Tag Archive | "Shelter Island"

In North Haven, 4-Poster Tick Management Unlikely Unless Done Privately

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By Kathryn G. Menu

When it comes to deer and the ticks they carry, the Village of North Haven will not fund or erect any 4-Poster tick management devices on its own for now. But during another contentious village board of trustees meeting last Wednesday night, the board said it would consider allowing private residents to place the devices on their properties, if the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) allows it.

On Wednesday, November 7, in the midst of a nor’easter, North Haven resident Dr. Josephine DeVincenzi — an ardent supporter of the Village of North Haven implementing a 4-Poster tick management system, which she says will curb tick populations in the village — implored the board to reconsider a decision it made last month. In October, the village board said it would look to aggressively cull the deer population in North Haven rather than use 4-Poster devices, citing environmental concerns and the financial burden of implementing the program.

A 4-Poster device is a duel feeding station which forces deer to rub up against applicator rollers treated with the tickicide permethrin as they feed. The permethrin is then transferred to other parts of the body when the deer grooms itself.

From 2007 to 2010, Shelter Island studied the impact of the 4-Poster tick abatement system. While those opposed to the concept in North Haven have argued there is little information to show how successful it is at combating tick borne illness, Shelter Island officials and the DEC say drag tests performed by Cornell Cooperative Extension showed a significant decline in ticks on the island.

Peter Boody, the editor of The Shelter Island Reporter and a North Haven resident, has been another advocate for the implementation of a 4-Poster program in North Haven.

Last month, North Haven Village board member Jeff Sander said the board believes if it culls the village deer herd significantly, it will be able to reduce tick populations without the concern about the environmental impact concentrated doses of permethrin could have on the environment.

Last Wednesday night, DeVincenzi came to the meeting armed with every article written in The Shelter Island Reporter since 2004 about the 4-Poster programs there. At a two-hour forum in May 2006, DeVincenzi noted two scientists from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) addressed issues like the toxicity of permethrin and, according to DeVincenzi, said it was “less toxic than fabric softener and more targeted a solution than spraying” pesticides.

DeVincenzi noted many residents, including her neighbor Chris Gangemi, are concerned about the amount of pesticide spraying occurring in North Haven to combat ticks. While board members have argued the permethrin used on the 4-Poster devices is in a concentrated form, and toxic to the point where licensed individuals are required to administer the tickicide to the devices, DeVincenzi argued spraying has a larger impact on the environment because it is not targeted.

She said she believes residents, many like her who spend upwards of $1,800 annually in spraying, would happily reapply that money towards the implementation of a 4-Poster program.

Mayor Laura Nolan sharply questioned the effectiveness of the 4-Poster program, stating the data simply did not show it was truly as effective as the DEC or Cornell Cooperative Extension has led people to believe.

“It was a lot of money on Shelter Island,” she added.

“That is because they are 11-acres,” replied DeVincenzi. “We are 2.6-acres.”

She added there are studies from across the Northeast that she believes show how effective the devices has been.

Sander said he did not believe residents support the village taking on the initiative.

“Then let’s put a referendum up,” said DeVincenzi.

“It’s a consideration we have had to put this up for public referendum,” said Nolan. “We are thinking about this. It’s not that we are being inactive.”

Nolan said at a recent meeting of the East End supervisors and mayors, she was not alone in her skepticism.

Sander said the only way he believed this would go through in North Haven is with private funds and on private property.

DeVincenzi urged the board to apply for a DEC permit so at the very least that would be a possibility.

“We are considering the village could be a vehicle to have the permit if there were private properties willing to purchase the mechanisms, pay for the costs, pay for the professional licensed applicator, pay for the maintenance, pay for everything,” said Nolan. “We are considering that if the DEC allows that.”

Future of Sag Harbor-Greenport Ferry Service Unclear

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By Kathryn G. Menu

Whether or not the Peconic Bay Water Jitney — a passenger ferry service between Sag Harbor and Greenport that operated on a pilot season basis throughout the summer of 2012 — will be proposed for 2013 remains uncertain.

