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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor: June 22, 2023

Aspire to and admire

To the Editor:

Congratulations to Charity Robey on the wonderful first page story in the Reporter (June 15) featuring Jose Hernandez and his outstanding family.

At a time when so much news is difficult or controversial, it was great to read this article about a terrific family. Jose, his wife, Maritza, and their children are models of hard-working, kind, fair, caring and positive people whom we should all be proud to have as friends, neighbors and fellow Shelter Islanders. 

Jose’s life story is one that everyone can aspire to and admire. 

With so much negativity in the world, even here on Shelter Island at times, it is very good news to learn about people who embody the American Dream.

The more articles like this that are published, the better off we all are.

BOB FREDERICKS, Shelter Island

Faith in humanity

To the Editor:

On Saturday, June 10, I had ridden a bike to Shell Beach when I encountered the fluffiest puppy and his human. Boomer and Louise stopped to chat, and spent close to half an hour talking. I told her my friends and I were on Shelter Island with an oncology group for women (braveheartscamp.org) and we then talked about Shelter Island, things to do, including strawberries from a local farmstand, Therapy Dogs International, service animals, cancer, grooming tubs for dogs, and the joy of walking on the beach with a large dog.

Louise suggested that we visit a specific farmstand to get fresh strawberries and when I looked it up, it was not on the way to either get ice cream (annual tradition) or back to Quinipet.

Before we left to continue our bike exploration of Shelter Island, Louise returned to the beach with Boomer in tow, and shared a pint of berries she had just picked. They were so delicious and juicy.

This may have seemed like a small act to her yet it made a whole group of us so happy as we shared the fresh berries. Faith in humanity restored, taste buds happy, sun shining, a perfect morning on Shelter Island.

Thank you, Louise and Boomer! You made my annual visit to Shelter Island so much more memorable.


The 10K

To the Editor:

The community has another successful Shelter Island 10K Run in the books. A total of 1,634 runners stood on the start line at the 44th annual race that was dedicated to the former race director Jimmy Richardson. We welcomed back running legends Joan Benoit Samuelson and Bill Rodgers. Enthusiastic kids — numbering 36 — completed our fun run, happily showing off their medals.

As every year, on behalf of the organizers, I want to thank all volunteers who dedicate their time to this amazing event. It would not be possible without you. This year I would like to give a special shout-out to the families that over the years adopted our water stations as their personal family event: the McDowells, the Binders, the Byingtons and the Sylvester Manor crew under the amazing leadership of Sara Gordon.

A huge debt of gratitude goes to our sponsors and partners: Northwell Health, Greenport Harbor Brewing Co., Dr. Frank Adipietro, Freshouse, Hampton Jitney, Stars Cafe and the amazing production team at Elite Feats.

Special thanks to our announcers, Chris Carey and Dr. Frank Adipietro for spending hours entertaining our athletes and guests.

And last but not least, thank you to the Town of Shelter Island, Dering Harbor Village, our Highway, Police and Fire departments, EMS and Shelter Island School.

A lot of moving parts and organizations make this event happen. I am grateful for the dedication and professionalism that all of them bring.

For this year we are wrapping up with Jimmy’s famous quote: “They came, they ran, I’m done.”

See you next year at the start line!

KRISTINA MARTIN MAJDISOVA, Shelter Island 10K Run Board of Directors

Meaningful regulations

To the Editor:

Last week, the Town Board once again made renewed declarations that the town has a water conservation issue. The discussion reminded me how this important matter has been kicked down the road by successive administrations since I was supervisor when I placed it at the forefront of the Town Board’s agenda over 20 years ago.

In 2003, the Town Board made significant amendments to the Town Code’s Wetlands Law and Irrigation Regulations. Notably, the 2003 Irrigation Regulations required new turf irrigation systems to be connected to an underground cistern having a minimum capacity of 8,000 gallons to be filled using trucked-in water or water captured from the property’s impermeable surfaces (to the extent such surfaces don’t exceed 10% of the property’s square footage).

We also enacted a “sunset provision” requiring that pre-1996 “grandfathered” irrigation systems be connected to underground cisterns by 2013. But shockingly, the Town Board eliminated this requirement in 2015, allowing these irrigation systems to continue drawing on the aquifer in some of the most sensitive areas in the near shore overlay zone.

