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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor: Feb. 3-10

Unforgivable allegiance

To the Editor:

What Lee Zeldin did to us, his constituency, should not be forgotten.

He has been and continues to be totally out of sync with democracy and the Constitution he swore to uphold.

He has continuously voted against liberal causes for which he continues to supply disinformation. What is he doing by helping to destroy our country? Is it only power he seeks?

Yes, I appreciate his advocacy for local issues, but isn’t that just the job that he was elected to do?

I plead with voters to find a strong candidate to oppose him in 2022. I will personally do everything I can to organize voters who oppose his unforgivable allegiance to the most extreme voices in his party.

NORMA SLOANE, Shelter Island

Lack of curiosity?

To the Editor:

My heart sank when I read the article in the Reporter entitled, “Comprehensive Plan advisers prepare survey, public forums.”

Even at this exceedingly early date, it appears that the Comprehensive Plan Committee members think they know better than the consultants they’ve hired.

Evidently, the consultants wanted a survey of residents to include questions about race and ethnicity. According to the story, “Take out questions about race, [Member John] Kerr said, insisting it serves no purpose. He speculated that the couple of questions on race and ethnicity could be ‘off-putting for many people.’” (Mr. Kerr was not alone in objecting to the questions’ inclusion. He merely “led the opposition.”)

Given that the Comprehensive Plan will deal with such subjects as housing, Island institutions, education, quality of life, history, community services, etc., answers to the survey, fortified with demographic information, might be illuminating and, in the long run, help make Shelter Island an even better place to live and work–for everyone, but especially for the less than 10% of the population that is not Caucasian.

I find the Comprehensive Plan Committee’s lack of curiosity regarding race and ethnicity exceedingly — to borrow Mr. Kerr’s words — ”off-putting.”

Perhaps I’m missing something. I, for one, would appreciate the Committee explaining to the community — in a Shelter Island Reporter op-ed piece, perhaps — what exactly is “off-putting” about extracting pertinent information from a survey that might help the Island learn a little bit more about itself and, as a result, enact changes for the betterment of all.

SCOTT A. ROBBINS, Shelter Island

Don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone

To the Editor:

I’m disheartened to see how The Land Trust has cleared the property on the corner of West Neck and Nostrand Parkway.   

This natural preserve was a special and unique habitat for deer, fox, wild turkeys, rabbits, red-tailed hawks and other wildlife.

It’s a shame that our taxes are going to deforest the very land that the Land Trust is entrusted to save — and it seems the plan is to pave paradise and put up a parking lot.


Hold Preservation Board accountable

To the Editor:

I’m a resident on Tarkettle Road and have been dismayed at the roughshod way the Dickerson Creek Preservation lot has been cleared without any consideration for wildlife habitat or aesthetics.

When the bulkhead project began last summer I assumed at least some of the lot would be left in a wild state, or at least artfully manicured, to balance public access with preservation, consistent with the town’s mandate under the Community Preservation Fund.

I was already concerned in November when half the lot was cleared, including native shrubs and grasses that were home to many birds and other wildlife. I now see the area all the way to Tarkettle Road and up to the Dickerson property line has been clear cut, leaving only a handful of sparsely-spaced trees. This project has not been managed in keeping with Section § 50-6 A of the Town Code. The Community Preservation Fund Advisory Board (CPFAB) needs to restore the native habitat that was decimated in keeping with the code’s mandate, which states:

“Lands acquired under [the Community Preservation Fund] shall be administered and managed in a manner which: (1) Allows public use and enjoyment in a manner compatible with the natural, scenic, historic and open space character of such lands. (2) Preserves the native biological diversity of such lands; (3) With regard to open spaces, limits improvements to enhancing access for passive use… provided that such improvements do not degrade the ecological value of the land or threaten essential wildlife habitat […].” 

Turkem’s Rest and other projects have achieved this balance. But what happened in the case of Dickerson Creek? I invite the CPFAB members to address the following:

• What processes are in place to ensure that the development adheres to § 50-6 A and improvements don’t “degrade the ecological value of the land or threaten essential wildlife habitat”?

• Is there oversight during the clearing process to ensure whoever does it (e.g. the Highway Dept) does so in keeping with § 50-6 A?

One of the purposes of preserving open spaces is maintaining their natural beauty. Otherwise, we would clear cut places to make them accessible and lose much of the purpose of having them preserved in the first place. The Town Code clearly recognizes that, and we need to hold the CPFAB accountable.

The Dickerson Creek land needs to be restored to a natural space in which the native biological diversity is preserved, including restoring essential wildlife habitat, while allowing for reasonable access and enjoyment of the waterfront.

CRISTINA ROIG, Shelter Island

Around the Island

To the Editor:

The O’Connor Wildlife Park is going to mirror Dickerson Park, once the pond is established, a no-brainer and natural run off, with much wildlife. This park is beautiful already.

Dickerson Creek Park is not to be believed — the photo ops there are endless.

We had the opportunity to observe the sunset from afar, down to Bootleggers Alley, as there were too, too many cars to get near the water. But what a sunset.

We went around the other way so the sun was not in our eyes and caught a little bit of the sunset at Louie’s Beach and then turned around to check out Dawn Lane. What happened there? It’s in really bad shape.

Then we mosied over to Congdon Dock. What can I say except the tide is a ‘rising.

As a taxpayer for over 50 years here on Fantasy Island, I really would like to see a breakdown of the cost factors of all these projects. I’m sure I am not the only taxpayer who would like to see these numbers.

Stay safe, mask up!