The passenger ferry service has been running since July after both Sag Harbor and Greenport villages green-lit a trial run in May. The Peconic Bay Water Jitney is a partnership between the Hampton Jitney and Response Marine’s Jim Ryan, who oversees the water Jitney between the villages. The Jitney seats 53 people below deck and has over 20 seats on the top deck.

The permit from the Village of Sag Harbor allows the service to run through October 31 when the temporary law allowing passenger ferry service from Long Wharf will sunset and ferry service will become illegal in Sag Harbor without board intervention.

Since the service started, the village has been studying the impact of the ferry service through its environmental planning consultants, Inter-Science Research Associates.

According to Inter-Science President Rich Warren, that study will not be completed until later this month.

According to Ryan, there has been no official discussions about the future of the ferry service while the Hampton Jitney awaits financial statistics about the ferry service expected later this month.

While Hampton Jitney vice-president Andrew Lynch did not return calls for comment this week, in last week’s edition of The Southampton Press, Hampton Jitney President Geoff Lynch stated the service generated less than $200,000 in revenue, with daily ridership around 200 passengers, short of the 300 to 350 the company originally said was necessary to keep the business afloat.

In that interview, Lynch said outside investors would likely be needed for the service to continue in 2013.

On Monday, Lynch said nothing was off the table and that he has personally met with investors regarding the future of the passenger ferry, which he said, despite rumors, has no intention of expanding to include a Connecticut launch to casinos, nor has any dream of making Sag Harbor Village a passenger ferry hub.

If anything, said Lynch, if the service moves forward, because of the lack of infrastructure in Sag Harbor it would look to a maritime port like Greenport to become a hub, but that even for 2013, the company was simply not there yet.

If they do want to move forward in 2013, the Peconic Bay Water Jitney will need the approval, again, of the Suffolk County Legislature as well as the village boards in Sag Harbor and Greenport.

In Sag Harbor, if the Peconic Bay Water Jitney hopes to operate outside of a conditional license it will likely need approval from not only the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees, but also the Sag Harbor Village Harbor Committee, its planning board and potentially its zoning board of appeals.

North Haven Village Board Will Cull Deer, Rather Than Seek 4-Poster Devices to Combat Ticks

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By Kathryn G. Menu

North Haven Village will attempt to aggressively cull its deer herd this year rather than apply to the state for approval to implement a 4-Poster tick abatement plan.

Following another lengthy discussion at the village’s Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night, trustee Jeff Sander said he belived culling the herd would be the most effective tool in decreasing tick populations, therefore reducing the incidence of tick borne illnesses among residents.

“There seems to be a lot of evidence, in things I have read and other research, that if you get rid of deer or perhaps the ticks on deer you significantly eliminate the incidence of ticks and Lyme disease,” said Sander noting that in communities like Fishers Island, culling has proved an effective tool in lowering the incidence of tick borne illnesses.

While North Haven’s deer population has decreased, said Sander ­— aerial photos from 2008 show the herd at 69 or 70 deer down from 450 over a decade ago,  he added, “Many residents have noted the herd seems significantly high this year and I would be one of them.”

Sander added the village plans to do another aerial scan in late winter 2013 to assess North Haven’s actual deer population.

“I believe the most effective way to address the situation is to continue the hunting program and accelerate it,” said Sander.

While Sander admitted he doesn’t love the idea of killing deer, he said research shows if the herd is reduced to between seven and 10 percent per square mile (or 25 to 30 deer in all) the number of ticks will be significantly reduced.

He added the cost of the 4-Poster program, which involves deer feeding stations and the use of a powerful tickicide, can cost around $100,000 annually. With no monies budgeted this fiscal year to implement the program and questions about the environmental impact of the tickicide, Sanders felt culling was the best step forward at this time.

According to North Haven Mayor Laura Nolan, she has already begun working with building inspector Al Daniels to identify property owners willing to allow hunters on their property and will attempt to expand that number.

North Haven resident Brian McIver, who owns six acres, said he supported culling, but said if this was the path forward, the Village of North Haven would need to be more proactive in helping residents apply for permits and understand what is required.

Under North Haven Village code, property owners can apply for a deer nuisance permit, which allows hunters to hunt during season on their properties, provided homeowners within 500-feet from where a hunter will cull on that property agree.

