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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor: Sept. 23

Jeopardizing jobs

To the Editor:

Mr. Siller’s 150% increase in contractor licensing fees is two-and-a-half times that of our neighboring towns. That is abuse of regulatory authority, since there is no alternative to paying except not working. That should be easy enough to grasp.

Also, the proposed new law requires licensing for everyone with a pulse, which means that people who have a few lawns to work on, or a couple of small jobs a year, will be driven out of the game by the cost of compliance.

Then there is the plan for a full-time code enforcement officer. I’ll just say that this will bring grief to a lot of people, and little or no comfort to anyone. This town is too small for that kind of control, precisely because it is possible.

This has always been, and needs to remain, a place where people could scratch out a living in a variety of ways. This jeopardizes that. The regulatory meat grinder insists that all fit through the same holes. Who came here to live that way?

For me, however, the most vexing thing is that Mr. Siller keeps all his agenda for us a secret until the last minute, just barely complying with the letter of the law, and completely ignoring its spirit as regards transparency in government.

Yes, it is obviously much easier to “get things done” when you can avoid all that annoying public input. It is also hints at a controlling personality. I wonder what else he has in store? I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.

PAUL SHEPHERD, Former councilman, Town of Shelter Island

Tragedy waiting to happen

To the Editor:

I have noted recently many near misses of people on bicycles and pedestrians on Route 114 due to the heavy traffic we have during the summer months. 

If you compare Route 114 in North Haven to the Island’s, you’ll see a big difference in the pavement on both sides of this highway. I’m referring to the “overruns” (or gutters) on both sides of the roadway. North Haven has much more room for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Recently, I’ve seen cars and trucks on the Island crossing the center line into the path of oncoming traffic to avoid people walking, jogging and on bicycles. Before a tragic accident occurs, and until our 114 can be made like the great roadway in North Haven, perhaps the banning of all bicycles, walkers and joggers should be considered.

The many hills and curves on 114 here present limited sight lines for vehicles, And crossing that center line, in many areas, puts vehicles in danger of head-on collisions.

Our status as a quiet country place is not as it was years ago, especially during the summer. I’m suggesting our public officials please get New York State to recognize this situation.

RICHARD G. KRAUSE, Shelter Island


To the Editor:

Recent discussions of residency requirements (and zoning and land development and so on) remind me of my parents’ endless meetings with the Planning Board in the 1970s when they were seeking to subdivide 14 areas on the end of Tarkettle Road.

All kinds of issues were in the air, fueled, one assumes, by a kind of protective resentment at developing land on Shelter Island (my parents ultimately succeeded, with several houses being built on Ian’s, Charlie’s, and Grace’s Lanes).

One parcel ultimately became protected land on Dickerson Creek, so it wasn’t all McMansions next to the amazing architecture of the house we lived in, designed by Bertrand Goldberg who believed in housing for all.

It took months or years to be approved, and was also apparently fueled by resentment at a previous owner who had backfilled some of the land and bulkheaded it.

After one such evening meeting, my parents came home laughing their heads off. Because during the meeting, after talking about the property’s existing dock, one of the Planning Board members had said, “We have to watch our bottoms and piles!”

You can do that easily these days if you reverse the camera on your smartphone.


No one more dedicated

To the Editor:

I love Shelter Island. While I’m not a resident, my house on North Haven directly overlooks Shelter Island Sound and the scenic Mashomack Nature Preserve. It’s a view I feel fortunate to have enjoyed for 60 years.

It’s with this in mind, that I write in support of Marcus Kaasik, who is running for Town Council. I’ve been lucky to have known Marcus for over 20 years, and while I have many close friends on the Island (my sister, Valerie King, was the managing editor of the Reporter for many years in my youth), I really can’t think of anyone more dedicated who wants to carefully enhance and protect such a beautiful island.

My path crossed with Marcus over fishing. As a life-long subscriber to this newspaper, I reached out to him when he started to pen the fishing column. Since my retirement five years ago, I author the weekly recreational and commercial fishing column for the East Hampton Star.

Over the years, I have observed his passion for the outdoors, fishing, as well as his focus and concern for the protection of our local bays and waters, where he serves on the Baymen and Anglers Committee. Plus, he has served for the past four years on the Planning Board. Marcus is a life-long resident of Shelter Island who is always ready to raise a helping hand whenever needed. In short, he really cares.

I wish I could vote for Marcus, but alas, I can’t. That said, I do hope those on the Island will strongly consider casting their vote for him. He is the finest kind, as they say.

JON M. DIAT, Sag Harbor

Election season

To the Editor:

If I ever get through the legal notices sent to this publication by the Town of Shelter Island, I may get a minute to send an end of season post.

Friday, Oct. 1 should be an interesting meeting at Town Hall for the public hearing. Nothing like a “grand finale” weekend for the end of summer 2021.

Happy Anniversary to Goat Hill and our Police Department. Then there was an “on shore” Taylor’s Island happening at White Oak, big stuff at the Yacht Club and Gardiner’s Bay had some pretty exciting golfing going on — all of Shelter Island’s priceless gems.

Tom and Tillie Osprey left on time at 3:21 p.m. Wednesday. I’m going to miss them. But it appears they have found five crows to do “nest watch” over the winter, or perhaps they did a winter rental. The fledglings left earlier in the week.

Election Day is not far off. I guess that’s obvious with the political signs — a blight on our beautiful fall landscape. There ought to be a law; signs up the week before Election Day and down 24 hours after.

This publication loves the ads and I am sure will be endorsing a candidate or two. We shall see.

Regarding the state of affairs the whole world seems to be in, I came across a quote by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1918, which kind of says it all: “To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but it is morally treasonable to the American public.”