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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor: Feb. 25-March 3

Never wavering

To the Editor:

One of the best things about living on this island for almost 54 years was evidenced by the phenomenal job of organizing the COVID vaccinations on Feb. 26. Talk about community support!

My heartfelt thanks goes to Supervisor Gerry Siller, Chief Jim Read, Laurie Fanelli and Sara Mundy of Senior Services, Nurse Mary Kanarvogel and all their combined staffs, the EMS staff, the nurses and staff from Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. And thanks to the school custodial staff for all their work in setting up the event.

By the way, people were so happy to not be isolated that after the prescribed “recuperation” time of 15 minutes was up, they just sat around and chatted.

Once more, thank you to the volunteers and the never-wavering feeling of responsibility to their unique community of Islanders.

As they say in the military: “Hoo-Rah!”

BRENDA BERGMAN, Shelter Island

Thanks to all

To the Editor:

While it seemed to take forever for the vaccines to come to Shelter Island, when they did arrive, everyone was prepared.

My wife Linda and I were very fortunate to be among those in the first group of non-first-responder recipients of the vaccine. The operation at the school was very well run and efficient. The entire event was pleasant and actually had an air of a great social event.

Our thanks to all who made this possible, including the Police Department, Shelter Island School, the Town Board, Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, as well as the countless other volunteers who worked to make this happen, as well as any other entities that I may have omitted.

Thank you all!

JAMES EKLUND, Shelter Island

A full heart

To the Editor:

I would like to give a big shout out to everyone who helped with the vaccine event at the school. Our supervisor, the many people from the senior center, first responders, teachers, volunteers, doctors, nurses and all the community members pitched in to make this event seemingly flawless.

As a full-time member of the community since 1982, I am often asked “What do you folks do all year round?”

“We take care of one another” would seem to be the  most appropriate answer.

Thank you everyone. My heart is full.


Essential needs

To the Editor:

Something unexpected and spectacular occurred last Thursday and Friday.

To be a miracle requires more than the official efforts to give the vaccine to seniors and essential workers. There was also an invisible network of text, phone, and personal contacts spreading the good news. The war against COVID joined us all in a common cause and substituted unity for the current divisions.  

Last Friday, there were no divisions among appreciative people seeing an effective operation. 

The vaccine does not kill COVID but makes it ineffective. We need another “vaccine” to protect us against hate, bias, ignorance, greed and the disunity they bring. We have it, and it was demonstrated last Friday.

Working together for a common cause puts all labels aside. George Orwell in the trauma of the Nazi blitz, saw Britain as one large family working together. And, too often, a “family with the wrong people in control.”   

When we focus on working on our essential needs — in education, health care or infrastructure, then the differences disappear. When that happens, we have the United States of America.


Crossword puzzle

To the Editor:

The mayor and board of trustees of the Village of Dering Harbor have prepared ambitious changes to the zoning code including the following amendments to existing laws: (1) Zoning Definitions,“word usage” (watch out for this one), Lot Lines, (2) Zoning, Permitted Uses, Off-Street Parking [3-acre lots in District A—brace for impact], and (3) Chapter 180, Trees and Vegetation (permit/fee from the crown if you take any “woody plant” down at least 18-inches in diameter — don’t forget to prove the “woody plant” was less than 18 inches if you take it down without asking … or else).

At the trustee meeting held via Zoom February 13, the board voted on resolutions to hold the public hearing on March 13, 2021. The February 13 meeting was noticed at 2:21 p.m. the previous day.

This was not even 24-hours advance notice, a troublesome habit by this mayor and board.

The public officer’s law, section 104, requires three conditions for proper meeting notice: (1)

Conspicuously posted in one or more public locations, (2) Given to the news media, and (3) conspicuously posted on the Village’s website. Was the Reporter notified?

Also, if the notice is given at least 72 hours prior to the meeting time, the board can meet for any reason. However, if noticed in less than 72 hours, the meeting must be for a “exigent/emergency.”

What is the “emergency”?

In the January meeting, the mayor, Mr. Parcells, said there was nothing urgent in any of these proposals. In fact, the mayor and board didn’t even schedule a February meeting, scheduling the next meeting in March. I am not the only resident who lost track of the number of meetings since January.

Any owner of a large lot should push back on the Off-Street Parking proposal that permits parking within 10 feet of the lot line. For sanity’s sake, put the off-street parking within the building envelope (50 feet for A District) and within greenspace setbacks. There is plenty of room.

No need for this nonsense. Has the Planning Board and ZBA even reviewed these alterations? Has Mr. Parcells disclosed his agreement with Peconic Land Trust vis-a-vis Suffolk County Water Authority to the NY State auditors?

Residents deserve an explanation from the trustees on the record summarizing the changes from the existing code not by interpreting a New York Times crossword puzzle. Let’s hope the board does not vote on this March 13.

JOHN T. COLBY JR. Shelter Island