Nolan said she would study where new permits would best be served based on what is already out there in North Haven. Nolan added ultimately she was concerned about the concentration of permethrin used in the 4-poster system, noting 10-percent of the solution is pure permethrin, and the impact that could have on deer meat or the environment.

However, for Peter Boody, editor of The Shelter Island Reporter and a North Haven resident, many of these questions and concerns have already been addressed not only in studies across the country, but in the years long process it took to get the 4-Poster program implemented on Shelter Island.

From 2007 to 2010, Shelter Island studied the impact of the 4-Poster tick abatement system, installing 60 feeding stations armed with permethrin around the island. While those opposed to the concept in North Haven have argued there is little information to show how successful it is at combating tick borne illness, Shelter Island officials and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) say drag tests performed by Cornell Cooperative Extension showed a significant decline in ticks on the island.

Late last month, the Shelter Island Town Board approved the installation of 20 4-Poster devices around the island in a continued effort at tick mitigation.

On Tuesday, Boody also argued that on Shelter Island there were trace amounts of permethrin found in the deer, the same amount found in deer from North Haven, which allows spraying of permethrin and other insecticides.

“I must say I think that if the 4-Poster was done here after three years we would have a lot less spraying,” said Boody adding with 40 devices sitting on Shelter Island it was possible North Haven Village could lease them for a reasonable price.

Richard Gambino, a staunch objector to implementing 4-Poster devices in North Haven continued to question the cost, effectiveness and safety of the devices. He wondered who would want to eat venison if they knew deer had been exposed to permethrin.

Richard Kelly, with the Shelter Island based Coalition for Sustainable Fish and Wildlife on Shelter Island, said permethrin is highly toxic to fish. Kelly added he did not believe the study could go far enough to show it was 4-Poster devices, rather than other variables like weather, that impacted the number of ticks on Shelter Island during the test period.

Janalyn Travis Messer, president of the Shelter Island Deer and Tick Management Foundation, a not-for-profit able to collect funds from residents and other sources to help fund the 4-Poster study on Shelter Island, said her organization could help if North Haven decided to look at using the 4-Poster devices.

Messer said unlike sprays, which are water based and enter the Peconic Estuary through runoff easily, the permethrin used on deer is oil based. Messer said that meant it did not contribute to runoff.

North Haven resident Chris Gangemi said as a father, he was more concerned about the spraying in North Haven — six of his neighbors spray once a month using permethrin — and the impact that could have on his daughters.

“Whatever you choose to do whether culling the herd or the 4-Poster program, I think it would be great to have some ordinances on spraying,” said Gangemi. “It seems to be worse than ever. It can’t be the Wild West, I am going to spray every month or every three weeks.”

“When you are spraying you are allowing hundreds of thousands of gallons each year,” said Messer. “With 4-Poster, Shelter Island was lucky if it used two gallons a year.”

“But it is more concentrated,” said North Haven trustee Diane Skilbred.

Finding Culture at Plant & Sing

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By Emily J. Weitz

In the five years since Sylvester Manor’s Plant & Sing was first conceived, it has evolved from a harvest festival to an all-inclusive celebration of food on the East End.

“The culture of food is really the big thing at Sylvester Manor,” says Bennett Konesni, executive director of the Shelter Island farm and 15th generation descendent of Sylvester Manor’s original family. “We’re looking at what a food system really looks like – the music, the poetry, the plays, the dishes and restaurants, the farm work and the yoga. We are saying that food doesn’t have to be just a thing on your plate.”

And it’s through celebrating the many facets of food that Konesni believes people can get back in touch with their environment.

“We’ve lost something really major – that deep connection to the land and the things that live on the land,” he says. “It used to be that people knew what things were blooming at which time and which trees had good wood for different uses. That has been lost with industrialization.”

Plant & Sing started out as a way to bring people back into that realm of knowledge. By inviting their neighbors onto the farm and teaching them how to plant garlic or pick a banjo, the Sylvester Manor crew found that they could help people develop that connection, not just to the land, but to life itself.