Last Tuesday, while the Board wondered whether the current irrigation regulations were being enforced, no one seem to be aware that the water use safeguards enacted in 2003 were gutted by the Board in 2015. 

I listened to Councilman Jim Colligan’s heartfelt soliloquy about the urgency of improving Island-wide conservation. He cited many good ideas that have been openly discussed in the past. Yet at the end of the meeting, the Town Board appeared to relegate this critical matter to the Water Advisory Committee.

Protecting our water quality and precious environment should be the Board’s highest priority. I therefore urge the Town Board to take this issue on directly, collaborating with the WAC as needed, and get some meaningful regulations on the books that will make a difference.

ART WILLIAMS, Shelter Island

Mr. Williams is a former town supervisor and is currently a candidate for Town Council on the Republican ticket.

A special place

To the Editor:

We would like to thank the community of Shelter Island, but more specifically, the Animal Control Officer (ACO) Jenny Zahler and Bill Smith for the safe return of our newly adopted rescue dog Maggie.

On June 2, we brought home “Smiley,” a 2-year-old chihuahua mix from ARF in East Hampton. After approximately 10 minutes at her new home, she twisted herself out of her harness and bolted into the Shorewood area. She was spotted three times by neighbors, but was unable to be caught. We contacted ACO Jenny, who immediately posted a notice on Facebook. We posted several signs throughout the area where she went missing.

Long story short, the following morning we received a call from Jenny. She simply said, “Look in your driveway.” To our amazement and answered prayers, we saw Bill Smith carrying our little girl up the driveway. He found her on his porch on Saturday morning, asleep on his outdoor furniture. We have since renamed her Maggie and thankfully she is adjusting well to her new home.

Thank you to Amber Anglin of “All Dogged Up” for suggesting that I bring Maggie into the store so that she could fit her for the appropriate harness. Thank goodness we did, because as Amber snugly placed the new harness on Maggie, the little Houdini herself slipped out of it in a split second! Amber then fitted her for a Martingale collar and it’s been very secure.

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. Thank you, Shelter Island, for being the community that you are. We feel blessed to be a part of this special place.



To the Editor:

Building Inspectors Reed Karen and Brett Poleshuk have issued another building permit, despite an expired Special Permit, for one of the most expensive new homes ever constructed on Shelter Island at 71C Nostrand Parkway.

The Special Permit was granted by the ZBA in 2018. Why was the Special Permit granted with an increase in the bulk and height in the nonconforming setback anyway?  Regardless, that Special Permit expired prior to the issuance of the building permit. Despite knowing that the Special Permit had expired, why did the building inspectors compound the error by issuing a building permit renewal in 2022 and a new one May 25? 

Worse, the construction is inside the Near Shore 75’ vegetative buffer and has violated the Town Board resolution granting a Wetlands Permit detailing that the construction shall have a reduction in the impermeable surface in the vegetative buffer zone. This order was violated after the owners changed plans from replacement of a permeable wood deck to a massive concrete terrace with a concrete retaining wall within the 75’ vegetative buffer.

Our building inspectors have been silent during these crucial violations. Why have Karen and Poleshuk ignored their duties promulgated under the Town Code by neither revoking the building permit nor issuing a stop work order until a valid Special Permit and wetlands permit can be obtained? All these questions demand answers.

Town attorney Stephen Kiely has been directly advising Inspector Karen, the ZBA and the Town Board on this matter. Since he answers to the Town Board and Supervisor Siller, a truly independent special counsel investigation is needed to ascertain what is really going on behind closed doors. No one should be above the Shelter Island Town law. The Wild West times are gone.


Another victim

To the Editor:

When I saw the picture of the turtle in the June 1 edition of the Reporter that was killed on her way to laying her eggs, I thought: “How horrible that people are in such a rush that they don’t see these endangered, slow-moving creatures.”

I’ve stopped and saved so many over the years, including several “snappers.”

Walking my dog last night on Baldwin Road, I came upon another poor victim filled with eggs. I’m not sure who puts the signs up that I’ve seen, but I feel there should be signs all over the Island in English and in Spanish.

I’m also going to forward a photo I took of the victim to Animal Control Officer Jenny Zahler.

People need to slow down!

LINDA ZAVATTO, Shelter Island