Address Tick Problem
When I first addressed the North Haven Village board in July, they asked me to assist them in researching information to help them make an informed decision on how to best reduce the number of ticks and hence the probability of contracting a tick borne disease. I have spent the last month continuing my research on how to best approach the proliferation of ticks and the long-standing tick-related diseases that have afflicted myself and many of my friends and neighbors. While I hoped this could be more of a conversation with the board and community working together for the best decision, I was dismayed to see that the board did not deem the public health crisis in our community as worthy of even part of the “Old Business” section of their meeting.
We did not get an update from the mayor on her attendance at the Mayor and Supervisor’s meeting where this was an agenda item. We did not get a sense from the board of their plan or timeline to address this critical issue. While nine members of the North Haven Manor Association attended and four spoke, all we got from the board was three minutes in the Public Participation section.
Despite the lack of conversation with our village board members, there has been a significant amount of conversation in the community about the problem. At the annual meeting of my homeowners’ association, North Haven Manor, on August 18th there was a discussion of the tick problems that ended with unanimous support for implementing the Four Poster Project from the forty people present. I have also personally spoken with Ken Dorph whose outstanding letter to the editor in last week’s Sag Harbor Express entitled, “Too Many Deer”, highlights the point that the key to reducing the tick population is getting the deer population reduced to levels that are sustainable (one per five acres as opposed to four per five acre). His very well written piece did have a significant impact on my feelings about the deer. Although it is very painful for me to think of the destruction of such beautiful animals, they are the “most dangerous animal” in North America having contributed to over 200 deaths from auto accidents, plus hundreds of thousands of lives being altered or destroyed by tick-borne diseases, as well a dramatic decrease in wildlife diversity due to over grazing.
The village board is to be commended for addressing the size of the deer population. But, it is not enough. We can and should further reduce the deer population to acceptable levels through the use of professional sharpshooters who could humanely handle the culling and, hopefully, the preparation of the meat for distribution to the food pantries. We should not allow “hunters” to reduce the herd for sport.
As mentioned in our last meeting, even if we eliminated the deer, we would still have some ticks that would be carried on other mammals and birds. A multiple approach needs to be pursued that should include not only the culling of the deer, but also the use of products such as Daminix to control the Lyme vector in the white footed mouse population, AND the proven technology of the Four Poster Program.
I respectfully asked the Board to immediately begin the application process for a license to implement the Four Poster Program for the village. Mr. Palmer, the special assistant to the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, did address in a memo all of the technical issues raised in last month’s board meeting. I sent his response to Mayor Nolan and the village Clerk. Mr. Palmer continues to stand by his statement that the Four Poster Device is an amazing tool that is highly effective and a safe method for dramatically reducing tick populations. We need to have the devices in place by March for the greatest effectiveness in breaking the tick development cycle. Mr. Palmer has assured me that the DEC is very willing to issue the village a license because it has a deer management program in place. It would be my hope that once the Four Poster Program were put in place, the Board would ban the use of broad spectrum spraying of permethrin and other pesticides that is impacting our ecosystem, especially our water quality.
We have and have had for quite some time, an epidemic of tick borne diseases on the East End. We cannot wait another year for yet another task force or study. We all need to get involved in demanding that North Haven village should be a leader and not a follower in this area!
Josephine DeVincenzi, Ed.D.
The Bottom Line
To the Editor,
Greg Buckley Sr. never wanted his son to go to war. At age 17 his son, Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley Jr. enlisted in the Marines and at age 21 was shot and killed in Afghanistan, too young to die and not know why.
A father’s stand: tormented by son’s death in Afghanistan wants our soldiers out now and wants to save others from the same fate.
His mother, Marina Buckley’s plea: “Our soldier’s shouldn’t be there. It should be over. It’s done. No more.”
Their son’s plea, “I just want to go home so bad, Dad. I just don’t want to be here any more. I can’t sleep here. I open my eyes I lose my eyes. I just don’t feel right. Every time I go to bed, I feel like I am not going to get up the next day.” The beginning of P.T.S.D. which would have haunted him and his family the rest of their lives. Enough of war!
Finally this tragic death is not about patriotism it’s about brutal capitalism, the bottom line is money. We are in the grasp of corporate powers. J P Morgan Chase have recruited soldiers on public television.