“People are starting to come to taste our tomatoes and sweet peppers,” says Konesni, “to embrace this place in its new form… It’s really gratifying. To have this place where people can come and nourish themselves with food and fun, and start living the life they want to live by taking music lessons or having a fresh pie. This is a place where it is not unusual to have a positive attitude and enjoy life and music and the fruits of human culture.”

One person for whom this message resonated deeply was Béla Fleck, the Grammy Award-winning banjo player who will be headlining Plant & Sing this year. Fleck has been nominated in more categories than any other musician in Grammy history, and has taken home 13 Grammy Awards.

“He thinks what we’re doing is a great idea,” says Konesni, “so he is donating this performance. The festival will be held on the lawn by the water, looking out over Gardiner’s Creek behind the manor house.”

Because of the historical significance of this setting, Konesni believes Fleck’s performance will be especially powerful.

“In the 1600s, ships used to sail in here to empty their cargo of sugar and molasses and rum, and also slaves. This was a slave plantation. And slaves brought the banjo to this country,” he adds. “So to have Béla playing the banjo, in this place where Europeans and Africans and Native Americans were exchanging culture and technology in a real way… The banjo is symbolic.”

He believes the music is also a way to put the realities of perhaps the most difficult chapter of this country’s history into perspective.

“How do you begin to understand what slavery has meant for American history and what it’s meant to this site?” he asks. “You call attention to it and start to think about what the Africans brought here, and the ways our cultures are intertwined just by having this music around.”

In addition to the profundity of having a master banjo player on these grounds, Konesni is excited because, as a musician himself, Fleck is a personal hero.

“He’s driven a lot of my own musical direction,” says Konesni. “He’s been to Africa and traveled all over hunting down the origins of the banjo. He’s a musical polymath, and so humble and kind and fun. We are really lucky.”

And it’s the connections that ultimately form the essence of Plant & Sing — connections to the land, connections to the music and connections to the history.

“It’s about those cultural things that come straight from the soil and the land itself,” says Konesni. “Our pigs are heritage pigs. The music is heritage music. The furniture is heritage furniture, and the ideas are heritage ideas. They need to be updated, of course, but they are old ideas that resonate. I feel so lucky to be living on an island with neighbors that support that alignment and these ideas.”

What’s Happening at Plant & Sing

Saturday will be jam-packed at Sylvester Manor with a Literary Lounge running from noon to 6 p.m. Featured writers, poets and playwrights include Quail Hill farm’s director and poet Scott Chaskey reading from his new book “Seedtime” at 1:30 p.m., Megan Chaskey and the Green Theater Collective at 3 p.m., Kathy Lynch and Christian McLean reading at 4:30 p.m., and Tom Leopold and Bill Persky sharing Food Stories and Songs at 5:15 p.m.

There will be a film screening of “Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers’ Movement,” at 7 p.m.

Music will start at 1 p.m. Saturday with the Who Dat Loungers, followed by 10 other acts ranging from bluegrass to Gothic Americana. Headliners Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn take the stage at 6 p.m.

Farm events will also take place throughout the day, including sunrise yoga with Heidi Folkine at 6 a.m., the sweet potato harvest from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., a nature hike at 10 a.m. and a tour of the historic grounds at 2 p.m. A traditional contra barn dance will start at 9 p.m., followed by late night garlic shucking from 10 p.m. to midnight.

Sunday will be a simple day of yoga at 6 a.m., followed by garlic planting from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tick Management Plan Debated in North Haven

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As someone who has been hospitalized with a tick borne illness, New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. doesn’t just view the issue as a problem, but as an epidemic facing residents across the East End.

During a North Haven Village Board meeting on Tuesday night, Thiele was one of several speakers discussing the possibility of the village implementing a 4-Poster tick management program in an effort to reduce tick populations, and ideally the associated illness.

On Tuesday, Thiele said the problem was not one unique to North Haven. He suggested that the East End Mayors and Supervisors be given the same presentation made at North Haven Village Hall by Vincent Palmer, the special assistant to the commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and entomologist Dan Gilrein with the Cornell Cooperative Extension on 4-Poster tick management effectiveness.

