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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor

Take steps to conserve

To the Editor:

I’m writing to ask for the help of the entire Shelter Island Reporter readership with an important initiative.

Every spring and summer, Suffolk residents seeking a green and lush lawn set their irrigation controllers to activate during the early morning hours. The result is high demand at the same time virtually every morning, which puts extreme stress on water infrastructure. This leads to the need for new wells, tanks and booster pumps just to ensure there is enough water to meet peak demand, costs that are ultimately paid by water ratepayers.

I am asking that you please consider taking the following steps to help alleviate this issue:

• Water less often. Lawns do not need to be watered daily; in fact, it’s counterproductive, as less frequent watering for a slightly longer duration promotes deeper root growth. Watering on only odd or even days is more than sufficient.

• Set your irrigation timer to avoid the peak hours of 3 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Taking these easy measures will ensure that there is a sufficient supply of water for everyone and sufficient water pressure for fire fighting.

Taking additional measures to conserve water will also help to preserve Shelter Island’s aquifer. For more information on the steps you can take, please go to ourwaterourlives.com.

Jeffrey W. Szabo,

Chief Executive Officer, Suffolk County Water Authority

Volunteer tribute

To the Editor:

Now that things are calmer, I’d like to share a public thank you to all the IGA volunteers who worked with me from March through June as we assisted in balancing the numbers of shoppers in our local IGA.

Whenever I think of my Island, the first thing that comes to mind is its united sense of “serving” and the selflessness with which residents continue to step up and help. I was really overwhelmed with how fast these shifts I created were scooped up.

Regardless of whether someone was a year-round person or typically a summer resident, we were pretty much all sheltered here to stay. These volunteers had heart and soul. They injected humor, even dancing in their reflective safety jackets. They did more than just spray down a virus or count people. They talked and listened to shoppers with smiles. They brought carts to the car doors of the elderly. Sometimes they had to be walking Chamber of Commerce representatives to visitors.

During a time when togetherness was needed, but not allowed, they made a positive difference. They started out in sweaters and slickers, braving the wind and rain, but ended up in shorts and T-shirts in the hot sun. Many of us made lasting friendships through this experience beyond just IGA.

So when you see a former IGA volunteer, don’t forget to say thank you!

Julia Weisenberg

Volunteer Coordinator, Shelter Island

Dangerous driving

To the Editor:

As a driver, walker, runner and bicycle rider on Shelter Island, I was glad to see the “Rules of the Road” in the July 2 issue. I very much appreciate the Shelter Island Police Department helping to keep us safe. It’s certainly important for those of us walking, running and cycling on our roads to follow those rules, in particular wearing reflective clothing and riding/walking single file.

With regard to motorists, however, I feel the rules fell short. “Share the road” isn’t a clear enough instruction for vehicles.

The frightening scenario I have witnessed numerous times starts out O.K. A vehicle comes up behind me when I am on a bicycle, and appropriately moves out to the left into the opposite lane to pass me, giving me plenty of space. It becomes frightening when the driver does this at high speed at a blind curve with no visibility of oncoming traffic, and an oncoming car appears. The driver suddenly realizes he/she must get back to the right, into their lane — which is my lane, where I am riding my bike. Often the driver abruptly swerves back into my lane at high speed, narrowly missing hitting me, since they are understandably focused on avoiding a head-on collision that they would have caused  by trying to give me space.

Now, there is a simple and logical way to avoid this. The driver who comes up behind me should wait to pass me until there is full visibility of potential oncoming traffic. Yes, sometimes that driver might have to wait awhile as our Island roads are curvy and visibility can be poor and I might be slow if it’s an uphill … but that’s a much better alternative than what I described above.

It would be very helpful if the “Rules of the Road” could be augmented with a diagram and verbiage that explains this to motorists, explicitly describing what it means to responsibly “share the road” — to not put themselves at risk of head-on collision, nor put the cyclist or pedestrian at risk by having to swerve back at high speed if there is oncoming traffic. I would be happy to help with an effort to create and display signage that would explain all of this.

Natasha Stowe

Shelter Island

My aunt

To the Editor:

In response to Ms. Kilb, I want to thank you. Your letter to the editor concerning Emma Gallagher’s essay on June 11, drove me and my father to ask my 12-year-old the difference between a subject and a predicate. Also, my aunt would have loved your letter. Thanks again!

Elizabeth Roeckell

Shelter Island


To the Editor:

How would the Vietnamese feel about Jim Colligan’s article (“Social Tolerance: A life-long journey,” June 25). Using the Vietnam War as an example of his compassion and non-racism without a mention of the innocent women and children slaughtered and villages destroyed?

The New York Post article of July 7, 2018 and letters to the editor last week call into question your self-assessment.

“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

– Abraham Lincoln

S Ladik

Shelter Island

Editor’s note: The New York Post article refers to the controversy over short-term rentals and Mr. Colligan’s position on the issue.