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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor: April 22-28

Earth vs. Mars?

To the Editor:

Since the April 22 edition of the Suffolk Times appeared on Earth Day, it was rather surprising that, in the entire paper, nothing was mentioned about the significance of that day. (The Reporter, and other newspapers however, mentioned the day several times, including a Reporter editorial.) Even the Suffolk Times’ editorial focused on “A little drone on Mars . . .” and only included a general environmental comment about climate change.

The editorial highlighted how American scientific and technological accomplishments made that event on Mars, and other past global accomplishments, possible. While that was all well and good, on Earth Day, it was truly disappointing that such “American exceptionalism” was not related to the existential needs of Mother Earth, with the issue of climate change poised to supersede and overwhelm all other issues!

The vast majority of global scientists agree that centuries of our dependence on fossil fuels has created a substantial crisis, only just recently getting some public attention.

It is somewhat like an environmental credit-card debt, with interest not only accumulating but also compounding and growing exponentially. There is a great need for technology, business and government, to create a patriotic movement, not just to unite the county, but to take global leadership, as in the past. A new, sustainable world economy could be developed with both immediate and long-term benefits; inadequate response could easily be devastating. There is no “Plan B.” The details and consequences are shocking to say the least.

Some crucial aspects of climate change center on: melting of Arctic and Antarctic ice; Amazon deforestation; changing Gulf Stream and weather patterns; loss of pollinators; and ocean acidification, the latter two resulting in destruction of so much of the global food chain that feeds us all. These certainly are directly relevant to all of us residing on the East End, even today.

Time is of the essence, American exceptionalism may be facing its greatest challenge yet. Additional help, in all forms, from all sources, is more critical than ever. A focused, informed and united America is essential. The role of the media, in all forms, is so important.

HERB STELLJES, Shelter Island

Never too late

To the Editor:

It seems very clear that just about everyone on Shelter Island is concerned about the future of our water supply.

Regrettably, the only solutions our Town Board is willing to consider are those that are very expensive and some of which could have a profound effect on the future direction of Shelter Island.

There are some things, however, that could be done that don’t cost money and could be implemented very easily.

One of which would be the banning of phosphate fertilizers.

I beg each and every one of you, who agree with me, to demand your board to outlaw the sale of phosphate fertilizers on Shelter Island and to outlaw the use of phosphate fertilizers on any residential properties, whether applied by the home owner or commercial applicators on the Island,

It’s never too late.

STEVE KOLLER, Shelter Island

Friendly neighbors

To the Editor:

With the approaching summer, the pleasures of Shelter Island’s sunshine and quiet life will return again.

Less welcome will be the return of noisy leaf-blowers, hedge-trimmers and mowers.

Since lawn care is increasingly hired and operates weekly or biweekly when the property owners themselves are absent, property owners may not be aware how much noise a team of leaf blowers, hedge clippers and mowers make; how far the noise travels; how many others nearby also hire out lawn care; and how frequently their neighbors are barraged by such noise.

May I urge property owners, when they hire lawn care for the season, ask that contractors use electric-powered, not gasoline-powered, equipment? And to consider other “neighbor-friendly” policies, e.g., using rakes not blowers on wet leaves? Scheduling operations not earlier than 9 or later than 5?

If property owners did this, my guess is that contractors would soon adapt. “Neighbor-friendliness” could become a profitable marketing tool in a very competitive industry.


Issue day beach passes

To the Editor:

In reading last week’s Town Board work session article in the Reporter, I felt the need to reach out to you regarding my feelings on this issue.

I have participated in renting out rooms in my home through Airbnb for the past two seasons. Last year, since we did not issue day beach passes due to COVID 19, my guests had to either walk to the beach (not everyone can or is willing to do this) or rent bicycles (not an easy endeavor with chairs and cooler). They were also not able to launch kayaks or paddleboards at our town landings. I received quite a bit of feedback on this.

I feel strongly that not issuing day passes this season would be a mistake, in both setting a precedent that says we are not a welcoming community and losing much-needed revenue.

Shelter Island has always been a summer community — many who come to our shores in season return yearly to rent in one form or another and many times buy a home. They shop at our stores, eat at our restaurants, take our ferries and are an asset to our economy. We need to offer these day passes to encourage this. Our season is short and we rely on this commerce to sustain our economy.

To adopt an elitist, gated community ideal is wrong. It’s not what we are about. The thought that if other Island communities are not allowing day passes and that those people would converge on our beaches is a bit far-fetched. I cannot imagine people paying for ferries to come to our beaches for the day. We are not the ocean beaches of the South Fork.

I urge the Town Board to please continue our day-pass program and open it up on a seven-day-a-week basis.

LINDA ZAVATTO, Shelter Island

One woman’s opinions

To the Editor:

How about that Tom the Osprey making the front page news with his big fish. Tillie the Osprey was very busy redecorating and Tom just sat on the limb and devoured the whole fish. They certainly have been busy and there’s much activity at this nest. There are three osprey there, one has to be the fledgling that was not going to fly last year and is now back home. Shall consult with an ornithologist to see what’s going on. Also other mature birds are visiting daily.

Received a bit of discontent from my last letter because of my comments on the Bootleggers intersection. Seems if it wasn’t the disturbance of the wild life, it was the affordable housing crisis. I still think this latest “land grab” as someone put it, looks pretty good to me and there are plenty of other places on Shelter Island for the wildlife to find a home, if not right there. And, plenty of places to put affordable housing, if there is such a thing. But we can all have our opinions and still be good friends and neighbors — the vitamin “F” theory.

Second go-round with the Comprehensive Plan is basically the same as the first one. Yes, keep it simple, just as the first go-round about 20 years ago had many residents with that input as well. Affordable housing committees still have not put a shovel in the ground and the building costs continue to escalate. Has anyone tried to implement Chapter 51, Community Housing, Article VI? Is that even still in force? And what is considered affordable?

Then there’s the school budget, which is a little hard to swallow, but then “The Inlet” arrived. Wow! I honestly do not know where to begin. It’s most informative in more ways than one. Better yet, it’s certainly thought-provoking. Kudos to the editor, I can only say, “The apples do not fall far from the tree.”


Find the sign

To the Editor:

Has anyone seen the St. Mary’s Episcopal Church sign located at South Ferry on Route 114 near the ferry office? It was a large, metal sign providing the location of the church.

Please call the church’s office at 631-749-0770, or Father Charles McCarron at 347-551-1650.


Shelter Island