“I think a regional strategy needs to be devised,” said Thiele, adding that the State of New York technically owns deer and should therefore be involved one way or another in devising a financing strategy for a regional solution to tick borne illnesses.

Thiele’s comments followed a lengthy, and occasionally contentious, discussion about the effectiveness of a 4-Poster tick management plan.

Following a five-year study across the northeast, the Cornell Cooperative Extension completed a three-year study on 4-Poster devices on Shelter Island in 2011. At the close of the study, it was determined the 4-Poster technology helped reduce tick populations by 95-percent.

The devices are dual feeding stations which are filled with corn to attract deer, but are designed to apply the insecticide permethrin to the necks, head, ears and shoulders of deer which are forced to rub up against applicator rollers as they feed at the stations.

According to Palmer, the DEC is “inclined” to issue North Haven Village a permit to use the devices if the village board asks for it.

“If you tackle deer management and tick management at the same time it has proved to be very effective,” he said.

Mayor Laura Nolan asked about the long-term effect of permethrin on the environment.

Palmer noted that currently residents are using a tremendous amount of pesticides in spraying for ticks.

“We have over 100 pesticides in Long Island groundwater,” said Palmer, noting permethrin has not been found as it is used in a targeted fashion on deer specifically, unlike spraying.

A program takes three-years, he added, to be effective.

Nolan noted other animals, such as the white-footed mouse, also carry ticks and spread tick borne illnesses, but Palmer countered that without the deer population the population of deer ticks cannot sustain itself.

“They are the key in the equation,” he said.

According to Gilrein, North Haven Village would likely need as many as 40 to 50 4-poster units to be effective.

“After ticks are significantly reduced, can you reduce the number of devices or from a cost perspective do you have to have them forever,” wondered North Haven Trustee Jeff Sander.

According to Gilrein, Shelter Island had as many as 60 devices deployed during its study and now use just 19 devices, moved throughout the township.

Gilrein added he has had pesticide applicators and residents on Shelter Island tell him they are not spraying on properties as much as they used to.

However, according to Palmer, it is almost impossible to quantify the reduction in tick-borne illnesses as state health officials determined getting that kind of information was nearly impossible.

Nolan agreed, noting Southampton College had previously conducted research on the prevalence of tick-borne illnesses on the East End, but that information has not been updated in almost two decades.

“That is unfortunate because there is a certain level of hysteria about this and there is no way of knowing if this is a problem that fluctuates over a few a years,” she said.

Nolan added North Haven Village has been proactive in culling its deer herd, which in itself is a preventative measure.

While most residents appeared supportive of the concept, resident Richard Gambino was sharply critical of the study, noting research completed by the University of Pennsylvania confirms a number of other animals are hosts for ticks, and therefore tick-borne illnesses.

According to that research, the white footed mouse accounts for a quarter of infected ticks and nearly 90 percent of ticks feeding on an infected mouse contract Lyme disease, one of the most prevalent tick borne illnesses.

Gambino also charged that permethrin is listed as a “poison” that is especially toxic to cats, honeybees and other beneficial insects.

He also worried that with North Haven being a peninsula, not an island, deer could be attracted by the feeding stations into the village and questioned whether or not the data truly shows a reduction in tick populations.

Lastly, Gambino said the village was successful in culling its deer population and according to village records had reduced the population to just over 60 in the herd. He suggested if deer are the problem, the village should hire professional hunters to cull the rest of the herd.

However, Larry Baum, who moved to North Haven from Sag Harbor a year ago, said he has experienced first hand how prevalent ticks are in North Haven and despite respecting Gambino’s position, said he would offer his help in fundraising if necessary to get the program off the ground.

“But it shouldn’t be money that prevents us from protecting the families and children and the community that lives here,” said Baum, adding if an alternative idea is available the community should hear it.

Palmer said despite Gambino’s comments, if the ticks on deer are taken out of the equation, years of research show it is an effective tool in combating the problem.

