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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor: June 22, 2024

Heartfelt thanks

To the Editor:

We would like to extend heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to making the 45th Shelter Island 10K event an extraordinary success. It was unanimously agreed that this year’s run was the smoothest ever, blessed with perfect weather, which made the day even more special.

This year, we had the honor of dedicating the race to Christian Napolitano. Christian’s legacy inspired us all, and it was a privilege to celebrate his memory throughout this event.

To our incredible volunteers: your dedication and hard work are the foundation of this event. Whether managing the T-shirt tent, distributing water, handing out medals, or unpacking food and drinks, your efforts were invaluable.

Your willingness to give your time and energy creates the welcoming and supportive atmosphere that makes the Shelter Island 10K such a cherished community event. Your friendly smiles and helping hands ensured that all participants felt valued and motivated throughout the day.

To our participants: your enthusiasm and spirit were truly inspiring. Seeing runners of all ages and abilities come together to celebrate fitness, community, and the joy of running was incredible.

Your determination and camaraderie brought a vibrant energy to the event, and your positive feedback has been incredibly encouraging. We hope you enjoyed the beautiful course and the ideal running weather.

We also extend special thanks to our sponsors and partners, whose generosity and support were instrumental in the event’s success. Your contributions provided the necessary resources to ensure everything ran smoothly and safely.

This year’s Shelter Island 10K Run’s success is a testament to what can be achieved when a community comes together with a shared goal. We are deeply grateful for your participation and support and look forward to seeing you all again next year for another fantastic event.

KRISTINA MARTIN MAJDISOVA, On behalf of Shelter Island 10K Board of Directors

More openness

To the Editor:

At the June 4 Town Board work session, I made a series of points the Board may wish to address.

Any new or additional activity not covered in a wetlands permit requires an application to amend a wetlands permit under Code 129 (H). That code is not being enforced. A major four-year construction project of a new house is currently underway on 71C Nostrand Parkway in the wetlands, whereas the permit is for a renovation only. No enforcement is being undertaken of this code violation.

Second, the online code violation complaints are being routed directly to the office of the Town Attorney where Michael Chih has his office instead of the enforcement officers at the Building Department. Many of these complaints are being ignored with no response to the complainant which has been my experience on multiple occasions.

This situation needs corrective action to avoid the appearance of lip service for online code complaints. Complainants deserve some feedback.

Lastly, the Town Attorney should fulfill his duty to see that code violations are being properly handled, which is not presently the situation. The Town Attorney should not be obstructing the duties of the ZBA from responding to appeals in some form or other.

This writer has not had any response from the ZBA for an appeal since it was filed in January 2022. This may be related to a 2022 electronic communication from the Town Attorney to the ZBA and the Town Board Liaisons — Supervisor Amber Brach-Williams and Councilwoman Meg Larsen — not to communicate to this writer regarding his inquiry into the delay of any response from the ZBA to his appeal. 

Shelter Island needs more openness and fair treatment of code violation complaints, ZBA appeals of zoning violations, and better code enforcement of wetlands violations.


Editor’s note: Mr. Kiely’s email to Town officials asked them not to engage with Mr. Doman because of some threatened litigation. Mr. Doman denies threatening any litigation.

Dems early voting

To the Editor:

Early Voting is on for the Democratic primary. Our Democratic Committee positions are on the ballot and it is time to chart a new course for the party: Time to become an open, fair  and professionally run Committee that represents all Democrats on Shelter Island.

I want to clear up a statement that appeared in this week’s  paper that states that some candidates are endorsed by the Democrats. No committee candidates are endorsed by the Shelter Island Democratic Committee as an endorsement requires a full Committee vote, which did not take place.

Clearly, the challenging candidates would not have voted to endorse their opponents as the article implies.

Just as exciting is the vote for House of Representatives, and getting John Avlon on the ballot. He’s endorsed by Fred Thiele, Shelter Island Dems, East and Southampton Dems, and more folks that I can even name here.

He’s a smart common sense candidate who is right for our district and more importantly, can win.

