05/26/15 4:58pm
COURTESY PHOTO |  'Say Something,' a film about substance abuse will be shown at Shelter Island School on May 28.

‘Say Something,’ a film about substance abuse will be shown at Shelter Island School on May 28.

Times have certainly changed. One thing that has remained constant over the past several decades is our struggle with drug and alcohol abuse and addiction.

The motivation behind the documentary, “Say Something,” is to promote an honest dialogue about this issue. It asks questions without pretending to have all the answers. Through interviews with students, parents, professionals and recovering addicts, it addresses these questions with a matter-of-fact approach. Hopefully it will spark that conversation and just maybe impact kids enough to make positive choices and avoid the very real consequences of substance abuse. (more…)

08/13/13 8:00am

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | “I feel like a lone voice in this room,” Robert Grosbard told attendees Friday afternoon as he made a plea for the Town Board to enact the ban on automatic underground irrigation systems in September.

The Shelter Island Town Board Friday afternoon voted  to place an eight-month moratorium on implementation of a law banning underground irrigation systems. The vote was unanimous to stop the law from taking effect September 1.

Between now and the May 1, 2014, deadline, the board was asked by attendees to determine if the Island’s water supply is truly at risk and identify technology now in use by companies selling the irrigation systems.
There was one impassioned spokesman and a couple of other backers begging the town to let the law stand and the ban go into effect.

“I feel like a lone voice in this room,” Robert Grosbard said. “I’m more concerned about the quality of life [and] we need to save our water,” he said. He told the packed Town Board room with several people relegated to the hallway, that he isn’t concerned about green lawns but about people having water in their homes.

Mark Mobius joined him in arguing it’s a “no-brainer” since water is a “limited resource.”

But others argued that weekenders had no way to keep their lawns green if they were forced to abandon use of the automatic irrigation systems.

“Take a real look,” Herb Stern asked the Town Board. He urged the town to hire someone with “no dog in the hunt” to do a study determining whether or not there’s a problem requiring banning the irrigation systems and whether the technology has changed for such systems.

Without a study to back up any decision to ban the irrigation systems, the board would be “taking my property without paying for it,” he said.

Lion Zust said she’s very concerned about the aquifer, but believed it to be stable and said the town should be looking at the quality, not the quantity of water. The problem is not with irrigation systems, but the design of some, she said.

Look at the exemptions, Warren Baker said. He pointed out that golf courses would be allowed to water the greens at the height of the day’s heat while most residents have their systems set to water only at night.

There were worries about water trucks lining the roads on Shelter Island. Others asked that the proposed eight-month moratorium be extended for one year, while some suggested modifying the law since not all areas are threatened by a water shortage. And one person suggested a pipeline from the North Fork to carry water to Shelter Island just as electrical lines underwater provide power here.

In other Town Board actions:

• Delayed action on the application for St. Gabriel’s Retreat Center for repairs on the bulkhead pending further information that the Waterways Management Advisory Council had said last week was insufficient. Matt Sherman promised to provide more specific measurements and precise plans and Town Board members agreed to try to push the application forward quickly once those plans are in place.

• Approved mooring applications from Andrew Bellas of 8 Tuthill Drive for a Riparian mooring and from Peter Reich of 3 Charlie’s Lane for a mooring in West Neck Harbor.

• Appointed Walter Richards to the Communities That Care board; Dan Halsted to the West Neck Water District Board of Directors; Howard Johansen and Paulette Van Vranken to the Conservation Advisory Council; and Peter McCracken to the Assessment Board of Review.

04/05/13 5:00pm

COURTESY IMAGE | Communities That Care

This is a new column written by Communities That Care (CTC) that will appear periodically and contain responses to your questions on dealing with family issues. You can submit your questions by emailing them to [email protected] or in writing to P. O. Box 209, Shelter Island Heights 11965. All information will be handled with the utmost confidentiality and details will be changed to protect your identity. Parenting is the most difficult and most important job any of us do, so CTC looks forward to helping you in anyway possible by sharing our expertise or tapping that of others.

Dear CTC:
I recently saw the child of a friend of mine doing something she shouldn’t have. I’d like to tell my friend about this but worry about damaging our relationship. What do you suggest?

Dear Shelter Island Parent,
Because we live on this small Island, many of us avoid confronting issues for fear of jeopardizing friendships and/or causing socially uncomfortable situations. While much of how others choose to raise their children is none of our business, if you are sure of what you saw, if it was something that was obviously wrong (not just something you object to) and you would want to know if  the situation were reversed, you should make the call. Here are some tips:

• Plan out what you are going to say, perhaps even writing a script for yourself.

• Practice with your spouse or a trusted friend until you feel comfortable, changing the names so things don’t develop into a damaging gossip fest.

• Decide how best you think the message should be given, in person or over the phone.

• Include the fact that you may be mistaken but as a friend you wanted to pass along the information.

• Watch your tone and your choice of words so you don’t sound superior, accusatory or judgmental. No one likes to be told they or their children are wrong or bad) but rather come across as a caring friend/neighbor who would want them to do the same for you.

• Before you sign off, check to make sure the two of you are still on good terms and if there are any hard feelings, talk them out.

Most parents will thank you if you approach them with sensitivity and good intentions. Those who attend our “Guiding Good Choices” workshops and follow-up discussions tell us that the increased communication with other parents, shared concepts, similar “language” and agreement to work together to raise their children, are some of the most valuable things they gain from the program. The fact is, we are all responsible for helping our youth make healthy choices.

To paraphrase a wise woman, “It takes an Island.”

Best of luck,