 

 

 

Schumer: Whooping Cough on the Rise

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In a statement released last week, Senator Charles Schumer called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to launch an effort in New York and across the country to combat what he called “the startling rise” of cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough.
Whooping cough is a transmissible disease that can be caught by anyone, but is particularly dangerous in children. This year, the East Hampton School District released a statement to parents warning that a child had come down with whooping cough and detailing symptoms parents should look out for in their own children.
According to the CDC, the United States is headed for its worst year for whooping cough in more than 50 years, and in New York, there has been a threefold increase in cases from 2011 to 2012.
According to Schumer, recent studies have suggested one of the causes of the increase is adults who are not vaccinated for whopping cough and are catching the disease and then transferring it to children.
Last week, Schumer called on the CDC to put in place a three-part plan to combat the disease in New York, working with the state health department to establish free vaccinations and booster shots. He also called for the creation of a public information campaign and urged the CDC to ensure there is an ample supply of the vaccination available nationwide.
“Whooping cough is rearing its ugly head and we need to get on top of this highly contagious disease before it becomes too big to control,” said Schumer.  “It is not simply a nuisance, it can be deadly.”

Boat Party Banished

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Citing environmental concerns, as well as complaints made by Sag Harbor residents, this week the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees passed legislation expanding its mass gathering law in an effort to prevent the annual Sag Harbor Boat Party from continuing to host its August event in Sag Harbor Cove.

On Tuesday night, the village board adopted a law that requires anyone hosting an event anticipating more than 75 people — whether on land or water under Sag Harbor jurisdiction — to first obtain a permit from the village.

The boat party has been a fixture on the South Fork for two decades, anchoring off Barcelona Neck in East Hampton as well as Shelter Island before finding its current home in Sag Harbor Cove three years ago. The event has drawn anywhere from 100 to 300 vessels whose owners and passengers spend the day listening to live music on a barge supplied by organizers. Donations are collected to pay for the bands and occasionally to provide charitable support to a worthy cause.

Both East Hampton and Shelter Island passed legislation to regulate the event through permitting, pushing it into Sag Harbor — a municipality without permit requirements for parties on the water.

Until now, that is.

According to Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride, the legislation was conceived specifically due to concerns that have arisen since the Sag Harbor Boat Party moved its event into Sag Harbor Cove. That prompted complaints from waterfront residents in the neighborhood and drew the ire of officials concerned about the environmental impact the party could have on an ecologically sensitive body of water.

On Tuesday night, Southampton Town Trustee Jon Semlear, a commercial fisherman, applauded the village board for the action and said it had the support of a majority of the trustees in Southampton.

“The feeling is it is too small an area to accommodate such a large event,” said Semlear, noting the cove has already been plagued with red and brown tides. Most recently, the area was closed to shellfishing by the state to protect residents from paralytic shellfish poisoning which can manifest itself during specific algae blooms. That ban has been lifted, but Semlear said it was a testament to how sensitive the coves in Sag Harbor are.

“To have 300 or 500 or 200 boats anchored in areas we have been working on with the Department of State and the Cornell Cooperative Extension to get eel grass to grow is contradictory to what we are trying to accomplish,” said Semlear.

“It may not seem like a lot, but a one day event is just another stresser on a tenuous body of water,” he added.

Semlear added the fact there is not one individual willing to take responsibility for the Sag Harbor Boat Party — an event so covert it generally announces its location the day it is occurring on boating and sailing weblogs — is even more concerning.

“My suggestion is it happen somewhere outside the cove where there is better flushing,” said Semlear.

David Beard, the president of the Bay Point Property Owners Association said the group is unanimously opposed to the event happening in Sag Harbor Cove.

The board of trustee’s decision was unanimous. In order for the party to move forward in Sag Harbor jurisdiction, a principal must come forward and pursue a permit from the village, which will be considered by the village board.

On Monday night, the party was also the subject of heated debate at the village’s Harbor Committee meeting. Without a quorum and only two of the board’s current four members present, the Harbor Committee could take no action to support the village’s legislation. However, Harbor Committee Chairman Bruce Tait made it clear he did not support the party continuing in Sag Harbor Cove.

During that meeting, Bay Point resident Charlie Canavan — who said on Wednesday he was not the party’s organizer but simply fact finding for the event — argued it would not pose an environmental hazard. He added that while the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) does close to the cove to shellfishing after the event it is merely a precautionary measure.

