REPORTER FILE PHOTO
To the Editor:
There are close to 300 acres of land on a recent list of prospective open space purchases/easements/development rights candidates prepared by the Community Preservation Fund Advisory Board. They are in addition to the substantial acreage already protected as open space in various ways all over the Island.
In a recent letter I pointed out the unkempt nature of public spaces here and there. The Conservation Advisory Council at its meeting Monday, March 18, discussed a management plan for one of them, Sachems Woods. It lies roughly east-southeast of the IGA, and at present one would never know who owns it. There’s no visible evidence of the stewardship one would expect of a conscientious landowner so exposed to travelers on North Ferry Road and North Midway.
I hope the CAC’s management plan is adopted, enacted, implemented, or at least seriously considered by the Town Board. It involves clearing refuse, removing downed trees and establishing a program to clear and maintain paths for walkers, among other things.
Perhaps the town can paint itself into a corner by posting notices on North Ferry and North Midway declaring that it has “adopted” the property for maintenance and upkeep.
Preserving St. Gabe’s
To the Editor:
Jim Dougherty is correct to assert what a priceless jewel the St. Gabriel’s property is to Shelter Island and it should be protected from development.
The pristine views of Coecles Harbor would be preserved along with this vanishing parcel of waterfront land. It could be used for town events and become a beautiful undeveloped park for visitors to the Island. I believe that church groups such as dioceses from Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island would be interested in renting facilities.
My family has owned property on Shelter Island since 1990 and are part-time residents of the Island. One of the things, of many, that attracted us to the Island were the outdoor services in the summer at St. Gabriel’s. Sunday services in the summer often drew more than 200 worshippers to “Mass on the grass” as my children called it. As some prominent Islanders will tell you, all were welcomed, visitors and residents, Catholics and non-Catholics, believers and those searching.
We still lament the Passionists leaving the Island. Several times each summer, we will drive onto the property and stroll around. Knowing that it could eventually be carved up and developed into multi-million dollar homes is distressing. Once developed it will be gone forever. In a real way, it is like hallowed ground.
Of course, while its former use is not a primary reason to preserve the property from development, the pristine unmatched vistas from the meadow overlooking the harbor are reason enough.
Preserving this parcel forever would be one of the best acquisitions made by our town, for us, our children and succeeding generations. It is for parcels such as these that the preservation program was established in the first place.
Let’s get it done!
Above and beyond
To the Editor:
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to a few “new” staff members at Shelter Island School. These individuals have embraced our kids and school with notable care and devotion above and beyond expectations.
As a nurse, I have seen many employees clocking in and out of their shifts to the exact minute. I have also seen many of us who showed up at work 30 minutes early (not clocking in) and staying late (after clocking out) to prepare for our shifts as well as assisting the next shift to prepare or keeping a patient company until family members arrive.
Any job that one truly loves requires this level of commitment and you really never think about the unpaid hours.
The individuals I highlight are: Mr. Doelger, Mr. Bocca, Mr. Cox and Dr. Hynes. They all seem to have embraced our unfamiliar community (to them) with determination to connect and thereby show our kids how important it is to have a great work ethic.
There are many other Shelter Island teachers who are equally committed and my son has and is reaping the benefits of their excellence, but it is nice to see these new faces put so much heart into their profession.
Currently, there is a great deal of coverage in the news about the abuses of excess overtime at tax payer expense and I certainly agree with the need to examine and quell this problem, but we must also thank those individuals who bring that extra layer of honor and commitment to their jobs.