is not at the school this year.

Starting this fall, New York voters will have the opportunity to vote early in New York’s General Election scheduled for Nov. 5. Starting on Saturday, Oct. 26 and continuing through Sunday, Nov. 3, polling locations throughout Suffolk County will provide voters the chance to vote prior to Election Day. Below is the tentative polling location for Shelter Island. Please note, the location is subject to change, so it is advisable to check back with BOE in the coming weeks. If you have any questions, please contact the BOE at 631-852-4500.

If you live in the Town of Shelter Island, you will be able to vote early at the Shelter Island Youth Recreational Center-American Legion at 1 Bateman Road during the following dates and times:

Saturday 10/26 — 10 a.m – 3:00  p.m.

Sunday 10/27 — 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Monday 10/28 — 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Tuesday 10/29 — Noon – 8 p.m.

Wednesday 10/30 — 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Thursday 10/31 —8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Friday 11/1 — Noon – 8 p.m.

Saturday 11/2 — 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Sunday 11/3 — 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Heather Reylek
Chair, Shelter Island Democratic Committee

Bikes
To the Editor:
In response to all those people apparently complaining about bike riders, I say, “Ride your bike more and drive less.”

Riding means fresh air, exercise, less pollution and less traffic. If you can ride your bike somewhere, that should be your first choice of transportation. Most cities and many towns throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world have city bike/rent-a-bike programs to relieve traffic congestion and reduce pollution.

These programs are growing every day to include many Suffolk communities. I find it hard to believe that bike riders could be a bigger issue than clean water, open land preservation, nitrogen reducing septic systems, ticks, short-term rentals, speeding drivers, careless/speeding boaters, dogs pooping on the beach or … anyway, you get the idea.

Since bike riders are such a big concern, the Town Board should be doing everything it can to accommodate riders and make Shelter Island a more bike-friendly place. Bike lanes are needed as well as “Share the Road” signs. This would benefit drivers and bikers. More bike riders are coming all the time and they enhance tourism and provide a boost to the economy.

Shelter Island is a beautiful place to ride and everyone should feel safe riding here, especially children growing up here and riding their bikes to school. Drivers should be more conscious of bike riders, slowing down and not resenting that they are on the road.

Bikers, runners and walkers all have an equal right to road use. I realize bike riders do not always follow the rules of the road, but I’m willing to bet distracted drivers violate these rules more often and ultimately cause the most damage. We have had at least one serious driver versus bike accident on the Island this summer, and that is one too many.

In addition, it is only a matter of time before a speeding or careless boater runs over or swamps a kayaker or paddle boarder causing serious injury or death, but that is a letter for another time.
Peter McCarthy
Shelter Island

Never forget
To the Editor:
Our Town Board often acknowledges significant dates, events and people at public meetings.
It seems remembering a day to “Never Forget,” Sept.11, 2001, is not significant enough for the board members when they met on Sept. 10. (This has happened before with different board members.)

Although the 9/11/01 attack on the Twin Towers was 18 years ago, it persists in slow motion as more and more first responders and citizens continue to die from illnesses related to the aftermath.

There are many reasons to remember this day, to “Never Forget” on Shelter Island.
Sept. 11 has become a de-facto date to also celebrate the heroism and dedication of all first responders throughout the country. That should include our own Shelter Island first responders who drove 100 miles to Ground Zero that day, despite the unknown risk. They breathed the same toxic carcinogens that continues to be fatal for so many.

Our town depends on both paid and volunteer first responders. They too deserve the extra show of respect and appreciation by our elected officials.

We and many other Long Island towns lost members of our communities. We also lost a young man in a never-ending war that was sparked by the attack on 9/11. It is also important for this and future generations to understand the “who and why” of the most infamous attack on American soil, that killed 3,000 that day and thousands more after. It is the 18-year olds who will be going into harm’s way to protect us from another 9/11 type attack on the homeland.
Shelter Island prides itself on its autonomy and isolation from the real world.

But it is still hard to fathom the idea that all five of our elected officials forgot that “9/11” was the next day after their meeting. Or perhaps they agree with the congresswoman from Minnesota who trivialized 9/11, simply saying “some people did something.” Even if they feel that what happen on 9/11/01 is now inconsequential, at least one of them could have mentioned the 9/11 ceremony at the Center Firehouse.

The Reporter did do two 9/11 stories in the online e-paper but nothing in its 9/12 printed issue, the day after 9/11. There seems to be a concerted effort here to ignore the most horrific and solemn event of our times. It changed the world. That includes Shelter Island.
Vincent Novak
New York, N.Y.

Care and love
To the Editor:
I want to thank the staff and doctors at the North Fork Animal Hospital. The care and love they gave to my beautiful Akita was just amazing. Lakota loved them and actually enjoyed going to their office here on Shelter Island.

A very special “thank you” to Gabi, Donna, Carolyn and Dr. Nancy Mullady and Dr. Jenifer Cabral. You are amazing and wonderful people.
God bless you.
Ken Voigt
Shelter Island

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