Tait countered that the DEC closes the area because there is the potential the party has had an impact on the cove’s water quality, just as they do after a heavy rainstorm when stormwater runoff is swept into the bays.

Peconic BayKeeper Kevin MacAllister approached the board not to support the event or decry its existence. Rather, MacAllister took Tait to task for suggesting at last month’s meeting that he could have a conflict of interest in weighing in on the impact of the party after Canavan suggested the BayKeeper could benefit from a donation from proceeds of the party.

MacAllister said he was not offered funding, but an opportunity to speak at the party about water quality issues.

“I seize every opportunity I can to advocate for clean water,” he said.

MacAllister added he was offended at the suggestion that his decades long work on the water would be compromised by a donation. He stressed the party could not be a fundraiser for the BayKeeper.

“With respect to the event itself and the question as to whether there is water quality monitoring, I don’t believe there is, but there needs to be,” said MacAllister, adding he would perform the service himself.

Tait said when he spoke of the conflict of interest it was after Canavan had offered that the BayKeeper may receive a donation from the event.

“Your integrity could be the best, but it doesn’t matter,” said Tait. “It is the appearance of a conflict of interest that matters.”

“The fact is we have had closures in this cove for shellfishing for a dangerous bacteria that causes death has us concerned,” said Tait.

“I don’t disagree but let’s put this in perspective,” said MacAllister. “Your concerns are well founded, but in fact the cove has bigger issues than the assembly of boats on a given Sunday.”

“I am not going to question your integrity on these things and that is not what I am doing,” added Tait. “What I was questioning was the appearance of a conflict of interest.”

“You need to know not in a million years will I sell my integrity for a crab net of dollar bills,” replied MacAllister.

Redwood resident Cam Gleason said another reason not to allow the party in the cove was the presence of the diamondback terrapin, a turtle which makes its home in Sag Harbor Cove and has been named a designated species of special recognition by the DEC.

“The party does not belong there,” she said. “Have it somewhere else.”

North Haven Residents Call for Tick Abatement

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Josephine DeVincenzi used to be an avid birder, but now she avoids the woods in North Haven, fearful of contracting Lyme Disease for the fourth time.

She is by no means alone.

Virtually all of DeVincenzi’s neighbors have contracted Lyme Disease or another tick borne illness at least once, if not multiple times. Even worse, her partner Jan Scanlon developed a life-threatening allergy to meat and dairy after being bitten by a Lone Star tick. In the last eight years, Scanlon has been rushed to the hospital almost a dozen times as a result of the affliction, twice in anaphylactic shock.

Calling the impact tick borne illnesses are having on residents in North Haven — a known hot spot for ticks — a “public health crisis,” on Monday night DeVincenzi urged the North Haven Village Board to explore implementing a “4-Poster” program in the village.

“As you know, North Haven Village served as the control for the 4-Poster Study on Shelter Island that studied tick infestation,” said DeVincenzi. “After three years of study, they found a significant decline in the tick population — a 95-percent decline.”

“While there is no perfect solution to the problem,” she added, “I am here on behalf of myself and the North Haven Manor’s Home Owners Association to demand the village find the means to implement the 4-Poster Program and abate our tick infestation.”

PA210031According to Dan Gilrein of Cornell Cooperative Extension, which completed the 4-Poster study in Shelter Island in 2011, DeVincenzi is correct. The study did show tick populations could be controlled over time and significantly reduced using 4-Poster devices. The duel feeding stations are designed to apply the insecticide permethrin to the necks, head, ears and shoulders of deer which are forced to rub up against applicator rollers as they feed at the stations. The permethrin is then transferred to other parts of the body as the deer grooms itself.

According to Gilrein, Cornell Cooperative Extension completed the study to help the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) make an informed decision on whether the state should allow communities to use 4-Poster devices for tick abatement and to what extent.

Gilrein said earlier this year, the DEC did decide to allow permits for 4-Poster devices, but only in Nassau and Suffolk counties and not in upstate New York. The DEC does require a four-year study of deer ecology as well as the tick population in order to gain a permit.

Gilrein added that while 4-Poster systems can be erected on private properties they must be monitored by someone with training.