Let’s flip our seat blue. Get out there and vote!


Recycling for all

To the Editor:

I would like to address a few issues regarding the Town dump turning into the Town of Shelter Island Recycling Center.

The Town went into a agreement with the state of New York DEC and Suffolk County to build a Recycling Center for the purpose of recycling all State-approved waste management products brought in and processed by Shelter Island.

The agreement also included the collection of metal, construction debris and cement debris. Proper bins had to be made for its storage. The State also had language stating the number one purpose of recycling is the use of a product back to its original use. One example is a lawn mower removed from the scrap metal area and re-used.

The State also said the second-best recycling is a product to be altered back into its existing use. Example a 2×4, plywood etc. to build any homeowner’s structure.

Also a scale station had to be erected to properly accommodate a charging fee monitored by NYS weights and measures. Everything was to be approved by the State and a very large grant would be offered for reimbursements of funds. The Town of Shelter Island received the grant money that built our now Recycling Center. The Town would be in breach of the Grant money they received if the town chose to do away with the public recycling of wood and metal products.

A handful of Town employees want to stop a town full of people benefiting and saving money recycling products. I and many Town people would like the opportunity to voice our input at a proper announced hearing before any decisions are made.

I would also add the chances of anyone throwing glass into a glass bin one foot away, or delivering cardboard next to a hydraulic machine with 5,000 pounds of pressure are just as likely to be injured as someone in the metal or CND area.

That’s what we have insurance for.

DAN CALABRO, Shelter Island

Birding together

To the Editor:

Some time ago I quietly left North Fork Audubon Society. Why? Because of John J. Audubon. He promoted racist views and enslavement and owned and sold humans. He also killed and sold birds by the thousands for his own enrichment.

We need a diversity of people to save a diversity of birds. North Fork Audubon members made the decision not to change their name, but what about the future? Will the Society be able to attract younger birders to the organization? Will this name keep others here on the East End from joining in the good work?

James Robert Bailey, enslaved for 31 years in Virginia, brought his wife and kids to Southampton for a better life. Bailey Road in Tuckahoe was his farm land. In 1924 his grandson married my grandmother. I do everything I can to honor his dream, his strength, his sacrifice, and most of all the name he gave me.

I hope North Fork Audubon will reconsider in the future. You’re asking people like me to make an impossible choice: honor your ancestors, or shrug your shoulders. In a world that desperately needs people to care about the planet, the seas, the bays, the wetlands, the animals, the fish, the birds and each other, do we really want to marginalize anyone?

Let’s put our racist past behind us and move into the future together.

And PS: Rex Brasher painted more birds than Audubon. He never killed any birds in the process and he didn’t own any humans. His work is amazing, you should check it out.

KC BAILEY, Shelter Island

A serious matter

To the Editor:

I am sympathetic to Ms. Sherman and her fear of cyclists and related injuries in “Oh, no, the bicyclists are back on Shelter Island.” However, this is a serious matter which requires the attention of all motorists.

The roads of Shelter Island are designed in such a way that it is not feasible to create dedicated and protected bike lanes. Accidents can occur on any road. In fact, NY-114 is an official road in the New York State Bicycle Route System.

The roads are the roads, unlikely to be changed and are here to be shared by all.

The onus is on cyclists and motorists to behave themselves to avoid the tragedies which befall our neighbors in the South Fork every summer.  Aggressive drivers (one of whom almost hit me on Brander last summer) and irresponsible cyclists (of which I have witnessed several) are thankfully few on Shelter Island.

I would recommend all cyclists always wear a helmet; that their bicycles have front lighting and rear lighting; and also that if they are going on extended rides, their bicycle has a radar to warn of oncoming cars — these units are available from Garmin.

At the same time it would be great if motorists could pay attention to the road, get off their phones, stop playing with their massive oversized infotainment screens in an oversized SUV and drive their car rather than hoping one of the myriad of car safety devices alerts them that they are about to crush a cyclist.

SAMUEL ASHNER, Shelter Island