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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor: Jan. 25, 22024

An amazing turnout

To the Editor:

I want to extend a big “Thank You” to everyone who took time from their busy schedules to make the annual winter blood drive at the Community Center on January 18 a huge success. The turnout was amazing!

Forty-two brave souls endured freezing temperatures and strong winds to donate. Thanks to their efforts we were able to collect 46 pints of blood. The goal was 41.

Whether you came in with family members to show your support, or just stopped because you saw our signs along the roadway, your time and donations are greatly appreciated.

Thank you to the Shelter Island Reporter, Shelter Island Fire Department, North Ferry Company, South Ferry Company and Sylvester Manor for getting the word out. A special thank you to Bethany Ortmann for the use of the Community Center.

Please remember that blood donors are continually needed to ensure that blood is available year-round. The next drive is scheduled for Friday July 19. 

Hope to see you then.

JUDY MERINGER, Shelter Island


To the Editor:

We would like to thank the members of the Shelter Island Emergency Medical Services and the Police Department who responded so quickly to our recent call for assistance.

We were, at once, reassured and impressed with the professionalism, respect and efficiency demonstrated by all involved.

We are very grateful and deeply appreciative.

THE HEUS FAMILY, Shelter Island

A new species

To the Editor:

On Jan. 14, The New York Times published an excellent article about Shelter Island and the extinction of our scallops. Scalloping was our Fall Harvest, an economic and social tradition and good eating.

Reseeding has been attempted almost every year for the past 30 years. It has been done locally and then with the help of The Nature Conservancy, and finally with the help of the Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Those attempts have failed. It is apparent that the waters in and around Peconic Bay can no longer sustain the life cycle of the Peconic Bay scallop.

Climate change has been invoked as a cause of the extinction, but scallop populations thrive within a hundred miles of the Island. Scallops are also grown in warmer waters in Florida, although probably a different species. There really is no definitive scientific answer as to why scallops will not grow to maturity here.

A near extinction of a shellfish species occurred on the West Coast involving the then prevalent Washington oyster. It was presumed that the cause was the loss of a micro-nutrient and a new species was brought to the area from Japan that has thrived and is now the dominant oyster on the Pacific coast.

Presumably there are species differentiations among scallop populations.

If we want scallops, and we definitely do, we will have to identify and introduce a new species that can tolerate the conditions in Peconic Bay. This is expensive and will require the help of New York state. Bear in mind that the state regulates the scallop industry and collects our taxes.

I propose that our town managers contact the State Environmental Protection Agency and ask for assistance in a new approach to our problem.


Pays for itself

To the Editor:

I enjoyed Charity Robey’s essay on composting (Jan. 4), but I hope her line about weekenders not having the time to deal with a compost pile doesn’t discourage any aspiring backyard composters.

Our family has found that with a bin with a secure lid and a compost crank, compost pile maintenance takes perhaps five minutes per visit, and more than pays for itself with fewer trips to the transfer station.