“It’s a new technology that people have to learn how to use successfully,” he said.

“We know this helps to control ticks and perhaps it is also raising awareness about the role of the deer population in relation to tick borne illnesses,” added Gilrein. “It has also highlighted the need for more information and the importance of personal protection.”

On Monday night, DeVincenzi said she believes the time for study has passed and that because of Cornell’s work there is proof that the 4-Poster program could have a real impact on the lives of people in North Haven.

“How many more people need to be impacted,” she asked. “How many more health care dollars will be spent treating the illness instead of eradicating or reducing the major source of the problem?”

“You are the officials we elected to safeguard our community and the people living in it,” DeVincenzi later added. “Myself and others believe you have fallen short of the objective. We have a Lyme Disease epidemic here and we need action now.”

Nodding his head as DeVincenzi spoke, North Haven Village Board Member George Butts said he has had Lyme Disease about seven times and it is a widespread problem.

“My husband has had it, my daughter had it,” added board member Diane Skilbred.

However, Skilbred noted she had read implementing a 4-Poster program would cost about $1 million.

“How much is it costing us now,” asked DeVincenzi. “We are spending millions on tests, treatments, on trying to protect ourselves, but it is haphazard. We have to have a comprehensive plan.”

DeVincenzi added that she believed residents in North Haven Village would happily pay a little more each year in taxes in order to be protected.

“Tell me what you need, how many petitions you need to get signed and I will do it,” she said.

Board member Jeff Sander said he believed this was a valid concern and something the board should research, immediately, with DeVincenzi’s help.

“Let’s look at some data,” he said.

DeVincenzi said she would also seek to bring an expert on 4-Poster devices to the board’s August 7 meeting.

“I have given up going into the woods and enjoying nature,” she said. “I have just given it up.”

Photos courtesy of the Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Ferry Rates Bumped

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Those taking the ferry from North Haven to Shelter Island will have to dig a little deeper into their pockets this summer, as the Suffolk County Legislature approved an increase in rates on June 19, with most fares going up by between 13 and 16 percent.

The roundtrip fare for a car and driver, for example, will go from $15 to $17.

Passengers in non-resident vehicles will be charged $1.00 for the first time.

In its application to the Legislature, South Ferry, Inc., the company that has run the service since 1906, said that it was struggling with rising gas prices and declining passenger counts — and needed to raise fares to reverse losses.

Jay Schneiderman, the county legislator for the East End and an advocate of public transportation, said he regretted that the ferry rates needed to be increased and expressed concern that if fares were too high, those traveling between the North and South forks would chose to drive around through Riverhead, rather than taking the ferry from Greenport, through North Haven and to Shelter Island. However, he said that he couldn’t put a local business in a position of losing money.

“Increased rates are never a good thing, in my mind,” he said. “They’re saying that they have to lose rates — they’re losing money. I don’t want to ask them to lose money.

Hurricane Preparedness Seminar Announced for July

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East Hampton, Shelter Island and Southampton towns have joined New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. and the Long Island Power Authority in hosting an East End Hurricane Preparedness seminar on Thursday, July 26 at 6 p.m. at the Hampton Library in Bridgehampton.

“Preparation is essential to our ability to manage the impacts of storm events,” said Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst. “As we were reminded by  Tropical Storm Irene last fall, our area is prone to power outages during high wind events. LIPA has worked hard to improve its ability to respond to outages and to better communicate with residents and municipal emergency managers during these stressful times. We are pleased to offer this forum as an opportunity to keep residents informed about the progress LIPA has made, the communication tools that will be available to them and to review how best to prepare for the possibility of future outages.”

LIPA Chief Operating Officer Michael Hervey added that anyone dependent on electricity for emergency medical and life-support equipment should register with LIPA’s Critical Care Program, so they can receive regular updates on scheduled outages or severe weather allowing them to make advanced preparations. To enroll or obtain more information on Critical Care call 1-800-490-0025 or visit

http://www.lipower.org/residential/custserv/services-care.html.

For more information or to register for the July 26th Hurricane Preparedness Seminar, please contact Assemblyman Fred Thiele’s District Office at 537-2583.